Big blog daddy James Lileks - everyone's favorite, including mine (don't feel bad Dooce and Blowhards, you're my vice-favorites) - wondered the other day:
I just find it amusing that people think that because I support less aggressive taxation and the War I must therefore believe gays should be driven into a pit lined with sharp stakes, and therefore I’m a hypocrite. How does that work? It’s like saying “you oppose partial privatizing of Social Security? Well, then you obviously want abortion legal up the moment when the baby crowns.” Doesn’t follow.
Well, he's right. It doesn't follow.
(Warning: Obligatory big but to follow.)
But, I spent most of the last election cycle getting told by the punditry I wasn't a patriot, probably wasn't even a worthy American, because I don't support the war and think gutting Social Security is wrong because I don't want to see little old ladies living on dog food.
Recently, the boys who brought us Swiftboat Assholes for Propaganda have been tasked with taking down AARP, as the administration sees AARP as the biggest hurdle in partially privatizing Social Security, and here's their first volley:
Cute, eh? There's that message again: You're an anti-American who hates our troops, and worse, you're a fag. (And this ought to get interesting; everyone knows that you don't fuck with the gray panthers.)
A good buddy of mine (Libertarian by bent) recently emailed me with a link to an article recently where a tighty righty pundit wheezed about German women being forced into prostitution because of their evil socialist unemployment system, which of course ended up being false, and about a boy somewhere in American who did a dynarama equating Bush to Hitler, which of course leads to the immediate application of Godwin's law. So I wrote him back and said pretty much that, and that I liked Social Security, unemployment benefits, and the safety net in general because it saved half of my culdesac in the waves of layoffs a year or so back. My spider-sense tells me it pissed him off royally, and I hope I haven't endangered the friendship by being honest, but I may have.
So, see, we can both play that game. And Lileks is right, assumptions on one's whole gamut of political views derived from one or two positions just don't follow. (Frinstance, I'm totally on the Republican side regarding gun laws, a strong military, and 2nd or 3rd term abortions - I don't like abortion at all, but I don't like what happens when it's illegal.)
The name-calling and the opposite views on governing and policy aren't the major issue for most who dislike this administration. Social Security doesn't really appear to be in danger of getting gutted. The Rove machine managed to insert a Stepford Reporter into a press conference: BFD. The war? I care about the kids getting killed for a futile reason, because the Arabs don't think like we do and I don't know if our actions over there will make a bit of difference as there has been unrest in the middle east involving Arabs my entire life. So, outside of the lives, I don't care, really, about the war, either. Further, I think the Republicans getting control of things once in a while and the Democrats doing the same in cycles is nothing but healthy; it keeps America balanced and on course; the excesses of one side are corrected by the other.
And here we happen across my point: The reason why those who oppose this administration do so is because they believe it is corrupt to its very core, because, after all, it really is Nixon redux. I don't think we'd mind (much) if it was Reagan redux, but it's not. It's all the bad boys who didn't get their dirty work done the first time before Nixon imploded. Overreaching secrecy is back in black, and Karl Rove is the ultimate puppet master who doesn't even bother to cover up his dark mutterings on his schemes when reporters are within earshot, and who openly attempts to destroy the careers (and by extension, the lives) of those who cross him and this administration. So, we who aren't happy with Bush are unhappy because we think he's as crooked as Karl Rove's colon. (Well, actually, most of us think Bush is too stupid to really be more than a puppet. The machine behind him needed a Dan Quail, but since no could keep a straight face when proffering him for president, someone must've said, "You know, George has a boy who's not very bright...")
Now, those interested in the tit-for-tat game will howl about how corrupt Clinton was. To which I respond: Bullshit. Of all the crap the wingnut echo chamber threw at him, the only thing he did was fall into a perjury trap because he didn't want his wife or American to know that Monika sucked his dick (and apparently flavored his cigars - which has always bothered me because everyone knows the perfect accompaniment to a cigar is a good scotch, but evidently being "hand rolled on the thighs of nubile virgins" just wasn't close enough for Bill). (And not to say cheating on your wife is OK.) So, let's not pretend that the whole "Slick Willy" fiasco was anything other than a smear campaign because the neocons wanted to be in power.
Long story short:
It's the smell of obvious, well-documented, and proven corruption, not so much the actual politics. That's the problem. I can't get behind that.