Asking and Telling Sam Nunn

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sam nunn.jpg
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was a compromise forced on Bill Clinton’s presidency by a recalcitrant, (then) anti-gay Sam Nunn who stopped Clinton’s plans to end discrimination against homosexual men and women serving in the U.S. military.
In fact, while Senator Nunn was still in the Senate, he fired two staff members when it came to light that these individuals were gay.
Now, Senator Nunn is recommending a “review” of the policy he helped fashion fifteen years ago, but he is not indicating whether his own views have changed.
I’m a fan of Sam Nunn’s important work in trying to rid the world of nuclear weapons and other WMD related materials. I hear from many friends that he is an outstanding Board Chairman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and also Co-Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
So despite my sincere respect for many of the good things Sam Nunn has done, I also think it is important for those whispering about the possibility of putting Nunn in the VP slot on the Obama ticket — or in Obama’s cabinet — to realize that this blog and many others will not stand for someone who still harbors long standing, institutionalized discriminatory views against gay men and women, particularly in the arena of national security when we should be applauding any who want to serve this country.
It’s time for us to be asking Sam Nunn what his views on gays in the military now are — and he should tell us.
Let’s move to “Ask and Tell.”
– Steve Clemons

Comments

66 comments on “Asking and Telling Sam Nunn

  1. Carroll says:

    Holy Moley! OT but I can’t help it.
    I can’t believe that the Washington Times let Arnaud de Borchgrave slip this by them. Defending Scott McCellan of all things! And outing the neos and zionist. Will wonders never cease!
    I am not that encouraged though, because despite these “outings” of actual criminals, congress hasn’t done anything about them, will never do anything about them, and certainly isn’t going to stop them from attacking Iran. Now that “obliterate Iran” Hillary is out of the picture that leaves us with “bomb,bomb Iran” McCain and Obama.
    Think about it, congress goes into a swoon about..gasp…. gays..but has never uttered a peep about war criminal and liar Cheney and now even wants to give him SS protection once he is out of office.
    Actually we should be singing bomb, bomb,bomb congress.
    http://www.washtimes.com/news/2008/jun/02/commentary-babble-rabble/
    “This reporter first heard about the inevitability of war a year before the invasion at a party given by Dick Cheney – “the magic man,” writes Mr. McClellan – and his wife Lynne to celebrate the paperback edition of chief of staff Scooter Libby’s book “The Apprentice.”
    The capital’s top neocons were on hand and convinced dubious listeners that war with Iraq was now inevitable. They were persuasive when they corrected me for saying, “If there is a war.”
    The decision had been taken for a shock-and-awe blitz against Saddam’s Republican Guard divisions, they said. What about the United Nations? I asked. That, I was told, was the obligatory charade we had to go through for world public opinion.
    So Mr. McClellan is correct when he writes senior administration officials began a campaign in 2002 to “aggressively sell the war,” even as he and other officials insisted all options were on the table. Of course it was a war of choice, not of necessity, as he writes. The Bush administration’s main motive for invading Iraq was to introduce “coercive democracy.”
    This originated in a controversial 1996 White Paper titled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” which referred to Israel. It advised then incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to repeal the Oslo agreements for a Palestinian solution, keep Gaza and the West Bank under Israeli control, and establish democracy in Iraq by overthrowing Saddam Hussein. Democracy in Iraq, said “Clean Break,” would then be followed by similar regime change in Syria and Iran.
    Among its principal authors were neocon theoreticians Richard Perle, soon to be chairman of the Defense Policy Board; Douglas Feith, who became undersecretary of defense for policy and who was also in charge of post-Iraq invasion planning; David Wurmser, who later joined Mr. Feith’s Pentagon team, before his elevation to deputy assistant to Dick Cheney for national security – all superhawks on Iran as well.”

    Reply

  2. Carroll says:

    On the gay issue what stands out to me is not so much any individual congressman’s position but the general attitude of congress toward gays. Yes, I know we have some gay congressmen, but do you notice the difference in the way congress went after the congressman in the bathroom scandel and how they let slid real criminals in congress?
    Seems they rally around and donate money from their campaign funds to the legal defense funds of real congressional criminals but if they get a whiff of a gay infraction it’s lights out for him.
    What is it with men’s fear of gay men? It seems utterly ridiculous to me to be threatened by someone elses sexual preference.

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  3. Carroll says:

    Posted by Paul Norheim Jun 09, 4:36AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I second that.

    Reply

  4. Linda says:

    It’s up to Steve to decide if he wants people promoting these 527s for free on his website or if he will accept paid ads from them.
    It’s up to Hillary to publicly reject them and ask them to shut down if they truly support her.
    And it’s up to everyone else to everyone to reject them publicly and ignore them.
    It is my hope that both McCain and Obama also will reject all 527s.
    Ironbelle, Steve happens to know me, and I can assure you that I am not a doormat. I doubt that you will find more recruits on TWN–so if you have so much important work to do and so much money to raise to get the truth out about Obama, you’re wasting valuable time at TWN.

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  5. Kathleen says:

    Ironbelle sounds like a Rush Lambone crossover voter, using “defending” Hillary as an excuse to bash Obama. Voting for John McPain because you are angry at Obama is dumb as a doorknob.

    Reply

  6. Paul Norheim says:

    POA, Linda, WigWag, Caroll and others here:
    The language and attitude of “Ironbelle” make me think that this
    is either a quite disruptive and destructive joke, or some weird
    kind of propagandistic mission (or both). Either way, I think that
    we should ignore these messages. They do not contribute in
    any way to the discussions at TWN, and of course the person
    behind this does not represent Hillary Clinton, Obama, or any
    known figure or party, as far as I can see. And if “Ironbelle”
    represents anybody, her or his attitude does not contribute
    anything in this context, so I really suggest that we should stop
    responding to this mixture of propaganda and personal attacks,
    delivered by some anonymous person.
    Then, hopefully, (s)he will disappear after a while.
    Ladies and gentlemen: please ignore it!

    Reply

  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    ROFLMAO!!!!
    I rest my case.
    Between Tahoe Editor calling Carroll an “ignorant slut”, MarkL calling me a “virulent anti-semite”, and this hateful HillaryHitler IronBelle spitting venom at any who don’t kneel at Hillary’s altar, the Clinton’s aren’t exactly being well represented here, are they?
    Geez, maybe they are Obama operatives working clandestinely to bury Hillary’s poliical future.
    Or maybe just jackasses. Who knows?

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  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gads, these HillaryHitlers are some scumballs. Reading these people’s swiftboating horseshit makes me think its a damned good thing that Hillary has apparently been sidelined.
    Maybe Obama ain’t so bad after all, if these vicious jackasses are any example of Hillary’s troops.

