Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Which protesters, Ari?

So, in response to peace protests over the weekend, Ari Fleischer has gone to great lengths to embarrass himself:

The global anti-war protests have put the White House on the defensive. Presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer began his daily briefing by reading newspaper clips about demonstrations against the staging of missiles in Germany in the early 1980s, and said, ``This is not the first time there have been mass protests and in a previous instance America stood on principle ... and as a result the Berlin Wall came down.''

He also told reporters that former President Franklin Roosevelt overcame protests from isolationists to lead American into World War II.

``Often the message of protesters is contradicted by history,'' he said.

First, Ari's an idiot. For every anti-missile protest in Germany there was an anti-Communist protest. Are those protesters "contradicted by history"? For God's sake, Moldova just had protests against their Communist government last month.

Second, Ari would probably find that, in sheer numbers, American protesters have usually been on the side of the angels. Groups that seem to be able to draw large crowds in the U.S. are ones that we usually think of as having a just cause in hindsight. Think "The March on Washington," Ari. Think suffrage. Think Vietnam, Ari, which even Bob McNamara admitted (30 years too late) was a big friggin' boondoggle. As for "isolationists" trying to keep us out of WWII, those people were 1) on your side, Ari; and 2) were quite small in number.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ari Fleischer, professional idiot.

(Note: Julia had trouble believing that Georgie Boy said that paying attention to the size of a protest is like deciding policy "based on a focus group," but he said it.)


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