Miers Miers Pants on Fire

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Reason Contributing Editor Carolyn Lochhead has a good roundup of anti-Miers sentiment on the broadly defined Right in the SF Chron:

"Let's put it this way," said Michael Greve, head of the federalism project for the American Enterprise Institute. "I think it is fairly obvious that there were better picks out there."…

"I do not believe that there will be an open rebellion until and unless something goes really wrong," Greve said. "I don't wish for this scenario, but if she gets into trouble, she'll fall fast."

Randy Barnett, a libertarian law professor at Boston University, wrote a scathing piece in the Wall Street Journal blasting Miers' lack of experience in constitutional law and accusing Bush of cronyism.

"Given her lack of experience, does anyone doubt that Ms. Miers's only qualification to be a Supreme Court justice is her close connection to the president?" Barnett asked.

The conservative group Grassfire.org announced it was withholding support. "The 'trust me' phase of Bush's presidency came last November at the polls," said Grassfire.org president Steve Elliott. "Many trusted him then to do the right thing now, and the president responds to our trust by giving us another question mark. It's unacceptable."

Whole thing here.

The Wash Post says the Miers nod is the end of the conservative dream:

If there has been a unifying cause in American conservatism over the past three decades, it has been a passionate desire to change the Supreme Court. When there were arguments over tax cuts and deficits, when libertarians clashed with religious conservatives, when disputes over foreign policy erupted, reshaping the judiciary bound the movement together.

Until Monday, that is. Now conservatives are in a roiling fight with the White House over President Bush's nomination of White House counsel Harriet Miers to the high court. They fear that the president may have jeopardized their dream of fundamentally shifting the court by nominating someone with no known experience in constitutional issues rather than any one of a number of better-known jurists with unquestioned records.

More here.

Channeling Kent Brockman, I for one salute our new Bush-crony overlords and welcome all attempts to seize my medical marijuana club via eminent domain so that Pfizer can build a useless luxury resort that will play mood music to drown out not only howls of chronic pain patients but the sound of the Constitution being shredded.

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  1. I said this in another thread:

    Ever since 2001 these so-called conservatives have been little more than a fucking personality cult centering around Bush. Torture’s okay (if Bush is president) and expanded government power and secrecy is okay (if Bush is president) and arresting and holding American citizens without trial is okay (if Bush is president) and starting an unnecessary war under false pretenses is okay (if Bush is president), and running the deficit past the moon is okay (if Bush is president). . .but Harriet Miers is not acceptable to the personality cultists.

    So for that reason alone, I now support her nomination. Seriously. I still think she needs to tone down the Goth hooker eye makeup, but anyone who can make Bushbots turn against Dear Fearless Leader must have some good qualities. Or at least not as many bad qualities as other candidates. I’ll take what I can get.

  2. Jennifer-

    Thing is, they were willing to engage in a cult of personality as a means to an end. And now they are discovering that the end was…the appointment of a cultist to the Supreme Court.

  3. Have any of the Justice Sunday crowd chimed in on Miers yet?

    I still stand by my sure-to-be-seen-as-conspiratorial view that this whole schizm is somewhat staged. Bush would not name a nominee without clearing it with the RNC. He’s an installed president. Any show of autonomy on his part is suspect.

  4. Jennifer, I would quibble a bit. I think the cult surrounds Bush in the immediate, some of the disagreements you are hearing are from the semi-principled Bush loyalists, not the cultists. Those with ideas, yet not in the inner party. To the cultists, she is acceptable, even preferable. See Cheney on Limbaugh, Mehlmans immediate post nomination statement etc. And to me, this is frightening. To Bush, Miers is without a paper trail, a winning strategy with Roberts, and a loyalist. Her donations to the Gore campaign made her all the more preferable, as to Trojan the Dems with. I think this will turn out to be a MAJOR bone to the religious right, I think thats what “Trust me” means, and I think thats why James Dobson has so recently endorsed her. Dobson was given the inside scoop on her Roe v Wade position, and now he can go out in good conscience and shill to his unsettled constituents on her behalf. All speculation of course.

