Metrosexuals versus manly men: a reason voters will prefer McCain to Obama?

Types like she laughs: I never thought about it this way before, but John Ettorre just left a very interesting and unique (because I’d yet to see the argument made nor had it ever occurred to me before now) comment on this thread with Ellen Bravo’s ten reasons why women should vote for Obama if he is the candidate.

Writes John:

And reason #11: he’s a metrosexual, with all the effeminate qualities that entails. They’re off-putting to many males (me included), and I predict it will be among the leading reasons for sinking his chances in the general election. [emphasis added]

This kind of idea is very far afield to me because I really don’t view people in those terms, or at least, I don’t think about metrosexuals at all.

I can’t remember seeing a microtargeting category of metrosexuals but here’s what you can find on Google if you put in “metrosexual Obama.” Results in the “news” search are here. I don’t have time to go through many of them, so let me just link to a couple:

This letter to the editor, in Maine, goes right to the military comparison and is not complimentary to Obama.

But this article in U.S. News & World Report takes the position that Obama is more of a woman than Clinton and that that implies that women will not lose if Obama is the nominee (fun note: that article was written on 2/13/08 and says that the race was Obama’s to lose, then).

This just gets too wrapped up in genderizing the qualities that go with being a leader and again, being short on time, I’ll leave the comments as a place for people to explore whether we are evolved enough to realize that we should be selecting our leaders based on those qualities, and not by saying things like “he’s more a woman than Clinton” or “McCain is more of a manly man.” What is that supposed to do for us? Some people identify women’s qualities as not being ones akin to leadership, others go the opposite direction. And manly men in the way people refer to someone like McCain totally turn me off. Feh.

Anyway – manly men or metrosexuals? What do people think?

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138 Comments

  1. MIKKEL made a very important observationa aobut negotions. and how defining prexonditons has become sullied.
    As James Baker recently said, the combination of diplomacy and talks (whether or not they contain the nitty grity of negotiationg specific details ) is a long term commitment.
    You talk and talk making diplomatic arguments, and what has repeatedly happened is that an opening for meaningful resolution rises out of the very process of talking.

    This kind of process can fail, of course, and that's why the participants must be profesional experts, chosen for their talents, not party loyalty.

  2. MIKKEL made a very important observationa aobut negotions. and how defining prexonditons has become sullied.
    As James Baker recently said, the combination of diplomacy and talks (whether or not they contain the nitty grity of negotiationg specific details ) is a long term commitment.
    You talk and talk making diplomatic arguments, and what has repeatedly happened is that an opening for meaningful resolution rises out of the very process of talking.

    This kind of process can fail, of course, and that's why the participants must be profesional experts, chosen for their talents, not party loyalty.

  3. Yeah, pretty much a published institution has an entire staff of people who decide what runs and what doesn't( and leaves us to decide what SHOULD, most times).

    For me, Metrosexual originally meant risky business on a DC subway.

  4. Yeah, pretty much a published institution has an entire staff of people who decide what runs and what doesn't( and leaves us to decide what SHOULD, most times).

    For me, Metrosexual originally meant risky business on a DC subway.

  5. Yeah, pretty much a published institution has an entire staff of people who decide what runs and what doesn't( and leaves us to decide what SHOULD, most times).

    For me, Metrosexual originally meant risky business on a DC subway.

  6. Hah, ex-Greek here too, Alpha Tau Omega

  7. Hah, ex-Greek here too, Alpha Tau Omega

  8. Hah, ex-Greek here too, Alpha Tau Omega

  9. I'm saying that the term has become loaded politically and so what he says is just responding to that. Many terms now have implicit political meanings and the response is more about that than the definition.
    Uh, OK, but isn't that pretty much saying that he's then choosing a euphemism, which was what I said and you disputed? LOL, I'm not trying to pick, honestly- just pointing that out and hope you can see the humor in my point. It's like my use of euphemism ends up being another politically loaded term (has a bit of a derogatory connotation to say that someone is using one) so you object to me calling it that even though you then describe his rationale for using a different term which is pretty much definitional for use of a euphemism.

