Sunday, June 26, 2022

How did we get here, ask the people who got us here

By Isaiah Thomas, Board of Editors
with Spy Archivist Aula Minerva

How did we get here, we ask.

In one sense the answer is simple.  Here's Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith:

We’re in this dark moment because right-wing politicians and their allies have spent decades scheming to overrule a right many Americans considered sacrosanct. Passing state laws to restrict access to abortion care. Giving personhood rights to fertilized eggs. Threatening to criminalize in vitro fertilization. Offering bounties for reporting doctors who provide abortion services. Abusing the filibuster and turning Congress into a broken institution. Advancing judicial nominees who claimed to be committed to protecting “settled law” while they winked at their Republican sponsors in the Senate. Stealing two seats on the Supreme Court.

It's the fault of concupiscence

For nearly 50 years, right-wing extremists rejected the beliefs held by an overwhelming majority of Americans. They doubled and redoubled their efforts to create a future in which women and their doctors could face a prison sentence for seeking or providing basic health care. When these extremists couldn’t impose their radical views through the legislative process, they stacked the courts.

That's irrefutable but it doesn't tell the full story. The destruction of the right to a safe and legal abortion was aided by lots of folks who now proclaim themselves shocked, shocked to discover what Republicans have been doing for the last 42 years. Here's Kevin Dowd's sister:

Over the last three decades, I have witnessed a dismal saga of opportunism, fanaticism, mendacity, concupiscence, hypocrisy and cowardice. This is a story about men gaining power by trading away something that meant little to them compared with their own stature: the rights of women.

Pretty bad. But in her telling, the 40-year effort to stack the Supreme Court with extremist reactionaries has a clear villain.  Wait for it.  Wait.  Wait.  Admire the window boxes along her Georgetown street.

OK, you've waited long enough.  The villain is Joe Biden, for bungling the Thomas hearings (which he did).  Never mind that he voted against Long Dong Thomas and Sulky Sam Alito, and campaigned for Hillary Clinton.

Back to Kevin's sister. In 2016, after watching by her account 25 years of said dismal saga, she couldn't bear to tell her readers, of whom she has many we're sure, that the Presidential race between Hillary Clinton and the Tangerine-Faced Rapist represented a fundamental choice between a man who would enslave and degrade women and a women who would not, even if she had refused to dump her horndog husband. 

(Her glancing reference to “concupiscence” is both a nod to her fine Catholic education and a hidden attack on all Clintons. Perhaps she felt that the death of Roe, which Hillary Clinton told us was on the ballot in 2016, was not a promising day to shoot off the usual broadsides against Hillary.)

But as with other recent abominations, like the Supreme Court's insane lawless decision on the right to stroll into Market Basket packing a high powered assault rifle capable of shredding 40 shoppers a minute if they're keeping you from the BOGO Doritos special or the revelations about the manifold efforts to stage a coup after the Former Loser Grifter lost the 2020 election, the loudest yelps are coming from those who helped confect the catastrophe.

We' hate to call them the usual suspects, because this crowd (unlike the extras in Casablanca) actually did the deed.  Their relentless, cruel, loud, uncompromising support of Republicans and their reactionary agenda had the outcome they must have intended: the triumph of white supremacy, gun lust, and (today's example) telling women what to do with their own bodies (whether or not as a consequence of your raping them in the dressing rooms of Bergdorf Goodman).  

Who want to be first?  How about the short, smirking guy pouring a barrel of water over the face of a helpless detainee?  He seems to be no fan of Dobbs, preferring John Roberts' '76 principle-free position that maybe abortion is OK up to 15 weeks for some reason:


In another Tweet he notes that 95% of abortions are performed by the 15th week, so he seems to be OK with 95% of all abortions.  Has he always given off such powerful women-rights vibes?  

Guess what?

Always, however, the key social issue is abortion. [Billy] put the argument most revealingly in the February 1997 issue of the neoconservative political monthly Commentary. ''The truth is,'' Kristol wrote, ''that abortion is today the bloody crossroads of American politics. It is where judicial liberation (from the Constitution), sexual liberation (from traditional mores) and women's liberation (from natural distinctions) come together. It is the focal point for liberalism's simultaneous assault on self-government, morals and nature. So, challenging the judicially imposed regime of abortion-on-demand is key to a conservative reformation in politics, in morals, and in beliefs.'' 

