June 23, 2005

Extremists and Their Hallucinations

Sometimes I wonder if the more people think about politics and work in politics for a living the more likely they are to become deranged about politics.

Look at Karl Rove’s latest outburst.
Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.
I know several people who responded to 9/11 exactly as Rove described and continue reacting to the Terror War this way even today. But let’s not forget that regime-change in Afghanistan polled at 90 percent support levels at the time. Assuming every single person who opposed that war is on the left (which is probably close to the truth) somewhere in the ballpark of 80 percent of those who voted for Al Gore or Ralph Nader supported the violent overthrow of the Taliban.

The 10 percent who didn’t support it do not count as “the liberals.” They are the loudmouth activistas, Hollywood celebrities, campus intellectuals who live in unreality bubbles, and reactionary far-leftists. There was, however, so much wailing and gnashing of teeth from that ten percent that I can hardly blame conservatives for forgetting about the silent majority of hawkish Democrats at the time.

Rove painted with too broad a brush. But that’s not really the issue here. Conservatives who are defending Rove’s statements are ignoring what else he said:
Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.
So there it is. Liberals deliberately hope to put our troops in greater danger, according to Rove. In other words, Liberals=Traitors.

Anyone who has liberal friends and family members ought to know exactly how rotten and despicable and indefensible that statement is.

Al Jazeera did pick up Dick Durbin’s commentary, which only makes anti-American propaganda in the Middle East seem all the more plausible. That does (at least theoretically) put our troops and even civilians in greater danger. The Middle Eastern variety of anti-Americanism is a violent political force that topples skyscrapers and kills thousands. That’s one reason Dick Durbin deserved the shellacking he got.

But feeding anti-American pathologies was not Dick Durbin’s intention. He intended to get more humane treatment for prisoners at Gitmo – an honorable objective I happen to sympathize with. That couldn’t be any more obvious than it is.

"Conservatives are fascists." "Liberals are traitors." "America is the new Nazi Germany." What the hell is the matter with some people? If even one of those political hallucinations really were true, if liberals really were traitors, if conservatives really were fascists, the United States would explode in a convulsion of civil war.

UPDATE: John Cole (yes, he's a conservative) isn't impressed either.
My party no longer is merely content selling our bullshit. We are now starting to believe it. I'd say Mr. Rove has an apology to issue.
SECOND UPDATE: Wagner James Au adds in the comments:
It's true that Moveon.org, Michael Moore, et. al. are a fetid film on the soul of FDR's party, but Karl Rove must be the absolute worse person in the world to make that point. It's like watching a leper challenge a hemophiliac to full contact karate.
Posted by Michael J. Totten at June 23, 2005 06:28 PM
Comments

Liberals are not traitors, they are communists. Just kidding, what a stupid comment for Rove to make. I would like to know what he is trying to accomplish.

Posted by: Mike#3or4 at June 23, 2005 06:34 PM

Well, it was a stupid remark, but you're mighty trusting to say all he wanted was better treatment at Gitmo.

There are all kinds of things he could have done to accomplish that, instead of going on the worldwide news and lambasting our military. God only knows what he hoped to accomplish politically--maybe raising money from Deaniacs--but political it was.

Posted by: Patricia at June 23, 2005 06:43 PM

Mike,
It's pretty irrelevant whether Durbin just wanted to improve the lot of Taliban's illegal combatants. Words have meaning and a senior politician should know better. So he is either an idiot or an enemy sympathizer. In either case not a valuable representative of patriotic liberals.

Posted by: marek at June 23, 2005 06:52 PM

All the liberals who are so mad at Rove, should insist that Durbin the Turban be removed from all leadership positions. After that, perhaps we can proceed to improve the tone, in an atmosphere of moderation ON BOTH SIDES. With Howard the Ducky as the representative of the Dem Party, with Michael Moore in Jimmy Carter's box at the convention, it is hard to separate the nuts from the rest of the Democratic Salad.

Posted by: Don Meaker at June 23, 2005 07:11 PM

The quote:

"Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."

Assuming the motives of all liberals is a stretch, but the problem for liberals is the first part - the enemy does use these kinds of statements against us. We know that the North Vietnamese played tapes of anti-war activists to POWs to demoralize them; we know that the arab media plays comments like those of Durbin to incite people against us.

You can dislike that all you want, but there it is. The difference between what Rove did and what Durbin did? Rove committed hyperbole, but it was "inside baseball" - i.e., any and all effects of his statements are limited to the American body politic. That's simply not the case for Durbin's statements, which continue to do harm even after his non-apology.

But go ahead, be dense and refuse to get it.

Posted by: James Robertson at June 23, 2005 07:17 PM

Honestly, I think Rove did this deliberately knowing the Dems were aching for a distraction from Dean and Durbin. And the Dems went for it hook, line, and sinker.

Now the GOP gets to ask the question: What DID liberals say after 9/11? And the answer is:

We, The Undersigned, Citizens And Residents Of The United States Of America … Appeal To The President Of The United States, George W. Bush … And To All Leaders Internationally To Use Moderation And Restraint In Responding To The Recent Terrorist Attacks Against The United States.” (MoveOn.Org Website, “MoveOn Peace,” http://web.archive.org/web/20021...g/ petition.php3, Posted 9/13/01, Accessed 6/23/05)

• “We Implore The Powers That Be To Use, Wherever Possible, International Judicial Institutions And International Human Rights Law To Bring To Justice Those Responsible For The Attacks, Rather Than The Instruments Of War, Violence Or Destruction.” (MoveOn.Org Website, “MoveOn Peace,” http://web.archive.org/web/20021...g/ petition.php3, Posted 9/13/01, Accessed 6/23/05)

Just After 9/11, Liberal Filmmaker Michael Moore Derided “Terror And Bloodshed” Committed By Americans. (David Brooks, Op-Ed, “All Hail Moore,” The New York Times, 6/26/04)

• Just After 9/11, Moore Blamed America’s “Taxpayer-Funded Terrorism” And Bush Administration For Terrorist Attacks. “We abhor terrorism – unless we’re the ones doing the terrorizing. We paid and trained and armed a group of terrorists in Nicaragua in the 1980s who killed over 30,000 civilians. That was OUR work. You and me.…Let’s mourn, let’s grieve, and when it’s appropriate let’s examine our contribution to the unsafe world we live in.” (Michael Moore Website Archive, “Death, Downtown,” Posted 9/12/01, www.michaelmoore.com, Accessed 7/27/04)

• Michael Moore Said U.S. Should Not Have Removed Taliban After 9/11. Moore: “Likewise, to bomb Afghanistan – I mean, I’ve never understood this, Tim.” (CNBC’s “Tim Russert,” 10/19/02)

Liberal Donor George Soros Claimed America Should Have Treated 9/11 Attacks As Crime, Responded With Police Work. “War is a false and misleading metaphor in the context of combating terrorism. Treating the attacks of September 11 as crimes against humanity would have been more appropriate. Crimes require police work, not military action. To protect against terrorism, you need precautionary measures, awareness, and intelligence gathering – all of which ultimately depend on the support of the populations among which terrorists operate. Imagine for a moment that September 11 had been treated as a crime. We would have pursued Bin Laden in Afghanistan, but we would not have invaded Iraq. Nor would we have our military struggling to perform police work in full combat gear and getting killed in the process.” (George Soros, The Bubble Of American Supremacy, 2004, p. 1

• Soros Said The Execution Of 9/11 Attacks “Could Not Have Been More Spectacular.” “Admittedly, the terrorist attack was a historic event in its own right. Hijacking fully loaded airplanes and using them as suicide bombs was an audacious idea, and the execution could not have been more spectacular.” (George Soros, The Bubble Of American Supremacy, 2004, p. 2)

• Soros Said War On Terror Had Claimed More Innocent Victims Than 9/11 Attack Itself. “This is a very tough thing to say, but the fact is, that the war on terror as conducted by this administration, has claimed more innocent victims that the original attack itself.” (George Soros, Remarks At Take Back America Conference, Washington, DC, 6/3/04)

Ouch.

But there's more! Democrats themselves had this to say:

Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), 10/1/01, Roll Call: "I truly believe if we had a Department of Peace, we could have seen [9/11] coming."

Al Sharpton, 12/1/02, New York Times, on the 9/11 attacks: "America is beginning to reap what it has sown."

Rep. Marcy Kaptur, 3/1/2003, Toledo Blade: "One could say that Osama bin Laden and these non-nation-state fighters with religious purpose are very similar to those kind of atypical revolutionaries that helped cast off the British crown."

You gotta admire Rove, he knows how to pick his fights.

Posted by: TallDave at June 23, 2005 07:18 PM

Were Rove only a GOP operative or a consultant being paid by the RNC I'd have no problem with what he said. (Though I disagree with his implication that libs are rooting for US deaths).But you can't be a part of the administration (Deputy Chief of Staff), with your salary being paid by all Americans, and crap all over a whole bunch of them.

You just can't do that from that position. Rove should apologize or leave the administration.

Posted by: spc67 at June 23, 2005 07:22 PM

Oh, and I do think you're misinterpreting what Rove said. If you look at the broader context of his speech, clearly by "motives" he means liberals are putting partisanship over national security, not deliberately betraying the United States.

Posted by: TallDave at June 23, 2005 07:24 PM

TallDave,

Yes, plenty of nonsense from the left after 9/11, whether it's from the majority or not. But "Liberals=Traitors" are fighting words. My wife is a liberal, as are most of my friends.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 23, 2005 07:27 PM

But feeding anti-American pathologies was not Dick Durbin’s intention.

Yeah, it was. Mind you, he was looking to feed anti-American pathologies in America.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 23, 2005 07:27 PM

Michael,

I was still a Democrat back in the 90's, but even then I finally had to accept that the Democratic Party's leaders were, as a whole, less patriotic than the Republicans. It was, and is, simply true.

Now watch how the Democrats respond. There will be no expressions of patriotism or love of country, all you will hear about is how awful it is for the Republicans to say such things. And the Democrats will lose again. I saw the same thing happen back in 1988. This is why the party loses voters: not because the rank and file are unpatriotic, but because the leaders of the party are. When that becomes clear, the patriotic rank and file leave.

Posted by: chuck at June 23, 2005 07:29 PM

"Assuming the motives of all liberals is a stretch, but the problem for liberals is the first part - the enemy does use these kinds of statements against us."

So when Bush called the war on terror a crusade, you were appalled at him giving the enemy such an effective recruiting tool, right? I guess I can go ahead and portray conservatives as Al-Qaida recruiters with their irresponsible comments.

Posted by: Brian at June 23, 2005 07:29 PM

Talk about blowing something out of proportion.

Posted by: Will Franklin at June 23, 2005 07:36 PM

Though I agree with Michael that this particular sentence:

No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.

Is reprehensible. The motives of the liberals are political gain, not treachery. The problem is that they neither realise nor care what damage they do while pursuing political gain.

If Rove had said,

No more needs to be said about the actions of liberals.

I would have had no argument.

But politically, it's brilliant. When the liberals protest, the conservatives get to throw their words back at them. And this includes large numbers of senior figures among the Democrats.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 23, 2005 07:37 PM

Many liberals want the United States to lose the war in Iraq. They want a repeat of Vietnam because (1) they perceive the USA as a force for evil in the world that needs to be stopped, (2) becaues such a defeat will deter future military efforts by the USA and (3) because a defeat abroad will allow them to make political gains in the USA. While the people openly saying these things are not usually professional Democrat politicians, the conduct of the politicians has been consistent with this view. They recall the political benefits they obtained by the US defeat in Vietnam, and want to repeat it, by destroying public support for the war, which is the main front in the war. The non-response to Durbin's speech (except by Mayor Daley, whose son is in the Army) shows that the Democrat leadership is not opposed to his kind of rhetoric. Rove is, by and large, correct in his criticism. There is no reason for him to apologize, let alone resign.

Posted by: Lexington Green at June 23, 2005 07:43 PM

Talldave nails it. Rove's comment about liberal motives is in no way his suggestion that they intend to harm our troops, but merely that they disregard the safety of said troops by putting other values (such as political gain) higher on the scale.

That said, arguing from the motive fallacy is always dicey, Karl. Alternative motives might explain liberal comments as well. I do not, however, subscribe to the notion that naivete is a charming and honorable excuse. Sins of the intellect may kill more innocents than do moral evils.

I would like to read the more thoughtful liberal defense of motive

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at June 23, 2005 07:46 PM

Well, you guys are looking at one paragraph as though it's everything he said; there's more context where he says liberal motives means putting partisanship ahead of national security (I haven't been able to find the full text but I heard some on TV today). In Durbin's case, it's clear he was talking about putting political gain ahead of our troops, not that Durbin deliberately wanted to get U.S. troops killed. Rove wouldn't be that vicious.

Posted by: TallDave at June 23, 2005 07:46 PM

He intended to get more humane treatment for prisoners at Gitmo – an honorable objective I happen to sympathize with. That couldn’t be any more obvious than it is.

Maybe in your world. In mine it's not obvious at all. What I see is an obvious ploy to undermine the White House, and a Senator willing the trash the military & the war effort to do it. I see a Senator crying about how hard we are on people who want to kill us. Rove's comments are waaaaaay closer to the truth than Durbin's. But that's just what's obvious to me.

Posted by: handy at June 23, 2005 07:49 PM

I agree with Rove's comments being over the top. He doesn't even need to do that. If we want to hear someone make idiotic generalisations that reflect badly on the Republican party as a whole, we can just turn on Sean Hannity.

And I agree with everyone who said you give Durbin too much credit. The guy strikes me as just a plain weasel. Better care for prisoners my a**.

Posted by: Beam at June 23, 2005 07:52 PM

Great name Wyman. The "Assistant" takes it from banally amusing to inspired hilarity.

Posted by: TallDave at June 23, 2005 07:53 PM

Michael, are you really serious when you write this? "So there it is. Liberals deliberately hope to put our troops in greater danger, according to Rove. In other words, Liberals=Traitors.

Anyone who has liberal friends and family members ought to know exactly how rotten and despicable and indefensible that statement is."

Because I can show you a photo of "protesters" in the US holding up a sign that says, "We Support the Troops, When They Kill Their Officers".

In the light of that, do you think your words were not quite accurate? Granted, "liberals" is a broad brush, but like Rove, when I refer to liberals, I'm referring to people like George Soros, Howard Dean, the people behing A.N.S.W.E.R. and others like them who are on the public record advocating the murder of Americans.

In my dictionary, that is the definition of a traitor.

Posted by: antimedia at June 23, 2005 07:54 PM

I think what's needed is a more exacting use of language. If Rove had used the term "leftists" instead of "liberals", he would have been dead on. The motives of the 10%-20% of americans way over there on the far left are definitely suspect (as are the motives of a similar percentage in the conservative camp).

I consider myself a liberal, using the term as it was originally defined, before it became a synonym for socialist. (The only thing liberal about leftists is the way they spend other people's money.)

Rove is playing politics, though, so what does he want with moderation or exactness. He's just poking the beast in the cage with a pointy stick. When it snarls and slathers, he can go, "Whew! Vicious ain't it? Good thing we've got it in that cage!" It's unlikely to backfire on him because the leadership of the Democratic party has lost the ability to respond in a measured and rational way. They all learned in college that reason is impotent, and what's important is how you feel, so they no longer think, they just emote.

It's a shame too, because we could really use a sound opposition to the theocratic leanings of the conservatives. The Democrats are in no way capable of providing it though. It's the People of Faith vs. the People of Emotion. Given that faith is just a fancy way of saying, "it's true because I feel it," there isn't a dime's worth of difference between the two. We need a party for the People of Reason.

Posted by: Ardsgaine at June 23, 2005 07:54 PM

I was just rereading emails I received shortly after 9/11. I guess all my friends are in that 10% fringe because I got such a bunch of "if it was Osama Bin Laden, which is by no means certain" and "Bush and his oil company buddies couldn't benefit more if they'd planned it, hint hint" and "it's understandable payback for Nicaragua" and "war doesn't solve anything" and copies of simpering Barbara Kingsolver and Arundhati Roy horseshit and so on. About the only thing I didn't get from ANYBODY was support for the president in doing what was necessary to stop another attack (since they mostly believed he'd done it anyway, or as good as since he's such a buddy of the Saudis). But, sure, whatever you say. Nobody really thinks like that and Karl Rove is off his rocker.

Posted by: Mike G at June 23, 2005 07:55 PM

Assistant Village Idiot: I would like to read the more thoughtful liberal defense of motive

Liberals (and plenty of other people) are genuinely and sincerely horrified by prisoner abuse. It really isn't any more complicated than that. Some of them go over the top. Welcome to politics. I'm sure that conservatives who think of liberals as traitors aren't being fascists, they're just mad.

It's always a bad idea to assume the worst possible motive in your political opponents. Genuinely sinister people (like Ward Churchill, for instance) are usually incapable of concealing it for very long.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 23, 2005 07:58 PM

Rove spoke the truth, pure and simple.

If you gave the liberals the choice between 1) America losing the war on terror and 2) the Republicans continuing control of the government, they overwhelmingly would vote for #1.

Mike, you need to understand. If you personally come to me and call me a lazy, overpaid Christer who's just as bad as Nazis or the Pol Pot, I'm not going to attribute to you the absolute highest of motives. And I'm not going to trust your claims of purest patroitism. And that type of speech is exactly what liberals and Democractic party leaders diret towards me on a daily basis.

I'm on Karl Rove's side.

Posted by: Narniaman at June 23, 2005 07:59 PM

Another phony Liberal "scandal".

They're still smarting from Turban Durbin's traitorous remarks, so the Dems figure going on the offense is the best defense and distraction. Are you going to get suckered by this, Michael?

Libs ARE soft on terror. That's all Rove basically said. Apologize? In a pig's eye.

Posted by: spaniard at June 23, 2005 08:08 PM

fire karl:
http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?fireturd&1101

Posted by: jami at June 23, 2005 08:12 PM

Narniaman: Mike, you need to understand. If you personally come to me and call me a lazy, overpaid Christer who's just as bad as Nazis or the Pol Pot, I'm not going to attribute to you the absolute highest of motives.

I get that. I've been arguing against that kind of crap ever since I started this blog.

But you need to understand something, also. My wife is a liberal. (I'm not, I voted for Bush.) If you personally come up to her and call her a traitor, I'm not going to attribute to you the absolute highest of motives either. You would never dare say that if you knew her in any case. She's more patriotic than I am, in part because of her experience of living abroad for several years. She has exactly zero patience for people who run down this country. And her response to Karl Rove is "Fuck You."

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 23, 2005 08:12 PM

She has exactly zero patience for people who run down this country.

Then she's not a very good Liberal.

Posted by: spaniard at June 23, 2005 08:15 PM

"Libs ARE soft on terror. That's all Rove basically said. Apologize? In a pig's eye."--Spaniard

Gee. Once again you save me a multitude of unnecessary verbiage. This comment by someone in the administration is LONG OVERDUE. And now we will get the ' he is dividing the country for political reasons, when we need to be united against our enemies',meme.

NUTS. It is already devided,and it is the LIBERAL wing of the Democratic Party which has done its best to make that so, AND endanger the campaign in Iraq in the process.

Good for you Karl. Liberal 'friends' or no.

Posted by: dougf at June 23, 2005 08:15 PM

I feel like I'm listening to a bloody madhouse here.For the record,Arabs and the rest of us foreigners do not wait for a signal from Senator whats-his-name,or the American political class in general, to make up our minds about American policies,or Gitmo.

For the record,everyone in the rest of the world has pretty much made up their minds,based on the reports in their own media.Do these media often have an bias against the US?Yes.Can you do shit about it?No.

Note to Americans:this is not a family feud and we're not your children - if you'd watched the BBC (watched by just about everyone who understands English and isn't American) or any other foreign media for the last two years you'd understand why the Durbin affair was completely fucking irrelevant.

Posted by: Jussi Hämäläinen at June 23, 2005 08:17 PM
Nah Michael,

Too much mind reading.
You don't know Durbin's intention.

Too much loose interpretation of Rove's words.

"No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."

This could just as easily mean that when liberals politicize the war their motive is to topple their political opponents while utterly disregarding other consequences.
Tunnel vision is bad but it's not treason.

Getting your back up in defense of your wife and friends is noble, but I don't think they've been called traitors. I think they've been called so bloody minded in their hatred for Bush that they've become dangerously sanguine about the collateral damage they do while thrashing about in blind thought-free rage.

Posted by: Stephen at June 23, 2005 08:18 PM

And her response to Karl Rove is "Fuck You."

Some day she will begin to question her membership in a party that puts her in such an embarassing position. She can defend herself, defending the leadership is something else. That is why there are Neo-Cons.

Posted by: chuck at June 23, 2005 08:19 PM

Karl Rove conveniently forgets that Jerry Falwell informed his viewers a few days after 9/11 that God let the terror attacks happen as our punishment for Roe vs. Wade, feminism, and popular acceptance of homosexuality. And Jerry Falwell is way more influential on the Republican party than George Soros is on the Democrats. It's true that Moveon.org, Michael Moore, et. al. are a fetid film on the soul of FDR's party, but Karl Rove must be the absolute worse person in the world to make that point. It's like watching a leper challenge a hemophiliac to full contact karate.

Posted by: W. James Au at June 23, 2005 08:27 PM

"But feeding anti-American pathologies was not Dick Durbin’s intention. He intended to get more humane treatment for prisoners at Gitmo"

If you truly believe that Michael, then there's this bridge I've been trying to sell......also, more humane than what? Just how humanely would you treat someone holding a gun to your head? There's the divide.

Posted by: noone at June 23, 2005 08:29 PM

So maybe Durbin wasn't enough - let's bring back the big man himself - Michael Moore.Are there any people on this thread who believe that Fahrenheit 911 smeared the United States in the eyes of the world?

Heh-fucking-heh.

To the Europeans,Michael Moore is a guy who makes movies to educate Americans of what the rest of the world already knows,or think they know.

