For once, @statedeptspox Jen Psaki and I agree

December 5, 2014

Jen Psaki hashtag

We’ve met Jen Psaki before, when she and her deputy, Marie Harf, became the public faces of “Hashtag Diplomacy,” bringing the conduct of American foreign affairs to an embarrassing new low.

Now, I have to admit, I have some sympathy for Ms. Psaki; it can’t be easy to day after day repeat the fatuous talking points she’s given in defense of the administration’s incompetent foreign policy. And, in fact, the strain may be getting to her; after giving another non-answer to a reporter’s question, she admitted the talking point was ridiculous.

Only she forgot the mic was open:

After Associated Press reporter Matt Lee pressed her to comment on Egypt’s decision to clear former President Hosni Mubarak of murder, Psaki gave one of her typical non-answers read straight from the page:

“Generally, we continue to believe that upholding impartial standards of accountability will advance the political consensus on which Egypt’s long-term stability and economic growth depends,” Psaki said.

Lee was astonished at the response, and took the opportunity to point out that the answer was meaningless.

“Wow, I don’t understand that at all,” Lee said. “What you said says nothing. It’s like saying, ‘We support the right of people to breathe.’”

Psaki declined to give any further comment to reporters during the briefing. However, as the lights dimmed, Psaki was exasperated and told Lee how she really felt, not realizing her microphone was still on.

“That Egypt line is ridiculous,” Psaki said.

Ooops…

Check the Free Beacon for video of this unintentional moment of public candor.

via American Thinker and sodagrrl

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I weep: our foreign policy has been reduced to hashtags

April 25, 2014
Your Obama foreign policy team

Your Obama foreign policy team

Well, I weep and I mock.

For those not familiar with Twitter, “hashtags” are labels preceded by a number sign, as in “#politics.” They were developed to make it easier for people to search for related messages on the system, though people also use them as asides to provide commentary, humor, or snark.

A few weeks ago, the United States Department of State, faced with the slow-motion dismemberment of Ukraine by Russia, apparently decided that hashtags were also effective tools of superpower diplomacy. Thus we saw this from State’s spokeswoman, Jen Psaki:

My reaction, you’ll be surprised to learn, was one of dismay and disgust. This is hardly the serious diplomacy one would expect from a department once headed by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, John Hay, Dean Acheson, and George Schultz. One would think that, having been roundly mocked here and overseas (You mean you didn’t hear the giggling from Moscow?), the State Department would have given up on managing our foreign affairs like it was a popularity contest, complete with cheerleading. But, no. No, some genius at State decided this was a winning strategy and deployed it again, only this time with an exhortation to Putin:

“Promise of hashtag??” You have got to be kidding me. “Yes, Vlad, be nice to Ukraine. You wouldn’t want to fail the spirit of the hashtag, would you?” Someone last night speculated that an intern forgot to substitute the real hashtag in place of the placeholder word “hashtag,” but that’s immaterial. The whole idea that anyone should think that using catchy social media slogans as a tool of diplomacy would be seen as anything other than self-inflicted humiliation is laughable. That the “strategy” originated at the highest levels of State is infuriating.

And so I couldn’t resist commenting:

And then I offered examples of the promise of hashtag and its power in US foreign affairs:

Others pointed out that the promise of hashtag was global. For example:

Indeed, Lincoln ended the Civil War with it:

But this one, I think, summed up the depth and gravity of State’s strategic thinking in this crisis:

While this baby speaks for me:

But I did offer Ms. Psaki and her co-workers a friendly and much-needed hint:

No, they do not, and it’s in part because people who think they do are in charge of our foreign policy that the world has become a much more dangerous place. It’s a common joke that both sides make to wish for the day “when the adults will be in charge, again,” but, in this case, it’s no longer a joke.  We’re facing foes around the globe who operate via the calculus of power, will, and national interest, while we are represented by community organizers who treat serious matters of state as occasions for virtual rallies.

Argh.

RELATED: More at Twitchy here and here. Jonah Goldberg on Obama’s foreign policy.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Worst Department of State, ever

March 26, 2014

This is someone’s brilliant idea of an effective strategy to deal with Putin over Ukraine:

Word of advice to Secretary Kerry and President Obama: Communitarianism is not a foreign policy and shaming is not an winning tactic when you’re dealing with an ex-KGB officer. Know what I’m saying?

BTW, the person in the photo is Jen Psaki, the official spokeswoman for the United States Department of State. Way to work the gravitas, there, Jen.

PS: I’ve saved a screen cap in case they delete it.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)