There is a Society of Conservative Demagogues (SCD) who specialize in spewing a sort of Patriopathic™ zeal that is really not much more than low grade sanctimony. They are descended from Crusaders and Witch Burners and the defective souls who have convinced themselves of their own infallibility. Their contemporary Cardinals are TelePundits preaching from their TelePulpits of the heathens (i.e. Liberals) whom they dismiss as traitors. They rally the faithful (i.e. fearful) with liturgies expounding on the Infidels whom they say always blame America first.
Yesterday, a charter member of the SCD helped to prove the old saying, “If you hate something enough, you become it.”
Former UN Ambassador John Bolton made the rounds at Fox News to offer his assessment of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and to point his accusatory finger at the U.S. of A.
On Hannity & Not Hannity (video): “I think by acceding to Benazir Bhutto’s desire to get back into the game in Pakistan, seeing her as somebody who is an alternative to Musharraf we, in effect, helped precipitate this dynamic which has led to her tragic assassination.”
On Fox News (video): “I think that in part the United States is responsible for this by pushing Musharraf, trying to cut a deal with Benazir Bhutto, by encouraging her to go back in the country, by trying to act like we could have a democratic election campaign in a situation of great instability”
I never heard Bolton express such an aversion to democracy with regard to Iraq where there is a fair measure of instability as well. While Bolton blamed America, Bhutto blamed Bolton’s pal, Musharraf. He continued his analysis by recommending a “timeout” that would “require a period of martial law.” What a great way for the U.S. to promote freedom throughout the world.
The conservative taunt of “Blame America First” appears to have originated with Ronald Reagan’s UN Ambassador, Jeane Kirkpatrick, in a speech before the Republican nominating convention for Reagan’s second term:
“…the San Francisco Democrats didn’t blame Soviet intransigence. They blamed the United States. But then, they always blame America first.”
Four years later Reagan himself used it at the RNC’s anointment of George H. W. Bush to tarnish Democrats for…
“…policies of tax and spend, economic stagnation, international weakness and accommodation, and always, always, always, blame America first.”
In the interim it has been employed by everyone from House Minority Leader John Boehner to Culture Warrior Bill O’Reilly. O’Reilly even adopted Kirkpatrick’s swipe at “San Francisco Democrats”, which at the time was a reference to where the Democratic National Convention was held the same year, not a regional insult as is intoned by O’Reilly.
However, you never hear rightists complain when one of their own resorts to blaming America. For example, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson wasted no time in assigning the blame for 9/11 to a broad swath of American citizens and institutions:
Falwell: I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays, and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way…I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.’
Robertson: Well, I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government. And so we’re responsible as a free society for what the top people do. And, the top people, of course, is the court system.
But I’m sure this will all be rectified when O’Reilly returns from vacation and lets John Bolton know that such irresponsible rhetoric will not be tolerated and that America-haters like Bolton should either straighten up or shut up. That’s right…I’m as sure of that as I am that O’Reilly will kiss Keith Olbermann full on the mouth the next time he runs into him at Sylvia’s restaurant in Harlem.
The pseudo-rectitude of the “Absolve America Always” crowd flies in the face of our nation’s traditional values. This country was founded by rebels who felt so passionately about the right to dissent that they enshrined it in the very first amendment to the Constitution. And true Americans will always prefer to align themselves with those who condemn torture and tyranny, as opposed to those who condone it in the name of patriotism.