Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Who was it that said, "Do I contradict myself? Well then, I'm a hobgoblin." No one, actually.*
Oh how Republicans loves them some dictators. Oh how they hates them some democracy, how they wish they had a leader like Vladimir Putin. Oh how they revile Barack Obama for acting unilaterally, for being a dictator, like Hitler, for usurping power and issuing executive orders.
Wait. Do what now?
As predictably as Knight follows Nike, Rs are falling over themselves these days (when are they not?) to laud Vladimir Putin's laudable strength and to deride Barack Obama weakish weakness for not shooting a few missiles somewhere, marching other people's kids off to die someplace. Action, goddamit, is what we need. Because America.
Sarah Palin, proving the adage that even a blind pig finds a squirrel on occasion, is fair unable to contain herself, having realized she actually got something right. Once. For entirely wrong reasons, about a situation she never, in her wildest dead-moose dreams, imagined. But, by golly, she does admire that KGB guy, into whose soul GW Bush once gazed in the most manly way and saw something looking back. That suppressor of scribes, that disappearer of dissidents. That parader of pectorals. Now there's a leader. And oh, does she wish she lived in a land where the voice of the people can't be heard over the roar of tanks.
Same with Rudy "9/11, 9/11, 9/11" Giuliani. And John "Shoot me down again so I can be relevant" McCain. And Lindsey "Find me a fainting couch" Graham. All of them. Looking through the wrong end of the telescope and seeing weakness. Because Iraq worked out so well. And makes it so easy for us to condemn invasions. (Well, there was Grenada, right, Ronnie's first-round bye.) (Don't mention Beirut, okay?)
If irony were potatoes we'd all be eating latkes.
Of course, it's absolutely impossible that, on the world stage, something happens that has nothing to do with the US. That the uprising in Ukraine (who are the players again? Freedom fighters? Nazis? Do we know?) had nothing to do with Barack Obama, either way. Or the US. Or that Thomas Jefferson George Washington Putin's response was an internal decision having little or nothing to do with his perception of possible US reactions, other than the obvious recognition that whatever else happens, there'll not be a shooting war between the US and Russia. But, you know, we're exceptional. So we should definitely shoot someone.
There are a few differences between Russia and the US that one could name. Turns out, our America-loving, Constitution-written-by-god claiming patriots from the right side find those differences to be deeply disappointing. Democracy, it turns out, and patience, and preference for keeping kids at home unless all else fails, and doing things behind the scenes, and not strutting around shirtless, are just embarrassing to those benighted guardians of the flame of liberty. You want a role model, they're suddenly saying in unison, look from Sarah's porch and see Vladimir Vladimirovich "Not Ilyich" Putin.
Because democracy sucks and war rocks and history is bullshit.
*Emerson said "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..." Whitman said "Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself..."