The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, February 01, 2005  

Dishonesty in the Right-Wing Blogosphere

Like many liberal bloggers, and maybe a few from that side of the fence where the grass is parched and brown, I wrote four days ago, after having picked up on an article from the Washington Post, about the outrageously inappropriate attire in which Vice President Dick Cheney appeared at the recent international gathering at the Nazi death camp, Auschwitz, to memorialize the Holocaust.

It has been fascinating to read so many right-wing bloggers leaping to Cheney's defense -- or descending to his level, depending upon one's perspective -- in a veritable cacophany of illucidity and dishonesty. The most remarkable argument went like this (and I'm paraphrasing): "Cheney seemed to me to be dressed as any man of his age would be dressed given the weather conditions apparent in the photograph."

Yeah, sure. Memories are short on the right, don't you think?

Look, I remember Leonid Brezhnev making public appearances in Moscow and elsewhere while his countenance, posture, and gait -- or the lack thereof on all three measures -- pointed to a next-week appointment with the embalming needle. And do you know what? Brezhnev didn't show up in Red Square or elsewhere wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jacket.

And This Was Taken on a Good Day

His hats were usually way over the top, but there was a certain sartorial splendor to Brezhnev's wardrobe.

This allegedly minor "faux pas" on Cheney's part -- if the right wingers were to admit it was even that -- is nothing of the kind. It was and is a disgrace.

[Post-publication addendum: Reader J.C., Washington, D.C., writes: "I took Cheney's get-up to be a deliberate (expletive deleted) you to Jews, as in, Cheney saying, 'Come on, that was 60 years ago. Why don't you people stop whining? You've all got plenty of money, and besides, Hitler did some cool stuff too (Bush's family tells me so), and I did read a book once that said the Holocaust was either made up or greatly exagerated, and besides, we saved you and continue to support you and all you do is fund Democrats, make nice with gay people, and make smutty films. So like I said, shut up!' (Shades of James A. Baker here.) I don't know how else you can interpret it. The office of the vice president, I am entirely sure, has a substantial staff that makes sure issues of diplomatic protocol -- how to dress properly, whose hand to shake, who to snub, etc. -- are fully addressed before, during, and after the event. I think the veep is flipping the mingie to all Jews on this one."]

[Post-publication addendum (February 2): Reader B.R. writes: "Shame on you! Put the blame where it belongs! It is a wife's duty to say, 'You're not going looking like that, are you?'"]

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