September 26, 2009

We have a president who doesn't even believe we are the good guys. True or false?

Did you hesitate? Because you shouldn't even have to hesitate.

Did you hesitate?
No. I went right to false.
No. I went right to true.
Yes, but I said false.
Yes, but I said true.
I'm still in hesitation mode. Come on, Obama! Help me out here.
  
pollcode.com free polls

207 comments:

1 – 200 of 207   Newer›   Newest»
rdkraus said...

You need one more option.

Yes, because before his election, he did not thing we were the good guys, but now we are.

AllenS said...

I hate to interrupt, but, can you tell us what the theme for the day was, yesterday?

Bissage said...

President Obama is merely the point man for the newly ascendant interests as they seek to renegotiate established business relationships.

former law student said...

I'm having a hard time parsing this.

Which box should I tick for "The President believes we are the good guys, but Bush/Cheney went off the rails a bit"?

Kensington said...

I screwed it up. I meant to vote that of course Obama doesn't think we're the good guys, but I accidentally voted that of course Obama thinks we're the good guys.

Should've paused, I guess. Like Obama before another apology to the world's despots.

The Drill SGT said...

rdkraus said...
You need one more option.

Yes, because before his election, he did not thing we were the good guys, but now we are.


at the UN?

We know the future will be forged by deeds and not simply words. Speeches alone will not solve our problems -- it will take persistent action. For those who question the character and cause of my nation, I ask you to look at the concrete actions we have taken in just nine months.

or?

Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that, generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless...

... this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal...

... this was the moment when we ended a war, and secured our nation, and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.

This was the moment, this was the time when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals.

Chip Ahoy said...

Not present.

Rialby said...

rdkrause - I think you're close but have to disagree a bit.

Before the election he didn't think we were the good guys but now we've made him proud of America for the first time in his adult life. We've obviously still got a long way to go to absolve ourselves of the sins we committed that made him -not proud- before. It's a continuous process. Let's all work to deepen Obama's evolving pride in us.

The Drill SGT said...

Let's all work to deepen Obama's evolving pride in us.

Jesus loves me, this I know.

For the Bible tells me so.

chickenlittle said...

I hate to keep dwelling on the past, but the problem is that too many Americans couldn't see this about him last election; the thing is that we need those people to stop talking and thinking falsely now.

wv: superher (honest to blog it said that)

Oxbay said...

Democrats, inluding Obama, are captured by their own stupid dialectic. If the Republicans are for it they are against it.

In this case Republicans are patriotic therefore patriotism is evil. If patriotism is evil America is evil. Therefore America must be punished.

former law student said...

Republicans are patriotic

Of the "I love my country but I fear my government" school of patriotism

Maguro said...

Would someone who believed we're the good guys attend Trinity church for 20 years?

My Magic 8-Ball says "Very Doubtful".

The Drill SGT said...

ormer law student said...
Republicans are patriotic

Of the "I love my country but I fear my government" school of patriotism


"Liberty or Death"

"Don't Tread on Me"

those flag motto's seem to describe that sentiment fairly well 250 years ago

Flexo said...

Oh no, baby, I love you. I only want to change EVERYTHING about you. That shows how much I do love you.

But love means loving me for who I am.

Shut up, you racist.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

In this regard, I would have preferred that he not overrule SECDEF Gates on doing periodic modernization of our nuclear weapons. OTOH, the potential benefit with Obama has been that he is the 'good cop' that agrees with the 'criminals' like Iran and can better than McCain move them, short of war, to a nonnuclear position. If there is war under Obama then indeed it was inevitable.

rdkraus said...

Thems some really distressing poll results. Really. I mean, I disagreed with Bill Clinton, and thought he was a doofus sex deviant liar, but I never thought he didn't think we were the good guys. This really is a whole new level with the big O.

Gahrie said...

FLS:

Unwittingly, you have hit the nail right on the head:

"Republicans are patriotic

Of the "I love my country but I fear my government" school of patriotism"

Ding Ding Ding...exactly right!

Government is a necessary evil, not something to be loved.....government should be feared.

Government doesn't kmake us great, the people and resources of our country do.

It is the Left weho loves the government but fears the country that are perverse.

phosphorious said...

Obviously, Obama thinks we are pure evil, but, equally obviously, he has only demonstrated his own pure evilness by thinking so.

Are all your tests this easy?

Florida said...

True.

We also have a President who is proposing prison camps if you don't buy insurance.

http://www.politico.com/livepulse/0909/Ensign_receives_handwritten_confirmation_.html?showall

Under ObamaCare, if you refuse to buy his insurance or pay his fine, then it's off to prison camp for you.

I had heard that Obama was building massive concentration camps on military bases, but until now I hadn't thought it could be possible.

On the plus side, Obama is letting terrorists out of prison, so he's making room I guess for adding Americans back in without busting the budget.

So, you know, there's that.

phosphorious said...

Or. . . how about:

Obama doesn't see the world as a game of cops and robbers. To speak of "Good guys" and "Bad guys" is kind of childish. Contires aren't "Good" or "Bad". . . they are self interested.

Or is this the wrong crowd for this stuff?

kentuckyliz said...

The signals The Big O has been sending lately make me fear for the safety of our country. It's bait for the aggressive.

bearbee said...

Of the "I love my country but I fear my government" school of patriotism

A nation under a well regulated government, should permit none to remain uninstructed. It is monarchical and aristocratical government only that requires ignorance for its support.
-Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

The people have lost control of its government. Government lacks transparency.

wv - flarag: Star and Stripes just another meaningless piece of cloth.

Gahrie said...

"To speak of "Good guys" and "Bad guys" is kind of childish. Contires aren't "Good" or "Bad". . . they are self interested."

Really?

So Cambodia under the Khymer Rouge wasn't evil? North Korea isn't evil? Nazi Germany wasn't evil?

Darcy said...

That's right, chickenlittle. And Maguro.

True. We have a president who doesn't even believe we're the good guys. And France is showing us up. WTF? :)

former law student said...

An observation from Gail Collins's column today:

For eight years, the Bush white House regarded the U.N. mainly as an annoyance, a mole in the garden of the new American world order. Now we are in the age of the Obama, and trying to once again play well with others.

LadyJalana said...

@formerlawstudent:

Why does answering T/F question about Obama require you to slag Bush? This says a lot about how you think. Or fail to...

William said...

Obama is some hideous converse image of Gorbachev. Those who think the US is an evil empire rejoice in his wisdom. Does it give anyone on the left pause that people like Daffy and Chavez celebrate his statesmanship? I think in the end Gorbachev was more fondly remembered abroad than in the Soviet Union.

MartyH said...

If ACORN gets its funding cut off for offering to help with child prostitution, can we do the same to the UN since its employees actively participate in it?

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=19558&Cr=DRC&Cr1

chickenlittle said...

...in the garden of the new American world order.

Now it's all become Novus Ordo Decorum, thugs and terrorists included.

Have you no shame FLS?

Darcy said...

MartyH: No. Stop that. :)The UN is filled with well-meaning diplomats. Our betters. People we should play nice with and grovel to. We are evil.

Let's sing a song. Mmm Mmm Mmm.

former law student said...

Why does answering T/F question about Obama require you to slag Bush?

the question implicitly compares Obama to all other presidents. (Else it would read, "Once more, we have a president...") Bush being the most recent, the implied contrast between him and Obama is the sharpest.

Big Mike said...

Let me get this straight. You posted the poll at 10:00 and in the next 95 minutes you got 461 votes?!? On a Saturday morning?!?

This blog gets a lot of traffic.

Diamondhead said...

"Contires aren't "Good" or "Bad". . . they are self interested.

Or is this the wrong crowd for this stuff?"

Lol. Is this in the 'difficult truths' category? To paraphrase Orwell, some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them. I don't know if you're an intellectual, but I'm sure you fancy yourself one. And you have pretty stupid ideas.

ricpic said...

We've got your number, Barry. Not that that matters since you take your orders only from the teleprompter and the teleprompter belongs to Soros and the Saudis.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Other nations can have evil regimes. Individual leaders and groups can be evil.

But an entire country is never evil. That's ridiculous.

The world has really passed some of you by. The US military is overseas minutely parsing the dynamics of foreign societies, delicately extracting allies amid "evil" groups. There is very little room for blanket notions of "evil" in this process.

I guess I don't have to tell you that I think the question posed in the poll is sub-moronic. Head-slappingly stupid.

OSweet said...

We were dicks.
But now we're pussies.
And if nobody else fucks the assholes we're gonna end up with shit all over our dicks and pussies.

Montagne Montaigne said...

p.s. Rejecting juvenile, insecure ideas about "good and evil" is what the 2008 election was about. We tried it the absolutist way. Now it's time for adults to take over.

Diamondhead said...

We don't need a president who weights the interests of Iranians/Russians/Egyptians equally with the interests of Americans. It may seem distasteful to someone of such nuance, but Obama wanted to be president, and that means fighting for our interests. Sometimes when doing this, it's helpful to think of one's own countrymen as the "good guys." Not perfect, but good enough to throw in with.

Ben J. said...

What a PEREFCT MEASURE of how far the "Althouse community" is from mainstream views in America.

Darcy said...

Only missing a backward "E" there. Put the crayons down.

chickenlittle said...

Other nations can have evil regimes. Individual leaders and groups can be evil.

But an entire country is never evil. That's ridiculous
.

Entire nations enthralled by an evil leader or group are many ways complicit. The world worked together to undue that sort of thing in 1939-45.

We tried again that in 2003 but failed to win worldwide support. Why is that?

Richard Dolan said...

Obama would deconstruct 'good guys' and conclude that any statement dividing a population into 'good guys' and an opposing category reflects an "-ism" that appeals only to the morally or intellectually weak. Amerocentricism, popular with the clingers in western PA, might due.

VW: unsit - a forewarning of what may have to American leaders who think ill of Amerocentricism.

t-man said...

