Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Obama and Hearings on Afghanistan

I'm embarrassed to say that I was fairly alarmed by Clinton's point that Obama hadn't held hearings on Afghanistan in the Foreign Relations Committee. Then I went back and looked at the actual point, and saw how almost unbelievably lame it was. What she said:

He chairs the subcommittee on Europe. It has jurisdiction over NATO. NATO is critical to our mission in Afghanistan. He's held not one substantive hearing to do oversight, to figure out what we can do to actually have a stronger presence with NATO in Afghanistan.

Huuuuhwaaaaa? This is astonishingly lame and almost certainly intentionally dishonest. I can't believe I almost fell for this.

As KarenC points out, Afghanistan is not in Europe, and it would have been "showboating" for Obama to try to hold such hearings.

I mean...he chairs the subcommittee on Europe...NATO is in Europe...NATO is critical to our mission in Obama should call hearings on the war in Afghanistan?????? That has to be one of the stupidest things I have ever heard. I really, really, really can't believe I was alarmed about that. Close to: the UN is headquartered in New York, the UN was crucial to our mission in Kosovo, so Hillary should be holding hearings on Kosovo. Abject sophistry.

Shame on you, Hillary, yet again.


Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

This AP "news" story's headline and first paragraph are adoring to Obama, but the deeper you get into it, the more critical it becomes.

"With his campaign in full swing, the busy senator did not lead a single policy hearing on any of the hot topics in the panel's jurisdiction: missile defense, counterterrorism and concern over the waning commitment of European countries to NATO."

If his subcommittee has jurisdiction over NATO, perhaps it's a legitimate criticism.

I have no idea what's going on with Sen. Obama, because the press won't do its job, and we can't expect "KarenC" to be authoritative on anything.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Several non-relevant things here:
Whether or not the AP story was critical, whether or not he should have held *other* hearings, etc.

The original point stands. You don't get to hold hearings on Afghanistan because your uncle owns an Afghan hound. Try not to be silly.

And, of course, KarenC doesn't have to be authoritative. That's how logic works. Offer a good argument, and your personal authority becomes irrelevant.

Now, if you have any actual reason to think that it would have been appropriate for someone in Obama's position to hold hearings, then by all means offer it.

Otherwise you've got nothing.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

I don't know who to believe, WS, you or Hillary. The AP or KarenC. Honestly.

The quote also mentioned missile defense and counterterrorism as under Sen. Obama's purview. You might want to focus on HRC, but mebbe she just picked the right charge but the wrong specification.

Me, I just want to focus on figuring out what Barack [middle name withheld] Obama is really about so I can decide how much to worry.

But I got plenty, WS.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Well, if you've got something, Tom, then by all means, cough it up. You haven't so far.

What you'd need to have a point here: some evidence that it would have been appropriate for Obama to initiate hearings about Afghanistan on the basis of this tenuous connection.

If you don't have that, then you don't have a point here.

As fascinating as it might be to hear your repeated expressions of puzzlement over "what Obama is really about," that's not to the point. It's not even A point.

It's puzzling to me how you can think that Obama is any more inscrutable than either of the other two candidates, but that's a different point. What's wanted here is any substantiation--any at all--for HRC's criticism.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

I said I don't know, and neither does KarenC. I'm curious, even if no one else is.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

One more time:

What KarenC points out is that it was not on Obama's turf. If you've got an answer to this point, then produce it. Otherwise, why clog up the comments?

3:37 PM  

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