Friday, July 02, 2004

I Know Aaron Burr And You, Mr. Dick Cheney, Are No Aaron Burr

From the comments section at Obsidian Wings, Jim Glass makes a good point in answer to David Brooks's specious claim that "polarization in America is a cultural consequence of the information age."

Oh, no... Polarization is natural in our politics and was *worse* all the way back to George Washington's administration, which was a bit before the information age. And I mean *inside* his Adminsitration, with Hamilton, Jefferson, Adams et. al. engaged in constant consipiracies to destroy each other, literally, by blackmail, bribery, honey traps, government-paid-for libel sheets etc. all justified by their conspiracy theories about each other. And that wasn't even a case of the in-party versus the out-party.

I mean if you think things are shrill today, ask yourself: when was the last time a sitting Vice President shot his top political opponent dead then returned to the Senate to preside?

The last paragraph, of course, refers to Aaron Burr's murder of Alexander Hamilton in 1804.

Which gives food for thought. It also makes Retardo brainstorm on yet more ways to polarize!

Is Dick Cheney even half as cool or half as decent as Aaron Burr, who perforated 10$ Bill Man's liver on Weehawken Heights?

Sadly, No! Sadly, Nie! Sadly, Non! Sadly, Nyet!. Ahem. Lemme try this again. Fuck, no!

So let us compare Vice-President Aaron Burr, Murderer, to Vice President Dick Cheney, who on the surface may seem only blandly menacing.

Aaron Burr had the cajones to take up his ye olde flintlock pistol and blow Hamilton's guts out.
Dick Cheney, after a lifetime of bunker-dwelling and adopting other habits of the C. Montgomery Burns lifestyle, would probably like to "Weehawken" his enemies, but insists on keeping his hands clean. He does just as much as he can get away with.

Advantage, Burr.

Aaron Burr's only child, his daughter Theodosia, was brought up in an enlightened way by Burr, especially considering the chauvinist times. As such, Burr was what could be called a proto-feminist.
Dick Cheney's daughter is a lesbian; his administration hates homosexuals. His party, and clique within that party, have been traditionally against feminist causes like the ERA.

Advantage, Burr.

Aaron Burr was corrupt in that, since he was always broke, he often weaseled enough money from the government and benefactors to cover his ass, or save his home from forclosure.
Dick Cheney/Halliburton/Iraq.

Advantage, Burr.

Aaron Burr was known as a ladies man, a rakish charmer.
Dick Cheney could barely get laid in an AEI brothel crammed like a sardine can full of Peggy Noonan clones.

Advantage, Burr.

Aaron Burr was considered charming, elegant, exquisitely mannered, the epitome of "good breeding".
Dick Cheney is obviously choleric, gruff, sullen, vituperative. He has all the charm of rancid stumpwater.

Advantage, Burr.

Aaron Burr, in his farewell to the Senate, gave what was considered to be the finest speech in that forum's history up to that time and some time after.
Dick Cheney's idea of eloquence is a hastily dictated memo to Halliburton shareholders. There's also his penchant for scary tete-a-tetes with timid reporters in his "darkened lair" to incoherently rant about the New York Times.

Advantage, Burr.

Aaron Burr blew his considerable inheritance outfitting his own regiment in the Revolutionary War, where he saw action and served honourably.
Dick Cheney doubtless blew something. At any rate, he did not serve in Vietnam, yet has been a diehard hawk throughout his whole career.

Advantage, Burr.

Aaron Burr's political career was annihilated by Thomas Jefferson.
Dick cheney's political career will be crushed by John Kerry.

Advantage, Burr.

Aaron Burr (and A. Hamilton, for that matter) entertained notions of going west and carving a kingdom between America and Mexico, which Burr eventually, and controversially, attempted.
Dick Cheney entertained notions of hegemony over the oil of the Middle East which he eventually and controversially attempted.

Advantage, Burr.

Aaron Burr was partly done-in by professional scoundrel General James Wilkinson.
Dick Cheney employs professional scoundrels like Scooter Libby and Elliot Abrams, and he's pretty scoundrel-like, himself.

Advantage, Burr.

Aaron Burr kissed babies whilst working the crowds.
Dick Cheney sacrifices infants to Cthulu on a stone altar in the WH Rose Garden.

Advantage, Burr

Aaron Burr took great care to meet and converse with the great minds of his day, like Jeremy Bentham.
Dick Cheney is satisfied to meet The Hamburglar as long as he gets a campaign contribution or a stock option out of it.

Advantage, Burr.

And so on.

So, obviously, Aaron Burr, murderer, who was tried for treason and lived out his old age in disgrace, was still a more honourable public servant than Dick Cheney. That's our history lesson for today. USA! USA! USA!

*I could go on, but I'm lazy. And no, I didn't research this a bit, so if I got anything wrong on Burr you can tell me in comments. If you think I'm wrong on Cheney, well, you can blow me.