Let’s improve our word power

Posted on January 23, 2009 by Gene

You’d have thought that a few days after President Obama took office I’d be turning toward the future rather than continuing to blast the Bush administration. Looks like that won’t be the case, as the GOP continues its ridiculous traditions by jabbing and insulting and being generally obnoxious.

Example #1
I need to brush up on my vocabulary ‘cos I’m not sure what the word is that describes someone claiming victory by using a negative — saying that something that didn’t happen means that someone did something good.

2,688 Days
By Marc A. Thiessen
Washington Post, Thursday, January 22, 2009; A17

When President Bush left office on Tuesday, America marked 2,688 days without a terrorist attack on its soil. There are 1,459 days until the next inauguration. Whether Barack Obama is standing on the Capitol steps to be sworn in a second time depends on whether he succeeds in replicating Bush’s achievement.

As the new president receives his intelligence briefings, certain facts must now be apparent: Al-Qaeda is actively working to attack our country again. And the policies and institutions that George W. Bush put in place to stop this are succeeding. During the campaign, Obama pledged to dismantle many of these policies. He follows through on those pledges at America’s peril — and his own. If Obama weakens any of the defenses Bush put in place and terrorists strike our country again, Americans will hold Obama responsible — and the Democratic Party could find itself unelectable for a generation.

It’s worth noting that the author, Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen starts his clock on the day after the September 11 attacks. I think the more interesting way to read these numbers is that the Bush administration managed to go only 234 days without a terrorist attack; and this after being specifically warned not only of the pending attack but of the specific method to be used. [UPDATE 2/12/09: Mea culpa. After reading the infamous memo myself, I tend to think that it is not necessarily the smoking gun so many have made it out to be. Read it here. It simply states the obvious — that Bin Laden was determined to strike, was looking at buildings in NYC, and planning hijackings… since 1997, which would tend to indicate it wasn’t about to happen a few weeks later.]

It is also worth noting that Thiessen claims a terrorist attack would doom the Democratic party for a generation; possibly the most ridiculous and hypocritical nonsense I’ve heard today (never misunderestimate the ability of Republicans to reach new heights of hypocrisy). Maybe Mr. Thiessen, like many in the GOP, thinks that the massive repudiation of the Republican party over the last few years is because a magical fairy sprinkled liberal dust on America? Golly, do you think it could be because the American people are tired of the fear mongering of the GOP? Not content to learn the lesson, the GOP talking points today, when people are celebrating the triumph of hope over the politics of fear, are the same as they have been for the last 7 years.

On Tuesday, George W. Bush told a cheering crowd in Midland, Tex., that his administration had left office without another terrorist attack. When Barack Obama returns to Chicago at the end of his time in office, will he be able to say the same?

Since George Bush has little concrete success to crow about, he’s forced to brag about things that didn’t happen. Since his base mainly consists of people who can’t seem to think for themselves and have no critical abilities, this makes perfect sense — bragging about something that didn’t happen is no different than a televangelist claiming that the hurricane didn’t hit because of his prayers, that the rain came because of a dance, or that millions of people weren’t killed in Africa… oh, wait.

You know what’s gonna make the GOP unelectable for a generation? Their dire harping on TERRORISM! TERRORISM! YA’LL GONNA DIE IN THERE!

Example #2
Missouri Senator Kit Bond (R, duh) and Florida representative Bill Young (R, America’s Wang) says that the prisoners at Guantanamo should be transferred to… Alcatraz. ‘Cos those hippies in San Francisco were against torture and unlawful detention. Gosh, this San Francisco bashing gets funnier and funnier everytime some nutcase right winger opens his mouth. (That’s a real purty mouth, by the way.)
San Francisco is a major American city. And in an era where it’s even become passe to criticize Hollywood, it’s the last city that politicians feel comfortable railing against. Funny, isn’t it? How the GOP, which purports to be so UHMERICUN tends to paint some Americans as the enemy? The people of San Francisco — and judging from the election results, the people of many other cities — are concerned about morality and our constitution, about human rights and the integrity of our nation. Too bad these things are so far from the tiny minds of politicians like Bond and Young (wow, there are two names that go great together, especially in a GOP airport bathroom), who are mainly concerned with how many cheap shots they can take rather than how they can solve problems.

And yeah, I’m having fun taking cheap shots myself today, so I understand their glee.

Example #3
Saw a clip of Minority Leader John Boener (R, of course) on NewsHour last night, railing about how the Democrats in Congress are marginalizing the Republicans and not listening to them. In other words, he’s complaining that the Dems are acting just like Republicans. Not fair!