“Another World” Of Obama-Hating Hysteria (UPDATED)

Vladimir Putin is nuts, as far as German honcho Angela Merkel is concerned. At least that is what The New York Times reported regarding her telly talk with President Obama:

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr. Obama by telephone on Sunday that after speaking with Mr. Putin she was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. “In another world,” she said.

Well, speaking of another world and being out of touch with reality, we have the strange universe of Republican politics and punditry. Let’s start with a representative sample from Senator Lindsey Graham. CNN’s Candy Crowley interviewed him on Sunday about the Russian invasion of Ukraine:

CROWLEY: …the president has come out and spoken very forcefully on Friday about consequences. The U.S. has made it clear that it disapproves of what Russia has done. You’ve been tweeting about strong statements. What more do you want from President Obama at this point?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM: Well, number one, stop going on television and trying to threaten thugs and dictators. It is not your strong suit. Every time the president goes on national television and threatens Putin or anyone like Putin, everybody’s eyes roll, including mine. We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression.

“Invites aggression.” Now, speaking of nuts, speaking of a disassociation from reality, that statement is textbook. For a powerful U.S. Senator, right in the middle of a serious international crisis, to essentially blame that crisis on the President of the United States, while making fun of the Commander-in-Chief and calling him “weak and indecisive,” is indicative of something seriously wrong not only with Lindsey Graham, but indicative of a schizophrenia on the right that is so deep, and so potentially dangerous, that we all should be concerned as much with the present mental state of some conservatives as we are with the mental state of Vladimir Putin.Main Entry Image

Let’s move on to right-wing Fox pundit-god Charles Krauthammer. Four days ago, after President Obama said, “there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine,” the Fox know-it-all said:

The Ukrainians, and I think everybody, is shocked by the weakness of Obama’s statement. I find it rather staggering.

Staggering? He found it staggering? What Krauthammer didn’t find staggering, as Dorian De Wind points out, is a statement given by George W. Bush in August of 2008, five days after Vladimir Putin’s Russia invaded Georgia with civilian-killing bombers and jet fighters. Bush said pretty much the same things that Obama is saying now, including things like this:

Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century…These actions have substantially damaged Russia’s standing in the world. And these actions jeopardize Russians’ relations — Russia’s relations with the United States and Europe. It is time for Russia to be true to its word and to act to end this crisis.

I remind you that was five days after the invasion and reported estimated deaths of 2,000 people. Was that George Bush’s fault? Did Senator Graham go on a Sunday talk show and call Bush a weak and indecisive president? Did he say Bush invited the aggression? Was their a peep of criticism from easily staggered people like Charles Krauthammer, whose disdain for President Obama has become a personality disorder? No and no and no and no.

Here is the end of a column that Krauthammer wrote on August 14, 2008:

President Bush could cash in on his close personal relationship with Putin by sending him a copy of the highly entertaining (and highly fictionalized) film “Charlie Wilson’s War” to remind Vlad of 12623580-12623583-slargeour capacity to make Russia bleed. Putin would need no reminders of the Georgians’ capacity and long history of doing likewise to invaders.

Bush needs to make up for his mini-Katrina moment when he lingered in Beijing yukking it up with our beach volleyball team while Putin flew to North Ossetia to direct the invasion of a neighboring country. Bush is dispatching Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to France and Georgia. Not a moment too soon. Her task must be to present these sanctions, get European agreement on as many as possible and begin imposing them, calibrated to Russian behavior. And most important of all, to prevent any Euro-wobbliness on the survival of Georgia’s democratically elected government.

We have cards. We should play them. Much is at stake.

Can you believe that? Krauthammer cites “Bush’s close personal relationship with Putin” without so much as any criticism of Bush for misreading the Russian leader. No language about weakness or weak responses. Nothing like that. Remember Bush had said about Putin that, “I looked into his eyes and saw his soul.”* Can you even imagine what Krauthammer would have written if Barack Obama had made that same statement prior to Putin invading Ukraine? Just last September Krauthammer said Obama “has been played and continues to be” by Putin. Such hypocrisy is off the charts.

Let me also remind you that George Bush said the following about the Russian invasion of Georgia:

We insist that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia be respected.

“We insist,” the Commander-in-Chief  said in 2008. Well, thousands of Russian troops still occupy about a fifth of Georgia to this day. Russia has declared the disputed territories, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, to be “independent states.” So much for George W. Bush’s “close personal relationship” with the thug.

