Morgan Not Afraid of Wolf
Melanie Morgan might not have a profile as high as some other pundits on the right, but she is emerging, in my book, as one of conservatism's most fearless and articulate advocates.
Last month, I noted an epic dust-up on "Hardball" between talk radio host Morgan and feminist Naomi Wolf. On today's show, the two again clashed. Last time around, I suggested that Wolf might be America's most passive-aggressive woman. Today, she showed herself to be one of its most alarmist. The topic was the controversy over the extent to which Alberto Gonzales [at the time Pres. Bush's White House counsel] pressured a then-hospitalized Attorney General John Ashcroft into approving the extension of the anti-terror wiretap program.
View video here.
Morgan was unapologetic.
MELANIE MORGAN: Anbody that doesn't get what a truly dangerous world we live in should just take a look at this wireless wiretapping program. It was a valuable program and it still is. And if there was pressure applied by Gonzales, then good! . . . We needed that program and I'm really glad that if there was pressure applied, it kept it in place, because otherwise, Americans could die.
Wolf's response was a case study in breathless, alarmist, deconstruction-speak.
NAOMI WOLF: What's scary to me about listening to Melanie and various people at the White House is how Orwell [bonus points for Orwellian allusion] describes people who want to close down an open society don't just lie, they make lies the ground of the discourse. There's this extraordinary fudging [demerit for use of everyday word; consider "circumvention" next time] of reality, not just to change the record, but to disorient us [seems to have worked on Naomi].
WOLF: I think that we have to get it [and as we all know, Republicans just don't] that what they're up to isn't just abuses of democratic process, it's about an end-run around democratic process. Why is it so scary what they're going to get away with? Gonzales isn't going anywhere. And we keep saying, "oh my goodness! How can this be? How can this be? How can he still be there? It's an outrage." Because we still think they're playing democracy's game, by democracy's game rules.
Melanie called Wolf on what might be considered her paranoia.
MORGAN: What kind of Orwellian discussion are you having? What is it you're referring to, Naomi? What is it exactly that happened that all these big, bad people at the Bush White House did that was wrong about the wireless wiretapping program?
WOLF: I think that what is really scary is that if you go back and look at what was suggested in those emails that they're [the White House] not producing, one of the things possibly suggested is that there would be a mass purge of the attorneys, the U.S. attorneys, and we really need to think forward, what kind of scandal, what kind of terror, that would be for the United States, in the event of a close election, if there had indeed been a general purge of the attorneys. And so I think we need to get it [that favorite lefty phrase, again] that they're not playing by the rules that we've come to believe for over 200 years that you have to play by in the United States. We have to get it [enough already!] that it's a different ballgame [come on, use "paradigm" next time], and act accordingly. It's a crisis.
MORGAN: The people who were fired were political appointees. There was no law broken, so all of this is a stupid little "gotcha" game that you Democrats are playing in order to keep Washington tied up in little knots. Well congratulations: you've been very successful at that. But you know what? We are in the middle of a war in which we are facing very serious consequences, long-term consequences, if we don't win it. So I suggest you get your mind focused around something important for a change.
Bravo, Melanie. Too many conservatives are intimidated by people like Wolf and their high-flown rhetoric. Wolf looks at the world and is scared by "crisis," "outrage," "purges" and "terror." The irony is that she sees them all as the work of our own government. Morgan tells it like it is: the terror emanates, very simply, from terrorists who seek to kill as many of us as possible and destroy our civilization.