Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 26, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

QUOTE OF THE DAY....From Jonah Goldberg:

I don't think Obama supports domestic terrorism.

But you never know, do you?

You should read the whole thing, of course. Apparently the Democratic primary campaign has been sadly lacking in irrelevant 60s-era culture war skirmishes and Jonah hopes that will change in tonight's debate. After all, if Obama and Clinton aren't willing to engage in grandstanding denunciations of 60s radicals on national TV, they're just a short hop away from nominating the head of Hamas to be secretary of state, aren't they?

Kevin Drum 12:05 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (106)

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I don't think Jonah Goldberg really wants to beat his wife.

Posted by: AJ on February 26, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of slimeballs, check out this about Dana Perino.

Posted by: Swan on February 26, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but Jonah also things fascism is a liberal political ideology. Best to skip over such things in silence.

Posted by: phleabo on February 26, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Jon Stewart had the best response to Jonah's particular rand of crazy, and everyone should adopt it - every time he opens his mouth, just look at him nonplussed and say "I have no idea what you're saying."

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on February 26, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

After all, if Obama and Clinton aren't willing to engage in grandstanding denunciations of 60s radicals on national TV,

In addition, I expect denunciations of every silly kid and flaky person who has even walked the earth from these tow Democratic titans.

From the Republicans, I expect denunciations of Adolf Hitler and everyone who has ever abused religon to murder, oppress, or torture.

Posted by: Swan on February 26, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

I can't be one-hundred percent sure Jonah doesn't snort WD-40.

Posted by: Boorring on February 26, 2008 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK
if Obama and Clinton aren't willing to engage in grandstanding denunciations of 60s radicals on national TV, they're just a short hop away from nominating the head of Hamas to be secretary of state

Another adherent of the Failed Ideology, trying to whine his way back into arguments his side lost before his mother's IUD failed.

Sad.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on February 26, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think Jonah refers to himself in the third person as "Doughy Pantload."

Posted by: Stephen on February 26, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Acts of terror in the US in the last 25 years include killing of OB/GYN doctors, Oklahoma City, 9/11 and Anthrax. Right wing anti-abortion activist, right wing libertarians, right wing Islamic activists and unknown. No dirty fucking hippies in the bunch.

Posted by: Heron on February 26, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

If only this sort of rubbish was limited to Mr. Goldberg.

Clinton supporter Taylor Marsh has been trafficking this same stupid smear, calling Ayers "Obama's Willie Horton". See for yourself--just click here.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on February 26, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think Obama supports domestic terrorism.

Hey, Jonah's at least partially right with this statement...the "I don't think" part, that is...

Posted by: grape_crush on February 26, 2008 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Jonah: Why is it exactly that Ayers and Dohrn can be seen as "legitimate members of the community"? How is it that they get prestigious university jobs when even the whisper of neocon tendencies is toxic in academia?

Jonah's got a point: If the neocons would have been around back then we would have won the Viet Nam war. They would have had a surge and it would have worked, just like it did in Iraq.

But instead, Dr. Spock convinced everybody to just let their children do whatever they felt like and when it came time to go fight for their country they said they would rather have sex and take drugs (not necessarily in that order).

If Jonah would have been around back then he would have gone over to Viet Nam and kicked ass.

Posted by: Riesz Fischer on February 26, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin suffers the Pantload so we don't have to.

I've halved my LA Times viewing since the decided their paper would be enhanced by his predictable scribblings.

Posted by: poliwog on February 26, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, kevin, I'm sure you would remain silent if a Republican candidate served on the board of a charity which had an unrepentant abortion clinic bomber as it's director. Is it really asking too much for major party presdential candidates to not associate themselves with people who speak favorably of terrorist bombing campaigns? How about saying, "No, I don't think I can serve on your charitable board, you see, because you have chosen to have another board member who thinks setting off bombs is legitimate political behavior. In a world with nearly infinite need for charitable behavior, I think I will serve on boards which do not have fellow board members who think that setting off bombs is a legitimate form of political expression in a republic with democratic processes."?

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

I don't believe that he conducts black masses, nor do I believe that he rapes small children. He is, however, a democrat. Sin enough.

Posted by: Anon on February 26, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Heron: "No dirty fucking hippies in the bunch."

Plenty of room in the anthrax mystery to conjecture that Jane Fonda sent those envelopes herself. Can anyone prove she didn't??

Posted by: Grumpy on February 26, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Also, Kevin, setting off real bombs is not generally thought to be an act of a "culture war", unless you want to assert that, say, Eric Rudolph, was a "culture warrior".

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the link Kevin. I agree that the comment you quoted was inappropriate and deserving of your scorn.

However, the actual content of Goldberg's column is right on IMHO. Universities are more forgiving of left-wing radicalism than they are of right-wing radicalism.

Here's another example: Lawyer Lynn Stewart, was convicted of abusing her legal position to abet a terrorist attack that her client was planning. Nevertheless, she was recently hired to participate in a panel on legal ethics at Hofstra Law School.

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/09/26/another-invitation-imbroglio-hofstra-hosts-lynne-stewart/

It's hard to imagine a school engaging a right-wing terrorist to speak on ethics.

Posted by: ex-liberal on February 26, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

I do believe that there is a large percentage of modern liberals that do believe in domestic terrorism.

And this belief is rooted in...??? Perhaps you do believe this. But where is the evidence that you can point to to bolster this assertion of your "belief"?

There are a lot more wackos on the left. It doesn't make sense to ignore this.

Again, where is the evidence to bolster your little article of faith? Or is that all it is? Something you want to believe, and so you take it on faith that your belief is true, but in realith there is not a shred of evidence to support your delusional dumbassery.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on February 26, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think Jonah Goldberg cares about domestic terrorism. We've had plenty of domestic terrorism in the US in the last eight years, and he never says anything about it. Wasn't a Planned Parenthood clinic torched just a week or two ago? What did Jonah write?

People who torture and incarcerate people for years without trial are, of course, terrorizing the populace, but Jonah never complains about that.

I'm sick of these people who don't care about the real terrorists in our country.

Posted by: Avedon on February 26, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on February 26, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

er BGRS,

How about PETA, and that bunch that set fire to a car dealership because it was selling SUV's?
Lots of environmental groups aren't exactly pacifists.


