May 7, 2006

"Although no one is being jailed today for speaking out against the war in Iraq, the spirit of intolerance for dissent has risen steadily..."

Does John Kerry make any sense? Believing in your own policies and disagreeing with your critics isn't the suppression of dissent. Strip away the paranoid rhetoric and Kerry would only be saying: The President fails to heed compelling arguments.

UPDATE: Jim Lindgren skewers Kerry for continuing to misattribute that dissent-patriotism quote to Jefferson. But wouldn't it be great if Jefferson had said it? Kind of like "fake but accurate": misattributed, but the kind of thing he would have said.

MORE: Vikingpundit: "Ridiculing Kerry is the highest form of patriotism."

116 comments:

Dave said...

Many politicians failt to heed compelling arguments. Hardly unique to Bush.

Seven Machos said...

I can't believe this guy. What a one-trick pony. What incredible shrillness.

You'd think the Senator could take the time to read the New York Times, the WP, the New Yorker, The Atlantic, any number of blogs, or watch CNN or ABC, or NBC, or CBS, or MSNBC. Apparently not, because he has not noticed that criticism of the war is nearly ubiquitous in these media outlets.

Luckily, we won't have John Kerry to kick around any more after a few primaries and caucuses in 2008.

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bissage said...

Ann Althouse asked whether John Kerry makes any sense.

No. Not much, anyway.

I don't think he's a flip flopper and never did. He's incoherent.

M.A. said...

Here's a question: why are conservatives (and so-called "independents") so obsessed with Kerry?

Normally when someone loses a Presidential election, he goes back to doing whatever he did, and is treated with general respect. Barry Goldwater didn't become a punchline (even though he bashed Johnson a lot more than Kerry now bashes Bush). George McGovern, Bush I, Bob Dole -- these guys didn't become the focus of endless attacks after they lost.

Yet Kerry still seems to inspire right-wing bloggers, pundits and hosts to screech every day about how horrible he is. Same with Gore, who has his very sanity questioned, Soviet-style, by today's weirdly Soviet-style "conservatives". Is it just the general mean-spiritedness of the contemporary right? Or is it just an attempt to distract attention from the obvious failures of the man who beat him?

Troy said...

It's akin to our "brave" entertainment elite. Neil Young is so brave -- in the tradition of Nathan Hale, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Martin Luther King. He spoke truth to power with the only consequences being a pat on the back from his fellow entertainers , a big contract payout from his multi-national corporation, and crickets from the gov't. Neil who? Ditto John Kerry... except he's the got the education and experience to know better.

Kerry's idiotic "dissent" bromide is also akin to Kevin Phillips' equally idiotic "theocracy" talk. Many liberals continue to go further down the rabbit hole.

Eric said...

Interesting theory.

As a Massachusetts resident, I think it's because in 20 years as a Senator, he's authored three pieces of legislation, two of them on maritime law. Yet somehow he believes he's presidental timber because he has a stentorian voice and a stint in Vietnam.

Boy, if you hate Dubya's "life of privilege" you've got to despise Kerry.

Bissage said...

Ann: You did a much better job than me in translating Kerryese into English. I would have translated the non-paranoid portion: The President and his Administration should do whatever it is intend to tell them to do, whatever that is.

As for the paranoid portion? I translate it: People of America, hear me, the President and his Administration are your enemies.

Seven Machos said...

M.A. -- No question, man. These ferocious, Soviet conservatives like Professor Ann Althouse, man, they just won't stop bashing Kerry. It is amazing.

If she ever retires from law profdom, I'm sure she will be a candidate for replacing either Rich Lowry at National Review or Ken Mehlman. Or maybe Rush Limbaugh. She has her pick, really, being such a conservative stalwart and all that.

M.A. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Synova said...

I suppose that it's just *fun* to bash Kerry. And very few people knew who he was before.

It wasn't fun when he was running for president because he might have won... probably he was responsible for Bush winning if the number of people I've heard say they would vote for Bush while holding their nose is any indication.

And it would be okay if he went away, but aren't there rumors that he might run in 08?

I'd "translate" the quote this way (for what it's worth.)

Protest movements need opposition and since there isn't any we have to make some up.

Craig said...

If the good Professor is interpreting this speech in light of Kerry's other expositions (which I am sure she is), my comment is thereby that much more tentative.

Nonetheless, taking what Kerry said in the linked article as the total of the corpus, I don't know that I understand why his argument does not make sense -- that is, to me, his conclusions do not contradict his suppositions.

Supposition 1: (Although no one is being jailed today for speaking out against the war in Iraq,) the spirit of intolerance for dissent has risen steadily.

Supposition 2: The habit of labeling dissenters as unpatriotic (as opposed to rebutting arguments, offering differing facts, etc.) has become the common currency of the politicians currently running our country.

Supposition 3: We are being told that admitting mistakes, not the mistakes themselves, will provide our enemies with an intolerable propaganda victory.

Synthesized supposition: America's leadership is unwilling to admit mistakes, unwilling to engage in honest discussion and unwilling to hold itself accountable for the consequences of decisions made without genuine disclosure or genuine debate.

Conclusion: Dismissing dissent is not only wrong but dangerous in such a case as Synthesized Supposition.

The only way for me to see that this does not "make sense" in the way that the Professor suggests is if the facts are so obviously wrong and obviously false that no reasonable, regularly informed person could believe them. Although I acknowledge that it may be fair to say that his suppositions are incorrect, that the facts are otherwise (I haven't thought enough about this to offer an opinion), I don't think they are so outlandish that this speech does not make sense.

AJ Lynch said...

Ann asked...."Does Kerry make sense?" No, he never has and never will. He is incapable of thinking clearly; that is my way of saying he is a dumb ass.

M.A. said:
"Here's a question: why are conservatives (and so-called "independents") so obsessed with Kerry?"

It ain't conservatives obsessing about Kerry. Usually, failed prez candidates are humble enough to return to what they did before runnung for prez. In Kerry's case, that would be re-claiming his seat on the "backbench" as one Clinton admin described Kerry's Senate career. But, JFK the 2nd, is acting like his losing and incompetent campaign has left him qualified to speak outon all kinds of topics (and the MSM is happy to hand him a microphone).

M.A. said...

aj lynch - Kerry's a veteran U.S. Senator; there's nothing strange about him making speeches about the big issues. He did it before he ran for President; many Senators do. Maybe he gets a bit more coverage now, but that's just because he's better-known now.

It still doesn't explain why conservatives are so fixated on parsing every word he says and screeching about how horrible he is; Goldwater, McGovern, Dole et al didn't inspire that kind of obsessive fixation. It's like conservatives have been driven crazy by the continued existence of Gore and Kerry. Odd.

Seven Machos said...

Listen, M.A., I'm a conservative and I voted for Bush and I'd vote for him again. But the reason he won twice is not because he is some stellar candidate. It's because the Democrats put up such horrific candidates against him.

Further, when you say ridiculous things like he said recently, or that you invented the Internet, or that you were the inspiration for Love Story, of that old ladies take dog medication because they can't afford real medication, you deserve to be lampooned.

Still further, look around you! Has Kerry gone "back to doing whatever he did"? No, he is running for president in 2008. (Gore has a movie out and some kind of struggling television station.) A far cry from Dole (the only Republican candidate to lose without first having been president since Goldwater).

