Thursday, February 16, 2006

So Shrill

Atrios's post about the New York Times columnist Bob Herbert's latest post uses the adjective "shrill". This is a joke from Atrios, but that is what lefties who argue back are called by the establishment. "Shrill" is a great word to pick for that, because it has all those nasty connotations: with piercing, grating sounds, with weaklings pretending to be powerful, with women losing their "dignity" and saying something nasty in a high voice and so on. It combines lack of power, anger and loss of control all in one word. Masterful.

So what did Herbert do to earn the joky label of shrillness? He suggested that Dick Cheney should resign:

Dick Cheney is a constant reminder of those things the White House would most like to forget: the bullying, the intelligence failures, the inability to pacify Iraq, the misuse of classified information and the breathtaking incompetence that seems to be spread throughout the administration.

Mr. Cheney would do his nation and his president a service by packing his bags and heading back to Wyoming. He's become a joke. But not a funny one.

The establishment Democrats don't demand Cheney's resignation, because they are not "shrill". They are soft-spoken and civil and friends with corporations and Republicans, too. And quite harmless.

But it wouldn't really matter if Cheney resigned. He can run the government just as well from a place outside the formal and legal parameters. He has already pretty much stated that in his defence of the Vice President's right to leak information without bothering to go through the declassification process.