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  9. Ironbelle says:

    Some of Linda’s best friends are gay; isn’t that special? Exactly why do you mention it Linda? What type of license do you think it gives you having gay and lesbian friends and all?
    And that reconstructionist temple you belong to. That must make you feel so progressive. But I bet you never heard anything there like Barry heard at Trinity United. Why, because if you had, Linda, a good liberal like you would have left. But God forbid we should ask you to hold the messiah in chief to the same standard.
    The lesbians I know, Linda, are sick and tired of unqualified men beating qualified women. As a matter of fact, we tired of men beating women, period! Alot of gay men feel the same way. So do alot of straight women and maybe even a few straight men. As the old line goes, we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it any more. If you want to be a door mat for the rest of your life, feel free, but I don’t. Hillary may have lost the battle, but many of us are not giving up the war. In fact, our fight is just beginning. We will be taking a far more muscular approach in the future. Any woman who wants to join us is welcome at pumapac.com Hell, men are welcome too. We are pooling our courage and our money to tell the world who Barry really is. We don’t need to lie and we don’t need to exagerate. The truth about Barry is bad enough.
    Carroll suggested a sex change operation. My guess is that millions of women would happily volunteer to perform the surgery.

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  10. Tintin says:

    Go read MJ Rosenberg on the “divided” question for a little
    perspective.

    Reply

  11. DonS says:

    “Undivided” often means that there won’t be barriers physically
    dividing the city–though it depends on who’s saying it. It doesn’t
    necessarily mean that Jerusalem won’t be shared as the capitals of
    Israel and Palestine”
    True, true, But an unlikely interpretation because treading in these rhetorical minefilds is not advised. Once having said “undivided”, of course, all Obama could do in response to the firestorm of the Arab reaction was to say “to be ddcided” by the final peace process because any more explict attempt to explain what he meant (even your “physical barrier” explanation) means the minefield starts exploding for him.

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  12. WigWag says:

    From the NY Times,
    By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
    Published: October 25, 2007
    Gay Rights Group Criticizes Obama
    The nation’s largest gay rights organization criticized Senator Barack Obama of Illinois yesterday for scheduling a gospel concert on Sunday with a singer who has made controversial statements about homosexuality.
    Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the gay rights organization, urged Mr. Obama in a phone call yesterday to cancel the appearance of the singer, Donnie McClurkin, who is to sing Sunday night in a gospel concert in Columbia, S.C.
    Critics say that Mr. McClurkin counsels that homosexuality is a curse that can be cured through prayer, although in an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Mr. McClurkin said that his words had been misconstrued and that he had not crusaded against gay men and lesbians.
    Mr. Obama, a Democratic presidential candidate, has not canceled Mr. McClurkin’s appearance but has scheduled an openly gay minister, the Rev. Andy Sidden, to speak on the concert program. But that did not appear to tamp down criticism from some gay activists or increasingly hostile bloggers.
    The controversy reflects the competing interests of two important constituencies of the Democratic Party, with gay activists complaining that Mr. Obama is seeking the support of black evangelicals at their expense. The gospel tour, which begins Friday with other singers, is part of a broader effort by the Obama campaign to win over black evangelicals

    Reply

  13. Morton says:

    We have become very divided, and it’s disheartening to see it and
    see its effect. But it’s a mistake to think that there was a time when
    we were “all together”–except in those times when we were
    suffering crises like war or the Depression. For most of our
    history, there was one “group” among us that got the lion’s share
    of goodies and everyone else more or less “accepted their place.”
    That’s what gave the illusion we were “all together and undivided.”
    The movies and popular culture reflected that pecking order, e.g.,
    all families were white and Christian; all people were straight; and
    so on. Since the 1960s, this illusion has been crumbling and the
    cacophony is getting pretty loud.

    Reply

  14. Tintin says:

    “Why would Obama use the word “undivided” to describe
    Jerusalem”
    “Undivided” often means that there won’t be barriers physically
    dividing the city–though it depends on who’s saying it. It doesn’t
    necessarily mean that Jerusalem won’t be shared as the capitals of
    Israel and Palestine. Cutting up Jerusalem physically would be a
    bad move.

    Reply

  15. Carroll says:

    Posted by Linda Jun 08, 10:27AM – Link
    Carroll, I have been quoting Eisenhower on this blog for as long as it has existed. And I remind everyone that Susan Eisenhower (Ike’s granddaughter) who Steve and others in the foreign policy community know well and respect. She came out for Obama many months ago because his foreign policy is closest to what she thinks Ike would have done. And he would not have started a war with Iraq or voted for it. He would have read the full NIE reports, and only a very few Senators (not Clinton) took the time to do that before they voted.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I voted for Obama in our primary and am still voting for him in the general because really what choice do we have? I am accepting that he means what he says about changing DC “bizness as usual” and changing the US approach to our foreign relations. I didn’t find all that much difference in Hillary’s and Obama’s positions except for their foreign policy views, that was the deciding factor for me in choosing between the two.
    You know in this election I am not asking for lower taxes, or more social welfare, or more business friendly legistation or anything on any of my personal pet peeves list…all I want is someone who will really start cleaning up the corruption in our government..riding our government of all undue and corrupting influences and leveling the playing field for all Americans, and all people in the rest of the world to the best of our abilities, is the only thing that will make any major difference in the future of this country.

    Reply

  16. Carroll says:

    Looking at the US today you would think a bloody ethnic, gender, religious, class, hyphen war is right around the corner in this country.
    It has become so absurd and orwellington that all a sane person can do is look at it with disgust.
    We have feminist like Ironbelle whose site features “Democracts against Obama” and “Democracts for McCain” and urges women to vote for McCain. Yep, McCain who is such a dedicated family man and husband he didn’t even realize his wife was a drug addict stealing drugs from a charity organization….is better than electing Obama because although he is black he isn’t a woman. Well, maybe he would be willing to undergo a sex change operation for their vote.
    Then we have the AJC about to sue South Carolina over a license plate.
    Published: 06/06/2008
    The American Jewish Congress is considering a lawsuit against South Carolina for creating a license plate with a cross and the phrase “I Believe.” According to the Times, South Carolina is the first state in the country to offer such a plate.
    Yes, America is all about….Me,Me,Me,Me,Me..and whatever my personal sex, religion, race and hyphen- nationality is.
    Everyone should get a fair shake in this country, but the thumb sucking, fit throwing “me-me’s” the politicans pander to aren’t the way to get a government that is fair to all.
    Evey time I see this insanity I think of the old anti drug ad with a egg frying in a pan that says “this is your brain on drugs”.
    We need a new frying egg ad that says … “This is Diversity on Steriods”.

