Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 05, 2019

The Delusions Of The Impeachment Witnesses Point To A Larger Problem

During yesterday's impeachment hearing at the House House Judiciary Committee one of the Democrats' witnesses made some rather crazy statements. Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor, first proved to have bought into neo-conservative delusions about the U.S. role in the world:

America is not just 'the last best hope,' as Mr. Jefferies said, but it's also the shining city on a hill. We can't be the shining city on a hill and promote democracy around the world if we're not promoting it here at home.

As people in Bolivia and elsewhere can attest the United States does not promote democracy. It promotes rightwing regimes and rogue capitalism. The U.S. is itself not a democracy but a functional oligarchy as a major Harvard study found:

Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.

But worse than Karlan's pseudo-patriotic propaganda claptrap were her remarks on the Ukraine and Russia:

This is not just about our national interests to protect elections or make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here, but it's in our national interest to promote democracy worldwide.

That was not an joke. From the video it certainly seems that the woman believes that nonsense.


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For one the Ukraine is not fighting "the Russians". The Kiev government is fighting against east-Ukrainians who disagree with the Nazi controlled regime which the U.S. installed after it instigated the unconstitutional Maidan coup. Russia supplies the east-Ukrainians and there were a few Russian volunteers fighting on their side but no Russian military units entered the Ukraine.

But aside from that how can anyone truly believe that the Ukraine "fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"?

Is Russia on the verge of invading the United States? Where? How? And most importantly: What for?

How would that be in Russia's interest?

One must be seriously disturbed to believe such nonsense. How can it be that Karlan is teaching at an academic level when she has such delusions?

And how is it in U.S. interest to give the Ukraine U.S. taxpayer money to buy U.S. weapons? The sole motive behind that idea was greed and corruption, not national interest:

[U.S. special envoy to Ukraine] Volker started his job at the State Department in 2017 in an unusual part-time arrangement that allowed him to continue consulting at BGR, a powerful lobbying firm that represents Ukraine and the U.S.-based defense firm Raytheon. During his tenure, Volker advocated for the United States to send Raytheon-manufactured antitank Javelin missiles to Ukraine — a decision that made Raytheon millions of dollars.

The missiles are useless in the conflict. They are kept near the western border of Ukraine under U.S. control. The U.S. fears that Russia would hit back elsewhere should the Javelin reach the frontline in the east and get used against the east-Ukrainians. That Trump shortly held back on some of the money that would have allowed the Ukrainians to buy more of those missiles thus surely made no difference.

To claim that it hurt U.S. national interests is nonsense.

It is really no wonder that U.S. foreign policy continuously produces chaos when its practitioners get taught by people like Karlan. In the Middle East as well as elsewhere Russian foreign policy runs circles around U.S. attempts to control the outcome. One reason it can do that is the serious lack of knowledge and realism in U.S. foreign policy thinking. It is itself the outcome of an educational crisis. U.S. 'political science' studies implement a mindset that is unable to objectively recognize the facts and fails to respond to them with realistic concepts.

The Democrats are doing themselves no favor by producing delusional and partisan witnesses who repeat Reaganesque claptrap. They only prove that the whole affair is just an unserious show trial.

In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it. Their majority in the House could have used the time it spent on the impeachment circus to prevent that and other obscenities.

Do the Democrats really believe that their voters will not notice this?

Posted by b on December 5, 2019 at 15:40 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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@Really?? #188
Changing the Constitution requires a mandate far over and above mere control of the Presidency and Congress.
An amendment can be proposed if 2/3rds of Congress approves it or if 2/3s of the state legislatures convene a constitutional convention calling for it.
Passing requires 3/4s of the states of approve.
And who controls the majority of the state legislatures? The Republicans.
They're far more able (which is still to say, not able) to pass a Constitutional Amendment than the Democrats. You can thank Obama for that - his 2 terms saw an unprecedented amount of losses at the state level.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 7 2019 20:17 utc | 201

Russian meddling is nothing to sneer about, and is probably responsible for many psychiatric cases, diagnosed and (sadly) undiagnosed.

After laying waste to the mental health of Americans, English (who were manipulated into Brexit) and Catalans (who were happy computing their numbers [check Catalan Numbers] until they got an idea of seceding from the Spanish kingdom from Russians), Russians attack UK AGAIN.

The last British chance to preserve decent, NATO-cooperating democracy is the extension (restoration?) of Tory majority in their Parliament. Tories were duped to support Brexit, but the only more satisfactory party on the island are Liberal Democrats, a nice but rather sorry bunch. Otherwise the most despicable person in Europe, certain Corbyn, could get a shot at the rule while getting help from Celtic nationalists (we are talking about the lowest of the low here!). In this delicate situation Labour party got documents that Tories want to allow American companies to invest in National Health Service, and they use it to raise fears of privatization and Americanization.

A natural turn of events? No! Documents were not mailed to Labour but posted on a website that the service provider, Reddit, deemed "suspicious", together with 60 other sites, and suspiciousness may mean only one thing: Russia! So far Tories confirmed that the documents are genuine but make a noise about Russian interference. I wish them luck, otherwise Europe will be torn apart by Corbyn getting power in London while his stooge reigns in Moscow.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 8 2019 2:08 utc | 202

The thing about Donald Trump is this: that f*cker is the absolute perfect ruler for America.

Granted, Trump is nothing more than a pathetic lying sociopath with delusions of his own greatness and moral goodness.

But that describes America as a nation to a T.

After all, behind all the Madison Avenue-style marketing and patriotic psyops, America is nothing but a war criminal empire, serial regime change instigator, and economic bloodsucker nation ... but one that inverts reality and presents itself as a Shining City on a Hill that is perpetually "threatened" by Evil-Doers Who Really, Really Hate Our NSA/Patriot-Act/Gitmo Gulag-approved freedoms.

Donald Trump IS American Values ... in all their sociopathic glory.

Make America Trump Again!

Posted by: ak74 | Dec 8 2019 2:10 utc | 203

@ Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 8 2019 2:08 utc | 202 who seems to either have his moniker abused or ???

This seems like a strange comment to me....does not seem like the normal/regular Piotr Berman

Take the last line of the comment
"
I wish them luck, otherwise Europe will be torn apart by Corbyn getting power in London while his stooge reigns in Moscow.
"
So Putin is a stooge of Corbyn? Not what I have come to expect of Piotr....seems fraudulent use of the name to me.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 8 2019 2:29 utc | 204

@ psychohistorian | Dec 8 2019 2:29 utc | 204

I agree -- my jaw dropped when I read that post, but then I thought "that just does not sound like him, at all!"

Posted by: AntiSpin | Dec 8 2019 2:42 utc | 205

Sorry, I was too snarky in my post about Corbyn and Russian interference.

I was projective putative "mainstream point of view". In particular, the horrors of Corbyn and the unwashed rabble a.k.a. momentum that props him were described from the minute he got his Labour leader position. Some of the latter doubt immaculate conception of Israel while believing in "conspiracy theories". What I found particularly humorous were that first attacks on Corbyn focus on his bicycling -- I am a bicyclist too.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 8 2019 3:10 utc | 206

@ Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 8 2019 3:10 utc | 206 who clarified his "projective putative" comment and wrote
"
What I found particularly humorous were that first attacks on Corbyn focus on his bicycling -- I am a bicyclist too.
"
Me too. In 1999 I invented/patented/manufactured/sold an alternative bicycle saddle that I then sold the patent for boasting rights to in 2013. I am also a 2006 victim of being sideswiped by a Chevy Avalanche while riding my bicycle "safely" on the shoulder of a state highway.....took off the side mirror with the back of my head.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 8 2019 3:28 utc | 207

c1ue@201 is correct. Dropped a remark on this from my response because, again, what Trumpers like is minority rule. But I repeat, if by some perversity a Democratic Party nominee won the Electoral College but not the popular, the Trumpers whining about how "That's the rules, man!" would rediscover the fury at the EC of every other winner of the vote before Gore.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 8 2019 15:52 utc | 208

AK74 thank you for your breathtaking, sweeping generalization regarding Trump and Amerikkkans.

Uhm, except for the Fact 55% of Amerikkkans steadfastly reject Trump and Trumpism.

You would be more correct in saying MOA and you reflect "Donald Trump values... in all your sociopathic glory," as a large cross section of the barflies seem to favour Trump.

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 8 2019 16:06 utc | 209

Also want to say I think I was banned here and occasionally attempt to post to no effect and curious as to why since my crimes against the MoonBar Groupthink are no worse and sometimes much less so than others who regularly post.

But feel free to re-ban me of this posting somehow got through by accident.

this machine slaughters fascists

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 8 2019 16:11 utc | 210

As William F. Buckley once quipped: I would rather be governed by the first two thousand people in the Boston telephone directory than by the two thousand people on the faculty of Harvard University.

Posted by: Stefan | Dec 9 2019 13:12 utc | 211

@ psychohistorian | Dec 8 2019 3:28 utc | 207 (trauma bicycle)

You're lucky. I worked the equations for instantaneous force against a table for hangmen...From memory, a delta in velocity can kill you 100% at about 10 miles per hour...the outcome depends on how "soft" the actual bits are when they bang into one-another. Numerous past motorcycle crashes...worst case? about 7 mph, on concrete = adios.

Yes, this is off topic. But it's also brief.

