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Which Side Has the Worse Case of [Insert Name] Derangement Syndrome?:
My post below on [Insert Name] Derangement Syndrome raised the question of which side had a worse case of the disease: The right or the left?

  My sense is that on the blogosphere as a whole, as well as in the overall political discourse, it's actually pretty evenly matched. Think of it as Newton's law of political derangement: For every overreaction, there is an equal and opposite overreaction (somewhere). On this blog's comment threads, however, I think the right clearly has a worse case: There are a handful of conservative VC commenters who reliably make the most absurd, over-the-top, derangement-syndrome comments possible.

  Being right-of-center myself, I cringe when reading these comments: No doubt many who are not committed conservatives see them as confirmation that many conservatives are truly deranged. At the same time, I tend to think the reason the right wins the [IN]DS award here at the VC is that we're a right-leaning leaning blog. While good posts will attract readers from across the spectrum, my sense is that the Deranged tend to hang out at blogs that are sympathetic to their views. I think that explains why although we occasionally have liberal members of the Deranged pay a visit and post a few comments, they usually don't hang out in the comment forest for very long.
Hoosier:
Right now, the left is sicker. In the '90s, it was the right. If Obama wins, it will be the right again.

So we have that to look forward to. Which is nice.
10.13.2008 6:31pm
George Weiss (mail) (www):
but is it liberals or conservatives that owe tha majority of the beer to you?
10.13.2008 6:31pm
A.W. (mail):
Well, since my post in the last thread is even more on this point, here's a reprint:

Orin

I always hate this “false balance” approach. It hate to tell you something, but sometimes one side is right and the other is wrong.

Yes, Obama is a radical.

He is radically pro-abortion to the point of fighting against a law outlawing infanticide. Even Hillary Clinton wouldn’t go that far.

He wants us to have $4 a gallon gas (he only complained that it rose to that price faster than he would like).

He wants us to retreat from Iraq even if there is a genocide in our wake.

He wants to bankrupt the entire medical insurance industry (and my only question is whether he understands his plans will lead to that—or if he is merely too stupid to understand how insurance works).

He is associated with election fraud thugs from Acorn.

He and his supporters have intimidated and threatened those who criticize him, including suggesting that criminal consequences would follow.

He has advocated a return to the “fairness doctrine” (insert joking reference to Orwell) and the end of secret ballot elections in unionization.

His rogue’s gallery of friends includes convicted felons, racists and terrorists.

And finally and most disturbingly is the way he has come clean about virtually none of this. Which leaves us all wondering how much more there is, and how much more we would find out if he was only subjected to half the scrutiny the republicans have been.

Does this mean Obama is dangerous? No, but it is a lot more rational to fear an Obama presidency than a McCain one.

Can you say anything factually true that is even half that bad about McCain? Or Palin for that matter?

So yeah, there is a lot to raise your eyebrows about, with Obama. And even then the anger, the fear, etc. is not half as much as the democrats have toward McCain, and even more so toward Palin.

Sorry, Orin, reality is not balanced. Newton’s laws do not apply: there is no guarantee of an equal and opposite reaction. There is no guarantee that for every nutty democrat, there is a nutty republican.

Or let’s get empirical. Who is more likely to believe in UFOs and ghosts? Democrats. (Source.) Who is more likely to think Kennedy was killed by Oswold, acting alone? Republicans. (Source.) Who is more likely to be a Truther? Democracts. (Source.)

Yeah, clearly there is an even distribution of rationality between the parties.
10.13.2008 6:35pm
Skorri (mail):
I get the feeling that if there were ever any way to graph it, it'd make a nice little bell curve.

The other side always looks worse, though. If your position is a little bit on the left, the fringe-tail on the right side seems that much more absurd and far away, whereas the left-side tail isn't all that far out from where you yourself are. And vice versa, obviously.

It is perfectly possible to be a dedicated McCain supporter or a dedicated Obama supporter and be a perfectly rational and good human being. That's a pretty obvious statement, but most of the interwebs seems to forget it.
10.13.2008 6:35pm
just me (mail):
I agree with Hoosier. I think the left is worse, but I think the party out of power tends to get the sickest, so I fully expect the left to recover considerably but pass it on to the right.

I do think you are correct that blogs tend to collect somewhat like minded thinkers in comments. There are places where I will read a bloggers post, but I refuse to read comments.

I don't really think the commentariat is that bad here, but I won't touch comments at Hot Air or the left leaning blogs whose bloggers I enjoy but the comments are full of the deranged.
10.13.2008 6:36pm
astrangerwithcandy (mail):
echo the party out of power sentiment.

i think the right will ratchet it up a few more notches in the next few weeks too. the closer we get to the point of no return on obama, the nastier it will get. the reverse will happen when the next republican approaches power.

its like the business cycle, only with insults!
10.13.2008 6:40pm
OrinKerr:
A.W.,

I'm curious: Do you believe that Republicans are generally more honest, forthright, genuine, and patriotic as compared to Democrats?
10.13.2008 6:40pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
A.W.,

I think you're wrong on virtually every point, and you fail to mention the numerous opposing points that might be made, but I haven't even heard of the one about infanticide. What law against infanticide has Obama taken a position against?
10.13.2008 6:40pm
Observer:
"I'm curious: Do you believe that Republicans are generally more honest, forthright, genuine, and patriotic as compared to Democrats?"

I suppose reasonable people can disagree as to the first three.
10.13.2008 6:42pm
commontheme (mail):
Hmmm - I haven't heard anyone on the left claiming that McCain is a Muslim terrorist lately.

I take it that most posters in this thread (and the previous one) would respond: "Well, that isn't derangement since Barack HUSSEIN Obama ___is___ a Muslim terrorist."
10.13.2008 6:45pm
astrangerwithcandy (mail):
and on the outside its commontheme...helping the left-wing _DS-ers make a push to even the race with the right-wing _DS-ers.
10.13.2008 6:46pm
Anderson (mail):
A.W. reminds us of the scary thing about [IN]DS -- you can't recognize it by looking in a mirror.
10.13.2008 6:50pm
hawkins:

There are a handful of conservative VC commenters who reliably make the most absurd, over-the-top, derangement-syndrome comments possible.


Names please? A.W. and Observer have already demonstrated in this post their inclusion in such a class.
10.13.2008 6:52pm
Angus:
Anderson, I guess that makes having [IN]DS a bit like being a vampire, yes?
10.13.2008 6:54pm
Anderson (mail):
Names please? A.W. and Observer have already demonstrated in this post their inclusion in such a class.

I'm trying to recover from Ejo Derangement Syndrome myself, so I won't take this bait -- oh wait, damn ....
10.13.2008 6:54pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Hey, I made the "out of power party is more angry/mean" argument in the other thread and nobody took me up on it!

Beyond that, Orin, you know I love you -- as a poster -- but this is just asking for trouble. Which party is less principled and honest? /Ducks/
10.13.2008 6:55pm
JB:
I'm more or less on the left these days.

In the last 8 years, I've heard the most bizarre set of conspiracy theories from my left-wing friends--Bush planned 9/11, the Iraq War was a cash-grab by Halliburton, the elections were all stolen, you name it.

The only thing that matches those theories for absurdity? The right-wing theories that say Obama's a mooselimb terrorist bent on overthrowing all law and order and imposing communism.

So I'd agree with Hoosier, except that as of a couple weeks ago the right is sicker again. But it's worth noting that the right has caught up by getting more deranged, not because the left is less deranged. We're all more deranged than we were 8 years ago.
10.13.2008 6:56pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
The left's derangement seems more against Palin, while the right's is more against Obama. Both of them came on the national scene so quickly that people were willing to believe patently false things about them. Although, to tell the truth, after eight years of Bush, it's hard for me to get a good mad-on against any of them.
10.13.2008 6:57pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
Of course, that's for this campaign only. Despising Bush and Cheney is a hard pleasure to forgo. Although Nixon was a much better target.
10.13.2008 7:00pm
Anderson (mail):
In the last 8 years, I've heard the most bizarre set of conspiracy theories from my left-wing friends--Bush planned 9/11, the Iraq War was a cash-grab by Halliburton, the elections were all stolen, you name it.

Thing is, with the exception of the 2000 election, none of those is exactly mainstream-left, whereas the really bizarre stuff vs. Obama pops up in mainstream-right blogs.

I mean, McCarthy at NRO was trying to figure out whether Obama is more Stalinist, or Maoist. What a maroon.
10.13.2008 7:01pm
Justin (mail):
Does that mean I'm not Deranged? I always enjoy being so accused.....
10.13.2008 7:01pm
astrangerwithcandy (mail):

I mean, McCarthy at NRO was trying to figure out whether Obama is more Stalinist, or Maoist. What a maroon.


here is a separate question - is NRO really mainstream now that Buckley is gone?
10.13.2008 7:05pm
Curt Fischer:

Orin Kerr: Being right-of-center myself, I cringe when reading these comments: No doubt many who are not committed conservatives see them as confirmation that many conservatives are truly deranged. At the same time, I tend to think the reason the right wins the [IN]DS award here at the VC is that we're a right-leaning leaning blog. While good posts will attract readers from across the spectrum, my sense is that the Deranged tend to hang out at blogs that are sympathetic to their views. I think that explains why although we occasionally have liberal members of the Deranged pay a visit and post a few comments, they usually don't hang out in the comment forest for very long.


I think a related point is that Derangers on either side tend to ignore voices in the middle, perhaps for the reason that Orin has offered: an innate desire to minimize uncertainty.

Instead, the invective and certainty of the Derangers, whether on the right or the left, attracts undue attention of the Derangers on the other side. This attraction reinforces right Deranger views that left Derangers are Really Stupid And Evil, or vice versa.

The result is a feedback loop. When the only voices on the other side that you pay attention to are Deranged, it validates your own perfect confidence in your own beliefs.

An example from the previous thread: Federal Dog's comment that Palin has been accused of wearing a pregnancy suit. I think that only Left Derangers would make such accusations. But when responding to the accusations, Right Derangers tend to only mention that the "Left" is accusing Palin of wearing a pregnancy suit that therefore this is evidence that the "Left" is Deranged.

I could easily imagine a parallel example involving accusations that Obama is a Moslem.
10.13.2008 7:05pm
Gabriel McCall (mail):
It is perfectly possible to be a dedicated McCain supporter or a dedicated Obama supporter and be a perfectly rational and good human being.

I'm not sure if I've ever encountered a perfectly rational human being in my life. If such a person did exist, I suspect he wouldn't bother to vote in national elections.
10.13.2008 7:09pm
hattio1:
I saw this post, (and I agree with Professor Kerr about this blog attracting more right-wing DSers, and the Newtonian DS theory). I was going to comment that the ones who are the most deranged will show up and claim that, no, the other side is clearly more deranged. Dammit, 12 comments in was far too late to predict that. AW demonstrated it three comments in.
10.13.2008 7:10pm
PhanThom:
The attacks on Sarah Palin have only prooved that our (the Left's) wingnuts are as wingnutty as your (the Right's) wingnuts.

But hey, at least we've closed the wingnut gap.

SIGH.

--PtM
10.13.2008 7:11pm
Commentor (mail):
A.W.

Don't forget that Obama wants to install truth monitors in our television sets, voted to lower the American life expectancy, intends to force the national league to go to the designated hitter or repeal the baseball antitrust exception, and now wants outlaw kosher hot dogs.

Commentor
10.13.2008 7:12pm
Jim Hu:
JB:Mooselimb? lol! That explains the pick of Palin, then.

It's not clear to me that comments sections should be the place to measure derangement. Too much opportunity for false flags. I'd guess that there is even derangment in comments, but somewhat more left derangement in authored blogs and traditional media. YMMV. Derangment in comments dwarfs the others, but no individual comment makes as much of an impression as a post at a popular blog, or something in the MSM (in which I'd include Rush and Fox for purposes of this discussion).
10.13.2008 7:15pm
Anderson (mail):
is NRO really mainstream now that Buckley is gone?

Good question, but I am *trying* to think of a "mainstream-right" blog.

Outside the Beltway is the only one I find sane enough to read daily, but its comment threads have some really scary [IN]DS'ers of the rightist persuasion. The kind of people who would vote for General Franco if they could, and may write him in anyway.

Any other suggestions?
10.13.2008 7:16pm
Angus:
I heard a rumor that Obama was actually the pilot of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. Well, not so much a rumor--but for a fact he still hasn't answered any questions about whether he was or not. Why won't he answer these questions!!1!
10.13.2008 7:16pm
Skorri (mail):
Gabriel: Note that I said perfectly possible to be rational, not perfectly rational.

To follow up on Curt's point -- what are the other "deranged" rumors about the right that have been making it into relatively mainstream (I use this word loosely) blogs? Other than the Trig rumors, I can't remember any, but I know there have been some.

And in a pseudo-defense of the Trig rumor, I'll admit even I momentarily paused a bit when I first saw the case for it. The initial pictures showed a *very* pregnant looking Bristol and a not-pregnant looking Governor Palin, so while the story sounded ridiculous, something wasn't quite adding up. Of course, believing the rumor became pretty indefensible as soon as it was announced the reason Bristol looked so weirdly pregnant was because in fact she was.
10.13.2008 7:18pm
eddie (mail):
SO let me understand the moral calculus of this associative principal of equivalence in derangement:

Pointing to the many failures of the last eight years is exactly the same as accusing someone of being a terrorist.

But more importantly, blaming the choices that people make on derangement syndrome is itself a symptom of what little moral fiber is left:

It's all just happening to me. It's not my fault. It must be someone else's fault, you know, that Other. Not me.

But of course, a centrist is always right and never at fault.

The real problem is that the center has been destroyed and moved to a place that is not the golden mean.

And we have squandered our educational resources on training master rhetoricians who will argue any position.

Sophists all!
10.13.2008 7:21pm
Angus:
I know Jonathan Adler posts infrequently at NRO's The Corner, but he recently has been jumped on for questioning one of the kooks over there. A few of their regulars I find reasonable: Jonah Goldberg (sometimes), John Derbyshire (never thought I'd say that!). Unfortunately for them, Kathryn Lopez makes more posts than anyone else there.
10.13.2008 7:21pm
Brian K (mail):
I think that the number and extremity of deranged beliefs is probably about equal on both sides. all it takes is a small number of start and propagate a lie.

The difference lies in how accepted the deranged beliefs are in their respective parties. in seems from polls that the right wins this one. more people believe that iraq was involved in 9/11 or that obama is a muslim/terrorist/socialist than bush was responsible for 9/11. and it appears that most in the mainstream left either denounce or ignore 9/11 truther while the mainstream right appears to actively peddle the iraq and obama lies, among others. (of course i could be wrong if the number of deranged people on the right is greater than it is on the left...but that wouldn't change the inevitable conclusion.)
10.13.2008 7:22pm
Cityduck (mail):
This isn't even close.

A Republican voter told McCain at a campaign rally that she couldn't trust Obama because he was an "Arab." A surprisingly high percentage Republican voters believe Obama is a Muslim and that is the subject of an extensive email campaign and commentary by conservatives. The emails flying around suggesting that Obama was the "Anti-Christ" got so bad that Tim LaHaye of "Left Behind" fame issued a statement debunking them. That's deranged.

Nothing comparable is being said about McCain.

As for Palin, the only stories that are equally bereft of facts are the "Trig is her daughter's kid story" that was pushed principally by Andrew Sullivan. And that story died a quick death. The rape kit story is fact based and not at all debunked despite what some here think. The "Palin had an affair" story is being pushed by the National Enquirer (not the left, just ask Edwards) with specific reference to people who haven't yet, to my knowledge, sued.

Nope, this is not a close call. When it comes to truly "deranged" attacks, the Right wins that contest this year.
10.13.2008 7:23pm
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
The psychbloggers were on this years ago. Dr. Sanity, neoneocon, Gaghdad Bob at One Cosmos, Shrinkwrapped, and even the AVI have weighed in on this. The name came first with Bush Derangement Syndrome, as people made accusations of fascism, complete with quotes by Goebbels, accusations that he and his friends were getting rich off Iraq or the rise in gas prices, accusations that Jeb Bush somehow stole Florida for him - bizarre stuff, close to conspirazoid stuff. Charles Manson couldn't be as bad. We concluded it was derangement when efforts to temper such comments by asking if people really meant fascist, if they had any, y'know, evidence, or engaging them in terms of mere disagreement fell flat. Conservatives certainly have their All-Caps crew, but you could tone most of them down.

I concluded then that people feel large and brave when they can see their enemies as larger and more evil than they actually are. It feels heroic, a worthy legatee to protesters against tyranny who went before. Speaking Truth to Power is now largely "demonising your enemies safely in the company of your friends," but it feels heroic. This is perhaps why Boomers are the most susceptible to it. Maybe they saw too many performances of Les Mis or something.

It is over-the-top but not deranged to call Obama a socialist; it is an exaggeration based on his more-socialist stances. I don't know of anyone calling Obama a terrorist, and associating him with terrorists is hyperbole (as Ayers and Dohrn were terrorists but haven't bombed much lately, whatever their rhetoric), but not untrue. That is quite different than calling Bush a fascist in the many creative ways the Left has produced over the last seven years. As to Obama being a secret Muslim, I have only one person who sends me emails to that effect, and I've got lots of right-wing friends. I seldom see it on the right-wing blogs I frequent. That accusation is out there, but is more common as a treasure held up by progressives, as it was on this thread.

I will repeat what I just mentioned on another thread. I have worked at NH's state psychiatric hospital for 30 years. In addition to the threats and assassination attempts you all read in the news, we get extras - people threatening public figures, especially during the primaries. Among my well-educated, gentle liberal friends, it was funny when people talked about assassinating Reagan, then serious when it was Clinton, now funny again when it's Bush. I have never heard a conservative speak in humor of assassinating Clinton or Obama. I can list a dozen liberals by name who have thought assassinating Bush was sorta funny. When people think there is only their kind about, they reveal who they really are. I used to be a liberal, and still look like a boomer health-food store clerk, so I fly under the radar.

Granting that I live in low-violence New England, and that the right-leaning sites I visit may be a non-representative sample, I still have no qualms about making a categorical statement: The derangement is not equal, and it is not even close.
10.13.2008 7:25pm
Dan M.:
It's silly to pretend that the right is worse than the left right now. Not only is there all of the "Bush lied, people died!" "George Bush is a terrorist!" stuff that's been going on for years, there are the accusations that Sarah Palin isn't really a woman, that she would be gangraped by Sandra Bernhard's black brothers, etc., etc., etc.

The only evidence of Obama Derangement Syndrome are the claims that he is a terrorist. He does have ties to Communists (Ayers, the New Party) and supports Communist thug tactics (ACORN, Employee Free Choice Act), and wants to make sure there can never be any restrictions on abortion ever (Freedom of Choice Act, vehemently opposed Born Alive Infant Protection Act). He IS an extremely radical liberal candidate.

Most of the real Obama Derangement comes from the PUMAs, even though a lot of their claims about caucus fraud, etc., don't seem incredulous.
10.13.2008 7:25pm
byomtov (mail):
There are a handful of conservative VC commenters who reliably make the most absurd, over-the-top, derangement-syndrome comments possible.

Being right-of-center myself, I cringe when reading these comments: No doubt many who are not committed conservatives see them as confirmation that many conservatives are truly deranged.


And why not? The most popular spokesmen for conservatism today - the Limbaughs, Coulters, Hannitys - are these commenters amplified millions of times.
10.13.2008 7:26pm
Nunzio:
Now would be a good time to remind ourselves that about 45% or so of the people eligible to vote on Election Day will not vote.

