Barack Obama

Gail Collins: Everyone OK, if Uninvolved in Iraq Debacle

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There exists an irritating journalistic habit, common amongst European leader writers and culture columnists, of bringing every point, every news story, no matter how thematically far afield, back to the subject of Iraq. For New York Times columnist and former editorial page editor Gail Collins, it's a subject to work into every piece, if possible. For example: In a recent column on the death of possibly-homo-hating freak show Leona Helmsley, Collins argues that while she might have been "the queen of mean," Helmsley "had nothing to do with global warming and she never got us into war." (Wait, Helmsley was in government?)

Collins' next column, dated August 23, tackles Hugo Chavez's loopy plan to move Venezuelan clocks ahead by half an hour, creating a uniquely Bolivarian timezone that will help his subjects "better metabolize." This may sound daft, Collins writes, "but in the name of fairness, remember that…so far, Hugo Chávez hasn't invaded anybody." (Another reason, according to Collins, that Chavez's St. Augustine-like ruminations on the nature time need to be contextualized: "You live in a country where the administration believes that cutting taxes for the heirs to billion-dollar estates will lead to increased prosperity for unemployed steel workers.")

Full column, sequestered behind the TimesSelect firewall, here. Radar Magazine writes that while Barack Obama maybe a rubbish basketball player, "it's not as if he, like, lead us into an impossible war on false pretenses" here.

Back in the day, before treading water in the deep end, Paul Craig Roberts defended Leona Helmsley in National Review. Bonus Sherman Hemsley bio from Wikipedia.

NEXT: Tom Joad Shrugged

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  1. No mention of Michael Vick? He may have been involved in dogfighting but at least he didn’t invade Iraq.

  2. Were I an Iraq War supporter, or a George Bush supporter, the fact that the war and his leadership have turned into a punch line would annoy me, too.

  3. OTOH, treating the war like a punchline does enable one to breeze past the stacks of bodies.

  4. Obsession.

  5. and on another hand, that’s a durn lazy phrasing to use.

    but yeah partisan GO TEAM GO TEAM GO

  6. Reminds me of the movie reviewers who will find racism or “Hollywood liberalism” or whatever in any movie they review, no matter how stupid/innocent/obvious the movie is.

    Like the people who accused LOTR of racism because of the way the orcs looked.

  7. dhex-

    While my post could have some partisan implications, I’m not sure that using a war as a punchline makes the “joke” teller look any better than the target.

  8. Helmsley “had nothing to do with global warming and she never got us into war.”

    But she was convicted with perjured testimony suborned by Rudy Giulianni.

    For the children, maybe.

  9. Michael, it’s called “perspective”.

  10. Reminds me of the movie reviewers who will find racism or “Hollywood liberalism” or whatever in any movie they review, no matter how stupid/innocent/obvious the movie is.

    Like the people who accused LOTR of racism because of the way the orcs looked.

    Those reviewers may be annoying but at least they haven’t gotten us into a war in Iraq.

  11. Libertarians may be dogmatic, stupid, and annoying, but, hey, they’ve never won an election anywhere or governed anything. That counts for something.

  12. I don’t mind it so much. All those people who were all “Rah Rah f*cking Rah” about the war need to have their noses rubbed in their own shit so that maybe they’ll learn not to be so idealistic and stupid in the future.

  13. That Dan T. may be a humorless troll, but he never invaded Iraq.

    Hey! This is fun!

    (I was gonna say something about sending his “column” into someone’s “breach”, but I didn’t want to presume.)

  14. That’s Sherman Hemsley, not Helmsley, Weezy.

  15. She may be a repetitive columnist, but…

  16. Edward may be a baiting poophead, but he never hired Halliburton.

    And so on.

  17. Okay, it’s not fun anymore. Moving on….

  18. It makes a nice r?sum? line:

    Managed processes and developed strategies that in no way contributed to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

  19. Saddam Hussien may have been the brutal dictator of Iraq, but at least he never invaded Iraq.

  20. Let me try!

    My Senator, Joe Lieberman, may be a pompous moralizing Bush’s-ass-kissing fuckhead, but at least he never — oh, goddammit!