And so much for expecting any semblance of sane commentary from people like Lindsey Graham and Charles Krauthammer. As Angela Merkel might say, they, like so many Obama-hating conservatives, are truly in another world.                                              [AP photo]

[UPDATE:Appearing on Fox's "Your (another) World with Neil Cavuto," former New York City mayor and current Chris Christie apologist, Rudy Giuliani, said that,

Putin decides what he wants to do and he does it in half a day. Right? He decided he had to go to their parliament, he got permission in 15 minutes...he makes a decision and he executes it, quickly. Then everybody reacts. That's what you call a leader. President Obama, he's gotta think about it, he's gotta go over it again; he's gotta talk to more people...

rudy and putinNow, even forgetting that the Russian parliament is not the U.S. Congress, in the sense that it is not a democratic body with a mind and real power of its own, the fact that a Russian thug is praised by a prominent Republican for acting like a thug, even a decisive one, is enough to turn one's stomach. And if the American people had any sense at all, they would tell not only Rudy Giuliani, but the entire Republican Party that harbors such stupidity, such undeniable nuttiness, to go straight to hell and never come back.]

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* Speaking of souls: It wasn’t that long ago when some culture-war right-wingers were singing the praises of the Russian thug, who was going to save Christianity from the homosexual heathens. From Pat Buchanan to the American Family Association to The American Conservative to the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute to the World Congress of Families to Sean Hannity—who actually said in September that he would take the word of Putin over Secretary of State John Kerry.

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8 Comments

  1. Mr. McCain seemed to want to mix it up with Putin over Georgia. I feel much better that Mr. Obama is dealing with this than say a second term McCain.

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    • Mr. McCain wants to “mix it up” with everyone. He would be a dangerous man, if Americans had trusted him to run the country in 2008. He’s never seen a crisis in which the American military couldn’t intervene. Thank God or John Locke that he is merely a senator and not the commander-in-chief.

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  2. We have proof of two US State Department high officials confirming their plan to install a new client regime in the Ukraine. Why would anyone question Putin’s response?

    If President Obama would like to lecture President Putin on the evils of invasion then he must direct Attorney General Holder to issue arrest warrants for his invading predecessors, the Bush gang. If President Obama lacks the stomach to seek justice at home, he’s ill-equipped to wag his overly powerful finger in anyone else’s direction.

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    • Leaving aside whether the Obama administration should have engaged in a series of political or criminal trials of the past administration, please direct me to your “proof” that there was a U.S. government “plan to install a new client regime in the Ukraine.” I’m all ears.

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  3. Randy:

    Not sure how you missed the Nuland recording where she and our Ukraine ambassador discussed cutting out the EU and putting in our own selected thugs. Here it is from Foreign Policy on Focus: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/02/21-8

    Today on Common Dreams Ray McGovern explains more of the Obama/State Department grab for the Crimea: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/03/02-2

    I highly recommend reading more from RT and less from Morning Joe.

    Gerry

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    • Gerry,

      You and I agree on many things. But this isn’t one of them. As you might have guessed, given our past discussions on similar matters, I reject your characterization of what is going on in Ukraine, as it relates to what you call “the Obama/State Department grab for the Crimea.” But I will take the opportunity to explain why in a blog post later today.

      RDG

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  4. gmalan2012’s links are germane because they point to the persistence of the American exceptionalism meme, but I submit that such tribal behavior is a necessary evil simply because it is part of American culture, and indeed of simple human behavior. As discussed so well by Duane in his post here, the outrageous behavior of the opposition party shows that conservatives are taking full advantage of it, never mind that doing so weakens the Obama administration’s ability to deal with the situation and therefore is counter to America’s interests.

    Despite the machinations of State Department underlings, cooler heads seem to be prevailing in the Ukrainian kerfuffle, prominent among them that of President Obama himself. The last thing we need is more cowboy foreign policy like that that got us into two wrong wars.

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    • Jim,

      I will attempt to explain why I think Gerry’s links are problematic, if not outright hysterical, later on today. Too long for the comment section I think. Suffice it to say here that there is a difference between “cowboy foreign policy,” as practiced by the previous administration, and our current attempt to aid those who desire the kind of liberty our nation has stood for in the minds of so many around the world.

      Duane

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