Trying to limit oneself to one post a week is sometimes impossible when Certain Things come to the attention of an itinerant blogger with little self control. Hence:
1. Any person who attends a caucus on behalf of, or votes in a primary for, Michelle Bachmann to become President of the United States should no longer be permitted to vote again.
2. This is a repeat observation about a repeat program: If you can watch this 60 Minutes segment, yet still advocate for massive cuts in federal spending, you have surrendered several of the essential components of what makes up a human being
3. As virtually useless as the fluffernutter David Gregory version of “Meet the Press” has become (whose up? whose down? who style’s best? what’s being talked about on twitter?), there were two moments which were worth watching yesterday or reading today. One was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s view of the authority of the executive in a state or nation under a republican form of government.
I am not a fan of same-sex marriage. It’s not something that I support. I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman. That’s my view, and that’ll be the view of our state because I wouldn’t sign a bill that–like the one that was in New York.
This is, of course, the Louis XIV l’État, c’est moi (“the state is me”) view of government recently popularized by the latest President Bush. (Republicans only object to the appurtenances of royalty when they are donned by Democrats, so as exercised as they are about supporting NATO in Libya, President Bush had to be allowed to “take the nation to war.”
It is a great country that allows President Bush and Governor Christie to decide moral questions based on their own religious beliefs. They were not empowered to make those decisions for the rest of us, though.
So many aspire to be Louis XIV, whose point of view seems to appeal to chief executives everywhere, but a century later or so, when Louis’ chickens came home to roost, so to speak, it was not a pretty sight. Y’know?
4. As President Roosevelt explained as Europe careened toward it, “I hate war.” There is little question that President Obama is not that happy about war, and you probably aren’t either. The person who ran Al Qaeda when they attacked our country under the protection of the Taliban is dead and it has now been decided by All Who Know Best, that the United States must now completely withdraw from Afghanistan. A dissenting view on just how easy a decision this is has been published here a few times before, and indeed reference to this wisdom was made this past weekend. The time to consider the consequences of war are before it begins, not a decade later. Notwithstanding the retrospective dissenting views of today, the country had little choice in 2001 but to invade Afghanistan after the government then in place there permitted Al Qaeda to operate there which then did what they did on September 11.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion as to what happens next, though it is difficult for some of us to even come up with that. Here, though, oddly courteous of David Gregory, is what David Rohde, a New York Times reporter held captive by the Taliban, has written in a book he has written about his horrible experience:
At the same time, simply walking away from Afghanistan and Pakistan and hoping for the best is not an option in an increasingly interconnected world. … Based on my experience in the tribal areas, a sweeping Taliban victory in Afghanistan would embolden hard-line militants who hope to forcibly impose sharia law across the Islamic world. Their belief that they can defeat Westerners who fear death and are unwilling to endure sacrifice will be reaffirmed. It will also send a signal to moderate Muslims that the United States will not stand by them. No clear answer has emerged to the question … how can religious extremism be countered?
Being captive gives one no special wisdom, but he has seen these people up close and personal, much as Khaled Hosseini had before him as discussed in The Kite Runner. There are no easy answers here; just head hurting moral, political and military questions.
Have a nice day.