My Photo

« Pulling The Plug In Texas | Main | Democracy Hiccing Up* in Kyrgyzstan »

March 21, 2005

Comments

Re 3, Rumsfeld reportedly twice offered to resign after Abu Ghraib.

Rumsfeld reportedly twice offered to resign after Abu Ghraib.

Another reason the comparisons of Bush to Lincoln make me laugh.

Only partisans seem willing to work for Bush. He needs someone to tell him when he is foolishly ignoring his critics.

Rumsfeld is good in the back office of the War Department, but he, Feith and Wolfowitz have proven themselves to be incompetent in running a war. Anyone running the War Department could have beat Saddam. No one, other than those fighting on the front lines, gets credit for the initial toppling of Saddam. The problem is that since then, we have had thousands of casualties that can be directly traced to incompetence in the Pentagon, yet these folks refuse to take any responsibility for their total lack of understanding of what they have done and President Bush never holds anyone accountable.

The Schiavo case is just Tom Delay's attempt to distract from the fact that his criminal behavior has been discovered and that the Republicans have been foolish enough to keep following him.

North Korea is just another classic in the our thugs, their thugs tradition.

I volunteer to be hired as the court jester for the White House. They need someone to tell them when they have ignored common sense and reality.

just FYI, here is the roll-call vote for the House.

--
You indignantly write:
This is the same president, remember, who
decided he did not need to rush back to
Washington, despite world leaders across the
globe returning to their capitals to see what
could be done, in the days immediately after
the tsunami in Asia that claimed 200,000 lives.
You fail to notice that the governments that actually did something were Australia and America, while other world leaders grandstanded. The two countries whose leaders did not grandstand, were the two countries that acted.

Your hatred of Bush tends to drift into hostility
towards America and ordinary Americans

In the course of arguing that Bush is totally wicked, you find yourself conjuring up facts that seem to show that America and Americans are totally wicked, that they American government is not only wicked, but is also considerably more wicked than those wise and benevolent Europeans and that freedom loving UN.

James:

Do not taunt Happy Fun Edward. Especially when he's already annoyed.

James, as far as I read, Edward was not criticizing "Americans." He was criticizing George W. Bush. He was pretty specific about it, too.

Edward, thanks for ranting. I am in a similar mood these days.

As a fellow sinus sufferer, I can only offer sympathy and one suggestion -- peppermint oil. It probably won't work if you're well into an attack, but get some and keep it around for the next time you feel the initial signs. Dab it under your nose. It may burn, depending on how sensitive your skin is, but for me it has negated 90% of the episodes I used to have.

And if you try it now, and it does burn, at least it distracts you from the pain in your sinuses! :-)

just FYI, here is the roll-call vote for the House.

Hmmm. My enchantment with my Representative, Melissa Bean, diminishes with each vote.

James Donald:

You might want to read through Edward's post again: you might find that he is nowhere "arguing that Bush is totally wicked". Incompetent, yes. Diplomatically inept, yes. Overly-ideological and scornful of compromise, yes. "Wicked"? Nah (at least not that he has said). There are, I am sure, plenty of blogs out there whose posters are all too happy to castigate Our Preznit as the Evil Incarnation of Satan's Bastard, and the Tool of the Anti-Christ (if not A-C in person): but, fortunately, Obsidian Wings isn't one of them.

Another reason the comparisons of Bush to Lincoln make me laugh

i highly doubt Bush could be gay (scores too low on his orals) and i also doubt anyone is going to be calling him "Honest George".

Americans are only 51% wicked.

I sent Bean some money because she was on an Atrios or Kos list. I'm still getting flyers from her - the latest a fundraiser describing the Republican effort to unseat her in '06. She's representing a (fiscally?) conservative district so I cut her some slack but maybe I'll have to send a reply saying I can't support her if she votes socially conservatively too.

Metacomment - don't know that this site needs partisan esp. left-partisan posts at the moment. We need more voices on the right - any minute now hilzoy and Katherine are going to start arguing metaethics with me for lack of enough useful people to spar with.

