Feb 23, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows: Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here. Follow @Bobblespeak
Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,
If America were at a cocktail party, it would say “enough about you – let's talk about me.”
Mexican police caught a drug trafficker This Week host Martha Raddatz called “Mexico's Osama bin Laden” Her chief concern – would the Mexicans please cooperate and send him here.
While Representative Mike McCaul conceded Mexico is a sovereign nation, this is a special case, because he once escaped from a Mexican prison, so really he should be in a U.S. SuperMax, which can hold someone described as this clever and innovative, though not, of course, accused terrorists, who can easily slip out of a SuperMax.
Raddatz is still worried, and McCaul agreed, saying its up to the administration to pressure Mexico to hand him over to the U.S. for trial, somehow spinning the capture of a major international drug dealer as a loss for Obama.
On Ukraine, Raddatz turned to two esteemed foreign policy experts, Tom Friedman and Bill Kristol. Because, like Mexican drug cartels, Ukraine is really about the U.S., Raddatz asked “is this a new version of a kind of Cold War here?”
Friedman said, no, it isn't, and in fact, it's a good thing the U.S. is not directly involved in Ukraine right now.
Kristol got petulant, whining that President Obama said Ukraine is not part of a Cold War chessboard. “I don't know why he says that with some disdain. That was not an ignoble thing for us to play on that chessboard for 45 years. We ended up winning that Cold War.”
Kristol also thinks the U.S. needs to be involved in Ukraine, as we should have been in Syria, which was “a peaceful revolution, a pro-Western revolution to an amazing degree.”
Incredibly Raddatz then asked Bill Kristol, a man famous for his attachments to Dan Quayle, Sarah Palin, and being always wrong about everything, to judge all of Obama's foreign policy. He said, of course, Obama doesn't do enough for all the people in the world who want America to liberate them.
To David Gregory too, the U.S. should decide what happens in Ukraine.
He asked Susan Rice, of the President of Ukraine: “Does he have to go, in the President's mind?” and “The president spoke with President Putin. Was his message pointedly, "Back off here, let Ukraine follow its own course?" and “do you think the United States has a big financial role to play in helping Ukraine?”
On the outcome of the protests: “does President Obama view this as a positive sign?”
On Russia he asked “Why shouldn't Americans look at Vladimir Putin and Russia today as an enemy?”
When Rice tried to insist that Russia not an enemy, Gregory got visibly frustrated. His voice rising, he asked: “Don't you understand that perspective of Americans who may not be in the foreign policy establishment who say, "When is enough enough? I mean when do you confront Putin at some point and call him on all this stuff?"
The Ukraine is really about the U.S. So is Syria. Gregory asked “Is the U.S. prepared to escalate on the ground to achieve a different result on the battlefield?”
Gregory then turned to his crack panel of Judy Woodruff, Helene Cooper, David Brooks and Chris Matthews.
On Ukraine, Chris Matthews has it nailed: “It's so familiar, because I grew up rooting for the captive nations of Eastern Europe. Catholic school, a lot of Ukrainians in Philadelphia went to school with us. They were the smart kids, the hardworking kids.”
and “What I found interesting over the weekend was not in the Olympics, but in Ukraine, they're wearing ski masks,” and “Why would you wear ski masks after you've overthrown the guy?
For Gregory, Ukraine “is ultimately about the United States and Russia.” Brooks agreed, saying “so that is a potential epic conflict between us and them.”
Gregory said “some believe this harkens back to the Cold War,” and “I heard the president say, "Look, we don't want to look at this like the Cold War." But isn't that how Vladimir Putin views all of this? Doesn't he look at this sphere of influence very much in a Cold War context?”
Gregory even inadvertently mocked himself, quoting Josh Marshall “where he took on the idea that this is a cold war again. He basically said, "Stop it.”
But everything that happens in the world is really about America, and whether we are weak or strong. He asked “What is the President's voice? Is it a foreign policy that's defined by its limitations or by its potential?” and “I want to talk about Obama. Because I do think that this becomes the leadership challenge.” and “Do you think the President's been clear enough about what America stands for?”
But the most telling moments came in the regret all the panelists had that, due to the upcoming elections, the parties have given up on chained CPI and immigration reform.
Brooks said quote “in the old days in Washington, you'd cobble together a bipartisan coalition and get rid of the fringes.” Matthews emphatically agreed, saying “it used to be that the parties would help each other” unquote and “both parties have gone to their base.” Woodruff agreed, saying “both parties have gone into the bunker.”
If there's one thing all pundits agree on, it is nostalgia for a long-lost Washington, where deals were made over cocktails, and passionate citizens could be ignored. Whether it's the U.S. or Ukraine, or Syria, politics would be so easy if weren't for those meddling people. And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.