February 27, 2007

"In Left Blogistan, where Ann is often derided and mocked as a conservative partisan, there will surely be howls today."

Howls Eric Muller.

ADDED: This is another post about today's NYT column, which is up now -- free -- on the International Herald Tribune site: here. It's funny to see Eric fall into the vortex.

AND: Eric has vortex envy.

157 comments:

David said...

Let them howl! It is what they do best. Like the spoiled child in the supermarket who whines for attention expecting to be rewarded, they need to be sent to a corner for a prolonged time-out.

Simon said...

"It is an article of faith to Ann that she is not a partisan blogger. Yet nearly from the start, I've seen her as appealing primarily to a conservative and a Republican readership ... So I've always been confused by Ann's annoyance at the suggestion of partisanship."

This is a non sequitur that plays on an ambiguity in the term "appeal."

One might "appeal" in the sense that one "appeals" to an appellate court: "an earnest request for aid, support, sympathy, mercy, etc.; entreaty; petition; plea ... a request or reference to some person or authority for a decision, corroboration, judgment, etc." Or, one might "appeal" in the sense that a cup of coffee seems pretty "appealing" right now: it has "the power or ability to attract, interest, amuse, or stimulate the mind or emotions." And of course, the two can co-exist - an appeal can also be appealing!

Ann clearly "appeals" to a right-leaning audience in the latter sense of the term - no one doubts that. But only if one believes that she "appeals" to conservatives in the former sense would "Ann's annoyance at the suggestion of partisanship" be irrational.

Surely, Eric doesn't believe that conservatives, Republicans and libertarians could only find appealing a conservative blogger who writes conservatively about conservative topics. If he does, I suggest he's projecting - and if he seriously thinks that that's what Ann does, I think he's either not reading very closely or has a very peculiar idea of what is involved in "appealing" to conservatives - in either sense of the term.

hdhouse said...

Hello Simon. I haven't cringed at your writing in some days but unfortunately....

Why don't you use the first and second preferred definitions:

1. an earnest request for aid, support, sympathy, mercy, etc.; entreaty; petition; plea.
2. a request or reference to some person or authority for a decision, corroboration, judgment, etc.


If you combine them up you get a request for corroboration....which is exactly what a blog is about. You agree and say why or what part you agree to or you disagree...see?

That Ann squandered the golden opportunity of all times in the NYT and only draws a tidbit of comment indicates that her opinion value rests in the blogosphere rather than in traditional media.

That would press the argument that people of like opinions and mindsets flock together (birds of a feather). Blogs are self-defining by nature. Ann has defined hers as you have defined her.

Peter Palladas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peter hoh said...

Althouse is partisan. She's a proud flag bearer of the Contrarian Party.

I am certain that the vast majority of readers of this site could not agree on most political issues.

Take Simon and Elizabeth. They agree that they like to read and comment here. That's about it. Perhaps they both oppose the death penalty, but if they do, I'd wager that they have very different reasons for their opposition.

While I'm certain that Elizabeth, Simon, and I could get along were we to find ourselves trapped in an elevator, we'd find plenty to disagree about were we to sit down for a dinner conversation.

The Drill SGT said...

Ah those English still have a way with words. Almost like it was their native language :)

Victoria and Peter. I love to read their prose.


It seems Peter is in the running for a new Althouse banner quote with this one:

As for the Prof., having acidentally (sic) stumbled on the site, I find her intellectually and carnally stimulating. That'll do me.

Cheers

Fen said...

It is an article of faith to Ann that she is not a partisan blogger. Yet nearly from the start, I've seen her as appealing primarily to a conservative and a Republican readership.

Her readership leans right. You would think that a moderate Dem influencing conservatives would be a good thing, no? I came here because Ann was one of the few sane Democrats left on the net. And because a few of her lefty commenters actually argued in good faith.

Matt: I think that the reason that Althouse sees hereself (and Reynolds!) as "non-partisan" is much better explained by her truly amazing lack of self-awareness.

You believe Althouse leans right because you don't know any true right-leaning conservatives like me. You're really not the one to use terms like "self-awareness"

Sort of like her insistence that she's a feminist despite her near complete lack of support for feminist policies and her viscious (and partisan!) attacks on women and feminist issues.

You're clueless. Althouse signed the legal petition supporting Clinton during impeachment. When she has derided "feminists", its because they are hypocrites either claiming that sexual harassment and sexual discrimination is "just about sex" or, like Feministing, affecting the manner & pose of a supplicant intern hoping to catch Bill Clinton's eye.

Peter Palladas said...

As for the Prof., having acidentally (sic)...

Oh sh1t!

I die!

I demand an Amendment to your Constitution making spell-checkers compulsory on all blogs!

P. Froward said...

hdhouse,

In ordinary spoken English, when you appeal to somebody for something or to something which is specified, the definitions you're talking about apply. For example, "some poor commenter made such a childishly clumsy appeal to authority, that I actually laughed out loud".

The only exception I can think of offhand is when charitable organizations will sometimes tack "appeal" onto their names, but in that case the context makes it pretty clear: They are in the business of asking for stuff.

When people talk about somebody or something "appealing to" somebody else, just in general — "pizza appeals to me", "Geena Davis appeals to me" — it's meant in the sense that Muller clearly meant, and which Simon correctly understood: I like pizza. I like Geena Davis. Muller's impression is that conservatives, more than liberals, tend to like Ann Althouse's blog.

When a word has multiple numbered definitions in a dictionary, that doesn't mean that anybody who uses it, in any context, necessarily must be assumed to intend meaning #1. If #1 and #2 are nouns and #3 is a verb, and somebody uses it as a verb, he's using it as a verb, not a noun. Why is #3 there if we're meant to assume it's never used? Are you really that dense? Dictionaries weren't invented to be an obstacle to understanding. That's your job. And you do it well.

The Drill SGT said...

Peter,

I still make as many grammar errors, but my spelling problems are reduced when I bother to use my in-blog tool

http://www.iespell.com/

TMink said...

For me the two types of political bloggers are those with an agenda and those who share their thoughts and reactions ipso facto.

From my perspective, the latter are much more interesting. I believe that LaSawn Barber has an agenda, but I read and enjoy her blog anyway. Glen, Helen, and Althouse are ipso facto bloggers.

Ipso facto bloggers are more tolerant of diverging opinion and are absolutley maddening to liberals! Democrats enjoy ipso facto bloggers because they are not ideologues.

So for me, partisan does not fully explain the diff. Bloggers with an agenda are on task and about talking points. For ipso facto bloggers, the point is the talking.

Trey

Fen said...

Yah, don't sweat it Peter. I majored in English and am the worst offender here [how the hell do I still mistype there for their ?!] I'm either lazy & sloppy or I've lost too many brain cells. Anyways, this is a casual arena and we know what you meant. Only Ann is held to the higher standard :P

Peter Palladas said...

This post has been removed by the author.

...No it wasn't. It was cut, corrected and pasted, then it vanished into the ether.

This is getting worse and worse. My day is ruined, my life nearly done!

Précis : Blogs – good. Politics – yawn. Ann – phwoar!

Doyle said...

Hey Ann,

Just wanted to say I found that op-ed mostly harmless.

I do think you did Alterman something of a disservice by taking that remark more seriously than he intended it, but at least you plugged bh.tv!

AJD said...

Simon: Look what you conveniently edited out of that paragraph -- the Conservative Blogress Diva and the Conservative Blog Ad network.

You don't have to look behind the curtain to see Annie's politics. Just look at the things that Simon wants to edit out.

Annie is a conservative who pretends she is far more mysterious and liberal than that. But there is no mystery here, other than her absurb annoyance when people she her for what she is.

JohnAnnArbor said...

At least Eric isn't cyberstalking you, Ann. He was a little too interested in Michelle Malkin for a while.

mcg said...

She may not have Eric as a stalker, but AJD the walking scrotum (*) doesn't seem to quit.

(* Ever since that scrotum story I've taken to using "AJD" and "scrotum" together whenever possible. Seems appropriate.)

CB said...

I just hope that Mr. Muller doesn't post a photoshopped picture of Prof. Althouse in a bikini. Or do I...?

hdhouse said...

p froward ...

you are quite wrong. a careful reading of the original article indicates that "appeals to" as a phrase or simple the "appeal" is an illchosen turn of phrase and any of the usages for "appeals" will work...some better than others...and if you took some time to look at the origin of the word and applied that to Ann's own definition of her blog (see NYT today) it would become clear.

Simply, Ann casts the first stone by selecting or posting a topic. That topic may "appeal" to you or not but that is NOT the issue. Ann makes an "appeal" for comment by posting (that is a blog) and a comment can be written and submitted or merely thought about...regardless she is appealing first and if her appeal appeals to you then you take your reactive action.

but to define it as simon did was to be selective to the definition and not adherent to the root sense of the word.

Has Ann's appeal lost it's appeal?

Beth said...

