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April 07, 2005

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Democratic Obstruction Machine

Does this run on gas, or is solar-powered, or a hybrid?

Hot air.

Whoops. I thought you were talking about C. Bird.

Democratic Obstruction Machine

a new record ! i stopped at line two.

"Christopher Phillips: Avid consumer and proponent of FRANCE magazine."

What's next, he looks French? Oops, you did that already.

"William vanden Heuvel: Loins that bore the fruit of daughter Katrina, editor of the hard left Nation"

I know there's a rule about sins of the father, but I didn't know there was one about sins of the daughter.

Aren't you going to make fun of Monteagle Stearns and Spurgeon Keeny?

What on earth is this post about? I think what it says is that there are legitimate questions about Bolton but it's unforgiveably partisan of Democrats to raise them. I'm having a bit of trouble with that concept.

I knew Chas looked to people like Hindrocket for inspiration and talking points, but I didn't realize he was trying to match his level of credibility too.

That these liberals served under and were appointed by Republican presidents says more about the magnanimity and bipartisanship of those presidents. 

Oh come on, Charles. That's utterly ridiculous. Just to pick one name, Arthur Hartman spent five years as Reagan's ambassador o the Soviet Union. Radical left-winger is he? Reagan gave him that job out of magnanimity and in the spirit of bipartisanship, rather than because he was a skilled diplomat. Is that your claim? The fact is that if you look at these people's careers you will find twice as many who only served in Republican administrations as served solely in Democartic ones. Most served under both parties.

But to you they are "liberals" just because they think Bolton shouldn'tbe confirmed, or because some, less than half, endorsed Kerry?

If you want to post about why Bolton is a good choice go ahead. But just yelping about partisanship in opposing him is useless.

So, lemme get this straight...you want to refute this statement:
Compare this group to the signatories to the letter opposing Bolton, which is not only non-partisan, but was signed by more Republican appointees than Democratic.

By listing some stats about some of the signatories, (39 of them made political donations! No!) and then listing what you must think to be damning evidence of the partisanship of 15 of them.

Just to be clear...how many of them were Republican appointees, as Meyer claimed in his article?

And perhaps you could help me out..non-partisan, when used in the context of a group of 59 people...means what, exactly? Should they be evenly split left/right? 29 democrats, 29 republicans and an independent?

Good work making fun of Princeton Lyman's name too...nothing like schoolyard-style ridicule to make a studied point.

This is an awful post. Base mockery, sensationalist nonsense ('Democratic Obstruction Machine'?) and misrepresentation. If you took that out, and addressed what you feel to be legitimate concerns, that would be productive. But the meat of this post doesn't belong on this site, in my opinion.

crutan

"Thwartation"?

However, when Dave Meyers at TAPPED wrote the following...

"Compare this group to the signatories to the letter opposing Bolton, which is not only non-partisan, but was signed by more Republican appointees than Democratic."

...he was both lying and distorting.

[My emphasis]

Generally, when calling someone a liar, it's best to actually, y'know, demonstrate that what was said wasn't true. I don't see that being done here.

"Generally, when calling someone a liar, it's best to actually, y'know, demonstrate that what was said wasn't true. I don't see that being done here."

Moreover, I am sure we can find many examples of Bird Dog claiming a different standard of what constitutes a lie when the President says it.

Charles, you misspelled "Hersh."

A recount shows that twenty-one served only Republican Administrations, eleven only Democratic, and twenty-six both, with one listing no Administation.

So it's not quite two to one, but how was Meyers lying when he said there were mor Republican appointees than Democrtaic ones?

Awesome. I loved this post. If the underlying point is that anyone who opposes the Bush administration on any issue is not a true Republican, I agree and would enthusiastically recommend a party change to such malcontents.

I mean, in what way would it make sense to say that Bush and DeLay and Frist are not "true Republicans"?

Charles performs a service.

Not to mention the fact that it is possible for someone to be a Republican but not support the current administration.

I thought that your post was superb and did a very good job sorting through what matters most in this debate about John Bolton. To be clear, I've decided after spending a great deal of time investigating Mr. Bolton's performance in other positions, basic beliefs, and some questionable ethical judgments that there are many other Republican nominees to this position who should stand before Mr. Bolton in getting this job.

That said, I very much respect how you laid out the fundamental questions that matter.

