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September 02, 2006

A Lack Of Clarity

For several days now I've wondered what it was about Keith Olbermann's recent screeditorial that depresses me so deeply. I thought about this a long time because on reading his piece I found I wasn't angry, outraged, or any of those other emotions self-respecting conservative blowhards like myself don before drinking our first vente Colombia Nariño Supremo of the day. Perhaps I need to pay my attention bill more promptly.

The truth is, though, that I just couldn't summon up the requisite degree of reich-wing ardor. Reading his words, I had a sense of the ground dropping away beneath my feet. Suddenly a huge, yawning gulf opened up between Olbermann's Blue America and the one I have lived in all my life. And I don't think there is any way to reach out to the people on the other side of that gulf; to folks who believe in, who approve of, the things he said.

Believe me, I am not saying this to be inflammatory, or hateful, or to stir up trouble.

I am saying it because I don't understand, and because I grieve for my country. This sounds like a cliche, but it is true. Some of my best friends are Democrats. My brother, my sister in law. The godmother of my oldest son, who also happens to be my oldest friend on the face of this earth. I have known her since I was thirteen, which for a military kid with no fixed address is an eternity. My husband's oldest friend, who (for Pete's sake) wears a black "Don't blame me, I voted for Kerry" wrist band". He and I argue good-naturedly, and have for years, about politics. It has never - never - interfered with the love we bear each other. These are the people I have chosen to keep in touch with over the years. There aren't many. And if they believe this man, if they approve of the kind of thing he is saying, then maybe Alec Baldwin isn't the only person who needs to move to France. Maybe I am living in the wrong country. Maybe the America I thought I knew doesn't exist anymore.

I am writing this today because I don't understand people. I don't understand how men like Keith Olbermann become so self important that they think it is acceptable to throw words like "fascism" around lightly. To me, fascists are men who saw the heads off little girls, or helpless aid workers like Margaret Hassan. They are men who strap bombs to confused children and send them off to murder innocent civilians instead of voting on election day and then accepting the will of the people. I'm sorry, but to me there is considerable moral and intellectual confusion involved in the failure to see a basic difference between men like that and Don Rumsfeld, with whom they simply happen to disagree. And if Keith Olbermann finds that insulting, well I'm afraid I don't know what to say to that.

I don't understand how so many people can read his words and ostensibly agree with them? I don't think Keith Olbermann would recognize true fascism if it walked up to him and pulled the frilly panties of real, pointy-fanged oppression over his eyes. Because fascism - true fascism - should and ought to be opposed vigorously. With one's life. It is not a casual thing. People die when fascism, real fascism, enters the room, and people die to prevent that from happening.

Keith Olbermann, and apparently a good many other people, took a great deal of offense at a very few words in Donald Rumsfeld's speech:

Olbermann delivered this commentary with fire and passion while highlighting how Rumsfeld’s comments echoes other times in our world’s history when anyone who questioned the administration was coined as a traitor, unpatriotic, communist or any other colorful term. Luckily we pulled out of those times and we will pull out of these times.

Remember - Rumsfeld did not just call the Democrats out yesterday, he called out a majority of this country. This wasn’t only a partisan attack, but more so an attack against the majority of Americans.

This "summary" highlights, better than anything I could possibly say, the over-emotional response to Rumsfeld's speech. I find it interesting that there were 70 trackbacks to this post, and they never bothered to link to Rumsfeld's speech, nor analyze what he said. I wonder how many of those people ever read his arguments? My guess is, not many.

But more importantly, I wonder how many of those people really thought about what Mr. Olbermann was saying in that essay? Because someone was indeed called out. I'm not sure it was the Democrats:

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.

Let me stop right here. How dare he?

Mr. Olbermann, in his essay, said Donald Rumsfeld's speech demanded the sober contemplation of every American. As the wife of a career Marine, the mother of a police officer who is devoting his life to protecting Americans, and the daughter of a career Naval officer, let me suggest that Mr. Olbermann's speech demands the sober contemplation of every American, if only because it is evident to me that a great number of people both approve and agree with him. You do not have to agree with me, I would ask that you do me the courtesy of hearing me out, even if my words upset you.

Mr. Olbermann has just suggested that the United States military, composed of enlisted men, commissioned officers, and noncommissioned officers, (many of whom have postgraduate degrees) who have sworn an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution with their lives, are either so evil or so stupid that they are helping this administration destroy your freedoms here at home.

