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Why Wesley Clark should never get anywhere near the Oval Office or any other high office
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, October 04, 2007

I've have had little or no use for Wesley Clark since he was a BG at Ft. Irwin (and I've talked about that reason in the past so I'll not go into it again).

Nothing he has done or said since has changed my mind. Yesterday he again demonstrated why he's politically dangerous. The man who would liked to have been president simply has no idea of the Constitutional law of the land (interview with Tucker Carlson discussing removing Limbaugh from Armed Forces Radio):
[Tucker]CARLSON: So it should only have voices you agree with? I mean, how does that work?

CLARK: Let him have his own private—because if he‘s on private radio, and it‘s for-profit let him say whatever he wants, provided it‘s in the balance of propriety.

CARLSON: But wait a second...

CLARK: If he‘s on public radio, that‘s a different matter. That‘s the U.S. government paying for this.

CARLSON: Oh, but that‘s not the way—oh, now, General, you know from running for president and working on public policy, that‘s not the way it works. You can‘t say that National Public Radio, the other public radio entity, I disagree with what you say, we‘re going to shut you down. We‘re going to take certain host off the air.

CLARK: It‘s not that you disagree with what he says—I don‘t disagree with the substance of political discourse on these radios. I say he crossed the line in maligning the character of people in the armed forces.

CARLSON: OK. Well, others disagree. Well, but wait a second.

Shouldn‘t we be able to disagree?

CLARK: Well, then we should be talking about that.

CARLSON: OK. Well, we are, but you‘re trying to take him off the air, which is different than having a dialogue. It‘s suppressing speech.

CLARK: I‘m not suppressing speech. I‘m saying that in terms of having U.S. government pay to transmit that, that there should be some standards of political dialogue in America.

CARLSON: And what would those be and who would decide? Would you decide?

CLARK: I‘d like to see the Congress decide. Congress decided that MoveOn‘s ad was out of bonds. I think Congress ought to decide...
Congress? Does this sound familiar?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ...
What part of "Congress shall make no law" do you think got past Clark when he was studying the Constitution in order to protect it?

It is as if he never heard of it before - Yeah, let's allow Congress to make a law abridging the freedom of speech, okay? Wonderful.

And it gets worse:
CLARK: There‘s no reason for the American taxpayer to pay for Rush to assault the character of men and women who serve in the armed forces for their political views.

CARLSON: OK. But hold on, General.

I want to know if you‘re going to apply that same standard to the rest of public broadcasting in this country. And there‘s a lot of it.

A lot of entities get money from the federal government to put opinions on the air. You think Congress ought to decide what opinions are acceptable and which aren‘t and yank the unacceptable ones off the air? That‘s what you‘re saying.

CLARK: Well, no. There are standards for propriety in public broadcasting, are there not? I mean, there‘s X-rated, there‘s R-rated in public broadcasting. We call it profanity.

CARLSON: This is a political belief.

CLARK: Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

We should be talking about the facts, we should be having a good discourse in America. I don‘t see why there can‘t be standards for political discourse. I‘d like to see A-rated, B-rated, and C-rated for political discourse.

CARLSON: I‘ll tell you why. I‘ll tell you why, because it‘s...

CLARK: I don‘t think the kind of name calling and invective that Rush Limbaugh engages in advances us. Now, he‘s got every right...

CARLSON: But wait a second, you had U.S. senator call the guy.

(CROSSTALK)

CLARK: I think he‘s got every right to say it under freedom of speech. But it doesn‘t have to be transmitted at U.S. government expense. That‘s my point.
Waffle, waffle, weasel, waffle.

Standards for political discourse on a rating scheme? Wouldn't you love to see how Clark would define acceptable speech? Wouldn't you love to see how Clark would apply that?

And no, Clark doesn't think "he's got every right to say it under freedom of speech" or he wouldn't be talking about taking him off of any station anywhere much less talking about arbitrary ratings for speech and preventing that which doesn't meet 'the standard' from being aired.

Want an authoritarian ... meet Wesley Clark. Thank goodness his political career never caught fire. But rest assured if there's a Dem in the White House in '09, particularly Clinton, this guy will end up in some administration position, and in my opinion, that's not a good thing.
 
