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August 31, 2006

Lies, Damned Lies, And The Media Fog Machine

Feeling morally, intellectually confused? Find the issues of the day a bit hard to understand? Allow Keith Olbermann to assist you.

The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.

Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.

Mr. Rumsfeld’s remarkable speech to the American Legion yesterday demands the deep analysis—and the sober contemplation—of every American.

To say that I agree with Mr. Olbermann is an understatement. It does, ladies and gentlemen. It does indeed.

Mr. Rumsfeld's speech, though I have never been a huge fan of his, literally demands you do him the courtesy of reading it. Should you take that admittedly radical step instead of swallowing Keith Olbermann's wholesale recharacterization helpfully chewed, predigested, and spit out in unrecognizable form for your consumption, you might be a bit surprised.

I know I was.

You might be even more amazed if all you'd heard about the SecDef's speech prior to this point was the AP version. You see, there seem to be some fairly major differences between what the media chose to tell you and the Secretary's actual remarks; so much so that the Associated Press has now revised its original dishonest recharacterization of Rumsfeld's comments:

AP has edited the original story. Yesterday the story had the following lead paragraph:
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Tuesday accused critics of the Bush administration's Iraq and counterterrorism policies of trying to appease "a new type of fascism."

Now the lead paragraph says:

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday the world faces "a new type of fascism" and warned against repeating the pre-World War II mistake of appeasement.

Additionally this paragraph has gone missing as well:

In unusually explicit terms, Rumsfeld portrayed the administration's critics as suffering from "moral or intellectual confusion" about what threatens the nation's security and accused them of lacking the courage to fight back.

To be replaced by these:

Rumsfeld alluded to critics of the Bush administration's war policies in terms associated with the failure to stop Nazism in the 1930s, "a time when a certain amount of cynicism and moral confusion set in among the Western democracies."
Without explicitly citing Bush critics at home or abroad, he said "it is apparent that many have still not learned history's lessons." Aides to Rumsfeld said later he was not accusing the administration's critics of trying to appease the terrorists but was cautioning against a repeat of errors made in earlier eras.

There are two distinct issues here. First to Mr. Olbermann's screeditorial.

If one is going to use historical allusions, it is generally wise to make sure they are apt. First of all, the Bush administration has made no attempt to silence its critics. None of them have been carted off to Gitmo, locked up in airless cells, nor had their inner Korans flushed. On the contrary, they have talked - nonstop, it often seems - for five years. They have voiced, at sometimes deafening volume, their unceasing opposition to every policy advanced by this administration, every initiative in the war on terror, every attempt to articulate the rationale for its actions.

And they have not stopped at opposing the ideas and policies coming out of the White House. They have unceasingly and unrelentingly engaged in vicious and cheap personal attacks against the President. He is stupid and incompetent: apparently so cretinous and inept that he has managed to steal two successive elections from his vastly intellectually superior opponents, who surely should have been on the lookout after the first time, when they demanded "smarter" voting machines to replace the ones they've been winning elections in Mayor Daley's district with for years and then complained the new machines had "thrown" the election.

The root cause of all America's problems, you see, is that our President looks like a chimp. It is not sufficient to express honest disagreement with his policies. No, he is the Anti-Christ, Evil Incarnate. Depictions of Bush as Hitler are everywhere - just visit MoveOn.org or the Democratic Underground for an inspiring taste of the party-in-opposition's principled disagreement with the White House's ideas. Comedians, performers, and actors regularly abuse ordinary politeness and common decency to harangue audiences with tirades about the decline of freedom of speech in America and its long, sad descent into tyranny. That they would be the first to be fed, feet-first, into the Snarkpit of Fascism if this were true never seems to occur to the Che Guevarito Banditos. They are always threatening to move to Europe, an enlightened utopia that somehow manages to scrape along without a First Amendment, separation of Church and State, or most of the protections from law enforcement we're always being told will send us careening down the road to fascism; but somehow they never quite get around to leaving, do they? I wonder why?

Undoubtedly the minions of the BushReich are harshing their collective mellow and snatching Camembert crumbs from their trembling lips faster than they can deconstruct the latest State of the Union speech into a threat to excise the Bill of Rights from the Constitution if they don't throw out all their Ditzy Chicks CDs.
It is a puzzlement.

Olbermann tells us that Donald Rumsfeld "impugn[ed] the morality or intelligence -- indeed, the loyalty -- of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land." Really? Did he, I wonder, read the same speech I did? Because the speech I read asked a lot of questions, and the last time I checked, liberals were all about asking questions. They were all about the free exercises of speech in a free country. But it would seem Mr. Olbermann is made very, very uncomfortable when the wrong people ask the wrong questions:

I recount that history because once again we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism. Today -- another enemy, a different kind of enemy -- has made clear its intentions with attacks in places like New York and Washington, D.C., Bali, London, Madrid, Moscow and so many other places. But some seem not to have learned history's lessons.