While some might be appalled at these folks' apathy, it is a very comforting antidote to the thought that both candidates' supporters are becoming too deranged.
10.13.2008 7:28pm
CDR D (mail):
>>>I heard a rumor that Obama was actually the pilot of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. Well, not so much a rumor--but for a fact he still hasn't answered any questions about whether he was or not. Why won't he answer these questions!!1!<<<

I'd be more interested in Obama releasing his scholastic and health records.

McCain has done that, and he's been hammered on his class standing at the USNA.

Why won't Obama release his records? I mean, he only wants to be President of the United States.
10.13.2008 7:29pm
Cityduck (mail):
Dan M.'s post reveals a corrallory to Obama Derangement Syndrom: Denial of Reality Syndrome.

I read DailyKos and no one is posting diaries claiming Palin's a man or should be gangraped. If they did, they would be troll-rated off the site.

The claims in your post are just false. He does not "vehemently" oppose the "Born Alive Infant Protection Act," he does not "want to make sure there can never be any restrictions on abortion ever, he is not "an extremely radical liberal candidate," and he does not support "Communist thug tactics."

This is exactly the kind of post which embarasses Kerr.

Congratulations.
10.13.2008 7:31pm
Brian K (mail):
The only evidence of Obama Derangement Syndrome are the claims that he is a terrorist. He does have ties to Communists (Ayers, the New Party) and supports Communist thug tactics (ACORN, Employee Free Choice Act), and wants to make sure there can never be any restrictions on abortion ever (Freedom of Choice Act, vehemently opposed Born Alive Infant Protection Act). He IS an extremely radical liberal candidate.

does anyone know what exhibit number we're up to? i lost count long ago.
10.13.2008 7:36pm
Al (mail):

And why not? The most popular spokesmen for conservatism today - the Limbaughs, Coulters, Hannitys - are these commenters amplified millions of times.


Yep, why can't they demonstrate the reasonable and even-tempered nature of the most popular spokesmen for liberalism today - the Olbermanns, Frankens, Moores, and Mahers?
10.13.2008 7:36pm
wm13:
I agree that the party out of power tends to become more deranged than its opponents, and that this probably means that the right will become a little nuttier over the next two or four years, while the left quiets down a little. I just hope that the Volokh Conspiracy doesn't become as over the top as Balkinization, with daily calls to revise the Constitution in order to prevent another president as horrible as Obama from taking power. Or that Marginal Revolution doesn't become as nutty as Brad DeLong. Etc.
10.13.2008 7:37pm
csm:
I'd like to see comments on blogs disappear altogether. About 1% of the comments are really worth reading. The rest is garbage spouted by loons at both ends of the political spectrum. Neither ideology has locked up the lunatic set.
10.13.2008 7:38pm
Pon Raul (mail):
I really hate this thing where everything is false or true. Can't it be somewhere in between? It is true that Obama "oppose the 'Born Alive Infant Protection Act,'", but "vehemently" is neither true or false, but an opinion. I think that calling things like this false is a sign of Derangement Syndrom. A rational person would identify the "vehemently" as opinion and simply disagree. The deranged say that it is false or a lie. The only lie that we know for sure is that Biden lied about his academic record during his 1988 run.
10.13.2008 7:38pm
Arkady:
Pax on both houses.
10.13.2008 7:39pm
Vera Baker:
Obama - As long as the cash keeps coming in from Chicago I will enjoy my Caribbean vacation.

Vera Baker
10.13.2008 7:41pm
astrangerwithcandy (mail):
on this blog, i think the extreme comments can, for the most part, be blamed on links. once one of our friendly conspirators writes a piece that an extremist on either side finds appealing, they link and in the comments flood begins. i am sure this discussion will generate just such a link, allowing sarcastro to come in for some fun.
10.13.2008 7:42pm
$900,000,0000 Write Down (mail) (www):
There are a handful of conservative VC commenters who reliably make the most absurd, over-the-top, derangement-syndrome comments possible.

When you name your home Casa Conspiracy, you should expect such guests.
10.13.2008 7:43pm
richard cabeza:
10.13.2008 7:44pm
Cityduck (mail):
Obama opposed a poorly drafted Illinois law that attempted to model after the (Federal) Born Alive Infant Protection Act but which materially differed from it in ways which justified Obama's opposition. Obama supported the Federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act and also stated he would have voted for the Illinois law when it was re-presented after Obama moved on to the Senate in a modified form tracking the Federal law that addressed Obama's earlier concerns. So, yes, the charge that Obama opposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act is false.

Facts matter.
10.13.2008 7:45pm
Angus:
Contrary to belief, McCain did not release his medical records. He allowed a handful of reporters to look at 1,173 pages of documentation for just 3 hours (400 pages per hour if they wanted to read the whole thing). No one was allowed to make any copies or take notes. This had the effect, intended or not, of making sure that only people with no medical knowledge could see the documents. The only thing released to the public was a brief summary, the same thing Obama released to the public.

I don't think either candidate is hiding anything serious in their medical records. What business is it of ours if one or both of them got treated for jock itch? But to paint Obama of being secretive on this issue when compared to McCain is misleading.

And McCain's naval academy records are part of his military file, so he didn't release his "college transcripts" as such. Nor have most other candidates in the past.
10.13.2008 7:49pm
Gringo (mail):

City duck:
Dan M.'s post reveals a corrallory to Obama Derangement Syndrom: Denial of Reality Syndrome...I read DailyKos and no one is posting diaries claiming Palin's a man or should be gangraped
Check out what “comedienne” Sarah Barnhardt said.

he does not support "Communist thug tactics."
Look into what happened at radio station WGN: at the suggestion of the Obama campaign. Also: he told his supporters to get into other people’s faces, which while not exactly “communist thug,’ is not exactly civil, either.
10.13.2008 7:51pm
TomHynes (mail):
Is there a libertarian derangement syndrome? Is the fact that I don't see any comments as over the top libertarian a symptom?
10.13.2008 7:52pm
Pat C (mail):
A title like "Which Side Has the Worse Case of [Insert Name] Derangement Syndrome?" is almost chumming for trolls.

But to answer your question, obviously the Other Side is worse.
10.13.2008 7:52pm
Fub:
Orin Kerr wrote, October 13, 2008 at 5:26pm:
Being right-of-center myself, I cringe when reading these comments: No doubt many who are not committed conservatives see them as confirmation that many conservatives are truly deranged.
My test for derangement syndrome doesn't rely on a subjective guess about what particular rhetoric is over the top, or not. It's much more objective, though likely to have a high false negative rate.

Does the potentially deranged one attack those who agree with his basic position for not being sufficiently vehement or vicious to the opposition? If true, the possibly deranged is actually deranged.

Hypothetical example:

Random commenter: "I support McCain, but I don't think Obama is a muslim terrorist."

Obama Derangement Sufferer: "If we let people like you vote, we'll all be bowing to Mecca five times a day! You probably think Barak HUSSEIN Obama has that middle name for no reason!"

The truly deranged have no interest in support for their candidate or position. They want everyone to hate their opposition for exactly the same reasons that they hate the opposition, and nothing less will do. They have lost sight of the purpose, draining the swamp, because they'd much rather fight the alligators that exist only in their own minds.
10.13.2008 7:54pm
Brett:
Outside the Beltway is the only one I find sane enough to read daily, but its comment threads have some really scary [IN]DS'ers of the rightist persuasion.


Honestly, the fact that you find Outside The Beltway to be the only readable/sane center-right blog says a lot more about your derangements than it does about those on the right.
10.13.2008 7:55pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
It looks like A.W. was referring to Public Law 107-207. This law defines terms such as "infant", "child", "person" and "individual" in all U.S. laws and regulations as including any foetus in any stage of development that exhibits any of several signs of life after leaving its mother's womb, whether as a result of natural birth, Caesarean section, or abortion. Opposing this law does nothing to undo existing law against infanticide as such is usually understood. Whether or not one supports this law would depend on one's views not only on partial birth abortion but on whether babies born very prematurely (and therefore likely to be sickly and retarded) or severely deformed, may be killed or allowed to die. These are complex issues on which reasonable people may differ, but it is grossly unfair to characterize opposition to this law as unwillingness to oppose infanticide.
10.13.2008 7:58pm
rarango (mail):
the blogosphere, IMO, seems to magnify the the third standard deviations on both the left and the right. PacC has summarized it quite elegantly
10.13.2008 8:01pm
A.S.:
Being right-of-center myself,

Really?
10.13.2008 8:03pm
LM (mail):

Being right-of-center myself, I cringe when reading these comments:

... and now you know why I hang out here, not at Kos. I also cringe at that sort of comment when it comes from someone whose broad views I share. Better to indulge a little smug superiority here than bang my head against the wall trying to convince my black sheep siblings how much better off we'd all be if only they were white.

More A.W.!
10.13.2008 8:06pm
PC:
Sometimes I think how much fun it would be to write a script that cross posted commenters between Free Republic and Democratic Underground. It would be the singularity of trolling.
10.13.2008 8:06pm
TMac (mail):
Going back to Commenter at 6:12: "Obama...intends to force the national league to go to the designated hitter...." This proves Obama is a Commie. A Republican would stand on original intent and force the American League to go back to making pitchers bat. There would be no more of this "some players are more equal" crap.
10.13.2008 8:06pm
Nathan_M (mail):

It's silly to pretend that the right is worse than the left right now. Not only is there all of the "Bush lied, people died!" "George Bush is a terrorist!" stuff that's been going on for years, there are the accusations that Sarah Palin isn't really a woman, that she would be gangraped by Sandra Bernhard's black brothers, etc., etc., etc.

The only evidence of Obama Derangement Syndrome are the claims that he is a terrorist.

I think this shows how we can all be more likely to think the other side is more deranged than our own. Blogs have a tendency to debunk lunatic claims from the other side, while ignoring those from their own.

So Dan M., who I presume is to the right of centre and mostly reads right-wing sources, hears about claims like Palin not being a real woman, which most of left have never heard of because the mainstream left don't bother mentioning crazy claims like that. (Or so I imagine, at least I've never heard that rumour, or that Palin wore a pregnancy suit, or many of the other examples of left-wing derangement mentioned in this thread.)

On the otherhand, the right, like the left, doesn't spend much time debunking the crazies on their own side. So Dan M. hasn't heard about how many think Obama is a secret Muslim who wasn't born in the United States, and had someone (William Ayers?!) ghost-write his books.

So the non-crazy among us tend to only read about the other sides' lunatics, and no our own, so we conclude the other guys' have more than their fair share of nuts.

Of course it can't help that we also draw the derangement line in different places. So while I tend to think it is a respectably belief, leaning towards indisputable truth, that the Bush administration said things which turned out not to be true in the run up to the Iraq war, and that people died as a direct consequence of that war, Dan M. thinks that crosses the line into derangement territory.
10.13.2008 8:08pm
Angus:
Yeah, Orin long ago said that he was definitely voting for McCain.
10.13.2008 8:08pm
A.W. (mail):
Mmm, not a single substantive response among you. I will consider my point conceded.

As for when Obama supported infanticide, read here.

Obama actually is a radical and McCain is a moderate. i am not 100% happy with that, think McCain-feingold, but there you are.
10.13.2008 8:12pm
H2:
I think it is clear the left that is more deranged.
Although, if you believe in the balance of power theory, the right should be more deranged now because we are behind in the polls, no?

Calling Obama a terrorist is clearly reaching, but is it deranged? I do not think so, it is just a very shortcut way to make/sustain the argument that he has terrorist friends/acquaintances.

Being in a public place and saying that if Palin comes to a large city she will be gang raped by big black brothers is clearly deranged. It is deranged because Bernhardt felt that there would be no retribution for this and that others would think it was funny and/or ok.
You can argue that this is one person, but there are many other leftist celebrities who have said things in poor taste.
Also, it is deranged because NOBODY on the left, that I saw, seemed to think THAT was racist.
But if Palin wears white, well, she's obviously signaling the KKK and is a racist.

Obama being accepting of terrorists/of terrorist mindset, to me, reasonable minds could disagree. We don't know because Obama really will not say. He hedges from did not know him, to did not know about his activities, to just a guy in my neighborhood, to just because I associate with him does not mean I accept his activities, to I thought he was rehabilitated (despite Ayers publicly saying that he did not regret his activities when Obama served on boards wit him), to...
But, whether Palin should be gang raped or whether that is even a remotely appropriate thing to say. Reasonable minds should not disagree on this subject.

There are other examples of course.
There are actual bumper stickers of Bush with a scope (target) on him. There are signs and sayings of Kill Bush. That is not deranged?
Does people with those stickers have kids? I hope not.
10.13.2008 8:14pm
Andrew Maier:
Mmm, not a single substantive response among you. I will consider my point conceded.

As for when Obama supported infanticide, read here.

Obama actually is a radical and McCain is a moderate. i am not 100% happy with that, think McCain-feingold, but there you are.


A.W. has to be a troll. It's too perfect.
10.13.2008 8:14pm
AlanW (mail):
I do wish there were a few more center-right blogs around. There's Douthat and Drezner and The American Scene, but it gets pretty far right pretty quickly after that (I'm undoubtably missing a few, but there's nobody on the center-right that's as voluminous or as entertaining as, say, Yglesias or Drum). I put this site and Hit and Run and the like in a seperate category, along with the right-leaning economics blogs. Of course, if more clear-thinking far right bloggers had their own sites (Ponnuru comes to mind), they'd be worth reading, but what I really want are opinions from people who are consistently willing to question the conventional wisdom coming from their own side.
10.13.2008 8:14pm
Andrew Maier:
Of course, if more clear-thinking far right bloggers had their own sites (Ponnuru comes to mind), they'd be worth reading, but what I really want are opinions from people who are consistently willing to question the conventional wisdom coming from their own side.


The problem here is that bloggers (and really, people of all kinds that share their opinions serially and publicly) are naturally selected to be people who have things they want to say and will stick by them. Far more often than not, this selects for people who believe without evidence, as evidence collection in politics is a laborious and fruitless labor. The truth out there is obscured by so much noise that you wouldn't know it was true if it bit you on the nose.

That assumes that the truth is the kind of thing to bite you on the nose.
10.13.2008 8:20pm
richard cabeza:
10.13.2008 8:21pm
Brett:
Yglesias and Drum are entertaining?

News to me.
10.13.2008 8:22pm
paul lukasiak (mail):
First off, a distinction must be drawn between Politician X Derangement Syndrome and Ideologically driven derangement. Much of what we saw in the previous thread was the latter -- people who sounded deranged because they their ideology demands a rejection of anyone who opposes it. Politician X Derangement Syndrome is different -- its directed at specific individuals and is about the motives and character of the politicians in question, its personal

Clinton Derangement Syndrome had nothing to do with Clinton's ideology -- Bill Clinton was a centrist, not an far-left extremist, yet the right wing loathed him. And the Oborg picked up where the right wing left off with their hatred of Hillary Clinton. To talk about ideology, when Bill Clinton was the victim of right wing CDS, and Hillary of Oborg CDS, is a non-sequitor.

And "derangement" has always existed in the populace -- but it wasn't until the media accepted the premises underlying CDS that "derangement syndromes" became important.

While McCain Derangement Syndrome is an ideological derangement, Palin Derangement Syndrome is a Politician X Syndrome. But the key here isn't that it exists, rather that its premises have been adopted by the media -- no matter how you slice it "Troopergate" is small potatoes when compared to Obama's Rezko real estate deal, yet the media treats Palin's infractions as major scandals, while pretty much ignoring its obligations to explore Obama (as others have noted, Obama never released his scholastic or medical records -- yet the media constantly discusses how intelligent Obama is, and questions McCain's mental and physical suitability for the presidency.)
10.13.2008 8:25pm
I Know It All:
Obama did tell ABC's George Stephawhatever that he is a Muslim.
10.13.2008 8:28pm
commontheme (mail):

How the Koz Kidz Observed September 11

If you will scroll down the comments on that page you will see this:


That was the point of the person who did it. It's supposed to be wrong. It was posted here specifically in reference to the way people are glossing over the reality of the day and media people seem almost on the verge of celebrating it.

You know, the way that Rudy's campaign degenerated into noun, verb 9/11.

False piety and all that.
10.13.2008 8:28pm
Fury:
Both sides.

Maybe it's because I'm getting older, but I just can't deal with the half-baked theories, wild-eyed insane hatred of Dems and Repubs, and talk about "re-education" camps being instituted by the winner of the 2008 election. It's certainly cost me one friendship, as I could no longer hear theories about how a missile struck the Pentagon, so I and told the person to take that 'stuff elsewhere.

Specific to an issue, I decided I would not listen any further to people who made crude sexual comments about Sarah Palin. That has meant the following talk show hosts I just gave up on.

Bill Press Show (Dem)
Randi Rhodes Show (Dem)
Ed Schultz Show (Dem)
Quinn &Rose (The War Room) (Repub)
Bob Lonsberry Show (available via streaming from WHAM in Rochester, NY) (Repub)

I try to listen to both sides and gather as much information as I can, including opinions on both sides. When I heard Sarah Palin being referred to in the way she was, I said that's enough. Disagree with her policies, but when the sexual comments started, I decided that the above folks had given up on reasoned talk, so I left.
10.13.2008 8:32pm
Michael Drake (mail) (www):
With respect to the blogosphere as a whole, yeah, maybe. Who the hell can hear through all the noise?

But at the level of mainstream institutions and political candidates, not so much. Right-wing rumors that the Clintons murdered Vince Foster (e.g.) were given oodles of airtime in mainstream settings. That sort of insane nonsense paved the way for more innovations, such that now we can actually enjoy the sight of a GOP vice presidential candidate accusing the Democratic presidential candidate of "palling around with terrorists." We're talking maximal derangement among institutional elites. What exactly is the left-wing analogue in this narrative of "evenly matched" derangement?
10.13.2008 8:36pm
OrinKerr:
A.S.,

Have we met at a Federalist Society event?
10.13.2008 8:36pm
Gabriel McCall (mail):
Is there a libertarian derangement syndrome?

According to a great many people I've argued with, being libertarian is in and of itself a derangement; no additional syndrome is necessary.

Is the fact that I don't see any comments as over the top libertarian a symptom?

Yes. On the other hand, "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice." Or the Rand quote about mixing food and poison, to the same effect.
10.13.2008 8:38pm
rarango (mail):
Mr. Lukasiak: we conversed briefly on an earlier post, and you told me you were a commited progressive==but damn, sir--you are a principled commited progressive and have exhibited more fairness than many on this blog. I appreciate your fairness. Thank you for reaffirming my faith in people that I may disagree with on the issues, but never on their personal honesty.
10.13.2008 8:48pm
wolfefan (mail):
Hi -

FWIW, the $4 a gallon gas thing isn't exclusively liberal... this has long been a project of Charles Krauthammer... here's the most recent column I read...

hope the linky thing works
10.13.2008 8:51pm
richard cabeza:
10.13.2008 8:52pm
EH (mail):
Pat C:
But to answer your question, obviously the Other Side is worse.
Not only that, but my side doesn't have any deranged people at all.
10.13.2008 8:53pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
This YouTube video shows what happened to a pro-McCain march in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. What similarly urbanized place would treat a pro-Obama march in that fashion?

I was born and raised on the Upper West Side. I know the area well, and now I'm almost embarrassed to be from there.
10.13.2008 8:56pm
richard cabeza:
Not only that, but my side doesn't have any deranged people at all.

Wow, it's almost like your biting sarcasm could save the world, if only it was distributed far and wide. I suggest coreographing youth to sing your praises and encouraging supporters to "get in the face" of dissenters.

I find it funny that nobody has said in a frank manner that judging a group by self-selected individuals invites both attention-seeking nuts and agents provocateur. Similarly, dismissing them as fringe, which most people seem very happy to do, almost always misstates their case. I'm glad you're all so happy to play the collectives against each other. I hope they eat you.
10.13.2008 8:58pm
Michael Drake (mail) (www):
A Zarkov, I've seen Dodgers fans get worse treatment at a Yankees game.

