Sunday, February 05, 2023


The initial Republican responses to news of the Chinese spy balloon was what you'd expect:

Then we learned that there were similar incidents in the Trump years:
U.S. officials said Saturday that similar Chinese balloons transited the continental United States briefly at least three times during the Trump administration and once that they know about earlier in the Biden administration.
The Trumpist response: Yeah, okay, we had spy balloons, too. But they weren't bad spy balloons!
“One top national security official from the administration of former President Donald Trump said none of the Chinese spy balloons were near sensitive sites or had payloads as large as this one appears to carry,” Bloomberg [reported].
Not near sensitive sites? That's unclear:
Craig Singleton, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told AP that Chinese surveillance balloons were sighted several times in the past five years. Some of them have been spotted near U.S. military bases in Hawaii, he said, though he did not specify when.
But if we ever learn more details about spy balloons during the Trump years and it becomes clear that equally provocative incidents happened then, Republicans have a fallback scapegoat:


What you'll hear is that Trump wanted to be tough, but he was prevented from doing so because we have a "woke military" that's "more concerned with pronouns than winning wars." The right keeps a reservoir of go-to enemies, and the "woke military" is one of their favorites, useful whenever a liberal asks why America struggled to achieve military triumphs under Republican presidents.

The groundwork is already being laid:

When Blake Masters, in a Senate campaign ad, said, "No active-duty American general has ever won a war," he was expressing a common opinion on the right: that the rot goes back many years, which means that True Patriots in the Republican Party have been sabotaged by traitors for a long time.

Conservatism can't fail. It can only be failed. If the parties held responsible are institutions the right used to revere, like the FBI and the U.S. military, well, that's the necessary cost of shielding the Republican Party from blame.


UPDATE: Told ya.

No comments: