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America’s Status in the World

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The first two weeks of fascist America have really endeared us to the rest of the world. This week’s cover of Der Spiegel:

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Maybe we can go to war with the Germans at the same time that we are at war with Iran, China, and Australia, as well as massacring innocents in Yemen. Of course that still wouldn’t stop Navy Seals from wanting to be the shock troops of authoritarianism.

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  • Thom

    Of course he is cutting off Liberty’s head, because it turns out she was modeled on an Arab woman.

    • Vance Maverick

      I don’t read that as saying anything about the human model for the sculpture (if any). Rather, the sculpture was originally intended to symbolize an Arab country, so “Arab peasant” clothing was part of the first design, and was then repurposed. That is, it was about as Egyptian as Aida.

      • bender

        The Statue of Liberty did have a real woman as a model. Sometime after the last major repair of the statue, I saw a newspaper article about her that included a photograph of the woman’s granddaughter. The granddaughter was the spitting image of Lady Liberty. I was surprised because the face of the statue seems so idealized. But she really did look like the statue.

    • The Pale Scot

      That’s a very annoying webpage

      Turnoff the frigging volume and the video pops down and distracts me

      If I wanted to watch TV I’d buy a TV

      “We can’t write decently so watch this video instead”

  • tsam

    Man, that says it all, doesn’t it? The ISIS video motif is perfection.

  • LeeEsq

    Great political cartoons are going to a small solace for the next four to eight years.

  • I do wonder if Mexico is now wondering if it should start beefing up its military? Or maybe it should just make doing business with Trump a strategic initiative so as to minimize the risk of being on Trump’s hit list?

    • Matt Heath

      I wonder if they are thinking of asking whether China wants to build an airbase in Ciudad de Juarez.

      • CP

        The really funny thing would be if they offered that to Russia instead. Watching the GOP react to that would almost be worth it.

    • Little Chak

      I imagine there are, at the very least, very serious discussions about realigning military and trade relationships amongst affected countries.

      China, as one example, must be absolutely salivating at this unpresidented opportunity to expand their influence.

      • addicted44

        Unpresidented

        I see what you did there.

    • Nobdy

      Mexico beefing up its military in anticipation of a conflict with the U.S. would be like me working out so I could be ready to fight Conor McGregor.

      Not really a practical plan.

      • njorl

        Yes and no.
        Mexico buying tanks and fighters to fight off the US would be silly.
        Mexico building well supplied systems of bunkers and tunnels at various locations in mountains and thick forests would be a different matter.

        • David Hunt

          Not when the U.S. has a president insane enough to nuke those locations.

        • Dennis Orphen

          All modern warfare is asymmetrical.

    • cpinva

      maybe mexico should spend that cash beefing up its economy, so its people don’t feel like the only way to survive is to go to the US? just a thought. the Mexican gov’t has been corrupt for so long, it’s their normal.

      • Lost Left Coaster

        Immigration from Mexico to the US is way down in recent years. It fell off after 2008 and hasn’t really picked back up.

      • sigaba

        Spending money on infrastructure and economic development is communism. Then we'd HAVE to invade them.

        The way this has always worked:

        1. Border incursions occur, either settlers into Mexico or “bad hombres” into Texas
        2. Protests raised, Mexican military deployed in its territory.
        3. Eventually the US military invades Mexico because reasons, Mexico promptly overwhelmed
        4. Mexican government collapses in legitimacy crisis

        This has happened about a half dozen times, at least twice in the 19-teens. They could beef up their military but obviously they’ll never be able to match the United States. They could spend on internal improvements but if the invasion does come it’ll hit the reset button on everything they try to do.

        Mexico has a drug trafficking problem mostly because Americans buy drugs, but also because nobody trusts the cops and government, they aren’t legitimate in broad swathes of the country. Invading Mexico exacerbates the second problem immensely.

    • Warren Terra

      Mexico can’t even conceivably build up its military actually to confront the US, but there are two (very different) real concerns:

      1) Trump conducts bombing or commando operations against cartels within Mexico – an act of war – and either American troops kill Mexican troops or civilians, or vice versa, especially if Mexico responds by beefing up its air defenses.

