Sunday, April 06, 2008

Pockmarks of the Soul

Tom Hayden's spent 2008 sharing a lot of 'wisdoms'. We'd imagined his ego is well stroked at this point were it not for the fact that his vanity knows no bounds. How a bit player in the peace movement during the Vietnam era and a lowly one-time state legislature can so enthrall Panhandle Media with his 'wisdoms' goes to just how pathetic Panhandle Media is and, we'll guess, like attracts like.

There's appears to be no lie Tom's ever not been willing to tell. He agitated for violence in Chicago back in '68 but likes to pretend he didn't and, in real time, met with others in secret to plan the violence. Even then, as Vietnam was being destroyed, Tom-Tom had an eye on after the war.

"After the war." He was practically Judy at Carnegie Hall with that tune. And it was obvious to one and all that Tom-Tom was all about 'setting up his end.' Behind the scenes, he always advocated more than he actually did but Tom-Tom couldn't get his hands dirty, you understand. He would admit to wanting to be a US Senator but the look in his eyes when someone floated the presidency told the reality of his ambitions.

He never made it to either. Even with so many helping to fund his runs while he was married to Jane Fonda. He divorced Jane Fonda and that really was the end of his elected political career. It took him a very long time to grasp that fact. In the last few years, he's fond of telling people -- sounding like Joan Crawford -- that he'll be back.

It's never happening. But another illegal war is ongoing and Tom-Tom grabs his surf board thinking this wave will bring him back to prominence. He's older, he's tireder. So what's really taken place is that the American public has seen the way he is, the way women who know him can tell you all about. It's the same behavior that got him kicked to the curb in the early 70s (contrary to popular belief, that was not the result of one woman, she was merely one of many women he'd offended with his blatant sexism).

He's hitched his wagon to the Bambi Train because the only thing out of touch DC players think Hayden can offer at this point, has ever had to offer, is some sort of connection with the youth. He's never had it, not even in his youth. But it's still his perceived strength and he just knows being the Youth Voice of Bambi (at sixty-plus) will finally allow him to enter the power halls of DC.

So he lies and he lies some more. Feruary 7th, he offered multiple lies in a piece entitled "After Super Tuesday, Time for Peace Movement to Get Off the Sidelines." We'll focus on one:

Obama opposed the measure authorizing Bush to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, widely regarded as an escalating step towards another war. Clinton voted for the authorization.

Obama opposed it? Really. How do you know that, Tom-Tom? You say Hillary voted for it. So how did Obama vote? Oh, that's right, he didn't vote. Mr. Pretty Words said he would have voted against it . . . if he was in the Senate. Scratch that, that's his Iraq resolution lie. Mr. Pretty Words was in the Senate when that vote took place. Mr. Pretty Words chose to skip that vote. But he opposes it, Tom-Tom lies. If he opposed it, if he gave a damn about it, he would have voted against it.

John Edwards supporters should have especially had enough of Tom-Tom's lies since Hayden led the call for Edwards to drop out of the race, from The Nation of course, in his January piece entitled "Anti-War Lessons From New Hampshire:"

Heading into Super Tuesday, Hillary Clinton is gaining momentum and Barack Obama suddenly finds himself imperiled. The reason is that the primaries ahead are largely confined to Democratic voters, where Clinton holds the margin. Obama's edge has come from independents. He can and must win South Carolina, or face huge odds on February 5. Obama desperately needs the John Edwards voters, but Edwards shows no sign of abandoning the race, despite the fact that he is unlikely to win a single primary. The math is simple: Clinton wins if the anti-Clinton vote is split between Obama and Edwards.

