Strange Bedfellows in the Tea Party


Nearly 500 people attended the Republican State Convention in Sheridan this weekend. There were also a few people who came to the convention, but didn't exactly attend—these were the protesters outside in cold and windy weather. Sheridan Media's Betsy Love has more:

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Now that Betsy has taken over?

This whole section is starting to mirror CNN or MSNBC since we are getting bombarded with the deep thoughts of Miss Betsy Love.Could you possibly be more liberal?I think we need Rjones back?

mark m

Given your reaction,

Ms. Love,

Given your reaction, apparently, you are not accustomed to differing opinions on your commentary. Hopefully this will be a satisfactory explanation of my thoughts on the subject.

I understand that you might be “slightly confused”, but did you listen to yourself reporting this particular story on the radio?? You choice of words, your inflection and delivery, your usage of nonsensical tidbits like, “Strange Bedfellows” and your willingness to go straight to worst of the story (the wetback sign), all contribute to the tenor of the story and all suggest a very patronizing, superior approach towards these particular demonstrators; which is why I categorized you comments as condescending.

Instead of engaging in objective well rounded coverage you focused on the most salacious portion of the demonstration. You are not alone in your approach to this subject, which was the focus of the majority of my original post. Obviously, you have chosen to zero in on a small portion of my comments.

That is my opinion, both what I “think” and what I “feel” on the subject, it's not personal. Last I checked, individuals are allowed to express their opinion in a public forum, even if it may be critical of your approach to a given story. Perhaps you thin skin is not well suited to your very public line of work.

Out Loud, First, let me say

Out Loud,

First, let me say I don't mind sincere and thoughtful criticisms and I appreciate you giving me some honest and tangible feedback.

You are right that I highlighted perhaps the most negative aspect from the beginning, (although, in my defense, I would like to say the first story I wrote on the protest was about what the majority was protesting about, ie healthcare and the Wyoming bill that a few Senators and Representatives voted against)and you actually bring up a good point because this relates not just to my reporting, but sort of how journalism generally works in general. It is not so much the status quo which is represented, but events and things which are out of the ordinary. In any case, I didn't want to create the impression that most people at the protest agreed with this man; that is why I made sure to mention most protesters were "fiscally focused." And partly why I included the interview with the girl protester who was from Mexico, and not the man with the sign. I can see your point, and it does have some validity. I do think part of the responsibility goes to the listener (not just in this case but in general)to listen carefully (I said it was one guy and most were fiscally focused) before they get so riled up. The information was there--Also, couldn't you also say that I was showing that many criticisms of the Tea Party are not necessarily accurate, or that they don't tell the whole story? Obviously, the two Mexican women didn't feel like the protesters (other than the man with the sign) were racist--so what does that say?

"Strange Bedfellows" refers to a common saying. "They say politics makes for strange bedfellows" is often used to describe a situation when two groups who would normally be adversaries, become allies over an issue they deem more important. For instance, the U.S. and G.B. allied with Communist Russia during WWII, despite their dislike and distrust for one another. I thought this was a very well-known saying, but you are right that I often use words and phrases that not everyone is familiar with--most people would say in radio you should over-simplify--I don't completely agree, but that is another conversation in itself.

As far as my tone--I'm glad you pointed that out because I wasn't aware that it conveyed that impression. I was trying to speak extra clearly, only because I was really, really, trying to avoid people thinking that either I or the other protesters in any way condoned calling people "wetbacks." Because I know people often mishear, especially over the radio, I just wanted to make sure it was very clear who was and was not using racial slurs. (First hand)

Finally, for the record, I thought the Tea Party protesters who I spoke with were extremely polite, nice and very friendly. (Can't say if the man with the sign was or was not, we didn't speak.) Frankly, on a personal level, I found everyone I spoke with extremely likable. We didn't speak long enough so don't know to what extent we would agree or disagree on policy issues. But that frankly doesn't matter to me--as long as people are respectful and willing to engage, I am not offended when people have different opinions, especially on abstract and complicated policy issues. I have opinions on these things, but I don't know everything so fully accept that I could be wrong. And when someone does prove me wrong, via rational and fact-based discussion, it doesn't make me mad at them. It makes me appreciate them, because they have just helped make me a better informed and more knowledgeable person.

So, now even I am getting tired of listening to myself ramble about rationality. The reason I questioned you is not because you hurt my feelings, (do you think I would have posted things I knew would rile people up or continue these discussions, which will just likely attract more criticism of me if I were thin-skinned?) but because the one thing I am dogmatic about is not being dogmatic. Ironically, this is one issue I am very passionate about--I really wished we valued discussion and debate and reason more than we do. The point about feelings was that yes, you absolutely should express yourself on these forums and elsewhere. But you, me, and everyone else should say and/or consider why and not just what they believe. Opinions and ideas which have no basis in fact, or which contradict fact, need to be understood as such--we too often let people get away with saying things or having opinions which don't have these foundations. I'm not saying these opinions should be silenced, but they should be ruthlessly challenged, questioned and exposed. Opinions which have rational and factual basis can and should withstand these challenges. Those that don't, should not.

