Not to belabor the political issues that have been occupying this blog space lately, but the debate in the House of Representatives today was really, really sad.
I would like to think that some of these gentlemen just don’t know what they’re saying, because I can’t imagine that they would say them if they applied a bit of logic to their words. Take this which was spoken earlier but made its way back into the Congressional Record again today:
Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction, homelessness is a weapon of mass destruction, joblessness is a weapon of mass destruction, poor health care is a weapon of mass destruction, theft of pensions, a weapon of mass destruction, hopelessness is a weapon of mass destruction.
Really? Do you really want to compare poverty and homelessness to a nuclear weapon? Joblessness and hopelessness to a chemical or biological attack? I’ll grant that all of these are bad, but these statements are patently false. And the end result of making such comparisons is actually to destroy one’s argument by making nothing more than an emotive appeal.
And, frankly, it’s all well and good to say you’ve got a twelve-point plan for reconciliation in Iraq. But Kucinich’s suggestion is nothing more than an abstract set of ideas that sound neat from the floor but can only work in a vacuum, not as a part of a global situation built on centuries of history.
There really was a marked difference between the two arguments being made. The one side appealed primarily to emotions while the other tended to appeal to facts. One side seeks a band-aid while the other takes a longer view. And while the point is to show a lack of confidence in the Bush Administration, the argument so far raises in me a lack of confidence in those who oppose it but can’t defend their opposition adequately, much less offer a truly better solution. I’m willing to grant that the current situation is not ideal, but it is certainly a far cry better than simply cutting, running, and waiting for the jihadis to launch yet one more coordinated attack against the West.