What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 29, 2007

Jack Kelly - April 29, 2007

Is there someone at the P-G who can get Jack Kelly back on his meds? If today's column is any indication, his grasp of reality is tenuous at best.

I'm almost tempted to go paragraph by paragraph to point out the spin, but I'll just touch on a few highpoints of his latest. Paragraph 3:
It's remarkable that Democrats, as a matter of policy, are siding with America's enemies in time of war. It didn't work so well for them when they did that during the Civil War. And it is questionable political strategy to make a swift retreat from Iraq the centerpiece of their legislative agenda. But more remarkable is how clumsily Democrats are executing the strategy they've chosen.
His first sentence tells you everything you need to know about J-Kel's political point of view. With polls showing a majority of Americans siding with the Democrats in Congress on Iraq Jack Kelly still insists on the tired old rhetoric of "Democrats siding with America's enemies in time of war."

Question for Jack: doesn't that make a majority of Americans "siding with the enemy" too? How do you intend to deal with all those traitors, Jack?

But his next sentence is surely perplexing. Just who were "America's enemies" during the Civil War? That would be The Confederacy, I guess. So here's the message straight from Jack Kelly to every person who's with a Confederate flag draped some where on his or her property: You're bad Americans. You're supporting one of America's enemies - albeit a really old one.

He then quotes a blogger:
"If I were George Bush right about now, I'd wrap my arms around Harry Reid and give him a great big kiss on the cheek," said Web logger Rick Moran. "And I might even consider sending Speaker Pelosi a dozen roses."
If you're curious, this is the blog post from which Kelly scored that quotation. I am assuming Moran's being ironic when he calls the blog :The Right Wing Nut House." Anyway, here's the entire paragraph:
If I were George Bush right about now, I’d wrap my arms around Harry Reid and give him a great big kiss on the cheek. And I might even consider sending Speaker Pelosi a dozen roses, thanking her for playing her part to perfection in this Democratic Party defeatist extravaganza. For in truth, the Democrats are handing the President the one thing he desperately needed in order to maintain the surge, veto the Iraq supplemental with its timetables and withdrawal stipulations, and unite the Republicans as they haven’t been since the election last November; a political club with which to beat his opponents and re-energize support for the war among his base.
So it's going to, uh, help Bush when Congress does what the American people wants it to do? Even though it's not wat Bush wants? On Bizarro world, maybe.

The next paragraph:
Ms. Pelosi made a trip to Damascus early this month to meet with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. That trip was panned by the normally Democrat-friendly Washington Post, which said: "Ms. Pelosi's attempt to establish a shadow presidency is not only counterproductive, it is foolish." Ms. Pelosi also expressed a desire to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, until bad press forced a hasty retreat.
Let's start at the end and move backward. The first phrase of the last sentence:
Ms. Pelosi also expressed a desire to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad...
Is, simply put, a lie. There's no other way to say it. Jack Kelly had to know that Pelosi never expressed any desire to meet with the Iranian President. To say otherwise is a lie.

Here's what happened. During the press conference after the trip to Syria a reporter asked Congressman Tom Lantos if they'd be interested in extending the diplomacy to Iran and here's how the San Francisco Chronicle reported it:
"Speaking just for myself, I would be ready to get on a plane tomorrow morning, because however objectionable, unfair and inaccurate many of (Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's) statements are, it is important that we have a dialogue with him,'' Lantos said. "Speaking for myself, I'm ready to go -- and knowing the speaker, I think that she might be.''
After pointing out how disgusted she was at some of the things Ahmadinejad has said, Pelosi said:
"But a person of Mr. Lantos' stature and personal experience is saying that -- even as a Holocaust survivor and even recognizing the outrageous statements of the president of Iran -- it's important to have dialogue. I think that speaks volumes.''
There's no mention - ever - of any desire to meet with Ahmadinejad. The closest she gets is saying "it's important to have dialogue." But even then, in the context of the paragraph, it's pretty easy to see that she's complimenting Lantos for saying "it's important to have dialogue."

Indeed on April 11, Pelosi's office declared pretty straightforward that she had no intention of travelling to Iran.

Where, Jack, is the desire to meet with Ahmadinejad? It's not there - never had been. And you're a liar for saying it was.

Now onto the first part of that paragraph. It references this editorial from the Washington Post. Too bad (and too bad for Jack's argument) it gets the basic premise wrong. As pointed out here, a newspaper in Israel reported before the trip about the message Pelosi was given. From Ha'aretz:

Following his visit to the forces in the field, a decision was made to publicly address the concerns of a possible deterioration with the Syrians, and to send a message that Israel has no intention of attacking Syria, nor is there any coordinated plan with the U.S. for a joint attack against Iran.

The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, is scheduled to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus today, and will deliver a message of calm from Israel.

Media Matters has the rest of the story. The point being that the Washington Post (and whether it's usually friendly to the DemocratIC Party is another question entirely) is the one who misrepresented the message given to Speaker Pelosi.

Onto the Harry Ried part of Kelly's column. He dutifully quotes David Broder about how Senator Reid is an embarrassment to the Democrats. It's the "the war is lost" talking point now being beaten to death by the Republicans. Just how offensive was that statement to the American people? Let's go back to the same poll above. In it, we find this clear-cut statement:
55 percent believe that victory in Iraq isn't possible.
See that? A majority agree with Reid that the war is lost. And that's embarrassing...how? Broder doesn't say. Neither does Kelly.

I found a curious paragraph in Broder's column. It's right before a paragraph that Kelly quotes. Broder writes:
Given the way the Constitution divides warmaking power between the president, as commander in chief, and Congress, as sole source of funds to support the armed services, it is essential that at some point Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi be able to negotiate with the White House to determine the course America will follow until a new president takes office.
Whah? You mean that the Congress actually has a say in how the war is to be run? Broder said it, Jack, so it must be true.

Another Sunday, another column of spin and misrepresentation (and an outright lie) from the former National Security Columnist of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

1 comment:

Matt said...

I read Jack Kelly's columns sometimes and I am just amazed. Totally divorced from reality. He often is happy to explain how the war is getting better and how rosy the picture is.