t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Friday 11 November 2005
That Warm Feeling
By William Rivers Pitt
This may make me a bad person, but I get a warm feeling in the center of my soul when I watch right-wing maniacs freak out in frustration and lose their so-called minds. It just makes me smile.
Two examples of this came rolling down the mountain in the last day. When the citizens of Dover, PA, decided in the elections this past Tuesday to give the boot to a bunch of Intelligent Design golems who had boll-weeviled their way onto the school board, Mr. Robertson fell off the planet. "I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover," saith Pat on his television show, "if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city. And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there."
If any of the good people in Dover are concerned about this, they should put their fears to rest. This condemnation came from the fellow who said Orlando would be obliterated by "earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor" for flying rainbow flags to mark the annual Gay Days celebration at Disney World in 1998. The last time I checked, Orlando remains unsmited by the wrath of God.
On the heels of Robertson's magically deranged denunciation of Dover came the ever-insane Bill O'Reilly, who decided the city of San Francisco needs to be destroyed. The citizens of that glorious city decided in last Tuesday's elections to ban military recruiting in public schools, and to ban handgun ownership in the city. "You want to be your own country?" frothed Bill. "Go right ahead. And if al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead."
For the record, Coit Tower was erected to honor the firefighters who fought the flames unleashed upon San Francisco in the '06 quake. Not very nice, Billy-boy.
Why are these two men, along with their like-minded cadre of right-wing goofballs, having such bad hair days all of a sudden? It might have something to do with the turning of a number of worms in last Tuesday's elections. Beyond the epic victories of Mr. Kaine in Virginia and Mr. Corzine in New Jersey, beyond the utterly humiliating bag of defeat handed to the Governator in California, beyond the defeat of an anti-gay ballot initiative in Maine, there were these moments of glory, as reported by Mark Green in the Huffington Post:
In the 94th District legislative race in Missouri, Democrat Jane Bogetto stunned locals with a 58 percent victory, becoming the first Democrat to win the seat in 58 years. In Erie County, New York, Mark Polocarz, a young Kerry '04 activist, became the first Democrat to capture the county comptroller's race in 30 years, winning easily by 18 percentage points. In Suffolk County, New York, Democrat Kathleen Rice defeated 30-year incumbent Dennis Dillon for DA, and Brian Foley got elected town supervisor of Brookhaven, the country's largest township, after a 30-year reign. In St. Paul, Minnesota, Democratic mayor Randy Kelly lost 2-1 to another Democrat because Kelly had crossed party lines to endorse President Bush in 2004. In Corning, New York, Democrat Frank Coccho, a self-employed plumber, became the first Democratic mayor in 50 years.
The list goes on. To top all this off, the Bush administration is under withering assault from all directions. The nomination of Harriet Miers exploded in a blaze of disgrace, Scooter Libby and Tom DeLay are contemplating plea agreements to avoid prison time, the GOP budget talks have fallen apart after a revolt by party moderates, Patrick Fitzgerald is still crouched in the tall grass, and a vast majority of the country has come to the conclusion that the war in Iraq, indeed the entire term of Bush's tenure, has been an awful, bloody, wretched waste of time.
No wonder the cretins are going bananas. Like I said, it just gives me a warm feeling.
You wouldn't know the fortunes of these frauds are sinking like a stone in water had you listened to Mr. Bush's speech from Pennsylvania on Friday. According to George, everything's comin' up Millhouse. The march of freedom continues, he said, and Iraq is doing great. Someone should whisper this into the ears of the forty-two people who were breakfasting in a Baghdad restaurant on Thursday when it was bombed. They won't hear it, because they're dead, but it'd be nice for them to know that things are going so smoothly.
Ready for a dumb joke? Here goes: How do you know George W. Bush is lying? His lips are moving.
Speaking of dumb jokes, George also attempted in this speech to stifle the criticism coming his way from Democrats who have been smelling blood for weeks now. Accusing them of "rewriting history," Bush went so far as to quote John Kerry's comments from the Iraq War Resolution vote in 2003, claiming his former opponent and 100 other Democrats supported his invasion of Iraq. Too bad for George that people tend to write important things down. "I will support a multilateral effort to disarm him by force," said Kerry at the time," if we ever exhaust those other options, as the President has promised, but I will not support a unilateral US war against Iraq unless that threat is imminent and the multilateral effort has not proven possible under any circumstances."
You broke that promise, George, when you attacked and finally evicted Hans Blix and his weapons inspectors for not finding the weapons you promised were there. You broke that promise, George, when you scared the living cheese out of the American public with dire yet wildly unsubstantiated reports of imminent doom to get the war you wanted. You broke that promise when you used September 11 against the American people for this purpose.
Speaking of the Democrats, it was Senator Kennedy who was first on the wires with a response to the bag of gibberish dropped on the country in that speech. "It is deeply regrettable," said Kennedy, "that the president is using Veterans Day as a campaign-like attempt to rebuild his own credibility by tearing down those who seek the truth about the clear manipulation of intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war. Instead of providing open and honest answers about how we will achieve success in Iraq and allow our troops to begin to come home, the president reverted to the same manipulation of facts to justify a war we never should have fought."
In the end, however, all anyone needed to see in that speech was the banner hanging behind Mr. Bush as he spoke. It read "Strategy for Victory," which is a hell of a long chalk from "Mission Accomplished." Remember that? On that day, more than two years and two thousand American soldiers gone now, he said, "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."
How do you know he's lying? His lips are moving. Thankfully for the country, the world and the future, most everyone who sees those lips moving knows they are being sold up the river. It does give me a warm feeling indeed.
William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author
of two books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know
and The Greatest Sedition Is Silence.