Free Markets, Free People

What he said–Don Surber pretty much speaks for me

In fact, he nails it.  A wonderful excerpt, then go read the whole thing:

For a decade, from the election of Bush 43 forward, the Left has lied and cheated as it tried to return to power. Al Gore made a mockery out of the American electoral system by being a spoilsport over Florida, which Bush indeed won by 537 votes. Dan Rather forged a document to try to derail Bush’s re-election. Twice Democrats stole U.S. senators from the Republicans. After voting to support the war to get by the 2002 election, many Democrats quickly soured on the war. The profane protests were cheered by liberals who misattributed “dissent is the highest form of patriotism”to Thomas Jefferson; the words belong to the late historian Howard Zinn.

Once in power, liberals were the opposite of gracious.

For two years now, I have been called ignorant, racist, angry and violent by the left. The very foul-mouthed protesters of Bush dare to now label my words as “hate speech.”

Last week, the left quickly blamed the right for the national tragedy of a shooting spree by a madman who never watched Fox News, never listened to Rush Limbaugh and likely did not know who Sarah Palin is.

Fortunately, the American public rejected out of hand that idiotic notion that the right was responsible.

Rather than apologize, the left wants to change the tone of the political debate.

The left suddenly wants civil discourse.

Bite me.

The left wants to play games of semantics.

Bite me.

The left wants us to be civil — after being so uncivil for a decade.

Bite me.

I feel this great sense of release after reading Surber’s words and this overwhelming desire to yell “bite me!” into the night.   Because his post just answers the left’s "civil discourse" demand so well.  Surber very nicely nails the hypocrisy of the left as well as the tactic they attempt to employ when things aren’t quite going their way (see November and see the horrific misfire after the Giffords shooting) and they want to shut the other side up.

Yup … Surber’s right. If "civil discourse" means I have to write in a way acceptable to the left, then "I don’t want civil discourse" either.



92 Responses to What he said–Don Surber pretty much speaks for me

    That is a piece I wrote today about a libel from the Collective that I had NEVER heard before today, but which has been out there for decades.
    It’s an AMAZING lie, and it is being given new legs in today’s highly charged atmosphere.  These people really just have no shame.  I wonder if there is any lie they will not tell.

  • The word “hypocrisy” is sooooooooo inadequate.
    Can y’all say “Alinksy’s Rules”? Sure you can.

  • What’s interesting (and probably in line with human nature) is that both sides truly and sincerely believe that the other side is engaged in much more negative and dishonest behavior than there side is, and that this fact is self-evident.   Both sides dislike it when they are told “you’re just as bad.”    And, of course, that gets used as rationale for having to fight back hard — as one Democratic friend of mine said, “hey, the right doesn’t play nice, they’ve been vilifying Obama for two years (she listed a series of attacks made on him), who are they to complain?”   Obama’s speech, and the effusive praise from many on the right (including McCain, Peggy Noonan, but a lot of others) for that speech perhaps marks a moment when all can say.  “OK, you love the country, you have ideas that are worth listening to, and we’re going to debate, sometimes shout, sometimes get upset, but it’s not ideological war, democracy requires we listen to each other, not just attack.”   If so, the shooting and Obama’s speech (with the positive conservative reaction) may mark a turning point.

    • Civilly, HORSESHET.
      I was PROFOUNDLY less impressed by Obama’s speech.  I was the standard “there is one extreme, and this other extreme, and me in the rational middle” BS.
      There is a diametrically opposed division in America, and I see no middle ground.

      • America voted overwhelmingly for the Democrats in 2006 and 2008.  Then for the GOP in 2010.  The public wants problem solving, they don’t want ideological jihad.  They clearly aren’t divided into camps, only the polarized political junkies go that route.

        • LOVE your arrogance, Erp!!!  YOU know what the “public” wants!!!
          And your “civility” mask just slipped…”jihad”, INDEED!
          A raft of OBJECTIVELY obvious LIES…coupled with the sorry performance of the GOP in office…had NOTHING to do with the Deemocrat victories, I suppose?
          Wow.  As delusional as ever…
          People seem INCREASINGLY divided into ideological camps…according to METRICS, dope.

          • Uh, OK, Rags.   And where are you finding these “metrics”?   I really don’t know what you’re trying to say here.

          • I believe you are being disingenuous here, Erp.
            Isn’t the gap between self-identifying conservatives and liberals at its highest point in decades?
            What did the last election tell us…not JUST at the national level, but even more pointedly at the state and local levels?
            Maybe you can point out some others…IF you have any integrity???

        • Huh?  Sure they’re in camps.  We have conservatives, libertarians, liberals, moderates, independents, etc…. that people routinely self identify themselves with.  The nation, as a whole, is a center-right camp.
          The issues they vote for in regards to the times and the party may change but people definitely will ‘camp out’ in distinct political principles.

        • Another thing…that “problem solving” BULLSPIT…
          Quite correctly, there is one ideology that…inherently…is seen as spending us into oblivion AND galloping to take our liberty; yours.  Broadly, the Collective.
          Opposed to that, you have what I am calling the Enlightenment People…the heirs of the Revolution.
          There is no place where those two streams can cross…to use a Ghost Busters metaphor.  It has been tried for over a century now, with one disaster after another.
          Every good thing you might SAY you want to do CAN BE DONE by people…NOT GOVERNMENT.  By-in-large, they ARE BEING done by people…to a greater extent conservatives.  (See, “charitable giving, levels of by political party”).

          • Perhaps…but the political winds change quickly.   In 2006 and 2008 things appeared much differently, and even conservatives agree Obama is likely to get re-elected.    But the Republican and Democratic parties are ideologically very similar, the space between John Boehner and Barack Obama isn’t that large.  Republicans aren’t calling for a dismantling of the social welfare system, and Democrats aren’t calling for mass nationalizations.  I think you’re engaged in a bit of fantasy there.