We need to consider the following questions, I would submit:

With the growing lethality and the increasing availability of weapons, can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?

Can folks really continue to think that free countries can negotiate a separate peace with terrorists?

Can we afford the luxury of pretending that the threats today are simply law enforcement problems, like robbing a bank or stealing a car; rather than threats of a fundamentally different nature requiring fundamentally different approaches?

And can we really afford to return to the destructive view that America, not the enemy, but America, is the source of the world's troubles?

These are central questions of our time, and we must face them and face them honestly.

Wow. Rumsfeld really socked it to "the administration's critics" there, didn't he? He really "questioned their patriotism", their "loyalty", their very "morality". Since when did it become unacceptable for a public servant to ask questions, to articulate the major issues facing this nation? Apparently Keith Olbermann would like Don Rumsfeld to stop talking, though. Something in that message is really disturbing him, because rather than face the message honestly, he choose to distort it.

Whether or not Mr. Olbermann wants to admit it, there are those who have explicitly said that we should establish a dialogue with the terrorists, that war is never the answer, that if we only listen to them they will stop attacking us. And according to Mr. Olbermann, Donald Rumsfeld, when he accepted that Pentagon paycheck, lost his First Amendment right to counter their speech with opposing ideas. He lost the right to ask questions. How very interesting.

This is the very same line of reasoning displayed by the critics of the Joint Chiefs, when they wrote a very polite and restrained letter to the Editor of the Washington Post expressing simple disagreement with a cartoon drawn by Tom Toles. These men who have fought for their country, who have proudly put their very lives on the line to defend the rights we all take for granted, were told (almost without exception by liberals) that they had no right to express their opinions. You see, they gave up that right when they donned a uniform. They might "scare" Mr. Toles, who ostensibly has the right to say whatever he wishes without experiencing even polite disagreement with his views. The members of the media, who possess a virtual stranglehold on the megaphone in this country and use it to drown out the voices of the men and women who pay with their blood for the freedoms they take for granted might feel a "chilling effect".

Pardon me if I'm not impressed. People I know have died to guarantee their rights and they speak of fear? The media don't know fear.

Let's get the historical allusion right. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration failed to stand up to the Nazis precisely because of the same type of moral blindness on display in America today. I read a biography about Roosevelt, the great Democrat hero. His wife, Eleanor, begged him to take in Jewish refugees, but he refused because it would cost him too much in terms of popular support. Boatloads of refugees were turned away - boatloads which ended up back in Germany, and eventually in the Nazi ovens. America only entered the war when we were finally attacked - not to aid our allies, nor oppose Hitler, nor to save the Jews, but in self-defense.

For Olbermann to equate the Bush administration, which in direct contrast to Roosevelt, is confronting Islamic extremism on ideological grounds as Churchill did, with Neville Chamberlain, who was completely blind to the larger threat posed by Hitler (who after all went after the Jews only as part of a much larger quest for world domination) is almost unbearably funny. Olbermann, in making a completely inept and - it must be said - confused historical analogy, proves Rumsfeld's point.

Some the opponents of the Bush administration (and Olbermann would appear to be one of them) have allowed their unrelenting hatred and bitterness to devolve into intellectual and moral confusion.

Willfully mischaracterizing the contents of an entire speech is morally wrong. Especially in a news article. The Associated Press does its readers no service by such abuses of its professional duty.

Getting historical allusions wrong, on the other hand, is simply embarrassing. Liberals are fond of saying that we are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts. I would hope that this is a sentiment on which both liberals and conservatives can wholeheartedly agree. And deliberately distorting the remarks of a public figure without linking to them so the reading public can see for themselves what he has said is an egregious abuse of what the media are always reminding us is "the public's right to know". If the Associated Press does not believe they got it wrong, one wonders why they have felt the need to correct the record?

More importantly, one wonders why pundits like Keith Olbermann persist in blatent mischaracterization of the public record? One obvious conclusion is that they continue to assume that no one is going to check up on them. But Mr. Olbermann might want to consider that the mainstream media are being fact checked now. Perhaps two-bit bloggers like me don't have the global reach of established media figures like Keith Olbermann, but we are paying attention. And there are an awful lot of us.

And we're not going away any time soon.

Posted by Cassandra at August 31, 2006 07:05 AM

Comments

Wow! Well written and well said, Cassandra.

