On Morning Joe today the guests, at different times during the first segment, were Donnie Deutsche, Ed Rendell, Harold Ford, Eugene Washington, Dan Senor, Cornell West and Tavis Smiley. The main topics were the blind Chinese dissident who is asking for our help, the Afghanistan War and poverty in America.
The Chinese dissident story is a political football, and I doubt the administration will allow one dissident to interfere with a political opportunity to achieve success with the Chinese government. Maybe the Chinese government will not make it an issue and will allow this individual to leave China and go to school in the US. Romney correctly stated that if the reports of our embassy's failure to secure gaurantees regarding Chen Guangcheng's hospital visit then return to US custody are true, then we failed to stand up for freedom, and, instead, opted for politics.
When the subject of Karzai in Afghanistan came up, who is reported to have said that his demands were met by the US, the Morning Joe crew correctly stated that the continuance of support for this corrupt government is a travesty, and that no matter when we leave, Afghanistan will implode and Karzai will make out like a bandit. Our troops are dying for this thug, and we're spending 2 billion dollars a week for this thug. Dan Senor said that the reason we can't just pull out is that Afghanistan will become a failed state and it could cause instability in the region and invite the terrorists back in to attack us. Then we can never leave, because there is no evidence that this region would be stable if we stayed 50 years. I hope Senor is just stating what has been the conventional wisdom and that now it's obvious we must leave. Senor didn't state the position with zeal, so I think he is accepting the facts -- the intervention to build the nation has failed, and will continue to fail.
When Smiley and West came on, Joe started his bipartisan pitch to work with progressives to focus government efforts on the worst areas of poverty so that "smart" government action can effectively tackle the problem of poverty. West and Smiley promoted a living wage, significant tax hikes, infrastructure/government created jobs and a gaurantee of quality education for all children. Scarborough said that he would have differences with West and Smiley but that they could get together and work out the differences and come up with smart solutions. This is what's wrong with Scarborough's Centrism -- it has been tried for decades. Scarborough acts as if this is an innovative idea, but it's the very idea that created our mixed economy, which became statism, which now has bankrupted the country and created the enmeshment of government and corporations which has killed the economy for small and medium size businesses. The decades long compromise between progressivism and statism from the Right, which has been the centrist/status quo approach, has failed miserably, and one more call for smart government is absurd. The progressives win this battle. If we can't find private sector solutions to poverty, then the welfare state will continue to grow and abuse the poor until the country collapses under the weight of debt that's becoming already too burdensome to maintain.
Before any anti-poverty effort can succeed, the players involved have to accept that the present welfare state has failed, but they will not do this -- in fact, the progressives want to double down on the failure.