Patterico's Pontifications

3/15/2023

About Gov. DeSantis, Russia, Ukraine, and The Inevitable Either/Or Manipulation

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:54 am



[guest post by Dana]

As you know, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida sent Vladimir Putin a reassuring message when he told pandered to some Republicans (2024, people!) on a questionnaire from Tucker Carlson (but of course!) and referred to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent war as little more than a territorial dispute. His intentional minimization of what is actually taking place ignores the vicious battle that Ukraine is engaged in as it fights to keep from being forcibly subsumed by Russia and erased. It also ignores the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories, the abduction of thousands of children who have been sent to Russia for re-education and adoption, the rape of Ukrainian women by Russian troops, the discovery of mass graves with the bodies of hundreds of Ukrainian women and children, some with their hands tied behind their backs, the targeting of civilian populations, and ultimately, it ignores the genocide. Trying to wipe out an entire population is not a simple “territorial dispute”.

Consider the difference between a “dispute” and an invasion leading to war:

Ukraine is a sovereign nation, recognized as such by the rest of the world. Ukraine’s borders are Ukraine’s borders. At the instigation of Russia’s murderous dictator Vladimir Putin, Russian forces invaded those borders. Russia has forced more than 8 million Ukrainians not just from their homes but from their country, has destroyed life-sustaining infrastructure, has killed thousands of Ukrainian civilians and tens of thousands of Ukrainian military personnel, and has sacrificed perhaps twice as many of its own conscripted soldiers, all on behalf of Putin’s power play.

A dispute is a mere difference of opinion. An invasion is the waging of war to gain territory or riches that are not one’s own. To call the invasion of Ukraine a mere dispute is to indicate there is a moral equivalency between the two sides. There isn’t. One is the aggressor. The other is the aggrieved.

And here’s the rub: DeSantis knows this. Most certainly. So all of this is to say that the political calculation behind DeSantis’s statements speaks to a willful decision to throw Ukraine under the bus for his own political advancement. This wasn’t an unforced error. This was an experienced politician determining how best to get ahead in what will likely be the political race of his life. And that is what I find so repellent. To dismiss a Western nation that is being erased by a brutal common enemy who poses a threat to the West at large is just unacceptable. It’s a short-sighted, cynical, and self-interested calculation he’s made, but unfortunately, one that will resonate with the America First Republicans.

DeSantis also told Carlson that protecting Ukraine is not a “vital national interest”. DeSantis is a smart guy. He knows that we have a security interest in seeing Putin defeated. Key Republicans know this, and even the Republican Policy Committee knows this:

Military aid for Ukraine is a strategic investment in the security of the United States. The U.S. has a willing and effective partner to help Ukraine stand up to Putin’s agenda while keeping his aggression farther from NATO borders. If Ukraine defeats Russia, this will save the U.S. from making larger-scale investments in Europe to deter Russia in the future. A weakened Russian military will be a good thing for the U.S., NATO, European, and international stability. As we and our allies buy new weapons to replace what is being sent to Ukraine, we will help modernize our military industrial base and fill the U.S. arsenal with newer weapons.

United States support to Ukraine also sends a clear message to America’s adversaries that we will not back down and that this kind of reckless rejection of the rule of law will have consequences. This is particularly notable as China’s desire to invade Taiwan grows more obvious. It makes clear that there are significant costs to pay for any authoritarian state that expects a quick military victory when invading its neighbors. We must leave absolutely no doubt in the minds of Russia’s, China’s, or any other nation’s leaders about U.S. resolve to support sovereignty and self-determination around the globe. Decisive military aid to Ukraine will accomplish this task.

So with that, I am troubled by DeSantis’s comments. I don’t believe he misspoke or had an oops! moment, or was confused. No clarification is needed. After all, this was a questionnaire, not a live interview. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he said what he meant, and he meant what he said. In light of this, one must ask why DeSantis has gone from a position of once pushing for aid to Ukraine, condemning Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and asserting that the U.S. must send “defensive and offensive” weapons to Ukraine in 2014 and 2015 to where he no longer considers Russia’s efforts to erase Ukraine a vital national interest? At the time, DeSantis even criticized the Obama administration for not sending arms to Ukraine and neighboring NATO countries. His current position becomes all the more questionable when one considers that DeSantis has actually already confirmed to us that Russia-Ukraine is indeed a vital national interest and why:

I think that when someone like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin sees Obama being indecisive, I think that whets his appetite to create more trouble in the area. And I think if we were to arm the Ukrainians, I think that would send a strong signal to him that he shouldn’t be going any further.

Allow me a pre-emptive strike of sorts: If you’ve read my posts before, you know that I am not a Trump supporter and have criticized him over the years. Now seeing DeSantis’s politically self-interested flip-flop on foreign policy and minimization of the war in Ukraine, etc., I am not inclined to support him in 2024. But let me be clear: just because I don’t see myself supporting either Trump or DeSantis does not automatically mean that I support Joe Biden and will vote for him. That is a disingenuous and manipulative argument designed to force one into an either/or position. The false dilemma seems little more than a twist on the annoying “Gotcha!” game. Stop already. If the projected leading contenders for the Republican nomination are crappy individuals or crappy candidates or hold crappy views that voters can’t get behind because of their own moral, political, and philosophical viewpoints, then one should just see that as a disagreement with the voter, not as a sure sign that they will be voting for the opposition. I’m wondering if this all speaks to a Republican Party problem. Maybe more quality candidates should be a priority. Elevating the standards, rather than lowering them seems like a good idea. Especially as the Party already lowered them, and look what it got us. Anyway, I’m just saying that I refuse to play the game:

–Dana

271 Responses to “About Gov. DeSantis, Russia, Ukraine, and The Inevitable Either/Or Manipulation”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. Good for Shapiro.

    NJRob (4d32b1)

  3. They have their principles, Ben.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  4. Dana, P, and I had an email exchange about this recently. Frankly, I’m disappointed that Gov. DeSantis is walking down this road, but I did play Devil’s Advocate somewhat in arguing why DeSantis has a point and, more importantly, arguing why Russia/Ukraine is not going to be a decisive issue in the 2024 elections.

    Dana says that, “Now seeing DeSantis’s politically self-interested flip-flop on foreign policy and minimization of the war in Ukraine, etc., I am not inclined to support him in 2024.” I understand that, but I respectfully can’t join her in that position. I would love nothing more than to see Vladimir Putin humiliated by a Russian retreat, deposed from his position, and put on trial in The Hague, if not given the Mussolini treatment. But Ukraine policy ranks fairly far down my candidate lists, below items such as stopping the expansion of illegal Executive powers, restoring sanity to our budget, rolling back the onslaught of illiberal activists trying to narrow the public sphere for advocacy and dissent, reckoning whether China can truly be a responsible partner for trading and research collaboration, taming the bureaucracy by restoring authority back to legislators, de-tangling government from business in the ever-expanding crony capitalist mode, and some other issues which are quite frankly issues specific to our nation and not to countries on other continents. I would love a conservative candidate who supports all of this and wants us to continue to support Ukraine until Russia makes its retreat, but it’s absolutely not a deal-breaker for me right now.

    Please feel free to argue if you feel differently about this.

    JVW (0895e5)

  5. @Dana I don’t think it’s a game.

    At the end of the day, from my perspective, I don’t want whatever direction the Democrats are advocating for.

    DeSantis is staking “a claim” with the idea to navigate a lane to WIN the primary, and eventually the Presidency.

    Demanding some sort of purity test during the primary is fraught with perils.

    But, if you start a post with “Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida sent Vladimir Putin a reassuring message” hyperbole, I’m not sure how else I can convince you otherwise.

    whembly (3fad18)

  6. I’m 100% in JVW’s camp in post #4.

    whembly (3fad18)

  7. Russia’s “territorial dispute” with Ukraine is no different that Nazi Germany’s “territorial dispute” with Czechoslovakia, Austria, France, Poland, and the Soviet Union and China’s “territorial dispute” with Taiwan.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  8. DeSantis is staking “a claim” with the idea to navigate a lane to WIN the primary, and eventually the Presidency.

    In other words whatever DrSantis says shouldn’t be taken seriously since the goal is to win. Like Darling Nikki.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  9. There Once Was a President Who Hated War
    American elites used to see war as a tragic necessity. Now they’re completely addicted to it.

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/08/18/there-once-was-a-president-who-hated-war/

    DCSCA (e73b36)

  10. I’m 100% in JVW’s camp in post #4.
    whembly (3fad18) — 3/15/2023 @ 11:42 am

    I am somewhere between JVW and Dana, only by my difference from JVW’s order of priorities, because I give Ukrainian security the highest* position on my foreign policy list-of priorities. With National security (e.g. budget , border and military) coming before foreign security.

    We should have a budget on how much money flows to other countries, and if most must be diverted to UKS’s security, then it shall come at the expense of aid to the other (don’t they want peace, too?) supported countries.

    With that said, I admit that my position is closer to JVW’s position overall.

    * For me, UKR’s security occupies the highest spot in U.S. foreign policy because every country is watching and will re-calibrate their world-goals and policies depending on their perception of the outcome. We all live on the same planet – for now.

    felipe (77b190)

  11. DeSantis must differentiate himself from Biden. Trump successfully ran on “no more wars,” so DeSantis is employing that strategy. How well he implements this will determine the effectiveness of his messaging to his possible constituents. Right now, I’d say that his critics and the media (the same?) are successfully framing the public’s perception of his stance by spinning his statements and questioning his motives.

    I do agree with anyone who says that political calculation is in play, but not just by DeSantis.

    felipe (77b190)

  12. To the extent DeSantis has differed from Trump on this issues, it has been to be more aggressive on culture war stuff. If all you hated about Trump was the attempted coup and his concentration on personal (as opposed to political) grievances, then DeSantis ought to be just fine.

    It is possible to be repelled by DeSantis on the issues and the maximalist culture war stances. The more stances he takes that appalls my conscience, the more likely I will vote for the other guy. That doesn’t imply an excuse to vote for Biden. It does say the Republicans have left me behind in the political desert. Why anyone should care, I don’t know.

    Appalled (876043)

  13. Ya know if we could run a war competently I may sort of understand. But history tells me otherwise.

    Did we win Afghanistan? Was that legal under international law?
    Did we win Iraq? Was that legal under international law?
    EU + US in Lybia?
    Kosovo?

    Maybe Kuwait?

    Vietnam? Korea?
    Are you arguing that we have a fabulous track record of fixing things to make them a better place? Where are our sucesses.
    Give me a reason why its worth one soldiers life when our track record is so poor.
    We don’t take care of our Veterans now, why add to it?

    Maybe, just maybe we look at our border with Mexico, fix that then work our way up?

    Joe (978bb7)

  14. To the extent DeSantis has differed from Trump on this issues, it has been to be more aggressive on culture war stuff. If all you hated about Trump was the attempted coup and his concentration on personal (as opposed to political) grievances, then DeSantis ought to be just fine.

    I think that’s absolutely correct. City Journal has a fun story about how DeSantis put the lie to the whole “book banning” allegations (emphasis added is mine).

    Ron DeSantis’s “Book Ban Hoax” press conference, held last week in Tampa, which I attended, was the Florida governor’s attempt to correct a persistent but misleading narrative. Inside a small auditorium at the state attorney’s office, one of his handlers took to the stage with an announcement. “Before we begin, we’re going to show you a video with sexually explicit content,” she said. “Any children here should please leave the room now.” The room was uncomfortably quiet as reporters and invited guests fidgeted with their phones, wondering what they were about to witness.

    After an eerie 30-second countdown, the video began with clips from mainstream press coverage—MSNBC and Washington Post reporters criticizing DeSantis for his alleged attacks on free speech, stories announcing empty bookshelves in Sunshine State schools, and grave warnings about bans on books about baseball stars Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente. Then came images from the real target of recent Florida legislation: objectionable books that have been found in the state’s public schools. One such volume, Let’s Talk About It, features a kid’s guide to sending sexually explicit text messages and graphic instructions on novel masturbation techniques. Local TV cut their feed when the video aired, effectively proving the governor’s point: the books contain inappropriate content.

    DeSantis would be smart to continue to focus on this and not let himself get caught up in arguments over foreign policy. He can’t do a damn thing about that as governor, so right now he should articulate some overall principles and not get caught up in the details.

    JVW (01190f)

  15. I’ll give you a good reason to care. Honesty is in such short supply that it is to be valued when it is finally encountered.

    DeSantis’ position on UKR is prolly going to affect, most, the final support he gets from the voters in the Military, is whose minds the prospect of direct military involvement with matter most.

    felipe (77b190)

  16. His intentional minimization of what is actually taking place ignores the vicious battle that Ukraine is engaged in as it fights to keep from being forcibly subsumed by Russia and erased. It also ignores the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories, the abduction of thousands of children who have been sent to Russia for re-education and adoption, the rape of Ukrainian women by Russian troops, the discovery of mass graves with the bodies of hundreds of Ukrainian women and children, some with their hands tied behind their backs, the targeting of civilian populations, and ultimately, it ignores the genocide.

    Every time I see things like this I can’t help but wonder what the scores of women and children across Africa think when they see it. Or the various ethnic and religious minorities across the Middle East or China.

    Doesn’t the elevation of UKR and the silence on these other issues minimize them? Are the people doing that making a political calculation that is somehow different from DeSantis?

    Doesn’t anyone have any sympathy for the child slaves that mined the minerals for the device you’re using to read this comment?

    Maybe the answer is they don’t see these statements since they probably don’t have the means too. Problem solved I suppose.

    frosty (48bb1c)

  17. DeSantis’ position on UKR is prolly going to affect, most, the final support he gets from the voters in the Military, is whose minds the prospect of direct military involvement with matter most.

    Yep. I understand and support the assurances coming from the Administration that we have no intention of having boots on the ground in Ukraine, and that there is a limit to the weaponry we will provide them (though, frankly, I wish we would be a bit more liberal in giving them long-range artillery, tanks, and planes). But the Russian attack on one of our drones ought to remind us that Putin and his henchmen will continue to provoke us into entering the war, probably because he thinks that will split the Western alliance and make us rather than him the pariah in the opinion of the rest of the world. And I would agree that Afghanistan and Iraq vets don’t really want to see us sacrifice our troops in Ukraine or in Taiwan.

    JVW (883dde)

  18. DeSantis would be smart to continue to focus on this and not let himself get caught up in arguments over foreign policy. He can’t do a damn thing about that as governor, so right now he should articulate some overall principles and not get caught up in the details.
    JVW (01190f) — 3/15/2023 @ 12:54 pm

    That is sound advice! If DeSantis stresses, though, that reality, he will look, at best, evasive and insular, and at worse, ineffective and out of touch with people who, genuinely or not, want this issue at the forefront of public debate.

    felipe (77b190)

  19. JVW, you should consider offering your suggestions to DeSantis’ campaign, his current advisors are failing him (imo) on UKR.

    But, of course, of these things I know nothing because I am as out of date as Cora Salisbury.

    felipe (77b190)

  20. frosty (48bb1c) — 3/15/2023 @ 12:58 pm

    Well said.

    felipe (77b190)

  21. There was a scene where Batman commands the Joker to “Let her go!” The joker smugly answers with “Poor choice of words” and let’s his hostage fall out of a window – with Batman diving after her while the Joker made good his escape.

    I am waiting for a similar exchange between the U.S. and RU. Will we recognize the situation, and choose our words wisely?

    felipe (77b190)

  22. As you know, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida sent Vladimir Putin a reassuring message

    I thought for a second you meant he sent him an actual message and it leaked.

    No it’s not reassuring to Putin, because Putin cannot know on what position DeSantis will eventually land.

    It’s still good news for him. Republicans are leaning toward abandoning Ukraine.

    His propaganda, or some of it, is gaining acceptance.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  23. referred to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent war as little more than a territorial dispute.

    This is an outright lie. Russia has made no territorial demands. It hasn’t made any kind of an offer for peace. It also ignores the war crimes.

    The fact that DeSantis has to distort facts to justify taking the position he does indicates he knows his position on Ukraine is not coherent.

    DeSantis is a liar who is afraid to lie, because maybe it wont be found acceptable, because he knows, that if criticized, he has no defense for what he says.

    He’s mostly skating. But by early next year, he will no longer be the anti-Trump. Things will become more obvious.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  24. I understand and support the assurances coming from the Administration that we have no intention of having boots on the ground in Ukraine…’

    The camel’s nose is already under the tent:

    Pentagon Confirms Active-Duty U.S. Troops Are Deployed Inside Ukraine – 11/3/22

    The Pentagon has confirmed active-duty U.S. military are deployed inside Ukraine and have “resumed on-site inspections to assess weapon stocks.” This is Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder.

    Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder: “My understanding is they would be well far away from any type of frontline actions. We are relying on the Ukrainians to do that. We’re relying on other partners to do that. … We’ve been very clear there are no combat forces in Ukraine, no U.S. forces conducting combat operations in Ukraine. These are personnel that are assigned to conduct security cooperation and assistance as part of the Defense Attaché Office.” https://www.democracynow.org/2022/11/3/headlines/pentagon_confirms_active_duty_us_troops_are_deployed_inside_ukraine

    So they’re in harm’s way. Back in the day, the ‘Five O’Clock Follies’ had a shorter, less convoluted name for ’em: “advisors.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRQu8F4S6Cw

    This Letter’s Postmarked Vietnam… – SSgt. Barry Sadler, ‘Letter From Vietnam’ 1966

    DCSCA (69b736)

  25. I’m sure that media and academic critics of DeSantis will try to demand that he articulate a robust and comprehensive foreign policy vision, in a way they didn’t with Governor Bill Clinton, Governor George Bush, Senator Barack Obama, or even for the most part private citizen Donald Trump. And they certainly didn’t press Joe Biden on, well, much of anything when he ran in 2024. I don’t know that DeSantis will come off as being evasive and insular to very many people who aren’t predisposed to vote against him anyway. And the way things are going here at home, Joe Biden is going to definitely want 2024 to be a foreign policy election. Unfortunately for him, this isn’t 2004 with U.S. boots on the ground (yet), so I really doubt that Ukraine is going to figure much in the calculations of the American voter.

    JVW (76ebf3)

  26. DeSantis is staking “a claim” with the idea to navigate a lane to WIN the primary, and eventually the Presidency.

    Demanding some sort of purity test during the primary is fraught with perils.

    But, if you start a post with “Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida sent Vladimir Putin a reassuring message” hyperbole, I’m not sure how else I can convince you otherwise.

    Yes, he’s staking “a claim” by making a giant U-turn on his policy views of Ukraine. He’s flip-flopping on foreign policy even before the campaign sets in for real. The once-Russia hawk said one thing and is now saying something entirely different. He is speaking out of both sides of his mouth for political expediency. Not something I want to see in a candidate or someone who is asking me to trust him with my vote.

    I believe that Putin is carefully watching the ramping up to the 2024 election. Not only have Tucker Carlson and friends been the gift that keeps on giving to the Kremlin, but now we have a man who wants to become the next POTUS signaling to Putin that his brutal war and genocide aren’t really things we’re concerned with…Carry on. I can’t wait to see the propaganda Russia pushes in the next week built on DeSantis’s comments. I want a candidate who is smarter than this and won’t play into Putin’s hands because they understand that every darn thing they say will be used against us, while it serves to deplete Ukrainian morale and bolster the morale of Russians as they hear the words of American officials. Furthermore, think of how this impacts the Ukrainian and Russian military, as well as watchful allies and enemies. Useful idiots.

    Dana (1225fc)

  27. @21. The Chinese are the weightier partner in this 21st century Eurasian Alliance. Russia does what China says– and that likely includes a nod to hassle a drone as opposed to popping a balloon.

    DCSCA (69b736)

  28. He said one thing, he’s now saying another.

    Name a politician who doesn’t.

