Monday, August 17, 2009

Catching Up

Being on vacation in another country means that even with high-speed internet connection, you miss some of the things that are going on back here. (On the other hand, Canada has Space, a pretty good cable network for science fiction.) Anyway, I missed the discussion yesterday on Meet the Press between the talking heads, one of whom was former Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX) who made the mistake of sitting next to Rachel Maddow and thinking he could repeat his talking points. Ms. Maddow handled him very nicely and called him out on several blatant falsehoods.

Notice the distinction that Mr. Armey makes: when put out a call for home-made ads against President Bush several years ago and someone came up with a Bush/Hitler comparison, it’s “despicable.” (The ad never ran; it only got airplay when someone leaked it to the media, and disavowed it.) When his minions go to town hall meetings and carry signs labeling President Obama as Hitler, it’s “colorful.” I admire Ms. Maddow’s measured restraint. I probably would have called him a lying sack of dogshit.

As for his senatorial counterpart, Tom Coburn’s neo-Bircher claims about how people distrust the government and are afraid of it, I have to admire either his sense of irony or lack thereof when he spent the last eight years whooping through everything the Bush administration did to not just expand the reach of the government into little things like your bedroom and your e-mail, but also how they completely trashed the economy. Now he stands there and says, “Wow, we can’t pay to clean this up.”

On second thought, maybe watching the Space channel is more in touch with reality.