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March 15, 2015

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Because, after all, liberals are writing the dictionary, (the one THEY use, anyway.) and define progress in directions they oppose as regression.

Conservatives write their dictionary also. cf "Liberty" for just one example.

I wish we had UK conservatives.

I give you Margaret "there is no society" Thatcher.

And moving backwards means towards an earlier existing state, so a move can be verified as such. So, moving forward would have to meet two conditions: 1) moving away from the status quo 2) not moving towards an earlier status quo.
Earlier status quo of course within the same system, not in one removed in space, time and culture (e.g. democracy in ancient Greece).

And forward and backwards are defined by which direction you're facing, Russell.

I view emancipation as progress. Woman's suffrage, too. I have a somewhat mixed view of the relentless drive to get as many people to vote as possible, but think that, with exceptions for some types of convicted criminals, generally anyone who wants to vote, and is sufficiently motivated to overcome some relatively trivial obstacles, should be permitted to do so.

Support for actual, formal racial discrimination in the US is centered on the left, not the right.

And I definately want to further human rights. Such as the right to keep and bear arms, property rights, the right not to be aborted...

I think liberals mostly think of themselves as supporting human rights, but this involves defining away any rights they wish to violate.

we have reached troll level 5

Speaking of definitions, what you do mean by "troll", cleek?

Was Rutherford B. Hayes really that bad?

You mistake my meaning. What I meant was not that Rutherford B. Hayes was a bad President. My meaning was that people wanted him to be President badly enough to make deals that turned out very badly indeed for this country.

I am of course referring to the Compromise of 1877, which doomed the Reconstruction and facilitated the further oppression of African-Americans in this country for nearly another century.

Elections have consequences, indeed.

And forward and backwards are defined by which direction you're facing, Russell.

We all live in time, which, at least as we experience it, travels in one direction only.

No matter which way you face.

what you do mean by "troll", cleek?

the standard definition suffices.

Support for actual, formal racial discrimination in the US is centered on the left, not the right.

According to how you define that to suit your characterization, floating free in the ahistorical ether, where everyone has had equal opportunity since forever.

Sometimes I like captch-free commenting, and sometimes not. Mentallly italicize that first sentence, please.

There are multiple defintions. I'm guessing you're using the ever popular, "Somebody who disagrees with me." definition.

"We all live in time, which, at least as we experience it, travels in one direction only.

No matter which way you face."

Well, then it's all progress, isn't it, no matter which way it changes.

Support for actual, formal racial discrimination in the US is centered on the left, not the right.

Actually, this is true.

And, the actual, formal racial discrimination practiced by "the left" in the US results in people with dark skin getting acceptance into colleges they might otherwise not get into, and access to work opportunities they might otherwise not get into.

And, since some things in life net out to be zero sum games, that sometimes means folks without dark skin don't get to go to a college they might have wanted to go to, or a job or contract they might have wanted.

So, I think Brett's point stands.

The thing he fails to mention is that the equally actual, but informal, racial discrimination, that tends to not be centered quite so much on the left, results in people getting shot, or farmed for tax and other revenue, or limited in where they can live.

Etc etc etc.

Well, then it's all progress, isn't it, no matter which way it changes.

See, now you're deliberately being dumb.

If you strip the perhaps deliberately inflammatory language from what Brett is saying, it boils down to, approximately:

"Progress" is defined by liberals as things moving in a direction that liberals want them to move in. And, by extension, reactionaries are those who oppose progress.

Even if, in the view of so-called reactionaries, the movement in that direction isn't any sort of progress at all.

This sort of supposes that all liberals are of a common mind and agree on all things, but that's another conversation entirely. Brett is inclined to think that way, or at least write as if he does.

There are multiple defintions. I'm guessing you're using the ever popular, "Somebody who disagrees with me." definition.

no, Cap'n Language-abuser, that's your own personal definition.

"progress" can be defined, roughly, as motion in a direction you want to go.

On that definition, there are essentially zero conservatives in the US.

Everybody here wants some kind of change ("progress") after all. Some what change towards what they see as a new and better society. Some want progress towards their image of a better society, one which largely existed in the mid-20th century.

But a real conservative would want to preserve pretty much what we have today. With only a few incremental changes to address really serious problems. There may be some people who actually take that position, but they don't seem very visible in our political discussions.

