Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Where oh where did my crunchy granola liberal arts Vermont college go wrong?

So, Ari Fleischer and I went to the same college. We are both proud alums of Middlebury College, located in Vermont, the state that brought you Howard Dean, Ben & Jerry and the Brattleboro "clothing optional" policy. It was quite a trial for us Midds, watching those endless post 9/11 press conferences with Ari during his tenure as White House Press Secretary. I thought he'd gotten married, resigned his White House post, and opted for a quieter life of contemplation somewhere, and my hopes were still high for my fellow alum. But Ari's back on the delusional conservative bandwagon, and I'm back to womdering where the heck he was spawned from, and whether we *really* went to the same college. I'm all for diversity of views, people - and believe me, there were plenty of old guard conservatives at Middlebury to even out us liberal tree hugger types - it's the utter denial of reality that spooks me deeply.

"Ari Fleischer, reporting for duty!
Just in case you thought the Iraq war was lost, here comes the cavalry! Former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, tanned, rested and ready, is returning to public life with a new political action group, Freedom's Watch, that's promising to spend $15 million in a five-week advertising campaign designed to convince Americans that the so-called surge is working.
"For people who believe in peace through strength, the cavalry is coming," Fleischer proclaimed. Oh, Ari, still playing soldier with his friends.
Think Progress has a list of Ari-isms on Iraq that ought to make anyone considering getting involved with Freedom's Watch a little wary. My favorite is this one from June 2003: "When you take a look at the level of violence inside of Iraq, it is impossible to argue anything other than violence has, indeed, come down as a result of America's military operations."
What I find interesting is that another prominent war-supporting Republican is equating flackery with military service. Just like Mitt Romney did two weeks ago, suggesting that his five sons' work on his presidential campaign might somehow substitute for military service -- none of the able-bodied "Flying Romney" brothers deigned to enlist -- Fleischer's cavalry remark is just macho self-importance from a guy who isn't, like, actually going to go fight in the war.
Heckuva job, Ari."
-- Joan Walsh

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