A dishonorable mention to CBS News for their “National Debt Now Tops $12 Trillion” article (h/t Josh). Yes, I am grateful that they identified how profligate the US is. But of course they had to attack President Bush in one of the stupidest ways possible making this point. From the article:
The National Debt has increased about $1.6 trillion on Mr. Obama’s watch, though less than $4.9 trillion run up during the presidency of George W. Bush.
I don’t know about you, but for me there’s a big difference between the damage done to our finances in one year and another in eight, esp. when the latter is fighting two wars. If you are wondering about the deficit spending that contributes in no small part to the debt and what the current President plans to do to “fix” it, here’s the projected deficits of the Obama administration compared with the Bush administration. Disgust at the current administration’s priorities is not optional.
That’s just the beginning of our story:
- Jonah Goldberg does an excellent job making the best case possible for the trial of KSM and the other 9/11 plotters in NYC, and then tearing that case apart. From the article: “Prominent defenders of the decision insist that this trial is at least partly to benefit America’s image around the world. That’s a laudable goal – and another example of why this is not a mere law-enforcement issue. But I’m dubious that will be the result. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., defended the administration Sunday on Fox News, echoing suggestions from the White House that even if the accused are acquitted on a technicality, they won’t be released. They would go back to the legal purgatory known as “preventive detention.” That is the right policy; these are dangerous men, after all. But it is an affront to civilian jurisprudence. Under military law, preventive detention is a well-established norm. Under civilian law, it’s an affront. Throw into the equation that these men weren’t read their rights, were interrogated in a manner that is illegal in civilian courts, are being tried with little if any possibility of an impartial jury – and the fact that Holder all but insists they’ll be convicted – and it all adds up to a farce.”
- Robert Samuelson, “Buy now, pay later” – the deficit picture linked to above does not include any health care reform. With the current health care proposal on the table, you can expect spending to be even more out of control if it passes.
Of course, all of this pales in comparison to the dithering regarding Afghanistan – I’ve linked to Robert Kaplan on this subject before, and do so again: Kaplan argues that the President is second-guessing his own strategy, and that’s not a hard case to make because it is the truth. It does not look like the administration has the resolve to back military force or even the ability to take hard decisions about force and putting people in harm’s way seriously: inexperience isn’t always a problem here, but inexperience combined with certain Leftist cliches is definitely a problem. A lack of resolve to beat the Taliban? (Anyone who tells you the Taliban can be negotiated with should read/watch this). It is true that the war might not be winnable at this point. But if that’s the case, then the President implemented a strategy with McChrystal earlier (he did so in March) and it failed. Inasmuch as we blame Bush for the debacle in Iraq initially – even when it wasn’t clear what he could/could not control – blame does go to the President here. I am hoping for an increased commitment to the fight and will give the President praise accordingly, but time is of the essence, and the President must be blamed now for acting less like an Executive – with “dispatch” – and more like someone who only understands politics as campaigning.