Actually for everyone. Homegrown terrorism is a big problem here in these old united states of america. It's just that we all are eager to excuse it.

Posted by: optical weenie on February 26, 2008 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Also, "guilt by association" as a phrase describing wrongful or unfair criticism is often misunderstood. For instance, when someone chooses to associate with a small group of people which includes those who speak favorably of bombing campaigns as legitimate political activity, criticizing that choice is not ascribing "guilt by association", anymore than it would be to criticize the choice of serving on the board of a charity which had a Mafioso as a board member.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Avedon, if John McCain or Mitt Romney were serving on a charitable board which had other members who spoke favorably of torching abortion clinics, you might have a point.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

So, let's see. Strom Thurmond, Trent Lott, Haley Barbour -- these weren't "legitimate members of the [Republican] community?" All of them have ties to white-supremacist terrorist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan or the Concerned Citizens' Council. And that's by no means the whole list.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 26, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

board members who think that setting off bombs is a legitimate form of political expression

Donald Rumsfeld and VP Cheney probably belong to many charitable boards of directors. They think setting off bombs is the ultimate form of political expression. They are also asked to speak at many universities graduations, to inspire young American adults.

Posted by: Brojo on February 26, 2008 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Toad, criticizing Lott or Barbour for associating with the Concerned Citizens Council is entirely legitimate, although I'm not sure (truly; if they do, it makes Lott's or Barbour's behavior that much worse) if the Concerned Citizens Council advocates unlawful violence in the manner that Obama's chosen associates do.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

yes, Brojo, and Cheney, and by proxy Rumsefeld, subjected himself to elections, in which his access to these tools of violence would have been removed. Obama's chosen associates maintain the right to bomb people without regard to electoral processes, and without regard to any entity which can check such power.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

I would put PETA wackos and Earth First!-ers in the anarchist camp rather than the liberal camp, but even if we were to grudgingly claim the dirthead freaks I doubt that there numbers would equal the numbers of right-wing radicals willing to resort to violence. (Note I said "doubt" - I do not ascribe belief or make an assertion, as I have seen no evidence to either verify or debunk.) And far be it from me to apologize for (literal) anarchist bomb throwers, but torching a car lot after hours isn't quite the moral equivalent of a sniper gunning down a physician in his kitchen.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on February 26, 2008 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" wrote: Universities are more forgiving of left-wing radicalism than they are of right-wing radicalism.

Berkeley hired John Yoo.

Posted by: Gregory on February 26, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK


I think I am going to write a book called

"CONSERVATIVE COMMUNISM"


The cover will have a happy face wearing a Fidel cap and sporting a beard.

Posted by: on February 26, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen wrote: "guilt by association" as a phrase describing wrongful or unfair criticism is often misunderstood.

You don't say.

Posted by: Gregory on February 26, 2008 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it's fun to ridicule conservatives for making hay out of the William Ayers/B. Dohrn thing, but it could be a hassle later. I suggest Obama takes it seriously and he and supporters find a really good way to talk about it.

Posted by: Neil B. on February 26, 2008 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Blue girl I agree with your statement but I think a more accurate word instead of dumbassery would be douchebaggery.

Posted by: Gandalf on February 26, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously the Clinton camp--working with Drudge--has forced Goldberg to say this. I think they have a chip in his brain. After all, the only people who have anything negative to say about Obama are Clinton and her supporters.

Posted by: Obama-centric on February 26, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Neil B, what, exactly, is a good way to talk about the choice to associate with small groups of people which includes those who speak favorably of domestic terror campaigns?

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS,
Sorry if I touched a nerve. I wasn't trying to say one side was worse than the other. Just that terrorists come in all politcial "flavors".

Terrorism is something that has afflicted humanity for millenia. Obviously we haven't come up with a way to stop it. It's something that really needs serious thought about. Simply flinging accusations at one side or the other about who is worse is not going to solve the problem.

Posted by: optical weenie on February 26, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Mr. Goldberg can explain why his idol, Ronald Reagan, funded right-wing groups in Guatemala and El Salvador who slaughtered unarmed nuns? Or why Reagan never apologized for giving billions of our tax dollars to the mujaheddin in Afghanistan, which included a gentleman by the name of Osama bin Laden? Or why Reagan never apologized for selling Hawk missiles to Iran during the 1980s, who George W. Bush called one of the "Axis of Evil"? Or why Reagan and Bush the Elder helped arm Saddam Hussein in the 1980s? Or why both Bushes molly-coddled Luis Posada Carriles, a terrorist who blew up a Cuban airliner in 1976, killing dozens of innocent people?

Or maybe why the worst domestic terrorist in American history was a right-wing nut named Timothy McVeigh who was an avid Rush Limbaugh listener? Or why Francisco Duran shot up the White House in 1994 with an automatic weapon after listening to right-wing talk radio? Our why Frank Corder, another right-wing nut, crashed a Cessna aircraft into the White House in 1994 in an attempt to kill President Clinton, foreshadowing the 9-11 attacks by seven years?

When are conservative politicians and the right-wing pundits who support them, going to apologize for all of these evil acts?

Jonah Goldberg is a reprehensible piece of human sewage.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on February 26, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen,

Goldberg's claim was that right-wingers who have advocated domestic terrorism are shunned as pariahs, while left-wingers who have done so are assimilated into the liberal mainstream without needing to apologize for their past. It seems you agree with me that there are a number of compelling counterexamples to Goldberg's claim. Prominent Republican politicians don't seem to have any trouble associating with members of the white supremacist movement that has been responsible for so many lynchings and bombings throughout Southern history.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 26, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

erratum: it looks as if the current name of the organization is "Council of Conservative Citizens."

Hm.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 26, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Deflator, I imagine Reagan supported awful people in El Salvador for the same reason that FDR supported the worst mass murderer in human history; as part of of a global ideological conflict with other awful people. I suppose Reagan supported guerillas in Afghanistan for the same reason Carter did. Reagan wrongly supported sending arms to Iran as part of an effort to win the freedom of Americans held hostage in Lebanon.
I could go on and on, but what does any of this have to do with Obama choosing to associate with people who think that setting off bombs is a legitimate activity in Americam domestic politics? I mean, your description of Goldberg could be entirely accurate, but what does that have to do with who Obama chooses to associate with?

