Thursday, November 17, 2005
OR is a good thing... Bush and Republicans need to learn to use this word.
He's another one: We must cut funding for medicare, preschool programs, food stamps, student loans, and child support programs in order to balance the budget... OR we could repeal the tax cuts given to the wealthiest 1% of Americans. The best part about this one is that if you oppose cutting the funding for those programs the Republicans can say you don't care about deficit reduction (but remember the secret) OR you could just think there's a better way to balance the budget.
Here’s another example…. We must open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling to reduce our dependence on foreign oil…. OR We could raise fuel efficiency standards for automobiles to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. You see… it’s very simple. There are often times multiple ways to address a particular problem in politics.
The problem with the Republicans is that they like to pretend that there is no OR to any of these questions. Everything they say is a declarative statement. The only time they seem to learn to use OR is when they say “You are either with us OR with the enemy.” The problem with this approach is that it ignores a third option which might be “OR You think Republican policies are stupid and will ultimately hurt Americans and we shouldn’t do them because 99% of the time they are written to help big business at the expense of consumers, workers and the average American family."
He’s another good example from the news this week:
President Bush promised the visiting Iraqi prime minister today that he would not set any timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, saying that to do so would hand an advantage to insurgents who could then "wait us out." (There is no OR here.)
Bill Frist said : “It’s irresponsible to tell the terrorists, who we know are waiting to take us out, what that timeline is,” he said. “A cut and run strategy plays right into their hands.” (Notice once again, no OR.)
Once again Bush and the Republican Leadership present the issue as if there is only ONE option. Frist’s statement even goes so far as to claim that any other option is aiding the terrorists. This has been the hallmark of Republican dialogue for more than a decade. Go watch Fox News for an hour and you’ll see what I mean. They always present issues as if the conclusions have already been decided.
Bush, Frist and the Neocons think establishing a timetable for withdrawal would hurt the war effort and encourage those we are fighting which may be true…. OR….
The huge flaw in the Bush Administration’s argument that a timetable for withdrawal will encourage the terrorists is that the terrorists want us to stay in Iraq. The terrorists have been trying to provoke a war for decades. The 9/11 attacks did exactly what they wanted, they pissed America off and now the Bush Administration and their War Monger friends have helped the terrorists launch a world war between Islam and the West.
The other argument about a timetable for withdrawal is that there are a number of insurgents in Iraq who are not terrorists, but see the U.S. as an occupying force who needs to be pushed out of Iraq so that Iraq can decide it's own destiny. These people would be encouraged by a timetable for withdrawal and would most likely split from the terrorists, thus helping pave the way towards peace.
The Bush Administration and the right wing echo chamber have been trying for years to tie these two groups together, but they can’t have it both ways. If we are fighting terrorists, then the terrorists want us to continue fighting, hoping to draw the larger middle east into the conflict and destabilize the entire region. If that is in fact who we are fighting a timetable for withdrawal would be a good thing, by taking away the War they wanted in the first place. In addition, a timetable for withdrawal would take the wind out of the sails of the insurgents who are fighting American occupation, thus depriving the terrorists of willing recruits.
The Bush Administration and their NeoCon Friends have been wrong so many times, it’s a wonder anyone listens to them at all, but seriously folks, what if they are wrong about a timetable for withdrawal and it’s consequences as well? Maybe it’s time the Republicans learned that in A DEMOCRACY OR IS A GOOD THING.