      2) Mexico’s military decides to take Trump up on his offer of US support in imposing civil control, and then some. Military coup.

      One other really weird note: if Trump does decide to conduct drone operations against the Mexican drug cartels, he may discover that unlike the Afghan Taliban, the drug cartels are capable of attacking American drone pilots in Nevada.

      • rhino

        Or American infrastructure and military personnel. Or American civilians.

        One of the reasons the US has flexed military muscles so frequently since the late 19th century is a feeling of invulnerability. Mexico could never win a war against the United States, but they could conduct an insurrection on American soil quite easily.

        • BigHank53

          “Good morning! Thanks for taking my call. There’s some stuff we’d really like you to move into the US. Two dozen people and some portable anti-aircraft missiles. Let us know exactly when and where you’d like the Border Patrol and US military distracted. And as long as your drugs stay sealed up from the time they enter Mexico until they go to the US, they never existed.”

      • Crusty

        As someone here said yesterday, maybe you, if Trump has the military get in a firefight with Mexican cartels in Mexico, the cartels will instantly be transformed into freedom fighters fending off the evil gringo and Mexico will become a full on narco-state, controlled by the cartels. That probably isn’t the sort of neighbor we want.

        • guthrie

          A permanent enemy on your doorstep, the excuse to roundup and disappear millions of people, and lots of new manufacturing jobs? What’s not to love?

    • Mike G

      All the Trump voters in San Diego will be thrilled when the PLA Navy sets up a base in Ensenada.

  • Steve LaBonne

    Unfortunately, the actual death of liberty will be much slower but even more painful.

    • CaptainBringdown

      Don’t be so pessimistic, a thermonuclear blast would be relatively quick and painless.

      • SIS1

        That depends entirely on your proximity to the blast point.

        • CaptainBringdown

          Good point. Guess my coastal elitist bias shone right through with that comment.

          • SIS1

            Think of those who live in places not worth nuking!

            • CaptainBringdown

              Sucks to be you!

              • SIS1

                Hey! I may think of the suckers, but I myself live in the high fatality zone for the standard mid sized (300kT) strategic warhead that would be aimed at the local points of military/political/economic/strategic interest.

                • CaptainBringdown

                  Sweet!

                • mds

                  Oh yeah? Well I’m … [GOOGLES] … in the fallout distribution pattern for New York City. Shit.

                • tsam

                  My proximity to Fairchild Air Force Base makes my death quick and painless. I think. It’s not a SAC base anymore so…maybe not.

                • CP

                  My proximity to Fairchild Air Force Base makes my death quick and painless. I think. It’s not a SAC base anymore so…maybe not.

                  Technically, I’m in Rockville, not Washington, but I assume that’s close enough for government nuclear work.

                • BiloSagdiyev

                  Ze goggles! Zey do nothing!

                • BigHank53

                  Rockville? I’m sure the Bureau of Standards has a warhead with its name on it. No reason to leave a national lab standing.

                • tsam

                  I suppose that about 10 more shitty jokes out of me and I’ll get my own warhead target.

                • The Pale Scot

                  Grew up across from Staten Island, 16 mi from Manhattan and surrounded by refineries. We had the “hide under the desk drills”

                  WTF?

        • cpinva

          this. ask people who were miles away from Hiroshima or Nagasaki how quick and painless their deaths were.

          • Hob

            People tend to massively overestimate the “instant evaporation” thing with nuclear weapons. Even when I still lived in NYC, the odds that I’d go painlessly if we were nuked were not high; for most people it’d be some combination of being on fire / being crushed by debris.

            • tsam

              They do have a fairly substantial radius that is instantly wiped out. There’s a much wider radius that has this effect, mostly from heat and sheer force of moving air.

              Hiroshima and Nagasaki don’t compare because those bombs were a fraction of the blast energy that modern bombs have.

              • Lizzy L

                I’m about 50 miles from Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. I guess that’s not close enough for painless vaporization.

                • tsam

                  From a direct hit? Yeah. You’re one of the unlucky unducks that sticks around for a couple of weeks or months. No electronics, contaminated water and food.

