Thursday, July 21, 2005

Partisan bullcrapmanship

Something that's widely practiced in politics is partisanship. This is when someone takes an action soley because of political party affiliation. For example it might be a Republican who is pro-abortion or pro-choice voting to support an anti-abortion measure simply because the Republican party says so. Someone who does that denies their own sense of what's right, and allows someone else to tell them what to do.

Partisanship is the act of drawing artificial lines in the sand, and just because someone is on the other side of the line, you get to beat them up.

The latter especially seems true of the bullying which the Republican party has engaged in since the mid-1990's. For example the incessant sniping at President Clinton was nothing more than the type of bullying done by children on the playground ... not what you'd expect from mature adults. They started with a falsified allegation of small scale investment fraud, and it culminated with an impeachment trial over lies about whether or not he (Bill Clinton) had extramarital sex. All the way it was the worst kind of bullying and "politics of personal destruction" you could imagine.

My father, a lifelong Republican and cheerleader for the Republican causes, has been totally turned off by these activities done by the Republican Party.

Rove's Most Telling Words (By Michael Tomasky, The American Prospect. Posted July 21, 2005, published by

'He's a Democrat' -- with those three words now revealed, Karl Rove's partisanship is a matter of fact. Other Republicans should be ashamed of him -- and themselves.

This article goes over the current scandal - the uproar over Ambassador Joe Wilson's op-ed piece in July 2003, and the subsequent high-level plot to discredit and politically maim him, the subsequent revealing of Joe Wilson's "cover" as a secret agent, and the lies which have gone on since to cover the crime. All that hinges on the same hardline partisanship, with Rove as the chief bully.

I do not understand why some things get this town upset while others don't, but those three words should make any honorable patriot of either party both furious and ashamed. Wilson spent two decades in his country's service -- in diplomatic postings in Africa, chiefly, but also at the National Security Council, and in Baghdad leading up to and during the Gulf War of 1991. Former Secretary of State James Baker once thanked him for his "outstanding service to the nation," and the current president's father was equally effusive in a late-1990 telegram to Wilson in Baghdad.

But to Rove, that service and those testimonials meant nothing. Rove had someone run Wilson's Federal Election Commission sheet and noticed, according to the Los Angeles Times story cited above, that Wilson's campaign donations "leaned toward Democrats." That was true. And that was enough: Nail him. Even though -- get this -- Wilson had donated $1,000 to the Bush campaign in 1999!

And all this, of course, is putting aside Valerie Plame's service to the nation -- another two decades of work, dangerous work, on behalf of administrations Republican and Democratic. And finally, don't forget, there's the question -- little discussed so far, but one on which I trust prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is gathering information -- of whether any of our human assets overseas whom Plame had cultivated in her years of work were harmed after Robert Novak's column was published.

For years now the right has practiced a partisanship more intense than that practiced by either party in the last 100 years. There's no need to describe it in detail here; everyone reading this knows its basic contours. But this scandal raises the question anew: Exactly what does someone in the Bush administration need to do before some Republican stands up and says enough?


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