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Grand Old Opprobrium

The Republican Party: An American Disgrace

Damned If He Does: No matter what Obama does, the GOP will pounce. Meanwhile, STILL no jobs bill.

The World Is Watching

Republicans, who have long branded themselves as staunchly anti-communist, have taken to praising Russian President Vladimir Putin as a strong leader and greatly superior to U.S. President Barack Obama. This is what our contemporary Republicans do: lie knowingly and incessantly while selling out their own stated values at the drop of a hat for even the most minimal of political gain.

The GOP tends to describe America’s national interest in the Ukraine along typical propaganda lines, that the Ukraine crisis is a symbol of America’s response to tyranny. In other words, much like Vietnam, America has no actual vital interest there, but we need to send young people to die because of what the conflict symbolically represents. Should America be seen as weak or reluctant to act, the theory goes, Iran could be emboldened on their nuclear ambitions and China might annex some disputed territories we’ve never heard of.

This misses the very real point that, yes, the world is indeed watching us. They are watching the gridlock in Washington, a political environment perpetuated by racism. It’s not necessarily Obama that Putin sees as weak, but America destroying itself with one self-created crisis after another. The world thinks we are idiots to despise this man whose entire agenda has been one of peace and compassion. Putin sees an America stuck in the muck of hatred and knows, despite ill-advised threats, the West lacks the will to actually do anything concrete to stop him. Republicans want to make that solely and completely about Obama, but I don’t see any French or Israeli jets flying to engage those Russian MiGs. No other western nation is doing anything at all to help Ukraine, but if you listen to these GOP bigots, you’d think our president was calling Spain and Germany and holding them back from military action.

There simply is no military action to take that won’t lead to a bloodbath and terrible economic consequences for the entire planet. It is not just Obama, not just the U.S., but the entire western world who is reluctant to engage Russian militarily over what is, sadly, a relatively unimportant piece of global real estate. The notion that, should the Ukraine fall that all of Europe would be threatened, is a bit ludicrous. Russian simply doesn’t have that kind of muscle anymore. They seem like it because they’re rolling over Ukraine, but Russia rolling over Ukraine is a lot like the entire US military invading Rhode Island. It’s not a real contest. But real war, with guns and everything, has a human cost the world is tired of paying. Putin knows that. He also knows that Obama’s seeming paralysis is as much about the irrational hatred of a dysfunctional Congress as anything else.

Had Obama immediately engaged militarily, these very same racist loons would be fogging up the airwaves criticizing Obama for his fast trigger finger or for an obvious attempt to shore up his reputation for ponderous timidity in a global crisis. The president understand this. He knows that it really would not matter, does not matter, what he did or does: there simply is no point of action or discussion in which the relentless, histrionic, irrational criticism of him and his administration will cease. This is what marks the GOP strategy as patently disingenuous. Actual criticism is balanced and thoughtful: here’s the good stuff, here’s the bad stuff. For over five years, now, we have heard relentlessly bad, negative, hateful things from the GOP. Without exception. That is, by definition, propaganda. Propaganda works best when it is repeated loudly and often to low-information gullible people. The fact the GOP doesn’t trust their own constituents enough to present anything reasonably close to a balanced view of this president and his policies fairly screams to the world what the GOP actually think of their own people. They think those people are idiots because that’s precisely how they treat them.

The Real Terrorist: Protester painting a masked Putin.

The Real Threat

Obama, meanwhile, refuses to take the bait. He, instead, forges ahead, inch by inch, with a thoughtful and rational response to Russia that is not sexy and is certainly not quick. The crippling sanctions leveled upon Putin’s Russia will eventually reach a critical mass and threaten to collapse the already weakened Russian economy. Putin knows this, But he also knows the American people are lazy and stupid and do not understand global economics. We understand bluster and John Wayne, but we’re sick of war and see no dire national interest in sending our kids to yet another foreign land to die.

So, the president takes yet another pie in the face, labeled soft and powerless while these Republican men and women praise a communist dictator. Damned if he does and damned if he does not, Obama shakes off the incessant, childish irrational propaganda and goes about the business of the American public. Meanwhile, one shudders to think how powerful and effective America could be if the Republican party put even a fraction of their energy into actual legislation instead of insisting, for nearly six years, on doing absolutely nothing whatsoever but criticize the president and block all legislation that might actually benefit anyone for fear of the president getting any credit at all for it.

The real global threat is not Obama’s indecisiveness but the GOP.

Christopher J. Priest
12 May 2014

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