Serena Freewomyn

Is Obama Running for the GOP Nomination, or What?

Filed By Serena Freewomyn | March 29, 2008 5:28 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, election campaigns, John McCain

So I've tried to shy away from posting about the election (except for my one post about Obama's gay crush on John Edwards). But this article about Obama's foreign policy goals had me scratching my head. (If I had balls, I'd scratch those instead.)

Sen. Barack Obama said Friday he would return the country to the more "traditional" foreign policy efforts of past presidents, such as George H.W. Bush, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

At a town hall event at a local high school gymnasium, Obama praised George H.W. Bush - father of the president - for the way he handled the Persian Gulf War: with a large coalition and carefully defined objectives.

Is Obama running to be the GOP candidate, or what?

I'm not really sure what to think about this. Because I've been saying all along that the Democrats and the Republicans are pretty much the same. But if you want to read the specifics about Obama, McCain, and Clinton's foreign policy goals, check out these articles from Foreign Affairs that the candidates wrote themselves.

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Wait, what's wrong with multilateralism and clearly defined goals?

Obama has one of the most progressive fopo teams ever. He even had Samantha Powers on board, until she said the M-word.

Nothing. I'm just confused about the repeated cheerleading for Reagan.

Well, you have to admit, there was a method to Reagan's madness. His foreign policy ended the cold war by escalating the downfall of the soviet system. He did it the only way you could while avoiding the loss of life, by economic means, forcing the soviets to spend resources they didn't have, which led to the cracks in the system which eventually caused it's downfall.

Bush senior, as stated before, use colition building, along with clearly defined goals, to deal with the greatest foreign policy crisis of his presidency.

Now Kennedy, well, I will get scorched by yellow dog democrats and those who worship the ground he walked on, but with the exception of his handling of the Cuban missle crisis, he had a few disasters. First there was the bay of pigs fiasco, then he made the choice to put more American forces in South Vietnam, thus escalating our involvment in a civil war we had no business sticking our noses in. Johnsom generally gets the blame, but it was Kennedy's policies that Johnson carried out.

"Is Obama Running for the GOP Nomination, or What?"

Not to cause a stink, but is this website?

As I was reading this post I was attacked by a John McCain ad in the upper right(natch)hand corner.

Go ahead, Kat, cause a stink. We don't have any problems with that around here. :)

LGBTQ people don't just care about those issues that specifically name us. The presidential race is a definite hot topic right now and I'm sure readers are interested.

Well, you have to admit, there was a method to Reagan's madness. His foreign policy ended the cold war by escalating the downfall of the soviet system. He did it the only way you could while avoiding the loss of life, by economic means, forcing the soviets to spend resources they didn't have, which led to the cracks in the system which eventually caused it's downfall.

This has conventional wisdom, but it is false. There is significant evidence to indicate that perestroika, whereby the Soviets maintained the command portion of the communist economy, but abandoned the control half, had a lot more to do with the downfall of the Soviet economic system than the increase in their military spending. Also, the Soviet economic output had been in an almost linear decline since the death of Stalin.

Furthermore, Reagan's foreign policy adventurism caused significant loss of life, particularly in Latin America. Hugo Chávez's words fall on ears that are well aware of the role that Reagan/Bush I had in propping up Noriega et. al. Not to mention that Reagan was completely unwilling to fund the reconstruction of Afghanistan after the USSR pulled out.

Reagan's foreign policy was nothing but disastrous for the United States. He wasn't as bad as Bush II, but if that's our standard for a Democrat, it's a pretty damn low bar.

beergoggles | March 29, 2008 11:10 PM

First of all, it's silly to associate successful policy results with the GOP. Since the general public consciousness only remembers the results with a handful of revisionist history thrown in do you really want to start giving people the impression that throughout recent American history, it's the GOP that's been successful with foreign policy?

Secondly, we're currently paying the price for previous foreign policy 'success' stories. The existence of the Taliban is just one case in point. Don't expect the majority of people to actually understand repercussions like that which occur after the 30 second attention span that they possess. Obama is just pandering to that population and I can't say that I blame him for it.

