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Friday, February 05, 2016

Bernie v Marco: DISASTER

Rubio is gaining on Trump. Bernie is gaining on Hillary nationwide. (He will of course win NH by a wide margin.)

These new tendencies trouble me because a Sanders/Rubio matchup cannot be won by the Democrat.

I will confess that a Sanders/Trump contest might result in a narrow Dem win, but only because The Donald is divisive and unpredictable and bizarre.

I predict that many of my readers are now itching to complain about Hillary and her neocon streak. Doing so is quite fair -- I've registered many such complaints myself. That said, your comment may not be published if you give me reason to suspect that you are a shill operating on automatic pilot. If your attitude is "I don't care who wins, as long as Hillary loses," seek another blog.

Look: Obama did not go to war with Syria in 2013, despite the pressures to do so. Peace generally prevailed during the Bill Clinton years, despite his foreign policy bungles.

Dems prefer approaches that do not involve the regular military forces. Drones, yes; special forces, yes; CIA subversion, yes. Boots on the ground? Not so much.

Obama was bad, but Romney would have been much, much worse. A President Romney would have mired us in a Syrian war -- which could easily have morphed into an American/Russian war by this point.

Hillary will probably be as bad as Obama (unless she is playing a very devious "long con" with the neocon Establishment, a possibility not to be ruled out). That said, I honestly do not believe that she wants to place American troops in harm's way, and I am quite certain that she does not want war with Putin. She's too smart for that.

Rubio will be worse. Much, much, MUCH worse.

Marco Rubio is to neconservatism as Cyd Charisse was to gams: The Ultimate Exemplar.

(Am I the first writer in twenty years to use the word "gams"? Am I the only one who recalls Cyd Charisse?)

Rubio is the darling of the Kristols and the Kagans and that whole PNAC crowd. Here's what Bob Parry wrote not long ago, in a piece titled "Neocons Make Rubio Their Favorite":
In October, The Wall Street Journal detailed Rubio’s ever-hardening line on Putin which is, by subtle extension, an attack on Trump’s foreign policy bona fides. Rubio said, “We are barreling toward a second Cold War, and strong American leadership is the only force capable of ensuring that peace and security once again prevail,” and promised that “under my administration, there will be no pleading for meetings with Vladimir Putin. He will be treated as the gangster and thug that he is. And yes, I stand by that phrasing.”
Also not coincidentally, the boyish charmer with a Hispanic name, Cuban roots and a compelling immigrant back story is pitching his transformative candidacy with a catchy campaign slogan that sounds vaguely, perhaps even ominously familiar: “Marco Rubio: A New American Century.”

Yes, Rubio has gone “Full-Neocon” and the echoes of grand designs past don’t stop with his blatant campaign slogan. On Nov. 5, Rubio gave a sweeping speech in New Hampshire outlining his defense policies that could, according to an expert at the Cato Institute, add upwards of $1 trillion dollars on top of current budget projections over the next decade.
Like the neoconservative brand he has franchised, Rubio has been waiting for the catalyzing event he can leverage into to transformative program to “rebuild” the world’s largest military and extend its already global-spanning reach.
But that’s the double-edged sword of Rubio’s Establishment bid — he’s a perfectly-crafted neoconservative Ken Doll who hits all their marks, but, at the same time, he’s an animatronic Establishment robot who reliably recites a well-worn message at least half of all GOP voters are currently rejecting out of hand.
This collection of Rubio quotes should chill your soul:
“Look at Vietnam and look at China, countries that we have engaged. They are no more politically free today than they were when that engagement started.”
Believe it or not, that's his rationale for ramping up a new Cold War.
“Empowering and supporting Syria’s opposition today will give us our best chance of influencing it tomorrow.”
More here:
Pressed by host Martha MacCallum on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom” about whether any military action by the United States now means we’re at war with Russia, Rubio responded with talk of setting up a “safe zone” in Syria. This zone could be used as a sort of base for moderate rebel groups opposed to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, from which they could continue to wage war. Considering that Rubio had just a minute before stated that Russia is bombing these groups in order to eliminate them and prop up Assad, it’s hard to see how putting these rebels under official U.S. protection would not put our forces in direct conflict with the Russian military.
Not only that. We know that there are no moderates among the rebels, at least none with any muscle. We've been stretching the term "moderate" in such a way as to include Al Qaeda.

