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Old 02-18-2010, 04:16 PM
tangerine tangerine is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2
Default Re: Gitchy Goo Edition (Peter Beinart & Jonah Goldberg)

It's funny that when Beinart asks about the substative grounds for the "mirandizing" and "treating them like common criminals" criticisms (27:50), Goldberg doesn't have anything. Instead he throws up a bunch of excuses. "Neither of us knows the answer to this." "A plural of anecdotes isn't evidence." He basically confirms Beinart's point that it's not about the consequences of the policy, it's about their dissatisfaction with Obama's worldview (i.e. it's different from their's, or at least is couched in different language than they use).

Goldburg claims at one point that his objections are indeed based on it being "bad public policy" (31:04), but he never explains WHY it's bad policy. He says it's "sort of loopy" (31:27) which again is not an argument, just another assertion. And then he goes on to talk about instances in which the administration mischaracterized recent terror attacks. But his beef once again is with the messaging/language coming from Obama, not how his policies affect national security.

I think this is why Republicans are able to claim public support in some areas in the national security debate. Their criticisms are all based on feelings. It's about how Obama's policies make them feel. And it's easy to make people feel uneasy about their safety even if things are working well. If you ask people how they feel about terrorists being tried in civilian courts, of course they'll say it feels wrong. Anytime you put the words "terrorist" and "civilian" together it feels wrong. But how things feel and how they actually work are not the same thing. I want to do what works, not what feels good.
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