Friday, September 14, 2012
Wheels of Karma Go Round and Round
I really can't believe they're doing it again, but that's a symptom of my chronic optimism. For some reason, when the sun comes up I get to feeling like maybe it's a new day. And maybe that's how Mr. Romney feels, in a way. After two days of suggesting that a President trying to deal with two different overseas crises--one of 'em almost certainly a terrorist attack on an embassy with four fatalities including a top and possibly essential American diplomat who was doing a great deal to keep the Libyan revolution on the rails, the other a general mob frenzy in Muslim countries around the globe driven by an American right wing youtube media ploy aiming to create exactly what was created--was weak and incompetent and even on the side of the murderers and rioters, whom Romney didn't differentiate. After two days of this, yesterday Mr. Romney simply turned the page and told reporters their followup questions were not pertinent to the election campaign.
How convenient for Mr. Romney. Nothing like a sunny new day. Let's make a fresh start. Pass the orange juice. Meanwhile, Naval warships and Marines are being deployed, diplomatic posts all over the world are no doubt working in a frenzy to get as battle-ready as possible, the folks in our intelligence services are doing all-nighters, Mr. Obama and his various advisers are surely trying to get ahead of this jumble of events, and most particularly talking in earnest with every Libyan contact they have at their disposal. Secretary Clinton looks tired, and she looks damned focused. And Mr. Obama still has a campaign to run.
But it's nothing new for Republicans. During the Clinton Administration they harried that President for nearly six years over trumped up rumors of land deals and whatall while Al Qaeda got strong enough to nearly sink a US destroyer and blow up embassies in two African nations. And of course they were also working on the 9/11 plan, training pilots in the US. Back during Reagan it was keys in cakes and back channel deals with Iranians to release the American hostages "later." Before that, Watergate exposed the "dirty tricks" of the "plumbers" in Nixon's White House. There are reputable stories that in '68 Henry Kissinger, at Nixon's behest, helped stall a deal that might have ended the Vietnam War during the fall, thus affecting the Presidential election of, hmmmm, Richard Nixon.
Republicans do not trust democracy. (And let us say that democracy is not and cannot be a lock on a sunny outcome--Hitler was elected.) Right now, Republicans have painted themselves into a corner of absolutes, on nearly all fronts. They are for banning all abortions, and the conversation is about whether there should be a rape exception, with the shrillest Republicans claiming that a rape exception is ok because a raped woman cannot get pregnant. Over in 2nd Amendment territory, it is no longer possible to even talk reasonably about the obvious fact that if you salt a group of people with countless weapons, it's more likely that there will be shootings in the group. The Right to Bear Arms has become absolute, short of classic automatic weapons and rocket launchers.
There was once a common-sense limit on Free Speech. The metaphor was, "you can't shout 'fire' in a crowded theatre." If I'm not mistaken, that metaphor is even found in a Supreme Court decision or two. What the folks at the Egyptian Embassy said was essentially, "Don't shout 'fire' in a crowded theatre." Mr. Romney--and many other Republican spokesmen--have now objected to that dictum. The Embassy, and thus the Obama Administration, is encroaching on Freedom of Speech. This is their "argument."
Meanwhile, a kind of high-tech fifth column cell of far-rightwingers has successfully caused tremendous damage all across the Muslim world by simply posting a blasphemous video on Youtube. And all the Republicans can think of to say is, Obama is encroaching on our Freedoms, be very afraid. This is from the very same people who want a women to be internally ultra-sounded whether she "likes" it or not. The very same people who want rigorous ID laws governing voting and in everyday life. The very same people who, when a deranged student kills over thirty students and faculty at Virginia Tech, throw an absolute hissy-fit if any conversation about gun control comes up. (And they're winning--as Juan Cole pointed out, the Democratic Convention could put Gabby Giffords up on stage, yet remain entirely silent on any efforts at gun control. What a sad irony that is.)
You'd think they would eventually learn something, particularly as they keep wanting us to put them back in government, with a fresh new President at the helm. And you'd think that we'd learn who and what they really are, these so called "conservatives" who seem to lack the most basic conservative trait of all--judgment and common sense.
Saturday Update--Romney did not change course, as I thought from things I'd seen on the teevee Thursday night. He's using many surrogates to continue pressing his absurd, hollow assertion that he, unlike the Obama Administration, possesses "resolve." The Romney supporters are now even saying that the riots would not have happened had they been in power, because of the magic of this "resolve." This is patently absurd, complete malarkey.
I do not believe anything close to a majority of voters will ever buy this crap. It shows Romney to be incompetent in a deep way. He's in total agreement with Palin! That would be a QED indicator in my book. Perhaps it's also worth noting that, per usual, one cannot actually quite say what it is Romney asserts or denies--because per usual he's willing to say contradictory things in the same paragraph, or even in subsequent sentences.