Thursday, May 03, 2012

but, but, it's not the same thing...

Jonah Goldberg is a very sharp guy, so I'm a little surprised that even on reflection on this ambush interview by Piers Morgan, he hasn't explicitly pointed out that Morgan and Obama's campaign are confusing two different issues. The first issue is what level of resources should have been spent on tracking down Osama. The second issue is, given that you have a specific opportunity to get Osama, would you take it.

Romney's quote was about the first issue --how many resources would you spend trying to track him down. Romney never said that he would not have taken out Osama given the chance, and it is dishonest for Morgan and Obama to imply that he did say this.

Morgan was confused on another issue as well. John McCain criticized Obama for spiking the football over the Osama killing and Morgan showed a clip of McCain saying that we need a president who will make the hard decisions, even when it might be costly. The difference is that McCain was talking about going into Iraq, which was a genuinely hard decision, extremely controversial, and politically very costly. Obama is talking about a decision to go after Osama, which was a no-brainer with no real downside.

Morgan pretended that there was a possible downside if the operation had gone bad and compared it to the troubles that Jimmy Carter had over the failed rescue attempt of the Iranian hostages. But the two cases, again, are entirely different. First, Carter had already shown himself to be inept and impotent on the hostage takeover and the failed mission was just another straw. Second, Carter was accused of micromanaging the mission to a bad end. In the Osama case, there was no such history of impotence, the military was much more experienced in that region, Obama turned the entire operation over to the military to escape any blame if the mission went wrong, and there were many other missions going on in that part of the world, so one more wasn't as attention-getting. There was zero political risk for Obama in ordering that mission.

Morgan also promoted in one of the more laughable leftist positions --that George Bush's war spending is what caused the current economic mess. This is nonsensical because if government spending causes economic problems (and it does), then you have to blame the seriousness of our economic problems on the president who spent the most --and that is Obama by a long margin. So although Obama did inherit a faltering economy from Bush, if you don't want the current situation to be Obama's fault, you have to blame something other than Bush's spending levels. I do blame Bush's spending levels (in addition to affirmative-action in home lending) but I am consistent in saying that therefore, Obama made it worse because he raised spending by an enormous amount.

1 comment:

Foxfier said...

I think he mentioned the difference on the Ricochet podcast-- it may have been one of the other hosts, though.

Worst case? "X special forces dead trying to take out Osama." Obama gets to go on TV and beat his chest about how horrible it is while their families stand in the background.

The financial side drives me insane-- "Hey! We micromanaged them into stuff we were told would screw crud up, and stuff went cruddy! We'd better...micromanage some more?!"