Originally posted Sunday, January 28, 2007, I wanted to remind everyone that I have LONG argued against war, and have LONG been uncomfortable with those who protest. This is something that often confuses people.
As you may or may not have noticed, depending on your media coverage of choice, there was a Peace Rally in DC on Saturday. Many thousands of people showed up to denounce the poor handling of the war, to protest the proposed surge, and to call for the impeachment of the President and his V.P.
As you may or may not have noticed, depending on whether you have read Kater's blog (my #1 friend), I didn't go.
I will admit that the main reason I didn't go with her was that I chickened out. I was afraid for the safety of my family (always a risk when leaving the house), I was worried about my legal standing (marching around with people dressed as the Devil and dangling marionette effigies of one's boss from their hands is frowned upon by most employers), and... I'm not 100% in agreement with the protesters.
That's right: I'm not willing to stand in front of Jane Fonda and cheer just yet, despite my general opposition to this war from day one. (Day one being 15 September 2001, which is when I first heard Mr. Rumsfeld trying to tie Iraq to the 9/11 tragedy, and realized that I heard a grand national railroad building up steam.)
The way I see it, I'm already doing what I can do to for the war effort on a daily basis. I won't talk about that here, but those of you who know me are welcome to invite me out for a quiet drink sometime to discuss it.
As for the "surge", my objective feeling about that is this: isn't it a little late to be second-guessing the Commander in Chief? I heard a lot of (pardon me, Mom...) assholes during the Clinton administration pulling that "I don't have to respect the man, but I will respect his office" crap, and now it's my turn. He may have failed to fulfill every promise I wanted him to keep (and kept a few I wish he hadn't made), but until he is legally removed from office, I am legally sworn to support his decisions.
Which brings us to the popular calls for impeachment. I put it to you this way: there is as much evidence to impeach as there was to invade Iraq. People like AG Gonzales may be slimy, double-talking, word-raping lawyers... but they are good lawyers, which means you won't be able to pin much on them when the dust settles.
Furthermore, it is my humble opinion that our Congress wouldn't have the intestinal fortitude to impeach a president who ate a baby on national television; all he would have to do in his defense is:
a) stonewall them with denials until they produce the tape,
b) claim that the baby was a terrorist until they can prove otherwise, and
c) use the intervening time to dig up instances of Congressional baby-eating, thus forcing them to admit that, gee, it's not that impeachable an offense after all, is it?
So, you might now be wondering, "If he feels that way, is he mad at his wife for going to the rally?" No, I'm not. I know she has agonized over the events of the last few years right along with me. I know she has supported our troops steadfastly throughout, organizing charity events through her Girl Scout troop, and generally contributing in any way she can. In other words, I know she hasn't changed her opinion with the winds of the media (when they deign to cover the real events); I know she isn't just going down to be part of some "party" atmosphere or to be near celebrities. You go ahead and list a few more of the petty barbs the pundits might sling at the protesters: they don't apply to my wife.
So yes, I support what she is doing, even if I don't feel I can join her. I maintain a firm belief that people should exercise their right to assembly, and their right to express their opinions, whether I agree with them or not.
That said, I hereby exercise my God-given right to say "I told you so" to:
* everyone who allowed the 2000 election to fall to the right, and groused about it later
* everyone who told me to shut up when I tried to warn you that this stuff would happen after 9/11
* everyone who let them string us along, promising "evidence" of WMD, but didn't make them produce it in 2002
* everyone who insists on blaming the media for the bad news, but lets the administration off the hook for the bad planning, and...
* every 3rd party member who voted either Democrat or Republican for fear of "wasting" your vote.
I'll say again, for anyone still reading: let's find a better way to pick these people. Let's not blow it again.