In no sense do people outside the USA look to Americans for guidance on matters of opinion about the US - maybe Chomsky can claim some influence among the far-left set - but not more.

Posted by: Jussi Hämäläinen at June 23, 2005 08:33 PM

It's true that Moveon.org, Michael Moore, et. al. are a fetid film on the soul of FDR's party,

Like Michael, I have friends and family members who are liberal Democrats. Moveon.org and Michael Moore are the soul of the party. FDR's party is dead and gone.

Posted by: chuck at June 23, 2005 08:33 PM

"And Jerry Falwell is way more influential on the Republican party than George Soros is on the Democrats"

Ridiculous assertion totally lacking in empirical data. Falwell was forced to apologise almost at once for his lunacy,and Move-On.cluelessness has publicly stated that it OWNS the Democratic Party. AND IT DOES

Posted by: dougf at June 23, 2005 08:34 PM

It is a crime for Durbin to complain about Gitmo (for what he thought would be political gain) by using the comparisions he made. If you think that Durbin wanted more humane treatment for the skum at Gitmo, not personal gain, then you should really hate this guy for not caring about AMERICANS in Cook County who are raped and murdered for crimes far, far less than those at Gitmo are accussed of. Your logic is wrong Michael: If Durban cared about people suffering in detention he would clean up his own state first without harming America's reputation, he wouldn't make PREPARED statements destined to put him in the spotlight while damaging the Bush administration. Are you so naive you think Durban was trying to help detainees, with no ulterior motives (you didn't mention any other motives in your statement of how obvious Durban was being), really?

Posted by: John K at June 23, 2005 08:39 PM

ROVE: [[[ liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments ]]]

I found myself wondering WHEREVER Karl Rove got that idea. And then I recalled the FIRST attack on the WTC, back in 1993.

February 1993.

President Clinton in the White House.

Democrats control the House -- did they control the Senate too?

Foreign Nationals detonate a 1500 POUND TRUCK BOMB in the parking garage of one of the Towers.

The Democrat-controlled Fed response?

What Mr. Rove said.

Posted by: Tim at June 23, 2005 08:47 PM

Jussi,

You are a fool. Instead of proclaiming that nothing a Senator says matters to anyone outside America, try to think about why so many people claim that jihadists will be able to use this propaganda in a useful way. Just think for awhile. Hmmm. How could jihadists use a Senator's remarks comparing the U.S. treatment of prisnors to Nazis etc. to spread propaganda that has the potential to harm America? Not too tough smart guy.

Posted by: john k at June 23, 2005 08:47 PM


Note to Americans:this is not a family feud and we're not your children - if you'd watched the BBC (watched by just about everyone who understands English and isn't American) or any other foreign media for the last two years you'd understand why the Durbin affair was completely fucking irrelevant.

Jussi,

With all due respect, I doubt if many Americans care whether the non-American, BBC-watching crowd found any relevance in Durbin's remark. Durbin is an American senator who made a remark that was highly sensitive to many Americans. The backlash it created couldn't be muted simply because Joe Europe doesn't find it interesting or relevant. It's about American politicians answering to the voters.

p.s.
Who is "we"?

Posted by: Beam at June 23, 2005 08:51 PM

Jussi Hämäläinen said: For the record,everyone in the rest of the world has pretty much made up their minds,based on the reports in their own media.Do these media often have an bias against the US?Yes.Can you do shit about it?No.

So what are you doing here? Go back to the BBC. Enjoy. Their propaganda is tailor made for your consumption.

Posted by: mika. at June 23, 2005 08:54 PM

Jussi,

I talked to two people in Lebanon (one an engineer and the other a lawyer) who truly believe the United States is as oppressive as Syria. They were, therefore, extremely suspicious of the US call for Syria to leave Lebanon. They were genuinely worried that one oppressive overlord would be replaced with another.

Of course they were nuts. But Dick Durbin's comments were, as some of us like to say, not helpful. They hear that from him and think I'm nuts for saying otherwise.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 23, 2005 08:54 PM

"Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack." -- George S. Patton

Anybody ever see liberals talking about patriotism cynically? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Posted by: john k at June 23, 2005 08:56 PM

Durbin's intention may not have been to feed anti-American pathologies -- instead, his obvious intention was to feed anti-Bush pathologies -- but, regardless, his behavior reinforces Ann Coulter's penetrating observation: “Liberals have a preternatural gift for always striking a position on the side of treason.” But at least they don't intend to be treasonous. So I guess that makes it OK to act without any consideration for the consequences of your behavior -- even if it means American soldiers getting killed.

Does anyone think that Rove's comments will get any Americans killed? Think about that, and then tell me why so many Democrats are insisting that he apologize despite giving Durbin a free pass. Oh, I almost forgot. I already know why. "Liberals have a preternatural gift..."

Posted by: Engram at June 23, 2005 08:58 PM

Engram: tell me why so many Democrats are insisting that he apologize despite giving Durbin a free pass.

I'm not giving either of them a free pass. You're going to have to argue with me as well as "the Democrats." I am not a Democrat. John Cole, who agrees with me and who I linked in my post, is a Republican.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 23, 2005 09:04 PM

The Dems have already succeeded in taking Durbin out of the spotlight-- as this thread so aptly demonstrates. Mission accomplished. Their faux calls for Rove to "resign" had no other purpose than this.

Posted by: spaniard at June 23, 2005 09:06 PM

Sorry, Michael, methinks thou dost protest too much. Mehlman's press release post-Rove provided innumerable quotes from prominent liberal groups/individuals that are right in line with Rove's critique. You may not like your wife being painted with the broad brush of treason, but that should encourage you to support your wife in taking back her party. Play it right, and Democrats might eventually thank Rove. Instead, so far, they're giving the Republicans every excuse to trot out the many execrable things that have been said by liberals over the past four years, things that paint them, accurately IMHO, as pro-Democrat/anti-Bush at the expense of the US of A.

Posted by: JABBER at June 23, 2005 09:10 PM

Michael Totten:Al Jazeera did pick up Dick Durbin’s commentary, which only makes anti-American propaganda in the Middle East seem all the more plausible.

Here,Michael,is what really bugs me:it is not that Senator whats-his-name's comparison wasn't off the mark.It is this solipsistic expectation by Americans like you,conservatives and liberals alike,that the world revolves around your navel.

No,the rest of the world doesn't wait for the Big-White-Man-From-Washington to come and tell them that,yes,it does happen:BEARS REALLY DO SHIT IN THE WOODS.

"Wow,thanks,Big-White-Man-From-Washington!"

"Nevermind what Amnesty International,Human Rights Watch or our own press have reported over the years!"

"We really needed the Big-White-Man-From-Washington to validate our opinions!"

"Next week,Congressman Bonzo will come and lecture us natives about the Gold Standard and the Lesbian plot to undermine the youth.Don't make a move until you hear from him!"

Posted by: Jussi Hämäläinen at June 23, 2005 09:10 PM

Most BBC/al-Jazeera viewers know they're being sold a bunch of lies and propaganda. They accept this because they've been emotionally programed (mosques/koran) to want nothing else. If the arab language BBC didn't exist, it would be invented. Ergo al-Jazeera.

Posted by: mika. at June 23, 2005 09:12 PM

Jussi,

you do revolve around our navel. That's pretty much why you're on this blog right now.

Posted by: spaniard at June 23, 2005 09:14 PM

Uh...Jussi, it was us "Big-White-Man-From-Washington" that bailed your European ass out of two World Wars, and we'll likely have to do it again when the Islamists take it over. But, you're right, you guys are FAR smarter than we are...you handle it this time. We're tired of this one-way friendship.

Posted by: JABBER at June 23, 2005 09:16 PM

Jabber: that should encourage you to support your wife in taking back her party.

I tried that and it simply was not going to happen. I needed help, and I got precious little of it. There are only so many times I could be called a Bush apologist before I finally just decided to vote for him and be done with it. The Democrats outside Dissent and The New Republic magazines have little interest in fixing what ails them.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 23, 2005 09:17 PM

I made that last comment before reading you response.In the light of it,I really should have toned down the sarcasm.Sorry.

However,my point still stands:you guys in America really do think too often that the whole world hangs on your word.

That was the point,not Durbin's silliness.

Posted by: Jussi Hämäläinen at June 23, 2005 09:17 PM

Michael,

OK, I'll argue with you, then. Rove's sin was that he exaggerated the truth in order get a rise out of Democrats who he knew would be calling for an apology from him even though they gave the Durbin a free pass. He knew that when the dust settled, the politics surrounding his exaggerated characterization of liberals would benefit Republicans. In addition, no Americans would die because of his exaggeration.

In your post, you (an apparent non-Democrat) imply that Rove is deranged for making his relatively innocuous comment. At the same time, you go to great lengths to argue that Durbin's intention was to "to get more humane treatment for prisoners at Gitmo." You go on to say that his intentions were honorable.

Are you kidding? Do you actually believe that his intention had nothing whatsoever to do with casting Bush in a negative light (without any consideration for the attendant consequences)? Durbin only had honorable intentions, yet Rove is deranged?

That's not a credible position.

Posted by: Engram at June 23, 2005 09:18 PM

Jussi - Exactly who elected you to speak for "the world"?

Posted by: Reid at June 23, 2005 09:18 PM

Couldn't have put it better, Mike. Indeed, after 9-11, I could find no one opposing the war in Afghanistan, but the most hardened rdaicals, and the most deluded of peaceniks. Rove is a disgrace, and this is simply another episode in his plan to exploit the tragedy of 9/11 for political gain.

As far as Durbin goes, clearly his intent wasn't to harm the troops, but in letting his passions get the better of him, he made a stupid error, and deserved to take a hit for it. He rightly apologized, and that should be the end of it. Rove continues to defend his statements, and the White House does as well. I guess this is what we should expect from the Republicans these days.

Posted by: Rafique Tucker at June 23, 2005 09:21 PM

Durbin provided a standard issue, non-apology apology. It is not the end of it.

Posted by: Reid at June 23, 2005 09:26 PM

Rove continues to defend his statements, and the White House does as well. I guess this is what we should expect from the Republicans these days.

He called you Libs wimps-- not Nazis. It hurt your feelings? You'll get over it.

Posted by: spaniard at June 23, 2005 09:37 PM

I was an anti-war liberal back in
the 70s and we definitely rooted
against the US.
I hear the same words.
I feel the same vibe coming from the Left.
I don't hear the Dems speaking up (sure, Joe Lieberman and Zell excepted).
Rove's words were on target.
Sorry to break the truth to you. As one commenter put it "if the Dems spent half the time defeating Al Queda that they've spent defeated Bolton, they'd start to win elections."

Posted by: Jim, Mtn View, CA at June 23, 2005 09:39 PM

Is it unreasonable to hold the left accountable for their behavior?

It's fine to oppose the war. It's fine to oppose just about anything. We can debate. But - while doing so, can't these people behave in a responsible and sensitive manner? Don't they realize that their actions have consqeuences - that we are at war?

I don't give a damn what Durbin's intentions were. The bottom line is by being such an ass, he gave more fuel to the enemy. And if he's too stupid to realize the effect his comments would have, then does he really deserve to be making these proclamations from the senate floor? Is a man so tonedeaf really a good pick for the Dems #2 man?

The image of the left is well-deserved. When the NYT and the rest of the liberal MSM cover damaging stories to teh USA day after day after day, blowing things way out of context, giving minor issues huge amounts of play, versus not covering the many positives of our side, and ignoring the REAL and MUCH GREATER atrocities of the enemy - then what other conclusion can you draw?

There is no question in my mind that a vast amount of people ont eh LEft in AMerica want to see Bush fail so badly, and want to be "right" so badly, that they are cheering on our enemy, and want to see America lose. That is despicable.

Here's a hint, liberals. Maybe if you just spent a little time talking about what GOOD America stands for, and how evil the enemy is, instead of attacking America 100:1, people wouldnt' question your patriotism or think you're so anti-American.

Last, there is something very creepy and strange about a Left that cannot evcen bring itself to use the word "enemy" rather than "insurgent".

Posted by: slickvguy at June 23, 2005 09:45 PM

JABBER,you've been reading too much Mark Steyn.The Islamists in Europe are a minority of a minority,and we'll elect Jean-Marie Le Pen President of Europe before they'll get close to "taking over".Europe has its own,dirty history in dealing with minorities,and we could see something like that happen again.

And yes,I'm grateful for what the Americans have done for Europe during the last 100 years - all the more reason to try and point out when you're fucking up - not because you'll fuck up as big as the Europeans did (no matter what Durbin said) - but because that's what friends do.

And yes,I do hope you'll succeed in winning in Iraq.

Posted by: Jussi Hämäläinen at June 23, 2005 09:45 PM

He would have been better off if he'd simply stated that the majority of the Left mollycoddled the terrorists.

Posted by: Alan K. Henderson at June 23, 2005 09:48 PM

What ever happened to The Commenter?

Posted by: mika. at June 23, 2005 09:50 PM

Moderate liberals do not possess real power within the national Democratic Party. The hard Left runs the show. Please note that Joseph Lieberman and the other so-called centrists seem like wimps. They apparently don’t dare take the extremists to task. I’ve got to pay attention to facts and not wishful thinking. The national Democratic Party died last November 2nd. Who is going to bury the carcass?

Posted by: David Thomson at June 23, 2005 09:58 PM

"... feeding anti-American pathologies was not Dick Durbin?s intention."

I agree with you. If it was his intention, it would imply that Mr. Durbin was capable of thinking.

Posted by: Timothy at June 23, 2005 10:00 PM

Unfortunately, a lot of liberals (not all, certainly) are traitors, in the sense that they put the fortunes of their party/their dislike of Pres Bush above the fortunes of the country. And, like it or not, that is costing the lives of American troops. THere is no way that you can honestly deny that.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 23, 2005 10:01 PM

I think we have a failure of communication, here.

Liberals and the rest of America have a different understanding of what the word "Patriotic" means.

To conservatives the words means something along the lines of America is the greatest nation the world has ever known, we have more freedom and opportunity than anywhere else in the world in anytime in the world's history, past American leaders are without parallel, and that being willing to die for your country is a sign of honor and courage.

Liberals, on the other hand, feel that America certainly has the potential to be a great nation -- if it would only change. And so liberals, because they love the country so much, will do everything they can to change it. And they feel the greatest challenge to America is all those dumb red-state bozos running around in Jaysus land. And they also feel that if they could clean up the constitution (like get rid of the 2nd amendment) and do a few other things like take the right to vote away from the Christers and make sure the US always met the global test than life would just be ducky in liberal land.

In fact, some liberals are so patriotic that they want the US to experience a humiliating defeat all over the world because it would make the US a more humble and better world citizen. In their minds it takes real courage to root for your nation to lose to the Islamofascists.

And oh yeah, I almost forgot -- America would be a much better place if our guests at Gitmo just have more reliable air conditioning.

Posted by: Narniaman at June 23, 2005 10:05 PM

Hey jussi,

Go ask Oriana Fallaci, being prosecuted for saying some controversial things about Muslims, how much Muslims are a "minority of a minority". They're such a minority, that they were able to get lawmakers and a judge to disregard freedom of speech in favour of being PC toward that "minority of a minority". Hmmm....

And that's happening in many countries in Europe. God forbid the Europeans offended anyone. Liberalism run amock.

Posted by: slickvguy at June 23, 2005 10:05 PM

As they stand, the remarks apply to about 15-20% (IMO) of the left. If they were altered slightly, to say "Beginning in 2003, " instead of "After 9/11" they would apply to 60-70% of the left.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 23, 2005 10:08 PM

Jussi,
YOur posts would be more believable if the Arab presses didn't consistently quote from the anti-war factions in the U.S.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 23, 2005 10:11 PM

Yeah,and sorry about some of those comments again - I get overheated sometimes and then regret it later.You're right,I am an Americophile:-),that's exactly why I thought the brouhaha over some fool politician's Nazi comments was overblown.

The fact is the US freedom of speech is an asset,not a liability.The Soviets had great message discipline,and look what it brought them.

Democracies are supposed to be free-speech zones,even to the point of absurdity.It is when the dissent stops in a country that people outside start muttering about brown boots - and stop taking official statements seriously.

In that light,the correct response to the Durbin affair would have been:"Well,I think you're nuts,Senator,but hey,it's a free country."

Posted by: Jussi Hämäläinen at June 23, 2005 10:18 PM

Mike -- Rove is right, sadly. There is NO ONE in the Democratic Party willing to use military force to defend America. You might think Iraq was a mistake, or that troops should have been used elsewhere, or that we need a lot MORE troops, but nowhere do Democrats:

*Denouce Muslims in NYC burning flags and stomping on them in "celebration" of the 9/11 attacks and in protest of the "Koran Desecrations."

*Denouce attempts to blame the troops for a few drops of pee on a Koran.

*Denounce foreigners who espouse the "moneychangers were responsible for 9/11" oh wait that was the Journalists Guild.

*Denounce "our grief is not a cry for war" rallies DAYS after 9/11.

*Denounce the anti-semitism linked with anti-Bush stuff in the DNC (fliers blaming Israel for 9/11), the anti-semitism in the John Conyers "fantasy" impeachment hearings, etc.

*Take positive steps to win back patriotic Americans like Zell Miller, instead of demonizing them as lumpen-proletariat knuckle draggers for liking the Flag, America, and freedom.

*Support unilateral action at least in theory, instead of the UN, Global Test, and permission from the French.

*Fight against Bush's court nominees instead of saving all the firepower for John Bolton who yelled at people and once put his hands on his hips! Horrors!

Things like that. Rove was right. Liberals are NOT patriotic, they went from pay any price, bear any burden, to it's all our fault and we need to understand our enemies anger. I say this as a Dem who voted for Clinton twice and defended the guy against impeachment and campaigned for Dukakis. I'm in favor of gay marriage, stem cell research, medical marijuana, raising taxes if need be to feed hungry kids (no kid in the US should EVER go hungry) and PBS, Amtrak, and pretty much all the "liberal" touchstones. But even I concede this.

Liberals just aren't patriotic, they love the troops when they shoot their officers. That's it.

Posted by: Jim Rockford at June 23, 2005 10:23 PM

The problem: where are the supposed grownups in the Democratic Party? The ones who would put Dean in his place? The ones who tell Hollywood, Michael Moore, and International ANSWER to go away please, with friends like you, we don't need enemies? The ones who actually turn down Soros' cash? If they exist, they're pretty damn silent.

Rove's attack worked so well because it hits home: there are plenty of lefties out there who do wish the US ill in Iraq, but for what they'd perceive as a higher, even patriotic purpose: getting that evil man and his evil party out of government and getting their kind, caring, peace-loving soulmates into power.

Posted by: Foobarista at June 23, 2005 10:26 PM

"Conservatives are fascists."

What the hell else would you call the mindset that lies underneath both Rove's statements and the man's supporters here? Ultranationalist, check. Eliminationist, check. Scapegoating "weak" liberalism, check. Blind faith in the state as exemplified by a charismatic leader, check.

Fan those flames, Karl. Let's get this crap out in the open where the fundamental decency of the American people can finally be brought to bear against the wingnuts.

Posted by: Kimmitt at June 23, 2005 10:30 PM

Jussi,

It is this solipsistic expectation by Americans like you,conservatives and liberals alike,that the world revolves around your navel.

Americans, by and large, don't give a damn about the "world". What I can't figure is why the world spends so much time gazing at our navel instead of their own. Don't you folks have anything better to do?

Posted by: chuck at June 23, 2005 10:33 PM

Mike,
Have you read some of the quotes made by major Democrats in the months just after 9/11? (Instapundit has links to several sites if you haven't seen them yet.) I'm assuming you haven't read them yet, because if you have, I don't see how you could be calling ROve's comments inaccurate. (Unless you are merely complaining that he should have said "most liberals" or "a very significant percentage of liberals" instead of just "liberals." In that case, I would agree with you.)

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 23, 2005 10:43 PM

Michael,

A couple of important points. Durbin's comments were not "intended to get more humane treatment for prisoners at Gitmo", as you say. It was a cynical attempt to score political points and hurt Bush and the GOP. THAT, is what is obvious. If his motives had been sincere I think he could have easily accomplished his goal without the hyperbole.

It would have been normal, mud slinging fare had it been directed solely at Bush and the GOP. But Durbin's comments unquestioningly undermined our war efforts both in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and disparaged our soldiers.

Rove's comments hit his political opponents spot on, with no collateral damage. Does he paint Democrats with a broad brush? Absolutely. It's a fair characterization of some. Not so accurate of others. But it only targets the political opposition, and is clearly in line with the current level of discourse.

I have no doubt, that the American public will see the distinction. It won't only be GOP activists who agree with Rove's statement. He's just crystallized the opinion of the majority of this country.

Posted by: Todd Newell at June 23, 2005 10:49 PM

slickvguy,about Oriana Fallaci:

The fact that officials in some European countries have gone overboard in PC-dom does not reflect on the people here.In the US,an immigrant that swears allegiance to the flag is generally accepted as "one of us."

In my country,not in a lifetime.Oh yeah,if you're white,your children may be fully accepted.In Holland of all places,some vandals recently torched a school for Muslim kids - something that just doesn't happen in the US.

All EU happy talk aside,my gut feeling is that Le Pen and Haider and Vlaams Blok are the future of European politics.Call it Fascism lite - you'll be surprised at how fast the winds can change.

I don't see this as an option really;it is practically inevitable.Hopefully things won't get as ugly as the last time though.

Posted by: Jussi Hämäläinen at June 23, 2005 10:54 PM

Jussi, where are you right now?

The comment section sucks right now. If you follow party line on every issue you are a dumb mother-fucker. If you define people as right or left you are probably a dumb mother-fucker. Everyone in the States needs to get their shit square and put our Republic ahead of pointless bullshit. We have a fraction on both sides of the political divide controlling the conversation and we need to ditch them.

I suggest a comeback from the Anti-Masonic party.

Posted by: Mike #3or4 at June 23, 2005 10:59 PM

Counter Column weighs in.

