It wasn’t hard for me to agree with the Dixie Chicks, even if a degree or three separated (not famous, not from TX, not being interviewed by Diane Sawyer on national TV and such), because I’m more or less a free-speech absolutist–I would repeal the “fire in the theater” exemption on grounds of increased technological and media-savviness* in the larger world–but mostly because Bush embarrassed me, too, so they were speaking for me.

This should not be a problem for any American.

So the difference between what the DChicks endured and what Rush and Sean have endured is rather striking, and not very encouraging. Poor Glenn is suffering, though. (Stipulating that Glenn is sane, here, which I admit is a stretch.)

Update: Just a ginormous stretch.

*Update 2: Long, unexplained, unfinished thought. Suffice it to say I’m sorry for the confusion caused by my own lack of skill.

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are very smart and funny, so there’s that, too.

Funny and relatable for me.

There is one whole lot of post-imaginary coital also just plain imaginary smoking tonight, post-presser.

The blogosphere is abuzz.

You’ll see. Being spoken to as if you’re a grown up is a big political deal. Bush The Lesser lowered the bar fantastically.

Good luck, Republicans!

*evil smirk*

C’mon, Mr. Phelps. It can’t all be done from the top.

What Michael Phelps and his publicists SHOULD be saying.

Hat tip to Scott at LGM.

Update: Open letter to Michael Phelps:

Dear Mr. Phelps,

You’ve done something no one else has done, ever, and you’re 23 years old. Why don’t you spend 3-5 years being what would in the political discourse be described as loony-tunes for something you and about 30 million Americans know is sane?

You got some big political bank, dude. People are going to find it hard to argue with you if you simply call it like you see it.

In short, your choice is being exponentially more polarizing with the knowledge you’re espousing a point of view that millions share, but dare not speak its voice. Millions will love you even more than we already do, but even more millions will vilify you. I understand it has cost.

But you have the virtues of being on the correct side, and in a unique position to move the Overton Window.

Thanks for the thrills and pride. And smoke ’em if you got ’em.

Also, enjoy the babes and money. You earned it the American way. You worked for it.

J

Update 2: The brilliant and ever lyrical Poor Man Institute gives you a tasty-lick of my link.

I see a lot of possible wins out of the debate about what to do about the war crimes Bush and Cheney are now going around admitting authorizing, where everyone else sees doom and gloom. Which may turn out to be true, but I say is premature.

This is one of those deals where you can really see both sides of the argument, and I think where it all boils down is here: Our emotional impulses desire a sweeping of all these tawdry, embarrassing national-responsibility things about ourselves under the political and media rug…really, who wants to live through the last 8 years again? And any resources, even just pointy-headed intellectual ones or Congressional ones used on the pursuit of justice have the very practical and scary prospect of those same resources not using their collective pointy-headedness on the rather pressing issues of the day, while we are simultaneously bombarded with an almost unanimous conclusion among the media that the drama is real(!) and the window of time in which we have to move our glacial economy is just barely open so time is of the essence, all the way from the top, 44 hisself.

But then there is our rational side, even if it is screaming, that we can’t let it go, really, even a President and Vice President should rightly not declare different laws for themselves, in order for us to be a very healthy country. I mean, we all know what would happen if any of us had committed these kinds of crime outside the walls of power. We know the reality is different for The Man. But do we really just want to come out and say it, in a legal sense? In America? That’s a huge cultural shift, and I think most people could be persuaded a dangerous one.

And how exactly do we get better at preventing it from happening again if we’re not sure how and why it happened in the first place? Meanwhile, the law and rationality itself are pretty clear on the whole thing (fabulous post title bonus!) only adding to our dissonance.

I think people like Keith Olbermann and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and the left and the netroots can win this debate. If this issue is hammered on long enough, they can all credibly claim they’re not left-wing partisan shills (try THAT, wingnuttia!), despite having left wing attitudes, and put the “what will they do if Obama is elected?” stupidity to rest.

Obama wins because he’s got it right on both counts. It’s everyone’s inclination to look forward and not go there, and some of those reasons are actually good. Obama ALSO said he didn’t think anyone above the law, which also represents a good 65% of the people. So what he’s done is framed the debate in a way most people can relate to, of either opinion. His problem is ours.

So he lets it play out, under his terms. The public has no excuse not to pick the ball up and roll with it now, and neither does the media, particularly on the left. The infrastructure is in place. This one is gonna be about who screams loudest and smartest and longest. It’s a choice between two rationally arguably crappy alternatives. The other side can be worn down.

I think most of us know in our hearts what the right, American thing to do is. But we don’t want to do it. It will be interesting to see how it plays out, but so far I can see some very cleverly placed chess pieces on the table, and losses for anyone severely mitigated.

So far, so good.

Not just at Jonah the Patronage Whale’s comment, below, but at things in general.

This one made me laugh pretty hard, too.

As I like to say, often and with vigor, without the ignoramus, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, intolerant, Invisible Sky Wizard-worshipping base, the GOP would go the way of the Whigs. In the spirit of the times, I’ll add “illiterate,” since their spelling seems to be not so good.

More.

Please help us, someone.