Friday, December 10, 2004

Their Own Worst Enemy

There's an unusual proclivity among conservatives to at once offer multiple and contradictory responses to negative events and at the same time, to continue to fan the flames of those same events, ensuring that the negative images will linger longer than would have otherwise been the case.

Consider the recent press attention, and the conservative response to, the insensitive, and bizarre remarks issued by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in response to a soldier's query about the lack of adequate armor in combat. "You go with the army you've got"...and "all the armor in the world isn't going to prevent you from being blown up..." Imagine the wingnut response if Kerry or Edwards had said that.

Anyway, at first, the conservative propaganda jabberwokkies responded with the not unusual tack that went something like, "well, gee, what a swell, manly sort of man our man Rummy is, he faces the troops like a man, takes their questions, no big deal that there's a lack of armor, remember WWII when our troops were digging helmets and shields out of North Africa, yada yada yada. No story here, nothing to see here, please disperse."

That probably would have been the end of it. Some damage for the boys in red, but nothing significant. But the conservative brigade can't stop there. Now they're circulating a report that the question asked by the soldier was prompted by a member of the press. Lush Bimbo whined on his radio show yesterday that the question was a "set up".

I'm not sure what the conservatives are gaining here. The story, and the dumb remarks stay alive. Whether the soldier was prompted to ask the question by a member of the press is irrelevant. The soldier asked it. He could have opted not to. And when he asked it, the other soldiers cheered. The question referenced a problem, not only as seen by the troops, that are, you know, actually fighting the war and stuff, but it's an issue that was seen as significant by conservatives just a couple of months ago when the subject was John Kerry's "nay" vote on the $87 billion Iraq war supplement. Now it seems for conservatives that with Kerry and the election dispensed with, we can go back to not really giving a shit about the circumstances of the war or the threats from insurgents or the troops or how well the Shia's do in the January elections, or anything other than the usual promotion of the party in power.

So in case you have any doubt, for the conservatives there's no principle other than their own survival.

1 comment:

The Rogue Progressive said...

Don't forget that these guys are trying to explain away any chink in their armor. It's not enough to dismiss the story with a "there's our tough guy Rummy," they have to attack the source, twist the context of the thing, etc. Anyone who gets in their way is expendable. I wouldn't be surprised if they find a way to question the soldier's patriotism, if it hasn't happened already. They let their super-fringe do that kind of thing and then let their mainstream folks report on it.

Obviously this is a sign of their insecurity, having to scramble after any little crumb of doubt and sweep it up.

You're right on that the wingnuts are up to their Lego mini-figure hair helmets in hypocrisy. Doesn't bother them: look at Delay's attacks on Clinton during his 1998 actions against Osama.

Where's the progressive narrative to counter that? Got to work on that.