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Bush-hating meme
September 26, 2003 6:42 AM   Subscribe

The New Republic. . . is one of multiple sources featuring variations on Bush-hating in recent weeks. What's up with the sudden currency of the phrase?
posted by palancik (24 comments total)

 
I wanted to post this after hearing Juan Williams interview the guys from TNR--the meme does what political conservatives and fundamentalists commonly do (not exclusively!), in reducing discussions of political ideology to personality. There are good reasons to object to this habit, and to the meme's uncritical circulation: 1) It obscures attention to the President's actions and their consequences; 2) It allows people to dismiss substantive charges as personal attack.

How effective is the circulation of memes in deflecting and re-channeling political discussion? Are there other examples that come to mind?
posted by palancik at 6:47 AM on September 26, 2003


I'm just a New Republic-hater.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:00 AM on September 26, 2003


It obscures attention to the President's actions and their consequences

But shouldn't those who argue that "character" supercedes actions be held most accountable to that measure?
posted by rushmc at 7:05 AM on September 26, 2003


Well-spotted, palancik! Perhaps we should call legitimate criticism of Bush's policies "America-saving."
posted by DenOfSizer at 7:14 AM on September 26, 2003


But shouldn't those who argue that "character" supercedes actions be held most accountable to that measure?

Sure, but I think the argument is that by emphasizing "Bush hate" liberals are cutting off their nose to spite their face. It makes their arguments too easy to dismiss as nothing more than emotion, even when the substance of the underlying argument might have merit. I guess it comes down to: What is your goal? Is it to make yourself feel better, or is it to convince others who might see merit to your argument? If it's the former, by all means keep it up. If it's the latter, you're just alienating your audience.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:17 AM on September 26, 2003


Several of the similar pieces I've read seem to acknowledge that, pardonyou?. There's no retaking the White House next year if the platform to do so is essentially "Wah! Wah! We hate the Supreme Court!" and it is starting to look like the DNC knows that.

Perhaps that's why Democrats seem to be responding to Wesley Clark's candidacy with such fervor (at least, for now)? Clark right now appears to be everything Bush's handlers claim he is - but isn't. If Americans truly want a President who can legitimately lay claim to the title of "Commander in Chief," who should they choose? Clark, whose record despite the recent "WWIII" histrionics from Republican strategists, is impeccable? Or Bush, who sat out the armed conflict he should have been involved at in a National Guard assignment he didn't bother to show up for?
posted by JollyWanker at 7:29 AM on September 26, 2003


Isn't the point here that even calm, well spoken, unemotional liberal speakers are being identified as Bush haters as a way of dismissing them? Much as those who are against abortion are pro-life, implying that the people in favor of choice are pro-death. And many groups that identify themselves as pro-family are in fact using that title to cover their anti-gay agendas. (Yes I'm liberal so I've chosen those examples.)

It's all spin in other words to bamboozle the voters.
posted by Red58 at 7:32 AM on September 26, 2003


Isn't the point here that even calm, well spoken, unemotional liberal speakers are being identified as Bush haters as a way of dismissing them

Oh, so now we can't criticize the Bush haters, because it is a way to "dismiss them?" That's bullshit. Howard Dean -- the quintessential Bush-hater -- is not a "calm, unemotional liberal speaker." He's a fiery windbag who is probably going to be the Democratic nominee because he elevated resentment of Bush to a new level.

Thank you, but I'll continue to criticize Dean's venomous campaign and those of the other Democrats who want to out-do him on the Bush hatred bandwagon.
posted by Durwood at 7:55 AM on September 26, 2003


Excuse me, Red, but could you please give me a citation of criticism from a "calm, well spoken, unemotional liberal speaker" being unfairly dismissed as simple Bush-hating? For example, I don't recall this getting that reaction.

It is particularly rich reading that on MetaFilter, BTW, since the typical comment found here regarding the President is, well, decidedly not "calm and unemotional." I'll let the 'well-spoken' bit slide.
posted by mojohand at 8:08 AM on September 26, 2003


I'm a Bush-hater and I vote.
posted by uosuaq at 8:18 AM on September 26, 2003


Hasw anyone told Annthrax Coulter and Rush Limbaugh and Tom Delay about how this is a bad practice of attacking a politician's character?
Just asking...

