Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What Bush REALLY Said, and Why It Makes a Difference (If You're a Wingnut)

I thought I would pass along this striking example of the intellectual level at which right-wing bloggers discuss history and foreign policy:

As Allah points out, Bush didn't say Iraq was like Vietnam -- he said it would be like Vietnam were we to surrender. Apparently the high-nuanced folks at ABC have not mastered the nuances of the subjunctive or conditional moods.
Gee, I'm sure glad that Allah and Ace set the record straight on that one.


Elayne said...

I don't get it. There's plenty for which to criticize right-wing bloggers, but I don't understand how this critique is valid. Ironic, maybe (since Bush himself doesn't seem to have "mastered the nuances of the subjunctive or conditional moods" or, you know, English in general), but essentially I think they're right when they note that Bush was talking about an "if" (i.e., making another veiled threat), not discussing the way he thinks things currently are.

Kathy said...

Well, I think the media probably understood what Bush was saying. And if right-wing bloggers think that Bush is absolutely right that the killing fields happened because the U.S. left Vietnam, and the same thing would happen if the U.S. left Iraq, then I would think the right-wing bloggers would want to defend that position, and not spend their time railing about whether a headline was parsed right. It just seems kind of odd to me to focus on whether a headline reads "Bush Compares Iraq to Vietnam" or "Bush Says If We Withdraw Troops from Iraq, There Will be Genocide Just Like There Was After the U.S. Left Vietnam." I think everyone knows he was saying if the U.S. leaves Iraq there will be carnage just like there was carnage after we left Vietnam. I don't think "Bush Compares Iraq to Vietnam" in a headline means newspaper editors don't get what Bush was saying; I think it just means they were trying to keep the headline from being as long as this paragraph is. :-|

After we all agree that Bush was saying Iraq *would* be like Vietnam if we left, not that it's like Vietnam now, then what? Do we address the argument itself, which depends on a totally incorrect understanding of history, or do we breathe a sigh of relief after everyone agrees that the headline didn't correctly state what Bush meant and let the rest go?

Kathy said...

In other words, right-wing bloggers seemed more interested in complaining that a headline did not accurately convey Bush's position on Iraq, than they were in actually trying to support Bush's historically clueless analogy against people who actually have a grasp on history.

And to me, that's pretty stupid.