    DCSCA (69b736)

  29. The New York Post has a column today by a Dalibor Rohac (his name sounds like anagram of something but it’s probably real- he’s a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

    https://nypost.com/2023/03/14/ron-desantis-is-flat-out-wrong-on-ukraine-and-the-role-us-should-play

    And also an editorial today entitled in the printed paper:

    Ron’s Sad Ukraine Dodge

    https://nypost.com/2023/03/14/desantis-must-show-leadership-on-issues-like-ukraine-to-be-president

    Online, dated yesterday, it’s entitled:

    DeSantis must show leadership on issues like Ukraine to win the White House

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  30. JVW, if you’re concerned about “stopping the expansion of illegal Executive powers”, DeSantis isn’t your guy. On multiple occasions, his directives have violated the First Amendment or been canceled by the courts.
    He’s really no different from a Democrat president who takes a “stroke of the pen, law of the land, kinda cool” approach to governance. It may align with the current GOP, but it ain’t conservative.
    I’m may be willing to hold my nose and vote for him, but he just got a lot closer to a line where I won’t. If it comes down to a two-man primary between him and Trump, I may vote for him in the primary but write in Ronald Reagan for the general.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  31. Good for Shapiro.

    NJRob (4d32b1) — 3/15/2023 @ 11:18 am

    The thing is, neither you nor Shapiro has even the slightest clue who I am going to vote for, or who the vast majority of Americans are going to vote for.

    Dana (1225fc)

  32. JVW (76ebf3) — 3/15/2023 @ 1:30 pm

    I’’m sure that media and academic critics of DeSantis will try to demand that he articulate a robust and comprehensive foreign policy vision, in a way they didn’t with Governor Bill Clinton,

    When I read in the New York Post what Governor Clinton said about the Soviet coup in August 1991, I thought he was shallow.

    Then I found out more about him.

    Do you know that Governor Clinton ran in 1991-2 as someone who would be more electable because he had supported the Gulf War?

    But that was a lie!

    He did have a fudge of sorts.

    Bill Clinton would lie about publicly provable facts.

    I don’t know that DeSantis will come off as being evasive and insular to very many people who aren’t predisposed to vote against him anyway.

    He thinks it will help him in the Republican primary to have some reservations about helping Ukraine fight the war.

    It doesn’t speak well of what he thinks of the Republican primary electorate.

    Anyway, he won’t be able to outflank Trump, as Trump will be all in favor of bombing Mexico.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  33. He said one thing, he’s now saying another.

    Name a politician who doesn’t.

    Of course, politicians do this. But here’s the thing: the war in Ukraine is a big deal, and a Putin win would pose a great threat to the West. If DeSantis wanted to coalesce Republicans (moderates to hard-right, and persuade independents and undecideds, etc.), flip-flopping on such critical issues doesn’t demonstrate much political savvy. And to do this even before he officially announces is telling.

    Dana (1225fc)

  34. Ukraine is a sovereign nation, recognized as such by the rest of the world. Ukraine’s borders are Ukraine’s borders.

    And were accepted by Boris Yeltsin.

    And even if not, what did he demand on February 24, 2022?

    He wanted to make Ukraine a puppet state. He had lost that completely in 2014.

    I don’t think that many people realize, how much, after 30 years, Ukraine is accepted as an independent country.

    And if not, what about the American Revolution? These things happen.

    Things with Russia and Ukraine have gone well past the point of no return.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  35. What Ron DeSantis Actually Said, and Didn’t Say, About His Stance on Russia’s War in Ukraine

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2023/03/15/analysis-what-ron-desantis-actually-said-and-didnt-say-about-his-stance-on-russias-war-in-ukraine-n2620624

    DeSantis’ stated position in its entirety [note TH bolded text]:

    “While the U.S. has many vital national interests – securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party – becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them. The Biden administration’s virtual “blank check” funding of this conflict for “as long as it takes,” without any defined objectives or accountability, distracts from our country’s most pressing challenges. Without question, peace should be the objective. The U.S. should not provide assistance that could require the deployment of American troops or enable Ukraine to engage in offensive operations beyond its borders. F-16s and long-range missiles should therefore be off the table. These moves would risk explicitly drawing the United States into the conflict and drawing us closer to a hot war between the world’s two largest nuclear powers. That risk is unacceptable. A policy of “regime change” in Russia (no doubt popular among the DC foreign policy interventionists) would greatly increase the stakes of the conflict, making the use of nuclear weapons more likely. Such a policy would neither stop the death and destruction of the war, nor produce a pro-American, Madisonian constitutionalist in the Kremlin. History indicates that Putin’s successor, in this hypothetical, would likely be even more ruthless. The costs to achieve such a dubious outcome could become astronomical.

    The Biden administration’s policies have driven Russia into a de facto alliance with China. Because China has not and will not abide by the embargo, Russia has increased its foreign revenues while China benefits from cheaper fuel. Coupled with his intentional depletion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and support for the Left’s Green New Deal, Biden has further empowered Russia’s energy-dominated economy and Putin’s war machine at Americans’ expense. Our citizens are also entitled to know how the billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are being utilized in Ukraine. We cannot prioritize intervention in an escalating foreign war over the defense of our own homeland, especially as tens of thousands of Americans are dying every year from narcotics smuggled across our open border and our weapons arsenals critical for our own security are rapidly being depleted.” – Ron DeSantis

    DCSCA (69b736)

  36. Shapiro should get a job. If the Republicans had candidates worth voting for, nobody would be looking for an excuse not to vote for them. We’d vote for them.

    nk (88e8b5)

  37. Doesn’t the elevation of UKR and the silence on these other issues minimize them? Are the people doing that making a political calculation that is somehow different from DeSantis?

    So Ukraine should accept cultural genocide to feed the African. How come Putin doesn’t get condemned for shutting off supply chain by dint of his criminal invasion? How is it that Ukraine is supposed to accept this responsibility and Putin not?

    Paul Montagu (1888f5)

  38. felipe (77b190) — 3/15/2023 @ 1:09 pm

    JVW, you should consider offering your suggestions to DeSantis’ campaign, his current advisors are failing him (imo) on UKR.

    His chief political adviser is reputed to be his wife, Jill Casey DeSantis (née Black, born June 26, 1980)

    They married on September 26, 2009. She became quite famous in her own right

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casey_DeSantis

    In 2014, DeSantis was a creator-moderator for The Chat, an hour-long round table panel discussion talk show that aired on Tegna’s Jacksonville stations WTLV (NBC) and WJXX (ABC).[2] She hosted the daily local talk show First Coast Living as well as the weekly The American Dream program about entrepreneurs. DeSantis wrote and produced the television documentary Champion, The JT Townsend Story about high school football player J.T. Townsend. [10] She also won a regional Suncoast Emmy Award.[2]

    In 2018 Florida Politics called Casey “one of the most recognizable faces on Jacksonville television, with long runs at two local news operations.”[11]

    I don’t think Ron DeSantis is taking his wife’s advice entirely

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  39. If Ukraine defeats Russia, this will save the U.S. from making larger-scale investments in Europe to deter Russia in the future.

    If Russia is so defeated that it doesn’t attempt to re-arm. Or doesn’t have the ability (money and experts) to.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  40. @33. What’s much more “telling” is that an unannounced ‘candidate’ was so easily played to ‘punch down’ and bothered to respond definitively to a goofy “questionnaire” from a dummy; an entertainer; a cable television opinionator: a talk show host.

    Boxers or briefs, Ron? Sean Hannity and Ainsley Earhardt want to know.

    Howard Beale: “Why me?”
    Arthur Jensen: “Because you’re on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.” – ‘Network’ 1976

    DCSCA (69b736)

  41. But let me be clear: just because I don’t see myself supporting either Trump or DeSantis does not automatically mean that I support Joe Biden and will vote for him

    Rupert Murdoch has the same problem. And millions of others maybe.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  42. The U.S. should not provide assistance that could require the deployment of American troops or enable Ukraine to engage in offensive operations beyond its borders. F-16s and long-range missiles should therefore be off the table. These moves would risk explicitly drawing the United States into the conflict and drawing us closer to a hot war between the world’s two largest nuclear powers. That risk is unacceptable.

    And a “blank check” defined here as funding of this conflict for “as long as it takes,” without any defined objectives is also not right.

    So what does he want? Ukraine to lose? A Korean War type armistice? But this was achieved by President Eisenhower threatening to up the ante.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/24911673

    (Others say by the death of Stalin)

    Negotiations? That works if both sides have acommon aim.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  43. JVW, if you’re concerned about “stopping the expansion of illegal Executive powers”, DeSantis isn’t your guy. On multiple occasions, his directives have violated the First Amendment or been canceled by the courts.

    I get that, and I wish that DeSantis would dial it back just a little bit, but two things: the first is that while DeSantis has had his ears boxed a little bit by overstepping his bounds, he is nowhere in the league of the garbage we saw from Obama, Trump, and Biden. And the reality is that the left-wing narrative about DeSantis, from the silly “don’t say gay” nonsense to the easily-disprovable claims that his administration has “banned books,” is utter nonsense, and we’re seeing the usual trick of sheer demagoguery from the Democrats’ media adjunct.

    The second part pertains to my acknowledgement that DeSantis sometimes strays over the line: I’m sick and tired of looking for the virgin in the whorehouse. As I’ve written, I want DeSantis to be more like Calvin Coolidge than like Donald Trump, but I’m dammed sure not going to say, “Well, DeSantis might be going overboard on his jihad against Drag Queen Story Hour so the only sensible and moral thing we can do is suffer under another four years of Joe Biden.” The hell with that nonsense.

    At the same time I realize that as a Californian, my vote counts for squat.

    JVW (c7d891)

  44. So Ukraine should accept cultural genocide to feed the African. How come Putin doesn’t get condemned for shutting off supply chain by dint of his criminal invasion? How is it that Ukraine is supposed to accept this responsibility and Putin not?

    Paul Montagu (1888f5) — 3/15/2023 @ 2:02 pm

    I love these “so” questions. You’ve had to completely imagine something I didn’t say.

    frosty (2c4360)

  45. His chief political adviser is reputed to be his wife, Jill Casey DeSantis (née Black, born June 26, 1980)

    I guess there’s a long history of that: Abigail Adams, Edith Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nancy Reagan (perhaps), Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama (perhaps), Jill Biden. But it does seem fraught with peril.

    JVW (e4bee3)

  46. JVW (883dde) — 3/15/2023 @ 1:00 pm

    But the Russian attack on one of our drones ought to remind us that Putin and his henchmen will continue to provoke us into entering the war,

    No, I don’t think so. It’s more that it will cause the U.S. to retreat because it won’t want Russia to understand what the drones can detect.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  47. Pentagon Confirms Active-Duty U.S. Troops Are Deployed Inside Ukraine – 11/3/22 But secretly or quietly, and they are not put in a position where they risk being captured or killed, which Russia wants to avoid.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  48. Joe (978bb7) — 3/15/2023 @ 12:51 pm Are you arguing that we have a fabulous track record of fixing things to make them a better place? Where are our sucesses.

    Germany and Japan.

    The crucial element there was the compete defeat of anyone who wanted to interfere. And good administrators: General Lucius D. Clay and Douglas MacArthur.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  49. @43 JVW (c7d891) — 3/15/2023 @ 2:19 pm

    “The hell with that nonsense.”

    Preach, my man… preach!

    whembly (d116f3)

  50. @48 Those are certainly exceptions to the rule and ones unlikely to ever be repeated.

    A much more successful model would be the Roman one but the marginal increase in efficiency probably isn’t enough to convince anyone.

    frosty (e35e71)

  51. JVW (76ebf3) — 3/15/2023 @ 1:30 pm

    I find your comment persuasive, and it gives me hope that you will be proved correct.

    felipe (77b190)

  52. This is a great comment thread from a great post. Thanks, Dana. Thanks my fellow commenters.

    felipe (77b190)

  53. I love these “so” questions. You’ve had to completely imagine something I didn’t say.

    You’re basically agreeing with DeSantis that helping Ukraine defend itself isn’t a vital national interest. Tell me I’m wrong about that.

    Paul Montagu (1888f5)

  54. DeSantis has it exactly right as to his and America’s priorities.

    NJRob (4d778f)

  55. AllahNick has also weighed in (I don’t if this is behind a paywall, so it’s a generous cut-and-paste)…

    DeSantis’ entire career might profitably be understood as a ChatGPT response to populist inputs. In 2012, when grassroots right-wingers were spoiling for entitlement reform, ChatRON spat out some argle-bargle about raising the retirement age. In 2022, when grassroots right-wingers were spoiling for culture war, it spat out contempt for an alphabet soup of woke acronyms (CRT, DEI, ESG …) while assuring voters that entitlements are safe. In 2012 ChatRON would have insisted on projecting strength abroad, treating dovishness as distinctive of Democratic weakness. In 2022 it’ll mumble something about “blank checks” and ending endless wars.

    It may seem sentient but it’s really just autocomplete on steroids.

    Already there are attempts by respectable anti-Trump conservatives to rehabilitate DeSantis’ new statement, insisting he didn’t quite say what he’s been accused of saying. There will be a lot of that in the next 12 months. There’s reason enough to prefer DeSantis to Trump in the fact that one tried to overthrow the government and the other hasn’t, but there’s a lot of unpleasant cognitive dissonance involved in supporting a politician whose policies and pandering one finds contemptible. Better to resolve that dissonance by assuring yourself that DeSantis’ position is no weaker than Joe Biden’s than to struggle psychologically for months with it.

    Jonathan Chait went line by line through DeSantis’ points at New York magazine, answering each in turn, but it’s enough for us here to flag the most obnoxious ones. First, contra ChatRON, there’s no “territorial dispute” between Russia and Ukraine unless there was also a “territorial dispute” in 1940 between Germany and the rest of Europe. Framing the conflict as a “dispute” instead of a war of conquest instigated by Russia suggests each side has legitimate claims to the territory in question, the sovereign nation of Ukraine. It’s brazen moral equivalence, the sort of doublespeak you’d get from a dimwitted tankie.

    Second, restraining westward Russian expansionism has been a vital national interest for nearly 80 years. It’s less vital now than it was at the height of Soviet power, admittedly, but that didn’t stop ChatRON from wanting to arm Ukraine in 2015. If delusions of empire lead the Kremlin to successfully swallow its neighbor, it might develop an appetite for parts of NATO’s eastern front. China’s appetite for swallowing its own neighbors might be whetted by the spectacle. Arming the Ukrainians to snuff Russian imperial ambitions before they gain momentum could spare the U.S. military from conflict on two fronts in the long run, in other words, never mind DeSantis’ disingenuous hand-wringing about escalation.

    Third, no one’s treating “regime change” in Russia as a serious policy goal. Our senescent president mouthed off about it when he went off-script last year in Warsaw, but the White House hurriedly walked it back and Biden has stayed away from the subject since. DeSantis doesn’t seem to be focused on Biden in his statement anyway; he sneers at “D.C. foreign policy interventionists” for wanting to depose Putin but allows that he’s making an assumption, nothing more. His “regime change” blather is a veiled reference to the Iraq war, I think, a shot at the pre-Trump neoconservative Republican consensus from which DeSantis aims to distance himself. I don’t know for a fact where ChatRON stood on the invasion of Iraq in 2003, but since that invasion was supported almost unanimously by grassroots right-wing voters, I can guess.

    Lastly, he insists that “peace must be the objective” in Ukraine while warning the White House not to give the Ukrainians weapons like F-16s and long-range missiles. By tying his call for peace to withholding U.S. arms, he’s implicitly pressuring the Ukrainians to make territorial concessions to end the war—a point Trump also made recently when he boasted that he would have brokered an armistice between the two sides as president. “I could’ve made a deal to take over something, there are certain areas [of Ukraine] that are Russian-speaking areas,” he hinted grimly in an interview with Sean Hannity. I doubt Trump knows what the Sudetenland is or that many countries in eastern Europe also contain “Russian-speaking areas,” but DeSantis surely does. Which parts of Ukraine would he forfeit to pacify Russia for a few years before it regroups and invades again?

    Jonah Goldberg has wondered more than once during podcasts lately how nationalists square their hawkishness toward China with their dovishness toward Russia given that the arguments surrounding intervention are similar in both cases. If America has no business intervening in a far-flung “territorial dispute” and must take care not to provoke enemy nuclear powers, we should probably also get out of the way of the world’s most populous country and kiss Taiwan goodbye. Ask ChatRON to explain the difference between the two scenarios and his circuits might short out—assuming he doesn’t petulantly dodge the question entirely.

    Paul Montagu (1888f5)

  56. Neo-con members of donor class wont be writing checks to desatan. Pro israel lobby/donors may be uncomfortable too. If ukraine is left in the lurch baltic states, poland, roumania, even slovenia will wonder if their next as their future depends on who is american president. Whats desatan’s views on taiwan and south korea?

    asset (11373f)

  57. You’re basically agreeing with DeSantis that helping Ukraine defend itself isn’t a vital national interest. Tell me I’m wrong about that.

    Paul Montagu (1888f5) — 3/15/2023 @ 3:08 pm

    You’re wrong about that.

    Nothing in my comment had anything to do with US national interests and everything to do with the weakness of the appeal to emotion and binary choice fallacies.

    frosty (651f30)

  58. frosty, do you agree with DeSantis that providing aid to the Ukrainian to defend themselves is not a “vital national interest”?

    Paul Montagu (1888f5)

  59. ‘Ukraine… Area: 233,032 sq mi (603,549 sq km). Population: (2023 est.) 43,131,000. Capital: Kyiv (Kiev). Ukrainians make up more than three-fourths of the population of Ukraine; there is a significant minority of Russians. Languages: Ukrainian (official), Russian, Romanian, Polish, Hungarian, Belarusian, Bulgarian. Religions: Christianity (mostly Eastern Orthodox; also other Christians, Roman Catholic, Protestant), Islam. Currency: hryvnya.

    Ukraine consists of level plains and the Carpathian Mountains, which extend through the western region for more than 150 mi (240 km). The Dnieper (Dnipro), Southern Buh (Pivdennyy Buh), Donets, and Dniester (Dnistro) are the major rivers. The Donets Basin in the east-central region is one of the major heavy-industrial and mining-metallurgical complexes of Europe. There iron ore and coal are mined, and natural gas, petroleum, iron, and steel are produced. Ukraine is a major producer of winter wheat and sugar beets.

    Ukraine is a unitary multiparty republic with one legislative body; its head of state is the president, and the head of government is the prime minister. Different parts of the area that is today Ukraine were invaded and occupied in the 1st millennium BCE by the Cimmerians, Scythians, and Sarmatians and in the 1st millennium CE by the Goths, Huns, Bulgars, Avars, Khazars, and Magyars (Hungarians). Slavic tribes settled there after the 4th century. Kyiv was the chief town. The Mongol conquest in the mid-13th century decisively ended Kyivan power.

    From the 14th to the 18th century, portions of Ukraine were ruled by Lithuania, Poland, and Russia. In addition, Cossacks controlled a largely self-governing territory known as the Hetmanate. Most of Ukraine fell to Russian rule in the 18th century. In the aftermath of World War I and the Russian Revolution of 1917, most of the Ukrainian region became a republic of the Soviet Union, though parts of western Ukraine were divided between Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia. Ukraine suffered a severe famine, called the Holodomor, in 1932–33 under Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Overrun by Axis armies in 1941 during World War II, Ukraine was further devastated before being retaken by the Soviets in 1944. By the end of the war, the borders of the Ukrainian S.S.R. had been redrawn to include the western Ukrainian territories.

    Ukraine was the site of the 1986 Chernobyl accident at a Soviet-built nuclear power plant. In 1991 Ukraine declared independence. The turmoil it experienced in the 1990s as it attempted to implement economic and political reforms culminated in the disputed presidential election of 2004; mass protests over the results came to be known as the Orange Revolution. The effects of the revolution were short-lived, however, and the country remained divided along regional and ethnic lines. Another mass protest movement—this one centered on Kyiv’s Maidan (Independence Square)—toppled the government in 2014. As the interim government struggled to resolve the country’s dire economic situation, Russian troops occupied the Ukrainian autonomous republic of Crimea. Shortly thereafter, in March 2014, Crimea declared independence from Ukraine and was annexed by Russia. Fighting between pro-Russian separatist militias and Ukrainian government forces remained ongoing in eastern Ukraine. In late 2021 Russia began a military buildup along its border with Ukraine, and in February 2022 Russia invaded Ukraine.’ – source, https://www.britannica.com/summary/Ukraine

    DCSCA (ae1917)

  60. @58 I think too much emphasis is being placed on “vital”. For example,

    DeSantis also told Carlson that protecting Ukraine is not a “vital national interest”. DeSantis is a smart guy. He knows that we have a security interest in seeing Putin defeated.

