Friday Talking Points -- Republican Chaos Still Reigns

[ Posted Friday, November 3rd, 2023 – 17:50 UTC ]

Republicans are in disarray. Let's start with that this week, shall we?

This week in the Senate, Republicans spent five whole hours ripping into one of their own. A group of GOP senators tried to force the hand of Senator Tommy Tuberville over his petulant hold on fast-tracking all military promotions, but to no avail.

The House, meanwhile, voted for an Israel military aid bill that is going nowhere in the Senate because (among other reasons) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is diametrically opposed to the strategy.

The House also took the time to vote down a censure of a Democrat that drew Marjorie Taylor Greene's wrath, but also voted to let George Santos keep his seat. On both votes, there were significant numbers of Republicans crossing the aisle to vote with the Democrats.

Speaker Mike Johnson had teed up three more of the 12 appropriations bills to pass this week, but only one made it through -- the other two couldn't get enough Republican support, so the votes were postponed.

But what was most notable (to us) about this dysfunctional week for the GOP was the video that Representative Ken Buck released to explain why he won't be seeking re-election (which is well worth watching in full, as it's only a couple of minutes long). In it, he tears into his own party for pushing Trump's Big Lie and refusing to face reality:

"Our nation is on a collision course with reality, and a steadfast commitment to truth, even uncomfortable truths, is the only way forward," [Representative Ken] Buck said in a video posted to X, formerly known as Twitter. "Too many Republican leaders are lying to America."

Buck also cited Republicans downplaying the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol, in which a pro-Trump mob sought to stop the certification of Joe Biden's electoral win, as well as the GOP's claims that the ensuing prosecutions amounted to a weaponization of the justice system.

"These insidious narratives breed widespread cynicism and erode Americans' confidence in the rule of law," Buck said. "It is impossible for the Republican Party to confront our problems and offer a course correction for the future while being obsessively fixated on retribution and vengeance for contrived injustices of the past."

ABC News ran their own excerpts from the video:

"Too many Republican leaders are lying to America," [Representative Ken] Buck said in a video released on social media, "claiming that the 2020 election was stolen, describing Jan. 6 as an unguided tour of the Capitol and asserting that the ensuing prosecutions are a weaponization of our justice system."

. . .

Rather than a party that built on the tradition of leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, continuing to center principles of liberty and "economic freedom," "The Republican Party of today... is ignoring self-evident truths about the rule of law and limited government in exchange for self-serving lies," he argued.

Or to put it all slightly differently: "I am a sane Republican, and as a Republican who actually admits that reality exists, I probably will not be able to get re-elected." He joins an ever-growing list of Republicans who dare to contradict their Dear Leader and point out that the emperor's clothes do not, in fact, exist -- and by doing so render themselves electorally toxic to their own party (who still insists that they are witnessing the most beautiful outfit ever seen).

As each of these Republicans exit, the party they leave behind becomes just a little Trumpier. It's a sort of slow-moving ideological purge in Republicanland.

But back to the rest of the GOP disarray. In the Senate, emotions ran high as Republican senators who actually care about America's military lit into Tommy Tuberville's obstructionism, which is blocking hundreds of high-ranking military officers from having their promotions approved by the Senate. Senators like Lindsey Graham, Joni Ernst, and Dan Sullivan (all of whom have served in uniform) tried to shame Tuberville into backing down. "No matter whether you believe it or not, Senator Tuberville, this is doing great damage to our military," admonished Graham. Ernst snidely pointed out that Tuberville was in over his head, since he had never served in uniform himself (unless you count a football uniform, which we have to say we do not). Sullivan was just as relentless: "We are going to look back at this episode and just be stunned at what a national-security suicide mission this became." He also essentially accused Tuberville of aiding and abetting the Chinese in their attempts to destroy America's military might (we wrote about all of this at length yesterday, for anyone interested).

Over in the House, things got even worse. A lot of time was spent on singling out individual members for punishment, with nothing to show for it than a display of junior-high catfighting. Here's a rundown of just part of this petty viciousness (emphasis in original):

This week, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) forced a vote in the House on censuring Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) on accusations of being antisemitic. It was funny enough that Congresswoman Jewish Space Lasers herself was accusing somebody else of being antisemitic. But her censure resolution was so over the top -- it accused Tlaib of "leading an insurrection" -- that 23 Republicans joined all Democrats in tabling it.