    Reply

  17. ... says:

    i totally agree with linda’s post… it is a free country and people are free to advertise on steves site, so we are stuck with the ugliness of ironbelle’s post, unless steve sees it differrently…

    Reply

  18. S Brennan says:

    Steve,
    Nunn reminds folks of old wounds, he betrayed Clinton, fellow Dems and the country with a political stance that was driven by his personal fears.
    He did some good in his day, but he needs to go quietly into the night.

    Reply

  19. DonS says:

    Moon of Alabama catches the NYT reshaping the rhetoric to soften implied link between Deputy Minister Mofaz and disruption in the markets:
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2008/06/nyt-changed-oil.html

    Reply

  20. Linda says:

    First, I am a white, Jewish, lifelong Democrat and female who has been pro-gay and lesbian rights with openly gay friends for over 40 years.
    When my daughter was a student at Columbia University in the 1980s, she volunteered and worked at ACT-UP. I belong to a Reconstructist Temple founded by gay and lesbian Jews in Atlanta, and the congregation is about half gay/lesbian and half straight. Part of Reconstructist Judaism includes being Zionist. I reject that part as does about half the Congregation. I don’t protest or leave. It’s the best fit I can find, and is a warm community that includes members of every race, etc. and supports every liberal social justice issue here in Atlanta such that our rabbi is known as a leader on social justice issues. One of our members’ stepmother spoke at a Temple event last year,and she is Margaret Marshall, the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court who wrote the decision on gay marriage. And I do think everyone who is for civil and minority rights and who is pro-choice should think before voting for McCain and his ideas about Supreme Court nominees.
    Neither candidate is going to come out for gay marriage. That’s not pandering but just wise politics. It would be interesting to know where they both stand on “don’t ask, don’t tell” which happened to be the topic of this particular blog.
    Carroll, I have been quoting Eisenhower on this blog for as long as it has existed. And I remind everyone that Susan Eisenhower (Ike’s granddaughter) who Steve and others in the foreign policy community know well and respect. She came out for Obama many months ago because his foreign policy is closest to what she thinks Ike would have done. And he would not have started a war with Iraq or voted for it. He would have read the full NIE reports, and only a very few Senators (not Clinton) took the time to do that before they voted.
    Ironbelle, I find your comment particularly offensive because you accuse Obama of every ism except racism, and the kind of 527s you are supporting will appeal mainly to many racists. I will stoop to your level only to remind you that if we continue “gotcha” divisive politics then please explain Hillary’s repeated detailed story of being “under fire in Bosnia.” Still if Clinton were the nominee, I’d have voted for her and not formed a 527.
    Ironbelle, I point out first that a public figure can’t sue for libel, slander, or defamation of character. So you have a right to form 527s though I think both Obama and McCain would like to see them eliminated. Their only purpose is to play “gotcha” politics and appeal to the most base and mean emotions and to appeal to that which divides us rather than unites us. What you wrote pretty much calls Obama racist and sexist.
    And since this is mainly a foreign policy blog, I point out that Samantha Power who is respected in the foreign policy community and made the “monster” remark immediately resigned as an advisor to Obama. Unfortunately in this age where every word of a candidate or his supporters may be recorded and taken out of context, these things will continue to happen and be used by both sides in ugly ways.
    You have a right to do whatever you want, but I don’t want to see us throw away $10 billion every month in Iraq that could be used to help the working poor, improve our schools, rebuild our infrastructure, provide health care, develop alternate fuels, etc.
    There only are two choices, Obama or McCain. Neither is perfect or will be perfect on every issue. Both want a more civil election this fall. And so does Hillary, John Edwards, etc.
    Swiftboating either candidate is not going to achieve that. As a reader of TWN since it started, Ironbelle, I deeply resent your posting links to those 527s.

    Reply

  21. DonS says:

    Here’s some thought on media manipulation/downplay of the primacy of Israeli sabre rattling in Friday’s market jitters:
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2008/06/nyt-changed-oil.html
    And here’s a comment in response to a question I asked at Digby about what’s going on behind the very dangerous kabuki from Israeli deputy prime minister Mofaz:
    Synthesis is not easy, and would take time and work; but a good place to start (including reading the older posts going way back) might be Sic Semper Tyrannis, by (Ret)Colonel Pat Lang. Israel is one of several subjects he and his commenters cover.
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/s…emper_tyrannis/
    Assuming the Israelis are always one jump ahead…may be making an assumption too far. Sometimes their one-jump-aheadness has ended up putting them very far behind. One example: many years ago the Israel government funded and supported Hamas in its very early stages to be a counterweight to the PLO. Now Hamas outweighs PLO completely in Gaza and is gaining on the PLO (PNA) in the West Bank, making Israel’s long-term position way worse than before.
    My best layman’s guess is that different power-groups and faction in the 2 countries are trying to outmanipulate eachother at different levels. The Likudists want NeoCon and
    Christian Zionist support for getting every Likudist wish. The Christian Zionists want Israel maneuvered and boxed into an Armageddon War. The NeoCons want to exploit Israel and America both as test-beds for NeoCon ideas and theories. The Christian Zionists are definitely winning.
    And viewing all these cross-manipulators from high above are the PetroConservatives and the Deep Government (Underground Fourth Reich).
    The Deep Government was very happy to bring the NeoCons into visible power positions within government in order to hype the lies for invading Iraq, for example. But the Deep Government wants something different from the Iraq invasion than the NeoCons wanted.
    Whatever else the NeoCons pretended to
    want, they really did want vastly higher oil output from Iraq in order to crash the price of oil, destroy OPEC, and make the Gulf Oil States poor and weak. But the Deep Government PetroConservatives wanted to keep oil output from Iraq as low as possible, in order to inflate the price of oil, strengthen OPEC, and make the Gulf Oil States stronger and richer than ever. Based on what has actually happened so far (Iraq oil output way down, price of oil way up, OPEC way stronger, Gulf Oil states way
    richer); it looks to me like the Deep Government PetroConservatives have won
    their goals in Iraq. Greg Palast writes about these things. I will try
    to link to a couple of articles:
    http://www.gregpalast.com/was-th…ish-conspiracy/
    and:
    http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/37371/
    I am not a smart-enough layman to know how much independent power the NeoCons have when the DeepGov PetroCons decide the NeoCons have outlived their usefulness. Its a Darwinian test for the NeoCons I suppose. They do know how to plot and
    conspire. Can they really outplot and outconspire the DeepGov PetroCons?
    And just because the DeepGov PetroCons
    are powerful doesn’t mean they always bet and plan correctly. When the DeepGov PetroCons think about letting Likud attack Iran or not…what I guess they think about is whether they
    can keep the war confined to Iran after they have let Likud spread it there. If they think they can keep the war confined to Iran, then they will certainly let (or possibly ORder)Likud to attack Iran; because if the expanded war stays confined to Iran then even more oil gets taken off the market, which raises the price of oil in Arabia and Texas even more higher-er. But this would be a very risky gamble for the DeepGov PetroCons because what if Iran won’t let the expanded war stay confined to Iran? What if Iran takes the war to Ghawar and Ras Tanura and Kuwait and the U.A.E. and Bahrain and so on? And what if China/Russia and others increase arms and training assistance to MEND and bring Nigerian oil shipments to ZEE-ro? And what if China/India THEN sign longterm contracts with Venezuela for all the oil Venezuela produces? Could that raise the price of oil so fast as to exterminate the oil industry prematurely, thereby depriving the DeepGov PetroCons of several trillion dollars they plan on making?
    I myself would consider that gamble not worth taking. In fact, I would consider it a gamble worth intervening to prevent others from taking for any reason. But I don’t know how the DeepGov PetroCons assess risk and chance; and I don’t know if their power is absolute, preponderant, merely relative, or what.
    That’s the best synthesis I can offer. If I were twice as smart, my comment would be twice as pithy and half as long. At least I tried. And the links I offer should be worth something, hopefully.
    R U Reddy | 06.08.08 – 2:58 am | #
    ——————————————————————————–
    Final thought…James Baker is one of the Deep Government’s high-visibility well-paid servants. James Baker headed up the effort to seize the 2000 election for Bush, which says
    to me that Bush was the preferred choice of DeepGov PetroCon Botts-Bakerites everywhere. When Bush rejected the Botts-Bakerite ISG report
    the DeepGov had to start wondering..”Is Bush still giving us value for money?” They have discovered that Bush is just as hard to handle as Hitler was. It may be we
    have all discovered the limits of DeepGov power, and the Botts-Bakerites
    stand before us Naked and Ashamed. And the Christian Satanists will have their War of Armageddon, which to me would say that the Christian Satanists
    are the ultimate holders of power. Because what They want would negate everything that everyone else wants. So if the Botts-Bakerites can’t stop the Christian Satanists, then the Botts-Bakerites truly are Naked and Ashamed
    (the full post is at:
    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2008/06/pilgrimages-by-digby-so-earlier-this.html )

