The Left can dish it out (with frequent use of "f" words and direct questioning of conservatives' motives, not just our reasoning), but they just can't take it. Again and again, they can and have called GOP stances "un-American" and the like, but on the other hand, again and again they take a conservative statement that only addresses the likely RESULTS of lefty actions, not their motives, and accuse the conservatives of questioning their patriotism. It's a total, absolute crock. Latest case in point: Nancy Pelosi whining about Dick Cheney's perfectly acceptable (meaning well within the proper bounds of political discourse) attempt to argue against the Pelosi-Murtha troop restriction moves.
Note that Cheney NEVER impugns her patriotism or her motives of any sort, but only explains, with care and with a look at his logic, that he thinks the EFFECT of what Pelosi-Murtha would do would be to help al-Qaida: "I think if we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we will do is validate the Al Qaeda strategy," the vice president told ABC News. "The Al Qaeda strategy is to break the will of the American people ... try to persuade us to throw in the towel and come home, and then they win because we quit."
Cheney may or may not be correct in his judgment, but there is NOTHING OUT-OF-BOUNDS about that statement. Cause: effect. Cause: effect. He does not say they INTEND to validate al-Qaida; he says it will have the effect of doing so. And his subsequent explanation, about breaking the will of the American people, is not debatable; it is, instead, an absolute fact, as stated in the letter from bin Laden's top deputy to Mr. Zarqawi (before the latter was blessedly released from his earthly body).
Yet here is the blathering diddlesquat that Pelosi offers in response to Cheney, as reported on the Fox News site:
Pelosi, who said she could not reach the president, said Cheney's comments wrongly questioned critics' patriotism and ignored Bush's call for openness on Iraq strategy.
"You cannot say as the president of the United States, 'I welcome disagreement in a time of war,' and then have the vice president of the United States go out of the country and mischaracterize a position of the speaker of the House and in a manner that says that person in that position of authority is acting against the national security of our country," the speaker said.
No. Ms. Speaker, you are wrong. It is an absolutely legitimate thing to say that you or your colleagues are acting against our national security. That is what the whole debate is about: whose view of national security is the correct one. Of course Cheney would be out of line if he said you INTEND to act against the national security. But to say that your actions will have that effect is perfectly okay. After all, that is EXACTLY what you, dear hypocrite, are doing in criticizing the president's own military strategy: You are saying that the president is acting against our national security.
So it is, by the Speaker's logic (now back to a third person narrative, rather than using the rhetorical device of addressing Madame Whiner directly), alright for the Speaker to publicly and repeatedly and extravagantly express "disagreement" with the president, but it it not alright for the president's team to express its disagreement with her.
The president absolutely CAN welcome disagreement at the same time his vice president says that acting on the disagreement will have the effect of serving al-Qaida's purposes. That's what debate is all about: BOTH sides get to make their case. In Pelosi's world, of course, only her side gets not only to criticize the other, but qactually to hurl really nasty insults.
There was nothing nasty, though, about what Cheney said.
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