Are we back to the old maxim, the personal is political? I can't read this blog without finding it political, but, unlike Eric Muller, I don't find it partisan-except, of course, in the bulk of commenters drawn to the blog. But Glenn Reynolds, not partisan? That's just silly. Sure, he comments on lots of things, book reviews, gadgets, what have you, but post with any political bent is almost always tilting conservative, and usually pro-GOP--there are exceptions, as the Pork Busters approach attests, but his bias is crystal clear. And ayone who links to Malkin as much as he does is no amorphous cypher or pure non-partisan.

Paul Zrimsek said...

It's like what the narrator in the liner notes to Quadrophenia said about The Who: "They weren't mods, but mods liked them."

Simon said...

peter hoh said...
"Take Simon and Elizabeth. They agree that they like to read and comment here. That's about it. Perhaps they both oppose the death penalty, but if they do, I'd wager that they have very different reasons for their opposition."

That sounds right. I'm pretty sure that Elizabeth's opposed to the death penalty, and while I wouldn't characterize myself as being opposed to the death penalty, nevertheless, I would vote to abolish it, or at least drastically narrow it. While I suppose that I can imagine finding a case convincing enough to impose the death penalty, my threshold requirement for proof would be almost insurmountably high. If you don't have motive, opportunity and the actual murder on video tape, you probably don't have enough for me. But that's where I think Elizabeth and I part ways, even if she would come that far with me. Beyond that, I don't have a moral problem with the death penalty; you know, I'm not losing sleep about whether a man who stabbed his victim ten times, cut her throat, and carved an “X” in her face, Whitmore v. Arkansas, 495 U.S. 149 (1990), is sent to his death, or if his passing isn't particularly pleasent; indeed, if it wasn't for the miscarriage of justice problem, I would have no problem with a law that sentenced him to die by the same means he inflicted on his victim. But the miscarriage of justice problem is serious, it's real, and I think it's intractable. I am deeply concerned at the prospects of miscarriage of justice, so I'm afraid that I'm a reluctant fellow-traveller with the "one mistake is too many" crowd.


"While I'm certain that Elizabeth, Simon, and I could get along were we to find ourselves trapped in an elevator, we'd find plenty to disagree about were we to sit down for a dinner conversation."

Disagree, yes, but not disagreeably, I think. :)

The Drill SGT said...

I am not trying, well I guess I am, to hijack the thread, but I really must call your attention to the award of the Medal to Bruce Crandall yesterday. For those of you who missed it in the WaPo here is an excerpt of part of what he did over a 72 hour period in 1965:

Big Big Brass ones

Forty-one years ago, Crandall flew his unarmed Huey helicopter into the deadliest landing zone of the Vietnam War -- not once or twice, but 22 times -- to keep resupplying a besieged Army battalion and evacuating dozens of wounded, even as North Vietnamese soldiers fired AK-47 rifles at him from as close as 30 yards away.

...When medevac helicopters were barred from flying, Crandall and Freeman kept going, bringing out some 70 wounded that day.

Simon said...

CB said...
"I just hope that Mr. Muller doesn't post a photoshopped picture of Prof. Althouse in a bikini. Or do I...?"

Wasn't that subject dealt with in a recent Audible Althouse?

AJD - if you'd been around a little longer, then you would know that Ann chose to place the emphasis in the "conservative blogress diva" contest on the blogress diva part, not the conservative part. Lookit, no one would more dearly like to claim Ann as one of our own than would I, AJD, but the fact is that it just ain't so.

Beth said...

Simon, you describe my position on the death penalty pretty well. It's basically the same as yours--I've found great satisfaction in some executions, and I guess where we diverge a bit is that I'm bothered by that. I attribute my ambivalence on the moral issue to my religion. But in the end, if there were no concerns about miscarriage of justice, I'm not unhappy to see a Ted Bundy or Derrick Todd Lee executed.

Doyle said...

Ann chose to place the emphasis in the "conservative blogress diva" contest on the blogress diva part, not the conservative part.

Well of course she did. So what?

Somehow, despite her total nonpartisanship, she ended up among the nominees, and rather than protest appearing on any list with Michelle Malkin, she lobbied like crazy to win.

MadisonMan said...

Somehow, despite her total nonpartisanship, she ended up among the nominees, and rather than protest appearing on any list with Michelle Malkin, she lobbied like crazy to win.


She lobbied to win 'cause she's a diva, not because she's conservative.

CB said...

Fortunately for Ann, Left Blogistan is too upset that the assassination attempt on Dick Cheney was not successful to be worried about this column.

Seriously, WTF?

Doyle said...

Re: Malkin's shock at "left blogistan's" rooting for Cheney's death: You guys don't even bother distinguishing bloggers from commenters, do you?

So lazy and dishonest.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Somehow, despite her total nonpartisanship, she ended up among the nominees, and rather than protest appearing on any list with Michelle Malkin, she lobbied like crazy to win.

I just took it as wry amusement at the "diva" thing and having some fun with it.

YMMV.

Doyle said...

I don't remember all the other nominees, but no one with an ounce of self-respect should want to compete against Malkin for the same award, especially not someone who insists she's not functionally a right wing hack.

JohnAnnArbor said...

I should have said, YMMV, especially if you're a humorless leftist.

Beth said...

CB, there's no need to get all upset. It was just "that one bombing a day that discourages everybody."

As long as the right keeps saying incredibly stupid "look at the brightside" stuff like that, some leftwing cranks will respond in kind.

Doyle said...

Oooh. "Humorless leftist," eh? The gloves are really coming off I see.

You did say "YMMV" but I had no idea what it meant until I looked it up. It's cute.

Doyle said...

True. Let's not forget the outrageousness coming from Our Lady of Vehicular Manslaughter.

Beth said...

Yeah, Laura's timing was really bad on that one.

Naked Lunch said...

Maybe Ann doesn't like conservatives, but they SURE like her! I find it hilarious that after throwing shit on exclusively liberals every day, but then claiming as a "moderate" that you'd be available to help with the flies. Seriously what is the right blogosphere talking about these days? Not supporting candidates, raising money, or talking about new ideas. Just manufacturing bullshit faux outrage scandals like Kerry botched jokes and Pelosi planes. Which our hostess played beautifully well and did her part, and actually should be getting paid for it when you think about it.

Doug said...

If you listen to a hack like KOS, he even says he doesn't care about ideology, he just wants to try to elect democrats, which is why he will support Jim Webb, who regularly trashes liberals, and at the same time, someone like Ned Lamont. He rarely says anything interesting, it is all about touting candidates, just like his "blogfather" Jerome Armstrong used to tout crappy stocks on line.

Instead of pushing worthless penny stocks on the public, these lefty bloggers are pushing a slate of democratic candidates, even if it is a memeber the DLC, like Mark Warner. On the other hand, I don't really have any interest in reading a blog that proclaims Bush is God.

I prefer to read a blog without having to wonder if the blogger is angling for a job in the campaign of this candidate or that one , or even worse, is being paid by a certain candidate.

Adam said...

Re: Malkin's shock at "left blogistan's" rooting for Cheney's death: You guys don't even bother distinguishing bloggers from commenters, do you?

Or between rudeness from the left and faux-rudeness from conservatives posing as leftists seeking to undermine liberal generally.

Doyle said...

Doug -

I'm as wary as you are about Armstrong, but Warner did not get much love from the blogosphere or from Kos in particular. He tried, by throwing that party at Yearly Kos, but didn't get much traction at all.

As for Jim Webb, he's an anti-Iraq War economic populist. He's in the ideological sweet spot, whether or not he hated hippies (as he did) back in the day.

In any event, the accusations of crass opportunism (Webb) do not mix well with the ideological purity accusation (LIEberman).

Dewave said...

I question just how extremely left wing people must be in order to claim that Anne is a conservative.

I could forgive you from making that mistake about Instapundit, but Anne?

Remember, this is the person who broke down in tears because she realized conservatives and libertarians were all big meanie racists and scary people.

I'm sure to the denizens of the left wing fever swamps of religiously fervent Bush hatred, her refusal to engage in the same self-righteous tirades is frustrating, but get over it. Realize that someones political beliefs have more to do with their positions than how much they hate Bush. Can you name some 'conservative' positions Ann has? Or does it just get your goat that she criticizes liberals some times and you feel that all true liberals/moderates would march along in lockstep and toe the same ideological line and never criticize each other?

JohnAnnArbor said...

LIEberman

Wow. What clever capitalization. Whatever could you mean?

Beth said...

So, the GOP is the big tent, with room for all and sundry positions on abortion, gay marriage, social security reform, what have you, and that's a strength. But since Kos wants to elect Democrats and doesn't care if they all toe the same dogmatic line, he's a hypocrite?

Dewave said...

In any event, the accusations of crass opportunism (Webb) do not mix well with the ideological purity accusation (LIEberman).

The primary driving force of Kos and the Kossacks is not to elect democrats, but to elect people that hate Bush and think he is evil and deliberately lied to get us into an evil unjustified unwinnable war.

That's their litmus test: if you pass it, all previous sins are forgiven. (Webb) If you flunk it, by refusing to go along with the liberals revisionist history (Lieberman) you are the devil incarnate, and your past very liberal voting record and appearance as VP on your party's ticket are forgotten.

Doyle said...

