Monday, January 14, 2008

Amnesty, Abortion and Acid

George McGovern is still alive? So it would seem. I thought he’d surely have been dead by now. Nope. Like Gloria Steinem, somehow he’s managed to elude the Grim Reaper for yet one more season. Maybe I got him mixed up with Timothy Leary? And have you noticed how much bill clinton is starting to look like Boris Yeltsin? It’s uncanny. A cross between Yeltsin and WC Fields. And Pinocchio. He's a real boy.

McGovern. Ran against Nixon in ’72. On the Surrender Platform. Biggest electoral defeat in history.
Lost his own home state. What goes around comes around. And McGovern has recycled himself again, conscientious dumpster-diver that he is, in his latest effort to persuade us that Bush should be impeached.

Generally I’d just ignore it. But it was such a perfect specimen of irrationality that I couldn’t pass it up. His article. It’s exactly like that ridiculous thing I wrote a few days ago, about what a racist I am, and the excellent reasons for it. “Racism is a very good thing. It means many things to many people.” Yada yada yada. Lord I'm stupid. That’s what McGovern does here. Lookit.

He starts by saying he did not join in on the call to impeach his nemesis, Nixon. “I thought that my joining the impeachment effort would be seen as an expression of personal vengeance toward the president who had defeated me.” Hm. Is that the reason? Because it would make him look petty? Despite the merit of the effort, as he would have seen it? Hardly speaks of integrity. But he is after all only a politician -- the one who said he would stand by running-mate Thomas Eagleton "1000%," and then dumped him because of a really stupid controversy (Eagleton had undergone electroshock treatment in the ’60s. Gasp.) Ah well. It's not a strong start, but maybe McGovern will give us lots of sound reasoning and concrete examples about impeaching Bush and Cheney.

“The political scene is marked by narrow and sometimes superficial partisanship, especially among Republicans...” Oh. Ouch. Um. Okay. It’s us. The Republicans. Sure. Prove it? No? Okay. “So the chances of a bipartisan impeachment and conviction are not promising,” says he. “But what are the facts?” Ah. Yes. Facts. Please.

“Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty of numerous impeachable offenses. They have repeatedly violated the Constitution. They have transgressed national and international law. They have lied to the American people time after time. Their conduct and their barbaric policies have reduced our beloved country to a historic low in the eyes of people around the world. These are truly ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ to use the constitutional standard.”

Alas. Alas. It seems needful to observe that these are charges, not facts. Violated the Constitution? Article and section, please. Transgressed law? Which? When? Lied? Specifics, sir. Being wrong, if they have been wrong, is not the same as lying. It is embarrassing to have to point this elementary, this primary fact out. A lie is a misstatement told with intent to deceive. So very basic. Barbaric? Does he refer to waging war? An infantile charge. To “waterboarding”? I believe it’s been used three times. And it’s no more barbaric than war itself -- orders of magnitude less, I should think, since it involves only fear and discomfort. I must be much more barbaric than Bush. There’d be no doubt about what I’d have done. The bodies would not be recognizable as human. Call me crazy. A “constitutional standard”? But isn’t the Constitution a living, breathing document? The standards must always, then, be shifting.

“From the beginning, the Bush-Cheney team's assumption of power was the product of questionable elections that probably should have been officially challenged -- perhaps even by a congressional investigation.” Hardly an observation relevant to the specific issue at hand. Let’s try to stay on point, George. Yes, yes, Bush somehow stole the election. There can be no rebuttal to that. Inventing the previously unheard-of categories of the “hanging” and “dimpled” and “pregnant” “chads” -- at the expense of throwing out the already-established statutory criteria and definitions of what a legal, an acceptable, a valid vote was. Felons voting and soldiers being denied the vote -- there is no answer. The media interference, of prematurely announcing a Florida victory for Gore, so that 10,000 voters in the largely conservative panhandle (in a later time-zone) stayed home rather than vote -- no matter. No matter to any of the other answers. There is no answer. Only the Left is reasonable. Don’t they tell us so themselves?

“The dominant commitment of the administration has been a murderous, illegal, nonsensical war against Iraq.” My my. So many adjectives. Who does he think he is? Me? “Murderous.” An emotional term. Like, ‘Abortion is murder.’ No lawful killing can be murderous. He means homicidal. Yes, I agree, the war is, almost by definition, homicidal. “Illegal.” Congress voted on it and approved it. Congress could vote to stop its funding, and so stop it. Therefore, since the lawmakers have not made it illegal, it is not illegal. Now the Vietnam war -- that was made illegal. “Nonsensical.” Killing terrorists, or if you must, insurgents -- killing islamofascists is like killing Nazis. When one is nonsensical, the other will be. “Against Iraq.” That does say it all, doesn’t it. He thinks that we’re fighting against Iraq. No, sir, we are fighting in Iraq. Mostly Iranians, Syrians and Saudis, in Iraq. That McGovern cannot perceive this fact gives us a sad and frightening peek into his confused mind.

