Column: Naked Buffoonery





Mr. Carpenter holds a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Illinois and is a syndicated columnist. Please consider contacting your local newspaper to carry his column.

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In this Orwellian age of elephantine strikes against mice that roar, broad coalitions consisting of two, universal tax relief that relieves the few, and receptive leadership that ignores the led, naming the blameworthy seems an easy task. They are, of course, the ones perpetrating the fraud. Yes? Yet history's indictment may produce a hung jury when deciding the culpable: the obvious -- those corrupt schemers who pulled the job; or the not so obvious -- those feckless invertebrates who idled by.

The schemers are despicable enough all right, and like other national histories, America's has suffered no deficiency of their numbers. Likewise, given our whorish ways of electing government, neither have we suffered from any excess of political fortitude. Whores and worms have always infested our ship of state.

Since the party system's early-nineteenth-century formation the commonwealth has been cursed -- and the commentariat blessed -- by the political underworld's assorted Richard Nixons. In the spirit of American optimism, we as a people incline to a Whiggish sense of history -- ever progress, ever improvement -- but no matter how many laws accrue to deter the politically villainous from villainy, we'll forever have the corrupt at heart and corrupt in deed. If you happen to deem consistency a virtue, despicable politics are a daily comfort.

As goes most everything else, for 2 centuries the level of despicability has ebbed and flowed. Today, in the executive mansion and congressional majorities, it stands at the highest watermark ever, submerging all known historical instances of political deception, lawlessness and even naked buffoonery.

Leaving aside the G.O.P.'s programmed kingpin, whose arrested intellect indeed requires programming, no person better exemplifies the reigning party's poverty of nobility than House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Unlike his fellow Texan and titular boss, Tom is an authentic prodigy needing no instruction, no programming, no nothing on how to achieve historic heights of political depravity and abuse high office through dictatorial high-handedness.

His most recent escapade -- that of defrauding the federal government over a state government comedy -- is a lesson in modern conservatism's rather standard procedure. Scheme, then strike, then deceive, then modify first and second and third explanations and last, reason correctly that the hubbub raised will soon melt away. Faced with a craven press and the equally craven political opposition, to label it charitably, DeLay need not fret. Whether unethical or illegal, his behavior is obligingly forgiven. As DeLay hurdles propriety yet again, the bar is not elevated, as one might expect, but lowered again.

The ones sharing the bar-lowering work are not a few congressional Democrats -- and exemplifying this invertebrate bunch is Senator Joe Biden. Responding, of sorts, on national television to a question about DeLay's conspicuous abuse of power, the diplomatic-to-a-fault, ever-coy senator said "I don't know enough to comment on that." Biden added, "I'm just not qualified to comment." He at least got that right.

If Joe were qualified and if Joe understood that a loyal opposition's chief loyalty is to official probity, he would have revealed "enough" knowledge (which of course he had) to expose and condemn DeLay's actions. For 8 years Bill Clinton's opposition skipped the "knowing" process and proceeded directly to condemnation. With both political weapons at his disposal, Biden should have carved up DeLay's liver.

From the Texas congressman's political perversions to White House national-security scams and fiscal malfeasance, negligible were the sins and misdemeanors of the previous administration.

Conservatism once professed a restrained presence of centralized power, while justly warning of the antidemocratic and destructive arrogance that springs from its antithesis. That righteous message is now merely self-righteous -- and the self-righteous are upon us with predictable consequences.

With characteristic lack of party discipline and creeping pointlessness, Democrats are permitting predatory con artists to roam freely. So in the larger scheme of things, who will history say was the more culpable?


© Copyright 2003 P. M. Carpenter

Mr. Carpenter's column is published weekly by History News Network and buzzflash.com.


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More Comments:


James Thornton - 6/16/2003

Unfortunately, when it comes to geopolitics, larger and stronger nations will always attempt to assert themselves and protect their interests. "Might makes right" is the reality we live in. How to change that reality if it can be done, is the underlying debate in most of the articles printed here.


dan - 6/14/2003

> If it were not the US dominating the world then who?

Why anybody?

> I hope your brother was not seriously injured.

Scar on his arm.


Elia Markell - 6/13/2003


WOW, Dan. I could try to say even less than you. But I give up. You win in that department, hands down. Way to go, boy.


NYGuy - 6/13/2003

Scott,

You need to read a newspaper, watch TV or listen to the radio. Living in the past is not good for your mental health.


Scott H. - 6/13/2003

NYGuy, Bush pushes for a tax cut for the poor? You need a reality check.


