28 December 2006

Bill Bennett dances on the ceiling (BR)
Our favorite gambling ultra-con talks (smack) to the dead

When he's not running up astronomical casino debts or making the greater-good argument for racial eugenics, former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett likes to pundit it up in the pages of National Review, and those who enjoy the spectacle of out-and-out far-right lunacy, yours truly included, certainly appreciate it. Luckily for us, in addition to his scheduled bloviations in print and television media, Bennett also contributes to The Corner, National Review Online's blog.

The event of Gerald Ford's death on Tuesday, apparently not subjected to due ignominy by having the word "accidental" situated before "President" in nearly every headline and lead paragraph on the story, is portrayed by Bennett in his Thursday column as a clever ploy on the part of Ford to insulate himself from criticism in light of a just-released 2004 interview with Bob Woodward in which the late President declared his opposition to the United States' invasion of Iraq.

[M]ay I ... be permitted to ask this: just how decent, how courageous, is what Jerry Ford did with Bob Woodward? He slams Bush & Cheney to Woodward in 2004, but asks Woodward not to print the interview until he's dead. If he felt so strongly about his words having a derogatory affect, how about telling Woodward not to run the interview until after Bush & Cheney are out of office?
Sure, Bill, you're permitted to ask. This is, after all, despite your best efforts, still a free country. But I'm compelled to wonder what his reaction was to those who dissented or otherwise took exception to the week-long hagiography of Bennett's old boss President Ronald Reagan that took place in the wake of Ronnie's passing in 2004.

That, however, is besides the point. Bennett blasts Ford -- creepily, in the present tense, more on that later -- for asking Woodward to hold off on releasing the interview until after Ford was dead, rather than when Bush and Cheney are out of office, but doesn't consider the compliment possibly implicit in the request: That despite Ford's unfavorable view of the war, he still had enough faith in the ability and competence of Bush and his old hands Cheney and Rumsfeld to assume that the war would be over before he passed on.

In continuation, Bennett quits tiptoeing on the precipice of reality and breaks into a full-on swan dive off its cliff.
The effect of what Ford did is to protect himself, ensuring he can't be asked by others about his critiques, ensuring that there can be no dialogue. The way Ford does it with Woodward, he doesn't have to defend himself...he simply drops it into Bob Woodward's tape recorder and let's the bomb go off when fully out of range, himself.
Read another way:
Ooooooh, he thinks he's such a big shot now that he's dead and can't get hit back! I'll show 'im!
You can tell Bennett is a former Education Secretary by his mastery of playground politics and grade-school taunts. And you can tell he was an American Education Secretary because he has no clue where to put an apostrophe ("... let's the bomb go off ..."). Or maybe he took a page from the Book of DeLay and has a few fawning interns churning out conservative boilerplate.

Mr. Bennett goes on to enumerate three ways in which Ford could have aired his misgivings in a more "manly" fashion -- one being "Say it to their [Bush and Cheney's] face" -- and then, disturbingly, addresses the late Commander-in-Chief as though he were alive and in the room:
You're a former President Mr. Ford, show a little more decency to the incumbent who is in a very, very tough place and trying to do the right thing....you may recall those days and positions yourself.
I believe Ford acted in accord with the administration's stated outlook toward war dissenters -- You're either with us or STFU, punk -- and indeed, in his restraint demonstrated a statesmanship and character Bennett would do well to emulate once in awhile. It certainly shouldn't have earned him a posthumous lecture from a windbag who doesn't know which tense to use when addressing a dead President.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, this IS GOOD!!! Bennett, that gambling-addict pig, basically lecturing someone on morals. Disgusting. And his English skills are right up there with Dubya's, "isn't they?"

12/28/2006 7:34 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

Speaking of Ford in the present tense seems like an attempt to obscure the fact that he is essentially attacking someone who has already passed.

Also, how do you think Bennett would have reacted had Ford let these comments be released before he had died? Would Bennett have said "Ah, good criticism" or written another (slightly different) character attack on the former President?

12/29/2006 8:28 AM  
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2/25/2016 9:59 PM  
Anonymous The Burn Notice said...

Also strange the nobody calls William Bennett a secret Muslim for him being warm to Saudi Arabian laws that call for beheadings.

8/04/2016 6:58 AM  

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