Recently saw a thread complaining about #NeverTrumpers who’ve stuck to their guns.The gist: What’s wrong with you people? You’re getting 80% of what you want, so stay in the fold and work against the 20% that you don’t. I imagine that’s a pretty common refrain. 1/
This reminds me a bit of the criticisms from the left: “you all enabled this during the Obama years” (mostly true); “you supported the catastrophe of the Iraq War” (almost entirely true); and so on. 2/
Here’s the thing, though. The reason the “you’re getting 80% of what you want” argument doesn’t hold is that the still-#NeverTrumpers have decided that some small-l liberal small-d democratic principles *are more important than the enaction of their policy preferences* 3/
2) She points out that it's not entirely clear who Trump is referring to, but that's not some kind of bug. It's a feature. This kind of rhetorical ambiguity is Trump's bread and butter, especially when talking about immigrants.
3) Now, let's say that you disagree. You don't see the pattern that Trump's critics see. You think that Trump's a discursive, imprecise, even sloppy, speaker. You blame the media for twisting his words.
Last night, my wife, who knows a thing or two about the technical side of non-proliferation, made an interesting point: the JCPOA is not a flawed agreement—it is an excellent agreement. 1/x
But you wouldn’t know this from much of the debate. Why? Well, in part, b/c most of the pro & con talking heads are policy, not technical, people. 2/x
(Indeed, I’ve heard her complain multiple times that way prominent critics talk about the enrichment issue shows that they don’t understand the mechanics of nuclear-weapons construction. @CherylRofer was also banging the drum, and her head against a desk, about this.) 3/x
I'm going to be blunt: the number one 'big' geopolitical concern for the United States is how to manage relative decline. Short of a catastrophic development that favors the United States, power is transitioning away from America.
We can point to specifics. First and foremost, this would be the rise of China. But it's broader than that. Despite the seduction of the "unipolar moment," as @daninedal and I have argued, the United States was at peak relative power in the 1940s. foreignaffairs.com/articles/2017-…
Do the FISA courts adequately protect civil liberties.? Do the FISA Amendments Act give the government too much surveillance authority?
These are critical policy issues. But they're **analytically distinct** from the accusation of the Nunes Flyer. /1
The Nunes crayon-scrawled napkin claims the FBI acted in a politicized and improper manner viz. Page. What matters here is **not** whether we think FISA processes are the right ones, but whether the FBI broke with standard operating procedure in seeking the Page warrant. /2
Now, there *is* a point of intersection. If you think that the FBI behaved in a politicized and improper manner, **then the fact that the FBI got their warrant should lead you to conclude that the process does not protect civil liberties.** /3
Fun (maybe) fact about Carter Page. The online entry for his thesis doesn’t list his advisor, but multiple sources say that it was Shirin Akiner. Akiner is something of a controversial figure.
Why? Akiner wrote a report for Fred Starr’s shop at SAIS defending Uzbekistan’s Karimov over the Andijan massacre. The report takes the form of a book published by Starr’s outfits. You can read it here: silkroadstudies.org/resources/pdf/…
Page did write a chapter in a volume that she edited in 2004. He got his PhD in 2011, so he was either pretty slow (UK social science PhDs don’t require much, if any, course work) or they were connected before he came to SOAS. books.google.com/books?id=YZmRA…