Today’s opining on the public discourse.
Well, this is interesting. Looks like the authorization to leak Valerie Plame’s identity was given by none other than George W. Bush:
Scottie McC doesn’t know it yet. But that’s basically what he revealed this morning on the Today Show (h/t Rayne).
During the interview, Scottie revealed the two things that really pissed him off with the Bush Administration. First, being set up to lie by Karl Rove and Scooter Libby. And second, learning that Bush had–himself–authorized the selective leaking of the NIE.
Scottie McC: But the other defining moment was in early April 2006, when I learned that the President had secretly declassified the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq for the Vice President and Scooter Libby to anonymously disclose to reporters. And we had been out there talking about how seriously the President took the selective leaking of classified information. And here we were, learning that the President had authorized the very same thing we had criticized.
Viera: Did you talk to the President and say why are you doing this?
Scottie McC: Actually, I did. I talked about the conversation we had. I walked onto Air Force One, it was right after an event we had, it was down in the south, I believe it was North Carolina. And I walk onto Air Force One and a reporter had yelled a question to the President trying to ask him a question about this revelation that had come out during the legal proceedings. The revelation was that it was the President who had authorized, or, enable Scooter Libby to go out there and talk about this information. And I told the President that that’s what the reporter was asking. He was saying that you, yourself, was the one that
authorized the leaking of this information. And he said “yeah, I did.” And I
was kinda taken aback.
You don’t say. That’s a pretty serious leak, mind. Seems the fuckers in office won’t stop at anything to strike at a political enemy, even if it means destroying that enemy’s wife’s CIA career out of spite. Scottie may be “pretty taken aback,” but myself, I’m pretty fucking pissed.
In light of that, I could use some good news. And this promises to provide endless entertainment:
Nothing about John McCain’s outreach to radical, evangelical preachers has gone well. After securing the support of right-wing televangelists like John Hagee and Rod Parsley, the Republican presidential candidate has faced a series of headaches, with one nutty revelation about the preachers after another. Were it not for the media largely giving McCain a pass for his radical associations, it might have been a total disaster.
Once reporters did start paying attention to this, McCain had a choice — stand by the extremists (and offend sensible people everywhere) or reject the extremists (and offend their rabid religious-right followers). McCain gambled, probably correctly, that it was worth the backlash from the GOP’s theocratic base, and decided to dump Hagee and Parsley last week.
Ever since, the evangelical grumbling has gotten louder.
The candidate’s abrupt turnabout brought criticism not only from secular viewers, who questioned why he had aligned himself with controversial religious voices, but also from evangelicals, who said he may have alienated a powerful bloc of potential Republican voters.
“He wants us to support him, but as soon as his back was against the wall, he overreacted. He is now less likely to get the evangelical vote and will have a difficult time getting strong endorsements from other ministers,” said Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr., founder and chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, an evangelical group that advises ministers on political and policy issues.
“For McCain to have to repudiate these people is much worse than ever having their endorsement in the first place,” said Doug Wead, a political consultant who ranked 1,000 evangelical pastors for former president George H.W. Bush to court for endorsements. “If evangelical Christians feel this is an attack on them, even if they don’t agree with Parsley and Hagee or follow them, it could galvanize them against McCain.”
It’s the worst of both worlds. Sensible people are bothered by McCain reaching out and campaigning with certifiable lunatics in the first place, and unhinged religious-right activists are bothered by McCain throwing two of their high-profile leaders under the bus.
Gorgeous! Somebody pass the popcorn. And get me some lighter fluid: it’s time to set the evangelicals afire. I can’t wait to see how this election turns out with that segment all hot with rage.
And finally, I’ll leave you with a glimpse into the dark, twisted, fetid passageways of the neocon mind:
On Wednesday, Republicans collectively went completely berserk after Obama said a great-uncle had helped to liberate the Auschwitz death camp at the end of World War II. Once they realized Obama had a great-uncle who had actually helped to liberate Buchenwald, the first camp liberated by Americans, and Obama just misspoke about the Nazi camp in question, conservatives slinked away, waiting for the next manufactured outrage to come up.
But before we leave this non-story altogether, it’s worth pausing to consider what else Obama’s GOP detractors said about this.
Fox News, for example, was even more shameless than usual. One of the hosts of “Fox and Friends” said, “It wasn’t Auschwitz. It was a labor camp called Buchenwald.” As part of the same segment, Fox News ran this all-caps message on its bottom-of-the-scr
een ticker: “Ohrdruf was a work camp, rather than an extermination camp.”
In other words, Obama’s great-uncle may have served in the 89th Infantry Division, and may have played a part in the liberation of a Nazi camp, but let’s not suggest that this was too important. After all, Ohrdruf was only a Nazi slave labor camp.
It wasn’t just Fox News. John Cole highlighted a post from a far-right blogger, who argued:
Buchenwald, on the other hand, while atrocious beyond normal human understanding, was merely a slave labor camp, and not historically abnormal in a time of war. The people who died there did so under the stress of work and disease, rather than as a deliberate attempt to wipe them off the planet. [emphasis added]
I honestly can’t begin to relate to such a twisted worldview. I can appreciate the temptation to criticize politicians they disagree with, but how far gone does one have to be before they think it’s appropriate to diminish the atrocities at Buchenwald because Obama had a family member who helped liberate the camp? How rabidly partisan must one be to disrespect the bravery of U.S. troops in the 89th Infantry Division?
Very rabid, indeed. And what do we do with rabid dogs, my darlings? That’s right. Friends don’t let friends vote rabid fuckwits into power.