May 13, 2008

Barack Obama supports the “idea” of Israel… and of the US [Karl]

Two passages from Barack Obama’s interview with Jeffrey Goldberg for The Atlantic reveal more about Obama’s thinking than one might notice upon a first reading:

JG: Do you think that justice is still on Israel’s side?

BO: I think that the idea of a secure Jewish state is a fundamentally just idea, and a necessary idea, given not only world history but the active existence of anti-Semitism, the potential vulnerability that the Jewish people could still experience. I know that that there are those who would argue that in some ways America has become a safe refuge for the Jewish people, but if you’ve gone through the Holocaust, then that does not offer the same sense of confidence and security as the idea that the Jewish people can take care of themselves no matter what happens. That makes it a fundamentally just idea.

That does not mean that I would agree with every action of the state of Israel, because it’s a government and it has politicians, and as a politician myself I am deeply mindful that we are imperfect creatures and don’t always act with justice uppermost on our minds. But the fundamental premise of Israel and the need to preserve a Jewish state that is secure is, I think, a just idea and one that should be supported here in the United States and around the world.

Obama likes the concept alright, but not so much the execution.  What is missing from this eggheaded answer (and some of his other answers) is a recognition that Israel is — and has always been — in an existential struggle with most of its neighbors, who do not recognize Israel’s right to exist and would like to see the nation wiped from the face of the Earth.

However, Obama does touch on the existential issue in another answer:

The notion that a vibrant, successful society with incredible economic growth and incredible cultural vitality is still plagued by this notion that this could all end at any moment — you know, I don’t know what that feels like, but I can use my imagination to understand it. I would not want to raise my children in those circumstances. I want to make sure that the people of Israel, when they kiss their kids and put them on that bus, feel at least no more existential dread than any parent does whenever their kids leave their sight.

Many people might conclude that Obama’s imagination leaves something to be desired on that topic, given his disdain for more hawkish positions in The Atlantic interview, the longtime spiritual adviser who declared Israel a “dirty word,” his coterie of advisers urging a more “even-handed” approach to the Israeli conflict, and his oft-stated desire to unconditionally meet with with Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad – who is known for denying the Holocaust and wanting to wipe Israel off the map.  In the interview, Obama pretends to be baffled at the skepticism of others, which is either a dangerous blind spot on his part or an attempt to con his audience.

Yet the way Obama thinks of Israel is not all that different from the way he views the United States.  Consider his remarks on the campaign trail in North Carolina:

My patriotism is rooted in the fact that my story, Michelle’s story, is not possible anywhere else on Earth. That the American dream, despite this country’s imperfections, has always been there… That there are ladders of opportunity that all of us can climb. That we’re all created equal. That we’re all endowed with certain inalienable rights — life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness… That we’re willing to shed blood for those liberties, we’re willing to speak out for those liberties… That we can make this country more just and more equal and more prosperous and more unified. That’s why I love this country. That’s why you love this country.

That is of course inspiring and perhaps otherwise unremarkable by itself.  However, Obama made these comments primarily as a response to the controversies over his wife’s comment that “for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country,” his association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who compared the 9/11 attacks to “chickens coming home to roost,” his remarks about “bitter” small-town voters clinging to God and guns, and even the otherwise trivial issue of whether he wears a flag lapel pin.  In this context, it is worth revisiting his defense to this seemingly trivial complaint:

The truth is that right after 9/11 I had a pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security.

I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest. Instead I’m gonna’ try to tell the American people what I believe what will make this country great and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism.

Obama later amplified this explanation:

Somebody noticed I wasn’t wearing a flag lapel pin and I told folks, well you know what? I haven’t probably worn that pin in a very long time. I wore it right after 9/11. But after a while, you start noticing people wearing a lapel pin, but not acting very patriotic. Not voting to provide veterans with resources that they need. Not voting to make sure that disability payments were coming out on time.

My attitude is that I’m less concerned about what you’re wearing on your lapel than what’s in your heart. And you show your patriotism by how you treat your fellow Americans, especially those who served. You show your patriotism by being true to our values and our ideals and that’s what we have to lead with is our values and our ideals.

Thus (similar to his purported support for Israel), Obama’s patriotism is grounded in a belief in American values and ideals — as he sees them.  Conversely, those who disagree with Obama on issues of national security or veterans’ benefits are not true patriots to him.  Indeed, we can see this theme clearly in a separate defense Obama offered regarding the flag pin: 

A party that presided over a war in which our troops did not get the body armor they needed, or were sending troops over who were untrained because of poor planning, or are not fulfilling the veterans’ benefits that these troops need when they come home, or are undermining our Constitution with warrantless wiretaps that are unnecessary?

