Trade-Offs

Here's Randy Scheunemann, John McCain's top foreign policy aide, talking about Georgia and U.S.-Russian relations and casually dropping tid-bits of his bizarre theoretical approach. For example, here's his view of diplomacy:

Well, I think first of all the administration has said very clearly and publicly that there will be no trade-offs. Trade-offs like that are kind of a relic of a bygone era of power politics.

That's right, he thinks the entire process of bargaining for mutual advantage that lies at the core of diplomacy -- and, indeed, of almost all constructive human interaction -- is a relic of a bygone era of power politics. In the brave new future, either the Russians give way on all points, or else we raise up the national missile defense system and it's bombs away.

For a more rational take on international relations, you might want to come by my Heads in the Sand event tomorrow at 6:30 PM at the Borders at 18th and L in DC.

UPDATE: That should be 6:00 PM at Borders, apologies.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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