Saturday, March 25, 2006

Conjugation: I understand, he understands, they understand, the Democrats don’t understand


The British military has had its feelings hurt by the Christian hostages it rescued, who failed to thank them publicly. It’s just bad manners. Gen. Sir Michael Jackson said he was “saddened,” but in a gruff, manly, military way, “that there doesn’t seem to have been a note of gratitude,” or at the very least a Hallmark card. Me, I appreciate this lack of hypocrisy by members of what sound like a fairly radical pacifist Christian group who had said in advance that they didn’t want violence used if they were kidnapped.

The Justice Dept says the NSA’s warrantless domestic spying may legitimately target doctor-patient and lawyer-client communications. And although the claim has been that one half of the conversation has to be non-domestic, Justice refused to say either that warrantless wiretapping of purely domestic calls was illegal or that it hadn’t been done.

My cat got an email from RNC Chair Ken Mehlman. Evidently, the Democrats’ plan for 2006 is to win the House and Senate and then impeach Bush. See, and you thought they didn’t have a plan. “Democrat leaders’ talk of censure and impeachment isn’t about the law or the President doing anything wrong. It’s about the fact that Democrat leaders don’t want America to fight the War on Terror with every tool in our arsenal.”

A few days ago I commented on the number of times Bush says that he understands things, such as, he understands that we’re in a war, he understands that people are dying, etc etc. I suggested he’d finally realized that people think he’s stupid, but after reading the speech he gave at a fund-raiser for the re-election of Rep. Mike Sodrel (R-Obscurity), in which he applied the verb to Sodrel no fewer than 13 times, claiming that Sodrel understands that this is a nation at war, he understands that the role of the government isn’t to create wealth, he understands the effects of the death tax on the American family farmer, etc etc (I pictured Sodrel standing off to the side during Bush’s speech, saying “I understand, I understand” after every sentence), I realized that Bush’s hated of “politics” is so strong, that he has no willingness to discuss the details of policy; rather, he debates the nature of the universe, what the world looks like. Note his use in so many speeches of the phrase, “I strongly disagree.” It’s rarely about policy; usually it’s about reality, as in “My opponents don’t believe there’s an enemy that lurks. I strongly disagree.” If your “understanding” of the world accords with his, agreement about how to deal with that world is supposed to be automatic. This is a way of focusing attention on his “vision” and away from both formulation and implementation of policy, away from his woeful lack of competence. Or to put it another way, the jackass still thinks he’s smart.

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