Thursday, October 28, 2004

the blame game

Let's suppose the worst is true. Suppose that hundreds of thousands of tons of explosives were looted from al Qaqaa after the US invasion. Just how would that be Bush's fault? What is it with you people who want to blame everything that has happened in the last four years on Bush? If Kerry is elected, are you going to blame Kerry for every bad thing that happens on his watch?

If some soldiers commit an atrocity are you going to blame Kerry for it like you blamed Bush for Abu Grahaib? If the military or law enforcement makes a serious mistake that gets people killed, are you going to blame Kerry like you blamed Bush for al Qaqaa? Are you going to hold Kerry personally responsible for every bad economic indicator as you did Bush? If France and Germany decide that their interests don't coincide with those of the US in some important issue, are you going to blame Kerry for his arrogant diplomacy?

Actually, we can answer some of those questions by looking at history. How many of you blamed Clinton for the Tailhook scandal? Hands? Anyone? I didn't think so. It's not Abu Grahaib, but it's abuse by the military of other people. A few outliers blamed Clinton for this, for his example of mistreating women. Most Americans, even those like me who didn't like Clinton, held the Naval officers responsible for their own actions.

Well, how about a mistake that gets people killed. How many of you blamed Clinton for Wako? Hands? That neither, huh? Of course in that case, Clinton's own cabinet officer, Attorney General Janet Reno was personally involved, so there was actually a case for blaming Clinton. Especially since Reno wasn't fired afterward. But I don't recall Bob Dole going around telling everyone how Clinton was personally responsible for Wako.

Economics. Do any of you blame Clinton for the stock market bust? You know, the second worst one in American history? The one that Alan Greenspan warned us about but then was pressured into shutting up? Anyone blame Clinton for that?

What about the fact that on Clinton's watch, two major treaties were passed (greatly pushed by France and Germany, oddly enough) that were intended to help bring the US down to size: Kyoto and the International Criminal Court? Oh, sorry. You people who blame Bush for everything probably think those two treaties are good things. Anything to keep America under control, and all that.

OK, then how about Oklahoma City? Anyone? Didn't think so. Republicans could have searched for, and probably found some document warning the White House, in terms however vague, of the dangers of home-grown terrorists and militias. They could have used it to blame Clinton for spending so much time with interns that he didn't have time to take care of the nation's security. Most of them thought it was more important to rally together as Americans than to score cheap political points off of a tragedy.

Clinton didn't agree though. He had no trouble using a great tragedy to score cheap political points, so he blamed Rush Limbaugh (aka "hate radio") for the bombing. He blamed religious whackos for Wako and blamed his predecessor for the Tailhook scandal (which had happened for three years on his watch).

Isn't it funny how it is always the fault of Republicans? Isn't it odd how the Democrats never, ever are responsible for anything bad?

This year the Democrats are constantly harping on how Bush never takes responsibility for his mistakes. Name one mistake Bill Clinton ever took responsibility for without forensic evidence to convict him (not counting other people's mistakes he took it upon himself to apologize for). In fact, name one mistake Democrats in general blame any of their own leaders for.

Vietnam? Well, that was a mistake (according to the Democrats), but it was "America's" mistake, not a Democratic president's. Ever notice that? When you are talking to a Democrat and they are talking about evil things that "America" has done, it always seems to be things that were done during Democratic administrations or by Democrats. The Japanese internment, various assassinations or attempted assassinations of foreign leaders, suppressing black voters. If the president was Republican, it wasn't "America" it was Reagan or Bush or Eisenhower. Reagan supported the corrupt dictator of El Salvador, but "America" supported the corrupt dictator of Vietnam.

But it's George Bush who won't take responsibility for mistakes. Go figure.

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