  5. Jennifer, I would quibble a bit. I think the cult surrounds Bush in the immediate, some of the disagreements you are hearing are from the semi-principled Bush loyalists, not the cultists. Those with ideas, yet not in the inner party. To the cultists, she is acceptable, even preferable. See Cheney on Limbaugh, Mehlmans immediate post nomination statement etc. And to me, this is frightening. To Bush, Miers is without a paper trail, a winning strategy with Roberts, and a loyalist. Her donations to the Gore campaign made her all the more preferable, as to Trojan the Dems with. I think this will turn out to be a MAJOR bone to the religious right, I think thats what “Trust me” means, and I think thats why James Dobson has so recently endorsed her. Dobson was given the inside scoop on her Roe v Wade position, and now he can go out in good conscience and shill to his unsettled constituents on her behalf. All speculation of course.

  6. Have any of the Justice Sunday crowd chimed in on Miers yet?

    I still stand by my sure-to-be-seen-as-conspiratorial view that this whole schizm is somewhat staged. Bush would not name a nominee without clearing it with the RNC. He’s an installed president. Any show of autonomy on his part is suspect.

  7. Jennifer, I think you seriously misread support for what Bush has done as flowing solely from a personality cult.

    For one thing, Bush does not have a strong enough personality to inspire a cult. He is a terrible speaker, has a crap PR team, and has enjoyed broad support for only a short time after 9/11.

    First, if you think Bush’s base supports the out-of-control spending, you are deluded. That is the issue that first broke the back of whatever post-9/11 honeymoon Bush had with the conservative base.

    You will find very few Bush supporters who think torture is OK. You will find a great many who think that an awful lot of what has gone on is either (a) not torture or (b) not OK, if it crosses the line.

    Its hard to say how many people support the war because a Republican is fighting it, but wouldn’t support the war if it was a Democrat fighting it. Even these partisan supporters are just that, though, and not the Bush-worshipping Stepford voters of your imagination. And that is the key – he draws from the same well that any Republican/conservative would draw from.

    Differences of opinion about national secrecy and war-fighting tactics can exist even in the absence of a personality cult.

    Really, trying dehumanize your political opponents by painting them as braindead personality cultists is just the kind of ad hominem that is best avoided in serious discourse.

  8. I apologize for the double post, it hung on me for a minute.

    Jeff P. if you can stand it, check here for some Justice Sunday feedback from James Dobson. Money quote for my reasoning in the above post

    “if I have made a mistake here … the blood of those babies that will die will be on my hands, to some degree. And that’s why is has weighed so heavily on me”

  9. She lacks the experience and skills of a supreme court justice. This is a disappointing pick. Especially with so many heavyweights out there like Judge Posner, Judge Easterbrook, Professor Richard Epstein, Professor Randy Barnett, Judges Ginsburg and Williams of the DC Court of Appeals, Judge Luttig, and many other top notch lawyers and judges. Heck, even Jacob Sollum would’ve been a better pick.

  10. Yeah, there is no personality cult. That’s why Bush’s reelection campaign was such an exercise in policy wonkery – because, gosh darn it, he just didn’t inspire people to trust him and want to have a beer with him.

    I liked the part when Rudolph Guiliani spoke about turning to Bernie Kerik on 9/11 and saying, “I think George Bush’s Five Point Plan to fight terrorism is solidly grounded in conservative principles.”

    For a reality-based answer, the reason this isn’t working is because Bush’s personality cult, built around the legend of his strong response to 9/11 and his capacity to Get Things Done, has collapsed under the weight of the Iraqi fiasco, his performance in the debates, the brick wall he ran into on Social Security, the Plame scandal, and, last but most certainly not least, the Katrina response. His base (which is not the same thing as the conservative base) is leaking away, because people are, too late, realizing that he is not the man they thought he was.

  11. Do conservatives really want to overturn Roe? I do not mean the base, I mean the people who are thinking strategically about how to position their party. Roe is good for them strategicaly.

