I can’t take it anymore.
In the past several months of blogging, I have tried really, really hard to direct my rapier-like wit toward topics unrelated to the upcoming election. After all, far more astute bloggers than I are already covering politics in their own blogs, and anything I write about would most likely be redundant, not to mention horrendously derivative.
So I’ve been all about escapism these days. I’d prefer to make you all laugh uproariously at the frivolity and shallowness of my own singular escapades than wade into the thick swamp of electoral partisanship at this late stage. Besides, unlike certain presidential administrations, news organizations that begin with “F” and end in “X,” and aggressively militant insane veterans who write entire books filled with lies and distortions fueled byJack Daniels and pure spite, I happen to believe that if you are going to argue intelligently about a topic it actually helps to have the facts on your side. And, when you are citing facts, you need to back them up with proof, and, to be honest, I’ve just been too damn lazy to even blog lately, let alone plod back through all the books and articles I’ve read over the past four years, in order to arm myself with the necessary footnotes and attributions required for one to be an effective advocate for the Truth.
Plus, I am fairly certain that even if I did go about the painstaking task of researching, documenting, and crediting the many, many pieces of reliable information that have led to the formation of my (undisputably correct) political beliefs, my efforts will probably all be for naught. People are going to vote for Bush with or without my little links and footnotes, and, up until now, I’ve pretty much accepted that there’s nothing I can say or do to make anyone change his or her mind.
But you people have forced my hand.
Oh, not you! Not my loyal, intelligent, patient, witty, well-read fans who have been so faithful to me over the past year. And certainly not my brilliant fellow bloggers who are gracious enough to provide the links that direct their own loyal, intelligent, patient, witty, well-read fans to my site.
You people are making me fucking crazy.
Look, I can’t tell you whom to vote for. Well, I could, but I doubt you’d listen, particularly if you’re only here by accident. But it drives me absolutely batty every time I see yet another national or online poll that lists people’s reasons for voting for Bush. In the first place, most of them are just plain incorrect. And in the second place, even if they were true there are still far more reasons to oppose his reelection than there are to support it. It may sound hysterical, but the future of an entire generation is at stake here. My generation, to be precise.
I’d love to have a debate on this topic. I’m talking about a serious, sensible, logical debate that doesn’t degenerate into screaming or name-calling. But wherever I turn, every message board, every online forum, every neighborhood bar, the hostility and bitterness are so overwhelming it’s impossible to have a mature discussion on the topic. All I can do, in my own humble, non-threatening, mildly humorous way, is to listen to what I’ve heard people say and try to address their reasons as calmly as I can (given that I’m as partisanly hysterical as the next person). So, in no particular order, I will address today the three most commonly-stated reasons I have heard people give to the pollsters in support of the President in the sincere hope that someone who reads this might be swayed, even temporarily, by my incisive wit and cool logic.
Ready? Here we go:
George Bush acted swiftly and decisively on 9/11 and in the days thereafter! He held this country together during a terrible time, and we need that kind of leadership!
In the first place, anyone who’s seen Fahrenheit 9/11 knows damn well that, rather than act swiftly and decisively, our erstwhile Commander in Chief sat, nonplussed, in a Florida classroom reading a storybook for seven agonizing minutes after being informed that our country was under attack. Was My Pet Goat so riveting he couldn’t put it down? Or, just maybe, was he sitting there waiting for someone to come in and tell him what to do?
Now, since most of you Bush supporters probably consider Michael Moore nothing more than a left-wing whacko with an ax to grind, I’ll set that little piece of cinematic dithering aside for the moment and examine Bush’s response from a different perspective. The actual record.
How swift and decisive were his actions before and after those 7 minutes anyway? Well, we don’t know. We don’t know because the Bush Administration has given us seven different accounts of how Bush learned of and responded to the attacks, ranging from his not knowing about either attack until Andy Card notified him during the reading exercise to his own preposterous claim that he had been sitting in his limousine when he saw the first airplane hit on TV (impossible, since no video existed until the next day). And, by the way, that last one comes from an official White House transcript and also contradicts his later claim (in a different official White House transcript) that he implemented our government’s “emergency response” plans “immediately following the first attack.”
So which is it, Mr. President? C’mon – inquiring minds want to know! Especially since, according to the 9/11 Commission report, there is a good possibility that if you had acted sooner Flight 77 could have been intercepted before it hit the Pentagon.
And how decisive was he in the aftermath of the second attack, anyway? Despite his professed concern “for the children,” he certainly took his sweet time leaving the school – he remained in the classroom, posed for photos, chatted with the kids, and then gave a press conference before hopping aboard Air Force One and flying around in circles without a fighter escort for half an hour while he and Cheney vacillated as to where he should go next.
Sorry, but "swift and decisive" aren't the two adjectives that come to MY mind.
