One of the central propositions of the Obama presidency, along with closing Guantanamo Bay and shooting Osama Bin Laden in the face, was to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in US foreign policy. In both Prague in 2009 and Hiroshima in May, the president called for “a world without nuclear weapons.” Until that world is ours, though, the United States reserves the right to nuke first and ask questions later, presumably while pouring water over a rag stuffed in your mouth. The Times reports today that national security advisors have convinced the president to abandon plans to foreswear first use of nuclear weapons in combat. As of today, but also as of 1945, you don’t have to nuke the US for the US to nuke you.
According to an anonymous source close to her campaign, Hillary Clinton has sought endorsements from prominent Republicans Henry Kissinger, George Schultz, Condoleezza Rice and James Baker. All four have yet to endorse Trump, and at least half of them are famous for leading the United States into disastrous and unpopular foreign wars. That’s what Politico reports—the first part, anyway, although it also warns readers that none of what it just said may be true:
A person close to Clinton said her team has sent out feelers to the GOP elders, although it wasn’t clear if those efforts were preliminary or more formal requests for endorsement, or if they were undertaken through intermediaries. Clinton campaign aides did not respond when asked if they had solicited endorsements or tried to persuade the elders to speak out against Trump.
If Clinton is indeed seeking the Kissinger endorsement, it’s troubling. Although the architect of Richard Nixon’s Vietnam War policy is somehow in the pantheon of foreign policy experts and not the Hague, his name is still synonymous with evil among the Baby Boomers who form the core of her constituency. Meanwhile, Rice and, to a lesser extent, Schultz and Baker can only remind voters of her support for the invasion of Iraq. Seeking their endorsements suggests that Clinton is both tone deaf and tacking even further to the right.
I would object to her doing that on economic issues, but at least it might be politically sensible. Why hitch your wagon to Republicans on the issue of foreign wars? The last 15 years of unsuccessful military intervention in the Middle East is a stain on the Republican brand, and it makes no sense for Hillary to try to co-opt it. Ordinary voters are tired of war. Left-leaning voters, meanwhile, will be chagrined to learn that they have two choices: a center-right party and a far-right party. There appears to be no candidate for president who opposes further adventure in the Middle East. Now shut up and vote for the one who isn’t also openly racist.
Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee, Hillary Clinton is guaranteed to become president. It’s obvious Trump can’t win. He’s utterly unqualified. His negatives are too high. Everyone of sense can see he is doomed in the general, just as we all knew his candidacy was going nowhere in the primaries. Okay, so he won almost all the primaries, but that was a fluke. This time, there’s no way. Democrats will keep the White House in 2016, because all of Trump’s signature issues appeal to fundamentally limited subsets of voters. He’s not selling anything the majority of Americans can agree on. On a completely unrelated note, the Intercept has reported that Trump called Hillary “trigger happy” at a rally in Lynden, Washington, where he warned that she would embroil the United States in another land war in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Hillary is courting neoconservatives put off by Trump’s isolationism. Here’s Republican strategist Steve Schmidt:
Donald Trump will be running to the left as we understand it against Hillary Clinton on national security issues. And the candidate in the race most like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney from a foreign policy perspective is in fact Hillary Clinton, not the Republican nominee.
Finally, the Democrats have an opportunity to position themselves as the party of hawks—and at a moment when war is so popular!
In part because we wake gripped by existential terror every morning, we at the Combat! blog offices like to paint the present American moment as one of unusual discord. In this way, we resemble our predatory stepbrothers in the more, ahem, widely-consumed media, who often act as if American politics were more fractious now that it was in, say, the 19th century. Such claims seem convincing—I totally see more modern people accusing one another of not being citizens than I see knickerbockers settling disagreements with sword canes—but how can I know? If only there were some means of quantifying intranational dissent, so I could know with mathematical certainty how the partisan turmoil of my age compares to that of my forebears. I suppose I’ll just have to give up and read the Bi—boom! Logarithmic plotting of correlation between stock market crashes and secessionist movements, pussies! Props to James Erwin, not only for the link but for much of the original research used in the link. He’s also raising a child.
Remember the good old days, when Combat! blog was primarily about me getting angry at Victoria Floethe and other children of privilege masquerading as writers, politicians and intellectuals? That sort of masquerade is for children of the middle class, bitches, and don’t you ever forget it, but I digress. My point is, in our haste to actually address elements of contemporary American society that will be of interest to more than one obsessive man in his eerily unfurnished apartment, we at Combat! blog have forgotten our roots. Those roots are regularly dyed, and they totally look amazing and not trashy at all. They belong to Meghan McCain, the daughter of longtime senator and former candidate for President John McCain, and she is still working away at her weekly column in the Daily Beast, which has nothing to do with her being John McCain’s daughter but was instead awarded to her out of respect for her astute political analysis and talent as a writer, as demonstrated by her bestselling book, My Dad, John McCain. Seriously, that’s the title of her book. According to the New York Observer, she’s also got another book in the works for Hyperion, which contract she secured with the help of “the literary agent she shares with her father, Sterling Lord Literistic president Flip Brophy.” Every time I try to understand that clause, my brain slips out of the socket. If you’re like me, you can’t wait six months for Meghan McCain to write a whole damn book, even if it does cover “topics ranging from what the party needs to do to attract others like her, to the importance of technology in reaching out to younger voters, to what needs to be done to keep young people passionate and involved in politics in the future.” I’m assuming the word “Twitter” appears in this book several hundred times, but until I find out I will have to content myself with her Daily Beast columns, which finally brings us to the topic of today’s blog: Meghan McCain is a rich little fascist who can’t think and would right now be gradually developing a cocaine problem in the the stock room of some ASU college bar had her dad not run for President. Ours is a broken meritocracy. Won’t you join me for lunch at Schadenfreude’s?