Walker’s Education, Ctd.

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Michael Drew

Michael Drew is a Wisconsinite currently residing in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He enjoys thinking and writing about politics, history, and philosophy, listening to music and podcasts of all kinds, watching and occasionally playing sports, and playing the cello.

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97 Responses

  1. Avatar Notme says:

    If you want an example of someone that proves that a few gaffes never hurt a career look no further than joe biden.Report

  2. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    My concern is much less about a candidate’s credentials than about their demonstrated knowledge and thoughtfulness. If someone demonstrates a very shallow understanding of foreign affairs and of other countries (as Walker does), then that’s a significant negative sign.

    Obama’s certainly had a lot of foreign policy challenges, and I don’t agree with everything he’s doing, but he thinks things through. He generally takes time to consider the consequences of US actions and the complexity of the situations the US is getting involved with. He doesn’t treat foreign policy as a simple Manichean struggle where the answer to any global conflict is “find out which side are the bad guys and then shoot them them a lot”. And that was the impression I had of him on policy generally prior to the election, based on reading his speeches and reading The Audacity of Hope.

    In contrast, when someone campaigns, speaks, and writes as if they think all the issues are very, very simple, and all foreign policy is just a matter of having enough conviction to beat the bad guys, it’s a sign they’re more likely to do stupid things.

    It’s quite possible for someone to be a wise and thoughtful leader without having extensive educational credentials. On the flip side, G.W. Bush went to Yale and pursued a thoughtless, disastrous foreign policy that is still tearing the Middle East apart.

    And on top of all that, you need to listen to candidates and understand how they think about foreign policy. Is war a convenience for them, or a last resort? Do they view the military as existing for the purposes of national defence, or for international interentions? Even an educated and intelligent person can make terrible mistakes if they’re too quick to see war as an acceptable answer; Michael Ignatieff, a university professor and highly intelligent man who had written books on foreign policy, still supported the Iraq War – one of the things that undermined his attempt to run for Prime Minister in Canada. And even after he realized that it was a bad idea, his retraction of his views essetially said, “all right, I was wrong, but I was still smarter than the people who were right, and I still had better reasons and stronger arguments than them”. Arrogance can be a killer.Report

    • Avatar Notme says:

      Thats funny bc I thought obama wanted biden to balance his lack of any foreign policy experience.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        He wanted Biden to balance you’reperception of a lack in foreign policy experience. That doesn’t mean he didn’t lack an understanding of how to conduct foreign policy.

        It’s interesting to observe how you move from the purely political to the substantive with such ease. You do that almost as well as Jaybird. I comment you on that notme.Report

      • Avatar Notme says:

        Stillwater

        So it was only a perception of a lack of foreign policy experience that caused him to choose biden? Maybe you give us a list of senator obamas substance accomplishments, training or experience?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Isn’t he secretly a Muslim extremist? You’d think balancing jihadism with double secret cover in American politics would be adequate training in foreign affair for a US preznit.Report

      • Avatar Notme says:

        Stillwater

        Ill take your glib non answer as an admission that you dont have an intelligent answer to the question.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        notme,

        The question doesn’t deserve an intelligent answer because it’s not an intelligent question. The only thing that counts as executive foreign policy experience is executive foreign policy experience. Certainly Walker lacks that. Tho Palin had it: she could see Putin’s leering eyes from her front porch.Report

      • Avatar Notme says:

        Stillwater

        Is that a backhand admission that senator obama didnt have any foreign pilicy experience? If that is so, then it really wasnt a perception, that he needed biden as his cover.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Sure it’s a backhanded admission that Obama lacked foreign policy experience. So did … well, let’s start counting backwards: Bush II; B Clinton: Bush I; R Reagan: J Carter; H Ford; Rm Nixon…..Report

      • Avatar Notme says:

        Stillwater

        Then why did you say biden was a cover for the “perception” of Obama’s lack of actual foreign policy experience? Also, check your facts, Bush 1 was ambassador to the un and an envoy to china, both jobs which usually involve foreign policy.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Then why did you say biden was a cover for the “perception” of Obama’s lack of actual foreign policy experience?

        Because politics.