James,

Sorry if you don't recognize my happy...what'd Slarti call it..."Happy Fun Edward" voice. I give Bush credit when he stands tall, much more so than a lot of others on my side of the fence, so when I take him to task, I'm doing so within a history of generally trying to be fair about things. Like Opus notes, though, lately a bit of ranting in his direction has seemed a bit overdue. It's an "Americans who believe in their rights to speak out" sort of thing.

In the course of arguing that Bush is totally wicked, you find yourself conjuring up facts that seem to show that America and Americans are totally wicked, that they American government is not only wicked, but is also considerably more wicked than those wise and benevolent Europeans and that freedom loving UN.

That's a very impressive leap there.

That's a very impressive leap there.

Memorandum to self: do a blogpost on Norman Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth. It's a long swim back from Conclusions.

Err...Norton Juster.

Slart (or should I say "Slarti"?), I can hardly wait! Ever read the Dot and the Line? There's a film version, too.

"much more so than a lot of others on my side of the fence, so when I take him to task, I'm doing so within a history of generally trying to be fair about things."

Having been reading here for the last year... I really don't find that statement to be accurate.

smlook,

Having been reading here for the last year... I really don't find that statement to be accurate.

That seems to be designed to pick a fight without a point. Ultimately, such questions are perhaps too subjective to debate. Trust me though...I get my fair share of criticism from the left and I do try to be fair and even generous.

No, I confess that I haven't, ral. In fact, I haven't read any of his other stuff. It wasn't until I bought a copy of the book as an adult that I realized that there was something way out of the ordinary, there.

Hmmm. My enchantment with my Representative, Melissa Bean, diminishes with each vote.

And with every vote, I grow increasingly enchanted with mine.

The Phantom Tollbooth!!! Go, [b]Slart[/b].

I moved from my townhouse into a tiny studio to work on my doctorate. I put most of my library into storage. Other than academic texts, I brought 10 adult and 3 children's books with me. [i]The Phantom Tollbooth[/i] is one of them. Amazing book.

Another thumbs-up for Tollbooth! My favorite "children's" book and possibly a formative experience in the reading. The revolt in the Valley of Silence and the feast in the Mathemagician's mines are still fresh in my mind.

James, as far as I read, Edward was not criticizing "Americans." He was criticizing George W. Bush. He was pretty specific about it, too.

But his criticism of George Bush presupposes that those good benevolent Europeans, or at least their good benevolent governments, were more generous and virtuous in response to the tsunami, which was conspicuously not the case. It is an invalid criticism of George Bush, which is based on an invalid implicit critism of America and Americans.

In order to believe that George Bush is wicked in the manner depicted, one must first believe that the American government is wicked in the manner depicted, and that belief is usually based on a belief that Americans are wicked in the manner depicted, unlike the wise and virtuous elite that attempts to lead those stupid greedy uncaring selfish Americans into virtue, as they have so successfully done in Europe.

I'm beginning to see your point James, but you'll forgive folks for not getting it right away as you're stretching quite a bit to make it.

But his criticism of George Bush presupposes that those good benevolent Europeans, or at least their good benevolent governments, were more generous and virtuous in response to the tsunami, which was conspicuously not the case. It is an invalid criticism of George Bush, which is based on an invalid implicit critism of America and Americans.

First, generosity is not the issue. I was sure Americans were donating generously as soon as the scope of the tragedy became apparent. I know I was and my friends were, and the links that appeared for where to donate across the blogosphere (on sites on the right and left) showed me we were not alone.

The issue is appearances, which is what we're discussing in both instances here (and something your or my personal behavior has no real effect on, as we're not the president...unless you are, in which case, your objections here become even more clear).

To be fair, perhaps I'm actually not being clear here, but, ironically, your objections are actually helping to illustrate it: if it wasn't important for Bush to travel to Washington after the tsunami because (we suppose) there was nothing he needed to do that he couldn't do from his ranch (and what he was actually doing was more important than grandstanding about it), then WHY would he make such a show of travelling to DC to sign this one piece of legislation yesteday, when it could have much more cheaply been flown to him for his signature. If appearances were not important in the case of the tsunami, why are they important in this case?

n order to believe that George Bush is wicked in the manner depicted, one must first believe that the American government is wicked in the manner depicted . . . .

