Keith Olbermann's Special Comment 11/1/06

TV Arts


 Bush owes troops an apology, not Kerry
 Olbermann: Bush Oappearing to be stupid¹ about Kerry¹s joke
 By Keith Olbermann
 Anchor, 'Countdown'

 On the 22nd of May, 1856, as the deteriorating American political system
 veered toward the edge of the cliff, U.S. Rep. Preston Brooks of South
 Carolina shuffled into the Senate of this nation, his leg stiff from an
 old dueling injury, supported by a cane. And he looked for the familiar
 figure of the prominent senator from Massachusetts, Charles Sumner.
 Brooks found Sumner at his desk, mailing out copies of a speech he had
 delivered three days earlier < a speech against slavery.

 The congressman matter-of-factly raised his walking stick in midair and
 smashed its metal point across the senator¹s head.

 Congressman Brooks hit his victim repeatedly. Sen. Sumner somehow got to
 his feet and tried to flee. Brooks chased him and delivered untold blows
 to Sumner¹s head. Even though Sumner lay unconscious and bleeding on the
 Senate floor, Brooks finally stopped beating him only because his cane
 finally broke.

 Others will cite John Brown¹s attack on the arsenal at Harper¹s Ferry as
 the exact point after which the Civil War became inevitable.

 In point of fact, it might have been the moment, not when Brooks broke
 his cane over the prostrate body of Sen. Sumner < but when voters in
 Brooks¹ district started sending him new canes.

 Tonight, we almost wonder to whom President Bush will send the next new

 There is tonight no political division in this country that he and his
 party will not exploit, nor have not exploited; no anxiety that he and
 his party will not inflame.

 There is no line this president has not crossed < nor will not cross <
 to keep one political party in power.

 He has spread any and every fear among us in a desperate effort to avoid
 that which he most fears < some check, some balance against what has
 become not an imperial, but a unilateral presidency.

 And now it is evident that it no longer matters to him whether that
 effort to avoid the judgment of the people is subtle and nuanced or
 laughably transparent.

 Sen. John Kerry called him out Monday.

 He did it two years too late.

 He had been too cordial < just as Vice President Gore had been too
 cordial in 2000, just as millions of us have been too cordial ever since.

 Sen. Kerry, as you well know, spoke at a college in Southern California.

 With bitter humor he told the students that he had been in Texas the day
 before, that President Bush used to live in that state, but that now he
 lives in the state of denial.

 He said the trip had reminded him about the value of education < that
 ³if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and
 you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don¹t, you can
 get stuck in Iraq.²

 The senator, in essence, called Mr. Bush stupid.

 The context was unmistakable: Texas; the state of denial; stuck in Iraq.

 No interpretation required.

 And Mr. Bush and his minions responded by appearing to be too stupid to
 realize that they had been called stupid.

 They demanded Kerry apologize to the troops in Iraq.

 And so he now has.

 That phrase < ³appearing to be too stupid² < is used deliberately, Mr.

 Because there are only three possibilities here.

 One, sir, is that you are far more stupid than the worst of your critics
 have suggested; that you could not follow the construction of a simple
 sentence; that you could not recognize your own life story when it was
 deftly summarized; that you could not perceive it was the sad ledger of
 your presidency that was being recounted.

 This, of course, compliments you, Mr. Bush, because even those who do
 not ³make the most of it,² who do not ³study hard,² who do not ³do their
 homework,² and who do not ³make an effort to be smart² might still just
 be stupid, but honest.

 No, the first option, sir, is, at best, improbable. You are not honest.

 The second option is that you and those who work for you deliberately
 twisted what Sen. Kerry said to fit your political template; that you
 decided to take advantage of it, to once again pretend that the attacks,
 solely about your own incompetence, were in fact attacks on the troops
 or even on the nation itself.

 The third possibility is, obviously, the nightmare scenario: that the
 first two options are in some way conflated.

 That it is both politically convenient for you and personally satisfying
 to you, to confuse yourself with the country for which, sir, you work.

 A brief reminder, Mr. Bush: You are not the United States of America.

 You are merely a politician whose entire legacy will have been a
 willingness to make anything political; to have, in this case, refused
 to acknowledge that the insult wasn¹t about the troops, and that the
 insult was not even truly about you either, that the insult, in fact, is

 So now John Kerry has apologized to the troops; apologized for the
 Republicans¹ deliberate distortions.

 Thus, the president will now begin the apologies he owes our troops,

 This president must apologize to the troops for having suggested, six
 weeks ago, that the chaos in Iraq, the death and the carnage, the
 slaughtered Iraqi civilians and the dead American service personnel,
 will, to history, ³look like just a comma.²

 This president must apologize to the troops because the intelligence he
 claims led us into Iraq proved to be undeniably and irredeemably wrong.

 This president must apologize to the troops for having laughed about the
 failure of that intelligence at a banquet while our troops were in
 harm¹s way.

 This president must apologize to the troops because the streets of Iraq
 were not strewn with flowers and its residents did not greet them as

 This president must apologize to the troops because his administration
 ran out of ³plan² after barely two months.

 This president must apologize to the troops for getting 2,815 of them

 This president must apologize to the troops for getting this country
 into a war without a clue.

 And Mr. Bush owes us an apology for this destructive and omnivorous

 We will not receive them, of course.

 This president never apologizes.

 Not to the troops.

 Not to the people.

 Nor will those henchmen who have echoed him.

