Republicans – Grand Poobahs of Cynical Hypocrisy and Crass Exploitation

Those who think Politico leans too far Right – and I agree – they’re practically fair and balanced compared to Real Clear Politics who ran with this gem, Burlingame After Meeting With Obama: He Turned His Back On Me

Debra Burlingame, the sister of Charles “Chic” Burlingame (pilot of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon) met with President Obama today, along with other families who were victims of 9/11. Burlingame said she confronted Obama about Attorney General Eric Holder prosecuting the men who interrogated KSM, which may have produced intelligence leading us to bin Laden.

Burlingame describes the encounter with Obama: “As a former attorney I know you can’t tell the Attorney General what to do, he said, ‘No, I can’t.’ But I said ‘we — that shouldn’t stop you from giving your opinion. We wouldn’t be here today if they hadn’t done their jobs. Can’t you at least give them your opinion.’ And he said ‘no I won’t,’ and he turned around and walked away.”

Isn’t it well known that Presidents are always committing to agreeing with people they stop to shake hands with that as soon as they return to Washington they will forthwith politicize the Department of Justice. Just because Bush did it, one assumes. RCP makes no mention of the fact that Burlingame is also a rabid right-winger who is one of the founding members of Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol’s Keep America Safe. Cute name for an organization that is pro law breaking even to the point of demonizing anyone who wants to investigate whether – probably just a coincidence – former VP Dick Cheney broke the law – Is that “Keep America Safe”—or “Keep Cheney Out of Jail”?

A few days back I took a look at a new organization launched by Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol called Keep America Safe. They claim it is designed to put the Obama Administration on the defensive about national security issues, and they promise to run ads against Democrats in marginal districts. But turning to Keep America Safe’s advocacy page, we find an absolute obsession with one issue: a criminal probe into the origins of the torture program by the Justice Department. The whole Keep America Safe campaign is geared to making the point that the torture program and other Cheney-authored measures that probably crossed the threshold into criminal conduct were perfectly legitimate policy alternatives. Keep America Safe seems largely dedicated to keeping Cheney out of jail.

Now Michael Isikoff unearths more information that supports this thesis. Who’s bankrolling Keep America Safe, he asks? It’s Florida real-estate developer Mel Sembler, whose last foray onto the political stage was as chair of the Scooter Libby Defense Trust. Is Keep America Safe a related operation, also geared to the legal defense of the Vice President’s office? It sure looks that way.

Consider Cheney’s latest speech, in which he accused Obama of “dithering” about how many more troops to commit to Afghanistan—a peculiar charge to fall from the lips of a man who sat on a request from his Afghanistan commanders for ten months without action. The setting for this latest volley was an award dinner at which Cheney’s former chief-of-staff Scooter Libby, now a convicted felon whose sentence was commuted by President Bush following a furious lobbying campaign by Cheney, was presented with the “Service Before Self” Award. What exactly was the nature of Libby’s service? According to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, Libby failed to give an honest account of the role played by Dick Cheney in the outing of a covert CIA agent as an act of petty political revenge. The Cheney speech at the event honoring Libby went up immediately at the Keep America Safe website, more evidence of seamless coordination between the legal defense efforts and the fearmongering Keep America Safe campaign.

Focusing on one extremely unhinged defender of the Bush administartions law breaking and her poor vitim play, is the conservative media’s idea of breaking news. If so, the least they could do is include some important facts. Burlingame has no faith in the American system of justice, thinks the DOJ is just supposed to be a puppet for the Right or the prevailing winds of public opinion rather than justice and is happy to use what was supposed to be a non-partisan tribute to the victims of 9-11 into a cheap-shot political opportunity. The Burlingame crowd helped manipulate this country into an unesccary, expensive, bloody and counter prodcutive war. It is Burlingame, both Cheneys and Keep America safe who should be on a national apology tour for turning their backs on truth, justice and American values.

Burlingame is one of those head in the sand sore losers who hate it that torturing KLM did not lead to the capture or death of Bin Laden or he would have been killed in 2004. Like many on the rabid Right it absolutely pisses them off that it was President Obama that revived the CIA’s Bin Laden unit and it was under his leadership that Bin Laden was brought to justice. She jions the illusratious company of the crank Koch brothers, David Koch Says Obama Doesn’t Deserve Credit For Successful Bin Laden Operations

Obviously it’s not the case that Obama is temperamentally more of a unilateralist than Bush or McCain. But he may just have a better sense of what’s important and what’s not. I like to think, though, that part of the difference is that Obama takes the United Nations seriously. The UN Charter is often viewed in American circles as circumscribing American sovereignty, but in this case it’s relevant that the US had authorization from the UN Security Council to take “all necessary steps” to neutralize the “threat to international peace and security” posed by al-Qaeda. The President’s judgment was that that entailed striking the compound without telling the unreliable Pakistani security services in advance. Both Obama’s predecessor and his opponent in the campaign said they wouldn’t do that, and if they’d followed through on their word Bin Laden might have gotten away.