Ms. Love,Wow, reflecting on

Ms. Love,

Wow, reflecting on your latest tome. . .condescending still comes to mind.

I think it would be fair to say you have been every bit as contemptuous as those of us who have taken issue with your commentary. However, your latest attempt to rationalize is nothing more than blatant expressions of your perceived superiority toward us common folk.

Thank you, I am familiar with the phrase “Strange Bedfellows”; is there anyone who has even a remote interest in politics, past or present, that hasn’t heard this phrase? Its origin is from the Shakespearian play The Tempest, (yah, I can Google too). More to the point, it has been a part of the American lexicon, both in and out of the political arena since the origins of this great nation. I could rehash my objection to your use of this phrase, but I think it futile at this point.

If you choose to respond yet again, have at it….I’m done. I’m sure you’ve heard the idiom, “beating a dead horse”, I’m there. Let someone else try to stay awake; and I’m not referring to the late hour.

Well I agree with your

Well I agree with your "willingness to go straight to worst of the story (the wetback sign)" I'll at least give her credit for creating a story.. In case you have not noticed, we are now in a digital media age.. If you don't like a report, youtube one better. My boys and I do it all the time. Reporting your point of view, and puting it out there is always a good thing. I thought it was at least a good attempt at a fair and ballanced report. I think had I done it, I may have identifyed and explained the wetback "straw man" tactic, but other then that I thought it was ok...

Thanks...I am curious what

Thanks...I am curious what you mean about the "straw man" tactic? I mean, know what a straw man tactic is, but I don't understand what you mean about how used here?

Not sure how this

Not sure how this deteriorated into another endless debate about Iraq and everyone's whipping boy George W Bush, but to get back to the story at hand.

I have only been in Sheridan a few years and have not made an effort to get to know the town's hierarchy, but I too felt Ms. Love's comments were to say the least, condescending. In an attempt to be clever, she came off sounding a bit narrow minded; and one does not have to know her or her views to form an opinion on her commentary.

The national coverage of the Tea Party in general has been mostly negative. With the usual liberal pundits making the same old tired claim they always try to pin on the conservatives...that they are racist, unsympathetic and in the case of some Tea Party members even violent in their dissension; the problem is, there has been next to no evidence to back these claims. In fact there is much more evidence that those in support of Obama's policies have been the ones abusing their own free speech rights.

The left loves to defend those very rights, except when that free speech is directed against their own views.

The left cannot win on the facts, so they work tirelessly to demonize those who don't hold those same has worked for them in the past and they are hoping it will work again, but not so fast.

The Libs are doing so much to screw things up right now, those in opposition should just get out of their way and wait for redemption come November.

Your comment is like saying "war is peace" or "1=7"

Out Loud.

Also, I would like to point out that your entire comment is very self-contradictory.

For the most part, criticisms in this discussion of the Iraq war, Bush, Obama, the Tea Party, etc. are backed up by reasons and evidence. These are complicated issues with no easy answers, and it is important they continue to be debated. Although we can't change what has already happened, debating these issues will allow for more informed and potentially wiser decisions in the future.

So, because you say that you value opinions backed by evidence, then why are you contemptuous of those who use evidence to discuss important issues? Why are you so contemptuous of the people commenting here, reasoning out their opinions and using evidence? And perhaps more importantly, if you value evidence and facts-based opinions, why don't you include any in yours?

In response: Your comment is like saying "war is peace" or "1=7"

Ms. Love,

Say what. . .??! I would think a regurgitation of every little nuance would not be necessary, but apparently I am mistaken.

Obviously, the Iraq war and the criticism of GWB are still extremely relevant to the continued public discourse, just not sure how they are relevant to a discussion about a Tea Party demonstration on healthcare and an inappropriate sign at our state's Republican convention.?

I, quite frankly, am not hearing too much in the way of substantive debate on your end either, certainly nothing which is backed up by any specific facts, reasoned or otherwise.

The Iraq war relates to the

The Iraq war relates to the Tea Party discussion as follows:

Someone accused the tea partiers of being primarily motivated by race and not protesting things such as the lies that lead us into the Iraq war. I suggested that it is inaccurate to accuse Bush of "lying" to get us into war.... and the discussion continued from there.

