Axelrod hits back at Hillary: When we say “don’t do stupid stuff,” we mean stuff like occupying Iraq

posted at 11:21 am on August 12, 2014 by Allahpundit

In case it wasn’t clear from Noah’s post how grumpy Obamaworld is these days about foreign-policy criticism, here’s a vivid intramural example. Remember this bit from Hillary’s interview with Jeffrey Goldberg?

JG: Is the lesson for you, like it is for President Obama, “Don’t do stupid shit”?

HRC: That’s a good lesson but it’s more complicated than that. Because your stupid may not be mine, and vice versa. I don’t think it was stupid for the United States to do everything we could to remove Qaddafi because that came from the bottom up. That was people asking us to help. It was stupid to do what we did in Iraq and to have no plan about what to do after we did it. That was really stupid. I don’t think you can quickly jump to conclusions about what falls into the stupid and non-stupid categories. That’s what I’m arguing…

JG: I think that defeating fascism and communism is a pretty big deal.

HRC: That’s how I feel! Maybe this is old-fashioned. Okay, I feel that this might be an old-fashioned idea—but I’m about to find out, in more ways than one.

Great nations need organizing principles, and “Don’t do stupid stuff” is not an organizing principle. It may be a necessary brake on the actions you might take in order to promote a vision.

Fast-forward a few days. This appeared at the top of Axelrod’s Twitter feed earlier this morning, conveniently shorn of any context for maximum deniability of who the target is:

I … did not expect to see big-name Democratic strategists needling the party’s next nominee over her biggest foreign policy liability in a public forum, but maybe Ax figures he has nothing to lose. He’s not going to have a role in a new Clinton administration; his crime against the throne in steering Obama to victory over her six years ago is too great to be forgiven. He’s better off protecting his and O’s legacy, he probably figures, by reminding a skeptical base that she voted for “Bush’s war” while Obama opposed it.

Just one really obvious problem with that logic, though. Jake Tapper, who normally stays out of political food fights on Twitter, couldn’t resist the obvious counterpoint:

O’s inner circle was and is a who’s who of believers in “stupid sh*t.” His first Secretary of State voted for war in Iraq, as did her successor (who was, by the way, the party’s nominee for president in 2004). So did his handpicked VP. Obama’s never been as remotely perturbed by support for the war as the passionate lefties to whom he pandered successfully in 2008. In fact, my pal Karl dug up this clip from his candidate days, in which Tim Russert grilled him on whether he might have voted for the war himself had he been in the Senate at the time. Does anyone seriously doubt that he would have? I know, I know — he gave a speech opposing the war in 2002, when he was a state senator. I’m willing to grant that that was his heartfelt position; what I’m asking is, would he have voted for the war anyway? Would he have given that speech if he was already a U.S. Senator eyeing a run for the presidency down the line? Electoral politics were surely a factor in Hillary’s, Kerry’s, and Biden’s votes for the war; they all ended up running for president later, which means they were probably already mulling it at the time of the vote. Go figure that they sided with the majority when support for the war was well over 60 percent. And of course, with gay marriage, we already have a famous example of Obama concealing his true position on a hot-button issue because he thought it was too risky in a general election. There’s no good reason to think he would have resisted doing “stupid sh*t” if he thought it would benefit him politically. When has he ever?

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


I wonder who Hillary thinks she’s targeting. It can’t be the dim base.

Her campaign seems to be self destructing before it begins.

cat_owner on August 12, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Umm if we were still occupying Iraq , we could tear ISIS a new one…

DavidM on August 12, 2014 at 4:31 PM

So his answer is “Hey Tim, I lied to you back then at the convention” ? At least he’s consistent.

crazywater on August 12, 2014 at 4:40 PM

David Axelrod ✔ @davidaxelrod

Just to clarify: “Don’t do stupid stuff” means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision.
10:00 AM – 12 Aug 2014

What a quaint way to say “voting present”…

Newtie and the Beauty on August 12, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Axelturd is such a fool.

Hagel, Biden and Hillary voted for the war in Iraq.

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Just to clarify: Let ISIS kill all the Christians and minority sects.

Just because BO pulled all the US troops, doesn’t make him/us morally liable.

I wish it could be just him: “PSST Baghdadi, how about 1 President and Bergdahl
for 50,000 trapped souls?”

ha_tspc on August 12, 2014 at 8:55 PM

Hillary, the hag

Schadenfreude on August 13, 2014 at 12:05 AM

I don’t understand…..MSNBC hasn’t once accused Hillary of being racist for criticizing “The One”. Someone must be asleep at the switch. It’s usually their reflexive response to throw the racism charge out there at the slightest bit of criticism of Obama.

olesparkie on August 13, 2014 at 8:38 AM

Umm if we were still occupying Iraq , we could tear ISIS a new one…

DavidM on August 12, 2014 at 4:31 PM

If we still were in Iraq, ISIS wouldn’t even be in Iraq — and perhaps nowhere near the professional terrorist group they are today.

Odie1941 on August 13, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Axelrod must be saving himself for Mini Me.

See Axelrod tryout Yes we Can with Mini Me in Boston. This is before he sold the slogan to Obama. Si Se Pueda.

Incidentally, Yes, Deval Patrick has been governor of MA for 7 years, and he has not accomplished a thing or taken a stand on…almost anything. He even hedged when people asked him if terrorists caused the Marathon bombing…He didn’t know! and we did, we knew he was lying or living in a bubble.

But Axelrod might think he has a chance of pulling the wool again?

Fleuries on August 13, 2014 at 10:11 AM


Hillary: You realize that TEAM BILL CLINTON
that caused the FINANCIAL CRISIS of 2008

About those Policies that got us into This Mess

The 2008 FINANCIAL CRISIS, which rocked
the USA and global economy to its foundation.

What was at the ROOT of the MESS ?

what single element precipitated the crisis?
Answer: BAD LOANS.


So what policies were responsible?

The government enacted laws to encourage
lending to minorities and low-income households.

Next came

The Commodity Futures Modernization Act,
It was signed into law in 2000 by … Bill Clinton.

which EXEMPTED over-the-counter SWAPS

The idea was to distribute RISK; unfortunately,
the effect was to magnify RISK.

Yet the pursuit of homeownership
through legislation, incentives
and relaxed loan standards was the driving force.

The inside story of the global financial crisis


Bubba & the Housing bubble

Many People stopped making mortgage payments
— The Brass Standard


Free fall: How government policies brought down the housing market



Global HAWK on August 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM

As*holerod and his troupe should try occupying Chicago and enforcing the rule of law before it becomes another Detroit.

NoPain on August 13, 2014 at 11:08 AM