Wednesday, January 12, 2005

You've Been Living In A Dream World, Neo

So, it's finally happened. William Safire has gone off the deep end:

We also see the mark of character, or lack of it, in political parties. The Republican Party today is characterized by a mission to defeat terror while exporting freedom abroad, and a policy to restrain taxes while increasing social spending at home.

Such a sharply defined character has led to electoral success and control of the White House, the Congress, state legislatures and the Supreme Court. Though George W. Bush is not an overwhelmingly beloved leader, he won a clear majority because most swing voters felt he resolutely stood for what he believed in. Their votes for character had coattails.

The G.O.P. personality will split in a couple of years, as all huge majorities do in America. Idealistic neocons will be challenged by plodding, pragmatic paleocons, who, by fuzzing the party's present character, will someday lead it down the road to defeat.


History has shown that U.S. optimism has not been misplaced. But what of reports of global griping at America's superpower arrogance - at our government's triumphalism? Has our character been warped by victories in three world wars?

Call me a chauvinist unilateralist, but I believe America's human and economic sacrifices for the advance of freedom abroad show our personal, political and national character to be stronger and better than ever. This moral advance will be more widely appreciated as an Islamic version of democracy takes root. (What's triumphalism without a triumph?)

It is that growing strength of national character - more than our individual genius or political leadership or military power - that ensures the future success of America and brightens the light of liberty's torch.

I'm actually not sure what to say in the face of such blinding, arrogant ignorance.

The Republican Party's mission to defeat terror -- as has been pointed out, it's kinda difficult to defeat a technique, but we'll let that pass -- would have a lot more credibility if they, y'know, did stuff that might negatively affect terrorists. Like find them. (Which they may not even want to.) Like secure our infrastructure.

Exporting freedom? Yeah, that's going well.

"Restraining" taxes? How about giving the wealthy huge tax cuts, and making local and state governments pick up the slack? (Just Google "tax cuts go to wealthy" and start reading. Your mind will melt.) Here's an example from my local paper, just today.

Increase social spending? Oh man. Where do we begin? Well, here. And here. And here, here, here, and here.

And that's just one paragraph. I literally could spend all day analyzing this, interrupted only by bashing my head against the desk in disbelief.

What we have here is a man so divorced from reality that he refers to those chickenhawks who dream of empire, in spite of the cautions, advice, and flat-out warnings of people with actual experience in the military, as "Idealistic neocons". Who refers to huge tax cuts for the wealthy in a time of unnecessary war, keeping people in the military after their terms were to have ended and even calling back retired soldiers, and heaping generations of uncounted, unbudgeted debt into an illegal invasion (and the coffers of hand-picked profiteers) as "America's human and economic sacrifices for the advance of freedom abroad". And, indeed, "What's triumphalism without a triumph" -- what fun is it to show yourself superior and beat up on the helpless if you can't gloat?

I'll continue this post later. Right now, I need some bicarb.

Have you thought of writing a letter to the editor of the NY Times? You deserve a larger audience.
you go tom!! how can you have time to write songs and do such detailed posts? with so many links.

dread pirate roberts
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