Cracking Up
June 6, 2004 6:46 AM   Subscribe

Cracking Up. "In interviews with a number of White House staffers who were willing to talk off the record, a picture of an administration under siege has emerged, led by a man who declares his decisions to be “God’s will” and then tells aides to “fuck over” anyone they consider to be an opponent of the administration."
posted by alball (113 comments total)
 
Interesting to see some other writings from the source. It certainly seems credible that they'd have contacts in the present White House, given that context.
posted by effugas at 6:57 AM on June 6, 2004


"porno for democrats"
posted by Space Coyote at 6:58 AM on June 6, 2004


Started in 1994... this actually seems pretty reliable, despite the big annoying ads.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:09 AM on June 6, 2004


Space Coyote, while there may be some truth to that contention, it's more than a little disturbing that the low hum of this kind of report is growing into a din. If true it will continue to swell and get louder and louder. This President has already demonstrated a fair number of disturbing behaviors. Regardless of your affiliation, though, I stand by the idea that an even split of the electorate does not a mandate make and the sweeping changes and agenda that have been pushed through have no place whether he's there because of God's will or not.
posted by shagoth at 7:11 AM on June 6, 2004


I'm so excited that my generation has its own Nixon. This is just too much fun, if it's true.
posted by inksyndicate at 7:13 AM on June 6, 2004


The White House did not respond to requests for comment on the record.

Probably because it's so ridiculous as to be not worth commenting on.

Pr0n for Dems, indeed.
posted by davidmsc at 7:21 AM on June 6, 2004


But the founder worked on the Reagan campaign.
posted by inksyndicate at 7:23 AM on June 6, 2004


Those of us who pray should pray that this doesn't actually escalate to a nervous breakdown. As scary as this kind of story is, the prospect of a sociopath like Dick Cheney being in charge is much scarier.

Also, all inferences about reliability aside: We need sources if this story is to avoid instant dismissal by Bushite apologists.

On preview: I
posted by lodurr at 7:23 AM on June 6, 2004


Ooops....
posted by lodurr at 7:24 AM on June 6, 2004


Wait a minute? Karl Rove believes he's doing "God's will"?

Oh, please. Bush couldn't be less "in charge." The man stumbles through public "appearances" more tightly contrived and stage managed than Mussolini's train schedule. He can't answer the simplest ad hoc questions ("What would you say has been the greatest failing of your Presidency" "Um......."). He has the simple-minded religious devotion of a man who spent the first half of his life drinking, abusing drugs and living off family friends but who now believes that publicly professing a belief in the Healing Power of Jaysus (tm) will get him spared the Hell he so richly deserves.

On the occasions when Bush does indeed try to act the part, he comes off as willful, imperious and, probably worst of all, at least for those trying to manager him, desperately impolitic - the Firing of George Tenet plays out more like a Laurel and Hardy short than the considered act of the Leader of the Free World. One imagines him stamping his little Weejuns on the famous Great Seal carpet and shouting, "Goldarn it,Karl, but I'm the Prezdent an' I tell ya'll, I cain't listen to no more o' Geogre Tenet's big ol' words!" and demanding Tenet's resignation, just because he can.
posted by JollyWanker at 7:25 AM on June 6, 2004


This is simply a more colorful, detailed account of what we already know, from sources like John DiIulio, the former director of the office of faith-based initiatives, who said that there is no real policy thought in the administration: only politics.
posted by stonerose at 7:27 AM on June 6, 2004


I have no idea how "in charge" Bush is, but since he's a very small man confronted with gigantic worldwide problems, it's an interesting psychological situation. It's kind of like when some weak Federation ambassador would take over the USS Enterprise, recklessly manage to fly it into the Romulan Neutral Zone, and start to sweat under the pressure as everyone on the bridge is asking him what to do about this f'd-up situation.
posted by inksyndicate at 7:33 AM on June 6, 2004


I'm not seeing any real difference between this supposed exposé and the policies(?!) he's pushing. In other words, you can generally expect the insane to advance internally incoherent 'policy'.

On preview, perhaps just a different gloss on what stonerose said.
posted by attackthetaxi at 7:33 AM on June 6, 2004


JW: Bush is, however, perfect for his part. Ever wonder about the religious devotion so many Americans have for him? Ever wonder why they didn't have the same faith in his father when he was president?

Cheney and Bush are the perfect pair. Bush is utterly devoted to and believes completely in his cause. Cheney looks after the details, and therefore has to take care of the dirtier business.

Red-state types, despite everything, can spot disingenuousness a mile away, and they don't see it in Bush. As dumb as we see bush as (I think it's more complicated than that, see Marc Crispin Miller's analysis of why bush is perfectly eloquent when talking about revenge and war).
posted by Space Coyote at 7:33 AM on June 6, 2004


I'm so excited that my generation has its own Nixon. This is just too much fun, if it's true.

Not the word that I'd use to describe it.

Worrying, maybe.

And as for PrOn for Dems, I don't see it as such.
Illuminating, maybe, but any tidbits from a White House which classifies everything and prizes secrecy above all else, any insight seems titillating.
posted by Busithoth at 7:35 AM on June 6, 2004


FWIW, this isn't porn for anyone. It's one thing to have an administration you disagree with, but think about it -- democracy is not about deciding who wins but making everyone agree on who loses. A resounding defeat at the polls is one thing; another impeachment, a resignation, even (god forbid) a forcible removal from office would be vastly more divisive.

There are lot of Americans who want dignity in the White House. Even those of us who find the present situation astonishingly awful have to consider genuine instability even worse. Hell, I'll take "enrich the wealthy" over "do God's will, as interpreted by me" any day of the week.

At least the former can be objectively measured.
posted by effugas at 7:40 AM on June 6, 2004


Bush is no Nixon -- Nixon resigned, Good god, he resigned over a simple break in, nothing as bad as sending a country to war on false pretences.
posted by daver at 7:54 AM on June 6, 2004


Just remember: November 4, 2004. How many people have YOU encouraged to register to vote?

Bonus points if they are in one of the so-called battleground states.

Double bonus points if they are in Florida, and you take them to a polling place this November with a camcorder running the entire time. (Except, of course, when they are actually voting, as that isn't legal.)
posted by andreaazure at 8:10 AM on June 6, 2004


I smell shit. Im not buying this op-ed piece. Possible George Tenet was forced to resign, but I wouldn't base any facts on this site without some serious mefi mythbusters on the case.
posted by Keyser Soze at 8:23 AM on June 6, 2004


Daver: 'Nixon resigned ... over a simple break in,'

Are you trolling, daver? Nixon was undermining democracy. People seem to forget that there is not a single power on the earth capable of destroying the USA except ourselves. In Nixon's time, the only power remotely capable of it was the Soviets, but we were still our own most dangerous enemy and still are today. Nixon's behaviour was treason of the highest level. The President of the United States has the highest responsibility of anyone on this planet because he is Commander in Chief of the world's most powerful army. A President's behaviour must be of the highest standards.
posted by PigAlien at 8:24 AM on June 6, 2004


andreaazure: don't forget that it has to be a wireless enabled camcorder because the police trying to block people from the polls will also confiscate your video equipment or media.
posted by PigAlien at 8:26 AM on June 6, 2004


I'm so excited that my generation has its own Nixon. This is just too much fun, if it's true.

/Yawn/ Having neurotic paranoia cease your government is over-rated.

If Bush could learn a little focus and discipline in his last months in office, we'd all be better off.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:29 AM on June 6, 2004


Damn Republican spell-check. I meant seize your government.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:31 AM on June 6, 2004


Keyser--

From the NYT, as it was originally written.
“Mr. Bush announced the resignation of the 51-year-old Mr. Tenet in a way that was almost bizarre. He had just addressed reporters and photographers in a fairly innocuous Rose Garden session with Australian Prime Minister John Howard. Then the session was adjourned, as Mr. Bush apparently prepared to depart for nearby Andrews Air Force Base and his flight to Europe, where he is to take part in ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the Normandy invasion and meet European leaders — some of whom have been sharply critical of the campaign in Iraq. But minutes later, Mr. Bush reappeared on the sun-drenched White House lawn, stunning listeners with the news of Mr. Tenet’s resignation, which the president said would be effective in mid-July.”
This original report has since been altered to state the following:
The timing of the announcement appeared to take even senior White House officials by surprise. As one recounted the events, Mr. Bush had just walked back into the Oval Office after finishing a morning news conference in the Rose Garden with Prime Minister John Howard of Australia. At that point, Mr. Bush informed a small group in the Oval Office that Mr. Tenet had resigned. The group included Mr. Cheney; Secretary of State Colin L. Powell; Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser; Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff; and Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director.

