September 20, 2009

"What made the lone, piercing cry of 'You lie!' shocking was that it breached a previously secure barrier."

Frank Rich opines:
It was the first time that the violent rage surging in town-hall meetings all summer blasted into the same room as the president.
Violent rage? Think what you will about the forceful expression of outrage — I've often read it in Frank Rich columns — it's different from physical violence. And no one thinks Joe Wilson was about to do something physically violent.
Wilson’s televised shout was tantamount to yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater.
No, shouting "Fire" in a crowded theater causes fearful running for the exits, and it's actually the right thing to do when there actually is a fire. That's why Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. wrote:
The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic.... The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.
I wonder why Frank Rich wanted to evoke Free Speech case law when his aim in this column is to bemoan vigorous speech. I suppose he just meant that neither "You lie" in the House chamber or "Fire" in a crowded theater is good.  Except that "fire" is good when there is a fire, which leaves Rich's analogy setting up the argument that shouting "You lie" during a presidential speech is desirable if the President really is lying. But that's absurd. We'd never get to the end of these already seemingly endless orations if that was the rule.

Back to Rich:
When [Wilson] later explained that his behavior was “spontaneous” rather than premeditated, that was even more disturbing. It’s not good for the country that a lawmaker can’t control his anger at Barack Obama. It gives permission to crazy people.
Not every impolite outburst equals uncontrolled anger, and I don't remember Rich caring about all the angry statements that were aimed at George Bush. I remember him making them. He and lots of other brave dissenters loved calling Bush a liar. I don't remember back then hearing anybody propounding the theory that free speech needed to be tempered lest it give "permission to crazy people."

121 comments:

rhhardin said...

The solution is not to televise the thing.

The fight is over image management.

madawaskan said...

Frank Rich is simply trying to drive the argument into the arena he might know half about-

The Theatre! Darling.

former law student said...

He and lots of other brave dissenters loved calling Bush a liar.

In front of a joint session of Congress? There's a time and a place for everything.

National Lampoon cartoon: Well dressed couple dining at home, son sitting between them: "Yes, Billy. Masturbation is normal. Just not at the dinner table.

Bissage said...

The ejaculation imagery is unmistakable, so hats off to Mr. Rich!

jeff said...

"In front of a joint session of Congress? There's a time and a place for everything."

Right. Only one person allowed to call his opponents liars in that forum. And lie. Which I am actually serious about. Plenty of other place to make that accusation. OTOH, I just don't remember the outrage when the dems booed Bush.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Frank Rich believes in free speech, except when truthfully applied to a democrat president.

Plus, he's really pissed that no Dem thought to yell You Lie! when GWB spoke to Congress. That person would have been lionized with that whole truth to power meme.

lucid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madawaskan said...

What's Rich's opus-

Hot Seat:I'm Impotent?

That and "truthiness"...his other by-product.

lucid said...

There is not enough made of the fact that Wilson when he shouted "You lie!" was in fact telling the truth and Obama has been the one telling huge whoppers about his health care proposals.

If Obama were not lying so egregiously, Wilson would never have shouted at him.

If you lie to people's faces, there are costs.

Frank Rich, like all the otherrace-baiters, is just trying to change the subject from Obama's incompetence and bait-and-switch political tactics.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Are crazy people in the habit of waiting for permission?

Jason (the commenter) said...

So Conservatives are populists now? I thought the masses were the concern of Liberals, but I guess since they took up the "progressive" moniker they gave up any pretense of having popular support.

former law student said...

I just don't remember the outrage when the dems booed Bush.

In a helpful NYT oped this week, I learned the natural reaction to being called a liar in Congress was to challenge the speaker to a duel. Only a swift apology could prevent it.

Boos do not speak to the boo-ee's character.

Jason (the commenter) said...

How can someone shouting "You lie!" be shocking to anyone who had been listening to their constituents over the summer recess?

Oh my, I think I just figured out why many Democrats were shocked by the outburst!

Jason (the commenter) said...

Michael Hasenstab: Frank Rich believes in free speech, except when truthfully applied to a democrat president.

I think Frank Rich is just trying to provide an explanation for the Democrat's reaction. There was no legitimate reason for the emotions they expressed at the time, so they are trying to come up with one now.

We may not be convinced, but I'm sure they have convinced themselves.

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

`


I'll comment on the truth of Rich's column in a second - but first:

Frank Rich is of the same ilk as New York Times editorial columnist Bob Herbert, only Rich has actual talent.

Rich follows today's oh-so-common liberal writer's misrepresentation of facts: just say something is associated with something else, no matter how specious or irrelevant, and "there, I've proved my point". Which is why Frank Rich and the vast majority of liberal commenters will never willingly stand in an actual debate - he knows his weak and false correlations and misrepresented usage of facts will always be decimated by any American with common sense above the age of 10.


That said, Rich actually arrives at the end of today's waste-of-time column with the truth:

He — and our political system — are being seriously tested by a rage that is no less real for being shouted by a demagogue from Fox and a backbencher from South Carolina.

Recognizing that so far Obama's promises, programs, and predictably powerless governance have not alleviated real economic and social anxiety in this country - good for Rich.

But he should have started his column today with that truthful sentence. And then - avoiding his usual digging-himself-into-a-hole quilt of confused metaphors and questionable correlations - he should have stopped and ended his column right there.


True story: 2 years ago, in a credential credit class, the teacher wrote on my essay - "Your style reminds me of Frank Rich".
I still don't know whether that was a meant to be a compliment or not.

Comrade X said...

Let's not bicker and argue about 'oo called 'oo a liar first!

jag said...

