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Bush-Bashing B.S.
ifihadahif Posted: Thu Aug 5 14:07:24 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Bush-Bashing B.S.
The president’s opponents hate him — and hate reason.

By Mark Goldblatt

Two friends of mine recently got into a brief political debate after our weekly softball game. Friend A argued that George W. Bush was "a moron"; Friend B, on the other hand, insisted that Bush was "an evil SOB." The issue was resolved when A noted that the two propositions weren't mutually exclusive: Bush could be an evil SOB who also happened to be a moron.


What's remarkable about this exchange is that it's so unremarkable — indeed, it's difficult to dine out in Manhattan nowadays and not overhear a conversation along these lines. New Yorkers, who pride themselves on their sophistication, seem honestly to believe that calling the president names constitutes a compelling argument against his policies. But that's only the most glaring logical error at work in what might be described as the Bashers' Case Against Bush.

Another common error is the idea that a connection equals a cause — call it the Michael Moore Fallacy. Bush bashers invariably point to his family's business dealings with the oil-rich Saudi royal family, or to Dick Cheney's former job as head of the oil company Halliburton, and therefore assume that the administration's policies toward Iraq are dictated primarily by the fact that the country sits on billions of gallons of oil. But playing connect-the-dots in order to prove someone's motives is always tricky, and often absurd. For example: Noam Chomsky's book sales have skyrocketed since the invasion of Iraq; Chomsky teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; MIT is a major contractor for the Department of Defense; the Iraqi war strengthens the Defense Department requests for budget increases.... Therefore, Noam Chomsky conspired with the Defense Department to convince President Bush to invade Iraq.

What's lacking in every basher argument against Bush's preemptive war in Iraq is a grasp of who bears the burden of proof. The casus belli, according to Bush, was that Saddam was in violation of the cease-fire agreement that left him in power after the first Gulf War — and, following September 11, such defiance could no longer be tolerated. Bush's claim might be written off as mere flimflam — except that Saddam actually was in violation of the cease-fire agreement, and September 11 actually did alter many Americans' perceptions of tolerable risks. Moreover, we now know that Bush had learned of secret meetings between al Qaeda and Iraqi officials, that he'd learned of Saddam's attempts to acquire uranium from Niger, and that he'd been warned by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Saddam was planning terrorist strikes against the United States.

Yet Bush's stated rationale for going to war is universally sneered at by Bush bashers. On what basis? Typically, the basher will simply insist on his own ability to peer into Bush's soul to discern the "true" motive — dismissing as irrelevant Bush's specific justifications. And the "true" motive is always the same: Bush invaded Iraq to line the pockets of his corporate capitalist cronies.

To suppose this, however, is to suppose that President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, et. al., were willing, in effect, to commit mass murder in order to enrich themselves and their friends. Here's where the burden of proof comes in. Believing such a thing entails a burden of proof so astronomically high that nothing short of a videotape of the parties actually plotting it — or at least a signed memo detailing that plot — would even begin to surmount any rational observer's doubt.

To be sure, nothing I've just said proves that President Bush was right to invade Iraq. It was a tough call, and reasonable people can disagree on its wisdom. But reasonable people do not base their arguments on name-calling or mind-reading.

Then again, the category "reasonable people" does not include many Bush bashers.



 
FN Posted: Thu Aug 5 14:14:36 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Somehow I doubt the guy has friends, let alone democratic ones.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Thu Aug 5 14:37:57 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Christophe said:
>Somehow I doubt the guy has friends, let alone democratic ones.


 
Asswipe Posted: Thu Aug 5 14:48:03 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  holy crap, an article posted by hif that wasn't written by a dumb ass.

I agree w/ the man that there probably is no great conspiracy going around, as people are too dumb to keep most suprise birthday parties a secret, doing so w/ a secret like this would be impossible. And note: this guy did not say that Bush was correct in his decisions.


 
innocenceNonus Posted: Thu Aug 5 15:10:55 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  I don't think Bush is trying to line his own pockets. And I don't think he's an evil SOB. He is moronic occasionally, because- admit it- he HAS done and said some pretty stupid stuff.

And I don't think there's some big conspiracy either. But I do think that an easier way to oil (if Iraq can become an ally post-war), a boost to the economy, and a possible ally in the Middle East near another "Axis of Evil" is convenient.


