Thursday, May 15, 2008

The first "Stoopid? Or Evil? You Decide!" contest

All right, folks, let's give our two first contestants a big hand as they come out, vying today for the titles of "Evil" or "Stoopid":

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Our first contestant is Sen. Joseph Lieberman ("CT-for-meeeeee" Party-CT):
On right-winger Bill Bennett’s radio show this morning, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) expressed his openess to bombing Iran, saying that there is “an appeal to it.” Discussing the West Virginia primary results, Bennett praised what he claimed was Sen. Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) transformation into his “style” of politician, which he said is someone who “throws down a shot of liquor and bombs Iran.”

Lieberman whole-heartedly endorsed the “appeal” of the hawkish caricature Bennett had created:

BENNETT: Listen, I give her credit. She has found her…three things. She’s found her voice. He is very much in the background now, it’s not this, you know, ventriloquial thing, it’s definitely her voice.

LIEBERMAN: That’s true.

BENNETT: And Joe, you know, this is my style. This is a girl who puts on her pearls, goes down, throws down a shot of liquor and bombs Iran, you know. This is…lookout Mrs. Bennett, this is my kind of girl.

LIEBERMAN: Hehehe, it does have an appeal to it.

(h/t to ThinkProgress for this nomination)

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And in the other corner, we have the father of the eponymous FU, the "Friedman Unit", Mr. Thomas Friedman himself:

Today's a very exciting day in America. Our nation's most Serious foreign policy expert, the brilliant Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, has today declared our latest new war:

The next American president will inherit many foreign policy challenges, but surely one of the biggest will be the cold war. Yes, the next president is going to be a cold-war president -- but this cold war is with Iran.
So congratulations to us. After years of desperately searching, we've finally found our New Soviet Union. Nay-saying opponents of the New War (those who Tom Friedman, in March of 2003, dismissed as "knee-jerk liberals and pacifists") may try to point out that it's a country whose defense spending is less than 1% of our own, has never invaded another country, and could not possibly threaten us, but those are just small details. Iran is our new implacable foe in Tom Friedman's glorious, transcendent struggle -- which, in 2003, on NPR, he called "the beginning of World War III . . . the third great totalitarian challenge in the last, you know, 60 years," and which he today defines this way (featuring an amazingly disingenuous use of parenthesis):
That is the real umbrella story in the Middle East today -- the struggle for influence across the region, with America and its Sunni Arab allies (and Israel) versus Iran, Syria and their non-state allies, Hamas and Hezbollah. As the May 11 editorial in the Iranian daily Kayhan put it, "In the power struggle in the Middle East, there are only two sides: Iran and the U.S."
Friedman laments that "Team America" -- that's really what he calls it -- "is losing on just about every front."
(h/t to Glenn Greenwald for this nomination)

More supporting affidavits from Glenn:

There's a reason that Friedman occupies the place he does in America's foreign policy establishment. He's perfectly representative of it. It's an establishment in perpetual search of an Enemy and the next war. And finding it (or creating it) is the one thing they do well.

Friedman spent months before the invasion of Iraq continuously supporting and cheering it on based on righteous appeals to the transformational values of freedom and democracy. But once the invasion was complete, he unmasked himself, acknowledging in that NPR interview that the real purpose of the invasion was that the U.S. had to send a message to Muslims generally and "sometimes it takes a 2-by-4 across the side of the head to get that message."

That admission was accompanied by Friedman's 2003 "epiphany" on The Charlie Rose Show that the invasion of Iraq was "unquestionably worth doing" because "looking back, I now feel I understand more what the war was about."
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So those are the candidates, folks. What will it be: Lieberman "Evil" and Friedman "Stoopid"? Or the other way around?

Wait while we count the votes ... ummm, hmmmm ... hmmMMMmmm ... no, you can't vote both of them both "Evil" and "Stoopid"; I don't have enough trophies to go around....

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