Though it's forgotten today, Tom-Tom was right about one point, Democrats do not line up behind Obama and haven't. But he was wrong with his argument that Edwards needs to drop out because Edwards was preventing Prince Bambi from being crowned king. Others quickly echoed that point. Edwards dropped out. It bears noting that Edwards had the strongest position for ending the illegal war of any of the three front runners at that time. So it may confuse some why 'peace' Tom-Tom would advocate for Edwards to get out of the race but an Edwards campaign offered Tom-Tom no power. The Edwards had no use for him and their supporters weren't seen by the press as youthful. Tom-Tom judged the odds and saw his own self-interests benefited from Bambi so he argued that John Edwards was stopping Bambi's coronation.

It bears noting that before any primary or caucus was held, Tom-Tom was already down on Dennis Kucinich and refusing to cover Kucinich in his various scribbles. Tom-Tom's not about ending this war anymore than he was about ending the war in Vietnam, Tom-Tom's all about making life a little better for himself.

In January of 2008, Tom-Tom endorsed Bambi in a piece entitled "AN ENDORSEMENT OF THE MOVEMENT THAT BARACK OBAMA LEADS" which began: "With the California primary ten days away, it's time to decide. And for me, it's not been easy." Oh Tom-Tom, selling out has always come so easy for you. You certainly sold out the Palestinians throughout the 80s and 90s. But there's no movement behind Bambi. From Friday's "Iraq snapshot:"

As Doug Henwood (ZNet) observes -- no fan of either Hillary or Barack, "And despite the grand claims of enthusiasts, he doesn't really have a movement behind him -- he's got a fan club. How does a fan club hold a candidate accountable?" As Tom-Tom demonstrates repeatedly, they don't.

Henwood's correct, it's a fan club. It's not Beatle mania because that had staying power. With even The New York Times forced to explain that Bambi's moment had peaked, what Bambi had was more like the 'passion' that briefly supported New Kids On The Block.

Tom-Tom pimps hard for Bambi because pimping for Bambi is pimping for Tom-Tom. The elderly "Youth Voice" needs Bambi if he's ever going to be remembered as anything other than husband number two to a famous actress. Which was why, in The Nation's "End The War in 2009," he was slobbering over Bambi's (non-binding) 'pledge' "to end the Iraq war in 2009." You'll note "Peace" Tom-Tom doesn't even type "Iraq War." That lets you grasp just how damn little Tom-Tom cares about the illegal war -- let alone ending it. In that column, Tom-Tom argued that it might be just words but words matter!

Or at least they matter to Tom-Tom when they slide out of Bambi's mouth. When Bambi's then-chief foreign policy advisor speaks to the BBC, Tom-Tom doesn't think those words matter at all and ignores them.

Stephen Sackur: You said that he'll revisit it [the decision to pull troops] when he goes to the White House. So what the American public thinks is a commitment to get combat forces out within sixteen months, isn't a commitment is it?

Samantha Power: You can't make a commitment in whatever month we're in now, in March of 2008 about what circumstances are going to be like in January 2009. We can't even tell what Bush is up to in terms of troops pauses and so forth. He will of course not rely upon some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or as a US Senator.

Words matter, Tom-Tom? Apparently he believes that and believes it is important to vanish those words, to not call Bambi out for them. Yeah, that's ending the war, keep kidding yourself.

And we expect more kidding from Tom-Tom. He'll probably ignore what Eli Lake (New York Sun) reported Friday as well:

A key adviser to Senator Obama's campaign is recommending in a cofidential paper that America keep between 60,000 and 80,000 troops in Iraq as of late 2010, a plan at odds with the public pledge of the Illinois senator to withdraw combat forces from Iraq within 16 months of taking office.
The paper, obtained by
The New York Sun, was written by Colin Kahl for the center-left Center for a New American Security. In "Stay on Success: A Policy of Conditional Engagement," Mr. Kahl writes that through negotiations with the Iraqi government "the U.S. should aim to transition to a sustainable over-watch posture (of perhaps 60,000--80,000 forces) by the end of 2010 (although the specific timelines should be the byproduct of negotiations and conditions on the ground)."
Mr. Kahl is the day-to-day coordinator of the Obama campaign's working group on Iraq.

