Sunday, October 29, 2006

Feel the love

Funny that Wolf Blitzer should be "surprised" by Lynne Cheney "sniping" at people's patriotism. Hell, that's what Republicans do as a matter of course.

Not only that, they can't seem to get enough of telling us how much they hate us. And it's not just Michael Savage and Ann Coulter. Take, for instance, this recent offering, headlined:
Friends, neighbors, and countrymen of the Left: I hate your lying guts

It's authored by a fellow named Paul Burgess, who's identified at the end of the piece as "director of foreign-policy speechwriting at the White House from October 2003 to July 2005." A quick Google search also shows that, at a recent PEN salon, he was identified as currently working for Northrop Grumman, a major defense contractor.

What's remarkable about the piece is the mindset it reveals among the White House's defenders, particularly regarding its critics. In the Republican worldview, these people aren't just on the wrong side of policy -- they're actively part of the enemy camp. And it isn't merely a rhetorical expression:
I have also grown to hate certain people of genuine accomplishment like Ted Turner, who, by his own contention, cannot make up his mind which side of the terror war he is on; I hate the executives at CNN, Turner's intellectual progeny, who recently carried water for our enemies by broadcasting their propaganda film portraying their attempts to kill American soldiers in Iraq.

I now hate Howard Dean, the elected leader of the Democrats, who, by repeatedly stating his conviction that we won't win in Iraq, bets his party's future on our nation's defeat.

I hate the Democrats who, in support of this strategy, spout lie after lie: that the president knew in advance there were no WMD in Iraq; that he lied to Congress to gain its support for military action; that he pushed for the democratization of Iraq only after the failure to find WMD; that he was a unilateralist and that the coalition was a fraud; that he shunned diplomacy in favor of war.

These lies, contradicted by reports, commissions, speeches, and public records, are too preposterous to mock, but too pervasive to rebut, especially when ignored by abetting media.

Most detestable are the lies these rogues craft to turn grief into votes by convincing the families of our war dead that their loved ones died in vain. First, knowing what every intelligence agency was sure it knew by early 2003, it would have been criminal negligence had the president not enforced the U.N.'s resolutions and led the coalition into Iraq. Firemen sometimes die in burning buildings looking for victims who are not there. Their deaths are not in vain, either.

Notice the endless straw-man arguments. Who among the mainstream Democrats he detests, for instance, has suggested that those soldiers' deaths were in vain? George W. Bush may have wasted thousands of lives in a misbegotten quagmire of a war undertaken under false pretenses -- all of which now seems largely incontestable -- but that does not mean those deaths were meaningless. If nothing else, they now stand as real-life testimony to the consequences of permitting conservatives anywhere near the reins of power.

Which is what's on the minds of people like Burgess, and his fellow conservatives. The midterm elections are looming and it's looking grim. They're seeing their vaunted ability to "create their own reality" -- the rosy, blinkered reality like he tries to recreate here -- crumbling before their eyes. And their first, and last, resort is hate. Pure and unadulterated, and decidedly eliminationist.

Expect to hear a lot more of this if Democrats win. But we should probably expect to hear more of it if Republicans win, too. After all, this kind of venomous self-righteousness doesn't dissipate easily. If anything, this mindset, gorged on power, seems inclined to follow up on its rhetoric.

Authoritarians with a mandate are truly dangerous. Especially when they've been gorging themselves on hatred for their fellow Americans.

Digby has more. [Hat tip to NickM too.]

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