Mr. Out Loud, Now that we

Mr. Out Loud,

Now that we know that you "felt" my "comments were to say the least, condescending," lets see what you think about it. Could you please point to a specific incidence of where I was "condescending" and explain why you think (not feel) my remarks were such? And could you specify to whom I was being condescending? I am not asking this question rhetorically; I would honestly love to hear what you think about this because I am still slightly confused as to why I created that impression with a couple of people. If there is a sound basis as to why you think what you do, then I would like the feedback so that I may improve my work. If there is not a sound basis, well, I think it is extremely important for all of us to ruthlessly and constantly examine our own beliefs, to both understand why we come to hold certain beliefs and to make sure they are in accordance with and/or do not conflict with the "facts on the ground."

George Bush with his pets

George Bush with his pets the patriot act, real ID, no child left behind, and medicare part D was up to Obama the most big government anti personal freedom president this country has had since Wilson or Franklin D Roosevelt. In addition to the he has single handedly utterly destroyed the republican party in this country. GW Bush was no conservative, and no friend of the constitution. If the tea party turns in to a wing of the republican party I'm done with them. If I were given a choice between Bush and Obama I'd flush the ballot down the toilet where it would belong.

April, Thank you for your


Thank you for your comment; I honestly tried not to be overtly biased in any way. I actually thought most of the protesters were extremely friendly and I am very sympathetic to libertarian ideals.

And if you ever do feel like I misrepresented or reported unfairly on the local Tea Party, etc., please get ahold of me and I will be more than happy to fix anything that is inaccurate or an unfair representation.



Big OIL IS THE REAL CRIMINAL in this country! Or is the oil spill a figament in my imagination?

please change my what ever from I hear voices to SAY WHAT! hope you can do this for thanks.

tea party

As the person who led the first tea party in Sheridan I can say that that particular tea party was economically motivated. The "last straw" for me was the bailout in September 2008- months before Obama even became president. The winter of 08-09 brought about continued unrestrained spending and a continued denial that this country was in any sort of economic crisis. All of these things, coupled together, are what convinced me to lead the April 15, 2009 tea party.

And yes, I do believe that this country would be a much nicer place if Ron Paul were president. Ron Paul supporters led the first round of tea parties, for the most part. His ideas and philosophies mirror many of our founding fathers. There's really nothing radical about him - if anything, he's old school USA. ;-) I wish the GOP would stop demonizing Ron and Rand Paul and would take a few clues from them.

I'll never forgive either

I'll never forgive either major party (although I expected better from republicans) for giving 700 billion to their bankster friends. If you're conservative it's outright thievery from every American family and small business in this country. Even if one has a more liberal point of view that 700 billion would have gone a long way towards universal health care, schools, colleges, or energy independence. Instead it went to the richest 1/10,000th of this country as Wall Street bonuses. So no the heart of the "Tea Party" movement really isn't about Obama it's about a government that is rotten to it's very core of existence.

Two thumbs up! I hope the

Two thumbs up! I hope the republican party finds Dr.Paul and his ideas again.


was that a nerve i hit

Yes, Mr. "Sadbuttrue" you

Yes, Mr. "Sadbuttrue" you did hit a nerve. I hate it when people throw out claims without backing these claims up with any logic or evidence, and instead rely on logical fallacies, such ad hominem arguments, to cover up their lack of reasoning.

So again, Mr. Sadbuttrue, could you please enlighten me on my bias in this story? And when you do so, I would appreciate if you could address my counter-arguments which I mentioned in the previous post. I would honestly love some thoughtful feedback because I did not intend to be substantially biased--just trying to highlight something that was interesting. And furthermore, all reporting has some bias by nature. Even saying, for instance, "there were 500 people at the event." Well, why did I focus on the number of people, and not the color of their hair, their height, or some other fact? And using the word "event" has a slightly different meaning than "protest" "incident," "gathering,"...etc. And furthermore, these words mean something slightly different to me than to you than to Frank or to Sally. That is why people should seek a variety of sources of information, think critically, and don't assume you know what someone else does or does not believe.

betsy betsy betsy

Your bias always shows through. Good think your relatives own the station

Sad but true

I find the tea partiers bias is very apparent, and thus the above comment is calling the kettle black. Every one of these rallies throughout the county have thinly veiled racist signs and racist slogans. If these people were legitimate they would have protested the Bush administration. Where were these "rallies" when the Bush administration stole our freedoms with the patriot act? Where were these "rallies" when Bush flooded the economy with billions of tax payer dollars to save wall street? Where were the rallies for the outright lies suggesting Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that has led to thousands of our troops being needlessly killed?

No I don't think the tea partiers have a legitimate claim to be upset, rather they are rabble of angry white people who are mad that we have an African American president who is popular, intelligent and everything that Bush is not. Welcome to the tea party where racism is promoted, supported, and put forth shamefully throughout the country.

