On Morning Joe today the guests were Jon Meacham, Steven Rattner, Jon Huntsman and some guy who's written a book on Afghanistan titled No Worse Enemy. There wasn't much to the first part of the show except political talk about Romney and Obama. New polls out show that unemployment in swing states has gone down a percentage point or two, although the number is still much higher than the national average in practically all the swing states. No one broke down the unemployment numbers to see if it takes into account workers in these swing states who have given up looking for work, or the unemployed who moved from the swing states with high unemployment to states with low unemployment. Morning Joe simply took the raw numbers, presented no smart analysis and stated that politically this is good news for Obama.
This is the problem with Morning Joe, pundits like Joe Scarborough, and the political class as a whole -- they no longer think reality matters. Cable news shows and the political class think that perception is all that matters, and this is why the political class is so unpopular. Pundits think it's sophisticated to look at realism in politics and sneer at the idealistic fools who suggest politics be transparent and honest, but reality always has its say, no matter how many lies are told or how many political operatives attempt to create perceptions favorable to their candidate. This is why Obama is in trouble. Obama's team might be very good at creating perceptions and propaganda, but none of it changes the reality of the economy, and at some point, the economy becomes so bad that people become angry when they're manipulated -- they know better and it's deeply insulting.
Later on in the show, Jon Huntsman came on to talk about a comment he made comparing the GOP to the Chinese government because he, Huntsman, was disinvited to a fundraiser for suggesting we need a third party, or something like that. Hunstman blamed bloggers for making a big deal out of what he said, but why is he trying to back down from what he said? If Huntsman thinks that the GOP is becoming like the Chinese government, repressing dissenting views, then stand up for the idea -- don't blame bloggers for writing about it and expressing their own opinions. That's sort of hypocritical. Huntsman was allowed to speak in platitudes with no one challenging him or asking what he meant the fourth time he said the GOP should do bold, courageous things. Like what? You would think that someone on Morning Joe would have asked Huntsman what he thinks the GOP should do that's bold and courageous, but they didn't. They asked, instead, if he thinks Romney will do anything bold and courageous even when Romney has no core. There had to be Romney bashing. I don't think the moderates want Romney to win -- they want to wait until 2016 when they think the libertarian influence will have exhauted itself and the Tea Party will be a distance memory. Huntsman talked about a third party, but it would be nothing except what the GOP was a few years ago, Democrat-lite.
The conversation regarding Afghanistan was interesting because Scarborough backed down from his call for immediate withdrawal. Scarborough admitted he doesn't believe the troops should be withdrawn right away. However, the author of the book mentioned above stated that Afghanistan will go back to what it was no matter how long we're there, even though he believes there are good ways to handle the situation and bad. Obama is trying to save face, and the panel admitted that this is what's happening. We're allowing young Americans to die so Obama can save face. Does anyone realize how criminal this is? Can we not become morally outraged anymore? All the analysis of this tribe and that tribe, how the north feels about the south, how Pakistan plays a role, and this and this and that and that play into it are all just so much chatter.
Now they're saying that we'll stay longer than 2014 but with a very reduced presence. It does not matter if our intervention entails 10 special forces and a clown or 100,000 troops, it's the intervention that's futile and which has and will create unintended consequences. We should not be intervening in the affairs of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran or any other country. If a country attacks us, we defend ourselves and we punish the attacks or prevent the attack if we can, and that's it. We don't occupy countries for a decade and spend over 500 billion dollars with no changes and call it prevention. This is insanity.