Conservatives have been bursting a vein over President Obama’s totally unsurprising statement that negotiations might be more fruitful once U.S. pols are no longer engaging in the ritualized puffing and strutting of their electoral mating dances. As a matter of fact, some of those on the right who are especially easy to inflame have dubbed his rather mild nod in the direction of realism, “unilateral disarmament.” Never mind that nobody can show the slightest bit of evidence that the President has any intentions of stripping the U.S. and only the U.S. of our entire nuclear arsenal (or of any type of arsenal) – which is what would be required if we were to disarm unilaterally.
The point that I really want to make, however, is that those on the right do seem to recognize that unilateral disarmament is foolhardy. So why do so many of them think (or pretend to think) that when politicians refuse to endorse what amounts to unilateral disarmament in the electoral sphere, it is “hypocrisy.” I allude to the GOP response to the VoteVets ad that is running in support of Claire McCaskill:
For years, Claire McCaskill has feigned outrage over political spending by outside interest groups that she accuses of trying to “buy your government”-but now that she is benefiting from an outside interest group funded by radical environmentalists, she is strangely silent,” the state GOP said in a statement.
To make matters worse for McCaskill, the nonpartisan OpenSecrets.org has investigated VoteVets and unmasked the interest groups behind it. As it turns out, VoteVets has raked in millions of dollars from radical environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection.
Let’s sort it out: McCaskill has been hammered and will, no doubt continue to be hammered with dishonest third party ads, most recently from Crossroads GPS. The GOP can rely on enough third party moolah from their corporate and financier pals to gold-plate Everest if they didn’t prefer that it be used for carefully calibrated attack ads instead. All of which brings home the fact that it’s definitely not a level playing field. Walking unarmed out onto this far from level
battle playing field is surely the political equivalent of unilateral disarmament – which the GOP clearly considers criminally stupid, even if they don’t exactly know what it entails.
McCaskill has to play the hand she’s dealt and that means taking help where she can get it. But at least, she knows that we need to reform the rules that govern the playing field and her condemnation of the bad faith that forces her hand, is far from hypocrisy, even if she still retains a clear concept of what current realities demand. On the other hand, GOP pols really, really seem to want to perpetuate the money laden status quo. Otherwise, they’d join their Democratic colleagues’ efforts to do something about the efforts of a few rich men to purchase our government.
Oh – I almost forgot – the claims about VoteVets? How purile can you get. VoteVets consort with environmentalists? You gotta admit – they’re a classier bunch than either the Kochs or Carl Rove who’re among the sugar daddies behind the groups spending big bucks to knock McCaskill out of the ring.