Thursday, October 11, 2007

Less is more

There's a lot of diminishing going on - in the mind of Pat Buchanan, that is. When Pat Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank agreed with that former Nixon speech writer who helped the previous pinnacle of corrupt and demented presidencies divide the country with scurrilous arguments, that President Carter's characterization of Dick Cheney as "a militant who avoided any service of his own in the military" is not appropriate for a former president and "diminishes" Carter. Sure, it's the same old argument that obedience is freedom but it's also irony; Buchanan having avoided service by faking a bad knee.

Why is it not appropriate? Beats me. Most Americans dislike Cheney and his intransigence in the face of constant error, constantly contradictory facts and failures of policy. There must be some reason why someone with foreign policy expertise and experience can't say what most people would agree with. (and please take note Ann: he's a committed Christian.) I guess it's the same reason Obama has to wear a tawdry flag pin to prove the required degree of mindless allegiance; or the reason decorated veterans can't give back their medals because of matters of conscience and for the same reason that no one can criticize a general for fudging the figures when there's evidence he has.

Poor Gerald Ford is apparently "diminished" post mortem for criticizing Cheney and Rumsfeld as well, even though I don't think any sane person can argue his right to apply his insight or his right and indeed duty as a public citizen to advocate for better government. But he's diminished, says the man who never thought to diminish the felons he worked for in the Nixon White House - so diminished that the shop worn effigy of Michael Moore can be brought out of the warehouse and propped up against the wall. That's diminishment!

I don't expect much different from that lying old Nixonian hack and supporter of disastrous and bloody wars. I expect that the same old patriotic nonesuch to be performed ad infinitum and I expect the United States, like some angry, lonely and delusional teenager with his diminished ability to deal with reality to reach for the weapons and go out in a blaze of violence.

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