    Reply

  22. Carroll says:

    I agreer with Steve….what a tangled web they weave when first they start to pander.
    “When Obama comes out with a position that is to the right of
    George W. Bush and the incumbent Israeli leadership on
    Jerusalem — my support of Obama’s campaign is being severely
    tested.
    best, Steve Clemons”
    And I agree even more with Eisenhower, the last real American president we had.
    http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/presidential-papers/first-term/documents/2063.cfm
    “Of course, nothing in the region would be so difficult to solve except for the underlying cause of the unrest and dissension that exists there–that is, the Arab-Israel quarrel. This quarrel seems to have no limit in either intensity or in scope. Everybody in the Moslem and Jewish worlds is affected by it. It is so intense that the second any action is taken against one Arab state, by an outsider, all the other Arab and Moslem states seem to regard it as a Jewish plot and react violently. All this complicates the situation enormously.
    As we began to uncover evidence that something was building up in Israel, we demanded pledges from Ben-Gurion that he would keep the peace.10
    We realized that he might think he could take advantage of this country because of the approaching election and because of the importance that so many politicians in the past have attached to our Jewish vote.
    I gave strict orders to the State Department that they should inform Israel that we would handle our affairs exactly as though we didn’t have a Jew in America.
    The welfare and best interests of our own country were to be the sole criteria on which we operated.11 ”
    We need an Eisenhower or atleast update Eisenhower’s plans to attack Israel if they didn’t come to heel…and the sooner the better.
    “Oil surges to new heights after Israeli warning on Iran
    19 hours ago
    NEW YORK (AFP) — Crude oil prices went on a record-setting surge Friday as fears of a new Middle East conflict were fanned by comments from a top Israeli official about Iran.
    New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, leapt 10.75 dollars a barrel — its biggest one-day jump ever — to close at a record 138.54 dollars.
    In intraday trade and in record time, the benchmark contract crossed 137, 138 and 139 dollars for the first time and soared to an all-time high of 139.12 dollars.
    In London, Brent North Sea crude for July similarly smashed barriers on its way to a new intraday high of 138.12 dollars a barrel. It eased back to settle at a record 137.69 dollars, up 10.15 dollars.
    Both futures contracts far exceeded their prior record highs set on May 22: 135.09 dollars in New York and 135.14 in London.
    Over the past two days, crude oil has leapt about 16 dollars as the market reacted to a new decline in the dollar after the European Central Bank signaled an interest rate hike Thursday and the US reported a sharp rise in unemployment Friday.
    Compounding the dollar squeeze were remarks by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz reported Friday by the Yediot Aharonot newspaper, analysts said.
    “If Iran continues its nuclear weapons program, we will attack it,” Mofaz told the daily, stressing that such an operation could only be conducted with US support.
    “Other options are disappearing. The sanctions are not effective. There will be no alternative but to attack Iran in order to stop the Iranian nuclear program,” Mofaz, who is also transportation minister, said.
    Antoine Halff, an analyst at Newedge Group, said: “The Mofaz comments bring home the point that the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program remains unresolved and that the risks of military confrontation are indeed increasing.
    “This will likely be a growing source of market volatility until a solution to the dispute is found.”
    Wachovia Securities’ Eric Wittenauer said that Mofaz’s remarks “are the most explicit threat against Iran yet.”
    A former Israeli defense minister and armed forces chief of staff, Mofaz hopes to replace embattled Ehud Olmert as prime minister and at the helm of the Kadima party.
    “Noting Olmert’s political troubles, Mofaz’s remarks may have been made for domestic consumption, particularly since he probably thinks he should be preparing for a run at the nation’s top office,” Wittenauer said.
    Halff said the return of the Iranian risk premium “calls for a careful assessment of the potential oil supply impact of military strikes on Iran,” the world’s fourth-largest crude oil producer.
    “The supply consequences of such a hypothetical development might not be as severe as they seem,” the Newedge analyst added.
    The dollar continued to weaken against the euro, which firmed to above 1.57 dollars, a day after ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet made hawkish comments on inflation after leaving rates unchanged as expected.
    The greenback was further pressured by the Labor Department report Friday showing the US unemployment rate jumped unexpectedly by a half percentage point to 5.5 percent in May, the steepest increase in more than two decades.
    The US economy shed 49,000 jobs in May, almost twice the number of the prior month, marking the fifth monthly consecutive decline, the Labor Department data showed.
    The weakening dollar boosts oil prices because it makes crude relatively cheaper for buyers using other currencies, analysts said.
    Oil’s surge also found support from investment bank Morgan Stanley’s prediction Friday that light sweet crude will hit 150 dollars by July 4, the US Independence Day holiday, because of tight supplies.
    AND BTW..
    A bill is in the house to give Dick Cheney SS protection for six months after he leaves office and to give the DHS authority to increase that protection according to threats..LOL he’s gonna need it. And so are a lot of others if Israel or the US attacks Iran.

