Saturday, March 27, 2004

My Reply

Since SKB decided to rebut my post below by writing a 5-part novel, I'll reply here instead of there in Comments.


Hey, Barry. If you'd bothered to read you would see that SKB

You always talk about yourself in 3rd person? Ok, one and only cheap shot out of the way first.

didn't spend the last week "drawing these". That was from over a year ago before the ill-advised invasion of Iraq.

I don't think I made a distinction about when they were drawn/made/compiled. Simply that they were made at all, and in this case brought back out.

You're starting to sound as shrill and irrational as Hobbs. Or maybe he's your new ideological hero. I don't know.

I don't consider wishing for a stop to the endless partisanship and name-calling "shrill or irrational". If anything, drawings and doormats and such like the ones I linked to only exacerbate the dislike the two sides have for each other. If you make fun of your adversary, it doesn't help come to any kind of understanding. And as for Bill, I criticized him just the same as you.

Because you sure don't act like much of an intelligent progressive Democrat any more.

As I've said before several times, I consider the anti-war left to be the ones who don't sound like intelligent, progressive Democrats anymore. And the most common reason I see is not a rational disagreement with policy, but a disagreement with the policy maker.

I realize you have a blind spot on Iraq and that you somehow feel safer now that they have been occupied. Whatever.

I don't necessarily feel safer in the short run, but the long run prospects for the area certainly have improved. I realize to you it's a blind spot that I don't subscribe to the notion of the Iraqi liberation being a bad idea. I think it was a good idea, and good things are happening - and will continue to happen for everyone involved - because of it.

But you might notice that I've said pretty much the same thing as you about these hearings. They are a sham. Just like Bush. Just like his "war on terror". Just like his invasion of Iraq.

But ask yourself - are they as sham because Bush is bad, or is Bush bad because they're a sham? It's the order you come to the opinion that determines the level of partisanship.

Some day YOU might grow up and be able to think and process information rationally and logically and be able to read between the lines fed to you by idiots in power.

What line is that, exactly? From sources I trust, I get the reports that things are overall going well in Iraq and the people for the most part are happy we're there. I'm sure the sources you trust say the opposite. But I have considered the opinions rationally, and you see the conclusions I've come up with. However, I don't see this from a cynical perspective, convinced that there's an ulterior motive behind everything that Washington does and says. I hated to see it suring the Clinton years, and I hate it now from the other side.

And there are plenty of idiots on both sides.

I will agree with you there.

What's sad is that you feel such an affinity to the current idiots who want to take away your rights, not to mention your money that they want to give to their rich pals.

See, there again it all comes back to what are the bad guys in power doing to screw us all? Just because I agree with his policy doesn't mean I have an affinity for Bush. I can separate the man from the mission, but it seems some people can't. The same with Clinton - I wasn't in tune with current affairs when he first took office 12 years ago, but I remember the bickering over the national health plan. Republicans opposed it primarily not because it was necessarily a bad plan, but because Clinton pushed for it. Now Democrats oppose Bush's War on Terror plans, not because they're necessarily bad, but because it's Bush. And the artwork reflects that.

Folks like you are the ones that hurt the most. I can understand an opportunistic scumbag like Zell Miller. But when progressives lose a good guy like you it hurts.

Actually, thank you for the sentiment - it's appreciated. I hope to help you and others see that I didn't get "lost" - I'm still in the same place, waiting for the rest of you to come back :)

Bill Clinton sold us out to the GOP, but he did it in the spirit of compromise and moving us forward (i.e. the definintion of progressive) and embodied the so-called "moderate" approach you espouse which resulted in the largest economic expansion in history and relative peace. But look what happened to him for his troubles. It's ideological war now. Brought to us by the GOP. They set the rules.

I understand exactly what you mean, and I agree to a point. Clinton did what he could to move the nation forward, and he was slammed mercilessly for eight years. (But it wasn't, at the heart, really over idealogy - it was over what team you were on. If you were on the Republicans, you hated those dang Democrats - and vice versa. And that's just the way things were.) Yes, they set the precedent on what was to happen to Bush in his term, and the 2000 election fiasco elevated the chance for partisan roadblocks even further. I remember thinking just after the election was finally decided that it was going to interesting and a little wickedly fun to see what the Democracts would dish out onto Bush in revenge for their treatment of Clinton. Maybe the GOP set the rules, but after 9/11 it was clear the entire gameboard had changed. The time for partisanship was over, and it was time to Get To Business. Remember Joshua, the computer from Wargames? After endless futile simulations of US/USSR war scenarios, he concluded that the only winning move was not to play. In this case, it means of you're heading for endless partisan conflict, one side has the take the initiative to break the stalemate and not play by the rules. But for the most part, it hasn't happened, and that's bad.

And their rules spread far beyond our borders, and have much more far reaching implications than protecting your children from obscenity or promiscuous sex (a job which you should be doing, by the way). Now we have to play by their rules. You seem to have trouble picking a side. Pick one. Or quit calling yourself a Democrat.

I am doing my best as a parent to keep the obscenities I see in the media from my children. But I owe it to myself and to others as a Christian, as - yes - a Democrat, and as a human to look after my fellow man as well. If I think rap music is obscene and harmful, then I have an obligation to speak out against it and use my words to try to convince others of what I believe. But that's another argument for another day.

Again, you seem to believe that we have to play by their rules. No, we don't. If you're afraid you're going to appear diminished in their eyes because you don't go tit for tat with them, that's not a big deal. Be above it. Don't stoop to the level of the opponent.

Sorry, force of habit from my natural tendencies - that goes for Republicans, too. Don't blindly play by the rules - create your own. Do what you know is right, not what someone else dictates as the way things should be done.

I'm not having trouble picking a side, necessarily. I'm having trouble remaining a Democrat and living with the stereotyping that now comes from the actions of the anti-Bush Left.

P.S. I guess the point of all that was, leave me out of your stupid irrational ideological jihad.

You really equate this with a jihad? I want people to talk to each other, to be rational and mature. I don't want people to bicker or call each other names, or create pictures and objects and bumper stickers whose seemingly raison d'etre is to "get" the other guys.

Find another poster boy for your juvenile arguments. You're getting to be just like Hobbs and Rich. You can't make your point without dissing some other regular guy,

I'm not dissing (and you guys are just high profile bloggers I read all the time). What I'm trying to do is put forth examples of a method of political discourse I consider distracting, argumentative, petty and ultimately unhelpful.

which is particularly disgusting when you do it to other RTB members. There are a lot of idiots in the RTB that I could spend all day shredding, including you. But I try to play nice among erstwhile associates, and either say nothing at all or confine it to their comments.

I don't see you pulling many punches when it comes to Bill Hobbs or Rich, as you do above. In fairness, Bill does it right back to you - only snootier.

Oh, wait. I just realized. You evoked the desired reaction. I played right into your hands. You are the master. I bow before you. Heh. Indeed.


Anyway, I truly and sincerely want people to listen to each other, and not make fun of each other. That's all - just be adult about things and fight for the right reasons. If you don't like Bush - fine, but don't disagree with his policies automatically because you think he and those policies are by default corrupt. This is the most important time in the life of the US since the 40's and we can't afford the distractions. Just think about it.

Does anyone out there feel the way I do? Or am I just lost in the tidal wave?

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