But a real conservative would want to preserve pretty much what we have today

This presumes that a real conservative thinks that what we have today is good and right.

On this point, views vary considerably.

"Progress" is defined by liberals as things moving in a direction that liberals want them to move in. And, by extension, reactionaries are those who oppose progress.

Well and clearly stated.

In spite of the deliberately provocative language, I did take that meaning away from Brett's comments.

My point is this:

If your idea of progress consists of undoing historical changes and returning to some status quo ante, then you are in fact reactionary. By definition.

Buckley:

A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.

However you see the goodness or badness of that agenda, it is, I would argue, a reactionary one. Inherently, by definition.

Not progress, but moving backward, to a preferred status quo ante.

I understand that Buckley doesn't speak for all conservatives, but his position is hardly irrelevant to the point.

Agreed.

Undoing e.g. spying on private citizens, though: is that reactionary?

Undoing the arms build-up of US police departments: also reactionary?

Undoing the silly and ineffective assault weapons ban is progress from my point of view; probably reactionary from other points of view.

Undoing the labyrinthine US tax code and reverting to a more simple code: progress, or reactionary?

Not picking a fight; just noting that some of these movements may in fact be good and desirable movements to not a few people.

BTW the tax code comment was NOT meant as a suggestion of a flat tax; just a simplification of the current tax schedule with perhaps some adjustments to rate to keep it revenue-neutral.

Easier to say than do fairly, I admit.

Maybe a more on-point discussion would involve why something is or is not progress, rather than assuming people simply define this or that as progress.

This has been another episode of "Those other people like what they like, unlike above-it-all me, who only has principles."

"...the fight to restore 2nd amendment rights has made huge strides.."

By his own admission, reactionary.

That second part was not directed at Slart, BTW.

By his own admission, reactionary.

Restoration of 1st and 4th Amendment rights would, then, also be reactionary?

Liberals are then, in some cases, reactionary? Because 1st and 4th Amendment rights are things that liberals tend to champion. And rightly so.

If words have meanings, at least have them be consistent.

is the goal here to prove that "conservative" and "progress" are null concepts? because, out here in reality, far above from the warm depths of your navels, they have widely accepted meanings.

I have no goals, cleek. This is just conversation.

Getting at what people mean by the words they use is sort of an interest of mine. It aids clarity, IMO.

Undoing e.g. spying on private citizens, though: is that reactionary?

All good points.

I think hairshirt has it right, whether you want to call a desired change "progress" or "reaction" really needs to consider what specific thing you are talking about.

Personally, I'm fine with calling efforts to reduce or eliminate intrusive surveillance of private communication reactionary. Ditto militarization of police.

There are more than a few movements in history that I'd be happy to stand athwart.

Perhaps it will be more constructive to address specifics, and not worry about the label. I address that to myself as much as toward anyone else.

I give you Margaret "there is no society" Thatcher.

Who was, essentially, a 19th century liberal in her politics, and pretty radical for a 'conservative'.

I make no claim for UK conservatives being wonderful - they're not - but it is instructive how many measures you might call liberal have been passed by conservative governments.

This presumes that a real conservative thinks that what we have today is good and right.

Actually no. What it assumes is that a real conservative thinks that changes should be small and incremental, and only undertaken when there is a clear need. It is entirely possible that there will be a clear need -- this isn't an automatic defense of the status quo.

But neither is it an enthusiastic embrace of some (real or imaginary) view of that past. That isn't conservative; that's reactionary. Reactionary we do have.

Slarti at 11:35, that would imo depend on whether the policies in question were themselves reactionary or not, i.e. whether the desired change is a reversal of a reversal. And that could be quite context sensitive. Communism was at times very progressive but 'old communists' tend to be as reactionary/conservative as their counterparts on the right. Or to use an extreme example: the Nazis were quite progressive* in some matters and their democratic successors in Western Germany reversed a lot of that progress in the period of 'restauration' (but kept a lot in place that should have been destroyed together with the nazi regime). On these topics it took another 1-2 generations of actual progressives before the status quo of '45 got reached again (and as far as e.g. protection of animals goes, we are still a bit behind).

*Looking at actual Nazi campaign material from before 1933, old conservatives were almost as favorite a target as communists. They did not go as far as the Italian fascists but they emphasized the modernity and youthfulness of their movement and spat on the paleos who wanted the emperor back. After '33 those same paleos were an important part of the inner opposition.

