Democrats or Mudcats?
September 25, 2003 9:04 PM   Subscribe

Ted Rall has a theory as to why some people hate George W. Bush. Some of us got beyond the hate and just plan to support Frickles the Mudcat in 2004. A Frickles regine benefits you!
posted by clango (38 comments total)
posted by Jimbob at 9:08 PM on September 25, 2003

Hooray for typos!
posted by clango at 9:25 PM on September 25, 2003

I put up with his claptrap until he got to the old "Bush stole the election" plum. Sorry, guys... he won a very close election on a technicality. It sucks, as do the methods *both* sides used to try to sway things there way. But, as most studies have shown, even had the votes all been counted, it would have turned out the same way.

Continuing to hold onto the "Hail to the Thief" meme this much later is just pathetic.
posted by jammer at 9:31 PM on September 25, 2003

No, it's responsible citizenship. Forget the past at your peril.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:39 PM on September 25, 2003

The New Republic has an interesting debate going between Jonthan Chait and Ramesh Ponnuru on this very issue. A good read.
posted by gwint at 9:48 PM on September 25, 2003

I think that it's possible, if someone felt inclined, to simply cut and paste comments from the past month of Bush-bashing threads and fill this thread with the same drivel. Anyone up for the challenge?

There is absolutely, absolutely nothing in the front page post that's new to this website. It's tired.
posted by BlueTrain at 9:49 PM on September 25, 2003

Ted Rall can eat a cock.

I don't hate bush because he 'stole' the election. That's ridiculous, the conditions in Florida where horrible and the margins were so close it didn't matter. Anyway, this thing is decided by the electoral collage, anyway.


I hate bush because I live in america, and he's leading this country straight to hell.
posted by delmoi at 9:49 PM on September 25, 2003

I don't hate him. heck, I don't even know him. I just think he's #1 bad-president man.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:55 PM on September 25, 2003

No, it's responsible citizenship. Forget the past at your peril.

Fine, remember and learn from the past. Push for election reforms. But don't hold an illogical grudge for years just because your man didn't win. (Mine didn't either, but I'm used to that.)
posted by jammer at 10:10 PM on September 25, 2003

Look, the problem is clearly with having a president. I think someone needs to start an American Royal Family and crown a ruling monarch. You don't see us folk over in the British Commonwealth taking swings at Liz Windsor, do you?
posted by Jimbob at 10:16 PM on September 25, 2003

Anyone up for the challenge?

I would, but my intern is due to suck me off in a few minutes.
posted by trondant at 10:17 PM on September 25, 2003

posted by majcher at 10:39 PM on September 25, 2003

Though I certainly count myself among those who considers this America-II and the current regime an interregnum -- Bush might have been bearable had he stuck to his promise to work together and unite the country. (And he had such a golden opportunity after 9/11). Instead, with few exceptions he installed and nominated some of the most odious polemicists he could find, pursued ultra-partisan policies guaranteed to divide the country, squandered a surplus of money and international goodwill, ignored the excesses of his corporate pals, and led us into an ill-conceived war. I hate Bush because he acts like he won a mandate from the people with a zillion votes, instead of being gifted the presidency by a corrupt SCOTUS, led by a slimey twit sniffing for a CJ nomination. Bush has no legitimacy.
posted by RavinDave at 10:44 PM on September 25, 2003

You don't see us folk over in the British Commonwealth taking swings at Liz Windsor, do you?

I think of this as the theme of all conflicts in British culture.

It is true that the US doesn't have some explicit symbol that represents the nation as a whole without itself being political, like a ceremonial head of state. Perhaps the country would be better off if people could easily accuse others of 'draping themselves in the flag' or 'cornering the market on patriotism' or 'questioning other's loyalty' (all post-9/11 flashbacks) But, then again, this isn't a panacea—the queen of England is the head of a majority church, a hereditary aristocrat and the largest landowner in the UK. You might say that the supposedly nonpolitical order is overexposed.
posted by ~rschram at 10:47 PM on September 25, 2003

Bush has no legitimacy.

Some people skid further on inertia than others; throughout history, it has taken some longer to realize when something was gone, over, finished. But all facades eventually crumble: truth will out.
posted by rushmc at 10:56 PM on September 25, 2003

The thing that hit me, above everything else, was that he accuses Bush of stealing the election and says that the US enjoyed "200 years of uninterrupted democracy" before the 2000 election.


Note that in the former, the backlash from it was likely a major contributor to Jackson's win in the 1828 election.
posted by synecdoche at 12:12 AM on September 26, 2003

I was following along with Rall right up until the part about stealing the election. Yes, it was a technicality. Yes, they sorta cheated (Jeb Bush). But that's how the game is played on both sides like it or not.

The first two thirds of the article however, are NOT how the game is played.
posted by Ryvar at 12:12 AM on September 26, 2003

Yeah I wasn't terribly serious with the royal family comment, rscham, but I do think it's nice living in a system where the head of state is essentially apolitical. When the head of state is elected, you can assume 50% of the population are going to be behind them and 50% are going to wish someone else was in charge. And they are in charge, when they are also head of the millitary and head of the government. And where there is no "anti-president" to challenge them on their decisions.

I regret that Australia isn't a republic. But I think having a head of state who's on the other side of the world, a representative head of state who cuts ribbons and toasts the troops, and a prime minister who can be challenged by the leader of the opposition as part of the political process, tends to work reasonably well. I've never seen anyone be accused of being unpatriotic for laying shit on the Prime Minister, and only once in Australian history has the person acting as the head of state caused any political division.
posted by Jimbob at 2:08 AM on September 26, 2003

" most studies have shown, even had the votes all been counted, it would have turned out the same way." (jammer)

"Yes, they sorta cheated (Jeb Bush). But that's how the game is played on both sides like it or not." (ryvar)

ryvar - I guess, in your lexicon, to smash someone in the head with a hammer would be a "love tap".

synecdoche, ryvar, jammer - Are you unaware of the fact that the state of Florida admitted (in court and under the legal pressure of a lawsuit by the NAACP) that it had illegally purged voters from the Florida voting rolls? Or that Florida seems to have specifically targeted black voters to purge because they vote reliably democratic? [ These voters remained illegally purged through to the 2002 election, by the way. The legal redress won by the NAACP ordered a redress for '04 ]

I'm not sure what the "most studies" mentioned in the quote above refer to, but Greg Palast has covered the story of the apparent widespread vote fraud in Florida in considerable depth. If you need to rush up on the facts, go to, and you can read a summary of the illegal methods used by Florida state officials to tip the 2000 election in Florida here

Besides the 90,000 or so voters illegally purged grom Florida's Voting rolls ( the company Florida had carry out the purge was instructed to match for race, by the way ), Greg Palast details other sleazy methods used to disenfranchise Florida's black voters:

"The biggest wholesale theft occurred inside the voting booths in black rural counties. In Gadsden County, one of the blackest in the state, thousands of votes were simply thrown away. Gadsden used paper ballots which are read by an optical reader. Ballots with a single extra mark were considered “spoiled“ and not counted. The buttons used to fill out the ballots were set up – with approval from Bush and Harris – to make votes appear unclear to the machine. One in eight ballots in Gadsden was voided by the state.

The same ballots were used in Tallahassee County, which is mostly white. There only one in 100 votes was “spoiled.” What made the difference? In Tallahassee, ballots were read on the premises, and if they were marked incorrectly, voters were sent to revote until they got it right. In the black counties, the votes were trucked off immediately. There were no machines on site. Voters weren’t told that their votes were spoiled, and they certainly weren’t permitted to re-vote.

When Ted Koppel investigated voter theft in Florida, he concluded that blacks lost votes because they weren’t well educated, and made mistakes that whites hadn‘t. He didn’t even bother to ask how the machines were set up. This is the kind of reporting we get in America."

This is one of the reasons the NAACP sued the State of Florida.

Democracy? Bullshit. These tactics are Jim Crow and Fascist, and viciously antidemocratic.

The margins in the Florida 2000 election would not have been close at all had it not been for some rather blatant vote fraud by Kathleen Harris and others. It is telling that Jeb Bush, prior to the 2000 election, promised to deliver Florida's electoral votes for his brother.

Diebold's CEO - trying to convince Ohio to buy it's "no password come one, come all, and alter our database" electronic voting systems - has recently promised to deliver Ohio's electoral votes in 2004. Hmmmmm.

Here is why I dislike George W. Bush - I think that he is implicitly contemptuous of Democracy, that he feels like he deserves to be president regardless of the actual intent of the voters.
posted by troutfishing at 3:39 AM on September 26, 2003

Ted Rall can eat a cock.

Well I can fist my fist in my mouth but you don't see me bragging about something off-topic like that.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:55 AM on September 26, 2003

All I ask is some evidence of a fundamental respect for the dignity of people. And I don't think George W. Bush has that respect. (from stav's link)

that's it, in a nutshell--from the voters in Florida through "bring it on!" to the millions of lost jobs.
posted by amberglow at 5:21 AM on September 26, 2003

"Continuing to hold onto the "Hail to the Thief" meme this much later is just pathetic."

Yeah, that democracy thing is sooo outdated.
posted by spazzm at 5:46 AM on September 26, 2003

Ted Rall is doing more to damage the public's perception of the Left than anyone I can think of in recent history. Rall's mouth-foaming rage all stems from his father's decision not to pay for his college education (a point that Rall makes in several interviews), and he chooses to deal with that pain by lashing out at anyone who happens to stray into his crosshairs.

Remember his Terror Widows comic? That was a laugh riot, ridiculing the women who lost their husbands in the 9/11 attacks, let me tell you. A real knee-slapper.

I've got a cream-pie contract out on Rall. I'll personally give $100 to anyone who pastes this punk in the face with a pie.
posted by DWRoelands at 6:27 AM on September 26, 2003

"But, as most studies have shown, even had the votes all been counted, it would have turned out the same way."

Actually, they did count all the votes and it turned out that Florida voted for Gore. Had the counting not been stopped by the Supreme Court, he would have won the election.
posted by Outlawyr at 6:33 AM on September 26, 2003

I agree that Rall should have left the election issue alone. However, I think it's good that he took a stab at answering the question "why do liberals hate Bush so?", which I've seen raised from time to time in a tone suggesting that the answer couldn't possibly be that Bush is hateful.
posted by uosuaq at 8:16 AM on September 26, 2003

Troutfishing: Thank you! I thought I was going to have to go dig up the citations.

To those who say that the calculated disenfranchisement of thousands of voters is just the way the game is played I say shame on you for spreading such cynicism.

Democracy must be maintained . . . and unlike your car you can't buy a maintenance contract, each of you has to do your part. If you don't know the real story of the theft of the election of 2000 GO FIND OUT!

Seriously folks, it's too important to let them fog this over. Get over it? No! A technicality? Hardly. Just because major media doesn't serve it up to you doesn't mean it ain't so.

The evidence is clear. The theft by the Secretary of State Office in Florida occurred. So what is the motive of those who want us to get over it?
posted by ahimsakid at 8:17 AM on September 26, 2003

kudos, troutfishing: you nailed it exactly.
posted by mapalm at 8:28 AM on September 26, 2003

Well, even though I heartily agree with calling bush a theif, Ted Rall is probably not the person I want patted on the back for it. Rall is a psychopath. Want proof? Read through this site. It details a lawsuit in which Rall tried to silence people who made fun of him. He threatened everybody who said anything bad about him with lawsuits. He even sent an article to Maximum Rock and Roll about how punk rock it is to sue people when they attack you. (using a 10 year old picture, presumably to get 'hip with the kids')

The genenisis of the prank that sent him into a fury was his character assasination piece on Art Speigleman, respected author of Maus. It's the respected part that pissed Rall off, apparently. You can read the article here. And some responses here.

I really wish he'd turn conservative. I think he and Ann Coulter are two sides of the same worthless coin.
posted by lumpenprole at 9:36 AM on September 26, 2003

P.S. Found an excellent article expanding on my Ann Coulter crack here.
posted by lumpenprole at 9:58 AM on September 26, 2003

"Rall is a psychopath."


Ted is a friend of mine and I can speak personally about his character, which I strongly suspect is more than you can do. He's entirely sane by any standard of the word one would wish to use. You may not like the Hellman lawsuit or what he says or how he says it, but that doesn't mean he's a psycho. That's just the sort of cheap shot you could learn straight out of the Gingrich rhetorical playbook. Or the Coulter rhetorical playbook, for that matter.