Posted by: McQ at August 31, 2006 09:36 AM

At the risk of incurring the wrath of the Blog Princess, I have to tell you that Rumsfeld didn't have to say a single word about "the administration's crtics" for me to know which way the barrel was pointed. It was because he did it so elegantly that drove those critics, such as Harry Reid, to go stark raving bonkers about it. I think James Tarranto hit the nail on the head yesterday: if you are against Rumsfeld's speech, that must mean that you are for appeasement. As the Dem's can't argue that point for fear of committing suicide, they going all playground and attack Rumsfeld as a very bad man who says bad things about them. Lame.

Posted by: spd rdr at August 31, 2006 10:13 AM

Boy. I must really be a she demon from hell.

I will have to watch that temper of mine from now on.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 31, 2006 10:23 AM

After actually reading the speech, which was actually pretty mild, IMHO (except the part about praising the Boy Scouts, which I'm sure Andrew Sullivan, et al, would have a problem with, if put to him. Heh.). I can only suggest that you view Herr Olbermann at "Hot Air"/Michelle Malkin's site, to view what THAT guy actually said, too.

Cognititve dissonance. On a big scale.

What a maroon.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at August 31, 2006 10:27 AM

Dat Mr Spd Rdr, he has et rat, mon. Dat Mr. Rumspeld, he a berry, berry Bad Mon. Mebbee. Dat's what Chico's new friend Hugo say. Chico 'members his last days wit Mets, and dey were berry, berry bad to Chico, too. Da Mets and Rumsfeld, bot berry, berry bad.
But besball been berry, berry good to Chico. So I guess it all sorta balance out, hokay?

Posted by: Chico Esquala at August 31, 2006 10:36 AM

I don't know Don.

Obviously I have major problems.

I think I'd better just shut up now.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 31, 2006 10:44 AM

{Perplexed puppydog look}

Do I need to flounce, flounce! I say, over here and buck up a sagging Princess?

8@)

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at August 31, 2006 10:59 AM

Do I need to flounce, flounce! I say, over here and buck up a sagging Princess?

I thought you said you'd never seen the Twins?

*sigh* Everyone's a critic these days.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 31, 2006 11:03 AM

Whoooo Hooooo, Blog Princess, there's goes another title that Ms CoRev won't be able to use. Your last two articles have been truly outstanding. Whatever was biting you earlier must be healed. Way to go Ma'am, Ooops mean princess.

Posted by: CoRev at August 31, 2006 11:17 AM

Awp!~ Hoist on my own Petard! Damn you, woman!

I'm sure they're very nice, regardless.

But you'll have to take the Unit's word for it, methinks.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at August 31, 2006 11:19 AM

Well actually they are nothing to write home about, John me lad. I am a woman of very modest talents in that, as in most, regards. But you're right about that last.

Luckily he is patient with my many shortcomings.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 31, 2006 11:31 AM

"A she demon from hell?"
I thought you lived in Maryland?

Posted by: spd rdr at August 31, 2006 11:43 AM

You know, I really ought to read my own blog sometimes before cracking wise.

Posted by: spd rdr at August 31, 2006 12:03 PM

Bizarre world, ain't it, Mr. Rdr?

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at August 31, 2006 12:29 PM

Uncle.

I just fucking give up.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 31, 2006 12:43 PM

Hello,

This is a great blog. I'm going to be sure to link yours to mine. Would you mind doing the same for me?

Thank you very much.

My site:
www.americanlegends.blogspot.com

Take care,
Mark

Posted by: J. Mark English at August 31, 2006 12:49 PM

"They are always threatening to move to Europe, an enlightened utopia that somehow manages to scrape along without a First Amendment, separation of Church and State, or most of the protections from law enforcement we're always being told will send us careening down the road to fascism; but somehow they never quite get around to leaving, do they? I wonder why?"
I have oft wondered that myself, Cass.

Posted by: Sly2017 at August 31, 2006 01:54 PM

"Aides to Rumsfeld said later he was not accusing the administration's critics of trying to appease the terrorists..."


This is the infuriating part. Why not? Why not accuse the critics of appeasement, if that is the historical parallel implicit in paragraph after paragraph of the speech?


Then Keith O. et al can argue the substance if they like, i.e., show why they are not appeasers. But this constant tippy-toeing is part of the problem; it paradoxically gives fuel to the left/media outrage that you should be questioning them. When you hasten - hasten I tell you - to deny that you ever meant to even suggest they might be in any way similar to appeasers...silliness.


Call them little chamberlains (h.t. Ward Churchhill) and be done with it. They certainly have no fear of calling GWB and Rumsfeld all sorts of names that all translate to "Satan Incarnate."

Posted by: Tim Smith at August 31, 2006 02:07 PM

Simply, nice!

Posted by: John at August 31, 2006 03:33 PM

Ah yes. Nothing like disengenousness from a fifth columnist.

Good write, Cass.

Posted by: Cricket at August 31, 2006 04:00 PM

Excellent, well articulated post, Cass!

Praise for the Princess!

