Notice: Bush DUCKED! The slimy little pimp didn't try to catch the shoes tossed at him. He cowered away. He lamely joked about it later, but the truth is there for all to see. The cretinous, cowardly, chicken-shit little dick-weed DUCKED.
Now, democracy is supposed to make "lese majeste" irrelevant, since we don't--aren't supposed, in any case, to--have monarchical pretensions about the 'representatives' we choose for leadership roles. Kennedy, Bush, Clinton, Reagan: They are no better than we (as the current incumbent amply demonstrate at every opportunity), and are not supposed to be immune from expressions of disapproval or rebuke for their excesses. I think merely tossing shoes showed remarkable restraint from a man who has undoubtedly seen friends and relatives exterimnated by the forces the Chimp unleashed. I'd like to shower the Shitwhistle-in-Chief and all his minions with spoiled produce, rotten eggs and offal at their every appearance until they disappeared, drenched in shit and humiliation, forever from view.
Rick Perlstein is one of the last people I'd expect to challenge such an assertion. But he did, arguing volubly for a "long prison sentence" for the Iraqi journalist who, unable to bear the avalanche of Bushit mendacity, crimionality, and denial any longer, hurled his shoes at the strutting, smirking Chimperor when the latter was on his final--and tellingly surreptitious--victory lap to Bagdhad.
The exceedingly literate, thoughtful, incisive Bernard Chazelle, at Jon Schwarz' lapidary A Tiny Revolution blog, has offered a sensible and compelling rebuttal to Perlstein.
Chazelle concludes with an appreciation for Al Muntadir, the would-be shoe-socker, for revealing the appalling cowardice of the Chimp, thanking the Iraqi reporter--who faces trial, and has already been beaten--for providing anyone interested with the tools for humiliating the pretentious little Pimp-in-Chief at any future time.
Whenever a liberal "of impeccable credentials" shouts "long prison sentence!" I reach for my deconstruction toolkit. First, a rhetorical question: Should Marylin Klinghoffer, of Achille Lauro fame, have gone to jail for a rather long time after she spat in the faces of the terrorists who murdered her husband? After all, no one wants to make light of or license the physical assault on any man, no matter how much he's deservedly hated. This is not how we do justice, unless we're in favor of something tending toward anarchy, or fascism.
The question is useful because it disposes of the rejoinder: "You're not being serious by defending shoe throwers." For Perlstein, the parallel stops there. He is clear about it. It's not about the person but the authority behind it: a "leader of a sovereign state, no matter how much he's deservedly hated" deserves respect. Two interesting points: first, Perlstein presumably confines his sphere of respect to "our kind of leaders" (not Pol Pot, Kim Jong-il, Saddam, etc.) Second, Kant's theory of respect-for-persons as an end in itself is neatly swept aside. It's OK to spit at a terrorist but not at a president. Why? Because, as liberal bloggers write, out of spectacular ignorance, one should "despise the man but respect the office." Do they realize the essence of the Enlightenment was to reach precisely the opposite conclusion? That shoes should be aimed at kings and presidents, not at the persons behind them.
People should start throwing shoes at the Chimp wherever he appears, from now on until he disappears completely from the public stage. And sending every pair of worn-out footwear to whatever is the Chimp's current residence.
And if you can't get close enough, Bernard offers this substitute.