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The Reichskanzler Routine
June 25, 2004 10:27 AM   Subscribe

Al Gore. John Kerry. Adolf Hitler. In a new ad from the Bush campaign, these opposition mavens are linked right before the viewer's eyes.
posted by the fire you left me (139 comments total)

 
Uhm, I just read the transcript, but I see no mention of Hitler.
posted by xmutex at 10:31 AM on June 25, 2004


You know, I'm pretty sure it is the time for pessimism and rage.
posted by Capn at 10:31 AM on June 25, 2004


This means Bush loses automatically, right?

And there's that creepy still of Bush, looking like he's throwing up the seig heil.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 10:33 AM on June 25, 2004


xmutex, the 'clips from a moveon.org ad' are where the nazi images appear.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 10:34 AM on June 25, 2004


xmutex, Hitler spoke then Bush is seen with his hand in the air. Felt the ad supported his candidates than him. Anyone else?
posted by thomcatspike at 10:35 AM on June 25, 2004


running candidates
posted by thomcatspike at 10:36 AM on June 25, 2004


Xmutex, the transcript does not include the small snippet of Adolf Hitler speaking. If you watch the web video, you will see what 'the fire you left me' is talking about.

Isn't including Adolf Hitler in the web video just using appeal to hatred?

You know, Hitler was hated for his militarization and treatment of the Jews. Bush is hated for his militarization and treatment of the Muslims.
posted by whoshotwho at 10:37 AM on June 25, 2004


Holy shit, is that for real? I can't believe they made that. Honestly, was Georgewbush.com hacked or something?
posted by crazy finger at 10:38 AM on June 25, 2004


the fire you left me, it seems ironic to complain about this, when the images in question were comparisons made by others to suggest Bush is like Hitler. The Bush campaign is clearly including those images to argue that criticism from the left is frequently angry and over-the-top.
posted by pardonyou? at 10:38 AM on June 25, 2004


It wasn't clear to me on first viewing that the Hitler image was part of the moveon.org ad. I realize that they're trying to imply that the Democrats are so batshit crazy that they're comparing Bush to Hitler, but the message is pretty muddled.

There's just nothing sadder than confusing propaganda.
posted by varmint at 10:42 AM on June 25, 2004


Maybe the opposing viewpoints are depicted right there on Bush's site because insinuations like "Bu$h=Hitler" are so mind-erasingly stupid they actually give Bush the rhetorical advantage in some voter's minds.

Also: what pardonyou said. If Bush & Co. can portray that some of the allegations are pure hyperbole they're going to have an easier time making themselves look "moderate" by comparison.
posted by dhoyt at 10:44 AM on June 25, 2004


I haven't watched it but the transcript reads like it's actually pro-Kerry. It states things him, Gore and others have said but doesn't actually refute them. I found it puzzling enough that I went to the root of the home page to see if it was really a pro-Bush site, and it is.
posted by substrate at 10:45 AM on June 25, 2004


Wow. That ad delights me! These are stupid, stupid people.

Have I mentioned how stupid they are? Unfortunately, they cannot possibly be stupid enough to actually run this as a broadcast ad. It'd be cool if they were, though.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:47 AM on June 25, 2004


criticism from the left is frequently angry and over-the-top.


while the frequent criticism from the right that those of us who oppose the war are traitors, terrorist-appeasers, happy to see american troops die so that bush looks bad, and think saddam wasn't that bad a guy are moderate and reasonable.
posted by lord_wolf at 10:48 AM on June 25, 2004


I second the notion that this cannot be real. I can't think of an ad more damning to the Bush campaign. Spending 90% of it painting him and his administration as monstrous and then the final seconds saying, "You probably shouldn't think this way" is a perfectly good way to confuse people and freak them out. You don't want to see Hitler in a political ad, and no campaign manager worth his salt would allow it. I call shenanigans.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:51 AM on June 25, 2004


EB, I don't know. Presumably they're targeting undecided voters. I would submit that your average undecided voter would be repulsed by a frothing Al Gore, an unhinged Howard Dean, an unglued Michael Moore, and a clearly over-the-top moveon.org Hitler/Bush comparison (that even moveon.org distanced itself from). I know that people who already hate Bush and would never vote for him look at those ads and say, "Yeah! Right on!" But there's a shitload of people out there who will say, "Why would I want to be associated with those clowns?"

I'm voting for Kerry, but it's in spite of Al Gore, Michael Moore, and Howard Dean, not because of them. This ad has a certain appeal to me.
posted by pardonyou? at 10:56 AM on June 25, 2004


Kerry's A-bomb is bleeped because... why? That seems kind of contradictory, given Cheney's recent colorful epithet.
posted by emelenjr at 10:56 AM on June 25, 2004


If its intended to be subtle then it worked, this comes off as being a Pro-Kerry ad more than anything else.

Any irony they were attempting to play up has been pretty well lost on me. But then, I'm nowhere near close to a swing voter.

I'd vote for Rocky and Bullwinkle before giving Bush and Cheney another four years.
posted by fenriq at 10:57 AM on June 25, 2004


The clips from the "MoveOn.org" ad were not actually from MoveOn.org. They were from an ad submitted by a private party to a competition that MoveOn.org was hosting. It was shown in the listing of entrants on their site, and was only up briefly before it was removed. MoveOn.org stated that it did not support or approve of the ad and that it had been removed from the competition.

Perhaps the ad was submitted to the competition by a right-wing group in order to make MoveOn.org look "angry and over-the-top?" Otherwise how could the Bush campaign legally use the copyrighted material?
posted by greensweater at 10:58 AM on June 25, 2004


They're not showing Kerry and Hitler together, they're showing an ad submitted to MoveOn associating Bush wih Hitler, to show how extreme the liberals are being.

This ad is great, though, because the illiterate, unsubtle people among Bush's base won't get that and may be offended by the extreme comparison.
posted by abcde at 11:01 AM on June 25, 2004


I suppose maybe (?) this would be good for rallying the faithful, but I don't see how letting your opponents cut you down is going to help convince fence-sitters.

Very, very bizarre. I suppose that if you're really well acquainted with the Bush in 30 Seconds project, you'd recognize that those clips are from it, and if you're a conservative, you'll get all riled up, but that assumes an unlikely depth of media obsession.
posted by adamrice at 11:02 AM on June 25, 2004


I think it's a web-only deal sent as a gift to the hard-right base. It's like a talk-radio thing. As we can see from some above comments, to the true believers this isn't confusing—they already know the crazy Dems are painting our Glorious Leader as a fascist tyrant. (And they're right.)

Imagine something like the equivalent during the Clinton impeachment era. For those of us on the left, the hyperbole about Clinton was self-refuting. Those guys were wild-eyed, hating, crazy, pessimistic, obsessed people. An ad like that, to us, wouldn't be confusing—it would amuse us (and scare us a little) as it reminded us of how crazy and destructive those Clinton haters were. Just so in this case.

Now, it's true that the frothing-at-the-mouth villification turns off the swing voters. It's a mistake, always. It doesn't matter whether it's deserved or not. So, making the point about the crazy haters is an effective strategy for a campaign, if dont correctly. This is an example of where it's not, and that's why I don't think it's for general consumption. It's for the true believers. A message intended to scare swing voters about the Dems fanaticism would have had more actual outrageous charges that few will believe, and a lot more balancing footage showing Bush acting reasonable and Presidential and normal. This video isn't like that at all.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:02 AM on June 25, 2004


I could see it playing really well with undecided voters, though. When people who are opposed to Bush's decision to go to war refuse to vote for the opposition because they called their secret service detail a son of a bitch during a snowboarding accident, portraying the whole party as crazy , screaming men seems like a tactic worth trying.

Sorry, Konolia... nothing personal, but I think your comment is representative of a large segment of the country who would rather vote for (or against) a president based on personality rather than policy.
posted by turaho at 11:12 AM on June 25, 2004


Here's a direct link to the quicktime file. It's about 5megs. (I'm not advocating anything devious. I'm just, you know, making it easier to download.)
posted by shoepal at 11:24 AM on June 25, 2004


"Wild eyed and extremist" eh?
What is is called when one projects his own characteristics upon others? :-)
Now I know where jfuller got his comments about me from yesterday.
They were the widely distributed GOP talking points of the day.
How long will we hear the "liberal media" repeat the same charges?
Indeed.
posted by nofundy at 11:24 AM on June 25, 2004


But didn't Goering say "Verpiss dich!" to someone in the Reichstag?1

1 Referring to this. But you've already seen that, right? It's being talked about everywhere. No, it really doesn't need its own post.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:24 AM on June 25, 2004


That's hilarious; the intended message will make no sense to anybody but media wonks. The denouement reminds me (unintentionally I'm sure) of an ad for tranquilisers.
posted by carter at 11:26 AM on June 25, 2004


Talk about pancaking yourself. The ad shows Bush's poor public speaking ability - Bush is silent.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:27 AM on June 25, 2004


You know, Hitler was hated for his militarization and treatment of the Jews. Bush is hated for his militarization and treatment of the Muslims.

