Friday, November 19, 2004

Guardian columnist bemoans liberal America's self-loathing.

Timothy Garton Ash, writing from San Francisco yesterday, had this to say, among other things, about liberals after the election:

"I 'm getting seriously worried about anti-Americanism. Anti-Americanism in America, that is. Here are just a few of the things that I've heard travelling through blue, ie liberal, America over the two weeks since George Bush won the election. 'The truth is, they just are stupid." (A New Yorker, of people in the red, ie conservative, states.) 'The snakes.' 'Fascism.' 'Christian fascism.' 'I wanted to make a film about a time when young Americans fought against fascism and not for it." (A producer, explaining why he commissioned a film about the Spanish civil war.)'

While Garton doesn't bemoan the liberal self-loathing as ardently as he should have (please! let's not whine about the election but moblize for 2006), the bigger question is when are we going to see that many faith-voters, along with liberal-Democratic voters, were dupped by Bush this election? Did Bush ever mention same-sex marriage, stem-cell research, abortions, in his post-election speech? I doubt that these will be issues now that Bush has a mandate to turn Iraq into an ashcan for the sake of liberal democratic ideals.


At 12:35 PM, Blogger Charlie said...

I wanted to make a film about a time when young Americans fought against fascism and not for it.

The Guardian is populated by limp wristed lefty liberals I would never ever be taken in by the tripe they pedal, they would ban enjoyment if it were possible.
I'm now going to the pub for some intelligent repartee.

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Julia Mallory said...

Liberals will never claim the White House if we make people feel as though they have to apologize for their religious beliefs. We don't have to alienate people simply to get our point across

In reference to the preceding post from Charlie:

I agree 100% the film sounds like a good idea. When did our young people slip into this state of unconciousness and apathetic state?

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Marta Donayre said...

This argument that people who question authority are anti-American is getting old. Last I checked, this is exaclty why our founders went out of their way to ensure freedom of speech and freedom of the press: so Americans could freely question government to keep it in check.

On the lady who wrote about having to apologize abuot her religion, I would ask her to please stay away from my blog ( because she won't like it.

At 3:10 PM, Blogger InspectorCliche said...

I wish we could talk about our commonalities and have a non-biased dialogue (where we listen to one another and consider each point of view before blurting out the hard line of one party or another).

We (the people) need to come together accepting different points of view with respect rather than waging war or feeling defeated if/when we don't get our way in the national election.

At the end of the day, democracy protects us all from our greatest foe (ourselves). The wisdom of the ages made it into the pages of our declaration of independence - we can all be thankful for that!

Over time, our democracy may sway from one extreme (Conservatism) to another (liberalism), - but, from a distance one can appreciate the fact that a power greater than ourselves is navigating this great nation through the perils of time.

Our job is to follow the "better angels of our nature" and participate in the process - by getting involved, and by all means placing our vote.

Once we have participated in the process to the best of our individual abilities, we can accept the results with faith that this great country may be swaying away from the direction we think is right, but ultimately it will correct itsself (if, in fact, we are correct in our thinking).

We (the people) have more in common than we have different - on any given issue, 2 individuals from the same party will tend to disagree on the details, but overall we share the same quest.

Our common quest is to enjoy our individual pursuits of happiness and ensure (as best we can) that future generations enjoy that same freedom.

We all enjoy living in the best form of government known to mankind (in spite of it's inherent flaws). None of us are (or ever will be) perfect - therefore, I believe we cannot expect perfection out of our political process. However, we can appreciate the fact that, from a distance, our form of government has navigated (thus far) successfully through the test of time.

Let's all unite and seek an honest dialogue with as little "politics" as possible. We "the people" are still blessed to live in the United States of America!

At 8:21 PM, Blogger CleverCynic said...

Those closing statements in the blog could only come from a person who only knows Bush through his opponent's media outlets. Anyone who knows and has followed the man himself knows how he feels on those issues. He has not only spoken at length about them but has acted on them over and over.

Now had he ran a campaign that was silent on those issues and then came out with strong opinions on them in his post-election speech, that would have been being duped. Ironically, this however is what Kerry's campaign was setting us up for. The DNC was silent on all of these issues in order to bring moderates into the tent and made an obvious attempt to ignore them. The RNC addressed each and every one of them and put themselves on the line, hoping that more people agreed than not, and gave voters a chance to cast their votes based on truth and not nuance or assumptions. Bush in every way stood for what he stood for whether you agreed with him or not and always has.

