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Our whole history is treason; our blood was attained before we were born -- Theodore Parker
April 3, 2005 7:23 PM   Subscribe

"Hanoi Jane" Fonda: the traitor stands in worse case of woe. "… sitting on an enemy aircraft gun was a betrayal," she said.
Treason or higher loyalty: her country right or wrong? Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may. --Mark Twain
posted by orthogonality (83 comments total)

 
Tarquin and Caesar had each his Brutus -- Charles the First, his Cromwell -- and George the Third-- ("Treason!" shouted the Speaker) may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it!" -- Patrick Henry, 1765
Our players:
"Hanoi Jane" Fonda
"Tokyo Rose" Ikuko Toguri
William Joyce "Lord Haw Haw"
Marlene Dietrich
Klaus Fuchs
Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Penkvsky, Glavnoe Razvedyvatel'noe Upravlenie (GRU), Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Mordecai Vanunu
H.A.R. "Kim" Philby
Colonel Robert E. Lee, United States Army
Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Wehrmacht, Grossdeutsches Reich
Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski, General Staff of the Army of the People's Republic of Poland
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
Ezra Pound
John Wilkes Booth
Patrick Henry
Marcus Junius Brutus
Which are traitors bound for Dante's Ninth Circle, and which go to Glory?
posted by orthogonality at 7:26 PM on April 3, 2005


You missed so many opportunities to convert words into links.
posted by mischief at 7:27 PM on April 3, 2005


Frankly, I think you have to have been involved in the emotions surrounding the Vietnam war in order to particularly care about what Jane Fonda did. Yeah, it was a serious lapse in judgment, but I just can't bring myself to really care.
posted by Slothrup at 7:29 PM on April 3, 2005


Clearly, it's completely her fault we lost. (Rolls eyes)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:31 PM on April 3, 2005


Orthogonality, I think it's time for me to truly and deeply say, fuck off. You're trying too hard, and asking us all to work for your resplendent ideals. No, thank you no. I read 3 of your links and decided that your shit just ain't worth what your asking. You're EB, without the charm. Sorry.
posted by Wulfgar! at 7:31 PM on April 3, 2005


Wulfgar! writes "You're trying too hard, and asking us all to work for your resplendent ideals. No, thank you no."

You can discuss Jane Fonda going to Hanoi, or you can discuss her recanting after these many years, or you can discuss the larger issue of what makes an act treasonous. The post is what you bring to it.
posted by orthogonality at 7:38 PM on April 3, 2005



Clearly, it's completely her fault we lost. (Rolls eyes)


Who claimed that?

But if you can't understand why a Vietnam veteran might be offended by her actions, then you'rejust being willfully obtuse.

Y'know what though? My father was in Vietnam. I've been close with several other vets. They've harbored some righteous anger at her over the years. But, you know what, maybe it's time we let the whole thing die.
posted by jonmc at 7:39 PM on April 3, 2005


Who's Jane Fonda? Was she that chick in Barbarella? She was hot.
posted by Nelson at 7:45 PM on April 3, 2005


My father is also a Viet Nam vet, and you know what? He gives a whole lot less of a shit about Fonda and a whole lot more of a shit about the US government's long-term pattern of poor judgement, classist military recruiting, and overall misuse of power. As should we. Particularly now.

The only people I hear complaining about Fonda are those who have been able to come up with any more relevant ideas in forty years. Why add ourselves to that ilustrious list?
posted by Miko at 7:48 PM on April 3, 2005


Make that "unable".
posted by Miko at 7:49 PM on April 3, 2005


Nelson: She was hotter than John Kerry anyway.
posted by NickDouglas at 7:49 PM on April 3, 2005


Just so you know, I'm in the military, and there is a cult of hatred devoted to Jane Fonda that you probly wouldn't believe. The only person who comes close to inspiring such frothing disgust in Hillary Clinton. Mention Jane Fonda in a room full of military and they will start cursing her name without hesitation (not unlike their reaction to Hillary).

And yes, she was smoking hot in Barbarella.
posted by tcobretti at 7:50 PM on April 3, 2005


Fonda, Clinton, Eva Peron...
posted by NickDouglas at 7:52 PM on April 3, 2005


On preview, what Miko said.

I thought actors hurting the feelings of our soldiers' fragile egos was a recent phenomenon. This is not a dig at the soldiers, but the pundits who seem so concerened about what some recumbent-riding hippie says does to morale instead of the much more severe institutional problems and neglect within the military and VA.