        Why did Bush II hire Cheney to run his administration?Report

      • Avatar Notme says:

        Stillwater

        I dont know why Bush 2 hired Cheney, you’d have to ask him. Did you get a chance to review Bush 1s foreign policy experience?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        I dont know why Bush 2 hired Cheney

        Well, one thing we can be sure of is that he didn’t do so to cover for a lack of foreign policy experience. Only Democrats do that sorta thing!Report

      • Avatar Notme says:

        Stillwater

        Frankly im not sure why you are even bringing Cheney’s name up. He wasnt ever sec state. Colin Powell and Condi rice were the sec state in case you forgot. Both of which i think were qualified.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Frankly im not sure why you are even bringing Cheney’s name up.

        Someone upthread named “notme” said

        “I thought obama wanted biden to balance his lack of any foreign policy experience.”

        Hence I responded with a reference to BushTwo’s VP. Apologies if that wasn’t you.Report

      • Avatar Notme says:

        I wasnt aware that Bush brought Cheney on board to cover for his lack of foreign policy experience. Maybe he was but i never heard that speculation with Cheney as i did with Biden.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        notme,

        Well, I’ve thoroughly lost my way in this discussion. If you think Obama hired Biden because he (Obama) thought he (Obama) lacked FP skills, then have at it. If you’re just saying that it’s the word on the street, there are lots of streets out there and some of em get more traffic than others.

        Poetic, no?Report

      • Avatar Notme says:

        Stillwater

        If you wont take my opinion on why obama took biden for vp, would you accept the NYTs opinion? They said foreign policy cover as well. Im sure you will find some reason to discount the nyt as well.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/24/us/politics/24biden.html?_r=0Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        notme,

        I don’t give a patooey what any one else says since my point is that this is all politics, which is first and foremost about getting elected, and a necessary condition on that is presenting to the public the perception that you (and you’re team, whatever) are worth the vote. Bush did the same thing. McCain thought that trying to womens votes was worth picking Palin.

        Do we really think that Palin enhanced McCain’s FP cred? Or even the majority of his DP cred? He did it purely for political (ie, getting-the-votes electoral) reasons. Same with Obama.

        On the other hand, Bush 2 tasked Cheney to find him a VP candidate who would bolster the ticket (he already had a bunch of his cabinate in place when he announced). Cheney determined that Cheney was the best possible VP. So that one’s a little weird. But Cheney def. brought something to the platform that Bush alone didn’t. Cheney had street cred in executive FP decision-making.

        But, you know, whatever. We’re talking pure politics now. Just a battle of opinions. I’ll let you have yours, I guess. I just disagree with it given my conception of how politics actually functions.Report

      • Avatar Notme says:

        Sounds like sour sour grapes to me. The nyt said the same thing i did, so i atleast have a reputable source to back up my opinion unlike you.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Hold on, who is that calling the NY Times “reputable”?Report

      • Avatar Notme says:

        Mike

        Don’t liberals consider the NYT a reputable source? Or has that changed recently?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        No, notme, not sour grapes. I’m one hundred percent convinced that Obama chose Biden as VP for purely political reasons, not because he thought Uncle Joe was gonna give him invaluable and otherwise inaccessible advice on foreign policy. He did it to give the public the impression that the Obama ticket was well-schooled in FP.

        I said the same thing about Bush/Cheney, and McCain/Palin. The VP decisions were more about presenting an image to get votes than shoring up the candidates actual shortcomings. I mean, the last President I’m aware of who did that sorta thing was Lincoln, who seemed to invite antagonistic personalities to make sure he was decidering from a well-informed place.

        Now I’ll wait for Kolohe to tell me I’m wrong about that. Again…Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        All the news that’s FIT to print!!!Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        I do. I’m a bit surprised that you do.Report

      • Avatar Notme says:

        Mike

        I think the NYT has a liberal bias (especially in the editorials) but is generally reputable in its reporting on the subjects they choose to report on.Report

      • Is that a backhand admission that senator obama didnt have any foreign pilicy experience? If that is so, then it really wasnt a perception, that he needed biden as his cover.

        Actually, Obama did take steps to getthe requisite experience while he was running.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        “Now I’ll wait for Kolohe to tell me I’m wrong about that”

        Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman says:

        notme, Biden also famously said that he expected Obama to be seriously tested on foreign policy and hoped that we’d all just sort of go along with whatever weird decisions he made.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew says:

      You’re right that you can get the credential, loosely defined as whatever is necessary to show that you’ve given some serious thought to the subject of foreign policy, and still make mistakes. I’m not saying that anyone who gets the credential is right to be president. But there are plenty of people of varying views and judgement with the credential.

