Potomac Fever is the blog of the Hamilton College Semester in Washington Program.
I agree with the word choice, if not necessarily all of Carville's prescriptions. I'm scared that Rick Perry could become President (I'm less afraid of Romney’s administration). Perry is clearly an idiot. I'd argue that George W. Bush was NOT an idiot, whatever some liberals/Democrats/Americans/etc. thought- he was a moderately intelligent person with sub-par communication skills (from the view of educated people). Perry, while seemingly an effective campaigner with good retail-politics skills, seems misinformed and possessing zero desire to substantively think about any policy issue. Is it too much to ask that the U.S. President be mildly intelligent and moderately interested in policy, and not just be an incredibly ambitious oaf who seems more intent on making money from land-deals than running the state of Texas. He can’t name a single skeptical scientist or methodological concern explaining why he doesn’t believe man-made climate change is occurring, yet he strongly holds that position, which implies he believes this position as an article of faith. Unlike his arguably-flawed and archaic understanding of Christian theology on evolution, there is no conceivable Biblical justification for believing man-made climate change is or is not occurring- so I’m not sure what faith is dictating Perry’s views on climate change. But his answers indicate his position is not impacted by any actual thinking on the subject, because he clearly knows nothing about it including why some people are skeptical. His statements on Social Security (not the Ponzi-scheme part) seem to indicate he doesn’t understand what the 2037/2038 year (depending on SSA/CBO projections) actually means for Social Security. His statements would be interpreted as arguing SS can’t pay any benefits starting then, when in fact without any changes SS will be able to pay approximately 75% of all scheduled benefits for perpetuity. More generally, it seems clear that Perry is woefully uneducated about SS, which is concerning because the program consumes about 20% of the federal government’s annual budget, and because it’s a large contributor to the long-run deficit problem.He can’t intelligibly defend his position on the HPV vaccine, which means that he clearly hasn’t spent any time thinking about the issue either before he passed the measure or in the years after when he has encountered harsh criticism on the subject. His answers reveal that he knows little more about foreign policy than Sarah Palin did, though in his case Mexico is his Russia. What does Perry think about the Eurozone crisis, the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, economic development in Africa, the military and economic rise of China, or the threat of terrorism? Besides short and cheap talking points, we’ve heard nothing, and his job as governor clearly doesn’t lend him to possess familiarity with the issues (besides being invested in preserving the supply of oil to Texas and the U.S.)And that issue brings into the question of whether we can be satisfied that Perry is capable of hiring competent staff. The HPV vaccine incident, and his inability so far to get brought up to speed, also calls into question his ability to select competent, quality staff. He may have the right policy positions, but do intelligent conservatives really think he’s doing anything but parroting ingrained beliefs without thinking?
But what about the political condition of POTUS?
Of Obama? It's awful.Hence my fear that even someone like Perry might win.
I'm keeping my bets on a second term.Obama has reasons to be worried. We all have reasons to be worried, but it's a political lifetime until the election and I don't think the Obama campaign machine has geared up - he's still concentrating on the pregame, trying to put himself in the best position possible pre-decision of a GOP nominee.Once the opponent is known and campaign season starts, and i mean really starts, I'm trusting Obama to go to work on his public image - something I would argue he's not paying much attention to at the moment (for better or for worse). I do think this will be a campaign won by contrasting himself against his opponent rather than on his own record but with the potential nominees I'm just hoping this doesn't make things too easy for him.Like I said, my bets on a second term, regardless of Carville's advice.
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