The Bush League Doctrine: More Ignorance, Less Facts

Below is an interesting editorial that ran in the St. Paul Pioneer Press last week. It frames the current Bush administration, ideological spin game in facts instead of manipulated fanaticism.

Anything is plausible if the facts don't matter

MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell was chatting recently with President Bush's counselor Dan Bartlett about the administration's recent effort to recast the so-called "war on terror" as a remake of World War II.

"The ideological struggle of the 21st century, the terrorist organizations that we're after in this war on terror, is very similar to ideological struggles that we faced during World War II when we fought Nazism and communism," Bartlett said.


It's not merely that the Bushies have no idea who the enemy is in this current war. They can't even decide who the enemy was in World War II. In fact, they seem not to have the slightest clue to the history of that era. Later in that same interview, O'Donnell played a clip of Donald Rumsfeld:

"In the decades before World War II, a great many argued that the fascist threat was exaggerated or that it was someone else's problem," he said. "I recount that history because once again we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism."

It is in fact true that in the run-up to World War II, many argued that the fascist threat was exaggerated. But here's the problem for Rumsfeld: They were almost entirely conservatives. The Republicans, chief among them Ohio Sen. Robert Taft, were isolationists.

"The president intends to get us into war," said Taft in October 1941. "He doesn't want it now, but step by step he'll lead us in."

It was the Democrats, not the Republicans, who were hot to trot against Hitler. The Republicans wanted to stay out of the war. It's not hard to see why. They were right-wingers. Up until Pearl Harbor, they thought the threat to America from the Soviets was greater than the threat from the Nazis.

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