Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 2, 2004
Arguments emphasizing logic, honesty, reason, integrity, common sense, and honor have failed to sway Bushies into abandoning their quest to destroy democracy, so I’ve been sorely tempted to just give it up and write about big-headed goomers from outer space instead.
But I’m too dad-burned stubborn to just quit. So this week I’m not going to bash Bush. Instead, I’m going to employ the tactics of my detractors and bash them.
Since I started warning folks about what Bush was getting ready to do more than two years ago, those who criticize me for my opinions never bother refuting the logic of my arguments or attempt to create cogent arguments for their opinions. What they do instead is call me names, impugn my character, and dismiss what I have to say without giving any reason for doing so except for so lame-brained folderol about blindly supporting the president as an act of patriotism.
This, of course, is the logical fallacy of attacking the person rather than engaging the argument (ad hominem), wherein the person can’t offer up convincing reasons why he or she is right and I am wrong, so instead says I’m stupid, don’t know what I’m talking about, am unpatriotic, hate small children, kick my cats, and run down elderly pedestrians in front of Wal-Mart.
Unfortunately, this is about as intellectually sophisticated as Bushies can get, so I shouldn’t expect any better. It’s the same level of thinking that has them hating President Clinton because he lied about his little episode with Monica Lewinsky, but are perfectly fine with the dozens of documented lies told by Bush, Cheney and the rest of the current administration (nuclear weapons in Iraq, a direct connection between Iraq, al Quaeda, and 9/11, the cost of the Medicaid revamping, the cost of No Child Left Behind…).
When I point out Bush’s lies, I’m accused of being some evil provocateur who hates America and doesn’t have the proper respect for the presidency. I say: Silly. Stupid. Moronic.
I criticized Clinton when he lied. I railed against what he did in my columns and in editorials I wrote for the newspaper. I did that because I expect my president to tell me the truth. I expect more from my president than base lies. I’m entrusting him, literally, with my life and liberty so I think it totally reasonable that I hold my president to a higher standard.
As annoyed as I was with Clinton, Bush has been a thousandfold worse. He lies about policy issues. He lies to get us into wars we have no business starting. He lies about costs. He lies about deficits. He lies about anything and everything because, I believe, he thinks the American people are a bunch of sheep who will follow him anywhere and accept everything he says without question.
So far, it looks like he’s half right. About half the people in the country still believe there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, believe that Saddam was building an atomic bomb, and that Ossama bin Laden was doing Saddam’s bidding when he devised the 9/11 plan.
About half the people in the United States believe that Bush is &uot;a strong leader&uot;, that the tax cuts have helped them (even though the middle class now shoulder more of the tax burden and there are millions more Americans living in poverty today than there were when Bush took the oath of office), that he is really compassionate, that he will balance the budget, return fiscal responsibility to Washington, and that he is trustworthy.
This defies logic. It defies reason. It defies common sense. Everything he has done since he took office shows these beliefs to be false. Call me crazy, as many of you have, but his administration is the very antithesis of fiscal conservatism, American prudence, and democratic principles.
On the Iraq war, I have met one Bush supporter who made rational arguments based on a coherent vision for why this was a good thing. I won’t name him, but his argument was, basically, that Iraq is just the first step in a longer war against Islamic fundamentalism. After Iraq, we go to war with Iran. After Iran, Syria. And so on until we have conquered the Middle East and either turned them into passive slaves to American might.
At least he’s got an argument. I disagree with the premise because I foresee a far different outcome if this was made policy. But he’s the only person that has given me a real argument for our involvement in Iraq.
Fortunately, we’re not there because of some far reaching plan by Bush for Middle Eastern hegemony. We’re in Iraq because Bush and the rest of the neocons felt we lost the 1991 war because we didn’t march to Baghdad. We just had to get Saddam. The war on terrorism became the pretext for getting Saddam.
Speaking of the war on terrorism and the praise Bush is now receiving from his loyal Bushie followers; what else was he going to do? Any president you name – pick the one you think was weakest on national defense – would have done exactly what Bush did. Nothing else in the wake of that very well documented horror would have been acceptable to the American people. If the president had not vowed to get the terrorists, if he had not vowed to take the fight to where they were, if he had not gone into Afghanistan to dismantle al Quaeda, he would have been impeached.
Yeah, Bush did the right thing for about 10 months after September 11, 2001. Just as any president would have done. Just as I would have done. Just as most of you would have done. (I say most because some of you would have unleashed our entire arsenal of nuclear weapons and destroyed civilization, us included.)
Well, Bush speaks tonight. All you Bushies get right up close to the television and lap up those lives like kittens at the milk dish. Enjoy. Enjoy. And when Bush is done and the Republican Convention has ended, you just keep right on sittin’ in front of that television through the election.