Stop it, Rummy, you're killin' me!
My favorite beat poet, Secretary of Defensiveness Donald Rumsfailed, just appeared yesterday at the National Press Club. I’m a big fan of his work; nobody can twist a phrase and drop some unintentional irony with a smirk and a nod better than old Rummy. His latest compositions lack the Zen koan quality of “Unknown Unknowns” and “The Absence of Evidence is Not Evidence of Absence.”, the comic timing of “Stuff Happens”, the moral certainty of “The Army You Have”, the flow of “East, West, South and North Somewhat”, or the hilarity of “It’s Not in My Business to Do Intelligent Work”, but I’m sure you’ll agree his most recent releases rank right up there:
(AP) Rumsfeld, asked during a National Press Club appearance Thursday about indications of a deteriorating general relationship between Washington and parts of Latin America, said he believes such a characterization “misses the mark.”
“We saw dictatorships there. And then we saw most of those countries, with the exception of Cuba, for the most part move towards democracies,” he said. “We also saw corruption in that part of the world. And corruption is something that is corrosive of democracy.”
Jack Abramwho? Tom DeWhat? Duke Cunninghuh? Ahmad Chawhatsit? Scooter Whobee? Whatiburton? Sorry, Rummy, I can’t hear you over the indictments…
The secretary acknowledged that “we’ve seen some populist leadership appealing to masses of people in those countries. And elections like Evo Morales in Bolivia take place that clearly are worrisome.”
“I mean, we’ve got Chavez in Venezuela with a lot of oil money,” Rumsfeld added. “He’s a person who was elected legally — just as Adolf Hitler was elected legally — and then consolidated power and now is, of course, working closely with Fidel Castro and Mr. Morales and others.”
Elected legally… you mean, by the popular vote of the people, according to the dictates of a national constitution that vests electoral power solely to the individual states, free from interference by an activist partisan judiciary, and the guarantee of the counting of all of the ballots by reliable, transparent, non-partisan technologies? Wow, what a novel idea!
I’m waiting for the following condemnations:
“This is the worst and most vile form of political hate speech,” said [former RNC Chair Ed] Gillespie.
“Comparing the commander in chief of a democratic nation to the murderous tyrant Hitler is not only historically specious, it is morally outrageous…. Political figures… have a special responsibility to condemn [this comparison]…. They owe it not just to the memory of the millions who died in the Holocaust. They owe it also as a simple matter of decency,” said Jack Rosen, president of the American Jewish Congress.
Rep. Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, called them “hate-mongering.” “Certainly myself, as an American and as a Jew, I’m disgusted by the casual use of Hitler…” said Mr. Cantor, the House chief deputy majority whip. “To compare any… president… to Adolf Hitler, cheapens the sacrifice of millions of lives that have been lost…” Mr. Cantor said.