Partisanship Distorts Debate
In “Democrats’ Deja Vu (Commentary, March 24), David Frum scolds Democrats for past hatred of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich and George W. Bush. “Hate,” “hated” or “hatred” appear six times. Democrats are hate, hate, hating all the live-long day, and those who are in the antiwar movement are “more ambitious and more sinister -- than the antiwar movement of the 1960s.”
People who want soldiers to come home and not be killed just hate Bush. People who want clean air and clean water just hate Bush. People who are concerned that their constitutional rights are being gutted by religious extremists in the U.S. government simply hate Bush. How does The Times print this garbage and not point out that the Canadian Frum is a former Bush speechwriter? Does my asking a relevant question mean I hate Bush?
Because Frum is a smart man I can only conclude that his commentary about the Democrats and Bush is purposeful propaganda. How else can one explain the rhetorical technique of applying the most extreme aspects of those against Bush’s policies to all Democrats? (“Hillarycare.” Now that is spin-doctoring.) He never mentions that under Bush the economy is sinking in a frightening way and the environment is endangered. Frum is more interested in denigrating Democrats as a rallying cry for the next election.
What gall Frum, the proud author of the phrase “axis of evil,” has to criticize the Democrats who dare to voice their disagreement with the president! The undiplomatic behavior of this administration is to blame for the hatred and disdain felt for our country all over the world, and Frum and his ilk bear some of the responsibility.
Frum wishes to recall the Republican glory of Nixon, Reagan and Gingrich. Consider that Nixon and Gingrich left office in disgrace and Reagan grew government debt that Bush wishes to reinstate. He misrepresents the antiwar movement. He also misrepresents Bill Clinton’s judiciary appointments. Why would Democrats take advice from rabid, doctrinaire Republicans, especially when they attack any Democratic dissent? No thank you.
Frum believes that Bush has worked harder than any other president to befriend his opponents. What a joke! The Democrats hate Bush for good reason. He is trying to roll back nearly every environmental regulation on the books, his vice president made a sweetheart deal with the energy industry in meetings on energy policy and refused to let the public in on it, and he has alienated this country from the rest of the world not only by pressing for this war but by snubbing the Kyoto Protocol and the Earth Summit, just to name a few of his choice acts. Darn right the Democrats hate him!
Why aren’t more intelligent, thoughtful conservatives opposed to the war, and why aren’t more logical-thinking liberals supportive of the administration? The extreme partisanship of so many Americans exemplified by politicians, talk show participants, writers of letters to the editor and many others seems to show blind allegiance to one’s party without any analysis of the facts at hand. If Florida had gone Democratic and Al Gore had reasonably felt that war against Iraq was necessary, who would be supportive and who would be protesting?