"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"...doesn't philosophy amount to the sum of all thinkable and unthinkable errors, ceaselessly repeated?"--Jean-Luc Marion

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

The REAL "Distraction"

"Distraction" is all the rage, now.  Everything Trump says or tweets or tells his Press Secretary to say is just a distraction from something else (so even when he brags about the size of his nuclear button?).  Even George Lakoff is trying to resurrect his reputation as a political seer with a new argument that Trump is crazy like a fox (or he's just a chaos agent, and to ordinary people it looks like he's strategic and systematic about it).  There is a problem with this argument, and it's mostly because it ignores the impact of FoxNews (Occam's Razor, bitchez!).  But the other problem is this:

When asked about Trump's bizarre tweet about North Korea, Huckabee Sanders had the typical response.

First, blame Obama. To a question about whether a tweet like Trump's helped, Shuckabee shot back, "I think what didn't help was the complacency and silence of the previous administration."

Oh. Thanks, Obama, for not getting us nuked. Much appreciated.

But wait, there's more. "This is a president who leads through strength and he's going to do that and he's going to focus on everything that he can do in order to keep Americans safe and he's not going to be pushed around by the leader of North Korea."

No, instead he will apparently publicly waggle his private parts in Kim Jong Un's general direction and brag about the size of his button, as if this is somehow also Obama's fault.

Huckabee Sanders went on to "DC-ify" her statement, reiterating policy as though it is somehow perfectly normal to threaten another nation on social media as long as policy exists.

NBC News Kristen Welker was not going to let it go.

"You just said that people should question the mental fitness of Kim Jong-Un. isn't it dangerous for the president to be taunting him on Twitter," she asked. (Duh, Kristen, yes.)

"I don't think that it's taunting to stand up for the people of this country," Sarah replied with a disingenuous toss of her head. "What's dangerous is to ignore the continued threats."

And then, as if to make the circle complete, she once again blamed Obama, lamenting that if he had just "dealt with North Korea, dealt with Iran instead of sitting by doing nothing we wouldn't have to clean up their mess now."

This is not genius at work, nor is it yet another example of the errant stupidity of the Press Secretary, or even just the continuing mendacious defense of a thoroughly incompetent President.  The problem is the idea that the only two players on the international stage are the President of the United States and any other single country.  The "deal" with Iraq (which, by the way, is what people in Iraq are rioting about.  They were promised that the lifting of sanctions would release the engine of their economy.  Oops.  Didn't happen, and now government has no one to blame for the economy going south.  Trump could help that situation turning his phone off.) was a multi-national arrangement.  Trump can no more withdraw from it than he can invite himself to Buckingham Palace.  Any withdrawal would, much like the Paris Accords, just leave the U.S. high and dry.  As for North Korea, there are several countries involved, not least of which is South Korea, ground zero for any war with the northern part of the peninsula, nuclear or otherwise.  What, you think the fallout from our nukes would respect national borders?

That's the truly frightening bit:  that Trump still think it's a personal grudge-match with whatever foreign leader he wants to tweet at, and that all that matters is what his Twitter followers think.  Yes, it's dangerous to taunt another country on Twitter (anybody paying attention to Pakistan?  They haven't forgotten what Trump tweeted.); but it's more dangerous to think there are only ever two countries in the world at one time:  us, and whoever Trump is taunting.


Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

The legal and Constitutional framework that led to him being president and keeping him there when he is so dangerous will eventually get us all killed unless they're changed. After Bush II - Cheney, this is turning into the ever worsening norm.

11:02 AM  

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