Think about that for a second. The military aren't all overseas. Many of them are here, stateside. They read the papers. Many of them are lawyers. Some of them [shudder] are even Democrats. Yes, that was a joke. And yet, as this nation is slowly sliding down the otter slide to hell, they are silently allowing your freedoms (and theirs) to be stolen by Darth Rummy and the evil Bush administration, in violation of their sworn duty. And only one man: Keith Olbermann, Bloggerman, stands between us and the New Fascism that threatens to o'ershadow us all.

Mein Gott im Himmell, will the Reichpublic survive? Stay tuned. We hear MSNBC has the exclusive:

And about Mr. Rumsfeld’s other main assertion, that this country faces a “new type of fascism.”

As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he said that -- though probably not in the way he thought he meant it.

This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed.

Although I presumptuously use his sign-off each night, in feeble tribute, I have utterly no claim to the words of the exemplary journalist Edward R. Murrow.

But never in the trial of a thousand years of writing could I come close to matching how he phrased a warning to an earlier generation of us, at a time when other politicians thought they (and they alone) knew everything, and branded those who disagreed: “confused” or “immoral.”

Thus, forgive me, for reading Murrow, in full:

“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.

“We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular.”

Once again, Olbermann has tarred, indirectly, this administration with the brush of McCarthyism. But he is wrong to do so. The First Amendment does not protect speakers from opposing speech. It does not protect us from disagreement, ridicule, or feelings of humiliation when our arguments don't meet with instant approbation. It does not protect us from unreasonable fears of government oppression that has not materialized, but (we keep telling ourselves) could appear at any moment if we are not allowed the delicious thrill of repeating on national television that the President is a jackbooted thug who looks disturbingly like a Chimpanzee.

What men like Olbermann don't seem to understand is that the Bill of Rights doesn't guarantee that others will listen to us. It does not guarantee a lock on the podium, though apparently they fervently desire a world where they could express their viewpoints all day long and no one on the other side of the fence was allowed to riposte, because any response from government to their ideas, by definition, is tyranny, marginalization, and oppression if it causes them, subjectively, to feel bad about themselves, if it causes a "chilling effect".

Donald Rumsfeld, in that speech so few of the chorus of the outraged bothered to link to or (I suspect) read, specifically objected to certain practices of the mainstream media:

It's a strange time:

When a database search of America's leading newspapers turns up literally 10 times as many mentions of one of the soldiers who has been punished for misconduct -- 10 times more -- than the mentions of Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith, the first recipient of the Medal of Honor in the Global War on Terror;

Or when a senior editor at Newsweek disparagingly refers to the brave volunteers in our armed forces -- the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, the Coast Guard -- as a "mercenary army;"

When the former head of CNN accuses the American military of deliberately targeting journalists; and the once CNN Baghdad bureau chief finally admits that as bureau chief in Baghdad, he concealed reports of Saddam Hussein's crimes when he was in charge there so that CNN could keep on reporting selective news;

And it's a time when Amnesty International refers to the military facility at Guantanamo Bay -- which holds terrorists who have vowed to kill Americans and which is arguably the best run and most scrutinized detention facility in the history of warfare -- as "the gulag of our times." It’s inexcusable. (Applause.)

Those who know the truth need to speak out against these kinds of myths and distortions that are being told about our troops and about our country. America is not what's wrong with the world. (Applause.)

The struggle we are in -- the consequences are too severe -- the struggle too important to have the luxury of returning to that old mentality of “Blame America First.”

It is telling - telling indeed - that the Associated Press report of Rumsfeld's speech (in which he complained about media distortion) itself shamelessly distorted his remarks and had to be corrected, thus rather eloquently underscoring his point.

It is precisely this type of thing, as well as remarks like those of Senator Ted Kennedy, who said of our own military, "Saddam's torture chambers have reopened under U.S. management.", that caused Rumseld to say that some of the administration's opponents are intellectually and morally confused.

And frankly it's hard to believe that the vast majority of ordinary Americans, even those who oppose the war, really believe this type of nonsense. I hope - I pray - they don't. Yet Olbermann wrongly throws everything into the same confused, jumbled basket.

When you break his argument down, it amounts to this:

Bush and company aren't the historical equivalent of Churchill, who recognized the threat of a fascist and totalitarian regime and rallied, against the will of most of the "international community", a coalition to oppose Hitler. No, he's the historical equivalent of Neville Chamberlain, a man who argued that violence was never the answer, who refused to allow unilateral action without the comforting blanket of consensus, who didn't see the threat until it was too late. In fact, Chamberlain didn't lock up his opponents either. There may have been some unpleasant "speech" back then too, but old Winston Churchill didn't get his knickers in a twist when he was "demonized" by his intellectual or political opponents. He just fired back.

And in case you missed that neato analogy at the end, Olbermann himself bids fair be a patch on Edgar R. Murrow, who Spoke Truth To Glower during the McCarthy era, when there were all those horrid Star Chambers going on.... of course there's nothing even remotely like that happening today.