When they call for McCain's head, give us a call though.
10.13.2008 9:07pm
PC:
p. lukasiak, shouldn't you be over at No Quarter demanding the release of Michelle Obama's Whitey tape?
10.13.2008 9:13pm
byomtov (mail):
Zarkov,

Get serious. The McCain paraders got booed. BFD. No death threats, no calls for beheading, just some booing.

And the captions are a perfect example of conservative derangement.

Try to do better.
10.13.2008 9:21pm
Dave N (mail):
Of course it can't help that we also draw the derangement line in different places. So while I tend to think it is a respectably belief, leaning towards indisputable truth, that the Bush administration said things which turned out not to be true in the run up to the Iraq war, and that people died as a direct consequence of that war, Dan M. thinks that crosses the line into derangement territory.
While I agree with the overall point of NathanM's post, I do quibble with his example.

The derangement is not that what President Bush said about WMD's being in Iraq being untrue but rather, that it was a LIE.

There is a difference. A lie is saying something you know to be untrue but stating it as the truth: "I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinski" springs to mind as a good example.

If the President believed, as everyone else did at the time, that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and said so, believing it to be true, then it was not a lie--even if the statement was subsequently proven not to be true.
10.13.2008 9:25pm
richard cabeza:
The derangement is not that what President Bush said about WMD's being in Iraq being untrue but rather, that it was a LIE.

Then Bill Clinton and the UN and all those manly European countries were complicit. Or maybe they actually used the information they had. No, that's too simple; And it doesn't rhyme!

The government is all-powerful, and never doesn't know what citizens of the world are eating for breakfast.
10.13.2008 9:32pm
Al Maviva:
A good example of the ideological derangement experienced by the right, about mythical voter fraud. Everybody knows it's a completely face, made up phenomenon, and even to the extent it exists, it's too trivial to affect any elections and it's just individuals doing it, not groups. Total Republican derangeme... er, whoops.

The problem with derangement syndromes is just when you want to wish them away as the work of fevered minds, sometimes there's a grain of truth. Bill Clinton acted sleazy, Hillary *is* really harsh, Bush 43 does talk like a dummy sometimes, Obama has a serious number of lying-down-with-dogs problems, Palin may be great but has little experience (like one other candidate I can think of) and McCain is sometimes Angryman Junior. Troubling grains of truth...
10.13.2008 9:38pm
byomtov (mail):
why can't they demonstrate the reasonable and even-tempered nature of the most popular spokesmen for liberalism today - the Olbermanns, Frankens, Moores, and Mahers?

The point I was trying to make is that these people, Coulter et al, are, to me, conservatism in the US today. And it's pretty repulsive.

Are there more rational conservative writers? Well, NRO is laughable. Maybe there's someone reasonable out there. Tell me.
10.13.2008 9:39pm
Dave N (mail):
Byomotov,

I am sorry you consider Ann Coulter, et al as being the voice of conservatism. I am fairly conservative--and I don't. I suspect I could name writers I do admire and you would sneer at them as well--so I won't bother.
10.13.2008 9:44pm
John S.:

But of course, a centrist is always right and never at fault.

The real problem is that the center has been destroyed and moved to a place that is not the golden mean.

And we have squandered our educational resources on training master rhetoricians who will argue any position.

Sophists all!



This usage always makes me laugh about the irony that accusing another of being a sophist is in fact a sophism. From Wikipedia, which has a nice statement: "The goal of a sophism is often to make the audience believe the writer or speaker to be smarter than he or she actually is, e.g., accusing another of sophistry for using persuasion techniques."
10.13.2008 9:49pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Byomtov:

"Get serious. The McCain paraders got booed. BFD. No death threats, no calls for beheading, just some booing."


First let's note this is not a rally in a specific, place but a march through a large neighborhood. As such it provides a sample of the attitudes of a large block of citizens. On the other hand a rally attracts hotheads and is not necessarily representative of the area.

Second, are you asserting that an Obama march through an urban neighborhood would bring deaths threats? If so where? Let's assume that both marches are not pre-announced.
10.13.2008 9:50pm
John Neff:
FWIW

It appears that much of the discussion has ignored the fact that wingnuttery is time dependent. That suggests to me that the probability of spontaneous wingnuttery is much smaller that the probability of stimulated wingnuttery. If each process is balanced by it's inverse (it is not obvious that is the case in this context) then one would expect right and left wingnuttery to tend toward equality. If the stimulus is associated with an election that would account for the time dependence. Is it possible for wingnuttery to saturate?
10.13.2008 9:51pm
festivus (mail):
H2:
> Calling Obama a terrorist is clearly reaching, but
> is it deranged? I do not think so, it is just a
> very shortcut way to make/sustain the argument that
> he has terrorist friends/acquaintances.
Oh lord. I have friends who are Republicans and Democrats. I have friends who are men and women, straight and otherwise, bike riders and fishermen, meat eaters and vegetarians, Jews, atheists, Christians and Muslims, farmers and lawyers. What does that make me?

These comments sections are basically anonymous and I don't demand or expect much from them in the quality of the individual presentations. Take some, leave some, fine. We commenters, as others have said, are sort of self-identifying extremists.

What I *do* expect is the bloggers themselves, men who are professors of *law*, to present arguments or observations that are at least superficially sound and supported by identified criteria. Arguments that are not on their face laughable.

Really I don't care what Prof. Lindgren's cause was, when he made the argument that we can infer X about Obama from his preference for tv show A, but cannot infer Y about McCain from his preference for show B. Really, I don't care which candidate he likes. That is *not* an argument, it's armchair psychology of the most pathetic kind and could just as easily have been flipped around A for B, X for Y.

If Prof.s Lindgren and Bernstein - the worst in this regard, but not the only - wish to state their political views here, bless their hearts they should do it. Professor Kerr and others do.

But it is beneath their dignity as professors of law to pass off poorly formed half-arguments as if they were well reasoned logical presentations. And if it weren't for the politics, I think they would know better.

My 2c.

festivus
10.13.2008 9:51pm
John A. Fleming (mail):
Since the War:
1. Everybody thought Truman was a dope by the end.
2. Everybody liked Ike.
3. The left learned to despise Nixon because of his fervent anti-Communism (which history shows he was right to oppose).
4. The left adored Kennedy and unwisely suppressed his faults (ghost writers, whore-mongering, fecklessness, drug addiction).
5. The left despised Goldwater, ran a campaign of fear (the little girl and the nukes).
6. Everybody thought Johnson was a barbarian. But he pushed civil rights passage with Republican help, and the Party of Jim Crow made the RepubliKKKans into the racists.
7. The Left despised Nixon, the Right didn't despise McCarthy and Humphrey.
8. Nixon lost control of his demons, McGovern preached unilateral surrender and pacifism which scared everybody.
9. Jerry Ford was a bumbling idiot who told New York to drop dead and denied the left its final orgy of Nixon hating.
10. Carter was kind of, well goofy, at least he was a semi-competent Governor. Until malaise and the hostage debacle, and then he frustrated all of us.
11. Reagan was senile, fascist, a warmonger, "Ray-gun", supported Nicaraguan fascists against peaceful progressive leftist revolutionaries.
12. Everybody liked Mondale, but when he said "I'm gonna raise taxes", we said no thanks.
13. Poppy Bush against Mikey D, more of the same versus liberal change. Bush was your first ex-husband. But the right said Mikey was soft on crime, let violent crimminals go free, and when he went for a ride in the tank, everybody laughed at him.
14. Clinton was a likable rogue, everybody knew it, he kept all the Democratic votes, and he owes it to Ross Perot, who split the Repubs and Inds with Poppy.
15. Lots of people can't abide likable rogues, so even though Clinton worked from the center, after his disastrous first two years of trying to pull us left, lots of righties got CDS. Drug running, Vince Foster, Whitewater, Arkansas trailer trash.
16. Clinton didn't get 50%, everybody liked Bob Dole, but Dole and Perot split the vote again. Leftist fems who squealed like teenyboppers over JFK, sold out their ideals to keep those trailer trash ladies from hurting their hero Saturday Night Bill. Repub Congresscritters caught CDS and put on an impeachment show trial.
17. Bush stole the election from the inventor of the Internet, Bush lied, people died, Bush knew about 9/11. Bush is a dummy, evil Cheney runs things. Bush this, Bush that. BDS becomes an epidemic. Chimpy McHitlerburton approved Abu Ghraib, blood for oil. Bush evilly lies about everything.
18. The evil righties lie so much and so often, repeating the big Swift-boat lie about John Kerry, and stole ohio. The BDS epidemic rages on.
19. Anybody who doesn't vote for Obama is a racist. McCain and Palin are inciting the Right rabble to riot.
20. Everybody thought Bush was a dope by the end.

To summarize:

The Left caught xDS first with Nixon. It grew stronger with Reagan. It jumped the species barrier with Clinton. And it became a full-blown raging epidemic with Bush.


Advantage: conservatives, so far. Let's hope it doesn't become a pandemic.
10.13.2008 9:56pm
John Moore (www):
It has been my experience, after decades of online debating (including pre-internet), that the left tends to show more hatred of its opponents than the right, and tends to be angrier. The left also seems less likely to respect its opponents while disagreeing with their ideas.

This, like any observation about a group, is not absolute. There are, of course, counter-examples on both sides. This is an argument about magnitude.

Someone famous once said something to the effect of "The right thinks the left is wrong; the left thinks the right is evil."

That corresponds with what I have seen over many, many years.

During the Clinton years, the most extreme of the right came out. We heard the Foster conspiracy theories (and I know people who still believe them) and various other things. And, of course, the Survivalists, etc, were in full bloom (including McVeigh). But I rarely heard the sort of hatred against Clinton that I hear routinely against Bush.

There are many right wing talk show hosts. Only a couple of them emit the hatred that I heard every time I listened to Air America.

The odd thing is that conservatives have faced an ideologically hostile media since Vietnam. And that media has moved more and more left - to today's embarrassing prostration at the feet of the Obama capaign. And yet, although we are angry about it, we still don't show (in general) the anger that the left has displayed - especially in BDS.

Maybe that will change under Obama. Maybe it's really a matter of technology and zeitgeist. But I think it also represents a bit of a world-view difference between left and right.

Conservatives are, more or less, conservative. That means, among other things, respecting existing institutions and ideas, even if we disagree with them. The American left, on the other hand, was deeply infused with radicalism as a result of Vietnam, and that radicalism admits no compromise, and justifies any sort of tactic. Furthermore, the elite left generally believes conservatives to be dumb (how many times did we hear this about Reagan or W), and thus unworthy of intellectual respect. Perhaps these (admittedly grossly overgeneralized) differences explains the difference in XDS prevalence among the two populations.
10.13.2008 10:28pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dave n:

If the President believed, as everyone else did at the time, that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and said so, believing it to be true, then it was not a lie--even if the statement was subsequently proven not to be true.


Bush et al made statements that were undoubtedly outright lies. I've already been through this at VC, like here, here and here.
10.13.2008 10:34pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dave n:

I am sorry you consider Ann Coulter, et al as being the voice of conservatism. I am fairly conservative--and I don't.


You might disown her. Trouble is, too many people don't.

Coulter said this:

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity


In the National Review, no less, arguably the leading conservative journal. And then is repeatedly invited to CPAC, where she shares a platform with Romney, who has this to say about her (video):

I am happy to hear that after you hear from me, you will hear from Ann Coulter. That is a good thing. Oh yeah!


Where is the D counterpart to this evidence?
10.13.2008 10:34pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
10.13.2008 10:35pm
Hoosier:
TMac--It's worse than that. He wants to compel BOTH leagues to use aluminum bats after the 7th inning!

To say that Obama is a terrorist is probably not insane; rather; it's lying for political gain. No one can really believe that.

BUT--When people say it is ODS when one points out that he has consorted with an unrepentant terrorist, I strongly disagree. That's a fact. Why is it out-of-bounds?

"2. Everybody liked Ike. "

I still do, and I wish we could resurrect him.

But keep in mind that he was dismissed by the cognoscenti as a mental midget, when in fact he was highly intelligent and in control of his administration. Also, the Democrats attacked him from 1957-on for letting the Soviets get ahead of the US in terms of military might. (They hadn't.)

Ecclesiastes was right, of course. Nothing new under the Sun, and all that is has been before. I mean, Cicero kept busy accusing Mark Antony of wanting to make himself emperor. Imagine that! Antonius Derangement Syndrome at its worst!
10.13.2008 10:36pm
Hoosier:
I am sorry you consider Ann Coulter, et al as being the voice of conservatism. I am fairly conservative--and I don't.


Holy Cheese! I AGREE with JBG on something? Did someone turn on the Infinite Improbability Drive while I wasn't looking?

Jaysusmaryanjoseph!
10.13.2008 10:38pm
MarkField (mail):

There is a difference. A lie is saying something you know to be untrue but stating it as the truth


Personally, I think reckless disregard for the truth should be treated as lying. I'm not making this comment with reference to anything in particular, just noting how I understand the meaning of the word "lie" generally.


I decided I would not listen any further to people who made crude sexual comments about Sarah Palin. That has meant the following talk show hosts I just gave up on.


You left out Rich Lowery. :)
10.13.2008 10:46pm
MarkField (mail):

Cicero kept busy accusing Mark Antony of wanting to make himself emperor. Imagine that! Antonius Derangement Syndrome at its worst!


And look what happened to Cicero.

I do think it's important to keep some perspective and remember that until about 1688 or so, politics was pretty much a death sport. Not for the faint of heart.
10.13.2008 10:48pm
Hoosier:
MarkField:

Did something happen to Cicero? What?

Is this why he hasn't been sending me greeting card on the Ides of March?
10.13.2008 10:51pm
Dave N (mail):
Hoosier,

No, you agreed with me. JBG was quoting my post. He thinks the left has no body as loony on the left as Coulter is on the right. I would mention Michael Moore, Al Franken, Randi Rhodes and a few others--and that was without even 15 seconds of contemplation.
10.13.2008 10:51pm
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
Paul Lucasiak makes a good distinction, between ideological derangement and that directed at a particular politician. I think they are overlapping but distinct phenomena.

It is certainly true that we tend to remember those events which fit our schema and severely discount those of the other side. Michael Drake remembers that the Vince Foster murder myth received "oodles" of time in the mainstream press. I remember that it was mostly G. Gordon Liddy and a lot of emails. I also remember that Hillary Clinton's and Web Hubbell's behavior that morning, blocking the FBI from investigating and refusing to let the press see documents, fed that derangement (I don't believe they were hiding murder. That they were hiding something is the only explanation that fits the facts). I also remember the 900+ FBI files of political figures, friends and enemies, brought to the Clinton White House. I still consider it one of the most frightening breaches of civil liberties in the history of the republic. It doesn't get a lot of mention now, even on the right. I am sure Mr. Drake could counter with things I neglect to remember, and he might even be right.

In the face of these very subjective impressions we all have, and lacking an alternate universe where counterfactuals can be played out, we try to find objective evidence. It is difficult to measure derangement, so we often use media bias as a proxy. If it can be established that the common impression of where the center or balance is is different from the actual neutral point, that goes some way to giving evidence (not "proving," politics is more like a preponderance than reasonable doubt standard) that one side's impression of what is extreme is likely flawed.

Such evidence is hard to come by, but the studies thus far suggest that the MSM is somewhat left of center (not far left, but consistently left). Also, the number of defectors from left to right (I am one) who assure us that the bias is real should carry some weight. I would assign some weight to the fewer right-to-left defectors as well. The defectors group in both directions will be rich in both people who moved for very poor reasons - job prospects, social acclamation - and good, reasonable criticism that even those who remain where they are should heed.
10.13.2008 10:54pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

Holy Cheese! I AGREE with JBG on something?


You might have to put the cork back in the champagne bottle, because the words you quoted weren't said by me.
10.13.2008 10:55pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
maviva:

A good example of the ideological derangement experienced by the right, about mythical voter fraud. Everybody knows it's a completely face, made up phenomenon, and even to the extent it exists, it's too trivial to affect any elections


Is there evidence that ACORN's work has ever led to a single fraudulent vote (as distinct from a fraudulent registration)? Just curious.
10.13.2008 10:55pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dave n:

He thinks the left has no body as loony on the left as Coulter is on the right. I would mention Michael Moore, Al Franken, Randi Rhodes and a few others


hoosier read my post carelessly and so did you. What is the story with Rs and reading comprehension?

It's not a question of whether or not there is a D counterpart to Coulter. I asked you to show me the D counterpart to Coulter who shared a stage with, and was glowingly introduced by, the D counterpart to Romney.
10.13.2008 10:58pm
richard cabeza:
Is there evidence that ACORN's work has ever led to a single fraudulent vote (as distinct from a fraudulent registration)? Just curious.

I don't know, but I sure hope they don't start checking ids at polls. I'm glad Democrats aren't trying to stop that.
10.13.2008 11:01pm
Kevin R (mail):
Don't forget that Obama ... intends to force the national league to go to the designated hitter


If that were true I'd vote for him. The NL doesn't seem to want to move out of the 1960s on its own.
10.13.2008 11:01pm
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
JBG - Michael Moore shared a box with Jimmy Carter at the 2004 Dem convention.

When mentioning Coulter's relation to National Review, you failed to mention that she was booted for those precise comments. Sorry, I will no longer trust anything you say about lying. You are an advocate rather than disputant.
10.13.2008 11:05pm
Dave N (mail):
JBG,

I mentioned Al Franken--and he is considered seriously enough by the Democrats to be their party's nominee for the United States Senate.
10.13.2008 11:06pm
Dave N (mail):
AVI,

You are just figuring that out?
10.13.2008 11:08pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Richard cabeza.

That's a dishonest question. The questioner knows it. There is no way of proving a vote is fraudulent once it's cast. Or, if there is, there are no prosecutors interested in following up. See Wash state.
Since the definition of "proof" is somebody convicted, there is no "proof".
10.13.2008 11:09pm
Nathan_M (mail):
<blockquote>
The derangement is not that what President Bush said about WMD's being in Iraq being untrue but rather, that it was a LIE.

There is a difference. A lie is saying something you know to be untrue but stating it as the truth: "I did not have sex[ual relations] with that woman, Miss Lewinski" springs to mind as a good example.
</blockquote>

I agree Clinton's statement an obvious and (nearly) indisputable lie.

As for Bush and his administration, it seems to me his defence comes down to an unseemly Clintonian wrangling over what "lie" means.

For example, Colin Powell's presentation to the U.N. Security Council convinced me that the Iraq invasion was necessary. Now I think he was lying when, for example, he said: "There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. And he has the ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can cause massive death and destruction."

Now I agree it's implausible that Colin Powell knew at the time Iraq had no biological weapons, and I'll grant that it's likely he honestly believed they did (obviously I cannot know that with certainty), but for my money he lied. When someone says that "[t]here can be no doubt" about something when he actually knows things aren't so certain, and it turns out that what he's saying isn't true, then I think he's lying.

I can see how one could regard this as mere exaggeration. I think that's just splitting hairs, but I think this is something people can honestly disagree about. I don't think it's comparable to derangement like "Obama is a Muslim terrorist" or "Palin isn't Trig's biological mother".
10.13.2008 11:14pm
David Warner:
LM,

"Better to indulge a little smug superiority here than bang my head against the wall trying to convince my black sheep siblings how much better off we'd all be if only they were white."