Even supposing that Edward had postulated that Bush is "wicked" -- which, of course, he did not, as an even cursory reading of his actual words will reveal -- this statement is manifestly untrue by any standard logic. Not only is George W. Bush not the totality of the American government (there are five-hundred-odd Congresspeople who would be happy to disabuse you of that notion), it is entirely possible for the President and the Congress to be at cross-purposes with one another. (See also, Clinton, Bill, Republican Congress and.)

By the way, Kevin Drum makes it even clearer: "This is the first time — the very first time — that Bush has ever cut short one of his Crawford brush clearing holidays." Was this really that much more important than anything that has occurred during his vacation periods -- and they have been many and lengthy -- in four-plus years?

Edward, you are a very classy guy.

Phil: ...there are five-hundred-odd Congresspeople who would be happy to disabuse you of that notion...

Some of them very odd indeed. :-)

By the way, Kevin Drum makes it even clearer:

Sigh...he always does... ;-(

Edward, you are a very classy guy.

ahh...shucks...

don't let what I have the time to think about before I type fool you though ral...on the street (or the odd blog of perhaps opposing viewpoints), I can be a bit of schmuck...I like to think I regret those occassions appropriately though.

4. Being a Divider, not a Uniter.

I have to disagree with you there, He has done more to unite the world against the US than any other President in the last fifty years. He has also done more to unite Liberals, Democrats, Greens and progressive than any other individual in the last fifty years.

In the course of arguing that Bush is totally wicked, you find yourself conjuring up facts that seem to show that America and Americans are totally wicked, that they American government is not only wicked, but is also considerably more wicked than those wise and benevolent Europeans and that freedom loving UN.

In a Democracy People usually get get the goverment they deserve, in this case the People have elected a psychopath.

They could have sent the bill Fedex for under $20 if he needed to sign a specific piece of paper. Or faxed or emailed it for virtually nothing. How much did just the fuel for the flight back cost?

I don't know James Donald's politics, but I've been reading Edward long enough to know he has a long, long way to go before his credentials in "The U.S. Government is Wicked" club reach the levels of government hatred exhibited by those in charge of it now.

George W. Bush hates my government. Tom Delay hates my government. Grover Norquist hates my government. Dick Armey hates my government. Ronald Reagan hated my government. Dick Cheney hocks up his hatred for government every time he takes a breath. Want more names? There are millions of republicans who hate my government. The sad thing is, they may convince millions of liberals, like me, to hate their government, too. Then there will be much begging for government, but it will be broke and unable to protect anyone. For cites, watch any of them the next time they speak or write, if you've missed the last 35 years of unalloyed fury against the U.S. Government.

Obsidian Republicans are exempted from this judgement.

As to George Bush's wickedness; I think he's wicked. For the record, I don't think he's dumb and I believe liberals have made fatal errors in underestimating him. And I think enjoys being wicked to his enemies, who are legion.

That's me writing, not Edward.

George W. Bush hates my government. Tom Delay hates my government. Grover Norquist hates my government. Dick Armey hates my government. Ronald Reagan hated my government. Dick Cheney hocks up his hatred for government every time he takes a breath. Want more names? There are millions of republicans who hate my government. The sad thing is, they may convince millions of liberals, like me, to hate their government, too.

John Thullen - from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

In a Democracy People usually get get the goverment they deserve, in this case the People have elected a psychopath.

Oh good grief. An honest-to-goodness psychopath? Please. Just call him Adolf Hitler's bastard Satanic lovechild and be done with it.

Seriously, DQ (and any other of my left-of-center brethren who're tempted by this kind of language): that kind of bomb-throwing remark isn't just stupid, and it isn't just counter-productive, it's outright harmful to our ideals, our goals and our nation. We're better than that, or at least we should be; let's start acting like it.

Oh good grief. An honest-to-goodness psychopath?


A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

Yes, an honest to god psychopath!!!

He does not give a damn how many people he kills nor does he have any empathy what so ever!


"Please," Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "don't kill me."

Just call him Adolf Hitler's bastard Satanic lovechild and be done with it.

Could not be, he lacks Hitler's courage and Satan's smarts.