But, again, we're sure that Tom-Tom will find a way to ignore just as he ignored Samantha Power's revelations. Because for Tom-Tom, in the end, it's all about Tom-Tom. Some pockmarks are on the soul.

So let's just review, Tom-Tom elected to sideline the only Democratic candidate calling for an end to the illegal war (Dennis Kucinich), Tom-Tom led the call for John Edwards to drop out of the Democratic race because staying in would 'hurt' Tom-Tom's beloved Bambi and now Tom-Tom and his ilk spew hate at Hillary. It's only a surprise if you don't know Tom-Tom's long-long history of hating women. Tom-Tom's a part of Pathetic Democrats 'for America' -- the name implies it's nationwide and it's really not. Their members largely supported Dennis Kucinich. So PDA elected not to poll or endorse when Kucinich was in the race. It's called gaming the system and the only thing more hilarious is reading Progressives for Obama -- a front group for agitated Greens, closet Communists and a few scattered Democrats -- and hearing how important the Palestinian issue is. It's a real shame it wasn't an issue to Tom-Tom before 2007.

At ZNet, Phyllis Bennis tries to call for some reality:

Your letter states: "She now promises to "end the war" but will not set a timeline for combat troop withdrawal, and remains committed to leaving tens of thousands of counter-terrorism troops and trainers in Iraq amidst a sectarian conflict. While Obama needs to clarify his own position on counterinsurgency, Clinton's "end the war" rhetoric conceals an open commitment to keep American troops in Iraq until all our ill-defined enemies are defeated--a treadmill that guarantees only the spawning of more enemies."
Unfortunately I think what is needed is not for Obama to "clarify" his own position on counter-insurgency or troop withdrawal, but to CHANGE his position.
Like Clinton, Obama clearly calls for a withdrawal only of "combat troops." Just like Clinton, Obama has been all too clear that he too is committed to "leaving tens of thousands of counter-terrorism troops and trainers in Iraq. "Obama, like Clinton, has stated clearly he believes U.S. troops should remain in Iraq for a host of tasks -- including counter-insurgency, training, force protection, protection of the bloated 5,000- person U.S. embassy, and more.

Phyllis then goes on to sidestep what Samantha Power said (the revelations about Colin Kahl were not known when Bennis wrote), that's a huge mistake. War Hawk Power was Bambi's chief advisor and if she's saying that Bambi's words are just words, the peace movement doesn't need to play stupid.

But even carefully wording her statements, Tom-Tom's still unhinged. (Of course he is, Bennis is a woman.) He goes into an absurd conversation from the sixties (Tom-Tom's notorious for 'inventing' conversations when he needs them), he offers a lot of garbage, but mainly he offers lies:

His 2002 anti-war speech, his 16 month combat troop withdrawal plan, his refusal to support Bush on Iran's Revolutionary Guard, all are in his favor. His repeated stump statements that he will "end the war in 2009" is building a climate of great expectations, and all these gestures are in response to a public antiwar mood that the anti-war movement has helped to build.

There is no "16 month combat troop withdrawal plan" as Samantha Power made clear. He did not "refuse" on the issue of Iran, he skipped the vote. He is not ending the illegal war in 2009 and there is no movement. Grow up, Tom-Tom, there's no movement and there's no future for you. People don't like liars and all 2008 has been about is Tom-Tom proving the same lies he told to women he can now tell to the American people. You've disgraced yourself, leave the stage.

Phyllis, we appreciate your attempts to bring some reality into the picture. We're aware -- mainly due to left voices e-mailing the public account of The Common Ills -- how hard it is for true left voices to bring up realities about Obama. We haven't heard from you but we wouldn't be surprised if you were familiar with the horror stories so many have shared. We've praised you, we've slammed you. We'll continue to do both as we feel they are warranted. For last week, you earned praise for stepping away from the scripted fantasy and attempting to inject some reality. We applaud you for that.
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