Chickenlittle -

The trouble is that the people who were willfully blind about Obama before the election and supported him, all thought, and still think, that they are far more intelligent that those who opposed Obama. Their self image depends upon perceived intellectual superiority, and it will be extremely difficult for them to admit to themselves that they were wrong.

The best chance it to give these people an excuse - "I was misled by the media" is the best option here. This is one of the reasons I think that the Breitbart assault on the mainstream media is so dangerous to Obama.

Darcy said...

t-man: Good call on the Breitbart assault. He's exposing their lameness and deception.

But not into lumping all Obama voters that way. Althouse is doing a good job of looking critically at him and making no excuses for her vote.

former law student said...

all thought, and still think, that they are far more intelligent that those who opposed Obama.

Don't blame me, I voted for Romney.

McCain was clearly the weaker candidate in 2008. Anyone who panders to his conservative base after getting the nomination just doesn't understand what it takes to win a national election. And the result of that master stroke of suspending the campaign to deal with the economic crisis showed that McCain was just not up to handling crises.

Father Martin Fox said...

In hesitation mode, because I am giving him the benefit of the doubt. But he stood before the UN, and said, those who doubt our nation's character...and proceeded to emphasize is own work since being inaugurated--skipping over the liberation of Europe, the Marshall Plan, the massive AIDS relief program under Bush...

Maybe he could have thought of something else good our nation has done? No, I guess not...

Bill said...

When was the US the good guys? And don't say WWII. I suppose there have been moments in the past 50 years when this might be true, but for the most part Harold Pinter had it right in his Nobel acceptance speech. Good intentions, if even those can be attributed to the US, don't count.

chickenlittle said...

@t-man: Thanks for that candid answer.

bagoh20 said...

Obama and his supporters still believe that true strength is demonstrated by never needing to use force or threat of it. Problem is that weakness is also demonstrated the same way. Opportunistic forces blinded by ambition see it only as weakness.

This is the most dangerous of foreign policy blunders and inevitably leads the opportunistic to take advantage. This then requires overwhelming violence to reeducate them.

Wars result from perceived weakness. The ambition of our enemies is always there, waiting for a sign, a limp, a break in wariness, like hyenas watching the herd of potential meals. The hyenas are always hungry.

This scenario is even more reliable than FLS resorting to Bush a rebuttal.

exhelodrvr1 said...

FLS,
"McCain was clearly the weaker candidate in 2008."

You're confusing the campaign with the candidate.

victoria said...

McCain was both, a weak candidate and a botched weak candidacy. Palin was the icing on the cake. Weakness and pandering all around. If you all want to win an election, field a good candidate, not a Romney or a Gingrich. No one wants a man everyone doesn't trust (Romney) or a racist philanderer (Gingrich). Find someone who isn't polarizing or too right wing and you can get him/her elected.

Stop whining.

miller said...

we're not the good guys anymore, because we're not exceptional. We're just like Russia and Cambodia and North Korea and Iran. Nothing exceptional here.

Let's get rid of this "city on a shining hill" metaphor once and for all and go back to diligently serving our masters.

Invisible Man said...

Does Ann Althouse hate America?

Yes, and the babies who live there.
No, but she hates the America outside of Madison.

The Drill SGT said...

Bill said...
When was the US the good guys? And don't say WWII. I suppose there have been moments in the past 50 years when this might be true,


To name a few:

The Marshall Plan
The Berlin Airlift
Korean War
70 years of Disaster Relief
Green Revolution
Wiping out Polio, Yellow fever, typoid, cholera, Smallpox, knocking down malaria, etc
Winning the Cold War
Peace Corps
Green Berets
Freeing Eastern Europe
The Internetz
The Medical technology revolution
Liberating Iraq
AIDS help to Africa

The Drill SGT said...

bagoh20 said...
Obama and his supporters still believe that true strength is demonstrated by never needing to use force or threat of it.


Paraphrasing Heinlein, "Go tell that to the city fathers of Carthage"

Carthago delenda est!

Diamondhead said...

Sarge, that may be a nice collection of moments, but I'm sure the Burmese junta has some high points, too...

No, no, we're no better and no worse than any other country.

bagoh20 said...

Despite the rhetoric to the contrary, most in the world knows the goodness of the U.S.. When truly in need, they know who is likely to help them. They don't ask themselves will Libya come to our aid, will Russia, will China.

And we all know what flag we would want coming over the hill if we were desperate. There is one most likely to show and it's the same one most likely to treat us well no matter who we are.

One of many proofs is in the way we treat our enemies after defeating them. They always come out freer, safer, and more affluent. One exception was the Native Americans, but that is a mixed story and still no worse than similar clashes of civilizations.

I think the problem some people have seeing the general goodness of U.S. foreign policy is that they compare this country to some mythical one that could accomplish what we do without any negative side effects or mistakes. Just compare us to other real nations past or present and we are truly exceptional.

Joan said...

When was the US the good guys?

Father Fox already mentioned the African AIDS relief under Bush. How about in the aftermath of the tsunami, when our aircraft carrier (I believe it was) was first on the scene? How about the fact that private charities in the US make donations that eclipse the government contributions of most other countries, whether you're considering foreign or domestic causes?

When has the US ever installed a puppet government and stripped a country of its resources for our own profit? People who say we're imperialists don't understand what that word means. Every country we've ever "invaded" has ended up better off afterwards. That idea was such common knowledge at one point that an entire play (later a film starring Peter Sellers in multiple roles) was written about it in 1950s.

The Drill SGT said...

bagoh20 said...
Despite the rhetoric to the contrary, most in the world knows the goodness of the U.S..


They all hate us at the demonstration, but ask any of them if the want a green card?

what to you think the percentage that pass on one would be?

Bill said...

Rialby: Before the election he didn't think we were the good guys but now we've made him proud of America for the first time in his adult life. We've obviously still got a long way to go to absolve ourselves of the sins we committed that made him -not proud- before. It's a continuous process. Let's all work to deepen Obama's evolving pride in us.

How many times will we have to re-elect him before he's really proud of us?

ricpic said...

The Bills of this world have always been safe. So they can afford to heap scorn on the nation that has literally made it possible for those of us who aren't safe or whose ancestors weren't safe to breathe.

former law student said...

Romney's mistake was to pander to conservatives during the primaries -- his flip-flopping rang false and he was eliminated.

But Romney had more experience at actually running things -- not just sitting in the room while his spouse ran things, but actually running things and making the hard but necessary decisions. Plus he could deal with a legislature that opposed him, and get things done.

phosphorious said...

Another question then:

Was Iraq "Evil", or was it just Saddam?

If just Saddam, why did we kill all those "Good" people?

And if the whole country was "Evil", why did we bother trying to liberate them?

The inhabitants Althousiana seem to think that if you see shades of gray, it's because you are an evil liberal who hates America.

It could be that the world is a complicated place, and we finally have a president who sees that.

bagoh20 said...

"It could be that the world is a complicated place, and we finally have a president who sees that."

Not only complicated, but too complicated for him, too complicated to tell right from wrong.

You have put your finger on why he is unqualified for this office.

Old Dad said...

"It could be that the world is a complicated place, and we finally have a president who sees that."

Possibly the most naive and inane comment ever posted anywhere.

Isabel said...

"How many times will we have to re-elect him before he's really proud of us?"

We don't have to worry about that. By next election cycle, the country would be in such bad shape, that the O will want to do a quasi-Zelaya; try to enact a law that says the "times are too turbulent for the distraction caused by elections. Let me just keep on going and I'll show you how I can turn things around." (Insert umms and ahs liberally, unless O's reading the statement from a teleprompter.)

As for the votes needed to enact such a law, we'll have the help of "_______" (insert name of entity that replaces Acorn).

Maguro said...

The inhabitants Althousiana seem to think that if you see shades of gray, it's because you are an evil liberal who hates America.

Pretty lame strawman. Think about it - "Good" doesn't mean "perfect" or "never wrong".

I think that overall, America's been a tremendous force for good in the world. The greatest in history, in fact.

Have there been mistakes? Sure, but I happen to believe that the world is much better off with America as the sole superpower than it would be with any conceivable alternative or combination of alternatives.

Don't project your un-nuancey dogmatism onto everyone else.

montana urban legend said...

Of course, "believe(s) we are the good guys" is right-wing code for "unconditionally and lovingly accepts the inherent incompetence of this nation and its government".

Although I suppose another translation of "believe(s) we are the good guys" could be "holds up right-wing, gun-lusting, self-righteous holy rollers (regardless of whether or not they're actually religious) as the model of American patriotism". Sound about right?

So glad to help. You're welcome.

And, once again: My condolences. Losing one's sense of entitlement must really suck. But at least you're having fun toying with the meaning of your marginalized status.

montana urban legend said...

"It could be that the world is a complicated place, and we finally have a president who sees that."

Possibly the most naive and inane comment ever posted anywhere.


I shudder to think what the person who posted this thought of the Bush administration. 'Cause I'm guessing Bush's Dad thought differently.

bagoh20 said...

What are we to make of an American President who, with a team of "educated" advisers and speech writers, would still go before the world and utter this: “No nation can or should try to dominate another nation.”

Not just sophomoric, not just naive, but abysmally stupid.

Diamondhead said...

"But at least you're having fun toying with the meaning of your marginalized status."

Nah, it's just going to be vaguely annoying for the next three years or so. Carter tried to marginalize America too, and he discredited liberal ideology for three decades. The rightwing nuts will come through just fine, thanks.

former law student said...

I happen to believe that the world is much better off with America as the sole superpower

How super can we be when we're up to our eyeballs in debt to the Red Chinese?

Although we're not as bad off as the British Empire was post WW II, we have too few resources to go it alone.

Obama's the new sheriff in town, and he's raising a posse to deal with bad guys.

Old Dad said...

Montana,

What is the antecedent of "this", and which Bush Administration, and whose father?

It's a shame that the Montana Middle Schools are so poor.

montana urban legend said...

