Prosecute the torture.

April 7, 2011

In Which I Defend Ginny...Sort Of

Let me start with my comment at Ginny's blog and work backwards:
For the record…

I have nothing to say about Ginny’s party affiliation or self-identification as a conservative.

My blog post only questioned the quotation marks that Ginny used around the phrase “war criminal”. In itself that’s neither a left/right, Democratic Party/Republican Party issue. Torture’s a human rights issue and the fact that it happened in this country should forever disgrace the president who allowed it and the political party that supported that him.

For the record.
For those few, those happy few, unacquainted with the story, I'll try to sum it up in a nutshell.
  • Virginia Montanez, aka Pittgirl, admits to being a republican (and a conservative) here.
  • There's something of a loud response from her many (MANY!) fans (250+ comments in the comments section of that blog post).
  • I question what looked to me like the irony quotes around the phrase "war criminal" she used in describing George W Bush - more on that in a bit.
  • Sue Kerr responds quite positively on her blog with this, And gets a short, teary-eyed thank you from Ginny herself.
  • The comment on my blog post was neither short nor teary-eyed.
That's about where things stand now.

Let me reiterate what I said in my comment on Ginny's post: I have nothing substantial to say about her political or party affiliations. We live in a free society (we're still free, right? The Koch Brothers haven't bought out the entire political process yet, have they? Just checking.). Each of us is free to believe what we want to believe; politically, religiously, morally, and so on. And so it's rather disappointing to learn of Ginny's now-former fans who, in a fit of anger, decide not to read her very funny (if mostly non-political) blog on account of these up until now mostly unacknowledged politics. The two have little if anything to do with each other.

If, on the other hand, they want to avoid her site because of her conservative politics so be it. They loose the giggle but gain...I am not sure what. But that's not for me to say anyway.

However, while we are free to believe what we want to believe, we also have to acknowledge that by labeling ourselves as a member of a group (in this case a political group), we have to accept that that comes with a certain amount of baggage. When the group does something good we have the right swell with pride at our membership. But we also have to accept some responsibility when the group does something not so good. That's the baggage of membership.

If you don't want the baggage, leave the group - especially if you don't agree with it.

That being said, Ginny walks back the irony quotes. From her comment:
Sorry I missed all the drama. Because my quotation marks around "war criminal" seem to be what has irked so many, let me explain.

I wrote that post in under ten minutes, didn't proof it, posted it. I had no motive behind any of my punctuation. I put quotes around war criminal not to be ironic, but because, and I mean this honestly, I was quoting the reader who said that. Honestly.

Do I think that those that view George Bush as a war criminal have a valid opinion. Of course I do. That day that I came out was honestly one of the hardest days of my life and to have people suddenly jump on me for voting for Bush, write about how I voted for a war criminal, etc. on top of all the other shit that happened that day, honestly was unexpected.
I'll take her at her word that she didn't intend any irony. I am not sure that gets her off the hook, though. Here's what she wrote:
This resulted in some uproar from readers who were shocked I ever voted for a “war criminal.” Yes. WAR CRIMINAL. I voted for him because as you already know ME LOVE KILLING! GRRRRR.
Not sure I'd want to make a joke minimizing either torture or the deaths of 4500+ American servicemen and women (not to mention the countless Iraqis who died). Deaths, let's all remember, that were a direct result of the actions and decisions of the man who won the 2004 election.

I'd not want to make that joke - but that's just me.

My question at the end of my blog post, however, is still valid. If the quotation isn't ironic, then why the vote for the war criminal?


Grace said...

I do not dislike Virginia because she is a Republican. I wish she had not voted for Bush in 2004 due to his lying our country into the Iraq war - which does make him a war criminal - in my opinion. I am sure she is a wonderful person. I wish she would become involved in her party. Moderate Republicans need to take their party back from the Tea Corporatists if they wish to be taken seriously.
The current state of the political divide is vitriolic and frankly un-American. That said - the world is not what it was when I was a child. One party has been taken over by a radical element hell bent on destroying the middle class in favor of the wealthy and corporations. They want to take away women’s reproductive rights (birth control prevents pregnancy – so I guess it prevents abortion?).
My part in the preservation of American values includes raising my daughters to be upstanding citizens, staying strong while my husband is deployed, and doing my best to make a difference politically as a progressive (yes, capital L liberal, tree-hugging progressive) Democrat.
Virginia, as one mother to another, I ask you – will you join me?

EdHeath said...

Seems to that elected Democrats (legislators and executive branch) have been disappointing at least some of the time (if not all) for as long as I can remember, probably really forever. Although I have my own private rationale for why Obama has taken some of the actions he has, it doesn't mean I think made the right decision.

That said, I am still nominally a Democrat because I think the party is supposed to stand for not getting into wars (mostly) for protecting the environment and addressing climate change and for helping the poor. So anyone who someone supports a politician who lies to us about why we went to war, or one that supports cutting education or aid to the poor in the budget, or claims climate change doesn't exist or doesn't matter, I think it is reasonable to ask them to justify their support. How is/was this politician better or worse than the alternative.