EASIER THAN THINKING…. Following up on an item from the weekend, President Obama, in a speech in Prague, outlined his vision of reducing nuclear stockpiles as part of the larger goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons. The race was on — who would be the first high-profile mindless conservative to mock the idea? It looks like Joe Scarborough gets the prize.
This morning, on “Morning Joe,” the former Republican congressman from Florida, with a child-like tone, equated eliminating nuclear arsenals with missiles that “can shoot dandelions,” banning “hate,” and altering the one-dollar bill to encourage Americans to “turn their frowns upside down.” For Scarborough, the very idea of the U.S. launching a global initiative to rid the world of nuclear weapons is so ridiculous, it doesn’t even deserve scrutiny. Instead of discussing the idea, the MSNBC personality jumped straight to mockery.
As is usually the case, Scarborough is painfully clueless.
Obama’s proposal is very much in line with the bipartisan approach outlined two years ago by George Shultz, secretary of state in the Reagan administration; Henry Kissinger, secretary of state in the Nixon and Ford administrations; William Perry, secretary of defense in the Clinton administration; and Sam Nunn, a former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
It’s also in line with the vision articulated by Ronald Reagan, who called for the abolishment of “all nuclear weapons,” which he considered to be “totally irrational, totally inhumane, good for nothing but killing, possibly destructive of life on earth and civilization.”
It would no doubt ruin Scarborough’s contempt for a sound policy, but if he’d consider what Obama actually said — you know, using his television news platform to share information with viewers — Scarborough might notice that there was nothing naive about the president’s vision. Obama conceded that eliminating nuclear arsenals may not happen in his lifetime, but he said we can begin the work with a variety of short- and long-term tasks, including U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a new treaty with Russia on arsenal reduction, a new initiative to secure all vulnerable nuclear material, and the creation of an international fuel bank as part of a new framework for civil nuclear cooperation.
If Scarborough disagrees, and believes this is a bad strategy, fine. He can pretend to be a media professional and explain his concerns.
Or he can be Joe Scarborough, and equate nuclear counter-proliferation with missiles that shoot dandelions.