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April 29, 2010

The Death of Everyman

I don't want to hear another word about the Democrats not standing up violent extremism!

rockwell.jpg Does anyone remember this guy? Once upon a time, he was our hero:

... Rockwell focuses attention on the standing speaker whose age, worn and stained jacket, rough hands with dirty fingernails, and plaid shirt set him apart from the neat coats, ties and white shirts of the older men in the audience. Although he is a working man, this figure, his face reminiscent of Lincoln's, is unafraid to voice his opinion—which we suspect is contrary to that of the others in the room. Standing tall, his mouth open, his shining eyes transfixed, he speaks his mind, untrammeled and unafraid. In Rockwell's vision he has become not only an active public participant in democracy, but a defender of it. He is the very embodiment of free speech, a living manifestation of that abstract right—an image that transforms principle, paint and, yes, creed, into an indelible image and a brilliant and beloved American icon still capable of inspiring millions world-wide.

In George Bush's America the press idolized this man. His exercise of the patriotic right of dissent was held to be the highest expression of American values; his skepticism of those in power the lifeblood of a free and vigorous society. He was Everyman.

What a difference an election makes.

In Barack Obama's America, the man in Rockwell's iconic painting is someone we have come to fear and despise. He is ridiculous; a constantly morphing parade of negative stereotypes: bitter gun clinging bigot; angry and dispossessed white male; hysterical and shrill female; ignorant redneck; wealthy and over privileged WASP.

The press may not be able to decide just who and what Everyman is, but they do agree on one thing: his white skin hides a deadly volcano of repressed racial resentment that could erupt at the slightest provocation. Don't be fooled by his peaceful demeanor, nor the absence of actual violence when he congregates with others of "his kind". Those hand lettered signs present a clear and present danger to our security. At any moment the gradual erosion of over two centuries of unearned race and gender privilege could push him over the edge. What's that bulge in his pocket? Could it be a loaded gun?

In Barack Obama's America Everyman is no longer a hero, someone we look up to. Instead, he and everything he stands for have become a threat to our way of life. Free speech has become treasonous sedition. Peaceful assemblies evoke brutal acts of violence perpetrated by bullies and genocidal tyrants:

Of all the asinine sentences in Frank Rich's latest people-who-disagree-with-me-are-neo-Klansmen column, this one jumped out:

How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn't recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht.

Kristallnacht, you will recall, was a spasm of anti-Jewish-property violence suggested, orchestrated, and largely perpetrated by the leaders and organs of a sitting federal government, run by a guy named Hitler, who had been systematically trampling on Germany's Jewish minority for years. Two hundred synagogues and more than 7,000 other Jewish properties were destroyed, and 91 Jews lost their lives. Tea Party protesters, meanwhile...

We have met the enemy and he lives right next door.

His skin color is cited as evidence of racism. His association with non-whites is cited as evidence of racism. Even being seen with other whites is cited as evidence of racism. Everything he says or does is cited as evidence of racism as a media who once considered guilt by association beneath their contempt now grasp the tactic with eager hands. Why engage ideas when you can disparage and discredit the speaker?

On Thursday, I came here outside Dallas for a Tea Party rally.

At first I thought, “Wow! This is much more diverse than the rallies I’ve seen on television.”

Then I realized that I was looking at stadium workers. I should have figured as much when I approached the gate. The greeter had asked, “Are you working tonight?”

.... The juxtaposition was striking: an abundance of diversity on the stage and a dearth of it in the crowd, with the exception of a few minorities like the young black man who carried a sign that read “Quit calling me a racist.”

A press who once condemned fear mongering and divisiveness now ladle them out with both hands. Those who once urged us to question authority now view dissent as dangerous and un-American. Once it was inexcusable to refer to an avowed terrorist as such.

