I Think We Agree More Than You'll Admit
I suspect that most Republicans know, deep inside, that their president is doing a horrible job. But they won't own up to it, because, in the obligatory "us vs. them" style of hyper-partisanized political discourse that rules this country, it is far more important to win the argument for your party than to speak your mind.
I am fascinated by Republicans' insistence on defending George W. Bush. I am flummoxed by their refusal to admit that the man can do any wrong. It is ridiculous. If you are paying attention at all, you know he's blowing it for the United States. He's a terrible president and a shitty person; inarticulate, wasteful, arrogant and lazy. And really pretty dumb.
I know alot of you conservatives, and I know you know Bush is bad news. Furthermore, I know you don't agree with him -- you do not like to waste money, you do not hate gays, you do not believe in cutting funding for education, you do not think abortion doctors are murderers, you do not want the Bible written into the constitution, you are not happy with the abysmal health care situation in this country, etc etc. But the important thing, it seems, is to make sure you don't give an inch to "the liberals." So you continue to stand up for this man, even though you know he is an incompetent boob who is doing terrible things to this country. Defend your party first, and your personal convictions second.
"Some call you the elite; I call you my base!"
The economy is in a tailspin and you know damn well it's not doing anything for you, unless you are among the richest 20% in the country (who reap 70% of the benefits of Bush's tax cuts -- while only 1% of the tax cuts have gone to the poorest 20%). He managed to turn the budget surplus of $230 Billion that he started with (thank you Bill Clinton) at the beginning of his term into a budget deficit of $500 Billion. He will end his term as the first president to lose jobs (and millions of them) since the Great Depression. But his rich buddies will come out smelling like a rose (that is, financially speaking...of course they don't really smell good).
The war in Iraq. No matter where you stand on this, you have to allow that, at the very least, the operation was a misguided, convoluted, poorly planned effort with, sadly, catastrophic consequences. And what about all the deception? You weren't rooked into thinking Hussein was responsible for 9/11, were you? Or did you buy into the phony "humanitarian" vibe they tried to sell us in the heroic "Operation Iraqi Freedom" advertising? Do you appreciate being lied and condescended to?
As for the Weapons of Mass Destruction that failed to appear, well, the President does admit that he "miscalculated." Do you really believe that 1,000 dead Americans (oh, and 10,000 dead Iraqis) was worth this "miscalculation"? I'll bet you don't.
The Good Ol' Boy Network
What about the the billions of taxpayers' dollars he's wasting on absurd no-bid contracts with firms run by close friends of his administration to "rebuild" Iraq? Halliburton has been caught grossly overcharging for everything; but what can be done? -- no one else got to bid for the contract. Ch-ching! for Bush and Cheney's cronies and fuck you! taxpayers. Even if you're one of those "socially liberal and fiscally conservative" Republicans, you can't defend this nonsense. It is beyond wasteful.
Gay Marriage -- "Deeply Troubling"
I know you. You're not a fundamentalist bigot homophobe. So how in the world can you go along with Bush's stance on gay marriage? We are supposed to be a progressive country. We are supposed to be a free country. Don't you find it a little regressive that the President of the United States, in the year 2004, is trying to fight gay rights? Is he trying to drag us back to the Stone Age?!
I don't know anyone who speaks as badly as our president. Seriously. Every person I know is more articulate than the most powerful man in the Free World. Dubya mangles the English language with swaggering, clueless aplomb. He uses words no one has ever heard before. His off-the-script statements are hilariously redundant, confoundingly illogical, or worse. He mixes metaphors like nobody's business. When Bush steps in front of a microphone to field questions from journalists, he reminds me of me when I was in 10th grade English class, trying to bullshit my way through a synopsis of a book I never read. Except I did a better job, even then.
Do I have to quote some examples of Bush's verbal ineptitude? I don't think so. We are all quite aware of it, and we are all very, very embarrassed.
I really think that alot of the George W apologists are more progressive-minded than they are appear in an argument. But to concede to the Democrats in any small way is out of the question -- never let them win!!
I openly admit that John Kerry is flawed. I'm not voting for the guy because I think he's a stellar candidate; I will vote for him out of desperation. It makes me mad that the Democrats can't produce a candidate who is at least as compelling as most of my more politically astute friends. I am not speaking as a "Democrat" or a "liberal," just as a citizen. I was not the biggest fan of Clinton (although, in retrospect, in these dark times, I have to say I miss the guy). Can't we agree that anyone who runs for public office is fucked? Can't the right-wingers acknowledge the fact that Bush is a rotten leader? Can't we call it like we see it? Political discourse should be about finding the truth, not winning the debate for your team. We're so petty.
I think alot of Republicans are born into their partisanship, the same way you're born into a religious faith. Some people, as they become adults, start to question the things they were taught by their parents. Some defect. Some find new faiths, different ideologies. And some stay in the fold -- and these are the ones who are the most impenetrable, because at no time in their lives have they ever considered a different point of view. It's an obtuse stubbornness borne out of pride and tradition. Granted, nobody wants to be told he's been wrong his whole life, but face it: sometimes you just are.