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Evilmav2
04-29-2004, 02:29 PM
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Kerry's funhouse logic churns patriotic charges
Commentary by Jonah Goldberg
April 23, 2004

According to the funhouse logic of the Kerry campaign, I have no choice but to question Kerry's patriotism.

As Mort Kondracke of Roll Call has been chronicling, ever since Kerry became the unofficial nominee, Kerry has claimed that criticism of his record equals criticism of his patriotism.

When Ed Gillespie, chairman of the Republican National Committee, listed defense programs Kerry opposed - the MX missile, the B-1 bomber, the Tomahawk missile, the Apache helicopter, the Patriot missile, the Harrier jet and the F-15 fighter aircraft - Kerry's campaign manager replied, "Today, RNC chair Ed Gillespie made another desperate attack on the patriotism of John Kerry."

And this week Kerry denounced the administration's "twisted sense of morality and ethics" for questioning his patriotism.

"I fought under that flag and I saw that flag draped over the coffins of friends," Kerry declared, referencing his service in Vietnam for the 12,098,876,918th time. "I'm tired of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and a bunch of people who went out of their way to avoid the chance to serve when they had the chance," he said.

Kerry leaves us with nothing but bad choices. If we truly think Kerry is, in fact, too soft of defense we can either lie, tell the truth and weather the accusations that we are "questioning his patriotism," or question his patriotism directly.

If patriotism is defined as love of country, I fail to see why it's out of bounds to say that some people love America more than others.

Shortly after Sept. 11, novelist Barbara Kingsolver declared, "Patriotism threatens free speech with death. It despises people of foreign birth. It has specifically blamed homosexuals, feminists and the American Civil Liberties Union. In other words, the American flag stands for intimidation, censorship, violence, bigotry, sexism, homophobia and shoving the Constitution through a paper shredder. Whom are we calling terrorists here?"

I am at a loss as to why I can't say someone who agrees with Kingsolver is less patriotic than the guy playing pool at an American Legion post.

Professional liberals have popularized the notion that the worst thing is to question the patriotism of someone to your left. But questioning someone's patriotism is no worse than questioning their decency.

For generations, Democratic candidates and liberal journalists have asserted that Republicans hate blacks, gays, children, the poor, the environment, animals and immigrants.

Al Gore ran as a champion of the "people against the powerful," claiming he cared about Americans more than Bush. Clinton said that the GOP wanted to "punish" children. Organizers of the Million Mom March insisted that "good" moms support gun control.

Why is it fair to question conservatives' loyalty to children or fellow man, but beyond the pale to question liberals' love of country?

Liberal defensiveness sometimes undermines their case. After all, if I angrily asked, "Are you saying I'm gay?" as often as liberals say, "Are you questioning my patriotism?" people would think I'm hiding something.

Here's the kicker. Kerry is lying when he says the White House has been questioning his patriotism. The only politicians who've been throwing around the unpatriotic charges have been the Democrats.

During the primaries, Howard Dean declared, John Ashcroft "is no patriot. He's a direct descendant of Joseph McCarthy" and John Kerry declared that Bush's economic policies are "unpatriotic." When pressed, Democrats routinely cite Bush's record on this or that.

Get it? If I point out John Kerry voted against, say, the MX Missile, I'm questioning his patriotism. But when John Kerry questions Bush's patriotism, he's merely criticizing Bush's record.

Welcome to the funhouse, folks.

Jonah Goldberg is a syndicated columnist.

Mavdog
04-29-2004, 03:22 PM
The conclusion that this writer (and the RNC for that matter) begins from is that a vote against any military appropriation or weapons program which the DofDefense asks for is unpatriotic.

Is that how patriotism is measured? Certainly not...

Evilmav2
04-29-2004, 05:07 PM
Originally posted by: Mavdog
The conclusion that this writer (and the RNC for that matter) begins from is that a vote against any military appropriation or weapons program which the DofDefense asks for is unpatriotic.

Is that how patriotism is measured? Certainly not...

I wouldn't measure patriotism that way, but I sure as heck would use the voting record in evaluating how prudent and sane any respective candidate for political office is.

In the context of the threats to the United States posed of the old Soviet menace, and the newer Jihadist one, Kerry's decisions to vote against critical weapons systems like MX, the Apache, the B1b, the Tomahawk cruise missile, needed Fleet modernization, the Apache gunship, the Patriot, the Marine Harrier jet and the F-15, F-16, F22, and JSF was just as irresponsible in the early 1980's as it is today.

In that light, Kerry's constant, droning claims that any examination of his voting record represents an attack on his patriotism is disingenous and similary irresponsible.

Mavdog
04-29-2004, 06:16 PM
Originally posted by: Evilmav2

Originally posted by: Mavdog
The conclusion that this writer (and the RNC for that matter) begins from is that a vote against any military appropriation or weapons program which the DofDefense asks for is unpatriotic.

Is that how patriotism is measured? Certainly not...

I wouldn't measure patriotism that way, but I sure as heck would use the voting record in evaluating how prudent and sane any respective candidate for political office is.

In the context of the threats to the United States posed of the old Soviet menace, and the newer Jihadist one, Kerry's decisions to vote against critical weapons systems like MX, the Apache, the B1b, the Tomahawk cruise missile, needed Fleet modernization, the Apache gunship, the Patriot, the Marine Harrier jet and the F-15, F-16, F22, and JSF was just as irresponsible in the early 1980's as it is today.

In that light, Kerry's constant, droning claims that any examination of his voting record represents an attack on his patriotism is disingenous and similary irresponsible.

so you DO measure his patriotism by if he voted for your favorite weapons program.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Evilmav2
04-29-2004, 06:33 PM
I think it was irresponsible of him to vote against crucial weapons platforms that were and are critical to the national security of the United States.

I don't believe Kerry voted against these weapons systems because he was unpatriotic, I tend to think he voted against them because he is a simple-minded, vain, windbag of a fool who puts more thought into how well his suits are tailored than into whether or not our armed forces require new weapons systems that allow us to field a suitable force platform in protecting American interests around the world.

Does Kerry's voting record indicate that he is unpatriotic? Probably not.

Does it indicate that he stupid, short-sighted, and vain? That would be my prognosis...

Mavdog
04-29-2004, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by: Evilmav2
I think it was irresponsible of him to vote against crucial weapons platforms that were and are critical to the national security of the United States.

I don't believe Kerry voted against these weapons systems because he was unpatriotic, I tend to think he voted against them because he is a simple-minded, vain, windbag of a fool who puts more thought into how well his suits are tailored than into whether or not our armed forces require new weapons systems that allow us to field a suitable force platform in protecting American interests around the world.

Does Kerry's voting record indicate that he is unpatriotic? Probably not.

Does it indicate that he stupid, short-sighted, and vain? That would be my prognosis...

That's the way to be critical without questioning his patriotism.

dude1394
04-29-2004, 07:03 PM
Originally posted by: Mavdog
The conclusion that this writer (and the RNC for that matter) begins from is that a vote against any military appropriation or weapons program which the DofDefense asks for is unpatriotic.

Is that how patriotism is measured? Certainly not...


No that's NOT what this writer is saying. He's saying that because kerry and company answer ANY charge about his voting record on defense with a claim that the criciser is questioning his patriotism well then all the writer can do is say, ok whatever you say.

Of course kerry and co. only do this to try and dissuade people FROM analyzing his votes and positions. By feigning indignation they really don't have to even answer the charge.