Thursday, March 8, 2007

Identify Problems, Ignore Context

Jacob Weisberg has an interesting column in Slate today. I'm not all that familiar with his work, but from what I understand he places himself as a moderate, existing above the "partisan politics" of ideologues on either side of the so-called American political spectrum. In a recent post, Weisberg writes in a recent column,

"For many opponents of the surge, being able to blame Bush's supporters for blocking action is an ideal impasse. Happily helpless, Democrats and liberals can blame the president for getting it all wrong without assuming any responsibility for what happens next."

Here, Weisberg propagates the media narrative of the Impotent Democrat. The "Happily Helpless" link does this even more blatantly, as one might expect from the title. He does offer some criticism of the Republicans and Bush, but most of his work falls snugly in the mainstream concept of moderate Pundittry. Glenn Greenwald has an excellent post about why we should be wary of these kind of political commentators here.

So, back to today's column. Weisberg's thesis is that there are 4 "unspeakable truths" concerning Iraq, by which he means there are four truths, that everyone knows and accepts, and yet, for some mystical reason the Wesiber never articulates, the candidates can't speak these truths without being crucified on the public stage. These truths are
1. The war was a mistake
2. Wounded soldiers are victims as much as "heroes"
3. American lives lost in Iraq have been "wasted"
4. America is losing or has already lost the war.

I happen to think that these Weisberg's analysis up to this point is very astute. He provides examples of candidates, both Dem and Rep, who have been castigated after saying one of these, or who have all but said one but continue to dance around the issue.

Where Weisberg falls unforgivably short is in connecting the next dot, which is not the final dot, but a dot in an entirely new paradigm, by not addressing why this should be the case. Why should it be that candidates can't say what is already present in the zeitgeist, not to mention factually supportable? Well, it's because of the media, and people exactly like Weisberg himself.

By writing at Slate, who employs Fred Kaplan and Christopher Hitchens, two of the Iraq war's most vocal supporters, and continuing teh media narrative of weak Democrats himself, Weisberg is complicit in a system that takes its cues from what seems to be the case, rather than what is the case, or even what could be argued is the case.

To paraphrase Greenwald's argument, candidates don't want to claim lives have been wasted or that the war was a mistake because they don't want to seem to not support the troops, or be weak on defense. What is actually the case couldn't matter less. The current administration has by all accounts weakened America's security, and there is no indisputable that people knew about the deplorable conditions at Walter Reed, not to mention the cuts to Veteran's Benefits this administration has pushed through. That doesn't matter, though, and Weisberg fails to address that problem. He has the obligation to address why these truths can't be spoken, and the answer is obviously both the conservative noise-machine as well as the mainstream media that refuses to question is most basic assuptions about both political parties, what the public actually wants and deserves to hear, and about the fundamental role of the media itself.

Although Weisberg makes correct points in his column, his failure to understand his own complicit position and the media at large's postion in this problem is an unforgivable oversight.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


We live in highly polarized time. This is more evident than ever following I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's conviction yesterday on 4 of 5 counts of perjury. The real crime, here, is how the Liberals are handling the verdict: by dancing in the streets. Seeing Joe Wilson on Countdown last night you would think his national soccer team just won the world cup. Watch the sickening clip here. This blog got word that just outside the frame is a home-made torch to make sure the night turns out right. Rush Limbaugh thinks the Wilsons may even be behind the whole thing. For them it's just another excuse to party.

Unsurprisingly, the Dems can't stick to one scandal and get something done. They also have to pounce on the Walter Reed scandal. Rep. Waxman was practically doing keg stands at the hearings he was so thrilled. Look Whack-man: you're the chairman of the Commitee for Oversight and Government Reform, not the chairman of undermine the president and don't support the troops commitee.

Which brings us to the purging of US Attorneys for what appears to be political gain. Look Democrats, leave it alone. Just pick a scandal and stick with it, okay? Typical flip-flopping from the left, "The Walter Reed Scandal is more important, the US Attorney scandal is more important..."

Next thing you know they're gonna make a scandal out of nothing. Oh wait, they already did. Ann Coulter, god bless her, is a big-hearted conservative whose only crime is caring too much. But what do the scandal-hungry Scandal-crats do? They go on a witch hunt and demonize her just because she engaged in a little playful hate-mongering. Yes, she called John Edwards a faggot, but you know what? She didn't call Obama a n*****. I mean, that's gotta count for something. She didn't call Hillary Clinton a Leftist, which, to Clinton, counts as a slur. All I'm saying is that last year, when she said, "raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences," she was criticized as well, but look what happened. She was invited back to CPAC as a keynote speaker. She's the little bigot that just won't quit, god bless her.

So you know what, Scandal-crats? But your balls back on the nightstand where they belong, otherwise this Pandora's Box you've opened will consume us all. You don't have time to focus on the wire-tapping scandal, various Guantanamo Bay scandals, that pesky disappearing money this blog wrote about earlier, and a plethera of other scandals still unknown. Back out while you still can. And someone get that beer bong away from Whack-man.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

It takes one to know one

The Reverend Jerry Falwell, the man responsible for such quotes as "I believe the pagans, the abortionists, the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians...helped this [9/11] happen," is, remarkably, still speaking his mind. All you abortionists out there can breathe a sigh of relief though, because now Falwell is taking aim at the environment. What, you might ask, is the looniest position one might take on global warming? From the AP wire:

The Reverend Jerry Falwell says global warming is "Satan's attempt to redirect the church's primary focus" from evangelism to environmentalism.

Who's to blame? I don't knooooooowwwww............SATAN?! Can Falwell's mania retroactively make the church lady not qualify as satire, and instead be seen as a prophecy of things to come? It remains to be seen. The article continues:

Falwell told his Baptist congregation in Lynchburg yesterday that "the jury is still out" on whether humans are causing -- or could stop -- global warming. But he said some "naive Christian leaders" are being "duped" by arguments like those presented in former Vice President Al Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth. Falwell says the documentary should have been titled "A Convenient Untruth."

Yes, "A Convenient Untruth." You know what I think that's a good name for? Falwell's particular brand of venomous, hateful Organized Religion. It's convenient that Falwell can know what "God" is saying to him, and to no one else, and then Falwell can turn that into a financial and political Powerhouse. That is reeeeeaaaalll convenient. The article concludes with this gem:

Falwell said the Bible teaches that God will maintain the Earth until Jesus returns, so Christians should be responsible environmentalists, but not what he calls ... quote ... "first-class nuts."

Yeah. You wouldn't want to look like you're crazy. Blame Satan. Collect check. Wield influence. Repeat.