Thursday, August 13, 2015

Reasonableness Does Not Work in our Current Environment

Nicholas Kristof has a piece in the NY Times today (link) setting out why President Obama should reset the conversation on the Iran Deal.  It is quaint.
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It is quaint in that he believes that honest debate and experts will miraculously alter the conversation to be a "bi-partisan" issue and passage will magically occur.  It is the same quaint logic the the British magazine The Economist (which I love) trots out when trying to discuss any issues that should engender Republican support.
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It is quaint in the definitional sense of "old fashioned" and "attractively unusual".
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It is also idiotic.  The method of persuasion only works in an honest discussion, which we are not having. If we were actually looking at the facts, not politics, we wouldn't start with ZERO Republicans supporting this.  Sure, it might have overwhelming Republican support.  But this has NO Republican opposition.  That says it isn't based on reality.
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The Republican Party reflexively opposes anything and everything President Obama suggests (except the TPP - which businesses want desperately).  To do anything else would condemn them to a primary loss.
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For example, Mr. Kristof relies on the fact that our military and Israel's military support the deal.  This will, in Mr. Kristof's little fantasy world, change Republican opinion.
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I would remind him that our Military also wants to close hundreds of bases in the US, wants to stop production of tanks and consolidate our armed forces.  That has come to naught.  The Army has asked / begged / pleaded with Congress to stop building tanks and has lost.  Links from different sites including Military.com and FoxNews in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
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Mr. Kristof then makes the quaint argument that security experts will move Congress.  He can point to 29 experts.  To which one must simply say, doesn't "Climate Change" have thousands of experts who haven't moved Congress?  I mean like 98% of all experts.  Mr. Kristof does not understand the degree to which the American Public (Republicans and Democrats alike) have been conditioned to not listen to "experts".
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He then discusses what happens if Iran does cheat.  Which requires you to read past line 1, so that is a losing argument.  Don't get me wrong.  I agree with him.  But it requires reading past "If Iran does cheat..." which is a closing argument to many.
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Finally he discusses North Korea.  Which we signed a 1994 treaty with.  Under the Clinton Administration the North Koreans cheated, but didn't get a bomb.  President George W Bush pulled out of that treaty to be "tougher" and they have made 9 bombs.  ...  Ah, sweet delusional Mr. Kristof.  You expect Republican members of Congress to understand and admit that a Democratic President (particularly one married to their next Presidential Candidate) was right and that Republican disruptor of the MidEast was wrong?
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Like I said, quaint.

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