Yeah, that's the thing I can't figure out, the left and their liberal enablers have enjoyed basically unopposed control of our established cultural church (Hollywood, Academia, the Press, what's left of the actual Mainline Church) for decades, and yet they insist on playing counterculture. If they'd stepped up and led, they'd likely have had much more political/economic power long before now.

We'll see if they can finally pull it off with Obama.
10.13.2008 11:19pm
David Warner:
I also think right-wing derangement syndrome is severely undercounted by the comment deletion policies of the left-blogs, even the moderate ones.

At the VC, the derangement hangs around for all to see.
10.13.2008 11:21pm
Dave N (mail):
Nathan M,

We disagree. There is a difference between a lie and a mistake of belief. They are not synonymous. Lying is a conscious act.
10.13.2008 11:25pm
richard cabeza:
Why can't you people just talk about anything other than the people who raised Obama and those with whom he chose to associate? It's not like he hasn't has executive experience to critique.
10.13.2008 11:32pm
Jerry F:
Michelle Malkin had a good summary of the over-the-top hatred by unhinged liberals. It is really hard to find an equivalent on the right to the sheer hatred that emanates from the political Left. What is the conservative equivalent of "Abort Palin!" posters? What is the conservative equivalent to the hatred directed at Trig Palin? What is the conservative equivalent of cartoon depictions of McCain as a "bloodthirsty warmonger"? What is the conservative equivalent to a popular humorist finding hilarity at the thought of Palin being gang-raped by black men? Are commenters on Powerline rejoicing at Elizabeth Edwards's cancer, the way Daily Kos commenters rejoice at Laura Ingraham's, John McCain's, Dick Cheney's health programs? (Rhetorical question, the answer is no).

Unhinged Liberals Gone Wild
10.13.2008 11:38pm
Hoosier:
Dave N: Sorry. I actually agreed with JBG on people on our side not distancing themselves from Coulter. (I'm on my wife's Mac, and having trouble cutting and pasting. Deleted the wrong line. And I can't link--Does anyone know how to do it on Mac? There's no right-click.)

But to clarify my thoughts: Coulter is an embarrassment to the right. And a fraud: I doubt that she actually believes what she says, but she has a good thing going, and wants to stay on the gravy train. If Obama is elected, expect her to write a book saying that Nazis will soon be riding around the country on dinosaurs. Again.

And every talk show will have her on in order to boost ratings.

But I'm with you as far as the left having the nutters as well. Noam Chomsky comes to mind, and he doesn't have Coulter's legs.

Kevin R.: Die you bastard!

JBG--My reading comprehension problem is a result of my public school education. Vouchers would have helped me, of course. But some people don't support them . . .

I find it funny that JBG is trying his best to insult people on a thread concerning the lack of civility in public discourse. Not surprising. But funny.
10.13.2008 11:44pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
idiot:

you failed to mention that she was booted for those precise comments


One reason I failed to mention it is because I didn't know. Thanks for telling me.

Another reason I didn't mention it is because it's not terribly material. They were perfectly happy to publish her remarks. Presumably they have editors?

Michael Moore shared a box with Jimmy Carter at the 2004 Dem convention.


Good point. That's actually a fairly good example. I think it's the best you're going to be able to do. In my opinion, Moore's track record of offensive statements can't hold a candle to Coulter's. But I guess that's in the eye of the beholder.

You are an advocate rather than disputant.


What's wrong with being an advocate?
10.13.2008 11:45pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dave n:

I mentioned Al Franken


What is the accusation against him, other than vulgar comedy? Where is his track record of making statements as offensive as Coulter's?
10.13.2008 11:45pm
Hoosier:
Dave N
AVI,

You are just figuring that out?


Heh!
10.13.2008 11:45pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aubrey:

There is no way of proving a vote is fraudulent once it's cast.


The last time you said that, I explained why you are wrong. For some strange reason, that made you disappear.

Or, if there is, there are no prosecutors interested in following up.


If significant numbers of fraudulent votes are being cast, prosecutors should and would be "following up."

Since the definition of "proof" is somebody convicted, there is no "proof".


Thanks for acknowledging that no one connected with ACORN has ever been convicted for casting a fraudulent vote. This salient fact is not heard often in all the hysteria over ACORN.
10.13.2008 11:45pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nathan:

When someone says that "[t]here can be no doubt" about something when he actually knows things aren't so certain, and it turns out that what he's saying isn't true, then I think he's lying.


Exactly. This is an essential point. Bush et al used language like "no doubt," and "absolute certainty," even though the underlying intel was very far from absolutely certain, and they knew that. Those statements are obviously lies.
10.13.2008 11:45pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dave n:

There is a difference between a lie and a mistake of belief.


Consider these two statements:

A) My fervent belief, based on intuition, fantasy and clairvoyance, is that Saddam has WMD.
B) I know with absolute certainty that Saddam has WMD.

If Bush had said A, you could let him off the hook by calling it "a mistake of belief." Trouble is, he said B. In other words, he was pretending to possess information that he didn't actually have. That's definitely a form of lying.

If I tell you that I know with "absolute certainty" what you've got in your freezer, even though I've only heard various vague and conflicting reports about what you've got in your freezer, that makes me a liar.
10.13.2008 11:45pm
Dave N (mail):
Actually, I "know" quite a few things because I have seen evidence that makes me believe it is so. I am prosecutor. That is my job.

I have said "the evidence is undisputed" when the other side does not contradict it. Regardless, I take my prosecutorial ethics to the point that I will not charge a case unless I am convinced in my own mind that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

I file a charge, have a trial, and the jury finds the defendant not guilty. Have I lied to myself?
10.13.2008 11:54pm
John Moore (www):
Sign, the WMD thread. The problem with those accusing W of lying is that they then need to accuse pretty much all the intelligence agencies of the world, the Clinton administration, and many Democrat members of congress of the same thing.

The WMD == Lie is one of the best indicators of BDS. The only liar in the story was Saddam, who knew he didn't have them, but intentionally (per his post-capture interviews) tried to make us, his own generals (whom we were in contact with) and especially the Iranians think that he did.

The A/B comparison is overdrawn. Both W and Clinton said they were pretty sure Saddam had WMD's. Why does W get all the blame? Oh, and if one wants to get technical, he did have WMD's. A Sarin IED was used on US troops in Baghdad. Others were found. Botulinus culture was found. A nuclear centrifuge was found (note: pre-1992 no centrifuges were part of Iraq's nuclear program).

The answer, I posit, is BDS.
10.13.2008 11:55pm
Sarcastro (www):
This is the best battle of the anecdotes ever.
10.13.2008 11:57pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
juke.
Yeah, I know. A vote is a vote, even if it's Daffy Duck living on the moon. Unless Daffy is prosecuted, which requires finding him, there's no proof it's a fraudulent vote.
Problem is, it's still a fraudulent vote. If conviction is the only standard of proof, you won't have much to say about anything. That would be a relief

And prosecutors ought to go after as few as one fraudulent vote. They seem reluctant even with large numbers. See Washington State.
10.14.2008 12:00am
richard cabeza:
The moon is a protectorate, not a state. It gets no federal electors.
10.14.2008 12:04am
Hoosier:
John Moore

The problem with those accusing W of lying is that they then need to accuse pretty much all the intelligence agencies of the world, the Clinton administration, and many Democrat members of congress of the same thing.

Yep. That's why this is just silly. German intelligence thought Iraq had WMD, and Germany was against the war. Ditto French intel. So did the blue-chip International Institute for Strategic Studies, which actually published a list of the weapons they thought he had, and in what quantities. (A colleague of mine still has it posted on his office door.) So did the Economist; not a pro-Bush paper.

My junior senator, Evan Bayh, said he'd "bet his career" on it. (We didn't hold him to it.) I don't consider Bayh a fool or a liar. I consider him wrong.

For my part, I was against sending troops to dislodge Saddam; I agreed with Bush I and Scowcroft. But I was also convinced that he had WMD.

I would be interested to know if Saddam himself thought he had WMD. If you were a scientist or colonel who had complied with the inspectors, would you have informed Saddam? The bad-news didn't reach him very well through channels during the Gulf War. Were his underlings less afraid of him after that? Doubtful.
10.14.2008 12:05am
John Moore (www):
Hoosier, Saddam told his interrogators that his WMD effort had been disrupted too badly by the events of the 1990s, so he had put the program on hold and didn't have operational weapons. Rather, he bluffed, in order to keep Iran at bay. When that bluff because a problem because of imminent US invasion, he held to it because to admit to the bluff would have been a great sign of weakness in his culture.

There remains the question of how closely he cooperated with Libya, which turned over a significant WMD program to the US and Britain (not, I would note, the UN) the day after Saddam was captured.
10.14.2008 12:08am
Hoosier:
John Moore--Are you sure? I thought that he was talking only about nukes when he said that. Did he say--at that point or any other--that he did not have weaponized gas? If so, I must have just missed it.
10.14.2008 12:15am
richard cabeza:
I can't believe people are still arguing about doubleyou emm dees, oh emm gee. Haven't you heard the rhyme? Lied/Died? Come on, people, do I have to draw you the graph myself? It tilts up, like a hockeystick. The science is settled, okay?

Hold on, I got my cards mixed up.
10.14.2008 12:18am
MarkField (mail):

I sure hope they don't start checking ids at polls.


I hope everyone checks his or her id at the polls.
10.14.2008 12:20am
richard cabeza:
MarkField:

I hope everyone checks his or her id at the polls.

It's not up to "everyone," it's up to the government making rules for polling places.
10.14.2008 12:25am
David Warner:
For Juke, life is like one big mathematical proof. Only one problem. Men made math, and men didn't make life.

Substitute nature for God if you like. Same point.
10.14.2008 12:29am
Orson Buggeigh:
Judging from what I see on campus and on the blogs, I would say the left is the winner for nasty and unprincipled behavior by a mile. For instance, just google "Palin shirt" or look at photo-funny with new script balloons for Biden and Pain - Biden asking about the difference between what comes out of different openings - the punch line being that something retarded only comes out of an orifice other than the mouth. How low can you go - nasty comments about someone's developmentally disadvantaged child is not good clean politics in my book. It is truly degrading. Not so much for the Palins, but for the unlovely, warped persons who think that such behavior is ethical, intellectually stimulating or amusing.

And the T shirt is bad news - I suspect if someone had used it at a Clinton rally, the media would have been full of it, because that four letter word is generally applied to women in a way similar to a six-letter "n" word used to disparage blacks. Spirited political discourse? Not in my opinion. Sexist, like racist, is a term which seemingly only applies to cases where the victim is left of the political center.

Apparently no one on the left is ashamed enough to distance themselves from such low lifes, or even bar them from posting at web sites supporting their candidates. Free speech is sacrosanct - except, of course for any conservative foolish enough to ask embarrassing questions about Mr. Obama's virtually non-existent resume. THAT, by definition, is RACIST.
10.14.2008 12:35am
John Moore (www):
Hoosier, he was talking about any kind of WMDs.
10.14.2008 12:37am
Brian K (mail):
"I also think right-wing derangement syndrome is severely undercounted by the comment deletion policies of the left-blogs, even the moderate ones. "

left-wing derangement syndrome however is alive and well on this blog and many many others. some of your posts are prime examples.
10.14.2008 12:38am
PC:
Orson Buggeigh, do you mean the "n" word on this shirt?
10.14.2008 12:47am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

I actually agreed with JBG on people on our side not distancing themselves from Coulter.


Sorry, I misunderstood. Thanks for explaining.

My reading comprehension problem is a result of my public school education.


I thought maybe it had to do with the fact that you're a history teacher.

I find it funny that JBG is trying his best to insult people


I wish I knew which statement of mine you think looks like an effort "to insult people." Aside from I just said about history teachers.

Are you talking about what I said about reading comprehension? Then your skin is obviously too thin for this joint, and your outrage is a bit selective. Maybe you didn't notice that idiot essentially called me a liar because "I failed to mention" something irrelevant that I didn't actually know.

My junior senator, Evan Bayh, said he'd "bet his career" on it.


Can you show us that quote?
10.14.2008 12:57am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dave n:

I have said "the evidence is undisputed" when the other side does not contradict it


You're getting pretty lawyerly, and you're not addressing the issue. Saying "the evidence is undisputed" is not quite the same thing as saying that I know something with "absolute certainty." Anyway, in this matter, the evidence was most definitely disputed, and Bush et al pretended it wasn't (at least in certain important instances). That's a big problem.

I will not charge a case unless I am convinced in my own mind that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt


Bush et al definitely had information which introduced "a reasonable doubt" (at least in certain important instances). They pretended this information didn't exist, and they made efforts to hide it from us. That's a big problem.
10.14.2008 12:57am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
moore:

The problem with those accusing W of lying is that they then need to accuse pretty much all the intelligence agencies of the world, the Clinton administration, and many Democrat members of congress of the same thing.


The problem with those who raise the comparison you're raising is that you overlook the fact that only Bush et al spoke in terms of absolute certainty (aside from one immaterial exception, in the form of a remark by Jay Rockefeller).

The other problem is that "all the intelligence agencies of the world, the Clinton administration, and many Democrat members of congress" were not ultimately responsible for the decision to go to war. Bush was.

There are other problems with the comparison that I will leave aside, for now.

Both W and Clinton said they were pretty sure Saddam had WMD's.


Bush et al were not content to leave it at "pretty sure." They used terms like "no doubt" and "absolute certainty."

Why does W get all the blame?


Because W et al made those statements, and W made the decision to go to war. What happened to the GOP concept of personal accountability?

A Sarin IED was used on US troops in Baghdad


It was used as a conventional IED. According to Duelfer, the people who used it probably didn't realize it was not a conventional shell.

Others were found.


According to Duelfer, only that one Sarin shell was found. If you have proof otherwise, please show it.

Botulinus culture was found


One test tube "was found in an Iraqi scientist's home refrigerator, where it had been sitting for 10 years."

A nuclear centrifuge was found


We found the remains of a centrifuge in the rubble of a wrecked building.

if one wants to get technical, he did have WMD's


It's not that you're getting technical. It's that you're focusing on finds that are so immaterial that they prove the opposite of what you're trying to prove. The bleach and ammonia under your kitchen sink can produce deadly chlorine gas. Why are you keeping WMD in your house?

When that bluff because a problem because of imminent US invasion, he held to it because to admit to the bluff would have been a great sign of weakness in his culture.


The fact that we overlooked his obvious motivations to bluff, and the likelihood that he was bluffing, is a sign of great weakness in our culture.

And the fact that we can't come clean with ourselves about the fact that we let our leaders lie to us is another sign of great weakness in our culture.
10.14.2008 12:57am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aubrey:

If conviction is the only standard of proof, you won't have much to say about anything


Can you prove that fraudulent votes were actually cast (as distinct from just fraudulent registrations), by any "standard of proof?"
10.14.2008 12:57am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
juke.
Of course not. There is no way. If the registration is not considered fraudulent, the person claiming to be that registered voter is, by definition, legitimate. Once a vote is cast, it's over.
So, I suppose you're claiming there have never been any fraudulent votes.
There are, of course, votes by people who don't exist. Dead people, for example. But for some reason you don't consider those fraudulent.
No explaining taste, I guess.
10.14.2008 1:04am
Brian K (mail):
For instance, just google "Palin shirt".

you must be suffering from some sort of selective blindness that prevented you from seeing all of those anti-hillary shirts. e.g. this one.
10.14.2008 1:08am
A.W. (mail):
Still no substantive response. And to everyone “disagreeing” with me here is what a substantive response looks like:

A.W. is wrong because… [list reasons that refute mine, either by proving that there is nothing to worry about Obama, or there is plenty to worry about with McCain.]

And folks, as far as jukeboxgrad, don’t bother with him. He considers the North Vietnamese to be a credible source of information. That, my friends, is a deranged moron.
10.14.2008 1:14am
John Moore (www):
jukeboxgrad:

I truly find your arguments amazing.

So we all agree that pretty much everyone thought Saddam had WMD's. But Bush is the only liar because he used more certain terminology? And because the word "certain" was used, all blame for everything wrong about Iraq goes to "Bush lied."

I suppose this also lets off all the Democrats who voted for the war, because somehow Bush's "certainty" over-rode their judgment and all the intelligence that they had independent access to?

Geez. Reminds me of Clinton's is is is is is argument.

Do you really, truly believe that Colin Powell knowingly lied about WMDs?

Furthermore, you illustrate why the whole WMD argument from the left is so silly: you tightly tie it with Bush going to war.

But, there were a whole lot of reasons to go to war (including the fact that Iraq was attacking our aircraft daily, actively supported terrorists, and was violating a truce with us that had ended the hostilities, but not the state of war, from 1991). WMD's were emphasized by the administration because the intelligence was held to be highly credible and the issue was easy to understand.

Those who give us the "Bush lied about WMD" argument would have us believe that he lied about it, even though he knew he would be found out when the troops went in and found none.

Oh, and you are quite right about the Sarin IED. It was USED as a normal IED (although two troops had to be treated for Sarin poisoning). The point, of course, is that it demonstrated that Sarin was present in Iraq. Another interesting point is that it was binary Sarin, and Iraq had never been known to possess the binary form. Where did it come from? How many more were there?

In the scope of an argument about the dangers of Iraq furnishing WMD to terrorists, that Sarin shell is relevant. Terrorists don't need the tons of WMD that we expected to find. That one shell, especially since it was binary Sarin, would have been sufficient to kill more people than 9-11, if it were deployed into a skyscraper's air intake.

The centrifuge, btw, was not "broken." It was disassembled and buried in the garden of a nuclear scientist. It's burial was obviously done so that it could later be retrieved and used (probably as a prototype). Otherwise, they could have just destroyed the thing.
10.14.2008 1:16am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aubrey:

I suppose you're claiming there have never been any fraudulent votes.


No. I'm saying that given the conspicuous absence of evidence regarding even one (1) fraudulent vote (at least connected to ACORN), it would be peculiar to conclude that there are a significant number of fraudulent votes.

There are, of course, votes by people who don't exist. Dead people, for example But for some reason you don't consider those fraudulent.


The cases I'm aware of where dead people voted were indeed not fraudulent. They involved various kinds of errors and misunderstandings (like when someone died shortly before or after an absentee ballot was issued). Read the article.

It's getting more and more obvious that you're strongly predisposed to never show proof for the claims you make.
10.14.2008 1:18am
OrinKerr:
A.W.,

Two thoughts:

1) Describing a fellow commenter as "a deranged moron" is not civil, it seems to me.

2) I think you should henceforth assume that if no one responds to you with what you see as a substantive response, then the Internet as a whole, with all of its users, has conceded that you are correct.
10.14.2008 1:22am
Nathan_M (mail):
<blockquote>
So we all agree that pretty much everyone thought Saddam had WMD's. But Bush is the only liar because he used more certain terminology? And because the word "certain" was used, all blame for everything wrong about Iraq goes to "Bush lied."
</blockquote>
As I see it, the main difference between Bush and "pretty much everyone" is the rest of us were relying on Bush's characterization of the intelligence, whereas Bush knew or ought to have known the evidence was a lot more ambiguous. In my view, people (like me) who supported the war and believed Bush were not lying. We didn't have access to the ambiguous intelligence, we only heard the unambiguous rhetoric.

As I see it, the difference between people like me, <i>The Economist</i> (which is definitely not pro-Bush now, but did endorse him in his race against Gore and as I recall was pro-Bush at the time), and Evan Bayh is that we based our assessment in large part because we believed what we were told by the Bush administration. The fact that most of us believed them isn't evidence they were telling the truth.

A few people with first-hand knowledge, like Hans Blix, told a different story which ultimately proved to be more truthful, but they were viciously attacked. Most of us (including me) concluded, wrongly in retrospect, that Bush, Blair, and their allies were more plausible.