Whoa Nellie. You'd think he'd be thrilled by Alito's triumph of self-government, morals and nature. Or, if he isn't, that he's a disingenuous dishonest unprincipled blowhard who has forfeited his place in America's political discourse. 

Let's try another one of our favorites: the high-spirited darling of the Contras, Ana Navarro:

That seems pretty clear to us. Guess she's always worked to keep the hands of government out of women's reproductive system.

Sorry, no.  Before rising to the summum bonum of American life – TV celebrity – she labored for and partied hearty with a series of Republican hacks and fronts:  

“She’s a friend” who “hangs out in South Florida” and “had been around the political world,” said Jeb Bush Jr., a son of the former governor. “We’ve known her for a long time,” he said, adding that having “more Hispanic or Latina conservatives out there” is good “for any Republican, especially Dad.”

We know that Jeb's brother George nominated two justices knowing they would oppose Roe and his father nominated one for the same reason.  But it's unfair to attribute their views to Jeb, right?  What did Jeb have to say when he ran for President with Ana's approval:

He said, "I'm the most pro-life governor on this stage....Life is a gift from God. And from beginning end we need to respect it and err on the side of life. And so I defunded Planned Parenthood. We created a climate where parental notification took place. We were the only state to fund crisis pregnancy [fake clinics used to talk women out of choosing abortion] centers with state moneys.”

The Jebster also promised to defund all Planned Parenthood services, not just abortion.  Ana didn't have a problem with imposing Jeb Bush's beliefs and religion on all Americans six years ago. 

Next up, an even more highly placed Bush flack and TV celebrity: Nicolle Wallace.  She didn't look too happy about the end of the right to an abortion, retweeting glum tidbits like this:

And yet when she was flacking for George W. Bush's re-election campaign, which led to the elevation of Sulky Sam Alito, her views on reproductive rights sounded, shall we say, different:

The Bush campaign unveiled a television commercial that questions Mr. Kerry's priorities and attacks him for voting against legislation, since signed into law by the president, that makes it a separate offense to harm the fetus in a federal crime against a pregnant woman....Because the law treats the fetus as a separate person, its opponents have described it as an effort to roll back abortion rights....

In a conference call with reporters, Nicolle Devenish [As she was then known – Ed.], the communications director for the Bush campaign, signaled that the commercial would be the start of a concerted effort to counteract what she described as an effort by Mr. reinvent himself.

And how about all those galaxy brain constitutional-law experts many of whom bemoaned the intellectual shoddiness of the Dobbs decision, like Georgetown Professor Neil Katyal and Harvard Professor Noah Feldman.  What did they say about the three FLG stooges who professed their respect for Roe as precedent?  

University of Michigan Law Professor Leah Litman as usual has her hand up:

And don't tell us that we didn't know in 2016 what was at stake in the Presidential election. A very smart graduate of Yale Law School told us plainly:

But the current political battle being waged over filling the current vacant seat on the Supreme Court—and the fact that our next president could appoint as many as three or four justices in the next four years—are striking reminders that we can’t take rulings like today’s for granted. Just consider Donald Trump, the Republicans’ presumptive nominee. The man who could be president has said there should be some form of “punishment” for women seeking abortions. He pledged to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. And last year, he said he’d shut down the government rather than fund Planned Parenthood. If we send Trump to the White House and a Republican majority to Congress, he could achieve any—or all—of these things. And that’s why this election is so important. The outcome of November’s contests, from the presidency to state legislatures, is going to be a deciding factor in whether our elected officials and our courts defend or attack a woman’s right to health care for generations to come.”

So, she was, um, right.

To be fair, a very stupid corrupt sex offender was just as clear:

But there's another bunch of suspects to round up, and they're not Republicans.  The New York Times points out today that the Republican anti-abortion blitzkrieg actually began in 2010, when Democrats and progressives figured that having elected Barack Obama, their work was done and they could just stay home:


All it took for evil to triumph was for good Democrats to do nothing.  Any moral for 2022?  You can find if you have a strong stomach idiots Tweeting today about how they have given up on Democrats because for the three months the Democrats controlled the political branches in 2009 they did not drop everything else (like national health insurance) and legislate abortion rights.  Some even have the cojones to argue that because Dems can't break a Senate filibuster on abortion rights today, they have forfeited any claims to progressive support.  

