What every loyal American should read today:
Frank Rich, “The ‘Good Germans’ Among Us.”
Rod Nordland and Mark Hosenball, “Blackwater Is Soaked.”
Kagro X, “Congress suckered on surveillance. Telco immunity, next?“; Glenn Greenwald, “The Beltway Establishment’s contempt for the rule of law“; and a New York Times editorial, “Spies, Lies and FISA.”
Rosa Brooks, “Too Much Cloak and Swagger.”
The new and improved Tom Friedman takes another tenuous step into Reality World — “Who Will Succeed Al Gore?”
On the other hand, George Will is still stupid after all these years — he complains in “Code of Coercion” that colleges of social work are dominated by liberals determined to promote “social and economic justice” as a response to “the conservative trends of the past three decades.” Even worse, George says, students are required to learn to recognize “oppression and discrimination.” Wow, I’m so … not outraged. This column demonstrates why “conservative social work” is an oxymoron.
For more on why contemporary conservatism and the good of society don’t mix, see Christopher Lee, “Vote Nearing in Battle Over Kids’ Health Care.” See also Mark Trahant, “A subsidy so workers can start ‘winning.'”
Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin, “Untraceable e-mails spread Obama rumor.” This could be subtitled “Debbie Schlussel is the reincarnation of Joe McCarthy.”
Something I didn’t know — the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize was Theodore Roosevelt.
Update: After you’ve read Frank Rich’s “Good Germans” column, read this right-wing rebuttal. Rich talks about Americans sitting idly by while our government embarks on a pattern of torture similar to that of the Gestapo. Rich presents several paragraphs of examples, with links.
So what’s the rebuttal? The rightie takes offense at the comparison to Nazis, then says,
I believe that when the history of this war is written, it will be seen that our nation waged it in accordance with some of the highest ethical standards ever observed in a major conflict. Yet Frank Rich paints our government as adopting Nazi tactics, and average Americans as akin to passive supporters of Hitler’s regime. Were it not ever-so-gauche to do so, you might call that unpatriotic.
And that’s it. He doesn’t refute a single fact presented in Rich’s column. He just says that comparing the actions of our government to the Third Reich is unpatriotic.
This is a perfect example of exactly what Rich is talking about, and also what Hannah Arendt was talking about when she referred to “the banality of evil.”
Update 2: After you’ve read today’s Tom Friedman column, you might — if you have a strong stomach — check out what that verbal pestilence known as “Jules Crittenden” says about it. Keep Pepto Bismol handy.
Among other things, Friedman wrote,
Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush each faced a crucible moment. For Mr. Gore, it was winning the popular vote and having the election taken away from him by a Republican-dominated Supreme Court. For Mr. Bush, it was the shocking terrorist attack on 9/11.
To which the pestilence replied,
Friedman ventures deep into myth and legend in his latest, suggesting Gore was deprived of his crown by a Republican Supreme Court, failing to note that objective counts have in fact conceded that, according to the rules that govern our elections, Bush won.
Um, what courts would that be? Is he saying that lower courts somehow, in some mystical manner, affirmed the SCOTUS decision? I dimly remember that the SCOTUS expressly forbade lower courts from using Bush v. Gore as a precedent for anything. Am I forgetting something?
Well, never mind. I misread “counts” for “courts.” I’m sure I’m not the only 50-something who struggles to read on a screen.