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  23. henry5 says:

    ANDREW MEHDIZ writes: “Obama’s web site says absolutely nothing about … gay rights. His silence … is quite disturbing.”
    To follow-up on that point, in “Audacity of Hope,” hardcover p.222 OBAMA writes: “All too often I have sat in a church and heard a pastor use gay bashing … “It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!” he will shout ….” So, by his own admission, Sen. Obama was there for the gay bashing, and kept coming back. Did he ever object, talk to the pastor in private at least? Seems like a valid question. Anyone know?
    Henry.

    Reply

  24. Andrew Mehdiz. says:

    Agreed. Obama’s web site says absolutely nothing about social issues such as gay rights. His silence on such matters of social justice and equality is quite disturbing. I know that he wants to win the votes of Red-staters, but that is no excuse (nevermind the fact that most social conservatives are not going to vote for him anyways). So what’s the solution? People concerned with these issues shouldn’t just shut up and sing and be quite out of their tribal loyalty to the Democratic nominee. Obama, like any other politician, should be held accountable and he deserves criticism just as much as any other American politician. He’s not going to get a free ride, and he’s not going to get me to sit idly by while he ignores the right to marriage, something that is becoming increasingly recognized in the Western world.

    Reply

  25. WigWag says:

    Steve Clemons’ post refers to John McCain’s connections to the gay community through his staffers and supporters. For a republican, McCain has good connections with the gay communuty. One of his main supporters, Rudolph Guiliani (who by the way I despise)is particularly well connected to the gay community in New York. He will be a good connection for McCain to this community.
    For a democrat, Obama has relatively weak connections to the gay community. He has a history of support from pastors (not Reverand Wright) who have made bigoted comments about gay Americans and he has even invited some of these pastors to make public comments at his events. It was widely reported in the gay press that Senator Obama refused to have his photograph taken with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome (who is not gay)supposedly because of San Francisco’s supposed reputation as a “gay city.” To be fair, prominent gay Americans have endorsed Senator Obama such as Eugene Robinson, the gay Anglican prelate from New Hampshire.
    The point is simply that Senator McCain is not as reflexively anti gay rights as many other republicans and Obama’s links to this community are not as strong as Mrs. Clinton’s. I noted that in her concesssion speech today, Mrs. Clinton went out of her way to site the importance of the contributions of gay Americans and she implored Senator Obama to address their concerns.

    Reply

  26. Andrew Mehdiz. says:

    Barack and AIPAC, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!
    First comes love
    Then comes marriage
    Then comes Netanyahu in baby carriage!

    Reply

  27. bangzoom14 says:

    We don’t need a Sam Nunn on the ticket. As far as I can see, he brings nothing positive to the table that we can’t get from others. And with his anti-gay views of the past, he certainly can’t be trusted and we need him around now like a hole-in-the-head!

    Reply

  28. DonS says:

    Steve, you are so right on Obama and Jerusalem. I have been hoping you would offer an entre to this particular faux pas/tin ear/???. I would be interested in having it discussed here on a non-aligned site. Here is the gist of my comment on the subject, cross posted earlier today on FDL:
    Why would Obama use the word “undivided” to describe Jerusalem?
    He is not a stupid man, and diplomatic words in foreign affairs are highly loaded and, one would think, highly vetted.
    Abbas responded that the remarks were totally unacceptable and, within the ongoing kabuki that is the ME they are indeed.
    My only thought is that Obama used the word knowingly — going far to the right of even the right wingers — knowing he would be called on it and be forced to “correct” himself back into the center. I.e., he would show himself to be really pro-Israel, so much so as to continue to defuse latent suspicion on this score.
    That’s the only case — craven as it is — I can imagine for this smart man saying a dumb thing. Some might call such and approach canny. I call it stupid, and cynical.

    Reply

  29. Paul Norheim says:

    I`ve been thinking that McCain would be a disaster. After that
    Obama speech to the AIPAC delegates, it really seems hard to
    tell who may represent the biggest disaster in the Middle East in
    the coming years. It probably boils down to whether your
    priority is domestic, or foreign affairs. In the latter case, I guess
    it will depend more on circumstances.
    My prediction is that if Obama is elected, it will improve
    Americas image in most parts of Europe and Africa immediately.
    Regarding the muslim regions from the Maghreb countries to
    Indonesia, the US image may even get worse, and perhaps for
    very good reasons.
    If McCain is elected, Americas image will not improve in Europe,
    nor in Africa, and definitely not in the muslim world.
    Seen as a whole, none of the candidates seem to have a strategy
    that addresses the mess Bush has created in the ME. Just for a
    start: how does Obama think that the “moderate forces” in the
    occupied territories can sell to the Palestinian people the
    concept of negotiating with the Americans and the Israelis when
    the US President defends the concept of an “undivided
    Jerusalem”?
    It`s a joke. And Hamas, who under certain circumstances could
    have moved towards more moderate positions, will become
    more extreme, and the “moderate forces” will become even less
    popular. Resulting in more terrorism, unrest, attacks and
    counter attacks. As we have seen for so many years. Ad
    nauseam.

    Reply

  30. Andrew Mehdiz says:

    Steve,
    I completely agree with you on the issue of Obama and Israel. His positons on this matter is very disappointing. Even though I consider myself a liberal Democrat, I find it very difficult to continue to support a candidate who (a) says we should consider the “military option” against Iran, (b) says Jerusalem must be “undivided,” and (c) consistenly goes out of his way to show that he backs anything that Israel ever does.

    Reply

  31. Andrew Mehdiz says:

    First I want to say that my previous comments about Hillary and RFK were poorly written. I did not actually intend to say that the June 7 campaign concession speech was “funny,” but instead should have used the word “eery.” My bad! :D
    About Nunn: I think Senator Nunn is overrated. As Steve mentioned, he has a record of being anti gay. This is entirely unacceptable.
    Sam Nunn’s views on social issues, especially gay rights, has always disappointed me. In addition, he has a long record of supporting the death penalty and limiting the appeals process. With these things in mind, I believe that Senator Nunn is very unfit to be Obama’s VP, and I think that, given Obama’s mixed record on social issues (his web site says nothing about the rights of gays, women, or minorities), it would only worsen the social rights record of an Obama ticket.

