Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mass debate

I saw a group of about 15 protesters at College and Quivira last night carrying signs blasting President Bush and the war in Iraq.

The signs had slogans like "Honk if you hate Bush" and "End the War Now" and "Impeach!"

They were vexed when I didn't honk for them. Evidently, my refusal to misuse the safety features of my vehicle means I'm in favor of war. Who knew?

It's not that I'm for war. I've got close friends and family members with their lives literally at risk.

What I'm disappointed at is that this is what passes for national debate on the subject. Slogans on posters and bumper stickers.

No doubt most people have already made up their mind about getting out of Iraq, so the posters and bumper stickers are merely a way of talking to yourself, yelling at the mirror trying to convince the reflection of your passionately held views.

Are people really swayed by a clever slogan on a bumper sticker? Am I going to see "Quagmire Accomplished" on the bumper of a BMW SUV at Oakpark Mall and suddenly think to myself, "You know they're right? I'm never voting for Bush again."

Where is the real debate?

Ira Glass addressed this a few weeks ago on This American Life.
"It seems we've skipped the part where everybody looks seriously at whether withdrawal is a good idea in the first place or what would happen in Iraq if we were to withdraw.

We got into the war in Iraq in the first place without having much of a national debate about realistically, what's this war going to mean. What's it going to mean to be in Iraq. And now people are talking about withdrawing without much discussion at all about what, realistically, it will mean to leave or why we are leaving.
Some poor, misguided bloggers are shouting hallelujah that their saviors in the Democratic congress are finally now really going to bring the boys back home and abandon the people of Iraq to the religious despots they deserve.

But in actuality, the congressional Democrats want pretty much the same thing the president wants.

Time Magazine reported last week
So what's with all the end-the-war talk? The impression being created by the debate in Washington is more about politics than anything else. For starters, Democrats are playing to their base: Though most Senate Democrats support a redeployment along the lines that Bush is describing, they are keen to give voters the impression that they are all for getting the U.S. out of Iraq. And they are, but not yet. They, too, recognize a need for a strong, interim force in country to offset the threat of mass killing, secure the borders, chase al-Qaeda and deter Iranian meddling in the country.
For the record, the Republicans are being just a political as the Dems (as I've said before, they're all politicians). They must portray the Democrats as defeatist for their own political gain.

But congratulations to all of you political tools who think the clambering of politicians and slogans painted on posters is equal to serious policy debate. Do you still wonder how we arrived at where we are?

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  1. If I'm not mistaken, Emaw, that's near the site of Sen. Pat Roberts' Johnson County office.

  2. I believe you're right, HIB.

    So possibly they think Roberts will be influenced by such triteness. And possibly they're correct.

  3. What? You want the Lincoln/Douglas debates or something? Instead of 15 second sound bites? Good god, man, look at yourself.


  4. don't you know that this country and it's laws are run and passed by the lunitic fringe? The rest of us have jobs! we have stuff to do. Only the true wackos have the time to stop what they're doing and run for office, or stand around holding inane signs for the "cause du jour".

    Personally I feel that if you have time to protest, come over to my house and I'll let you protest my grass being too tall and even give you the tools to rectify the problem.

    I have a mower you know.


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