Howard Dean is a "Bush hater?" You're full of it durwood!
posted by nofundy at 8:48 AM on September 26, 2003


After ten years of "Clinton-hating" from mainstream Republicans that had nothing to do with ideology[*], isn't it time to -err- spread the love?[**]

[*] I mean, for crying out loud, the man was light-years to the right of Richard Nixon, to give just one example.

[**] Not, mind you, that I particularly care for the man. But for the most part, the rightist hate for the Clintons seems rooted in nothing more than his white-trash origins. Which is also why they hate Hillary even more -- how could someone from a patrician and Republican background marry someone (almost literally) from the trailer park?
posted by Slothrup at 8:55 AM on September 26, 2003


"After ten years of "Clinton-hating" from mainstream Republicans that had nothing to do with ideology[*], isn't it time to -err- spread the love?[**]"

In my opinion, no. I think it's wrong to go around complaining about the tactics of Rush Limbaugh, etc. and then stoop to their level. I understand that for many people, that is all they want to hear, emotional rants or trolling. That's fine for them. I don't think it encourages thinking or individuality. Personally when I see that stuff from both sides it's dissapointing and I'm more than likely to skip what they have to say.
posted by Akuinnen at 10:17 AM on September 26, 2003


I'm a Bush hater and I vote too.
posted by filchyboy at 11:06 AM on September 26, 2003


I'm a pro-Bush voter on most things so I definitely have a dog in this fight. That said - we are over 13 months away from the election. I don't think it is possible for those opposed to the current administration (and they are legion) to keep ratcheting up the vitriol at the current pace.

I think they run the risk of alienating people who aren't committed one way or the other. People do not generally respond positively to constant attacks over a long period of time.

That's good news for my side, however I don't think it is good news for the country. We all benefit from a reasoned, rational discourse and an open airing of grievances. I fear we aren't going to get much other than shouting this time.
posted by revbrian at 1:03 PM on September 26, 2003


I have hated Bush since well before he "took" office. I have never involved myself in vitriol nor have I alienated anyone. In fact it is extremely rare that I meet someone who can stand the man.

I can certainly make lots of reasoned rational discourse over why the man should be tried for treason but this is not the proper venue.

How come, exactly, it is not possible, if you read all this press on the subject, to be both rational and to hate the man?
posted by filchyboy at 2:50 PM on September 26, 2003


Don't hate the player. Hate the game.
posted by paleocon at 3:32 PM on September 26, 2003


Problem is the game was broken in 2000. Until we have another election the game is not being played.
posted by filchyboy at 3:41 PM on September 26, 2003


I never said it wasn't possible to be both rational and to hate the man. I just think that you are the exception, rather than the rule.

If it is, "extremely rare that (you) meet someone who can stand the man," perhaps you should expand your circle of friends a bit. I try to know people on alot of different sides of an issue. Doesn't that help you get a clearer picture?

It's one thing to read what someone says - it is quite another to know someone personally who disagrees with you.
posted by revbrian at 4:35 PM on September 26, 2003


Did you say Bush-hating or flesh-eating? The two memes look so much alike...
posted by wendell at 4:37 PM on September 26, 2003



The administration that reinvented political discourse as 24 -7 smear campaigning against anything that looks at them funny is now promoting the "all our critics are Bush-haters" meme?

Lord knows I try, but I can find absolutely no redeeming qualities in this adminstration.
posted by sic at 5:26 PM on September 26, 2003


Lord knows I try, but I can find absolutely no redeeming qualities in this adminstration.

I for one have found inspiration in the fact that a bunch of dipshit buddies managed to sieze control of the most powerful country in the world. I'm now fast at work putting together my own cabal, and I'd like to thank the Rovistas for awakening the American dream within me!
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 6:40 PM on September 26, 2003


I, for one, will welcome our new Ignatius J. Reilly overlords!
posted by lathrop at 7:27 PM on September 26, 2003


Revbrian, I have a large circle. I'm sure part of it is a function of my location, Los Angeles, but in my circles, that of my daughter's school, that of my career, & that of my family GWB has trampled over what each group finds of value.

I think the problem is that Bush's mendacity and greed so far outside the pale of the way I was raised that I simply do not regularly come in contact with people who consider this even an issue. A priori the man seems to stand for everything against the America in which I was raised. I have met a few people here and there who like the man but most I meet look at him like he's some kind of alien.
posted by filchyboy at 9:46 AM on September 27, 2003


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