Republican Moral Equivalence: How a Flea Is Like an Elephant:
Ahh, the sweet bliss of false moral equivalence, so soothing, so conscience-easing. Like the young teenage boy who comes home from a party at 7 in the morning, covered in shit and jism, pulse speedballing around his body like a fly trapped between window and screen, and when Dad dares to say that perhaps a 14 year-old shouldn't be sucking dicks while shooting up with the coke/smack cocktail, the boy pulls out that trump card, man, the one he's been saving in his back pocket for that time dear ol' Dad questions his morality and behavior: "Fuck you, Dad. You told me you smoked dope when you were a kid." See, the teenager is counting on the guilt of moral equivalence absolving him, cleansing him.

If Dad's a moral relativist, which the kid's counting on, Dad'll crumble like a house of cards, thinking, "Oh, fuck me, the boy's right, even though I sat around a living room and toked up with friends before falling asleep on a couch." That's Pussy Dad. Pussy Dad says that perhaps we all need to be better people in general. Pussy Dad may even feel a twinge of regret at all the shit his son gets to do and get away with. Pussy Dad has fallen into the bullshit trap of moral equivalence, where greater evil is ameliorated by the invocation of lesser evil.

For instance, the desperate, craven efforts by the Republicans and their lackeys in the right wing press to find anything, any goddamn thing, to make sure that Democrats look as corrupt as Republicans. So we get the bizarro, does-any-real-person-give-a-fuck article that says Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid got free tickets to three boxing matches in Nevada. And we get the gleeful piling on Rep. William Jefferson, who likes his cash cold, by everyone in the media. Or the pathetic attempts to tie any Democrat, in any way, shape, form, or thread, to Jack Abramoff, even if it means just lying about it. Because, you know, we wouldn't wanna say that one party has become rank with "decay" and "failure," full of "traitors" who are "shallow, pathetic, corrupt, imcompetent, and sick," as a training tape for Newt Gingrich's GOPAC instructed Republicans to talk about Democrats back in 1994.

Republicans have to cling to moral equivalency, and hope that Pussy Dad shows up, because comparing Harry Reid and William Jefferson to, let's say, Tom DeLay and Duke Cunningham, with Bob Ney and others pulling up the rear, is like saying that unsolicitedly squeezing a nice ass in a bar is the same thing as engineering and participating in the gang rape of abducted illegal immigrant children. It's like saying a shoulder punch is the same as getting kicked in the nuts repeatedly. It's like saying that a paper cut is the same thing as a sliced jugular. It's like saying that X equals Y, even if X is a flea and Y is, well, an elephant. At worst, Reid had an ethical fart. At worst, Jefferson is a greedy motherfucker acting alone. Remember: they're not even part of the majority in Congress. DeLay and Cunningham represent a systemic sickness, a malignant tumor of graft and power madness that revealed itself in bill after bill, vote after vote.

But the lie of moral equivalence is all they have. Look at George W. Bush yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery. He spoke of the dead Americans from Iraq buried there, and veterans from the war gathered with "veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and other conflicts across the globe, whose friends and comrades also lie in this sacred ground." Bush has to make sure that World War II (or the American Revolution or whatever "good war" he needs at the moment) is invoked to make his massively fucked up adventure in Iraq mean so much more than it actually does. No, Bush is wrong when he said, "All who are buried here understood their duty. They saw a dark shadow on the horizon, and went to meet it. They understood that tyranny must be met with resolve, and that liberty is always the achievement of courage." Leaving aside those who were drafted didn't exactly go "to meet" the dark shadows because it was their duty, all the dead are not alike, except in that they are dead.

For to compare the useless dead of Vietnam and Iraq to those who died in an actual, real battle against tyranny in World War II is to desecrate the graves of both. Bush may as well have taken two skeletons and held them as puppets said, "Here's a guy who killed him some Nazis; here's a guy who killed him some gooks. Don't they look alike? When I jiggle 'em, don't they just rattle so pretty? Hey, Nazi-killer, say 'Hi' to Gook-killer while I drink this glass of water." They both fought, they both died - which one would you have die for you still?

The question remains, of course, whether or not Democrats are gonna be Pussy Dad or Righteous Dad to that fucked-up teenager. 'Cause Righteous Dad, when confronted with a bullshit moral equivalence argument, would look at the teenager and say, "Yeah, right. You're grounded, and your Xbox belongs to the Salvation Army. Now, spooge-covered or not, mow the fuckin' lawn."