          • Well, SOMEBODY sure as hell is living a fantasy, as between you and I.
            Last I read 64% of people polled said they would not support Obama again.
            That was, of course, BEFORE the 4-5 dollar gas arrives.
            I write about IDEOLOGY, which YOU chose, and you retort with personalities!!!  What a puke!
            Politicians are not going to talk about dismantling the Ponzi schemes.  The people will just have to do that.  By “have to”, I mean there is no choice.
            “Mass nationalizations”…???  REALLY???  Do you even understand what fascist economics IS?  Nothing gets outright nationalized EXCEPT the highest level decisions.
            This little exchange HAS been instructive, I have to say…

        • The public wants problem solving,
          Just for clarity .. are you saying the most productive Congress in 50 years (cough .. cough) was rejected by the people in 2010 ?  .. or more precisely, do you mean the last Congress didn’t solve the problems or did they create even more problems ?

        • America voted overwhelmingly for the Democrats in 2006 and 2008.  Then for the GOP in 2010

          Scott Erb: Speaking of which, don’t you have some crow to eat?

        • “The public wants problem solving, they don’t want ideological jihad.”

          So now you can analyze the American psyche  from election results. Typically superficial oversimplification. 

    • And, of course, that gets used as rationale for having to fight back hard — as one Democratic friend of mine said, “hey, the right doesn’t play nice, they’ve been vilifying Obama for two years (she listed a series of attacks made on him), who are they to complain?”

      >>>  And THIS is where you miss the critical point.  This tool – (and the left in general) just FORGETS from this equation the previous 8 years of villification.  The proper response to that load of drivel would be “and you spent 8 years villifying George W. Bush, so what the f**k do YOU have to complain about?”

      And that quote of your proves that in fact, the left is massively delusional, and 99% of the time acts in bad faith.

      • PS –  Tell your lefist friend she’s a worthless piece of garbage.  I’m in no mood for make-nice.

        • By the way, you are all providing examples here of angry irrational vitriol from the right.  Calling people “asshole” going off on angry bitter tirades.    I think you’re so caught up in the emotion of politics, you’ve lost perspective.  I think that’s why someone like me — who sees the arguments on each side, and recognizes the legitmacy of both — is a threat.  You are comfortable treating politics as sport, almost like Patriot fans who hate the Jets.    But there is no logic here, and you can’t deny the attacks on the left — the vicious attacks on Bill Clinton, the rhetoric against Obama, Pelosi, etc.  I can’t believe you’re really so caught up in the game that you don’t see reality.

          • Talk about delusional…!!!

          • you are right, we can’t see your reality. Maybe you’ll share those pills?

          • I think that’s why someone like me — who sees the arguments on each side, and recognizes the legitmacy of both — is a threat.

            >>> HAW HAW.  The only thing you’re a threat to is me holding down my lunch

          • “I think that’s why someone like me — who sees the arguments on each side, and recognizes the legitmacy of both — is a threat.”

            A threat. Oh my. ROTFLMAO does not do justice to that.

            Another classic for my files.

            When I’m down
            and troubled
            and I need a helping hand
            I go to my Erp files and the resulting belly laughs perk me right up,
            and I
            Put on a happy face.

      • Actually, my response to her was to point out her rhetoric against Bush and (especially Cheney).    But the attacks on Clinton and Obama have been just as bad — the only ones delusional are the ones who see all the faults of the otherside and rationalize away that of their own.    To say that those who think differently than you do are acting “99% of the time in bad faith” is either an attempt by you to simply be provocative, or a sign that you are caught up in a kind of self-delusion.    Most Republicans and Democrats are acting in good faith, leaders of both parties have said so in the last week.   Democracy is built on opposition, and acceptance that their particular “side” isn’t the only respectable and viable perspective.   Once that gets lost and people get caught up in an ideological faith — a secular kind of religion — then democracy is in peril.  Luckily, that’s only on the fringes in the US, something that is being shown by the general reaction to the Giffords shooting.

        • Democracy is built on opposition.  Instead of the people who are actually involved in particular concerns attempting to use reason to negotiate a mutually satisfactory solution, you get the whole voting population involved, so complete strangers with no stake in a given matter end up making decisions about it.  Once the popularity contest is decided, the victors get to divert the looted money to their favored causes, to give their donors and key voting blocs special favors (at the expense of everyone else).  All of this is done via the force of government, instead of allowing the actual people with a stake in the matter find reasonable ways to negotiate.

          Politics in a democracy consists of two armies showing up on the same battlefield, counting each other, and then the smaller army surrendering and going home for two years without actually bothering to fight the battle first.
          commenter at Improved Clinch

          As more money is looted, more money is spent, more control is exerted commercial enterprises as well as over each (non-privileged) resident, the stakes get higher.  You lose an election and you see Pelosi doing sneaky parliamentary tricks to slam through Health Care Deform (full of all kinds of nasty and expensive traps not mentioned at the time).  This was a bill most Americans don’t want, and which will be a giant anchor around our necks until we die in some pathetic NHS-style hellhole of a hospital.
          Facing such dire consequences and left with no reasonable way to work with one’s neighbor, voters see the only option as going to war in the ballot box to protect themselves from more atrocities.  And yet, the two-sided contrast is mostly an illusion, as despite the heated rhetoric, the aristocracy mostly find ways to get along with another.  “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” means residents of the US get it from both ends, and those who participate in the farce called democracy (who believe the bullspit that democracy and freedom are interchangeable) keep buying the lie that if just the right people were steering the big ship, things would be better.
          It isn’t “ideological faith” which drives the vitriol, either.  I note how you impugn the essence of rationality: “ideas” as the root of “ideology”, as though thinking about a problem and having convictions is bad, with the added bonus that you dismiss the product of logic and an appreciation for facts in evidence, putting it all down to “faith”, regardless of the content of the ideas in question and the real life details which go into the decision making.  In contrast to the person who pays attention to ideas and who is skeptical (opposite of “faithful”) of contrary opinions which don’t match reality, politicians knowingly deceive the voters into getting angry and afraid, via heated rhetoric.  It’s a cynical ploy,  like a commercial for a news show which screams “how your children could be in danger of dieing horrible deaths, story at 11” designed to get you to tune in later.  It’s hype.  Politicians, by their nature, are unprincipled louts, and only a rare handful go against what is popular to do what they think, ideologically, is right.  They may wear the mantle of the ideologue, if they calculate that their target audience prefers that.  But its theater.
          To avoid the divisions, the build-up to full blown civil war, people need to stop looking to politicians to solve problems, but rather need to starve them of their approval and find ways to strip them of their ability to wreak havoc on the economic activities of private individuals.  They need to work with their neighbors to solve their problems in ways that benefit each side, not by using the guns in the hands of the government to forcibly make their neighbors comply with some arbitrary dictat (or worse, to exploit the power of government to engage in rent seeking and other immoral behaviors).
          But you’re not interested in that, Erb.  You want your European-style socialism and you want to game the at-your-throat contests each election to what you perceive is your advantage.
          You and everyone on here who plays the game of trying to settle moral questions by popularity contest are the root cause of the vitriol.  People who adhere to ideas (ideologues), who don’t act on faith, but who seek answers with their minds instead of their hearts, are the only ones who stand in your way.  And, most of the “shared values” you tick off are just variations on the “might makes right” and appeal to popularity fallacies, feeding this animosity between neighbors.

