Chuck Todd is flummoxed by the President's foreign policy doctrine because it doesn't fit neatly into his little "poll box."
August 11, 2014

On Meet the Press Sunday, Chuck Todd proved he pays no attention to anything beyond the stupid damned polls. He actually said this with a straight face:

You know. Your original question is what did we learn about the [Obama] doctrine. And I think that I've been trying to figure out this man's doctrine now for six years. He doesn't have one.

Let's see. Chuck said this on August 10, 2014. On May 29, 2014 -- less than three months ago -- President Obama gave a speech at West Point where he reiterated that doctrine in some detail. But for folks like Chuck, he boiled it down quite nicely to one sentence. Here it is:

"For our actions should meet a simple test: we must not create more enemies than we take off the battlefield."

He also said this, specifically aimed at the warmongers marching among us:

"Since World War II, some of our most costly mistakes came not from our restraint, but from our willingness to rush into military adventures – without thinking through the consequences; without building international support and legitimacy for our action, or leveling with the American people about the sacrifice required. Tough talk draws headlines, but war rarely conforms to slogans."

Refining his point further, the President said "But I am haunted by those deaths. I am haunted by those wounds. And I would betray my duty to you, and to the country we love, if I sent you into harm’s way simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed fixing, or because I was worried about critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak."

There is much more, but I can articulate the Obama Doctrine pretty clearly, and I'm not the political director for MSNBC. Here it is: Wherever possible, use diplomacy and pressure to encourage neighbors to put an end to violence. Where that is not possible, use targeted military action. Let the United Nations play a greater role.

Here's what it isn't, Chuck, no matter what you say:

He ran basically with a wink and a nod that this was going to be a George H.W. Bush type of foreign policy, stability and diplomacy first, okay? And yet, he has been pulled in different directions. His instinct actually is very George W. Bush-like, which is democracy, freedom. You know, he doesn't want winners and losers.

Errrr, no. Where did anyone get the idea that Dubya wanted democracy and freedom? Dubya wanted imperialism, something Obama has no interest in. That's just straight-up bullshitting right there.

Really, the Obama Doctrine is so simple even a kindergartner could understand it. I can only assume Chuck chose not to pay attention to it because he's vested in a more visceral foreign policy involving embeds and real-time death and destruction. And bashing Obama because that way he looks "fair and balanced."

Or it could be because he only thinks of these things in terms of political gains and losses in the polls, since he also said this:

The country wants less of these wars. The country wants to retreat. There is this isolationist streak in the country, less intervention, all of those things.

He's giving them that foreign policy. It's a very, in some ways, poll perfect foreign policy that the President's doing. And it's seen as less popular. It's seen as less stable. Because it looks as if he's not leading. Events are leading him. And I think that that's what the country was reaction personally to him, that this is like, "Where's the leadership. What's going on here? You don't seem to have your arms around this."

Ignore morals, ignore the President's own obligation to his own people, because hey, it's poll-perfect foreign policy that's failing in the polls?

If you're as annoyed as I am, it's probably a good time to go read Paul Rosenberg's latest in Salon, where he explains why the Ted Cruz and Michele Bachmann factions get away with whatever the hell they want but Democrats never seem to. Simplistic answer: A centrist, 'balanced' press that's intellectually dishonest.

Behold Chuck Todd, in all his intellectual dishonesty.


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