Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Found on Eschaton:

BLITZER: Let me pick up on that point because we're getting flooded with e-mail. Mike, this one for you. "The Bush administration is
making Iraq its cause celebre (ph) and diverting attention from other issues like the economy. It is short-sighted to think that a war
with Iraq will solve all our problems with terrorism."

What do you say to Gila from California?

GALLAGHER: Well, Gila needs to remember that this is about national security. And Gila shouldn't have a short memory and forget
what happened September 11, 2001. And that's what this is about. If people want to play political games and already say -- have
Joe Madison sit there in Washington and say this won't be a slam dunk before hearing the first word out of President Bush's mouth,
tonight. That's because people like Joe and Gila are rooting against the president and against this country. And listen, I say to Gila or
to Joe, if you don't like what this government stands for, go over to Baghdad and be a loyal to Saddam Hussein like McDermott is.

MADISON: You know, I'm going to tell you something. Now, Mike, we are both, and spent some time in Dayton, Ohio, about 50 miles
-- I know it's true. And because I'm stating a fact, let me tell you, don't you ever question my loyalty to this country...

GALLAGHER: You're un-American. You're un-American.

MADISON: Don't...

GALLAGHER: ...you hate America. And that's why...

MADISON: Well, this is not a ...

GALLAGHER: ... People like you are being deemed irrelevant. Madison. ... Debate. Now, it's name calling. GALLAGHER: It's true.

MADISON: I mean, this is...

GALLAGHER: ... You're un-American. You're either with us or with the terrorists.

BLITZER: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Mike, let him respond (inaudible). You can't make an accusation like that
without giving him a chance to talk.

MADISON: He can't -- as a matter of fact, he can't make an accusation like that without knowing the person.

GALLAGHER: I do know the person...

MADISON: That's the best...

GALLAGHER: I know what you stand for, and that's why your whittling away and saying that you know President Bush won't
have a slam dunk tonight because you're hoping he doesn't. Listen, I asked a simple question...

BLITZER: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. All right...

GALLAGHER: You're either with us or with the terrorists, Wolf. The president's (inaudible). Which side are you on, Joe?

I'd like to come out and say that, yes, I'm against Bush. Many people are, both inside and outside the United States. We don't want his agenda passed, we want his policy initiatives checked, we think that his (s)election was a sad mistake, we want the Democrats to take Congress so they can frustrate his attempts to remake America in the image of his neo-conservative handlers, and we think his foreign policy is deadly dangerous. We don't want him to be president a minute longer than he is constitutionally entitled to, and will bend our every effort that we legally can to ensure that he follows his father's legacy of a single-term presidency.

We are not, however, against the United States. If we were, we wouldn't work against him, and the harm he would do to the United States. We'd let him do it, and reap the rewards of the chaos, inequity, economic ruin and lowered standard of living that he could leave the United States in. Those inside the country could take power by taking the reins themselves and taking credit for the rebuilding, and those outside it could exploit America's weakness to become more powerful themselves.

We could, but we won't.

We won't because we like the United States, like Americans, and want both the country and its citizens to prosper and succeed. We think it has an important role to play in the world and a unique perspective on that world and on those who live within it. It is not necessarily a commanding role, but it is a key one, as the realities of the American experiment make almost inevitable.

Those who cannot parse that should get the hell off the airwaves. And, for that matter, the Internet. You're contributing nothing useful, and wasting everybody's time.

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