She voted for Bush and still stands by the decision. She attacks liberals constantly and to the extent she discusses conservatives flatters them or reinforces untrue storylines about them (see "Straight Talk McCain" in her latest op-ed).

She supports the Iraq War and believes critics of it are undermining the troops [!]. That's a biggie, for me personally. That's the real nut of her fascist tendency.

She also argued that the rich are getting so much richer because they work so much more, in her bh.tv appearance w/ Mark Schmitt, and is uncomfortable with the very term "inequality."

She also supports the illegal Terrorist Surveillance Program, or at least wrote an uninformed hit piece on Judge Taylor in its defense.

The list goes on...

Doug said...

Doyle, Kos stated in one of his editorials, maybe it was in the WAsh Post, that Warner was a guy who he found interesting and possibly worthy of his support, and of course, Armstrong was on Warner's payroll.

Webb has gone well beyond your garden variety Eric Cartmanesque Hippie bashing. He has compared affirmative action to Jim Crow, and has slammed liberals for their disdain of the Scottish redneck. Kos has pretended that this opposition to Lieberman is because he validates right wing talking points against the left. Yet Webb does this far more than Lieberman.

What Webb has said about Bill Clinton in 2001 was worse than what Lieberman ever said about Clinton in 1998.

Melinda said...

Beth said...

Are we back to the old maxim, the personal is political? I can't read this blog without finding it political, but, unlike Eric Muller, I don't find it partisan-except, of course, in the bulk of commenters drawn to the blog.

...and I agreed with her so much that I clicked on her name to see if she had a blog.

Me, I moseyed over here through a post from "The Moderate Voice" a couple of years ago because I was looking for opinions on current events outside of the "Bush is a Nazi/Lib-ruls breast-feed bin Laden" sites. Oh yeah, and the ditto-headedness of the major lefty/righty blogs.

Fen said...

I find it hilarious that after throwing shit on exclusively liberals every day, but then claiming as a "moderate" that you'd be available to help with the flies

Agreed. God forbid that anyone left of center held any shred of intellectual credibility. They might actually call you out on your "Bush Lied" propaganda.

Doyle said...

The primary driving force of Kos and the Kossacks is not to elect democrats, but to elect people that hate Bush and think he is evil and deliberately lied to get us into an evil unjustified unwinnable war.

I think we should elect people who recognize that Bush deliberately lied to get us into an unjustified, unwinnable war, yes.

I don't care if they ascribe that to evil or stupidity or whatever, but those are the facts of the case and his remaining supporters are just deluding themselves at this point.

Doyle said...

"possibly worthy of his support"?

Wow what a whore! There's no way someone could have lavished such praise on the popular governor of Virginia without massive quid pro quo.

hdhouse said...

Beth said...
So, the GOP is the big tent, with room for all and sundry positions on abortion, gay marriage, social security reform, what have you, and that's a strength......"

Big tent but only a few manage to work their way to the salad bar and there are VIP restrooms for some and portapotties for the others? that GOP big tent?

"Surrender all hope (and values) ye who enter here"

Dewave said...

None of those are conservative positions Doyle. If everyone who voted for Bush was a conservative, then the country is 51% conservative.

If her storyline was flattering to McCain, well, most conservatives don't really like McCain.

Believing that you shouldn't undermine the troops confidence in wartime is, I hope you will agree, not a viewpoint restricted to conservatives alone. See Lieberman, for example.

The fact that she is not some raving socialist driven by class envy and upset over the phony 'growing income inequality' doesn't mean she is a conservative either. It simply means she has a basic grasp of economics.

And the terrorist surveillance program wasn't illegal. Supporting monitoring terrorists does not make you a conservative, it just makes you prudent.

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dewave said...

I think we should elect people who recognize that Bush deliberately lied to get us into an unjustified, unwinnable war, yes.

I see. Well then you too are driven by the same Bush Deragement Syndrome as most of the fever swamp liberals and as such, hatred of Bush is going to be your primary litmus test to determine whether someone is or is not conservative or liberal.

Lack of frequent and vehement attacks on Bush = conservative. Agreement with Bush on any issue relating to the war = conservative.

The war was not unwinnable, even though Bush as mismanaged it.

It wasn't unjustified, or congress would never have voted to authorize it.

And as for the idea that Bush not only knew there were no WMD's, but actually managed to fool people far smarter than himself into believing that they were, is idiocy of the highest calibre.

Never mind the fact that WMD's were merely one reason given for invading Iraq, and even if it had been the only reason their abscence wouldn't mean the war was unjustified, just that Saddam was an idiot for acting like he had a program still going and violating UN resolutions and blocking inspectors.

Of course, while I think the whole 'spreading democracy' is a noble goal and all that, I question whether it is worth all the lives spent on it, compared to a more focused attempt on simply removing Saddam and his terrorist enabling regime.

Doyle said...

The percent of people who support Bush and the war has been less than 51% for some time now.

Doyle said...

hatred of Bush is going to be your primary litmus test

You don't have to hate him. Hate the sin, love the sinner.

Simon said...

Naked Lunch said...
"Maybe Ann doesn't like conservatives, but they SURE like her!"

1. The question isn't whether she likes or dislikes conservatives, the question is whether she is one.
2. Say I think Janeane Garofalo's great. Does that mean that she SURE would like me?

Dewave said...
"I question just how extremely left wing people must be in order to claim that Anne is a conservative ... Remember, this is the person who broke down in tears because she realized conservatives and libertarians were all big meanie racists and scary people."

Well, that characterization isn't quite right - it was at the realization that these hardcore libertarians at the conference didn't care about civil rights, IIRC, and were either indifferent or hostile to the reality that they were espousing a viewpoint that can and would repudiate the civil rights act. But on the general point, sure - how're you going to characterize someone who is pro-choice, pro gay marriage and so forth as a conservative? It's all about the war. That's really the only issue - everything else (all the mock outrage about this thing or that thing that she said about whatever) is just window dressing to cover their fury at the apostate. How dare you - a law professor! - refuse to uncritically accept liberal dogma! How dare you not be opposed to the war! How could you vote for him?

Doyle - you missed that she's a smokin' hot blonde, and as anyone who watches Fox News knows, smokin' hot blondes are conservative shills. Or at least, that's about as convincing an argument as the other evidence you present (comment at 12:14), so you might as well throw it in there.

Lastly, I join Beth's 12:07 comment.

Doug said...

Doyle, Kos is the same guy who claimed he was going to make the DLC radioactive. Warner is DLC. There was definitely some whoredom involved from Kos and Armstrong. They wrote that stupid book together, complained about DLCers, then kiss DLC ass. How much clearer could it be?

Doyle said...

Jesus, Simon. Is it really so abominable that liberals would, um, question the judgment of someone who voted for Bush in 2004?

What makes you think someone, law professor or no, could do that, continue to defend that position, and avoid criticism for it? You even seem to think she's still a Democrat in good standing!

What a joke.

hdhouse said...

Doyle said...
Oooh. "Humorless leftist," eh? The gloves are really coming off I see."


After the last 6+ years of laugh out loud funny who says we on the left don't appreciate a joke?

Doyle said...

Doug -

The extent to which they "kiss DLC ass" could be much, much clearer.

Beth said...

Say I think Janeane Garofalo's great. Does that mean that she SURE would like me?

Simon, if you start commenting on her blog about how great she is, I bet she really will like you, federalist warts and all. It might take time, but she'd come around.

Smokin' hot blondes are not in the conservative death grip. Witness Helen Mirren. (The comedian's song was one of my favorite things on the Oscar's this year, especially Jack Black's evident big-time crush on Helen M.)

Freder Frederson said...

Can you name some 'conservative' positions Ann has?

She is also an apologist for and minimizes the extent of, the administration's use of torture.

When Democratic candidates dodge issues like abortion she finds it deceptive and waffling. When Giuliani does it, she finds it brave, decisive and a display of brilliance.

She doesn't not deny that global warming is not occurring but then again she doesn't not believe that it is an actual scientific theory that hasn't not been not been proved nor disproved or has it been not shown to be not happening. Oh and by the way its 40 below zero in Nome, Alaska today and Polar Bears can rip your throat out with a single swipe of their paws.

Dewave said...

Is it really so abominable that liberals would, um, question the judgment of someone who voted for Bush in 2004?


Wouldn't you be better off questioning the judgement of all those senators who voted to authorize the Iraq War?

Oh wait, they 'repudiated' their votes. Laugh. As if that means anything.

Anyway this isn't about questioning the judgement of those people. It's about asserting that since she voted for Bush, she must be conservative. By that rationale, 51% of the country is conservative. We know that is a wildly too high number, so, therefore, it follows that it is possible to both vote for Bush and to not be a conservative.

Since Anne apparently holds hardly any conservative positions and thinks conservatives and libertarians are scary racists, I'm going to assume she falls into that category.

Freder Frederson said...

Smokin' hot blondes are not in the conservative death grip.

I can't think of any "smokin' hot blonde" conservatives. Surely you are not referring to Ann ("Adam's Apple") Coulter or Althouse. Neither one of them is remotely "smokin' hot."

Beth said...