    Even Dana makes the subtle shift from “vital national interest” to “a security interest”. Do you think Dana is saying it’s not a “vital national interest”? Do you really think this binary “my view or you’re pro-putin and in favor of these atrocities” is an effective argument?

    The US has an interest in UKR. Do I think it’s vital? No. But do I have the same definition of vital as you or Dana or DeSantis? Probably not. The actual definition of vital in this context is a political calculation. One we’re all making and that we all might not agree on. My guess is we’ve all got different priorities and I’m confident I can give you an example of a more vital national security interest.

    I’d suggest that in addition to dropping the emotional appeals and false choice rhetoric we not spend a lot time denouncing people for making political calculations when we’re all doing it.

    I’ve heard others claim that DeSantis’ position isn’t much different from Biden’s and I can’t really disagree with that. Maybe we focus on actual proposals instead? Before that we might even want to decide on an end result we can all agree with.

    frosty (3207f6)

  61. frosty, DeSantis is the one who used “vital” in his statement to Tucker and, unlike Trump or Biden, he’s not prone to oopsies and gaffes.
    Per Oxford Dictionary, it means “absolutely necessary or important; essential”.

    As for Dana, I’m not going to speak for her. She’s a big girl and can explain herself. As for your “binary” question, it is simply true that a vote to cut off aid to Ukraine is a vote for Putin’s criminal invasion, and it sounds to me like DeSantis is on that side. You can call that “binary” but, to me, it’s simply a true statement.
    The questions I have are: Why isn’t it a vital interest of ours to weaken Putin and his imperialist ambitions? Why isn’t an essential interest of ours to keep our commitments, such as the security assurances we made to Ukraine in the Budapest Memorandum? Why isn’t it an important interest of ours to send a message of deterrence to Chairman Xi?

    Paul Montagu (1888f5)

  62. The New York Post has a column today by a Dalibor Rohac (his name sounds like anagram of something but it’s probably real- he’s a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

    I wrote about Dalibor Rohac on this blog about 30 months ago, Sammy, in response to his hostility towards Viktor Orbán in Hungary. I don’t find his arguments there all that persuasive, but I did read what he had to say about Ukraine in the NY Post. He makes some strong points and he does point out that in many respects DeSantis’s criticisms of the Biden Administration are quite valid, but in the end his attitude that Americans should pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe in the interests of freedom is, sadly, archaic. Even though an unreconstructed Cold Warrior like me would be fine with that idea, we live in an age where broad-based tax increases are a non-starter, entitlement reform is verboten, and we have over $30 trillion in national debt and seem to be facing a prolonged period of economic retrenchment, similar to the 1970s.

    Perhaps if we had a John F. Kennedy or a Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office, we could rouse ourselves to get in touch with our better angels and be that beacon of freedom that the world needs. But Joe Biden is not the man to lead that crusade, Donald Trump is not the man to lead that crusade, and it looks more and more like Ron DeSantis won’t be the man to lead that crusade. We’re going to be limited in how much we can support Ukraine, just as we’re going to be limited in how much we can support Taiwan. I hope people understand how we got here the next time they demand more tax cuts or yet another useless government spending program.

    JVW (1bc831)

  63. In other words whatever DrSantis says shouldn’t be taken seriously since the goal is to win. Like Darling Nikki.

    Darling Nikki still stands with Ukraine. As I’ve said, there is one contest to be “the Trump” and another contest to be the alternative.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  64. If the Trump side (Trump or DeSantis) loses the contest, I am prepared to lash out at all those refusing to vote for the alternative as “supporting Biden.”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  65. If the Trump side (Trump or DeSantis) loses the contest, I am prepared to lash out at all those refusing to vote for the alternative as “supporting Biden.”

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/15/2023 @ 5:14 pm

    Those of us in a blue one-party state are exempt.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  66. DCSCA complains for weeks that they are not auditing aid to Ukraine. Then they send in people to do that:

    The Pentagon has confirmed active-duty U.S. military are deployed inside Ukraine and have “resumed on-site inspections to assess weapon stocks.” This is Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder.

    and he complains they are doing it. What a troll.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  67. Those of us in a blue one-party state are exempt.

    No, because if you ALL voted you’d win.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  68. I think the war in Ukraine is not vital to the US but can see how it would be to Poland. It is a European problem that is tangentially ours because our European NATO allies didn’t listen when told that Russia was not OK to be dependent on, who believed Russian lies it was simply protecting Luhansk, Donetsk, Crimea, Transnistria from genocide (willful suspension of disbelief). Tangentially because Obama mocked Romney when Romney correctly noted that Russia was our largest geopolitical foe in 2012 and then in 2014 watched little green men that must have come from anywhere but Russia overtake Ukrainian territory. With the Obama exception, it is a European problem that could and should be handled by Europeans and we should for once be concentrating on getting our house in order while the people with the most to lose handle their business. If Ukraine was actually vital to our interests, we wouldn’t just be emptying the shelves of old Humvee’s, MRAP’s, M113, we’d be sending new decisive weapons in quantity to defeat Russia, not just enough for attrition. So no, we are not treating Ukraine as “vital to our interests” now.
    Vital is a word that has gotten watered down to a point of meaningless. Vital: concerned with or necessary to the continuation of life. Ukraine doesn’t meet that threshold to the USA. USA can continue life, thrive without Ukraine.

    I’m more concerned with DeSantis’ flip flop on Obama and arming Ukraine although I would be willing to listen because Obama and all the Democrats have also totally flipped, and are now all of the sudden warhawks against Putin because they believe Putin stole the election from Hillary not because Ukraine. I’ll sum it up for my opinion like this: Its not my problem. European circus with European monkeys. I’m willing to help out wrangling the monkeys, and if I help out I’m in it to win, but Germany, France, UK should have been ready to handle this adjacent business, after 8 years of admittedly misplaced hope that Russia would stop after Crimea (Poland was the most ready followed by the UK who apparently has never met a war they didn’t like)

    steveg (0099fc)

  69. Follow up question: Does anyone believe that UK, Germany, France, Poland, Czech’s, Turks and the Scandinavians could handle arming and training of Ukraine to accomplish the eviction of the neo-soviets? I do. I’d still empty the shelves of old inventory and replace it with new, which in my view would be prudent, and maybe DeSantis would not, people change when they get into the leader of the free world seat they start to get drunk on the power

    steveg (0099fc)

  70. No, because if you ALL voted you’d win.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/15/2023 @ 5:19 pm

    Registered Republicans in California represent less than 24% of the electorate (1.32% more than ‘no party preference’) and means that even if Republicans voted for the same candidate they would still lose, whereas Democrats at 46.87% can split and still win.

    Twenty years ago Republicans were at 35% where they had a fighting chance (the Democrats were at 44.6%). The shift was from Republicans to No Party Preference, which 20 years ago was at 15.16%.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  71. Does anyone believe that UK, Germany, France, Poland, Czech’s, Turks and the Scandinavians could handle arming and training of Ukraine to accomplish the eviction of the neo-soviets?

    No.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  72. Registered Republicans in California represent less than 24% of the electorate (1.32% more than ‘no party preference’) and means that even if Republicans voted for the same candidate they would still lose, whereas Democrats at 46.87% can split and still win.
    ……..
    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/15/2023 @ 5:47 pm

    Today No Party Preference registration is 22.53%, and other parties is 6.75%, the total of which (29.28%) exceeds (by 6.75%) the current Republican registration.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  73. Paul Montagu (1888f5) — 3/15/2023 @ 4:52 pm

    DeSantis is the one who used “vital”

    And you are the one who turned that into

    a vote to cut off aid to Ukraine … and it sounds to me like DeSantis is on that side

    but it doesn’t sound like that to me. Did he say that?

    As for your “binary” question, it is simply true that a vote to cut off aid to Ukraine is a vote for Putin’s criminal invasion

    Did I say anything about a vote to cut off aid? Based on your phrasing would it be fair to say you’re in favor of a blank check for UKR?

    Per Oxford Dictionary, it means “absolutely necessary or important; essential”

    By your own definition defending UKR isn’t absolutely necessary or essential to the US. Do you know how I know this? There was a time when the UKR existed as a part of the USSR and wonder of wonders the US also existed at the same time.

    Why isn’t it a vital interest of ours to weaken Putin and his imperialist ambitions?

    It is an interest. Is someone saying it isn’t? Are you saying that somehow the US can’t continue to exist if Putin isn’t checked?

    Why isn’t an essential interest of ours to keep our commitments

    It is but is it essential? What about the commitments we decided weren’t in our interest to keep?

    Why isn’t it an important interest of ours to send a message of deterrence to Chairman Xi?

    I’ve already explained how I don’t think this is sending the absolutely necessary or important; essential message to Xi that I keep seeing claimed.

    But overall, you’re reading a lot into “not vital”. It’s a stretch to go from “not vital” to “break commitments and encourage Xi and Putin”.

    If you think it’s absolutely necessary or important; essential to protect URK from RU do you think we should directly engage? Should we deploy forces to UKR, enforce a no-fly zone and shoot down any RU aircraft entering RU, destroy any RU equipment and personal on the URK side side the border? Maybe we should use US resources to target RU military infrastructure within RU? Or we can start targeting the RU military command directly?

    If your answer is no I’d argue that you don’t really think it’s vital either. If you say no why don’t you care about RU atrocities in UKR?

    frosty (3207f6)

  74. One of the funniest things amongst many on the day after Hillary lost were the swing state people who voted for Jill Stein and then were whining about Trump winning. “OMG! this is awful… what a surprise!”

    steveg (0099fc)

  75. What’s funnier is the Republican Party telling us to pick another Republican to defeat the monster they created and are still nourishing, cosseting, and bowing down to.

    nk (bb1548)

  76. Follow up question: Does anyone believe that UK, Germany, France, Poland, Czech’s, Turks and the Scandinavians could handle arming and training of Ukraine to accomplish the eviction of the neo-soviets? I do. I’d still empty the shelves of old inventory and replace it with new, which in my view would be prudent, and maybe DeSantis would not, people change when they get into the leader of the free world seat they start to get drunk on the power

    steveg (0099fc) — 3/15/2023 @ 5:41 pm

    Your group is a bit broad and it might be easy for some to dismiss out of hand. There are also a few questions buried in there.

    If what we know about the damage UKR has done to RU is true then the UK, DE, PL, FI, SE, and NO could handle arming and training UKR to hold ground and survive in some form. Could they evict RU forces? I’m not sure. There is a difference between stopping RU from advancing beyond various points and driving them out of some of the areas they’ve taken.

    I think SE and FI are underestimated. Given what we’ve seen of RU performance in UKR I’d say FI might be able to defend UKR by themselves especially if the US were throwing in the same resources we’ve been throwing into UKR.

    At the same time; if what we’ve seen of the RU in UKR is true if the UK or DE or PL couldn’t individually stop them we’ve got some big issues with NATO that aren’t being discussed.

    frosty (3207f6)

  77. Listen intently to Lindsey Graham’s recommendations and do the exact opposite.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  78. Putin falls? Then what? What happens to Russia? Their nukes? Result?

    NJRob (1005fb)

  79. Registered Republicans in California represent less than 24% of the electorate (1.32% more than ‘no party preference’) and means that even if Republicans voted for the same candidate they would still lose, whereas Democrats at 46.87% can split and still win.

    Most close races in California, particularly ballot measures, are lost because the GOP has crappy turnout.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  80. Registered Republicans in California represent less than 24% of the electorate

    Turnout means as much as registration, and turnout sucks in CA because GOP voters decide it doesn’t matter. In the end it can be self-fulfilling.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  81. If you think it’s absolutely necessary or important; essential to protect URK from RU do you think we should directly engage? Should we deploy forces to UKR, enforce a no-fly zone and shoot down any RU aircraft entering RU, destroy any RU equipment and personal on the URK side side the border? Maybe we should use US resources to target RU military infrastructure within RU? Or we can start targeting the RU military command directly?

    My fantasy.

    Rip Murdock (3eea61)

  82. If you really think it’s essential to empty the ashtray in your car, why don’t you go buy a new car with an empty ashtray? Extreme defeatist scenarios aren’t worth a bowl of borscht.

    Given our resources, given our allies, given our position in the world order, given the enemies we’re facing, our actions at present are more than measured. We could, and should, do more to help Ukraine, way short of getting gun muzzle to gun muzzle with Russia ourselves.

    nk (bb1548)

  83. Turnout means as much as registration, and turnout sucks in CA because GOP voters decide it doesn’t matter. In the end it can be self-fulfilling.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/15/2023 @ 7:38 pm

    You still haven’t explained how Republicans can win a statewide election with 24% of the electorate, even with a quality candidate.

    As far as initiatives go, a lot cross party lines, and most voters default to a “no” vote. The dominance of initiatives placed on the ballot by corporations (such as the recent battle between competing gambling interests) or unions with their multi million dollar ad buys really turns off voters (which is why both of the gambling initiatives lost).

    Rip Murdock (3eea61)

  84. Dana: “If the projected leading contenders for the Republican nomination are crappy individuals or crappy candidates or hold crappy views that voters can’t get behind because of their own moral, political, and philosophical viewpoints, then one should just see that as a disagreement with the voter, not as a sure sign that they will be voting for the opposition.”

    This should be on a bumper sticker.

    The other side of the coin is, why should I care how someone spins my lack of support. This is the silly game of some at this site and frankly it’s boring and tedious. I have never slept better than the night after not voting for Trump (twice) and instead writing in a principled and honorable conservative.

    I was unshackled….freed of the responsibility of defending the inevitable stupid that Trump would do and say. Now some will argue that Trump got rid of Roe…since only audacious Trump could follow the Merrick Garland argument with a dramatic reversal of principle after the demise of RBG. The guts, right? Only Trump could push for walls and Muslim bans and call for stifling the press. It was the greatest show on earth, so why did I only see the horror?

    Defect? Maybe. Or maybe a tumor on my Trumpocampus. It has been throbbing. No one is owed my vote. We will never get better candidates if we keeping tying our votes to horribly broken people.

    AJ_Liberty (6dfb11)

  85. Did I say anything about a vote to cut off aid?

    Why would any president continue to provide aid to a situation that is non-essential? DeSantis’ implication was made clear, and further made clear by who he made his statement to, and you agreed with it.

    There was a time when the UKR existed as a part of the USSR and wonder of wonders the US also existed at the same time.

    Silly sophistry, as are your cross-outs of my words. It’s as if the situation didn’t change after 1990.

    If you think it’s absolutely necessary or important; essential to protect URK from RU do you think we should directly engage?

    Why does supporting a vital national interest have to result in WW3? That isn’t the logical culmination to every question.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  86. Given our resources, given our allies, given our position in the world order, given the enemies we’re facing, our actions at present are more than measured. We could, and should, do more to help Ukraine, way short of getting gun muzzle to gun muzzle with Russia ourselves.

    nk (bb1548) — 3/15/2023 @ 7:51 pm

    That’s just a different way of saying it’s not absolutely necessary or important; essential, in other words, not a vital national interest.

    Asked a different way; what’s the magic word for something that would require us to go muzzle to muzzle with RU ourselves?

    frosty (3207f6)

  87. Silly sophistry

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 3/15/2023 @ 8:21 pm

    I’ll ask you the same question; what’s the magic word for something that would require us to go muzzle to muzzle with RU ourselves? If it’s not “absolutely necessary or important; essential” what is it?

    You’ve retasked vital and essential to mean whatever you think deserves funding and you’re complaining about other people who may have a different definition.

    It’s as if the situation didn’t change after 1990.

    How exactly did UKR become essential to the US after 1990?

    Why would any president continue to provide aid to a situation that is non-essential?

    Are you thinking that all of the things the Feds are funding is essential to the ongoing safety and security of the US? The obvious answer is the government funds all sorts of non-essential things. The reasons are as numerous as the different projects.

    and you agreed with it

    I agreed to vote to cutoff aid? I don’t remember that. Can you show me where I did that?

    Why does supporting a vital national interest have to result in WW3? That isn’t the logical culmination to every question.

    Well, I’m not saying that am I? This is another thing you’re making up. What I’m saying is my definition of vital is something we wouldn’t outsource to a notoriously corrupt foreign country who’s barely holding on while its telling us constantly that they are about to collapse if we don’t give them increasingly more sophisticated equipment and a bottomless funding supply.

    frosty (3207f6)

  88. @67. Projecting again, Kevin. Failing audits ain’t much of a metric for success. Nor does it necessitate deploying boots on the ground at the pother end in the conflict zone to count the free bullets and bombs unpacked. Golly. Wonder how the USPS and FedEx keep track of their goodies.

    What happens to weapons sent to Ukraine? The US doesn’t really know
    https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/19/politics/us-weapons-ukraine-intelligence/index.html

    Pentagon Audit Eases Ukraine Arms Shipments, Despite Failing Grade
    https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-11-15/pentagon-fails-fifth-audit-while-facilitating-ukraine-arms-shipments

    Talk about ‘trolls’ — this is the same near-trillion dollar-a-year-outfit that had toilets that don’t properly flush installed into $13.5 billion aircraft carriers.

    DCSCA (61f3f4)

  89. If there’s a plumbing leak in your upstairs bathroom, you pay the plumber some money now to come fix the leak or you pay a lot more later to a number of trades when your tub falls through the floor and into the kitchen.

    Nic (896fdf)

  90. That’s just a different way of saying it’s not absolutely necessary or important; essential, in other words, not a vital national interest.

    Since when? My Greek to English dictionary must be hopelessly out of date. I’ll have to look into getting a new one.

    nk (bb1548)

  91. nk (bb1548) — 3/15/2023 @ 8:57 pm

    Maybe Paul can answer how something can be both “absolutely necessary or important; essential” to US national interests and also something you’d be willing to outsource to Z/UKR. Or why some people can’t figure out how to keep their ashtray clean.

    frosty (3207f6)

  92. @75 I voted for jill stein and was happy clinton didn’t win. Clintonistas say look what you done. abortion! I tell them you should have thought about that before you tried to foist her on us! We may never have got AOC and the squad if clinton had won. Supreme court ruling on abortion has discredited the third way corporate establishment democrats and radicalized the democrat party who are now ready for action! Ruling came in the middle of 2022 pprimary season ;but the left candidates will be ready for 2024.

    asset (ca8ec5)

  93. I have not heard a reasoned thoughtful answer why we should let russia/china/iran overwhelm ukraine. I have heard plenty why we shouldn’t. I am anti-war for the most part. It really has to make sense for me to support a war. This one does as did WWII. Am I my brothers keeper seems the best they can do. As for corruption if you would support the war otherwise I am a good reader make your case.

    asset (ca8ec5)

  94. @90 The best way to get in front of that is calling the plumber and engaging in a long discussion about the atrocities that have resulted from the leak in your bathroom and the ongoing humanitarian crisis that will only get worse if he doesn’t bump any other customers and deal with this right away because you can’t begin to fix the leak yourself and this is such an important element to the ongoing existence of your household.

    In other news; if there’s a pluming leak at la casa fría frosty fixes it.

    frosty (3207f6)

  95. @69. Wouldn’t worry too much about DeSantis’ position at this time. It can change– case in point: ‘On August 31, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Neutrality Act, or Senate Joint Resolution No. 173, which he calls an “expression of the desire… to avoid any action which might involve [the U.S.] in war.” – The signing came at a time when newly installed fascist governments in Europe were beginning to beat the drums of war. – https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fdr-signs-neutrality-act

    ‘Course FDR pretzeled around it well before 12/7/41— and supported the multiple War Bond Drives to fund the costs when conflict hit home. No such efforts for Ukraine now. Just borrow, borrow, borrow. The billions in freebees freely sent to aid non-U.S. taxpayers in corrupt Ukraine w/both munitions and $ subsidizing operations of their government [like salaries, etc.,] are NOT paid for but added to the U.S. debt burden of United States government and ultimately financed w/borrowed $ from America’s main adversary [not competitor, Joey,] China. Americans dealing w/inflation and now watching banks begin to fail are recognizing the absurdity of this ‘blank-check-as-long-as-it-takes’ policy.