See, the last 18 or so comments are why I am not a troll. That was a productive converstation, which would not have occured if I had just echoed the "Ugh! Liberals good, conservatives bad!" line.

Bismarck was a textbook reactionary but to him we owe the welfare state. For him it was a tool to ward off revolution and to make the reactionary parts of his policies palatable to the masses. He had to fight the short-sighted conservatives/reactionaries who would have triggered the feared revolution pretty soon, if nothing had been done. He (unlike them) understood that in order to go back to before 1789 as far as the power structure went, some rather radical changes were necessary for it to be sustainable. Give them more to lose than their chains and they will put up with being chained (which btw is a charge levelled these days against the 'liberal' state by right-wing neo-feudalists and pseudo-libertarians on a regular base as part of their assault on the welfare state or what counts as such in the US).

And whenever we make some incremental progress, it is championed by liberals and opposed by conservatives, practically by definition.

I think the problem I have with this is 'liberal' and 'conservative' and 'reactionary' have meant many different things in different contexts, different times, etc. I think using a broad brush in some ways blurs the distinction between cases. For example, I'd say Woodrow Wilson was a liberal. However, I'd say some of the things he did (frex: signing the Espionage and Sedition Acts) were not what I would consider liberal.

And more to the point, successes or failures of 'liberals' or 'conservatives' at some point in the past do little to inform the wisdom of current 'liberals' or 'conservatives'.

Or more simply, what slart and russell said:

Getting at what people mean by the words they use is sort of an interest of mine. It aids clarity, IMO.

Perhaps it will be more constructive to address specifics, and not worry about the label.

Just to grab onto one of Slart's examples:

Undoing the arms build-up of US police departments: also reactionary?

Is the wisdom and practical effects of this particular effort informed in any way if it is classified as 'conservative', 'liberal', or 'reactionary'? I don't think so.

wiki:

In intellectual history, the Idea of Progress is the idea that advances in technology, science, and social organization can produce an improvement in the human condition. That is, people can become better in terms of quality of life (social progress) through economic development (modernization), and the application of science and technology (scientific progress). The assumption is that the process will happen once people apply their reason and skills, for it is not divinely foreordained.

and:

Conservatism as a political and social philosophy promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of the culture and civilization. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others, called reactionaries, oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".

these are the standard meanings of the words.


See, the last 18 or so comments are why I am not a troll.

you're a troll because you troll.

these are the standard meanings of the words.

Why did you use text from the 'Idea of Progress' wiki article and not the 'Liberalism' article?

these are the standard meanings of the words

That's well and good. But as I have pointed out, it's not quite as simple as pointing to a Wikipedia article as a line of cleavage.

you're a troll because you troll.

Gotta disagree, Cleek.

Brett is not a troll because he doesn't troll . . . that is, he isn't here looking to start fights. I disagree with him sometimes. But neither of us is looking to start a fight; we just don't agree. (Ditto, for that matter, Russell and various others.)

From the wiki on liberalism:

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, "In the United States, liberalism is associated with the welfare-state policies of the New Deal program of the Democratic administration of Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt, whereas in Europe it is more commonly associated with a commitment to limited government and laissez-faire economic policies."

Apparently, the meaning of this word diverges substantially depending on region.

Who was, essentially, a 19th century liberal in her politics, and pretty radical for a 'conservative'.

Can't argue with that, though I can imagine she and JS Mill would have some disagreements. I'd put her more out there with extreme social Darwinism and fringie libertarianism, so yes, a radical.

In the U.S. a pragmatic definition of "conservatism" would be the opposition to the New Deal State and its expansion, so I guess my defense of it makes me the real conservative.

There are many true Scotsmen.

It originally had the European definition in the US. Then in the early 20th century an earlier generation of 'Fabian socialists', noting that "liberal" was much more popular with the public than "socialist", started calling themselves "liberals", and in time managed to take over the word.

Apparently this never happened in Europe. Maybe "socialist" didn't have quite the same stink there, so they didn't feel the need for camoflage.

Much the same is happening with "originalist" right now: Living constitutionalists are well along in the process of redefining it to include their own views, and once they've accomplished this, they'll narrow the definition again to exclude actual originalists.

There are many true Scotsmen.

