Friday, February 23, 2007

The Nexus is Coming!

What in god’s name is the matter with these people?  Via TPM’s Greg Sargent, I see that WaTimes’ freaknut Frank Gaffney’s at it again.  Agitated for having been caught citing that absurdly fake Lincoln quote (which Gaffney insists was a paraphrase of Lincoln, despite the fact that Lincoln never said anything even close to what was quoted), Gaffney insists that Lincoln still believed that we should “silence” our present day Congressmen, due to one letter he wrote during the Civil War.

Here’s an odd line of Gaffney’s: Abraham Lincoln understood the difference between constructive dissent and treacherous agitation.

Well it’s too bad that Gaffney doesn’t seem to understand that difference.  Or at least he never says what this difference is.  After all, he’s suggesting that people who want to end an unnecessary and dangerous war are comparable with Clement Vallandigham, a dude who thought that the federal government couldn’t regulate slavery, ran on a political platform that Ohio should secede from the Union, and was arrested for inciting people to openly defy a federal law against inciting people to defy federal laws.  Needless to say, Vallandigham would fit right in to the modern Republican Party.

And what did Lincoln do to the guy?  He “silenced” him by exiling him to the Confederacy.  Might this be the historical reference that makes conservatives want to send us to Iraq?  Of course, Vallandigham quickly rushed to Canada and even ran for political office from there (I guess even he couldn’t really stand the rebellious southerners).  And while conservatives wouldn’t necessarily mind us heading up north, I’m sure they’ve got a certain “vacation” spot located on some beachfront property in Cuba in mind for us “agitators”.

And shouldn’t Gaffney have given some clue as to the distinction that he thinks Lincoln was making?  The sentence before the quote was about how “anti-war agitators” are “redoubling” our enemies’ efforts against us.  The sentence afterwards was about how we can’t mistake that Lincoln thought silencing agitators was constitutional.  But nowhere did he say what kind of dissent Lincoln approved of.

But this omission isn’t new, as conservatives have continually insisted that there is a proper way of dissenting, but haven’t yet told us how to do it.  Something tells me it has to do with us silencing ourselves before Gaffney has the government do it for us.

More Gaffney’s

But that’s not his freakiest quote.  Here’s another clue into Gaffney’s derangement:
It is highly ironic that many of those most critical of President Bush for not having a "plan" for post-invasion Iraq are conspicuously quiet about what would happen after their plan for retreat is adopted.

Yes, it is “ironic” that the people who criticized Bush for not having a post-invasion plan are quiet regarding what would happen if their post-invasion plan was adopted.  Oh wait, that’s not irony.  That’s just stupid.  Nor is it true.  But I guess that just gives it all the hallmarks of a mindset that cannot comprehend the meaning of irony or hypocrisy.

Or here’s another Gaffney, coming straight from Fantasyland:
Such behavior is even more intolerable when compounded by today's "agitators" demeaning the troops they profess to support -- notably, by comparing them to Nazis, terrorists, rapists and the killing fields -- and threatening to deny them (through one device or another) the means required to accomplish their mission.

Wow, that one was as stupid as it was untrue.  Particularly when we recall that these “agitators” that Gaffney speaks of are supposedly Democratic Congressmen.  Yes, I hear them calling our troops Nazis and terrorists in their political speeches all the time.

And while I do know of people who are denying our troops the means required to accomplish their mission, it happens to be the group that Gaffney’s siding with.  Beyond the lack of proper equipment and armor, these people have denied our troops the most important thing to accomplish their mission: A mission that should be accomplished.  Instead, they slog through another year of saving Bush’s butt.  Politics is hell.

The Freakiest Quote of All

But those still aren’t the freakiest quotes.  You see, Gaffney’s got an obvious problem in that Lincoln was trying to put down a rebellion that clearly would have ended America’s existence as we know it, and nothing like that’s happening right now.  So he has to get a little creative with the scare tactics.

I quote:
Whether we choose to recognize it or not, today as in 1863, the very "life of the nation" hangs in the balance if we fail to defeat the coming nexus of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Islamofascists.  

What the hell?  We’re trying to defeat a coming nexus of weapons?  Huh?  There’s no way he pulled that out of his own ass.  That’s like he borrowed the ass of an acid-tripping leprechaun from Mars, and even then had to embellish quite a bit.  

I mean, even if we could accept the idea that the no-nonsense Iraqis who continue to give the strongest military in the world trouble would be willing to accept Al Qaeda taking over their country (an idea we do not accept); where the hell are they getting the WMD’s from?  Remember, conservatives are now suggesting that Iraq doesn’t even have the sophistication to make decent roadside bombs.  And now we’re to believe that Iraq, as a failed state in the midst of “genocidal mayhem”, would start producing the very weapons that Saddam at his most powerful struggled to produce?  Really?

So Gaffney must be talking about other countries giving this nexus to the Islamofascists, right?  And if that’s the case, where does Iraq come into any of this?  It doesn’t.  And if anything, our adventures in Iraq are only making this more likely and don’t do a damn thing to stop it.  So if anyone’s encouraging the coming nexus, that would be Gaffney and his ilk.  That’s irony for you.

But no matter.  The only people who would possibly listen to Gaffney would already be firmly on his side, and they have no need to doubt any of this stuff.  They just need to keep being soothed with bedtime stories and people like Gaffney make a living supplying them.  But as with most conservatives, Gaffney’s not just the inventor of such soothing flim-flam; he’s also a client.


whig said...

Self-deception is essential to a good story teller, and when others believe your deceptions and repeat them back to you convincingly, it becomes all the easier to believe in them, and then continue to gild the lily with more elaborate deceptions.

Funny thing, the truth works the same way. You have to judge the tree by its fruit -- Reality test everything.

whig said...

One side-effect of this philosophy, and it is a bad one, every invention must be tested eventually if other important ideas become dependent upon that invention. So if nuclear physics depended upon knowledge of how to detonate an atomic bomb, it had to be done.

Eventually we have to learn to share what we learn as widely as possible before others feel compelled to repeat our experiments for themselves to gain the useful knowledge we would be concealing from them.