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Friday, April 30, 2004

Comments

steve

You're like Limbaugh - if you buy the worldview, you do make some sense, but the package is so asinine you turn off ten people for every one you convince.

--you seem to borrow from marc's methodology: ignore criticisms and just make random unsubstantiated claims about leftists who criticise x,y,..idea.
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I sure hope you're not right, because if you are you're actively making the rest of us stupider with each post. Ever tried something different?

--i like to swim.

steve

Marc writes: Bush's detractors are equally off on this subject, able to say no more than his re-election will be like the Nazis taking over and shredding the constitution. They have trouble discerning between cowboy conservatives and fascists. They ain't the same thing.

--note, David the game played here. no substantive critique, just a generalization without evidence. Think about it, Chomsky, Cockburn, Katha Pollit, Dean Baker, Howard Zinn, Jerry Lembcke, me...all have no trouble discerning between cowboy conservatives and fascists. Is Marc perhaps talking about some obscure sectarians as the American "left" to score a quick point? Pretty odd way of argumentation really.
Now, David, I ask you seriously, the response I just made, unreasonable, irrational? Watch and see if Marc can respond to it seriously, or just throw out the usual accusation of 'extremist', 'holier than thou leftists'...etc.

Andrew

Marc>> If your original post WAS meant to be mildly satirical, I apologize for not getting it sooner. These last few months, it's been tough separating the satire from the reality.

I don't feel Kerry is immaculate either, but he's got the potential to rebuild international relations. Most of the world was repulsed by the photos of the US soldiers gleefully torturing the Iraqis, and four more years with Bush at the helm ain't gonna bring them around to our side.

Question: If Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 and nonetheless behaves like he received an electoral mandate, what's gonna happen to the Middle East if he wins a second term in a GENUINE landslide (a la FDR in '36, LBJ in '64, Reagan in '84)??

Marc Cooper

Andrew.I dont know. Also, plse be reminded that after 9/11 for better or for worse, Bush did have a popular mandate. I believe he squandered it/ Kerry's position in the Middle East most recently (ON Meet The Press) was that the Israelis should have also killed Arafat. (And dont feed the chipmunks).

DennisThePeasant

Missed it? Excuse me?

Nobody missed the "Swiftian association", Marc. How could we? It was subtle in the sense that Ethel Merman was subtle.

Good satire requires trenchant thinking, a sharp eye, and an even sharper wit. Evoking Swift (and espeically "A Modest Proposal", for God's Sake) beyond your sophomore year in college is not satire, it is a red flag.


steve

Also, plse be reminded that after 9/11 for better or for worse, Bush did have a popular mandate.

--actually, he didn't. he had a mandate to do something that wouldn't be revenge oriented or cause more deaths than 9/11 caused, if you recall the polls at the time. actually, people like rosa parks or the Peaceful Tomorrows folks, ridiculed at the time as crazy extremists were in touch with what the majority felt. That wasn't reflected in the media at the time, with most pundits and news anchors ignoring what the polls clearly indicated most Americans wanted from the president.
marc, enquiring minds still wanna know why you would claim that leftists like, say, chomsky or lembcke can't distinguish between fascists and cowboy conservatives...could you explain how that is, or is this 'left' you cite something that doesn't include such thinkers?

steve

As I recall Dukakis had a double digit lead in Sept/Oct, then lost it, then was surging just before election day.

--yes, and you'll notice he started surging again when he moved leftward...look at the polls and the campaign approach at the time...
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If the Al Gore who gave the concession speech had been the Al Gore of the campaign he prolly would have won

--actually the al gore who made the concession speech basically handed the election to Bush after the selection in the supreme court...but more to the point, gore followed a similar pattern as dukakis, went populist in the last few weeks, picked up steam...and unlike dukakis ended up winning the election, though he did lose the selection...

Bonnie Spolin

Hey Steve,

Give it a rest! Your comments are hurting my eyes!
Don't you have somewhere else to go?

David Warner

"Good satire requires trenchant thinking, a sharp eye, and an even sharper wit. Evoking Swift (and espeically "A Modest Proposal", for God's Sake) beyond your sophomore year in college is not satire, it is a red flag."

Dennis, I usually enjoy your posts, but this one, I don't know...

I get where you're going, but outside the cherished walls of academe there are some who consider obscurity no obvious virture. Even met a few within.

;-)

David Warner

"--you seem to borrow from marc's methodology: ignore criticisms and just make random unsubstantiated claims about leftists who criticise x,y,..idea."

