Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police.

2/09/2005

Howard Dean, sideshow freak

Mike from Sworn Enemy seems happy to hear that Howard Dean appears to have the race for DNC chair all sewn up. (Unless, Mike says, "his body is found in a DC area park, a la Vince Foster." Charming.) But he is not impressed with the choice, saying that with Dean as chair the Democratic Party will become even more of a "freakshow".

What does he have against Dean? Well apparently he takes issue with a couple of quotes from the former Vermont governor. One is:

I've waffled before. I'll waffle again.

The other:

We won't always have the strongest military.

Dean's sin in the first comment is presumably his admission that at times he has failed to straightforwardly answer a question put to him, and that in all likelihood he will fail to do so again in the future. Now ideally politicians and other public figures wouldn't "waffle", but the political reality is such that anyone who wishes to run for public office with a non-infinitesimal chance of actually winning had damn well be prepared to do some waffling.

So really all Dean did was admit what we all know: that politicians sometimes strategically frame their rhetoric! Gasp! If a Republican had said the same thing, Mike and other wingers would be applauding him for his "honesty" and "straight talk", the way they did when Cheney told Patrick Leahy to go fuck himself, and when Bush called Adam Clymer a "major league asshole".


As for the comment about the U.S. military not always being the strongest ... well, that's just fucking true. Does anyone, even these right-wing fucktards, actually believe that the American military machine will reign supreme for ... forever, I guess? The negation of Dean's claim -- the proposition that must be true if Dean's is false -- is: We will always have the strongest military.

Who thinks this? Let's be charitable and assume that anyone who does believe such a thing doesn't mean that the U.S. will rule militarily until the end of time; after all, at some point the Sun is going to shrivel up or whatever it does and humans will cease to exist. So let's assume they mean that the U.S. will have the strongest military as long as civilization exists.

Though slightly more plausible than the "end of time" claim, this too is extraordinarily unlikely. What makes them think the U.S. has magically hit upon some formula that will prevent it from suffering the fate of all previous global powers? I assume that at some point the United States as such will cease to exist. Remember, we're talking on a timescale of tens of thousands of years; that's how much time is probably left for this species on Earth. Does anyone really believe that 10,000 years from now the U.S. will be anything but a distant memory?

So actually Dean was simply expressing a proposition that comes close to being a truism, assuming we reject, as all reasonable people do, the immortality of nation-states. So what's yer beef, Mike?

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