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September 29, 2006


Me. Personally. Apparently.

You and the sixty two million others who voted for Bush.

I thought you guys were the party of personal responsability, so live up to it and take responsability for the consequences of your vote.

OCSteve, hope you have a nice drive. I'm wondering if when you were saying:

Me. Personally. Apparently.

You were accepting that the Iraq war was wrong and didn't leave the US safer? And if that's the case, why is Bush and the administration refusing to admit it?

For what it's worth, and purely as personal impressions, two points. First (and here I'm not speaking as a moderator, just giving my impression): I agree with Andrew's comment here. It has seemed to me that more people than I would have expected have tended to jump all over him when he says something that might be construed as e.g. parroting a Republican talking-point, but only if one were already convinced that Andrew was actually Hindrocket in a very clever disguise, rather than asking that one extra question that would have allowed them to ascertain whether he did, in fact, mean what they think he meant. It's as though, knowing that he is conservative, people sometimes assume they know what he must be about to say. That surprised me. Not in a good way.

I mean: I think I broadly agree with Andrew on foreign policy, and disagree wildly with him on domestic policy, but he seems, to me at least, to plainly be a thoughtful guy who deserves to be seen in his own right, not treated as a walking embodiment of Republicanism -- especially since, as he has to keep saying, he is not in fact a Republican, and doesn't plan to vote for them.

At least, asking him 'did you, in fact, mean X?', and then respecting the answer even if it's 'no', rather than proceeding directly to 'obviously, you meant X!'

It's not as though everyone has done that, of course; and (also of course) it's just my take.

Second: that said and acknowledged: possibly you find it easier to deal with Republicans, Andrew, but I think that -- hmm. I was going to say: that the level of vitriol directed against Republicans on Democratic blogs is dwarfed by the vitriol directed by Republicans at Democrats, but that's not quite right: surely there are some purely hateful Democratic blogs out there, and I could probably name a few if I felt like it. So instead:

There are a lot more sizable democratic blogs where the level of vitriol is low or at least manageable than there are Republican blogs where that's true, I think. Moreover, when Democrats get mad, they're a lot more likely to be mad at identifiable Republican individuals, like Bush or the House leadership, than at "the right wing", unless they are specifically despairing about, say, the willingness of the country as a whole to elect people who support torture, in which case anger at 'the right wing' as a whole does not seem misdirected.

By contrast, the object of hatred on conservative blogs is a lot more likely to be 'liberals' or 'Democrats' en masse. And I do really mean hatred, of a kind I jut don't see at, say, TPM or Kevin Drum or Matt Yglesias. Moreover, if you compare the biggest liberal blogs to the biggest conservative blogs, most of the liberal ones do not traffic in hatred, accusations of treason, etc.; most of the conservative ones do.

Recent example (down in the comments.)

That from the guy to whom I said this:

"Since he is from Louisiana, I'll give him a pass on the rhetoric: I don't get bent out of shape by what people say two days after large chunks of their home state have been destroyed."

When, right after Katrina, he wrote a post entitled: 'The American Left And Human Filth: Distinguish If Possible, which included lots of passages like this:

"I no longer see the Left as a set of political opponents. I understand them now to be what they are: An uncompromising, barely human mass of malignancy, that exists only to be crushed electorally and culturally once and for all. Or, as a wiser man than I put it, The Evil Party."

(Note that it's not some specific individual who's barely human; it's 'the Left'.)

Alternately, try watching this video, by one of the most popular conservative bloggers out there (it's only a couple of minutes). When people like him set the tone, bad things tend to happen.

I normally don't engage on their sites any more (I did yesterday because it was so specific and so wrong) (though in retrospect, I can't think why I bothered, which is why I abruptly stopped.) But back when I did, I was absolutely routinely called a traitor, unAmerican, amoral, evil, you name it. And I was not more hostile there than I am here. I mean: you know my methods, Watson.

Anyways, as I said: just my two cents.

Me. Personally. Apparently.

I'm far less extreme in this regard than I take Steward Beta to be, but yes, if you voted for Bush you bear some personal responsibility for his actions. [More specifically, for enabling his actions.] Less so in 2000, IMO; there was no excuse in 2004, because by that time we knew damn well what he wanted and what he'd do to get it. Same as any president, really, although it's usually less... catastrophic.