  10. I'm saying that the term has become loaded politically and so what he says is just responding to that. Many terms now have implicit political meanings and the response is more about that than the definition.
    Uh, OK, but isn't that pretty much saying that he's then choosing a euphemism, which was what I said and you disputed? LOL, I'm not trying to pick, honestly- just pointing that out and hope you can see the humor in my point. It's like my use of euphemism ends up being another politically loaded term (has a bit of a derogatory connotation to say that someone is using one) so you object to me calling it that even though you then describe his rationale for using a different term which is pretty much definitional for use of a euphemism.

  11. I'm saying that the term has become loaded politically and so what he says is just responding to that. Many terms now have implicit political meanings and the response is more about that than the definition.
    Uh, OK, but isn't that pretty much saying that he's then choosing a euphemism, which was what I said and you disputed? LOL, I'm not trying to pick, honestly- just pointing that out and hope you can see the humor in my point. It's like my use of euphemism ends up being another politically loaded term (has a bit of a derogatory connotation to say that someone is using one) so you object to me calling it that even though you then describe his rationale for using a different term which is pretty much definitional for use of a euphemism.

  12. Chris, again, this is a case where we'll never see eye to eye. Just about every case where you say that a hardline approach has failed, or where you see that a 'talking' approach succeeds, my view is that you need the combination of the two. Nixon going to China is kind of the classic example of what I'm talking about- had China been given formal diplomatic status and full access earlier on, the rapprochement wouldn't have been possible.

    And Mikkel, on the Iran/Iraq negotiations, that's pretty much he said- she said stuff, so it's a bit hard to form a conclusion. Obviously Iran having backed out of the talks means that they either weren't getting what they wanted (which could mean the US wasn't willing to give as much as we should have or it could mean that their demands were unreasonable, or some combination) or that they found that their best approach was to score propaganda by portraying it as though the US was the impediment to progress. My guess is that it was all of the above, and that the bottom line is that there are some really unbridgeable differences in our self interests. I think a much more creative third way must be found before any progress can be made- and as I alluded to the propaganda interest, this means to me that talking just for the sake of talking is pretty risky.

    And really the point I'm trying to get at about the doubletalk about Obama's proposed policies is that I think it shows that underneath it all, neither the current adminstration nor their opponents really do think that unconditional talks should be on the table- but politically the liberal side has to portray it that way to their base. I think all of the delinking- put aside Hezbollah, etc- is considered dangerous by everyone except the far left- and even the politicians who want to get the support of the left wing realize that they have to do a bait and switch because that kind of diplomacy really does embolden terrorists and nations that support it. If they really thought that we should be more accomodating like that, I don't think there would be this effort by seasoned pols like Biden to 'correct' Obama's statements.

  13. Chris, again, this is a case where we'll never see eye to eye. Just about every case where you say that a hardline approach has failed, or where you see that a 'talking' approach succeeds, my view is that you need the combination of the two. Nixon going to China is kind of the classic example of what I'm talking about- had China been given formal diplomatic status and full access earlier on, the rapprochement wouldn't have been possible.

    And Mikkel, on the Iran/Iraq negotiations, that's pretty much he said- she said stuff, so it's a bit hard to form a conclusion. Obviously Iran having backed out of the talks means that they either weren't getting what they wanted (which could mean the US wasn't willing to give as much as we should have or it could mean that their demands were unreasonable, or some combination) or that they found that their best approach was to score propaganda by portraying it as though the US was the impediment to progress. My guess is that it was all of the above, and that the bottom line is that there are some really unbridgeable differences in our self interests. I think a much more creative third way must be found before any progress can be made- and as I alluded to the propaganda interest, this means to me that talking just for the sake of talking is pretty risky.

    And really the point I'm trying to get at about the doubletalk about Obama's proposed policies is that I think it shows that underneath it all, neither the current adminstration nor their opponents really do think that unconditional talks should be on the table- but politically the liberal side has to portray it that way to their base. I think all of the delinking- put aside Hezbollah, etc- is considered dangerous by everyone except the far left- and even the politicians who want to get the support of the left wing realize that they have to do a bait and switch because that kind of diplomacy really does embolden terrorists and nations that support it. If they really thought that we should be more accomodating like that, I don't think there would be this effort by seasoned pols like Biden to 'correct' Obama's statements.

  14. Chris, again, this is a case where we'll never see eye to eye. Just about every case where you say that a hardline approach has failed, or where you see that a 'talking' approach succeeds, my view is that you need the combination of the two. Nixon going to China is kind of the classic example of what I'm talking about- had China been given formal diplomatic status and full access earlier on, the rapprochement wouldn't have been possible.