We are all terrorists, now:

IF WINTER in America is cold, then spring seems full of angst, a brewing portentousness, like an impregnated sky ahead of a thunderstorm. The needle on the nation's psychic barometer has swung to threatening, attuned to intensifying signs of unrest in a political climate that is drawing gun-toting protesters on to the streets, has sent regard for government to new lows and prompted a dire warning from a former president that someone could get hurt - possibly even the present White House incumbent.

...the coalescing of a wide range of issues - not least economic torpor and its inherent social upheaval - is playing into the hands of extremists, whose anti-government rhetoric is beginning to echo that which pervaded the country in the lead-up to the bombing of the federal government offices in Oklahoma City in 1995.

Once, Everyman represented everything Americans hold dear. Now, he's a threat to American ideals and his biggest accuser is an institution that prides itself on "afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted".

Everywhere I turn these days I see suspicion, fear, anger, paranoia. Where can it all be coming from?
Where indeed?

... it is the president's intimidation that is most troubling. Mr. Obama has the disturbing tendency to question the motives of those who disagree with him, often making them the objects of ad hominem attacks. His motives, on the other hand, are pure.

Mr. Obama often makes it seem illegitimate to challenge his views, and he isn't content to argue issues on the merits. Instead, he wants to make opponents into pariahs. And it's not just business executives who are on the receiving end. We've also seen this pattern with the administration's attacks on the tea party movement and those who attended town-hall meetings last summer on health care.

This is a bad habit—and a dangerous one. The presidency is a very powerful office, and presidents need to be careful not to use it to silence dissenting voices.

In an odd way, it's almost comforting to see this administration do something competently. Keep it up, Barack. You've done a heckuva job of uniting us.

Update: via photoncourier, Shannon Love on The Divisive Left:

... the implicit assumptions behind leftists’ rhetoric foster suspicion, paranoia and outright hatred between Americans. Every time they open their mouths or touch a keyboard, leftists sow discord and hostility in American society and divide neighbor from neighbor.

Leftists induce everyone to see themselves as personally continually under threat from their fellow citizens. They induce everyone to believe that everyone else in society will cheat them or otherwise treat them unfairly. They induce everyone to think of themselves as individuals and groups constantly under siege and attack by virtually everyone else in America.

For an example of this one need look no further than the President’s own rhetoric. Every time he speaks about almost any issue, he pushes the implicit view that one group of Americans is cheating or attacking another group and that only people like himself can save them.

He also relentlessly pushes the vision of capitalism as a zero sum game in which one player can only profit by stealing from the others. He seems to forget that the entrepreneur who risks his own money to start a successful company creates jobs that pay wages to other Americans and taxes to support state and federal government. His profits also find their way into the pockets of other Americans in the form of stock dividends and pension funds.

I have to question Presidential rhetoric that continually demonizes the very qualities that have made America successful and prosperous. The more I see of Barack Obama, the more I'm convinced he's everything George Bush was unjustly accused of being.

Posted by Cassandra at April 29, 2010 08:07 AM

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Comments

My Chicago Boyz colleague Shannon Love has a good post on the divisive polcies being pursued by Obama and his henchcreatures, here.

Posted by: david foster at April 29, 2010 10:33 AM

From the local paper:

"When the crowd didn't move and began singing "God Bless, America" and the national anthem, Quincy Deputy Police Chief Ron Dreyer called for members of the Mobile Field Force to walk up the street."

Ooooh. Scary.


Methinks the report of everyman's death is an exaggeration.

Posted by: Craig at April 29, 2010 11:35 AM

Methinks if this had happened during the Bush Reich, it would have been in every paper in the country.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 29, 2010 11:45 AM

Quick, call police, Grandma's singing God Bless America again. Who knows what she'll do next!

Craig,
Tell me what exactly is so frakin scary about Grandma singing God Bless America that requires police activity at all much less in full riot gear?

Bush was accused of trampling on the first amendment for refusing to criticize people for trashing their Dixie Chicks CDs, but actually calling out the Riot Police on a bunch of peaceful protestors is somehow no big deal?

