Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Wednesday, December 16th, 2015.

Squawk Squawk Chickenhawk

Republican Party

Hearing those meatballs running for the Republican nomination brag about how tough they’d be on terrorism is surreal. It’s like hearing some pot-bellied drunk brag about how he could beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. if the World Boxing Association would let him in the ring.

Ted “Tailgunner” Cruz brags about “carpet bombing” ISIS, apparently without comprehending what “carpet bombing” means. Even Frank Bruni is snarky

Someone needs to explain carpets to Ted Cruz.

They’re continuous stretches of material, usually rectangular, sometimes round. They’re not staggered, interrupted, with stops, starts, holes and sharp jags so that they smother and blot out only the evil bits of floor but leave adjacent, innocent ones untouched.

When you call for carpet bombing, as Cruz did again on Tuesday night, you are not outlining a strategy of pinpoint targeting or of any discernment.

You are sounding big and bold and advocating something indiscriminate. That’s the nature of a carpet. You can’t pretend otherwise.

Unless you’re Cruz, who can pretend just about anything.

I’m pretty sure none of the A-list contenders has had any experience wearing a military uniform, except perhaps for Halloween.  (Toast! and Dr. Ben did register for the draft during the late Vietnam era but were not called.)  Gilmore (is he still running?) was in the Military Intelligence Corp. for a while. Miz Lindsey has a considerable military record serving as a lawyer but was never deployed into combat. Of course, combat experience is no predictor of whether a President will be an effective commander in chief. But you’d think a person who has never seen war would at least affect some humility and reticence about sending other people into one.

On the other hand, there’s Mike Huckabee, who never served, telling young people to get off their butts and secure their freedoms.

Charlies Pierce:

So sitting there, listening to a bunch of people who never served a day in combat talk about how they’re going to turn the Middle East into obsidian glass and how they will keep me safe, it was hard not to fall off my chair. Frankly, I wouldn’t hire any of these people to watch my car in a valet parking lot, let alone lead the country into what they never miss a chance to call, “the Third World War.” Chris Christie? Ted Cruz? Marco Rubio?


You see where I’m going here.

When he was a “federal prosecutor,” Chris Christie made more ferocious war on his expense account than he did against the “people who want to kill us.” (His big trophy case, the Fort Dix Six, is one of those strange half-entrapment cases.) He also doesn’t seem to like the Senate very much. Marco Rubio, continuing his ongoing effort to fill out a grown-up person’s suit, postured and promised us (again) a 500-ship Navy to keep us safe from the people who drive their pick-up trucks across the ocean to attack us. He also puffed himself up and declined to talk about classified information on national television. (This assumes, of course, that he even knows any, given the fact that he seems to have developed a severe allergy to something in the  room where the Senate Intelligence Committee meets.) Ben Carson said something very weird about being a neurosurgeon in connection with carpet-bombing Syria. (I’m not kidding.) It’s a very good thing that we really are not electing a commander-in-chief for the whole country because none of these guys is up to the job.

There’s an old saying, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Well, if hot air were missiles, these guys would be fearsome. But it ain’t, and they aren’t.

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