Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Front Page Sendoff

Over the last few weeks my most regular commentator has been a Republican who has generally been reasonable and thoughtful. Then he drifted into Limbaugh-land with this comment posted on the screen saver of Bush falling through all of the balls. I’m not suggesting that he was being vicious or anything, but the quality of the comment was disapointing. It read:

"Funny that your blog promises that some people are never happy yet I expect you and other libs are happy to see Bush floating in freefall. But what about today when al Zarqawi is dead and his brother in law has been arrested in Jordan? Are you happy or are you torn? Imagine what will happen if bin Laden is captured or killed between now and November. Will you be happy or sad? Some say that libs are happy whenever things go badly for the country."

Jeez. This conversation is starting to feel like a bad episode of Crossfire.

Do I enjoy watching this president take some licks? You bet. I didn’t vote for him in 2000 – I thought he was weak-minded tool of the c-right and I never vote for that – and I think his presidency was in trouble right from the get go. Politically September 11th was the greatest gift this guy could have asked for. Then, wallowing in his own incompetence and lack of vision, he squandered the good will of the entire world on this misguided Iraqi crusade.

As for Zarqawi; This nut was a nobody-terrorist-wannabe until Colin Powel erroneously – erroneously - declared him to be Bin Laden’s man in Iraq. Then, in a bizarre self-fulfilling prophecy, we invaded Iraq and created a power vacuum that allowed him to become the terrorist he had always dreamed of being. We gave him legitimacy by linking him to Bin Laden and then we gave him a playground to play in. Am I torn about it? No. The absurdity of the situation is mind numbing.

I am from the New York area. Someone flying a plane into a building in my home town really pisses me off. I didn’t sleep for six months after it happened. I would take great satisfaction in seeing Bin Laden either brought to justice or simply killed. He doesn’t deserve American justice, but if he were captured alive we would be obligated to make it available to him because that sense of fairness is part of who we are as a nation. It would not matter to me when or before what election he was killed or captured. But to your point, could to the administration resist the temptation to use the death or capture of Bin Laden as a political victory flag? The gloating would be endless BUT we’d still be stuck in Iraq.

Also, I suspect that those of us to the left don’t do anymore gleeful hand-rubbing over Bush’s foibles than those of you on the right did when Clinton got busted getting a hummer. You could hear the drool dripping off the fangs during the impeachment.

Are we happy when things are going badly for the country? No. If we were happy we wouldn’t be complaining all the time.

Here’s the thing. The GOP is very good at telling us how great everything is when the facts on the ground don’t support the optimism. Do lefties bitch more? Sure, but in general, our perspective is to see what is broken and then try to fix it through a perspective that views the lives of average people as worth improving through public policy. We see problems where they exist and I’d like to think our desire is to address them in a meaningful way. Are we naïve? Maybe. Are we misguided do-gooders? Sometimes. Does every Democrat act with noble motives all the time? Of course not. But I’d rather be in that camp than adhere to a political philosophy that thinks exploding deficits caused by tax breaks for billionaires is sound public policy, or any of the other inane Republican favorites.

I’m sorry to say that this conversation is over. Like any editorial page, I reserve the right to publish or not publish comments based on whether I believe they add anything constructive to the conversation. In this case I can see that this just heading into an endless, pointless morass of rhetorical questions and political dogma. You want that, go listen to Rush. I try to have a little fun with this blog and I’m going to keep it that way.

Thanks for your participation though. I really do appreciate it.


Post a Comment

<< Home