Monday, September 17, 2007

Republican follies

Remember the furor over Sen. Larry Craig's incident in the Minneapolis bathroom regarding which he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor? Remember how so-called conservatives fell over themselves to condemn him while feigning to portray themselves as merchants of righteousness? Remember how they insisted it wasn't "a gay thing" but a "morality thing."

The whole saga over the sexual dalliances of Louisana Sen. David Vitter, another Republican, makes a mockery of these claims.

The difference: Craig was accused of soliciting another man. Vitter is accused of regularly seeking the comfort of women prostitutes.

The result: Top Republicans fell over themselves to crucify Craig and drum him out of office. Their silence of the hypocrites over Vitter has been deafening.

***

House Minority Leader John Boehner recently stuck his foot in his mouth, which is apparently an acceptable body part for the morality brigade. He recently said that the 3780 US military deaths (and counting) were "a small price to pay" for stopping al-Qaeda and stabilizing the Middle East.

I suppose he might not think it was a small price if he had a son in Iraq right now.

Or in a coffin returned from Iraq.

Then again, Republicans in Washington have spent most of the last six years showing callous indifference toward human life. So Boehner's comments are within that tradition.

His comment might be slightly less outrageous if the US aggression against Iraq weren't so evidentally encouraging al-Qaeda and destabilizing the Middle East.

***

Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign bus was called the Straight Talk Express during his 2000 run against Gov. George W. Bush. He's renamed it to something else, which I suppose is appropriate since the old motto clearly no longer applies. I think Tool Time would have been a more appropriate name given how his personna has morphed.

On one hand, he struck back at those who want to promote sectarianism in this country by insisting that his particular demonination is not as important as his overarching Christianity.

But only a few days earlier, he launched a contemptible attack on the Democratic activist group MoveOn.org. Not so much on the liberal group, but on the 1st Amendment.

MoveOn themselves ran a vile attack on Gen. David Petraeus. The ad, which ran before his testimony to Congress, called the Iraq commander "General Betray-Us."

This 'if you disagree with me, you're traitor' filth is something we've come to expect from the far right. It's sickening to see a left-wing organization adopting these disgusting tactics.

It would have been fair to criticize the general's comments, in less inflammatory language, if MoveOn had bothered to actually wait until the general testified. Instead, the smear ads ran BEFORE he even said a word to Congress.

But McCain, pandering to a VFW crowd, reportedly called for MoveOn to be "thrown out of the country."

(Raw video here)

It's bad enough that MoveOn has adopted the 'dissent=treason' line. What's worse is that a potential future president of the United States wants opponents to be exiled.

I assume this is just an emotional McCain pandering to his audience. But it doesn't say much for the judgement of a potential future commander in chief, especially one who'd follow someone who's already seriously undermined the Constitution.

Or perhaps is says a lot more McCain's judgement than he might like.

As they say, a 'gaffe' is what you call it when a politician accidentally speaks his mind.

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