Sunday, November 11, 2018

Maureen discovers that Republicans are hypocrites, but you read it first in the Spy

By A.J. Liebling
Meta-Content Generator

All of Georgetown was abuzz this morning, wondering if Maureen Dowd had been kidnapped and replaced by a newly-discovered good twin.

The speculation was sparked by her column in the Sunday New York Times.  Not only was there a complete absence of snarky putdowns of Hillary Clinton and crypto-racist ones aimed at real President Barack Obama, but she actually took on an important issue and got it right.

I know, we can't come up with any other explanation either.

Her topic was the enduring fatuity of loyal apologists for the war crimes of Bush and Cheney reinventing themselves as U Bum scolds who suddenly have discovered a hitherto-unknown fealty to truth and the rule of law.  What the hell, we'll let Maureen kick ass and name names:
The architects and enablers of the Iraq war and Abu Ghraib are still being listened to on foreign policy, both inside the administration (John Bolton and Gina Haspel) and out. NeverTrumper Eliot Cohen wrote the Washington Post op-ed after the election telling conservatives not to work for Trump; Max Boot, who urged an invasion of Iraq whether or not Saddam was involved in 9/11, is now a CNN analyst, Post columnist and the author of a new book bashing Trump; John Yoo, who wrote the unconstitutional torture memo, is suddenly concerned that Trump’s appointment of his ghastly acting attorney general is unconstitutional.
She missed a few of the leading suspects like Nicolle “Shut Down the Recount” Wallace and Sarah Palin campaign manager Steve Schmidt, but now that they are earning a living as bloviating gasbags, maybe it was just a matter of professional courtesy.

Of course, she didn't come up with this all by herself; she had to have it explained to her by some alt-Hollywood filmmaker who might be in a position to finally produce her great script about a smart, sexy Irish Catholic girl from Annandale, Virginia who takes Washington by storm in the 80's.  But she finally gets the point:
After a screening of “Vice” Thursday, I asked McKay [the Hollywood guy] which of our two right-wing Dementors was worse, Cheney or Trump.
“Here’s the question,” he said. “Would you rather have a professional assassin after you or a frothing maniac with a meat cleaver? I’d rather have a maniac with a meat cleaver after me, so I think Cheney is way worse. And also, if you look at the body count, more than 600,000 people died in Iraq. It’s not even close, right?”
Leaving aside the moderately hilarious irony of our staunch feminist ceding her column to a mansplainer, we wonder why it took a Hollywood medium-shot to explain the truth to Maureen when she could have read it a long time ago in – you guessed it – the Spy.

While we can't green-light her script we can note that the hypocrisy of Never U Bum Republicans and the continuity between the lies and crimes of W. and Cheney and those of the Tangerine-Faced Grifter has been an increasingly tedious staple of these pages.

We made the point as long ago as last month regarding war criminal apologist and former CIA Director John Brennan:

Has Maureen Dowd been replaced by her good twin?
To those eager to canonize Brennan because of his recent criticism of the Grifter-in-Chief, exhuming the broken bodies of various unlucky detainees may seem like whataboutism: an effort to change the subject to an unrelated topic.

But is it unrelated?  The Republican culture of destroying democratic norms didn't begin in 2017; it goes back at least to the glory days of Bill Buckley's man crush, Joe McCarthy. Sometimes the American system manages to rid itself of these evildoers, like McCarthy or Nixon.

And sometimes it doesn't.  Bush Republicans stole the 2000 election by a vote of 5 to 4 and never paid a price for it.  Indeed the recount rioters now pose as concerned citizens, right, Nicolle?  Then those same Republicans lied us into needless war and engaged in grotesque tortures and war crimes, and again never paid the price, unless you count being relegated to the daytime lineup.

When outrages are buried and unpunished on spurious grounds like national security, the tears in the fabric of the Republic become normalized and accepted, both weakening America and providing a model for those who would rip new holes in it, like President U Bum.  When such subversion is overtly supported by majorities in the House and Senate, the web of norms that supports our democracy become ever more tenuous, until, as is the case today, it appears ready to collapse into threads.

Those who now properly sound the alarm about obstructing justice and accountability when a critic like John Brennan is mugged by a corrupt President might be asked where they were when justice was waterboarded at CIA black sites, and accountability frustrated by the man who now claims it as his birthright.

Or June:

One conclusion leaps out: as long as conservative “intellectuals” flap their gums about their past glories and current indignities, we'll never lack for material.

Former George W. Bush flack and coatholder David Frum, come on down!

Instead of starting as he should have by apologizing for lying this country into a bloody war of choice and the commission of heinous war crimes, he deploys one classic strategy of conservatives unable to defend their past or present views: whataboutism.

There's no difference between the Grifter-in-Chief and Jeremy Corbyn or Bernie Sanders because all three have a dangerously “messianic” appeal?  Of course, the same smear was deployed against Barack Obama in 2008, to no avail.

We wonder if David Frum would admit that there is a difference between politicians who seek to inspire their followers and those who seek to inflame the racism, bigotry, and unjustified sense of grievance of their hate-filled mobs while undermining democracy with graft and authoritarianism.

 Or one of our favorites, a where-we-they-then piece (on gun control) from March:

David Frum was a little closer to the action at a Washington think tank, but he seemed to be too busy with his mission with the Hot Air Force promoting the endless disaster of the Iraq War to notice the real danger to Americans on the shelves of Wal-Mart.

We heard Steve Schmidt on the cable raging about the failure to control assault weapons, so naturally we inquired as to his whereabouts in 2004.  It turns out he was a high-level flack and henchman in the Bush re-election campaign, in the course of which he lauded W. as a “steady and principled leader.”  We guess it's a case of those who can, do, and those who can't, flack.  We would have said teach, but the teachers are dead.

Speaking of overexposed on cable, what about long-time gasbag Joe Scarborough?  Incredibly enough, he was already blathering on cable news in 2004.  One month before the assault weapons ban lapsed he was observed “standing and applauding numerous times during the president's speech.”  That's President George W. Bush.

Due to pressures of time and increasing nausea, we can only cover one more stalwart post-massacres opponent of assault weapons.  Come on down, former Florida recount rioter Nicolle Wallace!  By incredible coincidence, she was the Communications Director for the often tongue-tied Texan under her former name, Nicolle Devenish.  In 2004, in that senior policy-level position, she communicated her deep concern for human life by slamming John Kerry for refusing to support a bill making harming a pregnant woman a crime against the fetus.

Of course, that legislation, unlike renewal of the federal assault weapons ban, wouldn't have protected the massacred children of Sandy Hook, because in 2004, they hadn't even been conceived, much less born.

On the plus side, though, she has her own daily cable news show. 

We could go on but you get the point.  And at long last, apparently Maureen (or at least her good twin) does too.

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