Did I miss something or when did we start rounding up Muslims and sending them to gas chambers?
posted by gyc at 11:28 AM on June 25, 2004


Oh, I get it. The message isn't "You're Hitler!" The message is "Calling people Hitler only demostrates your own Hitlerity!"
posted by octobersurprise at 11:34 AM on June 25, 2004


I don't remember the MoveOn.org logo in the original competition ad. It looks like they did some video editing (and pretty poor editing at that) to get the logo in there.

I wonder how MoveOn.org feels about this.
posted by destro at 11:34 AM on June 25, 2004


Each day I newly amazed at the sheer stupidity of Bush's administration. How anybody cannot see that ad as damning to Bush is beyond me. I hope they air it. Let them hang themselves.
posted by wsg at 11:40 AM on June 25, 2004


octobersurprise: what a great word! Fark meets Godwin to create the season's most most apt and potent catchphrase: "Hitlerity ensues." Years from now I can say I was present at the beginning...
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:41 AM on June 25, 2004


I saw another Bush ad last night that set my head spinning... started out with a clip of the young Kerry saying that the US can't fight communism everywhere. Cut to shot of Reagan saying "Tear down this wall." Then a shot of the Berlin wall coming down. Then a shot of Bush, and of the Saddam statue coming down. Back to Kerry saying that we can't fight communism everywhere, and then some text saying something like "Kerry was wrong then, and he's wrong now."

What the fuck? I can see, I guess, how the Kerry-Reagan transition makes sense (although I didn't know Kerry was running against Reagan, or that the cold war was a big issue this cycle), but the Saddam jump is just moronic. Are we suddenly supposed to think this was a victory over communism? Hussein was part of a red menace?
posted by COBRA! at 11:54 AM on June 25, 2004


The cheesy music straight out of an adult-diaper ad is a nice touch at the end...
posted by Robot Johnny at 12:03 PM on June 25, 2004


"Each day I newly amazed at the sheer stupidity of Bush's administration."

He's still running neck & neck in the polls. I think your amazment is misplaced. Dumb stuff like this actually works with U.S voters.

Also note - Rush and Jerry Springer have two of the most popular shows, only a tiny % of Americans can find Iraq on a map, and Arnold is my Governor.

Don't discount the "crazy as bat shit" vote. Bush & Co are counting on it.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:07 PM on June 25, 2004


Are we suddenly supposed to think this was a victory over communism? Hussein was part of a red menace?

I think they're drawing (dubious) parallels between communism and terrorism, not pegging Saddam as a commie.

I.E., doubters of a victory over communism were proven wrong as will be doubters of the victory over terrorism.
posted by dhoyt at 12:10 PM on June 25, 2004


I remember reading in the Economist that with the country as evenly divided as is is, this election would be about mobilizing the bases rather than appealing to the middle. Usually, opposing candidates would be rushing to claim the middle ground by now, but this year the candidates may get better results by mobilizing their base constituencies to register and vote than by appealing to the tiny group of undecided voters. In this context, comparing your opponent to Hitler isn't as suicidal as it would normally be.
posted by Loudmax at 12:17 PM on June 25, 2004


Cuba, North Korea, China
posted by MrLint at 12:18 PM on June 25, 2004


Did I miss something or when did we start rounding up Muslims and sending them to gas chambers?

Right now we're only stripping them naked, leaving them out in the sun for hours without food or water, and letting fierce dogs snap at their bare genitalia...but as soon as Halliburton receives the no-bid contract gas chamber construction will begin in earnest.

re: the Reagan/Kerry/Hussein ad: Lewis Black did a hilarious bit about this on the Daily Show Wednesday. He summed it to the effect of, "Kerry is running against Ronald Reagan, who defeated Saddam Hussein, the communist leader of Nazi Germany, what the fuck?!?!?" and reminded Republicans they need to "hate in the now, not the past."
posted by junkbox at 12:22 PM on June 25, 2004


Cobra! - they covered that ad on the Daily Show Wednesday night. It is so incoherent and convoluted that it was almost unfair to cover it satirically. (On preview, what junkbox said.)

There's another one I saw yesterday morning where Bush is touting his confidence in American ingenuity, while shaking his head. His body language was in complete opposition to the words coming out of his mouth.

Isn't anyone running this crap by Karen Hughes? I thought she was supposed to be the one that saved the Bush camp from this type of self-destruction.
posted by malocchio at 12:27 PM on June 25, 2004


Notice how this ad is not prefaced by the clip of Bush saying "I am George Bush and I approve of this message" which appears on many of the other campaign ads. It's as if he or his handlers knew that this one would get him into hot water. That said, this is pretty offensive to anyone with an IQ over that of a peanut butter sandwich. I spent last week with several survivors of Auschwitz. I'm glad they can't see this partisan trivialization of evil.

Remember RATS! the last time RATS! that Bush' campaign ads RATS! got him into RATS! trouble?
posted by zaelic at 12:34 PM on June 25, 2004


...but as soon as Halliburton receives the no-bid contract gas chamber construction will begin in earnest.

Well, there goes any hope for a reasonable conversation. G'night folks!

I'm glad they can't see this partisan trivialization of evil.

Agreed.
posted by dhoyt at 12:39 PM on June 25, 2004


So, let's assume that the cynical view is right, and Americans (dumb as dirt as most of us are -- we're assuming, now, remember) will buy an argument that Dems are all radical frothers: All that said, the semiotics are all wrong.

Let's look at this ad and think about what it is, first and foremost: A litany of condemnations of Bush, one after another after another, interspersed with images of the Devil (Mister Hilter). Played to the faithful, like folks over at The Freep, the message is clear: These are bad men, blasphemers, for badmouthing the President so.

But played outside the sanctuary, in the public eye, all this amounts to is a 30 second litany of Bad Things Being Said About Bush....

So, yeh, I'm with EB: If this thing actually plays on TV -- i.e., off the web -- it's a win for the Dems, hands down. And it's not such a great tool on the web, for that matter, since it only speaks to a mobilised base. This is not a mobilisation tool, AFAICS; it's a motivation tool for an already mobilised base. Maybe it gets a few more Freepers to pony up some more dough or go knock on doors, but I don't see this garnering new votes.

ON PREV: Oh, and, I got my copy -- so let 'em pull it, I'll show it to all my "faithful" friends outside the sanctuary...
posted by lodurr at 12:42 PM on June 25, 2004


I agree, this is a down-and-dirty web ad that will never air. The MPAA wouldn't even let Michael Moore himself use the clip of his acceptance speech on the "Bowling for Columbine" DVD, so I don't think they'd give give some snarky political ops the ok to use it.

Actually, that's a good point, now that I think of it. Is the MPAA aware of this use of their copyrighted video? ;)
posted by pmurray63 at 12:50 PM on June 25, 2004


Eight of 10 registered voters say there is "no chance whatsoever" that they will switch from their candidate to the other guy.

(FWIW)
posted by StOne at 12:52 PM on June 25, 2004


Original MoveOn Bush-Hitler ads can be found here.
posted by estey at 12:55 PM on June 25, 2004


"how could the Bush campaign legally use the copyrighted material?"

Fair use. They would have the right to use small sections of all the videos if it is criticism. They would not have the right to show the whole video, however.

That said, Moveon.org never approved the ads. They removed them from their competition, infact.

Maybe Kerry should make a point of linking statements and endorsements of neo-nazis and wacko Freepers to Bush. Or not...
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:07 PM on June 25, 2004


Original MoveOn Bush-Hitler ads can be found here.


No, they can't. Specifically because there ARE NO MoveOn Bush-Hitler ads. They were ads submitted to MoveOn's Bush in 30 seconds contest and rejected/denied from entry. Anybody who hasn't figured that little fact out by now is a freaking idiot, or worse, the lowest form of partisan freaking idiot. Are we clear on the facts yet?
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:09 PM on June 25, 2004


This election will not at all be about the base. The Economist, bless their hearts, is wrong on this. This President has more polarized the country than Clinton or even Nixon did. Every indication is that there's going to be high voter turnout on both sides. Voter interest by some measurements is as high now as it was in 2000 just two weeks before the election. For every vote produced by the energized base of one side, there's a vote from the energized base of the other.

Now, granted, I don't know what the elasticity, so to speak, is of likely voters among the bases of each party from election to election. If the elasticity is very different, in general, between the two parties, then equally energized bases could result in unequal voter turnout. I'm not sure.