Minutes later, Mr. Bush reappeared on the White House lawn to make the short walk to Marine One, the presidential helicopter. En route, he stopped to make the statement about Mr. Tenet's resignation to a group of reporters.
That's kind of interesting.
posted by effugas at 8:34 AM on June 6, 2004


I don't believe anything on CHB, it's mostly always either junk or lifted from actual news sources, and I scoffed at this story as usual. I still think it's almost certainly nonsense, but the Times reporting that Bush informed his team of Tenet's leaving the next day - reporting that after this story appeared - gives me a little pause.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:43 AM on June 6, 2004


P.A.: No, I'm not trolling. Nixon's behaviour was clearly not of the highest standards. However, he resigned. Despite a huge number of scandals that have plauged this administration, only this week have people started to get fired over the kind of shit. Nixon fired himself. That's better than Bush.
posted by daver at 9:15 AM on June 6, 2004


Cunning--

Yeah, my first reaction to an article like this was to question the source. Whatever else is on CHB, this article was written by the publisher himself, a former Reaganite. Anything come to mind that impeaches his credibility?

I hadn't heard of CHB before today.
posted by effugas at 9:30 AM on June 6, 2004


It says that the info comes from off-the-record interviews. That doesn't mean anonymous. That means that someone gave the information on the condition that it was not going to be printed. In other words, either the reporter has just alienated all of his white house contacts forever, or he made it all up.
posted by bingo at 9:39 AM on June 6, 2004


I'm so excited that my generation has its own Nixon.

bush is far worse. nixon was a liar and a misanthrope who had little regard for constitutional niceties, he embraced hoover because he feared him and he freely sicced the fbi and the irs on his enemies. the "plumbers" and watergate burglars revealed him as the thug he was, but not for one minute did he think he was god's right hand man. bush is far more dangerous.
posted by quonsar at 10:10 AM on June 6, 2004


oh, and nixon HARDLY fired himself. after trying to swim upstream against the shitstorm of watergate investigations and daily revelations from his secret tapes, he finally had no choice but to take a dive or the fuck would have done prison time. it's not like he graciously departed out of concern for the common good.
posted by quonsar at 10:13 AM on June 6, 2004


inksyndicate:It's kind of like when some weak Federation ambassador would take over the USS Enterprise, recklessly manage to fly it into the Romulan Neutral Zone, and start to sweat under the pressure as everyone on the bridge is asking him what to do about this f'd-up situation.

Yeah, but at least the Enterprise would always be saved as Kirk rode in at the last possible moment and took back control of the Enterprise. No such luck in this case ...
posted by kaemaril at 11:44 AM on June 6, 2004


Alas, that green-skinned Venusian honey will go without tonight.

Pray with me, Henry.
posted by trondant at 11:49 AM on June 6, 2004


Anything come to mind that impeaches his credibility?

Actually, this account of getting a story horribly wrong perversely makes me trust this guy more.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:54 AM on June 6, 2004


I think that GW Bush needs anger management therapy.
posted by troutfishing at 12:20 PM on June 6, 2004


While some parts of the story ring true (Bush's penchant for profanity juxtaposed with earlier religious "mission from God" allusions in his speech, and the Tenet-resignation details linesup with what I've heard), Capitol Hill Blue is the equivalent of the National Enquirer of beltway news. I wouldn't put too much stock in the story, but it certainly is entertaining to read.

Sure, it sounds trashy and suspicious. On the other hand, if you had told me that Clinton was getting serviced by an intern in the Oval Office, I would have said that that story sounded trashy and suspicious, too.
posted by deanc at 12:24 PM on June 6, 2004


effugas - CHB founder Doug Thompson's tribute to Reagan is not an anomaly. Many Reagan Administration stalwarts have already jumped ship - or are in the process of jumping - and there's trouble among the state Republican leadership cadres too :

Bill Rentschler, a former president of the Illinois Young Republicans and a one time Illinois Republican US Senate Candidate, began a recent editorial in Ohio's Hamilton Journal-News with : "Some Bush huggers of my acquaintance think it's positively awful what those dratted liberals and confounded Democrats are saying about their president. But I'm hearing even stronger stuff from some bona-fide longtime Republican bleeders for their cause. I detect a still fairly modest slippage among these normally diehard GOP stalwarts that could tilt another likely razor-thin election the other way, change the leadership of this divided nation, and send the incumbent president back full-time to Crawford, Texas.....

Completely out of the blue, I received a phone call the other evening from a long-ago Republican friend who'd helped me greatly years ago win election as president of the Illinois Young Republicans......"I don't know where you stand these days, Bill," he said, "but Bush and the crowd around him make me sick and aren't even real Republicans. I remember when Republicans were genuine guardians of tax dollars, but these guys spend our money like creek water. The huge tax cuts, especially for the very rich, with a war going on make no sense at all. They're cutting back environment protection, and fouling the air again. You knew (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld, didn't you? Well, he and Cheney are strictly for war. They want to work our will by brute force. That's why the whole world hates us."

My old friend went on and made it clear Sen. Kerry will get his vote in November."


Even among many of the faithful - the most thoughtful ones, I'd say - there is a sense that the Bush Administration has crossed a certain line and become a rapidly escalating disaster, both for republicans and for the nation.

Let's hope that Henry K. - operating in his more benign incarnation - will initiate a conference call between the White House and those older, more pragmatic heads of state - George Bush Sr., Zbigniew Brzezinski, perhaps Bush family fixer James Baker, and others - who might bring George W. Bush and crew back to some modicum of sanity, to throw a lifeline to a White House now teetering on the edge.
posted by troutfishing at 12:43 PM on June 6, 2004


Don't be silly, trout. They won't call Baker until they need another election thrown. They won't call Henry until someone makes them appoint a panel to investigate what Baker did. It's like clockwork with these guys.
posted by trondant at 1:26 PM on June 6, 2004


It says that the info comes from off-the-record interviews. That doesn't mean anonymous. That means that someone gave the information on the condition that it was not going to be printed.

You are correct about traditional usage, but the phrase has mutated so that it now often means what "background" used to. I recently read an essay about this but can't remember where. Anyway, I think it's unlikely he's burning his sources. I have no idea how much to trust this story, but it certainly doesn't seem inconsistent with other evidence.

I guess when Bush finally croaks, we'll be expected to be solemn and respectful about that too. [/grump]
posted by languagehat at 1:30 PM on June 6, 2004


Deanc--

Capitol Hill Blue is the equivalent of the National Enquirer of beltway news.

Actually, that would be Wonkette. I asked earlier for some sign that Thompson wasn't credible, after the only evidence I could find seemed rather supportive. You should have a decade of archives to look through -- got something we should see?
posted by effugas at 1:37 PM on June 6, 2004


There are lot of Americans who want dignity in the White House.

Dignity schmignity. I just want someone who will do his job and honor his vow to uphold the Constitution.
posted by rushmc at 2:43 PM on June 6, 2004


Bush is no Nixon -- Nixon resigned, Good god, he resigned over a simple break in,nothing as bad as sending a country to war on false pretences.

*cough* secret bombings of Cambodia *cough*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:41 PM on June 6, 2004


The question is not 'Was Nixon bad?', the question is 'Why hasn't GWB. come under equivalent (or higher) pressure to resign?'.
posted by daver at 4:43 PM on June 6, 2004


This is largely bullshit. Bush is governing like most Presidents govern. He focuses on the issues at hand, and also focuses on his opponents in the upcoming race. So? After three years of nearly obsessive, intense negativity directed at him by the radical left, if he wasn't getting mean, and focused, I'd be disappointed. You bastards have asked for it. I hope he gets rid of anyone that has any doubts, and surrounds himself with warriors. You've all spent three years getting away with the most vitrolic rhetoric, with no-holds-barred posts and a level of nastiness that is unprecedented in American politics. I've seen America called the moral equivilant of Saddam Hussain, and seen Bush compared to Hitler.