<;blockquote>
Those who give us the "Bush lied about WMD" argument would have us believe that he lied about it, even though he knew he would be found out when the troops went in and found none.
</blockquote>
I don't think Bush, Blair, and their allies were that mendacious. I think they honestly believed Iraq had WMDs. That wasn't the lie; the lie was that they claimed the intelligence proved this with a great degree of certainty when now we know that even at the time many of the intelligence analysts had serious qualms with it.

It may well be Clinton officials said the same thing. I cannot recall their specific language, but if they painted a picture with the same false certainty I would be happy to concede they lied too.

But this is all rather off topic when I could be posting awesome pictures of <a rel="nofollow" href="http://tinyurl.com/42khqw">true derangement</a>.
10.14.2008 2:07am
Nathan_M (mail):
Sorry, I don't know why the comments are eating my HTML today. Whenever I submit a comment it tells me I have a bad "password hash", makes me re-enter my password, and then prints my nice little HTML tags as plain text. Has anyone else had this problem?
10.14.2008 2:10am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nathan:

I think they honestly believed Iraq had WMDs. That wasn't the lie; the lie was that they claimed the intelligence proved this with a great degree of certainty when now we know that even at the time many of the intelligence analysts had serious qualms with it.


That's a nice way of summing up what I'm trying to say.

I don't know why your tags are broken. But here's another link to that great picture you posted. It goes extremely well with this one, via PC.
10.14.2008 2:28am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
orin:

Describing a fellow commenter as "a deranged moron" is not civil


Yes, but look at the bright side. At least he's being less vulgar than he was here:

where is your patriotism, asswipe?
10.14.2008 2:29am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
moore:

So we all agree that pretty much everyone thought Saddam had WMD's


It's not that simple. Various parties made different statements, at different times, regarding different items, and with various levels of certainty. Bush et al were virtually alone in expressing "absolute certainty."

But Bush is the only liar because he used more certain terminology?


You're minimizing the reality. He didn't just claim to be "more certain" than other folks. He claimed that his certainty was "absolute."

Also, it's beside the point to try to figure out if Bush is "the only liar." Bad behavior on the part of anyone else does not excuse his bad behavior. It's just a distraction. And he is the person ultimately responsible for the decision to go to war.

And because the word "certain" was used, all blame for everything wrong about Iraq goes to "Bush lied."


Just to be clear, I didn't make reference to the word "certain." I mentioned the phrases "absolute certainty" and "no doubt."

And you're just trying to muddy the waters and change the subject when you say "all blame for everything wrong about Iraq goes to 'Bush lied.' " I'm making a very simple point about his pre-war statements, and this straw-man argument of yours does nothing to address that point.

I suppose this also lets off all the Democrats who voted for the war


No. I'm not inclined to "let[s] off all the Democrats who voted for the war." I think it would be good if we had a two-party system. But this is yet another attempt by you to change the subject.

By the way, it is often forgotten that most Ds in the House voted No. Also, the claim we often hear (and which you're repeating), that Congress and Bush saw the same intel, is false.

Do you really, truly believe that Colin Powell knowingly lied about WMDs?


I have closely analyzed statements by Bush, Cheney and Rice. Those statements are enough to prove my point. The case against Powell is weaker. He was somewhat more careful with his statements. But he still does not exactly come out smelling like a rose.

there were a whole lot of reasons to go to war


When you look at Bush's major pre-war addresses, the emphasis was on WMD.

Those who give us the "Bush lied about WMD" argument would have us believe that he lied about it, even though he knew he would be found out when the troops went in and found none.


Bush made an astute and correct assessment that no matter what was found or not found, that there would be people like you who would defend him, regardless.

He also expected the war to go well. If the war had gone well, most people would have totally overlooked the fact that no WMD were found.

And by the way, you're using another straw man. I'm not claiming that Bush knew, or was sure, that nothing would be found. I'm pointing out that Bush pretended to know things that he didn't actually know. That's a form of lying.

Let me take the point to an extreme, and maybe you'll see more clearly what I'm trying to say. Let's say we found 100% of what he told us we would find. That would not change the fact that his pre-war statements were lies (although from a political perspective, the lie would have gotten no attention). In other words, the problem I'm pointing out is not that he turned out to be wrong. The problem I'm pointing out is that he was dishonest with us regarding what he did and did not know.

There's a very basic principle here: the president should not lie to us, especially with regard to something as important as war. The problem I'm pointing out is not that his statements turned out to be wrong (that's a problem, but it's a separate problem). The problem I'm pointing out is that his statements weren't honest.

How many more were there?


This many other Sarin shells have been found: zero. Why did you claim we found others?

That one shell, especially since it was binary Sarin, would have been sufficient to kill more people than 9-11, if it were deployed into a skyscraper's air intake.


You are greatly misunderstanding how a binary Sarin shell works. If the two agents don't mix thoroughly, you won't get Sarin. They mix when the shell is fired, because the shell is spinning at thousands of RPM. The operation of the shell also requires the membrane to rupture in the right manner. This is why the IED didn't produce giant clouds of deadly Sarin.

You're better off sticking with the bleach and ammonia under your sink.

The centrifuge, btw, was not "broken." It was disassembled and buried in the garden of a nuclear scientist.


We're talking about two different things. Duelfer did find the remains of a centrifuge in a wrecked building. I had forgotten the story that you're talking about, where we found some old centrifuge parts buried in someone's yard. These items dated back to Iraq's pre-1991 nuclear program. It was not evidence of development past that point.
10.14.2008 2:35am
OrinKerr:
A.W.

Jukeboxgrad points to a comment last week that was outrageously uncivil. Combining that one and your comment today, consider yourself warned: If you are uncivil any more, I will ban you from commenting here.
10.14.2008 2:49am
John Moore (www):
jukeboxgrad

I am willing to say that Bush oversimplified the intelligence. After all, when you are trying to make a case to the public, it's hard to talk about all the uncertainties. Especially since intelligence is almost always quite uncertain. See below.

I also believe that he personally was certain that the WMD's would be found. The intelligence was far from vague (although as later presented to the public, with the Niger silliness, it could be made to appear so). There was very good reason to believe that Saddam had WMD's, was hiding them from Blix, and intended to ramp up WMD activities upon the impending failure of the sanctions. The US military fully expected to be attacked with WMD's at some point during their advance.

So if you want to claim that the difference between absolutely positively sure and pretty darned sure turns "absolute" into a lie, then it would appear that you have standards far in excess of reasonable for the circumstances. It is a literalness that is far more appropriate for a contract or other legal document than for presidential speeches.

You assert

Bush made an astute and correct assessment that no matter what was found or not found, that there would be people like you who would defend him, regardless.


I find that extremely unlikely. The political cost of not finding them was extreme, and it was obvious that it would be - even if the war went well. It is pretty obvious to me that he chose WMD's as the rallying cry *because* of how confident he was that they would be found, and because they represented something easy to explain.

The real terror related threat (not to mention the geopolitical threat), which was worse than the possession of chemical WMD's by Saddam, was more subtle, and much harder to explain. David Kay made a stab at it when he said that, after his post-war inspection when he did not find WMD's, he concluded that the Saddam regime represented a GREATER thread of providing WMD's to terrorists than he thought before the war.

In my opinion, Bush had very bad luck with the WMD's, leaving himself open to demagoguery in the future.

....

As to the binary Sarin, I am well aware of how it works. It is indeed the ideal terrorist chemical weapon, because it is binary. That means that the reagants can be safely extracted from the shell, and can be transported and handled with relative safety. Only when the agents are properly mixed (at the last minute) is it dangerous. One certainly doesn't need to fire it in an artillery round to achieve that mixing, as you imply.

There were other chemical artillery rounds found - I believe most were mustard gas. The total number was in the teens.

BUT... frankly, they are really irrelevant.

The interesting issue is how stringently you define lying in this case, and yet how willing you are to use the term against Bush.

I think this strongly illustrates a fundamental difference between people on this issue: those predisposed to dislike Bush's decision are ready to call him a liar; those of us predisposed to agree with him believe he did not lie.

What is shocking is how far down the road this disagreement leads. The "Bush lied, people died" meme has inflamed the debate and greatly contributed to BDS - far more than rationality would have it. The whole argument is pushed very badly out of context (by the main stream media, also) and used in a very irresponsible manner.

What it should have led to was a serious inquiry into why the CIA is so incompetent. Instead, it turned into an extremely divisive wedge issue. For that, I blame the anti-Bush folks who pushed this argument far past relevancy, and who lied about it themselves (Wilson/Niger as the best example).

So in the context of this thread, "Bush Lied" leads to or is a symptom of BDS.

To assert that Bush wasn't precisely truthful - that he may have exaggerated, as every leader I know of does in these kinds of circumstances - would be one thing. But the emphasis (not by you in this discussion) on the lie being an absolute indicator that the war was founded totally on dishonesty and was prosecuted for some sinister motive is classic BDS, and is remarkably widespread.

Like any historical event, the "rightness" of the war is complex. It is the demagogues who over-simplify it.
10.14.2008 3:08am
richard cabeza:
10.14.2008 4:47am
H2:
Festivus,
I was sloppy about what I wrote, but you knew what I meant.
To me deranged means insane:
1. not sane; not of sound mind; mentally deranged.
2. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a person who is mentally deranged: insane actions; an insane asylum.
3. utterly senseless: an insane plan.

Obama as a muslim or terrorist (yes, I admit that is far out) is not an "utterly senseless" thing to say. There is reasoning whether bad or whether you agree behind these statements.
Palin being raped, aborted, etc. is utterly senseless; insane.

>>Calling Obama a terrorist is clearly reaching, but
>>is it deranged? I do not think so, it is just a
>>very shortcut way to make/sustain the argument that
>>he has terrorist friends/acquaintances.and is accepting of them.

>Oh lord. I have friends who are Republicans and Democrats. >I have friends who are men and women, straight and >otherwise, bike riders and fishermen, meat eaters and >vegetarians, Jews, atheists, Christians and Muslims, farmers and lawyers. What does that make me?

Well, none of the categories that you listed were repugnant or illegal and you are accepting of these friends and the categories they fit in that you provided.

Generally, people do not have friends that engage in activities that they find repugnant, especially those activities that potentially involve harming innocent people. And even more, the friend does not regret the activity nor do they even pretend to regret doing on television.

Also, people, whether rightly or not, often associate those that hang out with criminals as criminals themselves or agreeing with those criminals.
Why would someone who does not do drugs hang out with those that do? They must also being using or think it is ok to use/support the activity.
10.14.2008 4:56am
Amit:
Another point to make in favour of jukeboxgrad’s position here is that overstating the strength of your evidence as warranting “absolute certainty” is more culpable if you know that people wouldn’t be willing to take the course of action you advocate (i.e. going to war), were they to know that the actual strength of your evidence warrants only being “pretty sure”. Whether misleading people about the precise strength of your evidence is more or less morally culpable in a presidential speech than in a court of law depends on what the speech is about. That the former is not subject to legal sanction does not automatically decide the matter.

And I don’t think that one’s views about the rightness of Bush’s decision to go to war should have much to do with one’s judgements about the moral culpability or lack thereof of his speaking misleadingly. If, as seems to have been the case, Bush’s real view was “well, I’m not 100% sure that there are WMDs, but it looks likely and we can’t take the risk of doing nothing, so we should go in” then I think that even someone who agrees with that view should accept that he owed it to the American people to level with them about it (leaving quite aside any moral duties he might have towards non-Americans).
10.14.2008 5:11am
TokyoTom (mail):
Orin, when the most stalwart conservatives - like Ron Paul, Bruce Fein, Bob Barr, Richard Viguries, Bruce Bartlett and Paul Craig Roberts - sound like liberals (to Bush supporters) in criticizing the Bush Administration, you gotta know that the so-called "derangment" of the "left" has some solid grounding.

Also, Glenn Greenwald makes a good case that the derangement syndromes are not equivalent.
10.14.2008 7:05am
festivus (mail):
H2:

Obama as a muslim or terrorist (yes, I admit that is far out) is not an "utterly senseless" thing to say.


Really? Even Obama Smearer Andy Martin won't say terrorist, and has backed away from Muslim. But you think it's not utterly senseless?

My principal point was not to challenge your post. Rather I was applying my understanding of Prof. Kerr's post(s) to this blog, and what I see is several bloggers - Lindgren, Bernstein, sometimes others - who have sacrificed their intellectual integrity on the altar of their political views.

I couldn't care less what their political views are. What I object to is law professors making arguments unworthy of law *students*. It's wrong - deranged, even - and they should know better.

festivus
10.14.2008 8:42am
byomtov (mail):
When mentioning Coulter's relation to National Review, you failed to mention that she was booted for those precise comments. Sorry, I will no longer trust anything you say about lying.

No. She wasn't booted for those comments. You can read Jonah Goldberg's explanation here.

A few quotes:

It was Ann who decided to sever her ties with National Review — not the other way around.

In the wake of her invade-and-Christianize-them column, Coulter wrote a long, rambling rant of a response to her critics that was barely coherent. She's a smart and funny person, but this was Ann at her worst — emoting rather than thinking, and badly needing editing and some self-censorship, or what is commonly referred to as "judgment."

Running this "piece" would have been an embarrassment to Ann, and to NRO. Rich Lowry pointed this out to her in an e-mail .... She wrote back an angry response, defending herself from the charge that she hates Muslims and wants to convert them at gunpoint.

But this was not the point. It was NEVER the point. The problem with Ann's first column was its sloppiness of expression and thought. Ann didn't fail as a person — as all her critics on the Left say — she failed as WRITER, which for us is almost as bad.


So let me be clear: We did not "fire" Ann for what she wrote, even though it was poorly written and sloppy. We ended the relationship because she behaved with a total lack of professionalism, friendship, and loyalty.

Paul Johnson has criticized Islam as an imperial religion. William F. Buckley himself has called, essentially, for a holy war. Rich Lowry wants to bring back the Shah, and I've written that Western Civilization has every right to wave the giant foam "We're Number 1!" finger as high as it wants.

The only difference between what we've run and what Ann considers so bravely iconoclastic on her part, is that we've run articles that accord persuasion higher value than shock value. It's true: Ann is fearless, in person and in her writing. But fearlessness isn't an excuse for crappy writing or crappier behavior.


The essence is simple. They fired her for bad writing and general insubordination, not for the content of what she wrote, which they seem to approve of.
10.14.2008 9:06am
OrinKerr:
Orin, when the most stalwart conservatives - like Ron Paul, . . .

I have never thought of Ron Paul as a conservative, much less a "stalwart" conservative.
10.14.2008 9:07am
byomtov (mail):
Dave N.,

I am sorry you consider Ann Coulter, et al as being the voice of conservatism. I am fairly conservative--and I don't. I suspect I could name writers I do admire and you would sneer at them as well--so I won't bother.

Good for you. But you do have to recognize that Coulter (not to mention Limbaugh) is a hugely popular figure on the right. She certainly appeals to a very large segment of the conservative movement. She may not speak for you, but she does speak for a great many on the right.

Zarkov,

I see. McCain's getting booed, in a neighborhood in which he is predictably very unpopular, is worse than death threats against Obama at rallies - death threats that draw no condemnation from the speaker (yes- I know about the one response by McCain). You want to think about that a little more?

Would Obama get death threats on a march in an urban neighborhood? Depends on the neighborhood I suppose. I've seen enough videos of people going into Mccain rallies to think it entirely probable.
10.14.2008 9:23am
Fury:
jukeboxgrad writes:

Thanks for acknowledging that no one connected with ACORN has ever been convicted for casting a fraudulent vote. This salient fact is not heard often in all the hysteria over ACORN.

This is a good point. Of course, it is a fact that several people connected with ACORN have been connected with fraudulent voter registration over the years, with several pleading guilty to both state and federal charges of election fraud:

10/07/08 - ACORN Vegas Office Raided in Voter Fraud Investigation

04/06/08 - Ex-ACORN workers plead guilty to fraud

12/21/07 - Eight ACORN Workers Arrested For Election Fraud

10/26/07 - Guilty plea over phony voter forms

07/26/07 - Felony charges filed against 7 in state's biggest case of voter-registration fraud

05/17/07 - Former ACORN worker pleads guilty

11/01/06 - ACORN Workers Indicted For Alleged Voter Fraud

Clearly, there is an issue with some ACORN workers and election fraud.
10.14.2008 9:49am
Hoosier:
This has gone on too long. I will now answer the question:

Which Side Has the Worse Case of [Insert Name] Derangement Syndrome?:

[George Bush]

The left has a worse case of it.

(This answer applies to the example presented. Insertion of other names may yield different results. Contact you doctor or pharmacist for more information.)
10.14.2008 10:37am
Anderson (mail):
Brett: Honestly, the fact that you find Outside The Beltway to be the only readable/sane center-right blog says a lot more about your derangements than it does about those on the right.

Were you more interested in being civil than in practicing second-rate snark, Brett, you might have noticed that I expressly asked for recommendations.

Odd that you implied there were plenty out there, but didn't mention any by name. I'm sure you'll think of some eventually.
10.14.2008 11:03am
Anderson (mail):
However, I did forget to mention Daniel Larison and Andrew Sullivan -- do y'all on the right still claim Sully? Oh, and Ross Douthat, tho he's a bit desultory as a blogger.
10.14.2008 11:08am
Orson Buggeigh:
PC and Brian, thanks for responding. You are correct, nasty shorts are no one's special monopoly. However, I note that there are reports that the Obama camp used the C-shirt approach at a Clinton rally, and it is reported that he has sort of plausible deniability about some of his supporters wearing the shirts at Palin rallies, but, of course, without his permission. Wink, wink.

Neither of you has chosen to comment on the 'nice' photo funny with the suggestion that retarded things only sometimes issue from the vice presidential candidate's vagina, but always from her mouth. Now if this is what passes for good political commentary among people of good will, we are in trouble, IMHO. Crude remarks are not new, but this seems to be particularly ugly. Or do you find it to be in acceptable taste because the end justifies the means?
10.14.2008 11:13am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
moore:

when you are trying to make a case to the public, it's hard to talk about all the uncertainties


There was no need for him "to talk about all the uncertainties." There was simply a need for him to avoid expressing absolute certainty, given that the underlying intel was very far from absolutely certain.

Especially since intelligence is almost always quite uncertain.


That's true, which is all the more reason that he should not have expressed absolute certainty. Trouble is, he did.

I also believe that he personally was certain that the WMD's would be found.


I think it's not that useful to talk in general terms, like the idea that "WMD's would be found." In order to really understand what happened, we have to look at certain details, for example, the idea that the tubes were "only really suited" for centrifuges. That's what Rice said. It was a lie, and she undoubtedly knew it was a lie, because her statement went beyond even the most extreme position taken by certain hawks in the CIA who were the ones promoting the centrifuge story. They consistently admitted that the tubes could be used for rockets.

There are similar examples in every major area, like yellowcake and bio-trailers. These specific statements are critical, because they were the foundation of the case for war.

Also, the issue is not whether or not Bush "personally was certain" about any of this. He did not say 'the evidence is quite mixed, but nevertheless what I firmly believe in my heart is X, Y and Z.' Instead, he suggested that he had perfect evidence (in certain areas), even though he didn't.

the difference between absolutely positively sure and pretty darned sure


In the specific areas I'm talking about, the evidence was not even good enough to support a position of "pretty darned sure."

The political cost of not finding them was extreme


Really? He got reelected, didn't he? That would have been his critical concern. And the only reason there was "political cost" at all is because the war went badly.

It is pretty obvious to me that he chose WMD's as the rallying cry *because* of how confident he was that they would be found


No. He chose WMD to sell the war because that was the perfect way to scare us. Absent WMD, there was no basis to argue that Saddam was a threat to us.

