Dissent in a time of war
Glen ‘Instapundit’ Reynolds says much more bluntly what I was coyly suggesting yesterday:
WELL, THE HATEMAIL HAS POURED IN after my earlier post on Bush’s speech. For the record, though, I didn’t say (and don’t think) that anyone who opposes the war is unpatriotic. (In fact, only antiwar people seem to keep raising this strawman). But the Democratic politicans who are pushing the “Bush Lied” meme are, I think, playing politics with the war in a way that is, in fact, unpatriotic. Having voted for the war, they now want to cozy up to the increasingly powerful MoveOn crowd, which is immensely antiwar. The “Bush Lied” meme is their way of getting cover…
it’s not “dissent” that’s unpatriotic, something I’ve been at pains to note in the past. It’s putting one’s own political positions first, even if doing so encourages our enemies, as this sort of talk is sure to do.
UPDATE: Reader Kathleen Boerger emails: “Could you do me a favor and define ‘patriotism’ please?”
I think it starts with not uttering falsehoods that damage the country in time of war, simply because your donor base wants to hear them.
Patriotic people could — and did — oppose the war. But so did a lot of scoundrels. And some who supported the war were not patriotic, if they did it out of opportunism or political calculation rather than honest belief. Those who are now trying to recast their prior positions through dishonest rewriting of history are not patriotic now, nor were they when they supported the war, if they did so then out of opportunism –which today’s revisionist history suggests.
Judging from the lefty hatemail this post has created, I have to observe that it’s odd — people who have spent the past year saying that Bush took us to war to enrich Halliburton somehow now think it’s beyond the bounds of civilized discussion to question people’s motives on the war.
And in an update to the first post linked above:
it’s surprising the extent to which people who routinely make the Halliburton and chickenhawk slurs seem to require much greater delicacy from others.
Althouse concurs with Reynolds and my own thoughts are in line with these bloggers. Good company, IMHO.