My dad's also a Vietnam Vet and couldn't care less about what she did, said, or wrote about it in her most recent book.

Sean Penn could call me a dog fucker tomorrow and I wouldn't care. Actors' opinions aren't any more important than yours. (and yours aren't important at all, if you were wondering)
posted by BigFatWhale at 7:54 PM on April 3, 2005


Y'know what though? My father was in Vietnam. I've been close with several other vets. They've harbored some righteous anger at her over the years. But, you know what, maybe it's time we let the whole thing die.

Which was kind of my point. That in the last two presidential campaigns the actions of someone who actually served bravely were dragged through the mud after another man who was a POW was accused of being unpatriotic, the idea that some stupid picture a nearly-forgotten-by-now actress had taken of herself thirty years ago is what's still on everyone's mind seems almost ludicrous, measured only in absurdity by the concept that after all these years people are still angry at her.

Or, on preview, what Miko said.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:54 PM on April 3, 2005


And when the HELL did you get here, Brian? ;)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:55 PM on April 3, 2005


*sigh*

I don't think that the torch of anger at her is worth carrying at this point either, Miko, but I understand where it comes from.
posted by jonmc at 7:56 PM on April 3, 2005


But, hey, you felt the need to roll your eyes at a sentiment nobody displayed.
posted by jonmc at 7:57 PM on April 3, 2005


So Jane Fonda, she's still alive? Who would have known? Thanks, orthogonality, for reminding everyone about her! I had no idea she was a hottie and a patriot. I wonder, was she ever married to anyone interesting?
posted by Nelson at 7:58 PM on April 3, 2005


I think Mark Twain should get his own fucking blog.
posted by AlexReynolds at 7:59 PM on April 3, 2005


ok ... we lost the war ... now will everybody please get over it? ... the years i spent under the shadow of this were bad enough ... i'm sick and tired of people fighting about it - it was settled a long time ago whether we agree with the outcome or not

this obsession some have with past wars wasn't healthy for the weimar republic and it's not healthy for us ... i still find it utterly unbelievable that this became a campaign issue last year ... it was proof to me that a lot of people just aren't dealing with reality
posted by pyramid termite at 8:11 PM on April 3, 2005


Jane Fonda just wrote a book. Pass it on.
posted by airguitar at 8:21 PM on April 3, 2005


It would have been a lot nicer to discuss the Vietnam war if Fonda had not been made the centerpiece of the discussion.

I just watched The Fog of War the other day, and even McNamara said he made a mistake in thinking the Vietnamese would ever allow themselves to be a colony of China.

Why couldn't we have discussed that instead of Jane Fonda? Sure, she's important to 20th century culture because of her Aerobic tapes and because she dated Ted Turner. But her trip to Vietnam mattered as little then as it would now if Jessica Biel or Paris Hilton went to Afganistan and endorsed Al-Qaeda.


She was a two bit starlet who had done some soft porn. Why would anyone care if she went Vietnam or not?

Overheard in a Rice Patty in Vietman, 1969. "Hey, Bubba, that there chick who showed her boobies in Barbarella done went to see the Communist. I think I'm gonna put down my weapon and surrender."

Bubba, "Not me, I'm gonna shoot myself in the foot and go back home and run for the Alabama state senate as a communist."
posted by nyxxxx at 8:30 PM on April 3, 2005


pyramid termite writes "this obsession some have with past wars wasn't healthy for the weimar republic"

So- life is disappointing? Forget it! We have no troubles here! Here life is beautiful... Come to the cabaret old chum, come to the cabaret!

Just join the Party! (You know, that new Party, the one all the Bavarians are Putsching about! The National Socialist German Worker's Party, the NSDAP!)
posted by orthogonality at 8:30 PM on April 3, 2005


Yeah, it was a serious lapse in judgment, but I just can't bring myself to really care.

I'm with Slothrup, for better or worse. Fonda's admitted she was wrong, and I wouldn't doubt by this point it's water under the bridge for many vets, too. But I appreciate the links, especially the bit on Ezra Pound:

To his listeners, Pound urged this much: "Don't die like a beast. If you are dead set to be sunk in the mid-Atlantic or Pacific or scorched in the desert, at least know why it is done to you. To die not knowing why is to die like an animal . . . To die like a human being you have at least got to know why it is done to you."(63)

Pound's graphic words could well be a warning to modern-day Americans in this age when American soldiers are being asked to fight and die in endless brush-fire wars around the globe--wars that enrich their real enemies--the very plutocrats Pound so fiercely condemned.

posted by dhoyt at 8:40 PM on April 3, 2005


Orthoganality, why the focus on Fonda? And why the list with several non-traitors like Tokyo Rose (the FBI page on her is nonsense and self-servingly incomplete)

I'm not clear what your point is dragging all these different people into your list. Perhaps you could clarify. Is this post's topic about Fonda or something else?