Oh, that's right. It happened under a Democrat administration, so that makes it OK.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 29, 2010 11:48 AM

Quincy Deputy Police Chief Ron Dreyer called for members of the Mobile Field Force to walk up the street."
Ooooh. Scary.

Ever had a full-up, armed paramilitary unit start walking towards you, Craig?

Thought not.

BTW, y'all are straightened out on the IRS' role as health insurance enforcers, now, right?

Posted by: BillT at April 29, 2010 12:53 PM

The Left has been doing this for decades.

It's nothing new under the sun.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 29, 2010 12:59 PM

Ever had a full-up, armed paramilitary unit start walking towards you, Craig?

Just as a comparison point, several years ago I was invited to the White House for a Presidential press conference on something having to do with the war.

There had been some kind of death threat made against the President and the White House grounds were crawling with SWAT folks. There was a huge crowd on top of the Washington hotel and a lot of commotion everywhere that day.

Now my son is a cop and my husband is a Marine, so I am used to seeing men with guns and am not reflexively afraid of that sort of thing (nor inclined to distrust/fear cops in general) but I have to say that it creeped me out a bit even though when you stop and think about it, I had nothing to fear from them.

I imagine it would feel a lot different if they were there on account of you.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 29, 2010 01:16 PM

Read the whole terrifying account here:

http://www.whig.com/story/news/WEB-Tea-Party-043010

"There were a few tense moments when the crowd moved west down York toward Third Street after the president's motorcade arrived. A Secret Service agent asked the crowd to move back across the street to the north side.

When the crowd didn't move and began singing "God Bless, America" and the national anthem, Quincy Deputy Police Chief Ron Dreyer called for members of the Mobile Field Force to walk up the street.

The officers, mainly from Metro East departments near St. Louis and dressed in full body armor, marched from the east and stood on the south side of York facing the protesters.

There was no physical contact, and the officers did not come close to the crowd, but there were catcalls and more than a few upset tea party members, including a woman who shouted, "This is communism!"

McQueen also assisted in asking people to step back to the north side of York. The crowd moved back, the officers stayed for about 15 minutes and left, and there were no other incidents.

"It's just a communication issue. We were trying to get them to move across the street," Quincy Deputy Police Chief Curt Kelty said. "We were just trying to move them back, they complied, and it was fine."

Several of the Quincy Tea Party members thanked Kelty as they left the area."

I'm sure they made up that whole "thanking the guy" thing at the end to make it seem less terrifying than it really was.

Posted by: Craig at April 29, 2010 01:34 PM

Craig wouldn't know real violence if it hit him in the temple with the force of great mass.

Basically, the crowd had already moved, but Obama's people called the SWAT in as their personal goon squad any ways.

A "Communication issue" like Carter had ordering our military to leave their own behind. Or JFK's Bay of Pigs.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 29, 2010 01:38 PM

It's okay for Democrats to be fascists. It is not okay for Republicans to even look like fascists. That's why the Left has to our fascist the fascists before the fascists invade Russia or something.

Instead of progressing towards a better future, they're still fighting the last war.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 29, 2010 01:40 PM

Thank God they had their riot gear on.

Those ladies looked pretty dangerous.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 29, 2010 01:47 PM

BillT,

I've had some run-ins with police and criminals in my day and I have personally seen riot police deployed to break up a gathering I was at and send us on our way.

Regarding the IRS requiring a simple form from your insurer and not hiring any extra agents... yep, I'm square on that.

Posted by: Craig at April 29, 2010 01:58 PM

Not only do they get a job inciting police response in order to create mock outrage at the authorities, but they do it when the police don't crack down on innocent people, too.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 29, 2010 02:11 PM

Apparently there are rather different accounts of the protestors behavior depending on if you read the Quincy news paper or watch the videos shot by people at and around the protest. As in, they moved when asked, verified that it was OK for them to sing, and did nothing that appears what I would call menacing. And yes, I have seen police in full gear with bad tempers moving towards me, because I didn't read the local papers and got caught between two groups of rowdy protesters while I was in Munich. I departed the scene in a rapid and discrete fashion without waiting for an invitation.

