"The War Against Terror Is Like The War Against Dandruff"

Monday, January 16, 2006
So says Gore Vidal on the the History Channel's program on Lincoln tonight. He was contrasting Lincoln's invocation of the war time powers of the President during the Civil War with GWB's invocation of the same powers after 9/11.

This pithily sets up the Left's POV on the last 4 and 1/2 years. There is no more danger to this country after the 9/11 attacks, according to this position, than there is with our problems with seborrhea of the scalp. None at all.

Were our current situation viewed in Vidal's way, use of Presidential wartime powers would be absurd. From my perspective, seeing two massive buildings disappear entombing those who were unable to evacuate them caused me to believe our nation was at war with those who brought forth that loss of life in our nation. That was, indeed, a far greater act of war than the firing on Fort Sumter.

History will tell us whether GWB and Congress were right in their assessment in the aftermath of that event. I believe that the Vidals are as wrong as the Copperheads were in 1864. Time will tell.

46 comments:

Skookumchuk said...

I used to think that a large scale terrorist attack would dissipate that kind of sentiment, like the attack on Pearl Harbor dispelled isolationism. I no longer think that will ever be the case. If tomorrow Chicago goes up in a fireball, its destruction will merely accentuate the differences between those Americans who will seek a strong military and political reponse and those functional pacifists who seemingly can't envision a solution at all.

flenser said...

Did he mean by that statement that the war is unwinnable, or that it is not a "real" war? Or both?

Maybe instead of Agent Orange we need to spray Iraq with Head & Shoulders.

vnjagvet said...

The latter, flenser. And he said it with the certainty only intellectual "superiors" affect.

Buddy Larsen said...

Vidal is not much of a voice for the better half of the culture, but he was good on the Lincoln show in transmitting the drama and profundity of Lincoln's words.

It was a helluva show. Lincoln, and the issues of that war, are anything but hyistorical artifacts. The script quality--the depth of the commentary--was wonderful.

vnjagvet said...

Vidal is a Lincoln scholar who has written the interesting historical novel based on his life which was made into a movie in 1994.

He has many interesting insights on Lincoln the man.

I thought the quoted statment out of character with the excellence of the program, unfortunate and gratuitous.

IMNSHO, it should have been edited out.

Barry Dauphin said...

At this point, another terrorist attack on US soil will provoke a couple of responses from the Vidal wing: 1) see, it really is our fault afterall--if we hadn't invaded Iraq, this never would have happened, 2) Team Bush is asleep at the wheel, and they don't care about homeland security; they're totally incompetent.

These sentiments were around after 9/11, but were more muted. They'd be very loud now.

Rick Ballard said...

Barry,

In the event of a strike they would certainly attempt to say it but they would be absolutely nailed by the comeback. There is simply too much quotable idiocy attached to the Copperheads for them to get any traction.

Vidal is simply bound very tightly to the leftist vision that is in the process of dying very ugly. There is no reason for him not to join in.

I think of this sort of remark with respect to the appropriate response to the question "What is happiness?"

"To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."

Think of Vidal as one of their women. It's not very hard to do.

They're just lucky that we're taking prisoners. Hope we get a good price for them.

Doug said...

Another Greasy, Offensive, Gore on "War":
Wiretapping an impeachable offense
"With regards to specific recommendations, Gore called upon congressional candidates to make the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate domestic eavesdropping an issue in the 2006 elections.

He also appealed for new whistleblower protections, comprehensive hearings in the House and Senate, and no renewal of the Patriot Act until adequate constitutional safeguards are added.
He also wants telecommunications companies to "cease and desist" their "complicity" in this "apparently illegal invasion of the privacy of American citizens."

Gore's biggest standing ovation came when he said it was "simply an insult" to those who "came before us" to "imply that we have more to be fearful of than they.
"
Maybe they can be in Humpback Mountain, the Sequel.

Doug said...

Gore Gets it All Wrong
February 9, 1995
EXECUTIVE ORDER 12949
- - - - - - -
FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE PHYSICAL SEARCHES
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution
and the laws of the United States, including sections 302 and 303 of the
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978...

Syl said...

LOL

If the Democrats tried to impeach Bush, half of America would flock to DC and storm Congress.

The half with guns.

(just for show, of course. But oh what a show!)

truepeers said...

I'd hazard to guess that Vidal's hatred of monotheism blinds him to the nature of this war. While he would grant that monotheism can have a powerful and sinister role, he also thinks it fools us into taking it more seriously than we should. He just wants it to go away; probably the last thing he wants is to fully acknowledge, let alone understand, its continuing world historical significance. He likes Lincoln because Lincoln had unorthodox religoius views.

Buddy Larsen said...

Are we talking about Gore Vidal, Al Gore, or Lesley Gore?

It's my question (I'll ask if I want to).

terrye said...

I was going to watch that History Channel show. But then I saw that Gore was one of the experts and I said to hell with it.

He left the country years ago to avoid paying taxes so he can just kiss my okie......

Maybe if they run the show again I will get out the control and use the mute at the appropriate times.

What is it about the name Gore anyway?

terrye said...

As to his assertion that it was not a real war, The Civil War did not have to be either if Lincoln had been willing to let go of the Union.

Peter UK said...

This represents the two major strands of intellectual though,
One,using expertise in one area as carte blanche to pronounce ex cathedra on any other topic.
Two, conflating any topic with their currently held political dogma.
This Vidal can make the leap from Lincoln,via the WoT to George Bush,from an area where he has knowledge to another area where he knows no more than the ordinary citizen.

Peter UK said...

Terrye,
Gore is an anagram of ogre.

Buddy Larsen said...

Terrye--it's the second half of the show that you ought to catch. After Vidal is done with current events, after the gay Lincoln meme is covered, and the war Lincoln comes into view.