          • dieing -> dying

          • Popularity contests do not solve moral issues, but reason also does not.  Depending on your core assumptions and principles, reason will lead you to different answers.   People disagree on core values and assumptions about the world.  Ideologies are always vastly simplified explanations of a reality too complex to be captured in a simple ideological framework.    That’s OK — we need such tools — but it becomes problematic when an ideology becomes akin to a secular religion.   One believes that the core assumptions of ones’ ideology is clearly right, and thus anything that logic and reason build from that must be accepted as absolutely true.  That kind of faith is irrational.
            Still, you are right that the elites on all sides have more in common, and modern democracy has become more marketing than collective decision making.   That may indeed explain a lot of the vitriol, people realize they’re not able to hold people accountable.    I think that is going to cause a major shift in politics because the information revolution is allowing power and information to be held by average people (the state and big money are losing their mutual monopoly on information and control, just as the church and aristocracy lost out thanks to the printing press).  I suspect the modern centralized bureaucratic state is nearing the end of its violent and often repressive run, and more decentralized power structures will emerge (I write more about this here).   Whether the path from here to there will be violent and chaotic is an open question.

          • Depending on your core assumptions and principles, reason will lead you to different answers

            Which is why you validate yourself against reality.  Maybe you won’t always avoid mistakes, but it’s much more accurate than putting a finger up to check the prevailing winds of popularity.

            Ideologies are always vastly simplified explanations of a reality too complex to be captured in a simple ideological framework.

            Always?  On what basis do you declare such an absolute?  Faith?  Godlike powers?
            Consider the alternatives.  When you use feelings or considerations like popularity, how can you help but be less accurate, on average, than a rational person who observes reality, uses his mind (“ideas”) to categorize, abstract, and integrate.
            You seem to be simplifying the category of thinking called “ideology” into known failed ideologies like communism, socialism, fascism, feudalism, religious fundamentalism, etc., in which one is proscribed from adjusting basic tenets to match reality.  A Marxist must always check the manifesto and rationalize an explanation for reality against what was decreed many decades ago.  A religious fundamentalist must come up with ridiculous explanations for scientific discoveries (like fossils) or jam his fingers into his ears, always going back to the holy book for answers.
            But to cram every ideology, from astrology to libertarianism, into one big pigeonhole and to declare them all faulty is to fail to discriminate between ideas which mostly fail to match reality and those which mostly fit.  It’s slothful hand waving you’re engaging in, because you’re too lazy to handle a particular methodology of thought on its own.  You disavow your own ideology, pretending to be something you’re not (the paradox of the “left libertarian”), so you can try to fool people into slipping the moors of thought from reason and turn it all into one big partisan slug fest, filled with oneupsmanship and appeals to authority, popularity, tradition, etc..
            Granted, when people who look to more reasonable explanations of the world (like individualism) get too rigid (e.g., Objectivism) or fail to fully integrate basic principles (e.g., LP), they fail to adjust to mistakes.  But simply recognizing that some individualists make mistakes in no way establishes that individualists are universally ideologues, and thus (by your faulty reasoning) absolutely simplifying reality.

            That kind of faith is irrational.

            But that’s a lie you keep making, drawing false equivocations between the astrologist and the Objectivist, asserting without evidence that they both act on faith and that their ideas are thus equally suspect.  Confidence in one’s ideas, particularly when they repeatedly match reality, is not the same thing as faith.  For me, the individualist ontology best fits what is real, but not because I accept anything on faith.  On the contrary, I am skeptical of everything.  But when I see the same arguments for one form of collectivism or another, it’s not necessary to build a proof from scratch to counter them.  I go back to principles of self-ownership, choice, accuracy in language, etc.–not because they are absolutely true by god, but because they so easily dispute ideas I’ve seen a thousand times before.  For a collectivist like you, to see me dismiss your remarks by quickly zeroing in on their faults must be utterly frustrating.  It’s easier for you to dismiss my process as being just an “ideology” (and thus over-simplified) based in “faith” (and thus prone to error).  But you make such arguments dishonestly.

          • I’ll also note that top Republicans and top Democrats have behaved very differently. Bush has always remained a class act, as have most top Republicans. Even to a fault. Something you can’t say about mister “bring a gun”.

            The Democrats seem to have no class at any level.

        • ” Luckily, that’s only on the fringes in the US, something that is being shown by the general reaction to the Giffords shooting”

          Wow. Another file entry. You da man!

          The fringes, eh? Careful, calling Tim Matthews, MSNBC, etc. the fringe is perilously close to right-wing extemism.

        • If you look at how the Democrats used the Iraqi War to political advantage, it is clear that they are acting in bad faith:

          1) When it matters, Democrats vote for war. This includes about 60% of Senate Democrats, and 40% in the House.

