Monday, April 30, 2007

Republican "Logic"

Republicans have never been good at logic because logic involves reasoning and sound judgment. Two concepts that are eternally on the Republican endangered ideas list. The famous, or infamous, Reagan supply-side economic theory argues that selective tax cuts raise revenues and are good for the economy. The idea that some tax cuts are good has now, by Republican “logic,” been transformed into the demonstrably false proposition that all tax cuts always increase revenues and are always good for the economy -- in times of peace, war, surplus or deficit. All evidence to the contrary is merely an inconvenient truth for Republican “logic. Tax cuts get votes today while the cost for the tax cuts is paid for by someone else many years later. Fiscal recklessness does have some logic to it even if it’s craven political logic.

In the 1980s Republicans argued huge defense spending increases were needed to defeat the Soviet Union and win the Cold War. The Berlin Wall did fall but not simply because of bigger defense budgets. Hungary decided to remove its border restrictions with Austria, allowing any East German to get to the West through this back door land bridge. Once the flow of people started, East German border guards, faced with thousands of their own protesters wanting the same thing, simply opened the gates of the Berlin Wall and a post-Cold War world. The Republican argument is that the spending increases were justified since we won the Cold War. But if defense spending increases didn’t defeat the enemy then they would also have been justified -- they would have just been “keeping up” with the threat from the other side. Thus Republican “logic” argues for increased defense spending always, in every year, in times of peace and in times of war, hot or cold, because it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Spend to achieve victory, spend to not fall behind.

Now add to that the new Republican “logic” of war everywhere, all the time, without end. Otherwise the terrorists “win.” Just listen to Vice President Dick Cheney talking to Rush Limbaugh on his radio show: “[The Democrats] seem to think that we can withdraw from Iraq and walk away from it. They ignore the lessons of the past. Remember what happened in Afghanistan. We'd been involved in Afghanistan in the eighties, supporting the Mujahadeen against the Soviets and prevailed. We won. Everybody walked away, and in the nineties, Afghanistan became a safe haven for terrorists, an area for training camps where al-Qaeda trained 20,000 terrorists in the late nineties, and the base from which they launched attacks on the United States on 9/11. So those are very real problems, and to advocate withdrawal from Iraq at this point, it seems to me, simply would play right into the hands of al-Qaeda.” His “logic,” the “logic” of the Republican party is a permanent occupation of countries where we intervene militarily. Withdrawal after invading only emboldens the terrorists even if we “win.” “We won,” Cheney says of Afghanistan but we “walked away.” What Cheney proposes is that after we “win” in Iraq, or anywhere else, we can’t just “walk away” – we have to stay there forever. And since military action and occupation inevitably creates more terrorists, we must stay to fight them as well so they cannot claim victory. Cheney’s “logic” is so exquisitely circular that it makes Catch-22 seem like a reasonable proposition.

Bush and Cheney, backed up by the Republican party, advocate permanent occupation and endless war. Under their logic a “win” only demands you continue your military intervention in that country lest the terrorist claim victory. This isn’t nation building, this is empire building and since they haven’t even done the former I’d bet everything I own they’ll never accomplish the latter even if it were a good idea - which it isn’t.

The Iraq war is Bush’s war. It’s Cheney’s war. America has spoken in every poll and in the 2006 election – this isn’t America’s war anymore and they want out. Bush is opposed to congressional deadlines for withdrawal from Iraq because his intention is to stay there forever. Otherwise the terrorists “win.” With “logic” like that I can’t understand why his approval rating hovers around 30%. It should be much, much lower.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

You think you can get rid of me?

I try to go away quietly but "they" won't let me. "They" are the anonymous posters posting nutball comments on my last post. I saw them and tried to ignore them but it's hard to ignore mental illness when it's in your face. So I'm back, maybe not daily but I'm back for another limited engagement of crankiness. Buckle your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Friday, 10:00 p.m.

Hard to keep up with all the resignations:

From the family values files: Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias resigns after banging (allegedly) a bunch of high-priced call girls from two different brothels and getting caught. He says he only got massages. Uh huh. His wife may believe it but I don't. Tobias was the head of the US Agency for International Development and Director of US Foreign Assistance at the State Department. Sounds like he was in charge of domestic affairs.

Deputy chief of the Department of Justice's criminal division resigns because of links to Abramoff corruption scandal. Republican Congressman John Doolittle (CA) resigns committee seat after FBI raids his house as part of an ongoing corruption probe.

Republican Congressman Rick Renzi (AZ) and his wife up to their eyeballs in hinky land deals and payoffs (allegedly).

Just another day in Bushworld.

Friday, 11:00 p.m.

Good thing Stephen King or Quentin Tarantino isn't in high school creative writing classes these days.