Ben Ferguson, the Yankees, and the ideology of the right
Each of these three links contains a transcript for reference, so please read one of the three. Much of the conversation concerning this piece of folly concerning Ben Ferguson has centered around his idiotic excuse for not serving in Iraq--namely, that the U.S. Army is like a sports team and you don't have to serve to support them.
While this argument is noticeably pathetic and deserves a lot all the ridicule it has received to this point, I actually found the earlier part of the conversation far more disturbing than the bit about the Yankees.
You see, whether or not Ben Ferguson gets himself off of his chickenhawk ass and volunteers to join his "friends" in Iraq is immaterial to the larger question of the internal logic the rightists use in blaming us for the current situation in Iraq--whatever it is, because the rightists can't seem to figure out whether their strategy is to convince us that Iraq is a success, or whether to concede that it's a failure and blame us for it.
We've heard the standard arguments that liberals are losing the war in Iraq like they lost the war in Vietnam because we don't have the resolve to keep going long enough to see the operation through to success. What Ben Ferguson has done, however, is something qualitatively different, and symptomatic of what has now become the typical right-wing mindset:
He has blamed us for the decisions of the administration.
Don't believe me? Examine the transcript.
RHODES: Our troops don't get the support they need. They're there without the proper troop numbers.
FERGUSON: Because you guys are saying that it's a quagmire.
You see, if we hadn't called it a quagmire, all of a sudden there would have been enough troops to occupy Iraq! Of course, the fact that it was our lack of troops that caused it to be a quagmire in the first place never crossed Ben's mind. But he continues:
RHODES: They are there without the proper body armor. They're there without the proper exit strategy.
FERGUSON: You're right. There's no support from the left because you say it is a quagmire, it's a waste of time, we shouldn't be there. We need to come home.
So apparently, if we had all supported the war, all of a sudden the troops would have had body armor that doesn't shatter on impact. All of a sudden the troops wouldn't have had to create improvised Humvee armor using scrap metal.
Personally, while I appreciate Randi Rhodes' smackdown of Ben Ferguson based on his lack of service, I would have been far more satisfied with an exploration of this ideology far more than I am with the personal thrashing of another chickenhawk coward--because Ben Ferguson's response are a perfect example of what the current ideology of the right has become:
It's not our fault for doing it. It's your fault for pointing it out, because if you hadn't pointed it out, there would be no problem.
It's this ideology that defines their critique of our critique of their war. It's this ideology that defines how they respond to revelations concerning the violations of FISA, and the national datamining operation. It's this ideology, even, that has been their defense of Rove and Libby in Plamegate: "if Joe Wilson hadn't talked, nobody would have cared. So Joe Wilson outed his own wife."
There are lots of things that I wish Democrats would have the courage to stand up and say, but now you can add another one to the list:
HEY AMERICA! If you don't like bad policy, blame the people who do it, not the people who point out that it's being done.
Because the fact is, they decided to violate the law on a broad scale. They decided to invade occupy Iraq with insufficient troops. They decided not to make sure that our troops had adequate armor. They decided to harm our non-proliferation efforts in Iran.
The Republicans are playing a blame game here, and we can't let them control it. Bad policy is the fault of the policy-makers, not the whistle-blowers.
[Cross-posted on Daily Kos]