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Petraeus: See you in September, you hack
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, July 19, 2007

And by that time the usual suspects will have done their level best to try and destroy General Petraeus' credibility.

If you don't believe me, you should see the reaction to a Petraeus interview with Hugh Hewitt. Now granted, Hewitt, who likes to self-identify himself as a "center-right" kinda guy is pretty much a Republican homer, but an interview is an interview. The test of how Petraeus did is how he answered the questions.

As an emailer to Instapundit noted:
As at least a couple of bloggers have pointed out so far (Yglesias and Zengerle), Petraeus was really quite careful not to back some of Hewitt's wilder (in my opinion) views about the need to take the war to Iran, the press's alleged ignoring of good news, etc.
And indeed he was, and you know that if you read the interview.

But instead it's all about whose show it was. And the reactions by some say to me that they want to ensure that whatever possibility there is that Petraeus and Crocker might bring good news in September about the Surge is given by someone whose credibility they've thoroughly destroyed.

A perfect example is Gun Toting Liberal, who at times has worthwhile things to say. This isn't one of them:
To reach the rank of general you have to be part politician, it has always been that way. A good general is always a general first and a politician second. Those who have been generals first have over the last six years be driven from the service by Donald Rumsfeld and the Bush administration. What we have left are men like General Petraeus. Not only a politician but a political hack.
And this person:
Petraeus’ credibility suffered a serious blow this week when he appeared on far-right activist Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, and stuck closely to the White House script.
Of course you have to be completely uninformed as to what has been coming out of MNF-I for the last few weeks to believe Petraeus was doing anything but repeating what he (and they) have been saying all that time. It is the White House, in fact, who're using a Petraeus script.

But you have to, you know, keep up with stuff to know that.

Always eager to leap on any chance to destroy someone else's credibility, especially if that person may be involved with the Bush administration, is Mr. Credibility himself, Glenn Greenwald who asks "How much credence should Gen. Petraeus' reports be given?"

Much more than the sock puppet's. Much more. Greenwald, that great decider of the equality of General officer pedigrees (frankly I can't think of anyone more unqualified in that department than Greenwald), decides that many with pedigrees equal to Petraeus and who disagree with him should be taken more seriously. Somehow I doubt those pedigrees include writing the counterinsurgency doctrine which is now being implemented so excuse me if I disagree about those pedigrees (wow, all that rhyming was getting too me).

And of course, the left thinks they've turned the corner on destroying Petraeus' credibility because the Screech Owl of the, uh, well it really depends on where he decides to land this week, "right" (that's the side on which all the lefties have decided he belongs this week anyway) has somehow looked into Petraeus' mind and come away with this:
If I were eager to maintain a semblance of military independence from the agenda of extremist, Republican partisans, I wouldn't go on the Hugh Hewitt show, would you? And yet Petraeus has done just that. I think such a decision to cater to one party's propaganda outlet renders Petraeus' military independence moot. I'll wait for the transcript. But Petraeus is either willing to be used by the Republican propaganda machine or he is part of the Republican propaganda machine. I'm beginning to suspect the latter. The only thing worse than a deeply politicized and partisan war is a deeply politicized and partisan commander. But we now know whose side Petraeus seems to be on: Cheney's. Expect spin, not truth, in September.
No loaded words in that little screed are there. And like the previous example, completely unaware of what has been coming out of MNF-I for weeks.

I do wonder, however, if the same sort of nonsense would have been said if he'd shown up on Chris Matthews or George Stephanopolis' show?

I mean come on, questions are questions, Andrew. Aren't you grown up enough and sharp enough to analyze them without all this pissy crap?

Wretchard at The Belmont Club apparently is and sees through all the nonsense and whining, actually reads the interview and does a good analysis.

But fair warning. You've now seen the first bit of the framing which will go on between now and September concerning General Petraeus' credibility - by a bunch who couldn't carry his boots, even if he helped them.
 
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I can see the headline now, "Warblogger says that General Petraeus can’t carry how own boots!"
You’ve now seen the first bit of the framing which will go on between now and September concerning General Petraeus’ credibility - by a bunch who couldn’t carry his boots, even if he helped them.
Petraeus is going to be slammed whenever he says something that people don’t want to hear, it’s just a sad reality.

If he said that this war is lost and nothing we could do can change that, he would become a pariah of the right and messiah of the left, with precious few wondering if he was actually right.

There is apparently no such thing as objectivity anymore, because even when it does exist, it is subjectivized immediately, this blog just happens to point out when objectivity is subjectivized by the left (not a knock, just an observation), and there are many others that do the same from other side.