And even further, is President Bush villifed by the left? Is he a punchline? Is he the focus of endless attacks? Does he inspire left-wing bloggers, pundits and hosts to screech every day about how horrible he is? I put it to you, M.A.: "Is it just the general mean-spiritedness of the contemporary left? Or is it just an attempt to distract attention from the obvious failures of the fact that the Left has no political program, vision, or electable candidates?

God, I hate hypocrisy! Grow up, dude! See the forest for the trees. You are doing EXACTLY what you accuse your opponents of doing. What does it make your actions if you think their actions are wrong?

Ann Althouse said...

Craig: Making sense isn't just a matter of logic. Your premises have to jibe with our perception of reality. Otherwise paranoids make sense.

M.A. said...

And even further, is President Bush villifed by the left? Is he a punchline? Is he the focus of endless attacks? Does he inspire left-wing bloggers, pundits and hosts to screech every day about how horrible he is?

The difference, of course, is that the left-wing bloggers and pundits criticize Bush on substantial grounds: Bush did X, X is bad, therefore Bush is bad. The vilification of Kerry is mostly based on lies about his war service and a general feeling that he talks funny and looks French. It's purely aesthetic dislike, and therefore it's hard to understand why the dislike is so strong.

It's a bit like Clinton. Righties couldn't point to any Clinton policies that were particularly bad, because, well, his policies were actually quite conservative. They just loathed and despised him because he was Bill Clinton. Whereas there is almost no such thing as "Bush Derangement Syndrome" -- since the vast majority of "Bush haters" simply dislike his policies and feel his policies are hurting America -- the right still suffers from Clinton Derangement Syndrome, responding to every criticism of Bush by trying to claim that Clinton was worse. The irrational, unthinking hatred of Gore (who never said he invented the internet) and Kerry is part of the derangement of the contemporary right.

Craig said...

Professor Althouse:

Hence, "The only way for me to see that this does not 'make sense' in the way that the Professor suggests is if the facts are so obviously wrong and obviously false that no reasonable, regularly informed person could believe them." (I.e., "Your premises have to jibe with our perception of reality.")

If your assessment is that Kerry is paranoid and so has the facts completely wrong, it seems to me that nothing at all is left once you strip away the paranoid (rhetoric).

In that case, it seems to me that the assertion the speech reduces to "The President fails to heed compelling arguments." is a red herring (except, possibly, as a uncharitable supposition regarding the underlying scheming of our supposed paranoid).

Seven Machos said...

Craig -- Your logic is not logic, It is a series of propostions leading nowhere. Some of Kerry's propositions are arguably correct. We have made mistakes in the war. It can be raesonably argued that the war was a bad idea at inception.

But how can you possibly say that there is not genuine debate about this issue? We are debating it now. Kerry made a big speech about it at a leading liberal arts college that is getting coverage. Most major media outlets have had negative coverage of the war for years. It is absolute tripe to say that anyone could be scared to criticize the war. I am one of the few people I know who SUPPORTS it, and I dread having to defend it in social or professional settings.

One more thing: nobody is questioning anybody's patriotism, except Kerry, by inference, who is questioning his own patriotism when he suggests that his own patriotism and the patriotism of others is being questioned.

Okay, last thing: If you guys want to have a remote chance of winning, you'll listen to Peter Beinart: get serious on the War, as serious or more serious than the Republicans, and then you can drum up your left-wing domestic solutions and people may listen. Criticizing war during war will never get you anywhere politically in this country.

M.A. said...


Okay, last thing: If you guys want to have a remote chance of winning, you'll listen to Peter Beinart: get serious on the War, as serious or more serious than the Republicans, and then you can drum up your left-wing domestic solutions and people may listen. Criticizing war during war will never get you anywhere politically in this country.


Oh, yeah. This is the same Peter Beinart who, in 2002, said this: "If the Democratic Party becomes the anti-war-with-Iraq party...we really will no longer have a 50-50 nation, we'll have a 60-40 Republican nation. The Democrats will be in a kind of McGovernite wilderness for a generation.”

So most of the leading Democrats voted for the war resolution. And the Democrats lost big in the mid-terms (and the Democrats who lost their seats were those who voted for the resolution or said they supported it). Great advice, Peter.

Look, if you define "getting serious" on national security with "being willing to start unnecessary wars," then the Democrats can't and shouldn't get serious. Happily, the real definition of seriousness on national security is knowing when war is and isn't necessary, by which standard Bush is the most unserious national-security President since McKinley.

And of course, there's no political penalty for criticizing a war during war -- think of all the Republican Senators and Congressmen who opposed Clinton's war in Kosovo. Did they pay a political price for that? No, because voters respect a candidate who's willing to come out and say that a war is unnecessary; they don't respect the Clintonite position that "I'm not against the war but I'm not for it either." That way lies Beinartian disaster.

Craig said...

Seven Machos:

You assume way to much if you assume that I am some ardent Kerry supporter defending him here on that basis or that those are my suppositions.

All I pointed out is that if you take his asserted facts to be true, his conclusion is reasonable. As I acknowledged in the original post "it may be fair to say that his suppositions are incorrect, that the facts are otherwise (I haven't thought enough about this to offer an opinion)."

However, 1) offering facts which actually are or later prove to be false, 2) offering facts which are subject to contention, and 3) offering facts which by their mere assertion reveal the tenderor to be "paranoid" are three different things.

If it is the case that "criticizing war during war will never get you anywhere politically in this country" then I do wonder about the possibility of true dissent (note to the passionate: I am wondering about a descriptive issue there, not a normative issue, and my wonder was spurred by an assertion not my own). Moreover, I think Kerry might say that dissent could be improperly squelched in ways that still would permit media coverage, popular discussion, etc.

Seven Machos said...

M.A.: Your argument is a complete strawman. Kerry hasn't been criticized on substantial grounds but Bush has? What are you talking about? Just how would would you label the criticism that is going on IN THIS VERY THREAD? I am criticizing the CONTENT OF A POLITICAL SPEECH THE MAN MADE.

Let's just point up some of the non-substantial grounds on which Bush has been criticized:

1. Drunk driving. (2000)

2. Alleged failure to report for a physical around 1970. (2004)

3. Standing in a flight suit in front of a banner. (2003 or so)

4. Holding a fake turkey. (2004 or so)

I could go on. These examples suffice. These are some of the things that made news. If you don't believe in Bush Derangement Syndrome, check of Kos or DU. You'll find it there in spades, and it's just as sad and awful as anything you see on the right, if not worse.

Face it, pal. There's plenty of irrational hatred on both sides. The fact that you don't see it makes you equally irrational. Try to see and understand reality in all its complexity before you attempt to comment on it, particularly in a sophisticated forum such as this one.

Adam said...

Bissage and Ann: What does it mean when the government categorizes student protests in response to on-campus military recruiting as terrorist threats?

UW's QLaw recently reported on this.

To answer the question in the extreme it might mean the government thinks students are the enemy (Bissage) friends do not spy on friends.

To answer the question in moderation it means "no one is being jailed... [but] the spirit of intolerance for dissent has risen."

Jacques Cuze said...

George Bush starting the trend:
"Over time it's going to be important for nations to know they will be held accountable for inactivity," he said. "You're either with us or against us in the fight against terror."

John Ashcroft piling on: We need honest, reasoned debate; not fearmongering. To those who pit Americans against immigrants, and citizens against non-citizens; to those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty; my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists - for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies, and pause to America's friends. They encourage people of good will to remain silent in the face of evil.

I have stuff I need to do today, enjoy your day fighting in the 101st.

