Not a Dry Eye in the House

It's a day old, but I venture that this hilarious Ben Stein column about Karl Rove will outlive cockroaches and Robert Byrd after a nuclear holocaust. Stein's shtick as a writer for the American Spectator online has always been to endorse or forgive anything Republicans put their minds to. To wit:

Naturally, the conversation was off the record, but I can say a few things:

First, Karl Rove has lost weight, although he was never fat to start with. He's amazingly fit and trim now. Rep. Murtha, who commented on Karl's posterior as large, has obviously never met Karl.

Second, Karl is probably as important as any human being on this planet except Mr. Bush. He is a world-class political figure. Yet he helps wash the dishes. He helps keep the house clean. He walks the dogs. I have never heard him say one mean word about anyone on the other side. Not once. He is probably the most humble human in a position of high authority I have ever met.

Third when dinner was over, I told Karl I knew he has a lot of work to do and we would call a cab. "Nonsense," he said, "I'll drive you home." And with that, he got into his modest car and drove Alex and me home. (We actually had him drop us at the Barnes & Noble on M Street.)

Now, this is a great man. A great and well-grounded man.

Ordinarily, sure, it's an act of humility to drive someone to their destination after a party. (It would have been humbler still if Rove removed Stein's sandals and washed his feet.) But Ben Stein is a celebrity in his own right, and it's never a chore to hobnob with celebrities. And Stein writes a sweetness-and-light column about Republicans, and no one in politics does him a favor without knowing that.

But wait! There's more!

At this point, I question a great deal of Bush administration policy, especially on taxes. But Karl Rove is why I am a Republican. He is how Republicans are. Richard Nixon was not kidding fifty-four years ago when he talked about his wife, Pat, not having a fur coat, but instead happily owned "...a good Republican cloth coat..."

Let the record show that Ben Stein actually takes Richard Nixon at his word. (Of course, Stein is a shifty Jew, so take it with some salt.)

Real Republicans are not haters. Not ever. It's just not in them to hate, just as it's not in any real American to hate any other American who lives within the law.

I had no idea so many queers were breaking the law.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Ben Stein was a very nice guy when I met him. I walked away with $850 of his money.

  • ||

    Mrs. Garrison: Come on, everybody! Let's get some queers, and some trucks, and have us a good old-fashioned fag drag!

    Man 2: Well uh, we were thinkin' we would, you know, just go appeal to the Governor.

    Mrs. Garrison: Appeal to the Governor? Oh,come on! Where's your balls?! Fag drag!

    Man 3: We don't "hate" homosexuals, we, we we just don't want them to be able to marry.

    Man 4: Yeah, we were just thinkin' o' goin' and askin' the Governor to veto the bill.

    Man 5: Yeah.

    Mrs. Garrison: [looking all alone now] Eh fah, fag drag?

  • ||

    please don't play into the left's orwellian thoughtspeakspeechtruth (tm) rubbish

    i disagree with many republicans on issues of gay rights. it does not follow that people who are against gay marriage, for instance are engaging in "hate". that is complete and utter crap.

    it's the same logic that says that those that oppose racial preferences are engaging in "racism".

  • ||

    Jesus, Stein was even nice to the reprehensible Sheila Jackson Lee. Has he just found out that he's got 48 hours to live?

  • Timothy||

    To won Ben Stein's Money? Well, some of it, anyway? Way to go Doc T. How well did you do in the final round?

  • Dave W.||

    Reason Mag, Jan 2005:

    . . . Some pundits have done the trial lawyers' heavy lifting for them by portraying Merck as an evil corporation concerned only with making money and not at all worried about killing innocent customers in the process. Arianna Huffington, for example, writes that Merck "sacrifice[s] the health of the public on the altar of higher and higher profits." . . . And those who took Vioxx for less than 18 months had no increased cardiovascular risk.
    . . .
    Merck's Responsibility

    Of course, our view of Merck might change if we had reason to think that Merck withheld evidence of Vioxx's harmful side effects. But so far we have no basis for thinking Merck did withhold evidence and, in fact, we have a strong basis for believing that it didn't.
    . . .
    Why does this matter to anyone other than Vioxx patients, Merck stockholders, and trial lawyers? For two main reasons. First is the issue of simple justice. Merck is one of the most cautious and benevolent drug companies in the business. Merck has a long history of innovative discoveries that have improved human health around the world. In a huge breakthrough in 1989 [blah, blah, blah]

    The Media, 27 June 2006:

    http://tinyurl.com/lg38y

    The Question:

    What the heck has this got to do with Stein and Rove?

    Full disclosure:

    Back in the 1980s, when I read National Review, I thought Stein was the beez kneez. Still luv California Dreemz, but a little more realistic about Stein's motivations theez daze.

  • Garth||

    "The real Republicans are the hardware store owners in Little Rock, the factory workers in Kentucky who believe in life, the retired aerospace workers in Palm Desert who are concerned about the moral decay of the culture. The wearers of cloth coats. Those are Republicans, to me. The Republican Party is not really about ending the inheritance tax for billionaires. The real Republicans don't even know billionaires. (Most billionaires are Democrats, anyway.) The real Republicans are not about Iraq or the ABM. They are about loving their neighbors and wanting to pass on the same great America they knew as children to their grandchildren."

