January 18, 2009

Obama says George Bush is "a good guy," "a good man," and "a good person."

Link.

***

And Hugo Chavez says Obama has the "stench" of Bush:
"I hope I am wrong, but I believe Obama brings the same stench, to not say another word... If Obama as president of the United States does not obey the orders of the empire, they will kill him, like they killed Kennedy, like they killed Martin Luther King, or Lincoln, who freed the blacks and paid with his life."
(Thanks to Fred4Prez for that link.)

53 comments:

AlphaLiberal said...

I respectfully disagree.

SMGalbraith said...

I respectfully disagree.

Yes, remember to show the proper deference; we don't want to insult Senor Chavez.

Some people are human caricatures. Cartoons.

Chip Ahoy said...

to not say another word ... blah blah blah

Oh, there's a word for that wot I found on the internet by a link in a previous thread about common rhetorical techniques people use in comments on the internet. It was the link after the link of the video of people doing the same thing. In the second link, the blog entry was the single word "blog," that when clicked on led back to that same blog entry with that single word. 1,104 comments followed all in the form of standard blog comments. It was a tour de force of mockery, a magnum opus, it was so hilariously wrong on a 1,104 levels.

Within those comments is the word "praeteritio," which caused me to look it up.

Paralipsis, also known as praeteritio, preterition, cataphasis, antiphrasis, or parasiopesis, is a rhetorical figure of speech wherein the speaker or writer invokes a subject by denying that it should be invoked. As such, it can be seen as a rhetorical relative of irony. Paralipsis is usually employed to make a subversive ad hominem attack.

Oh, I am sooo going to use that word, as soon as I can wedge it into a conversation.

dbp said...

Chavez might be mistaken about our next President. To the extent he turns out to be correct, this can only be good for the United States.

ricpic said...

Yo quiero expropriate los expropriators ahora!

SMGalbraith said...

I believe Obama brings the same stench...

Chavez needs to demonize Obama to justify his worldview. His authority, his power. Castro, of course, does this with cries about the "threat" from the US.

Just as the Bush haters needed to demonize him to satisfy their perspective.

Ideologues need to do this (see above). Ahmadinejad with the Jews, et cetera.

And yes, there are those on the Right who will do this (and have) to Obama (or Kennedy, Clinton et cetera).

EnigmatiCore said...

It is amazing how little difference there is between the views of the most liberal posters here and Chavez.

dbp said...

Also, Obama is setting the right tone: It is fine to criticize policy decisions, but it is juvenile and unproductive to demonise decision-makers.

Just to spell it out: If you first make it clear that you hate a person or think he is stupid/evil and then you prescribe a course of action, then they will not think you have their interests in mind, and so why should they follow your course? And, since hardly anybody thinks of themselves as stupid or evil, they will doubt your judgment when you start out with something they know is untrue.

EDH said...

We'll see where Obama actually changes policy, and whether the change for the better. It seems that change "to do" list is narrowing each day on both ends.

Obama has the "stench of bush"?

Maybe Titus can take him in for one of those spa treatments?

AlphaLiberal said...

Yes, remember to show the proper deference; we don't want to insult Senor Chavez.

Actually, I was ignoring Chavez.

SMGalbraith said...

It is fine to criticize policy decisions, but it is juvenile and unproductive to demonise decision-makers.

I think there's a bit more to it than just an understanding of the consequences of demonizing Bush et al.

It seems to me that Obama is a throwback to the Niebuhrian liberals that were anti-communists. That is, he recognizes the limits of human beings, the duality of human nature and the moral complexity of a dangerous world.

It is no accident (as the Marxists used to say) that he believes that the US should embrace realism in foreign policy. That's a recognition of both the limits of American power and the complexity of the world outside us.

Isn't it odd, by the way, that the very same liberal/leftists who decry rendition and harsh interrogation techniques are silent when Obama says we need to restore realism in our foreign policy? That is, place stability over human rights and democracy promotion.

Apparently, it's evil to waterboard terrorists but okay to deal with brutal regimes that do much, much more than simply pour water over their citizens' faces.

