Cutting Through The Crap

Thursday, May 21, 2009

As Opposed To...


In the previous post is President Obama's speech on terrorism and policy, and my brief take on it. Then, like backflow from a clogged toilet, came Cheney. While he said nothing new, he did repeat the most anti-democratic essence of his administration:

And when they see the American government caught up in arguments about interrogations, or whether foreign terrorists have constitutional rights, they don't stand back in awe of our legal system and wonder whether they had misjudged us all along. Instead the terrorists see just what they were hoping for - our unity gone, our resolve shaken, our leaders distracted. In short, they see weakness and opportunity.
Of course, seeing the past leader attacking the current one does nothing of the sort.

Forgetting the obvious inconsistencies (because there are so many) and the irony (that it's HE who gave al Queda "exactly what they were hoping for," HE who has distracted our leaders), the central theme is that you can't discuss policy or air out differences or criticize the government (except if you're a Dick or his RWS™ host) because it gives comfort to our enemies. Democracy, and our Constitution, in other words, are to be ignored because they are fundamentally flawed. Our system of government, he says, is inadequate to deal with threats; the discourses of free and lawful society are signs of weakness.

What could be more unAmerican than that?

But it's exactly how he ruled, and I mean "he" and "ruled" literally. In doing so, in rejecting our own and international law, in trumping up reasons for invading Iraq, in torturing and incarcerating people illegally and improperly, he's left us nearly paralyzed as Obama tries to straighten it out, and while Congress fights over it in the most disingenuous and demagogic terms.

Dick Cheney will never admit how badly he damaged us. The question is, when will his remaining supporters do so? Can't the Republican party find a voice that remains true to its principles (such as they are, in tatters) but rejects this dangerous man, this rejecter of democracy?
.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

It really bothered you that Cheney makes so much sense and Obama appears as the idiot he is, doesn't it?

And congrats to Bill Gates being named the Sec Def.

Sid Schwab said...

Care to enlarge upon the central points of their speeches, or do you prefer to reduce it to a single flub?

This is exactly the kind of comment that I find so perfectly reflective of the worst of the Republican party: off point, on a preconceived and simplistic message devoid of fact, and pretty much 180ยบ to the truth.

If it gives you a thought hard-on to leave such empty comments, jack away. But it does nothing to enlighten us except to the extent that it reveals your lack of depth, and confirms what I've been saying about the (dis)loyal opposition: nothing to bring to the table but empty heads. The one on your shoulders, anyway.

Frank Drackman said...

Damaged??
What is this Damaged? I don't feel Damaged...OK, my agressive growth mutual funds took it in the shorts, but thats why you diversify...they aren't makin anymore Topps 1963 Sandy Koufaxes in mint condition... I think the Jury's out on the whold "Damaged" thing... ask me again in 2012 when a crew of Git-mo parolee's sets off a Nuke during the Pride Parade in San Franciso...

my word verification is "gayhate"... and you don't believe in a god...

Frank

Anonymous said...

How long will BO continue to speak like this? He talks about looking forward, etc. Then he uses half of his time to trash the previous pres. Either overtly..."we inherited..." or implicitly "can't go on like the last eight years..." How about just telling us what you're going to do and then doing it? That's leadership.

I don't recall GWB ever saying that something was caused by Clinton. Please correct me, but provide some kind of link. Your memory doesn't count.

Next--will BO ever argue his point honestly? He dismisses and mis-characterizes his critics. Like this:

"On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who embrace a view that can be summarized in two words: "anything goes.""

"Anything goes"? Did he read the OLC report? The wuestion of waterboarding was wrestled over, legal opinions sought and given, etc. BO does people who put this care into their decisions a disservice.

And does he have to talk for so long?????

Cheney--great speech, very coherent. And there were no more attacks on US soil after 9/11. That's his record, and we should be grateful to those guys.

Sid Schwab said...

Anonymous, whichever one you are: I sympathize with the difficulty you must have with reading a long speech. It's a challenge for those with aversion to complexity.

Funny; when BO said he didn't want to look back it was in the context of agreeing with the right wing about truth commissions. You want one? Me too.

"Trashing" is in the eye of the beholder. To me, it implies making up stuff, distorting, etc. What he said about the previous crew is absolutely true. He even acknowledged those who disagree, and said why he thinks they're wrong.

The fact is he DID inherit an economy in ruins, two mismanaged wars, one of which was entirely ill-advised and continues to be a drag on our country in the worst ways.

To the extent that Bush didn't complain about Clinton (he did, in fact: he said he inherited a recession, and he set about reversing practically every initiative Clinton had begun, while overtly laughing off his warnings about al Queda) it's because, as opposed to Obama, he inherited a country at peace, with a budgetary surplus, and with good relations with our friends.

You want references? Find them yourself. It's not as if anything I said isn't obvious.

Sid Schwab said...

More for anonymous whoever you are: Cheney's speech was "coherent," in the sense that you could understand his words. It was also full of lies and distortions, unsurprisingly.

There were also no meteor strikes on our soil. His record, too. The question -- and it's a very serious one that needs full airing -- is whether torture did any good at all, more harm than good, or only harm. It's known that torture of al-Libbi yielded false information that was a basis for invading Iraq. It's known that before KSM was tortured he gave useful information; it's known that torture was used to try to force confessions of a false link between Saddam and Osama. All of those things ought to give anyone pause.

