The Financial Times offers up an Op-Ed piece from Condoleezza Rice titled “US must recall it is not just any country“. (Warning: paywall at FT)
Oh boy, with a headline like that, where to start…
Let me be blunt. This is nothing but a fluff piece full of regurgitated Republican rhetoric. The kind of hollow platitude that the GOP offers up to make it seem like they have some meaningful, positive ideas.
Do Republicans really think so little of their fellow citizens that they feel this sort of trite, cheerleader nonsense passes for honest thought and discourse?
As I said recently, this old Republican election playbook is getting pretty tired. Instead of real ideas and honest leadership, we get more platitudes and mythic ideas of a glorious city on the hill, that mean absolutely nothing.
America leading the world? Has the world even asked to be led? Can America afford to do so if asked? Is this a serious VP candidate talking?
I for one, think the world took a big sigh of relief when the current president actually acknowledged that America has made a few mistakes over the years. Do you remember the Republican caterwauling after a few of those acknowledgements?
If the world is to respect a US Administration, that Administration has to be credible. It has to be respectful. It has to show humility.
And lecturing long-established free market democracies about how to be democratic and um, free, is ridiculous. Arrogant even. Acting as if America is the only country in the world that is a successful democracy and therefore the envy of all, is simply pandering to the un-thinking, while alienating everyone else. It is entirely counter-productive.
And yes, only Republicans consistently show such overt arrogance. (see: Mitt Romney’s European Vacation 2012 Edition)
Rice’s arrogance includes “managing China” (good luck), and convention-speech-ready nonsense like “the US must lead”, and “spread free markets and freedom throughout the world”. Really? (again, good luck)
If she could deliver this with a Texas drawl, we could go back in time, which would allow us to remember that while a candidate, her former boss did not want be “policeman of the world”.
Worse, once he was elected, she was part of an administration that:
- cut taxes to the wealthiest. (or, as “W” put it, “his base”)
- suggested the dismantling of Social Security “to allow folks to invest their money in the markets”.
- ignored CIA intelligence suggesting that bin Laden operatives planned to fly planes into buildings.
- told Americans to “Go to Disney World” and “enjoy life” after 9/11.
- fought two wars, one of which was sold to Americans as necessary because Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. (they, um, did not)
- while selling that war, made a fool of Colin Powell, who is an honorable man.
- while selling that war sent the then VP out to suggest Iraq was involved in 9/11, an outright fabrication.
- the return to deficits. Giant deficits.
- the muddled economic bailout programs. (yes, these began way back then)
- the “managing” of Hurricane Katrina.
- and many, many more fine examples of leadership.
Moreover, everything she says America should set out to accomplish sounds like it needs a strong Federal Government in order to be realized. And, it sounds expensive.
If, as she suggests, America is the leader of free markets and freedom, then it follows to recognize that America’s current decline rests solely on George W. Bush and his entire administration for abdicating that responsibility. Until Ms. Rice acknowledges that this failure led to the recent American economic spiral, the recent American morale malaise, the recent American drift to the extreme right, and the entire global economic meltdown, she should simply not be taken seriously.
Adding her to a ticket with a man who is obviously willing to change his position “easily” might put us in a position to witness a Rice VP activating a “political time machine”, thus taking us back to those “glorious” days mentioned above.
The world has moved on from the simplistic Bush era doctrine, Dr. Rice. Perhaps it is time you move on as well.
After all, the lemmings have become more wary…