Vonnegut. Cat’s Cradle. 1963. In classic Vonnegut form, the character Crosby says,
“A pissant is somebody who thinks he’s so damn smart, he never can keep his mouth shut. No matter what anybody says, he’s got to argue with it. . . . No matter what you say, he knows better.”
A pissant, in the common parlance, is a small man–not so much in stature but in significance, import, perhaps in intellectual weight. In the midst of an international crisis, threatening the security and sovereignty of the nation of Ukraine, on Sunday’s State of the Union show, Lindsey Graham said that
President Obama “should stop going on television and trying to threaten thugs and dictators.” [like Putin] Whenever he does, “everybody’s eyes roll, including mine. We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression.”
So, instead of considering the well-being, the safety of the citizens of the Ukraine, Graham plays the pissant, mocking Obama. Contrast that with the sensible, supportive and bipartisan approach from (of all people) House Majority Leader Eric Cantor who released a statement yesterday saying:
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine violates international law and its long-standing agreements. Russian aggression must cease, . . .
I have spoken to Administration officials to express our interest in working together to ensure that President Obama has the appropriate tools to impose real consequences on Russia for this aggression.”
So, take your pick, pissant or bipartisan patriot. There’s a reason no one expects Lindsey Graham ever to be Commander in Chief. This is the latest example. Facing four Tea Party primary opponents, he has his own small-minded interests at stake rather than international affairs. There are few who could underestimate the political astuteness of the Tea Party, but Graham may be one of them.