Clayton E. Cramer - 6/12/2003

"I am in the majority! I voted for Al Gore! Also, why don't you post your real name!"

From what I have read, if Gore won a majority of the popular vote, it was a very thin majority. I'm not even sure that he won a majority of the popular vote.

He doesn't post his real name because of fear of death threats by fascist America. :-)


Clayton E. Cramer - 6/12/2003

If a private parrty or corporation says, "We aren't playing your music anymore, because we don't like what you stand for," that's not moral treason. It's free speech.


Clayton E. Cramer - 6/12/2003

"My mistake for misrepresenting the data: the income figures are AGI, adjusted gross income, and we all KNOW impoverished people have such high deductions."

Impoverished people pay almost no income taxes, because they have personal deductions and the advantage of low marginal tax rates. (Social Security taxes are another matter--a regressive tax originally passed by a liberal.)

"My claim is that people complain of paying an unfair share of taxes, yet the discrepancies are not as severe as reported (I'm using Rush Limbaugh as the example, YMMV), and the beneficiaries of most Government are the top 50%, who complain most..."

Actually, the original complaint here was that Mr. Carpenter was upset that the biggest taxpayers were getting the biggest break from lowering the tax rates.

The beneficiaries of most Government are in the top 50%? Probably true. So is that why liberals want the government to be bigger? That explains why most millionaires I know are Democrats--and generally left-wing Democrats at that.

The reality, of course, is that the very poor tend to get a lot of benefit from government programs (welfare, Medicare), and some of the very rich get a lot of benefit (government contracts). People in the middle, who make $40K to $150K a year, get taxed heavily, sometimes use those government services, but often don't.


Clayton E. Cramer - 6/12/2003

"Thanks for the non-rebuttal. You are really selective in your world view, aren't you? So, the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqi's to prosecute an illegitimate war doesn't constitute 'mass murder'? It does in my estimation."

You might go get yourself a dictionary, for starters. The Iraqi government put missle launchers and other legitimate military targets in residential neighborhoods (thus putting the blame on them for causing civilian deaths--this is an accepted rule of land warfare), refused to abide by UN resolutions going back more than a decade concerning weapons of mass destruction, used troops who dressed in civilian clothes and used ambulances to position themselves to fight, and you are blaming the U.S. for the resulting civilian casualties?

"Maybe you should read Amnesty International's most recent report about the United States, who they see as one of the most egregious violators of human rights."

Let's see, governments that torture people to death are less egregious violators? Is that what you claim Amnesty International is saying? Think long and hard about what this says about either you, or AI.

"Ask Jose Padilla, an American citizen, what he thinks about due process and the right to a fair trial."

I actually agree with you on Jose Padilla. Are you suggesting that military tribunal hearings of one U.S. citizen accused of being an unlawful combatant of a foreign power are comparable to what Hussein's government did to millions over the last few years?

"Finally, you don't think there has been an organized attempt to suppress free speech by the right-wing, as exemplified by the hate mail, death threats, etc. aimed at the Dixie Chicks, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, et al. for thier speaking out against this illegitimate war?"

Why do you think it has to be organized? You think that hotheads are too stupid to make death threats without someone telling them to do it?

"Open your eyes, man! This country is well down the path to fascism, when people cannot even express their outrage against a president, without being villified and threatened with death."

You mean the actions of hotheads are the responsibility of the government? I hate to disappoint you, but anyone in the public eye gets bizarre hatemail, and threats. I have had more than a few over the years, and I am not anywhere near as visible as the Dixie Chicks.

"Did that happen to the right-wing loons who falsely accused Bill Clinton of murdering his friend, Vince Foster?"

Vilified? Quite regularly. There was this unfortunate situation a few years back where conservative foundations were getting audited at a pretty astonishing rate. Oddly enough, these same foundations were often Bill Clinton's biggest political enemies.

I agree that the potential is there. Now, there was a government that turned a stupid raid on a church in Waco, Texas into more than 80 people dead--and most people that haved looked at the evidence can't imagine any good reason for the original raid, except to get some heroic footage of the BATF kicking in doors. But for some reason, liberals didn't much care about that abuse of government power, because their boy was in charge (even though much of the real responsibility was on mid-level bureaucrats in Treasury and Justice).

"With the passage of the Patriot Act and now, Patriot II, the Bill of Rights is in dire trouble and people like you are oblivious to the danger. How very sad."

Patriot II passed? When?

