HB V

is older than it's ever been and now it's even older

7/28/2003

Liberal (sic) anger


I often hear about how much the “liberals” (scare quotes used because I do not label myself this way) irrationally hate the Bush regime and how that blinding hatred removes the ability to think rationally about the administration and its policies. I counter this by pointing out that I do pay attention to policy and that is precisely my objection, but I could equally point to even handed entries here including one, embarrassingly enough, entitled “In praise of…” about how Bush waited to go to war in Afghanistan. I have certainly repented from that viewpoint, but it’s in the archives should any of you wish to torture me with it.

Anyway, I admit to having a certain amount of glee about each and every bit of scandal that is beginning to stick to the administration’s previously Teflon exterior. My delight is tempered by the fact that I am media literate enough to recognize the seemingly inexorable momentum is a construct of the media (tempered as well as my general gloom about the state of the nation—at least I’m more hopeful than Hunter S. Thompson. ) When I hear blurbs on NPR such as (paraphrased) “another potential scandal from the State of the Union speech… commentators are beginning to question the links between Iraq and al Qaeda,” I really wonder. We knew damn well that the al Qaeda links to Saddam were untrue well before the war. Why, then, is the media NOW signaling to us that it is acceptable to be concerned about it? My only explanation is that war sells best, but next to war, scandal sells. The media knew they could cheerlead us to war and then play up the scandal later and get us coming and going. I am disappointed but not surprised.

But, since I have a Long Lived and Influential weblog, I will do my best to add my voice to the drumroll of those unhappy with our current administration. The case against George Bush, abridged, part one.

  • Shooting fish in a barrel: Bush lied about the war in the State of the Union speech (that's a good link, by the way, which annotates the 2003 SOTU with links and commentary). Sure, this isn’t a new thing for a president to lie about war. But it still is troubling. Top administration officials are now suggesting that a little lie now and again is justified if it gets the correct result (namely, a bandwagon mentality leading to war). This also isn’t Bush’s first whopper. But it is the one with the most traction.


  • Value clash: Bush is unilateralist and worse. Since assuming power, the Bush administration has withdrawn, undercut, refused to submit, or otherwise backpedaled from a number of international treaties, including the Kyoto Protocol, the Antiballistic Missile Treaty (to throw tens or hundreds of billions of dollars towards military contractors), the Biological Weapons Treaty, and the International Criminal Court. Add this record to the way the administration ignored international law and the United Nations in unilaterally invading Iraq in a fashion that can only be termed aggression, and you have a reckless foreign policy.


  • The Bush Deficit. Gone are the days of fiscal responsibility and living within our national means. Now we get to deal with the consequences of 12 figure deficits. This year alone, our deficit could run 500 billion dollars. That’s $500,000,000,000. This could prove such a long term financial albatross around the neck of the country that it later causes a second Bush recession, sometime later this decade. This is such an accepted idea it is no longer very controversial, but it seems clear that the long term vision of the tax cuts and the resulting deficits is to starve the government and pave the way for further cuts in the safety net and generally government spending… except for defense spending, of course.


The bottom line on the Niger scandal, which is not terribly important except for what it reveals about the character of this administration—is that you cannot trust this government of ours. They will lie and not even feel remorse for it, if it gets them their policy goals. For those that excuse the lies under the rubric of end-justifying-means, I ask, when can we trust them again? How do we know that any rationale now given to us to support any initiative isn’t just a convenient lie to pacify us while a semisecret agenda is enacted? Isn’t that loss of trust important?

Link dump

An oldy but a goodie: create a robot acronym for yourself. I am N.A.T.H.A.N.: Networked Android Trained for Hazardous Assassination and Nullification.


These chameleons are very cute. And tiny, too.


There are bloggers for every walk of life now, it seems, including a Hasidic blogger who writes an absolutely fascinating site.


Finally, former Dallas Cowboy Mark Stepnoski is now president of the Texas chapter of NORML. How ‘bout them Cowboys?

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