Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Pledging Allegiance Not To This Country

She was a Democrat who supported Democratic senators Hubert Humphrey and especially Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, the latter a neo-conservative before anyone even had heard the term. Then came the nomination of George McGovern for President, reflecting the sentiment of a party which had turned against the Vietnam War and, more generally, war.

So Jeane Kirkpatrick, who later became Ambassador to the United Nations in the Reagan presidency, gave a rousing speech at the 1984 Republican National Convention, excoriating "San Francisco Democrats" (in an era in which "San Francisco" was a synonym for "gay") and declaring- repeatedly- "they always blame America first."

Oh my, have times changed.  The Democratic Party gradually became more hawkish and when the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics became simply "Russia," the GOP moderated its fanatical anti-Russia stance. And with the resurgence of Vladimir Putin, once a top KGB agent, Republicans found someone they could respect as head of a nation whose aims had reverted to those of the Cold War.

Nonetheless, as Donald Trump was on the verge of clinching the GOP presidential nomination, then-House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California, observed "There's two people I think Putin pays: (California GOP Representative Dana) Rohrabacher and Trump." Today, McCarthy is one of President Trump's most reliable toadies.

At Helsinki in July of 2018, reminded that USA intelligence sources had concluded that Russia had interfered with the last American presidential election, Donald Trump maintained "President Putin says it's not Russia. I don't see any reason why it would be."  Trump's fondness for, and trust in, the Russian dictator is well documented and defended by his Party. So as John Oliver would say, "and now this":
Saint Petersburg is beautiful. Baltimore, however, is "a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess;" Los Angeles is a "disaster" and San Francisco a "total disaster."  But Saint Petersburg is "beautiful."

Running down America and Americans has become a point of pride for Donald Trump, even sometimes doing it publicly and in foreign lands.  Evidently, he has been a source of inspiration for others as we learned in a video, recently unearthed, of an excerpt of remarks made at Texas A&M University in April. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, evidently pleased with himself, stated

But in terms of how you think about problem sets, I- when I was a cadet, what's the first, what's the cadet's motto- you will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do? I was the C.I.A. director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It- it was like we had entire training courses.

Dear Vladimir- we do it, too, so it's o.k. if you do, especially when it comes to our elections.  It's unknown whether President Trump knew of the Secretary's remark but if he did, Pompeo would have risen in his boss' estimation.

Democrats of the 1970s did not blame America first, merely refusing to absolve it of all blame.  We now have in the Trump Administration a regime which attributes more blame to this country than to its most militarily powerful enemy, Russia. 

Kevin McCarthy in 2016 probably was wrong- Donald Trump is not being paid by Russia. He doesn't have to be. But as demonstrated by Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee considering the President's impeachment, Jeanne Kirkpatrick was prescient. Politicians do "blame America first"- but she had the wrong Party.

                                                     Happy New Year
                                                     Feliz año nuevo

                                                    and in honor of President Donald Trump:
                                                    С новым годом

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