The ever-conciliatory Kevin Drum has a wish:
If I could have one small wish for today, it would be for the blogosphere on both left and right to refrain from political point scoring over the London attacks. Just for a day. Isn't tomorrow soon enough to return to our usual arguments?
His readers answer:
Spoken like a true Lieberman alcolyte.
And I wish I rode to work on a snow-white unicorn.
Or, to put it another way, if you are bothered by political blogs politicizing the day's major world events, do not read political blogs today.
It's what they do. I suppose the astrology blogs are all framing it in terms of astrology. And the guy who has a blog about feeding ducks pointed out that watching the bombings on the news delayed his duck-feeding by 5 minutes today.
When did Bush/Cheney ever hesitate to use events to score political points?
...It would be noble, humane and compassionate if we were to set aside our political fights to show respect and condolences to the victims of the London murders. But while we do that, the Republicans are figuring out how to use the event to screw the rest of us.
The right is going to try to use this to turn around public opinion on Iraq. The liberal media asked McCain(Why McCain?) how Americans should view this attack and his talking points were that they should view it as a justification for the war in Iraq. Remember that you don't win battles with today's GOP or get respect by playing softball. It's hardball all the time.
Sort of like a Christmas bombing halt?
This might make some sense if these were normal times--liberal politics, with both sides striving for consensus. But this is no parlor game. Watching our manners while they're stoking the Wurlitzer?--you've misjudged the nature of the opposition.
If I hear a Democrat suggest one more time that we disarm before they do--like that has EVER worked with this bunch--I'll go mad.
...When in the last decade has an olive branch from the Democrats ever done anything other than make us look stupid and weak? ... If we disarm, we will simply confirm--to them and to anyone else watching--that we are wimpy, push-overs, that we don't take the fight against what the Republicans are doing seriously.
Being silent about the politics of this tragedy is a tragedy unto itself. If the flawed policies of a particular administration are seen by some - as they are - to be at fault for a persistent loss of life that, if seen by some - as it is - to be avoidable, then it is incumbent upon those who feel this way to remind the world at opportunities like this - since it is at these times that pepole are best reminded of the painful, real-life consequences of flawed policy - to speak up.
Our "usual arguments" What is this with you; a job? Haven't you figured out that there is more at stake here than winning an argument. Save your sensitivity for the living who are every day less free for the likes of George W. Bush.
For the love of fuck, haven't we been put on notice about 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times already that the Right will never, ever concede one inch, on anything, and that they will NEVER stop trying to score political points whenever possible? Why bother anymore trying to "reach out" to them, "put our differences aside," or "all be Americans"? They aren't going to do it, not for one second.
So how can we?
Sorry Kevin, but the fact is the other side doesn't call truces on days like today. They know how to combine looking stoic and apolitical with massive political point scoring.
Believe me I relate to your impulse, but that's an impulse that has been kicking our ass for years.
Did you spend the day in silent reflection after every major terrorist bombing in Baghdad? Or don't they count?
From my viewpoint, this is just mosre innocent people dying as a result of terrorists and stupid leaders. I think I'll just continue to be pissed, as usual.
I remember those days after 9/11. I put aside my anger at the 2000 election. Put it away. Bush was my President, my country had been attacked. 99% of the Democrats in Congress told Bush he'd get whatever he needed. I loved my country, still do, and we all looked outward towards an obvious and common enemy.
And what after that? Patriots in Congress were smeared as traitors in a midterm election. Bush and Rove cynically used the high poll ratings to push through tax cuts and other corporate giveaways. Legitimate questions were pushed aside as unpatriotic.
And then there was this diversion of almost the entire effort to Iraq, using deception and manipulation and intimidation.
And you know what? I felt personally betrayed. Personally. I had been willing to come together and I got slammed down and sneered at for it. I still hear myself called a traitor on the radio and television and on the internet.
So no, I'm not inclined to refrain from pointing out where all these policies, that have distracted from our real war on terror, have weakened us and taken our eye off the real enemies. Who have struck again and may have grown stronger.
How many of the cretins who set off the bombs in London became terrorists because of our war in/on Iraq? Or escaped from Afghanistan because we didn't have enough people on the ground?
No.....I can't turn the other cheek this time. We owe it to people whose deaths could have been prevented.
The most powerful people in society are the ones that define reality.
So letting the pro-war crowd define reality will lead to war.
Absolutely....but only if you agree to put it away every day that there is a civilian tragedy in Iraq or Afghanistan....or for that matter...Bali...or Saudi....or Palestine....or Chechnya....or Columbia...or East Timor...or Sundan... need I go on?
The point is that such human tragedy is all around us...much of it the result of U.S. actions. Do we only feel such sympathy when the tragedy happens to a "properly western/anglo-american" country?
It would be the civilized thing to do, to refrain from political argument for a day out of respect for the dead.
The problem is, the Enemy isn't going to give us that day. They're not interested in civilized discourse any more, unless they've already seized a decisive advantage.
This isn't a debate any more, it's a war, and we've got our backs to a cliff, it seems like. If we stop pushing away from the cliff in the hopes that the Enemy will allow us to pause in respect, we'll get thrown right over the edge.
I have a wish too -- some wishes, actually. I wish Kevin Drum wasn't a sellout. I wish he didn't pander. I wish he didn't aspire to elitism. I wish he would take a day to reflect on whose interests he serves.
... for the record, I don't think Kevin Drum is a sellout. I do think, though, that it would be unwise for us to follow his advice here.