Monday, October 15, 2007
The Ostrich Papers: "What if Clinton had..." (Part III)
Our topic is how we might embark on this coming campaign year, and save America. Indeed, save western civilization. Is our aim merely to squeak a narrow win in 2008 -- trusting the neocons not to pull another sneaky trick, like on 2000 or 2004? Is that really a safe bet?
Or shall Democrats and moderates be the smart ones, this time? By taking the fight deep into their territory. Tearing apart Karl Rove’s Big Tent Coalition and stealing their most important and (somewhat) admirable members --
-- those obstinate but mostly decent “Dole-Goldwater Republicans” -- like that sweet but obstinate uncle of yours -- who stay glued to Fox News, in order to avoid lifting their heads out of the sand. In order NOT to face what their beloved conservatism has become -- hijacked, mutated, and steered toward treason by a bona fide criminal gang.
These folk must be the target! Because, each “ostrich” who wakens will get angry -- just like most members of the U.S. military officer corps. And one angry “decent conservative” is sure to waken others.
Yes, it may mean having to negotiate with these ostriches. Offer some compromises that would suit Robert Dole... though never Rush Limbaugh. Still, a small price for sending fanatics and thieves into the wilderness, instead of leaving them in charge of a major political party! It could end “culture war” once and for all, and save the next presidency.
So let’s go back to laying down a long list of thought experiments for you to insist that your ostrich try on for size.
* WOULD YOU HAVE PROTESTED, IF THE DEMOCRATS...
...systematically dismantled dozens of independent scientific panels, including all of those charged with advising Congress? Then stocked the remaining panels with second-rate shills who are despised, all across the scientific community? http://www.seedmagazine.com/news/2007/10/dr_president.php
...allowed major special interests to write the administration’s energy and other policies?
... spent 13 years blocking energy research that might have helped America wean its addiction to foreign oil?
...first denied the existence of a looming threat to our climate, then pressured government and independent scientists to censor their reports, then claimed “the jury is still out and we need more research”...
...while slashing research budgets ...
...and then, finally, after years of delay, when the proof-of-danger was too blatant to ignore any longer, suppose they blithely did a complete and dizzying 180 reversal, suddenly calling human-generated climate change “a dire international crisis”?
What if they did all that and then, abruptly, claimed “We NEVER denied that humans are causing global warming!”
Wouldn’t that affect a whole movement’s credibility? Shouldn’t it? (That is, if the guys who did all that happened to be democrats.)
* WOULD IT REDUCE DEMOCRATS’ CREDIBILITY IF THEY...
...praised and supported and encouraged Saddam Hussein for decades? Then fought to eject him from Kuwait, only to prop him back up and protect him, yet again? Then, after leaving him to brutalize Iraqis for 12 more years, finally decided to go after him -- in the stupidest way possible?
...praised and supported and encouraged Osama bin Laden? Armed and helped him gain power in Afghanistan. Then, finally decided to go after him, declaring “We’ll never rest till he is brought to justice!” (Only... somehow never succeeded?)
Whatever the solution to Iraq and the Middle East may be, one thing is certain. Any bozos who did things like that don’t deserve to prescribe anything! Democrat or Republican, they would have no credibility. No right to preach or “decide.” None at all.
* WHAT IF A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT HAD...
...encouraged us to be far more afraid of vague “terrorists” than we were ever afraid of a monstrous communist empire, bristling with tens of thousands of hair-trigger nuclear weapons?
... vastly increased government secrecy, to levels never seen before, not even when we were in a life/death struggle against the Soviet KGB? (Would you have wondered if the president was doing it in order to hide misdeeds? (You bet you would have! That is, if it were a democrat.)
...engaged in illegal wiretapping schemes, spying on American citizens and interfering with their rights?
... appointed roughly a hundred US attorneys who were openly partisan Democrats, then fired a few of them for not going after Republicans harshly enough? (Would you wonder about the remaining ones, who weren’t fired? Worrying what kind of a country you are living in, when a majority of US attorneys are acceptable to such a partisan regime?)
Would you have put up with such abuse, if it were done by Bill Clinton? (Who, in fact, appointed dozens of Republicans as US Attorneys and was widely known for promoting professionals within the Civil Service, instead of party hacks.)
No you would not have! So, why have you parroted Fox News excuses for George Bush, when he actually did all of these things?
* WHAT IF BILL CLINTON HAD...
...taken every bill passed by the Newt Gingrich Congress and signed it, while scribbling in the margins that “this bill means only what I say it means”?
Would that have raised your hackles, denouncing him as “undermining the Constitution and grabbing power?”
(Okay, then. But Clinton didn’t do that. Bush has. Any denunciations?)
WHAT IF THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION...
...delivered 8 years of relative peace, fiscal responsibility (with more surpluses and buying-down of debt than the rest of US history, combined), and delivered good management (according to JD Powers and other neutral auditing agencies), while reducing federal paperwork and non defense manpower?
..kept US forces at high readiness and high morale by closely heeding the advice of professional officers, while getting taxpayers their money’s worth by fiercely enforcing lawful oversight and competitive contracting rules? And, when a time came to apply military force, did so in strict accordance with the Powell Doctrine, accompanying overwhelming surgical force with skillful diplomacy, achieving all goals quickly, with low civilian casualties and zero loss of American lives?
...oversaw the greatest surge of wealth -- among ALL social classes -- in history, including the formation of more new small businesses than ever? With vastly better performance of the stock market and every other economic indicator?
...despite fervid, paranoid and totally unproved accusations, kept reducing government secrecy? (Hardly the behavior of people with a lot to hide.)
...put 100,000 extra police officers directly onto America’s streets while setting in place procedures to ensure their professionalism? Then oversaw the steepest drop in crime in American history? Along with decreases in abortion and divorce?
...left office (for the first time in US history) with not a single administration official going to jail for malfeasance in the performance of his or her office? In fact -- despite fevered accusations - without a single administration official being convicted or even indicted for malfeasance in the performance of his or her office? This despite several billion dollars spent by the opposition, in search of some kind of “smoking gun”?
What if US world popularity skyrocketed to unprecedented levels, during that time, with all but China, Russia, France and a few Muslim states agreeing tacitly to a US-led “unipolar” world?
Judging entirely according to these “conservative” standards, would you have put up with such goings on, if they were perpetrated by Bill Clinton...?
Oops... trick question. In fact, all of these things DID happen under Clinton. Yet you were fuming for all of those 8 years. On the other hand, every single one of these things has been diametrically reversed by the Bushites, while you and Fox make excuses.
How can that be? Is it possible that you mean something different by “patriotism” and “conservatism” than we thought you meant? It is starting to look that way.
Continue to Part IV