So true.

Brett, that's a nice summary of the history of the word "liberal" in the US.

And one might note that, also in the US, the racist reactionaries noticed that "conservative" had less negative connotations. They haven't, yet, managed to take over the word. But they have made a lot of progress in that direction, have they not?

Maybe "socialist" didn't have quite the same stink there, so they didn't feel the need for camoflage.

I think this is correct.

Being a straight-up socialist and openly presenting yourself as such in much of Europe is not really a big deal.

Why did you use text from the 'Idea of Progress' wiki article and not the 'Liberalism' article?

obviously, because people are talking about the meaning of "progress".

?

he isn't here looking to start fights

by his own admission, he sometimes is.

obviously, because people are talking about the meaning of "progress".

Ah, I see. I think the comparison between the 'idea of progress' (a relatively specific concept in intellectual history) and a political philosophy like conservatism is somewhat meaningless. They aren't really the same kind of thing.

I think the comparison between the 'idea of progress' (a relatively specific concept in intellectual history) and a political philosophy like conservatism is somewhat meaningless.

Tell it to Edmund Burke.

i wasn't comparing them.

Or, less sarcastically:

IMO wj's 12:03 captures the relationship fairly well, as regards conservatism specifically.

I don't think Brett's a troll. I think he's deeply, deeply wrong most of the time, but that's not the same thing.

To the extent that he comes here to start fights, I think it's because he truly thinks one is needed, not just because he wants to screw up the discussion or anyone's day.

Mind you, he does manage to treadjack quite often, but I think whatever lens he sees the world through brings him to places that most of the rest of us would think tangential to the discussion. Of course, we follow, none the less.

If Brett's really a troll, he's far more cunning a person than I am, IMO.

Tell it to Edmund Burke.

He's dead.

i wasn't comparing them.

I see. I misunderstood that.

Yes, by my own admission, I like arguing, and this requires me to seek out the company of people who I disagree with.

But there's a heck of a big difference between "enjoys arguing", and "troll". I only argue what I consider to be legitimate positions, for one thing. And I particularly try to illuminate the assumptions that tend to go unstated when people who fundamentally agree with each other are talking.

Tell it to Edmund Burke.

He's dead

Tell it to Andrew Sullivan.

:-J

Yes, by my own admission, I like arguing

Here ya go!.

Somebody had to do it.

I like arguing

No, you don't.

Tell it to Andrew Sullivan.

Thanks, that put a smile on my face.

Then in the early 20th century an earlier generation of 'Fabian socialists', noting that "liberal" was much more popular with the public than "socialist", started calling themselves "liberals", and in time managed to take over the word.

Odd, that's not what my history books say. In the early part of the last century there were Socialists like Gene Debs (who garnered a good number of votes in those days-note the capital S), progressives like Robert La Follette (the Progressive Movement), and self described liberals who were liberals in the JS Mill sense as opposed to the Herbert Spencer sense who just couldn't bring themselves to call for nationalizing railroads, etc. (like some Progressives).

Fabian Socialists? Pretty much a British thing.

Question for you: So if "conservatives" are true "liberals" why did they run away from the tag?

But I digress.

Living constitutionalists are well along in the process of redefining it to include their own views..

Well, I guess when your vaunted "originalists" just pull shit out of their ass they tend to cede the field in that regard, do they not?

Hi Ya'll
Just wanted to say I enjoy your conversations.
I have been checking in on ya'll since 2003 but seldom have anything helpful to contribute that has not already been said in words beyond my ability.
I'm not a wordsmith but often find myself in agreement with russell. I also often wish I could say "what the count said", but thoughts or sentences longer then 10 words give me trouble.

I was just reading an article that I think may be relevant to this thread: http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/03/13/theres-no-such-thing-as-peacetime-forever-war-terror-civil-liberties/

hey jeff, please feel free to jump in any time you like.

you might not think you'd be adding much, but then again you might surprise yourself.

never know until you try!

In the early part of the last century there were Socialists

If I follow the history correctly, socialism sort of became the Political Persuasion That Dared Not Speak Its Name in this country around the time of the Palmer Raids and the red scare(s) of the 20's and following.

I don't know enough European history to say anything intelligent about why it's found a more receptive home there. I'd be delighted if folks who did have useful things to say on the topic wanted to chime in.

