Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

July 21, 2009

GOLDFARB AT HIS MOST GOLDFARB-ESQUE.... Given Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) work on eliminating unnecessary F-22 funding, I sort of expected the Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb, a former McCain aide, to support the majority today.

No such luck.

If there is any consolation to be had here it comes from the fact that there will be a time when this administration's weakness on defense, and the subservience of their enablers in Congress, will reemerge as a national political issue. And at that time, some Republican will run an add [sic] that shows the trillions this government has wasted on pet projects and social experiments and contrast that with the determination that same government showed in killing a crucial weapons system -- because they decided there isn't enough money left for our military to have the very best equipment money can buy.

America is less safe now than it was an hour ago.

OK, let's get into this a bit. On the latter point, it's worth remembering that the F-22 is a bit of a mess. For every hour it spends in the air, it requires more than 30 hours of maintenance. One of its key problems is -- I'm not kidding -- "vulnerability to rain." After years of effort, the plane, in operational flight tests, has met only seven of its 22 "key requirements." It features a radar-absorbing canopy that tends to imprison pilots for hours. It was designed to address Cold War-era national security needs, and has flown a grand total of zero missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Even if we exclude President Obama from the equation, the excess F-22 spending was opposed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates (a Bush/Cheney appointee), the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (a Bush/Cheney appointee), the current Air Force Secretary and Chief of Staff, and the leading Democrat and Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. The Senate vote today had 15 GOP members, including some very conservative lawmakers, joining with the majority.

Now, Goldfarb seems to think the F-22 vote will have an effect on the F-35 project. That may or may not be true. But to argue that the F-22 vote means "America is less safe now than it was an hour ago" is silly.

But it's Goldfarb's first point that I find especially insulting. The "consolation" of a common-sense vote in the Senate on planes that don't work and aren't needed is that, someday, Goldfarb thinks there will be a political price to pay for Obama's "weakness."

This falls into a tired and offensive pattern among far-right voices -- laying down markers now so they can blame Obama if/when there's another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. This has been happening pretty consistently for months, and it continues to be ridiculous.

As Jason Zengerle noted when this rhetoric started, "You almost get the sense [these conservatives] are hoping for an attack so that they can blame Obama when it happens."

"Almost."

Steve Benen 2:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (29)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

More proof of the quirkiness of Snowe and Collins -- both voted against stripping the F-22 funds from the bill.

Posted by: Amy on July 21, 2009 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

The next time there is a terrorist attack anywhere in the globe, remember that BHO voted down a high-tech weapons system.

The only winners here are America's enemies.

Posted by: Al on July 21, 2009 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Now that the U.S. will be short on F-22s al Qaeda can proceed with the subway bombing they have planned.

Obama's secret plan to aid the terrorists continues...

Posted by: sven on July 21, 2009 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

pathological liars... the lot of them.

but, also, i would wager that this one wouldn't necessarily poll as goldfarb's biggest pathological lie.

Posted by: neill on July 21, 2009 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

If Goldfarb were a weapon then he's a living breathing USN Mk-13 Torpedo. Erratic gyroscope, poor depth control, impervious to facts (weapons settings) and more often than not, a dud.

Posted by: Former Dan on July 21, 2009 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Won't someone please think of the crooked, inept armaments industry?

Posted by: Jay B. on July 21, 2009 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

"Almost" nothing -- who was that guest on Glenn Beck who said that a terrorist attack on a major US city would be the best thing for the country? Michael Scheurer? These people need to be watched very carefully, and ex-VP Dick's private army too...

Posted by: Kreniigh on July 21, 2009 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

"The next time there is a terrorist attack anywhere in the globe, remember that BHO voted down a high-tech weapons system.

The only winners here are America's enemies."

The next time it rains, remember that BHO voted down a plane that can't fly in it without suffering a "critical systems failure."

The only winners here are America's umbrella manufacturers.

Posted by: Cazart on July 21, 2009 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Canceling these planes was a wise decision but I have to point out that the ratio of maintenance man hours per hour of flight is not all that bad. Many aircraft have much poorer ratios. Especially older aircraft.

Posted by: Peter G on July 21, 2009 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

All of our great institutions are under attack--first the health insurance industry, now the military-industrial complex.

Oh, and the wingnuts are, in fact, hoping for a terrorist attack, and they definitely will blame Obama for it--in part because he doesn't believe in limitless "defense" spending.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on July 21, 2009 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Goldfarb is one of the same pack of liars who called Obamas reduction in the rate of icrease of defense a "cut."

Republican will run an add that shows the trillions this government has wasted on pet projects and social experiments and contrast that with the determination that same government showed in killing a crucial weapons system -- because they decided there isn't enough money left for our military to have the very best equipment money can buy.

That bit is especially rich considering that as far as these jackasses are concerned, military spending is free.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2009 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

there isn't enough money left for our military to have the very best equipment money can buy.

Uh, there are 187 F-22's in the US inventory.

But the military is just a cartoon to a conservative.

Posted by: JM on July 21, 2009 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

The next time there is a terrorist attack anywhere in the globe, remember that BHO voted down a high-tech weapons system.

For want of a camel-seeking missile system, little Timmy was lost.

Posted by: JM on July 21, 2009 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm .. you should "(sic)" the word "add" in the blockquote.

I expect that the senators from Maine were and are concerned about jobs in their state. There are a fair few military bases & related jobs in Maine.

