Kate Clinton

The Rodney Dangerfield of Nations

Filed By Kate Clinton | August 18, 2008 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Chinese gays and lesbians, George W. Bush, John McCain, Kate Clinton, Olympics, Putin, Russia

George has enough accumulated sick days to go on vacation, call the home office from the ranch and say he is not coming back. But no.

Now he has a big conflict with his old "I looked him in the eye" friend, Russia's self-appointed premier, Vlad Putin. In my house, we had been expecting the traditional August surprise, but had been looking Iran-ward. George might just do like Putin, who looked him in the eye and saw right to the back of his head, and declare himself the U.S. Premier. I would not put it past him. That Constitution has been nothing but an inconvenience.

George is fresh from the Chinese Olympics, brought to us by our own credit card debt. With not one little toenail left on his moral footprint, still president-erect from cruising the Olympic beach volleyball babes, and hectoring China on their human rights abuses, there was our Spectator-in-Chief excoriating Russia for its preemptive strike into Georgia. You could practically hear the world snorting, or maybe it was me. One Russian general awaiting his marching orders announced, "If the US can take Baghdad, we can take Tbilisi."

Putin's punishing Georgian incursion and Ossetian obsession gave broadcasters a chance to brush off their use of "hegemonics" again, but it is much easier to say "oil". This is Putin's version of George's off-shore drilling. Our nation's pusher in our addiction to oil never mentions compassionate conservation. And I do not mean bailing out arrogant, short-sighted auto industry executives whose S.U.V.s are now S.V.U.s and are somehow to be congratulated for finally making fuel-semi-efficient cars. McCain, Bush's Second Life avatar, scornfully reduced Obama's wide-ranging list of conservation options to tire pressure. Think Carter's cardigan.

When your situation room is the resort town of Provincetown in August, it is difficult to try to convey the seriousness of these developments to vacationers. It is also perhaps cruel. One sunbathing woman overhearing my shrill news on the beach, thought Russia had invaded the state of Georgia and said, "If they can fix the Atlanta airport, I'm all for it. Give them Florida."

While it is Bear Week in Russia, here in Provincetown we are approaching our last big theme weekend of the summer, Carnival. This year's carnival theme is "Wild, Wild West". It is a great party, but I am dreading the Chaps R Us, Brokeback Mountain variations, and the inevitable, impolitic cowboy and Indian gaffes. Or maybe I am just projecting to the upcoming wilding at Denver's Democratic convention. Meantime I am off to get together my Annie Oakley outfit.

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Annie Oakley? Why not Calamity Jane?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 18, 2008 1:10 PM

You may find this hard to believe but the Georgians are just as clueless as George. They thought, on Bush’s utterly demented say-so, that they could get away with attacking Russia. The Georgians, who’ve been George’s loyal allies in the Caucasus for years, even sent a brigade to help George commit mass murder in Baghdad, just as their christist ancestors helped Hulagu Khan's Mongol army commit genocide against the inhabitants of Baghdad in 1258.

What they did was lose South Ossetia for good by killing a lot of civilians and generally behaving like the Germans did in 1941. But that only lasted for a few hours until the Russian Army swatted them, then crushed them and finally sent them fleeing with their tails between their legs, as the saying goes, back to hide among civilians. It was one of the quickest demobilizations in history, even more impressive given that it was unplanned and unauthorized. So brave. Russian soldiers are treated brutally by NCO's and officers and they take it out on civilians. The stupidity of their leaders has put many Georgian civilians at risk.

For their efforts the Georgian leadership has become the laughing stock of the Caucasus. They were delusional enough to think that an American president was actually interested in them as an ally instead of as an exceedingly expendable client state.

It’s a replay of the situation in Budapest, 1956. Then Nixon got on the air and made lots of promises to aid the Hungarians but his promises were, surprise, all lies. Now the US is bogged down and losing in the Middle East in spite of the mass murder of civilians. Bush can’t afford to help the Georgians, particularly against a nation that’s demonstrated its ability to easily defeat the imperial ambitions of Napoleon and Hitler. They’re perfectly aware of all that in the Pentagon and at the CIA even if the White House and Rice’s State Department are oblivious.

You’ve got to feel sorry for the Georgians; their best friends are the most unpopular president in decades and at total bungling bureaucratic disaster who botched the chance to prevent 9-11 and who’s now fully engaged in being a modern day Ribbentrop. The best Bush can do is turn Condoleezza Rice loose to snap at the Russians heels, but to date, they haven’t been bothered to notice.





You know, our dumb as bricks media always astounds me. After watching the sunday talk shows, not one host, asked the obvious question.

Does the US have a leg to stand on Russia not to invade another "sovereign" nation after we did the same exact thing in Iraq?

I believe we are beginning to see the new world order created by Georgie boy come home to roost.

Everyone is laughing, but the joke is on us.

Of course, what is even scarier is that McCain is throwing his dick around saying we should be stronger on Russia. With what troops?

Its maddening.

It's like Dobby and Howdy Doody having a sit down.

Everyone is laughing, but the joke is on us.

Well said.

You left out the part about this leading to possibly another cold war era with the Russians.That won't help the deficit as even cold wars cost big bucks.As for the cars comment it's easy to blame Detroit but what about those who chose to buy Suv's for their familys safety realizing imports make better airbags than airbags.As for Toyota,Honda and Nissan fuel efficiency is only one aspect in building a quality car.They fail my standards on all the others.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | August 19, 2008 10:42 AM

And even now as the chief of NATO has given his news conference saying he won't talk to Russia in a normal manner until they leave I have to ask:


Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | August 19, 2008 4:15 PM

Another thing the American media is ignoring is that NATO and the European Union have steadily been swallowing up territories that made up the fomer USSR, to the point that Russia is now surrounded by rivals and sworn enemies. Add to that, the fact that GW Bush had the brilliant idea to place missiles in Poland targeted eastward, and you understand that this group of bozos in DC are currently waving a red flag at a nuclearly-armed bull. It's insane.

One piece I read (sorry, lost the link) likened America's support of Georgia against Russia to China militarily allying itself with Canada and Mexico, then promising to support Mexico's armed bid to recover the territory of New Mexico from the US.

The analogy would be more apt were the territory in question oil-rich. Say Texas? And if China was already constructing the missile silos in Northern Canada.