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February 22, 2006

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Comments

BurbankErnie

I read through his comments the other day {spit} and found no one sticking up for you. Where are the members of the Tom-Tom Club????

jerry

The only comment I'd make is that you seem to be obsessed with Greenwald.

kim

I'm reminded of the cartoon(Far Side?) with two large birds sitting in chairs in a tree house with a large picture window that Tarzan has just swung into with a loud splat; one bird says to the other "What was that?"

How reminded? Glass Houses.
====================================

Cecil Turner

I think Glenn's bigger sin is intellectual laziness. He doesn't even try for something resembling a proof; just cites a few examples and moves on. Like many on the left, he seems to think anecdotal evidence is sufficient--and, like Daou, relies on the "here's my assertion, now prove me wrong" fallacy. And while a few counter-examples might suffice to disprove a theory, they obviously don't meet the burden of proof for a positive assertion.

Further, he draws the wrong conclusion from his own examples. The common thread is national defense, not conservatism vs. authoritarianism--and many Bush supporters (like me) are mostly concerned with effective prosecution of the WoT. So while distrust of the government may be a "hallmark of conservatism," we support the NSA program (and in fact think it might not go far enough). Similarly, Andrew Sullivan lost my respect for prioritizing gay marriage over the war. Does that qualify as an "authoritarian cult"? Okay, whatever.

epphan

I pledge blind allegiance to GW Bush. On the port deal, GW Bush is a liberal. No wait. Damn I’m confused. Where’s the handbook again?

Gary Maxwell

100% Fact Free


Can we call them Olestra Democrats?

Poor Glenn he does not even know he has been knifed, TM cut him that clean.

Truzenzuzex

At this point, the guy who is looking the stupidest by far is Peter Daou. Without him pointing to Greenwald's screed and pronouncing it "seminal", I doubt if anyone except the denizens of Kos, MyDD, firedoglake and DU would have noticed.

Next thing you know, Daou will be linking to Moulitsas "screw them" post as a "seminal" argument against the Iraq war.

Davebo

Ironic really in that, judging from past posts, Tom agrees re: Hewitt.

Oh wait, that was last week.

larwyn

How to refer to them is the question. I rather liked
Robert Godwin'S title of his 1/27/06 essay at OneCosmos:

The Pathetic Last Children of Nietzsche's Pitiable Last Men

However, TPLCONPLM is not a graceful acronym.

RG tackled them again with:


End-Time Panic and The Liberal Ghost Dance

And surely they are both "Ghost Dancers" and "Cargo
Cultists"

As each myth crumbles in succession, they become increasingly frantic in papering over reality with the downright strange beliefs of their progressive crisis cult.

Just as a neurosis is a personal culture, a culture--especially a subculture--is often a collective neurosis. I realized quite some time ago that it is not possible to respond to the content of a dailykos, since it is so histrionic and perpendicular to reality. .............................Instead of examining their assumptions, these progressives prescribe more of the same--only worse!--in a way that seems calculated to turn off and drive away the average moderate voter who has at least one foot in the real world.

Lots to work with there -

"We're Perpendicular to Reality"

And let's review:

an excerpt from Selwyn Duke's column at American Thinker 2/22/06:

Liberals aren’t thinkers, they’re “feelers.” Thus, they are not governed by absolutes but by expediency and what feels right at the moment. Profiling Muslims within the context of the port situation feels right, whereas doing so at airports doesn’t. It’s that simple. For this reason, a given liberal “principle,” for lack of a better word (it’s not quite accurate to call an ever-changing emotional preference a “principle”), is only pulled from the magician’s hat when it can be placed in the service of a liberal agenda. It’s the closest thing to a religious experience the Clintons and Schumers of the world will have. Their “principles” undergo a continual cycle of death and resurrection, the latter phase being animated by the desire to breathe life into deadly fallacies in need of buttressing.

"Feeling Our Way to Principles"

IMHO, this was the toughest of all that I have read:


The Voice of the Neuter
at American Digest on Jan 26th,2006

"We're as Sure of Everything as We Sound"

TM, this is a very difficult task,
an overload of choices. It is like
shopping in a "super store".

Lew Clark

To show his (their) ignorance, they don't even know what the cult is about. It is not a Bush cult, it is a Rove cult. We pledge no more loyalty to the Master's puppet than we do to his cell phone. Both are just tools. If Greenwald was as smart as he thought he was, he would have realized the obvious by now.

Sue

Don't the packages containing Olestra warn of diarrhea? Would olestra democrats be required to do the same?

Dwilkers

I think to a large extent these intra-blog wars are simply exercises in blog stat boosting.

Greenwald (or whoever) posts some silly statement about TM (or whoever). The accused responds, his readers jump over to read the offending post, lather, rinse, repeat. I decided this is what's going on by watching the Sullivan Reynolds wars a few months back. Sullivan would take some statement Reynolds made and twist it into "he supports torture!". Reynolds would link back and say "what?". When Reynolds quit linking back? Sullivan stopped attacking. It became clear to me that Sullivan was simply milking Reynolds for traffic.

I'd be awful tempted just to ignore them TM, although I'm sure there are good reasons not to do that.

cathyf
Isn't a theory meant to have a bit of predictive power?
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, Tom. You have been overwhelmed by a different Authoritarian Cult. Science, and empiricism in general, are social constructs of the White Male Hegemony designed for subjegating women and people of color. Your weird obsession with "facts" and "data" is simply a ploy for you to further your agenda of humiliation for these noble victims.

Got it now?

cathy :-)

nine

Mr. Maguire's super-sarcastic, smart aleck high schooler (or is it Dartmouth Review?) writing style is incredibly unbecoming.

