Question of the Day From Maureen Dowd

Maureen Dowd has the question of the day when she asks, “Be honest. Who would you rather share a foxhole with: a gay soldier or Mitt Romney?” She provides many examples of the hypocrisy of Republicans, with this representing only a portion of her column:

Peter Pace, whose job as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff became a casualty of Iraq on Friday, asserted in March that homosexual acts “are immoral.” Yet in May, he wrote a letter to the judge in the Scooter Libby case, pleading for leniency for the Cheney aide. Scooter always looked for “the right way to proceed — both legally and morally,” General Pace wrote of the man who lied to a grand jury about the outing of a spy, after he pumped up the fake case for the war that has claimed the lives of 3,500 young men and women serving under the general.

At the G.O.P. debate in New Hampshire last week, the contenders were more homophobic than the mobsters on “The Sopranos,” unanimously supporting the inane “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Even Rudy Giuliani, who loves to cross-dress and who stayed with old friends, a gay couple, to avoid Gracie Mansion when his second marriage was disintegrating, had an antediluvian answer.

Wolf Blitzer asked him about the Arabic linguists trained by the government who have been ousted from the military after being outed.

Mr. Giuliani, who procured three deferments to avoid Vietnam, replied that, with the war in Iraq raging, “This is not the time to deal with disruptive issues like this.”

If he’s so concerned with disruptive issues, maybe he should start worrying about this one: Two straight guys who slithered out of going to Vietnam are devising a losing strategy in Iraq year after year. W. and Dick Cheney have fouled things up so badly that Robert Gates and Tony Snow are now pointing to South Korea — where American troops have stayed for over half a century — as a model.

Mitt Romney agreed with Rudy on the issue. Instead of going to Vietnam, Mr. Romney spent two and a half years doing Mormon missionary work in France. Isn’t that like doing Peace Corps work in Monte Carlo?

Now that is an important trivia item. Mitt Romney went to France instead of Vietnam. That was the old Mitt Romney. The new Mitt Romney plans to use attacks on France as part of his campaign, and has already engaged in some France-bashing while inaccurately portraying their marriage laws.

Fact Checking The Gore Fact Checker

Andrew Ferguson of the conservative Weekly Standard has an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he attempts to discredit Al Gore, starting out by saying, “You can’t really blame Al Gore for not using footnotes in his new book, The Assault on Reason. This implication is that Gore is making errors and does not provide references. I would refer Mr Ferguson to page 277 where the notes begin.

Despite the implications about the accuracy of Gore’s work, Ferguson only directly challenges one item writing, “I’d love to know where he found the scary quote from Abraham Lincoln that he uses on page 88.”

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.

The note on page 282 shows that Gore attributes this quote to Lincoln as being from a letter to Colonel William F. Elkins from November 21, 1964. Gore’s source for this letter is The Lincoln Encyclopedia edited by Archer H. Shaw (New York: Mcmillan, 1950, p. 40.)

Ferguson states this is a misquotation from Lincoln, and having two contradictory claims I cannot be certain which reference is correct. What I do know is that Ferguson is incorrect in claiming Gore does not provide a source for the quote, or the other facts in his book. It very well may be the case that a quotation attributed to Lincoln was incorrect, but even if Gore’s reference is in error, this hardly undermines the many arguments that Gore makes.

Michael P.F. van der Galiën comments and accepts Ferguson’s claim that the quotation is not correct. Even in accepting this, he rejects Ferguson’s argument:

Having said that, it has to be pointed out, of course, that this misquote does not discredit Gore’s message. His point still stands: Reason is, according to Gore, assaulted by politicians, lobbyists and the media alike. Reason has been replaced by soundbites and shouting and yelling at each other. Political discourse has become a caricature of what it once was. Science is under attack by pseudo-science, the list goes on and on.

Related Posts:

A Review of “The Assault on Reason”
David Brooks’ Assault on “The Assault on Reason”

George Bush’s English Isn’t Very Good

Every now and then George Bush shows some unexpected honesty, such as in this press conference:

Q Thank you. You’ve just told us that you and President Bush have just returned from your G8 summit. Now, the outcomes that have been stated on the many issues that you discussed — climate, development, and the missile shield — now, are those real — is that real progress, or not? And the deadline for the Kosovo independence –

PRESIDENT BUSH: What? Say that again?

Q Deadline for the Kosovo independence?

PRESIDENT BUSH: A decline?

Q Deadline, deadline.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Deadline. Beg your pardon. My English isn’t very good. (Laughter.)

Maybe the problem all along has been that George Bush just hasn’t understood when Americans have called for a deadline to get out of Iraq!. Realistically, I fear he is joking here. The problem isn’t his English, but his understanding of history and international relations.