George Mitchell Slap Down on Neil Boortz
The rightwingers of the Republican Party are in a foul mood now that Joseph Lieberman lost in the Democratic primary. First up is David BoBo Brooks calling for civility as he hurls insults at unnamed Democrats. As the always excellent Bob Somerby notes:
People want civility, not venom, Brooks says. But uh-oh! Even as he tells us this, he emits vast poison of his own, name-calling those with whom he disagrees in the most venomous manner. Could you possibly write a less civil column? A column driven more by venom? In paragraph 2, Brooks establishes moral equivalence between “scandal-tainted Tom DeLay” and—you guessed it—Ned Lamont. No, Lamont isn’t tainted by any known scandal—but he had “the net roots exulting before him and Al Sharpton smiling just behind” when he won his race Tuesday night. As a result, Brooks name-calls Lamont and his supporters in the most egregious ways. What does he tell us about these people? Brooks sheds his deep desire for civility as he name-calls and slimes:
In paragraph 3, we learn that Lamont supporters engage in “the Sunni-Shiite style of politics.”
In paragraph 4, we learn that Lamont supporters are “flamers” who “tell themselves that their enemies are so vicious they have to be vicious too.” Indeed, “[t]hey rationalize their behavior by insisting that circumstances have forced them to shelve their integrity for the good of the country.”
In paragraph 5, we learn that Lamont supporters are “hyper-partisans;” they “may have started with subtle beliefs, but their beliefs led them to partisanship and their partisanship led to malice and malice made them extremist.”
And in paragraph 6, we learn, by inference, that Lamont people favor venom, not civility. Later, Brooks refers to them as a “hostile force” inside the Democratic Party.
Wow! For someone so deeply in love with civility, Brooks really lets himself go in this piece! He doesn’t name a single Democrat who has actually misbehaved; he doesn’t explain what any Dem has done wrong. But so what? In a sweeping, name-calling indictment, he seems to say that Lamont supporters are “vicious” “flamers” who have “shelved their integrity” so they can “engage in Sunni-Shiite politics.” They’re “extremists,” we are told. Their partisanship has “led them to malice.” For ourselves, we’ll only say this about that: Thank God David Brooks is in love with civility! Just think how this morning’s piece might have read if he’d let his own venom break loose!
Of course, Ken Mehlman knows nothing about civility or integrity with his usual crap such as:
The message from Connecticut is clear, and Ned Lamont isn’t alone. He is joined by Rep. John Murtha … who claims America is more dangerous than Iran and North Korea.
I know, I know – it’s well established that Ken Mehlman is a serial liar.
Then we have Lieberman acting like what he truly is – a rightwing Republican:
WATERBURY, Connecticut (AP) – Sen. Joe Lieberman set out on his go-it-alone re-election campaign Thursday and seized on the terror arrests in Britain to argue that his Democratic opponent, Ned Lamont, does not fully understand the danger facing the nation.
But let’s check the transcripts of last night’s Larry King Live, which included George Mitchell and Neil Boortz:
MITCHELL: Well it’s clearly, Larry, further reducing the credibility of the United States around the world. It’s already the lowest it’s ever been. The fact is ironically American power is the greatest it’s ever been in our history but America’s standing in the world is the lowest it’s ever been. And it’s not just the Muslim world. It’s everywhere, including our closest allies Britain and other places. What you see, Larry, in the Middle East now is the narrative of each side taking hold and deepening. Whenever you have these conflicts there’s a point of view, a narrative, and here you have the Lebanese and Israeli narratives and they almost always in conflict situations emphasize the hurt that’s done to my side and minimize the hurt that’s done to the other side. That happens all the time in all cases. The task of leadership, and here it is the task of the United States, although our credibility has been impaired in recent years it’s still necessary to get this job done is to understand the narrative of both sides and to find that narrow band of common ground that exists in every single conflict that you can bring the parties together on to end the violence. Because I’ll tell you it’s horrific for everyone to have this violence on both sides. The problem is the more casualties you get the more the demand for revenge, the more casualties result, the more the demand for revenge.
Boortz takes the statement “a point of view, a narrative, and here you have the Lebanese and Israeli narratives” and twists it thusly:
This idea of – I heard the Senator talking about understanding the narratives. Well, Hezbollah is an arm of Iran and we understand the narrative from Iran. It’s Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth. So, Israel has a right to self defense. They’re exercising it.
Later, the host gave the Senator a chance to reply to the dishonesty of Mr. Boortz:
MITCHELL: Yes, Larry. Mr. Boortz apparently misunderstood what I said because when I was talking about the competing narratives I was speaking, and I believe I said Israel and Lebanon. He said that I spoke of Hezbollah. Before this happened Hezbollah was a minority party in Lebanon. The majority of the government and the people of Lebanon opposed Hezbollah. So Lebanon and Hezbollah are not identical. And as you know, Larry, on this show I have condemned Hezbollah’s actions as reckless and wrong. So I wanted to make sure that his inaccurate comment was responded to lest it be taken as true.
These rightwing Republicans are not fighting a real war against Osama bin Laden as they are much more interested in fighting a war of words (and dishonest ones at that) with the American people. And unfortunately, Joe Lieberman has joined forces with these Rovian forces. It’s time to remove the neo-McCarthyites from power and allow competent and honest leaders to finally go after Al Qaeda.
Update: Think Progress nails “criminally indicted ex-Rep. Tom DeLay” for saying that liberal “don’t want to fight this war on terrorism” and having the view “can’t we all get along? … You can’t go after these wonderful people that just killed a bunch of Americans.” Think Progress notes:
This is a classic Rovian tactic. An overwhelming majority 84% of national security experts – liberal and conservative – believe America is losing the war on terror under the guidance of the Bush administration. Instead of addressing the failure of their approach, Delay and other White House surrogates attack their opponents on the same issue. It may or may not be a successful political strategy but it definitely doesn’t make the country safer.
Invading Iraq helped Al Qaeda. The rightwing Republicans don’t want to fight the real war on terrorism as they might actually get in the way of their war on Democrats.
DeLay is also calling for overwhelming force in Iraq and Lebanon. I’m sure that he’s not busy passing out taxpayer’s money as a Congressman, he’ll enlist in the army and go lead the charge in Baghdad along with his fellow chickenhawks.