OK, one more post, and then I'm going to get back to the books. I really mean it this time.
A follow-on to Dave's post below on Young's "misquote" of Lincoln. Evidently, Glenn Greenwald and Frank Gaffney squared off on this very issue on Alan Colmes' show yesterday. As Greenwald describes it over at Salon:
The debate covered many topics, including the (now-removed) vile Op-Ed he wrote on Wednesday, which relied upon a fabricated quote from Abraham Lincoln, equated opposition to the Leader and the war with treason, and called for Senators such as Carl Levin to be hanged as traitors.I went over to Crooks & Liars and listened to all three MP3 segments. Whoo baby. It got nasty fast, what with Alan and Glenn banging on Gaffney about his eliminationist rhetoric, and Gaffney trying to backpedal so fast that he damn near broke his neck, and then he actually swore on the air, and Colmes reminded him he'd just violated FCC regulations, and from there it REALLY got messy...
Unlike many of these types of debates, I think this one is really worth listening to. Tough-guy warmongers love to run around spewing the language of Treason against political opponents, or beating their chests and issuing calls for vastly escalated slaughter in the form of sloganeering such as "the U.S. needs to start doing what needs to be done in the Middle East." But when challenged about these views or called upon to say explicitly what they mean, they very frequently lack the courage of their convictions, fearfully running away from the clear meaning of what they said. From the start, because he was aggressively challenged (including by Colmes), that is what Gaffney did.
On several occasions, he lost control of himself, even using profanities. Aside from the entertainment value that provides, it illustrates an important point. Gaffney is a professional right-wing extremist. He has been in the Reagan administration, on every television and radio show for years, and is very well-funded by numerous neoconservative funding sources. The fact that he became so shrill and defensive and even frightened reveals that neocons know that America is turning against them and beginning to realize the destruction they have wrought and the culpability they possess for what they have done to our country.
That is why they are so eager to equate criticism of them with treason and to stifle debate. They have not only lost the debate over Iraq and general Middle East militarism, but their continuous extremism and deceit is being exposed, and they fear being held accountable. It is only natural that they want to render criticism of their war and their conduct impermissible.
In the end, Gaffney ran off whimpering like a whipped pup to lick his wounds. Its sucks being a right-winger these days -- those uppity liberals just keep coming back atcha with FACTS, and goddamn it, they won't STOP, and pretty soon you look like a fucking idiot. They kept talking like they were actually taking that "traitor" bullshit seriously. This never used to happen when Colmes was working with Hannity, dammit. He used to know his place back then. Fucking traitor, him and that Greenwald brat, too...smart-mouthed Jew lawyer, doesn't belong on the air in the first place. Who died and made him a Pundit (TM) anyway?....
Ouch. OK, that's about as long as I can stand to stay inside Gaffney's spinning head -- it's suffocating in there. But that's what he was thinking, and not always with just his Inside Voice.
As Greenwald says, it is absolutely worth listening to the whole thing, just to get a clear picture of how quickly accountability is reducing these arrogant red giant stars back down to mere yellow dwarfs.
(They were always overheated gasbags; the only question has ever been about what color and size.)
Updated with corrections