Posted by: Walter | Dec 9 2019 13:34 utc | 212

@ Posted by: Walter | Dec 9 2019 13:34 utc | 212 with the OT follow up to my bicycle crash writing who wrote
"
....the outcome depends on how "soft" the actual bits are when they bang into one-another.
"
The Doc that read my post crash Cat scan wrote that he didn't know a head could take so much contra coup and not blow up or bleed to death....
I had to figure out why I lived and The Polyvagal Theory by Steven Porges got me there.....I always wondered why I lived the life I did. I survived taking that side mirror of the truck with the back of my head because I had early infancy trauma which had me living my life in reptilian freeze mode and my constantly active glia/astrocytes kept my head very tight.....I am healing from that now thankfully with various neuromodulation therapies, the latest being auricular acupuncture therapy.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 9 2019 16:28 utc | 213

Food stamps should only be available to the most impaired of cripples. Other than that....no work......no eat.

Posted by: Von Fudgenheimer | Dec 9 2019 23:06 utc | 214

@7 Since when is Hungary on the Atlantic?

Posted by: Gene Poole | Dec 10 2019 15:37 utc | 215

@information_agent: Your posts, on the other hand, are quite well constructed. Professional pride?

Posted by: Gene Poole | Dec 10 2019 16:12 utc | 216

@ Von Fudgenheimer | Dec 9 2019 23:06 utc | 214

"Food stamps should only be available to the most impaired of cripples. Other than that....no work......no eat."

How many unemployed and/or homeless persons are you intending to employ? (By the way, the true unemployment rate is now somewhere north of 20 percent.)

Also, the food stamp program is not intended to benefit the hungry -- it is yet another form of subsidy (i.e. vote-bribery) for farmers.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Dec 10 2019 20:41 utc | 217

@103 Circe: "A lot of people sold their soul for Trump." I know a lot of people who sold their souls for Clinton - meaning that they knew deep down what they were empowering by embracing her -, but God forbid that anyone try to remind them of that. They react with blinding anger - an anger that blinds them to the fact that they have now become everything they hate in the Republicans.

Posted by: Gene Poole | Dec 11 2019 5:42 utc | 218

@107 pretzelattack: Bravo. When I see this polished, thinly-veiled anti-Semitism, I don't know whether to believe that it's deliberate disruption (so that MoA can then be catalogued as an "anti-Semitic site") or just old-fashioned hate growing marginally more literate. I myself believe that Israel acts as the anchor of US "policy" in the Middle East, but I also know that what is behind that "policy" is not one or another group of people - not even billionaires -, but capital itself. If we're going to throw blame around as the Live Studio Wrestlers (apt comparison that) are now doing in Congress, let's throw it where it belongs.

Posted by: Gene Poole | Dec 11 2019 5:57 utc | 219

@donkeytale @209: Hold on, pal. ak74 is not describing all or a majority of Americans<\I> but "America as a nation." Perhaps he would have been more accurate if he had said "America as a state." But "a pathetic lying sociopath with delusions of his own greatness and moral goodness" does fit the American state to a T. The great tragedy is that the majority of Americans are fine, decent people - and yes, that includes those who voted for Trump and those who did not.

Posted by: Gene Poole | Dec 11 2019 7:55 utc | 220

The Atlantic, Story by Franklin Foer
DECEMBER 3, 2019
POLITICS

[...] Until the presidency of Donald Trump, the United States served as both Ukraine’s protector and its ethical conscience. In the years after the Iraq War, amid a global turn toward illiberalism, Ukraine was perhaps the place where American idealism burned brightest. Under the pressure of the State Department, and prodded by a restless and dissatisfied public, the Ukrainian government fitfully traveled in the democratic direction that Washington guided it in.

Donald Trump has gravely threatened this trajectory.
=========
People like Foer make it very difficult to write satire.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 12 2019 8:18 utc | 221

About foodstamps: (By the way, the true unemployment rate is now somewhere north of 20 percent.)

Also, the food stamp program is not intended to benefit the hungry -- it is yet another form of subsidy (i.e. vote-bribery) for farmers.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Dec 10 2019 20:41 utc | 217

I guess "20%" include underemployed and "discouraged" for whom employment is not strictly necessary. However, according to rather standard non-Marxist economics, positive unemployment rate has its macro benefits like easier flows of labor from sectors that need labor less to those that need them more, additionally decreasing inflation etc. So it is recommended that at least 4% (or 3%? that depends on elasticity of wages) of those who want to work and rely on work for getting food should not find what they want.

The gist of the novelization of food stamp principles is that it is OK if people starve because of not finding jobs if their percentage is below, some threshold like 4%.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 12 2019 8:29 utc | 222

I am now not certain whether or not this put up is written by means of him as no one else
realize such designated approximately my trouble. temple run

Posted by: temple run | Dec 14 2019 10:02 utc | 223

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