Jon and I discussed this for a bit, and after thinking about it, I have concluded that the REAL difference between the past and now is that back when, our representatives KNEW they were playing politics with the public, but COULD play it straight in their job, NOW I think they really believe the partisan crap they spew. I could be wrong, but it doesn’t matter, since objective reality is virtually irrelevant no matter what the difference is.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
I agree with Cap on this completely. Petraeus probably has the best strategy possible, if one wants to continue military operations in Iraq. The best hope is for what I called "a peace with honor moment" back in January — enough stability so we can pull out troops in 2008. The Iraq left will either find some semblance of stability or it will drift into chaos — how we leave can make a difference. The "right" and "left" will each interpret whatever happens to fit their assumptions, and most will actually believe it. Post-modern politics.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
The LN holds that there is no good strategy for Iraq except getting out right now. According to the LN, there is no possible way that the news in September can be anything other than bad or else propaganda from a lying liar who does so for political reasons. Regardless, by the way, of facts. Any inconvenient facts will be dealt with in the usual way.

Anyone, and I do mean anyone, who says anything different is going to run afoul of those in thrall to the LN or who support it. General Petraeus no doubt ended up on HH because no self-respecting leftie would have him (unless he was going to sell out the administration) right now. That would, according to the LN, be giving him a "platform for his propaganda", assuming that he did other than support the LN right down the line, in which case it would be "the courageous speaking of truth to power".

So, are the last two paragraphs the ravings of a tin-foil-hatted wingbat? Yes, in a traditional, sane political world such as we had prior to the LN. And admittedly, when one takes the LN into consideration on many issues, the resulting picture of the truth seems tortured. I cannot help that. That is one of the strengths of phenomenon known as the LN. One must "squint" to see the truth.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
"One must "squint" to see the truth."
Or, as the LN would have it: One must view current events through the prism of the wingbat right.

 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
"...objective reality is virtually irrelevant..."
Captin Sarcastic encapsulates the LN.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
Heh - back in February I was predicting the left would be attacking Petraeus viciously before the year was out.
 
Written By: Purple Avenger
URL: http://purpleavenger.blogspot.com
OMG! He gave an interview on the radio! OMG! And the interviewer wasn’t a liberal! THE SKY IS FALLING!

Would there have been any problem if he did on Larry King? How about Barbara Walters? How about Moyers?

In fact, the left should be happy if he was downplaying stuff to Hewitt who does want to hit Iran, etc. His listeners, while pro-war, need to get a bit of balance.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
"The Iraq left will either find some semblance of stability or it will drift into chaos — how we leave can make a difference."

Yes, it really is just a matter of choosing the timing and then follow-up. I would prefer to leave when we have a big enough Iraqi force and the central government pretty much entrenched. The follow-up is that we would still have lots of embedded training units to keep momentum going forward.

I would err on the side of staying longer, though.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Example: the US leaves in 2008 and a bloodbath of civil war follows.
Right: See, if we had stayed we could have prevented it. If we had kept forces in there longer to assure stability, reconciliation would have happened. Our impatience condemned the Iraqi people to slaughters.
Left: Not only was the invasion of Iraq the primary cause, and we made this happen by arming Sunnis in the surge, giving them the capacity to launch a major civil war. The surge caused the bloodbath, if we’d left earlier it wouldn’t have happened.

Both sides will be absolutely sure they are correct. But what will the history books record?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
But fair warning. You’ve now seen the first bit of the framing which will go on between now and September
Petraeus lied, people died.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
ya know, if you’re trying to persuade a skeptical public that the war is a worthwhile endeavor, putting yourself in the tender hands of a die-hard Republican activist is hardly the best way of demonstrating your commitment to answering hard questions.

If, during an Obama presidency, a general sat down for a little chat with Markos Moulinga, the founder of daily kos, would you feel that the administration was trying to shine you on?

whatever happened to standing up to the White House press corps?
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
ya know, if you’re trying to persuade a skeptical public that the war is a worthwhile endeavor, putting yourself in the tender hands of a die-hard Republican activist is hardly the best way of demonstrating your commitment to answering hard questions.
Yeah, Francis, we covered that argument already and found it to be a pretty bad one on its face. Like I said, go read Wretchard and take notice of how someone who is able to get beyond the blind partisan politics handles it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Yeah, Francis, we covered that argument already and found it to be a pretty bad one on its face. Like I said, go read Wretchard and take notice of how someone who is able to get beyond the blind partisan politics handles it.
No, McQ, you didn’t find the argument Francis makes bad on its face, you found a different one to be bad. You found the argument that doing the interview was enough to slam Petraeus’ credibility or to call him a liar. Indeed, in the interview Petraeus was pretty reasonable. But Francis seems to be making a different point — doing an interview with a far right wing ideologue is not a good thing to do if you are trying to persuade a skeptical public and moderate Democrats in Congress. The reaction that you decry is predictable, just as the right would have a similar reaction in the scenario Francis describes. I don’t mean to put words in your mouth, Francis, but I see you not so much as agreeing with the critique of Petraeus, but noting that it was not a wise choice of who to be interviewed by. To be fair to Petraeus on that issue, I doubt he personally knew anything about the interviewer, he has more pressing things to do than follow web blogs, the interview choice was likely made by someone else.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"If, during an Obama presidency, a general sat down for a little chat with Markos Moulinga, the founder of daily kos, would you feel that the administration was trying to shine you on?"

