Hard to quibble with this: “Presidents of both parties have promised in past campaigns to make modernization of government part of their governing agendas, but other issues have always pushed serious reform down the list of high priority items. The result has been more years of drift and uneven progress, which has created a major political opportunity for the next batch of presidential candidates. Most Americans implicitly understand that their national government is badly in need of a top-to-bottom review, covering everything from organizational structure to government contracting practices to pay policy.”
No argument on this on passage of the Veterans Affairs bill: “Giving the Secretary the power to hire and to fire those mid-level bureaucrats that are not doing their job. That’s an important measure. I’m glad it’s included in this.” Hey, the Senate can pass a bill!
Few would dispute this, which is worth reading in full: “John McCain took J.D. Hayworth seriously from the outset, and won his primary easily. . . . Lindsey Graham knew that he had a target on his back, and fought hard to discourage members of Congress from running against him, and set up a top-notch constituent service operation. He won. Mitch McConnell took his challenge very seriously, Thad Cochran did not. Bob Bennett did not take his challenge seriously, Thom Tillis moved to shore up his right flank. This showed up in the results.” It’s not so much the tea party as the tea leaves on which incumbents should focus.
You can make a case that the American people understand the military better than the president. “A majority of Americans disapprove of the deal that freed Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from his Taliban captors, and nearly three-quarters think he should face criminal charges if he deserted his unit, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The poll shows 73 percent say that, if it is shown that Bergdahl did indeed desert, he should be charged with a military crime. Twenty percent oppose charging Bergdahl. Support for such charges is nearly universal, with 70 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Republicans agreeing.”
They contend that experience and knowledge don’t matter. Now tea partyers in the Virginia’s 7th Congressional District can live with the result. “Dave Brat, chair of the Economics Department at Randolph-Macon College and the challenger who just unseated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a stunning primary upset, appeared on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown and appeared caught off guard when host Chuck Todd asked him a handful of policy questions about the minimum wage, arming Syrian rebels, and more.” Thunk.
You can take issue with just about everything President Obama has done or not done in the Middle East. “The situation in Syria is the product in good part of America’s failure to act when we had a chance, in 2011 and 2012, and even in 2013 when President Obama backed away at the last minute from bombing Syria to punish Assad for his murderous use of chemical weapons. In 2012 the President rejected the advice of most of his top advisers (using the term loosely, because he does not seem to value their advice), Panetta, Clinton, and Petraeus, to give the Syrian rebels significant amounts of non-lethal and lethal assistance. The massive refugee flow from Syria threatens the stability of Jordan and of Lebanon, and the concentration of 12,000 jihadis there is a danger to them and to the United States and all our allies. In Iraq, President Obama withdrew all U.S. troops as soon as he could. Would an American presence have avoided today’s debacle? It’s quite possible, because the United States was often able to broker deals between Sunnis and Shia that headed off the kind of violence we see today.”
Very few informed lawmakers on either side of the aisle would disagree. “Today, reports abound of terrorists plotting against the United States in Libya and the Syria-Iraq corridor. Even the Nigerian kidnapping crew Boko Haram is reportedly working on plans to hit American targets. Will Americans wait until those hypothetical concerns also become real before they accept the necessity of a strong U.S. presence in the Middle East? Al-Qaeda roared back to life with ease. Somehow the path that still remains difficult to reverse is our own.”