Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

At First, I Thought This Had To Be Taibbi

This is such a wonderful pungent assault on the 47 Mutineers that I assumed it was Taibbi up to his usual verbal kung fu.

I like this paragraph:

First, how to do you run against an accord where Iran allows more inspections and more transparency and voluntarily delays its own capacity to reach nuclear weapons capability? If you rely on national security as a Fear Stick to beat paranoia into the rubes to induce them to vote for you, America achieving greater security without your input undermines your credentials. Cotton and crew will claim that Iran will lie and try to enrich uranium in secret, but "They're going to lie anyway, so let's have less access to their country" isn't an argument. This doesn't even work in your personal life. Here, try it: "There's a person in my neighborhood who lies to me and may threaten me. I will be safer the less I know about him and if cops can't drop by his house." Bye, it's been fun.
But there you have the "logic" of Cotton's position in full batshit glory.  Once again, the GOP's "policy" arm is reduced to "Obama sux, GOP rulz, USA! USA!" repeated ad infinitum.

And this part is important, too.  Iran is a problem, but in 2015 it's barely a top-ten problem.

(T)he threat that successful negotiations present to Cotton and his ilk cannot be overstated. They've spent roughly 35 years trying to inflate a regional power nearly 6,500 miles from Washington D.C. into an existential threat to the entire United States, and the last thing they can afford is for the American voter to awaken to the histrionic bullshit nature of that campfire horror story. Perhaps more open cooperation with Iran would lead Americans to reevaluate the fact that Iran nearly went to war with the Taliban over the murder of seven diplomats in 1998 and allowed us a virtual free hand along that border at the start of our Afghan adventure. Maybe people would question why the Bush administration absolutely squandered any attempt at normalization when Iranian emissaries floated a 2003 proposal on behalf of reformist President Mohammad Khatami to renounce Iran's support for terrorism, nuclear weapons development and an anti-Israel position. The Bush administration never even replied. It ignored the reformer of which it could not be certain; in a proud American tradition you can trace to most of Latin America, it preferred the monster with surer dimensions. And, true to form, the reformist was undermined at home, replaced by hardliners like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who resumed the script that neoconservatives had relied upon for nearly a quarter century. Speaking of which: Nothing inconveniences Cotton and neoconservatism in general more than the obdurate realpolitik truth that there is no more forceful ally that America could find against ISIS than the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Have I mentioned lately that we are governed by morons?

Sorry, anarchists.  I meant anarchists.  This is a key point:

(A) large portion of this fondness for a non-functioning government stems from the president being a black Democrat, but stopping there imputes solely a racial motive to a comprehensive and enduring contempt for government's existence at all. Holding government hostage over the debt ceiling again and again, holding it hostage over a Homeland Security bill, holding a knife to its throat over Iran – these are just elaborations on a theme from the 1990s. Back then, Cotton's fellow travelers and their predecessors shut down the government when it was run by a self-made white bubba from Cotton's own Arkansas, a guy who embodied the American dream about as much as anyone can, a drawling southern burger-fiend who liked chicks with big hair. The point wasn't who was running the government, but that someone was trying to run it in the first place.

They really don't want the government to function at all.

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