Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blackwell Done

Early yesterday I saw on the Comcast channel guide that Ken Blackwell was going to be on that night's Daily Show promoting his new book, The Blueprint: Obama's Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency. As soon as I saw the tome's title, I knew this would be one of those where Stewart cut away early and told us to watch the rest on the web, and indeed it was. Blackwell, perhaps best known up 'till now as the Secretary of State who helped swing Ohio to Bush in '04, may well have lowered the bar for himself with last night's appearance.

I've often referred to RNC chair Michael Steele as "hapless" here, but I have to say that Blackwell, who also vied for the same post, displayed a degree of befuddlement with Stewart that was positively Steele-esque. During their discussion, Stewart repeatedly calling on him to provide real world examples to line up with his book's apocalyptic proclamations about imperialism, collectivism, etc. without much success, finally leading the host to exclaim:
If the debate is "I don't like your programs," or "I don't like the philosophy of the judges you have the right to appoint," that's a very different conversation than "You are becoming a tyrant and subverting the constitution," because that's a very emotional, loaded statement that's not seemingly backed up by a tremendous amount of, I guess you'd call them facts.
That seems like common sense to me, but I suppose it's a measure of our discourse today that this has to actually be articulated. You can find the first part of the unedited interview here if you want to experience the cognitive dissonance firsthand, with the other two parts linked from there. I hung in as long as I could, but right around the point in part three when Blackwell asserts that George Bush didn't expand the boundaries of executive power is when I started getting vertigo.

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