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What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Why I Hate the Red States

Okay, I don't really hate the red states, just the voters.

I'm kidding again. Well, a little.

I've accepted the fact that George W. Bush won the election fairly. I don't believe there was any sort of conspiracy involved or some other dubious plan to give Bush the win.

What I do not understand is the why behind the victory.

Why did people vote for George W. Bush?

The main reasons seem to be related to moral issues and Bush's leadership as it relates to the war on terror.

The moral part I do not understand. Frankly, I don't see what it has to do with being president. People seem to have this perception that Bush is a pious, devout man of faith who spends time with orphans when he isn't bombing oil-rich middle-eastern countries. Yet Bush was a drunk for most of his adult life. Yes, a drunk. Up until becoming a partner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, Bush's reputation had more to do with his ability to party the night away than any sort of leadership qualities. I guess Republicans are a forgiving bunch -- at least when it comes to other Republicans or conservatives.

Bush promised an ethical administration, but dragged its feet when events occurred to reveal the administration had a few ethical problems, such as the outing of a CIA agent named Valerie Plame. Most folks know the story already, so I will not rehash all of it here. The simple version is that a man named Joe Wilson was sent to Africa to investigate claims that Iraq had attempted to purchase materials to make nuclear weapons from the nation of Niger. Wilson found no evidence and then penned an op-ed piece critical of the Bush administration. Soon after the editorial was published, someone in the Bush administration (the slow-as-molasses investigation seems to point at someone from Dick Cheney's office) revealed to the media that Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA operative. Well, that someone tried a few different media outlets before finding a sympathetic ear in Robert Novak, who wrote a column revealing the name and position of Plame.

The loud cry of objection by conservatives was...well, there wasn't much of a loud cry of objection, and conservatives began playing a semantics game, since at the time her name was leaked, Plame was working as an analyst, not an operative. As if that really made it okay to reveal her name. Ironically, Plame had been working on the Iraq WMD issue in her role as an operative. We can flush all of that intelligence down the toilet. Thanks, Bush administration, for ruining the career of a woman who had been working towards on the very issue we went to war over.

Back in 1996, Republicans were singing a different song, when it was discovered that several hundred FBI files had gotten into the hands of some members of the Clinton administration. Much like in old cartoons, the tops of many Republican heads popped off and steam poured out of their ears over this horrible infrigement of privacy.

But hey, it's a new century, and leaking the name of a CIA operative isn't that bad. Right?

Iraq WMDs should have been enough all by itself to send Bush packing. And when it turned out that Iraq did not have the weapons we said it did, the administration simply changed the reason for going to war, with no explanation. It was a war to fight terror and free the Iraqi people! No one in the administration talks much of WMDs. No reason given why the intelligence was so horribly wrong, no apology to the American people for the deception...they just shifted gears and pushed aside the whole WMD mess.

Speaking of the war on terror, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks against America is still at large. Yes, Osama bin Laden is alive and well, and still determined to kill us. How are we safer with Bush in charge? Even Dick Cheney has said that at any time terrorists could come into the United States and kill us all with nuclear weapons. That doesn't sound very safe to me.

Tomorrow: more Bush-bashing.

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