Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Danger Continues

More evidence, as if any were needed, that the modern Republican party is a danger to democracy continues to emerge. Newt Gingrich:

The former Republican speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, always notable for his visions, has compared George Bush in his travails to Abraham Lincoln before Gettysburg. Gingrich, who has recently written a series of counterfactual novels depicting a southern triumph in the civil war, communicated his latest flight of fancy to a longtime former diplomat. "We are at war," insisted Gingrich. "With whom?" he was asked. "The Democrats," he apparently replied without hesitation.

Dick Cheney, looking like a lunatic more than ever:

Mr Cheney resorted to language far stronger than any used before by the Bush administration, the BBC's Justin Webb reports.

The vice-president called the Democrats "opportunists" who were peddling "cynical and pernicious falsehoods" to gain political advantage while US soldiers died in Iraq.

"The president and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory or their backbone - but we're not going to sit by and let them rewrite history," he said.

A claim that the administration had misled Americans before the war - was one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in Washington, the vice-president continued.

The dumbass Shrub:

In one of the most intellectually incoherent major speeches ever delivered by a minor President, George W. Bush last week blamed "some Democrats and anti-war critics" for changing their minds about the war in Iraq and now saying they were deceived. "It is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began," the President said. Yes, sir, but it is even more deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how history was rewritten in the first place.

There is danger here, and it is that Republicans, knowing in their hearts that the war is lost, are setting Democrats up for a "stab in the back" legend. The original "stab in the back" was the lie promulgated by German conservatives that their forces really won World War One, only to be betrayed by liberal politicians. It was a lie; German forces were defeated in the field, the German Navy was smashed into cowardly impotence, and German civilians were starving due to the Allied blockade. With American forces arriving in increasing numbers to aid the long-suffering French and British, the war was visibly over. But the legend could be made to serve long-term goals. The Weimar government created after the war was one of the most liberal in the history of Europe up to that time, but events largely out of its control led to unrest. And from unrest and the "stab in the back" legend came Hitler and the NSDAP.

Democrats have to be bloody careful, and learn from history - something Americans have always had a problem doing. We can't risk calling for an immediate withdrawal, although many have. As much as we'd like to put this war behind us, it needs to be done very carefully and in cooperation with as many intelligent Republicans as possible. Otherwise, the danger to the republic is great.

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