All EU happy talk aside,my gut feeling is that Le Pen and Haider and Vlaams Blok are the future of European politics.Call it Fascism lite - you'll be surprised at how fast the winds can change.

Yeah, I've been predicting this for a couple of years. Nothing here for the US but more trouble, the fascists don't like us, pretty much for the same reasons that the conventional left doesn't like us. Thank God that the current variant doesn't seem imbued with the spirit of militarism. Hopefully that doesn't change anytime soon. I think the current usefulness of NATO is to keep the Europeans from doing each other harm.

Posted by: chuck at June 23, 2005 11:09 PM

IIRC, 90% of the Democrats during the Democratic National Convention did not support the Iraq war.

Posted by: john marzan at June 23, 2005 11:15 PM

Durbin's comments, taken as a whole, do not really support the notion that Durbin's goal was merely to obtain better treatment for Gitmo detainees. In particular, Durbin explicitly argued that it was wrong for the US to keep detainees without charging them (presumably without charging them with a crime). Others, including Amnesty International, have recently voiced the same objection.

Obviously, considering the circumstances, the pretend outraged from Democrats concerning Rove's "outrageous" comments with respect to this exact point are especially ironic. However, my reason for raising this issue is to point out that this really cannot have been a "good faith" contention. No one (other than the jihadists themselves) can really believe that a "catch and release" program for al-queda members is an acceptable outcome. If 500 terrorists come up for criminal trials my estimate is that a good 450 (including some of the very worst) are going to walk.

Since I reject the notion that even Dick Durbin is dim-witted enough to really believe jihadists should be treated as criminals (actually better than criminals if I understand Chicago police procedure), I infer that the motive for his speach had nothing to do with the nominal issues raised but was merely another opportunity to attack the Bush administration.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with attacking the Bush administration per se but, somehow, Durbin failed to notice that calling American soldiers Nazis will increase the chance that American Soldiers will be killed by people who may choose to believe him. If Mike's wife, and other liberals (including, by the way, my own wife and friends) were as upset about Durbin's unfortunate choice of words, as they were about Rove's impolite but absolutely accurate comments, I would be more inclined to listen to their outrage. But, as far as I am aware, the only Democrat in the whole wide world who objected to Durbin's comments was the Mayor of Chicago. The word "traitor" may not apply, but there ought to be a word for people so consumed with hatred for the President that they really don't care about the probable effect of their words and actions. Over to you Mike. What word is more appropriate than "traitor"?

Posted by: bmcburney at June 23, 2005 11:41 PM

In Holland of all places,some vandals recently torched a school for Muslim kids - something that just doesn't happen in the US.

tick,.. tick,.. tick,.. tick,..

Posted by: mika. at June 23, 2005 11:56 PM

Rove overreached, but with all due respect, Mr. Totten, your wife is a minority within her party, and although I sincerely wish there were more like her, there aren't.

Howard Dean winning the Democratic chair is like Jerry Falwell winning control of the RNC.

What would it say about us Republicans if we put Falwell in power? Could there even be a "we" after Falwell? I'd have real trouble with that, myself.

As the very idea makes me cringe, I have deep sympathy both for your wife and your liberal friends. It is as difficult in its own way to live day after day in the House of Usher as it is to pack up and move the second you realize the folks you're living with are a little nuts.

Posted by: The Falwell of the House of Usher at June 24, 2005 12:34 AM

And here's what they're teaching muslim kids. I couldn't make this stuff up even if I tried:

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=16354

Posted by: mika. at June 24, 2005 12:36 AM

It's true that conservatives believe liberals are trators. I know this because I am a conservative. I'm not trying to be smarmy just to point out a major difference of opinion. It would be useful for you to write something (rational) explaining why are really liberals are patriots when they seem to conservatives as traitors. Oh, yeah that's another stereotyps conservatives have about liberals: that they are not rational. Conservatives think that liberals are not terribly logical in their martialling facts and drawing conclusions, prefering to resort to character assassination like "Bush=Hitler" without examining the facts ie Saddam murdered his own people with posion gas like hitler did and invaded other countries like hitler did and therefor Bush is a liberator like FDR and not a hitler himself.

Posted by: rjgaeriwmjvslsi at June 24, 2005 01:03 AM

Howard Dean winning the Democratic chair is like Jerry Falwell winning control of the RNC.

Like these are remotely comparable except in the opium-drenched fever dreams of the psychotic wingnut right.

Dean is a doctor and a 11-year successful governor who faced challengers from both the left and the right. Get a grip.

Posted by: Kimmitt at June 24, 2005 01:22 AM

"The Democrats outside Dissent and The New Republic magazines have little interest in fixing what ails them"--MJT

"I talked to two people in Lebanon (one an engineer and the other a lawyer) who truly believe the United States is as oppressive as Syria. They were, therefore, extremely suspicious of the US call for Syria to leave Lebanon. They were genuinely worried that one oppressive overlord would be replaced with another.
Of course they were nuts. But Dick Durbin's comments were, as some of us like to say, not helpful. They hear that from him and think I'm nuts for saying otherwise."
--MJT

Rove's statement was intended to drive a stake through the heart of the mess that was once the Democratic Party. And it did. It is long past time that the dance around the obvious elephant in the room stopped and things got SERIOUS.

That the 'liberal' movement in the West has lost its way and is now (objectively) reactionary is not the fault of KR. The worst of which he can be accused is using that fact to take political advantage. Well I guess he might plead guilty to that,and SO WHAT ?

Not everyone can be a saint in politics(surprise!!) and things needed to be said. Things continue to need to be said until poisonous cretins such as Ted Kennedy are exposed completely for the creatures they truly are.

If 'liberals' don't like hearing unpleasant things, then perhaps instead of blaming the messenger they might consider looking more closely at the real problem. Real 'liberals' would understand where KR is coming from.

The Democratic Party which is the 'vehicle' for this aberrant strain of 'liberalism' MUST go. This is hardly a novel thought on my part or a NEW one. I said the same things 2 years ago.

KR is 100& right; his motivations may be somewhat base BUT that does not alter the objective rightness of what he said or the objective reasons why someone had to say it.

Posted by: dougf at June 24, 2005 01:28 AM

Jussi: All EU happy talk aside,my gut feeling is that Le Pen and Haider and Vlaams Blok are the future of European politics.Call it Fascism lite - you'll be surprised at how fast the winds can change.

I'm afraid you may be right, and I really hope you're wrong. I do love Amsterdam. Yet the ferocity of anti-Muslim rage after one man was killed exceeded the ferocity in America after 3000 were killed.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 24, 2005 01:56 AM

What if the 19 muzzie skyjackers were American?

Posted by: mika. at June 24, 2005 02:11 AM

Rove was spot on. Don't get your undies in a munch just because he spoke the truth.

Posted by: tracelan at June 24, 2005 02:35 AM

I wonder if the fact that Mayor Daley has a son in the military (if I remember correctly) has caused him to take his somewhat non-"normal for a Democrat" stance on Senator Durbin?

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 24, 2005 02:47 AM

>>Oh, and I do think you're misinterpreting what
>>Rove said. If you look at the broader context
>>of his speech, clearly by "motives" he means
>>liberals are putting partisanship over
>>national security, not deliberately betraying
>>the United States.

> Yes, plenty of nonsense from the left after
> 9/11, whether it's from the majority or not.
> But "Liberals=Traitors" are fighting words. My
> wife is a liberal, as are most of my friends.

Liberals=Traitors may be fighting words, but what seems to be escaping your cronies here, is that THEY ARE YOUR WORDS, NOT KARL ROVE'S.

And your point about most americans supporting the war in Afgahnistan is well taken, but you take your conclusions several steps further than the evidence warrants.

  • The 10% that opposed even that commonsense step MOST CERTAINLY ARE liberals... especially the organizations that objected, which reads like a who's who of liberal politics. Like, ahem, Amnesty International. Nope, no liberals here!
  • Toppling the Taliban and then going home and hoping 9/11 never happens again is the foreign-policy equivelant of cruise-missiling an asprin factory... all symbolism, no substance. So many liberals supported going after one Al-Queda branch in a fifth-world country as long as France didn't object. Whooo Hoooo.

Rove was perfectly right: that's not liberals 'preparing for war' against Al-Queda, that's liberals demanding a gesture to make them feel safe, then breaking out the indictments and the therepy, guilty as charged.

Let the record show that when the going got tough, the tough got A.N.S.W.E.R., Michael Moore, and Howard Dean.

Posted by: Ryan Waxx at June 24, 2005 03:24 AM

Spaniard wrote:

"He called you Libs wimps-- not Nazis. It hurt your feelings? You'll get over it."

OK, if you say so, friend. Frankly, I'm already over it.

Posted by: Rafique Tucker at June 24, 2005 04:05 AM

Michael,

Ryan Waxx is right. Do not become one of those Dowdy re-write-the-words-to-accommodate-the- agenda-of-the-message, you lose credibility.

I'd like to know how your liberal wife and friends will respond when the day arrives in which American infidel gays are thrown off roof-tops for being gay and American infidel females are buried in a hole in the ground up to their necks then stoned to death for having shamed Islam by being raped by holy men?

Will Western Liberalization call for military action to defend Liberal's high standards of 'morality' or will Western Liberalization bend over and appease Islamic Jihadism?

Based on current behavior is would appear Western Liberalization would choose the latter just to spite America.

By the way, mainland Europe's political correctness for tolerating Islamic Jihad Fascism is what is driving the decline of European Liberalism. Do American Liberals really wish to follow Eurabia's path?

Posted by: syn at June 24, 2005 04:20 AM

I love Rove's comments.

I love the sight of liberal terrorist-appeasing limp-wristed pansy traitor Democrats (oops--that last one was redundant) struggling to assert that, yeah, despite everything they have said over the past few years, they are really pro-freedom, pro-military, America-loving patriots who clearly see the enemy and want to get the enemy as badly--no, even more!--than Republicans do.

The sight is funnier than watching Durbin try to weasel out of--I mean explain--his remarks.

I love the "outrage" over Rove's remarks. Quick--get the liberals a fainting couch! Yeah, they are a tough bunch, all right.

I hope the "outrage" over Rove's remarks is on the front page of evey newspaper in America through the 2008 elections.

LOL.
________________

Posted by: RJGatorEsq. at June 24, 2005 04:23 AM

The insurgents, or 'terrorists', in Iraq are not likely to hate and attack american soldiers more on the account of someone having compared bad behavior of those soldiers to the behavior of nazis.

On the contrary, by using this overdriven analogy, some Americans have shown that they very much care about not even remotely approaching the ways of nazi's.

If anything, that will ring positively among the insurgents and among the rest of the population in Iraq.

If America, with all its power and civilization, doesn't show will to self discipline and restraint, then why should her enemies? And what exactly is won by mistreating prisoners of war?

Calling people 'traitors' for not supporting torture, war and mistreatment of prisoners is nothing but highly hysterical and utterly stupid.

The USA is somehow politically involved into all countries of the world, like Aurora's long pink fingers reaching into every corner of the world. That involvment is in many cases a negative one. The general policy of the US seems to be like the one of the ancient Mongols. To hinder other nations growing economically, politically and culturally. This is usually achieved by supporting the most reactionary and dumbest party/guerilla/movement in every region. No matter be it left, right, muslim, or atheist.

Re that the US was 'saving Europe's ass' during WW2, not so fast. The Soviets killed about 3.5 million german soldiers, while the british and american forces together killed 0.2 million.

So yes, there was some 'saving', but not as much as some would have it. Not all Europeans were as paralyzed as the French.

Posted by: Tatterdemalion at June 24, 2005 04:26 AM

>If even one of those political hallucinations really were true, if liberals really were traitors, if conservatives really were fascists, the United States would explode in a convulsion of civil war.

Nah. The Internet spares the type of candy-ass right-wing toads who are currently clotting your comments box from having to stand up, speak their odious opinions to real live liberals, and get their teeth kicked down their throats for it. If there were no blogs, there would probably be a lot more violence in American streets. But people are lazy (me included), and they're only interested in preaching to the converted - just like Rove, who only vomits this stuff out when he's safely among his people, or like the president, who makes sure there are no dissenters in the audience when he makes one of his pathetic attempts at public speech. The reason this country doesn't erupt is not that we're all fundamentally decent at heart - we aren't. We just never actually encounter one another. If someone said to me, on a public street corner, what Karl Rove said to that audience, I'd punch them in the throat without a second thought. But it won't happen. We're all Americans. We support our causes through blog posts, not through direct action. That's why young Republicans get so freaked out when people ask them how come they haven't enlisted to fight the war they're so hot on. And it's why sensible people concerned with the future of their country aren't going house to house murdering right-wing scum in their beds.

Posted by: pdf at June 24, 2005 04:39 AM

Wow, this topic sure seems to have touched a nerve or two. I just skimmed most comments (no time) so perhaps the points I'm making have already been made.

First, expect the stridency to get worse. American public support for the war is dropping. The Republicans will be pushing every red, white and blue emotional button they can think of to rally folks to the cause. I wonder how long before we start hearing about the "Silent Majority"?

Second, Rove said "liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." Now I'm not sure exactly what he meant, other than to push emotional buttons. But think back - do you remember what it was like on September 11, 2001? I do. There was widespread talk of turning Afghanistan into a nuclear wasteland. I remember listening to a US talk radio show. The commentator was raving: "We should do to them what we did to the Japanese! Sure, we let them live, but they don't smile any more! We burned the smiles off their faces!"

There was some silly talk by leftists that somehow America deserved it. But I don't think that anybody who preached reason and measured reaction on that day has anything to be ashamed of.

Posted by: VinoVeritas at June 24, 2005 04:43 AM

Ahhh, I guess the old saying, "Know the truth and the truth will set you free" has crashed on the rocks of those with short term memory problems, eh?

Note the following comment from the Anchoress who doesn't suffer from that malady: "Let’s start here with Moveon.org’s ‘demands’ some 48 hours after the attack of 9/11/01: ”We implore the powers that be to use, wherever possible, international judicial institutions and international human rights law to bring to justice those responsible for the attacks, rather than the instruments of war, violence or destruction.”"

The Anchoress also reminds us of Katha Pollitt and her, "PUT OUT NO FLAGS" witless, whining, and spineless rant in the Nation magazine...

The GOP Vixen also doesn't suffer from the malady that Totten and other exhibit, short term memory problems with her: Appeaser Memory Lane...

So just what was Karl Rove's supposedly "Extremists and Their Hallucinations" words?

Reminders of the homegrown sedition we have to deal with from the leftie/liberal parasites and their lap dogs, the dim-witted Dems?

Then again if someone like Totten considers the New York Times as a credible source of information and news then I ask you, who is really an extremist with hallucinations?

Posted by: russ at June 24, 2005 05:08 AM

Karl Rove's statements were political. Rational
is to political as knife is to gun. Youse guys are
wanting Karl to take a knife to a gun fight.

Posted by: Huggy at June 24, 2005 05:14 AM

> Democracies are supposed to be free-speech zones,even to the point of absurdity.It is when the dissent stops in a country that people outside start muttering about brown boots - and stop taking official statements seriously.

> In that light,the correct response to the Durbin affair would have been:"Well,I think you're nuts,Senator,but hey,it's a free country."

There's a strong point to be made here, but this isn't taking the meme far enough.

If the appropriate response to Durbin is "hey, it's a free country," doesn't that imply that the appropriate response to Rove is the same? Or rather, that Rove's response is no worse, and if we legitimize the one, then we must legitimize the other?

Which is to say that I agree with Mr. Totten and Mr. Cole right up until the point where they start demanding that Rove needs to issue an apology. Rove has a right to say what he did, just as Durbin had a right to his words.

Durbin's words were despicable, and Rove's reply did nothing to help matters. But freedom of speech is a more important concern than the impolitic of any given comment. This constant harping for apologies serves only to limit the scope of public discourse to what is considered "acceptable."

We've already seen the harm that political correctness can do. Why make it worse?

Posted by: Jason at June 24, 2005 05:23 AM

Hey pdf, what public street do you hang out on?

Quite blowing smoke, you silly little middle-class white-bread wanna-be Che'

You're a poseur and you know it.

Posted by: Eric Blair at June 24, 2005 05:23 AM

"Conservatives saw ... ; liberals saw ..."

Could someone please explain to me why the Democrats are up in arms about this? Rove did not say "Republicans saw" and "Democrats saw"!!! I suppose if the label fits...

Posted by: Kevin R. Hamm at June 24, 2005 05:27 AM

Maybe I'm naive, but I don't think a few insane statements from Durbin or Rove make them innately insane.
Nor do I think Trent Lott should have been removed from office for his comments. If racism and insanity are alive in America, they are not going to be fixed by oppressing the racists and insane.
In Lebanon, we must deal with everyone since we don't have the power to overthrow them. That means people can actually assassinate the ones they don't like and get away with it. But that leads to a stream of perpetual assassinations. No side wins, all lose.
Let it be, guys. Smack Rove and Durbin around. Let Lott know racism will not be tolerated. But let's not pretend that everything a politicians says is a testament to his true feelings. They get caught up in rhetorical argument just as much as anyone.
For crying out loud, we all know that George Steinbrenner is the modern day Molotov and Dusty Baker is a moder Patten. :)

Posted by: lebanon.profile at June 24, 2005 05:42 AM

Michael,

This is something that's been building for a long time. It's been the Democrats strategy for a long time now to push all the negatives in the War on Terror and to continue to ratchet up the hyperbole in order to drive down support for Bush, the War on Terror, and the mission in Iraq. It's been a clear, coodinated campaign. With Durbin's remarks, and his quasi apology, they got caught pushing the hyperbole a little too far. With the Dem's on their heels because of the Durbin remarks, Rove was presented with a brilliant opportunity to take maximum advantage of the situation by exposing all the over the top political speech that the Democrats have been able to get away with up until now.

I would agree with you on the point that, on their face, Rove's remarks are an unfairly broad characterization of liberals. I think you would, perhaps reluctantly, agree that if he used the qualifier 'some', when referring to liberals, then the remarks would be completely accurrate. The real problem, though, is that there is a serious disconnect between what liberals and conservatives consider what acceptable political speech is, what's over the top, and what's more over the top.
A couple of weeks ago, Joan Venoochi of the Boston Globe, wrote a column called "Dean's not the Problem". In the column she says that Dean shouldn't back down from making his imflammatory 'Republicans are white Christian' remarks because it helps energize and build the Democratic Party. I sent her an email saying that I'm glad her and other Dem's feel that way because it shows that Dem's still just don't get it. Ms Venoochi responded to me by saying that she agrees that Dean's rhetoric is a little harsh but that it's ok because, she wrote, "George Bush won re-election via a very mean, nasty campaign that accused John Kerry of being a cowardly, unpatriotic lying flip-flopper." Huh? Naturally, I was stunned. She actually thouht the Republican campaign was meaner and nastier than the Democrats. Maybe it's unfair, but I think that's the view of many Democrats. They're so blinded in they're hatred for Bush that they don't see the hate that many of their leaders spew out in their attacks on Bush. The fact is that Kerry did lie about his Cambodia service, and he did flip flop on the vote for funding the Iraq war. That's just pointing out the record. No national Republican figure that I know of actually called Kerry unpatriotic or a coward - although it was definitely implied. Oooh! Republicans implied Kerry was weak on national defense - by pointing out his voting record in the Senate. What killed Kerry were his own words: the Swiftboat commercials playing his own anti-Vietnam war testimony before Congress; and his statement that if he could vote again now he'd still vote for the war in Iraq. So liberals think that's mean, uncalled for, and over the top political speech. Conservatives point out the record of liberals and it's over the top. I don't get it. From a conservative's perspective, it seems like that ever since Iraq began as an issue, it's been a case of 'Dem's Gone Wild' as far as what's considered acceptable political speech. The examples are legion; many already have been mentioned here by previous posters. I know it's not necessary to mention others in order to make the point but I will anyway. Remember the: "screw them" post by Kos about the charred American bodies hanging from the bridge in Fallajuh; NY professor who hoped for a thousand Mogadishu's; "Bush is venal" remark by Chevy Chase; episode of MoveOn.org sponsoring a Bush=Hitler cartoon; lies of Fahrenheit 911; Dean on NPR advancing the theories that Bush knew about 911 ahead of time; Dean saying "Republicans are evil", "I hate Republicans", and the Republicans are the "white Christian party"; Moore's comments that Bush was a coward and was AWOL; Senator Harkin's comments on the floor of the Senate basically saying that Bush was a "chicken hawk"; Senator Kennedy's comments on the floor of the Senate saying that the prisoner abuse at Abu Grahib has not changed since Sadam left but has merely been taken over by new management; the million repititions of the chant 'BUSH LIED'; and Charles Rangel equating the war in Iraq with the Holocaust just to name a few. This is mean, hateful, and over the top rhetoric that deserved to be repudiated. Maybe I'm blinded myself, but I just didn't see anything close to this type of hate coming from Republicans during the campaign. And yet, after each one of these instances, there would only be a handful of Democrats, at best, repudiating these types of remarks. The overwhelming majority would remain silent - indicating their tacit approval of such rhetoric. Then the Gitmo hearings came up. Just like last year when the Dem's tried to incessantly pound away on the Abu Grahib story, the Dem's (with the help of some of their friends in the media) decided to pound away on Gitmo. What do you know? Sure enough Thomas Friedman comes out saying Gitmo should be closed. Then Jimmy Carter does do. Amnesty International calls Gitmo a gulag. Then during Senate hearings Senator Leahy, Reid and Feingold call Gitmo a disgrace and an embarassment to the country, blah, blah, blah. And then, finally, Senator Durbin, on the floor of the Senate compares American practices at Gitmo to the Nazis and the Communists in the Gulags and the Killing Fields of Cambodia. Here's where the Democrats just went too far as far as hyperbole goes. Here's where, like others who have responded already to your post, I think you're way off in your characterization of Durbin's remarks as merely being unintentional in their total effect. Let's be serious here. Let's not do another Newsweek and claim that we didn't know this could be inflammatory in other parts of the world. Clearly Durbin's remarks were intentional; they were intended to wound Bush. If the remarks were bad for America as far as the War on Terror goes, so be it. That, to me, is what was obvious. The comparisons Durbin made were disgusting and offensive. Having a prisoner get a little cold, and then a little hot - all under the close supervision of Doctors - doesn't even come close to camps where millions were tortured and killed; claiming otherwise, essentially saying that Bush and the US Military=Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot combined, in prepared remarks on the floor of the Senate, and then refusing to retract or apologize for the comments, only gives aid and comfort to the enemy and borders on treason. What's worse is that almost all the major Democratic figures were silent in the face of these remarks. In light of the seriousness of the remarks, their silence only makes their conduct equally shameful. So there you have it. Democrats saw Durbin's remarks as no big deal. Republicans saw it as a possibly powerful, unjust, uncalled for propaganda attack in the international public relations campaign to win support for the War on Terror. That's a major difference in outlook. So the Republicans simply saw it as Democrats being able to get away with going too far for too damn long and decided they needed to counter attack. Hence Rove's remarks. So, were Rove's remarks inflamatory? Yes. Were they unfair? Yeah, probably a little bit. Again, how many major Democratic politicians criticized Durbin's remarks, especially after it became known they were broadcast on Al Jazeera? The fact is that almost all the major liberals and Democratic figures in the country were silent even after Durbin's remarks were broadcast on Al Jazeera. That's inexcusable. Where at least was the Joe Liberman who once said that Dean was stuck in a spider hole of denial if he didn't think that capturing Sadamm Hussein made us safer? He was silent. No matter whether you agree with it or not, no matter whether they would admit it or not, the silence of all those Democrats communicated volumes visa vis their opinion on Durbin's remarks. So when Rove associated "liberals" to Durbin's remarks that were broadcast on Al Jazeera there is some connection. Bottom line: Rove may have been a little over the top but not nearly as over the top as the Dem's have been for a long time now - and that will be born out during the fallout and chatter process that will take place over the next few days as a result of this story.

