On Thursday, President Bush made some comments about our foreign policy in a foreign nation. You’d think a folksy kinda guy like Bush would know that family don’t talk about family outside’a family. Anyway, the media is all in a tither because of something the president said. Here’s an excerpt:
Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is ”” the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.
I have five to say about this, and I’ll simply take them one by one.
1. Did the President just break Godwin’s Law? I think he did…on international television, no less. Breaking Godwin’s Law, or argumentum ad Hitlerum, was originally developed for internet-arguments, and it states, “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.” It basically means that the person who brings up Hitler has lost the argument because they can’t think of anything intelligent to say, so they simply call or compare the other person to Hitler or Nazis. It’s like the ad hominem fallacy, only dumber.
2. The senator that Bush is referring to is William Edgar Borah, and he did famously lament, “Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.” But lament is all he did. And he did so after Hitler had invaded Poland.
3. Bush needs a fucking dictionary.
Okay, for all my readers out there that have yet to take a sixth grade vocabulary test, let me define some words for you. Negotiation: “mutual discussion and arrangement of the terms of a transaction or agreement: the negotiation of a treaty.” Dialogue: “an exchange of ideas or opinions on a particular issue, esp. a political or religious issue, with a view to reaching an amicable agreement or settlement.” And here’s the last word–Appeasement: calming, reconciling, acquiring peace by way of concessions or gifts (the verb ‘to pay’ also goes back to the Latin ‘pax’ = peace).
Some people have claimed that Bush, in using the term “appeasement,” is referencing Neville Chamberlain with his remarks in Israel. Chamberlain famously, and tragically, allowed Hitler to annex Austria and potions of Munich, in hopes that doing so would appease the dictator. Chamberlain didn’t just talk to the Fuhrer–he gave him a country and a half! Not exactly the same thing as talking. Also, I seriously doubt Bush knows who Chamberlain is. His speech writer might, but I have my doubts about Bush.
4. First the Bush administration claimed that the president was referencing Obama and his foreign policy. Now they’re saying that no, the president was only making a generalized statement about the importance of remaining tough towards terrorists. Please. Enough with that shit. If you’re going to attack someone then man up and go ahead and attack them. Don’t have your namby-pamby press secretary go in and try and smooth over your idiotic and half-assed attempts at nuanced bitch-slapping.
5. The president, John McCain, and pretty much the whole GOP have made a big deal over the fact that a spokesman for Hamas, Ahmed Yousef, has declared that Obama is the militant organization’s pick for President of the United States. Consequently, the Republicans are making the argument that terrorists now support and endorse Barack Obama. If you happen to be in public, and you actually hear someone make this argument, I want you to go up to them and spit right in their mouth. If you get a chance, try to urinate on their foot, too.
Look, I’m sure the Klu Klux Klan would rather John McCain be president than Obama. Does that mean that John McCain would be the KKK president? No. It just means that crazy people can pick candidates, too.
Judging by the speed with which the Obama campaign responded to Bush’s comments, I have a feeling that Obama and his staffers are gearing up to combat the GOP’s sophistic rhetoric head on. I do hope Bush continues to stump for John McCain. There’s no surer way for the GOP to lose in November.