                • sigaba

                  If you’re not line-of-sight you’re out of luck.

            • The Pale Scot

              You’re thinking that 1 or 2 warheads were targeted. Probably more like 10 on Manhattan alone. And 20 miles in every direction there are refineries, chem plants, data distribution centers.

              So call it 50 warheads in a 30 mile radius.

              That’s probably the under. Can’t recall the stats on population near the 5 major centers, but I think it’s over 120 mill. that’s most of our manufacturing and engineering personnel. Fall out would kill a bunch of the rest.

  • DrDick

    We are so fucking doomed!

  • Brautigan

    That item by Josh regarding the Naval unit in Kentucky has me more upset than just about anything else. Has anyone heard whether there have been any reprimands?

    • Ernie

      No kidding. When I last saw a story about this, the convoy had yet to be identified. The fact that they weren’t just some small town National Guard unit makes this all the scarier.

    • CaptainBringdown

      Fucking horrifying.

    • osceola

      Man, I understand that the SEALs have been promoted to sacrosanct the past few years, but they think they’re so fucking above it all they can do this?!

      • CP

        My “FUCK yeah! They got BIN LADEN!” enthusiasm for the SEALs has always been slightly tempered by the fact that the only two SEAL alumni I know by name are Chris Kyle and Erik Prince. Not exactly an advertisement in either case.

        • tsam

          Those are the worst examples. So was Charlie Sheen.

          Almost all of them are very professional, and damn good at their jobs, which is not what Steven Seagal did on that carrier.

          There’s a lot of mythology to them, but figure on them being among the more intelligent and skilled of Marines. That’s more or less what they are.

          • Captain Haddock

            Speaking as a Marine, that is both insulting and accurate. ;)

            The biggest differences between the various SOF units that I’ve seen is a combination of mission, age, and culture. My understanding is that the median age for new SEAL pups is 19 whereas Army SF is 30. MARSOC is trying to go to the middle with Marines who are done with the first tour, so low- to mid-20’s.

            I’ll tell you right now that SEALs are young, physical specimens whose primary weapon is hair gel. They’re competent, of course, but their age, their mission, their training, and their publicity combines into a lot of arrogance, some warranted, some not. Their day-to-day mission set in the GWOT era has been narrowed to raids, which is fine. They have lots and lots of money, which makes me intensely jealous.

            Green berets are old, tired, and really disappointed when they don’t get a hotel room to sleep in during exercises. They’re quite good at their mission, but their mission is quite different from what most people think. What most people think Army SF does is actually what the 75th Ranger Regiment does. Dudes at the Ranger batts are very, very competent and professional. I’m always happy to work with them.

            Air Force SF (STS specifically) makes me seriously question my life choices. They live very happy lives with lots of money for training and equipment. Lots and lots of money. So much money. Yuuuuge piles of money.

            MARSOC is the future.

            (NB: A lot of what I said is tongue-in-cheek and reflects happy competition within one big family.)

        • Linnaeus

          Don’t forget Jesse Ventura.

          • BiloSagdiyev

            Not a SEAL. But close.

            • wengler

              Oh God, I’m having horrible flashbacks to an endless internet debate about whether UDT during the Vietnam era is considered to be a Navy SEAL. I’m pretty sure the discussion point was an article announcing Ventura’s libel win against Chris Kyle’s estate.

            • sigaba

              There’s actually a significant amount of discussion on this and different authorities take different sides. Present-day SEALs seem to have no problem with Ventura calling himself a SEAL, it’s noted that he went to the same school and had the same rating. Even though the unit he belonged to was merely an underwater demolition unit that was later reorganized as a SEAL Team, years after he was out (in fact I think it might have been SEAL team 2).

        • I have met one or two SEALs in my time and they were very quiet, competent people for the most part. Nothing like the “Rambo” types you might imagine them to be.

          • Makes one wonder what they’re keeping quiet about.

          • N__B

            I worked with an exSeal. Quiet, competent, smart, and had absolutely no sense of personal safety. He’d climb things better left unclimbed.