As to the binary Sarin, I am well aware of how it works. It is indeed the ideal terrorist chemical weapon, because it is binary.


If it was as easy as you claim, you would see it being used more.

There were other chemical artillery rounds found - I believe most were mustard gas. The total number was in the teens.


We found several hundred, but they were old, lost, forgotten, degraded, useless and immaterial.

The interesting issue is how stringently you define lying in this case


When the president is leading us into war, it's not too much to expect that he is careful with the truth. Bush was not. Your standards are too low. When we tolerate dishonest leadership, we can be assured of getting more of the same. And dishonesty is toxic to democracy.

those predisposed to dislike Bush's decision are ready to call him a liar; those of us predisposed to agree with him believe he did not lie


I don't think that's the key distinction. I think the key distinction is between people who have carefully investigated the facts on their own, by reading primary documents, as compared with people who are relying on something they read on a blog or saw on tee-vee. The latter group is obviously much larger then the former group.

Look at my other posts that I cited, and you'll see the links to primary sources which substantiate my claims.
10.14.2008 11:25am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
amit:

overstating the strength of your evidence as warranting “absolute certainty” is more culpable if you know that people wouldn’t be willing to take the course of action you advocate (i.e. going to war), were they to know that the actual strength of your evidence warrants only being “pretty sure”.


Exactly. Thanks for making this important point.
10.14.2008 11:25am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
byomtov:

They fired her for bad writing and general insubordination, not for the content of what she wrote, which they seem to approve of.


Thanks. I didn't know. I guess that means "I will no longer trust anything [Assistant Village Idiot] say[s] about lying."
10.14.2008 11:25am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

Clearly, there is an issue with some ACORN workers and election fraud.


The number of claims, rumors, allegations and investigations greatly exceeds the number of proven facts. Yes, there have been some convictions, but relatively few. Recently here our friend Mac said ACORN "has a lot of it's members in jail for voter fraud." I'm still waiting to see a list of names. As far as I know, ACORN has this many members "in jail for voter fraud:" zero.

The number of convictions (or guilty pleas) obtained against ACORN workers compares very favorably with the number of same obtained against GOP leaders. Even though the former pool is probably much larger. So the GOP should aspire to operating as cleanly as ACORN.

I'm also waiting for evidence that one (1) fraudulent vote has ever been cast as a result of ACORN's work.

Voting is a good thing. Registering lots of new voters is also a good thing. And if you conduct a massive effort to register new voters, some instances of fraud are inevitable. Most of it is probably motivated by a desire to earn extra money, rather than a desire to throw an election. If the real numbers of fraudulent votes are very low, then it's a fair price to pay for spreading democracy. If you believe in democracy, that is. Then again, there are people at VC who say things like this:

I don't see what's so wrong with property requirements for voting; should people with no ties to a community and who pay nothing in taxes be allowed to vote to impose taxes on others?
10.14.2008 11:25am
Fury:
jukeboxgrad writes:

The number of convictions (or guilty pleas) obtained against ACORN workers compares very favorably with the number of same obtained against GOP leaders. Even though the former pool is probably much larger. So the GOP should aspire to operating as cleanly as ACORN.

Your point on the GOP is not germane to election fraud of working for/associated with ACORN.

The original comments were in regards to ACORN and voter fraud. Political parties are not part of this issue, from my perspective. If you have reports of other groups who have have had arrests and indictments related to election fraud like those working for/associated with ACORN, that would be germane.
10.14.2008 11:45am
Uh_Clem (mail):
For instance, just google "Palin shirt"

Since I had no idea what you're talking about, I did.

The results are underwhelming. The first link is a pro-Palin shirt with the slogan "Brians, Strength, Beauty". The next two is a picture of a young Palin wearing a t-shirt that says "I may be broke, but I'm not flat busted." Next is an article from the Anchorage Daily News about the booming business of pro-Palin shirts.

Around rank 12 you get the first anti-Parlin offering: the fairly mild "Polar Bears against Palin" , and the nastiest one of the whole lot said "I don't care that she doesn't have a ***** I care that she doesn't have the requisite knowledge and experience"

So, WTF are you talking about? Examples, please.
10.14.2008 11:48am
Hoosier:
and the nastiest one of the whole lot said "I don't care that she doesn't have a ***** I care that she doesn't have the requisite knowledge and experience"

That's an awfully heavy burden for one shirt to handle.

I'm announcing right now that in four years, I will vote for any candidate that can produce a picture of himself/herself wearing a t-shirt from (the) Melvins.

e.g.,

www.themelvins.net/pics/shirts/pages/skeletonb_jpg.htm

You have all been advised.
10.14.2008 11:59am
A.W. (mail):
Orin

My apologies... You see, when i see a man actually cite information put out by a totalitarian regime to denounce my country, I start to get angry.

I consider a basic patriotism part of civility. You insult my country, you insult me. If you are unfair to my country, you are unfair to me. And while we have defined down patriotism in the last few years, at very least a basic sense of patriotism requires you to be fair to your country; that before you harm its reputation you get your facts straight. Jukie doesn't bother, at least when he sees partisan advantage.
10.14.2008 12:07pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

Your point on the GOP is not germane to election fraud of working for/associated with ACORN


It's germane because I'm making the point that any group or organization is subject to various forms of misconduct, and ACORN's record compares favorably to the GOP's. The groups don't have to be exactly comparable in order for this comparison to make sense.
10.14.2008 12:15pm
PC:
Orson Buggeigh, Neither of you has chosen to comment on the 'nice' photo funny with the suggestion that retarded things only sometimes issue from the vice presidential candidate's vagina, but always from her mouth.

If you are talking about the image I think you are talking about (I won't look it up and link to it because it is crude and disgusting), then I would agree that it is wholly inappropriate. I saw that particular image linked from reddit with the tag [4chan]. The layout follows a well known meme based on the Dark Knight that started on 4chan. It's possible that /b/tards are somehow linked to the Obama campaign, but somehow I doubt it. (NSFW)
10.14.2008 12:20pm
MarkField (mail):

It's not up to "everyone," it's up to the government making rules for polling places.


I was making a joke: "id" as in "ego". Way too many people vote their ids.
10.14.2008 12:27pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aw:

when i see a man actually cite information put out by a totalitarian regime


Yes, there's obviously a problem with my patriotism because I actually cited a statistic published by Vietnam. Yes, that's horrifying. I can only imagine how you feel about a guy who actually visited the place and said nice things about them:

Despite his five-year stint as a POW, Mr McCain has become a strong advocate of normalising ties between Vietnam and the United States. … "My job here is to commemorate the beginning and continuation of a new relationship between the United States and Vietnam … I put the Vietnam War behind me a long time ago … I harbor no anger, no rancor."


What kind of person reaches out that way to "a totalitarian regime?" Obviously not a patriot.
10.14.2008 12:28pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
Anderson:

No, conservatives don't claim Sullivan. Your side is welcome to him.

Interesting views you have on whom is "sane".

Have you read Sullivan's Trig Trutherism posts? Are those aceptable political comments from a sane man?

Larison writes for the paleoconservative American Conservative which says it:

"We are of course in considerable part Buchananite—well disposed to the web of ideas that drew millions of voters during three Buchanan presidential bids."

web of ideas = nativist, isolationist, and anti-semitic

Regular conservatives disowned Buchanan and his followers some time ago.
10.14.2008 12:28pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
bob:

Regular conservatives disowned Buchanan and his followers some time ago


More than a trivial amount of disowning has also gone on with regard to Bush. And McCain and Palin, for that matter. "Regular conservatives" have some issues to work out. You might get a long break to give you lots of time to do that.
10.14.2008 12:46pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad writes:


It's germane because I'm making the point that any group or organization is subject to various forms of misconduct, and ACORN's record compares favorably to the GOP's. The groups don't have to be exactly compara
ble in order for this comparison to make sense.

I'm sorry, I don't find that to be sound reasoning. If you had some information of election fraud for groups similar to the mission/charge of ACORN, that would be relevant. That you bring up the GOP appears to be an attempt to steer the attention (such as it is) from the comments regarding ACORN.

We'll agree to disagree.
10.14.2008 12:50pm
A.W. (mail):
Juke

You're a troll. When you cited the NVA as a reliable source was the proof that you were a troll. That and your claim that Sarah Palin was a bad woman for actually having sex with her husband.

Maybe you will fool other people into actually debating with you, but you won't fool me anymore.

You deserve no more response than that.
10.14.2008 1:01pm
A.W. (mail):
Bob

Regarding Sullivan, yep, he is a nut, but to be fair, I think he is better thought of as a gay partisan than anything else. i am convinced his slide from an interesting and different voice on the libertarian side (never saw him as a conservative), to just a BDS nut started when Bush came out for the marriage amendment, fwiw.
10.14.2008 1:04pm
Hoosier:
A.W.--I'm not sure that citing Hanoi's stats in itself is sign of bad intentions. The problem is that those statistics are so seriously inflated. Not a great choice of source, one must concede.

But I always try to be kind and charitable with juke. As everyone can tell.
10.14.2008 1:10pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

If you had some information of election fraud for groups similar to the mission/charge of ACORN, that would be relevant.


I agree that the comparison you're suggesting would be more relevant than the comparison I made. So are you in a position to offer such a comparison? Do you have "some information of election fraud [or the absence of election fraud] for groups similar to the mission/charge of ACORN?"
10.14.2008 1:11pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aw:

When you cited the NVA


I didn't cite "the NVA" (which means "North Vietnamese Army"). There is no longer a "North Vietnamese Army." I cited a statement issued by the government of Vietnam, the same government that McCain visited and embraced. Even though it's what you called "a totalitarian regime."

That and your claim that Sarah Palin was a bad woman for actually having sex with her husband.


I didn't say she "was a bad woman for actually having sex with her husband." I said she got pregnant irresponsibly. She's done it before. And it runs in the family.

Maybe you will fool other people into actually debating with you, but you won't fool me anymore.


Promises, promises.
10.14.2008 1:24pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

Not a great choice of source, one must concede.


I think it's usually the case that an imperfect source, or even a bad source, is better than no source at all (a reader can make appropriate adjustments). I've been waiting a long time for aw to provide a better one.

No source at all is the typical approach for many commenters here, including and especially him.
10.14.2008 1:24pm
Anderson (mail):
Okay, Bob from Ohio -- is this you, btw? -- what "sane" conservative sites should I be reading?

Why are y'all so good at tearing folks down, but don't have any positive suggestions?

Larison is indeed a paleocon, but he does seem intellectually consistent. If you're willing to complain that Lincoln destroyed the Union instead of saving it, then you're pretty clearly sayin' what you think, not just being a party hack.

I guess that's what I would like -- conservative bloggers who aren't hacks. Joyner at OTB fits the bill; Sullivan, despite his occasional tangents like the Palin baby whatever-that-was, does pretty well, as does Douthat.
10.14.2008 1:31pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
anderson:

conservative bloggers who aren't hacks


I agree with your list, and I would add Orin Kerr. Hopefully me saying something nice about him doesn't get him into too much trouble with A.W. et al.
10.14.2008 1:45pm
Fury:
I agree that the comparison you're suggesting would be more relevant than the comparison I made. So are you in a position to offer such a comparison? Do you have "some information of election fraud [or the absence of election fraud] for groups similar to the mission/charge of ACORN?"

The only group I have seen mentioned in the media the last 3-4 years that has had volunteers and paid staff members arrested or indicted, and pled or found guilty of election fraud is ACORN.
10.14.2008 1:59pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

The only group I have seen mentioned in the media the last 3-4 years that has had volunteers and paid staff members arrested or indicted, and pled or found guilty of election fraud is ACORN.


I think you know that's not an answer to the question I asked. And it's a question you prompted.

Are you aware of any other group with a similar mission/charge?
10.14.2008 2:25pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):

Why are y'all so good at tearing folks down, but don't have any positive suggestions?


You are not really looking for information. You just want the opportunity to engage in third rate snark. No matter who we suggest, you will dismiss them and/or their commentators as stupid, insane, mouthbreathers etc.

So we are not co-operating.

BTW, do southerners actually use "y'all" when y'all write? Is not it a regional way to pronounce a word, rather than an actaul word? It's very colorful though.
10.14.2008 2:47pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad writes:

Are you aware of any other group with a similar mission/charge?


America Votes - they state they are the largest grassroots voter mobilization (registration and voting) in the US.

There are several partners to America Votes. ACORN is listed as a partner. Right off the start, I saw Campaign of Community Change lists a goal as "Change to ensure that the priorities, voices and values of low-income and immigrant communities and communities of color are heard loud and clear in Washington, DC." They do have a community voting project that includes voter registration.

I don't recall seeing articles on the other partners having volunteers and paid staffers that have been arrested and indicted related to election fraud like those working for/associated with ACORN.
10.14.2008 3:09pm
PC:
Fury, Voters Outreach of America was accused of tearing up forms that had been filed by democrats in 2004.
10.14.2008 3:37pm
OrinKerr:
A.W.,

Please understand that if you think lack of civility is justified to protect America from Vc commenters, you are entitled to have that opinion but not entitled to comment here based on it. It may be that by banning you, the Republic falls, but that is a risk we are going to have to take if you are not willing to be civil. Sorry, but those are the rules.
10.14.2008 3:47pm
Hoosier:
juke--As I said, I don't have any inherent problem with you using the stats for a country provided by the officials of that country.

It's just that VN's population has been remarkably hard to pin down, for reasons that would probably bore most readers. (For instance, Viet racism caused non-Viet ethnics to be excluded from the estimates back when there were a lot more of them in VN, etc.)

But the growth in population--take whatever initial number one likes--from 1961 to 1975 is nothing short of extraordinary. The graph line just keeps going up at much the same rate before, during, and after the "American War." These higher numbers--4-5 mil. killed--out of a pre-war population of 28-30 mil. (to use CIA numbers from that time)would make that rapid growth totally inexplicable.

Vietnam now ranks about 13th in the world in population, just behind the Philippines. A loss of people along the lines suggested by Hanoi would have had a severe impact on the demographics of the postwar generation. Clearly, it didn't.

But, yes, it is best to have evidence for assertions. We agree on this.
10.14.2008 4:01pm
Hoosier:
Orin Kerr: It may be that by banning you, the Republic falls, but that is a risk we are going to have to take if you are not willing to be civil.

Have you learned nothing from my posts regarding Cicero?

Sorry, but those are the rules.

Brutus was a hero, Orin. A hero.
10.14.2008 4:04pm
Hoosier:
Wait.

Was I thinking os Brutus? Or Bluto?
10.14.2008 4:04pm
A.S.:
A.S.,

Have we met at a Federalist Society event?


No. Never been to one. I'm not sure the point of the question - I suppose Orin is trying to show right-of-center bona fides? I am surprised that Orin self-identifies as right-of-center; my impression is that he tries to be centrist. Of course, that impression is based on the small subset of issues on which Orin posts here.
10.14.2008 4:07pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Hoosier. Ref sources. Better know you know nothing than think you know something when that something is wrong. And deliberately taking Hanoi's word for something of importance to them when no check is available is a way to know something that ain't so.
10.14.2008 4:08pm
Michael Drake (mail) (www):
"Michael Drake remembers that the Vince Foster murder myth received "oodles" of time in the mainstream press. I remember that it was mostly G. Gordon Liddy and a lot of emails." (AVI)

I should've said "mainstream right." FOX, Rush Limbaugh, et al. are "mainstream" among conservatives, and they've flogged the Vince Foster "murder" trope extensively (and to this day, 15 years later).

I sincerely don't think there's anything remotely like this on the mainstream left. 9-11 conspiracy theorists, for example, haven't gotten so much as a quantum of play in the mainstream left. (Okay, there was Rosie O'Donnell...) Even the Nation and Noam Chomsky reject such conspiracy claims.

Maybe there's an example of an analogous claim that's received substantial, extended play in the mainstream left. If so, I haven't seen it. Absent one, I think you'd have to conclude there's a pretty clear imbalance of imbalance.
10.14.2008 4:15pm
A.W. (mail):
[Deleted by OK. AW, you don't get it. Commenting is a privilege we bloggers are extending to you, and we are conditioning it on your being civil. I realize you think everyone but you is at fault, but I really don't want to hear your whining and playing the victim. You're hurting the level of discourse at the blog, and I won't let you do that. ]

10.14.2008 4:19pm
David Warner:
A.S.

"I am surprised that Orin self-identifies as right-of-center"

You are aware that had anyone suggested that any of the original federalists (with the exception of, perhaps, Hamilton, and I believe they were mistaken even there) were right-wing at any time they were alive, that one would have been laughed out of the room? No, I don't believe that things have changed so profoundly in the time since that that label fits any better.

Libertarians are called right-wing, but what that label connotes and what libertarians believe do not align sufficiently for the label to reach the standard of accuracy.
10.14.2008 4:23pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

America Votes - they state they are the largest grassroots voter mobilization (registration and voting) in the US.


Thanks for the answer. I didn't know. That's helpful.
10.14.2008 4:28pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
It may be that by banning you, the Republic falls


I doubt that it would fall entirely, but too many innocent people might be forced to have gay abortions (H/T to PC).
10.14.2008 4:28pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

it is best to have evidence for assertions


Sez who. Do you have evidence for that assertion? I think it's an idea that some elitist liberal egghead came up with. Although don't ask me to prove that.

VN's population has been remarkably hard to pin down … A loss of people along the lines suggested by Hanoi would have had a severe impact on the demographics of the postwar generation. Clearly, it didn't.


That analysis is helpful, thanks.
10.14.2008 4:29pm
Michael Drake (mail) (www):
And I'd like to just take a moment to celebrate a point of agreement between those who think liberals are deranged and those who think conservatives are deranged -- viz., that at least one of us is deranged.

I'm not a divider; I'm a unificator.
10.14.2008 4:31pm
Hoosier:
David Warner: Libertarians are called right-wing, but what that label connotes and what libertarians believe do not align sufficiently for the label to reach the standard of accuracy.

Thanks for adding that. Libertarianism just doesn't fit neatly into the right-left divide in the US.
10.14.2008 4:31pm
Hoosier:
Michael Drake

I thought the word was "dividifier."

(Yesterday I pointed out-- in front of class, naturally-- that one of my students had called Truman's early Soviet policy "confuseded" in his paper. I pointed out that I can't take points off when those sorts of ironies are involved.)
10.14.2008 4:34pm
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
byomtov, JBG, wait a minute.

Byomtov's expansion is technically correct, but he uses it artfully. I was shorthanding, but that is still the incident for which she was encouraged to leave - however politely both sides wish to express that. His suggesting that NRO "seems to approve of" her sentiments is a statemet for which he has no warrant. It has not been echoed by anyone at NRO in the intervening years, which would be the only positive basis for such a statement.

It's sly. A dryish "seems to approve of" comment which suggests NRO supports this, while maintaining complete deniability if challenged. If you choose to insist that it was the fallout from the article, rather than the essay itself, and that she technically resigned because they wouldn't print her response, fine. Comfort yourself with that. My point stands. JBG attempted to tie Coulter's comment to a general NRO sentiment, and that is false.

JBG - in response to an earlier question "What's wrong with being an advocate?" It just means one can no longer participate in a discussion with reasonable others. Advocacy and discussion have different goals. I prefer discussion.
10.14.2008 4:53pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
idiot:

His suggesting that NRO "seems to approve of" her sentiments is a statemet for which he has no warrant.


The editors of a publication have ultimate responsibility for what ends up in the publication. They let her print that column. That tells us something about who they are. If the shoe was on the other foot I have a hard time believing that you and lots of other people would not be saying the same thing.
10.14.2008 5:12pm
Anderson (mail):
You are not really looking for information.

