Dover Bitch

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Live Free or Die, Stupid!

If there is one good thing to come out of this debate over warrantless spying, so far at least, it is that other people seem to be waking up to the fact that a bunch of F---ING CAVEDWELLERS shouldn't be enough to scare America out of the principles that have made this the greatest country on Earth.

Congrats to Digby and Glenn Greenwald, for fighting the good fight.

The way to protect America is to do what is necessary, not what is comforting. To go after loose nukes, not lesbians in Santa Cruz. To have the watchful eyes of Homeland Security focused on chemical plants and the nation's ports, not on animal rights activists.

During the 2004 election, DB was dumbfounded by the onslaught of supposed "liberals" gleefully abandoning their principles (salvaged from a copy of a page from the old, extinct blog):

On Sept. 14, 2001, I went out to a local hangout -- a place where street performers do their acts for the gathered crowds, standing around in front of all the usual national chain stores.

It was eerie.

On any other Friday night, it would take some maneuvering just to negotiate through the masses. But on the first Friday after 9/11, there was practically nobody there. I made eye contact with just about everybody who passed by. It was like we were all on high alert in case anybody suspicious was there. No funny moves...

I've been there dozens, maybe hundreds of times since then and every time I go there, I think of that night.

I also remember dialing a friend on my cell phone that night. He was a Bush supporter in 2000. I wasn't. We had some friendly debates at the time. Neither of us thought it would be the end of the world if our guy didn't get elected.

I called him that night and told him I was glad Bush won. He said, "Of course, you are."

I really was. I was glad, not because of Bush, to be honest. I was happy that the team he had assembled had been around for the first Gulf War. I thought that experience would be a real blessing, I explained to my friend. I had no doubt that we were at war. I was behind it 100 percent. In fact, I was only worried that our response wouldn't be overwhelming enough.

September 11 had an enormous impact on me. But it did not change my core values. As fervently as I supported the president in responding to the attacks with force, I was equally chagrined at the site of people like William Bennett on my television, explaining to people like me that what I was feeling was "moral clarity." How revolting.

It's been three years and I am no longer grateful that Bush and his team are in office. I haven't felt that way in a long time. In my estimation, they haven't done anything right, in any capacity, since they took out the Taliban.

I've listened to all the people on my TV and radio telling me why I should vote one way or the other. If they support Bush, I can still respect them, as long as I don't think they're being dishonest (there are so many dishonest people involved in both campaigns).

But there is one group of people, represented by a trio, for whom I hold particular scorn. I'm talking about the people who know and don't care that the president will actively oppose all the policies and causes in which they believe.

I, too, disagree with the president on every major domestic issue from taxes to Social Security. Yet I believe those issues are trumped by the overriding need to defeat international terrorism, the biggest threat to our freedom. -- Ed Koch

I think there are September 10 people and there are September 11 people. I'm one of the latter. Everything changed for me. Since then I see everything through the prism of what happened that day. For me this election is about one issue and that is the response to 9/11. In that sense I think the president is doing exactly the right thing. If 9/11 hadn't happened then I'd be firmly in the Democratic camp. -- Ron Silver

Well, you know, I'm libertarian, liberal in almost everything, Lou, except 9/11 changed me. I am quite frankly shocked it hasn't changed the whole country, but obviously that's the beauty of a democracy. Anybody can believe what they want, but the moment they blow up the two biggest buildings in your culture and the Pentagon, you know, I'm certainly thinking preemption. It doesn't seem like a dirty word to me anymore. I believe the game has to be taken to the enemy. -- Dennis Miller

First of all, I completely disagree with the premise that only Bush will take it to the enemy. I wouldn't vote for Kerry if I thought for a second that he wouldn't take his role as Commander in Chief seriously.

I also disagree with the premise, and according to the polls I've seen, a majority of the electorate, that Bush is more capable of handling terrorism. I think the Bush campaign has been successful at creating a national debate about preemption in order to divert the debate away from the specifics of how they've handled the war. I'm not against preemption, if there's sufficient evidence to justify it. Neither is Kerry. But Bush has botched it. Badly.

I've already spent a great deal of time on this blog pointing out how poorly Bush has conducted the war in Iraq. I could spend all the time up to the election cataloging his mistakes.

But the real root of my disdain for these three stems from their admission, offered without qualification and almost with a hint of glee, that they support Bush despite the fact that they are opposed to everything he stands for outside of the war.

I can think of nothing more cowardly than abandoning all your principles because some cave dwellers have attacked us.

People don't drive around New Hampshire with "Take my rights, just don't hurt me" on their license plates. Those plates say "LIVE FREE OR DIE."

Of course, I think it's not much of a coincidence that the three biggest spokesman for ditching your core beliefs are all financially secure white men over the age of 50 (make that five of them if you throw in moderate Republicans Giuliani and Schwarzenegger).

September 11 changed me, too, despite what Miller may think about me. But it doesn't make me forget who I am. It doesn't make me forget what I stand for. It certainly won't make me celebrate the abandonment of my principles the way these three have.

At the time of the election, DB wrote that the strength of an administration that publicly demonstrates its power solely through the use of military force is illusory. The added dimension of the secret domestic spying makes concrete the weakness and fear-based motivations of this president and his supporters.

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