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Wesley Clark is from the Thomas Eagleton wing of the Democratic Party.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Yes, but useful idiots like Willis and Media Matters love him. Sort of squares the circle, doesn’t it.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
In conversation with my neighbor today, who had apparently listened aghast at Clark’s "three tiers of public discourse" nonsense (a new tier would need to be worked in to accomodate James Carville and Sidney Blumenthal, no doubt), mentioned that Clark was a Rhodes scholar.

I said that might be the start of his problems, the original source of his disordered thinking.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I propose NC-17, G, PG, R and X as ratings for political discourse.....seems a good idea to me, just like bombing the PRC’s Belgrade Embassy seemed like a good idea, but I drink a lot and then there was the golf club to the head episode.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
just like bombing the PRC’s Belgrade Embassy seemed like a good idea, but I drink a lot and then there was the golf club to the head episode
Joe - Belgrade was supposed to be a mistake, remember?
Now, the golf club thing....
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Yawn, the military doesn’t seem particularly upset with Limbaugh...wonder why?Despite this farcical hyperreaction by the Dems, nobody- military or otherwise- really believes they give a s**t about defending the honor of soldiers.

But hey, there’s an election to be won, so free speech and such go out the window in exchange for trying to score a political point (or more accurately, to pander to the nutroot base)

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
so free speech and such go out the window in exchange for trying to score a political point
No, no, the ’wrong’ free speech must be restricted, the ’right (that is to say left)’ free speech will be encouraged.

Speech about supporting the baby killing, murdering, torturing, mercenary behaviors of our troops and the betrayal of our country by our military leaders, needs to be heard. It’s good for the national psyche, and will ultimately allow us to recognize our hubris in Iraq.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Clarke would have a double standard. To that, I have no doubt.

But McQ, we know your distaste of public broadcasting with its left leaning programming, but what about the AFN which (to my elementary understanding of the subject) the Pentagon has editorial control???

You make good points when suggesting that PBS is no longer needed as we have private operations that fill the job adequately. Couldn’t the same be said for the AFN?

I don’t know too much about the AFN, but it seems to me that the market would be eagerly ready and able to provide entertainment and news for the military.

Are not young people between the ages of 18 and 35 the target audience for advertisers???

Do we need the AFN anymore?

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Meanwhile the "quick to call for the censoring anyone they disagree with" Democrats are attempting to have Limbaugh removed from the Armed Forces Radio Network.
So, if Limbaugh were not on AFR, then it should be considered censorship?

Does that mean that every talking head that is not on AFR is being censored?

Let’s be honest here, the only reason Rush is on AFR is because of his point of view. Conservatives, led by Boehlert and Dornan, whined and cried in 1993 until they got Rush on the air, it was entirely politically driven action. So a politically driven action to get him off the air is no different.

He is not being told he cannot broadcast, he is not being told he cannot say what he wants. He is not being censored.

Whatever was on AFTRS for the hour that Rush took over isn’t being censored.

Rush SHOULD be pulled off of AFTRS, or a competing viewpoint should be added, but leaving Rush on without a competing viewpoint, is, in my opinion, limiting speech.

If Congress restricts his ability to broadcast in the free market, you’d have a point, now you just a have an agenda.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
You make good points when suggesting that PBS is no longer needed as we have private operations that fill the job adequately. Couldn’t the same be said for the AFN?
Of course it could and I’d be fine with that.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
So, if Limbaugh were not on AFR, then it should be considered censorship?
Uh, well gee, Cap .. how do you censor someone who is not on the station to begin with?
Rush SHOULD be pulled off of AFTRS, or a competing viewpoint should be added, but leaving Rush on without a competing viewpoint, is, in my opinion, limiting speech.
As I understand it, Limbaugh has an hour and Ed Shultz has an hour as well (and so do Alan Colmes and Sean Hannity). So no speech is being ’limited’.

For some reason Clark never mentioned Schultz once.

My guess is that’s because regardless of what Schultz might say, he’d probably grade out as an "A" in the Clark rating scheme.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
CLARK: I think he’s got every right to say it under freedom of speech. But it doesn’t have to be transmitted at U.S. government expense. That’s my point.
And why exactly does anything have to be transmitted at government expense?
 