Tea Parties and Bush

I remember first hearing about modern "tea party" ideas after the bailouts in 2008, and I recall some Ron Paul supporters using that term during the campaign. Although their agenda has never been clearly defined as far as I can tell and it probably changes depending on who you talk to, it certainly began as more of an economically motivated group rather than one motivated by infringement on liberty, hence the dramatic increase in momentum after the passage of the Stimulus bill. While some people may have joined as a result of racial prejudice, the seeds of the movement were planted before Obama took office.

I think the Iraq war was a big mistake, but I find the accusation that Bush lied about Iraq irritating. This implies that Bush knew there were no WMDs all along, which is not a very plausible scenario. If he knew there were no WMDs, then he certainly wouldn't have used WMDs as the primary motivator to go to war! What would he have expected to happen once we went in there and found there were none? The fact that the intelligence was wrong is terribly unfortunate, but I haven't seen any evidence that Bush or any members of congress who voted to authorize military action knew this prior to the start of the war.

I am curious how many people

I am curious how many people of the movement are actually motivated by "racism" and other things which dramatically depart from the original focus of the Tea Party. The reason I bring this up, is because almost all of the protesters (who were not necessarily affiliated with the Tea Party, but I think most were at least loosely affiliated) were concerned with fiscal and Constitutional issues. However, sometimes a loud minority, or someone who uses very strong language (ie racial slurs) can make it appear like they are more reflective of the group's values and ideas, when in reality they are not.

I think this is interesting to consider in terms of the Tea Party. Being a grass roots type of movement, it might seem strange for them to "officially" come out against racism, etc., and to kind of develop a platform based on Ron Paul/libertarian types of ideas. However, if they could, I think it might benefit both the Tea Party and the country. I think it would benefit the Tea Party because although they might lose some of their members who have an agenda which differs from their sort of libertarian platform, I think it may make the movement more broadly appealing. People who like their ideas on "Constitutionalism," for instance, would not be repelled from the movement because they think it endorses racism, etc.

I think it would benefit the country by propelling more innovative thinking and solutions to problems. Whether or not I agree with Ron Paul, or if his ideas even become adopted is not exactly my point. I think he raises some good questions, and I think we need to hear more from thoughtful and original thinkers who can help raise the level of debate in this country. Personally, I wish there would be more focus on people and ideas which are original, nuanced, thoughtful and rational, and less on the outrageous, glib and trite. Disagreement is extremely important in democratic societies and for the advancement of society--I think we need more disagreement, but we also need more elevated and dialectic disagreement and debate.

I've listened to Ron Paul

I've listened to Ron Paul speak on this, and even watched him move away from it somewhat after it got hijacked. I think at the start of the movement it represented a group of constitutionalists, Ron Paul included. It stood for restoring the constitution. I don’t know or care what the tea party stands for now because I agree with Steve it is more or less an economically motivated group in its current form.


"What would he have expected to happen once we went in there and found there were none?"

We're talking about Bush here... He would have said, "So what?"

I believe they knew the

I believe they knew the intelligence was questionable. Even if they didn't wrong intelligence is a pretty poor excuse to attack and occupy another nation. Really even if they had been armed with so called WMDs, I still do not believe that gave us the right to attack them. I will always believe we attacked them in order to control their oil.

Do you think we attacked

Do you think we attacked them to control their oil, or ensure the stability of supply of oil?

Personally, I don't think our goal was to "take" their oil, but ensuring we would have access to oil and that he would not further disrupt the stability of the region, was at least part of the reason. (Thus, potentially limiting our access as well.)

I think this is an important distinction, because while I didn't support invading Iraq and I think we need to become less dependent on oil someway or another, I don't think it is entirely horrible to want to ensure a stable supply of oil. You could look at it like they just wanted to make sure their oil friends stayed rich, or consider what would happen if Saddam really did disrupt the oil market, not by cutting us off from obtaining Iraqi oil, but by disrupting the regional supply. If severe enough, this could devastate the world economy. Considering what happened after the Great Depression and how that fostered favorable environments for totalitarian regimes, I don't think wanting to ensure stability of the oil supply is an entirely horrible goal. Still, invading Iraq was not the best approach--I think finding more ways to become independent of foreign oil would be much better.

I think we attacked them in

I think we attacked them in order to control that oil, let me explain my rationale. When the Bush administration first came to office they formed an energy task force. The purpose of the task force was to develop a national energy policy. Many oil industry executives were involved in the task force. Whatever results they came up with have been kept a guarded secret of that administration and to this day have not been made public. Many people believe the findings were kept secret because it proposed a lot of sweet deals for the oil companies. I believe this is false, it is my belief that the commission concluded that we would hit "peak oil" within a generation, peak oil is a term for the point in time where you are extracting the most oil from the earth per day that you can, and after that point you will be produce less and less oil every year (basically the supply is half used up). I believe the task force concluded that controlling the oil beneath Iraq would put us ahead of other major powers in the chaos that would ultimately come from that bellweather event. The ramifications of peak oil are profound for the world economically and politically. As for Iraq being a threat to the region, the Iraq that existed in 2003 was in no shape to invade anyone. By 2003 Iraq had not been able to acquire new weapons in over ten years, and was crippled by economic sanctions. To be honest Iraq never was more than a paper tiger, in the first gulf war the most popular activity in the Iraqi army was putting their undershorts on a stick and asking American troops for food and water. Iraq was not in a position in 2003 to threaten even it's weakest neighbors.

