August 18, 2006

Listen.

The radio show is up! Go here, and click on "Listen" at the 8:00 hour. It's a fast-moving hour with me and Matt Rothschild -- of "The Progressive" -- talking about the new NSA case, Iraq, Lebanon, and lots of American politics (including Lamont and Lieberman, Hillary and Russ, and Mark Green and Jim Doyle).

11 comments:

WisJoe said...

I thought the most interesting moment occurred when you became host and asked Mr. Rothschild if his "cut-and-run" strategy was the position of the Democratic party and he refused to bite. I think the Democratic party should remain a large tent and include: (1) those who feel our presence in Iraq was ill-founded and remains an impediment to progress there; and (2) those who feel our presence in Iraq was ill-founded and remains necessary due to the unstable nature of Iraq's government and security at this point. In my personal opinion, I do not know which is the better policy, not having been there and also not having sufficient information at hand to make a good decision. However, I do think the difference between having a flexible timetable for withdrawal and "standing down when the Iraqis stand up" is negligible.

vegetius said...

Too bad you didn't mention that the Hersh piece that your opponent was totally relying on is a crock. It's all blind sourcing of anonymous officials. On the up side, yu were great.

Simon said...

They did it again - "this is our friday week in review where we welcome in two guests from different perspectives to talk with you about the news of the week." So naturally, they have the editor of the undoubtedly left-leaning "The Progressive" magazine, and then they have Ann Althouse, to present - with heavy inference - a different perspective.

Ann Althouse said...

Simon: Yeah, note that I was more pro-Doyle than him.

Vegetius: I hadn't seen the Hersh piece. I did notice he was citing Hersh and Fisk, but I didn't think it was worth attacking them in a very general way.

stephenb said...

I felt like he was using his masculinity to put you down and to assert some sort of authority over the discussion. He kept saying, with a deeper voice than I think he really has "Let me get in here, Ann."

Did anyone else pick up on that?

Ann Althouse said...

Stephen: I know what you mean. I think it's better when there's interplay, but he was trying to make it seem like it was off limits to insert any dialogue. I don't like the "let me finish" talk and do think it's a power play. But, don't worry, I wasn't the slightest bit intimidated. In his defense, I took the liberty to hold forth at some length and he probably felt entitled to get equal time. But it is interesting to analyze the sexual politics of it. I was the female and the hawk. That must create pressure on him to reestablish masculinity. Off mike, we were completely friendly, you should know.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Listened to the first part, which was good. Two things struck me.

One, the guy was out-classed. This was not entirely his fault. You are an expert in constitutional law, he is a professional political advocate. You were talking about what every intellectually honest constitutional lawyer in the country has been talking about - how bad the opinion sucked, and because it was so bad it was worthless - while he was rejoicing that a judge somewhere agreed with him. Does he think this is a real victory? Of course not, he's not an idiot. But it was a PR victory that could be useful this fall.

(Johah Goldberg has talked about the dynamic of pairing a right-of-center but non-professional political advocate (a journalist or policy wonk in Goldberg's telling) with a left-of-center pro on talk shows. Goldberg bemoans this because the intellectually honest non-pro will naturally be less unyielding, leaving the audience with the impression that the more unyielding pro "won." But I think just the opposite is the case. People have been watching and listening to talk shows long enough to know when they are witnessing hack-in-action.)

The second thing that struck me was when he said that Al-Qaeda cannot destroy America. He seems utterly confident in this.

In my opinion, it would be easy to destroy America. (This is, of course, dependent on what one means by "America" and "easy" and "destroy." By America I mean "America" the thing, the concept, that most of of rightly love. By "easy" I mean conceptually simple. By "destroy" I mean end.)

Here is how you destroy America: Set off simultaneous nukes in New York, DC and LA. I am not a military expert. But my guess is this would work.

Does he think this can't happen? Why? Because it's unimaginable? Wasn't 9/11 unimaginable?

Ann Althouse said...

Johnny: "Set off simultaneous nukes in New York, DC and LA. I am not a military expert. But my guess is this would work."

I would remind you that 50 state capitals would remain, each with a tripartite government and a commitment to the American constitutional form of government. This is a value of federalism people forget about. The national government can be regenerated from the states, even if Washington is completely destroyed. New York and L.A. are not even state capitals. The destruction would profoundly motivate the widely dispersed population to respond, and no conquering power could possibly control us. As for the military, I don't know the details either, but I assume that they've accounted for the fact that the big cities are nuclear targets, which has been very well-known since the 1950s.

shimmy said...

I was thinking the same thing, just yesterday. Blowing up NYC, LA, and DC would potentially end America as we know it. Not the country, although perhaps it would fragment, or at least Texas would separate itself, but the current state-of-being, more than anything that has happened in the past 140-or-so years. This is scary. (It's also sort of chickensroosty.) The best reason I can think of for this not happening, assuming someone who might ever do it also has 3 nukes, is that they would give half a sec's thought to the consequences. If they're Muslim radicals, for instance, they have to consider that Mecca would be vaporized post haste. Now, I don't think that would be a useful reaction on our part, even then. If Bush had responded to 9/11 by saying, "Our response will be truly Christian, and non-violent. I am going to pray at my church, and then at a mosque," and followed through, he would have gone from being the Worst President Ever to possibly the Greatest Human Ever To Be Alive. Seriously. Love is indeed the answer. (Not an oversimplification! Neither is it simple.)

Johnny Nucleo said...

Ann,

We've never taken a hit like that. I don't think any civilization in history has ever taken a hit like that and survived. Something calling itself the United States of America will survive, but it won't be the America we know and love. It will be an enraged, paranoid, bloodthirsty colossus. Its response will be the most terrible thing the world has ever seen. For a thousand years, people will shudder at the thought of it.

Johnny Nucleo said...

But actually I dodged the issue a little bit. You were right that the government would survive and that we cannot be physically conquered.