Craig said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Seven Machos said...

Craig -- I don't get it. There IS true dissent. Kerry is dissenting. The New York Times, the Washington Post, Joe Wilson and his super-secret agent wife, the Kos kids, the people who march in these parades, Air America, AlGore, Howard Dean.

DISSENT IS EVERYWHERE!

What I'm saying is that dissent is a political loser. Let me repeat myself: dissent = lose. We live in a representative democracy in which you can say what you want as a candidate but voters can vote how they want. If you want to keep being against the war, you will keep losing elections. What you seem to be suggesting that war dissenters ought to be able to dissent but still hold onto and gain even more political power. It doesn't work that way.

And, M.A.: This country is Jacksonian and bloodthirsty on foreign policy. That's a fact. The Republicans are at a low ebb right now only because people who want to see more war are frustrated. No way they'll vote for less war, though.

Again, these are the facts on the ground, and I encourage you to see reality for what it is, not for what you are frustrated that it is not.

Craig said...

To be fair, if I were to apply the same process of charitable reading to the Professor's post*, I would have said that she is arguing that the fact of Kerry's speech disproves the suppositions within it (qua you can't doubt that you exist as a thinker). The last sentence of her post troubles that reading, but that is probably what I'd say nonetheless.

* Charitable reading being a loose term for a reading process which can be generally described by nothing that the first investigation of any assumed mistake or error is of the reader and the reading -- only as a last resort do you assume the fault is the author's. Charitable reading is, in my opinion, more important for "static" text and less important for dialogues (where the author is available to defend himself). Hence, it would be more important to read Kerry charitably here than Seven Machos, Craig, Professor Althouse, et al.

Craig said...

SM - I am suggesting nothing of the sort. It is so hard (possibly for want of authorial dexterity) to clearly convey my message.

If, as you asserted, a wartime critic of war will never achieve a political goal, the reasons for that fact and the consequences of that fact most likely have relevance on the possibility of true dissent (which, I think it is fair to say, may be more than the ability to speak, as robust as that ability may be).

Again, here I am wondering about a descriptive issue there, not a normative issue, and my wonder was spurred by an assertion not my own.

Moreover, I think Kerry might say that dissent could be improperly squelched in ways that still would permit media coverage, popular discussion, etc.

I think it is fair to analyze some one else's argument or point (here, me analyzing Kerry's point or argument) without adopting it.

Ann Althouse said...

Craig: Please note that I never said Kerry was paranoid. I said he was using paranoid rhetoric. I think he's a coldly ambitious politician with minimal rhetorical skills and I'm calling him on his encouraging paranoid reasoning in others.

Jim Hu said...

MA,

I believe Goldwater was largely ignored during Johnson's term and was only rehabilitated later, during the Reagan revolution. As I recall (vaguely) CW before that was that he was a rightwing nutjob who would have taken us into nuclear war. The others who lost were not given the prominent coverage by the MSM that Kerry is getting.

The losing candidate who stayed most in the limelight after losing was probably Nixon...and he was certainly kicked around a lot before his comeback.

Also, no blogs back then, and no 24 hour news channels.

AJ Lynch said...

M.A. said:
"It's a bit like Clinton. Righties couldn't point to any Clinton policies that were particularly bad, because, well, his policies were actually quite conservative."

Yeah Clinton had very conservative policies.... the first thing Clinton tried as prez was to get gays into the military (as an unspoken payback to the election support he got from gays- check the history books).

That sure is conservative policy and it failed miserably. And it showed what Clinton was ...a pandering phony political animal. It was the beginning of the end of his presidency and it happened in his first 3 months. Btw, he never mentioned this plan during the 1992 campaign and I voted for him.

The Drill SGT said...

I'm surprised nobody yet has referenced the post on this topic over at VC. There Jim Lindgren points out the full text of Kerry's remarks and that 5-10 other recent news articles that have already pointed out the fraudulent use of a phony Jefferson quote again found in Kerry's speech.

Dismissing dissent is not only wrong, but dangerous when America's leadership is unwilling to admit mistakes, unwilling to engage in honest discussion, and unwilling to hold itself accountable for the consequences of decisions made without genuine disclosure, or genuine debate. As Thomas Jefferson said, "dissent is the highest form of patriotism."

That quote is the underlying thematic of Kerry's speech and it's bogus. After all when you use the same bogus quote a week after major papers point out it's false, then either:

1. Kerry's staff is completely incompetent
2. they and he don't care if they tell tall tales as long as it supports arguments attacking Bush.

From the Steyn article:
Close enough. According to the Jefferson Library: "There are a number of quotes that we do not find in Thomas Jefferson's correspondence or other writings; in such cases, Jefferson should not be cited as the source. Among the most common of these spurious Jefferson quotes are: 'Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.'

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-38,GGLD:en&q=dissent+is+the+highest+form+of+patriotism

Seven Machos said...

Well, Craig, you are right. When you bandy about words and phrases like "authorial dexterity" and "descriptive issue" and "normative issue" and "my wonder was spurred by an assertion not my own," you are risking the possibility that people may lose your train of thought.

How can "dissent could be improperly squelched" if there is "media coverage, popular discussion, etc."? How is that possible?

Big words and the passive voice and technical jargon notwithstanding, your argument is hopeless. Is there stifling of dissent, or isn't there? Who is being stifled? Where has there been stifling? Please name names, with as much normative authorial dexterity as can be mustered by you.

The Drill SGT said...

this asserts to be the ful Kerry text

http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Kerry_tells_students_to_speak_out_0506.html

and this is the VC link for the one person who reads Ann, who doesn't already have it.

http://volokh.com/

PatCA said...

Drill Sgt, you beat me to it.

I think he's just lazy and brought out an old stump speech. "College kids. Maybe some volunteers. No real money here."

Amazing that he is still misquoting Jefferson, after it's been talked about for days and thoroughly debunked!

Verif work: winipy. wimpy?

PatCA said...

I also think it's more than bad grammar that resulted in the lead sentence. "Although no one is being jailed..." the use of the word jailed implies that this is a distinct possibiliy. As in, "although no one has been beheaded yet, the spirit of intolerance for dissent has risen steadily..."

Craig said...

Professor: Fair enough - but then I think that perhaps his argument makes even more sense than I initially supposed (when I only was seeing if his offered suppositions led to his conclusion).

In the case that it is not central that Kerry himself is (or is not) paranoid, only that his argument is couched in "paranoid rhetoric," he is, as you note "encouraging [Craig: and appealing to] paranoid reasoning in others."

If that is the case, his speech may be underhanded or devious, but it makes complete sense. Couching language in rhetoric is akin to aiming the speech, as rhetoric is of the esoteric.

"You who believe that Bush is suppressing dissent, hear also that this is not only wrong but dangerous."

How almost Socratic of the Senator.

(Seven Machos - I apologize if my attempt to investigate Prof. Althouse's post has flummoxed you. Feel free to ignore me.)

Jacques Cuze said...

Oy, how many people have to be arrested for wearing tee-shirts before Ann realizes that there is a sprit of intolerance for dissent and that 2/3rds of the US think Ann Althouse is the paranoid?

Seven Machos said...

Anyway, Craig, stifling is being done by whom? It is still being wondered by me if we are people who could be told that by you.

Jacques Cuze said...

How many retired generals (also known as citizens) have to be smeared for suggesting the war is being managed in the wrong manner before Ann realizes that there is a spirit of intolerance for dissent?