That is a debate I am very happy to have. We’ll see what the American people think is the true definition of patriotism.

Interestingly, Obama seems to have been content to abandon the flag as a symbol of those ideals to those who he does not consider true patriots (even as his ubiquitous camapign logo features red and white stripes against a blue “O”).  It thus should surprise no one that he might consider William Ayers, who danced on the flag (not to mention bombed the Pentagon) as “mainstream.”  After all, Ayers was just speaking out on issues of national security… with explosives. 

That issues of body armor, military training, or veterans’ benefits might actually be debatable among reasonable people apparently does not occur to Obama.  Nor does it seem that Obama is aware of FDR’s warrantless wiretapping during wartime (not surprising, given his general ignorance of WWII history).  Or it is possible that Obama excuses FDR because FDR was a Democrat the US faced an existential threat in WWII, whereas Obama believes the 9/11 attacks were used to “scare up votes instead of as a way to bring the country together” and demands an end to the “mind-set that got us into war” in Iraq.  Such comments suggest that — as with Israel — Obama does not believe that terrorism by Islamic extremists poses a serious threat to America, even as he acknowledges on a purely clinical, intellectual level, that Israel is a nation where people fear putting their children on the bus each day.  Someone might want to ask Obama what prevents similar attacks here.

Accordingly, Obama’s support for America sometimes seems to extend no further than his perception of its ideals and his issue positions.  This is an entirely conventional view of people on the Left, particularly among the New Left.  Indeed, a recent Pew poll showed that:

Democrats are nearly equally divided over the statement that “we should be willing to fight for our country whether it is right or wrong” (50% agree and 46% disagree). However, 52% of Democrats who have attended college disagree with this view, compared with 37% of non-college Democrats. There are no significant age differences on this question.

Given that Obama’s strength has been among Democrats who have attended college, while Clinton has been strong with non-college Democrats, it is fair to infer that Obama tends to attract those who disagree that that “we should be willing to fight for our country whether it is right or wrong,” which seems entirely consistent with Obama’s view of patriotism (and of Israeli nationalism).  As Michael Barone would put it, it is the difference between Jacksonians and academics.  For the New Left, the idea that disagreements over foreign policy stop at the water’s edge died in Vietnam.

The New Left view can be usefully contrasted with a metaphor Rick Moran has used to describe liberal patriotism:

I think it is apparent that some on the right love America in a different way than some on the left. Think of the right’s love of country as that of a young man for a hot young woman. The passion of such love brooks no criticism and in their eyes, the woman can do nothing wrong. They place the woman on a pedestal and fail to see any flaws in her beauty, only perfection.On the other hand, love of country by many liberals is more intellectualized – perhaps the kind of love we might feel for a wife of many years. The white hot passion may be gone and her flaws might drive you up a wall at times. And it is difficult not to dwell on her imperfections But there is still a deep, abiding affection that allows you to love her despite the many blemishes and defects they see.

It isn’t that most on the left love America any less than those on the right. They simply see a different entity – a tainted but beloved object that has gotten better with age.

Alternatively, it could be argued that some on the left (esp. the New Left) treat America like the girlfriend they hold to a standard of perfection and always find wanting, complaining about her to their friends in her presence.  And that some on the right love America like their wives, acknowledging her past and present flaws, while recognizing that those flaws might not be corrected overnight, or even in his lifetime.  And that most American husbands do not find it useful to publicly take sides in an argument against their wives, even when they might privately do so.  Or to dismiss their wives’ concern that there may be an intruder in the house.

It is wonderful — not to mention politically smart — that Obama has started talking more about the greatness of America and its ideals.  However, should he be elected president, he will be elected president of the nation as it is, not of its ideals.  Obama claims he wants to bring Americans together.  If he truly does, he will have to accept that he cannot cavalierly dismiss the views of his fellow citizens anymore than he can dismiss the views of his wife.  He might want to ask the last Democrat to be elected president about that.

Posted by Karl @ 6:30am
97 comments | Trackback

Comments (97)

  1. “the difference between Jacksonians and academics.”

    dur, karl…..it is the difference between the Jacksonians and the Jeffersonians, be honest.
    that intellectual honesty, so very difficult for you and Barone.
    ;)

  2. that intellectual honesty

    Ha! Like Stephen Hawking telling you you’re not very good at running.

