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The Kraut man: Obama's metastatic gaffe

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  • The Kraut man: Obama's metastatic gaffe

    Obama's Metastatic Gaffe


    By Charles Krauthammer
    Friday, May 23, 2008; A17

    When the House of Representatives takes up arms against $4 gas by voting 324-84 to sue OPEC, you know that election-year discourse has entered the realm of the surreal. Another unmistakable sign is when a presidential candidate makes a gaffe, then, realizing it is too egregious to take back without suffering humiliation, decides to make it a centerpiece of his foreign policy.
    Before the Democratic debate of July 23, Barack Obama had never expounded upon the wisdom of meeting, without precondition, with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar al-Assad, Hugo Chávez, Kim Jong Il or the Castro brothers. But in that debate, he was asked about doing exactly that. Unprepared, he said sure -- then got fancy, declaring the Bush administration's refusal to do so not just "ridiculous" but "a disgrace."
    After that, there was no going back. So he doubled down. What started as a gaffe became policy. By now, it has become doctrine. Yet it remains today what it was on the day he blurted it out: an absurdity.
    Should the president ever meet with enemies? Sometimes, but only after minimal American objectives -- i.e., preconditions -- have been met. The Shanghai communique was largely written long before Richard Nixon ever touched down in China. Yet Obama thinks Nixon to China confirms the wisdom of his willingness to undertake a worldwide freshman-year tyrants tour.
    Most of the time you don't negotiate with enemy leaders because there is nothing to negotiate. Does Obama imagine that North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela are insufficiently informed about American requirements for improved relations?
    There are always contacts through back channels or intermediaries. Iran, for example, has engaged in five years of talks with our closest European allies and the International Atomic Energy Agency, to say nothing of the hundreds of official U.S. statements outlining exactly what we would give them in return for suspending uranium enrichment.
    Obama pretends that while he is for such "engagement," the cowboy Republicans oppose it. Another absurdity. No one is debating the need for contacts. The debate is over the stupidity of elevating rogue states and their tyrants, easing their isolation, and increasing their leverage by granting them unconditional meetings with the president of the world's superpower.
    Obama cited Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman as presidents who met with enemies. Does he know no history? Neither Roosevelt nor Truman ever met with any of the leaders of the Axis powers. Obama must be referring to the pictures he's seen of Roosevelt and Stalin at Yalta, and Truman and Stalin at Potsdam. Does he not know that at that time Stalin was a wartime ally?
    During the subsequent Cold War, Truman never met with Stalin. Nor Mao. Nor Kim Il Sung. Truman was no fool.
    Obama cites John Kennedy meeting Nikita Khrushchev as another example of what he wants to emulate. Really? That Vienna summit of a young, inexperienced, untested American president was disastrous, emboldening Khrushchev to push Kennedy on Berlin -- and then nearly fatally in Cuba, leading almost directly to the Cuban missile crisis. Is that the precedent Obama aspires to follow?
    A meeting with Ahmadinejad would not just strengthen and vindicate him at home, it would instantly and powerfully ease the mullahs' isolation, inviting other world leaders to follow. And with that would come a flood of commercial contracts, oil deals, diplomatic agreements -- undermining the very sanctions and isolation that Obama says he would employ against Iran.
    As every seasoned diplomat knows, the danger of a summit is that it creates enormous pressure for results. And results require mutual concessions. That is why conditions and concessions are worked out in advance, not on the scene.
    What concessions does Obama imagine Ahmadinejad will make to him on Iran's nuclear program? And what new concessions will Obama offer? To abandon Lebanon? To recognize Hamas? Or perhaps to squeeze Israel?
    Having lashed himself to the ridiculous, unprecedented promise of unconditional presidential negotiations -- and then having compounded the problem by elevating it to a principle -- Obama keeps trying to explain. On Sunday, he declared in Pendleton, Ore., that by Soviet standards Iran and others "don't pose a serious threat to us." (On the contrary. Islamic Iran is dangerously apocalyptic. Soviet Russia was not.) The next day in Billings, Mont.: "I've made it clear for years that the threat from Iran is grave."
    That's the very next day, mind you. Such rhetorical flailing has done more than create an intellectual mess. It has given rise to a new political phenomenon: the metastatic gaffe. The one begets another, begets another, begets . . .
    [email protected]
    June 9, 1973 - The day athletic perfection was defined.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-Kva...eature=related

  • #2
    And, he's black-ish.
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    "When you say 'radical right' today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye."
    -Barry Goldwater

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    • #3
      Krauthammer's a heel sucker.
      His mind is not for rent, to any god or government.
      Pointless debate is what we do here -- lvr

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      • #4
        What exactly did he state that wasn't factual?