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Part of the problem here is that the word terrorism has developed so much power in our discourse. And in that, "liberal" hawks, like Kevin and his blog-writing compatriots (and the entirety of our media - the NYT, WP, TNR, NPR, etc.) is probably just as guilty as the conservatives.

In our adversarial, two-party system, if both sides use the bogeyman, and both legitimate the completely disproportionate focus on, and fear of terrorism, that leaves anyone who believes the threat to be overblown completely marginalized from the political discourse. ~50% of Americans opposed the Iraq war before it started, while few of our politicians would take a public stand against it, and almost no one in our media did.

So, what Jonah is saying should be laughed off, as his premise is ridiculous. But the very idea that terrorism is something that we should reorganize our civic lives, our domestic and foreign policy, and overthrow nations over, is ALSO ridiculous.

What's Jonah talking about? The Weathermen were 38 years ago. They bombed a toilet in the pentagon in the incident mentioned. They usually called ahead to evacuate their targeted buildings. Why should anybody be quaking in their boots over this kind of thing? Yes, it was sociopathic behavior. So are kids killing each other over the proceeds of dime bags of crack cocaine, which kills far more people than domestic terrorism ever has. So is drunk driving, which almost everyone has done.

Arrest criminals, and leave it at that. I wish liberals would quit wetting their pants over terrorism. Is our shock and outrage over fucking Goldberg's attempted linking of Obama with 1960's radicals a bit of the same thing?

Belligerent, ignorant, war-hungry Republicans are one thing. Liberals who give legitimacy to this terrorism hysteria by trying to jump through hoops the conservatives set up for us are making things worse.

Posted by: luci on February 26, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Prominent Republican politicians don't seem to have any trouble associating with members of the white supremacist movement that has been responsible for so many lynchings and bombings throughout Southern history.

Some of them even serve as long-time senators from West Virginia. Or as senators from Tennessee whose son ends up being a presidential candidate and modern-day savior of the environment. Or, they can stand in the doorway of a college in Alabama, trying to keep blacks out, then go on stage at the Democratic convention for Jimmy Carter to the same response as the other examples: silence.

Sheer, utter, silence.

BTW, Dick Gephardt hung out with the CCC, as well.

Keep telling yourself how pure you are.....

Posted by: Cam Winston on February 26, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Luci,

Nicely said for the most part.

Though -- while not an advocate of drunk driving -- I would deny that it's necessarily sociopathic. My understanding is that a sociopath is someone without a conscience, and there's nothing preventing a drunk driver from having a conscience.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 26, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

luci, Goldberg is not "linking" Obama with sociopaths who set off bombs. Goldberg is noting that Obama has chosen to "link" himself with such people. Look, I'm not voting in the election, in part because I don't have anything against Obama any more than I do any other candidate, but there is nothing wrong in noting that Obama chooses to link himself with sociopathic bombers.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 1:13 PM:

...if John McCain or Mitt Romney were serving on a charitable board which had other members who spoke favorably of torching abortion clinics, you might have a point.

Oooh! Oooh! Fun With Indirect Relationships! Can I play, too? Here's my entry:

Operation Rescue's Randall Terry, who's been accused of inciting violence against abortion providers, ran for the Florida Senate as a Republican. McCain and Romney are Republicans...

(Fill in the rest from Goldberg's column)

Now, I don't think that McCain and Romney advocate murder, and I'm sure they can offer eloquent explanations for why they shouldn't suffer any guilt by association.

Now, I'm sure that you are argue the specifics, Will Allen, but this is just one example...just imagine what I could do with a name like Gary McCullough, for example.

Well, that was lotsa fun. Anyone else want to play?

Posted by: grape_crush on February 26, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if Jonah Goldberg has the balls to defend himself here. His reputation is sure is getting slaughtered big time, quite legitimately (IMO) and in plain view for everyone to read.

Posted by: Bob M on February 26, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Toad, I obviously hold no regard for the CCC, but if any of their members have openly written of the desirability of lynchings or blowing up churches, I'm unaware of it.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Dewar Will:

A sampling from around the internet:

On October 9, a Republican candidate for the Montana State Legislature, Bob Davies, told a Republican candidates' forum that Bill Clinton "should be shot." Davies compared Clinton to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, executed during the McCarthyite witch-hunt as spies for the Soviet Union.

Among those in attendance at the Montana forum where Davies offered the execution of Clinton as a preferable alternative to impeachment was Governor Marc Racicot. Neither Racicot nor any other Republican official stopped Davies from speaking or dissociated himself from Davies' inflamatory (and, under federal law, illegal) remarks. Davies was a member of the ultra-right John Birch Society in the 1970s.


Ten days later in Tennessee, a Republican candidate for the state senate, Byron Looper, apparently murdered his Democratic opponent.

Helen Chenoweth (R-ID) is an outspoken supporter of the militia. She has never condoned violence, but she has defended militia groups. After the Oklahoma City bombing she warned against "a rush to condemn many people who are guilty of nothing more than the peaceful exercise of their basic rights." Militias, in turn, praise her legislative agenda, distribute her speeches and call her their best friend in Congress.
The Boise-based Idaho Statesman called Rep. Chenoweth "a poster child for the militias," and accused her of confusing individual freedom with anarchy.

Elected officials associated with the militias have helped their cause. Representatives Helen Chenoweth, Republican of Idaho, Robert Dornan, Republican of California, Karen Thurman, Democrat of Florida, Mac Collins, Republican of Georgia, and James Hansen, Republican of Utah, as well as Senators Larry Craig, Republican of Utah, and Lauch Faircloth, Republican of North Carolina, have sent letters to the Justice Department or other agencies detailing the concerns of militia groups.

Posted by: Jose Padilla on February 26, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

optical, no nerves were damaged in this exchange on the comments thread...:)

I dealt with home-grown terrorism up close and personal in Wichita in 1991. I have no soft spots in my heart for them at all.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on February 26, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

optical weenie wrote: "How about PETA, and that bunch that set fire to a car dealership because it was selling SUV's? Lots of environmental groups aren't exactly pacifists."

BGRS wrote: "I would put PETA wackos and Earth First!-ers in the anarchist camp rather than the liberal camp ..."