  3. the difference between the Jacksonians and the Jeffersonians

    Cue nishidiot’s daily illiterate explication of pseudo-history.

    Yawn.

  4. …people wearing a lapel pin, but not acting very patriotic. Not voting to provide veterans with resources that they need. Not voting to make sure that disability payments were coming out on time.

    So dissent isn’t the highest form of patriotism anymore? It is so hard to keep up with these things!

  5. Honestly, why can’t you just ignore her?

    Is the compulsion really that uncontrollable?

  6. For the New Left, the idea that disagreements over foreign policy stop at the water’s edge died in Vietnam at the order of the Kremlin.

    Minor corrections. Remember that so long as Hitler and Stalin were allies, the American far left was isolationist.

  7. Honestly, why can’t you just ignore her?

    Is the compulsion really that uncontrollable?

    When you see someone taking a dump on your living room carpet, do you ignore them?

  8. I’m gonna try my hand at that metaphor thing:

    On the other hand, love of country by many liberals is more intellectualized – perhaps the kind of love we might feel for a wife of many years. The white hot passion may be gone (dead as a doornail) and her flaws might drive you up a wall at times. Sure, you cheated on her a few times, but your secretary was HOT. And it is difficult not to dwell on her imperfections – damn did she get fat after she had a few babies. But there is still a deep, abiding affection that allows you to love her despite the many blemishes. And, even though you divorced her, and married someone half your age, you think back upon your former marriage with affection.

  9. it could be argued that some on the left (esp. the New Left) treat America like the girlfriend they hold to a standard of perfection and always find wanting, complaining about her to their friends in her presence.

    As Darleen or MayBee once said, they sacrifice the great at the altar of the perfect.

  10. That does not mean that I would agree with every action of the state of Israel, because it’s a government and it has politicians, and as a politician myself I am deeply mindful that we are imperfect creatures and don’t always act with justice uppermost on our minds. But the fundamental premise of Israel and the need to preserve a Jewish state that is secure is, I think, a just idea and one that should be supported here in the United States and around the world.
    I can sign up under every word of this statement. Which absolutely does not contradict the knowledge that Israel has neighbors who wants her demise….Yes we all know that, Obama knows that, Bush knows that.
    But Bush policies were so mindbogglingly stupid and not visionary that Hamas actually gained even more power.
    Let’s see how much better Obama will be in this regard…

  11. apotheosis..they can’t ignore me acuz im right.
    a lot.
    ;)

  12. apotheosis..they can’t ignore me acuz im right.

    nishidiot: You’ve admitted your ignorance of history. Why do you keep putting it on display? Some sort of weird masochist thing? Do you enjoy being laughed at? Does being publicly humiliated make you feel all funny “down there”?

    If so, I’m hip to that, but you DO know that there are web sites especially designed for people like you?

  13. But Bush policies were so mindbogglingly stupid and not visionary that Hamas actually gained even more power

    because, you see, while the Bush admin has stated and pursued a “two-state solution”, Hamas really wants a single state solution … No Jews allowed.

  14. what I have always loved about Obama’s flag pin thingy … his pretense at disdain over symbols…

    What would Michelle say if Barry was noticed not wearing his wedding ring and said:

    I wasn’t wearing a wedding ring and I told folks, well you know what? I haven’t probably worn that ring in a very long time. I wore it right after getting married. But after a while, you start noticing people wearing a wedding, but not acting very married.

    Would ANYONE accept that has genuine?

  15. Given that Obama’s strength has been among Democrats who have attended college, while Clinton has been strong with non-college Democrats, it is fair to infer that Obama tends to attract those who disagree that that “we should be willing to fight for our country whether it is right or wrong,” which seems entirely consistent with Obama’s view of patriotism (and of Israeli nationalism)

    You doth infer too much, Karl.

  16. Should someone who so obviously and blatantly runs on the fuel of Bush-hate be taken seriously? I mean, it’s a finite energy source and it’s going to run out in less than a year.

  17. I like Bush.

  18. I like Bush. I like McCain. I even like the guy with a funny name. I like you. I like me. I even like Mike Huckabee.

  19. Of course, you know that 16 wasn’t for you thor. Though I think you shouldn’t be taken seriously because you are the Lawrence Olivier of Obamaton parodies. Stay with it my friend. You’re getting the exact results that you’re looking for.

    POKE ALASKA!

  20. And, of course, that is not snark. I’m just pointing out the genius of your gambit. But I would lay off the Karl-name-calling. It makes me think that Karl is your older brother. If he is, then, my bad.

  21. It is wonderful — not to mention politically smart — that Obama has started talking more about the greatness of America and its ideals.