Posted by: Roger at June 24, 2005 05:48 AM

Yes, plenty of nonsense from the left after 9/11, whether it's from the majority or not. But "Liberals=Traitors" are fighting words. My wife is a liberal, as are most of my friends.

For Durbin to say that our soldiers are traitors to the Geneva Conventions, to say that our men and women in uniform are the equal to Pol Pot, Hitler or Stalin seems to rise a bit more the the bar of righteous indignation. Talk about your broad brush. Besides, to dismiss Durbin's comments as anything less than traitorous is to assume that he is an ass, a fool, an idiot. His carefully-worded non-apology proves that he is not.

The silence from liberal leadership was deafening, and I would believe the context of any political speech is aimed at leadership; Rove doesn't know your wife and no one seriously would argue that he believes EVERY SINGLE LIBERAL is a traitor. For you to wrap your indignant soul in that sort of playground cant is just silly.

To state that liberals in power have an approach to the problem of terrorism that smacks of new-age-feel-good,who-amongst-us-is-pure, RodneyKing-can't-we-all-just-get-alongism is well, pretty easily defended. Just look at the WTC memorial process.

I'm sure Karl Rove's dim view of liberal hand-wringing makes the Al-Q a bit more nervous than all the liberal leaders lying about Gitmo ever will.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at June 24, 2005 05:50 AM

Michael, you make some reasonable points but the fact remains that the tone of the left is set by the far left appeasement faction. During the few months after 9/11 the public’s mood was such that moderate Democrats could say reasonable things and dominate the liberal wing. Other Democrats, such as Tom Daschle, used to complain about “censorship” because the mood was such that blame-America rhetoric was taboo. As soon as that wore off, the American-bashing left drowned out the moderate Democrats. You have to distance yourself from the hate-America types as much as the Republicans have distance themselves from David Duke.

By the way, a good book to recall the mode of the post-911 left is Paul Berman’s “Terror and Liberalism.” It’s also a good example of a man of the left who can face the Islamist problem. And let’s remember, England’s Tony Blair. There’s no reason the left can’t play a strong roll in the war on terror – just marginalize the Michael Moores instead of allow them to sit in the seat of honor at the Democratic convention.

Posted by: Jason Pappas at June 24, 2005 06:15 AM

Rove is playing the Left like a fiddle. Now he gets to regurgitate all the anti-American and anti-war stuff the Left has said since 9/11.

And those concerned with national security will move Right again.

The guy is a freakin' genius.

Posted by: TallDave at June 24, 2005 06:21 AM

You guys are confusing patriotism with fascism. again.
My point: Pols sent us soldiers into Iraq to kill and die in order to neutralise the WMD threat from Saddam.
Now we know that there was no threat.
So why are soldiers killing and dying in Iraq?
How do they justify their actions?
Why doesn't some commanding officer stand up and ask, on behalf of his men:
The rational for this war is no longer valid. We lack a rational. We cannot continue with this occupation.
We need an answer to this question.
And above all, the men and women in uniform deserve one.
Would that be unpatriotic?

Posted by: kevser at June 24, 2005 06:23 AM

There’s no reason the left can’t play a strong roll in the war on terror – just marginalize the Michael Moores instead of allow them to sit in the seat of honor at the Democratic convention.

Amen. If they'd taken your advice in 2004, Bush would be out of office.

But the Dems have a very serious problem - they are allowing the party donors to control the party at the expense of the party constituents. And it's not just national security -- teachers' unions and educrats are destroying our public schools, environmentalism is costing people's jobs, lax crime laws pushed by the Soros crowd have turned too many minority neighborhoods into hellholes... the list goes on and on.

Posted by: TallDave at June 24, 2005 06:25 AM

Pols sent us soldiers into Iraq to kill and die in order to neutralise the WMD threat from Saddam.

No, we sent them because Saddam was a brutal dictator who supported terrorists, flouted int'l law, broke the ceasefire terms, and refused to adequately explain what he had done with his WMD.

This kind of ex post facto reasoning re WMD ignores the fact that all decisions are necessarily made under some level of uncertainty.

Posted by: TallDave at June 24, 2005 06:30 AM

Geez TallDave, everything on your list is pretty much demonstrably wrong:
"teachers' unions and educrats are destroying our public schools," - no, non-involved parents are destroying our schools. For some reason children of Asian immigrants do just fine in those very same schools. It may be parents are lazy, it may be that in too many families the parents are too busy working two jobs to worry about their kids education. But put the blame where it really belongs.

"environmentalism is costing people's jobs,"
Let's see some statistics. I work as a management consultant to troubled businesses on the verge of bankruptcy. In 100 engagements in a variety of industries environmental regulation is rarely a major problem - healthcare costs are the biggest problem underming our competitiveness.

" lax crime laws pushed by the Soros crowd have turned too many minority neighborhoods into hellholes... " Now you've gone insane. George Soros is pushing lax crime laws? It's ironic how the right has demonized a man who has done more to address the harm caused by Communism than 1000 rightwing bloggers and the US Government put together.

There are blinkered ignoramuses on the right and left, but it is clear the greatest danger to the US today comes from the right. The reason is simple - the right-wing controls every branch of government and is dictating the agenda. Blaming the left or the media for what's wrong with America at this point is a cop-out.

Posted by: vanya at June 24, 2005 06:40 AM

I do want to agree with those who say Rove is a political genius. He obviously made these remarks to deflect attention away from General Abizaid's remarks to Congress yesterday that Cheney is wrong and the insurgency is not showing any signs of weakening. In the big picture I think we are slowly winning the war on terror, and slowly winning in Iraq, but it is also clear that by Rove's benchmarks Bush is failing miserably. The war on Iraq was supposed to be easy, and Bush/Rove refuse to go to America and tell the people to be patient. Why? If Bush is 80% right on the War on Terror and 20% wrong, why can't he admit that he was 20% wrong? This just gives ammunition to the people who think he was 100% wrong. Rove continues to use the War on Terror as a political weapon to drive every other part of his agenda, all Americans should be disgusted by that.

Posted by: vanya at June 24, 2005 06:54 AM

No, everything on my list is demonstrably correct. Catholic schools spend a third of what public schools do with far better results. Teacher's unions oppose vouchers, accountability, and everything else that could make schools better.

Statistics on environmentalism costing jobs? OK, do a search on Kyoto; the estimated cost to world GDP ranges from hundreds of billions to trillions. That's before we start talking about ANWR drilling, logging, land development, etc.

Apparently you don't know much about George Soros and crime laws. I suggect you read up on his "Open Society" initiative.

Posted by: TallDave at June 24, 2005 06:57 AM

I was going to make a comment about how, with Rove's nonsensical rant and that loony flag burning amendment, the Republicans are becoming just as crazy as the Deaniac Dems.

I was going to whine about the state of American democracy (as I did on my site), but Jussi's comment stopped me.

All EU happy talk aside,my gut feeling is that Le Pen and Haider and Vlaams Blok are the future of European politics.Call it Fascism lite - you'll be surprised at how fast the winds can change.

I don't see this as an option really;it is practically inevitable.Hopefully things won't get as ugly as the last time though.

The European left and right have always seemed to be more extreme than the American, wobbling between outright Marxism and anti-immigrant fascism. Despite their ability to vote, people there seem to think that solutions are only found through the government, not themselves.

If a resurgence of fascism seems "practically inevitable", wouldn't it be a good idea to speak out against it? Other people out there are probably worried about the same thing. I've lived over there, and I find it hard to believe that the majority supports Le Pen style fascism.

Hopefully things won't get as ugly as the last time?? People should do a little more than hope.

Posted by: mary at June 24, 2005 07:01 AM

There are blinkered ignoramuses on the right and left, but it is clear the greatest danger to the US today comes from the right. The reason is simple - the right-wing controls every branch of government and is dictating the agenda.

So when the Right dictates the agenda, that's a danger to America. Gotcha.

Posted by: spaniard at June 24, 2005 07:16 AM

Catholic schools do better because the parents are more motivated. It's self-selecting. The public schools weren't that great before teachers' unions either. I'm not a big fan of educrats or teachers' unions either, but they are a symptom, not the cause of the problem.

Kyoto is just one example of environmental regulation. You're ignoring the costs to society of environmental degradation which can also run to trillions of dollars. In the US poor air and water quality translate directly into higher health costs that employers are forced to bear. China will be paying dearly in the future for destroying its agricultural land and polluting its water table. The Soviet Union is paying a heavy price today for not having any real environmental regulation.

I'll read up on Soros - but the way you made your argument is prima facie ridiculous. Those minority neighborhoods have been hellholes for 30 years, Soros can hardly be blamed for that no matter what he's pushing today. In fact, in Boston and New York the minority neighborhoods are in much better shape today than 30 years ago.

Posted by: vanya at June 24, 2005 07:16 AM

> The European left and right have always seemed to be more extreme than the American, wobbling between outright Marxism and anti-immigrant fascism. Despite their ability to vote, people there seem to think that solutions are only found through the government, not themselves.

It's a misnomer to call said extremists either left or right.

The political ideologies and methods of the Marxists and the Fascists have always been remarkably similar - it's just a matter of which group they choose to scapegoat during their ascent to power. Likewise, they seem to attract the same types of followers - self-righteous, self-deluded idiots all too willing to get taken in by the charms of whichever sociopath they've chosen to lead them. An activist is an activist, no matter which delusion he's acquired.

In any event, it's always the same principle that applies - the Jews, the Muslims, the Capitalists, the Red-Headed-People-Of-Indeterminant-Parentage, or whoever, are evil, and something must be done about them! Of course, they entirely disregard the fact that "doing something" is usually what got them into the mess in the first place.

Marx's only innovation was in picking a relatively abstract principle, rather than any tangible ethnic or religious group, to use as his scapegoat.

Posted by: Jason at June 24, 2005 07:24 AM

OT, the Dutch have chosen Pym Fortuyn as the greatest Netherlander.

http://www.jsonline.com/enter/tvradio/jun05/336006.asp

Posted by: spaniard at June 24, 2005 07:25 AM

Spaniard,

Any time a minority of the population tries to force its absolute will on the majority and demonize a third of the population in the bargain, clearly that's a danger to America. That danger used to come from the Left in the 1970s, now that danger clearly comes from the Right. While libertarians are starting to get a little hysterical the threat is probably not too grave, since the minority seems once again to be failing at creating a brave new world. But since the Right continues to try to undermine the constitutional checks and balances put in place by our Founding Fathers, any patriotic American should have serious reservations about supporting the current Republican leadership.

Posted by: vanya at June 24, 2005 07:26 AM

Mike,

Don't agree with your take on the substance of Rove's remarks - I think that there's abundant evidence of their accuracy (the web's a wonderful thing, ain't it?).

But I do agree with postings elsewhere and some of the commenters here that the Dems and the MSM in their relentless, Wile E. Coyote like zeal to play gotcha, have fallen right into another Rove trap.

Just look at the Post's front page coverage today compared to the way they attempted to bury the Durbin story. Same deal with the Times. As I predicted yesterday, as of this morning, they've already devoted more space and reporting resources to the Rove comments in 2 days than they had with Durbin for 2 weeks.

Then look at Mehlman's press release and all the links and citations now floating around the web to remind Americans of "liberal" reaction to 9/11.

Agree that many liberals, especially those who shun the label in public, reacted strongly to 9/11. However when you can readily remind Americans that the de facto DNC, Moveon.org, carried a peace petition using the very same words that Rove stated, then the fishin' is just too easy.

Now with an assist from those self-denying liberals in the Senate and the MSM, Rove has gotten the whole country focused again on why they have rejected the Dems in the last 2 election cycles.

BTW, kudos to you (and the posters) for hosting one of the most lively, yet relatively respectful commenting sessions on this topic.

Posted by: CalDevil at June 24, 2005 07:27 AM

Vanya,

filibusters are a Senate tradition, but they were NOT put in place by the Founding Fathers. Moreover, the filibuster has traditionally been used for legislation, not judges. It's Dems who are bucking tradition.

Posted by: spaniard at June 24, 2005 07:32 AM

Conveniently, you leap to a conclusion:

...Liberals deliberately hope to put our troops in greater danger... Liberals=Traitors....

Another possibility would be:

Liberals value political machinations over troop saftey: Liberals=Machiavellian

Posted by: at June 24, 2005 07:36 AM

> The public schools weren't that great before teachers' unions either.

Actually, that's untrue. Public school performance has declined sharply since the 1960's. Unsurprisingly, this coincides with the increase in government regulation regarding education.

Posted by: Jason at June 24, 2005 07:42 AM

Vanya,
"the right-wing controls every branch of government and is dictating the agenda.

Not sure how you can be saying that: let's see now, Social Security reform; John Bolton; federal judges; yep, the right sure has total control of everything!!

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 24, 2005 07:54 AM

This is better than a steel cage match! _

Posted by: jcf at June 24, 2005 07:59 AM

Vanya,
The biggest problems with the public schools are that the system is extremely hesitant to take disciplinary action, and that they consistently let unqualified students pass. Those are the direct results of the school district administrations. Of course, the admin staffs are virtually all former teachers, and thus have an extremely strong liberal bent. Lack of parental involvement is also an issue, but not as damaging as the above two.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 24, 2005 08:00 AM

Vanya,
Now it's the right that is demonizing? Have you listened to the anti-Christian rhetoric from the left for the past 10 years?

"But since the Right continues to try to undermine the constitutional checks and balances put in place by our Founding Fathers"

Interesting you would say that today, after yesterday's USSC decision re property rights. Look at how the judges voted.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 24, 2005 08:03 AM
NO BLOOD FOR DRACULA!!!!!!!!!!!!

tee-hee!

Posted by: tee-hee at June 24, 2005 08:09 AM

In 1959, American students had the highest test scores in the world. After 40 years of liberal control of education, we spend 3 times as much (even adj for inflation) and they're nearly last among industrialized countries, somewhere below Latvia.

Meanwhile, students at Catholic schools, free of liberal meddling, career educrats, and teacher's unions, continue to perform far better for the same amount we spent in 1959.

Posted by: TallDave at June 24, 2005 08:14 AM

Catholic schools do better because the parents are more motivated. It's self-selecting

Sorry, that tired old argument has been proven wrong by statistical analysis. Even adjusted for all factors, they simply do a better job teaching.

Posted by: TallDave at June 24, 2005 08:16 AM

Vanya,

"but it is also clear that by Rove's benchmarks Bush is failing miserably."

Oh, really. How is that?

"The war on Iraq was supposed to be easy"

Who ever said it was going to be easy? Remember all the scary predictions before the war from people who were mostly agaisnt the idea - the millions of refugees, the tens of thousands of American dead,all the economic and environmental damage that was going to take place etc., etc.. And that was just supposed to be in the beginning of the war. Of course none of that panned out. So it was just another case of the left using blown up scary scenarios to scare people into not supporting the war and then after the war does in fact begin switch over to having the highest possible expectations for the enterprise - with minimal costs in blood and treasure tolerated over the shortest period time. Blah, blah, blah. Go back and read some of the early press reports of the war. After five days the NY Times was calling it a quaqmire. Rougly two weeks later the statue was coming down. Yes there were, and continue to be, problems. But the bottom line is that the left, and their lackeys in the MSM have done nothing but carp, complain and preach doom and gloom since day 1 of the war - except for a few days after the election last January. But no one ever said it was going to be easy - except lefties like you when they go into their carping mode.

"and Bush/Rove refuse to go to America and tell the people to be patient. Why? If Bush is 80% right on the War on Terror and 20% wrong, why can't he admit that he was 20% wrong?"

Ah, the old 'why won't he admit he was wrong refrain'. This is when libs sound like little pouting babies. Every time Bush doesn't admit that it was wrong libs sound like they're about to stomp their feet and cry. C'mon. Let's be honest. Libs want Bush to say he was wrong just for the gotcha, just for the political capital it would give them against Bush. For the millionth time, we did not go into Iraq just for the WMD. We went in for several reasons; one being for the purpose to fundementally change the ME by installing a democracy there. Even the limitted results of the Arab spring so far seem to indicate that our efforts in the region are fundementally changing the ME for the better. Moreover, as time goes by it becomes more clear that no amount of international diplomacy by itself would have achieved the results that we've achieved so far. So it wasn't a mistake to go into Iraq. And, no, we did not find any WMD. BFD. Get over it. It was the right thing to go in. That's all that matters. Admitting surprises and mistakes is wanted for fodder for future Democratic campaign commercials. I actually agree that a few updates and reminders from time to time by the President regarding the WOT - to stay the course, etc. - would be a good thing. But not for the purposes of any apologies.

"This just gives ammunition to the people who think he was 100% wrong."

No it doesn't. The people who think he was 100% wrong will always think he was 100% wrong. By the way, the President has already admitted that mistakes have been made and that prewar intelligence on the WMD has since shown to be wrong etc. But that's not what the libs want to hear. The libs want to hear Bush say that "I was wrong", or that "It was wrong to go into Iraq". Blah, blah, blah.


"Rove continues to use the War on Terror as a political weapon to drive every other part of his agenda, all Americans should be disgusted by that."

This is just lame. How is he using WOT to drive the Social Security bill or the bankruptcy law that was recently passed?

Posted by: Roger at June 24, 2005 08:59 AM

Exhelodrvr, I agree with you 100% on the property rights decision. It is good to know that the Conservatives on the court have a little libertarian backbone. Is the Republican congress going to do anything to redress this wrong?

I haven't listened to the anti-Christian rhetoric because I haven't really heard any. I can't say that I've heard a single American politician say that Christianity is a bad religion, that Christian values are wrong, that the Bible teaches immorality or that we should all worship Satan. The only public figure I know of who is reliably and publicly anti-Christian is Christopher Hitchens, and he's not American. Can you cite any quotes?

Posted by: vanya at June 24, 2005 09:23 AM

Does Karl Rove watch Al-jazeera? How does he know what they are broadcasting? If he does, is that treasonous? Were Durbin's comments actually broadcasted on Al-Jazeera? Abuaardvark's blog looks into it and finds otherwise. It seems that Condi Rice's recent comments about reform in Egypt have gotten much more exposure on Al-Jazeera.

And if Durbin's comments were broadcasted, do people think that would be the first time that the Middle East has heard about prisoner abuse by the US? Sorry, I don't think so. Human rights violations by the US have been all over their news broadcasts way before Durbin, with his evil motivations, brought it to their attention. If anything, hearing Durbin's comments, muslims will see an ELECTED US government official FREELY speaking out AGAINST his OWN government in the interest of HUMAN RIGHTS. I call that a role model and an example for aspiring democracies.

A US guard who stomps a Muslim prisoner to death is the traitor. Any officer that turns their back to these abuses is the traitor. Bin Laden doesn't need to think too hard about recruiting poster ideas with people like this around. Fuck Rove.

Posted by: John Mc at June 24, 2005 09:29 AM

Ignore those japs. You can't change their opinions and they can't change yours. Although I must add that it must take a rather severe degree of delusion to believe yourself a big world player (as some jap nationalists obviously do) when you have US troops stationed on your soil raping your women and beating your men every time they leave base for 'R&R.' At any rate, don't give yourself an aneurysm fretting about irrelevant nobodies.

Posted by: bozo at June 24, 2005 09:39 AM

So there it is. Liberals deliberately hope to put our troops in greater danger, according to Rove. In other words, Liberals=Traitors.

So Michael, you basically have to put words into Rove's mouth to make your point? He said Libs wanted to hand down indictments and give therapy to the terrorists. In other words, the truth.

He didn't call anybody a traitor. But Libs don't believe in the war on terror-- they want to treat it as a law enforcement issue. And the far Left Moveon.org crowd called for "understanding" of why America was so hated. Rove told the truth.

Additionally, Rove took a shot at Libs, whilst Libs (such as Durbin) take shots at America and our military. Do you think Rove's comments about Libs is the same as Durbin's insult against our country by analogizing it to the worst tyrranies the earth has ever known?

What's going on here? Are you just throwing Libs another bone?