The left forgets its unrestrained glee when Pres. Bush had a shoe thrown at him. Liberals seemed very happy to see that barrier breached.

bagoh20 said...

I'm getting to like this stuff: Soon charges of racism or fire will have no effect. Then maybe people will look for smoke instead of just running when they hear the MSM yell.

jeff said...

"Boos do not speak to the boo-ee's character."

Except that they booed during the apparent sacred forum of the president speaking to Congress. If the situation was reversed and the dems called Bush a liar then, and the republicans had booed Obama, we would be reading endless pants wetting about how decorum had been unprecedentedly shattered by the Republicans.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The Democrats are just desperate to spin the righteous outrage of the American public into hate, violence and racism where there are none of those things.

People are upset at the subversion and take over of our government by left wing socialists. People are tired of being called liars to their face by the biggest liar of all, Obama. Hence the outburst.

There is not violence or racism in the current protests and dissent. Nancy can rest easy and put away her delusions.

However, the fact is that the Democrats WANT to have violence and racism because that is the ONLY way they know they can justify their illegal and immoral power grab of the freedoms of the people. They are salivating over the idea that there could be violence. They will probably create something out of thin air themselves.

Should that happen, we will have a self fulfilling prophecy and the Right will not remain civil any longer.

hawkeyedjb said...

"It was the first time that the violent rage surging in town-hall meetings all summer blasted into the same room as the president."

Oh my! Does he mean that some union goons were beating people up in the same room as the president? That some left-winger bit off a guy's finger in the House chamber?

Jason (the commenter) said...

Dust Bunny Queen: The Democrats are just desperate to spin the righteous outrage of the American public into hate, violence and racism where there are none of those things.

I think you are on to something. I heard Bill Clinton say recently that even though Americans were against the proposed healthcare reforms, Democrats should pass them anyway because voters didn't know what they wanted (and would reward Democrats later).

The Democrats need to think of their constituents as irrational; it's the only way they can maintain their world-view.

miller said...

I'm not sure if the libruls will ever stop waving this bloody shirt.

Joe Wilson apologized; apology accepted.

The House voted to reprimand him.

So rather than talk about the issues, the libruls will continue to wave the "You Lie!" banner because that was bad manners!

Isn't refusing to move on also a sign of bad manners?

ricpic said...

At this rate the libs will turn Wilson into a martyr. How exactly does that help their cause?

William said...

He writes a column ostensibly about Glenn Beck without once mentioning the ACORN stories and the Van Jones revelations that Beck is building his audience on. He does, however, mention every single fact about Beck that most people would find alienating: drug and ETOH abuse, conversion to Mormonism, facile weepiness, etc. I have only watched Beck a few times, and I'm not a giant fan. Nonetheless, Beck has done some very good work. If you are writing a criticism of his impact, this should be taken into account.....Rich here demonstrates the sub text of all Democratic arguments: Republicans should be judged by their weakest moments, and Democrats should be judged by their greatest successes. The New Deal is thus defined by the Social Security program. There is never any discussion as to why the depression was so much more severe in the USA than it was in the liberal democracies of Britain and France. The NRA wanted to set nationwide rates for tailor shops to hem a garment. There was much that was stupid and infeffective about the New Deal.....Roosevelt was demonstrably a worse anti-Semite than Nixon. If Rich ever took off his blinders and discovered that they world was larger than the horse's ass immedicately in front of him, he would be dazzled into lunacy.

Methadras said...

Leftists just can't help themselves anymore. It's unbelievable how this people spin a yarn the way they do and think the American public just sits there and goes, uh huh, yeah, you're right Frank Rich, et al.

Instead of showing a jackass as your party mascot, how about showing a man showing a shovel, because these idiots just don't know when to stop digging.

kentuckyliz said...

Joe Wilson's a hero. Keep trashing him, because that is the best method of campaign fundraising ever invented.

Joe Wilson was right.

The Big O skipped Fox News with Chris Wallace this morning, because they were afraid of having questions that weren't softball.

One of the talking heads referred to Joe Wilson (?accidentally?) as Kanye Wilson. Did anyone else catch that?

AC245 said...

"What made the lone, piercing cry of 'You lie!' shocking was that it breached a previously secure barrier."

Related.

"But he has nothing on at all," said a little child at last. "Good heavens! listen to the voice of an innocent child," said the father, and one whispered to the other what the child had said. "But he has nothing on at all," cried at last the whole people. That made a deep impression upon the emperor, for it seemed to him that they were right; but he thought to himself, "Now I must bear up to the end." And the chamberlains walked with still greater dignity, as if they carried the train which did not exist.

edutcher said...

former law student said...

In front of a joint session of Congress? There's a time and a place for everything.

Let's keep in mind that. while Wilson's outburst was a stunt, so was Obambi's speech. It was a marketing ploy, not FDR asking for a declaration of war after Pearl Harbor or Dubya addressing Congress after 9/11. Rich seems to think Wilson-Obama is comparable to Sumner-Brooks.

SMGalbraith said...

Hmm, I'm just not into the "they did it to Bush" arguments.

Boorish and ugly behavior is just that and we're sort of "defining dissent down" by excusing it. Or by pointing to other ugly dissent.

Sure, we can call Rich a hyprocrite just as we can call those on the right who defend this now but were outraged at what was done to Bush.

But I'm not sure how much of the conversation has been advanced by doing so.

That is, if we're having one or are just engaged in spitting contests.

Rambling, me? Yes, this is called stream of consciousness posting.

David said...

Do you suppose that Rich, Herbert et. al. actually believe this stuff, or are just trying to make political hay? Granting them the assumption of some basic integrity, I think they must really believe their analysis.

