August 28, 2008

And I was pretending that I was in a Galaxie 500 video
The stewardess came back and checked on my drink
In the last strings of sunlight, a Brigitte Bardot
As I had on my headphones
Along with those eyes that you get
When your circumstance is movie-size

Zoe Crosher, LA-like, 2004

* Spencer Ackerman. excerpt:

"When last the Democrats decided to make national security a theme at their convention, biography was everything. John Kerry, the party’s 2004 nominee, was a bona fide war hero, and the campaign made sure everyone knew it. Starting with Kerry’s arrival at the FleetCenter from across Boston’s Charles River, to recall his Vietnam service aboard a Swift Boat; to the parade of retired generals and admirals declaring their support; to Kerry’s famous opening line declaring “reporting for duty,” the Democrats gambled that Kerry’s heroic service would invest him with the national-security bona fides to elect him president.

"Beneath the pageantry, however, was a bluff. Kerry’s actual national-security message didn’t draw sharp distinctions with President George W. Bush’s policies. Kerry had voted for the Iraq invasion and refused to repudiate his decision. Kerry embraced the president’s “'ar on terror' formulation and tactics for addressing the Al Qaeda terrorist network. Kerry’s critique of Bush focused on his competence, suggesting that the Democratic nominee embraced Bush’s policies and wanted only to fine-tune them. The election results — Bush won a more solid victory then in 2000 — speaks to the wisdom of that strategy.

"When the Democrats talk tonight about national security, 2004 will appear like a long-forgotten, sepia-toned era. The campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) represents a quantum leap in terms of both style and substance. Rather than arguing that they can more competently execute Bush administration policies, as they did in 2004, the 2008-vintage Democratic Party, led by Obama, is presenting a more thoroughgoing critique. It begins with a clear timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. But it does not stop there.

"Along with this new vigor on foreign policy is a sense of political confidence that the public is ready, in the wake of the failures of the Bush era, to embrace liberal solutions for national security. By contrast, it will be the Republicans in Minnesota who rely on war heroism to distract from their continuity with the Bush era."
"Unlike his rivals for the Democratic nomination — and his predecessor for it — Obama surrounded himself not with the sensible-center of Democratic foreign-policy advisers, but those who found themselves out of favor in Democratic circles for being too liberal. They were considered too opposed to the war in iraq, too opposed to accommodating Bush and too forthright about traditional liberal internationalism. The hawkish Richard Holbrooke, a close confident of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Al Gore and Kerry, is out, while his old friend and rival, the relatively dovish Anthony Lake, is in."
"Yet what the Obama campaign has already proven is that, unlike in 2004, the choice facing the country is between the left-most and right-most poles of foreign-policy thinking in the two parties. The November election, therefore, can be fairly said to provide a mandate to the next president on what to do about Iraq, Afghanistan/Pakistan, Iran and a host of other foreign-policy issues. And that mandate will, Obama advisers believe, inspire action.

"'The impact of an election that produces an Obama presidency is huge,' Craig said, since Obama would be the nation’s first African-American president. 'I think it strengthens the capacity of the president [to lead]… McCain has a strategy to remain in Iraq, and if that’s what country wants, they can vote on it.' Naturally, of course, Craig doesn’t think the country will."

* Last night The Cut Ups recorded the final song of our upcoming album, Jusserand, which will be available in late October or early November on Dust Congress Records.

* "I am at war with the obvious." -- William Eggleston


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