Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dignifying Stupidity with a Response

I guess Rudy Giuliani is just too old school to realize that calling a political gathering a "private party" does not guarantee privacy. Apparently the party had to do with Scott Walker's possible run to be the Republican candidate in the next presidential election. Giuliani may have thought he was having an intimate chat among friends. Unfortunately, his words have now been reproduced in more sources than can be enumerated:
I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.
Once upon a time there would have been a general consensus that this was noise so remote from signal that it did not deserve response. The only reasonable thing to do would be to get the discussion back on track. Unfortunately, it has become hard to use the adjective "reasonable" in a sentence that names Walker, which may be why the Wisconsin governor decided that this would be another opportunity for him to pour gasoline on a burning building. Walker's response to Giuliani's statement was:
You should ask the president what he thinks about America. I've never asked him so I don't know.
At least we know what sort of President Walker would make: a man who prefers discussing conclusions to seeking evidence.

Now it is Sunday, meaning that it is now feeding time for the Sabbath-Day gasbags, as Calvin Trillin liked to call them. Lindsey Graham may not have found the moral high ground. However, he decided that he would do best by presenting himself in an effort to distance himself from the loonies:
President Obama has divided us more than he's brought us together and I don't want to add to that division. I have no doubt that he loves his country. I have no doubt that he's a patriot. But his primary job as president of the United States is to defend this country and he's failing miserably.
In other words he recognizes that he will need the loonies to get the nomination but will also need cooler heads to get elected.

Have we learned anything from this? Probably the most solid conclusion that can be drawn is that "political discourse" is as much of an oxymoron as is "central intelligence." It would be nice to think that, in this atmosphere, we could count on all the dim-witted brutes to simply destroy each other; but it is hard to imagine this happening without rationality becoming the most serious victim of collateral damage.

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