Treason season

Richard Cohen, liberal columnist, goes after Hilary:

>The swipe at Petraeus was contained in a full-page ad the antiwar group placed in the New York Times last week. It charged that Petraeus was “cooking the books” about conditions in Iraq and cited statements of his that have turned out to be either (1) not true, (2) no longer true, (3) possibly not true or (4) like everything else in Iraq, impossible to tell. Whatever the case, using “betray” — a word associated with treasonrecalls the ugly McCarthy era, when for too many Republicans dissent corresponded with disloyalty. and the late senator from Wisconsin share a certain fondness for the low blow.

According to Cohen, has challenged the accuracy or reliability of Petraeus’s testimony. But Cohen doesn’t bother with that question–which is, after all, the question. Instead he goes after someone who does not directly and vociferously condemn something which (a) she had nothing to do with and (b) may turn out to be true. Is it true? Cohen doesn’t care.

Aside from that obvious point, Cohen also forgets that as recently as right now Republicans–mainline Republicans–charge Americans who respectfully disagree with our glorious and victorious war strategy with actual treason (not the stretched out metaphorical kind you infer from the word “betray” in an ad you did not write). Think of Dick Cheney admonishing the Senate not to debate. Or perhaps, Petraeus (courtesy of Glenn Greenwald):

>Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) asked Army Lt. Gen. David H . Petraeus during his confirmation hearing yesterday if Senate resolutions condemning White House Iraq policy “would give the enemy some comfort.”

>Petraeus agreed they would, saying, “That’s correct, sir.”

Giving “aid and comfort to the enemy” is the definition of treason. Which definition, by the way, does not include “betray.”

4 thoughts on “Treason season”

  1. Regarding Jem’s link, the Daily show, and the whole Patraeus situation…

    There comes a point when it’s just not funny anymore.

    Sure, Bush’s incompetence used to make for some laughs. And jokes helped to cope with the unconscionable political dealings of the administration for a while. But day after day of the same abhorrent rhetoric… how does one go on with it? How does Jon Stewart still manage to laugh at what he obviously cares about, in the face of the blatant montage of hypocrisy the Daily Show pieces together night after night?

    After years of a daily assault of wrongness, I think I’ve lost the ability to care.

    How do you guys cope?

  2. Jeremy,

    A notable professor of mine once told me that when faced with unassailable positions and impossible rhetoric, the only thing to do is mock it…perhaps that’s how Stewart gets through the day.

  3. But the sheer amount of effort that they put in to mocking it… pulling together all of the hypocrisy which the rest of the system does its best to hide, and making it so blatantly apparent in their montages… all of that effort equates to care, and that’s what makes it so much worse.

    Maybe it just comes down to Stewart (and most others) having a stronger stomach than I.

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