There’s nothing the Sunday shows love more than a crisis, as it affords countless opportunities to expound on The Need to Act, and to Lead, and to Act Leaderly While Leading With Action, so that everyone gets to sound big and resolute without having to actually, you know, do any of these actions. Thus Russia’s unanticipated invasion of the Crimean peninsula kicked off multiple rounds of We Should Act, a Play Entirely In Dialogue, dedicated to President Barack Obama. They think he should Act.
Yet it was Washington Post’s David Ignatius, who basically compared Putin to the proverbial dog who caught a car and had no idea what to do with it, who was the only one who wondered if maybe “What next?” was more a question Russian President Vladimir Putin should be asking himself.
“The real problem today is Vladimir Putin’s,” Ignatius said on Face the Nation. “Vladimir Putin has a Ukraine that is coming apart. He has invaded a small southern piece of it, where Russian interests are very strong. But in the Ukrainian capital you have demonstrators in the streets; these are demonstrators who evicted a pro-Russian regime in the Ukraine. They’re not prepared to go backwards. The choices Putin faces going forward are very, very bad”:
That sounds spot on to this humble scribe, but it doesn’t fill airtime on the Sunday shows. So we got a parade of politicians and pundits — some (Mike Rogers) knowledgable about foreign policy, some (Marco Rubio) still learning the ropes, and some (Lindsey Graham) who are word-salad slam-poets on the subject — all offering a menu of the same choices as to how to respond: enforce economic sanctions, shore up Ukraine’s transitional government, freeze rich Russian’s assets, put pressure on their faltering energy industry, suspend or expel Russia from the G8 (thus killing this summer’s meeting in Sochi and hastening that burg’s demise into a post-Olympics ghost town).
The other person pitching these ideas: Secretary of State John Kerry, who went on all the broadcast Sunday shows (EXCEPT ONE) and managed what we might as well call “Pulling A Kerry,” in which one speaks in the most bellicose tone possible about the need to avoid bellicosity. While the Rogers and Grahams of the world offered up their suggestions in the key of Obama Needs to Act, Kerry offered them up in the key of Here’s How We’re Likely Going to Act.
In other words: the hawkish anti-Obama caucus that has “Ride of the Valkyries” as their Facebook notification ringtone, and the feckless Obama administration’s Secretary of State…all think about the same thing as to what to do in Ukraine. In a better world this would be called “consensus.”
Meanwhile, you know who did Act? This guy.
R.I.P. Arizona’s Anti-LGBT Bill
Before we lay Arizona’s SB 1062 into the red dirt from whence it came, perhaps a few parting words by its graveside:
“If you own a coffee shop and you refuse to serve a gay person, one, you’re an idiot. Two, you’re not going to have a defense under this law because serving someone coffee is not a burden on your religion. The cases we’re talking about that are relevant here is bakers, florists, photographers who are evangelical Christians or Catholics who say, ‘I don’t have any problem with gay people, but I don’t want to participate in a gay wedding because I have conscientious objections to it.’”
See, discrimination is like love: it should be rare and meaningful. Otherwise you’re just being decadent, and that leads to liberalism. (Or is it the other way around?)
Lois Lerner Either Is or Is Not Testifying About the IRS ‘Scandal’
We’ll get back to you.
[Image via screengrab]
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