Interview with U.S. Senator and Majority Whip Richard Durbin
With just about a year to go before we're likely to know the 2012 GOP nominee hoping to make Barack Obama a one-term President, the question is, does he deserve another term? On the flip-side, have the Republicans overplayed their hand by proposing draconian cuts to the social safety net, while advocating for further tax cuts for the top 2% of Americans. Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-WI) budget plan actually calls for lowering the top tax rate from 35% to 25% in a time when our infrastructure is crumbling and revenue sources are stretched thin.
As pointed out recently by Joan McCarter on Daily Kos , while the GOP led us into this current mess, there is blame for our structural fiscal woes on both sides of the aisle, as some Dems went along with the unpaid tax cuts and Iraq War.
As an early and pivotal supporter of then candidate Obama during the last Presidential campaign, and the second most powerful member of the Senate, Richard Durbin is in a unique position to offer a critique on Obama's first term, and the role of the two parties in Congress. In a followup to my 2009 interview, I've done another online interview with the Senator on topics ranging from Libya, to the economy.
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions.
Q1 - The White House has passed the baton for the Military actions in Libya over to NATO control, showing the world our involvement was a limited, humanitarian mission. However, the U.S. still maintains substantial control over NATO operations, and also maintains a large military presence in the Mediterranean, that is outside of NATOs control. With the no fly zone and air strikes failing to convince Gaddafi to leave, can you foresee any circumstances that would bring the U.S. back into Libya in a more direct manner?
A1 - When Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi began cracking down on Libyan opposition protesters, President Obama moved with unprecedented speed to condemn the actions and impose sweeping sanctions and asset freezes on the Libyan regime. With Qaddafi apparently defiant in the face of this international condemnation, Obama worked with key allies and Arab nations to build critical international support that would make military intervention in Libya more effective. Together with an international coalition and an unprecedented request for help from the Arab League, the United States took limited action to prevent Qaddafi from massacring his people and destabilizing a critical region. That mission has appropriately been turned over to NATO control, which should continue to lead the international effort to protect Libyan civilians.Continued on the next page