Fisking Bush

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That's actually not nearly as dirty as it sounds: The ACLU has posted a rebuttal to a series of claims made by the president this week about the PATRIOT Act.

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  1. I don’t agree with them on everything, but overall I still like the ACLU. (Pause for the sound of moaning, rending of garments, and cries of bloody murder.)

    Despite the places where they go to bat for lefty causes that I disagree with, they also go to bat for plenty of causes that I DO agree with, and at least some of their literature talks about the importance of keeping the government in check. That’s not something you hear from some leftists, and so it’s good to have an organization out there reminding lefties that the gov’t is an institution to be kept in check. I might not agree with the ACLU and every case they take, but I like their basic idea.

    So I’m proud to be a card-carrying member of the ACLU. I have some significant disagreements with them, but I like their basic idea, and they do a lot of good.

    (Go ahead if you must and point out each and every instance where they take non-libertarian stances. I still think they do a lot of good.)

  2. thoreau,

    Your point is well taken, especially since it characterizes the importance of balance and tension. I’ve always wondered why conservatives automatically loathe the ACLU and liberals blindly praise everything it does. For the reason you mention — that the ACLU is an appropriate and reasonable government adversary — I think we should be grateful they’re around, stirring up the nest.

    (I predict that the ACLU will be utterly trashed by the tenth post in this thread.)

  3. “Presidential recklessness with the facts is deeply troubling,” Romero said…

    Yeah, but only if his last name is Bush.

    FYI, the revocation of privacy and civil rights didn’t begin with the Patriot Act. And it isn’t over yet.

  4. I’ve always wondered why conservatives automatically loathe the ACLU and liberals blindly praise everything it does.

    Probably for the same reason liberals automatically loathe the NRA. Both organizations are engaged in protecting constitutional rights — but, in many cases, the rights they are protecting are ones the other side doesn’t think we ought to have.

    And yes, I know that not all liberals loathe the NRA, but not all conservatives loathe the ACLU either.

  5. I wonder if Bush was deliberately lying, or did he really believe what he said? No way of knowing, I suppose.

  6. If Bush can believe that the earth is 5,000 years old, who’s to say that he doesn’t believe the rest of the nonsense that he routinely spews?

    And yes, I am a Christian (boo! hiss!). But that doesn’t mean I subscribe to a literal interpretation of a bad English translation of a document written in figurative language.

  7. Thoreau-
    There’s no way for a guy with a low IQ to conclusively prove the age of the Earth. However, even Bush must be capable of looking at a copy of the Patriot Act to see when the hell it expires. If he can’t even do THAT, he’s got people to read it to him.

    Then again, Bush is enough of a solipsist to think that, of the millions of American men constitutionally eligible to run for President, God chose HIM. If this turns out to be true, you and your wife really need to transfer your allegiance to the Dark Lord, who is also the type of asshole who’d choose Bush, but at least has better taste in music. Reciting the Lord’s Prayer backwards is easy with a little practice.

    Where are the Bush-lovers who bashed me on the North Korea thread? Now is the time for them to come to the aid of their party.

  8. The fact that Bush is being less than honest in his campaign to keep those parts of the Patriot from sun setting is yet another good reason to let them expire.

    BTW, the Patriot Act?s sunsets were made law because of the leadership of conservative Republicans like Bob Barr, Ron Paul,and Dick Armey. Barr and Armey both joined the ACLU out of concern with the threats to liberty contained in the Patriot Act.

  9. Meanwhile, the ACLU is busy assuring people it still doesn’t have a sense of humor:

    http://www.cnsnews.com//ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200404/CUL20040423b.html

  10. I’m sure that Christians with the correct political outlook — like, say, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — also believe or believed that their God chose them to be in a particular place at a particular time to do a particular thing. If thoreau is the kind of Christian who believes in a personal relationship with his deity, I bet he believes it, too. But we won’t see Jennifer make fun of them on that basis, because the outcomes are in alignment with what she wants.

    If you bash people not really for what they believe, but only on the outcomes those beliefs lead to, you aren’t being principled. You’re just being a partisan. If that’s what you want to be, fine, but don’t pretend it’s one thing when it’s another. You don’t really dislike Bush because he believes in a God that placed him in a certain place for a reason, or you would be ready to bash MLK for the same thing. You dislike him because you don’t like the reason he claims to have been placed there.

