Wednesday, June 22, 2005
About Durbin’s apology
A few points, from little to big, about the wingnut show trial that culminated yesterday in Dick Durbin’s apology for his remarks of June 14:
-- Durbin said nothing for which any reasonable, honest person should request an apology. I know it, you know it, even Andrew Sullivan knows it. Durbin said that America should treat prisoners better than brutal dictatorships do. But I suppose we all know the real reason why wingnuts have a problem with that.
-- Richard Daley is a fool. A craven, cowardly fool, at that.
-- Nobody made John McCain the Arbiter of Justice while we weren’t looking. McCain has been pulling this stunt for some time now, ever since he set the rules for the 2004 presidential campaign. You remember that one: McCain decided that the Swift Boat Vets should not lie about Kerry’s service in Vietnam, and, in the interest of fairness and balance, that MoveOn.org should not tell the truth about Bush’s service (and mysterious disappearances) in Alabama. The Swift Boat Vets won that one, and the “referee” helped immeasurably. Now here comes Honest John to demand an apology from Durbin, while saying this about Bill Frist’s serial lying and pandering in the Schiavo case:
I don’t want to criticize Bill Frist. He obviously had very sincere feelings about this issue. All of us were very emotional. We—Terri Schiavo had a loving parents and siblings that wanted to care for her for the rest of her life. I think our hearts went out to her in that situation and her family. Maybe we didn’t use our brains as well as we should have. So I can’t—I know that Bill Frist has denied that he “diagnosed” Terri Schiavo. I think we ought to get this issue behind us and move forward.
I don’t want to criticize Bill Frist. I know that Bill Frist has denied that he “diagnosed” Terri Schiavo. Straight talk from the quintessential maverick.
And a hat tip to Arianna Huffington for calling out McCain on “his near-operatic lie that he’s ‘totally in agreement and support of President Bush.’”
-- As for the odious Frist himself, and his press release this Monday—“Shameful does not begin to describe this heinous slander against our country . . . and the brave men and women risking their lives every day to defend it”—well. I am sorry to admit that this humble blog does not have the rhetorical capacity to give any of Frist’s remarks on the subject the reply they deserve. That, clearly, is the purview of the Rude Pundit. And this is one of those times when I wish I really was the Rude Pundit.
No, wait, here comes another one of those times:
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, in an interview to air Wednesday on Fox News Radio’s “The Tony Snow Show,” tried to equate Durbin’s comment with actress Jane Fonda calling U.S. soldiers war criminals during a visit to North Vietnam in 1972.
“Some people always in their lives say something they wish they hadn’t said,’’ Rumsfeld said. “We just watched Jane Fonda run around trying to recover from the things she did and said during the Vietnam War. . . . He said some things and he’s going to have to live with them, and I think that that’s not a happy prospect.’’
I suppose this means we can look forward to forty years of knuckle-draggers spitting in Durbin’s face. (No offense meant to any actual draggers of knuckles, mind you.) Meanwhile, Rumsfeld contemplates a new round of prizes for the senior officers in charge during the Abu Ghraib atrocities:
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is considering new top command assignments that would possibly include promoting Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the former American commander in Iraq during the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, Pentagon and military officials say. . . . [W]ith the most senior officers cleared of wrongdoing, there is a belief among many at the Pentagon and in the military that the scandal may be receding in the rear-view mirror of public opinion.
So there’s your Dick Durbin Show Trial roundup, kids. The people who criticize torture are vilified, and the people who oversee it are rewarded. And the United States takes two more confident, emphatic strides toward the abyss. Thanks, all you wingnuts, both in and out of office. You’ve done more to aid and comfort the enemy than you’ll ever know.