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Dec 31 2012

Rich Lowry Keeps Using That Word…

Rich Lowry, the National Review editor most famous for seeing starbursts when Sarah Palin winked at him through the TV during the 2008 vice presidential debate, has a column at Politico objecting to the possible naming of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. And he doesn’t seem to have any clue what the word “mainstream” means.

Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel is reportedly under serious consideration to replace Leon Panetta as secretary of defense. A self-styled foreign policy realist, Hagel is out of the mainstream and terminally naive…

It would be one thing if Hagel were merely what he so often seemed when he was a regular on the Sunday talk shows — a tiresome purveyor of conventional wisdom overly impressed with his own seriousness. That would make him no different than about 90 other senators. It’s that his realism is so profoundly unrealistic and bizarrely skewed.

At the core of his foreign policy is disdain for Israel and unquenchable desire to talk to terrorists. This isn’t the realism of a Henry Kissinger, informed by a deep historical knowledge, or a James Baker, characterized by a tough-minded competence. It’s a pastiche of attitudes fashionable at Council on Foreign Relations meetings or the World Economic Forum in Davos, crystalized into an idée fixe lacking all nuance or true thoughtfulness.

He may well be a “tiresome purveyor of conventional wisdom” whose ideas are “fashionable at Council on Foreign Relations meetings” — but if he is those things, he is, by definition, in the mainstream of foreign policy opinion. If the opinions of the CFR are not “mainstream” when we might as well retire that word from the language entirely. I suspect a lot of this is projection; it is Lowrey himself who is a tiresome purveyor of conservative conventional wisdom.

19 comments

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  1. 1
    slc1

    Mr. Brayton just doesn’t get it. The Council on Foreign Relations is one of the organizations, like the Trilateral Commission, the Masons the Bilderbergers, the Illuminati, and Skull and Bones is part of a vast conspiracy to control our precious bodily fluids. End snark.

  2. 2
    Modusoperandi

    I built a machine to travel to different dimensions. Did you know that in Universe #435 the Right turned on Kissinger when Obama nominated him for SecDef, and that they did the same to Baker in Universe #1640a? Newton was wrong. The true Universal Constant is that they’re united in being against Obama.*
    .
    .
    .
    * In Universe #1404 they turned on Reanimated Reagan when Obama stumped for him on RR’s 2016 re-reelection campaign and his prospective VP, Jesus Christ. True story.

  3. 3
    jaxkayaker

    Rich Lowry is a tireless purveyor of tiresome moronicity.

  4. 4
    slc1

    Ah well, Ann Coulter once referred to Mr. Lowry as a girly boy.

  5. 5
    garnetstar

    Oh, by all means, let’s bring back Henry Kissinger. His foreign policy realism and deep historical knowledge are just what the world needs right now.

  6. 6
    Modusoperandi

    garnetstar “Oh, by all means, let’s bring back Henry Kissinger. His foreign policy realism and deep historical knowledge are just what the world needs right now.”
    I think you underestimate how important it is to secretly rebomb Cambodia. And Laos. Plus, Chile could use a good overthrowin’.
    In any event, the GOP would come out against him. Detente with the Soviets? That’s SOCIALISM!!!

  7. 7
    comfychair

    What you’re seeing in Mr. Lowry’s comments is what happens to a mind with zero self awareness, where you can be on any side of any issue depending on what the situation calls for at the time, with no reservations. This is also what allows them to lovingly embrace such moral relativism, while simultaneously lobbing the ‘moral relativism’ accusations at the liberals.

    Imagine living with no sense of personal responsibility, while blaming your opponent’s lack of personal responsibility for everything bad that happens in the world.

  8. 8
    yoav

    If Obama have nominated Jesus or saint ronny modern republicans would still have gone apeshit about something or other, hopefully Obama will finally figure out he’s not dealing with rational people and just stop trying to get them to like him.

  9. 9
    dan4

    Is it just me, or is Lowry confusing “Secretary of Defense” with “Secretary of State” (especially since neither of the two people whom he cites, Kissinger or Baker, ever held the SoD position)?

  10. 10
    Olav

    Where I live, it has been 2013 since about an hour. I enjoyed the fireworks display by my neighbours, had a few shots of rum and feel positively rosy now. Happy new year, people.

  11. 11
    d.c.wilson

    dan4@9:

    Lowery gets confused often. For example, he’s confused Sarah Palin with an intelligent human being.

  12. 12
    F [is for failure to emerge]
    This isn’t the realism of a Henry Kissinger, informed by a deep historical knowledge, or a James Baker, characterized by a tough-minded competence.

    May I please be excused to go vomit now?

  13. 13
    dingojack

    “This isn’t the realism of a Henry Kissinger, informed by a deep historical knowledge…”
    Bwhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!
    Oh Richy Rich, you slay me!
    Dingo

  14. 14
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    “A self-styled foreign policy realist, Hagel is out of the mainstream and terminally naive…”
    - Rich Lowry

    (Emphasis added.)

    A naive realist? Really?

    Mutually exclusive much?

  15. 15
    democommie

    Chuck Hagel’s a lying sack-o-GOFeces, what’s not there for Rich to heart?

  16. 16
    zmidponk

    StevoR:

    (Emphasis added.)

    A naive realist? Really?

    Of course. If you merely believe reality, you’re a bit naive. You have to believe all the right-wing rhetoric that gets spouted on Fox News, ad infinitum, in order to not be naive, even if that does not actually tally with reality.

  17. 17
    pacal

    Rich Lowry said:

    “At the core of his foreign policy is disdain for Israel and unquenchable desire to talk to terrorists.”

    This is o9f course either an out and out calculated lie or simple bullshit. In either case the question to ask Rich is “Why do you care so little about truth?”

  18. 18
    John Hinkle

    Nice. Here’s the text of the link to Lowry’s column:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/the-execrable-chuck-hagel-85335_Page2.html

    Almost all of Lowry’s aspersions for Hagel revolve around Israel, whether being insufficiently supportive of Israel, or being insufficiently hawkish on Israel’s enemies or potential enemies. It’s a one note column, and the rest is just noise.

  19. 19
    twincats

    Ah well, Ann Coulter once referred to Mr. Lowry as a girly boy.

    Well, that was probably because she winked at him once and he didn’t start flying around the room in a cloud of floaty hearts.

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