Archive for November 3rd, 2007

Now let’s talk about chickenshit rightwingers.

Nov 03, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives

They keep running away from us, because they know they’re outmatched. They depend on the hope that you are uninformed and will be seduced by their illogic.

Look, folks, it’s very simple. My weekend job is to sell home remodeling to people. The message from the boss is clear cut: if they’re not buying what you’re selling within two minutes, move on. That’s a sensible approach to selling home remodeling, but it’s not a method of approaching truth. The fact is, when my job is to sell something to you, the last thing I’m supposed to care about are methods of discourse that will lead me to say, “You know what, you’re right…you don’t need our windows/exterior coating, and furthermore, our business practices some shady voodoo on people to harass them into buying. Good day to you!”

The problem is when this model is transferred to democracy, the lifeblood of which is honest debate and the ability of people to recognize the errors of their ways and embrace the arguments of their opponents. Rightwingers come to this site fishing for positive feedback, and when they find a real fight on their hands, they decide to look for more hospitable waters. On the other hand, if we find ourselves in a serious fight that questions our basic premises in ways we cannot easily answer, we understand that the only honest response is to find a better argument or finally relent and start making concessions. We could theoretically block people and delete comments, but we ever find our opponent to be our own consciences. You can erase somebody’s words, but do those words depart as easily from your memory? Do you remember, “There was somebody that challenged me, and I ran away,”?

Or do you approach this like some cynic’s game, as our rightwing companions so easily do, as authoritarians in pursuit of Dear Leader’s directives, irreverent towards truth and accountability, eager only for results? Do you rightwingers out there nourish the wounds you received here at Iowa Liberal, or do we merely get written off as non-buyers?

Folks cannot be deceived by these times. At least 40% of our nation would gladly sign on for authoritarianism and the end of the rule of law under one of the Republican nominees. 52% would approve bombing Iran without any understanding of the issue. The danger of leaving your neighbors behind is precisely that you don’t know where they will go afterwards. One day you will wake up and you will have none behind you at all. That’s why we here at IL like to finish our arguments, and make our message clear: if you can’t whup us, how can you then also tell yourself that we ain’t worth shit? If we’re not, how did we beat you? And if we weren’t playing fair and square, how come you can’t tell us why? If I can’t sell somebody windows, I figure they might actually have some good reasons not to buy windows at this point. Telling myself that they’re just losers and idiots is heading down a road of self-deception. The rightwingers out there that come here merely looking for a venue to rant and scramble for the hills when they face a serious challenge commit the same folly.

-jb

UPDATE: Mr. X has returned to continue the Southern Strategy thread, arguing…well, I can’t tell what the hell he’s saying, really. Anybody want to take a crack at interpreting him?

More Funny!

Nov 03, 2007 in Music

I left the liberal enclave of Iowa City last night and drove to catch The Mountain Goats play at Grinnell College. It was a terrific show. I especially enjoyed the addition of a drummer to the line-up. I also learned a few things while I was there. Did you know that Stella Artois is the preferred beer of English football hooligans? It’s true! I also learned that Carlos Santana is a guitar shredding GOD:

[youtube fNoZg9kl-zE]

You can check out more StSander’s videos here.

-mg

“Like trying to herd cats” vs. “A bunch of goddamn pussies.”

Nov 03, 2007 in Disappointing Dems

The simile or the metaphor? Which one to pick, when looking at the latest news of many Democrats once again bending over for whatever Bush wants. Bush’s Attorney General nominee, Michael Mukasey, refusing to identify waterboarding as the illegal torture technique it is, is likely to get the thumbs up from 20 Democrats.

Oh, by the way, all Republicans will vote for him. I know, that’s very surprising, isn’t it? Lock-step conformity and subservience to a 24% president doesn’t seem like the smartest choice on the planet, but that’s authoritarianism for ya!

So while Republicans have been able to easily lump together 40 of their number to filibuster everything from Iraq withdrawal measures to lunch break requests, the Democrats seem as equally guaranteed to lose 10-20 members whenever Bush starts muttering, “You’re making me angry…you won’t like me when I’m angry!” Getting them to say, “Um, wait, you’re an incompetent misguided law-breaking president who’s violated his constitutional oath and is putting forward a nominee who apparently can’t tell Congress if jaywalking is illegal until he looks into it some more, just in case it might implicate you…we’d have to be insane to vote for you!” is simply beyond the realm of imagination, apparently.

Charles Schumer, who’s been lauding Mukasey from day one is the most prominent supporter, along with the vile coward Diane Feinstein:

Schumer’s announcement followed a private meeting Friday with Mukasey to discuss waterboarding.

“I deeply oppose it,” Schumer said of waterboarding. “Unfortunately, this nominee, indeed any proposed by President Bush, will not agree with this. I am, however, confident that this nominee would enforce a law that bans waterboarding.”

What on earth would breed such confidence, when Mukasey refuses to confirm that waterboarding is already illegal?

(Mukasey) also said he thought it would be irresponsible to discuss it since doing so could make interrogators and other government officials vulnerable to lawsuits.

Um, for violating the law? Golly-shucks, we wouldn’t want there to be legal implications for breaking the law, would we? And how would Mukasey stating waterboarding is illegal, when it is already illegal, change anything?

Fortunately it seems the majority of Democrats will fulfill their own Consitutional duties, so the headline must still read, “Democrats oppose torture-waffling AG nominee,” but there is the persistent problem of Democrat chickenshits who have allowed Bush to get away with anything he wants since 9/11, because they’re still scared of seeing an ad with their face next to Osama bin Laden. They keep voting to look tough, but they keep acting like damned yellowbellies. In the link I just noted, Cenk Uygur says:

Let me tell you a quick story told to me by a former staffer of one of the Democratic leaders. He said a consultant told this senator that the only way he could lose his senate seat was if he challenged the Republicans in any meaningful way. His advice was to give in to them on every occasion, and specifically at the time, on the Alito nomination.

This particular senator did not give in on the Alito nomination (nor did he put up any kind of effective fight, either). But the message from the “Democratic” consultant was clear – you will never be challenged from the left, so always give in to the right.

I’m not trying to force lockstep ideological conformity on Democrats. These people aren’t acting based on their ideology and long-held beliefs, but on craven political calculation. And that’s gotta go.

-jb

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan cites Scott Horton with something I overlooked:

The New York Times says the issue is one of legal culpability of those who have administered the program. In a speech I delivered in Ohio last October, “When Lawyers Are War Criminals,” I went over this analysis in some detail and concluded it was incorrect. The CIA personnel, military personnel and contractors all have immunity. But there is a class of persons who are probably not immunized in any effective way by the current statutes, namely the administration officials who authored this scheme: Dick Cheney, David Addington, Donald Rumsfeld, Jim Haynes and a handful of others. They are the figures “on the line” who are most adamant that Mukasey (or any substitute for Mukasey) provide them with the protection they feel they need.