How many former Marines and members of Congress?

How many times will Ann let her commenters call Democrats and the left traitors (while she calls on Atrios to police his commenters?)

Jacques Cuze said...

Spirit of intolerance for dissent? How about calling for the death penalty for lying to the FBI? Or the finding that having a jihadi heart is punishable by prison?

Or the outing by the Administration of a covert CIA agent for retribution?

Seven Machos said...

I have found the stifling of dissent! Kerry has a point. "Although no one is being jailed," "the spirit of intolerance for dissent has risen steadily."

Troops backer ejected from speech
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4672388.stm

"The wife of a Republican was told to leave during the US president's State of the Union speech for wearing a t-shirt in support of US troops.

Representative Bill Young said his wife Beverly was ordered out of the House of Representatives gallery on Tuesday night for being a "protester".

"She... was doing... what the president said we should all do," he said.

Peace activist Cindy Sheehan was ejected before the speech for wearing a t-shirt with an antiwar slogan..."

Jacques Cuze said...

Spirit of intolerance for dissent? What do you call it when 20 Nobel Laureates "say Bush's government has systematically distorted and undermined scientific information in pursuit of political objectives. Examples include the suppression and censorship of reports on subjects like climate change and mercury pollution, the stacking of scientific advisory panels, and the suspicious removal of scientific information from government Web sites"?

Seven Machos said...

So, basically, for you, Symbol Guy, if someone criticzes the war, and someone criticizes them for criticizing the war, that's the dreaded stifling of dissent? Is that right?

Are you not criticizing the people who have criticized the original critics? Aren't you, you know, TRYING TO STIFLE THEM?

Also, it looks to me like the only person in trouble over the outing of super-secret agent Valerie Plame is Lewis Libby. It really is too bad that his dissent has been stifled.

Finally, this is one of my favorite blogs. I read the comments all the time. Never have I seen anyone called a traitor here. If you would like to see someone called a traitor, I suggest Kos or DU.

Once more, how is it that you lefties can't see the ridiculousness of your own side, or even of your own comments? How can you not see that they resemble what you claim to hate?

The Drill SGT said...

Stepping inbetween MA and AJ as they duke it out over:

It still doesn't explain why conservatives are so fixated on parsing every word he says and screeching about how horrible he is; Goldwater, McGovern, Dole et al didn't inspire that kind of obsessive fixation. It's like conservatives have been driven crazy by the continued existence of Gore and Kerry. Odd.

An interesting trio: Goldwater, McGovern, Dole. All three were WWII vets, two with very heroic service (Barry was too old to get the combat flying assignment he wanted). All three were true patriots ( voted for the last two for Pres), abd though they opposed their president on foreign military adventures, you had to believe they were doing it for the right reason.

Gore and Kerry? Many of us think their opposition to Bush is reactive and self serving. I don't think that folks thought that of Barry, George and Bob.

Jacques Cuze said...

Ejection? No. Arrested for dissent? Yes:

Sheehan was arrested around 8:30 p.m. ET Tuesday on charges of unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail, Capitol Police said."
Sheehan was arrested around 8:30 p.m. ET Tuesday on charges of unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail, Capitol Police said.

Also and elsewhere...

I had just sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket. I turned to the right to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and yelled; "Protester." He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs. I said something like "I'm going, do you have to be so rough?" By the way, his name is Mike Weight.

The officer ran with me to the elevators yelling at everyone to move out of the way. When we got to the elevators, he cuffed me and took me outside to await a squad car. On the way out, someone behind me said, "That's Cindy Sheehan." At which point the officer who arrested me said: "Take these steps slowly." I said, "You didn't care about being careful when you were dragging me up the other steps." He said, "That's because you were protesting." Wow, I get hauled out of the People's House because I was, "Protesting."

I was never told that I couldn't wear that shirt into the Congress. I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up. If I had been asked to do any of those things...I would have, and written about the suppression of my freedom of speech later. I was immediately, and roughly (I have the bruises and muscle spasms to prove it) hauled off and arrested for "unlawful conduct."

After I had my personal items inventoried and my fingers printed, a nice Sgt. came in and looked at my shirt and said, "2245, huh? I just got back from there."

I told him that my son died there. That's when the enormity of my loss hit me. I have lost my son. I have lost my First Amendment rights. I have lost the country that I love. Where did America go? I started crying in pain.

What did Casey die for? What did the 2244 other brave young Americans die for? What are tens of thousands of them over there in harm's way for still? For this? I can't even wear a shirt that has the number of troops on it that George Bush and his arrogant and ignorant policies are responsible for killing.

...

Four hours and 2 jails after I was arrested, I was let out. Again, I am so upset and sore it is hard to think straight.


Try not to lie when you smear Machoman....

Seven Machos said...

Symbol Man -- Are those people free to publish elsewhere? Because censorship doesn't mean the government won't fund you. Furthermore, that sounds strangely like it is related to global warming. Are you really trying to suggest that information about GLOBAL WARMING is being suppressed?

That is the most ridiculous thing I have heard this year. Every other story on the BBC, on CNN, on NPR; every other cover story in TIME and Newsweek; every other article in the New York Times is about global warming. We are absolutely saturated with information about global warming.

You are shrill, Symbol Man. You make John Kerry sound like a reasonable rhetorician. And that ain't easy.

Kurt said...

Writing about the alleged "Colbert Coverup" which had so many leftist bloggers in a snit last week, James Taranto wrote something the other day which I think nicely answers many of Craig's and M.A.'s comments:

This, it seems to us, explains several conceits of the Angry Left:

* The notion that criticism--whether of the Dixie Chicks or of Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer--amounts to censorship.

* Claims by Democratic politicians that Republicans are "questioning" their "patriotism."

* Fears of incipient fascism.

What these have in common, aside from being totally fantastical, is that they all reinforce the image of the Angry Leftist as courageous dissenter. In truth, this country is so tolerant, indeed downright indulgent, of this sort of "dissent" that it affords no opportunity to be courageous.


Kerry only makes sense if you accept all three of those highly suspicious premises.

Whenever people bother to point out that (1) no one is keeping Kerry or Gore or the Dixie Chicks or Michael Moore, etc. from saying any ridiculous thing they choose; that (2) questioning or criticizing their logic or their arguments or their information is not the same thing as questioning their patriotism, and (3) so far no one has actually questioned their patriotism, then the response is invariably "would you stop opressing me and questioning my patriotism!" Naturally, it doesn't make any sense.

As a friend from Australia remarked about some anti-war vandals in his country: no one is censoring them--they're just mad that they're not getting their way.

Jacques Cuze said...

I am not saying it VillageMan, 20 Nobel Laureates are saying it. Tell them they are shrill and wrong on the science if you can Mr. Construction Worker.

While you tell them off Mr. Indian Chief, Ann consider that: On Fox News Sunday, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Peter Hoekstra vehemently opposed Gen. Hayden to be appointed to the CIA. Hoekstra claimed that Hayden would be "the wrong choice" for the job. Hoekstra was concerned that Hayden, as a member of the military, would be seen as "under the sway" of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

HOEKSTRA:I do believe he's the wrong person and the wrong place at the wrong time...We should not have a military person leading a civilian agency at this time.

WALLACE: Well, is it your feeling that as an active general that General Hayden would be under the sway of Don Rumsfeld?