But yeah, let’s give him some credit: he did manage to rally the country. I’ll give him that. He went to Ground Zero and PUT HIS ARM AROUND A FIREFIGHTER! Wow. Then he GAVE A SPEECH THAT MADE PEOPLE FEEL BETTER. Gosh. And, unlike in his first post-attack address to the country, HE EVEN MANAGED TO AVOID REFERRING TO BIN LADEN & COMPANY AS “THE FOLKS" WHO DID THIS. Gasp. Of course, he still couldn't quite manage to pronounce "nuclear" correctly, but, really, give the guy points for trying.
But here’s what I’m wondering: Don’t you think President Clinton, or President Gore, or President Kerry would, in similar circumstances, also visit Ground Zero and make at least a semi-articulate speech to rally the country? Heck, one of those guys might even show up sooner than FOUR DAYS after the attack. Who knows? Maybe, in fact, what we actually saw that week was not the President rallying a shell-shocked country, but a shell-shocked country automatically rallying around the President. When it comes right down to it, what, exactly, did Bush do that any other President in the same situation would not have?
Other than pull troops away from catching the guy who did it in order to catch the guy who didn’t, that is. I forgot about that one.
Bush is decisive. He makes a decision and sticks to it. I admire that!
I don’t. What’s there to admire? Who among us hasn’t seen a friend in a bad relationship refuse to acknowledge that her boyfriend is a tool, only to return to you again and again in tears expecting tissues, sympathy, and a place to crash for a few days? Yet she continually insists on staying with him because she “just knows” it’s the right thing to do. It gets pretty annoying doesn’t it? Now multiply that kind stupidity by 1,000+ American casualties and untold Iraqi lives and tell me you still admire that kind of “resolve.”
Besides, whoever promoted this fiction that Bush isn’t a flip-flopper should be given the Tommy Flanagan “Yeah-That’s-The-Ticket” Award for Excellence in Mendacity, because it just ain’t true.
Is promising to veto an $87 billion appropriations bill before you sign it and then lambasting anyone who opposed it as “not supporting the troops” a flip-flop?
Is opposing a Department of Homeland Security before taking credit for creating it a flip-flop?
Is resisting the establishment of a 9/11 Commission before embracing its recommendations and refusing to extend its deadline before extending the deadline and declining to allow your staff to testify and then requiring your staff to testify and resisting accepting its conclusions before embracing them and promising to implement them and weaseling out of the important ones a flip-flop? Christ, that one’s not a flip-flip,
it’s a fricking loop-the-loop.
If Kerry’s a flip-flopper, Bush is an Olympic gymnast. Next question?
Bush cut my taxes!
Yes, he certainly did. Especially if you’re rich. Does that make you happy you voted for him? Good for you!
Look, if you elected Bush in 2000 because you believed in his agenda and believed he was the right person to carry it out, more power to you. And if you’re voting for him in 2004 because you still support his foreign policy, still believe he was telling the truth about Iraq, and still trust him on his domestic agenda, well,
you’re obviously not very observant or well informed, but I’m not going to try to change your mind today.
However…if you’re only voting for Bush because you want to hang onto your tax cut, and to hell with all that other stuff, then I think you are a horrible human being.
To vote for Bush in 2004, after everything that has happened over the last four years, is to condone his foreign policy. It is to condone the invasion of Iraq under false pretenses. It is to condone his morally bankrupt domestic agenda. It is to condone every lie, distortion, and deception he has perpetrated since the day he announced his Presidential bid.
For a tax cut?
How much did you get, anyway? Let me just guesstimate it for you. I’ve done a little research, and according to official estimates, the “average” American family’s income tax was reduced by approximately $1,053 under the Bush plan. That’s nothing to sneer at, I realize. That buys a lot of back-to-school outfits. I get that. Of course, the “average” American family will retain that tax cut (and possibly get a larger one) under Kerry, but I understand Bush has branded Kerry a “tax and spend” liberal (and if there’s one thing Bush knows all about, it’s spending) and most of you don’t believe you’ll get to keep it. So let’s assume you’ll lose part of it. Let’s just assume that.
Now let’s do a little math.
As of today, we have lost 1,071 American troops in Iraq since the war began. Rounding up slightly, this means that for every dollar the “average” American family received in tax cuts this year, one American soldier has died as a direct result of this administration’s bungled rush to war.
A dollar a life.
Kind of makes you want to run right out and buy yourself a big-screen TV with all that newfound wealth, doesn’t it?
Seriously, though, let’s assume you re-elect Bush to keep your tax cut. I’m just curious…if you could give back one of those 1,053 dollars to bring one soldier home safely, would you? How about two? You just let me know how much your tax cut is worth to you in human lives, okay? Just tell me when to stop counting.
Just say when.
Next Week: Adopt A Security Mom for the Holidays!