Transcript: Thom takes apart Tom Delay's strawman, Aug 10 2006
Tom Delay's "Democrats are weak on terror" meme: "They don't want to fight this war on terrorism. If they did Bill Clinton would have led us into the war on terrorism and against Islamic fanatics. Their world view is, 'Can't we all get along? Surely we can talk our way out of this.' And so when we are attacked, their first reaction is to recoil and say, 'This is really horrible. It's too harsh and you can't go after these wonderful people that just killed a bunch of Americans.'
Thom takes apart Tom Delay's strawman argument on democrats being weak on terror, 11 August 2006
[Thom]: Yeah, Tom DeLay at it again, laying out his "Democrats are weak on terror" meme. Count how many lies Tom Delay's just strung together in this one 32 second piece. I mean, this is just absolutely incredible. Here we go. Let's start out:
[DeLay]: They don't want to fight this war on terrorism. If they did...
[Thom]: Now, OK, first of all, they - he's talking abut the Democrats - "they don't want to fight this war on terrorism". Now, that assumes first of all that there is a war on terrorism. OK, which, there are some criminals out there who have attacked the United States, Bill Clinton went after them. There are criminals in the United States who've attacked the United States, Bill Clinton went after them. Tim McVeigh, put him in prison. We have gone after people who have used terror tactics against the United States but, you know, the war on drugs, the war on illiteracy, the war on terror, all these, all these phony wars, come on! Let's deal with some real issues here, rather than this, this, this nonsense rhetoric that, well, OK, let's start with that.
[DeLay]: Bill Clinton would have led us into the war on terrorism and against Islamic fanatics.
[Thom]: OK. Lie number 2. Bill Clinton would have led us and against Islamic fanatics. Bill Clinton tried to assassinate Osama bin Laden. I had a conversation with Sandy Berger, Clinton's national security adviser, the job that Condi Rice had when she first came into the White House and told me personally that when he handed off his job to Condoleezza Rice that he told her that her number one priority was Osama bin Laden because within the next year in all probability Osama bin Laden was going to strike somewhere in the United States.
They had already foiled several plots including one guy coming in from Vancouver, Canada. They had tried to assassinate Osama bin Laden. They missed him by 30 minutes with a missile. At one time they tried to shoot him with missiles in Somalia and the Republicans were on the floor of the House going, "Oh, he's trying to wag the Monica". And, you know, and he still continued to try and take out bin Laden. Another time, he had him in their sights and they said shoot him, and they discovered that he was sitting with a bunch of members of the royal family of Oman and the United Arab Emirates, I guess it was. And they had to say, "We'll hold off", but they knew he was there. They knew he was a problem, they knew he was plotting against us and they were doing everything they could to take him out, and everything they could to find him.
And Al Gore's comment to Dick Cheney as he handed over power was, "Get bin Laden". Dick Cheney was put in charge of the Counterterrorism Task Force. He had 2 jobs: Counterterrorism Task Force and Energy Task Force. He spent all his time meeting behind closed doors, so closed that he went to the Supreme Court to keep it a secret from us, with the Energy Task Force, with Ken Lay and all his buddies, figuring how many billions of the your and my taxpayer dollars we're going to give to the oil companies this year, which they just did with their oil bill, and how to screw California and get Grey Davis out of office and a Republican into office.
They spent so much time on that that the Counterterrorism Task Force that Dick Cheney headed up didn't even meet until September of 2001, didn't even meet. So here, now, that was lie number 2 from Tom DeLay: that Bill Clinton did nothing about terrorism, or about Islamic radicals who were coming after us. Not only did he go after the Islamic radicals, he also went after the Christian radicals: Tim McVeigh, who blew up the Oklahoma, the Murrah building in Oklahoma City thinking that that was going to bring about the end times.
[DeLay]: Their world view is, "Can't we all get along?"
[Thom]: Now, no, that was, if you recall the clips we played yesterday, that was Eisenhower's world view. It was, and, well, it was Jack Kennedy, I guess, who also said, "We should never negotiate from fear and we should never fear to negotiate". So, yeah, I guess you could say actually our world view, the Democratic world view here, is not so much, "Can't we all get along" but "we're willing to talk to people and try and work things out before we start throwing bombs". Because when you just go in and kill 100,000 civilians like we did in Iraq, it really doesn't do much good. It costs a bloody fortune, it angers them terribly and you're just inciting terrorism all over the planet.
Delay continues with his, now he's going to do the straw man thing. This is where you now characterize your opponent as something that they're not and then attack them for being what they are not in the first place. And he's going to try and say that Democrats are the stereotype of some person who is, you know, the 98 pound weakling basically, you know, the Republican version of this - somebody who's just afraid of conflict altogether.
[DeLay]: "Surely we can talk our way out of this." And so when we are attacked, their first reaction is to recoil,
[Thom]: No, I don't think so. I think that when we're attacked, the first reaction that democrats have in the United States, well for example, when we were attacked the first time the world trade center was attacked, Bill Clinton said, "We're going to get those SOBs" and he got them. You know, the blind sheikh is sitting rotting in a jail cell right now. The guys who put together the first attack on the World Trade Center, they're in jail thanks to Bill Clinton. Sorry, it wasn't "Hey let's, can't we work this out". No, it was, "We're going to go after you, we're going to throw your butt in jail. Is Osama bin Laden's butt in jail? No, I don't think so. Somehow it just doesn't seem to be the case, does it; that we haven't found him.
[Bush]: So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you.
I don't know where he is. I -- I, I, I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him.
[Thom]: Yeah, so, OK, what are we up to? Lie number 5? DeLay continues:
[DeLay]: And say, "This is really horrible. It's too harsh and you can't go after these wonderful people…
[Thom]: These wonderful people. Yeah, you can't, you see, he's creating this phony straw man.
[DeLay]: … that just killed a bunch of Americans.
[Thom]: Can you believe it? Can you believe it? And this is being played all over the media, like, "Tom DeLay's words of wisdom for the day". Give me a break. And then on top of that we've got, we've got Bush going off on Islamic fascism. I mean, just consider this for a moment. Here's George W Bush. I think. Hang on just a second:
[Bush]: This nation is at war with Islamic fascists…
[Thom]: Now, first of all, fascism is the merger of corporate and state interests. You know, the word was invented by Benito Mussolini, and Mussolini and Franco were the real fascists. Hitler had some fascism but, you know, people think that fascism is Nazism, sorry. Nazism was a sick twisted cult, death cult, and that's what was running Germany and that's what Hitler was. He was not a true fascist. Mussolini was the fascist. Franco was the fascist, because they merged corporate and state interests. In fact, in Italy, Mussolini dissolved the parliament and replaced the elected members of parliament with corporate representatives. In other words, if you lived in Verona, the biggest corporation in Verona, they sent their representative to be, to represent you in parliament. If you lived in Venezia, in Venice, the largest corporation there, they sent their person to parliament to represent you. You, the people of Italy, in the Italian parliament in the 1930s after Mussolini dissolved parliament and put into place fascism, the people in the various districts around the country were represented by their local corporation.
That's fascism. That's the kind of thing that Bush is trying to do. So why is he using the word fascism? Well, because he doesn't want use the real word of what bin Laden is all about, which is theocracy, because Bush wants to do the same thing. We've got theocrats battling theocrats. So Bush is accusing, not bin Laden specifically, he's accusing Muslims first of all, broadly speaking, which is a terrible thing. Islam is not a religion of violence, I'm sorry. But certainly there's violence within it, just as there has been historically within Christianity and Judaism and Hinduism. I think Buddhism is probably the only major world religion that has never, you know, gone to war in the name of Buddha.
But Bush talking about this, he's trying to get this meme out of fascism so that we won't be able to point out who he is and what he's really doing. And so that nobody will be talking about Islamic theocracy.
Theocracy is a government run by people who believe that they're doing God's will and the government is being run according to the word of God from some revealed religion. That's a theocracy. And that is in fact what the Taliban was all about. That is what Mullah Omar was all about. That is what Osama bin Laden was all about. That is what Sheikh Khalid Mohammed, all of these guys, they're about theocracy.
And oddly enough, that's also what George Bush is all about. He just wants a Christian theocracy here. Over, he couldn't get it through Congress; Congress wouldn't give a billion dollars to his friends in the churches in the election year 2004, even though it was a Republican Congress. So he just did it himself; with the stroke of a pen he created his faith based initiative program and gave a thousand million dollars to churches in the United States just, just in time for the 2004 election. A billion dollars, much of it going to black churches which doubled, literally doubled their percentage of voters for Bush in the 2004 election. Theocracy, that's what's going on; it's Islamic theocracy that is coming after us. Bush continues:
[Bush]: … who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom …
[Thom]: No, it's got nothing to do with freedom, George; it's got nothing to do with freedom. It's got to do with their perception that we're draining their oil, that we're going after them for the wrong reasons, that we're bombing, it's because you've got this General Boykin out there running around going, "Our god is bigger than their god", and you promoted him rather than fire him and this is just, this is off the wall.