Another point about the Rockwell picture - the people around him are listening carefully, even if they do not agree with him. Suggesting that they are willing to at least hear and possibly to consider his point, questions or arguments.

Posted by: LittleRed1 at April 29, 2010 02:14 PM

Frank Rich doth protest way, way, way too much. You know why I think he does this? I suspect -- this is just my suspicion, although I've seen a few things that seem to support it -- that Rich has to do every single thing he can to curry favor with the Left, in order to ensure that his role in the Enron accounting scandal never gets fully investigated. I think he's scared shitless of someone actually taking an in-depth look at what he did for Enron.

Thus, he is willing to brown-nose and throw his countrymen under the bus, in order to save his own sorry neck. You know who he reminds me of? The proverbial "guy down the street" in pre-war Nazi Germany, who rats out the neighborhood Jews to the brownshirts, in exchange for them looking the other way while he sodomizes the neighborhood boys.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at April 29, 2010 02:19 PM

I'm sure they made up that whole "thanking the guy" thing at the end to make it seem less terrifying than it really was.

Craig, you do realize that it is perfectly congruent to say that the police officers involved were not at fault but rather that the people giving the orders were.

Word is that Secret Service from inside the venue and the presidential team pressured local law enforcement, who were against the idea.”

The officers on the scene were given a craptastic assignment and tried to do the best they could. I thank them too, but that doesn't mean I'm not justified in my assesment that ordering them out there in the first place was comlpetely inappropriate.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 29, 2010 02:43 PM

Regarding the IRS requiring a simple form from your insurer...

Which you must produce for the IRS to prove that you have health insurance, or forfeit your tax return.

...and not hiring any extra agents... yep, I'm square on that.

Interesting, because the Obama budget allocated an additional $8 billion to the Internal Revenue Service’s enforcement and modernization programs to support “significant new revenue-generating initiatives".

A March 18 report from House Ways & Means Committee Republicans stated the IRS will need to hire between 11,800 and 16,500 new agents to accomplish the Prez's wishes.

Posted by: BillT at April 29, 2010 03:10 PM

Cass, are you really so naive as to expect integrity or objectivity from the MSM? They are, and always have been, in my lifetime, propagandists for the Left and the vanguard of the Revolution. Remember, like Jihadis, evrything is permissible for advancement of the Cause. The ends justify the means. If lies or propaganda bring about a more socialist system, then lie away, Comrade.

People are finally starting to see the truth about the media, and I believe that is a significant factor in their decline in readers/audience. If you are hard Left, why should anyone except the hard Left members listen to you? I had read all the Pravda I needed to before I ever came to this country. I don't need to read or listen to the american equivalents now.

Posted by: a former european at April 29, 2010 03:34 PM

...“significant new revenue-generating initiatives".

Happy Easter, by the way. Looks like the IRS will need those agents for the billions of new 1099s the reporting requirements will create.

What about the point at which small business can remain in business, and the point at which someone can afford to start a new small business? I guess that's not important. America has made enough money in its lifetime.

Posted by: Grim at April 29, 2010 03:45 PM

No afe, I don't expect it at all.

But I just spent a few days with a family member who (I kid you not) told me "he's never seen a single thing implying Tea Partiers are dangerous extremists or racists".

I am serious. And if he has not seen these things then I must be making them up.

So I guess part of me needs to keep pointing this crap out even though it should be obvious.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 29, 2010 03:56 PM

... it is the president's intimidation that is most troubling. Mr. Obama has the disturbing tendency to question the motives of those who disagree with him, often making them the objects of ad hominem attacks. His motives, on the other hand, are pure.

Mr. Obama often makes it seem illegitimate to challenge his views, and he isn't content to argue issues on the merits. Instead, he wants to make opponents into pariahs. And it's not just business executives who are on the receiving end. We've also seen this pattern with the administration's attacks on the tea party movement and those who attended town-hall meetings last summer on health care.

