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May 05, 2009

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the brash, petulant, bellicose foreign policy that has come to dominate the Republican Party in recent decades.

I think I previously referred to this as the United States going around the world and showing everyone how big its dick is. They might be impressed at first, but eventually they'll be annoyed, turn away, and wonder what's wrong with you.

I love this: Newt Gingrich, a leading Republican,

Leading where, exactly?

worries that Mr Obama is sending the wrong signal, arguing that “the predators, the aggressors, the anti-Americans, the dictators – when they sense weakness, they all start pushing ahead”.

Because the United States is never the predator, or aggressor, or had a President that acted in some respects as a dictator. It's all sweetness and light over here in the shining city on a hill with the Ponies of Freedom, Peace, and Liberty™ as our guide.

In shooting down proposals to attempt to reach a negotiated settlement with respect to North Korea's nuclear program, Dick Cheney famously quipped, "We don't negotiate with evil, we defeat it."

Or become it. Heckuva job Dickie.

I love this: "Newt Gingrich, a leading Republican.."

It's a litle like saying 'The capybara, the world's largest rodent...' -- it's true, it's just not very... encouraging, or endearing, or something.

Gingrich is leading as in leading question: he's a rhetorical tool used to catapult the propaganda.

I don't think it's even true, in the sense that the capybara really IS the world's largest rodent. Who's following Gingrich, for him to be a leading Republican?

Leading Republican self-promoter, maybe...

"Blame america first"

just wanted to get that out there first!

Another thing Gingrich and his fellow travelers don't understand is that if you're going to go around acting like a jacka$$ and a bully, people aren't going to help or cooperate with you when they don't have to. Also, they seem to think that the United States position in the world is unassailable, and thus they don't have to worry that we'll be on the receiving end of bullying and jacka$$ery from, e.g., China or India in 25 years.

It would be nice if those countries' memories of the US as sole superpower were fond ones, rather than the way the Bush Administration conducted its foreign policy.

Look at it from the standpoint of a member of the R party. Acknowledging past errors, which will largely be attributed to members of their own party, and the attitudes thereof -is clearly a losing (domestic political) strategy. It's also a cultural thing. The Republicans own the "defend-your-honor at all costs, and never ever admit your mistakes" -part of the country.

I'm glad that Ugh pointed out the similarity between this sort of rhetoric and the ads clogging my spam filter (the ones promising to increase the size and/or functionality of organs I do not actually possess). Geez guys, anxious masculinity should *not* be a foreign policy.

Newt should learn that a guy or country who is strong enough to admit fallibility is probably strong enough to kick the crap out of you, too.

Obama should deck Gingrich at their next personal meeting and then help him up, dust him off, and say, "I was wrong to do that. Excuse me."

Obama should deck Gingrich at their next personal meeting and then help him up, dust him off, and say, "I was wrong to do that. Excuse me."

You know, every ten years or so, we need to pick up some crappy little warmonger and throw him against the wall, just to show them we mean business.

Didn't Kruschev think Kennedy was weak and would be easy to plow over? How'd that work out for him?

Didn't Kruschev think Kennedy was weak and would be easy to plow over? How'd that work out for him?

Er, he brought the world to the brink of nuclear war? If that is something you believe we should emulate now, you may get a shot in Pakistan real soon…

In this flawed view, Reagan's demand to "tear down this wall" and use of the pejorative "evil empire" label had more to do with the USSR's unraveling than the consequences that flowed from Gorbachev's perestroika and glasnost policies (and Reagan's encouragement thereof), and the underlying weaknesses of the Soviet system.

Which leads to an interesting question. If tough talk alone is enough to bring down the Soviet Union, why didn't it work when John Foster Dulles tried it?

"I think I previously referred to this as the United States going around the world and showing everyone how big its dick is. They might be impressed at first, but eventually they'll be annoyed, turn away, and wonder what's wrong with you."

And they might notice the trick mirror you're using to make it look bigger than it really is.

I'm to the right of most commentators here and I'm pretty darned pleased with BHO's rhetoric. I'm especially pleased because he's speaking language of accommodation, mutual understanding and the like, but still dropping missiles into the bad guys' living rooms in Waziristan.

In fact, I seem to remember that some Republican president made some remark about speaking softly...

OCSteve:

no, I was sarcasticly noting it didn't work out well for Kruschev...

If tough talk alone is enough to bring down the Soviet Union, why didn't it work when John Foster Dulles tried it?

Because it takes a real man to do it. Y'know, like Adlai Stevenson.

I seem to remember that some Republican president made some remark about speaking softly

nitpik: TR was VP at the time.

But don't forget Yosemite Sam's answer: "But I speak loud and carry a bigger stick and I am not afraid to use it!" ;-)

Sorry, here's the http://www.nonstick.com/sounds/Yosemite_Sam/ltys_076.mp3>link

Indeed. As Tocqueville wrote, "The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults."

Don't the Republicans like Teddy R anymore? "Speak softly and carry a big stick." not "Rant, carry on, and then break your stick over their heads."

One quibble, Eric:
given that Kirchick tends to view the world through a prism by which even-handed treatment of Palestinian and Israeli interests is a gross injustice (to the Israelis, of course, who deserve better)

I don't know Kirchick's work, but Israel does deserve better from the U.S. than the Palestinians do, because we have a long-standing "special relationship" with Israel that includes strong cooperation in espionage and military matters. I think that kind of relationship at least implies a commitment not to issue official statements (which include anything said by the President in his official role) bad-mouthing its conduct of military affairs.

Crafty, I was referencing the excoration Dean received when he suggested that we needed to be more even handed in trying to implement peace. Special relationship aside, that shouldn't be an objectionable position IMHO.

"I don't know Kirchick's work"

He spent many years as Marty Peretz's toady, and has made a career of attacking any Jew to the left of Netanyahu as a self-hating antisemite who seeks to destroy Israel. He's attacked kids like Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein innumerable times, as well as plenty of other Jewish liberals (Eric Alterman, etc., etc., etc.).

Actually, just googling Jamie Kirchick gives a representative sample of opinions of his work:

DownWithTyranny!: Jamie Kirchick Poops His Panties Because He ...
It is Jamie Kirchick -- who spent the whole year embodying the most ludicrous extremes of neoconservatism, venerating John McCain and ...

[...]

Jamie Kirchick: "I don't think Ron Paul is a homophobe; I'm just ...
Jan 8, 2008 ... Jamie Kirchick, assistant editor of The New Republic, appeared tonight on Tucker Carlson's show to announce--with a smirk on his face the ...

[...]

Jamie Kirchick's fantasies of the grave Muslim threat - Glenn ...
Sep 13, 2007 ... Right-wing warmongers invent domestic threats to justify their agenda of wars and expansions of government power.

[...]

false dichotomy by charles davis: Jamie Kirchick: put down the ...
Jamie Kirchick of The New Republic has a typically asinine column in The Los Angeles Times today blasting President Obama for being insufficiently ...

[...]

Commentary » Blog Archive » The Passion of Eric Alterman
“Jamie Kirchick,” who I continue to maintain does not really exist but ... Jamie Kirchick does indeed exist…and he is no one's sock puppet. ...

Etc.

It's "Khrushchev," btw.

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