There has been an obvious attempt of late by the right-wing noise machine to re-write (very current) history. Unfortunately for that noise machine, some of us have memories which go back further than 10 seconds ago. Let’s review some examples and how they illuminate this blatant attempt at historical revision.
First up, there’s the attempt to divorce conservative and Republican. This usually takes the form of “George Bush never was a conservative” proclamations from the pundits and mouthpieces on the right. For example, when Bush was at 60% approval in the polls (in November, 2003) Jonah Goldberg said “...Bush has proved that he's a Reaganite, not a "Bushie.” And when Bush plummeted to 32% (in May, 2007) what did he say? Goldberg said, “look at Bush from the right angle, he looks an awful lot like a liberal.” From “Reaganite” (in 2003) to looking like a “liberal” (in 2007)? Flip-flop.
Next, let’s look at the price of gasoline. The right-wingers want to blame the (just elected in November, 2006) Democratic Congress for the $4.00/gallon gasoline Americans are now facing. If they were honest with us and themselves (which they’re not), they would know that a stable Middle East equals lessened fears of potential shortages caused by the disruption of the world’s oil supplies, which in turn equals stable speculation on future oil prices. Instead, the Bush administration, in its foolish invasion of Iraq (and now saber-rattling over Iran), has caused oil speculators to raise the price of oil to astronomic levels. When Bush took office oil was around $30 a barrel and gasoline was around $1.20 a gallon. Now oil is $140 a barrel and gasoline is over $4.00 a gallon. Sorry right-wingers, this is not the result of action or inaction on the part of Democrats in Congress since January, 2007. This is a direct result of a destabilized Middle East, compliments of the Bush Administration’s war of choice/invasion of Iraq in 2003. And a destabilized Middle East equals fears of disruption of the world’s oil supplies, which equals higher prices driven by those fears of the speculators.
Finally, there’s the Iraq war itself. A few weeks ago Jonah Goldberg published a column on the surge and the Congressional vote last summer authorizing it, comparing John McCain’s vote for it to Barack Obama’s vote against it. Goldberg piously announced that had America followed Obama’s vote all the wonderful things in Iraq (since the surge began) would not have happened. What a perfect example of choosing a point in time which somehow proves your argument, while conveniently ignoring an earlier point in time which completely demolishes the point you’re trying to make. Sorry, Mr. Goldberg, but had you gone back just a little further in time to, say, 2002, and seen that McCain was in favor of the invasion in the first place, while Obama was against it, you might have been a little more circumspect in your judgment. Heroic efforts after the fact (in 2007) do not negate stupid choices in the first place (in 2002).