            • tsam

              Well, there’s a certain amount of that needed just to get these guys through their training. Not that many make it through.

        • DrDick

          Also too our new Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke (a loathsome racist among other things).

        • sigaba

          Don’t forget Jesse Ventura was a SEAL. Also a governor.

          (One of the things I kept telling people who thought Trump couldn’t win, was that I grew up in Minnesota and saw Jesse Ventura win, and I lived in California of all fucking places and saw Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger win.)

          • wengler

            Never underestimate how much low-information voters love celebrity.

    • Yup. Just horrifying.

    • The Great God Pan

      No reprimands. The Navy is “investigating.”

      • efgoldman

        No reprimands. The Navy is “investigating.”

        The Navy (or any of the services) would take some time to investigate and decide on discipline, if any, because some officer’s or NCO’s career could go up in smoke.

      • Crusty

        Investigating whether to give them the medal of honor?

      • Captain Haddock

        And at the conclusion of the investigation, I’d expect non-judicial punishment with reduction in rank, which is appropriate and not something to take lightly.

        • Captain Haddock

          See this for a comparison.

          • wengler

            “As an active duty Marine, I say screw Obama,” and added that he wouldn’t follow orders or salute the president. He went on to call Obama the domestic, economic and religious enemy.

            That’ll do it. And now any similar thing against the Orange Fascist Clown will end with the same result.

    • One indicator of fascism: Loyalty to The Leader over loyalty to the nation.

      The Wehrmacht Oath of Loyalty to Adolf Hitler, 2 August 1934
      “I swear to God this sacred oath that to the Leader of the German Empire and people, Adolf Hitler, supreme commander of the armed forces, I shall render unconditional obedience and that as a brave soldier I shall at all times be prepared to give my life for this oath.”

      • mds

        If you don’t want to spoil your weekend, you might want to stay out of any Twitter feeds reporting on the flag incident. Because there’s a substantial contingent of Trumpists who have already translated that from the original German.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      It’s bad enough that our nation’s grandpas have been soaking in the FOX news bullhorn for 20 years — but it’s the active duty military (resentful white dept) that worries the shit out of me. They were basically raised on it.

  • Ernie

    The Feb 13/20 New Yorker cover is superb, as well.

    • tsam

      Very well done, but I prefer the appropriate level of shock in the post here.

      • Ernie

        I agree. The New Yorker cover is poignant. Der Spiegel’s is a slap in the face. This nation needs a goddamn slap in the face at the moment, or at least the MINORITY that voted for Emperor Tangerine.

        • tsam

          Lefty purists, too.

        • efgoldman

          This nation needs a goddamn slap in the face at the moment, or at least the MINORITY that voted for Emperor Tangerine.

          Well, yeah, but 99%+ of Americans never look at the New Yorker and never heard of Der Spiegel.

          • Ernie

            There I go forgetting that I live in a bubble again. Still, the Der Spiegel cover does appear to be getting some good coverage in the US media.

  • Linnaeus

    Erik, why do you hate the troops?

  • Tristan

    Off Topic, but I know I’m not the only Canadian here:

    This needs fewer than 1500 more people.

    And the BCCLA has an email script for bugging your MP on the same thing.

    Alternatively you can do nothing and hope that Trudeau makes his next tweet really devastating.

  • CP

    You’ve got to love the view from Germany; Britain, America, and Russia, of all countries, are plunging headfirst into far-right politics, while Germany is trying to keep sane.

    • twointimeofwar

      The Germans do an excellent job of educating their children about the horrors done in their country in the past. I think it’s working. (NB: some of my source material is from a Michael Moore movie, but it checks out.)

      • El Guapo

        What we should have done after the Civil War…

        • CP

          I can never read about the aftermath of either World War Two or the Civil War without thinking exactly that.

      • benjoya

        it’s true. i live in germany, and just about everyone i meet born after WWII (which is pretty much everyone) has a reflexive anti-nationalism and suspicion of authority.

    • That national re-education camp we put the surviving Krauts into post-WWII worked pretty well, didn’t it?

