Monday, November 22, 2010

Republicans Yet Again Put Politics Ahead of National Security

ODS has been shown to be afflicting conservatives and the media
I don't think I will ever understand how conservatives in this country (and their aiders and abettors in the media) can have different ideas about the same policy depending on who is suggesting it. Under Pres. Reagan, "cap and trade" was considered the best way to reduce greenhouse gases and keep costs down as business became more environmentally aware. Conservatives supported the idea. Now, under Pres. Obama, it is considered to be anti-capitalist, job killing, and promoting the "hoax" of global climate change. Hmmm. Same with the idea of an "individual mandate" for health insurance. When conservatives were promoting the idea as an alternative to Pres. Clinton's health care initiative, the mandate was considered, by the right, to be the only way to bring costs down and increase the number of people being insured. Now, under Pres. Obama, the very same idea is called "unconstitutional" "socialist" "Hitler-esque" and "anti-capitalist."

Nowhere is the blatant hypocrisy on the right more apparent than with national security. Under Pres. George W Bush, there was no inconvenience too great, no constitutional right that couldn't be ignored, and no policy that was too extreme or draconian for the right to follow it in lockstep. And criticism of the president during war time was considered to be un-patriotic and aiding the enemy. Yet, now under Pres. Obama, it is considered patriotic to attack the president, and no policy he endorses (even continuations of Bush policies) will escape attack from the right. Even the current "don't touch my junk" controversy with the TSA began in the Bush Administration, and the company that makes the machines that take the "naked" pictures of travelers is owned by Bush Homeland Secretary Michael Chertoff. The ineffective and pointless security measures employed by the Bush TSA (i.e. taking off your shoes, no liquids on planes) are merely being continued by the current TSA (whose original nominee for Administrator was filibustered for 1 1/2 years before he withdrew his name). I don't want Chertoff's goons touching my junk either, but why is it okay to express this discontent now, and it wasn't just two years ago?

Oh, right. The black guy got elected.

Now we come to, perhaps, the most hypocritical right wing "it's ok when my guy does it, but not if yours does" piece of the national security puzzle: the START Treaty with Russia. This essential treaty was initially conceived by Pres. Reagan, and used effectively to not only reduce the number of nuclear weapons in Russia's arsenal, but allowed the US to monitor the arsenal and its dismantling. It has worked well, and the newest version of the treaty needs to be ratified by the Senate (which Dems did for a Republican president) or we will have no monitoring on the ground in Russia, and we risk losing a partner in keeping the pressure on Iran about its nuclear ambitions.

But, alas, it's President Barack Obama who is asking the Senate for ratification. So, no matter the merits or the benefits in terms of national security of the treaty, the GOP is promising filibuster. Can't let something good happen under Obama's watch, after all. That would violate Mitch McConnell's prime directive of utilizing the US Senate to wage jihad against the President of the United States. No matter what it is, if it is in any way attached to Obama, it has to be stopped. It is politics for politics sake. Nothing more. Who cares if we can't monitor Russia's nuclear activities? We'll just blame Obama if anything bad happens anyway, the media will report it the way we say, and the American public is too stupid to remember how we blocked the treaty to stick it to him. Ahhh...that's how it's done - GOP style.

Mr. McConnell and the Republicans are ignoring the advice and input from the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of State (plus past secretaries like Kissinger and Baker), and NATO just to keep Pres. Obama from getting a day or two of positive news. How fucking petty. And dangerous. Did I mention petty?

Here's what Sec Def Gates has to say about this obstructionism from the GOP: "Despite what anybody says, I, as secretary of Defense, and the entire uniformed leadership of the American military believe that this treaty is in our national security interest...Part of the discussion [in the Senate] are that support for the treaty also brings support for modernization of the U.S. nuclear enterprise. I think the failure to ratify the treaty puts that at high risk."

But, hey, it makes Obama look bad, so the Republicans are going to continue. National security can suck an egg. It takes a back seat to Republican political ambitions.


Dave Splash said...

The "liberal media" seems to love helping the American people forget what these Republicans did just a few years ago to destroy our economy and start an illegal war. Have to be fair and balanced...

T. Paine said...

Cap & trade was wrong during Reagan's administration and it is wrong now. Government mandated/run healthcare was wrong when the GOP presented it and it is definitely wrong now.

The TSA tactics under Bush were foolish and wrong and are even more so now.

The START treaty, in its current iteration, is also not in America's best interest right now. It doesn't matter that Obama is president now, or who was president back then. Wrong is wrong.

Dave Splash said...

"Not in America's best interest" is GOP code for "Obama wants it."

Hardly a compelling argument for allowing Russia's nuclear arsenal to be un-monitored while the GOP frets around looking for additional ways to ignore their constitutional responsibilities.