On the other hand, we know the elasticity of likely voters among independents and swing voters is pretty high. And given the electoral college system, the solidly red and solidly blue states are where the most energized bases will be, and it simply doesn't matter at all if the voter turnout is high or not. But it does matter in the swing states for the independents. This means that the swing voters in the swing states count for far, far more than any of the party cores do elsewhere. That's why this election, as always but even moreso this year, is about these voters.

Kerry's people have just announced he's running to the center (it's interesting to consider what that means for the veep slot—but most agree he should give it to Edwards). Kerry is killing Bush in all the swing states with all the independent and swing voters. This is why although the popular vote may be somewhat close (because of high voter turnout), it won't be close in the electoral college. Kerry's going to win by a fairly wide margin. He's going to pick up all the swing states that he's expected to, plus a couple of surprises, I think.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:14 PM on June 25, 2004


Count me in with the "they can't possibly mean to run this" gang. If they do...the Democrats should send someone over to kiss Karl Rove right on the mouth...cause it's good ad for the Dems.
posted by dejah420 at 1:18 PM on June 25, 2004


EB, although I might not have expressed my predictions with such certainty, I am in 100% agreement with your analysis.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:20 PM on June 25, 2004


No one here is saying that the ads were sponsored by MoveOn.org. However at one point in time they were hosted on the bushin30seconds.org website which is sponsored by the MoveOn.org Voter Fund.
posted by estey at 1:20 PM on June 25, 2004


No one here is saying that the ads were sponsored by MoveOn.org.

On the contrary when you refer to them as MoveOn Bush-Hitler ads (notice the implied possesive) that is exactly what you are saying to the thousands of idiots who want desperately to believe that opposition to Bush is based on the Bush = Hitler lunacy. There are a myriad of ways to refer to those ads without implying that MoveOn agrees or supports the views expressed, when that organization has explicitely pronounced that they do not agree with or support those adverts.
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:30 PM on June 25, 2004


No one here is saying that the ads were sponsored by MoveOn.org

True--it was Bush's ad that implied the Hitler ads were sponsored by MoveOn.org. Of course, this was most likely an oversight on the Bush campaign's part--I'm sure Bush wouldn't deliberately mislead people to believe something that wasn't true just to further his own agenda.
posted by turaho at 1:30 PM on June 25, 2004


Kerry's going to win by a fairly wide margin.

On Metafilter, maybe. Not in the real world. No effin' way.

The fairly obvious comparison between Kerry and Hitler is that they're both socialists. Who knows if that was the intent of the ad, but it should have been.
posted by hama7 at 1:32 PM on June 25, 2004


The fairly obvious comparison between Kerry and Hitler is that they're both socialists.

WTF?
posted by pmurray63 at 1:40 PM on June 25, 2004


You know, I'm pretty sure it is the time for pessimism and rage.

Trouble is, the more optimistic candidate wins (usually.)

That's why incumbents always make their opponents out to be doomsayers.

Of course, sometimes doomsayers are right.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 1:40 PM on June 25, 2004


Hama, I'm not saying this as a partisan. I follow all the polling very closely. Bush is losing. There is no reason to think it will change in his favor and history says that no incumbent who's been where he is now in the polling has won. If you were honest, you'd at least admit that there's every indication that this is at this point a very close race with Bush unexpectedly weak and Kerry ahead in most polls. So "no effin way" is just silly.

And...Kerry is a socialist?? What bizarro universe do you live in, Hama? Okay, fine, by your definition, Kerry is a socialist. A freakishly broad definition that almost no one else in the world who uses the term would accept. Whatever.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:42 PM on June 25, 2004


Bush/Cheney trolled us good.

OK, so release a controversial ad including Hitler on a Friday, so that they can get free press over the weekend, and Monday they will disavow the ad. Brilliant. This ad, and the whole campaign, talks only to the base. "Screw the others - we don't need them." What I am interested in, is what else they are releasing on Trash Day.
posted by plemeljr at 1:42 PM on June 25, 2004


look . . . hama7's doing it again!
posted by hackly_fracture at 1:45 PM on June 25, 2004


On the contrary when you refer to them as MoveOn Bush-Hitler ads (notice the implied possesive) that is exactly what you are saying to the thousands of idiots who want desperately to believe that opposition to Bush is based on the Bush = Hitler lunacy.

Wulfgar!, are you suggesting that thousands of idiots read Metafilter?
posted by estey at 1:46 PM on June 25, 2004


from Memory Hole link:

(According to the rules of the contest, all ads are under the Creative Commons license.)


[offtopicrant]
i agree with EB. the Kerry landslide began long b4 the first primary, mostly during the events of and leading up to march 2003. the occupation of Iraq was a damn fool move, and if it weren't so tragic, it would be laughable how a president with so much emotional capital (from WTC/Pentagon attacks) could squander it so quickly.

the WTC/Pentagon attacks give the US a tremendous opportunity to create an international force that would better police and reduce terrorism. Bush took that chance and farted on it.
[/offtopicrant]


hama7, i usually ignore your generally inane comments (and visit your fairly interesting links), but to call Kerry a socialist is a big slap in the face to socialists everywhere. you might want to examine his voting history and his stance on the welfare state and then re-evaluate your comment.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:46 PM on June 25, 2004


thanx for bringing the comedy into this thread hama7. i can always count on you!
posted by Stynxno at 1:54 PM on June 25, 2004


I like the ad. And hama7 is right -- deep down, struggling to get out, Kerry's inner socialist rages.
posted by davidmsc at 2:01 PM on June 25, 2004


hama7 speaks a language only he understands.
posted by bshort at 2:03 PM on June 25, 2004


It's like hama7 (and davidmsc) aren't even trying anymore.
posted by turaho at 2:09 PM on June 25, 2004


hama7 is coming from the "Hitler was a liberal" point of view. Because the Nazis were National Socialists!

And Rush said so.
posted by kgasmart at 2:14 PM on June 25, 2004


Wulfgar!, are you suggesting that thousands of idiots read Metafilter?

Are subscribers? One has to wonder. "Read" is another matter entirely. It is indeed possible that MeFi is read by thousands who look forward to examples of "MoveOn/MetaFilter believes that Bush = Hitler", and are willing to propagate whatever lies they can, based on poor phrasing.

estey, I'm really not trying to pick on you, but plemeljr pegged this thread completely. The truth doesn't matter nearly as much as what uptime the image of it can get.

By way of example, if you were to post on the Blue about a website that some guy uses to teach others how to get away with spousal abuse (which would be a perfectly valid post, by the way) and quickly follow with your disclaimer that you do not agree with the guy, and think him an asshat, we would have the relevant post and your opinion. Now presume that everytime in the future, I refer to your post as "estey's spouse abuse how-to", would you feel tainted? Would you expend all energy necessary to distance yourself from the idea that spouse abuse is okay, only to find your efforts defeated each time I quote the phrase "estey's spouse abuse how-to"? I may not be the brightest candle in the cabin, but I don't think you'd appreciate my characterization of what you "possess".

To be honest, I think this ad to be a moment of Rove genious: Tie his boy to the optomistic (and still dead) corpse of the Reagan legacy, and taint Kerry with the stench of MoveOn and their psychotic hatred of all things American. Please notice, it doesn't matter whether any of this is true. What matters is that the lie gets couched deep enough that most people won't have the will to dig for it. Does MoveOn support the removal of Bush? Yes. Does that lend support to Kerry? Yes. Does that mean they all don't like Bush as Preznit? Yes. Does that mean that they feel Bush = Hitler? No. But by then, most people have stopped asking the questions, and just buy into the line.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:15 PM on June 25, 2004


but to call Kerry a socialist is a big slap in the face to socialists everywhere.

It's probably not an intentional slap, though. People tend to have a hard time distinguishing between political groups far from themselves on the political spectrum. There are plenty of extremely conservative people who honestly believe that "liberals" are basically the same thing as socialists, just as there are plenty of sane, modern city-dwellers who don't realize that not all Republicans are religious extremists.
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:16 PM on June 25, 2004


This is not a time for pessimism and rage against hama7...
posted by eamondaly at 2:17 PM on June 25, 2004


do you think moveon.org give them permission to use their ad like that??????

copyright?????

hmmmm.
posted by 11235813 at 2:40 PM on June 25, 2004


I follow all the polling very closely.

Who is taking the polls? Polls are subject to the whim of not only the poll-taker, but also whoever reports their results.

It's just too bad that Bush spends like a Democrat, because his voter base is none too pleased about that fact, but certainly not displeased enough to vote for a lying traitor who has never found an issue on which he can't make of himself an inexpensive pair of footwear. Everything and its contrary! But most of all, Kerry's just not presidential. Nobody's really for him, because of his deplorable public history and false testimony, his disdain for the military, and the fact that his voting base comes only from people who hate Bush, and that's not enough.

And...Kerry is a socialist??

