The other night on The Daily Show, our next to last, best American Journalist - Jon Stewart - directly confronted Cheney Biographer Stephen Haynes on the tendency of the Administration and it's supporters to cast aspersions on the patriotism of those who are critical of the War in Iraq.
To the loud groans in the audience, Hayes denied that any such accusations of unpatriotism have been made. Unfortunately, he's very wrong.
Just as a quick refresher we've had the following types of statement made by Bush Officials and his supporters.
- Ann Coulter : Barack Obama's Lead in the Polls is "Good for Al-Qeada"
- Townhall : Liberals hate fellow Americans more than terrorists.
- Fox News: Let's find the Happy Insurgents now that Democrats have taken over Congress.
- Bill Kristol : Obama's anti-war stance shows that he would have been pro-slavery.
- Right-Wing Radio Pundit Buzz Patterson : "Democrat politicians, big media, academia, popular culture, and nongovernmental organizations" of forming "a Fifth Column" that is "facilitating defeat against Islamo-fascism" and that Most Liberals are Traitors.
- Radio Host Mike Gallagher on Fox News: the U.S. government should "round up" actor Matt Damon, "The View" host Joy Behar, and MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann and "put them in a detention camp until this war is over because they’re a bunch of traitors."
- Fox News Host : Wall Street Won’t Let A ‘Puny Little Traitor (who leaked the NSA Story)...Take Down Our Market’
- Bill O'Reilly on Cindy Sheehan : I think Mrs. Sheehan bears some responsibility for this [publicity] and also for the responsibility for the other American families who lost sons and daughters in Iraq who feel this kind of behavior borders on treasonous.
- Tom Delay : Pelosi and Reid are getting "very, very close to treason" by opposing the Iraq war.
- Donald Rumsfeld : War Critics are like Hitler Appeasers
- Neil Cavuto : "Did Americans who took Hugo Chavez’s oil today commit treason?"
- Melanie Morgan : New York Times editor Bill Keller is guilty of treason and that "Keller and his associates" should be thrown "in prison for 20 years.
- Michael Reagan : Howard Dean should be arrested and hung for treason."
- Coulter : It is simply a fact that Democrats like Murtha are encouraging the Iraqi insurgents when they say the war is going badly and it’s time to bring the troops home... They fill the airwaves with treason...These people are not only traitors, they are gutless traitors.
- Dennis Hastert : liberals want to take "the 130 most treacherous people, probably in the world...and release them out in the public eventually."
- CNN host Chuck Roberts: Ned Lamont is the Al Qeada Candidate.
- Cal Thomas : The Taliban wing of the Democratic Party cannot countenance any "heretics" who do not toe their line.
- South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson : "Which one of the Democrat [sic] contenders are going to take [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid [D-NV] to task about giving aid and comfort to the enemies by claiming the global war on terror is lost?"
- Dean Esmay on New York Times reporters: "Exposing such a secret program is not whistle-blowing -- it is high treason. When I say 'treason' I don't mean it in an insulting or hyperbolic way. I mean in a literal way: we need to find these 21st century Julius Rosenbergs, these modern day reincarnations of Alger Hiss, put them on trial before a jury of their peers, with defense counsel. When they are found guilty, we should then hang them by the neck until the [sic] are dead, dead, dead."
- Michael Savage : former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright "should be tried for treason, and when she is found guilty, she should be hung."
- Coulter on the Hamdan Decision : [Y]ou just expect Democrats to side with Al Qaeda." Coulter also stated that she couldn't "imagine that this country could have won World War II if this is the way one of the parties was behaving."
- Rush Limbaugh : "Did (Joe) Wilson lie about Niger? Did Wilson commit treason?"
So it's not like all this treason talk is a pattern of behavior or anything.
Stewarts comments to Stephen had been prompted by this Video from 1994 where Dick Cheney explains why it would have been wrong to "Go to Baghdad" to take Saddam out of power.
In 1994, Dick Cheney felt that it was the correct assessment that "Saddam wasn't worth another American life." Hayes argued in Cheney's defense that everything changed after 9-11" - but according to the documents from the Project for the New American Century publish in 1998 which urged President Clinton to invade Iraq and depose Saddam - that simply isn't true.
We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War. In your upcoming State of the Union Address, you have an opportunity to chart a clear and determined course for meeting this threat. We urge you to seize that opportunity, and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power. We stand ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor.
Nevertheless - Hayes soldiered on.
STEWART: I think that they've gone -- they, they've seemingly gone out of their way to belittle people. You know, he's actually literally come out and said, "If you don't elect us, we might get hit again." That to me, I -- I can't jibe the portrait you paint of the steadfast leader with the fear-mongering, not-bright guy that I've seen.
HAYES: Yeah, but I mean, no, really -- I mean isn't it that case that, I mean, that's essentially what this debate has been about, the political debate has been about since 2001?
STEAWART: No. They keep saying we don't understand the nature of this war. And critics keep saying, we understand the nature of it. You've been doing it wrong.
HAYES: Right, so why is that -- what's the, what's the quality of difference there?