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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Bush sez: Disagree with me and you're a traitor

So now President Bush is suggesting that those who believe this war is wrong are bringing "comfort to our adversaries". Among those he's now practically branding as traitors are those "who claim that we acted in Iraq because of oil or because of Israel or because we misled the American people".

Well, can it be said with any credulity whatsoever that Bush was honest about how he pitched this war to the American people?

That question will sail past most Bush supporters. You know the ones I'm talking about: the ones who get that glazed look in their eyes whenever you speak nothing but the truth about what Bush is doing, as if you don't know what you're talking about. They're the ones who aren't "taking the red pill" if you know what I mean: living in a fantasy world that they don't want to wake up from. They're the ones who will nod their heads and agree with what Bush is saying now, and will tell you that you are betraying your country and your President by believing that this war has been based on falsehoods from the very beginning.

But I prefer what another - and far greater - President had to say about Americans and their right to dissent:

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right.

"Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, 1912

"Dear God, please send us another great man like Teddy Roosevelt to take the place of the imposters that your adversary has raised up."


Anonymous said...

"Bush sez: Disagree with me and you're a traitor"

Now, that's a LITTLE overboard. I can't find where he sez, sais, sous, er, is saying that.

"He said he welcomed "honest critics" who question the way the war is being conducted and the "loyal opposition" that points out what is wrong with his administration's approach."

Chris Knight said...

That was still a pretty strong implication though, that those who disagree with the war and say as much are aiding/abetting the enemy. I certainly don't support this war, but I definitely don't feel sorry for those who plant roadside bombs and fire sniper-shots at our soldiers either.

Here's where Bush went wrong on this war: he refused to listen to reasons NOT to go to war. He's still refusing to listen. It was either his way or the highway on this, when any leader with real principles would have definitely hesitated to take us into this predicament unless absolutely necessary. Would have actively *looked* for reasons not to do it. As much as I (now anyway) believe that Lincoln did some things very wrong during his time as President, you gotta admire the fact that he didn't distance himself from his political enemies... but placed them near to him instead, so he could hear their take on things. Bush can't do that: he pushes away those who dissent with him. And now he's putting them in the same breath as traitors.

Real Presidents shouldn't shy away from debate... but should encourage it. If for no other reason than because they should realize that they, more than any other person in this country, are to be held accountable for what they do with the power entrusted them.