But the Tokyo Rose case is exactly the opposite of what your link claims to be the facts.
posted by warbaby at 8:53 PM on April 3, 2005


you know, orthogonality, it's getting harder to tell the difference between sarcasm and prophecy these days

i'm not criticizing your post here ... but i think jane just should have let things lie ... as some others should

it's not like we don't have our own wars to argue about
posted by pyramid termite at 8:55 PM on April 3, 2005


Fonda's 1972 photo-op was a (vapid) gesture of solidarity with a nation that was in fact defending itself from imperialist invasion. My love and respect for my uncles and neighbors who fought in that misguided war doesn't change the fact that it was wrong. We killed over 3 million Vietnamese men, women, and children during that war, THREE MILLION, many of them dying horrible deaths. The US had no right to send troops there, and to stage this genocide in the name of anti-communism; the Vietnamese people had every right to defend themselves.
posted by squirrel at 8:56 PM on April 3, 2005


BTW, feel free to call me Hanoi squirrel all you like; won't hurt my feelings a bit. I live in Hanoi.
posted by squirrel at 8:58 PM on April 3, 2005


warbaby writes "But the Tokyo Rose case is exactly the opposite of what your link claims to be the facts."

Whaaaa? The FBI is wrong? I bet that would bug Martin Luther King, and just kill Fred Hampton.

"But the Tokyo Rose case is exactly the opposite of what your link claims to be the facts."

If so, thanks for giving us your ink to a different view.


The focus is on Fonda because her recantation is news. I'm surprised you singled out Tokyo Rose rather than the more obvious Marlene Dietrich, but the point is that all of the persons I listed would be considered traitors by some, and by others as heroes who betrayed their governments in order to remain loyal to something higher than government.

The case of Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski is particularly difficult, as his treason made his Polish homeland more vulnerable to nuclear attack, but may also have hastened Poland's freedom from Soviet domination. Even today, his case still divides Poles. (You might say on Kuklinski, Poles are poles apart. Ahem.)

(The case of Poland's Communist leader General Wojciech Jaruzelski is even more problematic: did he shoot protesters in 1970 and crack down on the Solidarity movement in the 1980s to safeguard Soviet dominance over Poland or to save Poland from greater Soviet domination? I however didn't include him because he was could not, in a technical legal sense, be said to be a traitor.)

And what of Colonel (United States Army) Robert E. Lee? After the Civil War, some in the North argued he should be hanged for treason. But if Lee was a traitor, what was Patrick Henry, except more fortunately on the winning side?

Mordecai Vanunu betrayed Israel's nuclear secrets -- in hopes of preventing nuclear conflict. Hero or traitor? But before you answer, that was the justification of Kalus Fuchs and the Rosenbergs and, to a lesser extent, Kim Philby -- but they revealed secrets not the world at large but to Stalin.

And what of Penkovsky? Traitor to the Soviet Motherland, or hero who understood Stalin's evil?

Dante calls Marcus Brutus a traitor and consigns him to the deepest circle of Hell, right next to Judas Iscariot, for his killing Caesar and touching off civil war in Rome. But Caesar destroyed the Republic and began the dictatorship. should free men revere or revile, praise or bury, Brutus?

What I'd like to see is where Mefites draw that line, where that's a bright line and where it's harder to distinguish the traitor from the hero.
posted by orthogonality at 9:15 PM on April 3, 2005


I'm just amazed that people still care about that stuff after 35 years. What's the statute of limitations on holding grudges? I guess since Lindsay Graham recently said that they still don't like Abraham Lincoln in South Carolina that it's 140 years for sure. I guess the whole Fonda-bashing to me sounds more like political posturing these days by a few as opposed to great widespread hatred of the woman. I don't see how anyone could hate a person with a spaceship that has shag carpet on the walls.

