The Queen of MSU (Making Shit Up), the Galloping Gish of politics, A. Hart Coulter* is back, this time promoting George Bush as a great president, using reasoning that would make your intro logic instructors head spin. If you want to understand what makes that twelve percent who strongly approve of Bush's performance tick, AHC lays it all out there for us. And as usual, she can't even get out of the starting gate without saying something ridiculous.
"In a conversation recently, I mentioned as an aside what a great president George Bush has been and my friend was surprised. I was surprised that he was surprised."
Earth to A. As the referenced poll above shows, and indeed as every poll for the last few years has shown, the vast majority of Americans think poorly of the job George Bush has done. Thus, those of you expressing positive opinions of his performance should always expect resistance to that idea. There is no excuse for being surprised, except your favorite, virulent ignorance.
"I generally don't write columns about the manifestly obvious,"
True, generally, you write about the manifestly untrue, which makes you one of the few writers for whom writing about the manifestly obvious would be a marked improvement.
"...but, yes, the man responsible for keeping Americans safe from another terrorist attack on American soil for nearly seven years now will go down in history as one of America's greatest presidents."
I guess A. missed the survey of professional historians which found 98% of them believed Bush's presidency has been a failure, and 61% said it was the worst in American history. In a case of classic crankiness, A. has no need for such things as professional, expert opinion. She knows history better than historians, just like she knows biology better than biologists, and climatology better than climatologists. This is a key theme in the conservative denialist mindset: experts know no more about their topic than anyone else.
So what is A. Hart's evidence that W is responsible for preventing another terrorist attack on U.S. soil? Well, the fact that we haven't had another one! No, I'm not kidding.
"Produce one person who believed, on Sept. 12, 2001, that there would not be another attack for seven years, and I'll consider downgrading Bush from 'Great' to 'Really Good.'"
OK A. Hart, you are now hearing from one. I said from 9/12 that the religious fundamentalists that flew their planes into the WTC according to God's will took advantage of a fluke of a situation that could not happen again. And indeed it has not. However, neither I nor A. Hart can claim great vindication in this most sparse of evidence, for the simple reason that terrorist attacks on U.S. soil by Islamic terrorists (as opposed to our homegrowns like The Unabomber and Timothy McVeigh) have always been a low probability event. So the probability of the results being what they are even if we were wrong (beta error) are very high. Thus, we could go backwards and give Jimmy Carter great credit for preventing Islamic Terrorist attacks via the same flawed reasoning. A. Hart is going to have to do a lot better than that to persuade anyone who thinks, which granted, is not really her target audience.
"Merely taking out Saddam Hussein and his winsome sons Uday and Qusay (Hussein family slogan: 'We're the Rape Room People!') constitutes a greater humanitarian accomplishment than anything Bill Clinton ever did -- and I'm including remembering Monica's name on the sixth sexual encounter."
Ah yes, the Clinton canard. Like the Clintonites before her who used to blame everything under the sun on Ronald Reagan, A. Hart and the rest of the Bush hardliners can't seem to ever defend W without mentioning Clinton. I'll simply remind them that this is not a game of comparisons: Bush does not get off the hook for his idiocy just because some other president had his share. They each must stand on their own merits.
But instead of giving us good solid reasons who should praise W, A. Hart delves into absolute lunacy:
"We invaded Iraq to protect America. It is unquestionable that Bush has made this country safe by keeping Islamic lunatics pinned down fighting our troops in Iraq...We are, in fact, fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them at, say, the corner of 72nd and Columbus in Manhattan -- the mere mention of which never fails to enrage liberals, which is why you should say it as often as possible."
Everyone mark your crank Bingo card squares where you see "pretends their opponents' opposition is confirmatory evidence". Poor A. Hart can't seem to grasp that people sometimes get angry when you say something so completely moronic that it borders on a lie (which we all know you aren't afraid to do for the cause), and this idea that our presence in Iraq has prevented attacks here qualifies in spades. It would be like arguing that the way for residents of Beverly Hills to protect against acts of vandalism from the residents of nearby Watts is to take over the government of East LA and hope the Wattsians go attack them there. It is preposterous on its face, and it is a testimony to the power of political loyalty over rationality that anyone could promote such a thing anywhere but a Saturday Night Live skit.
Yeah, we invaded Iraq with the intent of protecting America, except the stated purpose of doing so (imminent threat of attack from WMDs) turned out to be untrue, which means by simple basic logic that in retrospect we'd be better off if we had never gone there in the first place. That also happens to be the opinion of practically every American who doesn't have an "R" tattooed on their chest.
Speaking of R's and D's, good soldier A. Hart follows orders and promotes one of the bigger lies of this early political season within one of the most absurd comparisons you will ever see:
"The Iraqis have a democracy -- a miracle on the order of flush toilets in that godforsaken region of the world. Despite its newness, Iraq's democracy appears to be no more dysfunctional than one that would condemn a man who has kept the nation safe for seven years while deifying a man who has accomplished absolutely nothing in his entire life except to give speeches about 'change.'"
Did everyone catch it? A. Hart just compared Iraq's democracy to America's, for the simple reason that some people disagree with her on politics. This is a defining feature of modern Republicanism, an anti-intellectualism that pretends political opinions are facts, but scientific facts are opinions. Thus denying global warming and evolution is deemed reasonable, but believing Obama would make a better president than Bush is not.
Let's also once again point out that the Republican mantra that Obama is all hat and no cattle is a flat out lie, one easily disproved from a mere few minutes on Google. The man graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law and was the first black president of the Harvard Law review for crying out loud, and sponsored a lot of interesting legislation. "Accomplished absolutely nothing in his life"? Coulter lives in her own little fantasy world.
Yet she keeps on though, trying to top the stupidity of the America/Iraq democracy comparison with this doozy that surely has all the criminologists choking on their training:
"Monthly casualties in Iraq now come in slightly lower than a weekend with Anna Nicole Smith. According to a CNN report last week, for the entire month of May, there were only 19 troop deaths in Iraq. (Last year, five people on average were shot every day in Chicago.) With Iraqi deaths at an all-time low, Iraq is safer than Detroit -- although the Middle Eastern food is still better in Detroit."
Strip away the invective and titillation and what you have is a statistical blunder that would have you the object of derisive laughter from the even the D students if uttered in a statistics class. Coulter is comparing the deaths of US troops in Iraq to the deaths of the entire population in Chicago and Detroit! Civilian deaths in Iraq don't count you see, they are probably al Qaeda anyway. How many cops were killed in Detroit and Chicago last year? That would at least be getting into the ball park of reasonableness.
Let us also not forget that evaluating a presidency goes way beyond one just war and one colossal blunder. The social security crisis, global warming, the faltering economy, our declining educational standards, and many other important issues pose far more of a threat to our way of life than bass-ackwards fanatics blowing up a building every few years. Historians understand this, which is why they rate the W presidency so low. Coulter perhaps under her strident veneer understands it too, which is why when she attempts to make her case for the greatness of Bush II, she doesn't mention any of that. Reality, as always, is just too damned difficult for A. Hart Coulter to wedge into her simplistic view of the world. Sad thing is, she has a lot of company.
*Since the shrill little harpy thinks it is cute to refer to Barak Obama as B. Hussein Obama, I thought it appropriate to return the favor.