Greg Craig as White House Counsel

You might remember Greg Craig–the guy Obama just named his White House Counsel–from the FISA fight. Craig, who I guarantee you gets paid a lot more for his lawyering than I get paid to do whatever it is I do here, and who I’m certain has a lot more training and experience in the law than me, explained Obama’s cave on FISA this way.

Greg Craig, a Washington lawyer who advises the Obama campaign, said Tuesday in an interview that Mr. Obama had decided to support the compromise FISA legislation only after concluding it was the best deal possible.

“This was a deliberative process, and not something that was shooting from the hip,” Mr. Craig said. “Obviously, there was an element of what’s possible here. But he concluded that with FISA expiring, that it was better to get a compromise than letting the law expire.” [my emphasis]

As I pointed out at the time, 

FISA is not expiring anytime soon. Last I checked, FISA’s been on the books for 30 years, and I have every expectation it will remain on the books for the next 30 years, regardless of how Obama votes on July 8.

Either Craig or Obama is making the common–but ignorant–mistake of conflating the Protect America Act with FISA. The former does expire in early August. The latter does not.

I might be accused of pedantry by maintaining this distinction. But it[‘]s useful to maintain the distinction because it focuses on the differences between FISA and PAA. FISA provides a way for the government to wiretap individuals legally, while providing real protections for American citizens. Whereas PAA provides the government the ability to get basket warrants based on the say so of the Attorney General, dramatically eroding the protections for American citizens.

When someone erroneously claims that FISA is going to expire shortly, it’s a good bet that that person is thinking about retaining the basket warrant provisions of the PAA and not–as the spin suggests–simply "modernizing" FISA so the government can wiretap foreigners via telecom circuits in the United States. 

It’d be useful if someone asked the Obama campaign which of these authorities Obama is really intent on maintaining. 

Granted, that was just one teeny tiny little issue–you know, our Fourth Amendment rights, and the willful abuse of the law by the Bush Administration?

Still, I was hoping Craig would not–as he was predicted to–end up with this spot.

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58 replies
  1. Mary says:

    You almost sound like we might not be getting “change” that we can “believe in.”

    Time to clap harder.

    • jdmckay says:

      Well, they could have done worse.

      Well, I guess that’s changecould’a done worse up on the scale from bad to the bone… right?.

      Nice to know BO understands importance to having counsel capable of bending constitutional principle to fit expedient unitary executive theory in these troubled times.

      I’m getting increasingly distinct post election sense that, when BO said his campaign was “about you”, that I wasn’t amongst his target audience.

      EW @ 3:
      Won’t you allow me to wallow in my bitterness on this one?

      I think you’re mischaracterizing your sentiment: bitterness much different than outrage. At most fundamental core FISA was not a partisan battle, but a constitutional one… a very profound constitutional one. BO’s backtracking on promise to fight it one of few big eyecatchers which “the community” chose to give him a complete pass in order to support him.

      So are you saying your diligence in watching that thing unfold was just an eruption of emotional sentimentality?

      There’s an awful lot of legal academics out there, with stature and many years now writing/blogging… interacting with larger legal community in manner shining clarity and making distinctions on issues that, at least for me, mattered… like night and day, they mattered.

      This was one.

      Whether legal, energy or econ… I’m hearing no mention of any of ‘em emerging from Chicago.

      Nothing.

      @24

      sigh…

      re. Hillary as SOS: I supported Hillary… my 1st choice given available dem field. I like her toughness… that repubs threw everything they had @ her for 8 years: she not only withstood but became stronger. And amongst dem field, her domestic outlook was very well articulated (but little reported) and spot on, econ in particular.

      Ok, she lost… I’m long over it.

      But I can tell you this: I wasn’t supporting her for ME bona fides, that’s for damn sure… despite what Gail Collins wrote yesterday. If Obama wants Hillary in there I’m all for it. But give her something she’s good at: HHS maybe, or (???)… But please, am I the only one around here tired of seeing AIPAC inspired US leaders making KNESSET speeches proclaiming uncritical and undying support, with no “pre-conditions”, ’till death do us part?