No. In fact, I would be happy that people on the Daily Kos were being exposed to what a general had to say, especially when part of this war is being fought in the media. It’s an interview for God sakes. The other person gets to answer how they want to...



 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
You know Scott, using "far right wing idealogue" to describe Republican Hugh Hewitt affects much more another’s impressions of you than it affects another’s impressions of HH.

I suspect it is ignorance of the military culture that leads you to say things like this:
...I doubt he personally knew anything about the interviewer...
The top brass didnt get there because they are stupid or unaware of political structures. Petraeus likely agreed to the HH interview because he knew he would get intelligent questions that would be accuractly recorded and reported on. A leftie interviewer, one that good Francis would have prefered, would likely have tried to blame Petraeus for the policy decisions of the Bush Admin. And based on the left reaction to the interview, I suspect that is what bothers them most - the lack of (their)partisan vitroil.

They are mad because they couldnt petulantly stamp their feet and wail about the injustice that everyone doesnt believe as they do!
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
"Doing an interview with a far right wing ideologue is not a good thing to do if you are trying to persuade a skeptical public and moderate Democrats in Congress."

You really mean that?

Should we apply the same argument to say, immigration reform? The public is skeptical....therefor we should make sure to keep any pro-immigration reform people from appearing on ANY left-leaning media in order not to "alienate" the populace.

You do know that a whole lot of people think the entire MSM has a liberal bias, and that ANYTIME there is an interview in the MSM with anyone on the left, its basically the same as you feel about Hugh Hewitt, i.e. the Dems will get softballs, etc.?
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Oh, and I just listened to a Pajamas Media podcast where David Kilcullen was interviewed by Austin Bay. That was far more informative than anything I have heard/seen/read anywhere in the MSM...
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
try reading to the end of my comment where I suggested that he stand up to the WH press corps. I’m sure Tony Snow (formerly of Fox) could have assisted the good General in taking questions from both skeptics and supporters of the President’s surge policy.

Hugh Hewitt used to run the Nixon Library for heaven’s sake, before it was taken over by the National Archives. I know Hugh’s legal work, I’ve met Hugh and I don’t need anyone to tell me that he is as die-hard a Republican as exists in Orange County, California.

The symbolism of being "interviewed" by Hugh, as opposed to the DC press corps, is that the General and the administration don’t dare face hard questions. That’s hardly a reassuring gesture for an increasingly skeptical public.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
...putting yourself in the tender hands of a die-hard Republican activist is hardly the best way of demonstrating your commitment to answering hard questions.
Seems to me these are the same folks that approved of the Dems refusing to debate when FNC would host. Also they dont particularly want to hold Senators Clinton and Obama feet to the fire for refusing adversarial interviews by non-liberals.

I’m sure the double standard is lost upon them.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Bains, fair enough. I don’t know enough about this interviewer, I had the impression he was a far right ideologue, but I’ve only seen a few things by him so my judgment is based on relatively little evidence. I also, perhaps because I don’t know much about him, believed he was probably relatively unknown and top military leaders would have no reason to have heard of him. But from what Francis writes above, he likely is more well known than I thought.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Oh, and I just listened to a Pajamas Media podcast where David Kilcullen was interviewed by Austin Bay. That was far more informative than anything I have heard/seen/read anywhere in the MSM...
Kilcullen is a brilliant guy, I look forward to anything he writes over at smallwarsjournal.com

Interestingly, I learned of Kilcullen in an informative interview in the MSM.

Kilcullen plays it too straight to be a darling or demon to any partisans, he says things that would please or rile either side and could be a one man argument for both sides of the debate.

I recommend reading his explanation of the strategy behind the surge, being that he is one of the architects, it is nice to get it straight from the horses mouth, rather than the other end where some much information seems to be filtered through.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
It is an interview, Francis, that’s all.

My goodness are you so freakin’ deranged that you have to use that as some sort of political rationalization to ignore Petraeus?

Check this simple task you could have done yourself. Surprise ... he’s talked to the press corps on numerous occasions, but apparently you’ve simply ignored them until now.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
What I am taking away from this thread is that the Left has no substantive grounds for challenging anything that Petraeus said on the merits, but they are prepared to insinuate that he is lying anyway, based on the fact that he agreed to be interviewed by a sympathetic blogger.