But there could be.

There could be. And only one man stands between us and that awful, awful destiny. Keith Olbermann: Bloggerman.

This is what bothers me, in the end, about pieces like Olbermann's.

He writes well: really, really well. I wanted to get up and cheer at the end of his little screed. But when you started to pick apart what it was he had really said, the whole house of cards really started to fall apart. He doesn't quote any of Donald Rumsfeld's words. He doesn't directly address any of Rumsfeld's ideas.

All is indirection and recharacterization, and that makes it far too easy to mislead and confuse the issues; to conflate one thing unfairly with another. And to tell the truth, most people are far too busy to sit down and patiently untangle the issues and ideas and think through the tangled muddle. There is no guarantee that I have gotten it right; this is simply my take, from my admittedly biased perspective. But there are an awful lot of flaws in Mr. Olbermann's essay, and I suspect that due to his fluid writing style and the lack of specific references to Mr. Rumsfeld's ideas, most people missed a very important point: Rumsfeld's speech, though you may disagree with it, was far more nuanced than Keith Olbermann or many commenters and pundits who linked to it may realize.

But I find this is so often the case with current events. We see each day through a glass, darkly. It is only at some time in the future that blessed clarity comes, like a benison, to sort out the warp from the weft; the significant from that which is of no importance; and at last with those irrelevancies brushed away we are able to pick out the shining threads - the connections - that were there all along.

But for the present, it's as though we had mislaid our reading glasses again. Our vision is hopelessly blurred by too many opinions, news stories, emotions, too many arguing voices. And that is a very sad thing, at least to me.

Note: Anytime I write something like this, I almost feel like it is begging for Democrat or liberal-bashing.

Just for once, I would like not to see that in the comments section, OK? :)

We all get frustrated with the other side. They get frustrated with us. Of course, we're both right (or reich) - the other side exhibits extreme suckitude and should have their right to vote taken away until such time as they can pass an IQ test, as evidenced by willingness to vote for the candidate of our choice. But to a certain extent, a lot of things that go on in America in the political arena are human failings, not liberal/conservative ones.

And this weekend, the HVES is feeling like a lover, not a fighter. OK?

Posted by Cassandra at September 2, 2006 06:12 AM

Comments

In re Keith Olberman:
1. He begins with a false dichotomy. Seeing right versus wrong is Aristotelian. Seeing nuances and shades of meaning is following the Marxist dialectic. The entire enlightenment was Aristotelian. Were they all prophets or quacks? To me Marx was the supreme quack.
2. The Rumsfeld speech impugned no one’s intelligence. Instead, Rumsfeld posed an historical context for comparing and contrasting one’s views of our current situation. To have one’s views challenged does NOT constitute impugning their morality or intelligence. Instead, such an historical context opens the way for a reasoned debate. Apparently Mr Olberman does not wish to debate; rather, he wishes to dictate.
3. Mr Rumsfeld’s speechwriter? Whose morality and intelligence is impugned here? Rumsfeld seems to me to be rather Reaganesque in saying what he wants to say, whatever his speechwriters want.
4. His remarks about Chamberlain certainly skew the history of Great Britan in the 1930’s. They had a king who was a traitor, for heaven’s sake. They had a king who was busily telling all he knew to Goebbels, with his wife’s eager encouragement. This is a problem. And Churchill was certainly proved correct in the long run.
5. What does he mean, there are no Churchills among us today? We have no school such as the House of Commons where such oratorical skills can be honed. Rumsfeld, Bush, and Chaney are all men of ideas. They just do not have the same oratorical skills as Churchill.
6. On what basis (other than oratorical exaggeration) does he claim that the current administration is that of Chamberlain? The U S remains an democracy. Bush won. Twice. In a fair vote. Osama’s plans? These were known, and admitted to, at the FIRST bombing of the Twin Towers. Saddam’s WMD’s? These were documented in the 1990’s during the investigation of the poisoning of the Kurds. The guy responsible for the nuclear progam has told us a lot. Saddam was hiding lots of stuff from Hans Blix. We have found 500 WMD’s. Much stuff was carted off to Syria by the Russian Special Forces. Hurricane Katrina’s impact? It is known that the Governor of Louisiana could not answer a question put to her by the President. Should (on what basis, pray tell?) the President have declared Martial Law in Louisiana, suspended the state government, and taken over sole control? The levee was already failing, and would have failed even without a hurricane.
7. Where is the personal or political profit which have accrued to Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld? I must have missed it. It is the Democratic (so-called) antiwar movement which is naked and defenseless. Naked because there is no plan to ward off a 13 century old Islamic goal of world domination. Defenseless because they wish to unilaterally disarm the U S so the world will love us. Hooey. The world would simply snip us off, a piece at a time, and devour us.
8. Nixon and McCarthy? Now wait a minute. Who had an election stolen from him? Was it not Nixon? Who had an election purchased for him by his daddy? Was it not Kennedy? Illinois and West Virginia. Now that was an ugly time. McCarthy? We know from Venona that there were Soviet spies in the State Department. Many of them. And Stalin was not our friend, having his own dreams of world hegemony. And there were many Communist sympathizers and worshippers in this country in the 1940’s. Klaus Fuch, the Rosenbergs, Alger Hiss, and so on. Read Ann Coulter.
9. The destruction of OUR freedoms? How would we be freer living in dhimmitude? How would we be freer if we converted to Islam at swordpoint? How would we be freer if our Constitution and political system were replaced by mullahs?
10. Edward R. Morrow? He who contributed so mightily to our defeat in Vietnam? He who so monstrously mischaracterized the Tet Offensive? Tet turned out like the Hezbollah uprising: a defeat miscast as victory. And the drumbeat of withdrawl from Vietnam began with Morrow. No, Morrow was not a hero. Morrow was one of those morally blinded people who equated the dictatorial desires of Ho Chi Minh with the love of freedom of Richard Nixon. We call this moral equivalence today. I call it moral insanity.
11. Good night, Mr Olberman. Go live as a slave in Saudi Arabia, and submit fully to Sharia law.

