Lies about Iraq drove the 2008 election and they drove the 2012 election as well.
The country was transformed to the elephant in the room for 2012 that no one could be honest about. President Barack Obama lied that he'd 'ended' the Iraq War, he misled people into believing that all US troops had left Iraq, and he failed to inform Americans that he was negotiating to send even more US troops into Iraq.
While the uninspiring victory speech last night blended The Hollies "He's Not Heavy, He's My Brother" ("The road is long") with Jerry McGuire ("You've made me a better president"), it also made clear that the administration was on fumes even before the second term officially begins in January.
The administration is as empty as the media. If you doubt that, September 26th, the New York Times' Tim Arango reported:
Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence.
September 26th it was in print.
Days later, October 3rd, Barack 'debated' Mitt Romney. Again October 16th. Again October 22nd.
Not once did the moderators ever raise the issue.
If Barack's sitting before them and he's flat out lying to the American people, it's their job to ask. They didn't do their job. Nor did social menace Candy Crowley who was apparently dreaming of an all-you-can-eat buffet when Barack was babbling away before her about how he wouldn't allow more "troops in Iraq that would tie us down." But that's exactly what he's currently negotiating.
Maybe Candy Crowley missed the New York Times article? Maybe she spends all her time pleasuring herself to her version of porn: Cooking With Paula Deen Magazine?
That is possible.
But she was only one of the three moderators. Bob Schieffer and Jim Lehrer also moderated. Of course, they didn't foolishly self-present as a fact checker in the midst of the debate nor did they hit the publicity circuit before the debate to talk about how they were going to show how it was done.
Poor Crowley, a heavy weight strutting into a non-competition will always look woefully misdressed.
Barack lied and Americans will face that or not.
He wasn't the only one.
It's going to be very difficult for the Republican party to nominate a governor next go round. If they do, it will be someone like Jeb Bush who has a knowledge of politics beyond state politics. Why?
Senate Republicans are fuming and furious.
Iraq is a disaster.
They spent the last four years setting the stage for a GOP challenger to make that case. They went on the record objecting to the idiot Chris Hill (Barack's first failed US Ambassador to Iraq). They went on the record objecting to the way negotiations were being carried out. They went on record over and over.
And the point was: Barack is a hypocrite.
That was what they were going for.
And it might have worked.
Republicans traditionally go after a strength.
Barack promoted himself for re-election by insisting that Osama bin Laden's death and Iraq demonstrated he was a success.
But he was lying to the American people because he had kept forces in Iraq, he had sent more Special-Ops in over the summer and he was negotiating to send even more troops in.
This is how you prove someone's a hypocrite.
But Mitt's campaign wouldn't listen. (Mitt's responsible for his campaign. GOP Senators, however, felt like they were flunkies trying to land a prime table for the boss every time they attempted to get Mitt on the phone. Even worse was getting a face to face.)
They went with a cartoon because the campaign didn't believe Americans can handle complexity.
That's why Mitt couldn't deliver on any issue.
The campaign felt the American people were not very bright and that, if a story (issue) had too many details, the American people would nod off.
So the simple path was to say, "Uh-uh!" Whatever Barack said, say, "Uh-uh!"
Senate Republicans spent four years laying a trap for Barack with regards to Iraq but Mitt Romney didn't want any help, didn't want to address reality. Keep it simple, he insisted, keep it simple.
So he went with the cartoon Barack offered (I removed all US troops from Iraq and ended the Iraq War) and responded, "Uh, that was a mistake."
Senate Republicans were also appalled by his refusal to run with Benghazi after Crowley's 'fact check' began to implode on her.
Senate Republicans spent a great deal of time complaining to Paul Ryan who does understand Congress but felt his hands were tied with regards to Mitt (who was called "remote" and "unreachable" by Congressional Republicans). They are very adadment that the GOP would be in the White House in January if Mitt had listened or had known anything about politics. "Massachusettes is not the United States," huffed one in a phone call late last night.
It will be very difficult for any Republican governor to get the nomination in 2016 if the Republican Senators have any say. They feel that, outside of a Bush, governors don't grasp national politics. The only thing they hate right now more than an abstract governor as a 2016 candidate is the thought that a certain New Jersey Governor may try to run. If he does, they plan to "show him all the love he showed the party," said another.
That's the Republicans, we've covered Barack.
As feminists, we wondered six weeks ago, what do we do?
Roseanne had already imploded. (Cindy Sheehan has a story to tell and then some.) She couldn't and wouldn't campaign, she apparently wouldn't pay workers she hired for her campaign, she was an embarrassment.
And so was Jill Stein.
As feminists, do we call it as it is?
We debated that for three days. Jill wasn't going to win the presidency. In fact, it was obvious she was running off the limited votes she did have a shot at.
But did we tell the truth on that? Did we call her out?
We crossed the line on gender with the decision -- a feminist one (not "the" feminist one) -- that she was running for public office and therefore had to be treated the same as anyone else would even if, in the closing weeks, we were going to tear her apart.
But . . .
Having dealt with the feminist issue, we still had the issue of third parties.
Was it really fair to beat up on a third party candidate?
Adding to the problems, one of us (Ava) is involved with a lifelong Green (Jess), has a child by him, has made a home with him.
And Jess was very clear that Jill Stein was "a f**king idiot but the Greens need to be on ballots." And they were. Texas, for example. We heard from Billie who early voted for Jill Stein. She was so excited because Jill Stein was on the ballot. She didn't have to write her in. Right there on the Texas ballot was the Green Party.
What do we do?
In the end, we decided, "We don't promote her. We don't mention her. That's true here, that's true at Third."