Hold on a sec... I think

Hold on a sec... I think you’re in the ball park but the energy task force did not focus on the "controlling the oil beneath Iraq" ... That would have been the direct approach that anyone in the UN could pin a red flag on... I think is what the "energy task force" focused on was 1. how to control the above ground movement of oil in that whole region. Next the focus was to control the VALUE on above ground oil and how it could be used as currency.. American players flipped out when Sadam wanted to use oil as a direct currency for a food barter with other middle eastern countries. That’s how we bluffed Dubai in thinking they could bank on 80 dollar a barrel oil.. We pulled the ropeadope and showed them we could turn that 80 dollar barrel into a 40 dollar barrel in the blink of an eye... Look at the charts, the facts are there... Peak oil theory was just the set up, and it paid off big for them then and it is still paying off for them now.. Why do you think ALL the local PUC are being asked for rate hikes... REASON: We fell for it,hook line and sinker and they know we will sit there and take our lumps like a good corporate citizen....

If we went in to Iraq to

If we went in to Iraq to control the oil, then why did the US agree to UN resolution 1546, which ended the Coalition Provisional Authority and gave control of the oil revenues to the Iraqi government?

I think both politically and

I think both politically and militarily things have not gone as we would have liked. To not agree to that resolution would have been to publicly admit we went to secure their resources. Other than control of that oil there was no viable reason to invade Iraq. Even if there had been some SCUD missiles left over from the first gulf war how effective could they have been after ten years with no spare parts? Even during the first gulf war they were never anything more than a nuisance. We must remember that Iraq invaded Kuwait with conventional weapons like tanks, artillery and infantry, not SCUD missiles. By 2003 no one in their right mind could believe Iraq was a threat.

In November 2002 the UN

In November 2002 the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1441 which declared that Iraq's proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was a threat. I suppose the entire council could be out of their minds, but it's not very likely.

When deciding to take military action, surely the US would have anticipated that the UN would attempt to prevent us from taking control of another country's natural resources, so a resolution such as 1546 wouldn't have exactly been an unforeseen event.

"Iraq's proliferation of

"Iraq's proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was a threat"

1. I have yet to see any proof of these alleged weapons.
2. Any country with a growing military force would be in violation of “the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction”. We now have both a national military, and a privet military "Black Water".

At what point in time can we expect the UN to sign a resolution against us? Did we not just attempt to put a "missile shield" in Poland... Let's call it a shield because then it’s not classified as a weapon..
What if the missile base Russia wanted to put in Cuba was just called a missile shield, would that have been OK? I would say the whole game is laughable, except for the fact that thousands of individuals die playing this game...

It will never happen, Why? I’m not saying they need a resolution against us, but it would appear the UN may be bias.

1 - They don't exist. The

1 - They don't exist. The Iraq Survey Group determined that Iraq had not done any significant weapons development since the 1990s.

2 - The UN was coming down on Iraq in particular because they believed them to be in violation of the disarmament requirements put in place after Desert Storm.

The UN passed resolution

The UN passed resolution 1441 based on the faulty intelligence then secretary of state Powell gave them. As for resolution 1546, I do see your argument, I think we assumed (wrongly) that the future Iraqi government would be so friendly to us that we would have almost exclusive access to their oil. We have not been hailed as the liberators we expected to be. This has been a thought provoking series of messages, even if it did end up way off topic. I'm glad Sheridan Media maintains this discussion board.

I think any preemptive war

I think any preemptive war is unjustifiable, and in my view the Iraq war was a mistake because of this alone. However, going to war on questionable intelligence is political suicide. If there were reasonable doubt about the existence of WMDs Bush would have certainly used some other means of selling the war to the public.

As I remember he did, the

As I remember he did, the insinuated connections between Iraq, and the 911 hijackers/Al Qaeda. Even if the administration did believe there were WMDs, I still think he should have been impeached, you do not take this country to war, cost 4000 american lives, untold amounds of money, and be "wrong" and I don't care what the excuse was.

A rare moment!

I completely agree!