Posted by: Tom Johnson at September 2, 2006 11:35 AM

I did read Rumsfeld's text--as delivered. I also read Olberman's words--as delivered. Olberman obviously hadn't read the speech. He built a rhetorical straw man, channeled his "inner Edward R. Murrow" and then slew the straw man. That's possible only if you are pulling 30 inches of vacuum between your ears, and are a fatuous blowhard. Olberman failed as a sportscaster--but isn't doing too bad a job as a fabulist. But his ratings are sufficiently low that Olberman will eventually pass from the scene. He is disconnected from reality.

Posted by: Mike Myers at September 2, 2006 11:39 AM

1. I blame Bush. No, Rove. Um, wait, Libby! Or is it Armitage?

2. You're overthinking again, dear. Remember, hardly anyone reads us, and, in the grand scheme, hardly anyone reads Olbermann, either.

Most people just muddle on in their lives completely unaware of we, the Punditry, self-appointed, or hired.

Which, in sober reflection, is probably a Good Thing.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at September 2, 2006 11:40 AM

Cassandra, no lib bashing here.

Did you see Oliver Stone's World Trade Center? A great scene is when one of the cops yells "please don't leave" and gets the answer something like "of COURSE not, we're Marines!"

People in the audience laughed and cried at the same time. It was like "why the hell would we run away? we're Marines dammit." He's just stating a fact - there are ordinary folk, and then there are Marines.

But most of us are not Marines. We are all born in a state of radical imperfection. We are the only species that is defective BY DEFAULT. The great characters in history are those who RISE ABOVE their natural state of fecklessness, often by religious transformation, or by some other transcendent experience that reduces their OWN ego, and increases the sense of service to others.

When 9-11 came, everyone was horrified, but as time passed, we all dealt with it in our way. Some citizens are handling this crisis gracefully. But you have to appreciate that most are not. And many will allow themselves to become deranged, will say or do anything to make the uncertainty and fear go away.

It's our nature.

Posted by: Geoff at September 2, 2006 11:52 AM

1. Overthinking life is what I do.

2. Actually an awful lot of people seem really to have liked his piece, John. That's why I am paying attention to it.

He isn't really saying anything people haven't been saying for years: Bush and Rummy are fascists, America is still barely a democracy, I'm one of the only ones with the courage to speak truth to power, blah, blah, blah.

What blows me away is the apparent approval of, and agreement with, what he is saying, not that he is saying it. That is what I can't get over.

This is the original magic trick and at no time did his fingers leave his hands: my fellow Amurricans, we live in dangerous times. I am risking my neck by saying this shit, and the only reason people can go on saying this stuff is because brave souls like me are willing to speak truth to powah and defy the men with the plastic shredders. Don't *believe* there are any plastic shredders? Trust me boys, if you let them demonize me, they'll show up soon enough.

Yessir. Just like they did in Edgar R. Murrow's time.

Sheesh.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 2, 2006 12:37 PM

Oh, and I forgot the Important Corollary:

In order to protect the Sacred First Amendment, no one must be allowed to question my intelligence, my morals, or my loyalty, or else the entire nation will descend down the otter slide to Utter Fascism.

