Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Incredibly Stupid Statement(s) of the Day, 06/06/07

It would be difficult, on the morning after a Republican presidential debate, to limit myself to just one Incredibly Stupid Statement of the Day.

Consider this installment to be an "ensemble cast" award. The real winner, if it could be translated into a single coherent statement, would be the implied statement by nine of the ten candidates (all of them except, of course, Ron Paul) that they'd like to nuke Iran but aren't going to come right out and say it. Since it can't be translated into a single coherent statement, here are some other highlights:

Mitt Romney

[I]f you're saying let's turn back the clock, and Saddam Hussein had opened up his country to IAEA inspectors, and they'd come in and they'd found that there were no weapons of mass destruction, had Saddam Hussein, therefore, not violated United Nations resolutions, we wouldn't be in the conflict we're in. But he didn't do those things, and we knew what we knew at the point we made the decision to get in. I supported the president's decision based on what we knew at that time.

In actuality, of course, Saddam did open up his country to IAEA inspectors, and they did find that there were no weapons of mass destruction ("In the round of inspections ending in March 2003, IAEA inspectors found no evidence that the nuclear programme had been revived during the forced absence of INVO from 1998 until 2002"). The inspectors left Iraq not under order from Saddam, but because they didn't want to become "collateral damage" of US bombardment of the country.

No, Mitt, you didn't support the president's decision based on "what we knew at that time." You may have supported the president's decision based on what he, and his administration's spokespersons, said we knew at the time ... but those are two very different things.

I've never voted Republican for president before, and I don't expect that to change ... but in order for there to be a chance for that to change, one of these candidates is going to have to have the balls to step up to the mic, look America in the eye, and say "this administration lied to you about Iraq. As president, one of my priorities will be ensuring that the White House never lies a non-existent military threat into an unnecessary war again." Romney is obviously not the candidate who's willing to do that.

Tom Tancredo

What we're doing here in this immigration battle is testing our willingness to actually hold together as a nation or split apart into a lot of Balkanized pieces. We are testing our willingness to actually hold on to something called the English language, something that is the glue that is supposed to hold us together as a nation. We are becoming a bilingual nation, and that is not good.

America has never been a monolingual nation. Not even close. From the very beginnings of our national existence, we have had significant non-English-speaking communities. Through the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was not unusual find entire neighborhoods or even towns which spoke German, Swedish, Italian, Spanish, etc. That remains the case in our larger cities. It was probably not until WWII that English became a de facto "national language" due to the mobilization of millions of young men for military service.

It's difficult to find a smaller problem than illegal immigration to focus on. Leave it to Tancredo to ferret one out.

Ron Paul

I think the current policy ["don't ask, don't tell"] is a decent policy.

Res ipsa loquitur.

In fairness, all ten of the candidates on the stage went chicken on the question of whether or not they would allow gay men and lesbians to openly serve in the US military. None of them were willing to come right out and say "I'm a backward bigot who thinks it's my business whom our soldiers sleep with when they're not on duty." And none of them had the testicular fortitude to say "It's way past time to admit that it's none of our business whom our soldiers sleep with when they're not on duty."

It was just especially disppointing to see Ron Paul cower on the question, especially when he then trotted out precisely the argument -- that we shouldn't treat people as groups -- which would have been perfectly supportive of ending "don't ask, don't tell" in favor of "who cares?"

Duncan Hunter

I would pardon Compean and Ramos right now.

Compean and Ramos are two former Border Patrol agents now cooling their heels in prison, right where they belong. They assaulted an illegal immigrant/drug dealer when he tried to surrender. When he ran, they shot at him multiple times and missed. When he stopped and tried to surrender again, they shot him in the ass, then ran off and left him lying in the dirt while they tried to cover up their crimes. Any politician who would consider pardoning these two dirtbags should be drummed out of any position of public trust, and certainly shouldn't be holding himself out as a candidate for president.

The Republican presidential candidates don't debate on television every day (praise Jeebus!). If you've got a tip for Incredibly Stupid Statement of the Day, share it!

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