          2) When we are hip deep in the war, and the war is going bad and is unpopular, the Dems go full bore against the war they voted for. Opposing the Surge, even attacking General “BetrayUS”. Dems who voted for the war (when it was politically easy to do so, but at the actual “decision point”) like H. Clinton turned against the war fully. Sen. Obama lectured the general without allowing him time to respond.

          3) The Surge worked. Clinton, Biden, and Obama were all wrong on the Surge.  Bush and McCain were right. But Obama couldn’t bring himself to give credit where credit was due.

          4) Obama as POTUS puts two Senators who voted for war in his top two foreign policy appointments: VP Biden and SoS Clinton. Both voted for war, both opposed the Surge.

          5) Obama copies the Surge in A’stan, even putting gen “BetrayUs” in charge.

          As far as I can tell, the war for the Democrats is simply a political opportunity. They vote for it with the winds, oppose it at the worst point with the winds, copy Bush’s success when they need an idea . . . pure political opportunism.

    • Yeah Scott, it does not really matter at all what liberals think, What matters is objective evidence.  I have had objective evidence of the hatred and meanness of the left since the days of Ronald Reagan, when he was called (by Democrat politicians and mainstream pundits) a racist, a warmonger, callous, laking compassion, he was accused of not caring about AIDS even as he increased the funding each year by triple the year before.

      Then I remember the hateful and totally false attacks on republican operatives like Mike Deaver and John Tower.  I remember Newt Gingrich being held to an impossible standard for his personal life even at the same time while the left was making excuses for Bill Clinton’s peccadilloes. 

      And just when I thought they couldn’t get any worse there was an eight year orgy of hate and lies about Bush. And it started with accusing him of actually stealing an election, and then repeating that lie over and over again even after such left wing newspapers like the NYTimes decided that he had really won after all.

      Then there were the despicable 911/truthers, again, not just fringe people, I heard at least a few liberal congressmen call for “investigations”. 

      No, your delusional left wing friend is an asshole.  And you should have told them so.

      • I was trying to avoid use of the “O” word, because that would hurt Erp’s knees, as he jerked to the “what is objective to one…” response.
        Also, as your post (good and correct as it is) demonstrates, the catalog is so immense, you can’t  BEGIN to do it justice in this space.  As I read what you wrote, I thought of a two-word summary…sort of a mascot for the glaring difference between the two camps
        …TED KENNEDY.

      • And what was said about Clinton, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Daschle, Murtha, etc.  For every example you can give from the left, I can find examples from the right.   If you get into talk radio and the like, it’s easy to find inflammatory language from the right.  I’ll agree it comes from the left too.   But you have more in common than my friend then you realize (except she admits that conservative ideas are worth considering — you guys seem to think you’ve cornered the market on being right and anyone who disagrees is an asshole) .   Frankly, I find that a person’s character and whether or not they are an “asshole” usually does not correlate to a particular political belief.    It’s amazing how people on each side can only see the other side’s faults and turn a blind eye to their own.    Maybe that’s why the public vacillates between right and left, hoping someone “gets it” – that the public doesn’t want a bunch of angry ideological sniping, the public wants results.

        • And what was said about Clinton, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Daschle, Murtha, etc.
          What was said, and what was UNTRUE, idiot?

          • That’s the same way the left replies when criticized — that what they’re saying about Palin, Cheney, etc. are true.    Rags, you’re more like the people on the left that you despise than you realize.  You’re both so caught up in the emotion you lose sight of reality.   And as the political winds shift left to right and back again, each side thumps its chest, proclaims itself as representing the truth.    Luckily the extremists and political junkies are the minority on each side.    But when you make statements like that, I have to laugh.

          • STILL waiting for support of your BS.

        • This is the Obama delusion/ploy I mentioned above…
          “nuts to the right, nuts to the left, and I occupy the rational middle, from whence I survey the LARGER TRUTH”
          I think I’ll call it the Straw-man Triangulation

        • Hah.  I’ll take that debate any day.  You cite language by common citizens as proof.  I can find far worse in the left.  The real metric to monitor is the language uttered by liberal leadership vs. conservative leadership.
          The liberal leadership is far more hateful and racist than the conservatives.  I’ll go toe to toe with you on that one.  Been there, done that and have the liberal hypocrisy hides to prove it.  Nobody can match the hate emanating from the left.  Not 100 years ago, not now… the left has refined vitriol with a hypocritical whet stone.
          Let me know.

        • I am not buying it. I tell you what, maybe I will buy your argument if you can produce a major piece of work by a conservative author that calls for the explicit dehumanization and constant attacks of all political opponents like Alinsky’s rules for radicals.

          I will freely admit that there was a lot of crap thrown at the Clintons and at Obama, and before them at Ted Kennedy.  Some of it by talk radio, although you would be hard pressed to find more than a few offhand comments by Republican officeholders. Sure people are going to respond after years of constant attacks. 

           But that is not the point. The point is that it isn’t the opinions of left wingers that I am upset about, it is the lies and calumny.  When you say that Clinton is a womanizer, or Obama is a socialist, that might not be nice, but it has some truth to it.  If you accuse Bush of orchestrating an attack that kills thousands of citizens, or accuse Palin of inciting murder, that is a much higher level of hate.

          The fact that you cannot see that is what colors your narrative.

          • Uh, Bush clearly did start a pointless war that harmed the country immensely and left a lot of innocent people killed.   I give him credit for recognizing the failure and altering his goals by 2007, but that was damage control.   The war destroyed any chance he had to pursue his “opportunity society.”   Without Iraq, you’d never have gotten Obama.   But I still am amazed you think the left is worse than the right at this kind of thing.   Wow.   Oh, and they didn’t just call Clinton a womanizer, he was accused of treason, murder…”womanizer” was one of the mildest smears thrown at Clinton (and the stuff Obama has been accused of, even conservatives are admiting that the “paranoid rhetoric” as Frum called it has gone too far.)
            One really important life skill is to be able to recognize things from other perspectives and not just perceive the world in a “four legs good, two legs bad” light.

          • Observing that Clinton was a pathological PIG is not a smear.  It is an observation.  Hell, even the Simpsons got it…
            As is the opinion that…due to his OK of the sale of advanced technology to the RED CHINESE…he committed treason…for MONEY.
            Observing that he COLORABLY RAPED at LEAST one woman is also NOT a smear.
            Gawd, what a liar!!!!

