11.02.2006

THE GREAT DIVIDER
The 'NYT' hits the *nail on the head* in this one...

"As President Bush throws himself into the final days of a particularly nasty campaign season, he’s settled into a familiar pattern of ugly behavior. Since he can’t defend the real world created by his policies and his decisions, Mr. Bush is inventing a fantasy world in which to campaign on phony issues against fake enemies.

In Mr. Bush’s world, America is making real progress in Iraq. In the real world, as Michael Gordon reported in yesterday’s Times, the index that generals use to track developments shows an inexorable slide toward chaos. In Mr. Bush’s world, his administration is marching arm in arm with Iraqi officials committed to democracy and to staving off civil war. In the real world, the prime minister of Iraq orders the removal of American checkpoints in Baghdad and abets the sectarian militias that are slicing and dicing their country.

In Mr. Bush’s world, there are only two kinds of Americans: those who are against terrorism, and those who somehow are all right with it. Some Americans want to win in Iraq and some don’t. There are Americans who support the troops and Americans who don’t support the troops. And at the root of it all is the hideously damaging fantasy that there is a gulf between Americans who love their country and those who question his leadership.

Mr. Bush has been pushing these divisive themes all over the nation, offering up the ludicrous notion the other day that if Democrats manage to control even one house of Congress, America will lose and the terrorists will win. But he hit a particularly creepy low when he decided to distort a lame joke lamely delivered by Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. Mr. Kerry warned college students that the punishment for not learning your lessons was to “get stuck in Iraq.” In context, it was obviously an attempt to disparage Mr. Bush’s intelligence. That’s impolitic and impolite, but it’s not as bad as Mr. Bush’s response. Knowing full well what Mr. Kerry meant, the president and his team cried out that the senator was disparaging the troops. It was a depressing replay of the way the Bush campaign Swift-boated Americans in 2004 into believing that Mr. Kerry, who went to war, was a coward and Mr. Bush, who stayed home, was a hero.

It’s not the least bit surprising or objectionable that Mr. Bush would hit the trail hard at this point, trying to salvage his party’s control of Congress and, by extension, his last two years in office. And we’re not naïve enough to believe that either party has been running a positive campaign that focuses on the issues.

But when candidates for lower office make their opponents out to be friends of Osama bin Laden, or try to turn a minor gaffe into a near felony, that’s just depressing. When the president of the United States gleefully bathes in the muck to divide Americans into those who love their country and those who don’t, it is destructive to the fabric of the nation he is supposed to be leading.

This is hardly the first time that Mr. Bush has played the politics of fear, anger and division; if he’s ever missed a chance to wave the bloody flag of 9/11, we can’t think of when. But Mr. Bush’s latest outbursts go way beyond that. They leave us wondering whether this president will ever be willing or able to make room for bipartisanship, compromise and statesmanship in the two years he has left in office."

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8 comments:

sage said...

Good rant! Remember it was a Democrat who said the only thing you have to fear about fear is fear itself (FDR). No Republican would have said that.

However, fear campaigns have been around a long time. Nixon in 1960, had Americans fear that the middle class was shrinking at the time it was growing the fastest in the country. Heck, even in 1896, McKinley had the country fearing that Williams Jennings Bryan (yep, the Scope's Monkey Trial guy) would ruin busines and made him out to be a radical socialist.

I just posted my rantings (made by Nevada Jack)

Fred said...

As a teacher who teaches about government and politics, I can hardly wait to see how it turns out.

I'm salivating...

Peaches said...

Great article you reproduced here. Guess I should start reading NYT online????Let me know if you think so.

The divisiveness of our leaders is the most depressing thing. The way some of our ( I am talking Oz voters now as well) voters go about believing and parroting everything that is spewed forth to them from the mouths of the conservative politicians is even more disparaging.

You always put up a good post, Karen, and remember, the world is watching you guys all the time!!! We WILL hold you accountable for the way you vote ( or don't vote). We need you back being our example not our nightmare from which we can never wake up.

Karen said...

sage~ Nevada Jack is kEwL!

fred~ certainly hope the ball is in our court.

peaches~ bush is our nightmare and hopefully the American people will vote to change it on Tuesday.

Jack K. said...

In response to the last statement in the article. I doubt it. It is not in his and his cronies best interest.

Peaches, it would be helpful for you to read the NYT online. It will give you a broader perspective on America.

All is not so bad as it seems. The folks here do recognize the devestation that will be left in Iraq when it is all over.

Europe seemed to benefit greatly from America's largesse after WWII. Just some thoughts.

Karen said...

jack~ "It is not in his and his cronies best interest"...

...sad, but true.

Peaches said...

Europe may have benefited from US 'largesse'after WW11 but remember how long it took you to enter the war in the first place. France was totally devastated, Britain was on the verge of collapse... The US was making too much money ( through munitions, steel and exports) for the first three years and had it's 'isolationist' policy until Pearl Harbour.
The continued 'turn a blind eye' to what Israel is doing by the Americans is nothing short of immoral.
Just some more thoughts.

Karen said...

peaches~ "The continued 'turn a blind eye' to what Israel is doing by the Americans is nothing short of immoral"...

completely agree with you and am ashamed and sickened by the attitude over here. not proud to be an American, especially with the bushies shoving that mantra down our throats. makes fleeing to Canada more and more appealing.