Sunday, April 03, 2011

A Little Cheese With That Whine, Please

Joe Scarborough is not a mindless, simplistic conservative. But he's trying.

Scarborough, penning an overwrought piece for Politico, slams liberals for various sins of foreign policy hypocrisy. He claims George W. Bush, past and present,

has been damned by the ministers of the far left as a war criminal, a fascist and a Nazi when labeling his policies as overly ideological and deeply flawed would have sufficed.

But that was never enough for the carnival barkers on cable news or the blogosphere. For the American left, Bush had to be condemned as an immoral beast who killed women and children to get his bloody hands on Iraqi oil.

Having made the charge, Scarborough neglected to identify those "carnival barkers on cable news or the blogosphere," perhaps they've been precious few on CNN or Fox News and Joe wouldn't want to imperil his cushy position by fingering anyone on his own network. And it's standard fare for the right, faced with the extremists on their side, to cry "you guys did it too." Specificity would be so inconvenient, given that the "carnival barking" was sufficiently muted that it did not rise to the level of impeachment over sexual shenanigans in the Oval Office.

Yes, President Harding also faced vicious criticism; that, too, was in the past and mild compared to the hysterical outcry against the Obama Administration.

Pointing to the three wars- two of them started by President Bush- in which Barack Obama's U.S.A. is involved, Scarborough asks: why not Syria? Yemen? Ivory Coast? Sudan? But then, why would Scarborough choose a three-egg omelette for breakfast- how about four? five? six? seven? When Scarborough eats cookies for dessert, why not cake, pie, and ice cream at the same sitting; they're all good! Perhaps cookies are not the best option and maybe Libya isn't the best choice. But Scarborough fails to tell us why, or even if.

Scarborough asks, rhetorically,

While one can make the moral argument that countries can be attacked strictly on humanitarian grounds, that argument is laughable when it comes to Libya.

How can the left call for the ouster of Muammar Qadhafi for the sin of killing hundreds of Libyans when it opposed the war waged against Saddam Hussein?

The tolerance of the left (and other Americans) for the Libyan war derives in part from the same reasoning applied by presidential nominee John McCain toward occupation of Iraq. It would be "fine with me," he explained, as long as they were not being killed; President Obama early ruled out American combat troops in Libya. Further, President Obama, unlike President Bush, has acted specifically to enforce a United Nations resolution and in concert with other nations which took the initiative.

Scarborough has been one of those conservatives, such as Rush Limbaugh, who refuse to oppose definitively the Libyan action but rather have chosen to criticize the supporters. He would have made a greater contribution to the debate, moreover,if he had chosen instead to confront, as Michael Kinsley has, failure to invoke the War Powers Act. Having chosen to do neither that nor specify whether he believes the war ultimately will prove to be in the national interest, Scarborough's piece is mostly a temper tantrum by just another conservative Republican upset that he is not getting his way, every time.

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