Good for you. You can feel that way. You can say it. But I hope Bush sinks to your level. I hope he is as focused, and as willing to play as dirty as you have been. Keep dreaming that he is disturbed, and that his organization is in disarray ... if it makes you feel better. I know people in his inner circle ... and something is going on that is far more intense ... he is a businessman that is getting focused on beating the competition. This sort of sensation is something Mr. Kept-Man Kerry is not capable of even conceiving. He wants Bush to "bring it on"? Well, he's about to start. And he asked for it.
posted by MidasMulligan at 5:22 PM on June 6, 2004


You will be defeated. That's a lot of anger, Midas, and tough for you. Fine, you're in league with the great patriots. I'm not impressed.
posted by attackthetaxi at 5:38 PM on June 6, 2004


Uhhhh.... yeah. Midas. Listen, it's been nice talkin' to you. I'm going to go over here now. Don't follow me.
posted by stonerose at 5:40 PM on June 6, 2004


You will be defeated. That's a lot of anger, Midas, and tough for you.

So you say. Most of the anger - deep, psychotic anger - has been coming from your side bucko. Keep believin' Bush will be defeated. Gore thought it was a slam dunk. So did Ann Richards ... and just about anyone else that's gone against him. I was actually getting a bit concerned that Bush didn't have the fire in the belly. He has not been playing nearly as dirty, or getting nearly as petty, as his opponents.

Uhhhh.... yeah. Midas. Listen, it's been nice talkin' to you. I'm going to go over here now. Don't follow me.

I've felt the same way for some time in liberal circles like MeFi. You've gotten accustomed to the offensive. Things are changing - in the Bush White House, and out in the field. You've been getting away with a lot. That is about to stop.
posted by MidasMulligan at 5:49 PM on June 6, 2004


You bastards have asked for it. I hope he gets rid of anyone that has any doubts, and surrounds himself with warriors.
[...]
Things are changing - in the Bush White House, and out in the field. You've been getting away with a lot. That is about to stop.

Ah, the mask falls away. The brown shirts are coming out of the closet! Run, meek soft lefty üntermenschen! Run in fear!

(Seriously, though, this really is comedy gold!)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:54 PM on June 6, 2004


Midas, Kristallnacht isn't until November. You have it confused with the Tony's, which are tonight. Both events are about Jews and shiny things, and I know how you like fascism, so it's an honest mistake. But really... shhhhh, sweetie. You're almost as drunk as you are stupid.
posted by stonerose at 6:11 PM on June 6, 2004


Hahaha "He's a fascist! He's a Nazi! Let's post German words in italics!" How clever.

Can't you people tell how absurd and ignorant these slurs make you sound?
posted by techgnollogic at 6:20 PM on June 6, 2004


Midas, we learned from 8 years of your side accusing the Clintons of murder, treason, being communists, etc--everything under the sun really. We haven't yet come close to matching that vitriolic record.

And this: You've been getting away with a lot. That is about to stop. is truly sad. Get over yourself--this is America--not everyone has to agree with the president or his policies. Usually at least half the country doesn't, and that's been true for many years.
posted by amberglow at 6:28 PM on June 6, 2004


Ah, the mask falls away. The brown shirts are coming out of the closet! Run, meek soft lefty üntermenschen! Run in fear!

Actually, y'all long ago abandoned any pretense of a "mask". The so-called "liberal, progressive" wing of American politics has already shown itself for what it is - open to any ideas ... so long as they tow the party line. Seeking a diversity of viewpoints ... so long as though viewpoints accept the "truth" and label anyone that disagrees with it as evil. Tolerant ... to anyone who believes as they do, but as viscious and dirty as they claim their opponents are.

The left is anything but "meek". Or warm and loving. Or tolerant, or open, or "progressive. It took the gloves off long ago. The "jack booted thugs" in Waco, and Miami, were not Republican. The Clinton administration got away with doing things a thousand times worse than anything the Bush administration has done ... and the last three years of leftist rhetoric has been as viscious as its possible to get.

Naturally, when the conservatives finally decide its time to go on the offensive and fight back, this is portrayed as "the brown shirts". I would greatly encourage you to try to sell that to mainstream America. Please ... please ... get angrier, make your rhetoric even nastier and pettier than its already is. Call Bush a "Nazi" openly ... in national ads.

Or don't you want to "take your mask off"?
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:32 PM on June 6, 2004


Get over yourself--this is America--not everyone has to agree with the president or his policies. Usually at least half the country doesn't, and that's been true for many years.

Perhaps you should "get over yourself". This is America. Many people do agree with the President an his policies. Usually at least half the country does ... and that's been true for many years.
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:34 PM on June 6, 2004


I'm not the one threatening here--you are, Midas.

I'm sorry your guy is tanking, but that happens. It happened to his father as well. The majority of people in the country feel we're on the wrong track, and don't like what's going on in Iraq--that's something that's going to bury Bush in November, given that he's staked his career on it. Of course, given his proven disregard for the constitution, i guess we should expect more threats between now and November--from you and them, huh?
posted by amberglow at 6:38 PM on June 6, 2004


oh, speaking of threats and smears against everyone who opposes--how's that Valerie Plame grand jury investigation going? should we expect more of that too?
posted by amberglow at 6:40 PM on June 6, 2004


I'm not the one threatening here--you are, Midas.

I'm being no more "threatening" than you and your kind have been for three years now. I realize its uncomfortable to get your own rhetoric back in your face for once, but tough cookies.

I'm sorry your guy is tanking, but that happens.

Please keep beliving that. It will be very helpful.

Of course, given his proven disregard for the constitution, i guess we should expect more threats between now and November--from you and them, huh?

The constitution doesn't appear to keep you from violent rhetoric, and agressive visciousness. And given your guy's disregard for anything resembling a position he'll actually stick with for more than ten minutes, and the fact that he inspires all the passion of swamp fungus, I suppose we should expect you to do anything possible to keep attention off of your actual candidate between now and November, huh?

Go ahead, portray Bush as a loser. Be confident of your victory. Bask in the same self-righteousness you've comforted yourself with for the last three years. Please believe your own rhetoric, and be convinced the vast majority of the country agrees with you.

The fun is just beginning.
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:59 PM on June 6, 2004


so long as they tow the party line.

I always thought it was "toe the line" as in put your toe up to the edge, but don't step over it.

Midas, relax will ya? I've generally respected you, but you've been sounding kinda paranoid lately. MeFi is one thing, it's about debate and shit, the opinions here are a lot more vehement and calcified than in general conversation out in the world. Yes, there are obnoxious lefties, but there's obnoxious righties, too. Policy really shouldn't be decided on the personality of the fan club.

he inspires all the passion of swamp fungus

And Bush is some kinda swashbuckling love machine? This is getting ridiculous.
posted by jonmc at 7:04 PM on June 6, 2004


how's that Valerie Plame grand jury investigation going? should we expect more of that too?

Probably - Bush is very loyal to people who risk their lives for undercover work. He's pissed about the leak, wants to know who did it, and punish him/her. Unfortunately, due to politics, Plame's husband probably won't be prosecuted for breaking the dozen or so confidentiality agreements people sign when they consult for the CIA, and speaking publically about "investigation" for purely partisan reasons.
posted by MidasMulligan at 7:05 PM on June 6, 2004


He hasn't punished one single person, or taken any responsibility for any of the mistakes his adminstration has made--there's no basis in truth for your statements. (Unless the Tenet thing?)
posted by amberglow at 7:14 PM on June 6, 2004


My god. Somehow, 'Waco and Miami and a blowjob' are suddenly "a thousand times worse" than a regime of corporate tax-whorism that lies its way into a war that financially aggrandizes its cronies while killing thousands of innocent Iraqis and hundreds of innocent Americans, decimating environmental regulations, subverting science to religious superstition, rejecting scientific progress that might have saved the sainted Reagan, growing the government, increasing the relative tax burden on the lower and middle classes...

What the fuck channel are you watching, MM?
And what the fuck poll numbers are they running?

I have no doubt about the strength of your convictions, but the people with whom you have allied yourself DO NOT SHARE THOSE CONVICTIONS. Listen to John DiIulio, formerly director of the office of faith-based and community initiatives: this administration does not engage in policy thought; it only concerns itself with politics. Is this the dignity they promised to restore to the White House? I don't think so. You have every reason to be angry, MM - but it's at your own overlords - not us.
posted by stonerose at 7:15 PM on June 6, 2004


Midas, relax will ya? I've generally respected you, but you've been sounding kinda paranoid lately.