 In calling him a ³stuffed suit,² Sen. Kerry was wrong about the press

 Mr. Snow¹s words and conduct, falsely earnest and earnestly false,
 suggest he is not ³stuffed,² he is inflated.

 And in leaving him out of the equation, Sen. Kerry gave an unwarranted
 pass to his old friend Sen. John McCain, who should be ashamed of
 himself tonight.

 He rolled over and pretended Kerry had said what he obviously had not.

 Only, the symbolic stick he broke over Kerry¹s head came in a context
 even more disturbing.

 Mr. McCain demanded the apology while electioneering for a Republican
 congressional candidate in Illinois.

 He was speaking of how often he had been to Walter Reed Hospital to see
 the wounded Iraq veterans, of how ³many of them have lost limbs.²

 He said all this while demanding that the voters of Illinois reject a
 candidate who is not only a wounded Iraq veteran, but who lost two limbs
 there, Tammy Duckworth.

 Support some of the wounded veterans. But bad-mouth the Democratic one.

 And exploit all the veterans and all the still-serving personnel in a
 cheap and tawdry political trick to try to bury the truth: that John
 Kerry said the president had been stupid.

 And to continue this slander as late as this morning < as biased or
 gullible or lazy newscasters nodded in sleep-walking assent.

 Sen. McCain became a front man in a collective lie to break sticks over
 the heads of Democrats < one of them his friend, another his fellow
 veteran, legless, for whom he should weep and applaud or at minimum
 about whom he should stay quiet.

 That was beneath the senator from Arizona.

 And it was all because of an imaginary insult to the troops that his
 party cynically manufactured out of a desperation and a futility as deep
 as that of Congressman Brooks, when he went hunting for Sen. Sumner.

 This is our beloved country now as you have redefined it, Mr. Bush.

 Get a tortured Vietnam veteran to attack a decorated Vietnam veteran in
 defense of military personnel whom that decorated veteran did not insult.

 Or, get your henchmen to take advantage of the evil lingering dregs of
 the fear of miscegenation in Tennessee, in your party¹s advertisements
 against Harold Ford.

 Or, get the satellites who orbit around you, like Rush Limbaugh, to
 exploit the illness < and the bipartisanship < of Michael J. Fox. Yes,
 get someone to make fun of the cripple.

 Oh, and sir, don¹t forget to drag your own wife into it.

 ³It¹s always easy,² she said of Mr. Fox¹s commercials < and she used
 this phrase twice < ³to manipulate people¹s feelings.²

 Where on earth might the first lady have gotten that idea, Mr. President?

 From your endless manipulation of people¹s feelings about terrorism?

 ³However they put it,² you said Monday of the Democrats, on the subject
 of Iraq, ³their approach comes down to this: The terrorists win, and
 America loses.²

 No manipulation of feelings there.

 No manipulation of the charlatans of your administration into the only

 No shocked outrage at the Kerry insult that wasn¹t; no subtle smile as
 the first lady silently sticks the knife in Michael J. Fox¹s back; no
 attempt on the campaign trail to bury the reality that you have already
 assured that the terrorists are winning.

 Winning in Iraq, sir.

 Winning in America, sir.

 There we have chaos < joint U.S.-Iraqi checkpoints at Sadr City, the
 base of the radical Shiite militias, and the Americans have been ordered
 out by the prime minister of Iraq S and our secretary of defense doesn¹t
 even know about it!

 And here we have deliberate, systematic, institutionalized lying and
 smearing and terrorizing < a code of deceit that somehow permits a
 president to say, ³If you listen carefully for a Democrat plan for
 success, they don¹t have one.²

 Permits him to say this while his plan in Iraq has amounted to a twisted
 version of the advice once offered to Lyndon Johnson about his Iraq,
 called Vietnam.

 Instead of ³declare victory and get out² we now have ³declare victory
 and stay indefinitely.²

 And also here < we have institutionalized the terrorizing of the

 True domestic terror:

 Critics of your administration in the media receive letters filled with
 fake anthrax.

 Braying newspapers applaud or laugh or reveal details the FBI wished
 kept quiet, and thus impede or ruin the investigation.

 A series of reactionary columnists encourages treason charges against a
 newspaper that published ³national security information² that was openly
 available on the Internet.

 One radio critic receives a letter threatening the revelation of as much
 personal information about her as can be obtained and expressing the
 hope that someone will then shoot her with an AK-47 machine gun.
 And finally, a critic of an incumbent Republican senator, a critic armed
 with nothing but words, is attacked by the senator¹s supporters and
 thrown to the floor in full view of television cameras as if someone
 really did want to re-enact the intent < and the rage < of the day
 Preston Brooks found Sen. Charles Sumner.

 Of course, Mr. President, you did none of these things.

 You instructed no one to mail the fake anthrax, nor undermine the FBI¹s
 case, nor call for the execution of the editors of the New York Times,
 nor threaten to assassinate Stephanie Miller, nor beat up a man yelling
 at Sen. George Allen, nor have the first lady knife Michael J. Fox, nor
 tell John McCain to lie about John Kerry.

 No, you did not.

 And the genius of the thing is the same as in King Henry¹s rhetorical
 question about Archbishop Thomas Becket: ³Who will rid me of this
 meddlesome priest?²

 All you have to do, sir, is hand out enough new canes.
 2006 MSNBC Interactive

*FAMILY* is, yours, mine, theirs and ours.
So what I get from all this jibber jabber is that we need to start
beating liberals with canes......

Ok! :p
Well, they can't beat them with facts and policy, so canes are the only 
thing left.  So sad for the Republican party.