Saturday, November 05, 2005

State of the Union

A friend at work who happens to be a Republican said an odd thing to me the other day.
"I guess you're feeling pretty good about all the trouble Bush is in right now," he said. I felt a little insulted, since he was attributing what I consider a Republican character trait to me - petty political vindictiveness. It always seemed to me that the GOP was the party that would stop at nothing to destroy political opponents - ala Bill Clinton, whose own "scandals" (Whitewater - in which he was accused of losing several thousand dollars in a screwed up land deal; Travelgate, where Clinton appointed friends to White House travel office positions, gasp!); somehow evolved, through the office of special prosecutor Kenneth Starr via office gossip Linda Tripp, to a case that eventually had the leader of the free world lying about blow jobs in the Oval Office. The result: for only the second time in American history, a president was impeached. Over what? Tell me again how many lives were lost in all these terrible "scandals"?

I remember the frothing indignation that reigned supreme in the halls of Congress during Clinton's second term. The GOP literally put their own political agenda ahead of national security during those years. I blame them for distracting an entire nation over petty political vindictiveness - and all this while Osama bin Laden was building a terror network centered in Afghanistan.

Then, after the Supreme Court awarded the presidency to George Bush (even though he lost the popular vote by more than 500,000 votes), we see an opportunistic group of shadowy right-wing foreign policy wonks take control of an administration and set about to knowingly dupe Congress and the American public, utilizing trumped up fear-mongering and forged intelligence documents, into an unprecedented pre-emptive war against a third world dictatorship that posed no threat whatsoever to this country (but did possess huge oil reserves).

This could only happen under the weak and blissfully arrogant "leadership" of a man like George W. Bush - a man who, according to the chief of staff of his own State Department was "not well versed in international relations and not too much interested in them either".

Even before 9/11, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their little cadre of neoconmen were hard at work planning the Iraqi invasion. They sold the idea to our clueless leader with remarkable ease ("He tried to kill my dad"), and the die was cast. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, who was later fired for not towing the party line, was astounded by how, just ten days after the inauguration, discussion of regime change in Iraq monopolized the first cabinet meeting. "For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap," O'Neill later told an interviewer.

As the Bush administration ignored urgent warnings from counter-terrorist expert Richard Clarke and Arab leaders like Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Cheney and Rumsfeld and their neocon buddies remained steadfast in their push to invade Iraq. They were confident, given past marketing successes, that the case for war against Iraq would be easy enough to sell. The war machine that they helped assemble during the Reagan/Bush years would easily and swiftly crush the Iraqi army, no problem there (Shock and Awe/Mission Accomplished, right?) - and the Iraqi people will welcome us with open arms. The problem was, the CIA was not able to produce any definitive evidence of immediate threats posed by Iraq.

What to do . . .

And then came 9/11 - the day that changed everything. A shocked nation looked to their president for leadership, and he filled this role well in the first few months. The invasion of Afghanistan made sense - this was the center of the terrorist universe, and the U.S. was universally supported in this military action. The Taliban was quickly defeated, terrorist bases were destroyed and Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants were on the run - and somebody in the Bush "braintrust" realized the window of opportunity had flown open. Would there ever be a better time to launch the assault on Baghdad? Many Democrats and even a few Republicans in Congress (not to mention Bush's own Secretary of State, Colin Powell) were instinctively against such a potentially disastrous foray into the heart of the Middle East, but only a few had the balls to speak up - many, like John Kerrey, chose to back the war out of political expediency, fearing their objections would be seen as unpatriotic.

Now, years later, we see the truth beginning to filter out, as it always does in time. No, I don't gain any satisfaction whatsoever that Bush is in trouble. I wish he had never gained high political office. He's a weak man who has always been bailed out when things didn't work out for him. This time, however, the stakes are just a bit higher. It just saddens and scares me that the American public can be so malleable, so easily duped, so easily led astray by a bunch of political ideologues linked to a very effective GOP propaganda machine. The end justifies the means with these people. They now openly condone torture, operate secret prisons, arrest and hold suspects without charging them - and think nothing of slaughtering politically anyone gets in their way. This is precisely how police states are manufactured, how tyrants gain power. I now know, without a doubt, that it can happen here. No, I couldn't care less what happens to George Bush. I worry about the world my kids will inherit.


Jacke M. said...

I had hoped that I could reply to this one time, in one comment, however, you give too much to comment upon to do so, M. Goodman.

Take this, for instance:

"I remember the frothing indignation that reigned supreme in the halls of Congress during Clinton's second term. The GOP literally put their own political agenda ahead of national security during those years."