    Chapter 1 of The Audacity of Hope, give it a skim someday, Karl.

    Come together, right now, over Alp.

    STAB MAINE!

  22. But Bush policies were so mindbogglingly stupid and not visionary that Hamas actually gained even more power.

    Which ones? Letting Palestinians vote, perhaps?

  23. Now you’re getting it.

    Bend Pelosi!

    too far?

  24. When you see someone taking a dump on your living room carpet, do you ignore them?

    No, but I sure as hell don’t give them a cookie and a pat on the head, either.

  25. letting them vote?
    WHo are we to decide on that?
    No, pushing them to vote, arranging a coup in Gaza, which brought Hamas up and Fatah down. Want more screw ups, Pablo?
    I just started.

  26. Well, gee, I think, Alp, you’re Karl’s mother. And if, then, you are, please wipe the snot from Karl’s nose and take his hand out of his pants. The kid’s constantly playing with his toy in public.

  27. It isn’t that most on the left love America any less than those on the right. They simply see a different entity – a tainted but beloved object that has gotten better with age.

    Swallow yourself much, Rick?

    “Still, Dearest, my flagrant Narcissistic Delusion also demands that you must die for my own Good. So, thanks, America, for only by sacrificing you can I possibly achieve my true worth and meaning….sniff, sniff, I just love you so much. So, R.I.P., Honey. It was for the Children.”

  28. Oops, sorry, forgot.

    RAKE OKLAHOMA!

  29. letting them vote?
    WHo are we to decide on that?

    We didn’t decide that, we supported it.

    No, pushing them to vote, arranging a coup in Gaza, which brought Hamas up and Fatah down.

    Bush did that? How? Please explain. Did he kill Arafat?

  30. “But after a while, you start noticing people wearing a lapel pin, but not acting very patriotic. Not voting to provide veterans with resources that they need. Not voting to make sure that disability payments were coming out on time.”

    This is as far as I got. This is such undergraduate bullshit that I can’t believe this asshole is old enough to vote. Whatever happened to the truth? How hard would it have been to say, “You know, I forgot to put it on one day and just haven’t since.” Nope, he’s got to put some faux “deep” political spin on everything like he’s trying to get the hippy chick who works at Starbucks to go out with him. Was this piece of shit even in the office the day those votes were taken?

    Tell this pussy to go out and get a real job and grow the fuck up. I hear the Apple Store is hiring.

    Goddamn fucking drama queen sophmore baby.

  31. pablo, in a democratic election, the palestinian people voted Hamas in.
    then, the US refused to recognize a democratically elected government.
    just a tad hypocritical, plus a total repudiation of all bush’s pollyannaish iraq activism.

  32. But Bush policies were so mindbogglingly stupid and not visionary that Hamas actually gained even more power.
    Let’s see how much better Obama will be in this regard…

    Hey, Hamas already gives Obama two thumbs up for his performance so far! So Barry Hussein looks pretty good – much better than McCain, right, sashal?

  33. not cool thor.

  34. The “Left” doesn’t love America at all. They love a notion of America that has absolutely nothing to do with its actual founding principals.

  35. then, the US refused to recognize a democratically elected government.
    just a tad hypocritical, plus a total repudiation of all bush’s pollyannaish iraq activism.

    That’s insane. Hamas is a terrorist organization. I don’t give a shit how many votes they get, they cannot be considered a legitimate government. We don’t talk, treat, or otherwise deal with terrorist organizations. Period.

  36. Oh sure, Pablo, you have no clue, how one country can push another.
    Somehow I think you know exactly how the democratic process in Palestinian territories was forced ahead and achieved…

  37. the “Right” doesn’t love America at all. They love a notion of America that has absolutely nothing to do with its actual founding principals.

    See, Odin, I can play that stupid game too..

  38. then, the US refused to recognize a democratically elected government.

    No, they refuse to aid them. Not the same thing. Abbas is still the duly elected President of the PA government, and we support him.

    Way to get your facts wrong, again, as usual, typically, characteristically…

  39. “The “Left” doesn’t love America at all. They love a notion of America that has absolutely nothing to do with its actual founding principals” –

    Or any awareness of human nature or reality.

  40. eff him, alp, he’s the floating equal to any Leftoid turd. Blah, blah, blah, waugh! Same shit different day.

  41. Oh sure, Pablo, you have no clue, how one country can push another.

    Which is why you’re going to explain it to me vis a vis Bush policy and Hamas.