"It could be that the world is a complicated place, and we finally have a president who sees that."

Not only complicated, but too complicated for him, too complicated to tell right from wrong.

You have put your finger on why he is unqualified for this office.


Of course, such a view could reflect the idea that the president's most important role is the enforcer of morality as he conveniently defines it - regardless of how that impacts American interests.

We didn't elect a pope. Actually, we didn't elect a religious leader in any sense of the word. And we didn't intend to. Stop acting like that is the purpose of presidential elections.

And I'm not saying an immoral leader is in America's best interests either. But I am saying that any president who can't reconcile American interests with moral action as defined by the country's principles and the people who vote, is probably a shitty president.

montana urban legend said...

What are we to make of an American President who, with a team of "educated" advisers and speech writers, would still go before the world and utter this: “No nation can or should try to dominate another nation.”

Ummm.... one who is better at forging alliances than at creating enemies.

When did belligerence for its own sake somehow become an American value, or a sign of intelligence?

montana urban legend said...

It's a shame that the Montana Middle Schools are so poor.

Well, as I understand it, they do teach things like "context", and "current events".

Didn't your middle school do that? And didn't they teach you that "middle school" is not a proper noun, but a common noun? Did you learn which nouns are capitalized and which aren't?

Even Ali G knows these things.

Diamondhead said...

“No nation can or should try to dominate another nation.”

What makes this such a stupid statement, mul, is that nations can and do dominate other nations. Anyone who says they can't is fundamentally unserious.

montana urban legend said...

“No nation can or should try to dominate another nation.”

What makes this such a stupid statement, mul, is that nations can and do dominate other nations. Anyone who says they can't is fundamentally unserious.


And what makes your response unserious, is that it doesn't draw a distinction between "do" and "should".

Perhaps Obama shouldn't have included "can". But I think the point is that while other nations and try to dominate others for certain lengths of time, none will be able to do so forever.

Further, I think you're placing too much importance on the era of empires. Either the post-WWII, post-Cold War global order is one that is different from the age of empires, or it's not. And if it's not, then you've got your work cut out for you, because your next task is finding a way to admit that the rest of world, not illegitimately, sees America as the only de facto empire of consequence - despite how much it makes right-wing "Real Americuns" writhe and scream and holler at the insinuation.

chickenlittle said...

When did belligerence for its own sake somehow become an American value, or a sign of intelligence

MUL-why do you equate dominance with belligerence?

Are you just being polemic?

chickenlittle said...

I mean MUL, were your parents belligerent towards you?

t-man said...

MUL

You seem far more interested in seeing (and enjoying) America getting its comeuppance than in keeping this country secure and prosperous. I think that is the reason for the poll results above, there is a sense that Obama feels the same way.

No one feels "entitled" to those things. But the people who built this country and came before us left us in the fortunate position, remarkable in the history of the world, of security and prosperity ... e.g., "secure the blessings of liberty, to ourselves and our posterity".

Obama, and you, apparently have no desire to build upon what has come before. You and your ilk instead act as if you are of such a higher moral plane that you can denigrate what was left to you, bask in the discomfort of those who disagree with you, and remain untouched by the chaos that is to come. You won't know what you've got 'til it's gone.

Old Dad said...

Montana,

Your post, in context, makes no sense. Look up "antecedent". Recognize that there were two Bush Administrations (current events), and that both GHWB and GWB had fathers.

Perhaps, you hate them all.

bagoh20 said...

MUL,

It's stupid because it's of course totally untrue. And "no nation should be dominated"? Really? Then any nation should be free to do what they want without fear of attack. Genocide, state sponsored terrorism with nuclear weapons, anything. Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan?

It was a childish and immoral statement before the whole world.

Diamondhead said...

So...I'm unserious for responding to what Obama actually, you know, said. It may be that Obama, as you say, was trying to get at the point that Great Britain only dominated India for a century, Russia dominated eastern Europe for only forty years, etc. But then he'd just be saying that nothing lasts forever. Oh, great point. No building can stand because some day it will be torn down.

montana urban legend said...

I mean MUL, were your parents belligerent towards you?

No. And they didn't try to dominate me either.

They knew I was precocious and thoughtful enough to generally do the right thing.

And I suppose that's why all three of us were comfortable with sharing a distaste for arbitrary appeals to authority, generally.

The U.S. is not "Teh World's" parent. If we persist in trying to see things this way, I doubt it will end up very well.

bagoh20 said...

"No nation can dominate another"? Is he nuts or does he think we are?

chickenlittle said...

No. And they didn't try to dominate me either.

I suppose you toilet-trained yourself then?

Diamondhead said...

Both?

montana urban legend said...

You seem far more interested in seeing (and enjoying) America getting its comeuppance than in keeping this country secure and prosperous.

What "comeuppance"? The country was weakened, made less secure and less prosperous by the last administration.

"I think that is the reason for the poll results above, there is a sense that Obama feels the same way."

Those polled were not a representative cross-sample of American attitudes. Sorry.

"No one feels "entitled" to those things. But the people who built this country and came before us left us in the fortunate position, remarkable in the history of the world, of security and prosperity ... e.g., "secure the blessings of liberty, to ourselves and our posterity"."

By "entitlement", I'm talking about a sense of partisan entitlement.

"Obama, and you, apparently have no desire to build upon what has come before."

Yes. And construction workers prefer not to build more floors onto a structure that has been weakened and wrecked through constant abuse, debauchery and mismanagement.


"You and your ilk instead act as if you are of such a higher moral plane that you can denigrate what was left to you, bask in the discomfort of those who disagree with you, and remain untouched by the chaos that is to come."

I welcome disagreement. And stop with the "higher moral plane" nonsense. I just want intelligent ideas, whether in disagreement or not.

"You won't know what you've got 'til it's gone."

Let's hope, for your sake, that you're wrong.

montana urban legend said...

"No. And they didn't try to dominate me either."

I suppose you toilet-trained yourself then?


Dude, I have no idea of what you're actually trying to say here. But if your toilet training involved methods that you would categorize (into adulthood) as "dominating", then I think you're better off posting comments at some fetish site than here.

montana urban legend said...

MUL,

It's stupid because it's of course totally untrue. And "no nation should be dominated"? Really? Then any nation should be free to do what they want without fear of attack. Genocide, state sponsored terrorism with nuclear weapons, anything. Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan?

It was a childish and immoral statement before the whole world.


I think this speaks to a fundamental difference of perspective, whereby you seem to think that nations will only behave in moral and unobstructive ways through negative force, whereas I seem to think that positive appeals to most nations' better, natural self-interest have not been fully utilized, or even fully understood in some cases.

rhhardin said...

Obama: guerrulous but not belligerent.

montana urban legend said...

So...I'm unserious for responding to what Obama actually, you know, said. It may be that Obama, as you say, was trying to get at the point that Great Britain only dominated India for a century, Russia dominated eastern Europe for only forty years, etc. But then he'd just be saying that nothing lasts forever. Oh, great point. No building can stand because some day it will be torn down.

Come on, Diamondhead. Obama said two different things. He used two auxiliary verbs: "Can" and "Should". I think that if one of those verbs is going to provide meaning to the context of his remarks (in your view, the first one), then I think the second one should be considered too.

I mean, unless you want to parse things in a dishonest way.

Gahrie said...

"whereas I seem to think that positive appeals to most nations' better, natural self-interest have not been fully utilized, or even fully understood in some cases."

Unless of course, the other nation has a different idea of what is in their best interest eh?

Old Dad said...

No nation can or should, blah, blah, and so forth.

Here's why the President's statement is stupid on its face. If a nation can't(insert any verb here) then there is no reason to worry about whether they should do what they can't do.

Right?

montana urban legend said...

Unless of course, the other nation has a different idea of what is in their best interest eh?

Fine. But in that case, the right wing might want to refine its narrative. I mean, either Obama is a convincing and inspiring speaker whose talents lay in persuading other people to go along with what he wants to do, or he isn't. You can't pick and choose and say that the former applies to the American people (because we're all such a bunch of easily duped leftist eccentrics) but that the latter applies to leaders of other nations (because they, on the other hand, are somehow really, really good at convincing people that they are favorable to Obama, when in reality they hate him and will work against his agenda as much as they hated and disagreed with Bush).

Take your pick. Choose wisely.

bagoh20 said...

"I seem to think that positive appeals to most nations' better, natural self-interest have not been fully utilized, or even fully understood in some cases."

Nations whom that works on are not the problem with the world.

It's just like gun control, if it worked on the bad guys, it might make sense.

Your "perspective" allows you to support this president's rhetoric. Facts and history do not allow me to. Your perspective needs a talk with reality.

Flexo said...

a distaste for arbitrary appeals to authority

Of course, there is nothing more arbitrary than the self.

When you are your own authority for moral truth, then there is no moral truth.

Pastafarian said...

I love the Althouse blog, in part because of threads like this.

Liberals began the comment thread stating that, of course, Obama thinks we're the good guys. But eventually, their true colors came through, and their line is now: Of course we're NOT the good guys.

I've learned alot about the left in these comment threads.

Pastafarian said...

MUL, by that reasoning, I guess anyone who won the presidency would be talented enough at persuading other people to enable them to bend other nations to their will.

Bush won the presidency twice.

Diamondhead said...

"Come on, Diamondhead. Obama said two different things. He used two auxiliary verbs: "Can" and "Should". I think that if one of those verbs is going to provide meaning to the context of his remarks (in your view, the first one), then I think the second one should be considered too."

In effect he made two statements. One is demonstrably false, one actually is a bit complicated. I don't actually have a problem with the statement "no country should dominate another," as in no country should make a vassal state of another. In certain cases - the ones raised by other people in this thread - a nation should be restrained, by force if necessary. The complex bit is when should restraint be exercised, when should restraint utilize force, and at what point does restraint become domination. I'd be happy to hear Obama explain his views on these points with a bit more clarity.

