Here’s today’s rhetoric quiz:
You must make a statement against a particular policy or action. Your opposition, however, may claim your statement gives comfort to a common enemy. How do you make your statement and avoid such criticism?
You might wish to use the comment function to type your answer. Here’s mine:
There is no statement you can make if your purpose is to avoid criticism. So criticism be damned.
It seems Sen. Tom Daschle is less than pleased with President Bush’s handling of the Iraq situation. He said, among other things, that he is “saddened, saddened that this president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we’re now forced to war. Saddened that we have to give up one life because this president couldn’t create the kind of diplomatic effort that was so critical for our country.”
While this may be a bit melodramatic, does it really constitute coming “mighty close” to giving “comfort to our adversaries” as House Speaker Dennis Hastert claims? And, if so, then my question goes back to the quiz above: Just how does one articulate a position opposing the war without drawing what amounts to an accusation of treason from the Speaker of the House?
I suppose the alternative is that none of us should articulate such concerns. Instead, all of us–every one of us–should forget our founding principles and join lock-step on whatever path the President wishes us to follow (that vibration you’re feeling is James Madison spinning in his grave).
If I’m missing something here, please enlightenment me. Answer the quiz above with a statement that you think would not draw such fire. What rhetoric–exactly what words–should an American politician use to protest the war without drawing such fire from the Speaker. I do not know.