Posted by: spaniard at June 24, 2005 09:40 AM

You really haven't heard any of the nastiness aimed at evangelical Christians? Or the people on the left mocking President Bush for acknowledging the role his faith plays in his life?

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 24, 2005 09:40 AM

It doesn't help that leftists and 'progressives' [of far lefty stripes] often claim to be liberals.

Actually, far lefty progressives (not center lefties) co-opted the term first. People like you migrated to it after they were already using it.

Soooo, I'm all for changing it to mean center left people but as of now kooks like Mike Moore claim to be liberals, have always claimed to be liberals, et cetera.

A problem is, we don't have a term to denote center left people in the US that is not also claimed by further left people.

Posted by: Thomas at June 24, 2005 09:43 AM

Yet the ferocity of anti-Muslim rage after one man was killed exceeded the ferocity in America after 3000 were killed.

Jussi, thanks for being in on this steel-cage rant-death match!

Right now, the silly Euro-rage is impotently directed at the US. But as the 10% unemployment in France & Germany continues to NOT come down, because of too much gov't, the rage will most likely find a closer, more relevant target.

Jews are certainly in danger, but also mostly safe (er) in Israel -- I think more French Jews are moving.

Those arrogant, non-assimilating, foreign speaking Muslims WILL become targets.

And the Euro PC "anti-hate speech" crap, to stop good folks from speaking publicly the sad truth about the not so good folks, will increase the rage. I hope most of it passes over Slovakia; so far I think it does (with few Muslims; not much social support. 15 asylums granted in 11 000 applicants - shameful, but perhaps prudent.)

Michael, it is sad to see you exaggerate Rove's words; you said Liberals=Traitors, not him (though Ann Coulter does say that). You exaggerate in order to justify your rage. (I do that too, sometime.) It's not quite fair.

Rove says Al-Jazeera broadcasts Durbins words. That's a clear fact.
Rove says that is "certainly putting our troops in greater danger."
What do you think? More danger, less danger, no affect on danger?

I think More danger. Before you get upset at Rove's actual words, you should ask about whether he is speaking truth or not.

Anyone who has liberal friends and family members ought to know exactly how rotten and despicable and indefensible that statement is.

It's only rotten, Mr. Totten, if you think it's not more danger.
That does (at least theoretically) put our troops and even civilians in greater danger.

But wisely (weasel theory), you agree it does.

feeding anti-American pathologies was not Dick Durbin’s intention. He intended to get more humane treatment for prisoners at Gitmo

Sorry, no evidence whatsoever. An implicit demand for Unreal Perfection, and firing Bush if perfection in prisoner treatment is not achieved. Where is he on US prisons? On Iranian prisons or French prisons? Why only better treatment at Gitmo? -- because only Gitmo is a stick for bashing Bush. Even if he calls US soldiers Nazis.

More Higher Standards means Gitmo is Gulag.

I'm sorry for your wife -- I'm sure she's trying to be a good person, and even support constructive criticism of Bush. Dems blinded by Bush-hate overshout and weaken the reasonable critics.

The main alternative to Gitmo detention is execution; release means more Americans will be killed BY (some of) THOSE MEN.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at June 24, 2005 09:44 AM

What is most dangerous about Durbin's comments (and those of Amnesty International for that matter) is not the effect it has on our troops. What makes those comments dangerous is that it diminishes the crimes committed Nazis, the Khmer Rouge, and the Soviet Union and thereby betrays their victims.

Posted by: Megan at June 24, 2005 09:46 AM

Vanya,

"I haven't listened to the anti-Christian rhetoric because I haven't really heard any."

Uh, yeah right. And I suppose you've never heard the term the 'religious right' used in a pejorative manner by any member of the left? And, of course, I'm sure you never heard Maureen Dowd and other libs wailing about how the Republicans are turning the country into a "theocracy"? But of course, I suppose, those comments couldn't be considered anti-Christian could they?

"I can't say that I've heard a single American politician say that Christianity is a bad religion, that Christian values are wrong, that the Bible teaches immorality or that we should all worship Satan."

Hmm, let's see. Well Howard Dean said that Republicans are pretty much a white Christian party. He's said that he hates Republicans and thinks that they're evil. Well it seems pretty clear to me: Dean hates white Christians and thinks that they're evil.

Posted by: Roger at June 24, 2005 09:55 AM

Y'all are crazy.

Chicago Tribune Poll (editorially conservative and Bush-endorsing newspaper)

Top White House advisor Karl Rove says Dems were soft on the terrorists after 9/11. Do you think he's right?

63.0% No, his comments are outrageous. He should quit or be fired. (3808 responses)

30.5% Yes, he's right. (1845 responses)

5.9% An apology would be satisfactory (355 responses)

0.7% I'm not sure. (40 responses)

Posted by: John Mc at June 24, 2005 09:59 AM

Oh, but Roger, remember that the Democratic Party is predominantly white and Christian.

It's just that the Republicans are almost entirely white and Christian.

Democrats have a tent big enough for all those lesser people, like minorities and queers, who don't get invited into the Republican's tent too often.

Posted by: The Commenter at June 24, 2005 10:17 AM

Kimmitt: "Dean is a doctor and a 11-year successful governor who faced challengers from both the left and the right. Get a grip."

YEEEAAAAAAAGGGGGHH!

Tatterdemalion: "The general policy of the US seems to be like the one of the ancient Mongols."

Khaaaaan!

pdf: "And it's why sensible people concerned with the future of their country aren't going house to house murdering right-wing scum in their beds."

Peace, love, and understanding, brother. And maybe some lithium.

Posted by: Falwell of the House of Usher at June 24, 2005 10:35 AM

The Commenter,

Democrats have a tent big enough for all those lesser people, like minorities and queers, who don't get invited into the Republican's tent too often.

Yeah, right. The Democratic tent reminds me of those little paper cones I put over young tomato plants. I'm out of that narrow minded group of self-congratulatory latte sippers. The minorities will soon follow. Course, they will no longer be real minorities then; as soon as they aren't begging at the table of their good liberal lords they will become Uncle Tom's and the like. You know, sellouts like Condi and Powell.

Back on topic, I like these comments also.

Posted by: chuck at June 24, 2005 10:41 AM

HAHAHA, liberals drink lattes! Man, that one never gets old! HAHAHAHA!

Posted by: The Commenter at June 24, 2005 10:47 AM

Commenter:
"like minorities and queers, who don't get invited into the Republican's tent too often."

LOL!! You've obviously bought into the party line!

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 24, 2005 10:51 AM

Commenter,
Which party uses the expression "white niggers" and Uncle Tom? Hint: it's not in the Oval Office at the moment.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 24, 2005 10:53 AM

Well, duh, of course I've bought into the party line. That's what being a partisan means!

But, seriously, look at the composition of each party. The Republicans aren't exactly a rainbow, if you know what I mean.

exhelodrvr, I'd be curious to know which party officials or leaders have used those terms.

Posted by: The Commenter at June 24, 2005 10:55 AM

Off the top of my head, Robert Byrd, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and numerous others have made disparaging remarks about blacks who do have conservative views.

Anyone who looks at the situation objectively, and not throught the lens of the late-1960's, will see that the Republican Party is clearly more inclusive than the Democratic Party. The fact that the Democratics are very insulting to any blacks who stray is proof of that. And the gradual shift of the minorities towards the Republicans is spelling doom for the DEmocratic Party on a national level.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 24, 2005 11:17 AM

Hey, Michael, how is it that you haven't banned "pdf" after his/her comment of June 24, 2005 04:39 AM? You banned "scrapiron" for his single (hyperbolic) post about killing Liberals, but not "pdf" for "murdering right-wingers in their sleep." Does that seem inconsistent?

Just wondering...

Posted by: JABBER at June 24, 2005 11:21 AM

The Rove/Durbin dust-ups are great. Rove makes a comment, the Demos jump on it (thinking they can score some points - just like them Repub's do to us!) and they should expect a proper pasting - every anti-war screed thrown back in their face. Durbin makes remarks about Gitmo - this is a dead-bang loser on the domestic political front as the massive majority of Americans do NOT feel like we are mistreating the detainees. Any arguments about "But what will the world think of us?" wailed by the left only reinforces how the left is portrayed by its opponents.

Having the Left try to claim "We're Patriotic Too!" is like having your parents loudly claim that "Hey, we're Cool Too!" while they awkwardly try on hip-hugger jeans and baggy pants - they cannot carry it off and only confirm what they are NOT. Indeed the entire exercise is pathetic.

Note to Mr.Totten's wife: Want to have "liberals" regain lost political ground? Have a prominent liberal come out forcefully for the reinstallment of ROTC at the IVY league colleges (Harvard, et al) - what better symbol to show liberals commitment to the concept of citizen-solders - a key component of our republic? This would also negate the us/them dynamic. Unless, of course, debate over adopting this proposal became bogged down in doctrinaire long discussions of military policy or "imperialism" or other code words for "Amerikkka always wrong". (sigh)

Posted by: Californio at June 24, 2005 11:34 AM

Hi, Michael. I still read your blog, but I gave up on the comment section a while back. I see that it's still infested with extreme right-wingers.

Anyway, keep up the good work.

Posted by: Oberon at June 24, 2005 11:36 AM

Can any Demo tell me one statement by Rove that has not caused them to become enraged? Fact of the matter is that the Demos hate Rove with such a passion that he could praise Mother Teresa and they would yell in protest! And yes, I do think that Rove was very clever in his comments: he "outed" a bunch of naysayers by carefully choosing his words. And I believe exposing these naysayers for what they are (i.e., politically motivated opportunists who would sell out any or all persons of this country for their own political advantage) was a service to the country. Well done, Carl; indeed, well done!

Posted by: wr at June 24, 2005 11:48 AM

pdf SAYS: If someone said to me, on a public street corner, what Karl Rove said to that audience, I'd punch them in the throat without a second thought.

You gotta love it how these Leftists are so tough on Rove, but so soft on terrorists.

Pdf, if you punched me in the throat I'd simply have you arrested, and then I'd sue your ass off for all you're worth (which probably isn't much).

But I've yet to see a Leftist kick anybody's ass, so I wouldn't worry about your empty threats of physical violence. If fact, Leftism attracts the weakest in our society, the misfits, the malcontents and weaklings, like you.

Posted by: spaniard at June 24, 2005 11:48 AM

Oberon,

I see that it's still infested with extreme right-wingers.

That's wingnut to you, young fella.

Proud Wingnut

Posted by: chuck at June 24, 2005 11:52 AM

Michael,

Can you delete that bit of pornographic trash from zomg that made its way into the comments up above?

Posted by: chuck at June 24, 2005 11:57 AM
Putin's Congo Roast
By Gary Brecher

Vladimir Putin has jumped into the middle of the Dark Continent's darkest secrets. It happened at a photo op in Moscow, after Blair and the Russians had hammered out a deal to forgive more African debt.

Putin was probably worn out by Blair's smile. Blair may be a brilliant politician but that grin of his gives me the creeps. Looks too much like the Joker. He's got that fox-snout with a big cartoon grin wider than the face, like he swallowed a coat hanger.

Putin found a way to wipe the grin off Blair's face. He was getting noise about Russia's "human rights record" in the Q&A photo op, and he's not the kind of guy to put up with too much hassle from the press. That's not the kind of thing they teach you in the KGB. He popped up with what the Brits are calling "an astonishing outburst": "We all know that African countries used to have a tradition of eating their own adversaries. We don't have such a tradition or process or culture and I believe the comparison between Africa and Russia is not quite just."

Whoo-hoo! You Russians have guts! Nobody west of the Volga would ever say anything like that. Not in public, anyway. I wish I could see the footage of the seconds after the
"outburst," just to watch Blair's face. There he is, Mister Smile, Mister Cool Britannia,
now trying to be Mister Bob Geldof Bleeding Heart, standing next to this crazy Russian who
just called Africans cannibals. Blair must've been tempted to do the old
pulled-over-with-open-container routine: "Hey, officer, I'm just hitching! I don't even
KNOW this Russian dude!"

The press invoked all the usual PC lies for their responses. It was interesting, because nobody actually said Putin was wrong. Just "insensitive." Somebody named Trevor-I mean,
"Trevor"!-had a hissy fit and lisped, "What a preposterous thing to say. Putin is at best
insensitive and at worst a downright racist."

Well, here's a news flash: Putin told the truth. Cannibalism is very common in African war zones. Trevor should read the news from places like Congo more carefully, like this
story carried in the Economist a few weeks ago:

"Zainabo Alfani:was stopped by men in uniform on a road in Ituri [in NE Congo] last year. She and 13 other women were ordered to strip, to see if they had long vaginal lips,
which the gunmen believed would have magical properties. The 13 others did not, and were
killed on the spot. Zainabo did. The gunmen cut them off and then gang-raped her. Then they
cooked and ate her two daughters in front of her. They also ate chunks of Zainabo's flesh.
She escaped, but had contracted HIV. She told her story to the UN in February, and died in
March."

You see a lot of typical features of African wartime cannibalism in this story. First there's the magical element. In Central Africa, most people still believe in magic. And
we're talking some very weird, lethal magic here. Not like the "white magic" this poor ditz
goth girl in my high school used to claim she could do. Nice girl actually, kind of fat
(which is why girls go goth anyway, that basic black slimming effect). She always tried to
give people-guys she had a crush on, mostly-magic treatment for headaches. It was so
embarrassing, this chunky talkative girl in black brushing her hand down some jock's face,
that guys would say it worked just to be able to run away. "I'm cured! Thanks Natalie!
Bye!"

African magic is a lot more serious. That's one of the things I like about Africans, the way they take things seriously. African magic, and this applies to hundreds of tribes all
across Central Africa, is blood magic. As in human sacrifice. The African gods and spirits
don't want you to spend more time with the kids or be a better person. They want you to go
get a live human and kill him. Or her. Or them, because if you've got a big request they're
going to want people. Plural people.

The spirits especially like kids' bodies. In the old days when a chief died everybody kept the kiddies home for months, because the big man's servants would be scouting the
neighborhood looking for unsupervised youngsters to kill and bury with the chief. It was
just a way of showing respect.

Same thing if you were building a big palace: it just went without saying you'd want to bury a child or two under the load-bearing posts. For that extra bit of supernatural
sturdiness. I can just imagine the Congo version of Bob Vila doing home repair: "Now before
you put up the dining-room post, you'll want to kill a toddler and bury it under the beam.
Your hardware dealer can recommend a good child-kidnapper."

To do serious magic, Africans need body parts. If you read that eXile column Mandela Porn, which I wouldn't miss for anything-can't believe a girl that cute comes up with
stories that gross! -you know about "muti" which is the South African version. To make
muti, you need somebody's liver, or heart, or toes or whatever-depends on what you want.
I'm not a specialist.

Generally you eat the body part in question. As usual, kids' livers and such are most in demand-lower mileage, more potency. In some parts of Eastern Congo, like I reported in an
earlier column ("Congo: War without Battles" eXile #161), pygmy meat is considered magical.
Supposedly it'll get you higher than you've ever been in your life. Literally-these people
think that if you eat a pygmy, you'll be able to fly. Of course other locals eat pygmies
just because they like the taste. It's sort of the gourmets vs. the mystics. The only thing
they can agree on is that nothing beats a little-man BBQ.

Cannibalism always increases in wartime. And though hardly anybody knows it, Congo is the site of the biggest war since 1945. Last time I reported on it the official death toll
was 2.5 million. Since then another half million Congoans have died.

And a few of those have been eaten. The Congo war is pure primitive warfare: no battles, next to no combat, just massacres. Primitive warfare is one long civilian hunt. Most people
try to deal with that by vanishing into the jungle. That's where they die-of malaria, or
starvation, or an infected scratch, snakebite-anything but combat. The current estimate is
that less than 2% of the deaths in this huge war have been from combat.

In wartime cannibalism is a weapon in itself, one of the most powerful of all. Because primitive war is about terrorizing people. How do you drive those enemy-tribe civvies into
the jungle to die? You scare'em. So, what's the scariest thing you could think of? Killing
people? Nah. Most Central Africans live hard, short lives. They're not scared of death, at
least not as terrified as first-worlders.

What they fear more than anything is being eaten. Being eaten is the biggest, oldest fear in the world. Goes back to the days when it was us vs. the hyenas, and the hyenas
usually won. Why do you think Jaws made so much money? You're in a million times more
danger driving to Safeway than swimming in the ocean, but you're not scared driving, and
you are scared swimming. It's not because Spielberg's such a genius, it's because that fear
of being eaten is in our chimp brains.

Back when coffles of Africans were being shipped as slaves to the Western Hemisphere, it was almost impossible to get the slaves on the ships because they thought they were being
taken aboard as meat, to be sold and eaten. Often they'd jump overboard and drown
themselves rather than be eaten. Once they knew they were only going to a lifetime of
horrible slavery, they calmed down, for a long ride that left a quarter of them dead.

The next worst thing you can do to an African is destroy his or her family line. Rape is one way. We saw that in the Balkans, which also featured pure primitive warfare. Those rape
camps weren't "atrocities," they were standard practice in tribal war. I haven't heard
about cannibalism in the Balkans, but I wouldn't be surprised. The only thing that stopped
those crazy South Slavs is that human bodies only have trace amounts of alcohol. If you
could drink a body instead of eating it, those slivovitz-heads would've outdid every
vampire movie in history.

You only have to eat a few people, just a nibble here and there, to get that cannibal rep. And once you've got it, it's golden. Your tribal enemies flee at the rumor you're in
the district. So with that in mind, maybe what happened to that lady on the road in Ituri
makes more sense to you. I know it's hard, but try to look at that massacre story
coldbloodedly. And remember, Northeast Congo where this happened is a war zone. The militia
didn't just wake up on the wrong side of the hammock, they were doing primitive
warfare.

So the first thing they do is kill 13 out of the 14 women they caught. Killing women of the enemy tribe, or better yet adolescent girls, is the most effective move in primitive
warfare. It wipes out the enemy's future, its childbearing ability.

So why didn't they kill all the women? Simple: somebody had to carry the story to the enemy. The woman they let live is like a virus they were transmitting to their enemies. She
goes back with the story, it spreads, and the whole tribe is terrorized, easy prey.

So you pick the woman who has those magical long vaginal lips. You cut off her magical vaginal lips and eat them-so you've taken her magic. Then you take her descendants, her
daughters-the most important thing (assuming her sons are already dead) she's got. You make
her watch as you eat them. At this point the militia commander is like a movie director.
He's doing it shot by shot, deciding what story he's going to make this woman carry
home.

Now you're almost ready to let the surviving woman go. But not quite. Just cutting off her vaginal lips is too easy. So you carefully filet some pieces off her-you have to be
careful the cuts aren't fatal, though, or you've wasted your energy. You eat these pieces
of her. And then you send her stumbling home.

You've just completed a very effective, totally typical primitive war military operation. That woman is going to stagger back to her clan and start telling what happened
to her. The story will spread faster than a Malibu brushfire, and everybody who hears it
will run. So by killing some unarmed women, at a cost of zero casualties for your militia,
you've cleared maybe a whole province.

So Putin told the truth. Africans do eat each other.

The only part of Putin's "outburst" that's bullshit is the claim that Russia has no history of cannibalism. Um, Vlad baby, ever hear of the Siege of Leningrad? I hear one of
the popular dishes of the time was BBQ Thigh of ex-Neighbor. Or how about the Famine in the
30s? I've seen photos of peasants in Southern Russia and Ukraine selling human meat.

It's just a matter of taste: white meat or dark.

Posted by: a proud cannibal at June 24, 2005 11:58 AM

What's a hawkish democrat? Has anyone seen it or is this breed extinct?

Posted by: joe cioffi at June 24, 2005 12:22 PM

Megan said: What is most dangerous about Durbin's comments (and those of Amnesty International for that matter) is not the effect it has on our troops. What makes those comments dangerous is that it diminishes the crimes committed Nazis, the Khmer Rouge, and the Soviet Union and thereby betrays their victims.

I would go further and say this is probably done on purpose. You will notice, most often such remarks are made by Commies Islamists Fascists and such. The very groups that victimized the those people.

Posted by: mika. at June 24, 2005 12:25 PM

Don't know if anyone will appreciate this [and I don't like linking myself] but my thoughts here FWIW.

Posted by: urthshu at June 24, 2005 12:44 PM

I'm a hawkish Democrat. So are the 99% of Democrats in Congress who voted for the Afghanistan war, and the 75% who voted for the Iraq war, and every Dem that's a serious candidate in '08. Stop pretending we're all Michael Moore, 'cause yes, the majority of us are not.

Posted by: Steve at June 24, 2005 12:49 PM

Michael,
"But you need to understand something, also. My wife is a liberal. (I'm not, I voted for Bush.)"

Yes you are. You are the kind of liberal we need to make a comeback in this nation. That is why I read you blog more regularly than any other.

I am pretty sure I am a conservative both fiscally and socially, but I have a liberal streak that doesn't want the non-libertarian Repubs to get to much of a lock on the country. We need a healthy balance and a productive dialog. Salute.

PS's.

1. Kudos to TallDave and Roger (do put in some para breaks dude). What they said.

2. T Bevan at RealClearPolitics nails what the Dems should have done. Rove pulled their chain perfectly. Hillary's face on the TV today was priceless - IMHO her expression showed she didn't like being forced to stand in line with the twitchy caucus.

3. Whoa - 184 comments, musta hit a nerve MJT

Posted by: jdwill at June 24, 2005 12:53 PM

It's true that Moveon.org, Michael Moore, et. al. are a fetid film on the soul of FDR's party, but Karl Rove must be the absolute worse person in the world to make that point.

Michael,

if you are basically agreeing with Rove's point about Moveon.org, et al, then what difference does it make who makes the point.

Posted by: spaniard at June 24, 2005 12:54 PM

I'm a hawkish Democrat. So are the 99% of Democrats in Congress who voted for the Afghanistan war, and the 75% who voted for the Iraq war, and every Dem that's a serious candidate in '08.

Steve,

Rove's comments were directed at LIBERALS-- not Democrats. Is this a case of thou protesting too much?