The great thing about these insane arguments is they generate their own empirical validation: if pro-choice and progressive voters actually buy them, they will stay home and Democrats will be unable to protect abortion rights, just as predicted.

As we come to the most consequential midterms since the debacle of 2010, ask anyone who tells you there's no real difference between Democrats and Republicans and thus no reason to vote for a possibly imperfect Democrat, if they remember the 2010 and 2016 elections and the 40-year Republican effort to take away the right to a safe and legal abortion.

We remember, even if Billy, Ana, Maureen, Nicolle, and a bunch of hard left whack jobs pretend to forget.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Never FLG but maybe Cruz, Scott, Pence, DeathSantis, Rubio, ....?

 2024 Election Preview: Only 29 Months to Go!

By Spy Political Editor David Bloviator with
Izzy Stone in Washington

The race for the 2024 Republican Presidential nomination, which you may have thought was over before it began thanks to the overwhelming lead enjoyed by the Former Loser Grifter, is on and you can feel the insurrection [Surely, – excitement? – Ed.]

Last week in these pages we took a look at what passes for courage and insight among Washington hacks (like Kevin Dowd's sister) and former Republican luminaries, who are now willing to tell us, after years if not decades shilling or apologizing for Republicans, that the FLG is – bad.  We also noted that their obloquy did not extend beyond said FLG to other Republicans, who, with rare exception, have either backed his insurrection or kept their mouths tightly shut.

At one of the formerly obligatory stops on the Republican  campaign trail – a mob of intolerant white bigots who slather their hatred with thick gobs of alleged Christianity like mayonnaise on Annie Hall's pastrami sandwich – some of the loudest deplorables had the ignominy of following the FLG's full-diapered defense of insurrection.

It took three Washington Post reporters to describe the incredible scene:

On Friday afternoon, Trump delivered the headline speech at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s annual Road to Majority conference, which served as a preview of what the 2024 GOP presidential field could look like. But Pence — along with other possible presidential contenders — chose not to attend. Aside from Trump, no other speaker mentioned the Jan. 6 proceedings during the conference’s initial days.

Well, why would they?  If you're thirsting for Republican votes, there's no upside in appeals based on the rule of law, protection of democracy, or the enduring value of the American Constitutional order.  Just ask Liz Cheney, about to be retired by Wyoming Republicans, or South Carolina's Tom Rice, whose vote for impeachment based on the FLG's 1/6 insurrection was greeted by Republicans in America's treason capital – not well:

(graphic from The New York Times)

Republicans can count ballots correctly when they want to, so there was not a discouraging word among the Republican wannabes at Hatefest '22.

Of course, some of the leading Republican, um. luminaries, were smart enough not to follow the FLG roast, including Cancun Ted Cruz, Ron DeathSantis, Li'l Marco Rubio, and no-show at the DC Necktie Party Mike Pence.  Don't worry; we'll get back to them.

But a number of second stringers couldn't resist the “chance to begin testing messages with one of the most influential audiences in Republican presidential politics: evangelical leaders and activists.”

Let's meet some of our contestants:

Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.)...predicted that Republicans will win majorities in the House and the Senate in November, and then, holding his hands up he added: “And then in two years — I have a dream,” a reference to the Rev. Martin Luther King. 

As SNL's Ego Nwodim once noted, “That's all Dr. King ever said.” 

Did we mention that Tim Scott is a Black Republican? You might think that's a disqualifier but you'd be underestimating the appetite of white racists to hear Black people validating their hatred. Ask Herschel Walker, the demented wife-beater who's tied with Sen. Warnock in the George Senate race, but speak slowly and clearly.

Next up was not Tim Scott's cousin, that titan of Medicare fraud, Rick Scott (R – Fifth Amendment).  Surely he would address the issues facing the country head on, right?

Scott suggested the country needs corporal punishment. “A switch is a southern form of encouragement,” he said, after explaining how his mother used to hit him with one to push him to focus more on school.

You might think this is a ridiculous bit of misdirection, but sadly you'd be wrong. Scott knows full well how to give a crowd of self-appointed Christian evangelicals a woodrow: call for child abuse.  As Talia Lavin '08 tells us,

Thank you Republican Jesus!

I started researching evangelical Christian corporal punishment quite recently, though I had known for years it was and remains a common practice in millions of American households. Knee-deep into parenting guides that read, to me, like alien and sadistic torture manuals,... I put out a simple Tweet, asking people who had had such childhoods to reach out to me for a research project.

The response was immediate, and wide-ranging, and intense. Within 48 hours, one hundred people had reached out to me, sharing pieces of their stories on email and DM..—and the responses contained so much candid anguish I marveled the words didn’t etch holes in my screen.

Yikes.  Guess Don Jr. and Eric don't realize how lucky they were that their father neglected them.

Nikki Haley, who faithfully shilled for the FLG's shambolic disloyal foreign policy as UN Ambassador had the incredibly big clanging brass balls to praise the Ukrainians for their patriotism, but said nothing about the President who corruptly tried to extort the President of Ukraine for political gain without objection from her.

The other three FLG taint-polishers waiting for their beloved former President to stroke out on his 20-piece fried chicken basket – Cruz, Rubio, and DeathSantis – wisely passed on taking eighth billing, but they've been supportive of the continuing insurrection perpetrated by the FLG, when they're not jabbering about the menaces of doors in public buildings and vaccines for toddlers.

Which leads us back to the point we were trying to make last week: it's not just the FLG, it's the entire f***in' Republican Party that's in on the effort to end democracy in these United States.  And why should we care?

Because if the FLG finally snorts his last Aderall, his party's Presidential nomination will be won by one or more of these loathsome individuals whose values are just as evil as the FLG's.  The result, according to two leading academic bloviators, one of whom holds the same job once inhabited by Henry Kissinger (Government Professor at a well-known university in the Boston area), is a dire future for our democracy:

Sounds more like a statement about American politics since 1994 than an dystopian warning, but you catch the drift.

Which got us to wondering about all those Republican heroes who like to proclaim their apostasy when it comes to the Treasonous Toadstool, like this guy:

What do they think about all those spineless Republican hacks who have failed to speak out against insurrection and in fact advocate policies that are as as bad as if not worse than those of Pres U Bum?  Funnily enough, you don't hear too much.  Sometimes a discouraging Tweet will be heard but if any of the Never FLG crowd has Tweeted Never DeSantis, Never Cruz, Never Rubio, or Never Pence, we haven't seen it.

Even Cheyenne's answer to Joan of Arc hasn't ruled out supporting any number of loathsome pro-insurrection Republicans. Republicans who are willing to point out that the whole party needs to reconstructed tend to be those who have no future in Republican politics, like retired right-wing Judge Michael Luttig.  As dusk falls over his career and his country, the retired appellate judge, like Minerva's Owl, spread his wings and observed

Over a year and a half later, in continued defiance of our democracy, both the former president and his political party allies still maintain that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from him, despite all evidence -- all evidence now --that that is simply false. All the while, this false and reckless insistence that the former president won the 2020 presidential election has laid waste to Americans’ confidence in their national elections. More alarming still is that the former president pledges that his reelection will not be “stolen” from him next time around, and his Republican Party allies and supporters obeisantly pledge the same.

That's clear enough (although Judge Luttig was remarkably parsimonious in his use of the word “Republican”). Too bad that so few Republican stalwarts, including those who seek the Presidency and those ready to trouser millions flacking for them, can bring themselves to state the obvious truth about the irretrievably corrupt subversive conspiracy that is the Republican Party and the depraved cowardly grifters who seek its highest honor, second only to a round of golf with their Supreme Leader.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

A Monstrous Fairy Tale

By Meta-Content Generator A.J. Liebling
with Nellie Bly in Washington

Lucky readers of The New York Times were treated today to a fantastic revelation, courtesy of retired columnist and brother of Kevin, Maureen Dowd.  Are you ready to have your mind blown?

Here it comes:

 No s***, Sherlock.