    One could switch "Republican" for "Democrat" and except for the "inheritance" tax biz who would find fault with such a sentiment.... But seriously, at some point when you adopt a label (Rep, Dem, Nazi, Maoist) you have to accept that you adopt all the baggage that is commonly associated with it... It's not like you can wear a KKK sheet and march in a MLK parade and not be seen a very certain way regardless of what you are thinking.

  • ||

    If only Ben Stein's words were as true as he thinks they are.

    In the run-up to the 2004 election I asked every one I knew who was planning on voting for Bush why they were doing so. After about 3 questions of me pointing out the lack of quality in his first term, all of their answers became the same.

    I'm not voting for that f...ing liberal Kerry!

    The same applied with everyone I asked about voting for Kerry. Their answer

    I'm not voting for that f...ing moron Bush!

    My point, the 2004 election was all about hating the other side. Republicans and Democrats alike. I had dub it the player haters election.

    Mr. Stein must have some love colored glasses or something. Maybe Mr. Stein's conclusion is Ann Coulter, the Fox News pundits and the sort are not REAL Republicans.

  • ||

    What Trickyvic, you mean that all of ones political enemies are NOT the agents of the Devil regardless of which side you are on? Never!!

    I gave up on Ben Stein a few years ago after he revealed himself as a Confederate apologist. I have no sympathy or respect for the "the South wasn't that bad" wing of the Republican Party.

  • ||

    In 2001, the Republican-controlled Congress and Administration, in an effort to fight ... Anyone? Anyone?... the Global War On Terrorism, passed the... Anyone? Anyone? The USA? The USA PATRIOT Act? Which, anyone? Restricted or expanded?... restricted Americans' civil liberties, in an effort to protect the American population. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into a paranoid, fascist state. Today we have a similar debate over NSA surveillance. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Anyone know what this says? It says that the NSA must get a warrant before engaging in sweeping surveillance involving American citizens. This is very controversial. Does anyone know why President Bush has ignored this law? Anyone? He said "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

  • ||

    What a silly post. Stein says that republicans are nice or humble. Yawn.

    Oh, and republicans hate 'queers' because they don't support gay marriage? Please.

  • ||

    Social Studies Teacher,

    Thanks for convincing me that I am going to have to homeschool.

  • ||

    social studies teacher? it didn't work?

    ok, then please list all the significant attacks on the US by terorrists (*successful ones*) ex post 9/11 and the Patriot Act...

    oh wait.

    but it didn't work.

    lol.

    i think bush has been a colossal F*up on several fronts, but one thing we, and by extension the president, have been REMARKABLY successful in - is preventing terrorist attacks on our soil since 9/11

    that is undeniable fact. just the thwarted attacks that we KNOW OF (and we certainly don't know all of them) are undeniable evidence that our govt. in general, and the Patriot Act in particular HAVE worked.

    this is tangential to whether the Patriot Act is constitutional. but it is clearly PART of an effective anti-terrorism program, and what is your evidence that it HASN"T worked?

    i'll stand by for your enlightening answer

  • ||

    SST,

    Keep dreaming, my guess, Patriot Act will be glorified in much the same way that the New Deal and The Great Society were in my ss's class. I'll even wager that by the time the PA is history, it'll seem quaint relative to whatever new laws pass.

  • ||

    "Oh, and republicans hate 'queers' because they don't support gay marriage? Please."

    Pretty much, yep. It comes down to the fact that all the supposedly non-hate arguments turning out to be paper-thin ad-hoc arguments that you quickly discover were just Googled for rather than the actual cause of the opposition.

  • ||

    Timothy-

    Mr. Stein beat me 5-4 in the final round. I missed the math question. I can't remember what the question was, it was either "Two angles that add up to 180 degrees are said to be what?" or "Two angles that add up to 90 degrees are said to be what?" All I know is that I mixed up complementary and supplementary. I gave a few really dumb answers, but you have to understand that there is zero time to think. If there's a car question you say the first car brand that jumps into your head, no matter how dumb it is.

  • ||

    Timothy-

    Mr. Stein beat me 5-4 in the final round. I missed the math question. I can't remember what the question was, it was either "Two angles that add up to 180 degrees are said to be what?" or "Two angles that add up to 90 degrees are said to be what?" All I know is that I mixed up complementary and supplementary. I gave a few really dumb answers, but you have to understand that there is zero time to think. If there's a car question you say the first car brand that jumps into your head, no matter how dumb it is.

  • ||

    whit,

    I've got a rock that keeps tigers away. How's it work? Well, you don't see any tigers around, do you?

  • ||

    thoreau,

    WBSM and Jeopardy are (were) the two smartest game shows I've ever seen, but Jeopardy lacks personality, which Ben Stein and Jimmy Kimmel delivered in spades. They were an oddly compatible team: the "really smart guy" and the "really dumb guy."

    My favorite moments were when someone would forget they weren't on Jeopardy and answer Jimmy in the form of a question. Ben would go into fits, and that was usually the beginning of the end for that poor contestant.

    Evan,

    LOL -- good one. What a stupid assumption on whit's part.

  • ||

    Evan,

    Ever occur to you that there is no way for Bush to win that argument with you? If Bush fails and terrorists are successful he is a failure. If he succeeds and there are no terrorist attacks, the people like you can say there never was a threat. Further, as far as your tiger analogy, did you miss 9-11? Your analogy only works if there had never been a terrorist attack and no reason to believe that there would be anymore. Of course there was a huge terrorist attack and more in other parts of the world over the last few years.

