Neither Delightful Nor Delovely

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Memo to Denounce-Addicts: YOU ARE DUMB.

Yes, it's that time of the week again. Moratorium Monday! That special time when we try to replace fuzzy animals with obnoxious practices on the Endangered Species List. And then build malls in their habitats anyway. Thanks for all the deregulation, Dubya!

And what are we wishing into the cornfield this week? A verb. A verb that has worn out its welcome. A verb that's been twisted and misshapen by the glowing green goo of politics until it can do nothing but evil. That verb? DENOUNCE.

Specifically, the call to denounce. I'm all about the actual denouncing. Denouncing is good. Denouncing for fun and profit, except for the profit part. But all the denouncing you see here is 100% voluntary, 100% self-motivated. Like a big-name Hollywood celebrity doing ads in Japan, I only denounce things I personally believe in. Products I would never use, acts I would never perform, beliefs I would never subscribe to. And never, EVER, at the request of some other entity.

Which is how it should be. You can't force denouncracy down the barrel of a gun. But a deliberate misapplication of logic has ruined denouncing in the larger political sphere. The absence of opposition to something is not equivalent to the support of something. But that's precisely the political card that gets played a lot.

Remember when they called on Bush to denounce the Swift Boat ads? And he didn't? That didn't prove his tacit support for the ads*. It was just political theater. Same as it is every time an O'Reillian personage talks about Muslims "not denouncing" terrorism. Not only does it ignore all the ones that have, but it's patently insulting to assume that they HAVE TO. I generally assume everyone I meet is opposed to the death of innocent civilians until provided with some evidence to the contrary.

But saying person or group X never denounces evil act Y is a convenient, handy way to tie group X to evil act Y in the minds of your audience, without actually saying group X endorses evil act Y. It provides the fraction of a sliver of a hair of plausible deniability you need to get away with saying stupid shit to crazy people in public.

And the point at which it crossed the line, the point at which it became eligible for Moratorium Monday, was May 11, 2006. The place? Hannity and colmes, the fair and balanced shoutyshow on FOX News. The guest? Oliver Motherfucking Criminal North. The time? ACTUAL QHOTE.

Interesting, I've not heard Howard Dean denounce these people for what they're doing.

Oh, wait. You need context. Allow me to provide a mini-Wiki on Oliver North's sentence. "Howard Dean", of course, is the crazy liberal who's out of the mainstream yet represents anyone less than ten percent to the right of Arlen Specter in everything he says and does.

"These people" are Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. And "what they're doing" is, as you may remember from previous columns and news stories, is hauling their sorry inbred asses to the funerals of US soldiers and shouting about how they died because the government hasn't gotten around to legislating gay people out of existence yet.

So here's Oliver North, who walks on two legs like a man, going on FOX News to imply that Democrats hate the military so much they've jumped into bed, so to speak, with the WORLD'S WORST HOMOPHOBE. Which is a bit of logic so twisted it would only find root in the minds of someone willing to watch, er, Hannity and colmes.

Which is just one of many reasons this shit needs to stop.

*You had to follow the money and the personnel for that.