Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Obama Administration Dumbassery

John Brennan, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, had a piece in USA Today to counter the "try the Underpants Bomber in a military court" hysteria. There was one line that was eerily reminiscent of the "critics are traitors" bullshit that was handed out by the Right during the Reign of Dorquemada:
Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al-Qaeda.
That is too damn close to equating dissent with treason for my taste. I will grant him the second point about unfounded fear-mongering. The various fear-mongers of the Right have managed to make an effective crime out of praying on an airliner and traveling while Muslim. The paranoid goons of ICE have made traveling into the USA an experience only rivaled by traveling into the USSR or East Germany during the Cold War.

Brennan is very much wrong with his first point. Politically-motivated criticism is a linchpin of a vibrant free and democratic system. Brennan apparently would have been comfortable with the steps taken by Woodrow Wilson, who had laws passed so that dissenters opposed to his War Against the Kaiser were locked up on felony charges for ten year sentences. Equating political criticism with treason has been a staple of the Right, which was on full display during most of the Bush Administration. Equating political dissent with treason is why we have seen "free speech zones" that resemble open-air prisons during the political conventions of `04 and `08. Equating free speech with treason is why people were thrown out of public events during the Bush Administration for merely wearing a t-shirt that was not flattering to Chimperor Disgustus Maximus.

The "dissent is treason" meme of the Bush Administration and their acolytes was particularly odious and offensive to the Constitution. It is one line of reasoning that the Obama Administration would be well advised to walk away from, and at a fast pace.

If Brennan cannot stomach the idea that there will be politically-motivated criticism, then he needs to find another job.

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