Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

It's Us vs. The Rest of the Country

In the wake of the torture, pictures, military tribunal fracas, yet more proof that the grand old “liberal media” is much more interested in conflict drama than, you know, reporting and yet more proof that we can’t count on them to help protect the rule of law.…

The Associated Press “anaylsis” of the situation paints it as a potential loss for the Democratic Party…but not because Democrats won’t investigate or prosecute, but because they actually might;

Increasingly, President Barack Obama and Democrats who run Congress are being pulled between the competing interests of party liberals and the rest of the country on Bush-era wartime matters of torture, detention and interrogation of suspected terrorists.

Yes, as it turns out, the rule of law and human rights are merely “interests of party liberals.” More so, the Associated Press decided to crown Nancy Pelosi as Queen of the left flank?;

On Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi protected the party’s left flank by accusing the CIA of lying to her about the agency’s use of a form of simulated drowning on suspected terrorists. “We were told that waterboarding was not being used,” said Pelosi, D-Calif. “And we now know that earlier they were.” The CIA disputes Pelosi’s account.

I wasn’t aware she was protecting us? Funny, since some liberal blogs like DailyKos have been more than happy to throw her to the wolves on this. It gets better;

The White House desperately wants to get Democrats in Congress focused on the president’s priorities. Obama’s team has made it clear it’s not eager to retread the past. But House and Senate liberals, prodded by a vocal and active network of grass-roots and “netroots” supporters, relish doing just that, seemingly fixated on how Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney handled Iraq and terrorism.

So you heard it, those of you who want investigations, prosecutions, punishment for egregious human rights violations are merely “fixated” on the past.

Obama is facing the same predicament that confronted and confounded other recent Democratic presidents. While governing as centrists, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter bent over backward on issues of war and peace, working to appease the party’s left wing without being held hostage by it.

Defeated Democratic nominees – John Kerry in 2004, Al Gore in 2000, Michael Dukakis in 1988 – lost in part because Republicans successfully tagged them as soft on security.

The battle lines are drawn. “appeasing” liberals is bad and dangerous.

Conversely, Obama may have further endeared himself to moderates and independents who are more hawkish on national security and are important to his winning coalition. It’s also possible that conservative Republicans may now be more open to dealing with him because of his moves on security issues.

With those actions, Obama may have undercut Cheney’s complaint that the Democrat’s policies were endangering the country. The president also may have insulated himself from further weak-on-security attacks following a campaign during which skeptics questioned his readiness to lead the military in wartime.

Ah, so all those things liberals are criticizing him for are actually making him more popular with the rest of the country.

So to sum it up, Obama risks turning into Carter and Clinton if he appeases liberals, so in order for him to survive, he has to appear “hawkish”, sweep torture and war crimes under the rug, and somehow shut the liberals up on this issue.  

The sad thing is…this anaylsis may actually be right and we know it. I was struck by this comment I saw in a thread at OpenLeft;

you know what the sad thing is? (0.00 / 0)

If the economy recovers, Obama will be able to cruise to reelection despite continuing destructive, unconstitutional policies such as military commissions. Hell, if the economy recovers, Obama could openly come out for torture and still cruise to reelection.

That’s how detached from reality we are. Bread and circuses, that’s all we need.

It’s us versus the rest of the country…it’s clear that the country voted for ecnonomic and social change, but national security? not so much…and the media, formed to protect our Constitution and human rights, have decided that our rights are “interests of the left”  


  1. Aiming retribution at the past administration is certainly something the most bloodthirstily partisan on the left could certainly be attributed with, but there is an inescapable logic to the issue of the exercise of the various hostilities we are involved in and the treatment of detainees.  The issue of torture needs to be worked out in public for the sake of the nation as a whole, and this is from one of the centrists (me) who is much more interested in moving forward on more practical matters at hand.  We just can’t go forever without thrashing this one out.

    On Pelosi, she did look terrible in that press conference, fwiw.  I wasn’t sure I was following her, then she starts to leave, then comes back and kind of answers another question and mostly confused all of us even more.  She should have brought a big, simple chart out and walked us through it, because if she still has nothing to hide she made it hard to determine.

  2. HappyinVT

    feared.  Whether it is through a truth commission or a special prosecutor, any full-scale investigation is going to be painted as partisan.  Obama can say all he wants, and he certainly wants to, that he wants to move forward in order to get his agenda done but he is going to be the one who owns whatever happens.

    It is a dreadful shame that the “liberal” media seems to be accepting that this is a left versus right fight.  Heck, they are not just accepting it, they are promoting it.  I’m not home to watch the network news so I don’t know how they are reporting it but CNN and most of MSNBC seem content to show some semi-relevent clip and then have competing Ds and Rs on to argue about it.  No one, except maybe Rachel and Keith (and they do have a distinct liberal bias) have done any in-depth television news reporting.  When Anderson Cooper had Paul Begala and Ari Fleischer on to “debate” Nancy’s comments about the CIA I turned the channel in complete disgust.

    Just once, I’d like someone who at least gives the appearance of impartiality do a segment longer than five minutes to fully explain what we do know.  The Washington Post and New York Times have done a number of stories but how many people outside Washington or New York read them.  We know several blogs are actively reporting, but the majority of the MSM…crickets.

    Now we have the media focusing on what Nancy knew or didn’t know, and when she knew or didn’t know it.  She seems to have been picked to be the face of the left-wing, gay-lovin’, military hatin’, coddle-the-terrorists San Francisco Democrat party.  No one is bothering to ask what top ranking Rebulicans knew or didn’t know.

    I agreed with Elizabeth de la Vega when she suggested in April, I believe, that it was too early to appoint a special prosecutor.  It has been beneficial to wait because Cheney at least has been on his legacy tour and may have made helpful statements that he’ll have to defend at an appropriate time.  I do think now is the time to go ahead with the special prosecutor.  Holder needs to lay out what information his department has and say that there appears to be enough to justify a formal investigation.

    I don’t want Congress involved except as witnesses as necessary.  I don’t know what Nancy knew but I would much rather have someone outside Washington, who isn’t tainted by any of this, to oversee the possible prosecution of a former president and vice president.

    Sorry, I think I got off topic.  The AP over the last year or so has been all over the place.  It’s a shame, though, that instead of doing actual reporting they are more interested in stoking the partisan divide, particularly on an issue that most Americans should be able to agree on.

    I will also disagree with the AP because I sincerely doubt Republicans are more willing to work with Obama because of his moves on security issues.  They may praise those moves (yuck) but I don’t see anything that suggests they’re willing to work with him.

    Finally, I hope the president realizes that this isn’t going away any time soon.  Each day seems to bring out startling revelations that we know about because we’re paying attention.  I just wish there were prominent Democrats out there calling stidently for investigations.  So far, other than a peep here or there I haven’t heard much.

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