Let the smears begin
George Bush, the man who brought you weapons of mass destruction and Abu Ghraib, is looking to impart his wisdom upon the American people. Fool me three times, shame on everyone.
The man who is singlehandedly responsible for the deplorable status of the United States around the world, chose to inject himself into the 2008 presidential contest by offering his "words of wisdom" from the dais of the Israel Knesset (whatever happened to the man who only wanted to sleep in his own bed? I guess you go searching for love.)
“Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have an obligation to call this what it is: the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”Yes indeed, who do have an obligation to call his speech for what it is: the launching of the Politics of Fear and Smear, using harsh words and overblown rhetoric in an attempt to scare the American public into voting the Republican.
And to make sure no one missed his point, he added:
"We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is - the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."Bush mouthpiece Dana Perino disingenuously denied the Slanderer-in-Chief was referring to anyone in particular:
“I understand when you’re running for office you sometimes think the world revolves around you — that is not always true and it is not true in this case."However when you match the Bush smear against the tactics of John McCain and the Republican Party -- everything from the invocation of Barack Obama's middle name to McCain's attempt to say Obama has Hamas' endorsement -- the pattern of the emerging smear becomes vividly clear.
With polls showing a small but virulent subset of the Democratic-leaning voters displaying racist tendencies, let's throw in a little xenophobia and outright distortion too. Straight from the GOP Swift Boat playbook.
One problem though: St. John McCain falls into the appeaser category too. In an interview on British Sky News a few years ago, here's what McCain had to say about talking to Hamas, which had just won the Palestinian elections:
"They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so . . . but it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that."In other words, McCain is an appeaser who wants to talk to terrorists -- even those who "endorse" Obama.
The real lesson to be learned from Bush's performance is the fact he has no shame. Launching a partisan political attack on the dais of a foreign government's Parliament -- far away from people he is attacking -- is the ultimate in cowardice.
Bush has deluded himself and, for a time, a majority of the American people, to think he knew what he was doing. He took a just cause -- fighting those who attacked us on 9-11 by pursuing them to Afghanistan -- and turned it into a misguided misadventure to topple an unrelated tyrant.
He did that without a plan for peace for the nation we have helped to descend into a religious civil war. He squandered precious lives and untold billions in his foolish pursuit, besmirching our reputation in a tangle of torture, illegal domestic spying and partisanship that clearly doesn't end at the oceans edge in what used to be an American tradition.
It is his refusal to speak -- and more importantly to listen -- to those who may have a different idea that has gotten us into this mess. His credibility is in tatters, with only 28 percent of the public supporting his misbegotten policies.
It's equally important to note that Mr. Straight Talk failed to address the smear head on:
“I think that Barack Obama needs to explain why he wants to sit down and talk with a man who is the head of a government that is a state sponsor of terrorism, that is responsible for the killing of brave young Americans, that wants to wipe Israel off the map, who denies the Holocaust. That’s what I think Senator Obama ought to explain to the American people.”Perhaps you can start by explaining why you think that "new reality" in the Middle East has morphed back into the same old you know what in just a few short years.
The 2008 general election campaign has just gotten off to an appalling start. Divide and conquer. Fear and smear. The hallmark of the Bush-McCain Republican Party.