      Are we in for another round of ME “birth pangs of democracy”? Has AIPAC already, somehow, gotten front & center authority in BO’s policy crafting?

      If ever there was a time to re-examine assumptions in ME foreign policy, this is it.

      I’ll tell you people, I’m getting real nervous about this thing.

      • bmaz says:

        Despite writing the piece I did, I agree about the AIPAC argument you, and many others, have made. But if made SOS, Clinton is not going to be making speeches or doing thing generally that Obama doesn’t want her to make. My thought is simply that I do think she cares about mid-east peace; a lot. And I think that she carries the weight to make some things happen; irrespective of that, whatever would be done will be Obama’s policy and strategy not Clinton’s. I guess we will see what happens.

        • jdmckay says:

          Despite writing the piece I did, I agree about the AIPAC argument you, and many others, have made. But if made SOS, Clinton is not going to be making speeches or doing thing generally that Obama doesn’t want her to make.

          Ok, fine. What exactly are the “things” Obama wants her to do?

          Given current most critical foreign policy issues, what has Obama put out there? Quick inventory:

          a) undying support for Israel… very public. Only qualification I’ve seen is his possible hedging on Jerusalem partitioning, but very vague in this regard.
          b) publicly committing US policy to confronting “Russia invasion of Georgia” meme and all the associated “resurgent Bear” stuff. Sounds a whole lot like W’s SadamWMD propaganda, and we all know how that leveraged massive mis-allocation of US resources played out. I assume people here are aware that US media got “Russia invasion” completely wrong… actually, got it entirely upside down and are only in last week or so beginning to kind’a sort’a clarify. Just in case, the hi-lights:

          * Georgia who dropped cluster bombs, not (as reported here by AP/Rueters/ABC…) Russia.
          * Georgia’s cluster bombs were Israeli made.
          * Israeli special ops/trainers were on the ground in Georgia right up until Sark launched his mis-adventure.
          * Georgia clearly took first action, moved troops into South Osseta and affected significant damage/death, yet issued statements, repeated here (US) ver batem and as fact, attributing gross violations to Russia: eg. accounting facts of this “war” written straight out of Sark’s office. If there’s one observation from operation of Bush WH last 8 years most maddening, it has been their proclivity to flood media with false messaging in support of neo-con fantasy du-jour while seemingly of the philosphy that, in doing so in saturation fashion day after day, both public opinion and correction mechanisms are simply overwhelmed… shock and awe. That’s what this one looks like to me.
          * Coinky dink or not, Rove was in Georgia in week prior to this event, meeting with SARK under media cover of Beijing Olympics focus.

          The more I peel back the covers and look at details, the more upside down this all looks. I assume the consequences of this are obvious to people. This event is a prime candidate for one of EW’s timelines IMO… there’s a real picture to be painted here.

          c) BO has repeatedly, in forceful fashion, stated agreement with the “Iran threat” meme, assiduously reinforced by same saturation methods described above. Critical mass of US public has taken Iran “threat” as fact, although loathe to duplicate another Iraq-like war effort. From Eisenhower’s Mossadeq coup, propping up Shah while training his secret police to “disappear” political dissenters, how all that incubated Khomeni’s opportunity… US policies/actions through decades gave Persians enough good reason to loathe us, yet most of this history is unknown to US citizenry.

          Instead, through last couple years fanning the “invade Iran” thingie, Rice has proffered Iran-Iraq war as evidence of their aggressive tendencies. Yet prior, she cited same war as evidence of Sadam’s.

          And I would add: W’ has supported nuke acquisition by Iran’s 2 largest neighbors, w/long history of antagonistic relationship, yet w/in this context the idea Iran has no right to do the same seems like a “threat” to US? What kind of foreign policy is this?

          That AP has repeatedly… virtually every single time, entirely misstated Iran IEAA inspections, reporting their “findings” as transgressions which were nowhere to be found in the same reports.

          Hillary as been behind A/B/C from the git-go.

          Is Rahm crafting BO, or BO Rahm?

