Saturday, March 20, 2021

Hold Your Breath, Vladimir

As the Republican Party was gearing up at its national convention in 1984 to nominate Ronald(6) Wilson(6) Reagan(6) to a second term as President, Jeanne Kilpatrick delivered a famous speech in which she blistered "the same people who were responsible for America's decline."

Kilpatrick never specified who those people were, but presumably she meant Democrats and her refrain of  "they always blame America first" proved disturbingly effective.

Democrats did not "blame America first" but instead blamed policies of the American government. It was not as if Democratic senators of the time even considered the dangerous stunt pulled six years ago this month when, in a letter drafted by then-and still- Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas

47 Republican senators warned Iran about making an agreement with President Obama, and the White House accused them of undercutting foreign policy.

In a rare direct congressional intervention into diplomatic negotiations, the Republicans signed an open letter addressed to “leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran” declaring that any agreement without legislative approval could be reversed by the next president “with the stroke of a pen.”

Undercutting, undermining, sabotaging- however it's described, it was unpatriotic. And it's happening again, on social media and Trump TV as

After Vladimir Putin challenged President Biden to a live debate, Fox News commentators began weighing in on who would win – and it wasn’t Mr Biden.

“Putin and Biden? It would not end like Rocky IV – I don’t think the American would prevail,” Republican congressman Matt Gaetz said on Hannity on Thursday night.

The host concurred.

“The question is this,” Sean Hannity said. “Why would Vladimir Putin immediately call for a debate with Joe Biden with no time to prepare? What have I been saying? What have some of us – half the American people – been saying?”

Mr Hannity has said for months that Joe Biden is in cognitive decline, and that his allies conspire to hide his deterioration from the public.

“It’s getting a little scary,” the pundit said on Fox News Primetime on 1 March. “It’s funny because the media was attacking me for saying that Joe looks weak and he looks frail and he’s struggling cognitively. Well, every day now, pretty much, when he speaks, when he’s allowed to speak, he’s struggling.”

And all this was prompted by President Biden characterizing Putin as "a killer," which should be about as controversial as describing rain as "wet."

Heinz does not debate Hunt's. Dasani does not debate Aquafina. And the President of the most powerful nation on earth does not debate the president of the second most powerful, and far less affluent, country on earth.  As CNN's Brianna Keilar, surveying debate challenges of politicians over the past few decades, notes, "almost always, as you can see, the challenger is coming from a position of weakness."

Hannity, Gaetz, and Cotton are among the Republicans whose preference for the best interests of our nation and its democratic values are,  ahem, questionable. The former chess champion and current activist for democracy may have had the best retort:


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