FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Who Dast Call Him Liar

by BEN TRIPP

My self-imposed standards of polite discourse are killing me. I decided it was time to change the tone in politics, so I stopped using words like ****, ****, ***, *******, and ‘euphonium’ in the course of my essays. Vice president D*ck Cheney, meanwhile, standing on the Senate floor, is free to demand Patrick Leahy commit an act of auto-fornication. I don’t give a flying hang what kind of language anybody chooses to use, or where they choose to use it. What bothers me is while the Repugs are out there doing what they want, saying what they want, the so-called liberal media is whimpering that the Left needs to rise above this kind of thing and behave with virginal decorum. Mr. Kristof, can I have a word with you? It starts with ‘F’.

As part of an experiment to see if anybody can read the New York Times more than three times a month without developing brain cancer, I occasionally read the column of Nicholas D. Kristof. I should know better. Modest, learned, and brimming with virtue, a man whose words and accomplishments unblushingly suggest the Christ on one of His better days, Kristof makes me sick. I shouldn’t have been shocked by his column of June 30, 2004, entitled “Calling Bush A Liar”. Kristof is the kind of guy who goes off to do a story on prostitution in Cambodia and just can’t help himself, he has to buy a couple of girls and set them free while a Times photographer discreetly records the event. What a noble thing to do! How human, yet how godlike! I’m sure he sent the girls through college, too. Or maybe they were stoned to death as soon as he got on his plane. He doesn’t say. The point is, here’s a guy who knows in his heart that he’s really virtuous, and seeing as moderation is one of his many strengths, he’s going to moderate his readers senseless. He never scolds, mind you. Just gently sets a better example, a sad, slightly patronizing smile on his lips. Did you ever rescue a Cambodian prostitute? Speaking of which, back to “Calling Bush A Liar”.

Kristof starts off reasonably enough, posing the question, “So, is president Bush a liar?” Now I know as well as anybody that he couldn’t just write the word ‘yes’ and consider the column done. He had to extemporize for a few paragraphs. I’ve done it myself, which is why my piece asking “Is Donald Rumsfeld A Brain-Feasting Zombie” contains several hundred words about the domestic habits of the wildebeest, followed by the word ‘yes’. But as I read on, what I saw made my eyes shoot out of the sockets with such violence that they punched holes through the newspaper, penetrated the wall, and emerged in the next room. According to Kristof, the problem isn’t that Bush is a lying psychopath; rather the problem is when the Left descends to the level of accusing Bush of lying, they’re just being gross and icky like the R**ub**cans were back when Clinton was president (before he wrote the latest Harry Potter novel). I quote:

“I’m against the “liar” label for two reasons. First, it further polarizes the political cesspool, and this polarization is making America increasingly difficult to govern. Second, insults and rage impede understanding.”

He gently chides the Left for its shrill denunciations and apologizes for the man in the White House’s apparent lack of honesty by climbing into his head and figuring out what the matter could possibly be other than lying, which is, you know, so yucky to even accuse somebody of:
“Mr. Bush’s central problem is not that he was lying about Iraq, but that he was overzealous and self-deluded. He surrounded himself with like-minded ideologues, and they all told one another that Saddam was a mortal threat to us. They deceived themselves along with the public – a more common problem in government than flat-out lying.”

You see? That’s all it is. He’s just overzealous and delusional, so quit calling the man a liar.

YAAAAAAARRRRGHHH, as Governor Dean might say. What makes me want to vomit is that anybody could possibly be so smug as to suggest polarization is the problem, when it’s actually a symptom, like death is a symptom of being shot through the head – and furthermore, that his problem with polarization is it makes America increasingly difficult to govern.

What the f*** does that mean? Is governing this country supposed to be made easy by compliant citizens? Is THAT why we’re here? Jeezum H. Jumping Jiminy, better we should all march in lockstep into the ovens than make things difficult for the maniacs currently in command of this nation! O Nicholas, what a supplicant, mewling, lickspittle Polonius thou art, spineless and vile. Maybe I’m just feeling guilty because I’m not as excellent as you, or maybe insults and rage have impeded my understanding. I don’t care.

Nicholas D. Kristof, go make love to yourself.

BEN TRIPP is a screenwriter and cartoonist, who lives in a large human settlement 100 miles south of Bakersfield, which we cannot name for security reasons. Ben also has a lot of outrageously priced crap for sale here. A collection of Tripp’s essays, Square in the Nuts, will be published this summer. If his writing starts to grate on your nerves, buy some and maybe he’ll flee to Mexico. If all else fails, he can be reached at: credel@earthlink.net

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 27, 2017
Anthony DiMaggio
Media Ban! Making Sense of the War Between Trump and the Press
Dave Lindorff
Resume Inflation at the NSC: Lt. General McMaster’s Silver Star Was Essentially Earned for Target Practice
Conn Hallinan
Is Trump Moderating US Foreign Policy? Hardly
Norman Pollack
Political Castration of State: Militarization of Government
Kenneth Surin
Inside Dharavi, a Mumbai Slum
Lawrence Davidson
Truth vs. Trump
Binoy Kampmark
The Extradition Saga of Kim Dotcom
Robert Fisk
Why a Victory Over ISIS in Mosul Might Spell Defeat in Deir Ezzor
David Swanson
Open Guantanamo!
Ted Rall
The Republicans May Impeach Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Why Should Trump―or Anyone―Be Able to Launch a Nuclear War?
Andrew Stewart
Down with Obamacare, Up with Single Payer!
Colin Todhunter
Message to John Beddington and the Oxford Martin Commission
David Macaray
UFOs: The Myth That Won’t Die?
Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail