Friday, October 29, 2010

'Fuck Sanity'

The great Dennis Perrin on Jon Stewart's march of moderates for "sanity":
Fuck Sanity.

Maybe I'm missing the satirical angle here, if there is one. When Jon Stewart apologized for calling Harry Truman a war criminal, I initially thought, "Hey! Nice parody of the wimpy, obedient pundit!" Then I realized that Stewart was serious. Had any other global leader ordered nuclear strikes on civilians, I suspect that Stewart wouldn't be so understanding. But this was an American president -- a Democrat no less! How ugly and partisan it would be to question Truman's action, or worse, satirize it. That is something an insane person would do. And as we know, Jon Stewart is among The Sane.

Again, Stewart could be putting everyone on. I certainly hope so, yet doubt it. You don't achieve mainstream prominence by calling our terrorist culture by its right name. And you sure as fuck don't mock it. Stewart knows his place. Just the other night he sat across from a man who oversees a vast network of theft, torture and mass murder. And how did our most celebrated satirist since Mark Twain react? With deference. Respect. Sanity.
I previously took on Stewart myself for ludicrously claiming Obama had "given back so much executive power" since taking office. (Pathetically for Stewart, Bill O'Reilly had to correct him on that.) And earlier I addressed Stewart's remark that he didn't care if Obama smoked cigarettes, because "I prefer that to . . . bombing countries. I’ll take a smoker." (Congratulations, funny guy, we've now got a president who ends a rough day of cluster bombing Yemeni civilians with a Marlboro. And he's so smart!)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Yes on 19, please, but hold the politicians

IOZ, doing his thing:
Regarding the question of voting, I do not vote for the same reason that I do not pray five times a day facing toward Mecca. I do not believe in representative democracy. I think it is a fiction. That is not to say that I don't believe Americans exist anymore than calling Allah imaginery means I do not believe that Muslims exist; I believe in voting booths just as much as I believe in mosques. It is not the existence of the ritualized act that I call unreal; it is the deity at the other end of the prayer line.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Can we really blame Republicans for the wars?

Michael Moore has a list of five things he says Democrats should do to avoid a disaster at the polls in November. His first recommendation? That the Democratic Party run ads reminding voters "Who the Hell Put Us in the Misery We're In":
People need to be reminded over and over that it was the REPUBLICANS who concocted and led the unnecessary invasion of two countries, putting us in our longest war ever, wars that will eventually cost us over $3 trillion.
I know readers of this blog probably don't need me to detail all that is wrong with that sentence but, fuck it, I'll try to anyway. First, it was Democrat Bill Clinton who signed into law a bill that made regime change in Iraq official U.S. policy, and it was the Clinton administration, by continually bombing Iraq and maintaining a deadly sanctions regime throughout the 1990s ostensibly due to an ongoing, scary (and conveniently swarthy) threat of a madman with weapons of mass destruction, that helped make the 2003 invasion politically possible.

Second, Democrats were critical to selling the Iraq war in the wake of 9/11, with the likes of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry -- and the top candidates for the party's 2004 and 2008 presidential nomination -- taking to the Senate floor with tales of ties to al-Qaeda and WMDs to justify an aggressive war against a country that was not threatening the United States. And the authorization to use force in Iraq was approved by more than half the Democrats in the Senate and more than 80 of those in the House. Sure, more dissented than in the Republican ranks -- just not many in meaningful leadership positions and none with greater political ambitions.

Meanwhile, the war in Afghanistan was overwhelmingly supported by the Democratic Party; Congress authorized the use of force by a vote of 420-1 in the House and 98-0 in the Senate. And during the 2008 election campaign, and before that in 2006, Democrats across the country campaigned on a platform that labeled Afghanistan the Good, Forgotten War, with Harry Reid, Barack Obama, et. al denouncing the Bush administration for not sending enough young Americans to kill and be killed there.

There's also this small quibble I have with the "blame REPUBLICANS for the wars" strategy: as "our longest war ever" drags on with no end in sight, draining taxpayers of tens of billions of dollars every year, the Democratic Party controls the House, the Senate and the presidency. The Democrats, it can be fairly said, control the government of the United States of America -- the same government that not only continues to occupy two Middle Eastern countries, but has further expanded the war on terror in Yemen and Pakistan, killing hundreds of civilians with Predator drones and cluster bombs.

Democrats can go ahead and blame the GOP all they want for starting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I suspect some voters will rightly respond: "well okay then, Bush should've been impeached and John Boehner is totally a dick, but who's dropping the bombs now?"

I am certain our cause is just

. . . now give me the god damn money!