This piece is important, even though it comes to us by way of the dreaded Cato Institute (and was published by the even more dreaded Arianna Huffington)...
Moreover, Rubio's form of internationalism operates like a workman with only a hammer: every problem looks like a nail. In this case, the first and usually only solution to foreign problems is military. Indeed, it seems that the mere availability of military action requires reliance on military action. Anything else--diplomacy, economic sanctions, even threatening future military action--is the worst form of "appeasement," another meaningless yet all-purpose insult.
Indeed, Rubio might discuss whether he believes peace itself to be evidence of an "isolationist" policy. For instance, he declared: "I will use American power to oppose any violations of international waters, airspace, cyberspace or outer space." Wow, any violations. He also promised to treat as a casus belli "the economic disruptions caused when one country invades another, as well as the chaos caused by disruptions in choke points such as the South China Sea or the Strait of Hormuz." Does that mean America has to fight any war involving any trading partner?

When one contemplates the adverse consequences of this policy of perpetual intervention and war, one might start feeling some "isolationist" tendencies. For when it comes to Rubio, "isolationist" really means good old-fashioned common sense. Don't go to war unless you have to. Don't try to solve other people's problems. Don't turn small problems into bigger ones. Don't risk your own people's lives and money in misbegotten crusades abroad. Especially when none of those issues ever struck you as vital enough to impel you to serve in the military.

Far from highlighting Rubio's qualifications for the presidency, his foreign policy views demonstrate a world view which is both simplistic and dangerous. When coming from the Florida Senator, "isolationist" should be viewed as a compliment.
During a December debate, Rubio more or less stated that removing Assad was so damned important that the elevation of ISIS to power in Syria was an acceptable outcome.
“If we are to defeat our enemies we need to be clear-eyed that toppling a government and allowing radical Islamic terrorists to take over a nation is not benefiting our national security interests,” said Cruz, referring to Obama’s Syria policy goals. “Putting ISIS or Al Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood in charge of yet another state in the Middle East is not benefiting our national security.”

Rubio’s stance couldn’t be more different. At the event, he argued unequivocally in favor of efforts to take down Assad.

“As long as Assad is in power you’re going to have in place someone that creates the conditions for the next ISIS to pop up, for the next ISIS to emerge,” Rubio said Thursday. “This simplistic notion,” he concluded, “that ‘leave Assad there because he’s a brutal killer, but he’s not as bad as what’s going to follow him,’ is a fundamental and simplistic and dangerous misunderstanding of the reality of the region.”
What dangerous doubletalk!

You want to talk reality? The reality (as we have demonstrated in many previous posts) is this: "The West" -- along with Saudi Arabia and Turkey -- created the Syrian rebellion in order to topple Assad. Empowering ISIS was the whole point of that operation.

Trump annoys me. Hillary infuriates me. Sanders disappoints me (at least on the foreign policy front). Cruz can induce vomiting.

But nobody scares me like Marco Rubio.
Read this. But please try not to have another heart attack over it.
Nothing new there, Michael. Since the 1990s (and certainly in 2008), saying "The Clintons are the Establishment" has been one of the standard ways The Establishment has attacked the Clintons.
BTW: I presume, then, you want a President Rubio? Because that's what you'll get. It's Hillary or Marco. Don't kid yourself into thinking that Bernie has a chance against Rubio.
Rubio isn't going to be the nominee. Neither is Sanders. Sanders will be gone after Super Tuesday.

I am still looking at Bush/Kasich or Kasich/Rubio as the final ticket. Clinton will be the next president of the United States.
Really? I've been predicting for a long time now that Rubio would head the ticket, and probably would win the general. But I would be interested to hear how you came to your conclusions...
This will only last until March 1st. On the 2nd, you will awake to seeing Clinton up with in insurmountable delegate lead over Sanders. Iowa, in a caucus, and NH, were alway the only places where Bernie was really strong. It won't be that close on March 1st, she'll win easily.
It's interesting how Trump has not yet laid into Rubio, never has either, that I recall. I too expect that Bush, maybe Kasich, one or the other, is going to come out of NH as the person that the others all gather around. It's going to be a long messy game on the GOP side, practically assured that it will be a dealmaker convention. The only way to avoid that was if Trump ran the table, that could still happen, but it looks less likely now than it did a week ago.
Michael, above. Martin Longman is a longtime Clinton hater. He was a complete tool in 2008. Anything he says is not to be taken as even close to objective. One Q poll is nothing to hang your hat on. And besides, only a northeastern fool would not understand the history of the word progressive. Clinton, like a lot of southerners, adopted the word in place of liberal in the 1980's, she's speaking a different language than the progressive party of Bernie in Burlington.
Saw a piece on tv showing lots of Kaisich. I just shook my head... if Bernie is the nominee, Kaisich would wipe the floor with him.

