My uncle left the following little ditty on his FaceBook page last night. I saw it this morning:
An Open Letter to Teabaggers
Where were all the tea-baggers when the surplus turned into a deficit. It seems now its not fiscally responsible to spend the money. Why is it states rights when its a federal tax? Did you know it was a Republican president that created a National income tax? look it up! Why aren't some people from the Bush administration put on trial for invading a country they knew didn't have WMD's The price of oil went from $23 a barrel in 2001 to $91 a barrel in 2008. so who profited from his invasion of Iraq ? lets see. at 68 dollars more a barrel that's an extra 732 billion dollars for Saudi Arabia who's nationality comprised three-fourths of the 9-11 terrorists . . it means 665 billion dollars for Russia, 284 billion dollars for Iran. And 180 billion dollars for Venzuala . That is only for one year!! That's a lot of money going to those who hate the life that a lot of you vehemently defend as your rights. That is what GWB and his buddies did to you and our nation
in 2008 Exxon posted a profit of 45 billion dollars when in 2001 the same company had only 5 billion in profit. If the price of oil remotely related to the cost of the raw materials how did they turn that much of a profit? That seems to me a lot of icee's
Did you realize that there are no democrats on Mount Rushmore ? And the two Republicans ( Roosevelt and Lincoln ) were very progressive!
Let's review The Republican presidents.
Herbert Hoover- US news and world reports named him the 9th worst president in history.
Eisenhower- created the interstate highway system, NASA, and a lot of the national park systems. doesn't sound like a tea-bagger to me.
Nixon- Do I have to go there? Tied with Hoover in worst ten. Only Nixon and Hoover are on the top ten worst after 1900.
Reagan- Contributed to the overall growth in both the drug trade. The growing radial Islam in Afghanistan Iraq and Iran look up Iran -Contra. He claimed to know nothing about what happened.
Bush 1 - Had a chance to take out Saddam Hussein for legitimate reasons. Yet he walked away from it. He also knew everything about the iran -contra scandal.
Bush 2 - for all you tea-baggers read the Patriot act. see what rights you had taken from you. See how much money he spent to back a lie. How many lives were lost. If it was about human rights. What did he do about Sudan?
Do not think I am attacking Any person. But I honestly believe that if Obama was White there wouldn't be as much digging in on him trying to save this country after Bush pretty much sank it.
OK - I'm not a Republican apologist. I don't even consider myself a part of the tea-party movement. There are a LOT of criticisms that can be thrown at either group. But I just don't understand why some people's idea of political discourse centers around being able to call your opponent a hypocrite. In either case, hearing this rant just hit me in all the wrong ways.
"The price of oil went from $23 a barrel in 2001 to $91 a barrel in 2008. so who profited from his invasion of Iraq ?"
Holy non sequitur, Batman! Is the insinuation here that oil prices rose by over 300% (not adjusted for inflation I'm sure) in that time span specifically because we invaded Iraq? If you just look at the entire swath of Bush's presidency, the oil-price increase is indeed dramatic. But the jump from correlation to causation starts to make a lot less sense when you look at more than two spot-prices in an eight-year period.
The price of oil in 2003 (when we went into Iraq) was about thirty dollars a barrel. By 2007 the price was....a little over fifty dollars a barrel. So by four years into a war that was supposedly the primary cause for the 2001-2008 price-jump, oil prices hadn't even doubled at that point. A 90% increase isn't anything to scoff at either, but consider the following; from the beginning of 2007 until the middle of 2008 oil prices jumped from about 55 dollars a barrel to about 130 dollars a barrel, over four times what it was when we invaded Iraq and more than double what it was a year previous to the summer of 2008. What caused that enormous jump all of a sudden, five years after we entered the war? Did we pull out of Iraq and invade it again? In comparison, the price of oil was around 40 dollars a barrel when Bush left office and during the first year of Obama's presidency that price has doubled (during a recession no less). What country did Obama invade to spike oil prices again? Is Obama helping his oil buddies now? Maybe Obama's oil buddies and Bush's oil buddies hang out at the same resorts.