This seems to be an attempt to prepare for possible good news from the surge. If Petraeus makes a positive report he will be dismissed in the moobatosphere as another known liar.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
are you so freakin’ deranged

no.

are you so consumed with BOS (Bush Obsession Syndrome) that you can’t see the problem with a nominally impartial general being interviewed on the talk show of a hard-core Republican operator?
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
no.
Really? Could have fooled me.
are you so consumed with BOS (Bush Obsession Syndrome) that you can’t see the problem with a nominally impartial general being interviewed on the talk show of a hard-core Republican operator?
How’d he handle the questions, Francis? Or do you even know?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
The symbolism of being "interviewed" by Hugh, as opposed to the DC press corps, is that the General and the administration don’t dare face hard questions. That’s hardly a reassuring gesture for an increasingly skeptical public.
So, what you’re saying is that the "symbolism" of being interviewed by Hewitt is more important than (a) the actual questions asked AND (b) Petraeus’s answers to those questions.

Are you really this shallow, Francis? Is this the only argument you have left?

While you’re at it, why don’t you respond to bains’s point about Democrats refusing interviews from non-liberals?
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
My goodness are you so freakin’ deranged that you have to use that as some sort of political rationalization to ignore Petraeus?
Huh? Francis simply criticized the idea of having Hewitt interview Petraeus. You can disagree, but where has he been "ignoring" him, and in what way can you justify the insult "freaking deranged?"

I also don’t see Francis say that the symbolism is more important than the answers to the questions. One doesn’t have to think that to nonetheless be critical of the symbolism. I think you guys are over-reacting to a rather mild and understandable criticism of who did the interview.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I also don’t see Francis say that the symbolism is more important than the answers to the questions
Since Francis offers nothing on Petraeus’s answers, and makes great criticism of the "symbolism", is it fair to assume he thinks the symbolism is more important than the answers?
I think you guys are over-reacting to a rather mild and understandable criticism of who did the interview.
He’s not criticizing the interview, merely the fact that Hewitt was the interviewer. Without discussing the actual questions and answers, it’s a completely substance-free criticism. He might as well criticize Hewitt for wearing a blue tie.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
By the way, Erb, criticizing the fact the Hewitt conducted the interview is just a case of Genetic Fallacy.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Steverino: If one criticizes X, that doesn’t mean one thinks X is more important than Y, even if Y goes unmentioned. For instance, I might go to a restaurant and really enjoy the food, but notice the bathroom was dirty. If I complain about the dirty bathroom, that doesn’t mean I thought it more important than the great food, even if in making my complaint I don’t mention the food.

The argment as I see it is: The general leading the surge should not be giving interviews to people who are known to be extremely partisan (left or right) because that is beneath him, he should focus on press briefings and respected media outlets. You certainly can disagree with this argument, but it isn’t on its face absurd, and the questions and answers in the interview are irrelevant for that particular argument.

There is no logical fallacy in Francis’ argument. Should the leading commander in a military conflict give interviews with political partisans and people seen as biased and even extreme, or should he stick with the press corps and respected media outlets. Francis believes the latter, you disagree. Fine.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
The symbolism of being "interviewed" by Hugh, as opposed to the DC press corps, is that the General and the administration don’t dare face hard questions.

HAHAHAHAHA

Putting "Dc Press Corps" and "hard questions" is funny!

Besides, it’s all the same 1 question time after time. The hive mind rules there (except for that loon Helen Thomas)

Now if you wanted to put together "DC Press Corps" and "stupid questions"......
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Steverino: If one criticizes X, that doesn’t mean one thinks X is more important than Y, even if Y goes unmentioned. For instance, I might go to a restaurant and really enjoy the food, but notice the bathroom was dirty. If I complain about the dirty bathroom, that doesn’t mean I thought it more important than the great food, even if in making my complaint I don’t mention the food.
Oh, baloney. On more than one occasion, Francis has been called upon to comment on the questions asked and their answers. He has avoided doing so, but has continued to harp on the fact that Hewitt conducted the interview. If the questions were of any real importance to him, he (and you) would have said something about them by now.

So, to put this to rest: Francis and Erb, do you have any criticism of the actual questions asked?
The argment as I see it is: The general leading the surge should not be giving interviews to people who are known to be extremely partisan (left or right) because that is beneath him, he should focus on press briefings and respected media outlets. You certainly can disagree with this argument, but it isn’t on its face absurd, and the questions and answers in the interview are irrelevant for that particular argument.
This argument is fallacious on two counts. First, it presupposes that Hugh Hewitt is "extremely partisan". Second, it implies that Hewitt has not asked fair questions simply because he’s partisan. This is the Genetic Fallacy. Neither you nor Francis have shown how Hewitt’s questions or Patraeus’s answers to them are improper, you have merely focused on the fact that Hewitt is asking the questions.