Posted by: spaniard at June 24, 2005 12:59 PM

Watch it with the slams on Dems. While I'm not one half my family is and were he not six feet under the earth I guarantee that my grandfather wouldn't mind showing you just how hawkish he is. FYI, he would be the same man who flew umpteen missions over France and Germany, was shot down twice and had his ass shot up in the ball turret of a B-17. That guy saw more buddies die at the hands of the Nazis, and more Nazis die by his own than 90% of the so-called conservative "hawks" of today.

Rove was out of line, just like Dean was when he characterized Republicans. I'm a Republican and guess what? I've tried a hell of a lot of drugs, have tattoos, my ears pierced as well as my tongue, I love trees, animals and I don't have much of a problem with homosexuals. Oh and pot should be legal. I also like guns, hate fascists, love my country enough to defend it against anyone, for any reason. How are your pre-conceptions and stereotypes doing so far?

Don't be so stupid as to believe in generalized political rhetoric, have a goddman independent thought of your own and tell hacks like Dean and Rove to shut the **** up!

Posted by: Mike T. at June 24, 2005 01:30 PM

VDH has an excellent column related to this:

http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200506240756.asp

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 24, 2005 01:44 PM

Let's stop crying about the word liberal. All the Dems are calling themselves progressives not liberals. Why then do thbey get upset by someone talking about liberals. Freudian slip on their part.

Posted by: davod at June 24, 2005 01:52 PM

Mr. Totten, you've convinced me that I'd better keep dating Republicans just so someone will have my back when the "what was wrong with the Japanese internment" folks come for me.

Posted by: PG at June 24, 2005 02:17 PM

"How are your preconceptions and stereotypes doing so far?"

Yawn. Most people vary widely from stereotypes. A conservative with piercings and tatoos? A liberal that wears a tie? I'm shocked, shocked I say!

While I think Rove's comments were a political calculation designed for a broad public display of hypocrisy on the part of the left, while offering the right an excuse to dig up anti-American commentary of the left, I tend to agree. There are always exceptions to the rule--that doesn't make someone wrong for pointing out that there is an overwhelming consistency in certain areas on certain issues and, by and large, support for war in Afghanistan was dicey on the left and support for anything else has been largely non-existent (or, at best, voted for before voted against).

Given the circumstances, the patriotism of your wife not withstanding, Karl's remarks were perfectly legitimate and perhaps overdue. Many conservatives, even those with piercings, believe the political left gets away with mischaracterizing their positions and rewriting history when it's convenient, and believes that they should be called on it.

And, while we're on the topic, I full support Dean and I think he should say a whole lot more. I think it's great that he's the voice of the Democratic party. If that's how they feel, well, dammit, they should say it!

Finally, I was once a liberal, and, as Ronald Reagan said (paraphrasing), I didn't leave them: they left me. While I don't doubt for a moment the patriotism of your wife and your liberal family members, my experience has been that, in the land of the left, American-loving liberal hawks are few and very far between.

Posted by: Kevin S. Willis at June 24, 2005 02:24 PM

I think everything has already been said here. here really isn't much more that anyoune can add except GOD BLESS YOU CARL ROVE YOU BEAUTIFUL GENIUS YOU.

Posted by: joefrommass at June 24, 2005 03:19 PM

Holy cow! Howard Dean wanted a trial for Osama Bin Laden. That is a mainstream democrat calling for indictments.
http://www.anklebitingpundits.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1591

Rove might not be helpful, only because of the extent that Democrats can cause a hypocritical stink, but he's accurate.

Posted by: bill at June 24, 2005 04:24 PM

I'm going to say it again, if moderate liberals don't want to feel attacked, they need to take (or make) a word to describe themselves. To take it, they need to vigorously attack anyone who is too far left that tries to use 'liberal' to describe themselves.

We 'conservative' types call people like Buchanan a 'right winger'. If you want the word liberal, attack any leftist who calls themselves one...

The fact that my acquaintances who will call themselves ‘progressive socialists’ in one sentence (and they’re the full blown conspiracy theory set) call themselves ‘liberals’ in the next does not help your case…..

Anyway, if you do this you'll also fix the democrat party by putting the kooks back in a box...

Posted by: Thomas at June 24, 2005 04:51 PM

Okay, I came in to the conversation WAAAY late here, but here's my two cents:

What Karl Rove said was over the top. I certainly don't agree that ALL liberals want us to lose the war and be therapists for the disaffected.

That being said, I think neither him nor Durbin should have to apologize for what they said. If they truly believe it, then why apologize for their beliefs? Let them defend their remarks and let them be exposed for the kooks they are, rather than offer some lame-ass apology that they don't believe in their heart of hearts anyway.

Furthermore, I think Rove said these things not necessarily because he believes them, but because he is intelligent enough to know exactly how the left would react to such a generalization. All this hubbub over Rove from the Democrats is just going to open up the floodgates for every anti-American thing that the associated left has said over the past four years, allowing the brush to be spread.

Face it folks, it's Karl Rove's world; we just live in it.

Posted by: HeartlessLibertarian at June 24, 2005 04:55 PM

We must keep the following in mind: the older generations of the German people are still in part influenced by the former bourgeois culture. Despite good will and an openness to the National Socialist outlook, liberal thinking and feelings are still alive in these generations. The better part of the notorious complainers and know-it-alls belong to these older generations. These individuals still take themselves much too seriously.

From:
"Front der Heimat," Folge 2, produced by the Gaupropagandaamt Oberdonau, Linz. It is undated, but the contents suggest that it appeared in October 1939.

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/heimat.htm

Posted by: Stupor at June 24, 2005 05:40 PM

I've been thinking about whether liberals, or rather the left-liberals (not the Skip Jackson type liberals--not that many are left) are patriotic or not. By left-liberals I mean more than the Michael Moore and George Soros types, and the moveon crowd, but also Pelosi, Durbin, Schumer et al.

I've concluded that they have no idea what patriotism is, and that they are truly unpatriotic out of ignorance, whether intentional or not.

Durbin is a prime example. He truly sees nothing wrong with slandering his own country, and the troops that protect us, in the name of defending savages that would literally saw our heads off in a heart beat. He truly thinks we're the bad guys. He semi apologized solely because lots of folks got mad. Even then, had Daley not spoken out against what Durbin said, Durbin would not have apologized. In the end, what he really apologized for was getting us mad, not for being wildly wrong and stunningly ignorant. And completely unpatriotic in his statement on the floor of the Senate. And his outburst is a prime example of what Rove was saying--Durbin wants legalistic treatment of the savages, period. Personally I don't care if they roast the Gitmo terrorists over a fire if that would save one Marine or one child that these butchers are killing daily.

I've decided it doesn't matter whether this type of liberal THINKS he's a patriot, and does unpatriotic things out of stupidity, vapidity, or just plain ignorance, he's still unpatriotic and is contributing to getting our guys killed.

Kennedy's tantrum with the Miltary and Sec Def panel yesterday was a prime example of lack of patriotism from a man who's own father supported Hitler and had to be fired by FDR from his post as Ambassador to England in the run up to WW II.

Fact is, liberals of this stripe dont know HOW to be patriots. And that's no excuse for trashing our country, our troops, or our president.

Posted by: bill at June 24, 2005 05:44 PM

Michael Totten wrote: "But feeding anti-American pathologies was not Dick Durbin’s intention. He intended to get more humane treatment for prisoners at Gitmo – an honorable objective I happen to sympathize with. That couldn’t be any more obvious than it is."

Either you're naive, or both you and Durbin are. But Durbin's a pro. It's impossible he's so dumb as not to know exactly what reaction he'd get to his words.

"There was, however, so much wailing and gnashing of teeth from that ten percent that I can hardly blame conservatives for forgetting about the silent majority of hawkish Democrats at the time."

"Silent majority?" Now you're quoting Nixon??? Off to the re-education camps! But seriously, just you saying that isn't enough. This supposed "silent majority" (which I need a lot more evidence to convince me it actually exists) had better stop being silent and speak up a lot more and a lot louder. The legal principle is "silence gives consent". You have spoken up, so you're covered. Those who didn't implicitly consented to the crap.

Wagner James Au wrote: "It's true that Moveon.org, Michael Moore, et. al. are a fetid film on the soul of FDR's party, but Karl Rove must be the absolute worse person in the world to make that point. It's like watching a leper challenge a hemophiliac to full contact karate."

Michael Moore sat next to former president Jimmy Carter at the Democratic convention. Didn't Elizabeth Edwards thank the people on Democratic Underground? Wasn't it Nancy Pelosi that thanked the people on Daily Kos? Calling Moore and the organizations mentioned merely a "fetid film" minimizes their role so much that it's simply dishonest. It looks more like that the Democratic Party is rotten to the core. Rove looks no worse than an average person.

Frankly, I think the extreme reaction to Rove's remarks is because they're absolutely factual.

And as Instapundit said, these reactions "just provide an excuse for Republicans to repeat every single stupid or unpatriotic thing that every Democratic politician ever said. And there are a lot of those."

Posted by: Jim C. at June 24, 2005 05:59 PM

Thomas: "I'm going to say it again, if moderate liberals don't want to feel attacked, they need to take (or make) a word to describe themselves. To take it, they need to vigorously attack anyone who is too far left that tries to use 'liberal' to describe themselves."

How about "radical centrists"? (Radical cause well - centrism is pretty darned radical these days!)

Michael - obviously you've been instalaunched today! That Glenn Reynolds is something...

Posted by: Caroline at June 24, 2005 05:59 PM

“In the decade and a half between the close of World War I and the assumption of Adolf Hitler the German people faced the imposing tasks of absorbing defeat in the war, of adjusting to a peace settlement universally regarded in Germany as unjust, and of coping with armed insurrection, runaway inflation, reparations payments and the depression. In response to this series crises there arose among the nationalist-minded intellectuals of the Right an ideological movement referred to by some of its participants as the “conservative revolution.” These intellectuals were “conservative” in the sense of wanting to retain or revitalize certain traditional political, economic, and cultural forms and values which they felt were more in keeping with pristine Germanic character than were the “alien” forms associated with the Weimer democracy; they were “revolutionary” because they felt that only by embracing these traditional forms and values to revolutionary extent could Germany rejuvenate her national life and restore her political power. In general the conservatives revolutionaries-or neo-conservatives-were anti-Western, anti-Liberal, and anti-Semitic. Hence they often found themselves en rapport with the National Socialist, though for the most part the conservative revolutionaries were not Nazis in the strict sense. Nonetheless, as the 1920’s progressed, the movements represented by the two groups became more closely entwined. The Nazis allowed the largely congenial writings of the conservative revolutionaries to complement their own intellectually barren ideology, while the conservative revolutionaries viewed the dynamism of the Nazi movement as the necessary practical engine for dislodging the Weimer system and opening the way to true volkisch state. Yet once the National Socialist had seized power in 1933, they quickly lost patience with the independent-minded conservative revolutionaries, while the latter soon grew dismayed by the crudeness and fanaticism of the de facto Nazi regime. As a group, the conservative revolutionaries remained true to themselves and after the mid-1930’s played no positive role in the Hitler regime.

From:

The Fichte Society: A Chapter in Germany's Conservative Revolution
Nelson Edmondson
The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 38, No. 2. (Jun., 1966), pp. 161-180.

Posted by: 4-Ever at June 24, 2005 06:06 PM

I have to say, I've given up. I love America, I spent a year there shortly after the fall of Communism. I was blown away by the optimism, the vehemence of both liberals and conservatives(Yes, I loved the young republicans and socialists equally) . Protests, religious revivials, rock concerts, free newspapers, student organazations, I relished anything and everything that would have been banned by the Commie bastards, right or left.
However, reading about the leftie nutjobs who openly support Islamic fascists, or, at the very least, hope for American defeat combined with the the dogmatic rightwing idiot blowhards on this site and others who defend Karl Rove and his drive to scaprgoat fellow Americans, (not to mention oppress innocent homosexuals) leads me to believe believe the far right and far left in America are clueless. Each side speaks the language of potential totalitarians.
Frydek-Mistek
P.S.Excuse muy terrible grammer and:
Mr. Durbin, as bad as Gitmo may be, it is not(nor is the USA) as bad as the nazis or the bolsheviks.
Mr. Rove, you are a sleazy scumbag, purposefully pushing an agenda of lies, scapegoating and hate.

Posted by: Frydek-Mistek at June 24, 2005 06:33 PM

Mr. Durbin, as bad as Gitmo may be, it is not(nor is the USA) as bad as the nazis or the bolsheviks.

Senator Durbin never said anything of the sort -- what he did say was that what took place in Gitmo was worthy of the nazis or bolsheviks and not worthy of us. The transcript is freely available.

Posted by: Kimmitt at June 24, 2005 06:40 PM

Comparing Gitmo to what the Nazis or Soviets did was stupid. Instead of discussing the torture that has taken place and needs to be stopped, Americans are talking about Durbin comparing Gitmo to the Nazis or Soviets. taken out of context or not, it was stupid and undefensable.
however, what Rove said was just as bad, and the idiot posters who defend him should understand that Rove would have made an excellent Bolshevik.
Frydek-Mistek

Posted by: Frydek-Mistek at June 24, 2005 06:51 PM

This is where we disagree: the torture has been going on for years. Only now is it being seriously discussed. Why? Because the wingnuts were stupid enough to bring it to the forefront in order to attempt to gain partisan advantage. Durbin's comments did precisely what they were designed to do, and he should have stood by them. Now we're at least having the conversation. Now at least the wingnuts are putting forward their actual opinions.

Posted by: Kimmitt at June 24, 2005 06:59 PM

If only Karlos the Jackal had said, "[Most] Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; [some] liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers[' sympathizers]" I might have been ready to go so far as to agree with him about one hundred (100%) percent.

SHAME on his lack of imprecision!

Posted by: chris in st. lou' at June 24, 2005 07:04 PM

Or even his lack of precision--ya know?

Posted by: chris in st. lou' at June 24, 2005 07:06 PM

This class spirit and hatred was a damned crime coming from liberal roots and developed by Marxism!

Seduced by Marxism, workers believed they could better their situation by refusing to work. Under liberal foolishness, they broad circles of the "educated" preferred to starve rather than do physical work. The good German phrase "Work is no disgrace" was transformed into "Work is a disgrace."

Background: This is an essay by Dr. Robert Ley, a leading Nazi, from a 1936 illustrated Nazi coffee table book on Adolf Hitler. Ley presents a picture of delighted German workers happy with all the Führer has given them. Historians find, however, that although Hitler was undoubtedly popular, German workers were not nearly as delighted as Ley suggests.

The source: Robert Ley, "Der Führer and das deutsche Arbeiter," Adolf Hitler. Bilder aus dem Leben des Führers (Hamburg: Cigaretten/Bilderdienst Hamburg/Bahrenfeld, 1936, pp. 56-261.

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/aharbeit.htm

Posted by: damed at June 24, 2005 07:10 PM

Why Are We Nationalists?

We are nationalists because we see the nation as the only way to bring all the forces of the nation together to preserve and improve our existence and the conditions under which we live.

The nation is the organic union of a people to protect its life. To be national is to affirm this union in word and deed. To be national has nothing to do with a form of government or a symbol. It is an affirmation of things,not forms. Forms can change, their content remains. If form and content agree, then the nationalist affirms both. If they conflict, the nationalist fights for the content and against the form. One may not put the symbol above the content. If that happens, the battle is on the wrong field and one's strength is lost in formalism. The real aim of nationalism, the nation, is lost.

The source: Joseph Goebbels and Mjölnir, Die verfluchten Hakenkreuzler. Etwas zum Nachdenken (Munich: Verlag Frz. Eher, 1932).

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/haken32.htm

Posted by: damed at June 24, 2005 07:12 PM

Frydek-Mistek,

the idiot posters who defend him should understand that Rove would have made an excellent Bolshevik.

Sounds like you would make an excellent Karl Rove! Seriously, though, both Communism and Fascism are products of continental Europe. They don't have much to do with American politics.

Posted by: chuck at June 24, 2005 07:23 PM

As far as I'm concerned, it can't be said often enough.

Narcissistic Democrats seek a restoration of power. Whatever collateral damage occurs along the way is immaterial. They would see the mission fail if that failure lead to their desired ends. Narcissistic lefties want self-validation. Their world view demands that not only the mission fail, but America itself. Both suffer from increasingly dangerous levels of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Lefties would be a mere annoyance except that their numbers permeate certain critical fields, eg. academia and journalism. Democrats can't be trusted with this nation's defense and security which is a far more serious matter. Witness the demands for an "exit strategy" and troop withdrawal "timetables". Idiots. (Yes, I know there are some Republicans asking for the same things--they're idiots as well.)

Democrats invite Michael Moore to share the Presidential box at their convention. Lefties carry signs that say "We'll support the troops when they start shooting their officers".

You want to make a soldier laugh out loud (albeit bitterly)? Tell him how much you support him, and the rest of the troops of course, you will hasten to add, but, no matter how much you want to or try to, you just can't support the mission.

I would suggest that those who are taking Karl Rove's remarks as personally as some seem to be are in need of a critical self-examination.

Posted by: SukieTawdry at June 24, 2005 07:25 PM

Kimmit,
You make a good point, but the press in my country(Czech Republic) keeps mentioning the comparison to the Nazis and Soviets and not what is happening at Gitmo. thus, taking the allowing the public to trake the eye off the ball.
Frydek-Mistek

Posted by: Frydek-Mistek at June 24, 2005 07:29 PM

Michael wrote: " But "Liberals=Traitors" are fighting words."

Rove called liberals stupid at best, at worst his point was that they are dangerously misguided wrt to the War on Terrorism.

Your perceived "fighting words" are, Michael, every bit the lie that Conservatives are Bigoted, Racist Homophobic Warmongers. I thot you above this sort of tripe, but I was wrong to think so.

Marc S. Lamb

Posted by: Marc S. Lamb at June 24, 2005 07:30 PM

SukieTawdry,
As somebody who actually knows what its like to live under a totalitarian regime, I can say with a certain amount of authority that Karl Rove speaks their language. Defending Rove's comments with annecdotes from the anti-war left hardly makes your point. I'm repeating myself, but purposefully supporting scapegoating reaks of totalitarianism. Philisophical disaagreements are one thing, but questioning patritism etc. is the exact same fucking shit that people had to put up with under communism. Examine yourself.
Frydek-Mistek

Posted by: Frydek-Mistek at June 24, 2005 07:48 PM

Frydek-Mistek,

As somebody who actually knows what its like to live under a totalitarian regime, I can say with a certain amount of authority that Karl Rove speaks their language.

No, you can't. Frankly, you sound like a victim of European bigotry and propaganda. Same old, same old. Karl Rove is a pretty ordinary guy, actually. And you might consider that we are the oldest democracy around. There is a reason for that, and it sure as hell ain't because we respect the opinions of Europeans.

Posted by: chuck at June 24, 2005 07:58 PM

The thing about Rove's statements, and all of you who say or think things like "liberals can't be trusted with defending America", is that there are plenty of liberal soldiers and, more importantly, most of the federal government consists of liberals.

Not the political appointees; they can be anyone. Someone I know who worked at State had a political appointee put in charge of her office; the appointee had never graduated high school and was barely literate, but she was related to someone important.

No, I mean the rank-and-file civil service who run the day-to-day operations of the government. I work in national security, and I'm a liberal (I even supported the war in Iraq to the point of alienating liberal friends - though this was before I came to realize that there was basically no way Bush could have ever run the war successfully) - and so are all of my government buddies also working on national security.

So it's amusing, and annoying, to hear from people who will probably never, ever contribute in any way to national defense that people like me, who are liberal and who do defend this country, hate America or are weak on terrorism or blah blah blah blah blah.

Posted by: The Commenter at June 24, 2005 08:04 PM

Your assumption that Durban was trying to improve the situation at Gitmo is nonsense. Dick had plenty of time to think this through. He had to know the extreme nature of his comments (using hitler as a comparison is ALWAYS extreme) made them usable to America's enemies. He's been around too long not to know. This was all about smearing Bush. This was the only point to the speech. Your error here renders your outrage shallow.

Its also worth noting Rove went into some detail regarding moveon.org as the type of liberal he was talking about. They are on the other side. As a political matter this is all good for Rove. Why the\dems wanted to raise this issue which alwauys frames thenm in a bad light is a mystery.

Posted by: rdw at June 24, 2005 08:11 PM

I'm really damn late in saying this, 194 people kind of late, but I hope it gets heard none the less...

The part of what Rove said that really stood out to me isn't being talked about here. It's not nearly as reactionary or McCarthyesque, but far more confounding. His words:

"Conservatives saw what happened to us on 9/11 and said, 'We will defeat our enemies.' Liberals saw what happened to us and said, 'We must understand our enemies.'"

My thoughts: What's wrong with doing both? If we're not killing them, they're killing us. And if we're only killing them, well, isn't that kind of like chopping at the branches? I'm kind of surprised to hear something like this out Karl Rove, of all people. If there's anything that I tend to admire about the neocons making them superior to their more traditional Republican brethren, it's the fact they DO actually chop at the roots. Or they try to at least. They see the need, I mean to say.

I hear Karl Rove say that and I question whether he's truly a neocon at all. One wonders how Paul Wolfowitz, a man who's devoted his entire life's work to "understanding" our enemies, must have felt when he heard it.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at June 24, 2005 08:12 PM

Chuck,
Study Russian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Romanian, Hungarian, or Bulgarian. Read Commie propganda, and then I'll take your comment seriously.
Frydek-mistek

Posted by: Frydek-Mistek at June 24, 2005 08:22 PM

If you're really interested in what liberals are thinking, go and pay a visit to DailyKos. It's one of the most popular blogs, period.

Want Bush dead? Check.
Want Americans killed in Iraq? Check.
Want America to fail in Iraq? Check.
Bush a traitor? Check.
Durbin a hero? Check.
America the greatest force of evil ever? Check.

