Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Republicans' Twisted Values

The Republican Party and its legion of faithful spin-monkeys have a perverse sense of logic about who's a patriot and who is anti-government. To the GOP, people like George "Bring 'Em On" Bush, who used his family wealth and political connections to leapfrog the National Guard waiting list in order to dodge the Vietnam draft, only to go AWOL later in Alabama, are the real heroes of our nation. Or big tough-talkin', nails-chewin' neo-cons like Dick Cheney, who took advantage of multiple student and marriage deferments to avoid the war. "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service," said this true American patriot. The GOP seems to revel in this fantasyland of mythical heroes, with their John Wayne-like uber-courage and valor (Wayne, BTW, never served a day in the military either). And while they shower these cowards with heaps of praise and respect they've attacked people like Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), whose years of military service and five medals truly makes him a combat hero. Or former Georgia senator Max Cleland, who served his country honorably and lost both legs in the process, only to be vilified and dishonored in the GOP political witch hunt of 2002. And now, in 2005, the conservative smear machine is at it again. They're piling on Cindy Sheehan, who's captivated the nation with her brave protest outside the Bush mega-vacation headquarters in Crawford, Tx. Sheehan's son Casey, 24, died in combat last year after just five days in Iraq. The right-wingers claim she's dishonoring her son and all those who died. They mock her and call her a commie kook who's being manipulated and exploited by subversive left-wing groups. To most of us, she's just a grieving mom tired of the bullshit; tired of all the lies, deceit and claims that "we're making progress" in Iraq. (Take a good look at the photo above of the young Cheney and his mentor Donald Rumsfeld back in the early 70's. Was probably the last time either of them told the truth). She's tired of seeing our young men and women dying in droves even though the WMD didn't exist and the Saddam-Al Qaeda terror connections weren't there. And she's taken a highly public stand to demand accountability from Bush. If this makes her anti-American and unpatriotic, count me in that group. The latest object of the GOP's scorn is former Minnesota FBI agent Coleen Rowley, who blew the whistle on the Bureau after ignoring her warnings about "20th highjacker" Zacarius Moussoui, and who's now running for Congress as a Democrat. Talk about dishonor and disrespect. This woman showed real bravery, yet her service to her country is being both questioned and discredited. Had the inept heads of our intelligence community heeded her warnings perhaps September 11th, 2001 might not have gone as well for the other 19 hijackers. It's mind-numbing how orchestrated and relentless and brutal the right-wing smear campaigns are on true American heroes, and how shameless the GOP is in putting on the pedestal so many who are glaringly undeserving. All in the name of partisan politics. Is there anything more truly unpatriotic? Andy

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