Real Time Thoughts on Meet the Press (January 13, 2013)


We’re talking about Chuck Hagel’s nomination for the Sec. Def. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is here to talk up Hagel’s nomination.

He just went through all of Hagel’s accomplishments. I won’t list them here.  But here, we’re now talking about Hagel’s view on Iran. This, in particular about the view that Hagel thinks that a military option is not feasible in Iran. (I think that’s right.)

Colin Powell is saying, rightly, that all options are feasible in so far as a strategy and goal is laid out. If we want to blow up bomb sites then we can drop bombs. But are we talking about invading Tehran? If that case, that option is not feasible.

(Why is David Gregory pulling out what seems like reasonable views on the State of Israel and its doings on quashing the “Peace Process”?)

Colin Powell is here defending Chuck Hagel’s view that he voted for a war (Iraq) that was proposed and propagated under false assertions.  His answer on how his views differ from Chuck Hagel’s on Iraq, Gen. Powell is saying that what went wrong with Iraq was the execution of the war, not its very premises.

On Hagel’s hollowing out the Defense Department: Powell is saying that there are things in the Pentagon that we could do without, that are bloated; so we can do well by all this. And that’s not a real problem.

Gen. Powell is saying that the people who are complaining about Hagel’s gutting the Pentagon are those who want to cut government spending.

Gen. Powell is saying that the administration screwed up Susan Rice’s nomination; if you’re gonna nominate someone just nominate someone and stand up for that person. Done deal.

Benghazi as a blot on Secretary of State Clinton’s record: Benghazi was a difficult thing and its sometimes hard to get everything right and its hard to make sure that everything goes right. Benghazi was a terrible thing but its not a blot on Secretary Clinton’s record.

On Iran: why shouldn’t we go in and fight the good fight with Iran? Because a fight with a sovereign country can’t be sustained if we don’t know what our goals are.

Is General Powell still a Republican? And how? Yes, he says he’s a Republican. But a Republican under later-career Reagan, George H.W. Bush. Caspar Weinberger—probably also Brent Scowcroft.

He wants to point out that the Birther Movement and the ways leaders of the Republican Party countenance that is shameful. How former Governors, leaders of the Republican Party can use “slave-era” epithets and how that doesn’t strike leaders as racist is beyond Powell.

On Afghanistan: Powell won’t support a 0-option (the move that we take EVERYONE out)? No, that won’t work. We want to have goals in mind with how we want to leave Afghanistan; what we want to do with and for al Qaeda; it all depends on what we want to maintain our national security vis-a-vis al Qaeda.  If we want to have any kind of an impact we need to know what’s happening to our money there; we want to know how to engage in counter-terrorism there.

Secretary Powell is affecting the view that torture is torture and we do not use torture as a policy measure.  This yields the view, at least for this writer, that, and to respond to David Gregory’s question, the ends DO NOT justify the means.

On guns: how much of our freedoms exactly are we giving up if we say that a deranged person cannot buy an automatic weapon?

Haley Barbour, Mike Murphy, Andrea Mitchell and Cory Booker are the roundtable.

Gov. Barbour is saying that the GOP has a messaging problem and that if its has a better message it can get to solving its minority problem.

Cory Booker is saying that no, its not a messaging problem. The GOP has a serious problem that its not in touch with the demographic realities of America and that, if someone like Newt Gingrich is saying that it needs to work out its view on marriage equality of be left behind.

Mike Murphy wants Colin Powell to come back to the Republican Party to modernize it. It needs all the help it can get.

Murphy is saying that the president is here to seemingly negotiate with Republicans but he’s picking men who are known to be stubborn.

Cory Booker is saying that this president has 50% of his staff at the White House filled by women. The picture that’s making the rounds is disingenuous. (Wait, why can’t we say that in so far as his major appointments are concerned, the president thinks that these men are the best people for the job and that because this is a person decision on his part, that can be part and parcel of howe we have leaders run the executive branch of the government.)

(But I will say that Cory Booker is not looking strong on this panel. This isn’t good for his Senate run.)

Cory Booker is coming out and saying that 30 people are killed every day. Okay, so let’s control assault weapons. But those weapons are in the minority for gun deaths on the street. What we should do is shut down the secondary gun market. Also, its not a fair argument to say that we can’t hunt down back ground checks for 300 million guns. Mayor Booker isn’t interested in people who own guns legally with the right background checks; that’s the majority of gun owners. What he wants is to shut down guns that get sold on the secondary market.

(Okay, so I’ll take back my view that Mayor Booker looks weak. On this issue he looks really strong. And, good for him.)

And, here again, here’s Mayor Booker: What’s the most important thing is that we look at what the baseball doping scandal is doing to high school and college kids round the country. We need to break the narrative that we want victory at all costs, contra our moral views and our costs in health and well-being. (Well put Newark Major Cory Booker.)

~ by Faheem Haider on January 13, 2013.

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