May 20, 2009

Ventura's Torture Smackdown Tour

Jesse Ventura, former U.S. Navy SEAL, former professional wrestler, and former Governor of Minnesota, has never been afraid to have an opinion. Although his career as a politician was, by most accounts, mixed, he has recently been making a particularly distinguished tour of various talk shows, promoting his new book with the uncompromising assertiveness that is his trademark, on full display.

Originally questioned about American torture policy on the Larry King Show, Governor Ventura got rolling quickly, picked up steam on The View, and then bulldozed through the Fox News Channel, leaving a trail of shattered Bush Administration propaganda, and rhetorically demolishing his pro-torture adversaries. Uniquely positioned as a political independent and not only a veteran, but one who experienced waterboarding firsthand as part of his training at the SERE school, he has had little trouble confronting the ignorance, intellectual weakness and moral bankruptcy of the torture advocates he has debated. Even better, he has come prepared, and revealed the Elizabeth Hasselbecks, Brian Kilmeades and Sean Hannitys of the world to be both embarrassingly immature and incapable of more than the alternately bullying and pouting recitation of discredited, jingoistic talking points.

Whatever one might think of Mr. Ventura's outsized personality, in helping to illuminate the cowards and the shortsighted servants of expedience who support torture for what they are, he is fulfilling a valuable role. He might not be convincing the people with whom he is arguing directly, but he is making a strong case to the people on the sidelines, and has already generated one of the best quotes to date on the reliability of information gained through physical abuse:
I'll put it to you this way, you give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.
More below - enjoy!


Anonymous said...

I live overseas so have been spared that moron blonde's comments on "The View." It's horrifying how she just parrots the talking points of Fox - and is completely incapable of making any persuasive arguments - or following a thread of conversation. She's proven wrong and then looks for another angle of attack - just to be on the attack. There's no discourse or civility possible with this sort. Why does Barbara Walters pay such a nutcase and keep her on the show? Good job by Jesse, though - and great commentary by you, as usual, Paul.

PBI said...

Hi Anonymous,

Welcome back! (I wish you'd leave a name so I can recognize return visitors...)

Thank you. I think The View keeps her on so they can claim to be representative of the populace. And given the current troubles of today's GOP, Hasselbeck's 25% of the panel is about right, proportionally.

I agree, she's a grating fool, but like Jesse, she performs a valuable service, demonstrating to the audience how poor her position really is!