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  • If you're against Bush, you're against America

    this relates to pgrote's thread on the McClellan article about civility...IMO, the type of intentionally intellectually dishonest positioning described below (both sides are guilty) escalates the war of words and insures a superficial debate...

    Enemies of the States
    If you're against Bush, you're against America.
    By William Saletan
    Posted Thursday, March 18, 2004, at 3:18 PM

    If you oppose George Bush's policies, or if you're supported by anybody who opposes George Bush's policies, you're anti-American.

    That was the message of the 1988 presidential campaign of George H.W. Bush, who suggested that his opponent from Massachusetts was against the Pledge of Allegiance. Now it's his son's campaign message, too.

    Facts don't matter when you run on this theme. In June 1988, George H.W. Bush said of Michael Dukakis, "I'll never understand, when it came to his desk, why he vetoed a bill that called for the Pledge of Allegiance to be said in the schools of Massachusetts. I'll never understand it. We are one nation under God. Our kids should say the Pledge of Allegiance."

    The bill Dukakis vetoed didn't "call for" the pledge to be said. It imposed criminal penalties on teachers who failed to start the day by leading students in the pledge. The Massachusetts Supreme Court told Dukakis it was unconstitutional. But never mind. According to Bush, Dukakis was against saying the pledge and being one nation under God.

    History repeats itself. Last week, George W. Bush aired a TV ad in which the following charges appeared on the screen for nine seconds: "John Kerry's Plan: Weaken Fight Against Terrorists"; "John Kerry's Plan: Delay Defending America."

    What was Bush's evidence for the first charge? His campaign cited four Kerry quotes. In the first, Kerry called for "replacing the Patriot Act with a new law that protects our people and our liberties at the same time." In the second, Kerry called for "provisions to guarantee that there is not this blind spot in the American justice system that there is today under the Patriot Act." In the third, Kerry said, "I voted for the USA Patriot Act in the Senate right after 9/11 to advance our security at home, but I am concerned that Attorney General John Ashcroft's Justice Department is abusing the powers conferred on it by that act." In the fourth, Kerry said, "We are a nation of laws and liberties, not of a knock in the night."

    Among those four statements, I count zero in favor of weakening the fight against terrorists and two in favor of protecting American security. But never mind. According to Bush, "Kerry's Plan" is "Weaken Fight Against Terrorists."

    What was Bush's evidence for the second charge? His campaign cited eight quotes, of which four expressed a position. In the first, Kerry said Bush should "take the time, for a period of time, to continue to build [support]" for using force against Iraq. In the second, Kerry said he would have "exhausted the available remedies with the French and the Russians." In the third, Kerry speculated that if Bush had built up U.S. troops around Iraq more gradually, "It might have allowed you to use the United Nations process to really build consent." In the fourth, Kerry said, "You have to try to build the multilateral effort, even if it fails."

    Among those four statements, I count four in favor of delaying the use of force in Iraq, zero against ultimately using force in Iraq, zero in favor of making the use of force contingent on U.N. approval, and zero in favor of delaying the defense of America. We now know that contrary to what Bush told us, Iraq had no WMD programs capable of threatening America. But never mind. According to Bush, "Kerry's Plan" is "Delay Defending America."

    On Wednesday, Dick Cheney, who was defense secretary under George H.W. Bush and is now vice president under George W. Bush, denounced Kerry for saying at a March 8 fund-raiser, "I've met more leaders who can't go out and say it all publicly, but boy, they look at you and say, 'You've got to win this, you've got to beat this guy, we need a new policy,' things like that." Kerry's comment was stupid and off-message. Cheney's was not. In a scripted, 150-word rebuttal, Cheney used the phrase "foreigners" or "foreign leaders"—which he knew Kerry had never used—five times. Cheney mocked the "unnamed foreigners he's [Kerry] been spending time with" and demanded, "We have a right to know what he is saying to foreign leaders that makes them so supportive of his candidacy."

    You get the message. Kerry's been spending time with the wrong sort of people. What's good for them must be bad for you. This is the message segregationists delivered to white voters 50 years ago about white politicians who met with blacks. "Foreigners" were the subjects of a different message: McCarthyism. Cheney's speech combines the two: What is Kerry saying to our enemies that makes them so supportive of his candidacy?

    "Of the many nations that have joined our coalition [in Iraq]—allies and friends of the United States—Sen. Kerry speaks with open contempt," Cheney went on. What was Cheney's evidence for this charge? "Sen. Kerry calls these countries, quote, 'window dressing,' " said the vice president. "Italy, which recently lost 19 citizens, killed by terrorists in Najaf—was Italy's contribution just window dressing?" Cheney concluded that Kerry "speaks as if only those who openly oppose America's objectives have a chance of earning his respect."

    There you go. Kerry points out what everyone knows: The Iraq war was an American operation dressed up as a "coalition of the willing," in which Britain was the only other country to play a major role. Cheney calls this "contempt" for "friends of the United States." Nineteen Italians get killed in a war that Bush and Cheney started against the will of most Italians, but it's Kerry, not Bush, who has shown contempt for Italy and other "friends of the United States." Better yet, the foreign leaders with whom Kerry has consorted don't just oppose Bush's policy in Iraq; they "oppose America's objectives." If Jacques Chirac imagines that what he opposed in Iraq was Bush's method of achieving objectives shared by France, he fails to understand that Bush's policies, by definition, are America's objectives.

