But--But That Might Hurt Bush's Feelings!
A letter in Salon
that I think touches on an attitude deserving comment:
"In response to Eric Boehlert's series of exposés on Bush's service record, I feel annoyance, indignation and shame. Not for George Bush -- for the Democrats and liberal independents who stoop to muckraking Bush's service record as a way to discredit him. Come on. You're acting like Republicans."
The fellow who wrote this letter sounds like one of the "good cop" Republicans(folks like Rove and the freepers being the "bad cop") I doubt he's actually any kind of Democrat. But assuming he is, this is pathetic Joe Liebermanesque advice. "Acting like Republicans?" Why? For attempting to seek out the truth about a story Bush desperately wants to hide?
But everyone except the Republicans are expected to be nice. We're supposed to cede to them the parameters of debate.
This is the final revenge of cons upon what they perceive as the idiocy of postmodern attitudes in the 90s: as liberals are supposed to accept all points of view, the Republicans believe that includes them. Not that they're bound to any such restrictions--being vicious is just part of what they are. This isn't an exaggeration; over the years many Republicans have even tried to argue being Republican is some kind of ethnicity, believe it or not, and therefore to attack them is racist. This is their attempt to use what they think is political correctness against liberals.
Which makes one realize: so if we're not nice, he'll topple. Fine then. Let's not be nice.
Ask youself why he'd want to hide service information in a campaign in the first place. This piece of garbage in the Oval Office tries to use the trappings of the military any time it will bolster his image and ego, while hundreds that you'll never hear of die for his glory, and thousands upon thousands died while he got drunk in Alabama. Many more came back wounded and otherwise ruined for life, like my father(see David Hackworth's ABOUT FACE
about his, especially under the circumstances, heroic service--here
, and here
), whose post-traumatic stress syndrome eventually resulted in his suicide.
Justice demands that Bush not receive any glory he did not earn. If he can still be re-elected without this, why should he be worried? But he couldn't, certainly not against John Kerry. Anyone who thinks Bush should be able to still pose as some kind of dashing pilot war hero is pissing on the graves of my father and untold others, who really suffered and died for their country--though that, like this war, was ultimately for no good purpose, the overwhelming irony in all this controversy. But they went, they were shot and blown up; it doesn't matter as far as that goes why they went. Their risking their lives is unchanged by LBJ and Nixon's evil.
And finally--"acting like Republicans?" Excuse me--while I think the smartest strategy is a positive but firm one, like Clinton's in '92 that rendered Bush simply irrelevant, at the same time, when the other side is firing grenades at you, you don't respond with flowers. Democrats may be civilized but why should they be idiots?
I suppose the Republicans are satisfied that Bush never lied about getting a blowjob. But you know, lying about things that people died and are dying for, to some of us freaks and eccentrics, is actually more important and has more to do with our lives. Perhaps we're just insane.
"It's amazing I won. I was running against peace, prosperity, and incumbency."
GEORGE W. BUSH
(June 14 2001, speaking to Swedish Prime Minister Goran Perrson, unaware that a live television camera was still rolling )