Reagan was only following the path of least resistance, as well as the now discredited foreign policy of containment, as far as his latin american policy is concerned. His main focus though was to bring an end to the cold war.

Perestroika was implemented by Gorbachov, who was trying his best to stem the slide in the soviet economy and the rising discontent by the educated classes, which he needed to run the country. The extra strain of trying to keep up with the US in strategic forces did have an impact on the soviets, as far as how long their system could be maintained. Add in the war in Afghanistan, and their economy collapsed, just as ours is doing due to the cost of bush 2's adventurism. The difference is, our economy is far more elastic than the soviets was, so it most likely will not bring about a total collapse of our governmental system. (Hopefully.)

Yes, the soviet system was already on a long slide to the "ash heap" of history, but too many experts agree that reagan's policies gave it a little extra shove to help it along. That it's collapse was not more violent, is attributable to gorbachov, who for his part made the demise of the USSR and the breakup of the Warsaw Pact into more of a whimper, than a bang.

Of course, I view things through a militaristic point of view, so my focus is more on that sphere of the subject. Social and economic forces are only considered in respect to that view point.

Yeah I know, I am a militant little Flaming Psycho Tranny Bitch.

reagan, bush sr., kennedy. none of them were great presidents. but none of them attempted to destroy the basic principles established by our constitution, either. not that anything about the USA has ever been perfect - but at least in theory, we are trying. obama is obviously looking to gain support nationwide from a broader spectrum of eligible voters. and at the same time, get us out of a war that we entered based on outright lies. he is far from perfect. but compared to the philosophy, policy, and ideals currently embraced by the republican party, he is a mother theresa. a saint. and far from embracing their policies. bush jr. is as close to a war criminal as anything this nation has ever experienced. anyone and everything that conforms to his ideology has to be defeated in future elections. our country has been seriously disgraced. don't laugh, but let's hope that we dont find ourselves under marshall law before the next election. i cannot realistically ignore anything that this administration could potentially do to maintain power. cheney's statement over the sentiment of the american people? SO.

And who would bush use as his forces to impose martial law?

All our combat ready troops are in iraq or afghanistan, and the ones still in the US, well their readiness levels are pretty much rock bottom. Bush has ruined the military. We do not have the troops to meet our present commitments around the globe in case of an emergency.

The forces that are commited, well they are slowly being worn down by "mission creep". The army has had to extend the tour of troops, just to meet called for operational levels. The problem with that is the wear on equipment and troop morale, further eroding unit readiness.

Hmm, if mexico had any designs on the southwest, now might be as good a time as any.

And everyone knows about canada's imperialistic plans. First it was William Shatner, then Michael Fox. Whats next from those devious canucks!

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | March 30, 2008 6:23 AM

The answer is yes, he is.

The military and foreign policies of the two parties are broadly identical and have been since the end of World War II. They have three aims: the containment of the colonial revolution, the suppression and rollback of ‘communism’, i.e., the warped bureaucratic régimes that emerged after Stalin’s victory over the Bolsheviks in the late 1920’s, and third, establishing the conditions for US hegemony.

No President or presidential candidate has ever questioned those goals, nor could they. This explains the long string of US military interventions. There have been so many I can only list a few of the most violent incidents caused by a US attack, invasion, or intervention.

Afghanistan, Angola, Bolivia, Cambodia, China, The Congo, Cuba, Chile, The Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Indonesia, Iran, Nicaragua, Jordan, Korea, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, The Philippines, Panama, Palestine, Pakistan, Peru, Puerto Rico, Syria, the USSR and the Warsaw Pact , Venezuela and Vietnam. Millions have died in these attacks.

Excluding the odd humanitarian program, there is NOTHING in the foreign policies and military strategies of the Republicans and Democrats that any decent person could support.