  11. “”President Bush clearly is attempting to silence his critics within the Republican Party, who believe that the Patriot Act went too far, too fast,” Romero added.”

    Instead, we’re just losing faith in G.W.B.

    Unfortunately, we have no alternatives.

    Vote for John Kerry? What? Are you crazy?

    But… conservative voters may stay home in droves during the next election…

  12. I should add that I find it all equally solipsistic to believe in an anthropomorphic supernatural being who somehow exercises guidance over individual human lives. I find it silly whether it’s GWB, MLK, or any other individual. But Jennifer’s problem isn’t with the solipsism, as long as it leads to an outcome with which she agrees or finds just. It’s just another bludgeon to use on someone she doesn’t like.

  13. I should add that I find it all equally solipsistic to believe in an anthropomorphic supernatural being who somehow exercises guidance over individual human lives. I find it silly whether it’s GWB, MLK, or any other individual. But Jennifer’s problem isn’t with the solipsism, as long as it leads to an outcome with which she agrees or finds just. It’s just another bludgeon to use on someone she doesn’t like.

  14. I should add that I find it all equally solipsistic to believe in an anthropomorphic supernatural being who somehow exercises guidance over individual human lives. I find it silly whether it’s GWB, MLK, or any other individual. But Jennifer’s problem isn’t with the solipsism, as long as it leads to an outcome with which she agrees or finds just. It’s just another bludgeon to use on someone she doesn’t like.

  15. I should add that I find it all equally solipsistic to believe in an anthropomorphic supernatural being who somehow exercises guidance over individual human lives. I find it silly whether it’s GWB, MLK, or any other individual. But Jennifer’s problem isn’t with the solipsism, as long as it leads to an outcome with which she agrees or finds just. It’s just another bludgeon to use on someone she doesn’t like.

  16. The ACLU is like the little girl with the little curl: either very, very good or horrid at any given moment. At this moment they’re right on target; my sense is that they’ve generally improved in recent years.

  17. I should add that I find it all equally solipsistic to believe in an anthropomorphic supernatural being who somehow exercises guidance over individual human lives. I find it silly whether it’s GWB, MLK, or any other individual. But Jennifer’s problem isn’t with the solipsism, as long as it leads to an outcome with which she agrees or finds just. It’s just another bludgeon to use on someone she doesn’t like.

  18. jennifer,

    “Where are the Bush-lovers who bashed me on the North Korea thread?”

    since I am not a Bush-lover, I don’t know if I am qualified to respond to this 🙂
    (for the record, I have not supported Bush or any Republican prez, yet!)

    You criticism of Bush in the context of N.K. was what most of the folks on that thread had a problem with.

    Here, you are right to criticise him (for his actions). Does not mean you were ‘wrong’ to criticise Bush anywhere else – but comparing Bush (and US) to Kim (and N.K)is a tad whacky.

    Do you have anything to say to Phil?

  19. “I strongly disagree with the ACLU on some issues (affirmative action comes to mind first), but NO other organization so consistently champions the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments (and given the erosion of the Posse Comitatus Act, they may have to cover the Third soon enough).”

    The fifth and sixth? Really? I always saw them as mostly a first and fourth group, who spends a bit too much time on relatively unimportant church state fights. Church-state is huge, don’t get me wrong, but they seem to make mountains out of mole hills, when there is a lot of good property seizure and other work to be done.

    ACLU – Affirmative Action – Hate Speech – 2(ADA) = mostly okay

    mostly okay + NRA = not bad at all
    GoA = 2NRA

    Hmm … Hey thorau! I’ve been out of the game, am I supposed to integrate both sides, or what?

  20. Phil-
    DO you have any evidence to support your assetions that I LIKE religious fundamentalists who aren’t Bush? Of course not, but why let the lack of a little evidence stop your rants?

    Realistically, your multiposted comment made as much sense as someone saying “Hmmph. YOU only hate Muslim fundamentalists because you don’t agree with their treatment of women. If you found some to support your feminist ideas you’d change your tune.” Anyone who takes political advice from invisible men in the sky (or his dog, a la David Berkowitz) has problems.