Cheney said many times our enemies are patient. Even Rumsfeld opined that the war on terror may have recruited more terrorists than it eliminated. There's no doubt Cheney's policies have made Iran stronger and Afghanistan's government weaker, and Pakistan a tinder-keg. So yeah, no more attacks. But are we in fact less at risk? Our enemies our stronger, our military is weaker, our economy is faltering, our allies less willing to help.

Nice job.

Frank Drackman said...

Sid, your man won, he's President. I know you don't watch TV much so you haven't seen the 24-7 coverage for the last 4 months. With a stroke of his Presidential Pen he can

1: Close Guantanamo... doesn't require Congressional approval...let Castro keep the security deposit...

2: End "Don't Ask Don't Smell"...

3: Cut Taxes... OK, guess he needs congressional action for this one...but he runs the IRS, they could send some of the money BACK...

Sucker........

Frank

Adjuster Mike said...

Sid, I looted a picture from you that you looted from goodness knows where. I just felt it really fit the moment. Thanks for inspiring me. You're a good guy.

Mike
http://catadjuster.blogspot.com/

Sid Schwab said...

For anyone who actually thinks Cheney's speech was "coherent" or "makes sense," read this.

What I'd really love to know is what goes on in the guy's head. Does he lie and distort deliberately, or is he unaware? Hard to believe the latter. He's not dumb. If deliberate, why? What was his agenda then, and what is it now?

Frank Drackman said...

For the eleventy trillionth time Sid, HE'S OUT OF OFFICE!!! Go make an effin citizen's arrest if you're so gosh-darned outraged, or just shoot him, not like a DC jury would convict you...
Its YOUR candidate who won, who won't close Git-mo, hasn't abolished don't ask don't smell, doesn't support SSM, and is pumpin troops into Afghanistan like LBJ in 1966...
Reasonable people can disagree... Vice President Cheney and myself think its OK to be a little agressive in interrorgation if it prevents another Nagasaki or 2...
Frank

Sid Schwab said...

See my latest post, Frankie.


And hey, I'm looking out for you. You're a rich anesthesiologist, right? Check this out.

Frank Drackman said...

Hate the game Sid, not the playa...

Frank

Anonymous said...

Hey look! Even the NYT agrees with me! Obama and his straw opponents--afraid to take on real arguments!

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/24/us/politics/24straw.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Sid Schwab said...

Weak. Why? Because the article admits the "straw men" are in fact based on real comments. And it begins and ends with even more egregious examples, from Bush and his boss.

On the other hand, what, you're surprised to see negative coverage in a so-called liberal medium?

And then you go and set up what we call a straw man: an argument that because of this article we see Obama is afraid to take on real arguments. Oh yeah? Then why the screaming from the RWS™ about his plans on Gitmo, torture, abortion, banks, GM, Chrysler, taxes, health care, stimulus, green economy, CAFE standards, foreign policy, troops in Iraq, troops in Iran, two-state solution, stem cells, abstinence only education, VA benefits...

You are so full of it I assume you keep handiwipes nearby to clean your keyboard after you use it. If you don't, you should.

Anonymous said...

Why does BO have to misrepresent his critics? Is he a) intentionally lying about their arguments--saying they want to do nothing, saying "anything goes"

or b) does he not understand their arguments?

Either way is troubling. And now not even the NYT can ignore it.

Sid Schwab said...

Shall we continue to repeat ourselves. You did. So I will:

Weak. Why? Because the article admits the "straw men" are in fact based on real comments. And it begins and ends with even more egregious examples, from Bush and his boss.

On the other hand, what, you're surprised to see negative coverage in a so-called liberal medium?

And then you go and set up what we call a straw man: an argument that because of this article we see Obama is afraid to take on real arguments. Oh yeah? Then why the screaming from the RWS™ about his plans on Gitmo, torture, abortion, banks, GM, Chrysler, taxes, health care, stimulus, green economy, CAFE standards, foreign policy, troops in Iraq, troops in Iran, two-state solution, stem cells, abstinence only education, VA benefits...

You are so full of it I assume you keep handiwipes nearby to clean your keyboard after you use it. If you don't, you should.

Anonymous said...

So, you're just fine with completely disingenuous arguments from your genius president?

Good to know.

Sid Schwab said...

"disingenuous arguments." Coming from you, that's very amusing.

Somewhere not long ago, I read this:

"Because the article admits the "straw men" are in fact based on real comments. And it begins and ends with even more egregious examples, from Bush and his boss."

The arguments are the reasons he gives for his position. Which happen to be clear, and fact-based. If he says "some claim," and fails to specify exactly who, it (one) does not mean there aren't those that say it (as the NYT admits), nor (two) does it affect the veracity of the substantive positions he takes.

Politicians have certain styles in common, and to the extent that he uses straw men, he does so (as the article states) less egregiously than his predecessor. Do I care about this as an issue, as opposed to what actual positions he takes? You're damn right, you got me there: I don't. If it's all you got, though, I can see why you are on it and can't get off.

Oh wait. Evidently, you are getting off.

Sid Schwab said...

For anyone still following the comments in this thread, regarding straw men, I'm not the only one who thought the NYT article was self-canceling. But some people ingest their talking points like tapeworms and let them take over.

Anonymous said...

cool picture. x