This is a bad habit—and a dangerous one. The presidency is a very powerful office, and presidents need to be careful not to use it to silence dissenting voices.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Remind me if VC or its expressive readers evern lamented the last administration's likening of disagreement and dissent to sympathy for the terrorist cause, because I sure do not recall ever seeing this sort of criticism leveled at that administration. One is tempted to think that some here are happy to dish it out, but not so happy to take it.

Same as it ever was ...

Posted by: I Call BS at April 29, 2010 08:00 PM

Craig wouldn't know real violence if it hit him in the temple with the force of great mass. Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 29, 2010 01:38 PM

I suspect that Ymarsakar doesn't know the first thing about Craig (how could he?), but is just making up stuff for the fun of it as he goes along.

Same as it ever was ...

Posted by: I Call BS at April 29, 2010 08:04 PM

Remind me if VC or its expressive readers evern lamented the last administration's likening of disagreement and dissent to sympathy for the terrorist cause...

Not to put too fine a point on it, but bullshit.

I'll answer that charge when you provide some proof that it actually happened.

My guess is that you can't.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 29, 2010 08:29 PM

Stop attacking Obama, IC. I thought you were his buddy.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 29, 2010 08:57 PM

because I sure do not recall ever seeing this sort of criticism leveled at that administration.

That's what double think is for.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 30, 2010 12:39 AM

Cousin Dave,
I think you mean Paul Krugman, not Frank Rich.

Dr. Krugman at one time worked for Enron, in some consulting capacity, I think.

Frank Rich has just been a craptastic movie reviewer who has moved onto political commentary.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at April 30, 2010 01:01 AM

"Although he is a working man, this figure, his face reminiscent of Lincoln's, is unafraid to voice his opinion..."

He looks like my Uncle Bob as well, who also has a "face reminiscent of Lincoln's"...and "is unafraid to voice his opinion".

Wrongheaded though his opinions may be... ;-)

Posted by: camojack at April 30, 2010 03:48 AM

Remind me if VC or its expressive readers evern lamented the last administration's likening of disagreement and dissent to sympathy for the terrorist cause...

Remind us first when that event took place, and who made the comparison.

...because I sure do not recall ever seeing this sort of criticism leveled at that administration.

Didn't watch much TV back then, or read the editorial pages, or visit blogs with a leftward tilt?

Gotta call BS on that, because your initial appearances here consisted of regurgitated DNC Talking Points.

Posted by: BillT at April 30, 2010 05:54 AM

Don, you are correct; it was Krugman. I can't keep all these lefty ass-kissers straight these days.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at April 30, 2010 11:14 AM

That is what that wall is for.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 30, 2010 11:46 AM

Not to put too fine a point on it, but bullshit. I'll answer that charge when you provide some proof that it actually happened. My guess is that you can't. Posted by: Cassandra at April 29, 2010 08:29 PM

I'm not charging anyone with anything. Rather I'm saying I do not recall VC or its intrepid contributors lamenting the last administration's likening of disagreement and dissent to sympathy for the terrorist cause. I presume that we can agree that the last administration often likened disagreement and dissent to sympathy for the terrorist cause.

Posted by: I Call BS at April 30, 2010 12:28 PM

I'm not charging anyone with anything. Rather I'm saying I do not recall VC or its intrepid contributors lamenting the last administration's likening of disagreement and dissent to sympathy for the terrorist cause. I presume that we can agree that the last administration often likened disagreement and dissent to sympathy for the terrorist cause. Posted by: I Call BS at April 30, 2010 12:28 PM

On second thought, maybe I am challenging VC and its intrepid commentators to point out when they ever lamented the last administration's likening of disagreement and dissent to sympathy for the terrorist cause.

Posted by: I Call BS at April 30, 2010 12:36 PM

... although in all fairness to the Blog Princess, she is pretty good at holding everbody's feet to the same fire ...

