The Too-Nice Liberal

April 11, 2008

Phil Donahue is just too goddamned nice a guy for his own or anybody else’s good. Of course, that’s the only reason he got onto Sean Hannity’s show in the first place. In order to promote his new Iraq documentary, Body of War, Donahue sat with Job-like patience as Hannity spun his golden oldies about Hitler and Islamic fascism, including this little gem, spoken with the kind of condescension that only a cable news wingnut gasbag can command:

“It’s not that any of us on the conservative side like war, Phil.”

To which Donahue might have replied: “I know conservatives don’t like war, Sean, because so many of them do everything in their power to avoid military service.”

And then he could have elaborated:

“What conservatives love is the pageantry of war, Sean. They love the tension and excitement and fear that a wartime atmosphere creates, but above all they love the sense of top-down control war brings. They just love being able to call their opponents traitors because they weren’t quick enough to snap off a salute whenever Bush appeared in the Rose Garden with the latest wheelbarrow full of lies. War provides them with an arsenal of simple, stupid phrases they can employ over and over, the way you and Norman Podhoretz start waving the Hitler stick whenever somebody suggests that it may not be such a hot idea to start another war over the same pack of lies that marched us into Iraq.

“And lordy, don’t you wingers love to pretend everything is World War II. William Bennett hardly waited long enough to blink before he voided a book, Why We Fight, that deliberately played off the title of a well-known World War II morale boosting film. You wingnuts especially love the old ‘loose lips sink ships’ line. If a dollar bill magically appeared every time some conservative methane-factory snarled that somebody was ‘criticizing the president during a time of war,’ then the Iraq war really would generate enough money to pay for itself, with plenty of money left over to buy the candy and flowers Richard Perle said would come showering down on the troopers.

“So no, Sean, I would never dream of suggesting that conservatives like war. At least, not wars in which they actually have to fight.”

But Donahue didn’ say any of that. Too bad. But at least now he knows he has a shot at getting invited back so he can sit on the cringing couch alongside the ever-diffident Alan Colmes.


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