      I view having done some study of foreign policy as a prerequisite for making good decisions on it. From there, we can move on to whether the views expressed are good ones, and whether other indicators of good judgment exist. But there are plenty of options in all directions once you apply that prerequisite. I view not having it as disqualifying. I don’t want someone who has spent no time learning about foreign policy and has no view other than that war should be a last resort any more than I do someone who has spent no time learning about foreign policy and has no view other than that “America needs to be strong in the world” or whatever (i.e. be much more willing to use force). Well, maybe I want him a little more, but I don’t want him; I view him as disqualified.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 says:

      Believing in the Green Lantern theory of geopolitics (“All you need is willpower!”) is, indeed, a sign of unseriousness and a good indication you should be kept far away from foreign policy.

      Sadly, Jeb Bush just hired it’s chief proponents.

      I admit, it’s a very tempting theory. If you’re just strong enough, manly enough, you shall triumph through sheer determination! I suspect if you plotted out the Green Lantern folks in the US and the “Has a man-crush on Putin” folks, you’d get basically full overlap.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        At this point, it’s best to get all of this stuff out of the way. The day will come when the issue will be less of “how bad will (Republican Nominee) be when it comes to crap like Putin or ISIS?” and more of a “Who is worse on crap like Putin or ISIS? (Republican Nominee) or (Democratic Nominee)?”

        If (Democratic Nominee) is who I think it might end up being, we’ll have a tabula rosa going up against an established record and I don’t know that tabula rosa will end up looking worse in comparison.

        But that’s tomorrow.

        (I would, however, try to make sure that no statements are made discussing the importance of a particular principle that might swing back poorly against (Democratic Nominee).)Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        I’m not sure of your point, but I’d like to point out there’s a difference between hawkishness in general (which I am not a terrible fan of) and of, for lack of a better word, trying to refight Vietnam using whatever convenient small country wanders into the gunsights.

        PNAC seems to cover both extreme hawkishness, a firm belief in just sheer determination being able to carry the day, and some extreme American exceptionalism to the point where it’s just assumed that everyone loves us, wants to be like us, and dropping bombs on their head just makes them love us more. Call it Ivory Tower Warfighting.

        Clinton seems about as hawkish as Obama — that is to say, not really interested in starting wars but firmly embracing the ‘world police’ role of America. Jeb Bush seems to have basically re-hired the architects of the Iraq war, except for Dick Cheney.

        People who, by and large, feel the only mistakes in Iraq had to do with weak-willed liberals back at home.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        They are not dumb. They reliably sign on with the front-runner: Mitt last time, Jeb (thus far) this time. One reason I was so adamantly anti-Mitt last time is that he seemed to have neither expertise nor interest in foreign policy, and his advisers were these same lunatics.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW says:

        Jaybird – I don’t agree with most of Hillary’s stated principles, votes, or actions on American interventionism. I find her far too hawkish. As a non-American, I would feel that having her in the White House made the world a less safe place.

        The question for me (an academic one, as I can’t vote in American elections) will be: is the Republican candidate even more dangerous than Hillary; more-or-less similar to Hillary on foreign policy, but worse for working-class people on domestic policies; or significantly better on foreign policy, but worse on domestic policy?

        Obama – for all my objections to his indiscriminate drone strikes, among other issues – looked a lot less dangerous than McCain/Palin in 2008, and still looks a lot less dangerous than them now.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Jaybird,

        Are you saying that Jeb is tabula rasa in this little fantasy?

        The guy from the Bush Lineage with a history of political “service” to his constituency?

        If he’s tabula rasa, then why isn’t Hillary tabula rasa? I mean, the argument seems to be that “no one knows how he’d act when Preznit!” But that applies to her as well, no?Report

      • Avatar greginak says:

        I wonder what Walker’s views on the current negotiations with Iran are? I know what O says and i can bet Hillary is pretty darn close to O’s view. That might clarify some of the differences between a the set of R’s and D’s.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        If we’re going to assume Bush vs. Clinton, it seems to me that it’s possible to ask about Hillary Clinton’s experience with Russia and we’ll be able to actually compare what she actually did with Bush’s bullshit. Same for the Middle East.

        Now, if you want to say that you prefer Hillary to Jeb, sure, fine, whatever. Awesome.