Freder, I have personally observed smoke coming out of Ann Coulter's ears, but that's not what I mean by smokin' hot. I can't speak for Simon.

Freder Frederson said...

Well let's turn it around, other than being pro-choice (which used to be a perfectly acceptable position for a Republican pre-Reagan) and being a self-labeled feminist (and I honestly don't know what "feminist" opinions she holds), what liberal positions does Ann believe in?

Dewave said...

That's a nice list freder, but none of those are conservative positions, simply positions you find personally repellant. I hope you aren't so simplistic to assume that "anyone who disagrees with me is a conservative!"

And I will point out, again, that non-conservatives have a much higher view of Guiliani&McCain than do conservatives. So your list actually hurts your cause of showing how conservative Anne is.

Re: global warming. I understand that the global warming brouhaha is a religious crusade for some people, but I am not impressed. I guess its the arrogance of the assumption that irks me the most. We live on a tiny little rock that orbits a huge flaming ball of fire...and we think somehow *we* control the temperature of the earth? The earth will experience ice ages and warm ages and there will be nothing we can do about it at all. If man made greenhouse gasses have contributed a whole 3% to the 0.7 degree celcius warming in the past 100 years, I count that as a modest price to pay for how much the standard of living has increased. I'm certainly not going to sign up for any half-assed economic protocols designed to cripple our economy while letting developing nations pour as much pollution into the air as they feel like.

Ann Althouse said...

On that conservative blogress diva thing was just a lark. My theory was that if conservatives like me, that's interesting, and I'm happy to be elevated to diva status by them. I'd accept it from the liberals too, but apparently, they adopt a hating strategy toward nonpartisans. My failure to get in line drives them nuts. That's pathetic, of course.

Doyle said...

they adopt a hating strategy toward nonpartisans.

No, we adopt a hating strategy toward dishonest hacks.

Doyle said...

Also, it wasn't something you found "interesting" it was something you lobbied for shamelessly.

dix said...

Big tent but only a few manage to work their way to the salad bar and there are VIP restrooms for some and portapotties for the others? that GOP big tent?

Is that the whole issue? Democrats have better bathrooms?

Dewave said...

Yet further proof from Doyle that if you do not toe the line on the Bush Hatred Meme, the left will villify you, no matter where you stand on the political map.

It's their litmus test. You simply must pass it or you are a heretic.

It's funny to hear dogmatic ideologues like Doyle call other people 'hacks'

Ann Althouse said...

"She voted for Bush and still stands by the decision."

I also voted for Feingold in 2004 (and I've voted for him every time he's run... and even given him money!).

Freder Frederson said...

That's a nice list freder, but none of those are conservative positions, simply positions you find personally repellant.

So you don't believe objecting to the use of torture and the denial of basic human rights is not a "liberal" position? Interesting.

Dewave said...

I'm also going to point out how absurd it is complain that she or Hillary or anyone else 'stands by their vote'.

Everyone who votes a certain way stands by that decision.

You can't go back and undo your vote. You can pander shamelessly to various parts of your base by blathering on about how you repudiate your vote and wouldn't have voted that way if you knew then what you knew now, but guess what? The end result is completely unchanged. Talk is cheap and easy and nothing is as easy as saying you would have done something differently with the benefit of hindsight. 'Repudiating a vote' is about as meaningful as a non binding resolution: they're all ploys to lead along the dimwitted into thinking the senators are actually doing something.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Also, it wasn't something you found "interesting" it was something you lobbied for shamelessly.

Because we all know that she couldn't have posted those links with a wink and a smile, right? Humorless people often fail to see humor in others, even when it's obvious.

Simon said...

Beth said...
"Simon, if you start commenting on her blog about how great she is, I bet she really will like you, federalist warts and all. It might take time, but she'd come around."

I'm going to take that as a compliment of my personableness. ;)

(Although to be fair, if that's intended to reflect what I do here it seems more like a caricature than a fair characterization. I don't know that I've said anything that isn't actually true, and certainly nothing that isn't sincere.)

Freder Frederson said...
"I can't think of any 'smokin' hot blonde' conservatives. Surely you are not referring to Ann ('Adam's Apple') Coulter or Althouse. Neither one of them is remotely 'smokin' hot.'"

Mainly I just saw a convenient-looking blunt instrument to throw at Doyle. ;) I agree about Coulter, but as to your second part, you're just
plain
wrong.

Doug said...

Doyle, Armstrong was on Warner's payroll, so he was Warner's bitch, and Warner is DLC.

Seven Machos said...

I find this all so very fascinating. You certainly don't see this level of vitriol and this kind of vitriol for, say, Hugh Hewitt.

The analogy for me is some lapsed Catholic who gets thrown out of the church (or a Lutheran, or a Communist, or whatever). What's absolutely being counted on is for the rejected person to be really sad about it, and to have pangs of conscience, and all that. But if the rejected person just says, "Well, I yam what I yam" and happily moves on, it the thrower-outers who start to recriminate.

And, to judge from the comments here, they certainly have. How many comments did it take for this to get personal? Six?

TMink said...

Althouse is not a liberal, she is a Democrat. They are different. You can talk to and disagree with a Democrat without them bringing your mother into the conversation.

The liberal ideologues are quite upset that a Democrat has a voice that people consider. Hence the Althouse Dissing Disorder flares up. And yes, we conservatives DO like Althouse because we can have a discussion on her blog without too many liberals doing the potty mouth trip.

You see it here, you can read it above, it is predictable and so far static. I voted for Bill Clinton first time around, but I am a conservative. I support legalization of marijuana and civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. So I am not pure. Most thinking, complicated people are not politically pure. Most kool aid drinkers, pick your persuasion, are.

Trey

RogerA said...

Seven: they are "angry" doncha know--that gives them writ to to talk nasty. Plus: What TMink said.

As a total off topic remark: does anyone else think that someone among our pakistani friends, tipped off the taliban about VP Cheney's schedule? Or just one of the stranger than life coincidences.

Dewave said...

The ideologues assume that not only does their political stance give them moral superiority, but that it is impossible for anyone to disagree with them in good faith.

There are no difficult issues where thinking reasoning people can come down on either side, there are only oversimplified black and white issues.

If you support Bush you are a bad person. If you supported the Iraq war you are a bad person. If you support torturing terrorists for information you are a bad person.

Not only is there no room for debate on the matter, but you cannot have had 'pure' motives in arriving at the conclusion you did! You either are a racist or a warmonger or so on and so forth.

There is no admission of the possibility that these are thorny issues where no solution is perfect, and we must decide what tradeoffs are and are not acceptable.

It's a very childish view that ignores reality.

Giving up Civil Liberties is bad and getting killed by terrorists is bad - how much extra intrusion by the government are we willing to tolerate and what level of safety do we get in exchange? Torturing people is bad and letting people get blown up is bad? What level of coercion are we willing to employ on terrorists and what kind of information will we get in exchange? Disallowing civilian criticism of a war is bad, and undermining the troops morale from home is bad. How much and by what means can we criticize the way the war is being handled and how badly will we damage morale and willpower in exchange?

Fen said...

Wouldn't you be better off questioning the judgement of all those senators who voted to authorize the Iraq War?

Esp John Edwards. He claims he was skeptical of the way the intel was being presented to the cmte. And admits he went back and asked former Clinton admin officials [like Albright] to confirm the intelligence. They said "yes, Saddam has a WMD program". I'll bet Hillary did the same thing.

Treacherous weasels.

TMink said...

Dewave wrote: "The ideologues assume that not only does their political stance give them moral superiority, but that it is impossible for anyone to disagree with them in good faith."

Outstanding. I wish I wrote as well as you.

Trey

Doyle said...

Yeah those Islamofascist dhimmicrats who hate our troops and the baby Jesus don't know how to give their opponents the benefit of the doubt!

MadisonMan said...

As a total off topic remark: does anyone else think that someone among our pakistani friends, tipped off the taliban about VP Cheney's schedule? Or just one of the stranger than life coincidences.

With friends like that ...

Howzabout the wacky theory that the VP himself did the tipping? He's been getting written up as Crazy! lately in the press -- this way the Cheney is a crazed warmonger meme is replaced -- temporarily -- by Cheney just escaped the Grim Reaper and why aren't we doing more about GWOT?

peter hoh said...

dewave, your (blank) is bad and so is (blank) comment reminds me that we rarely get to choose between good and evil. Mostly, we muddle along trying to choose between good and better, or bad and worse.

For a great number of Americans, the last few presidential elections have not been so much about which candidate we supported, but about which candidate made us feel less uneasy. If only there had been a "none of the above" option on the ballot.

Doyle, you asked, "Is it really so abominable that liberals would, um, question the judgment of someone who voted for Bush in 2004?"

My answer is no, but it's not the wisest course of action. The challenge for Democrats and/or liberals is to figure out how to win the support of some voters who voted for Bush in 2004. Insisting that these voters are all "off the bus" isn't going to help.

And kudos to the commenter who reminded us that Liberal and Democrat are not necessarily one and the same.

Doyle said...

The challenge for Democrats and/or liberals is to figure out how to win the support of some voters who voted for Bush in 2004.