I suppose that's relative to the status quo. What is considered "normal" here is fairly violent rhetoric, and virtually pertual accusations that are paranoid beyond anything remotely sane. It seems that everything Bush does is a conspiracy with dark motives and evil intentions beneath it. But because it happens here daily, it is no longer "paranoid", it is just ... normal.

Actually, I haven't had much time to even be here lately ... have only participated in a few threads in the last month. Every now and then, however, it is fun to stir the soup. I should probably also admit that I could care less what the people I interact with think. Mostly I write to articulate a viewpoint - just for the helluva it - for the sake of conservatives that do read this board, but wouldn't even think about participating ... due to the utter intolerance and visciousness of the lefties here.

I actually don't have much paranoia at all. The election is going well. Popularity several months before elections means nothing ... the art of politics is the art of peaking just as people go to the polls. The Iraq turnover is on schedule ... and will have settled down by November. The actual improvements in the economy are beginning to produce powerful job growth. I even think progess is being made of catching Bin Laden.

What does strike me as odd is the thought that the left wing appears to want Iraq to be a nightmare for American soldiers and Iraqis, wants the economy to suck, and not be producing jobs for Americans, and wants Bin Laden to remain free. Oddly, the worst possible events for them and their candidate ... would be the best possible events for US ... and the world.

But I do respect you jonmc - and so thought I'd just mention that this board is, to me, a playground, not real life. Its largely children throwing sand in one another's faces, and yelling "naner naner naner" ... but certainly doesn't remoitely resemble reality. It is damn fun to pop in occasionally and watch a few folks get their panties in a bunch ... but this ain't real - and I long ago stopped taking it seriously.
posted by MidasMulligan at 7:26 PM on June 6, 2004


MidasMulligan: ... he is a businessman that is getting focused on beating the competition
Well, if he is as successful with the election as he has been with his businesses, I guess Kerry's team won't have many worries.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:27 PM on June 6, 2004


"....You bastards have asked for it. I hope he gets rid of anyone that has any doubts, and surrounds himself with warriors. You've all spent three years getting away with the most vitrolic rhetoric....." (MidasMulligan, earlier in thread)

"What is considered "normal" here is fairly violent rhetoric, and virtually pertual accusations that are paranoid beyond anything remotely sane. It seems that everything Bush does is a conspiracy with dark motives and evil intentions beneath it." (MidasMulligan, last comment)

Midas - Your first comment reads like a broadcast from the Rwandan Government run radio station prior to the Rwandan Genocide. Get a grip! Really. Your rhetoric here in this thread reeks of violence. Why ?

".....this ain't real - and I long ago stopped taking it seriously." - your words here, commenting in this thread, put the lie to that claim.

What's up ?
posted by troutfishing at 7:48 PM on June 6, 2004


I think he's all choked up about Ronnie going to Jesus.
posted by amberglow at 7:50 PM on June 6, 2004


if he is as successful with the election as he has been with his businesses

I like how George W Bush is such a terrible, incompetent businessman that he gave it up and just became President of the United States instead.
posted by techgnollogic at 7:51 PM on June 6, 2004


Get a grip! Really. Your rhetoric here in this thread reeks of violence.

Shall I go back and find the hundreds of left-wing posts that have "reeked of violence" over the last number of months? It is fairly amazing what I'm getting accused of here ... my rhetoric is mild compared to the norm of what some of the left posts here almost daily.
posted by MidasMulligan at 7:55 PM on June 6, 2004


Well, Midas already tipped the fact that he's just trolling ("Every now and then, however, it is fun to stir the soup"), but I'm still going to pretend that he's trying to make an actual point - i.e. that "violent rhetoric," which apparently consists of mocking the moronic troglodyte currently squatting in the oval office, is somehow far worse than running the country into the ground for pure "businessman" motives.

So here's my message to Midas on making a point: Midas, if your main objection to the left, as you keep repeating, is that they're so darned vicious, you might want to put aside the time to look the word up in a dictionary and memorize its spelling.

Then, even if your point still stinks, at least you won't look as stupid as, say, someone who doesn't know how to pronounce "tyranny."
posted by soyjoy at 7:57 PM on June 6, 2004


It is interesting that we have had 4 years of the most determined efforts the left can put together, and they still haven't managed to bring a groundswell of support to Kerry.

Even when the pretense of having any idea of their own, any agenda of their own is gone... it still isn't helping as much as you would think. Because in the end it looks like the US voter will want somethign more useful than "anyone but Bush" as a plan for the future.

The internet is a magnifying glass... it is accellerating and distorting self feeding memes. Remember that guy who was running for president who the "buzz" said was a show in for the nomination? That guy who lost so substantially he isn't even a footnote?

It will be interesting to see what happens in November. Of course if the left loses we will be treated to a collective self indulgence of conspiracy theories, stolen election theories and stark disbelief that I am not at all sure it would be hard for the socialists at "Answer" to push them into open revolt.
posted by soulhuntre at 7:57 PM on June 6, 2004


"Your first comment reads like a broadcast from the Rwandan Government run radio station prior to the Rwandan Genocide" "Get a grip! Really. Your rhetoric here in this thread reeks of violence."

You just sunk my ironyship!

posted by techgnollogic at 8:01 PM on June 6, 2004


Because in the end it looks like the US voter will want somethign more useful than "anyone but Bush" as a plan for the future.
"Stay the course" and "4 more years" isn't working for Bush as a plan, either, in case you didn't realize.
posted by amberglow at 8:04 PM on June 6, 2004


Yeah, so instead he's decided to pull the old "947,000 jobs in the last three months" trick.
posted by techgnollogic at 8:10 PM on June 6, 2004


At the rate he's going tho, it'll still be a net loss for the adminstration--the first one in a looong time (since Hoover?). On the news they said the majority of the jobs created in those 3 months were low-paying seasonal and service too. The jobs we've lost, and are still losing, weren't.
posted by amberglow at 8:14 PM on June 6, 2004


Woohoo, those job creation numbers are barely above clinton's average for his entire eight years. But then, y'all were crowing about a barrel of pesticide as if it were the dreaded "weapons of mass destruction" you were so hoping for, so exageration seems to come naturally.

As for the supposed lack of support for Kerry, at this time in 1992 people were only finding out who Bill Clinton was. So Dems need not take political advice form their adversaries on this point.

Bush lost the popular vote in 1992 when people were still able to give him the benefit of the doubt, not yet knowing what his bumbling looked like up close, or suffered its consequences.

And lastly, given Bush's approval rating, in short, he's all but burried.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:29 PM on June 6, 2004


This "discussion" leads us back to the original topic of this post; ie, "cracking up."

I've observed that people with strong ideological beliefs (what Steven Covey would term "principle-centered people") have difficulty in tolerating challenges to those beliefs. Consider, for example, the extreme homophobia exhibited by those confronted with the growing acceptance for gays. This acceptance by society directly conflicts with one of their core beliefs, and these beliefs define who they are. The very existence of homosexuals challenges their self-identity, and so they treat the existence of gays as a personal attack.

For "faith-based" individuals like Bush (or our own Midas), the failure of the neocon policy to play out according to their cherished design is intolerable. Their very sense of self, of identity, is under attack. And, because they have so much of themselves invested in their beliefs, they cannot aconsider the possibility that they may have been mistaken. If their policies fail, it must be because the "liberal media," the "leftist conspiracy," the work of saboteurs and fifth columnists. It cannot be because they are wrong.

The bough that cannot bend breaks. That is why I think the "George is cracking up" observation is plausible.
posted by SPrintF at 8:49 PM on June 6, 2004


Gallup poll, 2003:

Who would have thought it? Some two years after he left office hounded by right-wing detractors and stained by his affair with Monica Lewinsky, Bill Clinton now ranks as this nation's third best chief executive, according to a recent CNN/USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.

Only Abraham Lincoln (chosen by 15%) and John F. Kennedy (13%) finished ahead of Clinton (11%) in the April poll, which asked Americans who was "the greatest" president. George W. Bush managed to tie Clinton for third place.

Ronald Reagan, a conservative icon, garnered 10% of the vote, followed by Franklin Roosevelt, George Washington, Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter. Bush's father, the 41st president, was chosen by just 2% of the respondents, tying with Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson.


