Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Death of the Conservative Meme

So, while I've been engaged in a pitched battle with ABQ Ride, it's been a hard month to be a Republican, hasn't it?

For those of you who've been living in a cave (and come to think of it, bin Laden probably heard about this one anyway), a man named Faisal Shahzad loaded a car with a badly-made bomb and a chest full of fertilizer, parked it in Times Square, and went to Kennedy Airport, where he paid cash for a ticket to Dubai. But despite this brilliant escape plan, his plane was stopped on the runway just before it took off and he was arrested.

Shahzad drove a Nissan Pathfinder (which he'd planned to use to destroy the Disney Store - and really, who among us hasn't?) which he'd purchased for $1,300 (again, in cash), and had filed to VIN number off of the dashboard. But, because he was a cartoon villain, he apparently didn't realize that it was also stamped on the engine. The police tracked down the original owner through the VIN, which led them to Shahzad.

I really don't know if I'm relieved or unhappy that he used a Nissan. I mean, come on, Faisal, I know we're the children of the Great Satan, but you could at least buy American, right?

The bomb could have produced a significant fireball, even though the fertilizer wasn't the volatile ammonium nitrate used by so many terrorists. But that's OK, because a dirty bomb is a dirty bomb, right? Radioactive waste spread over a 5-mile area, versus flaming poo in Times Square. No real difference.

Shahzad was a naturalized American citizen from Pakistan, who had recently gone back on a visit. He apparently received his explosives training on that visit (although, if this bomb was his final exam, I think he failed).

In fact, there is some evidence that Faisal received both training and funding from the Pakistani Taliban, which, in the larger sense, makes me wonder why we haven't wiped these idiots out already. They're apparently led by Wile E. Coyote, so why hasn't reality manifested itself as a giant anvil in midair, and crushed these morons?

Now, despite all of the conservatives screaming incoherently about the dangers of illegal immigration, has anybody noticed that Shahzad, was a legal immigrant? Like all of the 9/11 terrorists, and pretty much every other terrorist responsible for pretty much every terrorist attack in pretty much the entire history of America. (You know, except for all the ones who were actually born in America - we can't forget them, can we?)

There's another opinion that the GOP likes to throw into the debate, most publically articulated by Dick Cheney (a man who hasn't made a good, decent or moral decision in his entire life).
"We made a decision after 9/11 that I think was crucial. We said, 'This is a war - it's not a law enforcement problem,' " Mr. Cheney said. "Once you go into a wartime situation and it's a strategic threat, then you use all of your assets to go after the enemy ... you use your intelligence resources, your military resources, your financial resources, everything you can in order to shut down that terrorist threat against you.

"When you go back to the law enforcement mode, which is what I sense they're doing, closing Guantanamo and so forth, they are very much giving up that center of attention and focus that's required, and that concept of military threat that's essential if you're going to successfully defend the nation against further attacks."
Shahzad was captured thanks entirely to police work. I would like to be the one to mention this to the aptly-named Dick, but he can't come out of his coffin during daylight.

Related to that sneering attitude toward our law enforcement community, there's the GOP's entirely unchristian, anti-American opinion that torture is good and civil rights are bad. The most recent example, in fact, involved the Shahzad case, where Grampy McCain was asked whether this failure of a terrorist should be Mirandized.
"Obviously that would be a serious mistake... at least until we find out as much information we have... Don't give this guy his Miranda rights until we find out what it's all about."
Well, guess what? Just like the Underwear Bomber before him, a fully-mirandized Shahzad is spilling his guts. Without one single cattle-prod, without watering any boards.

("Oh, come on," I can hear you saying. "Unamerican? Unchristian?" Yes. You want to take the civil rights away from American citizens? Because that's what Shahzad was. On top of which, foreigners still have rights under the Constitution; the courts have said that over and over. And while you're mulling that over, consider that Christ was supposed to have been tortured and then nailed to a tree; would He support you treating another human like that?)

Of course, our friends in the GOP also support other ideas, but very few of them are good. (Anybody remember Terri Schiavo?) For example, "Deregulation of industry is a good idea! If you don't tie the hands of the Free Market, they'll regulate themselves, and puppies and kittens will drop into the laps of all the good boys and girls!"

I believe we all saw what happened when Wall Street was deregulated. (And yes, this all stems back to legislation put out by Bill Clinton. But it was only under Bush the Younger that the full flower of GOP policy could take place.)

And, of course, since it was deregulation that allowed British Petroleum to omit a simple acoustic trigger which would have prevented the devastation to the Gulf Coast following the recent explosion on the oil rig, we have yet another example of the world-wide consequences of allowing the mythical "free market" to police themselves.

And speaking of the Gulf of Mexico, does anybody remember the phrase "Drill, baby, drill"? Yeah, that worked out well, didn't it?

So, really, has the GOP gotten anything right? Let's be real. What we have here is the Universe getting together to show people what an idiot Sarah Palin really is.

But are any of the teabaggers listening?

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