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September 30, 2005

Karen Hughes, Stateswoman (Gulp)
Posted by Michael Signer

On Karen Hughes' recent ascension from Texas-based media hack to an actual stateswoman, I find myself holding onto the tabletop to try and keep this dizzy event in some perspective.

After all, it's long been apparent that the Bush Administration pursues political victories with such single-minded ruthlessness that spin has become not a means to an end, but the game itself.  The consequence of this is severe; it means that governance becomes about spinning and winning -- not about achieving objective goals.  Which is why Karl Rove is running the government.  (Recently reported:  "Republicans said Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, was in charge of the reconstruction effort." )

But, still.  Karen Hughes as an Undersecretary of State?

OK, I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.  Our own Heather, after all, has suggested that we take her role seriously, and give her advice -- which implies (I think reasonably) that Hughes' new job promoting a better American face to the world (particularly the Middle East) is too important to dismiss out of hand.

But then we find out what she's actually saying, now that she's in the job.  WaPo reports today a couple of wince-worthy moments from Hughes' recent visits overseas:

Explaining U.S. goals for Palestinians, Hughes said it was "to have the experience of having children and families."

In Egypt, another clunker:

[I]n Ankara, the Turkish capital, she gushed: "I love all kids. And I understand that is something I have in common with the Turkish people -- that they love children."

I don't mind so much that our own President's bias for touchy-feely, inept diplomacy (remember how he swooned over our Russian proto-tyrant's soul?) has translated into Hughes' own sillinesses.  What does bother me is my concern that Hughes utterly lacks the depth of local knowledge, and the intellectual seriousness, that makes diplomats stateswomen. 

When she complained thusly about Palestinians:

Hughes told reporters traveling with her that she was surprised Bush didn't get more credit in the region for calling for a Palestinian state.

I worried that she just, really and truly, will have no idea what she's doing over there.

I mean, you think we'd get used to it -- but, really, you never do.


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at least they've all been idicted allready

OK, I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

You mean, like... after you assume that BushHitlerRove has turned the function of government into "spin and win" instead of achieving policy goals? Forgive us for being a little skeptical of your objectivity and method.

Anyway, what sort of humans do you think don't have the primary goal of family and/or reproduction?

I mean, you think we'd get used to it -- but, really, you never do.

I guess it's not surprising that you'd mix up your "we" and "you" a bit, but geez: pot, kettle, black...

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