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March 21, 2009

Obama on 60 Minutes

The President will be on CBS's news mag 60 Minutes tomorrow and I can only imagine that they didn't let him use his teleprompter. In a ninety minute interview on his own turf, where you'd think he would do better, he manages to whine about his critics, signal the death knell for Tim Geithner's term at Treasury, and fundamentally misunderstand the purpose of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

Obama gets sarcastic about high expectations for Geithner's bank recovery plan:

It's going to take a little bit more time than we would like to make sure that we get this plan just right. Of course, then we'd still be subject to criticism: "What's taken so long? You've been in office a whole 40 days and you haven't solved the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression!"

Actually, at the time of Obama's interview yesterday, it had been 60 days. The public is justified in believing that he should have had a plan to remedy the bank situation before now because he has been telling us for two months that one was absolutely necessary to save us from breadlines and that, of course!, he had one.

His first attempt was a giant flop when it was released on February 11 and everyone realized that he didn't have so much of a plan as an vague intention. The second attempt, details of which leaked today, does not sound much better (can you say "moral hazard"? I'm half-convinced this is an intentionally defective plan so he can ditch it and get on with the nationalizations).

Obama also noted that Geithner's job was safe and that he will henceforth be known as the Scapegoat-in-Perpetuity; even if he wanted to quit, the President wouldn't let him:

Sorry, Buddy, you've still got the job.

This is a vote of confidence from the President, sure. It's also a threat: there is no escape.

Obama's also made ignorant comments about Guantanamo Bay:

"How many terrorists have actually been brought to justice under the philosophy that is being promoted by Vice President Cheney? It hasn't made us safer. What it has been is a great advertisement for anti-American sentiment."

Guantanamo Bay was not designed or ever intended to bring terrorists to justice. It was intended to be a prison for combatants in the War on Terror. It has also been used for intelligence gathering. Obama's preoccupation with "justice" stems from his desire to pretend that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are police actions with criminal justice goals, rather than wars for the safety and survival of the United States and American interests at home and abroad.

What a disaster.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 02:20 PM

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