SHOCKING PHOTOS AND VIDEO HERE!!!!!

I used to get in debates during my blog hiatus with some of Goldstein’s commenters about whether it’s worth trying to engage the left. For all the antagonism between him and the five or six douchebags he’s always arguing with, Jeff adamantly believes that it is. He’s written posts about women’s issues, of all things, inviting feminist bloggers by name to respond to his points. Not in a nasty “got somethin’ to say?” way, either. Just trying to start dialogue.

As I’ve told him each and every time he’s done it: he’s nuts. And the manufactured outrage over this impossibly stupid non-story is Exhibit A1 on that account.

It’s not worth responding to at length because it’s identity politics root and branch. I can’t call it innocent because I can’t know what it’s like to be a woman when a man squeezes your shoulders, even though I’ve had male and female friends do it to me, innocently and affectionately, plenty of times. Michelle can’t call it innocent even though she does know what it’s like to be a woman when a man squeezes your shoulders because she’s a right-wing race and gender traitor who would only be doing what she normally does, i.e., apologizing for The Man. Angela Merkel can’t call it innocent even though it was her own shoulders that were squeezed because she’s basically a right-wing nut too and besides she needs to maintain good relations with the U.S., and so her “voice” has effectively been silenced. And of course Bush can’t call it innocent because he’s Hitler, except way more priapic.

So what is there to talk about?

For what it’s worth, i.e., nothing, Bush and Merkel are famously friendly with each other. Fred Barnes wrote a piece about it yesterday for the Weekly Standard. Bild — the same paper that published the SHOCKING PHOTOS AND VIDEO — joked last week before the G8 about their chemistry and referred to Merkel as Bush’s girlfriend. They get along so well, in fact, that Merkel usurped Tony Blair as Bush lapdog numero uno in moron cartoonist Steve Bell’s latest excrescence for the Guardian.

Does any of it matter? Might it not suggest that Bush was merely being familiar with someone with whom he is, in fact, familiar? Of course not. Show this post to a leftist and, I guarantee you, all they’ll do is accuse me of not believing that men are capable of sexually harassing their women friends.

Which is untrue, by the way. I do believe it. Emphatically.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t link Goldstein in a post he helped inspire, so here he is, eschewing the dialogue that can never be in favor of a little of the old bareknuckle.

Update: More lefty reaction at Outside the Beltway, including a theory that the video proves Bush is off the wagon.

Update: One of the commenters at HuffPo wants to start a new “Sorry Everybody” page to apologize for Bush’s “groping.”