Barack Obama has only been in office for about nine months, but in that brief time the leading voices of the Republican Party have provided the rest of us with a telling system for evaluating what is good and what is bad in the world.
Earlier this month we learned that when America loses, it is time to cheer. Erick Erickson of RedState, one of the true leaders of the online right and an elected official in Georgia to boot, celebrated Chicago’s loss of the 2016 Olympics. He wrote, with great prescience:
I thought the world would love us more now that Bush was gone.
I thought if we whored ourselves out to our enemies, great things would happen.
So Obama’s pimped us to every two bit thug and dictator in the world, made promises to half the Olympic committee, and they did not even kiss him.
So much for improving America’s standing in the world, Barry O.
Maybe now perhaps we can hope he will mature a bit on the issues of foreign affairs. But I doubt it.
And today, President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his leadership in international relations, including taking major strides towards ridding the world of nuclear weapons. Obviously this doesn’t quite jibe with Erickson’s forceful conclusion that Obama hasn’t improved America’s standing in the world.
One would think that Erickson would welcome the arrival of what he wanted to see Obama do – improve our standing in the world. Sadly, you’d be wrong. And so we arrive at the second lesson from Greater Wingnutia during the Obama administration: you should get upset when America wins.
Erickson chimes in:
I did not realize the Nobel Peace Prize had an affirmative action quota for, but that is the only thing I can think of for this news.
So in less than two weeks of entering office, Obama did something to qualify. What was it? Not closing Gitmo? Continuing the Bush administration’s policies in the War on Terror but no longer using the name? Or pronouncing a policy of abject American capitulation to our enemies?
The Peace Prize reaffirms it s a joke. But now a sad joke.
Not surprisingly, while Erickson leads the way in booing America’s success, he is by no means alone. Greg Sargent has compiled a number of rapid responses from top Republican bloggers and pundits, all expressing their profound discontent that America has succeeded. Republican Party chair Michael Steele was not one to be left out of the America bashing, issuing this petulant statement in response to our national success:
“The real question Americans are asking is, ‘What has President Obama actually accomplished?’ It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights. One thing is certain – President Obama won’t be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action.”
Clearly the Republican Party is well represented by its leading voices online, as there isn’t an inch of daylight between Steele’s churlish sentiments and Erickson’s hyperventilating temper tantrum.
Sargent also notes that while there is a bevy of Republicans loudly booing this great day in the history of American foreign relations, they are putting forward the same response as another frequent critic of the United States of America…the Taliban.
“We have seen no change in his strategy for peace. He has done nothing for peace in Afghanistan.”
There you have it. The only people who are booing America’s success as loudly as the Republican Party are the fucking Taliban.
Your modern Republican Party, ladies and gentleman.
Joining the Republican Party and the Taliban as the only people vocally condemning Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize…wait for it…Hamas!
But Islamist movement Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since routing pro-Fatah forces from the narrow coastal strip in June 2007, said the award was premature.
“He did not do anything for the Palestinians except make promises,” said Hamas spokesman Samir Abu Zuhri. “At the same time, he is giving his absolute support for the (Israeli) occupation.”
The GOP, the Taliban and Hamas… all you need to know folks.
One thought on “The World According to Wingnuts”
in a party and movement whose ideas have all proven to fail, the official conservative position at all times and in all circumstances is simply:
“whatever may hurt the opponent politically at that particular instant”
Obama got attacked by rightwingers like Hamas and FoxNews when he confronted Iran’s weapons facility with hopes of avoiding a confrontation. The GOP believes that a smoking gun of this sort should be used as a pretext for war. Obama believes that it should be used to force disarmament. That is why when the right-wing had their man in the White House, he was showered with shoes – and why when a Democrat is President he is showered with the Nobel Peace Prize.
Everyone but the rightwing thinks that the public revelation of that secret Iranian facility makes war less likely rather than more likely. The timing of the announcement, immediately following the consultations at the UN and the G-20 and just before the Geneva meetings, makes it seem extremely likely that the Obama administration was waiting for just the right moment to play this card. It strengthened the P5+1 bargaining position ahead of October 1, it completely changes Iranian calculations, and lays the foundations for a more serious and constructive kind of engagement. Intel is not merely kindling for the fires of war.
That is game-changing. It’s not just that George W. Bush and the Republican party so lowered the bar that NOT invading and occupying an unarmed nation has become a cause for celebration. Rather, international diplomacy has for generations been a matter of getting your country’s way. Obama is an actual cooperative internationalist.
Another example, Obama got attacked by the rightwing when he (reversing the asinine Bush decision to pretend it was still 1961) shifted our missile defense system from protecting Europe from USSR into one that instead protects the Middle-East and Europe from Iran. His fault there? The American right wing complained that Obama didn’t demand a concession from Russia. One-upsmanship with the Kremlin is the old game the right wing is used to. In fact, it’s the only thing they know: hell, the last Republican Secretary of State was a Sovietologist… in 2008! If the world’s actual threats have shifted, our realpolitik needs to change to match it.
These are just two examples of potentially game-changing posture and approach.