    Living in Connecticut sucks in so many ways.

  21. I hereby declare war on false pretenses.

  22. Jennifer,

    Ultimately, it’s always about you, isn’t it?

  23. Dan T., I take it all back.

  24. Yo Ed’
    Jennifer may be a nappy headed ho, but she never invaded irag. can’t say the same for global warming

  25. My other car is not invading Iraq.

    I’d rather be not invading Iraq.

    I went to Wisconsin Dells and all I got was not invading Iraq.

    My child is an honor roll student at Hoover and did not invade Iraq.

    How am I driving? Call 1-800-IDIDNTINVADEIRAQ

  26. …or Iraq…and she might not be all that nappy either

  27. Joe Stalin may have murdered several million people but he never hired Alberto Gonzalez as his AG.

  28. While my post could have some partisan implications, I’m not sure that using a war as a punchline makes the “joke” teller look any better than the target.

    agreed. i was referring to the originally unoriginal – and weird – usage by ms. collins.

  29. “Wouldn’t it be a great day if the pentagon had all the money they needed and the our schools could invade Iraq”

  30. Only when you’re lucky, Edward.

  31. For the children of course.

  32. Who cares about the children, Schempf? It’s not like they ever invaded Iraq.

  33. Saddam Hussein may have been the brutal dictator of Iraq, but at least he never invaded Iraq.

    Though he did invade Kurdistan several times, including conducting the genocide of the al-Anfal campaign (with an estimated 180,000 men, women, and children killed).

    But at least it wasn’t Iraq.

  34. George H.W. Bush may have been a shitty president, but at least he never invaded Iraq.

  35. Alexander the Great may have been a cruel dictator but at least he never invaded Iraq. He invaded Mesopotamia.

  36. Were I an Iraq War supporter, or a George Bush supporter, the fact that the war and his leadership have turned into a punch line would annoy me, too.

    You are an Iraq War supporter joe. Just because you claim to be against the Iraq war, doesn’t mean that you didn’t vote for a party (the Democrats) that supported the war. You can lecture all your message board pals, but you supported the Iraq War in the one way where it really really counts – with a vote!

  37. Rep Rohrabacher (R-CA) introduced

  38. Rep Rohrabacher (R-CA) introduced a bill to have the Iraqis vote on US troop withdrawal.

  39. “Yeah, girl, I gave you herpes, but I didn’t invade Iraq.”

    “Yes, officer, I am drunk and that is a homeless man’s torso stuck in the front grill of my car, but I didn’t invade Iraq.”

    “Sure, I did vote for Bush, but I didn’t personally invade Iraq.”

  40. Jews may be Jewish, but they never invaded Iraq. Oh wait…

  41. Kevin,
    Urgh…stupid typo.

    Thanks.

  42. Don’t sweat it Michael.

    You may not know how to type, but at least you never invaded Iarq.

  43. “. . . Chavez’s St. Augustine-like ruminations on the nature time . . .”

    What does this refer to? What did St. Augustine say about time that’s so similar to Hugo Chavez? Did he try to put Hippo Regius on Roman Standard Time or something?

  44. Liberal media bias? What liberal media bias?

  45. “…mean that you didn’t vote for a party (the Democrats) that supported the war. You can lecture all your message board pals, but you supported the Iraq War in the one way where it really really counts – with a vote!”

    Let me correct the above statement for you. The portion after the word pals should be changed to “but nobody listens because you are an idiot.”

  46. At least St. Augustine never worked for Halliburton.

  47. Well that may be, but at least I didn’t sleep with *Lumbergh.*

  48. The Democrats voted 58%-42% against the AUMF, Rex. You can look it up.

    But then, if you knew what you were talking about, you wouldn’t have supported the war in the first place.

  49. There exists an irritating journalistic habit, common amongst European leader writers and culture columnists, of bringing every point, every news story, no matter how thematically far afield, back to the subject of Iraq.

    The same habit exists amongst several of H&R’s well known commenters.

  50. Denethor may have been a lousy dad, but at least he never invaded Mordor.

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