HOEKSTRA: I think that clearly will be the perception in the CIA both I think here in Washington and again at the CIA. I don’t think you can underestimate the difficulty in rebuilding, reshaping and transforming the Central Intelligence Agency. This is the debate we don’t need at this time....


The House and Senate agree: no active military to lead the CIA.

Members of the Senate committee that would consider
President Bush's nominee also expressed reservations, saying the CIA is a civilian agency and putting Hayden atop it would concentrate too much power in the military for intelligence matters. ... A second committee member, GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss (news, bio, voting record) of Georgia, added, "I think the fact that he is a part of the military today would be the major problem."


Off to the elliptical machine, throw your grenades Mr. Fireman.

Seven Machos said...

"Four hours and 2 jails after I was arrested, I was let out."

Sounds like Budapest, 1956, when the Soviet tanks rolled in.

Cindy Sheehan and those advising her knew very well that she risked arrested by wearing what she did, where she did, when she did.

Fringe and radical protesters often seek out arrest. The fact that someone was processed and let go twice in two hours is a testament to our entire justice system.

Seven Machos said...

Symbol Man -- Not sure where you are going with your comments, though you do appear to be becoming unhinged. Now the CIA is involved with dissent? And the military? And a guy named Wallace?

The ad hominem attacks are interesting. For the record, I am calling you Symbol Man because I don't want to invest the time to recreate or copy and paste your name.

Bissage said...

Adam Nelson: I'm not here to defend everything the government does. I'm here to make a quip every now and then hoping it provides amusement and (maybe, just maybe) insight. It would also be nice to learn a thing or two.

That said, I don't know what it means "when the government categorizes student protests in response to on-campus military recruiting as terrorist threats." The connexion link was about DoD surveillance of LGBT group(s) and it looked to me like DoD admitted it was wrong and dropped the program. I'm sure your right. I simply don't understand.

But I will say this: If you think the dark night of facism is descending on the United States, don't rest your hopes on John Kerry. You will find yourself disappointed. That's my opinion.

Seven Machos said...

"Fascism is forever descending on America, but it always seems to land in Europe."

That was Thomas Jefferson, right? Or Tom Wolfe. I always get these two great wits confused.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Drill SGT said...

Quxxo (Symbol Man in these strings).

I think the attribution of Hayden as unacceptable as the DCIA because he is on active duty is a stretch too far.

1. He was the Director of the NSA, a co-equal of the CIA (with a bigger budget BTW) under our current structure.

2. Hayden is currently Negroponte's deputy as the Director of National Intelligence. The gossip around town is that Goss left because he was not happy taking orders from Negroponte/Hayden. To say now that Hayden after getting the CIA job at Negropointe's request would cave to Rumsfeld and DIS his former and current boss Negroponte seems absurd to me and others.

3. There have been several military types as DCI in the past, roughly 1/3 of the Directors were generals or admirals. Certainly the father of the CIA, Colonel Donovan was not under Marshall's sway during WWII.


You might have had a point under the old organization (though I don't think so) where the DCIA was also the DCI, but not with a DNI in place.

PatCA said...

Thank you, Seven. You're doing yeoman's work here while the rest of us fritter away our Sunday morning.

SteveR said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SteveR said...

Not sure if its embedded in of the longer and more thoughtful posts, but the simple reason we talk about Gore and Kerry so much is we have an entirely different world than 1996 or before. No blogs for one. But come on Gore and Kerry have not gone silently into the night, they deserve to be commented upon just as much as they feel the need to comment.

And they continue to provide ample reason to be thankful they did not win. But as was so wisely stated yesterday, "your mileage may vary"

Goatwhacker said...

The ad hominem attacks are interesting. For the record, I am calling you Symbol Man because I don't want to invest the time to recreate or copy and paste your name.

You could say "the artist formerly known as quxxo".

HaloJonesFan said...

M.A.: "Here's a question: why are conservatives (and so-called "independents") so obsessed with Kerry?"

Because we were practically champing at the bit to vote for a Democrat. It isn't as though most of us had any particular loyalty to GWB; we would have happily voted for a Democrat who had his shit together. But...we were handed John Kerry. The epitome of the mushmouth politico, a male model who walked around and made thoughtful noises. We would have happily gone with Lieberman; hell, even Dean would have gotten enough converts that he'd have won the office. But no...we get John Kerry, whose main claim to fame was that he married into Big Agriculture's ruling class.

That made most of us very, very bitter. Here we were, all set to sell our souls, and it turns out that we'd have been selling them to the 2004 remake of Hubert Humphrey.

Moanique said...

Here's a question: why are conservatives (and so-called "independents") so obsessed with Kerry?

Because even among conservatives the current administration is making Clinton look good. Since it does no good at all to foam at the mouth any longer about Clinton, they it goes to Kerry by default.

Lest you think, I'm supporting Kerry...no, I'm not. He's a poltician with no recognizable coherent message at all which is why he lost.

Bissage said...

PatCA is right. Seven Machos has been the Iron Man today (Well, seven Iron Men, actually) and I just wanted to say something funny, sort of, as, you know, my little way of saying thank you.

So okay. Ready? Here it comes: "My name is John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!!!

John Jenkins said...

Here's a question: why are conservatives (and so-called "independents") so obsessed with Kerry?

1. He's in the news.

2. He's still a U.S. Senator.

3. He still speaks for at least some part of the Democratic Party.

4. His words are apparently important enough to be reported in major media outlets (i.e. the A.P.).

5. There's still the theoretical chance that he could be his party's nominee in 2008.

Now, Why is it that liberals have to try to change the subject when their politicians screw up?

Paco Wové said...

You could say "the artist formerly known as quxxo".

But "The troll formerly known as quxxo" would be better.

Aspasia M. said...

Now, Why is it that liberals have to try to change the subject when their politicians screw up?

Anybody else see the irony?


FYI: Gen. Zinni is on C-Span booknotes right now.

Seven Machos said...

Gooey Duck: I do see the irony.

But I want you to know that I am glad to to discuss the things I think Bush has done and is getting wrong with you, and what the Republicans are getting wrong, and I think if you go to any number of conservative sites, you will see harsh criticism of Republicans and the administration and the Congress.

What is that? Is that dissent? I think it is.

As I have made clear here, I think we've seen plenty of dissent from the left. I think the political conversation in this country is as healthy as its ever been. I am often dissatisfied with the leadership. And I gripe about it. Which is dissent.

Kerry is full of it. I think most of us except the mysterious Symbol Guy and the illogical Craig can agree about that.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
knoxgirl said...

Ugh, the Bush-haters love to fancy they are oppressed victims of a fascist regime... that way mere "voicing of dissent" is no longer just an opinion, like the rest of us, it's actual "heroism*... Nice way of looking at it, really. You get to be all brave and rebellious just by running your mouth.

Aspasia M. said...

"Once again, we are imprisoned in a failed policy," he said. "And once again we are being told that admitting mistakes, not the mistakes themselves, will provide our enemies with an intolerable propaganda victory."
--------------------------
1)From the speech: Agree or Disagree?

2) Who holds political power in the US right now? Who is making the policy for Iraq?

Is it going well?

3) Or is it more fun to talk about Kerry and his unfortunate tendancy to windsurf?

(And I agree that Kerry is quite, quite annoying. However, I am a bit more concerned with what is going on in Iraq, for example.)

4) I seem to remember on this blog back in Novemeber/December, a bunch of commenters claimed that anyone who criticized Rumsfeld, and the strategic planning of Iraq, was unpatriotic.

