Friday, November 05, 2004

When Morals Come Innuendo

Like many, I’ve been stewing about the so-called “moral issues” voters who supposedly, rapturously handed Bush the election (the rumor that Diebold machines are moral issues voters is unfounded). Just recently there has been some dissent from this already accepted piece of journalistic shorthand, for Slate argues that terrorism (read fear) was what won the day, and, heaven help us, four years, for Bush.

But let’s assume that the moral issue was an issue, since we’re going to have to deal with the press claiming it was no matter (it’s the latest in the canned storylines of unstable Dean, flip-flopping Kerry, stupid but likeable Bush, etc.). How does a sentient being think Bush is moral?

I have a case in point here. Back when I was a blogosphere virgin I popped my cyber-diary-reading cherry on Will Carroll Presents… (see my link list) for I was led there by Will Carroll, writer of the “Under the Knife” column for Baseball Prospectus. At WCP I found a place where baseball met left-leaning politics, and I couldn’t have been happier, as the site used the Baseball Prospectus methodology—beware received wisdom—for thinking about America, too.

Needless to say the writers at Will Carroll Presents… (Will, TwinsFanDan and Scott Long) have been greatly disturbed about Tuesday’s outcome. The other day Will linked to a fake obit for George W. Bush from 2018 written by one of my favorite writers, Greil Marcus. (Lipstick Traces is history written at its web-associational wittiest fueled by rock ’n’ roll.) Marcus’ column is quite devastating, but what surprised me the most were the responses Will got in his comments. First, people acted as if Will wrote the Marcus piece, which suggests an inability to read. Second, everyone jumped on one of Marcus’ most biting personal moments: “Then on May 1, 2011, Jenna and Barbara Bush were killed in a drunken driving accident in New York City, an incident that also took the lives of seven other people, four of them friends of the Bush daughters. Rumors that a Bush family friend attempted to bribe the police to report that a person other than Jenna or Barbara Bush was driving (the body of Barbara Bush was in the driver's seat) were never confirmed.”

OK, maybe this is a cheap shot. But the right-wingers who wrote in seemed to think the worst thing anyone could ever do is write a piece of fiction that kills off the Bush twins. It certainly unleashed a storm of righteous moral indignation.

Not one of those stirred to condemn Marcus and Carroll pointed out these sentences in the fake obit:

Nonetheless Mr. Bush then ordered what he described as "pinpoint" nuclear attacks on the nuclear sites in Iran and North Korea, which, while achieving their goals, also led to the One-Day War, a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan that left Bombay and Karachi in ruins and led to the fall of the governments of both countries, and to the withdrawal of the American-led coalition forces from Iraq. The result was the series of still-continuing civil wars throughout the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent that, while involving no unconventional weapons since 2006 have, according to the United Nations, caused the deaths of 12 million people and the displacement of millions more.

So in Marcus’ nightmare scenario, Bush’s bumbling bravado leads to the death of 12 million people.

But it’s writing that Jenna and NotJenna are dead that’s immoral.

I guess that’s how you can vote for Bush as your moral candidate. You just shut out that 100,000 dead civilian Iraqis have been liberated from not just Saddam but the earth. Then you ignore that at least a few of those “liberated” were most likely 22-year-old women. You ignore that Bush has viciously mimicked a woman on death row pleading for her life when he was governor of Texas.

As for the lying about WMDs, and screwing of the poor, and the raping of the earth, well, that just doesn’t make the moral radar, at least not compared to butt-****ing. Because after all, what’s most important is Bush will preserve the sanctity of man-woman marriage and if a few gays get bent out of shape, they’re going to hell anyway.


Blogger fengi said...

I notice that Will has shut down his blog for now, I suspect in reaction to the tempest stirred up by the Greil Marcus piece. Wow, they hounded him right off his own blog. That's moral.

12:19 PM  

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