I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and am now a journalist. I am the author of three New York Times bestselling books -- "How Would a Patriot Act" (a critique of Bush executive power theories), "Tragic Legacy" (documenting the Bush legacy), and With Liberty and Justice for Some (critiquing America's two-tiered justice system and the collapse of the rule of law for its political and financial elites). My fifth book - No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State - will be released on April 29, 2014 by Holt/Metropolitan.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Just in case anyone needs a reminder about who they are

The Bush administration and the Rush Limbaugh Show have all but merged this year. Rush's Bush co-host yesterday was Tony Snow, who chatted with Rush about many things, beginning with how terrible it is that "Democrats" hate the troops:

SNOW: You know, again, so I think what John Kerry's comments did was reiterate the fact that Democrats tend to have a view of the military that is not always fully respectful and even when they say they're supporting them, they're undercutting them. I mean they not only undercut them by refusing to fund the ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq (remember Senator Kerry voting for it before he voted against it?) but also constantly trying to undermine public confidence in that military by describing defeat what people on the ground see as hard-won victory. These people -- don't you think, Rush, these people -- deserve our respect?

After Rush agreed that "there's been no question that [Democrats have] been impugning the troops while trying to get credit for supporting them," Snow explained why Democrats don't have the respect for the troops which Snow and Rush have:

SNOW: No, that's absolutely right, and the other thing is none of these folks have really spent enough time around the all volunteer military to understand we've got the best educated, the best trained, and also the most professional military we've ever had. These folks -- and I know you've been out there. I remember when you went to Afghanistan. These people are amazing.

It only makes sense that the war hero Snow and his comrade-in-arms Limbaugh would have such an appreciation for the military because -- as Snow suggests -- they have devoted so much of their lives to military service, whereas Democrats like Jack Murtha, John Kerry, Wes Clark, Jim Webb, Patrick Murphy, Tammy Duckworth, Jay Fawcett and the rest of the cut-and-run, military-hating cowards (including the anti-Rumsfeld war critic Generals) don't understand the military the way Rush and Snow do. They hate the troops because they haven't "really spent enough time around" the military. Rush avoided the Vietnam draft under extremely suspicious circumstances (sometimes he claims it was due to a hurt knee and other times due to an anal cyst), but he visited Afghanistan, so he knows the hard, cold realities of war.

Snow then explained that Americans have been turned against the Iraq war not because it's failed and wrong, but only because a propagandizing media only shows the bad things and hides the good things ("what they constantly get on television and newspapers is a failure narrative. They hear body counts, they don't hear about successes"). Americans suffer from a Marxist-type false consciousness about the war.

As a result, Snow claimed, "the war is more popular in Iraq than it is in the United States because the Iraqis actually get to see the Americans in action." If that's true, then the war in America must be really, really unpopular, because:

_Almost four in five Iraqis say the U.S. military force in Iraq provokes more violence than it prevents.

_ About six in 10 Iraqis say they approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces . . . About 61 percent approved of the attacks _ up from 47 percent in January. A solid majority of Shiite and Sunni Arabs approved of the attacks, according to the poll. The increase came mostly among Shiite Iraqis.


The State Department, meanwhile, has also conducted its own poll, something it does periodically, spokesman Sean McCormack said. The State Department poll found that two-thirds of Iraqis in Baghdad favor an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces, according to The Washington Post. McCormack declined to discuss details of the department's Iraq poll.

It is a rather compelling sign of just how freely and casually Bush officials lie when Snow claims that the war is popular among Iraqis even though the Government's own poll shows that " two-thirds of Iraqis in Baghdad favor an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces" and an independent poll shows that the same percentage of Iraqis generally -- from both sides of the sectarian war -- actually approve of violent attacks on U.S. troops, a percentage which has increased substantially this year.

After Rush -- in one of the first questions -- explained that "the Democrats have lost all white voters. They've lost women and they've lost --," Snow cut him off but then agreed with Rush's view, and Snow then revealed where he gets his analysis about the American electorate:

SNOW: They've lost men. They've lost women. Absolutely right, and I'm glad you pointed that out. Captain Ed Morrissey was one of the guys -- I don't know if you saw that this morning, but he was going through them. There have been really big shifts going on, and I think it's kind of the natural by-product that people really taking a look at what Democrats are doing . . . .

The "Captain" reference is superb, because it shows -- again -- how Republicans know more about the military because they spend more time around it -- like Captain Ed. Ed Morrissey is a nice and reasonable guy, but someone needs to tell Tony Snow that "Captain" is a nickname, a plaything, a fantasy -- like the President's fighter pilot costume, Rush and Snow's in-depth and personal military expertise, and what Snow called the "miraculous" situation we brought about in Iraq. That's all make-believe, but they don't see a difference.

So to recap Snow's arguments about why we should maintain the Republicans' monopoly on political power: The situation in Iraq isn't just sunny and great - it's "miraculous." Anyone who says otherwise is "undercutting" the troops. Americans are only against the war because the media has brainwashed them with lies about how things aren't great in Iraq, but they really are going great.

Also, Iraqis love the war so much and want to have the occupation remain forever, because -- unlike the Democrats -- they've seen the U.S. military up close and personal and just absolutely love it. Finally, Democrats hate the military because "none of these folks" have been near the military, whereas Republican war heroes like Rush, Tony Snow and their other make-believe warriors understand the realities and complexities of war and they love the war and the military (from a safe distance).

Does anyone really think that this country can withstand two more years of this?

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