UPDATE ( SUNDAY, 11/13/11):
I like what Ron Paul had to say in the GOP presidential candidate foreign policy debate Saturday night about whether the U.S. should go to war with Iran over its developing or obtaining nuclear weapons. He said no and he said it sounds like the talk that led us into Iraq where we never found any weapons of mass destruction. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich seem hot to go to war there if it seemed necessary (if other pressures do not work). Paul also said that we should only go to war via the formal declaration method set forth in the Constitution and that once committed we fight, win, and get it over with. I do feel, though that Iran cannot be allowed obtain nuclear weapons capability. A full-out war is probably not practical or necessary there, but a strike might be if all else fails (but of course that might set off some type of war). And now that I have gone this far, I have to acknowledge that in this modern day and age, it may be necessary for the nation to conduct various military operations short of war, but they should be kept to a bare minimum. I updated this post after reading part of the debate transcript — I’ll read it all and post about it later.
When Barack Obama won the presidency I can recall people, that is ones who supported him, saying, “at last we have an adult in the White House”.
Since it is likely that Obama will lose in 2012, because it is hard to retain the presidency when so many people are in economic difficulty, it is fascinating to think who might be the proper adult to replace him.
After watching snippets of the CBS GOP presidential candidate debate on foreign policy this evening (I missed most of it due to the fact I had just got home off the road and was fixing my dinner), it seems to me the only real adults, or responsible adults, are, and not necessarily in this order: Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, and Newt Gingrich (well, responsible might be a stretch there, but Newt is professorial, kind of like the old sage).
Ron Paul is correct on many things, and seems well meaning, but he also does not seem to realize that not all of us are doctors and can afford his world.
This all has nothing to do with whether I agree with their politics — on some things I do and on some I don’t; I’m just thinking who could reasonably handle the job at the helm of the world’s super power.
Actually Huntsman should be the man. He is astute. He speaks Chinese and seems politically moderate and broad minded. But he apparently just does not fit into the modern Republican Party. Actually a ticket with Romney and Huntsman would be exciting, but I doubt the nation is going to put two Mormons in charge — there’s a question even one can get elected.
Herman Cain, despite his being top in the polling among identified Republicans, is not likely to have a chance in a general election. And foreign policy, which is a vital part of running the world’s super power, is way beyond his depth, he has clearly demonstrated.
Actually on foreign policy I am torn between Paul’s Libertarian view, best described as isolationist, and those who would be ready to nuke Iran so it does not get nukes.
(And I do think that to allow Iran to acquire nukes is suicide for us and the whole world. I doubt that we should, would, or could get into a land war with that nation over the issue, but there must be some way to prevent such a catastrophe.)
History shows that turning our back on problems or pretending they are not our problems leads to things such as Hitler with his Wehrmacht trying to take over half the world and Gen. Tojo and his military the other half.
The electorate, though, right now is probably more concerned about domestic issues, read that “the economy”, “jobs”.
Romney thinks he can use his supposedly proven track record in business to streamline things and get our fiscal house in order. At the same time, he does not come across as a right-wing firebrand who would dismantle every last bit of our economic safety net.
I was distressed when several of the GOP candidates wholeheartedly gave their endorsement to torture.
I would have a hard time voting for anyone who would support torture (unfortunately, the last time around the winning candidate opposed it and then continued the policy supporting it — okay, I am now clarifying this or correcting this: my instant web research says that Obama has banned water boarding, but there are also stories claiming there are policy loopholes that allow torture to continue in some cases — unclear on this. I also note that I think the term “enhanced interrogation techniques” is nothing more than a euphemism for torture).
It’s probably too bad the whole issue of water boarding and other tortures ever came out in the open in the first place. I mean if it is only done to truly evil people and if there is anything useful produced from it, then who cares? But there is no guarantee that it is or would be limited to truly evil people (and in fact would not be used against the innocent) and it is questionable whether anything useful ever comes out of it — torture me and I may confess to anything and tell you anything you want to hear, but not necessarily the truth. And of course there is the troublesome moral question. And worst of all, once we put ourselves on record as being fine with torture we have no ability to dissuade our enemies from using it on our own people; we are left with no moral high ground to stand on.
On the other hand, once we go on such a public record as opposing torture, we lose some of that power to bluff suspects. Police use the bluff all the time.
But it always floors me when I hear people who seem nice and civilized wholeheartedly endorse torture.
I do not.
In an update of this post at the top I said that I had read part of the debate transcript. One really has to have either watched the whole thing or read the transcript and not depend upon news stories or blogs (like mine) to get the full sense of the whole thing. And these are not really debates — they are forums and not conducted in a way that gives each candidate equal time to cover each issue — each candidate does not even get to answer each question — time considerations, I imagine, and audience attention span would prohibit that. I think one-on-one traditional debates would be better, but of course in the primary there are several candidates.