I don't know him, but it makes him seem like a really distasteful jerk.

Glenn Greenwald might have been hyperbolic in his authoritarian cultist theory (though there is clearly some of that, even if not as widespread as he suggested), but no one can say he sinks to Maguire's level of sarcastic, hateful loser-writing.

I am sure Maguire's sycophants love it, but I doubt he is convincing anyone else. Maybe that's not his goal so he doesn't care. But I bet Glen Greenwald does convince people and without even trying he convinced me he is a smarter and more decent blogger-citizen than Tom Maguire.

danking70

This "authoritarian cult" sounds like another rationalization as to why liberals suck.

I mean why liberals have been sucking for so long lately.

It sort of reminds me of an Martin Short SNL character sketch of a chain smoking paranoid bureaucrat/company official.

"Is it me? No, it's him. Right?"

AppalledConservative

Didn't you know that one man's "facts" are another man's fiction? When "truth is subjectivity", why is there even a need for facts?

Gary Maxwell

Did you get that from Mr. Nine? First while admitting that Greenwald was exagerating ( synonym and more frequently used word for hyperbolic) but, so what, its "convincing."

Throw out the attacks on TM writng style and a totally unsupprted assertion that Greenwald is smarter, and that is what the essence is.

Mr Nine I hearby award you the Olestra post of the day award. No it does not really resemble a dunce hat...

TM

Can we call them Olestra Democrats?

I like that, but I also like "The perpendicular To Reality Based Community".

Mr. Maguire's super-sarcastic, smart aleck high schooler (or is it Dartmouth Review?) writing style is incredibly unbecoming.

Ahh, you only say that because you are not an authoritarian cultist.

JJ

"sarcastic, hateful loser-writing"?

^Projecting? Oh, never mind, not suckering me in.

I'm sticking my Authoritarian Cultist nose up in the air and walking away.

FIRST, however, would someone tell me what an Authoritarian Cultist actually is? Never heard of the expression. What is the etymology of the orthography of "Authoritarian Cultist" (That was my attempt at acting high brow. *belch*)

The proof is still in the support. You can call someone an intellectual coward, but you better post the sound, valid arguments to convince others that your charge is real.

So, I vote for choice 2. Don't need no stinking facts!

spongeworthy

Being completely mindless and bearing not a single original thought or contrary idea of my own, it still seems to me that if you find yourself making dumbass unsupported generalizations and Tom gets wind of it, you'd best climb down real quick. Chalk it up to hyperbole or drug abuse. You don't want to end up like this Greenwald fellow.

I wonder if Greenwald wouldn't have just chuckled about his piece and laughed it off if Daou hadn't flattered him so and now Greenwald can't just leave his fan club hanging out there.

Kman

Well, Greenwald's post must be "seminal", since it's generated much talk and comment, including much on this site. Perhaps that word doesn't mean what you think it means.

Lew Clark

"Mr. Maguire's super-sarcastic, smart aleck high schooler (or is it Dartmouth Review?) writing style is incredibly unbecoming."

I think Mr. Maguire rites real purdy and Mr. Greenwald rites stoopid. That's what I think!

Cecil Turner

Perhaps that word doesn't mean what you think it means.

The root is from the Latin for "seed"--which my dictionary construes as creative in an original way. The ability to generate discussion seems more in the sense of promoting growth, which perhaps better supports an analogy to something like fertilizer, or possibly manure.

andrew

Thanks for the laugh, CT. I needed that.

Sue

Main Entry: sem·i·nal
Pronunciation: 'se-m&-n&l
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin seminalis, from semin-, semen seed -- more at SEMEN
1 : of, relating to, or consisting of seed or semen
2 : containing or contributing the seeds of later development : CREATIVE, ORIGINAL
- sem·i·nal·ly /-n&l-E/ adverb

Actually, it would have created just as much talk had it been #1. Probably more so. If you want to claim it was creative, then yep, when facts don't count, you definitely get to be creative. Original? Not hardly. He wasn't the first and won't be the last that says anyone who supports Bush is clueless, cultish, and the list goes on and on...

Sue

What now? I did not put the underlines in. Are they still there?

nine

To Mr. Maxwell -- you are right that I wasn;t as clear as I should have been. The "convincing" stuff Glenn Greenwald writes about is the illegal, unconstitutional, impeachable-offense nature of the "program" of warrantless spying the George Bush has repeatedly approved.

Further, the evidence that Glenn Greenwald is smarter than Mr. Maguire comes from the writing style. People who purport to publish opinions with an eye to making a difference and who then engage in smart alecky writing have, by doing so, proffered evidence they are not particularly smart. Glenn Greenwald does not appear to do this; in the posts I have read, he is very reasonable.

To JJ: I won;t comment on the term "cultist," but here is what you need to know about "authoritarianism": The Cheney-Bush power-grab demonstrated by the warrantless spying "program" (and for that matter blowing off the requirement to tell Congress about the foreign-run ports deal) runs directly contrary to the relatively decentralized, checks and balances system written into our Constitution. George Bush is trying to change America in ways no one should support. Anyone who looks at the last few years historically must see that the dear leaders govern through bullying, fear, and tricky, obscurantist declarations that used to be called lies. Centralized power, secrecy, fear, lies – these are the hallmarks of authoritarianism occurring in our lifetime, right before our eyes, but somehow a significant percentage of the population – they generally call themselves conservatives – is all for it. When these so-called conservatives decide to come back to reality, where honesty is valued and lies are scorned, we may be able to work together to end the current authoritarian nightmare and avoid the disastrous, third world future into which we are currently speeding.

clarice

cut bumper sticker, paste bumper sticker,rinse repeat, pass it off as argument..

PeterUK

"The perpendicular To Reality Based Community".

