A couple of comments on the Obama interview on the Charley Rose show.
- Of course the Obama administration is continuing (with modifications) some of the controversial programs of the previous Bush administration. Some of those programs were worth continuing, (Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.) Moreover, the president's key job is to implement the laws passed by the Congress and signed by whatever president is in office when the Congress passes the act.
- Perhaps the most important concern for the president is the security of the people of the nation. We have focused on safety from terrorist attacks, but a broken health care system is more dangerous to Americans than the acts of terrorists. A third world war would be more dangerous still, and the security of the nation in terms of such global threats depends on a strong military, a strong economy, and a strong political system. Obama is rightly concerned with the recovery from the Great Recession, but also with building infrastructure, industry and human and intellectual capital for the long term economic success of the nation.
- "Don't just do something, sit there and think." I like that slogan for a president who is Commander in Chief of the military and takes the lead on foreign policy in our system of governance. Talking heads can pontificate on what should be done, in spite of the fact that they don't begin to have the intelligence available to the president. Ultimately, the buck stops on the desk in the Oval Office in the White House. The decisions on Syria should be taken step by step. I read Obama as saying that the Assad administration in Syria has lost the support of most Syrians, and that a political solution will have to change that administration and have sufficient political support from the various factions within Syria and from the involved foreign powers. We have to have some trust in the folk running our government, recognizing that even when they make errors after taking into account all the information that they have, those errors are likely to be less than those we would make in our ignorance.
Check out this article in The Daily Beast.