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Friday, September 14, 2012

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Stan Gibilisco

As a verifiable political schizophrenic, I have seen irrational extremism come from both the left and the right, in the form of downright nutty statements about presidents; but rarely from any President himself.

I know some people who still harp on the birther thing, who say that Obama is a Muslim and a communist and that he wants to make himself dictator, that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are both traitors, and on and on it goes ...

... and then there are the ones who blame everything bad in the world, past, present, and future, on George W. Bush, who call him and other Republicans "evil," who say that Bush should be put on trial in some sort of international court, and again, on and on and on.

All this name-calling and blame-throwing and virtual venom, often by anonymous people, mystifies me. What does it accomplish? Why not just put up a punching bag and whack it till you drop?

I have not switched on my television set since February. I've got a note in my calendar file to call Knology next week and see how much I could save by cutting the cable TV part of my system out. Every time I watched the damn thing, I got cramps in my guts.

This extreme polarization is now well established in the House of Representatives, creating utter paralysis; and in the opinion of Leon Panetta (at least), if my memory serves, this paralysis actually constitutes a threat to national security.

It's so easy to call this person evil, that whole party a bunch of traitors, et cetera ad nauseum. It's so easy and it's absolutely a waste of time and will only cause the haters to burn themselves up inside.

But hey -- hate sells, doesn't it? Or does it?

Ken Blanchard

Stan: I sympathize. I like all this action, but I was dropped on my head as a child. Here's a tip: get Netflix Instant watch and look up Kingdom, a British comedy starring Stephen Fry as a small town barrister. It will get you through the long darkness.

Donald Pay

I'm just pointing out the truth, KB, and you seem to take issue with it. You have a well-established pattern. Everyone who reads you for a few months sees it very clearly. Your MO is to blame the U.S., particularly Obama, for any international incident before you know any facts. On economics you slide in quotes or graphs that you often cannot explain, and which often serve to make the opposite claim you are making. In this you are in lock step with the rightwing echo-chamber. It almost always turns out that you have to try to back peddle, obfuscate, ignore the facts, change the subject and lie.

Now we come to what I consider evil. We have a lot of Republican chickenhawks, including most of the neo-cons whose positions you echo, advocating actions that would lead to war, or deaths of innocents. I don't support the extremist Muslims, but I also know they are a very, very small minority in most Muslim countries, just as the neo-cons are a tiny and discredited minority here in America.

There were many such incidents involving attacks on our embassies and consulates during the Bush administration when the neo-cons were in power, by the way. We haven't heard a peep from you about how the neo-cons weakness caused those problems. Maybe the perceived weakness you point out has to do with the stupidity that came from that faction, and those years. After all, it was your party who decided to outsource a lot of security at our consulates to private security firms.

But we wouldn't want to actually look at the problems rationally when there is a black-socialist-Muslim President to blame, now would we, KB?

Ken Blanchard

What you are doing, Donald, is calling someone anti-American because he criticized the President. That makes you the intolerant, narrow minded bigot that you guys have always warned us about.

A.I.

"A Reply to a Right Wing Sargent Schultz"

You may be correct in asserting you personally did not claim anyone critical of Bush's war/foreign policies was anti-American or treasonous. But in an exchange documented here: http://southdakotapolitics.blogs.com/south_dakota_politics/2011/01/reverence-for-the-constitution-the-dreadful-alternative.html, you refused to acknowledge those who did make such accusations--as you did again in your post above. And in that refusal, you implicitly agree with their tactics.

That the tactics Republicans employed were meant to deflect criticism by "hiding" behind the notion that said criticism weakened America in the eyes of the world and/or demoralized the troupes is obvious to all except those in politically motivated denial. Your "I see nothing" stance puts you squarely in the latter group.

In any case, the Bush criticisms did not come during the immediate aftermath of 9/11/2001. That was a time of national unity in part because Democrats had the decency to make it so--though they could have done a Romney/Blanchard in reverse and said the attack was a result of Bush administration belligerence. Criticism did come later when it was revealed the administration may have dropped the ball by not responding more aggressively to warnings an attack was imminent and when we were led into war with a country that had nothing to do with those attacks.

