Wednesday, June 07, 2006

People are talking.

Last evening, and again this morning, I was subjected to several replays of Ann Coulter’s statements in which she attacked people who disagree with her for daring to participate in political debate. Let me be clear about this: Ann Coulter is a venomous, evil, deceitful, bat-shit crazy, self-promoting sociopath. She is a hater. Anyone who heard her on the Today Show with Matt Lauer knows this.

’Nuff said.

And yet, more will be said. She’s an easy target, and she represents the worst that is within the Republican Party. The worst within the Republican Party is some pretty ugly stuff. Why do Liberals self-flagellate with video clips of her? Is it because it makes us feel that we are better than her? Hell, I have garden slugs that are better than her!

This morning during the umpteenth replay of her bizarre diatribe, my wonderful wife turned to me and said the very words that were on my mind, viz, “It’s working.” Coulter’s mendacious malignancy was getting her airtime. Airtime translates to book sales.

The next news article was about the anti-Gay constitutional amendment, which went down to a well-deserved defeat. It never had a chance of success but the President had to support what, as I reported, Ted Kennedy called “bigotry, pure and simple.”

Why did King George go out on a limb for this mean-spirited and ill-advised symbolic act? Maybe he was listening to Bob Dylan: “There’s no success like failure, and failure’s no success at all.” I don’t think so.

The conventional wisdom is that Bush is doing so poorly – 1/3 of Americans think he is the worst President in the last 60 years – that he had to shore up his base. But as Robert Elisberg argues here, Bush could pretty much fling feces on the walls of the Oval Office, and his base still won’t desert him. I disagree with Elisberg that Bush doesn’t know this: in my view, Elisberg is misunderestimating Bush.

Republicans seem to think that Hillary Clinton will be the next Democratic nominee for President. They are wrong, but it does illustrate the power of wishful thinking, otherwise known as self-delusion. Still, if that is the operating assumption of the G.O.P., do you imagine that they worry that their base will abandon them and run to Mrs. Clinton because the Republicans were weak on gay-bashing?

So we come back to the question, why is Dubya spending his non-existent political capital on a doomed-from-the-start effort to write hatred into the Constitution? Because it’s working.

The lead story on the half-hourly news update on Air America is that the Senate has again voted against passage of the Constitutional amendment prohibiting both gay marriage AND civil unions. That’s what we are talking about.

What we are not talking about is the failure of the war in Iraq, or the lies that got us there. We’re not talking about the threats posed by Iran and Korea. We’re not talking about the fact that Palestinians have elected a terrorist organization to govern them. We’re not talking about how America’s prestige in the world has fallen so low. We’re not talking about deficits for as far as the eye can see, or national debt that is out of control.

We’re not talking about the failure of Bush’s Medicare program. We’re not talking about the American Bar Association voting unanimously to investigate the illegality of Bush’s crossed-fingers “signing statements.” We are not talking about warrantless eavesdropping on Americans, or enormous data-mining operations, or the outright lying, to Congress and to the American people, that make these programs possible. We are not talking about the treasonous criminality of destroying the career of Valerie Plame Wilson.

We’re not talking about the rising numbers of home foreclosures, or a major city being washed away because of cronyism and incompetence. We are not talking about the widening gap between rich and poor in this country, which threatens all of our institutions. We’re not talking about the Republican attack on science, which sets this country back in stem-cell research, in vaccinations to prevent cervical cancer, in education.

We are not talking about Robert Kennedy’s serious allegations that the 2004 election was stolen. We’re not talking about the fact that the 2000 election was stolen, at least according to a guy who won the Nobel Peace Prize for monitoring elections in emerging democracies.

We’re not talking about the fact that we’ve got maybe 10 years to turn things around or else the planet will become inhospitable to human life.

Thank heavens the gay-bashing amendment was defeated, now twice, in the Senate. Now, we can get on with the important business facing America.

Can we talk?

“… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”

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