Posted by: I Call BS at April 30, 2010 12:38 PM

I presume that we can agree that the last administration often likened disagreement and dissent to sympathy for the terrorist cause.

We cannot presume anything of the kind.

A topic I wrote about frequently during the Bush years was the apocryphal (and never substantiated) accusations that "the administration" "often likened disagreement and dissent to sympathy for the terrorist cause".

That is what I specifically contend is bullshit - those accusations.

I wouldn't vouch for everything Dick Cheney said, but then we are not discussing Joe Biden here (the correct comparison). The correct comparison to what Obama has said is what Bush said.

If you can show me where Bush accused dissenters of sympathizing with terrorists, I'd be interested to see it. Again, my guess is that you can't.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 30, 2010 12:39 PM

If you can show me where Bush accused dissenters of sympathizing with terrorists, I'd be interested to see it. Again, my guess is that you can't.

So Cheney was not part of the administration? So John Ashcroft was not part of the administration? I'll do some searching and get back to you

Posted by: I Call BS at April 30, 2010 12:59 PM

So Cheney was not part of the administration? So John Ashcroft was not part of the administration?

What part of "...but then we are not discussing Joe Biden here (the correct comparison). The correct comparison to what Obama has said is what Bush said", did you not understand?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 30, 2010 01:06 PM

I'll do some searching and get back to you

Pack a lunch. You'll be gone for quite a while.

Posted by: BillT at April 30, 2010 01:18 PM

Oh, I dunno Bill.

There are *reams* of accusations out there. It's just that no one bothers to check out what Bush actually said (as opposed to what various news organizations repeatedly and dishonestly reported).

Which is exactly what bullshit artists like the NY Times depended on.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 30, 2010 01:47 PM

Oh, there are indeed lots of accusations out there, darlin' girl.

I got lots of room on the skewer...

Posted by: BillT at April 30, 2010 02:31 PM

Remember, dear readers, that I said "the last administration's likening of disagreement and dissent to sympathy for the terrorist cause".

Posted by: I Call BS at April 30, 2010 02:43 PM

BS, when did Bush ever sic the Secret Service on peaceful protesters?

Posted by: Cousin Dave at April 30, 2010 02:49 PM

Remember, dear readers, that I said "the last administration's likening of disagreement and dissent to sympathy for the terrorist cause".

Yes, you did. And it's quite possible that you'll find someone, somewhere, who said something they shouldn't have in 8 years.

What I don't get is why you'd use that as a supposed refutation of a post where I specifically criticize OBAMA for doing it?

You can't come up with examples where Bush did the same thing so now we're going to excuse the guy at the top of this administration's food chain if we can find some underling from the last administration who screwed up?

Wow. There is a profound difference between policy that flows from the top down and underlings who screw up. I'm surprised you can't see that difference, or why it matters.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 30, 2010 03:01 PM

Cass, you just don't understand. What that gasbag Michael Savage says is just as serious as what Obama says.


Oh, wait, that didn't sound right did it...

Posted by: Leftoid at April 30, 2010 03:28 PM

Where's the proof IC. Or I'm calling BS on your BS.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 30, 2010 03:38 PM

"On second thought, maybe I am challenging VC and its intrepid commentators"

Maybe you're challenging your own presumptions. Ever thought of that.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 30, 2010 03:39 PM

BS, when did Bush ever sic the Secret Service on peaceful protesters? Posted by: Cousin Dave at April 30, 2010 02:49 PM

Ha ha! Caught you in a trick question!! The answer is "never" because Bush doesn't (didn't) tell the Secret Service what to do!

Posted by: I Call BS at April 30, 2010 03:49 PM

I will admit that I didn't get all over George Bush for every little thing he did that I didn't agree with.

I didn't (and I've admitted this several times in posts) b/c everyone else, right and left, was on his case 24/7. I didn't have anything new to say about it.

