August 28, 2005
First it was Pat Robertson, showing off his patriotic and Christian zeal by calling for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, a democratically elected leader. Now it's his buddy, Jerry Falwell, checking into to dispense his hackneyed wisdom about Cindy Sheehan. "The key problem, as I see it, is that Ms. Sheehan has turned her distress into an anti-Bush tirade that can have no positive conclusion," Falwell writes for the Conservative Voice, a right-wing "commentary" web site, the sort of place where reactionaries of Falwell's ilk congregate. "She has called for President Bush to be impeached and jailed, claimed that her son died defending Israel instead of America (which garnered her praise from David Duke), won the support of leftists from Michael Moore to Joan Baez and has defied President Bush to try to make her pay her taxes."
In normal times, Bush would in fact be impeached for high crimes. "Manipulation or deliberate misuse of national security intelligence data, if proven, could be a 'high crime' under the Constitution's impeachment clause," notes John Dean, who knows a little about impeachment and high crimes. But of course we no longer live in normal times. "Deeming presidential deception a high crime under the impeachment clause can open a Pandora's box of problems," writes Walter Williams, not exactly a flaming pinko. "Yet, President Bush's actions appear to be a far more serious assault on the Constitution than Watergate. I hold that interpreting Bush's pattern of deception on his most important policy proposals as a high crime against the nation is a necessary step in rescuing American democracy."
As for Israel, it was none other than the Bushite Philip Zelikow, executive director of the nine eleven whitewash commission, who admitted the Iraqi invasion was a response to the "the threat against Israel." Zelikow went on to say "the American government doesn't want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell." If the truth be told, Falwell is not exactly a friend of the Israelis, or not Jews anyway (a sentiment he possibly shares with the aforementioned David Duke) because he believes the anti-Christ is a Jew now alive in the world, or so Falwell told a crowd of about 1,500 Sullivan County, Tennessee, Baptists back in 1999. For pre-millennial, pre-tribulational second coming nut cases like Jerry Falwell, the Jews (and those of us who don't buy into Falwell's wild-eyed take on the Bible, as initially contrived by Charles Nelson Darby and other mystic mental patients) are nothing more than fodder to be tortured so Falwell and a select few can float up to heaven, sort of an eternal country club for right-wing reactionaries. No doubt the Israelis consider Falwell a lunatic, but a useful idiot lunatic when it comes to brokering a favorable deal in the neighborhood.
"Can you imagine the insolence of these protesters?" Falwell sniffs. "They have the audacity to disparage and demean these courageous soldiers who are enduring great physical and emotional trauma because they believed in the effort to bring freedom to Iraq."
It seems Falwell, who is getting up in the years like Robertson and Pat Boone, two pre-millennial, pre-tribulational schizoids who also hate Cindy Sheehan, is unable to follow the argument -- it is not the soldiers Sheehan and the folks camped outside Crawford are against, but their boss, George Bush, who put the soldiers in harm's way predicated on a passel of lies and prevarication. Falwell is apparently unable to remember back two years ago -- in fact the entire pro-Bush faction is unable to recall recent history -- when we were told Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and nobody was bothered with democracy or the Iraqi people per se (who experienced the American brand of democracy first-hand, having suffered under medieval sanctions claiming an astounding 500,000 Iraqi infants and children). If the truth be known, Falwell really doesn't give a whit about the Iraqi people since most of them are Muslims and we know what pre-millennial, pre-tribulational second coming nut cases think of Muslims (it's pretty much the same as what we are told Osama thinks of infidels).
"The media have a widely-held agenda (that doesn't include support of President Bush) and they are not about to tarnish the image of anti-war protesters by showing them for what they actually are," Falwell rants. "With this tyrannical approach to the news, it's really no wonder so many Americans don't take the networks seriously anymore. And it's no wonder that conservative Internet news sites have grown by leaps and bounds."
Seriously, this guy must live under a rock somewhere. But then this is a normal response for far right-wingers who hate the fact not every corporate media outlet in the country is not a carbon copy of Fox News. Falwell seems unaware of the fact the corporate media is not owned and operated by anti-war hippies and in fact the media considers Camp Casey a circus sideshow to be exploited the same way the missing Natalee Holloway is exploited for the sake of advertisers and stockholders. In fact, if NBC came out against Bush's war the way Sheehan has, its parent corporation, General Electric (makers of fighter jet engines), would loses scads of money and the stockholders wouldn't stand for it. Of course, for Falwell, the problem is that the corporate media pays attention to Sheehan at all and allows her a podium, if only for the moment. Falwell should take heart in the fact Hurricane Katrina has more or less wiped the story off the front page of newspapers and web sites, thus demonstrating how the news is not driven by agenda (not the anti-war agenda anyway) but rather bounces from one sensationalistic and fleeting event to the next, forever in search of ratings and thus a never-ending stream of mazuma.
Jerry Falwell and Pat Boone represent a faction of sleazoid, anti-democratic Republicanism incapable of accepting the fact some Americans are outraged and horrified by what Bush and crew are doing and have remarkably managed to grab the media spotlight in order to make their concerns known. It really irks right-wingers the anti-war folks are doing what reactionaries have done more or less since Reagan was in office: dominate media coverage and drive the agenda, at least for the next fifteen minutes.