      • I don’t want to cut hairs, but please don’t call anybody on the Left … liberals.  There is nothing liberal about them, except their spending.  These folks are “Progressives” with a smirk.  It’s their label which is equally meaningless but it doesn’t do a disservice to “liberals” who are mostly now somewhere near the political center.

        • Eh, the fact that today’s liberals are unabashed leftists is not a secret.  American liberals = American leftists.  They’re not exactly hiding it anymore.

      • I remember Newt Gingrich being held to an impossible standard for his personal life
        So it’s “impossible” to expect a Republican legislator not to bang his staffer girls, and to serve his wife with divorce papers while she’s in the hospital with cancer? Some “traditional values” you people have!

        • But Jake, you noted…RIGHT…that a lot of us walked away from Gingrich?
          Right….????  You noted that Duke Cunningham went to jail…and Charlie Rangel was given a standing-O by your guys.

          • I haven’t seen any “walking away.” Maybe some “ass covering,” but that’s not the same thing. The right wing specializes not just in lying, but in hypocrisy too.

  • “Civil discourse” is calling the President a war criminal.

    “Hate speech” is asking the President for an austerity program. 

    • Exactly. People like Erp cite and compare the words of  more or less mainstream liberals with words of those even conservatives consider to be batshit crazy and say “There, both sides do it.”. Comparing, for example, Tim Matthews with Terry Jones  or the Westboro slugs instead of an equivalent conservative television whatsit.

  • From the original:

    The profane protests were cheered by liberals who misattributed “dissent is the highest form of patriotism”to Thomas Jefferson; the words belong to the late historian Howard Zinn.

    When all else fails, there’s always the big lie, that the left slurps up because they want it to be true.

  • I agree with Surber. F*ck the right wing and the horse you rode in on.

  • …and Mr. Surber speaks for me, as well.  His point of view should be our road map for discussion going forward.  I’m very tired of the leftists’ insincerity and their calls for a national discussion draws only one reply from me:
    Screw you and the unicorn you flew in on.
    When the elitists of the left are ready to discuss politics, they’ll begin by discussing like adults.   Otherwise, talk to the cyber hand.

  • The left suddenly wants civil discourse.

    Did Bill Maher miss that memo ?

  • I believe “Erb” is the old German pronunciation for hypocrite or was it useless. I can’t remember?

  • Bite me.

    Yeah, that’s about all that I have to say to the left, too.  Well, all that can be typed without asterisks, apersands, and other miscellaneous symbols!

     – “Civil discourse” is calling the President a war criminal.

    “Hate speech” is asking the President for an austerity program.


  • The dichotomy is not right-left, it is truth-lies.

    The Left is at a great advantage here in that it not only has no interest in truth, but actively denies there is such a thing. Such that the only “truth” is that there is no truth, and lies are just revolutionary facts.

  • I guess the memo went out, and the Erb has his new talking points.

  • Wonderful!  Mr. Erb decides to go down on his default liberal ‘discussion’ protocol and drag out wars decried by the left for their futility.  If you want to utilize this lousy metric (wars, dead bodies) then nobody matches the Democrats from Vietnam.  The left also had lousy discussion behavior then against not one, but two Democrat Presidents and far more bodies that you want to uphold.
    President Bush has a chance for success in Iraq.  We all know how Vietnam fared.
    Let me know if you want to continue,  Mr. Erb.   I’ve done this before and it’s not a pretty picture if one is proffering liberal talking points as  you are.
    Let’s go!

  • Thank you for proving my point, Rags.  Calling Clinton a rapist and all that.  You are proving exactly that the right wing rhetoric is often as bad or worse than left wing rhetoric.    It’s amazing how blind you seem to be to the fact you’ve proven my point!   (And I would note that I’ve remained civil in this discussion, and try always to do so).
    b5blue – I wrote a letter that got published in Time in 1999 harshly criticizing Clinton’s choice for war in Kosovo.  I’ll never claim Democrats are better than Republicans on wars — I’ll criticize individual Presidents when they make the choice to go to war.   I did publicly give Bush credit for seeing that his goals were unachievable in Iraq.  He went from wanting to spread democracy and undercut terrorism, to simply trying to get a modicum of stability so we could leave — sort of Nixonian strategy of ‘peace with honor’ if you want to compare to Vietnam.  That was smart, and the decision to stop fighting the insurgents and coopt them has made it possible that we can leave.   Now, it won’t achieve the original goals and will still have been a tremendous drain on US power, money and life on both sides (I think Iraq will be the symbolic end of America’s era of dominance).   al-Sadr is back, and the government is very corrupt.  Once we leave, will who kows what will happen.   But Bush was smart to bring in Gates, alter policy, and essentially admit he had gotten it wrong.  It’s not easy for a President to do that, and ironically I give him much higher marks at the end of his Presidency than I did at the beginning (sort of the opposite of what his public approval ratings did).   Obama has continued Bush’s policies in Iraq.   I think, though, the problems in Afghanistan would not be so severe if we hadn’t invaded Iraq.
    But no, I don’t make any claim Democrats are better in general than Republicans at war.

    • “Calling Clinton a rapist and all that.”

      Okay, how about liar, perjurer, and pervert, all of which are documented.  

    • In reality, Bush’s goals for Iraq never changed, and can still be achieved. The left’s tactics of repeating lies in hopes of getting them accepted continues.