I have refrained from a lot of criticisms of Obama b/c (IMO) it would be hypocritical to criticism him for something if I didn't criticize Bush for doing it.

I have tried very hard to be fair.

I really don't think Bush tried to suppress dissent. He came in for a LOT of criticism on the right for not "punching back twice as hard". Of course now that Obama is engaging in nitnoid pissing contests with talk radio hosts, they all of a sudden see how unPresidential that sort of thing is (and how counterproductive).

I thought Bush had it right, and I still do. He was a class act.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 30, 2010 03:51 PM

Remember, dear readers, that I said "the last administration's likening of disagreement and dissent to sympathy for the terrorist cause".

Yes, you did. And it's quite possible that you'll find someone, somewhere, who said something they shouldn't have in 8 years.

I'm not going to look for things the kitchen staff said; rather I'll look for people who speak/spoke for the president, who speak for the administration, mkay?

What I don't get is why you'd use that as a supposed refutation of a post where I specifically criticize OBAMA for doing it?

Um, maybe I'm just trying to keep you on your toes ...

You can't come up with examples where Bush did the same thing so now we're going to excuse the guy at the top of this administration's food chain if we can find some underling from the last administration who screwed up?

not just ANY underling, I'll look for an underling who spoke for Bush and communicated administration po0licy. Unless you want to acknowledge now that the GWB administration's professed attitude was "dissent = disloyalty/ treachery/similar bad things".

Wow. There is a profound difference between policy that flows from the top down and underlings who screw up. I'm surprised you can't see that difference, or why it matters. Posted by: Cassandra at April 30, 2010 03:01 PM

Read my lips ... uh, fingertips: I said no underlings; I'm talking the big guy, the man at the top, the big Kahuna, the big Cheese, the Decider and his big-cheese spokespeople (yes - I'm going to consider Ari Fleischer to be "not an underling".

Mkay?

Posted by: I Call BS at April 30, 2010 03:57 PM

"Ha ha! Caught you in a trick question!! The answer is "never" because Bush doesn't (didn't) tell the Secret Service what to do!"

What on earth are you talking about? The President is sure as hell in their chain of command; in fact, he's the top of it. Clinton had no problem telling the Secret Service what to do. And apparently, Obama doesn't either.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at April 30, 2010 03:58 PM

OK - I goofed up my formatting. Lo siento mucho Senora Visciosa.

Sure, Dubya came in for a lot of criticism; sure you stuck up for him most of the time, cuz you liked the guy and he was the Commander in Chief and all that. But you do acknowledge that you didn't "get all over George Bush for every little thing he did that [VC] didn't agree with."

I agree that you seem in general to "have tried very hard to be fair."

I bet Dubya' be a pretty nice guy to have as a neighbor, and in that context, I bet I'd think he was a class act too.

Are we done with this, or are you going to press me to do all this work digging around in the past ...?

Posted by: I Call BS at April 30, 2010 04:02 PM

Hey, you are the one making the claim so you are the one with the burden of proof. If you choose not to do all this digging around, that's not our fault for thinking you're wrong.


Read my lips ... uh, fingertips: I said no underlings; I'm talking the big guy, the man at the top, the big Kahuna, the big Cheese, the Decider and his big-cheese spokespeople (yes - I'm going to consider Ari Fleischer to be "not an underling". Mkay?

No. Not Mkay. We are not holding Obama responsible for remarks made by Joe Biden, Rahm Emanuel, Robert Gibbs nor anyone else. So to say that holding Bush to be responsible for comments made by Cheney, Rove, Ari Fleischer or anyone else is somehow perfectly equivalent is flat out not Mkay.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 30, 2010 04:21 PM

ICBS, I don't care whether you do any research or not.

I just wasn't going to accept the premise that Bush behaved like Obama in this regard b/c I know for a fact that he didn't. Bush wasn't perfect, but one thing about the man is that he didn't trash the other side when he was Prez and he has kept his mouth zipped in the face of constant provocation since handing over the reigns to 'Bam.