And here I thought at the time that Joe Haldeman was crazy. But apparently just ahead of his time. Unfortunately.

So if "conservatives" are true "liberals" why did they run away from the tag?

Good question! I think it's largely because "conservative" and "liberal" have morphed to mean "social conservative" and "commie", respectively, in the public eye.

I have come to consider myself a liberal, but not in the currently-used sense of the word. And if people are put off by that, well, I am ok with being off-putting.

Strike "commie" and insert something equivalent to "social liberal".

Sorry for the imprecision. Early afternoon beer consumption, soon to be followed by a nap.

Early afternoon beer consumption, soon to be followed by a nap.

Are you trying to make me jealous? Was it a double IPA?

I have come to consider myself a liberal

LOL.

Not that you consider yourself a liberal, I can see that.

What's funny is that I often consider myself conservative, just not as that word is currently construed.

And yeah, what hairshirt said.

I have come to consider myself a liberal, but not in the currently-used sense of the word.

Similarly, I would describe many of my beliefs/opinions to be inherently liberal...but describing myself as such rarely gives anybody useful information.

Early afternoon beer consumption, soon to be followed by a nap.

Man, you are living the dream.

"Similarly, I would describe many of my beliefs/opinions to be inherently liberal...but describing myself as such rarely gives anybody useful information."

Which is why the term "libertarian" was invented.

Although "libertarian" has become to mean something more nuanced and broader in scope than classical liberal.

Although "libertarian" has become to mean something more nuanced and broader in scope than classical liberal.

Broader than the political spectrum; able to leap humanity with a single assumption; more powerful than The Enlightenment-inclusive of just about all forms of government except the Divine Right of Kings.

Nuance, baby!

Which is why the term "libertarian" was invented.

Yes, libertarian is often a more useful shorthand for my political views. Although it has its own baggage, as noted by Charles.

And more comically noted by bobbyp.

"...socialism sort of became the Political Persuasion That Dared Not Speak Its Name in this country around the time of the Palmer Raids and the red scare(s) of the 20's and following."

It didn't really get to quite that point until the onset of the Cold War in the late 40's, but yes, the war* and war hysteria whipped up by the Wilson administration was the beginning of the end.

*WW1 split the international socialist movement, so it was already weakened by 1917 when we entered the fray.

Since this is an open thread...

More lack of transparency:

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/03/18/260260/florida-gov-scott-stops-using.html

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/03/18/260186/report-obama-administration-worse.html

It didn't really get to quite that point until the onset of the Cold War in the late 40's, but yes, the war* and war hysteria whipped up by the Wilson administration was the beginning of the end.

This is a hugely important point that I wish we could discuss further (except that people don't care so much).

WWII, in many ways was a socialist versus fascist war, that after it ended became a democratic regime versus communist war.

"Socialist" (who hadn't necessarily adopted the label) Americans booted up to fight the Nazis. The Roosevelt army was pretty "socialist". After the war, the fear factor of the Stalinists set in (and it was well-justified). That's when things got more complicated. And more and more complicated throughout the McCarthy era.

Getting to the bottom of what happened after WWII would be a very good project.

Not so sure that the second link means anything. From the link:

The Obama administration - often mocked for its promise that it would be the most transparent administration in history - said that in 91 percent of cases the government released all or part of the documents requested. "We actually do have a lot to brag about when it comes to our responsiveness to Freedom of Information Act requests," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

But the AP said the 91 percent figure doesn't include instances where the document was lost, when the requester couldn't or wouldn't pay for copies, or when the document request was "determined to be improper under the law," and is lower than any other year Obama has been in office.

So, I'd like to know the percentage of cases where the requester wouldn't pay for the copies. In other words, people who were bringing harassment requests. I have done FOIA requests. Paying for copies is annoying, but perfectly fine. Most libertarians would agree, non?

Righting wrongs is progress. Everybody seems to agree about that. What constitutes a "wrong" is of course a matter of opinion, because Brett. But we seem to have unanimous agreement on some things:

Slavery was WRONG.
Racial segregation was WRONG.
Not letting women vote was WRONG.

Whatever "conservative" means (and it mainly means "anti-liberal" in the US nowadays, whatever "liberal" may mean), it was NOT people who called themselves conservatives that fought to right those wrongs when they were going on.