Danger? Sure. That's why, if you read my blog, you'll see that I was telling people to write to their Congresscritters and oppose the attempt by Sen. Hatch to make the temporary provisions of the Patriot Act permanent. And what do you know? Enough pressure was put on Congress, and Sen. Hatch's attempt ended.


James Thornton - 6/11/2003

Distorting history to support a political viewpoint or garner support for a policy is dangerous. Honest differences in interpreting history is another matter all together. American politics is by nature adversarial, but over time has become harmful to the nation as politicians on both sides seem to put party before country. The United States is an imperialistic power. I do not dispute that. I contend it is favorable for us and the world (most of it) that it is so. If it were not the US dominating the world then who?

I hope your brother was not seriously injured.


Homer Simpson - 6/11/2003

I may be a Homer, but reading the bombastic prose of Kriz is a little like having a nail driven into my forehead.

Kriz doesn't exactly strike me as a guy who wants peace. What he really wants is to be designated emperor. One of my favorite sayings is: "Takes one to know one." Applying this dictum to Kriz, we see that he projects his own desire for conquest and pillage onto Prez Bush, because that's what Kriz would do. In fact, you could apply this dictum to all of the Kriz raving about Bush. He's not actually talking about Bush, he's talking about himself.

The Soviets always said they were in favor of peace, too. Raise you hand if you believe that BS.


NYGuy - 6/11/2003

Dan,

You can't have it both ways. Either you want poor people to get more from the government or you don't. Please make up your mind when you finish your laughing fit.

You are really on a roll today. Four posts. Next step is say something coherent so your followers can understand you. I know I can't figure out your point, but you of course think people like me are stupid and not worthy of intelligent thoughts. I am sure your followers understand your shorthand perfectly.


dan - 6/11/2003

If you are saying the US has run many illegal (by today's standards) and unconscionable wars in her history, sure.

My brother once ran through a plate glass sliding door. Am I obliged to follow in his footsteps?

Politics is the art of getting along, even though you disagree. Using history to support your position is wrong, how?

I just read a good speech (in part) comparing Bush/Rove to McKinley and his brain. Perhaps you should look at that era, also.


dan - 6/11/2003

"The phrase "Vietnam" and "quagmire" were being used repeatedly by liberals to describe what was going to happen when we invaded Baghdad, with lots of comparisons to the siege of Stalingrad. "

Provide some cites. Vietnam and Stalingrad were, indeed, often used, but only as a POSSIBLE outcome iff Saddam controlled the military to the end, and the soldiers were willing to sacrifice to the same extent as were the people of the fUSSR and North Vietnam. Neither condition prevailed, but it is obvious that had more Iraqis fought as hard as the irregulars, the effort would have taken much longer and engendered more casualties, on both sides. This with a larger, technologically more savage, and better led army (unlike, say, Germany vs. France, 1940).


dan - 6/11/2003

"90+% of the taxes are payed by 50% of the taxpayers

But those same 50% make 80+% of all (reported) income."

These data come from that liberal source, Rush Limbaugh's web page. He posted what appear to be IRS documentation - I was too lazy to check, but I figure using the enemy's sources against him is reaonable.

"We can all guess at who REPORTS less income, rich or poor... The discrepancy in income is actually greater!"

My mistake for misrepresenting the data: the income figures are AGI, adjusted gross income, and we all KNOW impoverished people have such high deductions.

My claim is that people complain of paying an unfair share of taxes, yet the discrepancies are not as severe as reported (I'm using Rush Limbaugh as the example, YMMV), and the beneficiaries of most Government are the top 50%, who complain most...


dan - 6/11/2003

Yeah, it is a shame that someone would expect YOU to be aware of current events...


dan - 6/11/2003

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Best laugh I've had in a LONG time!

Dan


NYGuy - 6/11/2003

Good try. As usual you change the subject. You made a business comment which was not factually correct. There is no questioning your right to dissent. Herodotus asked you to comment and you can't. What does your comment have to do with GW?

As I have said so many times on this board I love this country and support your right to state your opinions. But on factual matters, opinions don't really count.


Ron Shover - 6/11/2003

I can't begin to understand your grief. The only point I am trying to make is that if you disagree with me about dissent, you are disagreeing with Teddy Roosevelt. That is all there is to it, if it is okay with you, it is okay with me.


NYGuy - 6/11/2003

First, I don't see what difference it makes if I publish my name or not. I don't want people to forget NY and I am surrounded by the victims of the attach on America and live with one of them, my son. This is a board of ideas. If you feel like Tim Robbins you want to know who is critizing you so you can "punch them in the mouth", then I will tell you I don't like to be hurt so I play it safe.

