Question time on the FM website, and some big news of this week. Post your questions and answers!
Summary: It’s “ask a question” time. In the comments “ask the mineshaft”: post questions about geopolitics — and your answers to other people’s questions. This is a community exercise, from the German “Gemeinschaft” (see Wikipedia).
Questions are especially welcome about current events and recent posts (which appear on the top of the right-side menu bar). Please reply to comments using the REPLY button (to keep the thread together).
- A milestone, and questions for our readers
- Evidence that the GOP has adopted Lenin’s tactics
(1) A milestone, and questions for our readers
Today we passed 3,500,000 page views since opening on WordPress in November 2007 (articles from 2003 to then were at the Defense and National Interest website). So let’s start with three questions asking how to improve what we do here. Please answer in the comments!
- Should we have more articles on the FM website, mostly smaller with a few larger articles?
- How useful are the articles posted here from other sources? Who else would you like to see reposted here?
- How can we improve the comment threads?
- Request for comments on this interesting article about America by a ArchDruid!
- The doom and gloom is far too similar to what has already been said over the last 100 years
- Who “is” Willard Mitt Romney?
(3) Evidence that the GOP has adopted Lenin’s tactics
(a) Then: Republicans have found a sure-fire path to victory in the November elections, 5 February 2010:
The Republican Party appears to have found an almost sure-fire tactic to sweep the November 2010 elections: the worse, the better. Obstruct everything, good or bad. Offer compromises only to confuse your opponents. The American people will blame Obama and the Democratic Party for the resulting disaster.
This tactical insight was a key part of Lenin’s strategy and is attributed to Nikolay Gavrilovich Chernyshevsky. From Britannica (also see the Wikipedia entry):
(1828 – 1889) radical journalist and politician who greatly influenced the young Russian intelligentsia through his classic work What Is to Be Done? (1863). … Landowners accused him of stirring up class hatred; and, although the extent to which he was actively subversive is a matter of controversy, he was arrested in 1862. After two years’ imprisonment he was exiled to Siberia, where he remained until 1883. … In the USSR he was considered by many to be a forerunner of Vladimir Lenin.
(b) Later they partially admitted this.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, interviewed by Major Garrett in National Journal, 4 November 2010 (gated; link here):
MCCONNELL: We need to be honest with the public. This election is about them, not us. And we need to treat this election as the first step in retaking the government. We need to say to everyone on Election Day, “Those of you who helped make this a good day, you need to go out and help us finish the job.”
NATIONAL JOURNAL: What’s the job?
MCCONNELL: The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.
Their actions, refusing to participate in almost any Obama initiative — no matter how pressing the national need — shows their intent and values more clearly than any words will do.
(c) It was their goal from inauguration day, shown in this excerpt from new book The New New Deal by Michael Grunwald (2012):
People were pretty demoralized, and there were two totally opposite thoughts on how to approach the situation,” a McConnell aide recalls. “One was, `we don’t like the president, we ought to pop him early.’ The other was, `he’s really popular, we should work with him, because that’s what people want us to do.’ The boss’s take was: Neither.” McConnell realized that it would be much easier to fight Obama if Republicans first made a public show of wanting to work with him.
Biden says that during the transition, he was warned not to expect any cooperation on many votes. “I spoke to seven different Republican Senators, who said, `Joe, I’m not going to be able to help you on anything,’ he recalls. His informants said McConnell had demanded unified resistance. “The way it was characterized to me was: `For the next two years, we can’t let you succeed in anything. That’s our ticket to coming back,’” Biden says.
The vice president says he hasn’t even told Obama who his sources were, but Bob Bennett of Utah and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania both confirmed they had conversations with Biden along these lines.
Hat tip on this to Greg Sargent at the Washington Post.