How can seemingly intelligent people come to such conclusions? It's the echo chamber, the gigantic pompous echo chamber they exist in.

Out here in the boonies, the small towns and the flyover cities, we actually come in touch with ordinary people, some of whom are pretty unhappy about some of the things Obama is trying to do. We know they are not violent. We know they are not racist.

Such contempt these elites have for the rest of America!

chickenlittle said...

Why is the NYT deciding to resume their downward spiral?
I simply don't get it. It must be make-or-break time for them.

OhioAnne said...

A week ago, I wrote a comment in our local paper asking why they STILL were obsesssing over Wilson's statement. They had devoted a whole editorial to how dangerous it was - but gave a scant notice to the murder of a 70 plus year old man who was on oxygen and wore leg braces.

I'll give you that his comment was inappropriate for the time and place - and barely appropriate in other circumstances. Had he not apologized swiftly, I would have condemned him

However, I don't see why ANYONE would want to keep this alive. As (I believe) our esteemed hostess pointed out.... the speech was interupted often by positve responses and no one has complained about that. Obsessing over the one negative comment gives the impression that there is intent to supress any criticism and destroy those who voice it.

That - if true - IS something to be concerned about.

Paco Wové said...

"Hmm, I'm just not into the "they did it to Bush" arguments."

As OhioAnne pointed out, I'm not sensing that the "they did it to Bush" argument is intended as an exculpatory tu quoque, rather that this was not the never-before-seen!!-in-the-history-of-the-universe!!-atrocity!!! that some seem to want it to be.

It was rude and boorish. If politicians were interrupted by hecklers every time they lied, no political speech would ever end.

PatCA said...

Maybe some electromagnetic pulse has erased their memories of the past 8 years?

The secure barrier of nuttiness has been crossed many times in my recent memory.

Big Mike said...

It's worth remembering that (1) the most recent effort to suppress dissent, the Sedition Act of 1918, was enacted during the administration of Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, and (2) resulted in the relegation of the Democratic Party to minority status until the advent of FDR and the Great Depression.

Christopher said...

Remember there is nothing wrong about yelling fire in a crowded theater WHEN THERE IS A FIRE. It is probably a moral imperative that one yells fire in such a circumstance. So when Rich didn't accuse Wilson of FALSELY yelling fire perhaps it was his subtle admission that he agrees with Wilson.

somefeller said...

Out here in the boonies, the small towns and the flyover cities, we actually come in touch with ordinary people, some of whom are pretty unhappy about some of the things Obama is trying to do. We know they are not violent. We know they are not racist. Such contempt these elites have for the rest of America!

Ah, yes, the predictable elitism charge. Because, as we all know, there are no ordinary people in New York and DC, and the "rest of America" is entirely composed of nice, ordinary people who politely oppose Barack Obama's policies. If only Obama would listen to such such wise, respectable,
salt-of the earth people.

Maybe, these "elites" (which, during the last election, constituted more than half of the country) have good reason to feel contempt for some of the rest of America (as pointed out above, the Obama Derangement Syndrome crowd isn't all of "the rest of America"), at least the part that is represented by the tea party crowd. If don't want people to feel contempt for you, don't act contemptibly.

somefeller said...

Obviously, there should be a "you" after the "If" in that last sentence.

OhioAnne said...

Somefeller

Ah, yes, the predictable elitism charge. Because, as we all know, there are no ordinary people in New York and DC, and the "rest of America" is entirely composed of nice, ordinary people who politely oppose Barack Obama's policies.


Somefeller, in addition to leaving out a word, you added one that was not in the original comment.

The poster NEVER said "entirely", he said "some". "Entirely" was YOUR word - not his.

And a question....

During the major anti-war rallies, I saw numerous signs that I would categorize as "anti-semitic". If you follow YOUR logic, doesn't that mean that I should assume that the movement was "entirely" made up of "anti-semites".

During now President Obama's campaign, I saw numerous signs and t-shirts refering to Senator Hillary Clinton as the "b-word" or "c-word". If I follow YOUR logic, doesn't that mean I should assume that his supporters are "entirely" made up of sexist pigs?

If we follow YOUR logic ...

Bissage said...

I might not be the only Althousian who sees a block of bolded text and skips over to the next comment.

somefeller said...

Sorry, OhioAnne, David was the one who used the term "ordinary people" without qualifiers vs. the NY/DC elites that Frank Rich presumably speaks for (the "some" qualifier came later to talk about Obama opponents among the "ordinary people" of America), and he used the term "rest of America" without any qualifiers at all. If you line up my criticisms with his comments, they line up pretty well. It's the elitism cliche, used once again.

And with regard to the foul signs and t-shirts you mention, the difference is that such people were a much smaller portion of the anti-Iraq War / pro-Obama crowd than the type I'm talking about and that Rich is talking about. When tea partiers (see, I'm being nice and not calling them teabaggers) start shunning people who come to protests with guns (when it's legal to carry them in public) or with signs saying that they'll come armed next time (when it's not legal for them to carry them in public), maybe we'll talk.

Penny said...

In his last paragraph, Rich notes what is the most important thing said in his article.

THE RAGE IS REAL.

And this rage is a challenge to our current political system.

Andrea said...

"When tea partiers (see, I'm being nice and not calling them teabaggers) start shunning people who come to protests with guns (when it's legal to carry them in public) or with signs saying that they'll come armed next time (when it's not legal for them to carry them in public), maybe we'll talk."

Wow, that black guy with the gun really scared you, didn't he?

madawaskan said...

