Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Monday's South Carolina Republican debateMonday's Republican Presidential debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was a genuine horror show. Where to begin.
Well, there was Newt Gingrich calling on Andrew Jackson to support his own warmongering foreign policy. He's lucky his tongue didn't burst into flames on the spot. If he had gone on to quote William Faulkner to support some point or other of his, I would have just hurled right onto the screen. That deserves a whole separate post.
Then there was Gov. Goodhair Perry defending those Marines recently in the news for peeing on the freshly-killed corpses in Afghanistan (Josh Voorhees, Charges Against Urinating Marines Expected Soon The Slatest 01/13/2012), starting around 2:05 in this video:
I just have no patience with this stuff. People who defend war crimes are defending and promoting crime. Some liberals/progressive have understandably tried to use this to point out that wars invariably produce atrocities, particular wars like Afghanistan and Iraq that put the occupying soldiers in atrocity-producing situations, as the psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton calls them. "This is a war," writes Allison Hantschel in In Defense of Dana Loesch Firedoglake 01/16/2012. Readers can judge for themselves whether she winds up diminishing the serious of such an incident.
But that is no excuse or alibi for war crimes, including desecration of corpses. Laws of war and rules of engagement are there for good reasons: to put limits on the violence of war; to maintain command authority - things like torturing prisoners and desecrating corpses can have major effects on the mission; and to keep soldiers from coming back from war as murderers and violent criminals. The fact that Goodhair defended the desecration shows how little he respects common decency, much less the law. Most of our soldiers aren't out there peeing on corpses. By defending those who do, he puts them on a level with the soldiers who don't commit war crimes.
At 4:45 in that same video clip, Gingrich starts on his statement that leads up to the Andrew Jackson comment at around 6:15.
Goodhair talked segregationist starting around 2:25 in this video, and Newt picks it up around 7:30 in his discussion of unemployment insurance:
Goodhair in that segment says, among other trash, that the State of South Carolina is "at war" with the federal government, and we SC Gov. Nicky Haley laughing and applauding for it. Since any post on a Republican debate just seems to be missing something if there's not a Charlie Pierce quote included: "South Carolina really isn't the place where you want to make loose talk about being 'at war' with the federal government. Honestly, Governor Goodhair, why don't you just go down to the harbor, throw a rock at Fort Sumter, and make it official?" (The Great Nominating Show Is Nearly Over Esquire Politics Blog 01/17/2012)
Willard Romney does his xenophobic anti-immigrant thing in this clip around 3:00.
That clip also includes the part that got a lot of attention, Gingrich going off on FOX News' Juan Williams at around 9:40.
Charlie Pierce again:
I harbor no sympathy for Williams, who's spent the last two years pretending to be the innocent victim of those jackbooted thugs at NPR — from which, full disclosure, I draw the occasional paycheck — while cashing checks for Fox and writing self-indulgent books that few people read and even fewer people believed. So, when Williams suddenly turned into the Defender of Black People in the debate, everything he'd done in the previous couple of years laboring in the snake-infested vineyards of Roger Ailes should have prepared him for the moment when Gingrich decided to throw 40 years of politically profitable conservative white backlash back in his teeth. For this, the very white Gingrich got a standing ovation from the very white audience for yelling at the very non-white Williams, and if you think the ovation was for Gingrich's stalwart advocacy of the I-73 project, you haven't been paying attention since 1865.Digby uses that exchange between Williams and Gingrich to analyze the way in which white racism is becoming more and more explicit in the Republican Party. (Straight up racism, no dogwhistle necessary Hullabaloo 01/17/2012)
In this clip, this clip at around 2:05 Gingrich recommends Chile's social security program put in place during the Pinochet dictatorship.
And this one of the last part of the debate has a weird discussion touching on the corrupt bizarreness generated by the Citizen's United decision.
Tags: republican party, war crimes, white racism
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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