A reader displeased over my attacks on Bush

A reader had criticized me a couple of weeks ago for calling our president “George W. Boilerplate.” On reflection, I decided I would use the moniker less often and in fact I haven’t used it since. But I have not given up satirical nicknames which I think the president fully deserves, and have continued to attack the direction of the administration and express my shock at the kind of unhinged statements about America and its role in the world I am now routinely hearing from conservatives. The same reader has now written back to me:

You said it was wrong for me to lump you in with the likes of gadflies like Michael Moore. I believe you deserve it. Not because you are a despicable human being as Moore certainly is, but because it does not matter what your intentions are. To be firmly rooted in reality is to understand that it is our actions, not our intentions, that ultimately matter. All your high-minded and regal intentions couldn’t matter less to soldiers on the ground, or to me.

I also understand now that my argument about the extreme importance of leadership and morale might have no effect on those who have no military/leadership experience.

Earlier it seemed like I was deriding you for merely complaining and not putting forth solutions you thought viable. This was wrong of me. However, neither of us is a general or a diplomat, and we should leave this sort of work to the experts. My point was that the constant screeching of the media does no one any good, least of all the soldiers.

Regarding your defending names like “Messiah of West Texas” and “Boilerplate,” name-calling says more about the person doing the calling than the target. Any and all name-calling is unprofessional and worthy only of grade-school bullies. You sully your reputation by resorting to this tactic.

I agree that we should not go all over the place trying to plant democracy in theocratic deserts, but we have a special history with Iraq. Iraq signed a treaty with us after the first Gulf War, and this treaty was violated again and again over the following 12 years. There was also a U.N. mandate that, if violated (which it was many times), authorized the use of force. Given all these factors (and the fact that the U.N. is corrupt down to its very bones and lacks the intestinal fortitude to do much of anything for anyone), I don’t see that we had much choice in going down precisely that road that we are now on. I don’t believe the President has any intention of invading Syria or Iran, or any other country for that matter, and I challenge you to provide proof to the contrary.

Like Michael Moore, you are beginning to have the stink of the gadfly about you. I read with fascination and respect as you fought the good fight against Mr. Pipes, but otherwise I believe VFR is rapidly turning into another miasma of round-the-clock Bush hatred. The deluge of anti-Bush sentiments is never-ending and eclipses all else. Also, I believe you underestimate the strength of our leftist enemies and that you give them a pass all too often in favor of yet another disparaging remark about the President. I currently live in Washington state and am now seeing first-hand, after the Democrats stole the election, the Sovietization of my state. Democrats have been in power here for 20 years, and what do we have to show for it? The third highest unemployment rate in the nation, one of the weakest economies in the nation, and many, many more taxes on the way as we turn more and more toward socialism. Why not put some of your energy towards these problems? There are plenty of websites out there who talk of nothing but their hatred of the President. Unfortunately, you are beginning to remind me a bit of these rabid leftists. Whenever there is an argument about Iran or North Korea or Syria possibly having a nuclear arsenal, these leftists always bring up the fact that Israel has nuclear weapons; as if our staunchest ally and the sole democracy in the middle east is the REAL problem. Brother, with the leftist forces arrayed against us, the President is the least of our problems.

In closing, I will not be involved in VFR for a while. I’ve no wish to go anywhere, no matter its intentions or what it claims to stand for, that has become nothing but a Bush-bashing site. And I am not doing this because I “worship him.” He is not my deity. Across Oliver Cromwell’s tomb are the words “Christ, not Man, is King.” I echo this sentiment.

I will return to VFR when it has regained it’s composure and its senses.

I e-mailed this reply:

In fact, I haven’t called Bush “Boilerplate” since our exchange. But if you think that such satirical if biting tags as “Boilerplate” and “messiah from West Texas” are “worthy only of grade-school bullies,” then I think you are overwrought, and it puts into question the soundness of your other judgments against me.

I have certainly expressed indignation, alarm, and outrage over the president’s direction. I don’t think I have said things about him that could fairly be characterized as rabid or hateful. Also, many of my blog entries have not been directed at Bush, but at his supporters and their worshipful mindset, something so utterly out of step with the history and character of this country. Of course, I didn’t say that you personally are worshipping Bush. But lots of people are doing that. Is that not an amazing phenomenon, worthy of discussion, indeed, of appalled condemnation?

I’m focusing on Bush and Bushism so much lately because something unprecedented is happening in this country. The president is putting forth a revolutionary ideology and it is being accepted by millions of “conservatives.” That’s a big deal. Maybe you don’t think it is. Apparently you think his rhetoric doesn’t mean anything. You’re far angrier about my denunciations of him, blaming me for undermining national morale, than you are about Bush’s wildly reckless global utopianism and his insane immigration proposals. Perhaps you don’t find it significant that the vice president characterized as “racist” any questioning of the notion that Arab Muslim countries can become democratic, meaning that no criticism of Bush’s policy is to be allowed.

So which is more alarming and outrageous to you, the president’s redefinition of America as a super-Wilsonian project for world redemption, along with his administration’s attempt to silence all criticism as “condescending” and “racist,” or my calling him “the messiah from west Texas”?

Also, perhaps you haven’t noticed that over the last two weeks the president has been inaugurated and has given his State of the Union Address and a new administration has begun, so naturally he has been in the news more than usual.

Bottom line: your indignation at me is over the top.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 04, 2005 05:43 PM | Send

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