Thursday, May 17, 2007

Blaming the Base

In my last post, I mentioned conservative blogger Bill T, who had left a fairly indecipherable comment on an earlier post which suggested that all Republicans were to blame for the Republican corruption scandal. Bill responded by suggesting that if this is the case, then all Dems are responsible for Bill Clinton’s scandals. Specifically, he referred to Clinton allegedly selling missile technology to our dreaded enemy China (who as we all know is such a dire threat that they’re one of our biggest trading partners); as well as blaming corporate corruption and AQ Kahn on Clinton. Because as we all know, everything that happened during Clinton’s years were Clinton’s fault.

Of course, even if we were to grant Bill these three items, this hardly stacks up to the various scandals perpetrated by various Republicans. I mean, even Bush’s illegal actions alone can’t compare with Clinton’s meager offenses, and that’s not to include all of Congressmen who were forced to resign due to various scandals. Really, it’s not even close.

But I think the problem for Bill and many other conservatives is that they refuse to acknowledge these scandals. They insist that these scandals are invented or, at a minimum, are no worse than what Dems did. And that’s exactly the problem. They’ve already excused all of the activities. They don’t think it counts. And that’s exactly my point. That, in theory, conservatives denounce Republican corruption. But in practice, they just can’t see any. It doesn’t really exist. Or at a minimum, is no worse than what the Dems were doing.

And that’s exactly their problem and why they are culpable for the misdeeds that their politicians have done. To guys like Bill, any accusation that Bush has done anything illegal will automatically end the debate. It's not that they'd ever defend Republican wrongdoing. It's that they never allow themselves to see it. Somehow, it's always someone else's fault.

I wrote a response to Bill to post after that comment, but it got too long and it’s so late right now that I’ll just post it in its entirety. None of this is new to my regular readers, and had Bill read my other material on this, he might have saved himself the trouble. But I wrote it, so I’ll just post it here instead. Bill wrote that Republicans say negative things about other Republicans “all the time.” So I wrote:

The Republicans do not say negative things about other Republicans. Congressmen like Duke Cunningham, Mark Foley, and Tom Delay are defended until the day that they are forced to step down; and even then their scandals are somehow to be blamed on Democrats. This defense comes from throughout the entire Republican Party, from the politicians at the top, the radio-tv talkers in the middle, and the base at the bottom. Each one of them will be the first to tell you that they don't support corruption or wrongdoing, but then will go on to insist that the Republican in question has done no wrongdoing. Or that the wrongdoing doesn't warrant the punishment. In essence, they strongly disapprove of wrongdoing in general, but never seem to see any specific wrongdoing until after the conviction. And even then, there's always a Democrat who was clearly more deserving of punishment.

And it's this See No Evil approach that has green-lighted the entire way for Republican corruption. You list three disputable charges against Clinton, only one of which could be directly attached to him; while the list against corrupt Republican Congressmen is quite long. As is the list of Bush Admin wrongdoing. How do you consider these to be comparable? I mean, blaming Clinton for a bad corporate culture, compared with illegal wiretaps and the suspension of basic human freedoms? Compared with Congressmen being bribed with houses and yachts and hookers? Is there really some comparison here?

The GOP is corrupt to its very core, and it's because of people like you. Because every time a Republican is accused of something, they know that you'll be right there to deny the significance of the charges and will find a Democrat to blame for it. Sure, you rally against corruption in theory. But the Republicans have totally screwed you over, yet you continue to defend them. And that's why you're part of the problem.

So this isn't about blaming Democrats because they didn't attack Clinton for things after the fact. This is because the Republicans knew beforehand that people like Limbaugh, O'Reilly, and you would defend them against almost anything. And it's still the case. Sorry to go "nihilist" on you, but Bush has got to be the worst president in modern history. Yet he can continue to count on the support of 30% of the population. Not because they like him. But because they know that their fate is tied to his, and to attack him is to attack their own actions. So they continue to defend a man who has betrayed almost everything they thought they stood for.

And that's why they're to blame for it. Not because of what they did after wrongdoing was uncovered, but because the wrong-doers knew beforehand that they'd never be blamed by you people. Bush does wrong because he knows that he’ll always have your support. And he still does. You may disapprove of what he does, but he’ll never completely lose you. And that’s why he doesn’t worry about it. He’ll always have you.

As a final note, while I haven’t read all of Bill’s blogposts (he started in early May), of the many I read, I read none that covered any Republican scandals or wrongdoing. While he rails against the “faith-based science” of Global Warming and some issue involving John Edwards and a hedgefund, he mentions Alberto Gonzales exactly zero times; while his only post mentioning corruption was a local story. For as much noise as he made regarding the not ignoring Republican corruption, he sure does do a good job of ignoring it.

1 comment:

J. Mumphrey Bibblesnæð said...

There's only one mistake I can see in an otherwise dead-on post: Bush is not the worst president in modern history; he is the worst president ever.