Some Americans clearly believe that the sporadic barrages of clichéd tough-guy talk from the man who squats in the White House right now is just the medicine the nation requires. But then they’d vote to put martial-arts phony Steven Seagall into the presidency if he were on the ballot.
A cowardly moral weakling like Trump thinks talking tough equals being tough. And the last thing a pretender of toughness wants to exhibit is the barest hint of a soft heart. This particular pathology isn’t the whole reason that the Trump regime is blowing-off human rights as described below by Heather Digby Parton.
The regime has produced no coherent foreign policy as yet, but what we do have should be called the Swagger Doctrine. There’s no room in that for concern about, say, suppressed national minorities, the crushing of dissidents, child-labor sweatshops, or the human impacts of climate change. Not that he accepts the science on that. If Trump isn’t concerned about the plight of his fellow Americans in Puerto Rico, he can’t be counted on for anything helpful in coastal Bangladesh or the expanding deserts of Africa.
Thus, it no surprise what Parton writes at Salon in Rex Tillerson’s State Department: Human rights? Big deal! In a flashback to Henry Kissinger, U.S. foreign policy no longer even pretends to care about human rights:
[...] When Donald Trump said he was going to make America great again, everyone had different ideas about what exactly he meant. But his bloviating about how much he loves torture and mass executions should have alerted everyone to the fact that human rights were not going to be central to his foreign policy.
Nonetheless, one might have expected that his secretary of state would at least be conversant with the concept. But apparently Rex Tillerson didn't have a clue. According to Politico, three months into the job he blithely announced that it was "really important that all of us understand the difference between policy and values like freedom, human dignity and the way people are treated." This caused a furor among foreign policy experts, since Tillerson was obviously completely unschooled in the subject.
Apparently, a deputy named Brian Hook, a former Bush administration official, wrote up a memo for Tillerson explaining how the U.S. looks at human rights. And guess what? After nearly half a century we're back to Henry Kissinger's foreign policy from the 1970s. According to Politico, which got a peek at the memo, Hook explained to the neophyte diplomat that "the U.S. should use human rights as a club against its adversaries, like Iran, China and North Korea, while giving a pass to repressive allies like the Philippines, Egypt and Saudi Arabia." As Tom Malinowski, former assistant secretary of state under Obama, told Politico, this "tells Tillerson that we should do exactly what Russian and Chinese propaganda says we do — use human rights as a weapon to beat up our adversaries while letting ourselves and our allies off the hook.”
It's certainly the case that Trump happily excuses repressive regimes, but he doesn't seem to differentiate between those that are allies and those that are adversaries. He just loves those strongmen. Likewise, he frequently insults close American allies who are not human rights abusers. So he didn't read this memo (or rather, nobody read it to him.)
Either way, whether it's Tillerson's crude dismissal of human rights and values, his deputy's cynical Kissinger-esque realpolitik or Trump's fatal attraction to tyrants and despots, it would appear that promotion of human rights is no longer an American ideal. It's just another norm tossed on the dumpster fire we call the Trump presidency. [...]
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“Right now, the government is spending billions of dollars supporting the problem-makers in the U.S. economy - the polluters, despoilers, incarcerators, and warmongers.”
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On this date at Daily Kos in 2010—Steve King Is Nuts:
Apparently the daily-dose of teabagging has amped up Rep. Steve King's (R-IA) cognitive dissonance:
"It's thousands of times bigger than Watergate because Watergate was only a little break-in by a couple of guys," said King. "By the time we pull ACORN out by its roots America's going to understand just how big this is."
The House Judiciary Committee member described the ACORN saga as "the largest corruption crisis in the history of America."So, we had secret slush funds, the involvement of the White House, Justice Department, FBI and CIA in the crime and/or the cover-up, the "Saturday Night Massacre," the prison sentences, and the resignation of a President ... versus allegations of voter fraud that has never been proven and a couple of conservatives dressing up like a pimp and a prostitute.
You make the call.
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: The Internet of Things is watching you. Even if you’re Canadian. Cambridge Analytica under the lights. It’s science: Trump is a horrific liar. Eric Posman riffs on “permission structures,” post-AL-SEN. Still trying to figure out how Yemen happened.
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