Not even did you not answer my question, I don't know what you are talking about. You raised a business question,not a history question and I answered it. If you don't know anything about business that is oK, no one will hold it against. In the future try to keep on topics you know something about.

A market with 10 competitors is not a highly concentrated market. So what is your point and how does it relate to GW.

Cheers


Ron Shover - 6/11/2003

Thank you! You are right! I did duck the issue. We have left the point of this discussion. If Teddy Roosevelt is right about criticism of the President in time of war, NYGuy is arguing that it is only morally treasonable in certain circumstances. I believe that is historical revisionism. Treason is treason, you can't excuse it because of business considerations. Again, I am sorry, I hope I have addressed his points.


Herodotus - 6/11/2003

That's weak, Ron. Answer his points, don't duck the issue.


Ron Shover - 6/11/2003

I am in the majority! I voted for Al Gore! Also, why don't you post your real name!


Ron Shover - 6/11/2003

I am in the majority! I voted for Al Gore! Also, why don't you post your real name!


NYGuy - 6/11/2003

There are over 100 TV channels, plus Radio on AM, FM1 and FM2, magazines, etc. There are 10 companies who dominate the market. Not a great concentration, i.e. 10% market share for each one? What is your point, you can't find a program that you want to listen to.

People listen to programs they like to listen to. What is wrong with that. You can listen to programs you and your friends like. If there was a market for people like you, businessmen would go after it. Since it is a minority point of view and not a good business investment they are not going to go after it.

Bush has high ratings, people trust him and like him so he gets favorable press. Why can't Daschle and Pelosi become more personable and maybe they will be marektable? Simple they are negative all the time and have nothing to say.


Ron Shover - 6/11/2003

You are right. Individual stations do have to right to target their listening audience. Absolutely right! But it is dangerous that Clear Channel Communications lead the effort. Ninty percent of the media in the U.S.A. is owned by 10 corporations. Clear Channel Communications is a Texas Corporation and big supporters of Bush.


Backsight forethought - 6/11/2003


What is the definition of "blacklist" that you are using. Some radio stations stopped playing their music, fine, that is their right. Are radio stations obligated to play music which they know will irritate their listeners??? How many C & W radio stations play, say, Nirvana or the Sex Pistols? None I should think. Are they blacklisted ??? Secondly, as I understand it, the Dixie Chicks are now on Tour, playing city after city. Blacklist indeed.


Ron Shover - 6/11/2003

Any body should be able to say exactly what they think. I don't care what it is. If you have an opinion, fine, and be ready to consider someone else opinion to the contrary. However, no one, absolutely no one should be subjected to boycotts, blacklisting etc. There is danger in that. At Teddy Roosevelt said on May 7, 1918 during WW I while Woodrow Wilson was president, "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Amen Teddy, Amen. Morally treasonable to the American public. Blacklisting the Dixie Chicks was morally treasonable to the American public.


James Thornton - 6/11/2003

History is my hobby and passion not my profession. I regret the polticization of history and it's use to justify one's own political views or as a weapon against opposing views. Rather than focus upon the current administration I think the article should have had a more non-partisan tone and exposed the shortcomings of all the previous occupants of the White House dating from at least the Kennedy Administration. The collapse of the Federalist party following the Hartford Convention is something the Democratic Party should take a hard look at and exercise extreme caution before accusing the President of deceit regarding Iraq.


NYGuy - 6/10/2003

Kriz,

So long as your around I know our freedom of speech has not been demished. On the other hand I see a lot of your buddies trying to shut people up on this board.

What is surprising to you and the Dixie Chicks and Tim and Susan is that Americans have decided to express themselves against this self important people and they don't know how to take it. After they are special, they are stars, and none of the flunkies around them can speak back to them. They are just getting taste of the real world. As the saying goes, "We are not going to take it anymore.">

Cheers, keep on posting it is good for America.


Stephen Kriz - 6/10/2003


Clayton:

Thanks for the non-rebuttal. You are really selective in your world view, aren't you? So, the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqi's to prosecute an illegitimate war doesn't constitute "mass murder"? It does in my estimation. Maybe you should read Amnesty International's most recent report about the United States, who they see as one of the most egregious violators of human rights. Ask Jose Padilla, an American citizen, what he thinks about due process and the right to a fair trial. Finally, you don't think there has been an organized attempt to suppress free speech by the right-wing, as exemplified by the hate mail, death threats, etc. aimed at the Dixie Chicks, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, et al. for thier speaking out against this illegitimate war? Open your eyes, man! This country is well down the path to fascism, when people cannot even express their outrage against a president, without being villified and threatened with death. Did that happen to the right-wing loons who falsely accused Bill Clinton of murdering his friend, Vince Foster? With the passage of the Patriot Act and now, Patriot II, the Bill of Rights is in dire trouble and people like you are oblivious to the danger. How very sad.