I also remember people getting quite agitated in response, and telling other people not to make accusations of treason into a parlour game.

5) And yes, in the past 6-9 months it's gotten more and more common for people to criticize the planning and political strategy of our actions in Iraq. Bush's poll numbers have gone down, and the situation in Iraq doesn't look good.

John Jenkins said...

Geoduck, there's only irony if I were a conservative. Given that I'm a libertarian and think that both Democrats and Republicans are worthless asshats, there's no irony. My fondest wish is for the Democrats to retake the House of Representatives in the miterm elections on the theory that Washington will spend less and do less. One can hope, anyway.


2) Who holds political power in the US right now? Who is making the policy for Iraq?


Whose fault is that (if your party had nominated Joe Lieberman instead of John Kerry, J.L. would be president right now)?

Seven Machos said...

"Once again, we are imprisoned in a failed policy," he said. "And once again we are being told that admitting mistakes, not the mistakes themselves, will
--------------------------
1)Disagree. Who is not admitting mistakes? Show me the person of any political stripe who says we have made no mistakes. Mistakes happen in all wars and they certainly have happened in this one. What would provide "provide our enemies with an intolerable propaganda victory" would be if we pulled the military out, not admitting mistakes.

2) The first two questions are rhetorical and do not merit a response. "Is it going well?" Yes, I think it is. The left wants a war with no American deaths. This didn't even happen in the Balkans and it is a silly thing to want. Soldiers die in war. Period. Politically, Iraq has a functioning government, has had a series of free and fair elections, and doesn't have a dictator in charge who kills and tortures people. Economically, Iraq is growing exponentially. Cell phones and cars and new businesses are everywhere, whereas very few people had these things before. Furthermore, we have Iran surrounded by our military, which is the real reason Iran is being so bellicose. Syria is also far better behaved (as are Pakistan and Saudi Arabia).

3) You brought up windsurfing. Would you like to discuss it?

4) I don't remember this.

5) The situation in Iraq does look good, for the reasons I have suggested. We have won the war. Terrorist activity will continue. It might be better to split Iraq into several countries. There will be more violence. But Iraq is on its way to becoming a functioning democracy that will not damage U.S. interests. We will have a military presence there for years to come, probably until you and I both dead, regardless of who controls the presidency or the Congress.

I also note, Gooey Duck, that you are dissenting freely. Are you not?

Aspasia M. said...

Who holds political power in the US right now? Who is making the policy for Iraq?

Whose fault is that (if your party had nominated Joe Lieberman instead of John Kerry, J.L. would be president right now)?


That is SO not my fault. I cried the night Kerry won Iowa.

(And I voted for him on election day because I thought, and still think, that the Bush administration couldn't govern themselves out of a paper bag.)
--------------------

I suppose it's ironic because Dems in Congress don't have any power right now, particulary in determining foriegn policy.

The civilian political leadership, in my opinion, has their heads up their asses & have made so many stupid mistakes about Iraq & now it looks like the CIA is a mess.

Kerry annoys me to no end, but I bet he would have put more competent people in charge of the DoD and the CIA.

Seven Machos said...

Yeah. Bush's worst appointment was definitely Tenet.

Aspasia M. said...

1)Disagree. Who is not admitting mistakes?

Rumsfeld. Why is he still in charge again?

Yes, I think it is. The left wants a war with no American deaths.

We must agree to disagree here.

Economically, Iraq is growing exponentially.

I would disagree with this in about 8 Iraqi provinces.

3) You brought up windsurfing. Would you like to discuss it?

No, except that I tried it once and couldn't figure out how to ballance.

The situation in Iraq does look good, for the reasons I have suggested.

I hope you're right.

I also note, Gooey Duck, that you are dissenting freely. Are you not?

Yep. It wasn't ever a problem with the general population.

It was aimed towards specific types of political dissent by politicians & some people in the military. (troop numbers, Shinseki, ect.)

Some entertainment people and reporters had some trouble back in 2002/2003. (Dixie Chicks/ ect.)

I think that this whole "patriotic meme" was tried out by Rove et. all, but about 6-9 months ago. "You're hurting the troops if you criticize Rumsfeld or Iraq, ect."

But it became quite rhetorically untenable as a way to attack politicans and the media.

(There was a whole "the media is causing us to loose Iraq meme." Didn't Instapundit say something about how the media would regret their coverage of Iraq?)

Seven Machos said...

Just in case, lefties, it was a joke. I was pointing up the fact that Tenet was appointed by Clinton.

By the way, I don't know how anyone could be upset about Negroponte, who IS in charge of the CIA now, since his office was created. Negroponte has served in every administration since Eisenhower's. He is the consummate professional, able to work for and with both Democrats and Republicans.

Aspasia M. said...

Bush's worst appointment was definitely Tenet.

If the reports are right, it sounds like after Goss was appointed a bunch of senior & experienced people left the CIA.

That loss of institutional experience and memory is not a good thing. Right now we need good intelligence.

I would appreciate it if the Bush administration would hurry up and figure out how to administrate and stop messing up our governmental institutions.

Seven Machos said...

Rove is an average political operator. He has no power to start memes.

The left has been screaming since 2002 about how they are unpatriotic because they criticize the war. No one has ever actually called them unpatriotic. James Taranto has elucidated this idea very well.

As far as the Dixie Chicks, yeah, it was a real bummer about their imprisonment and torture, but they are back to making mealy pop now.

What's that, you say? They were merely criticized? Sorry, I guess I was thinking of the Iraqi Dixie Chicks that Uday sent through the plastic shredder. Anyway, perhaps the Dixie Chicks' mistake was to foolishly try to be against the war while simultaneously trying to sell country music, which is generally listened to by people who are for the war. Really bad for the brand.

Seven Machos said...

Without getting into specifics, Gooey Duck, I think the problem is the CIA. It is a bloated bureaucracy that needs to be cleaned up.

The CIA did not predict Iran in 1979, nor Kuwait in 1991, nor NYC in 2001. It is a Cold War apparatus that simply cannot deal with the new foreign policy reality. It also has politicized itself, when it should be apolitical. The people who resigned did so largely for political reasons. They disagreed with the administration. That's fine, but the job of the spy must be to serve the government, period, without regard to politics. It's very important to maintain civil order. All of these people knew this going in.

Aspasia M. said...

Rove is an average political operator. He has no power to start memes.

I'm talking about rhetorical political memes.

(For example, calling reporters to sell a political theme/concept/ or idea.)

Aspasia M. said...

As far as the Dixie Chicks, yeah, it was a real bummer about their imprisonment and torture, but they are back to making mealy pop now.

If I wasn't clear, I'll state it now: I don't think that the government did something to oppress the Dixie Chicks.

I was trying to point out the different in the political zeitgeist between 2002/03 and today due to the shift in political popularity of the administration.
-----

It certainly does not sound like this administration encourages debate about military strategy. They do not have a political reputation for being inclusive or interested in vigorous internal debate. (Just an offhand example: see, for example, the Treasury Secretary, O'Niell's discussions about it in The Price of Loyalty)

Aspasia M. said...

It also has politicized itself, when it should be apolitical. The people who resigned did so largely for political reasons.

That's not what I've been reading in the recent articles about the CIA. Of course, I have no first hand knowledge, but if these articles are correct, I find this loss of institutional expertise very disturbing.

It sounds like people left because they had personal problems w/ Goss's managerial abilities.

Seven Machos said...