        If, however, we’re talking about the horserace, the playing field changes. How did Clinton do with regards to Russia? How did Clinton do with regards to the Middle East? There are actual answers to this question.

        “He doesn’t have any experience!” might be considered an upside, from some perspectives*, when compared to “she has a lot of experience! Look at it! LOOK!”

        (* I am currently rolling over in my head the issue of where I suspect the undecideds will end up on this one. I haven’t come to a conclusion yet.)Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW says:

        And as for PNAC – it does a lot to affect one’s skepticism towards conspiracy theories when you realize that there’s a group of powerful people in the world’s most powerful nation who have openly stated that they intend to rule the world, and use military means to do so.

        Anyone who’s opposed to an American global empire needs to be against any candidate backed by those guys. Half of them at least should be in prison now, for torture and war crimes; it’s horrifying that they still have an audience. And that’s on Obama – if he had treated torture as a crime, not as a policy disagreement, and exposed their surveillance actions intead of continuing them, people wouldn’t still be listening to these guys.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        If he’s tabula rasa, then why isn’t Hillary tabula rasa?

        I suppose you might say that it’s unfair to look at her experience as secretary of state and come up with an attitude toward how she’d handle international diplomacy.

        I do think that it’s somewhat possible to get an idea that her philosophies are such that her actions as secretary of state are compatible with her likely attitudes toward international diplomacy insofar as Obama is a good judge of character.

        Hell, maybe we could make the case that the job of Secretary of State is so different from President when it comes to international diplomacy that it’s completely unfair to compare the two. Sure. I’d be interested in reading that argument.

        As it is, however, I feel safe saying that if the nominee is Hillary, on the topic of international diplomacy, her record as secretary of state will be seen as relevant to the topic and the argument that we can’t know any more about her than we do about any given governor will be seen as coming from a place of defensiveness.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        The question for me (an academic one, as I can’t vote in American elections) will be: is the Republican candidate even more dangerous than Hillary; more-or-less similar to Hillary on foreign policy, but worse for working-class people on domestic policies; or significantly better on foreign policy, but worse on domestic policy?

        And now you see why I vote third party.

        Though I could see how someone interested in more of a non-interventionist stance would prefer Rand Paul to get the nomination… but if they like working-class people on domestic policies, they might hate Rand Paul enough to see his domestic policies as more than making up for his nominally better positions internationally.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        and we’ll be able to actually compare what she actually did with Bush’s bullshit.

        Seems to me you just undermined your argument. From a purely political angle, she has an out: she was lied to. Neo-Bush has none: he’s associated with an admin. the lied to congress.

        I mean, that’s the case if we’re gonna get all inelexul about things and try to guess how the rest of inelexul America reacts.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Can’t quite figure out what argument you’re making here Jaybird. Whether it’s against the conventional politics or just against Hillary. It’d be weird if the latter, since there are all sorts of grievances to make against Jeb. If the former, then why the focus on attacking Hillary as opposed to Jeb?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        From a purely political angle, she has an out: she was lied to.

        I wouldn’t want to run for president on that.

        Personally, I totally understand the argument that this is a job that is difficult and it takes decades to get good at and I came into the job as a naïve little lamb who couldn’t tell that I was being lied to but now I am an experienced statesperson. Vote for me and not for the naïve little lamb running against me.

        That’s actually a pretty decent argument.

        I can’t wait to see how that argument would (will?) play out in the wild.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW says:

        I vote third party, too, Jay.

        Domestic vs. foreign is definitely my dilemma when it comes to the idea of a Rand Paul vs. Hillary election. (If it was his dad, I’d have a similar dilemma, but I think ultimately I’d been cheering for Ron just out of curiousity for what could ensue [and cross my fingers that his monetary policy didn’t throw the world back into the feudal era]. The American global empire might willingly dismantle or it might self-destruct, but either way it couldn’t survive a Ron Paul presidency.)

        Currently, I don’t think his foreign policy comes across as sufficiently different from Hillary’s to counterbalance his execrable domestic policies – and in some areas his foreign policy may be worse than hers.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Jaybird,

        I don’t really have a dog in this fight, but insofar as your premonitions that Hillary’s vote on the AUMF is decisive, then, at that point, when all the media and the GOP Machine is making it the decisive issue in determining the outcome of Jeb v Hill’s, then you can remember this conversation and tell me “I tole it was gonna come down to that!”.

