“The fact is on foreign policy I don’t think President Obama thinks it’s a priority,” said Bolton. “He said during the campaign he thought Iran was a tiny threat. Tiny, tiny depending on how many nuclear weapons they are ultimately able to deliver on target. Its, uh, its tiny compared to the Soviet Union, but is the loss of one American city” – here Bolton shrugged his shoulders impishly – “pick one at random – Chicago – is that a tiny threat?”
Bolton wasn’t the only one who thought this was funny. The room erupted in laughter and applause. Was this conservative catharsis, with rightwingers delightfully imagining the destruction of a city that represents Obama? Or perhaps they were venting vengeance with their laughter.
I like to think i appreciate dark rumor as much as the next guy, but Bolton’s wet dream about about Chicago – just coincidence of course that it is president Obama’s adopted hometown – reminds me of Bill O’Reilly wishing that Al Qaeda would blow up San Francisco. It used to be the “eastern elite” that the Right hated. In their frustration at being ousted by the American people, who for the most part are tired of buying the bull they’re selling, the Right’s geographic hatred seems to be spreading. As Jonathan Stein notes Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, at the same Punks and Clowns meeting pushed for a revival of supply side “voodoo” economics. Ryan thinks that America is having so much fun at the moment suffering the accumulative effects of voodoo economics we all just want it to happen over and over again. If this CPAC exercise in paranoia and the championing of so obviously failed economic policies is any indication, Republicans will end up proving once and for all they never had any ideas. They just had bizarre notions and dark visions shrouded in faux patriotism and greed. More at the Wonkroom – Bolton: I Fear That Obama Would Not Come To Israel’s Aid
As should be obvious, the scenario presented is ridiculous. There is no analyst on the right or the left who seriously thinks that the Arab states are preparing to attack Israel. (Right now these states are much more concerned about Iran, and the extent to which Iranian power and influence in the region was greatly increased as a result of the Iraq war, which Bolton still insists was awesome.)
Israel is the single largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid and as far as we know that will continue to be the case into the near future. Israel also has one of the world’s finest arsenals of weapons courtesy the U.S. and have proved themselves perfectly capable of defending themselves. It was in fact Bush, Bolton and the neocons that assured Iran’s increased influence in the region when they kicked out weapons inspectors and decided to replace Saddam with a hundred mini-Saddams in Iraq. Sure Bolton thinks where they went wrong is not nuking Iran. So typical, some on the Right talk about using nuclear weapons the same casual way some people discuss the weather – Nukes: the answer to every problem.
Just how far have we fallen during that three-decade era of economic policy dominated by the ideas of Ronald Reagan and his supporters? Well, a UN report last year on urban poverty found that out of the world’s 120 major cities New York was found to be the ninth most unequal in the world and Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington, and Miami had similar inequality levels to those of Nairobi, Kenya and Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. In western New York state nearly 40% of the black, Hispanic and mixed-race households earned less than $15,000 compared with 15% of white households. The life expectancy of African-Americans in the US is about the same as that of people living in China and some states of India, despite the fact that the US is far richer than the other two countries. Is this right? Is this America? It is the America that Reagan has wrought and that President Obama seeks to undo. Undoing Reagan, how sweet the sound.
A spreading meme on the Right is that Democrats are going to Europeanize the American economy. If that is the case it will obviously be a step up for many Americans. You know the ones that didn’t get their share of the trickle down from the billionaires that Bush called his base. People aren’t automatically bad for being billionaires, much of the time its inherited wealth that just keeps snowballing ( unearned wealth), but to call that tiny sliver of people your base was and appears to be CPAC’s morally questionable guiding principles.
In one week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy says he will begin establishing a “commission of inquiry” to investigate the Bush administration’s use of torture and other abuses of power, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is objecting to his plan of granting immunity to some witnesses.
In an interview with Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC program Wednesday, Pelosi called Leahy’s investigative plan “a good idea,” but objected to immunity that could prevent prosecutors from holding Bush administration officials accountable for crimes in a court of law.
One of the people that they call to testify has to be John Bolton. Even if he doesn’t end up in jail it’ll be fun to know to he’ll live forever on video squirming his way through some tough Q&A under oath.