Media Blog

“Critics Say” Bush’s Family is a Dumb Debate

Several MB readers have written in about a story by Terry Neal, who chooses today to recycle the “If this war is so noble, why haven’t Jenna and Barbara signed up?” argument.
Um, because Iraq doesn’t have a Prada?
Seriously, what does it say about the level of intellectual discourse in this country when a major national daily (The Washington Post) publishes something this stupid? I don’t think an “argument” like this even merits a response, but Matt at Blogs for Bush responds anyway — a great response, actually, considering the unserious nature of this particular debate.
The funniest part of Neal’s column is when he tries to get us to care whether Bush has encouraged his nephews to volunteer. So what? My uncle encouraged me to chew tobacco and try “calf fries.” Uncles don’t make decisions for their grown nieces and nephews. How is Bush — how is Cindy Sheehan, for that matter — responsible for these adults?
Another thing: Terry Neal is a recidivist practitioner of this “critics say” garbage. Look at this mess:

Increasingly, though, some critics are asking who serves and whether the pain is being shared equally. This week, the liberal Web site noted in an unsigned editorial that “not one — not one — of any of Bush’s children…
Nonetheless, critics on the left are comparing Bush unfavorably to Franklin Roosevelt, whose four sons served as decorated officers in World War II…
Some on the right are defending the president, arguing that the entire issue is just a subterfuge to detract from the left’s hatred of the military and distaste for all wars. And Sheehan — who they characterize as a kooky nutball — is just the left’s latest spokesperson…
Other critics on the right note that lefties didn’t demand that President Clinton urge his daughter to enlist when America was fighting wars in the Balkans…
But critics on the political left argue back that Clinton didn’t lead the nation into a dubious war based on false premises. And his supporters didn’t accuse those who opposed his military actions of being unpatriotic…

The overall effect is to give Neal’s opinion column the appearance of news. Just tell us what you think Terry. We know what and the Huffington Post writers think already.

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