Thursday, October 18, 2007

A (Bipartisan) Solution to SCHIP?

I haven't commented much on the who SCHIP battle, but I am beginning to think that this issue is being played for pure politics on both sides of the debate. For the Dems, this is an opportunity to paint the President and the Republicans as heartless thugs that hate children, and the President and the GOP can run around crying "socialized medicine" at charges that this program is doing more than helping the working poor and that a Canadian-style single-payer system is just around the corner if SCHIP passes.

It seems that there is a way to make sure that the SCHIP does give the children of working poor parents and also insures those kids who parents make above the cut off and yet still need help. Michael Franc of the Heritage Foundation notes that there was a bipartisan agreement introduced early in the year that would preserve SCHIP's mission to help those just above the poverty line, and give tax credits for those not eligible for SCHIP so that the parents can buy insurance.

It's a workable solution that could solve the problem, but I doubt either side would go for it: it would give away an issue to club the other side with in next year's election.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hillary's Foreign Policy

I'm not crazy about Hillary Clinton, but if we have to have a Dem as President come 2009, I would rather have her than any of the other candidates.

Clinton has released her foreign policy document and it seems to hit all the right themes: blending a democratic belief in civil and human rights with strong sense of security and toughness. Someone once commented that the first female president would have to be a "tough guy," and Senator Clinton seems to be showing that.

This doesn't mean I'm going to vote for her, but I do think that of all the Democrats she is the one who will steer path away from the Bush shipwreck and yet is not beholden to the Ron Paul-Dennis Kucinich view of the world that seems to dominate the Dems.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another Ron Paul Post

GOP Presidential Candidate Ron Paul, apparently thinks that the US is to big and strong to be attacked ever again. In an interview with the Washington Post, he argues that he could never see a reason to launch a military action or start a war.

Now I frankly don't think we should be initiating wars, I never was for the war against Iraq because we had no solid reason to attack a country that seemed to mean us no harm. But Paul's argument against using military action is just plain off:

"There's nobody in this world that could possibly attack us today," he said in the interview. "I mean, we could defend this country with a few good submarines. If anybody dared touch us we could wipe any country off of the face of the earth within hours. And here we are, so intimidated and so insecure and we're acting like such bullies that we have to attack third-world nations that have no military and have no weapon."

Huh? What planet is he on? The fact is, a terrorist group was able to attack us, not with any high tech weapons, but with simple airplanes filled with fuel. A group or rouge government could sneak a bomb or wreak havoc in many ways. In our very interconnected world, America can no longer think that an ocean can protect us.

Listen, I think the Bush foriegn policy of shooting first and asking questions later has been a disaster. We had no business going into Iraq, I said that five years ago, and I will say it now. I think that the Bushies have used September 11th to whip people into accepting the erosion of our civil liberties. I am wary of GOP candidates like Rudy Giuliani who tend to want to continue the same path Bush has taken on foreign affairs. I want a candidate that isn't afraid to use diplomacy on the world stage instead of military action, which should be a last resort.

That said, Ron Paul is living in a dream world if he thinks that we are so powerful that no one will dare touch us. There are people out there that do mean us harm. That is the world we live in, not the world as we would like it to be. What I want is candidate that is willing to use the olive branch of diplomacy, but is also willing to use the spear if diplomacy fails.

The problem with many Iraq/War on Terror critics is that they assume that there is no real threat out there. For me, the issue isn't that there is or isn't a threat, but how to best fight that threat. The Bush Administration has done a poor job, but Ron Paul isn't a whole lot better. Seeing bogeymen on every corner is bad policy, but so is seeing life through rose colored glasses.