« Big Swingin' Governments | Main | Unspeakable Horror »

September 03, 2004

Comments

Edward,

If one has faith, one can make 2+2=5,
if one has faith, one can make gold from water,
if one has faith, one can make cancer turn into a common cold.

If you can not make any of these things happen, then you are weak in your faith.

(and for 19.95 I could sell you my new video "The Power of Faith" to conquor the world of evil, and if you do what I believe you will be a Faith Warrior)

Good post, Edward_.

I think you're highlighting, along with Von, in the post below, the single biggest problem with the current Republican party platform: that it doesn't represent the party well.

Seriously, it seems like each and every aspect of the Republican base can find something in the platform to turn them off like a light switch:



  • Moderates can look at the hard line Pro Life, anti Gay Marriage, heavily religious undertones taken by so many of the speakers at this convention.


  • Fiscal conservatives, heck, even fiscal moderates should worry about the heavy expansionist themes in the President's speech, not to mention the seeming lack of concern about the already high deficit.


  • Hawks who are serious about being hawks need to take a hard look at the way the Administration blundered around in Iraq, and be concerned about what another four years of the Bush team at the helm will do to the faith of the public in the government's ability to use the military effectively.


  • The religious right might be the happiest, but even there, the Administration has done little but pay lip service to them. The FMA is a joke, guaranteed not to make its way out of the Senate, and the President had to know that.


  • Constitutionalists should love the things the PATRIOT act has done, not to mention the suspensions of habeus corpus, or the back-door pseudo legislation of regulatory changes. The interpretation of executive power is a nice one, too. How does that go? In wartime, the powers of the executive are essentially unlimited. Oh, and the executive gets to determine what is and is not wartime. Great!


It seems that the things that really got people fired up at the convention was all the rhetoric about how horrible the left is, and the talk about the War on Terror.

I understand the power of having an enemy, but I have to say that making that the foundation of your platform strikes me as a bad idea. We all live in the same country. We all care, truly, about a lot of the same basic ideas. After the election, we're all going to have to work together, one way or another, to get anything done. This sort of rhetoric is going to make that so much more difficult.

And the War on Terror? Here, more than ever, the false consciousness that Edward spoke of rears its head. Look the other way, America, while the justice department admits it wrongfully prosecuted the *only* terrorists it has so far prosecuted. Look the other way when the way we've been handling Gitmo is deemed unconstitutional by the likes of Antonin Scalia! Bin Laden doesn't get talked about at all. Sadr was reigned in, not by US Military might, by a fellow Islamic Cleric.

Perhaps I'm just confused about the reasons for allegiance. That is possible, no doubt. I think Edward is however, in assuming that what it takes to be a steadfast Republican these days is a willingness to do take on the burden of explaining the why behind the what in a way that is palatable to you.

Perhaps that is why Bush is so well liked within the party. He doesn't do any explaining of policy. Leaves the heavy lifting to his constituents. If you need to feel like he's doing the right thing, he's left all the justification up to the individual. Tune it as you see fit.

Sorry for the length, here. Got a little carried away.

crutan

As I mentioned in von's thread, it takes enormous chutzpah (cojones of STEEL!) to put forth these massive expenditures and tax cuts, then deride -- to universal booing from the crowd -- John Kerry for suggesting two trillion dollars in new expenditures...

"Moe, or anyone else a bit tired of political threads ...."

Moe's not all that tired; he posted Wednesday at Redstate.

nice comment crutan ;)

And the War on Terror? Here, more than ever, the false consciousness that Edward spoke of rears its head.

That's a theme I hope Kerry will pick up on now and drive home. Terrorism around the world has risen, not fallen. The single most important tool we have in this fight, allies, is the one Bush is struggling the most with. The Iraq disaster indicates that although we can take a country, we have little idea how to proceed after that, so perhaps taking a country is not such a good idea until we get the second part sorted.

The mileage Bush gets out of the US military being able to overthrow two third-world countries, both struggling after years of war and sanctions, is astounding. Yes, we won those conflicts...and? Where's bin Laden? (You know, as soon as I write that a little voice in my head says, "quick" check the news sites...they may have just yanked him out of a spider hole to ice the cake of their convention...how freakin' cynical is that?)