A. ignoring your criticisms is what probably the majority here would like me to do (don't feed the troll, etc..), I'm engaging your method, not your substance, but I am engaging.

B. I was not, and am not, making a claim about leftists; rather, specifically, about you, yourself.

C. As this claim is an analogy, it is by it's nature imperfect and thus cannot be refured by your usual method of finding the hole in the claim. Analogies come with holes. In this case, you've gone for the hole without engaging the merit of my own claim - that your asininity is self-defeating. I think you'll find this case not to be unique in that respect.

D. Here's another claim: you may be like Shrek, a troll (yes, I know, Shrek is actually an Ogre, like I said, holes) who could be quite useful if understood, given your extraordinary strength, in Shrek's case physical, in yours, polemical.

E. I like to swim, too.

David Warner

"cannot be refured"

nor refuted, even.

= )

"But where's the man, who counsel can bestow,
Still pleas'd to teach, and yet not proud to know?
Unbiass'd, or by favour, or by spite:
Not dully prepossess'd, nor blindly right;
Tho' learn'd, well-bred; and tho' well-bred, sincere;
Modestly bold, and humanly severe:
Who to a friend his faults can freely show,
And gladly praise the merit of a foe?
Blest with a taste exact, yet unconfin'd;
A knowledge both of books and humankind;
Gen'rous converse; a sound exempt from pride;
And love to praise, with reason on his side?"

- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, lines 631-642

steve

A. ignoring your criticisms is what probably the majority here would like me to do (don't feed the troll, etc..),

--a troll is someone who will say almost anything, take any position to provoke. you can say you don't like my positions and therefore don't want to respond, fine, but to say i'm trolling is actually inaccurate.
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I was not, and am not, making a claim about leftists; rather, specifically, about you, yourself.

--i was referring to marc, who throws out these wierd generalizations about the 'left', which are easily refuted with references to actual prominent leftists, even ones he's interviewed and approved of lately.
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As this claim is an analogy, it is by it's nature imperfect and thus cannot be refured by your usual method of finding the hole in the claim. Analogies come with holes.

--it's not an 'analogy'. he's talking about the 'left' and its supposedly universally held belief that the US is a facist state. No analogy there, just assertion without evidence.

George W. Bush

Thanks Marc . . . Keep up all your great work.

Laura sez hello!

You da man!

-W

Marc Cooper

That's right. That's the attitude. There's diversity of thought in action! There's a vibrant intellectual liberalism! Criticize even the obvious defects of Kerry and you're called an operative for Bush. That itself is right out of the Rove playbook isn't it? When next November rolls around and 100 million potential Democrats sit out the election because, in part, they're disgusted with the petty nature of American politics, make sure you re-read your precious little comment.

steve

There's a vibrant intellectual liberalism! Criticize even the obvious defects of Kerry and you're called an operative for Bush. That itself is right out of the Rove playbook isn't it?

--ah yes, but it's ok to claim that anyone who disagrees with you can't differentiate between fascists and cowboy conservatives...

David Warner

"--a troll is someone who will say almost anything, take any position to provoke."

That could serve as a useful partial definition, though it does not speak to the social aspect. In my experience, trolls are more elected than detected.

"you can say you don't like my positions and therefore don't want to respond, fine, but to say i'm trolling is actually inaccurate."

I spoke toward the perception of you, more so than your precise taxonomy. It is clear that you are perceived, here, by many, as a troll, and this was the main thrust of my inquiry which you have taken pains, it seems, to dodge.

Perhaps you overvalue accuracy at the expense of validity.

"--i was referring to marc,"

And I was refering to you and your relation to this blog. Again, why the subject change?

"--it's not an 'analogy'."

My comparison of you to Limbaugh was an analogy. The pertinent parallel stands unrefuted, indeed ignored. You compared my tactics to Marc's, and then offered a critique of Marc's tactics, none of which applied to my own.

Guilt by association is a sign of weak rhetoric - surely a man of your intellect can do better than that. No sarcasm intended.

Andrew Gumbel

The paradox underlying your modest proposal is that you are saying the best way to win elections may be to lose them.

Whereas the reality in this country, as Al Gore so graphically demonstrated, is that the best way to lose elections may be to win them.

Not Swift, so much as Joseph Heller, wouldn't you say?

Tim

Dear Marc,

Some editing of all this wanking, please! Who can indulge themselves long enough to scroll through 67 repetitive posts from these idle elements?? You should put a word-per-week limit on people or something.

steve

It is clear that you are perceived, here, by many, as a troll, and this was the main thrust of my inquiry which you have taken pains, it seems, to dodge.

