I've noticed that when I mention politics on this blog, it's usually to explain the thinking of conservatives to my liberal friends. But I think I make myself sound more conservative than I really am. For the record: I'm anti-war and pro-environment. I don't believe the free market can solve every problem. I believe public education and a welfare safety net benefit everyone, and I'm willing to pay higher taxes to fund them. I think corporations have too much power today. I support unions as the most direct counter-balance for that power. And I don't feel my marriage is threatened by gay marriage, even though I understand why some people do.
I'm a Democrat. And I'm really glad I am. Because if I were a Republican, I'd be feeling pretty betrayed, right now. Especially if I were a fiscal responsibility *, personal * liberty * kind of Republican.
Those links go to the federal debt, Patriot Act, and wiretap stories everyone already knows about. Everyone also knows about Abu Ghraib, and Guantanamo Bay. But I've realized that if I were a Republican, there'd be a lot of stories I wouldn't really know about. Because these stories haven't made it into the national media much at all, much less to Fox News. So for the benefit of my Republican readers (I hope I haven't alienated them), here's a couple of stories that are old news on the blogosphere:
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, whose death was recently announced as a victory by American forces, could have been killed or captured a long time ago. He was deliberately allowed to operate in the American patrolled no-fly zone. There is speculation that he was not interfered with because his base provided justification for connecting the invasion of Iraq to the "War on Terror."
The Pentagon is trying to remove Geneva Convention policies from the Army Field manual.
Bush has excused publicly traded defense contractors from normal accounting and securities-disclosure obligations.
President "Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution." That's a quote from the lead paragraph of the Boston Globe article.
And then there's the human trafficking stories. Some measures have been taken to put a stop to this, but they were delayed, and appear to have been driven by a general using his own authority to give orders, not as a matter of policy change by the administration or pentagon.
I understand why people voted for Bush, understand that most of the people who did so are intelligent and sincere and decent. But Bush and co. aren't what they pretended to be. I'm glad I'm not a Republican right now, because I would be pissed off at being so deceived.
As a Republican, I wouldn't like finding myself identified with the-- they're the villains of these stories.
Actually, as an American, I don't like it. These are the bad guys. But they say they're on my side. That makes me a bad guy too, at least in the eyes of the rest of the world. I don't like finding myself in that position.
So, I can sympathize with the Republicans...