After the vote, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.) said via X, formerly Twitter, that the censure resolution "was deeply flawed and made legally and factually unverified claims, including the claim of leading an 'insurrection'."

Greene shot back on social media: "You voted to kick me out of the freedom caucus, but keep CNN wannabe Ken Buck and vaping groping Lauren Boebert and you voted with the Democrats to protect Terrorist Tlaib."

Greene, of course, is head of the Mean Girls Caucus in the House. OK, we kid, but at this point it's really not too farfetched to imagine one, is it? The sober exchange between the Republican members of Congress continued:

Asked about this accusation from Greene, Roy told The Hill's Mychael Schnell: "Tell her to go chase so-called Jewish space lasers if she wants to spend time on that sort of thing."

To this, Greene replied with a new post: "Oh shut up Colonel Sanders, you're not even from Texas, more like the DMV [Delaware/Maryland/Virginia region]." Roy, who grew up in Northern Virginia, has a white goatee not unlike the whiskers on the chin of the late founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken.


The House also attempted to chuck out George Santos, for being George Santos. This failed as well, as both Republicans and Democrats crossed party lines, voted "Present," or skipped the vote entirely. While it is plainly obvious Santos needs to go, he has not actually had his day in court yet and thus remains "innocent until proven guilty," which gave plenty of House members pause. But, once again, it also showed the Republican Party fighting among themselves.

One thing the Republicans in the House did manage to do was to pass a military aid bill for Israel. However, Speaker Johnson chose to stick a thumb in Mitch McConnell's eye (and Chuck Schumer's, to boot) by passing a standalone bill that will go nowhere in the Senate. McConnell agrees with President Joe Biden that there should be a multifaceted aid package that includes Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan as well as funding for America's own border problems.

The House bill might actually have been considered by the Senate except for one thing -- Johnson threw a monkey wrench into it. Paul Krugman at the New York Times had the best description of what Johnson and his fellow Republicans were trying to do:

A case in point is the current demand by House Republicans that funding for Israel in this moment of crisis be tied to budget cuts that would undermine the ability of the Internal Revenue Service to crack down on wealthy tax cheats.... I mean, holding national security hostage unless we make it easier for wealthy tax cheats to break the law? Who would do that?

Who indeed? Johnson ostensibly wanted to pay for the $14 billion in aid to Israel by cutting the I.R.S. budget by the same amount. Except that when the I.R.S. gets less money, they are less able to go after wealthy tax cheats -- which winds up increasing the deficit. So much for being "fiscally responsible." The head of the I.R.S. stated that this cut would increase the deficit by $90 billion over ten years. The Congressional Budget Office came up with a much lower figure, but still arrived at the same conclusion: this would wind up increasing the deficit.

The war in Israel and the Gaza Strip ground on for another week, and pressure is growing within the Democratic Party for President Biden to call for either a "cease-fire" or at the very least a "pause" (as he put it) for humanitarian purposes. The longer this conflict rages on, the harder it is going to be for Biden to please everybody, obviously. The Senate passing a bill close to what Biden asked for would certainly help the situation, but there was no word of progress on such a bill this week from the chamber. The Senate did, however, mange to confirm Jack Lew as ambassador to Israel, which is a rather important position to fill right now, obviously.

There was a lot of other things going on in politics this week, so we'll try to whip through them all in abbreviated fashion here. The United Auto Workers scored a sweep, as the third of the Big Three automakers cut a deal with the Union. All three deals have significant improvements in pay, benefits, and job security during the transition to electric vehicles, so this was a really big win. The strike got lots of media coverage when it began, but not so much for how it ended -- with a big win for the U.A.W.

Next week will be a big week in politics, as we'll have Election Tuesday to take the pulse of voters in differing states. There's are governors' races in Kentucky and Mississippi, and (surprisingly) Democrats could win them both. In Kentucky, the incumbent Democrat is very popular in his state and in Mississippi the Democratic candidate has the last name "Presley" -- a distant relative of Elvis. If the kin of The King can't win in Mississippi, no Democrat probably can, so although it is a longshot it'll be interesting to watch the returns come in. Virginia will also be an important state to watch, as Republicans think they can wrest control of the statehouse back from Democrats (after a Republican won the governorship last time around).

In Ohio, an abortion ballot measure would enshrine the right to full reproductive healthcare into the state constitution. Even though Ohio has trended redder and redder, this has an excellent chance of passing -- and if it does, it will send another very strong signal that this is a winning issue for Democrats pretty much everywhere in the country.

