Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 25, 2011

OLIVER NORTH AND THE DEATH OF IRONY.... There's a reasonable debate to be had of a White House's responsibilities, military action, and congressional authorization. I think talk about impeaching President Obama over intervention in Libya is silly, but criticism about Congress' role (or lack thereof) is certainly not ridiculous.

But those raising concerns should at least try to have some credibility.

[Yesterday], Fox News' Oliver North took to the airwaves to complain that President Obama didn't seek congressional authorization before intervening in Libya.

"Quite frankly, it's unparalleled in my entire experience in the military going all the way back to the 1960s," North complained. "Every president has gone to the Congress to get a resolution to support whatever it is he wanted to do. And [Obama] doesn't ask the Congress because he doesn't know what he wants to do."

First, Oliver North is still around? And Fox News is still paying him? How odd.

Second, "every president" has not gone to Congress to get a resolution to support military action. That's precisely why Obama's move wasn't particularly scandalous -- because there are modern, accepted norms related to the powers of the executive, and this president hasn't done anything at all unusual.

And third, has Oliver North forgotten his own professional claim to fame? This guy illegally circumvented Congress to sell weapons to Iran, and then used the money to illegally finance a war in Nicaragua.

He wants to whine on national television about a Commander in Chief launching an offensive in Libya without Congress' permission? Seriously?

Steve Benen 10:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (29)

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Comments

REALLY!!!!

Posted by: Gandalf on March 25, 2011 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Quit bringing up the past Steve. It's not fair to true patriots like Ollie, or Newtie, or...

Posted by: martin on March 25, 2011 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Oliver North has a shelf life on par with nuclear waste for the right. I remember his defiant attitude toward Congress during the Iran-Contra hearings back in 1987. What a dick!!!

Posted by: Paul on March 25, 2011 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

How them tires holdin' up for ya, Ollie?

Posted by: DAY on March 25, 2011 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

LOL! This brightens my morning. Further evidence that conservatives have no sense of irony.

The only cloud on the PTate horizon is the idea that conservatives take this jerk seriously, but I'm trying hard to keep that out of my awareness.

Posted by: PTate in Mn on March 25, 2011 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Why shouldn't the cretin have had a defiant attitude against those Senators? The Democratic Senators who, so wanted to strut their "I, once was a lawyer" on TV, let his attorney (who was not a potted plant) out think and out manuver them on being granted immunity. As a result, it mattered little what he said in the hearings, as none of it could be used to prosecute him. This is why he still draws a pension. The "brilliant" Democratic Senators who cut that stupid deal are the ones who hurt this country.

Posted by: berttheclock on March 25, 2011 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Conservatives have no shame, Steve. They demonstrate that every single day. Regarding Iran-Contra, too many people only focus on the Contra angle of that scandal. Think about the Iran side of it for a second. First, North, Secord, VP Bush and others really committed treason by selling arms to a country that only six years before hd held Americans hostage. Second, those HAWK missiles and anti-tank weapons were not theirs to sell! They belonged to the American taxpayer! Can you imagine if Joe Biden sold a government building and used the proceeds to prop up Hugo Chavez? He would be executed on the White House lawn by the GOP! I don't think people truly appreciate the seriousness of the crimes these assholes committed and GOT AWAY WITH!!!

Posted by: Sam Simple on March 25, 2011 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

The Fox audience has neither the memory nor the knowledge of history to refute this garbage. Truth telling is not a value in much of the MSM community but especially at Fox.

Posted by: Diane Rodriguez on March 25, 2011 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

The next time any Democratically controlled House or Senate wishes to conduct any major hearing looking into improprieties, hire currently working trial lawyers who do know how to conduct cross examinations and the dangers of not taking depositions prior to any consideration of granting immunity. Merely, having a law degree and having passed the bar long ago, does not make one an effective trial lawyer. Hire a major Gun Slinger if you wish to prevail against any person showing up with a major Gun Slinger whispering into said person's ear.

Posted by: berttheclock on March 25, 2011 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

"there are modern, accepted norms related to the powers of the executive, and this president hasn't done anything at all unusual."

Steve, don't you think this is a problem? I always felt that the biggest danger with the Obama presidency would be that he would continue to do things that people on the left railed against in the past, while the same people on the left keep quiet because now it's "our guy" doing it. There are lots of examples, mostly in the national security/civil rights arena.

It has worked like this: Bush pursues policy A. The right finds it acceptable, the left protests. Obama continues policy A. The left finds it acceptable, and the right can't protest because they invented it. Now policy A has broad bi-partisan support and is, as you say, "modern, accepted norms."

I think those of us on the left (which I assume includes most of the readers of this blog, despite the truly odd ads that sometimes grace this page) have to be careful about this, and strive to keep our intellectual honesty.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: BrendanInBoston on March 25, 2011 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

And who could forget that 100 to 0 vote in the Senate on Iran-Contra?
Stirring, that!

Bipartisanship at it finest.
David Broder was sooooo proud.

What?
There wasn't?
It wasn't?
It was what? Illegal? Ooops, my bad!

Posted by: c u n d gulag on March 25, 2011 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Some people were born with an absence of shame.

Posted by: g on March 25, 2011 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

As a couple others have pointed out, it's not the death of irony at work here. It's a complete lack of shame on the part of today's GOP. No sense of decency at all.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on March 25, 2011 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Wow.

Words fail me. Just wow.

Posted by: The Fool on March 25, 2011 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Irony doesn't matter. The past doesn't matter and it doesn't matter whether what these guys say makes any sense whatsoever.