The questions may or may not be fair, but no one has made any comments about the questions themselves.
There is no logical fallacy in Francis’ argument.
You’re wrong, Erb. Francis’s argument is Genetic Fallacy. It’s an ad hominem that says the questions weren’t fair simply because of the person asking them. If you can’t see that point, then you don’t know what you’re talking about.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Always eager to leap on any chance to destroy someone else’s credibility, especially if that person may be involved with the Bush administration, is Mr. Credibility himself, Glenn Greenwald who asks "How much credence should Gen. Petraeus’ reports be given?"
Next week Greenwald will question Petraeus’ masculinity.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Why should Francis comment on the questions and answers just because you "call on him" to? If they are irrelevant to his argument, then why distract from his argument? As to your response: 1) the question of whether or not he is extremely partisan is legitimate for debate and discussion, I agree; 2) whether or not his questions reflect that (which from McQ’s post they seem to be — he correctly noted praise for how Petraeus refused to agree with some of the more wild things about Iran and the like) is not relevant to the point Francis made, as I understand it (correct me if I’m wrong, Francis). Namely, it’s just doing the interview with someone seen as very biased is in and of itself a bad idea for someone like Petraeus, even if the questions are all good. The questions and answers appear completely irrelevant to the point Francis makes.

I did not see Francis saying that the questions weren’t fair.

Here is the argument as I see it: If a leader wants to convince people he’s fair and to support him, it’s best to avoid having interviews with people seen as extreme or biased. That argument may or may not be weak, but it does not require any knowledge of the questions asked or answers given. Got it?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Here is the argument as I see it: If a leader wants to convince people he’s fair and to support him, it’s best to avoid having interviews with people seen as extreme or biased.
Well since the Congressional democrats have from time to time refused to meet with generals whose news they don’t want to hear...

And it’s real cute anyone thinks the MSM insn’t biased. That’s special.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://tomdperkins.blogspot.com/
ere is the argument as I see it: If a leader wants to convince people he’s fair and to support him, it’s best to avoid having interviews with people seen as extreme or biased. That argument may or may not be weak, but it does not require any knowledge of the questions asked or answers given. Got it?
I got it, and it is still Genetic Fallacy.

The argument is stating that appearances outweigh substance, that a questioner who is "seen" (by whom?) as biased isn’t going to ask valid questions
I did not see Francis saying that the questions weren’t fair.
You must have missed this, then:
putting yourself in the tender hands of a die-hard Republican activist is hardly the best way of demonstrating your commitment to answering hard questions.
The implication is that Hewitt will be lobbing softballs, rather than conducting a fair interview.
The questions and answers appear completely irrelevant to the point Francis makes.
I’m going to say this one more time, because you seem to have trouble comprehending this point. Francis has implied that Hewitt will not ask fair questions because of his bias. Francis has not shown any of the questions to be biased, nor has he shown that Petraeus has dodged any tough questions. Francis merely asserts that the questions cannot be tough because Hewitt is asking them. That is the Genetic Fallacy. It’s not different from someone here criticizing questions from Dan Rather simply because it’s Dan Rather asking the questions. It’s a fallacious argument, and your continued defense of it speaks volumes of your partisanship. The questions and their answers are completely relevant because they will show whether there is any actual bias, as claimed by Francis. Do you understand it now, or must I break out the crayons and draw you a picture?

I’ll ask again: Francis and Erb, do you have any criticism of the questions asked or of the answers?

 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
He is not saying that the interview itself is invalid or inferior, only that it creates a perception unwise for a leader or general to create. You can agree or disagree with that, but that argument is definitely NOT suffering the genetic fallacy!

You have to interpret "implications" to his writing to see any criticism of the questions, and even then he’s saying "it’s not the best way to demonstrate your commitment to answering hard questions." Again, it’s the perception it creates, regardless of the interview itself that is in play here.

I fail to see how Francis implied unfair questions at all. Certainly you don’t show that, I think you severely misinterpret his posts. Again: the questions and answers are utterly irrelevant for whether or not it is a good idea for a leader or general to grant interviews with people known as extremely partisan.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Everyone, witness Scott Erb: once again, he is proven wrong, and refuses to admit it.

I’m going to try not to engage this Master Boob in argument anymore. He’s incapable of honest argument, and is extremely partisan while pretending not to be.

Any rhetorical points scored against Erb should be considered only practice shots.

I, for one, am through with this buffoon. Feel free to remind me of this should I ever attempt to refute any of his future writings.

