The GOP has kind of become talk radio. An echo chamber where people are not interested in actually legislating or compromising or fixing America — just in screeching about how liberals have ruined it. So why not do it on the radio? The money’s better. And no one can see your toupee.
"Romney adopted knee-jerk anti-Russian positions on every relevant issue, and married them to reflexive anti-Obama criticisms. That’s all that he did. It isn’t surprising, since he had no particular foreign policy experience, nor had he had much of an interest in these issues before he started his seemingly endless presidential campaigning. Romney had no particular insight into Russian behavior, and definitely didn’t understand what motivated Russian leaders or how they viewed U.S. policies in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere. If the U.S. had been following his recommendations over the last year, tensions between the U.S. and Russia would likely be even worse, since Romney’s idea for Russia policy in practice was little more than to antagonize Moscow whenever possible."
The truth of the matter is, America’s got a whole lot of challenges. Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength, but out of weakness.
The fact that Russia felt compelled to go in militarily and lay bear these violations of international law indicates less influence, not more. And so my response then continues to be what I believe today, which is Russia’s actions are a problem, they don’t pose the number one national security threat to the United States.
"When the Illinois state House passed a bill to legalize gay marriage last fall, just three out of 47 Republicans voted for it. On Tuesday, none of them lost. State Rep. Tom Cross (R) cruised to a 14-point victory in the primary for state treasurer while state Rep. Ed Sullivan (R) easily won renomination in his district. The third, state Rep. Ron Sandack (R), narrowly edged out his opponent by fewer than 200 votes, according to an unofficial tally. The close margin could mean the race goes to a recount. Sandack and Sullivan both faced pressure from third-party groups looking to oust them over their gay marriage votes. In Sandack’s case, the issue became a central focus. Had the three Republicans lost, it would have probably given pause to Republicans considering backing gay marriage in other states where the matter comes up in the future. But given two decisive wins and a third tentative victory, gay rights advocates have a lot to be happy about a day after the election."
[I’m struck by] the odd mix of fear and wish projection with which many conservatives view Putin. We hear how dangerous Putin is but also pretty clearly that they wish our leaders were like him - someone who bends history to his will and all that. I mentioned earlier that for all the carping about how President Obama encouraged Putin’s aggression and hasn’t responded to it with sufficient force - what about what happened in Georgia in 2008? President Bush did basically nothing. The truth is there was very little he could do.
The President’s critics talk about “resolve” and “leadership” and “toughness” because there are not any actual actions they can point to that they think he should do but isn’t. These phrases are plastic, can mean anything and can be puffed up with all manner of wish-projection and foreign policy fantasy untethered to any concrete and specifics actions. It recalls the glory days of #RomneyStrength.
It’s really that clear. Vague and ambiguous phrases are used to conceal this.
What President Obama could do is give Putin an ultimatum to leave Crimea or be forcibly expelled. Then we’d have a real test of strength and Putin would see deep potential costs to his actions. But even the President’s toughest critics recognize this would be insane. It’s really not a good idea to get into a land war with the world’s other major nuclear power on their own terrain.
I looked [Putin] in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy.
George W. Bush, 2001
Christopher Hitchens, 2010:
"No one here I suppose would have forgotten the moment when George Bush met Vladimir Putin, who had chosen for the day to decorate his chest with his grandmother’s ornate Russian Orthodox crucifix. Enough for the President to be convinced and to say that just to look into those beautiful limpid eyes was enough to see that he was a person of deep spirituality and sensitivity. I think by the way in a fairly strong field that’s one of the stupidest things any president has ever said."
We blew this one. [..] Yes, we knew Christie was a bully. But we didn’t know his crew was crazy enough to put people’s lives at risk in Fort Lee as a means to pressure the mayor. We didn’t know he would use Hurricane Sandy aid as a political slush fund. And we certainly didn’t know that Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer was sitting on a credible charge of extortion by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.
The New Jersey Star-Ledger, effectively revoking its endorsement of Chris Christie. The very same editorial manages to endorse Christie for president, because the GOP field is just that bleak:
"Now ask yourself this: If the Republican primary came to a choice between [Rand] Paul and Christie, which candidate would you endorse?"
Let Dems take the first step, and we will then bear no blame when we entirely blow up the Senate’s rules after we take all the reins of power. That other Republicans like Corker, McCain, Alexander, Murkowski and so on, went along, shows how much the radicals and anti-institutionalists now dominate the Republican Party. Which is sad indeed.
Ted Cruz is smart. He has always been able to talk down to people. He is now in the Senate. People are as smart as he is. He can’t talk down to anyone anymore. But he has still not accepted that in his own head. He still thinks he’s smarter than everybody else. He might be able to work a calculus problem better than I can. But he can’t legislate better than I can.
Sometimes comments like that are made out of malice, but if someone has no intelligence I don’t feel it as being a malicious statement.