Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fear and Loathing

Holy Joe makes the rounds on the Sunday morning rubber-chicken circuit. This just in -- he thinks the Democrats are pussies. Since they continue to let him caucus with them, maybe they are.

In describing the reasons he believes the Republicans' presumptive nominee for president would be better prepared than the Democrats' to lead the nation next January, Sen. Joe Lieberman said that history shows the United States would likely face a terrorist attack in 2009.

"Our enemies will test the new president early," Lieberman, I-Conn., told Face The Nation host Bob Schieffer. "Remember that the truck bombing of the World Trade Center happened in the first year of the Clinton administration. 9/11 happened in the first year of the Bush administration."

Yep. And when the first WTC bombing happened, without warning, the perpetrators were rounded up, brought to trial, and dispatched to Club Fed. Done and done. Compare and contrast to this administration's responses, after Fredo had been duly warned by an eerily prescient memo, but could not be bothered to interrupt his vacation.

Preparedness is only part of the equation; knowledge and judgment are equally important. McCain makes jokes about starting yet another war, and cannot be bothered to know basic differences between Sunni and Shi'a that every third DFH blogger knows by now. These are only questions of "preparedness" if you think that the appropriate response to a strange noise in your yard is to immediately strafe it with an assault weapon, rather than flip on the light or, god forbid, call the cops.

Also, I think there is a very strong case -- which I have yet to see in our esteemed media -- to point out that Obama is much more likely to know his limitations and stock his cabinet accordingly, whereas McCain is notorious for not playing well with others and has become an all-too-willing butt-boy for an administration that positively drips with contempt for any remotely dissenting piece of advice.

Lieberman also assailed Obama and fellow Senators who called for a timetable of withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and opposed the "surge" of additional U.S. forces pushed forth by President Bush.

"It's now working," Lieberman told Schieffer. "If we had done what Senator Obama asked us to do for the last couple of years, today Iran and al Qaeda would be in control of Iraq. It would be a terrible defeat for us and our allies in the Middle East and throughout the world. Instead, we've got a country that's defending itself, that's growing economically, where there's been genuine political reconciliation, and where Iran and al Qaeda are on the run. And that's the way it ought to be."

Setting aside the fact that the region -- and the U.S. -- would be much better off if we had done what Obama had said in the first place and not invaded Iraq, Lieberman's assessment is truly bizarre. Not one of those assertions appears to be true -- the country's government cannot even defend itself from internal strife, insurgents are ramping back up in Afghanistan, and Iran indisputably has come out ahead in all this. The only way they'll get the Iranian war they crave is if Israel initiates a bombing run on facilities, at which point the inevitable retaliation becomes a pretext for more death and, to use a metric that seems paramount to the American heart, higher gas prices.

A couple days ago I saw yet another one of these ridiculous "news" pieces showing reg'lar folks at gas stations, ranting that Congress is not doing enough to counter the financial impact on their blessed entitlement. Whether this is in fact a common sentiment (and of course it probably is), it was presented as if it were. Coupled with both McCain and Obama recently making the usual "if I had a magic wand" trope on the stump, it appears that there are too many people who need a crash course in what's going on here.

The main thing is that no single entity -- not Congress, not Obama, not McCain, not Bush -- can swoop in and right this situation with a single solution. There are simply too many extenuating factors, too many externalities. Perhaps if were weren't treated like children, and were permitted to view what took place in Big Time's Energy Task Farce back in the day, we'd have some more clues as to what the hell's going on. In the meantime, the factors that we have some control over -- fuel economy standards; demand, consumption, and waste; investment in alternative energy sources -- should be identified and made the focus of a comprehensive policy. Instead, we are treated to stupid people saying ignorant things, like a "gas tax holiday" or some such will solve anything. This is retarded.

And because it's retarded, there's a better-than-decent chance that escalating gas prices will become part of a late-summer marketing campaign to start a war with Iran, even though that would send barrel prices over $200 overnight, and gas probably to $6/gallon. But hey, as long as Joe Lieberman's doing a solid for his good buddy, rather than for his former party or his country, I guess it's all good. It's what we've come to expect.

For added entertainment value, do check out the comments on the CBS News link. It's a wonder and a shame that some of these yahoos are allowed to breed.


Tor Hershman said...

"...allowed to breed,"

Stay on groovin' safari,

Marius said...

Totally on point with your insight that, since Reid and Pelosi still allow the Joementum to hang out with their party, they gotta be total pussies. He knows he can get away with it, so why not do it?

Secondly, I remember reading (I guess it was on Laura Rozen's War and Piece blog), about two years ago, when oil prices were hovering around 70 bucks a gallon, that Cheney had commissioned a hush-hush feasibility study of the effects and repercussions of air strikes on Iran (I think they used somebody at the RAND Corporation). Allegedly, when told that oil prices were likely to rise to 120 a gallon, nearly everyone in the room blanched.

So now that we're way past that number, they may think, hell, why not? How much higher can these prices get, anyway?