 
DanSRose Posted: Thu Aug 5 15:31:28 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  I am actually excited about the Emmys this year. Angels in America has a lot of nods and Monk as well. Alias' Victor Garber and some of the supporting and main leads of the West Wing.
Six Feet Under, Queer As Folk, and Nip/Tuck should have some nods this year. Their last seasons' were outstanding. I don't know why they keep nominating the Soprano's. What a crappy show.

(At least the entertainment world is interesting)


 
innocenceNonus Posted: Thu Aug 5 15:44:38 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  DanSRose said:
>I am actually excited about the Emmys this year. Angels in America has a lot of nods and Monk as well. Alias' Victor Garber and some of the supporting and main leads of the West Wing.
>Six Feet Under, Queer As Folk, and Nip/Tuck should have some nods this year. Their last seasons' were outstanding. I don't know why they keep nominating the Soprano's. What a crappy show.
>
>(At least the entertainment world is interesting)

As much as I agree about Monk and have wanted to see Queer as Folk and Nip/Tuck for the last... i dunno how many months- does that really relate to the topic at hand??


 
DanSRose Posted: Fri Aug 6 00:24:11 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  It doesn't.
Everyone here has already made up their minds about politics, so why argue about it? It's a moot point.


 
iwonder Posted: Fri Aug 6 01:55:26 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  OK guys, now don't get upset about this one. But the feeling here in india about the American elections is really amazing. The media has made G.Bush Jr. seem like a mumbling, tripping-over-own-foot fool who goes around challenging people in their own backyards for the heck of it. And though Kerry is almost unknown here, the feeling is that Bush just can't see a second term. How he managed the first is a mystery to us all.


 
Puck Posted: Fri Aug 6 03:47:45 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  iwonder said:
>The media has made G.Bush Jr. seem like a mumbling, tripping-over-own-foot fool who goes around challenging people in their own backyards for the heck of it.

Oh, Bush does it himself, not the media.

>the feeling is that Bush just can't see a second term. How he managed the first is a mystery to us all.

Wait, are we talking about democracy? Because I was under the impression that the person with the most votes wins, but there's Bush sittin' in the White House...when he's not on vacation. I expected and hoped he'd freak out and resign following 9/11.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Fri Aug 6 07:07:31 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Puck said:
>iwonder said:
>>The media has made G.Bush Jr. seem like a mumbling, tripping-over-own-foot fool who goes around challenging people in their own backyards for the heck of it.
>
>Oh, Bush does it himself, not the media.
>
As I've said before, 10 out of 10 terrorists support anyone but Bush.

>>the feeling is that Bush just can't see a second term. How he managed the first is a mystery to us all.
>
>Wait, are we talking about democracy? Because I was under the impression that the person with the most votes wins, but there's Bush sittin' in the White House...when he's not on vacation. I expected and hoped he'd freak out and resign following 9/11.
>
Umm, that's the most electoral votes, you know, like the three that DC has to cast.


 
Puck Posted: Fri Aug 6 07:09:52 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:

>As I've said before, 10 out of 10 terrorists support anyone but Bush.

They should vote!

>Umm, that's the most electoral votes, you know, like the three that DC has to cast.

Blah blah blah. ; )


 
breeze Posted: Fri Aug 6 08:57:53 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Just read an article today in the news and I was wondering if you guys read it =)


New 'Bushism' Born at Bill Signing

Thu Aug 5, 2:55 PM ET

WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) offered up a new entry for his catalog of "Bushisms" on Thursday, declaring that his administration will "never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people."

Bush misspoke as he delivered a speech at the signing ceremony for a $417 billion defense spending bill.

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we," Bush said. "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

No one in Bush's audience of military brass or Pentagon (news - web sites) chiefs reacted....


He clarified his point as he went on though, but I just thought it was funny =)


 
ifihadahif Posted: Fri Aug 6 09:40:10 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  breeze said:
>Just read an article today in the news and I was wondering if you guys read it =)
>
>
>New 'Bushism' Born at Bill Signing
>
>Thu Aug 5, 2:55 PM ET
>
>WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) offered up a new entry for his catalog of "Bushisms" on Thursday, declaring that his administration will "never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people."
>
>Bush misspoke as he delivered a speech at the signing ceremony for a $417 billion defense spending bill.
>
>"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we," Bush said. "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
>
>No one in Bush's audience of military brass or Pentagon (news - web sites) chiefs reacted....
>
>
>He clarified his point as he went on though, but I just thought it was funny =)
>
I thought it was hilarious.
I love Bushisms.
I would also add that only an ignorant fool would think that these little slips of the tongue would indicate that he is a moron.


 



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