Gooey Duck: the press had nothing to do with it. You sound like a ridiculous conspiracy theorist. Leftists have been complaining about people questioning their patriotism since the Vietnam War. This isn't something that started last year.

Here's something from 2001 from a goofy Social site, in the good old days before Kerry was such a bother, just for example.

Bush administration moves to silence dissent
By Jerry White
29 September 2001

http://66.249.93.104/search?q=cache:sNFvbzaxSg8J:www.wsws.org/articles/2001/sep2001/cens-s29.shtml+dissent+unpatriotic+1998&hl=hr&gl=hr&ct=clnk&cd=10&client=firefox-a

I know from my experience that this stuff goes further back.

Seven Machos said...

Gooey Duck -- How can the government discourage "debate about military strategy"? How can it encourage it? Seriously, by what mechanism would an administration do either in our free society? Should Donald Rumsfeld hold daily press conferences to encourage such debate? Should all press be shut down and curfews be instituted and all communication be banned to discourage such debate? I want specifics here.

I think, if you think this through, you'll see that the U.S. government encouraging or discouraging debate about anything is ridiculous.

Also, do you recall the Clinton administration or the Carter administration encouraging (or discouraging) debate about military strategy?

Seven Machos said...

A positive step... (NYT)

" WASHINGTON, May 6 — The choice of Gen. Michael V. Hayden of the Air Force as the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency is only a first step in a planned overhaul to permanently change the mission and functions of the legendary spy agency, intelligence officials said Saturday.

Porter J. Goss, who was forced to resign Friday, was seen as an obstacle to an effort by John D. Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, to focus the agency on its core mission of combating terrorism and stealing secrets abroad. General Hayden, who will be nominated to the post on Monday, is currently Mr. Negroponte's deputy, and he is regarded as an enthusiastic champion of the agency's adoption of that narrower role."

Aspasia M. said...

SM,

Ann asked us about the article & here's some of the quotes I'm responding to:

"Dismissing dissent is not only wrong but dangerous when America's leadership is unwilling to admit mistakes, unwilling to engage in honest discussion and unwilling to hold itself accountable for the consequences of decisions made without genuine disclosure or genuine debate," said Kerry, D-Mass.

I think the administration gets an idea and sticks with it. I don't see the administration as being open for debate from congress or the media or the military or the polls.

"Although no one is being jailed today for speaking out against the war in Iraq, the spirit of intolerance for dissent has risen steadily, and the habit of labeling dissenters as unpatriotic has become the common currency of the politicians currently running our country," he said.

I saw this with the Murtha stuff. I've seen the accusation of criticism as unpatriotic on this list in debates about Iraq.

"Once again, we are imprisoned in a failed policy," he said. "And once again we are being told that admitting mistakes, not the mistakes themselves, will provide our enemies with an intolerable propaganda victory."

I have read the "propaganda victory" stuff and the media is hurting the troops and the MSM is causing the US to fail in Iraq, blah blah blah...

--------------------

But quite frankly, none of the political rhetoric seems very important when Iraq is in such trouble.

Kerry doesn't have the power to do much of anything about military strategy. He's in the minority in Congress.

Aspasia M. said...

How can the government discourage "debate about military strategy"? How can it encourage it? Seriously, by what mechanism would an administration do either in our free society?

Debate within the government -- Wilkerson, et. all.

Should Donald Rumsfeld hold daily press conferences to encourage such debate?

He should listen to the military recommendations. He shouldn't ignore the military planning.

Seven Machos said...

John Kerry is in an impossible position. He voted for funding the war when he thought that would be politically viable. He voted against funding it when the Democrats were swooning for Dean in Iowa. That was the time, I believe, when he voted for it before he voted against it.

Lately, he has said we should say we are going to pull out on some specified date). Now he says people who criticize the war, which he was for, then against, then for, then against, should be immune from criticism. Plus he falsely attributes a quote to Jefferson.

John Kerry is the vanest, most tone-deaf politician in the history of politics. He will never be president. He could only be elected president in a state like Massachusetts. I was shocked and very happy that he was nominated, because I knew he would lose.

I'm not sure why he thinks he is still relevant. I'm not sure why anyone thinks he is still relevant. He ought to have the decency to exit into that quiet good night like Walter Mondale, George H. W. Bush, and Bob Dole, and Mike Dukakis.

Seven Machos said...

Gooey Duck -- Rumsfeld is the CEO of the military. Do you think he listens to no one in the military and is universally reviled.

Also, you are a lefty; I would guess you want a smaller, leaner military. That's his agenda. All of a sudden, the left is on the side of generals who want some huge, wasteful, slow military. What happened to you guys? When did you start standing for simply being against what the Republicans are for?

Aspasia M. said...

Rumsfeld is the CEO of the military. Do you think he listens to no one in the military and is universally reviled.

Also, you are a lefty; I would guess you want a smaller, leaner military. That's his agenda. All of a sudden, the left is on the side of generals who want some huge, wasteful, slow military. What happened to you guys? When did you start standing for simply being against what the Republicans are for?


1) It would be a mistake to assume that all my beliefs are X.

2) RE Rumsfeld: Ah. My family has had a long history of disliking Rumsfeld since the 1970s. My father knew him then.

On the day he was appointed to the DoD my Dad said "He's going to hurt the military."

-----

He voted for funding the war when he thought that would be politically viable. He voted against funding it when the Democrats were swooning for Dean in Iowa. That was the time, I believe, when he voted for it before he voted against it.

Yeah, that was a stupid vote. If you're going to vote for the war, then you have to vote to fund it. Idiots.

I was shocked and very happy that he was nominated, because I knew he would lose.

hmm. I was shocked and upset when he was nominated, because I thought he would loose.

I'm not sure why he thinks he is still relevant. I'm not sure why anyone thinks he is still relevant. He ought to have the decency to exit into that quiet good night like Walter Mondale, George H. W. Bush, and Bob Dole, and Mike Dukakis.

I dunno either; I've never liked him. But it was a speech at Grinnell, which is a very small liberal arts college, so I don't see this speech as a big deal.

Charlie (Colorado) said...

Look, the core underlying assumption to a lot of this "suppressing dissent" stuff is clear: you are suppressing dissent if you challenge it. Thus we end up with Tim Robbins complaining about losing his First Amendment rights --- in the National Press Club, on C-SPAN.

Seven Machos said...

Fun fact: Grinnell has the highest per capita endowment for any undergraduate college in the United States.

I don't think you have heard the last of Kerry. I assume this was a graduation speech, I don't know, but why would anyone who doesn't want to run in 2008 give a speech, not to mention a slightly incendiary one, in the place where the first presidential caucus is held?

jpe said...

I'm surprised people are failing to follow Kerry's argument, which roughly goes like this:

Dissent is being characterized as treason (which is certainly the case), and that's not a good thing.

Not so complicated, really.

Seven Machos said...

Oh my God! You think you dispose of these arguments, and somone like jpe comes along.

What politician, journalist, blogger, or non-crazy person on the left or right has said that dissent is treason? Who? When has the word "treason" been used in responsible, mainstream discourse? Name names.

Further, tell me one person who you think is in the slightest bit of danger of being charged with treason.

Surely, you are trying to be funny. It's quite late where I am. Please, please tell me I am dense and missed a good joke.

Aspasia M. said...

Can't we talk about the sex article in the NYTimes instead?

I'm so bored of Kerry.

tjl said...

Geoduck2 observed, "I'm so bored of Kerry."

