Okay, but Other people can’t have them.

July 7, 2006

I love the way Bush’s answer to the Korean “missle crisis” (I’m sorry, but this doesn’t seem like a crisis to me) is to call for international solidarity, then have a press conference wherein he lists off the morally superior countries (US at the top of the list, of course) who aren’t setting off their missiles. Uh, okay Mr. President, I guess we’re not setting them off now. But presumably when we were developing the technology we tested them, right? I mean, we have missile test sites, right? And I’m pretty confident we still use some of those–a 60 Minutes story one one of our island holdings comes to mind, where the residents really wished we’d stop testing our damn ammunitions there. (Granted, this was a few years ago, so for all I know we have stopped in that particular locale.)

I’m always a little surprised at how flabbergasted we are when some other country has the audacity to try to equal the playing field. What? Other countries have weapons?! Okay, yes, relations with Korea at the moment aren’t the friendliest, so maybe we should be concerned. But don’t you think Korea might just be a little concerned, too? They’ve seen Bush herald in a new era of war without congressional mandate. Who’s to say we won’t try another pre-emptive strike elsewhere?

Of course, the other part of the story is the fact that the missile fell out of the sky after forty seconds. Military experts say this isn’t uncommon, and my favorite professor apparently made a bet with a woman in his town a while back who was extremely worried about the Korean missiles. He bet her fifty bucks it would drop in under two minutes.

Addendum: Just heard a news bit that apparently prohibits us from testing nuclear weaponry, which leads some to question whether our stockpile is actually functional. Huh.

Voting democratic?

July 6, 2006

The next bit for On Point this morning was a piece on the supposed identity crisis of conservatives, apparently losing ground thanks to the current administration. A colorful illustration of the problem (well, I suppose for liberals it’s more of a boon than a problem; the problem for conservatives, shall we say) came from a caller who identified as “a southern male” who had voted republican on the federal level across the board for 24 years. Yet he stated in no uncertain terms that he would be voting for the democratic candidate in the next federal election.

To me, this is a pleasant surprise. If anything, I had thought our administration, with its heavy emphasis on religion (remember all that funding for “faith-based organizations” early in Bush’s first term?) and so-called “family values” was actually gaining ground. Look at the numbers who came out to vote conservative when gay marriage popped onto the scene, after all.

Yet it would seem that the administration’s handling of a variety of issues, from the defecit to the war in Iraq, is actually driving away some dyed-in-the-wool conservative voters. The aforementioned caller was particularly incensed about Bush’s war, citing the lack of a congressional mandate as one of his major points of contention. The man was admirably upset that the administration takes voters like him for granted; he said they expect him to have no other choice, to never even consider voting for a democratic candidate.

Guess it doesn’t pay to take southern males for granted.