[Guest post by Barron YoungSmith] One of the better points made during last night’s GOP foreign policy debate actually came from Newt Gingrich, who said it would make no sense to attack Iran’s nuclear program outside the context of regime change. That’s right. If we simply hit the centrifuges and run, they’ll be back spinning in two years and we’ll be in an open war with Tehran, with all of Iranian society backing the regime.
The Republican presidential primary has provided ample display of the party’s penchant for bellicosity in foreign affairs, and last night’s debate was no exception. It’s a posture that’s understandably gotten many liberals worried about a reprisal of the famously interventionist Bush Doctrine. “God help us if any of these jokers makes it into the White House,” wrote Fred Kaplan of Slate after watching the previous GOP’s national security debate. But maybe liberals shouldn’t fret so much.
Remember President Obama’s plan to rid the world of nuclear weapons? You’d think Congress’s super committee negotiations, with their built-in trigger for massive defense cuts, would bolster that vision: Nukes might make an appealing target for appropriators trying to save money, since they’re difficult to maintain and we never actually use them. But, in fact, the long-run result of the military’s cash crunch could be the exact opposite.
After Republicans picked up six seats in the Senate earlier this month, it seemed that President Obama’s biggest foreign policy victory to date was in serious trouble. Earlier this year, Obama had negotiated the New START treaty, which would reduce the number of deployed U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons, while enabling each side to monitor the other's arms. The treaty, however, has yet to be approved by the Senate, where it needs 67 votes.
[Guest post by Barron YoungSmith] Now that the elections are over, we're hearing a lot about how President Obama should adopt simple, crowd-pleasing, populist measures that will again endear him to the middle class—like a Clinton-style foreclosure moratorium. Well, here's a smaller idea that would allow him to improve millions of Americans' lives, save money and energy, and reverse one of the lamest excesses of the Bush administration: Obama should repeal the daylight savings time change codified by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Let's revisit why this act passed.
Nuclear policy analysts are apoplectic about his "shabby, misleading and … thoroughly ignorant" reasoning, and his arguments have already been rebutted on the merits in a number of places (including here, here, here, and here). But the question at hand isn't necessarily whether Romney's ghostwriter "has even the vaguest acquaintance with the subject matter." As with the "death panels," Romney's op-ed is an ideological statement, which does not require fealty to facts.
[Guest post by Barron Youngsmith.] There's a certain pathos to Stephen Spruiell's predicament. If you haven't been following, the National Review writer has been in agony over having to defend the Republican side of the student-loan debate against Jonathan Chait.
When President Obama launched a massive humanitarian-aid response to Haiti's earthquake last month, not everyone took his magnanimity at face value. Hugo Chavez, for example, accused him of "occupying Haiti undercover" and then upped the ante by saying the earthquake had been caused by an American "tectonic weapon." A minister from France, Haiti's former colonial ruler, complained that the U.S.
Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery The State of the Union Wednesday, January 27, 2009 Washington, DC Madame Speaker, Vice President Biden, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans: Our Constitution declares that from time to time, the President shall give to Congress information about the state of our union. For two hundred and twenty years, our leaders have fulfilled this duty. They have done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility. And they have done so in the midst of war and depression; at moments of great strife and great struggl