Thursday, April 08, 2004

I'm Yelling At My Radio

I'm listening to Dr. Condoleeza Rice testifying before the 9/11 Commission, and I'm finding myself yelling at my radio, mostly at the commissioners who are questioning her (and occasionally at the poor lady who has to interrupt the testimony for the required station identifications).

I gotta tell ya, Dr. Rice is one classy lady. If I were in her shoes today, I'd need a lot of tranquilizers to keep as calm as she is under this sort of questioning. I'd have gotten up and walked out of the damn thing in disgust quite some time ago. And I'd probably need a brain transplant to be as quick thinking on my feet as she is. I've heard what people say about her, and I have to admit that my impression of her is agreeing much, much more with the ones who think she's smart and classy than with the ones who think she's some sort of scheming, conniving witch.

Even as my opinion of her is going up, my opinion of some of the commissioners is going down. One just asked her a leading question, then when she tried to give it as fair a shake as a regular question, he cut her off and argued about how he "only has ten minutes" and would like to use them to address more important questions. Duh, guy, if you only have ten minutes, why start them off asking questions you think are unimportant? Either the guy (I forget his name) who was questioning her is a complete idiot, or he's using the investigation as a front to engage in political hit-and-run tactics. Either way, I wouldn't vote for that guy for dogcatcher.

This reminds me a lot of how I felt when I was listening to the Clinton impeachment hearings. Up until then, I'd kept an open mind, and I wanted to hear the arguments on both sides before making up my mind. Our Congressmen are supposed to be among our country's best orators, but the best argument the Democrats could come up with was "He didn't do it. And if he did do it, it was OK. And if it wasn't OK, it doesn't matter anyway. And if it does matter to you, you should readjust your tinfoil hat." How lame an argument is that?? It sounds like something a teenager would say after he wrecked his parents' car. I'm not a master debater, but even I could have come up with a more persuasive argument! After those hearings, I decided to change parties. I was embarrassed to be a Democrat after that. I did not want to be associated with people who would make arguments that lame in front of the entire nation.

UPDATE: The infuriating guy was Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste. See post above.