"Terrorism around the world has risen, not fallen." This seems to be the crux of your refrain.

Ever notice that people often seem sicker on chemo?

Ever notice that more US soldiers were killed in 1943 than in 1941?

Perhaps it is a false consciousness to believe that being in the middle of a war automatically reduces the number of casualties.

By the way, I won't attribute false consciousness to you with respect to your incorrect interpretation of McCain's comment. But the fact that the context of the comment makes your complaint look silly makes me wonder why you cut the comment so short. He said:

And my friends, should our enemies acquire for their arsenal the chemical, biological and nuclear weapons they seek, this war will become a much bigger thing.

So it is, whether we wished it or not, that we have come to the test of our generation, to our rendezvous with destiny. And much is expected of us.

We are engaged in a hard struggle against a cruel and determined adversary. Our enemies have made clear the danger they pose to our security and the very essence of our culture: liberty.

Only the most deluded of us could doubt the necessity of this war. Like all wars, this one will have its ups and downs. But we must fight. We must.

You quote only the bolded sentence, and then attack him for combining the war on terrorism with the invasion of Iraq. Where is he talking about Iraq in that passage? He is absolutely, clearly talking about the wider war on terrorism.

He talks about Iraq much much later in the speech:

Those who criticize that decision would have us believe that the choice was between a status quo that was well enough left alone and war. But there was no status quo to be left alone.

The years of keeping Saddam in a box were coming to a close. The international consensus that he be kept isolated and unarmed had eroded to the point that many critics of military action had decided the time had come again to do business with Saddam, despite his near daily attacks on our pilots, and his refusal, until his last day in power, to allow the unrestricted inspection of his arsenal.

Our choice wasn't between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war. It was between war and a graver threat. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

He isn't dishonestly confusing the two. He talks about the war on terrorism in the passage you quote, which you conflate with Iraq. He much later goes on to talk about dangers in the Middle East. He then talks specifically about Iraq.

You project onto him, and then smash him for what you project.

Unless of course you don't think he can talk about terrorism and Iraq anywhere in the same speech? If that is the case I presume that you think George Bush was linking Social Security to terrorism in his speech.

He isn't dishonestly confusing the two. He talks about the war on terrorism in the passage you quote, which you conflate with Iraq. He much later goes on to talk about dangers in the Middle East. He then talks specifically about Iraq.

Sorry Sebastian, but it takes a whole bucket of false consciousness to not admit he's criticizing the Iraq war protesters in that statement. If he's not, who are the anti-War-on-Terror protesters he's chiding? Is there anyone arguing that we shouldn't try to find bin Laden? Who are these deluded folks he's refering to?

He means the Iraq war there. It's the only logical meaning of the statement.

If that is the case I presume that you think George Bush was linking Social Security to terrorism in his speech.

I'll bet he would have if his speechwriters could have found a way... ;)

The mileage Bush gets out of the US military being able to overthrow two third-world countries, both struggling after years of war and sanctions, is astounding. Yes, we won those conflicts...and? Where's bin Laden?

Haven't you heard? George W. Bush rode in on his mighty steed and cut his head off.

Make sure you read the site -- it's a doozy. The irony of using the decapitation image is entirely lost on this guy.

Is it me, or does Bush kind of look like Charlton Heston in that painting?

Charlton Heston playing Andrew Jackson, I'm thinking.

"If he's not, who are the anti-War-on-Terror protesters he's chiding? Is there anyone arguing that we shouldn't try to find bin Laden?"

Good heavens did you read the whole thing?

He explicitely covers who he is talking to immediately after the portion I quoted:

You remember how we felt when the serenity of a bright September morning was destroyed by a savage atrocity so hostile to all human virtue we could scarcely imagine any human being capable of it.

We were united, first in sorrow and anger, then in recognition we were attacked not for a wrong we had done, but for who we are: a nation united in a kinship of ideals, committed to the notion that the people are sovereign, not governments, not armies, not a pitiless theocracy, not kings, mullahs or tyrants, but the people.

In that moment ... in that moment, we were not different races. We were not poor or rich. We were not Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. We were not two countries. We were Americans.

All of us, despite the differences that enliven our politics, are united in the one big idea that freedom is our birthright and its defense is always our first responsibility. All other responsibilities come second.