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Do you mean marching as many Good Germans as possible through the death camps to see just what it was that had been going on in their country? That’s one of my favorite Eisenhower decisions.

        It’s harder to cry “propaganda!” and “fake news!” after a nose-rubbing like that. To include clinging stench of death.

    • wengler

      You forgot France. The conservative looks very similar to an American conservative(including some religious nuttery), and the other person slated to make the second round is a kinder, gentler fascist.

  • Peterr

    Maybe we can go to war with the Germans at the same time that we are at war with Iran, China, and Australia, as well as massacring innocents in Yemen.

    Of course we will!

    You know that all those Radical Islamic Terrorist refugees that Merkel let into Germany are going to take over the country, and we’ll HAVE to go to war in Germany yet again.

    /Bannon

    • Nobdy

      I always assumed that if Nazism returned to Germany it would be home grown, not imposed by American military might.

      Gonna be weird when the M1A1 Abrams tanks roll through the streets of Berlin to oust Germany’s democratic government and reinstate the thousand year reich.

      • rhino

        They appear to be far less enamoured with fascism than all the places they conquered in ww2.

  • Roberta

    The ramifications of the Navy SEAL thing are incredibly disturbing and I am wondering how the left can counteract the threat it poses.

    So far I’ve come up with “everyone who is young and able-bodied enough, let’s go enlist, so we will be in a position to disobey orders and throw sand in the gears when the orders to commit war crimes start coming down.”

    This does not seem like a good plan, and it’s the only one I’ve got.

    • cpinva

      ok, I’m confused, what “Navy Seal Thing” are you talking about? clearly, I missed something.

      • N__B

        A military vehicle flying a “TRUMP” flag was all over the twits yesterday.

        • Davis X. Machina

          New unit: Leibstandarte Donald Trump.

      • Ernie

        Last line of the OP…

    • West

      No, that’s a “Go to Leavenworth alone” plan. Not advisable.

      It would be better for the country if the political diversity of the armed forces was better. The high command does love the all-volunteer military, and skewing right is part of the reason (I think there are some not-scary reasons, too). A draft military gets some of everybody into uniform, and spreads risk of dying across a broader spectrum of the civilian population, both of which would tend to moderate things at least a bit. I’m not holding my breath.

      • CP

        A draft military gets some of everybody into uniform, and spreads risk of dying across a broader spectrum of the civilian population, both of which would tend to moderate things at least a bit.

        According to my mother who grew up and is now again living in Switzerland, that plus the fact that everybody’s basically in the reserves for life has a democratizing effect on the population, too. The people who do well in military life are often not the same ones who do well in civilian life, and the fact that they have to see each other operate in both environments goes some way towards diluting the “well, this person doesn’t have MY particular skillset, so what the fuck can he know” type of snobbery.

        It also means that civilians are less likely to see soldiers as superheroes and action heroes who are here to save us all, while the soldiers are less likely to see themselves as a praetorian elite unappreciated by the fat lazy cowering ungrateful civilians.

      • Roberta

        Yeah, compulsory military service is looking better and better to me. There can be options for non-combat service for people who either are conscientious objectors or have disabilities, but there’s no reason not to have it at all.

        (Well, there is–the liberty interest in not being compelled to serve–but I think that’s outweighed by the threat to liberty represented by a military that is so right-wing).

        I’ve been having similar thoughts about law enforcement.

    • alexceres

      The simplest plan is to cut funding for troops and special operations, and let the pentagon have more budget busting but largely useless big weapons. The active combat troops have been reduced greatly since the height of the cold war, and could be considerably reduced further.

      No point leaving that thing lying around loaded for a Republican president to use.

  • Yeah, but what would the Germans know about Fascism?

    • Ernie

      Good point. Real Americans (i.e. not the fake ones who write fake news and attend fake protests and cash checks from George Soros every Wednesday) know all about the fascist left and its goal of turning us all into PC groupthink zombies who hug one another all day and talk about our feelings. AMIRIGHT?!

    • mds

      Yeah, I’ve already heard from my father that “Nazism” is on the rise in Germany … in the person of Merkel and her Islam-friendly agenda. I’m sure he’ll breathe a sigh of relief if the slide into fascism is stopped by AfD taking power.

