Caught Villsack on the Daily Show last night. Missed the first part of the show because of MNF, and its implications in my fantasy league. :)
I want to like Villsack, but he really annoyed me last night. This discussion of telling the Iraqi people that "you have become dependent on us and it is time for you to live and die for your country" is stupid and wrong. A) they are already fighting and dying. B) "Dependency" or "addiction"--as Jon Stewart pointed out--is a bizzare idea. As Jon noted, it sounds suspiciously like us saying to Iraq, "Hey, someone blew up your infrastructure, disbanded your military and completely destroyed your government. Time for you to actually do something."
Of course, the situation is so bad that there is really no answer. Thanks to Bush's incompetence, we have a "broken army" (Powell's words), a disintegrating Iraq (some million and a half have just left), and no real answers. We pull out--chaos. We stay there--slightly less chaos and more American soldiers die. Bush appears to be the only one who thinks we are doing fine and will win, even as his wife and other hacks lay the groundwork to blame the media and the American people.
Speaking of that, watched Chris Matthews the other night. The man bugs me big time--as do all the talking heads. But his panel was interesting, and during a discussion on Obama the question of his lack of foreign policy experience came up. Howard Fineman made a great point that Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney had more foreign policy experience than anyone and look at the mess they made?
At this point, my bar is incredibly low. Right now, I am willing to accept a President who speaks above a 7th grade level. I am looking for a President who can speak in complete sentences, people!
Speaking of the most inept President in American history, I still think there is a really interesting story behind the scenes that may take time to uncover. I have speculated for years that W has a conflicted relationship with Daddy Bush (GHWB). I suspect that W has always resented Daddy's legitimacy and actual intelligence (and military service, btw) and has curried favor with Barbara. (Hmm, this sounds familiar. Why do I think someone will end up gouging out eyes?)
W uses HW's contacts to get into Yale, out of Nam, and into Harvard MBA, but resents him the whole time. Again, has to turn to Daddy's contacts to bail out a failed oil business. It is very hard to imagine him electable beyond (or at) the local level without that famous last name and huge Christmas list for fundraising.
Flash forward to his presidency, and he chooses Cheney for Veep--someone his father doesn't really trust or like that much. Cheney brings in more anti-HW people like Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz.
Daddy never wanted to go into Iraq--and told several people while he was President why that was a horrible idea. He said that it would create chaos and undermine the stability of the entire middle-east. One of HWB's consiglieri--Brent Scowcroft--wrote a strident op-ed trying to get W to back off the war.
And now, of course, after three years, the war is worse than ever and is exactly what Daddy feared. The ISG, filled with Daddy's people, tells W directly that he screwed up horribly.
Here is the interesting part--at least from my view. Somehow one of Daddy's people is now Sec Def and Rummy is out, but W seems to be distancing himself from the rest of the paternalistic rescue, like the ISG report and some kind of exit strategy. Is Sonny throwing a tantrum here?
I hope someday we find out more about the inner workings of this family.