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Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Friday | January 31, 2003

Cheney supports Confederate Flag!

The Right Wing has been all in a tizzy over ANSWER sponsorhip of anti-war rallies. In short, the argument is that protesters are tacitly endorsing ANSWER's leninist ideology by attending those rallies.

Well, in that case, VP Cheney endorses the Confederate Flag and thinks Janet Reno is a child butcher.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference, which featured Vice President Cheney as its opening luncheon speaker yesterday, one of the various exhibition booths hawking paraphernalia had some virulently anti-Muslim vinyl bumper stickers, for $3.95, including one that said: "No Muslims -- No Terrorism."

Sources said an attendee at the group's 30th annual conference, at the Crystal City Marriott, called Cheney's office to complain and a Cheney aide called CPAC organizers to express "strong displeasure."

The booth operators removed the anti-Muslim stickers from the rack before Cheney spoke -- though they left up some more tasteful items, such as the stamps that said: "WANTED! Crimes against children," and had a picture of former attorney general Janet Reno, "A.K.A. 'The Butcher of Waco.' " And they left others supporting the Confederate flag and such.

So, here's the deal: the booth operators help sponsor the Conservative Political Action Conference, so their beliefs are impugned on all conference attendees. Cheney spoke at the conference, therefore he believes that Janet Reno is a child butcher, and he supports the Confederate Flag.

Fortunately for everyone, Cheney doesn't condone elimination of all Muslims. I'll give him props on that one.

(Story link via Atrios.)

Update: Tacitus, one of the biggest pushers of the ANSWER story (making arguments, incidentally, that I essentially agreed with), says in the comments section:

I've said ad nauseum that my problem isn't that antiwar marchers on 18 January are pro-Stalinist -- I doubt most were -- but that they lent legitimacy to an organization that is pro-Stalinist.
To which another message board denizen, Luis, responds:
OK, Tacitus, I hear you. So, it's safe to say Cheney is giving legitimacy to organizations that support the Confederate flag and believe Janet Reno is a child butcher?
Great retort, and probably more damning than my original post. Why? Because I don't really think that Cheney considers Reno a baby butcher. I am not that cynical. But what is more legitimizing for an organization -- a crowd that has no clue who does the organizing, or the presence of the Vice President of the United States? (And whose staff was aware of the materials being sold in the booth in question). Remember, CPAC sold these guys a license to sell their shit at the conference -- money used to fund the conference and probably other CPAC activities.

But here's the kicker -- Cheney's people asked the conference organizers to pull down the "kill all Arabs" bumperstickers, but didn't ask them to take down the Confederate Flag or anti-Reno stuff. Why not? In effect, that glaring omission seems to indicate that the office of the VP has no problem with that sort of material. Genocide was out (thank the gods). But the rest passed muster with Cheney.

This post was originally a glib throwaway on a topic I considered of minor importance. But the more I think about it, the more it seems there's something here.

Posted January 31, 2003 09:11 AM | Comments (147)


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