      (I mean, never mind the Goldbergesque definition of fascism in general, “behaving with insufficient brutality towards a minority ethno-religious group” is the fucking stupidest accusation of Nazism I’ve heard in a while.)

      • CP

        “Nazi” is just their word for “totally killable evil foreign bad guy.”

        • BiloSagdiyev

          And “woman complaining about harassment and pay.”

      • Davis X. Machina

        I’m sure he’ll breathe a sigh of relief if the slide into fascism is stopped by AfD taking power.

        The NPD are chopped liver? Their posters are actually black, red, and white, so you can tell, wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

  • BigHank53

    What are the odds on Trump’s putting a framed copy on his Wall of Ego?

    • Ernie

      Pretty damn good. I’m sure he’s already dispatched Air Force One to Germany to pick up a bazillion copies. The New Yorker cover, though? There’s no Donald there! Sad! If they’d included a silhouette of his majesty blowing out the torch he would have bought a YUGE stack!

    • N__B

      If the Sturmbannonführer lets him.

  • smott999

    I seriously wonder what might happen should push come to shove. Will he fire Mattis if he objects to more goat fucks like Yemen? I suppose Yes. Mattis will be gone.
    Supposing there’s an actual DOJ investigation re his Russia contacts. Will he just fire Sessions or whoever leads the investigation? I suppose yes.

    Imagine he gets so crazy that he’s actually impeached.
    Will he refuse to go? Will they call the Sgt at Arms?
    Will the military have to decide whether they are on the side of the Constitution or the side of Trump?
    Because I think the majority of military will go Trump. The officers/generals etal may not.

    But really, the guy just fired an AG who refused to do his bidding re pissing on the Constituion.
    That’s crazy town. More pertinently, he’s placed himself above the law.

    All this feels like a coup, or maybe a civil war, that just hasn’t gotten fully to the shooting stage yet.

    • tsam

      He’ll duck the heat in Iran or China, and Americans will predictably “come together” like we always do.

    • Ernie

      Earlier today my wife voiced her fear that we’re more likely to end up embroiled in some kind of civil war than one with China, Iran, etc. I’m not sure that I’m there yet, but when you lay all the scenarios out like that…

      • Davis X. Machina

        Why not both? A transparently launched-as-a-distraction foreign war, and domestic insurrection aimed at gumming up its gears.

    • mds

      Supposing there’s an actual DOJ investigation re his Russia contacts.

      Supposing there’s an actual winged unicorn seen flying over the Capitol.

      I mean, Sessions got the gig purely because he was the first senator to embrace Trump, presumably on the basis of the KKK and Stormfront’s recommendation. He’s going to investigate the Trump administration just as soon as he stops fucking farm animals, which will be never.

    • Hogan

      Supposing there’s an actual DOJ investigation re his Russia contacts. Will he just fire Sessions or whoever leads the investigation? I suppose yes.

      There are some Senate investigations pending, so he’ll probably fire them.

      • smott999

        All good thoughts.
        Bottom line, whatever happens I doubt Trump or Bannon will go easily.
        I think we will have a military action that either removes him. Or doesn’t.

    • Ernie

      Trump might not need to fire Mattis…

      “What I’ve heard from behind the scenes,’’ Moulton said during a telephone interview on Monday, is that Mattis and others who were left out of Trump’s decision-making loop on the immigration order are asking one another, “What will make you resign? What’s your red line?”

      • Lizzy L

        A month ago I was saying that Mattis wouldn’t stay longer than 6 months. Now I’m wondering if he’ll stay 3. I think he’ll resign before he’s fired.

        • tsam

          I think you guys are giving Mattis more credit than he deserves. He knew Trump was a dangerous lunatic when took the job, and I see nothing in his past or any current statements that indicate he intends to be any kind of check on Trump.

          • sigaba

            He might have thought that if America had a lunatic for President, it was at least his duty to try to do his best to restrain it.