Also next week will be the third Republican presidential debate, a day after the election returns come in. Donald Trump, however, will not be on the stage -- he'll be holding his own event instead, as he did for the first two debates. But all eyes will be on Nikki Haley, to see if she's truly "The One Who Might Beat Trump." Haley has drawn even with Ron DeSantis in Iowa, and is threatening to eclipse him everywhere, so it could be a lively debate. Especially after Politico did a deep dive into whether DeSantis has been wearing height-increasing lifts in his cowboy boots. Haley already took a shot at him over this, so look for it to come up Wednesday night.

The big news from the Republican side of the race this week, however, was the news that Mike Pence was throwing in the towel on his presidential hopes. Pence is the first major candidate to drop out of the race, and it will be interesting to see who follows him out the door in the next few months.

For some reason, Vivek Ramaswamy held a debate with Democratic Representative Ro Khanna this week, which might indicate the start of the 2028 presidential campaign -- at least for Khanna, who has always had his political sights set pretty high.

Joe Biden won't be on the New Hampshire ballot (due to them ignoring the Democratic National Committee's early primary schedule), but Dean Phillips will be. However, Phillips didn't exactly have a smooth time of it when he held his first town hall in the state.

Onward to the "Trump legal woes" part of our weekly program, which we are really going to try to whip through quickly (because there is so much of it).

The judge in Trump's federal January 6th case reinstated the limited gag order on Trump this week, and he violated it again within 75 minutes. He said he was unaware it had been reinstated, so he'll probably slip off the hook for this one, but it's only a matter of time before he violates it again, really. Jury selection is slated to begin in this case on February 9th of next year.

In the trial that is underway in New York dealing with Trump's fraudulent business practices, we heard testimony from Don Junior and Eric Trump this week. Both denied ever doing anything wrong, insisting it was all the accountants' fault. Next week we'll hear from both Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump himself, so that should be the highpoint of the entire trial.

Trump's lawyers continued attacking the judge's law clerk in the case, which seriously annoyed the judge. In fact, the judge just might expand his own gag order to include Trump's lawyers as well, which would bar them from attacking court personnel again.

Trump may be about to get a win in Florida, as the judge (who was named to the federal bench by Trump himself on his final days in office) seemed to be open to delaying the start of the case involving all those highly-classified documents and Trump's refusal to hand over any of them to the National Archives, even when subpoenaed.

Two trials kicked off this week, in Colorado and Minnesota, which are challenging Trump's ability to even have his name appear on the primary ballots. This is due to the Fourteenth Amendment, which bars those involved in insurrection against the United States from ever holding office again. This provision wasn't used from the Civil War until the January 6th riots -- and has never been applied to a presidential candidate -- so the issue will likely wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court before too long.

A case involving Trump's name was heard before the Supreme Court this week, but we're saving the details for the talking points section (because it's pretty funny). Ironically, Joe Biden's Justice Department was the one arguing on Trump's behalf (due to it being a trademark issue).

In other legal news tangentially related to Trump, the attorney general in Arizona is apparently looking at bringing charges for the fake electors in the 2020 election as well as people who tried to influence (or strongarm) elections officials into overturning the vote of the people of the state.

One of the lawyers pushing the whole scheme to have Mike Pence somehow wave a magic wand in Congress on January 6th, John Eastman, suffered a major setback in his disbarment hearing this week. The final decision on whether to yank his license to practice law hasn't been made yet, but things don't look good for Eastman.

There were two other items which caught our eye this week that have nothing to do with any of the week's other political news. In Virginia, the Robert E. Lee statue that was at the center of the White supremacists' march in Charlottesville was melted down in secret. The statue will never be displayed again, because it no longer exists. This seems a fitting end to the story, at least to us.

And finally, the federal government unveiled a new form for government employees to report any U.F.O. encounters:

The online form will allow current and former service members, employees and contractors to share nonsensitive and unclassified information about past and current sightings with the Pentagon's All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, or AARO. It will also complement reporting procedures that were announced in May to the services and combatant commands.

Hopefully this will begin a new era of the government both taking this stuff seriously and doing so in a very transparent and above-board fashion.


Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

This is kind of odd, but we're going to give our two awards this week based on the same event.

First, the impressive part.

Senator John Fetterman made a move this week attacking a fellow Democratic senator. But this was actually a good thing.