      • Phil, you’re absolutely wrong.    Up through 2006 the US was fighting Sunni insurgents, supporting the Shi’ite government, and trying to push them to an inclusive democracy.   In 2007 they switched to an effort to co-opt the insurgents, recognize that Iraq isn’t going to magically become a model democracy, and focus on creating enough stability to leave.   The neo-conservatives failed, they left office, while realists like Gates and Rice took over, and help craft a much better policy.   Over 50 were killed in a suicide bombing in Iraq today, al Sadr is back, Iran remains very influential in Iraq, and it’s clear that the post-Ottoman corrupt and brutal political traditions remain.   It was folly to think such a culture could shift to democracy.  Democracy is very hard to create and maintain, it requires a political culture that accepts defeat, the legitimacy of the opposition, and rule of law.
        For women and other groups, life in Iraq is often worse than it was under Saddam, and no one expects that to improve.   Meanwhile, the US has been humiliated on the world stage, countries no longer fear US power, and this has helped hasten American decline.   This isn’t really even very controversial, to try to deny reality in Iraq is to say lies.   No one who has read the memoirs and studied the conflict can say the goals didn’t change (they changed massively).

        • Erb ignores (or just doesn’t understand) the difference between a tactic and a strategic goal.

           The principle goals were 1) remove Saddam from power 2) replace with a government that was stable, and not a threat  to it’s citizens or other nations 3) create some form of a democracy in a Muslim nation in the region. All of those are still attainable, and progress has been made on each.

          When Saddam was in power, he averaged killing about 100 citizens every day he was in power (and no, he did not magically stop killing people after the first Gulf War).  That half that number is now big news shows how much progress has been made. Last year the number of Iraqis killed by violence was less than eleven per day, and that includes those killed while attemping to muder Iraqi civilians, government officials or U.S. troops.

          • No, the goal was to make Iraq a model democracy that would help bring change to the region, and to have Iraq as a loyal US ally.  This would also make it easier for Israel by removing Iraq as an opponent.  It was supposed to be quick, Iraqi oil revenues were supposed to pay for the war, and it was supposed to be an example of how the US can use power effectively.  It was thought that Germany and France would have to apologize for being wrong about the war, and other countries in the region would fear the US.
            Iran has a democracy that is arguably more effective and democratic than Iraq’s.   The Kurds remain essentially autonomous, the Shi’ites often impose strict religious rule, and the Sunni tribes mostly rule themselves.  The government will probably end up either ineffective and close to Iran, or another Saddam type will take over to impose stability.   I’m not sure how you get the figure that Saddam was killing 100 people a day.  But by 2003 he was defanged completely, no longer a threat.  Iraq was listed as the third most repressive regime behind North Korea and our ally Saudi Arabia.
            Now the US is no longer feared in the region, Iran has benefited greatly from the war (and the hardliners there came to power because of it), the US has been humbled, and we are trying to find a way out.   The oil revenues never paid for the war, and in fact the US no longer is able to assure that our allies get the lucrative deals (that was what we thought would happen).
            The Sunnis don’t support the central government by the way; they simply ignore it for the most part.  The civil war of 2006 also taught them that they were indeed a minority, they were losing big time in that massive violence.    You would have to really dig to find anyone say Iraq was worth it, or wasn’t a mistake.  But the way it is handled in the press, textbooks, academic literature and even Bush era memoirs is that it was a war that brought unexpected costs, and did not go anything as planned.  I give Bush credit for recognizing the futility of the neo-con fantasy of a resurgent US shaping the next century by showing the will to use military action.   We should also have learned democracy isn’t something you can force on a country, and not easy when corruption and a violent/authoritarian political culture dominates.
            Look, admit it went wrong.   Admit that you’re hoping we can salvage something positive.  But don’t try to say it was a success or the goal was just to eliminate Saddam.   I understand why the neo-conservatives thought this would work, it was a seductive theory — we help them get democracy and markets, US interests are helped, and people will have freedom.   I understand why it was tempting.  But it didn’t work.

          • The end state goal for the Iraqi government was that it a democracy. One of the reasons for that goal was the hope that it would the help change the region. Iraq is the only Muslim country in the region that has an open election for leadership of the government, so that goal is still attainable. Erb can predict that it will fail, and it might. But he also predicted the surge would not only fail, but lead to a huge number of additional casualties; and he was completely wrong on both counts.

            Reaching the end state quickly is not a strategic goal, but rather a tactical one for a chosen plan. In addition, it was defeating Saddam that was supposed to happen quickly (and it did). Having a stable government was always a longer term proposition. The relatively homogenous countries of Japan and Germany were run by foreign caretakers for years after World War II.

            100 killed per day by Saddam is the low estimate. Some estimates put the number of Iraqis killed by Saddam at over two million. Saddam was responsible for 500,000 dead in the decade before 2003, no honest person would consider that powerless or defanged.

             “But don’t try to say it was a success or the goal was just to eliminate Saddam.”
            Actually, I stated a few goals in addition to ousting Saddam. As far as success goes, I was very clear that they were reachable, therefore not complete. A typical leftist/ Erb tactic of deliberatly making false statements about your opponent’s postion (that or his reading comprehension is abysmal).

            Unexpected costs? Didn’t go as planned?  To paraphrase a quote familiar to anyone that has studied Germany or military history / international relations -“No plan survives contact with the enemy”.

        • Not to mention there was more fighting against the insurgents in 2007 after the change in tactics, other commenters have repeatedly explained how it became possible to convince most Sunnis to support the central govenment only after effective military action was taken.

    • You’re understanding of Iraq is perfect, Scott, if what actually happened is disregarded.

  • Now Rags is saying Clinton committed treason with RED China?   Red?    Again, over the top rhetoric, easy to ignore, and so silly that you discredit yourself in all but very partisan blogs.    By the way, if China is really Communism, you’re saying a communist economy has been the most successful on the planet over the last thirty years in terms of growth and development.   Do you really want to claim that?     You again prove my point that the rhetoric extremes of right and left have a lot in common.  Thank you.   (You’ll get support on partisan blogs, but in the real world people will smile politely and walk away).

    • Scott, you do realize that this blabbering of yours, which has been going on for years, is not going to change the fact that, for instance, this is perhaps the only blog in the blogosphere that has a full-time parodist just to make lemonade out of one comment-maker’s lemons? I mean, I know you like the attention, but didn’t I take you aside a few years ago and explain to you that it was like the attention that the bearded lady at a carnival sideshow gets?

      • Except that people pay to see the bearded lady. This is purely free entertainment. 