    I think it would start a philosphicaL discussion that they could not win — and you libertarians would be, I hope, on the good side in all this.
    And of course, there are matters of degrees in overturning Roe…in one case overturning it would allow state of federal legislatures to outlaw or regulate abortion in ways they cannot now. The other would be something like declaring that rights begin at conception. Would even a Dobson wish for the latter?

  12. “For a reality-based answer, the reason this isn’t working is because Bush’s personality cult, built around the legend of his strong response to 9/11 and his capacity to Get Things Done, has collapsed under the weight of the Iraqi fiasco, his performance in the debates, the brick wall he ran into on Social Security, the Plame scandal, and, last but most certainly not least, the Katrina response.”

    I agree with this, mostly. Quite clearly, Reagan and Clinton were also essentially cults of personality. It’s an inevitable result of centralized, unlimited governments.

    The interesting thing being the question of what comes next? Do we follow the road to serfdom and elect a bigger, better strongman to “get things done,” or do we (as the electorate) recognize that we are on Hayek’s road, and elect pols who are friendly to small government ideas?

    I, for one, am pessimistic. I have a feeling it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

  13. theCoach-

    The good news for everybody with a stake in keeping the fight going is that even replacing O’Connor won’t be enough to overturn Roe. Whether one thinks it was a good ruling or bad ruling, whether one’s stance is grounded in one’s opinion on abortion or one’s reading of the Constitution, there will have to be at least one more retirement before Roe can be overturned.

    If that retirement comes during a GOP administration? Well, things will get REALLY ugly.

    I know a staunchly pro-choice liberal who wants Roe overturned. Not because he thinks it was a poorly reasoned ruling or anything like that. He just thinks that overturning it would cause so much havoc for the GOP that his side would enjoy a thousand-year reign.

  14. theCoach-

    The good news for everybody with a stake in keeping the fight going is that even replacing O’Connor won’t be enough to overturn Roe. Whether one thinks it was a good ruling or bad ruling, whether one’s stance is grounded in one’s opinion on abortion or one’s reading of the Constitution, there will have to be at least one more retirement before Roe can be overturned.

    If that retirement comes during a GOP administration? Well, things will get REALLY ugly.

    I know a staunchly pro-choice liberal who wants Roe overturned. Not because he thinks it was a poorly reasoned ruling or anything like that. He just thinks that overturning it would cause so much havoc for the GOP that his side would enjoy a thousand-year reign.

  15. Not long after Justice Rehnquist died and Mr. Bush promoted then-nominee Roberts to Chief Justice, I wrote the President a letter to recommend that he nominate either Randy Barnett or Ron Paul to Justice O’Connor’s Associate seat on the bench. I wonder how many others wrote their own “letters of recommendation”? Perhaps President Bush wouldn’t have chosen any of our specific candidates, but it would have been good for him to understand, from the examples given by citizens, the KIND of Justice that we wanted him to appoint. Miers certainly doesn’t meet MY criteria. Yours?

  16. Sorry for the double post. The daily server malfunction.

    To be fair, however, how many other servers come with Pong pre-installed, plus built-in game paddles?

  17. RC–

    No, not all conservatives are blind Bush supporters. But if you have a shred of intellectual honesty you’ll have to admit: a LOT of the torture apologists and “turning Iraq into a democracy was our main goal all along” apologists and “what’s wrong with the executive branch having carte blanche to declare citizens enemy combatants” apologists and so forth would NOT be making such excuses for the chief executive if he were still Clinton. And the fact that many of these same apologists are so vociferously opposed to Miers is, in my opinion, a strike in her favor.

    Call them partisan hacks or personality cultists–the fact remains that when it comes to Miers, many people are breaking ranks with Bush for the first time over her. And I think that’s a damned good thing.

  18. Many Bush voters put up with his screwed up policies because they realized the importance of the supreme court nomination. This importance was further driven home by the Raich and Kelo decisions where the “liberal” justices where on the wrong side of the decision. The fact that the “liberal” judges were on the wrong side of those decisions made the idea of voting for a democrat who would appoint more “liberals” to the supreme court unacceptable.

    That is why conservatives are livid now, they put up with years of big government nonsense from George Bush with the expectation that he would appoint solid, conservative supreme court justices. What we ended up with is a stealth candidate with no record.

  19. Bush lost most of the conservative movment right around the time of the Medicaid prescription-drug giveaway. The only reason conservatives (and I’m not referring to the holy rollers here, who are still just a faction) voted for him in 2004 was that there was no alternative–it was a “compassionate conservative” versus a social democrat. Some choice.

    In terms of elections, I don’t think that the events of the past few months will reverberate much by next November. Neither party seems to have much gusto, so it’ll end up being the usual barrage of local political attack ads and silly ad hominem slander that characterize most off-year elections.

  20. I think there’s a line between culture war conservatives and foreign and fiscal policy conservatives.

    …I think the President betrayed the foreign and fiscal policy conservatives a long time ago–I distinctly recall being kicked in the ass on the way out. That side of the movement doesn’t care about the Supreme Court as much.

    …For the culture war conservatives, the Supreme Court is the issue. They want a knock down, drag out fight over a nomination. They supported the President on everything with the thought in the back of their minds that the President would give them their due in a Supreme Court nominee.

    There’s gonna be a lot of uncomfortable ministers in the pulpit come Sunday. …egg all over their faces. …One of Rove’s tactics–yes, I know he didn’t invent it–was to use the extremists to govern and energize the party. …but the extremists have people to answer to, and it ain’t the President.

    …It’s the folks in the pews. …the ones who write the checks. …and they aren’t gonna like this. …and, like Jennifer, I’d consider supporting this nominee just to encourage a split. …if the nominee didn’t so clearly represent the President’s apparent disdain for the Senate’s constitutional role, that is.

  21. like Jennifer, I’d consider supporting this nominee just to encourage a split. …if the nominee didn’t so clearly represent the President’s apparent disdain for the Senate’s constitutional role, that is.

    You mean, as opposed to the huge amount of Constitutional respect that simply oozes out of every other thing Bush has done?

  22. You mean, as opposed to the huge amount of Constitutional respect that simply oozes out of every other thing Bush has done?

    From the Patriot Act to the Torture Memo and Jose Padilla, I’ve opposed the President on all of that too.

  23. Jennifer, I think you and I agree that a lot of the support for and opposition to Bush is partisan. That was my point all along.

    Really, to paint Chimpler McBushiburton as leading some kind of personality cult is borderline delusional.

    And yeah, joe, the TV campaign on both sides was pretty light on wonkery. Remember “reporting for duty”? Political campaigns are always heavy on personality. Proves nothing.

    Just because your opposition to his policies is inextricable from your personal hatred and loathing him for him as a human being doesn’t mean the converse is true.

  24. Really, to paint Chimpler McBushiburton as leading some kind of personality cult is borderline delusional.

    Excellent point, RC. All those people who admire Bush do so because he’s just so fucking admirable.

  25. Around the election, polls came out asking people who the greatest president of all time was.

    W made at least the top five in every single one.

  26. Around the election, polls came out asking people who the greatest president of all time was. W made at least the top five in every single one.

    Because he was so fucking spectacular. Really.

  27. There’d probably be less discussion of a personality cult if some of his public appearances didn’t feature hand-picked audiences asking things like “How can we best pray for you?” and “I just feel like God is in the White House again.”

  28. Really, to paint Chimpler McBushiburton as leading some kind of personality cult is borderline delusional.

    That would be a lot easier to take if his followers didn’t so often ask about whether someone was for or against the President before listening to what he or she had to say.

    …Haven’t you heard the charges of “Bush Bashing” RC Dean? …Other than, “Don’t listen to him, he’s against the President.”, what is that accusation supposed to mean?

  29. …If a large group of people come to the conclusion that it’s logically impossible for their leader to be wrong, that might be a sign that it’s become a personality cult.

  30. …When the leader of a large group of people starts insisting on support for his nominee based, almost solely, on his personal testimony, that might be a sign that it’s become a personality cult.

  31. If your admiring fans gush about how great it is that you own a ranch, you might be the leader of a redneck personality cult.

