I never thought I’d be sending around something that took Andy Rooney seriously, but this morning I ran into a post on BoingBoing that blew me away. Last night Andy Rooney’s segment on 60 minutes (BitTorrent link) blasted the Iraq effort in a way that I think much of Middle America can understand: basic facts. (Also see the transcript.
I have a theory that many more people would be against the Iraq war and more critical of the Whitehouse administration if they simply understood the implications for this country. For example, I wonder how many people know that our budget this year for defense is $336 billion, yet our educational budget is $61 billion? I wonder how many people would support the simplest proposal of say, cutting $30 billion from the defense budget in order to increase the education budget by a whopping 50%?
And so I can’t begin to express how pleased I am that someone like Andy Rooney, who is typically viewed as fairly harmless, suddenly has become so vocally critical of the war. I think the mainstream media finally got some backbone with their outrage over the handling of Katrina, but I’m going to predict that Andy Rooney’s segment yesterday is a turning point for public criticism of the war and this administration. I think this changes the face of opposition. I think for many people it all sounds like the just the rantings of some that crazy mom Cindy Sheehan, or some crazy Californians who are too disconnected from the real world to have a legitimate voice, or some vocal celebrities jumping on the bandwagon of rebelliousness.