If by "challenge" you mean "something Democrats have already done" and by "some voters" you mean "a lot of voters."

Doyle said...

Also, Bush '04 voters who are still standing by their man are a lost cause, IMHO.

Simon said...

Doyle - re standing by one's man: would you accept that there's a difference between a willingness to stand by one's vote for Bush in '04, believing it to have been the best option available in that election, and ongoing support for Bush at this time? That is, it's one thing to say "I stand by Bush" and quite another to say "I stood by Bush because he was the lesser of two evils"?

(I'm not necessarily asking you to concede that Bush was the lesser of two evils, just for sake of argument, though).

Doyle said...

I'll settle for Bush '04 voters thinking twice about electing another Republican, but I'd like for them to regret having helped re-elect him. Even if they just couldn't have voted for that French pansy Kerry.

Beth said...

if that's intended to reflect what I do here it seems more like a caricature than a fair characterization.

That wasn't my intention at all, Simon. You give me credit for more subtlety than I possess. But I can work on that.

peter hoh said...

Doyle, do you still stand by your man, John Kerry? IMO, he was a terrible candidate who lost an election that should have been his to win. He is one more on my list of nominees who convince me that the Democrats have to revamp their nomination process.

I attended what passes for the primary in Minnesota, and by that time, there was no more choice. We got stuck with the candidate that everyone was sure that everyone else would like.

To be clear, I wanted to see GWB replaced in 2004. And I stand by that.

peter hoh said...

Doyle, and I'd settle for Democrats regretting their nomination of Kerry. I'd settle for Democrats thinking twice before they nominate another blow-dried senator.

Dewave said...

Also, Bush '04 voters who are still standing by their man are a lost cause, IMHO.

I've already addressed the futility of believing that it makes a difference if someone 'regrets' or 'repudiates' their vote. The vote is what counts. It doesn't matter how much or how litle you regret that vote afterwards, you can't do anything to change that vote, and the effects of voting that way will not change. It's purely a ploy by politicians to trick you into thinking they have had an epiphany and now believe what you wish them to believe. Trying to distance yourself from your vote is just a cop out.

As far as Bush goes, I do not regret voting for him. I do regret many things he has and has not done, but I was convinced at the time, and am still convinced, that he was a less bad choice than John Kerry.

Really, Bush was and is not a terribly strong candidate. Kerry's inability to beat him highlights just how awful Kerry really was.

Anyway, it doesn't matter whether I say I 'stand by my vote' or whether I blather on and pretend that actually I was *deceived* by Bush and *tricked* into voting for him and now I actually *sincerely regret* my vote. In the end, my vote was cast for Bush, and I cannot go back and change that or unelect Bush. The whole 'vote regretting' schtick is just a deplorable CYA by politicians.

Justin said...

I'll settle for Bush '04 voters thinking twice about electing another Republican, but I'd like for them to regret having helped re-elect him. Even if they just couldn't have voted for that French pansy Kerry.

I voted for Kerry. And every time he opens his mouth I regret my vote more and more. I wish there had been a decent candidate on the ballot.

What does that make me?

Simon said...

Doyle said...
"I'll settle for Bush '04 voters thinking twice about electing another Republican, but I'd like for them to regret having helped re-elect him."

That's a non sequitur. Why would Bush's inability to conduct the war in Iraq impact their willingness to vote for a different Republican President? I mean, it might impact their willingness to vote for Rumsfeld, or for Rice, perhaps, you know, someone who's actually been involved in running the war, but not for a Republican in general. I wouldn't say that Bush's domestic policy has been particularly conservative, and while I might accept that going to war in Iraq was driven by a neoconservative policy, that would then impact people's willingness to elect another neoconservative, not another Republican. Despite liberal use of the term as a pejorative, "neoconservative" does actually have a meaning, it largley describes Bush's policy views, and it doesn't represent the Republican party as a whole. In fact, the only person seeking the nomination who strikes me as even functionally resembling a neoconservative is Romney.

And why would they regret their vote? It isn't necessary to think Bush has done a good job to not regret one's vote; just because he's made a hash of the last couple of years doesn't mean voting for him was a mistake. You have to weigh it in terms of what we think Kerry would have done instead. You're entitled to regret that your side lost, and you're entitled to take the view that Kerry would have been better, but from my perspective, Bush is bad but Kerry would have been a disaster, and that's enough to not regret supporting Bush.

MadisonMan said...

What does that make me?

A realist. I'm right there with you. Kerry was and remains a horrid, horrid candidate who only got the nomination because Democrats didn't think quality mattered when it came to running against Bush.

Ann Althouse said...

Doyle: "it wasn't something you found "interesting" it was something you lobbied for shamelessly."

It's called having fun. You wouldn't understand.

Peter Palladas said...

I also voted for Feingold in 2004 (and I've voted for him every time he's run...

Feingold was one of 23 US senators to vote against H.J. Res. 114, which authorized President George W. Bush to use force against Iraq.

CHECK

Americans For Democratic Action, a liberal advocacy group which rates members of Congress on a scale of 0 to 100, with zero being completely conservative and 100 completely liberal, gave Feingold a lifetime average rating of 98.

YEEWWWWWWWW

A 'hanging chad' only for the guy then. We anti-war, zero rated conservatives have our pride.

Pogo said...

The howls of derision and mockery serve as a sweet siren's song to our blogstress diva, whose relative hotness has been firmly established (see Simon et al), quickly set in motion the great grinding of Doyle's teeth, the aganizing welp of hdhouse, and the green-eyed hissy fit of AJD.

Another heavenly Althousian day.

Freder Frederson said...

If you support torturing terrorists for information you are a bad person.

Well yes. I will make a judgement. If you support torturing anyone for any reason (and yes maybe in the highly unlikely, truly exceptional case of an honest to God ticking timebomb situation where there is no doubt you have the bomber it may be the lesser of two evils) you are a bad person.

If you think that we are justified, either legally or morally, in torturing suspected terrorists (and remember we have tried and convicted precious few people of actual terrorist acts), then you are a bad person.

hdhouse said...

Pogo spewed:...."the aganizing welp".

Not so my feathered friend. I am so pleased that Ann emerges from the annonimity bloggers so richly deserve. Besides, i show up a lot more on google searches. Go figure.

Pogo said...

Re: "i show up a lot more on google searches"

Whereas I remain a fictional animal from a long-defunct comic strip.

Fen said...

That's a non sequitur

But still useful. Doyle reveals he's more interested in revenge than in whats good for the nation.

Freder: If you support torturing anyone for any reason.. you are a bad person.

Pffft. I support waterboarding terrorists captured on the battlefield. But thats not why I'm a bad person.

I'm a bad person because I hope the moonbats fall under the Sharia sword. Its past time they paid for their parasitic appeasement cowardice. If there is to be a cambodia-like massacre again after the Left forces us to withdraw, let it fall directly on them.

Semper Fidelis

Craig Ranapia said...

hdhouse et. al.:

Why don't you all retire to a motel room and compare who has the biggest and best dictionary where the rest of us don't have to drag out the electron microscopes? It's like a pissing match among high school debate club geeks.

Everyone else:

I guess I'm one of those horrible 'conservatives' raping Anne's credibility, but (and pay close attention, folks) I don't read blogs, or anything else, merely to have my prejudices and pre-existing opinions fluffed. Not to let facts get in the way of a good vortex, I disagree with Ann vehemently as often as not - but that doesn't mean this isn't a stimulating, often quite funny, and well-written blog with a pleasantly wide range of subject matter.

Seven Machos said...

President Bush is president and will be president until January 2009 unless he dies. Just a friendly reminder.

Henry said...

I'll settle for Bush '04 voters thinking twice about electing another Republican, but I'd like for them to regret having helped re-elect him.

It's odd that we forget that there's a learning curve to being President. It took two years before Clinton stopped making unforced political errors. Then he turned into the suavest politician on two legs. For a time.

Lincoln was a terrible war president for the first half of his first term. He simply had no experience to judge who was and who wasn't a bad general.

So then I consider Bush backing the surge -- this one small sign he's learned something in this war -- and in contrast I consider the slack-jawed, finger-in-the-wind democratic response and I think God YES I'm glad he's the commander-in-chief, idiot that he is.

Sure he's a second rate Polk, but he's a second-rate Polk among a sea of Fillmores.

Freder Frederson said...

Semper Fidelis

I hope you're not really a Marine, because you know nothing about honor, duty or the Constitution. Nor do you understand what exactly it is that is so awful about the terrorists. If you did, you would realize that using their tactics to defeat them isn't victory at all (something the president hasn't figured out either).

TMink said...

Doyle wrote: "Also, Bush '04 voters who are still standing by their man are a lost cause, IMHO."

I tend to agree Doyle. He is still my president, as was President Clinton. I believe that the office deserves respect, as does the American political process. Still, I voted for him twice, and cannot see voting for Senator Kerry, but he is certainly not the President I hoped he would be.

Trey

reader_iam said...

Polk. Polk? Polk! Did someone [strike]evolk Poke[/strike] evoke Polk?! (Hate that one can't actually do strike-out in Blogger comments, btw, fwiw.)