Because, ya know, the First Amendment protects me from sticks and stones that may break my bones, not to mention those all-important feelings of marginalization and being treated as the Other. It's written right in the Constitution.

Fer chrissakes man, open a history book.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 2, 2006 12:41 PM

Hi Cassandra,

You’ve done a marvelous job debunking MSNBC’s Bloggermann idiocy. I’m not as nice as you are though...

So pardon my first post here being a bit ‘off key’ re. that fool Olbermann and his ilk - they don’t have a moral leg to stand on, and they know it. He and his equivalents can’t attract support in any way other than through distortion... and bald-faced lies. They tell enough of the them often enough to cause millions to parrot them word for word - and I guess that gives them satisfaction enough to get them out of bed every day. That’s why the MSM conduct so many polls - to see now many have bought their lying propaganda. It does work... despite the vicious malevolent falsity.

What is most interesting, since the popular advent of blogs like yours, is that leftist media outlets are being caught out - and exposed for what they are... and they’re mad as old wet hens about it.

They’re particularly upset when they’re exposed by those in the military - or those who support the military. That’s a two-fer-upset - they HATE those in the military... and they’re further outraged should any member or supporter thereof prove to be articulate, well educated... and horror of horror’s... able to write a reasoned critique of their pernicious drivel.

So... give ‘em hell. They deserve every word of it.

Posted by: Ron C at September 2, 2006 01:42 PM

A nit for Ron C:
That’s why the MSM conduct so many polls - to see now many have bought their lying propaganda. It does work... despite the vicious malevolent falsity.

Actually, I think they conduct carefully-doctored polls to convince themselves that people are buying it, and to use as a bludgeon to try and convince people to jump on their bandwagon. Have you seen the folks who wander into various blogs claiming those who don't hate Bush are "dead-enders" and "29 percenters" and so on? That's a cruder version of when they make their polls and try to claim x number of people support this and that. I guess peer pressure doesn't end after you graduate from high school.

When you get to the real polls at the ballot box, they don't win quite as much as they'd like.

Posted by: Patrick Chester at September 2, 2006 02:52 PM

Amen!

Posted by: JannyMae at September 2, 2006 03:09 PM

Cass, as I see it, it seems to be an echo of the young lady in Britain who wondered what had happened to being able to take personal care products on the plane.

We have become used to living in a free country, and compared with others, we are free. When 9-11
happened, many people feared a headlong flight into a full blown police state. While that hasn't happened, there has been a steady encroachment on the liberties that we once had and took for granted.

And for a lot of Americans, who are supportive of the GWOT, that is frightening. We want to have it both ways and we can't anymore. It just so happened that Bush was in office when this occured and he went after Saddam.

It wasn't any different during WWII with the Japanese being confined in camps here in this country and other acts of war; bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the firebombing of Dresden, etc.

We are doing our best to not hinder the right of people to move freely, to communicate without fear, but what has changed is the technology.
And that is the scariest of all...that we can be
heard in all we do and there is no privacy anymore...and won't be until we make some hard decisions that won't sit very with anyone.

Posted by: Cricket at September 2, 2006 08:09 PM

Hi Cassandra--is it lib bashing to say that I agree with you, I just don't understand how people can, in sober earnest, agree with and approve words like Olbermann's? "Distortion" doesn't even begin to cover it. I had a couple over for dinner a while ago, people I don't know very well, but our kids are the same age, etc., acquaintances with cause. I knew they were left-leaning; we gingerly tested the waters of political discussion and got on to Ann Coulter. I talked about her appearance on Hardball where Matthews willfully misunderstood her point. They ended with, "Well, we don't watch Matthews any more, we really like Keith Olbermann right now." Me: "Did you like him when he compared O'Reilly to Hitler?" To my mind, there are two rational responses to that question: 1) "Well, that was over the top and in poor taste, but we agree with him on lots of other stuff," and 2) "No, that was just stupid." Instead, they got very concerned looks on their faces and said, quite seriously, "Well, *O'Reilly* ..." and literally just kind of trailed off as if the truth about O'Reilly was too scary to be uttered.

I wanted to scream, "HITLER? Killed six million for their religion HITLER? Do you even listen to yourselves?"

I truly don't understand. It just seems "without the first clue about history" to me.

Posted by: Anwyn at September 2, 2006 10:16 PM

Well, I'm with you...but I think you know that.