Best regards,

Steve Clemons
TheWashingtonNote.com

Quiz:

1) "the Democratic Obstruction Machine" is to "the opposition party's opposition to the majority party platform", as

A) "our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrat's manic obsession to bring down our Commander-in-Chief" is to "the Democratic party is harshly criticizing the incumbent President in an attempt to convince people to vote for his opponent"
B)"Judicial tyranny" is to "judicial decisions with which we strongly disagree"
C)"There is a master plan out there from those who want to destroy the institution of marriage to, first of all" is to "gay people are seeking the right to civil marriage in the courts".
D) all of the above.

2) True or False: there is no meaningful difference between the actions described by the first and second part of each analogy. But while in the second part of each analogy is a neutral description of the normal workings of a constitutional democracy, the first makes it appear that they are a dangerous, threatening, illegitimate conspiracy.

3) Is there any other political rhetoric this reminds you of? Has it usually been used by people in power to gain support for further consolidation of power at the expense of an unpopular minority, or an unpopular minority against the people in power?

Gee, Katherine, where are you going with this?

Yeah, I gotta say, this post looks to me like it is a clear step down in quality from the other posts I have been reading on this blog the last few weeks.

Especially saying that the guy is lying, when in fact, he seems to be telling the truth. They were Republican appointees. That means appointed by Republican administrations. It doesn't mean something else. And showing they were not something else does not show the guy on TAPPED was lying.

Not good work.

You're some kind of collective, right? Well, exercise your collective judgement with respect to this poster, or at least this post.

The first 8 posts where void of content wrt Charle's posts... good job... nice job of distraction...

That's because Charles' post is devoid of content, other than his dislike of anyone who dares to oppose Our Leader. And we knew about that already.

Use of such language is simply proof of a lazy mind covering up shortcomings in the analysis.

"items loaded into the Democratic Obstruction Machine"

"anti-Bolton jihad"

"anti-Bolton bandwagon, with obsessive numbers of anti-Bolton posts"

"Trustfunder Left"

There is some analysis sprinkled in the article, but its not worth trying to weed it out with this kind of stink built into the prose. I would expect this from a pimply teenager who does not know better and thinks adding prankish name-calling someone beefs up the points. It would be so nice if you would just quit it so we can enjoy your thinking and not be subjected to snotty name-calling.

All I am retaining from this post on a first read is that a whole bunch of people are seriously worried about Bolton's nomination and that the Lymans named their sons Princeton and Harvard.


And I suppose right-wing diplomats aren't also trustfund babies.

I'm guessing diplomatic service people tend, regardless of politics, to be from wealthy backgrounds.

(And there are plenty of Republican trust fund brats. George W. Bush and his siblings, and their children, for example.)

I knew Chas looked to people like Hindrocket for inspiration and talking points, but I didn't realize he was trying to match his level of credibility too.

Wrong again as usual, Catsy. I have no idea what Hindrocket wrote.

Just to pick one name, Arthur Hartman spent five years as Reagan's ambassador o the Soviet Union. Radical left-winger is he? Reagan gave him that job out of magnanimity and in the spirit of bipartisanship, rather than because he was a skilled diplomat.

We're not disagreeing, Bernard. Hartman wasn't chosen on the basis of his political leanings, so it's irrelevant and distortive for Meyers to have brought it up.

Generally, when calling someone a liar, it's best to actually, y'know, demonstrate that what was said wasn't true. I don't see that being done here.

Andrew, Meyers is a weblogger who writes for a major national political publication. He has just as easy access to Google as myself, and better access to other resources such as Lexis-Nexis, etc. My conclusion is that he would have to be ignorant or lying to have written what he did, and that it's extremely unlikely for a man in his position to be ignorant of the signatories. Seriously. Moseley-Braun? Spielvogel? Vanden Heuvel? No way.

Steven, thank you for the kind words. We're not necessarily on the same side of this issue but I respect your efforts.

Katherine, instead of quizzes, how about a conversation.

My conclusion is that he would have to be ignorant or lying to have written what he did, and that it's extremely unlikely for a man in his position to be ignorant of the signatories.

There were two assertions in the section you quoted. Both of them referred to the letter itself. The fact that some of the signatories were Democrats does not in and of itself demonstrate that the letter itself was partisan.

Do you have a quotation from the letter that supports your contention that it was partisan?

Katherine, instead of quizzes, how about a conversation.

Surely one must first write a post worthy of a conversation...

OK, but some of this post was, I hope, deliberately funny.

