Tuesday, November 8, 2011

George Will Writes Thoughtful and Intelligent Column in Washington Post

Well He Was Due One, Wasn’t He?

This Forum has frequently criticized Washington Post columnist George Will.  This is not because he is a Conservative, but because his columns made so little sense and relied on logic, facts and data that were just not correct.  But Mr. Will is an intelligent person, and when he steps outside of his blatant partisanship he is capable of writing a well written piece.

A current column by Mr. Will muses on the Republican Debates, or what passes for debates.  Mr. Will correctly identifies these “made for TV” playlets as spectacles unable to enlighten.

Because the very idea of an eight-sided debate is absurd, and because such a televised event is survival of the briefest, the format discourages the drawing of sensible distinctions. But presidential duties demand this, and it would be helpful if the mad proliferation of debates at least tested this aptitude regarding issues as large as war and the judiciary.

Mr. Will wants the candidates to address the decision to leave Iraq and their attitudes towards the Federal judiciary.  With respect to Iraq

The candidates should answer three questions: How many troops would they leave in Iraq? For how long? And for what purpose? If eight years, 4,485 lives and $800 billion are not enough, how many more of each are they prepared to invest there? And spare us the conventional dodge about “listening to” the “commanders in the field.” Each candidate is aspiring to be commander in chief in a nation in which civilians set policy for officers to execute.

On the Judiciary Mr. Will is downright eloquent.

The common theme of the candidates complaining about the courts is that, in Perry’s words, “activist” judges “deny us the right to live as we see fit.”

Indeed, courts sometimes do that. And conservatives sometimes applaud, vigorously and rightly. Perry did when the Supreme Court, properly enforcing the Second Amendment, said that the elected representatives of the residents of Washington, D.C., and Chicago could not do as they saw fit, and as a majority of their constituents probably favored, regarding gun control. Perry, Gingrich, Bachmann, Santorum and Paul ardently hope that five Supreme Court justices will be active enough to declare unconstitutional the individual health insurance mandate enacted by majorities in both houses of Congress.

And he even manages to be droll on the subject of Constitutional issues

 (Ron Paul considers the withdrawal of U.S. assets insufficiently thorough; but, then, he might favor U.S. withdrawal from territories of the constitutionally dubious Louisiana Purchase.)

So thanks Mr. Will, we all appreciate a well written comment, even if it is by people whose political philosophy we disagree with.  

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