Without Getting Into History

From a recent press conference:

State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki: “As a matter of long-standing policy, the United States does not support political transitions by nonconstitutional means….”

AP journalist Matt Lee: “Sorry. The U.S. has—whoa, whoa, whoa—the U.S. has a long-standing practice of not promoting—what did you say?…”

Psaki: “Well, my point here, Matt, without getting into history—”

Yes, let’s not get into history, shall we?

h/t Junyoung Verónica Kim


  1. lazycat1984 March 13, 2015 at 12:38 pm | #

    Through the looking glass darkly….Calls to mind Frank Zappas bit about “maintaining the fiction”.

  2. Phil Perspective March 13, 2015 at 1:29 pm | #

    One wonders how people like Psaki sleep at night.

    • jonnybutter March 14, 2015 at 12:01 pm | #

      It’s not remotely about her. Diplomatic spokespersons the world over say ridiculous things all the time – it’s their *job*. This is fragrant for me because it’s a ‘gaffe’ in the classic village/Kinsley sense (i.e. accidentally telling the truth), but more oblique or Freudian-slippery than usual.

      Now that I think about it, ‘without getting into history’ is really a classic in DC BS. (of course there are many variations, first one to pop to mind being ‘There’s nothing new in those allegations’). In this case the phrase positively throbs with pain and import like a sore tooth.

  3. Mushin March 13, 2015 at 1:46 pm | #

    The cordial hypocrisy of the State Department comment is an indication of the loss stable state of US Governance and Leadership in a world gone crazy in my assessment. I don’t see how we have get out the emotional contradictions and political double binds without a 3rd party triadic appreciative inquiry and dialog as virtuous global citizenry. The notion is a unity bundle based in the reality of human experiences in the past 2,500+ years of patronizing “regulatory capture” in governance. There is no democracy in the world today.

    The plutocracies in public/private corporate Nation States decisions are simply demanding our obedience to historic swept along institutional discourses, observer errors in governance, and that resist authentic generative creative notions of any people’s social responsibility for war, poverty and disease on the verge of collective psychosis. The problem is not our humanness that cares about one another, others and the earth’s biosphere. The hard wicked black swans are the institutional plutocracies powers of force in discourses of laws tragdedy of commons that are blind, deaf and dumb to the denial operating the current network of conversations we listen to everyday. This comment obscures the truth and shows that the US State Department is no longer even relevant to our basic human concerns. The only value of government anywhere and at any time in human history is to protect freedom of citizenry in recursive requisite variety by eliminating any powers to have regulatory capature or rent control in our daily lives. Today vice rules the common good and virtue is ignored.

    If the US State Department wants to extinguish previous American history by declarative pronouncements then this action requires the entire consensus of government of the people, by the people and for the people. Let’s start with the “USA Supreme Court Interpretation Game” that has become ludicrous to the extreme where Corporations are now people with legal redress (Regulatory Capture in Law) and citizens do not have legal redress at all, and standing your ground amounts to using live bullets to kill anyone who disagrees. These arbiters of unlawfulness is the causation of the tragedy of common of law in civilization. These Black Robes are political appointees and have never been elected by the people nor confirmed as the ultimate arbiters. This non-elected arbiter role was an historical assumption that has never been challenged by the people. Every decision they are pronouncing claims to be sacrosanct absolutes and is simply based on their own political interpretation of the Constitution. We blindly empower nonsensical laws. The decisions are supportive of plutocracies economic ownership in capitalism elitism. All the complaints, protesting and elections in the future are not going to effectuate anything unless we change the law makers.

    To re-visit and re-dress this mistaken observer error in American political history the USA Supreme Court can pony up tomorrow and immediately redress the 1823 Chief John Marshall decision in “Johnson v. M’Intosh” that created a Monarchy of Capitalism deciding American Indians were savages, incapable of commercial transactions with western civilization, and needed to experience the poverty of western uncivilized behaviors called entitlements for children. Here is some real genocide at home which is a National shame to this day. Of course, the historical factual evidence of American Indians contradicts the assertion they were savages at all. The record reveals that American Indians were hospitable traders from the first encounter with French, Spanish and WASP colonials from England changed that notion in law.

    Cory you brought up the fallacy conversation that the Jewish Holocaust is the ultimate conversation in genocidal human historic misery. The American Indians is North America were nearly totally exterminated and goes way beyond the racial cleansing of the Nazi Holocaust. The Papal Bulls provided a systemic inquisition with a bible in one hand and a gun in the other, and it still in operation to this day. I have lived in Caracas Venezuela and Hugo Chavas is no cultural hero either. Maybe revisiitng the causes of poverty in our own backyard could be an awakening to designing a future world together as global virtuous citzenry.
    Later Mushin

  4. DB March 13, 2015 at 2:30 pm | #

    I don’t think even Jen Psaki takes Jen Psaki seriously.

    • Roquentin March 13, 2015 at 3:02 pm | #

      Exactly. She doesn’t care, not even a little bit. I feel that the AP reporter was giving her too much credit in even trying to play with the definition of “longstanding.” That line would be said if there was a coup last month.

      It shows in the way she treats the very idea of discussing the history of US malfeasance in Latin America with contempt. It’s like she’s saying to the reporter “Do you really want me to waste my time backing up this bullshit?”

  5. xenon2 March 13, 2015 at 9:34 pm | #

    I think she’s the perfect spokesperson for state. I once heard Condi Rice and Susan Rice on C-SPAN, talking about a book, that had nothing to with policy.They were completely charming.I forget what book was about, but I was amazed that they were so likeable.Maybe, all the world’s a stage? I still don’t see how Psaki could say that, and keep her composure.Well, that’s what she gets paid for, isn’t it?

  6. jonnybutter March 13, 2015 at 10:26 pm | #

    KInd of like ‘with all due respect’ [New Jersey tough guy voice] ‘With all due respect, go fug ya self!’ Here’s how much respect you are due – none!

  7. yastreblyansky March 13, 2015 at 10:38 pm | #

    “Longtime” in the State Department means it’s been going on for literally hours.

  8. Heliopause March 14, 2015 at 5:17 pm | #

    If “policy” is an abstraction distinct from practice then I suppose this statement could be truthful. Much as the serial philanderer has a long-standing policy of fidelity, but things happen.

  9. gstally March 15, 2015 at 10:13 am | #

    This was doubleplusgood, for realz!

  10. Jim Bales March 15, 2015 at 11:54 am | #

    I can’t help but recall Neil Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves to Death”, and his observation 30 years ago that context was no longer relevant to political discussions.

    So, for decades now, we haven’t been getting into the history. It is not a surprise that a spokesperson is not interested in starting now.

    Jim Bales

  11. Kevin Falvey March 17, 2015 at 6:22 pm | #

    There’s no lie too big for Jen Psaki. That’s why she’s being promoted to White House communications director.

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