Deep Stupid


There’s a big, public tiff going on today between Bill Kristol and John McCain’s campaign manager, Steve Schmidt.  Also involved as sort of a proxy for Kristol is Randy Scheunemann, a friend of Kristol’s who also worked on the McCain campaign . . . until Schmidt caught him emailing insider info to Kristol (which Kristol published) and had him fired.

Scheunemann, confirming that his e-mail had been searched, accused Schmidt of “acting in a manner of Iranian secret police” in going to his account.

I guess it goes to show just how utterly obtuse and/or intellectually dishonest a man is, who gave full-throated support to the Bush administration’s illegal wiretapping and electronic data-mining on American citizens, yet when his own email is monitored, ignores the nearest and most obvious comparison and instead reaches halfway around the world for one.

This one remark is as good a distillation of neoconservatism as you’re ever likely to see.  You’ve got the personal double-standard (“reading your email is okay, but reading mine is evil”).  You’ve got the national double-standard (“it’s evil except when America does it”).  You’ve got the paranoia about foreigners.  You’ve got the utter lack of self-awareness.  You’ve got the overheated rhetoric.  You’ve got the lack of perspective.  You’ve got the loss of a sense of proportionality.

It’s really quite an accomplishment to distill a political philosophy with so many things wrong with it into a single sentence that captures them all.  Today’s winner: Randy Scheunemann.


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