March 22, 2006
Lousy Comparison

I am opposed to the censure of President George W. Bush for two reasons. First, it implies that he is unworthy of impeachment. Second, he will be mentioned in the same breath as Andrew Jackson, the only President to be censured.

Jackson was one tough son of a bitch. At the age of 13 Jackson “refused to clean the boots of a British officer, (and) the irate redcoat slashed at him, giving him scars on his left hand and head, as well as an intense hatred for the British.” He went on to become a war hero and champion of the common man. His body was covered with scars. He tried to do away with the Electoral College so the people, not the rural states or the Supreme Court, could directly elect their president.

Nobody ever accused him of being a nice person, and he had no patience for fools. In contrast because Bush is a fool himself, he’s unable to fire them. Doing so would indict George W. Bush himself.

Nothing less than impeachment and removal from office is proper for Bush. It will not happen because impeachment is a political action, as was the censure of Jackson.


Posted by Bill Doolittle at March 22, 2006 04:53 PM
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I almost agree with you on censure, but here's a paragraph I wrote to Senator Feinstein that explains where we differ:

President Bush doesn't deserve censure; he does not deserve impeachment. He deserves imprisonment for crimes against humanity. But censure is within your power.

Posted by: Carl Manaster on March 22, 2006 7:23 PM

Have to agree with Carl. I'm waiting for Bush's day before The Hague war crimes tribunal although I won't hold my breath.

Posted by: spiiderweb on March 22, 2006 8:10 PM

Here's an interesting report compiled by the Department of Defense's Manpower Data Center.

What I found most interesting was a comparison of the active duty deaths between the first four years of Bill Clinton's term and the first four years of Bush's term.

Active duty deaths during Clinton's first four years (1993 - 1996): 4302

Active duty deaths during Bush's first four years (2001 - 2004): 5187

The difference? 885 deaths over four years, or about 221 deaths a year. Of course, during Bush's first four years in office we liberated both Afghanistan and Iraq. What did we accomplish, in terms of military victories, during Clinton's first four years in office?

I can't think of a thing.

Unfortunately this report doesn't go beyond 2004, but using some other sources we can develop numbers for additional comparisons. There were another 3,198 active duty deaths under Clinton during the second four years of his term (1997 - 2000). That's about 800 active duty deaths per year. In 2005 - according to these numbers which, admittedly, aren't official - there were 846 active duty casualties. So far in 2006 we've had 139 active duty casualties. Those numbers may be a little low as I believe they may on encapsulate deaths in Iraq, but going with the assumption that most active duty deaths are going to be occurring in Iraq anyway they're probably pretty close.

And regardless, the point is clear: US Military active duty deaths simply have not gone up that much despite the fact that we've fought two major wars, liberating two formerly oppressed countries, and have struggled against an active terror insurgency in both countries ever since. Given the numbers above it is safe to say that fighting two major wars has resulted in an annual active-duty death total that is only about 250 (give or take) more than the annual total from a time when this country was relatively at peace.

The media and the anti-war crowd in this country would suggest that our military is depleted. Used up. I would argue that, given the modest increase in active duty deaths despite fighting two wars in two different countries, that we haven't even scratched the surface of what our military is capable of.

None of this is to suggest that military deaths should be taken lightly, yet we are often told of the "high cost" we are paying to wage these wars in the middle east. Is the cost - which is high from the perspective that any U.S. soldier's death is a high price - as high as some would have us believe?

Kind of puts the defeatists in perspective, doesn't it?

Posted by: true patriot on March 23, 2006 1:18 AM

Just for the record, Andrew Jackson had no patience for Indians either.

Posted by: Martha Bridegam on March 23, 2006 1:33 AM

True spirit has statistics that he alleges came from the Department of Defense alleging that active military death's during Clinton's first four years weren't all that much lower than those during Bush's first four.

We have no way of figuring out what the hell these numbers mean until we know what an active duty death is. I know that a certain number of members of the armed forces are killed by misadventure or accident, but without a baseline, there's no way of knowing how many are caused by combat as opposed to exploding helicopters on training missions.

It would be nice to see a little intellectual honesty in discussion of statistics -- unusual, it goes without saying, but nice.

Posted by: Lucy at the House of Joy & Truckstop on March 23, 2006 4:28 AM

If "true patriot" wants to go to Walter Reid and visit (I want to take Amtrak and meet him there to make sure he SEES), I'm willing to pay for part of his airfare.

If there were so many Bill Clinton deaths, where was the outrage? Where was Rush Limbaugh during this death carnage? Where was Bill O'Reilly? Where were true conservatives?

I smell bullshit and it stinks to high heaven.

Posted by: Buck on March 23, 2006 12:51 PM

This is yet more lying with statistics. The first four years of Bill Clinton's term in office, the U.S. military was approximately 50% larger than it is today. Most of the active-duty deaths then were natural or accidental -- people keeling over from heart attacks, dying of heat stroke, crashing their F-16 into a mountainside, etc.

Combat deaths during Clinton's first four years in office were maybe a few dozen soldiers in Somalia -- at which point Clinton promptly left Somalia, because there were no national security reasons to keep them there.

To compare combat deaths to natural deaths is like comparing murder to a heart attack. George W. Bush murdered those soldiers that he sent into battle with insufficient numbers, insufficient body armor, and insufficient planning for winning the victory. To equate this with a guy who crashed his F-16 into a mountain during a snowstorm is just plain sick.

-BadTux the Statistics Penguin

Posted by: BadTux on March 26, 2006 1:52 PM

You all must be very bored to bother debating a liar like "true patriot."

They simply make shit up as they go along, then slip away to collect their Rovian PR fees. You won't ever get one to honestly debate their positions or allegations.

His comment is like one of those bizarre emails your conservative buddy sends you, telling you how Hillary is actually a French spy.

Posted by: farang on March 28, 2006 7:12 AM
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