So we bit our tongues.
As she ran a stupid campaign. As she made a fool of herself and the Green Party. (Granted, it's a party that loves to make a fool of itself.)
She -- and others -- did a debate with Larry King. A debate that did not include all. A new hurdle was invented.
Green Party members, you know what a hurdle is, right? It's what keeps your candidate out of the so-called presidential debates every four years. Why the hell would you take part in a debate that did not invite everyone who made it onto a state's ballot as a presidential candidate?
Because hypocrisy is a charge you live to embrace?
Supposedly the Green Party is opposed to war.
So when Tim Arango reported the White House was negotiating with Nouri to send more troops back into Iraq, Jill Stein should have led on that.
But she's a politician which is just a whore without the desire to please a customer.
So Jill ignored it.
She ignored a lot.
Six weeks ago, in fact, after Barack cratered in the first debate, she and her campaign began going after Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
You're a Green. You're on the left. The high profile left vote getter just imploded on national TV. It's the perfect time for you to pick up some of his voters.
But you refuse to try. You rush to go after Romney and Ryan instead.
Why is that?
Because you are not a real party.
Because you will forever be the little sister of the Democratic Party.
Because every four years, you start off with promise and end up revealing just how craven and disgusting you are.
If we are offering commentary four years from now, please note, being a Green will not save you. Being third party will not save you.
We will call you out in real time.
At the end of July, we participated at Third in a tour of the online campaign offices. Our contributions are probably the bitchiest. We were tired and not in the mood. And whining got back to us about how some things could have been said nicer.
We never heard that Gary Johnson whined. We never heard that one of his supporters whined.
Sorry, Gary, but in America we like happy people.
On his splash screen and on his main webpage Johnson uses the same photo and he's not smiling in it. We like politicians who smile and smile broadly. We're not voting for the Mona Lisa to be president so lose the half smile. A smile means your lips go up at the sides and you show your teeth.
Failing to provide that doesn't make you look serious when it happens in two pictures in a row, it makes it look like you have a stick up your ass.
Johnson had the good sense to switch to smiling photos. It did make a difference. No one wants to embrace glum.
So good for Johnson. However, he was anti-war. So why wasn't he seizing on Barack's negotiations with Iraq?
We have no idea. We'll assume he doesn't know. We've talked and talked and talked about Arango's report. It has had an impact. More so overseas where something here about Arango's story went up at an Arabic news outlet. But it is having an effect and Arango report (and Tom Hayden's blog post) are finally getting attention.
If Johnson didn't know? He's running for president. It was his responsibility to know.
Jerry White was running on the Socialist Equality Party. His name was on two state ballots. We strongly argue that he should have been invited to any and all third party debates (and should have been at what the networks call the "presidential debates"). But saying that doesn't change the fact that World Socialist Web Site if the party's outlet and they have refused to note what Tim Arango reported. They have refused to cover it. They have been called out for it. We have many e-mails from people saying they have begged WSWS to write about this topic or griped them out for not covering it.
So Jerry White is a failure twice over. He failed as a candidate. He failed as a reporter.
Virgil Goode? We didn't follow his campaign. We can't comment on what we don't know. If we did, we'd be on the Sunday Chat & Chews.
'Why can't you say something nice?'
Because Iraqis continue to die.
Because too many Americans are living under the lie that the Iraq War ended. Because too many Americans wrongly believe the US troops came home. Not only are a number still in Iraq, you've got over 15,000 stationed in Kuwait. And the Senate Foreign Relations Committee issued a report in June -- [PDF format warning] "The Gulf Security Architecture: Partnership With The Gulf Co-Operation Council."-- recommending the 15,000 that were transitioned to Kuwait from Iraq remain in Kuwait for several years to come.
Iraqis continue to die.
That's not just the fault of Bully Boy Bush.
January 2009, Barack was sworn in. March 2010, Iraqis went to the polls to cast their votes for their future. Iraqiya won that election. Ayad Allawi should be prime minister as a result. But the White House backed Nouri al-Maliki for a second term.
From John Barry's "'The Engame' Is A Well Researched, Highly Critical Look at U.S. Policy in Iraq" (Daily Beast):
Washington has little political and no military influence over these developments [in Iraq]. As Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor charge in their ambitious new history of the Iraq war, The Endgame, Obama's administration sacrificed political influence by failing in 2010 to insist that the results of Iraq’s first proper election be honored: "When the Obama administration acquiesced in the questionable judicial opinion that prevented Ayad Allawi's bloc, after it had won the most seats in 2010, from the first attempt at forming a new government, it undermined the prospects, however slim, for a compromise that might have led to a genuinely inclusive and cross-sectarian government."
Barack's responsible. He subverted democracy. What a message to send a struggling Iraq: Go to the polls, risk your lives voting and then the US government will overturn your results.
Sadly, it's a lesson that the US government has been teaching for longer than we've been alive.
And a real left would call that out and should call that out.
Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Second Term" went up this morning.
Sunday, we participated in the writing of Third's "Editorial: We support Barack Obama . . ." for impeachment.
And the second term means a few stop lying. There's no need to whore for a War Criminal when he can't be re-elected.
The press also has less reason to whore as the next four years progress. And reading Kat's "It's going to be a squeaker" we were reminded of a film. Kat wrote:
"Now is a good time to try something new." Dak-Ho, Maggie, Toni and I had Chinese. That's what my fortune cookie said.
It's all very Shampoo. If you've forgotten that classic, it has an election as a backdrop.
Last night, Barack got re-elected president.
Yes, and the American people re-elected Richard Nixon as well.
Let the fun begin.