        Sitting here, right now, I think that the GOP and Jeb are gonna wanna stay further away from Iraq than Hillary is. They won’t wanna touch it with a ten foot pole, even to prod Hillary’s operative who handles the CNN guy who direct the on-air personality who promotes her.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Stillwater, I’m not attacking *EITHER* of them. I don’t have a dog in this fight.

        I do, however, find the fight itself to be interesting. If we’re going to argue that Walker or Bush or whomever doesn’t have any experience with, say, Putin… we’re going to have to realize that Hillary *DOES* have experience with Putin and we will have to compare Hillary’s experience with the puffery coming from Walker or Bush or whomever and I don’t know that Hillary’s record is particularly strong here. Sure, I understand all of the stuff that she had working against her. She was lied to. Sure. But we’re going to be comparing that to promises.

        Which is why I think it’s important to hammer this stuff out *NOW* before we have an official Democratic nominee.

        But be careful. It’s possible, however unlikely, that Hillary will say something to the effect of “you know what, I’ve got a grandkid now… I’d rather just go back to Chappaqua and play with the grandbaby and write my memoirs and count my money.”

        If that happens and the Democratic nominee is, say, Elizabeth Warren (hey, it could happen!), it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the discussions regarding the importance of experience with regards to international diplomacy.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        If that happens and the Democratic nominee is, say, Elizabeth Warren (hey, it could happen!), it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the discussions regarding the importance of experience with regards to international diplomacy.

        If it was Warren, why wouldn’t the same arguments actual lefties – not you – are making apply mutatis mutandis?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Thinking about that a bit more, what’s so wrong if certain lefties actually changed their arguments? All we’d learn is that they prefer one party’s candidate more than another.

        But we already know that about partisans, yes?Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        Jaybird is right that a Warren nomination would pose a problem for me under present qualifications.

        I didn’t name this specifically in the post, but I would say that service on a congressional committee with foreign policy jurisdiction can contribute to the kind of demonstrable exposure I’m looking for. That said, something like four years on such a committee is pretty thin experience. Also, Warren hasn’t been on such a committee while who’s been in the Senate.

        So if she wants to run and get my vote, she had better get moving!Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        {{Jaybird:1. Stillwater:0}}Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        …Actually, four years isn’t THAT thin. It’s thin by the standards of a lot of senators & reps, but it’s probably four years of more intensive FP exposure than any but the most focused college programs. And, it’s on-point to present policy issues, and more recent. But, more than four is better than less. Four might be the very bare minimum.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        MD, With that hedge I’m taking away the point for Jaybird. It’s back to all-square. If Jaybird has a problem with that he can take it up with the League office.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Truly, partisans gonna part.

        With that said, I like to think that there is, hopefully, something untoward about “my party, right or wrong” in this day and age. Now, I’m not suggesting that people vote for the other real party (heaven forbid!). I’d like to think that there will be people out there who will say “what in the flying hell am I doing?” and vote third party.

        Now, with *THAT* said, if the Republicans nominate Huckabee, I think that that could get me to vote for Clinton. (Though, if they nominate Rand Paul, I might find myself pulling the lever for a Republican for the first time.)Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Jaybird,

        I don’t disagree, at least in theory. It’d be nice if everyone was clear-thinking about their priorities and pulled the lever for the candidate rather than the party. In practice, tho, I think folks tend to view the lever-pulling as an expression of very coarse-grained support for a collection of positions rather than a candidates individual policies. But that doesn’t mean folks are just voting blindly-partisanly. It may be, and in most cases I tend to think it is in fact the case that, those folks have so determined those broader platform issues and vote to support them. (Eg, if a person has a strong view about the right to life/right to choose, then all other things equal, they’re gonna pull the lever for a candidate based entirely on the R or D. Similarly with coarse-grained views on cutting taxes or not, etc.)

        But I get what you’re saying. Seems to me most of the stuff that interests you and prolly the rest of us at the political level may need to be hashed out in advance of election day, not only to clarify what each of us actually supports/opposes/haven’t paid enough attention to, etc., but also to generate some momentum for those issues to actually break into the Boundaries of Respectability in the next election cycle. That’s an uphill battle for lots of issues, no doubt, especially ones that are politically toxic. Like CJ reform. On the other hand, SSM and pot-legalization are now on everyone’s mind with one issue apparently decisively resolved and the other gaining traction.

