Monday, March 17, 2014


It's obvious to anyone who's paying attention that Republicans and their media flacks want the U.S. economy -- or at least the economy that the non-rich experience every day -- to continue failing until the GOP controls all of Congress and the White House. This approach seems reasonable to Republican officeholders, party officials, think-tankers, media figures, and donors because they assume that they themselves are immune to the economic malaise -- they live at a rich, rarefied stratum where economic problems simply aren't problems.

But what I'm noticing now is that the right's approach to foreign policy is becoming the same as its approach to the economy. Just as right-wingers want the economy to keep failing so the blame will go to Obama, they also want America to look as weak as possible under Obama so the country will fail in the foreign policy realm.

That's the explanation for what Michael Cohen is struggling to understand here:
... one is hard-pressed to find a single person in Washington who believes the US should send actual American soldiers to Ukraine -- even if Russia truly escalates the crisis and send its troops into Eastern Ukraine.

All of which raises a quite serious and legitimate question: what the hell are we arguing about?

If the US is not prepared to put troops on the ground? If we’re not willing to use military force? If we're content with taking the biggest tool in the US toolbox off the table, then how exactly is the United States supposed to reverse Russia’s seizure of the Crimea? Our vast military capabilities won't mean much to Putin if he knows we aren’t willing to use them.

Here's the dirty little secret of the foreign-policy pundit/expert orgy on what to do about Crimea: the US has at its disposal very few levers with which to change Russia's behavior, at least in the near-term. We can cancel multilateral summits and military training (already done); we can deny visas to Russian officials (just beginning); we can even ramp up bilateral economic sanctions and try to build support among key European allies for a larger, more invasive sanctions regime (under discussion).

But as our long effort to bring Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear ambition reminds us, such steps will take time and diplomatic effort to bring results. They won’t offer the guarantee of a satisfactory result, and they could produce significant economic backlash for US companies -- and, more directly, US allies.

In the end, we're stuck arguing over policy responses that largely dance around the margins, and a situation in which Europe’s actions likely matter more than America's.

And yet here are the lead stories at, Fox Nation, and Fox News Insider right now:

These folks are clamoring for Obama to do something tougher, but can't manage to make any genuinely useful suggestions. Ed Kilgore says this is a case of "Magical Thinking Run Amok." He adds:
One thing is for certain sure: all the high-volume demands we are hearing from American pundits and Republican politicians that Obama magically change the situation by "standing up" to Putin (without, of course, even contemplating military action) aren't helping. If there were ever a good time for an administration's critics to shut up for a brief while and await further developments -- from the Russians, from the Ukrainians, from the Europeans, and from our own diplomats -- this is it.
But that's just the point: the Obama critics don't want to help. They want to do harm.

They're so used to harming the economy and not personally suffering as a result -- and, in fact, gaining electorally (the House in 2010, the Senate probably this year) -- that they seem to believe they can harm America in the foreign-policy realm and not suffer as a result of that, either.

'For them, partisan sabotage doesn't stop at the water's edge.


Victor said...

These newer Conservatives are nucking futs!!!

They will do anything to hurt President Obama, and the Democrats.


Just short of treason - but not short by much.

Ike sat there, when the USSR went into Hungary.

LBJ did the same in '68, the year of "The Czech Spring."

Their boy, Ronnie, invaded an island the size of a fucking postage stamp, Clint Eastwood made a movie about it, and you'd think it was like D-Day, and the beginning of the end of WWII.

Bush I, the not insane or stupid one, went into Kuwait, another tiny country.
And back then, Cheney was still sane enough to not want to go into Iraq, because of secular warfare.

And then, they didn't support Clinton, when he got the UN to curb the violence in Bosnia.

Finally, "Lil' Boots" Bush - the ignorant one with the 'Daddy issues," decided he wanted to show he had a bigger dick than his Daddy, and went into Iraq on TOTAL BULLSHIT!!!!!

And they demanded that Liberals agree, lest we be treasonous traitors.

Now, when Russia is rattling it's sword in Ukraine, they don't know, and can't think, of a single thing America could do - except wait until Obama make some decisions, and line-up to scream how wrong he is.

These are some seriously fucked-up "people!"

Carol Ann said...

They are treasonous, since they are actively seeking to undermine the government of the people by the people and for the people, are disloyal to our government abroad and here in the US, are some of them actively advocating the overthrow of our government, and so on.

Liberals, in their eyes, are treasonous if they even question the fact of the Birchers' treachery.


the offense of acting to overthrow one's government or to harm or kill its sovereign.
a violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or to one's state.
the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.
1175–1225; Middle English tre ( i ) so ( u ) n < Anglo-French; Old French traïson < Latin trāditiōn- (stem of trāditiō ) a handing over, betrayal. See tradition

Related forms
su·per·trea·son, noun

1. Treason , sedition mean disloyalty or treachery to one's country or its government. Treason is any attempt to overthrow the government or impair the well-being of a state to which one owes allegiance; the crime of giving aid or comfort to the enemies of one's government. Sedition is any act, writing, speech, etc., directed unlawfully against state authority, the government, or constitution, or calculated to bring it into contempt or to incite others to hostility, ill will or disaffection; it does not amount to treason and therefore is not a capital offense. 2. See disloyalty.

Philo Vaihinger said...

O needs to do less - nothing, in fact - about Ukraine.

None of our affair, any more than it was in the 19th Century.

Stand down.

US out of NATO.

Ken_L said...

They despise Obama's lack of self-proclaimed virtue. They want him to rant about the Evil Empire and the glories of American Exceptionalism. They expect him to yell about how Good and Moral America is compared to bullshit countries like Russia. They are still carrying on about Obama's failure to make rousing speeches supporting the Iranian street protesters in 2009, for god's sake. They want their enemies to be Pure Evil and they want them to be reviled in public, over and over, until they can gloat over another lovely war which America can win.

It's true that whatever he actually did, it would never be enough; but their main complaint is one of style. Obama is just not self-righteous and confrontational enough for them. He tries to be a problem-solver and that's not even on their agenda. They want to make the problems worse.

John Taylor said...

Maybe Obama should follow Bush and Cheney's example. That worked out so well.