Only one thing matters, and that is clubbing Obama into oblivion, along with every other Democrat with the audacity to run for public office.

The sooner we acknowledge that and stop trying to make sense of people who aren't concerned with making sense, the better we'll be prepared to counter them.

Posted by: beep52 on March 25, 2011 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

lets see, ollie and friends sold arms to the iranians. some of the money was first laundered through noriega, turned into drugs, with help from bush the first and then those drugs were sold in los angeles. that money was then sent to the contras to fight against the legal government. so he helped arm our enemies, gave money to a drug dealer, became a drug dealer (and helped undermine the black inner city youth) and then became an agent provocateur against the legit nicaraguan government. and this son of a horse's ass has the nerve to criticize obama? really?

Posted by: plucky purcell on March 25, 2011 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Oliver North took to the airwaves to complain that President Obama didn't seek congressional authorization before intervening in Libya.

I'm really glad I didn't have a mouthful of coffee or soda when I read that, or it would have been all over my monitor and keyboard.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on March 25, 2011 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

North got off on a technicality. (sp?) He was granted immunity by the Senate comittee.
North is involved with Sean Hannity in some kind of charity.

Posted by: Maude on March 25, 2011 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Still makes my blood boil, that the arrogance, egos and utter stupidity of a few Democratic Senators allowed this vermin to walk away from Federal prison. Yeah, one of the "technicalities" of which the Right loves to scream about as only being done by Left Wing Jurists.

Posted by: berttheclock on March 25, 2011 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Does Faux Noos believe they have hit a magical connection between North, Bachmann, Palin, Huckabee, and Barbour.

Posted by: Ted76 on March 25, 2011 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

"First, Oliver North is still around?"

My first reaction as well. I wonder where they've been hiding him?

Posted by: CDW on March 25, 2011 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Ollie North, the creature in the WH basement, does in and of himself lend support to the Right's contention that evolution is merely a theory! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on March 25, 2011 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

As I rcall from seeing it on the channel guide, Ollie has (or had) a show on Fox called "War Stories" or some such thing. Basically, from the description, it apeared to be little more than Ollie North masturbating over war footage from Vietnam. real enobling stuff that.

Posted by: Chesire11 on March 25, 2011 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Oliver North? I thought he had been hanged for treason back in the 1980s.

Posted by: G.Kerby on March 25, 2011 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

I spent the summer of the Iran Contra hearings glued to my TV set, and I'll never forget the day the hearings ended, when a reporter caught Ollie North on the sidewalk, poked a microphone in the Colonel's face, and asked Ollie how he felt about the end of the hearings. With a huge grin on his face, North said (I paraphrase): "I'm just glad they never asked me about all the other stuff we did."

Posted by: William Slattery on March 25, 2011 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Over the eight years of the Bush administration and the last two years of complete wing-nuttery on the right, I thought that there was nothing I could hear, about hypocrisy, that would make my jaw drop, but this does it.

There are now FOUR types of mendacity in the world:

Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics, and GOP talking points

Posted by: majun on March 25, 2011 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Ollie is just taking his lead from Newt Gingrich. When facing a television camera, it is pretty simple. Always. Be. On. The. Attack. Even when it means contradicting yourself.

Because there is a narrative here that must be served. THIS President must go on bended knee to THIS Congress. Because he is a Democrat, and Democrats are always wrong and weak, and must be me made to bow down and beg for legitimacy. And a Republican in the same position would not.

That's the message. That's the narrative. And the majority of people absorb the attitude rather than the substance (and won't notice or won't care about the contradiction).

Don't worry. When a member of the GOP occupies the White House again, all of these highfaluting principles and concerns will magically reverse.

Posted by: Bokonon on March 25, 2011 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Steve:
The phrase "Oliver North" should should ALWAYS BE PRECEDED in print by the words CONVICTED FELON.

See how much more punch it packs:

There's a reasonable debate to be had of a White House's responsibilities, military action, and congressional authorization. I think talk about impeaching President Obama over intervention in Libya is silly, but criticism about Congress' role (or lack thereof) is certainly not ridiculous.
But those raising concerns should at least try to have some credibility.
[Yesterday], Fox News' Convicted felon Oliver North took to the airwaves to complain that President Obama didn't seek congressional authorization before intervening in Libya.
"Quite frankly, it's unparalleled in my entire experience in the military going all the way back to the 1960s," North complained. "Every president has gone to the Congress to get a resolution to support whatever it is he wanted to do. And [Obama] doesn't ask the Congress because he doesn't know what he wants to do."
First, Convicted felon Oliver North is still around? And Fox News is still paying him? How odd.
Second, "every president" has not gone to Congress to get a resolution to support military action. That's precisely why Obama's move wasn't particularly scandalous -- because there are modern, accepted norms related to the powers of the executive, and this president hasn't done anything at all unusual.
And third, has Convicted felon Oliver North forgotten his own professional claim to fame? This guy illegally circumvented Congress to sell weapons to Iran, and then used the money to illegally finance a war in Nicaragua.
Convicted felon Oliver North wants to whine on national television about a Commander in Chief launching an offensive in Libya without Congress' permission? Seriously?

Posted by: steveconga on March 25, 2011 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

And good 'ole Rupert steered a few bucks Ollie's way with the truly awful War Stories series on Fox.

I've always been amused by the episode devoted to the B-24 Liberator bomber, the plane flown by George McGovern during World War II.

Somehow, Ollie managed to include a bit about the Grumman Avenger and George H. W. Bush. An aside about a Navy torpedo bomber in a story about an Army Air Forces heavy bomber? Only on Fox.

Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on March 25, 2011 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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