Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has an idea on how to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

America’s foreign policy would be different if the U.S. was energy independent and its economy was growing again, he said.

“The best way to get us out of Afghanistan is to grow our economy, change the regulations, have a vibrant, growing America where people are afraid to come against us,” Coburn said.

I’m trying to wrap my head around this one. If only we got rid of those pesky “regulations” — Coburn didn’t say which ones, but he’s apparently not a fan of the Clean Air Act — then the economy would thrive. And once we experience a robust recovery, America’s foes would simply cower. Terrorists, presumably, would say, “We don’t dare strike against a country with 5% annual GDP growth and lots of pollution!”

And this will, of course, allow the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan that much more effectively because, well, just because.

Jamison Foser added, “Coburn’s attempt to link leaving Afghanistan with reducing government regulations that have nothing to do with the military is certainly a novel approach: Coburn is essentially saying that U.S. troops should stay in harm’s way until he is able to enact his unrelated domestic agenda. And in light of his view that a vibrant, growing economy will cause people to be ‘afraid to come against us,’ one wonders whether Coburn remembers the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which came immediately following the longest economic expansion in American history.”

Earlier this week, Coburn told his constituents President Obama loves his country, but his ideas are “goofy and wrong.”

Between Coburn and Obama, I think “goofy and wrong” applies pretty well to one of them, but I’ll give you a hint: it’s not the president.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.