We must not lose sight of that as we debate among us who should bear the greatest responsibility for keeping us safe and free.

We must, whatever our disagreements, stick together in this great challenge of our time.

My friends in the Democratic Party -- and I'm fortunate to call many of them my friends -- assure us they share the conviction that winning the war against terrorism is our government's most important obligation. I don't doubt their sincerity.

They emphasize that military action alone won't protect us, that this war has many fronts: in courts, financial institutions, in the shadowy world of intelligence, and in diplomacy.

They stress that America needs the help of her friends to combat an evil that threatens us all, that our alliances are as important to victory as are our armies.

We agree.

And, as we've been a good friend to other countries in moments of shared perils, so we have good reason to expect their solidarity with us in this struggle.

That is what the president believes. And thanks to his efforts, we have received valuable assistance from many good friends around the globe, even if we have, at times, been disappointed with the reactions of some.

I don't doubt the sincerity of my Democratic friends. And they should not doubt ours.

Our president will work with all nations willing to help us defeat this scourge that afflicts us all.

War is an awful business. The lives of a nation's finest patriots are sacrificed. Innocent people suffer. Commerce is disrupted. Economies are damaged. Strategic interests shielded by years of statecraft are endangered as the demands of war and diplomacy conflict.

However just the cause, we should mourn for all that is lost when war claims its wages from us.

But there is no avoiding this war. We tried that, and our reluctance cost us dearly.

And while this war has many components, we can't make victory on the battlefield harder to achieve so that our diplomacy is easier to conduct.

This is not just an expression of strength. It is a measure of our wisdom.

He is specifically talking about a wider war than merely bin Laden, but you are the one who is acting as if all talk about a wider war than bin Laden is equivalent to talking just about Iraq. It isn't, and McCain talks about Iraq specific questions much later in the speech.

Don't you think there is more to this than bin Laden? Or do you think that if we captured or killed him, all worries about Middle Eastern terrorism should vanish?

He is specifically talking about a wider war than merely bin Laden, but you are the one who is acting as if all talk about a wider war than bin Laden is equivalent to talking just about Iraq. It isn't, and McCain talks about Iraq specific questions much later in the speech.

Forgive my snarky question. It was shorthand for the larger war on terror, which, again, I don't see anyone arguing against the need for or denying its necessity, so I'm still at a loss for whom McCain was chiding, if not the Iraq war protesters. Who do you think he was refering to? Who are these folks who think the war on terror is unnecessary?

Oh, and on that artist, Phil, allow me to offer a bit of free NYC art-world advice:

It is frustrating to think I have wasted my time as a true artist who has not sold out to the anti-American art world, when other artists have taken the almighty dollar and jumped on this trend.

"True artists" don't bitch about the world not recognizing their genius. "True artists" recognize that if they're truly against selling-out, by having the commercial artworld ignore them, they're actually getting exactly what they champion.

weird extra bold going on here...trying to turn it off.

"Who do you think he was refering to? Who are these folks who think the war on terror is unnecessary?"

Do you deny that there are a noticeable number of people who talk as if fighting Bin Laden is the only proper realm for the war on terrorism? Don't you use such rhetoric from time to time yourself? You say you know people who think you are practically a right-winger. Honestly, don't some of them talk as if any non-bin-Laden act is an illegitimate distraction from the war on Terrorism? In fact don't many of our European allies tend to take such positions?

McCain's position is very clear. And he isn't the unfair Democrat-basher, even in that single speech, that you are trying to portray.

McCain's position is very clear. And he isn't the unfair Democrat-basher, even in that single speech, that you are trying to portray.

Not even close. I contend he's admonishing those who disagree with him that invading Iraq was necessary.

Do you deny that there are a noticeable number of people who talk as if fighting Bin Laden is the only proper realm for the war on terrorism?

Noticeable? I'm not even sure who you're talking about.

The war on terror was well described by Bush in his address to Congress. It includes going after the sources of funding, the actual terrorists, the states that harbor them, etc., etc. I know of no rational person who disagrees with the need for that approach, so if that's what McCain is talking about then, again, who are these people and are they large enough in number to warrant a prime-time chiding?

I know of many rational people who feel the invasion of Iraq did not advance that approach.