Here's the story in a nutshell:

[Senator John] Fetterman (D-Pa.) on Thursday proposed internal sanctions for any senator who is indicted for offenses such as mishandling classified information, being charged as a foreign agent or compromising national security. His resolution would strip any senator facing those charges of their committee assignments, access to classified information or briefings, power to request earmarks and power to use government funds for international travel.

As is usual in such motions, it didn't actually name anyone's name, but the description is targeted at one senator: New Jersey's Robert Menendez. Fetterman explained why he was making this move:

"It's important to make a statement and to force people to come down on: is it appropriate for a man who's been accused of acting as a foreign agent [to be] receiving [that] kind of classified briefings," Fetterman said, referencing secret information such as details on Israel's activity against Gaza following last month's Hamas attacks.

"It's astonishing to me how anyone would be okay with that," Fetterman added.

We're saving the reason for why this motion was even necessary for the next award, but we have to say it was impressive that Fetterman stepped up to the plate (Fetterman has also called on Menendez to resign his seat) in such a fashion. Party unity is one thing, but national security is quite another.

For such a commonsense motion in response to outrageous circumstances, Senator John Fetterman is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[Congratulate Senator John Fetterman on his Senate contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]


Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Now for the flip side. Fetterman's move was necessary for the following reason:

[Senator Robert] Menendez -- who has been charged as an alleged foreign agent for the Egyptian government -- has given up his Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairmanship but still holds his committee seats. And while he skipped one intelligence briefing in October, which he claimed was his own decision, Menendez attended a different classified briefing this week with no restrictions.

Seriously? And all the other Democrats were apparently OK with this?

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer fell down on the job, here. He should have had a quiet word with Menendez to let him know to keep away from classified briefings until he has his day in court (or until next year's election, whichever comes first). But Menendez is sending out the signal that he will indeed attend such briefings, which necessitated some sort of action on somebody's part. Fetterman did so, which is why both awards stem from the same event this week.

For attending the briefing and for refusing to step down from his seat, we once again hand Senator Robert Menendez this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week.

[Contact Senator Robert Menendez on his Senate contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]


Friday Talking Points

Volume 729 (11/3/23)

A very mixed bunch, this week, as there really was no big central theme to the week in politics. We started with the autoworkers' Union big win, because Democrats really do need to beat this drum loudly. For all the faux populism nonsense from the Republicans, Democrats actually do support blue collar workers on the things that really matter -- and they shouldn't be afraid to say so!


   Labor chalks up big win

Maybe this will get some more media attention when the deal is voted on and approved?

"The United Auto Workers scored several significant gains from their strike of the Big Three automakers, as they cut a deal with the remaining holdout this week. Not only are they getting a big raise, they also got the automakers to move away from different 'tiers' of workers with different pay and benefits. They also were successful in deploying a new tactic -- that of limited rolling strikes at individual plants rather than depleting their strike fund by everyone walking out in unison -- that is going to be a model for other Unions to use in the future, I would be willing to wager. Unions have been scoring big victories over the past year or so by striking against industries that refuse to pay their workers what they are worth. And with every one of these successful strikes, the next one for the next Union in some other industry gets a lot easier. It is time for the billionaire class to realize the value of the hardworking Americans who actually do the work in this country."


   Chaos still reigns

Hit this one every chance you get.

"I see that the Republicans are still in disarray on Capitol Hill. House Republicans are fighting among themselves over whether to censure or eject members, Senate Republicans are fighting over arcane parliamentary rules, the House GOP is fighting with the Senate GOP over a national security bill, and the new speaker of the House shot himself in the foot by trying to be fiscally responsible but winding up passing a bill that would make the federal deficit worse. Members are quitting because they are sick and tired of their fellow Republicans spouting the dangerous nonsense of Trump's Big Lie, and chaos seems to reign everywhere you look in the Republican Party these days. I mean, they can't even agree on supporting the troops by approving military officers' promotions. It's sad, really, when you think of how low the Republican Party has now sunk."


   Wealthy tax cheats over national security

Connect these two dots, since it is so easy to do so.