"Just call him Adolf Hitler's bastard Satanic lovechild and be done with it.

Could not be, he lacks Hitler's courage and Satan's smarts."

Or as William Styron said on a totally different topic, "I'd call him a c*nt, but he lacks both the depth and the charm"

Sorry, but I have to completely agree with Anarch. Precisely what reaction do you expect to elicit with that kind of rhetoric? 'Oh, I guess I was wrong about Bush, I agree with you now.'

I'll second (third?) Anarch and LJ. Isn't it enough to note that Bush is a bad (even very bad) president? Let's leave the armchair pschoanalysis to Chuckie Krauthammer.

I guess it goes without saying that Anarch's nailed it, and it doesn't matter how many exclamation points you use in protest. There are plenty of places on the 'net one can go to wallow in partisan vitriol; we try not to make this one of them.

There is plenty of perfectly good criticism of Pres Bush at say National Review, Andrew Sullivan, Balloon Juice, etc. Edward, anarch, lj also do a good bit of reasoned criticism I might disagree whether it is well reasoned, sometimes.

Anyway, I think political criticism should be based on consequences, rather than intent. Last fall, I went to a John Prine concert. His old songs, sort-of protest songs, about Vietnam and soldiers and parents, were so subtle and honest about the human condition. Then he performed a song called "Some people aren't human", about Pres Bush, and ostensibly about republicans. He kind of lost me there.

There are plenty of places on the 'net one can go to wallow in partisan vitriol; we try not to make this one of them.

I rarely agree with Slartibartfast, or he with me, but I do in this instance. While calling Bush a psychopath isn't against the posting rules, it's neither helpful nor decorative.

DonQ, if you want an example of how to criticize George W. Bush with grace and feeling, read John Thullen's comments on this thread. Splendid stuff.

Uh, "Your Flag Decal Wont Get You Into Heaven, Anymore" wasn't subtle, but it was awfully funny.

Slart, Little Feat were funny, like the Kinks, or Ween or They Might Be Giants or the Ramones. Plus, they were so awesomely good. I was at a show and the encore with the Feat and Bonnie Raitt and her band and all the roadies jamming, and Bonnie (bless her heart, she was 3 sheets to the wind), stepped up to the mike and said "Ain't this the best fuxing band youv'e ever seen?!" I couldn't agree more. (Sorry, wrong thread here - and it is my understanding that fuxing isn't against posting rules.)

Trying to speak generally here, as I rather like DQ, but....

Not being a qualified psychiatrist (and therefore not being able to diagnose the alleged psychosis of the President or anyone else for that matter), I have to side with Anarch, et al. about not calling the President or anyone else for that matter a "psychopath" who has not been diagnosed as such by a qualified pshychiatrist.

What doing so does is asks those who disagree with you to dismiss your entire argument, even the parts they might otherwise consider valid, because it's obvious that you're projecting and, again, as most of us are not psychiatrists, we're not qualified to deal with your psychological issues either.

Unless you are a qualified psychiatrist and really want to discuss your diagnosis, in which case you're probably a quack, as this his hardly the forum for that.

OK...the caffiene is kicking in here, so I'll bring it down a notch.

No offense, DQ...I'm sincere in noting I like you. But you do suggest you're not interested in other peoples' opinions with sweeping declarations like that.

Edward, anarch, lj also do a good bit of reasoned criticism I might disagree whether it is well reasoned, sometimes.

Hmpf...

Little Feat were funny

You don't need to tell me that. It's not as if I hadn't spent hours listening to Fat Man In The Bathtub, Old Folks Boogie and Dixie Chicken.

Hmpf...

Sorry Edward_, I should have used one of those smiley things ;) in my comment.

Down south, an acceptable alternative is to use the "bless his/her heart" qualifier. (You can say anything about a person as long as you wish them well)

But a yankee city-slicker like Edward_ might not understand that either, bless his heart.

This city-slicker comes from good old West Virginia stock, DaveC, bless my heart.

(You can say anything about a person as long as you wish them well)

I'm actually shocked how well (and often) that works in the blogosphere as well. I'll point it out next time I see it.

The comments to this entry are closed.