Former Air Force officer (and Democrat-turned-Republican) Jeff Clonts has a column posted on Militarty.com today titled The Politics of Hypocrisy. It offers an interesting look into the liberal debate technique.
The modern liberal loves hypocrisy. It's just too easy and so politically correct. When faced with a diverse point of view, just raise the notion that your opponent is not worthy of taking a position. Some favorite fodder for liberals in our national history include slavery, our treatment of the American Indian, ignoring the Holocaust, US support for the Shah of Iran, the Iran-Contra fiasco, Viet Nam, and, of course, faulty intelligence about Iraqi WMDs. No matter the topic of discussion, you can bet the liberals will bring up one of these as proof we are we are not allowed to assume the moral high ground.
Every now and then I watch Prime Minister's Questions on C-Span. This is where the Prime Minister of Great Britain stands before the House of Commons and answers their questions. The first time I saw this I was astounded. Here was Tony Blair of the Labor Party receiving questions from his Conservative rivals and actually responding on-topic to the question at hand. They actually addressed each other, made extremely persuasive arguments, and debated national topics. Unlike our Congress, where most speeches are political sound bites made to empty chambers, or our presidential debates, where the candidates are not allowed to address each other directly, these men and women actually called each other on the carpet. At the end of the evening, the average British citizen not only knows why Blair supports an issue, they know both sides of the issue and can form their own decision.
Although all politicians are capable of political-speak, I've never heard a liberal actually answer a question with a salient, on-topic answer. They constantly criticize the war in Iraq and our efforts to fight terror, but when asked what they would do differently, they spout something like, "George Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction and took us into this war under false pretenses. Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with September 11th. We must change course. New leadership is required, a new vision, a new strategy." Did I miss something here? The President's stated strategy is to train the Iraqi security forces until they can handle the job themselves, then bring our forces home. This may or may not be a good strategy, but it is a strategy. If the Democrats have a better one, what is it? I'm not opposed to a better strategy. How about giving us one, please!
Someday, I hope to see our politicians engage in actual debate, as opposed to the sound bite snark-offs that we have now. Unfortunately, thoughtful debate doesn't make for exciting television. So don't expect the media to take any steps to encourage it.