Luckily, this time around we have the blogosphere to whoop up on the MainStreamMedia's 30 second soundbyte mentality. What I'm talking about the fact that the really real issues all get boiled down to name calling.
Have we been listening to what our leaders, in both parties, have been saying lately? They are truly bordering on the maniacal. I'm sure it can be tracked back further, but I started paying attention the day Senator Cornyn of Texas pretty much threatened the Judicial Branch of government with violence (or at least excused the violence with his statement) from the floor of the United States Senate. The Senate! That's supposed to be the upper house, the place where everyone is cool and collected. (It is also, historically, the only place two legislators got in a fight, which is why I refrenced 1854 earlier).
But that was just the beginning. Recently, we have had an escalating rhetoric in which the august members of the United States Senate feel that instead of speaking to one another and legislating, it would be better to start running around calling other Americans Nazis. Sens. Byrd and Santorum got into it early with some small scale stuff, but then we had Senator Durbin of Illinois pretty much compare US troops to Nazis. He did. I read the quote. (You can find it below) and then went out and refused to apologise. Then offered a tearful sort-of-but-not-really-an-apology apology you can read about here.
Now, not only am I an American who finds all of this quite disconcerting, I also find the actual comparisons historically inaccurate. Nazis killed uncounted millions. You have to kill uncounted millions to qualify for comparison. This is all about the little Senator who cried wolf. This is all about the littel international human rights organization that can't read a dictionary and draw an accurate comparison.
The other day, thanks to "Clicked" over at MSNBC (link in the links section) I was pointed to this very fine roundup of the Durbin situation. Though the premise of the article is that Durbin didn't actually say anything wrong, (and I think he did, indeed) the journalism and opinion included in the article is amazing. Better than anything I've seen on MSM. As a matter of fact, had Durbin put his case like this, we may not be having this discussion.
But we are. Not only did Durbin make a fool of himself, insult American soldiers (whether he meant to or not) and make a fool of his party, he gives the folks who are guilty of wrongdoing a ridiculous smokescreen and scapegoat to hide behind. (And for the record, when you make allegations, back them up with facts and subpoenas like these guys are doing). Durbin actually has made it more difficult for us to identify wrongdoing coming from the administration or the very few and non-representative wayward individuals in the armed forces who may get their jollies dressing up Iraqi prisoners in bedsheets. And he did all of this just so he could get his ugly face on television. For that reason, like Keith Olbermann I have called for Durbin's resignation. I have seen nothing yet that would convince me, as a liberal Southern Democrat, to retract that call.
Now, not to be outdone or left out of all this ridiculousness, babyface in chief Karl Rove decided to get in on the banter. Karly said that liberals wanted to understand and give therapy to the terrorists. The White House backed him up on this. He also said we wanted to indict them. [As a matter of fact, that last one is correct, Karly boy. Think about the terrorists we have indicted: Timothy McVeigh, the Unabomber, the first WTC (1993) bombers, the Nicholses, Eric Rudolph...we got them, indicted them and they are now being served justice behind bars or in the grave. Osama Bin Laden is still out there.] Now, the Democrats going after him are sounding really dumb. (Somebody should let the left know that this is what you get when you let numbskull coffee shop philosophers like Chomsky & Vidal speak for your side unopposed.) But ol' Karly went to New York and said it. Deomocrats should keep that in mind. They just have to follow the leads of New Yorkers on this one. A juicy excerpt:
If he hung out here a while longer, I would challenge Rove to find one advocate of "therapy and understanding" among my neighbors. I bet he would find a whole lot of families with sons and daughters serving in our military overseas, a noble choice that was apparently beneath him and his boss (not to mention his boss's unemployed daughters).
Those are the folks Karly Boy ticked off. Durbin called US troops Nazis, Karly called New Yorkers pansies when it comes to terrorism. I hope folks are paying attention to that, too. I joing Olbermann again, in his opinions and his call that Red Rover get out.
This country is going to be just fine, the sky is not falling. But the Center Must Hold. We have got to take all these wackos to task, for there are far better people out there who could hold those posiitons and do some good stuff for everyone in this country.