Andrew Sullivan. My, my, my. What to think? What to do? What to write?
I wrote the following Open Letter To Andrew Sullivan this morning over a span of four hours in my blog, then at the exact instant that I clicked "Publish This Blog", my crummy Mexican ISP disconnected me and I lost it all. Ah, well, live and learn. I will have to write my postings now in Word and then copy and paste so that, if anything untoward happens in the future, I don’t have to rewrite the whole G** d*** thing, as I am now about to try to do. Here goes nuthin’.
OPEN LETTER TO ANDREW SULLIVAN
Dear Mr. Sullivan,
I am writing this letter to you as a posting in my blog, markinmexico.blogspot.com. I am writing it as a person who is bitterly disappointed, although not too surprised. I began visiting your blog because of your commentary on the pressing issues of the day. However, your blog has become more and more oriented toward three issues of late, and what you have done in the last 24 hours more or less follows that pattern. These three issues are; 1. Abu Ghraib 2. Big government (whatever that is in this post-9/11 age) 3. Gay Issues
I have had a chance to review the blogosphere tonight and you have certainly created a stir. I hope that it is not as fatal for you as was that of The Daily Kos. Kos tried to rationalize, then hide it, then defy all. He has now nearly disappeared. I believed that you were on a significantly higher plane than that of Kos. Now, I am not so sure. Please understand that I do not intend to join the "piling on" now occurring all over the net. I would merely like to point out some facts that I think, no, I hope, that you have missed.
Let’s take a look at your blog today as I read it at 9:00 this morning, when I first began writing this letter.
Post #1: THE INVISIBLE MAN - Abu Ghraib
Post #2: MAKE THIS KID AN AMERICAN - Feel good story
Post #3: JONAH ON BUSH (AND ME) - Big government, Gay issues, Abu Ghraib
Post #4: THE BEST RESPONSE - Big government
Post #5: THE MARRIAGE THING - Gay Issues
Post #6: WHAT IS SEXY? - Gay issues
OK, 6 posts of which 5 were dedicated to your three issues. That would be 83%. Of the five, all are anti Bush. Let’s count lines (big media claims fairness, but puts their stories on page 1 while the "other" stories go on page 44. You have only the one page, so we’ll count lines, instead).
Post #1: THE INVISIBLE MAN - 27 lines
Post #2: MAKE THIS KID AN AMERICAN - 4 lines
Post #3: JONAH ON BUSH (AND ME) - 54 lines
Post #4: THE BEST RESPONSE - 35 lines
Post #5: THE MARRIAGE THING - 51 lines
Post #6: WHAT IS SEXY? - 45 lines
That makes a total of 216 lines either written or quoted, of which 4 are unrelated to your three issues and are, therefore, not anti Bush. That is an anti Bush ratio of 98%, 49-1. I thought you were still thinking. Seems to me you made up your mind, a long time ago according to what I read from Jonah Goldberg last night.
Allow me to examine each issue and perhaps point out a few things to you.
Rules were broken, people should be punished, and they are getting theirs now. Lord a’mighty, drop it already. The things that went on in Abu Ghraib were minor compared to daily occurrences in prisons all over the United States and pale by comparison to what happens in prisons every day, every day, in Paris, Berlin, Cairo, Riyadh.
Try this. Find out the name of a widow of a serviceman killed in Iraq. Better yet, get off your ass and go pay her a visit. Ask her this, "Ma’am, if you had been given the choice between losing your husband and the father of your babies and humiliating a suspected terrorist/militant/fighter by making him wear a pair of panties on his head, which would you have chosen? OK, what if it was believed that physical torture, such as electric shocks to the genitals, removing fingernails forcibly, drilling teeth, etc. was required to save your husband’s life so that he could be standing here now and holding one of them (point to the babies, here) instead of you holding both of them? Uh huh, I see. Now, what if the prisoner’s death resulted from the extraction of information which would have enabled these babies’ father, (insert name of dead American citizen soldier here), to have come home to them?"
I think I know and you know what her answer would be.
You like to compare Mr. Bush with Mr. Reagan, Mr. Clinton, et al. In fact, Reagan is your hero. Well, he is my hero, too. However, his administrations committed a list of illegal, incompetent, immoral, stupid acts as long as my arm. So what? That is what governments do. History alone can judge whether all these bad things are outweighed by the good things, if any. Governments act, you write, we bitch.
Are budget deficits a good thing? No, of course not. Just what the hell was Mr. Bush supposed to do? This guy got whacked, immediately after taking office, with two of the biggest blows ever suffered by a newly elected president; the "dot com bubble" bursting and then 9/11. I know, I know, I have heard it all: he knew, he should have known, he should have acted, he should have done this and that and that over there. I’m sorry, governments don’t work that way, not from the smallest village council in upstate New York to the gargantuan government of China. When does the traffic light get installed on the corner? After the child gets killed, never before. That’s what governments do. We scream, we rant, we rave, we recriminate. That’s what citizens do (when they can do so without having their tongues cut out, ears cut off, shot, hung, burned, stoned, imprisoned).
You need to remember FDR. He entered office fully aware of the economic disaster because it occurred well before his election. He was as prepared to handle it as could be expected under the circumstances. What did he do? He turned the federal government into the gigantic bureaucracy that it is today. Why? Was it because it was his lifelong ambition? Was it because he was too stupid to have thought of a better way? Did it come to him in a dream or from some swami? He did it because it was the only way it could be done. The Germans, in the same mess, opted for Adolph Hitler. The French, in the same predicament, opted for leadership that later became the Vichy government. Forests have been sacrificed to record the critiques of FDR. I say that he got us through the worst economic disaster in history and then, only halfway through this, at best, he had to guide us through the biggest war of all time.
