Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bruce Tytler on War

This morning, I received some information from the Bruce Tytler campaign. It's not as much information as I'd like, but it's a start. Here's a tidbit from Tytler's materials, regarding his attitude toward war:

"We must ensure that our armed forces get the resources that they need to win the war on terrorism – but we should not be illegally spying on American citizens and we should not be giving tax breaks to the wealthy while we’re at war and working class kids are protecting us.

But let us remember that the war on terrorism is not the same as the war in Iraq. It’s Bin Laden we’re after and we need to refocus on that goal. We will win this war against the terrorists who would shed American blood and destroy our way of life. But we will not surrender our civil liberties in the process."

These paragraphs require a little bit of unpacking. Here's what I can make out from them:

- Tytler wants to give the military the resources it needs How much is that? Does Tytler support the present budget which dramatically increases military spending even while drastically cutting the kind of domestic spending that makes America a great place to live?

- Tytler says we should not be illegally spying on American citizens Which kinds of spying against Americans does Tytler regard as illegal? The National Security Agency wiretapping and email-reading warrantless program? How about the FBI and Pentagon programs to spy against anti-war protesters? How about Bush White House efforts to grab search engine data from companies like Yahoo and America Online? What about the Total Information Awareness program, which, according to a report from the National Journal, is still operational within the NSA?

- Tytler believes tax cuts for wealthy Americans should not take place while we are fighting a war Does Tytler think we should have tax breaks for the wealthy when we're at peace?

- Tytler thinks that the war against terrorism is not the same as the war in Iraq Okay, then, just what IS the war on terrorism, anyway? Going on 5 years after the start of the war, could we please have some definition of exactly what the war is? I'm talking about defining a specific enemy - not just "terrorists everywhere". How about some specific objectives that can be achieved, instead of just "making America secure"? It's not Bruce Tytler's responsibility to come up with a definition for this dangerously nebulous war all by himself, but it would be nice if he could offer some concrete suggestions.

- Tytler says America needs to refocus on going after Osama Bin Laden How? Is the war over when we capture Bin Laden?

- Bruce Tytler opposes attacks on civil liberties in the name of wartime security Good for him. Does that mean Tytler would vote against the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, as it currently exists? What other specific changes to current policy does Bruce Tytler suggest?

I'm not writing all these questions as a way to be harsh to Bruce Tytler. All the candidates need to do a much better job at articulating specific policies. We need to have a deeper, richer level of debate in this congressional campaign.

Guess who it's up to, to make sure that this kind of debate happens?

Nope, it's not the candidates. Candidates will do their best to say just as much as they feel that they need to say on any subject, and no more. Candidates tend to believe that voters just need little reassurances to help them make their choice, and that speaking in depth can do more harm than good.

It's up to us voters to ensure a rich, meaningful debate, by asking questions that demand substantial responses. First and foremost, we need to show up and participate. It the game of democratic politics, we can't allow candidates to be the only players.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you need to email the questions to Mr. Tytler. Don't forget to request a read receipt.

Anonymous said...

Interesting Zogby poll. No question this is Vietnam redux. The only question is if the politicians learned anything.


Anonymous said...

I'm guessing Mr. Tytler probably doesn't care about your questions.

Anonymous said...

Methinks Bruce Tytler is a neocon wolf in sheep's clothing.

The only other answer is he is waiting for his advisors to write a reply for you and they've been too busy to get it done.

Anonymous said...

Bruce Tytler is the candidate of the Bill Wood faction of the Cortland Democrats. These are the same folks who support Tom Suozzi and Denise O'Donnell. The folks who are grasping at straws in order to oppose Les Roberts because they can't have any influence with him. The same folks who will sit on their hands when Mike Arcuri secures the Democratic nomination.

Bruce can't see that he is being used yet again, but the truth is obvious. His is a faux campaign that is completely doomed yet allows his "supporters" to field a convenient excuse to avoid supporting a winner who would provide them with nothing.

Publius1776 said...

Why, 11:27 PM, are you such a coward and attack Bruce Tytler hiding behind the anonymous veil of this blog. Bruce is his own man, sand to mud sling this early is disgusting. Have you no decency sir? You're what's wrong with this country. We are just democrats trying to do the right thing. Talk about the issues, not Bill Wood.

Anonymous said...

publius1776 - why are you such a coward and attack me for pointing out the obvious with the Tytler campaign? Do you have a name?

Anonymous said...

Publius, chill. Matt Morgan's been seen meeting in Cortland with one of Team Suozzi's key men. Hey, you never know, right Matty? 11:27 is a pawn.

Anonymous said...

Allow me to do the introductions. 10:14 aka Ron Walsh Jr. meet our blog host Jon.