Big Mike said...

Wow! Out of over a thousand votes, there were 96 who went "straight to false."

Three possibilities:

(1) Almost ten per cent of us are trolls.

(2) A lot of us made Kensington's mistake and voted "straight to false" when they really agreed with the statement that Obama doesn't think the Americans are the good guys.

(3) The trolls vote Chicago-style -- "early and often."

montana urban legend said...

MUL, by that reasoning, I guess anyone who won the presidency would be talented enough at persuading other people to enable them to bend other nations to their will.

Bush won the presidency twice.


Fear works as a motivator for only so long, and is more successful when deployed upon those closest to the source for those appeals. But Americans have caught up. And the GOP hasn't.

montana urban legend said...

"I seem to think that positive appeals to most nations' better, natural self-interest have not been fully utilized, or even fully understood in some cases."

Nations whom that works on are not the problem with the world.

It's just like gun control, if it worked on the bad guys, it might make sense.

Your "perspective" allows you to support this president's rhetoric. Facts and history do not allow me to. Your perspective needs a talk with reality.


Is there a litmus test for "whom that works on" or not? How did you come to design it?

montana urban legend said...

"a distaste for arbitrary appeals to authority"

Of course, there is nothing more arbitrary than the self.

When you are your own authority for moral truth, then there is no moral truth.


Perhaps. But it's comforting to know that some people will hold reason in higher regard than they will "moral truth".

And anyways, you've changed the subject. I'm talking about personal authority (over others) - which is pretty damn arbitrary, when you come to think of it. And un-American.

wv: tarco

Big Mike said...

Well, montana, even the Brits (the Brits!!!) have started calling Obama "President Pantywaist.

The last lines are telling: "Barack Obama is selling out America and, by extension, the entire West. This is a catastrophe for America and the wider world."

bagoh20 said...

There is nothing more I can say. If history has not taught you this, then you need more reading, not arguments from me.

Unless you really believe Obama has brought us a new world. Then anything IS possible.

Old Dad said...

"I'm talking about personal authority (over others) - which is pretty damn arbitrary, when you come to think of it. And un-American."

You best be careful. In Obamaworld, you can get in trouble for calling the Commander in Chief un-American.

That also makes you a racist. For shame.

Just Lurking said...

"p.s. Rejecting juvenile, insecure ideas about "good and evil" is what the 2008 election was about. We tried it the absolutist way. Now it's time for adults to take over."

You should've left out the P.S. You take a statement that is defendable- that a new approach is desired- and weaken it with a trite conclusion, by implying the previous administration's response was child's play. Those "children" can claim they kept us from being attacked during their tenure. I hope Obama can say the same at the end of his.

PS Real adults don't act like snide pricks.

RE: Obama's soft-touch approach: I hesitate to second-guess him, since I don't believe there is really any right way to deal with lunatics like Achmadinnerjacket, Kimmy, and Kadaffy. Short of killing them, nothing will stop madmen from being madmen. At best you can hope to straightjacket them, which I assume O is hoping he can do with his talking cure.

Whether Obama should act tough or weak to the madmen is only part of the question. The other part is- how do the rational world players, (and I would include Chavez and Putin in this bunch), view his approach? Is he strengthening his hand among them? Is it a wise move for him to appear to appease madmen, grovel before our adversaries, while acting indifferent to our allies?

And the biggest question: is O able to compromise on his own absolutist beliefs in his abilities? The man has a serious personality flaw in that he can't see beyond his own perceived greatness; as his dopey "9 months" statement attests to. And his enablers are just as blind, since no one caught that silly solipsism. Such shortsightedness in an administration is disturbing. It reveals a group of "adults" who may not be capable of seeing the big picture beyond the aura of "The One".

As to the prof's poll question- I get the impression that O has no doubt that HE is the good guy; and that nothing else much matters to him.

Florida said...

Britians dub Obama: President Pantywaist

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/geraldwarner/100010499/barack-obama-president-pantywaist-restores-the-satellite-states-to-their-former-owner/

Big Mike said...

@Florida, I beat you to it.

montana urban legend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
montana urban legend said...

Unless you really believe Obama has brought us a new world. Then anything IS possible.

Anything is always possible. But the only thing I believe Obama has brought is more competent leadership that is in a better position to understand how a diverse array of nations actually think about the world. Sometimes leaders have an effect on the global dynamic, sometimes they don't. It will remain to be seen where Obama falls in that regard. But it has happened before and I don't see why people who are so quick to denounce the incomprehensible, "immoral" and "amoral" ways in which other nations act, are so inclined to disbelieve that culture matters and that leaders who are in touch with other cultures might be in a better position to negotiate and deal effectively with those other nations.

And I'm not buying the idea that some sensationalized and derogatory headline of one of Obama's detractors in the media on the British right has its finger on the pulse of what will or won't go right with the Obama administration.

Gahrie said...

leaders of other nations (because they, on the other hand, are somehow really, really good at convincing people that they are favorable to Obama, when in reality they hate him and will work against his agenda as much as they hated and disagreed with Bush

1) The problem is, it is only our enemies who are telling people they like Obama better than Bush. The leaders of our allies are at best perplexed by him, and many feel so betrayed they won't even take our phone calls anymore.

2) If you thing Chavez, Putin, Kim, Amendijad etc aren't going right ahead with their plans while gladhanding Pres. Obama in public you are sadly mistaken.

Just Lurking said...

From my previous post:

Those "children" can claim they kept us from being attacked during their tenure.

correction:

Those "children" can claim they kept us from being attacked again during their tenure.

Christopher said...

Montana Urban Legend wrote:

"You can't pick and choose and say that the former applies to the American people (because we're all such a bunch of easily duped leftist eccentrics) but that the latter applies to leaders of other nations (because they, on the other hand, are somehow really, really good at convincing people that they are favorable to Obama, when in reality they hate him and will work against his agenda as much as they hated and disagreed with Bush)."

You're simply making shit up.

First of all, Obama hasn't been very good at getting the American people to do what he wants. He was good at getting elected and he was good at pushing through a stimulus package that polls suggest most Americans think was a pretty bad deal in retrospect.

After that, you can count the number of major successes he has had in convincing Americans of anything on thin air.

As far of the leaders and populations of other nations... which ones, exactly, are favorable to Obama? Which have a more favorable view of America because of Obama?

Yes, I know that the media and that the Left-leaning blogs that you read keep telling you that other countries love us all of a sudden, but where's the proof?

Have nations that have been traditionally hostile to the United States become less hostile? I mean, OK, yeah... that Libyan nutjob did praise Obama the other day. But a few weeks before that he had a huge homecoming party for a convicted terrorist over the objections of the Obama administration.

Has North Korea suddenly become less of a menace? Has Russia become less belligerent with respect to America's overtures toward Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics? Have Middle-Eastern muslims stopped funding and promoting jihad against America? Has the often soft anti-Americanism of Western Europe suddenly dissipated after 200 years?

Is there any evidence that countries and peoples that hated us before hate us less, that countries and people that liked us before like us more, and that countries and peoples who actively worked against our interests in the past have stopped?

No, there isn't. You're living in a fantasy world, and in order to maintain that fantasy, you have to make shit up about Obama's effectiveness.

Obama's not good at convincing people to do shit. His "Hope'n'Change" branding worked to get some people who wouldn't have gone to the polls to vote for him. His "Hope'n'Change" branding worked to get some independents and moderate Republicans to vote for him.

That's about it. Obama's all outta pixie dust now.

Ben J. said...

Missing label: the Althouse fringe

montana urban legend said...

"I'm talking about personal authority (over others) - which is pretty damn arbitrary, when you come to think of it. And un-American."

You best be careful. In Obamaworld, you can get in trouble for calling the Commander in Chief un-American.

That also makes you a racist. For shame.


Obama doesn't have any personal authority over anyone other than as the nation's chief law enforcement officer. Which means he respects not only the effect of the democratic process on his office to a greater degree than Bush did (cf: discussion w/Pastafarian), but that he is held to account by two other branches of government. And, much to your consternation, he seems to realize that how other nations perceive America might impact his success in that capacity. Which doesn't seem like an overly personalized or authoritarian view of his office or sense of agency whatsoever.

But hey, if you want to continue pushing the themes you're peddling, then go ahead. You have at least a few million disgruntled potential companions similarly invested in the endeavor of winning back the sense of entitlement that they lost to a less, personalized, arbitrary and authoritarian politics. And they seem to believe they will influence others to agree to see things their way, too. If you want to follow them to the promised land, be my guest. And good luck.

montana urban legend said...

2) If you thing Chavez, Putin, Kim, Amendijad etc aren't going right ahead with their plans while gladhanding Pres. Obama in public you are sadly mistaken.

There are a few problems with this. First of all, Putin, while he might be whispering advice into Medvedev's ear, is not the leader of Russia. Chavez doesn't really present any significant foreign policy problems other than for the purposes of being a pain in the ass on the world stage and a bugbear to the American right.

Which gets us into Kim (who might be in failing health) and Ahmedinejad (who is not in charge of Iran but acts as the figurehead for a bunch of mullahs who's hold to power is not going unchallenged by a popular and clerical revolt). If you haven't noticed, Obama's recent moves have made Russia more inclined to side with us against Iran. So we at least have one potentially major change in the foreign policy arena coming our way since Obama took office less than a year ago. If you want to diminish the importance of that, go ahead. But why you might want to do so? I can't figure out a reason for that other than hyperpartisanship (aka "gladhanding" the GOP).

montana urban legend said...

No, there isn't. You're living in a fantasy world, and in order to maintain that fantasy, you have to make shit up about Obama's effectiveness.

I would submit that the person living in a fantasy world is the one who thinks that in less than nine month's time, Obama would have to convert every last belligerent and fanatic into an American flag-waving, willing participant in the effort to achieve America's interests.

