Thursday, April 13, 2006

Arianna Huffington Makes Sense

In general, I side with Arianna Huffington on the issue of being somewhat generous towards prominent Bush supporters who are changing their minds. Admittedly, Newt Gingrich, who has made a career in recent years of sticking his finger up in the air to see which way the wind is blowing, is not somebody I'm inclined to embrace. If he has second thoughts about Bush's war in Iraq, he already seems inclined to take back his words (and one wonders what the White House has offered in exchange!). Also, Gingrich has made noise about supporting Bush on Iran which shows to me his opinion isn't worth much. But Gingrich, along with a half dozen people at most, is a special case.

There are millions of Americans who no longer support Bush and I am grateful that they have changed their minds. Like myself, the majority of these millions, I might add, do not think of themselves necessarily as members of an anti-war movement, just very concerned Americans (I opposed the war before it began because I took the trouble to find out what was going on; I'm a writer, not a journalist, but I did not like what I saw). This country has been in crisis for some time now that goes far beyond politics or the usual debates of when to use military force or not. We have a president who lied his way into a war we did not need and his foreign policy is doing nothing for the future of our country except making that future more dangerous and difficult.

What bothers me about bloggers attacking those who may be changing their minds on Iraq is what a waste of time and energy it is. This country is in a major constitutional crisis with a profoundly flawed foreign policy being played on the world stage with huge potential repercussions, particularly if Bush decides to launch a military attack on Iran. To set our country right and hold Bush accountable, we need more help and I think it's important to keep in mind that Bush, Cheney and Karl Rove are quite aware of that; that's why I suspect there is probably some truth to the rumors that have circulated for several years now that these guys play hardball and sometimes the people they lean on the hardest are their own Republican allies (the games are real but one also has to be amused since I get the distinct impression the White House has promised too much to too many people; how many people, for example, are lined up to be the next Secretary of Defense as Bush keeps telling Rumsfeld he's doing a heckuva job?).

Instead of wasting time on past anger, bloggers should focus on three areas: drawing more people away from the Bush machine (don't underestimate the number of fence sitters and don't underestimate the pressure they're under; there are people still around who want to do the right thing but haven't committed themselves yet); exposing the huge amount of spin, corruption, incompetence and sheer recklessness going on in Washington and particularly the White House and Pentagon; and finally, identifiying, articulating, and publicizing some array of solutions our nation so badly needs. Passion is understandable but that passion should focus on the future.


Blogger Terrell said...

"Passion is understandable but that passion should focus on the future."

I have been working on a post along these lines myself. I am incredibly angry with Bush and Company. But anger isn't enough, and can be counter-productive if we spend too much effort condemning character and motives rather than thoughtfully challenging the actual policies and their results.
Good post.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

You're absolutely right about not knocking people who've come around.

I've gotten nauseous listening to the moans and dire warnings of people who apparently lay awake nights fretting about what's going to become of us if we've got an immobilized, lame-duck president for nearly three years.

The more people who are ready to stand up and oppose this turkey's nonsense the better, whatever their political stripes. I want him reticent and inhibited from here on out. I hope he spends the next three years in a box with virtually no room to maneuver.

There's no personal animus or vindictiveness to the way I feel. It's a practical response to having a president whose every idea is a bad idea and whose every deed is a wrongful deed or a screw-up.

The less Bush gets to do, the less damage will be done.

12:47 AM  
Anonymous Craig said...

Terrell and S.W., thanks for your comments. Both of you add points I appreciate.

2:05 PM  

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