    And Mikkel, on the Iran/Iraq negotiations, that's pretty much he said- she said stuff, so it's a bit hard to form a conclusion. Obviously Iran having backed out of the talks means that they either weren't getting what they wanted (which could mean the US wasn't willing to give as much as we should have or it could mean that their demands were unreasonable, or some combination) or that they found that their best approach was to score propaganda by portraying it as though the US was the impediment to progress. My guess is that it was all of the above, and that the bottom line is that there are some really unbridgeable differences in our self interests. I think a much more creative third way must be found before any progress can be made- and as I alluded to the propaganda interest, this means to me that talking just for the sake of talking is pretty risky.

    And really the point I'm trying to get at about the doubletalk about Obama's proposed policies is that I think it shows that underneath it all, neither the current adminstration nor their opponents really do think that unconditional talks should be on the table- but politically the liberal side has to portray it that way to their base. I think all of the delinking- put aside Hezbollah, etc- is considered dangerous by everyone except the far left- and even the politicians who want to get the support of the left wing realize that they have to do a bait and switch because that kind of diplomacy really does embolden terrorists and nations that support it. If they really thought that we should be more accomodating like that, I don't think there would be this effort by seasoned pols like Biden to 'correct' Obama's statements.

  15. CStanley,
    “certainly sponsorship of terrorism should be nonnegotiable.”

    So, don't negotiatie it.

    No one should divulge their whole geme plan before sitting down.
    Talks/ usually about a specific probelm, not about every issue. and general world views.
    The US cut off avenues for gaining specific benefits by making the conditions for talking too broad.
    Had there been ongoing talks all along, the use of diplomacy might have left an opening to bring in the question of terrorism, but now we'll never know.

    The one precondition that is never there is a necessity to concede anyhing, discuss anything, or agree to anything. we don't want to.
    It's a question of being open for opportunitie.

  16. CStanley,
    “certainly sponsorship of terrorism should be nonnegotiable.”

    So, don't negotiatie it.

    No one should divulge their whole geme plan before sitting down.
    Talks/ usually about a specific probelm, not about every issue. and general world views.
    The US cut off avenues for gaining specific benefits by making the conditions for talking too broad.
    Had there been ongoing talks all along, the use of diplomacy might have left an opening to bring in the question of terrorism, but now we'll never know.

    The one precondition that is never there is a necessity to concede anyhing, discuss anything, or agree to anything. we don't want to.
    It's a question of being open for opportunitie.

  17. CStanley,
    “certainly sponsorship of terrorism should be nonnegotiable.”

    So, don't negotiatie it.

    No one should divulge their whole geme plan before sitting down.
    Talks/ usually about a specific probelm, not about every issue. and general world views.
    The US cut off avenues for gaining specific benefits by making the conditions for talking too broad.
    Had there been ongoing talks all along, the use of diplomacy might have left an opening to bring in the question of terrorism, but now we'll never know.

    The one precondition that is never there is a necessity to concede anyhing, discuss anything, or agree to anything. we don't want to.
    It's a question of being open for opportunitie.

  18. The one precondition that is never there is a necessity to concede anyhing, discuss anything, or agree to anything. we don't want to.
    It's a question of being open for opportunitie

    But that's whats done in the lower channels, which have been open all along. What I'm pointing out is that that's exactly what Obama is now saying he'll do too- because if the 'preparation' doesn't bear fruit, then the high level talk doesn't make any sense (again, it would be disingenuous to sit down for negotiations about say, support of Hezbollah if our position is that there is no support of Hezbollah that is acceptable to us- and the other party would rightfully say that you were coming to the negotiating table in bad faith if you didn't announce ahead of time your intent to take that position. Ditto for nukes, assuming we hold to the position that a suspension of uranium enrichment is nonnegotiable.)

    Preconditions are really just the honest announcement of intentions. If there was a condition that the other side considered nonnegotiable, we would also want them to admit that upfront rather than wasting our time- and if they came to the table saying that they wanted to negotiate on a particular topic but then showed up at the talks and refused to consider any movement from their current position, we'd rightly walk away with the PR victory there because we'd announce “well, we tried, but they aren't willing to negotiate in good faith.”