  32. Just because your opposition to his policies is inextricable from your personal hatred and loathing him for him as a human being

    See, another sign of a personality cult is when members say things like “You only oppose his policies because you hate him!”

  33. Kill the Pig! Kill the Pig! Kill th-whoa. What was that?

  34. Jennifer, I think you and I agree that a lot of the support for and opposition to Bush is partisan. That was my point all along.

    That’s Jennifer bashing!

    And yeah, joe, the TV campaign on both sides was pretty light on wonkery. Remember “reporting for duty”? Political campaigns are always heavy on personality. Proves nothing.

    That’s joe bashing!

    Just because your opposition to his policies is inextricable from your personal hatred and loathing him for him as a human being doesn’t mean the converse is true.

    That’s personal hatred bashing!

  35. Oh, hell, I can’t go on living this lie!

    RC is right–I only oppose Bush’s policies because I hate Bush himself! Starting a war under false pretenses totally kicks ass–unless Bush is the president! Sending the military off to fight said war without adequate equipment or armor is an awesome idea–unless Bush is the president! Having our civil liberties taken away one by one is the best thing that’s ever happened to this nation–unless Bush is the president! I see nothing worng with giving the executive branch carte blanche to arrest and detain American citizens indefinitely without trial–unless Bush is the president! There’s nothing wrong with alienating our allies and making ourselves look like a bully in the eyes of the world–unless Bush is the president! Ordering intelligence agencies to ignore actual intelligence and make shit up to bolster claims of WMDs is a wonderful thing to do–unless Bush is the president!

    I love what is happening to my country–I just hate the thought of Bush getting credit for it.

  36. You know, attributing my beliefs entirely to my hatred of George Bush ignores my true motivation: I absolutely hate Iraqis, consider them subhuman, and really, really, really want them to be government by a Baathist tyrant. Oh, and I think Baathist tyranny is a really wonderful system of government.

    Wait, that doesn’t even make sense…

  37. You know, you guys aren’t helping yourselves nearly as much as you think.

    joe, that “substantive battle of ideas” was being led, from your side, by a candidate who was running primarily on a highly disputed biography, supported by a cast whose ideas were not much more than “whatever the Republicans want, I’m agin’!” mixed in with a defense of the status quo. Substantive battle of ideas, indeed.

    The ‘personality cult’ exists mostly on the left, which defines itself almost entirely these days by its hatred and loathing of W. I was in Washington for the big rally a couple of weeks ago, I know whereof I speak. It wasn’t a “peace” rally; it was an anti-Bush rally.

    The right, by contrast, has largely moved on from W. They don’t like his budgets, they don’t like his waffling on taxes and other issues, they don’t like his SCOTUS pick. Where’s the personality cult here?

    All the evidence of a personality cult is either inflated anecdote “his followers ask whether you are for or against him before they listen to what you have to say” (c’mon, how many times has that happened, really) – or totally typical of modern pols – “he only appears before vetted audiences” (sure – W is the only one.)

    You only oppose his policies because you hate him

    Not what I said. I said your hatred for him is what motivates your reaction to everything he does. Just as hatred for Clinton motivated much of the right’s reaction to everything he did. It works both ways – people across the political spectrum are all just people.

    Bush-hatred is just that – hatred. Own your hatred! Celebrate it! Stand tall and say proudly “I don’t care what he does, he is a monstrous boob and I will hate him and all his works until the sun burns out!”

    I’m not quite sure how your continued frothing about how W is incompetent, monstrous boob is supposed to convince us that your opinions aren’t driven by your hatred and loathing of him.

  38. “a highly disputed biography”

    Bullshit. Repeatedly disproven, slanderous bullshit doesn’t cease to be bullshit because you keep repeating it. Where’s your shrapnel, asshole? No god damn decency at all.

  39. You know, someone can loathe Bush and still not like his policies.

  40. I wonder if Iraq War vets who dare to run as Democrats are going to be accused of cowardice, and their wounds laughed at, by people like RC Dean in 20 years.

  41. your hatred for him is what motivates your reaction to everything he does.

