What despicable nonsense this White House spews with its never-ending assault on the sensibilities of the American people as they seek to express themselves at the polls. Accusing Democrats of wanting to raise “a white flag in the war on terror” is about as low as an administration already steeped in low-level political tactics can go – especially since its ill-advised invasion of Iraq and its inattentive Afghanistan engagement have provided fertile ground for terrorist insurgencies and propaganda.
Joe Lieberman has the temerity to say he’s fed up with partisanship but that we should support a president who never stops playing political games. Lieberman has in fact become the dupe of this White House and is being played for all the political advantage the Republican machine can derive from Connecticut voters’ disaffection. There are those who still claim in a fantasy world of their own making that this president and his people are doing a great job. Measuring administration successes, however, would take an instrument so finely calibrated it has yet to be invented.
Yet all one hears from this administration and its supporters is a flurry of accusations that critics are unpatriotic and undermine the military in a time of war. Newt Gingrich, former Republican House leader, says Democrats just want to ‘come home and hide’, his variation on the ‘cut and run’ theme. But not one accuser seems to understand what is in the hearts and minds of those who live amidst every-day violence or those of us who send troops and spend our country’s capital to such little purpose. Solving the factional impasse in Iraq and extricating ourselves is no easy task, but ignoring the reality of a land beset by increasing violence and disorder compounds the ignorance with which we undertook this thankless mission and the futility of our formless status there. Nothing in the administration’s current policy seems to suggest a plan that would alleviate the overriding problems in that country and change the disastrous course it is on.
And when have the leaders of this country behaved in such an overtly political and undignified manner about matters of vital national concern – – a vice president who makes inflammatory statements suggesting Lamont’s primary victory in Connecticut might be taken as a sign of weakness by Al Qaeda? Has there ever been a White House so mired in partisan rhetoric, so unrepresentative of the country as a whole, so dishonest in its claims of protecting the nation even as it creates havoc and grows terrorism in every corner of the world? Would it be asking too much of this leadership simply to make its case by actually defending its policies instead of using fear, misrepresentations and year-round politicking to dispute other points of view? That would be a truer test of legitimacy than the gimmickry it so often inflicts on the American people.
When RNC chairman Ken Mehlman praises Lieberman as a “different kind of Democrat” it’s because the senator has been such a cheerleader for the administration. To call supporters of Lamont and critics of Bush the “far left” of the Democratic Party is just partisan hogwash and the latest talking point in the constant White House monologue. If honest expressions of dissatisfaction with the way things are going is said to be “far left”, how best can one describe the one-party domination of the country, the crushing of debate by muzzling the press and the hiding of important information from public scrutiny? Do we call that the American way or do we nail it for what it is – – an attempt to permanently move the debate to the “far-far right”? If standing with these shameless dissemblers is Senator Lieberman’s definition of bi-partisanship this country is in even bigger trouble than was already apparent.
The use of gutter politics, while not a huge departure for the Republican Party is, however, a further indication of its leadership’s unwillingness to grasp the depth of people’s concerns and to accept that those concerns may find expression in the voting booth. Instead dissent is addressed by hurling a barrage of talking points at media sources. Even now after an airliner-bomb plot was thwarted by the arrest of terrorist suspects in England Republican voices are raised to claim that the Connecticut primary might have turned out differently if the arrests had come before Tuesday’s vote.
Suggesting that Democrats would be less vigilant in tracking terrorist threats is ridiculous and insulting – – just another example of how Republicans continually use terrorism as a political wedge issue. But a few arrests here and there and a myriad of talking points have failed to curtail terrorist activity. In fact incidents have increased in recent years because current policies simply continue the administration’s failed approach without addressing root causes. More talk among principals and fewer talking points would be a welcome change.
Partisanship is not the only word for what this country faces with this administration. By inserting itself into the opposing party’s process, the Republican political machine has provided further proof that they would prefer to be the only political voice in the land. There’s a name for that I think. We should consider ourselves warned.

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