That's my cue... .

Napoleon of the stump.

Dig the kid [of your choice].

(Not anywhere close to TMBG's best version, musically speaking, but that's beside the point... .)

Seven Machos said...

Fred -- Militaries kill people and break things. That's what Al Queda does militarily. That's what we do militarily.

hdhouse said...

Seven Machos said..."President Bush is president and will be president until January 2009 unless he dies. Just a friendly reminder."

Geeeeze Seven, you really know how to pee in the soup don't you.


and Henry:

Henry said..."So then I consider Bush backing the surge -- this one small sign he's learned something in this war -- "

This of course being the 4th similr surge...ohhh lets keep trying the same thing until it works...and having to fire his commanders until he found one who would carry out this fool's mission...while the entire coalition of the willing is scampering for high ground, this Millard Fillmore keeps wading deeper into the swamp...Now looking for a deeper swamp in Iran.

This is progress? This is hope?

Freder Frederson said...

Militaries kill people and break things. That's what Al Queda does militarily. That's what we do militarily.

Well disciplined militaries that fight for democracies do not torture captives and commit war crimes, no matter who the opponent is or whether or not they are complying with the laws of war. In fact just the opposite. Our soldiers have an affirmative duty to not only disobey illegal orders but to prevent war crimes.

Fen said...

Freder: I hope you're not really a Marine, because you know nothing about honor, duty or the Constitution.

I served 12 years USMC. 3D and 2D LAR Battalion - the light mechs with 8 wheels you saw racing towards Baghdad. Don't presume to lecture me about honor, duty or the Constitution. You don't have the first clue, and you wouldn't even exist without my explicit permission.

Nor do you understand what exactly it is that is so awful about the terrorists. If you did, you would realize that using their tactics to defeat them isn't victory at all (something the president hasn't figured out either).

Not using their tactics. Just tired of standing between you and radical Islam, and getting stabbed in the back.

Well disciplined militaries that fight for democracies do not torture captives and commit war crimes, no matter who the opponent is or whether or not they are complying with the laws of war. In fact just the opposite. Our soldiers have an affirmative duty to not only disobey illegal orders but to prevent war crimes.

Waterboarding is not illegal nor is it a war crime. You know what you can do with your invalid assertions and exagerations.

TMink said...

Freder wrote: "Our soldiers have an affirmative duty to not only disobey illegal orders but to prevent war crimes."

Agreed, and I think they are doing a great job. I also appreciate how soldiers who committ war crimes are being tried and punished. As Americans, we hold our military to the highest standards in the world. I believe that our men and women in uniform do a wonderful job and represent us well.

It must be difficult fighting an enemy that does not show any regard for Geneva conventions or human decency. This must be taken into account when judging the lapses in military discipline, but it cannot excuse them.

Still, we agree that our military must be held to the highest standard in the world. I thank these brave people for being the most disciplined, devoted, and deadly force in the history of mankind. God bless them as they keep us safe.

Trey

Dewave said...

Heh, Freder does such a superlative job of riding to the rescue and illustrationg exactly the type of unserious childishly simplistic view of the world that I deplored in my post.

It's not enough to say that "A is bad, we shouldn't do it"

There are many situations in which you're faced with *nothing but* bad choices and you have to pick between them, carefully evaluating the tradeoffs, and choose the lesser of two evils.

Our current conflict with Islamic radicalism consists mostly of just these situations.

If you did, you would realize that using their tactics to defeat them isn't victory at all

Where did *that* piece of idiotic tripe come from? (Nevermind, this is Freder, he appears to have a boundless supply of such drivel)

Firstly, that a ridiculously foolish notion, immediately dispelled by even a cursory inspection of any past war. The idea that one side cannot use a single tactic employed by the other is just silly. I'm pretty sure the terrorists use espionage against us. Are we not allowed to use espionage? If we are, how many of their tactics are we allowed to borrow before we hit the 'magic number' that suddenly renders our victory 'meaningless'?

Secondly, if the terrorists wind up getting beaten at their own game and by their own tactics (hoist by their own petard, as it were) we should all stand up and cheer, and appreciate the delicious irony and poetic justice of the situation.

Seven Machos said...

Define "war crime." Explain the sovereign entity that will charge American soldiers with these crimes as you define them. Cite specific examples of American soldiers committing war crimes as you describe them. Describe the fate of those soldiers.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Define "war crime."

I'll do it for him.

Warcrime: Fen waterboarding terrorists captured on the FEBA for info re the location of IEDs set to kill his mates.

Not-A-Warcrime: Fen waterboarding terrorists captured on the FEBA for info re the location of nukes set in Freder's city.

He might not vocally support my "torture" in the last instance, but he'll look the the other way when his family & friends are about to be incinerated. He certainly wouldn't risk his life to stop me.

Dewave said...

He certainly wouldn't risk his life to stop me.


That's always amusing, listening to the armchair rants of extreme left wingers who talk about how bad and evil Bush is and how he's worse than Hitler and how he engineered the 9/11 bombings himself and deliberately lied and led us into a war.

If anyone actually believed that their head of government was a mass murderer and war criminal and did not take immediate action such as fleeing the country or trying to violenly overthrow him, they would be guilty of rank cowardice and would be every bit as responsible for the chaos that ensued as all the nazi-enablers in Nazi Germany.

That they actually don't take any action whatsoever, and instead complain and moan from the safety of their computer chairs, shows that they don't beleive their rants themselves, just that venting like this gives them a temporary sense of moral superiority, without which, certain breeds of liberals simply cannot live.

Fen said...

Yup. Marines stain their souls with blood so that people like Freder have the luxury of such moral cowardice.

I think that brand of liberalism stems from a type of moral compensation: Sure, I molested the babysitter, but I BELIEVE! in world peace, so I'm not such a bad guy

Simon said...

See my comments here et seq. Certain activities are war crimes under 18 U.S.C. §2441(c), and could presumably be prosecuted under future Democratic administrations.

Simon said...

I'm sorry, I messed up - that last comment was a reply to Seven's 12:30 comment, where he asked (inter alia) for a definition of "war crimes" and who would charge them.

Fen said...

via Simon's link:

The War Crimes Act, The International Convention Against Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and Other Degrading and Treatment or Punishment and the Geneva Conventions to name three.

I think the laws/treaties are out of date. By British standards of the Law of War, our colonials were "war criminals" for sniping at officers and ambushing from the treelines [instead of facing off in rank & file at 60 paces]

We should be allowed to waterboard terrorists captured on the FEBA. That doesn't mean I advocate opening the floodgates, but as its written [mental duress?] its too restrictive.

hdhouse said...

Fen said...
Freder: I hope you're not really a Marine, because you know nothing about honor, duty or the Constitution. I served 12 years USMC. 3D and 2D LAR Battalion - the light mechs with 8 wheels you saw racing towards Baghdad. Don't presume to lecture me about honor, duty or the Constitution. You don't have the first clue, and you wouldn't even exist without my explicit permission."

ahhhh Fen...bad news. that movie was cast already and shot...did the full theatrical release..jack nicholson was pretty good at those lines....don't mean to pee in your soup but that ship has sailed. i'm sure there will be other movies with other juicy parts...be patient.

and...just for clarification, you were in Iraq when?

Fen said...

/your atrribs were all mixed up. Fixed them:

Freder: I hope you're not really a Marine, because you know nothing about honor, duty or the Constitution.

Fen: I served 12 years USMC..

Simon said...

Fen:
"I think the laws/treaties are out of date."

Well, hold on a second. In saying that you think they're out of date, are you conceding that you agree that waterboarding falls within the range of indictable conduct under § 2441? Or are you pivoting to a general point, and if so, why? I mean, you're kind of letting freder off the hook if you're going to move the goalposts from what is and is not a war crime to what should and should not be a war crime.

Beth said...

Fen waterboarding terrorists captured on the FEBA for info re the location of nukes set in Freder's city.

Great example of the whole Jack Bauer "quick! there's a nuke going off in 5 minutes unless we torture that guy" technique. Except all that guy has to do is hold out for minutes or hours until the "ticking time bomb" of popular imagination goes off. Torture isn't a reliable means of obtaining useful information. But it looks great on tv, and fulfills the desire for revenge.

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

Simon -- Exactly. This is my point. To the extent that our military commits illegal acts, we are charging them and will charge them in our military courts.

Freder Frederson said...

Waterboarding is not illegal nor is it a war crime. You know what you can do with your invalid assertions and exagerations.

Actually it is a crime under the UCMJ and is almost universally recognized as torture, which even the president admits is illegal (although he refuses to explicitly state that waterboarding is torture, nor will he admit that the U.S. uses that technique either).

I don't know what version of the Army Field Manual on Interrogation (which is applicable to all branches) or what they told you in the Marines about the treatment of detainees, but I really would like to know where you learned that waterboarding is an accepted interrogation technique in the military. Because as far as I know, the old Army Field Manual and the new one both prohibited such techniques.

You are the one making invalid assertions and exaggerations.

Simon said...

