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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fear Mongering is in the Eye of the Beholder

For the last eight years, Bush's opponents, and mostly the far left, have attached fear mongering to nearly each and every one of his policy positions. For some on the far left the entire GWOT is nothing more than a giant fear mongering exercise to consolidate more power into the hands of President Bush. Less extreme though, you will find that every time the alert is raised, a warning about chatter, or just about any other aggressive GWOT measure is executed some Bush opponent will throw out the term "fear mongering". Fear mongering was attached to the Patriot Act, the terrorist surveillance program, warrant less wiretapping, and GITMO. On a smaller scale, when President Bush attempted a major overhaul of Social Security, his political opponents also threw out the label of fear monger. Most Democrats claimed that Social Security wasn't in trouble and thus not in need of any overhaul.

That's why this email that I got from Nancy Pelosi is both ironic and curious.

The latest bleak economic news -- that 554,000 Americans filed for jobless claims ( -- illustrates the struggles that workers face as they search for jobs, worry about layoffs, or fight to make ends meet. Democrats are working to pass an economic recovery plan as soon as possible, which will create or save 3 million American jobs and make long term investments in our economy.

With more than 2 million American jobs riding on the outcome, President Bush's announcement last week of a plan to give General Motors and Chrysler a bridge loan provides an opportunity for the American automakers to become viable and competitive while securing millions of jobs. However, the White House proposal unfortunately singles out workers and clearly puts them at a disadvantage before negotiations have even begun. It is essential that the development of the restructuring plans proceed in a fair and equitable manner, that the necessary sacrifice be mutual, and all laws governing fuel efficiency, emissions and improvements in automotive technology be preserved. The auto companies and all other parties must now engage in comprehensive negotiations that will require all parties to make concessions.

It has become standard operating procedure for any supporter of any bailout to proclaim an unmitigated disaster if a failing company or industry isn't saved. Now, whether or not their doom is warranted is a matter of debate. On the other hand, their doom and gloom proclamations certainly have the stench of fear mongering. When President Bush proposed aggressive GWOT policies, these folks called it "fear mongering". Now that Bush is proposing liberal economic policies, these very same folks have no problem claiming the end of civilization as we know it unless they are instituted.

Of course, this is no knock on Democrats per se. I am not so fool hearty as to believe that only Democrats would be so brazen, hypocritical, and totally disingenuous. That is the problem. This sort of blatant, brazen, hypocritical, and disingenuous behavior is common among almost all politicians. In fact, this is a clear illustration of why so many regular folks hate politics and especially politicians. The reality is that almost all politicians are exactly as brazen and hypocritical as Nancy Pelosi. When she found a policy she didn't like, she called it fear mongering. Now that she has a policy she does like, she has no trouble spelling the end of the world if it isn't instituted. Fear mongering, you see, is in the eye of the beholder.

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