First, a big thank you to all who posted questions here for me to ask Rep. Chaffetz on our first-ever Deseret News “Twitterlogue” Wednesday afternoon. This was a new venture for all involved, and it was a learning experience. We plan to do another one soon with a different newsmaker.
I used several of your questions, but often I couldn’t ask your questions in full. Twitter allows only 140 characters per Tweet, so I had to truncate much of what you asked. The newspaper’s Web site will post a transcript soon.
Right now, I’d like to know what you thought about President Obama’s speech Tuesday night.
As a conservative, I found much to like. It was the first clear and concise statement from him that we need to secure Afghanistan for our own national security. He also made some statements reaffirming America’s role in the world that I found refreshing.
“Since the days of Franklin Roosevelt, and the service and sacrifice of our grandparents and great-grandparents, our country has borne a special burden in global affairs,” he said. “…more than any other nation, the United States of America has underwritten global security for over six decades — a time that, for all its problems, has seen walls come down, and markets open, and billions lifted from poverty, unparalleled scientific progress and advancing frontiers of human liberty.” (Read a full transcript here.)
I liked hearing that kind of statement on American exceptionalism.
What I did not like was the arbitrary deadline for pulling out of Afghanistan. That serves little purpose at all, other than perhaps to spur the Afghan government into getting its act together. It also conveniently fits into a re-election campaign for 2012. Of course, if we leave Afghanistan and things fall apart there, re-election will be tough.
What are your thoughts?