What the first half gives you is what you probably already know enough of, that Lincoln had a youth characterized, as he said (quoting somebody--Dr. Johnson?), as from the "...arid annals of the poor."

And that he was a chronic depressive (not surprising, considering the heart and mind he brought to bear on what he saw as the harshest of tests for noblest of ideals) who nevertheless functioned at a sublime level in the one place where his failure was both unimaginably fraught, and very, very close by.

And all the while spinning his hilarious cornpone stories, setting that example of striving to live outward, and for others.

The best part of the show, to me, is the interviews with a half dozen Lincoln scholars who 'get' the man and the times, and somehow light up as they pull a viewer into the awsome gravity and nearness of a story that is actually sort of Homeric, or Biblical, in the sense of questions so fundamental they could only be answered--or even asked-- by sacrifice.

Buddy Larsen said...

Had he lost the 1864 election--which sans Sherman's taking of Atlanta he might've (Sherman being the press target, object of ridicule which only a Lincoln could've employed), his Al Gore-like opponent McLelland would've negotiated a settlement--it was his platform--and split the union.

Doug said...

OK, Buddy,
I'm Sold.
How do I, non tv viewer get to see that?
Can I buy a DVD?

Buddy Larsen said...

Doug--it's available.

Why no tv? they DO come with on/off buttons, after all.

Doug said...

Bottles come with a cap,
but for some,
It's always off.

Doug said...

What me obsessive?

Buddy Larsen said...

Well, right, if you're obsessive, you might have the news playing 24/7 like some crazy fool I know well.

Doug said...

LOL.
That was me w/the radio,
then I was saved by the internet,
specifically the KABC stream of conservative talk, which managed to wean me.
Haven't heard much "news" in about 3 years.

Doug said...

Have you ever had a Chocolate New Orleans.
...or are you UnGodly.
Naggin and that Terhan Goofy Guy are a pair.
...at least he doesn't have Nukes.

Doug said...

...but he's GOTTA be Drunk!

Doug said...

(Ingraham is playing his soundbytes,
Truly Unique.)

Buddy Larsen said...

You oughtta go get a little tv set and put it next to your monitor--it talks to you on its own, so you can do other things, like look at your home gym and imagine doing some sets.

Doug said...

!!!
I got a little religion after 10 days "in Hospital" as Peter would say.
Bike down the Hill, Climb back up.
...now I gotta get obsessive about it and I can die healthy.
My new goal.

Buddy Larsen said...

Gazing at a small fortune of unused chrome keeps your eyeballs lean and mean.

Doug said...

Sleep might help too, although the Doc didn't mention it.
But it is 4:19 am.
I'll give it a try.
Sayanara
...
Bubba sound bytes:
Talking to Hillary in the middle of the night!!!
...before her plantation comments.
Truly Strange times we live in.

Buddy Larsen said...

It's like file cabinets--whenever the piles of paper start losing stackability (happens at around 4'), go buy another file cabinet, and put it next to the stack of paper, and sort of shove the stack over to where it can "lean' against the file cabinet. Voila--papers "filed".

Buddy Larsen said...

"Legal-sized" hold more dirty clothes, dishes, and fast food containers--not an inconsiderate consideration to consider.

Doug said...

I may have forgot Charlie Brown's famous lament.
Was it
"What's Wrong With Me?"
?
I actually threw away some stuff today.
...It's a start.
Really gotta go this time.
...I hope.

Buddy Larsen said...

yeh--the straddle-strain is getting-to both the mayor of N.O. and the jr. senator from New York--it would appear.

Buddy Larsen said...

okay, go to bed, already. set the clock to go off 5 or 6 coconuts from now.

Knucklehead said...

Throughout US history there have numerous cases of the suspension or outright removal of "civil rights", sometimes extreme cases in time of war and crisis. These range from the Alien and Sedition Acts of the early republic through the interning of Japanese-American citizens in WWII. The Lincoln administration, in the conduct of the Civil War, almost certainly represents the apex of this and also almost certainly set in motion the longest running cases.

Given the radically expanded capabilities provided by 21st century technology the "abuses" that have happened at the hands of the Bush administration strike me as extremely mild.

The shrieking of Leftoid Evangelists such as Al Gore, and faux intellectual blathering of Gore Vidal, are completely out of scale for anything that has been brought to light to date or is likely to be brought to light in the future. These idiots are playing to a market that provides them income.

Doug said...

"yeh--the straddle-strain is getting-to both the mayor of N.O. and the jr. senator from New York--it would appear. "
---
LOL

Doug said...

knucklehead,
They're going to provide the enemy Submission.

Doug said...

Ace Inserts OT Comments here:
Johansson says he’s like a girl — who likes gossip and shoes.

Uh huh. There's a word for that.

Anyway, I'd like to let Miss Johannson know that I am nothing like a girl, and I couldn't even tell you what color my shoes are.

---

I remember when I was 21 and my milk bar was still pretty high and tight. Gravity sucks.

There Has To Be Some Excuse To Link This

Buddy Larsen said...

Mt Gawd, has that girl ever changed since she played "Birdy" in that Coen movie a few years ago--"The Man Who Wasn't There".

Knucklehead said...

Mark Steyn, writing for the New Criterion, says It’s the demography, stupid.

Knucklehead said...

Buddy,

In what ways has she changed?

Buddy Larsen said...

You didn't see the movie, then, Knuck. she played a very prim-looking (emph. on 'looking') high-school age piano student in the late 1940s. Not lak dat picher Ace showed.

Knucklehead said...

Details, please, Buddy. ;)

Buddy Larsen said...

heh heh--but still, would you want to look like Billy Bob?