            Also reasonable people may have expected the Trump presidency to be a little different. I know Trump’s a lunatic and nothing he’s done has really surprised me, but his insane incompetence and detachment with reality are surprising. I expected a Muslim ban to be a little more quiet and fucking subtle; I’m not surprised he’s gutting Dodd-Frank, but I certainly didn’t expect him to announce he was gutting Dodd-Frank in order to make sure “his friends” could get bank loans. I thought Trump would destroy the country with the buttery platitudes and political dexterity we’ve come to expect from our Republican brothers. I thought he’d at least listen to his SecDef about wars and stuff.

            Maybe Mattis thought he’d be listened to, maybe he thought his actual military experience would bring a few of the alte-Trümpfer’s to heel. He is apparently wrong.

            • tsam

              Maybe…hard to say.

              And yeah, the only actual surprising thing has been the Keystone Cops on acid routine that promises to only get worse.

  • NewishLawyer

    Serious question, is there anything that Foreign Governments can do to help support Democrats and anti-Trump forces?

    I recall that during the 1960s, Kennedy invited Willy Brandt to the White House. He was only the mayor of Berlin at the time but it was supposed to be a signal saying “Hey Germans, we like this guy.”

    Can foreign leaders just start doing lots of photo ops and invites with Democrats?

    • dwreck

      I think that the key difference is that the German political class and also the public cared about American approval of Brandt. Keep in mind that although the SPD wasn’t really radical in the early years of the Federal Republic, it hadn’t officially given up nationalization of industry as a core principle until 1959. So, it was meaningful that the Americans on whom West Germans depended for security were giving a green light to Brandt.

      Contrast that with the American voting public today. I’m not sure I even need to finish that thought, but here it goes anyway: Democrats would be thrilled with foreign endorsements of Democrats, though there would be concern trolling and tut-tutting about whether it’s really a good idea. Leftwing purity ponies would find some reason to say that it makes the Democrats at least as bad as, if not worse than, Trump. Swing voters, to the extent that they really exist, would probably not really care or be aware, because they are low information voters. Republicans would howl about how it’s treason for a Democrat to side with a foreign power over Trump (never mind that wouldn’t really be what’s happening). Media outlets like NPR would report on it as: “Some say it’s important to strengthen ties between allies; others think it is treason,” and the story would involve interviews with David Brooks, representing the left, and Richard Spencer, representing the critics on the right.

  • AMK

    Diversifying the military beyond its rural white base has to be a priority for the next Dem administration.

    • Davis X. Machina

      A significant part of the military is made up of PoC, and LPR non-citizens. My nephew’s Army Guard unit was like some 21st c. version of the old WWII war-movie cliche platoon, albeit with Portuguese names instead of the Jewish ones.

      • CrunchyFrog

        But much less so the officer class.

  • e.a.foster

    America’s status in the world. the cartoon says it all.

    Some of us Canadians are not sleeping too well. We have the U.S.A. sitting on our border and though there has been no threat to invade us, if they go to war with China and some one has bad aim most of us sit within 150 miles north.

    Managed to piss off Australia. don’t think their troops will be all that available next time. not a smart move if things go south with China. If things go south with North Korea, they might need China.

    Mexico hasn’t been happy since Trump opened his mouth at the beginning.

    NATO countries are not amused.

    Half of Great Britain isn’t interested in having Trump there.

    Iran not happy. They’re not worrying most of us in Canada. Trump and his general are generally acting like asses. Iran has been put on notice????what the hell does that mean, like is their credit card behind on payments????

    At this rate Trump and the U.S.A. may find they don’t have any friends and the other countries got together and decided to work with each other and forgot to invite the U.S.A. to the next G-8 or G20 meeting. One might want to remember Putin left one early, no one was talking to him. if this keeps up, the U.S.A. might find itself being left out and isolated. that didn’t work so well previously. With the revoking of Dodd-Frank, things might get very bad for the Americans and no one is going to care. Those who wanted Trump may come to regret it. A 1929 style crash could happen and they won’t have some one like Obama to pull them out. China and Japan would wind up owning the U.S.A. lock stock and barrel. Americans also don’t have a social safety net when things go badly, a lot of the other countries do.

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