Freder,
I'm sympathetic to (if not entirely sold on, for a few different reasons) the argument that Common Article 3, made applicable to U.S. actors by 18 U.S.C. § 2441, applies. But the UCMJ argument's a new one on me - what's the citation for that one?

Freder Frederson said...

I don't know why you all want to drag our proud military down into the gutter with the immoral barbarians in the Administration (and apparently some of the the despicable monsters who comment on this site):

The most recent version (September 2006) of the US Army Intelligence Interrogation Field Manual (FM 34-52) states:

"HUMANE TREATMENT
M-15. All captured or detained personnel shall be treated humanely at all times and in accordance with DOD Directive 3115.09, "DOD Intelligence
Interrogations, Detainee Debriefings, and Tactical Questioning"; DOD
Directive 2310.1E, “Department of Defense Detainee Program,” and no person in the custody or under the control of the DOD, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or
degrading treatment or punishment as defined in US law, including the
Detainee Treatment Act of 2005. All intelligence interrogations, debriefings, or tactical questioning to gain intelligence from captured or detained personnel shall be conducted in accordance with applicable law and policy."

"M-16. Any inhumane treatment—including abusive practices, torture, or
cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment as defined in US law, including the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005—is prohibited and all instances of such treatment will be reported immediately in accordance with paragraph 5-69 thru 5-72. Beyond being impermissible, these unlawful and unauthorized forms of treatment are unproductive because they may yield unreliable results, damage subsequent collection efforts, and result in extremely negative consequences at national and international levels. Review by the servicing SJA is required prior to using separation. Each interrogation plan must include specific safeguards to be followed: limits on duration, interval between applications, and termination criteria. Medical personnel will be available to respond in the event a medical emergency occurs."

Notice it says "all captured or detained personnel". It doesn't matter if they are legal or illegal combatants or spies. These rules apply to all detainees regardless of status. And just "not torturing" detainees is simply not good enough. The minimum standards are much higher than that.

You people who are so eager to sacrifice our standards and humanity, especially those of you who claim to be former military, disgust me.

Fen said...

Great example of the whole Jack Bauer "quick! there's a nuke going off in 5 minutes unless we torture that guy" technique. Except all that guy has to do is hold out for minutes or hours -

Seconds. Not minutes or hours. The terrorist break at around 12-15 seconds.

Torture isn't a reliable means of obtaining useful information.

Actually it is. The "torture not reliable" meme is misinformation.

But it looks great on tv, and fulfills the desire for revenge.

Your projecting. The professionals that employ waterboarding don't indulge in any desire for revenge. Its wasted energy that would cloud the interrogation.

hdhouse said...

Fen (are you really 007???)

1. Asked when you were in Iraq...I know you read the question...where is the answer?

2. Torture victims break in 10-12 seconds? Anbd how would you know that tidbit?

3. When learned folks on here give you cites as to shy your views on torture are incorrect and/or against the military code, why don't you just give it up?

I must admit, reading your spew is just a type of torture and perhaps you get the 10-12 second thing by the amount of time it takes me or many of us to just move past what you write.

Paco Wové said...

Sorry for being slow, F.F., but I don't see the word "waterboarding" in the bit you excerpted above. In what way does your excerpt apply to the practice in question?

Simon said...

From where I'm sitting it looks like you're conceding that waterboarding is torture, and torture violates Common Article 3's proscription of "cruel treatment and torture," but that it shouldn't be illegal and the law should be changed (comment at 2:38 PM). Is that basically your position?

Instead of trying to prove that waterboarding doesn't fall within the conduct proscribed by Common Article 3 and thus § 2441 (which is a mountain that you're really going to struggle to climb - even with me, and I'm sympathetic to your position) wouldn't you be better-served by arguing that Common Article 3 just doesn't apply because captured terrorists are not "members of armed forces" as Common Article 3 understands that term? I mean, it seems to me that that's the question this whole business turns on. If they do fall within that definition, then absent other legislation to the contrary (IIRC, Congress moved to address this already, but I can't remember the piece of legislation that it passed) the people issuing and carrying out those orders want to be concerned.

Simon said...

^ That last comment was directed at Fen - sorry, that's the second time I've done that in this thread!

Freder Frederson said...

but I don't see the word "waterboarding" in the bit you excerpted above. In what way does your excerpt apply to the practice in question?

Sheesh, in what bizarro world is waterboarding not "cruel, inhuman, or degrading", even if I accept your dubious assertion that it isn't quite torture? Didn't you read the section that states it is the DoD's opinion that such practices "are unproductive because they may yield unreliable results, damage subsequent collection efforts, and result in extremely negative consequences at national and international levels."

So not only does the DoD think that such practices don't work, but it (unlike the president) is concerned about the image of the military and the Country in the eyes of the nation and the world.

Freder Frederson said...

I think the laws/treaties are out of date. By British standards of the Law of War, our colonials were "war criminals" for sniping at officers and ambushing from the treelines [instead of facing off in rank & file at 60 paces]

Don't make the false equivalence of tactics employed because of the limitations of weaponry and command and communication systems (or even institutional inertia in being slow to adopt new tactics) of the era with actual war crimes. The comparison is simply invalid.

Freder Frederson said...

Actually it is. The "torture not reliable" meme is misinformation.

Well, DoD seems to have fallen for this "misinformation" hook, line, and sinker. Damn us liberals and our memes!

Dewave said...

Torture isn't a reliable means of obtaining useful information.

Neither is asking the terrorists nicely.

Now, terrorist surveillance might be a good means of obtaining useful information, but the democrats seem determined to make sure we can't use that tool.

So, what is *your* suggestion for reliably extracting useful information from people that don't want to give it to us?

Sheesh, in what bizarro world is waterboarding not "cruel, inhuman, or degrading"

Locking people against their will is also cruel, inhuman, and degrading. Pretty much anything can be called 'illegal' on the grounds that it is 'degrading' the terrorists.

wouldn't you be better-served by arguing that Common Article 3 just doesn't apply because captured terrorists are not "members of armed forces" as Common Article 3 understands that term?

I agree with that interpretation of Article 3 entirely, by the way.

Don't make the false equivalence of tactics employed because of the limitations of weaponry and command and communication systems (or even institutional inertia in being slow to adopt new tactics) of the era with actual war crimes. The comparison is simply invalid.

If that is your stance, then you have to admit that the actual printed regulations each army defines war crimes by are irrelevent, and war crimes are actually determined by some higher moral authority.

I'm not unsympathetic to this line of reasoning, but if you follow it, then it's pointless to quote DOD regulations.

Also, the British had a relative cakewalk in the colonies compared to what our troops face in trying to weed terrorists out of the civilian population in Iraq.

Fen said...

Thanks for the fair discussion Simon:

From where I'm sitting it looks like you're conceding that waterboarding is torture, and torture violates Common Article 3's proscription of "cruel treatment and torture," but that it shouldn't be illegal and the law should be changed (comment at 2:38 PM). Is that basically your position

Yes. I'm arguing both 1) waterboarding is "torture" in the loose sense, but not all forms of "torture" should be considered illegal and 2) Laws of War like Geneva were designed to prevent the very type of terrorist-combatants now under its protection. They are broken and should at least be reviewed.

Freder is confusing morality with legality. It is immoral to assasinate Ahmadinejad, but it is only illegal until POTUS reverses the executive order barring it.

Is sleep deprivation "torture"? If my platoon is ferrying captured terrorists and none of us have slept for 48 hours, are we required to stop in place so our "detainee" can get their Geneva-alloted amount of rest?

All I said to Freder was I thought we should be allowed to waterboard terrorists captured on the FEBA. I meant to respond to you in more depth here, but I'm pressed for time and will have to pick this back up tomorrow AM, if you are still interested.

Simon said...

Dewave said...
"[Torture isn't a reliable means of obtaining useful information, but] [n]either is asking the terrorists nicely."

I thought that the issue with the reliability of torture as a means of extracting information wasn't that it wasn't realiable at extracting information, it was that you couldn't rely on the reliability of the information. I know that looks a little convoulted, but hopefully the point is clear: if you strap me to a board and drown me for information about the location of the rebel base, you can bet your ass I'm going to break in about less than a minute and tell you they're on Dantooine, but that doesn't make torture a reliable interrogation technique.



"Now, terrorist surveillance might be a good means of obtaining useful information, but the democrats seem determined to make sure we can't use that tool."

I basically agree with you on this. Neither of the NSA programs to come to light bother me much. I find the claim that the transborder call monitoring is chilling someone's speech quit difficult to take seriously.


"[In what bizarro world is waterboarding not "cruel, inhuman, or degrading"?] Locking people against their will is also cruel, inhuman, and degrading. Pretty much anything can be called 'illegal' on the grounds that it is 'degrading' the terrorists."

