MacKenzie can kick back and enjoy his retirement. Now the hurler in residence is Bob Rayner.
On Page 11 of today's R-TD, Rayner does a MacKenzie-esque hatchet job on Sen. Barack Obama. He cites Obama's applauding of the Supreme Court decision against creating "a legal black hole at Guantanamo” as evidence of his lefty, pinko heart. Rayner compares Obama to former Sen. George McGovern.
Yes, I'm talking about the 1972 Democratic presidential nominee who opposed the Vietnam War and lost to Republican tower of virtue Richard Nixon. Yes, the same peace-loving McGovern who won a Distinguished Flying Cross as a B-24 pilot during WWII.
However, a fair-minded observer might see Obama's stand as conservative, because he, like the rather conservative Supreme Court, doesn't want to expand the powers of the executive branch of the government in that way.
Giving a president the power to kidnap and incarcerate people indefinitely, without ever having to show why -- outside of the legal system of this country -- is something a lot of thoughtful people might oppose. And, opposing torture is hardly a liberal position.
Rayner praises the Bush administration because there have been no significant terrorist attacks in the USA since 9/11. OK, 9/11 happened on Bush's watch and nothing like it has happened since. For that matter, it's fine with me to give Bush some credit for not starting any new endless wars of choice since he invaded Iraq.
Rayner chides Obama for not seeing that all the extraordinary power grabs the White House pulled off -- justified by 9/11 -- were proper, in spite of how many of them have since been shot down by various courts.
Hey, I would like to go on, but I can't find the Rayner piece at inRich, which would allow me to quote from it more extensively and offer a link to the piece, for the reader who might want to see Rayner's column in whole.
But I will say this: Being opposed to the radical policies of the Bush administration does't make one a conservative, or a liberal. Furthermore, invoking names like that of George McGovern, to try to scare today's voters, isn't going to get much traction with anyone Obama's age (47 on Aug. 4) or younger.
So, apparently, being the new Ross MacKenzie means aiming one's tortured logic and sarcastic sneers at pleasing hardcore rightwingers closer to Sen. John McCain's age (72 on Aug. 29). Hey, why not? It's easy to please readers who haven't had a new thought in 20 years.
Update: Here's the link to Rayner's "Are We Finally Ready to Elect George McGovern?"
Update: Here's the link to Rayner's reaction to this post and some comments from readers of The Board Room.
-- Words and art by F.T. Rea