Wednesday, March 21, 2007

What’s Your Definition of Insanity?

You want mine? To paraphrase Einstein, it’s telling the same discredited lies over and over and over again even after they’ve been smashed flatter than dogshit under a steamroller and expecting more people to believe them.

But don’t listen to me. Who am I? Just another man on the street. Let’s listen to Charles Krauthammer, instead, since he rides sidesaddle with the insane clown posse in Washington, DC.

I’m not going to pretend to know as about dementia or any other mental illness as Charles Krauthammer. Even I have to play it smart and realize when I’m outclassed and out-educated. Still, in defending Dick Cheney from New Republic’s Michelle Cottle in her article, “Heart of Darkness”, how can a good, self-respecting liberal like yours truly possibly not at least briefly weigh in when two conservative authors wage open war over whether or not the dependably sinister Dick Cheney’s sanity is called into question?

The point that eludes Krauthammer as adroitly as the fact that Iraq is circling the drain eludes Cheney, is that it’s a very bad sign when two conservative columnists, one of them writing for Marty Peretz’s newly-sold New Republic, have to argue about whether or not Dick Cheney’s heart condition contributes to his incipient madness, it’s not a good sign for America or the neoconservative movement.
"Shoot a man in the face and not bother to call your boss 'til the next day?" Another way of putting that is this: After a hunting accident, Cheney tried to get things in order before going public. Not the best decision, as I wrote at the time, but perfectly understandable. And if that is deranged, what do you say about a young Teddy Kennedy being far less forthcoming about something far more serious -- how he came to leave a dead woman at the bottom of a pond? I am passing no judgment. I am simply pointing out how surpassingly stupid it is to attribute such behavior to mental illness.

Of course, the other point that escapes Krauthammer is that Ted Kennedy leaving a girl at the bottom of a river almost 40 years ago is not only not germane to the discussion at hand but it can’t possibly be equated with Dick Cheney shooting an old man in the face with a shotgun then keeping it under wraps. Ted Kennedy was a stupid, coddled young man when Chappaquiddick happened in 1969. But then, as now, Kennedy didn’t have a heart condition that can be plausibly advanced as a theory for some of the most bizarre behavior ever seen in Washington, DC.

Krauthammer then continues by saying, “I, too, know Dick Cheney,” something that no self-respecting neocon would ever brag about in public these days. But actually knowing Dick Cheney and merely mutually recognizing each other are two entirely two different things. There’s the public Dick Cheney, subdued, barely affable and baring his teeth in a gruesome Dr. Sardonicus approximation of a smile. I’m sure that Charles Krauthammer wasn’t at Cheney's elbow when he'd taken the helm in the first hours after 9/11 and how he’d ordered the power turned back on the Gulf coast for the refineries when there were two hospitals that obviously needed it more. I’m sure that Krauthammer never spent a day in Cheney’s office while he was actually conducting his arachnid-like business.

And if an inability to meet the facts at least halfway if not accept the facts into your home constitutes dementia, then color one third of the nation insane because that’s about the percentage of dead-enders there are in this country who still think that Bush is doing a bang-up job in Iraq. Of course 10% of that 30% never got into a cold car in their lives and the other nine tenths of that 30% probably fill their Mercedes’ gas tanks.

If you want the definition of insane, read the last page of Sunday’s Meet the Press transcript. On MTP with Tim Russert was Tom DeLay, Richard Perle and Rep. Joe Sestak, among others. DeLay… OK, I’m stumped here as to why Tim Russert had even let this malignant little freak onto the sound stage, to begin with. Former Rep. Andrews, I could understand. But Tom DeLay, a guy who flew a Big Tobacco corporate jet to his own arraignment and spent every waking moment dedicated not to serving his country but to enriching himself and ensuring Republican, one party supremacy, is simply about as relevant as the lint in my navel.

This is a priceless lesson in patriotism from Tom DeLay:
Well, I--it, it is my opinion that when you go to war, we ought to all come together. You can debate going to war, that's a legitimate debate. But once you have our soldiers and our, our young people dying on the battlefield, we should come together, and we shouldn't have what we had yesterday on the Mall of, of, of--in Washington, D.C. When the--those are not, in my mind--my opinion, patriots that are talking about impeaching the commander in chief, that are--that are--work as, as Tom's group works....

Now, even if any one of those sentences could be interpreted as semi-coherent by the most doting, supportive and forgiving of rhetoric and English professors, none of them would still make any sense. Because the import of what DeLay had said was not in what he said but in what he’s ignoring. It’s unpatriotic to criticize the president because he lied us into an illegal and totally unnecessary war. It’s wrong to advance a timetable for withdrawal because it emboldens the enemy because our military isn’t funded well enough or manned well enough or competent enough to finish a job by a specific deadline.

But while former Admiral Joe Sestak’s response was eloquent, you’ll have to read that through the link I’d provided because I’m going to work backward here to what Richard Perle, aka Nosferatu, had said just minutes earlier:

MR. PERLE: ...I never anticipated a five year occupation. There was nothing inevitable about a five year occupation.
FMR. REP. ANDREWS: Should've been planned for.
MR. RUSSERT: In fact, you were quoted as saying if you were Delphic that you probably would not have gone into Iraq?
MR. PERLE: Well, no. I think--I think Saddam Hussein posed a threat that had to be dealt with, and I think the decision to remove him was a correct decision. I think there were lots of things subsequent to his removal that might well have been--should have been done differently. But the fact is he posed a threat. Let me quote--I don't usually quote Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, but on this occasion I will. These are his words. "The war against terrorism will not be finished as long as Saddam Hussein is in power." This was not an eccentric view. This was certainly not a Republican view. It was a widely accepted view.
MR. RUSSERT: But he did vote against the war.
MR. PERLE: This was his view of it. Remember Vice President Gore? I'm quoting him. "We know that Saddam has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout the country. Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter, and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."

Of course, it goes without saying that Russert never challenged either of these out of touch sociopaths (Perle and DeLay) about their messy and ongoing divorce from reality. Heaven forbid any member of the corporately-owned media should ruffle the feathers of a PNAC maniac like Richard “Prince of Darkness” Perle and the Hammer.

But Perle’s insistence on Saddam being a threat to us when he was hardly even a threat to his own countrymen and the Iranians is nothing less than pathetic at this point. Equally pathetic is Perle conveniently renting Al Gore (and Carl Levin) some credibility by making it look as if he was adequately informed enough to advocate regime change, after all (Gore really did say that, as Glenn Beck gleefully pointed out in his 2004 “You Dems own this clusterfuck, too” article).

Consider, though, that Gore had been out of the loop for close to three years prior to making those 2003 statements. The likes of Bush and Cheney were not. In fact, as we all now know, Richard Perle was one of the major signatories of the PNAC letter imploring Clinton to impose regime change in Iraq. If anything, Perle helped create the loop of lies from 1998 on in which Gore, as had so many of us, had gotten entangled.

Insanity? What’s insanity? Continuing to believe that Saddam posed a grave and present danger to America, that the WMD’s existed, that the 9/11/Saddam/al Qaida connection is as valid as it ever was? That we’re enjoying enormous success in Iraq and will continue to enjoy enormous successes in Iraq? That Atta met with Iraqi intelligence officials in Prague? That even though Perle never saw a five year-long involvement way back when, has absolutely no problem with another five years of senseless bloodshed as long as George Bush’s fat can be pulled out of the fire with an unlikely victory?

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