Thursday, March 22, 2007

Confessions of a C-Span Junkie - Two Callers Show the Way

Every morning I watch the news until the fake bonhomie and pressing stories of how to make the best fashion decisions or adopt a shelter animal get to me and I feel compelled to change over to C-Span's Washington Journal.

This morning, as I got ready, then left the house and started my usual drive around town, I heard interviews with Dem. Rep. Crowley, and a Texas Republican (blanking out on her name), and finally Rep. Maxine Waters. The call-ins were particularly uninspiring, and in the case of the Texas rep. no less than three callers in a row called in to express support for the war and to say that if "we don't fight them there they'll come over here", the Bush Administration's favorite reason for staying in Iraq forever.

Thankfully, the quality of call-ins changed radically as soon as Representative Waters came on board. The first caller was an older man who said he was sick of all the talk about "get them there or they'll come here" and recalled that back during the days of Vietnam this is exactly the justification used to keep the Vietnam war going. It was all about stopping communism "before it comes here" he pointed out. Then he said "how many terrorists are they talking about coming here? Fifteen, twenty? Where's their army, their air force, their navy? What heavy artillery are they bringing with them? I'm tired of hearing that we have to keep this war going on over there because a handful of terrorists might come over here." Wow. Great comments.

The very next caller stated that he is a Ronald Reagan Republican who believes in the principles of shared responsibility and shared sacrifice. He said "I make $450,000 a year. I have two children in college. In the past few years I've received tens of thousands of dollars in tax relief. I have not been required to sacrifice anything and I have sacrificed nothing. The only two times President Bush asked people like me to make a sacrifice for the war he asked me to go shopping." This caller said he is disgusted at the selfishness of an administration which calls upon only a small portion of the population to make a real sacrifice while refusing even to ask the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes to make it possible. I think this same caller then commented on the massive government growth under Bush and flagrant violations of civil liberties.

It's callers like these who keep me listening to C-Span although many others cause me to yell at my radio as I drive, much to the consternation of passing drivers.

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