Posted by: JannyMae at August 31, 2006 04:42 PM

"First of all, the Bush administration has made no attempt to silence its critics. None of them have been carted off to Gitmo, locked up in airless cells, nor had their inner Korans flushed."

Nor did Neville Chamberlain's Britain do anything of that sort to dissenting voices in his prime ministership. You seem to be refuting an allegation that as far as I can tell, Olbermann did not make.

My political learnings are liberal, but like Rumsfeld I acknowledge the critical need to "confront Islamic extremism on ideological grounds", to borrow your phrase. What I still have not heard a reasonable explanation for is how the toppling of a secular dictatorship in Iraq has accomplished anything towards that end.

Posted by: Rootbeer at August 31, 2006 06:30 PM

Rootbeer (your 'name' made me smile):

Thank you for your courteous and reasonable comment. You make some good points which deserve a thoughtful answer. I am very sorry, but I had a really crappy day, and I just don't have the heart to address them right now. I will try, later. I just can't right now.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 31, 2006 06:48 PM

The reason they don't go to Europe is because of the lack of plastic surgeons, wait lines for botox, and high income taxes to pay for the above scarcity of medical services.

Apparently the unwashed masses are supposed to shiver in their collective boots at the very thought of life without the Academy Awards, Emmy's, and the other ludicrous "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful" awards.

Speaking of the 'twins' they do have an organization that props them up called S.A.G. aka Screen Actors Guild!

LOL

Posted by: vet66 at August 31, 2006 07:07 PM

Stop it, you big bully :D

I hate you folks. I am trying to manipulate spreadsheets. Go away and let me wallow in my misery in peace.

The nerve of some people.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 31, 2006 07:12 PM

Besides, little girls don't sag when they get older. There are compensations.

Ppppppphhhhhtttthhhh!!!!

Posted by: Cassandra at August 31, 2006 07:16 PM

Martinis. All around.
I'm mixing.

Posted by: spr rdr at August 31, 2006 08:03 PM

I'll drink to ttttthhhhppptthat!

Posted by: vet66 at August 31, 2006 08:55 PM

Gee, I wonder what motivated this post.

Actually, I don't; carry on, sister!

Posted by: camojack at September 1, 2006 05:06 AM

Actually camo, I had no intention of writing about it at all until I saw that the Associated Press had completely misrepresented Rumsfeld's speech while reading my RSS feed as I do every morning.

I do the same thing every morning like clockwork. Get up. Check one or two friends' sites because I am boring and predictable that way. Read my RSS feed to see what I will write about. QandO is on my RSS feed because it is a good site and has a balanced outlook (and also because I am a huge fan of McQ - he is always sensible and sober and he thinks like my husband, which I like because he doesn't always agree with me and it is good to get another slant on things). I like sites that aren't too conservative because I can figure out what conservatives think just fine so I try to include sites what challenge my viewpoint.

I am not upset with you, but it does hurt like hell when I get the impression people think I am being vindictive or mean, or that I let my emotions dominate my thinking.

I have always tried to conduct myself in such a fashion that people would know where I was coming from. That is why I try to admit it promptly if I think there is even the slightest possibility I have made a mistake or offended anyone. I try not to worry about looking stupid or who comes out on top. I just try to do what seems like the right thing.

I admit I don't always know what the right thing is, but that's because I am not perfect. I don't think any of us are.

Anyway, I think I need to shut up again. I just needed to set that straight.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 1, 2006 12:36 PM

    Nor did Neville Chamberlain's Britain do anything of that sort to dissenting voices in his prime ministership. You seem to be refuting an allegation that as far as I can tell, Olbermann did not make.

What exactly is referring to Rumsfeld's speech as evidence of fascism, then>?

Posted by: Martin A. Knight at September 1, 2006 01:23 PM

Cowards, traitors, liars, and thieves never like to be called out on their behavior and actions. They will raise a cacophonous screeching like a passel of cats tossed into a pond. So what? Should we be too afraid of their reactions to call a spade a spade? I'm not too afraid to speak my mind.

I've noticed that usually the same people screeching are the ones who remain silent when their fellow-travellers on the Left say things like Bush is racist, Bush is Hitler, Reagan personally caused AIDS, etc.

Lefties are "tolerant" of everything except dissenting viewpoints. Those must be stifled at all costs. The same folks who cry out that Cindy Sheehan must be permitted to speak out under the First Amendment, are also the ones who refuse to apply those same First Amendment principles to guys like Rumsfeld. Why even take their complaints seriously?

Also, since when has the truth mattered to Dimocrats? Its all about intentions, feelings, and self-validation for them. As long as you can show the world how compassionate and caring you supposedly are, thereby making you a "better" person than everyone else, because you are so concerned over, say, the rainforest, then who cares about the truth? As long as you can act superior by babbling on about "world peace", who cares if you are aiding and abetting our enemies by your cowardice?