A bit of a mouthful and too long for a bumper sticker,how about

"Rightangle to Reality"

Joe

If a dumbass praises your intellect and finds you convincing, does it really count?

Just askin'

Lew Clark

Nine is right!
Before Emperor George took over my life, I was able to..., well uh, you now, I was free too..., well now seriously, I could....

Well there is talking to terrorists on my cell phone. But I really don't know any terrorists, so it's really not that big a deal for me personally.

Nine, I'll give you the same challenge I give my liberal associates that spout this. Give me one example of something you personally did under the freedom that was Clinton, that you are no longer able to do. Not some generalized talking point. Something that has affected you personally. Because you seem to take this very personally, so give us your own personal horror story. Because there are many such horror stories around the world under "Authoritarian" regimes. So you must have one. Doesn't even need it to be about you. Tell us about friends or family that the hobnailed boot has come down on.

larwyn

nine seems to fit the:

"Feeling Our Way to Principles"

Further, the evidence that Glenn Greenwald is smarter than Mr. Maguire comes from the writing style. People who purport to publish opinions with an eye to making a difference and who then engage in smart alecky writing have, by doing so, proffered evidence they are not particularly smart. Glenn Greenwald does not appear to do this; in the posts I have read, he is very reasonable.

They don't teach the difference between the writing or reading of fiction and fact anymore. They don't understand the use of bits of humor and wit as asides.
They have fiction writers in Science Journals,in Business Mags and Sections (think Enron before the fall) and posing as War
Correspondents.
Poor abused souls to have Reid,
Pelosi, Dean, Kennedy, Kerry and
Hillary as your founts of "wit".

"I don't blame him. I blame the guy who hired him" was the lament of an associate whenever he received less than adequate service.

Nine - "I don't blame you. I blame the guys that taught you"


SmokeVanThorn

nine is obviously a Greenwald cultist. Just look at how he labels anyone who criticizes Greenwald or agrees with Tom. Hope that's not too smart alecky.

larwyn

Lew,
Think I have answer to:

"Tell us about friends or family that the hobnailed boot has come down on."

"Hey Babe! Nice blue dress!

no longer accepted pick-up line.

noah

Didn't really follow this very well, but did go over to Greenwald's yesterday to read his reply. I lasted two paragraphs...the olestra was thick all around.

Sorry, Nine, Greenwald ain't no Norman Podhoretz (my fav gunslinger with words). TM is good not great. Clarice has already assessed your vacuum.

larwyn

Peter UK,
Perpendicular vs Rightangled -
Original source:
... a culture--especially a subculture--is often a collective neurosis. I realized quite some time ago that it is not possible to respond to the content of a dailykos, since it is so histrionic and perpendicular to reality. ........

Excerpt from Robert Godwin's
"End-Time Panic and The Liberal Ghost Dance"

Find link to it at my comment on this thread at 09:26AM today.

noah

The mathematically inclined might substitute orthogonal...perpendicular generalized to multi-dimensional space.

larwyn

Peter,
Shame there is no:

leftangled

PeterUK

Larwyn.
I saw it, but we need something catchy we can chant,though we can call them "perps" or "hypotenoids" or "hypotenusians".

nine


A) The implication that I supported Clinton or any Democrats is superfluous and wrong. Not only did I never vote for Clinton, I chided my friends who did. Wrap your heads around this: I am not a member of the Democratic Party. Attempts to stereotype me as some sort of easily-dismissible straw person might make some of you feel better about avoiding my points, but overall it weakens your cause.

B) None of these comments go to the point that as far as we can tell from his weblog, Glenn Greenwald generally appears to be a reasonable writer who does not deploy smart-ass language that can only appeal to the already-converted (as compared to say the writers at Firedoglake and many rightist bloggers such as, apparently, TOm Maguire.) The point is his reasonablness. And yes, I would say that based on that reasonableness, Glenn Greenwald appears to be smarter than the Firedoglake women and most political bloggers, for the reasons stated in my previous comment.

C) How has Bush's power grab affected me personally? I am an American. Most of my ancestral lines were here before there was a United States. Bush is violating one of the basic founding principles of our form of government -- that the people who get to hold power must follow the law and act in accord with the Constitution. If that fact by itself does not affect 'you' personally, 'you' are not worthy of democratic citizenship. And in fact 'your' refusal to acknowledge the problem suggests you are more interested in supporting Bush than in the principles on which this nation was founded. Hmmmm... maybe there's a term we could use for people like 'you.'

noah

Orthogonal to reality one is likely to find God...that should scare 'em.

Soylent Red

Re: the perpendicular vs rightangled.

Although it was some years ago, my memory of geometry is that Liberal Ghost Dancing is not perpendicular/rightangled.

Perpendicular or right angled to reality would suggest that Liberal thought would intersect with reality at a point. I don't think even Pythagoras could make that case these days.

Therefore, IMO a more appropriate geometric metaphor is the tried and true parallel. As in parallel universe, parallel reality, etc.

That would accurately describe the more realistic notion that Liberalism shares no points of reference with reality.

Yeah, I know it's boring and been done to death already. But so has geometry.

noah

Nope. Just not interested in arguing dead issues with infants.

larwyn

My bad Peter.

Not thinking of CHANTS.

Something with a snotty acronym
would be great.

T.A.C. fits our cult well.

Have you completed the initiation
for any position on the executive
committee of T.A.C. yet?

Soylent Red

BTW Nine:

One of the other founding principles of democracy is "innocent until proven guilty".

Since I have read no articles to date of the conviction of Chimpy or Shotgun Dick or any of the rest of the cast of villains, I think I can see the breakdown in the system here.

