by user Towncommons
A non sequitur is an inference that is not supported by the underlying facts. In simple terms, it is 1 + 1 =3.
The most dangerous non sequitur of the past six years is that, because we have found no WMD in Iraq, that President Bush must have lied and intentionally misled the public. Dinesh D'souza has a good article on this today, pointing out other examples of similar grand failures of intelligence as well as pointing out the obvious, that such intelligence failures do not lead to the legitimate inference that the person acting on the incorrect intelligence is lying or misleading. D'souza characterizes this non sequitur as " the lie that Bush lied. "
Non sequiturs are the grist of partisan politics. And indeed, it was the partisans of the far left who first took up the chant that Bush lied and misled us into the war in Iraq. But, at this point, what we are seeing is proof of Goebbel's theorem, that a lie told often enough becomes truth. The non sequitur that Bush lied is now accepted in the political mainstream of Democrats as an established truth.
This has had a profound impact on the public's view of the war in Iraq. It has delegitimized the war. It has demonized and delegitimized President Bush and all of his programs dealing with terrorism. And lastly, it has allowed the Democrats professing this non sequitur -- who do so quite cynically I believe -- to assume a position of moral superiority.
While constant repetition of this non sequitur has been effective politically -- Democrats road it to power in the 2006 election -- it has incredibly dangerous implications for our national security. The danger is that assuming the moral high ground on the basis of this non sequitur forecloses meaningful debate on how to go forth in Iraq. For Democrats, it means that their the choice of how to proceed in Iraq is largely, if not wholly, based on a moral imperative to right a wrong -- rather then what should be the only legitimate consideration -- what will the impact of a retreat from Iraq and an abandonment of the nascent Iraqi government mean for our long term national security. It is the latter you never hear discussed as Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, John Edwards and Harry Reid argue that we should leave Iraq as soon as possible.
Crossposted from Town Commons