Thursday, December 02, 2004

Strange parallels.

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn), who sits on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations looking into abuses in the UN's food-for-oil campaign with Iraq, has called for the resignation of Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Maybe it's not a bad idea. Maybe it's not a good one. I don't know enough yet in order to have an opinion. But I think Sen. Coleman's reasons for Annan's resignation are interesting. He argues that even if Annan was not aware of abuses within the program, he should resign because they happened on his watch. And while he is yet Secretary-General, there can be no legitimate investigation by the UN into said abuses.

But let's take Sen. Coleman's comments and apply them to another situation: that of President George W. Bush. Here are quotes from the Senator, "modified" to reflect the situation here in the US (look to USA Today for the quotes in their original form).

[Note: Replaced words in boldface.]

"President Bush was at the helm of the US for all of the Iraqi conflict, and he must, therefore, be held accountable for the US's utter failure to justify war in Iraq."

"...The most extensive fraud in the history of the US occurred on his watch. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, as long as President Bush remains in charge, the world will never be able to learn the full extent of the political pressure put on the CIA, foreign intelligence errors and overestimates of available data that took place during the buildup to war in Iraq."

"...Any private company would have asked for his resignation. But the members of the board, in this case corporate America have all benefited from the US being in power."

Maybe it's not the best point-to-point analogy, but I think it really does go to show just how much political interests (i.e., party affiliations) impair our elected representatives' judgments. How can Sen. Coleman believe Annan's ability to govern be impaired while Pres. Bush's ability is not? I can only see three possible reasons.

1)He just wants another Sec-Gen in UN and will do anything to get him out, including fighting for a cause he really doesn't believe in. 2)He is able you put up with Bush's "impaired leadership" because impeachment or censorship against Pres. Bush would go no where and effectively kill the Senator's political career. 3) He really doesn't believe Bush did anything wrong in the buildup to the war in Iraq, and is ignoring the facts as best he can because his own conscience is "impaired" by his political ideology.

And that might be the most frightening reason of all, because it's indicative of a larger problem with conservatives all across the United States. We've put up with Bush because we can't see beyond our own conservative blinders.

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