Moral Contradictions

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Contradicting straw men

Streak pointed me to an LA times column written by Jonathan Chait titled "The right discover's Bush's 'honesty'".

I have a strong moral dilemma with folks who seek control and domination through methods lacking in good faith. I can't shake the feeling that the Jesus I know wouldn't approve of such behavior that's merely written off and tolerated as "oh that's just politics". No - it's people's welfare and even lives.

It's funny. I remember when Bush insisted that he wanted to bring the parties together to pass a patients' bill of rights, even as he arm-twisted Republicans who favored such a bill into renouncing it. I remember when he insisted that lower-income workers reaped the biggest share of his tax cuts. I remember when he presented his stem cell position as a way to dramatically expand research opportunities. One could say that misleading rhetoric was the hallmark of Bush's political style. But if you said that two years ago, you were a rabid Bush-hater.


Conservative Republicans refusing to compromise! Can you imagine? And this is the same Wall Street Journal editorial page that flays any Republican who wants to pass a tax cut only slightly less enormous than the one favored by the party's right wing. The Journal has spent years leading torch-bearing mobs through the ranks of its party, hunting for heretics. And now the party base, ungrateful for the Journal's years of service to the cause of ideological purity, is refusing to settle for half a loaf on its own top priority. The nerve.


ACTUALLY, some of us have noted that tendency for a while. Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank wrote a story in 2004 detailing how Bush attacks straw men time after time. "Some say" is generally Bush's cue to viciously mischaracterize the other side. For instance, "Some say, 'Well, [fighting terrorism] is just a matter of law enforcement and intelligence,' " or, "Some say, 'Well, maybe the recession should have been deeper.' "

The entire column is worth a few minutes of your time.


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