Authoritarian Right Will Say Anything To Claim Democrats Are Unpatriotic

The authoritarian right is unwilling to tolerate any degree of questioning of the Bush administration, regardless of how much it has undermined our national security and strengthened enemies such as Iran, North Korea, and al Qaeda as a result of its bumbling foreign policy. They push their mantras that Democrats are unpatriotic and hate America, and search for anything they can twist as proof of such beliefs.

More conservative bloggers are bringing up the Fox News poll I noted yesterday which, besides showing decreasing support for Bush and the war, contains this curious result:

Even though a majority opposes Bush’s new plan and many are doubtful it can succeed, that does not mean they want it to fail: 63 percent of Americans say they want the plan to succeed, including 79 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of independents and 51 percent of Democrats.

Hugh Hewitt twists this to an attack on Democrats but at least is honest enough to list the full results, while some conservative blogs are listing only the answer for Democrats, ignoring the fact that, if we take this poll literally, even 21% of Republicans do not want the United States to succeed. Red State takes this further in attacking Democrats:

I don’t know how much more obvious they can make their desire for America to be defeated in Iraq. Can we question their patriotism yet?

Beyond the obvious problem of making any conclusion against Democrats based upon information from Fox News, a pseudo-news service established to distort the news to advance the GOP agenda, these results are open to other interpretations. Sure, we could take this literally and assume that a shocking number of Americans from all political parties hope for defeat. A more reasonable explanation is that a large number of Americans do not pay close attention to these polling questions. The results correlate fairly well by party with general opinions on the war. The most likely explanation is that people went down the list answering “yes” or “no” based upon their views of Bush and the war without paying close attention to the details of the question. It is doubtful that 49% of Democrats desire defeat considering what is at stake, just as it is doubtful that even 21% of Republicans do not support success.

When we hear these Republicans repeat their claims about Democrats with regards to patriotism, and virtually everything else, we must keep in mind how specious their arguments are and how they will cherry pick, or even outright distort, any statement to make their case when the facts are against them.

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