We can agree to disagree about this one as far as I'm concerned. It's Friday and I'm exhausted and not really up to arguing.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 30, 2010 04:32 PM

So to say that holding Bush to be responsible for comments made by Cheney, Rove, Ari Fleischer or anyone else is somehow perfectly equivalent is flat out not Mkay.

OK - I call BS, because Dubya didn't say all that much, and when he spoke he was more often than not "Mr. Malaprop" rather than "Mr. Eloquent Statesman", IMHO. Contending (as it appears some here may be) that only Bush spoke for the administration when it came to policy and "attitude", comments on dissent, etc., is disingenuous and reeks of too convenient "plausible deniability". I'm willing to back up my words (or at least try), but Yu-Ain-Gonna get me to play a game where the rules are fixed.

Posted by: I Call BS at April 30, 2010 04:38 PM

ICBS extends many gracious and heart-felt thanks to the Blog Princess for her Solomonic wisdom on lingering differences of opinion. Let the weekend games begin!

Posted by: I Can Be Sensible at April 30, 2010 04:41 PM

Yu-Ain-Gonna get me to play a game where the rules are fixed.

Rules have to be fixed.

If the rules are flexible, then apples equal oranges equal railroad spikes and all cards are wild -- nothing is ever settled until someone gets shot, and then the game's over.

Posted by: BillT at April 30, 2010 04:58 PM

Sorry, when we start bashing Obama for what Rahm Emanuel says, then you can bash Bush for what Rove said. When we start bashing Obama for what Robert Gibb's says, then you can start bashing Bush for what Fleischer said.

If being consistent is "fixing the rules" it sounds like you are saying you have to be inconsistent to win. If you can't win a fair argument, that's not my fault.

BTW, if Bush didn't get in trouble because he didn't say much, perhaps Obama oughta follow his example.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 30, 2010 05:03 PM

Actually, gentle readers, the Blog Princess was summarizing what the WSJ had said about Obama, and quoting Obama directly. Following my "challenge" to explain why VC and its readers so uncritically accepted most of the Bush Aadminsitration's pronouncements equating dissent with disloyalty, you all challenged me to find moments when GWB himself said or did something like that which TBP was referring to in her piece. TBC herself was not quoting BHO and critiquing his words; instead, she was riffing off something that the WSJ had said. Bill T rightly comments that rules need to be fixed, by which I understood him to mean "immutable", i.e., not changeable to suit the persons subject to the rules in the specific instance. I was using the word "fixed" in the sense of rules which unfairly predetermine the outcome, as occurs in a boxing match in which the fighter is paid to throw the fight, so that in reality the "contest" is no contest at all.

Posted by: I Can Be Sensible at April 30, 2010 05:58 PM

... and there may be more than just a hint of wisdom in this suggestion: "BTW, if Bush didn't get in trouble because he didn't say much, perhaps Obama oughta follow his example."

errata

"... summarizing what the WSJ had said about Obama, RATHER THAN quoting Obama directly"

Posted by: I Can Be Sensible at April 30, 2010 06:00 PM

Of course now that Obama is engaging in nitnoid pissing contests with talk radio hosts, they all of a sudden see how unPresidential that sort of thing is (and how counterproductive).

Not really. They wouldn't necessarily see that all of a sudden.

There's a major difference between the strength that an assertive person can show by punching back twice as hard and the weakness shown by an insecure alpha like Obama trying to make his paranoia feel more safe.

People have forgotten that two actions that look the same, done by people with opposite characters, aren't really the same actions.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 30, 2010 10:23 PM

Are we done with this, or are you going to press me to do all this work digging around in the past ...?

Buy some carbon credits and Gore'll outsource the work for ya.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 30, 2010 10:25 PM

Being sensible requires that you not to try take on bigger challenges than you can handle. Somebody'll call your bluff, eventually.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 1, 2010 11:10 AM

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