13 May, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Oh, look. Hagee apologized for being an anti-Catholic assclown. Let's see what he had to say for himself:

“Out of a desire to advance greater unity among Catholics and Evangelicals in promoting the common good, I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful,” Hagee wrote, according to an advanced copy of the letter reviewed by Washington Wire. “After engaging in constructive dialogue with Catholic friends and leaders, I now have
an improved understanding of the Catholic Church, its relation to the Jewish faith, and the history of anti-Catholicism.”


Hagee’s letter explains some of the harsh words he has used when describing the Catholic Church. “I better understand that reference to the Roman Catholic Church as the ‘apostate church’ and the ‘great whore’ described in the book of Revelation” — both terms Hagee has employed — “is a rhetorical device long employed in anti-Catholic literature and commentary,” he wrote.

That's his apology? "I didn't know any better and I'm apologizing not because I've learned I was wrong, but because it's expedient." Give me a fucking break.

Carpetbagger seems less than impressed as well. I can't imagine why.

Will this end the controversy? It really shouldn’t.

Josh Marshall asked, “Can we now get him to explain the part about God using Muslim terrorists to create bloodbaths in our streets because the US supports a two-state solution in
Israel-Palestine?” (It’s true; Hagee
really did say that.)

And therein lies the point. If Hagee is prepared to start apologizing to those he’s denigrated, he has quite a few letters to write. Hagee has argued that Hurricane Katrina “was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans” for hosting a gay-pride parade. Hagee has smeared Jews (he thinks they’re responsible for their own oppression), Muslims (he thinks they’re all inherently dangerous), women, “Harry Potter” novels, and pretty much anyone who doesn’t look and think like exactly like he does.

Even his anti-Catholic animus is hard to dismiss with one letter of regret. After years of bashing the church, Hagee suddenly realized Catholics might find his hateful diatribes “hurtful”? I obviously can’t speak to Hagee’s personal perspective, but as election-year conversions go, this one does seem rather convenient.

Convenient indeed. You'll pardon me if I continue to think of Hagee as the worst sort of fuckwitted asshole.

Speaking of Christianity, Carpetbagger, and fuckwits, CB has an interesting question about Good Morning America's reporting style:

“Good Morning America’s” Kate Snow talks to some random, uninformed voter who foolishly argued, “He’s a Muslim.”

Snow responded, “Just for the record he constantly says he’s a Christian.” The dim-witted voter said she knows what Obama says, but she doesn’t believe him.

Obama “constantly says he’s a Christian”? What kind of reporting is that?

I've got your answer, CB. It's not reporting. It's lazy bullshit. It's more of the "he says, she says, we're too fucking stupid to actually do any investigating to find out which one's right." Maybe they're under the impression that in a democracy, people decide facts by popular vote and it's not the reporter's job to sway their opinion by trying to verify if a supposed "fact" is true. Call me an Elitist Bastard (which I am), but I find myself pining for the days when a reporter would do some digging and say, "X says this, but X is actually a deluded dumbass who can't find his butt with both hands and a Garmin, and is completely and unequivocally wrong."

Okay. So they didn't use exactly those words, but you know what I mean. Facts aren't opinion. "Obama is a Christian" is a fact that remains true even if some dimwits want to believe he's actually a Muslim. What's more, it's a fact that shouldn't fucking matter in a country that, on paper, has a prohibition against religious tests for office.

And finally, in news that is no news at all, GOP politicians lie like rugs:

Barack Obama sat down with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg to discuss U.S. policy towards Israel, and for the first 95% of the interview, Obama offered a solid, uncontroversial position, which included effusive praise for the Jewish state.


So far, so good. Obama then added, “[W]hat I think is that this constant wound, that this constant sore, does infect all of our foreign policy. The lack of a resolution to this problem provides an excuse for anti-American militant jihadists to engage in inexcusable actions, and so we have a national-security interest in solving this, and I also believe that Israel has a security interest in solving this because I believe that the status quo is unsustainable. I am absolutely convinced of that … I want to solve the problem.”

Describing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a source of instability in the region, and a dispute in need of a resolution, hardly seems controversial.

So, House Republican leaders changed Obama’s words to make him say what they wanted to hear. By any reasonable definition of the word, they lied.Reps. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the first and third highest ranking Republicans in the House, issued written statements.

First Boehner…

“Israel is a critical American ally and a beacon of democracy in the Middle East, not a ‘constant sore’ as Barack Obama claims,” Boehner said. “Obama’s latest remark, and his commitment to ‘opening a dialogue’ with sponsors of terrorism, echoes past statements by Jimmy Carter who once called Israel an ‘apartheid state.’”

…and then Cantor.

“It is truly disappointing that Senator Obama called Israel a ‘constant wound,’ ‘constant sore,’ and that it ‘infect[s] all of our foreign policy.’ These sorts of words and characterizations are the words of a politician with a deep misunderstanding of the Middle East and an innate distrust of Israel,” Cantor said.

Pathetic. House GOP leaders are well past the point of shame, but if there’s even a shred of decency among them, Boehner and Cantor will say their statements were written by overeager staffers and apologize.

Nobody hold their breath, now. They don't have so much as a thread of decency, much less anything as big as a whole shred.

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