The war has been expensive, in terms of treasure and lives? Sir. One point three million casualties in the Battle of the Somme. Six hundred thousand Americans died in WWII -- which annually cost the USA 40% of its GDP. Is my point taken? In any event, it is hardly credible that a Democrat should speak of waste.

“All of this has been done without the declaration of war from Congress that the Constitution clearly requires...” Yes, I agree. There is however this thing called the War Powers Act. Sort of grants the president the ability to do what he’s doing. If you don’t like it, change the law.

And there has been “the abuse of prisoners, including systematic torture, in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.” Abuse? Could be. But not of “prisoners” -- a technical term. If at all, of “unlawful combatants,” another, distinct, technical term. Your reference to the Geneva Convention? It is meaningless, George. If you have read the relevant articles, you have not understood them. As I have previously observed, the 1949 Geneva Convention explicitly excludes unlawful combatants from its provisions -- specifically by Article 4, A, 2, b & d. You don’t like that fact? Well then just ignore it. And call Bush a liar.

The “Bush-Cheney team repeatedly deceived Congress, the press and the public into believing that Saddam had nuclear arms and other horrifying banned weapons that were an ‘imminent threat’ to the United States. The administration also led the public to believe that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks -- another blatant falsehood.” Good. You’ve called Bush a liar. Now do a little dance while singing 'I’ve Got a Loverly Buncha Cocernuts'.

Clearly McGovern has not been reading my blog. How can we take him seriously? “Repeatedly deceived.” “Blatant falsehood.” We’ve been over that “deceived” thing. As for “blatant,” I just don’t know. Maybe it happened and I missed it? I’m not a news junkie. But if McGovern is talking about some well-covered story, I expect he’s just wrong. As I’ve heard it, Iraq -- Saddam -- was involved with terrorists in general, not with 9/11 specifically. There are whole books documenting Saddam’s terrorist connections. Jon Stewart called one of them (here, here) a “piece of crap” in front of the author. That’s the day I stopped watching him. Funny, until the rudeness made him not funny anymore.

McGovern references “illegal” wiretaps and “fear-mongering” that “has led government spokesmen and cooperative members of the press to imply that we are at war with the entire Arab and Muslim world...” At the age of 85, he should have acquired a capacity to appreciate nuances. There are shades of gray. There is room for interpretation. He doesn’t seem to get that. It’s a little sad, but it doesn’t make him wrong. What makes him wrong is that the FISA laws to which he refers allow for monitoring "foreign power"(including terrorist organizations) communications outside the USA, and limits action only regarding "US persons". Surely somebody must have explained this to him?

I know. It's confusing. What if a US person is communicating abroad with a terrorist organization? I'd say, tap. Just don't listen to the US persons side of the conversation. Impracticable? No matter. The whole issue is rendered moot by the Protect America Act of 2007, by which communications with foreign country persons may be tapped by the US without supervision by the FISA Court.

That there may be disagreement of the interpretation of such laws does not make one side stupid, bad, evil, or liars. As for fear-mongering and compliant press members, what I personally have notices is the care that always seems to be taken to distinguish Islam from the terrorists. Even I do that, and I’m clearly a hater. McGovern is just wrong -- if not, he could prove himself correct with but a few unanswerable specifics.

Well. He goes on and on. So have I. He talks some more about how bad and stupid Bush is. None if it would really apply to impeachment. So, enough.

Sir. You have not given us facts. You have given us assertions. A fact is something that may be demonstrated. In seeking to prove a case, demonstration is a requirement. Calling Bush a bad man tells us all about how you feel. We are under no obligation to adopt your emotion as our own. We would follow evidence. You have brought many charges, unsupported. This is a shameful thing. But perhaps you are past shame. It’s possible that you would have been a worse president than Carter.

So you can just kiss my black ass. I’ve never really understood that phrase. Who has a black ass? It's nonsensical. It must be one of those idiomatic saying that means something without meaning anything, if you get my, uh, meaning.



Anonymous said...

Please, please, please forward that to the Washington Post.

Jack H said...

Feel free.