Department of Really Stupid Analogies, GOP Fail Edition
You remember those tweets from the US embassy in Egypt suggesting that religious intolerance is not, in fact, an American value? This is what Republican Senate number 2 and all-round waste of carbon John Kyl had to say about them:
“It’s like the judge telling the woman who got raped, ‘You asked for it because of the way you dressed.’ OK? That’s the same thing. ‘Well America, you should be the ones to apologize, you should have known this would happen, you should have done — what I don’t know — but it’s your fault that it happened.’ (via TPM)
That’s a pretty impressive statement, taken all in all. Economical. In just two sentences it manages to sideswipe rape victims* while asserting that US personnel in the midst of a street riot were actually complicit in their own vulnerability — all from the enviable safety of a seat in the Senate.
What’s worse — well not quite, because telling our diplomats in the midst of conflict that they’re craven wussies is pretty far down the WTF scale — but what’s further proof of Kyl’s unfitness for the job he holds is this sentence, which immediately followed the nonesense above:
You know, for a member of our State Department to put out a statement like that, it had to be cleared by somebody. They don’t just do that in the spur of the moment.
Uh, no, as Andrew Sullivan pointed out earlier today, quoting emails from readers in the diplomatic world:
I work in [a State Department office] where we deal with information security directly. (Please don’t name that office, but it just goes to show Kristol’s completely random Hail Mary on this one.) Do you know how many tweets there are from diplomatic missions? Almost all posts have a Twitter feed now, and they are most likely only cleared by public diplomacy Foreign Service Officers. That means it’s a local issue, has nothing to do with “State Department” officials in charge at home. I know for certain we do nothing of the sort, clearing them in this office…
I’m a former US Foreign Service officer and can tell you that the statement by the US Embassy in Cairo – which, frankly, seems perfectly OK to me to begin with; what’s really so offensive about it that the Obama administration has to “distance” itself from it? – almost certainly wasn’t cleared with DC, because otherwise it wouldn’t have been issued for another day or two! It would have spent that time bouncing back and forth from the Egypt desk up to the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs and over then to Public Affairs and God knows who else getting massaged, tweaked, edited and finally OK’d. The reason embassies have Public Affairs officers is so they can handle this sort of statement on their own….
To recap: Kyl blames the victim, then tries to expand the indictment to the Obama administration in a charge that cam be immediately shown to be a lie. Proof, yet again, that the Republicans are no longer a political organization. They are a claque of power-seekers attempting to complete the coup-under-the-cover-of-law that has been slow rolling through our government since Bush v. Gore.
Kyl himself is a small man in a job way too big for him. But he’s merely echoing Mitt Romney-the-Unready, another small (and shrinking) figure who, nonetheless, retains a better-than-I’d-like chance at the top job. Which would, on the evidence of the last 20 hours or so, be even worse for the country than it had formerly appeared. And even if (when) Romney loses, the GOP will remain a party-against-country ball-and-chain on the Republic.
Factio Grandaeva Delenda Est.
*You can read his statement as saying that the judge is committing a wrong in saying “you asked for it” — but the framing evokes the opposite. It’s a variant on the old rhetorical trick “I would never say that my opponent enjoys the carnal knowledge of his barnyard animals — but I do believe those are hog swill stains on his overalls bib….” John Kyl would never say that a rape victim deserved what she got, but my oh my was that a short skirt….” Perhaps I’m being unkind. Don’t think so.
Image: William Hogarth, The High Court, c. 1758 — and yes, I know I’ve used this before, but it just works here, alright?
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