Sharon Hughes of right-wing talk radio is attempting to create a narrative that makes absolutely no rational sense to me. She is employing the comments made recently by LA Times' Joel Stein, of which I and most other Democrats do not agree, and applying the content of his personal opinion to the entirety of the majority of Americans who truly support our fighting men and women. She believes that Stein has provided some imaginary ammuntion to use against good Americans who oppose the war in Iraq. We need to remind her that she's using a 'logic of idiots.'
Sharon Hughes' mini-dissertation about Democratic leaders and left-of-center Democrats pulling their support of our troops based upon one op-ed just doesn't work out in reality. I find the attempt to be shameful. Someone should tell Ms. Hughes that this isn't her father's era of dissent. We are not hippies in the streets spitting on our honorable men and women. The leader of the popular democratic group blog Daily Kos is a veteran himself. We are her fellow Americans and this is 2006. Ms. Hughes' method of political attack has to grow up, and her display of logic has to grow up, too. How childish she sounds in this article of hers. Our support of the troops has evolved from the 60s "politics of protest"; we offer alternatives to "the course" in Iraq that has proven to be a strategic dud and a catalyst for terror recruitment. Our disagreement is not about the troops - it's about the powerful people who are commanding them. It's about this failure of this war. (I can't believe I'm actually having to say this, but I guarantee you won't see anyone speaking up for people like me on the major news networks.)
I wonder - does Sharon Hughes believe in citizens of one America speaking freely and honestly with one another - or does she like it better divided down the center? If we truly love our country and want it to be strong, don't we want to find some common ground? I don't believe Ms. Hughes had our common values at heart when she wrote this piece. In essence, she is calling you and me a liar for supporting a safe, strong and respected America. It seems to me that she would rather use one man's opinion at the expense of the booming majority who state, very clearly, that it is entirely logical to say that you support a strong military and a safe America and to extend the hope that your inept Commander in Chief doesn't abuse and stretch them to the near-breaking point for wars that are completely unnecessary.
If I could send a message to Sharon Hughes, I'd say "Hey, Sharon - I'm a Democrat. I support the troops. My family has been fighting your wars for over 200 years, so don't hand me your bullshit. Joel Stein was free to voice his opinion and your attempt to make it every other Democrat's opinion is, for lack of any better-fitting words, f**king stupid and evil."
If the Democratic leaders who gave the President the go-ahead to handle the Iraq situation in 2002 now regret that they did, I sure as hell can understand why they'd feel that way. The Iraq War resolution was decided upon one short year from the awful 911 attacks that happened on Bush's watch. The American public was in great fear, thanks in no small part to Bush himself. Those Democratic leaders who voted "Yes" to the Iraq War Resolution gave our President their trust on behalf of their constituents - they voted in good faith that all they were being told about WMD was true. From October, 2002, let's not forget who was Commander in Chief. He failed to prevent the terror attack; he failed to find a link between the Iraq government and 911; he failed to find WMD; and failed miserably in his planning, handling and leadership of the Iraq war. He has admitted grave strategic misjudgements and relying upon bad intelligence which he forwarded to our Congress in 2002 - yet, three years later, he has refuses to listen to the intelligent pleas for ending the occupation and redeploying our loyal and overly-stretched troops. He calls it all "second-guessing" for the desperate sake of political damage control. If his first guesses weren't so incredibly bad, we wouldn't mention it.
Get real, Sharon Hughes. You're speaking to all of America - not just the small portion who still believe that the Iraq war was necessary, winnable, or worth the great cost in blood and treasure.
I'm sick of partisan Americans deliberately attempting to stir up dirt that is borne of entirely false and intellectually dishonest supportive material. It's easy to play upon the ingnorance of the general electorate - and it's a terribly lazy and cheap way of making a political attack. I'm sick of these scummy little tactics that lead to outright lies. I won't stand for it. No one, especially political leaders, should take these divisive lies sitting down. Republicans need a new schtick. Swift-boating and accusations of "flip-flopping" will never work again - not after Americans have learned the truth about Iraq.
Since Hughes has decided to conveniently leave out the truth of the current day to prove a cheap and non-existent point, I'll remind her of just one statement from just one of the Democratic leaders she accused of lying about the support and deep appreciation and respect they give to our troops:
It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002. I take responsibility for that mistake. It has been hard to say these words because those who didn't make a mistake -- the men and women of our armed forces and their families -- have performed heroically and paid a dear price.
The world desperately needs moral leadership from America, and the foundation for moral leadership is telling the truth [...]
[...] America's leaders -- all of us -- need to accept the responsibility we each carry for how we got to this place. More than 2,000 Americans have lost their lives in this war, and more than 150,000 are fighting there today. They and their families deserve honesty from our country's leaders. And they also deserve a clear plan for a way out.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez offered to be sworn in this morning before he testified in front of the Capitol Hill hearing on NSA Surveillance and Presidential Wartime Powers - a wonderful American tradition representing the value we place on God and truth.
Chairman of the Committee Arlen Specter just wouldn't have any of that kind of swearing-in on the Bible, regardless of the fact it is long-standing tradition and that the American public trusts Congress and the Bush administration right now about as much as they'd trust a rattlesnake in their beds.
Perhaps Arlen Specter was trying to save Berto's soul from the fires of Hell. After all, putting his hand on the Bible and swearing to tell the truth might have caused Berto to spontaneously combust with Beelzebub right there waiting to lead him to his eternal firepit.
Thanks to the considerate and truth-loving (barf) Arlen Specter, Berto Gonzalez is far more free to lie today and save Hell for another day.
After the "just trust us" attitude we got from the Bush administration in the Abu-Ghraib torture case, the Republican majority in Congress should know better than to toss the Bible aside in their current investigatory process.
If our traditional system of justice is better than that of most countries (and it has been), it's because of our long standing common agreement to place a high value on truth, justice, openness, and checks and balances. All we saw this morning was a partisan effort on the part of the GOP majority that was so bold and ugly that it wiped away years of trust and tradition. For all the Republican talk, they don't believe in truth and tradition - and they are snubbing the system of justice we have all come to know so well.
For all his tough talk, Arlen Specter showed his emptiness of intent to be tough when he gave Berto a free pass on showing God-fearing America that he was intending to tell the truth.