With all due respect, these comments reflect ignorance about PETA.

PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals) is an animal welfare education and advocacy organization based in Norfolk, Virginia. It is recognized as a 501c3 nonprofit organization by the IRS as well as all fifty states. All of its activities are entirely legal. It does not and never has engaged in any violent or illegal activities. And it is is certainly in no way "anarchist", since much of its advocacy work is directed towards enforcing and strengthening laws against animal abuse.

You may be confusing PETA with the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), which as far as anyone knows is not an actual organization, but a name used by various small, independent groups in the US, the UK and elsewhere, who do engage in illegal activities, including property destruction.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 26, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Cam,

I don't have any illusions about the racist past of the Democratic party, including youthful involvement in the Klan by people like Robert Byrd. But in 1948, the rabidly segregationist wing of the Democrats split off from the main party over issues like Truman's integration of the military, and formed a new party, the "Dixiecrats." (Trivia: Guess who their presidential candidate was? That would be Strom Thurmond.) And then in 1964, President Johnson, a Southern Democrat, signed the Civil Rights Act, predicting at the time that it would lose the South for the Democratic party. Republicans such as Richard Nixon picked up on that right away, and began a concerted effort to win Southern segregationists over to the Republican party. Reagan completed this process, turning the "solid South" solid Republican in 1980. And now the Democrats are about to nominate a black man our candidate for President. So I think my party has done a fair job of overcoming its share of the country's racist past. Yours?

*crickets*

Oh, yeah, I forgot -- Ken Mehlman apologized for the Southern Strategy. Well, that makes it all better.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 26, 2008 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Point taken.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on February 26, 2008 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen wrote: "Also, Kevin, setting off real bombs is not generally thought to be an act of a 'culture war', unless you want to assert that, say, Eric Rudolph, was a 'culture warrior'."

Actually, I think that "setting off real bombs" is precisely an act of "culture war", and that Eric Rudolph would be well-described as a "culture warrior".

You may be right about what is "generally thought", but to the extent that you are right, what is "generally thought" is muddled. People often speak of "culture war" and "class war" when what they are really referring to is "culture politics" and "class politics".

Campaigning to elect politicians or to enact laws that will limit or end legal abortion, for example, is politics.

Blowing up reproductive health clinics is war.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 26, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen:

The conservative mind sure has a remarkable ability to rationalize away a lot of evil, doesn't it? Your reference to FDR "supporting the worst mass murderer in human history" is obscure and unsupported by any factual evidence I am aware of. It is conservatives who think violence is the way to solve problems, not liberals. The Weathermen were no more a "liberal" group than the man in the moon. They were anarchists. Liberals beleive in the power of government to do good, and to "regulate commerce and promote the common welfare" of the people, as the Preamble to the Constitution requires. You and Goldberg need to take some remedial political science classes before you continue to embarass yourselves in a national forum like this one. You simply don't know what you are talking about.

TCD

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on February 26, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

yes, Jose, and Racicot should be condemmned for his silence. What's your point?

Grape, apparently you are unable to discern the difference between being accused of inciting violence, and openly admitting to setting off bombs, while expressing regret that you did not set off more bombs. You also appear unable to discern the difference between choosing to associate with a group consisting of millions of people, the vast majority of whom you have no direct contact, and choosing to associate with a group consisting of a few people, with whom you have direct contact as part of a joint oversight activity. I wouldn't criticize an Italian American how joined the Knights of Columbus, because some members of organized crime were part of that organization. I would criticize an Italian American who chose to serve on a small charitable board with an organized crime figure.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't really taken much of anything Obama has said seriously. But, he might be right about this being the political "silly season" (based on the comments posted above).

Posted by: MarkH on February 26, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Deflator, Stalin's murder totals exceed all others', and Roosevelt lent him support when he believed it was wise to do so. There is nothing obscure about this, nor do I condemn Roosevelt for it. It may have escaped you, but I don't use the words "liberal" or "conservative", because the words have become so vague as to be meaningless.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

I just don't think serving on a charitable board with someone implies any endorsement of their past or present views (at least not on topics unrelated to the work of the board).

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 26, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Animist, I don't disagree, really, but I think the term "culture war" is frequently employed by people to describe harsh rhetoric when debating social issues, thus I would prefer that the term "culture war" not be used when describing bombs being set off.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Toad, I wouldn't say it implies endorsement either, but I wouldn't serve on a charitable board which included people who were unrepetant about setting off bombs for the same reason I wouldn't serve on a charitable board which included O.J. Simpson or John Gotti. A civilized person does not associate himself with small groups which includes the likes of people like this.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Will:

My point is that violent groups are an integral part of the Republican Party. The militias, the gun nuts, the anti-abortion nuts and the rascist nuts are all part and parcel of the Republican Party. Usually they are on the outer fringes of the Party, but often (as you can see by the many references provided on this board)they overlap with the mainstream.

Posted by: Jose Padilla on February 26, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and I hasten to add, there is no similar phenomenon in the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Just saying on February 26, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

So now Obama is not a "civilized person" because he served on a charitable board with someone? But if the board had been larger, it would be OK?

Where's Elmer Fudd?!? It's silly season!

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 26, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Jose, and when Republican candidates choose
to serve on small oversight bodies with people who have openly advocated the use of illegal violence, that choice should be noted, and that choice should be condemned. That's what I am doing with regard to Obama.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

What just saying just said.

Breaking: noted conservative pundit Will Allen associated in a small political blog comment thread with convicted terrorist JOSE PADILLA!

And we thought he was a civilized person.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 26, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Just sayin', let it be noted that the Democrats chose to give one of their very small number of speaking slots at ther last national convention to a man who stood by silently while an associate spoke to a crowd, and urged it to "make this cracker suffer", and "the cracker's" business was later homicidally firebombed. The speaker at the convention had previously urged a primarily black community to "drive out the white interloper", prior to the firebombing.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

No, Toad, serving on a small oversight board with people who advocate bombing as a legitimate political act in this country is something a civilized person avoids. Sorry to see you disagree, and I am sorry to see you cannot discern the difference between joining a group consisting of millions of people, the vast majority with whom you have little contact, and which inevitably contains some bad actors, and joining a very small group of people with whom you have frequent direct contact.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

I think that's silly. First of all, you don't necessarily have "frequent direct contact" with other people who serve with you on a non-profit board. And besides, I don't think it's "uncivilized" to have frequent direct contact with people you disagree with, if your work -- charitable or otherwise -- makes that necessary. Surely you'd agree that the work of the Senate, for instance, is important enough to warrant frequent direct contact with scoundrels. Why isn't the same true of a non-profit board?

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 26, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Reagan completed this process, turning the "solid South" solid Republican in 1980.

Nonsense. A vote for president does not turn an entire region "red" or "blue". As recently as the mid 90s, the south was solidly blue, with Democrats holding most state houses and governorships, which meant whether it swung for Clinton or Dole (it went Clinton, of course), the south was solidly Democratic. Solidly. It became en vogue to be a Republican in the south primarily in the latter years of the Clinton presidency. What the south is not is LIBERAL, which does not equal DEMOCRAT, which is why the south was so solidly "D" for so long (main reason: FDR).

And now the Democrats are about to nominate a black man our candidate for President. So I think my party has done a fair job of overcoming its share of the country's racist past. Yours?

There's nothing that anyone can say that can sway the EMOTION of someone disinclined to accept reason. Someone inclined to think that a Republican is a racist is as ignorant as someone inclined to think that a Democrat is a lazy welfare cheat. So, sit back and ponder what you'd think if some Republican came here and hammered home the notion that Democrats cater to the bottom-feeders of society, and then ask yourself if a Republican thinks any differently of some ignorant Democrat feeding their inner-chick by way of claiming that "the other guy" is probably a racist.

Trust me, the reaction is similar.

A better tactic might be to assume, if one could, that "the other guy" isn't really demonic and may just disagree on some political issues. Or, stay entrenched in the mind-numbed robotic phase of repeating party-line talking points and appeasing one's own personal emotions, I don't care.

Keep telling yourself how morally superior you are, especially over those "bigots" (go look up the definition some time) who are so closed minded...

Posted by: Cam Winston on February 26, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, Bob Dole stood at the convention in '96 and declared [b]ut if there's anyone who has mistakenly attached themselves to our party in the belief that we are not open to citizens of every race and religion, then let me remind you, tonight this hall belongs to the Party of Lincoln. And the exits which are clearly marked are for you to walk out of as I stand this ground without compromise. Thus, the Republican party is against advanced status based on race or religion (among other things).

Democrats cannot state that, as the official party stance is that race (and gender, and other things) MUST LEGALLY come into play as it pertains to job applications, school admissions, etc.

For the 'good' reasons, though.

Funny, that.

Posted by: Cam Winston on February 26, 2008 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I suppose you and I could have different ideas of what the word "frequent" means, but all the charitable organizations which I have worked with frequently have board meetings at least twice a year, and perhaps at least four times a year. That qualifies for me. Yes, I have disagreed with some of these people, but not regarding something as fundamental as to whether conducting bombing campaigns was a legitimate form of political participation. Like I said, I would resign my membership from such a board, for the same reason I would if the board asked someone like O.J. Simpson, or John Gotti, or an avowed Klu Klux Klanner, to become a board member. Some things are simply intolerable, and being an unrepetant bomber is one of them.

Frankly, if the people of a state ever elected someone who openly advocated bombing campaigns as a means of political expression, I would demand that the Republicans or Democrats refuse to caucus with such an individual, despite such a person receiving electoral legitimacy. Absent such electoral legitimacy, there is even less reason to associate with such a person, within a small private organization.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Cam, you're right, the story's more complex than I let on, once you take down-ticket races into account. And Newt Gingrich deserves a lot of credit for completing the Southern Strategy at that level. I was just talking about presidential politics.

Look, I don't assume all Republicans, or even all Southern Republicans, are racists. I know many Southern Republicans who genuinely aren't. (Including some who are going to vote for Obama in November.) All I'm saying is that it's asinine to equate the two parties when it comes to the legacy of segregation. The Democrats disowned the segregationists, and the Republicans avidly courted them. To deny that your party ended up with a bunch of racist voters, or to contend that the Republican party after the Southern Strategy remained the "party of Lincoln," is mere spin. Things like Ken Mehlman's apology for that strategy, and Bob Dole's explanation that the party was not racist, are signs that the GOP is still coming to terms with their history of building a voter base on grounds they can't publicly advocate or defend.

Re: affirmative action and school-integration programs, you're not really contending that they're morally or constitutionally equivalent to segregation, are you?

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 26, 2008 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen,

At least you and I can agree that it's uncivilized to bomb people because you disagree with their politics.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 26, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

No, Toad, I think bombing people whose politics preclude allowing a population to govern itself can be civilized in some circumstances. I guess we'll have to disagree on that as well.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

There is something annoyingly familiar about "Cam Winston" - anyone else picking up that vibe? I am sensing an old troll with a new name...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on February 26, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

No, Toad, I think bombing people whose politics preclude allowing a population to govern itself can be civilized in some circumstances.

You chickenshit. You don't bomb people because you don't agree with how they govern themselves. You only resort to bombing people in the case of a credible threat to the vital interests of this country or its allies. As in, you can bomb specific targets in Belgrade to get them to pull their troops out of neighboring Kosovo because diplomacy and economic pressure has failed.

What a fucking chickenhawk ninny--spouting ridiculous bullshit like that! It's so easy to mock you for such a bizaare and disjointed statement. No, it ain't cool to just "bomb" people--the world is too complicated. And at the exact point where you're bombing people, you can forget about anyone winning. Everyone loses. We're still tied up in the Balkans and the bombing we did to stop the attacks on the people of Kosovo have only kicked the can down the road. We still have issues that cannot be solved simply by bombing people.

What a stooge.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 26, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

You illiterate. I never wrote that you bomb people because you don't agree with how they govern themselves.

Can we please require that people pass a reading comprehension test before allowing them to post here?

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen,

I suspect you were misunderstood because you declined to concede that it's uncivilized to bomb people because you disagree with their politics. Pale Rider apparently concluded that you believe it's civilized to bomb people because you disagree with their politics. I can sort of see why.

