Tuesday, February 24, 2004

I think someone needs a time out

Take Them at Their Words: Startling, Amusing and Baffling Quotations from the G.O.P., Their Friends and a Few Others, 1994-2004, a new book by Bruce Miller and Diana Maio, is due to be published next month. I hope they're preparing an addendum.
Washington (CNN, February 23) - Education Secretary Rod Paige called the National Education Association a "terrorist organization" Monday as he argued that the country's largest teachers union often acts at odds with the wishes of rank-and-file teachers regarding school standards and accountability.
In a written statement issued later, Paige called it "an inappropriate choice of words" while accusing the NEA of "obstructionist scare tactics."

Oh, well, that's all right, then.

Does anyone have any count of how many opponents of Shrub policies have been called "terrorists" or "terrorist-sympathizers" or of "standing with the terrorists" or whatever? The NEA is certainly not the first. "Terrorist" has become the 21st century version of "communist," the catch-all, "you're all the same" denunciation intended to squelch dissent while requiring no explanation. If Joe McCarthy was around today, he'd be saying "I have in my hand a list of terrorists...."

Oh, wait, he is.

Footnote: Wielding another catch-all phrase, this one the standard defense of anyone caught saying something truly asinine, an administration official said Paige was "clearly joking."

Well, yeah, he is a joke - but I don't think that's what the White House meant.

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