 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Steverino: sometimes alalogies help:

Let’s say I’m a Minister for a small town. It’s well known that one of the hairdressers in town is also a prostitute. She does give haircuts, but also much more. But I like the way she cuts my hair. I make clear early on, I’m not interested in anything but a hair cut. So I continue to go there for my bi-weekly hair cut.

A member of my congregation has been seeing me visit her establishment and says, "you shouldn’t go there, it looks bad. Everyone knows what her ’haircuts’ entail."

"But," I protest, "I just like how she cuts my hair, all I get is a haircut."

"Doesn’t matter," says the congregation member, "it just looks bad even if you’re doing nothing wrong."

If you really can’t see it this way, I have to assume that your sudden desire to hurl insults is because you know you’re wrong and you’re putting up a smokescreen to try to deflect from that. You can do better.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I, for one, am through with this buffoon. Feel free to remind me of this should I ever attempt to refute any of his future writings.
Heh ... another one sees the light. I tried to tell all you guys this months ago. Erb is good only for sport. Use him like McP does. You know, work out on the light bag (because Erb will never be a heavy bag) just to warm up the intellectual muscles. Then go tackle something worthwhile.

Otherwise, if you have better things to do (and getting a tooth pulled would be better in that regard) put him in "ignore mode" as I do. I do not even read his nonsense and in fact the only time I see any of it is when it shows up in the comments of others.

There is a reason Billy Beck described any experience with him as akin to trying to nail mercury to a wall. It comes from 10 years of watching this philosophical chameleon, intellectual lightweight and serial dissembler do exactly what he just did to you, Steverino.

He’s just not worth the effort to be taken seriously. So, like I said, if you must, go the McP route and use him for sport. Then, at least, you can get some enjoyment out of the exchange.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
1. Hewitt is not a member of the press; he is a hardcore Republican partisan and activist.

2. Petraeus is nominally apolitical and also by reputation politically sensitive. Now, it is entirely possible that Petraeus and the White House made the political calculation that shoring up the base is worth the cost of making Patraeus look less independent.

3. I hold the belief that Petraeus’s interview with Hewitt comes at the cost of making Patraeus appear beholden to the White House. I may be factually wrong; it is possible that no one in the entire US except me holds that conclusion. (I’d need to see polling data.) But the American people are due to weigh Petraeus’s credibility in September, and I believe he should act in a way which preserves that credibility.

4. Hewitt seems to want to declare war on Iran. I commend Petraeus for pushing back on that issue. But there were a number of opportunities to challenge the general on the effect of military action against Sunni and Shia militias on the long-term goal of Sunni/Shia reconciliation.

5. For example, of the units that are held to be effective, how many of them are integrated? How many operate effectively against militias of the same sect? If the US were to withdraw in the next two years, what is the basis for believing that the units would be loyal to the central (Shia) government? What is happening in Basra right now? Will the referendum on Kurdish independence proceed on time? What are the military and political consequences of the various outcomes (which are likely to be either delay of the vote or independence; no one seems to believe that the Kurds will vote to stay as part of Iraq)?
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
I may be factually wrong;
But of course, that doesn’t matter when involved in character assassination, does it Francis?

One last time: have you read the interview?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
McQ: have you ever actually read any one of my comments, instead of skimming them to find things you don’t like?

Try reading (you know, nouns and verbs) points 4 and 5.

(And in the future I’ll tone down the insulting nature of my comments if you’ll have the courtesy to do the same.)
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
McQ: have you ever actually read any one of my comments, instead of skimming them to find things you don’t like?
After the 4th or 5th rerun, no, usually I skim. In this case I was mistaken ... my apologies.
And in the future I’ll tone down the insulting nature of my comments if you’ll have the courtesy to do the same.
That would be fine with me.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
1. Hewitt is not a member of the press; he is a hardcore Republican partisan and activist.
Hewitt is as much a member of the press as, say Helen Thomas or Bill Moyers.

Hardcore Republican partisan? My that’s redundant! Both Dems and Repubs are by definition hardcore partisans.
Petraeus is nominally apolitical and also by reputation politically sensitive.
As with Erb, I suspect you have little familarity with military culture. General staff dont get there by being politically obtuse. But because their tenure spans longer than the length of Congress and as well as one Administration, they have to be intellectually nimble lest they step on the idealogical toes of the next Chair of Armed Services, the next Speaker of the House, the next Majority Leader, or the next President. Petreaus is where he is because he’s damn good at what he is supposed to do as an officer of the US Army and not because he is a political hack.
I hold the belief that Petraeus’s interview with Hewitt comes at the cost of making Patraeus appear beholden to the White House.
Seems to me you have that backwards. Irrespective of any interview Petreaus grants, I suspect that you would believe he is beholden to the White House anyway.