    So pay for it: sell Ukrainian Freedom Fighter War Bonds. =crickets=

    ‘The campaigns to encourage Americans to buy U.S. Treasury bonds to finance World Wars I and II were known as war bond drives. Because mass media (radio, newspapers, and magazines) publicized the importance of every citizen’s support in the war effort, the campaigns succeeded. During World War I the federal government raised $5 billion through the sale of Liberty Bonds. Between November 1942 and December 1945 Americans invested in approximately $150 billion in bonds to finance World War II… The sale of bonds continued after World War II and into the twenty-first century. Following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York City on September 11, 2001, the Treasury Department announced that funds raised by the sale of Series EE U.S. Savings Bonds inscribed with the legend “Patriot Bonds” would contribute to the government’s efforts to combat global terrorism’ – https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=WA020

    The brittle, crusty old men and women at the RNC and DNC like a Graham, a Pelosi, a Biden, a Schumer or a McConnell don’t give a damn about the consequences; they’ll be dead and not have to answer for their mistakes nor endure the fiscal damage. But the costly burden they’re leaving for the living – and our children will live on.

    DCSCA (61f3f4)

  96. I have not heard a reasoned thoughtful answer why we should let russia/china/iran overwhelm ukraine.

    asset (ca8ec5) — 3/15/2023 @ 9:17 pm

    I don’t know anyone who takes that position. I don’t.

    frosty (3207f6)

  97. @97. It’s less a ‘we’ but ‘who.’ Wealthy modern Europe is certainly in a financial position to muster the courage to take responsibility for the decisions of their leaders, carry the burden and manage issues on their own continent. They certainly have the militaries and diplomats to manage it- some of the finest ground armor, aircraft and defense systems in the world today and are the nations -and economies- directly connected to benefit seeking a resolution and in close geographic proximity as well. And in the wake of WW2, multiple organizations from the World Bank, the UN, NATO, the IMF and the EU have been instituted to address such problems flaring up on that continent.

    DCSCA (61f3f4)

  98. How soon we forget.

    https://youtu.be/v7bUye1CpfE?t=112

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  99. You still haven’t explained how Republicans can win a statewide election with 24% of the electorate, even with a quality candidate.

    Oh, I have. Just not to your satisfaction.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  100. Question: Do you suppose that we can walk away from Ukraine now, and expect NATO to remain viable? Or is that the next stage in the isolationist plan?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  101. I have never slept better than the night after not voting for Trump (twice)

    Some of us do it in the primary, too.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  102. @99. Pfft. How soon ‘we’ forget:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCCTf17ZiIs&t=3s

    DCSCA (61f3f4)

  103. @101 Question: Are loaded questions the best kind?

    frosty (8f5d70)

  104. By your own definition defending UKR isn’t absolutely necessary or essential to the US. Do you know how I know this? There was a time when the UKR existed as a part of the USSR and wonder of wonders the US also existed at the same time.

    Do you know how I know that Texas isn’t absolutely necessary to the US? There was a time when Texas was part of Mexico, and the US existed at the same time.

    What an incredibly stupid statement.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  105. @105. ‘The Texas annexation was the 1845 annexation of the Republic of Texas into the United States. Texas was admitted to the Union as the 28th state on December 29, 1845.

    ‘The Republic of Texas declared independence from the Republic of Mexico on March 2, 1836. It applied for annexation to the United States the same year, but was rejected by the Secretary of State. At the time, the vast majority of the Texian population favored the annexation of the Republic by the United States. The leadership of both major U.S. political parties, the Democrats and the Whigs, opposed the introduction of Texas, a vast slave-holding region, into the volatile political climate of the pro- and anti-slavery sectional controversies in Congress.’ – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_annexation

    DCSCA (61f3f4)

  106. Why is that loaded, Frosty? Are you unwilling to answer it? The REASON people say the Ukraine is vital includes that question. Maybe, if Biden and done nothing 18 months ago, and wrote Ukraine off like Obama did in 2014, it would not be vital.

    But now? It’s not sunk cost fallacy to say that our credibility (and NATO’s) is now hopelessly entwined with Ukraine’s survival. Iraq was bad enough, but cutting and running here, too is only good for the America First! contingent that has opposed every foreign war since the 1930s.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  107. Ukraine February 24, 2022 was the overwhelming underdog fighting an invader for its home. Once they got their feet settled, they fought bravely, cheerfully and well. It’s easy to help people like that. Like I’ve said before, if you think the war is expensive and even a bit corrupt, wait until you see the rebuilding invoices

    steveg (71af57)

  108. @107. ‘People?’ It’s vital to the MIC in bed w/t DoD to keep the gravy train flowing; the lobbyists they fund and the politicians they grease… and the armaments manufacturers in their districts that sell the costly toys they peddle.

    DCSCA (61f3f4)

  109. @108. Like I’ve said before, if you think the war is expensive and even a bit corrupt, wait until you see the rebuilding invoices…

    It’s already in work…

    Zelensky agrees to Ukraine rebuild investment with BlackRock CEO

    ‘BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to coordinate investment efforts to reconstruct Ukraine during a video conference… Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Larry Fink agreed to focus in the near term on coordinating the efforts of all potential investors and participants in the reconstruction of our country, channeling investment into the most relevant and impactful sectors of the Ukrainian economy,” a readout of the call from Zelensky’s office states.’ Zelensky previously spoke with Fink in September, and Kyiv also indicated some BlackRock leaders will visit Ukraine next year…’

    https://thehill.com/policy/international/3790699-zelensky-agrees-to-ukraine-rebuild-investment-with-blackrock-ceo/

    “Extortion is my business.” – Ernst Stavro Blofeld [Donald Pleasence] ‘You Only Live Twice’ 1967

    DCSCA (61f3f4)

  110. I think right now NATO is at a high point and would suffer greatly if the US walked away from Ukraine completely. I don’t see that happening under DeSantis, but even if he tried, is hard to unwind a war, ask Trump. I do think we can maintain our current posture encouraging Europe to give more of their modern equipment while we support in the background without scuttling the relationship. We do need to play our hand well, Biden is capable of screwing up anything. Europe should lead, succeed and stop looking to us to immediately project our power into their backyard fights. Truth is we can’t get numbers of men and equipment into Europe fast enough to stop Russian numbers unless the Europeans are willing and prepared. The Poles are going to fight, the UK always shows up, the US needs 3-4 months of uncontested passage across the Atlantic before it can show up, so Germany and France need to step up. If we keep enabling them, they’ll always be addicted and get angry when we do not give them their fix but at the same time need to bring the thunder down when required. The US is good at breaking things, or at least Wagner advisors in Syria think we are, which is half the battle

    steveg (71af57)

  111. @107

    But Ukraine is not in NATO.

    This would be more believable if there were people pushing for peace as much as we were pushing for war.

    Joe (978bb7)

  112. Maybe Paul can answer how something can be both “absolutely necessary or important; essential” to US national interests and also something you’d be willing to outsource to Z/UKR.

    And thusly doth we circleth around to the “proxy war” pasta fazool.

    Which reminds me that DeSantis is Italian.
    Q. What is the world’s shortest book?
    A. Italian War Heroes.

    Even if you don’t give a hoot about Ukraine, do you really want a President who surrendered to Putin two years before he was elected? What all this says to me about DeSantis is that he can only fight women and LGBTQ.

    nk (ba095c)

  113. Too early for cheeburger! No fries… CHEEPS! No Coke! Petsi!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  114. Maybe, just maybe, it isn’t quite so simple as labeling something vital or non-vital….and that each word might not convey just one course of action. For commenters who complain about lack of nuance, this line of reasoning is ironic. As the kids say, whatever.

    Few people are struggling with the escalatory step of sending troops into Ukraine to fight or establishing a no-fly zone. Reasonable people understand cost/benefit analysis and recognize that for 1/8 of our military budget, we are neutering Russia’s ability to wage war while sending a clear signal to China about military adventurism. That’s why it’s curious why Trump and now DeSantis find it necessary to appeal to a minority viewpoint.

    It’s never been a choice between supporting Ukraine OR defending the southern border….or doing anything else for that matter. The country is inextricably divided as to legislative priorities and policy tactics. We’ve been frozen on the border for decades. Trump’s ascendancy solved nothing because it’s a bit more complicated than hyper-focusing on a big beautiful obstruction that can’t detain, process, and deport people, or change economic incentives…but I digress.

    A shooting war between Russia and the U.S. has great potential to escalate into attacks within Russia providing greater cause for a nuclear response. Right now the war is limited to Ukraine with the goal to expel Russian forces. Most people see the seismic shift in cost and risk of introducing U.S. troops. Some, as usual, just want to play word games…..

    AJ_Liberty (6dfb11)

  115. Why is that loaded, Frosty? Are you unwilling to answer it? The REASON people say the Ukraine is vital includes that question. Maybe, if Biden and done nothing 18 months ago, and wrote Ukraine off like Obama did in 2014, it would not be vital.

    But now? It’s not sunk cost fallacy to say that our credibility (and NATO’s) is now hopelessly entwined with Ukraine’s survival. Iraq was bad enough, but cutting and running here, too is only good for the America First! contingent that has opposed every foreign war since the 1930s.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/15/2023 @ 10:12 pm

    It’s loaded because baked into it is the assumption that the only alternatives are doing whatever you think is correct or walking away, embracing isolationism, and abandoning NATO. It’s a false choice. To paraphrase the wisdom of the indomitable Reese Bobby there several other choices.

    A better question is why can’t you and Paul engage in any sort of debate without resorting to these logical fallacies or personal attacks?

    The problem with your NATO argument is we’re back to trying to have our cake and eat it. On the one hand it’s Putin propaganda to say the UKR conflict is about NATO but also, even though UKR isn’t a NATO country and I keep hearing from the pro-war crowd that this conflict isn’t about them entering NATO, somehow this conflict is about NATO. You think it’s consistent to say Putin can’t use NATO as his excuse for the conflict but you can use it as yours?

    Also, if you accept the definition of vital that Paul seems to be using then doing nothing 18 months ago wouldn’t make a difference. We couldn’t weaken Putin and his imperialist ambitions if we walked away 18 months ago.

    You’d think these continuing contradictions would be a problem but it doesn’t seem to be. The operative argument seems to be that if anyone disagrees with your opinion on UKR in anyway they’re a Putin stooge.

    So, sure, you can’t point to a single comment where I’ve said cut and run or abandon URK. I’ve actually said the opposite in this thread and others but I don’t expect that to stop anyone from imagining something different.

    I’m sorry we couldn’t keep pouring blood and treasure into Iraq. It seems like you’re still taking that hard.Why isn’t it a vital interest of ours to weaken Putin and his imperialist ambitions?

    frosty (e56d0a)

  116. What happened to this thread? This is why we don’t have nice things. Our hosts give nice things to us and we respond well, at first, but then the rivalries are renewed. One day, our hosts will send us to bed without our supper.

    Good morning, Colonel! This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.

    felipe (77b190)

  117. Reasonable people understand cost/benefit analysis and recognize that for 1/8 of our military budget, we are neutering Russia’s ability to wage war while sending a clear signal to China about military adventurism.

    AJ_Liberty (6dfb11) — 3/16/2023 @ 6:31 am

    Reasonable people also wonder why it should cost more than the entire military budget of RU for the US to stop RU in UKR. Reasonable people can also recognize that there doesn’t seem to be much desire from the pro-war crowd to actually end the conflict in UKR. Reasonable people also could be forgiven for thinking that next month it could be “for 1/6 of our military budget” and then “for 1/4 of our military budget”, etc. Does the cost/benefit still work at 1/2? Reasonable people might also notice that this 1/8 is in addition to a budget that was already supposed to be for sending a clear signal about US military adventurism.

    I also fully expect that should China invade Taiwan the people claiming “clear signal to China about military adventurism” and “vital national interest” will switch to “a shooting war between China and the U.S. has great potential to escalate …” into something not in our “vital national interest”.

    The strategic and tactical differences between UKR and Taiwan likely blunt most of the “clear signal” our UKR plan might be sending to China.

    frosty (e56d0a)

  118. Do you know how I know that Texas isn’t absolutely necessary to the US? There was a time when Texas was part of Mexico, and the US existed at the same time.

    What an incredibly stupid statement.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/15/2023 @ 9:56 pm

    UKR is equivalent to Texas now? In your world UKR has been annexed into the US and it’s absolutely necessary we defend it?

    And you wonder why people question your approach to US military interventionism?

    frosty (e56d0a)

  119. felipe (77b190) — 3/16/2023 @ 6:42 am

    Good morning and a good day to you, felipe! In all things give thanks and praise.

    frosty (e56d0a)

  120. Good morning, felipe!

    Whether it’s Brandon or Quemala! Harris, we are EFF’d. Just sayin’…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  121. He’s teh King of Rio Ranch and you’d better listen to him or else!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  122. Right, AJ.
    The funny thing is that we had 45-year Cold War against belligerent expansionist Soviet Russia, and there was no real argument that it was a vital national interest to oppose their belligerent expansionism.
    Yet today we’re faced with belligerent expansionist Putinist Russia, rightfully described by Romney eleven years ago as our “No. 1 geopolitical foe”, yet opposing his belligerent expansionism isn’t an essential or important national interest?

    I’ll ask you the same question; what’s the magic word for something that would require us to go muzzle to muzzle with RU ourselves?

    Kevin answered your point quite well, frosty.

    You’ve retasked vital and essential to mean whatever you think deserves funding and you’re complaining about other people who may have a different definition.

    That’s why I cited the Oxford Dictionary definition of “vital”, frosty, because I’m not the one likes to redefine words to suit your political agenda, because I expected you to spin that word, and sure enough.
    If DeSantis is telling the Trumpist Wing of the GOP and Putin and rest of the world that supporting Ukraine is not a vital interest, why would he support sending billions in aid to a country with a GDP the size of Mississippi? How is that not a logical next step?

    Maybe Paul can answer how something can be both “absolutely necessary or important; essential” to US national interests and also something you’d be willing to outsource to Z/UKR.

    It’s as if a Cold War never happened. But I suppose that is the xenophobic Trumpist mindset these days, which is strangely similar to the left-wing “anti-war” mindset of the 1980s. How old are you, frosty?

    BTW, the more history of Russia I absorb, the more it shows the similarities between Tsarist Russia, communist Russia and Putin’s Russia, basically all the way back when they were vassals of the Mongols. It’s still f-cking Russia, and it was never anything other than a sh-thole country with brutal leaders, been that way for centuries.

    One other thing. The issue here isn’t our being “pro-war”, because the person who’s actually pro-war is Putin, the person launched an unprovoked illegal invasion of a sovereign state that is Not Russia. Ukraine has every right to defend itself and, importantly, they’re in the right. Why shouldn’t the US support that? For all the complaints there isn’t nuance, well, this isn’t a nuanced situation. Putin is the Bad Guy for invading a country that is Not The Bad Guy, and he’s been this bad guy since his first invasions in 2014. Actually, longer than that if you count his 2008 invasion of Georgia.

    Not a lot of attention has been paid to Putin’s 2008 Bucharest speech, which preceded Georgia, where he basically announced his hostile intent to the West. Obama-Biden certainly overlooked that, and so did Trump what with all the political tongue baths he gave Vlad, and now DeSantis is doing his own version.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  123. K. T. McFarland contends the way to end the Ukrainian war in 6 months: Open up all of the taps full blast on US oil and natural gas production, drive the price of oil down to $20 a barrel and Russia will be begging for peace as their economy tanks.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  124. And you wonder why people question your approach to US military interventionism?

    Not me. I wonder why people use pro-Putin buzzwords like “proxy war”, “territorial dispute”, and “military interventionism”.

    nk (ba095c)

  125. The problem with your NATO argument is we’re back to trying to have our cake and eat it. On the one hand it’s Putin propaganda to say the UKR conflict is about NATO but also, even though UKR isn’t a NATO country and I keep hearing from the pro-war crowd that this conflict isn’t about them entering NATO, somehow this conflict is about NATO. You think it’s consistent to say Putin can’t use NATO as his excuse for the conflict but you can use it as yours?

    At this point, Putin is correct that it’s become about NATO, but the entire fault for that is Putin’s. There is no outcome for this war that does not include Ukraine’s entry into NATO. Why? Because NATO is a defensive alliance against outside aggression, and Putin has made its continued existence and expansion necessary for any country within his reach.

    Do you think that Sweden and Finland are joining NATO because they harbor a desire to harm Russia? Because that is where Putin’s argument leads.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  126. I continue to parse through these comments and at this point I must note that there’s a preponderance of those mirroring Nicole Wallace/Joe Scarborough MSNBC talking points. A lot of “if you’re not rabidly pro-Ukraine you are a tool of Putin”.

    Hilarious!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  127. Joy Reid, too. How EFF’d up is that!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  128. “Sweden and Finland are joining NATO because they harbor a desire to harm Russia?”

    This is the question. NATO has never looked to expand into Russia. Russia wants to retain the option of invading other countries. This isn’t hard. World stability does not need a new Soviet Union.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  129. The funny thing is that we had 45-year Cold War against belligerent expansionist Soviet Russia, and there was no real argument that it was a vital national interest to oppose their belligerent expansionism.

    Yet today we’re faced with belligerent expansionist Putinist Russia, rightfully described by Romney eleven years ago as our “No. 1 geopolitical foe”, yet opposing his belligerent expansionism isn’t an essential or important national interest?

    Yes, the US and USSR of the cold war days are exactly like the US and RU of today. Exactly, no difference. And I’m only being slightly sarcastic. It’s clear that for some people this situation is seen as Cold War v2.0 where Rocky and Apollo get to fight the Good Fight against Ivan and Viktor.

    Kevin answered your point quite well, frosty.

    If you say so. It looked like he avoided that and wanted to go with “that’s stupid”. Is that what you mean by answered quite well?

    That’s why I cited the Oxford Dictionary definition of “vital”, frosty, because I’m not the one likes to redefine words to suit your political agenda, because I expected you to spin that word, and sure enough.

    This is becoming such an odd conversation. I gave you my definition of vital. You just didn’t like it. It’s not spin to say a vital national interest is something we’d take direct involvement in. The really odd thing is that you think this somehow means I’m in favor of the opposite of what you want to do. This is the trap of the binary choice I suppose.

    If DeSantis is telling the Trumpist Wing of the GOP and Putin and rest of the world that supporting Ukraine is not a vital interest, why would he support sending billions in aid to a country with a GDP the size of Mississippi? How is that not a logical next step?

    How is that the only possible next step?

    It’s as if a Cold War never happened. But I suppose that is the xenophobic Trumpist mindset these days, which is strangely similar to the left-wing “anti-war” mindset of the 1980s. How old are you, frosty?

    It’s as if the Cold War never ended.

    BTW, the more history of Russia I absorb, the more it shows the similarities between Tsarist Russia, communist Russia and Putin’s Russia, basically all the way back when they were vassals of the Mongols. It’s still f-cking Russia, and it was never anything other than a sh-thole country with brutal leaders, been that way for centuries.

    Ok. You do you and get your hate on I guess.

    One other thing. The issue here isn’t our being “pro-war”, because the person who’s actually pro-war is Putin, the person launched an unprovoked illegal invasion of a sovereign state that is Not Russia. Ukraine has every right to defend itself and, importantly, they’re in the right. Why shouldn’t the US support that? For all the complaints there isn’t nuance, well, this isn’t a nuanced situation. Putin is the Bad Guy for invading a country that is Not The Bad Guy, and he’s been this bad guy since his first invasions in 2014. Actually, longer than that if you count his 2008 invasion of Georgia.

    Can you point to a single example of me saying anything other than this? Any example of me saying it wasn’t illegal? Any example of me saying UKR doesn’t have a right to defend itself? Any example of me saying the US shouldn’t support that?

    Here try this: The RU invasion is illegal. UKR has every right to defend itself. The US should support that.

    Now, after having said that I fully I expect you to keep pretending I’m taking the opposite position.

    Not a lot of attention has been paid to Putin’s 2008 Bucharest speech, which preceded Georgia, where he basically announced his hostile intent to the West. Obama-Biden certainly overlooked that, and so did Trump what with all the political tongue baths he gave Vlad, and now DeSantis is doing his own version.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 3/16/2023 @ 7:35 am

    Would you be surprised if I told you I was critical of BO/JB not giving UKR lethal military aid and heavy weapons during their administration? Here try this: BO/JB should have given UKR lethal military aid, heavy weapons, and extensive military training.

