Yes, I listened to the debate while reading the anger about it from thinking people, and yes, it was depressing. My little gambit to have the moderators address the subject of torture went nowhere (I thought I had so much power!), and instead we got a two-hour uninterrupted display of what it would be like for Rona Barrett to anchor a Presidential debate. The shallowness of our media, the embarrassment of our discourse, continues apace. I wrote about it plenty at my place, and I hope there'll be an overwhelming backlash. The media IS hopeless, but last night was such a parody http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifthat maybe half the country will spontaneously divest of Disney stock. I'm just spitballing, here.
But a far more important comment, a far more revealing comment, came out of that other abomination this week, the Hardball College Tour circle jerk between Tweety Bird and John McCain, where St. Maverick let his most contemptuous slip show:
MCCAIN: We can look back at the past and argue about whether we should have gone to war or not, whether we should have invaded or not, and that's a good academic argument.
It sure is. I can't wait for the lecture series:
Five Thousand Dead Americans, Hundreds of Thousands of Dead Iraqis, Trillions of Dollars in Treasure to Create An Iranian Client State: What Was the Purpose of This Lecture?
The only ones debating the invasion as an academic argument are the academes in establishment Washington who don't want the greatest foreign policy disaster in American history pinned on them. They're academes as diverse as Doug Feith and Charles Krauthammer, Colin Powell and Bill Kristol, Richard Perle and Judy "I was proved fucking right" Miller and Ken Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon. They all live up in an ivory tower where accountability is verboten, and with each mistake they climb a flight of stairs. They are cheered on by warbloggers and neoconservatives who so desperately want the blood off their hands, who are more afraid of their place in history than what their catastrophic mistake has done to the nation and the world.
This requires an academic argument.
BAGHDAD (AP) — A suicide bomber struck the funeral of two anti-al-Qaida Sunni tribesmen in a town north of Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 50 people and wounding dozens, police said.
The blast was the latest this week to break a period of relative calm in Sunni areas, raising concerns that Sunni insurgents are reorganizing at a time when U.S. and Iraqi troops are battling Shiite militiamen elsewhere.
There is nothing more dismissive, ugly and cruel than for the men and women who signed the death warrants of so many people for an exercise in futility to cast that historic mistake as something unworthy of discussion, as some sort of borrrr-ing lecture series instead of the fundamental question that will haunt the rest of their lives. "Academic argument" is actually the comment of the 2008 campaign. It encapsulates everything about conservatism.
Unfortunately, we have to find a media that isn't similarly culpable and desirous of ignoring Iraq for their own reasons, that is willing to report it.