That's fine, and I don't disagree that we shouldn't care if some jihadist finds it degrading to be interrogated by a woman. But the issue here isn't "what else is cruel, inhuman or degrading," the issues here are "is waterboarding torture? Is waterboarding cruel, inhuman or degrading? Is torture cruel, inhuman and degrading per se?" And I've got to tell you, I'm really finding it difficult to see a situation in which the answer to those questions are "no." So if Common Article 3 prohibits waterboarding and other torturous interrogation methods against captured "members of armed forces," the only real question as to whether it is a war crime to do this stuff to captured terrorists (and I mean "is" not "should be," which is a separate debate entirely) is whether they're "members of armed forces" within the meaning of that term as Common Article 3 uses it. That's the real issue here, as I see it, and the answer doesn't turn on some pragmatic appeal to current exigencies. It turns on the original meaning of that term as it would have been understood to mean by the signatories to the convention. I haven't studied the issue in enough depth to know what the answer to that is, but I am far from convinced that when we look at what Congress understood the meaning of the text when it ratified it, and to what the understanding was and has been among the other signatories of Common Article 3, see Olympic Airways v. Husain, 540 U.S. 644, 660 (2004) (Scalia, dissenting) ("We can, and should, look to decisions of other signatories when we interpret treaty provisions. Foreign constructions are evidence of the original shared understanding of the contracting parties"), that terrorists and quasi-irregular combatants are excluded from that definition. I'm open to persuasion on the point.

Freder Frederson said...

Is sleep deprivation "torture"? If my platoon is ferrying captured terrorists and none of us have slept for 48 hours, are we required to stop in place so our "detainee" can get their Geneva-alloted amount of rest?

Sleep deprivation can be torture. To avoid it becoming torture, the general rule was that interrogators were required to stay awake with their captives. Apparently, this was violated as detainees were kept awake through multiple shifts of interrogators.

Again, if you look at the Field Manual, the use of sleep deprivation requires this simple step to ensure it does not become torture.

Simon said...

Fen said...
"Yes. I'm arguing both 1) waterboarding is "torture" in the loose sense, but not all forms of "torture" should be considered illegal and 2) Laws of War like Geneva were designed to prevent the very type of terrorist-combatants now under its protection. They are broken and should at least be reviewed. Freder is confusing morality with legality."

I think that the distinction between moral vs. legal argument is important, but I think you've also got to look in terms of what is and what should be law. I don't disagree with you that the laws of war are no longer adequate to cope with the kind of asymmetrical conflict we're now in. I don't disagree that we should consider revising them. But that doesn't mean that their current prohibitions can't or even don't reach our conduct in the here and now. If the original understanding of "members of armed forces" as common article 3 uses it limited its reach to the uniformed regulars of a nation-state's organized military forces, then personally, I have no problem with that. I have far less interest in some jihadist's comfort zone than I do in keeping our armed forces and civilian population safe. My problem, though, is that I don't believe that my pragmatic judgement -- or anyone else's, for that matter -- of what's "best" is any basis for a legal determination of the meaning of Common Article 3. The issue as I see it is, just how broad was the term "members of armed forces" understood to be.

I'm not willing to be a formalist only when formalism produces a result I like, and a pragmatist when formalism produces a result that I don't. It's nice when there are compelling normative reasons to agree with the formalist result, and Ann has written several absolutely compelling essays showing precisely that in regard to federalism. Nevertheless, I would still require judicially-enforcable federalism if it had no normative value whatsoever, and here, the question isn't what Common Article 3 should say, or what it would be best for it to say, or which interpretation would have the most instrumental value in the war on terror, it's what does it say. I'm open to persuasion on that point, but a normative case just isn't going to convince me.


"Is sleep deprivation "torture"? If my platoon is ferrying captured terrorists and none of us have slept for 48 hours, are we required to stop in place so our "detainee" can get their Geneva-alloted amount of rest?"

Is burning a flag a political protest? It depends on the intent. It can be. In the scenario you outline, no, sleep deprivation isn't torture; but can sleep deprivation be torture? That's a much less black and white question. Unlike Freder, I would tend to think that sleep deprivation, even when used purely for interrogative purposes doesn't rise to the level of torture, but it's certainly interrogation under extreme duress, and I can see situations in which taken to extremes, it may well rise to the level of cruelty, which is proscribed independently of torture.

I hasten to add that I feel very conflicted over this whole business, and I'm very much open to discussing it further - I have an atom subscription to this comment thread, so I'll keep an eye on other replies. :)

Simon said...

BTW - I'm not ignoring Hamdan here. However:

(1) In Hamdan, the court declared that Common Article 3 applies to the "war on terror," and thus to prisoners taken therein, but both the court and Justice Thomas' dissent discuss only the question of the character of the conflict (was it "of an international character" or not), not whether members of al queda are "members of armed forces," which is the key question for me;

(2) In any event, I agree with Justice Scalia's dissent that the court was without jurisdiction to hear the case, it was thus incapable of reaching the merits, and thus, the opinion is not (in my view) binding authority, even if one assumed it firmly decided the applicability of Common Article 3.

Freder Frederson said...

Yes. I'm arguing both 1) waterboarding is "torture" in the loose sense, but not all forms of "torture" should be considered illegal

Well, then you are going further than even the contemptible John Yoo (who would rather just define "torture" down to include the very worst practices) would go. Torture has been against U.S. and international law for the longest time--no matter who is on the receiving end of it.

Torture is supposed to be a bright line that we simply we will not cross. The President adamantly and repeatedly states "we don't torture". Of course he never offers his definition of torture and ignores the fact that U.S. law requires much more than simply not torturing detainees.

Paco Wové said...

...even if I accept your dubious assertion that it isn't quite torture?
Calm down, man. I asserted nothing, merely asked you a question. The text you excerpted says no person "...shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment as defined in US law," and I was curious to know if waterboarding were proscribed by US law, not just because you or I thought it was obviously bad. (If it is, why aren't people being prosecuted for it? If not, surely Congress can propose outlawing it, right?)

Simon-
thank you for your contributions here. They are the best words I've read on this subject on the whole internet.

Paco Wové said...

Fen said...
"Yes. I'm arguing both 1) waterboarding is "torture" in the loose sense, but not all forms of "torture" should be considered illegal

Ummm, good luck with that.

Paco Wové said...

"Torture is supposed to be a bright line that we simply we will not cross."

But that's a big part of the problem -- it's not a bright line. There's a whole range of coercive and unpleasant things that can be done to detainees -- from yelling at someone, to things like sleep deprivation, to truely unspeakable acts. Your own example (sleep deprivation may or may not be torture, depending on context) and Simon's point (an action may or may not be torture, depending on motive) show that there is no bright line -- interpretation of circumstances is all-important.

(Unless someone has already put together an exaustive manual that says, "act X in context Y is acceptible; act X in context Y with motive Z is unacceptible;" etc. But I don't think that exists.)

Freder Frederson said...

But that's a big part of the problem -- it's not a bright line. There's a whole range of coercive and unpleasant things that can be done to detainees -- from yelling at someone, to things like sleep deprivation, to truely unspeakable acts.

Fen's point is that wherever that line is, we should be able to cross it. That torture is an acceptable interrogation technique.

Fen said...

Fen's point is that wherever that line is, we should be able to cross it. That torture is an acceptable interrogation technique.

Not exactly. My point is that the line has been drawn too far out, that some forms of "torture" should be acceptable interrogation techniques.

Freder, I don't find you to be a rational advocate for your position. Your replies here are littered with emotionally loaded
argument: If you support torturing terrorists for information you are a bad person... immoral barbarians...despicable monsters who comment on this site...You people disgust me.. So I question whether you are approaching this from the position of principle you claim. The term "war criminal" evokes images of murder, rape and genocide. And you define torture broadly to lump your political enemies into that mix. You don't oppose waterboarding based on some noble principle, you oppose it because its a convenient tool to bash your opponents.

Its not unreasonable [or monstrous] to question the broad scope of US law or Geneva:

no person in the custody or under the control of the DOD, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment

Degrading treatment? Means what? If I show the sole of my shoe to an Islamic detainee am I now a "war criminal"?

And does waterboarding really fall under this? CIA is still using the technique. You were asked about this before and you provided fallacy instead of evidence. I think its gray. And if it is "cruel and inhumane", why does DOD training still allow it to be performed on military students at SERE school?

Simon: I don't disagree with you that the laws of war are no longer adequate to cope with the kind of asymmetrical conflict we're now in. I don't disagree that we should consider revising them. But that doesn't mean that their current prohibitions can't or even don't reach our conduct in the here and now ...My problem, though, is that I don't believe that my pragmatic judgement -- or anyone else's, for that matter -- of what's "best" is any basis for a legal determination of the meaning of Common Article 3. The issue as I see it is, just how broad was the term "members of armed forces" understood to be.

Nothing here I would disagree with. I need to think more on this before responding.

Simon said...

Paco - I appreciate that, especially since I'm still fumbling towards an answer myself!

Re Freder's comments, I'm baffled. Here I am basically throwing you, well, if not a lifeline then at least something that you can use to hang the Bush administration, and you're just not grabbing it. I would have thought that you'd have seen my comments above as a door ajar, and fung your shoulder towards it with alacrity. You can bring me around to your position (or at least, your side), and all you have to do is make a convincing argument about the original meaning of "armed forces" circa 1949! This is an open goal and you're kind of ignoring it.

Fen - it's a tough one. I think it's essentially a question of research, and I confess that I just haven't done the work.

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