Dissent is fine...as long as you don't disagree???

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at 05:25 PM

Tony Snow, Tony Snow, Tony Snow.  Maybe if you say it three times in a row, real fast, you can get back to the reality side of the mirror.  

David Gregory finally asked the question of Snow that I have asked of several people who think that expressing dissent over Iraq somehow amounts to giving aid & comfort to the enemy:  if you believe that America's policy is bad for America, what is the appropriate way to dissent?  And if you don't express your opinion that we're on the wrong road, aren't you betraying your duty to the country--even acting cowardly?

Here's the relevant excerpt from the White House web site:

Q Can I just follow on that, because in the run-up to the campaign in the fall, if you were a Democrat who supported troop withdrawal, then you were branded -- from this podium and by the President -- as basically supporting terrorists; that if you made that statement, then "the terrorists would win and the U.S. would lose." That's a direct quote from the President.

Then there's an election where the American people, the President acknowledges, speak out against the war. Democrats get power, they're making a move to send a political statement that says we're opposed to this troop increase. And you're saying now the ramifications of that are is that it sends a bad signal to the enemy and to our troops.

So what is an appropriate way to dissent?

MR. SNOW: No, I said, you just take a look at what ramifications they may have. That's all I'm saying. I said that they have to make a calculation. I don't -- you can go back and look at the transcript, but there's no direct -- there's --

Q But aren't you suggesting that there's a negative ramification?

MR. SNOW: I'm suggesting that they need to think it through. And it is certainly appropriate for people to dissent. There's going to be a lot of dissent, we have acknowledged that all along. And, as a matter of fact, it's important to debate this and also to debate the proposition if, as most Democrats who have visited the President and most we've heard from, want to succeed in Iraq, if you think there's an alternative way to do it, you can really help your country by putting it forward. Because the President has invited all points of view, and we understand that in the process of winning in Iraq you have to have public support, it is helpful to have political unity and it is essential to have a full and informed public debate.

Q Just to be clear, do you believe that a non-binding resolution that opposes a troop increase, does that provide comfort to the enemy?

MR. SNOW: I don't know. I think -- the question again is, does this send a signal that the United States is divided on the key element of success in Iraq. And I will let members of Congress express themselves, because I'm sure they're going to say, no, we're committed to success, and then they can elucidate on that point.

Q Doesn't the President acknowledge that the country is divided and --

MR. SNOW: The President of course -- yes, absolutely.

So there you have it.  You can dissent but you should think about the consequences, and one of those consequences is that the enemy knows the nation is divided.  But that's you.  The president can flat out say, in public and with frequency, that we're divided, but that doesn't aid the enemy.  Apparently because the acknowledgment of a divided country isn't dissent when made by a president who loves ....his own policy.

Bdeah, bdeah,....th-th-that's all folks.

If there's an actual, legitimate thought somewhere in this administration, I wish someone would document it and point me toward it.