I have some liberal friends in the blogosphere. One of them wrote me the other day with a rather fascinating thought in regards to the Foley mess. I probably should obtain permission before quoting that e-mail, but since I won’t attribute it, I think it’s OK.
I want to see the Democrats exploit the Foley scandal to the fullest extent they are able.
We’ve got two parties here that might set a direction in the war on terror and in Iraq. Within our political system, the two parties are consistently set against each other.
Now, if a political party is unwilling to take advantage of the other’s tactical blunder, then how can that party be trusted to wage the war on terror?
Based on my past discussions with this person, I feel pretty comfortable that that is not a sincere and honest opinion, but solely designed to provoke thought and discussion. (My friend is good at that.) And it’s a fascinating point — just how determined, just how forceful, just how resolved should a political party be?
The point that I suspect is behind this is that, to the Democrats, the political war for our nation is at least as important and significant to them as the war on terror. They need to demonstrate their willingness to fight, to win, in that war if they are to be trusted with the other.
The problem with that is it utterly abandons the quaint notion that “politics stop at the water’s edge.” Domestic politicking should be passionate, should be fierce, should be even brutally competitive, but there must be lines drawn. The problem I have is that, as many have noted, the strongest voices among the Democrats are slamming the Republicans for not using the same level of tactics, of scrutiny, of investigation against former Congressman Foley (R-scumbag) as the Republicans want to use against terrorists — which the Democrats routinely denounce.
It’s routine for the charge of “fear-mongering” to be tossed around, but let’s face it: both sides do it, and for the same reason. The reason they do it is because it works, and it works because it’s true. The major difference is in who is cast as the boogeyman.
As I said at the debate I was in last night: who does the average American fear more–the FBI or the IRS? The local zoning board, or the NSA? What does he fear more: the ten commandments on the wall of his child’s school, or having the new addition to the house disallowed by the zoning board, the EPA, or the Americans with Disabilities act? On what does he spend more time: preparing his taxes, earning the money to pay for them, and arguing with the various tax authorities about what he owes . . . or checking for roving wiretaps?
Let me take the FBI as my example. The two things I think of when I consider the FBI:
1) It was founded and run for almost half a century by a paranoid, Machiavellian drag queen who blackmailed his way into wielding and maintaining grotesque power.
2) The Boston office allowed itself to become a wholly owned an operated subsidiary of the local mobsters, to the point of actually framing the mob boss’s enemies for crimes and looking away while they ran rampant, holding an almost unholy sway over the state.
Yet when I meet an FBI agent (which has happened twice), my first instinct is to be polite, helpful, and respectful. I simply don’t see FBI agents — or the FBI — as a personal threat. I see them as likely protectors, as those who are going after the bad guys. They aren’t a danger to me, they’re a danger to those who would threaten me.
The problem is that the Democrats are trying to paint the wrong guys as bad guys. They waffle and prevaricate and make excuses for those who praise and support the terrorists, the bombers, the head-choppers, while at the same time hold those charged with defending us to a far higher standard. They save their harshest venom and strongest attacks not against our foreign foes, but their domestic rivals. To use their own language, they are more focused on dividing Americans into good guys and bad guys than in actually facing the real bad guys out there. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the Judean People’s Front/People’s Front of Judea bit from Monty Python’s Life of Brian.
I’m no Republican. I have no interest in joining either political party. But come November, I will most likely vote for my sitting Republican representative than his Democratic challenger, simply because I think that we should save our fiercest fighting for our real enemies, and not each other.