Remember: responsibility's not a zero-sum game. A whole lot of people can be to blame, in varying proportions. Bush bears the brunt of the responsibility for the Administration's sins but he wasn't operating in a vacuum; a whole lot of people had to abet his actions and yes, they bear responsibility and should make atonement for that.

[One of the Dems who doesn't hold to this view -- Katharine, I think? CharleyCarp? -- should probably speak up now to show that we do indeed have a tent of extraordinary magnitude.]

Kids...don't post when you're upset. I know I do it, but I'm a trained professional. Also, when I do it, then I have to do this.

I apologize. I was hurt and I said something that, while factually accurate, was not a fair comparison. I have never spoken with a Republican who considered me as a lefty, so the basic assumptions are that we're coming from at least generally similar premises. Therefore, it's unsurprising that I get a different reception from Republicans than Democrats, and I cannot reasonably suggest that the two are comparable.

I have no doubt that those on the right are equally unpleasant, and possibly more so, than those on the left. It is a depressing fact of the human condition that we seem to be remarkably good at being inhumane to one another. I regret my contribution to that today.

Also, when I do it, then I have to do this.

You don't, which is what makes it worthwhile. Kudos.

Oh, and: thanks. :)

Apology accepted, though I didn't feel insulted and wasn't pissed off at you. You had a point, even if your basic premise needed some work :)

Now, on to more pleasant matters!

Anyone think Hastert should resign? Anyone think he will? And what's up with that Conduct Board, where they didn't even tell the Democratic member what was going on?

Andrew, at least you accept responsibility, which is an act that is not often seen on either end of the spectrum.

More importantly, you not only apologized, but acknowledged where the error in your own perception came form. Again, most people (political affiliation irrelevant) too often make an apology that sounds like, " I am sorry you became upset."

Both sides can learn a lot from you.

The other thing is that the more passionate someone is about something, or the more afraid they are of something, tyhe more intransigent they become.

Many people here, of which Jes is just an example, have very passionate feelings and beliefs about things and react quite strongly when they feel that their opinions are minimized.

And CaseyL brings up some major questions. The behavior of Hastert and at least 3 other Republicans you have admitted being aware of Foley's beavior is quite questionable.

Although I really do wish this was not the case, the outcome of the November elections may very much hinge on this issue rather than any of the others which (not to minimize Foley's transgressions) have far more meaning for this ountry.

I know I do it, but I'm a trained professional. Also, when I do it, then I have to do this.

I'm now thinking of a t-shirt/bumper sticker that says "Don't make me blog this..." ;^)

anyway, props, Andrew.

In re the “who’s more vitriolic” debate:

Since I am new to blogging, I didn’t know what “Freepers,” LGF,” “Redstate,” etc. were all about up until a few months ago when I went poking around to fix my ignorance. What struck me most was that the vast majority of comments on right-wing blogs were thoughtless, ad hominem attacks (as an example of this, after Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” I was looking forward to hearing a conservative rebuttal of the film’s thesis. Instead, what I heard was, “Moore eats too many Danishes.”) and sometimes even posting rules that read, “If you espouse a different political opinion than We, you may be banned.” If you’ve read any Ann Coulter book you know the set up: All Dems are Liberals, all Liberals are against X, all folks who are against X hate America, all who hate America are enemies of the state, therefore all Dems are enemies of the state. Once a group or individual has been categorized like this (and this tactic has been applied to Muslims, immigrants, etc.) the only thing left to do is name-call, punish, eradicate. And, yes, the same applies to many on the other end of the spectrum – that point where the methodology of radicals and reactionaries becomes identical.

Would someone mind pointing me toward a conservative blog where one is likely to encounter comments/arguments of the Andrew (or Niall Ferguson (e.g. “The Pity of War,” “The Cash Nexus”) variety?

Speaking of conservatives, Fukuyama’s new book gets a review by Stephen Holmes (“Neo-Con Futurology”) at “London Review of Books”: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n19/holm01_.html

And, I’m sure most of you are aware of this, but other newbies like myself may enjoy Mike Reed’s “Flame Warriors” (I fit the bill for Artiste, Eagle Scout, Ego, Ideologue, and others): http://redwing.hutman.net/%7Emreed/index.htm

hilzoy: "[I] disagree wildly with [Andrew] on domestic policy

Just for fun...

By that definition you're:
pro-death penalty
anti-gay marriage

I'm really not sure why you think you need a conservative voice around here, given all that, you madcap reactionary. ;)

Hey, we had an election threadjack without me playing. Well, that's progress.

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