Sunday, September 29, 2002

I'm not sure this is a proper Fisking (go to Instapundit for some good info on the concept), but here goes...

In a an article on CNN's web site, we were treated to news of Barbra Streisand's latest pronouncement from on high. Text from the article is in bold.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Barbra Streisand has instructed an aide to fire off a letter urging House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt to "go on the offensive" against President Bush in the debate over Iraq.

So how much of this letter is actually Barbra's opinions? And it must be nice to have aides to do this kind of work. Or maybe Ms Streisand isn't capable of forming the opinions herself, possibly being too busy having an apoplectic fit over Gore and Daschle making fools of themselves with their sanctimonious indignation.

Margery Tabankin, the singer-actress-activist's top political adviser, penned the memo, which was faxed to the Capitol on Wednesday, several hours after Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, delivered a fiery floor speech about the debate over Iraq and national security.

"While the Republicans are shouting about the Democrats' special interests," Tabankin wrote, "why are the Democrats not saying the same about the Republicans? How can we ignore the obvious influence on the Bush administration of such special interests as the oil industry, the chemical companies, the logging industry, the defense contractors, the mining industry, and the automobile industry, just to name a few?

Maybe the Democrats are, for a change, showing some smarts and keeping their yaps shut. The Dems know that they're as much beholden to special interests as the Reps. In some cases the special interests are different, but many of these special interests contribute to both parties - just a matter of covering their bets, regardless of who's in power. Also, some of the Republican special interests, such as defense contractors, are kinda hip right now, what with national defense mattering again. The Dems aren't stupid enough to go after the defense contractors in this climate - maybe Babs should pick up a clue. On the flip side, the Dems count various gun-control groups among their special interests, and the Dems realize it ain't hip to be telling folks that self-defense is unnecessary, or dangerous.

"Many of these industries, run by big Republican donors and insiders, clearly have much to gain if we go to war against Iraq. Barbra urges the Democrats to publicly convey this message to the American people," she wrote.

And many of these industries are publicly owned. Would the shareholders have anything to gain if we go to war against Iraq? And how about some thoughts on what the nation stands to gain by eliminating Saddam Hussein?

Tabankin added that while there are "serious problems" with Iraq and Saddam Hussein, "Barbra feels that we can't let this issue become a distraction from the country's domestic problems and the president's inability to fully dismantle the Al Queda (sic) network. After all, Sadam (sic) Hussein did not bomb the World Trade Center."

The president's INABILITY to fully dismantle Al Quaida?! WHAT IS THIS WOMAN SMOKING! We could easily fully dismantle al-Qaeda with a couple dozen nuclear weapons properly used against targets in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and (bada-bing!) Iraq. If we rounded up and exterminated everyone on the planet with any hint of Islamic thought, we'd be making a good start at dismantling al-Qaeda. Plow the jungles of the Phillipines and root out Abu Sayef, turn Somalia into a melted sand parking lot, and commit all possible resources to the task, and we may stand a chance of fully dismantling al-Qaeda and its "root causes." Of course, we'd vaporize a lot of innocent people in the process, flatten entire cities, and create a whole new set of problems for the Dems to bitch about. And, Ms Streisand, what if it turns out Saddam Hussein is connected to the WTC attack? Will you be apologizing for your comments? Please, tell us. You seem to have no problems with telling us that guns are bad, that Republicans are the embodiment of evil, and that we should all use solar power instead of drying our clothes in machines. How's that solarization effort at Casa de Babs going, anyway?

Ms Streisand's latest attempt to be an opinion leader comes across as more self-important babble from a star in decline. Maybe the babble belongs to Ms Streisand's political adviser. (And just why does a singer/actress need a political adviser? That's right - she's also an "activist." From comfy digs in Hollywood, it's easy to be an activist, eh?) Of course, if Ms Tabankin is the best political adviser Ms Streisand can buy, maybe we won't have many more of these babbles to deal with. Preaching a politics of division, Barbra is throwing herself into the Gore and Daschle camp. Soon, I think we'll see that whole camp's policies of appeasement, division, and distraction thrown onto history's scrapheap. Good riddance.

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