That was from last year--I'll bet Clinton is still number three, while, judging from his approval ratings this year, G.W. probably ranks somewhere around Warren Harding. Now that Clinton has his autobiography coming out and will be flogging it in every major media market in the country on the accompanying book tour, expect more compare and contrast on the part of the public.
posted by y2karl at 8:56 PM on June 6, 2004


s/1992/2000/
posted by Space Coyote at 8:56 PM on June 6, 2004


There is to some degree a bit of the pot calling the kettle black in Midas's posts. Both sides have been throwing poo at each other going back to the Constitutional Convention. Believe it or not, there are some people on the right side who argue that it might be better to suspend the election than to let Kerry have a victory in November. There is virulent, rabid, violent stuff from both sides.

The "jack booted thugs" in Waco, and Miami, were not Republican.

Actually, they were a mix of career federal law enforcement (BATF and FBI) employees. Some of them, in fact, many of them probably were Republican. Furthemore, from what I can tell support for the raid came from both sides of the aisle.

Of course, much political hooey is made by talking about right and left as homogenous blocks of voters. As much as some like to elevate Clinton to the title of champion for the left, he was in fact supported by a shaky coalition that fell to pieces over the '99-'00 election season with negative results for Gore.

I take this particular piece with the same 3 tablespoons of salt as I take the Drudge report. Any time I read anonymous sources planting inflamatory information "off the record," I start to wonder who is playing the journalist to what political end.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:08 PM on June 6, 2004


There is virulent, rabid, violent stuff from both sides.

What a load. The administration is accused of lying to create a war that's killing more American's now it's "won" than it did in it's active phase, of systematically transferring the contents of the Treasury to its corporate backers, of dismantling environmental and consumer protections and of undermining constitutional freedoms.

The administration's detractors are accused, basically, of pointing this out. Great moral equation: Doing evil and complaining about it are apparently equally bad.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:39 PM on June 6, 2004


My god. Somehow, 'Waco and Miami and a blowjob' are suddenly "a thousand times worse" than a regime of corporate tax-whorism that lies its way into a war that financially aggrandizes its cronies while killing thousands of innocent Iraqis and hundreds of innocent Americans ... etc., etc.

That's your view of things. On the off chance that one or two folks here might be willing to accept that someone might hold very different opinions but still be equally principled ... maybe I'll break with my carefully cultivated MeFi persona and talk a little truth.

For what its worth, I am rich as sin, own several corporations and have worked at senior levels for multinationals ... but also believe I am doing good on earth. Believe it or not, greed is not my motive (or that of a lot of people that are rich), nor is power. It is the buzz of creating value - and making things thrive, that is the core driver. I do love freedom, and have spent not inconsiderable amounts of my own money, over the years, trying to support it.

I've smuggled books and music (and, of all things, blue jeans - which were almost currency)) into the Baltic states during the reign of the Soviet Union. I gave money to people I knew who were getting books to women in Afghanistan during the reign of the Taliban. I do business in China, but also support - in very real, financial ways - several underground websites ... helping them maintain the cat-and-mouse game necessary to keep one step ahead of the government.

You may believe Iraq was wrong ... but I have many friends in the middle-east. I have good friends, in Jordan, and Qatar, and Dubai, that fled Saddam Hussain's regime. I don't care what reason Bush gave for tossing Hussain out. It was our moral obligation to do so. For no reason other than that we, as a nation, made a promise. I do condemn Bush ... the first Bush ... for backing off. When we entered Iraq in the early 90's, we encouraged Iraqi resistance to rise up and make themselves heard. We promised our support. They did. In 14 or 15 of the 17 or so Iraqi provinces, citizens that had been in hiding for years made themselves known publically, and (temporarily) actually took over local governments. Instead of finishing the job, we listened to the United Nations, and withdrew, signing a "treaty" with Hussain. Who immediately slaughtered thousands of those that we had encouraged to make themselves known. We did nothing. The UN did nothing. I know some of those brave souls that rose up - and barely escaped with their lives.

Have you ever experienced life in a truly brutal nation? I have ... briefly, but several different times. Life under Hussain, and currently in North Korea, and several other places, is simply horrendous beyond the conception of most Americans. But until you've tasted the reality of it, it is just a concept ... and you simply cannot grasp what an affront to humanity itself such a situation is. Not only am I not oppsed to Bush for going into Iraq ... I'm pissed that the first Bush didn't complete the job, and pissed that Clinton didn't go in during the mid-90's when it had become clear that Hussain was breaking virtually every single promise he made to stay in power in the first place. We broke our word to the Iraqi people ... and far more of them died as that result of that than have died in the last year ... and the ones that didn't die lived under conditions similar to the peasants under the whims of medieval feudal princes.

Freedom, and something resembling democracy, is spreading ... slowly, but very surely, across the globe. Because the ideals embedded in them are universal. There are fewer and fewer places where the Saddams of the world can get away with authoritarian dictatorships. It does not trouble me that Bush entered Iraq without the "sanction" of the UN (I'm enough of a businessman to know that Russia and France simply wouldn't have permitted it ... for their own financial interests - they had huge contracts with Hussain that became meaningless once he was deposed). It does trouble me that the world as a whole did not rally behind a firm ultimatum ... because that meant, in the end, that the world's other remaining dictators got a clear signal that talk - not action - is what the world does.

What the North Korean government, and (to some degree) the Iranian government, and a few others ... are doing to their people right now is evil. Unimaginable evil. And if you lived in those places, you'd think it was evil. And you'd pray ... every night ... that the world would notice, and do something.

What the world wants to do instead is talk. Why be bothered? Why not keep on ignoring it?". And besides ... war is "bad". It upsets the sensibilities of first-world populations, who consider it brutish, because, after all, anything can be "talked thorugh", right? Harsh as it sounds, that just isn't reality.

I want what probably everyone on MeFi ... right or left ... wants - I want a point in history to be reached where the Taliban, and Hussains, and KIM Chong-il's of the world no longer feel as though there is any support for them. Anywhere.

Principled people can easily believe that slow negotiations are a road to that, and the centuries-old notion that a leader - any leader - has to be acknowledged no matter how brutally he treats his citizens ... is fundamentally correct. But equally principled people can believe that this is simply not something that will work. That sitting on the sidelines and talking endlessly while a few men cause hundreds of thousands of people to live in hell ... is morally repugnant.

I do grasp the perspective of those who hate violence, and want more than anything for things to be resolved peacefully (in fact, I grasp that perspective better vthan most of those that hold it are willing to grasp mine) ... I just do not think it is realistic.

Not because I love violence - I hate it - but because I want the quickest road to the freedom and prosperity of everyone on earth. I do feel connected to people in Iraq, and Iran, and North Korea, and the Sudan. And I think that currently the vast majority of the world (especially those that talk a lot about "interconnectedness") are abdicating responsibility by permitting intolerable brutality to continue as though its not our business ... or even worse, to believe that making bold statements on discussions boards, or carrying a sign in "protest" is taking some sort of action. It isn't.

That fact that no one protested Hussain's treatment of his people, but hundreds of thousands protested Bush's overthrow of Hussain ... is mind-boggling, and certainly let the world's remaining dictators know how the game needed to be played if they want to stay in power, and continue to torture their citizens.

______________

So far as "tax-whorism" ... speaking as someone that did get tax breaks ... know what I did? I hired people. I actually have the gall to believe that I am capable of creating more jobs, and more value to my fellow citizens, if I get to keep and invest more of my own money ... than would be created if Hillary and her lot took it to use for what they believe I should be spending it on. You may call it tax-whorism, but I believe the tax cuts made the bursting of the bubble (that started under Clinton) into a much shallower, faster recession than would have otherwise been the case - and even further, that job growth (always a lagging variable when emerging from a recession) is starting to gain real steam.

What Bush wants is the same thing I want ... I want the Iraqi people to complete their transition to self-government, and for the violence against them to cease. I want our economy to complete its emergence from recession, and be once again thriving and producing jobs for anyone that wants them. And I want Bin Laden to be caught, and his organization further diminished. I believe we are on track to accomplish all of those things. And yes, I'll agressively defend the President that has put us on that track against a candidate - and party - that seems to do little other than critisize and whine, without, to date, putting forward anything remotely resembling better ways of doing so.
posted by MidasMulligan at 9:55 PM on June 6, 2004


For "faith-based" individuals like Bush (or our own Midas), the failure of the neocon policy to play out according to their cherished design is intolerable. Their very sense of self, of identity, is under attack. And, because they have so much of themselves invested in their beliefs, they cannot aconsider the possibility that they may have been mistaken. If their policies fail, it must be because the "liberal media," the "leftist conspiracy," the work of saboteurs and fifth columnists. It cannot be because they are wrong.

