Doug Wiken replies to last night's post with another mini-rant that is worthy of exegesis. To recap, I said this:
It is an article of faith in the Democratic High Church that the Bush Administration, along with Republicans and conservatives in general, question the patriotism of anyone who questions the Iraq war. ...So far, I have not seen a single piece of evidence that anyone in the Administration or any other reputable Republican questioned anyone's patriotism because that person opposed the war.
Doug's second reply says this:
Is "wounded patriotism" a phrase you invented, or is that the latest RNC attack phrase? Has Newt Gingrich and pollsters decided to generate a new and revised dictionary of attack phrases?
This is what scholars in philosophy call an "ad hominem" argument. My arguments must be wrong because I am one of "them." The phrase "wounded patriotism" is in fact mine. As far as I can tell, the suggestion that it is not is another product of Wiken's imagination, without a hint of evidence. Wiken confesses that he is too busy to look for evidence for accusations that he was not too busy to make.
I really don't have time to dig around for examples of Republicans impugning the patriotism of their opponents directly or indirectly or with all the precision and finesse of a sledge hammer. While not directly related to the current Bush administration...
That he would have to dig for such examples concedes my point: that he has not a single example at hand. He knows good and well that his view is true, he just can't cite any evidence for it (except for some rather dated examples that aren't "directly related to the current Bush administration"). That is what prejudice looks like.
Commenter Suarez has this:
Republican accusations that critics of the Iraq war are unpatriotic abound. I saw a plastic encased newspaper ad at a media forum that pictured Tom Daschle alongside of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden alleging that his opposition to the war allied him with the enemy. At the same forum, there was a video clip of a debate between Thune and Daschle where Thune accused Daschle of giving comfort to the enemy. There are innumberable clips of the President saying that opposition to the war is a betrayal of the troops and support for the enemy.
That's a little more on target, but might we ask: in what newspaper did the ad appear? Who paid for it? As for the Thune/Daschle debate, I think there was something there in a Thune remark about "aiding and abetting the enemy." A few quoted words from the transcript might be my first real example of someone's patriotism questioned! But I am still waiting. If there really are "innumerable clips" of the President saying what Suarez says he says, surely Suarez could point us to at least one from YouTube. I did a search on YouTube using Suarez's words, and nothing turned up. I do not for a moment question Suarez's honesty. I am sure the "media forum" he describes took place. But vague memories from an anonymous source are not enough to substantiate a serious allegation.
I suppose this has gone on long enough. I think it is clearly shameful to question someone's patriotism just because he or she criticizes the war in Iraq, or just because he or she defends the war in Iraq. I pointed out that MoveOn did precisely the latter with the complicity of the New York Times. I provided an image of the ad itself, and a link where the reader could view it in full. I argue that the charge that Bush or Republicans in general did the former [see image above] is largely a canard, unsupported by any evidence. My critics repeat the charge, flamboyantly, but fail to support it. Pending some new development, I am declaring victory and going on to other matters.