I'm a comment reading whore-what can I say.

OK damn it I only scan C-4.

But then again I don't join clubs with high standards-they'd never get me...heh.

OhioAnne said...

Somefeller,

Actually, I find it different to sort out your sentences at all - let alone "line them up". You remind me of my grandmother who thought faster than she wrote.

Of course, there are "ordinary people" in every part of the US. IF that is what you are trying to say, then you are correct.

However, it is also true that those ordinary people either are the people in the crowds themselves or know them and know that not every single person is a Nazi, racist, or 'clinging to guns and religion' as SOME people have tended to claim as a means of dismissing their very real concerns. In that sense, the person you quote is as correct as you are.

As you completely unsubstantiated claim that the percentages of anti-semitic or sexist signs at the other events was smaller - well, it is completely unsubstantiated so we will take it for what it is .... your opinon.

As to your logic that the smaller number means that it is somehow acceptable - sorry, not seeing that.

I didn't seen the pro-Iraq people "shunning" the anti-semitic messages or the pro-Obama folks "shunning the sexist signs .... should we ignore their point until they do as well?

Big Mike said...

And with regard to the foul signs and t-shirts you mention, the difference is that such people were a much smaller portion of the anti-Iraq War / pro-Obama crowd than the type I'm talking about and that Rich is talking about.

That simply isn't true.

OhioAnne said...

Bissage said...
I might not be the only Althousian who sees a block of bolded text and skips over to the next comment.


Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Bissage, some of us are older and can see the block text better than the italized version. But, I will switch if it bugs some.

OhioAnne said...

And since we are discussing the mechanics of the thing ....

How do you add a link?

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

The trick to allow yourself to commit terrible deeds and immoral acts against other people is to first marginalize them. Make them something less. Less than you, not as good as you and certainly almost less than human. This is what happens in fascist states like Nazi Germany and now in the USA.

Once you have created the perception that the 'enemy' is sub human you can then rationalize your own evil deeds. Jews aren't quite human, gypsies are sub human, the mentally ill are not really humans....so let's kill them. Let's perform experiments upon them. Let's make them work as slaves and call them 3/5's of a human. Anything sound familiar here?

This is exactly what the Democrats, the Leftist and Obama is attempting to do to the people who are not buying their line of bullshit. Marginalize and demonize ordinary people who don't agree with you.

The "teabaggers" are said to be violent, they are Nazis (this is very ironic since the fascists are on the left), they are racists, they are ignorant, hillbilly, rednecks, uneducated, speak with funny accents, are creationists, religious nuts etc..... and the list goes on.

The Bankers are nasty capitalists who are stealing from you and must be taken over by the benevolent government. The Doctors are ripping out your tonsils and cutting off feet for money while the greedy insurance companies refuse to pay. They must be punished and Obama will make everything thing good once he eliminates these sub human greedy entities.


Marginalize them and then excuse your own terrible actions.

somefeller said...

Wow, that black guy with the gun really scared you, didn't he?

Ah, and here's another cliche, the "people with guns scare you" cliche. Sorry, dear, I grew up in Texas, hunting at the family ranch on a regular basis, and probably have spent a lot more time around firearms than most people who post here. Guns per se don't bother me. But, since I've been around them and people who use them for a long time, I also know the importance of context, and how behavior that's fine at the hunting camp (like carrying your sidearm on your belt or rifle slung over your shoulder) isn't acceptable at a political rally, and I also know the message that one generally intends to send when showing a firearm. Better luck next time.

And OhioAnne, I probably do think faster than I can type. This is not a bad thing, as ability in the former is more important than in the latter. With regard to signage and attitudes, all I can say is, the proof is in the pudding, and one can find a lot more nasty stuff (see the polls regarding birther views among the GOP base and the mainstreaming of John Birch Society-level nonsense by guys like Glenn Beck) finding its way into the respectable right (which is neither nasty or bigoted) than truther or anti-semitic nonsense finding its way into the respectable left.

SMGalbraith said...

The double-edged sword of populism is going to skewer a lot of people - right and left - over the coming years.

If the left thinks this is mostly wingnuts and racists, they'll be in big trouble.

And if the right thinks this is mostly directed at Obama, they'll be in big trouble.

Unsustainable debt vs. unsustainable entitlements.

The gathering red ink.

OhioAnne said...

But, Somefeller, do YOU shun those who have voiced anti-semitc or sexist views?

I too have grown up around guns. That why I find your views about censoring messages just because they may contain a reference to guns to be strange.

Your "lot more" prove nothing of course. Again, simply your opinion. It would be like me making assumptions about the left solely based on the number of Democrats who have said in polls that they believe the Bush Administration was complicit in 9/11.

OhioAnne said...

SMGalbraith:

Agreed

madawaskan said...

Ohio Anne-

[a href="althouse.blogspot.com"]Althouse[/a]



Replace these brackes [ ] with the corresponding

< >

In the quotes you paste the url in the place of "Althouse" you name the link anything you want.

Bissage said...

(1) OhioAnne, I thought that was funny!

You do what you think is best, of course, but my personal view is that long passages are to be avoided because shorter is better. Fortunately, Mrs. Bissage sees it that way, too.

I generally skip any big block of text, whether bold, italic, or plain. Life is short. There are some exceptions, but they are rare.

(2) To make a link, do this: [a href=http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2009/specials/sag/beauty/anne_hathaway.jpg]Your Words Go Here[/a]

Just replace the [ and the ] with a < and a >

See what I mean?

Have fun!!!

OhioAnne said...

Thank you, Madawaskan.

I know that it can be annoying to try to explain it without actually doing it so I appreciate your efforts.