But to respond to your comment, yes, I guess we will have to disagree about that, unless the "some circumstances" you have in mind are very narrowly circumscribed. I am guessing, however, that they include circumstances such as being involved in the 9-11 attacks -- no, wait -- possession of weapons of mass destruction -- um, let's try that again -- committing atrocities against his own people in the 1980s -- oh, shit, we just want the oil, OK?

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 26, 2008 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

There are a lot more wackos on the left.

It's not that we have more wackos on the left. It's that we on the left don't give our wackos a veneer of respectability by giving them think tank jobs or electing them to public office.

Posted by: rea on February 26, 2008 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

rea, you forgot to mention that we on the left also don't get them gigs on the editorial pages of oh, say, the NYT, LATimes, and WaPo.

Posted by: kenga on February 26, 2008 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Well, no, Toad, that wasn't what I wrote at all. The phrase....

"It is civilized in some circumstances to bomb people whose politics preclude allowing a population to givern itself."

is in no way synonymous with the phrase.......

"It is civilized to bomb people if you don't agree with their politics."

...and you really have to be quite a stupid person to think that they are. Thus it is reasonably concluded that Pale Rider is quite a stupid person.

I think it would have been quite civilized for a free black man living in Massachussetts in 1856 to go south and bomb a slaveholder. I don't think it would have been civilized for him to bomb the Capitol building of the Commonwealth of Massachussetts. I think it was quite civilized to bomb the communists on the North Korean peninsula in the early '50s, and I suspect the present-day residents of Seoul believe so as well. I think it was rather less civilized to bomb Cambodia in the early '70s. I think that when one is bombing people whose politics preclude allowing a population to govern itself, it may or may not be civilized, depending on the circumstances. I can think of no situation in which an American citizen of the present day, or of any time after the mid '60s, when it would have been civilized to bomb other American citizens as a means of political particilation. I do think some African Americans, in the period when they were subject to extrajudicial lynchings, and other fundamental denials of their civil rights, would have been civilized in responding with violence in some circumstances.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

rea nailed it. If there were really "fair and balanced" views presented in the free marketplace of ideas, then you would see representatives from the American Communist Party (it still exists - go to www.cpusa.org) on talk shows to offset the right-wing extremism of Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly. It doesn't happen. Instead, the political spectrum has been shifted artificially so far right by the Rupert Murdochs of the world, that someone like Al Hunt is presented as a "liberal". Only in Rush Limbaugh's twisted imagination is someone as far to the right as Hunt, portrayed as a "liberal". Sheesh....

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on February 26, 2008 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen,

It's true that you didn't write that. But I think Pale Rider's interpretation of what you wrote was based on the understandable belief that you were either affirming or denying that it's civilized to bomb people with whose political beliefs you disagree. I had just suggested that we agree to that proposition, and your comment purported to be responsive to mine.

In fact, however, you affirmed something different, which is that it's sometimes civilized to bomb people whose politics prevents people from governing themselves. I actually agree with that. Sometimes it is civilized to do so, and sometimes it isn't.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 26, 2008 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen wrote: "... I think the term 'culture war' is frequently employed by people to describe harsh rhetoric when debating social issues ..."

I think you accurately describe how the word "war" is used -- not only as in "culture war", but in "class war", and in "war on drugs", and the "war on poverty", and other things that are inaccurately characterized as "war". But "harsh rhetoric" is not war. Tough politics is not "war".

As I've said on other threads, the essence of war is that when going to war, you commit yourself to doing horrible, hideous and destructive things, if that's what it takes to win. Even the most righteous warriors, fighting for the most righteous causes, have committed atrocities -- such as the United States murdering killing thousands of unarmed, innocent civilians with the firebombings of German and Japanese cities in World War II.

I think the frequent use of the metaphor of "war" shapes our discourse and our thinking in unhelpful and destructive ways.

And for some people, it may even contribute to blurring the mental, emotional, ethical line between nonviolent and violent acts. When someone like Eric Rudolph decides to bomb a clinic or assassinate a doctor, it may well be that hearing his concerns constantly framed as a "war" contributed to pushing him over that line.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 26, 2008 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Jose, and when Republican candidates choose to serve on small oversight bodies with people who have openly advocated the use of illegal violence, that choice should be noted, and that choice should be condemned.

So that's basically everybody in the Bush White House and the Senate and House Republican caucuses, then.

Posted by: Stefan on February 26, 2008 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't Goldberg the son of Lucian Goldberg, Monica Lewinsky's ex-confidant?

How did such a son of a slimeball achieve mention in this blog?

Posted by: Dr WU-the last of the big time thinkers on February 26, 2008 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 2:10 PM:

Grape, apparently you are unable to discern the difference...

And apparently you are missing the point, Will Allen: Goldberg made a vacuous statement, and I countered with an equally vacuous one.

Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 4:25 PM:

I think that when one is bombing people whose politics preclude allowing a population to govern itself, it may or may not be civilized, depending on the circumstances.

Parse much, Will Allen? If it's the second Tuesday in March and the building is painted green, and the person doing the bombing is left-handed...

Furthermore, who gets to make the distinctions? It's not as if there's a referee to cry 'foul'.

I do think some African Americans, in the period when they were subject to extrajudicial lynchings, and other fundamental denials of their civil rights, would have been civilized in responding with violence in some circumstances.

Oh yeah. Jackie Robinson going up into the stands and hitting a cracker upside the head with a baseball bat would have done wonders for race relations in this country.

Can you really be this dense, Will Allen?

Cam Winston on February 26, 2008 at 2:58 PM:

By the way, Bob Dole stood at the convention in '96 and declared...Thus, the Republican party is against advanced status based on race or religion..

Oh yes, because Bob Dole's words back in 2006 mean more than any action (or lack thereof) backed by Republicans since....Funny, that.

Posted by: grape_crush on February 26, 2008 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Grape, you apparently are stupid enough to think that the statement.......

"I do think some African Americans, in the period when they were subject to extrajudicial lynchings, and other fundamental denials of their civil rights, would have been civilized in responding with violence in some circumstances."

...must entail Jackie Robinson behaving in the manner you describe. It is pointless to converse with someone as dumb as you. Good bye.

Toad, we'll have to disagree regarding whether it is understandable for Pale Rider to think that the statement by me was synonymous with the one he put forth. On the larger issue, regarding whether it is civilized to bomb people, we are in agreement that it isn't a clear yes or no proposition that globally covers all circumstances.

