Where's the outrage?

As of when I'm writing this post, a Google News search for the words "Inhofe" and "treason" returns no hits. When I search on "Inhofe" and "sedition", I get the same results. That's also true for a search on the milder combination of "Inhofe" and "inappropriate". What the hell is going on here?

I realize this is old news, but one week ago yesterday, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) issued a press release and the YouTube video embedded below. I don't understand why I'm not seeing any outrage.

Just in case you're audio was malfunctioning, or you just didn't believe your ears, those helicopters and mountains in the background of Inhofe's lying little rant aren't in Oklahoma. They're in Afghanistan.

A sitting United States Senator - a member of the Armed Services Committee, no less! - stood in a combat zone and shot a video criticizing the Commander-in-Chief. If a Democrat had done that two years ago, we'd still be hearing about it today. There certainly would have been talking heads on every evening newscast for at least the following couple of days talking about the video.

I'm not actually disappointed to find a lack of news articles calling Inhofe a "traitor", or accusing him of "sedition". That could be taken as nothing more than a sign that criticism from the left might not match the degree of hyperbole occasionally seen on the right. I'm cool with that.

The lack of hits on "Inhofe" and "inappropriate" is a different matter. An elected politician criticizes the President's handling of defense issues, lies while doing it, and does it all while standing in the combat zone, and nobody in the press can even bring themselves to suggest that there might be even a hint of a possibility that the Senator's behavior could potentially appear to be remotely inappropriate??

I guess it's OK, if you're a Republican.

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When the bar is set so low as it has to be for this clown, outrage seems wasted regardless of how appropriate it is.

Inhofe is a disgrace to his state and his country.

With OK in the news for pursuing their ridiculous godly agenda against the university for inviting Dawkins to speak, you'd think the local xian militia would be upset by his ungodly lies. I just assumed they'd take that sort of lapse pretty seriously. His lies condemn him.

Since when are lies "ungodly?" Liars for Jesus is a well established peanut gallery.

Inhofe is such an idiot, he deserves simply to be ignored.

There really should be a tongue-in-cheek emoticon!

Good 'ol Senator Proxmire used to sponsor a golden fleece award for the most egregious spending items. It got national attention and seemed to shame these so awarded. We need a senator willing to publish a Silver-Tongue award for the most egregious lie spoken.

I disagree with the characterization of this as a seditious act. I'm a full-on liberal/progressive/whatever who hates the Greedy Old Pedophiles as much as anyone, but criticism of the president or his policies is not automatically sedition. Criticism particularly of his military policies is not sedition when the criticism is intended to lead toward increased military spending (though I happen to believe that the programs Inhofe favors would not in fact increase security). Is it inappropriate, manipulative, cynical? Absolutely. Is it an abuse of public funds and facilities, and/or a violation of the constitutional clause that gives the executive (not the legislature) authority over foreign policy? Very likely. "Material aid and comfort" to our enemies? No.

Jeff; I'm not sure how I could characterize Inhofe's little spiel here, but I believe the original point is this: had a Democratic senator or congressman done something like this during Bush's presidency, cries of "sedition" and "traitor" would be zooming through the internet and they would have been aired in "fair discussion" on the networks. Inhofe and his ilk would have been leading the charge.

The question is: where are all those people in this instance?

Two thing going on.

First, the right wing has for a long time carefully cultivated its lunatic wing. As such banter like this looks comparatively reasonable and moderate compared to the rantings of the wingnuts who claim Obama is going to reenact the Holocaust on US soil, using Christians and 'patriots' this time. That he didn't accuse Obama of running a child porn ring out of the back of the Whitehouse allows him to lie with impunity by calling less of a increase a 'cut'. In comparison the left dutifully ignores and downplays their extreme wing and does nothing to make sure they are represented in the media.

Second, the right carefully cultivates its image as 'outlaw, rogues ready to speak truth to power'. Truth is they are insider drones speaking party approved, focus group tested, talking points to media sources they own. But that reality is never part of the script.

Of course, the left gets the soiled end of this stick if they want to play. Clear double standard. Your entirely correct. If a Dem had used the same setting and language against a sitting GOP president there would have been nationwide, astroturf torchlight-and-pitchfork riots and FOX would start a 'deathwatch' for the offending senators career. Reiterating and magnify the artificial controversy with regular 'updates'.


What Dean said. I'm not saying that Inhofe engaged in sedition - but there were certainly times in the last several years when people on the right were quick to throw accusations of treason and sedition around, and with far less reason. Inhofe spouts off against the President while standing in the combat zone, and all we hear are crickets.

Interestingly, "Inhofe" and "dumbass" doesn't get any hits in Google News either. But it gets 2700 hits in Google Web. I guess that shows where the dependable sources of news and commentary are.

Amusingly enough, Art, I was just making that exact same point about the right using their lunatic fringe to provide cover for their only slightly less lunatic "moderate" brethren, on another blog. In the context of decrying a double standard and not actually accusing Inhofe of treason, I think I agree with everything that has been said. IOKIYAAR, and all that.

In fairness to Inhofe and the right-wing media that is not criticizing Inhofe, he is criticizing defense spending cuts. The obvious argument to make is that Obama is failing to support the troops (whatever that means) and thus Inhofe is doing a good thing by undermining the President who is undermining the troops.

Joshua Zelinsky - are you from a dimension where a 4% increase is a "cut"?

On this planet, fairness is calling a lie "a lie".

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 14 Apr 2009 #permalink

I can't find the details with a 10-second Google search, but I recall that in 1993, on the eve of Bill Clinton's first visit to a military base, some Republican Senator or other openly suggested that the soldiers might frag him. Some general or another felt obliged to issue a public statement that the President, regardless of who he was, was still the C-in-C and no soldiers would be doing any such thing.

We all tend to think the Other Party is bad for America, but it seems to be a peculiarly Republican disease to think that other Americans are the same as foreign enemies, no matter how free and fair the election that put them in office.