Monday, June 27, 2005

A Fundamental Split

Michael Barone, in his latest article, lays out the fundamental split in the Democratic Party.
On the one hand, there are those who believe that this is a fundamentally good country and want to see success in Iraq. On the other hand, there are those who believe this is a fundamentally bad country and want more than anything else to see George W. Bush fail.
Or, let's put it another way. The Democratic party is split between weak-kneed cowards who think they can get a better deal by bending over backwords for President Bush and the Republicans and people who love their country, realize what a danger President Bush and his schemes are to it, and are willing to fight him.

I've seen a resurgence recently in the "irrational hatred of President Bush" as an explanation for Democratic policies. It's the same old Conservative trick to delegitimize liberal or leftist points of view. After all if we are motivated by nothing but hatred and antipathy than why bother paying attention to our view point at all?

Two points might be raised in response to this argument one. Well, three if you count a general "well, screw you too, Mr. Barone." But firstly, insofar as Liberals / Leftists hate President Bush it's not an "irrational" hatred. It is, rather, based on what he has done. I hate the policies he advocates. I hate that he's led us into an unnecessary and elective war. I hate that he hates me and all other Liberals (as witnessed by his lapdog Karl Rove's recent comments).

Secondly, we can see what is going on here. I know you Conservatives live in a fantasy world where the Economy is going great and the War in Iraq is a success across the board. So when mean old liberals point out that such beliefs may not exactly reflect reality, you need to puncture such arguments. Hence you argue that our assessments are based on irrational hatred of President Bush. If we were only good hearted Americans (like you), we could see clearly that things are going great.

This argument finds its most pernicious permutation when applied to the war in Iraq, because instead of just faith in our commander in chief, conservatives can also claim faith in the troops. Liberals want to believe in torture because they hate President Bush that much, while Conservatives have faith in our Commander in Chief and in the American Troops. What goes unsaid is that Liberals, in this formulation, don't have faith in American troops.

I can't speak for anybody else but I do have faith in the American Troops. It is their Commanders, particularly civilian commanders who I lack faith in. And I don't really understand anybody who looks at the Iraq war and says it's been a success.

So to sum up, screw you Mr. Barone. I already said that, but I think it's worth repeating.

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