A minor swerve from the multi-media lane over into the politics-media lane …

Is anyone else out there at all uneasy about this whole meltdown?  Yeah, sure, it’s nice to see this dimwit president squirm, hoist way high by his own petard – I mean, after spending the last 5 years screaming at every opportunity that Arabs Are Evil And Not To Be Trusted – and then to turn over the security apparatus at the ports to the UAE … man, it’s a case where you need Tom Cruise bellowing "Why the two orders, Col. Jessup?"

This whole thing reminded me of the ruckus last summer over the Plame scandal –

– where the left started yammering about “the sacred rule of law” (the way the Clinton persecutors did during the Lewinsky affair)

– and the right yakked about “executive privilege” and “getting back to the pressing business of running the country” (the way the Clinton apologists did when Slick Willy got caught).

So now this UAE ports deal has the lefties – whose previous raison d’etre has been the whole Rainbow Coalition squishy-feelie bit on how any kind of racial profiling is wrong, evil, backwards – now saying that because the UAE has the word “Arab” in the middle, they shouldn’t be allowed to run the ports … this, despite pretty good evidence that they’ve at least *tried* to be team players in the so-called Global War on Terrorism (unlike, say the Saudis) … although they apparently were a bit chummy with bin Laden before the towers came down … which, come to think of it, if you go far enough back, the goddam United States was thick&dirty with bin Laden back when he was blowing up them commie Rooskies in Afghanistan in the years 79-90 inclusive…

While the righties, who have stood on every streetcorner and soap box for the last five years and pounded their sunken pigeon chests, declaiming “Kick their ass/take their gas,” and “Wipe the floor with a towelhead” at ever turn … now suddenly twisting themselves into logic pretzels trying to wag their self-righteous fingers at how ethnic profiling is suddenly bad … when they’ve been going on the airwaves bugging about how every terror attack has been the fault of Ay-rabs and therefore all them bastids should have the full cavity search up to their molars any time the gummint feels like it.  C’mon – what’s the subtext of the NSA spying scandal?  You know it.  It’s the unspoken promise that “If Al-Quaeda is calling you, we want to know it.”  That says to all the heartlanders that all we’re doing is spying on them Ay-rabs.  Who, after all, got it coming. 

But isn’t it disturbing that about 80% of the population has so bought into the scaremongering that they feel that there is no such thing as a good Arab?  That it’s acceptable for newspapers to run cartoons showing djellaba-dressed Arabs holding sputtering bombs running down the mooring ropes in a harbor, surrounded by wharf rats?  Doesn’t anyone else feel a touch of Juden Suss in this – the propaganda films of the Third Reich, where shots of jews were intercut with shots of teeming, swarming rats?

There’s an old Usenet rule that says that the first person to bring up Hitler or the 1,000 Year Reich is an unimaginative fool, and that person is automatically deemed the loser of the argument.  But –

Is this what it felt like back then?  This ever-present paranoia, the feeling that the gummint is getting out of hand, while so many people are apparently cheering it to go ever further?  The concentration of power in one cult-like figure of adoration – even Sandra Day O’Connor, hardly a pinko Timothy Leary acolyte – today sounded the warning bell that removing judges as one of the check/balances on our society is a sure step to dictatorship and banana republic status.

Has the media done its job too well?  Or hasn’t it done its job at all?  Is it a success for the media, and the blogosphere that the UAE ports deal got scuttled?  Or should the knee-jerk reaction to having an Arab company in charge of security make us ashamed of ourselves?  Or was this all just good common sense?

It looks like there isn’t going to be any real discussion of these important points – rather, the pResident is going to whine about how he thinks this hurts the GWOT (while not acknowledging that it was Karl Rove who quietly twisted the UAE’s arm into dropping the deal) … and the Bush-haters get to crow more about how more and more people are starting to join the Cult of Hate of Bush (never mind the ugly nature of the issue that brings them into the old-time revival tent)…