Thursday, May 12, 2005

Oh beautiful for...forget it.

Tom DeLay would make me laugh if he didn't have such serious control over my government right now. Take this gem from Anne Applebaum's latest column:

"It just offends me that the president of the United States is, directly or indirectly, attacking his own country in a foreign land." That was 1998. The speaker, Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), was then House majority whip. The president was Bill Clinton, who had "attacked his own country" while in Uganda. "Going back to the time before we were even a nation," Clinton had told an African audience, "European Americans received the fruits of the slave trade. And we were wrong in that."

As terrible as that is, it devolved into something worse:

...House Majority Whip Tom DeLay of Texas called Clinton "a flower child with gray hairs doing exactly what he did back in the 60s: he's apologizing for the actions of the United States. Wherever he went. It just offends me that the president of the United States is, directly or indirectly, attacking his own country in a foreign land. It just amazes me."

DeLay further accused Clinton of a double-standard. "He didn't quite apologize for the chieftains in Uganda that were selling the blacks to the slave traders, did he? Heh," DeLay commented. "He didn't talk about what's-his-name, Idi Amin, that killed 500,000 people in Uganda. He didn't apologize for that."

DeLay also tried to tie Clinton's slavery comments back to the Lewinsky matter. "He's very quick to apologize for other people's mistakes, and he can't apologize for his own, and it comes right back to character," DeLay contended. "He's cheated on his wife, he'll cheat on the American people." [NYT, March, 28, 1998]

Erm...maybe DeLay could have focused on the embarrassing fact that it took over a century for us to apologize for slavery! Or perhaps he could recognize that Clinton has no place apologizing for anyone other than the United States; that might explain why he didn't express remorse on behalf of the Ugandans (which I'm sure they would have appreciated: it's not like we don't voluntarily speak for other countries enough as it is). And yeah, comparing slavery to Lewinsky just exemplifies stereotypical white Southern wealthy male behavior, doesn't it?

I will really cry for this man when his own ethical choices come home to roost.

I've heard all sorts of "God I hate being a white person," forehead-slapping kinds of comments lately, like the one from the all-too-serious person who said working overtime was another form of slavery. Of course, she also managed to say this in front of an African-American, who was too polite to point out the obvious. Sometimes, I just wish I could make collective apologies for all of the stupid, ignorant things that people say...I'm not talking about liberal pc sensitivity here - I'm focusing on incredibly insensitive crap that people feel compelled to say, no matter how obviously offensive or asinine it is! Of course, I kinda see where it comes from when one of our most powerful elected officials can run his mouth off about how wrong it is to apologize for slavery, which arguably is the worst thing the US has perpetrated in an illustrious history of poor choices.

Realization of the day: if forced to choose between living in hell or living in Tom DeLay's version of Texas, I think I might pick hell. Oops - I forgot. They're the same thing!

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