Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sacrifice by any other name

I watched Jim Lehrer's interview with the president this evening even though I can't normally stand Bush -- either looking or listening -- but it's cold and icy here and I don't have cable and the Lehrer News Hour seemed like the appropriate thing to do while huddled under a fleece blanket on my futon. Plus, I was rather struck by President Bush actually admitting that things could have been differently and ::gasp:: taking responsibility for some of his actions. In fact, he wasn't as annoyingly brash and arrogant as he usually is. And then came this glorious, glorious piece of insight from our President. I still haven't picked my jaw up off the ground.

MR. LEHRER: Let me ask you a bottom-line question, Mr. President. If it is as important as you've just said - and you've said it many times - as all of this is, particularly the struggle in Iraq, if it's that important to all of us and to the future of our country, if not the world, why have you not, as president of the United States, asked more Americans and more American interests to sacrifice something? The people who are now sacrificing are, you know, the volunteer military - the Army and the U.S. Marines and their families. They're the only people who are actually sacrificing anything at this point.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, you know, I think a lot of people are in this fight. I mean, they sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible images of violence on TV every night. I mean, we've got a fantastic economy here in the United States, but yet, when you think about the psychology of the country, it is somewhat down because of this war.

Now, here in Washington when I say, "What do you mean by that?," they say, "Well, why don't you raise their taxes; that'll cause there to be a sacrifice." I strongly oppose that. If that's the kind of sacrifice people are talking about, I'm not for it because raising taxes will hurt this growing economy. And one thing we want during this war on terror is for people to feel like their life's moving on, that they're able to make a living and send their kids to college and put more money on the table. And you know, I am interested and open-minded to the suggestion, but this is going to be -

I'm sure Al-Qaeda is quaking in its boots now that it knows the American people are sacrificing 'peace of mind'. And I wonder how the military families feel about the statement that the vast majority of Americans are moving on, sending their kids to college, when they're sending their kids to fight in Baghdad. Just. Wow. Full transcript from the interview available here.

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