Well yes, and he has some peculiar notions that government has any business "creating jobs" other than further bloating unnecessary existing government agencies or creating unnecessary new ones. Government can only place or remove obstacles to business.

Some opinions:

Old Europe, Kerry and the Goal of Socialism - William Fielder

Promoting the socialist agenda - Charles Bloomer

Kerry's Class Warfare - Joseph Kellard

A Call To Servitude - C.J. Maloney

Socialism Kills - Dennis Prager
posted by hama7 at 2:46 PM on June 25, 2004


Broadly dashing about "the majority of the country are idiots" is sophomoric and supports nothing.
posted by four panels at 2:46 PM on June 25, 2004


This ad is a waking nightmare.
posted by attackthetaxi at 2:58 PM on June 25, 2004


And Rush said so.
posted by kgasmart at 2:14 PM PST on June 25


Was Rush quoted here? That is an unfair comment & finding your comment despising. I've had my thoughts in a thread labeled as Rush’s exact rhetoric from his show that day. It was frustrating and side stepped my comment because it took away from my own free thoughts & intelligence. Also found it odd because the only Rush rhetoric I read comes from this site which may mean you listen to Rush not hama7. Labeling one's thoughts because the sound the same as someone elses can be wrong when realizing all have democratic thoughts. hama7’s comment is one for him defend not Rush.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:03 PM on June 25, 2004


I'll only put as much effort into a comment as the Loyal Opposition puts into theirs.

So there.

But seriously -- I think the ad is fine -- the "wild-eyed" crowd is quite an accurate moniker for Kerry's supporters. I know that not all of them are foaming at the mouth like Gore and Dean and Moore, but the three of them are doing enough foaming for the movement in general.
posted by davidmsc at 3:45 PM on June 25, 2004


hama7 - i didn't read any of the op-eds you linked, but I did follow your first two links. Kerry seems to be in agreement with you. All the a government can do is place or remove obstacles to business.

He's simply suggesting it would be in the country's financial interests to remove an obstacle to companies that want to create new jobs in the US by lowering their taxes while placing an obstacle to companies that want to create jobs in other countries by taking away a loophole we've given that that incentivizes that behavior.

How does that fit with the definition of socialism, and given that he seems to be in perfect agreement with you, how is it even peculiar?
posted by willnot at 3:52 PM on June 25, 2004


Hama7, either your definition, or fear, of socialism is flawed. Maybe by the end of this thread I can finally work out which.

By your definition of socialism, I live in the Socialist Monarchy of Australia. I can assure you, however, that it ain't all that bad. I've got a nice flat, a good education, tasty food, a park next door to go walking in, great music, cold beer. If this is socialism, then I can assure you that it ain't all that bad, so your fear of socialism must be wrong.

On the other hand, if this isn't actually socialism, then your definition is wrong.

Please explain what part of the socialism I live under, or that John Kerry allegedly advocates, kills kittens?
posted by Jimbob at 3:58 PM on June 25, 2004


Actually, davidmsc's comment raises a terrific question, one who's answer I'm certain the Bush camp is looking to profit from. When did being passionate become synonymous with pessimism? David uses the term, as the ad implies : "foaming at the mouth". The last politician I saw foaming at the mouth was a retired Ronald Reagan, suffering from the heavy onset of Alzheimers. The implication is clear, though; passion = rabid. Rabid = pessimistic??? Therefore, passion = pessimism.

This is silly, and I'm sure most of you can see this. So two questions spring forth:

1) Why can't the American people see how stupid that sylogism is, and

2) If they do, why does the Bush camp think that they won't?

To me, the result is clear; the Bush reelection team thinks we're all idiots. Fair enough. We'll see in November.

(Off topic: David, there's been two cases of Rabies reported just over the hill in Livingston. Our animals have been vacinated ... so no worries here; but you'll want to keep current with yours. See you tomorrow, Man! ;-)

/off topic)
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:09 PM on June 25, 2004


The fairly obvious comparison between Kerry and Hitler is that they're both socialists.

Don't you just wanna pinch his widdle cheeks? You do. You know you do.
posted by octobersurprise at 4:16 PM on June 25, 2004


1) Why can't the American people see how stupid that sylogism is, and
Most camps supporting Bush that I know - when seeing this will think - it's a pro Kerry ad. Being this is on an Internet site have to wonder: we are the ad's target. Doesn't Bush know imho Dean was a frontier in the bogging community. The ad needs Dean’s “yell” waking up Bush’s blog.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:32 PM on June 25, 2004


Maybe we are Bush's shell explaining the ad for the main stream folks.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:33 PM on June 25, 2004


There seem to be some people who believe that any form of progressive taxation equals socialism.

By that standard, Nixon, Eisenhower, Hoover, and Reagan are just as socialist as Kerry, if not more so (Nixon's wage-and-price controls, for example...)

I also think that Godwin's Law should decree that the campaign is now over. Anyone with me?
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:38 PM on June 25, 2004


Fortunately for the Bush campaign, Mary-Kate Olsen's eating disorder owns the front page this weekend.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:40 PM on June 25, 2004


Yeah, I find it kind of ironic that they used all of their oppositions' ads and let them go. That's just dumb. They could at least repudiate the information a little bit.

And, yes, it is indeed time for rage and whatever. Blindly following a leader with his head up his ass is not the answer.
posted by ajpresto at 4:43 PM on June 25, 2004


his voting base comes only from people who hate Bush, and that's not enough.

Actually considering Bush's approval rating, that's plenty. He's running out of dead presidents to suck the goodwill off of.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:11 PM on June 25, 2004


I'm with Plemen on this one: Rove must be trolling for a newsworthy media item in the face of massive ticket sales for Fahrenheit 9/11 this weekend. Monday it's going to be all F911 all the time. This is either a truly cynical ad (being tested for on the Web) or, if I'm wrong, a truly dumb moment in media history.
posted by boardman at 5:31 PM on June 25, 2004


I think the ad is bizarre, but it makes a good point. Why do opposition parties these days spend 99% of their time slating the incumbents, rather than convincing the public of their own aims and dreams?
posted by wackybrit at 6:48 PM on June 25, 2004


If this is socialism, then I can assure you that it ain't all that bad, so your fear of socialism must be wrong.

It's bad because you're no longer willing to take responsibility for your own life. It's bad because the government immorally steals from you forever and gives to whomever it sees fit, and a government does not usually shrink. It's even worse because you have been fooled into thinking that mediocrity is your destiny, and that dependency is virtue. It's bad because "A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away". It's bad for any number of other reasons which Ayn Rand can brilliantly illuminate.

"The idea of the sharing of incomes and government management of resources exists with little distinction from communism and its euphemistic partner socialism."

The Socialist Myth.
posted by hama7 at 6:55 PM on June 25, 2004


I think it is a good thing that the opposition is angry. I am too. So this ad works for me.

"Don't worry, be happy" is not the way to handle the problems the U.S. faces.
posted by moonbiter at 7:15 PM on June 25, 2004


It's bad because you're no longer willing to take responsibility for your own life.

Really? So the job's I've applied for and got, the study I've done, the money I've saved and spent, the people I've met, the laws I've broken, the places I've seen are somehow irrelevent? All of that shit was simply up to the gub'mint? Man, there must be more of them than I thought!

It's bad because the government immorally steals from you forever and gives to whomever it sees fit,

The government sends me a bill one year for the services it's provided me, and all the other citizens of the nation I love and that we all choose to live in as a civil society. If choosing to support a brand is a rational consumer choice, then paying taxes is patriotism (bet you've got a come back ready for that one). I know that Ayn Rand told y'all that society doesn't actually exist and all, but I'd bet that's a cold and lonely existence compared to mine.

I voted in a democratic process to help elect that government that you "allege" steals from me...if only victims of burglarly had that much choice in the matter. It's the way democracy functions, I'm afraid - you have two choices of justifying your philosophy then hama7: become an anarchist not a libertarian, or admit true democracy scares you as much as socialism does

My country wasn't founded on a revolution, or a coup, or a war. We do things the way we do them because it seems to work quite well. True freedom is the freedom to vote even for Communism, if you really want to, out of your own free will. True freedom isn't just following Ayn Rand's rules.
posted by Jimbob at 7:30 PM on June 25, 2004


I think the ad is bizarre, but it makes a good point. Why do opposition parties these days spend 99% of their time slating the incumbents, rather than convincing the public of their own aims and dreams?

