Wednesday, March 02, 2005

A response to pstupidonymous

Wow, day two and I've already attracted the ire of a conservative.

AlexC at pstupidonymous responded to my Draft Zinni posting today. Let me go through some of his comments and questions.

AlexC doesn't
understand the rationale of how drafting a Republican to run as a Democrat is going to do anything for progressive/democratic issues beyond addressing the "I'm sick of losing" argument.
Well, there are two assumptions which you are making here which are false and which I am trying to dispel. The first is the idea that everybody joins one of the two parties for the same reason. But this ignores the fact that there was a shift in loyalties amongst security voters in the 60s and 70s, due to the Vietnam War and the left's outspoken opposition to the war. It also ignores the fact that this aint the 60s and the 70s, and that those old lines of political demarcation have dissipated.

The second false assumption is that once you join a party, there's no way that you can switch sides. I believe that Anthony Zinni came to the Republican Party because they were seen as stronger on National Security. I don't know this for certain (I haven't found any quotes on why he identified himself as a Republican) but given the General's insistence on international cooperation in dealing with the world's problems, and his continual pleas to understand the culture of other people, I highly doubt he's coming from the fascist, shove their culture down our throats, wing of the party. I could be incorrect, and Zinni could be open minded when it comes to other cultures, but closed minded when it comes to his own country, but that would be really surprising. But now we have Zinni talking to anyone in earshot about how the Bush Administration lied to go to war, diverted resources from the real War on Terror, and screwed up royally once they invaded and occupied Iraq, so he should know first hand that the image of Republicans as strong on national security is false. And so if, like Clark, Zinni's reason for joining the Republican Party was security, and he realizes that they no longer represent that issue, why shouldn't he leave. And further, why shouldn't Democrats embrace him if he did?
By realizing that there is a need to reframe the meanings of R & D, Minister Al-X, is implying that the Democrat message is not the ones Americans want to hear, it's not the ones that we believe in, it's not the message we want running the country. The only solution to that is to be different. Which I agree with, but reframing the definitions is not the same as reframing your positions. Which is what the Democrat Party really needs.
Well, AlexC, that's not what I mean at all. If you look at the Wes Clark quote at the beginning of the piece you'll see that what I am saying is that the perception of Democrats as weak on security and "blame America" is false. What I am advocating is a direct attack upon this misperception.
I also am surprised by the admission that the Democrats don't support the military.
And I'm not surprised to hear a conservative misrepresent what I wrote. While I did write that I think that liberals need to embrace the military, I didn't say, nor did I imply, that they don't support the military now. And implying that we don't support our family members, neighbors, and friends in the military is just another tired tactic of the right. Give it a rest.

It is interesting to see a conservative come right out and say that they don't support protecting Americans from biological attack:
Defending against a bio-weapon IS NO REASON for National Health Care.
Okay, well, let's take this question to the American people. "Do you think that we should be preparing for a biological attack on our soil?" If you want to take up the position that we don't need to rethink a national health system, in direct opposition to all of the military and health officials who believe that this is a vital step in protecting our nation, then go ahead:
Spend money on bio weapon research. On vaccinations and on intelligence to find them before their used.
Right, so we should trust you and not the experts. Sounds like a good platform to run on, and exactly the one that I hope the Republicans do. Who needs protection when you have faith?
Are there really no sound arguments for nationalize health care left? All that's left is fear?
How about being pro-active on bioterrorism?
First of all, are you trying to criticize a Democrat for using fear to push an agenda? Are you mad that we're trying to steal one of your tried and true tactics? Republicans have shoved 9-11, WMD, Gay Marriage, and any other image that strikes fear in the hearts of Americans to discredit the democrats, so give your moralizing grandstanding a rest.

Second, being pro-active on bioterrorism is exactly what I'm advocating. Why not read up a bit on preparing for these types of attacks before you claim that this isn't part of a pro-active approach?

And there are plenty of other good reasons to create a stronger national health system, protecting ourselves from biological attacks just so happens to be one of them. Again, if you don't think we should protect ourselves against biological weapons, that's fine. I hope that there are more conservatives like yourself willing to admit that you care more about your ideology (i.e. anti-national health care) then about protecting the American people. After all, it's the truth, and I commend you for speaking it.

And here, when referring to the non-traditional threats which the military and military thinkers are preparing for, AlexC admits that he has little to no knowledge about the threats facing America today:
Isn't that the same as fear mongering? Weren't Democrats crying that Bush and the Republicans were making everything a national security issue? Wasn't that bad?
AlexC- it's a dangerous world, and we should have a healthy fear of those dangers. Closing your eyes, placing your hands over your ears, and chanting "Bush is keeping me safe" isn't going to protect either you or me. But, again, thank you for speaking honestly about the issues, it takes a big man to admit that he doesn't concern himself with thinking about the national security threats we face today.

And in regards to the military's outspoken support for Affirmative Action, AlexC "laughed out loud". Well, AlexC, here's what the brief stated, in part:
Based on decades of experience, amici have concluded that a highly qualified, racially diverse officer corps educated and trained to command our nation’s racially diverse enlisted ranks is essential to the military’s ability to fulfill its principal mission to provide national security.
The absence of minority officers seriously threatened the military’s ability to function effectively and fulfill its mission to defend the nation.
The crisis that mandated aggressive integration of the officer corps in the service academies and in ROTC programs is a microcosm of what exists in our society at large, albeit with potentially more severe consequences to our nation’s welfare. Broad access to the education that leads to leadership roles is essential to public confidence in the fairness and integrity of public institutions, and their ability to perform their vital functions and missions.
I guess AlexC doesn't really care about military's abilities to "fulfill its principal mission to provide national security", but I have to say, again, I was surprised to read him admit what I already suspected- cosnervatives don't really care about national security, at least not when it gets in the way of their prejudice or ideologies.

To conclude AlexC says that we should be looking within the party for people to run, instead of looking outside of the box, and finding candidates who stand for the values that we truly believe in. And here, AlexC, is where we'll have to agree to disagree. I believe in expanding the big tent of the Democratic party to include those non-fanatics from the Republican party who's primary goal is securing our nation, you obviously disagree. But I wonder, are you simply worried what would happen to Conservatives, if the insecurity that they cause average Americans was made apparent to the majority of the voters? You should be, because the deceit of the right will only last so long.