To that end, collect your Daily Kos posts into some format that can be presented as evidence, lawyer up, and get busy defending Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

Or else just stuff a sock in it.

Rick Ballard

"FIRST, however, would someone tell me what an Authoritarian Cultist actually is?"

Of course, my dear fellow. I am fully authorized (by the Goddess herself) to dispense that information with great alacrity.

The fee for the initial dispensation is $8,457.32 (at current rates of exchange as of 12:55 PM PDT 02/22/06 - subject to change upon identification of total assets available to person making request). Will that be cash or charge, bearing in mind of course, the standard 2% discount for cash payment (with an additional 1% offered for payment in used bills of $20 or less denomination)?

We offer direct wire facilities for transfer to our accounts in:

Isle of Mann
Cayman Islands
Luxembourg
Lichtenstein
Monaco
Switzerland

plus several other locales with names supplied on request.

noah

Since 99 brought up the NSA thingy...Jonah "TAC" Goldberg has a nice article at NRO online on how Glenn "spanked by Goldstein who is not even a lawyer" Greenwald types have taken to quoting dead white men and using originalist jurisprudence when and only when it suits them.

cathyf

Hmmm... Orthogonal? Perpendicular? Parallel?

How's about "skew"?

cathy :-)

larwyn

Soylent,

"That would accurately describe the more realistic notion that Liberalism shares no points of reference with reality."

There perpendicularity to reality
only touches at any particular point of reality that can be used
as an exhibit of their "feelings".

Case if point will be the video of
the "So poor. So Black." (CNN's Wooooof quote) victims of Katrina.
Even tho FACTS dispute that victims were primary poor blacks
and that New Orleans prior to Katrina was 67% Black or "Chocolate" as Mayor Nagin likes to call it.

Abu Ghraib is another.
And "dead eye Dick" and on and on.

They swoop right thru reality, in
and out with only one maggot* of information.

*fit with swoop and maggots never are only offspring.

Sue

Sean Hannity is a liberal.

noah

Lew Clark,

Ever the contrarian, let me offer one semi-loss of freedom. I googled "high explosives" and went to a web site that discussed the various home made high explosives and how to make them.

I thought Yikes, the FBI is gonna be at my door in the middle of the night! Didn't happen but I did have a little sinkin' situation there for a moment.

Lew Clark

So nine,
Your answer to my question is "I can't come up with any factual examples, but I am in touch with my feelings, and my feelings are bad".
You come over as quite young and quite naive (although naivety is not always reserved to the young). That is no condemnation. But once you've done as I have done and spent over 40 years of your life serving your country in foreign assignments that do have "authoritarian" regimes, come lecture me on what it looks like. And, as far as a term for people like me, I like the one the Director used on my retirement. But, it's probably not the "P" word your thinking of.

clarice

Damn, Rick, I can spot talent and make good assignments.
We should give nine credit for not slipping into ChimpyMcBushitler--OTOH I have to give him a major deduction for this unsubstantiated claim:
"Bush is violating one of the basic founding principles of our form of government -- that the people who get to hold power must follow the law and act in accord with the Constitution."

As far as I can tell the President has done everything in accord with his best determination of the law and Constitutioon, such legal geniuses as Kerry and Leahy to the contrary notwithstanding.

clarice

Well, I can think of one Chimpy intrusion. Before 9/11 my son's Japanese mother in law traveled to DC carrying with her on the plane a whole kit of very lethal bonsai tools..And they took my lighter at security (I suppose you could argue, first they took the lighters and I kept silent because I used matches..then they took the matches..)

Soylent Red

larwyn:

I'll relent on the strength of your examples. But I like "orthagonal" as an alternative. Libs can be "orthogs".

JM Hanes

I''ve been pretty busy as self-appointed gaunlet-runner-in-chief. Since TM has decided to go with continuing coverage here (and how could he resist?), I'll pitch in my 2¢. I posted the following assessment of Greenwald's latest round-up (Limbaugh/Mann/Specter/Rousseau/Pod) in his comment thread:


I'll give you Rush Limbaugh, with the proviso that he runs a wholly owned and operated, independent Cult of his own, not a franchise, but he looks like the only one who comes close to filling your bill.

For the record, the perception on the right of a liberal bias at PBS pre-dates the current Adminstration. The fact that Mann was tabulating liberal and anti-administration views suggests that putative cultists apparently do make some sort of distinction between the two, does it not? And if Bob Barr's brief appearance, for example, centered on his work with the ACLU which is, in fact, an ideologically liberal and arguably anti-administration organization, where do you propose Mann's check mark have gone? As you may recall, Barr himself had already been excommunicated by the voters in his district, for reasons which were largely tangential to his position on the liberal conservative continuum.

In Arlen Specter's case, surely, you jest? You can't seriously be suggesting that Specter is conservative Republican being newly re-branded as liberal, or that his Chairmanship of a key Senate Committee is evidence of being shut out in the cold.

Never heard of Rousseau, myself. Does he have a big enough following to get into the excommunication business? I'm not sure how an example featuring Sullivan is relevant to any conceivable branding meme. As a political conservative and a social liberal he's a legitimate jump ball in any event. IIRC, wasn't Sullivan among those who attested that the anti-Sullivan emails coming in from the left were considerably more vicious overall than those he routinely receives from the right?

John Podhoretz makes it abundantly clear that opinion shaper here, aka Cult leader, disapproves of such relabeling and actively discourages it -- even in lowly unamed readers.

Digby's claim about the abandonment of Bush is pasted onto a pretty predictable phenomenon. Perhaps he's forgotten, or simply didn't notice, that several years ago, conservatives were already so openly critical -- idealogically -- of Bush's domestic policies, that the New York Times decided they needed to assign someone to actually cover conservatives -- for the first time ever.

What the left utterly fails to understand is that the Republican party was, is, and continues to be a coalition, not a cult. They're just more disciplined about message building than the opposition, because as a minority party demographically for so long, they had to be. This is not to suggest that Bush doesn't have plenty of real admirers, but the cracks you're seeing aren't new, they're just more visible because the majority party doesn't need the same kind of discipline to get things done. Conservatives put their eggs in Bush's basket, but they'd be crazy not to be looking way ahead -- after all, that's precisely how they got where they are now.

As for precisely the kind of intellectual cowardice Greenwald describes, Greenwald could offer up his own NSA scandal and Portgate - a perfect match as Exhibit A. Once more, into the breach, I thought it worth observing that Greenwald had yet to take a position on the actual particulars, but rather contented himself with the unsupported assertion that cronyism must be involved, and proceeded to examine how the left might exploit the issue to political advantage.

I also responded to the Daou Challenge, and to Daou's credit, he replied promptly to the heads up I emailed him yesterday. As I declined to provide the examples of liberal bias he solicited in favor of examing the concretenss of his own, he may not feel obliged to comment, but I'll let you know if he does.

Davebo

Wow! This has turned into quite the blog war hasn't it?

When can we get back to idle unsubstantiated speculation on the Plame case?

nine


A) Soiled Red: It is admittedly hard to prove guilt when investigations are stonewalled by the people, like Pat Roberts and Alberto Gonzalez, who are supposed to lead the investigating. Even so, in a criminal trial, circumstantial evidence is evidence of guilt, as admissible and as probative as direct evidence. The fact that the Bush Administration, particularly Cheney, Bush, and Gonzalez, appear to be doing everything they can to keep any investigation from happening is circumstantial evidence they did something unlawful. It is also consciousness of guilt evidence, which cannot by itself support a guilty verdict, can be used in combination with other evidence, circumstantial and/or direct, to find guilt. Plus I cannot fail to mention there is direct evidence of guilt – an admission from Bush himself that under his authority, the executive branch conducted surveillance of American citizens without a warrant and without complying with the procedures the law lays out for getting a warrant after the fact. This is direct evidence of unlawful action. So to summarize, there is some direct and some circumstantial evidence of guilt, and the people who are supposed to investigate such seeming unlawfulness refuse to do so. I guess Soylent thinks all we can do at this point is fall into a prone position and worship the power that is Bush and thank him for saving America from the Arab cave-dwellers who would surely take over America if Bush had to follow the Constitution. Anyone who doesn't have a problem with this really does not understand what America is supposed to be about. And yes, I would say the same thing if Hillary Clinton or Ralph Nader or I was the president.

B) Guess what Noah? Believing in and defending the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution has no inherent connection to "originalist interpretation." It has to do with the basic principles on which this country was founded, something the commenters here just seem incapable of understanding. If Jonah Goldberg thinks that is some profound point, as opposed to a rhetorical trick ("If you support the Constitution, you must be engaging in 'originalist interpretation'"), he is probably as dumb as that smart aleck writer TBogg says he is.

C) Lew CLark -- you seem unable to acknowledge that if the leaders of your country claim to be above the law and above any democratic/Congressional oversight, then that affects you as a citizen of your country. This position seems to reflect a strange, slightly scary detachment from your position as a citizen in a democratic polity. Also, it is too bad your asserted work for our country seems to have blinded you to the basic principles upon which it was founded. This is not particularly surprising: if you worked in some hierarchical organization akin to the military, you were surely inculcated with the 'do what you're told' attitude demanded in such contexts. And that attitude may be okay or even neceesary in the military, but it is not okay when it comes to democratic governance. In other words, if my unwillingness to roll over for authoritarian power makes me "naive," I will be naive to the end. Also, as a generally reasonable person, I would not assert that all authoritarian governments are equal. And of course I would rather be American than Chiense or Burmese or Congolese, etc. The point is that my country is heading in that direction under the misleadership of Bush and Cheney and I for one am determined to do what I legally can do to resist and turn back this terrible development in American history. (And, p.s., I do believe in the Second Amendment of the Constitution.)

D) As admittedly satisfying as it can be to proffer retorts to silly comments aimed at straw persons, I will follow my own advice and limit my responses to reasonable points that actually address points I made. I will check back later to see if any comments attain that standard. To be honest, I kind of doubt any will, but I will be happy to be proved wrong.

Lew Clark

Hey Clarice,
They took my thirty year old fingernail clippers. And you can't replace those! Try to find a pair of fingernail clippers today that will cut sharp and clean for 30 years without one hangnail. I still mourn their loss, but you gotta do what you gotta do for national security.
But, lets not play into their hands. I don't want to see a bunch of peace marchers in DC with pictures of your son's mother-in-law's bonsai tools or my fingernail clippers.

Soylent Red

A) Soiled Red: It is admittedly hard to prove guilt when investigations are stonewalled by the people, like Pat Roberts and Alberto Gonzalez, who are supposed to lead the investigating. Even so, in a criminal trial, circumstantial evidence is evidence of guilt, as admissible and as probative as direct evidence. The fact that the Bush Administration, particularly Cheney, Bush, and Gonzalez, appear to be doing everything they can to keep any investigation from happening is circumstantial evidence they did something unlawful. It is also consciousness of guilt evidence, which cannot by itself support a guilty verdict, can be used in combination with other evidence, circumstantial and/or direct, to find guilt. Plus I cannot fail to mention there is direct evidence of guilt – an admission from Bush himself that under his authority, the executive branch conducted surveillance of American citizens without a warrant and without complying with the procedures the law lays out for getting a warrant after the fact. This is direct evidence of unlawful action. So to summarize, there is some direct and some circumstantial evidence of guilt, and the people who are supposed to investigate such seeming unlawfulness refuse to do so. I guess Soylent thinks all we can do at this point is fall into a prone position and worship the power that is Bush and thank him for saving America from the Arab cave-dwellers who would surely take over America if Bush had to follow the Constitution. Anyone who doesn't have a problem with this really does not understand what America is supposed to be about. And yes, I would say the same thing if Hillary Clinton or Ralph Nader or I was the president.

So in other words, you have nothing base your assertions on.

What evidence you claim there is has all been stonewalled. But you provide no evidence of stonewalling. Just more assertion.

Then you claim that Bush admitted evidence of his own lawbreaking. But since I can't find any source reporting that the NSA program has been declared illegal by a judge, Congress, or anyone empowered to interpret of make law I can only concluded that you must have some kind of super secret information driving your opinions.

Long and short, Nine: Saying something is illegal does not make it so. Investigations do not make a person guilty. Emotional opinion does not equal fact.

And for the record...

Mangling my handle doesn't make you any smarter, better informed, or more correct.

Mind that you don't descend down to TM's level of smart-assery.

dvorak

Glenn: "Following are a series of very clear examples of Bush critics having their conservative credentials revoked and/or being branded a "liberal" because they criticize or dissent from The Commander-in-Chief"

From the very same Rush transcript Glenn quotes:

"the RINO Republicans, these Republicans in name only, who are using what they perceive to be the president's weakness to gut the conservative agenda, and this is what I have been worried about when I've discussed the fact the president is not leading a movement. When he's not out making the case for conservatism with every address and speech he makes, it only empowers these moderates...


...and people look to the president for that, and people look to congressional leaders in the House and Senate to do that. It's been very frustrating, all the silence that we've gotten, and some of you have been upset by the silence in the White House. So have I..." (emp aded)

Upset with Bush himself? Clearly this is no way to run an authoritarian cult!

btw, whatever are we to make of the conservatives who critize Dubya for being in effect a liberal through his increased-spending big-government policies such as NCLB and the Medicare prescription drug benefit?

Paul Zrimsek

Submission should be made of sterner stuff.

kim

Ten.

Next.
=============

larwyn

re:nine's latest

Admit my eyes began to glaze over,
as I sent up a prayer that this person never ever ever ever gets
anywhere near the robes or the bench as a judge or magistrate in this country.

Is he a timetraveler from the USSR,
or just a visitor from Cuba or Iran?

The Anchoress recently joked that she was looking into "home-colleging" her son. May not be
a ridiculous idea!

Rick Ballard

D'accord.

Nine done soiled his nappies and needs to be changed.

JM Hanes

Soylent
"Perpendicular or right angled to reality would suggest that Liberal thought would intersect with reality at a point. I don't think even Pythagoras could make that case these days."

LOL! Mathematical terminology is a fertile field for those in search of metaphor. Alas, being grounded in logic itself, I'm afraid it will provide little fodder for analogy in this instance.

As food for thought, perhaps even seminal food for thought, I'm reminded of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who has, famously, been said to occupy his very own:

Reality distortion field

a locus which is currently, erroneously, and rather hilariously IMOSHO, known as the reality-based community.

Soylent Red

Nine (taking bong hit): "Whoa! I'm late for my "Deconstructing the Myth of Liberty" lecture. Professor Churchill is gonna be, like, soooo pissed."

**TYPES**

I will check back later to see if any comments attain that standard. ETC.

Nine (thinking to himself): "Uh...still time for one more bong hit..."

larwyn

davebo
FYI - Bright, vibrant and intelligent discussion on Plame affair is going on at next thread
including breaking and surprising
news.

Try another "funny".

SteveMG

Tom's got the better half (heck 4/5s) of the argument here but I'm a little, well, nonplussed over the, as I read it, intemperate language and ad hominem from his pen. His more important exposure of the lack of validity in Greenwald's thesis is drowned out a bit by that damned cat screeching in the background (and how's that for a mixed metaphor?).

Now he may be legitimately responding to salvo's coming from Greenwald. I haven't followed this little ruckus from the beginning (or even middle).

But I've tried (and often failed admittedly) to live by the old standard, "Never shoot down."

Granted, there are no stinkin' rules on the internet. But still...

SMG

Seixon

So what did I miss? Greenwald made up something, the liberals believed him, and the rest of us are laughing.

What's new?

noah

Nine, now be nice. Jonah's point is that 'living constitution' folks can be very creative in other circumstances such as how McCain-Feingold managed to pass Constitutional muster when the Ist amendment clearly states that Congress shall make NO laws abridging freedom of speech. What about "no", do you not understand? (And in case you didn't know it was the liberals on the court plus O'Connor that formed the majority...by your type of reasoning are they fascists too?)

larwyn

Soylent - loved "the bong".

I have one of my own - That One Daughter - my own TOD.

They just wear one out - NOT DOWN!

The Nanny would have said, "Terribly troublesome".

PeterUK

Larwyn,
"I sent up a prayer that this person never ever ever ever gets
anywhere near the robes or the bench as a judge or magistrate in this country."

You're kidding? The nearest will be for sentencing.

Sue

Seixon,

That's about it. And they don't like us laughing. For some reason.

Soylent Red

I've just gotta say...

You Cultists are a bunch of witty people. I of course am only half that, and have to go toil.

Maybe time for one...more...

nittypig

Hey, no fair asking nine how he's been affected by authoritarianism. You put him in an impossible situation - either he comes up with some abstraction, or he puts himself in jeapardy of being sent of to a re-education camp. Can't really fault him for staying quiet.