The Bush Doctrine declared

The Bush Doctrine declared that the US was going to go after terrorists and the countries that harbor them. There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein fit squarely in that category. I don't recall any connection to 9/11 being made in Bush's speeches prior to the war. He did point out Hussein's past acts of genocide and supporting terrorism, and stated that he had WMDs in his possession in violation of multiple UN resolutions. The fact that Hussein was playing cat-and-mouse with UN inspectors added weight to this claim. The reason Bush gave for the Iraq war was to force Saddam Hussein to disarm. In other words, to get rid of the WMDs.

To say we are going to go

To say we are going to go after terrorists is about as edifying as saying we are going to go after people.

I really respect your intellect and rationality, but I think you are wrong on this one. When I have more time I will look for the speeches where he tried to connect 9/11 to Iraq-

When we look at much of the intelligence we can see how it was misconstrued. For instance, the aluminum tubes Saddam purchased were not of the right specifications (ie the thickness of the aluminum, that they were anodized, making them easily damaged by heat stress) to be useful for enriching uranium. This was known. While that does not mean they could not have ultimately been used to enrich uranium (for instance, I don't know how easy it is to remove anodized coating) this was not discussed. Instead, it was presented to the public as clear evidence that Saddam was trying to enrich uranium. And when it was fairly clear that the reports of him supposedly buying uranium from Niger were shown to be almost certainly false, how do you think the previous administration responded?

The reason why I think it is fairly obvious that the Bush administration had an agenda to invade Iraq and that WMD were primarily used as a way to persuade the public, is that evidence which undermined the WMD claim was either ignored, dismissed, "tweaked" to bolster his case rather than question, (like the aluminum). Maybe Colin Powell and others' questions regarding the "intelligence" would not have undermined the quest to invade Iraq. Maybe it is easy to change aluminum tubes to make them useful for uranium enrichment--I don't know. But instead of hushing this counter-evidence, it should have been addressed, which it was not. I am not saying he didn't have a good reason to invade-- but that good reason was certainly not an honest fear of WMD.

Yes, the Bush doctrine was

Yes, the Bush doctrine was an extremely broad statement, but that is part of my point. Given that he had already basically declared war on any country that harbors terrorists, why would he put so many of his eggs in the WMD basket if he knew there were problems with it? If you are fudging the facts around WMDs, then you know that after you get the troops in there and the truth comes out you are going to have a huge problem on your hands.

Remember that it wasn't just the Bush administration that believed Iraq had WMDs. In 2002 the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1441, which specifically listed the "threat Iraq's non-compliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security."

I don't recall there being any debate in the UN over whether or not Iraq was in breach of its disarmament obligations when this resolution was adopted. The most controversy around this resolution was over Bush's determination to use military force to make Iraq disarm.

The United States desiring regime change in Iraq was nothing new when Bush took office. Clinton had tried to overthrow Hussein with the Iraq Liberation Act. Bush certainly took advantage of the post 9/11 climate to transition US policy from a support of internal resistance groups to doing the job ourselves. WMDs were used as justification because there was a consensus that Iraq had not complied with UN resolutions requiring disarmament. You can only accuse Bush of lying about the WMDs if you believe that he somehow knew something that the UN Security Council did not.

This is a good discussion.

This is a good discussion. I am going to research it a bit more when I have time and am not trying to study and write papers for finals. Am going to put a temporary comment ban on myself.

Impeached? IMO that is going

Impeached? IMO that is going light on him... I think he and his father should have at least been put on trial for war crimes. Not on trial in the US but at the UN... If we want to play a global game, let members of the global sign off on what he did, and then if they say it was OK they can contribute to the cost of that war..

It was easy to sell

Because our blood was all boiling from the WTC attacks.

That's probably true, but

That's probably true, but again if they knew there were no WMDs they wouldn't have used that as the primary reason for going in there.

I think we need to parse out

I think we need to parse out what we are talking about here. First, there were WMD; just not the kind that most Americans were thinking of when WMD were discussed. Part of the problem is we conflate very different types of WMD--I may be speaking a bit incorrectly, but isn't mustard gas technically a WMD? Unfortunately, when most of us hear WMD, we automatically think of long range ballistic missiles. We do know that if he was developing nuclear weapons, it would have been a long time before he had these capabilities. He would have been a regional threat (of course that would impact us substantially as well) but there was no chance he would have been capable of sending a missile to U.S. soil.

As far as the his connection with Islamic terrorists, that was, for the most part, pretty clearly fabricated and misrepresented. I am not saying they could never have developed some sort of cooperative relationship; politics does make for strange bedfellows.

There was a whole

There was a whole presentation given to sell the UN on this... It was pics of mobile trailers called moving chemical factories.. Then we showed them the pics of some factory making graphite tubes for missiles.. Guess what, it was all a lie... The dog and pony show our officials put on for the world was a disgrace, but hey in the end no one cared…

Saddam was a bad man!