Oddly, I am not the least bit "faith-based" ... and everything you describe about the "neocons" seems to apply better to the lefties here than the right wing. There is a postively virulant obsession with painting anything ocnservative not just as a difference of opinon, but as evil. bush is the Satan of liberals, and it is an article of faith that not only must he be condemned and hated at every opportunity, but that anyone that appears to even remotely support him must also be gang-tackled and demeaned the minute they speak a word of support. Go for it. Its always fun to watch the pot calling the kettle black.
posted by MidasMulligan at 10:01 PM on June 6, 2004


So here's my message to Midas on making a point: Midas, if your main objection to the left, as you keep repeating, is that they're so darned vicious, you might want to put aside the time to look the word up in a dictionary and memorize its spelling.

Perhaps you'd care to look up the word "petty" Not the spelling ... the meaning.
posted by MidasMulligan at 10:02 PM on June 6, 2004


What a load. The administration is accused of lying to create a war that's killing more American's now it's "won" than it did in it's active phase, of systematically transferring the contents of the Treasury to its corporate backers, of dismantling environmental and consumer protections and of undermining constitutional freedoms.

The administration's detractors are accused, basically, of pointing this out. Great moral equation: Doing evil and complaining about it are apparently equally bad.


Now that's a load. The left makes its countless, daily, mindless accusations (like the administration is "systematically transferring the contents of the Treasury to its corporate backers", or that they are the equivilant of "brown shirts", or that they practice "tax-whorism" ... and that's just in the last few posts of this one thread) - like all true believers thinking their convictions and interpretations are just truths that need to be accepted - and then when someone points out that this is merely their opinion, and is in fact an opinion commonly expressed in really nasty, petty ways ... their response is to say that they are just "pointing out evil".

Yeah. Right.
posted by MidasMulligan at 10:10 PM on June 6, 2004


George Spiggot: Great moral equation: Doing evil and complaining about it are apparently equally bad.

A moral equation not made in my post. But by all means, do not let context and complete paragraphs get in the way of your moral outrage. The "both sides" in my statement are not the administration and detractors, but Democratic partisans and Republican partisans.

Midas has made the claim that Democratic partisans have been saying nasty and frequently unwarranted things about Bush for most of the past three years. My counter-claim is that Novak, Drudge, Coltier, and Limbaugh have been busy throwing poo back. (The Limbaugh Letter is a nice, and sometimes humorous example of how bad the poo throwing can be.)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:20 PM on June 6, 2004


Sorry, KJS, my observation was acutally provoked by several other postings further up; I quoted yours because it was the most recent that seemed to echo the sentiment. My apologies if I misrepresented it.

Midas, a principal tactical component of the Iraq effort involves paying companies with ties to the administration huge amounts of money from American coffers: money that Bush has adamantly refused to treat as a "loan" to Iraq. Meaning it comes from us, is not considered owed to us and will not be repaid to us; one can only suppose it's because Bushies don't want any liens on those oil revenues. Consequently, the Iraq war does in fact constitute a massive transfer of wealth from the Treasury to the administration's corporate cronies. This is not a matter of opinion. What is a matter of opinion (and will remain so unless there is an investigation, which there certainly should be) is whether this was in fact one of the intentional aims of the war. Given the Bush family connections to oil and defense industries and the early sources of Bush family wealth, this is not a stretch.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:30 PM on June 6, 2004


the administration is "systematically transferring the contents of the Treasury to its corporate backers"

The Bush administration has slashed taxes on the very richest, and run huge deficits in the process. Also, IRS audits of corporations are way down and disgustingly few corporations pay any income tax at all.

"brown shirts"

Drake University college republicans disrupt Howard Dean campaign event If someone can find an official RNC condemnation of their tactics I'd be curious to see it.

Republicans bus down thugs to Miami to act as an angry mob in 2000 pounding on doors demanding to be let in, throwing bricks through windows, and assaulting people who disagreed with them.

Obviously, these claims are not as ridiculous as some would make them out to be.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:39 PM on June 6, 2004


Midas: There is a postively virulant obsession with painting anything ocnservative not just as a difference of opinon, but as evil.

Bingo. I'm wondering how much of this has to do with tendency towards hyperbole on the internet and in the media. I can engage in lively discussions across political lines sitting down over the dinner table with people, based on the common acknowledgement that everyone participating in the discussion are committed to democracy and healthy communities.

But I think you are ignoring that it goes both ways. I can't count the number of times over the last 4 years that I've been called a "traitor" over a difference of opinion and we have a right-wing pundit who is making money off that very same equation. To some degree this is just part of the commercialization of politics. Limbaugh can get away with saying really nasty things about people he disagrees with because that brings him revenue as an entertainer. On the other hand, there does seem to be a lot of dirty tricks going on. While one group of partisans compare Bush to Hitler without irony, I've seen partisans on the other side compare Kerry to Stalin without irony.

While there are certainly some conservatives out that that have my continued respect (my veteran senator Richard Lugar for example), there are plenty of reasons to dislike Bush that don't depend on the conservative=evil equation. I didn't like Bush the Elder that much, but I did not feel that his leadership was lacking.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:55 PM on June 6, 2004


Heh,

Said the liberal to the conservative, "You're a facist and a nazi."

Said the conservative to the liberal, "You're a Stalinist and a traitor."

Lather, rinse, repeat and you have political debate in the U.S..
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:04 PM on June 6, 2004


MM: I should probably also admit that I could care less what the people I interact with think.

Does this mean you do care, or is it meant to read with an ironic tone, in the sense of 'I couldn't actually care less'?
You bastards have asked for it. I hope he gets rid of anyone that has any doubts, and surrounds himself with warriors.
[...]
Things are changing - in the Bush White House, and out in the field. You've been getting away with a lot. That is about to stop.
Me, I'm guessing the latter.

Keep on talking, Midas. Maybe enough truisms repeated at agonizing length will paper over the hole. Besides, we're all keen to hear about how much money you have, again.

And again. And again.

MM: Or don't you want to "take your mask off"?

I don't wear one, little big man.

MM: the last three years of leftist rhetoric has been as viscious as its possible to get.
LIMBAUGH: Exactly. Exactly my point! This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation and we're going to ruin people's lives over it and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You ever heard of need to blow some steam off?
More, much more.
Talk radio host Michael Savage: "I commend" prisoner abuse; "we need more"

"[T]ake their deepest fear, the pig, the dog, the woman with the leash, and use it on them to break them!"

"Use ... [l]ittle, ugly women. And let 'em take big strapping Iraqis and put 'em on leashes naked."

"Instead of putting joysticks, I would have liked to have seen dynamite put in their orifices."
That took me all of 5 minutes. I leave it to others to find more, if they're inclined.

So 'leftist rhetoric' -- whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean -- is 'as vicious as it's possible to get', is it? You are spectacularly full of shit, Midas, but it's greatly amusing to watch you spin and thrash and hemorrhage words in a vain attempt to try and capture the high ground.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:08 PM on June 6, 2004


There is a postively virulant obsession with painting anything ocnservative not just as a difference of opinon, but as evil.

This looks suspiciously like a straw man to me. Insanity like massive deficit spending, international military adventurism, the establishment of religion and the avowed intent to federally regulate marriage -- and even violate the constitution to do it -- has nothing to do with Conservatism. It's not conservatism that's being condemned, it's the actions of misrulers who call themselves conservative, and in doing so, lie.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:10 PM on June 6, 2004


Keep in mind ...
posted by JackFlash at 11:11 PM on June 6, 2004


Obviously, these claims are not as ridiculous as some would make them out to be.

Let me get this straight. A group of college republicans noisily and disruptively march their way into a Joan Jett/Janeane Garofalo rally for Howard Dean, there's some yelling, Jett rocks out the Star Spangled banner, and the Republicans eventually leave. There is no mention of arrests or injuries, and the whole scene apparently engergizes the rally crowd - and this makes the Republicans NAZIS?!?
posted by techgnollogic at 11:11 PM on June 6, 2004


PS. 'The left' wasn't calling you anything, son. I was. Little could have I known that my shits-and-giggles poke with a stick would have set you off in such an embarrassing way.

MM: Every now and then, however, it is fun to stir the soup.

Looks like you're the one whose soup got stirred, here.

