Ginger, get the popcorn! Bryan’s got ‘West Wing’ on HIS blog

leo argue

You tell ‘im, Leo!

Well, maybe it’s not all that exciting to y’all, but it is to me.

Go check it out.

Wow, they looked so much younger then! Pretending to be in the White House really ages you, doesn’t it?

I also note that back then, Bartlet was itching to use military power. In the clip Bryan uses, he and Leo are on opposite sides of the same argument they’re having just before Leo’s heart attack.

Of course, Leo’s right in both instances. Leo’s always right. Leo’s the one who should have been president. As the clip below demonstrates.

Yes, I’m now in the sixth season, and yes, the quality has declined somewhat. But I’m still enjoying it.

One beef, though: You ever notice the way people or plot lines would just evaporate, without a word spoken as to what happened? For instance, what happened to Sam Seaborn? He went West for a very brief special election, expecting to lose, and then… what? He’s been gone for a season or more now.

Seems like they could have made the slight effort to explain his absence…

6 thoughts on “Ginger, get the popcorn! Bryan’s got ‘West Wing’ on HIS blog

  1. Bryan Caskey

    As always, thanks for the link.

    As a threshold issue, I think we ought to put the issue to Congress before going any further in “stopping” ISIL, as His Holiness would say.

    The 2002 AUMF (to oust Saddam) isn’t really relevant anymore, so I think we really need to put this issue through Congress as it appears this can’t just be a quick little bombing run.

    Having said that, I think Congress should approve a AUMF against ISIL. These are evil guys who, as the President said today “One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.” I wholeheartedly agree. I think we should pick an appropriate century, and bomb ISIL back to it. I’m thinking the 2nd or 3rd century, but I’m open to suggestions. Which century had the dinosaurs? That one might merit some consideration.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should engage in any nation-building. I’m not in favor of the US Military building a single thing in Iraq, as that’s not their department. The US Military is essentially the Department of Killing People and Breaking Things, and they happen to be quite good at it.

    I think we should have Congress debate the issue, vet it properly so the US people can have their input through their Congressional representative, and then, if the AUMF passes, send the US military in to absolutely destroy ISIL, without passion, remorse, or until there’s no one left to kill and nothing left to destroy, as far as the AUMF allows. These guys want to meet Allah and 72 virgins? That’s cool. I’m pretty sure the US Military can arrange that.

    Then we go home. No rebuilding for the good guys, no setting up libraries, no helping them organize bake sales. Maybe we leave them some MREs and water. But we just go home, having defeated our enemy on the field of battle. And we leave all the other would-be bad guys with a warning:

    “Don’t make me come back over here.”

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      OK, I can go along with that. Even though I like nation-building.

      But maybe the best nation-building we can do is leave that promise to come back if things get off-course again.

      Now, all of that said, how are you going to make this happen, politically? There’s probably a United States that would go for your plan, and that would be able to threaten to come back convincingly. But alas, that United States exists in a parallel universe.

      The left wing of the Democrats on one side, and the libertarians in the GOP on the other, have imagined to erode any resolve that existed in the Zeitgeist back in that five-minute period when we got over our Vietnam complex. But now it’s practically impossible to send in boots, and when we do, the “Can we leave now?” starts almost immediately.

      Of course, your plan DOES give an answer for the “Can We Leave Now?” problem. You could say, “In a few more days; there are still a couple of pockets where ISIS fighters are still standing.” Departure would be imminent from the start.

      Maybe you’ve hit on a politically viable way for the U.S. to wield military power to achieve important strategic goals going forward.

      In any case, you’ve got my vote.

    1. Bryan Caskey

      Had not seen that.

      Yeah, I’m glad we tried. Seems like the thing to do. If there is fair-to-good (it’s never 100%) intelligence that you can maybe get some hostages back, you try. That’s what you do. If Foley family didn’t know of the mission before the release of this piece, then I’m sure they feel some sense of comfort that our country actively kept looking for Foley, albeit in vain.

      I’m not sure this disclosure by the NYT puts other hostages in danger. Obviously the ISIL guys know of the failed raid in some capacity since we appear to have had a firefight with them. Even if they didn’t know until now, I’m still not sure how the release of the basic fact that we tried to rescue them changes much. If you’re an ISIL commander, you have to expect that the American military might try a rescue anyway, right?

      I didn’t notice any particular details being released about how we gathered the intelligence, so I have no serious objection to the story. To your last point, I don’t see anything wrong with the release of the general fact that we had a mission to get some hostages. I don’t think it really cuts much political ice one way or the other. No cynicism from me on this point, as I don’t see a political upside.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Here’s what I mean by politics: On another post, you said the president didn’t have much to say on the subject. You said he seemed to be taking a passive approach. Well, leaking the fact that we attempted a commando raid would be a way of countering that impression of passivity…


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