I know you're not seeing the ads over there, wackybrit, but your comment ironically spells out the whole issue. Kerry isn't spending all his time attacking Bush. This is a negative ad from an overwhelmingly negative campgain attacking a largely non-negative campaign for being negative.

up-is-fucking-downism!
posted by jpoulos at 7:34 PM on June 25, 2004


I am Ubik. Before the universe was, I am. I made the suns. I made the worlds. I created the lives and the places they inhabit; I move them here, I put them there. They go as I say, then do as I tell them. I am the word and my name is never spoken, the name which no one knows. I am called Ubik, but that is not my name. I am. I shall always be.
posted by y2karl at 7:55 PM on June 25, 2004


paying taxes is patriotism

More Taxes Bring Less Capital, Less Patriotism - M.J. Kedro

Really it's not. It's condemning your country to stunted economic growth and mediocrity, but it really depends on what you're willing to believe. Like icy hades, or the cheese-eaters, immorality can be dialed up or down to streamline enslavement in any situation.

True freedom is the absolute autonomy of the individual, personal responsibility and self-determination, absolutely incompatible with any group-based system or French-style egalitarian "democracy" which is merely tyranny of the masses. Rights of the individual are paramount, inalienable, and bestowed by God.
posted by hama7 at 8:20 PM on June 25, 2004


Holy shit, is that for real? I can't believe they made that. Honestly, was Georgewbush.com hacked or something?

That was my thought as well. That was one whacked out ad.
posted by a3matrix at 8:32 PM on June 25, 2004


I'm flaming liberal but I would have tried to do a better job for the repubs than this steaming hachet job..
(job I'm actually defending Bush's right for a better ad, I hate myself)
posted by Elim at 8:53 PM on June 25, 2004


The piano music at the end was priceless. I fell out of my chair laughing.
posted by adrober at 8:58 PM on June 25, 2004


Aah!.....a bizzare Phil Dicksian reversal :

I'm sorry to reveal to you liberals that you have been one of our test focus groups - concerning the efficacy of our new ad.

Your obvious fear - of the power of this particular political ad - has convinced us to shift extra advertising funds into running it in swing states throughout the country.

Suckers.
posted by troutfishing at 9:05 PM on June 25, 2004


hama7 - You're right. You've shown me that the road of absolute autonomy is the only true path and - so to demonstrate my fury at my continued dependence on Oxygen....

I'm holding hold my breath until I turn bl
posted by troutfishing at 9:10 PM on June 25, 2004


True freedom is the absolute autonomy of the individual, personal responsibility and self-determination, absolutely incompatible with any group-based system or French-style egalitarian "democracy" which is merely tyranny of the masses.

And where is this utopia you live in, hama?
posted by bshort at 9:11 PM on June 25, 2004


Wow hama7 you must be some kind of sideshow performer at a circus. It's pretty nifty that you can determine what Jimbob is thinking and willing to do. Damn amazzzzzing if you ask me! I'm thinking of something...tell me what and I'll give you a kiss!

What you don't know? Tell you what...just shove that god you rode in on right up there where the sun don't shine and quit telling people what they think.

Geezus what an amazingly ignorant set of sentences.

The ad was released on Tuesday or Wednesday this week for those saying it was released on Friday to counter the Moore movie media cycle.

The ad seems to obviously be built specifically for Bush's base but boy it is the most effective anti-Bush ad I've yet seen. I'm really surprised to see so much ineptness on the part of the campaign. Re-elect Bush/Cheney 2004 seems to be coming apart at the seams.
posted by filchyboy at 9:28 PM on June 25, 2004


hama7 True freedom is the absolute autonomy of the individual, personal responsibility and self-determination, absolutely incompatible with any group-based system or French-style egalitarian "democracy" which is merely tyranny of the masses. Rights of the individual are paramount, inalienable, and bestowed by God.

Firstly, rights are relative. Your right not to have your nose punched interferes with my right to punch your nose. The only reason the first trumps the second is because there's a civil social structure which agrees, on behalf of all of us, to protects your right not to be physically harmed by me. And it protects you from me selling you dangerous goods, or moving into your house, or destroying your reputation, and generally protects you from me and me from you in all kinds of subtle ways that a Randist anti-socialist society would expect us to handle ourselves as our personal means allow. Probably with knives. So if you're old, or sick, or just plain unlucky, then too bad, hama7 - under your model of human interaction, you'd go down to my blade, and the contents of your wallet would become mine.

Randism is nothing but a set of logical justifications for immoral, selfish behavior. An excuse to shirk the human duty of helping pull us all along. It's a self-indulgent abandonment of our common human obligation to each other. It offends common decency.

Secondly, "bestowed by God" cuts no ice whatsoever with anyone outside your own religious tradition, whatever that happens to be at that time and in that place. It won't even cut ice with members of your own church who want to see things differently. Whether God actually exists or not, he certainly has an unfortunate habit of pretending he doesn't. And if he won't come down to pluck St Stephen off the arrow-target, he damn sure won't come down to pat you on the head for Randist rhetoric. Jesus said "Love thy neighbour as thyself." That doesn't mean "stand back and watch your neighbour suffer because that's what you sincerely expect him to do to you". That doesn't mean "I got mine, Jack, bugger the rest of you." It means, if God bestows you with a fortune, be it money, intelligence, whatever, you use it to advance your fellow man. That's your duty. That's socialism.

Individual rights are worthy of the greatest respect, they should only be alienated to protect more fundamental rights, and they do not have any independent existence whatsoever except as we agree to respect the rights of each others. Anyone's "right" is everyone else's responsibility.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 9:44 PM on June 25, 2004


Aeschenkarnos: don't even bother. Is Hama a Randroid? I'm not paying enough attention to be sure. But long (sigh) experience and observation has taught me that there's absolutely no reasoning with these folks, even though they fetishize reason.

But three cheers for Hama's very good FPPs!

Oh, also, saying that rights are relative isn't going to get you anywhere with anyone you'd be arguing against while making this point. And, anyway, it doesn't need to be true. I make the point by asserting that rights inevitably come into conflict, which avoids the relativism but underscores the practical reality that the libertarian utopia of absolutely protected rights is a conceptually impossible.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:14 PM on June 25, 2004


paramount, inalienable, and bestowed by God.

Ya know what else was bestowed by God? Ayn Rand's atheism.

Oh, and George_Spiggott, I thought the same thing, but you beat me to it, which is good, because it's way too late to bring it up again now. Er.
posted by soyjoy at 11:14 PM on June 25, 2004


"Fuck Yourself", says Dick Cheney to US Senator : Washington Post Prints Obscenity.

" Vice President Dick Cheney blurted out the "F word" at Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont during a heated exchange on the Senate floor, congressional aides said on Thursday.

The incident occurred on Tuesday in a terse discussion between the two that touched on politics, religion and money, with Cheney finally telling Leahy to "f--- off" or "go f--- yourself," the aides said.

"I think he was just having a bad day," Leahy was quoted as saying on CNN, which first reported the incident. "I was kind of shocked to hear that kind of language on the floor."

"That doesn't sound like language the vice president would use but there was a frank exchange of views," said Cheney spokesman Kevin Kellems."

posted by troutfishing at 11:53 PM on June 25, 2004


Trout: I mentioned that earlier. Thanks for not making it an FPP. I'm really surprised someone hasn't yet, though.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:03 AM on June 26, 2004


This thread rocks. I'm loving it. Maybe troll7 can lengthen it even further? ;)
posted by scarabic at 1:02 AM on June 26, 2004


It is amazing to me that so many people are willing to waste time on his trolls.

Amazing.
posted by sic at 3:49 AM on June 26, 2004


the difference between calm, reasonable discourse and wild-eyed rage is thus:

calling kerry a socialist: reasonable discourse
calling bush a fascist: wild-eyed rage
posted by mcsweetie at 4:57 AM on June 26, 2004


As a European socialist (more or less), I laugh at the american vision of what is socialism.

Hahahahahahaha. ha. ha.
posted by Sijeka at 5:07 AM on June 26, 2004


aeschenkarnos: Your right not to have your nose punched interferes with my right to punch your nose.

Ah, see... you're barking up the wrong tree, here. As a former Objectivist, I can tell you that there are several standard Ayn Rand Approved answers to this one that work just fine in the ultra-rationalist Randian Objectivist worldview. One way Hama7 can come back is to talk about the integrity of the individual's property rights (i.e., as in, I am my own property, I own myself). When you harm another, you are "wrong", because you're violating the integrity of that person's property. So you don't have a right to punch his nose.

What I find works much better is to point out that never in history has any society ever functioned on Randian principles. This seems to me to be generally the thread Jimbob is on. This can work. I've seen it to be very effective in debunking radical libertarianism and libertarian anarchism, which are both in similar boats. It won't work for hama7, of course, because he's a True Believer, and it really takes some kind of religious experience to get through to those people.
posted by lodurr at 5:47 AM on June 26, 2004



It is amazing to me that so many people are willing to waste time on his trolls.


Drawing them out and exposing them for a while, bashing them about and then stuffing them back into their holes is actually quite fun.

Trolling is a symbiotic relationship in that sense.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:50 AM on June 26, 2004


Firstly, rights are relative

Not if you're American, or if you believe (or have ever read) the Declaration of Independence, which explicitly outlines the nature of rights, and the states role in only protecting the rights of the individual. There are quite a few references to "Nature's God" and the "Creator" too, contrary to what you might think is there.

Individual rights are worthy of the greatest respect, they should only be alienated to protect more fundamental rights

This would be laughable if it weren't so tragic. There are no more "fundamental" rights than the rights of the individual. What you seem to be missing, unfortunately, with all you rhetoric about the "poor" and "helping each other" is that individuals are infinitely more capable of helping each other directly and efficiently than government has ever been or ever will be.

Government is very efficient, however, at miseducating people to think that the solution to every problem is massive income redistribution followed by a great deal of distribution to government employees' salaries. Whatever gets to those "poor" people is left over. Government is also very efficient at propagating the lie that criminal behavior is acceptable, that government can do that which would land any one of us in jail for an extended period.

If I went to your door, threatened you, and demanded 40% of the contents of you paycheck every month, I would soon be facing criminal proceedings. Yet the government does this with impunity to every citizen, every month! It's one of the most central, immoral, leaps of logic of socialist coercive busybodyism.

Government primarily exists to insure individual rights.

The Proper Role of Government.
posted by hama7 at 5:50 AM on June 26, 2004


The Bush Campaign responds (received today via e-mail):

On Thursday, the campaign launched a web video titled Kerry's Coalition of the Wild-eyed. The video featured Democrats who support John Kerry making negative and baseless attacks against the President. Interspersed in the video were segments of two ads that appeared on a website sponsored by MoveOn.org - a group campaigning for Kerry - in January.

On Friday night, John Kerry's campaign denounced our use of these ads, and called that use "disgusting."

The Kerry campaign says, "The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong."

We agree. These ads, like much of the hate-filled, angry rhetoric of Kerry's coalition of the Wild-eyed, are disgusting. We created this web video to show the depths to which these Kerry supporters will sink to win in November.

Is this the Democratic Party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt who reassured his countrymen we have nothing to fear but fear itself?

No. This is John Kerry's Coalition of the Wild-eyed, who have nothing to offer but fear-mongering.

Sincerely,

Ken Mehlman
Campaign Manager
posted by Otis at 7:16 AM on June 26, 2004


Gulag is Russian. Stalag is German.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 7:52 AM on June 26, 2004


So the Bush campaign ran these ads that seem to actually to criticize the president, so, when taken to task, they could say "oh yeah, well these guys, who aren't directly associated with your campaign, are worse"?

Yay!
posted by bshort at 7:56 AM on June 26, 2004


I notice hama7 shied away from the comment by the former objectivist ripping apart his religion. hama7 loses.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:12 AM on June 26, 2004


people taking hamasheaven's Dr Strangelove routine seriously? it's so 2002.
posted by matteo at 8:30 AM on June 26, 2004


There are quite a few references to "Nature's God" and the "Creator" too, contrary to what you might think is there.

actually, you've just about covered them. There's also one to "providence"; it's possible there's one more, but it is not a major theme.

Individual rights are worthy of the greatest respect, they should only be alienated to protect more fundamental rights

This would be laughable if it weren't so tragic. There are no more "fundamental" rights than the rights of the individual.


well, I happen to agree with you hama7, here - rights in the US are by definition inalienable, so the original poster is wrong. However, what these rights are is also defined. These rights are not in danger from the left - the ACLU is largely a product of the left; if our rights coming under attack it is through things like the Patriot Act.

The bill of rights does not include an amendment that limits taxation; if you want to include that as a "right" you need to lobby to have it voted on in congress, because our rights are defined by a democratic process, not one person's wire to god.

If I went to your door, threatened you, and demanded 40% of the contents of you paycheck every month, I would soon be facing criminal proceedings. Yet the government does this with impunity to every citizen, every month! It's one of the most central, immoral, leaps of logic of socialist coercive busybodyism.

a) you would paying for goods (paved roads etc) and services;
b) you would also face criminal proceedings if you imprisoned someone you believed had done something wrong, or otherwise impersonated the government as an individual citizen.
posted by mdn at 10:16 AM on June 26, 2004


What we need is MORE outrage, MORE screaming, MORE angry demands for accountability.

Not less.
posted by rushmc at 10:43 AM on June 26, 2004


*sticks head out window*

*screams*

*gets hit with brick thrown by angry neighbor*

*screams in pain*
posted by jonmc at 10:46 AM on June 26, 2004


The bill of rights does not include an amendment that limits taxation

The constitution made no stipulation for a federal income tax until the 16th Amendment was ratified in 1913, and which needs now to be repealed and replaced with a national sales tax. But I digress.
posted by hama7 at 11:47 AM on June 26, 2004


which needs now to be repealed and replaced with a national sales tax.

agreed! then we wouldn't have enough to money to botch nation building, and as such it would hopefully stop happening.
posted by mcsweetie at 12:06 PM on June 26, 2004


Wulfgar!

I think you're an idiot. "MoveOn Hitler Ad" only implies that the ad is related to MoveOn. You could call Farienheight 9/11 the "Bush Documentary" and people would know what you're talking about, and also be aware that Bush did not sponsor the documentary himself.

There's a huge difference between "The X thing" and "X's Thing" linguistically. You seem to want people to believe that the clips have no relationship whatsoever to move on, in any sense, which is completely false.
posted by delmoi at 2:04 PM on June 26, 2004


I think you're an idiot.

Is it impossible to disagree without namecalling?
posted by rushmc at 3:21 PM on June 26, 2004


(Me: Rights are relative) Not if you're American, or if you believe (or have ever read) the Declaration of Independence, which explicitly outlines the nature of rights, and the states role in only protecting the rights of the individual. There are quite a few references to "Nature's God" and the "Creator" too, contrary to what you might think is there.
You are pointing there to an explicit social contract, whose signatories agree, on behalf of societies they represent, to respect certain rights and uphold certain responsibilities.

I should not have to point this out: The Constitution of the United States of America was NOT ordained by God, it was written by men influential in the former colonies, in consultation and confrontation with each other. What ended up in it was the result of compromise and discussion. It is a national constitution, influenced heavily by the good and bad qualities of many others before it, and it has itself influenced many others after it. It's a piece of history that is important in the world, but it is NOT some kind of shining beam of Gospel shafting down from Heaven into the realm of humanity. That's superstitious, magical, primitive thinking.

This would be laughable if it weren't so tragic.
You're a walking tragedy, hama7. If I believed an educative and interventionist God, I'd believe that you exist as a cautionary example to others, of what a failure to exercise perspective and rationality can achieve.

There are no more "fundamental" rights than the rights of the individual. What you seem to be missing, unfortunately, with all you rhetoric about the "poor" and "helping each other" is that individuals are infinitely more capable of helping each other directly and efficiently than government has ever been or ever will be.
I don't have the time or resources to help every poor person who shows up at my door. Do you? Hell no, I bet you're the sort of person who'd yell "Get a job!" and congratulate yourself on how helpful that piece of advice is. Which must never have occurred to them before, obviously, and it's just a matter of 'getting a job', obviously, jobs are out there for the plucking like leaves off a tree, obviously.

To help poor people there needs to some place for poor people to go to get help. If they must doorknock and panhandle that is firstly bloody irritating to the rest of us, and secondly it will lead to a great number of poor people not getting helped at all. There must be some central agency, or agencies. That means organized charity.

Now the kind of people who organize charities, while helpful and kindhearted, usually have narrow goals: helping single mothers, for instance, which means they don't do much for drug addicts. They also usually have agendas, like converting everyone possible into their One True Way religion. We have historical examples of how well this ad-hoc approach to universal charity works, and it doesn't. A national charity--like lots of other expressions of collective will, like law enforcement and education--has to belong to all citizens. The only way for that to happen is for the government to run it.

Government is very efficient, however, at miseducating people to think that the solution to every problem is massive income redistribution followed by a great deal of distribution to government employees' salaries.
So you somehow think that police, say, ought to work out of the goodness of their hearts, or for what bounty they can collect from victims of crime?

Whatever gets to those "poor" people is left over.
But government is not about just the poor people. It's about all of us. We all need the basic environment to be set up so that we can pursue our own ambitions: education to a basic standard of literacy and numeracy, roads to allow us access to goods and services, etc etc.

Government is also very efficient at propagating the lie that criminal behavior is acceptable, that government can do that which would land any one of us in jail for an extended period.
Explain to me again why you're a supporter of George W Bush?