Lastly, the questions you suggest are ones that interest you. They may infact interest Hewitt, but due to limits of Petreaus’ time, Hugh asked the questions that most interested him. And to elevate this to the level of catastrophy you seemingly suggest is, at worst, intellectually dishonest, and at best, more demonstrative of your own prejudices than any ’beholdeness’ on Petreaus’ part.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Heh ... another one sees the light. I tried to tell all you guys this months ago. Erb is good only for sport
You like to join insults, but anyone reading this will see that I’m right and Steverino just huffed and went away after being shown to be wrong. It’s like you and the 60 vote thing. You couldn’t admit you were wrong, or at least careless in your wording. Consider: the Iraq war of 1991 was approved 52-47. The 47 could have filibustered, but that would have been considered obstructionist — the exact same point Reid was making about the Iraq vote.

Yeah, a number of you can gang insult. But any serious reader can see through that, and I know you know that. Are you just playing games? I’m not sure why you have this grudge against me. I remember debates in the 90s but they were interesting in my memory, and probably led me to alter my views in a number of ways (my point in debating people I disagree with is to test my views — and I certainly took your arguments seriously). I don’t remember anything that would cause you to hold such a grudge. I certainly try to be polite here (I gave up my ’tit for tat’ strategy to flames/insults because it didn’t work — sorry Axelrod) I’m puzzled as to why you seem unwilling to engage. Sure, we disagree alot on foreign policy, but much less on many other issues.

Anyway, I do think it’s generally unwise for someone like Petraeus to do the talk radio circuit, but despite that I think he’s very competent and I generally take what he says seriously.

Bains, do you have similar high respect for the Commander of the NATO mission in Kosovo. One thing I think I remember from McQ (correct me if I’m wrong) is that he thought Clarke "too political."
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Has anyone paused to consider that the reason why Hugh Hewitt was granted this interview, rather than say, Tim Russert, is that the administration, who sets these things up, really doesn’t care what the anti-war people think, they consider them lost, and at this point they are just trying to hold the small base of supporters?

And really, don’t the people who are now against this war consider those that it support it to be lost?

It doesn’t take a huge leap to consider the possibility, or likelihood, that this war has hit critical mass of support/opposition. The administration is not going to win back the American people, and they barely need to try to keep their contigent of supporters.

It may be an added bonus to see war opponents get in a lather over WHO is doing the interview.

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Scott, my sister along with my nephew, met General Petraeus at a church function near West Point several years ago. Her impression was and still is that the man exudes integrity. She suspects that he was aware of my family’s history at West Point, but he was dealing with the woman and son, not the daughter and grandson of three generations of service. Given Petraeus’ history, my sister’s ’testimony’ is good enough for me. But the bottom line is my default position is high respect for anyone who earns command status (especially field grade and NCO’s) in the military. (The ones that have lost that respect, I hold in comtempt - and unfortunately there are many.)

That said, I have no basis for further assessment of our top officer in Kosovo - selective interest (or ignorance) if you will.

 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Has anyone paused to consider that the reason why Hugh Hewitt was granted this interview, rather than say, Tim Russert, is that the administration, who sets these things up, really doesn’t care what the anti-war people think, they consider them lost, and at this point they are just trying to hold the small base of supporters?
Cap ... why are you assuming this is the last interview Petraeus will ever give?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Bains, I believe you about Petraeus, he seems level headed and sincere, and I have much less to go on. I suspect Captain Sarcastic (I always get the old Elton John song in my head when I read that) has a point. The White House is more concerned about keeping the GOP from bolting on this before they can finish the surge. They need their base on board at least through next year.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
The White House is more concerned about keeping the GOP from bolting on this before they can finish the surge. They need their base on board at least through next year.
To make a short point long, my good friends have mentioned that my propensity to engage in debate for debate’s sake may be off-putting to those who know me less well. In fact, they say I can be infuriating at times, just because I am being contrary. You make good points Scott, but your commitment to your idealogical brethern is, at (many) times, infuriating. I’ve found its more important to graciously lose minor arguments to gain the respect of those not already in my choir.

As I said up thread, I’m sure the admin ’blessed’ this interview because they knew there would be honest questions and an honest transcript. And yes, I agree, it most definitely plays to the base.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
If Paul Begala wanted to interview Petraeus and the interview was granted, would you agree that would be "wrong" too?


 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Cap ... why are you assuming this is the last interview Petraeus will ever give?
I’m not, just suggesting that the administration may no longer be concerned with trying to win back support.
If Paul Begala wanted to interview Petraeus and the interview was granted, would you agree that would be "wrong" too?
I think this would upset the "wrong" people.

