Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pathological Disdain for Others

This bit about Barbara Bush (from today's Frank Rich column in NYT Select) speaks volumes of how pro-war Republican elites think of soldiers:

March 18, 2003
Barbara Bush tells Diane Sawyer on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she will not watch televised coverage of the war: “Why should we hear about body bags and deaths, and how many, what day it’s going to happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it’s, it’s not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”

Indeed. Why waste your beautiful mind of such trifling concerns as people's lives? So a few thousand men and women died, who cares. You've got better things to worry about, like the weather in Kennebunkport in the summer.

What is it with the Right and their pathological disdain for others. Whether it is soldiers fighting in their ill-advised wars or poor people in New Orleans, the Right fosters nothing but indifference at best, contempt at worst, for others. Anyone outside of their social circle and class are given the same value as machines or animals.

How anyone can have so little compassion for the soldiers whose lives are at risk every day in Iraq simply escapes my comprehension. To Republican elites, these soldiers are mere pieces on the board of a war game. They view the loss of life as no more tragic than losing a pawn in a game of chess at the club.

Yet, those of us who oppose the war and want to bring the troops home are labelled as anti-solider. In order to accept this conceit, one must believe that those who've brought about the loss of thousands of soldiers' lives and allowed them to be treated in third world quality VA hospitals are the true patrons of our fighting men and women. And that those who want to remove our soldiers from harm's way somehow secretly hope for more military casualties. It defies all logic to accept such an absurd series of claims.

This administration and its supporters have been at best cavalier about the lives of thousands of our sons and daughters. They have displayed a pathological disdain for soldiers and their families. The Republican elites have been unmasked as modern day aristocrats who view others as no better than peasants. One need only to listen carefully to hear the echoes of "let them eat cake."


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