    Reply

  32. Steve Clemons says:

    larry….John McCain has gay staff, gay senior advisers, gay
    friends and has never fired any staff members for being gay. My
    opposition to John McCain rests on his view of what needs to be
    done on the national security front — not on his other agenda
    items. As I have said frequently in the past, none of the
    candidates deserves unconditional support, and I reserve the
    right to critique McCain and Obama equally — and thus far,
    despite my current tilt towards Obama, I have to say that the
    boldness of his foreign policy vision has become a significant
    disappointment as it has withered greatly from the positions he
    once bravely and creatively articulated.
    There are many who are going to now say — you can never
    support John McCain, Steve — you have to support Obama.
    When Obama comes out with a position that is to the right of
    George W. Bush and the incumbent Israeli leadership on
    Jerusalem — my support of Obama’s campaign is being severely
    tested.
    best, Steve Clemons

    Reply

  33. Larry says:

    This reminder does indeed help me hope that Obama does not select Nunn. But please, Steve, “not going to stand for it”? What are you gonna do, vote for McCain? We have to win to keep this country from going all to hell. I think we can do that without Nunn. But if Sen. Obama decides it’s the best ticket then we are going to grin and champion it, and argue loudly for the *implementation of Obama’s policy in this area* which is way more important than the deep-down feelings of the completely irrelevant VP. Obama offers great strides in gay rights. McCain offers none. Those are our 2 choices.

    Reply

  34. ReTodd says:

    A few thoughts on Sam Nunn:
    1 – He has no designs on being president, and may well be a one-term VP due to his age.
    2 – He can help land GA in the Dem column, along with Obama getting a sizable chunk of the half-million unregistered African-Americans in that state.
    3 – While I would hope he’s evolved from his earlier stance on gays, he may help assuage the “guns and gays” segment of the South sufficiently to consider a Democrat. That’s still a very powerful issue with many, and will be even more so with the recent CA ruling.
    4 – He is one of the best with regard to reigning in loose nukes and keeping this issue on the forefront of the “war on terror.”
    5 – He brings experience, especially in foreign policy.
    6 – I think he is the perfect counter-balance for Obama at a time when serious governing is critical and urgent.
    My two cents…

    Reply

  35. WigWag says:

    Steve Clemons. I thought you might be interested in this about gay soldiers in Brazil. This article appeared this afternoon on the BBC website. It’s ironic given your post about Sam Nunn. This isn’t so very different from what Sam Nunn was advocating in the 1990′s.
    From the BBC GMT, Thursday, 5 June 2008 20:25 UK
    “Brazilian military police have arrested an army sergeant who revealed that he was gay in an interview with a national news magazine at the weekend.
    The ministry of defence says the sergeant is to be questioned about alleged desertion from the military and there is no question of discrimination.
    Sgt Laci Marinho de Araujo, who suffers from ill-health, was moved from a Sao Paulo hospital to the capital Brasilia.
    Human rights groups say they are concerned about his welfare.
    The arrest happened just as Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was due to address the country’s first national gay rights’ conference.
    Sgt Laci Marinho de Araujo and his partner, who is also a sergeant in the Brazilian army, featured on the front page of Epoca magazine.
    They gave an interview in which they talked openly about living together as a gay couple.
    The two soldiers said they had been in a stable relationship for 10 years.
    However, while they were taking part in a television interview on Wednesday, Sgt de Araujo was arrested by military police who surrounded the TV station until he came out.
    The sergeant, who says is being treated for a variety of medical problems including multiple sclerosis, was recently absent from his unit, and the army says he is accused of desertion.
    A human rights group which has been in contact with the couple says they called in desperation asking for help, and it is concerned for his welfare.
    Brazil’s first national gay rights conference is taking place over the next four days.
    President Lula’s government has hailed the event as historic.
    However, despite staging what is thought to be the biggest gay pride demonstration in the world in Sao Paulo, which this year attracted an estimated three million people, gay groups in Brazil say they still face enormous problems of discrimination and violence especially in the military.”

    Reply

  36. WigWag says:

    To Paul Norheim: Andreas Viestead is a genius! If you like to cook; if you like to eat; check him out. He turns those of us who can’t go out to eat much, into five star chefs. He’s making Scandanavian food the hotest food on the planet.
    To Linda: I think Max Cleland is a towering figure, heroic in every way. His personal story; his resume; his eloquence; his leadership. As much as I support and admire Senator Clinton, had he run against her, I would have supported him. I’d much rather have him in public life than his fellow Georgian, Sam Nunn.
    To Doug: Sam Nunn was right about NATO. If we continue to expand it, I am afraid that we will come to regret it.

    Reply

  37. Doug says:

    For whatever it’s worth, back in the day (ca. 1996) Nunn was also against enlarging NATO to include former members of the Warsaw Pact such as Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

    Reply

  38. Alan says:

    It is a source of some amusement to find discussions on the VP focused on a conservative Southern Democrat who was most comfortable with a Republican President in office. Really, is this the best that can be done: recalling a retired 70 years old Senator. Our political discourse is filled with some of the lowest quality analyses of people for high office. Is in any wonder that we think of hackery as the norm? Nunn was okay for his time. If we want a new direction in our Defense and Foreign Policy the likes of Nunn are a no no.

    Reply

  39. Linda says:

    I really was only suggesting that VP choice should be wide open to a lot of possibilities.
    Cleland is 66, and Turner is almost 70–both too old for VP with Obama. Also Cleland has said that he will never run for elective office again.
    I will be back after GA primary next month to make people aware and ask for support for the Democratic candidate who will run against Saxby Chambliss this fall. Cleland lost to Chambliss largely because of that outrageous ad in 2002.
    But in bipartisan fairness, I must add this from Wikipedia: “The ads were removed after strong bi-partisan protest from prominent politicians including Republicans like John McCain and Chuck Hagel.”
    Unfortunately in a digital age, that kind of junk has enormous impact.