On preview - yikes. Fast mover of a thread. And 3 comments in a row without one from Midas! Wonders never cease!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:13 PM on June 6, 2004


technollogic: same personality type, given a couple of drinks inthem.

I notice you didn't respond to my second example.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:15 PM on June 6, 2004


Also, what our pal Oliver said.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:26 PM on June 6, 2004


Oh, crap, I forgot to utterly and completely ignore you, Spacy. You were right here on my "Dumb as Sack of Rocks" list and I totally missed it. Sorry.
posted by techgnollogic at 11:26 PM on June 6, 2004


Good Christ, you wingnuts are seriously deranged. You really are bent on dragging the rest of us down with you aren't you?

My question is: So is dubya gonna play less fair now that he has serious (though outmatched) ideological competition?

What does your knowledge of what amounts to "thinly" veiled threats supposed to mean?

The first amendment applies to you and me Midas et al. Are you telling us, that because your feelings are hurt that so many don't buy the Cult of Dubya line as you have, that you're hoping, know, will take part in, silencing those who criticicze you? How will the fact that people will always continue to agree with you be made to go away? Will you be overseeing th mailing of sheets of paper to people who pissed your fragile sensibilties off with dots in the center of them? Funding tribes of dissaffected, unhappy young suburban and rural men to patrol the liberal cities for people who approach life differently than you do? As Stav points out, you're rich. What's you're plan, as a wealthy entrepreneur, to keep your guy in the Oval Office?

Oh, what babies you are! Unhinged, obtuse, hateful, projecting babies. First amendment. Stand for it for all or shut up. Politics as they were Constitutionally conceived in these states were that of common sense. There will always be opposition. In fact, believing in the legality of said definition of the Constitution, you immediately, necessarily, allow for those who oppose you to, not only exist, but to be afforded the same playing field as you, in peace and dignity. What if we never wanted to stoop to your level of "discourse" in the first place? (personally there is no cruelty as terrifying than right wing cruelty)

If you play a salacious and duplicitous game of "hardball" how can it not be expected that those who oppose you will do the best they can to take that challenge? And then once they do, even allowing for the allegation you make, that the left
has stopped at nothing to smear the good George W. Bush. Where left do we have to go? When can we expect the full scale violence? What do you want out of us?

Attitudes like yours are exactly what have gotten us to this polarized mess. And then. And then! You get all the power and it's still not good enough.

You'd think this was a Constitutional Republic or something!
posted by crasspastor at 12:17 AM on June 7, 2004


MM: Mostly I write to articulate a viewpoint... for the sake of conservatives that do read this board, but wouldn't even think about participating ... due to the utter intolerance and visciousness of the lefties here.

While I don't agree with everything he says, I agree with MM on this point for sure. I often simply don't bother posting right-of-center ideals for fear of being unfairly smacked around.

--

skallas - you have some excellent points, and being a republican in a very liberal town (eugene oregon) has gone from unusual to embarrassing during the past three years.

I'd hoped that the demacrats would have put up a better candidate than Kerry, as for me I think I'll vote for a third party candidate.
posted by woil at 3:00 AM on June 7, 2004


This is largely bullshit. Bush is governing like most Presidents govern.

You're right...that statement IS bullshit. I had some respect for your mental abilities, if not your political sophistication, prior to that statement, but no more. That is not only an out-and-out lie, but a very dangerous and damaging (and I would argue, profoundly "un-American") lie. You should be ashamed for propagating it.

He's pissed about the leak, wants to know who did it, and punish him/her.

More inside info from your secret pipeline to the president's inner circle? LOL

Get used to this sort of lashing out behavior, people; it will become increasingly frequent from supporters as Bush plummets into disgrace.
posted by rushmc at 5:51 AM on June 7, 2004


There is a postively virulant obsession with painting anything ocnservative not just as a difference of opinon, but as evil.

I don't think the brush is nearly so wide as you make it out to be. But a rationalist will not reject the "if it walks & quacks like a duck" argument for ideological reasons....
posted by rushmc at 5:56 AM on June 7, 2004


I found it suspicious because it reads like it was written specifically to play up to all of the worst stereotypes about GWB. Oh no, the crazy Christian cokehead with his finger on the Button!

Next in the series: Anonymous livestock farmer's union insider levels accusations of sheep-fucking against Ralph Nader.
posted by darukaru at 6:45 AM on June 7, 2004


oh, fuck ewe. :)
posted by jonmc at 6:52 AM on June 7, 2004


Well, if Midas is as rich as his moniker and statements implies, then he certainly has reasons to support Herr Bush. Bush has said on numerous occasions that his political base is multimillionaires. Isn't that special?

Eat the rich.
posted by mooncrow at 7:08 AM on June 7, 2004


Midas: As I think you know, I've consistently stood up for the right of the right to express itself here on MeFi without being gang-tackled and beaten senseless (in a virtual sort of way), and I personally am willing to believe everything you say about loving freedom and trying to support it (obviously in ways that fit your worldview, which is not mine). I appreciate your being willing to stop trolling "stirring the soup" for a moment and say what you think, despite knowing that you'd get a lot of nasty comments along the lines of "unhinged, obtuse, hateful..."

What I want to know is this: during that period in the '80s when the US was actively supporting "unimaginable evil" in Iraq (not to mention giving Osama et al their start in Afghanistan), did you speak out as strongly against it? If so, I respect your integrity. If you justified it because of some "greater good" (read: it fit with the aims of the Republican Party) and are only now lashing out against Saddam because it suited the interests of the Republican Party and their financial backers to invade, then you're a hypocrite. Not prejudging, just asking.

And I find it hard to believe that someone as thoughtful and experienced as you seriously thinks Bush invaded Iraq because of "freedom" and "evil" rather than a combination of economic considerations and irrational revenge. But then, I don't share your worldview, so I can't really judge.
posted by languagehat at 8:13 AM on June 7, 2004


Perhaps you'd care to look up the word "petty" Not the spelling ... the meaning.

Okay, good idea.

Huh. Would ya look at that. There's a picture of you, Midas, complaining about the dangers of "leftist rhetoric" while our so-called president abandons America's purpose and destroys its entire global legacy for his own short-term political fortunes. Odd.
posted by soyjoy at 8:26 AM on June 7, 2004


languagehat - giving Midas the benefit of the doubt, I'd be willing to guess (and he's written as much) the 9-11 served as the same "wake up" call, for him (or as a life-shaking reminder at least), as it did for many Americans - that the US was NOT an island. Of course, one can take that realization in many different directions.

Meanwhile, E-v-i-l .....

I'm willing to grant the existence of "unimagineable evil" which should be stopped. Back during the Reagan years, there was "unimagineable evil" going on in Central America - with US funding, training, and tacit approval. Now, there are now significant (little reported) atrocity levels in the entire region around Columbia, I hear, which may turn into full-blown "unimagineable evil". Guatemala, I've also heard, is heating up. Halfway around the Globe from there, also, the Russian occupation of devastated Chechnya is far from "nice".

There's some major evil now ongoing in the Sudan. Where are the American troops ?

_______________

1. ".....due to the utter intolerance and visciousness of the lefties here." - Repeat over, and over and over again until contravening facts are conveniently crowded out of skull.

2. Vote.

3. BushProfit ?

__________________

"....Completely out of the blue, I received a phone call the other evening from a long-ago Republican friend who'd helped me greatly years ago win election as president of the Illinois Young Republicans......"I don't know where you stand these days, Bill," he said, "but Bush and the crowd around him make me sick and aren't even real Republicans. I remember when Republicans were genuine guardians of tax dollars, but these guys spend our money like creek water. The huge tax cuts, especially for the very rich, with a war going on make no sense at all. They're cutting back environment protection, and fouling the air again. You knew (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld, didn't you? Well, he and Cheney are strictly for war. They want to work our will by brute force. That's why the whole world hates us."

My old friend went on and made it clear Sen. Kerry will get his vote in November."
(from an article I linked to earlier on up the thread)
posted by troutfishing at 8:47 AM on June 7, 2004


Great, Can't we at least treat each other as human beings who have thought through the opinions we hold and have at least some basis in logic for holding those thoughts?

Instead, ever time a thread like this pops up, we end up with a battle in the middle ground that never really goes anywhere because no one can see the foundation on which anyone else stands. The main arguments have little to do with the article or post at hand; instead, they go back and forth on well-trodden issues.

