The Third Shift

  1. Republicans are certainly not attacking Rice simply because she is a black woman. But it is certainly likely that they are attacking her because she is a black woman, allied with a black man, who represents the party which black America believes is the best vehicle for its particular interests, and the broader interests of the country. In other words the question isn’t “Is Senator Lindsey Graham racist?” so much as it’s “Who does Senator Lindsey Graham represent?”

    The answer is Graham represents a party whose candidate for the presidency believes black Obama voters are guilty of the sin of electoral bribery, while white Romney voters are simply guilty of loving their country too hard. Graham represents the party of birther claims and birther jokes; the party which thinks attempting to restrict the votes of black and brown people is good use of their resources. The notion that you can separate who Republicans target, from how their base tends to evaluate those targets is willfully naive.

    It does not matter what dwells in Lindsey Graham’s heart. No one knows. The hard interests are what matter.

  2. full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    Foreign policy debates in America are particularly unedifying because neither major party candidate is willing to say anything to disabuse US citizens of the notion that our country is a shining city on a hill, a beacon, a moral exemplar of democracy, and an arbiter that should be “leading” the community of nations.

    Thus, despite zingers and any other point made in support of my preferred of the two viable candidates for president, I remain inexorably disappointed in the fact that both men support a foreign policy that appears to rob other countries of their agency, as if the rest of the countries that made up those on earth did not have their own specific preferences.

    American foreign policy debates are always about what we should be doing on the world stage to make our presence felt. Rarely, if ever, is it asked why we should be intervening in events thousands of miles away when they affect us not one bit. This is the debate that leads us into unfunded wars of choice, involvement in civil wars where we pick and choose the winners and hope they’re better than the people we want out, and blowback from people who get pissed off at the autocrats we wind up supporting over the decades because they’re our autocrats.

    It is sadly ironic that a day after the passing of George McGovern, there is sentiment throughout the country that cries “Come home, America,” yet much of the policy practiced by its leaders mean we will be doing anything but, no matter which party is in power.