  • ||

    Plunge, please fill in the egregiously huge logical gap in your argument between "paper-thin ad hoc arguments" and hatred of homosexuals. Agree or disagree, most of the common arguments are of the Pandora's box, "thousands of years of legal/social tradition," "slippery slope to other strange variants of marriage" variety. Hatred seems to be a pretty weak and facile accusation.

  • ||

    *smacks forehead*

    John is completely correct. We can only beat the terrorists by doing away with civil liberties!

  • Dave W.||

    ok, then please list all the significant attacks on the US by terorrists (*successful ones*) ex post 9/11 and the Patriot Act...

    If I understand the question, we had one in 1995 and two in 2001 (9/11 and the anthrax). By simple extrapolation, we should be expecting 3 in 2007 absent the Pat Act. So we won't really know the answer to your question until 2008.

    Unless you count the Unabomber or TWA 800, but not the DC Snipers or the ELF fires. I guess in that case you might really be on to something here, Whit.

  • Garth||

    whit,

    How many times has the Patriot Act actually led to the foiling of a terrorist attack? And how many times has it been (ab)used for other dubious law enforcement purposes and/or unconstitutional fishing expeditions?

    Do you really think the P.A. and war in Iraq have made us safer?


    Evan,

    Fantastic! Now where can I get one of those rocks? I hadn't been concerned about the possibility of a tiger attack but now that you mention it, maybe I have been too complacent! I guess I was in a "pre-Evan-tiger-rock-comment" mindset. Silly me!

  • ||

    I had some respect for Ben Stein until I read his article of a few years ago when he explained that Nixon was a great President and that all the lying he did was actually for the good of the country.

  • Garth||

    Dave W.

    Are you saying you believe that the Anthrax attacks were carried out by Al Qaeda? I thought the FBI was fairly certain that it was a domestic actor.... wasn't there that researcher guy who was their main "person of interest"? He was no Islamic terrorist...

    And mentioning the Anthrax deal point out the failure of the P.A. or any other measure to resolve exactly what that was all about....

  • Timothy||

    Thoreau: that's better than I'd have done, always looked pretty stressful on TV. Uncomfortable bench, 60 second time limit, damnable studio lights, Jimmy Kimmel's voice....

  • ||

    evan, you are being stupid hth

    al qaeda literally declared war on us over a decade ago, and has made several attacks on and off US soil.

    there is irrefutable evidence that they have tried to attack us repeatedly since 9/11. we have broken up terror cells, and thwarted numerous attacks.

    dumb analogies do nothing but reveal your idiocy.

    and it's astounding.

  • ||

    Timothy-

    I was on during the Nancy Pimental era. I don't recall the lights or seating being that uncomfortable, it was the stress of the clock that did me in.

    Ben Stein was amazingly impressed by my answer to the last question in the second round, and he kept gushing about it both on camera and off camera. The question was "[Some Middle Eastern name I can't remember] was the first Secretary General of this [some number I can't recall]-member organization formed in [some year in the 1940's] to mediate conflicts."

    Ben rang in first and guessed either UN or UN Security Council. My opponent rang in second and guessed either UN Security Council or UN. I rang in third and guessed Arab League. Ben was impressed. That answer clinched my spot in the final round.

    He asked me during the break how I knew that. I said that the number of members was way too low to be the UN. And the name was Middle Eastern. So I guessed Arab League. He was amazingly impressed for some reason.

  • ||

    How many times has the Patriot Act actually led to the foiling of a terrorist attack?

    That is basically what I wanted to know, that is, specifically how the new laws helped foil the "terrorist plot" against the Sears tower, and what other attacks could only have been foiled using the new laws, and what changes applied. No takers on that; I wasn't being rhetorical.

    Perhaps if I want to know something I have to go get the answers myself. I hate it when that happens. But I digress into trifles...

    ---

    My rocks don't attract tigers. Do you see any tigers not minding their own business?

  • ||

    plunge, that is total garbage.

    the word hate (should) mean something

    opposing a policy of gay marriage does not make (those that do) "haters".

    the idea is absurd, and it is orwellian language twisting

    attack bad ideas. what you are doing is the classic stalinist tactic oh so loved by the left of attacking people's MOTIVATIONS when you don't have enough ammo to attack the substance of the debate. it is a cheap tactic.

    i happen to know a lot of people who are in the (lord forbid) religious right. none of them HATE anybody. several are strongly against gay marriage. heck, i even know an atheist who is against gay marriage. NONE of them "hate" gays. the idea is absurd.

    sure, SOME people who are against gay marriage hate gays. but hating gays, and being against gay marriage are two entirely different things.

    honest people admit that, and go on to the substance of the debate.

    fwiw, i have also heard NARAL types describe some who are against abortion and/or who think Roe is bad law, as "hating women".

    that type of rubbish makes me embarassed, as a pro-choicer myself, to be on their side.

    i guess all people who are against legal marijuana HATE marijuana smokers.

    all people who are against raising the speed limit to 100 mph HATE people who drive that fast.

    it is illogical and stalinist. get over yourself and your transparent rhetoric.