    Would you be surprised if I told you that I thought one of Bush II’s most underappreciated policies was making alliances and pushing forces further into eastern Europe under the guise of fighting terrorism? Here try this: One of Bush II’s most underappreciated policies was making alliances and pushing forces further into eastern Europe under the guise of fighting terrorism. Here’s another one: One of Bush II’s most underappreciated policies was engaging with India in an attempt to establish a partnership against China in APAC

    After saying that I fully expect you to keep implying that I’m xenophobic and have a left-wing “anti-war” mindset.

    Serious question; why do you argue with logical fallacies and personal attacks? Why do you have to misrepresent my positions?

    frosty (c5d601)

  130. Joy Reid, too. How EFF’d up is that!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 3/16/2023 @ 8:20 am

    It’s a day ending in ‘y’. I’ve noted the MSNBC talking points before and heard a chorus of “I’ve never watched MSNBC”.

    The more interesting question is why? It’s like the SVB issue but at least there I can see people with a financial interest pushing the talking points.

    I can support UKR and our interests in keeping RU in check without all of the bad reasoning, propaganda, and hyperbole. Why does this seem to be such an uncommon approach?

    frosty (c5d601)

  131. frosty:

    Do you mind me asking what your position is re Ukraine and US aid? Is it “send them everything they ask for”? Is it the Biden approach (“Send them everything we think they need”)? Is it send them less, because it’s expensive? You just indicated it is not the DCSCA send em nothin, unless you have a bake sale.

    You may have answered this previously and I missed it. However, I’m just confused on where you are on this.

    Appalled (5813f5)

  132. (And now I see your #131, which addresses this partially. It doesn’t tell me what you think of current policy, though.)

    Appalled (5813f5)

  133. ‘It’s a day ending in ‘y’. I’ve noted the MSNBC talking points before and heard a chorus of “I’ve never watched MSNBC”.’

    Perhaps they should… to see what they’ve unwittingly become.

    “WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US.”

    —- Pogo

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  134. mr. putin has to be a right guy or mr. president donald trump would not be his girlfriend

    mr. president joe brandon is an evil man who rigged and stole mr. president donald trump’s election

    and, besides, russia has the best prostitutes in the world

    we have mr. putin’s word for it

    nk (ba095c)

  135. ……Reasonable people can also recognize that there doesn’t seem to be much desire from the pro-war crowd to actually end the conflict in UKR. ……

    frosty (e56d0a) — 3/16/2023 @ 6:58 am

    How should the conflict end? Refuse to provide weapons to Ukraine? Tell Ukraine that they should give up territory to Russia (the Trump peace plan)? Given the fact that the Russian position is that surrendering the annexed territories is non-negotiable, what would you expect Russia to concede in a negotiation?

    Your statement could be re-written as “Reasonable people can also recognize that there doesn’t seem to be much desire from the Russians to actually end the conflict in UKR” and it would be equally true (though I believe that the West would not continue the war if Russia ended its involvement on its own).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  136. Desantis’s comments could have been clear and unequivocal. They’re not. They also differ from his previous statements. Seems like he’s trying to communicate limited desire to support UKE in resisting conquest by Russia. Other are free to draw different conclusions but seems like if you want to reduce our support from it’s current levels Desantis is a candidate you should support.

    Time123 (c558ba)

  137. Good News:

    Poland will deliver four Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine “in the next few days,” President Andrzej Duda said Thursday.
    ……..
    Additional planes which are “currently under maintenance” will be “handed over gradually,” Duda added, and Poland will replace the MiGs with American-made F-35s and South Korean FA-50 fighters.
    ……..

    Better News:

    Acting Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen, along with German Defense Ministry State Secretary Thomas Hitschler, visited Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG) to speak on the planned transfer. FFG is renovating the formerly Danish, Dutch, and German Leopard 1A5s before their delivery.

    The plan calls for two tank battalions, or approximately 80 tanks, for Ukrainian forces. While the standard Leopard 1 entered service in the 1960s, the 1A5 upgrade variant began its career in the 1980s with a modern fire control system and all-weather night sights. …..
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  138. I like to skewer Romney, but he was correct when he said 47% of the country wasn’t going to vote for him. Same goes for DeSantis. The GOP candidate needs 98% of GOP to turn out, some of them will be fringe. They are the most fickle and demand to be fed raw meat here and there. At the same time the GOP candidate has to appeal to suburban Moms who split their votes from election to election based on their feelings about a candidate. This group is not a fan of the GOP fringe. DeSantis has to walk a line. He absolutely must have the votes of Trump supporters and he absolutely needs independents and suburban moms. Of course he panders. Assume DeSantis is a patriot who feels he can make the US better than any opponent. Purists want him to disavow the hardcore Trump fringe and of course DeSantis would immediately be a pure loser before the echo of his first sentence. Look for more of the same from DeSantis. Draw a few out, reel them in. 2024 for me is going to be a vote between Harris or DeSantis because Biden won’t last the term if he wins. Trump was at times a disaster, but Harris would be an unmitigated disaster, walking nightmare, messenger of doom, stepping razor take your pick

    steveg (8d8b70)

  139. @115/@118. “Reasonable people:…

    Pew: Percentage of Americans, Republicans Who Oppose Military Aid to Ukraine On The Rise

    ‘As for whether Americans view the Russia-Ukraine conflict as a “major threat to U.S. interests,” 51% of Republicans/Lean Republican said yes back in March 2022. In January 2023, however, only 29% of Republicans/Lean Republican say the conflict is a major threat to U.S. interests. That’s a decline of 22 percentage points.’

    https://cnsnews.com/article/national/michael-w-chapman/pew-percentage-americans-republicans-who-oppose-military-aid

    Few people are struggling with the escalatory step of sending troops into Ukraine to fight or establishing a no-fly zone.

    =blink= Hmmm. “Pew people” disagree.

    DCSCA (bdd5d2)

  140. I think UKE (with limited US support) is doing almost everything they can to end the war as quickly as possible by making it too costly for Russia to continue.

    Russia could end it whenever they want and has shown little to no desire to negotiate settlement. UKE is trying to take back territory that Russia had previously concurred, that may increase their ability to encourage a negotiated settlement.

    Time123 (6bca34)

  141. @139. The out-of-favor-neocons- the Bill Kristol, Daughter Darth ideologue types– and assorted Never-Trumpers, fueled w/spite and hate at no longer wagging the dog, will vent their rejection again just like the last cycle, bail on their party and all but assure another Biden win, if he lives and chooses to run.

    DCSCA (bdd5d2)

  142. Steve, it’s a balancing act. The challenge is that some of what the MAGA base requires is pretty unpalatable if stated clearly and the MAGA base is tired of candidates that wink and nod. They like Trump’s full throated endorsements of their crazy ideas. I think Desantis is doing a pretty good job of providing strong enough signals to them while still avoiding scaring of the normies.

    Time123 (6bca34)

  143. @141. Russia will do what China tells it to do. China is the weightier partner in the Eurasian Alliance. And Z is going to talk with Xi directly. If China can be a peace broker – as they just did in the Middle East w/Iran and the Saudis- it’s another move to supplant a global role that was a U.S. purview for the second half of the 20th century. If Xi tell Vlad to eat the cabbage, he’ll do it. Lest you forget, just last week:

    What’s Behind China’s Historic Iran-Saudi Arabia Peace Deal?

    -China has successfully brokered a deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia, restoring diplomatic ties between the two countries.
    -This agreement provides greater opportunities for Chinese influence in the region and may signify waning American influence by comparison.
    -The breakthrough agreement is significant for its implications for increased economic stability, diplomatic relations, and leadership in the Middle East.

    https://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/International/Whats-Behind-Chinas-Historic-Iran-Saudi-Arabia-Peace-Deal.html

    DCSCA (bdd5d2)

  144. ……Reasonable people can also recognize that there doesn’t seem to be much desire from the pro-war crowd to actually end the conflict in UKR. ……

    Does the “pro-war crowd” include the Russians, or just the West?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  145. U.S. releases video of Russian jets’ encounter with American drone
    ………
    The 42-second, full-color footage appears to refute Russia’s claims that neither fighter hit the drone. After U.S. military officials publicly disclosed the encounter on Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement saying that, after the drone was observed having breached Moscow’s self-declared exclusion zone, it made “sharp maneuvers,” entered “uncontrolled flight” and crashed into the sea.
    ………
    U.S. officials have said what’s left of the drone is believed to be submerged in 4,000 to 5,000 feet of water, a depth that would challenge recovery even in ideal circumstances. Entrance into the Black Sea by any warships not home-based there is banned during wartime by an international convention. There have been no U.S. naval vessels in region since before the war began, though Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, indicated that the United States has “friends” nearby who could help.

    Milley said that steps had been taken to wipe the drone’s electronics and render the wreckage useless should Russia attempt to raise the craft with hopes of exploiting any intelligence on board, though another senior U.S. official, White House spokesman John Kirby, noted that such measures are “not foolproof.”
    ………
    The video appears to show two separate passes by the Russian jets, which in each instance spray a cloudy white stream against the sky’s bright blue backdrop and the rippling water below. U.S. officials have said the Su-27s dumped fuel on the drone before one struck it, rendering it too badly damaged to stay aloft.
    ………
    (SECDEF Lloyd Austin) told reporters Wednesday that the United States would continue to fly where international law allows, rejecting Russia’s declaration of an exclusion zone over extended parts of the Black Sea.

    There is no indication the two sides have reached an agreement on what constitutes international airspace.
    ……..

    Related:

    MQ-9 Reaper Is Capable Of Defending Itself With Air-To-Air Missiles

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  146. The Gathering Storm – America’s self-inflicted trouble in Ukraine aggravates our dangerous trouble at home.

    “…In sum, Washington’s military strategy to weaken, isolate, or even destroy Russia is a colossal failure and the failure puts Washington’s proxy war with Russia on a truly dangerous path. To press on, undeterred in the face of Ukraine’s descent into oblivion, ignores three metastasizing threats: 1. Persistently high inflation and rising interest rates that signal economic weakness. (The first American bank failure since 2020 is a reminder of U.S. financial fragility.) 2. The threat to stability and prosperity inside European societies already reeling from several waves of unwanted refugees/migrants. 3. The threat of a wider European war….”

    Horatio (e6180d)

  147. Zelensky and his closest aide regularly answer questions about US politics and its effects on the war effort. Of course they have to be diplomatic, but they often seem to have a better handle on the realities of American politics than Americans. When asked about GOP vs. Democrat politics they are well aware of the political calculations the parties have to make when considering their most fickle voters. They prognosticated that if the GOP won the house funding would continue, that the Senate would continue regardless to which side won, but the rhetoric would continue to placate. The Democrats have a tighter leash (must be donation money that would dry up) on their Code Pink people. They only interrupt the chamber when Republicans are in power

    steveg (030f34)

  148. Not Yours to Give

    From The Life of Colonel David Crockett, compiled by Edward S. Ellis (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1884). Included in Free Market Economics: A Basic Reader, compiled by Bettina B. Greaves (Irvington-on-Hudson, NY: Foundation for Economic Education, 1975).

    Horatio (e6180d)

  149. frosty:

    Do you mind me asking what your position is re Ukraine and US aid?

    I don’t mind. It’s much preferable to the approach some of the other commenters seem to prefer.

    Is it “send them everything they ask for”?

    No. There is some evidence that the UKR military command structure is corrupt and barely competent. They also seem inclined to request items that would allow them to escalate the conflict beyond retaking UKR territory.

    Is it the Biden approach (“Send them everything we think they need”)?

    Most closely, yes. Although I might disagree with what “we” think they need.

    Is it send them less, because it’s expensive?

    It’s not so much a less/expensive issue although my objections might track with someone who took that approach. I question the effectiveness of sending them expensive equipment that they are not trained to use and do not have the facilities to maintain. But my objection here isn’t because it’s expensive.

    You just indicated it is not the DCSCA send em nothin, unless you have a bake sale.

    No. My position isn’t send them nothing.

    You may have answered this previously and I missed it. However, I’m just confused on where you are on this.

    Appalled (5813f5) — 3/16/2023 @ 8:45 am

    Not trying to be argumentative but I think I’ve tried to be consistent: 1) support URK and 2) end the conflict as quickly as possible to reduce damage and bloodshed on both sides (I think this both sides thing gets me in trouble with some of the others here).

    I’m not interested in regime change as a specific goal. If it happens as a result of 1+2 then it happens. I’m not sure a completely destabilized RU is better than a relatively predictable but belligerent RU though. That this has subtly shifted to a regime change argument after so much initial declarations that it wasn’t doesn’t improve my general disposition.

    I differ with Biden’s approach because I don’t think he’s interested in #2. The primary goal of the US government seems to be to bleed RU and weaken it without regard for the collateral damage.

    frosty (c5d601)

  150. Ron DeSantis’s First Big Mistake

    Ron DeSantis is sketching out a presidential campaign based on his manifest governing success in Florida and as a fearless fighter for principle who ignores the polls. Then how to explain his puzzling surrender this week to the Trumpian temptation of American retreat?

    That’s not too strong a way to describe his decision to call the war in Ukraine a “territorial dispute” that isn’t a vital U.S. interest. ……
    ……
    ……(H)e may regret describing the war in Ukraine as a mere “territorial dispute.” This is flirting with GOP isolationism that has emerged from time to time in history and has usually been an electoral cul-de-sac. The party’s isolationism in the 1930s consigned it to decades in the wilderness, and that naivete was on national display when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. The electoral stigma wasn’t removed until Dwight Eisenhower, the victor of D-Day, rescued the GOP from Republican Robert Taft’s unwillingness to support the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

    ……..(Ronald Reagan) paired a rapid expansion of U.S. military power with diplomatic efforts to end the Cold War. He saw the struggle against the Soviet Union as moral, but he didn’t hesitate to arm enemies of communism, even unpalatable ones. Aiding Ukraine now is in that Reagan Doctrine tradition.
    ……..
    …….. If Ukraine manages a victory even as Republicans call for retreat, the GOP will have surrendered one of its core selling points as the party voters trust on national security. It would then be all the harder to marshal support and resources for a stronger U.S. military deterrent against China.

    And what if Russia swallows all or most of Ukraine? Mr. Putin will then set up shop closer to the Polish border and be even stronger as a malign force in Europe. The U.S. will be drawn deeper into the continent’s problems, not free to focus on the threat posed by China, which in any event will conclude that the U.S. is weaker. Is that the world President DeSantis wants to inherit on Jan. 20, 2025?
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  151. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/16/2023 @ 11:04 am

    Why would someone vote for DeSantis based on his wishy-washy Ukraine position (supporting Ukraine aid while a Congressman but now opposing it) when they can vote for the real deal to get out of Ukraine (Trump)?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  152. 2) end the conflict as quickly as possible to reduce damage and bloodshed on both sides (I think this both sides thing gets me in trouble with some of the others here).

    I’d still like to know how you get to #2.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  153. Gallup:

    Americans’ already-negative opinions of Russia have soured further in the past year, dropping from 15% holding a favorable view to 9%. The current reading for Russia is the lowest Gallup has measured since it first asked about the “Soviet Union” in this format in 1989.
    ……..
    Gallup’s 2023 World Affairs poll finds 90% of Americans having an unfavorable opinion of Russia, including a 59% majority who have a “very unfavorable” view. Last year, 42% held a very unfavorable opinion of Russia, and in 2021, 36% did. Before 2020, no more than 32% had viewed Russia very unfavorably.
    ……..
    In contrast to their negative opinions of Russia, Americans are mostly positive toward Ukraine. Sixty-eight percent have a favorable opinion of Ukraine, up six percentage points from a year ago and 11 points higher than in 2020. The current reading is by one point the highest in Gallup’s trend since 2005, with the prior high occurring in that initial 2005 reading.
    ……..
    Asked how much of a threat the Russia-Ukraine conflict presents to U.S. vital interests, 56% of Americans describe it as a “critical threat,” 36% say it is “important but not critical,” and 8% do not believe it represents an important threat. The perception of the conflict as a critical threat is up slightly from 52% a year ago and is much higher than the 44% measured in 2015.
    ……..
    A majority of Americans, 51%, also view the military power of Russia as a critical threat, though this is down significantly from 59% a year ago. …..

    ……..(T)he percentage of Americans regarding Russia’s military power as a critical threat to the U.S. is among the highest Gallup has measured since it first asked the question in 2004.
    ……..
    ……..Democrats and Republicans diverge in their opinions of Ukraine, although both groups (82% and 56%, respectively) view the country favorably. …….

    Similar percentages of Republicans (62%) and Democrats (58%) believe the Russia-Ukraine conflict represents a critical threat to U.S. vital interests, as do a smaller majority of independents (51%). ……
    ……..
    ……..Now, 60% of Republicans, 50% of independents and 45% of Democrats say Russia’s military power is a critical threat.
    ……..

    Poll details available as a download at link.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  154. How should the conflict end? Refuse to provide weapons to Ukraine?

    Did you have a chance to read my comment from roughly an hour before you posted this? Given my prior comments do you think this is an honest question? I’m getting a subtle implication that I should come up with a better idea or shut-up but let’s put some time into this anyway.

    Tell Ukraine that they should give up territory to Russia (the Trump peace plan)? Given the fact that the Russian position is that surrendering the annexed territories is non-negotiable, what would you expect Russia to concede in a negotiation?

    War is messy. As a practical matter how is UKR’s non-negotiable position any different from RU’s? My guess is you are going to cite the moral rightness of one side over the other. I agree with you. That doesn’t change the problem. If both sides are demanding non-negotiable positions then you’re only going to get that when one side can force it. At the moment UKR can’t force it. You can dislike this view as much as you want. But it’s not a pro-Putin/anti-UKR view. It’s simply a description of the situation.

    Your statement could be re-written as “Reasonable people can also recognize that there doesn’t seem to be much desire from the Russians to actually end the conflict in UKR” and it would be equally true (though I believe that the West would not continue the war if Russia ended its involvement on its own).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/16/2023 @ 9:30 am

    True. But at the moment reasonable people don’t have the ability to force RU to end the conflict. The real question is what needs to be done to change RUs position. Your second argument is only partially true. It would be hard for “the West” to keep fighting if RU stopped. But the current US leadership doesn’t seem to want to return to the original status quo and don’t seem eager to end the conflict.

    Does the “pro-war crowd” include the Russians, or just the West?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/16/2023 @ 10:23 am

    Ah, more of those honest questions. My guess is I meant the “pro-war crowd” in “the West”. You understand that there is no real value in the “RU is evil” virtue signaling? Not being RU and not having an influence over RU but being part of “the West” I think it’s better to focus on our response instead of how evil our adversaries are.

    But why do you think I wouldn’t also label RU pro-war? Give me the insult. You taken it this far.

    frosty (c5d601)

  155. I’d still like to know how you get to #2.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/16/2023 @ 11:08 am

    So would I.

    Don’t you think this is something we should expect from US civil and military leadership?

    frosty (c5d601)

  156. I’m getting a subtle implication that I should come up with a better idea or shut-up…

    Heh.

    Dana (1225fc)

  157. Dana (1225fc) — 3/16/2023 @ 11:45 am

    Do you think the appeal to emotion/victim card/binary choice approach is effective?

    I suppose there are other people who don’t engage because they don’t want to be labeled but do you think it changes their mind?

    frosty (c5d601)

  158. frosty:

    The US has no leverage with Russsia at this point, as I think we have done all we can do to make their lives difficult, short of sending in troops. China maybe has some persuasive power here — though they may not really want to use it. Accordingly, Z’s talk with Xi was probably a good idea, to see if there is a possibility to move Russia into actually stopping the invasion.

    So, quick peace that the US can do is simply pressuring Ukraine in some way. And rewarding Putin for his aggression. That seems a bad solution.

    Russia has put 97% of his forces into Ukraine. The best way to change his mind is to have one of the other restive republics (like Georgia) push his troops out.