So is everybody else, Geo, but for some reason he isn't getting the message and won't go away quietly.

I used to live in Massachusetts, and can't remember anyone ever having the slightest fondness for Kerry personally. By what strange political dynamic does he keep getting reelected?

vnjagvet said...

This started as a discussion on Kerry's OT BS argument that unnamed people are stifling dissent.

Now it has migrated somewhat into a discussion of Rumsfeld.

There is heavy fire against him for allegedly not taking the advice of his subordinates.

That is a problem that recurs for CEOs in government and in industry. The multiplicity of recommended options and the necessity of making a decision to take but one of them happens all of the time.

Those who recommend the options not taken often are disappointed, for they usually made those recommendations in good faith, and gave the CEO the benefit of their best judgment.

That seems to me to be what happened here.

MadisonMan said...

By what strange political dynamic does he keep getting reelected?

That's an interesting question -- the only real talent he has is for generating quotes that, out of context (and sometimes in), make him sound like he's broken into Patrick Kennedy's desk drawers. I think he tries to make himself sound funny, or un-elite. And completely and utterly fails, every single time.

The Drill SGT said...

vnjagvet said...
There is heavy fire against him for allegedly not taking the advice of his subordinates.

That is a problem that recurs for CEOs in government and in industry. The multiplicity of recommended options and the necessity of making a decision to take but one of them happens all of the time.


Reminds me of advice I was given when I was a young Army Captain commanding my first company. I was told that I should train my people to not present me problems, but to come in with at least 2 good alternatives. The next piece of advice (secret) was that I should answer the first question of the day YES and the second NO, etc. The theory being that my subordinates, having weighed the alternatives, were presenting basically equal options and the real sticking point was somebody with the balls to make a decision and then stick with it. sort of applicable in rummy's case.

The corollary to vnjagvet's observation and mine is that no matter what, 50% of the people will not have gotten their choice.

The final bits of wisdom are that

1. decisions need to be made. A good decision done in time is far better for the unit, that the perfect decision made too late.

2. and nothing frightens your subordinates more than a leader that makes decisions and doesn't stick with then and changes again, and again.... That in part is what made Kerry scary to some.

The Drill SGT said...

them, not then

Johnny Nucleo said...

People disagree on the war. But one side is claiming that the very act of engaging in debate, arguing, trying to win, calling your opponent a jerk, is squelching of dissent.

That major figures of the Democratic Party are making a so obviously stupid argument is distressing.

In the good old days the Democratic Party was the less stupid party. At times, it was even the smart party. It really was once. It hasn't been since the mid 70s.

The Drill SGT said...

I wish the democrat's would give me both somebody I trusted on security and some reasonable policy choices.

The Pelosi and Reid policy seems to be summarized as:

Bush is incompetent in his ______ policy (fill in the blank with one of GWOT, IRAQ, DARFUR, AIDS, etc) and if we were in power, we'd do it better. Trust us!

jpe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jacques Cuze said...

Have I fallen through a looking glass or something?

There is no member of the current administration that can get a word in edgewise in any forum anywhere. An immediate agitprop theater group is set up to disrupt or cancel any forum in which anybody in the current government is featured. While Senator Kerry was making his remarks, how many borderline psychopaths shouted epithets at him and hurled pies at him and disrupted his remarks? Just curious.


Yes, Slippery is right for a change. There is no way that Bush, Cheney, Condi, Rove, or any of the cluster f*ck could book time on Meet the Press, or Fox News Sunday, or This Week, or Face the Nation or Late Edition.

The news media is systematically suppressing the Administration.

They hate the Administration.

Yes, Slippery Cheese is right. He is mad as a hatter.

jpe said...

"What politician, journalist, blogger, or non-crazy person on the left or right has said that dissent is treason?"

Here's a nice round-up. Re: treason charges: obviously, they're not gonna happen, but that's not relevant to Kerry's argument, which, as I take it, was simply that the equation of political disagreement with treason is deleterious w/re/to political discourse.

And that strikes me as a pretty uncontroversial assertion. It may or may not be a Very Big Deal, but it clearly isn't good.

Johnny Nucleo said...

jpe,

How's this for crazy? You're a traitor! So what now?

I just called you a traitor. Now what? Are you in danger?

But you're right. I'm a nobody so who cares.

Ok.

How about this:

Let's say Bush starts hitting the sauce again and goes nutzoid and starts calling his political opponents traitors. Will the FBI come knocking, or will Bush be taken away in a strait-jacket?

Too sci-fi? How about this: Rove concocts a "meme" in his lab that says those who oppose Bush are traitors. Will the FBI come knocking then? Will mobs storm your house?

What I'm about to say I mean in all sincerity. If any of that shit happens, call me. I'm serious. Send out a message on this blog. I'll be there with a shotgun.

jpe said...

This started as a discussion on Kerry's OT BS argument that unnamed people are stifling dissent.

Kerry's argument is that people are trying to short-circuit substantive discussion by just dismissing dissenters as traitors and such.

jpe said...

Like I said, Johnny, calling those that disagree traitors may not be such a big deal in the grand scheme of things - a point on which you obviously agree with me - but it's pretty hard to characterize it as a great step forward in the national discourse.

Elizabeth said...

Sippican, are you not counting all the Sunday morning news/talk shows as forums? The admin's talking heads get plenty of time to make their case on every network.

And what's wrong with a pie between fellow clowns once in awhile? Just kidding. Slinging stuff is wrong. Slinging questions in public forums, and responding to unsatisfactory answers, is good.

Johnny Nucleo said...

jpe, I owe you an apology. I wanted to riff against the bit I quoted and didn't read the whole thing. Your point was not entirely without merit.

But then you had to go and write this:

"Kerry's argument is that people are trying to short-circuit substantive discussion by just dismissing dissenters as traitors and such."

Kerry is saying that those who argue against him are short-circuiting substantive discussion. This is very Fredo.

There are two possiblities: the dems suck at arguing or they have no argument. Either way, they shouldn't be in power.

Jacques Cuze said...

The only way an administration official can get a forum with the news media is by illegally leaking to them on the authority of the veep and pee.

Aspasia M. said...

Johnny Nucleo,

Well, clearly the Dems aren't in power.


As Doctor Phil would say:

And how's that working for you?

Kirk Parker said...

HaloJonesFan,

I was really with you, up until you point you heinously insulted Hubert Humphrey by comparing Kerry to him!

Seven Machos said...

Two random points:

1. I'm sure Tom Maguire and his motley crew of posters will be touched to be called mainstream. I'm sure he will be thrilled to know he now possesses the power to stifle dissent. Impressive.

2. I am now gathering that lefties draw the line at themselves getting accused of treason. Is that it? Lefties can call conservatives treasonous with impugnity, but the minute someone does it from the right, that's out of bounds. That's stifling of disssent.

"Sure," say our proud lefties, "you can criticize us a little, but the minute somebody over on a typepad site calls us 'treasonous,' well, that's beyond the pale. That's cernsorship.

PatCA said...

"Intolerance for dissent" means this...
Egyptian bloggers arrested

not criticism from your fellow citizens.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...

Sippican,

You should make your way into the audience next time Rumsfeld is speaking. You'll confound both sides of the political spectrum, and get on TV, too.

I guess we're happy watching Iron Chef and American Idol, and accepting the lowest-common-denominator antics of TV news and interviews. I doubt Rumsfeld or any other appointed or elected official is displeased with that dynamic.