  • Nobody Cares Except Me!||

    Anthrax attacks were carried out by Al Qaeda

    I am saying that the anthrax mailings were a substantial act of terrorism, amounting to a true attack on the US, for at least 4 reasons:

    1. It involved a theft from the US military.

    2. The letters the terrorist sent were clearly meant to influence the durection of US domestic and/or foreign policy (which they did and in exactly the way the terrorist(s) probably wanted hahahahahahaha).

    3. He was trying to kill Congressmen.

    4. The cleanup was hugely disruptive and expensive compared to garden variety murders and arsons. I am guessing that the abnthrax attacks cost the economy orders of magnitude more than the DC Sniper attacks for instance.

  • Nobody Cares Except Me!||

    And, no, I don't particularly think Hatfill did it.

    Given the false flag nature of the attack, I would suspect somebody sympathetic to a country who engages in that kind of nonsense.

  • Timothy||

    I was on during the Nancy Pimental era

    I guess that's fortunate. Good show. I hope you blew most of the cash on strippers and coke, then wasted the rest.

  • ||

    Whit, this is a totally serious question. Why don't you start your sentences with capital letters? It would make your posts a lot easier to read (to me, at least).

  • Timothy||

    whit: I simply don't see how Bush could've won, I mean, I don't know anybody who voted for him.

  • ||

    Let the record show that Ben Stein actually takes Richard Nixon at his word.

    Well, he did work for him and all, so I don't really have a problem with that.

    All in all though, rather silly article.

    Win Ben Stein's Money was awesome, though.

  • ||

    "Incredible! One of the worst performances of my career and they never doubted it for a second."

  • ||

    "i guess all people who are against legal marijuana HATE marijuana smokers."

    Oh, for sure.

    Nothin' says luvin' like incarcerating someone, and then ruining their life by smearing a felony conviction on their record for committing a victimless crime.

  • Captain Holly||

    And mentioning the Anthrax deal point out the failure of the P.A. or any other measure to resolve exactly what that was all about....

    Sorry, but you can't use the anthrax attacks to illustrate the ineffectiveness of the Patriot Act. IIRC, the first anthrax attacks occurred in October 2001, and the Patriot Act hadn't even passed Congress at that time. You can't expect a law to prevent terrorism retroactively.

    Whoever was responsible for the anthrax attacks had likely planned them long before 9/11. You just can't go out and buy weaponized spores at the corner drug store.

  • Garth||

    Cap't has a very valid point, but why not assume that there are plots afoot that pre-date the PA even today ... conversely, the PA certainly has not helped nab the culprit ex-post either.

  • ||

    Damn. I read that article; I assumed it was intended as a parody. You mean the guy is serious?

  • Nobody Cares Except Me!||

    Whoever was responsible for the anthrax attacks had likely planned them long before 9/11. You just can't go out and buy weaponized spores at the corner drug store.

    And it is worth noting that the weaponized spores are probably likely to still be wherever it is that Zio...err, I mean mysterious terrorist(s) assembled their fake letters. Therefore, one would think the Patriot Act would be very helpful in locating this undiclosed locale and bringing the Je...errr well-connected terrorist(s) to justice.

    The fact that this has not happened points to a larger problem here, which is that you cannot catch terrorists if you are not really trying, no matter what investigative tools are at your disposal. And that problem applies to Flt 800 and McVeigh's accomplices as much as it does to the anthrax.

  • theOneState||

    whit, do you think we would have suffered another attack but for the Patriot Act, the NSA surveillance program, and swift transaction monitoring (shhhh)?

    How do you know? Because I really don't think so.

    Islamic terrorism is a real threat, I'm not calling it a bogeyman. But can you name ONE terrorist plot that was foiled and that *would not have* been foiled w/o those extra authorities?

  • Garth||

    I will give whit a nice easy dodge - er, I mean - answer to theOneState's question:

    "The very presence of these surveillance programs has discouraged the terrorists from even trying"

    Now, of course, I don't believe that at all, but I have been waiting for someone to make that very argument. I would then bring up Evan's Rock again.

  • ||

    theOneState,

    Don't waste your breath on such questions. Not one person will field it and I even asked again in this thread along with Garth. I am genuinely curious and it is an intelligent inquiry.

    *sigh*

  • Nobody Cares Except Me!||

    Which is not to say that I am absolutely sure McVeigh had accomplices at the scene or that terrorism brought down Flt 800.

    McVeigh possibly acted alone and Flt 800 might have been shot down by accident.

  • ||

    Social Studies Teacher,

    I enjoyed your Ben Stein a la Ferris Bueller's Day Off impersonation.

  • Lincoln||

    dumb analogies do nothing but reveal your idiocy.

    Whit and John: you're completely missing Evan's point. I think you're right when you say Bush can't win and I know you're right when you say we've thwarted other terrorist attacks. But how do you know the provisions of the patriot act are what's accounting for the lack of terrorist attacks? In fact there are several things you're assuming that I would love to know how you know:

    1) State for me a good ballpark number on the amount of terrorist attacks we've stopped since 9/11 and the terrorist cells responsible. I think you're overstating your case tremendously. We are not being constantly being attacked by terrorists. Then again, I'm a lowly IT guy without the exclusive access to the executive branch you enjoy. So please enlighten me on the peril we're in and stop on a daily basis.

    2) Exactly what provisions of the Patriot Act are doing the terrorist catching where there was no terrorist catching before?

    3) Why you are so certain our previous laws caused 9/11 rather than the enforcement of said laws?