    Appalled (e6290e)

  159. Russian propagandists often talk about inundating the US and Europe with immigrants

    steveg (bf7e81)

  160. Rip

    Probably because Trump won’t be the GOP nominee and his ego won’t let him run anyway and come in 3rd as an independent spoiler, but you may still be right. Trump can play wrecking ball in 2024 and he would definitely continue to appeal to isolationists

    steveg (bf7e81)

  161. Not trying to be argumentative but I think I’ve tried to be consistent: 1) support URK and 2) end the conflict as quickly as possible to reduce damage and bloodshed on both sides

    But you don’t. Your position is like telling a man with 5 daughters that, after Putin rapes two of them, that trying to get Putin not to rape the other three is “supporting him”, when what he wants you to do is help him kill the rapist.

    (I think this both sides thing gets me in trouble with some of the others here).

    The two sides are not equivalent, any more that the rapist’s side is equal to the little girls’ side.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  162. The funny thing is that we had 45-year Cold War against belligerent expansionist Soviet Russia, and there was no real argument that it was a vital national interest to oppose their belligerent expansionism.
    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 3/16/2023 @ 7:35 am

    the funny thing is all during that time, and before, the US recognized Ukraine as part of Russia

    cuz Ukraine as part of Russia, or independent, was not a vital national interest then

    nor is it now

    JF (38b20d)

  163. One path to peace would be Ukraine handing over Donetsk and/or Luhansk in exchange for a Russian retreat from everywhere else. But to ensure some protection from future assaults, Ukraine would need to be granted admittance to NATO, with some NATO troops allowed to be stationed in Ukraine. Now Ukraine I’m sure would also want reparations and the return of its abducted children. Would the small regional buffer be enough for Putin to overall move NATO closer? Add into that consideration that Finland and Sweden might then also become NATO. Would Russia negotiate reparations contingent on having sanctions lessened? Could Russia hand over the stolen children? War crimes would have to be excused.

    This would likely be a hard sell for Ukraine. But as Russian body bags pile higher, does Ukraine believe that pressure will be on to replace Putin and end the war that way. On the other hand, if Putin is stressed enough would he be willing to nuke Ukraine sufficiently to murder as many Ukrainians as possible and make portions of the place unlivable before retreating? Would that cause sanctions on Russia to become permanent, further making it a pariah state. However, would nuke-and-leave ensure that Ukraine was admitted into NATO? Probably. My guess is that Putin does not want NATO in Ukraine, but can’t leave without gaining some land. It’s not clear to me what the middle ground would be.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  164. nk (ba095c) — 3/16/2023 @ 4:55 am

    DeSantis served with distinction

    the only Navy Biden knows is his granddaughter, which he kicked to the curb

    JF (38b20d)

  165. What’s the pay range for a Greek Philosopher these days… anyone know?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  166. Horatio (e6180d) — 3/16/2023 @ 10:43 am

    I could’ve guessed how much Strategic Culture Foundation measures up down…

    Bias Rating: EXTREME RIGHT
    Factual Reporting: VERY LOW
    Country: Russia
    Press Freedom Rating: LIMITED FREEDOM
    Media Type: Website
    Traffic/Popularity: Medium Traffic
    MBFC Credibility Rating: LOW CREDIBILITY

    …especially when the author of the piece, a former American colonel and frequent Tucker Carlson guest, contributed to this Russian publication and has been wrong about Putin’s War Against Ukraine from Day One.

    Here try this: The RU invasion is illegal. UKR has every right to defend itself. The US should support that.

    Good for you, frosty. Glad to hear it. With that position, it still makes no sense to me that you’re agreeing with DeSantis’ statement. I will accept that I’ll just have to remain mystified.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  167. You just indicated it is not the DCSCA send em nothin, unless you have a bake sale

    Bake sale?

    ‘Between November 1942 and December 1945 Americans invested in approximately $150 billion in bonds to finance World War II…’

    And how much $ charged to Uncle Sam’s credit card has the U.S. freely given to corrupt Ukraine?

    U.S. leads the rest of the world with $196 billion given to Ukraine amid war with Russia 2/12/23

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/us-leads-rest-of-the-world-196-billion-ukraine-war-russia

    Try the cupcakes.

    DCSCA (10111c)

  168. A man’s gotta know his limitations, Paul.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  169. China maybe has some persuasive power here — though they may not really want to use it.

    They are using it. And w/respect to the Eurasian Alliance, Xi certainly has the leverage over Vlad– as it is China which is buying Russian petroleum and servicing their economy on top of porous sanctions. And they have the West- U.S. policymakers in general and the POTUS in particular- reactive, not proactive. They’ve been slowly, methodically, building toward supplanting the U.S. on the world stage in multiple venues for two decades or more. They’re making their moves.

    DCSCA (10111c)

  170. Desatan’s ukraine comments will come back to haunt him and their are plenty of us to help remind him especially if he becomes a flip flopper. More importantly want is the cost to the U.S. if russia takes over the ukraine? How much more will be spending on defense or the consequences if we don’t. As some one who is anti-war and wants the least money spent on the military and its adventures abroad I understand the consequences of not aiding ukraine. We don’t want another spanish civil war that leads to another sudatenland and poland. Neville chamberlin hated u.s.s.r. and wouldn’t join them and france to stand up to hitler ending in the hitler stalin non-aggression pact. Communist china north korea and iran are waiting to see what we do. Israel too.

    asset (7b1de4)

  171. frosty (c5d601) — 3/16/2023 @ 11:35 am

    Thank for your responses.

    As a practical matter how is UKR’s non-negotiable position any different from RU’s? My guess is you are going to cite the moral rightness of one side over the other. I agree with you.

    Since you agree that Russia’s invasion is illegal and Ukraine has the right to defend itself, why do you insist that steps need to be taken to de-escalate the conflict? Russia is not going leave on their own.

    The real question is what needs to be done to change RUs position. ……But the current US leadership doesn’t seem to want to return to the original status quo and don’t seem eager to end the conflict.

    The status quo before 2/22 or 2014? I wouldn’t mind seeing the status quo before 2014.

    My guess is I meant the “pro-war crowd” in “the West”. …..But why do you think I wouldn’t also label RU pro-war?

    You imply that since we can’t influence Russia, it is the West’s responsibility to de-escalate the war. What concrete steps should the West take to achieve de-escalation?

    Don’t you think this is something we should expect from US civil and military leadership?

    No. It is a question for Ukrainian and Russian people to decide.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  172. @166 hemlock. Voltaire too.

    asset (7b1de4)

  173. Desatan’s ukraine comments will come back to haunt him and their are plenty of us to help remind him especially if he becomes a flip flopper

    Doubt it. Ask FDR:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhAFKMIyKW4

    He ‘flip-flopped’–and lots of folks barked betrayal– yet he was elected POTUS four times.

    DCSCA (10111c)

  174. BTW, I don’t believe anyone here disagrees with “end the conflict as quickly as possible to reduce damage and bloodshed on both sides”.
    The problem is how this can be achieved when one side (Putin) is actively invading territory that he has no right to, and Ukraine shouldn’t have to accept the obliteration of their state for the sake of “peace”.

    Although Putin has made noises about negotiating, his attempts turn out to be just more Russian demands, and it’s still unclear to me how Putin could negotiate in good faith with a nation that he doesn’t even recognize exists. But sure, try to talk it out, but I won’t hold my breath.

    The one person who can end this war by St. Paddy’s Day is Putin. Not Biden, not Zelenskyy, not NATO, and probably not Chairman Xi, and so far Putin is uninterested in ending his assault. So instead of blaming the victim for having the audacity to defend itself, the world would be a better place if enough nations pressured Putin to give up his attempted conquest and settle for staying within his own borders, which are already huge tracts of land.

    I don’t have any easy answers for convincing Putin to stop fighting, so the next best course is to make Putin pay by (1) giving the Ukrainians what they need to successfully prevail against his onslaught and (2) heaping on more sanctions against Putin’s affiliates. I’m not going to predict the future, but I recall folks in the 1980s saying that the Soviet Union would last for decades to come, so I’m disinclined to believe peoples’ assertions that Putin will stay in this quagmire of his own making for years to come. Anything can happen.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  175. frosty:

    The US has no leverage with Russsia at this point

    The US could change it’s energy policy to increase domestic oil production and exports. This seems to be the heart of the RU economy at this point. But this is counter to other agendas Biden and from the looks of it those other agendas are more important.

    Russia has put 97% of his forces into Ukraine. The best way to change his mind is to have one of the other restive republics (like Georgia) push his troops out.

    Appalled (e6290e) — 3/16/2023 @ 12:05 pm

    Also, not a bad idea. Maybe the “no leverage” isn’t exactly correct?

    frosty (c5d601)

  176. Senators from both parties press Austin on sending F-16s to Ukraine
    ………
    The fresh push came in a letter Tuesday to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin from eight senators, and obtained by POLITICO, as top administration officials from President Joe Biden on down have poured cold water on bipartisan calls to send U.S.-made fighters into the fight for now.
    ……….
    “After speaking with U.S., Ukrainian, and foreign leaders working to support Ukraine at the Munich Security Conference last month, we believe the U.S. needs to take a hard look at providing F-16 aircraft to Ukraine,” the senators wrote. “This would be a significant capability that could prove to be a game changer on the battlefield.”
    ………
    The letter was organized by Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.).

    Among their questions, the lawmakers asked how high Ukrainian officials are ranking fighter jets when making requests for weapons and how the F-16s might be sourced if approved — either newly produced or from current inventories. They also sought the military’s assessment of what impact F-16s would have on the conflict and how quickly Ukrainian pilots could be trained on the jets.
    ………
    Also signing onto the letter were Democrats Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Jacky Rosen of Nevada as well as Republicans Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama and Ted Budd of North Carolina.
    ……..
    Pentagon policy chief Colin Kahl also defended the administration’s stance, telling the House Armed Services Committee last month that the most optimistic timeline for delivering older F-16s would be roughly 18 months, while producing newer jets could take three to six years to deliver.

    “It is a priority for the Ukrainians, but it’s not one of their top three priorities,” Kahl testified. “Their top priorities are air defense systems … artillery and fires, which we’ve talked about, and armor and mechanized systems.”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  177. Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/16/2023 @ 12:21 pm

    I can’t tell if this is worse than the Texas analogy or not. Nk is better at this approach. Maybe study those and keep trying?

    But now I’m pro-rape? Do you have any actual points or is it going to be personal insults from here out?

    Side question; did you see my question to you about SVB in the other thread? Is that what’s got you so worked up?

    frosty (c5d601)

  178. AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 3/16/2023 @ 12:47 pm

    Finland and Sweden have already announced their intention to join NATO. Whether Putin wanted it or not and not matter how this ends, short of a complete destruction of NATO, RU will have NATO on it’s border.

    frosty (c5d601)

  179. @175. BTW, I don’t believe anyone here disagrees with “end the conflict as quickly as possible to reduce damage and bloodshed on both sides”.

    The problem is how this can be achieved when one side (Putin) is actively invading territory that he has no right to, and Ukraine shouldn’t have to accept the obliteration of their state for the sake of “peace”.

    Hmmmm…

    -‘The problem is how this can be achieved when one side (Mao) is actively invading territory that he has no right to, and Seoul shouldn’t have to accept the obliteration of their state for the sake of “peace”.’…

    -‘The problem is how this can be achieved when one side (Ho) is actively invading territory that he has no right to, and Saigon shouldn’t have to accept the obliteration of their state for the sake of “peace”…

    https://www.tcm.com/video/1180133/mash-1970-and-then-there-was-korea

    “And then there was….. Korea.”

    DCSCA (f8a03c)

  180. Since you agree that Russia’s invasion is illegal and Ukraine has the right to defend itself, why do you insist that steps need to be taken to de-escalate the conflict? Russia is not going leave on their own.

    I’m not sure I said de-escalate. I tried a word search and I didn’t see it. I’m also not sure what you mean by de-escalate so I going to go out on a limb and say I probably didn’t say whatever you think this is.

    I think what I said was end as quickly as possible.

    The status quo before 2/22 or 2014? I wouldn’t mind seeing the status quo before 2014.

    I don’t think the current leadership is interested in either. I think the unofficial policy is regime change in RU but they can’t say that officially for obvious reasons.

    You imply that since we can’t influence Russia, it is the West’s responsibility to de-escalate the war.

    Everyone involved has a responsibility to end the conflict as soon as possible. But again, I’m not suggesting we de-escalate. It’s possible some versions of escalating would end it faster.

    No. It is a question for Ukrainian and Russian people to decide.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/16/2023 @ 1:28 pm

    If the US government has but billions of dollars, the future of NATO, our messaging to China, the very real risk of WWIII, and our responsibility as the Good Guys(tm) on the line then it isn’t simply up to the UKR and RU people to decide.

    frosty (c5d601)

  181. I think it was AJ who was wondering how Mr. French is doing at the NYT. To me, I’d say pretty good in that he’s right that Reagan Wouldn’t Recognize the G.O.P. Discord Over Ukraine.

    On March 8, 1983, Ronald Reagan gave one of the most famous speeches of his presidency, an address that would go down in history as the “evil empire speech.” If you watch it today — and you remember the Reagan presidency — you can see that it was vintage Reagan, full of confidence in the American nation and the American people, replete with references to the necessity of both liberty and morality to the success of the United States.

    But that’s not why the speech endures. It resonates today because Reagan stood before an American audience and didn’t just reject the most popular arms control proposal of the day; he directly faced and defined the Soviet Union in the starkest of terms. Rather than shrink from confrontation with an expansionist, aggressive Soviet Union, he leaned forward, confident in American strength and the rightness of the Western cause.

    What a remarkable contrast with Ron DeSantis, who trails only Donald Trump among potential candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. On Monday he issued a statement to Tucker Carlson calling Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine a “territorial dispute,” saying that “becoming further entangled” in the conflict wasn’t a vital American interest and specifically rejected providing Ukraine with advanced weapons that could enable it to strike “beyond its borders.”

    As usual, DeSantis merely echoed Trump. In his own statement, Trump reaffirmed his longstanding position that supporting Ukraine was not a vital national strategic interest. It was in Europe’s vital interests, not America’s. He emphasized Europe’s obligation to support Ukraine, including stating that European allies must pay the United States “retroactively” to compensate for its aid to Ukraine. He nonsensically claimed he could end the war within 24 hours.

    Whereas Reagan was a man of strength, confidence and clarity in the face of a daunting military threat, DeSantis and Trump represent weakness, insularity and moral ambiguity in the face of a weaker power. Forty years after Reagan’s defiance, DeSantis and Trump personify the G.O.P.’s descent.

    I remember 1983. I came of age in the 1980s, and while it is wrong to say that only the Republicans opposed the Soviet threat (the Cold War was a long, bipartisan struggle), by the 1980s there was a clear distinction between the parties. The Democrats in general favored a more conciliatory approach to the Soviet Union. The nuclear-freeze movement had emerged, and it pressed the United States and Soviet Union to halt the testing immediately, development and production of nuclear weapons.

    Reagan rejected the freeze. Democrats were more likely to accept it (by 1984 it was part of the Democratic Party platform). Reagan’s point was simple: A freeze would serve to hold in place an immense Soviet military advantage. Its strategic and intermediate-range nuclear delivery systems were more modern and more numerous than NATO arsenals. Combine the Soviet nuclear advantage (especially in Europe) with its advantage in both military manpower and many conventional weapons, and Reagan was concerned that a “freeze” would merely cement America’s disadvantages.

    But Reagan’s argument against the freeze wasn’t what made the speech truly memorable — it was his conviction that America was engaged in a struggle against evil and that evil could not be appeased.

    “If history teaches us anything,” Reagan argued, “it teaches that simple-minded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly. It means the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom.”

    Reagan had no patience for moral equivalence. “I urge you to beware the temptation of pride,” he said, “the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.”
    […]
    I don’t raise that comparison to claim that confrontation is always appropriate or that the current conflict in Ukraine doesn’t present the world with profound risks. I want to highlight the fundamental change in the Republican Party. In the face of daunting odds, Reagan projected strength and moral clarity. Now, when NATO is clearly stronger than Russia, DeSantis and Trump project moral confusion and profound timidity.

    Take DeSantis’s claim that the war represents a “territorial dispute.” As Noah Rothman wrote in National Review, “Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is a ‘dispute’ over territory in the same way a bank robber and depositor have a ‘dispute’ over money.” DeSantis’s comment is a shocking misstatement of the very nature of the conflict. Modern Russia may not be an “evil empire” of the same size and scope as the old Soviet Union, but its evil regime is seeking a new empire, one that threatens to expand again and again, until it is ultimately stopped at catastrophic cost.

    As Nick Catoggio noted in The Dispatch, DeSantis left himself some wiggle room. He doesn’t explicitly call for cutting off aid to Ukraine, but “by tying his call for peace to withholding U.S. arms, he’s implicitly pressuring the Ukrainians to make territorial concessions to end the war.” This is Trump’s position as well. He’s willing to let Russia “take over something” to broker peace.

    The DeSantis and Trump statements are not, however, the final word from the G.O.P. When it comes to the war in Ukraine — a pivotal moment in world history — there is now a real fight on the right. The choice isn’t simply between Trump and his Florida clone.

    In his own statement to Tucker Carlson, Mike Pence specifically invoked Reagan: “When the United States supports Ukraine in their fight against Putin, we follow the Reagan Doctrine, and we support those who fight our enemies on their shores, so we will not have to fight them ourselves.”

    Nikki Haley’s response was also strong. She unequivocally declared support for Ukraine to be a vital American national strategic interest. She clearly stated that a Ukrainian victory would directly benefit the United States. Pence and Haley were not alone in disagreeing with DeSantis and Trump. The remnants of the Reagan Republican Party are starting to assert themselves.

    It’s not hard to see why. At long last Trump and DeSantis have given them an opening that can and should resonate with ordinary Republican voters. The very concept of American weakness and Russian victory are utterly alien to traditional conservatives. They understand that America is the arsenal of democracy and is more than capable of sustaining Ukraine in its fight with Russia, deterring China and maintaining domestic economic health and vitality.

    It is fashionable on the new right to mock Reaganism as a “zombie” ideology, and while it’s true that Reagan’s specific policies were tailored for his time, there’s a larger tale to tell. Reagan inherited a nation in a deeper economic crisis than we find ourselves in now, faced a foe far more formidable than modern Russia or modern China and still knew that our nation maintained the strength and moral clarity to meet its challenges at home and abroad.

    Forty years ago, Reagan spoke with truth and conviction about the nature of foreign threats. This week, Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump failed. Two men who’ve built their political brands around fighting their domestic political enemies now wilt in the face of inferior Russian arms. If one of these men prevail, then the Reagan Republican Party is truly lost, its moral clarity is gone, and the preservation of the international order will fall to a Democratic Party that now shows more confidence than the G.O.P. in the moral and military power of the United States.

    I disagree with French in that the GOP already lost its moral clarity in 2016 when they nominated Trump. Anyways, I appreciate Kevin’s link to Reagan’s “Evil Empire” speech. More Gipper.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  182. The problem is how this can be achieved when one side (Putin) is actively invading territory that he has no right to, and Ukraine shouldn’t have to accept the obliteration of their state for the sake of “peace”.

    I’m not saying they should. I’m saying there’s a difference between shouldn’t and won’t.

    The one person who can end this war by St. Paddy’s Day is Putin. Not Biden, not Zelenskyy, not NATO, and probably not Chairman Xi,

    Well, that’s technically not true. Biden could end it. Just not on terms any of us would like. Same for Z.

    What do you think would happen if after taking all of the US/EU money and resources Z actually sat down to a negotiation brokered by Xi? If this is even a remote possibility it should tell you how screwed up our foreign policy is.

    So instead of blaming the victim for having the audacity to defend itself, the world would be a better place if enough nations pressured Putin to give up his attempted conquest and settle for staying within his own borders, which are already huge tracts of land.

    I don’t think the problem is enough nations putting pressure on Putin. For my part, I’m not blaming UKR. I blame the US and RU.

    I’m not going to predict the future, but I recall folks in the 1980s saying that the Soviet Union would last for decades to come, so I’m disinclined to believe peoples’ assertions that Putin will stay in this quagmire of his own making for years to come. Anything can happen.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 3/16/2023 @ 1:38 pm

    We stayed in AF for how long? Also Iraq? RU stayed in AF for 10 years.

