Saturday, July 10, 2004

Dealing With Aliens 

Back in one of the earlier Straight Dope books, author Cecil Adams discusses a case in which a Texas woman named Sybil Christian (I swear I am not making this up) found a mysterious blob of unknown origin in her yard. Attempts to analyze the substance, described as looking like "smooth whipped cream, only purple," were made more difficult because she had squirted the blob with a garden hose before scientists arrived, causing Cecil to note "Mrs. Christian's notions of effective planetary defense were a bit quaint."

I think about that line a lot these days. In fact it came to mind again today when the invaluable Orcinus, in a feeble attempt to distract from the fact that he was taking a few days off to, like, earn a living, pointed to a blog I never heard of before, Emphasis Added. A couple of clips from an excellent essay:

Every time the center-left has extended Bush and the Republicans the benefit of the doubt, from failing to vigorously contest the election outcome to the Patriot Act to the authorizing resolution on Iraq, they have been made to look like fools and dupes. Daschle and Gephardt tried to play ball after 9/11 and got rolled over. The conservatism of Democrats like Mary Landrieu, Max Cleland and Martin Frost didn’t buy them a whit of slack from the Republican attack machine, which pulled out all the stops to slime and defeat them by fair means and foul.

I understand the impulse to be fair and reasonable, but really, trusting that Bush’s motives are anything but completely alien to moderate and liberal American values is an abdication of responsibility by the loyal opposition. Civility is a two-way street: you give in order to get. In today’s climate of fear and loathing fostered by right-wing extremists, the only purpose served by civility on the left is to keep the truth from being spoken too loudly or too honestly.
Go read all of EA's piece if your spirits are sagging like the Bush poll numbers. Go read the "Straight Dope" if your outrage meter is already spiked and you need a good laugh. In fact, what the hell, do both.

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