On preview: I should never have to scroll down an entire page to read one comment.
posted by Arch Stanton at 9:21 PM on April 3, 2005


Ah. My point about Tokyo Rose is that nobody can rightfully regard her as a traitor. She was pardoned because she was not guilty.

Frankly, I didn't get your point about Dietrich. And maybe I still don't. There were a lot of anti-fascist refugees who fought with the Allies. There's no deception or betrayal in that. If Dietrich, then why not Fritz Lang? A more interesting case because his wife and partner Thea Von Harbou stayed to work with the Nazis when he fled. Or how about William Gibson? Went to Canada to avoid the draft.

Treason, like criminal libel, conspiracy or sedition, is a political crime. It's more about who's prosecuting than who's getting prosecuted.

It's a big soggy mess and there are few bright lines when the action is open and public. When there's deception, it gets a little more interesting and complex.
posted by warbaby at 9:50 PM on April 3, 2005


We'll all be better off when we realize that celebrities are no better or worse in their opinions than anyone else, and thus, there is no reason whatsoever to care what they think.
posted by nightchrome at 10:05 PM on April 3, 2005


When I think about Fonda's stunt back in the '70s, I'm reminded of all my idiot college friends who voted for Nader back in 2000. If nothing else, it's a reminder that extreme leftist radicals haven't gotten any smarter or any less self-defeating over the last quarter century. Not that I would expect them to or anything.
posted by afroblanca at 10:12 PM on April 3, 2005


nd what of Colonel (United States Army) Robert E. Lee?

Why stop at the civil war, really? Weren't the founding fathers who founded and led the Continental Army not traitors to their then-King?
posted by clevershark at 10:51 PM on April 3, 2005


Before the Civil War, many people considered themselves citizens of their states more than they considered themselves American citizens, and Lee probably would have considered fighting against Virginia more treasonous than fighting against the United States. As Lee wrote to his sister in April 1861:
With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home. I have therefore resigned my commission in the Army, and save in defense of my native State, with the sincere hope that my poor services may never be needed, I hope I may never be called on to draw my sword.
Ken Burns discusses this in an interview about his Civil War series:
Before the war, in speaking about our country, we said, "The United States are" — plural. We saw ourselves as a union, a stitched-together collection of states, a "many" thing. After the war — though we ended slavery, we didn’t really end the question of race that has bedeviled and ennobled our struggle — we then began to talk about America as a "one" thing, as a nation. And we began to say something that is still to this day ungrammatical; we say, "The United States is." And that is ungrammatical. It would be like saying, "These shoes is."

And we say it without thinking about it because something happened in those four years between 1861 and 1865 that, for whatever reasons and for whatever consequences issued from it, formed this country in a way that not even the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution did. And so, in the end, the story of The Civil War is the story of the change of a simple verb from a plural to a singular.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:13 PM on April 3, 2005


and there is a cult of hatred devoted to Jane Fonda that you probly wouldn't believe. The only person who comes close to inspiring such frothing disgust in Hillary Clinton. Mention Jane Fonda in a room full of military and they will start cursing her name without hesitation (not unlike their reaction to Hillary).

comedy gold, thanks for that.

it is quite interesting that Fonda = Clinton for those boys, one wonders why. me, I'd probably be a little angrier at, say, Donald Rumsfeld who sent my brothers and sisters to slaughter under-equipped and then told us to stfu.
but I guess it's easier -- in a talk-radio listener way, of course -- to hate a washed-up actress who did something very dumb 40 years ago and the wife of a former President who has waged war with a little less recklessness (and with a little mor evidence against the attacked) than the current occupant of the White House.

Bbecause, frankly, no rational right-winger -- if such a creature still exists in America, which I doubt -- can build the actual argument that Hillary's voting record as a Senator makes her a traitor.

I suspect the Hillary haters just listened to a lot of Rush Limbaugh during the mid-Nineties, but then to each his own.
posted by matteo at 11:26 PM on April 3, 2005


Maybe I need to squint more but I don't get what the point is of the post. Jane Fonda sat on the enemy's gun? Was this yesterday? Or thirty years ago?

Who gives a shit? Seriously.
posted by fenriq at 11:27 PM on April 3, 2005


"extreme leftist radicals" like... Ralph Nader...

I just wanted to see that in print again. I guess in the Brave New America, Nader, with his incendiary agenda, is the new Che. Thanks for the chuckle, afroblanca.
posted by squirrel at 12:51 AM on April 4, 2005


I guess in the Brave New America, Nader, with his incendiary agenda, is the new Che.