"House Republicans passed a bill to send military aid to Israel, but they tossed in a provision that would take all the money from the I.R.S. What this would do is make it harder for the I.R.S. to go after wealthy tax cheats -- who apparently need protecting, as far as the Republicans are concerned. That's right -- Republicans are standing tall for the principle of rich taxpayers being able to cheat on their taxes and get away with it. And here's the kicker -- this would all increase the deficit by billions of dollars. The Republicans are tying this effort to a national security bill that has nothing to do with taxes. You can see exactly where the priorities are in the Republican Party these days, can't you? So much for all that talk about populism... when the chips are down, the GOP is the party of plutocratic tax cheats, plain and simple."


   Harming military readiness

Hit Tuberville just as hard as his fellow Republicans are.

"Tommy Tuberville is miffed at a Biden administration policy which will allow servicemembers to obtain abortions without having to go AWOL to do so. So he's taking it out on every single high-ranking military officer who has earned and deserves a promotion in rank. Tuberville is playing politics with our nation's military readiness, despite never having served a day in the uniform of this country himself. Don't believe me? Ask his fellow Republican senators who have served -- like Lindsey Graham, Joni Ernst, and Dan Sullivan. They'll tell you. They spent five whole hours this week on the Senate floor trying to shame Tuberville into ending his tantrum, but he simply doesn't care about the military readiness of our armed forces; he's happy to play politics with national security instead."


   Read the whole thing

Two trials are testing the boundaries of the Fourteenth Amendment, when it comes to Donald Trump. But most people miss one important clause.

"In Colorado and Minnesota, judges are now weighing whether Donald Trump can constitutionally be president again. The lawsuits were brought using the Fourteenth Amendment, which was written after the Civil War and includes a section on insurrectionists. In these trials it has been argued that Trump didn't 'engage' in insurrection, therefore the section doesn't apply to him. But there's a second part of that sentence which everyone seems to be skipping over. The whole thing reads:"

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.

"Please note that it doesn't leave it at: 'shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion,' but then goes on to also include 'or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.' So you can argue that Trump didn't 'engage' in an insurrection, but the real question is whether he has given any 'aid or comfort' to the people who did rebel on January 6th. It's pretty obvious that he has, after all -- it's a much lower bar for these cases to clear."


   Trump too small!

This one is worth commenting on just for the fun of it.

"The Supreme Court heard a case this week on whether a person can trademark the phrase 'Trump too small.' You just can't make this stuff up, folks! Marco Rubio's 'tiny hands' dig at Trump in a Republican debate will now live forever in the annals of the highest court of this land. Of course, whether the trademark is granted or not, shirts with the 'Trump too small' phrase on it will still be available for anyone who wishes to purchase one. In fact, it might make a perfect holiday gift for someone you know!"


   School weak

Oh, the humanity!

"Ivanka Trump tried to get out of having to testify in the fraud case being heard in New York against Donald Trump's businesses by filing an appeal that stated that she couldn't possibly attend the trial because it was, and I quote, 'in the middle of a school week.' Gosh, that would be a hardship for Karen... I mean Ivanka. It's not like she doesn't have a husband to help the kiddies get off to school and back, or any number of servants catering to the family's every need. The appellate court refrained from laughing in her face, but rightfully turned her request down, so we should be seeing both Ivanka and Donald Trump in the witness chair next week, as planned. And for some reason, I'm not particularly worried about Ivanka's kids... I'm sure they'll be fine."

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground


30 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- Republican Chaos Still Reigns”

  1. [1] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    How should we interpret the complete absence of any mention of one of the biggest stories of the week (and indeed for almost a month now).
    The attack by Hamas on Israel and its aftermath are dominating the news, but there's not a single talking point?
    IMO this conflict represents a huge risk to Biden's reelection. The Democratic Party is no longer unified around "support Israel unquestioningly". I fear that we're seeing a repeat of the abandonment of Carter by Black voters.

  2. [2] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    And yet again, the FTP completely ignore critical *STATE* elections next Tuesday. Off-year governor races in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi will 'set the tone' for 2024. I doubt that many voters in those states will cast their ballot based on ANY of the themes covered by the 7 Talking Points in this week's column.

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Re. Silence on the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    I would suggest that one reason for the absence of this issue on this blog is easy to understand. It is an intractable problem with a lot of right on both sides. Yes, Israel always overreacts but we have seen this movie so many times now and nothing seems to change at the geopolitical level.

    The American reaction is also always the same. Stand by Israel and condemn the civilian casualties AND veto any UN resolution on the matter and not even support the Canadian amendments to said resolutions that make them far more balanced.