Bissage said...

. . . or what madawaskan said.

Ha!

OhioAnne said...

Bissage,

Good to know Mrs. Bissage agrees shorter is better. LOL!

Thank you for your assistance as well. I will practice it later.

I actually should be working on my class prep. School starts tommorrow.

somefeller said...

But, Somefeller, do YOU shun those who have voiced anti-semitc or sexist views? I too have grown up around guns. That why I find your views about censoring messages just because they may contain a reference to guns to be strange.

I actually haven't met any such people. But, I'll assume for the sake of argument and because I've seen a few examples in pictures posted on the internet that they exist, though I haven't seen any of them around at Democratic Party fundraisers or events I've attended (I admit, I don't hang out with in the protestor scene, which is more fringe left / Green Party oriented than it is Democratic), and if so I'll shun them if I run into them.

And regarding guns and political commentary, my previous comment states my position. If you display a gun at a political event or bring a sign about how you may need to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights if things don't go your way politically, the message you are trying to send is clear. Now, admittedly, I don't think many or most of the people bringing guns or talking about them will actually do anything violent (mainly because they are chickenshit Walter Mitty types more than anything else), but that sort of thing is still an act of political thuggery that has no place in a civilized society.

Old Dad said...

somefeller,

Show me a remotely rational, evidence based argument that a majority of the tea party protesters carried signs that you think are nutty. Did you count all "75,000" in DC with your super duper sign reading mental powers or simply assume that Charles Jonson and Arianna Huffington would naturally post represnetative pictures. I suppose you used the same magic powers to conclude that the Code Pink nutjobs were a fringy minority.

Let us in on the secret. Hell, the MSM couldn't even count the people, let alone determine the relative nuttiness of their signs.

Chase said...

somefeller,

And with regard to the foul signs and t-shirts you mention, the difference is that such people were a much smaller portion of the anti-Iraq War / pro-Obama crowd than the type I'm talking about and that Rich is talking about.

With regard to signage and attitudes, all I can say is, the proof is in the pudding, and one can find a lot more nasty stuff (see the polls regarding birther views among the GOP base and the mainstreaming of John Birch Society-level nonsense by guys like Glenn Beck) finding its way into the respectable right (which is neither nasty or bigoted) than truther or anti-semitic nonsense finding its way into the respectable left.

Callin' you out, brother:

Prove it. (Darn, means Bissage will miss this comment).


Time saving hint: You won't be able to. We can play dueling pictures and anecdotes 24/7 - and I won't, because your world view will make you parse any straw you can grasp as "evidence" to support yourself, no matter how ultimately unprovable.

Just sayin stuff like you did above - because it aligns with what you want to believe - doesn't make it so.

Just sayin'.

Now back to our regularly scheduled conversation on the ridiculously sourced and definitely disprovable leftist arguments represented by Frank Rich, who speaks for every liberal, of course . . . . .

madawaskan said...

Well I tell you what-I've just been rendered dyslexic for an hour because I was trying to get the escape html to work-and it-ain't-not for me anyways.

That'll give me OCD for awhile aaaaargh.

Bissage-

It was never you that came up short?

Was it always Meade going on at length?

Heh....

madawaskan said...

Oh ya-

Let's Talk Amongst Ourselves about Bissage!

Is he bettuh than buttuh-or just "wonderful"-discuss!

Go ahead be bold!


[Bissage -just jokin' you know you can take it.]

somefeller said...

Show me a remotely rational, evidence based argument that a majority of the tea party protesters carried signs that you think are nutty.

I never said a majority did, but a really big portion of them sure did carry them, and they apparently weren't asked by their co-protestors to put that stuff away. The sheer volume of them (as evidenced by the photos being circulated on many websites) certainly show they weren't rare. And I didn't even mention the signs that depicted Obama as a witch doctor. Further, it looks like a majority were happy with the "Bury Obamacare with Kennedy" signs that Dick Armey's FreedomWorks group printed and circulated, given their popularity with the crowd. Also, the popularity of Glenn Beck should tell you something about the movement of the fringe right into the mainstream.

Roger J. said...

ummm/m--who is frank rich? and why is what he says important?

somefeller said...

And Chase, here's one for you on the birthers. Ah, yes, I know the next comment - the polling source is a liberal group, so how can it be trusted...

Dogwood said...

Also, the popularity of Glenn Beck should tell you something about the movement of the fringe right into the mainstream.

Beck is popular because he is the only one in the media holding Obama and the left accountable, see Van Jones, ACORN, etc., etc.

I don't even watch Beck but I find myself eagerly waiting to see who he takes down next.

Old Dad said...

somefeller,

Your argument is ridiculous. What's a really big portion? 5%?I'll stipulate, for the sake of argument, that 5% is a really big portion. Now prove that 5% or more carried nuty signs. You can't.

Chase said...

Ah, yes, I know the next comment - the polling source is a liberal group, so how can it be trusted...

No, but your statement above was predictable.

Keep digging, brother. Every shovelful you bring up just keeps proving my point.

Go Somefeller! Go Somefeller! Go Somefeller, Go!

Just Lurking said...

My first reaction to the Wilson outburst was Wilson was an ass; playing into the hands of those who wish to portray the opposition as boorish. However, I hadn't heard the speech or the context. When I did, my opinion changed, for the following reason.

Obama used the speech as an opportunity to impugn opposition to an increasingly unpopular bill. That crossed a line of decorum, that was met in kind by Wilson. In other words, he reaped what he sowed.

Frank Rich and others are stuck on stupid for harping on this. The man apologized, and he was censured. What more do they want- blood?