I suppose it's all relative. However, you totally failed to address my point. Nader and the 1970's Jane Fonda are alike in that they were probably well-intentioned, however their total obliviousness to common sense made them most destructive to the very people they were trying to help.

The same, I would say, is doubly true for the people who are nuttier and even more extreme than Nader and the 70's Fonda.
posted by afroblanca at 1:42 AM on April 4, 2005


I got your point about well-intentioned destructiveness, afroblanca, and I pretty much agree with it. Still, I don't think it was Nader's radical, extreme left lean that shut him out of the election. I would mount an argument that he was more fit to be president than Gore or Bush precisely because he's more moderate than either of them, but that doesn't seem to be the point of this thread.

*psst... what's the point of this thread again?*
posted by squirrel at 2:05 AM on April 4, 2005


Visits to Hanoi made by persons such as Jane Fonda, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and various church ministers "gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses." Mr. Tin surmised that "America lost because of its democracy; through dissent and protest it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win." Mr. Tin further advised that General Vo Nguyen Giap (Commanding General of the North Vietnam Army) said the 1968 Tet Offensive was a defeat.

Obviously we, as a country, need to nip this whole 'democracy' thing in the bud if we plan on winning any more wars.
posted by Josh Zhixel at 2:09 AM on April 4, 2005



posted by squirrel at 3:06 AM on April 4, 2005


You know what Squirrel- that's d#mn funny. Even if it is kinda at my expense.

D#mn funny.
posted by afroblanca at 4:40 AM on April 4, 2005


I now officially have too much time on my hands.
posted by squirrel at 5:47 AM on April 4, 2005


I was in the Army during that era (I enlisted in order to be able to choose a specialty thereby avoiding, hopefully, becoming another infantry grunt), and missed going to Viet Nam by the skin of my teeth.

Back then, and now, I believed that Fonda served a purpose through her stance on the war. If her actions contributed to my not having to go to 'Nam because we finally ended that mess before the army needed another medic over there, then I owe her a thank you, as do my wife and son.

It is too bad that she apologized, I would have had more respect if she continued to stand by her beliefs.

damn...i'm getting old!
posted by HuronBob at 6:03 AM on April 4, 2005


What's the statute of limitations on holding grudges?

I'm still pissed off about the death of Socrates.
posted by anapestic at 6:41 AM on April 4, 2005


Well, he was a nosy fucker, always asking questions.
posted by jonmc at 6:53 AM on April 4, 2005


The gross part is that she seems to be recanting her position and behavior then just to sell her book now. IMHO, of course. If you're going to take a stand, take a stand. Don't back down. It just makes you look stupid, and that's what I think she looks--stupid.
posted by cass at 7:20 AM on April 4, 2005


The only person who comes close to inspiring such frothing disgust in Hillary Clinton.

Could someone please explain the Hillary hatred for me? I mean, I know how people like Limbaugh live to stoke that kind of hatred, but why not make, say, Ted Kennedy your Goldstein? And even after they targetted Hillary, why did it stick so well? I can see why the right would hate any democratic figure, but...why so much hatred, and why her?
posted by PlusDistance at 7:20 AM on April 4, 2005


I don't get the Hillary hatred either. I've asked my Republican friends to explain it to me many times.

Jane may have sat in an anti-aircraft gun seat (dumb), but her point about Vietnam history was a good one. McNamara also said in hindsight that a big reason for the war was historical misunderstanding of the Vietnamese, who had been fighting China for a long, long time.
posted by xammerboy at 7:27 AM on April 4, 2005


"I'm reminded of all my idiot college friends who voted for Nader back in 2000."

afroblanca.... and, why did you choose friends that were "idiots"??? Did they know you thought they were idiots? Once you determined they were idiots were they still your friends?

Or, am I misreading this, did you mean you attended an "idiot college" and had friends there...
posted by HuronBob at 7:27 AM on April 4, 2005


If you're going to take a stand, take a stand. Don't back down.

I dunno. I reckon that a person might occasionally change her mind after 30 years or so. She has always struck me as sincere, even when I've found her overly strident. I don't think she really needs the book sales. She may need the attention, since she's been out of the spotlight for a long time, but my take on it is that she's just changed her mind.
posted by anapestic at 7:44 AM on April 4, 2005


It just makes you look stupid, and that's what I think she looks--stupid.
Form everything I've seen or read of her, she is stupid. I think that's why conservatives like drag out that Hanoi Jane thing and associate Kerry or any other "liberal" with people like Fonda. Her vacuousness is hard to defend so you automatically become guilty (stupid liberal) by association.
posted by a_day_late at 7:50 AM on April 4, 2005


and, why did you choose friends that were "idiots"???