Since the MSM are overwhelmingly Lefties, what a shock that they react with the typical, knee-jerk Leftie outrage. At least Neville Chamberlain had the personal decency and strength of character to admit he was wrong about Hitler, and quietly joined the war effort to stop him. Nowadays he would have turned on Churchill, called him a fascist oppressor, and blamed him for causing Nazi "rage". Oh, and he would have screeched about "don't you dare question my patriotism!", and bemoaned the lack of support England was getting from the League of Nations, which would have been a necessary prerequisite to declare war on the Third Reich.

Posted by: a former european at September 1, 2006 01:46 PM

First of all, I think there are two kinds of dissent, FWIW, and Olbermann wrongly conflated them.

There is dissent that is motivated by curiosity or patriotism or even simple disagreement.

And then there is dissent that has, at its heart, a malicious or partisan motive. And any honest person, of either party, will admit that this happens - that there are people who will carp and criticize and do anything they can to bring down a party in power if they think it serves their own ends. Some do it for political reasons, some do it out of hatred, some do it just for the sheer delight of causing dissention and destruction. And we saw in during Clinton's presidency, and we are seeing that now. The difference is that we are at war. But it is always bad. And to deny that it can cost American lives requires blindness of an almost gargantuan scale.

And to engage in this kind of fear mongering is really pretty cheap:

Dissent and disagreement with government is the life’s blood of human freedom; and not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as “his” troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq.

He is doing EXACTLY WHAT HE COMPLAINED ABOUT RUMSFELD DOING: DEMONIZING HIS OPPONENTS. That is a cheap, meretricious reference to the ubiquitous 'police state, bush=hitler' crap we see over at the DU all the time. And the really interesting thing is that even Noam Choamsky (no Reich-winger he) when recently asked if we were devolving into a police state, said, "heck no, in many respects America is the free-est country in the world". So just stop it, Mr. Olbermann. Stop it now.

Only he doesn't, does he?

That government, like Mr. Rumsfeld’s, had a monopoly on all the facts. It, too, had the “secret information.” It alone had the true picture of the threat. It too dismissed and insulted its critics in terms like Mr. Rumsfeld’s -- questioning their intellect and their morality.

What a load of crap. A monopoly on the facts? Secret information? Ummm... yeah. If there is anything left that hasn't been published by Bill Keller on the front pages of the NY Times or Dana Priest in the WaPo. Right. Oh, excuse me... reich.

Most relevant of all — it “knew” that its staunchest critics needed to be marginalized and isolated. In fact, it portrayed the foremost of them as a blood-thirsty war-monger who was, if not truly senile, at best morally or intellectually confused.

That critic’s name was Winston Churchill.

Sadly, we have no Winston Churchills evident among us this evening. We have only Donald Rumsfelds, demonizing disagreement, the way Neville Chamberlain demonized Winston Churchill.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Who is doing the demonizing here?

And if anyone is the intellectual or spiritual heir of Winston Churchill, it is George Bush. Olbermann, like most journalists, (who daily display their astonishing ignorance of history, military affairs, or anything else remotely connected to world politics) has got it 100%, completely, totally backwards.

But he's not done yet. Though he will never come right out and say it (remember - there is that climate of fear to contend with) he will continue to hammer home the point that this nation is sliding down the otter slide to fascism and guess who's to blame:

That, about which Mr. Rumsfeld is confused is simply this: This is a Democracy. Still. Sometimes just barely.

Mr. Rumsfeld is also personally confused, morally or intellectually, about his own standing in this matter. From Iraq to Katrina, to the entire “Fog of Fear” which continues to envelop this nation, he, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies have — inadvertently or intentionally — profited and benefited, both personally, and politically.

The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and this administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City, so valiantly fought.

This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed.

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty,” he said, in 1954. “We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.

It doesn't get much balder than that. I have no respect for a man insinuates says things like that.

If he really believes those things, he should be out in the streets with a gun.

If he doesn't, he should shut the f**k up.

Barry asked earlier about whether I thought that Olbermann was saying Chamberlain had locked up his opponents.

No, I don't.

I was referring both to the Chamberlain reference and to all the references I mentioned above, which Olbermann rammed home over, and over, and over again. He was quite clear. He meant to be.

I could have been more clear in my writing.


Posted by: Cassandra at September 1, 2006 02:27 PM

And the last thing that I haven't really been able to articulate clearly because it just irritates me so:

The unspoken conflation of "marginalization" or "demonization" with government censorship.

That is the heart, and the centerpiece, of Olbermann's essay. And it is utter bullshit. There is absolutely nothing wrong with opposing speech with speech, or ideas with ideas.

