Friday, February 24, 2006

Not posturing

I'm a big fan of politicians posturing. It's gentle, harmless fun. When drug tests were all the rage in the late 80s, and politicians were both volunteering their own urine, and denouncing their opponents for hoarding their own, that was comedy gold. (This vital issue of state went away after that election, never to return.) When Japan seemed ascendant in all things in the early 90s, and politicians were throwing japanese radios down the steps of Congress — that was very, very funny. Probably my all-time favorite is when Oliver North bizarrely offered to go mano a mano with Abu Nidal during the Iran/Contra hearings. He won a lot of fans for that jaw-dropping, WWF moment; but honestly, what a narcissistic moron.

Howard Kurtz summarizes recent events concerning the Mohammed cartoons and the port issue as "posturing." No, sorry. Posturing, by definition, involves no deaths — even when the deaths of others are devoutly wished as part of your posturing. Iraq is starting on its civil war. Not posturing. A space-wasting congresswoman telling Bush "hell no?" Posturing. Nigerian Christians killing and burning Muslims? Not posturing.

Threatening to kill people for portraying Mohammed? I don't know. I really don't know.


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