Monday, February 18, 2008

Kristol Kipling

William Kristol has to reach back to Rudyard Kipling to justify his defense of the telecom industry’s collaboration with the Bush administration to violate the law.

He bases this on the arrogance of power:

Having controlled the executive branch for 28 of the last 40 years, Republicans tend to think of themselves as the governing party — with some of the arrogance and narrowness that implies, but also with a sense of real-world responsibility. Many Democrats, on the other hand, no long [sic] even try to imagine what action and responsibility are like. They do, however, enjoy the support of many refined people who snigger at the sometimes inept and ungraceful ways of the Republicans.

In other words, he’s saying that because the GOP has been in the White House, they actually know how to run things. Notice he doesn’t say anything at all about the results or how their latest example has basically driven the country off the cliff. No, according to him, staying power, not competence or accountability, is the true mark of good governing. By that logic, Fidel Castro and Robert Mugabe are the greatest rulers in the world.

The sheer irony of Mr. Kristol saying that only the Republicans know what “action and responsibility are like” borders on the surreal. Just ask the folks in New Orleans how they feel about the Bush administration’s action and responsibility. And when they take “action,” it’s launching a war against a country that never attacked us, trashing the place, and then hiring a bunch of crony mercenaries to run the place and make a pile of money off it. Their “actions” in terms of protecting the rights and freedoms of the citizens of their own country take second place to protecting the bottom line of AT&T and Verizon, and their “responsibility” has been to do nothing but scream and carry on about terrorists every time they don’t get their way. That’s not “inept and ungraceful”; it’s criminally negligent.

But I suppose when you are down to defending your position by citing a 19th Century imperialist author who glorified institutional racism to the point that Simon Legree would have blushed, you’ve pretty much stretched it to the limit.