In terms of the GLBT communities, their foreign policies, including their unswerving support for reactionary, dictatorial, and theocratic régimes, are as bad as their domestic policies. In the case of Iraq, where the US arms jihadists who’ve declared fatwa against us and who hunt down and butcher our brothers and sisters without mercy, those policies are extremely dangerous. The homobigoted reactionaries in the US armed forces and in the huge mercenary groups like Blackhawk are learning a lesson that could yet come to haunt us in the US.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | March 30, 2008 8:32 AM

Certainly not a LGBTQ issue, but a refreshing discussion. I think that it is time to ask LOUDLY why our troops are posted in Germany, Japan, (where they are definitely tired of us) Korea and even Great Britain. Why do we have far flung military bases around the world? This is not the age of the steam engine and we would be able to deploy when and where needed if we were not still acting like WWII and the Korean "police action" had just ended. We are presently keeping 38,000 troops on the border of North Korea and Samsung makes our television sets. We are keeping bases in Japan and Toyota is the largest maker of cars in the world. Why are we the backbone of NATO and the UN special forces as we export money faster than we can print it?

So now we know what kind fo foreign polict an Obama presidency will bring:
1. Supporting Coups against friendly governments
(Deim-Vietnam, Kennedy Admin)
2. Slowly escalating American involvement to support corrupt regimes
(Vietnam, Kennedy Admin)
3. Trade arms to unfriendly nations for hostages
(Iran, Reagan Admin)
4. Illegally mine harbours of a nation whose elections results we disagree with
(Nicaraugua, Reagan Admin)
5. Fund right wing terrorist groups comaparing them to US Founding Fathers
(Nicaraugua, Reagan Admin)

Those are a few highlights. Well, if the statement was to give the voters a choice it did...he has scared the hell out of me as I lived through these fiascos.

I agree Maura, we have a real problem with revisionist history, and it is huge concerning the Reagan years.

His choice scares the hell out of me, as well.

Serena, imho now is not the best time to go into Obama's praise of Reagan and Clinton's "McCain is ready to be Commander in Chief."

Being in an alliance doesn't mean you're BFF with your allies or think they can't be stupid or even wrongheaded. And didlygrl, allies don't have to be perfect. Nor do they have to change what you and I both agree is a stupid and wicked strategic direction for our foreign policy by next Tuesday.

Being allies means they'll do what they can to help you instead of doing what they can to hurt you and the people you care about.

The thing is, do you think Obama and Clinton (pick whichever one you want) have a better chance of wising up and listening than McCain?

McCain never listened to anybody but Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott, George W. Bush, or that weird "All Catholics are Satan" preacher. Listen to us? Ain't gonna happen.

Let's go with the probabilities, please.
Rev. Bob

Hmm wonders how a blog on Senator Obama wandererd into one on Regan etc.Well to blow you away yes Senator Obama is the centerist in this election for the Democrats not Senator Clinton.Why do you think his collation is what it is he is selling centerist ideas to the people and yes contray to myth the American people are in the center on most issues.They are neither leftist or die hard core social conservatieves but those muddy middel of the roaders in other words Centerists. Many will scream other wise but why do you think candidates once they get the nominaton of there parites move to the center?To win the votes of not the few but the many thats why so think about it.

Carry on

Thank you, Maura. This is exactly why I'm troubled by Obama's repeated overatures to Reagan. Saddam was Reagan's man. We trained and armed him, just like we trained and armed Osama during Reagan's tenure. Just because Reagan had Alzheimer's doesn't mean the rest of us should have selective memory problems and forget the long term consequences of Reagan's foreign policies.

reagan, bush sr., kennedy. none of them were great presidents. but none of them attempted to destroy the basic principles established by our constitution, either.

Jerindc, you couldn't have been around when Reagan and Bush I were in office. The basic assault on civil liberties, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, not to mention the rights of working people and the rights of LGBTQ people, and the erosion of seperation of church and state, began during the Reagan-Bush era. W is just exending the leagacy and tying up the loose ends.

Just our of curiousity, why are LGBT's so worked up about the Democratic Nomination?
Yes, we will vote for whichever nominee to avoid a Federal Marriage Amendment that McCain supports, but I fail to see the need for the emotionialism that we are showing for two candidates that wish only to give us second class status(maybe, if...) and not true citizenship and equality.

I'll vote for one or the other, but don't expect me to show enthusiasm for Obama and his kinder, gentler Jim Crow status for us or for Hillary...