Thursday, March 18, 2004

The Boot

In today's Los Angeles Times editorial pages, Max Boot, of the Council of Foreign Relations, delivers an outrageous diatribe.

Boot's schtick (here as elsewhere) consists of telling bits of the truth, or a distorted version of the truth, about Bush and the neocons. And then Boot sniggers. No counter-argument: Just sniggering. His message: "Come join the ranks of the superior sniggerers. Close your eyes to fact. Ignore debate. All you need do is snigger."

He sniggers at the idea that Enron and MCI bilked working class Americans. According to Boot, only the "loony left" could interpret events in such a harebrained fashion.

He sniggers at the idea that the Bush administration has promoted outsourcing to India -- even though Colin Powell recently toddled off to India to assure the folks there that they'll continue to receive a steady stream of formerly-American jobs.

Boot sniggers at the suggestion that Dubya's grandfather Prescott Bush "made his loot in shady deals with the Nazis". Only a loony leftist would think that way. Or so saith Max.

Never mind the fact that the evidence proving Prescott's skullduggery is solid. And never mind the fact that the chief researchers into that claim are Kevin Phillips -- a Republican -- and John Loftus, a former prosecutor in Reagan's Justice Department. Loftus is a fervent Likud supporter who has praised W in at least one radio interview that has reached my ears.

Yet Boot thinks these guys are loony leftists!

He sniggers at the suggestion that the Bushies "put the fix in at the Supreme Court, sending Antonin Scalia on duck hunting junkets in return for not sending Dick Cheney to the slammer, where he so richly belongs." Unfortunately, no "leftist" has made that suggestion, which exists only within Boot's imagination. The simple truth: Many Democrats believe that Scalia should recuse himself in a case involving his good friend. Is that an unreasonable notion? Only to Boot.

Boot sniggers at Michael Moore for calling Bush a deserter. Moore's website quotes the definition of "deserter" as a soldier who goes AWOL for more than 30 days. The fact is, we still don't know where Bush was during his period of missing time, but we do know that he was gone for more than 30 days.

Boot sniggers at Cynthia McKinney for suggesting that the Bush administration had advance warnings of imminent danger before 9/11. Actually, scores of newspapers made that very claim well before McKinney gave voice to it. The most notable example: Rupert Murdoch's New York Post. Remember the "Bush Knew" headline?

Maybe dear old uncle Max considers Murdoch a "leftist."

Max goes on to do a lot of sniggering about Haiti. He sniggers at the idea that there has ever been CIA involvement in that country, although such involvement has been proven beyond the point of rational debate. Check here and here and here. Hell, just go to Google and type in the words "Haiti" and "CIA."

Boot's definition of a "loony leftist" is anyone who tells the public a truth the neocons don't want you to know. That's why, a week ago, Uncle Max joined the GOP effort to smear Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, the former insider who revealed the Bush administration's corrupt handling of intelligence. Boot did not refute any of Kwiatkowski's charges, preferring to engage in character assassination. Her sin? She's a Libertarian, and she has been published by some folks Boot does not like. Guess that makes her a "loony leftist."

Better debate through name-calling. No facts: Just sniggering. Such is the GOP strategy -- and it seems to be working.

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