Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


Someone needs to explain this to me

This morning I was listening to my favorite radio station,¹ and Laura Ingraham was on. I can only listen to my favorite radio station for a few minutes at a time before my head explodes, so I had just turned it on and she and her guest were, predictably, whining about Democrats. They had a clip by Howard Dean and were talking about how the Democrats have made winning the War on Terror™ impossible.

My question is: for the past six years, a Republican has controlled the White House. Republicans have controlled the House and the Senate. Conservatives have, for the most part, controlled the Supreme Court. The heads of the CIA and FBI are Bush appointees. How, exactly, is it the Democrats' fault that we are not winning the War on Terror?™

Someone needs to explain this to me using simple words, because I'm just not getting it.

¹ Unfortunately, it's tough to show sarcasm when writing. But that's it, in case you're wondering.

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Blogger Gordon D said...

Because instead of blindly accepting what the PTB says, the Democrats actively question the Republican's & President's motives.

That's about as simple as I can make it.

11/7/06 10:53 AM  
Blogger Harvey Jerkwater said...

Because the War on Terror is a matter of will. If you will it hard enough, it will be! Curses upon the Liberals and Democrats and People Who Read the Newspaper and the Occasional Book! For their weakness of will has poisoned America, and will sap our strength!

We will win, given enough time and will! But those cowardly bastards won't let us! They'll sap the will to fight and the Bad Guys will win! Just like Vietnam!


I call it "The Rambo Fallacy." It's a neofascist interpretation of "willpower." As though purity of willpower were enough to make anything happen, and that history, contingency, and reality itself are merely distractions. "All that matters is Willpower!" This, of course, avoids that whole pesky "the rest of the world has a will of its own" reality.

The dolchstosslegende is coming again. Count on it. God forbid the conservatroids actually face up to what they've done. "Unwinnable? Bosh! You just lack the will to win!"

And thus intelligence, experience, and reason are thrown aside as impediments to greatness.

11/7/06 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read "What's the Matter with Kansas?" by Thmoas Frank. In it he explains the conservative mindset pretty well.
The cons have set up a number of straw men (abortion, liberal Hollywood, and now terrorism) that can never be resolved, so their elected officials can run against them without having to deliver anything.

11/7/06 3:25 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I've been thinking about getting that book, Steve. I've heard good things about it.

11/7/06 7:23 PM  
Blogger T. said...

Thomas Frank is a tool. I am going to do a post about him soon explaining how his thinking is a typical example of how Democrats get the working class wrong. He starts with a faulty premise, than applies faulty reasoning to it.

And the reason why Republicans don't get things done? Because many of them aren't true conservatives. Don't confuse Republicans with conservatives, they are not always one and the same? You have people like Arlen Spector and McCain there, and others who are RINOs (Republicans In Name Only). And people like Laura Ingraham bitch about them almost as much as they do about Democrats, so they aren't being hypocrites on that front.

Read more about RINOs here.

13/7/06 3:21 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Yeah, I know, T. It's fascinating reading the blogs of "Republicans" (like your pal, Ace, with whom I disagree on almost everything) and, say, Andrew Sullivan, who is more, I think, "conservative" (your opinion may vary). I disagree with Sullivan on a lot of things, but even when I do, I understand his position a lot more than it just being "because my party and my president tell me so." I wish more conservatives would be active, because at least conservatives are relatively sane, unlike what the Republican Party (and, sure, the Democrats, who aren't often terribly liberal) has become.

13/7/06 3:57 PM  
Blogger Chance said...

Tell me about it. I used to refer to myself as a conservative-leaning Libertarian, or just rightish middle of the roader. But the political map has changed a lot in the last 12 years, and (it seems to me) now what used to be a really weird far-out right agenda has become more central. Although I still find a lot of the Democratic platform questionable, there's no way I could stand ranks with the current loathsome Republican ideology. Hell, I'd happily sign up for the appeal of the 2nd amendment if it meant getting out from under the Bushian anti-private life, anti-civil rights, anti-intellectual totalitarian theocracy.

13/7/06 7:45 PM  
Blogger T. said...

How is Bush anti-Civil Rights? How has he personally infringed on your private life? What anti-intellectual measures has he taken, book burnings? Can you please cite specific examples?

14/7/06 10:09 AM  
Blogger Chance said...

Hee hee! That's amusing. You must be one of those self-hating Republicans.

14/7/06 3:46 PM  
Blogger T. said...

And you must be dodging the question, which isn't funny but rather just sad. I repeat, give me a tangible example of how your private life being infringed, civil rights being violated, or an anti-intellectual theocracy being enacted. Back up the melodrama.

Or you can just "tee hee hee" me again and dodge by calling me self-hating.

14/7/06 6:28 PM  
Blogger Chance said...

Poor Greg's blog really isn't the place for this debate, so this is my last post on this subject, but, oh, let's see...

