Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Criticizing versus "Going Negative"

The Namby-pamby-crats are wringing their hands in a fit of agitta over what to do-o-o-o about the implosion of the Bush wing of the Republican Party. Two thirds of the American people believe that Bush is leading our country in the wrong direction, but many prominent Democrats are persuaded that it will only hurt them if they criticize the President.

For that reason, I would like to offer a few thoughts about the difference between criticism and negativism.

When the President flaunts the Constitution and laws of the United States to engage in an illegal program of domestic surveillance, it is not "going negative" to point that out. Neither is it "soft on national security." It is legitimate criticism. Indeed, it is "soft on national security" to remain silent on this flagrant abuse.

The American people don't want to hear attacks on the personal integrity of their leaders from other politicians — that's what bloggers are for. Yes, Bush is morally bankrupt (indeed, he has been engaging in "moral deficit spending" his entire life), and yes, Bush is dumb as a post (never mind all those empty "George W. Bush isn't stupid!" pundit pronouncements from 2000, just watch his "unscripted moments"), and yes, Bush shows serious signs of mental illness, but we've known all of those things for more than the last six years, and we don't really need the politicians to point them out, except perhaps as a sidebar to the real issues.

The real issues, the legitimate criticisms, focus on Bush's grotesque malfeasance as President:

  • abrogating treaties
  • starting wars by lying to the American people failing to exercise due diligence in vetting the intelligence reports
  • sending America's armed forces into combat without the equipment they need, without a coherent plan, and without a clear mission
  • disregarding the Constitution and trampling the rights of American citizens
  • consistently governing in a maximally divisive spirit, bullying rather than seeking consensus
  • spending like a drunken sailor with a stolen credit card
  • consistently tilting the economic playing field in favor of the already wealthy
  • undermining the system of checks and balances by showing inexcusable disregard for both Congress and the judiciary
  • spying on American citizens in blatant disregard for the Constitution and his oath of office
  • and on and on and on and on ...
Of course, criticizing the President requires more "spine" than merely spouting cheap insults. Leave it to insignificant bloggers to call Bush a liar-liar-pants-on-fire or a lunatic chimpanzee with delusions of adequacy; our political leaders need to step up to the plate and call Bush on his horrific performance in quasi-elected office.