21 May, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Note to Cons: the equine is thoroughly deceased. You can stop beating it any time:

Maybe it's just me, but when I saw another story about a new round of Republican attacks on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D), my first reaction was, "Wait, they're still talking about that?"

A member of the House Republican Conference will offer a resolution on the House floor Thursday calling for a bipartisan investigation into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's claim that the CIA misled her on the use of waterboarding, two Republican sources tell CNN.

"The speaker has had a full week now to either produce the evidence or retract and apologize, and she's done neither," a senior Republican aide told CNN. "There is no choice now. A bipartisan investigation is needed to get to the facts."

Just so we're clear, if a Democrat says, in reference to credible allegations of widespread Bush administration wrongdoing, "There is no choice now. A bipartisan investigation is needed to get to the facts," that Democrat is a bitter partisan, stuck in the past, anxious to undermine national security. If a Republican says the same thing about Pelosi, he/she is simply supporting accountability.


Most of you are probably aware that today was Dick's day to try to upstage the President of the United States. It didn't go all that well. For one thing, Cheney proved he has no idea what American values actually are:

From Dick Cheney's remarks at AEI this morning:

Critics of our policies are given to lecturing on the theme of being consistent with American values. But no moral value held dear by the American people obliges public servants ever to sacrifice innocent lives to spare a captured terrorist from unpleasant things. And when an entire population is targeted by a terror network, nothing is more consistent with American values than to stop them.

Anything is permissible in defense of the Fatherland Homeland.

Not according to the Constitution, Dick.

And as for comparison to the President, well, let's just say that anyone who's not a hopeless Con wasn't too terribly impressed:

Most of Joe Klein's take on this morning's speeches struck me as persuasive.

"From the very first -- the notion that those who oppose his policies saw 9/11 as a "one-off" -- Cheney proceeded to mischaracterize, oversimplify and distort the views of those who saw his policies as extreme and unconstitutional, to say nothing of the views of the current Administration. This is the habit of demagogues. Cheney's snarling performance was revelatory and valuable: it showed exactly the sort of man Cheney is, and the sort of advice he gave, when his location was disclosed. I hope he continues to speak out. We need his voice to remind us what we've happily escaped.

"Contrast that with the President. He spoke with reason and dignity. He treated his audience -- the American people -- as adults, capable of assimilating a difficult argument. He presented the views of his opponents, on both sides, fairly. His speech acknowledged the difficulty in balancing our democratic values against our very real national security needs."

Now, when it comes to Klein's take on the appropriate "balance" between security and values, I'd put the fulcrum in a different place.

But his larger point sounds right to me. Watching Cheney's speech, the one phrase that kept coming to mind was, "He must think we're idiots."

Indeed he must. I suppose it's what comes of having been stuffed away in an undisclosed location for so long.

Cheney does have one big fan, though. Mittens lurved him some ex-VP:

Blogging at The Corner today, Mitt Romney panned President Obama’s speech on national security, saying that Vice President Cheney’s “response” to Obama was “direct, well-reasoned, and convincing.” Romney mocked Obama’s speech condemning torture as being worse than Bush’s torture tactics:

He struggles to explain how he is keeping faith with the liberal advocates who promoted his campaign but in doing so, he breaks faith with the interests of the American people. When it comes to protecting the nation, we have a conflicted president. And his address today was more tortured than the enhanced interrogation techniques he decries.

Obama “said that the last thing he thinks about when he goes to sleep at night is keeping America safe. That’s a big difference with Vice President Cheney — when it came to protecting Americans, he never went to sleep,” Romney concluded. This would be news to Cheney. In October 2007, Cheney dozed off during a briefing on the California wildfires and also during his boss’s farewell address in January 2009.

So much for the Man Who Never Sleeps motif. And so much for the former Vice President convincing everyone that he's right and Obama's wrong. Repetition of tired old right-wing talking points only gets you so far.

In other news, some fuckwits think Huntsman's ambassadorship to China is a prime opportunity to proselytize:

I knew this was going to come out of Utah as soon as I heard the announcement that Jon Huntsman was going to China. I emailed Howie about it.

Ben Smith:

This, from the blog of a Utah State Rep. Craig Frank, may not be quite what Huntsman and Obama were thinking:

This is a big deal for the Governor, Utah, the United States, and…the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).

Although the LDS church’s missionary program has an ecclesiastical presence throughout many parts of the world, the countries with the largest population bases (China and India) are not currently open to the church’s missionary efforts. Huntsman served his LDS mission as a 19 year old young man in the Taiwan Taipei Mission in the early 1980’s. He has since been back to the Far East on a number of occasions. Huntsman not only takes to China his political acumen but also a lifetime of membership in the LDS church. This should bode well for the LDS church’s mission to spread the gospel throughout the world, since all members of the LDS faith are under divine mandate to…”Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…” (Matt 28:19)

Huntsman’s ambassadorship not only puts him in an excellent position to address US-China relations, it puts him in an even better position to teach the gospel…in Mandarin.

The blog has since been scrubbed, GOP 12 reports, but it lives on on Google.

Some folks seem to think there's no such thing as separation between church and state, there. I hope Huntsman isn't laboring under the same delusion.

And, finally, I can't leave you without these pearls of wisdom from Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum:
Last night on Fox News, former senator Rick Santorum told Greta Van Susteren that the Republican party “has to stand up for conservative principles.” They have to support the “patrimony” against “a guy named Barack Obama” who wants to upend “our social structure”:
SANTORUM: The other thing we have to do is we have to stand up and say, look, America — Conservatives believe in the stewardship of patrimony. In other words, there are things in America that are really good, that work, have worked for 200 years. And we have a guy named Barack Obama who’s trying to fundamentally rewrite everything, change our economy, change our social structure, change our economy to something new.
Santorum also praised the 75 percent of Californians who did not vote in yesterday’s special election, “because they knew enough that they didn’t know enough to vote.”

Rick hasn't quite made Bachmann territory on the crazy, there, but give him points for trying.

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