    Reply

  40. Paul Norheim says:

    As a non-American (Norwegian) citizen I just want to make a
    comment that is connected to the issue in this post, but also to
    race and gender.
    I remember an article by Steve Clemons here at TWN a couple of
    months ago, where he basically said that the fight between
    Obama and Clinton (and the speculations about who were going
    to be their, and McCains Vice Presidential candidates) was a
    lesson in democracy, and that the world was listening and
    learning. I found that a bit odd, but that`s not my point here.
    I have also seen, at TWN, as well as in American news papers
    and TV debates, that a lot of people are upset about racist and
    sexist comments in this campaign – and rightly so.
    However, we should once in a while take a look at the broader,
    historical picture. I am born in the beginning of the 60`s, like
    the host of this blog. And I think that we both agree that the
    fact that a black man and a woman were the main candidates
    for the Democratic party is stunning, compared to the situation
    two, three or four decades ago.
    Speaking for myself: I am surprised that there were not MORE
    racist and sexist comments in this campaign, if you compare it
    to the recent past, and to the sad situation in many other
    countries. The conclusion so far in the race is: A black man,
    Senator Obama, won. And a woman, Senator Clinton, could have
    won. And they were discussing politics more than race and
    gender.
    I am not optimistic regarding the foreign policy of any potential
    President of the USA in these days. But yeah, Steve Clemons, I
    think the world is watching you Americans, and that you have
    been teaching the outside world, as well as your own people,
    that race and gender is not such a big deal, after all. And I want
    to congratulate you Americans for that. Cheers!
    And I hope the same can be said about sexual orientation a few
    years from now: that most people realize that it`s not such a
    big deal, and that there are a lot of more important issues, big
    deal issues.
    I remember, Steve Clemons, that you frequently expressed
    skepticism regarding Obama playing “the identity card”. If you
    look back, don`t you think that he managed to find a very
    difficult balance, where he actually transcended “identity”, at the
    same time as he recognized that this issue was a reality, or a
    historical fact, for a lot of people? Of course, how this is related
    to foreign policy (and this was indeed at the roots of your
    skepticism) is another chapter. But all in all, he didn`t misuse
    the”identity card” – or?
    What do you think now, looking back?

    Reply

  41. Beth in VA says:

    Nunn would be a bad choice for VP for many reasons.
    I’m glad you point this one as a significant reason, though. Obama might have worked with Nunn on non-proliferation, but I’m certain his policies on civil liberties stem from his Constitutional Law background and civil rights work — and I believe that’s how Obama frames issues of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    Reply

  42. Appalled Moderate says:

    Zathras:
    There is a pragmatic reason to keep the man who came up with “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” out of any position where he might be hiring good people. His prejudice might keep him from getting the best man/woman for the job, or cause him to fire a person who might be doing a very important job for reasons having nothing to do with job performance.

    Reply

  43. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag,
    I guess almost everybody here should take a walk in fresh air
    once in a while instead of writing another comment on TWN -
    me included. It may even improve the general level of the
    comments on this blog. (And sometimes I`m worried about the
    health of our host here: how he has time left to sleep between
    arranging debates, interviews, travel, blogging, commenting on
    TV, reading, not to mention his private life, is a mystery to me).
    I hope I`ll be able to see Florida one day… (only been in New
    York and the Boston area so far, and I am sure that is a
    completely different world) And yes, Andreas Viestad has been
    writing nice and charming articles about food in one of our
    newspapers` friday magazine for many years – funny that you
    should mention him!

    Reply

  44. WigWag says:

    Well, Paul, we have no mountains in South Florida but we do have beautiful, sandy beaches and the ocean is already very warm; about 84 degrees (I’m not sure what that is in celcius). At your suggestion yesterday, I did take a long walk on the beach and a nice swim. It did help relax me. Then my my family enjoyed some barbecued fish prepared according to a recipe we got from one of your countrymen, Andreas Viestad (do you know who he is; he has a wonderful cooking show in the US).
    I’m certainly feeling refreshed, but that doesn’t mean I’ve changed my mind. But clearly I did need to lighten up. I’m glad you made your suggestion.

    Reply

  45. judyo says:

    I suspect Nunn’s “enlightenment” has more to do with pragmatism than “equity”. There aren’t enough military aged people to “fund” our wars of choice … and, heaven forbid we have actual needs on the security front.
    This is just another vehicle for delaying a draft which will have to come unless we want to totally break all of our military services.

    Reply

  46. Nobcentral says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more Steve. No way should a homophobe fill a high level role in the Obama administration.
    That being said, I find it surprising you posted this without even mentioning Chuck Hagel’s views. The HRC gives him a 0% rating on gay rights issues. It would seem that somewhere admist the platitudes it would behoove you to mention that Hagel has a distinct gay rights problem as well.

    Reply

  47. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag,
    been in the mountains recently?

    Reply

  48. WigWag says:

    Wow, Linda, Max Cleland. I’ve never seen that suggested before. That’s brilliant. If he picked Cleland even I might have to think about voting for him.

    Reply

  49. Linda says:

    We’ve made lots of progress on racism and sexism in the past, but we aren’t there yet…and sexual orientation will take a bit longer. The goal is to be at a place where none of these things matter–just a candidate’s accomplishments, record, and policies.
    Nunn is not going to be VP choice because of this baggage, and Webb has some from Tailhook. And love ya, Steve, but Hagel isn’t going to be VP either because of his domestic policies. Nunn can do more on nuclear from here in Atlanta. My local choices would be Max Cleland or Ted Turner.
    Might as well think outside the box a bit and take time with this decision.

    Reply

  50. rakesh says:

    I fault Nunn for giving a democratic adminstration a bad start. Not only did he oppose Bill Clinton’s efforts re gays , he unnecessarily raised the profile of the issue. He got Powell and other generals riled up and made a big issue of something early in Clinton term which put the adminstration on the back foot right at the start. Incidentally that was not the only thing he screwed up for the democratic presidency.

    Reply

  51. Paul Norheim says:

    And what if Sam Nunn himself was gay? Or what if another
    person who has demonstrated “expertise, accomplishments and
    thought devoted to foreign policy and national security affairs”
    openly declared that he or she was gay? Then Steve Clemons
    would argue that this persons sexual orientation is irrelevant,
    and that expertise, accomplishments etc are the relevant
    criteria.
    So I would argue that Steve Clemons`”message” actually is the
    opposite of how you interpret him, Zathras; that
    Clemons`position in the long run actually favors expertise,
    skills, etc.
    In contrast, Sam Nunns position is (or perhaps was): it doesn`t
    matter if X or Y could be very helpful in our efforts to “rid the
    world of nuclear weapons and other WMD related materials”, as
    long as X or Y is homosexual.
    That`s the paradox in some of these issues: the ultimate goal of
    certain “interest groups” is to become irrelevant, by convincing
    the majority that the issue actually is a general, common
    matter, and that everybody will benefit by it in the end.

