Posted tagged ‘GOP Delenda Est’

Reason Number Gazillion I Thank The FSM For The 2008 Election Result

July 21, 2014

That would be that Lindsay Graham, the Republican senator who is totally not pandering for re-election.  The idea that this guy would have had any possibility of a role at the center of the national security and or foreign policy apparatus in a McCain administration should send jolts of terror through anyone who doesn’t think the war in Iraq has done so much good for the U.S. and the world.

Here he is talking to David Gregory, as covered by TPM.  His topic? The failings of those who actually do the hard work of trying to make sure that the US foreign policy has something more in its arsenal than the blow-shit-up option:

Easy enough to say I suppose.  Lots of places are in a bad way, and the news last week was flat out horrible.  But, as always, there’s the tricky bit to come. That ferocious interrogator David Gregory asked Graham what Kerry should have said about events in the Ukraine.  For some reason, this not exactly surprising query proved a bit more than Graham could coherently handle:

“One, he didn’t call Putin the thug that he is.

“And you’re ugly too!  So there!”


I mean, seriously?  The way to advance the goal of constraining Putin is to say nasty things about him?  When, in fact, a US led effort to rally European nations to put real pressure on Putin is beginning to show force?

This is why someone whose strategic education seems to have come from games with toy soldiers should shut up and let the grown ups work.

But no:

He didn’t call for arming the Ukraine so they can defend themselves against rebel separatists supported by Russia,” Graham responded.

Because ramping up the deadliness of the conflict is exactly what you want to do at a moment when Putin’s own escalation has just dealt the Russian approach a terrible blow.  Graham’s demand makes sense if the only if you imagine that if you’re not shooting someone, you’re losing.

Again — thank the FSM that this clown has only a soap box to deploy.

Finally, the cherry on top:  Graham’s deepest complaint is that the present administration…well, let him say it:

“President Obama is trying to be deliberative. It comes off as indecisive. He’s trying to be thoughtful. It comes off as weakness,” he continued.

There you have it, folks. Why the current GOP can’t be allowed anywhere near the launch codes for the foreseeable future.  Heaven forfend that someone with life-and-death power should stop and think a bit about when and how to exercise lethal force.  Just go ahead and shoot, man!  Something — anyone! That way you won’t look weak…

…Instead, you will just become weak.  See, e.g., the way in which the shot-from-the-hip war-of-choice in Iraq has so strengthened the US position around the world.

Lindsay Graham is going to get his next six years in the Senate.  The country will be the poorer for it.  But it could have been worse — and yet may be, if we don’t ensure that the 2016 election consigns his worthless carcass to the green rooms and of the United States of Sunday Morning for another term.

Image: Netherlandish (possibly Jacob Cornelisz. van Oostsanen), Laughing Fool, c. 1500

Dear Grey Lady? A Request…

January 8, 2012

…Please, oh please, do not let the Style section editor assign or publish anything to do with politics.

Consider the latest atrocity.  In it, a group profile of four out of the five Romney sons, we learn that:

They stump for him across the country as surrogates; they offer a square-jawed, Christmas-card-ready backdrop for him onstage; and they telling humanizing “Dad” stories, as well as recite his basic talking points. The Romney boys: charming, amusing and relentlessly on message.

“I think one thing we offer is a perspective on his character,” Matt said.

And there’s more:

They have developed a set of habits and rituals to tolerate life on the campaign trail. The ultrafit brothers work out together, sometimes swimming in the hotel pool. On primary nights or after debates, they often split chocolate shakes with their parents as they await the returns.

You can shoot me any time now.

This is the worst kind of  “journalism” — a piece based on interviews only with the principals, presenting an “as told to” portrait of people trying to persuade American voters to trust their family enterprise with enormous power.  If children are relevant to the potential presidency of Romney or anyone else, then something much more is needed; if they are not, then this is at once free advertising for one candidate…plus a pure distraction from the real question: is that self-made-son serving as the representative from Plutocracy, M. Willard Romney, fit to be president?

Oh — and you’d have thought that this might have sparked something like a reporter’s (or, really, an editor’s) news sense:

Though the sons say that they’re only focused on helping their father win the presidency, politics may be in their future. In 2008, Josh considered a Congressional run in his home state, Utah, and Mr. Romney introduced him at his campaign headquarters in December by saying, “He really should be the politician in the family, not me.”

Friends and aides, as well as Mr. Romney himself, say that Tagg, who now manages a hedge fund, also has the interest and the talent for public office.

Given the Bush experience, and the news that Joseph Kennedy III is considering a run in the Congressional district now represented by Barney Frank,  you’d think there’s your lede.  What makes a forty-something hedge fund (sic!) operator a potential political leader?  His dad and grand dad, of course, combined with a mountain of wealth his father’s candidacy aims to protect at all costs.  You’d have thought a piece on the resurgence of the phenomenon of hereditary political dynasties in American politics might be worth a look – and the Romney clan makes that an easy story to develop.  At worst, you’d get more out of such a piece than the revelation that “everyone is afraid to fall asleep on the bus right now, because everyone knows Josh has smelling salts, just waiting for someone to doze off.”

Did I mention you can shoot me now?

The selection of a president is a real challenge; this article, (and, to be fair to its, to my eyes, feckless reporter, many others) frames it with all the gravitas of the old Family Feud game show.  Which, of course, is a feature not a bug, if the goal is to let Romney’s fellow class warriors make their choice, unencumbered by interference from those inconvenient upstarts —  you know, American citizens.

To channel my inner Brad DeLong:  Why oh why can’t we have a better press corps?

Image: Paul Cézanne, Bathers, 1890-92