        Maybe the issue is this: most political change takes place outside of the coarse-grained action of pulling a lever on election day, and that action is more about reaffirming coarse grained stuff that has been shaped during the primary and perhaps clarified during the general. I mean, even the PPACA arose outa a bigger cultural shift – one that took place over decades – and was only viewed as a real possibility during that election cycle and realized as legislation during that rare and barely-open window of opportunity.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Alsotoo, we’ve all talked about ways to reform our current political process/structure so’s to better include more fine-grained stuff. One thing I’ve always thought’ve as a good idea is IRV. Folks could vote for their preferences without feeling like they’re throwing away a third party vote. If nothing else, it’d reveal the degree to which the electorate is frustrated with the current political Duopoly.Report

  3. Avatar Stillwater says:

    If I can take on 100,000 {{peaceful, Middle-classy (maybe classy in other ways) American political}} protesters, I can do the same across RULE the world.”

    Yeah, this guy has a lot to learn. Mostly about himself, I think. After that about the world.

    But then, conservatism is all about not really learning about the complexity of the world… So why bother with learning too much about yerownself? Counterproductive.Report

  4. Avatar Damon says:

    Well, I don’t think taking on 100K protesters prepares him for ISIS, but he’s not going to “take on ISIS” anyway. He’ll send some troops to do it for direct someone to fire a missile.

    Maybe I can discount his claims that this was Reagan’s greatest FP action. It certainly was a good domestic one, but I also think it had SOME FP impact. Greatest, probably not. But where else have we seen politicians trying to make more of their policies / positions than they really were? Oh I know, EVERY single election.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew says:

      Read again. The claim isn’t that it was the most important foreign policy decision Reagan made.Report

    • Avatar dexter says:

      Damon, I think that Reagan’s most important foreign policy win was talking the Iranians into keeping the hostages until after the election. The hostages were a giant drag on Carter’s standings and was on of the many reasons for his defeat.
      Also, one has to wonder if Walker could handle 100,000 union people if they acted like wobblies.Report

  5. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    I agree. Presidents have the most leeway in foreign affairs and in their role as Commander-in-Chief. Anybody who wants to run for President should demonstrate basic competency.Report

    • Avatar Notme says:

      Lee

      What do you define as a basic competency in foreign policy? Did senator obama have it and if so what did he do to get it?Report

      • Avatar Mr. Blue says:

        He went to college, obvs. And graduated and stuff. That’s how you can tell.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        On the exclusion-side of the equation, during the campaign he never equated “100,000 [US, liberal!] protestors” with armed-and-angry groups around the world creating problems in international affairs.

        I mean, equating the two is just idiotic.

        Or an expression of genius given the base he’s pandering to…Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        A demonstrated ability to think reflectively rather than on impulse and with bluster.Report

      • Avatar aaron david says:

        “A demonstrated ability to think reflectively rather than on impulse and with bluster.”

        You forgot the snark tag.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        He thinks there’s such a thing as diplomacy and that it can bring positive results, as opposed to using military force first, last, and always. It’s a low bar, but apparently a real one.

        Another low bar: he knows the difference between Sunni and Shia, and doesn’t lump both ISIS and Iran into “They’re all terrorists.” Find a Republican who does the same.Report

      • Avatar LWA says:

        The demonstration of competency was that Obama didn’t bray movie quotes like a jackass version of Dirty Harry and strut across a flight deck in a codpiece.

        A low bar perhaps, but you vote with the bar you got, not the bar you wish you had.Report

      • Avatar aaron david says:

        And how is that working out for us, with that Russian Reset and all? I mean, we don’t want to loose our heads over this.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        I think Nemstov’s assassination (coupled with Putin’s declaration that he’ll be overseeing the investigation personally) coupled with current economics spells revolution from within. Seems to me anyway. Putin may have played a hand that tips the balance, beginning the long slow slide to something more democratic and egalitarian.