I'll concede that perhaps I'm a bit sensitive on the subject and took McCain's statement as a hit against the Iraq invasion protesters when he meant something else, but I'll still blame him for his lack of clarity on the subject. I see no deluded groups of folks arguing we're not at war that needed to hear his statement.

content free debolding

That should fix the bolding...?

Weird -- in Sebastian's 1:14 post, he added a <b> to close off his bolding instead of a </b>, so at least two </b>s were needed to close it off; but why was only the sidebar affected?

"I see no deluded groups of folks arguing we're not at war that needed to hear his statement."

In the primaries, Kerry himself suggested that we weren't at war in his infamous quip about not thinking he would be a war-time president. There is a whole contingent of people who suggest that the War on Terrorism is just a Republican device to maintain power through fear.

As to the war on terror, McCain does the following:

1: He talks about 9-11

2: He talks about the need to fight those who committed that act and those who are similar to them.

That is when he uses the sentence you object to. It is the time honored rhetorical technique of 'we all agree about' some general topic and then you argue the specifics. There were people who argued that we shouldn't attack Afghanistan. They probably qualified as 'the most deluded of us', and McCain clearly excludes them from the discussion while clearly including almost all Democrats. And that is why I think you are mischaracterizing the quote when you take it as an attack on Democrats.

3: He talks about different approaches to fighting the war.

4: He talks about how Democrats don't always agree with some of the approaches.

5: He talks about how awful war is

6: He finally talks about the Iraq war and how he thinks the Iraq war fits into the larger war on terrorism.

He is engaging in a very typical rhetorical technique: we all agree on this, this, this and this, so we should also agree on that. The technique isn't effective if your 'this' is an attack. As for the attack implicit in "Only the most deluded of us could doubt" it is clear that he is not including most Democrats. He admits that there are some deluded people who can't even come on board for the most basic-level war on terrorism, but he doesn't include most Democrats in that classification as is explicitly seen in the immediately following passages.

Noooooooooo

I see no deluded groups of folks arguing we're not at war that needed to hear his statement.

It depends on what you mean "war". I, for one, think the word is being misapplied here with some fairly deleterious results. This isn't a "war" in any conventional sense of the term; the core of this whatever is not fundamentally military, but rather political, diplomatic and ideological. "Conflict" or "struggle" would be far more appropriate (and indeed, McCain used the latter immediately prior to the quoted remark).

Semantics aside, though, I agree: I have no idea to whom that remark was addressed. Then again, I think it was just a rhetorical flourish without substantive content... and in the grand scheme of things it's not even close to the things I really worry about.

Maybe McCain was admonishing people who think like this:

Jadegold:

Blue: IMO, it's somewhat ironic that James Walker Lindh got 10 years for the crime of being in the wrong place at the wrong time...

Blue: Channelling John McCain, are we?

My John Walker Lindh comparison came in the context of Robert E. Lee. Lee, as you may recall, violated his oath as an officer in the US armed services to command an army against the US and the US Constitution.

In this endeavor, Lee was fairly successful; killing hundreds of thousands of US soldiers largely in the name of continuing slavery.

OTOH, Walker Lindh cannot be shown to have even so much as brought a weapon to bear against a US soldier.

Well, you can reasonably argue that the possibility of wilful secession was a principle of the founders and so Lee may have believed he was fighting for an abandoned Constitution.

Regardless, it's interesting that between two men who each personally ordered the deaths of tens of thousands of US soldiers, one died rather comfortably of natural causes and the other was elected President.

Most of the thread is about who McCain might have been talking to, so I guess I'm not the only one channeling..

The fact that think his crime was just one of being in the wrong place at the wrong time speaks volumes.

I think McCain knows his audience well.

Well, you can reasonably argue that the possibility of wilful secession was a principle of the founders and so Lee may have believed he was fighting for an abandoned Constitution.

You could reasonably argue secession was a principle of the founders; you'd likely get a very strong argument, however. A much tougher sell would be the notion of an abandoned Constitution.

But where Lee is caught is the fact he swore an oath, as part of his commission, to defend and protect the US Constitution (not Virginia's, not Georgia's, not anyone else's), against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Lee willfully violated this oath.

It should also be noted, with interest, the man who died rather comfortably of natural causes did so without US citizenship.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad