Let’s get one thing straight here: I hate Bush, I’m a card carrying member of the ACLU.
These types of comments do nothing usefull for our cause. Particularly your use of the words “systematic” (deliberately planned) “and everyone who supports them.” Potential converts from the Bush camp won’t be won over by being told they support raping children. It’s shit like this that causes fence sitters to jump the fence in the wrong direction! Can’t we liberals get that?
I’m willing to believe Bush was grossly negligent in this Abu Ghraib matter, but even I refuse to believe that he and his advisors got into a smoke filled room, twirling their mustaches and discussing the finer points of raping women and children.
OK, Gonzales was Bush’s point man to investigate the legality of torture I think. Or was it sime other scumbag? Then we started getting rumors and reports of alleged torture and abuse both from Abu and Gitmo. Now this.
That sure makes it look like it all has the presidential seal of approval, just from that headline.
It sure looks to me like they support rape, sodomy and murder. They support the men who give the orders and make their apologies for them. Doesn’t anything sicken you at all? What should we do? Let this be swept under the rug too? Be good little NeoCon clones? Stuff like this SHOULD be dragged out into the open. People who pretend to not know SHOULD be bludgeoned with this, in Widescreen Technicolor, 24/7 until they get a clue and buy a vowel. Strip away the legal mubo jumbo and double talk, and what we are talking about are war crimes.
Claiming that people who support Bush “Support rape, sodomy and murder” is precisely as disingenuous and wrong as claiming that liberals are treasonous traitors who hate America and hate freedom. It’s perfectly possible to hold a position in which one believes that the war was a good idea, and still believes we should continue to be in Iraq, while detesting what went on at Abu Ghraib.
(Not that I hold that position, mind you.)
I’ve also never seen any evidence, or even heard the claim seriously put forward, that Bush and his top advisers actually LIKE rape and sodomy and so forth. There are two claims that are superficially similar which I think are basically true:
(1) They were negligent in preventing such things
(2) They were willing to use other forms of torture, mostly psychological, to extract information, and this willingness may well have helped encourage what went on at Abu Ghraib
Both of these points are grave, both lay large parts of the blame for what went on directly at the feet of Bush and his top supporters, and both deserve sober investigation. But neither one is as bad as Bush AND THOSE WHO SUPPORT HIM (ie, average Joe Republican Voter) “supporting rape”. And if we make those crazy claims, (a) we’re no better than Anne Coulter, and (b) we are making crazy and incorrect accusations, and thus losing the high ground that we occupy when we make not-as-bad-but-stil-quite-bad accusations which also happen to be valid and true.
See, now, here’s what I don’t get. When liberals use overheated, insulting, slanderous language to describe the opposition, we’re told “That’s why you keep losing!” When conservatives use overheated, insulting, slanderous language to describe the opposition… they win. Consistently. So, what’s the disconnect, here? Are Republicans just better at the mudslinging than the Democrats? Maybe if we just practice harder, we’ll start gaining ground on the other side.
I let this one sit for a while, to get my thoughts together on where I want to take this. Prior to the last election, Bush pushed the Patriot Act, threw away due process, instituted secret tribunals on offshore locations, "outsource some tortures to other countries, and “redefined” prisoners of war vs “enemy combatants”, giving carte blanche for torture. The Supreme Court called him on some of it, but he did his own thing anyway. Rumors about torture started coming in from Gitmo and Abu. The talking heads pooh poohed it and then gave their seal of approval. Liberal commies. Bleeding heart freedom haters. Terror. Democracy. Resolute. Stay the course. Yellow cake. WMD. Saddam attacked us. Hell, he couldn’t even get the names straight - Saddam or Osama? Iraq or Afghanistan? Apart from slogans and self contradictions and lies, the debates were quite a show. Yada yada yada. Come the election in 2004, guess who got voted back in. So yes, by voting for him, The People gave their seal of approval to the many things he (didn’t) say, and yes they gave their seal of approval to torture. It was part of the package deal. Now he is threatening to veto any attempts to investigate or correct the situation. The People voted for this.
Besides, after the “other side” using words like Traitor, Coward and stuff, I see no reason why “my side” should have to be polite.
Okay, then wouldn’t it be in our best efforts to copy their tactics? After all, it seems to work wonderfully well for them. Maybe we should be criticizing Danalan for not going far enough in his remarks? The John Kerry: War Coward lie seemed to have swung the last election for Bush. Maybe a Bush: Rapist lie would have swung it back.
My point is, there are plenty of legitimate things to criticize about Bush without hurling incredibly cruel and unjustified insults at his supporters.
(Now, I agree that there’s some irony here, in that calling liberals, as a group, traitors, treasonous, stupid hippie homos, etc., is a cottage industry among some right wing pundits, yet at the same time, we’ve been lectured on and on and on about how we lost the election by calling Bush supporters stupid. Nonetheless, I think we should still attempt to speak truth, and the truth is, we have no reason to think that Bush supporters support rape, and MUCH reason to think that they don’t.)
Because what beat us in 2004 was not, in my opinion, Anne Coulter. Rather, it was the swift boat veterans, our lack of response to them, the fact that we nominated John Kerry in the first place, the fact that we didn’t seem to stand for anything, the pathetic excuse for a mainstream media (due to the Big Lie of media bias), etc. If you could convince me that calling bush supporters rape-lovers would somehow win us the 2008 election, it’s possible that I might decide that benefit was worth the price. But I really don’t see why that would help us at all. Quite the contrary, in fact. John Stewart does FAR more good for us by being relentless but POLITE than a lefty Anne Coulter would do.