Many progressives are upset because, although the Republicans caught themselves in their own net with Foley, many feel the greatest crime of BushCo is Iraq. Certainly no one has died in the Foley scandal to date. I have been inclined to agree with this. Thousands dead and many more thousands injured in Iraq, the destruction of New Orleans, the war on the Constitution, torture, the role back of habeas corpus, the destruction of the US good name, all this and more are terrible crimes against the citizens of the US and the world. But Glenn Greenwald has written an article that makes me rethink the importance and significance of the Foley scandal.

Many people do not follow politics every day. Many are way too busy with jobs, sometimes more than one job, and diverse and extensive family responsibilities. They trust the news media, and certain trusted commentators, to let them know when something is really wrong. Their trust has been visibly betrayed. The Foley scandal is easily understood, and the duplicity of the Republican response demonstrates what the party and their supporters have been doing all along. As Greenwald says, every one of their corrupt attributes is vividly on display.

People are paying attention on their own. They don’t need pundits or journalists to tell them what to think about it because they are able to form deeply held opinions on their own. None of the standard obfuscation tactics used for so long by Bush followers are working here. To the contrary, their attempted use of those tactics is making things much worse for them, because people can see that Bush followers are attempting — through the use of patently dishonest and corrupt tactics — to excuse the inexcusable. And seeing that, it gives great credence to all of the accusations voiced over the last five years that this is how the Bush movement operates in every area, because people can now see it for themselves.

In that regard, this scandal is like the Cliffs’ Notes version of a more complicated treatise on how the Bush movement operates. Every one of their corrupt attributes is vividly on display here:

The absolute refusal ever to admit error. The desperate clinging to power above all else. The efforts to cloud what are clear matters of wrongdoing with irrelevant sideshows. And the parade of dishonest and just plainly inane demonization efforts to hide and distract from their wrongdoing.

The whole article is worth reading.

October 7, 2006