Archive for the ‘National Security’ Category
Friday, July 22nd, 2016
Inspired by the horrific attacks in Germany. Mr. President: We need to take action, and I know you’re getting millions of pieces of advice about what to do. But here’s a piece of advice I don’t think anyone else is giving you.
Dear Mr. President:
With today’s terrorist attack in Germany, America needs to take decisive action. I’m sure you’re discussing this with your many advisors right now and will come up with the right decision (or at least one of the many possible right decisions, to the extent that decisions can be “right”). But here’s a piece of advice I don’t think anyone else is giving you:
Make Hillary your Security Czar. Empower her to be your multi-agency point person to develop and implement our response to the growing terrorist threat.
You do not need Senate confirmation to do this, since she would be acting on your authority, through your authority, as an Executive Branch czar. Of course, the Republicans will bring back their ranting and raving about “Obama’s unconstitutional czars,” but those rantings won’t gain any more traction with the general public this time than they did the last.
By appointing Hillary and then supporting her actions, you avoid the criticism (which Republicans are sure to make) “why didn’t you and she do that sooner.” They will say that anyway, but if you appoint Hillary, then the answer is “I have appointed Hillary as the Security Czar, and I am supporting her.” They may still attack you, but at least they won’t be able to attack her (not fairly, at least; and if they attack her unfairly, she’ll have a stronger response). Appointing Hillary as Security Czar would also give her a great response to the “why didn’t you do that when you were Secretary of State” attack: “I wasn’t Security Czar then,” Hillary can reply. “I had a different job to do. Now, I’m Security Czar, and my job is to protect the American public, just like it will be if you elect me President of the United States.”
Is there a risk? Yes, of course. If Hillary does something that is widely perceived to be a mistake, then Donald Trump will take advantage of that to attack both her and you. But he’s going to do that anyway, especially if there are more terrorist attacks, so it’s the same risk, but at least with Hillary as Security Czar, there’s an upside:
- You can take advantage of her expertise and experience
- You and Hillary will have a chance to take action that shows how dishonest and hollow Trump’s attacks ultimately are.
Is there an upside to you personally? Well, in addition to preserving your legacy, appointing Hillary gives you a better answer to the attack (which they certainly will make): “Why didn’t you do this sooner.” With Hillary as Security Czar, you can reply: “As President, I make the decisions based on the situation at the time and the information available at the time. I listen to my advisors: generals, security experts, and intelligence experts. Everyone has different views, and it’s never an easy or straightforward decision. Given all that’s been happening, I came to the decision that I wanted a Security Czar to participate in these decisions, though I am of course still ultimately responsible in a legal sense. And when I decided that I wanted a Security Czar, the decision on who to choose for that position was obvious. Given her skills, her expertise, her temperament, and her strength of character, Hillary is the obvious choice.”
Is there a downside to you? Yes: If Hillary is seen as taking decisive action, she’ll get the credit for it rather than you. But you’ve always been motivated by what’s best for America, not by taking credit. That’s not a big downside for you, since your name isn’t on the ballot anymore, and since you’ve never been a credit-hog. (That’s one of the main things that differentiates you from a certain GOP nominee.)
Is this a political maneuver? Maybe, in the sense that almost everything is either political or politicized these days. But they have already politicized national security for beyond anything you could do to politicize it further.
Is there a downside for Hillary? Yes: time. Campaigning is already a full-time job, and being Security Czar on top of that makes it even harder. It’s kind of like dealing with National Security issues while running for second term. You’ve been there and done that, Mr. President, and you will (hopefully) have to do that yourself in 2020, Madame Secretary, so that downside should not be an insurmountable obstacle. (Indeed, if Hillary can effectively overcome that obstacle, that will be all the more evidence that she’s fit to be President of the United States.)
Mr. President, you have already endorsed Hillary to be America’s Commander-in-Chief for the next 4-8 years. Protecting our national security is a big part of that job. By appointing her as Security Czar, you wouldn’t be saying anything more about your confidence in her qualifications than you already have. You’ll just be putting your money where your mouth is. (Figuratively speaking of course, since the Czar position will be an unpaid one.)
But you would be enlisting Hillary’s help in dealing with this crisis, and you would be helping to protect your legacy and America’s real security from the unsafe hands of Donald Trump.
So please: Make Hillary Security Czar.
(Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Secretary Clinton or her campaign in any way, nor am I in any way associated with the Obama Administration. This post represents my personal views only.)