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Friday, February 04, 2005

my quip follows the word NONETHELESS near post's end.

The Iraq elections last week were yet another sign, but it seems to me that the hug between the Iraqi woman and the mother of a dead Marine shows that the 'music and flowers' response Tariq Aziz mocked in a 2003 New Yorker article is continuing to crack through to sunlight.

Yet scenarios such as the one Chris Matthews followed up with must well up in the back of many a journalist's mind to the point of bursting his occiput. This exchange between Matthews and guest Ron Reagan started off as surprisingly reasonable :

After Ron Reagan said that he is uncomfortable with people who have undergone tragedy being used as political props -- unless they got something out of it emotionally, Matthews proposed:
"But isn't it the true story of this gift? If you think about it in a non-political sense, and you think about these service people, we met a lot of them out at Camp Pendleton last week, these young Marines, these guys...making a commitment to join a unit, to operate as a unit, to operate without questioning authority, to think in terms of mission and job and training and the environment they're in, and they give this, their life, for a cause. Shouldn't that be displayed?"
Reagan acceded: "Yes, that's, there's nothing wrong with that, I mean, you did a whole show out there at Pendleton, which certainly displayed their courage and the honor that they have. Again, I'm just uncomfortable with, you know, using people in such obvious pain as a political prop. But again, if they got something out of it, that's the most important thing to me. If they felt satisfied."

So far, that seems reasonable enough to me. Neither of these guys are Bush or war supporters, and if they have anything decent to say about either subject it's a splash of gravy. So I'm neither surprised by, not really irritated by, this next exchange:

"Matthews then suggested: "Do you think President Bush used this to push his numbers on Social Security reform, just to get his general appeal up a bit, a couple of points?"
Reagan: "Well, I don't want to speculate on what was in President Bush's mind."
Matthews: "How about his handlers? Do you think the PR guys-"
Reagan: "Well, yes, sure."
Matthews: "-around the White House did this to promote the President's agenda?"

Reminds of me of the more desperate attacks of the Clinton years: even if it's just a straight pencil line shaped like a stick, beat the president with it 'til he proves it isn't a stick. Then hit him even harder.

MSM kudo to Newsweek Managing Editor, Jon Meacham, for this statement:
"I think the idea that that moment was about Social Security poll numbers is absurd."

NONETHELESS: the Democrats will not find even one Iraqi citizen (non-insurgent)who'll say "thank you for trying to stop our liberation". What ingratitude, eh?
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