Had Democratic leaders or I leveled criticism of Bush immediately after 9/11, we would have incurred derision equal to or greater than anything Romney or yourself are experiencing now--and rightfully so. As I said, criticism of this administration's handling of this particular crisis may be warranted at some point, but not until they have had a chance to respond fully and not until they have been show to have made a significant error. That has nothing to do with November 6th. It is simply the same courtesy extended to Bush and there is no reason beyond partisan opportunism and the defense of it that the same courtesy not be extended to Obama.

As to my mention of yelling fire in a crowded theater not being protected speech, I might better have mentioned intentionally inciting violence. My understanding of the law is one would have to prove incitement was the intended purpose of producing the film in question before it would not be protected speech. While proving that motive would be difficult or impossible, one can certainly argue that past Muslim responses to insults to their faith produced violent responses and thus violence was a predictable response to this film. Thus Romney's self righteous defense of American values embodied in free expression was actually a self serving defense of a deplorable exercise of that freedom that barely passes legal muster.

You ask: "...what use was the statement in the first place, or the subsequent attempts to let them know that we don't like the film either?" That, of course, is impossible to answer. It is all together possible some potential protesters stayed home because the statement was released and that protests that have occurred were less violent than they might have been. It would seem doubtful the Cairo statement had any impact in Benghazi as events there went far beyond simple protest with some accompanying acts of violence.

Finally, a bit about "damn lies". Asserting the Cairo statement is somehow indicative of an apologetic Obama foreign policy certainly qualifies. The statement was simply an attempt to defuse a potentially dangerous situation by expressing the fact that views expressed in the movie were not those of America.

As for apologetic policies, maybe you've not heard about those apologetic drone strikes that have killed more than a few terrorists. Oh, and did you catch that thing about an apologetic raid in Pakistan that killed some guy that allegedly was involved in 9/11--a raid tough-on-terrorists-in-word-rather-than-deed Romney opposed. How about the apologetic air cover offered Libyan freedom fighters that macho Mr. Mitt called mission creep.

Donald Pay

I criticize the President, whoever it is, with facts and knowledge. I've had more accurate criticism of our current President than you, because all you, and Mitt, do is take marching orders from the echo-chamber, which is basically a lying machine out for quick political points.

You can call what you do "criticism," but it's really reflexive anti-Americanism, which is spewed without full knowledge of the facts. It's 100 percent politically related, so I'll give you this: you never exhibited this anti-Americanism when the neo-cons were doing real damage to America's interests in the Middle East. I wasn't reading you back then, but anyone who disagreed with the neo-con prescription was told they supported terrorism.

What I see with you in this thread is pathetic whining about getting called out for politically motivated behavior in the face of tragic circumstances. To me what you are doing amounts to anti-Americanism, because when Americans are killed in situations like this, we stand united. Not you, though. You can't wait for even an a couple hours after their deaths, to shoot off at the mouth without any factual basis, accusing the President or administration of some act that caused this tragedy. Then you hide behind your "rights" to be a jackass, and whine because you get called out on it..

Yo are right about one thing: I am intolerant of your kind of bullshit.

larry kurtz

Control the federal bench, Dems: crush the GOP and scatter its remains.

EJ Dionne: "Progressives would be wildly irresponsible if they sat by quietly while a conservative Supreme Court majority undid 80 years of jurisprudence. Roosevelt wasn’t a wimp, and Obama has decided that he won’t be one, either. Conservatives are unhappy because they prefer passive, intimidated liberals to the fighting kind."

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/when_liberals_stop_being_wimps_20120408/

Stan Gibilisco

Larry,

Why should the Dems waste energy "crushing the GOP and scattering its remains"? The GOP seems perfectly capable of doing that all by itself.

Ken Blanchard

Donald: so it's okay when you criticize the President but when I do it's anti-American. Glad we cleared that up. I repeat, however, that you are doing exactly what A.I. criticizes Republicans for doing: questioning the patriotism of someone because he criticizes their party. You are the people you keep whining about: intolerant, narrow-minded, and bigoted. It's been clear for a while that you are not the brightest pixel on the flat screen and that you have the emotional maturity of a rhesus monkey. Now that we know what we think of one another, I see no point in further conversation. Feel free to post all you want. I liked it better when we were friends, but I am not silly enough to think that we are anymore.