And there is nothing wrong, when your opponents are wading in the muck and demonizing you either directly, or by references to Hitler and dictators and all other sorts of unpleasantness, with your countering their arguments with a few "unpleasant" arguments of your own. Nothing.

This is not "censorship". This is not a "chill wind".

If you want to be a big boy and criticize, you have to be prepared to stand up in the marketplace of ideas and defend your thesis.

Grow up Mr. Olbermann and stop the whining.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 1, 2006 03:00 PM

As I said before: these "left" type folks are delicate creatures. Dissenting their dissent is an overly hostile reaction to the poor babies.

Olbermann probably hides his head under the covers so the evil neo-cons who disagree with his noble dissent won't find him.

;)

Okay, jokes aside, I think this reveals that Olbermann et al are simply projecting their own desires when they screech about fascism and being silenced. It's what they would do if they were those icky people who disagreed with them.

Posted by: Patrick Chester at September 1, 2006 03:06 PM

The double standard has never been more clear:

Democrat exercises free speech = "dissent"
Republican exercises free speech = "quashing dissent"

I actually had an a$$hat tell me yesterday that Bush cannot, "dissent," because he is the one in charge. The bottom line for this fool seemed to be that the Dems are free to say anything they want...even to the point of LYING, about the R's, and if the R's strike back, it's a, "smear."

Unbelievable.

Posted by: JannyMae at September 1, 2006 03:50 PM

There is a certain amount of support for that, if the Democrats would allow the government to promote their ideas via propaganda (which has both a positive and negative connotation).

What irks me is that so often the White House gets slammed for not "getting the message out" and "rallying the troops" or "explaining the war to America", yet when they try to do just that, they're told they are "fear mongering", promulgating "the same old simplistic answers", or engaging in "propaganda". Come on!

And people criticize and demand answers, but then when the White House tries to answer they say, "Don't demonize me!" or "don't you dare question my motivation/patriotism/loyalty" (funny, I didn't hear that, but I heard some incredibly insulting rhetoric from critics of the administration).

Why is it OK for critics to question the morals, honesty, decency, intelligence, sanity, etc of everyone from Bush on down, but no one even vaguely connected with the White House, in any capacity, can EVER EVER EVEN ONCE question any characteristic of any critic of the administration without the President himself personally being accused of being a fascist?

That is simply not reasonable behavior.

And I suspect Keith Olbermann and others like him know it, and take advantage of that knowledge.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 1, 2006 04:02 PM

Remember, these are the same cowards, liars, and traitors who heaped scorn and derision on Ronald Reagan when he chose to stand up to the Soviets. They pilloried him in the MSM, mocked him for a "reckless cowboy" who was just itching to start World War III in order to kill us all.

Do you see the pattern here? Any conservative president who stands up to America's foes, rather than appease them, is villified by the Lefties and the MSM (okay, that was an oxymoron). Only hapless appeasers like Jimmah Cartuh and Neville Chamberlain can satisfy the Left.

Therefore, we are not just talking about disagreements or dissent, but people who are actively engaged in trying to weaken the US and aid and abet our enemies. Unlike liberals, I don't believe in mangling the English language to achieve the proper PC effect. This type of behavior clearly qualifies as cowardice and/or treason. I still recall the Jane-Fonda-in-an-antiaircraft-gun-used-by-the-VC-to-shoot-down-american-pilots moment in Vietnam. The Lefties have always argued that such an act was not treasonous or unpatriotic. This just proves their inability to see right from wrong or make any type of moral or ethical judgments.

As an escapee from the former Czechoslovakia when it was still in the Soviet Bloc, this issue is deeply personal. Liberal appeasers sold my people out to Hitler at Munich in 1938 to save their own backsides (thank you France!). After suffering under the Nazis, my people were then taken over by the even more brutal Soviet regime.

During the Cold War, liberal appeasers kowtowed to the evil Soviet dictators and were happy to keep my people in de facto slavery and oppression. Me and my kind meant less than nothing to them. Liberal appeasers did everything in their power to ensure my people would remain in perpetual bondage. Although they did their best to oppose Reagan and help the Soviet Regime, they could not stop the Great Man's triumph in bringing a successful end to the Cold War and truly liberating my people for the first time in 50 years.

Because of their acts, I hold liberal appeasers complicit in the crimes of the Soviet state. I hold no mercy in my heart for their ilk, and would see every one of them shot if I could. I suspect freed slaves felt the same way toward their brutal overseers after the Civil War. In speaking with Holocaust survivors, I know they feel the same way toward their ex-concentration camp guards. To this day, organizations still track down the virulent Nazi and SS fugitives hiding around the world.

As a christian, however, I must content myself that justice for such monstrous sins, if nothing else, will be meted out in the afterlife. IMHO, an eternity roasting in the fires of Hell is no less than liberal appeasers deserve.