E.g. "Avid consumer and proponent of FRANCE magazine." ... "Descendant of Alexander Hamilton" ... "Loins that bore the fruit of daughter Katrina"

I enjoyed reading the post, myself, and I'm sure it took a great deal of time to write.

That said, Bolton is still bad news. I'm sure there's work for him elsewhere, and I'm damn sure there are better R's for this post.

Josh, did the letter write itself? Of course it was partisan, as were the signatories.

OK, but some of this post was, I hope, deliberately funny.

Prak gets it. The humor doesn't extend to folks like Terrell E. Arnold.

Ok, this has to be a record for number of links in a single ObWi post. That was a lot of work, Charles.

I think your list of questions provides a good analysis of the confirmation issues.

But I'm still confused about how Dave Meyers was lying. I can see why you'd say he was distorting, in using "non-partisan" -- though it could be argued that he simply used the term, as many do, to indicate "both Democrats and Republicans." You obviously feel that the term shouldn't be used when one takes a position that is in opposition to one identified with one political party (as Bolton's nomination is identified with President Bush and, therefore, the Republicans).

But "lying"? The only statement that qualifies is the one about there being more Republican appointees than Democrat appointees as signatories. I haven't waded through all of your links -- is that a lie?

I wish there was a Democratic Obstruction machine. Obstruct is exactly what I want my elected offcials to do.

Charles: For what it's worth, I used to do a lot of volunteer work on Wes Clark's campaign, and in the course of that work I ran into a lot of retired military, defense, and state department people. (I live in Baltimore, so close to DC and Annapolis, and one of the things I did was fundraising.) I was surprised by the number of such people that I met who had been lifelong Republicans, but who had been appalled by Bush's foreign and defense policy, and had decided for the first time in their lives to work for a Democrat. You will of course disagree with their take on Bush, while I agree with it, but that's not the point. The point is: these were not people who were opposing Bush for partisan reasons. To the contrary, they had abandoned their former partisan allegiances because they opposed Bush. It would not surprise me at all to learn that many of the people who signed the letter against Bolton fit this bill. If they did, they probably did contribute to some Democrat in the last election, and probably endorsed Kerry, but again, that hardly shows they're partisan Democrats.

hilzoy,

In the course of a conversation with my wife today, I said something like "it's as though people don't take politics seriously." (We live in California and were discussing Governor Ah-nold.) By this I meant, people seem to ignore the real effects of political choices.

Her response was, "oh, they take it seriously, but they don't think rationally about it."

It was John DiIulio who said "what you've got is everything, and I mean everything, being run by the political arm."

Charles, your post is just more of the same. There is more to life than winning a political fight. For shame.

Andrew, Meyers is a weblogger who writes for a major national political publication. He has just as easy access to Google as myself, and better access to other resources such as Lexis-Nexis, etc. My conclusion is that he would have to be ignorant or lying to have written what he did, and that it's extremely unlikely for a man in his position to be ignorant of the signatories. Seriously. Moseley-Braun? Spielvogel? Vanden Heuvel? No way.

Yeah, but he didn't say "no Democrats signed this". He said "more of the signatories were appointed by Republicans than Democrats", which seems to be accurate (as per above comments by others). If it's the "non-partisan" that you're objecting to, well, in this context "non-partisan" doesn't have to mean "no one involved in this has a political stripe", because that'd be ridiculous. The point is that the letter isn't overwhelmingly a Democratic production, a point which you've failed to refute.

All in all, a pretty slim basis to call someone a liar. May I suggest that an apology might perhaps be owed here?

Democratic Obstruction Machine? You flatter us shamelessly sir. I'm blushing. I wish we had a "Democratic Obstruction Machine" sadly Democrats have not yet begun to fight. When we start sounding like powerline and LGF, we'll be getting there.

Frank, I believe the DOM is the mechanism whereby some Americans do not agree with what the President of the United States does. It's only recently that it's been called the Democratic Obstruction Machine: it used to be called the First Amendment.

Jes: or "advise and consent."

Jes- Good point. I had forgotten how nefarious we were for ungratefully and foolishly questioning Dear Leaders wishes.

Once you get beyond the A.M. radio-colored glasses, the barest look at the statistics will show that there are many, many more members of the "Trustfunder Right" than the "Trustfunder Left."

the barest look at the statistics will show that there are many, many more members of the "Trustfunder Right" than the "Trustfunder Left."

True, carpeicthus, but not on the list of the 59 ex-diplomats.

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