Sigh. I really don’t want to have this argument with friends, especially not on the anniversary of 9/11, but I can’t let what Kathryn said over on Facebook stand without responding.
It was in reply to this post back here, in which I asserted that Democrats drag themselves down to Joe Wilson’s level when they respond to him by saying, “Bush lied.” I had thought it would be a teachable moment, in which I could say, See how bad y’all sounded over the past four years? See what it’s like when someone refuses to respect the president for partisan causes, declaring him and all he says illegitimate?
My good friend Kathryn responded:
Wait–Bush did lie, and got us into a war, and Obama didn’t lie last night at all–quite the contrary, and Wilson knew it according to the papers. Wilson was out of line and Democrats’ saying things today doesn’t put us on the level of a tantrum during the President’s speech either. Sorry.
To that, another friend, Randy Ewart, added:
I concur with Fenner – well said!
You know, I’d hoped we’d put this behind us when Bush went home to Texas. I certainly heaved a sigh of relief. I never liked the guy. I always resented the fact that he was president, when it should have been John McCain. (Remember how South Carolina ill-served the nation back in 2000?)
But the eight years of hatred that Democrats spewed at the guy, starting from the very beginning, with the Long Count in Florida, was an ugly thing to behold. And yes, it started that early. I remember a couple of conversations I had with Mike Fitts back in the summer of 2001, asking if he could explain the vitriol to me. It was obvious that Dems didn’t just disagree with the guy; they hated him. Which wasn’t good for the country. Yes, I had seen and decried the venom that Republicans had directed at Bill Clinton well before he’d had a chance to do anything to deserve it, too — I particularly recall the bumper stickers saying “Don’t Blame Me — I Voted for Bush” that cropped up on cars before his 1993 inauguration. But the reaction to Bush seemed to go even a step farther — and this was well before the “sins” that Democrats usually list when explaining their distaste for the man.
Oh, and I don’t recall Bush lying. Yes, I realize it’s an article of faith among y’all that he DID (what was it again — the WMD that he and everyone else firmly believed were there in Iraq, seeing as how he had actually USED some of them — or something else?), just as it is an article of faith among Republicans such as Joe Wilson that this president is lying when he tries to set the record straight. It is so important to them to conflate their twin bugaboos — “socialized medicine” and illegal immigration — that it is heresy for anyone (particularly the Chief Heretic) to suggest otherwise, heresy so foul that it wrings furious cries from their lips at inopportune moments.
(Just an aside: Isn’t it ironic that two men who have grabbed national attention by calling these two presidents liars are both named Joe Wilson? Oh, and that other Joe Wilson was wrong, too — the intel he brought back from Niger did NOT conclusively refute the yellowcake reports, according to the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report.)
And I’m not even going to get into that “got us into a war” stuff, except to say that we were already IN a war. Argue whether we should have reopened the front in Iraq when we did, fine. But we were already in a war.
I know y’all mean what you say, but I’m sorry — I see an obvious symmetry between Joe calling this president a liar and y’all calling the last one the same.Y’all have your perspective as Democrats, and Joe has his as a Republican. And I have mine as founder of the UnParty, so consider the source.