    What is the most disappointing issue here for me is the lack of any real US leadership on this issue. There is so much more Biden et al. could be doing here to minimize the huge blowback it is suffering now as a result of its failure to prevent all out war in Ukraine and, now, to keep a futile war there going on and on AND its failure to craft a political and diplomatic solution in the Middle East, including stopping all aid to Israel until that nation ends its failing settlement policy in the Palestinian territories.

    However, if you wish to discuss these issues further, then I am certainly game and I'm sure Chris won't mind. :)

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Going forward, a different set of talking points may be in order.

    Trump leads Biden in five critical states

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Any talking point about Tuberville should focus on the pleasure of sex and of withholding it from any man who opposes reproductive rights.

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I just learned something new today ... the president and vice president cannot be from the same state.

    So, how about Gavin Newsome getting into the race and, if he beats Biden in the primary, then fine; the good news is that he will have to replace Kamala on the ticket; if he doesn't, then fine, too.

    And, if Biden does win the primary, then he should replace the other half of ticket with the California governor. Now, I would have preferred another California governor on the ticket with Biden - in 2020 or 2024 - and in either order! :)

    But, alas, Gerry Brown is still too busy doing other very important things.

  7. [7] 
    dsws wrote:

    I was just about to link that article.

    It's that electors can't vote for candidates who are both from their state. So if the Republicans put up a ticket where both candidates were from Vermont, or the Democrats ran two from Idaho, the restriction wouldn't matter. But realistically, yes, they can't both be from the same state.

  8. [8] 
    dsws wrote:

    By the way, Russia delenda est. We should have sent ATACMS long ago. We should have GLSDB and MALD there in quantity. We should be steamrolling over the putative barriers to deploying F-16 in quantity. Most importantly, we should have been (and still should be) providing the materials, technical assistance, and components to enable production of Ukrainian-designed and Ukrainian-made missiles of sufficient quality and quantity to turn every square inch of Moscow and St. Petersburg into rubble. If Ukraine clearly demonstrated that it had such missiles, the war would magically end overnight. As it is, there will be exactly zero survivors. Decades hence, the last living historians will trace the extinction of our species to the voluntary decision to set the precedent of complete capitulation to nuclear blackmail. Now that we've started capitulating, it will be exponentially harder to resist future nuclear blackmail.

  9. [9] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    This isn't about nuclear blackmail. It's about the idiotic Ukraine project set in motion by the same neocons in the US who brought us the Iraq war, some of whom are in the Biden administration. Sigh.

    This is about the idiotic idea that Ukraine should be in NATO.

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Capitulating. No. It is recognizing a reality that should have been seen before this stupid war started ... LONG before, as in decades before.

  11. [11] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Elizabeth are you still parroting Putin’s excuse for Russian revanchism — trying to revive the Soviet Union which “was the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century,” he said.

    Ignoring Russian history over the last three or four hundred years — its desire to expand out to the nine invasion routes used during fully 50 different invasions in Russian history in order to blame “neocons”? Where do you get this crap?

    What is “futile” about Ukraine defending its sovereignty and it’s very existence?

  12. [12] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    And please provide a link to this William Bradley you have referenced. I cannot find anyone by that name who is in any relevant academic field. Don’t bother with Mearsheimer who seems to be your erroneous inspiration — I’m quite familiar with him.

    Repeating a falsehood over and over without justifying why your view is correct works with MAGAts but not sentient beings.

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Would you like me to define futile?

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You just have to look at a map - that will aid in understanding what is happening in Ukraine and what is not.

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, by the way, Caddy, stop telling me that I can't think for myself!!!

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As you know, I have explained myself in great detail in these pages - on Ukraine and the other matter. I don't intend to repeat myself whenever I state a simple opinion. I understand that you have not liked my explanation but, that is your problem, not mine. :)

    The reality is that this war should have never started, could have been prevented with even a modicum of effort, and, once the war started, Ukraine should have entered into the sort of negotiations in the very early days that Israel, of all nations, was urging them to do at the time. Which was being ignored by the US.

    And, most importantly, Ukraine should and should have never listened to the bad advice they have been getting from the US for decades. Ukraine needs to start thinking about its own future and interests and fast!

    More reality - Ukraine will probably never get all of their lost territory back and certainly never by way of war with Russia! Perhaps, in time, with smart Ukrainian leadership and less corruption and much better governance, they can win some or all of it back through diplomatic means. Which is a very long term scenario, well past the time of Putin and Zelensky.