Right. This is why I have OTB, Sullivan, and Douthat bookmarked and read them daily.

I don't trust liberal sites to bring up everything relevant on an issue -- even if they're honest, unconscious bias is always a problem -- so I like to check with conservative sites to see what they have to say.

I can see however where you wouldn't feel the need to do anything comparable, since conservative blogs always have The Absolute and Complete Truth, making further inquiry not only unnecessary, but treasonable.
10.14.2008 5:16pm
MarkField (mail):

Libertarians are called right-wing, but what that label connotes and what libertarians believe do not align sufficiently for the label to reach the standard of accuracy.


JMHO, but most (certainly not all) libertarians have pretty consistently supported the Republican party over the last 40 years or so. While I haven't done an actual count, it seems to me that the more vocal libertarians here are, even after all we've been through, supporting McCain (though sometimes with expressions of regret). Sold their souls, in my view. Which, of course, libertarians are entitled to do.
10.14.2008 5:17pm
Anderson (mail):
And as JBG notes, Prof. Kerr belongs to the list, though I don't really think of him as a "conservative blogger"; like Howard Bashman, he's more of a "conservative who blogs."

Of course I mean that in the best possible way!

(His overall tilt is evident, as with 99% of people, but his blogging doesn't seem to me to be directed by partisan motives, and he's not someone to consult on general-interest topics -- "what do the sensible conservatives think about the bailout?" etc.)
10.14.2008 5:20pm
Anderson (mail):
Sold their souls, in my view. Which, of course, libertarians are entitled to do.

Ha!

But I would've expected them to get a better deal on the transaction.
10.14.2008 5:22pm
A.S.:
You are aware that had anyone suggested that any of the original federalists (with the exception of, perhaps, Hamilton, and I believe they were mistaken even there) were right-wing at any time they were alive, that one would have been laughed out of the room? No, I don't believe that things have changed so profoundly in the time since that that label fits any better.

I don't understand what this comment is getting at. I was surprised the Orin self-identified as right-of-center; based on his posts here, I would have thought he would self-identify as centrist. In any case, Orin replied, obliquely, by asking if I had met him at a Federalist Society event. I don't think he was referring to his ideological positions as somehow the same as the Hamilton-era federalists.
10.14.2008 5:43pm
Hoosier:
Can we agree that Hamilton doesn't fit into the right-left binary? But that John Jay was the most consistantly "right" of the major founders, federalists, and Federalists?

Also, the most forgotten. Perhaps there's a connection.

(Also the one with the most . . . uh . . . "unique" relationship to the slavery issue. But I don't know where that fits into the spectrum.)
10.14.2008 5:52pm
Anderson (mail):
Can we agree that Hamilton doesn't fit into the right-left binary?

Why not? I would have thought he was comfortably "right-wing."
10.14.2008 6:02pm
Hoosier:
Why not?

His approach to Constitutional interpretation.

His view of the role of government in the economy.

His tax policies.

He wore a wig and wasn't a good shot.
10.14.2008 6:13pm
David Warner:
Anderson,

Because if he we're "right-wing" by what I imagine to be your definition, then he wouldn't have been the one advocating for the most energetic central government, including industrial policy matters?

A.S.

Sorry, I missed the original identification.

MarkField,

"JMHO, but most (certainly not all) libertarians have pretty consistently supported the Republican party over the last 40 years or so."

This is because over that time they were the party advocating more limited government. Their inability to deliver said limitations lately accounts for the widespread defections, such as my own vote for Obama, and wobbliness even from Cato.

In a general sense, had any of the founders been "right wing" they would have been good Tories and made for Canada or the Mother Country. In the present, the sort of fascistic right the rising generations weaned on continental philosophy expect to find is also not in evidence among Federalist Society types, no matter how naively they call themselves "right wing".

People of good faith in this country are different flavors of liberal, largely due to the historical accident of the concurrence of the founding of our country with the height of the Enlightenment. We'd do well not to squander that good fortune with petty squabbles.
10.14.2008 6:27pm
Public_Defender (mail):

"election fraud thugs from Acorn."

"Communist thug tactics (ACORN. . . .)"

". . . several people connected with ACORN have been connected with fraudulent voter registration over the years. . . ."


Sounds like ACORN Derangement Syndrome?

But maybe I just have Derangement Syndrome Derangement Syndrome.
10.14.2008 7:43pm
byomtov (mail):
AVI,

His suggesting that NRO "seems to approve of" her sentiments is a statemet for which he has no warrant.

No warrant?? Did you read the excerpts I posted? Let me repeat a couple:

So let me be clear: We did not "fire" Ann for what she wrote, even though it was poorly written and sloppy. We ended the relationship because she behaved with a total lack of professionalism, friendship, and loyalty.

That is, she was not, as you claim, booted for the content of the column. Goldberg explicitly says so. What more do you need?

Paul Johnson has criticized Islam as an imperial religion. William F. Buckley himself has called, essentially, for a holy war. Rich Lowry wants to bring back the Shah, and I've written that Western Civilization has every right to wave the giant foam "We're Number 1!" finger as high as it wants.

The only difference between what we've run and what Ann considers so bravely iconoclastic on her part, is that we've run articles that accord persuasion higher value than shock value. It's true: Ann is fearless, in person and in her writing. But fearlessness isn't an excuse for crappy writing or crappier behavior.


So they have run material that says the same thing Coulter said. By what standard is this not clear evidence that the authors of that material, who include Buckley, Lowry, and Goldberg, agree with Coulter? Again, what more warrant do you need?

Go read the whole article at the link I provided. Goldberg's entire point is that Coulter was not fired for the content of what she wrote, and that NR hd no problem with it.
10.14.2008 7:48pm
MarkField (mail):

Can we agree that Hamilton doesn't fit into the right-left binary? But that John Jay was the most consistantly "right" of the major founders, federalists, and Federalists?

Also, the most forgotten. Perhaps there's a connection.

(Also the one with the most . . . uh . . . "unique" relationship to the slavery issue. But I don't know where that fits into the spectrum.)


The whole spectrum was brand new in those days (it's the French Revolution which really creates it). The problem is, the defining issues tend to change. In the 1790s, support for the French Revolution seems pretty clearly to put someone on the "left", while opposition to it would make one "right".

Jay is comfortably "right" in that sense. Trouble is, he, like Hamilton, was anti-slavery (very much so in Jay's case). By later standards, that makes him "left". Hamilton was a big government fan (well, relatively speaking), which was "right" in those days but became "left" much later on.

The way I see it, if I like what they did they're on my side and if I don't like what they did they're on your side.


This is because over that time they were the party advocating more limited government.


Depends on which issue, I guess. I always saw the Dems as advocating less government control over the things I thought were important, like abortion and free speech. Regardless, it sure has taken a long time for the libertarians to recognize that, even on the issues they apparently care more about, they've been played.
10.14.2008 8:16pm
Brian K (mail):
it is reported that [Obama] has sort of plausible deniability about some of his supporters wearing the shirts at Palin rallies, but, of course, without his permission. Wink, wink.

so not only is obama a muslim and a terrorist sympathizer but he is also omniscient? why is obama responsible for the actions of every single supporter he has?
10.14.2008 8:18pm
LM (mail):

I agree with your list, and I would add Orin Kerr.

I'd also add the Volokhs and Ilya, though I'm not sure if any of them would self-ID as conservative (I'd guess EV the most likely). And though I may blow up the consensus with this one, of the more "mainstream" conservative bloggers I find David Frum pretty un-hackish. All that said, I certainly don't think the rest are all hacks. A significant percentage, including some on this site, are nakedly partisan, but not every partisan is a hack.
10.14.2008 8:32pm
Anderson (mail):
His approach to Constitutional interpretation.

The Right is perfectly happy to read the Constitution expansively, depending on the policy results to be produced.

As for the central gov't and its role in business, I think there's a forest/trees problem. Hamilton was definitely pro-business, and that required an aggressive federal gov't at that stage in the country's history.

The Right is "hands off" re: gov't today, to the extent that's even true, for the same motive: pro-business. (We'll pass in silence over the other motive: "states' rights," so to speak.) I think the motivation is what places Hamilton on the spectrum, not the means by which to achieve it.

-- Of course the debate is semantic &casual, but I think that discussing such topics helps us think about what makes "left" or "right" in the 1st place.

Now, shifting gears:

plausible deniability about some of his supporters wearing the shirts at Palin rallies

Right! Because EVERYTHING that Obama supporters do is the result of the commands beamed into their cranial microchips by Obama Central.

Don't worry though, because once the Islamosocialist takes office, you'll have your own microchip and you'll forget that this was ever a problem for you.
10.14.2008 10:53pm
Orson Buggeigh:
"it is reported that [Obama] has sort of plausible deniability about some of his supporters wearing the shirts at Palin rallies, but, of course, without his permission. Wink, wink."

To which BrianK Comments: "so not only is obama a muslim and a terrorist sympathizer but he is also omniscient? why is obama responsible for the actions of every single supporter he has?"

Now, if you would show me where in my post I ever claimed Obama was Moslem, I would greatly appreciate it. Or is this something you've found solid proof of? Because it contradicts what I, and presumably most sentient people have understood for the past year - Senator Obama's a Christian, a long-time member of an Afrocentric, largely African-American congregation of a politically liberal denomination. So I would appreciate the source of this news, or a retraction. Because I didn't claim Obama to be a Moslem.

Now, as to the charge of terrorist sympathizer, I think it is a more justifiable claim. I believe I noted that Senator Obama seems comfortable with a choice of friends and associates that I find unappealing. I think calling William Ayers a terrorist is not unreasonable - he is someone who was a member of the Weather Underground, and he helped build bombs. some of those bombs actually killed people. Ayers has never found reason to renounce his violent past, just soft-peddle it because people in the mainstream find it objectionable. As he himself has admitted in print, he's guilty,and free as a bird. The prosecutor fumbled the case, and Ayers walked. Calling Ayers an "activist" is disingenuous, and demeans activists for causes like peace and non-violence.

Should Senator Obama be omniscient? No. But it would be nice if the press and the blogosphere would admit that some of his supporters are behaving rather badly. And since some folks have been calling upon Senator McCain to ask his supporters to tone down the rhetoric, don't you suppose Senator Obama should make the same call to his supporters?

I agree - anyone who continues to call Obama a Moslem is a good candidate for the term deranged. Back to the original point of the post - there are plenty of nutty people making dreadful comments in the public square, but it would seem that the Left has done more of it for the past half century, and has shown a greater degree of splenetic commentary than the people on the right. Derangement does seem to be the correct term for anyone who would use the C-word to describe ANY female candidate, or the N-word to describe any Black candidate.
10.14.2008 11:07pm
David Warner:
MarkField,

"The whole spectrum was brand new in those days (it's the French Revolution which really creates it)."

True in letter, not spirit. The Right defended the "ancien regime", after all. Voltaire, Rousseau et. al. traced their roots back to renaissance humanism if not far further. If the French hadn't slaughtered or run off the better part of their bourgeoisie, the French Revolution would likely not have been so bipolar and thus not cursed us with their left/right bipolarity today through the tragic American intellectual adoption of continental philosophy from the 1930's onward.

That same ancien regime was resisted just as truly earlier in England and later in America by a plurality of forces, including those whose values are celebrated today by the Federalist Society. Nor is the ancien regime merely an historical concern. Wherever social mobility is materially impeded, similar forces are at work. The liberty cherished by the founders is a countervailing force, and thus, by definition, not right wing.

"The problem is, the defining issues tend to change."

Well then what good are the labels but as tribal markers?
10.14.2008 11:21pm
MarkField (mail):

That same ancien regime was resisted just as truly earlier in England and later in America by a plurality of forces, including those whose values are celebrated today by the Federalist Society. Nor is the ancien regime merely an historical concern. Wherever social mobility is materially impeded, similar forces are at work. The liberty cherished by the founders is a countervailing force, and thus, by definition, not right wing.


The existence of slavery makes it more complicated than this. If you want to make Lincoln's argument that the values of the Declaration of Independence express the nation's commitment to social mobility, I'll agree. And I don't know any liberal/progressive who'd disagree. But the support of the right first for slavery and then for segregation makes it hard to defend any apostolic succession here.
10.14.2008 11:37pm
David Warner:
Anderson,

Pro-business is too broad a category. It was as a nation of shopkeepers that we were able to successfully resist the efforts of the ancien regime to exert its hegemony on this side of the Atlantic for centuries.

The rise of the "too big to fail" corporation in the late 1800's and the Progressive Party that simultaneously arose from the same "pro-business" Republican Party to shield it from competition changed the game entirely. The marriage of big business, big labor, and big government by the New Deal was a direct threat to the old independent shops and thus their keepers. To this day, it is the Republican Party that enjoys the overwhelming support of small and medium business.

Obama has explicitly targeted that very support, and there is a theme in his "leftist" activism of opposing the governmental/societal gigantism that represents the most pressing threat to those businesses and the liberal vitality they embody.
10.14.2008 11:45pm
David Warner:
"But the support of the right first for slavery and then for segregation makes it hard to defend any apostolic succession here."

I don't follow. They were right wing (and, incidentally, largely Democratic - party affiliation does change with the times) precisely for supporting slavery and segregation. The values enshrined in the Declaration were the banner under which these illiberal practices were fought. How could those values or those who celebrate them be right wing?

Lincoln was in no way right wing.
10.14.2008 11:52pm
Brian K (mail):
Now, if you would show me where in my post I ever claimed Obama was Moslem
2 out of 3 ain't bad. your claim that obama had knowledge of these people beforehand, let alone condones there actions, is fairly ridiculous.

but it would seem that the Left has done more of it for the past half century, and has shown a greater degree of splenetic commentary than the people on the right.
your rather one sided analysis begs to differ. honestly, do you even read the posts on this blog? who are the left counterparts of ejo, smokey, clayton cramer, etc?
10.14.2008 11:52pm
David Warner:
Opposing the illiberality of the left no more makes one right wing than opposing police brutality makes one a criminal.

I'll shut up now after one more comment. I'm not being pedantic. When, for good reason or ill, for the healthy majority of the smartest and most influential people under 35 worldwide a primary connotation of the label "right wing" is "illiberal", it makes no sense for those who value liberty so dearly to thus label ourselves.
10.14.2008 11:58pm
MarkField (mail):

I don't follow. They were right wing (and, incidentally, largely Democratic - party affiliation does change with the times) precisely for supporting slavery and segregation. The values enshrined in the Declaration were the banner under which these illiberal practices were fought. How could those values or those who celebrate them be right wing?


Those the Federalist Society celebrates as defenders of freedom were often defenders of slavery. They were the same people who fought the ancien regime, but later impeded social mobility by their support for first slavery and then segregation. You can't use Federalist Society support for the Founders to celebrate social mobility because of that inconvenient fact.
10.15.2008 12:32am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
anderson:

I don't really think of him as a "conservative blogger"; like Howard Bashman, he's more of a "conservative who blogs."


Good point. I was trying to think of a good way to say that, and I couldn't. But you did.
10.15.2008 1:35am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
orson:

Derangement does seem to be the correct term for anyone who would use the C-word to describe ANY female candidate


But I think it might be OK to use the C-word if you're really mad about something.

Ayers has never found reason to renounce his violent past


Lots of people, including McCain himself, are routinely putting the words "Ayers" and "unrepentant" next to each other, even though the justification for doing so seems pretty thin. The typical reference is a NYT interview he did, but he says those statements are being taken out of context. And no one seems to recall that he also said this:

'We did go off track … and that was wrong,' Ayers now says.
10.15.2008 1:35am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
brian:

who are the left counterparts of ejo, smokey, clayton cramer, etc?


I think A.W.'s feelings might be hurt because you forgot to mention him. And what a shame that we don't have The Ace to kick around anymore.

I once put together a little greatest-hits collection.
10.15.2008 1:35am
Orson Buggeigh:
Brian K @ 10:52 - No, Brian K, I did not claim Obama had prior knowledge of this supporters behavior. You are misreading my comments. Please go back and re-read them. I do think that once it had become news that some Democratic partisans supporting Obama were slamming Senator Clinton, it would have been appropriate for Obama to comment that he found behavior such as making crude anatomical references to Senator Clinton objectionable, if indeed he does. Likewise, I would think it good form for him to make such a comment when it becomes news that Democratic supporters are making similar comments about Governor Palin. Of course, it would be perfectly reasonable for him to ignore this - except for one thing. This past week we have been treated to complaints from bloggers and reporters in the media that Senator McCain's partisans have been unfairly attacking Obama. And, amazing as it might seem, the candidate actually called one of the crowd out on their unseemly behavior. All I am suggesting is that it would be nice if Senator Obama showed as much class. Way back in the early part of the year, when Obama first began to look like the probable candidate, people expressed a hope for a campaign on the issues, and less personal attack politics. Senator Obama promised that he would run such a campaign. It would be nice of Senator Obama did more to encourage that clean, issue-oriented campaign he promised us. No one says he has to, but, since he was an early advocate of the concept, it is unfortunate to see him let it slide.

As to William Ayers. Sorry Mr, K. but no sale. The man is a terrorist. An unrepentant terrorist. He has said so himself. If you want to parse "terrorist" like President Clinton defining the meaning of "is," be my guest. It only confirms my belief that anyone who would support Ayers is firmly in the camp of situational ethics, and operates from the basis of the ends justifies the means. I would not want a person who considers that kind of man to be a good adviser to be President of the United States. I believe anyone who kills innocent people, and shows no remorse for it, is not someone who is contributing anything of great value to society. Ayers and Dohrn are not people I would want on the faculty of any university I was supporting with my contributions or tax dollars.

As for comment on this blog - well, I would expect more folks like ejo and Clayton Cramer on a libertarian blog like this than on one that leans to the left like Crooked Timber or Kos. Unlike Kos, the management here is very tolerant of dissenting views, and I appreciate that very much. Speaking of Mr. Cramer, he's at least done some serious scholarly work. I'd put his scholarship up against that of Ayers or that of Ayers' academic supporters any time. I would much rather be associated with a logical, rational scholar like Clayton Cramer than an ideologue like Mr. Ayers, or the intellectual lightweights who are rushing to sign the petition to support Ayers being hawked at the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Education. Ayers is being supported by intellectual 'giants' like Ward Churchill, the plagiarist and phony Indian. Feel free to sign it. I prefer to aspire to higher standards of scholarship, thanks just the same. Your opinion obviously is different from mine. However, I would be much more respectful of your opinion if you would stop twisting my words. Ayers meets the average man's definition of terrorist. The same definition in the two dictionaries I consulted. You are 0 for 3, Mr. K.
10.15.2008 1:50am
TokyoTom (mail):
Orin: I have never thought of Ron Paul as a conservative, much less a "stalwart" conservative.

Why would you NOT see him as conservative - because up is now down, and "conservatism" now means being the big government war party?

Ron Paul wins a 100% ranking from the New American's "Conservative Index" (now "Freedom Index"), which rates Congressmen based on the traditional definition of "conserative" — "adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements."

The article reinforces my point that the so-called "Bush Derangment Syndrome" can hardly be said to be "deranged" when most of its "symptoms" are shared by non-neocons on the right, for good reason.
10.15.2008 1:56am
OrinKerr:
TokyoTom,

This seems like an argument I can't win because you deternmine the rules: You get to say who is a conservative, and then you use your own preferred labels to prove your point about what conservatives think.

The evidence you mention is something called a "Freedom index" reprinted from some publication called "the new american" found on the Constitution Party's website. You note that apprenetly it was once called a "conservative index," and you note that Paul received a 100% rating. But so what? I have no doubt that Paul is the most libertarian member of Congress, and he is in fact a libertarian. But if you see that as being "conservative," I think you're using a label that helps you make your point but is a terribly non-mainstream use of language.
10.15.2008 2:34am
Jmaie (mail):
I hesitate to add another charge, because so many others have already done yoeman's work. I must, however, respond to an earlier comment. If someone has already made this point - sorry, I have not read every comment and have skimmed over some sections. Jukeboxgrad, thanks for posting in blocks :<)

In response to:

In the last 8 years, I've heard the most bizarre set of conspiracy theories from my left-wing friends--Bush planned 9/11, the Iraq War was a cash-grab by Halliburton, the elections were all stolen, you name it.

Anderson said:

Thing is, with the exception of the 2000 election, none of those is exactly mainstream-left, whereas the really bizarre stuff vs. Obama pops up in mainstream-right blogs.

Rasmussen Poll

35% of Democrats believe Bush knew of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. I realize that "knowing in advance" is not the same as "planning the attacks", but IMHO it is tinfoil-hat territory to believe either. And anything believed by 35% of Democrats qualifies as mainstream-left.

My apologies for contributing another charge in response to a post decrying such claims.
10.15.2008 2:52am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Jukeboxgrad, thanks for posting in blocks


I aim to please. Speaking of blocks, most people probably don't realize that I compose my posts using blocks.
10.15.2008 3:46am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
I think this thread is an appropriate place to quote Chris Buckley quoting his dad:

I've spent my entire lifetime separating the Right from the kooks


A couple of interesting comments on that article:

instead of shedding the dead weights in their party the republicans are shedding the thinkers. Rather than dump the neocons and evangelical loonies they are dumping the people who think for themselves. Do you wonder where the old republican party went? I sure do. I don't recognize these clowns at all.


And this one:

As a conservative myself, I too have become completely disillusioned with the Republican Party and its rampant anti-intellectualism, particularly embodied in one Sarah Palin. The Republican Party without its conservative intellectual foundation has no future. It will become the permanent minority party of the willfully ignorant and resentful. A party of failures.
10.15.2008 3:56am
David Warner:
MarkField,

"Those the Federalist Society celebrates as defenders of freedom were often defenders of slavery. They were the same people who fought the ancien regime, but later impeded social mobility by their support for first slavery and then segregation. You can't use Federalist Society support for the Founders to celebrate social mobility because of that inconvenient fact."

Perfect, meet good. Good, perfect. Shall you be enemies? Up to Mark.

Less flippantly, I could offer a spirited defense of the founders on the terms you choose, but that's beside my point. What matters are the ideas and values the Founders desperately grasped for as they sought to unite their infant nation. Even less generously, the case can be made that those values themselves were accidental. What they really needed was what has most effectively united disparate groups throughout history. Hate. In the founders case, it was hate of tyranny, specifically of one tyrant in particular, the Palinesque King George III, and the ancien regime he represented.

And what tool was nearest at hand to legitimize that hatred and fight an ancien regime? Why, Enlightenment ideas and values. So they grasped them, and, being as bourgeois as the French were not, they gravitated toward the limited government pluralism of Locke, Smith, Montesquieu, and Cato (via Addison). To be sure, they still left the writing to the disciple of Voltaire and Rousseau, so the left was well represented by any definition short of Marx.

It is these liberal ideas and values, as enshrined in the Declaration and Constitution, that formed the kernel of the case first against slavery and later against segregation and today inspire Federalist Society members to do what they can to conserve them. In this sense, and this only, are libertarians conservative.

An interesting leftist defense of the Enlightenment can be found here. She really hates Bush, so maybe even Juke would be interested. As might both of you in my hero Isaiah Berlin (perhaps you already are), although he's known to surpass 75 words in his clauses.
10.15.2008 5:18am
lulz:
"I think A.W.'s feelings might be hurt because you forgot to mention him. And what a shame that we don't have The Ace to kick around anymore."

Orin, A.W. might be wrong and uncivil, but jukeboxgrad is as uncivil here when he goes out of his way to taunt his interlocutors.
10.15.2008 5:28am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
david:

he's known to surpass 75 words in his clauses


My comrades in the Sentence Police might be interested in having a little chat with him. Down at the station house. Where he might be disemvoweled.
10.15.2008 9:19am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
the well-named lulz:

jukeboxgrad is as uncivil here when he goes out of his way to taunt his interlocutors


I go out of my way to taunt only those who have gone out of their way to be taunt-worthy. And if you envision a world of argument devoid of mockery, you might as well envision a world of argument without words. The history of mockery is long and grand. You might find that even Jesus did it a few times.

On blogs especially it sorts of goes with the territory, so if the sight of someone ridiculing the ridiculous is offensive to your delicate constitution, you might want to put less time into reading blogs and more time into a more genteel pastime, like, say, shooting wolves from airplanes.

A.W. might be wrong and uncivil


That "might" gives you away.
10.15.2008 9:19am
Hoosier:
Re: JOHN JAY--

I don't suffer from JDS. NO worries. He's actually one of my hee-roes.

BUT his position on slavery was quite odd. He was a devout opponent of slavery who owned slaves. I know he always freed them after a time. But still . . .

(No convicning evidence has beed found that Hamilton owned slaves. Despite his being a "man of his times," I would find it hard to believe that he did.)

The funny thing about this debate is that both right and left have, in the past, laid claim to Jefferson. And both sides still try to claim Hamilton for the other side?
10.15.2008 11:58am
David Warner:
Hoosier,

Hamilton's background makes Obama look like Beaver Cleaver. He's on my side all the way. That and he hated Burr.
10.15.2008 12:43pm
MarkField (mail):

The funny thing about this debate is that both right and left have, in the past, laid claim to Jefferson. And both sides still try to claim Hamilton for the other side?


It's pretty selective on both sides. What they really want to do is claim Jefferson for his good qualities and blame Hamilton for his bad ones.

David, I agree with everything you say about the Founders. Where we disagree is with respect to the Federalist Society. In my view, the FS is the intellectual descendant of the ancien regime, and it's the liberals today who represent the Enlightenment. Obviously, YMMV.

Regardless of one's view on that, it's also true that there's no easy way to trace an admiration for the Enlightenment back through specific political figures. That's because people had the bad habit of taking a number of seemingly inconsistent positions. Jefferson, to pick an obvious example, surely opposed the ancien regime, but just as surely was a slave owner. Hamilton, who opposed slavery, supported the ruling class in a way that I personally am not happy with, even when I agree with some of his economic policies. We're all picking and choosing aspects of characters rather than whole persons.
10.15.2008 12:48pm
OrinKerr:
jukeboxgrad writes:
I go out of my way to taunt only those who have gone out of their way to be taunt-worthy. And if you envision a world of argument devoid of mockery, you might as well envision a world of argument without words. The history of mockery is long and grand.
And yet I still don't want it at this blog, unless it's done in a very gentle way. Keep it civil, folks, and yes, even if you think "the other side deserves it."
10.15.2008 1:11pm
lulz:
"That 'might' gives you away."

Except it doesn't, since the only time I've ever responded to A.W., it was to correct him on his misreading of Verdugo-Urquidez. There's no need for paranoia here. All I am pointing out is that the unpleasantness on these comment threads is not a one-sided affair -- you too, have contributed to it.
10.15.2008 1:45pm
David Warner:
Markfield,

"In my view, the FS is the intellectual descendant of the ancien regime, and it's the liberals today who represent the Enlightenment. Obviously, YMMV."

Except I'm a liberal today who says that liberalism has enough real enemies without creating false ones. If you want to claim that the FS is the intellectual descendant of the ancien regime, you'll have to do better than mere assertion.

As to Hamilton, when one speaks of a ruling class, one cannot ignore what it is that such "rule" entails. The French Revolution was a contest for who would control the absolute power of the French state. In the colonies, no such absolute power existed nor was it likely to arise. Thanks to our pluralistic institutions created, maintained, and defended by liberals of every stripe, nor has it yet. Those who celebrate such pluralism are no foes of liberalism.
10.15.2008 2:44pm
David Warner:
TuringTestApplicant,

"Where he might be disemvoweled."

Which is why, I imagine, as a padawan he was trained to fight the dark side with his vowels tied behind his back.

[Warning: Intelligent evangelical at link. Cognitive dissonance may ensue! Proceed at own risk. Yes, evangelicals are allowed to talk about Jewish texts. For now.]
10.15.2008 3:11pm
MarkField (mail):

As to Hamilton, when one speaks of a ruling class, one cannot ignore what it is that such "rule" entails. The French Revolution was a contest for who would control the absolute power of the French state. In the colonies, no such absolute power existed nor was it likely to arise. Thanks to our pluralistic institutions created, maintained, and defended by liberals of every stripe, nor has it yet. Those who celebrate such pluralism are no foes of liberalism.


Fair enough, up to a point. My problem with Hamilton is that he's far too authoritarian with the government he created. I think there's a place for individual rights which Hamilton didn't seem to care much about as long as the government acted according to the majority. I'd say the same about Jay.

As for the FS, that's too long a debate to enter this late in this thread. I'll leave it as a matter of my opinion for now.
10.15.2008 4:53pm
Brian K (mail):
I do think that once it had become news that some Democratic partisans supporting Obama were slamming Senator Clinton, it would have been appropriate for Obama to comment that he found behavior such as making crude anatomical references to Senator Clinton objectionable, if indeed he does.
this is just a variation of the claim made by deranged righties that democrats support terrorism because they don't denounce it loud enough or that all muslims are terrorists because they didn't do enough to oppose extremists. obama is only responsible for what he does. and you are showing some more derangement by not making similar demands of mccain and palin. (although i'd be happy to be proven wrong on this count.)

ayers may have been a terrorist, but he is not currently one now. and the main problem with your rather deranged analysis is your gross exaggeration of his ties to obama. or should we also conclude that bush is a terrorist sympathizer and supporter due to his friendship with the saudi royal family? somehow i don't think you'd accept that though.

a logical, rational scholar like Clayton Cramer than an ideologue like Mr. Ayers,
HAHAHA. thank you for admitting defeat.

you've provided 3 solid examples that you are afflicted with obama derangement syndrome. thank you for making my point so easily.
10.15.2008 9:02pm
David Warner:
MF,

"My problem with Hamilton is that he's far too authoritarian with the government he created. I think there's a place for individual rights which Hamilton didn't seem to care much about as long as the government acted according to the majority."

Could well be, my take may be colored by personal affinity. I'd say Hamilton's bark was worse than his bite, and he always knew Washington would keep him from getting too far off the chain. Like Obama and Palin, Hamilton was tossed into the fray far before his time and, like those two, pretty much made it up as he went along. Philosophically, I lean toward Franklin, for what its worth.

I don't consider the republican burghers of New Amsterdam, fresh from employing their economic liberty to effectively resist the too amorous advances of the ancien regime's paragon par excellence in the Old World, to constitute a "ruling class" in any meaningful sense. Besides, they gave us three great Dutch presidents.

"As for the FS, that's too long a debate to enter this late in this thread. I'll leave it as a matter of my opinion for now."

Fair enough. I'll grant that you likely know more actual FS members than I. Having co-opted several Lefts in the 20th Century, I'd say that it would not be beyond the Ancien Regime's formidable powers to do likewise with a relatively obscure society. I haven't seen it, but then again, I haven't looked very hard.

As for what I perceive to be the sticking point: economic liberty. Perhaps I've been too ethnocentric, there have of course been multiple Enlightenments in human history. The common thread I've found is the bulwark provided by economic liberty against military/church tyranny. Such liberty necessitates social mobility and the free exchange of ideas, with the flowering of science and the arts which flows from such exchange. Our own technological age was made possible by two fruits of an earlier Islamic Golden Age: al-jabra and the Arabic numerals we use (and a place value system imported by Muslims from the Hindus).
10.15.2008 9:13pm
Brian K (mail):
Orson,

plan on demanding mccain say something about this one? perhaps mccain can come out and say comparisons of obama to a terrorist are off limits? i'm not going to hold my breath however for you to criticize mccain when he doesn't.
10.16.2008 12:03am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
lulz:

the unpleasantness on these comment threads is not a one-sided affair -- you too, have contributed to it


My policy is to speak as I am spoken to, more or less. In other words, I think it's proper to send unpleasantness back where it came from. If you come across an example (past or future) of me violating my policy (i.e., by being the initiator of the unpleasantness), I'll be grateful to hear about it. So far I haven't.

OK:

even if you think "the other side deserves it"


It's not so much that I think the other side deserves it. It's more that I don't believe in unilateral disarmament. You do a good job of policing your threads, but your colleagues don't, for the most part.
10.16.2008 2:51am
TokyoTom (mail):
Orin, my own view - that though many call Ron Paul a libertarian, his view differ little from those of small-government conservatives - is something that you could contest if you chose to.

However, it's irrelevant to my chief point, which is that much of what is dismissed as "Bush Derangment Syndrome" is actually quite well-grounded and has many supporters on the right (even excluding Ron Paul).
10.16.2008 3:37am
lulz:
But you have. I quoted you goading A.W. and The Ace above, which I thought uncalled for and unnecessary. Your needlessly abrasive response to me is also a case in point.

From your subjective perspective, there will always be people who "deserve it," although whether they truly do is not up to you to decide. Otherwise your answer is self-serving: you get a free pass as long as you perceive that they "deserve" reciprocal unpleasantness. If you don't tone it down, I hope Orin will. That is all.
10.16.2008 4:33am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
lulz:

I quoted you goading A.W. and The Ace above, which I thought uncalled for and unnecessary.


I guess I didn't make myself clear. I was trying to say that I'm nice to people who are nice, and not nice to people who are not nice. I asked you to show me an example of me being gratuitously uncivil to someone who didn't step over that line first. You still have not presented such an example.

I think maybe what's happening is that you're only paying attention to what A.W. has said in this thread, instead of taking prior history into account. I already mentioned "asswipe," which means you have no excuse for not taking that into account. But his history also includes stuff like this:

idiocy
deluded
stupid
twisted
who cares what you think
dumb
liar
nitwit
hack
delusional
It never ends with you howling monkeys on the left
bullshit
Your boy Obama
idiot
bullshit
you are a child
Pig
hack
stoopid
you complete moron
you cave man
dumb as a rock
you are deluding yourself
fascist
stupider
the lunacy of the modern left
you are a joke
Do you really think you can act so childish
Jukie-pukie
Schmuck
Why don't you read the f---ing article, you idiot.
you are officially a nitwit.
What a maroon!
you are scum
stupid
Are you deranged?
shut the f--- up
You are being an a--
you are an idiot
you suck


(See here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.) I see nothing wrong with "goading" someone who talks like that. Do you?

By the way, The Ace has an even more distinguished track record, if you can imagine that. He got banned.

Your needlessly abrasive response to me is also a case in point.


You said "A.W. might be wrong and uncivil" (emphasis added) after I told you he called me an "asswipe." That "might" is what I would call "needlessly abrasive."
10.16.2008 12:06pm
Hoosier:
juke:

You never include me in these lists! And Orin refused to threaten me with exile. And yet I called Kevin R. a "sweatbeetle-dickweed." (Because he said the National League would be better with aluminum bats.)

Am I being un-uncivil? I can't live with that.
10.16.2008 11:34pm
Orson Buggeigh:
Brian K @ 10:15 -

I agree, the Republican Party ad equating Obama to Bin Ladin is contemptible, and McCain certainly should be aware of something a state party is doing, though it is just barely conceivable that he isn't. However, once he knew, he should have condemned it - because it demeans him when his supporters engage in such behavior. It is particularly unsavory for McCain to give someone a pass on recommending the torturing of his opponent, given his own experience.

But no sale on the Obama - Ayers issue. Ayers is a domestic terrorist. T.E.R.R.O.R.I.S.T. Full Stop. Equivocating on this doesn't get you anywhere with me. Terrorism is wrong in my book. Apparently you think 40 years is enough time to forgive and forget. So shall we just ask the feds to stop efforts to re-try some of the domestic terrorists who were killing Blacks who dared to vote in the south 50 years ago? Or the goons who killed the gay college student in Wyoming - if they had gotten off with a wrist slap and a wink, do you think we as a society should just forget them after 40 years? From my perspective, terrorism is terrorism - and people who build bombs and kill people for political reasons are terrorists every bit as much as lynchers who prevent Blacks from registering to vote, or kill homosexuals. Now, if you think 40 years is enough, and Ayers is redeemed, you are welcome to your opinion. But I repeat what I said - people who think Ayers should go free because it was a long time ago, and an acceptable cause, but think Klansmen should be re-tried for crimes they were acquitted of 40 - 50 years ago, are, in my opinion guilty of situational ethics. They are admitting that they believe the end justifies the means.

McCain should have apologized, and demanded the posts come down. But at least he picked up on the person in the audience where he was speaking calling Obama an 'Arab.' so far,McCain has plenty of mud on him. But he still isn't as dirty as many in the academy. The people who would hire, retain, tenure and promote a person like William Ayers are worse than Senator McCain. Because they are supposedly the best intellects in the nation. They seem to be confirming George Orwell's statement (paraphrased) that some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them.

Brian, you and I are better agreeing to disagree. I doubt anything you could say would convince me that Ayers has any redeeming values. I see no point in trying to convince you that he's right down there with Ted Kazynski or Timothy McVeigh.
10.16.2008 11:42pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Orson.
Ayers, like many in the academy, is technologically incompetent. Otherwise he'd have killed a lot more people.
10.17.2008 9:16am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

You never include me in these lists!


I'm sorry you feel left out, but you have to try harder. You just say things that aren't true. That's garden-variety GOP behavior. Snore. To be list-worthy, you have to say things that aren't true while also throwing in a large number of gratuitous, puerile insults.

I called Kevin R. a "sweatbeetle-dickweed."


See, even there you don't measure up. My personal opinion is that insults are a lot more forgivable if they embody some literacy and imagination (as compared with, say, "asswipe"). So I think you need to apply for another job. You're just not cut out for this one.

Am I being un-uncivil?


I resemble that remark.
10.17.2008 10:55am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
orson:

the Republican Party ad equating Obama to Bin Ladin is contemptible, and McCain certainly should be aware of something a state party is doing … once he knew, he should have condemned it


See here:

Earlier this week … Jeffrey Frederick, the chairman of the Virginia Republican party, gave GOP volunteers talking points on “the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden.” … Instead of repudiating Frederick, McCain is set to appear with him.


I guess when McCain said he always repudiates the unsavory statements coming from his supporters, he wasn't really being honest with us.

Terrorism is wrong in my book. … From my perspective, terrorism is terrorism


Then you should know about McCain's own little terrorist connection:

Otto Reich was said to have been instrumental in the release of Orlando Bosch, a Cuban exile, from jail where he was serving a 10-year sentence for blowing up Cubana de Aviación Flight 455 on October 6, 1976 while en route from Barbados to Havana, killing 73 people. … Otto Reich now serves as a policy adviser on Latin America for the John McCain's presidential campaign.


Why is McCain taking advice from someone who helped free the killer of 73 airplane passengers?

people who think Ayers should go free because it was a long time ago


He's not free because it was a long time ago. He's free because the government used illegal means to pursue him. Sound familiar?

The people who would hire, retain, tenure and promote a person like William Ayers are worse than Senator McCain.


I hope you'll tell us how you feel about Mark Sanford, the Republican governor of South Carolina. He serves as the Ex-Officio Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the University of South Carolina, where Ayers holds the title of "Distinguished Scholar." We haven't heard a peep out of Sanford, condemning Ayers, and condemning the decision to grant him this title. I wonder why. Maybe you should consider the possibility that it's because Ayers has actually done some good things.
10.17.2008 11:24am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
You might also want to try answering this question:

what does it say about McCain's character that he pals around with an unrepentant convicted felon who's talked openly about killing federal officials?
10.17.2008 12:46pm