The right-wing noise machine of the conservative media entertainment complex, and many Tea-Publicans in Congress, have a man-crush on Russian bad boy Vladimir Putin. They admire his virile ability to make a decision and to act impulsively on that decision with little thought or regard for any consequences. Oh, Vlad!
They admire a strong-man daddy figure and despotic leader who takes charge and dictates to his Federal Assembly (Russian Parliament), and who never take “no” for an answer from members of parliament who would obstruct his policies for partisan political gain or “filibuster” his requests. Oh, Daddy!
They miss the good ol’ days of Dick “Darth Vader” Cheney and his unitary executive theory of executive power. This is in keeping with the authoritarianism of modern conservatism. See John Dean, Conservatives Without Conscience (2006), a study of the influence of authoritarian conservatism on the contemporary Republican Party.
At the same time, the right-wing noise machine of the conservative media entertainment complex, and many Tea-Publicans in Congress, have become the “blame America first” crowd. They have convinced themselves that American exceptionalism means the U.S. has almost omnipotent knowledge and an infallible ability to control events that occur around the world. America can simply impose its will.
(Ignore the inconvenient truths that U.S. intelligence did not foresee the collapse of the Soviet Union, or that “GW” and Darth Vader ignored the warning that “Bin Laden determined to strike” before 9/11, or that they lied us into an unnecessary and unlawful war with Iraq based upon falsified intelligence).
No, if something unforeseen does not go to the liking of the U.S., it is all the president’s fault — but only if the president is a Democrat.
Rather than stand united in the U.S. condemnation of the actions of Vladimir Putin and the sanctions regime announced to punish Russia, the “blame America first” crowd of the right-wing noise machine of the conservative media entertainment complex and Tea-Publicans in Congress, like our own Sen. McNasty and his puppet boy, Little Lindsey Graham, choose instead to engage in domestic partisan political attacks on their commander-in-chief (shameful conduct for men who have worn the uniform and served in the U.S. Armed Forces).
There are two good opinions today on the Tea-Publican “blame American first” crowd. The first is from E. J. Dionne at the Washington Post. Crisis in Ukraine? Blame Obama!:
Certain political cliches cry out to join the list of the biggest lies in the world. Today’s candidate: Partisan politics stops at the water’s edge.
The sentiment was first voiced by Sen. Arthur Vandenberg, a Michigan Republican who became chair of the Foreign Relations Committee in 1947. Vandenberg was for real, providing enthusiastic support for President Harry Truman’s Cold War policies.
But it’s time to admit that the immediate postwar period was a one-off in our history and that in the age of President Obama even Republicans who agree with the president on a given foreign policy question have to disguise the fact with taunts and insults.
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What’s strange about the response to Putin’s grab of Crimea is how eager Republicans are to blame Russian aggression on past Obama failures — even as Obama proposes to follow policies on Ukraine that they are themselves prescribing. To paraphrase the late Jeane Kirkpatrick, they blame Obama first.
In extreme instances, Obama’s foes have come down with truly weird cases of Putin Envy. “Putin decides what he wants to do and he does it in half a day, right?” former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani swooned Monday on Fox News. “He decided he had to go to their parliament. He went to their parliament. He got permission in 15 minutes.”
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Ah, the joys of dictatorship.
And on the right wing, no day is complete without some invocation of Benghazi. Thus this tweet from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday: “It started with Benghazi. When you kill Americans and nobody pays a price, you invite this type of aggression.”
Graham’s friends explain this away as his effort to ward off a tea party challenge in South Carolina’s June primary. But that’s the point: Republicans indulge in Obama Derangement Syndrome precisely because so many who vote in GOP primaries demand it.
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Republicans were utterly unrestrained in casting opposition to Bush’s policies as disloyalty to the nation. When Nancy Pelosi accused Bush in 2004 of being “incompetent,” Tom DeLay, then the House majority leader, denounced the top House Democrat for being “so caught up in the partisan hatred for President Bush that her words are putting American lives at risk.”
In late September 2004, during the presidential campaign, Bush said that his opponent John Kerry’s statements on Iraq “can embolden an enemy,” while Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) predicted that terrorists “are going to throw everything they can between now and the election to try and elect Kerry.”
Washington usually responds blandly by saying that “both parties do it.” But note the consistent thread through the GOP attacks: that Democrats — then Kerry, now Obama — are weak and vacillating and give comfort to our foes. Why is it acceptable for supporters of a party to condemn critics as near-traitors when their side is in power and then embrace the right to dissent when the other guys control the White House? Freedom is freedom.
There’s also this. A remarkably broad cross-party consensus has quickly coalesced around two propositions: the first, that we will not commit U.S. military forces in this crisis, but secondly, we should use every realistic form of pressure at our disposal to contain and then reverse Putin’s assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty. Must we pretend to disagree even when we agree?
The second opinion is from Charles Blow at the New York Times. Republicans Place the Wrong Bet:
[S]ince President Vladimir V. Putin moved Russian forces into Crimea, Republicans have fallen over one another to be among the first to hang the crisis around the president’s neck.
Senator John McCain said this week that we should care about Putin’s push “because this is the ultimate result of a feckless foreign policy where nobody believes in America’s strength any more.”
Senator Lindsey Graham, never one to be bettered on the outrage scale, attempted once again to demonstrate that among some Republicans, all roads lead to Benghazi, Libya. In a series of tweets Tuesday, the senator said:
“It started with Benghazi. When you kill Americans and nobody pays a price, you invite this type of aggression. #Ukraine”
“Putin basically came to the conclusion after Benghazi, Syria, Egypt — everything Obama has been engaged in — he’s a weak indecisive leader.”
“I think Putin believes Obama is really all talk and no action. And unless we push back soon, the worse is yet to come.”
Conservatives are painting a picture of a president who is domestically dictatorial but internationally anemic, but that is schizophrenic and strains credulity.
This is what happens when a political party is led by GOPropandists of the conservative media entertainment complex, and have come to believe their own propaganda.