  42. I’m just grateful Obama has condescended to live in America and brings an international perspective to our Living Constitution. All our Rednecks will learn French. And when he lights the Kwaanza tree on the White House lawn — “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, free at last!”

  43. Hey, has anyone considered just moving all the Israeli Jews over here and granting them all immediate US citizenship ? We’ve made room for everyone else as they’ve moved here.. How about we actually invite a great immigrant population for once? I mean we could give them a big ole block of open land..I’m thinking of all that open land in the southwest US. Dig up Jerusalem and Bethlehem, ship them over and reconstruct them too… kind of like the Eiffel tower in Las Vegas..We create for them the 51st state and a certain amount of autonomy that goes with it..(Think Mormon;s in Utah as a model) They’d be safer over here… If they really want to guard a border we could give them land down on our southern side.. It would be way cheaper for us in terms of money saved in military aid.. Our whole economy would benefit from the influence.. We’d make leaps in Science, Medicine, Math, Business, the Arts…

    In the BIG PICTURE is it really all that important where Jerusalem exists so long as it exists somewhere?

  44. Plus, out of 5 million Israeli Jews there must be scores or even hundreds of hot Elizabeth Wurtzel types we could pick up in the deal… You can never have enough of those..

  45. CNN is reporting 5 blasts in Jaipur.
    That makes me very sad.

  46. “Comment by Ouroboros on 5/13 @ 8:57 am #

    Hey, has anyone considered just moving all the Israeli Jews over here and granting them all immediate US citizenship ?”

    Only if we can ship an equal number of our reactionary leftist to live in the new “Palestine”.

    That way our national IQ goes way, way up, and theirs go way, way down.

  47. Well, I for one trust Hamas to know a useful dhimmi when it sees one, especially since I see the exact same thing in regard to the nature of our exclusively professorial Barack Hussein Obama, blessed as he is with a specially abled left-love of ideas which contradict themselves, not to mention reality – and which therefore have a large market, as already proven.

    I’m pretty sure the Progressive honchos also recognize this very same quality in B.O. – to wit, his perfect useful-toolness, both as a propaganda vehicle and potential robot helmsman-in-chief.

    Lucky Michelle.

  48. “Conversely, those who disagree with Obama on issues of national security or veterans’ benefits are not true patriots to him.”

    Good sucker switch there, m’boy.

    The flip side of the absurd lapel issue is those who wear it so proudly, and publicly, often do it as a SUBSTITUTE for substantive patriotic acts. In other words, it’s teh hypocrisy.

    Another oft repeated conflation here is the anti-intellectual, Idiocracy talking point declaring anyone who disagrees with Israeli
    policy, is prone to ‘wiping Israel off the map.’.

    Lying crypto-fascists have no shame, intellectual curiosity, or patience for the notion of ‘nuance’ because they they don’t like complicated issues and love the simplistic.

  49. Alternatively, it could be argued that some on the left (esp. the New Left) treat America like the girlfriend they hold to a standard of perfection and always find wanting, complaining about her to their friends in her presence.

    I find that an interesting analogy and I’ll even go a bit further with it. A boyfriend who is that critical of his girlfriend, constantly belittling and criticizing her even in public, is often attempting to dominate and control her–the criticism is intended to “break her will” and make her mistrust her own judgement so that she will obey him. (In fact I think that sort of criticism is one of the warning signs that you might be dealing with a potential domestic abuser (see number 10 in particular). What this says about the left’s relationship to America isn’t pretty.

  50. O’K,Pablo. Only because you are my friend.
    Couple of recent examples

  51. #49: The left loves america the way Ike loved Tina.
    “I love you! Why do you make me hit you?”

  52. OK, sashal. What you’re trying to say is that Bush made Fatah and Dahlan fight with Hamas. Is that correct? And Bush made that Palestinians vote and then won’t give Hamas money. Is that right?

    Are the Palestinians responsible for anything? Are they capable of anything? Or is everything that Palestinians do, anytime, anywhere, a result of Boosh and Teh Jooos?

    Where do Hamas’ policies play into this, sashal? Where do Fatah’s?

  53. Another insight into the way an Obama administration might view Israel can be found be looking at his base.

  54. Comment by Semanticleo on 5/13 @ 9:19 am #

    Do you speak English?

  55. N’OB;

    Only to the literate.

  56. What this says about the left’s [“battering”] relationship to America isn’t pretty.

    Points well taken, imo! Noting also that at the same time the Left seems to have become both radically and weakly feminized and thus also projects that America is always the batter, instead of itself.

