Sunday, July 02, 2006

Bush's War - the Spin

The LA Times does some more gratuitous Democrat bashing.

The mystery of Bush's War, of course, is why the regular press reports can document the failure of leadership and strategy in Iraq, and the polls clearly demonstrate that the US public is sick of the mess the Republicans are making of Bush's War, yet major papers can publish this kind of horseshit with a straight face:

WASHINGTON — President Bush says Democrats want to "wave the white flag of surrender" in Iraq. Vice President Dick Cheney accuses the opposition party's leaders of "defeatism" in the global war on terrorism. And House Republican leader John A. Boehner of Ohio charges Democrats who applauded last week's Supreme Court ruling on detainees with advocating "special privileges for terrorists."

Ever since the Sept. 11 attacks, Republicans have made an uncompromising stance against terrorism a cornerstone of their campaigns. It helped the GOP to take control of the Senate in 2002 and Bush to win reelection in 2004.

Now, in the face of increasing violence in Iraq and eroding public support for the war at home, Republicans are turning again to the theme of toughness — with gloves off.

The environment is not entirely hospitable. A car bomb killed scores of people in a busy Baghdad market Saturday, a day after the Army announced that American soldiers were accused of raping an Iraqi woman and then killing her and three family members. Polls find most voters say they want to see Democrats take control of Congress this fall.

But Republicans believe toughness still sells.

"Foreign policy looked like a minus for Republicans this year," GOP pollster Frank Luntz said, "but it's turning into a plus…. The public doesn't endorse the Republican policy, but they actually reject the Democratic alternative…. By comparison, the Republicans do well."

Republican strategists hailed last week's Supreme Court ruling on detainees at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba, which held that Bush had overstepped his powers by refusing some legal protections for alleged terrorists.

"The Supreme Court ruling on Guantanamo was a real blessing in disguise," said Whit Ayres, another GOP pollster. It "allows us to have a debate on whether terrorists should receive the same legal protections as American military personnel…. It's hard to see Republicans losing when that's the debate."

Democratic leaders say, at least in public, that they are confident they can win that debate.

But the Democrats' response so far has been less unified, less pointed and less memorable than the Republicans' attacks.

Where is the proof that this is so, except in the reporting insisting that it must be true? Why is this the frame through which the paper presents the war? It would be far more accurate to say that the Republican cling to an ineffective and pathetic "tough guy" image because they have nothing else to stand on. They sound unified because they have nothing else to say. The Democrats are less unified and pointed because they are treating the war as something serious, not as a political football, and are grappling with the fact that there are no good options left to us, as Al Gore pointed out in Rolling Stone. Democrats are trying to figure out how to salvage the economy, the military and the nation's international standing from the cesspool into which the Republicans have flung them.

Meanwhile, the LA Times joins the Republicans in the fantasy that this is all just politics. I wonder if the relatives of the murdered family in Mahmoudiyah appreciate how unified the Republicans sound in their tough guy pro-war stance. I wonder if the reporter who typed the words "American soldiers were accused of raping an Iraqi woman and then killing her and three family members" was thinking, "Ah, too bad for her, but, man, isn't it great that the Republicans are being tough about this? Stay the course! More of the same!"

The tough guy stance is going to get more people killed for the sake of poll ratings in the US. Doyle McManus and Peter Wallsten, you two gentlemen who wrote this article, do you really think that the rape and murder of this woman is an acceptable price for winning the election in November? How many votes do you think the Republicans will get for it? You know, maybe there can be a sliding scale. 1 vote per molestation without penetration, 3 votes for vaginal penetration, 5 additional for a subsequent murder, and 3 more for each related homicide (doubled when the victm is under 12, of course)?

Positions have consequences.


UPDATE: One of the authors of this Democrat bashing article is Peter Wallsten, who is the author of the piece in last week's Sunday LA Times saying that the Democrat's call for a withdrawal of troops was egg on their face because the White Hosue & Rethugs, after having mocked and name called over the Democratic proposal, adopted the same proposal. Read my write up here.

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