Living in Society

40 Red, White and Blue Shoestrings

2012 Drought Conference
2012 Drought Conference

There is no clearer evidence Republicans seek to unravel United States leadership in the world than their failure to understand the countries extending from China to Sub-Saharan Africa

Two things stood out last week: Republican knee-jerk reaction to the United Nations approved nuclear agreement between the P5+1 nations and Iran, and the connection between the rise of Islamic extremism and global warming.

There is plenty of public analysis of these two topics, so this post is not to bring something new to the table. The Economist laid out why the Iran deal is good, calling it “the most intrusive nuclear-inspection arrangements ever designed.” I’ve recently posted about Iran here and here. If you want to follow the topic, join Twitter and follow @DarylGKimball, @Cirincione and the hashtag #IranDeal.

With regard to the connection between the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and global warming, it’s not just me and Martin O’Malley connecting these dots. The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The World Bank, and many others have done so. There have been severe droughts in the Middle East, Asia and Africa which put pressure on crop production. Food prices escalated in the wake of related food shortages, precipitating food riots which in turn contributed to what has been described as the “Arab Spring.”

Republicans are not about resolving these issues, or demonstrating leadership in the world community. Call it austerity, income inequality, or whatever, they have a bill of goods they want to sell us that is not in our best interests. Not only do they want to sell us, they have already sold large segments of the population. It has become routine, in fact, someone recently overheard this conversation in the Senate cloakroom:

Well Mack the Finger said to Louie the King
I got forty red, white and blue shoestrings
And a thousand telephones that don’t ring
Do you know where I can get rid of these things
And Louie the King said let me think for a minute son
And he said yes I think it can be easily done
Just take everything down to Highway 61.