Today, the Statesman was kind of bland so I went ahead and decided to respond to Boise Weekly and boy did I find something to respond to.
Bill Cope had a column entitled, “Why Do Bush and Cheney Hate Us So Much”. From the title, Cope’s demogogic article grabs one’s attention for the wrong reason.
He begins by talking about the war in Iraq and the president’s rationatle for it:
I believe I’ve figured out the Bush Administration’s master blueprint for keeping us so much safer than a Kerry Administration would. First, they dream up horrible scenarios (or steal them from Tom Clancy novels, I can’t be sure). Then, they tell the public about their fabrications as though it were all gospel truth, and when none of it comes to pass, they take credit for it not happening.
I pulled much the same trick on my daughter when she was young and gullible enough to believe just about anything I said. “Honey, I just saw one of those giant ten-legged monkey-headed spiders scurrying into the back of your closet.” And after she had been reduced to a quivering fit, I’d add, “But don’t you fret none, Sweetheart. As long as you keep your Barbies picked up off the floor and don’t talk back, Daddy won’t let it get you.”
What the left has failed to prove is that Bush ever intentionally misled the American public. Time and time again, the left has told us the President lied, hoping that their mantra will convince people this is the truth. What they’ve never proved is that Bush didn’t believe every word he said about Iraq. Instead, they’ve concluded malice on the part of President despite the fact that Senator Kerry and numerous people in the Clinton administration all claimed Weapons of Mass Destruction were there. The intelligence reports overwhelming claimed WMDs. Everyone believed they were there, the documentation is there for more than a decade to back the President up.
Second, what a sadistic game to play with one’s daughter. And it takes Chutzpeah to admit trying to use fair of monsters to control your little girl. Of course, it’s possible that he’s just making it up, kinda like Al Gore with the numerous fake “real life stories” he cited back in 2000.
He goes on to write,
“Also, two weeks ago, while you were being charmed by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s boyhood tales of Vienna (which turned out to have less foundation in reality than his last eight movies) and Zell Miller venting his vile old segregationist spleen for all the chubby white people in Madison Square Garden to relish…”
I’d like to talk about old Zell Miller for a moment. First, Zell Miller’s speech was about national security, not race. Second, Miller in his book, “A National Party No More” wrote that he fought for the integration of Georgia Universities:
The first one (bill to maintain segregation)in the Senate was a bill from the Governor that would allow Georgia students to forgo school if African Americans were enrolled. Only four of the fifty-four senators, voted against it and I was one.”
Miller writes of his race record, “Later, I was a leader in making Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday a holiday in Georgia. I appointed the first African American female to the State Supreme Court, and at the time, the only African American as Attorney General, and another as commissioner of labor. In fact, I appointed more AFrican Americans to the State Judiciary and constitutional office than all previous governors of Georgia combined. I also tried in 1993, long before NAACP boycotts were threatened, to change the Georgia flag with its confederate “St. Andrews” cross. I’m proud-and humbled –that in all eight of my statewide races, civil rights leaders such as John Lewis, Julian Bond, Maynard Jackson, David Scott, Hank Aaron, M.L. (“Daddy”) King, Sr., Shirley Franklin, and Andrew Young stood with me.
Yes, it’s true that in 1964, Miller opposed the Civil Rights act and he describes his stance an act of political cowardice. However, his overall record on Civil Rights is strong and to attack him as some old style segregationist is absurd.
Second, how could Mr. Cope get this convention as well as Sen Miller’s speech so wrong? He answered later on:
I didn’t watch the Republicans in New York. Not a minute of it. Life’s too short. That’s not to say I didn’t get the gist of the message they spent those four days hammering through the nation’s skull: You’re safe with us, and you won’t be with Kerry.
Now Mr. Cope is critiquing something he didn’t watch? Will he give us music reviews when he didn’t listen to the music? I’ve not gone after the Democratic convention because I didn’t watch it. I knew enough to know that both conventions would be infomercials, but I haven’t given analysis on the Democratic convention. If you’re going to write about something, you better know what you’re talking about.
There’s no point in trying to explain how absurd it is for the Republicans to suggest that all of America’s military might and security apparatus would turn to Swiss cheese Jell-O if Kerry were elected instead of Bush.
I wonder where Mr. Cope was during the Clinton Administration where there were mass retirements and resignations from the military because of the new Commander-in-Chief, and then later on even more attrition because many military families were forced on to food stamps. John Kerry’s record on the military is atrocious and there will certainly be more attrition if he is elected than we would see under President Bush.
Secondly, Kerry is not a man of strong resolve. It makes a difference in the way our enemies understand us. The London Telegraph reported before his death, Uday Hussein told the director of Iraqi Television, ” “I think the end is near” because “This time I think the Americans are serious, Bush is not like Clinton.”
If you don’t know that already, you’re way too stupid to fathom the reality of how our country works, which means you will undoubtedly vote for Bush anyway.
This is why John Kerry will lose. He and his supporters believe that those who oppose him are idiots. Those who want a candidate for President who says what he means and means what he says are fools. Those who believe that we need a President who stands to the right of Ted Kennedy are morons. Those who disagree with the Democratic platform are imbeciles. This passes for an argument in Boise Weekly folks.
