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by Robert J. Elisberg, The Huffington Post
Anyone can ask tough, intricate, confrontational questions. But all that ever does is start an argument, and it gets people nowhere. On the other hand, these are...well, easy. These are friendly questions. These are questions that allow another person to actually explain their thoughts, and explain fully. And to do so in as comfortable, as simple a way as possible.
Without feeling attacked. Without feeling pressure. Without feeling no one cares what they have to say. Friendly. Easy.
Print them out, carry them around in your pocket, and the next time someone begins quoting from a Republican talking points memo, take the list out and ask.
1. What are the Top Seven best things that the Bush Administration has done?
2. Is the Iraq War is going well?
3. After three years thus far, when do you think Iraq might be able to "stand up" so that America can "stand down"?
4. For his part in the event, how would you rate the job the President did protecting New Orleans from devastation?
5. How do you think the rebuilding of New Orleans is going?
6. When Dick Cheney and the oil company and energy executives met in private to plan America's energy policy, how much of their goal was to benefit consumers?
7. Do you believe in the President's call for an Era of Personal Responsibility?
8. Since Republicans control the White House, Senate and House of Representatives, how personally responsible are they for conditions in America today?
9. Why do you think they haven't been able to find anyone who can verify that George Bush ever showed up for National Guard duty in Alabama?
10. Would you want Donald Rumsfeld to plan your daughter's wedding?
11. Are you aware that no government in the history of civilization, other than the Bush Administration, has lowered taxes during a war?
12. Are you married?
13. Do you personally feel threatened by gay marriage?
14. Since getting elected, do you think the President has been more a uniter or a divider?
15. How do you explain the President's approval rating going from a high of 90% to the current mid-30%?
16. Do you like the government collecting personal data on you without a warrant?
17. How much money do you have in your bank account, stocks and investments?
18. What's your partner's favorite sex position?
19. If you have nothing to hide, why aren't you answering?
20. Should we build a wall along the Mexican border?
21. Why isn't anyone building a wall along the Canadian border?
22. Does that terrorist gang arrested in Canada count as a threat?
23. If you shot someone in the face while drinking, how fast would the police show up to arrest you?
24. If Donald Rumsfeld had planned your daughter's wedding three years ago, would the guests still be there?
25. Even if no laws are broken, do you think it's okay to reveal the name of a covert agent?
26. During your lifetime, approximately how often have you changed your mind?
27. Why shouldn't people dismiss you as a flip-flopper?
28. Where do you think the Weapons of Mass Destruction might be?
29. Where do you think Osama bin Laden might be?
30. Is it fiscally responsible to cut taxes, increase spending and create a $9 trillion federal debt?
31. Are you glad liberals passed such programs as Social Security, Medicare, the Civil Rights Act, women's suffrage, federal deposit insurance, unemployment compensation, rural electrification, child labor laws, minimum wages and the 40-hour work week?
32. What are the Top Ten best things that conservatives have given to America?
33. If you were on life support, would you want a doctor you'd never met making a diagnosis about you via remote television?
34. Do you think man-made greenhouse gases have anything at all to do with depleting the ozone layer?
35. If Donald Rumsfeld had planned your daughter's wedding three years ago, and guests were still there, how many factions would they now be split into?
36. How good is it that the terrorist Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was killed?
37. Are you aware that in 2002 the Pentagon knew where al-Zarqawi was and presented three separate plans to kill him, but the Administration refused to act each time?
38. Is George W. Bush the kind of guy you'd want to sit down and have a beer with?
39. When he started talking about being a Born Again Christian, would you want to stay or leave?
40. Is Ray Romano the kind of guy you'd want to sit down and have a beer with?
41. Would you want him to be President?
42. Does the Administration have an environmental policy that benefits the environment?
43. Since George Bush campaigned for President strongly against nation building, in what ways are our actions in Iraq not nation building?
44. What's the maximum amount of time you'd want to spend alone with Dick Cheney?
45. After dismissing Saddam Hussein's old Iraqi army, was it a good idea to let them keep their rifles?
46. Would a policy that allows torture be something that makes you proud as an American?
47. Has the Mission been Accomplished?
48. Do you feel comforted that Dick Cheney is a heartbeat away from being President?
49. If Donald Rumsfeld had planned your daughter's wedding, and guests started fighting and were killed, would you expect to be allowed to view the caskets when they were returned home?
50. How glad do you think George Bush is that he's no longer active in the National Guard?
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