Steve Kriz


NYGuy - 6/10/2003

GW wants to extend the child care tax credits to the working poor. Because the democrats cut back his tax plan there was not enough money for this program. Now he is urging the democrats to step up and help the poor. Hopefully they will provide the money this time that they failed to provide in the prior bill.
The Republicans are now the party of the poor and downtrodden.


Ron Shover - 6/10/2003

How bizarre! We went to war because the Iraqis were subjected to suppression of free speech, free press, and free thought. Why, you say, is this bizarre? Did everyone forget Ari Fleisher telling us to "be careful what you say"? Did everyone forget that Clear Channel Communication blackballed the Dixie Chicks for expressing their thoughts? This is just another indication of how the Neo-Cons hate the Constitution. They want free speech not to apply to anyone discussing Mr. Bush. So I guess the Iraqis now have more freedom of speech than we do.


Clayton E. Cramer - 6/10/2003

One of the reasons that I can't liberals seriously is people like Stephen Kriz:

"Please provide a link to 'liberals screeching about the enormous loss of American lives...'. I don't recall any of that. The liberals I know were concerned about the massive loss of Iraqi life (they are human too, you might be surprised to learn)."

The phrase "Vietnam" and "quagmire" were being used repeatedly by liberals to describe what was going to happen when we invaded Baghdad, with lots of comparisons to the siege of Stalingrad.

As it turned out, the loss of Iraqi lives ended up being less than Hussein murdered every year.

"some neocons got a hard-on thinking about how cool it would be to 'control' the Middle East."

It doesn't even occur to you that removing a thug with a history of invading other countries, funding terrorism in the Middle East (payments to suicide bomber families), and torture, might be a legitimate concern.

"Your comment regarding 'it (Iraq) was a government that engaged in mass murder, torture, and suppression of free speech, free press, and free thought.', sounds remarkably like the Bush Administration."

Really! That's why every major American city had protest demonstrations against the war? Why Hollywood actors and entertainment sorts made repeated public statements against the war? So the Dixie Chicks were arrested, raped, and then tortured to death? Read Amnesty International's reports about Hussein's Iraq.

"As a wise man once said that, 'we hate most about others, that which we see in ourselves.'"

Hmmm. You clearly hate the Bush Administration, which you claim engages in "mass murder, torture, and suppression of free speech, free press, and free thought." Does this mean that this is what you see in yourself?


Clayton E. Cramer - 6/10/2003

"Two ways of looking at this: literally true (only two, and actually one nation was involved in any significant manner) or hyperbole."

Only one involved in any significant manner? Britain didn't have tens of thousands of troops engaged?

"90+% of the taxes are payed by 50% of the taxpayers

But those same 50% make 80+% of all (reported) income.

We can all guess at who REPORTS less income, rich or poor... The discrepancy in income is actually greater! "

Not sure what your source is for the first claim (and I'm not even sure exactly what you are claiming on this--that the rich pay a much lower percentage of taxes than the poor?) but the second part of your claim would suggest that rich people report much less of their income. The IRS doesn't work on the honor system, you know. Every dollar of interest income, of capital gains, of dividends, gets reported by financial institutions to IRS. Now, it's true that there are probably rich people doing the equivalent of working off the books--but somehow, I can't picture that large numbers of people like me are getting paid in cash to work.


Stephen Kriz - 6/10/2003


Mr. Cramer:

Your perception of the so-called "War on Iraq" (I prefer "the Iraqi massacre - Part II") seems to be skewed by your view from your side of the political fence. Please provide a link to "liberals screeching about the enormous loss of American lives...". I don't recall any of that. The liberals I know were concerned about the massive loss of Iraqi life (they are human too, you might be surprised to learn). And they were right. Thousands upon thousands of Iraqis are now dead, because some neocons got a hard-on thinking about how cool it would be to "control" the Middle East. Didn't happen - ain't gonna happen.