Posted by: camojack at September 2, 2006 11:49 PM

Well I can see your concern Cassandra. One of my liberal buddies is always sending me stuff from one of his even more liberal buddies who lives in a trailer high in the Sierras and pretty well detached from reality. I.e. Moonbat Central in the mountains sends stuff to Moonbat in the Lowlands, and Moonbat in the Lowlands sends it along to me. And lo and behold, Olberman told people that his screeditorial deserved careful consideration; and Moonbat Central sent it to Moonbat in the Lowlands, describing it as one of the most important pieces of the year.

I mean to say that some people really swallow this baloney.

But I despair of a world in which mere assertion "I'm Keith Olberman and I say this is important" is a substitute for facts. I've heard that extreme poverty is "sky rocketing", with a reference to a Census Bureau publication, which, when you read it, says that "extreme poverty" is essentially at the same percentage level this year as it was last year. It may have moved one or two hundredths of a percentage point. These same clowns who say that extreme poverty is "skyrocketing" under the evil Bush McHitler Chimpyface Administration would not say that it was "plummeting"if it declined one or two hundredths of a percentage point.

If people feel free to lie and distort and say whatever they doggone well please regardless of the underlying facts, then one comes to a point where one doesn't believe anybody any more.

Words should have meaning--but in an age where putting some scanty panties on a male Iraqi's head is described as "torture" and a six year old school boy's kiss on the cheek of his six year old schoolgirl friend is described as "sexual assault", then it seems to me that we can't even agree on a common vocabulary to discuss issues.

Posted by: Mike Myers at September 3, 2006 12:30 AM

You want to know what is driving the Olbermanns and the other leftists in their hatred of the Bush Administration? It's because Bush has the opportunity to save the country from terrorism and saving the country is supposed to be their baliwick. It was their guy Wilson who saved the country in WWI, it was their guy FDR who saved the country from the depression and the Nazi hordes, it was their guy Murrow who saved the country from the horrors of McCarthyism, it was their guy Kennedy who saved the country from losing the space race and it should one of their guys who should be saving the country from terrorism. They feel that this is their birthright and Bush has had the unforgivable nerve to to it without them. Even worse, it looks as if he is succeeding. He has stolen their lollipop and they are going to throw a fit until they get it back.

That is why they claim everything that he does is wrong, without showing how they could do it better. It is about perception rather than actions, and perceptions is about all they've had to offer for some time now. It would be better if a Democrat was in charge now, no matter how poor a job he might do, because then the perception would be that right people were in charge. And that, in my humble opinion, is why they refuse to close ranks in the face of the enemy. The would rather lose than have the wrong guy get credit for saving the country.

Posted by: Thresherman at September 3, 2006 02:41 AM

Understanding libs is easy. They follow ideology like the most dogmatic Dark Ages monk. They don't want to be troubled by "facts". Most are fully or partially Marxist, so the dialectic tells them everything they need to know. The first post by Tom Johnson hit that point right on the head. Marxism is a utopian ideology and, since "facts" rarely lead to the achievement of the utopian dream, it is always better just to sweep them under the rug than deal with them. Remember, it is only the Revolution that matters.

Lastly, Lefties prefer to stay morally ambiguous and choose to blind themselves to good vs. evil type moral judgments. This is because morality is so bothersome! If they had to admit that the islamofascists were truly evil, then they might have to actually DO something about it. Much better to simply hobnob at their fashionable Manhattan cocktail parties and mock the red-state antics of those weird "war on terror" fellows and their droll little concerns about combatting "evil".

Posted by: a former european at September 3, 2006 03:02 AM

afe, I have a question for you then. In the dialectic, we have thesis and antithesis, the conflict, from which we get synthesis, or a watering down of the evil.

I am not defending Olberman but it seems a little odd that they would call Bush a fascist
while being blinded to their socialist tendencies, which are NO BETTER than their own.

While I still stand by what I wrote earlier,
I see the whining for what it is: They, who are more moral and more righteous are not in charge.
This drumbeat is sounding as we gear up for a fight that will determine the course we take in the WOT: 'The price of freedom is vigilance'
(thesis) or 'Political correctness with regard to terrorism' (antithesis).

The synthesis is awful because of the subservience of freedom to being PC.

Posted by: Cricket at September 3, 2006 08:59 AM

I am certain that freedom still lives in this country. Even though most 'conservatives' would make me ride a bicycle and put on clothes for the children I do not want Olbermann's followers running my world.

Posted by: man riding unicycle naked at September 3, 2006 10:40 AM

Cassie - think in terms of percentages, vice raw numbers.

I sent an email out to most of the people I know who *aren't* into blogs, blogging, etc. You know, normals.

They actually cover a broader political spectrum than we attract with our respective spaces - side benny of doing charity work.

Exactly 2 had even heard of Olbermann. 6 admitted to reading it - no one endorsed it in any useful way, and two, both of a "blue" hue, said, "What drivel."

