Thursday, July 05, 2007

Bush 1 Clinton 140

It didn't take long. The viral e-mail full of misinformation and twisted logic hit my mailbox early in the morning on the 4th of July, a day already filled with flags, fake history and fulsome braggadocio. The ritualized sneering, the evocation of some sneerworthy but irrelevant straw man like Hillary or Jane or Bill; the non-sequiturs, the ad hominem attacks. . . it's like a thousand others.

It's titled Bush one Vs. Clinton 140 and it begins:

As Shrillery Clinton condemns G.W. Bush for commuting Scooter Libby's prison sentence, I felt compelled to compile a short list of the pardons and commutations hat [sic] her wife, Bill Clinton, did in his last years and days as President of this country. This woman has more nerve than I can imagine in her condemnation of President Bush. Perhaps if Scooter Libby was accused or convicted of domestic bombings, sexual assault, bank fraud, solicitation of child pornography, tax evasion or cocaine traffficking, [sic] such as her family friends listed below are, Shrillery would be in favor of a pardon.

Of course this opening gambit is to make you think that the nationwide outrage is something Mrs. Clinton invented. I won't address the ritual name calling or allegations of gender ambiguity; it's just typical Republican sleaze, signifying nothing. Of course no one will bother to critically look at each and every case of presidential pardon,
either from Clinton or his predecessors but even so, the statement evades two important points, the first of which is that one's misdeeds are not excused by misleadingly similar misdeeds of others. The second is that pardoning someone who has served a sentence is not the same as removing the sentence of someone who has served no time while your friends pay his expenses and fines.

Libby was not, of course pardoned, he was simply excused from having to go to jail because, as the decider decided, the sentence which fell well within the guidelines for everyone else, was too severe. Since he reduced it to nothing, he must have felt that any sentence was too severe. This of course from a man and a party who have championed mandatory and severe sentences. The outrage of most of the public has more to do with the obvious cronyism and the additional increment of obstruction of justice that is this unashamed reward for loyalty. As laughable as it may be, the only way for them to deal with the flimsiness of this farce is to counterattack. -- and so they do.

No mention of course is made about Reagan's pardons or Bush the Elder's equally self serving gifts to those who broke the law in the furthering and covering up of presidential crimes and while none of that is relevant, it makes the reference to Mrs. Clinton's "nerve" a bit funny in a nauseating sort of way.

Somehow, all this faux outrage and haughty bravado reminds me of some images I saw of the last days of Nicolae
Ceau┼čescu, standing before a vast crowd he thought was there to praise him once again. He seemed stunned and incredulous that they were booing and jeering and yet he never stopped waving and acting as though he was the beloved patriarch; as though he were in control. Three days later he was put against a wall.

The nerve of an administration that may have the respect of perhaps 20% of the American public acting as though it was merely dealing with some insignificant and helpless minority while the nation counts the minutes until we are rid of them.

I remember another image; some words scrawled on a wall in Beijing after the massacre had been cleaned up and swept under the rug: "all this must be accounted for."

(cross posted at The Reaction)


d nova said...

as i wrote the other day:

bush a hypocrite?
not at all. what do expect from an AWOL drunk driver?

Capt. Fogg said...

Is it 2008 yet?

phinky said...

Sometimes I think these virulent, hate e-mails originate in right-wing think tanks. There is no other logical explanation for something that gets such mass circulation that is so out of touch with reality.

Capt. Fogg said...

I have no doubt that many of them do.