& finally, as far as the Democrats being weak on defense & matters of national security: it was during a Democratic administration that successful terrorism trials were conducted. It was during a Republican administration that the US began a war of choice against a sovereign nation that has decimated our military and will likely cost us a trillion or two, not to mention loss of life and materiel.

Just think, the Iraq War, from which we gain exactly nothing at great cost, is projected to cost more than health care reform, which will benefit millions of Americans.

Posted by: zhak on July 21, 2009 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Goldfarb must have knowledge of some secret AQ-22 plane being developed in the mountains of Afghanistan! Perhaps fabricated from parts of Bin Laden's dialysis machine!

We're dooooomed.

Posted by: Jay on July 21, 2009 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like Goldfarb to let us in on what he knows that the (Bush-appointed) Secretary of Defense, the (Bush-appointed) Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Air Force secretary and just about every other person with knowledge of the military who is not a directly-paid lobbyist for Lockheed-Martin doesn't know. If there was a united front like this at the Pentagon telling the Obama administration to do something and they blew them off, Goldfarb's head would explode. But that's just the definition of a hack, I suppose. Well played, sir.

Posted by: jonas on July 21, 2009 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Our military-industrial complex = the rich and powerful on welfare! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on July 21, 2009 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

What Jay said. 'Cause the only way the US can be safe is with a faulty plane, and not with any other use of that money.

Posted by: Obama / Steelers / etc on July 21, 2009 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Al @ 2:15 - Sounds like you have the power of non-sequitur reason on your side! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on July 21, 2009 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

More proof of the quirkiness of Snowe and Collins -- both voted against stripping the F-22 funds from the bill. -- Amy, @14:14

I have an impression that those two are pretty much dependable (from Dem POV), when it comes to some social issues, esp protection for women and children. Otherwise, they're good Republicans, just a tad saner than most of the current crop.

And then, too, are the particular *state* realities, which zhak mentions @ 14:34.

Posted by: exlibra on July 21, 2009 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Al said:

The next time there is a terrorist attack anywhere in the globe, remember that BHO voted down a high-tech weapons system.

Al, I'd love to know why you think building additional F-22s (beyond the nearly 200 we already have) would prevent terrorist attacks anywhere on the entire globe. How exactly would an ultra-high-tech military fighter jet be able to prevent a suicide bomber from blowing up a school? Those planes aren't that fast. Or maybe... they can fly so fast that if they flew around the Earth counterclockwise, they'd reverse time to the previous day so one of them could just hover over the school until the suicide bomber shows up and blast him before he enters the building! Yeah, I see how that would work, assuming you live in WhackoImpossibilityLand where the laws of physics don't exist.

Posted by: PattyP on July 21, 2009 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

The next time there is a terrorist attack anywhere in the globe, remember that BHO voted down a high-tech weapons system.

Where to begin? First, "BHO" didn't vote it down. The president doesn't vote anything down. Second, the military doesn't want any more of these crappy planes. And third, if this "high-tech weapons system" is so valuable in fighting terrorists, why hasn't it flown in Iraq or Afghanistan?

Posted by: Doctor Whom on July 21, 2009 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

---If Goldfarb were a weapon then he's a living breathing USN Mk-13 Torpedo.---

Bad analogy. After realizing it was defective, BuOrd was able to fix the Mk-13. By 1944, it worked well. No amount of work will ever fix Goldfarb.

Posted by: Tim H on July 21, 2009 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

with the determination that same government showed in killing a crucial weapons system

Somehow, I hardly think a plane who's list of defects is longer than War and Peace and that has been effectively obsolete for 35 years now qualifies as "crucial." But Goldfarb is like most all the rightwing keyboard warmongers; any bright, shiny military object that kills lots of "those people" is ok with them, no matter how much money is flushed down the toilet to pay for it.

Posted by: electrolite on July 21, 2009 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

"You almost get the sense [these conservatives] are hoping for an attack so that they can blame Obama when it happens."

Almost? I got the sense these conservatives would have blamed Democrats for an attack a year ago. It's what they do. If it's bad it'a the democrat's fault, if it's good they take credit for it(stimulus money-related jobs).They have no choice, they don't actually do anything good for the country, only the GOP.

Posted by: FitterDon on July 21, 2009 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I don't know. You could build a lot of F-22's in that hour that BHO left America less safe.

Oh, wait...

Posted by: Mark on July 21, 2009 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

Even assuming that the F-22s will make us "more safe", canceling the project before the planes have been built doesn't make us "less safe", it keeps us at exactly the same level of "safeness". If I say, "I'm going to give you a dollar," and then I don't give you that dollar; you're not any poorer just because I didn't give you a dollar that you never had in the first place.

Posted by: Stu on July 21, 2009 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

Sheesh, Stu @22:58...

You're gonna apply *logic* to Goldfarts? Whatever next????

Posted by: exlibra on July 21, 2009 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Bad analogy. After realizing it was defective, BuOrd was able to fix the Mk-13. By 1944, it worked well. No amount of work will ever fix Goldfarb.

Posted by: Tim H

Goldfarb is definitely the old Sgt. York DIVAD air defense system from the 80s:

Gets confused by the data its picking up, can't track anything, and suffers from lack of range.

Posted by: 2Manchu on July 22, 2009 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK
Post a comment









Remember personal info?










 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly