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previous: GregP "You should be bursting with praise... -- 1102058637 View Thread

Re: An away game in the Bush league

12/3/2004 3:36 PM
Michael TousekRe: An away game in the Bush league
"I'm not sure how to take this. Are you suggesting how I should feel about our president actually pulling off a rare public appearance without sticking his foot in his mouth?"
I wouldn't phrase it quite like that, but yes. Your unwillingness to acknowledge that the President represented the country well during his visit to Canada typifies liberal behavior of late. You guys complain and complain about Bush being awkward, but then when he's not awkward, you still have nothing but complaining. It wouldn't surprise me if you're actually disappointed that he didn't blow it, since it means your complaints now have less merit.  
"You may call F9/11 whatever you want, but technically it is classified as a documentary. Can't change the rules to fit your argument."
I call films designed to influence public opinion through intentional lies and distortions propaganda. That seems appropriate to me. I'd be happy to call it a "propaganda documentary" if you'd prefer.  
"Do not Europeans possess the right to gather enmass and protest his unilateral foreign policy?"
Naturally they do, and so do the Americans who have marched against Bush, but that's beside the point. I'm not arguing against the right of people to demonstrate. Rather, I'm citing the demonstrations to support my point that Bush has been the target of widespread and very visible popular anger. You attempted to draw a contrast between Clinton and Bush in this regard, saying that while Clinton had been subject to a "witch hunt", opinion against Bush has instead been restrained or suppressed. I think this is not the case.  
"Tell all books by former insiders. I've never met Bush, yet these people have worked directly with him. And because they comprise the few that failed to fall under his charm, their perspectives are somehow biased or contaminated?"
I mentioned the tell-all books to demonstrate that opinions and arguments contra Bush have been readily available to the public. Not only have they been available, but they have been promoted by media outlets like 60 Minutes. There was a span of about two months during the campaign where 60 Minutes featured one of these books about every other week. This is only one example, but keep in mind that 60 Minutes is CBS's flagship news program, and quite influential. I just don't see the discouragement of critical opinion in the popular media that you see.  
"Last time I listened to the radio, I was able to find one station that had a liberal democrat perspective. The repubs have had Rush, O'Reilly, Hannity, and all the other wanna be's for years."
Right, but these guys mostly preach to the conservative choir. They're like an editorial page that reacts to the news rather than presenting the news to the broader public. The media organizations that actually bring us the news -- the gatekeepers -- for the most part have a leftward bias. For instance, the major papers like the NYT, Boston Globe, LA times, Washington Post -- all but the Wall Street Journal -- endorsed Kerry this time around (I think). It's basically these papers that set the headlines and determine the angle on many stories. Only 10% of people may read their news, the rest getting it instead from radio and TV, but the people on radio and TV probably got their news from print. Print is powerful because it sits at the top of the news pyramid -- it's like the headwaters with the other media outlets branching off from it -- and because it has the benefit of being broadly perceived as objective and authoritative.  
"And wasn't it the New York Times that broke MonicaGate? And rode Clinton."
MonicaGate is what put Matt Drudge on the map. Newsweek was sitting on the story, then Drudge got wind of it and broke it. That opened the floodgates, and from that point everybody was on it, including the New York Times.  
""The impeachment not withstanding, President Bush has endured at least as much as President Clinton.""
I'd like to clarify my "the impeachment notwithstanding" qualifier. By that I mean the technical proceedings of the impeachment. Bush hasn't been impeached, but liberals have created the same character-assassinating atmosphere that hung over the Clinton administration. It's the same kind of focused disdain for the man.  
"What were all the things Clinton was found guilty of by the way? What did that $70 million dollars buy? A conviction?"
As if it's a money issue. But if you want to frame it that way -- the $70 million bought a concrete demonstration that the President isn't above the law and basic standards of respect for the Office. This will pay dividends well into the future as presidents reflect on what kind of behavior the people expect.  
"The opportunities his social rank afford him also call into question his motives."
This sounds like echoes of paleo-socialist class envy to me.  
"Countless accounts in the papers about Kerry supporters being escorted from Bush's hand picked campaign gatherings. Kerry did not screen, pre-qualify or remove Bush supporters. One lady asked Laura Bush why her son had to die at a campaign stop, and this lady was escorted out. Why are dissenting opinions or questions silenced by this administration?"
So you're supporting your earlier lament about dissenting opinion being discouraged by citing the Bush team's barring of Kerry supporters from their rallies? To me, this barely rises above the level of the trivial. Maybe you'll have something stronger as I read on...  
"What 'values' do repubs have that dems do not possess? What values do conservative possess that set them apart from liberals? I find the use of word 'values' interesting."
Republicans value the family, value traditional gender roles, value honesty and integrity and self-discipline, value hard work, value personal decency -- that sort of thing. They value the concept of "values" as it has traditionally been defined. The progressive element within the Democrat party is, for philosophical reasons, particularly friendly to the notion of tradition -- and their influence within the party keeps the party from sounding truly grounded and authentic when it speaks in terms of values. It ends up sounding a little forced.  
"Frank Luntz"
So it was Frank Luntz you were thinking of when you said that? Frank Luntz the pollster? This is quite anticlimactic. I was expecting something more impressive than Frank Luntz.  
"The shadowy people that think they want to know what books I've checked out from the library."
This has little to do with the suppression of political opinion.  
"A subtle attempt at working the elite liberal angle."
Mostly I thought the irony of Sean Penn taking out a vanity editorial in one of the nation's largest newspapers for the purpose of telling us he felt silenced was delicious and telling.  
"Again, see my remarks about the Rush's, Hannity's and O'Rielly's. They have been villanizing and demonizing liberal for years, using lies, distortions and half-truths to support their arguments."
Hannity and O'Reilly are mediocre, but Rush has been arguing against liberalism for years using very well constructed arguments for the most part. It's simply inaccurate to label him as some kind of screamer. And I have never heard any of them slight the basic character of Americans the way that you have.  
Since the election, liberals have revealed a lot about themselves with their broad-stroke denunciations of their fellow citizens as morons, brain-dead, sheeple, etc. I find it very offensive. Your statement -- that Americans wouldn't have had the goodwill to help Canadians in that situation -- isn't quite as snide as these, but it still fits the pattern.  
"You call what we are doing in Iraq humanitarian? What about Darfur? What about North Korea? There are millions of people sying of starvation in North Korea. What about AID's? Please spare me the sanctimonious, gratiutous indignation."
So you saw fit to slight the rest of us because you disagree with policy towards Iraq and North Korea? I don't know what to say except that this seems like a stretch.  
"And we both lack civility."
Well, I disagree. I would say that this hasn't been a particularly friendly exchange, but it hasn't been uncivil. Maybe we need to define uncivil.  

Mark Hammer Good reply. Systematic, reasonable... -- 12/3/2004 6:09 PM
GregP "There was a span of about two mont... -- 12/3/2004 8:09 PM