“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Righteous Anger

This post is a bit late, but I wanted to comment on an item Josh Marshall recently posted. After the non-starter about Bush fans booing President Clinton when they heard he was in the hospital, Marshall posted this about the garish and nightmarish Karen Hughes' reaction to the original AP story (quoting a reporter on the scene):

Karen Hughes went totally apesh-t at the AP when that dispatch hit the wire.

She stormed up the bleachers and starting screaming at the AP writer (who took it in stride). "They didn't boo! Were you and I in the same rally! What is this crap?" or something along those lines (it was loud in there).

I gotta tell you, this (over)reaction reminded me of something I'd seen before, many times. I'm a teacher, and before I found that calling, I worked in the state welfare system. And, in both those positions, I witnessed a particular phenomenon. It works like this: when you accuse someone who is usually guilty as hell-- and they are, in this isolated instance, competely innocent-- they will go off on you with a righteous anger the likes of which you have never seen before: How dare you accuse me of that! Who do you think you are?! You are so so so so so wrong, and I am going to 1) sue you, 2) have your job, or 3) fight you in a duel (the Zell Miller solution).

That's what that AP reporter witnessed out of Karen. Like a high school thug, or a cheating welfare client, the Bushies have been so guilty for so long. Their unaccustomed innocence unleashed a righteous fury on some poor AP reporter with bad ears.