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Archive for February 21st, 2010

Yuck it up, CPACers, the joke’s on you

Conservative activists spend three days giddily forecasting a return to power in 2012. History suggests otherwise

Salon- By Steve Kornacki
Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 18:20 EST

The man who assured us we’d be greeted as liberators in Iraq dropped in on this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference to make yet another prediction.

“I think that Barack Obama is going to be a one-term president,” Dick Cheney declared on Thursday.

The assembled righties roared – as they did whenever a speaker at the three-day conference forecasted a 2012 victory for the GOP. To watch CPAC was to realize that the right can be described in one word today: cocky. They have no doubt that Obama will be defeated in 2012; the only question is whether it’ll be Mitt, Sarah, Mike or Mitch replacing him.

You’ll excuse me if I rain on their parade, but there’s a source with just a little more credibility than Dick Cheney that would beg to differ: history.

The right is giddy because Obama’s approval rating, stratospheric just a year ago, now hovers around 50 percent and because his party, practically invincible in the 2008 and 2006 elections, is suddenly facing long odds in one key midterm election race after another. The nation’s political climate, indisputably, has been transformed since Obama took office, and Republicans are now on course for a strong year in 2010.

But this is where history comes in. Obama is actually the third president in the last 30 years – the “permanent campaign” era of American politics – to see his political fortunes crater in the second year of his administration. Bill Clinton in 1994 and Ronald Reagan in 1982 both endured the kind of political hell that Obama is now starting to taste (one-termer taunts and all) – and both bounced back to win lopsided re-election victories two years later.

The Clinton and Reagan comeback stories aren’t identical, but they do offer obvious cautionary lessons for those who would write off Obama today.

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The goal of Hillary Clinton’s rhetoric seems to be to promote conflict and convince Americans Iran is a threat to their security

Mark Weisbrot, The Guardian/UK, Feb 18, 2020

In a visit to Qatar and Saudi Arabia this week, Hillary Clinton said that Iran “is moving toward a military dictatorship,” and continued the Administration’s campaign for tougher sanctions against that country.

What could America’s top diplomat hope to accomplish with this kind of inflammatory rhetoric? It seems unlikely that the goal was to support human rights in Iran. Because of the United States’ history in Iran and in the region, it tends to give legitimacy to repression. The more that any opposition can be linked to the United States’ actions, words, or support, the harder time they will have.

Continues >>

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