Since Karl Rove was something of a beacon of Republican corruption, financially, political and morally (Rove Exits with His Usual M.O.: Delusional, Fanatical, and Deceptive) his departure isn’t necessarily something to cheer about. On the other hand it makes claims of executive privilege an even more tenuous proposition as Senator leahy (D-VT) says that the investigation into Rove’s activities especially in the politicalization of U.S. Attorneys will continue. Joan Walsh at Salon writes in The man who sold the war,
He insists he’s heading home to spend more time with his family (although it’s hard not to imagine that the many investigations swirling around the White House somehow factored into his plans). I find myself thinking this morning, perhaps uncharitably: If only Rove had left the White House six years ago to be with his family, the nearly 3,700 Americans who’ve died in the needless war he peddled might still be with theirs.
A distinguishing characteristic of the wingnuttery’s leaders is their self righteousness in getting American’s killed for their cause all the while keeping their own hands clean. As I reread the stories I linked to yesterday regarding one Republican’s wish for another 9-11 and an Army Chaplain who sees the war in Iraq as part of some apocalyptic crusade it drives home the realization that many of the more enlightened writers on the liberal side of the spectrum have observed over the last couple years; the far Right continues to support Bush and the Iraq quagmire because 9-11 and Bin Laden do not matter all that much anymore. They support Bush because he’s killing “them”, as long as Bush is killing Muslims of any stripe of any tribe or sect he’s advancing the Right’s embrace of a modern Crusades. Liberals can be as rational as they like, they can point out how battered the troops are, Bush’s continued screw-ups (Pentagon lost almost 200,000 weapons in Iraq), or that Bush is creating more terrorists because of his mindless zealotry that doesn’t differentiate between Muslim insurgents in Iraq and those that are actual jihadists. Remember back in what now seems like the good old days when we had the War on Crime. Imagine if that war had been carried out like this one and for every actual criminal we killed we also killed a few innocent women and children. Would we as a nation stand up and cheer the great Crusade against crime as the War on Crime cheerleaders made excuses and grave grumbling sounds about collateral damage while at the same time accusing those who for expressed concern about the indiscriminate scatter shot nature of this crime war of being pro criminal. Glenn Greenwald responds to mindless cheerleaders Glenn Reynolds and Roger Simon, both of whom are all for the concept of killing “them”, The Islamists are coming
Every now and then, it is worth noting that substantial portions of the right-wing political movement in the United States — the Pajamas Media/right-wing-blogosphere/Fox News/Michelle Malkin/Rush-Limbaugh-listener strain — actually believe that Islamists are going to take over the U.S. and impose sharia law on all of us. And then we will have to be Muslims and “our women” will be forced into burkas and there will be no more music or gay bars or churches or blogs. This is an actual fear that they have — not a theoretical fear but one that is pressing, urgent, at the forefront of their worldview.
And their key political beliefs — from Iraq to Iran to executive power and surveillance theories at home — are animated by the belief that all of this is going to happen. The Republican presidential primary is, for much of the “base,” a search for who will be the toughest and strongest in protecting us from the Islamic invasion — a term that is not figurative or symbolic, but literal: the formidable effort by Islamic radicals to invade the U.S. and take over our institutions and dismantle our government and force us to submit to Islamic rule or else be killed.
They actually think this is going to happen (“read Zawahiri’s speeches about the Plan for Caliphate!!”) and believe that we must do everything in our power — without limits — to stop it.
Liberals are at a distinct disadvantage here, we only have reason on our side. The Right has these grand emotional arguments that appeal to both nationalism and xenophobia. One could say there is an element of truth there in the sense that yes there are perhaps twenty thousand or so die hard jihadists who have the goals that Simon describes (see link). We ‘re a nation of 300 million people, many of whom are armed. We have a battered contingent of troops at this point, but we still have plenty of bombs and hardware, yet the Right keeps equating the threat of what amounts to a large international gang to Hitler’s war machine, the Japanese nationalists of the 1940s and the massive military might of the old Soviet Union. Simon has his wishes and many liberals have their’s; that the Right somehow find the moral courage and mental facilities to see the threat of Islamic fundamentalism in proportion to its actual threat. The Right needs to learn who the enemy is, to be specific since we can never win a fight against the ever changing nebulous cloud of a “them”. How can the American public trust the conservative movement with our national security if they keep insisting on acting like a deranged version of Don Quixote.