On a Friday night in March -- HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Richard Belzer pulled the tiger by the tail in a heated debate with the Miami U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen(R), whose stepson just finished eight months of duty in Iraq. (Or should I say elephantz tail? Mazeltov either way, big brother...)
For some odd reason, the terrible tiff just downright offended conservative bloggerz and earned Ros-Lehtinen an appearance on Fox's The O'Reilly Factor to talk about the tussle. (How come I'm not offended? Oh... maybe I'm not ruled by emotional blackmail tactics... )
According to a transcript, Ros-Lehtinen told Maher that service members she's talked with on visits to Iraq and Afghanistan have said they were proud to be serving. (of course they are....what else would they say??? Thanks for shopping at Walmart & buying "Made in China vs USA?" =^..^=)
"We know what we're doing over here," Ros-Lehtinen said, quoting the service members. "We don't want you guys in Washington to lose it over there."
Belzer suggested the troops -- "in the middle of a civil war" -- were in no position to determine the future of the war. (notice this waz a suggestion... and sometimes folks too close to the action can't see the forest for the trees... just sayin.)
"They don't read 20 newspapers a day," The Belz said. "They're under the threat of death every minute. They're not the best people to ask about the war because they're going to die any second." ("Oh, Private , what do you think about the war??? "...Excuse me, I'm a little busy right now defendin this here country. I'll get back to you...")
Ros-Lehtinen noted her stepson -- a college graduate -- supports the war. "He's a Marine officer. He volunteered for the Marines," she said.
"You think everyone over there is a college graduate?" he said. "They're 19 and 20-year-old kids who couldn't get a job." (and I know a few of those...)
Ros-Lehtinen called Belzer's comments, "a cheap shot to demean men and women in uniform and to avoid discussing policies on their own merits."
(What policiez ?? This article didn't even mention what policiez that were suppozedly avoided in this debate... Were they avoided? I finally saw the video and the congresswoman was not calm nor rational with her remarks. Period. She did not stay on target during the debate. She used personal attacks, not facts.
I don't get HBO and I missed O'Reilly that night.
Suffice it to say... I have yet to find an article that is an objectively logical report on this debate.)
Reference: March 23, 2006 Miami Herald
U.S. CONGRESS: Ros-Lehtinen Scores With Tiff: televised rumble with Richard Belzer is earning her notice among defenders of the war in Iraq - by Lesley Clark, lclark@MiamiHerald.com
I still say that this debate would have been more fairly treated if Sean Hannity were interviewing Ros-Lehtinen and Belzer... He tends to be fair and an honestly respectful host.