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June 27, 2005

Comments

hilzoy:

"doesn't he realize that there are Democrats (and even, gasp, liberals) serving in the armed forces? How on earth must it make them feel to know that while they are risking their lives, one of the President's top advisors is impugning their loyalty for political gain?"


I'm sure that they don't like it, and also that Karl enjoys their pain. However, he is scr*wing up big time - www.iraqvetsforthetruth.org is still available.


I'd have expected some GOP backer to have scooped it op by now. For use 30 years down the road, when some warblogging College Republican is facing some Iraq vet.

Excellent research, as usual, hilzoy.

Spare us your fake outrage. Rove was of course talking about some liberals, not all. He even identified certain of them.

An obviously silly posting.

am: Karl Rove did not say that he was referring to "some" liberals. He said he was describing the difference between liberals and conservatives, period.

"But perhaps the most important difference between conservatives and liberals can be found in the area of national security. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and 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. In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban; in the wake of 9/11, liberals believed it was time to… submit a petition. I am not joking. Submitting a petition is precisely what Moveon.org did. It was a petition imploring the powers that be" to "use moderation and restraint in responding to the… terrorist attacks against the United States." (...)

MoveOn.Org, Michael Moore and Howard Dean may not have agreed with this, but the American people did. 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. Conservatives see the United States as a great nation engaged in a noble cause; liberals see the United States and they see … Nazi concentration camps, Soviet gulags, and the killing fields of Cambodia. (...)

Let me put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts to the region the words of Senator Durbin, certainly putting America's men and women in uniform in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."

There's no "some" there. Just liberals.

And if you think my outrage is fake, think again. I have years now listening to members of my government impugn my patriotism. During those years I have also gotten to listen (on those unfortunate occasions when I'm out of range of NPR) to any number of rants from talk radio people all over the country whose sole topic, as far as I can tell, is people like me, and our lack of patriotism, our lack of morality, our desire to bring down our country, etc., etc., etc. Had you experienced anything like the same level of vitriol, consistently, for years, you might be a bit annoyed too.

I have SPENT years..., that should read.

I have years now listening to members of my government impugn my patriotism. During those years I have also gotten to listen (on those unfortunate occasions when I'm out of range of NPR) to any number of rants from talk radio people all over the country whose sole topic, as far as I can tell, is people like me, and our lack of patriotism, our lack of morality, our desire to bring down our country, etc., etc., etc. Had you experienced anything like the same level of vitriol, consistently, for years, you might be a bit annoyed too.

And now some conservatives are joking about hunting you down like an animal and killing you.

Some Democratic member of Congress should start reading that blog into the record. (Onto the record?)

What was your Unitarian Jihad name again? You're channelling the Sister Gatling-Gun of Prudential Logic, or whoever she might be.

Speaking of which, a search of "hilzoy unitarian jihad" yielded no meaningful results, while I know you've linked to the Movement's page and mentioned it on numerous occasions. Either I'm going about searching this site the wrong way (always possible) or your seach engine needs a disclaimer link.

After all, your adolescent ideas about sex are now linked at Salon! ObWi has clearly hit the big time.

Jackmormon: as I said on that thread, I find the idea of my adolescent ideas on sex getting any sort of audience at all sort of horrifying. I waited a while after writing that, wondering whether I should just delete those bits, and then thought, oh, what the heck, who cares; probably no one will read it anyways. Ha ha.

Felix: where's that from?

Orcinus, where else?

It's not only offensive, but derivative.

No One to Demonize

"In the absence of an antiwar movement, the American people have turned against the war in Iraq. Those two facts, I suspect, are connected." ...H. Meyerson, at TAP

Conclusion for Republicans? In order win the war politically at home, they must energize an open, ugly, violent anti-war movement. Expect a draft.

Yes, early on many in their own party will be opposed, but once the Republican faithful see how John Thullen reacts to having his kids get brain damage in Iraq, the Hard Republicans will feel they have to prove their courage and patriotism, and will have a convenient group of traitors to feel superior to. If you think there are libertarians who are opposed to the draft, you will not believe how the left will react to getting their notice.