Animist, I would agree that the use of "war" as a metaphor is mostly undesirable.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Henry Kissinger...how I'm missing ya....

Posted by: socratic_me on February 26, 2008 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Goldberg is Kristol Lite.

Posted by: hollywood on February 26, 2008 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

No, Goldberg is Kristol XXXXXL but without the brains.

Posted by: Doughy on February 26, 2008 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 5:44 PM:

Grape, you apparently are stupid enough to think...

Gee, Will Allen, let's examine your ealier statement:

"I do think some African Americans,..

Jackie Robinson was an African American...one of your conditions met, Will Allen.

...in the period when they were subject to extrajudicial lynchings...

Robinson lived from 1919 to 1972, and became the first African-American major league baseball player in 1947. Lynchings occurred in Robinson's lifetime, so that condition has been met. Next:

...and other fundamental denials of their civil rights...

Let's see...Jim Crow laws were state and local laws were enacted and enforced between 1876 and 1965, school segregation was declared unconstitutional in 1954, the Civil Rights Act didn't pass until 1964, the Voting Rights Act...well, Will Allen; I've satisfied that condition of your statement.

..would have been civilized in responding with violence in some circumstances."

Circumstances like this, Will Allen?

..players spoke of a league-wide strike. They were willing to destroy the game they loved rather than see it stained by integration. Others said it would be simpler to take Robinson out with a well-aimed fastball to the head, or with a set of metal cleats driven through his Achilles tendon on a close play at first base - something that would look like an accident.

And that was just from people he played baseball with, Will Allen. The last condition of your statement has been met.

Even your carefully-qualified statement fails the sniff test, Will Allen. You have no argument, only insult..which means you have nothing... Nothing.

It is pointless to converse with someone as dumb as you.

It must be embarassing to have your ass handed to you by someone as dumb as I am, Will Allen, something akin to being beaten up by a five-year-old.

Good bye.

And good riddance to you, Will Allen.

Posted by: grape_crush on February 26, 2008 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

grape, you are so indescribably stupid that you claim that the phrase "some circumstances" must be inclusive of....

"players spoke of a league-wide strike. They were willing to destroy the game they loved rather than see it stained by integration. Others said it would be simpler to take Robinson out with a well-aimed fastball to the head, or with a set of metal cleats driven through his Achilles tendon on a close play at first base - something that would look like an accident."

Read carefully, nitwit. There is nothing in the phrase "some circumstances" which logically must include the paragraph describing Robinson's circumstances. You are an imbecile. Please stop posting.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen on February 26, 2008 at 11:31 PM:

There is nothing in the phrase "some circumstances" which logically must include the paragraph describing Robinson's circumstances.

You failed to clearly define 'some circumstnces', Will Allen, not me...although your prior statements would seem to include 'some circumstances' where there is threat of physical injury or death. Not my fault your arguments are poorly defined, and, well, crap.

Making statements qualified to the Nth degree, calling people 'nitwit', and generally whining about how others interpret your poor arguments is not a substitute for actually having an argument, Will Allen.

Once again, you have nothing.

Posted by: grape_crush on February 26, 2008 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

grape, you numbskull, the failure to precisely define "some circumstances" does not mean it logically follows that any condition in which physical injury or death is a possibility falls under the heading "some circumstances". Your brain is deficient is some strange way, isn't it?

Look, if you wanted a civil exchange, you would have endeavored to employ a civil tone. You haven't, and I have responded in kind. Now you get huffy when I have the temerity to note that your grasp of logic approximates that of a lemur.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 27, 2008 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

Will Allen on February 27, 2008 at 12:04 AM:

...the failure to precisely define "some circumstances"

Your failure, Will Allen. Would you care to further qualify your statement, or can I assume that you would prefer your meaning of one part of a larger statement to remain ambiguous?

I mean, I've invalidated the rest of your argument, so if this is all you have left to cling to...

Look, if you wanted a civil exchange, you would have endeavored to employ a civil tone.

Oh, Will Allen..don't project your intellectual inadequacies on me. You used the term 'illiterate' to describe a fellow commenter, accused me of being unable to discern your vague-but-self-important statements, and generally have been just downright nasty when people have blown up your flawed arguments.

So stop your whining. You have no intention of debating honestly, being civil, and do little that resembles reasonable discussion.

Posted by: grape_crush on February 27, 2008 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

No grape, you illiterate cretin, I noted that another poster was illiterate after he stated that two entirely diffrent phrases, both composed of rather simple words, were synonymous, when they plainly were not, and after he so civilly addressed me as "chickenshit" and "stooge". What is so deficient in your brain that you would think it notable that I would respond nastily to someone who employed invective such as that? I'm not asking rhetorically; what is wrong with you, that you cannot discern that Pale Rider clearly indicated, like you, that he or she wished to have an insulting exchange, and that I merely accomodated Pale Rider, after he demonstrated that simple words were beyond his grasp? What has happened to your neurons to cause you to be so lacking in perception?

In contrast, can your brain function well enough to note the difference in tone that I adopted with regard to Mr. Toad? Why do you think that may be? Perhaps because Mr. Toad showed no desire for an invective-filled exchange? Again, what on earth is wrong with you?

Finally, are you so titanically stupid that you cannot grasp that if you wish to have a more precise definition of what someone means by "in some circumstances" the easiest way to obtain it is by writing, oh, I dunno, maybe, "Please explain what you mean by that phrase", or "Please give me some examples of what you mean by that."? My goodness, how do you get thorugh a single day, with a brain that functions in the manner that your's does? Again, what on earth is wrong with you?

Posted by: Will Allen on February 27, 2008 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

..clearly indicated, like you, that he or she wished to have an insulting exchange.

And where did I indicate that, Will Allen? I remember asking if you were dense, but I've done little else to warrant your nastiness, other than disagree with you and counter your arguments.

And in addition: Just because someone hurls invective at you doesn't meant you have to engage in the same action. If you truly think that you are superior to the likes of me, you wouldn't feel the need to respond in the way you have been responding, Will Allen.

..what on earth is wrong with you?

Again, please refrain from projecting your personal issues on to me. What on earth is wrong with you, Will Allen?

...if you wish to have a more precise definition of what someone means by "in some circumstances" the easiest way to obtain it is...