    Just like it says here in our Constitution, Jacques: L'etat c'est moi.

    William Saletan is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War.
    The Dude abides.

  • #2
    Facts mean nothing to some people.
    Dude. Can. Fly.

    Comment


    • #3
      Some people think their opinions are fact.
      Asked what he would do differently in Iraq, Kerry said, "Right now, what I would do differently is, I mean, look, I'm not the president, and I didn't create this mess so I don't want to acknowledge a mistake that I haven't made."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by BurnKU@Mar 19 2004, 02:55 PM
        Some people think their opinions are fact.
        And some people think any fact inconsistent with their preconceptions is a lie.
        The Dude abides.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by BurnKU@Mar 19 2004, 02:55 PM
          Some people think their opinions are fact.
          Mine are! :P

          "
          Why are the Russians suddenly a problem?" -Bgats

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by BurnKU@Mar 19 2004, 02:55 PM
            Some people think their opinions are fact.
            I don't think my opinions are fact,


            But I know for a fact that my opinions are correct.
            Official Lounge Sponsor of:
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            • #7
              Not a lie, just wrongheaded.
              And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

              -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

              Comment


              • #8
                Kerry said, "You have to try to build the multilateral effort, even if it fails."
                That I agree with. And that's what Bush did. He just didn't try long enough according to Kerry. If Kerry were Prez, he would have beat his head against the wall even longer.
                "Need some wood?" -- George W. Bush, October 8, 2004

                "Historians will judge if this war is just, not your punk ass." -- Dave Glover, December 8, 2004

                Comment


                • #9
                  Fallacy: False Dilemma

                  Also Known as: Black & White Thinking.

                  Description of False Dilemma
                  A False Dilemma is a fallacy in which a person uses the following pattern of "reasoning":

                  Either claim X is true or claim Y is true (when X and Y could both be false).
                  Claim Y is false.
                  Therefore claim X is true.
                  This line of "reasoning" is fallacious because if both claims could be false, then it cannot be inferred that one is true because the other is false. That this is the case is made clear by the following example:

                  Either 1+1=4 or 1+1=12.
                  It is not the case that 1+1=4.
                  Therefore 1+1=12.
                  In cases in which the two options are, in fact, the only two options, this line of reasoning is not fallacious. For example:

                  Bill is dead or he is alive.
                  Bill is not dead.
                  Therefore Bill is alive.
                  Examples of False Dilemma

                  Senator Jill: "We'll have to cut education funding this year."
                  Senator Bill: "Why?"
                  Senator Jill: "Well, either we cut the social programs or we live with a huge deficit and we can't live with the deficit."

                  Bill: "Jill and I both support having prayer in public schools."
                  Jill: "Hey, I never said that!"
                  Bill: "You're not an atheist are you Jill?"

                  "Look, you are going to have to make up your mind. Either you decide that you can afford this stereo, or you decide you are going to do without music for a while."
                  Damn these electric sex pants!

                  26+31+34+42+44+46+64+67+82+06 = 10

                  Bring back the death penalty for corporations!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by phantom@Mar 19 2004, 03:09 PM
                    Kerry said, "You have to try to build the multilateral effort, even if it fails."
                    That I agree with. And that's what Bush did. He just didn't try long enough according to Kerry. If Kerry were Prez, he would have beat his head against the wall even longer.
                    Why?

                    He didn't have a pre 9/11 motive to rape Iraq for which he'd have to manufacture justification.
                    Damn these electric sex pants!

                    26+31+34+42+44+46+64+67+82+06 = 10

                    Bring back the death penalty for corporations!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Damtoft@Mar 19 2004, 03:04 PM
                      Not a lie, just wrongheaded.
                      Facts, by definition, cannot be "wrongheaded."

                      If the NYT or Washington Post printed what The Economist did this week, that 10s of thousands of Islamic terrorists have been trained and dispersed over the years, and are unlikely to retire regardless of what happens to OBL or in Iraq, some of you would scoff, citing the bias of the messenger.

                      If we can't even agree on basic facts (an objective baseline, if you will), there's no point in arguing.

                      OK, I said it, "bring it on," JD...

                      Moe
                      The Dude abides.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dredbyrd+Mar 19 2004, 03:11 PM-->
                        QUOTE (dredbyrd @ Mar 19 2004, 03:11 PM)

                      • #13
                        Originally posted by phantom+Mar 19 2004, 03:17 PM-->
                        QUOTE (phantom @ Mar 19 2004, 03:17 PM)
                        Originally posted by [email protected] 19 2004, 03:11 PM

                      • #14
                        Better than Carlin's stand-up routine.
                        And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

                        -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by Damtoft@Mar 19 2004, 03:33 PM
                          Better than Carlin's stand-up routine.
                          Knew it was a long shot to engage you on substance.

                          Have a good weekend kicking your dog...

                          Moe
                          The Dude abides.

                          Comment

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