Your comment regarding "it (Iraq) was a government that engaged in mass murder, torture, and suppression of free speech, free press, and free thought.", sounds remarkably like the Bush Administration. As a wise man once said that, "we hate most about others, that which we see in ourselves." I don't know about "better led forces" or whether the Iraqi army was truly numerically superior, since recent events have clearly demonstrated that we can't trust the CIA or any of the defense intelligence agencies to gather or report good information. However, an easy and swift American victory should not have come as a surprise, given Iraq had no navy and a negligible and poorly maintained air force. The U.S. also has laser-guided munitions, cruise missiles, B-52 bombers, swarms of attack helicopters with missiles and state-of-the-art Abrams M-1A tanks, while the Iraqi soldiers had 40 year old British single-action rifles, bare feet and little or no food. That they fought the U.S. Marines to a standstill in many cities is a testament to their courage and resourcefulness.

While Carpenter's assertion of a "coalition of two" is somewhat of an exaggeration, our coalition did not include any of the most powerful countries in the world except the U.K. The fact that many so-called allies didn't even want to be identified by name is testimony to the shamefulness of this illegitimate invasion. If we are so worried about mass murder and oppression, when does the invasion of the Congo or Liberia or Angola or Indonesia or any of 40 other countries begin? No, Mr. Cramer, it is you who needs to read more.

As far as tax relief goes, you are right that the wealthy pay more, as they should. Since I'm sure you would say its "their money", are they also going to claim most of the national debt, as well? Since they get so much of the benefit of taxation, shouldn't they also be obligated to pay off most of the debt that Republicans have irresponsibly rung up? Or is that "different"?

Your inability to recognize the truth is what is astonishingly weak, Mr. Cramer.

Peace is the only answer,

Steve Kriz


dan - 6/10/2003

" "broad coalitions consisting of two,"

Carpenter needs to read more. Along with U.S. and British armed forces, Australian, Polish, and Czech armed forces participated in this operation, and a number of countries provided use of bases for coalition forces: Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. There were a lot of other countries that provided use of their airspace and bases, including Bulgaria. "

Two ways of looking at this: literally true (only two, and actually one nation was involved in any significant manner) or hyperbole.

Either way, Mr. Cramer once more looks the fool for his pitiable objection in either account. Cramer needs to read more.

"Nope. The bulk of the tax relief is going to high income taxpayers because they pay the bulk of the income taxes--but just about taxpayer making above $28,000 a year is getting some tax relief. "

90+% of the taxes are payed by 50% of the taxpayers

But those same 50% make 80+% of all (reported) income.

We can all guess at who REPORTS less income, rich or poor... The discrepancy in income is actually greater!

Cramer better not look in any mirrors for awhile.


Elia Markell - 6/10/2003

The first four paragraphs of this Jeremiad, spew forth vague generalities meant, it would seem, mainly to let us know that either we agree with Mr. Carpenter or we self-identify as "invertebrates," thereby falling into those two categories ("whore" or "worm") which apparently exhaust all possible political roles that Mr Carpenter sees for the 99.99% of us who do not measure up.

Only on paragraph five do we learn that all this screetching is in fact about Tom DeLay. But to find out what it is Tom Delay has done wrong still takes some searching. We are told of his "conspicuous abuse of power," but the closest we come to the substance of it is the following: "... defrauding the federal government over a state government comedy." All that huffing and puffing for this? Talk about "mice that roar." Give us some meat, Mr. Carpenter, not mouse droppings.

Does anyone believe this "essay" qualifies for inclusion here? I do not mean its political bias, which in a less drunken form should get an airing I suppose. I mean merely the vapid emptiness of it, a true desert of empitness.


Clayton E. Cramer - 6/9/2003

"In this Orwellian age of elephantine strikes against mice that roar," Hmmm. A week before the war, liberals everywhere were screeching about the enormous loss of American lives that would result from attacking Iraq. It wasn't a "mouse that roared" in the style of Wibberley's wonderful novel; it was a government that engaged in mass murder, torture, and suppression of free speech, free press, and free thought. That it collapsed in the face of better led but numerically inferior forces is not surprising.

"broad coalitions consisting of two,"

Carpenter needs to read more. Along with U.S. and British armed forces, Australian, Polish, and Czech armed forces participated in this operation, and a number of countries provided use of bases for coalition forces: Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. There were a lot of other countries that provided use of their airspace and bases, including Bulgaria.

"universal tax relief that relieves the few,"

Nope. The bulk of the tax relief is going to high income taxpayers because they pay the bulk of the income taxes--but just about taxpayer making above $28,000 a year is getting some tax relief.

Carpenter's grasp on reality--or his willingness to tell the truth--is astonishingly weak.