27 thoughts on “What’s Idiotic For The Gander Is Idiotic For The Goose

  1. Mike Kennedy says:

    Shit, Bendit, there you go again — making sense. Just when I think that the wingnut faction of the left is taking over the party — like the wingnut faction of the right influencing conservatives — you go and prove there are liberals that make so much sense that……….I am forced to agree.

    Gotta go with you on Bachmann. She says some crazy shit, though I find something strangely funny and endearing about her — kind of like Alan in the movie “Hangover.”

    1. PM says:

      Damn, Mike, that is a great analogy….I can (just) envision Michelle’s wolf pack…and she probably has a crazy naked man in her trunk, driving everywhere and afraid to let him out.

  2. Mike Kennedy says:


    She definitely has her own wolf pack of devoted fans — not sure about the naked man…….though with politicians, nothing would surprise me.

  3. Are you kidding? That is a shameful post, and you should have known it when you wrote it. Where is the equivalence of lying us into the worst military disaster in 2,000 years? The lying – about EVERYTHING – in the Bush years. The destroying of the US economy, etc. You can’t be serious that the Obama administration is somehow equivalent to the Bush administration in terms of mendacity and lawlessness. Hearings on the Bush years would be very different in substance and seriousness of the charges. Its disappointing that you seem unable to make a distinction.

  4. Forgot two things:

    1) Obama is the president, not the king. He’s not the only one who gets to decide about major crimes being prosecuted.

    and, related:

    2) Paraphrasing Glenn Greenwald, all crimes are committed in the past.

  5. Not to beat a dead horse, but in your formulation, would the Watergate hearings, or the Church Committee hearings be equivalent to Dan Burton shooting watermelons in his backyard? They are all investigations.

  6. Jim Leinfelder says:

    Bachmann wants to issue subpoenas for the sheer frisson of excitement of it all. Like so many of the Tea Partiers, for whom her Tea Party caucus does not speak, of course, her “concerns” are incoherent and divorced from any semblance of a reality-based narrative.

    What she is talking about is nothing more than blinded-by-irrational-dudgeon retribution for failing to hold power, not pursuit of truth and justice in the wake of any specific mis, mal, or nonfeasance on the part of either the Obama administration or Democrats in Congress. This is the same woman who impulsively called for a wholesale investigation of Congress to root out members who, in her view alone, were “un-American.”

    This contrived equivalency routine is so tired and really serves only to shine a soft, amber light on the people claiming it to be so.

  7. john sherman says:

    This is the “both sides do it” false equivalency line–see Lambert’s last post, screed 2. In the last 6 of the Clinton years, Dan Burton (R IN), chair of the House Administrative Oversight Committee, issued 1,052 subpoenas to the White House and, among other things, spent 10 days of hearings on the Clintons’ Christmas card list. The guy who imagines he will get to be chair of an oversight committee if the Republicans gain control of the House, Darrell Issa (R CA) has said that if he got that sort of position, he would double his staff, no longer go after corporations and concentrate on the White House.

    I doubt even Alan Grayson (D FL) would spend 10 days investigating Bush Christmas card lists. It’s not exactly balanced to compare influential Republican members of the House to your strange brother-in-law.

    Then there’s what might be investigated. The Clinton inquisitions divided between things that when you got there, there was, in Gertrude Stein’s words, “no there there.” Remember “travel-gate” (hint, when you see the “-gate” suffix, assume, at best, lazy and irresponsible journalism). And things that were completely crazy like the claim that Hillary Clinton murdered Vince Foster.

    What should be investigated under from the Bush years? I’m willing to hold my nose and let the ongoing violations of the Hatch Act and the Cheney energy task force go by the way. However, for the sake of the nation we need to understand the corruption of the Department of Justice and destruction of civil rights by the executive branch. And it’s not just liberals who believe this; Scott Horton is almost as adamant on the subject as Glenn Greenwald. Horton, who blogs for the Atlantic Monthly, is a former corporate lawyer with the appropriate Republican view of trial lawyers, but in his pro bono life, he is a human rights lawyer who represented Soviet dissidents among others.

    I also think there ought to be a separate set of hearings testing Donald Rumsfelt’s theory that outsourcing as much as possible of the military is more efficient.

  8. Mike Kennedy says:

    Whew. You people need to calm down. First, take a few deep breaths, drink some tea and practice some yoga. After that, loosen up your undies because they appear to be too tight.

    Yeah, I know. Bush lied. So you say. You don’t need to convince us (frankly you wouldn’t convince a majority of people no matter how many times you make the accusation). Convince the leaders of government who could (but won’t) actually do something.

  9. Jim Leinfelder says:

    Uh, my point was merely that Bacmann’s prattling on about her desire to see the issuance of gratuitous subpoena’s to determine whether her erroneous beliefs have any basis in objective reality is not the equivalent of wanting to revisit some of the most extreme overreaching and arguable crimes perpetrated by the Bush administration.

    I have no expectations anything will come of any of it. But Bachmann’s steady flow of utter and inflammatory nonsense is not its equivalent, as seemed to me to be the argument being advanced in Benidt’s piece.

  10. Mike Kennedy says:

    That’s because there isn’t anything to charge him with that would hold up. Yes, a mistake was made on WMD. Do you want to charge all the Dems who voted for the Iraq fiasco? Let’s try them all. Maybe we can send most of Congress packing — only in my dreams.

  11. That’d be funny, Mike, if some many people hadn’t paid such a high price with their lives. Torture, illegal wars, destruction of an ancient country, perversion of justice in this country, illegal wars, and lying as a policy. In your world those deaths due to Bush’s criminality are just technicalities. At least we know that your capacity for empathy extends only to Republicans.