If I went to your door, threatened you, and demanded 40% of the contents of you paycheck every month, I would soon be facing criminal proceedings. Yet the government does this with impunity to every citizen, every month! It's one of the most central, immoral, leaps of logic of socialist coercive busybodyism.
Sure, that never happened under, say, feudalism, or tribalism, or EVERY OTHER POLITICAL SYSTEM EVER DEVISED BY THE MIND OF MAN! Either government operates within the fiscal system--which means it pays people to work for it, which means it has to get money from somewhere--or it operates outside of the fiscal system, which means it coerces labor from citizens instead (which is, in effect, the same thing as coercing money).

Government primarily exists to insure individual rights.
Which it cannot do without the means to do so, which means people to do it, and money to pay them. Where do you think that money should come from?

More fundamentally, hama7, you have not sold us on the benefits of your alternative model. You have left us under the impression that your social model will be Lord of the Flies on a massive scale, with no means to enforce any rights or redress any breach of rights except on a personal scale, because you've cut the economic legs out from under the rights enforcement bodies. And that sounds like an almighty load of suck. How the hell is Hama7-Land supposed to operate, on a day to day basis, in the lives of it's willing citizenry? Why is it better in a practical way? What about the unwilling citizenry, the criminally and selfishly inclined, what are you going to do about them? How's the transition from the present model to yours work?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:11 PM on June 26, 2004


You're a walking tragedy, hama7.

I really should have just written your whole comment off at this point, but for the benefit of others, I endeavor to persevere.

The Constitution of the United States of America was NOT ordained by God

That's precisely the point of the Declaration of Independence, and after that, the Constitution. The rights of the individual come from a higher power than a monarch or a man. Man's right to autonomy is his birthright, ordained from his Creator. That is the absolute converse of "primitive" thinking.

There must be some central agency, or agencies. That means organized charity.

Why must there be "central" by which you mean, of course, "government" agencies to coerce "goodwill" from citizens? Your model presupposes that men are inherently dishonest and shiftless and need an authoritarian parent state to bilk them of their earnings, whereas my model (the realistic model upon which the foundation of the United States rests) presupposes that men are inherently good, charitable and honorable, and that their individuality and sovereignty must be protected by law.

The only way for that to happen is for the government to run it.

By nature, a citizen must be realistic (read: pessimistic) about the power of government. Americans, by their very citizenship have been lucky in that the power of government is, and should be, severely restricted. The government exists, ostensibly, to serve the people, not to rule the people.

We all need the basic environment to be set up so that we can pursue our own ambitions: education to a basic standard of literacy and numeracy, roads to allow us access to goods and services

I should have been more explicit: American States have the Constitutional jurisdiction to tax, pave, sell, license, and govern as they see fit. Citizens may then vote with their feet. The federal government has no constitutional right to educate, or to blackmail states into accepting taxpayer-funded education policies. Nowhere in this equation does the Federal Government or the supreme court have even the slightest authority with regard to States' Rights. When it comes to "common defense" measures such as the Patriot Act, or provisions for taxation for the American military, the Fed is fully within its Constitutional rights to protect its citizens.

How's the transition from the present model to yours work?

The present model and mine are already in place because they are one and the same. The world's most perfect system already exists. The remaining challenge is only to remove the regrettable socialist barriers which hinder it.
posted by hama7 at 7:38 PM on June 26, 2004


You're doing it again! Must. resist. cheek. pinching.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:50 PM on June 26, 2004


I think the ultimate falsehood that objectivist types build their houses on is that humans have a right to property. Property is an artificial concept set up by a society for convenience, just as social safety nets are. There's no difference.

And no, the US constitution is not based on rights that god sent down to the framers of the constitution when they were meeting in their chambers to draw up the constitution. It was simply a set of compromises.

Also, there is no reason whatsoever for something to be all well and good as a state's responsibility but immoral and ineffecient when a federal government does it. The existance of states are a historical coincidence.


By nature, a citizen must be realistic (read: pessimistic) about the power of government. Americans, by their very citizenship have been lucky in that the power of government is, and should be, severely restricted. The government exists, ostensibly, to serve the people, not to rule the people.


Denounce the PATRIOT act. Do it now. Or we can ignore you forever.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:09 PM on June 26, 2004


(Me: You're a walking tragedy, hama7.) I really should have just written your whole comment off at this point, but for the benefit of others, I endeavor to persevere.
We're both doing this for the benefit of the audience, and if I don't reply I worry that some will consider you victorious. :)

That's precisely the point of the Declaration of Independence, and after that, the Constitution. The rights of the individual come from a higher power than a monarch or a man. Man's right to autonomy is his birthright, ordained from his Creator. That is the absolute converse of "primitive" thinking.
Ummm .... then shouldn't these rights have been completely obvious, not just to me, but to all philosophers of all cultures and throughout human history? Shouldn't anybody who thinks about it come to the same conclusion?

Why must there be "central" by which you mean, of course, "government" agencies to coerce "goodwill" from citizens?
So that a person, finding himself in need, may know what he should do about it. "I'm poor. I need food and lodging. Whatever should I do? I know, I'll go to ..."

I'm not going to argue that non-governmental charity is incompetent; any charity that exists in a first-world nation alongside government charity probably is competent enough. They do good work. But at a minimum, a directory of charities is needed, so that the orphans aren't sent to the drug rehab clinic, and oversight is needed, so that we don't get workhouses popping up again. The poor are just aching to be exploited, you can pay them so little and they will still come to work!

Your model presupposes that men are inherently dishonest and shiftless and need an authoritarian parent state to bilk them of their earnings, whereas my model (the realistic model upon which the foundation of the United States rests) presupposes that men are inherently good, charitable and honorable, and that their individuality and sovereignty must be protected by law.
My model assumes the existence of dishonesty, shiftlessness, and self-centred motivation. You are handwaving all of these away. Some folks will rise to meet the moral expectations placed upon them. Some won't, and they will cause problems for everyone that does. Some, due to insurmountable deficiencies in their psychological makeup, simply cannot conform to the high standard of honesty and courtesy that a stable Randist society requires. How do you want to deal with them?

Worse, you're invoking "by law" while arguing for a lack of a strong and independent legal system!

By nature, a citizen must be realistic (read: pessimistic) about the power of government. Americans, by their very citizenship have been lucky in that the power of government is, and should be, severely restricted. The government exists, ostensibly, to serve the people, not to rule the people.
Both "serve" and "rule" rely on the idea that the government is separate from the people. This is like talking about a person's brain as separate from "them". A government--whether democratic or not--is no more nor less than the apparatus by which the collective will of the people is expressed. Your Randist utopia will have a government - if something happens like, say, another nation making hostile moves towards it, then Hama7Land will have to respond collectively, fast, unless you propose to run about collecting the responses from each and every individual citizen. And if you did, would you be obliged to give expression to them all, or just the majority, or what?

There's another couple of fundamental points about the operation of human groupings that you're missing: resolution of disagreement and enforcement of compliance. If I want to do something and the rest of the people want me not to, then the rest of the people are alienating my individual right to self-determination.

I should have been more explicit: American States have the Constitutional jurisdiction to tax, pave, sell, license, and govern as they see fit.
Like Space Coyote said, if it is morally wrong for one monolithic level of goverment, ruling over millions of people, to tax, how the hell is it morally right for another one to do so? The words of the Constitution are not moral in character, they are merely legal.

Citizens may then vote with their feet.
Few people are in a practical position to do so.

The federal government has no constitutional right to educate, or to blackmail states into accepting taxpayer-funded education policies. Nowhere in this equation does the Federal Government or the supreme court have even the slightest authority with regard to States' Rights. When it comes to "common defense" measures such as the Patriot Act, or provisions for taxation for the American military, the Fed is fully within its Constitutional rights to protect its citizens.
This is utterly impractical without a means of enforcing those decrees, which requires money from somewhere, government agencies with the duty of checking compliance, and the assistance of the states in providing the backing to make each other obey.

The present model and mine are already in place because they are one and the same. The world's most perfect system already exists. The remaining challenge is only to remove the regrettable socialist barriers which hinder it.
Um. So, every single thing that's wrong with the USA ... objectively wrong stuff like class tension, race tension, age-group tension, violence, personal bankruptcies ... and stuff that offends you as a conservative like drugs and sexual deviance ... ALL of that stuff, every single bit, is due to the imposition of socialist barriers like, say, income tax, onto an otherwise perfect Utopia. In Hama7Land, no-one would ever try to harm or exploit his fellow human beings.

And if suddenly all the public servants were sacked and all the public buildings closed and all the income tax given back and so on and so forth ... everything would become perfect. Like Heaven on Earth.

Or maybe there's a lot more to making a good society than executing the program of an ideological system.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:42 AM on June 27, 2004


then shouldn't these rights have been completely obvious, not just to me, but to all philosophers of all cultures and throughout human history?

The United States has not existed throughout history, but is the best, most powerful, fairest and wealthiest system in the history of mankind. Coincidence?

I'm poor. I need food and lodging. Whatever should I do? I know, I'll go to ..."