AllenS said...

Michelle Obama reveals that her husband, Barack, is so “snore-y and stinky” when he wakes up in the morning that their daughters won’t crawl into bed with him.

And Hugo Chavez says Obama has the "stench" of Bush:
"I hope I am wrong, but I believe Obama brings the same stench"

Coincidence?

reader_iam said...

Another way of Obama eschewing the prosecution of predecessors demanded by parts of constituency?

ricpic said...

Oh you wake up in the morning and you're feeling mighty fine...
Paralipsis, paralipsis,
Then somebody you least suspect your amour propre undermines...
Paralipsis, paralipsis,

chickenlittle said...

Perceived friction between Obama and Chavez will raise the price of oil. Wait for the rest of OPEC to echo Mellonhead's words.

AlphaLiberal said...

It's important at a time like this that we keep in our thoughts and prayers the poor comedians who are losing a motherlode of material for jokes.

Could be time for an economic rescue plan for the comedy industry.

AlphaLiberal said...

It is no accident (as the Marxists used to say) ...

What the ??

Marxists were also known to say "looks like rain" and "Good morning."

garage mahal said...

Obama is like Bush. Haha.

AllenS said...

I agree that comedians are going to have to work harder when Bush is gone, but, hopefully Biden will become more visable, then the national laugh-o-meters will reach epic proportions.

AllenS said...

I think it was just this past week, when Mr. Biden said. “I’m the most experienced vice president since anybody.”

Now that's funny!

SMGalbraith said...

What the ??

Liberals without books (a sense of history), it's called.

It's a tongue-in-cheek line.

Durin the Cold War, Pravda or Tass or other Marxist publications would often begin their "news" stories with, "It is no accident that such-and-such occurred because....et cetera, et cetera".

Meaning, in their view, that larger forces or plans (i.e., the capitalists/West) were behind seemingly random events.

It is "no accident" that Obama is keeping some of the Bush Administration's terror strategies because he recognizes the dangers that we face. He's not acting tactically (politically); he acting realistically.

Realism, it's called.

reader_iam said...

visable

Lovin' that!

I'm thinkin' of this.

Freder Frederson said...

Isn't it odd, by the way, that the very same liberal/leftists who decry rendition and harsh interrogation techniques are silent when Obama says we need to restore realism in our foreign policy? That is, place stability over human rights and democracy promotion.

I think you are incorrectly interpreting the meaning of realism. Realism does not necessarily mean sacrificing concerns about human rights and democracy promotion. The current administration's policies have been both destabilizing and not particularly successful in promoting democracy or respecting human rights.

garage mahal said...

Human rights aren't real.

reader_iam said...

Realism does not necessarily mean sacrificing concerns about human rights and democracy promotion.

Not necessarily, true. OTOH, there's the reality of the history of what happened in practice.

I mean, really now.

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

And I say that falling more into the Realist camp myself, though certainly not entirely.

SMGalbraith said...

Realism does not necessarily mean sacrificing concerns about human rights and democracy promotion

No, not sacrificing those principles entirely.

But it certainly means (as it has been practiced) that human rights are secondary (if not further down on the list) to the promotion of stability and a recognition of the limits of American power in a morally complex world.

American power and security is foremost. Democracy promotion/human rights comes second. Admittedly, the two don't have to be in opposition.

That is, we'll continue to support, to cite an example, the Shah because of the concerns about an unstable Iran resulting from his removal.

Obama has praised Bush, Sr.'s foreign policy approach. Scowcroftian realism that placed democracy promotion and human rights beneath American security and stability (e.g., response to China after Tienamen Square, et cetera).

Freder Frederson said...

That is, we'll continue to support, to cite an example, the Shah because of the concerns about an unstable Iran resulting from his removal.

I'm confused. Are you claiming that our support of the Shah coincided with our commitment to human rights and democracy? If you believe that then you know nothing about pre-revolutionary Iran or how the Shah came to power in the first place.

SMGalbraith said...

Are you claiming that our support of the Shah coincided with our commitment to human rights and democracy?