  12. Mike Kennedy says:

    Huh? I said charge him, didn’t I?

    If there is evidence of criminality, then on with it. Why do you find it funny? I didn’t intend it to be funny.

    But your anger and singular focus at one person seems over the top, considering that there were countless other leaders in this country that backed and supported the war. Why not try them all if the war was a crime and illegal?

  13. Angry? You bet. We certainly weren’t a perfect country before Dubya took over, but he took cruelty, stupidity and criminality to a whole new level. As a citizen, I was the inheritor of an American image of fairness and humanity. Bush destroyed 200 years of goodwill, with lies, for no reason, creating a strategic disaster. It pains me every time I think about the torture and the lying and justifications for torture. I wasn’t aware before Bush’s torturing just how many of my fellow citizens were more than willing to practice barbarity on other people in the furtherance of their own cowardice. I have a whole new view of my country now, and its not a good one.

    1. PM says:

      Look, I think that W was a fool, but he could not possibly have done what you claim all by himself. He won at least one election, and managed to get all sorts of senators and congresspeople to vote along with him. Is he the Devil incarnate? part of an evil plot of Cheneyites?

      How do you explain his ability to do all of this that you accuse him of? Where the rest of the people in this country just stupid? passive? asleep? Did we all just suddenly wake up in 2008?

  14. Where were the rest of the people in this country? Cowering under their beds, I presume. Victims of an executive with a monopoly on information and with the traditional media in their back pocket. Bush didn’t do it by himself – he had Cheney and his gang, the neocons, the Washington Post and every other coward in the country.

    1. PM says:

      I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it. Frankly, I think that we (all of the rest of the citizens of the country that you left out of your story) were complicit, and that W enjoyed at least our tacit support.

      Sure, it is nice to be able to say (after the fact) “No, it wasn’t Me!”, but I really that that the vast majority of people who say that now are re-writing history.

      The real problem is that we were never as good as you seem to think that we onc e were. I think that your “As a citizen, I was the inheritor of an American image of fairness and humanity. ” was a false image, a self congratulatory story that we told ourselves as we tucked ourselves into bed each night so that we could sleep better.

      Sure, i don’t like what W did, i am just not deluding myself that what he did was all that different from what came before, or, for that matter, what we are doing now, or will be doing in the future. we just are not as good or as perfectable as you seem to think.

    2. PM says:

      BTW, Rob, just to make it clear–i think that W is one of the worst presidents this country has ever had, and I fully expect that, as time goes on, his reputation will only get worse. I imagine that we agree on that.

  15. Notice I said we weren’t a perfect country before Dubya. But we certainly didn’t have a reputation as torturers. Now we do. I’m not deluded in that sense. I DID believe that most citizens wouldn’t acquiesce in condoning torture. I have been relieved of that delusion. I’m much more aware of the legions of cowardly authoritarians than I used to be. Bush’s “election” in 2000 could be written off as a fluke, and he did change much for the worse after 9/11. But his “reelection” in 2004 changed everything. There was no more claiming we weren’t the country that Bush turned us into. We affirmed his vision in 2004.

  16. Mike Kennedy says:

    I think the point that history will be the judge is an accurate one. Perspective becomes clearer with distance. I have my problems with Bush, as well — of course I had problems with Clinton, Bush I, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, and I’ve got problems with Obama.

    Anyone who gets elected twice obviously has a lot of people supporting his/her policies at the time. And no, we never have been perfect. Every nation has its moments. In the grand context of things, I feel pretty good about where we’ve been and where we are.

  17. Where were the people in this country? Watching the vapid housewives of New Jersey.

    Too many Americans pay no attention to the responsibilities of supporting democracy. Like, reading, thinking and paying attention. Our school system doesn’t teach critical thinking. So we pay attention for a few seconds between our beer and our chips, and that attention is paid to an ad or to a sound bite from a moron that provides no evidence to back up its point and contains no logic — not that the chip-dribblers would know logic if it bit them on their behind.

    So we are a country open to what our friend and faithful reader Dennis Lang wrote about in his comment on the “First Casualty” post yesterday — it’s so smart I’m repeating it here:

    Dennis Lang’s comment: Okay–So more than one administration appears less than truthful in its depiction of reality. How does this differ with any of the messages now saturating culture from corporate advertisers and –yes–PR professionals. Truth and integrity don’t appear to be big selling points and the question becomes how to create the least pernicious most appealing image. Do you really think people are moved any longer by actual facts?

  18. Mike Kennedy says:

    Seems like the left has its own share of idiots. The esteemed Nancy Pelosi in recent days has suggested that someone should investigate the funding of groups opposing the mosque near Ground Zero.

    Huh? The GROUPS? It might come as news to this nitwit that a majority of Americans oppose the project. Should we investigate them?

    On a more funny note, Time magazine reports in a new poll that 1 of 4 of those polled believe Obama is a Muslim — and it wasn’t a poll exclusively of Republicans or Tea Party members.

  19. PM says:

    Yeah, Nancy seems to have blown this call. Salon did a pretty good piece on the origin of this “story”–I think that it is very revealing–yes this was orchestrated, constructed, but there is nothing here worth investigating.


    Further, Mike, I do not think that it is completely accurate to say that the majority of Americans oppose the project. I think that the majority of Americans think it is inappropriate, but I also think that a majority also feel that it is legal, and inappropriate to try to prevent this project from taking place (other than by voicing opposition). See:


    1. Mike Kennedy says:

      You are right, PM. Most Americans support their right to build the mosque, but most don’t think it is a good idea. I stand corrected.

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