Vietnam never fell below 50% popularity, in part because of the domestic emotions and arguments. Honestly? Knowing Phil Carter going back may force me to a side.

Rove & Cheney & Bush will have few qualms about saying:"Democrat, get your traitorous butt out of my army." And they will get a thrill at each and every one that leaves.

Berke Breathed ran that joke way back in the 1980s in his Bloom County strip. IIRC, Milo and his grandad went out into the countryside to hunt the rare, elusive "liberal." Their call was "No Nukes." Later, after they'd cornered their prey, it bleated, "Gun control!" and finally, once they'd gunned it down, "Socialized medicine!"

In fact, the strip I'm thinking of looked a lot like the one on the other side of kenb's link.

Oh, and if Tacitus objects to my saying the motivation for a draft will be domestic political advantage rather than concern for the military and long-term strategic viability of the nation or actual concern for the success of the mission in Iraq, he may object away.

"Finally George Bush has shown his courage and character in taking this huge political risk, and anyone who doesn't know recognize the great patriot we have in the WH blah blah."

Bob, you scare the hell out of me. Your last couple of posts make perfect sense and are completely consistent with the Bush M.O. And I thought I was cynical about these guys.

My son turns 9 next month, so I guess that gives me about nine more years to think about http://www.immigration.govt.nz/>what to do.

Thinking some more about Rove's words, I figured out where my second wave of anger came from.

When I first heard what he said, I was angry. I came here and expressed that, wrote something on my blog, talked to my friends and family. I still feel it was unacceptable for someone in the White House to insult half the country like that.

But what I started to hear and read was that Rove had *meant* to get me riled up and that by being riled up I was playing his game. Or that being angry meant that I was too caught up in meaningless politics.

Well, Karl may have wanted me to get angry, and he may have said what he did as political theater -- red meat for the base. That doesn't make it right. ("I didn't mean to run her over, Officer...I was tired and I was late to work.") And when we decide to allow a White House advisor to accuse even a few far-left activists of treason and brush it off because "it's just politics," we are giving away the country.

And Karl Rove, of all people, does not deserve to have any part in it.

Trevino Calls For a Draft...Again

With, IMO, the right reasoning and motivations. There may be a small touch of partisan intent, Josh is a subtle thinker, and I have always felt Trevino was well connected, so I expect it to happen. Quite frankly I think a draft benefits Democrats, the diversity and socialization works against the politics of division that benefits Republicans. That Universal Service benefits Democrats is I think one of the primary reasons Bush and crew have tried to avoid the draft, even at risk of losing the war, destroying the Army, and damaging the country.

For the record, I am in Yglesias's and Tacitus's archives as calling for a draft very soon after 9/11. Leaving aside any particular military needs, I felt the long and difficult slog the GWOT was certain to entail required an early and irrevocable committment by the American people. It would have been accepted in early 2002.

After four years of being lied to by the strutting fop in the WH, it will be much more difficult and divisive. I recommend mass resignations at the top, in order that President Hastert has a chance at a fresh start. Anyone who would forgive what is charitably viewed as negligent homicide has no credibility.

But we must not lose Iraq, or lose our Army. And we cannot win without a draft.

Shorter Tacitus: "Opposing a draft is immoral, un-American and anti-freedom." Piffle.

Opus: that he was willing to impugn our patriotism for political gain makes it worse, in my opinion, than it would have been had he actually believed it. I'm sure he was trying to get us riled up, and (more importantly, probably) to get his base riled up against us. He got me mad: as I said, spending years having my patriotism and ethics questioned will do that to a person. And I don't regret it: some things are worth getting angry about.

However: having gotten mad, I now feel that what I want to do is just to do my best not to allow this distraction tactic to work.

A shoutout to Abu Ghraib photos and Karl Rove outrage all in one post. I never understood the utility in pounding sand myself but I admire your tenacity.

Sulla: I never understood the utility in pounding sand myself but I admire your tenacity.

