Before the 9/11 commission, Richard Clarke put in one of most impressive appearances by a public figure I've seen. Clarke was knowledgeable, smart, candid, blunt, reasonable, and he obviously cared. And gratifyingly, the dude just straight spanked the Republican hacks on the Commission who were trotting out White House talking points in their desperate attempts to smear him. (Check out that link to Milbank's WaPo recount; it's a great read.) It's guys like Clarke -- prudent, straightfoward, factual -- that the Bush White House (and the GOP) have purged from their ranks. Now, because the Bushies have no facts on their side (almost every pertinent claim against Bush that Clarke has made has been corroborated by other sources, including Woodward's Bush at War and the _Time_ and _Newsweek_ investigative stories on 9/11 failures in 2002), they resort to launching the most vicious public smear campaigns in recent history, enlisting the GOP to do their dirty work. Too bad they keep contradicting one another, and too bad Clarke's outmaneuvered them at every turn. (Check out these ugly allegations.)
(Ironically, it's guys like Clarke (and Senators Hagel and McCain) who have become almost an oxymoron: the Republican with integrity. GOPer hackery has become so pervasive that I was shocked that Hagel didn't parrot the absurd White House BS on Clarke when he appeared on CNN. It's a good thing there are a few good ones left.)
Anyway, this week's activities exposed to the public what the Bushies really are, as Clinton correctly observed last night at the Democratic Unity dinner: they're people whose primary goal is to concentrate power in their hands. They'll stop at nothing for power -- smears, destruction, outright lies. It's Nixon redux (but at least Nixon got some things right on policy and didn't wage an assault on facts). And folks paying attention (and with an open mind) cannot escape this reality.
Wingnuts, of course, are still in denial. Question: Why do right-wingers hate America, and why do they worship at the altar of terrorists-enablers and terrorists-fomenters like Bush and Co.? Do right wingers want terrorists to win? By supporting the inane policies of the Bush administration, are they
Alas, a few real questions:
* If your stated goal is to spread democracy throughout the Arab world, wouldn't you want to also engage in policies that make the "Arab street" hate you less? Otherwise, wouldn't they end up electing anti-American zealots?
[As a corollary, isn't our "realist" (and bi-partisan) foreign policy of supporting pro-American despots (in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt) a much more effective and safe policy, if our most important priority is American security?]
* Why the urgency to go after Saddam Hussein when bin Laden hadn't yet been caught, and most of al Qaeda's leadership remained at large?
[You'll all be glad to know that the next few posts, when I get to them, will be non-politics related. You'll have to excuse these rants. It's just that, in the last month, I've been consumed by that question famously raised by Bob Dole: where oh where is the fucking outrage?]