People who call themselves "conservative" nowadays are pretty damn liberal compared to the conservatives of yesteryear. I call that progress.

--TP

This is a hugely important point that I wish we could discuss further (except that people don't care so much).

You might enjoy reading the following by Maurice Isserman:

Which Side Were You On? The American Communist Party during the Second World War, and

If I had a hammer-the death of the old Left and the birth of the New Left

I have yet to read the first, enjoyed the 2nd.

Thanks, bobbyp. Will do.

Whatever "conservative" means (and it mainly means "anti-liberal" in the US nowadays, whatever "liberal" may mean), it was NOT people who called themselves conservatives that fought to right those wrongs when they were going on.

Yes.

People who call themselves "conservative" nowadays are pretty damn liberal compared to the conservatives of yesteryear.

I'd say it's a mixed bag.

There are folks who want to roll back the New Deal, folks who want to roll back the 17th Amendment, folks who want to roll back Lochner, folks who want to return to the gold standard.

There are folks who want to roll back civil rights legislation, and folks who believe freedom of association trumps laws against segregation.

So, not all so pretty damn liberal.

and it mainly means "anti-liberal"

This (as they say over at LGM). A thesis similar to Corey Robin's The Reactionary Mind?

sapient, you glossed over this part:

According to the AP, the government "took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn't find documents, and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy." A third of the government's decisions to withhold documents violated the Freedom of Information Act, the news organization said.

1/3 of the governments decisions violated FOIA, by its own admission. That's a problem. This article has a little more detail:

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ab029d7c625149348143a51ff61175c6/us-sets-new-record-denying-censoring-government-files

In nearly 1 in 3 cases, when someone challenged under appeal the administration's initial decision to censor or withhold files, the government reconsidered and acknowledged it was at least partly wrong. That was the highest reversal rate in at least five years.

But Russell, while they may want to return to segregation, they aren't arguing for freedom to lynch those who disagree. So some progress, at least.

Not letting women vote was WRONG.

Not letting people advocate against the war and draft was WRONG.

Neither of those things are in contention at the moment. Both were advocated for by 'a liberal'. I am unpersuaded there is any bearing of this on whether current 'liberal' policies are correct, or current 'liberal' people are correct.

while they may want to return to segregation, they aren't arguing for freedom to lynch those who disagree.

baby steps, y'all.

Add to your list:

Torture was WRONG

...at least around when St. Reagan signed the Convention Against Torture. But I guess that was in is later, dementia years.

and...

Genocide was WRONG

but don't you *dare* say that word in connection with Native Americans, because SHUT UP THAT'S WHY!

My bet would be that a vast majority of elected officials and their accomplices would give (someone else's) arm and leg to get rid of FOIA again independent of political leaning. How dare you to want to look into MY files (and as long as I hold this office they are MY files even if they formally belong to the office/government)?
And that's true of even (most of) those people that really have nothing to hide. That's just human. What kid likes it when the parents poke around in their room even when the prawn stash is safely hidden elsewhere?

" I have done FOIA requests. Paying for copies is annoying, but perfectly fine. Most libertarians would agree, non?"

I've done FOIA requests. Paying for copies is annoying. Being told, "It's too much trouble to isolate and copy only what you asked for. Here's a bill for copying our entire record system, pay it or we're not complying." is a bit beyond annoying.

Being a stubborn cuss, I used to have in a box a six inch stack of microfiche, that I got after paying the fee they demanded. I wasn't stubborn enough to go out and get a reader, and spend a year finding the fight document somewhere in the stack.

"WWII, in many ways was a socialist versus fascist war, that after it ended became a democratic regime versus communist war."

Actually, I believe it started out as a socialists and fascists against everybody else war, and became a socialists vs facists war on the Russian front, only after Hitler and Stalin had their falling out.

The socialists still want everybody to forget which side they started out on.

...Republicans tend to think that Democrats were so offended by the concept of a war Republicans started being successful, that they deliberately threw the victory away when they got the chance, so as to make the war retroactively a failure.
There's generally little correlation between disagreeing with me and being stupid, but in this case, if Republicans really think that, then yes, they are stupid.

The stated objectives (Bush) of the war in Afghanistan "Defeat terrorists such as Osama bin Laden..." (there's a lot more).

Bin Laden was eventually killed, on Obama's watch, because Obama disregarded the advice of the Republicans' nominated war expert (McCain) about respecting Pakistani sovereignty.

