Thursday, May 27, 2010

As Ugly as It Gets

When I first read Tommy's latest, "As Ugly as It Gets," I thought, "What an apt title." After all, it's got it all: Saber-rattling against Iran based on discredited and exaggerated estimates of Iran's nuclear capabilities (more here); imperial arrogance where Tommy lectures Brazil and Turkey for negotiating with Ahmadinejad with nary a peep about how his own country coddles dictators and human rights abusers around the world and, of course, has a bit of a human rights problem of its own; and complete ignorance (he contrasts Iran with Colombia, which he calls "one of the great democratic success stories " -- more on this front here)." And then there was this:
I confess that when I first saw the May 17 picture of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, joining his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Silva, and the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with raised arms — after their signing of a putative deal to defuse the crisis over Iran’s nuclear weapons program — all I could think of was: Is there anything uglier than watching democrats sell out other democrats to a Holocaust-denying, vote-stealing Iranian thug just to tweak the U.S. and show that they, too, can play at the big power table?

No, that’s about as ugly as it gets.
I wouldn't be the first to point out (man, other people blog fast) that even if one accepts Tommy's extremely questionable version of events, there are many things that are uglier, like for instance, Tommy's infamous "Suck on This" Charlie Rose appearance. As Jonathan Weiler notes:
You need to watch the video to see the sneering, snarling bloodlust in Tom Friedman's withered soul to appreciate fully what ugliness really looks like, when a self-described democrat explains why it's OK to murder innocent civilians in a country that had nothing to do with the attack that Friedman says was the culminating justification for our invasion.
And speaking of ugly, there's the fact that Friedman seems completely unaware that he's doing it again -- taking neocon arguments and lies and putting a respectable, mustached "liberal" face on them, and in the process, pushing the argument for war a little further into the mainstream. Or that Green Tommy is being shunted aside for Beat-Your-Chest Tommy the same week that Friedman is taking a beating from conservatives for his "I wish I was China for a day" comments on Meet the Press.

But as I sat there sitting there thinking about everything about Tommy that is considerably uglier than the ugliest Tommy can imagine, my eye wandered across the editorial page and I was confronted by ugly in its purest, ugliest form: A whopper of an op-ed by John Yoo -- yes that John Yoo - on Elena Kagan.

Now John Yoo is either:
  1. The legal architect behind the Bush torture program; or
  2. One of the few low-level flunkies at the Bush DOJ who was willing to write memos giving legal cover for the torture that the Bush administration had already decided it was going to do; or
  3. At best: A really bad lawyer with poor judgement, which is what a Justice Department review ultimately decided in "exonerating" Yoo and not recommending further sanctions.
None of these, obviously, should qualify Yoo to evaluate Kagan's views on executive privilege in the newspaper of record. But that's America for you. First, you're infamous. Then you're famous. Then somehow you're an expert -- call it the Ollie North career trajectory. And then you get to write a 1,330 word smug, condescending op-ed (theTimes suggested length for op-ed submissions is 750) on the very editoral page that called you out a few months ago where you excoriate a candidate for the Supreme Court because you're worried she might not be so keen on torturing Muslims. (God let's hope so, but I'm not as sure as Dungeon Master Yoo).

That might really be as ugly as it gets.

No comments:

Post a Comment