  • Mr. Erb,
    Okay, we can agree that the Dems have, indeed, have done far worse in dead bodies in ‘pointless’ wars than Pubs, right?.  I can pull the metrics.  Not that it has any bearing on this ‘hate speech’ debate but you made the side observation about dead bodies; nobody has more ‘dead bodies’ in war (pointless or justified) than Democrats.
    Just an observation.
    ….but since we are talking about war and hateful speech, you cannot deny that the left is far worse in hate speech in protesting/discussing war.  They were the worst in Vietnam, they were the worst in the 1980’s and they own the category during the Iraq wars.  Not a doubt.   Don’t try to generalize and say ‘both sides are the same’ in lousy rhetoric.    People taking a crap on the flag, burning the flag and burning soldiers in effigy?  Are you kidding us?  That’s a huge blind spot you have there, sport.
    Also, I note that you haven’t addressed my previous contention in regarding hateful speech by leftist leadership vs. the right’s leadership.  I’ll go with you toe to toe on that on.  Been there, done that, have the liberal discussion scalp to prove it.  Let me know.
    … also this stuff about ‘talk radio’ being just as bad on the right?  What about comments from the left on the internet?  Have you seen the filth proffered by the Democratic Underground, Firedoglake, Kos and other leftwing sites?  A entire Facebook page dedicated to the murder of Sarah Palin?!  Absolute disgusting filth.  You WILL NOT find it comparable on the right.
    Let me know because this will be fun.

    • You say Vietnam was a Democratic war, but you want to use opponents of the war as evidence against Democrats?
      I think the right has generally been worse than the left, but both sides engage in exaggerated rhetoric.   More important to me is ideas — real discussion of different ideas is what politics is really about, not ‘them vs. us’ rhetoric.

  • Yes, it was a Democratic war if we’re going to use simplistic logic (as you did) when painting Bush with dead bodies.  I’m using your rules on you; if Bush had dead bodies… then Democrats have the most dead bodies.  Simplistic logic is a double edged sword.
    Do I think it was purely a Democrat war?  No.  It was the result of the machinations of our republic; just like the Iraq war.  I’m just illustrating how some of your logic rings hollow with me.
    Back to the ‘heated rhetoric’ discussion.
    So you think the right has been worse even though the evidence says otherwise?  The fact remains that the left is far and away the worst actor in dialogue in regards to war.  You can’t -and won’t be able to- prove otherwise.  We have decades of footage of their lousy rhetoric.  Oh, it’s not just the average war protester in the street, we have Democrats calling soldiers terrorists or comparing them to Al-Qaeda.   Heck, Obama just compared ordinary citizens to terrorists.  But I digress and you ignore the obvious.
    You also don’t buy into the ‘us vs them’?  Didn’t you just incorrectly proclaim there were ‘no political camps’?    Our country has a long history of political camps and you came in here and declared them null and void.  Don’t you remember Obama asking his supporters to bring again ‘if they bring a knife’?  Or punch them back twice as hard?  I would gladly compare ugly rhetoric with you but you and I both know who has the lousiest track record. Again, you’re ignoring the obvious and declaring the opposite of what the evidence suggests.
    So, you’ll have to forgive the rest of us as you come in here with the false air of neutrality and moral high road.  You’re not fooling us, you’re only fooling yourself.

    • War kills people, destroys families, does violence to a culture, and is in effect state sponsored murder.   It might at times be necessary, especially in self-defense and other defense, but if you think it is unnecessary, and your state is involved in the act of killing and destroying countless innocent lives, then I think it is moral to use strong rhetoric.  Not hateful or spitting (though historians say that happened only rarely — it’s sort of a modern myth), not personal attacks, but to attack the policy and call it evil, well if you believe the war morally wrong, it is your moral duty to do so.  Serve your moral conscience, not the state.

      • I love it when the little girl takes you over, Scott.

        Here’s a tip on making moral distinctions, for the future: It’s impossible if what you do is lie all day long.

      • “Serve your moral conscience, not the state.”

        LOL!!!  And this from a man whose moral compass is driven by the Liberal Narrative!  Don’t you ever get sick of hearing this POS tell everybody we all just need to get along?

        You owe some mea culpas around here before you get to spout off, *sshole!

      • On this subject I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest; I will not equivocate; I will not retreat a single inch; and I will be heard.
        –William Lloyd Garrison

        If there is ever a time to be uncivil, even hateful and personal, to stop a moral outrage, it’s when your government is invading other countries, causing the deaths of countless innocents, and attempting to impose a particular brand of rule over other people–in your name and with your money.
        I realize that most of the anti-war protesters trend towards collectivism and don’t object when the government is using force to make people participate in and pay for things of which they approve (like ObamaPelosiCare).  Whether they are unprincipled partisans, cynically exploiting the unpopularity of war in an attempt to undermine the enemy party’s power, or pacifists who universally oppose foreign invasions on principle, the fact is that they should not be forced to pay for something they abhor, nor should such actions be taken in their name.
        I recognize your right to withhold your taxes and your imprimatur from these wars, Erb.  If only you’d likewise recognize my right to withhold my taxes from ObamaPelosiCare and my right to obtain and pay for medical care in a free market.
        Incidentally, I don’t agree to be civil when it comes to the foreign wars or Health Care Deform.  Both are a moral outrage and I have no problem with people using extremely vitriolic language or engaging in civil resistance, for a start.  And, while I think that non-violence is preferable, for now, and that engaging in vandalism (e.g., breaking windows) is strategically a bad move, at this point in time, and actual violence a ruinous approach, right now, I recognize that the government has already initiated force against its citizens and that people have a right to defend themselves.  (And, no, I don’t consider monstrous acts like OKC, the Austin IRS building, or the Tucson Safeway shootings to be defensive, because of the disregard for murdering innocents, or anything but painfully counterproductive to the cause of freedom.)
        But refraining from hateful rhetoric?  You’ve got to be kidding me.
        I’d like to fill Gitmo with the Bush people who started these wars knowing (or not caring) that innocents would die and that the countries would be torn apart.  And, I’d like to fill the jail cells next to Bernie Madoff with all the politicians who passed TARP, stimulus bills, health care mandates, etc..  I don’t want to “discuss” or “debate” with them in a civil manner.  May they all rot.

