Because I've focused so much on Alabama politics lately, it's time for some bite-sized looks at the latest hyperbole and spin on the national political landscape.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., was right to apologize Tuesday
for his recent overheated comparison of conditions at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp
in Cuba to the treatment of detainees in Nazi prisons. As The Washington Post notes
today, Godwin's Law
is still in full effect, and casual usage of such inflammatory and unwarranted language detracts from the valid point that prison abuses at Gitmo
are hurting the United States' international image and our efforts to win the war on terrorism.
A new book about U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., makes some loathsome ad hominem attacks
against her and her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Conservative pundit Sean Hannity, commendably, shredded the author on air Tuesday
, leading the writer to make inconsistent statements about his sourcing.
U.S. Rep. Jim Hostettler, R-Ind., proved Monday that he isn't above a little religion-baiting
: "Like a moth to a flame, Democrats can't help themselves when it comes to denigrating and demonizing Christians." The Washington Post
reports that Hostettler withdrew his comment later that day to avoid a finding that he broke House rules by making a personal attack against other members on the floor.
Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean came under fire earlier this month when he said the GOP is "pretty much a white Christian party."
Um, yeah, it is. Most prominent Democratic politicians are white Christians, too. It's not a criticism; it's just a fact. Dean's wisecrack that many Republicans "have never made an honest living in their lives,"
on the other hand, was uncalled-for.
Vice President Dick Cheney, responding to Dean's comments last week, said this of the DNC chairman
: "Maybe his mother loved him, but I've never met anybody who does. He's never won anything, as best I can tell." Never mind that Dean won the DNC chairman election and five governor's races in Vermont
; I'm offended that Cheney can't tell a funny "yo' mama" joke.
Why all the nastiness in Washington lately? A University of Notre Dame professor has the long answer
: "More than anything, these statements are a reflection of this polarized and poisonous political time in which we live. It seems as though every outrageous statement is matched by a similarly outrageous reaction, which only amplifies the rhetoric and creates more of a problem for people trying to understand politics today."
I have the short answer: They don't much like each other.