Real Time Thoughts on Meet the Press (October 23, 2011)

Libya and Iraq! At the expense of his still-born domestic policy, lead Obama surrogate Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is here to talk about his foreign policy “triumphs”.

The president has recently announced that the U.S will withdraw all troops out of Iraq by the end of this year.  Now this was part of President Bush’s timeline, but will the final (and rather more unexpected withdrawal) out of Iraq lead to an all-out civil war there?

Most people seem to think that this unforeseen outcome which really speaks to the impasse between the U.S and Iraq’s leaders. Secretary Clinton is saying that the Iraqis have too much to lose, and let’s not forget that this was President Bush’s withdrawal deadline. She is reminding Americans that Obama is ready to withdraw out of Iraq; but he is not going to “leave” Iraq.  On this turns, U.S foreign policy in Iraq.

Was the war worth it? Hillary Clinton has no answer for that question.  At least not a good one; only some talk about some “new world”.

And now to Qaddafi! Clinton supports a U.N. investigation on Qaddafi’s killing.  And there’s also the fact that the T.N.C has called for an independent commission.  But what of that?

And onto Pakistan! Clinton has come out and said that anyone who supports terrorism in Pakistan will pay a high price.  Strong words, but it’s not difficult to see that that threat doesn’t jibe well with the world view that tends to the dominant view in Pakistan.

Will foreign policy be a disadvantage for the GOP nominating contest?  Is there a minimum level of competence that the GOP leader must show in order to lead America in the new age?

Ron Paul is here to speak to his candidacy for the GOP nomination for 2012.

Spending cuts! Spending cuts! His argument is about the role of government.  A constitutional view on the American government requires, according to Dr. Paul, that the government cut down on spending and radically lower debt (as if those two roles are equivalent.)

Now, he can wide support amongst students; but he would cut all government sponsored student loans.  He’d also get the government out of the housing market. (Now if he did so that would completely crash the housing market, destroying nearly the entire asset base of the American people.  But that’s not an issue for Ron Paul, since he think a market correction will come out all right in a “free-market”.)

What about foreign policy? Ron Paul does not support nation-building.  What about taking out Osama bin Laden and Qaddafi?  He supports precision targeting of bad-guys.  He supports attacking Osama bin Laden, but does not support attacking sovereign nations . He thinks that the drone targeting attacks are illegal. He thinks that it is unlikely that Iran will attack Israel. (He’s surely right about the last two points though those views do not jibe with the facts on the ground.)

Taxation is theft if the government redistributes from one group to another. He claims that he would balance the budget and that there would therefore be no inflation. (He is completely nuts; in order to achieve all this, he’d require a command economy of the sort that Hayek and Popper reject.)

Ron Paul is offering the view that there is no real difference between the two main candidates, Obama and Romney. This is the right-version of the Nader argument in 2000.

David Brooks, Andrea Mitchell, Harold Ford Jr. and Jack Welch are here as the roundtable. (Jack Jack Jack, the former CEO of the NBC parent company.)

Obama isn’t going to be blamed for things that go south in LIbya. Iraq might cut in different ways for President Obama.  If Iraqis figure out things on the ground, Obama will get some credit.  But if Iraq flares up into a civil war, the U.S will not be able to get back in Iraq and so Obama will get a lot of the blame, even if Obama’s drawdown is based on President Bush’s timeline.

“Watching Herman Cain on Meet the Press. His no BS clarity is so refreshing.” According to Jack Welch. WHATTT????!!!!!!!  That’s insane!

Harold Ford is right when he says that there is so much good out there, so much positive news out there, President Obama needs to harness all that positive news.

Jack Welch is saying that Obama needs to unleash the economy; lay off regulations until jobs come back. (But Jack, lack of regulations is precisely the thing that helped cause the 2007 economic meltdown.) And to end it all, David Brooks is right that the problem is inequality and wage stagnation. There were jobs in the e90’s and the aughts, and there were still real problems in the economy.

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~ by Faheem Haider on October 23, 2011.

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