Written By: J
URL: http://
As I understand it, Limbaugh has an hour and Ed Shultz has an hour as well (and so do Alan Colmes and Sean Hannity). So no speech is being ’limited’.
The last time I looked into the AFN schedule, Colmes and Shultz weren’t on. From a diversity (within the pro-American spectrum, as it should be) point of view, the current schedule works for me.

If Rush were determined to have offended the military, it’s their show, and they should be able to toss him off by opinion, and perhaps that where Clarke is coming from as a (former) military guy.

Anyone can try to drive this opinion, and anyone can be reacting to offended military personnel.

Say what you what in your biased restating of what Limbaugh said, but there’s a number of REAL soldiers who are REALLY offended by being, in their opinion, called phony soldiers.

Remember John Kerry’s gaffe, when he made a joke that didn’t come out the way he wanted. Y’all ignored what he said was intended and instead CHOSE to accept the words as they originally, errantly presented.

And now you want others to accept Rush’s explanation?

Good luck with that.

If you can’t see that a person’s opinions are more important to Limbaugh than their service, you can’t see the forest for the anal cyst.

I can disagree with a soldier, and in fact do disagree with many, but I don’t doubt for second that they come by their opinions honestly, and their service is not in slightest bit diminished by their opinions. Rush, and people who attack the service of the soldiers they disagree with, don’t respect service, they only appreciate followers.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
The last time I looked into the AFN schedule, Colmes and Shultz weren’t on.
Well you might want to check again.
Say what you what in your biased restating of what Limbaugh said, but there’s a number of REAL soldiers who are REALLY offended by being, in their opinion, called phony soldiers.
Heck, Cap, you get things wrong all the time ... why wouldn’t we expect a few soldiers to do the same thing?
And now you want others to accept Rush’s explanation?
Actually all any reasonable person has to do is read the transcript and it is quite obvious. Of course, "reasonable" sort of leaves you out of the equation on this one, but such is life.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
That post seemed bizarre. Of course government can decides what it wants or doesn’t want on its own radio broadcasts, there is no way that could be considered a violation of freedom of speech. I can’t for the life of me see how Clark deserves criticism on that front. Criticize him for taking a stand on this or for making a mountain out of a molehill, but clearly what gets put on armed forces radio or any government broadcast can be controlled by the government!
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Actually all any reasonable person has to do is read the transcript and it is quite obvious. Of course, "reasonable" sort of leaves you out of the equation on this one, but such is life.
Pot meet Kettle.

I have my biases, you have nothing but biases.
Heck, Cap, you get things wrong all the time
We all do, I just have the decency to admit it more than most.






 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
We all do, I just have the decency to admit it more than most.
Do you?
The last time I looked into the AFN schedule, Colmes and Shultz weren’t on.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"I can’t for the life of me see how Clark deserves criticism on that front."
The criticism is because of his REASON for taking Rush off. Who’s arguing the government can’t decide who is on AFR?! No sh*t!
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
We all do, I just have the decency to admit it more than most.
No record of that here.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
So, Erb is saying that when the GOP gets into office, we should be able to throw the rascals out at NPR and contract all NPR programming out to FOX? Or Armed Forces Network should immediately start running Bravo when the Dems get into office?

LOL.

Armed Forces Network should be run by the Armed Forces, and their programming should reflect what the members of the armed forces like. If they want to watch Japanese anime 24/7 or listen to Rush Limbaugh, then so be it. Oh, and Bravo if they so desire.

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
"but there’s a number of REAL soldiers who are REALLY offended by being, in their opinion, called phony soldiers."

Links are always welcome. I would be curious to see if they actually read the transcript themselves or relied on others to tell them what they think Limbaugh said.

"Remember John Kerry’s gaffe,.....Y’all ignored what he said was intended"

I don’t think everyone did.

In my opinion there should be NO political speech on AFN, ’balanced’ or not. Music, sports, news, travel tips, whatever, just no politics.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Y’all ignored what he said was intended and instead CHOSE to accept the words as they originally, errantly presented.
OK, seriously...are you being stupid on purpose?

You just compared taking Kerry’s words literally to taking Limbaugh’s words and INFERRING what he meant.

This reminds me when you just recently claimed that people would make an opposite argument when Erb showed up — when in fact people were making the exact same argument against McQ and Erb. (You never admitted your mistake there, did you?)