    I don’t know of Martin Luther King ever saying that God CHOSE him to lead the Civil Rights movement. There’s a difference between thinking that you’re doing God’s work, versus thinking you are God’s favorite.

    Incidentally, if Thoreau used his religion to justify a clusterfuck war resulting in mass unnecssary deaths, I’d hate him too.

    Zorel-
    I made an additional comment on the NK thread which you must not have seen–my original comment said nothing about Bush; I merely pointed out that the Nortk Korean media would disallow photos of soldiers’ coffins. YOU guys are the ones who brought Bush into it. And I was commenting on Jesse Waker’s original comment, namely, that the North Korean media blackout was almost as disturbing as the original accident.

    Context, people. Context.

  21. I don’t believe that God put me here for some specific grand purpose that makes me more special than anybody else. Belief in an Almighty should inspire humility, not a belief that “I have a special mission that God intended for me and nobody else!” If you start believing that, it’s easy to start justifying all sorts of unethical things.

    No, I’m not talking about some slippery slope to mass murder. I’m talking about the smaller but equally slippery slope that leads all sorts of people in all sorts of walks of life to think that it’s OK for them to break the rules but nobody else.

  22. I’m a card carrying member of the ACLU & NRA.

    I strongly disagree with the ACLU on some issues (affirmative action comes to mind first), but NO other organization so consistently champions the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments (and given the erosion of the Posse Comitatus Act, they may have to cover the Third soon enough).

    The NRA covers me on the Second Amendment, and also does some labor on behalf of the First as well (the ACLU and NRA both filed Supreme Court briefs opposing the outrageous “Campaign Reform” law).

    I don’t feel conflicted at all. Reconcile THIS.

  23. jennifer,

    your original post on the NK thread:

    “I’ll bet that if North Korea went to war, it would be illegal for newspapers to take photographs of the coffins of dead soldiers. Good thing this country is more enlightened.

    Hey, wait a minute. . . .”

    Posted by Jennifer at April 22, 2004 02:15 PM
    – – – – –

    and now you say,

    “…I merely pointed out that the Nortk Korean media would disallow photos of soldiers’ coffins. ”

    you would be correct but for the last 2 sentences of your original post.

    context? truth? whatever …

  24. Thoreau-
    Exactly. That’s why any comparison between your brand of religion, versus the religion of George Bush, is utterly specious. Despite what Phil believes, if you went around saying “God wants me to overthrow Bush,” I would distance myself from you, for all that I want Bush gone. Anyone who hears voices in his head frightens me, regardless of what the voices say.

    But I stand by my earlier statement–if God really DID put Bush into the White House, you should consider Satanism as a viable religious alternative. Why worship a God with such pathetically low standards?

    Satan has cooler music, too. Seriously now, who is better–Ozzy Osbourne or Stryper?

  25. If I really believed that Bush was the Annointed One I’d probably consider joining the opposition. But since I think Bush is fooling himself I see no need to take up Satanism.

    As I’ve said before about Christians who don’t like my take on religion, if they don’t like it they can leave, because I’m not going anywhere!

  26. Zorel-
    Just read your last post. Are you criticing me for the “lie” (read: sarcasm) that our country is more enlightened than that? If so, then surely you don’t think I’m criticizing Bush; if anything, I am guilty of lying to make him look better! You know, like a REAL patriot.

    Seriously, though. I simply pointed out a fact. If the implication of this fact is that our current administration is less than perfect, well, that’s the administrations’ fault, not mine.

    It’s like if you simply made a list of all the non-Hillary women Clinton had sex with, and then I falsely claimed that you called Clinton a slut. No, you didn’t, but the facts would lead any reasonable person to that conclusion. YOu and your buddies are not criticizing my facts; you are criticizing me for the conclusions the facts force you to draw. Well, tough titty.

    SO let me reiterate: I said (paraphrasing) “North Korea would not allow its media to show the coffins of dead soldiers. I’m glad we’re better than that. Hey, wait a minute. . . ”

    How is this an anti-Bush lie?

  27. “But… conservative voters may stay home in droves during the next election…”

    Stay home? No way, since libertarians and small government conservatives will have many principled Republicans to vote for congress… certainly more principled then the Dems and Bush. And, the Libertarian candidate for president will no doubt be someone we can vote for with pride and “send a message” at the same time.

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