Friday, April 18, 2003

Outrage du Jour The liberal voice of the WSJ editorial page, Al Hunt, has an unusual mission today: applauding Indiana's Senator Richard Lugar. Never mind that Hunt's praise is a stalking horse; I'll accept that Hunt actually respects Lugar. Anyhow, the opening paragraph is a must-read for its transparent use of misleading language to put down the evil GOP. Hunt says that Lugar "reversed Republican support for South African apartheid." That's right. I bet you didn't know it, but Republicans were so sad that Jim Crow was done away with in America that they cheered the policy and vicariously, in their hearts, lived out their fantasies of a segregated society through South Africa. So tired. As I mentioned in my post below, there were some valid reasons for not backing sanctions against South Africa. Some people thought it wouldn't help anything (cf. Iraq, North Korea, Cuba). Others thought sanctions rewarded some of the elements opposing the regime of P.W. Botha -- what we used to call "extremist elements" but now call "terrorists." One particular sanctions bill (which I researched during the 2000 campaign and them promptly forgot the name/number of) was the one Dick Cheney voted against in the mid-80s, which during the campaign got him labeled a "supporter of apartheid" or some such formulation. The fact of the matter turned out to be that a number of representatives (in both parties) voted against the sanctions bill when the House watered it down by removing condemnation of some factions loosely connected to the ANC -- the folks that practiced the infamous "necklacings" and were basically the IRA to ANC's Sinn Fein.

I like reading people who disagree with me. It's the only way to formulate a real argument. But it's this kind of stuff that makes me stop in the middle of an Al Hunt column and wonder why the hell I should go on reading.

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