Point being - we being who we are, doing what we do - well, we, too, live in a bubble. Just as the MSM and incumbent politicians convince themselves they are ever more important and relevant despite evidence to the contrary because they live in a bubble - so do we. And for the most part, people who read us do so because they stumbled in blindly from google and liked what they say, or they are drawn to our viewpoint - or they want to hunt us down and extirpate us... but they aren't Joe and Jane Average in terms of actual consumption.

Which is why we seem to live (especially the MSM and politicians) in a state of perpetual cognitive dissonance.

Ewwww. That was way to much for a lazy Sunday morning. I'm going to mow the yard. But you should check out my new troll-bait poster I put up.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at September 3, 2006 12:09 PM

Your question is easy to answer, Cricket. Marxists do not follow unalloyed Truth, even if it flows from the Dialectic. The needs of the Revolution and the Party always come first. Therefore, the only reality is Party-approved Truth, which can vary from moment to moment.

At present, the Party finds it necessary to mask the existence of its members in the MSM and the Dimocratic Party. This is why the Lefties always deny their true colors and political agenda. The Soviets were always good at "maskirovka".

Posted by: a former european at September 3, 2006 05:45 PM

As re: Leftists, here is a is a short piece from Milblogs on a longer piece from the New Left Review.

www.mudvillegazette.com/milblogs/2006/09/02/#006445

Unless I'm badly misreading it, it states that the proper Leftist attitude is one of embracing terrorism as a means of helping with the violent dissolution of the West, and particular America's power in the world. This is the road, the fellow asserts, toward Socialism: even if it's Islamist at first.

AFE is right this time. For the intellectual class of Leftists, that's what is really going on. They really are preparing to embrace this. Even the beheadings. Even the Islamic law -- for women and gays and minorities like Jews. Even the forced conversions, and the death of liberty. It's all part of the road.

For the majority of Americans, John is right. Good piece, btw, John -- even if you felt it was a lot for Sunday. :) The ordinary Americans who even have heard of this guy go along with it, if they do, because it's easier than arguing with the intense idiot who somehow got invited to their party and is now holding forth on how great the piece was. But believe it? No, of course not.

Posted by: Grim at September 3, 2006 06:40 PM

Thanks Grim, for going into more depth. So it all fits with the socialists and jihadists who hate the West...and the MSM. What an agenda.

Posted by: Cricket at September 3, 2006 09:55 PM

"And this weekend, the HVES is feeling like a lover, not a fighter." - c



Whew. That's what I call tough love.

Posted by: mw at September 4, 2006 06:10 PM

What you seem to be missing are the proven circumstances of the day which Olbermann obviously uses to frame his argument. The conclusions he reaches are logical when the facts are considered.

The point you are missing is that if a government does or will not adhere to it's own laws, then by definition it's fascist.

Posted by: junkandcrap at September 4, 2006 07:03 PM

And what you seem to be missing are two things:

1. Most of the elements of your Wikidefinition are still missing. There is no way the current government even comes close to a:

1.radical totalitarian political philosophy that combines elements of
2.corporatism,
2.authoritarianism,
3.extreme nationalism,
4.militarism,
5.anti-anarchism,
6.anti-communism and
7.anti-liberalism

Let's not forget that this is a nation where Hollywood actors and comedians feel safe enough that they can insult our President on national TV, or right to his face with armed secret service men right in the room. That just didn't happen in Mussolini's Italy or Hitler's Germany.

This is what you people don't understand about real fascism - Bush does adhere to our laws - otherwise he'd lock up these assholes. This is a country where the New York Times feels comfortable breaking the Espionage Law and unilaterally and ILLEGALLY revealing the sensitive points on Marine body armor, or printing sensitive information on classified programs over the objections of the federal government JUST LIKE THEY DID IN WWII WHEN IT WAS ALSO ILLEGAL AND THE FEDERAL GOVT DIDN'T PROSECUTE THEM BECAUSE IT WOULD HAVE DONE MORE HARM THAN GOOD. This is a nation where Judy Miller tips off terrorists just before a raid - TWICE - and gets off scot free.

IS SHE IN JAIL? Heck no.

Yes, Bush obeys our laws and is called a fascist by the likes of Keith Olbermann. It is the media who don't obey our laws.

2. The "proof" that our government is not adhering to its own laws.

You don't just get to throw out allegations, "junkandcrap". Generally there is this troublesome element called proof that is required, also.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 4, 2006 07:19 PM

Cassandra,

Corporatism - Have you heard of Dick Cheney? And of course you know that GE, for esample, manufactures some of the tools for war and also owns NBC?

Authoritarianism - Rumsfeld, as one example, is continually railling against people for daring to question his actions.