What has led this savvy dispenser of conventional wisdom to this conclusion, other than it embodies today's Washington conventional wisdom (we'll get back to that)?

Maureen has a revelation!
The House Jan. 6 committee’s prime-time hearing was not about Trump as a bloviating buffoon who stumbled into the presidency. It was about Trump as a callous monster, and many will come away convinced that he should be criminally charged and put in jail. Lock him up!

The hearing drove home the fact that Trump was deadly serious about overthrowing the government. If his onetime lap dog Mike Pence was strung up on the gallows outside the Capitol for refusing to help Trump hold onto his office illegitimately, Trump said, so be it. “Maybe our supporters have the right idea,” he remarked that day, chillingly, noting that his vice president “deserves it.”

Was this really the same guy that Maureen was having flirty interviews with throughout 2015 and 2016? The same guy that she found hardly less odious than his opponent, Hillary Clinton, who was so political and wouldn't dump her horndog husband? The same guy her brother “Kevin” defended with a platoon of hate-filled lies in numerous Dowd columns

It's hard to argue with the proposition that the Tangerine-Faced Seditionist is a monster, as he has proven every single day of his wretched life.

(It would be easier to argue with Maureen's leading competitor for the coveted title of Times Columnist Mailing It In: Former Harvard Salient editor Ross Douthat.  Today, he's blaming Republican obstruction and subversion on – you guessed it! – liberals who are shirking their duty to remedy the prevailing “gyre of polarization” in America for which they are responsible.

Actually, we found a liberal intern who can help Ross.  She pointed out that a gyre, being a circular current usually of water but possibly of any fluid, has no sides by definition, and if you polarized it you'd destroy it, so problem solved.  Just not the problem of the Times giving eighth-rate polemicists miles of column inches to propagate gibberish in what it likes to think is America's leading news outlet.)

But there's a deeper problem with Ms. Dowd's diagnosis of the Bronzed Rapist as a monster.  While it's correct, it doesn't fully encompass the nature of the gyre in which our democracy is trapped.

Her column echoes this week's prevailing wisdom in the light of the brilliantly-crafted January 6 Committee Hearing, which was devoted in large part to building an unassailable case that the Former Loser Grifter criminally conspired to obstruct and pervert the course of American democracy in multiple ways, leading up to inciting a lynch mob to track down and kill Mike Pence on January 6, 2021.

All true and important. But it was a conspiracy; to understand it we have to track down all the conspirators. Here's a hint from loyal Republican and torture fan Liz Cheney:

WASHINGTON — Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming...paused to address the members of her own party who she said were “defending the indefensible.”

Pointing out shortcomings is a Republican tradition
“There will come a day when President Trump is gone,” Ms. Cheney said. “But your dishonor will remain.” ...

She has been unrepentant in continuing to blame Mr. Trump for stoking the attack, and her Republican colleagues for following his lead by spreading the lie of a stolen presidential election. That stance has left her marginalized by her party, with her colleagues ousting her from her leadership position and seeking to purge her from the House by boosting a MAGA-styled primary challenger to her at home in Wyoming.

Even a Republican as stone-hearted and reality-challenged as Liz Cheney is forced to admit that the seditious conspiracy encompasses virtually every Republican, not to mention their enablers, like Rupert Murdoch and his always-erupting bulls*** volcano.

But the never-FLG Republicans, after 40 years of dutiful flacking and apologizing for Republican insanity, are all too eager to dump it all on one grotesquely fat crook.

Here's ol' Axis-of-Evil David Frum, who came down from Toronto to polish lies for the Bush Administration but now believes that the Twice-Impeached Monster is The Problem:

The recently defeated president of the United States tried to overturn the Constitution rather than accept the outcome of an election. Brave and patriotic people stood up and stopped him at the time. Brave and patriotic people are seeking to hold him to account now. Be one of them. 

Oh we will, Dave, we will! But what about the 99% of elected Republicans who still back the Treasonous Yam and even worse his evil ideas? How about them?

And let's not forget that Bill “the Institutionalist” Barr, before pointing out on national television that the narrative of a stolen election was, in his word, “bullshit,” nonetheless told an interviewer 


He couldn't have revealed the future of the Republican Party any more clearly: radical reactionary white supremacy and Christian dominionism, just without the Orange-Faced Betrayer of the Constitution he corruptly defended until December 2021.