          Ok, I’ve been pissing into the wind with my warnings here and elsewhere… fair enough. I really hope I’m wrong.

          But this is what I’ve seen: COS Rahm… you all want to say he’s mellower now, he’s only serving at pleasure of BO, an extension of his boss’ vision/policy(s), effective on congressional floor… ok, fine.

          My view: he was for centralizing DNC resources and power & wanted his hand on those levers. He & Hillary shared this position, and fought to establish the same, all the while flogging Gov Dean. We all agree Howard was not only right, but AFAIC rather heroic in his roll-up-the-sleeves-and-get-the-job-done efforts. If anyone worked for meaningful change and produced results it was Gov Dean, and BO reaped the rewards. Yet Rahm still maneuvers to deny Dean acknowledgment of this contribution.

          Conclusion: I question purity of Rahm’s moral compass, and wonder about his inclination to put principle of ambition. I get he’s effective at getting things done. But so was Delay.

          I’d also remind that Dean also criticized Israeli intransigence in Palestinian policy, and did so in pointed fashion. So where’s Dean in BO’s plans? And where’s BO/Hillary drawing a line of Palestinian “problem”?

          Is Hillary’s selection influenced by Rahm’s persuasion of BO? Is there any clarity of intentions/policy here at all?

          There’s an awful lot in Rahm/Hillary’s on-the-record history to raise that question in my mind, especially given what, to date, is major “go with the flow” BO ME policy statements mentioned above.

          Does Rahm have a history w/AIPAC? Seriously, I don’t know.

          Watching the president elect’s 60 mins thing last, my concerns reinforced : deliberately obtuse on everything, even dodging IMO… w/only vague statement on GM. This does not align w/any of his image crafting through campaign. All these cabinet/staff appointments require huge leaps of faith in maintaining any “hope”.

          Given utter black hole from BO camp on econ proposals… an area I considered his greatest strength and opportunity, as I’ve said elsewhere, my concerns heightened more. Only solace in this area right now is Roubini seems to think highly, so…

          I really hope I’m wrong. I also really wish the larger community would start demanding something from these guys… it’s past time. None of these appointments look anything like change to me.

          I’d remind… after Bush “won” 2k election, complete control staffing his WH was immediately handed over to CATO. It sent shivers down my spine, and looking back those were well justified shivers.

          Compare to Clinton’s appointments in ‘92… whole lot of very good people he found, well out of beltway, who proved their worth and then some. Tyson especially comes to mind… her models, strategy & everything else has not been well publicly documented. Doing so and comparing to previous/subsequent models is very enlightening, not the least reason being current situation many times more dire than ‘92-4 econ woes.

          There’s a whole lot of Laura Tyson(s) on the sidelines in USA right now, and it sure looks to me BO’s entirely ignoring them.

  2. emptywheel says:

    Yeah, I know he’s supposed to be a great lawyer–orders of magnitude above Gonzales.

    I just have a grudge about his stupid FISA dodge is all. Won’t you allow me to wallow in my bitterness on this one?

    • bmaz says:

      You’re kidding me right?? I still haven’t eased up on Obama for that, much less Craig. Craig and that illusory scholar Sunstein are permanently dead to me as Colbert would say. Bleeech!

      • bmaz says:

        And, I would like to add, a lot of Craig’s reputation for brilliance comes from his “defense” of Clinton from the “Starr chamber” impeachment; however, if you ask me, his brilliance was pretty much limited to letting Abbe Lowell take the lead from his position as minority counsel.

        The above is a bit harsh, but fairly accurate. I will fess up that before trashing the 4th, I would not have dredged it up for publication and would have been more favorable to Craig.

        • plunger says:

          Abbe Lowell?

          Well lookie here who Abbe Lowell works for (really):

          Lowell represented Gary Condit during the Chandra Levy investigation. He also represents employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) being investigated for alleged disclosure of classified information and employees of international insurance company AIG in SEC and DOJ investigations. Most recently, Lowell has served as counsel to former D.C. lobbyist Jack Abramoff in Congressional and DOJ inquiries.