--i see, i thought it had something to do with my refuting Marc's claim that the 'left' can't distinugish between fascists and cowboy conservatives....Not that i mean to imply that you too are avoiding that point...

Marc Cooper

Ansdrew.. a brilliant point! Tim.. yes, ur right. I have been quite busy this week and havent had time to edit. And to Steve... looks your mode of single-minded attack has put u on the verge of getting tuned out. Be advised, And when it happens, don't even think of flattering yourself in believing you are too radical. Not so. Just too annoying.

David Warner

"--i see, i thought it had something to do with my refuting Marc's claim that the 'left' can't distinugish between fascists and cowboy conservatives....Not that i mean to imply that you too are avoiding that point..."

um, I just saw a thread being inadvertently undermined by a bright, well-intentioned guy with the social skills of a five-year-old. I, perhaps quixotically, tried to help.

As for Marc's claim, it is another example of the guilt-by-association flying around all over the net these days. Lots of folks getting fragged by friendly fire, unfortunately.

The 'left' is certainly neither exempt from nor unique in that particular shortcoming.

"--actually, he didn't. he had a mandate to do something that wouldn't be revenge oriented or cause more deaths than 9/11 caused, if you recall the polls at the time."

I'll take a shot at a substantive critique, or at least a non-rhetorical question or two. Do you have proof that would stand in a court of law that U.S. post-9/11 policy has been revenge-oriented? By cause more deaths, are we allowed to include those Saddam would have killed on the credit side of the ledger? If not, why not?

Maedhros

This seems to me to be a rather cowardly way of winning. Instead of attempting to win the election and then fix the country, we just sit back and let it get even worse?

steve

And to Steve... looks your mode of single-minded attack has put u on the verge of getting tuned out. Be advised, And when it happens, don't even think of flattering yourself in believing you are too radical.

--so in other words, your argument is that the 'left' can't distinguish between fascists and cowboy conservatives...Chomsky, Zinn, Albert, Lembcke,...be damned! Interesting argument, compelling indeed.

steve

um, I just saw a thread being inadvertently undermined by a bright, well-intentioned guy with the social skills of a five-year-old.

--by having 'the social skills of a five year old' you really mean 'people I disagree with'.
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As for Marc's claim, it is another example of the guilt-by-association flying around all over the net these days. Lots of folks getting fragged by friendly fire, unfortunately

--I would agree, i.e. it's a cheap shot that has little substance when we look at the real world left in the US.
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Do you have proof that would stand in a court of law that U.S. post-9/11 policy has been revenge-oriented?

--I go by what the polls indicate the US people did NOT want at the time, namely numbers of civilians killed equalling or exceeding 911 victim totals as a result of military actions taken in reprisal. Legally, I don't think it matters whether or not it could be 'proven'[after all, even if it were, would the US abide by any decision on such a matter in an international or court?], but the strategy definitely goes against what people wanted at the time, if we take the polls seriously.
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By cause more deaths, are we allowed to include those Saddam would have killed on the credit side of the ledger? If not, why not?

--oh that's pretty clear actually, the answer is much less more than likely. The overwhelming no. of worst abuses by Saddam were in the 80's and early 90's, the primary source of the mass graves that have been found to date according to reports in the NYT, Washington Post, etc. Very few, outside the most ideologically blind ones like Mylroie, would argue that the invasion was in any way 'preventive'. Nor are there many serious analysts who argue that most Iraqis desired the price they have paid as a result of the US invasion and ouster of Saddam [well, kinda ouster, that general Saleh and the US seem pretty cushy at the moment...].

David Warner

"--so in other words, your argument is that the 'left' can't distinguish between fascists and cowboy conservatives...Chomsky, Zinn, Albert, Lembcke,...be damned! Interesting argument, compelling indeed."

I'll give it a shot, though I don't think that statement holds for the entire left, a certain lack of perspective does hinder the left's efforts to win converts.

"I believe the US, right now, is the most dangerous nation in the world ... I don't trust any administration with so many weapons in its possession, with such a terrible record that the United States has of using these weapons, I do not trust the United States to act alone in the world against the wishes of other countries in the world and to act on behalf of human rights ... I do not believe in the intentions of the United States."

- Howard Zinn

Perhaps Zinn CAN distinguish between fascists and cowboy conservatives, but the conclusion he reaches, that the cowboys are worse, is little comfort.

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