    One thing is for sure - the Ukraine project that has been pushed by the US is dead.

  17. [17] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:



    Incapable of providing any useful outcome; pointless

    Q: So is fighting for your nation’s very existence futile? Please justify.



    A policy of seeking to retaliate in order to reverse territorial losses

    Q: So are you saying the eight (8) wars that Russia has started on it’s borders in three decades is NOT Putin trying to reestablish the buffer states that surrounded the old Soviet Union?

    Here is a
    Time lapse map of the conflict. (25 seconds)

    Ukraine has recovered roughly half of it’s territory since the early days of the war. Nowadays it’s a bloody slog, of course and it will remain as such until Ukraine breaks through.

    Q: If Trump invaded Ontario up to the Hudson Bay and subsequently Canada relatively quickly regained the half of it north of Kitchener would you let Trump keep his territorial gains just to save lives? Just to appease Trump?

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Ukraine has recovered roughly half of it’s territory since the early days of the war.

    You mean the half of its territory it never really lost? Or, are you just trying to be funny?

    Ukraine picked a bad way to fight for its existence. Pushing NATO membership at the behest of its US benefactor was always a bad idea. A worse idea? Fighting for your existence in a war against Russia. That ain't gonna end well.

    Incapable of providing any useful outcome; pointless

    Yes! Absolutely, positively, unequivocally and what I have been saying from before the beginning of this utterly useless and pointless war.

    If Ukraine doesn't soon sue for peace, the outcome will be even worse that it is right now. And, there will be no hope, whatsoever, for future diplomatic efforts to win back territory.

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You should know by now, Caddy, that I have no time to engage with non-serious questions. Although, I have already entertained your non-serious war scenario in Kitchener. :)

  20. [20] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    A worse idea? Fighting for your existence in a war against Russia. That ain't gonna end well.

    you seem to think they had a choice in the matter, other than ceasing to exist as a free state.

  21. [21] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    AND its failure to craft a political and diplomatic solution in the Middle East, including stopping all aid to Israel until that nation ends its failing settlement policy in the Palestinian territories.

    different conflict, same hopelessly flawed logic. if israel didn't "overreact" then they'd be getting attacked a whole lot more frequently. when someone doesn't believe you have the right to exist, there is no option available short of making their attempts to destroy you as expensive as possible. US aid is extremely helpful to israel, but much like Ukraine, they'll fight with whatever they get, and not bow to pressure from anybody.

  22. [22] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Ukraine being able to negotiate with Russia to regain it’s territory is pure fantasy and ignores hundreds of years of Russian history.

    And no, you never indicated one way or the other whether you’d defend Canada under similar circumstances. It’s a yes or no question.

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    you seem to think they had a choice in the matter, other than ceasing to exist as a free state.

    No, they didn't have much of a choice at all because Biden and his neocon colleagues took that choice away from Ukraine and made it for them by insisting, for the last many decades and specifically in the lead up to this war, that Ukraine's eventual membership in the esteemed NATO was non-negotiable even though the US/NATO don't expect that to happen anytime soon or at all. So, it's all talk and now Ukraine is being destroyed. With friends like the US and its NATO allies, who the hell needs an enemy!

    If it sounds like I am enjoying this, I am most decidedly not. This is depressing to no end. I couldn't possibly be more disappointed in Biden. Oh, wait ... there's the aid package for Israel with no strings attached ... that I know about, anyways.

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    israel didn't "overreact" then they'd be getting attacked a whole lot more frequently.

    It's not so much that Israel overreacts, thus inviting more and increasingly horrific terrorism, but that it resorts to military action without even the hint of resolving the root cause of this conflict by offering even some small semblance of hope for the Palestinian people that there may be, at some distant point in the future, a self-governing state that they can call home.

    Surely, you don't want to see Israel go through this vicious cycle until the end of time, do you?

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    And no, you never indicated one way or the other whether you’d defend Canada under similar circumstances. It’s a yes or no question.

    Under similar circumstances? Well, now we may be getting somewhere. Tell me what those similar circumstances are in your war scenario and I'll take another look at it.

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Give me the all-important context, Caddy, in other words ...

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here is an instructive map showing NATO expansion post-1992 ...

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Bright blue countries on the map I linked to above joined NATO since 1992.

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sorry ... I can't link that map here with the countries named.

    But, here is the article I was reading that went with it:

    Ukraine-Russia-NATO explainer

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