Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mat Yglesias Wins

There have been many arguments that I have read and agreed with saying that Obama should appoint this or that Republican to the position of secretary of defense. Matthew Yglesias has defeated than all with just two sentences in a two paragraph post.
If you find a moderate Republican with sound views on key environmental issues and make him or her head of the EPA, that says "climate change is an important issue and there's bipartisan support for taking action." If you put a Republican in charge of the Pentagon it says "Obama likes diplomacy, but even he knows that when the going gets tough you need to call in the GOP."
This made me think about the question in a new way. Before I had seen the SecDef position as a job that a Democrat could trust a Republican to actually do and not try to undermine him. It was the post I was willing to trust them with because I thought they would mess up anything else. Defense was the one area where I thought we are all on the same side of this issue. I had not considered the fact that the GOP likes to paint Democrats as incompetent in this area. Mr. Yglesias convinces me that I had looked at this question from exactly the wrong point of view. I wish that I could argue that concisely.

Cross posted at TPM.

No comments: