Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sullivan’s Quest and those pesky Windmills

Andrew Sullivan, Dear Gentle Reader(s), seems very much to want to see W and Dick in the dock.  Just skim any recent postings on his blog which discuss the brouhaha about the torture memos and Mr. Obama’s seeming vacillation about just who might be investigated for possible prosecution.

Today Sullivan posted a piece about the military’s resistance to the torture policy, and he included this:  “Cheney himself told us when he warned us of his walking over to the "dark side" what he was going to do, and a pliant, ignorant, overwhelmed president with a sadistic streak was powerless to resist, even if one clings to the hope he might have wanted to.”

One wonders about Sullivan’s adjectives for W—pliant, ignorant, overwhelmed, sadistic, powerless to resist.  How appropriate are these words?  Pliant, obviously; overwhelmed, quite possibly (who wouldn’t be given the man’s background and the problems heaped upon his shoulders); powerless to resist, no.  He wasn’t powerless, he just didn’t have the gumption.  How about ignorant and sadistic?  Rather than those how about unquestioning and myopic?

What Sullivan doesn’t address, and maybe can’t because he isn’t a native born Amurrican, is the Texas-ness of W’s persona.  Remember the 2000 campaign?  It was someone who was a bit stuffy vs someone you’d like to have a beer with.  (Why on earth you’d give the “atomic” football to someone who has a penchant for beer, is another story!)

Then, when the Islamic fundamentalists attacked, W went, after the scenic tour of Middle America, into his John Wayne mode, so familiar to Texas boys—those “Friday Night Lights” kids who grow up to be the people in charge, but never quite leave behind the macho guise they were pummeled into beginning in Pop Warner and Little League.

Bring ‘em on!” worked for John Wayne; “Make my day” worked for Dirty Harry.  Hell, W had the biggest gun in the world—the U.S. atomic arsenal!  The cheerleader was all of a sudden the quarterback of the Texas Cowboys!  Superbowl Time!!!

And you know, DGR(s), the rest of the story.

It wasn’t Dick which W was powerless to resist.  It was that Texas myth born at the Alamo with the deaths of those Tennessee land grabbers, nurtured on cotton, cattle, and oil which W couldn’t resist.

The lesson for us all,though, is (ahem)

Trust, but verify.

And Sullivan’s correct:  in order to verify, we have to investigate, then let the chips fall where they may.

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