November 04, 2005

A Right-Wing Perspective

As I was driving in my car last Sunday afternoon I was listening to talk radio as I usually do. I always listen to Air America, which I find refreshing and down to earth. On AA I can always count on hearing the truth, whether it’s from the boys on Morning Sedition (Mark Riley & Marc Maron), Jerry Springer, Randi Rhodes, Stephanie Miller, Al Franken, Ed Schultz, Tom Hartman, or anyone else they put in front of a microphone. However, when AA goes on commercial break, I tend to surf around to other stations. After all, when you’re riding in the car, and the tuner is within an arm’s length, how can you sit there listening to commercials? There’s a sports station I like to keep up with, and there’s another talk station that I monitor occasionally. This other talk station calls themselves “THE Talk Station”. It’s a conservative format. I find it amusing to hear the conservative perspective every once and a while.

On this day the radio host was spewing a particularly vile brand of stomach-wrenching scum as he was mapping out his talking points for the rest of his show. The show’s host name was Spencer Hughes. Quite frankly, I had never heard of him, and I couldn’t listen to more than two minutes of his angry, scathing cynicism. However, I thought it would be interesting to share some of his filth. And caution – this is only for those with strong stomachs.

It starts with name-calling

I’ll admit that I’m guilty of this myself. I’ve occasionally referred to these people as “right wingnuts” (amongst other things)… and I’ve been known to refer to George W. Bush as an asshole, a jackass, and a dipshit (amongst other things). You know what Mr. Hughes calls us Liberals? He calls us “Bush-bashing bedwetters”. And, it just gets better from there….

The CIA Leak

Since the Scooter Libby indictments were freshly handed down, this was his first focus. The right-wing strategy is to downplay the whole scandal. “It’s a non-story” Hughes said, adding that “Everyone knew who Valerie Plame was”. Then he capped it off with misinformation about her role… “She was only a clerk… this is a non-story”.

Anyone who had the opportunity to watch “60 Minutes” on Sunday evening learned that Valerie Plame was not a clerk. She was 18 years invested in the CIA and an expert in weapons of mass destruction. They learned that Valerie Plame was a NOC, which stands for “Non-official Cover”. Did you see the first ‘Mission Impossible’ movie with Tom Cruise & Jon Voight? The whole premise of that movie was around the leak of NOC agents’ identities. A NOC agent is under cover, and unprotected. They learned that NO ONE outside of her husband, parents, and brother knew of her role in the CIA.

Furthermore, they learned that the outing of this CIA agent was only the tip of the iceberg. Robert Novak also outted Valerie Plame’s employment front, Brewster-Jennings & Assoc. Both of these treasonous infractions have compromised the missions of a countless number of people, the impact of which is only beginning to be analyzed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Anyone who was EVER associated with either Valerie Plame or Brewster-Jennings, Assoc is at risk. All of their missions are at risk. And since it was published that Valerie Plame was the wife of an ambassador, all ambassador’s spouses are now at risk.

As Mr. Hughes continued to belittle this infraction as a “non-story”, he compared it to President Clinton’s National Security Advisor Sandy Berger who “… carried out of the National Archives the files of 500 people in his underwear…”.

The new death plateau

Mr. Hughes then went on to belittle the new plateau of 2000 US deaths in the Iraq conflict. “The Bush-bashing bedwetters are just salivating over the 2000 mark..” he continued. “But they have no historical perspective. More than twice that many were killed in one day - ‘D-Day’ - in Normandy.” Then he compared the causes of Freedom & Democracy in WWII to today’s war in Iraq “… fighting Islamic extremism…”.

Well Mr. Hughes, you got me there. After 2 ½ years of this conflict in Iraq, we’ve only lost just over 2000 people. I suppose in one sense we should be thankful that the casualty count isn’t higher. Or should we?

It sounds to me like Mr. Hughes has been drinking a little too much of the RNC Kool-Aid. My recollection of the reason we went to war with Iraq was because they possessed weapons of mass destruction, they were an imminent threat to security of the United States, and they were part & parcel to the attack on 9/11. In fact, this threat was sooooo critical, that we pulled resources out of Afghanistan (who were hunting down Osama bin Laden) to wage this war in Iraq. Since when did we declare war on Iraq in order to “… fight Islamic Extremism…”? Iraq wasn’t even an Islamic country before we attacked it!

As far as I’m concerned Mr. Hughes, 2000 casualties in Iraq is 2000 too many! I bet you wouldn’t be belittling the quantity if one of your children were one of the casualties.

Canceling Holidays

Mr. Hughes rounded out his show’s summary by commenting on a town in the Boston area, which had decided to change its Halloween celebration festivities. Blaming ‘political correctness’, which is of course purported by the ‘Bush-bashing bedwetters’, Mr. Hughes took offense to liberals ruining holidays. “They took away Easter, they took away Christmas, and now they’re taking away Halloween.”

Once again Mr. Hughes has it all wrong. It was a series of parental complaints that caused the Superintendent of Schools in Newton Massachusetts to alter their Halloween rituals. Instead, a similar event was held with children dressing up as their favorite literary characters. Personally, I think Halloween should be celebrated as it always has, because I don’t view Halloween as a religious holiday, nor do I think any of the children consider Halloween a religious holiday. It’s an occasion for something really, really important – eating candy! (Did you watch ‘Boston Legal’ this week?)

On the other hand, Christmas & Easter are definitely religious holidays. I wouldn’t advocate that they’re eradicated from public schools altogether, however sensitivity should be exercised that not all people celebrate these holidays. I understand that there are arguments all around the country (in my home town in fact) about the display of nativity scenes and menorahs in public places such as town halls and fire stations. These are religious symbols. And besides, if they displayed symbols from one religion, they’d have to display symbols from all religions if requested. I have no problem with that. It’s all or none, as long as it’s fair. But, if they decide to restrict the displaying of religious symbols to private property (in front of churches & synagogues, etc.), that’s okay too. It’s not a matter of bowing to the liberal ‘Political Correctness’. It’s a matter of sensitivity and consideration for diversity. This is a concept that Mr. Hughes certainly does not comprehend.


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