No, I'm saying the exact opposite.

I.e., our support of the Shah was an example of realism in foreign policy. We placed our security and interests above democracy promotion and/or human rights.

And it's that approach, I'm arguing, that President Obama apparently wants us to return to.

And, furthermore, that the same critics who excoriate the Bush Administration for allegedly abandoning our moral standing by harsh interrogation techniques or rendition are now apparently embracing that realist approach.

He who condemns Bush's "amoral" policies should, it seems to me, be at least sceptical if not critical of Obama's "amoral" foreign policy approach.

dick said...

As opposed to Iran now?

SMGalbraith said...

As opposed to Iran now?

Obviously, much worse. Both for the Iranian people and for the rest of the world.

But, again, if we're returning to realism in our foreign policy then the liberal critics of Bush who claim he used immoral or amoral policies should ask whether this too (realism) isn't an abandonment of morality in our policies.

It would have been great had our press posed this issue to Senator Obama instead of just falling all other themselves in front of him.

Personally, I don't know the answer. Realism? Idealism? Democracy promotion? Stability? National security? Human rights?

Heck if I know.

SMGalbraith said...

Here's a perfect example of this new "realism" that President Obama is being told to embrace: Restoring the Balance.

We should:
Bring Russia aboard its Mideast initiatives. Cut the number of American troops in Iraq by as much as half within two years. Open direct dialogue with Tehran quickly. Don’t give up on counterterrorism, but remove it from its current central place. Foster reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas by, among other things, reducing demands on Hamas,

Nothing about human rights, democracy or moralism. This is pure, unadulterated realpolitik.

Harsh interrogation techniques are immoral. But dealing - no conditions about human rights or ending terrorism needed - with Tehran, Hamas, Russia, Syria is perfectly fine.

Y'know, perhaps the Bush bashing was sometimes unfair? Just a little?

Freder Frederson said...

And, furthermore, that the same critics who excoriate the Bush Administration for allegedly abandoning our moral standing by harsh interrogation techniques or rendition are now apparently embracing that realist approach.

Which ones would those be?

And while it may be argued that Bush had "pure" motives of democracy promotion in Iraq and Afghanistan (even though that was not the justification given for either invasion), outside of those two country's his efforts have been anemic at best. The Iraq invasion did not lead to liberalization and budding democracies throughout the middle east, in fact quite the opposite happened, especially in key allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. We supported Musharref in Pakistan in the name of stability long after it was apparent he was nothing but a tinpot dictator who was turning a blind eye as his nuclear secrets were sold to the highest bidder. We ignored (as long as we could) the horrible abuses of one of the worst dictators in the world (Islam Karimov) because we needed to use his airbases in Uzbekistan.

So to claim that the Bush foreign policy was and is just as driven by realism and necessity is to swallow the drivel emanating from the White House.

Ralph said...

This is pure, unadulterated wimpitude.
If he plays kissyface with Dinnerjacket like Carter & Leonid, I may vomit.

Trooper York said...

I thought AlphaLiberal was Hugo Chavez?

SMGalbraith said...

Which ones would those be?

Hmm, how about Barack Obama? Hillary Clinton? "Smart power" they now call it. Realism in another form.

We can work down from there.

So to claim that the Bush foreign policy was and is just as driven by realism and necessity is to swallow the drivel emanating from the White House.

You mean "idealism" not "realism."

That's true in the second term when Iraq stalled.

However, the Bush White House pushed for elections and democracy in Lebanon, the West Bank, Pakistan (Musharraf is gone) and elsewhere. And when that didn't work out (boy, I'll say), they fell back to realpolitik.

They were certainly less "realist" than this incoming crowd will apparently be.

I notice you didn't respond to my point but returned to an attack on the Bush Administration.

If you're so outraged by the Bush White House's amoral terror policies, I assume you'll be outraged over the amoral realist policies of President Obama?

If they come about? All of this shouting wasn't merely politics?

More seriously, it seems to me that raw realism will be a disaster for the US.

Pahlavi Dynasty anyone?

Michael H said...