    And yet, RC, I supported his decision to sign the anti-telemarketer bill, and I stood up for him last year when people criticized him for not releasing the Strategic Petroleum Reserves to lower gas prices. And on a more recent thread concerning peak oil, I argued against the idea that current high oil prices have anything to do with That Oilman in the White House. How does that fit in with your theory that all of my reactions to him are guided by knee-jerk hatred? Is it even possible, in your worldview, that you got it all ass-backwards–that I dislike him because of his policies, NOT that I dislike his policies because of him?

    I’m going to repeat Thoreau’s earlier comment: There’d probably be less discussion of a personality cult if some of his public appearances didn’t feature hand-picked audiences asking things like “How can we best pray for you?” and “I just feel like God is in the White House again.”

  42. I actually complimented Bush and Rice on their diplomacy as it related to Lebanon and Ukraine on a recent thread.

    What, Ukraine is joke to you?

  43. CBS’s new poll puts Bush’s job approval at 37%.

    That’s not so suprising. What’s surprising is that 79% of Republicans said that they approve of the way Bush is doing his job. I’m sorry, these people are not basing their opinions on what is actually happening. How could they be?

  44. It doesn’t matter, Joe. So far as RC is concerned, if you criticize Bush it HAS to be because of a deep-rooted and irrational hatred.

  45. Bullshit. Repeatedly disproven, slanderous bullshit doesn’t cease to be bullshit because you keep repeating it.

    Oh c’mon, joe. Christmas in Cambodia? Seared into his memory? The filmed recreations of his exploits?

    I think the Swifties had quite a bit of credible eyewitness testimony. As they say in the courtrooms, I would even venture that the Swifties had the preponderance of the evidence, on at least some incidents. Just because it is not consistent with what JFK wants you to believe doesn’t make it slanderous bullshit.

    Regardless of which group of politically motivated witnesses you choose to believe, I find the Democratic hagiography around Kerry’s tour is a little hard to swallow. I think what really happened was much more commonplace – he was an ambitious ticket-puncher who got his three band-aid Purple Hearts and got out as fast as he could.

    Kerry’s tour was not necessarily dishonorable, but not exactly Presidential timber, either.

    Where’s your shrapnel, asshole?

    And joe plays the chickenhawk card. It always comes down to the personal attacks, doesn’t it?

    I mean, where are your thousand hours flying widowmaker high-altitude interceptors, joe? If the lack of VC rice, er, shrapnel, in my ass makes me unqualified to criticize JFK, then I guess your lack of an Air National Guard tour flying fighter planes makes you unqualified to criticize the Chimpler, no?

  46. joe, that “substantive battle of ideas” was being led, from your side, by a candidate who was running primarily on a highly disputed biography, supported by a cast whose ideas were not much more than “whatever the Republicans want, I’m agin’!” mixed in with a defense of the status quo. Substantive battle of ideas, indeed.

    I think I agree with your larger point here.

    …but just to stay in character, I’ll pretend I’m part of a Democrat version of the Bush personality cult; I’ll pretend that anyone who criticizes Kerry can’t possibly be right, and I’m going to say that what you just did was Kerry bashing.

    …and then I’m going to pretend that calling someone a Kerry basher is somehow persuasive.

    The ‘personality cult’ exists mostly on the left, which defines itself almost entirely these days by its hatred and loathing of W. I was in Washington for the big rally a couple of weeks ago, I know whereof I speak. It wasn’t a “peace” rally; it was an anti-Bush rally.

    I still don’t follow. What is it about the President’s war that makes opposition to it logically impossible?

    The right, by contrast, has largely moved on from W. They don’t like his budgets, they don’t like his waffling on taxes and other issues, they don’t like his SCOTUS pick. Where’s the personality cult here?

    I abandoned support of the President over budgets and taxes and free trade and other things long before the last election. …I admit that I don’t understand why budget, tax, free trade conservatives would stick with the President ’til now.

    …but I’m not talking about what’s left of that wing of the conservative movement anyway. It’s the culture war conservatives that seem to want to know if you’re a Bush supporter before they listen to what you say.

