Sean Hannity Defends President Bush and The Iraq War The Only Way He Knows How: By Being A Bigger Bully Than Usual
Reported by Ellen - March 19, 2006
Friday night (3/17/06), Hannity & Colmes hosted Democratic Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon who has introduced new legislation to order US troops from Iraq, starting with the National Guard soldiers. Rather than debate the issues, Sean Hannity did his best to berate and tyrannize Rep. Blumenauer. But the Congressman refused to capitulate and his calm, pithy responses to Hannity’s cheap theatrics makes Blumenauer our next top dog.
Alan Colmes, surely knowing what Hannity would have in store for Rep. Blumenauer, asked if the Republicans had started attacking him yet or called him a traitor or un-American. “I don’t know if you have any purple hearts they could question like they did with Jack Murtha,” Colmes semi-joked. "What's been the response?"
Blumenauer said his constituents agree that the US troops have done what we have asked them to do and that it’s time to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis. He added that it’s “1,049 days after President Bush famously announced, ‘Mission Accomplished.’ It’s time for us to bring those troops home now, starting with the National Guard.” He also told Colmes that the majority of Iraqis believe that the violence will diminish once US troops leave. “After hundreds of billions of dollars, thousands of lives lost, it’s time for us to re-focus our efforts, to start bringing those troops home and having the Iraqis take responsibility for their own defense and for their own governance.”
Colmes seemed as though he was trying to shore up Blumenauer for the onslaught that was certain to come from Sean Hannity. “You know people defending the Administration’s actions here will tell you you’re undermining the troops, undermining the president at a time of war. And a recent Zogby poll tells that 72% of the troops, themselves, feel that we should be out of there in a year or so. There’s been no plan, no exit strategy. The Powell doctrine has not been observed.”
Sean Hannity rudely cleared his throat while Blumenauer answered that our military has done what we asked it to do and that it’s time for the Iraqis to take control of their own country.
Hannity came up with not one justification for staying in Iraq, not one defense of Bush’s military and/or exit strategy, not one fact refuting the Zogby poll, and not one reason to overlook the eroding public support for the war. Instead, he chose to turn up his bullying tactics a couple of notches.
Hannity began with a dose of phoney-baloney Hanctimony. “You know what, Congressman? I just thank God every day that you cut-and-run, you cheap shot, weak on homeland security and national defense Democrats - you didn’t win the election. You don’t make that decision. The president got the approval of Congress. He’s the Commander-in-Chief. And what I find frankly repugnant about you and some of your fellow Democrats – you have undermined our president, you have undermined our troops, you have undermined our war effort from day one and you’re doing it for the sinister reason of political gain and for that reason, I think you will find yourselves out of power again after the elections in 2006 cause I don’t really hear a plan for you (sic) on our homeland security. What’s your big plan, sir?”
Rep. Blumenauer provided a good defense of himself and a good rundown of the Bush Administration’s failures but I wish he had called Hannity on HIS cheap shot efforts and demanded that he defend the Bush Administration’s policies if he thought they were so super-duper. But Blumenauer did the next-best thing. First, he invited everyone to look at his comments in advance of the war in which he predicted it would go exactly as it has. Then he said, “Anybody who thinks this administration is on top of homeland security just has to look at the footage of your own news in Katrina where they couldn’t get their act together knowing it was coming.”
Hannity briefly started to blame the mayor of New Orleans but as Blumenauer delved into the bi-partisan 9/11 Commission’s criticisms of Bush, Hannity dodged and changed the subject again, apparently thinking nobody would notice if he just ratcheted up his browbeating. “Your party and your candidate said Saddam had weapons of mass destruction… You know something? You send the troops in harm’s way and then you undermine them, Congressman. That’s what I find despicable about you and your party… You’re undermining our troops, our homeland security and our national security and for political reasons.”
As Blumenauer rightly said that the majority of Americans agreed with him, Hannity harangued harder. “You want to hurt the president. You want to make him look bad. You want to embarrass him. Isn’t that what it’s really about, your agenda?”
Blumenauer, unruffled, responded, “36 people in my state have lost their lives. It’s time for us to wrap this thing up.”
Rather than defend Bush, Hannity continued throwing accusations at Blumenauer.
Blumenauer coolly stated, “I think the litany of what this president has done wrong has been identified by the bi-partisan 9/11 Commission.”
Blumenauer was still talking when Alan Colmes interrupted to end the segment. In the first-ever criticism I have heard of Hannity by Colmes, he said “He doesn’t need your help to look bad. He’s doing that all by himself.”
Hannity, apparently frustrated by his inability to intimidate Blumenauer added peevishly, “Cheap shot by Democrats. What a surprise.”
Sean Hannity is always complaining about the “intellectual dishonesty” of others. Let’s ask him and FOX News why HE can’t have the intellectual honesty to argue on the merits instead of changing the subject every time a guest says something he doesn’t like?