  19. The one precondition that is never there is a necessity to concede anyhing, discuss anything, or agree to anything. we don't want to.
    It's a question of being open for opportunitie

    But that's whats done in the lower channels, which have been open all along. What I'm pointing out is that that's exactly what Obama is now saying he'll do too- because if the 'preparation' doesn't bear fruit, then the high level talk doesn't make any sense (again, it would be disingenuous to sit down for negotiations about say, support of Hezbollah if our position is that there is no support of Hezbollah that is acceptable to us- and the other party would rightfully say that you were coming to the negotiating table in bad faith if you didn't announce ahead of time your intent to take that position. Ditto for nukes, assuming we hold to the position that a suspension of uranium enrichment is nonnegotiable.)

    Preconditions are really just the honest announcement of intentions. If there was a condition that the other side considered nonnegotiable, we would also want them to admit that upfront rather than wasting our time- and if they came to the table saying that they wanted to negotiate on a particular topic but then showed up at the talks and refused to consider any movement from their current position, we'd rightly walk away with the PR victory there because we'd announce “well, we tried, but they aren't willing to negotiate in good faith.”

  20. The one precondition that is never there is a necessity to concede anyhing, discuss anything, or agree to anything. we don't want to.
    It's a question of being open for opportunitie

    But that's whats done in the lower channels, which have been open all along. What I'm pointing out is that that's exactly what Obama is now saying he'll do too- because if the 'preparation' doesn't bear fruit, then the high level talk doesn't make any sense (again, it would be disingenuous to sit down for negotiations about say, support of Hezbollah if our position is that there is no support of Hezbollah that is acceptable to us- and the other party would rightfully say that you were coming to the negotiating table in bad faith if you didn't announce ahead of time your intent to take that position. Ditto for nukes, assuming we hold to the position that a suspension of uranium enrichment is nonnegotiable.)

    Preconditions are really just the honest announcement of intentions. If there was a condition that the other side considered nonnegotiable, we would also want them to admit that upfront rather than wasting our time- and if they came to the table saying that they wanted to negotiate on a particular topic but then showed up at the talks and refused to consider any movement from their current position, we'd rightly walk away with the PR victory there because we'd announce “well, we tried, but they aren't willing to negotiate in good faith.”

  21. Getting back to the post, I see where opinions about being metrosexual are very much like the arguments about preconditions and negotions.

    It's about appearance vs substance.
    Bling ves the single flawless diamond.
    Placing the appearance of strength above using actual strength wisely.

    The manliest man is seldom the one needing to brag about his manliness.

  22. Getting back to the post, I see where opinions about being metrosexual are very much like the arguments about preconditions and negotions.

    It's about appearance vs substance.
    Bling ves the single flawless diamond.
    Placing the appearance of strength above using actual strength wisely.

    The manliest man is seldom the one needing to brag about his manliness.

  23. Getting back to the post, I see where opinions about being metrosexual are very much like the arguments about preconditions and negotions.

    It's about appearance vs substance.
    Bling ves the single flawless diamond.
    Placing the appearance of strength above using actual strength wisely.

    The manliest man is seldom the one needing to brag about his manliness.

  24. CStanley,
    The reason we can't agree is because your perception of diplomacy and negotiations are a bit off. Let me quote M. Yglesias:

    The aim of diplomacy in this kind of situation is genuine bargaining aimed at reaching a mutually advantageous agreement. You're trying to cooperate and realize positive-sum gains, and diplomacy is the process by which those opportunities are identified and exploited. Obviously, such efforts sometimes fail and then maybe you look at coercion, but the diplomatic effort is not, as such, an attempt at coercion. If you think of it as one, you'll wind up thinking of it as a really shoddy attempt at coercion, and wind up rejecting it out of hand.

    And for kicks… there this:
    “The argument that the administration makes is that we can't negotiate with Iran because it will legitimate them. Well, we're legitimating North Korea, so what's the big deal?” – Zbigniew Brzezinsk

  25. CStanley,
    The reason we can't agree is because your perception of diplomacy and negotiations are a bit off. Let me quote M. Yglesias:

    The aim of diplomacy in this kind of situation is genuine bargaining aimed at reaching a mutually advantageous agreement. You're trying to cooperate and realize positive-sum gains, and diplomacy is the process by which those opportunities are identified and exploited. Obviously, such efforts sometimes fail and then maybe you look at coercion, but the diplomatic effort is not, as such, an attempt at coercion. If you think of it as one, you'll wind up thinking of it as a really shoddy attempt at coercion, and wind up rejecting it out of hand.

