The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

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Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Red Menace

Although there's been a huge amount of news in the last couple of days, it hasn't exactly been the sort to inspire me to take time away from feeling lousy to post about it. But I really need to catch up.

ITEM! Third scandal for Hillary Clinton in less than two weeks!

There appears to be a grain of truth in the story of "Drawlgate," but the truly sad part was seeing talking points move straight from the right-wing noise machine to "respectable" news outlets. TPM blogger Greg Sargent certainly demonstrated (here, here, and here) that the MSM resuscitated the story solely to cash in on this artificial controversy. While it's certainly arguable that Hillary is as carefully studied and image-conscious as any politician, she's at least as genuine as 'Dubya' is a hard-scrabble man of the people whose Texan heart brims with compassion.

ITEM! Conservative pundits decry trial by a jury of Americans as unfit for nobility!

At least, that's how I see the same old cries about pure-as-the-driven-snow Scooter Libby from the right-wing. Before the trial, Libby was (in the purest conservative sense) the victim of the shadowy left-wing cabal that ran the White House, Congress, the State Department, the Pentagon, etc. After a fair trial by twelve jurors (who showed every sign of taking their role seriously, deliberating long and carefully, and pressing the judge to answer numerous questions about legal issues) found Libby guilty of the charges against him, he's still a victim. In short, American citizens weren't fit to judge his case, seeing as how they wouldn't be up to the task of untangling the Left's web of deceit.

I'd point you to one of the many sites that compiled asinine defenses of Libby, but I'm sure you've already seen at least one. In case you haven't, here are the two lines of argumentation:

1. Libby didn't commit a crime. And even if he did commit a crime, it wasn't his fault. And even if it was his fault, the trial was a sham.

2. Justice-- like finance, economics, education, governance, publishing, law enforcement, the military, and communications-- is far too important to be entrusted to the hoi polloi, and must be put under the control of the responsible, enlightened few. Like me.

ITEM! MSM now stands for Mixed-Signal Manufacturers!

AP headline, March 6, 11:56 AM: 2 Suicide Bombers Kill 93 in Iraq

AP headline, March 6, 12:19 PM: Bush: US, Iraqi Forces Making Progress

And from TNR: "118 Shiite Pilgrims Killed in Iraq Attacks" --front page headline, The Washington Post, March 7, 2007

"Bush lauds 'surge' results" --front page headline, The Washington Times, same day.


ITEM! Inmates still running asylum!

Since I like to end things on something of a positive note, I thought I'd link to this slightly reassuring (but deeply entertaining) look at the GOP frontrunners. And what a sad, creepy bunch they are.

Giuliani: A thrice-married occasional cross-dresser with a penchant for seizing guns while turning a blind eye to illegal immigrants who also thinks cutting taxes on the rich is the be-all and end-all of economic policy isn't going to inspire anyone to wonder what's the matter with Kansas. Next to Giuliani, everyone looks like the candidate for values voters.

Romney:
He can't decide which state he's from, invested major resources in barely winning a Conservative Political Action Committee straw poll last weekend, and, for his trouble, managed to snag the endorsement of Ann Coulter at the same time she was calling John Edwards a "faggot." [Hey kids! Did you know she was so fond of her new material that she repeated the same rib-tickler in front of a right-wing Christian group after the AIPAC event?]

McCain:
McCain is old. And sick. And obviously so. He has the misfortune of being both the most conservative candidate in the race and the one most hated by conservatives. His website makes it look like he's campaigning for F├╝hrer.

Ahhhh, that helps a bit. I thought I might be ill when I considered the right's reaction to Libby in light of the longstanding-but-suddenly-huge story about US Attorneys being sacked for doing a great job. I'll have to leave that one for another day.