Monday, August 16, 2010

Political Pyromania

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for August 16th, 2010


1) No one cares about the mosque issue. People making fools of themselves drudging over it accomplish only one thing other than self imposed credibility damage: they remind all Americans that ground zero is still a hole in the ground where a grand replacement project should already be in place or at least started. It’s a national disgrace that the hole is still there and we have to pick ancillary battles to forget we can’t rebuild it. That’s not even the lowest moment. The lowest moment is that the greatest Governor in the United States, Michael Bloomberg, (the mayor, but stay with me) is presiding over the cataclysmic failure of rebuilding progress at ground zero. Where do you accumulate the hope in that picture?

I cannot believe that all of the analysis Morning Joe and all of it’s colleague programs are charging ad rates for leaves that larger failure out, yet endlessly analyzes the lemmings at the mosque cliff as they stream over. Yea, Scarborough and Mark McKinnon are Republicans decrying the spectacle of their party, that is a short serenade, for it’s not better to be right on a wrong issue than to remove a wrong issue.

Mike Barnicle made nomenclature history when he described this nonsense as political pyromania. Wikipedia has been updated accordingly. When we see political opportunism occurring anywhere where cooler heads should be prevailing, we will think about how Barnicle captured the essence of what these people are doing. Here’s hoping that this is the end of the Gingrich presidential bid, but all that extremism in Russia got us Putin, so who knows.

The country is in parts, the middle is now 60% of the country, with two 20% tails of Tea Party and evangelicals on one side and Dennis Kucinich on the other. That 60% remembers all the talking head aren’t rebuilding the towers when the mosque issue comes up, and thinks this is yet another ball of string so that they will be sold another bill of goods.

2) Unfortunately, Mr. Scarborough might have a point about the demagoguery of Social Security. I’m not sure which people not named Paul Ryan who still hold the idea in effective regard. I do know no one is really proposing it, and thus have to believe that the President used his radio address this week to make a political charge against his opponents that is making an issue where there is none. We don’t face a privatization of the Social Security System, and we shouldn’t claim we do.

I remember where I was when I heard that Chuck Grassley had gone on the stump and quoted the “pulling the plug on grandma” line. I was infuriated. Mainly, I had little trust in the Baucus and Grassley proceedings from the outset despite the rosy picture painted in the media that this was going to teach us bipartisanship, and to be proven right in my mistrust with this full betrayal was a low moment. To me, Max Baucus had sold the Democratic party and the Obama electorate a bill of goods and to this day he has never confronted his committee partner’s turncoat opportunism. It is the person who empowered the betrayal that usually is at fault.

Who is making Obama scare grandma from the other side? Is it Matty Iglesias? Is it Rahm Emmanuel? What does this have to do with that 60% middle of America?

We have to transcend this stuff. We can be as mad as possible about the Grassley stuff, until we do it ourselves. Then, we have to forgive Grassley, Palin, Foo, and Gingrich. See how expensive that is? Those people are nightmares in doublespeak, it should be our mission to avoid their path.

3) Quite an article in the NY Times over the weekend about our raging anti terror war in Yemen and anywhere else not named Afghanistan or Iraq. Obama is painted as the most fearsome warrior in recent memory for his use of US airpower and CIA operations across two continents to be sure that the next Afghanistan doesn’t occur in a failed state du jour.

With all the talk of AfPak on Morning Joe, it’s surprising that the elements of the story subscribers might find useful just don’t show up. We never bring up the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, a natural opponent of the Taliban that had as one of it’s doctrines a womens bill of rights. We never bring up the CIA offensive that routed the Taliban before US ground forces ever joined the fight.

Obama does. Joe Biden really does. What is going on in Yemen and Western Pakistan is what our role in the region will look like in total in 2012. We won’t have 100,000 troops in Afghanistan then, we will likely have a CIA level empowerment that resets the balance of power with Karzai in the middle, a newly resurgent Northern Alliance of tribes in the north, and an empowered within reason version of the Taliban in the south. Taliban in name only, as the stakes will return to Taliban meaning Pakistani invasion mercenaries, leaving them little political favor.

It may take a generation to remove the Taliban. The US can’t afford to be there that long. The Afghani elements that oppose the Taliban will win the hearts and minds of their country, and be the first legitimate government to see an opportunity unseat Karzai. Karzai is not a bad guy, he is just weak, like George W. Bush, and in that vacuum, corruption runs rampant.

The Morning Joe show is providing this transition period from a hot war to a covert war great cover by minimizing the political exposure of such a move. The covert war as a strategy had horrible public opinions during the Iran-Contra affair, but now seems like a wonderful alternative to decades of meaningless but deadly desert maneuvers with conventional forces. The more Joe Scarborough rails on the war as it currently exists, the closer we get to a full re-engagement at the lower level.

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.

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