        But these are Russians, so who knows! They seem to enjoy being oppressed even more than bitching about being oppressed!Report

      • Avatar aaron david says:

        ” beginning the long slow slide to something more democratic and egalitarian. ”

        Would be nice, but for it to work well, it is really going to need to come from within Russian society. They have enough of an idea of how the world works and they will have to want it, not us.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        aaron david,

        On one level it’d be nice. On another it’d prolly be horrific. Putin and his Oligarpoly won’t go down without a lot of bloodshed, seems to me. They’ve sorta demonstrated that they’re as ruthless as any American Robber Baron ever was (heh) and on topa that is this very strange subtext of a seemingly prevalent desire to return Russia to its prior glory. Which makes my face screw up in confusion. That appears to the be the fulcrum upon which Putin turns his political levers, with support from (I guess) plenty of/enough Russian citizens.

        I’m certainly not well versed in Russian history of culture, but I count myself as a Russophile and would hate to see that country reduced to lots of bloodshed. But’s prolly the only way those folks will achieve any real progress.Report

      • Avatar aaron david says:

        @stillwater
        That pretty much squares with everything I know and believe.Report

  6. Avatar greginak says:

    Umm…a gaffe?? How is claiming Reagan’s firing the ATC not what is conventionally called a lie?
    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/02/scott-walker-just-ronald-reagan-they-both-made-shit

    Not that will matter to his supporters but the entire concept of the ruskiies being impressed by firing ATC’s is frickin silly. The commie dictators were all scared by firing some gov workers…oh please. Not to mention that whole Solidarity thing along with the sympathy strikes by plenty of US union workers.

    One way to spot a rigid ideologue is that they always have to fit every darn thing into their preferred ideology.Report

  7. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    Completely off-topic – Why don’t we have a thread or a post about the FCC’s net neutrality decision yet? I would have thought it would have been right in you guys’ wheelhouse. Or does the idea of a government action that’s positive for competition and access to information just cause too much cognitive dissonance?Report

    • Avatar LWA says:

      They did have one, its just that Comcast won’t load that page.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      Did you see Michael Cain’s post, which came before the FCC decision? I hesitate to write a followup, because he understands the details at much deeper level than I do.
      [Fixed the link]Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      I did two guest posts over the last several weeks, one on the Republicans’ bill and one on Chairman Wheeler’s op-ed in Wired. When I looked yesterday the FCC’s site didn’t have the detailed rule (supposed to be 300+ pages) up yet, only the summary. Ditto for the separate rule that overturned the states’ ability (well, at least two states’ ability) to ban municipal networks. I haven’t had a chance to look for any surprises in the summaries, but don’t really expect any. The next real excitement ought to be when the various players start filing lawsuits :^)Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        Watch, I can invoke the spam filter! Here and here.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW says:

        Right, I found the post. Thanks!

        I expected we’d have an open thread or something in reaction to the decision, but in retrospect you’re right that we don’t really know much more now than we did when you wrote your previous post. I’ll be very interested to hear your analysis once we have more information.Report

  8. Avatar A Compromised Immune System says:

    Walker considered sending in agents provocateur to start riots during the union-law protests, hoping to turn it into a mess. Should we be at all surprised that he’s willing to compare civil protestors to a group of murdering terrorists? Should we really be surprised that the CPAC attendees and GOP base ate that up and loved it?Report

  9. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Demonstrate educability and substantial competence in identifying and appointing subject matter experts as advisors, and I’m satisfied. Walker seems educable, although it’s not clear that education has occurred yet and we must remember that education does not necessarily equal opinion change.

    So who is going to educate and advise him on foreign policy? Frankly, if we are to have a Republican President come 2017, I’d rather it was Walker on this score, because of the proven track record of fiasco held by the advisors that other guy just picked.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew says:

      Demonstrate educability and substantial competence in identifying and appointing subject matter experts as advisors, and I’m satisfied.

      In foreign policy matters? Absolutely, that’s demonstration of what I need. Outside them, especially in state or local governance? Nearly irrelevant to the concern.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew says:

      Also, out of curiosity, if a person had been governor of a mid-size state for four years and held local executive office for number of years before that, what would have needed to happen for them to have failed to demonstrated educability and substantial competence enough in identifying and appointing subject matter experts as advisors to satisfy this purpose?Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        …The purpose being to establish all that you need to know to think them competent enough to perform all the duties of president, including the foreign policy ones, such that if you like their policy prescriptions you’d be inclined to vote for them?

        …Or – for whatever purpose it is you’re saying this criterion determines (the preceding being my understanding of that).Report

  10. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    Education is useful but can be seen as a sort of fix-all. If it was as useful as we sometimes take it to be, Dr. Newt Gingrich would have been the greatest President of our lifetime.Report