08 January 2010

Building off of Slim's QOTD

Rudy Giuliani has now said "we had no domestic attacks under Bush." This is laughable in so many ways (even if he had meant "no domestic attacks under Bush after 9/11", he'd still be wrong, because if the Underpants Bomber counts, so does the Shoe Bomber), but it's interesting as well for another reason.

This sounds a great deal like something Bush's former PR flack said as well:

Here is a proper Bushie saying the exact same thing in a much stronger way, without even the minimal pushback that Stephanopoulos gave Giuliani in his written comments on the interview. (We can thank Giuliani, I guess, for not trying to make the Fort Hood attack into another terrorist attack, unlike Perino.)

I don't want to make this a conspiracy to warp history or a plot to try to cover up failures of the Bush administration. Dana Perino could be involved in that, but I'll be generous to Giuliani and assume he knows that his own record will determine his future, not that of Bush's. So, why do these people keep spewing this? Even Bill O'Reilly can see through this bunk.

I think part of it has to do with something Paul Campos dances around, which is the cult of "strength" in Republican circles. This is behind the support of torture, of expanding military operations, of endless war. As long as we show we are "strong", then we will never be attacked. And strong here means ruthless and possessing of Will. Sanity and perspective go out the window; we must have greater willpower and bear costs far beyond prospective gains in order to show the world that our Will is greater than those who oppose us. This is the same kind of thinking given to people trying to lose weight, trying to quit smoking, etc. As if Will is something anyone can summon up, if they just try hard enough.

And Bush epitomized that for people. Bush was the living embodiment of willpower in the face of nastiness. (Well, Cheney even more so--"We don't negotiate with evil, we vanquish it.") Of course no one would attack the US during that period! That indomitable willpower had to keep us safe! Therefore, no logical evidence that shows that AQ recruiting went up can be true. No evidence that there are causes that can be alleviated can be true. It's all a matter of being tough and showing Will.

It's amazing to see who is and who isn't affected by this. Bill O'Reilly is a blowhard and often a nut, but he at least still has some grounding in reality. It's a shame that the former mayor has left that behind.

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