The stated objectives (Rumsfeld) of the war in Iraq "Our goal is to defend the American people, and to eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and to liberate the Iraqi people"

In reality, there was nothing there to defend the American people from, the weapons of mass destruction did not exist, and there was no point in the war when the Iraqi people were on a path to freedom.

On the other hand, Obama never stood on a battleship and proclaimed victory.

The socialists still want everybody to forget which side they started out on.

Perfect example of how useless these labels are for grouping people and ideas across decades. There is nothing about socialism or communism that demands you invade neighboring countries or commit crimes against humanity. Yes, even though a nominally socialist regime and a nominally communist regime did both.

When I meet a socialist, I don't look at them askance because *any minute now* they might annex part of Czechoslovakia.

I doubt 'the socialists' are particularly concerned about convincing people to forget political alliances in the run up to WWII.

"On the other hand, Obama never stood on a battleship and proclaimed victory."

For the record, neither did Bush.

"When I meet a socialist, I don't look at them askance because *any minute now* they might annex part of Czechoslovakia."

Neither do I, as, thankfully, very few socialists are in any position to do this. And the Russians have given up on being socialists, are content to be totalitarian without any theoretical justification.

For the record, neither did Bush.

No, he didn't. Nor did he appear in a military uniform. Nor...a great many claims that have been made about that particular even.

But it's a cool talking point, so they have that going for them. Which is nice.

"On the other hand, Obama never stood on a battleship and proclaimed victory."

For the record, neither did Bush.

No, it was an aircraft carrier. And it wasn't victory, it was mission accomplished. And Bush himself didn't say it, the big freaking banner that was placed prominently behind him said it.

And no, he didn't appear in a military uniform, he appeared in military jet pilot gear.

So, all lies.

Well, that aircraft carrier had accomplished it's mission, which is why it was headed home at that time.

So, yes, all lies, with some deliberate misconstrual.

Strain at a gnat, swallow a camel.

I believe it started out as a socialists and fascists against everybody else war, and became a socialists vs facists war on the Russian front, only after Hitler and Stalin had their falling out.

Brett, do you suppose it started that way because the Nazis were actually socialists? (After all, it said so right on the label: "National Socialist German Workers Party").

wj, I think at least in this instance it is correct since Stalin (union of SOCIALIST soviet republics) and Hitler (a variant of fascist) conspired to invade and occupy/annex Poland and that is usually counted as the start of WW2 (although the Chinese* and some ignorant Americans** beg to differ).

*counting from the Japanese invasion in the mid-thirties
**for whom both World Wars start only with Murica entering.

There are folks who want to roll back the New Deal, folks who want to roll back the 17th Amendment, folks who want to roll back Lochner, folks who want to return to the gold standard.

There are folks who want to roll back civil rights legislation, and folks who believe freedom of association trumps laws against segregation.

There are people that believe lots of stuff, the challenge with the internet is that they can find every other person who believes it, so, it's a movement.

There are also people who believe in the zombies apocalypse. To assign these people to your general view of conservatives or liberals is nothing more than trying to confirm your prejudice against the other side. No matter how they might categorize themselves.

There are people *on this blog* who believe freedom of association ought to trump laws against racial discrimination in housing and/or providing other goods and services.

I wish that people who think the things I named, and which you cite, were as rare as people who believe in a zombie apocalypse.

You can try to wave it away as just me revealing my own personal biases, but believe me when I say I didn't go looking for people with those points of view.

I was, in fact, mightily surprised to find them.

Nonetheless, they are there, and not in small numbers.

I believe it started out as a socialists and fascists against everybody else war, and became a socialists vs facists war on the Russian front, only after Hitler and Stalin had their falling out.

Actually, prior to the agreement with Hitler, Stalin approached the western powers offering a military alliance. He was rebuffed. As for the "falling out", it was pretty one sided.

Good luck preventing a Zombie from voting. They eat poll watchers.

Thing is, the longer the Zombie Apocalypse lasts, the more Zombies you have with expired IDs, and you can't hand out death certificates fast enough because the budgets for the local government offices who do so are understaffed after conservative budget cuts, plus if you try and declare Ted Cruz dead, he steps to the microphone and goes "Arrrgh"' and all human survivors head for the hills.

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