    4) What the number of terror attacks before 9/11 was? Not the few anecdotes you saw on the news but a good metric we can use to actually compare the security of the country before and after.

    5) To put it more succinctly: Why do you think no 9/11 like damage since 9/11 = patriot act worked?

  • Nobody Cares Except Me!||

    the first anthrax attacks occurred in October 2001

    Actually the first letters were sent out 18 Sept 2001 and dated 11 Sept 2001.

    The timing was apparently done that way so that we would believe that Islamofascists sent those letters. They fooled M. Simon!

  • ||

    "whit: I simply don't see how Bush could've won, I mean, I don't know anybody who voted for him."

    you are channeling pauline kael vis a vis nixon

  • ||

    Without a TS clearance and knowledge of all that the government is doing that is a difficult question to answer directly. However, the fact that Madrid, Bali, Amman, and London have all been the victims of deadly terrorist attacks is instructive. Without question, the U.S. is Al Quada's number 1 enemy. Why is Al Quada striking countries other than the U.S.? Why not the U.S. again? I maintain it is because the U.S. is no longer such an easy target. What is your explaination? Do they just hate the Spainards and British more than us?

  • ||

    2) Exactly what provisions of the Patriot Act are doing the terrorist catching where there was no terrorist catching before?

    Nobody knows and/or you're not supposed ask/answer that. Join the club of the curious. I'll keep hammering away too.

  • ||

    Ben Stein was a very nice guy when I met him. I walked away with $850 of his money.

    I only took $450*, but I didn't have to walk: Ben gave me a ride home. I have always thought that was very decent of him to do so (it was raining pretty hard), and it's ironic (in a good way) that he is now using the same yardstick to measure Rove.

    * And if I had had known who founded the American Fur Exchange**, it would have been another $1000.

    ** John Jacob Astor

  • ||

    yes, the patriot act HAS been used successfully such as...

    the lakawanna six and others... here are some good linx.


    http://www.aclu.org/FilesPDFs/doj%20response%20to%20house%20patriot%20act%20qs%20-%205-13-03.pdf



    http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/speeches/2005/042705senateintelligence.htm


    pretty good summary there.

  • ||

    Malvolio-

    Wow! There are two of us here!

    Who was the co-host, Jimmy or Nancy? That was cool of Ben!

    What was your experience like with the other contestants? I assume yours was the last one to tape if he drove you home, so you must have spent a lot of time with them. My group included a dirty old man who spent his time hitting on a young female contestant. He was also totally insufferable (even by the standards of a room where everybody is getting ready to appear on a trivia show). My episode taped before his, so I didn't get to see him play that day, but when I watched at home I was happy to see him lose in the first round.

    Other fun story: One of the contestants that I went up against had been told by her husband "Oh, try not to worry so much. It's not like you'll be going up against a physicist or something."

  • ||

    i guess all people who are against legal marijuana HATE marijuana smokers.

    No, but I think that many people who oppose legalization have stereotyped images of what marijuana smokers are like, and have irrational fears of what legalization would bring about. The situation is similar for gay marriage. I wouldn't call it "hate," although you know as well as I do that there is some of that from time to time. I would call it bias based in ignorance.

  • ||

    Why is Al Quada striking countries other than the U.S.? Why not the U.S. again? I maintain it is because the U.S. is no longer such an easy target. What is your explaination?

    I think that the simplest explanation has already been discussed - thanks to our economic freedom and comparative tolerance, the United States simply doesn't have the population of disenfranchised, angry young muslim men that Europe does. We have muslims, sure, but they don't live in ghettos with 25% unemployment where they're abused by the police and treated as second class citizens. Any terrorists that want to strike the US pretty much have to be imported, which is a lot more complex than blowing up something closer to home.

    I don't buy the idea that most of the increased security has helped. Thanks to years with the IRA, the London underground was the most secure in the world at the time of the bombing, and that didn't help at all. And the changes that the US has implemented hardly seem effective - anyone here seriously think that the TSA is the reason that no one has snuck a bomb onto a plane since 9/11? The whole Homeland Security department, with it's Nazi-esque name, bumbling beaurocracy and color-coded warnings, hardly seems competent to deal with easily forseeable acts of nature, much less random acts of violence.

  • ||

    anyone here seriously think that the TSA is the reason that no one has snuck a bomb onto a plane since 9/11

    To my knowledge, its government agents that have snuck all the bombs on board planes since 9/11 proving the ineffectivness of all their airline security measures.

    I flew recently to Puerto Rico though and noticed the requisite pile of knives and lighters on a security podium set up before the checkpoint...all unattended and within reach by the way.

    Five weeks later on my way back I got a full carry-on bag search (I knew it was coming when the guy pointed at the xray machine's screen when my bag was inside) from the TSA with the guy checking the battery compartments of the various electronic devices in my bag followed by a check for hidden compartments in my bag followed by a wipe down with a little towlette and chemical test of same.

  • ||

    'it does not follow that people who are against gay marriage, for instance are engaging in "hate". that is complete and utter crap.

    it's the same logic that says that those that oppose racial preferences are engaging in "racism". '

    Whit, these two are not analogous. Gays want the same right as everyone else to get married. A preference is asking to be treated special. To deny someone the same right as everyone else obviously suggests that the deniers of this right do not see gays as deserving of the same rights as heterosexuals. If it's not hateful, it's at least disdainful.