In the meantime, he has started to turn Russia against Iran - which is not insignificant by any stretch of the imagination. I somehow found that conspicuously lacking in your laundry list of complaints about Muslim and North Korean fanaticism and other strongly ingrained problems that you imagined Obama was charged with magically wiping away and erasing from history in less than a year.

In the meantime, more sober observers and commentators will acknowledge that there are other nations around the world, who are not partial to Islamic fanaticism, who are not partial to the tyranny and nuclear ambitions of the Northern Korean peninsula. And they will acknowledge that the (more active) support of those nations would be extremely welcome in confronting the real challenges we face.

While you, on the other hand, will continue to inhale whatever pixie dust allows you to simultaneously lump every threat together as insurmountable while going after Obama for not being enough of a superhuman for surmounting them in less than one fucking year.

A highly illogical position. But we knew that already. Thanks.

former law student said...

"Even the Brits"
"President Pantywaist."

Former columnist Gerald Warner is a conservative's conservative. He's as typical of the Brits as Pat Buchanan is of Americans.

Flexo said...

But it's comforting to know that some people will hold reason in higher regard than they will "moral truth".

It's discomforting to know that some people don't know (or perhaps care) that moral truth is grounded in reason.

It is discomforting to know that some people instead hold that morality equals opinion, embracing relativism, which is by its very nature arbitrary and wholly contrary to reason.

Jason (the commenter) said...

If Obama and his party don't think America is one of the bad guys, then why are they always "afraid" of the actions its citizens take?

Jason (the commenter) said...

“For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country,”

Not the words of someone who believes we are the good guys.

montana urban legend said...

It's discomforting to know that some people don't know (or perhaps care) that moral truth is grounded in reason.

If moral "truth" is grounded in reason, then it's amenable to reason. Which is comforting to know. It also means that it's not "truth" in any absolute sense of the word. If it's amenable to reason then it's amenable to change. Which is probably not the conclusion you wanted to come to, but it's a necessary conclusion of what you say nonetheless.

It is discomforting to know that some people instead hold that morality equals opinion, embracing relativism, which is by its very nature arbitrary and wholly contrary to reason.

It is even more discomforting to know that some people are so contemptuous of the perceptions of others, that they will confuse the respect they deserve within the democratic process with some responsibility they should supposedly hold to merely act as vessels through which to "ratify" absolute (moral) truth.

Good thing my morality prevents me from respecting your opinion in this regard.

montana urban legend said...

I think the good guy is always the one with the cheap sunglasses indoors.

You should get some Maui Jims, Jason. They're fashionable and they do an awesome job of protecting your eyes.

Michael said...

"Obama doesn't see the world as a game of cops and robbers. To speak of "Good guys" and "Bad guys" is kind of childish. Contires aren't "Good" or "Bad". . . they are self interested."

Find me the place in his UN speech where he advocated that the US had interests in defending its territory against foreign or terrorist attack.

Big Mike said...

And I'm not buying the idea that some sensationalized and derogatory headline of one of Obama's detractors in the media on the British right has its finger on the pulse of what will or won't go right with the Obama administration.

Well, you got me there. Except that an awful lot of people who agree with your politics, and probably you, yourself, did think it was significant when Bush was called a "cowboy" in the British press.

The sword has two sharp edges.

JAL said...


"To speak of "Good guys" and "Bad guys" is kind of childish. Contires aren't "Good" or "Bad". . . they are self interested."


Apples and oranges.

Self interest can be evil. Plenty of examples given by others.

And self interest can be not evil.

former law student said...

Find me the place in his UN speech where he advocated that the US had interests in defending its territory against foreign or terrorist attack.

Obama's message is that we're all in this together. But he will defend our nation and our people:

Like all of you, my responsibility is to act in the interest of my nation and my people, and I will never apologize for defending those interests.

against extremists and terrorists. But all nations are subject to terrorist attack:

...

That effort must begin with an unshakeable determination that the murder of innocent men, women and children will never be tolerated. On this, there can be no dispute. The violent extremists who promote conflict by distorting faith have discredited and isolated themselves. They offer nothing but hatred and destruction. In confronting them, America will forge lasting partnerships to target terrorists, share intelligence, coordinate law enforcement, and protect our people. We will permit no safe-haven for al Qaeda to launch attacks from Afghanistan or any other nation. We will stand by our friends on the front lines, as we and many nations will do in pledging support for the Pakistani people tomorrow. And we will pursue positive engagement that builds bridges among faiths, and new partnerships for opportunity.

JAL said...

@11:19 former law student said...
An observation from Gail Collins's column today:

For eight years, the Bush white House regarded the U.N. mainly as an annoyance, a mole in the garden of the new American world order. Now we are in the age of the Obama, and trying to once again play well with others.


Yeah. That's what I like. More childish analogy in a grown up world that has, surpridse, Good and Evil.

"Play well with others" works ONLY if everyone is playing by the same rules -- and those rules are fair.

In case some here haven't noticed, a significant number of UN members don't give a damn about, much less "play," by the rules -- unless, of course it is in their "self interest." Castigate Israel and give Sudan the chair of the Human Rights Commission? Punish Honduras for ousting a president who was violating THEIR constitution?

Obama may be out of fairy dust, but some of people are clearly living in Candyland.

When I raised my kids there were some kids who were not worth the risk or time to play with. No matter how well my children played, those kids remained bullies.

Crappy analogy, Ms Collins -- and by design, makes America look like --- The Bad Guy!!!

QED

montana urban legend said...

I don't know anyone who says that, just because there are a few bullies in school, the first recourse is to withdraw their kids from the kindergarten. If they have the gumption, they actually go to the school and demand that the teachers are accountable for what happens in their classroom. If they have the gumption. And if that doesn't work, they find a way to reform the administration.

But apparently for some here the analogy begins with a simple observation and ends with the request to merely follow it through to a logical conclusion.

wv: foones

Diamondhead said...

First of all, Putin, while he might be whispering advice into Medvedev's ear, is not the leader of Russia.

Now THAT is truly hilarious. "Dmitri, you can take it or leave it, but I advise you to continue dominating Georgia."

Cedarford said...

ictoria said...
McCain was both, a weak candidate and a botched weak candidacy. Palin was the icing on the cake. Weakness and pandering all around. If you all want to win an election, field a good candidate, not a Romney or a Gingrich. No one wants a man everyone doesn't trust (Romney) or a racist philanderer (Gingrich).


Had Romney been able to clear the obstacle of ill-educated Religious Right sorts...he would have run a far more energetic, coherent campaign than McCain did. And really had his executive experience in stark contrast with The One when Bush Corporatists, Reaganomics disciples, and corrupt Democrat financiers all drove America's financial future into the toilet.

Hard to say if Romney will be able to run again clear the Primaries with the Southern Fundies holding so much power over the Party nomination.
The media had a huge role in putting their two favorites, Obama and McCain, into the top spots, while ignoring Pastor Huckleberry, Silky Edwards - and trashing Hillary, Romney, and Giuliani any chance they could.

I think Gingrich is absolutely out of having any shot. Too much baggage. But he would make a terrific White House Chief of Staff or HEW Secretary.

And the right-wing talking point. slogan shouter , Goddess Palin, is doomed outside her Fundie base.

================
On Obama, I put him in the black Dem entitlement/Jewish progressive camp. Who will say America is great...but.....
Then list off a long litany of how America has failed this or that item in the past about "social justice", or failed in the present.

Like America is basically a "good guy" but needs to be "educated and set right on so many things so others will like him, and needs to send lots more money to "victims of America's flaws in social justice delivery".

tonejunkie said...

Hi. Newbie question. What does it mean when in a certain thread, after you hit the "Publish" button to post your comment, it shows up at the bottom with the other comments on the "Leave your comment" page, but it never shows up on the actual thread page?

montana urban legend said...

It means you are posting a comment after the first 200 that are displayed on the actual thread page.

miller said...

2 nations - BigEndia and SmallEndia.

BigEndia invades and dominates SmallEndia.

The Boy President says "you shouldn't do that."

Then what?

Does the Boy President leave it at that and hope BigEndia feels bad enough to stop dominating SmallEndia?

Does the Boy President attempt to stop BigEndia, thereby dominating BigEndia because his (TBP's) values are better or more important than BigEndia?

This man is a moral nullity.

tonejunkie said...

montana urban legend,

It means you are posting a comment after the first 200 that are displayed on the actual thread page.

Yes, mine was after the 200-comment mark. So how do I get it to post on the actual thread page? I see you had no problem doing it in another 200+ comment thread.

tonejunkie said...

Oh, wait. Nevermind. I get it now. Thanks.

montana urban legend said...

Questions, questions, Miller. Such intriguing hypotheticals you propose! None of which preclude Obama from speaking out on what he thinks is right, of course. None of which preclude the fact that his speaking out on what he thinks is right, at this early phase of his presidency, sets the stage for other nations to start using a time that is relatively free of crisis to decide to rebuild and re-align themselves with a more articulate spokesperson on behalf of international issues than Ahmedinejad, the leader of Russia, or G.W. Bush.

montana urban legend said...

Ahhh... all this is making me feel like taking one of those champion naps that W. made so famous! In the meantime, watch some of the hilarious videos on BHG's Myspace page. They're awesome. Then everything will make perfect sense.

P.S. Evil Jared Hasselhoff voted for GWB in 2004 and later came to regret it. You do not want to argue with Evil Jared Hasselhoff. He is a voice both of moral authority and physical authority.

Robert Cook said...

The idea of considering whether we are the "good guys" or not is childish and meaningless.

As with any powerful nation, we have done good things in the world and terrible things. We are "good" insofar as we established a nation predicated on the constitutional rule of law, but we are "bad" when we violate our founding ideals and, more seriously, the rule of law.

In short, we are neither good guys nor bad guys, because such a construction is phony, purely a literary parsing of reality. We are a powerful nation that acts in the world with and against other weak and powerful nations, all of us trying to maximize our own advantage.