Anyway, that's my viewpoint. Go ahead and take your shots at it if you feel the need to.

Posted by: a former european at September 1, 2006 05:12 PM

Thanks for the link. That was a great speech.

Posted by: Maggie at September 1, 2006 08:31 PM

Actually camo...I am not upset with you, but it does hurt like hell when I get the impression people think I am being vindictive or mean, or that I let my emotions dominate my thinking.
Posted by: Cassandra at September 1, 2006 12:36 PM

Honey, I have never thought [for even an instant] that you were vindictive, mean, or letting your emotions dominate your thinking. On the contrary, I find your egalitarian quality most admirable.

Posted by: camojack at September 1, 2006 09:38 PM

Thank you Cassandra for another intellegent analysis piece.I hope to be a good blogger and writer such as you one day.But there are a few things that went unmentioned here,we had some staunch isolationists Like Linberg,Socialists such as Father Laughlin and of course Joe Kennedy,history has proven them to be unwise and cowardly,also,the modern Dems would have FDR and Truman in jail now or they would try,something tells me that they wouldn't succeed and would end up in the slammer themselves.Look at the modern Democratic Party on national security,these are a bunch idiots,and suckers.Never seen common sensed challenged people in my life and they are in positions of power,they are dangerous and not in a good way,the Democrats of old loved this country unlike their pampered successors.

Posted by: Lisa Gilliam at September 1, 2006 10:42 PM

And this kind of post is why I keep coming back here... and why you remain one of my favourite writers. Nice work, Cassandra.

Posted by: hiraethin at September 3, 2006 10:36 PM

Dang! No one wants to jump on the shoot-em-all bandwagon? I know its morally and ethically distasteful to use the Lefties oppressive and totalitarian methods against them, but it does have the virtue of simplicity. Still no one? Ah well, I guess we have to go back to trying to reason with them, one malevolent idiot at a time.

If anyone changes their mind, hunting for commies is easy. Just take a copy of "Das Kapital" or the Communist Manifesto to areas where large herds of Lefties are known to frequent their natural habitats, i.e. academia/university campii, San Francisco, Greenwich Village, poetry night at the local Coffeehaus, etc. Hurl the book into an open space. When the Lefties rush to preserve their sacred book from desecration, you should have what the military calls a "target-rich" environment!

Posted by: a former european at September 4, 2006 08:50 PM

I read the Rummy speech and I can’t find anything to insult Democrats except perhaps this passage.

there are occasional bad actors, the ones who dominate the headlines today, who don’t live up to the standards of the oath and of our country.>/b>

If Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi want to lump themselves in with the idiots at Abu Ghraib, I won’t stop ’em, but it’s pretty obvious that they never hear a word of the actual speech.

Posted by: Neo at September 5, 2006 04:56 PM

Well, if Rummy got their knickers in a twist, Bush definately got them foaming at the mouth, the big fat meany!

Posted by: Cricket at September 5, 2006 07:12 PM

Wow! Cassandra has a lot of free time on her hands. She truly missed the drum beat of words constantly marched out by Donny and the boys....those who oppose the administration are supporting fascist elements. The fact that terrorism is lableled "fascism" is curious since the nature of a terrorist cell, or one as convoluted as al Qaeda, is clearly not fascist, but "terrorist". Fascism, Cassandra my dear, is the linking of business and corporate entities with government to further the agenda of specific ideologies which enrich that group while silencing the masses through nationalistic militarism. Sound familiar? You seem quite intelligent, but you just can't resist petty, sophmoric barbs at an entity as inconsequential as the Dixie Chicks. Focus, focus. I love these little self-congratulatory blogs where the "true believers" disregard facts (facts mind, you, not truths, because truth is what you want it to be) in pursuit of sycophantic accolades for government.

This line is interesting:
And people criticize and demand answers, but then when the White House tries to answer they say, "Don't demonize me!" or "don't you dare question my motivation/patriotism/loyalty" Sounds more like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity than anyone else. It appears you world is turning in on you. Often one projects or displacements one's own insecurities on to others when they don't have a frim enough foundation to stand on (sorry I ended in a preposition). I'd suggest hundreds of references to the dangerous behaviors of this administration, to the obfuscation which led to an intended war planned long before 9/11, and I could post tons of factual comments by CIA, NSA and other individuals who study war and politics, but you'd ignore and bifurcate any statement (much like you did with Donny's speech) to prove a very stilted counter position. I would encourage you to look deeper beyond your insulated World of blogging, stay away from the Ann Coulter books, and try and gather as much info as you can about the behavior of this administration. I find it really disheartening that folks like you had Clinton crucified over blow jobs and the Lincoln bedroom, but you are good with a war which has killed over 2,600 service men, spent billions which didn't need to be spent (could of used it in intel in Palestine and Lebanon to stop Hezbollah), and destroyed our credibility in international relations. You realize that prior to our invasion in Iraq, the CIA and NSA was establishing relations with Syria who were providing tons of intel on bin Laden and al Qaeda,and stopping the progression of Hezbollah, and Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld cancelled that program to focus on an Iraq invasion. By product: Hezbollah is stronger in Lebanon, links to Iran are stronger, and Iraq is a ticking time bomb. Iran and terrorist elements in Iraq are now in cahoots (wasn't the case before). I remind you of this because they are facts which are on record in CIA and NSA. These are not opinions. The behavior of this adminstration caused these events to occur.

