Remembrances of ‘Bromances’ Past, by Jack Kenny

Once upon a time the New York Times editorially embraced US presidents who wanted to improve relations with their counterparts in the Soviet Union. From Jack Kenny at antiwar.com:

It is not easy to arouse the frequently dormant patriotism of the New York Times, that eminent journal more often preferring to stand by Samuel Johnson’s warning that patriotism is “the last refuge of a scoundrel.” The dignified Times has generally found better ways to be a scoundrel and encourage others to be the same. The paper has more often warned against “jingoism” and xenophobia than it has bemoaned a lack of appreciation of “American exceptionalism” by an American president. And when, really, was the last time the Times criticized a U.S. president for not being tough enough, either rhetorically or in action, against Russia or the former Soviet Union? But now the president is Trump and it appears any stick is good enough to beat “the Donald” with.

To review: In an interview that aired on Super Bowl Sunday, Fox News controversialist Bill O’Reilly probed Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “He’s a killer,” O”Reilly reminded the president.

“You got a lot of killers,” Trump replied. “What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

Trump’s words, which are undeniably true, are less remarkable than O’Reilly’s response, which was, to say the least muted. He quickly moved on to other subjects. We can easily imagine the fiery indignation if the same had been said by a Democrat like, say, Barack Obama. Obama, you may recall, was roundly criticized by the patriots of the right for his inadequate appreciation of “American exceptionalism.” Obama stated his belief in such exceptionalism while at the same time expressing his appreciation of the same by peoples in other countries, who regard their respective countries as also exceptional. “Oh-ho!” cried the professional patriots. That proves Obama doesn’t really understand or appreciate American exceptionalism. Oh, well. He’s probably a closet African Muslim. And where was his birth certificate, anyway, and why did it take so long to find it?

To continue reading: Remembrances of ‘Bromances’ Past

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