Sofa King said...

I feel that nobody has made the obvious point here:

As I thought most people were awares, the example of yelling "fire" in a crowded theater is the sort of prototypical example of speech that is not just undesirable but not protected by the First Amendment. When you are arguing in court that certain speech is not constitutionally protected, you analogize it to this example. So when Rich does the same thing, I read him as making the same argument. Even if he does not explicitly make the argument, IF you agree with the arguments he has made, then you have no real reason to think such speech should not be illegal.

Beau said...

If you display a gun at a political event or bring a sign about how you may need to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights if things don't go your way politically, the message you are trying to send is clear

I'm curious about the motivation of people overtly bringing guns to a political event.

The only person I saw interviewed basically said 'because I can'. I wanted to the interviewer to ask him if he wore it to a movie theatre.

It will be interesting if, as time goes by, more people do openly carry guns (in those states that allow it). Would the non-gun wearing people become desensitized or would they begin to object.

Dogwood said...

Would the non-gun wearing people become desensitized or would they begin to object.

There is an active open-carry movement in several states and desensitizing people to the presence of a firearm is one of the goals for some of these groups.

Seems reasonable and harmless, although I still prefer conceal carry FWIW.

Beau said...

Seems reasonable and harmless, although I still prefer conceal carry FWIW.

Why is that?

somefeller said...

No, but your statement above was predictable. Keep digging, brother. Every shovelful you bring up just keeps proving my point.

Whatever. You asked me to show some evidence of the mainstreaming of fringe views like birtherism, and I provided a poll on the acceptance of birtherism among the GOP base and the example of the popularity of the wackadoodle talk show host Glenn Beck among conservatives. But, if you want to ignore those things and move on to other points, I don't blame you.

marvin said...

Why is that?

There are a lot of issues concerning open carry that aren't present with concealed carry. Open carry requires the user to be proficient in retention techniques in case some nutter decides to go for a gun grab. This is also an issue that police have to deal with. Also, openly carried firearms carry a social stigma that may be undesirable in non-firearm friendly crowds unless one is a law enforcement officer.

Generally open carry people do it for one of three reasons. It's quite a bit more comfortable than concealed carry, presentation time (holster to firing stance) is significantly faster, and it makes a political statement in a big way.

SMGalbraith said...

In his criticism of those justices who wish to cite foreign law when making rulings, Justice Scalia gave the metaphor of the football stadium filled with 100,000 spectators and one then...

"Looking out over the crowd and singling out of this immense group your friends."

You're not really citing foreign rulings, he argues, you're just selecting those cases that are friendly to your beliefs.

As with the protests today, we see folks looking out over the crowds and singling out those faces and signs and actions that are "friendly" to what they want to believe.

Pretty apt metaphor in both cases.

In both situations I think, as Scalia is arguing, we need to look elsewhere to determine our views.

Synova said...

I think that open carry people are aware of the social stigma and that's why they're trying to do what they can to make the open carry of firearms seem ordinary.

I suppose concealed carry is more secure because others don't know you've got a gun on you, or at least most people don't realize it. But when I've considered the issue of concealed carry (as in, do I want to) a purse doesn't seem secure at all and a shoulder holster would require a complete and rather odd wardrobe revamp, not to mention that it's too warm for a jacket most of the time.

There is probably a market for someone to design a regular holster that disguises the weapon shape a bit and is slightly harder to get into... but tied on... unlike a purse that isn't even connected to you.

Sofa King said...

The usual reason to prefer concealed carry is public policy is that the benefits it produces in deterring crime (such as they are) accrue to noncarriers along with carriers, whereas open carry (if concealed carry is prohibited) will tend to accrue benefits to the carriers but at the expense of the noncarriers (by making them more attractive targets for crime).

Quayle said...

Because, as we all know, there are no ordinary people in New York and DC

Sometimes people alter their whole mindset based on their surroundings.

Case in point, a time we were in New York City around Lincoln Center one Sunday afternoon. (I grew up in New York metro area, and my wife is from So. California, but we were living in Colorado at the time of this story.)

We passed a table of an animal shelter, and there were some cats in cages they were hoping to find homes.

My wife can't pass cats or dogs without stopping.

The woman asked whether my wife had a cat, hoping to place the little darling.

My wife said, "I used to but it got killed by a coyote."

The animal woman was shocked and outraged at how my clearly vicious and stupid wife allowed that to happen in Manhattan (as though my wife kept coyotes and fed cats to them.)

"Well, we have a lot of coyotes around our house in Colorado, and the cat got out one time and we didn't know it. You know - food chain."

The lady was still shocked.

Coyotes were clearly not part of the food chain she knew anything about.

Synova said...

I don't quite get the animal shelters around here.

They "adopt" out cats at the local pet stores. Costs over $90 to "adopt" a big old adult cat.

Why would anyone do that when there are any number of kittens to be given away or adult cats that need homes and the owner will just give it to you?

Even the stray adolescent kitten that my veterinarian had treated and spent money on was free. (I took him back to get neutered, of course.)

The same $90 cats have been at the one pet store I go to for the better part of a year... and that's just when I noticed.

Beau said...

and it makes a political statement in a big way.

That it does. There have been times in a movie theatre, when I'd like to make an unspoken statement, to the people sitting behind me who keep kicking the seat after being asked to stop. A peaceful person at heart, there have been times in my life when my button has been pushed just that one too many times by someone obnoxious looking for a fight, and a fantasy plays out where I stand up and say' I'll just have to shoot you then'. Kind of like Indiana Jones in that scene where he goes for the gun instead of the whip.

montana urban legend said...

Not every impolite outburst equals uncontrolled anger, and I don't remember Rich caring about all the angry statements that were aimed at George Bush. I remember him making them. He and lots of other brave dissenters loved calling Bush a liar.

I'm wondering what it takes to conflate shouting something disruptive and disrespectful of the president in person with writing something about him in a column.

montana urban legend said...

And once again, just for the record, we're talking about doing this at a joint session of Congress. Not that I suppose that matters to people too desperate to feel they could have effectively made their point on the National Mall...

Dogwood said...

Why is that?

Sorry for the delay, stepped away from the computer for awhile.

Others have covered the bases of open vs. conceal carry.

Personally, conceal carry is just more convenient and I'm not interested in making a political statement every time I step out the door.

I don't mind if others choose to do so, but it just isn't my style.

If you more info, just Google open carry vs conceal carry and you'll find yourself in the middle of a healthy debate.

Paco Wové said...

"...once again, just for the record, we're talking about doing this at a joint session of Congress."

Yes, we're all aware of that part of your script. The horror! O, the humanity!

OhioAnne said...

Somefeller,

So you have decided to dodge the question about will you shun protesters who carry signs that are anti-semitic and/or sexist unless you PERSONALLY see them despite ample evidence of their existence at anti-war and Obama rallies?

But you will condemn EVERY protester at the 9/12 rallies because you have found pictures of a 1/2 dozen signs that you find objectionable on the internet?

That's like criticizing the Tea Party people for their birthers but ignoring the polls showing how many Democrats believe 9/11 was a inside job .... oh, wait. You did that too.

Next you will be claiming that Dick Army's group printed some type of objectionable sign that actually was printed by a different group ...

montana urban legend said...

"...once again, just for the record, we're talking about doing this at a joint session of Congress."

Yes, we're all aware of that part of your script.


Some of us don't need scripts. Reality works perfectly fine.

The horror! O, the humanity!

O, The reality!

somefeller said...

It's rather hard to shun people that I'm not around, OhioAnne. But rest assured, if I run across such people in a social or political setting (doubtful), I will do so.

somefeller said...

Oh, and yes, the Obamacare/Kennedy sign wasn't printed by FreedomWorks. That was my mistake. It was printed by the charming people at the American Life League and widely distributed at the 9/12 rally that FreedomWorks promoted. That makes all the difference in the world.

Henry said...

Frank Rich's condescension to the blowhards is ironic, to say the least. Like his imagining of his conservative bête noires, his analysis consists of personal smears and manufactured outrage. He avoids substantive arguments against his ideas in favor of the silliest and most extreme. He beds down with strawmen and wakes up with scapegoats.

As for the holy sacrament of the Joint of Session of Congress, if that's your new religion, count me out. I'm a heathen.

scinfinity said...

Whatever. You asked me to show some evidence of the mainstreaming of fringe views like birtherism, and I provided a poll on the acceptance of birtherism among the GOP base and the example of the popularity of the wackadoodle talk show host Glenn Beck among conservatives. But, if you want to ignore those things and move on to other points, I don't blame you.

Wish to compare that to the mainstreaming of Trutherism amongst the Democrats?

former law student said...

synova -- the typical animal shelter -- tax supported or a recognized charity -- acts rationally as you remember. There are various "rescue" groups of volunteers -- some of whom are a bit batty IMHO. They will keep the cats that fall into their hands as long as possible, waiting for the perfect owner-candidate to show up. The $90 weeds out the riff-raff, and, if it is ever paid, will cover the weeks and months of out-of-pocket expenses.

Rational rescue groups size up the adopters to see if they can cope with pet ownership.

Barlycorn, John said...

The Democratics created the new normal. Now they don't like it. Go figure.

montana urban legend said...

It's not about a joint session of congress constituting a holy sacrament. It's about respecting rules and boundaries. You know, the kind of things Glenn Beck has to remind his viewers about, apparently...

Barlycorn, John said...

"Bury Obamacare with Kennedy" sure was rude. It should have read "Mary Jo was snuff waterboarded before waterboarding was cool"

AST said...

Frank Rich is a solipsist, which is a bad thing to be when you're supposed to be writing for other entities. Or he might be egocentric since only his opinion of what constitutes free speech and who the crazy people areseems to count.

Personally, I'd enjoy these speeches more if they were conducted like the Question Time of the British House of Commons. The Brits have given permission to crazy people to engage in free ranging debate.

It would be interesting to see how sharp our politicians would be in such a system. I doubt that most of them would get re-elected for lack of wit, and I think Obama would look like a stumble bum .

Patrick said...

Can truth be Joe Wilson's defense in any way? The day after his outburst, it did in fact come to light that, contrary to the President's assertion, illegal immigrants would not be be barred from accessing this new system of socialized medicine.

Also, not to bang the "They Did It To Bush" drum too hard, but I seem to remember Democrat hecklers in the 2005 SOTU speech.

Synova said...

Boo'ing is perfectly acceptable. It is the exact same thing as applause.

Wilson should have shouted out "BOO!!! BOO!!! HISS!! BOO!!"

And then it wouldn't have been disrespectful at all.

Henry said...

Let's just pretend that no one ever, in any session of Congress, joint or otherwise, had ever done anything rude. Let's pretend that Joe Wilson was the first member of congress ever to retort, boo, stand up, sit down, rustle papers, snicker, sneer, sigh, fart, or do anything else to break the rules of decorum.

I still wouldn't care.

Even if Emily Post and Miss Manners both said tut, I wouldn't care (and I like Miss Manners).

miller said...

