Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Disagreement is not disloyalty.

Frank Gaffney is the kind of person I don't like. His latest column is a prime example of what is going wrong with conservatism these days.

Short version: Because Colin Powell and Dick Armitage did not support the liberation of Iraq with the same zeal as Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and others, they are somehow disloyal to President Bush (and Gaffney tries to hint that it is disloyalty to the country as well). Just the fact that they have advocated a different course of action - or maybe emphasized a differnt aspect of the threat Saddam's regime posed - was enough for zampolit Gaffney to deem them as "disloyalists" (let's just ignore the inconvenient facts that Armitage promptly went to the FBI, and that the then-White House counsel, Al Gonzales, refused to hear specifics). Never mind that Colin Powell has apparently ended at least one friendship over criticism of the liberation of Iraq.

This has often cropped up on the right - particularly with immigration, but also with regards to the Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court and some other issues (including abortion). You either believe precisely as some people believe, or you are a pandering RINO who doesn't have any principles that they would fight for.

Again, that characterization is false. I do have principles. On the immigration debate, these principles, including the fact that "all men are created equal", lead me to believe that the position held by hardliners like Pat Buchanan, Tom Tancredo, and Michelle Malkin are morally wrong. These principles also lead me to sharply criticized their mischaracterization of any plan that has what they deem to be insufficient punishment as amnesty. When they are doing that, they are in the wrong.

In other words, when the immigration hard-liners want me to go along with their neo-"blood and soil" philosophy about what it means to be American, or when other people want me to remain silent in the face of unfair attacks on a pair of distinguished publc servants, they are demanding that I compromise my principles.

That's where I get off.

1 comment:

Ken Prescott said...

Gaffney is one of those folks who worshipped at the altar of strategic nuclear forces for so long that he became irrelevant. Gaffney helped make sure that the MV-22 Osprey was delayed by ten years in order to continue funding the Billion Dollar Bomber Boy's Club at SAC & STRATCOM--even when it was obvious that the war they'd prepared for (to the point of being damn near useless for any other mission) was never going to happen.

Fast forward ten years: Gaffney was still yammering about nuclear forces. Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden didn't give a damn that we had a nuclear arsenal that could incinerate the entire Islamic world. He went ahead and launched a WMD attack on the American homeland (each plane on 9/11 was equivalent to a kiloton nuke). Nuclear deterrence failed the only time it was actually tested.

Meanwhile, the Marines that got the job of actually hunting down and killing the terrorists are riding around in 45-year-old aircraft that are being held together with spit, chewing gum, dental floss, and a lot of prayer.

Now, Gaffney's trying to act like he's always been on board with the War on Terror.

Talk to the hand, Frank, 'cuz the face ain't listening.