When the global financial system started to collapse five years ago, leaders from the Treasury Department, Congress and the Federal Reserve jumped up and started running.
Like men on a burning wooden bridge, they raced along, making crazy-fast decisions. They seized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bailed out big banks, saved automakers, slashed interest rates and funded a massive infrastructure-building project to stimulate growth.
Kentucky Republican Rand Paul is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and one of Congress' leading skeptics of U.S. military strategy, including possible strikes on Syria. On Tuesday, he offered a detailed response to President Obama's speech about the Syrian crisis. Paul joins Michel Martin of Tell Me More to talk about his opposition to military action, and what the U.S. should do.
With the highly anticipated Syria speech behind him, the path ahead for President Obama's effort to get congressional authorization of military strikes in Syria is no easier than before. In fact, post-speech, it seems more obstacle-strewn and steeper than ever.
One line President Obama might have borrowed for his speech to the nation Tuesday night was a famous one from John F. Kennedy's inauguration address: "Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate."
Always admired as a fine turn of phrase, what meaning does this have in our own time?
Perhaps it might have helped Obama make the turn from indicting the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons to explaining why he backed off his own earlier threat of military retaliation against Syria.
The U.S. and its allies await details of Russia's proposal to place Syria's chemical weapons arsenal under UN supervision. Meanwhile, senior Obama administration officials are continuing to press for congressional approval of a potential military strike against the Bashar al-Assad regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons in August.
If ever a speech seemed to be President Obama's last, best chance to win public and congressional support for his plan to launch military strikes against Syria, it's his prime-time talk to the nation Tuesday.
With polls indicating that 60 percent of Americans oppose action against Syria for using sarin gas and congressional approval looking ever more like a long shot, Obama's speech is a high-stakes endeavor.