I am glad we took Saddam out of power.You people seem to forget what he was putting his people through.Anything can be a WMD. Perhaps even a jetliner?Now the two wars are Obamas and hey guess what?They are still going on.Gitmo is still in business.Just maybe there are things that go on that the public doesn't know about.Where are all the war protesters now?Oh I think they are in AZ trying to protect the rights of lawbreakers (Illegal aliens).Why do we neen to keep dragging Bush through the coals? He did what he felt was right at the time , with the approval of congress.It is easy to second guess after the fact.that is all.

mark m

We (heart) War Lords

Mark, what do you think about how this country has not only supported but helped many brutal and authoritarian regimes take or hold power? What do you think about our cozy relationship with the Saudi government?

What do you think about the U.S. giving the Mujahideen Ak-47's? Do you think it was appropriate to arm violent Afghan war lords who brutally terrorized their population, who raped and pillaged the people of Afghanistan? And what do you think about that the Taliban came to power, in part, because we gave weapons and supported these war lord thugs during the Cold War?

do you actually hate America Ms. Love?

If you think the US is so bad,why dont you just leave it?The more you ramble on the more goofy you seem.I used to enjoy the comment section but now that you have taken over,it is really turned ugly.There are only about 4 people involved here now thanks to you.This is not the BETSY LOVE SHOW. We all know how you feel by now.have a nice day.

mark m

I think America is a

I think America is a wonderful country. Having traveled quite a bit, I realize how lucky we are to be Americans. That doesn't mean I agree with all of our policy decisions.

My two points are the following: 1. We need to consider the long term consequences of our policy decisions. We armed the Afghan warlords so that we could counter Soviet influence in Afghanistan. Now, perhaps it was ultimately more important to win this battle against the Soviets, regardless of the fact that our actions helped create the situation we are currently in today.

2. To say that we needed to take out Saddam because he is a mean guy is both hypocritical and absurd. He was bad, but there are plenty of bad guys, some of whom were put into power and supported by us. I am not saying that it is completely horrible to do this--for instance, although Stalin was pretty horrific, I would say it was still important we allied with him in WWII. I am just saying we need to keep these facts in mind.

Yes Saddam was a very evil

Yes Saddam was a very evil man, there are lots of evil men in the world, many run countries, and we have good relations with some of them and did with Saddam at one time. Interestingly we didn't seem to mind Saddam's "badness" when he was doing our dirty work in his war against Iran, and we didn't seem to mind leaving him in power after gulf war one. I do not think his bad deeds make one bit of difference to us as a country, until the time he no longer does what we want or what benefits us.



This is the problem with

This is the problem with preemptive war. In the end you may never be able to conclusively prove that you prevented some greater tragedy by going to war. It is highly likely that if Saddam Hussein were still in power today and the UN sanctions were lifted that he would be more involved in global terrorist activity. However, we will never know for sure.

I am reminded of the Titanic disaster. Given what we have learned since the discovery of the wreck, it is almost a certainty that if Lieutenant Murdoch had simply reversed the engines and hit the iceberg head-on rather than trying to steer around it, the ship would have remained afloat. It was designed to withstand that sort of impact. The first few watertight compartments would have flooded, but that wouldn't have been enough to cause the ship to sink. However, because this would have caused significant damage to the ship and probably killed a number of people in the forward compartments, the commanding officers would have been vilified for the rest of their lives. They would never be able to convince the public that things would have been dramatically worse otherwise. Perhaps our booting Saddam Hussein out prevented some future terrorist disaster, but there will always be a large segment of the population who will never be convinced that the war was necessary.

"but there will always be a

"but there will always be a large segment of the population who will never be convinced that the war was necessary."

In America I was under the impression that the majority ruled..

Are you saying that the large segment, was up against an even larger segment of popular opinion?

Do politicians now get to exercise the vote of the uneducated guy who has no opinion and could care less? Seems like that is what happens more and more in our congressional branch..

Was the popular opinion of a 700 billion dollar bail out to, "yes by all means take our folding money, and take our CHANGE as well?"

You cracked me up with the Titanic analogy, only because I have thought about it several times in the past. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall if that would have been Murdoch’s choice... I can almost hear the captain coming back to the bridge and saying, "good gawd man, could have you hit that thing any more dead on!!!" or prior to him hitting it straight on, Murdoch saying, "This is the biggest ship ever built, brace for impact men we're going to punch on through" lol....

LOL! Now THAT would have

LOL! Now THAT would have been a movie.

There obviously is a large segment of the population who think there was no need to go to war in Iraq. Whether it is a majority or not I can't say. Bush was reelected after the war was well underway, so I would say at that time at least most people felt it wasn't a severe enough blunder to boot Bush out (then again it could just be that Kerry was a terrible candidate), but that was before the whole truth about the WMDs was known.

