Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Do not let Bush and his minions get away with using the argument that a president can do absolutely anything he wants “in time of war” even if he breaks laws and violates the Constitution. If that argument is true, then what incentive will there ever be for a president to lead us into a time of peace?

Think about it–a president might say to himself “Well, let’s see, during war I can impugn my critics, justify massive government contracts to my defense industry campaign donors, detain American citizens indefinitely without trial or even charge, run up huge deficits while cutting spending on social programs, and talk in overly idealistic and simplistic terms about ‘freedom,’ all while wearing military garb for the cameras” and then realize in peacetime that most, if not all of that behavior would not be tolerated and would be vigorously challenged.

Is that what we want? Is that the America that is described in the Constitution? Is that the America we want to bestow upon our children?

Of course it isn’t, but here’s the problem. Bush and his supporters would never describe his actions in the manner above, and that’s because he’s trying to put a positive spin on his negative policies. Bush might put it like this: “During war we should not heed critics of our foreign policy who would only give aid and comfort to the enemy through their talk of ‘cut and run.’ I cannot and will not put a price tag on this war on terror–this clash of civilizations which we must win at any cost. As part of my oath to protect America, it is my duty to see to it that terrorists and potential terrorists are captured and imprisoned, whether they are found on the streets of Baghdad or the streets of Boston. Our economy has turned a corner and I would remind those who have defeatist attitudes about our national debt that we are at war, bringing the joy of freedom to a region that has known only the sorrow of tyranny.”

And so forth. And yet, the conventional wisdom is that Americans are not impressed with flowery language and lofty ideals.

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