Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Obama is right about Pakistan. Musharraf is playing it both ways and sort of reminds me a little bit of General George B. McClellan. If the intel is there, and you know Al Qaeda's within your borders, what are you waiting for? Are you an incompetent fool? Or are you hiding more sinister intentions?

Back to Ron Paul for a minute, in response to a couple of the commenters on my last post. Two points. First, we are the leader of the world. Just because we fucked up in Iraq shouldn't mean that we disengage from conflicts in other parts of the world. Am I saying anywhere that we should invade? No, I am not. But we can apply pressure on China and others to divest from the Sudanese government, and use diplomacy to convince them that supporting that regime is not in their interests. Just because a provision in the legislation leaves all options on the table doesn't mean we're gonna go in there. How do you suppose the Sudanese government would react if we explicitly said that we would leave military action "off" the table in the legislation? Of course there are provisions that "could lead to" military invention. We do not live in a vacuum.

I guess you could say that I have a big problem with a "one size fits all" worldview.

Secondly, in regards to this idea that government shouldn't be involved in much of anything, and that the free market and the invisible hand will solve all of our problems...in the long run, that is...John Maynard Keynes put it about right when he said "in the long run, we are all dead." There are many revisionists and pundits who come in with an agenda and basically lie and say that Keynesian economics didn't work, and imply that Reagan saved us from the New Deal. That's just wrong. While I won't defend the Great Society under Johnson (that is where we went too far), I would ask that you have a look at our numbers during the wartime years up to about 1973 (where it CAN be argued that Great Society implementation began to have its spillover effect), and ask yourself whether the boom years resulted from a form of Keynesian economics or not. As I am not an economist by trade, I don't have the numbers to back me up. But I have a good idea what would have happened if Milton Friedman's model ruled the day back then.

in fact...we had a President who had an amazing track record as a humanitarian, cited for his relief efforts in Belgium during World War I. When he became President, and a crisis emerged in our country, he had an unbending faith that the free market (for the most part) would solve the crisis if government would just stay out of the way and people would be patient for the long run. His name was Herbert Hoover. Ring a bell, gentlemen? Or do I need to put up a link? A Ron Paul presidency would be much worse. Unlike Hoover, whose aforementioned relief effort saved many lives. What's Paul's track record, other than as an undistinguished local congressman voting no on everything? Indeed, there are a lot of N's down the line, with a couple of glaring exceptions: eliminating taxes unilaterally, or limiting a woman's right to choose.

Luckily for America, Ron Paul has no chance in hell of gaining the GOP nomination, same as Jerry Brown in 1992 on the Dem side. He might have some unexpectedly high poll numbers for a while like Brown did, but he won't last. The bad news? It's looking like Obama will share the same fate on the Dem side next year. The pundits have anointed Hillary the front runner, and Barack has a tough hill to climb now. I still support him, because of his experience as a community organizer, his honesty, sense of balance, and exposure to different cultures and points of view. Supporting Hillary would be tough for me to swallow, because she just licks her finger and puts it in the air to see which way the wind blows. But I'd take that any day over another unbending ideologue like W, and I would argue we would have one in Ron Paul. One who has a preconceived theory that remains unbending when the facts and details on the ground prove otherwise.

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