AND, his election to not speak on these topics in his post-election speech was clearly in-line with the purpose of his reaching out statements. This author is clearly upset that Bush didn't alienate those that voted against him so he could write at length about how Bush doesn't care about those that didn't vote for him, which is also simply not true.

At 5:00 PM, Blogger Russ said...

Bush and company, did one thing well.... they ran a superb attack campaign. They did it so well, it got Bush re-elected. Negative news sells good positive news is garbage - we all know that. Everything about the republican convention was a negative attack against the other side. They never ran on any positive platform about themselves because there is nothing positive about Bush's presidency or candidacy. They generated fear about terrorists and they created fear where it did't exist saying Kerry would do this or not do that. Much of it was speculation and baseless in form and content but a slim majority bought it on election day.

Kerry/Edwards ran a pathetically positive campaign. They could have done much more damage and possibly won the electorate had they been half as aggresive as their republican counterparts.

I'm so tired of hearing about a mandate. That word is so misused. I don't call it a mandate when 55 million Americans (more than ever voted for any president before, including Ronald Reagan) voted for John Kerry and wanted to get Bush out of office. Just a few million more voted for Bush - and that has been typical of most elections.

Bush is continuing to ruin this country and the Government continues to strip us of our civil rights all in the name of terrorism. Terrorism has been around forever - the fear of 9/11 is just one excuse to make us more reliant on the government. You right wingers call those of us (liberal and independant) un-american for questioning our government. I would say you are more un-American for trying to supress our freedom of speech.

At 7:59 PM, Blogger CleverCynic said...

It's not your speaking out against Bush that is the disturbing part... we all understand politics... it's speaking out against America in general. My parents allowed us (my siblings and I) to cuss. Basically because they are just words, but also to demystify it and rob it of its perceived "value". Consequently, you end up not doing it so much. This form of dissent is like the word "FUCK". Yeah you can, but come on. You guys act like we attacked Denmark. I use that as an example because I'm desperately trying to figure out what it would take for me to feel the same way you do about Iraq. But all of those differences between Iraq and Denmark are all the REASONS I don't...and you guys just don't care. It's the people who can't speak out against their country that need it. Why not speak on their behalf instead?

At 4:02 AM, Blogger Charlie said...

Bush is continuing to ruin this country and the Government continues to strip us of our civil rights all in the name of terrorism. Terrorism has been around forever.

That is a rash political statement to make and smacks of shear desperation. Bush wants to make Americans less reliant on big government, so I thought.
You maybe very relaxed about 9/11 and terrorism so how many acts of terrorism would you be prpared to accept before taking action against them.
The American economy is gaining strength much to the envy of the Europeans and free speech supression, well that’s another illusion.

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Russ said...

I don't know..... we just see things differently I guess. But that's okay, because that's what makes this country tick.

I care so much and so deeply for this country and I'm proud to be part of it - that's why I do speak out and get involved - because I care and want this to be a better place. It is our duty to speak out when we feel we are being wronged.

It's not that I dislike this country, I just happen to question it's leadership. Like many of you, I do have a problem with Americans speaking out against America, but not with Americans speaking out against a system they beleive is flawed or leaders they beleive aren't doing the job the way it is supposed to be done.

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Joshua A. Lineberry said...

I agree wholeheartedly on the note that we should prepare for 2006. We should not allow the grief from this defeat to sway us from preparing for new challenges ahead.

At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

look...all of this "neo-con" nonsense has nothing to do with politics. Conservative about what???? Socially? Fiscally? The big bozo out in front of you morons is go ahead take your 51% of my country and start calling it the "United Republic of Neo-con Christian Fundamentalism" so we can just have another civil war and, join the stinking NRA facists, only with collective guns pointed in YOUR direction.

Letting the current series of mishaps (mounting costs of war, slipping image of a formerly [but not anymore] great country) slide into the collective blur while actually caring about the former president's sexual escapades is not just mind numbing, but alot like a transorbital lobotomy...but not for me!!! Its probably enough of a shame that 51% of this once great nation has already had one and has the nerve to type some neo-con bullshit into __YET___ another blog.