We could have an actual discussion, or we can continue to take the words of token media figures and shove them in the mouths of others; to question intelligence and not actions.
posted by mikeh at 9:46 AM on June 7, 2004


Based on vague memories of the kind of chaos that became the Nixon White House as it unhinged, I'd say the front page post article is probably only mildly describing the turmoil that Bush et al are creating in our government, if not our world.

And be gentle with MidasMulligan and people like him, folks. These are exceedingly painful times for those like him. Regardless of the outcome of any election, be prepared for even more childish tantrums as the awful truth about things they wholeheartedly supported blow up right in their faces. I think sympathy, rather than anger, should guide our actions toward these, don't you?

And Midas, since you're into the dictionary today, why not ponder "projection" for a while.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 12:21 PM on June 7, 2004


maybe a little transference too.
posted by amberglow at 4:07 PM on June 7, 2004


And Midas, since you're into the dictionary today, why not ponder "projection" for a while.

Actually - that is a word you ought to contemplate deeply foldy ... it appears to pretty much sum up virtually 99% of your vitrolic posts. Nothing is as fun, however, as mirroring your behavior back at you, and watching you squirm. Ditto to you, amberglow.
posted by MidasMulligan at 4:35 PM on June 7, 2004


I don't about any of you but the news that Total Information Awareness is Alive and Well with new and improved black bag funding action is far scarier to me. Though Rants-Alot-and-Invokes-Gods-Name Bush is pretty frightening too.

A program shut down by Congress is just moved off the books and privatized?

What?
posted by fenriq at 4:39 PM on June 7, 2004


fold--

Be kinder than that. Midas is rather right; our Iraq policy throughout the 90's wasn't a great situation to be in -- indefinite, low grade bombing, with American credibility in the region dropping lower and lower. Nobody seriously believed that inspections were a means to an end, after all. There was alot of quiet support for the war just to deal with that reality -- at least it'd be over.

But nobody expected what actually happened -- even Kerry, who originally supported the war. There's alot of Americans in the same boat, and I think that's going to ultimately be his greatest strength.
posted by effugas at 4:43 PM on June 7, 2004


effugas - I hate to say this, but there were many who expected what actually happened.

I was one of them, and my expectations were far from original.

Step into the wayback machine, please.

Or, revisit the moment on the eve of war :

"A Pyrrhic victory in a catastrophic "March of Folly"? - historian Barbara Tuchman asked: why do leaders persist in pursuing catastrophic policies? Regardless of Baath regime executions of Iraqis, the Islamic world will witness mainly "American Atrocities" - and be outraged by gruesome images, on Al Jazeera and elsewhere, of every single child killed by American bombs. Iraqi tactics - of suicide bombing, ambushes, and faked surrenders - will erase the civilian/combatant distinction, leading to more and more incidents like this (to be televised to an appalled Islamic world): and all this merely a foreshadow of what may be urban warfare on a scale seldom seen in the 20th century. Grozny comes to mind. Mainstream US media asserts that the solution for the whole "miscalculation" is just more US troops
But the war is tailor made to provoke tribalistic, Pan-Islamic fury (and corresponding, furiously tribalistic US patriotic support for war). Escalation is in the air: statements by Rumsfeld, Powell, and the US State Dept. indicate an awareness that the current war could spread, drawing in Syria and Iran. Consequences also could include the destabilization or the takeover, of nuclear armed Pakistan, by Islamic militants, and a Nuclear miltarization across a wide region, from Iraq to Japan.
If only this were "South Park: The Movie", where the onset of Armaggeddon can be stopped by an heroic act of sacrifice by Kenny."


We are still not at the extremities I warned of. There is still yet time - if wiser heads prevail.

A little.
posted by troutfishing at 8:14 PM on June 7, 2004


Be kinder than that. Midas is rather right; our Iraq policy throughout the 90's wasn't a great situation to be in -- indefinite, low grade bombing, with American credibility in the region dropping lower and lower. Nobody seriously believed that inspections were a means to an end, after all. There was a lot of quiet support for the war just to deal with that reality -- at least it'd be over.

But nobody expected what actually happened -- even Kerry, who originally supported the war.


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

The bombing campaign of 1998 scared the hell out of Iraq's neighbors--they were worried Saddam was about to fall. See Blunt Talk by General Anthony Zinni

Why Wasn't There a Plan for Rebuilding Iraq?

"In 1998 we bombed Iraq. [Saddam Hussein] threw out the inspectors and we conducted an operation called Desert Fox, and we bombed facilities that could be used to develop weapons systems for WMD, because we didn't know if he had them or didn't have them, but we could hit missile production facilities, the intelligence headquarters, etc. At the end of that four days an interesting thing happened. I was commander of Central Command at the time, and we started to get reports from embassies that were in that they had never seen the government so shaken, almost paralyzed. And when I traveled around the region and spoke to Kuwaitis, Jordanians, and others, they said, 'You know, you are bombing them all the time, you are hitting them, and you are shaking them, what if he were to collapse? What if you got Saddam in a palace or somewhere, or the people rose up and its chaos? What are you going to do about it?'

"And it struck me then that we had a plan to defeat Saddam's army, but we didn't have a plan to rebuild Iraq. And so I asked the different agencies of government to come together to talk about reconstruction planning for Iraq. . . . I thought we ought to look at political reconstruction, economic reconstruction, security reconstruction, humanitarian need, services, and infrastructure development. We met in Washington, DC. We called the plan, and we gamed it out in the scenario, Desert Crossing. The first meeting surfaced all the problems that have exactly happened now. This was 1999. And when I took it back and looked at it, I said, we need a plan. Not all of this is a military responsibility. I went back to State Department, to the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, Department of Commerce and others and said, all right, how about you guys taking part of the plan. We need a plan in addition to the war plan for the reconstruction. Not interested. Would not look at it. So at Central Command before I left -- I retired in 2000 -- I started a plan called Desert Crossing for the reconstruction of Iraq. Because I was convinced nobody in Washington was going to plan for it, and we, the military, would get stuck with it. So when I left in 2000 we were in the process of that planning. When it looked like we were going in, I called back down to Centcom and said, You need to dust off Desert Crossing. They said, What's that? Never heard of it. So in a matter of just a few years it was gone. The corporate memory. And in addition I was told, 'We've been told not to do any of the planning. It would all be done in the Pentagon.'

"In February [2003], the month before the war, I was called before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to testify on this, and the panel before me was the planner for the State Department and the planner for the Pentagon. And they were briefing their so-called plan. It was clear to me, and I testified to that effect afterwards in the next panel, that there was no plan. That they were way underestimating what they were getting into. That they had done virtually no planning. And that they were in for big trouble. And to answer your question why didn't they do it, the only thing I can say, they naively misjudged the scope and the complexity of the problems they were going to have. They thought they could do it seat of the pants."


Bush's own special ambassador to the Middle East knew god damn good and well what would happen and said so to Congress before the invasion. As did General Shinseki and look how he got treated--and then tells aides to “fuck over” anyone they consider to be an opponent of the administration, indeed.

Kerry 49-44 in Latest Gallup

Battleground States

Among registered voters, Kerry leads Bush by 20 points in the blue states (won by former Vice President Al Gore in 2000 by a margin of more than 5 percentage points), and trails Bush by just 4 points in the red states (won by Bush in 2000 by a margin of more than 5 percentage points). In the purple states (those won by either Gore or Bush by margins of 5 points or less), Kerry leads by 5 points, 49% to 44%.


As for Midas, I once remarked he could be a brain in a vat, for all we know, and this perception was only strengthened when he recounted a Mississippi tale that, if you read our Man from Alabam' ''cosmic'' raysmj correctly, in a Mississippi of the imagination. But then I find it hard to understand why someone so big and important would spend so much of his time telling a bunch of college kids, gearhead dweebs and assorted underemployed malcontents how big and important he is in his comments on a community weblog. It just doesn't compute somehow.

Anyway, it's so hard to tell--for even him, if we take him at his word: here was one self-declared former Davos participant who was dubious Laurie Garrett's bona fides--when all you have to hang your trust upon is Because I Said So. It takes the Verify out of Trust But Verify, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan.
posted by y2karl at 12:07 PM on June 8, 2004


y2karl - Midas clearly has a deeply rooted, quintessentially American authenticity. Having risen far from his humble roots, his spelling has now greatly improved since those rough-and-tumble "Mississippi Tale" days.

A self made man, indeed, - unlike certain US Presidents.
posted by troutfishing at 10:12 PM on June 8, 2004


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