Oh, yeah — Obama’s a senator, isn’t he?

Yesterday, when I got the release from Jim DeMint about his request to Barack Obama for hearings on Afghanistan, my first thought had nothing to do with the substance of what DeMint was saying.

My first thought was, "Why’s he asking Obama that?"

And then it hit me: Obama is a United States senator. Not only that, he’s the chairman of a subcommittee on European affairs. I had momentarily forgotten the first fact, and I don’t think I ever even knew the second one.

Set aside for a moment the fact that it’s still a bit of a political stretch for DeMint to try to hold Obama, as European affairs chair, somehow accountable for some of our NATO allies not pulling their weight in Afghanistan — which, politically speaking, is what this challenge is about.

I’m still left marveling that it took me by surprise that someone was asking Obama to do some actual Senate work. We all have a bit of a tendency, don’t we, to think of Obama as this presidential candidate who’s more or less always (as far as we’re concerned) been a presidential candidate, rather than, say, a lawmaker.

21 thoughts on “Oh, yeah — Obama’s a senator, isn’t he?

  1. Jay

    I assume in the efforts of nonpartisanship, Lee, you just simply failed to note that McCain has pretty much been a no-show since running for president. He hasn’t voted in the Senate since April 8 and has only missed more votes than Sen. Johnson, who had a pretty good excuse for missing votes; he was recovering from a stroke.

  2. Jimmy

    Shouldn’t DeMint be asking the president for his epic fail on that job? Isn’t it Bush’s task to be our country’s foreign policy leader, and not a subcommittee chairman?

  3. bud

    Isn’t it Bush’s task to be our country’s foreign policy leader, and not a subcommittee chairman?
    Maybe in a constitutional sense. But do we really want this moron to have any more power to screw things up than he already has? Let’s just let Bush enjoy his lame duck status for the next few months and try to work around the fact that he’s the President.

  4. Lee Muller

    Obama only ran for the Illinois Senate and the US Senate as stepping stones, not to actually do anything.
    Obama is a puppet, an empty suit with no record, picked by a machine, just like Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter.

  5. bud

    Once upon a time I too believed the conventional wisdom that Carter was a bad president. But I’m taking a new look at the Carter years. He accomplished a great deal that only in the fullness of time can we really appreciate. He was certainly correct on energy. His plans, had they been adopted, would have put us on a path to energy independence by now. Pollution, traffic deaths and the overall health of the people would be much better than it is now.
    And on this whole war on terror business. He never blinked when the Iranians held our hostages. Then along comes Reagan and Bush Sr. making back-door deals to trade arms for hostages. Now we have a terrorist problem that Jimmy Carter was well on the way to getting under control.
    Of course Carter had the stagflation problems inherited from the Nixon/Ford years. After some false starts Carter discovered the key to beating this problem and appointed the brilliant Paul Volcker. His policies created much short term pain but eventually, during the Reagan years, paid off. Thanks to Carter, Reagan inherited a much more tenable economic situation than did Carter. By leaving things alone we should give Reagan some small amount of credit for the economic prosperity of the mid-80s. Sadly, Reagan blew it with his borrow and spend policies that largely resulted in wasteful military junk that was completely un-necessary. Bush Sr. paid the price with the predictable recession of the early 90s.
    Let’s not forget the enormously effective diplomacy efforts Carter brokered between Egypt and Isreal. Thousands of Egytians and Isrealis are alive today thanks to the tireless efforts of Jimmy Carter. Yet Reagan squandered much of this away with his trading arms for hostages and disasterous incursion into Lebanon. Too bad he didn’t follow Carter’s lead.
    Though there are certainly things to criticize Carter for, especially his ham-handed tactics in dealing with the Democratic congress, Carter is a far better president than many people considered at the time. As history takes a new look at the man from Plains I think he will look even better from a historical perspective.

  6. Lee Muller

    Your world is made up of DNC lies. Inflation doubled under Jimmy Carter. I was getting 21% interest on my checking account under that clown, and it still didn’t cover devaluation of the currency. Of course, the IRS still taxed us on it as it was real income.
    Carter’s buddy, Sadat, was assassinated by the predecessor group of Al Qaeda, a world-wide terrorist group which included Sirhan Sirhan and Saddam Hussein. Carter didn’t figure out any of that, much less do anything about it. Too busy giving away the Panama Canal to a dictator.
    Back at home, his pal Bert Lance was mixed up with Arab bankers, and Carter made some money off that.

  7. Lee Muller

    Also, Reagan never traded arms for hostages. That is another Democrat lie, a propaganda slogan. Some of the more delusional even believe the tale about George Bush flying to Iran in an SR-71 Blackbird to negotiate with Iran.
    The fact is that Reagan, long after being elected, tried to provide food and medicine to Iran to reopen trade and free enterprise. The negotiations were handled by Western-educated moderates in Iran. The idea was to increase good will and the stature of moderates before the Ayatollah died. Democrats screwed all that up.

  8. mazhess

    Barack was forced in the last 18 months to be informed about nearly every law which could be made in the next eight years. That makes him at beside Hillary to be the best informed lawmaker in washington.

  9. Lee Muller

    Obama gets another pass.
    If Obama is so informed, why can’t he answer questions without a script and teleprompter? He just stammers, dodges and twists in the manner criminal psycologists describe of a pathological liar.
    For a contrast, watch Ron Paul answer questions on any subject – informed, thoughtful, direct, brief and unequivocal.

  10. bud

    Too busy giving away the Panama Canal to a dictator.
    This is yet another example of how the fear-mongering of the day has failed to materialize. Here it is 30 years after Carter negotiated the peaceful transfer of the Panama canal back to the rightful owners of the land through which it was built and nothing, absolutely nothing bad has occurred. Ships still sail through it on a daily basis. Thanks to Carter we avoided a painful confrontation with Panama and the whole world is better off for it. Thanks Lee for pointing out another example of Carter’s farsighted leadership.
    Maybe we should chronicle all the fear-mongering predictions made by right-wingers that failed to materialize.
    1. Domino effect if South Vietnam lost (never happened)
    2. Panama Canal transfer would result in shipping chaos (never happened)
    3. If freon eliminated from AC units costs for cooling houses would become prohibitive (never happened)
    4. If tough environmental standards adopted for cars they would become too expensive (never happened)
    5. Smoking bans would result in tough times for smokers (really, this one is silly. Smokers have benefited by adjusting behavior to smoke less)
    6. If Clinton elected president prosperity would be a thing of the past. Remember the jokes about the roadsigns near Newberry showing Clinton to the Left and Prosperity to the right. (Clinton years were most prosperous in history)
    7. Safety standards for cars would bankrupt the industry (didn’t happen)
    8. Social Security will not be around when you retire (The first time this was mentioned was probably 50+ years ago and it’s still with us).

  11. Lee Muller

    1. South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos had millions slaughtered by communists after US Democrats double-crossed South Vietnam and cut off weapons and ammunition.
    2. Bill Clinton completed the Panama sellout by handing over the end ports to Red China.
    3. Freon is no problem. It is an inert gas. That was a phony scare, just like global warming. A lot of people were forced to buy new applicances and AC units.
    4. Nixon created the EPA, auto emissions standards, CAFE standards, and industrial air and water cleanup.
    5. Smoking bans have no impact on health, according to medical studies. It’s a power grab, to set legal precedents for more government control over people.
    6. Clinton gave us the current mortgage crisis, the Dot.com stock bust, a flat economy and the 2000 recession.
    7. Safety standards are so expensive that dozens of car companies went out of business or sold out to big car companies. That’s why the big companies supported it.
    8. Social Security had gone broke 7 times, and the GAO says it will be insolvent again before 2016. Taxes have gone from 1.0% to 15.3% and the limit is near.

  12. Guero

    Lee, Lee, Lee….what a whopper of a post!
    “Reagan never traded arms for hostages.” Forgive me, it’s not necessarily a whopper. I guess it could be just gross ignorance on your part rather than mendancity. BUT, based on your history, I’d go with the “Outright Lies” designation.
    The Iran-Contra hearings and IC Walsh proved beyond a shadow of a doubt Reagan should have been impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. He gave “moderate” Islamists missiles and other weapons. If not for incompentence on his and Ollie North’s part, it would have been a straight trade.

  13. Lee Muller

    The hostages were released before Reagan was even sworn in as President.
    Now try to name the exact weapons he supposedly traded when he was not even in office.

  14. Guero

    Geez, Lee, you’ve confirmed your dishonesty.
    In trying to juxtapose the Embassy hostages with Hezbollah’s hostages, your wingnut mythology has gone into overdrive to clean up the history of your amiable fool of a god, RR.
    RR sent TOW and Hawk missiles to Iran in 84 and 85. He ADMITTED it in his autobiography. He left out of his book one of this favorite anecdotes about crying upon personally seeing the concentration camps liberated in Germany(truth was RR never left California during WW II).
    Are you related to RR? If so, it would explain the serial lying.

  15. Lee Muller

    1984? The hostages were released by Iran in 1980, after the world knew Jimmy Carter had been fired by the American voters, long before Reagan was sworn in.

  16. Guero

    Aw, Lee. Now you’re playing stupid. I guess that’s marginally better for you than mendacity.
    Even you know how to google Iran-Contra. Your hero’s bad judgment seems to be surpassed only by your wingnut ignorance.
    Jimmy Carter giving back the Canal after we had stolen it 100 years ago was only common decency. Why don’t you scream about Yalta? It’s the only myth you haven’t pushed lately.

  17. Lee Muller

    We BUILT the Panama Canal, after the French gave up. The yarn about us “stealing the canal” wasn’t cooked up until the KGB came up with it.
    I don’t need to Google up more fabrications about Reagan by people who were not even around then, or pinkos still crying over the defeat of the Soviet empire by President Reagan.
    Even Geuro knows that trade with Iran in 1985 has nothing to do with hostages being released in 1980.

  18. Guero

    Ya know, Lee, I may be changing my mind. You REALLY are as stupid as your posts seem to be.
    “Don’t confuse me with the facts, Guero, I don’t need to google nuttin..”
    Take it to the bank, Lee, Panama was a Colombian departmento. We financed a fake revolution and sent in a gunboat to steal Panama from Colombia. Read David McCullough’s book if you can find your way out of the video store.
    Iran-Contra is obviously over your head so I won’t beat that dead horse any more.
    Lee M, the shining example of a Beauregard Hammond Lee Jackson Sanford Segregation Akademy private school edukation…

  19. Lee Muller

    What’s your excuse for Bill Clinton turning over control of the mouths of the canal to Red China? Did we “steal it” from them, too?
    Iran-Contra is a myth, communist propaganda.
    That’s why all the lefties can do is repeat it as a chant. Most don’t even have the myth down straight. None can come up with any facts.
    Just look at how they try to link the hostage release in 1980 to some alleged arms deal in 1984, and fail, of course.

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