Wednesday, March 22, 2006

An act of patriotism

Based on what I wrote here yesterday - about the gap between President Bush's past and present claims about Iraq - I have received some inevitable emails charging that such assessments of the commander-in-chief are either treasonous, or helpful to the enemy ("aid and comfort"). I have a response to that. Actually, it's not my response at all. I am merely quoting somebody else.
Here's the quote: "As a matter of general principle, I believe there can be no doubt that criticism in time of war is essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government ... too many people desire to suppress criticism simply because they think that it will give some comfort to the enemy to know that there is such criticism. If that comfort makes the enemy feel better for a few moments, they are welcome to it as far as I am concerned, because the maintenance of the right of criticism in the long run will do the country maintaining it a great deal more good than it will do the enemy, and will prevent mistakes which might otherwise occur."
The speaker was senator Robert A. Taft, leader of the conservative movement back in the '40s. His nickname was "Mr. Republican." And he made those remarks one week after Pearl Harbor.