These people are not aberrations of the left. They ARE the left. Self-loathing, blind-hating, non thinking, anti-American liberals. And there are lots of them. Karl Rove doesn't need a crystal ball to see that, just a computer.

Posted by: Swede at June 24, 2005 08:36 PM

This political chessgame has been overly dissected. Durbin's statement emotional and ill concieved...retracted for a net loss. Rove's calculated statement is achieving exactly what it was intended to do. As Rove attacks the far left, weak on terror wackos Dems defend and cry foul thereby labeling themselves as such. Great fuel for future battles.Check...advantage Rove.

Posted by: Wolf at June 24, 2005 08:40 PM

This was the real cause for the collapse of liberal society. It was rooted not in the eternal, but in the temporal, and when the temporal declined it took the eternal down with it. Today it is only an excuse for a system that brings growing economic misery.

Joseph Goebbels and Mjölnir, Die verfluchten Hakenkreuzler. Etwas zum Nachdenken (Munich: Verlag Frz. Eher, 1932).

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/haken32.htm

Posted by: damed at June 24, 2005 08:45 PM

Dubya has created the world's most expensive school for terrorists, and the president's top advisor thinks the problem is a bunch of activists here at home?! That's exactly the kind of weak leadership that has gotten us in such trouble in Iraq.

Posted by: damed at June 24, 2005 08:53 PM

damed,

If you have a point to make, why not state it?

Posted by: chuck at June 24, 2005 08:55 PM

I know by blog-commenting experience that after 100 comments on a post you tend share your space with the cranks and the geeks who fruitlessly attempt to correct them (Don't take that too hard. I have been both. And here I am now, after all). But the host answered me graciously above, and my comments belong to this thread and not another. If Mr. Totten has the perseverance to follow thus far, he has my thanks.

I had asked what better motive a reasonable liberal might have than the baser one which Mr. Rove suggested: political advantage. Michael responded that some liberals were genuinely distressed by prisoner mistreatment.

I don't doubt that in the slightest. I expect that even some whose main motive is to seek political advantage are nonetheless genuinely upset by prisoner mistreatment. But I think there is a deeper lesson -- a check, if you will, on our finer feelings to prevent them from trumping other moral considerations.

It is not a human failing but a human glory that we can identify with suffering, even of those we might find contemptible. That we can put ourselves in the shoes of others is an imitation of God, and we should not despise that ability. But it is also profligate. We can be moved to tears by a movie in which the dog dies, outraged that some base human would mistreat such a one. Even when our more rational minds tell us that thousands of children are undergoing greater suffering, we can be moved by the recent story of a boy lost in the woods.

In the extreme, we can worry about the survival of bird species whose shells are weakened by DDT, ignoring the millions of humans who die for lack of DDT. One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.

So too with the mistreatment of prisoners at Gitmo. In the hands of a skilled movie-maker, even those most rabidly angry at our enemies could be presented with the story of a single Arab prisoner and be outraged at a military guard who mistreated him even verbally, if the full context were removed.

Of course we are angered at the thought that one of our own, representing us, could be unfair, callous, or cruel to a prisoner. We have an ability to condescend to the lot of the weaker, and can experience his suffering in some small way. When one has identified with the victim, any attempt by others to underestimate the suffering seems mere excuse-making -- the rationalizations of the cruel and powerful. Attempts to put the suffering in any other context than Another Human Feels It seem to be moral evasions.

You see where this is going. The seeming is not the actuality. When we put ourselves in another's place it is a grand impulse, but it may lead us to evil conclusions. We might easily overreact to the suffering with which we empathise and ignore the greater suffering which has not moved us because we have not considered it. We might save the bird eggs and allow the millions to die of malaria.

I don't doubt that Dick Durbin very humanly put himself in the place of the prisoners and noted accurately that These Things Should Not Be. He is absolutely correct in that, and to hold American guards accountable to the highest standards is just.

But it just isn't a big deal. It isn't. Whatever our feelings tell us, it is small potatoes. The vistor from Mars would note that our prisoners are on the whole treated better than any prisoners in the history of warfare. Even Abu Ghraib far exceeded in kindness anything even kindly civilized nations have managed in any other era. Guantanamo Bay is a better place to live than a state prison. There have been fraternity hazings more cruel. Highschool athletes volunteer for greater privation every summer. These are unpleasant comparisons to hear, but they are objectively true.

Karl Rove has accurately observed that his political opponents have allowed a false kindness to lead them into an enormous cruelty. More tellingly, they have refused the larger context even when it has been amply pointed out to them. They have had space to reconsider and reevaluate but persist in straining out gnats while swallowing camels. Or in the case of more reasonable liberals, they allow the moral posturing of the gnat-strainers to continue unimpeded, reserving their ire for those who have the temerity to point out the camels.

Conservatives are often accused of falling prey to a black-and-white morality. This is usually because they disapprove of behavior that others do not disapprove of. But the characterization is exactly backwards. It is the conservatives who understand that collateral damage can be minimized but not eliminated, and that prisoner abuse is going to happen when soldiers see their friends die or have feces thrown at them. It is the liberals who see all shades of grey as the same, both the light grey of the American hats and the charcoal grey of our enemies' hats.

Much of the distress at American behavior falls into this category. It may not be hypocritical or merely convenient. It may be a genuine sign of American greatness that we can spend such sympathy. But in its lack of context it fixes blame wrongly, and is thus unjust.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at June 24, 2005 08:58 PM

assistant Village Idiot,
Nice little piece of propaganda. Of course, you've never been to to Gitmo or Abu Garib so no rational person should take you at your word in regards to the conditions faced by its prisoners. Maybe you're right, maybe you're wrong, but your claim is essentially dishonest.
Frydek-Mistek

Posted by: Frydek-Mistek at June 24, 2005 09:14 PM

Folks, please allow me to impart some wisdom with regards to Rove's observations and Democrats apoplectic response to them: It is simply because Rove attacked moveon.org, the center of the the Democratic Party base, that liberals from Hillary on down have responded to Rove as they have. Rove attacked their base support structure (or who they think is the heart of their base). To have ignored this attack would be to ignore their base.

That's the truth, like it or not, liberals.

Posted by: Marc S. Lamb at June 24, 2005 09:24 PM

The Commenter

Me: Medic, Co F (ABN)(LRS) 425 INF, Michigan Army National Guard, OIF Feb 04-Feb 05.

Blow me, office boy.

Posted by: Swede at June 24, 2005 09:32 PM

Marc,

With all due respect, I disagree. Rove did single out moveon.org, a point Michael seems to have overlooked, but I don't think Democrats at large are responding to defend moveon. I think they believe they will gain the support of their constituents by attacking Rove, and indirectly Bush. Michael is a different case, because he isn't a moveon type of guy. So why his response? First of all, his link is to the NY Times, which doesn't carry the full quote. So in the first place, Michael got snookered and manipulated by the press. Then, of course, Rove implied that moveon was representative of liberals as a whole. Michael took umbrage at this, but his own comments about tilting at windmills in trying to reform the Democratic Party indicates to me that perhaps there is more to Rove's broad strokes than a true liberal might wish.

Posted by: chuck at June 24, 2005 09:37 PM

Chuck,

I appreciate your reasoned and respectful response (and you know what comes next, right?). No, I don't think that moveon.org represents the majority of Democrats at all. But let us not forget to "follow the money," which moveon has a bunch of, nor a bit of history of liberalism. It may surprise you, but in 1950, after twenty years of liberal Democrats controlling the White House, nearly 70% on our nations budget was being spent on defense. Seventy percent!

Well, the disillusion of Vietnam changed all that. And, I believe, liberal Democrat have yet to recover from that disillusion. In the meantime life goes on... And Rove was merely pointing to this important post-9/11 dot com, moveon, and speaking truth about where the Democratic Party is headed.

To the "ash-heap of history," to borrow a phrase, if moveon.org indeed becomes democrat.party.

Marc S. Lamb

Posted by: Marc S. Lamb at June 24, 2005 10:11 PM

Frydek,
I think that your background makes it very difficult for you to judge this objectively.

Grant,
You are right, understanding where the terrorists "are coming from" is important in the sense of "knowing your enemy" (in the short term) and in trying to "drain the swamp" (in the long term.)

But the liberals who oppose this administration (and it is a VERY significant percentage of them that do) don't even realize, or else are ignoring, that this admin is approaching the problem FROM BOTH ASPECTS, as you suggested. The whole concept of promoting democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan, of providing assistance (perhaps just verbal and symbolic up to this point, but nonetheless very significant when put in the context of Iraq and Afghanistan) to fledgling "freedom/democratic" movements in such places as Ukraine and Lebanon, the pressure that is being applied to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the progress that is being made vis-a-vis the Palestinians (although they seem determined to derail that train!): all those ARE aimed at getting to the root of the problem. And the left (you're right, not EVERYONE on the left, just the majority of it's leadership) just ignores that out of their hatred/jealousies of the successes of the Republicans; and worse than ignoring it, are actively trying to defeat this administration in this arena. Which, of course, due to the nature of the world we are living in at the moment, and defeats America, and of course, leads to problems for the military.

Assistant Village,
Very well said.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 24, 2005 10:52 PM

212 this is out of control.

I would bet that most would agree that the fuckers at Gitmo should be treated fairly. There is probably a solution in the middle, somewhere between cable-news trials and taking them out back and shooting them in the head. (Don't pull conventions and international law, we have not followed either ever.)

I would like to refer to comment number one on this "rant", what is Rove trying to do? They don't bullshit.

Posted by: Mike #3or4 at June 24, 2005 10:55 PM

I've made it this far, and I haven't seen this point made yet, so I'll make it. btw, for those of you on the radical left who criticize us on the right as "chicken hawks", my bona fides are, BTCM, USN, retired. I've been to Gitmo for REFTRA, a lovely garden spot that. I've been to the ME quite a few times also. The point I would make is, the manner in which these prisoners are being treated in G-mo is better than the soldiers guarding them. These scumbags were captured fighting us on the battlefield in Afghanistan (primarily) and Iraq. By the Geneva Convention, they can be held w/o charges until the cessation of hostilities. period. And by the GC, they are unlawful combatants, in that they do not adhere to any of the laws of war. So even though we are treating them IAW the GC, we aren't required to do so. The rough treatment some of them get? come on, don't make me laugh, I went through tougher stuff in boot camp. Hell, I went through tougher stuff in a Shellback initiation!

So little dickie durbin is flat wrong in his assertion, period. and any lib/dem/progressive/radical leftist who gets his/her/it's shorts in a knot over KR's words is protesting too much.

Posted by: bob at June 24, 2005 11:31 PM
Swede (the Medic),

I've got your back.

Me: USMC, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, MAG 36.

FYI to those who missed it.

"So it's amusing, and annoying, to hear from people who will probably never, ever contribute in any way to national defense..."
The Commenter at June 24, 2005 08:04 PM

Swede responded:

The Commenter

Me: Medic, Co F (ABN)(LRS) 425 INF, Michigan Army National Guard, OIF Feb 04-Feb 05.

Blow me, office boy.

Anyone else care to set "The Commenter" straight?
I ignored "The Commenter" at first. But didn't want to leave Swede feelin' all lonesome.

Swede,

Just want to say how much I respect your work.
Every Marine loves Corpsmen. And I know Army and National Guard must feel the same about Medics.

Semper Fi

Posted by: Stephen at June 25, 2005 01:03 AM

"Anyone else care to set "The Commenter" straight??I ignored "The Commenter" at first. But didn't want to leave Swede feelin' all lonesome."

Commenter is an Islamist troll used by MJT to increase the hits on this site. I would ignore both. Michael, shame on you. I thought you were better than that. And shame on you for deleting my previous post addressed to that Islamist takiya boy - the Commenter.

Posted by: mika. at June 25, 2005 05:01 AM

Michael is right Sen Durbin was just trying to improve the terrible conditions down at Gitmo. I heard they were being served Red wine with their Duck-de-laorange RED WINE! Oh the humanity! This is worse than anything the nazis have ever done. I think All conservatives should be quartered and burned starting with Karl Rove

Posted by: liberal weenie at June 25, 2005 05:31 AM

Karl Rove is an asshole. Everyone knows it. Even the people who support him know it. The person who employs him, George Dubya, knows it. Why pretend otherwise?

I hope he looks good in prison garb, because that's where Rove is going to wind up.

Posted by: Rick Santorum's Bleeding Dog at June 25, 2005 06:55 AM

Steve: "Stop pretending we're all Michael Moore, 'cause yes, the majority of us are not."

I think it would behove the majority of Democrats to someday get around to ostracizing Michael Moore. Otherwise it's your own damn fault if you're judged by the company you keep. (And yes, I've said the same about Republicans and the loonier toons on the right.)

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 25, 2005 07:05 AM

When I see Democrat politicians stop saying things that increase the danger to the troops, then I'll agree.

But not a second before.

Posted by: Bostonian at June 25, 2005 08:34 AM

AGAIN!!!

Dubya has created the world's most expensive school for terrorists, and the president's top advisor thinks the problem is a bunch of activists here at home?! That's exactly the kind of weak leadership that has gotten us in such trouble in Iraq.

Posted by: damed at June 25, 2005 08:34 AM

American right-wingers sound like German right-wingers.

"Of course, we must not forget that citizens have a natural desire to see behind the facade of the political stage, where their fate is after all being decided. This political desire is in itself healthy and is only an expression of the political consciousness of the whole nation. It should not be opposed. We can understand why the average citizen wants to know how long the war will last, and it is good that he turns to a party member for an answer, since he expects to find in him the proper political understanding.

But we must surely give the curious citizen a different answer than the one he expects. He must be told that in the National Socialist Führer state, the Führer and his advisers make all the important decisions without discussing them in advance in public. That is how our present situation differs from that of the World War. Then irresponsible party politicians in the German parliament could chatter about anything at all. This loose talk gave the enemy its most important information and its most damaging propaganda arguments. For example, on 29 November 1917 a certain Herr Haase gave a speech arguing for peace in the German Reichstag just as the army was winning a great victory on the southwestern front. The Social Democratic press published the speech. A few days later, British planes dropped 100,000 copies of the speech over the German front. Thank God, we are protected from such examples of free speech. Today the world hears only the Führer's voice as the voice of Germany's political will."

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/heimat.htm

Posted by: damed at June 25, 2005 08:51 AM

Swede,
Just want to echo Stephen's comments about the appreciation for corpsmen/medics. Although I never worked with them personally (Navy helo pilot) I have a number of close friends in the USMC who have had nothing but praise for your work.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 25, 2005 09:10 AM

When 9/11 happened, liberals set aside their disgust with George Bush and rallied to support his leadership in the war in Afghanistan. The Christian Right meanwhile, saw bin Laden as doing Gods work in punishing America for livng the freedoms that we enjoy.

Posted by: Karl Jr. at June 25, 2005 09:20 AM

ok

Posted by: jungle9 at June 25, 2005 09:21 AM

"American right-wingers sound like German right-wingers."

And there you go. You might want to take a look at this book. About which:

Whoever has read Götz Aly’s new book – Hitlers Volksstaat. Raub, Rassekrieg und nationaler Sozialismus [Hitler’s “Volk”-State: Plunder, Racial War and National Socialism] – can no longer claim that National Socialism was a “right-wing” project. Aly cites Eichmann: “My political sympathies were on the Left, with the ‘socialist’ being at least as important as the ‘nationalist’.” His book provides an impressive demonstration that Eichmann’s statement is not a curiosity, but rather typical. The specificity of National Socialism consisted precisely in the conjugation of Race/Nation and socialism. In Hitler’s words, it was a matter of “constructing a social ‘Volk’-State”. ...

Anyway, I appreciate your point that the right wingers are like Nazis. It puts this whole Rove kerfluffle in perspective and reminds me of how completely degenerate the left has become.

Posted by: chuck at June 25, 2005 09:32 AM

Swede: Blow me, office boy.

I want you know how sincerely I hope they overturn the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that could see you kicked out of the armed services in disgrace.

Mika, be sure to check under bridges when you cross them. Trolls like to hide under them and eat travelers. Especially Islamist trolls. They're everywhere. When they're not busy planning Jihad, they like to argue on American weblog comments sections. That's totally the best use of their time.

Posted by: The Commenter at June 25, 2005 09:33 AM

The Commenter,

I want you know how sincerely I hope they overturn the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that could see you kicked out of the armed services in disgrace.

So, are you a homophobe, or is this just another instance of your deep and subtle irony?

Posted by: chuck at June 25, 2005 09:37 AM

Did anyone read about the KFC that was burned down in Karachi on May 31st? Apparently, some Sunni Muslims went into a Shiite mosque and exploded a suicide bomb killing several and wounding others. The Sfhiites were so outraged that they marched over to KFC, lit it on fire, and barred the doors so that six employees couldn't escape. Four burned to death and two froze to death in the refrigeration unit. The owner of the KFC was Pakistani and so were all the employees. Is anyone else confused?

Radical Muslims and extreme terrorists will take any comment and twist it out of its original meaning to incite anger and hatred in their followers. They are doing this with Bush's comments too. Everytime Bush makes a speech about freedom and democracy his words are distorted and used to propogandize as well. Does that mean Bush shouldn't give any more speeches? No. Should Durbin stop talking? No.

Durbin's comments are justified because in order for the Senate to work, much like this blog, we need debate. We need to debate things like prisoner abuse so we can come to a consensus and act on our best plan. If there are 100 senators there's going to be one that's the most conservative and one that's the most liberal about this idea. Durbin just got stuck with the latter job. Despite his questionable comparison, he was making the point that this kind of treatment is unacceptable in an American military detention facility. To suggest that Durbin is deliberately trying to harm soldiers is a little far fetched. I mean if he really did want to harm us, he could have easily found a KFC to burn down right? To sugest that Durbin should mitigate his comments is also wrong. Why should he, because it's making the people that hate us, hate us more? I hate to use a cliche here but if debate in the Senate is stifled then haven't the terrorists won?

I agree with Mr. Totten's main point. Neither Liberals or Conservatives want to put our troops or our country in a greater danger. Although, there is a case to be made for a government to benefit from a war. Nevertheless, the majority of Americans want to avoid danger and violence, and barring the total lack of it, to keep it to a minimum. We do agree that we have to put ourselves and our country first. We just don't agree on how to do that. That's why Rove's statement is ridiculous.

Posted by: Mr. Kovach at June 25, 2005 10:10 AM

Commenter said: When they're not busy planning Jihad, they like to argue on American weblog comments sections. That's totally the best use of their time.

It is. Since here, your oh so subtle pro Islamist perfidies get a tad of exposure.

Posted by: mika. at June 25, 2005 10:17 AM

damed:
"American right-wingers sound like German right- wingers" followed by the usual tenuous-at-best supporting quotation.

I do believe I am yet again being called a Nazi. (Never mind how I think of myself; the only label that matters is the ones attached by the damed/ kimmet/DPU political axis.) As has been said, I'd be a little more perturbed by Rove's remarks if I didn't get slandered far worse by the ijits HE slandered.

Yo, damed, I'm a Libertarian who thinks liberty isn't just for eurotrash and us descendents(and the functional equivalents). Bite me.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 25, 2005 10:19 AM

CHUCK,

When you strip liberalism/pluralism from socialism it is called fascism and by de-fault, becomes Right-Wing.

The first folks the NAZI went after were liberals, socialist and communist. German right-wingers were The Base. Christian conservatives ...Jesus Christ...all conservatives were safe under Nazi rule. Can you point to any Nazi speech or propaganda that warned against "conservatism"?

The Nazi's were paranoid about Liberals, Socialist, Social Democrats, Communist, Anarchist...but right-wingers were never threatened.... because a fanatical right-winger was a Good American..I mean Good German, while liberals were traitors!

Posted by: damed at June 25, 2005 10:20 AM

Ships sail the blue oceans around the globe. Jews sit in the bright recliners on the sun deck. They have turned their backs on Europe. They point confidently over the horizon to the world that awaits them. Liberal newspapers encourage them, report on German barbarism and speak of the promised lands that are doing all they can to eliminate the disgrace we have committed against the Jews.

Mungo, "Die Panic Party," in Die Marsbewohner sind da! Politische Satiren (Berlin: Carl Stephenson Verlag, 1939), pp. 50-62.

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/mungo1.htm

Posted by: damed at June 25, 2005 10:26 AM

Michael:

You are almost as good as Scrapleface!
ROFLOL

So guys you think Rove is over the top? LOL

Dickie Turbin should have qualified his remarks, like: One or two interagators could be likened to US prison guards.

Then I would agree Rove should have qualified his remarks.

Posted by: Linda from Whittier, California at June 25, 2005 10:47 AM

damed,

When you strip liberalism/pluralism from socialism it is called fascism and by de-fault, becomes Right-Wing.

OoooKaaay. I also hate all those right-wingers, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh,... Lord, the list of right wing fascist wingnuts really is endless. Thanks for setting me straight. And thanks for setting my mind at ease regarding Bush and Rove. Since they don't have socialist tendencies I think we are safe.

The Nazi's were paranoid about Liberals, Socialist, Social Democrats, Communist, Anarchist...

One could also say that the Communists were paranoid about Liberals, Socialist, Social Democrats, Nazis, Anarchist... Look at what happened in the Spanish Civil War, let alone in Russia. That whole line of argument is specious. Totalitarians of any stripe don't tolerate dissent.

Posted by: chuck at June 25, 2005 10:52 AM

The Nazi's were paranoid about anyone who didn't pay fealty to the idea of the Volk (meaning the Aryan race) above all other ideals. Getting from there to Right-Wing takes either willful ignorance or an overdose on the kool-aid, I think.

As I read it, in the early days the National Socialists split from the Communists not over economic principals, but over Internationalist principals. (Over time the differences evolved, but we're talking roots here, people. The Nazis were still committed to state control of the economy.)

Nazis won in the beginning by pandering to what we would think of as rednecks, and leveraged respect for the works of Nietche and Heidegger to win over the inteligentsia.

(Sort of like saying you stand for the Common Man, and trotting Noam Chomsky and George Soros out to prove it.)