Again: It's not my problem if you cannot adequately explain your arguments, Will Allen. If you are unclear and people misinterpret whatever meaning you have rattling around inside your head, it's your fault that you cannot effectively communicate your ideas.

You've had ample opportunity to explain what you meant, and have up to this point failed to do so, Will Allen. By continuing, you are embarassing yourself.

Posted by: grape_crush on February 27, 2008 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

Tell me grape, what happens in your brain which would cause you to note the nastiness I employed towards Pale Rider, but not the nastiness which he employed to begin the exchange? What on earth is wrong with you? Why would you expect the phrase "are you dense?" to be responded to civilly? Do you normally write "are you dense?" to people with whom you intend to have a civil exchange? What on earth is wrong with you?

Grape, whatever you believe your problems are, and really, they are quite numerous, as a matter of simple logic, if an imprecise term is employed, it does not logically follow that any example necessarily fits under that term. Which is why a non-psychotic person, if they wish to have a more precise understanding of what someone meant by that term, would simply inquire in a civil fashion. This really is beyond you, isn't it? What on earth is wrong with you?

Posted by: Will Allen on February 27, 2008 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, it's another classic Will Allen exchange. Insult the people you're debating, then complain about being insulted. Speak of civilized behavior, then search high and low for the slightest possible reason to take offense, then use that an excuse to hurl invective. Check!

Write statements that lack clarity, then question the intelligence of anyone who cannot discern what he meant to say. Check!

Belligerently claim that others have "indicated" that they wish to have an insulting exchange, because, Hey! Will Allen knows what it's like to wish for such a thing. Check!

Really, the innocent reader might be excused for wondering whether someone who seems so very, very concerned with proper brain function hasn't got a few problems with his own neural hardware.

Posted by: keith on February 27, 2008 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

By the way, since grape_crush seems unwilling to do so, I'll ask you to give us a more precise definition of what you meant by "some circumstances," and which conditions "in which physical injury or death is a possibility" do not qualify. I ask because I honestly would like to know why the Jackie Robinson example doesn't qualify.

Robinson lived at a time when lynchings took place, he was routinely threatened with physical harm, received numerous death threats, and had to endure "fans" who advocated that he be maimed or killed and his wife raped. You can find the details of this in Baseball's Great Experiment. So, why wouldn't Robinson have been justified, under your conditions, if he had gone into the stands in St. Louis and cracked some loud-mouthed racist over the head with his bat?

Posted by: keith on February 27, 2008 at 8:22 AM | PERMALINK

Apparently keith is also so lacking in perception that he is unable to discern the difference between the exchange I had with Mr. Toad, and those I had with Pale Rider or Grape Crush. Now, keith, just why is it that you take time to note my use of invective, yet fail to do so when Pale Rider starts his exchange with me by employing vile insults, or when Grape decides that the phrase "Are you dense?" is the way to promote a civil exchange? What is wrong with your brain? Why is it you only think it notable when someone you have differing political views with returns the invective tossed his way, yet it is not notable when the people you share political views with decide that they want such an exchange, and thus decide to intitiate it? Are you truly so lacking in self-awareness?

Now, since you aren't as stupid as grape, and thus, when met by a term which lacks precision, have the sense to simply make a civil inquiry as to what is meant by the term, instead of trying to falsely claim that the term entails anything you might imagine, I'll be happy to discuss it. Robinson certainly endured horrible treatment, but it is hard to say whether he ever faced overwhelming imminent threat of death or severe injury via violence that was implicitly endorsed by the state that would have been avoided by Robinson resorting to the hypothetical actions that grape put forth. Robinson going into the stands to club a racist would not have improved his safety.

In contrast, in some of the attempted lynchings that occurred in the Jim Crow era, violence by African Americans was successful in preventing an innocent man from being tortured to death. This is a civilized use of violence.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 27, 2008 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Here is a brief description of a book which discusses the civilized use of violence by some African Americans, and how their willingness to abandon the principle of nonviolence promoted a more decent civilization:

http://uncpress.unc.edu/books/T-5056.html

Note that I am not claiming that MLK's principles were erroneous, but only that violence can also promote the goals of civilization, when used judiciously, which, to be sure, is a very difficult task.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 27, 2008 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Are frankly0 and Will Allen the same person?

Posted by: bonds in seconds on February 27, 2008 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Will,

Maybe, just maybe, it's because we've had half a dozen or so exchanges in which the most inflamatory thing I've asked you was whether you were being dishonest, or whether you genuinely didn't understand an issue. In return, I've been called an idiot, a cretin, deeply immoral, utterly stupid, brain dead, beneath contempt and a host of other insults. So when you respond to a single term ("dense") with a litany of insults, yeah, I recognize a pattern, because I've experienced it before.

I note that you do not deny that you've claimed that you "seek confrontation" (good thing, since you're on record), but you apparently fail to understand that what you think someone is indicating may in fact not be what they are indicating. This sounds remarkably similar to Bob Knight behavior, as in when he explained his tirades and bullying by saying, "sometimes I have a hard time putting up with disagreemnt when I know I'm right."

Of course, what he meant to say was "...when I think I'm right," but that would open the door to acknowledging that his impressions, like yours, might be wrong.

Look, if you want to engage in civil discourse -- parties are reasonably respectful toward each other -- then you might consider trying to remain above the fray. But instead, you simply try to out insult your interlocutor (which is a bad way to get what you say you want), and then you complain about rudeness (which is just plain hypocritical). When someone calls you dense, just shrug it off, or note that you are not dense and show us why not. Whoa, there's a novel idea!

You'll note that I'm not responding in kind to your suggestion that there's something wrong with my brain other than by pointing out that people who find a particular problem wherever they look sometimes do so because they are personally familiar with that problem.

As for Jackie Robinson, how familiar are you with the the violence he suffered, the threats he received, or the seriousness with which law enforcement officials took some of those threats? If the answer is "not very familiar" then you aren't in a position to judge whether a violent response might have met you conditions, and you might consider saying so. Something along the lines of "I don't know enough about the that situation to offer an informed opinion." That would make sense, but it would also be somewhat out of character for you. Or can you provide evidence to the contrary?

Posted by: keith on February 28, 2008 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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