Wow. Has their ever been a better example of the whole Iraq War debate, and management, and accounting, in a single televised debate? Has there ever been a better example of the lengths Republicans will go to in order to shut down even the hint
of a true American debate on the costs, implications, failures, and incompetence of the war?
The Republicans don't want a debate over the war. They never wanted a debate over the war. They have gone, throughout the entirety of the last four years, to great lengths to impugn the patriotism, the courage, and even the Americanness of any citizen or politician that demands any such debate from their government.
They believe merely debating the current state of the war is an act against patriotism. Cheney blusters that questioning him, or the President, amounts to being anti-American. If you're a Republican, you have only two choices in this war: Clap Louder, or Shut Up.
No, after a blocking of every avenue of debate, after questioning the patriotism of every critic, this is now the Republican War, through and through. If you're a Republican, you like this war just fine, and you don't care how long it takes, how many American troops get killed, or how incompetently the war is run. If you're a Republican, you think of the war as a vehicle of nationalist virtue, not to be questioned by the likes of fellow Americans who demand answers better than "everything is fine". If you are a Republican, you meet the calls for an exit strategy with cries of cowardice. You meet calls for investigation into prewar failures with the brazen and shallow admonishment that anyone requiring accountability for failure does not adequately "support the troops". It is raw nationalism, and raw partisanship, of the ugliest and most cowardly fashion. Men who would send the sons and daughters of others across the world to die for a still never-quite-defined principle, but lack the courage to themselves defend their own convictions and actions to their fellow Americans.
So now -- faced with the real threat of a debate over the war -- they turn to whatever partisan maneuvering they can muster in order to block that debate, yet again, and attack those that demanded it. Clap Louder, they demand, or Shut Up.
Democrats: Enough of this theater. Fight the fight, but if the Republicans are insistent, yet again, on turning every condemnation of administration incompetence, every questioning of administration exit strategies, and every exploration of the powerful and damaging implications of the failures of this war with cries of cowardice and antiAmericanism, just get up and leave.
"Clap Louder" is not a credible or noble "pro-American" point of view, and never was.
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