One of my most respectful commenters tends to see my posts through the lens of "Bush Hatred." It's a convenient deflection.
Or would be, if he had any.
What I hate about George Bush is not the man (although it gets pretty damn hard to take when the President of the US constantly embarrasses us all) but what he's done. My wise commenter suggests that "if libs proclaimed their disdain for people who would harm this country as loudly as they proclaim their disdain for the current president, maybe they wouldn't sound so "unpatriotic." " He (I assume it's a he, because the women I know [I'm speaking personal knowledge, now, as opposed to one I've seen of late on TV] are pretty rational thinkers) couldn't be more wrong. The tragedy, the disgrace of George Bush is exactly that in every way, he's aided and abetted those who would harm this country. Because of his shallow and incompetently executed policies, wherever you look you see our enemies stronger than they were. It's precisely BECAUSE we dastardly liberals understand the danger to our country posed by those who wish us ill that we are angry at George Bush.
You name it: our economy is faltering, our military is weakened, the invasion recruited more terrorists than it eliminated, Iran is stronger, al Queda is safely ensconced in Pakistan, North Korea has bombs, peace is further away from Israel and Palestine, we are more hated and less respected around the world: in short, I can see only damage to our interests inflicted upon us by George Bush. His "war on terror" is, in addition to being stupidly named and constitutionally abused, nearly entirely ill-conceived;* it has accomplished the exact opposite of what was (presumably) intended (other than to have enriched certain pro-Bush members of the plutocracy). (Not wishing to sound too conspiratorial, I'll allow the possibility that that was not the primary intent.)
It's the unswayable Bush lovers that represent the real danger. In passing off all disagreement as "Bush Hatred," and in claiming falsely that liberals don't understand that we have enemies, people like my commenter willfully ignore the real reasons behind the criticisms and make correcting the mistakes harder. You can't eradicate terrorists with invading armies. You can't recruit help in finding them when you piss off the entire world. You don't make the country safer when you disregard the vulnerabilities on its own soil, nor when you bankrupt it to the point of being unable to fix them. When you round up people and torture them and hold them without charges, you not only get inaccurate information, you degrade your ability to try them in a respectable court of law (assuming you believe in such a thing) and rob us of our ability to demand lawful behavior in others. When you spend trillions on an unnecessary war that in no way plugs our weak spots but in fact increases them while killing our own and tens of thousands of others, you damage yourself more than our enemies could have -- and did -- in their wildest seventy-seven-virgin-dreams in their deepest caves. That, I'd say, is reason enough to believe George Bush has been a disaster for our country, and a boon to our enemies.
We all agree there are dangers and dangerous people out there. Where we disagree is in what are effective responses.
To buy the simple-minded idea that "liberals" love our enemies and hate our country is only to exacerbate and catalyze the destruction wrought by George Bush: by reducing the argument to absurdity while ignoring the issues, it -- as did he -- plays right into the hands of those who wish us ill.
*[I happen to agree that domestic surveillance and world-wide intelligence-gathering are an integral part -- the main part, in fact -- of fighting terrorism. Republicans laughed it off, of course, when John Kerry said as much in 2004; but, in fact, to the extent that we are safer since 9/11, it's due to the increased security (such as it is) at airports, and to the plotters (the ones that were actually real) that were uncovered by surveillance (mostly in and by other countries). On the other hand, there's no reason why such surveillance can't be done within the law, a concept evidently foreign to George Bush.]