    It’s Psycho in there, and therefore hard to keep up with the Left’s deranged outputs.

  57. Are the Palestinians responsible for anything? Are they capable of anything?
    Of course, Pablo, that’s the point, thank you. They should be responsible for everything.(now we are talking like conservatives, or true liberals)
    But Bush’s administartion fuck ups do not help things at all.

  58. Sashal – a link to a Juan Cole piece doesn’t exactly convince.

  59. They should be responsible for everything.

    They are responsible. They should be held responsible, and not doing that is Bush largest fuck up, one he shares with each of his predecessors, though to a lesser extent. But that still doesn’t tell us how Bush policy put Hamas in power. Hamas won because Palestinians dig them, and there was no more Arafat to worship.

  60. Occam’s Razor, leo.

    What, exactly, is “anti-intellectual” about pointing out that those who have expressed a wish to wipe Israel off the map have, well, expressed that wish? And why would anyone with any humanity or any sense at all wish to side with them?

  61. batterer

  62. But Bush’s administartion fuck ups do not help things at all.

    No, sashal, you are not really an obsessively projecting, paranoid delusional – really you are not.

  63. I find that an interesting analogy and I’ll even go a bit further with it. A boyfriend who is that critical of his girlfriend, constantly belittling and criticizing her even in public, is often attempting to dominate and control her–the criticism is intended to “break her will” and make her mistrust her own judgement so that she will obey him. (In fact I think that sort of criticism is one of the warning signs that you might be dealing with a potential domestic abuser (see number 10 in particular). What this says about the left’s relationship to America isn’t pretty.

    Colagirl, that was a brilliant analogy, one that goes into my library.

    And it explains their tendency to whip from “America doesn’t do enough to spread freedom!” to “America shouldn’t intervene in other countries!” and the like. It’s not about an actual position, it’s about the criticism and power they gain when we respond to the criticism.

  64. What, exactly, is “anti-intellectual” about pointing out that those who have expressed a wish to wipe Israel off the map have, well, expressed that wish?

    Well, “intellectuals” have told semen that the Palestinians are justified, so disagreeing with them must mean you’re an anti-intellectual.

    Duh.

  65. “Lying crypto-fascists have no shame, intellectual curiosity, or patience for the notion of ‘nuance’ because they they don’t like complicated issues and love the simplistic”

    Mebbe so.

    But as I got older I noticed the the people who were most bothered by “hypocracy” were the people who have the least amount of patience with “nuance”. In other words, the lying crypto facist must be using the lapel pin as a SUBSTITUTE for substanive patriotic acts because I have defined what a SUBSTANTIVE patriotic act is, and what he’s doing ain’t it. It’s childish, immature and unserious. Like a tenth grader rantng against organized religion when everyone knows he just wants to sleep in on Sunday.

    And as a crypto facist I would just like to say that you’re right, I have no “intellectual curiosity” because I know that by “intellectual curiosity” you mean “agree with me”.

  66. Yeah, I second Rob on colagirl’s great analogy.

  67. why, carin
    what is wrong with the expert on Arabian affairs?
    You thing Rice or Cheney have a better knowledge of the region and it’s culture?

  68. I find that an interesting analogy and I’ll even go a bit further with it. A boyfriend who is that critical of his girlfriend, constantly belittling and criticizing her even in public, is often attempting to dominate and control her–the criticism is intended to “break her will” and make her mistrust her own judgement so that she will obey him. (In fact I think that sort of criticism is one of the warning signs that you might be dealing with a potential domestic abuser (see number 10 in particular). What this says about the left’s relationship to America isn’t pretty.

    Political discourse is quite different than an abusive relationship. I always find that eliminationist shit disturbing (the left hates America and wants to break her….criticism of the United States is insidious and inherently evil). I suppose now you will say “omg stop being paranoid”. But take your analogy to its logical conclusion: What would one suggest be done with an abusive, dreadful mate who whose criticism is designed to break the will of the abused? Get rid of him, of course. And if he is a potentially violent domestic abuser? Lock him up, of course. Perhaps killing him is justified if he is threatening your life.

    So if “the left” (anyone to the left of your ideology, that is) is a defacto domestic abuser and potentially violent mate to the beleaguered America…

    Chilling. Says alot about your authoritarian tendencies. Truly frightening.

  69. As I alluded to in the comment above, Daily Kos, which has become the vangaurd of the Obama movement, has also become a place where anti-semitism, Nazi-like anti-Jew propaganda, and Holocaust denial are tolerated.