Greenwald's argument is that since Republicans don't seem to be operating on any philosophical principles, there has to be some explanation for their continued support of a variety of policies that don't stem from anything resembling a coherent program. Why have they compromised their alleged principles? It's a reasonable question to pose, and his explanation, an authoritarian cult, at least explains the apparent contradiction.

The crux of Tom's argument seems to be that Greenwald's head cultists (Malkin, Hewitt, Hinderaker, Goldberg, and Goldstein) haven't, in the particular case of the port acquistion, been expelling people from the cult or relabeling them. While Tom posits several hypotheses as to why this might be the case(e.g., they'll be rebranded when we get around to it) I think I can amend the Greenwald hypothesis to account for all the facts at hand.

My suggestion is that, as previously suggested in this thread, is the Greenwald has simply misidentified the charismatic cult leader - the Jim Jones of this outfit if you will. I suggest that the cult leader is not George Bush, but rather Tom Maguire.

It fits all the data. Where was TM on the Meirs nomination? Was anyone expelled and relabled as a result of that one? Where is TM on the port? I suspect we'll see more "liberals" once the cult gets with TM's program.

I challenge anyone to find any evidence that doesn't fit my revised theory. It can't be done! So I suppose you'll all just call me a liberal. That is, after all, how it's done.

larwyn

Peter UK

Are you in the UK? If you are here

Have you missed the "cruel and unusual punishment" argument that just kept the man who beat a 17 year old girl with 29 wacks of a hammer, then raped and strangled her and finished her off with 4 stab wounds to the heart. Big concern is that barbituate might not take and he might feel the other chemicals that are designed to kill him.
They used "Tookie"s discomfort as
proof. You know that Nobel Prize nominee.

And how about the 6 month sentence for the fellow that began to rape a
girl when she was 6 years old and continued for 4 years and had a buddy who also joined in?

We have plenty of Lefty ideologs
all over our courts. And nine is
perfect example of one who may be
a work in progress.

Conservative in this country better not stay home for any election.

larwyn

Peter - should have added:

They love to convict Police and
our Military.

But they want more money for more
police - but only those who don't do any of those nasty racist things
like actually catching perps and sending them to jail.

Just as they say they want more money for more troops - but only if they stay at home, safe, snug and bored to death at USA bases.

noah

Yeah but nitty that just shows that every popular blog forms its own cult of a sort.

Now if I could just find a right-leaning blog written by a female hotty, I could aspire to groupie!

PeterUK

Larwyn,
Much better to parole these people and place them with sympathetic families...there must be lots of Democrats who would volunteer.
As for this specimen,No,this is a creative writing model padding out its CV in readiness for his careeer in journalism.

noah

Wasn't perps for something else?

JM Hanes

nine

"The fact that the Bush Administration, particularly Cheney, Bush, and Gonzalez, appear to be doing everything they can to keep any investigation from happening is circumstantial evidence they did something unlawful.

I can see why you found yourself so easily convinced by Greenwald, as you, too, seem oblivious to your own inconsistencies. While claiming to defend what might be called core constitutional values, you're quite starkly proposing a guilty till proven innocent standard as a basis for drawing legal conclusions.

You mistake a reasonable tone for a reasonable argument. Greenwald's theory satisfies not the demands of logic, but the appetite of those who come to the table ready to be, if not already, persuaded.

He's describing the elephant, so to speak, that he cannot see to the myopic companions who already share his self-limiting perspective. Small wonder that the elephant snorts in derision, or swishes its tail a bit, before moving on.

Barney Frank

Nine said,

"As admittedly satisfying as it can be to proffer retorts to silly comments aimed at straw persons......"

What, we can't offend mythical 'straw women' now by referring to straw men?

From now on when I want to be disingenuous I guess I'll offer up 'straw male gendered representaives of the Judeo Christian patriarchy.'
Straw persons....too funny to make up.

PeterUK

"The fact that the Bush Administration, particularly Cheney, Bush, and Gonzalez, appear to be doing everything they can to keep any investigation from happening is circumstantial evidence they did something unlawful."

It is not evidence of any kind.

kim

Peter, you have to understand the circumstances under which the statement was made, that is the burden of thought under which nine's judgement labors.
==========================================

Rick Ballard

"Small wonder that the elephant snorts in derision, or swishes its tail a bit, before moving on."

There's a "plop, plop, plop, plop" that's missing there. Not to mention some unmentionable exhalations...

PeterUK

Mr Ballard,
You are not suggesting Nine leaves showbusiness?

maryrose

Though we have our cult oligarchy all planned right down to the costumes we are to wear we know inside something the Greenwalds of the world will never understand. We are rational thinking individuals who enjoy robust debate and at the end of the day emerge more knowledgable and clear thinking than our fellow citizens on the Left.

nine


I have to admit it is sort of flattering that my comments here have provoked people to ad hominem attacks and apparent attempts at humor (most of which are laughable in a way the writers could not have intended). But given the sinking level of reason (Tom Maguire really can't be happy about the apparent intelligence/wit of his fans, can he?), I will leave the field with these thoughts:

A) PeterUK does not know what he is talking about. Attempts to thwart investigations are admissible in a criminal case as circumstantial evidence of consciousness of guilt. This is in some sense circular, but prosecuting district attorneys use such evidence all the time with the full authority of the law. I don't make the law; I just try to help you understand it so you can avoid being one of the people ultimately held responsible for facilitating an authoritarian dismantling of the United States.

B) With the exception of "mangling" one guy's "handle" (ik), I believe I remained reasonable and non-troll-like in my comments here.

