o for a foe!

LI doesn’t really know what to do today. The amount of ridiculousness in the press over the last five days is truly gratifying, but it is also a blog it yourself situation. We have, in the bizarre Washington Post, an op ed piece flogging Jeb Bush on Sunday, followed by a I was only joking interview with the author on Monday, followed by today’s rather priceless piece by one of those Cheney scion who, in the spirit of smaller government and peculation for all, was shoehorned into a position for which she was magnificently unfit in the state department, where she got out the crayons out of her crayonbox – the reds and the blues and that hard color, verf- vermillion - and made a whole two pages of remarks just like Daddy! That the Washington Post editorial page not only supports the war with bloodsoaked teeth bared, but aims to reproduce certain aspects of it (namely, giving berths to the academically challenged sons and daughters of rightwing honchos) is sweet in very sick, sick way.

And then, before you can turn around, Christopher Hitchens has two, count em two reviews up, one on a book by Mark Steyn, the other on a book by Nick Cohen. To batter the remnant of Hitchens that now does the writing is beyond even LI’s sadism. It should be noted, though, that Cohen is trying to resurrect an old trope from the first round of pro-war propaganda – the sleight of hand substitution trick. You take a term that can be logically described in two ways, and you substitute an invidious description to describe a person’s belief. I march against the war in Iraq. The war in Iraq will hurt Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein is a fascist. Thus, I march in support of fascism.

That type of invective is the equivalent of going about in soiled intellectual diapers. It convinces nobody. It is logically threadbare. It is, in other words, shit and sophistry… but more just shit. I support the war in Iraq, the war in Iraq brought a Taliban like group to power in Basra, I am a supporter of Islamofascism. See how easy it is to play this game? Leggos for the lobotomized. This is, believe it or not, the sum total of Nick Cohen’s four years of writing about Iraq. He actually thinks he is making a “critique”, God save the saints. Of the Left, no less and no doubt, he’s all about the Left, the Left and he are splitsville, he’d had the Left over to dinner and they didn’t bring even a bottle of wine and they stink and also, also, the Islamophilia on some of them, why liberals and lefties are going on and on, nowadays, quoting the Q’ran and shit. This raises the bellylaugh quotient, of course. We especially like it when you throw in a few Hitchens reviews, bespattered with the term, “comrade.” I would say: you can’t make this shit up. But somebody obviously does.

However, as our far flung correspondent T. has told us – enough! basta!

We long for a worthy adversary.

PS – well, I guess LI should say something.

After the State of the Union address, the natural place to go is the Washington Post, and their excellent political reporter, Dan Balz, under the headline: A President Beleaguered But Unbowed

We totally agree with this assessment:

“Caligula’s response last night was a speech that was very much in keeping with the style of leadership he has demonstrated repeatedly in office. If he was humbler in tone and rhetorically generous to his Democratic opponents in calling for cooperation, he was anything but defensive.

There was an underlying message in the speech. The main plea was to make his horse the speaker of the House, a chord struck earlier in the day by spokesman Tony Snow. Although roughly two in three Americans disagree that Mr. Ed, as President Caligula calls him, should be House Speaker, and members of Congress are preparing nonbinding resolutions declaring their opposition, Caligula asked for time to show that the strategy can succeed.

He recalled that the country was largely united at the time he announced both his sister’s divinity and his own divine right to couple with her in 2003 and acknowledged the divisions that have emerged since. But he argued that whatever motivated members of Congress at the time of the declaration of divinity, there was a consensus that the United States must have a young, nubile couple of very, very rich people in charge of this great country. And young people, as the President steadfastly maintained, come with complicated sexual urges.

Caligula's final message last night was perhaps the most robust domestic agenda of his presidency, a way of saying to those who are ready to write him off that he still has the power of the bully pulpit to inject ideas into the national debate and force others to react to them: from the purging of the Senate, the assassination of his tutor, to the announcement that his divinity is greater than Jupiter’s, it was a message that said he should not be regarded as a lame duck.”

LI, as ever, urges readers to send money to the PAC of Mrs. Nero, who is really, really getting on top of the Mr. Ed issue. "We don't want Mr. Ed not to be a god," she said today, "but we are firm in saying that maybe Mr. Ed is not the first choice for House Speaker unless we can find the synergy to go forward to make me, and other middle class Americans, comfortable with this choice."

Mrs. Nero - a leader, a doer, a conversationalist with America!


"I march against the war in Iraq. The war in Iraq will hurt Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein is a fascist. Thus, I march in support of fascism."

Most people find that construction compelling. I have a collection of idiot syllogisms lying around here somewhere. Can't get rid of them, really. People do borrow them, seldom return them, steal them and so forth but the collection never diminishes substantially -- at least not for long. LI's efforts against the habits of thought that help them proliferate are much appreciated, of course.