I have been interested in the Powerline blog for some time. At a deposition several years ago, when blogs siill were an inside secret, I witnessed Powerline proprietor John Hinderaker work on his site while he was asking questions of a witness. I cannot say that he was posting, but I can say that there was an internet connection, some part of his site was on his screen and he was reading and typing. I was impressed.
I looked up the site later and found that what John and his cohorts were typing was far right, both politically and socially. I have always been impressed by the quality of the posts, especially given that all three posters have day jobs, although they are completely intolerant of any view other than their own. Their views on baseball and music are generally on the money, but their politics are mean, intolerant and small minded. The site gained prominence as the Selectricgate scandal over the CBS Mary Mapes - Dan Rather - George Bush papers.
Yesterday, the site completely lost its compass by equating those who blame the Bush Doctrine for the present Mid-East battles and U.S. impotence with the propaganda of Joseph Goebbels. Paul Mirengoff wrote:
"In an obscene attempt to obtain political mileage, the Democrats are claiming that President Bush is responsible for the outbreak of war in the Middle East. Howard Dean claims that the war would not have occurred if the Democrats had been in power because the Dems would have worked the past six years to prevent it. And Sen. Dodd has made basically the same assertion. Meanwhile, Rep. Jane Harman contends that the Bush administration is to blame for our poor to non-existent relations with Syria and Iran which, she says, prevent us from using diplomacy to end the crisis.
Once again, the Democrats are taking partisan politics to a previously unknown low. No past opposition party has attempted to blame the outbreak of an Arab-Israeli war on the party in power. Unless I'm mistaken, the Republicans didn't blame President Johnson for the war in 1967; the Dems didn't blame President Nixon for the war in 1973; nor did they blame President Reagan for the hostilities in Lebanon that occurred on his watch. Moreover, it is especially reprehensible for the Dems to be taking such a low road now, when unlike before, the U.S. is in the middle of essentially the same war as Israel -- the war on terrorism.
. . . In terms of the style of its propaganda, this is a party in which Joseph Goebbels would feel at home."
Even for a site that routinely denies the legitimacy of any disagreement, (see here over domestic spying) this is a new low. Do they think that if they accuse us of being Nazis, no one will notice that the war in Iraq has made us less safe and removed the U.S.'s influence to moderate events in the Middle East. Read the numbers.
When Senator Dick Durbin compared Gitmo to concentration camps, he was roundly attacked, including in Powerline. So I guess questioning our foreign policy is Nazism, but torturing detainees is nothing like what the Nazi's did. I guess that's why powerline does not have comments.
This is too much even for right wing stalwart John Podheretz, who condemned the Goebbels comparison. It should also be too much for everyone else.
In a less inflammatory, but equally galling and blindered manner, Instapundit seems to state that the time for debate over the war and its associated foreign policy issues is over:
"You'd think it would be a bit late in the day to be engaging in these arguments -- we already went to war, after all -- but apparently not."
Next thing you know they'll say they paid for this microphone. I thought the point was that it belonged to us all.