«Middle Americans, especially the more church-inclined, cream over a good blubbering. Just remember Jimmy Swaggert's confessions, or the Jim Bakker bawl-fests. I think, in some sick Texas-Christian way, Bush actually enjoys this. I think he enjoys sinnin' 'n squirtin' [i.e., sobbing publicly] every once in a while--and so does his constituency.
This is a democracy, and Rumsfeld forgot that not only does he serve a barbaric, torture-happy population, but also that this same population is incredibly craven, sentimental and self-deluded. They wanted Rummie to torture the Iraqis and at the same time have the Iraqis be grateful...and mean it. »
My pet theory: the sheer ruthlessness of US society (unless you happen to be rich and/or a corporation) is the root of this meanness. It's either that or something to do with toilet training.
«Like everyone else these days, Savage was fixated on Iraq and the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. [...] "These are tough interrogations?" Savage asked. "My father put me through tougher interrogations when I was 16!" [...] He couldn't understand why liberals were so outraged. After all, he said, the acts of sexual humiliation and degradation that took place in Abu Ghraib were no more perverted than typical homosexual behavior. Try to follow his tortured logic: Savage was saying he didn't mind the Abu Ghraib abuses because they were good clean fun, like gay sex, which he openly abhors.
Savage continued the psychological striptease, peeling off more layers of mainstream conservatism to expose his raging right-wing id. Though he has long billed himself as the original "compassionate conservative," his brand of conservatism does not share George W. Bush's pretense of caring about Muslim hearts and minds, much less lives. It appears that for Savage, the war in Iraq has nothing to do with spreading democracy or respecting human rights. It is about asserting American power by any means necessary, and screw what anyone else thinks. Predictably, and sadly, this notion went over well with the audience. When Savage blurted out, "Does anyone in this crowd give a shit about the Iraqis?" he was answered with a deafening "NO!"»