          Do you know who took out Levy, and why (in the weeks prior to 9/11)? Do you remember who Condit’s alibi was? Dick Cheney.

          Lowell is the Global Conspirator’s lead counsel.

          Assuming that Greg Craig was the figure head, while Abbe Lowell drove from the back seat, the analogy of Obama’s relationship to Rahm Emmanual fits. On whose behalf do these realities unfold? See Abbe Lowell’s client list.

          Abramoff, Emmanuel and Lowell share a common boss.

            • plunger says:

              It is blatantly obvious to even the casual observer that Obama’s position with respect to “protecting” Lieberman is 100% influenced by Rahm Emmanuel. In fact, it’s mandated. It’s called a “protection racket” under RICO. Lieberman’s ONLY job is to protect Chertoff. That should show you how important Chertoff is to the next phase of the plan (to say nothing of his direct knowledge of and complicity in all Bush administration crimes). Now guess who Chertoff works for.

              Speaking of AIPAC, the trial against them for Espionage has been put on hold forever.

              Here’s a guarantee: Chertoff will NOT be replaced as head of Homeland Security. Welcome to the ceremonial presidency…where true power no longer resides.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Wallow away!
      God knows, you deserve at least that much.

      Now, if you were billing at $450/hour, maybe Craig would take it upon himself to pay you some attention…?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Craig’s associates bill out at $450/hour. He would be higher.

        The “the sky is falling and FISA will expire (in its entirety)” was bipartisan, a kind of Joe Lieberman-through-the-looking glass attempt by villagers to distract the citizenry from looking behind the curtain, to scare them back into their hovels and classrooms, to urge them to hide under their desks and behind their sofas, as their baby-boomer parents were taught to do in Civil Defense class. It was a fiction, a lie, a fraud, a plea of immunity for lawbreakers (lest the country club grill be empty all the week round).

        That an Obama lawyer would sell it is disheartening. That such a lawyer would be the legal gatekeeper, Obama’s household paladin, should be a wake-up call to liberals that FDR meant it when he said, “I agree with, now make me do it.”

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          We can dicker over the hourly billable, but one of my points was that it looks (yet again) as if it’s the insular DC permanent gov’mint crowd. God help us.

    • LabDancer says:

      Wallow away.

      Unless and until this gets cleared up it qualifies as a slippery slope – along with ‘Iran is developing a nuke’, ‘clean coal’, a troubling message opacity on Afghanistan, a lack of message clarity on torture, abstention on carving back executive powers – not a real long list, but long enough to give cred to a concern troll.

      I’ve been thinking this crap on the FISA “renewal” arose from some combination of election strategy designed to provide a level of comfort to the wilfully stupid demographic that seems to hold some sway in places like Indiana [and increasingly Minnesota – Garrison Keillor’s got to get on this], and the idea that leaving the ass-clowns still in charge with a vague sense of comfort in hopes we can find out exactly how much more awful they’ve been than we already know – & maybe the latter is still in force. But then you’d think this guy would just STFU.

      Years ago I prosecuted under a terrifically hard working, well liked boss, widely respected for his ethical and other values in particular, described by some with that “Renaissance Man” label. A while after I left that office, he received a few promotions that almost everyone I spoke with, and me too, assumed were just the latest greatly merited ones in a consistently meteoric career arc [I hope that makes sense.].

      I was out of that arena for a decade, but after a few years my former colleagues started telling me stories about the imposition of policies I don’t feel need be detailed beyond that they reeked distinctly of the Federalist Society. A few years on he was appointed a judge, a few years after that I had a number of frustrating [the more I think on them, frankly disturbing] hearings in his court, none of which did any actual lasting harm to anyone’s interests – but not for any lack of effort on his part. I shared these experiences with other defending lawyers and they all said: Hey, and he considers you a good and ethical lawyer and calls you his friend; can you imagine what he does to the rest of us?