The majority doesn't and

The majority doesn't and shouldn't rule in all cases in the U.S. Obviously, if the majority wanted to enslave red-heads, the fundamental rights of the minority would trump the desire of the majority.

Should the decision to go to war or not be decided by what the majority thinks?

Kerry really was that bad. I

Kerry really was that bad. I remember the stupid stunt with going duck hunting, like any gunowner in this country was going to think John Kerry was their friend. I'll give Obama this, he has had the good judgement thus far to leave gun owners alone.

Has he ? IMO with his court

Has he ? IMO with his court placments he could change that without even saying a word. Looks to me like he is going to make three picks, he already put one person there.. I listened to her little speaches, and I know how she will vote.. If you can put three people on the bench, how many more votes do you need to change the law of the land ? Do the math.

Of course he will pick

Of course he will pick liberals, who thus far have replaced retiring liberals, now if one of the 5 conservatives on the court retires or dies it's a whole new game but thus far the balance remains unchanged. As I remember by this point in Clinton's first term we had the Brady bill and the 1994 assault weapons ban. I'm not saying he is a friend of gun owners but thus far the only firearms law change under this administration has been allowing firearms in national parks. I'm not defending the president just stating simple fact. Democrats have finally seen that gun control isn't just political poison, it's political nerve gas and at least so far into this presidents term (with a democrat controlled congress) there has been no legislative action concerning gun control.

Depending on the delivery

Depending on the delivery method there could be many different types of WMDs. UN resolution 1441 specifically stated long-range missiles, which is what I would expect most Americans would have pictured when Bush talked about Iraq being able to "inflict harm on all free nations" in his speech prior to the start of the war. It certainly would be the type of weapon that would pose the greatest threat to our security.

That's why, even though the mustard and sarin gas that were eventually found were both violations of Iraq's disarmament obligations, Bush doesn't get a pass because it's neither the type nor quantity of WMDs that we were expecting would be there. Even the Iraq Survey Group, which was commissioned by the Bush administration, determined in 2004 that Iraq had not produced or developed any stockpiles of WMDs since the UN sanctions began, and any weapons that did exist were "not of a militarily significant capability."

Surely if Bush had been aware of any of this in 2003 he would have steered well clear of the WMD topic, and would have either used some other rationale for the war, or decided not to pursue it at all. The suggestion that Bush somehow knew the truth about Iraq's lack of military weapons and still used proliferation of WMDs as the reason for the Iraq war is ludicrous.

I consider myself at the

I consider myself at the very least sympathetic to the tea party movement, and I can tell you I absolutely detest GW Bush. At the time he was in office there was no tea party movement to join, or I would have. I consider Bush to be worse than Obama in many ways.

What is my bias in this

What is my bias in this case? I am assuming you think I am too "liberal," but I don't want to make assumptions about what you are thinking, the way that you apparently know what my viewpoints are.

I was trying to focus on a peculiar aspect of the demonstration. It was very strange to see Mexican immigrants demonstrating right next to someone who says "no amnesty for wetbacks." But please, if you could explain to me how I could have made this story less biased, I would gladly accept your suggestions. If you are going to say that I probably should have interviewed the man holding the sign; you are absolutely correct. But I didn't even plan on initially doing a story on that aspect of the demonstration. Furthermore, what I was trying to highlight was that the girl who I interviewed (which sadly, I could not get her name because it was so windy and the recording covered it up) in a way defied many people's assumptions about who comprises the "right wing" at the moment. I found that very interesting because many people assume, after the Arizona laws passed, that more latinos will move towards the left politically. So was I biased to show that is not necessarily true? Was I biased to show that the Tea Party includes people who you might assume would not belong, that their membership is more diverse than the critics suppose? Was I biased to highlight that Tea Partiers have diverse opinions, that it is not a monolithic party?

And about my "bias" you are correct in that I try to do many feature stories that broaden the discussion, which I think is very important for a well-functioning democracy. But if I were you, I would not assume too quickly that you know what I believe or what my "biases" are. My only bias is that I think debate which includes diverse opinions is very important. When I lived in Eugene, Oregon (which is as liberal as Wyoming is conservative) I was often accused of being too "conservative" or republican. I honestly don't think I have the answers to anything. I do think many of these issues are extremely complex, and that finding a good solution requires banishing dogmatism and considering issues from more than one angle.

The only thing I am "ideological" about is how much I loathe dogmatism. Dogmatism is the opiate for small minds, in my opinion.



For the record, I don't see bias in your story. The fact is that a man chose to hold up a sign that many of us would consider derogatory. Even if the other tea partiers and much of Sheridan disagree with the language he used on his sign, this is America and he has the right to carry his sign. I have no issue with you reporting that the sign was there. Does one sign carried in by an individual speak for all though? No. I really don't see anywhere in the story where you infer that it does. I think you balanced your reporting of the sign's existence well with your interviews.

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