    I was called a racist for questioning the wisdom of Reverse Domino Theory. I was called a terrorist sympathizer for coming out big against torture. …I don’t think these accusations were made by representatives of what’s left of the free trade, Laffer curve, fiscal responsibility wing of the conservative movement. They were culture war Bushbots. …Are you suggesting that you haven’t seen these people’s comments here?

    All the evidence of a personality cult is either inflated anecdote “his followers ask whether you are for or against him before they listen to what you have to say” (c’mon, how many times has that happened, really) – or totally typical of modern pols – “he only appears before vetted audiences” (sure – W is the only one.)

    Once again, what is the meaning of the charge of Bush bashing?

    …If it doesn’t mean that the person they’re talking about can’t be right because they’re critical of President Bush then what does it mean?

    Jennifer can be wrong. joe can be wrong. You can be wrong. I can be wrong. President Bush can be wrong. As I’ve mentioned before, there are many commenters who come here an react to criticism of the Bush Administration as if it were a racial slur.

    Just as hatred for Clinton motivated much of the right’s reaction to everything he did.

    I was a proud member of the right back then. Libertarian right, but right nonetheless. …and I hated the Clinton Administration for its policies. …I think the hatred really started when they raised my taxes–the justification was to help the working poor. Back then, I was the working poor! His tax hike meant that I ran out of food on the Tuesday before I got paid rather than Thursday. Son of a bitch! …I’ll never forgive him for that.

    …Thanks for the help President Clinton! …Here’s a finger from the working poor!

    I’m not quite sure how your continued frothing about how W is incompetent, monstrous boob is supposed to convince us that your opinions aren’t driven by your hatred and loathing of him.

    I’ll own the incompetent bit. …and if you’ve noticed, I’ve always tried to back up that charge. Wanna read the Schlesinger Report? …In my read, it shows nothing if not that the Bush Administration is utterly incompetent. …But that’s not my assumption, that’s my conclusion.

  47. Oh, and joe, I never questioned Kerry’s courage, or laughed at his (minor) wounds. Don’t mischaracterize what I say.

    So far as RC is concerned, if you criticize Bush it HAS to be because of a deep-rooted and irrational hatred.

    What are you people, blind? Or just stupid?

    Nowhere did I say that. Hell, I regularly criticize Bushitler myself. I’m just saying that, for a sizable chunk of the opposition (likely including more than a few H & R regulars) hatred of Bush is the driving force in their political landscape. Supporting a bill or two that Bush signed hardly refutes this thesis.

  48. Accusing us of saying “chimpler”?

    Oh no he di-int!

    Can we talk about something other than the holiday in Cambodia? Although, I gotta admit that the song lyrics are actually kind of apt for a guy from his background.

  49. “three band-aid Purple Hearts”

    Fuck you, asshole, he still has metal in his leg. Chicken hawk keyboard commando.

    “It always comes down to the personal attacks, doesn’t it?” Yes, dickhead, when you insult the service of wounded veterans, you’re making a personal attack. Where do you get the balls?

  50. I still don’t follow. What is it about the President’s war that makes opposition to it logically impossible?

    Nothing. Its just that, for the protestors and many others, the issues are just more sticks to beat Bush with.

    Once again, what is the meaning of the charge of Bush bashing?

    …If it doesn’t mean that the person they’re talking about can’t be right because they’re critical of President Bush then what does it mean?

    My point, really, is that many people approach every event on the political horizon with one thought in mind – is there a handle here for my obsession with and hatred of George Bush?

    Sometimes there is; sometimes they are right. I disagree with Bush on virtually his entire domestic agenda, but I don’t do it out of hatred for the man.

    Just don’t kid yourself about what is going on. The left is largely an anti-personality cult these days, and as such deserves just as much respect as you would give to the usual kind of personality cult. Much of the opposition to what Bush does has nothing to do with what he does, it has everything to do with Bush doing it.

  51. To get this discussion back on a more interesting track, maybe we should ask ourselves what (if any) difference there is between a personality cult and normal partisanship.

    I’m not sure that there’s any difference except a matter of degree. But I’m open to arguments to the contrary.