    In the 80’s we did two things. We bogged RU down in Afghanistan with the Taliban and other proxy wars and we used the US economy to destabilize the USSR.

    We’re only, sort of, doing one of those things this time. If you want to follow that playbook you should probably worrying less about the human rights toll a long protracted war will take and more about how to finance it. I don’t think UKR has the same domestic poppy capacity as AF. Also, might want to worry about the US economy.

    frosty (c5d601)

  183. frosty (c5d601) — 3/16/2023 @ 2:21 pm

    Thank you again for your responses, I thought you had used “de-escalate” in posts on previous threads on this topic.

    If the US government has but billions of dollars, the future of NATO, our messaging to China, the very real risk of WWIII, and our responsibility as the Good Guys(tm) on the line then it isn’t simply up to the UKR and RU people to decide.

    I think continued support of Ukraine improves our messaging to China that we will defend our allies that are invaded. The risk of WW III is minimal, as both the US and Russia (with the exception of the recent downing of the Reaper drone by the Russians) have taken care to avoid direct confrontation. Even then the US reaction has been mild, there have been no bellicose statements from the Administration, only the blowhards in Congress. The risk was far higher in the 1980S. The only threat of WW III is coming from Russia with their weekly threats to use nuclear weapons. But Putin knows if he does he loses too.

    NATO is stronger than it has ever been due to the Russian invasion, the exact opposite what Putin wanted.

    Our “responsibility as the Good Guys(tm)” means we see things through, not running away (like in Afghanistan, though I think that was a lost cause no matter how long we stayed, as the force we left was basically doing nothing). It’s time America kept its word.

    And the US has far more than “billions of dollars”, the current defense budget alone is $1.73 trillion, 1/6 of the federal budget.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  184. What do you think would happen if after taking all of the US/EU money and resources Z actually sat down to a negotiation brokered by Xi?

    Sorry, I’m not interested in improbable hypotheticals. It’s more likely that Xi would simply tell Putin to stand down, IMO, or face a round steeper price discounts on oil purchases and whatnot. The ChiCom leader is having his own economic issues, mostly caused by himself.

    As for what we’re spending, how soon people forget that our military budget is larger than the next nine countries combined.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  185. Z actually sat down to a negotiation brokered by Xi?

    If Zelensky tried, he would probably be impeached, if he didn’t surrender the entire country.

    Talk of negotiations is nonsense and a non-starter.

    You can have negotiations if Russia comes begging for it without being pushed. This may happen if Ukraine threatens to take Russia’s naval base in Crimea.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  186. frosty (c5d601) — 3/16/2023 @ 2:21 pm I think the unofficial policy is regime change in RU but they can’t say

    that officially for obvious reasons.

    The only policy is to muddle through, day by day. They have no idea how this ends. But they don’t want this to end badly for Ukraine.

    Regime change in Russia would solve a lot of problems, but regime change would be the one thing that might cause Putin to try to order nukes to be used.
    .

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  187. Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 3/16/2023 @ 2:52 pm

    If French is going to invoke Reagan the question isn’t what would he disapprove of, aka WWRFO. That’s just a simple sleight of hand and the sure sign of the TrueCon grifter.

    The question is what would he do, aka WWRD? For a possible answer let’s look to history. He armed the Taliban with just enough arms to bloody the RU in AF, ignored the human rights abuses of the Taliban, played up the abuses of the RUs, and counted on the opium fields to keep the AF warlords flush with enough cash to operate a semi-feudal society. He also kicked off a large conventional and nuclear arms race. That second part worked because of the unique dynamics within the USSR.

    If we follow that model we need to cut back on the high-end equipment. Maybe the modern equivalent of the Stinger in AF would be a variety of drone capabilities? One of eastern Europe’s larger criminal activities is human sex trafficking. I’ve got no idea whether that could play the some role as opium in AF. Do you think Putin would start matching our nuclear stockpile if we tried to kick off an arms race? Unless we can come up with some better options I don’t really like most of this WWRD plan.

    frosty (c5d601)

  188. “Finland and Sweden have already announced their intention to join NATO.”

    And Hungary and Turkey are setting conditions on their entry. It has to be unanimous.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  189. There’s confusion about “vital”

    It used to be said something had to be voital to use U.S> troops. Not to spend money.

    What’s the downside of continuing the war?

    It’s not money or equipment. NATO can afford to do it. If it can’t, there’s a big downside in revealing it can’t.

    If it because NATO countries are so opposed to war that it doesn’t want to continue the war, that would be…well, you know that’s what changed in August 2021. The war in Afghanistan was being kept up with virtually no U.S. casualties, and at little expense, and yet Biden surrendered the country – Putin figured he wouldn’t help Ukraine.

    But he didn’t factor in that there was more contact between civilians in Ukraine and the wider world than in the case of Afghanistan, more expatriates, and more people there spoke English.

    Knowledge of English is an important factor in whether or not there is foreign intervention. China is cutting down on the teaching of English.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/09/business/china-english.html

    ‘Reversing Gears’: China Increasingly Rejects English, and the World

    …It’s hard to exaggerate the role English has played in changing China’s social, cultural, economic and political landscape. English is almost synonymous with China’s reform and opening-up policies, which transformed an impoverished and hermetic nation into the world’s second-biggest economy…

    …That’s why it came as a shock to many when the education authorities in Shanghai, the most cosmopolitan city in the country, last month forbade local elementary schools to hold final exams on the English language.

    Broadly, the Chinese authorities are easing the workloads of schoolchildren, amid an effort to ease the burdens on families and parents. Still, many Chinese people with an interest in English can’t help but see Shanghai’s decision as pushback against the language and against Western influence in general — and another step away from openness to the world….

    No question about it. They still want it, but only for high achieving students.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/chinese-parents-teachers-scramble-government-crackdown-tutors-rcna4149

    And important countries knew Ukrainian officials personally.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  190. frosty (c5d601) — 3/16/2023 @ 3:19 pm

    He armed the Taliban with just enough arms to bloody the RU in AF, ignored the human rights abuses of the Taliban, played up the abuses of the RUs, and counted on the opium fields to keep the AF warlords flush with enough cash to operate a semi-feudal society.

    Reagan was never a good judge of people. The problem in Afghanistan was that he let Pakistan decide who got the money and Pakistan wanted to aid only Islamcits,m which they virtually created.

    Bush II also trusted Pakistan too much. He let Osama bin LAden escape

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  191. frosty (3207f6) — 3/15/2023 @ 4:29 pm

    The US has an interest in UKR. Do I think it’s vital? No. But do I have the same definition of vital as you or Dana or DeSantis? Probably not.

    I think the problem here is for what is “vital” needed for? The goalposts have been moved.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  192. He armed the Taliban with just enough arms to bloody the RU in AF…

    There wasn’t a Taliban in the 1980s. Nature abhors vacuums as they say, and applies to political vacuums as well.
    Also, let’s not pretend that there’s some kind of similarity between Afghan society and what there is in Ukraine.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  193. I think continued support of Ukraine improves our messaging to China that we will defend our allies that are invaded.

    Have you seen any of the US war games concerning a Chinese invasion of Taiwan? I’ve not seen any that involve a lot of US defending against the invasion.

    The practical realities there are simply different.

    Our “responsibility as the Good Guys(tm)” means we see things through, not running away (like in Afghanistan, though I think that was a lost cause no matter how long we stayed, as the force we left was basically doing nothing). It’s time America kept its word.

    During the first Gulf War there was a bit of talk about how it redeemed the US after failures in Vietnam. There was also a bit of talk about how this answered a lot of questions that didn’t get answered by the collapse of the USSR, i.e. about a glorious defense of the Fulda Gap and then counter attack across eastern Europe, etc.

    It’s hard not to see a lot of the current conversation in light of our failures in Iraq and AF.

    And the US has far more than “billions of dollars”, the current defense budget alone is $1.73 trillion, 1/6 of the federal budget.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/16/2023 @ 2:57 pm

    As for what we’re spending, how soon people forget that our military budget is larger than the next nine countries combined.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 3/16/2023 @ 3:10 pm

    You’re both missing my point. I’m saying that based on our involvement it isn’t just up the UKR and RU. In the other I’m saying a different version of the same thing.

    Of course, if the banking system collapses those checks to the UKR might not clear.

    frosty (c5d601)

  194. Also, let’s not pretend that there’s some kind of similarity between Afghan society and what there is in Ukraine.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 3/16/2023 @ 3:41 pm

    Then maybe let’s not stop invoking the ghost of Reagan to disapprove of the people we disagree with? Part of my point was to show the problems with comparisons between the Cold War/US/USSR conflict and what’s going on today.

    frosty (c5d601)

  195. I think the problem here is for what is “vital” needed for? The goalposts have been moved.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 3/16/2023 @ 3:39 pm

    I tried to make that point earlier in the thread. It didn’t go well for me.

    frosty (c5d601)

  196. @182. ‘I remember 1983. I came of age in the 1980s, and while it is wrong to say that only the Republicans opposed the Soviet threat (the Cold War was a long, bipartisan struggle), by the 1980s there was a clear distinction between the parties. The Democrats in general favored a more conciliatory approach to the Soviet Union. The nuclear-freeze movement had emerged, and it pressed the United States and Soviet Union to halt the testing immediately, development and production of nuclear weapons…’

    David French was FOURTEEN YEARS OLD in 1983.

    Lest he forget the roasting another teen was subjected to and ‘came of age’ in the 1980’s… chatting with her father about the same thing:

    WASHINGTON — ‘Amy Carter’s concern about nuclear warfare and the strategic arms limitation treaty appears to have rubbed some viewers of the Reagan-Carter debate the wrong way. Rebutting a reply by Ronald Reagan on negotiating a weapons treaty with the Soviet Union, President Carter mentioned his 13-year-old daughter, apparently to show the extent of interest in the subject…’ – source, https://www.upi.com/Archives/1980/10/30/Amy-Carters-concern-about-nuclear-warfare-and-the-strategic/1556341730000/

    ‘Did you hear Amy’s dad talking about her last night?’ Rosalynn Carter asked a crowd of 4,000. ‘It all started when she asked him, ‘What is a megaton?”

    DCSCA (286451)

  197. Thank you again for your responses, I thought you had used “de-escalate” in posts on previous threads on this topic.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/16/2023 @ 2:57 pm

    I might have but seeing how “vital” turned into cutting off aid to UKR and in favor of human rights abuses I’m reluctance to just assume we both think it means the same thing.

    frosty (c5d601)

  198. @197 I always thought JC/Amy got the wrong end of the stick on that one. I didn’t like the way some people intentionally overplayed it and the obvious glee they took from accusing JC of using his daughter for political gain while they were using his daughter for political gain.

    frosty (c5d601)

  199. @199. The full UPI story pretty much points that ‘overplay’ out, too.

    DCSCA (286451)

  200. Then maybe let’s not stop invoking the ghost of Reagan to disapprove of the people we disagree with?

    It’s not my problem that you’re no longer a Reaganite, and I think trying to make a distinction between Soviet Russia and Putinist Russia where there’s actually not much of a difference. It’s all the same sh-tty Russian culture and mentality.

    BTW, it sounds like Trump is now trying to out-Trump himself and DeSantis.

    Trump says Russia is not a threat, our greatest threat is our American representatives, we need to reevaluate the purpose of NATO, and most of the people in the State Dept, DOD and Intel Services need to be fired so he can put the right people in.

    It’s a superlative level of gaslighting on Trump’s part, that
    an imperialist jackass like Putin–who’s been hostile to American interests for going on two decades–isn’t a threat but Americans actually are, and then he has the moxie to call his fellow Americans “USA hating”, coming from a guy who regularly put his personal interests above his country.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  201. @201. It’s not my problem that you’re no longer a Reaganite…

    Except, it appears, it is. Reagan left office over THIRTY FOUR YEARS AGO, back in the 20th century. You recall anybody wistfully pining for Franklin Roosevelt, 34 years after he checked out of office, in 1979? Nope. We’re nearly a quarter of the way into the 21st century. The world has drastically changed; so has the country and the party as well. Past time to let go– or get left behind.

    DCSCA (2c39e6)

  202. Sure Reagan gets mythologized….but for us who philosophically agreed with him and appreciated his dignity, optimism, and wit, he remains the gold standard in GOP politics.

    He supported the fed in crushing inflation even though the inevitable recession was horrible and politically cutting. Without ever having GOP control of the house, he revolutionized the tax system….lowering rates, eliminating writeoffs, and changing the nature of the debate. He continued the ’70’s move to deregulation. He accelerated the demise of the Soviet Union, also brought pride back in our military and defense industry. He gave us a once-in-a-life legal legend in Antonin Scalia.

    Sure critics will argue Iran-Contra sullied his administration, point out de-regulation failures, complain about deficits, and shame him for his handling of AIDS, but there was always a genuineness about him. He was comfortable in his skin and truly wanted to be inspirational. Times have indeed changed, but he was the right choice for those times.

    AJ_Liberty (18e145)

  203. @203. A wise man once said…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kZKHNHGzCg

    DCSCA (adb365)

  204. But now I’m pro-rape? Do you have any actual points or is it going to be personal insults from here out?

    You can internalize it that way, if you want to avoid looking at what you are arguing, but Putin IS raping Ukraine and its people. Can you argue that he is not? Is getting him to stop, but leaving him in control of his victims a victory?

    And, in any event, we are all in. Quitting now would just make us look like absolute assh0les who get everyone worked up then go fishing.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  205. I can’t tell if this is worse than the Texas analogy or not.

    The “Texas analogy” was an exact replica of your Ukraine-was-part-of-Russia spiel, with the same conclusion as yours (which I found unconvincing).

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  206. You recall anybody wistfully pining for Franklin Roosevelt, 34 years after he checked out of office, in 1979?

    When Jimmy Carter was President? I guarantee you that plenty of older Democrats were doing exactly that.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  207. Sure Reagan gets mythologized….but for us who philosophically agreed with him and appreciated his dignity, optimism, and wit, he remains the gold standard in GOP politics.

    More to the point, those of us who lived through that time — and saw how Reagan lifted the nation out of dysfunction and “malaise”, who rebuilt the military from the ashes of Vietnam, and who made capitalism the world economic system when it looked like it was on the way out — those of us who witnessed that say kinda blunt things about people who compare opportunists and scoundrels to the greatest president of our lifetimes.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  208. Except for DCSCA, who never understood what he was witnessing and still doesn’t.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  209. RIP, John Jakes, 90. Author of North & South and other American historical novels.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  210. The “Texas analogy” was an exact replica of your Ukraine-was-part-of-Russia spiel, with the same conclusion as yours (which I found unconvincing).

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/16/2023 @ 9:38 pm

    I didn’t say UKR was part of Russia and you understand UKR isn’t a US state?

    frosty (635365)

  211. It’s not my problem that you’re no longer a Reaganite

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 3/16/2023 @ 5:30 pm

    You really aren’t very good at this mind reading thing. What gave you this idea?

    frosty (635365)

  212. Peace in our time! Aug. 1938 to sept. 1 1939. As for reagan ever here of Iran/contra? Bill casey’s deal with Iran and his secret way to fund the contras. Mena arkansas.

    asset (6d5d3f)

  213. @209. Pfft. ROFLMAOPIP!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYeNuISN4Dc

    Image over substance: more syrup poured than at a hundred IHOPs on a Sunday morning.

    Reaganaurics, Reaganoptics, Reaganomics. A cesspool era of glaring, gawdy, greedy excess, mostly on credit, garnished w/debt, debt, debt charged to Uncle Sam’s AMEX card, fueled by leveraged buyouts, junk bonds, insider trading, false prosperity, low ethics, high unemployment– and the seeded rise of the likes of Donald Trump and plagiarist Joey; a simmering S&L debacle driven foolishly excessive deregulation; the death of the Fairness Doctrine; all garnished w/t Reagan stock market crash of 1987; a Beirut barracks bombing, w/a distracting side order of Grenada, some Fawn Hall for seasoning, ‘Scam and Ollie,’ Gorby in the streets and a heapin’ helpin’ of flash-bang billions blown on Star Wars waste.

    “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams…” – Robin Leach, ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ 1984

    DCSCA (4a29d1)

  214. @214, I’m curious, does anyone else at this web site subscribe to this cartoon description? There’s no convincing DCCCP, he’s stuck in his schtick which I am fine to ignore or, at minimum, recognize it for its seething ideological bias. I just think most of us are beyond this caricature, so why waste any time countering it. Right?

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  215. I don’t read his comments.

    Time123 (e60c44)

  216. You really aren’t very good at this mind reading thing. What gave you this idea?

    Your pretending their still isn’t a Cold War, and your rejection of what Reagan stood for against another Russian hegemon.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  217. DCSCA’s comments are the rat droppings in the salad bar.

    nk (bb1548)

  218. https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/bay-area-end-sales-natural-gas-furnaces-water-17841072.php

    How did leftists heat their homes before candles?

    Answer: gas

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  219. @215 “I’m curious, does anyone else at this web site subscribe to this cartoon description? There’s no convincing _______, he’s stuck in his schtick which I am fine to ignore or, at minimum, recognize it for its seething ideological bias. I just think most of us are beyond this caricature, so why waste any time countering it. Right?”

    DCSCA doesn’t deserve to be singled out when so many here could fill that blank.

    JF (1d28c7)

  220. Your pretending their still isn’t a Cold War,

    Not pretending. The Cold War is over.

    <blockquote and your rejection of what Reagan stood for against another Russian hegemon.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 3/17/2023 @ 5:27 am

    When exactly did I reject “what Reagan stood for”? I’m not even sure what that means. Are you imagining I’m against defending UKR again so soon after my earlier comments?

    frosty (8f5d70)

  221. Ukraine gets bailed out, banks get bailed out, illegal aliens get bailed out, and the American tax payer gets FUBARed…

    Horatio (a70b31)

  222. AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 3/17/2023 @ 4:54 am

    If you put together some of his comments over time you get a better picture. Reagan broke the brains of a certain type of pre-Reagan person. Much like DT has broken the brains of a certain type of pre-Trump person. In 40-50 years there will be people still mumbling about everything Trump anytime anything in the 2016-2024 time frame is mentioned.

    And I can hear some of the keyboard’s already clickity-clacking. I’m not comparing DT to RR. Let me say that again for the people whose imaginations are more powerful than their reading comprehension skills. I’m not comparing DT to RR. This a comparison of people who hate DT to people who hate RR.

    frosty (8f5d70)

  223. frosty (8f5d70) — 3/17/2023 @ 7:04 am

    I cannot imagine this point being made any clearer. In explaining his understanding of DCSCA’s comments en toto, frosty demonstrates his good faith towards his fellow commenters. Frosty also anticipates the inevitable spin forthcoming, as here come the reactions of “but then you must be…”

    I would love to be proved wrong, bit it only takes one to prove me right.

    It is so hard to accept and even acknowledge another’s position as being genuinely held? I am beginning to feel what, I imagine, Simon Jester feels. At least I am in excellent company.

    felipe (77b190)

  224. The characters of Reagan and Trump, respectively, are indicators of the character of the people who either loved them or hated them.

    But we have had 46 presidents. I don’t know why Reagan and Trump deserve to be singled out.

    nk (bb1548)

  225. felipe (77b190) — 3/17/2023 @ 7:24 am

    I suspect your post will exponentially expand the “then you must …” space. It adds so many values for the variable “you” alone that you took that from a checkers game tree to chess.

    I remember when we didn’t do all of this and could have real conversations. Do you think that will ever be a thing again? I’m skeptical that we can.

    frosty (8f5d70)

  226. I believe frosty is doing what I sometimes do in the commenting arena — working out how he actually feels about Ukraine via comments and exchanges wth other posters. I think he would like to see Biden finding more ways to press for peace talks in the region. I don’t think that’s possible, myself, but it is a reasonable stance by someone who is arguing in good faith.

    And as for the comments on DCSCA — we know what the bias is, for heavens sake. Sometimes the piece of information is interesting. Though I am amused by the man obsessed with 1964 is telling us we need to get a grip that times have changed since Reagan.

