Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm Just Asking

I have to say that I'm shocked - shocked - that John McCain's presence in Washington hasn't immediately led to a resolution in the negotiations for a Wall Street bailout plan. I mean, he suspended his campaign, people. What does it take? Just shocking.

In the meantime, we may or may not be having a debate tonight. On the off chance that McCain doesn't declare war on Japan to try to get us out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, here is a list of questions that I'd love to see asked at the debate tonight, which is supposed to focus on foreign policy. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but if these got asked I think we'd have a much clearer view of the candidates.

* So, is this debate actually happening?
* How do you define victory in Iraq?
* What is the greatest threat facing America right now and how would you address it as president?
* What conditions need to be present for you to authorize the use of the military?
* Do you support the Bush Doctrine, which calls for the preemptive use of military force?
* What role should our allies play in addressing global threats?
* Given the situation on the ground right now, what is your plan for the war in Iraq?
* Is it proper for the president to sit down to negotiate with leaders of hostile countries? What would such negotiations hope to accomplish?
* How does our trade policy need to be adjusted to cope with the rising economic power of countries like India and China?
* Are we safer now than we were eight years ago?

That's just the list off the top of my head. I don't think that it's too slanted in one way or another. Hopefully the questions the moderators ask tonight take on a similar tone.

That is, assuming McCain hasn't gone off and done something else.


Anonymous said...

Really? The "worst economic crisis since the Great Depression"? On what basis, other than media sensationalism, do you make that claim?

Things aren't exactly rosy, but real GDP has increased over the past two quarters (see

Bank failures haven't approached the numbers of the 1930s, or even the 80s and 90s (see

Obviously, things aren't perfect. However, sensational claims about the magnitude of the crisis are not, at this point, warranted without further explanation.

On the other hand, the government may soon be doing everything it can to make things worse.

John said...

Dear Anonymous,

I would never go so far as to say that I'm above media sensationalism, but this is not one of those times.

The line I think you're referring to was meant as a joke (the part about John McCain declaring war on Japan was a joke too). In this case, I was taking a poke at Sarah Palin's comments about the US possibly being on the road to another Great Depression. You can read about the comments here: or here: or even here:

For the record, I think things are bad, but not that bad. I also think that McCain's faux heroism on the issue is laughable.