Monday, June 20, 2005


Insanity Clause

Up to now I have resisted making any comment on the outrageous comments of Senator Dick Durbin. Not that I didn't have an immediate and visceral reaction. Just that the stupidity of his statements is just so obvious. And Greyhawk and Mrs. Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette have done such a fine job of cataloging MILBLOGGERS' justifiable responses.

But I couldn't resist linking to the always insightful and in this case scathing Mark Steyn. In Durbin slanders his own country, in the Chicago Sun Times, Steyn is at his best pointing out the utter ridiculousness of Durbin's rhetoric. Rather than just question his patriotism, Steyn assail's Durbin's sanity:
But give Durbin credit. Every third-rate hack on every European newspaper can do the Americans-are-Nazis schtick. Amnesty International has already declared Guantanamo the "gulag of our times." But I do believe the senator is the first to compare the U.S. armed forces with the blood-drenched thugs of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. Way to go, senator! If you had a dime for every crackpot Web site that takes up your thoughtful historical comparison, you'd be able to retire to the Caribbean and spend the rest of your days torturing yourself with hot weather and loud music, as well as inappropriately provocative women and insufficient choice of hors d'oeuvres and all the other shameful atrocities committed at Guantanamo.

Just for the record, some 15 million to 30 million Soviets died in the gulag; some 6 million Jews died in the Nazi camps; some 2 million Cambodians -- one third of the population -- died in the killing fields. Nobody's died in Gitmo, not even from having Christina Aguilera played to them excessively loudly. The comparison is deranged, and deeply insulting not just to the U.S. military but to the millions of relatives of those dead Russians, Jews and Cambodians, who, unlike Durbin, know what real atrocities are. Had Durbin said, "Why, these atrocities are so terrible you would almost believe it was an account of the activities of my distinguished colleague Robert C. Byrd's fellow Klansmen," that would have been a little closer to the ballpark but still way out.

One measure of a civilized society is that words mean something: "Soviet" and "Nazi" and "Pol Pot" cannot equate to Guantanamo unless you've become utterly unmoored from reality. Spot the odd one out: 1) mass starvation; 2) gas chambers; 3) mountains of skulls; 4) lousy infidel pop music turned up to full volume. One of these is not the same as the others, and Durbin doesn't have the excuse that he's some airhead celeb or an Ivy League professor. He's the second-ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Don't they have an insanity clause?
I am not a citizen of Illinois, but as an American citizen, I have to suffer Durbin as a member of the U.S. Senate. Who has 1/100th of the power of the Senate, and is entitled to wield that power in passing or blocking legislation on my behalf. (Any Senator will tell you, especially those with Presidential Ambitions, they represent the Nation, not just their home states, ask Hillary, she'll tell you.)

I suppose we should leave it to the more rational citizens of Illinois to do something about Durbin. But surely it can't hurt if the rest of us might make some mention of his advanced state of mental decay?

(Posted as covered dish at Basil's Blog.)

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