That said, in our recent history we have behaved as "bad guys" in many respects, simply by our own definition of what that means.

montana urban legend said...

It's worth it just to watch them perform "Let's Dance" on Radio 104.5's studio sessions and listening to Jimmy Pop singing "Come dick Gaga." Now there's your voice of traditional moral authority. Every leader in every nation will agree. From Lake Geneva to the Finland Station.

montana urban legend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
montana urban legend said...

In short, we are neither good guys nor bad guys, because such a construction is phony, purely a literary parsing of reality.

Such a construction is necessary for the right to believe that Obama is so evil that he could not possibly be allowed to possess the political power that they feel only they should be rightfully entitled to.

Ann Althouse said...

"Hi. Newbie question. What does it mean when in a certain thread, after you hit the "Publish" button to post your comment, it shows up at the bottom with the other comments on the "Leave your comment" page, but it never shows up on the actual thread page? "
The only time I've seen that is when the comments go over 200. If that's the situation, look at the top of the post comment page for where is says "newer" and click on that. Ridiculous, but that's the way it is for now. I don't think Blogger is really picturing more than 200 comments on a post, except in a neglected spammed thread.

chickenlittle said...

That said, in our recent history we have behaved as "bad guys" in many respects, simply by our own definition of what that means.

Such a construction is necessary for the left to believe that Bush was so evil that he could not possibly have been allowed to possess the political power that they feel only they should have been rightfully entitled to.

montana urban legend said...

I never felt that way. And the left had enough standing to object to Bush's rule once he had broken enough of the laws as to make a mockery of the idea of remaining the chief executive... of anything.

But he's gone back to Texas now and the American people, as I alluded to Pastafarian, have learned enough to know that fear and jingoism aren't good enough reasons to vote for someone.

montana urban legend said...

Or better yet, watch this clip of Jared shooting off his potato gun. You don't want to fuck with someone who knows how to batter you at high speed with a nice Idaho spud.

miller said...

Of course, if you mention Sarah Palin - SARAH PALIN! - the thread sometimes goes over 200.

Darcy said...

Palladian, please come back. Here.

Jeremy said...

What a bunch of sick fucks.

And Ann...you're right at the top of the list.

Anti-American assholes...

tonejunkie said...

Thanks, I got it, Ms. Althouse... Ann... I don't know what to call you, especially since politically you tick me off so much, heh. But something keeps pulling me back here… what is it? Oh yes, the commenters and the topics, of course. And your non-political postings I find interesting here and there too, even though I don’t think I’ve commented on any of them yet. It’s the political stuff that provokes. But yes, thanks for the newbie assist.

miller said...

tone, you should stick around. This is a blog that pretty much doesn't restrict what you say & doesn't kick you off.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Of the "I love my country but I fear my government" school of patriotism"

Is there another kind of patriotism?

Oxbay said...

but Tone, Althouse voted for Obama. She's one of you. She lives in Madison, WI. She's a professor at the University of Wisconsin where they check your Marxist credentials at the door. No credentials no entry. Ha, I kid I kid. They don't check the credentials but they do assume you have them.

chickenlittle said...

Hey Jeremy,

You've updated your profile I see.


wv:=brutthorr I'd change that to "Brute whore" for better effect.

Christopher said...

Montana Urban Legend,

It's telling that the best Obama victory you could come up with was "turning" Russia against Iran. We dropped our plans for a missile shield and Russia publicly rebuked Iran.

Of course, Russia has rebuked Iran repeatedly in the past few years yet, when push comes to shove they've continued to provide technical assistance to Iran and water down international efforts to halt the program.

Remember back when shit was tense around the election? Russia invaded Georgia and the US denounced it? Just to prove that the Georgia situation wasn't going to impact its approach to Iran, Russia rebuked Iran for its nuclear program.

Nine months into the presidency of the president who was supposed to revolutionize foreign policy, and the biggest foreign policy victory you can point to is something that Russia did when the US-Russian relationship was it its nadir.

And in order to get Russia to rebuke Iran this time, we had to call off the construction of our missile shield.

What do you call it when you eke out meager concessions from a belligerent at great cost to yourself? I'll give you a hint, dunce: look up appeasement in the dictionary.

I didn't expect Obama to change foreign policy in eight years, let alone nine months. But, for once, I'd like Obama to do something other than alienate our allies and appease nations that are openly hostile to our interests.

miller said...

Barack Hussein Chamberlain

Slow Joe said...

tonejunkie, I believe she likes 'Althouse'. I have read that 'Ann' is not her preference.

I don't know why someone's politics should tick you off that much. She's honest. Yeah, there's a lot to disagree with, but don't sweat it so much. At least it's interesting.

chickenlittle said...

Barack Hussein Chamberlain

Fleece in our time

montana urban legend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
montana urban legend said...

Since Christopher was too sneaky to admit it, I'll remind everyone else that only a dunce would propose that Poland and the Czech Republic are major allies of consequence and worth pissing off the Russians, or jeopardizing their willingness to further reduce the amount of nukes in their possession - which, I would remind him - seem to have had a nasty habit of going missing over the last 15 years.

But at least he knows the word appeasement, so he does have that going for him. But only a blundering, brutish dunce would have applied it to the scenario he raised. Not that I would ever think to question the foreign policy credentials of someone whose mind hasn't advanced beyond the point of screaming "Neville Chamberlain!" as more of a retort with which to end discussion than as a wise reminder intended to illuminate a foreign policy problem. But what the hell. Why not.

Actually, it takes about as much thought as screaming "You're a Nazi!!!" at someone with whom you disagree. And it's just as ineffective.

Nice job, Christopher.

The world has gotten past WWII/Nazi analogies as THE all-purpose, go-to retort for desperate political dialogue. Try picking a different plot device in your little script next time.

Next time my electrician or city councilman messes up I think I'm going to call him a Nazi. Or Neville Chamberlain. Or something like that.

EnigmatiCore said...

" that Poland and the Czech Republic are major allies of consequence"

If they are, or are not, major allies of consequence we can pass on, since it is irrelevant to the rest of what follows...

"and worth pissing off the Russians"

As long as the Russians act in accord with how they acted during the Cold War, and how they are starting to act again under Putin, waking up in the morning is a good enough excuse for pissing of the Russians. It should be our goal, not something we avoid.

"or jeopardizing their willingness to further reduce the amount of nukes in their possession "

We cannot jeopardize a willingness they do not have.

Synova said...

"Or. . . how about:

Obama doesn't see the world as a game of cops and robbers. To speak of "Good guys" and "Bad guys" is kind of childish. Countires aren't "Good" or "Bad". . . they are self interested.

Or is this the wrong crowd for this stuff?
"

Not at all. This is pretty much what I wanted to talk about in relationship to the question, although it's highly simplified.

Cops and Robbers sort of "good" and "bad" exist on a superficial level. But the idea that there are not "good" nations and "bad" ones, not "good" governmental systems and "bad" ones, not "good" cultures and "bad" ones, isn't Obama's private conundrum... it's what *passes* for intellectual and reasoned and sophisticated understanding.

What it is, however, is a faith based refusal to make moral judgments. It's moral cowardice disguised as something lofty. It's multiculturalism (a perversion of the value of diversity) and cosmopolitanism.

The President doesn't believe we are the good guys because his *cosmology* does not allow the distinction. He is certainly not alone.

And not alone in his error. Classical liberalism, or humanism, or any theory of equality of individuals must and does accept that some *systems* are better than others, some *cultures* serve their people better than others. When people began to insist on equality and insist that the rights of oppressed people around the world *mattered* it was on the basis that people were, *gasp*, being oppressed.

South Africa was a *bad* nation because it maintained a system of apartheid. The Taliban is *bad* because it does not protect women and girls... even though it came to power at least partly for the purpose of protecting women and girls. Communism is *bad* because of the way it twists human nature and systemically and unavoidably requires the suppression of dissent.

The United States is a *good* nation, not because of what we do - where we fail or where we succeed, but because we have a system of government that works better to protect individuals than just about any other and that is designed to work with instead of against human nature. Our culture values industry and achievement and self-reliance. Our *mythos* is positive in a way that few are positive.

Because real free speech matters and real equality matters and protection of our liberties from government matters and free markets matter in the same way, the *exact* same way that a person must be free of their parent in order to be an adult. Because human potential withers in the absence of independence and interdependence is pathological where it is not voluntary.

But certainly... Obama believes that "good" and "bad" are childish.

Which is a philosophical and moral cop-out masquerading as deep thought.

Synova said...

"I'll remind everyone else that only a dunce would propose that Poland and the Czech Republic are major allies of consequence..."

They are allies.

Does something else matter?

How we treat our allies is how we treat allies and should be and is a lesson to other allies on how they can be expected to be treated by us. Even a small, relatively unimportant ally deserves respect, particularly as they are often standing as our ally in opposition to their neighbors or even a large number of their own people. Their leadership may have taken a risk that was weighed on the expectations of what being an ally of the United States means.

When we dis' Poland or other nations we send a larger message to ALL of our potential allies, to anyone anywhere anytime and in any circumstance who is weighing whether or not to throw their fate in with ours.

And that message is... if you throw in with the USA, expect to be abandoned.

miller said...

I kinda like the idea of Barack Chamberlain dumping Poland and the Czech Republic for the bracing reality of befriending the Russians. That will teach those pissant little countries to depend upon the word and integrity of the United States!

Thank goodness we've thrown away that exceptionalism where we thought we would bear any burden and pay any price.

Now, a kiss for Putin. How romantic!

Jimmy Carter II

MadisonMan said...

I dislike compound T/F questions like that. Does False mean the President does believe we are the good guys, or does it mean he doesn't believe we are the bad guys?

Patm said...

I'm done giving him the benefit of a doubt. He's either a moron or he hates this country. Since I don't think he's a moron, he hates this country.

I can't believe I am saying this, because when I heard someone else say it I thought they were dumb, but George W. Bush was the last American president.

