May 17, 2015

Anyone else out there feel that David Ignatius is one of these pundits that should never be allowed, ever, back on our airways to comment on foreign policy? This guy has been acting as a good little stenographer for the Pentagon, David Petraeus, Palin, and the Bush administration and their invasion of Iraq for a long time now.

So color me not shocked to hear him repeating one of the Republicans' favorite attack lines on this Sunday's Face the Nation while discussing the foreign policy experience of the current crop of Republican presidential candidates.

First up was Peggy Noonan, a.k.a. the Dolphin Queen Of Her Own Universe (h/t Charlie Pierce), who shared this tidbit with the viewers over at CBS:

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well-- well, Peggy, let's go back and talk a little bit about this Republican field. There are several dozen of them. But, as you heard Bob Gates say earlier today, and he is basically a Republican although he has worked for eight presidents.


BOB SCHIEFFER: He said he's not impressed with any of them so far.

PEGGY NOONAN: Yeah. He-- he has a way the past few years of exhibiting a fabulous and dangerous candor, Mister Gates. And it's a kind of a delight to see. I think there's-- there is one little distinction to be made here. He looks at the Republican field and in terms for President and-- and in terms of foreign policy he-- policy, he says, well, I see pretty thin experience or knowledge more or less. There is a distinction between the Republican governors going for the presidency and the Republican senators.

The Republican senators are more immersed and have been more immersed. Their brain space has been filled more with foreign policy. The governors are mostly young men who are in effect catching up. Their brain space the past eight years has been full of domestic issues and (INDISTINCT) contracts. And how the state is doing in-- in terms of its economic environment. I do think, however, that the 2016 election will be both an economic and a foreign policy election. It's a great cliché of American politics that every presidential is about the economy. This one I think will be half economy and half foreign policy because we all sense that the world is exploding every day. So it will be important. And the-- there are Republicans who I think have some distance to go to make up for some gaps.

The only thing any of their brains are "immersed" in is catering to the rabid right wingers in their base that they have to placate to get through their primary process and how many Koch bucks they can rake into their campaign coffers and political PACs.

Next up was Ignatius flinging mud at the Obama administration, and singing the praises of Marco Rubio of all people and he likes Hillary Clinton for being a hawk as well. Never mind that she served in the Obama administration.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, David, my sense of it is that no job, being a senator, being a governor, being a business executive prepares one for being president of the United States.

DAVID IGNATIUS: I think that's absolutely right. We referred earlier in the broadcast to Harry Truman, in one sense, utterly unprepared to become president after Franklin Roosevelt, and, yet, he, by most accounts, was a superb foreign policy leader. This Republican field with some exceptions, I think Marco Rubio speaks powerfully with some real ideas about foreign policy. Generally, they-- they don't have a lot of experience.

We've learned watching Barack Obama learn on the job the dangers of that. And I think the American public looking at this election and it's one thing Hillary Clinton really has going for. I-- I wonder if people want to roll the dice again with a very inexperienced person. I mean Frank Rich is right. We're not at war but we are fighting a-- a very dangerous terrorist adversary in ISIS, which is expanding. Congressman Nunes is right. It is becoming a global force. So that will be a factor in-- in 2016. And people want somebody who they have confidence is going to be a good leader in them.

I'll take someone having the capacity to learn to begin with over what we've seen from the neocons who continue to beat the drums for more war and who every one of the current crop of GOP candidates are taking their cues from.

I'm not sure what exactly Ignatius believes the Obama administration has done that's so dangerous. Not cleaning up Bush's mess in the Middle East adequately enough to suit them? Attempting diplomacy with Iran instead of considering bombing them as a first option? Not having American boots on the ground in four or five more countries? Whatever it is I'm sure his solution would be for increased U.S. military intervention.

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