Thursday, June 23, 2005
The Liberals We Love
If you like soap operas, you gotta love Nancy.
THE GITMO SHAM, PART II. When the Durbin affair started, I had the temerity to treat it as a topic for humor, but when I saw the fury of conservatives, I felt obliged to point out that there have always been idiot senators (about 100 in the current lineup) and that we'd be spending our time more wisely if we examined the press (non)reaction to his treason more closely than his staggering back-and-forth progress to an (un)apology. My reasoning was that the most sinister part of the story was the general indifference of the American public -- encouraged by the mass media -- to this kind of seditious behavior by a congressional leader. This drew some criticism from people who believed I was being elitist for regarding my fellow citizens as apathetic.
I know that we now have polls showing that only(!) 20 percent of Americans agree with Durbin's characterization of Guantanamo guards as Nazis, while the rest of those who have opinions think the Gitmo detainees are getting treated as they deserve -- if not too generously. But this does not rebut my point. A more important poll suggests that Americans are disapproving of Bush in increasing numbers because they no longer believe the war in Iraq was worth fighting in the first place. Why should they think that? Because the Democrats and their allies in the media have done nothing but harp on the bad or embarrassing news from Iraq since the war started.
One looks in vain for any acknowledgment by Democrat leaders and party spokesmen that the Iraq War has generated huge and widening ripples of change throughout the middle east. There have been real elections in Iraq, and even the Sunni holdouts were so impressed by the turnout that they have decided to participate in the new government, along with their supposedly mortal enemies the Kurds and the Shi'ites. Isn't this coming together of bitterly opposed segments of the populace more positive than the barbarisms of a small band of 'insurgents' who can't even articulate a political agenda to justify their violence? Does any such comparison issue from the mouths of Democrats or their flacks at the New York Times? No.
In the wake of the overthrow of Saddam, Libya voluntarily abandoned its weapons of mass destruction programs -- does any word of this positive development get a mention in the Democrat routine about missing WMDs? No.
Frightened by presidential rhetoric (!?), Syria withdrew its troops from Lebanon, leading to the first elections there in how many years? You won't find that number being trumpeted by Democrats or featured on the CBS Evening News, will you? No.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Syria are feeling enough of the heat from democracy's infancy in Iraq that their despots have felt obliged to speak of reform, baby steps toward freedom for their subjects. Does any Democrat or liberal pundit link this to Bush's foreign policy or his determination to stay the course in Iraq? No.
American troops are still dying, yes, but does the grim recitation of casualties ever include any summary of the gains their sacrifices have earned -- in terms of time to permit progress, to rebuild an Iraqi infrastructure savaged not by American bombs but Saddam's Baathist Reich, to demonstrate to Islamic fanatics that the enemy is not weak or afraid or vincible in combat, to let the message sink in throughout the middle east that the old days of double dealing and state-sponsored Islamic hatred of America may be sinking slowly in the west? No.
All we get are body counts, sniping about gaffes of planning and execution, extension of the left's theology of victimization to our most bloodthirsty and remorseless enemies, and a continual two-pronged assault on the President of the United States and the military which has heroically made his foreign policy shake the world.
It doesn't matter if some guy on an Illinois barstool thinks Durbin was out of line if he kind of sort of believes the slightly less-over-the-top rhetoric of Democrats and left-leaning pundits who tell him day after day that fighting our enemies is dangerous because it makes them hate us more. Or if he believes that we have failed in our national mission because ugly things happen to bad guys in wartime and it's never forgivable if some of the bad things that happen to them are us.
Durbin wasn't the problem. He was the tip of a huge iceberg which is stalking the American ship of state looking for any opportunity to punch a hole below the waterline. Now he's apologized, and we've knocked off the tip of the iceberg. Are we all feeling better now? Why, no. There's a new tip of the iceberg. Her name is Nancy Pelosi, and we are all obliged to run in mad circles around her, demanding retractions, apologies, etc for this:
"The treatment of detainees is a taint on our country's reputation, especially in the Muslim world, and there are many questions that must be answered. These questions are important because the safety of our country depends on our reputation and how we are viewed, especially in the Muslim world [Our Link: Scroll to the foreign policy section].
"There are many questions that have gone unanswered: What was the atmosphere created that permitted detainee abuse, and why was it tolerated? What was the training and supervision of the troops? Who had this responsibility? What is it that the Republicans are trying to hide? How far up the chain of command does this go? Why is the Secretary of Defense not taking responsibility? This happened on his watch.
"Many of the detainees have been in U.S. custody since October 2001. Why have they been in custody for nearly four years without being charged? Why has so little been done to resolve the status of the detainees?"
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that there's no rationale for getting mad about the Durbins and Pelosis, but I do think it's a strategic error to take their various moronic remarks too seriously, to try to refute them each time they pop off. Isn't it time to start laughing at them outright instead of duelling with their dim and underhanded daggers?
If Nancy Pelosi has become the lead attack dog on the Guantanamo facility, it's time to lean back, put our feet up, and chuckle. There's a little game I play regarding politicians, just for my own amusement generally. Now I think maybe we should all start playing it in public, as loudly as possible. Maybe derision can break through the mass media wall to the American people. Here's how it goes. Other Occupations for Politicians: I think about what kind of job they'd have if they had to function in real life like the rest of us. For example, when I look at Harry Reid I see a third-rate auto mechanic, extorting a meager income from those who can't afford better by replacing parts that aren't broken, charging them for work never done, and fending off their complaints with insults, threats, and those burning beady eyes.
You'll pay him for that wall job or else.
It's hard to look at him without imagining the filthy coveralls and dirty fingernails of a choleric loser and liar (!) who never cleans his shop and can't keep the help from quitting every six weeks. Should I really take him seriously? Okay. I will if I can.
I have a different impression of Nancy Pelosi. She has always reminded me of an actress, the kind that plays the same role in a soap opera for decades. You know, the dilute daytime version of Joan Collins, who lives in her stage makeup and throbs with melodrama as she overacts her way through seven on-screen marriages, two or three murder trials, endless acts of treachery and malevolence to members of her TV family, and offstage acts the grande dame who but for a turn of the cards would have given Joan Crawford a run for her money. It doesn't matter what she's talking about -- the plight of the homeless or the incompetent leadership of the president -- all I see is an aged also-ran starlet, checking the location of the lights and holding her head just so in hopes that the latest facelift scars don't show on camera.
Is that too personal, too mean-spirited for the illuminati of the left to handle? Just another example of low-class conservative abuse of a liberal icon? Perhaps they'd prefer it if I couched my criticisms in the form of high art, say, the kind of highbrow takedowns of our cultural icons that get subsidized by the National Endowment for the Arts and defended to the death by liberals. They couldn't object to that kind of satire, could they?Then let's see what they think of this comparison:
Piss Christ (left) and Piss Pelosi (right)
They can take their pick. Either way, I intend to laugh, because the only other response a private citizen can make to systematic treason is illegal.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin is calling out this quote from Karl Rove:
Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.
This is in keeping with the contract recently proposed.