The conventional wisdom that there is an economic affinity between modern American conservatism and National Socialism is frankly absurd.

The conventional wisdom that American conservatism is inherently racist is absurd and deeply insulting.

The one thing the Progressives get right is that American conservatism is deeply suspicious of mindless Internationalism. To that I plead guilty.

So bottom line, damed, it seems to me that anyone who doesn't agree that the United States needs to subjugate itself to some more moral (meaning economically progressive) Internationalist construct is, by default, a Nazi.

I may be setting up a straw man. If I am, tell me where my analysis is flawed. Or, come right out and call me a Nazi. I'll be pissed, but I promise not to cry.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 25, 2005 10:53 AM

"I may be setting up a straw man. If I am, tell me where my analysis is flawed."

"American conservatism is deeply suspicious of mindless Internationalism."

Anyone and everyone with at least half a brain is suspicious of mindlessness in any guise. By focussing on the mindless extremes, you simply set up strawmen.

"...that American conservatism is inherently racist is absurd and deeply insulting."

Once again, the extreme version of the argument. It cannot be denied that conservatives, by their very nature, have always defended the status quo - including racist social structures, when those were the status quo. They formed the core of the resistance to change, as is the nature of conservativism. They no longer advocate such positions for the ground has shifted, no thanks to them. It cannot be denied that the Republicans gladly sought out the disaffected southern racists who fled from the Democrats when the latter embraced civil rights. Conservatives are reflexivly defenders of existing power structures, rather than reflexivly racist.

"The conventional wisdom that there is an economic affinity between modern American conservatism and National Socialism is frankly absurd"

Except that, once again, this is hardly "conventional wisdom" but rather the extreme version of the argument. National Socialism expressed a "glorious" vision of national unity, with workers expected to identify their lifes mission with "getting with the program". Parts of modern American conservativism are completely opposed to that - the (unacknowldeged) liberal aspects of modern conservativism - the entrepenurial mindset. But other parts of modern conservativism (the Randian instinct) almost make a fetish of unrestrained corporate power, denying the people, through their democratic instituions, from interfering in any way with the visions of the great and powerful. Analogies can be made, and can be instructive. But by focussing on those who go beyond limited analogies, you once again do battle with strawmen.

Posted by: Karl Jr. at June 25, 2005 11:29 AM

including racist social structures, when those were the status quo.

Absolutely, those Southern Democrats fought tooth and nail against the civil right laws proposed by the socially progressive Republicans. Fortunately time has taken care of Gore Sr., Fulbright, Russell, Eastland, and most of the others who opposed Eisenhower's civil rights bill. Only ex-Kleagle Byrd remains and it is long past time to replace him with a progressive Republican.

But other parts of modern conservativism (the Randian instinct) almost make a fetish of unrestrained corporate power,

Nasty people. I hates fetishists. Leather, toes, shoes, underware, ugh, what a perverted bunch. Give us names so we can be prepared to do our duty.

Posted by: chuck at June 25, 2005 11:45 AM

Karl Jr.:

Once again, the extreme version of the argument. It cannot be denied that conservatives, by their very nature, have always defended the status quo - including racist social structures, when those were the status quo. They formed the core of the resistance to change, as is the nature of conservativism.

Arguing that I should be more nuanced is fine, except that farther up the thread was the fine declaration that "American conservites are a lot like German conservatives" which, pardon me if I'm being hyper-sensitive, makes me think "damed" thinks I'm a Nazi.

On the other hand, your comment illustrates how screwed-up the whole conservative/liberal paradigm has become. In Afghanistan and Iraq, "conservatives" were far and away the biggest supporters of changing the status quo. The old labels aren't really holding up, which is why I've taken to using "collectivist" to describe "hard-left socialists", "theocrats" to describe people who believe evangelical religion trumps democracy, etc.

Oddly enough, the way that I feel conservative is that I want to protect ideals which were considered Liberal in the Enlightenment. (And yes, I know that Thomas Jefferson had slaves. Bite me if you think that invalidates his legacy.)

I'm remain unconviced that the examples I chose are extreme. I keep reading that the United States should be more respect to International Opinion, but no one can really define what that means (which strikes me as pretty damned mindless). I keep reading that the Democrats are the party of racial harmony, while it's Chairman implys that all Republican are patrician rednecks (no small mind there). And as to whether U.S. economic policy is like that of Nazi Germany, just scroll up, dude.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 25, 2005 11:56 AM

a fetish of unrestrained corporate power

You mean like George Soros?

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 25, 2005 12:04 PM

"a fetish of unrestrained corporate power

You mean like George Soros?"

No I dont. Soros is not a corporate leader, but rather a very wealthy man who donates his money to those who advance ideas he favors. I always find it strange the hostility toward him - few private-sector people have done more to support the emergence of classicly liberal ideas and social institutions in Eastern Europe than has Soros, through his Open Society initiatives (an organization named after a concept put forth by Margaret Thatcher's favorite philosopher). If you could excuse his support for the Democrats, he would be, unreservedly, a great hero for all those who wish to advance freedom and democracy in lands where totalitarianism has ruled.

Posted by: Karl Jr. at June 25, 2005 12:23 PM

Michael Moore may not be a true-life representative of nominal democrats.

Him, or people like him, will decide who the candidates are going to be, though. Money, visibility, and media - they all follow the clowns.

Oh - and as for Karl Roves remarks:

KARL, YOU MAGNIFICENT BASTARD!

It took 96 hours of media ignoring Durbin, then softballing him, to generate his calculated, teary "apology".

The apology that was supposed to get his ass out of the bucket he'd fallen into with his calculated, treasonous statement linking our treatment of Gitmo detainees with Nazis et al.

Why the instant outrage over Rove's remarks? Because while Durbin was reaching hard for a response, all Rove did was lay out the way things have been since 9/11.

Good for him.

There's no anger like that of a child caught red handed. That's why Rove won't apologize and Durbin scripted his tears.

Good on Rove.

Posted by: TmjUtah at June 25, 2005 12:43 PM

It's not his support of the Democrats I mind; it's his support of MoveOn.org that I can't tolerate. (And doesn't Kos get some of his money?)

Also, there's the little problem of the currency crash in South East Asia, not to mention his attack on the British Pound, that leads me to question the benign nature of Soros' dabbling.

Hell, maybe he's holding a lot of Euros, and thinks that making the Dollar weaker will net him beaucoup bucks. Call me cynical, but if you're going to decide capitalism inherently corrupts, you should be a little wary of someone who's so good at it.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 25, 2005 12:44 PM

Oh my, the Washingtonian describes Kos:


This liberal blogsite identifies antiwar Republicans, creates list of “core” Democratic Party values, and shows that Tom DeLay is not the only Republican representative with his hand in the cookie jar.

You real liberals better get crackin' or Rove is gonna get you.

Posted by: chuck at June 25, 2005 12:44 PM

"your comment illustrates how screwed-up the whole conservative/liberal paradigm has become"

I agree.

"In Afghanistan and Iraq, "conservatives" were far and away the biggest supporters of changing the status quo."

In Iraq. Not in Afghanistan. Despite Rove's big lie, liberals were as much on board with the war against alQ as anyone else. And besides, my point about power structures was confined to the power structures in our own society - foreign engagements raise many confounding factors.

"I've taken to using "collectivist" to describe "hard-left socialists", "theocrats" to describe people who believe evangelical religion trumps democracy"

No objection. Lets add "corporatist" for those who wish to only restrain the power of democratic government while giving free rein to undemocratic private power. And "freethinkers" to those who resist the oppresive moralizing from the politically correct left and religously correct right. And "imperialist" who are seduced by the notion that America is the unquestioned superpower and that it would be absurd not to use that power to remake the world in our image.

"the way that I feel conservative is that I want to protect ideals which were considered Liberal in the Enlightenment"

Yes, I can understand that. It is "conservativism" as defense of the essentially liberal nature of America. I wonder the extent to which you feel at odds with others who consider themselves conservative - those who seem to reject significant parts of the Enlightment (the "theocrats" for one - who do seem to be a driving power in the Republican party).

" I keep reading that the United States should be more respect to International Opinion, but no one can really define what that means "

There was a time when liberal America, emerging as a great power, was committed to winning the hearts and minds of the rest of the world for our principles of democracy and the rule of law - primarily by setting an example for all the world to admire and aspire to. An essential part of that was a sense that we had no desire to take full advantage of our military power to impose our views, but rather wished to establish an international order that made manifest our principals - respect for other peoples, and a system of international laws by which all of us (inclding the powerful) would agree to abide by. To the extent that America is not respected in the world (by "the people", not just by foreign leaders), it is indicative of failure in that program.

Posted by: Karl Jr. at June 25, 2005 12:51 PM

Michael Harrington is usually credited with coining the phrase. He was the first person to use it to describe ex-Socialist, working on The Right, in the United States. These "neoconservatives" maintained many of their leftist presuppositions concerning the role of The State, but striped most of the liberal/progressive/pluralistic beliefs, from the foundation replacing it with right-wing theories. (This is why, I suspect, libertarians called them Right-Wing Socialist). Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz, accepted the label with glee.

As I did further research, I discovered that there was a Neo-Conservative movement in Germany, after WW1 to about 1933. And I think this was Harrington's motivation for using the word. (Harrington and Kristol, being the committed leftist they were and was, would have certainly been familiar with latest stuff in sociology and all things anti-fascist and knew what).

But the damage had been done. I have other articles from the late fifties and early sixties, which describe a movement of Germans desperate to establish German exceptionalism and preeminence within Europe. Many thought the Nazis were just crazy...but they were better than liberals and leftists, this is clear in all the writings. The Nazis were first and foremost Good Germans, who would never betray the homeland.

I don't know if it was Harrington or Irving Howe, but one of them, jokingly commented that Leo Strauss would have appreciated the Nazis more, if they were not so anti-Semitic. (It certainly drew lots of laughter) The Nazis were radical because they saw biology and culture were one-and-the-same. I'm assuming Harrington or Howe was also suggesting that Strauss would have no problems chucking the racial purity and striving, instead for cultural purity. Cutural purity is popular with certain conservatives, no doubt there.

Anyway...all the eloquent words defending the rabidly Right and their "Torture-o-fun-and-liberty" reminded me of the German Neocons. As a matter of fact, most of the modern day right-winger reminds me of German right-wingers' defense of German exceptionalism, nationalism and expansion. Don't most hard right Christians advocate jail time, if not death, for homosexuality?

Posted by: damed at June 25, 2005 01:06 PM

No objection. Lets add "corporatist" for those who wish to only restrain the power of democratic government while giving free rein to undemocratic private power.

Bull. Corporatist is the fascist economic organization, a variety of socialism. Unfettered capitalism is not corporatist. Invent your own damn words, don't smear capitalists with socialist poop.

The "theocrats" for one - who do seem to be a driving power in the Republican party.

More bull. What I smell here is cheap Democratic propaganda. Smells like cheap wine on a drunk. Reminds me of why I am now Republican.

There was a time when liberal America, emerging as a great power, was committed to winning the hearts and minds of the rest of the world for our principles of democracy and the rule of law

When was that? Dates, please.

Posted by: chuck at June 25, 2005 01:06 PM

"To the extent that America is not respected in the world (by "the people", not just by foreign leaders), it is indicative of failure in that program."

I've actually got some experience there, and it's the "usual suspects" pushing the anti-Americanism. You don't see it, hear it, or feel it in the streets much, and when you do there are always giant puppets involved.

(But then again, I've only worked in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Columbia, and South Africa, with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia coming up in the next month, so what do I know? Oh, and I forgot about Canada.)

As to "imperialists" and imposition of our will, I hear what you're saying, but in case you didn't notice, times have changed.

I admire the desire to be admired, and I support it whole-heartedly; I just think that being admired by most of the worls hasn't kept us from being hated by a small and pathological part of it. And I don't feel confident that we can safely go back to ignoring states (or organizations for that matter) that make the destruction of the Great Satan job number one.

And as empires go, to date this one sure doesn't seem to be making us a whole lotta money. And if you think we're heartless bastard colonialists, compare and contrast to the works of Cecil Rhodes.

So most of your definitions I would buy, but I'm not going to buy into the whole "U.S. Imperialism" bit. Sorry, I think that's our fundamental difference.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 25, 2005 01:22 PM

"Corporatist is the fascist economic organization, a variety of socialism. Unfettered capitalism is not corporatist."

Unfettered capitalism leads to authoritarian social organization, which can fit quite nicely with political fascism - for it is only democratic government which can "fetter" corporate power. Reflect a bit on the reasons why the iconic Republican, Teddy Roosvelt, became a champion of "trust-busting".

Posted by: Karl Jr. at June 25, 2005 01:24 PM

Ah, Chuck, give him his bones. There's enough truth to the Republicans coddling American theocrats to sting. And his protest notwithstanding, their are the Soroses and the Turners out there, Corporatists more than happy to hijack democratic processes to further their own ends. (I just think he's mistaken about which team they're playing, if you'll pardon the construction.)

(And I repeat; how is taking power from a hypothetical handful of corporations and giving it to a single entity, namely the State, going to lessen the potential for abuse of that power? Didn't anybody watch the 20th Century?)

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 25, 2005 01:29 PM

Karl,

If you want to expound the evils of unfettered capitalism, fine. Just don't call it corporatist. Don't call it fascist either. Ducks are ducks, cows are cows, confusing the two leads to chimaeras.

Beyond that, there hasn't been unfettered capitalism in near a hundred years. Its heyday was back in the 1800's in England and the US and at that time there was not an "authoritarian social organization". Your comment does not reflect any actual historical events. The recent authoritarian social organization only came into existance with the rise of socialism. You aren't on the side of the angels here.

Posted by: chuck at June 25, 2005 01:37 PM

"I'm not going to buy into the whole "U.S. Imperialism" bit"

I was not characterizing America. I was describing an ideological mindset of a certain fraction of our political spectrum.

"You don't see it, hear it, or feel it in the streets much, and when you do there are always giant puppets involved"

I agree. In my overseas experience I have found very little overt hatred of America - a lot of admiration, and a fair amount of disappointment - which can often overheat into antagonism in the manner of one who feels betrayed. When one espouses great principals, one cannot avoid being held to high standards.
In any case, I was not attempting to quantify the amount of anti-Americanism in the world, merely addressing your question of why the opinion of others should be of concern.

Posted by: Karl Jr. at June 25, 2005 01:39 PM

We are the new empire—get used to it. This is the message being promulgated by a number of conservatives, led by William Kristol’s Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a Washington think-tank dedicated to enhancing America’s "military, diplomatic, and moral leadership" around the world.

That is, as the world’s only remaining superpower we should accept our responsibilities.

"I think Americans have become used to running the world and would be very reluctant to give it up," insists Tom Donnelly, PNAC’s deputy executive director, who makes the boldest case for an active, expansionist, engaged American foreign policy. Donnelly refers longingly to the strategies and tactics of the old British Empire, policing the Raj and maintaining its "Pax Britannica"—but the American empire he envisions holds no territorial ambitions.

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Posted by: damed at June 25, 2005 01:54 PM

Republicans are Nazi's and liberals are a bunch of communists who hate America. I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and hate both communists and "nazi's". If you are a hard-right wing nut or a communist you should fuck off because that was last century.

Posted by: Mike#3or4 at June 25, 2005 01:56 PM

"And I repeat; how is taking power from a hypothetical handful of corporations and giving it to a single entity, namely the State, going to lessen the potential for abuse of that power? "

If it is a democratic state, one that can manifest the will of "the people", one can achieve a certain level of accoutability that would otherwise not be present. Democratic government operates on the principal of one vote per person. Corporate governance operates on the principal of one vote per dollar. If we had to choose between concentrated private power or concentrated public power, the latter would clearly be potentially more accountable. Unconcentrated power would clearly be betten than either - but that in itself requires some "fettering".

" the Soroses and the Turners out there, Corporatists more than happy to hijack democratic processes to further their own ends"

Is donating ones money to grassroots political organizations a "hijacking" of democracy? Shall we apply such a standard across the board?

Posted by: Karl Jr. at June 25, 2005 01:58 PM

You make a good point, but the press in my country(Czech Republic) keeps mentioning the comparison to the Nazis and Soviets and not what is happening at Gitmo.

They weren't mentioning Gitmo before, either. Besides, this will all be moot once the next batch of torture photos and videos comes out in late July.

Posted by: Kimmitt at June 25, 2005 04:30 PM

"If it is a democratic state, one that can manifest the will of "the people", one can achieve a certain level of accoutability that would otherwise not be present."

So, if the US government controlled the means of production and distribution of wealth, and then George W. Bush were elected, you'd be comfortable with that?

Of course, you may not think our current state is capable of manifesting the "will of the people." If so, you should just say that.

And how much money does it take before a movement is no longer "grass roots" and becomes part of the Corporate org chart? (Senator Palpatine, Anakin Skywalker on line two.)

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 26, 2005 06:42 AM

"if the US government controlled the means of production and distribution of wealth, and then George W. Bush were elected, you'd be comfortable with that?"

Mark,
It was you who laid out the question as a hypothetical. And I responded to the hypothetical, and followed it with this: "Unconcentrated power would clearly be betten than either". So I would not be comfortable with the scenario you now lay out, because I would not want the government, or a single (or few) corporation(s) to own all the means of production. Once again though, if we were to have such a situation, I would prefer the accountability that would come from some measure of democratic control. I would not vote for Bush in that scenario (or any other), but i would prefer an elected Bush at the head of a government super-monopoly to an unelected Bush at the head of a private super-monopoly.

"And how much money does it take before a movement is no longer "grass roots" and becomes part of the Corporate org chart? "

OK, so then you are saying that donating money to an operation that is part of the corporate org chart is a "hijacking" of democracy? I actually like the direction you are going here. Care to share your complete list of democracy-hijackers? Wanna bet which side of the list is longer?

Posted by: Karl Jr. at June 26, 2005 08:54 AM

Karl Jr., I wouldn't want to take your money:

The study also found that Republicans raised more than Democrats from individuals who contributed small and medium amounts of money during the 2002 election cycle, but Democrats far outpaced Republicans among deep-pocketed givers.
Republican candidates and parties topped their Democratic counterparts, $68 million to $44 million, in fundraising from individuals who contributed under $1,000 in itemized contributions for the 2002 elections. Among donors giving $1,000 or more, Republicans again beat out Democrats, $317 million to $307 million.
But the trend was reversed among individuals at higher giving levels, from whom Democrats raised far more money than Republicans. Among donors of $10,000 or more, Democrats out-raised Republicans, $140 million to $111 million. Among donors of $100,000 or more, Democrats raised $72 million to the Republicans' $34 million. And among the most generous givers - those contributing $1 million or more - Democrats far outdistanced Republicans, $36 million to just over $3 million.

But of course, as everyone knows, Republicans are the rich fat cats puffing cigars in their Hummers....

On second thought, just send me however much money you thought you'd win. Because you're a good Leftist, I'm sure you'll be honest and fair with the amount.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 26, 2005 10:57 AM

So fine Mark, the Democrats list is longer at the high end. To get back to the point though, are you still claiming that all of these people, Rep and Dem, are hijackers of democracy? Or do you only reserve that epithet for those who contribute to one of the parties?

Are you a "lets get money out of politics" kinda guy? I'd be glad to walk down that path with you, if you have some good ideas about how to accomplish it...

Posted by: Karl Jr. at June 26, 2005 01:40 PM

"The national Democratic Party died last November 2nd. Who is going to bury the carcass?"

Not Karl Rove, David. He's too busy driving nails into the national Republican Party's coffin. This political genus....uh genius, didn't even know it's best to leave your political opponent to wallow alone in a quagmire.

What MJT said. Durbin and Rove are both irresponsible with their comments.

Posted by: Jim R at June 26, 2005 01:43 PM

I simply find the myth that the Democrats are "of the people" and "for the little guy" to be somewhat suspect. A myth that your (ahem) hypothetical bet would have reinforced.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 26, 2005 01:50 PM

Actually, even I know my last response was a little snarky.

I don't know if there IS a party "of the people"; I tend to doubt it. But as someone who has organized events on a far smaller scale, I wonder who the HELL is funding these huge ANSWER-sponsered rallies.

These thing do not spring up like mushrooms, not in places line NYC.

Bugs me that so few people are willing to wonder what kinds of strings are attached to the money...

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 26, 2005 02:00 PM

"I don't know if there IS a party "of the people""

Well, there surely isnt any party that is pure in that regard. But I do think it fair to say that, in general, the Democrats adhere to an economic philosophy that is more firmly rooted in a primary concern for the "the people". Republicans seem to be attracted to supply-side theories - that the greater prosperity is achieved by a primary concern with the wealthy being able to accumulate capital, followed by the hope that they will then use that capital to create jobs. Whereas the Dems are attracted to demand-side theories - that by insuring the prosperity of the poor and middle class as a primary concern, one creates demand that spurs entrepeneurs and investors to try and meet those demands. Those companies that are successful will accumulate capital and grow - grow organically from previous successes. I am not talking about "bleeding-heart" concern for the poor here, but rather a "the poor as underachieving consumers" perspective.

Irrespective of which approach you find to be better, I think it fair to say that the latter is more focussed primarily on the "people".

Posted by: Karl Jr. at June 26, 2005 02:29 PM

Frankly I find the Democrats devoid of any philosophy; I think that's why they can't shake the Kos crowd. In the absence of principals, demogoguery rules.

But I hope you're right; I'd like to see two parties with firm principles. Right now I'm not sure I see one.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 26, 2005 02:46 PM

Rove is right, obviously right. Liberals want America and Americans to lose, want the hateful American way of life to be defeated. Consider for example NPR's worshipful coverage of the Iranian elections and the fraudulent election of a terrorist and murderer to the job of "president" of Iran - a job more accurately described as chief lickspittle to the Supreme Leader Ayatolah. NPR depicted the man the Ayatollah's decided to make president as a man of the people.

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Posted by: usr at November 22, 2007 04:30 PM
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