At the very least, do the courtesy of acknowledging that your statement is an opinion rather than fact: "I think Rall is a psychopath," would do nicely.
posted by jscalzi at 10:30 AM on September 26, 2003

I don't hate bush. I hate all the fucking smug assholes who like him.
posted by crunchland at 10:41 AM on September 26, 2003

At the very least, do the courtesy of acknowledging that your statement is an opinion rather than fact: "I think Rall is a psychopath," would do nicely.

Okay, he was a psychopath to me, when he threatened to sue me for libel because I opined that the lawsuit was a waste of time for somebody who wanted to change the world to make it better.

And I still stand my belief that his reaction to that whole situation was nothing short of psychotic. If somebody makes fun of you, even if they are rude and stupid about it (which Hellman was, no argument), you pick up your pen, and sharpen your tongue. You don't fly off the handle threatening to sue everybody within a ten foot radius. I mean, you don't if you're sane. Come on, 1.5 million dollars because somebody wrote a poorly thought out parody?

Add on to that his unbelievably insensitive cartoons about sept 11th widows and firefighters, okay maybe not psychopath. Maybe sociopath.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:27 AM on September 26, 2003

"And I still stand my belief that his reaction to that whole situation was nothing short of psychotic."

Well, you have a right to have that belief and opinion, of course.

Regarding the lawsuit, from what I know about it, it was less about what Hellman said than to whom he said it, as (if I remember correctly) he e-mailed a number of Ted's clients. Ted felt that this could have an adverse effect on his ability to work, and at least one court of law agreed with him in allowing the suit to move forward.

Likewise, threating to sue you for libel is hardly psychopathic. Threatening to come over to your house, murder your cat, tie you up with the bloody entrails and ram its roasted brain down your throat, now, that's someone being a psychopath. I'm a big believer in avoiding meaning creep when it comes to words like that.
posted by jscalzi at 12:24 PM on September 26, 2003

Continuing to hold onto the "Hail to the Thief" meme this much later is just pathetic.

Yeah, c'mon people...don't you know? If you get away with something without being held accountable for a couple years, it can never be mentioned again, much less held against you! History is full of examples proving that it works this way, right? Right?
posted by rushmc at 3:19 PM on September 26, 2003

Hey, I just read the link (finally), and I dunno who this Ted Rall guy is, but I like him!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:01 AM on September 27, 2003

Continuing to hold onto the "Hail to the Thief" meme this much later is just pathetic.

You did read the part where Rall explains why he's dragging this back in again, right? Because the fact that Bush's cronies and relatives (please let's not forget Fox's John Ellis, who first spun election night as a Bush win that Gore was trying to steal) rigged the 2000 election may turn out to be relevant to a significant number of Americans - now that their rose-colored glasses have been sand-blasted by the realities of "preemptive war" in Iraq. So you can keep saying "get over it," but it turns out more and more people may be more and more willing to revisit, and learn the truth about, that sorry episode.
posted by soyjoy at 7:12 PM on September 27, 2003

synecdoche: Hey thanks for those links, I have to admit I was ignorant of the Hayes/Tilden election fiasco (It's amazing what you don't learn in school). Interesting how history repeats itself:

Republicans' claims that Hayes was elected centered on Democrats' use of fraud, violence, and intimidation against black voters in the Southern states of South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. Republican officials "threw out" the votes in counties with especially bad records of violence and fraud, and when these votes were thrown out, Hayes carried the three states. But even if we concede for the sake of argument that allegations of Democratic fraud and intimidation were true, black voters were in the majority in only two of the contested states—South Carolina and in Louisiana. Thus while fraud, violence, and intimidation might have denied Hayes his rightful victory in the two black-majority states, the white-majority state of Florida was Tilden's all along. And if Tilden carried Florida, the presidency was his.

Wicked scary. Now, my is, what changed in our election process after this event? What substantially changed after Bush/Gore? Is it our unescapable destiny to have problem anytime that the margin of victory approaches the margin of error?
posted by betaray at 9:32 PM on September 27, 2003

« Older Refusenik Israeli Pilots   |   This item has been discontinued. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments