Time to gather around for storytime, children….

Next week, the Secretary of State of our country is going to be at a Gaza reconstruction conference in Cairo, at which wealthy nations are going to give money to rebuild homes and businesses in Gaza which were destroyed during their war with Israel. We don’t know yet how much America will donate, but Washington is expected to promise a “meaningful and appropriate” amount.

But wait…the American government also gives lots of money in military aid to Israel…hundreds of millions of dollars.

So, yes. Like in some twisted fairy tale–we are paying for Israeli missiles–which they are going to use to bomb the Gaza strip–which we are then going to pay to help rebuild–so that it can be bombed again.

And this, American boys and girls, is why we can’t have nice things.

I can kind of sympathize with passionate conservatives at the moment.  Since the Democrats hold both the Presidency and the majority in the Senate, conservatives find themselves in the same position progressives like me have been in many times, valiantly struggling for the things they believe in without having the power to really make them happen, until that struggle turns into something a bit quixotic and silly.

There is no better example of this than the current conservative hero, Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  Conservatives sing his praises for sticking to his right-wing principles, but…what has he actually been able to get done?  So far, he is 0-to-11 in his Senate votes.  He has introduced a bill to repeal healthcare reform (snort).  He has voted against John Kerry’s confirmation for Secretary of State while attempting to smear him as anti-military, and lost that fight.  He has participated in the Chuck Hagel hearings and tried to make the Secretary of Defense nominee look anti-Semitic by quoting out of context from an interview in which Hagel in fact criticized Iran and emphasized the importance of a strong relationship with Israel.  When all else failed, Cruz threatened to filibuster Hagel’s nomination.  But this turned out to be an idea which other, more sane, Republicans are backing away from.  (And I’m using the word sane to refer to John McCain here, which feels like quite a stretch.)

I realize that when he does all this, Cruz is appealing to his conservative base.  But he is also not accomplishing much of anything.  His dramatic gestures may get attention, but that is all they are, gestures–like his letter to Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel opposing gun control measures.  I’m sure Emanuel cares deeply about that one. Again, as a liberal I feel some sympathy for Cruz here.  He’s like one of those tree sitting anti-logging protesters.  You know that tree will get cut down anyway, but good old Ted is gonna keep sitting up there.

But I guess I shouldn’t completely dismiss Ted–he proudly represents the red-blooded American values of a state like Texas.  At least, until the demographics shift and Texas turns blue.  Tee hee.

Republicans…can you trust this man to be Secretary of State?

Apparently, you can.  Republicans are falling all over themselves to recommend John Kerry as the easiest choice for confirmation for Secretary of State, the man who will be strong and knowledgeable as he represents us in the world.

Really?  The guy who was going to let the terrorist wolves eat us?  Say, this wouldn’t be motivated by that special election for Kerry’s vacated Senate seat, which Scott Brown could then run for?  Nah…only a complete cynic would think that.