Generally, I only thought they were idiots when they were talking about politics. It seems almost unbelievable in retrospect that leftists would be giving me a hard time for voting Gore, but I swear that's how it went down.

What can I say? They chose the guy who promised them a pony, as opposed to the guy who said, "Mommy and I can't afford a pony, how about a cat?"
posted by afroblanca at 7:51 AM on April 4, 2005


I don't get the Hillary hatred either.

it's an article of faith, there is no need for rational thought.
but I guess that it's because, you know, 12 years ago she wanted to give America some sort of public health care system like in the rest of the industrialized world and that's communism. Limbaugh, between freebase hits, also mentions the fact that she's a hypocrite -- unlike, say, himself, or Tom DeLay or most of the other politicians in DC.
posted by matteo at 7:59 AM on April 4, 2005


A lot of the Hillary hatred is because she's a double Xer.
posted by ScaryShrink at 8:01 AM on April 4, 2005


Orthogonality, I think it's time for me to truly and deeply say, fuck off. You're trying too hard, and asking us all to work for your resplendent ideals.

Nicely argued, you charmless prick.
posted by Decani at 8:13 AM on April 4, 2005


The picture of Donald Rumsfeld shaking Saddam's hand after just agreeing to supply yet more arms to a man then known as a killer of his own people with said arms shows a real traitor in action.
Rumsfeld - sell out anyone, have anyone killed for a few bucks.
posted by nofundy at 8:14 AM on April 4, 2005


it's an article of faith, there is no need for rational thoughy

I understand that, but why her? It's not like she's our most virulent lib'rul. Again, why not Ted Kennedy? Or the "obstructionist" Tom Daschle? Why not make hating them the primary "article of faith"?

A lot of the Hillary hatred is because she's a double Xer.

Can you explain?
posted by PlusDistance at 8:54 AM on April 4, 2005


i think a lot of hillary haters think she should have been a "domestic" type first lady instead of someone who actually had a political power of her own ... that, and she's married to someone they despise

lately, the right's realized that bill-bashing is living in the past ... so they've just transferred that feeling to his wife

plusdistance - a double Xer would be a woman
posted by pyramid termite at 9:02 AM on April 4, 2005


i forgot ... she's also perceived by many as the most likely democratic presidential candidate in '08 ... that's enough reason for some people to hate her right there
posted by pyramid termite at 9:05 AM on April 4, 2005


I understand that, but why her? It's not like she's our most virulent lib'rul. Again, why not Ted Kennedy? Or the "obstructionist" Tom Daschle? Why not make hating them the primary "article of faith"?
She is presidential candidate material and is an excellent, easily identifiable figure as someone guilty by association to the Clinton presidency, and all the problems it brought us: balanced budgets, good economy, allies that didn't want us all dead, etc. You know, all the things that make living in America suck. Daschle, well they dealt with him pretty good. Kennedy is senator from MA for life, so why bother? It makes sense.

On preview, mostly what Pyramid said.
posted by a_day_late at 9:13 AM on April 4, 2005


I understand that, but why her? It's not like she's our most virulent lib'rul. Again, why not Ted Kennedy?

Picking on Teddy would just be too easy.
posted by jonmc at 9:25 AM on April 4, 2005


I've always found Jane Fonda's trip to North Viet Nam to be an interesting turning point. There is a sincere, but often naive desire for the public to participate in diplomacy, not just in Viet Nam, but also in Stalinist Russia, Hitler's Germany and many other places. Many people found their careers ruined by their own well-meaning naivete. Jane Fonda did not.

I've always thought that Fonda got over her head, overwhelmed by the fashion as well as the passion of the anti-war movement. Personally, I'm interested in her point of view.

I think forgiveness is usually a good thing, particularly when a generation continues to be divided by a cultural war, but my family didn't lose anybody to the war. Good post.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 9:45 AM on April 4, 2005


Oops, I mean there is an interesting desire for the public in Western democracies.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 9:46 AM on April 4, 2005


You can discuss Jane Fonda going to Hanoi, or you can discuss her recanting after these many years, or you can discuss the larger issue of what makes an act treasonous. The post is what you bring to it.