THE GOVERNMENT??? The network news is really doing its trick. How about a church? A shelter? Family? Friends? The Goodwill? Any number of several hundred organizations which exist solely for the purpose of charity? But no, for whatever reason, too many people are trained to think that the government's duty is to be a surrogate parent, a provider, yet by its nature government is parasitic and can produce nothing. Too many people are no longer willing to take responsibility for their own lives, yet as federal government grows it becomes less possible for people to self-govern.

a stable Randist society requires.....Your Randist utopia

First, I'm not a "Randist", whatever that means. She has some great ideas, and the descriptions to which I linked above are some of her finest. Her belief in the immutable autonomy of the individual corresponds to some pretty fundamental American principles. There is absolutely nothing "utopian" about the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. In fact there is nothing at all utopian whatsoever with regard to social or fiscal conservatism, quite the reverse. A Libertarian might view enormous social change (like a national sales tax which would completely replace the current federal tax system) as a positive advancement. A (real) conservative might simply prefer to reduce taxation to percentages which existed for the majority of the hundred-seventy plus years that the U.S. existed prior to FDR's socialist projects.

Worse, you're invoking "by law" while arguing for a lack of a strong and independent legal system!

I have no idea what this means. Nowhere have I argued for a weak legal system.

if something happens like, say, another nation making hostile moves towards it

To "provide for the common defense" is one of the very few explicit constitutional requirements of federal government, one of the very few instances where government is required to act. A strong legal system is necessary, and exists, but could stand a change or two.

if it is morally wrong for one monolithic level of government, ruling over millions of people, to tax, how the hell is it morally right for another one to do so?

It's still morally wrong to steal on any level. There is an option (which many Californians have been exercising) to move out of a state which sees its citizenry as a fiefdom. States may, for example, provided it's in compliance with a state's constitution and in the best interest of the state, create an education system, but it's up to the state and its citizens, not the Fed.

objectively wrong stuff like class tension, race tension, age-group tension, violence, personal bankruptcies

Class tension exists to marxists. Race tension exists to marxists, race-baiters, and hustlers who make a living by browbeating, lying and exaggeration. Government does not exist to erase differences in wealth or income discrepancies between its citizens by confiscation and redistribution, nor does it exist to erase differences in racial make-up. It sounds like you're suggesting a communist dictatorship which forces miscegenation! Additionally, there is absolutely nothing "objectively wrong" with the fact that a doctor makes more money than a bus driver, and to suggest otherwise is the worst kind of utopianism, the kind that killed 100 million in this century alone. As for "age-group tension", well I must admit it sounds traumatic, but we'll survive somehow. Violence? We've got law enforcement and a legal system for that. Personal bankruptcy? Is the federal government involved there anyway?

In Hama7Land, no-one would ever try to harm or exploit his fellow human beings.

What does that have to do with government? Human beings are not perfect, so it's unreasonable to expect that a society will be, ever. Individuals and society function best when the absolute autonomy of the individual is a mutual priority. Society functions better when families are strong, and families are more stable when taxes are lower, requiring only one wage-earner per household, among many other things.
posted by hama7 at 6:58 AM on June 27, 2004


You know what else is interesting?

The Australian Constitution also contains the succinct phrase "humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God", included in 1898. Coincidence?
posted by hama7 at 11:54 AM on June 27, 2004



The United States has not existed throughout history, but is the best, most powerful, fairest and wealthiest system in the history of mankind. Coincidence?


Even accepting your flawed premise, yes, quite possibly this is a coincidence. Stumbling onto a giant mass of land with great resources probably had more to do with America surpassing Europe than anything else.


THE GOVERNMENT??? The network news is really doing its trick. How about a church? A shelter? Family? Friends? The Goodwill? Any number of several hundred organizations which exist solely for the purpose of charity? But no, for whatever reason, too many people are trained to think that the government's duty is to be a surrogate parent, a provider, yet by its nature government is parasitic and can produce nothing. Too many people are no longer willing to take responsibility for their own lives, yet as federal government grows it becomes less possible for people to self-govern.
First, I'm not a "Randist", whatever that means

This isn't about you personally. The ideas that you were presenting were Randist, so that was a valid characterization.

In fact there is nothing at all utopian whatsoever with regard to social or fiscal conservatism, quite the reverse.

You're correct, I find "radical dystopian" to be a very good term for it. Though the idea isn't something I'd vote for in a democracy to be sure, and nor, it seems, would many others.

It's still morally wrong to steal on any level. There is an option (which many Californians have been exercising) to move out of a state which sees its citizenry as a fiefdom. States may, for example, provided it's in compliance with a state's constitution and in the best interest of the state, create an education system, but it's up to the state and its citizens, not the Fed.

Taxation is charging for services, not stealing, any more than you travelling on a road is not stealing from the people who built it for that purpose. And your assumption of moral obligations that apply to jurisdictions in the US as rather strange to say the least. I'm sure if God had anything to say about it, he'd say that ending slavery was more important than 'states' rights'.

Class tension exists to marxists. Race tension exists to marxists, race-baiters, and hustlers who make a living by browbeating, lying and exaggeration. Government does not exist to erase differences in wealth or income discrepancies between its citizens by confiscation and redistribution, nor does it exist to erase differences in racial make-up.

Ad hominem ad hominem ad hominem ad hominem.

You are approaching the problem the wrong end again. Class tension does not exist because of a bunch of communists wanting to steal from the rich, it exists because people in a position of power collude to preserve that position. I don't want to draw you out any further on your odd statement about not wanting to erase differences in racial make-up because no one mentioned it and frankly I'm in too good a mood to hear someone's messed up views about separation of the races today.

It sounds like you're suggesting a communist dictatorship which forces miscegenation!

This is the first time I think I've read the word 'miscegenation' used with its former negative overtones. And of course forcing two unconsenting parties to marry is wrong, obviously, but it is no more or less wrong due to the races of the people in question.

Additionally, there is absolutely nothing "objectively wrong" with the fact that a doctor makes more money than a bus driver, and to suggest otherwise is the worst kind of utopianism, the kind that killed 100 million in this century alone.

No one is suggesting any such thing. Mefites are allergic to straw men, try to be courteous to our collective intelligence.

Violence? We've got law enforcement and a legal system for that.

I just thought this statement on its own was quite funny.

Society functions better when families are strong, and families are more stable when taxes are lower, requiring only one wage-earner per household, among many other things.

This is a false syllogism. The first statement is a platitude, the second is yanked out of your arse, and the third is rather sexist to the presumed party who has historically been required to stay at home. (though more fair wages would go a lot further to making families able to have an adult member stay home than moral strictness would.)

The Australian Constitution also contains the succinct phrase "humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God", included in 1898. Coincidence?

Coincidence, and opinion. Yes.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:30 PM on June 27, 2004


Stumbling onto a giant mass of land with great resources probably had more to do with America surpassing Europe than anything else.

Then Africa, South America and Russia should be the three richest areas on the planet. Ever wonder why they're not?

racial make-up because no one mentioned it

You must not have read the "objectively wrong stuff like race tension" comment. It's there. I have no views on the separation of races, but "race tension" is a steaming pile of marxist political nonsense.

Mefites are allergic to straw men

Obviously you refuse to acknowledge the marxist philosophical origin of the phrase "class tension".

This is a false syllogism.

The Civilizing Power of Marriage and Family - Elizabeth Wright

Family and parenthood: supporting families, preventing breakdown.
posted by hama7 at 3:01 PM on June 27, 2004


Then Africa, South America and Russia should be the three richest areas on the planet. Ever wonder why they're not?

My subtle assertion was that the combination of democratic, open and effective government (which europe has) and abundant resources (which the areas you mention have / had) is the key to America's success, not one or the other alone.

Obviously you refuse to acknowledge the marxist philosophical origin of the phrase "class tension".

So you assert that there was no tension between classes before Marx came along? Is this really what you believe? Or expect others to believe?

As for your links, you've really flown off on a tangent there. But as I said, families are an effective natural grouping of people to look out for each other. And wouldn't you be supportive of an increase in living standards for the majority of people if it would allow one adult to stay home and take care of the children?
posted by Space Coyote at 3:44 PM on June 27, 2004


And wouldn't you be supportive of an increase in living standards for the majority of people if it would allow one adult to stay home and take care of the children?

If it means higher taxes or an increase in government, never.
posted by hama7 at 3:32 PM on June 28, 2004


This ad is the most incompetant political video I've ever seen. And I've been to zero-budget East London anarchist student squat film-screenings.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:17 PM on June 28, 2004


I thank the lord that I will never have to tolerate the dystopia which hama7 hungrily awaits. I also thank the lord that I am now a proud constitutent of the largest trading bloc on earth, the EU.
posted by johnnyboy at 7:19 AM on June 30, 2004


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