    Here is one Kos Diary by a dhonig who thoroughly documents the anti-semitism on Kos, and notes with alarm that it might come back to haunt Democrats at election time.

    I think this is relevent to understanding the people who will be filling the government in an Obama administration. I’m not suggesting that the people writing these Holocaust denial comments at Kos will be given cabinet positions, but that the intellectual culture there allows these people to feel comfortable spreading their hate without challenge, and this is the same intellectual culture that will be sweeping into the Executive branch with the support of fawning journalists and academics, plus both houses of Congress next year.

  70. Pingback: Media Mythbusters Blog » Blog Archive » Media Bias Roundup - 05/13/08

  71. why, carin
    what is wrong with the expert on Arabian affairs?
    You thing Rice or Cheney have a better knowledge of the region and it’s culture?

    Cole has repeatedly stepped on his dick when he’s made predictions, and been caught in basic lies mis-statements. More so than Rice or Cheney have. It’s almost as if Cole were a student of Arabia as his politics dictate it must be rather than as it really is.

  72. So if “the left” (anyone to the left of your ideology, that is) is a defacto domestic abuser and potentially violent mate to the beleaguered America…

    Chilling. Says alot about your authoritarian tendencies. Truly frightening.

    Oh, please.

  73. Get rid of him, of course. And if he is a potentially violent domestic abuser? Lock him up, of course. Perhaps killing him is justified if he is threatening your life.

    Lock him up? KILL him?!? Hey, I’m the first to admit I’m a cold-hearted conservative Rethuglican but, wow, that’s some harsh shit. You better have your progressive/liberal glands checked, girl. That’s some medieval shit, there. To say nothing about the aptness of that analogy and who “him” represents.

  74. You’re taking the analogy too far, Lisa. Making sure the abuser doesn’t have the power to engage in the abuse is the goal. For an individual, sure, maybe you end up having to lock him or her up; for a political movement, it’s easier just not to vote for them.

  75. Throw the bum out, as it were.

  76. May as well try to address Lisa:

    Political discourse is quite different than an abusive relationship. I always find that eliminationist shit disturbing (the left hates America and wants to break her….criticism of the United States is insidious and inherently evil).

    No, no, no. There is legitimate criticism of the US and US policy. You’ll hear it from the folks ’round here as well as from many to the left of any of us.

    The illegitimate criticism is the stuff like I alluded to above: the stuff that seems to be based more in the desire to criticize than to actually improve. There’s a segment of the population — a segment largely on the left, and largely admired by the left — that seems to only focus on the negative, to the point of ignoring all positives and even ignoring context.

    See Chomsky, Zinn, et. al.

    And, yes, the analogy is flawed. All analogies are flawed. They are often, however, enlightening.

  77. why, carin
    what is wrong with the expert on Arabian affairs?

    Because I have found his writing, in the past, to be rather biased.

  78. That is my point: You say OMG that is cra-zazy, bitch! But casually dropping the original analogy – that the American political left is an abusive, and potentially violent boyfriend that seeks to break the will of the United States – is crazy. It sounds really pithy and clever and everyone say “mmmhmm girl, you ain’t tellin’ nuthin’ but the damn truth”, but it is unproductive, even damaging rhetoric. And taken to its logical ends, one always ends with the good old “Stabbed in the Back” eliminationist meme.

  79. Get rid of him, of course. And if he is a potentially violent domestic abuser? Lock him up, of course. Perhaps killing him is justified if he is threatening your life.

    Obviously, if someone wants to be a violent abuser of the US, we should consider locking him up.
    In the meantime, there’s no need to go overboard.
    We’ve all had the bad boyfriend that keeps trying to make us think less of ourselves so we’ll change to be what he wants (and perhaps not notice there are other options out there). Break up with him, sure, but don’t kill him.

    We’ve also had the good boyfriend that occasionally tells us he doesn’t like our new haircut. That’s healthy.

  80. Chilling. Says alot about your authoritarian tendencies. Truly frightening.

    So self defense against various truely authoritarian people and entities who threaten our survival in numerous ways frightens you, Lisa?

    Obama’s Progressive “notion” of dutifully surrendering to Islamofascists comprises/abets only one of these threats, but it is the most imminent. Especially since his proposal is presented directly in the face of the Bush Doctrine’s perfect record in protecting America from further 9/11-like attacks, when the previous policy – which Obama wants to retreat to – had a zero success record.

    Politics is not a merely theoretical elitist game, far enough separated from reality to make it virtually or effectively irrelevant. Instead, given our current very real, acutely dangerous situation, politics and “political discourse” here and now is the Killing Floor.

