Quote of the Day: Congress Edition (Updated)

The quote of the day comes from an interview with David Kilcullen, an Australian anthropologist and advisor to Gen. Petraeus:

Our biggest problem during the surge was a hostile American Congress.

Couldn’t that be said of the financial crisis as well?

It reminds me of Sam Clemens’s quip:

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.

from Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.


As, indeed, it has.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Uncategorized, , , ,
Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.


  1. Our Paul says:

    Dave, you have joined the great American pastime of selling air, your up date button, to wit:

    As, indeed, it has.

    does absolutely nothing!!!

  2. odograph says:

    This is an interesting (as in scary) moment. While people argue changes in Presidents we have a remarkably united chain of policies from Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank.

    I think there is a lot of misdirected anger here, but calling this Obama’s “Katrina Moment” might have truth in one sense … can he, or should he, throw over the NY financial establishment and make his own way?

    (I could ask those on the right to take a moment, and ask themselves how casually they themselves are discarding the NY financial establishment.)

    What would a non-NY solution be right now?

    (And to those on the right, what do you think Obama’s non-NY path would be?)

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    Defective link fixed.

  4. tom p says:

    Our biggest problem during the surge was a hostile American Congress. They could have killed the thing.

    Clicking thru to the interview the statement makes even less sense… In context, he says Congress was only a problem before the surge… History has shown that once they signed on they became even more irrelevant.

    A more honest assessment of the surge by Mr Kilkullen would have noted the complete intransigence of the Iraqi government in dealing with all of their political problems. The surge was supposed to give them the breathing room they needed to deal with those problems. They still haven’t. Therefor, despite the great gains in security, the surge has not yet “succeeded”. (of course, that wasn’t even the question that was asked of Mr. K)(and the question was largely fluff)

  5. tom p says:

    Been reading “Operation Homecoming” today… (I would rather be out in my garden, but my leg is all f’d up) finally hit the “hard” part and had to put it aside… ALL should read that book… I will finish it.

    I have my own Iraq “war stories”, everything from the night of GWB’s speech, to a fellow carpenter who came back from Iraq, to standing at the side of a grave of a soldier you have never heard of…

    All I can say is (and no, i cannot tell where exactly in the book it came from) to paraphrase a soldier: “To most, we are merely individuals, but to some we are the world….” from a soldier to his young daughters, (who he thought he might never see again)(he did)…

    and then I hit the hard part, soldiers who never did, and then I had to stop, because I could no longer read the words…