Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Stupid is as Stupid Does

My local "newspaper," Newsday, today published a series of letters from right-wingers who can't stop frothing at the mouth over the Democratic Representatives who passed the non-binding resolution condemning Bush's "troop surge." I put the phrase "troop surge" in quotes because, like nearly everything that comes out of the Bush administration, the term is a euphemism meant to deflect our attention from its true meaning; a "troop surge" is an escalation, pure and simple, just like those disastrous and costly escalations that another Texan president, Lyndon Johnson, foisted upon us during the Vietnam era. I put "newspaper" in quotes because Newsday is really a shadow of its former self. When it was owned by the Times-Mirror company, Newsday regularly won awards for its investigative journalism. But then the Chicago Tribune bought Newsday from the financially ailing Times-Mirror, and, as the saying goes, it was all downhill from there. The Chicago Tribune, which, as you may know, also owns that pathetic excuse for a newspaper known as the New York Daily News, is a conservative paper that prizes shilling for the Bush administration above accurate reporting - much like the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, the New York Post, and the National Review. All of these right-wing rags want us to believe that global warming is a liberal myth, that market forces are more reliable than government regulation when it comes to making corporations do the right thing, and that, whatever we think of the reasons for invading Iraq, the only patriotic thing to do now is to blindly support the president.

But I digress. Getting back to Newsday and its slow, painful demise at the hands of the Chicago Tribune, the Trib fired all of Newsday's investigative reporters, so that it now devotes its newsprint to redistribution of stories that originated at the Associated Press or Reuters. It no longer carries a Saturday editorial. Somehow, Newsday's liberal-leaning editorials have survived, although all of its brilliant left-wing columnists - names like Paul Vitello, Marie Cocco, and Sheryl McCarthy - have mysteriously vanished.

Anyway, regarding today's bunch of letters criticizing the House resolution to condemn Bush's Iraq war escalation, I know that name-calling is a poor excuse for intelligent argument, so please don't post an angry comment reminding me of that fact. Having acknowledged this, I must nevertheless point out that, after reading the aforementioned letters from conservatives who still support Bush, I can reach only one conclusion: these people are idiots. What other term fits someone who declares that the Democrats who voted in favor of the resolution are "guilty of treason?" Since, according to the Constitution, Congress is the branch of the federal government responsible for creating the law, it is not possible for Congress to commit treason against itself. Anyone who is not a knuckle-dragging imbecile would realize that. Conversely, the oath that the president takes on his inauguration has him swear to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Is lying to Congress to get the country embroiled in an unnecessary and illegal war "protecting the Constitution?" Is ordering illegal wiretaps without the required court orders "protecting the Constitution?" Is creating an entirely new, unsanctioned designation for detainees so that they can be deprived of the protections of due process "protecting the Constitution?" If you want to point fingers at "traitors," you can start with that babbling idiot in the Oval Office.

The other letters aren't any better. In addition to the expected gratuitous attacks on our first female Speaker of the House, we have the usual advertisement for terror: "Al Qaida is laughing with delight over the Democrats and their resolution." Personally, I don't think Al Qaida is laughing about the resolution itself, although they might have a good chuckle over the fact that an entire branch of government can't muster enough backbone to pass anything more than a "non-binding resolution." What they are laughing over, of course, is how many new recruits they have gotten out of our ill-conceived, poorly-executed invasion and occupation, as well as our indiscriminate torture and killing of foreign nationals, which is unquestionably the best possible advertisement for the insurgency. And a third letter is just plain stupid: "Democrats just take your tax money and throw it away." Whatever lower life-form scratched out that piece of drivel obviously doesn't consider the 400-or-so-billion dollars wasted on our collective misadventure in Iraq to be money "thrown away." Environmental protections, social security, education, health care - now that's a waste of money, at least according to this moron.

So, to these poor, deluded right-wingers, I present the following public service announcement:
Your president is a dangerous, incompetent fool who has gotten our beloved nation mired in a hopeless situation in Iraq. He refuses to recognize or acknowledge the truth, and, because you have deluded yourself into believing that not supporting the president in wartime is treasonous, you also refuse to recognize the truth. When you spew insults at those of us who knew from the very beginning that the war was a colossal mistake, you don't make yourself seem patriotic; you make yourself look stupid. If you've acknowledged that the Earth is round, that the universe is billions of years old, and that evolution is real, then it's time to take the final step and admit that love of country...and blind allegiance to a dangerous, dictatorial maniac who was never legitimately elected to office...are not the same thing. In fact, if you really love America and what it is supposed to stand for as much as you claim, you should be doing everything in your power to make sure that Bush is effectively neutralized - to get the Democratic Congress to do the job we elected them to do, and stop this lunatic from doing any more damage.


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