Plain Wrong



Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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21 Responses

  1. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Is there something I’m missing here?

    You were expecting honesty out of your political leaders. That’s where you went wrong…Report

  2. Avatar Bob says:

    Oh, the humanity!

    Brilliant post.Report

  3. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Hey, Bob, as a frequent commenter, why not sign up for a gravatar? All it takes is your email and then you can have a fancy avatar… It’s free…Report

  4. Avatar Bob says:

    I’ll think about your suggestion E.D. Thanks.

    Going back to Gov S. He also said, I’m going on memory here, “I’ll always defer to Newt on foreign policy matters.” You betcha. Secretary of State Newt Gingrich in the Sanford administration.Report

  5. Avatar Marshall says:

    He wants to be president, he can’t win the presidential primary by being against preventive war, also known as bomb the brown people.Report

  6. Philip: “Is there some sort of hidden clause in the Constitution that makes mindless bellicosity a requirement for holding the office of president? (Certainly, there exists a similar clause in the constitution of the Republican Party.)”

    I’m starting to think that, even if hidden a bit deeper, the Dems have such a clause to. Or so Kosovo and Afghanistan suggest to me.

    This news about Sanford, though, in light of said bellicosity clause, isn’t so surprising, is disappointing. He might have been the kind of guy to bring the GOP to a more sensible middle ground between the Paulite Right and the mainstream. So much more variety in our political options.Report

  7. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Yeah, it’s certainly disappointing.  What an interesting primary it could be, still, with Huntsman and Sanford – but much less so if they both go mainstream movement in order to succeed.Report

  8. Avatar Freddie says:

    Are we sure he hasn’t been misquoted or something?Report

  9. No, Freddie, I’m sorry to say that we can’t pin this one on an erroneous report.  The video is out there for all to see and hear.  What was worse in my view was the statement about deferring to Gingrich on foreign policy.  When in the last 20 years has Gingrich been on the right side of any foreign policy debate?  I’m not necessarily it never happened, but I can’t remember an example.  Sanford might get this or that policy argument wrong, which would be unfortunate but not necessarily discrediting or cause for deep dissatisfaction.  Kissing up to Gingrich on national TV and making him your guiding star on foreign affairs?  That’s just appalling.  This was the perfect opportunity to carve out some space for a prudent, realist vision, expressing concern about NK’s missile test but being careful not to say crazy things about EM attacks or other aggressive moves.   Report

  10. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    I’m still just a little surprised that anyone looks to Gingrich for anything anymore.  I shouldn’t be surprised by this, but I am.Report

  11. Am I out of line to be surprised — and disturbed — that the Church “looked to him” as a potential convert?Report

  12. Avatar Kevin Carson says:

    I wasn’t aware that “the world” had any sort of aggregate will that could be “defied,” or any accurate representative mechanism for determining what that will was.  OTOH, it would make a great deal of sense to say that Korea’s missile test “defied” the will of the United States and the other second-tier industrial powers that currently  rule the world (or more accurately still, the corporate pigs who sit in the ruling circles of those powers).  But IMO said pigs are themselves the enemies of “the world,” and the national news page of every day’s newspaper is an endless set of examples of GENUINE defiance of the interests of the actual people of the world.Report

  13. Avatar Bob says:

    Mr. Larison, Thanks for backing me up.  Gov S. did kiss NG’s butt.  It was, is, always will be, ugly.Report

  14. Avatar Bob says:

    Kevin, I’m constantly astounded by the arrogance and hypocrisy you point to.  Thanks. 
    The United States, first to have atomic weapons, and easily outspending the rest of the world on military procurement, feigns outrage that other nations might have legitimate worries regarding our intentions.  That they might have realistic concerns about U.S. or others intentions. That they might have legitimate needs for deterrence. 

    But the American public buys such cant because they are too busy with American Idol or NCAA championship games, or just buy the exceptional-ism argument.
    I don’t impute positive or negative motives to America, Iran, Pakistan, Israel, India, North Korea, Britain, France or any other nuclear armed nation.  I impute arrogance and hypocrisy to any nation that claims moral superiority and decry other nations the right to weapons they possess.Report

  15. Avatar Bob says:

    Am I out of line to be surprised — and disturbed — that the Church “looked to him” as a potential convert?

    The answer is yes, you are “out of line.”  Given the hideous history of “the Church” why should anyone be surprised by it’s actions?  But on the list of Church malfeasance accepting Newt to Her teat is of no account. 

    Why do you ask?

  16. Avatar Kevin Carson says:

    The problem is that, in the official American ideology, America is by definition the only country in the world that cannot be deterred, and cannot learn lessons or draw conclusions from the negative consequences of its own actions.  Any suggestion of doing so is “defeatism.”

    The way deterrence works is that official enemy states are presumed to be self-consciously evil, twirling their moustasches like Snidely Whiplash, and rationally forbearing to commit aggression (albeit with a muttered “Curses!  Foiled again!”) in the face of American deterrent power.  The leaders of other countries are expected to behave rationally in response to the threat of American retaliation, and when their aggression provokes such retaliation they are expected to learn the lesson:  “Ah!  That happened to me when I commit aggression; I must not do it again.” 

    America is the one country in the world which cannot allow itself to think rationally.  “Stop whacking on that hornet’s nest with a stick?  Why, then the hornets would win!”

    There are some other forms of  “American exceptionalism,” as well.  America is the only country in the world that is allowed to unilaterally define an action by a country within a few hundred miles of its own border, on the other side of the world, as “aggression”–and to define “self-defense” as intervening on the other side of the world to make that country obey American orders.  America is the only country in the world that is allowed to define as a “threat” any country’s ability to defend itself against American attack.   I was amused to see, a few years ago, a former JCS Chairman arguing (with a straight face) that China’s military spending (probably about 15-20% that of the U.S.) was far beyond its “legitimate defensive needs.”  And of course, he talked about the threat of “Chinese aggression” in the Pacific Rim.

    Now, let’s imagine a Chinese general staff officer making a similar argument:  America’s military spending  is beyond its legitimate defensive needs.  America is engaged in aggression in supporting the Contras against a sovereign state.  And China must spend more on its military forces than the rest of the world combined because its “self-defense interests” include projecting forces into the Western Hemisphere to compel the U.S. to obey its cease-and-desist orders regarding aggression in Central America.  Well, you can imagine the US Gov’s reaction:  the very statement of such principles would in itself be an act of “aggression.”Report

  17. Avatar Katherine says:

    Well said, Kevin! US foreign policy is based on one of the most glaring double standards I’ve ever seen.Report

  18. Avatar Bob Weber says:

    The worst aspect of the American scene today is the rank double standards regarding politicians: The adulation-worship at the same time as the “well, he’s only a politician” excuse making. If you’re going to make gods of common men, as William Hazlitt would have put it, then hold them to the standards of gods. If the Bush-worshippers had turned on Bush when he proved to be human, all too human, and dragged his carcass through the streets and hung it from a lamp-post, I’d have thought they were damn fools, but at least consistent damn fools. (We see the same simultaneous adulation-excuse making today with Obama.) If, like most Americans, you say you hold them in lower regard than used-car salesmen, then don’t ever trust them. Just because every four years some politician is elevated to the presidency, it doesn’t make him any smarter, more honest, or more honorable.Report