    And for kicks… there this:
    “The argument that the administration makes is that we can't negotiate with Iran because it will legitimate them. Well, we're legitimating North Korea, so what's the big deal?” – Zbigniew Brzezinsk

  26. CStanley,
    The reason we can't agree is because your perception of diplomacy and negotiations are a bit off. Let me quote M. Yglesias:

    The aim of diplomacy in this kind of situation is genuine bargaining aimed at reaching a mutually advantageous agreement. You're trying to cooperate and realize positive-sum gains, and diplomacy is the process by which those opportunities are identified and exploited. Obviously, such efforts sometimes fail and then maybe you look at coercion, but the diplomatic effort is not, as such, an attempt at coercion. If you think of it as one, you'll wind up thinking of it as a really shoddy attempt at coercion, and wind up rejecting it out of hand.

    And for kicks… there this:
    “The argument that the administration makes is that we can't negotiate with Iran because it will legitimate them. Well, we're legitimating North Korea, so what's the big deal?” – Zbigniew Brzezinsk

  27. CStanley-
    Again, if we don't want to negotiate about Hezbollah, WE DON'T HAVE TO.

    That should not be a precondition to say 'hello' on other topics.

    Gazing into crystal balls about what Obama would or would not do in situations that haven't happened yet, is just pseudo-analysis, as no one knows anymore what any ot the phrases or words used actually mean.

    I'm actually sorry that politics has pushed Obam to make as many specific statemtns as he has already. That just paints him in a corner, whereas an important attribute of a leader is the ability to be flexible when necessary, to adapt to new conditions and to think outside the box.

    It's much more important to know HOW he thinks, not what specific steps he would take in the unknown future. If you must have a dead certain step by step blueprint for dealing with future siuations, I don't think politics is the place to look for that.

  28. CStanley-
    Again, if we don't want to negotiate about Hezbollah, WE DON'T HAVE TO.

    That should not be a precondition to say 'hello' on other topics.

    Gazing into crystal balls about what Obama would or would not do in situations that haven't happened yet, is just pseudo-analysis, as no one knows anymore what any ot the phrases or words used actually mean.

    I'm actually sorry that politics has pushed Obam to make as many specific statemtns as he has already. That just paints him in a corner, whereas an important attribute of a leader is the ability to be flexible when necessary, to adapt to new conditions and to think outside the box.

    It's much more important to know HOW he thinks, not what specific steps he would take in the unknown future. If you must have a dead certain step by step blueprint for dealing with future siuations, I don't think politics is the place to look for that.

  29. CStanley-
    Again, if we don't want to negotiate about Hezbollah, WE DON'T HAVE TO.

    That should not be a precondition to say 'hello' on other topics.

    Gazing into crystal balls about what Obama would or would not do in situations that haven't happened yet, is just pseudo-analysis, as no one knows anymore what any ot the phrases or words used actually mean.

    I'm actually sorry that politics has pushed Obam to make as many specific statemtns as he has already. That just paints him in a corner, whereas an important attribute of a leader is the ability to be flexible when necessary, to adapt to new conditions and to think outside the box.

    It's much more important to know HOW he thinks, not what specific steps he would take in the unknown future. If you must have a dead certain step by step blueprint for dealing with future siuations, I don't think politics is the place to look for that.

  30. Runasim: bingo: “The manliest man is seldom the one needing to brag about his manliness.”

    Why did anyone even have to create this word? ugh :)

  31. Runasim: bingo: “The manliest man is seldom the one needing to brag about his manliness.”

    Why did anyone even have to create this word? ugh :)

  32. Runasim: bingo: “The manliest man is seldom the one needing to brag about his manliness.”

    Why did anyone even have to create this word? ugh :)

  33. So, now that this discussion has veered almost permanently off-topic, let me once again reiterate a real-world perspective missing in this dialogue.

    The police negotiate with criminals in very intense crisis situations in which there is a high possibility of injury or death on both sides. No one accuses them of “appeasement” or of “legitimizing” the criminals. There are no preconditions, as none are possible. There are no “low level talks” because there isn't time (and besides, what sense does it make to give your second string a shot at it first?)