Go fuck yourselves.

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Charlie said...

Well there is another. "One Flew over Cuckoos Nest".

At 3:29 PM, Blogger CleverCynic said...

Define "Great". Is pacifism the only criteria considered?

We are essentially Europeans don't forget. The only real difference is geography and the desire to leave and do things differently. Maybe your genes are just homesick.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Billf said...

The clever emotional button-pushing of the Right is moving America in an alarmingly un-American direction. The good news, however, is the increasingly focussed, sane center-left awakening that almost unseated this neo-Con administration and will continue to fight for the actual interests of "we the people" and work toward developing a majority. Don't give up. Come visit me at Red State Pinko, and let's see what more we can do.

At 1:37 PM, Blogger kris said...

Wow! we went from movies to hard-core politics...impressive.

However, i will post a thought, out of morbid curiousity to the result. Could it be possible that young people are not wanting facism so much as socialism? and if so, what is wrong with that?

At 3:24 PM, Blogger CleverCynic said...

Billf, this fascism talk is ridiculous. Politics is not a straight line with a left and right side. It's practically a circle, or at least a horse-shoe. Fascism and communism differ only by motive and a day in the life of a subject is the same under each. Republicans are at the bottom of the shoe, we want very LITTLE government at all. Low taxes and a strong defense. Other than that we want the extent of our involvment with the government to be that form in April and registering our cars once a year. The rest of it should be like FEMA and kick in if things ever become disasterous in light of natural market checks. THAT'S IT!

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Russ said...

I'd love to see those things too.... Little government, low taxes, strong defense, etc.

But Bush doesn't seem to have any fiscal responsiblitly. When he reaches his limit on federal spending, he just goes and changes the rules to suit his spending habits (i.e. raising the debt ceiling by another 800 billion). He just appears to have this "oh we need more money, let's just print more" attitude.

One thing the Republicans have always stood for is a strong defense, which I whole heartedly agree with. But when you are cashing checks from an account that has no money in it, I have a problem with it. This administration's wish list for this country will cost billions and it's not going to happen without touching taxes in some way.

Bush will argue we are at war and that justifies everything he does and everything he spends. That philosophy is terribly flawed, but a majority of the people will buy it because they don't any better.

During WWII all Americans pitched in for the war effort. I don't see that happening today. People are going about thier busy little lives and to them the war is either not real, or it is just a nuisance to them. They are so into their sports, sex, and bling they don't even care. It's almost like we wouldn't know we were at war if it wasn't for the 5 minutes each night the news spends on it.

For those of us that are bloggers, track current events, and know what is happening it's very real. But to the other 90 perecent of the population, politics aside, many of them are clueless.

At 4:16 PM, Blogger CleverCynic said...

Russ, I think we probably have a lot of common ground. Economics is my thing, and since I'm not religious is what's ties me in to the party. Historically, in a time of war you raise taxes. In an economic trough you lower them. This term was unique in having both. It probably would have been better to not provide quite as much relief to the top income brackets, but that happened before 9/11 and the Iraq war, and was a fulfillment of campaign promises. Since I'm also a large proponent of supply-side economics this was a good thing for us. All of this put together inevitably caused a deficit, and if not justified now simply has never been. The deficit as it stands, while a nice number to quote, is roughly 3% of GDP. And as you know that also happens to be the number by which the economy grows in any given year. Given this, if there were NO changes in spending at all, the deficit would be gone in a year. This suggests that Bush can continue to spend and even add programs if he's only deciding to lower the deficit by half in the next 4 years. Other factors include capital investment as well which contributes to GDP growth as well, so there is a little wiggle-room in responding to what I have said, but it is not significant enough to stray from the point.

The truth is that when the country experiences significantly expensive challenges, it is much better to spread that cost across a generation than to try to bear the brunt of it now. I'm someone's kid too damnit, and so are you. We don't need to be shouldering the brunt of it at once either anymore than our kids should. Peace and War time is a cycle where deficits rise then fall, then turn into a supplement if prolonged peace occurs which is where Clinton landed his presidential term in the 90's. Bill Gates handled the rest and the domino effect was an incredible thrill ride that we'd all love to have again. There was so much money taxes could be raised and everyone could get what they wanted and hardly anybody noticed it was gone. Things are different now, and predictably cycleable.