I still see the frothing indignation that has reigned supreme in the halls of Congress AND WITHOUT while Bush's second term is on-going. The Democrats are now literally putting THEIR own political agenda ahead of national security, NOW. Do you really not see this? Do you not read leftist blogsites? It is actually evident that you do, all one has to do is go on reading your latest rant:

You say:

"Then, after the Supreme Court awarded the presidency to George Bush (even though he lost the popular vote by more than 500,000 votes)"

...and this is a part of the problem and further evidence that you believe in the far left's rewrite of history. Democrats have hated Bush for winning the election the first time, they hate him even more for winning a second term and the far left are not the least bit interested in National security, they are interested in derailing the CIC and causing his polls to fall, causing the American people to believe that Bush "lied" because he believed the same intelligence that the ENTIRE world believed, including the representatives of the Democrat party. Even main-stream Democrats are making this lying charge now and only for political GAIN, not because of National security concerns. That you cannot see that is ironic.

That's enough for now. :)

Tish said...

I felt a little insulted, since he was attributing what I consider a Republican character trait to me - petty political vindictiveness.?

You were insulted by your co-worker for having thought you might enjoy seeing Bush squirm? All one needs do is read your rant to realize that "petty political vindictiveness" isn't endemic to the Republican party! What else explains your revision of history of the Clinton administration, boiling it down to "BJs in the White House?" Presidents do not get impeached for getting a BJ in the WH. They DO for lying under oath, subornation, witness tampering, etc. You may pretend it was about BJs, but the world knows better.

I remember frothing indignation, as well. Indignation that a simple question, such as "Did you have a sexual relationship with an intern," couldn't be answered, but was blocked for years by an allegedly upstanding CIC; indignation that the leader of the free world pondered what the definition of "is, is," and his followers all shook their heads and defended him, as though it was the most profound, relevant question ever put before them. Yes, there was much indignation and frothing at that time, but it was aimed, not at a man who was being persecuted by an evil VRWC, but at one who had been engaged in questionable practics before becoming CIC and afterwards. It was aimed at his followers, those who claimed to care for women, but instead attacked them if they dared to speak out, or make very serious allegations, against a man who had a history of abusing women, who embraced him even upon learning that he employed a full-time "Bimbo squad" put in place to attack those women who spoke out; those who claimed to care about honesty, integrity and accountability, but instead chose to pretend any charges, questions or investigations had no merit, that it was all about sex in the WH; those who, at this very moment see conspiracies around every corner, but couldn't bring themselves to ask why 900 FBI files simply disappeared, or why the oversight of technological trades with China was inexplicably removed from the Dept. of State and given to the Dept. of Commerce, or even why so much Chinese money found it's way into Democrat political coffers. Just tell the world it was about sex, and that's supposed to erase the reality. Talk about insulting.

Now, under a Republican president, you've become everything you claim to despise. You should be insulted, but not by your co-worker. Your co-worker has "no controlling authority" over such things. You do.

RSmith said...

Tish & Jacke,
This is just my take on things - I know you have your own version of history that firmly cements your tilted view of history. I'm not seeking converts.

It's just that I believe my own eyes and ears, and I feel inclined to express myself on certain issues. I have been watching politics very closely since, well, the Kennedy/Nixon debates (damn, I'm old). I have watched the Republican Party evolve into a dangerous, ends-justify-the-means propaganda machine that threatens the foundation of this nation. I don't like their politics, and I like their attempts to ingratiate themselves with certain religious groups even less.

If what I say gets your panties in a wad . . . well, it just makes my day. Thanks for exposing your own biases so openly. I'll stick to mine.

Tish said...

M. Goodman,

The definition of bias is, in pertinent part: a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation [syn: prejudice, preconception]. Your statements make it all too clear that you're unable to view Republicans or Democrats in an objective manner. Otherwise, the issues addressed in my post, as well as Jacke's, would have been addressed to some degree rather than being relegated to "a tilted view of history."

Do you deny that women who made allegations against President Clinton were vilified? Do you deny that 900 FBI files mysteriously disappeared, or that the CIC seriously asked, "It depends on what your definition of is, is?" How about technical trade with China being moved to the Dept. of Commerce, something which has never happened in the history of the US. Did it happen or is that just my "tilted view of history?"

I have no doubt we have different perceptions on virtually everything as our lives, our experiences, and thought processes are not the same. I accept that it is human nature and wouldn't seek to change it if I could. However, to blindly suggest that those events are my "tilted view of history," says much more about your state of bias than anyone else's. It is much easier to shut out opposing viewpoints, ignoring them completely, by telling yourself those stating them are "tilted," than it is to engage in a substantive discussion, isn't it?

Have a good day.

Jacke M. said...

Lol, Goodman, you couldn't get my "panties in a wad" if you tried. I've seen your same ridiculous arguments and thoughts on just about every far left, crazed, Bush-hating web site in existence on the internet. That you think it's reality is more laughable than anything that could cause my "panties to get in a wad." I only comment to let you know that you and all the other propagandists out there are not fooling anyone. We know yer game, Goodman. Your poker face leaves much to be desired.

You shouldn't have been at all surprised your co-worker said what he said to you, you shouldn't have questioned why he said it as much as the fact that he knows you so much better than you thought he did, yer just THAT obvious in your hatred of Bush.

If I had your hand, I don't think I'd hold 'em, I think I'd just go ahead and fold 'em. Smooches!

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