Actually, technically speaking, I think the post is what you bring to it. What with it being your post, and everything. I'm fairly sure that's the point of posting, or something. But hey, maybe I've got it all screwy.


Anyway, I've been trying to grow an image of Jane Fonda in watercress in my fireplace. But it just won't take. A horticulturalist friend of mine suggested using strong alcoholic drinks to fertilise it - but I've tried Pernod, Sambuca and Tequila, all with no effect. If anybody has any pithy words of advice regarding using an alcoholic beverage to cultivate a picture of Jane Fonda in my fireplace, I sure would appreciate it!
posted by flashboy at 9:49 AM on April 4, 2005


Picking on Teddy would just be too easy.

not to mention, even the Neanderthals realized that after 20 or 25 years the Chappaquiddick jokes had gotten stale and nobody gave a fuck about poor Teddy anyway

anyway, re Fonda in Vietnam: thread here
posted by matteo at 9:50 AM on April 4, 2005


If you don't understand why many people on the right hate Hillary Clinton you don't understand the right.

For them, she is the very personification of the Ivy League, know-it-all, post-Christian-moral-relativist elite that they despise.

Moreover, women who are (or think of themselves) as traditional wives and mothers, and men who value women taking that role, really can't stand her. Her anti-cookie-baking comments, her post-election-day reassertion of her maiden name, her prominent policy role early on in the Clinton Administration, and, most importantly, reacting to Bill's infidelity not with the outrage of a scorned faithful wife but with the amused tolerance of someone who long since disregarded the importance of her vows.

I should say though, that anti-Hillary sentiment has flagged quite a bit in the last few years, as she's put together a relatively moderate voting record. There's also an important tactical concern: smart Republicans know that it is utterly impossible for her to be elected President; faking tolerance for her now might fool Democrats (who are easily fooled on the subject of electability, cf. Kerry) into giving her the nomination, after which point, the hammer can be dropped on her hard.
posted by MattD at 9:54 AM on April 4, 2005


From someone who voted for Nader in 2000, (when I "threw my vote away" for him), I can tell you that the best reason NOT to vote for him is...

No one asked him to run. No real grassroots base.

He and his ego just decided it would be the best thing for everyone.

And the best reason to vote for him?

We'll never get beyond a two party system if everyone votes for the two parties. With a third party, maybe real issues will be discussed realistically, instead of the disingenious arguments aboud today.

I wanted to vote for Badnarik in the last election, but knew my vote was too important to be wasted on idealism.
posted by Balisong at 9:55 AM on April 4, 2005


meta
posted by delmoi at 9:55 AM on April 4, 2005


the very personification of the Ivy League, know-it-all, post-Christian-moral-relativist elite that they despise.

translation from rightwinger's code: "she's smarter than I am and uses multisyllabic words: I hate her". she is so elitist that her daddy was a US President and her grandaddy was a US Senator, did you know that? damn elite.

women who are (or think of themselves) as traditional wives and mothers, and men who value women taking that role, really can't stand her

translation from rightwinger's code: "she won't shut up and go to the kitchen. she obviously makes more money than I do. I hate her"

who are easily fooled on the subject of electability, cf. Kerry

I know that on FoxNews it looked like a landslide, but it was 51-49. you're mistaking 2004 with 1972 or 1984. Kerry 2004 was as electable as, say, Bush in 2000.


post-Christian

because, as we all know, Christian religion is deeply embedded in the Founding Fathers' plan for their interesting invention, the United States of America. after all, the "under God" clause and the "In God We Trust" sign on the dollar were implemented by the Founding Fathers themselves no later than the 1950's.

*snicker*

but I agree that if by post-Christian you mean that an awful lot of Buddhist, Hindu and -- Allah forbid -- Muslim immigrants live in America now, then you're right. America is less Christian and less white. a painful fact of life for some people, I understand.
posted by matteo at 11:15 AM on April 4, 2005


I wanted to vote for Badnarik in the last election, but knew my vote was too important to be wasted on idealism.

And thus we are back to my original point - 70's Fonda and Nader are alike in their eschewing of practicality in favor of self-destructive idealism. You obviously are taking a different tack, and for that, I salute you.

In regards to a viable third party, I honestly don't think we're going to see one unless there is a massive change in this country in favor of proportional representation.

