Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hackery

Right-wing literary agent Lynn Chu and the President's own Salacious Crumb John Yoo have what is perhaps the worst New York Times op-ed I've ever read in the Feb. 12 issue. It's not that this piece is full of arguments which I disagree with, which is of course true (to an extent--see below), but that it's effectively a "nanny-nanny-boo-boo" asserting nothing new and supported by the lamest assortment of White House talking points and non sequiturs. I really don't understand why the Times editorial board thought it worthwhile to award their precious space to this shite, except perhaps that they have the secret intention to reveal, with each published Yoo piece, the fact that there is no cock of power and authority which he will not graciously admit into his welcoming rictus.

It's obvious from the piece that Yoo and Chu's leitmotiv is that nothing could be better than a world in which George Bush is free to teabag a helpless Congress on every important issue. They scoff at the legislature's attempt at "micromanagement," and they describe both the (limited) efforts of Congress to halt the surge and the public's frustration with the war as "bluster" (couldn't they find a thesaurus?), as if it were all an annoying sideshow impeding their Duce from issuing his sublime pronouncements. (The truth of the matter is that any halfwit, conservative or liberal, can see that the White House has waged this war with absolutely no external intrusions and has had about as much success as a three-legged cat trying to bury a turd on an iceburg. Parting with supreme executive command at this point could only be difficult for sycophants and other fascist pageboys like Bill Kristol.)

The rest of the article is not worth responding to, insofar as it's an amalgamation of bad rhetoric induced by gentle Tony Snow handjobs ("If we falter now, it will be read as a 'defeat,'" "the world would begin to doubt American strength") and bald-faced lies and distortions ("[the Democratic Party is] so bitterly averse to the ideals of democratic nation-building").

The real hope we can take away from this shabby exercise is that nowadays such rantings are viewed as a form of pathology, or at least as an example of "waiting until the due-date to write it." Personally I think Yoo has already been sufficiently discredited as a hack, even among libertarian circles; see for example these posts at Eugene Volokh's blog at the time of the publication of Yoo's last piece. However, in a way Yoo and Chu are right: Congress does possess the power to check the President's war plan, they just won't do it for fear of backlash in one form or another. The mistake is to think that this is because, unlike the common mob, congresspeople have a better understanding of what's "overall best" for the country; i.e. whereas most fickle Americans ("tire[d] of the war and engage[d] in overheated accusations of bad faith," as Yoo and Chu write) want to withdraw sometime soon, our wise political leaders see the "big picture." No. No. No. I submit that U.S. politicians don't give a shit about Iraqis (especially since withdrawing our major forces from Iraq is the best thing to do for their overall safety). Nor are they worried about a "defeat" in Iraq signalling a setback in the war on terror. (Our military bases in Iraq, which are a sure thing no matter what, will ensure against this.) They're really concerned about losing a vote or two in the 2008 elections, and so, as Chu and Yoo say, they "would rather sit back and let the president take the heat in war than do anything risky." In other words, they would rather let more Iraqis and Americans die than risk a dip in the poll numbers. People should realize that the Democrats' stalling on Iraq doesn't have anything to do with their "privileged knowledge" about the issue but rather about what they think is politically feasible (in the worst possible sense, not the pragmatic sense). Democrats' timidity is a testament to the power of the right-wing noise machine, not to the validity of its claims.

3 Comments:

Blogger Austin 5-000 said...

Agreed, although there is something to the Democrats calculus: if we seriously consider the effects of a Democratic loss in 2008, it could be worse than continuing the war a little longer. The problem is that our president is a nutjob.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

5-000,
why are you not supporting the president at a time of war?
(this is hippie killer).

7:59 AM  
Blogger kushakov said...

You're right, insofar as they make me want to puke with vehemence. This, I remind myself, is why ignorance of the ignorant can indeed be a bliss.

I want to say something more smart and worldly, but I can hear my roommate telling her father how she believes that we inherit a "physical memory" of past events and tragedies - i.e. the "food (the food!) they ate during WWII" - and because this pseudo intelligence makes me want to vomit (as if Yoo-Chu weren't enough), I think I ought to reposition myself near a toilet. So that I may up-heave the "food of my ancestors."

Before I go do that, does anyone else think that Yoo-Chu sounds like the name of a fluffy birdlike character from a 5-year old's anime TV series... maybe with a title that spoofs on David Wildmon's surname?

Gotta conserve 'em all! Wild-MON!

9:29 AM  

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