I didn't say Bush. I said "Bushian." I meant it as a short hand for the kind of neo-conservative who has gradually edged out the true, ecologically-minded, small-business conservative. Ashcroft, Rove, Cheney, etc.

anti-civil rights? Uh... Gitmo. Arresting American citizens. The Patriot act. Spying on libraries. Cracking down on pornography depicting consenting adults. The abortion gag rule. "Free speech zones." I mean, really. That anyone could say what you said and mean it IS actually funny. You poor deluded fellow.

Anti-intellectual? come on. even the most ardent bush supporter acknowledges that our CoC doesn't read the paper or watch the news or read books. I'd say he's an example of the kind of American "i gots common sense and i knows what's right, i don't need to read it in some scientific study" attitude that rules the right these days.

OK. That's the end of that. There's no need to try to convince anyone of anything in this polarized political climate, either. Nice chatting with you.

14/7/06 7:41 PM  
Blogger Chance said...

Whoops. "Arresting American citizerns and holding them without charge or trial." Forgot to add that part; the anti-civil rights offenses were tumbling from my brain so fast. :)

14/7/06 7:42 PM  
Blogger T. said...

I asked about how YOUR PERSONAL LIFE was being infringed by anti-intellectualism, theocracy or civil rights violations. You just gave me a bunch of general Democratic Underground talking points. As usual no specific examples. Restricting free speech to a degree has happened in EVERY major war. And who are these unfairly imprisoned citizens, outside of those 3 brothers at Gitmo with a LOT of holes in their stories? At least you didn't rely on just ad hominem attacks in your response this time, I'll give you credit there.

But Chance, I'm glad you're in this thread, because you save me the trouble of illustrating the holes in Thomas Frank's book. Frank has all these theories to explain why red state America doesn't vote for liberals, and it's because of responses like yours: condescending, ad hominem attacks, insulting intelligence with gems like that "i gots common sense" crack...people like you hold anyone who doesn't agree with them as illiterate, contemptible morons or cult members and they realize it. You believe that simply being pretentious and liberal automatically makes you smarter and superior, and you can barely mask your contempt.

There's nothing wrong with Kansas, they just realize that the Democrats that roll around in election years and try to get their vote with petty appeals to class warfare really hate everything about them the rest of the time, and will vote against you just to see you melt down.

When I debate liberals, a vast majority of the time they resort to mocking dumb hick accents to make fun of right-wingers. Think about it: who wants "help" from someone who blatantly looks down on them?

15/7/06 10:45 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Of course, T., you can say that about pretty much any regime. Lots of people did badly in the economic boom of the 1990s under the Left's Golden Boy, Clinton. I personally have noticed that my disposable income is slowly going down even though the economy is supposedly getting better. The past four presidents have done a great deal for the rich while screwing the middle class. But just because you personally do fine under a government doesn't make that government good. I mentioned Clinton, but I am willing to bet there were plenty of people who did fine after 1929 and the stock market collapse, but that doesn't mean Herbert Hoover was a good president. My parents did fine in the 1960s, but that doesn't mean LBJ and Nixon were good presidents. I'm sure a lot of people did okay in Nazi Germany. A lot of people did well in World War II, but we shouldn't let FDR off the hook for chucking Japanese in internment camps.

The point is, very rarely do a government's poor policies affect a vast majority of the population directly. Bush's various "crimes" don't really have any impact on my life. They may in the future, but that's something we'll have to examine then. As usual with any ruler, we have to keep them honest not because of what they do that directly affects us, but what they do that affects all of us.

And don't let conservatives off the hook when it comes to ad hominem attacks. It's not liberals who say the 9/11 widows are having a great time now that their husbands are dead and calling for the lynching of Supreme Court justices. Just because you address issues and try to get to the bottom of them intelligently doesn't mean all conservatives do.

15/7/06 12:03 PM  
Blogger Chance said...

Greg, thanks for allowing people to rant on your blog. I'd note that T used one of the relatively new but deadly tricks in the Republican Book on How to Control the Dialectic: he framed the debate in terms of how I PERSONALY was affected by Bushian civil rights breaches. Note, hoever, that I never once said I was affected. Yet because he framed the debate with that question, he gets to claim victory, because I didn't answer his question, which was set up as if it were a legitimate demand for examples.

Not only is this interesting because it's an example of how the right has learned to manipulate the national discourse, it's indicative of the neo-conservative midnset (something is only important if it has happened to you personally. there's no way in hell anyone should care about how OTHERS are being inconvenienced). and, actually, the things i've mentioned to affect me as an american. There is now, under the PatAct, a legitimate precedent for the event that I, an american citizen, can be held without trial. Spooky, eh?

Finally, it's sad but so true that in this polito environment, I, a death-penalty advocatin', gun-totin', small-government guy, am a "liberal."

15/7/06 4:39 PM  
Blogger Chance said...

Also --- sorry --- note the sudden introduction of Kansas and attack on me as condescending to middle America. (And hey --- I live in Dallas!) I didn't say anything about Kansas, or any blue-collar, red-state regular guy. I evinced contempt, yes --- but for our millionaire elite scion and president who proudly doesn't read books. T. used the Ann Coulter trick of turnign a specific attack into a non-existant general one. I gotta admit, he's learned from the conservate demagogues well.

15/7/06 4:46 PM  

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