Donald Pay

No, KB, it matters that you are nearly always factually wrong in your criticism of Obama and his administration. If you had anything worthwhile to say in your criticism, it would be different. Essentially you just take the first, worst take on anything dealing with Obama and run with it. It doesn't matter if it is a lie or not. Like Romney and the rest of the echo-chamber you tend to shoot first, then aim. As a result, I read you mainly to find out what not to believe about an issue. It's a pretty safe bet that if you say it, it's off the mark by a long shot.

One of the results of your reflexive responses is that you are always in "blame America first" mode because you simply are looking for some political silver bullet rather than actually trying to understand issues. You are right: I have no tolerance for bullshit. You might try actually thinking a bit before you write your anti-American screeds based on non-facts.

Ken Blanchard

A.I.: What you said about me was malicious and, as you now acknowledge, false. You try to salvage your calumny by this argument:

"in an exchange documented here: http://southdakotapolitics.blogs.com/south_dakota_politics/2011/01/reverence-for-the-constitution-the-dreadful-alternative.html#comments, you refused to acknowledge those who did make such accusations--as you did again in your post above. And in that refusal, you implicitly agree with their tactics."

In that exchange, I wrote this: "A.I.: you say that "a large number of conservatives are dismissive of liberals as unpatriotic when they question things like our invasion of Iraq." Can you show me a "large number" of examples? Can you show me a single example?"

THAT'S your evidence? That I asked you to produce a single example to back up your accusation against Republicans? You really are allergic to criticism!

If someone shows me an example of a Republican or conservative or anybody else for that matter who says that criticizing the government is unpatriotic, I will denounce it. I would be frankly amazed if no one on my side ever said such a thing. But when I challenged you to show me an example, this was your reply:

"Two examples include Sarah (Obama is trying to destroy America, pals around with terrorists) Palin and Glen (exploit the fantasies of the crazy right to make a buck) Beck and their devotees."

THAT'S all you could come up with. No citations, but a fabricated Palin quote and an irrelevant dig at Glen Beck. And yet you say now:

"That the tactics Republicans employed were meant to deflect criticism by "hiding" behind the notion that said criticism weakened America in the eyes of the world and/or demoralized the troupes is obvious to all except those in politically motivated denial."

Saying that something is obvious and that refusing to recognize it is denial in lieu of offering any evidence at all is what prejudice looks like. You have no case. Meanwhile I have impeccable evidence of exactly this sort of thing on the comments to this blog: you and Donald.

It is you who are now trying to deflect all criticism of your hero, Mr. Obama. Your comparison of the present situation to 9/11 is ludicrous. Are our embassies going to be suddenly safe in the middle of November? The present situation is serious, to be sure; however, it is hardly less serious than the most difficult days in Iraq when our soldiers were being killed every day. Democrats in and out of government weren’t shy about criticizing Bush then. If your view held, we could never criticize a President except in a time of universal peace. Your argument is absurd.

We are about to hold an election. A reasonable person might conclude that Mr. Obama's handling of this crisis and his foreign policy in general are reasons to vote against him. Exempting him from criticism at this time would be ridiculous, though I can well see why you wish to do that. If we are really in such a crisis that we should all pull together and present a united front, then the least one could ask of the President is that he do the same. Instead, he jetted off to Las Vegas for a fundraiser as the crisis was on. Mitt Romney's comment may have been ill-advised (I think it was) but the President's campaign responded in kind. Apparently it is only Republicans who are obligated to be quite. Again, I can see why this is attractive to you.
You say that I am politically motivated as if that were some kind of spiritual defect. Yes, I have opinions and I express them on this politically expressive blog. You are no less so. The President is no less so. Grow up.

larry kurtz

Rick Santorum implies that the GOP is the party of stupid misogynists. POLITICO concurs: conservative racist metanoia spooking is GOP:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81260.html

Donald Pay

Yes, Obama jetted off to Las Vegas for a fundraiser, just like he cracked jokes at a press event at the same time he had a Seal team on its way to take out bin Laden. What's your point? Oh, it's back to your cuckoo meme of several years ago---Obama is not following your schedule. Again, KB, tells us when and where you expect Obama to be and with whom he should be speaking.

Really, KB? There are secure telephones on Air Force One, and he was in contact with leaders of Libya, Egypt and other Muslim countries. The fact that you don't know what Obama is doing doesn't give you license to make it up.

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