    Reply

  52. WigWag says:

    Sam Nunn was a bigot and homophobe. Not only was he a major proponent of DADT but when members of the gay community came to Washington to lobby against it, Nunn was dismissive and rude. Maybe he’s changed. People get smarter and wiser as they get older and sometimes they become more tolerant too. If this applies to Sam Nunn, congratulations to him. That type of personal growth is admirable. But it doesn’t mean he needs a future role in public life.
    While his role in disarmament issues is commendable, it’s not unique. Although I’m not a fan of Senator Obama, I am really happy that the Senator relies on Joe Cirincione for advice on non proliferation issues. Mr. Cirincione is the President of the Ploughshares Fund. For those who are interested, they have a great website featuring weekly podcasts from Cirincione and scholarly articles. They are at ploughshares.org. Their blog is almost as good as Steve’s. This week, the Ploughshares Fund opened their new Washington D.C. office. Senator Hagel and Michael Douglas (the actor who is on their Board)were keynote speakers. I vote for Cirincione instead of Nunn.

    Reply

  53. DonS says:

    Zathras says “The message Steve Clemons sends here is that expertise, accomplishments and thought devoted to foreign policy and national security affairs are fine as far as they go, but what really matters for potential officials in the next Democratic administration is that they toe the line on domestic and social issues.”
    I don’t think that’s a fair reading on its face.
    All other good counter arguments aside, foreign and military policy have more than one dimension . . . competence and execution of the strategic function for one; personnel policy administration as another, and no doubt others.
    Two aspects of a multifaceted job. Walking and chewing gum at the same time. Not one to the exclusion of the other. Shouldn’t be too hard to find someone who can carry out both aspects in line with an administration. Someone who’s basically declared his bias, seems quite inappropriate to do so.
    If you’re saying that a president has just so much capital to spend in cajoling the military brass to follow his/her policy lead, that may have some truth to it. But we’re talking about hiring the person to do the job, with knowledge beforehand, not knowing exactly what issues will command attention, but with the capacity to skillfully meet whatever challenges, in whichever aspect of the job, arise.
    My opinion is that reducing the “stigma” of sexual orientation in the military can be a benefit, akin to other areas of security-sensitive governmental positions where, for instance, being in the closet increased the danger to national security.

    Reply

  54. Anonymous says:

    This issue would be a good litmus test for the “he’s too old” critique leveled at Sam Nunn. If he defends DADT, then he’s clearly stuck in the past. If he honestly and straightforwardly abandons it, then he might be the open, adroit, flexible VP or SecDef we need. If he dodges it, then we can do better.
    Personally, I like both McCain and Obama. So their VP pick will mean a lot to me

    Reply

  55. DonS says:

    Unequivocally, Steve.
    It would behoove Obama to exclude homophobia from his wish for inclusiveness.
    Sec Def? fox –> henhouse

    Reply

  56. Zathras says:

    Sen. Obama is not going to go near someone like Sam Nunn for Vice President; he’s too old, was never that well known to the national electorate, comes from a state John McCain would have to be in a coma to lose and has been out of the public eye for years — apart from which, of course, a Vice President with Nunn’s career-long focus on national security issues would probably be bumping in to whoever a President Obama appointed Secretary of Defense. So this immediate issue is a moot point.
    Democrats, though, have some issues to deal with when it comes to defense and national security, which boil down to where this area stands on the list of things they really care about. It’s no secret that among the organized interests that have long dominated the national Democratic Party, only one — the groups supporting Israel — have an agenda oriented toward foreign policy. All the others are oriented toward domestic matters, and the interest of Democratic politicians and most of the people who work for them in foreign policy and national security affairs therefore been much lower than it was, say, forty or fifty years ago.
    In 1993 Bill Clinton blew a tire just as his administration passed the start line by deciding that the national security issue he cared most about — the very first thing he wanted to tackle — was the status of homosexual conduct in the military. The message sent, an accurate one as it turned out, was that he took defense less seriously than he did the obligation to respond to an importunate organized interest group. The message Steve Clemons sends here is that expertise, accomplishments and thought devoted to foreign policy and national security affairs are fine as far as they go, but what really matters for potential officials in the next Democratic administration is that they toe the line on domestic and social issues. Sam Nunn may have helped make it less likely that some terrorist group will get its hands on a old Soviet nuclear warhead, but he’s not good about homosexuality, so we won’t stand for him.
    Same old Democrats, as far as that goes. We’ll see if Sen. Obama, in the campaign and perhaps afterward, follows in that tradition or is strong enough to chart his own course.

    Reply

  57. Joe Klein's conscience says:

    The only people pushing for Sam Nunn to be part of any cabinet or VP in the Obama presidency are nut jobs like David Broder. Sorry, but David Broder is for all intents and purposes a concern troll and not to be listened to.

    Reply

  58. Joe says:

    Excellent post – it is time we looked at the history and re-considered the policy

    Reply

  59. CLD says:

    If Senator Nunn has renounced his views on DADT or gays and lesbians in general, then he does need to do so publicly.
    I’m disgusted that he was actually able to fire his staff members for their sexual preference without any retaliation.

    Reply

  60. NCProsecutor says:

    Looks like he’s angling not for VP but for SecDef. But after what he did to Greg Baldwin and Stanley Marcus, Nunn’s not going to be considered for a cabinet-level post.

    Reply

  61. lurker says:

    Congressman Kolbe, Welcome to The Washington Note. It’s an honor to see you post comments here on Steve’s blog. Thanks for that.
    To POA, you are right about Rohrabacher who is one of the craziest in Congress.

    Reply

  62. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, these dinosaurs are from a different age, and, quite frankly, this nation will be better off when a substantial number of them die off.
    It suprises me that Steve thinks that an old homophobe is going to “grow out of” his bigotry. Nunn will take it to the grave with him, no matter what platitudes he issues while posturing to the PC position of the day.
    Speaking of which, anyone seen the reports of this slimey turd Rohrabacher’s jokes about us torturing prisoners in our custody? In light of the past and recent revelations about the extent of the torture, (still ongoing, apparently), where people have been sodomized, hung from the wrists until dead, and tortured in other ways that led to their deaths, this scumbag Rohrabacher likens the practice to silly frat party pranks.
    Truth be told, the depravity of many in Washington rivals that of Joseph Mengele. This Rohrabacher puke is truly one seriously sick puppy.
    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/06/frat_parties_arent_torture.php#more

    Reply

  63. Jim Kolbe says:

    I quite agree with Steve. I remember vividly it was Sam Nunn who was more responsible than anyone else for pushing the dreadful “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. If he has changed his mind, good for him. But let him say so. I don’t care if he is too old to be Veep; I want to know how he stands on my right for full marriage equality.

    Reply

  64. lurker says:

    Sizzling, thoughtful post, respectful.
    I hope Mr. Nunn responds with as much decency as your good post.

    Reply

  65. Spunkmeyer says:

    Sam Nunn will be 70 years old by election day. I just don’t see him
    being seriously considered for a VP spot on the basis of his age
    alone.

    Reply

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