Friday, May 20, 2005

A few words on conservative rhetoric ...

First, from TAPPED:
Rick Santorum just said that Democrats arguing that the nuclear option is breaking the rules are "the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying, 'I'm in Paris, how dare you invade me, how dare you bomb my city!'"
As atrocious as that comment is, it could have been far worse. Imagine if Santorum had spoken honestly rather than hyperbolically. In that case, he'd have said something like, "Actually, to be perfectly frank, we don't even care about constitutionality. Our sole intent is to perpetuate our power, and we locate our right to do so not in man-made law but divine revelation." The day that Santorum speaks this candidly is the day that all those who oppose him -- on the left or the right -- have become irrelevant. The only solace I can take from the Hitler comment is thus that it indicates he still has some regard for what his opposition can accomplish.

Contrast that with Pat Buchanan. As radical as his views are, he has a remarkable proclivity for being frank; he rarely, if ever, obfuscates. His recent exchange with Catherine Crier is a perfect example:
Crier: “The Republicans, the conservatives, have dominated the courts now for thirty years in this country, and certainly the Supreme Court, so we know we have Conservatives—but that doesn’t seem to be enough.”

Buchanan: “No, that is not enough.”

Crier: “Yeah, the Terri Shiavo case--those were conservative judges, and all of a sudden, we’re saying we want strict constructionists?”

Buchanan: “Exactly. Look, ten of the last twelve justices have been appointed by Republicans. Nixon gave us Blackmon, Gerry Ford gave us John Paul Stevens, Reagan gave us Kennedy and O’Conner, and (Bush Sr.) gave us David Sutter…”

Crier: “Those aren’t good enough?”

Buchanan: “They have been failures. The battle is over the Supreme Court. (It) has become a judicial dictatorship in this country. It dictates racial policy on quotas, affirmative action. It tells us we must have abortion on demand. It’s now into gay rights. It has become a super legislature. Control of it is more important tin the social culture war in America than control of Congress in the United States. That ultimately is what this is all about. The President has got to get those Supreme Court justices…and if that means breaking these ridiculous obstructionist filibusters, he ought to do it.”

The reason I make this comparison? Buchanan is saying what Santorum would say if he considered his political opposition to be too weak to respond.

Or conversely: Santorum believes in Buchanan's agenda enough to push for it but lacks the political courage to just come out and articulate that agenda on the Senate floor. Instead he hides behind political rhetoric of the most appalling kind.

I try not to sling too much mud on this site, but I have to confess that shameful, disgusting, and execrable are just a few of the words currently springing to mind.


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