I've been collecting some right wing reflections about Teddy Kennedy for your later appreciation, but I ran across an article at Town Hall, by the "respected" pundit Mona Charen, which I think perfectly encapsulates not only Republican distaste for common human decency, but their supreme dishonesty and their pathological refusal to face the truth about the results of their behavior. I thought it would be a good idea to examine it in a little more length, as a specimen of routine right wing thinking. Here are some excerpts:
"Consider Kennedy's shrill attacks on President Bush's decision to invade Iraq. In 2002, Sen. Kennedy himself had said, "There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed." But just a year later, Kennedy was saying, "This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud." In 2004, Kennedy said, "Before the war, week after week after week we were told lie after lie after lie after lie . . . the president's war is revealed as mindless, needless, senseless, reckless."
Shrill. Shrill, but true. That's the thing, you see. Mona, I suppose it never occurred to you that, at the time, Kennedy did not believe that a president and vice president could stoop so low, could so betray the honor their fellow citizens had bestowed on them, as to lie the country into a war. A year later, it would seem, he had learned the terrible truth, and he said so. Because remember, Mona, his "shrill attacks" were one hundred percent true.
"Kennedy did not accept that the Bush administration had made a good faith decision to use military force (as his brother did in the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam). Instead, he contributed to conspiracy theories about Bush's true motives. Echoing the most inflamed leftist websites, Kennedy alleged that "the President and his senior aides began the march to war in Iraq in the earliest days of the administration, long before the terrorists struck this nation on 9/11."
We have known for years, now, Mona, that the "inflamed leftist websites" and Kennedy himself were telling the absolute truth. As we sit here today, we know for a fact that Bush and Cheney were looking for an excuse to attack Iraq since before Bush's inauguration. You know that too. It is you, Mona who are telling lies and spreading smears, not Ted Kennedy. Every word he spoke was absolutely true; and it was said at the price of vilification and abuse by people like you, who cared nothing for the ugly reality that was right in front of your eyes.
"When the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison came to light, disgust and abhorrence were expressed pretty universally and certainly bipartisanly. But Kennedy, unable to resist a cheap political shot, actually compared the U.S. to Saddam Hussein, saying, "Shamefully, we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management -- U.S. management."
First of all, disgust and abhorrence were not expressed universally, Mona. That is another lie which you tell, knowing full well that it is a lie. The vast majority of your Republican colleagues defended Bush's torture policy every step of the way, and continue to do so to this day. Do you deny that Bush reopened Saddam's torture chambers at Abu Ghraib? Because you know that he did. What Ted Kennedy said was absolutely true, and again his honesty was met with hostility and vilification from Republicans- vilification that continues to this day, as you yourself have just shown.
Mona continues with some blabbing about the abhorrent Judge Bork. I won't bother with that. Suffice it to say that this is what she cites to justify her smears and character assassination of Edward Kennedy: In a forty year long career, he opposed a Republican candidate for the Supreme Court, and he spoke the truth about the actions of a Republican president.
I guess, after his long service in the senate, if that's all that right-wing hatemongers can find to say about you, you've done a pretty damned good job. Thanks, Teddy.
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