There is much to comment on in this interview. Too much, perhaps.
Its clear he is really spinning hard on this intel commission out of the gate.
I wouldn't be pissed off about his comment about not testifying. Its a matter of fact. Same rules applied to Clinton.
The war issue is something I've already discussed. Iraq was a threat. Iraq was not an imminent threat. Thats what they sold. They were wrong. Now they have to explain it. This doesn't mean that going into Iraq was a bad idea. He explains clearly what the benefits were. He is being honest there. The primary problem that I have with it was related to the international law issue. Not what we did but how. Bush misrepresents what he did when we talks about going to the international community. They drove the international community away, and they did so intentionally. They set a poor precedent for international relations. But I have a hard time saying they were wrong about the war per say. Its hard to say for certain. The world is clearly a safer place without Saddam Hussein, but there have been costs.
I greatly appreciate his careful respect for the armed services, and for the families connected to them. This guy is calling families every day. You can tell it has effected him.
I think he is playing the wrong card when he talks about jobs. The unemployment rate is not a good indicator of the health of the jobs situation in the country. If I were running for president I would promise to create new data points which more accurately include the number of people who are underemployed or who have left the job market.
I am also skeptical of what he has done for small business, and innovation. He isn't specific. Tax cuts on dividends coupled with expensing stock options have clearly cost the innovators. I look forward to hearing what the hell he is talking about.
As far as the deficit is concerned, this is DIRECTLY connected to the issues of international law I raise above. You don't have the sort of economic assistance from allied powers that you had with the Gulf War. Possibly Bush is attempting to avoid his father's fate? Bush Sr. said "no new taxes" and then ended up having to raise them because of the Gulf, and lost an election because of it. Bush Jr. is really juggling to pull this off. The reality is, raise or lower taxes, he's pretty much fucked either way. The fiscal conservatives listed (SIC, Cato is not a "conservative" group!) are wrong in the sense that Bush has proposed DEEP cuts in regular spending. Moreso then anyone in recent memory. This is a complex fish to fry and Bush deserves credit and blame alike. You show me a candidate with Bush's general fiscal responsibility along with Clinton's diplomacy and I'll show you America's first libertarian president.
Bush is not responsible for the country becoming more partisan. Bin Lauden is responsible. The interviewer really nails him in the end with the polling, but conspiracy theories about skull and bones is a little silly for MSNBC. Its a public service organization. Get a fucking grip. You sound like Robert Anton Wilson!
In the final analysis, I have mixed opinions about Bush, but he has a clearer message then John Kerry.
I too have a question I would have asked that was glaringly missing. I wonder if mine is the same as Jeremy's. I can sum it up in one word, which I piped to md5sum and posted here:
NBC -- Meet the Press with GWB