Next time we can talk about the failure of the national agenda.

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 13, 2006 10:50 AM

I would encourage you to look deeper beyond your insulated World of blogging, stay away from the Ann Coulter books, and try and gather as much info as you can about the behavior of this administration

I find it unendingly amusing that rather than refuting the points made in my post, you choose to tar me by association with Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and Ann Coulter, none of whom I read or watch.

*sigh*

Check the DNC talking points next time. I can post "tons of CIA quotes" too, to back up my position. In fact, I've done so in numerous posts.

And while we're looking up definitions, try "humor". There was no barb at the Dixie Chicks. The barb was aimed at those who confuse government censorship with people's right to vote with their pocketbooks.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 13, 2006 11:00 AM

Actually, you don't need to go to the DNC talking points. You can simply access white paper documents released by the NSA and CIA and read the 9/11 Commission report which has all this info. BRavo if you don't read or watch Coulter, Hannity, et al. The issue is that this is not an all or none argument. Most everyone agrees that worldwide terrorism is a major problem and a threat. The issue is that this administration is doing far little to combat that than it is on an ill-fated and ill-thought out invasion of Iraq. Its a waste all the way around. Simply read the mission statement of Project for a New American Century at newamericancentury.org.

Here is the link
http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqmiddleeast2000-1997.htm
The members of this organization, which include Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith and Richard Perle are all influential in government and especially this administration. Clinton was wishing and hoping to invade Iraq, but he never did it. That doesn't exonerate him, it's simply he had a bit more sense than ideology to invade. The plans of this group and its leaders were hand picked by the administration (see Cheney) to implement this plan of attack. So D. Rumsfeld can verbalize anything he wishes about Iraq and its intent, but the points he makes have consistently been proven false and incorrect. Same as Cheney. And by association, and his role as leader, Bush, too.
You sound as if you are attempting to come off as a libertarian. True or not? If so, why are you associated with Free Republic, which is full of the most rabid ideologues I'ver ever read, who don't want any new info. In fact, I went to the site three different times under different log ins, and challenged the posters with info and facts I'd found (never cursed or made fun of) and I was banned from the site all three times, simply because I had a different point of view. As well, I attempted to post info from the Daily Kos and from Common Dreams (as well as The Huffington Post and Seymour Hersh articles) and they were not allowed to be posted. Sounds like Pravda managed by Tass. Thanks for responding and maintaining class.

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 13, 2006 04:46 PM

*sigh*

I am not "associated" with Free Republic (at least not to my knowledge). But even if I were it would have nothing to do with the validity of my arguments. That's a red herring.

I could just as easily say the same about you and Daily Kos, or Common Screams, of which I have an equally poor opinion :)

I used my URL field to link to an article about Buzz Patterson that one of my readers asked about and just forgot to change it back. That just happened to be where the article came up when I googled it.

Honestly... you need to stop slinging the partisan rhetoric and concentrate on the facts. Stop the hate, dude.. :D It's just politics.

I have friends who are Dems. Sometimes we jointly worship Gaia and ovulate synchronistically in the moonlight as we mourn the Shrub's stubborn refusal to ratify Kyoto :D

And if you read my posts (God help you - they're long) you'll soon find out I've read the reports you mention. In fact, I have excerpted them very heavily in multiple posts.

You might try searching my site on Michael Scheuer, no big fan of Bush, incidentally. He was the head of the CIA's bin Laden unit.

You won't like what he has to say about Clinton, et al.

The problem with the debate on the war is that there are value judgments involved, I think, not just issues of fact. This is why the Left and Reich...err..Right cannot come to terms. I don't see this as a short-term struggle, nor do I see Iraq as irrelevant to the long war. You may differ - that is your right. I have read extensively on this subject, so I am not ignorant, nor ill-informed.

I simply have come to a different conclusion based on my assessment of the facts and my values, which are different than yours. Reasonable and honorable people can disagree - that seems to be the truth that all too many people in America have forgotten, and it grieves me.

Posted by: Tovarisha Cassandranova at September 13, 2006 05:07 PM

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