You have a consistent problem with making comparisons. Please try harder to pay attention.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
wesley clark is the reincarnation of George Armstrong Custer
 
Written By: kyleN
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Here are some quotes from Sarcastic during the Kerry gaffe:
Assuming you can’t read minds, and the English language is not perfect, and people’s use of it is especially flawed, we have to rely on what people say they meant as to opposed to what others say was meant when a person makes a comment.
and
But in general, we ["on the left"] just laugh at the gaffes and don’t try to assign hidden meaning, or more specifically, meaning that he did not intend.
and
You must be able to read his mind since you are able to claim without equivocation that he meant what you say he meant rather than what John Kerry himself says he meant.
and
I must just be too dumb to figure out how you can KNOW what John Kerry is THINKING and KNOW he means what he says even when HE says says that he does not mean what you say he means.
and
are there still folks who want to entertain me by suggesting that he meant this as an insult to people who wear the uniform?

C’mon, make me laugh.
These are the comments Sarcastic made based on people criticising Kerry for the literal quote he made.

Now Sarcastic has taken the opposite view when he doesn’t even have a literal quote from Limbaugh making an insult.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Oh, and while I’m at it...let me give Sarcastic some more "creeps" by reminding us what Erb said about the Kerry gaffe:
Those who attack Kerry over this are the real a******s.
That is a pretty strong statement. I suppose we’ll see something similar against those attacking Limbaugh?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
So, Erb is saying that when the GOP gets into office, we should be able to throw the rascals out at NPR and contract all NPR programming out to FOX? Or Armed Forces Network should immediately start running Bravo when the Dems get into office?
No, only that this isn’t a first amendment issue. Criticizing Clark is fine, but throwing in the first amendment as a cause is misguided at best.

I just wonder, why couldn’t Rush have said, "geez, I think it’s pretty clear what I meant but I can see how it can be taken to mean I was calling soldiers opposed to the war phoney soldiers. I do not believe that, and apologize if my sloppy wording caused any offense." That would have been classy, and if he’d done that I’d actually be defending Rush. Instead, he goes on to call the Democrats defeatist and engage in the kind of behavior the right criticized moveon.org for.

 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
and if he’d done that I’d actually be defending Rush
You were defending Kerry before he apologized for his literal words. You even called those who criticized Kerry "real a******s".
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Are not young people between the ages of 18 and 35 the target audience for advertisers???
From Wiki:

While the audience tunes-in to AFN to watch their favorite shows or listen to the latest Stateside hits, entertainment is the "candy coating" used to attract the military viewer/listener; as AFN’s primary mission is to provide access for local command information (CI) programs. Spots run in the place of commercials in breaks run the gamut from reminding servicememebers to register to vote, promotions of local command-sponsored recreation events, off-duty educational programs, health and wellness tips, and what’s playing at local base movie theaters.
AFN inserts public service announcements, educational featurettes (as in presenting an American state capital), and localized messages from senior leadership in place of normal commercials.
In my opinion there should be NO political speech on AFN, ’balanced’ or not
From AFN FAQ:

Q: Why does AFN air political-talk radio programs?
A: AFN has an obligation, backed by Congressional mandate, to provide our audience access to the same variety and diversity of programming that they would enjoy if they were back in the States. Because political talk radio is among the most popular stateside radion formats, AFN currently offers four political radio talk shows on our AFN radio schedule: Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity represent the conservative viewpoint and Ed Schultz and Alan Colmes represent the liberal viewpoint. We make our choices based on popularity with the American audience. We don’t censor programs. We strive to provide our overseas audience with a choice and let them decide for themselves what they want to see and hear. There is no requirement for our audience to listen to anything they personally disagree with. To review the balance we strive to achieve via the totality of our radio and TV schedules, please visit http://www.myafn.net.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Rush is supposed to apologize over a deliberate attempt to misrepresent what he said and meant?

How about, "I’m sorry for anyone who is too stupid to follow a discussion. I’m sorry there are people who go through life looking for reasons to be offended. I’m sorry for any adult who can’t make up his mind for himself."



 
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
I spent the last 6 years of my military career in the Pentagon. I have worked as a consutant primarily for DOD activities for the 11 years since I retired. In that time I have known a number of persons who have either served with, under or over Wesley Clark. I have yet to meet a person who has anything but utter contempt for the man. One retired general officer when I asked what he thought of Clark responded by spitting (it was an outdoor venue - golf course) and then he turned to me and simply asked "Know what I mean?"