What's your take on the failure of conservatives who got outraged over Amnesty International or Senator Durbin's "poor choice of words" (to quote you on another thread) to get as outraged over Karl Rove calling the half of the US that didn't vote for Bush "traitors"?

Opus: "Well, Karl may have wanted me to get angry, and he may have said what he did as political theater"

You're absolutely right on the money. The right has made an art of constructing leftist bogeymen that they can use to bash political opponents. As a cowardly fence-sitting moderate centrist, I can tell you that the use of this bogeyman gets under the skin of more than just those "evil liberals". I certainly hope this strategy starts to backfire, but I have no feel for whether it will or not...

Not only liberals, but liberals with French surnames.

Jes,
Rove was feeding the base and although from a non-partisan point of view what he said was outrageous the outrage will amount to nothing. Unlike Durbin, Rove has no constituents to answer to and unlike AI Rove has no veneer of neutrality to compromise so calls for his head will go unheeded. Because calls for action are futile those who push the issue will look impotent. Therefore I would advise anybody who desires traction out of his statement to hold this card for now and play it at a more opportune time. Steady patience is sometimes a more useful tactic against stupid statements rather than outrage. Throw it back in his face whenever he speaks on the issue like conservatives do with Michael Moore’s minutemen comparison. That’s just my 2 cents on the issue.

I wasn't particularly upset by Rove's comments because I don't share his values and I'm the sort of liberal he's talking about. He distorted what people like me think, but coming from him I expect that.

I spent much of 9/11 trying to find out if any of my friends died (none had), but unlike Rove, I did feel "moderation and restraint". What I remember thinking is that this is what it's like to be under attack by people who have no regard for human life and yes, that this is the sort of thing our government has done to others. I was initially opposed to the war in Afghanistan because I didn't want to kill thousands of innocent civilians. I was wrong about the war, but I'm not ashamed of the doubts. People should feel sickened by the need to go to war--people like Rove and Hitchens seem to think it's a virtue to get all excited and self-righteous when you have a just cause for killing.

I had a very heated argument with one of my liberal friends at the time and he made good points. He said the Taliban were terrible, and that was true, and that the loss of civilian life, though awful, would be the necessary prelude to establishing a secular democracy. He favored a Marshal Plan for Afghanistan and I think I remember hearing that a lot of people did. We'd make up for using them as cannon fodder against the Russians and then abandoning them. Later, when Kabul fell to the Northern Alliance and the residents cheered the very groups that had partially destroyed Kabul in the 90's, I realized I'd been wrong to oppose the war. It had gone more quickly than I expected, with fewer civilian deaths than I expected. Of course that Marshal Plan never materialized.

As for "therapy" and "preparing indictments", Rove is being incoherent in his attacks on antiwar people because he knows he can get away with it. It is entirely sensible to ask if American foreign policy contributes to terrorism (I mean terrorism against us, apart from the terrorism we've supported against others) and to ask why some people hate us. That doesn't mean therapy for bin Laden. You don't say that he should be tried for crimes against humanity (which is what the far left antiwar types advocated) if you think he just needs therapy. The problem with the antiwar position is that they/we didn't have a realistic plan for acquiring bin Laden and bringing him to trial. But speaking of that, who did?

So anyway, Rove is trying to repeat the stunt they pulled in the 2004 campaign, when they managed to portray Kerry the war veteran as the wimp compared to Bush the hero of the Texas skies. It might not work this time--Rove is attacking too darn many people at once and the polls are turning against him. But it works in another way--Rove equates opposition to a war with lack of patriotism and most Democrats respond by saying that they favored the war. Great. Left unchallenged is the idea that opposing a war automatically means you aren't a patriot. Which is probably part of what Rove is thinking. In the past, anyway, voters tend to think Republicans are the tougher party and if you can get an argument started over who is tougher, Rove probably figures Republicans will come out on top as they always have.

Sulla: Steady patience is sometimes a more useful tactic against stupid statements rather than outrage. Throw it back in his face whenever he speaks on the issue like conservatives do with Michael Moore’s minutemen comparison. That’s just my 2 cents on the issue.

Oh, I'd say that's worth at least half a dollar... ;-)

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