Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's a Strange World...

...when folks like Mark Shea use Andrew Sullivan's writings as a cudgel (perhaps a shillelagh in this case, given their last names) to bash Bush. Come to think of it, Shea has seemed willing to bash Bush with anything he can find.

Of course, in this case, it seems that the CIA had received legal advice that they could destroy the tapes they'd made in 2002 of interrogations. Shea also unquestioningly accepts a story that Abu Zubaydah was insane and gave no information; maybe mentioning that former CIA Director George Tenet claims that Zubaydah gave important information was too much for him to write. Perhaps the claims from a former al Qaeda operative that Zubaydah was a major player weren't worth notifying his readers about.

No, Mark Shea has gone from an entertaining source of news and apologetics to a spiteful, foul-mouthed, incoherent victim of Bush Derangement Syndrome. He's already declared George W. Bush the "Worst President Ever" and Dick Cheney the "Worst Vice President Ever;" what are the odds??? In doing this he breaks rule after rule that he himself has coined, including the "What Could It Hurt/How Were We Supposed to Know" and "Consequentialism on Parade." He goes after those who support the War for counting Christopher Hitchens as an ally while himself quoting Andrew Sullivan with aplomb.

Shea apparently doesn't have the decency to hold back; in his enraged mind George W. Bush is the root cause of all problems. He'll post anything, no matter how slimy, if he thinks it'll hurt Bush. When it is pointed out that his reasoning doesn't make sense or that his examples have been disproven (don't bother waiting around for a retraction, by the way), he's as likely as not to respond profanely and with insults.

For a grown man, a husband and father, a well-known Catholic apologist, and popular blogger to act this way is sickening, and he should be well and truly ashamed of himself.


TS said...

"what are the odds???"

Laughed out loud. Got to quote you on that one.

Mark's "lack of restraint" is more or less part of his gig. His tendency towards hyperbole is a lot of what makes him a popular blogger. He's fun to read when you agree with him, very irritating when you don't.

TS said...

You know, it would be interesting if I had loads of time to go back and comb thru Mark's stuff and try to figure out the exact moment of where and when he became a victim of Bush Derangement Syndrome, because he started out reasonably open-minded towards Bush and was not a big anti-Iraq war guy in the build-up to the war. Something set him off and merely as a case study it would be interesting to find out what it was.

It might be simply the fact that the Iraq War wasn't a slam-dunk, or a lingering loathing for Bush based on the torture issue.

Or perhaps it's the natural reaction of someone who is on the fence about something and then is pushed and they go over the other extreme. I call it the South syndrome - slaveholding politicians were often a bit squeamish about slavery during the 1820s & 1830s, knowing it wasn't a good thing - by 1850s slavery became depicted as a positive good by Southerners in part because they were reacting against increasingly strident Abolitionists.

HokiePundit said...

I think I tried to find the "pivot point" in his writing one time. A couple contenders were that we didn't find a "smoking gun" of nuclear weapons in Iraq, that the Chaldean Christians were leaving Iraq, and that some people in the administration weren't always telling the truth. I'm pretty sure torture came later. His writing post-meltdown seems to have the flavor of one who feels betrayed that his hero isn't 100% perfect and is utterly embittered as a result (maybe like Syndrome in The Incredibles).

I periodically consider not reading him any more. The challenge is that, like Christopher Hitchens, he can be one of the most insightful commentators out there. It's like someone threw a valuable diamond necklace into an outhouse: is the benefit greater than the cost?

TS said...

Yeah there's probably a streak of utopianism in him, as I think there are in most independents. I assume he's an Independent since he always refers to the Republicans as the stupid party and the Democrats as the evil party.

Maybe Mark did see the war completely in terms of WMD and hence his bitterness. I personally never rested the case for going into Iraq on the presence of WMDs but in enforcing the ceasefire given Hussein's proven track-record and given that our "allies" were all violating the sanctions and allowing him the money to build weapons.

The other contenders, the Christians leaving Iraq and perceived lack of truth-telling are more legit reasons in my eyes...with the former there is a more of an emotional response rather than intellectual (war is hell and has unforeseen consequences, although if it had been executed better no doubt the Christians would still be there but bad execution is pandemic to every war - easy for me to say I know) and with the latter I guess I'd have to know exactly what he was referring to.

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