      Those who think the left blogosphere and DFH brigade are about to go into an 8 year kumbaya fest should give their heads a shake. I’ve referred to this guy “the Mule”, and while part of that is complimentary, a big part of it is not at all. I’m cheering the Feingold agenda on this front.

  3. NealDeesit says:

    “…with FISA expiring, that it was better to get a compromise than letting the law expire.”

    If Greg Craig had written this drivel for a first-year law school research and writing assignment, he’d have gotten it back covered in red ink. But being White House Counsel? Hey, he’s good to go.

    “He can’t be that stupid to believe the shit he was shoveling.”

    But he’s apparently stupid enough or, more likely, cynical enough to think that his listeners will believe his shit. When will I be reasonably entitled to begin feeling disappointed in Obama’s judgment?

  4. bell says:

    well, we are back to the ‘accountability’ conversation again and as much as many feel it is necessary, it is unclear as to what obama thinks of it..

  5. Teddy Partridge says:

    It’s not a confirmable position, right? Otherwise we could slip a question about his mischaracterization to a friend on Senate JComm. Oh, wait — we don’t have any friends on Senate JComm, do we?

  6. plunger says:

    Greg Craig did his “job.” He did the job he was instructed to do. He explained away Obama’s decision to cave in on the FISA legislation. He’s been rewarded with a powerful job.

    Obama did his “job” when he caved on FISA. He did what he was instructed to do. He’s been rewarded with a powerful job.

    Who instructed Obama to cave on FISA? Why?

    As the New World Order is being cemented this weekend at the G-20, and a new economic system and banking system, currency system, security system and market system is being put in place on a global basis, it’s best to pull back from the trees and behold the forest.

    Clearly Obama is not in charge, as no candidate, or President ever truly is. Revealing who is actually in charge and how they manage to control everyone in (s)elected office is of urgent import.

    Here’s one method that Spitzer knows of first hand, but there are many more:

    Not suggesting that Obama has cheated, but when he caved on FISA, it revealed a truth about him that all of us would rather ignore, but that truth clearly remains as an open wound to the true believers. My personal belief is that the selection of Rahm as Chief of Staff has been mis-reported. In actuality, it was Rahm (Mega) who was selected as Chief of Staff well before the Primaries, and he who selected Obama to be puppet/President.

    Rahm = Libby, an agent of foreign influence.

    Behold the forest.

  7. plunger says:

    More to the point, whether it was Hillary or Obama, it was always Rahm who would be the designated agent on the inside in the Dems won.

  8. perris says:

    Yeah, I know he’s supposed to be a great lawyer–orders of magnitude above Gonzales.

    using abu torture as the benchmark is like using bozo the clown

  9. plunger says:

    The reason that there could NEVER be any investigation into the matter of warrantless wiretaps is that it would reveal a truth known to all on Capitol Hill, that the entire communications system of the nation had been compromised – built by a foreign power – with the funding of US Taxpayers and the full complicity of the US Congress:

    Carl Cameron of FOX News did a 4-part series on it that should have won awards for investigative journalism, but for the demands of a foreign power to bury the story:

    The US media knows the entire truth, they just won’t report it.

    The Ken Starr report confirms that Clinton warned Lewinsky their conversations were being taped and ended the affair. At the same time, the FBI’s hunt for “Mega” is called off.

    Falwell Confirms Lewinsky Affair Linked to Israeli Lobby Intrigue

    Got Blackmail?

    I’m sure that Obama was instructed that this was a national security issue. The question is, which nation?

    On October 3, 2001, I.A.P. News reported that according to Israel Radio (in Hebrew) Kol Yisrael an acrimonious argument erupted during the Israeli cabinet weekly session last week between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his foreign Minister Shimon Peres. Peres warned Sharon that refusing to heed incessant American requests for a cease-fire with the Palestinians would endanger Israeli interests and “turn the US against us.” Sharon reportedly yelled at Peres, saying

    “don’t worry about American pressure, we the Jewish people control America.”

    • stagemom says:

      covering all the bases, er, rocks by naming him both greg and craig?
      reminds of what “hoya saxons” means, georgetown’s team nickname.
      (loosely: “what rocks!)