        Obama has made some gaffes...seriously stupid ones....it happens, but somehow pointing them out is wrong, or racist.
        "There is an old saying that goes 'no matter how good you are, there is always someone better.' That someone is me." - Chiun

        I require the lubrication to successfully handle some of them. *sigh*- Sunuvanun

        Matrem tuam pedicavi

        "I kinda dig Johnson" -Triggercut

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        • #5
          Originally posted by blue zone View Post
          What exactly did he state that wasn't factual?

          Obama has made some gaffes...seriously stupid ones....it happens, but somehow pointing them out is wrong, or racist.
          This has no basis in fact, other than some tenuous connection in Krauthammer's own fever dream. Requires an awful leap.

          Obama cites John Kennedy meeting Nikita Khrushchev as another example of what he wants to emulate. Really? That Vienna summit of a young, inexperienced, untested American president was disastrous, emboldening Khrushchev to push Kennedy on Berlin -- and then nearly fatally in Cuba, leading almost directly to the Cuban missile crisis.
          Also, the Cuban Missile Crisis was a shining moment in American foreign policy. Not sure what there is to be ashamed of there.

          Sure, Obama's made gaffes, but he hasn't mixed up Sunni and Shia or claimed that Iran is training Al-Quida. And I don't think stating that he would meet with hostile or unfriendly leaders is a gaffe anyway. The lack of diplomacy has done wonders for us these past eight years, eh?
          His mind is not for rent, to any god or government.
          Pointless debate is what we do here -- lvr

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          • #6
            Originally posted by blue zone View Post
            What exactly did he state that wasn't factual?

            Obama has made some gaffes...seriously stupid ones....it happens, but somehow pointing them out is wrong, or racist.
            Do you really think Obama's gonna call up Kim Jon Il, and say 'Hey man, let's get together for lunch and rap?'

            Moon

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            • #7
              It's the 'he will meet with everyone without any preparation or condition' part that is wrong.

              If it doesn't involve the use bombs, there is no foreign policy that meets the Krauthammer test.
              Sketch in STL
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              • #8
                Sweet Jesus, the right and it's idiot commentators are just loons.

                There's really no other way to explain it.

                Explain columnist, every column, is just dumber than before.
                From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.

                For more than 20 years I have endeavored-indeed, I have struggled-along with a majority of this Court, to develop procedural & substantive rules that would lend more than the mere appearance of fairness to the death penalty endeavor.


                I feel morally and intellectually obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed.

                The path the Court has chosen lessens us all. I dissent.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by blue zone View Post
                  What exactly did he state that wasn't factual?

                  Obama has made some gaffes...seriously stupid ones....it happens, but somehow pointing them out is wrong, or racist.
                  I don't believe that is being done---but even if you do---you might want to consider---as McCain continues to make gaffes---and believe me, he will---- no one will have to point out his age. It will remain one of the first things voters attribute them to. Fairly or not.
                  v


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ppg shg View Post
                    Sweet Jesus, the right and it's idiot commentators are just loons.

                    There's really no other way to explain it.

                    Explain columnist, every column, is just dumber than before.
                    There is no "right" and "left" in American politics today. There are two leftist factions pretending to fight over control of an irredeemably corrupt government and its wealth-transfering, war-mongering machines.

                    All these pseudo disagreements are the modern version of arguing over how many angels can dance on the end of a pin needle.

                    Gimme some bread and let's go watch the circus tonight.

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                    • #11
                      Also, the Cuban Missile Crisis was a shining moment in American foreign policy. Not sure what there is to be ashamed of there.

                      Um....the perception of JFK as a callow fuck is what gave Nikita the balls to try and slip missles into Cooba. I agree AFTER that JFK was splendid, but he was the reason a shining moment was required.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Moon Man View Post
                        Do you really think Obama's gonna call up Kim Jon Il, and say 'Hey man, let's get together for lunch and rap?'

                        Moon
                        What do you think he's going to do?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Reggie Cleveland View Post
                          What do you think he's going to do?
                          I think he'll try something other than the saber rattling and 'tough-talk' that our grand exalted leader for the last 7 years has used so effectively.

                          Moon

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Moon Man View Post
                            I think he'll try something other than the saber rattling and 'tough-talk' that our grand exalted leader for the last 7 years has used so effectively.

                            Moon
                            Well, that covers it, I guess.

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                            • #15
                              The best way for Obama to parry this is to paint the Republican allergy to meetings as cowardly. Say that in a debate and McCain might punch him.
                              Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

                              "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

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