The cool thing is that Frank Rich is coming to town (with Stephen Sondheim) to lecture us (I mean, talk to us) about the theatre and how it should support universal health care (I mean, how it should talk about universal values).

Now, I'm confused about Frank Rich. Is he a theatre critic or an airhead political commentator?

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

Miller,

When it comes to Frank Rich, pick one from column A and one from column B.

Joe said...

If it's rude to shout "Liar" during a presidential address to Congress, it follows that it's also rude to shout "Right On". Does it not follow then that it's rude to stand and cheer every other sentence? (Which is why I stopped watching State of the Union Addresses and speeches like this one. I compromised when I watched Bush's post 9-11 speech and regretted it.)

Jim Treacher said...

In front of a joint session of Congress? There's a time and a place for everything.

Exactly.

OhioAnne said...

somefeller said...
It's rather hard to shun people that I'm not around, OhioAnne. But rest assured, if I run across such people in a social or political setting (doubtful), I will do so.


Finally ... FINALLY ... You ADMIT the extemely obvious.

It is hard to shun that which you don't see. So, if the signs you are complaining about existed at the 9/12 event, chances are only a few people in their immediate vecinity saw them. So when you condemn the ENTIRE crowd, you are condemning them for violating a standard that you personally aren't willing to live by.

Some would call you a hypocrite.

OhioAnne said...

Oh, and yes, the Obamacare/Kennedy sign wasn't printed by FreedomWorks. That was my mistake. It was printed by the charming people at the American Life League and widely distributed at the 9/12 rally that FreedomWorks promoted. That makes all the difference in the world.

So you are saying that if "anti-semitic" signs are seen at the anti-war rallies, the anti-war groups that promoted the rallies are "anti-semitic"?

So you are saying that if the "sexist" statements are seen at the pro-Obama rallies, then Obama is "sexist"?

Well, I agree with you that Obama is one of the most sexist presidents we have had in quite awhile, but I don't think he is personally responsible for EVERY sign someone may hand out at a rally.

However, if that is YOUR opinion, then .......

algie said...

Ode to a cracked egg
or
Circumstances alter cases

Your words mean what you want them to mean
On this fact you ought to come clean
No more and no less
There's no need to guess
Truth is you're just venting your spleen


....nnnn..'o.o'..uu!u....algie
Illegitimi nOn carborundum

Jon Sandor said...

Roosevelt was demonstrably a worse anti-Semite than Nixon.




And Jimmy Carter was demonstrably a worse racist than Nixon. As always, these inconvienent truths were airbrushed out of history by our Prava-like media.

Jon Sandor said...

If you display a gun at a political event or bring a sign about how you may need to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights if things don't go your way politically, the message you are trying to send is clear




Yes, the message that you actually believe in the ideas contained in the Declaration of Inependence.

Jon Sandor said...

When tea partiers (see, I'm being nice and not calling them teabaggers)




This is why I'm so underwhelmed by the lefts sudden obsession with Joe Wilsons manners. These are people, all the way up into the senior media, who habitually refer to those who disagree with them by using the disgusting sexual slur "teabaggers". But when the mood takes them they'll act like they live in Victorian England.


start shunning people who come to protests with guns (when it's legal to carry them in public)



Why should we "shun" people who lawfully exercise their constitutional rights?

Aaron said...

Its pretty pathetic that democrats have settled into a permanent "shut up, they explained" mindset. Its a silent confession of how weak their arguments are that they are constantly tryign to shut down debate. Its really a little frightening because even when they hold all of the reigns of power, they still seem to fundamentally disbelieve in the value of democracy and informed consent.

former law student said...

If it's rude to shout "Liar" during a presidential address to Congress, it follows that it's also rude to shout "Right On".

I don't see how it follows. The tort of defamation is not matched by a complementary tort of approbation. Further, the idea that positive and negative outbursts are equally rude is flawed. If it was unacceptable for Pastor Wright to shout out "God Damn America" during his homily, that would not mean it would be unacceptable for a pastor to shout "God Bless America."

kcom said...

The whole joint session thing was verging on an abuse of position itself.

"Joint sessions of the United States Congress are the gatherings together of both houses of the United States Congress (the House of Representatives and Senate). Joint sessions are held on special occasions such as the State of the Union Address and presidential inaugurations."

What was the special occasion in this instance - "my legislation is tanking"?

Should a president call a joint session for a goal as partisan as trying to sell one particular bill that he favors. Or should it be reserved for more bipartisan events that relate to the business of the nation as whole? This whole thing has a Judy Garland "let's put on a show" mentality to it that says amateur hour. It's just that now the props are bigger. Another example of the "I won" mentality that rules Obama.

Squid said...

Why should we "shun" people who lawfully exercise their constitutional rights?

They're already shunning people who exercise their First Amendment rights. Why not the Second?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

In front of a joint session of Congress? There's a time and a place for everything.

Yes and it was the perfect time and place because it actually got some results. Obama was using Congress' time to call people liars while he was lying out of both sides of his mouth. Obama was using Congress for a publicity stunt.

So you expect the Congress Critter to sit there and take it? NO!! Wilson is representing his constituants. He is THEIR voice and Obama was denigrating the people that Wilson represents.

I think that Wilson and others should either not have shown up for the event or silently stood up and turned their backs on Obama while he was bloviating and insulting people.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here is a great opportunity for conservatives to play the victim:

Whack a Wingnut!

algie said...

to AlphaLiberal

In reasoned and polite debate
You've come to the table quite late
Your lack of style
Would make me smile
Except that you subtly push hate


....nnnn..'o.o'..uu!u....algie
Illegitimi nOn carborundum