However, the people who may be drawn to third parties can make a huge difference in an election. We saw this in 2000 , but I'm not counting out the possibility that the "spoiler effect" may some day work in our favor. After all, there are a lot of Libertarian-minded Republicans who are upset about the direction their party has taken as of late.

Unfortunately, the Right in this country knows when to put their differences aside and stick together when it counts - a lesson that the Left still has yet to learn.
posted by afroblanca at 11:30 AM on April 4, 2005


matteo, MattD: are you sure that you two weren't separated at birth? Because both of you seem to like reducing entire worldviews to absurd oversimplifications.

And if either one of you answers with some variant of "he started it!" or "they do it, too!" the no TV for a week.
posted by jonmc at 11:30 AM on April 4, 2005


I don't get the Hillary hatred either.

You know, I voted for her, and generally agree with her policies, but I do not find it baffling at all that people should not like her. She does not seem authentically filled with passion, and she's a lousy public speaker. She has an irritating voice and she speaks in cliches... it would be idiocy to put her on the prez bill. Maybe chelsea will inherit some of the charm half of the family, and have a chance someday... but hillary comes across like a basically competent professional, not like a real fighter for the people or something.

I'd really like the first woman prez to be a democrat, but I don't want it to be hillary. She's only got as far as she has because she was married to the president. That's a pretty lame resume item.
posted by mdn at 11:50 AM on April 4, 2005


Jonmc, don't confuse reporter with advocate. Just because I understand the cultural right doesn't mean I buy into (all of) their views, particularly when it comes to Hillary.

However, it is certainly convenient that Mateo chimed in to demonstrate, as I never could by description, my point about how the left misunderstands the right. I like in particular how he "translates" into some Dworkin style screed about opression the pride and self-esteem of Christian stay-at-home moms and their husbands, who naturallly reacted against Hillary's evident disdain for the lives they've chosen.

That's not the life my wife and I have chosen, to be sure, so I really don't have a dog in that fight, except to appreciate how helpful the left's ignorance is at maintaining a narrow right-wing majority.

As for my views of Hillary, I'm not complaining. She's about as right wing a Senator as New York can hope for, so that's a count in her favor. The likelihood of her nomination for President and the inevitability of her defeat if nominated, well, that's another thing to cheer for, too!
posted by MattD at 11:55 AM on April 4, 2005


However, it is certainly convenient that Mateo chimed in to demonstrate, as I never could by description, my point about how the left misunderstands the right.

Somewhat accurate, but then you follow it by comparing matteo to Andrea Dworkin, well known nutcake, demonstrating your own misunderstanding.
posted by jonmc at 12:02 PM on April 4, 2005


matteo, MattD: are you sure that you two weren't separated at birth? Because both of you seem to like reducing entire worldviews to absurd oversimplifications.

That's metafilter, they're just two of the best. Left good, right bad. Clinton 8 years perfect, did nothing wrong. Bush ruined the world.

Simplification (from someone calling others neanderthals).
posted by justgary at 12:18 PM on April 4, 2005


That's metafilter, they're just two of the best. Left good, right bad.

actually, MattD's usually arguing the opposite of that, but usually in the same style.
posted by jonmc at 12:34 PM on April 4, 2005


The Clinton administration was an old-style bunch of politi-crooks deeply embroiled in the local politics and shenanigans of Arkansas.

The Bush administration is more like a cabal of cartoonishly malevolent supervillains, bent on the destruction of all that is good and right in the world.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:46 PM on April 4, 2005


> Who's Jane Fonda? Was she that chick in Barbarella? She was hot.

She was this outstandingly dumb beeyotch from away back in the day who proved everything anybody ever said about her by marrying Ted Turner. Intellectual twin of Patty Hurst. It isn't fair to hold things such people do or say against them; Jane just really really really needed a keeper. Nice hooters, though, as you say.
posted by jfuller at 6:23 PM on April 4, 2005


Misogyny: the new liberalism. ;^)
posted by squirrel at 1:26 AM on April 5, 2005


i am one of afroblanca's apparently idiot college friends that voted nader...seemed like a great idea at the time. Even in hindsight, i have to say that me voting for nader didn't automagically mean Bush "won*"

Instant Runoff voting and proportional representation are two ideas that would vastly improve our democracy**...

*c'mon you all know what this asterisk means right?

**Warning: rapidly approaching theocracy

Afroblanca: I had no idea i was an idiot, why didn't you tell me? /jk
posted by schyler523 at 5:39 PM on April 5, 2005


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