C) This may constitute clutter, but no one really responded to this most important point:
The Cheney-Bush power-grab demonstrated by the warrantless spying "program" (and for that matter blowing off the requirement to tell Congress about the foreign-run ports deal) runs directly contrary to the relatively decentralized, checks and balances system written into our Constitution.

How many conservatives have taken time to read the Constitution recently, particularly Article 2 describing the powers of the presidency? If any have, they know Bush's neo-emperor view of the presidency is nowhere in there. That's why the only people who believe in it are the people obsessed with power, like Cheney and Rove, yes-men like Alberto Gonzalez, and authoritarians like Samuel Alito. This is not a partisan issue; sensible Republicans who believe in the Constitution rather than absolute power are opposed to the warrantless spying "program" and Bush's assertions he can do whatever he wants because this is "war."

George Bush is trying to change America in ways no one should support. Anyone who looks at the last few years historically must see that the dear leaders govern through bullying, fear, and tricky, obscurantist declarations that used to be called lies. Centralized power, secrecy, fear, lies – these are the hallmarks of authoritarianism occurring in our lifetime, right before our eyes, but somehow a significant percentage of the population – they generally call themselves conservatives – is all for it. And, to address one possible response: some existential fear of cave-dwelling Arabs does not justify radically de-democratizing our country. That really is letting the terrorists win. We should be stronger than that, and if you're not, we need to rethink this country and find some way to part company, hopefully without resort to use of our Second Amendment rights.

D) And finally, to maryrose, I really wish what you say was true, but you obviously aren't basing your assertion on the comments posted here. If you are, and really think these comments demonstrate "rational thinking individuals who enjoy robust debate," you have probably been listening to Rush Limbaugh too much.

JM Hanes

Mustn't let nine distract us from our appointed rounds! My expertise runs more to jingles than jingoism, so I'm afraid I can only suggest potential avenues for exploration:

Pop psyche in service of what "everybody knows"

We don't need no stinkin' message

First heard by yours truly in the south, but possibly of ancient origin:

When in danger or in doubt,
Run in circles, scream and shout.

Circular logic consumes leftovers?

(I'm trying to help, TM, really I am! It's just that when it comes to manufacturing labels, the left is just so much better at it. It's pretty funny to hear Greenwald wondering aloud if the left should start playing as dirty as the right. When a limpwristed pejorative like "liberal" in the most potent weapon in rightwing arsenals, we should be so lucky!)

Sue

Awww...shucks...nine didn't find our comments humorous...and I still refuse to loan a cup of humor to any of them.

To be honest, I've forgotten what the argument was. Are we ACs if we agree with Bush or are we ACs if we disagree? Does that mean we should now label Michelle Malkin and Sean Hannity as liberals, because they disagree with Bush on the port deal? It is all so very confusing...didn't someone mention a handbook?

PeterUK

Nine
This:-
"Attempts to thwart investigations are admissible in a criminal case as circumstantial evidence of consciousness of guilt."

Is very different from this:-

"The fact that the Bush Administration, particularly Cheney, Bush, and Gonzalez, appear to be doing everything they can to keep any investigation from happening is circumstantial evidence they did something unlawful."

You will note your use of the word "appear",you're having one of your "feeling" moments again are you not?

The above might say that the appointment of an independent prosecutor was a sign of good faith.
Since an investigation has de facto happened and preparations for a trial are underway,you are spouting nonsense.

Cue violins,Barbra Streisand "Feelings"

JM Hanes

nine

"I have to admit it is sort of flattering that my comments here have provoked people to ad hominem attacks and apparent attempts at humor."

TM dedicated this thread to jingoism. If you're looking for serious conversation, try looking into an issue based thread. You're one in a regular parade of drop-ins who show up to beard the lion, expecting a response to what have become a tediously familiar roster of talking points which have already been addressed ad nauseum elsehwere, time and again.

You should, indeed, be flattered that anyone took the time to engage you, knowing that you'll quickly disappear, only to be replaced by yet another missionary who thinks we've never seen the dead horse he drags in here before.

Barney Frank

Nine,
"We should be stronger than that, and if you're not, we need to rethink this country and find some way to part company, hopefully without resort to use of our Second Amendment rights."

Is this your idea of reasonable debate? People who disagree with you should be expelled from the country, by force of arms, if necessary? Very cool headed reasoning.
BTW, at present I own twelve guns. How many you got?

larwyn

Sue,
We must protect our brand!
Think Rick Ballard has confirmed
TAC

NOT "AC" please.

We are not "chilling" we are aggressive, war mongering unilateralists.

Think TAC.
Chant TAC
BE TAC

larwyn

Oh Barney,
Eyes must have been in glaze-over
- missed that little 2nd Amendment
nugget.

Actually, they are in trouble -
Canada now a slightly purpled red -
so guess they must head south.

Chavez is quite welcoming and could use nine on one of his courts.

Lew Clark

Nine,
If you say it long enough, then it must be true. Now try clicking your heels and saying "There's no place like home" over and over again. You will be back home in a snap.

Helpful hint. When you argue your point, include representative facts, solid provable actions. Your entire argument hinges on "They're doing horrible things, I just know it, and your all idiots if you just don't BELIEVE like I do." That changes no minds. Facts really help. We don’t FEEL like you do, and your not doing very well at getting us to share your pain.

PeterUK

Barney,
This is the new idea from the left,essentially ,if you won't let them win elections and run things, they want the secede from the Union.
Now if you only brought back the draft they would all be in Canada by Tuesday.

danking70

"We should be stronger than that, and if you're not, we need to rethink this country and find some way to part company, hopefully without resort to use of our Second Amendment rights."

Guess that's easier than winning an election.

What's the matter? Don't feel the 2006 elections are going your way? What happened to taking back the Senate?

Sue

Larwyn,

I need the handbook...

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