Thursday, June 01, 2017


Trump heaved America out of the Paris accords, and propagandists are hard at work manufacturing reasons why this isn't plain stupid and belligerent. At National Review Charles Two Initials Cooke argues, like a lot of his fellow conservatives, that it's good because blar har u stupid liberals; but, since he is an British-accented American conservative, he must preserve his snob appeal to remain marketable, so Cooke is never so crude -- he goes ahem like one of them English butlers and quietly suggests maybe this climate business isn't quite a "hoax" but, sadly, liberals make it impossible to solve with "the hysteria that grips this topic":
For far too many environmentalists, disagreement with their coveted remedies – or even their nonbinding accords! — is akin to “denial” of the ailment per se. Thus to oppose, say, a carbon tax is to be accused of “hating science”; to dislike the Paris Accord is to be “pro-coal”; and to propose that we are just as likely to lower emissions sustainably by replacing traditional methods of energy procurement with fracking or nuclear power as to give carte blanche to Tom Steyer is to be a wannabe killer of Indonesian kids...
We conservatives are rather fond of the environment ourselves; though we oppose all legislation associated with it, we demonstrate our affection by sending our children to Africa to kill large animals. Yet you have the audacity, sir, to call us child-murderers -- the citation is around here somewhere, never mind, you know what you did -- so we are obliged to support The Leader's gibberish.
Today we are being told simultaneously that the Paris Accord wasn’t worth leaving because it was non-binding — that, in the words of MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, it does “LITERALLY NOTHING” — and that leaving it is a major blow to the survival of our species. When these are the choices, it’s unsurprising that people who have more nuanced views choose instead to go to the pub.
Hayes didn't say it does nothing -- he said it imposes nothing, which is not the same as no agreement, any more than a mission statement means to hell with it, let's all go home. Cooke is disingenuous, but you have to admit he's not hysterical. (Oh, the pub, ha ha! Did I tell you he's British?)

One other thing:
That this [liberal strawman] is a farcical way of looking at the question becomes obvious if we transpose the setting of the debate. Imagine, by way of example, if anyone who agreed that ISIS was a threat was informed that they had therefore to acquiesce to an invasion of Syria. Would they not laugh? And imagine if that person, having expressed opposition to the idea of an invasion, was then told that they “didn’t care” about ISIS. How, I wonder, would we expect them to react?
Those of us who were called traitors for opposing the ridiculous Iraq invasion will find this rather rich, but we don't have to go back even that far: Here's that old neocon Fred Kagan just last March,  insisting that "The U.S. must therefore shift the focus of its efforts to southeastern Syria... we must send troops to fight alongside the tribes, first against ISIS, then ultimately against Al Qaeda, Assad, and the Iranians." Think the guys at National Review or at any other rightwing coven laugh at that? Indeed, if they could get up a party in Congress for a Syrian/Iran invasion, they'd be enlarging their flag pins and calling us all traitors for opposing them once again.

But that wouldn't be hysteria -- only liberals do that. It'd be patriotism. Similarly, the current brutish reaction by Trump to something about which he probably only knows 1.) sissy tree-huggers like it, 2.) the Republicans whose consent he needs to grift don't mind if he kills it, and 3.) most importantly, it was done by Obama and therefore must be destroyed -- that isn't hysteria, either. It's -- what is it, David French? Ah, here: "Trump Defends the Constitution and the Economy." Trump surely doesn't know what's in the Constitution, and would probably cite the No Fat Chicks Clause if asked what part applies here, but if he does anything opposed by liberals, even that Old NeverTrump Gang will put up a statue of him clutching a copy of The Federalist Papers. In the age of Trump, heedless, belligerent opposition is their only remaining standard for virtuous conduct.

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