No. Alpha is Oogo Chavez. Hugo Chavez works at the Citgo station near my house. Oogo Chavez is an asshole, hence the comparison to Alph.

Palladian said...

"I thought AlphaLiberal was Hugo Chavez?"

No, Chavez at least comes up with his own material.

William said...

Some comments about Iran: The Ayatollah ended the alliance with the USA. This opened the way for Saddam's invasion forces. Two years after the war began, Saddam offered peace terms. The Ayatollah refused them. Six years later, after hundreds of thousands of casualties--including child "martyrs" who were used to clear mine fields--the Ayatollah accepted the same terms he could have had six years earlier. That disastrous war and its prolongation was the direct result of the stupidity of the Ayatollah and his hatred of the USA....Liberals like to point out that it was the US overthrow of a democratic election in the fifties that has caused all of Iran's subsequent problems. Not true. It was the Ayatollah's stupidity and the devotion of the Iranian people to this stupid, stubborn old man that are the cause of Iran's problems. Iranians like to think that all evil is the work of Satan, i.e. the United States. Liberals tend to agree with this theory of history.....Chavez cannot supply his people with potable water. He was giving people in the USA free oil and is currently buying expensive jets from Brazil. The price of oil has crashed and the Venezuelan economy will soon follow. Chavez is stupid. He will blame the United States. His enablers here like Robert Kennedy and Danny Glover will agree with him.

SMGalbraith said...

to claim that the Bush foreign policy was and is just as driven by realism and necessity is to swallow the drivel emanating from the White House

It always comes back to Bush, doesn't it?

Even though I never claimed that.

And even though it's not central - or even tangential - to the specific issue.

Which is, moralism and Obama's or American foreign policy.

Or, those who say Bush's policies were amoral need to answer the question about Obama's realism in foreign policy and its moral component.

"But what about Bush!!" ain't cutting it anymore.

Diamondhead said...

So to claim that the Bush foreign policy was and is just as driven by realism and necessity is to swallow the drivel emanating from the White House.

You seem to have a hard time interpreting fairly straightforward statements. That was twice in about an hour.

Synova said...

Chavez needs to demonize Obama to justify his worldview. His authority, his power.

We're getting a new president, but Chavez is still the same guy. So can we admit that it *never* had anything to do with Bush, and always had everything to do with Chavez?

I've noticed that it's common and easy for people to claim that Bush needed a villain, some outside aggressor to get people focused on, but those same people seem never to think that this is a reasonable explanation for "why they hate us." It's amazing, really. We were always supposed to take seriously the "reputation" of the United States overseas, to accept it as objectively real and our responsibility to fix.

Chavez needs someone to blame. He was never EVER going to get chummy with Obama.

And he's not the only one who needs someone else to blame for the hardships of the citizens. The world will not love us, EVEN IF Obama empties Gitmo, ends rendition (to whatever extent it actually happens), brings all of our troops home, and issues a grovelling apology to the world.

It was never about us. It was never about our president.

Everyone talking about "realism" or thinking that we should favor stability should realize that it doesn't get better just as long as so very many rulers need a scapegoat, some other enemy for their people.

Watch Chavez.

Watch Chavez gain more power instead of lose it as he runs his country into the ground.

Granted, multiculturalism and the demand not to judge means that any attempt to do anything about justice or human rights is off the table. All we've got left as a principle to promote is stability.

Freder Frederson said...

"But what about Bush!!" ain't cutting it anymore.

Say what? Many on the right are still touting "but what about Clinton!!" In fact just yesterday, it was used as a defense of Bush's interrogation policies on this very site. You were the one claiming that "Bush Bashing" was unfair, implying that Bush's foreign policy was driven by purer motives. I was merely pointing out that Bush's foreign policy was and is much less idealistic (not to mention full of failure) than you are implying.

As for your quote about the supposed direction of Obama's foreign policy. Since when is the Brookings Institution an arm of the Federal Government reflecting the official policy of the administration? It's kind of hard to defend or criticize the foreign policy decisions of the Obama administration when he hasn't actually made any yet.

