Saturday, May 17, 2008
The Narcissist Protesteth
The big buzz in DC the past couple days has been about President Bush's wonderful speech to the Knesset in Israel. Unfortunately the buzz has not been about the speech itself but about this one section:
"Some seem to believe we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along.We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American Senator declared, " 'Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."
The junior US Senator from Illinois is such a narcissist he was certain this was about him. SanFran Nan Pelosi, Hair Plugs Biden and Lurch Kerry all thought the same thing and droned about how horrible it was. Hey, if the shoe fits, wear it. And take a long hike while you're at it. The only senator the President ever referred to in the speech was a Republican from Idaho, William Edgar Borah. Borah (his statue is pictured here) was Senator from 1907-40 and is most infamous for the quote about talking Hitler out of invading Poland. Borah was a "progressive" and a giant pain in the rump to the conservative Republicans of his day. He earned the nickname "The Great Opposer" in the US Senate because he was so contrary. Today Tim Russert, Don Imus and Chris Matthews would have him on their shows all the time and introduce him as, "the maverick Republican Senator from Idaho, a good friend of our program, William Borah." Sometimes Borah's allies in the Senate would be a group so small they'd be called "The Irreconcilables" -- sort of like the "Gang of 14." You get the picture. (Maybe McCain should have been the one bitching about President Bush using Borah in a speech. We kid because we love.)
We'll leave the summing up of "the Great Opposer" William Borah to one of the two great presidents of the 20th century, Calvin Coolidge. When told of Borah's love for horseback riding back in Idaho, silent Cal replied, “I wonder if it bothers Borah to be going in the same direction as his horse.”