    Appalled (f7aa66)

  227. nk (bb1548) — 3/17/2023 @ 7:50 am

    I can only observe and speculate. There are many kinds of whether and I’m not sure why people don’t talk more about partly clouding days with a slight chance of rain and a light breeze.

    Maybe if someone was writing articles opining on Ford’s thoughts on the Bretton Woods system at the time and what he would think, and by implication what the reader should think, about the dollar as a reserve currency.

    frosty (dcc7cd)

  228. nk (bb1548) — 3/17/2023 @ 7:50 am

    -Grammar monitor OCD-

    Something is odd about your comment, sir. I am bothered by the place where the word “respectively” occurs, I think:

    The characters of Reagan and Trump are indicators of the characters, respectively, of the people who either loved them or hated them.

    Why am I bothered? Because I hold you in high esteem, that’s why.

    felipe (77b190)

  229. I remember when we didn’t do all of this and could have real conversations. Do you think that will ever be a thing again? I’m skeptical that we can.
    frosty (8f5d70) — 3/17/2023 @ 7:59 am

    Yes, but someone will insist that it shall be “over my dead body.”

    felipe (77b190)

  230. Reagan broke the brains of a certain type of pre-Reagan person. Much like DT has broken the brains of a certain type of pre-Trump person.

    Reagan broke an aged consensus, and replaced it with another. He “broke the brains” of those stuck on the past.

    Trump broke an aged consensus, and replaced it with insanity. He “broke the brains” of people stuck on reason, logic, and decency.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  231. Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/17/2023 @ 8:23 am

    I agree. They both broke the brains of their critics.

    felipe (77b190)

  232. whembly,

    Calling those who want to defend Europe “hawks” is pejorative, just as much as calling those who don’t “appeasers” would be.

    The problem is that the US is committed and the leader of a vast coalition that is also committed. Breaking commitments should only be done when the commitment has become untenable (see Vietnam). We are nowhere near that point, and backing out now would leave all our other commitments questionable and invite aggression and/or miscalculation.

    Now, should we have gotten into all these commitments? Should we have unwound NATO before there was a crisis? I don’t think so, but maybe. But in the middle of an engagement? It seems unwise.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  233. I agree. They both broke the brains of their critics.

    Actually, Trump broke the brains of his supporters.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  234. It was more important to me to emphasize that I was talking about two different characters and not lumping in Reagan’s with Trump’s, felipe.

    nk (bb1548)

  235. The point I was trying to make is that Trump’s actions lead to Crazytown, not to something better.

    A better comparison would be with Bill Clinton, where Bill broke the brains of the Old Left.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  236. I think he would like to see Biden finding more ways to press for peace talks in the region.

    Appalled (f7aa66) — 3/17/2023 @ 8:02 am

    Peace talks don’t seem like an option at this point but I would prefer to focus on the end result as opposed to a specific method.

    Other things that would be good to see and might be easier to accomplish:

    1) JB to stop trying to draw out the conflict; do people really think that the RU navy did the sneaky on that pipeline?
    2) People resolving the conflict between their stated desire to help the UKR people and whatever competing desires restrict their options to simply sending money and material to continue the conflict; pay no attention to what UKR is doing to their own people to continue a conflict in the vital interests of the US.

    Other things that would be nice but I don’t expect:

    1) less propaganda; honestly how did we let it get this bad
    2) a more involved conversation beyond “if you deviate from my proscribed talking points you are pro-Putin and actively in favor of rape and genocide”; yes, I know how this happened but I really thought we could do better

    frosty (dcc7cd)

  237. I was actually not trying to call out DCCCP specifically…just instead of wasting time talking about something that no one else here cares about, why do it? We all know where DCCCP stands on Reagan and he is not really interested in considering any sort of objective alternative. Again, what’s the point of going there if no one else here agrees with his portrayal?

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  238. Thanks for the link, Whembly.
    Bold mine:

    “But I think the majority opinion among Senate Republicans is that the United States has a vital national security interest there in stopping Russian aggression, and that’s certainly the view I have.” – Thune (as reported by The Hill)

    I disagree with the word “national” because I would use “foreign” instead, because it is vital to Ukrain’s survival. It is in the U.S. interest to help UKR because the fall of UKR would encourage RU to continue its global conquest goals, and this would eventually lead to a direct confrontation between the U.S. and RU. That would be a vital national interest.

    felipe (77b190)

  239. The problem is that the US is committed and the leader of a vast coalition that is also committed. Breaking commitments should only be done when the commitment has become untenable (see Vietnam). We are nowhere near that point, and backing out now would leave all our other commitments questionable and invite aggression and/or miscalculation.

    Now, should we have gotten into all these commitments? Should we have unwound NATO before there was a crisis? I don’t think so, but maybe. But in the middle of an engagement? It seems unwise.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/17/2023 @ 8:35 am

    I took some time to read the whole article. I didn’t notice any mention of breaking commitments. I didn’t notice any mention of backing out now. I didn’t notice any mention of unwinding NATO.

    Can you point out any of that from the article?

    After reading the article I don’t think any of your questions are anywhere remotely close to the point the author was trying to make. Instead I think your comment is an example of the hawks described in it.

    frosty (dcc7cd)

  240. Actually, Trump broke the brains of his supporters.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/17/2023 @ 8:36 am

    Are you playing the game where you score by proving every else’s point as many times as possible?

    frosty (dcc7cd)

  241. I disagree with the word “national” because I would use “foreign” instead, because it is vital to Ukrain’s survival. It is in the U.S. interest to help UKR because the fall of UKR would encourage RU to continue its global conquest goals, and this would eventually lead to a direct confrontation between the U.S. and RU. That would be a vital national interest.

    felipe (77b190) — 3/17/2023 @ 8:50 am

    For people who latch on to “vital” I do think this linked argument is what’s going, i.e. UKR falling leads to an attack on another country and eventually a NATO country.

    I think there are some flaws in those links.

    frosty (dcc7cd)

  242. Actually, Trump broke the brains of his supporters.
    Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/17/2023 @ 8:36 am

    The point I was trying to make is that Trump’s actions lead to Crazytown, not to something better.

    A better comparison would be with Bill Clinton, where Bill broke the brains of the Old Left.
    Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/17/2023 @ 8:39 am

    I understand.

    Trump’s supporters did not change, I say that Trump’s opposition changed for the worse, and that led U.S. politics into “crazytown” in reaction to Trump’s election, not because of it. One party has always demonized the other party, but the weaponization of institutions such as the DOJ, IRS, to name two, had not been so pronounced as it is today. Now, there is the never-ending lawfare against a past President. Trump’s voters did not bring this into being.

    felipe (77b190)

  243. I took some time to read the whole article.

    No, I did not read the full article.

    It started off by casting his opponents as warmongers (“hawks”) and then led straight to Comrade Carlson, a Russian TV favorite. Then he uses the term “Republican voters” to mean “Trumpists”, ignoring a large segment of Republican (and now-former Republican) voters who remain committed to Reaganite foreign policy, even if they’ve backed away from unfettered free trade.

    And a couple paragraphs in, he conflates internationalism to DEI and the culture war. At that point, I stop, knowing I’m not part of his target audience.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  244. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/16/2023 @ 9:41 am

    More Better News:

    Slovakia, after Poland, agrees to give Ukraine Soviet jets

    Slovakia’s government on Friday approved a plan to give Ukraine its fleet of 13 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets, becoming the second NATO member country to heed the Ukrainian government’s pleas for warplanes to help defend against Russia’s invasion.
    …….
    Slovakia will receive 200 million euros ($213 million) from the European Union as compensation and unspecified arms from the United States worth 700 million euros ($745 million) in exchange for giving its MiG-29 fleet to Ukraine, Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said.
    ……..
    Slovakia signed a deal to buy 14 U.S. F-16 Block 70/72 fighter jets, but delivery was pushed back two years to early 2024.
    #########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  245. “People resolving the conflict between their stated desire to help the UKR people and whatever competing desires restrict their options to simply sending money and material to continue the conflict; pay no attention to what UKR is doing to their own people to continue a conflict in the vital interests of the US”

    This seems like an internal struggle of, there must be another way of either sending weapons or not sending weapons. I’m confident that our state department and military are considering all options including various forms of sanctions and using intermediaries to push for a resolution or cease fire. I would be interested to learn what everyone is either missing or deliberately avoiding.

    If Ukraine stops shooting back, does anyone believe that Russia will not gobble up more Ukrainian territory absent some negotiated deal? Does anyone believe if we relieve sanctions without some negotiated deal, that Russia will not continue warring? Does anyone believe that Ukrainian women won’t get raped and children kidnapped back to Russia if Ukraine stops resisting?

    It’s unsatisfying to ruminate about us not doing more to end the conflict without putting forth some reasonable options. This isn’t a logic problem that gets solved by mere brainstorming. This is a violence problem.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  246. AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 3/17/2023 @ 8:41 am

    Why does anyone comment? I suspect there are more reasons than commenters.

    But in the spirit of DEI (frosty wants to stay out of the HR office) I welcome him and his comments. I propose we have a DCSCA month to celebrate the value they bring. If not a month a day? Or an hour? Ok, how about set aside 4:20pm on the 1st Thursday following every 3rd full moon after the vernal equinox?

    frosty (dcc7cd)

  247. nk (bb1548) — 3/17/2023 @ 8:37 am

    Ah, I see now. You wrote your comment for a broader audience. I apologize for mistaking your generosity for imprecision. Now, I wonder, how often do I make that mistake?

    felipe (77b190)

  248. I say that Trump’s opposition changed for the worse, and that led U.S. politics into “crazytown” in reaction to Trump’s election

    Or, alternatively, that they viewed him as a “Clear and present danger” much as I would regard President AOC.

    I don’t judge Trump’s insanity by the insanity of his opponents, though. I view it by his own behavior. He shed competent people and surrounded himself with wingnuts. He refused to listen to anyone, got his information from the TV, didn’t know how the government worked and didn’t much care. He eventually brought in yes-men whose basic sanity was in question and engaged in wild and futile legal battles that were counter-productive at best.

    Yes he made his opponents crazy, but they had good cause.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  249. And a couple paragraphs in, he conflates internationalism to DEI and the culture war. At that point, I stop, knowing I’m not part of his target audience.
    Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/17/2023 @ 9:13 am

    I almost stopped reading at that point, too, thinking to myself “well that tack is not necessary in making your point.”

    felipe (77b190)

  250. frosty (dcc7cd) — 3/17/2023 @ 9:20 am

    Heh!

    felipe (77b190)

  251. @223 Reagan broke the brains of a certain type of pre-Reagan person. Much like DT has broken the brains of a certain type of pre-Trump person.

    yes, it’s not as if we don’t have several examples

    that we couldn’t even discuss the covid lab leak theory, cuz let’s be honest, that would be admitting Trump was right

    the 180 on voter ID, cuz mail in nonsense was a way to defeat Trump

    now the obsession with Ukraine, cuz Putin is a living metaphor for Trump somehow

    and to propose being anything short of “all in” is letting the terrorists Trumpers win

    broken brains

    JF (34e6f0)

  252. And a couple paragraphs in, he conflates internationalism to DEI and the culture war. At that point, I stop, knowing I’m not part of his target audience.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/17/2023 @ 9:13 am

    Part of interfacing with reality and processing new information is understanding you might not be part of a target audience but continuing anyway.

    Otherwise someone otherwise not interested in marxism might think marxism is what marxists say it is rather than what it actually is. Or wonder, is URK really a new US state?

    frosty (dcc7cd)

  253. now the obsession with Ukraine, cuz Putin is a living metaphor for Trump somehow

    JF (34e6f0) — 3/17/2023 @ 9:44 am

    The ongoing theory seems to be that Putin was the Trump puppet-master and that now that Trump is out of office the next focus needs to be Putin. Otherwise Trump might return in the next boss battle.

    Sort of like how after defeating Bowser the player needs to move on and deal with Mummipokey but has to worry about the return of Bowser.

    frosty (dcc7cd)

  254. @218. …where ‘ketchup soup’- a Reagan era specialty, is served nightly, nk.

    @227. As you fail to recognize the rhyme repeatedly rejected.

    @232. Pfft. Reagan broke America, Kevin; turned it from a creditor nation into a debtor nation.

    @239. AJ, hence pining ideologues wax wistfully for relevance trying to peddle a person and a period 34 years past. It’s done; over. And every present pol who mentions his name [‘in case of emergency, break glass and shout “Reagan”‘] dates themselves with and alienates the young; 40 year old voters don’t give a damn about him- other than having to swim through the flotsam of his era to survive.

    “Let it go, Indiana”— or get left behind.

    DCSCA (4c39d5)

  255. @215. Curiously, “In case of emergency, break glass and shout ‘Reagan'” doesn’t work w/t electorate in the 21st century, AJ. NewtieG learned that the hard way.

    DCSCA (4c39d5)

  256. #256

    How wrong you are:

    https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/18586859

    (Yes, this is under my actual name. You should be able to recognize the style.)

    Appalled (e90758)

  257. When exactly did I reject “what Reagan stood for”?

    When you smear someone as a “TrueCon grifter” for daring to invoke Reagan and what he stood for, impressions get made, frosty. You can always clear the air and dispel any misimpressions.

    One more comment about DeSantis’ statement: It’s not just what he said, it’s who he said it to. There were countless options for communicating his Ukraine policy, and countless venues to say it, but DeSantis made the conscious choice to say it to a guy who is record as wanting Russia to win over Ukraine, and his comments are unrescinded, unretracted and unamended. Quote:

    “Why do I care what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia?” Carlson asked. “And I’m serious. Why do I care? Why shouldn’t I root for Russia? Which I am.”

    “I don’t think that we should be at war with Russia. And I think we should probably take the side of Russia if we have to choose between Russia and Ukraine. That is my view.”

    Funny also that Tucker also described Putin’s invasion, war and belligerence against Ukraine as a “border dispute”, just like Captain Ron. That is the guy DeSantis chose to be his foreign policy messenger.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  258. @259. ‘Punching down’ by responding to a goofy ‘questionnaire’ from an entertainer; an opinionator; a cable TeeVee talk show host is the true tell here about DeSantis’ judgement in a fire fight.

    DCSCA (ca99aa)

  259. whembly, I’ll take another NR contributor’s views over Dougherty.

    Carlson’s questions are serious ones, albeit loaded in favor of his preferred position, which is against American aid to Ukraine. His queries drew answers of varying seriousness and responsiveness. Trump, as usual, rambled like a crazy man, with lots of exclamation points, all-caps phrases, repetition, and braggadocio. Ramaswamy’s response had some punchy lines but dragged on at Castro-esque length. Abbott, Scott, and Christie were much terser, with Abbott characteristically focusing on how the Biden administration is ignoring the border with Mexico. If anything, Abbott’s Texas-centric response underlined that he is unlikely to enter the presidential race.
    […]
    There is good news and bad news in the responses from DeSantis. The good news is twofold. First, as a pure matter of electoral positioning divorced from the merits of the Ukraine war, it is savvy politics.
    […]
    That brings us to the second bit of good news: In terms of both his long-term policy commitments and his ideological stance on foreign policy, DeSantis has left himself a lot of wiggle room.

    So his statement is “politically savvy” with lots of room to change his positions. That’s called “good news”. The “bad news”? His having it both ways with his dissonant stance won’t last forever.

    But, as Noah and Mark detail, there is a good deal to dislike in DeSantis’s answers, even beyond the obvious fact that it is rank pandering. Much of it resides in things not said. As noted, DeSantis uses morally dehydrated language in framing the conflict and does not say any of the things he has said in the past about Russian aggression, Putin’s tyranny, or Ukrainian resistance. He opens himself to continuing inquiries about whether this is a retreat rather than just an omission of things Tucker Carlson doesn’t want to hear.

    DeSantis argues that “the Biden administration’s policies have driven Russia into a de facto alliance with China.” It is visibly true that the war, and Russia’s resulting isolation, have either strengthened or at least revealed Russia’s common ground with China. But DeSantis is wrong to blame this wholly on Western sanctions. DeSantis previously argued — correctly — that the West’s real error was not ridding itself of its economic dependence on Russian energy. Even in this statement, DeSantis says (again, correctly) that “coupled with his intentional depletion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and support for the Left’s Green New Deal, Biden has further empowered Russia’s energy-dominated economy.” But that is true only because we aren’t doing more to isolate Russia’s energy exports from the world economy.

    For now, it is fine for DeSantis to suggest that there is some outer limit to what support America should provide to Ukraine, and to hope that the war will be over before he might take office. But “events, dear boy, events” — there is sure to be a fight at some point in 2023 between Biden and House Republicans over the next round of aid. At that juncture, DeSantis is likely to lose a good deal of his wiggle room. Beyond a certain point, it will not be sustainable for him to square the circle of supporting continued aid that runs in the hundreds of billions of dollars while arguing that no vital national interest is at stake, nor will it be sustainable for him to argue for ending aid to Ukraine without facing the consequences that could entail. He can have it both ways for now, but not forever.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  260. “that we couldn’t even discuss the covid lab leak theory, cuz let’s be honest, that would be admitting Trump was right”

    I forget, what evidence did Trump bring forward about the lab leak? As usual, did he take an intelligence estimate (a guess) and jump to a convenient conclusion with a convenient villain or was his opinion rooted in something more testable (scientific analysis)? Is Trump saying something factual or is he saying something that he views as politically useful?

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  261. @262. Carlson’s questions are serious ones…

    No, they’re not; they’re in the entertainment realm along w/Arsenio asking about ‘boxers or briefs.’

    Tucka is not a policy maker; not a party official, nor an elected office holder; he’s a cable TV TALK SHOW HOST.

    He’s a frigging ‘Howard Beale.’ That’s all.

    And by affixing any credence to his shepherding an audience via ‘questionnaires,’ opinions or POVs fed to the flock only enhances his reach, ratings and enriches the bottom line for his employer, NewsCorp. You’re not one of the sheep in the herd, are you Paul? Don’t think you are. Recognize him for what he is on the books at NewsCorp: a contracted media ‘talent’ – complete w/an agent– that draws eyes and ears to generate advertising revenue– and his personal backstop is the Swanson TV Dinner inheritance. Tucka Carlson will never miss a meal.

    DCSCA (ca99aa)

  262. #260.

    You certainly live an irony free zone…

    Appalled (bda476)

  263. Tucker Carlson is you, DC.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  264. @266. ROFLMAOPIP, enter the ‘Projecting Paulie.’

    ‘All non-denial denials. They doubt our ancestry, but they don’t say the story isn’t accurate.’- Ben Bradlee [Jason Robards] ‘All The President’s Men’ 1976

    DCSCA (5a394d)

  265. Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 3/17/2023 @ 10:35 am

    When you smear someone as a “TrueCon grifter” for daring to invoke Reagan and what he stood for, impressions get made, frosty. You can always clear the air and dispel any misimpressions.

    This really seems to be a complicated issue. “TrueCon grifter” is a reference to French and not to Reagan. It’s derogatory because the person doing it isn’t necessarily pro-Reagan. They are relying on the mark being pro-Reagan and then being able to use that to manipulate them. In the most obvious version of the grift the mark notices that the person says something positive about Reagan, who they like, and something negative about someone they’ve been primed to dislike. Then the mark accepts whatever comes next because this passes the more basic tribal filtering.

    Does that clear the air or do we need to go through another round of:

    frosty: Reagan won the Cold War.
    Paul: The Cold War isn’t over and you’re making anti-Reagan comments.

    Impressions made indeed.

    frosty (dcc7cd)

  266. I forget, what evidence did Trump bring forward about the lab leak?

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 3/17/2023 @ 11:33 am

    I keep forgetting all of that scientific analysis and evidence about the natural occurrence theory.

    “Trump can’t be right” is a leading contender for the epitaph of modern journalism.

    frosty (dcc7cd)

  267. “TrueCon grifter” is a reference to French and not to Reagan.

    That’s what I said, that you smeared French as a “TrueCon grifter”, and now you’re making your own rules about who is pro-Reagan. You seem to like making up those kinds of personal rules.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  268. The two worst things that DeSantis wrote were that it was a territorial dispute (What?? Does Russia have some stated maximum demands?) and that Putin lost power, he could be succeeded by someone worse, (that last has been a motif of Soviet?KGB proganda since the days of Brezhnev)

    Sammy Finkelman (d7aac6)


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