The best thing on the web today, IMO, is Gary Wills’s “The Curse of Poliical Purity.” Reading it, I wanted to print it out and shove it in the faces of every “Obama is worse than Bush” progressive on the planet. A taste —
To vote for a Republican means, now, to vote for a plutocracy that depends for its support on anti-government forces like the tea party, Southern racists, religious fanatics, and war investors in the military-industrial complex. It does no good to say that “Romney is a good man, not a racist.” That may be true, but he needs a racist South as part of his essential support. And the price they will demand of him comes down to things like Supreme Court appointments. (The Republicans have been more realistic than the Democrats in seeing that presidential elections are really for control of the courts.)
The independents, too ignorant or inexperienced to recognize these basic facts, are the people most susceptible to lying flattery. They are called the good folk too inner-directed to follow a party line or run with the herd. They are like the idealistic imperialists “with clean hands” in Graham Greene’s The Quiet American–they should wear leper bells to warn people of their vicinity.
The etherialists who are too good to stoop toward the “lesser evil” of politics–as if there were ever anything better than the lesser evil there–naively assume that if they just bring down the current system, or one part of it that has disappointed them, they can build a new and better thing of beauty out of the ruins. Of course they never get the tabula rasa on which to draw their ideal schemes. What they normally do is damage the party closest to their professed ideals. Third parties are run by people who make the best the enemy of their own good and bring down that good.
My only quibble with Wills’s piece is that he is harder on “independents” than on the fair-weather progressives who want to defeat President Obama because he isn’t progressive enough. The former may be foolish, but the latter are way too effective useful idiots for the Koch Brothers. And let me emphasize the word “idiots.”
The other piece I want to point to this morning is “New NSA docs contradict 9/11 claims” by Jordan Michael Smith. In brief, some newly declassified documents underscore the fact that the Bush Administration was given all kinds of warnings of a terrorist attack on the U.S., and the Bushies pooh-poohed them. Before 9/11 they discontinued Clinton Administration policies that at least took al Qaeda seriously and cut back on the Clinton Administration’s drone surveillance program that was watching bin Laden. And after 9/11 they blamed Clinton and persuaded much of America that only they were qualified to keep America safe from terrorism.
I doubt little of this will make national news headlines, which is a shame. Because Mitt Romney is hiring old Bush II Administration clowns as foreign policy advisers, and it’s important for Americans to fully understand how incompetent the Bushies really were.
Lily was feeling well enough last night to eat a little and drink some water, and this morning she wanted to be petted. So she’s not quite done yet. I am giving her some kind of messy barium compound to coat her stomach, plus prednisone and antacid, to keep her more comfortable.
I’m not yet out of the hole for Lily’s vet bills, so I’m keeping the beg-a-thon going a bit longer.
A big thank you to everyone who has contributed so far; it’s already been a huge help.