Extreme Nationalism - "Either you're with us or against us."

Militarism - I believe it was President Eisenhower who warned of the impending military-industrial complex...in 1961. Got news for you...it's here.

Anti-Communism/Anarchism/Liberalism - When is the last time you saw a Communist Party Candidate's name on the ballot in your free country? And the removal, in the 70's under Reagan, of fair time for apposing viewpoints on radio and television has given rise to "talk" radio, wherin anyone can spout the most vile misinformation without having to take responsibility for it. That is the antithesis to liberal.

Posted by: junkandcrap at September 4, 2006 08:04 PM

Sorry, forgot about 'proof'.

Read the Geneva Conventions. Read your own Constitution.

You know, maybe you're right. Maybe they don't break their own laws. They just rewrite them to suit their purposes.

Posted by: junkandcrap at September 4, 2006 08:12 PM

Rumsfeld should have been fired as soon as he gave his blatherous "freedom is messy" comments about massive looting in Baghdad. We have never recovered from our blase attitude toward lawless anarchy after the military victory.

Posted by: Fritz at September 4, 2006 08:13 PM

Grim, what do you mean I am right "this time". That implies I am occasionally incorrect. Surely you did not intend to make such an insolent suggestion? :)

Posted by: a former european at September 4, 2006 08:38 PM

Actually, it implies that you're usually incorrect. :)

Posted by: Grim at September 4, 2006 09:04 PM

Fritzjunkandcrapanddevilsadvocateofthesock:
Facts to you are inconvenient and therefore to be dispensed with.

No one is scared; we are ready to profile and do whatever is necessary to maintain and keep secure the blessings of liberty.

I would think from your spittle flecked rants and numerous names that you are the one who is scared.

*yawn*

Posted by: Cricket at September 4, 2006 10:00 PM

What a load.

OK, Corporatism - private individuals own stock. They also run for government and openly disclose their stock holdings. Every large corporation does someting to assist the military. Cheney's stock is hardly corporatism.

Authoritarianism - Rumsfeld criticizes those that criticize him? Some idiots would call that free speech and nothing more than a politician defending his decisions. Now I know better.

Extreme Nationalism - "Either you're with us or against us." Well, when it comes to hiding those that try to kill us, I think that is fair. There is room for disagreement in other areas maybe, but not that one.

Militarism - I believe it was President Eisenhower who warned of the impending military-industrial complex...in 1961. Got news for you...it's here. We still use it pretty sparingly under the circumstances.

Anti-Communism/Anarchism/Liberalism - When is the last time you saw a Communist Party Candidate's name on the ballot in your free country? Actually, every presidential election the commies have a candidate in many states. As a third party, it has to qualify. Only the Libertarian Party qualifies in 49 of the 50 states among third parties. The Greens are next most, I believe. Point is, the Commies don't have much support as a party b/c they hide in the Green and Democratic parties. Your comment was silly.

Finally, it is simply delicious that you would use the fairness doctrine as support for the idea of "anti-liberalism." If liberalism means something like, you know, "freedom," then any person should realize that the fairness doctrine was authoritarian in nature, not liberal. The fairness doctrine required a privately owned station (i.e., a speaker) to give viewpoints that oppose the speaker b/c the govt told it to. In other words, the govt was regulating speech and preventing private speakers from dissimenating their message unfiltered without big brother adding to that message. Getting rid of that doctrine removed govt influence in speech. It made Air America possible. But you call that "anti-liberal" which tells a lot about you.

By the way, Reagan took office in 1980, so he was not President in the "1970's." [You said: And the removal, in the 70's under Reagan, of fair time for apposing viewpoints on radio and television has given rise to "talk" radio, wherin anyone can spout the most vile misinformation without having to take responsibility for it. That is the antithesis to liberal.]

Posted by: KJ at September 4, 2006 11:57 PM

I love the write in ballot: Ahhhhhhhnuld.
Oh well. Jingle All The Way.

Posted by: Cricket at September 5, 2006 11:27 AM

Cassandra,

Nicely dissected!

I have been wondering lateley as well, why the gulf you speak of seems so wide at times to thwart bridging. During those ruminations, I also wonder why it is that the Left seems so enamored of "the Palestinian cause" and why socialists like Chavez are so willing to cozy-up to a religious nut like Ahmedinejad. The answer, it seems, is as Grim notes above. They are working together to destroy the one Superpower that both the commies and the Islamofascists need to dipose of before they can enter their Utopian futures (regardless of how mutually exclusive those futures may be).

Power abhores a vacuum as much as nature, so it seems.

Posted by: Beerme at September 5, 2006 07:14 PM

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