I confess to intensely disliking Clinton myself. She's just a calculating politician. Not an original thought in her head, just poll-tested talking points fed to her by a retinue of Clinton peeps left over from the 1990s. The more I hear her condescending tone and memorized empty promises, the more annoyed I get. She's like that girl in high school who sucked up to the teacher, aced every exam, and ended up valedictorian - but had the personality of a tin can. Frankly, I don't know how I could stand eight years of her. I would probably check out.

But sure, I'd vote for her over just about any Republican.

PS, those Goldman-Sachs speeches should be pretty interesting if she ever dares to release them.
"New Poll Shows Sanders Obliterating Clinton's 31-Point National Lead"

The Democratic Party establishment is quaking in their boots.
Joseph, I totally respect your wisdom and read only your blog, BUT how dare you mention Cyd Charisse's name in a Rubio comparison! I loved her.
jack, I liken Cyd to Marco only the same sense that I would liken Cyd to the hydrogen bomb. Both are The Ultimate Examples of Their Kind.
Joseph, you have redeemed yourself. Now let's talk Claudia Cardinale. And, should Bernie by chance become the Democratic nominee, I do hope your assessment is wrong.
Ah, Claudia! Do you know that last year she starred in an comedic update of "Once Upon a Time in the West" -- called either "Once Upon a Time in a Western" or "Twice Upon a Time in the West"? It was directed by a Russian.

Well, what can one say? She's magic. In the original, she drove the same horse-cart from Monument Valley to a desert in Spain, all on the same journey...

Trying to find a Jonah Goldberg motive for telling the probable truth here but these two pieces also have gems within.

1 comment:

Ken Hoop said...
While you're on the subject of conservatives getting away with lying.

But sadly, even though more lies are alluded to here,

this commenter and the abominable Goldberg probably have it right

Matthew says:
February 6, 2016 at 12:09 pm
But I dont think any of what Cilliza writes really has any teeth. As Jonah Goldberg said over at NR and I find hard to refute, “Bernie Sanders has to believe Hillary Clinton is part of the problem. But he won’t say so, save to prattle on about Clinton’s super PACs and speaking fees. That’s amateur-hour stuff. It’s academic-seminar-level griping, not revolution-fomenting. He wants to talk about the system, but he won’t do what is minimally required to change it. And right now, the first step on that long road is steamrolling Hillary Clinton. It’s like saying you want to do whatever it takes to fight malaria, but refusing to say much about the huge, sprawling, and fetid marshlands in the middle of downtown. The Clintons are swamp creatures, taking what they need and leaving in their retromingent wake the stench of corruption. If Bernie Sanders had the conviction of a real Communist, or even one of America’s great socialists, he would make this personal, he would recognize the opportunity he has and seize upon it. But his vanity is too important, his reputation too precious. If he honestly believes the stakes are what he says they are, then surely it’s worth getting a little dirty. It’s not like the Clintons aren’t willing to get dirty. If anything, they’ve never been remotely interested in getting clean.”

2:25 PM
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Do you know this dance, Joseph?
Probably the most sensuous performance ever filmed. The sequence around 1:10 is breathtaking.
A few years ago, I was trying to explain to a friend the Platonic majesty of Cyd Charisse's gams in the Girl Hunt ballet from 'The Bandwagon.' (She was looking for, well, an exemplar to reference for a graphic on which she was working.) Lacking my copy of the film, I kicked Ms. Charisse's name into my browser to look for a still or clip -- and learned, for the first time, she had taken up ballet as a 'tween to help recover her strength following a bout of polio.

For a moment, I nearly sympathized with the anti-vaxxers....
I certainly remember Cyd Charisse. As a curmudgeonly 74 year-old with a thyroid deficiency, I have a lot in common with Bernie Sanders, although, since I presently live in a foreign country with universal health insurance, I pay next to nothing for medicines.

As For Marco Rubio, he is apparently being torn to pieces in the ongoing Rethuglican debate by Chris "the truck" Christie and the Donald--apparently there's no there there.
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