      FITZ for AG??? is that silly or would his appt clean up that mess ASAP?

  10. CTMET says:

    Is Craig or Greg whatever really dangerous in this position. I would be alot more worried if someone in that position was the new AG.

  11. wavpeac says:

    I have to say that when Mcsame was arguing that O had never gone up against any opposition or taken an unpopular stand…I remembered fisa. But it didn’t seem like much of an advantage to argue that O might look a lot more like Clinton than some of his biggest fans might want to accept.

    The fisa vote made me angry enough that I unregistered from his sight. If I had to pick the fights for the next four years my top picks would be:

    1) torture
    2) fraudulently leading america into a war with Iraq when afghanistan.
    3) The deregulation of our banking system and the systemic fraud.

    I am not sure of the order. Fisa sucks…but I have a feeling that we are past a turning point on this one and that the dems have colluded out of fear, to such a degree that it may take several administrations and some kind of huge civil rights legal case before the problem is fully vetted.

  12. wavpeac says:

    when afghanistan…?? Not sure where I was going. Sentence should have ended with “fraudulently leading american into a war with Iraq.”

  13. 19genco says:

    i glanced through the immunity submissions in the FISA cases. It seems that everyone agrees that the AG’s certification that the necessary facts exist to dismiss the cases as to the telecoms is voluntary. In other words it looks like everyone agrees that the AG is not compelled by the statute to submit his certification even if the AG believes the facts exist to support the certification. This implies that the AG can also withdraw the certification. Not that there is much hope for this strategy but what if the strategy was/is for the new Obama AG to withdraw the certification and ask the FISA cases to go forward? Fighting dismissal appeared to be uphill but by no means a slam dunk. My guess is that the court will not enter an order on the dismissals anytime soon. Assuming we have a new AG before the order is entered, what are the chances that an Obama AG will withdraw the certification? What happens if the order of dismissal is entered then the certification is withdrawn during the rehearing time or appeal process?

    • bmaz says:

      No chance. First off, Obama wanted this provision. Wanted it so bad he made a direct liar of himself and reneged on his express word to actively drive it’s passage. Second, withdrawing the certs exposes the country to massive liability at a time when the government is already strapped for cash. Not. gonna. Happen.

      • 19genco says:

        While I agree that Obama flipped and spun more than Rodney Dangerfield in his “Back to School” dive (and dared me not to support him if his FISA flop was a deal breaker – and I took him up on his offer)I read the flip flop position more as a “lets take FISA of the table for the election” than an “I really like what the amendment does argument” – Remember that bill passed before the economic meltdown and everyone thought Iraq and national security were the top election issues. Which then gets too the next point even assuming you are correct and Obama loves FISA immunity, what is the Obama argument if people start pointing out that “this was the best deal available” Obama and the Dems snookered the Republicans so that Obama’s new AG could withdraw the certifications and allow the suits to go forward. How does Obama justify not withdrawing the certifications and let the chips fall where they may?

        • bmaz says:

          Same as it has always been. Obama wants to “move forward”; allowing the civil suits to plow into blatant unconstitutional and criminal activity does not further that goal. And, again, there is the liability issue. It is huge, and it will ultimately fall on the US government, not the telcos.

          The furor over all this has died down. There is just no chance Obama is going to affirmatively open it back up on his own volition. None.

          By the way, have not seen you here before. Welcome. Please visit and comment often; there is never enough critical and cogent thought.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            there is never enough critical and cogent thought.

            Your fans resemble that remark.

            I agree that Obama and top Democrats wanted FISA issues off the table as badly as Republican felons. I can only understand his position by assuming a) that he at least partially agreed that the felonious excesses were “necessary” (and implying that the laws violated ought to be “flexible”); b) that top Democrats were complicit in the lawbreaking and were covering their own ample backsides; and c) that, like apologists for Ford’s pardon of Nixon and proponents of the Warren Commission, that the underlying issues were a dog’s breakfast: examining them too closely would bring everyone — and government itself — into disrepute, which could yield low voter turnout in an election where Democratic prospects required high turn-out.

