Friday, January 30, 2009

It's called post hoc ergo propter hoc...

"Whatever else he did or didn't do, at least George W. Bush kept us safe from terrorists. (Except on 9/11/2001 when he was ignoring the strident warnings that bin Ladin was determined to attack inside the US and who doesn't make teensy mistakes from time to time?)"

And folks know this because he's said he was working to keep us safe from terrorists. Cool.

And I'm keeping the Pacific Northwest safe from hurricanes. I mean, I'm here, right? And there hasn't been a hurricane affecting the Pacific Northwest for a long, long time, right? I see one from 1975, but while I was alive then, I was living in Philadelphia. (And note: during my time of living in Philadelphia, there weren't any hurricanes there, either. We got hit by the side arm of Belle one year, but that was just a nasty thunderstorm with high winds; the actual hurricane struck New Jersey.)

Of course, there are hateful partisans suffering from Weirdo Derangement Syndrome, who will insist I had nothing to do with this. They'll say that, even if I hadn't been here (or in Philadelphia), it's stuff that's beyond my control that causes hurricanes. Which is ridiculous. A great deal of what I do to prevent hurricanes is classified. They aren't privy to this knowledge.

What's that?

Oh, great. Now I have to put on my hurt-feelings look. You don't believe me either!

It's not fair. Just saying something is true works for an incompetent oaf like George W. Bush, but it doesn't work for me.

Well... maybe the unfairness is that people shouldn't believe that Bush kept us safe. Maybe they should grant that, sure, Al Qaeda didn't attack us on the US mainland again, but we have no idea if that was because of anything that George W. Bush did or didn't do.

He may have been lucky. Or, Al Qaeda might have thought it was better to go after US soldiers and try to damage expensive military equipment rather than attack the US again. Or, he might have thought that the US was doing plenty of damage to itself in Afghanistan, and then Iraq, so he had nothing else to worry about.

So let's modify that first sentence: "whatever else he did or didn't do, at least George W. Bush wasn't so blindingly incompetent that al Qaeda could hit us again on the US mainland, along with any other attacks they may have made against US targets."

It's not very catchy, but it does have the benefit of greater accuracy.

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