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Consider: the Iraq war of 1991 was approved 52-47. The 47 could have filibustered, but that would have been considered obstructionist
Erb is so stupid that he’s not embarrassed to make this point in two different threads.

102nd Senate legislation

1) The resolution did not require a cloture motion because 100% of senators agreed beforehand to limit debate.
2) The entire 102nd Congress was controlled by the Democrats.
3) Erb somehow thinks that the Democrats opposed to the first Iraq war might have filibustered their own party.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr. "Poli-Sci"
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Good one, JWG!

I seldom link to rightwingers because I usually disagree with much of what they have to say. That is the case with Hugh Hewitt’s long post regarding his interview with General Petraeus. However, one paragraph of his screed struck me as being “right on”. Could be that he used the magic word “narrative”:
”...the extremists have fallen so deeply into their own narrative that they are wholly unaware of how their call for strict control of the news and their slander of the widely and rightly admired extraordinary hero that is General Petraeus exposes them to the public as deeply unbalanced, anti-intellectual and far, far removed from the mainstream of America. ... the rage that bubbles and erupts again and again is the sort of eye-opener that not even friends can ignore for very long. The demands for the Fairness Doctrine’s return displayed the same sort of zealotry in the attempt to shut down voices not in keeping with their own. The illiberal reflexiveness (sic) of the left tells you all you need to know about how they would govern if they ever got close to power.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
JWG: You’re attempt at insult obviously is meant to cover up the fact that nothing you wrote denies my point. Those against the war (mostly Democrat) could have chosen to filibuster and not to limit debate (and filibusters are often done by people in the majority party). They didn’t. The vote was close. Clearly it is not required that 60 support something important before it can pass. Nothing you wrote denies it. But you know that — that’s why you felt it necessary to augment your "argument" with insults.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Clearly it is not required that 60 support something
Hey a$$hole, how many times are you going to use this strawman?
nothing you wrote denies my point
Well, except everything I wrote: More than 60 senators HAD to give permission for the Iraq resolution to take place — and more than 60 did — or else it wouldn’t have been able to pass.
filibusters are often done by people in the majority party
And I’m confident that I’ll be seeing some examples to back that up [/sarcasm].

I already proved your previous claim that the use of cloture is rare was total BS —

And now you’re going to try claiming that "rare" cloture motions that can lead to filibusters are "often done by people in the majority" party.

Define "often" for me so I can prove ONCE AGAIN that Dr. "Poli-Sci" is nothing but a lying idiot.
that’s why you felt it necessary to augment your "argument" with insults
No, wrong again!

I insult you because you prove repeatedly that you make sh*t up, you lie, and then you brag about how much more experience you have in these matters than everyone else.

Your knowledge and application of Senate rules and tradition is a pathetic joke. I only hope you continue to give me more opportunities to point and laugh at you.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I insult you because you prove repeatedly that you make sh*t up
A lot of bluster there, but you don’t counter at all what I wrote. You can’t.

You need a course in political science. I can recommend one ;-)
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
you don’t counter at all what I wrote. You can’t
Thank you, Erb, for adding another example for display of why you are not a legitimate candidate for discussion (and I’ll add it to the list for the next time you claim "Who me? When?"):

1) Refusal to abandon assertion for "support" of 60 senators despite no one making the claim
2) Refusal to acknowledge that cloture is not rare
3) Refusal to provide evidence that filibusters are "often done by people in the majority"

All of these are classic examples of the way Erb tries to make his case. He distorts what was actually said into his own reality; he makes sh*t up; he doesn’t provide evidence (because he can’t); he changes the subject when others use evidence to prove him wrong; and then the cycle begins again.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
From Reid’s own press release about cloture at his own website (emphasis mine):
As Majority Leader, I intend to run the Senate with respect for the rules, and for the minority rights that the rules protect.
[...]
The Senate rules are part of the genius of the American political system. By requiring super-majorities to overcome opposition to major bills, the rules naturally lead to policies that bring Senators together across party lines, and that appeal to a broader majority of the American people. The rules promote unity, moderation and bipartisanship.
[...]
The need to muster 60 votes in order to terminate Senate debate naturally frustrates the majority. I’m sure it will frustrate me when I assume the office of the Majority Leader next year. But I recognize this requirement as a tool that serves the long-term interests of the Senate and of the American people.
Erb, tell me again how the rules of the Senate are now a "GOP demand".

Dr. "Poli-Sci" my a$$.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Professor Erb = toast
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
Erb, tell me again how the rules of the Senate are now a "GOP demand".
So according to Erb Logic:
1) A criminal defendant "demands" that a jury find him guilty by unanimous consent.
2) A president "demands" that Congress gather a 2/3 majority to override his veto.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://

 
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