Third Way Perspectives

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Archive for June, 2009

Republicans: “We Abandon the Troops”

June 18th, 2009

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No one ever went broke betting on the hypocrisy of congressional Republicans.

For seven years, they blustered about how Democrats had failed to “support the troops in the field” by voting against appropriations to fund the war in Iraq. Now, almost all House Republicans have themselves voted against funding the war in Afghanistan. To be fair, they’ve come up with an iron-clad reason for their own decision to abandon the troops: the IMF.

That’s right, Republicans voted no on a $106 billion war funding bill because it also includes $5 billion assigned for the International Monetary Fund.

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Common Ground Rules

June 16th, 2009

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President Obama recently delivered his much anticipated Notre Dame commencement speech. With the divide over abortion at the top of everyone’s mind, the President chose to tell the success story of the incredibly diverse six member Civil Rights Commission appointed by President Eisenhower that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As Obama retells it:

“Years later, President Eisenhower asked [Commission participant and then-Notre Dame President] Father Ted how on Earth he was able to broker an agreement between men of such different backgrounds and beliefs. And Father Ted simply said that during their first dinner in Wisconsin, they discovered that they were all fishermen. And so he quickly readied a boat for a twilight trip out on the lake. They fished, and they talked, and they changed the course of history. “

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Barack Obama’s vision for U.S.-Arab relations

June 5th, 2009

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Originally published in Politico.

Four days before the election of 2004, Osama bin Laden released a video message boasting of his role in the Sept. 11 attacks. Bin Laden’s message was a political bouquet for the Bush campaign, and it has been widely credited with helping Bush open an insurmountable lead over Sen. John Kerry as voters headed to the polls.

Bin Laden’s target was not just American audiences. Throughout the Bush years, Al Qaeda’s leadership served as a sort of Netflix for the Al Jazeera television network, sending in new tapes every few months to keep Islamic extremists whipped into a frenzy of anti-American animus.
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