            All of which concerns threaten, rather than protect, our form of government. It’s morphed before our eyes, the leviathan’s hydra-like heads now include intelligence outsourcers (from Big Telco to RNC/Whitehouse computer experts to Cheney’s shredders), in addition to those of lobbyists, defense contractors and almost untouchable village residents.

            • bmaz says:

              Yep, and that’s the deal isn’t it? There can be no turning back, no retrieval of our founding principles, without healthy repudiation and accountability. “Moving forward” may put it behind us, but it enshrines it as acceptable behavior.

  14. plunger says:

    Fox News chairman Roger Ailes describes his mission in life:

    “I stand up for what I believe. I don’t back off. I’ve been that way for 40 years. That’s the secret to my success. I have thick skin. I don’t care what people say about me,” he said.

    “I defend the United States, Israel and the Constitution.”

    No word on whether Ailes listed those in order of priority.

    http://thinkprogress.org/2008/…../#comments

  15. Mary says:

    Won’t you allow me to wallow in my bitterness on this one?

    Come on in, the water’s … well, not all that fine really, but what are the options?

    7 – At least he was smart enough to recognize that Abbe Lowell really is brilliant. Reflecting someone else’s light is a talent in its own right.

    It could have been worse – after all, they needed a “Greg Craig” Clintonite to balance out all the “Billy Bob” Clintonites. I’m just waiting for the Carol Caroll appointment. Maybe he’ll hold that one for a Christmas release.

  16. Mary says:

    37 – and I think Feingold got schooled on that one, didn’t he? When Obama needed to pull off WI in the primaries, he was all about backing Feingold, later – not so much.

  17. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Obama’s “bipartisans”, like Craig (and apropos of Obama’s support for Kneepads Lieberman), have their delivery down pat.

    “It’s for your own good,” said as if by a pod, telling Kevin McCarthy’s character in Invasion of the Body Snatchers why the beautiful Dana Wynter has become a plant.

    That film is an unintentionally apt reference to Obama’s priorities and staffing preferences. Some think the film was a Joe McCarthyite warning of impending invasion by Communist agents. Some that it was a warning about an invasion of Joe McCarthy’s.

    Perhaps it’s simply that Mr. Obama has taken his Kissinger to heart. The art of diplomacy is to get people to go along with what you want by using ambiguity to convince them that what they want is what you mean. (It reads better on a Nixon tea towel, like the apparently contradictory rules of cricket.) Real intentions are what diplomacy is meant to distract the eye away from.

    Will we have to fall asleep to find out?

  18. 19genco says:

    You are probably right – but what you are saying is that the DLC’ers led by Rahm and company would rather see this headline “Spineless Dems Seek to Move On and Keep Teleco Immunity Even though they Can Rescind FISA Certification” instead of “Clever Dems Show a Spine and Political Savy by Withdrawing AG Certification in FISA Suits”

  19. helena says:

    Elizabeth and John Edwards BEGGED the blogosphere to see through the babble of the Obama faction and to be true to our progressive bs detectors.
    Unfortunatley most aspects of the blogosophere folded; I belive FDL was neutral but that wasn’t enough. Now look what we got.

    • bmaz says:

      True but Edwards had a lot that wasn’t being seen through, and if he had been the nominee we very well may have lost as a result. In fact, in retrospect, I see little chance Edwards could have won the general. It is easy to take for granted the win that Obama just produced. I kind of agree with what I believe are the downsides and shortcomings of Obama, but he did win. Don’t discount the value of that.

  20. dualdiagnosis says:

    What surprises me most is the limited fallout Obama is facing on his promise to “turn the page” on the Clinton era. We may have more Clintonistas in Obama’s administration than Bill did at one time. Think about that one.

  21. Neil says:

    After watching this horrible clip of Nothing But the Truth with Matt Dillon as attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, I’m left wondering why emptywheel and producer Jane Hamsher have not teamed up to write a script that does the story justice. Perhaps there are more pressing issues at hand. Still, what an opportunity.

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