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07 January 2008 @ 05:24 pm
Debate Recap  
Being the bloodthirsty, heathen, America-hating liberals that we are, Suzanne and I had a chat over dinner last night that began with the question, "what do you think was the most terrifying moment in the Republican debate on Saturday?" Suzanne checked in with Fred Thompson almost in tears over the idea that someone would blame insurance companies for the current mess that our nation's health care industry is in. Because, you see, if the government would just get off their backs and let the free markets work their magic, then the good people running United Health Care would be able to provide all Americans, no matter how poor or how sick, with world class care. OK, so I'm paraphrasing a bit on that last one, but it still makes both of us sick to see the extent to which the Republican candidates are lap dogs of big business and are so wedded to their own quasi-religious belief in the power of free markets that they can't imagine any facet of American life that shouldn't be turned over to private industry. I suppose that's understandable given how great things have worked out with our current president's effort to "run government like a business."

So, yeah, that one was pretty bad. The winner for me though was the response to Ron Paul's assertion that maybe, just maybe, America's foreign policy decisions might have a tiny little bit to do with our current problems in the middle east. Never mind the fact that Osama bin Laden released a video tape explicitly stating that his motivation for the September 11th attacks was the presence of U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia and our support for Israel, the clear answer here is that they HATE FREEDOM (yep, those are capital letters). Rudy and Mitt were especially vehement in their sputtering and incoherent claims of America's total innocence in the face of irrational and murderous evil-doers. Both of them claimed to have "read the writings" of the "Islamo-fascist" leaders and to have intimate knowledge of the motivations of every last person in the Islamic world. As far as I can tell, America was just standing by, innocently eating candy and helping old ladies across the street, when the big bad terrorists came out of nowhere and attacked us because they hate our freedom. That's their story, and apparently they are sticking to it.

I should point out here that I do accept the notion that there are a number of insane, irrational religious fanatics who are now dedicated to blowing up as much of this country as possible no matter what we do. I am not, in the words of my Republican cousin, claiming that "America is always the bad guy." However, it is worth looking at our own actions, considering how those actions may have contributed to the root causes of this murderous fervor, and doing everything we can to avoid throwing more fuel on the fire. I also find it deeply disturbing that a number of people who have a real shot at becoming president are standing up on a national stage, sticking their fingers in their ears, and shouting "nyah nyah nyah, I can't hear you" whenever someone points out that our country is faced with complicated foreign policy issues that can't just be boiled down to the good guys and the bad guys having a showdown at high noon. I'd like to think that the giant pile of corpses the Bush foreign policy has produced would be enough to convince the American electorate of the fallacy of this sort of thinking. Here's hoping.
jerrygarciuh on January 8th, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC)
Enjoy your hope.