Wednesday, May 05, 2004

But that's our word for making fun of you!

Don't get me wrong. Just because I don't want Bush around for another four years (and didn't want him in the Oval Office at all) doesn't mean that I won't give him credit where credit's due.

Matt W@Gene Expression responds to Dubya's comments of April 30, which echo Dubya's comments of April 13.

Some of the debate really center around the fact that people don't believe Iraq can be free; that if you're Muslim, or perhaps brown-skinned, you can't be self-governing and free.
Matt W titles his post "If you don't agree with my political agenda, you're a racist!" and notes,
Bush's statement not only uses the tactics of the hard left, but is utterly ridiculous. First of all, Bush assumes that everyone MUST be the same and that to believe otherwise is racist. But he makes another assumption--that the nonexistence of any racial differences means that Iraq can (fairly) easily become a democracy....The idea that Iraq can become a democracy anytime soon is foolish, and it seems to me that Bush is trying to cover up his mindless idealism with charges of racism.
emphasis mine
Matt W's phrasing seems to denote, "Bush uses hard-left tactics and is also utterly ridiculous". I would argue that "hard-left tactics are utterly ridiculous, so their use is in keeping with the character of one George W. Bush".

Though I agree with Matt W that Bush is blindly and excessively optimistic about the prospects for lasting democracy in Iraq, I must admit that I took no small pleasure in imagining the apopleptic reaction of Hard-Leftists to Dubya stealing some of their favorite lines. Why, the kleptomaniacal cleverness of it is almost Clintonian!

I suppose it's too much to hope that hearing their own words coming out of their bete noire's mouth will shock them into abandoning the "utterly ridiculous" tactics of "covering up mindless idealism with charges of racism".

The back-and-forth between Matt W and razib in the comments is great too.

i don't think that iraq is dominated by "radical islam." i think it is dominated by middle of the road muslims. i just happen to think that middle of the road muslims strike many westerners as "radical" because their social values resemble christian fundamentalists (and beyond) more than they do middle of the road christians, while real radical muslims can find a cognate only among christian reconstructionists, who are such as a marginal movement numerically that most americans don't know who they are.

but, saying all that, bush pulling out the race card is a real bad sign. 90% of the time that the Left does it it tends to indicate a lack of substance or coherent rebuttal.

Matt W.
Well, my only problem with calling most Middle Eastern Muslims "middle of the road" (even though it is accurate when comparing Iraqi Muslims to Muslims worldwide) or moderate is that it suggests that their level of fundamentalism/radicalism is not much different from Chritians in the U.S. This is a false assumption that much of the Left and some neocons use to suggest that our problem with Islam in the Middle East is limited to a handful of fanatics, when in reality quite a large number of Middle Eastern Muslims are radically religious by Western standards.