So Mr. Bush is faced, first with an economic disaster, and then with an attack on the mainland United States for the first time since 1812. What does he do? What would you have done? He chopped taxes to stimulate the economy, sent out the most powerful armed force on earth, the most powerful ever seen, to sally forth and deal a little justice for 3000+ innocents and try to assure that it not happen again, and designed and effected the largest reorganization of the federal government since Harry Truman. What was the ONLY way possible to have done this? He used the same tool that FDR used. The good credit standing of The United States government.
Do seniors need a Medicare drug plan? Of course they do. Is it expensive and going to become more so? Of course it is. Is it the very best plan that could have been written? Of course not. I defy you to find one single law or act or entitlement that is the very best that could have been written. Is it the best that could have been IMPLEMENTED? Probably so. This is politics, remember? Was FDR a politician? Washington? Lincoln? Jefferson? Reagan? Washington is politics. Tel Aviv is politics. Without politics, Washington, D.C. and Tel Aviv don’t exist and London is just a collection of haberdasheries. Get real. All this cost a lot of money, money the federal government did not have. Ergo, deficits. So what? We’ll clean up the mess later, like we have always done. For right now, we are a hell of a lot safer than we were on 9/10. And seniors buy drugs a little cheaper...I think.
This is the crux of the matter, is it not? It is a sticky situation for you, I will admit. Personal issues always are. I am a Catholic who was raised a Methodist. I believed at one time that homosexuality was a sin. I still find it abhorrent and wish that it did not exist and would just go away. However, it exists, which the foul mouthed Lucianne Goldberg cannot accept. And contrary to that cretin whose email you reprinted yesterday, who seemingly cannot muster the brain waves or energy to do a little research, it did NOT originate with homosexuals. If he were to, he might discover that HIV originated in monkeys who infected African hunter-gatherers when they were killed and butchered for food. He might further discover that the infection was passed into the gay population, FROM THE HETEROSEXUAL population at some point and at some time that no one knows for sure, and exploded because no one knew what the hell it was. Bisexuals and drug addicted needle sharers then spread it into the heterosexual population on several continents. But it originated, in humans, in a heterosexual population in Africa. One could logically argue that it was only a matter of time before it spread from that heterosexual population to others, gays or no. How could it not? So much for that jerk.
My position on gay rights is, to paraphrase Dennis Miller, as follows; I could care less if two guys decide to marry each other, but if some asshole decides to blow himself up along with their wedding party, I expect my government to take action against that person, preemptively. There now, you know from where I come.
Please think about this for a moment and then answer the question as honestly as you can. What is the single biggest problem with the Democratic party? I’ll answer to save you some time. Special Interests. The Democratic party has pandered, repeat, PANDERED, to so many special interest, fringe, splinter, far out groups for so many years that no one can remember what, if anything, it truly stands for these days. Why? Why, votes, of course. All for votes. Politics...politics...politics. That is all it is, ever has been and ever will be. Do you truly think that John Kerry, Teddy Kennedy, Frank Laufenburg, et al really give two sh*ts about you and your loved one? They want your vote. They shower you with attention and loving care until after the election, then go on about their business as though you don’t exist. Has the Republican party ever engaged in such reprehensible tactics? Strom Thurmond, Dixiecrats, and we won’t talk about that anymore.
Do you seriously believe that Mr. Bush intends to pursue this half-assed, bone-headed constitutional amendment, outlaw any and all abortion and continue to restrict stem cell research? After his reelection, he, Santorum and the rest of those who really do not permit the opening of a bible to blind them to reality will allow these measures and proposed measures to die the slow death that they deserve. However, they will go through the motions because the evangelical right votes also, just like the gays. Politics. You expected that Mr. Bush would pander to you like the Democrats do, to a few million gays, and risk alienating 50 million evangelical born again Christian folk? What are you, nuts? You can’t count?
"This comes down to a fundamental compact between a government and the people. From all the evidence we see so far, the Bush administration has violated that compact, allowed America's hard-won reputation for decency and fairness to be tarnished, and compromised the moral integrity of the war on terror. What is their explanation?"
This is the most reprehensible thing you have ever written, worthy of Ted Rall, Michael Moore and their ilk. We’ve lost the moral integrity of the war on terror? Ridiculous! Oh, OK. War’s over. We lost. Prepare to die, painfully. Don’t like that? OK, continue the fight, but now from an immoral position. It is now an immoral war. How long before we can expect an invasion from a coalition of the willing under a UN flag to save the rest of the world from our immoral war?
"All the evidence we see so far..." You must be truly blind. We have crushed and destroyed the second most brutal, repressive government on the planet (#1 North Korea is on the list), arrested and imprisoned a vile genocidal maniac, installed a representative government in a place that has NEVER had one, stopped who knows how many planned mass death dealing missions from occurring on our soil, and all the while been digging ourselves out of a horrendous economic slump. That was supposed to be accomplished cleanly, antiseptically, efficiently, without error or miscalculation or controversy or the occasional bone-headedness? Upon what planet do you normally reside? It surely is not this one.
"What is their explanation?" If I were Mr. Bush, here would be my explanation. "These actions were taken to save American lives. Such actions, as we speak, continue to be taken to save American lives, and, if I deem it necessary in the future, I will not hesitate to order that such actions be repeated to save American lives." Then I would call all my people together and tell them, "Get me some professionals to handle this, and if word of their activity becomes public, you’re ALL fired."
You do what you must do. If you choose to allow your personal issue to overshadow the huge issues that affect the other 299,999,999 American citizens, then I think that that is, at best, selfish, and, at worst, callous and irresponsible. I think it would be a real shame and the thought saddens me.