    Negotiation has become a highly evolved strategy with a rich and diverse toolkit. It works an amazing amount of the time. The alternative, from a law enforcement standpoint, is to say “we've got you surrounded, you're outgunned, and we're going to kill you. So do your worst.”

    I know I won't convince some commentors here of anything, but it is my hope that readers with more open minds will start thinking about negotiation as a serious tool for resolving conflict, and not some sissy soft liberal “appeasement” strategy. Remember, real world tough guys with guns, actual law enforcement heroes do this every day: they negotiate with the most sociopathic and dangerous people imaginable. And they win. They're not “naive” or stupid or inexperienced or exercising bad judgment. I wouldn't be surprised to see some of them standing up for Obama and throwing this misrepresentation of the art of diplomacy right back in the GOP's faces.

    The approach of threatening, of not engaging, and of attacking is a much riskier strategy, both in law enforcement and in international relations.

    I hope the Obama campaign can get across to voting Americans that negotiation is not a gift to our enemies. Negotiation concedes nothing! Is a perfectly valid, legitimate and proven method of resolving conflict.

    Now, as several here have taken a very inflexible position about negotiation, what is your solution? Bomb Iran? Is that really what you're suggesting? Unleashing missiles against a sovereign nation, possibly even nuclear weapons, threatening our own soldiers downwind in Afghanistan with radiation poisoning? Inciting the righteous wrath of the entire Islamic world, of all of our enemies and most of our friends? Or do you have some third option that you haven't stated. Please. Share it with us.

  34. So, now that this discussion has veered almost permanently off-topic, let me once again reiterate a real-world perspective missing in this dialogue.

    The police negotiate with criminals in very intense crisis situations in which there is a high possibility of injury or death on both sides. No one accuses them of “appeasement” or of “legitimizing” the criminals. There are no preconditions, as none are possible. There are no “low level talks” because there isn't time (and besides, what sense does it make to give your second string a shot at it first?)

    Negotiation has become a highly evolved strategy with a rich and diverse toolkit. It works an amazing amount of the time. The alternative, from a law enforcement standpoint, is to say “we've got you surrounded, you're outgunned, and we're going to kill you. So do your worst.”

    I know I won't convince some commentors here of anything, but it is my hope that readers with more open minds will start thinking about negotiation as a serious tool for resolving conflict, and not some sissy soft liberal “appeasement” strategy. Remember, real world tough guys with guns, actual law enforcement heroes do this every day: they negotiate with the most sociopathic and dangerous people imaginable. And they win. They're not “naive” or stupid or inexperienced or exercising bad judgment. I wouldn't be surprised to see some of them standing up for Obama and throwing this misrepresentation of the art of diplomacy right back in the GOP's faces.

    The approach of threatening, of not engaging, and of attacking is a much riskier strategy, both in law enforcement and in international relations.

    I hope the Obama campaign can get across to voting Americans that negotiation is not a gift to our enemies. Negotiation concedes nothing! Is a perfectly valid, legitimate and proven method of resolving conflict.

    Now, as several here have taken a very inflexible position about negotiation, what is your solution? Bomb Iran? Is that really what you're suggesting? Unleashing missiles against a sovereign nation, possibly even nuclear weapons, threatening our own soldiers downwind in Afghanistan with radiation poisoning? Inciting the righteous wrath of the entire Islamic world, of all of our enemies and most of our friends? Or do you have some third option that you haven't stated. Please. Share it with us.

  35. So, now that this discussion has veered almost permanently off-topic, let me once again reiterate a real-world perspective missing in this dialogue.

    The police negotiate with criminals in very intense crisis situations in which there is a high possibility of injury or death on both sides. No one accuses them of “appeasement” or of “legitimizing” the criminals. There are no preconditions, as none are possible. There are no “low level talks” because there isn't time (and besides, what sense does it make to give your second string a shot at it first?)

    Negotiation has become a highly evolved strategy with a rich and diverse toolkit. It works an amazing amount of the time. The alternative, from a law enforcement standpoint, is to say “we've got you surrounded, you're outgunned, and we're going to kill you. So do your worst.”

    I know I won't convince some commentors here of anything, but it is my hope that readers with more open minds will start thinking about negotiation as a serious tool for resolving conflict, and not some sissy soft liberal “appeasement” strategy. Remember, real world tough guys with guns, actual law enforcement heroes do this every day: they negotiate with the most sociopathic and dangerous people imaginable. And they win. They're not “naive” or stupid or inexperienced or exercising bad judgment. I wouldn't be surprised to see some of them standing up for Obama and throwing this misrepresentation of the art of diplomacy right back in the GOP's faces.

    The approach of threatening, of not engaging, and of attacking is a much riskier strategy, both in law enforcement and in international relations.

    I hope the Obama campaign can get across to voting Americans that negotiation is not a gift to our enemies. Negotiation concedes nothing! Is a perfectly valid, legitimate and proven method of resolving conflict.

    Now, as several here have taken a very inflexible position about negotiation, what is your solution? Bomb Iran? Is that really what you're suggesting? Unleashing missiles against a sovereign nation, possibly even nuclear weapons, threatening our own soldiers downwind in Afghanistan with radiation poisoning? Inciting the righteous wrath of the entire Islamic world, of all of our enemies and most of our friends? Or do you have some third option that you haven't stated. Please. Share it with us.

  36. Haha I originally agreed that it was a euphemism! That Bush used one, and now Obama is using another one to distance himself from Bush. If Obama was completely honest he would just say “I'm going to set preconditions but I think it means something different than what other people mean. They have the wrong preconditions.” I think that is why Biden et. al have tried to couch it even while agreeing with the underlying premise. Biden never really cares about the politically correct thing to say.

    It's just another context in politics where the players have to say what they do to play roles instead of reality. If we keep agreeing we'll get into a big fight.

    I do disagree with this: “I think all of the delinking- put aside Hezbollah, etc- is considered dangerous by everyone except the far left” considering that's a fundamental characteristic of the Realist school of foreign policy which dominated the Cold War and was seen as conservative.

    Although you can argue that our policies then hurt us in the present, but it is kind of ironic that the statement “we should negotiate with Iran about our own interests while setting aside some things that are bad but don't affect us a while lot” could be construed as Left. Liberals are supposed to be the Utopian ones that look for universal solutions! I think a lot of times people get caught up in arguing over strategic intentions by criticizing tactics.

  37. Haha I originally agreed that it was a euphemism! That Bush used one, and now Obama is using another one to distance himself from Bush. If Obama was completely honest he would just say “I'm going to set preconditions but I think it means something different than what other people mean. They have the wrong preconditions.” I think that is why Biden et. al have tried to couch it even while agreeing with the underlying premise. Biden never really cares about the politically correct thing to say.

    It's just another context in politics where the players have to say what they do to play roles instead of reality. If we keep agreeing we'll get into a big fight.

    I do disagree with this: “I think all of the delinking- put aside Hezbollah, etc- is considered dangerous by everyone except the far left” considering that's a fundamental characteristic of the Realist school of foreign policy which dominated the Cold War and was seen as conservative.

    Although you can argue that our policies then hurt us in the present, but it is kind of ironic that the statement “we should negotiate with Iran about our own interests while setting aside some things that are bad but don't affect us a while lot” could be construed as Left. Liberals are supposed to be the Utopian ones that look for universal solutions! I think a lot of times people get caught up in arguing over strategic intentions by criticizing tactics.

  38. Haha I originally agreed that it was a euphemism! That Bush used one, and now Obama is using another one to distance himself from Bush. If Obama was completely honest he would just say “I'm going to set preconditions but I think it means something different than what other people mean. They have the wrong preconditions.” I think that is why Biden et. al have tried to couch it even while agreeing with the underlying premise. Biden never really cares about the politically correct thing to say.

    It's just another context in politics where the players have to say what they do to play roles instead of reality. If we keep agreeing we'll get into a big fight.

    I do disagree with this: “I think all of the delinking- put aside Hezbollah, etc- is considered dangerous by everyone except the far left” considering that's a fundamental characteristic of the Realist school of foreign policy which dominated the Cold War and was seen as conservative.

    Although you can argue that our policies then hurt us in the present, but it is kind of ironic that the statement “we should negotiate with Iran about our own interests while setting aside some things that are bad but don't affect us a while lot” could be construed as Left. Liberals are supposed to be the Utopian ones that look for universal solutions! I think a lot of times people get caught up in arguing over strategic intentions by criticizing tactics.

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