Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Obfuscation

Republicans are, somewhat rightly, accusing Democrats of placing too much emphasis on the Foley scandal. The Democrats obviously counting on the drama to carry them to victory in November. The thing is, if the Foley thing wasn't happening, the Republicans would be capitalizing on something just as inane. I imagine there are people smart enough in both parties to be laughing at the American public for taking sides.

It's very easy to justify an point-of-view. The world is a complicated place. The challenge is to maintain your voice and develop your own values - to not follow blindly or latch onto someone else's. What's happening now is that the issues that the two parties have pushed forward are cleanly fracturing the public into two halves. It's their intention. They tend to steer clear of the issues that most agree on - campaign reform, corporate accountability, etc. because they'd have to follow it up with action that satisfied the entire electorate, not just their base. That's hard to do without pissing off those lobbyists that keep them in money and swag...

Friday, September 29, 2006

Foley.

Man, the internet is already swimming in bile over this Foley resignation. There are a lot of interesting aspects to this matter, for sure. For me, this is one of those time that I look to politicos and pundits to show maturity in their assessments. It's too easy for Democrats to celebrate this as a victory without considering the context of his resignation.

Showing sensitivity in these moments is something we should all come to expect from those we choose to vote for. The political community is never going to pass its own reforms, so the one major way we can reform them is to expect a higher-level of discourse.

Likewise, the media will undoubtedly suck onto this with all their might to get them through the weekend. I'm making a prediction here, of course, but my guess is they've really learned nothing putting all their eggs into the John Mark Karr basket a few weeks ago and will jump to conclusions here, as well. Shameful behavior.

It's unclear whether Foley's opponent leaked the emails that led to his resignation, but Mahoney's spokesperson has shown rare restraint when speaking to the media and said, "The seriousness of these allegations goes far beyond the tit for tat of a political campaign. This is a matter for the appropriate authorities to investigate. I believe Mr. Foley deserves the benefit of the doubt until these allegations are proven true or false."

We'll see what happens.

"You do not create terrorism by fighting terrorism"

That very phrase came out of the President's mouth today in a speech he delivered to a military audience in response to the National Intelligence Estimate that's been dominating the news this week.

What a great soundbite that is. It's a good test of one's audience, too. See, anyone that's (a) awake and (b) even mildly cognitive would understand that terrorism is a concept and not an actual thing to be fought. In the three seconds it would take to dismantle this phrase, one would easily be able to conjure a healthy laughter to be delivered in real time and directed loudly back at the President.

See, we're not fighting terrorism. We're fighting people - angry people - in their home land. So, when other - formerly sedate - people are stirred up by this for long enough, they get roused into taking up the cause. It's similar to what happened when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor. That act created 'patriotism' out of thin air.

Sadly, this is a dog-chases-tail situation, because to call Mr Bush stupid for saying this is to totally miss the point. He knows this is misleading - that's why he's saying it. The media - exercising their 'objectivity' - is covering his speech without dismantling this misleading dictum. Bush knows they won't, so he goes for it. He'd be stupid not to. As always, the right-wing message is so dumbed-down that any counter-message is indigestible by comparison. Hence, his smirk.