  • ||

    at least you are modifying your positon somewhat, althoguh i still don't agree.

    by your logic, peopel that don't want to extent the right to marry to

    1) polygamists

    are "hateful" of polygamists?

    get away from the dumb rhetoric.

    there is an argument, completely tangential to one's "hate" quotient - that same sex marriage (but not polygamy i might add) is not even marriage. it's like calling cake - ice cream.

    it has nothing to do with hate. get over yourself, and address the topics instead of impugning the motivations of those u disagree with

    it is perfectly possible for somebody to be against gay marriage either as a policy issue, or as a claim that the constitution requires it, and for that same person to have just as much love, hate, or indifference towards homosexuality as one who supports gay marriage

    the left often accuses the right of reductionism, when they do something far worse, but similar, here.

    but i am glad you retracted at least somewhat.

  • ||

    How many times has the Patriot Act actually led to the foiling of a terrorist attack? -- Garth
    State for me a good ballpark number on the amount of terrorist attacks we've stopped since 9/11 and the terrorist cells responsible. --Lincoln
    Without a TS clearance and knowledge of all that the government is doing that is a difficult question to answer directly. -- John

    It amazes me how people can repeatedly trust the government to tell them the truth without proof. Sorry if my skeptism keeps me from believing that the sacrifice of my civil liberties is working to keep terrorists at bay. Until the government is willing to share all of it's numbers and the laws used to apprehend said terrorist groups then I will have no respect for them.
    As it is, this administration continues to make a supreme ass of itself by declaring that the disclosure of financial monitoring by the New York Times "makes it harder to win this war on terror."

  • ||

    Not that financial monitoring is a secret to the terrorists.

  • ||

    whit--

    How many attacks on US soil did we have between the two World Trade Center bombings? None? Without the Patriot Act? The hell you say.

  • ||

    And whit, I agree with you that opposition to gay marriage is not the same as hating fags. But banning gay marriage being the issue that gets your ass off the couch to vote suggests a certain lack of love for things queer. It's not like the Republicans are proposing a ban on divorce, which would make more sense if protecting marriage was your real goal (and by "more sense" I mean "slightly more than no sense at all").

  • ||

    "Oh, and republicans hate 'queers' because they don't support gay marriage? Please."

    Similarly, I'm sure that anti-miscegenation laws were an expression of love for all races, colors and creeds.

  • Garth||

    Iron Lungfish,

    Excellent retort. Only wish I had posted the same.

    I fear that whit's first name might very well be "nit"

  • ||

    you are channeling pauline kael vis a vis nixon

    That Pauline Kael quote is apocryphal.

  • ||

    Whit, again, your analogies fail. Polygamists don't want the "same" rights. They want to marry "more" people.

    It's not hateful or racist to be against preferential treatment for blacks or other minorities. But it would be racist to deny them the "same" rights as whites. It might not be 'hateful' in a literal sense. In the olden days, many people loved their darkies while of course not wanting to see them as deserving of the same basic human rights they had. But it's certainly disdainful or disrespectful, as it is disdainful to say that gays can't marry just like heterosexuals (though I can imagine some phony baloney about "oh, I hate the sin but I love the sinner." yeah, right).

    I'm not retracting my statement as I didn't make the earlier statement.

    "Get over yourself." Uh, wake up from your sense of denial and need to defend your conservative friends. Try getting past yourself for a second and figure out how someone not like you might feel who's told they can't marry because of their sexual preference. "Dumb rhetoric." How about "Dumb analogies"?

  • Lincoln||

    Without question, the U.S. is Al Quada's number 1 enemy. Why is Al Quada striking countries other than the U.S.?

    For a number of reasons. One, just because we're enemy number one doesn't mean there aren't other teams in the game. The Red Sox don't completely ignore the Blue Jays just because the Yankees are the evil empire and enemy number one. In fact, Saddam's Iraq was on the list. Way after the U.S. and the rest of the decadent west of course, but I guarentee you Bin Laden was not happy with the Saddam insipred statues and murals.

    Lack of a robust global communications network. The problem with getting a hold of a secret sect in order to make sure they're completing tasks on time and budget is, well, they're trying to be a secret sect. You can't just pick up the phone and call them. "Zaqarwi! I distinctly ordered you to attack the US instead of Spain through our enhanced pigeon network! Where is my TPS report!"

    Lack of centralized planning. There are many sects, some of whom even call themselves Al Queda when they had nothing to do with Bin Laden pre 9/11. They're just groupies. Most of the hate spewing clerics we see on tv and the hidden Bin Laden do not have direct control over a massive terror network. They can only hope to inspire. You act as though there is one big project plan with 1. take out US, 2. take out UK on it. They do not have the organizational strength to pull off more than a few bombings at one time. Some leaders are going to go by their own regional priorities.

    We took the fight to them. We took out a large portion of Al Queda's man power and infrastructure in Afghanistan. Isn't this far more likely to have an impact on their diminished capacity to attack us than taking a US citizen's library usage data without judicial overview?

    Opportunity costs. While the average jihadist doesn't care and is ready to blow himself up I'm sure someone in leadership is astute enough to realize France is an easier target right now. And this is probably what you were driving at but there are many, many reasons the costs have been driven up for a successful terrorist attack other than Patriot Act provisions. The biggest and most overlooked for some reason is that we give a shit now. Antiterrorism is a huge goal and a large priority for all of law enforcement and the military. We have more CIA agents gathering intelligence, more troops ready to be deployed -- the New York police department even has a guy on the ground in Israel!

