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October 02, 2009

Republicans Rooting Against America?

The jackass douche-tool Glenn Thrush of Politico sets the stage thus:

Bad day for USA. Good day for GOP?

Remember when Republicans accused Democrats of rooting against America?

Judging from the volume of exultant Tweets and press releases from Republicans today -- you'd think they'd won a doubleheader, what with Chicago losing the Olympics and the unemployment numbers rising unexpectedly.

Within the first 45 minutes after the Labor Department announced a worse than expected Sept. jobless numbers, I received no fewer than eight GOP press releases blasting away at President Obama for failing to stem the tide of unemployment.

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) literally hit the send button at 8:30 a.m., the moment the announcement of the 263,000 losses were announced: As unemployment continues to climb, we are reminded yet again that wasteful government spending is not the solutions to what ails this economy.

Note well how that is phrased: Republicans accused the Democrats of rooting against America. Not that the Democrats did root against America; only that Republicans accused them of such -- the implication, of course, being that this is false charge.

And yet-- we then proceed to what is offered as proof that Republicans really are rooting against America.

Let me correct Thrush's first claim first -- that Republicans accused Democrats, impliedly falsely, of rooting against America. For the fifteenth time, I quote respected liberal Gary Kamiya "celebrating" the Fall of Baghdad, in the mainstream left-liberal webzine Salon, mere hours after our troops had taken that city quickly and with blessedly few casualties:

The larger question of the effect of the war on the region, America, and the world, however, is less clear-cut. And it is doubts about this question that have led many of us who oppose the war to that confused state of moral schizophrenia.

I have a confession: I have at times, as the war has unfolded, secretly wished for things to go wrong. Wished for the Iraqis to be more nationalistic, to resist longer. Wished for the Arab world to rise up in rage. Wished for all the things we feared would happen. I'm not alone: A number of serious, intelligent, morally sensitive people who oppose the war have told me they have had identical feelings.

Some of this is merely the result of pettiness -- ignoble resentment, partisan hackdom, the desire to be proved right and to prove the likes of Rumsfeld wrong, irritation with the sanitizing, myth-making American media. That part of it I feel guilty about, and disavow. But some of it is something trickier: It's a kind of moral bet-hedging, based on a pessimism not easy to discount, in which one's head and one's heart are at odds.

Many antiwar commentators have argued that once the war started, even those who oppose it must now wish for the quickest, least bloody victory followed by the maximum possible liberation of the Iraqi people. But there is one argument against this: What if you are convinced that an easy victory will ultimately result in a larger moral negative -- four more years of Bush, for example, with attendant disastrous policies, or the betrayal of the Palestinians to eternal occupation, or more imperialist meddling in the Middle East or elsewhere?

Wishing for things to go wrong is the logical corollary of the postulate that the better things go for Bush, the worse they will go for America and the rest of the world. It is based on the belief that every apparent good will turn into its opposite. ....Dialectical pessimism is the dirty little secret of the antiwar camp -- dirty because there is something distasteful about wishing for bad outcomes when the future on which those wishes are based is unknown.

Mr. Thrush, care to revise your claim that Democrats were merely "accused" of rooting against the American interests, unlike Republicans, who, in your telling, clearly do so?

And care to compare the stakes involved in the two cases -- in one case, a liberal clearly rooting for higher US casualties and deaths in a war versus a bit of crowing that The One is finally beginning to learn the valuable lesson -- which only a callow seventh-grader would usually need to learn -- that his vaunted charisma can't solve all of his problems?

And... Re: the jobless rate, among those Democrats cheerleading against America were the Leftwing Media, who relentlessly talked up "discouraged workers" as greatly adding to Bush's relatively low unemployment rate.

Now that Obama's in office, no one in the Leftwing Media wants to talk about discouraged workers anymore. The stat has all but disappeared -- it's mentioned on occasion, but not masturbated over on television as it was during the Bush years.

So let's take a moment to note the true unemployment rate, when discouraged workers are taken into account -- 17%.

Seven. Fucking. Teen. Percent. Over one sixth of the entire workforce.

So you tell me, Glenn Thrush -- am I to celebrate this number? Shall I be grateful to your boyfriend that he's managed to keep (so far) five-sixths of America working?

Tell me -- what is the proper response to a real unemployment rate of 17%?

Apparently you think it's unpatriotic if I don't cheer so hard about it that I have a bit of slippage in my pants.

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posted by Ace at 04:15 PM

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