Thursday, September 28, 2006


Karl Swenson over at LSU has decided to take a cue from Chris Wallace and write a hit piece… Really I’m flattered… I didn’t think I was big enough to hit… But as a matter of the record, I thought I’d re-post my responses to Karl’s “you messages”…

For this to make any sense, one first needs to read my posts:

“Republican Suicide: The New Reality Show”

“Republican Suicide: The Lies that Backfired”

Karl specifically comments on the former, his piece being titled:

“Roadkill weaves accross the center line and rides the left shoulder for a few miles”

The entire piece, with these comments, can be found at the above LSU link… Or I think they can…

Enjoy… Beginning with a Karl quote:

"Politically, I am a fiscal conservative social moderate, which usually labels me a centrist."

Me, too, but we're talking about principles, not positioning. A moderate can appear to be on a fringe in an immoderate climate. If you define yourself by those around you, you have no real positions.

Digression: I endorsed Slate's analysis based on it's quality, not it's conclusions. I never took a position of who set who up... I assume both sides sought to set the other up...

"I had no trouble finding the unedited video, so I don’t understand his laziness."

TV is a drug, and these video snippets are as well. I don't want the damned video. I notice you have nothing to say about Crooks and Liars assertion the Youtube stuff was juiced... I'll assume that it in fact was...

I want a true written copy. If your arguments cannot be cogently presented in written format they aren't worth my time. I am not interested in subjective voodoo crap like body language - if you were more studied in the matter, you would understand 1) Body language is not universal and 2) Body language is manageable. In other words, people can learn to use it as a tool - it's called acting, Karl. Republicans used to deride Clinton for being able to "cry on cue" - I recall several memorable incidents where he was literally caught at it... But he didn't invent it. The first President to grasp the value of TV staging was Kennedy, and the first one to get really good at it was Reagan, which is reasonable, considering his vocational history. His successor, Bush 41, was a bad actor - which probably contributed to his demise. He ran against a clown and a genuine talent. What do you expect?

That, BTW, was about the time I unplugged. I'm right about this, and I don't care how many people gainsay it. You're all stoned.

You're stoned, Karl. And I don't care if everyone else is stoned, too. What everybody does doesn't alter my views. It may constrain my actions, but never my views.

You're stoned, Karl... And a bit infantile - which is one of the side effects of watching too much TV for too long. This form of media gets at you on an emotional level you can't control, at the same time degrading reason. Why do you think those idiotic commercials work?

Hate? Don't be silly, that's a five year old's reaction... Or the reaction of a mass murderer... Or someone stoned on the glass tit. The closest to an emotional reaction any of these antics inspires from me is a moderate disgust... Pardon the pun.

But on that score, I will add another digression: I think - not feel, but think - that the real emoters are to be found among the Bush supporters, not detractors. It is a parallel of what I refer to as hyper anti-anti Semitism – some people love Bush so much they automatically interpret any criticism as "Bush hate." I think the real issue is "Bush love:" People who are so fanatically devoted to Bush they cannot see him for what he really is - a failure. At the risk of over-using a bad, worn out analogy, I think - not feel - some of the hardcore are as devoted to Bush as the SS were to Hitler. That kind of devotion is unhealthy.

A failure? Reading, again - not watching - I am evaluating all sorts of accounts from all over the world. Even when I'm not posting, I'm reading - "listening" takes precedence over "speaking." If it's in English, I'll consider it. I cross check, fact check, and reality check. The conclusions are becoming clearer all the time: Everything this administration has done has backfired. Which leads to Rice... I stand on my position, which stands on her record. I notice you do not refute my conclusion on peoples' unwillingness to honestly assess her, and you offer no defense of her record, other than to say people on "both sides" admire her. I'm not on a side, and I'm not looking for endorsements that may well be as tainted as a confession obtained by torture.

So I'll ask again: What has she accomplished?

So was it "suicide?" I think I failed in making the point. I should have shortened the piece, I suppose, but...

Bill Clinton has kept his mouth shut to a remarkable degree since January 2001. He has conformed well to the "speak no evil" principle of former Presidents, unlike Jimmy Carter, an ex-President whose views I do appreciate. Clinton has gone so far as to say he would have done the same thing in Iraq as Bush - which means he would have been just as wrong.

But now, people who I assume get no direction from the White House, the Party, or even Rove - I don't believe in "talking points" - go after Slick Willie in a very personal way. I ask, as I asked yesterday: Are these boobs a fifth column?

Or are they just desperate? This matter would have never come up but for that "B" rate TV movie. Why provoke a rattlesnake?

Because the makers of that flick are stoned... And everything to them is a game. Because living in TV La La land has reduced them to all-feeling, no-thinking fools. Life isn't a game. People like that are a good argument for bringing back duelling.

One last. I'm sorry, but I have to call you on some "facts:"

"Well, not really.  And again, you are comparing 8 years of active indecisiveness and bureaucratic dysfunction in the face of yearly attacks to 8 months of inaction before any attacks, which has been followed by 5 years of highly decisive action.

1) There was no "8 years." Al-Qaeda grew slowly from talk to fact. If we want to throw in the whole Kahuna, you need to go clear back to... Just keep going. Some might argue the writing was on the wall clear back when the Marines were bombed during the Reagan years - the people who pulled that off are the predecessors of today's Al-Qaeda allies. If the neocons are going to conflate, as some have, the Somalia disaster with Al-Qaeda - who had nothing to do with it at all but to cheer after the fact - then you have to add in a lot more conflations. Bin Laden  - who I remind all was supported by the US when his Mujadaheen were kicking Russian butt - got his wind up when the Saudis allowed our troops to base in the Moslem Holy land - but it was just rock throwing until the embassy bombings, and the strength of the threat didn't really become apparent until the Cole bombing... In 2000...

Further, the August 6 2001 leaks - KUDOS TO THE PATRIOTIC LEAKERS - Make a real lie out of the idea the Bush administration pursued Al-Qaeda before 9-11.

And since then? A botched operation that we're still botching. It's getting serious. Newsweek has a good piece today: "The Rise of Jihadistan"

So let's not pretend the administration has done anything that is both effective and efficient. Really what has been done has been neither...

And a final matter:

"He also is hoping for more intelligence leaks, and in my comments has shown he clearly has no regard for what the consequences will be.  Nothing leftist about that, right?"

Call it whatever you like. It is an issue of principle. Our government - especially this administration - has driven the "national secrets" concept into the ground. WE DON'T NEED ALL THESE SECRETS. THEY ARE ANTI-AMERICAN. We have an administration that attempts to cover its butt by classifying the evidence of failure. The consequences? Misplaced support of bad policies.

And I'll remind you most of the leakers are government employees...

Show me one example where any of these leaks have caused a genuine harm. We have reporters riding shotgun with troops on the ground. We have reporters connected with peoples the government tells us are the enemy. We're swimming in reporters. If there was a desire to cause harm with leaks, there is ample opportunity. Where has it happened?

It hasn't. The only thing that has been harmed is the shrub's reputation. Show me proof. Show me soldiers dead because somebody tipped the enemy. Show me a decisive operation pulled because of a leak. You can't. You can assert, but you have no examples because they don't exist.

The worst you can assert is that some reporters might choose to be better conduits for information to our side. 1) You don't know they aren't doing just that, and 2) Doing so would destroy their ability to contact the other side. There is ultimately no value in that.

George W Bush is not my leader. He isn't my Commander in Chief - I never served. He is my servant. He is in my employ, and I want to know what he is doing, or I want a straight explanation as to why I can't know. And in an environment where leak after leak demonstrates bungling at best and perfidy at worst, the burden of proof is on the servant...

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