SMGalbraith said...

Three quick counter-points and that's it from me. I'm merely repeating myself.

1. Many on the right are still touting "but what about Clinton!!"

So, it's wrong for them to cite Clinton but okay for you to cite Bush?

You'll need to work that inconsistency out with them and yourself.

2. You were the one claiming that "Bush Bashing" was unfair, implying that Bush's foreign policy was driven by purer motives

The bashing is absurdly unfair as shown by, among other things, the fact that the critics of the so-called amoral policies of Bush have been silent when Obama says he will embrace the amoral realism practiced by previous Administrations.

If amoral policies are wrong, they're wrong whether undertaken by Bush or by Obama.

Those who condemn "A" should condemn "B" unless one is driven by pure partisanship and hatred. I.e., unfairness.

3. As for your quote about the supposed direction of Obama's foreign policy

As I said:
Here's a perfect example of this new "realism" that President Obama is being told to embrace

As I said, "told to embrace". I provided the link to a book review. Why would anyone think it was official policy?

Nowhere did I say it was official policy. But it's certainly indicative of the realist school that President Obama is in.

As I said before, it would have been terrific had we had Obama answer these questions during the campaign.

That he didn't need to was a failure of both McCain's (terrible campaign) and, more important, our press.

traditionalguy said...

Did David Axelrod pay Chavez to attack Obama so I would love Obama? Probably not... Chavez is too out of touch with any realty except revolution to see where he is anymore. Let Putin pay for this Idiot's economic failures like Putin's predecessors paid for Cuba's idiot revolution.My only fear is Chavez could be the next Dem. Senator from whereever if he wants to Pay to Play.

Host with the Most said...

The Iraq invasion did not lead to liberalization and budding democracies throughout the middle east,

Yet.

Word to Freder. Out here in So Cal, when we plant Citrus, we don't expect a true crop for 2 years.

That's 20 years in Middle East Nation years.

Synova said...

It's 20 years in any nation-years, isn't it?

Or is this another one of those, waaaaa, we accused Bush of saying it would happen instantly, and I'm not responsible for independent thought or making any of my own effort to assume realistic time frames, boo hoo hoo... things.

theobromophile said...

I heard recently that Venezuela is a mess: as the price of oil has fallen, the country's revenues have declined, and quite markedly so. Chavez, at this point, needs to start blaming someone else - anyone else! - for his country's woes, lest anyone get the idea to throw him out of office.

That all said, I find it rather pathetic how people assume that conservatives resort to killing people when things don't go their way. While there are a few crazy racists out there, there are crazies in every political party, race, sex, religion, and ideology. Chavez seems to be saying that the normal, run-of-the-mill conservatives (or whomever) will consider offing their duly elected President because an election did not go their way. Sick, and degrading of an entire class of people, the vast majority of whom do not deal with their frustration in that manner (assuming, arguendo, that they would be upset enough to consider any form of action in the first place).

hdhouse said...

EnigmaticBore said...
It is amazing how little difference there is between the views of the most liberal posters here and Chavez."

Score another big point. What a sharp observation. What insight. Talk about perspective!

Did everyone get that EB linked liberals to Chavez? It was sooo subtle too.

Proving once and for all that even the blind pig manages to find an acorn now and then! And to think that I though EnigmaticBore handn't an ounce of sense in that little noggin of his.

Truly impresssive bit of wit there EB. Verily.

reader_iam said...

Ok, hdhouse. Put that aside, for a moment, if you will, and demonstrate the ability to do a thorough, comprehensive fisk, objectively and with no nod to personal leanings (the agreeing or disagreeing sort). Fisk Chavez, from soup to nuts, intelligently, thoroughly and comprehensively (and Venezuela, if necessary, to do that--but not INSTEAD of).

Trooper York said...

Hey hdhouse, tell the home care attendant to put down the Daily News and change your depends. You're getting all agitated buddy.

Kirk Parker said...

AllenS,

Sure, Biden saying "I’m the most experienced vice president since anybody" was hysterically funny--but it doesn't leave any actual work for the comedian to do.