Vice President Joe Biden spoke to the African Leaders Summit earlier this week and made a perfectly reasonable statement that while the United States isn’t perfect, it works to prevent corruption. That simple statement is viewed as virtual treason by right-wing demagogues. Here’s what he said:
The Vice President used his own government as an example of how to defeat corruption – he described how the U.S. appoints permanent officials called Inspector Generals tasked with checking on the affairs of government organizations and investigating allegations of corruption.
“We’re not perfect,” Biden admitted. “We have these systems where we tend to find out where corruption lies and eventually get to it. So we’re prepared to work with you.”
If anything, the statement is absurdly naive. The real corruption lies elsewhere, in the billions of dollars spent to influence public policy. But even that incredibly mild statement was enough to make Dinesh D’Souza do everything but accuse him of treason:
“Here it is, what they love to do best, this administration, is trash America,” Malzberg complained in an interview with conservative activist Dinesh D’Souza yesterday. “Why this compulsion to trash America in front of the rest of the world?”
D’Souza agreed, saying, “When they blame America they’re blaming their America or taking actual responsibility for what they do. What they’re really doing is trying to castigate America, undermine people’s patriotism, increase third world and foreign hostility to America.”
This is how right-wing nationalism works. Even the most vague admission of anything but perfection makes one a traitor. Except when they do it, of course. America is absolutely perfect — except for all those gay people. And feminists. And Hollywood. And welfare queens. And atheists. As always, I’m reminded of this bit by David Cross.