  • ||

    but hating gays, and being against gay marriage are two entirely different things.

    Only if you believe that "teh gay" is just a passing phase, a "behavior" that can be shed.

    by your logic, peopel that don't want to extent the right to marry to
    1) polygamists
    are "hateful" of polygamists?


    Another false comparison, this time between "being gay" and "being a polygamist" (you really don't under homosexuality, do you?). Nobody is born with the biological inability to love, and mate with, just one partner at a time.

    Maybe you don't "hate" gays, I don't know; but it's pretty interesting how all your arguments are the exact same arguments trotted out by folks who DO admit to hating gays.

  • ||

    "under" s/b "understand" - oops

  • ||

    Rhywun,
    Nobody is born with the biological inability to love, and mate with, just one partner at a time.

    You don't understand polygamists do you? Why must you attempt to restrict my love. I love everybody and you're next.

  • ||

    You don't understand polygamists do you?

    No, I don't - which is pretty strange since I hear it's just like being gay.

  • ||

    Ben Stein's article about real Republicans not being haters recalls the Congresswoman's story about talking with Vice-President Quayle following his return from a trip to Latin America. Quayle is reported to have said that he wished he had studied more Latin so that he could have better communicated with his hosts.

    There is just enough versimilitude, both in the above anecdote and in Stein's column, that one wonders whether it is parody or not.

    The juxtaposition of Karl Rove and John McCain in the concluding paragraph is priceless. Ask Senator McCain about whether Rove and company spewed hatred during the 2000 South Carolina primary.

    Justice Scalia is not a hater? What about his fulmination in dissent in Lawrence v. Texas that the majority of the Supreme Court was "taking sides in the culture wars" by invalidating the sodomy statute? Of course it was; Scalia was pissed that his colleagues had not taken Eric Rudolph's side.

    Has Will Rogers/Ben Stein ever met (or read or heard) Ann Coulter? What about Rush Limbaugh? And lest we forget, Governor Bush's mockery of Karla Faye Tucker was all sweetness and light. Does Stein recall Pat Robertson's and Jerry Falwell's post-9/11 "God is a terrorist" commentary? What about the notion that Hurricane Katrina was sent to New Orleans as divine retribution for that city's tolerance of homosexuals?

    One suspects that Karl Rove regards this life as a mere audition for his ultimate goal: managing Richard Nixon's campaign for President of Hell. Of course, by the time that Rove arrives, that may be a re-election campaign--in that Nixon likely leads the current majority party there.

  • ||

    What is the fuss about gays getting married. They already do, witness the David Guest/Liza Minelli fiasco.

    Which brings up the biggest reason against: Gay Divorces and I am not refering to the movie with a similar title.

  • ||

    Real Republicans are not haters. Not ever. It's just not in them to hate...

    Nothing sadder than someone who believes their own bullshit...

  • ||

    Dave, the only people I've ever met who hated "queers" were themselves queers who hated a/some/a bunch of x-lovers (queers). Other folks are just creeped out by the thought of whatever it is that queers do to get it on. Of course some folks are creeped out by the though of whatever it is that anybody/everybody/themselves do to get it on. Get over it everybody and get it on.

  • ||

    Whit, preferential treatment is the opposite of equal treatment, dumbass.

  • ||

    Er, at this point I think someone needs to point out that "hating" is not necessarily the sole and automatic alternative to "loving."

  • ||

    Er, at this point I think someone needs to point out that "hating" is not necessarily the sole and automatic alternative to "loving."

  • ||

    "Whit, preferential treatment is the opposite of
    equal treatment, dumbass."

    Yeah that's what I wanted to say.

  • ||

    I gotta laugh at all you supposed libertarians who claim that the government should be the arbiter of marriage and that people can't get married unless the government gives them permission.

  • ||

    "**but hating gays, and being against gay marriage are two entirely different things.**

    Only if you believe that "teh gay" is just a passing phase, a "behavior" that can be shed."

    absolutely false. and completely irrelevant

    whether homosexuality is 1) genetic 2) behavioral choice 3) a combination (most scientists favor "3" is again

    IRRELEVANT

    the point is that being against gay marriage =/= hate"

    get over the orwellian progressive rhetoric

    hate = hate

    being against gay marriage can be for any # of reasons. similarly, one can hate gays with every fiber of one's soul and be FOR gay marriage

    using the term "hate" to describe people in opposition to a policy issue is just a stalinist tactic.

    it has no basis in reality. it has basis in rhetoric and ad hominem attacks

  • ||

    rhywun, my arguments are not the "same" since i am not against gay marriage.

    but i am disgusted by irrational rhetoric whether or not it comes from people i agree with or disagree with on policy issues

    people who are against gay marriage are not engaging in "hate". you need to get over your stalinist name calling and deal with issues, not your imagined omniscience as to people's "feelings"

    hate is a feeling. it is totally irrelevant to the issue.

