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February 22, 2009

An Almost-Sane Right Wing Pundit

Debra Saunders has been of considerable interest to me, since well before I began screening pot smokers in 2001; primarily because she had expressed early support for (at least her version) of medical marijuana, one that believed it should be legal for those with certain diseases. In those days, I must admit that because I still hadn’t discovered the extent to which pot’s market success had depended on its anxiolytic properties or worked out some of the clinical dynamics of its many therapeutic benefits, I saw all political support as both rational and welcome.

As the Bush years wore on however, I found less and less to like about Ms Saunders’ inevitable defense of his latest folly and her often expressed scorn for “Bush-haters” and “tree huggers ” alike. Today’s column in the SF Chronicle, which was also carried under another title in a radical Right Wing Internet newsletter, is an interesting case in point. Now that both the American and Global economies seem to be going South at ever increasing rates, Saunders, writing from Europe, seems to be one of the few on the Right willing to admit that reality and assign Bush at least a modicum of blame.

One is forced to wonder, however, just how long such a position will be acceptable to Limbaugh loyalists who are rooting for Obama to fail, but remain clueless as to the potentially dire consequences of such a failure.

Last night, I took a break of sorts. Once an avid movie buff, I haven’t watched a full length film in a long time. In fact, the last was Inconvenient Truth, the documentary written by Al Gore and released in May 2006. After finding the DVD and watching it again, I was struck that I hadn't fully grasped how bad things were when I first watched it, how much worse they seem to have become in just under three years, and how slowly the nay-sayers seem to be catching on.

What I now realize with increasing clarity is that some humsns are even more armored against reality by our highly variable capacity for denial than I'd realized; further, those, like Bush and Limbaugh, who seem least able to admit a mistake are also seemingly capable of denying almost any reality. Finally; it doesn't seem a function of intelligence, but of rather the degree of one's commitment to an extreme belief.

Appropriate examples among extremists on the opposite side abound: the President of Iran, who as Shiite Muslim, is hardly a fan of Osama bin Laden, whose Sunni sympathies are well known, but who–– in any case–– almost certainly didn’t discuss the details of 9/11 with Saddam, another Sunni we foolishly (and oportunisticlly) squandered so much blood and treasure to attack in (claimed) retaliation.

If there’s a message hidden in that mess, it may be that we humans are so dishonest and so prone to irrational decisions, we probably shouldn’t be trusted with big ones.

But, unortunately, someone has to make them.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at February 22, 2009 05:21 PM