There for a minute, I thought Helen Thomas told the President of these Untied States not to give her any bullshit. Thank goodness the New York Times liveblogged the press conference.
From Jeff Zeleny: President Obama â€“ perhaps looking to change the subject? â€“ called on Helen Thomas, the longest-serving member of the White House press corps. He hasnâ€™t called on her since his first press conference more than a year ago, but turned to her today, after several questions about the oil spill.
The topic? Afghanistan.
Before he answered, she warned him: â€œDonâ€™t give us this Bushismâ€ that the terrorists will come to the United States if we donâ€™t fight them in Afghanistan.
The president delivered a standard answer, saying the U.S. military was making progress in its mission, but he acknowledged that major challenges loomed.
Anotherwerds, she got the Bushism she warned him not to give her.
I’m always a bit surprised by progressive folks who bristle at Mr. Obama. He campaigned on an Afghan war. I suspect myself that he did so because, politically, he had to; because the worst thing you can be in this world if you want to win in politics for some reason is a liberal peacenik. The point being, that Obama never said he was going to end our role in war. He said he’d end the stupid one in Iraq, but only to build up the stupid one in Afghanistan. That is what he said he’d do.
Not that Helen Thomas is wrong to accost the President on this. The war is still stupid, and Obama’s boilerplate answer is not helpful. “Fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here” sounds just as stupid coming out of his mouth as it did from his predecessor’s. Believe me, UBL has glazed his cave ceiling thousands of times by now regarding our presence in Afghanistan; it is his wet dream come true.
Anyways. Back to point #1: Barack Obama ain’t a liberal, kids. He never was. He’s not ending the war; he’s not sticking his neck out for true universal health care; he’s meandering toward ending DADT. Part of political activism is accepting that party politics may not always move for you as quickly or as effectively as, say, movement politics might. Abbie Hoffman never ran for office. Hell, Abbie formed his own party.
For certain, though, is that we’re better off than we’d have been with a President McWeirdsmile and his vapid sidekick. Then we’d likely be balls deep in Iraq instead of getting out and we’d have marched to Tehran by now.
By the way, my father’s excellent research in sunny Kansas (“Nothing new under the sun”) got a nice mention on an excellent blog that is apparently named after a neatly stocked Scrabble rack. Thanks!