    it is the stalinist tactic of attacking somebody's (imagined) motivation vs. having a rational discussion

    like it or not, it is not a fact that if person X opposes gay marriage, person X hates gays

    that similarly holds for person X opposing polygamous marriage or incestual marriage

    it is also false that even if homosexuality were 100% genetic (very few aspects of human behavior are 100% genetic. homosexual orientation likely has a strong genetic component - and that is the position supported by scientific evidence), that it automatically follows that gays should be allowed to marry. it is a helpful element of the debate, but it does not therefore follow as an automatic justification thereof

    like it or not, there are fundamental differences between men and women. extending the concept of marriage to two same gender people vs. male/female couplings is a concept that deserves rational discussion. not name calling, ad hominem and specious argumentation

    and the polygamy issue is 100% RELEVANT. *if* one is arguing the necessity of gay marriage as some kind of rights/equality issue, then clearly polygamists deserve the same equality that homosexuals do - regarldess of whether THEIR orientation is genetically based.

    cue joke: what's the difference between polygamy and conventional marriage. answer: one wife too many, the same as regular marriage :)

  • ||

    people who are against gay marriage are not engaging in "hate" ... hate is a feeling. it is totally irrelevant to the issue.

    If you can come up with a rational argument against gay marriage that doesn't in fact stem from disdain/dislike/hatred/whatever of gays, I'm all ears.

    *if* one is arguing the necessity of gay marriage as some kind of rights/equality issue, then clearly polygamists deserve the same equality that homosexuals do

    I don't know if polygamists deserve the same rights as gays. The discussion is certainly worth having, but the two phenomena are totally unrelated (except as members of the class of things that are "not monogomously hetero") so I don't see any reason to lump them together.

  • ||

    What exactly are the non-religion-based arguments against gay marriage (or 'civil union' if you are of the opinion that 'marriage' is 'owned' by the church)? Or polygamy for that matter? I'd be particularly interested in those that don't trample on the rights of consenting adults to unobtrusively make their own arrangements about their lives and relationships. Nothing comes to mind, at least nothing that I would expect to hear from a libertarian - but it is very late here and not much of anything IS coming to mind at the moment. There is the F Le Mur argument (hear, hear), but of course that's not gay/polygamy/anything else that makes you feel funny-specific.

  • ||

    Ah... timing is everything...great minds think alike/fools never differ...

  • ||

    Ah... timing is everything...great minds think alike/fools never differ...

  • ||

    like it or not, there are fundamental differences between men and women

    Ok, let's start there. What precisely would you say these fundamental differences are?

    Genitalia? - "About one in every 100 people is born with anatomically ambiguous genitalia; these individuals, formerly called hermaphroditic, are now known as "intersex."

    source: http://tinyurl.com/g6d2c

    1 in 100, larger number than we have in prison in this country currently.

    no, maybe it's really about chromosomes. XX: woman, XY: man. Sure, there are XXY, and XO, and XYY, but those will just complicate matters.

    It's easy to say men and women are different. It's a lot harder to draw the line that separates them, and like it or not there is much more gray area than you have considered. And I don't like the idea of government determining people's gender for all the "close calls".

  • ||

    W"hit, again, your analogies fail. Polygamists don't want the "same" rights. They want to marry "more" people. "

    and you are being disingenuous

    i will do the same.

    "gays don't want the same rights. they want the right to marry somebody of the SAME sex. they already have the same rights everybody else has. the right to marry somebody of the opposite sex"

    by that logic, gays have the same rights as heteros. the right to marry somebody of the opposite sex. they want a "new" right. a right to marry somebody of the same sex. that's just as much a new right, by your logic, as the right to marry more than one. furhtermore, unlike homosexual marriage, polygamous marriage has historical precedent.

    that is your polygamy response turned on its head. hth

  • ||

    social studies teacher? it didn't work?

    ok, then please list all the significant attacks on the US by terorrists (*successful ones*) ex post 9/11 and the Patriot Act...

    oh wait.

    but it didn't work.

    lol.

    i think bush has been a colossal F*up on several fronts, but one thing we, and by extension the president, have been REMARKABLY successful in - is preventing terrorist attacks on our soil since 9/11

    that is undeniable fact. just the thwarted attacks that we KNOW OF (and we certainly don't know all of them) are undeniable evidence that our govt. in general, and the Patriot Act in particular HAVE worked.

    this is tangential to whether the Patriot Act is constitutional. but it is clearly PART of an effective anti-terrorism program, and what is your evidence that it HASN"T worked?

    i'll stand by for your enlightening answer

    Comment by: whit at June 27, 2006 10:28 AM

    whit: post hoc ergo propter hoc, dumbass

  • ||

    �We believe that the practice of sodomy tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country�s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable �alternative� lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should �family� be redefined to include homosexual �couples.� We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, recognition, or privileges including, but not limited to, marriage between persons of the same sex, custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values.

    We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts of cases involving sodomy.�

    2006 Texas Republican Platform

    Now can we please end with the discussion of whether or not Republicans hate gays? Some do not, but those in power in the most influential Republican state most certainly do. They want to send us to jail. I hate their guts and I wouldn�t want to harm them the way they want to harm me.

    If you must vote Republican at least be honest about to whom you are giving power and don�t pretend that the Democrats are just as bad. I can respect a libertarian who votes Republican if they admit they are harming gays but they think other issues are more important. I can�t respect anybody who votes Republican and pretends gay people won�t be harmed.

    I did particularly like the scare quotes around �homosexual couples� � as if they are suggesting there is no such thing.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement