Sullivan sounding like a dirty hippie:
When you are as broke as the US is, and when there is no rival military hegemon able and willing to do us harm, the military-industrial complex is an obvious place for massive cuts. If the US were a corporation that needed to make a profit, the Pentagon building would be a shopping mall by now. But to make these cuts as a government would require conceding that America’s sixty years of global domination are no longer affordable, or even relevant. It would require owning the relative decline of the US. No leading politician can do that. And many, like Romney, will run on the dangerous delusion that we should still act in the world as if it were 1963.
Which is how all empires eventually collapse: in a welter of debt, denial and over-reach.
Sullivan then rightly identifies the nature of Beltway sickness: A bunch of urbanites dreadfully afraid of being pegged as liberal, they consistently over-compensate by fawning over rightwing talking points and lurching away from anything that might offend people who thrive on being offended. Thus Paul Ryan’s sick joke of a budget “fix” that slashed Medicare to pay for more tax cuts that would then propel the economy into mystical Reaganland is taken as “serious” while Democratic proposals that increase taxes and slash defense aren’t worth talking about. Sullivan earlier wrote this:
China’s rise is also abetted by the US still pretending it can run the entire planet with a bigger military than everybody else’s put together. It cannot do this much longer without hollowing itself out from within. And slashing funds for infrastructure because we refuse to raise any taxes or seriously means-test Medicare and social security is not exactly the way to go about stabilizing this.
Repealing Obamacare and cutting taxes, then plundering Medicare to invade even more countries should fix our problems, right?
Anyway, Sullivan has been erratic lately, but it’s always fun to see him say things liberals have been saying for decades like he just figured it out. Sullivan really owes Noam Chomsky an apology for the way he’s sneered at and marginalized him before eventually adopting a good number of ideas that Chomsky had been expounding on for forty-plus years.