What I'm trying to say is that I'm not exactly sure how it follows that the invasion of Iraq was the sole source of our oil-price woes. Is it possible that other factors were more affecting. How about a growing Housing Bubble accelerating capital investment? How about a world economy looking at the rise of Indian living standards over the last twenty years? How about China's industry roaring into the 2000's? How about speculation for increased future demands because of these factors? How is it that you attribute less to these events than to invading a country whom we get about 3-4% of our crude oil from?
Oh, by the way, if you're going to slam Exxon Mobile's benefiting from the war, how about the fact that they were the first company to get a shot at a lucrative contract with the Iraqi government......in October of 2009!? Who was in office at that point again?
Regardless of how you feel about oil company profits (which weren't exclusive to Exxon Mobile), you're going to have to demonstrate how the US invasion of Iraq was the primary motivation for the flux in oil prices (particularly the largest jump in 2008) before we can have the discussion you're trying to have.
On a side note...
"in 2008 Exxon posted a profit of 45 billion dollars when in 2001 the same company had only 5 billion in profit. If the price of oil remotely related to the cost of the raw materials how did they turn that much of a profit? That seems to me a lot of icee's"
The price of ANYTHING isn't determined simply by materials. It's true that, as a company, you try to keep the cost of raw materials down to increase your profit margin. But think about what that means. What is the margin of profit? it's the difference between the price of the good or service and the cost to provide it. The only thing that is a given regarding these two valuse is that the price of the good must be larger than the cost for it to be a productive trade. Other than that, there's no direct correlation between cost and price. Price is a product of supply, demand, and subjective value.
A computer company can buy parts and labor to build PCs for $350 a pop and sell them for $400 as long supply, demand, and subjective value meet in that way. However, a famous artist can spend $100 on some clay, mold a statue, and sell it for hundreds of thousands of dollars. How does that correlate with the cost of raw materials? You can claim that it's "one of a kind" and so there is a very low supply, increasing the price. On the other hand, I can glue some toothpicks together (artistically of course) and not be able to sell it for 5 cents. That could be one of a kind too. So it's never as simple as looking at the costs of an endeavor as to determine its price. If oil companies could have charged 130 dollars a barrel in 2001, they would have. Most companies try to make as much money as they possibly can. However, they couldn't. So, why? You have to find a reason, economically, why speculative and real demand for oil jumped so much in 2007-2008 (enough to push prices so high). And pointing at a war that took place in 2003 probably isn't going to cut it.
On Bad Presidents:
Let me first say that I've never particularly admired any of the US presidents I've studied. Even the one's I've sympathized with the most have had some horrible flaws (Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, etc.) Nonetheless, I thought some of what you laid out was worth a comment or two:
"US news and world reports named him the 9th worst president in history."
Well if US News and World Reports said it, then it's definitely true! I'm no fan of Hoover, namely because he started the ball rolling on a lot of the interventionism that FDR picked up and ran with (public-works projects anyone?). Even so, I'd much rather have had him than FDR, who I think did more than any other president to disregard and displace the Constitution.
"created the interstate highway system, NASA, and a lot of the national park systems. doesn't sound like a tea-bagger to me."
And George Bush Jr. signed off on Medicare Part-D. Republican does not equal "teabagger"...contrary to popular belief. I'm sure some "teabaggers" may be fond of such presidents, but you certainly don't have to like crappy Republicans to protest taxation.
"Do I have to go there? Tied with Hoover in worst ten. Only Nixon and Hoover are on the top ten worst after 1900."
Again, I'm not sure any "teabaggers" are pointing to Nixon as someone who exemplifies their principles. But I guess if we can give him any credit, we'll probably be able to say that he will have pulled us out of more foreign wars than Obama will.
"Contributed to the overall growth in both the drug trade. The growing radial Islam in Afghanistan Iraq and Iran look up Iran -Contra. He claimed to know nothing about what happened."
This one might actually have more teeth than your other claims. Most tea-party people tend to like Reagan for his economic policies. On the other hand, you're criticizing him for foreign policy and domestic drug policy. If there's anything that "teabaggers" in general are divided on, it's those two things (check out the latest GOP straw polls).
"Had a chance to take out Saddam Hussein for legitimate reasons. Yet he walked away from it. He also knew everything about the iran -contra scandal."
Again, most tea-party people are united on fiscal policy. There's a strong divide on foreign policy. However, it's worth noting that one of the primary reasons we didn't invade Iraq the first time around was that we were implored not to do so at the behest of the UN...the same organization that the left criticized Bush for ignoring after a certain point on the second time around. Sorry, you can't have your cake and eat it too.
"for all you tea-baggers read the Patriot act. see what rights you had taken from you. See how much money he spent to back a lie. How many lives were lost. If it was about human rights. What did he do about Sudan?"
This one I'll give you some credit on. But again, and this is a point that people seem to be missing, the tea-party is a movement about fiscal (and possibly monetary) policy. If you're going to jump into a crowd of tea-party people and start slamming the Patriot Act, you're going to get an awful lot of people that agree with you. It would be like slamming Democrats for supporting Marijuana prohibition, when they're not actually united in that front. If you went around talking about how Democrats are for OR against drugs, you'd look pretty silly. If you were just talking about the Republicans, then you'd have much more of a point on the Patriot Act. And I'd agree with you in full.
On Obama and Race:
"Do not think I am attacking Any person. But I honestly believe that if Obama was White there wouldn't be as much digging in on him trying to save this country after Bush pretty much sank it."
Pre-cursor: Is it really good to capitalize "White" when you're accusing other people of being racist? Anyhow...
Call me crazy, but I'm one of those people who think the race card is really being over-played. Do I think there are people who don't like Obama simply because he's black? Of course I do. Do I think that motivates the majority of dissent? No. I was a little younger, but I remember a lot of Republicans disliking Bill Clinton almost just as much. Was that about race too? I'm far more inclined to believe that maybe there's a general bias to support "your party" regardless of the policies of the person in question than I am to believe that political bias is mostly racial.
Case in point:
You've pointed out many times that Republicans ran massive deficits that were detrimental to our country during the Bush years. Yet when someone brings up current spending...you'd just say the opposition is hypocritical.
You've pointed out that the wars we've engaged in during the Bush years were unnecessary and rooted in false intentions at best. Yet when someone brings up Obama's extension of current commitments, and increasing troop presence substantially...you'd just say the opposition is hypocritical.
You've pointed out that plenty of people who call themselves "conservative" have instituted lots of "socialist" programs over the years (Eisenhower - Highways, Romney - Health Care, etc.). Yet when someone brings up Obama initiating more programs and introducing stifling regulations...you'd just say the opposition is hypocritical.
You've pointed out that Republicans of the Bush era seemed to be in full support of the Patriot Act even though it infringed upon civil liberties. Yet when someone brings up the fact that Obama resigned the damn thing...you'd just say the opposition is hypocritical.
Who exactly is being the hypocrite here? People on the left slammed Bush for eight years for related grievances (actually succeeding in persuading my political position to a large degree no less). Obama gets into office and essentially continues the Bush legacy on said issues. And instead of waylaying into Obama for being hypocritical, you lay that charge at the feet of people who now (for whatever reason) share some of the same concerns that people like you were claiming over the last decade? Are you kidding me!?
Let's say that every last bit of position-change on the part of Obama's opposition on these issues is completely hypocritical, just for the sake of argument. Would it make the arguments they're currently making any less valid? Or does calling them out on being liars and hypocrites somehow negate the logic in their reasoning? They may be suffering from some type of political bias, but given that you can't seem to make any counter-argument that isn't shot through the prism of some ad hominem tu quoque ....
Tu quoque (pronounced /tuːˈkwoʊkwiː/, from Latin for "You, too" or "You, also") is a Latin term that describes a kind of logical fallacy. A tu quoque argument attempts to discredit the opponent's position by asserting his failure to act consistently in accordance with that position; it attempts to show that a criticism or objection applies equally to the person making it. It is considered an ad hominem argument, since it focuses on the party itself, rather than its positions.
...it's pretty apparent you have your own bias at work.
Here's a crazy idea, how about we all have a discussion that's not rooted in ad hominem attacks, but rather in the efficacy of the claim being made? I know it sounds kind of crazy. But maybe, if we actually discuss ideas rather than trying to demonize each other, it will look a lot more like rational human beings trying to work out their differences...and a lot less like of a bunch of monkeys slinging their own shit at each other.