So the FLG-as-monster trope, correct as far as it goes, is misleading, because the conspiracy will survive the defenestration of the Combover Monster as long as the Republican Party remains the unreconstructed movement of white supremacy and anti-democratic subversion.

We note this because the next generation of loathsome Republicans have gained prominence by aping the ideas propagated by the Adderall-Crazed Perv.  To be fair, as the ACP never had an original, or indeed any, thought in his life, those ideas were the lifeblood of the post-1964 Republican Party.  The appalling bit, not mentioned by Maureen and others who enjoy hanging out with Republicans willing to tell her “privately” that of course they don't approve of the Thrice-Bankrupt Ravager's antics, is that such ideas, or more properly attitudes, are the Republican Party.  There's nothing else there.

To take one grotesque example among many, the excrementitious Governor of Florida, Ron DeathSantis, having sacrificed tens of thousands of Floridians to his crowd-pleasing science-free ignore-COVID policies, has now moved aggressively to undermine what's left of democracy in Florida, by using his rubber-stamp legislature to punish those who dare to oppose his appeals to hate and intolerance, like Disney and the Tampa Ray (soon to be Las Vegas) Rays. 

When does Maureen call him out?  Or can we expect a bunch of jolly columns on-the-one-handing DeathSantis and other-handing the too political too bossy Kamala Harris?  

The narrative that it's all the fault of the Former Loser Grifter is far too convenient for Republicans, eager to promote T***ism without T****.

Will they get away with it, in which case our democracy will be flushed down the gyre of misdirection and bothersiderism?  If you want to find out, we know the worst place to look: the opinion pages of The New York Times.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

From the Archives, 1940: Why is the US prolonging the war?

From the July 21, 1940 edition of The Massachusetts Spy:

[Editors Note: The Spy is pleased and honored to present, for the edification of you, the humble reader, the powerfully reasoned words of American hero and influential commentator on the international situation Col. Charles A. Lindbergh, whose views at this critical hour should be of interest to every patriotic American.  Tomorrow, the Spy will present the similar sentiments expressed by that great son of the Commonwealth, Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy.]

Where I Stand:


By Col. Charles A. Lindbergh
Great American Hero

Col. Lindbergh on the global stage

In the Paris daily newspaper L'Ami des Allemands this month, Pierre Laval, a distinguished French statesman, warned that the United States, under the shortsighted leadership of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his interventionist cabal, was “sleepwalking” into war with Germany.

The United States has helped turn a tragic, local and ambiguous conflict over the borders of Poland into a potential world conflagration. By misunder-standing the war’s logic, Mr. Laval argues, the West, led by the Roosevelt Administration, is giving the conflict a momentum that may be impossible to stop.

He is right.

One can argue about German claims to Poland or Alsace and Lorraine, but Germans take them seriously. Hundreds of thousands of German fighters died defending Alsace and Lorraine during World War I. Since 1870, German control of Alsace and Lorraine has seemed to provide a stable regional arrangement: Germany’s European neighbors, with one exception, have let sleeping dogs lie.

But the United States never accepted the arrangement. It has repeatedly allied itself with France and the United Kingdom, affirming a commitment to their defense and the frustration of Germany's legitimate claims for Lebensraum.  On June 10, 1940, President Roosevelt promised the United States  would provide an increasing stream of arms to Germany's enemies and said that all of America's sympathies were on the side of England and France.

Those decisions “convinced Germany that it must destroy France and England or be attacked,” Mr. Laval wrote. “It is the ineluctable process of 1914 in all its terrifying purity.”

This is a faithful account of the war that Chancellor Hitler has claimed to be fighting. “There were constant supplies of the most modern military equipment,” Herr Hitler said, referring to the foreign arming of Germany's enemies, England and France. “The danger was growing every day.”

Whether he was right to worry about Germany’s security depends on one’s perspective. Western news reports tend to belittle him.

