I am the honorable flamingo. What you read here might make you smile, make you think, or make you wonder. This is the world as I see it, from the view of a pink, long legged, slightly awkward bird.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

CNBC Republican Debate

Well, another Republican debate is over, and the public is in a tizzy over the results. This debate was held in Dearborn, Michigan and featured Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, those six other guys like them, and Ron Paul, who is kind of like the guy who always gets picked last on the playground. Although I don't have specific statistics, I'm pretty sure the ratings put the debate somewhere between midget thumb wrestling and the convertible bed infomercial. Anyway, let's get right to the analysis.

First, I would like to expose my bias on the subject. I, as well as many who have seen the debates and heard him speak, favor Ron Paul for the Presidency. Thus I will most likely unfairly mock or berate the other candidates in this and future writings. Actually, I take that back, I will still mock or berate them, but I plan to do it fairly.

This particular debate was focused on the economy, and since I have a feeling that most Americans can't tell you much about the Alternative Minimum Tax, or how the federal reserve regulates the market and sometimes causes inflation, I will leave those subjects alone. For me, there was really one question that hurt the two major candidates, Giuliani and Romney, and that is the question I would like to address.

MATTHEWS: Governor Romney, that raises the question, if you were president of the United States, would you need to go to Congress to get authorization to take military action against Iran's nuclear facilities?

ROMNEY: You sit down with your attorneys and tell you want you have to do, but obviously the president of the United States has to do what's in the best interest of the United States to protect us against a potential threat. The president did that as he was planning on moving into Iraq and received the authorization of Congress...

MATTHEWS: Did he need it?

ROMNEY: You know, we're going to let the lawyers sort out what he needed to do and what he didn't need to do. But, certainly, what you want to do is to have the agreement of all the people -- leadership of our government as well as our friends around the world where those circumstances are available.

Yes, you read that cor
rectly, before going to war, President Romney wouldn't consult with the Congress, but rather with his lawyers! Now that may not sound like a very good plan, but then again, you haven't seen Mitt Romney's lawyer.After that brief exchange, you may have thought Romney had the dumbest remark of the night sewn up. But no! In a stunning upset, Giuliani pulled in with a worse gaffe during that same question.

As a set up, this is how Congressman Ron Paul answered the same question:

MATTHEWS: The same question down the line, gentlemen. It's so important.

Congressman Paul, do you believe the president needs authorization of Congress to attack strategic targets in Iran, nuclear facilities?

PAUL: Absolutely. This idea of going and talking to attorneys totally baffles me. Why don't we just open up the Constitution and read it? You're not allowed to go to war without a declaration of war.

I know what you are thinking..."Gee, the Constitution, that is something I haven't heard a Presidential candidate mention in a while." But now, the moment you've all been waiting for, the number one flub/downright stupid statement of the night, and here it is:

PAUL: Now, as far as fleeting enemies go, yes. If there's an imminent attack on us. We've never had that happen in 220 years.

The thought that the Iranians could pose an imminent attack on the United States is preposterous. There's no way.

Only minutes later...

GIULIANI: It really depends on exigency of the circumstances and how legitimate it is, that it really is an exigent circumstance. It's desirable, it's safer to go to Congress, get approval from Congress.

If you're really dealing with an exigent circumstance, then the president has to act in the best interests of the country.

And the point of -- I think it was Congressman Paul made before -- that we've never had an eminent attack, I don't know where he was on September 11th.

PAUL: That was no country.

That was 19 thugs. That had nothing to do with a country.

GIULIANI: And since September -- well, I think it was kind of organized in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And if we had known about it, maybe -- maybe hitting a target there, quickly, might have helped prevent it.

Yes, of course, a preemptive strike on Afghanistan or Pakistan, that would have stopped it for sure! Never mind that the terrorists who hijacked the planes had been in the U.S. for months beforehand preparing for the attack and even living here. I'm sure an attack on a country where the group they belonged to was hiding would have stopped everything in its tracks. Not to mention this statement begs the question: where should we attack? Does Al-Qaeda have a big headquarters with gold trim and a giant sign? This is a decentralized, non-governmental terrorist organization. What do we gain from attacking a sovereign nation? Furthermore, we have had an almost constant military presence in the Middle-East for decades, which did nothing to prevent the attacks.

Unfortunately, Giuliani seems concerned only scaring the American people into a flawed foreign policy, unfortunately now he seems to even be willing to use dishonest arguments to do it.

In, conclusion, I think that Giuliani is blinded by his own propaganda. He seems to think of everything in terms of 9/11, and apparently seems to have historic amnesia that began at the beginning of the 21st century. The reason I say this is because I think that there may very well have been a legitimate objection to Dr. Paul's comment that we have never had an imminent attack posed against us, but it was not 9/11. The one that immediately comes to mind is Pearl Harbor, which drew us into the last legitimately declared war we fought, World War II.

I apologize for this being so long and not all that amusing, but this was a subject I hadn't seen covered in the news that much (with the exception of the Romney answer, which is why I was able to make a joke rather than actual commentary), and one that struck me as being important.


Anonymous said...

Love your blog... Here's a good quote I came across:
“Why, of course the people don’t want war...That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” - Hermann Goring at the Nurenberg Trials at the end of WWII

Keep up with your blogging... MJ Whitney

The Flamingo said...

That is a great quote...and today it is as relevant as ever.

One of the people I like to quote, whose insight from the past seems to stretch right into present day is Thomas Jefferson. He said this in a letter, speaking about the government's tendency to overstep it's bounds, and the bounds of the Constitution.

"A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of society be reduced to be mere automatons of misery, and to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering."

Anonymous said...

If you liked the last quote, here are a couple more...

"The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions." -Robert Lynd, writer (1879-1949)

"In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." -Iroquois Nation Maxim

I loved the Jefferson quote and have added it to my collection....... MJ Whitney