Of course I'm liberal, I believe in liberty.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Bash and Double Bash

It seems we have another case of Republicans running around and demanding everyone completely disown someone who makes a stupid statement. It never works the other way around, though. Think of how often mainstream Republicans used the term 'aiding and abetting the enemy' to describe anyone who publicly disagreed with their foreign policy. 'Aiding and abetting' is a technical term meaning a form of treason (they say 'treason' a lot as well) that, last I saw, was still punishable by death. But when Republicans haphazardly imply their political opponents should be killed no one blinks an eye. But here we are, some House member says he believes Rove was behind Rathergate and we're all supposed to be up in arms. Wonderful.

So according to the now famous, large mammal Carpe Nequam, er, Bonum:
Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY): People have been - people in the media have been intimidated. The media has changed in the last four years. People have changed in the last four years. They've had a very very direct, aggressive attack on the, on the media, and the way it's handled. Probably the most flagrant example of that is the way they set up Dan Rather. Now, I mean, I have my own beliefs about how that happened: it originated with Karl Rove, in my belief, in the White House. They set that up with those false papers. Why did they do it? They knew that Bush was a draft dodger. They knew that he had run away from his responsibilties in the Air National Guard in Texas, gone out of the state intentionally for a long period of time. They knew that he had no defense for that period in his life. And so what they did was, expecting that that was going to come up, they accentuated it: they produced papers that made it look even worse. And they - and they distributed those out to elements of the media.


Audience Member: Don’t you think it’s irresponsible to make charges like that?

Congressman Hinchey: No I don’t. I think it’s very important to make charges like that. I think it’s very important to combat this kind of activity in every way that you can. And I’m willing — and most people are not — to step forward in situations like this and take risks.

Audience: [Clapping and cheering.]
Now, if people are expecting me to be a good moderate Democrat and jump to Rove's defense, sorry about that. I have zero respect for Rove and his morals, of which he clearly lacks. Seriously, is there anyone, Democrat or Republican, who thinks Rove is morally above this kind of thing? Didn't think so.

That said, this Hinchey dude is a complete idiot, apparently. As dumb as the administration who claimed the Iraq war would cost the U.S. less than $2 billion dollars? Nah, not that dumb. As dumb as believing Ahmed "Iranian Spy" Chalabi when he said that we would be greeted as liberators in Iraq? Certainly not that dumb. As dumb as thinking the best way to solve the deficit problem potentially aggravated by social security is to borrow trillions of dollars? Hardly. But still, pretty dumb.

For one, Mr. Hinchey didn't even get his conspiracy theory right. There is no way Rove wanted this fake document out in the public. What ever long term strategic gain they might have hoped to gain wouldn't be worth the risk of short term tactical damage caused by emphasizing the issue. No, the only theory that even has a shot at being true is the possibility Rove or some other Republican was trying to discredit Bill Burkett. The theory goes Burkett was given the memo on the assumption any competent news agency would quickly discover it was a fake. After that, no news agency would ever listen to Burkett again, cutting off the main supplier of negative Guard stories. The fact CBS was too stupid to catch the forgery was not part of the plan.

Personally, I think Burkett forged the letter himself. I'll give that a better than 50% chance. If, however, he really was given the memo by someone else I'd say it is 50/50 whether it was from a Bush hater or a Republican for the reason stated above. All in all, I'd give it a one in ...oh, let's say... five chance Rove was involved.

What did Hinchey hope to gain from this? I don't know. Maybe he thought since this kind of BS works for Republicans all the time it would work for him. Silly man, Republicans have their own set of special privileges that let's them get away with this kind of stuff.

But for the righty blogosphere who take politics as a sport, a chance to get a piece of fame and prove their worth, this will get kicked up well beyond any reason. Keep it up guys! Everyone needs a hobby!