Quote of the Day postsFriday December 21, 2018
“One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO's 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.
”Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model — gaining veto authority over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions — to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.
“My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.
”Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position.“
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, in his resignation letter to Donald Trump yesterday—the day after Trump announced the U.S. was withdrawing its troops from Syria. I‘ve long suspected Trump only chose Mattis in the first place because of his nickname: ”Mad Dog.“ All in all, it’s one of the classiest ways of saying ”You‘re an idiot and a danger to this country" that I’ve read.
Tweet of the Day
Didn't think I'd ever be posting tweets from Bill Kristol—particularly ones that I agree with—but we live in strange times. Hey, bedfellow.
We might pause and reflect on the implications of the fact that we have a president who, rather than taking care that the laws are faithfully executed, loudly expresses contempt for the rule of law and encourages others to share that contempt, and, presumably, to act on it. https://t.co/ho04wH5PbV— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 16, 2018
Tweet of the Day
I would like to step back and point out how WILD it it that the president is tweeting, “I directed my attorney to pay hush money just weeks before the election to the porn star I cheated on my wife with,” and Republicans are responding, “See, the president is vindicated!”— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) December 13, 2018
Cf. an NBC News headline today: Trump was in the room during hush money discussions with tabloid publisher. Cohen got three years for this, right? Will be interesting to see if the other shoe ever falls for Donnie.
This past summer, I told my friend Andy, who was afraid Trump would get reelected in 2020, that he wouldn't even last the year. I'm probably wrong but ... I'm not that wrong.
The real news right now is not about Cohen’s sentence. It is about the conclusion by federal prosecutors that Donald J. Trump has committed a serious felony.— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) December 7, 2018
More from Adam Davidson.
“[Trump] has no interest in uniting the country, really, and actually has an interest in doing the opposite and dividing us, which he does on an almost daily basis. So that's simply a crime against humanity, as far as I'm concerned. It's an awful, awful message to send out into the world if you‘re in that job and in that position. It’s just an ugly, awful message. You are intentionally trying to disenfranchise a large portion of Americans.
”These are folks who are invested in denying the idea of a united America and an America for all. It's a critical moment. This has come so far to the surface, and it's so toxic. And it appears to have a grip . . . and to be so powerful . . . in a lot of people's lives at the moment. It's a scary moment for any conscientious American.“
Bruce Springsteen, ”Beneath the Surface of Bruce Springsteen," Vanity Fair