  52. Yes, dickhead, when you insult the service of wounded veterans, you’re making a personal attack.

    Look, joe, I’ll type this with one finger so you can follow along.

    I. Never. Insulted. Or. Criticized. John. Kerry’s. Service. In. Vietnam.

    His service there was pretty typical of ambitious junior officers with balls, as a matter of fact.

    I do think that his stories about what he did there were inflated (at best) to advance his political career.

    Can you see the difference? Or are you just stupid today?

  53. To get this discussion back on a more interesting track, maybe we should ask ourselves what (if any) difference there is between a personality cult and normal partisanship.

    Personality cults don’t transfer to the next guy in the hot seat. Partisanship doesn’t care who is in the hot seat, as long as he’s from your party.

  54. hatred of Bush is the driving force in their political landscape. Supporting a bill or two that Bush signed hardly refutes this thesis.

    Here’s a serious question, RC, but first I must present a hypothetical situation: let’s say that the President for the last five years wasn’t Bush, but some other guy–I’ll call him “Adonis”–whom I happened to really, really like. Voted for him. Campaigned for him, even.

    But President Adonis has done exactly the same thing as Bush, day for day and word for word. Even has the same vice-president and administration. And I, Jennifer the commenter, still hate these policies and what they’re doing to my country, and I criticize the hell out of President Adonis. Hate the Patriot Act, Iraq, the Gonzales memo and all it led to, and so forth. But because of my pro-president history, nobody could possibly accuse me of belonging to the “Adonis anti-personality cult” of the left.

    What’s different about my posts, then? What is it you’re picking up from me here, that does NOT exist in the parallel universe of President Adonis? What’s the difference between my personal hatred of Bush versus my policy-driven hatred of Adonis? How CAN I express hatred or or contempt for a man’s policies without your insisting I’m in the “anti-personality cult?”

    I mean, without starting each and every such post with the disclaimer “I really like the President, I even voted for him, but. . . .”

  55. You know, I’m trying to remember the last time anybody on this forum used a phrase like “Chimpler” to make fun of the President. It seems like the only people who bring it up are the ones who want to accuse somebody else of saying “Chimpler.”

  56. Wait, I just said it now.

    Argh!

  57. Take your one finger and shove it up your ass, prick.

    I don’t care what else you have to say. If you were in my presence, I’d spit on you.

  58. Looking good, joe. Keep taking the high road.

  59. “he was an ambitious ticket-puncher who got his three band-aid Purple Hearts”

    RC Dean, you are a waste of blood and hair; and I hope you spend the next few hundred years smoking a big fat turd in Hell.

  60. Douglas,

    Feel free to take a seat next to RC Dean, and please make sure he doesn’t bogart the turd.

  61. Slandering a man who left his blood on a foreign battlefield a handful of times: fine.

    Naughty words on a blog comment thread: an outrage.

    I cannot for the life of me understand how any person could consider this line of attack ok.

  62. Serious question: has Doug Fletcher ever made any sort of comment here that wasn’t some variant of “This topic is stupid” or “this particular comment was stupid?”

  63. joe-

    However odiously wrong you might think the other guys are, you do much better when you stick to the high road.

    Jennifer-

    I think Douglas Fletcher is usually hilarious. OK, not as hilarious as Stevo Darkly, but pretty good still.

  64. However odiously wrong you might think the other guys are, you do much better when you stick to the high road.

    I don’t know. I’ve come across times when it seemed like the only appropriate response was profanity.

    In boarding school, I used to get sent to the Principal’s office for using foul language. …I once defended myself for using the word “a**hole” to describe a certain teacher. I opened with the suggestion that God sometimes makes us choose between using foul language and telling the truth.

    …I ended up in detention anyway.

  65. thoreau, nobody still clinging to the oft-debunked stories of the Swift Boat Liars is amenable to reason. So why hold back?

  66. I’m disappointed, though not surprised, that RC never came back to answer the personality-cult question. Listen carefully–that sound you hear over the rustling of autumn leaves is the shriveling balls of the Bush defenders.

    (Of course, he may well come back and answer it after this thread’s been archived. I’ll check back later.)

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