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As Long as We Remember...

December 2, 2004

Blame the Liberals

Chris Charuhas

Your neighbor has replaced his car's motor oil with sewing-machine oil, and is about to start it. You tell him, "You shouldn't do that. Your car might blow up."

He snarls, "Shut up. I know what I'm doing. This'll make it go faster."

He pulls out of the driveway, drives about a mile, and sure enough, the car blows up.

Then he stomps back, stands in your yard, and yells, "It's all your fault!"

This, of course, makes no sense, but it's basically what right-wing pundits like Ann Coulter say. She once told a disabled Vietnam veteran who came back and protested the war, "It's your fault that we lost that war."

I always thought the North Vietnamese had something to do with it; and the Russians who supplied them; and the Chinese, who threatened to enter the war if we invaded the North, just like they did in Korea; and our flawed WWII-era strategy; and the corrupt South Vietnamese government, hated by its own citizens.

But that's life when you're a liberal. If you don't agree with right-wingers who support the current administration, they blame you for all problems. According to them, when the administration's misbegotten schemes turn out badly, it's your fault because you didn't support them.

If Iraq descends into civil war, right-wingers will say to liberals: "It's your fault." But just like driving a car on sewing-machine oil is a bad idea, it's hard to imagine a worse invasion strategy than the one devised by this administration.

Gin up some fraudulent reasons for starting the war; invade with too few troops to secure the country from looters and insurgents; ignore Army and Marine generals' plans to prevent this from happening; drive away longtime allies who might have helped out; then feed the insurgency by killing thousands of civilians.

Nonetheless, if Iraq goes down the tubes, it won't take long before the cry is heard, "Blame the liberals!" You'll hear it loudly, even though liberals echoed the same reservations about the war expressed by President George H. W. Bush, Marine General Anthony Zinni, the Secretary of the Army, and the Army War College.

You'll hear it from the right-wing guy with the blown-up car. He'll tell his liberal neighbors that if they had helped him pour the sewing-machine oil, instead of telling him not to use it, everything would have worked out fine.

Why listen to liberals who might help you avoid trouble? Just blame them for your problems instead.

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