I’m not especially surprised to learn that a few 9/11 conspiracy theorists got booted out of last night’s Hillary Clinton fundraiser. We do after all live in a country that tasers college students who ask ex-presidential candidates what frat they were in.
What did surprise me however was Bill Clinton’s simplistic response: “How dare you!”
From what I remember of his presidency, Bill Clinton was a better leader than George W. Bush (albeit a crappier husband). Back then I was too young and stupid to care much about politics. But now that I’ve started paying attention, I do hear boatloads of Monday morning QBs talking about how better everything would be if Gore or Clinton were in charge. And I do completely buy into those claims, but that’s only because our commander-in-chief is an utterly incompetent man. So I buy into the claim that pretty much any random individual off the sidewalk would be better than Bush at Bush’s job.
We need better than “better than Bush” from our politicians.
Many voters have jumped on the Hillary Clinton bandwagon, in part because they trusted her husband, which is why I was so disappointed by Bill’s response to the 9/11 guy–an obviously rehearsed one-liner uttered with that recycled passion he perfected in front of mirrors years ago.
I don’t care if it was only a garden variety baseless rabble-rouser! Bill Clinton should have given more than the garden variety politician’s response. Was it really that impossible to come up with something substantive instead of just tugging on people’s raw, pseudo-patriotic emotions?
Then again, time was money! They had to recover the million bucks they blew on Hillary’s bullshit birthday bash, and the longer the heckler gobbled up valuable face time at the Hillary reimbursement fundraiser, the less funds could be raised.
And of course the Hillary fan club cheered like the thoughtless knee-jerkers they are, further confirming the true reason Hillary supporters are Hillary supporters (in ’16 they’ll probably elect Laura Bush).
And while I agree that many of the conspiracy theories and theorists are outlandish and obnoxious, respectively, I expect someone like Bill Clinton to have a bit more respect for free speech. Why not shut the guy down with cold hard facts, rather than offer up a vague and ambiguous “how dare you”?
That’s exactly the kind of response Hitler offered whenever the German people brought up their own “conspiracy theory” that millions of Jews were being slaughtered in concentration camps. You see, if somebody makes disgustingly bogus accusations you expect your so-called “leaders” to seize the opportunity to clarify why the accusations are bogus. When somebody makes true accusations, on the other hand, you challenge their nationalism with an emotionally powerful but substantively empty sound bite–then signal to the cops to haul all dissenters away.
But such is to be expected in this era of hijacked patriotism. Such is our new-school version of democracy–a non-partisan assault on citizenship, a bitch-slapping of that outdated principle whereby citizens could ask questions as they saw fit.
Remember when democracy meant all Americans–yes, even our whack job Americans–had the right to peacefully protest?
Something tells me today’s political “leaders” would have found Thomas Jefferson really fucking obnoxious.
I do not believe 9/11 was an inside job. I’ve looked into some of the arguments and, frankly, most 9/11 conspiracy theorists seem like ghost-chasers or alien abductees–rather than legitimately concerned Americans who legitimately believe their own theories.
But suppose for a second that it was an inside job. Or suppose a growing majority of us were suspicious and had valid questions? Would we get clear answers? Forget clear answers. Would we even be allowed to ask the questions?
I fear that we would not. Our politicians would call us unpatriotic. Our cops would drag us away. Our media would marginalize us. And the majority of our fellow-citizens would wave their flags, either too dumb to read between the lines or, more likely, too bored to care.
It would be just like W.H. Auden’s poem, “Musee des Beaux Arts,” written about the above painting:
About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.