Hillary should have won.

Patm said...

And btw, anyone who needs to be TOLD "when America was the good guys" is a fucking moron and ingrate who needs to move out of the country that's given him the right to sit at his computer, in his relatively fine life, and bitch like a sophomoric asshole.

chickenlittle said...

Since I don't think he's a moron, he hates this country.

I agree with you, and IMO he learned that from his mother. The hatred is there, hardwired into him like a mother tongue that he can't forget.

montana urban legend said...

I kinda like the idea of Barack Chamberlain dumping Poland and the Czech Republic for the bracing reality of befriending the Russians. That will teach those pissant little countries to depend upon the word and integrity of the United States!

Any idiot who treats diplomacy and foreign policy like a fuckin frat party is responsible for cleaning up the mess afterward.

Plus, there's an E.U. now. They still need to work out their collective defense framework. But to pretend that the individual defense policy of each piddly little European country matters more than the fact that Europe will have a common, coordinated defense structure sooner than you can say "Medvedev" is to beat one's chest like a baboon while you could have been doing something better in the meantime. Like cleaning up the loose nukes for instance.

I'm sure the Poles and the Czechs will thank you for standing up for the useless "Star Wars" defense system once a plutonium suitcase bomb goes off in your city.

Simply idiotic.

Sit back in your armchair and keep faxing those memos and letters of memorandum to the SecDef and State Department, though. Do you wear a robe or your pajamas when you pontificate on such deep issues?

montana urban legend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
montana urban legend said...

"Respecting" another country does not mean wasting trillions of dollars on their behalf for a system that we haven't invented the technology to operate, in order to fight a war that would have been fought decades earlier when the adversary actually had a strong empire with designs on the country in question, while the country's defense is being increasingly coordinated by the much larger, integrated economy and political community of which they are a part.

But I suppose all these details go way over the head of someone more accustomed to the Tupac Shakur School for Friendship and Loyalty in the Name of Defense.

It's like you guys aren't even trying to come up with a reasonable thought.

wv: thearres

chickenlittle said...

Sit back in your armchair and keep faxing those memos and letters of memorandum to the SecDef and State Department, though. Do you wear a robe or your pajamas when you pontificate on such deep issues?

The more sensible and effective thing to do is to stay interested in voices of dissent and build a congressional opposition in 2010. It's worked before. :)

montana urban legend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
montana urban legend said...

Reading Materials for EnigmatiCore:

US, Russia nuclear disarmament talks to go into second week

(AFP) – 1 day ago

GENEVA — The latest round of Russia-US talks on renewing a key nuclear arms reduction treaty will enter into a second week, a Russian diplomat said, a day after the UN Security Council vowed to rid the planet of all nuclear arms.

"They will go on until next week, until Friday," the diplomat told AFP, adding that there were no further details at the moment.

Previous rounds of talks on the renewal of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) which expires on December 5 had lasted a maximum three to four days.

But a Russian diplomat had said at the start of talks on Monday that this round would "last longer than expected with the large delegations from each side."

The United States and Russia had agreed this year to seek the replacement or renewal of START, marking the first tangible step in the thaw in US-Russian relations heralded by the Obama administration.

START, signed in 1991 just before the break-up of the Soviet Union, bound both sides to deep cuts in their nuclear arsenals.

US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he was confident the United States and Russia would meet an end-of-year deadline to agree on a replacement for START.

His Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev also expressed confidence in bilateral talks on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly that both sides would meet the target, saying he was satisfied with negotiations so far.

On Thursday, the UN Security Council vowed at a summit hosted by Obama to work to stop the spread of atomic weapons and rid the planet of all nuclear arms.

The 15-member body unanimously adopted a resolution committing UN member states to endeavor to consign nuclear weapons to history and endorsed a broad framework of actions to reduce global nuclear dangers.



Russia's tough line on missile shield overshadows Obama's Moscow trip


* Luke Harding in Moscow
* guardian.co.uk, Sunday 5 July 2009 19.26 BST
* Article history


Hopes of a new nuclear arms reduction deal between Moscow and Washington appeared to be in doubt today, after Russia said there could be no agreement unless the US was prepared to heed its concerns on missile defence.


Keep up the amateur analysis, guys. It's almost enough material to start a think tank. Or a comedy troupe. One or the other.

montana urban legend said...

It's worked before. :)

Your dreaming is more delusional than the dreams of the hardline Communists, who believe they can revive Russia to the power it had during the Cold War. Which, I suppose, is oddly appropriate given the era that the wingers think we're living in.

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

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

I guess now that's become passe' for sophisticates like Montana and BHO. But I always thought believing our country had a pretty good system of government was sort of necessary when faithfully executing the office of President. Apparently, I was wrong.

montana urban legend said...

but apparently, I was wrong.

Well, you're wrong, of course. But, unsurprisingly, that has nothing to do with the straw man you concocted with your convoluted lawyer-logic.

chickenlittle said...

You're dreaming is more delusional than the hardline Communists' that believe they can revive Russia to the power it had during the Cold War.

Your conflations have become downright bilious MUL, and they stink.

chickenlittle said...

btw MUL, I don't believe for a second that you actually believe much of what your write. I suspect, but of course cannot prove, that you are an amused polemist, much like Jeremy.

Sometimes it's fun to put up with your antics, but more often than not, it's just silly.

montana urban legend said...

What did I conflate? I didn't say you were a Communist. I said you're as delusional and as stuck living in the past as they are. And you are.

Delusional, backward-looking people don't have to share the same political philosophy, you know. Sorry to irk you so much with the (unimplied) idea that they do. But that's an idea you invented. I never said that was the case.

montana urban legend said...

btw MUL, I don't believe for a second that you actually believe much of what your write.

What I can demonstrate with an interesting idea and a reasonable, even sound, analysis, is more important than belief. But then again, I don't fancy myself a theologian when it comes to these things. A sense of religious faith is decidedly not the framework I'm employing. Sorry to disappoint.

holdfast said...

Montagne Montaigne said... "We tried it the absolutist way. Now it's time for adults to take over."

In what sort of fucked up world does a pantywaist academic who has never held a real job qualify as an "adult"?

Just another affirmative action man-child shielded from the real world for far too long.

chickenlittle said...

@MUL: What do you think about the poll results here?

jr565 said...

Montana wrote:
I think this speaks to a fundamental difference of perspective, whereby you seem to think that nations will only behave in moral and unobstructive ways through negative force, whereas I seem to think that positive appeals to most nations' better, natural self-interest have not been fully utilized, or even fully understood in some cases.


So give us 5 historical examples where we see this appeal to a nations better natural self interest and how well that worked.
Because I would argue that most serious people dont think that nations only behavein moral and unobstructive ways through negative force alone, because clearly we are not at war with our allies. So then we have to narrow it down to nations we are at odds with and why and what we expect them to do and how we expect them to behave. And the degree to which we have a national interest in compelling them to behave that way.
Look at Iran now. Just this week it was revealed that Iran had a hidden enrichment facility almost certainly used to weaponize their nuclear program which they took pains to hide from the IAEA. What positive appeals to their better selves are you suggesting we apply other than force (not necessarily military) if they perceive it in their best interest to proceed with a nuclear program that threatens their neigbors. Do you see, by the way, how THEY are, by not complying with the UN in fact engaging in negative coercive action?

jr565 said...

montana wrote:
Since Christopher was too sneaky to admit it, I'll remind everyone else that only a dunce would propose that Poland and the Czech Republic are major allies of consequence and worth pissing off the Russians


Would it matter more if they were MAJOR allies that we were stabbing them in the back, or are you suggesting that because they are not of consequence that they simply don't rate and therefore we can abuse them however we see fit? And that is your idea of good foreign policy? I thought you guys were all about making people like us again. It sounds like your new motto should be kowtow to your enemies by throwing allies under the bus?
Further, we've had dealings with the Russians for years and years and years where they've consistently acted against our interests on key foreign policy questions, including sanctions against various regimes we are trying to keep in line (and if we were able to keep in line would potentially preclude us from going to war with them). They've acted in their interest and seem to have no problem in pissing us off. Further, they've been acting against our interests, long before we proposed putting a nuclear shield the Czech Republic. Now why do you never suggest that they would be foolish to go against our interests and try to impede our progress in Iraq, or afghanistan or the Czech Republic for that matter. It really sounds like the only national interest you think should be respected, honored or addressed is theirs and that only we can piss them off and not the other way around, and only we can be belligerent to them and not the other way around. It's a reflexively anti american sentiment.

Christopher said...

Montana Urban Legend,

You have no clue what you're talking about. It's so awesome.

You're hoping that nobody will notice that you backed off your claim that Obama cleverly turned the Russians against the Iranians because you actually realized that he didn't.

Russia will continue to publicly rebuke Iran while, at the same time, providing technical assistance for Iran's peaceful nuclear weapons program. And when people start talking seriously about UN sanctions, Russia will water them down or veto them entirely.

In reality, to anyone who knows what the fuck they're talking about, the Obama administration looks like a bunch of fuckwits for crowing that business as usual is some kind of success story.

Anyway, you dropped that shit like a hot potato and then you jumped on the nonproliferation bandwagon, suggesting that Obama cleverly sold out our allies to get Russia to reduce its nuclear stockpile.

In reality, under the renegotiated START, the United States will give up two thirds of its strategic nuclear arsenal while Russia will give up about half. Obama will claim this as a victory when it happens, and so will Russia.

However, only Russia will be right. They will have gotten us not only to drop our missile shield (and alienate key allies in our strategy of Russian containment in the process), but also to give up a greater percentage of our nuclear capacity.

Russia's strategy of building an alliance on unaligned but anti-American nations (Iran, Venezuala, North Korea) will get a boost because the US lost this pissing contest, and our strategy of containing Russian expansionism by putting up a bulwark of democratic allied nations right smack up against Russia's border will suffer.