In short: Everything's gonna be O. K.

(Even if this were not the case, our problems with this president is in-party stuff, and if you think we'd go vote democrat to "solve" it, you're seriously mistaken)

At 5:56 PM, Blogger Russ said...

I don't necessarily think a democrat can solve it all. Likewise I'm not banking on any republican to do it either. I have never voted party lines. I have always went with who I thought would do the best job. In my case that has been a mix of republicans and democrats.

At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure the confusion post election is understandable. I don't recall there being so much attention on a election in my 40 years, so it's understandable the desperate brain-storming of some to try to make sense of how Bush won. I believe the core of this is that most, if not all liberals are against war, against pollution, and against ignoring the poor of our own country in trade for spending billions to bomb Iraqis. The right can talk all they want about the "precision bombing" going on in Iraq, but pictures of thousands of photos don't lie. I believe this is the driving emotional force behind the anti bush movement.

Now I can honestly say, after finding out Iraq has received 16 times more radioctivity than Hiroshima, that I expect a big boom in the next four years.

At 6:17 PM, Blogger CleverCynic said...

16 times the radiation of Hiroshima? Man I don't even think the liberals know where you're getting your news. Do tell. I'm guessing it was somewhere between frogbabies of nebraska and the latest abduction.

Why don't you go to a hospital and take pictures of bald people with lowered immune systems and campaign against invasive cancer treatment too. Geez...pull out to a wider view once in a while.

At 8:50 PM, Blogger PuzzledPatriot said...

Let's back up a bit. CleverCynic, why do you compare the deficit to the GDP? Seems to me, that's like me applying for a loan based on the combined income of my entire extended family. Isn't the appropriate basis of comparison Federal Revenue? The Heritage Foundation projects that 2004 Federal Revenue will total around $1.8 trillion. Bush's $477 billion deficit is added to our total debt, which is now around $7.6 trillion ( Comparing the annual deficit to the revenue, you find it is a staggering 26%.

Perhaps you could better explain your claim that if we do nothing, then the problem of Bush's deficit from this year would go away. The money was borrowed. We now owe it back, and we are paying interest on it. However, I find it difficult to believe that we will be able to "do nothing" for a year. Current CBO projected deficits for the decade ending 2013 now total $2.4 trillion (CNN article). To be fair, I don't understand everything about how they reach that figure. One potentially questionable assumption is that we will continue to spend $87.5 billion a year on Iraq-like expenses. On the other hand, Bush has done all but pledge us to a period of eternal warfare (with a noun, but that's a different rant), so maybe this isn't such a bad assumption.

Now on to the source of the debt. It has been argued that this is largely due to the War in Iraq and 9/11 repairs, and hurricane damage. First, let me clarify. The $477 billion is for this year alone. That means 9/11 ain't part of it. Iraq: $87.5 billion. Hurricanes: on the order of a few billion, at most 10 (I don't have good data here). Even if my numbers are off by a factor of 2, this does not explain the shortfall.

But I'm not an economics expert. I'd love to hear a reasoned, supported argument. The facts I have been able to find with Google don't paint a very pretty picture.

At 2:37 AM, Blogger freethinkering said...

I agree with you PuzzledPatriot. I guess I don't really understand the depth of macroeconomics, but what we hear from the administration and what we see in government reports on National Debt, Unemployment, and Deficit Spending don't add up to me. Aside from spending oodles of money to rebuild Iraq, which (2 points) (1) was supposed to be paid for by Iraqi Oil sales, and (2) we seem to be destroying at a faster rate than we are rebuilding, the rest of the economy seems to be fairly stagnant. Job creation is taking place but unemployment remains steady, manufacturing job loss is being replaced by lower paying service industry jobs. The only really booming job sector is government service. Somehow that just doesn't indicate a thriving economy to me.

At 6:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be prepared for the next hurricane nate or find another one that's similar. As the Boy Scouts say: "Be Prepared"!

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At 8:28 AM, Blogger NoTONoEagles said...

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