I do not know Wesley Clark. But if this and other comments I have heard from him are indicative of the man, I can sympathize with the retired general’s reaction.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
SShiel writes:
I have known a number of persons who have either served with, under or over Wesley Clark. I have yet to meet a person who has anything but utter contempt for the man.
It’s not hard to see why.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Rush is supposed to apologize over a deliberate attempt to misrepresent what he said and meant?
He worded it in a way that could easily to taken to mean what those who criticized say he meant. So, while he certainly can attack others for, in his opinion, deliberately attempting to misrepresent his views, it would be classy for him to say, "however, in the event that someone heard that and took it the wrong way, I apologize for the sloppy wording, that happens sometimes when you’re live on the air, I meant no offence."

He could attack those who are on his case, yet do the classy thing at the same time. It would have been far smarter for him to do so than trot out the "democrats are defeatist" silliness. It suggests to me he’s a tad insecure.

Or, perhaps, it’s indicative of a culture where apologies and forgiveness are considered signs of weakness, and people avoid admitting they are wrong at all costs.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
CALLER: No, it’s not. And what’s really funny is they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and spout to the media.

RUSH: The phony soldiers.
He worded it in a way that could easily to taken to mean what those who criticized say he meant.
Really?

Why is that liberals accuse conservatives of not understanding nuance, and then act obtuse when claiming that Rush meant something that is obviously not what he said? There’s not even any nuance to understand here.
 
Written By: sully
URL: http://
JWG;
"Q: Why does AFN air political-talk radio programs?"

I don’t care why they air them.

***************************

" I have yet to meet a person who has anything but utter contempt for the man"

Between you and McQ I am now officially really, really curious about this guy. I even used the ’search’ function here to try, unsuccessfully, to find McQ’s remarks. Do you have any good leads/links? Obviously, though, there were some who thought quite well of him. It isn’t that I don’t believe he is a schmuck, I have met a few of these ’lifers’ myself.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
If Limbaugh made a ’classy’ apology, someone would misinterpret that too, no doubt saying it was an admission of guilt. Would that require another ’classy’ apology?
What is so ’classy’ about apologizing for someone elses fault?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
If Limbaugh made a ’classy’ apology, someone would misinterpret that too
Perhaps. But Limbaugh would have the moral high ground, and isn’t it more important to do the right thing rather than worry what others are going to say? I’ve encountered people even in commentary from this blog who, when caught obviously making a false statement, utterly refuse to admit it, even claiming it might be used against them. My read is that, even though we have a culture where things like apologies and forgiveness have become seen as negative attributes, signs of weakness, the way Rush responded — going on the attack — suggests he is, deep down, an insecure person. That’s OK, and it explains a lot, but somehow it causes me to feel a little sorry for him.

That said, I condemn both the Democratic response to Rush and the Republican response to moveon.org as trivial, purposefully misinterpreted, and a waste of time.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
the way Rush responded — going on the attack — suggests he is, deep down, an insecure person. That’s OK, and it explains a lot, but somehow it causes me to feel a little sorry for him.
You are like comedy gold! The fact that you can say this and respond the way you do when criticized for the exact words you use is beyond parody.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
From Erb’s own blog:
Kerry, smart enough to realize that in the gotcha game an apology is precisely the wrong thing to do, fired back...

So why not apologize? In an ideal world, Kerry could say, “gee, I didn’t mean to insult anyone and I apologize for any offense.” But the gotcha game is perverse in how it plays itself out. Once you apologize, you are admitting that the charge is true, at least in the world of modern American political discourse. The opponents will take the apology and parade it as proof that you meant what you said.
Like I said — Erb is comedy gold.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
"If Limbaugh made a ’classy’ apology, someone would misinterpret that too, no doubt saying it was an admission of guilt."
Timactual

"The opponents will take the apology and parade it as proof that you meant what you said."
Erb


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"If Limbaugh made a ’classy’ apology, someone would misinterpret that too, no doubt saying it was an admission of guilt."

I console myself with the thought that, although it is now the next day, I still admit that I wrote the above quote, and that I still believe it. Vive la Difference!
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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