        • Incidentally, the spitting on veterans or otherwise accosting them with scorn (like calling them “baby killers”) was often a despicable act, because so many soldiers and veterans were drafted and had no choice.  And, while there were certainly those in the military who acted dishonorably, there were plenty of men who did their best to protect innocents and who believed their leaders’ lies, thinking they were going to help the victims of communist invasions.
          But Johnson, McNamara, Nixon, Kissinger, and all the rotten sons of bitches who threw away so many lives?  They deserved more that to be spit upon.

        • Speaking of principled versus unprincipled opposition to the war, check out this video on the disappearing anti-war rallies.  Note the drastic change in the party affiliation of rally attendants.

  • Mr. Erb,
    Again, you fail to address primary contention: the vitriol from the camps.  It’s not serving the conscience we’re discussing, that was a given and a straw man on your part.
    Anti-war protesters asking soldiers to shoot their officers?  Leftist.  Anti-war movements (Ayers’ Weathermen) actually killing people and planning the overthrow of the gov’t?  Leftist.  Lions’ share of property damage caused by anti-war protesters?  Leftists.
    Politicians slandering our soldiers?  Survey says: leftists.  The filthy witch hunt foisted upon the American public in Tucson?  Leftists.
    I find it very amusing that you can assert early on that there are no camps and in the same thread assert the right is worse than the left which clearly indicates a camp.  In the end, there is ample evidence then and now that the leftists do not want civil debate.   It’s your choice to accept the evidence or pretend it doesn’t exist.
    Follow your conscience, not your party.

    • You’re doing exactly what the right is accusing the left of doing.   You’re also commiting the error of trying to collectivize all of society in a group.  Extremists of the left are to me like extremists of the right — extremists with no real connection to most liberals and conservatives.  Those who try to demonize the other side are irrational.  McCarthy era withchunts?  Rightist.  Lynchings and racism?  Right wingers.  I could go on.   But most conservatives do not agree with McCarthy, and very few support the Ku Klux Klan.  It would be a lie to try to indict the entire right wing by focusing on them.  And that’s what you’re doing in trying to attack the entire “left”: you are engaged in the “big lie,” the lie of collectivization of identity.

      • Those who try to demonize the other side are irrational.

        What if the “other side” is actually evil, as in the fight against Stalinism?

        McCarthy era withchunts?

        It’s odd how you keep shaking the corpse of Senator McCarthy, as though he failed to find real life communists.  He didn’t.  You can justifiably criticize his methodology, but even you’ve admitted that the US was in an existential struggle against the USSR.  Hence, discovering communist spies was very important.  And still, you whip out the “red scare” strawman, pretending that there wasn’t really anything to fear from the people who conquered and enslaved half of Europe, engaged in global proxy wars of conquest, and murdered tens of millions of their own people for good measure.
        As for the “left” and “right” terms, it’s utter horsespit that such a bad metric is still used today, centuries after the French Revolution, when it actually meant something.  It’s stupid to measure people with one single scalar value on a one-dimensional line.  Also, it’s crazy to put Stalin and Hitler, nearly identical in what counted, at opposite extremes.
        If you must draw a line and put people on it, might I suggest individualism and collectivism.  Then you can put all the truly despicable acts at the one end, the mountains of bodies, the concentration camps, etc..  But then, you with all your cheering for federal health care mandates, federal/UN environmental mandates, etc. look pretty damned silly trying to point the finger at people who stand for freedom and choice.

      • “You’re doing exactly what the right is accusing the left of doing.”
        Oh, it’s not an accusation, Mr. Erb.   I posted a fact; most political assassination -inside and outside of- our country come from the left.  Not an accusation, fact.  It’s written in their strategy to use force to achieve their objectives.
        “You’re also committing the error of trying to collectivize all of society in a group. “
        You mean like when you stated:
        “I think the right has generally been worse than the left, but both sides engage in exaggerated rhetoric. ”
        “But I still am amazed you think the left is worse than the right at this kind of thing. ”
        Like that?  I find it amusing that you can utilize this dichotomy for discussion but find that I err doing simply because I find some unpleasant facts.   Look, that’s the way it’s always been… left/middle/right… if you think I’m going to abide to some PC discussion control, you can forget it, sir.
        “Extremists of the left are to me like extremists of the right — extremists with no real connection to most liberals and conservatives. “
        Really?  Do you consider Obama a moderate?  If so, then you’re only fooling yourself.  He’s a died in the wool radical from way back… and he has a huge connection to liberalism.  In the Oval Office.
        “McCarthy era witchunts? “
        Elliot has covered some of this above.  Senator McCarthy actually had some factual grounding.  Were you asleep during the recent witch hunt in Tucson?  Didn’t you just see Sarah Palin and talk radio held up as responsible by the left?   JFK Assassination?  Leftist does it, the right get blamed.  It’s part of their strategy.
        “Lynchings and racism? “
        Who do you think you’re kidding?  The KKK was the spawn of the Democrat Party.   The Democrats have a long sordid history of racial hatred.  They’ve engaged in racist activities in the modern era, I’ve begun to compile a list of racist activities of the left.  Don’t even get me started on the racist policies upheld by President Obama and Eric Holder.  Eugenics for blacks?  A liberal progressive from the left; her organization is still a Democrat mainstay.
        ” And that’s what you’re doing in trying to attack the entire “left”: you are engaged in the “big lie,” the lie of collectivization of identity.”
        Oh, I’m no different from you Mr. Erb other than I have lots more facts to back up my contentions.  You offer generalizations and a couple of absolute non-truths.  You’ve used the right-left dichotomy in here, as well, but you seem to want to exempt yourself… but not me.  Heck you managed to paint George Bush with dead bodies in a war and state sponsored ‘terrorism’ even though sanctioned by a political body…but you accuse me of a witch hunt?  That’s a hoot.
        If it weren’t for double standards, modern liberalism would not have any standards at all.