So, OK, maybe that'll all be worth it if we can keep Russian suitcase nukes out of the hands of terrorists. That's what you're saying, right?

The first problem is that the missing suitcase nukes probably never went missing in the first place. That's what actual experts in nonproliferation policy actually believe.

The second problem is that Russia denies that its suitcase nukes exist. Actually, Russia denies that the Soviets ever invented suitcase nukes. This makes it extremely unlikely that they'd actually eliminate them no matter what treaties we sign.

The third problem is that even if Russia had a big suitcase nuke parade up and down Suitcase Nuke Avenue, suitcase nukes are tactical nuclear weapons and the arms reduction treaty we end up signing will cover strategic, not tactical, nuclear weapons.

Right now, the rest of the world sees that we sold out two strategically important allies in order to harm our own interests and strengthen the interests of a traditionally belligerent nation that does quite a bit of business with even more belligerent nations.

We have revealed ourselves as spineless and fickle in the eyes of our allies and potential allies. We have revealed ourselves as weak in the eyes of our enemies.

That's appeasement.

Obama objectively engaged in it.

The discussion is America's standing in the 21st century, not Britain's standing in the 20th. Neville Chamberlain is irrelevant. You brought him up in a desperate attempt to draw attention from the fact that you don't have the faintest clue what the fuck you're talking about.

It didn't work.

Christopher said...

For more information about the supposedly missing Russian suitcase nukes, go here and here.

EnigmatiCore said...

Montana Urban Legend,

I see your capacity for missing the point remains difficult to exceed.

miller said...

This thread made me realize - DOH! I am so slow! - that MUL doesn't argue from a point of belief or of value but simply from the contrary point. Well and good - but then he appears to defend his arbitrary beliefs emotionally.

I'm here both to discuss/argue and and understand/discover the other person. I can't imagine a real person who could really hold the many, many contrarian beliefs; because he is simply arguing, following the argument to understand him is pointless.

So, no offense or slight intended, but I'll likely just scroll over MUL's posts from now on. There's no real person behind the arguments.

(Yes, I believe MUL is a real person. But I no longer believe the real person who is MUL represents himself here other than "I know you said A but I'll always say B, no matter how bizarre and illogical B is.")

But what a self-discovery. I like the argument because it helps me understand the issue and understand the opponent. I couldn't quite place why I didn't like reading trolls, and this made me understand why: I don't enjoy arguing with a literary fiction.

montana urban legend said...

I'm here both to discuss/argue and and understand/discover the other person. I can't imagine a real person who could really hold the many, many contrarian beliefs;

Yep. There really are just that many flaws in what you believe.

because he is simply arguing, following the argument to understand him is pointless.

And because Miller is simply projecting beliefs, rather than looking at ideas objectively, deviating from the ad hominem is a pointless exercise.

montana urban legend said...

"You have no clue what you're talking about. It's so awesome."

So glad to oblige. And so glad to give you an opportunity to not only think as if you're living in the 1980s, but to talk like it, too.

"You're hoping that nobody will notice that you backed off your claim that Obama cleverly turned the Russians against the Iranians because you actually realized that he didn't."

And you're hoping that nobody will notice that you changed the subject before I addressed that separate point.

"Russia will continue to publicly rebuke Iran while, at the same time, providing technical assistance for Iran's peaceful nuclear weapons program. And when people start talking seriously about UN sanctions, Russia will water them down or veto them entirely."

Oh look! A fortune teller!

"In reality, to anyone who knows what the fuck they're talking about, the Obama administration looks like a bunch of fuckwits for crowing that business as usual is some kind of success story."

Personally, I always believe the guy with the more serious case to make is the one that throws around terms like "fuckwits".

"Anyway, you dropped that shit like a hot potato and then you jumped on the nonproliferation bandwagon, suggesting that Obama cleverly sold out our allies to get Russia to reduce its nuclear stockpile."

See above.

"In reality, under the renegotiated START, the United States will give up two thirds of its strategic nuclear arsenal while Russia will give up about half. Obama will claim this as a victory when it happens, and so will Russia."

So what? Starting from absolute numbers of how many weapons each? And what are the relative capabilities of those weapons? What is the quality of them? How about the infrastructure involved... i.e. launch capabilities? I somehow doubt that Russia's "strategic nuclear arsenal" is spiffier than the U.S.'s. I also doubt that, once you get above a certain number of warheads capable of inflicting as much irreparable damage as possible, the number of nukes do any good other than as excess material that can leak out of the control of a less scrupulous country and/or the poor oversight maintained at its facilities.

"However, only Russia will be right. They will have gotten us not only to drop our missile shield (and alienate key allies in our strategy of Russian containment in the process), but also to give up a greater percentage of our nuclear capacity."

You keep going to "missile shield", which you know is a bullshit idea and not a real defense capability, AND you talk about key allies that can no longer be used to keep Russia "contained"... from being poached out of the orbit of the E.U.? No matter what else you have to say about numbers of warheads, now I know you're full of it and stuck with pretending that Russia's either as powerful a country as it was during the Cold War or as attractive a potential ally. Neither is the case and seeing Poland or Czech... as having value as some kind of "buffer" country reflects some kind of inability to tell time and account for the changes that have occurred in BOTH Russia AND Europe since 1989.

montana urban legend said...

"Russia's strategy of building an alliance on unaligned but anti-American nations (Iran, Venezuala, North Korea) will get a boost because the US lost this pissing contest, and our strategy of containing Russian expansionism by putting up a bulwark of democratic allied nations right smack up against Russia's border will suffer."

You are really one nutty, disillusioned Cold Warrior wanna-be, aren't you?

Russia will NOT expand in such a way as to absorb E.U. nations. It can't even hold on to controlling elections in Ukraine. And I love how it somehow escapes you that the E.U. itself is "a bulwark of democratic allied nations right smack up against Russia's border". So the nations in the E.U. are not allied? They're not democratic? What exactly is your problem that prevents you from understanding that there are other countries in the world than the U.S. and Russia with which someone can be aligned?

But I'm glad to see you place such great importance on who wins "pissing contests". Just not sure who else is. I guess appearances are really just that important to you.

Mirror, mirror on the wall... who has the prettiest warhead of all?


"So, OK, maybe that'll all be worth it if we can keep Russian suitcase nukes out of the hands of terrorists. That's what you're saying, right?

The first problem is that the missing suitcase nukes probably never went missing in the first place. That's what actual experts in nonproliferation policy actually believe.

The second problem is that Russia denies that its suitcase nukes exist. Actually, Russia denies that the Soviets ever invented suitcase nukes. This makes it extremely unlikely that they'd actually eliminate them no matter what treaties we sign."

Who says the Russians designed them? Material went missing or was unaccounted for, regardless of whether or not that material was in some weaponized form of a Soviet-designed suitcase bomb.

montana urban legend said...

"The third problem is that even if Russia had a big suitcase nuke parade up and down Suitcase Nuke Avenue, suitcase nukes are tactical nuclear weapons and the arms reduction treaty we end up signing will cover strategic, not tactical, nuclear weapons."

See above. Also see the importance of tactical changes in the advent of the age of terrorism. Also see the fact that that one form of material could be converted to the other.

"Right now, the rest of the world sees that we sold out two strategically important allies in order to harm our own interests and strengthen the interests of a traditionally belligerent nation that does quite a bit of business with even more belligerent nations."

I'm sure it fits your narrative to state as much. But why end there? Didn't you want to get the phrase "thrown under the bus" out of your system while you were at it?

"We have revealed ourselves as spineless and fickle in the eyes of our allies and potential allies. We have revealed ourselves as weak in the eyes of our enemies."

Don't forget "yellow-bellied", "chicken", "pusillanimous", "pigeonhearted", etc., etc., etc., and many other playground taunts.

"That's appeasement."

It's not appeasement when you extract a concession. And mutual arms reductions are a concession. The fact that you see it as not as big a concession as the one you claim the U.S. makes does not mean that Russia's reduction is not still a concession. It is. Whether you like it or not.

"Obama objectively engaged in it."

It's easy to hit a rhetorical home run once you've set up enough red herrings to knock it out of the park, right?

"The discussion is America's standing in the 21st century, not Britain's standing in the 20th. Neville Chamberlain is irrelevant. You brought him up in a desperate attempt to draw attention from the fact that you don't have the faintest clue what the fuck you're talking about."

No, your friend Miller brought him up. He did that at 9:07 PM, 9/26/2009. And he was pretty desperate to do so, and doing so might reveal that he doesn't have the faintest clue what he's talking about. But your argument is still therefore with him -- despite the fact that you both agree to go after me for supposedly not knowing what I'm talking about. But hey, at least I can read.

"It didn't work."

Yeah, Miller. It didn't work. As I told you it didn't. And now your friend Christopher agrees with me on that. He was just too confused to realize that it was the point you were making, not me.

Christopher, someday you might heed your own advice. You might realize that, as I said, the Cold War mindset is as ill-placed in these discussions as are analogies to WWII. But I guess that between you and Miller, we've got the full representation covered for people who don't live in the present tense. Do you guys convene secret meetings and re-enact other wars from decades or even centuries ago? How often does your club get together? Are nachos and cheese dip served? Are girls not allowed? Or do you beckon to wives, etc. and ask them to serve some watered-down beers while barking out foreboding Russian phrases? Do you gather around a re-created "control booth" and later move outdoors to act out scenes from Red Dawn? Are there fights over which one of you gets to wear the admiral's hat?

Just curious.

jr565 said...

Remove the snark and snide and Montana's entries are 99% content free and what content there is not based on any known fact that is shared by people living on the earth with actual knowledge.It's like listening to an argument from someone from Bizarro world.

This clip is truly apropos and descriptive of my reaction to Montana's utterings:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7w64fbqYQY&feature=related

I award you no points and may god have mercy on your soul.

montana urban legend said...

Jesus loves you, jr. And may God have mercy on your soul for posting so many thought-free (at least 99%) comments.

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