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August 22, 2006

The STF Rule - The Accuser Describes The Accuser

-- by Dave Johnson

The STF Rule: When Republicans accuse, it means they're probably doing what it is they are accusing others of.

In this fantastic (in the true meaning of the word) piece at right-wing Townhall, Our covert enemies, Michael Barone tries to accuse anyone promoting what he calls "multiculturalism" of being "covert enemies" of the country (i.e. traitors). He follows the narrative's script about "elites" pretty well, so he might get his bonus,

Our covert enemies are harder to identify, for they live in large numbers within our midst. And in terms of intentions, they are not enemies in the sense that they consciously wish to destroy our society. On the contrary, they enjoy our freedoms and often call for their expansion. But they have also been working, over many years, to undermine faith in our society and confidence in its goodness. These covert enemies are those among our elites who have promoted the ideas labeled as multiculturalism, moral relativism and (the term is Professor Samuel Huntington's) transnationalism.
Of course, following the STF Rule, he's describing the conservative movement's own attack on all of the fundamental institutions of our society - government, public schools, the justice system, etc.

But then, OOPS, look how he ends his piece:

We have always had our covert enemies, but their numbers were few until the 1960s. But then the elite young men who declined to serve in the military during the Vietnam War set out to write a narrative in which they, rather than those who obeyed the call to duty, were the heroes. They have propagated their ideas through the universities, the schools and mainstream media to the point that they are the default assumptions of millions.
What is that a description of? "Young men who declined to serve in the military during the Vietnam war?" That's not a description of Gore, Kerry, Murtha, Cleland, etc., it's instead a description of Bush, Cheney, Limbaugh and every single leader of the conservative movement! And this thing about propagating their ideas until they become conventional wisdom -- is a description of the conservative movement itself!

OOPS! Maybe he won't get his bonus after all.

Posted by Dave Johnson at August 22, 2006 7:30 AM

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Comments

You make a really good point here! Yes, this thing about the "elite young men" not serving in Vietnam is all too true of the leaders of the conservatives and of this administration. Of course what they think they're condemning is those "elite young men" on college campuses who didn't serve because they objected to the war.

However, it's been an American tradition for the really elite young men to be be able to literally buy their way out of military service, hasn't it? I'm thinking back to earlier wars when it was possible to get out of conscription.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 22, 2006 11:29 AM

Great post! You really nailed the analysis. It is, dare I say, Digby-esque?

Posted by: space [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 22, 2006 12:37 PM

Good find. Barone enjoys his conservatives status as long as the right-wing pundits keep stroking his ego by referring to his encyclopedic political knowledge.

Posted by: WebHubTel [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 22, 2006 6:25 PM

Er, Bush did serve in the Military in the Vietnam Era; the Texas Air National Guard is a part of the USAF

Posted by: Pericles [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 22, 2006 8:20 PM

That would maybe be true if he had shown up. But he stopped flying after he was told he would have to take a drug test.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 22, 2006 9:16 PM

Er, Bush did serve in the Military in the Vietnam Era; the Texas Air National Guard is a part of the USAF

And of course, Bush was gung-ho on Vietnam, as long as he could jump the TNG line and fight it from the comfort of a bar in Texas. Had Bush actually wanted to, he could have volunteered for combat duty. And I note that even Pericles, Republican bootlicker, can't defend Dick Cheney's multiple deferments.

For men who did everything they could to avoid the pointy end of the war machine themselves, they're awfully interested in having other people fight for them. And of course, they have no sense that anyone wealthy should share the sacrifice of their excellent colonialist adventure -- sacrifice is for the little people. Let's assume it's really a war -- why are we doing it on debt that our children will pay while simultaneously cutting taxes for the wealthy? The Republicans can't even be bothered to pretend to share in the sacrifice -- they just wrap themselves in a bloody flag and scream "traitor" at anyone who disagrees.

Posted by: paperwight [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 23, 2006 8:37 AM

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