How did I get it so wrong?

When I read about Obama’s drawing down troops so that he’d send tens of thousands home right before the election, I said that I didn’t think this would make the troops vote for him.  Barry Rubin kindly pointed out that the calculation wasn’t to get troop votes, but to get votes from his antiwar base.  Barry’s right, of course.  That’s obviously Obama’s calculation.

What I’ve been wondering is how I managed to get it so bass-ackwards.  I’m usually at least slightly more astute than that.  I think it’s because my instinct is that, when push comes to shove, the anti-war crowd is going to vote for Obama regardless.  After all, despite his getting us into a third war, and one that was unnecessary for promoting America’s interests (although withdrawing early from that one will be yet another black eye on America), Obama’s base has not taken to the streets.  They may grumble, but they’re not using war as a means to undermine his presidency.

These Leftist voters are going to support the Obama “package” no matter what.  While a few may be one issue nutroots, with their issue being the war in Afghanistan, the vast majority are true Progressive believers.  They may decry the war, but they’ll still go with the guy who hits all the other sweet spots:  Big Government, abortion, climate change, bows to dictators, etc..  There is no way in Hell that they will abandon that package in favor of a conservative candidate.  In other words, whether Obama leaves troops in Afghanistan, or withdraws them despite all military advice, his decision will not change what the base does.

As for the non-base, meaning the mushy Democrats and the disengaged Independents, even those who don’t like Afghanistan aren’t going to change their vote based upon a troop draw-down.  These people are looking at the economy.  If it’s good, they might vote for Obama; if it’s bad, they won’t.  The numbers in Afghanistan will be irrelevant to that calculation.

In other words, withdrawing the troops from Afghanistan puts Americans in harm’s way for no good reason.  The nutroots will vote for him regardless, and the rest, although not thrilled about Afghanistan, won’t let it affect their votes one way or another.

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  1. Lyte Lee says

    My son is in Afghanistan as we speak.  He stated the mission of his battillion was to “impede the free movement of the Taliban.”  Does that sound familiar.  It’s called containment.  They’ve already had 67 caualties since April.  That’s what the draw down will increase.  The fewer troops, the more sitting ducks.  Not only does this president have no soul, he’s classless and uncaring.  Sacrificing our troops on the Obama alter of reelection is the most shameful thing a presidnt can do.  Afghanistan has become another Vietman thanks to our policy of containment and limited engagement.  Once the “peace talks” with the Taliban begin, we will be having yet another  Paris Peace Talk. Leave them in and fight a serious war or take them all out.  As it is, the escalation of troop casualties will increase.  Once we leave completely, we’ll have another 30 days post war Vietnam where more civillians were murdered by the communists than the number of U.S. deaths during the entire campaign.

  2. SADIE says

    Lyte Lee
    May your son be returned home to you and his family safe and sound.
    The ugly irony of this administration and its supporters is that they only hated the Bush part of war and have no compunction about collateral damage here or abroad,  as long as it supports their agenda.

  3. roylofquist says


    Here’s my take. The Obama team has concluded that they’re in deep doo-doo for 2012. Hail Mary time. Their only hope is to solidify the base and hope for a game changer. Thus, they will not compromise on the debt ceiling, hoping for chaos that will be blamed on the Republicans.

    Me crazy? Let’s see if that’s how it plays out. I always have a couple of dead crows in my freezer and looked up recipes.


  4. Danny Lemieux says

    You are right, Book. The Left will vote for Obama irregardless…provided they vote! Obama has to be very worried about disaffected Lefties sitting the next one out.

  5. SADIE says

    Just got off the phone with a friend who spoke with her son in Atlanta this evening.
    Friend’s son: My health insurance increased $70 a month.
    Friend: You voted for him.
    Friend’s son: You can’t expect him to fix what’s broke in just a short time.

  6. says

    This is a good example of why useful idiots stay useful until somebody blows them out of their bubble and into reality.

    It takes massive psychological shock, pain, and surprise to make these people realize the truth of their self-deception.

    Friend’s son is waiting for that 100 year plan all right. He plans to retire and cash out at the end.

  7. Charles Martel says

    As I like to say when the government asks me why I’m not paying as much in quarterly taxes as I used to, “That g**damn George W. Bush!”

    If it works for Barack Hussein Obama, it works for me.

  8. Gringo says

    Friend’s son: My health insurance increased $70 a month.
    Friend: You voted for him.
    Friend’s son: You can’t expect him to fix what’s broke in just a short time.
    But if Dubya didn’t have it fixed in six months’ time, it showed he was the Worst President Evah.
    The response of Friend’s son reminds me of the boilerplate response to criticisms of conditions in the Soviet Union. “We are building Socialism, undoing the ravages of Capitalism,  the future will be better, blah blah..”

  9. SADIE says

    The short dialogue between mother and son was a disturbing reminder to me that you can immunize and vaccinate your kids against many childhood diseases, but there is simply no adult vaccine available for ‘head up the kazoo-itis‘.

  10. says

    Gringo, would they say the same thing about the electrical blackout and toilet overflowing with sewer liquids?

    They don’t expect that to be done in a few years, do they? A few months? A few weeks?

    So what are they, hypocrites? Or is it that paying cash for their own personal service, they want their workers to work like slaves, but when the government is being paid with somebody else’s cash, now suddenly it is “you can’t expect em to fix what’s broke in so short a time”.

  11. Danny Lemieux says

    Question that I have, DQ, is what will it do to the world security situation if Obama racks-up two “fails”, Afghanistan and Libya, in our name. Can’t be good.

  12. Charles Martel says

    Danny, the “good” of the United States is not Obama’s concern. It’s already very clear that he wishes to radically diminish our influence. What better way to wean the world off dependence on and trust in our military than by losing two wars?  

    Of course the fact that the man is incredibly ignorant and aliterate means that he will not see the domino effect that this will create—a nuclear Japan; an aggressive China that will attempt to retake Taiwan and grab South China Sea islands; a hyper-aggressive Iran; a besieged Israel; militant Mexican drug traffickers and corrupted Mexican Army units that will begin crossing the U.S. border at will.

    Or perhaps that is his end game. Nobody, not even his most deluded supporters, has ever accused Obama of loving his country.

  13. Danny Lemieux says

    I have no argument with what you say, Charles M. I do know that the Left will be the first to whine when the consequences of this become clear.


  1. Fear of Jones…

    How did I get it so wrong? Don’t beat yourself up – when most people hear that military members make up less than 1% of the population they don’t respond by doing the same math politicians – by their very nature – do instantly. Any candidate will por…

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