Open Thread: Different Societies, Different Solutions - As the great Richard Pryor once said, “People are people, all over the world… they fck with your luggage in Nairobi just like they fck with your luggage in...
55 minutes ago
While Democrats are constantly forced by manufactured controversies generated by the right-wing noise machine and their media allies to "repudiate" and "renounce" a never ending carousel of "extremists" ranging from the moderate to the irrelevant (Michael Moore, MoveOn, Louis Farrakhan, Ward Churchill, etc. etc.), the GOP establishment for years has tied itself at the hip to hate-mongering extremists along the lines of John Hagee, Rod Parsley, Pat Roberston, Ann Coulter, and all sorts of various Instapunks, with no repercussions or accountability whatsoever.
In discussion last week with Obama supporter Rev. Bill Lawson, March 19, 2008:
HANNITY: Reverend Lawson, with all that we've heard from Reverend Wright, do you support everything he has said?
LAWSON: Of course not. I don't support everything anybody says, even members of my own family. But I do recognize him as a friend, as a prophetic preacher and as a person who has been extremely valuable, not only in Chicago but nationwide, almost globally. He is a good man.
HANNITY: He is a good man that says G.D. America, the U.S. KKK of America, all of these statements. Do you think that's coming from a good man?
In discussion with Christopher Hitchens following Falwell's death, May 16, 2007:
HITCHENS: I think we have been rid of an extremely dangerous demagogue who lived by hatred of others, and prejudice, and who committed treason by saying that the United States deserved the attack upon it and its civil society of September of 2001 by other religious nut cases like himself.
HANNITY: He profoundly and repeatedly apologized. And I'm sure you're perfect.
HITCHENS: No, he did not enough.
HANNITY: I'm sure you're perfect in your life and that you've never made any mistakes.
HITCHENS: I've never committed treason like that. I don't believe in the sincerity of his apology...
HANNITY: I knew Reverend Falwell, Christopher. I know the good work that this man has done.
HITCHENS: Tell me about it.
HITCHENS: Takes a lot to make me cry.
HANNITY: I know you think you're the smartest guy in the room, but you sound like a jackass when you attack his family like this. But I know...
HITCHENS: I didn't attack his family. Excuse me.
HANNITY: ... what he did for unwed mothers. I know what he did for alcoholics. I know what he did for drug addicts.
HITCHENS: Excuse me, sir.
HITCHENS: I did not attack his family. And no fair-minded viewer of yours will say it. I'm not going to be conscripted to say that it's my job, when you invite me on to discuss this man, first to say how sorry I am for him and his family. That isn't what I feel. You no doubt, as a Christian or whatever you are, require hypocrisy of people. And so you're asking me...
HANNITY: I'm not asking -- no, but I am asking for human decency. And if you don't think it has an impact on his family to use even the phrases tonight that he's vulgar, a fraud and a crook. And then to say that...
HITCHENS: Am I supposed to conceal my -- you asked me on.
HANNITY: I think you are incredibly mean, incredibly selfish and thoughtless.
HITCHENS: You invited me, sir, to give my opinion of the departed. I give it to you, and you say, well, might that not upset his family. I said it while he was alive. That might have upset his family, too.
We are on the cusp of a new politics in America. It should be dated from March 18, 2008, the date of Barack Obama's landmark speech "A More Perfect Union." The usual pundits have looked mainly at the speech's surface theme: race. They weren't wrong. It was indeed the most important statement about race in recent history.
But it was much more. It was a general call to a new politics and an outline for what it needs to be. Just as Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was about much more than the war dead on that battlefield, so Obama's speech -- widely hailed as in the same ballpark as Lincoln's -- went beyond race to the nature of America, its ideals and its future.
What's the matter with conservatism? Its problems start with the failure of George W. Bush's presidency but they don't end there....
The authors are worried about their movement’s future, and accept—to use the language directed once upon a time against liberals—that the right is tired, short of ideas and mired in the past.
Many on the right think there is no problem with conservatism today that doing a better job of imitating Ronald Reagan wouldn’t solve. But the 1980s were a long time ago. What made Reagan great, Frum argues, “was his ability to respond to the demands of his times. We must respond to the demands of ours.”
Frum acknowledges that the problem of economic inequality is real. “The American economy grew handsomely between 2001 and 2006,” he writes. “But over those five years, the income of the median American ... did not rise at all. The number of people in poverty rose by 5.4 million between 2000 and 2004.”
“There is emerging within the Republican Party a very interesting debate about whether we need to change our approach, or just reassert the policies we already have,” Frum said in an interview.
Frum would like the heretical Republicans to come together to create their own version of the Democratic Leadership Council. The GOP sure could use something. A Pew Research Center survey released last week found that only 27 percent of Americans now identify themselves as Republicans, the lowest percentage in Pew’s 16 years of polling. If ever there was a moment for change agents within the nation’s conservative party, this is it.
Repsac: Are you and Biobrain calling me names over at that old thread?
Since you linked to it, the thread shows that Biobrain went limp after I applied the same logic to his arguments. But here's my comment tonight:
I don't recall, Biobrain, that you'd resort to argumentium ad hominem, but in reveiwing the debate here, I do recall how sleazy your debating practices ended up being, particularly when you you wouldn't apply a fact based rebuttal to your own arguments.
Look at the debate here. You can see that once I applied a strict decision rule about your example of judges, you were flummoxed.
Here's a quote for you:
"Conservatives have long been amazed by liberals who ask, indeed demand, of every conservative they meet to give reasons for each and every of their views, yet when faced with logical answers that astound them, either retort with some jibberish that bears no relevance to the issue being discussed, make some snide remark, or immediately seek to change the subject that they themselves so insistently started."
I applied it to Repsac as well. You're two peas in a pod, and obviously you've sunk to a new low with the name calling.
Totally. Intellectually. Dishonest. Repsac's no better."
"It started life as the emblem of the British anti-nuclear movement but it has become an international sign for peace, and arguably the most widely used protest symbol in the world. It has also been adapted, attacked and commercialised."
I see that Andrew Sullivan was asked to list what he got wrong about Iraq for the five year anniversary of the invasion, and since I was as big a war booster as anyone, I thought I would list what I got wrong: