Republicans (and their news outlets) on Afghanistan, a woman’s right to choose, and masks
Yes, it's the usual Republican lack of self-disclosure and hypocrisy
The Wheeling Intelligencer
Wednesday's predictable editorial
Here's the editorial:
President’s Speech Emboldens Enemies
There’s no mention in the editorial of what the United States has gained from twenty years of war in Afghanistan – the editorial is only about blaming President Biden.
And coming soon to an Ogden newspaper near you: the obvious follow-up (and without any self-awareness of the trillions that the Afghan war has cost us): “The deficit is huge and Biden is making the deficit worse with his wasteful spending.“
Syndicated columnist Marc Thiessen
Since the president announced our withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Wheeling Intelligencer has published a number of articles by syndicated columnist Marc Thiessen attacking President Biden’s Afghanistan policy. What the Intelligencer paper neglects to tell us is that Thiessen was one of the original architects of America’s Afghan policy. From Wikipedia:
Thiessen has worked in Washington, D.C., for many years, starting with five years at the lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly. From 1995 to 2001, he served on Capitol Hill as spokesman and senior policy advisor to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms (R-NC).
He joined the George W. Bush administration as Chief Speechwriter for Donald Rumsfeld in 2001, and later to Bush's speechwriting team in 2004. In February 2008, he became chief speechwriter when William McGurn resigned.
(Yes, Thiessen worked for Paul Manafort and Roger Stone.)
Is it any surprise that Thiessen is critical of Biden? Shouldn’t a reader know Thiessen’s background to properly evaluate what he writes? Yes, of course, but this is an Ogden paper.
Speaking of full-disclosure on Aftghanistan, there's always Fox News:
Retired 4-star General Jack Keane has made at least 33 appearances on Fox since Aug. 16 to criticize the Afghanistan withdrawal.— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) September 1, 2021
In none of those spots was it disclosed that he's the chairman of the company that was supplying Humvees for the war.https://t.co/8Xihcn6mNL
Freedom to choose: the Texas abortion law and masks
Although there was nothing about the Supreme Courts decision in today's Ogden papers, you’ve probably read or heard about Texas’ newly passed attack on abortion rights and the U.S. Supreme Court unwillingness to act on it:
BREAKING: Supreme Court refuses to stop Texas law banning most abortions. https://t.co/ERUah9k8FS— The Associated Press (@AP) September 2, 2021
Seemingly unrelated: here is Ogden’s political reporter, Steven Allen Adams, writing about an anti-mask, anti-vaccine rally in Parkersburg on Monday:
A handful of state lawmakers were joined by protesters Monday advocating against mask and vaccine mandates and for a special session to prohibit mandates. https://t.co/CrCIBWPj07 pic.twitter.com/Cw5IZqt5cN— Steven Allen Adams (@stevenadamswv) August 31, 2021
But they are related: notice the ever-present “freedom to choose” sign in the picture. I wonder what the holder's opinion is on the new Texas anti-abortion law and how it affects “freedom to choose”? And by the way, the speaker is the Wood County state senator, Mike Azinger. The senator made news earlier this year when he attended the Trump rally and insurrection. At the time, Azinger blamed antifa:
These Marxists and leftists are trying to make it look like it was something we should be put in jail for.
And we should note Azinger's consistency. In 2019, he wrote an op-ed for the Parkersburg paper:
The Shame of LBGTQ Pride
Additionally, in 2018, he sponsored legislation for public schools to require mandatory Bible study. Yes, Azinger wants his freedom to choose but he would quickly deny it to those he doesn't agree with.
Is all of this related?
Dan Rather tied some of this together:
It’s worth noting that many of the same people attacking the Biden Administration for leaving women’s rights behind in Afghanistan are eager to control women’s bodies and choices in the United States.— Dan Rather (@DanRather) September 1, 2021
Or as political strategist Dan Pfeiffer noted:
The message of the Republican Party is "our body our choice. Your body also our choice."