Thursday, January 12, 2006

David Brooks and False Choices

David Brooks manages to sneak false right wing talking points into virtually every discussion. When writing about the Alito hearings he included numerous distorted views of what liberals think. For example:

Then there was the old hawk-dove divide. If you listened to Lindsey Graham, a Republican, you heard a man alarmed by the threats posed by anti-American terrorists. If you listened to Leahy or Russ Feingold, you heard men alarmed by the threats posed by American counterterrorists. The Democratic questions implied that American counterterrorists are guilty until proved innocent, that a police state is being born.

If forced to choose, most Americans want a party that will fight aggressively against the terrorists, not the N.S.A.

The fallacy here is that Americans should not be forced to make such a choice. There is only the perception of a choice between fighting terrorists aggressively versus defending civil liberties because we have an administration which has neither fought terrorism effectively or respected civil liberties.

In contrast, NPR’s Morning Edition had a story about German Prime Minister Merkel today in which Merkel discussed the differences between European and Bush’s view of fighting terrorism. She noted that while Bush describes this as a war on terrorism, Germany sees the problem as one of fighting terrorism while using methods consistent with democracy.

If the conservatives really believe their overly simplistic talking point that the terrorists attacked because they hate us for our freedom, it makes no sense to fail to respect our freedoms in response to their attack. It is not necessary to surrender our liberties, or to allow the President to violate the law and the Constitution, in order to fight terrorism.


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