A Simple Question

Dennis Kucinich asks why America has finite resources for healthcare but virtually unlimited money for war?

“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” — James Madison, Political Observations, 1795

9 Replies to “A Simple Question”

  1. A simpler question: Why listen to anything this nut job has to say?

    The simplest question: Whoever said America has unlimited money for war?

    Quoth the straw man: “Uh … that would be me.”

  2. Supplementary simple question: Why does the US breed so many malign psychotics who can nevertheless operate quite capably in day-to-day activities?

    This one has been on my radar lately. Truly fascinating.

    The best explanation I can come up with is that insanity is actually a prerequisite to adjusting to a deeply dysfunctional society.

  3. That is really bizarre. Certainly does sound more like an episode of Law and Order…

    It was on The Fifth Estate the other week and the story just made me so sad. This young woman, away from her parents and struggling to adjust to university and a number of personal issues ends up coming across this online sicko… a father, with kids, who works in the health profession to boot.


  4. Would that be the same James Madison that decided it would be a good idea to convince Congress to invade Canada? (It’ll be over by Christmas, right?)

  5. Heh. Yep, that would be the same one. Also created the First Bank of the United States (after having previously railed against banks…).

    I think he had it right prior to becoming president. Funny how that always seems to change things, isn’t it?

  6. He and his war council were also convinced that once their invasion force easily routed the Canadas the subsequent occupation would be joyfully embraced as liberating by the local inhabitants! Sound familiar?

  7. I work at in Ottawa, and we heard all about this tragedy. The poor woman went from being very vibrant and positive to depressed and listless in a matter of weeks. Sadly, they could not locate her body until much later as she drowned herself in the Rideau Canal during the skating season.

    As for the war question, I seem to recall the constructed answer to the question “how will we pay for this?” was a combination of lowballing estimates by suggesting a quick conclusion to the Iraq Campaign and having the Iraqi government use the oil revenues to help pay.

    This question posed by Kucinich is instructive as to how the discourse, when framed in a deliberate manner, can immediately narrow the debate and choose a subset of viable concepts to discuss. The issue of war in the American Foreign Policy is a question of defending liberty and exporting the values of a liberal democracy. It is also a question of patriotism as well. Framed in this context, there is almost a immediate discount against any criticisms leveled against the logistics or the legitimacy of a war campaign. When you appeal to emotion in the name of expounding the values and virtues of the nation state, policies like engaging in a war are given much less scrutiny such that the cost of the war can be explained away. Strangely, the continual distrust of government by the general public is practically non-existent or greatly pacified in this scenario. I mean, despite protests after protests, the power brokers were able to sell a ill-conceived and costly war to the public.

    However, tn the healthcare debate, the virtues and patriotism that weigh so heavily into war policy are not suitable for selling this policy, even though in an objective moral context, it is rather virtuous (helping the poor and uninsured). The undercurrent of distrust in government comes to the fore and protests to that nature are able to gain traction. In fact, any appeals to virtue and patriotism are made by the opposition in the name of government distrust . The same people who implicitly asked to public to trust them when bringing Uncle Sam to Baghdad.

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