Sunday, January 31, 2016

Marco Rubio--Young Guy, Old Ideas

Substantively, Marco Rubio would not be the subject of a blog, except for one thing.  He could possibly win the Republican nomination, if not in 2016, possibly any time over the next 20 years!

And that would not be a good thing.

Also troubling is that "the Media," right left and center all tend to give him high marks in the many Republican debates.

This is mystifying.  Though, one is beginning to hear more and more his performances described as "canned" "rehearsed" and "scripted".

But that's not the worst of it.  He has run away from the issue most important to him, immigration reform, with a substantial element of amnesty for undocumented workers.  (Romney did the same thing with Romney-care, which greatly undermined his credibility).  When candidate who comes off so sanctimonious as does Rubio abandons his core issue, where does that leave him?

It gets worse for Rubio.  Of course the Base of the Republican party is greatly soothed by attacks on President Obama.  Rubio takes it to a new level as one of the most relentless Obama-bashers in the Republican field.

That's a disservice to his constituency.  With the possible exception of Chris Christie, he is the biggest offender on this point.

It gets still worse.  As the youngest candidate, one would think that he would take science into account in his assessment of issues.  Not Marco, he's one of the biggest climate deniers in the field.

And Cuba?  For him it's better to leave a 50-year old sanctions policy in place and not look to a new relationship with the home country of his parents.

I wish it didn't get even worse, but it does.  Social Security and Medicare, for Rubio, undermined the family relationship, that's all.

But then what would anyone expect from a hyper-ambitious whippersnapper bought and paid for by the Koch brothers?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Message from Trump that Republicans Should Actually Listen To

For all of the genuine harm he does with his reckless statements, Trump has at least one message that would serve Republicans well.  The message is that the U.S. should not repeat the mistake of the Iraq invasion--for which we got absolutely nothing, except 4,000 dead Americans, 3 trillion dollars squandered, a strengthened Iran, and Sunni rage against the U.S. in the form of ISIS.  Trump was recently asked by a CNN reporter whether America would be better off with Saddam Hussein in power, and without skipping a beat, he said “100%, 100%.”  He is right on that point.

Today, 12 years after the Iraq invasion, most Republican candidates maintain that there is a military course of action that will produce the magic solution to instability in Syria and to defeat ISIS, and that Obama is simply choosing not to follow that clear course of action.  The same people who understand the true magnitude of the damage of the Iraq invasion also understand that there is no such course of action available.  Most Democrats get this, while most Republicans do not.  So it is important that it comes from the Republican front-runner that military intervention, such as that advocated by Senator Lindsey Graham, will guarantee more of what we got out of the Iraq invasion. 

Republicans like Marco Rubio don't seem, to care or understand this risk, and are pounding the war drums for another ISIS-recruiting, American military intervention in the Middle East.  Chris Christie is even ready to shoot down Russian planes.  What the Republicans need to do instead is to transform into the Party of wise risk-taking and dismantle the neo-conservative-dominated foreign policy that has so damaged the Party and so harmed the U.S.  The so-called left-leaning mainstream media needs to play a role in this.  But, despite the lessons of Iraq, journalists still leave the public debate waters muddied, with American military intervention as a credible option for American foreign policy.