Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Debate is Like Pornography

We saw yesterday that the W, Rove and Co enjoys playing politics with school age children. Today, we see them try to leverage some speechifying in front of the the VFW to play politics with the heroes of wars long since finished.

Here, in a speech given in DC, we see that W is in full tilt spin mode advancing their dualistic, black and white, perspective that stems from the notion that "you're either with us or against us." Note, it's just ahead of the coming elections fun of Aught Six.

So, now we are supposed to believe that debate is either "responsible or irresponsible?" Come on! I suppose it's like pornography: Will we know it when we see it or should we depend on the W, Rove and Co to point it out for us? No doubt, they will try to paint anyone who doesn't agree with them as being irresponsible.

This is a classic Rovian strategy. It doesn't matter if it's true or not. Once it is out there, it is nearly impossible for the target to refute with facts. No one listens to the truth when the more juicy spin is laid out for a public that loves gossip over the mundacity of reality.

Have a gander at the following snip from the close of the speech and see how the W, Rove and Co political strategy becomes obviated by their rhetoric. See if you are not as pissed as I am about their sinking to low of using veterans and wounded soldiers to play politics. Trouble is, the average American doesn't take the time think through the talking points. I wish they did.
We face an added challenge in the months ahead: The campaign season will soon be upon us -- and that means our nation must carry on this war in an election year. There is a vigorous debate about the war in Iraq today, and we should not fear the debate. It's one of the great strengths of our democracy that we can discuss our differences openly and honestly -- even in times of war. Yet we must remember there is a difference between responsible and irresponsible debate -- and it's even more important to conduct this debate responsibly when American troops are risking their lives overseas.

The American people know the difference between responsible and irresponsible debate when they see it. They know the difference between honest critics who question the way the war is being prosecuted and partisan critics who claim that we acted in Iraq because of oil, or because of Israel, or because we misled the American people. And they know the difference between a loyal opposition that points out what is wrong, and defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right.

When our soldiers hear politicians in Washington question the mission they are risking their lives to accomplish, it hurts their morale. In a time of war, we have a responsibility to show that whatever our political differences at home, our nation is united and determined to prevail. And we have a responsibility to our men and women in uniform -- who deserve to know that once our politicians vote to send them into harm's way, our support will be with them in good days and in bad days -- and we will settle for nothing less than complete victory. (Applause.)

We also have an opportunity this year to show the Iraqi people what responsible debate in a democracy looks like. In a free society, there is only one check on political speech -- and that's the judgment of the people. So I ask all Americans to hold their elected leaders to account, and demand a debate that brings credit to our democracy -- not comfort to our adversaries.

Support for the mission in Iraq should not be a partisan matter. VFW members come from all over the country, and both sides of the political aisle -- yet your position on the war is clear. In a recent resolution, the VFW declared, "it is critical that the United States succeed in Iraq, which will result in stability and security in the region." I appreciate your support for the mission in Iraq, and so do our troops in the fight. Your lives of service, from the first time you put on the uniform to this day, are a credit to our country and an inspiration to our military. A new generation of soldiers, and sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen is now carrying out an urgent and noble mission -- and they're doing so with the same determination and courage as you who came before them.

Some of our finest men and women have given their lives in freedom's cause. Others have returned home with wounds that the best medicine cannot heal. We hold all who sacrificed and their families in our thoughts and in our prayers. And I'm going to make you this pledge: We will not waver, we will not weaken, and we will not back down in the cause they served. (Applause.) By their sacrifice, we are laying the foundation of freedom in a troubled part of the world. And by laying that foundation, we're laying the foundation of peace for generations to come.


Ken Grandlund said...

He really wants us to hold him accountable? Impossible when he keeps changing the rules that apply to him and then stacking the courts to rule in his favor.

The only accountability he craves is from those who agree with him completely. The rest of us are just irresponsible. I wonder if he secretly harbors the notion that this country just needs a few good gulags to set things right?

Anonymous said...

No people ever recognize their dictator in advance.

He never stands for election on the platform of dictatorship. He always represents himself as the instrument of the "A Free America," "Service to the Lord," or some other useful, supercilious buzzwords.

You can depend on the fact that our Dictator is one of the boys, and he stands for everything traditionally American. And although nobody will ever say 'Heil' to him, nor call him 'Fuhrer' or 'Duce,' they will greet him with one great big, universal, democratic, sheeplike bleat of 'O.K., Chief! Fix it like you wanna, Chief! Oh Kaaaay!'

What's happening in America is the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government has to act on information which the people cannot understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it cannot be released because of national security.

This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, is taking place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real security purposes. And all the crises and safeguards (occasionally real safeguards, too) so preoccupy the people that they cannot not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.

To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most ever have occasion to develop. Each step is so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, 'regretted,' that, unless one is detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understands what the whole thing is in principle, what all these 'little measures' (that no 'reasonable, patriotic American' could resent) must some day lead to, one no more can see it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head. One day, the government can do anything (and does) that it sees necessary, law or no law.

One doesn't see exactly where or how to move. Each Neocon outrage, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a *little* worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for the one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in dissenting somehow. You don't want to act, or even to talk, alone; you don't want to 'go out of your way to make trouble.' Why not? -- Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.

Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, everyone is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Britain there will be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences; in the U.S., even in the largest cities, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, 'It's not so bad' or 'You're seeing things' or 'You're an alarmist.'

And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can't prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don't know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end?

As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does fascism. In both instances, there is a twilight. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air -- however slight -- or we all become unwitting victims of the darkness.

Neil Shakespeare said...

Can't remember what I was going to say after reading the comment from Anonymous above. "Slowly-Falling Facism" is all I can think of now...Great post. Great comments.

windspike said...

Dear Anon,

Thanks for posting this comment. And believe it or not, I have been thinking about it for a while - stewing over it, you might say.

I've elevated your comment to a top level post for Thursday. It was certainly one of the best written comments I've recieved.

Thanks for stopping by and blog on.