Mr. Cope then warns us the danger of re-electing Bush is greater than being attacked by Al-queda. He alleges: 1) People will die by the thousands as a result of the lack of health care, 2) The elderly won’t be able to buy medicine and “tens of thousands of old folks will be shuffled into the poverty deck, where they will languish and eventually die, one at a time.”, 3) that poverty will destroy America’s children, 4) that Republicans will destroy the environment.
Now, first of all, the overarching theme of these horrible scenarios is that government can solve all these problems. Can government give us all free health care, even more free prescription drugs, take every child above the poverty level, and protect the environment without strangling American commerce? The answer to this question is no. That is why several Adminstrations including this one have reached out for volunteer efforts to solve many of these problems. The President’s compassion and concern is certainly not less than prior Presidents and the private and charitable sectors will solve many of our public problems.
If we want to reduce the cost of medical care, the easiest thing to do is reform medical liability laws, something the Kerry camp isn’t going to do. Second, President Bush in his acceptance speech laid out an extensive Health Care agenda. He said,
” More than half of the uninsured are small business employees and their families. In a new term, we must allow small firms to join together to purchase insurance at the discounts available to big companies. We will offer a tax credit to encourage small businesses and their employees to set up health savings accounts, and provide direct help for low-income Americans to purchase them. These accounts give workers the security of insurance against major illness, the opportunity to save tax-free for routine health expenses, and the freedom of knowing you can take your account with you whenever you change jobs. And we will provide low-income Americans with better access to health care: In a new term, I will ensure every poor county in America has a community or rural health center.
Doesn’t sound like Bush’s plan calls for the insured to “die by the thousands” as Mr. Cope suggested. Then again, as he didn’t watch the speech, he probably wasn’t aware of this.
Next, as to Poverty, Mr. Cope writes,
“Under-nourished, under-diagnosed, under-educated, under-stimulated, under-housed and under-parented. That’s what poverty does to children, you know. It saps the joy from life, it stunts every sort of growth humans are capable of, it turns consciousness into constant struggle, and then, with no mercy, it kills its victims. One at a time.”
Now, first of all, Mr. Cope shows his shallow materialism. In America, poverty (particularly the poverty numbers he cited) does not mean the percentage of Americans starving to death, living in cardboard boxes. It means people making less than a certain income level. Often people in poverty have cars, television sets, go to movies, and buy groceries, they just don’t have as much as some other people.
Thus, he declares those who find themselves in poverty to be doomed. Parents in poverty might as well throw up their hands if the right man doesn’t get into the White House. Those of us who by many government standards grew up in poverty know this is not the case. I had a good childhood. Yes, some of my toys were older and a little cheaper, our clothing was from the Salvation Army or K-Mart, but yet I’d say that I wouldn’t trade my “impoverished” upbringing for the way many were raised in the middle and upper classes.
Today, hardworking men and women lead families across Idaho and across this nation and strive to make a living and get ahead and to these people, Mr. Cope says, “Give up. Poverty will kill and destroy you, there is no hope.”
Yet, the promise of America is about people beginning in difficult circumstances and rising to the challenge. For 40 years, the government has sought to make things better for families in poverty, yet no federal program can replace a loving mother and father. America’s hope is not in it’s government nor in the hands of its media elite. It is in the hands of decent folks doing the best they can for those they love.
Finally, he writes,
“Each year that Bush and Cheney are in control, thousands upon thousands more will be savaged by the poisons that will be allowed into the water, the air, the food we eat and the soil we call America.:
—Do you want to talk about pollution and the destruction of the envrionment? If you wanted to see it, all you had to do was come to Kalispell, Montana last year.
Kalispell is the home to some of the most beautiful forest land in the world. Years of Clinton Administration neglect of our national forests and a refusal to all logging which allowed a build up of cumbustible fuels which set the forests ablazed.
I lived in the middle of downtown Kalispell and the fires were miles away, but I could smell the smoke in the air. I loved to hike through the forests, but the smoke was so powerful that I couldn’t go out.
Before I left Kalispell, I wanted to see Glacier Park one last time, but the smoke was too thick for me to even go in without risking death through smoke inhalation.
Don’t tell me about protecting the environment when Democrats ripped out the roads that allowed firefights to get to the blazes. Don’t tell me you care about the trees and the water when your Democratic president had a forest management policy that hurt the environment.
Don’t claim Republicans don’t want clean air and water, because we do. We just will not pursue feel good policies that do not work such as the Kyoto Treaty. We know that we’ll have a better environment if we manage our forests rather than mismanaging them as the last administration did.
In conclusion, we Republicans are not stupid, we just see the world in an entirely different way. Mr. Cope sees victims, we see people capable of using their God-given talents to become victors. Mr. Cope believes in the power of government, we believe in the power of neighbors and communities. Mr. Cope sees reasons to reduce and limit freedom, we see opportunities for a free people to meet new challenges. Mr. Cope sees despair and we see hope. In the President, Mr. Cope sees a malevolent conspirator, and we see an honest leader whose defending America. These are the issues in 2004. Let the people decide.