The rocky course of the war thus far has vindicated Herr Hitler’s diagnosis, if not his conduct. Without massive aid and arms shipments from the United States, England barely had a modern military at all. The United States started arming and training the armed forces of England and France, hesitantly at first but now under President Franklin Roosevelt's reckless anti-Germany policy, England  is armed to the teeth.

And this is where Mr. Laval is correct to accuse the West of sleepwalking. The United States is trying to maintain the fiction that arming one’s allies is not the same thing as participating in combat.

In the information age, this distinction is growing more and more artificial. The United States has provided intelligence used to kill German U-boats and fighter planes. Now it is building engines that will power RAF fighters in their continuing efforts to kill German aviators. It obtained targeting information that helped to sink German naval and merchant vessels, leading to a regrettable loss of life.

And the United States may be playing an even more direct role. There are thousands of foreign fighters in England. One volunteer spoke to the British Broadcasting Corporation this month of fighting alongside “friends” who “come from the Marines, from the States.” Just as it is easy to cross the line between being a weapons supplier and being a combatant, it is easy to cross the line from waging a proxy war to waging a secret war.

In a subtler way, a country trying to fight such a war risks being drawn from partial into full involvement by force of moral reasoning. Perhaps American officials justify exporting weaponry the way they justify budgeting it: It is so powerful that it is dissuasive. The money is well spent because it buys peace. Should bigger guns fail to dissuade, however, they lead to bigger wars.

A handful of people died in the German takeover of Poland in 1939. But this time around, matched in weaponry — and even outmatched in some cases — Germany has no choice but to revert to a war of bombardment that will make its World War I Zeppelin attacks look as insignificant as a race massacre here at home.

Even if we don’t accept Herr Hitler’s claim that America’s arming of England and France is the reason the war happened in the first place, it is certainly the reason the war has taken the kinetic, explosive, deadly form it has. Our role in this is not passive or incidental. We have given the English cause to believe they can prevail in a war of escalation.

They would be alive had America not aided the French Army

Thousands of Frenchmen have died who likely would not have if the United States had stood aside. That naturally may create among American policymakers a sense of moral and political obligation — to stay the course, to escalate the conflict, to match any excess.

The United States has shown itself not just liable to escalate but also inclined to. Earlier this month, Mr. Roosevelt said that democracy and totalitarianism were fundamentally in conflict and could not coexist.

For similar reasons Mr. Roosevelt’s suggestion that Herr Hitler be tried for war crimes is an act of consummate irresponsibility. The charge is so serious that, once leveled, it discourages restraint; after all, a leader who commits one atrocity is no less a war criminal than one who commits a thousand. The effect, intended or not, is to foreclose any recourse to peace negotiations.

The situation on the battlefield in Europe has evolved to an awkward stage. France, England, and Germany have all suffered heavy losses. But Germany has made gains, too, by knocking France out of the war and establishing absolute military control over central and western Europe. England, having successfully evacuated its army and air force from Dunkirk, now expects them to be rearmed by the United States — a powerful incentive not to end the war anytime soon.

But if the war does not end soon, its dangers will increase. “Negotiations need to begin in the next two months,” Amb. Joseph P. Kennedy warned last week, “before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome.” Calling for a return to the status quo ante bellum, he added, “Pursuing the war beyond that point would not be about the freedom of the British Empire but a new unnecessary war against Germany itself.”

In this, Amb. Kennedy is on the same page as Mr. Laval. “To make concessions to Germany would be submitting to aggression,” Mr. Laval warned. “To make none would be submitting to insanity.”

The United States is making no concessions. That would be to lose face. There’s an election coming. So the administration is closing off avenues of negotiation and working to intensify the war. We’re in it to win it. With time, the huge import of deadly weaponry, including that from the newly authorized $40 billion allocation, could take the war to a different level. Prime Minister Winston Churchill warned in an address to the House of Comments upon taking office this month that the bloodiest days of the war were coming and all that he had offer to a war-weary world was “blood, toil, tears, and sweat.”

Spoiler Alert: Actually, Col. Lindbergh didn't write these words in 1940 (although he certainly believed them).  They were written about Russia and Ukraine and published in The New York Times in the June 4 print edition.  Don't believe anything as morally obtuse could be published in their Opinion pages?  Check it out for yourself, preferably on an empty stomach.