The Koch brothers are to good judgment and Americanism what clogged drains are to good water flow,

In 1958, Fred Koch became one of the original members of the John Birch Society, the arch-conservative group known, in part, for a highly skeptical view of governance and for spreading fears of a Communist takeover. Members considered President Dwight D. Eisenhower to be a Communist agent. In a self-published broadside, Koch claimed that “the Communists have infiltrated both the Democrat and Republican Parties.” He wrote admiringly of Benito Mussolini’s suppression of Communists in Italy, and disparagingly of the American civil-rights movement. “The colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America,” he warned. Welfare was a secret plot to attract rural blacks to cities, where they would foment “a vicious race war.” In a 1963 speech that prefigures the Tea Party’s talk of a secret socialist plot, Koch predicted that Communists would “infiltrate the highest offices of government in the U.S. until the President is a Communist, unknown to the rest of us.”

[  ]…In 1967, after Fred Koch died, of a heart attack, Charles renamed the business Koch Industries, in honor of his father. Fred Koch’s will made his sons extraordinarily wealthy. David Koch joked about his good fortune in a 2003 speech to alumni at Deerfield, where, after pledging twenty-five million dollars, he was made the school’s sole “lifetime trustee.” He said, “You might ask: How does David Koch happen to have the wealth to be so generous? Well, let me tell you a story. It all started when I was a little boy. One day, my father gave me an apple. I soon sold it for five dollars and bought two apples and sold them for ten. Then I bought four apples and sold them for twenty. Well, this went on day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, until my father died and left me three hundred million dollars!

The Koch brothers typify the elitist attitude of the modern conservative movement. They took their wealth and surprise, they created more wealth. Just like anyone else with that kind of start in life would do. Now they think of themselves as blessings to America, John Galt-like superheroes of capitalism with a sense of entitlement and no sense of humility. No sense of gratitude for all the peons on their payroll or all the working class people who buy their products and make their wealth possible. They are the poster children for libertarian conservatism who think any regulation – like regulating the amount of arsenic in your drinking water to protect you and your children – is no less than a pinko commie plot to keep them from squeezing even more money out of the masses.

Some of the rightie bloggers are having a smile at this story, 9/11 Family Invited To Presidential Ground Zero Visit Snubs Obama

As 50 carefully selected families prepare to join President Barack Obama for a ceremony at the World Trade Center site Thursday, one of the invited 9/11 families have decided to pass on the Commander-in-chief’s visit.

Although many consider it to be a once in a lifetime invitation, the Vigiano family of Deer Park, Long Island have respectfully declined.

“If this form letter was the invitation, it was kinda lame,” John Vigiano told PIX 11 News when describing the email invitation sent to him from the White House.

This one family expressed those thoughts. Everyone got the same e-mail from the White House. Sure a nice letter on White House stationary would have been nice, but considering the breaking news and the issue of time constraints, well we do live in the digital age. The White House even called to apologize. The Vigianos expressed the view that they were still in mourning to some extent and even Bin Laden’s death did not bring closure to the death of two sons. There is no arguing with their pain. They feel what they feel. I’ve suffered loss of loved ones myself and to some extent I will never get over it.  The Lonely Conservative in posting about that story writes, I Get Better Spam Emails

Is there anything the people in the White House don’t bungle? They really must think of us as one big herd, only distinguishable by our ethnicity, gender, social status or groups of victims. The White House invited fifty families to join President Obama today as he visited Ground Zero for the first time in his presidency. One family declined, saying they didn’t want to be part of a photo-op. What turned them off? The invitation they received.

Oh my. This president has clearly insulted all of “us”  in the worse imaginable way. Why he includes himself as being among the families of 9-11 victims he fails to explain. President Obama will have to go a long way to match the insults directed at the families of 9-11 victims by conservative Republicans, Media figures, GOP strategists defend Coulter’s attacks on 9-11 widows

Coulter’s comment that has perhaps drawn the most attention is an attack on the widows of 9-11 victims, read by Lauer: “These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much.”

[    ]…On the June 7 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News contributor Sandy Rios stated that Coulter’s “words are laser-focused on the truth,” comparing them to “Holocaust pictures” that “we have to see … to understand what happened.” Rios also compared Coulter’s words to a “clarion wake-up call,” and “cold water” that — in O’Reilly’s words — “wakes you up.” Rios further praised Coulter’s “gift of words and imagery,” calling her “unique” and “frank” and adding that “she plays an important role.”

[  ]…On the June 7 edition of MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, Republican strategist Jack Burkman defended Coulter’s statements “[a]ll the way,” asserting that Coulter “understates the point” and is “telling the truth.” Burkman added that the 9-11 widows — whom he compared to anti-war protestor Cindy Sheehan — “exploited commercially” the deaths of their loved ones, that they had “breathlessly … stepped just into the fame thing,” and that “before the bodies are cold, they’re out selling and trying to make money.”

[   ]…Also on the June 7 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, Republican strategist Karen Hanretty asserted that Coulter’s attacks on the 9-11 widows were not “mean spirited,” but rather “tongue-in-cheek,” “satire,” and examples of “Ann’s own personal style.” Hanretty further argued that “this entire discussion” of Coulter’s book “proves the point” that “liberals regularly trot out these heroes, or as she calls them, ‘human shields’ that Republicans can’t refute.”

[  ]…On the June 8 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck stated emphatically that Coulter was “right” about the “9-11 wives.” Beck agreed with Coulter that “[j]ust because you lost somebody in a tragedy doesn’t mean that you get a free pass for the rest of your life.

It is another round of Conservatives Can Get Away With Anything. Even the blatantly crass exploitation of 9-11 for political gain. The sleaze-fest known to history as the 2004 Republican Convention,