    This fact won’t go away just because you want to deny it, simply as a consequence of your own fears, Lisa.

    Obama’s stated policy makes an irrational bet against the current policy’s perfect record. This indicates a fatal flaw in his thought processes, one which should not under any circumstances be allowed to become generalized to involve the rest of us here in reality.

  81. But casually dropping the original analogy – that the American political left is an abusive, and potentially violent boyfriend that seeks to break the will of the United States – is crazy.

    Why is it crazy? Aren’t there those on the left that have those goals? Take a look at Chomsky — his peculiar spin on American history leaves out context in a purposeful manner, in order to make the US always look like the aggressor/oppressor. Or look at Code Pink; they claim to be anti-war, but they’ve actually funded the jihadis in Iraq, and their ilk are oddly silent when the US is the target of aggression.

    Those folks are of the left. They’re embraced by the left.

    It sounds really pithy and clever and everyone say “mmmhmm girl, you ain’t tellin’ nuthin’ but the damn truth”, but it is unproductive, even damaging rhetoric.

    How is it damaging? How is it unproductive? Shouldn’t we recognize that there are people who will never say anything positive about the US? Shouldn’t we take that into account when weighing their criticisms and those informed by them?

    And taken to its logical ends, one always ends with the good old “Stabbed in the Back” eliminationist meme.

    Oddly, no. I can recognize that someone’s rhetoric is dangerous and destructive without demanding they be imprisoned or murdered. As others have said, in the political context I do that by not voting for them.

    (And in the interpersonal realm, I’d say disassociating with the fellow is a much earlier step than imprisonment or murder.)

  82. Lisa, I’m curious — how many bad boyfriends have you and your friends had? How many of them have you had imprisoned or killed?

    I’m just asking because in my circles, we generally don’t go to such extremes. Sure, if somebody is violent, they’ll be met with violence, but I liken that to somebody like a McVeigh, and (at the risk of being called an authoritarian) it doesn’t really bother me that people wanted to lock him up and/or put him down.

  83. What do you suppose all this rhetoric about “taking our country back” is based in?

  84. What do you suppose all this rhetoric about “taking our country back” is based in?

    Disneyland?

  85. Lying crypto-fascists have no shame, intellectual curiosity, or patience for the notion of ‘nuance’ because they they don’t like complicated issues and love the simplistic.

    I am going to have to put scatter shields over my irony meters, that explosion could have put someone’s eye out.

  86. #68 Lisa

    My dear, you either pick very bad boyfriends or you travel with Cirque Soleil

    Amazing twisting, that.

  87. Oh, BTW Lisa, do you REALLY believe some man or woman who delights in publically berating their spouse, and if you call ‘em on it they get all defensive and say “but I love him/her! I only want him/her to be a better person.”

    Love ain’t got nuttin to do with it.

  88. #82, 87: I did go out on a couple of dates with a guy a who I suspected had a little Ike Turner in him, but I never let it get far enough to see if I could be his Tina. Other than that, I haven’t had much in the way of boy drama. I do watch Lifetime movies, however. I will totally know what to do when Richard Grieco comes sniffing around with his sweet words and his telltale abuser signs (hopefully a little ominous music to indicate that he is getting ready to punch me in the face will help me out).

  89. Oy, my link is broken. Damn, it was a link to the synopsis of a Lifetime classic: It Was Him or Us! starring Ann Jillian and Richard Grieco. You can guess the plot. Lots of slapping and ass-beating, culminating in him getting a cap busted in his ass.

  90. oh, my, if one wants another example of the more anti-Israel crap masquarading as “I feel for both sides!” disengenuousness… Jill at Feministe is doing her best. Another anti-Semite anti-Zionist with a “heavy heart” at Israel’s anniversary, because while the IDEA of a Jewish state is kinda understandable, they just have no rights to be …well..in the same place as they’ve always been. Really.

  91. whoops!!! the strike tag should have been closed after anti-Semite.

    sorry

  92. I hate Lifetime movies. They are not a thing like real life domestic violence.

    Someone needs to volunteer at their local DA office to find out.

  93. purist

  94. Does anyone know if sarah Roemer is Jewish? If so, I am converting.

  95. #92: I have never had the impression that a made for TV movie was even supposed to be like real-life domestic violence. I was just doing something called kidding around. And I am not sure what you were shrieking about in #87. My, my were we a tad cranky last night?

  96. good URL!!!!!!!!!!!!

  97. Pingback: Obama fibs and flip-flops on patriotism [Karl]

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