Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Daily Strike-6/6/09-Wouldn't Go As Far as THAT Part V

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike, where we bring you our 5th edition of "Wouldn't Go As Far of That." We usually limit our entry to three absurd statements made in the past week, but the competition this time around was so keen, we've decided to expand to five. Enjoy.

5. The fifth place this week goes to Rory Cooper of the Heritage Foundation. Rory is a frequent guest of Politico's "Arena" where he gives the radical conservative perspective on a wide variety of issues. After President Obama's historic speech in Cairo on Thursday, most commentators, even conservative ones, were laudatory of the President's effort to forge a new beginning with the Muslim world. Mr. Cooper went in the complete opposite direction. I may even say that he went in a direction so bizarre that it defies any category of evaluation. Cooper's first paragraph:

F Minus. It is as if the President has no basis in reality. At Five Guys restaurant last week, the President revealed he didn’t know what the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency was when he met an employee.

What? Even beyond the sensationalist use of a grade that doesn't exist (you have to reserve "F-" for Bobby Jindal's response to the State of the Union), he's not even talking about the speech at all! He's talking about when the President met some guy at Five Guys Burger Joint and didn't know about some obscure intelligence agency the guy was working for. You did it Republicans! What a great line of attack on Obama, that he's uninformed. That's really gonna win you some elections.

4. Speaking of elections, I was very intrigued by Rush Limbaugh's "electoral strategy" this week. In a wide ranging bizzarro interview with fellow right-winger Sean Hannity, Limbaugh offered a blunt criticism of his own party. He said, "
“People in our party want to be accepted by people who hate them. We have to be liked by the middle class, Hispanics etc. That’s the way the Democrats think!” Yeah, Rush, the best electoral strategy is to write off the middle class and Hispanics because it violates your idea of ideological purity. It looks like Republicans are gunning for about 2% of the popular vote in the next election.

3. The bronze this week goes to former Vice President Dick Cheney. Mr. Cheney gave a speech at the National Press Club and answered questions ranging from topics of gay rights to the War on Terrorism. The real whopper of this event was when Dick Cheney seemed to blame 9/11 on former counter-terrorism expert Richard Clarke.
"Richard Clarke was the head of the counter-terrorism program in the run up to 9/11," Cheney declared. "He obviously missed it." Absolutely, Dicky. It's not like Clarke, under President Clinton tried to kill Osama bin Laden but couldn't get basing rights in Uzbekistan. It's not as if Clarke warned the administration constantly about the threat of terrorism in the early days of the Bush administration, but could not get a meeting with the President to discuss terrorist threats. It's not like George W. Bush was handed a memo on August 6, 2001 that said "Bin Laden determined to attack in the United States." It's not as if Richard Clarke said on September 10th that there was a large risk of a terrorist attack. I mean, come on.

2. The silver to Gretchen Carlson of Fox and Friends. who asked rhetorically after Obama's Cairo speech, "why do we want them to like us over there?" This logic is pretty astounding. I guess Carlson thinks it's better for us to be the sworn enemy of Islam. Yeah, screw diplomacy! I would rather have people hate us and want to kill us than to have our President try to start a conversation with them. You have to love Carlson, who once said that the biggest race problem in our country was the "double standard" for certain phrases and terms.

1. The gold goes to the incomparable Karl Rove. We couldn't quite decide between these two gems, so we just had to include both of them. The first was Carlson-esque in its logic. Rove said, "Who cares whether or not Muslims like or approve the President of the United States? The question is do they respect the policies of the United States government ? And (under George W. Bush) you bet they did." First of all, how can he POSSIBLY say that Muslims respected the policies of George W. Bush? That's just so incredibly absurd. And second of all, it IS important that Muslims like the President of the United States. It's incredibly important. We need to foster a new relationship based on trust in order to protect or safety and pursue our interests. Obviously Karl Rove does not understand that.

His other quote was perhaps more ridiculous. Rove responded to a question by NPR's Charlie Rose by saying that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor "wasn't necessarily smart." Rose reminded him that she went to Princeton and Yale, and Rove said, " I know a lot of stupid people who went to Ivy League schools." I bet you do Karl. By the way, I'm sure he would have the same thought about someone who questioned George W. Bush's intelligence:

ROVE: Washington is a small town. Small towns have strange local rituals. They have their own mythmaking. The myth was that this guy, who was a Yale history grad and a Harvard MBA, was not smart.

So someone who grew up in public housing and overcame barriers to become Summa Cum Laude at Princeton isn't necessarily smart, but someone who got into Yale through legacy and got C's is smart by definition. Mr. Rove, I wouldn't go as far as THAT!

See you tomorrow!

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