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Ridiculous hypotheticals

Rick Perry is taking a beating even from conservatives for his poor showing in the debates. While conservatives have focused on his fluffing of a chance to attack Mitt Romney, others have pointed to is his incoherent response to what he would do if told at 3:00 am that Pakistani nuclear weapons had fallen into the hands of the Taliban.

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I have to partly defend Perry on this particular point. Granted, his stringing together of non-sequiturs (what was India doing in that mix?) was Palinesque in its baroque quality. But posing these kinds of ridiculous hypotheticals to people is unfair. Do they expect a candidate to have thought through every possible emergency situation and have a readymade strategy to articulate? If Perry is to be criticized at all, it is for even attempting any specific answer instead of simply saying, whatever the crisis presented, that he would immediately convene a meeting of his national security advisors to devise a response.

Also, why do these questions always have the dreaded phone call coming at 3:00 am? What difference does the time make? Do they think that the president, groggy from being awakened and annoyed at a pleasant dream being disrupted and wanting to go back to sleep would say, “Dammit, just nuke ‘em!”

Comments

  1. says

    Shalom Mano,

    I also find the 3 a.m. questions annoying.

    They seem to me to be linked to the mentality of those in favor of a heavily armed citizenry who are prepared to blow away any intruder to their home in the middle of the night with a blast of 00 buckshot from their 12-gauge shotgun.

    For the record, I think that is an appropriate response for a homeowner defending his property and family. I do not think that is an appropriate response for a President of the United States.

    B’shalom,

    Jeff

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