Wednesday, July 13, 2005

How Dare He...

I know the cause of the following rant is several weeks old, but gimme a break. New Dad here. Anyways...

Karl Rove is not my favorite person. Not by a long shot. That a man who is in such a high position of influence in our country would make the following comment leads me to believe that a) either he is joking and refuses to engage in serious, partisan diologue, or b) seriously believes the following and is completely devoid of any nuance and any tact whatsoever:
"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war. Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."
What complete drivel. What pure, unadulterated NONSENSE. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, not only does the ENTIRE American public fit neatly into these two boxes ("conservative" and "liberal"), but the reactions of these two groups really ARE this cut-and-dry! Isn't that GREAT?! Now we can know (oh, THANK you, Mr. Rove!) with absolute certainty that to oppose the Administration on Iraq--never mind whether or not the reasons for it were questionable--is to side with the terrorists. To want to coddle them, to understand them. In contrast (a good-guy white to the obvious, "liberal black"), the neocon saviors that exemplify this administration will swing to the other extreme, saying not only is military force desireable, but ANY military action is to go unquestioned. ANY act of war MUST be a good one, for we are to destroy all our enemies...even before we're absolutely sure who they are. Moreover, ANY method of "persuasion" is deemed permissible, even if it is (let's call it what it is) physically and/or mentally and/or emotionally abusive. So much for claiming the moral high ground...

I am for the offensive in Afghanistan. Moreover, I favor aggressive military action against the folks who do things like this in the States, Madrid and London. I do not feel as though Iraq was the right thing to do at this time (we had not yet finished with the Taliban in Afghanistan) and doing what we've done when we've done it as we've done it has only made things worse. I feel Bush is misguided (largely by the fellow quoted above) in his whole concept of the Arab world...and, amazingly, I'm NOT going to advocate appeasement here!...and has proved himself largely incapable of waging smart war against our attackers, allowing himself (and, more importantly, the greatest military force in the world) to be distracted, sidetracked into an area they DIDN'T need to go into (at least, not yet) and are the worse off for it.

Karl Rove should be ashamed of himself for his blatant disregard for anyone--and I think this is the majority of us in this country--who will not fit neatly into his "for us or against us" paradigm. The fact that he is not disgusts me, but based on what I've seen in the past four years, doesn't surprise me in the least.

6 comments:

Rhology said...

Say what you want about Rove, the guy is smart and on this comment outmanoeuvred and outwitted the American Left.

Remember how he said it right after the Dick Durbin comment? The Left came out in support of Durbin w/ all kinds of reinforcements and "he has a right to free speech!" and garbage like that. Rove then gets on TV and says this, and the Left goes crazy. "He should be fired! He's a menace! He's a radical!"
Meanwhile, Rove is enjoying the fruits of his labors. Here's how, and you, my friend, fell into it as well.

You said: "Yes, ladies and gentlemen, not only does the ENTIRE American public fit neatly into these two boxes ('conservative' and 'liberal'), but the reactions of these two groups really ARE this cut-and-dry!"

Notice how you are attacking Rove for condemning "liberals." You're no liberal, yet this has you angry. The Democrat Party leadership have been busy re-moderating themselves since the 2004 Election debacle but have now unwittingly re-liberaled themselves. "Hey! We don't support that!" Oops, thought you weren't liberals, my friends.

Some things can be said just for political theatre and end up revealing more than the sum of their words.

David Bryan said...

Well, I have no doubt the man is intelligent. Intelligence does not mean, however, the capacity to use said mental capacity in ways that are wise.

In regards to the Durbin comment, I have to say, I wouldn't have gone so far as to compare it to the Holocaust (there's no mass murder going on in Gitmo, so his comment is just as outlandish as Rove's), but I think that if we are attempting to hold some sort of "moral high ground" in this that we need to lay off the much euphamized "stress techniques." It's barbarism, and needs to be addressed, though (I agree) in less inflammatory terms than those used by Mr. Durbinhead.

You said here that Illinois should issue a recall, yet call Rove a shrewd political tactitian for a comment that was just as ludicrous, if not more so. As such, I don't see your attitude as being any less hypocritical than the leftists praising Durbin but villifying Rove. I think they're both polemical jackasses, personally, neither of whom represent anything even close to a majority of Americans; we might as well be consistent in picking on quotes as laughable as these.

As for the "ladies and gentlemen" comment, it should have been surrounded by [sarcasm] and [/sarcasm]. I absolutely ABHOR the two labels "conservative" and "liberal"; not only are they played to death in the political arena, they are mostly functionally worthless, since they truly describe, what, maybe five percent of this country? I, as you noted, am not a liberal and am certainly not a conservative, either. I, like the majority of the people in this country, am a person somewhere in the middle who has to choose from two parties, neither of whom represents me completely, or even well.

I don't deny that there really are liberal nutcases out there that truly do believe that if we just talked real nice to Saddam he would have seen the errors of his ways, blah, blah, blah...but who among us who oppose our current presence in Iraq are this naive? Not as many as Rove, Hannity, et al would have us believe.

Rove's comment makes it seem as though there are two choices: the conservatives and their war in Iraq, and the liberals and their coddling of terrorists and their "religion of peace." The comment is not only useless in terms of who it applies to ("All right, Karl; so what about the other 95% of us?"), but it is inane in the sense that it only presents (in typical Bush Admin. fashion) two diametrically opposed extremes in what is, in reality, a very nuanced issue, with many diverse opinions in the public square being ignored.

owen white said...

Speaking as (and probably for most) paleoconservatives who despise Bush and the War Rover, I applaud your comments Bryan. Bush has betrayed the basic principles of conservatism. The neo-cons are the spawn of satan. I wonder if Bush would even be able to tell you which country and century Edmund Burke lived in.

Rhology said...

--You said here that Illinois should issue a recall, yet call Rove a shrewd political tactitian for a comment that was just as ludicrous, if not more so. As such, I don't see your attitude as being any less hypocritical than the leftists praising Durbin but villifying Rove.

>>I did indeed say that and stand by it. In my original comment I did not make any judgment on the ludicrousness or riduculocity of the Rove statement. In my thinking, I do not see how Rove's is nearly equal in absurdity to Durbin's.
For one thing, you are a long way from establishing the identities of these "conservatives" and "liberals" in Rove's comment. He made no effort that I can see to do so, so you ASSUME that he means "Repubs" and "non-Repubs" under each respective label.
Rather, he threw out the rabbit loop and let the Washington Democrats shove their necks right through it. I think you would grudgingly grant admiration for such a feat just based on political shrewdness alone if you could just see what I mean.
To clarify, they themselves provided the identity of the "liberal" label that Rove only hinted at. They try on the one hand to deny that they're libs, but on the other they're foaming at the mouth to defend themselves against Rove's attack... on libs.
Methinks they done protested too much.

David Bryan said...

"For one thing, you are a long way from establishing the identities of these 'conservatives' and 'liberals' in Rove's comment. He made no effort that I can see to do so, so you ASSUME that he means 'Repubs' and 'non-Repubs' under each respective label."

Just so it's clear, I KNOW he meant "those who support the Iraq War" and "those who don't," as the comment was made in the context of the Iraq offensive. The problem with this is that he used the term "conservative" to label the former, and "liberal" to label the latter. This is my main problem with his outrageous stereotype of a comment.

"Rather, he threw out the rabbit loop and let the Washington Democrats shove their necks right through it."

On the one hand, I do see your point: Why respond to an attack on a group named "liberals" if you yourself are not, supposedly, a liberal?

On the other hand (and to elaborate on what I said at first in this comment), he is making the claim that all who call themselves "conservative" will prepare for war--specifically, THIS war. As is the case with Owen White and myself (who am a social conservative), not all who are in any way conservative approve of this war; indeed, support for Iraq need not be a litmus test of one's conservatism (as there is more than one kind, as you know).

Furthermore, as there are varieties of conservatives, so there are varieties and shades of liberals. Perhaps there are those who call themselves liberal socially but not fiscally (or vice versa) who resent being called terrorist coddlers and who do, in fact, support certain military ventures (I know that plenty of Democrats in Congress approved of going to Afghanistan)...

Rove's comment was, to be sure, a very insulting one, and one that insulted folks who perhaps still desire to be called liberal, yet resent (and rightly so) being thrown into this strawman category.

Perhaps this was not even about a categorization, primarily. Perhaps this was primarily about the way in which we've been told that "if you're not for us, you're for the terrorists," which is the only other alternative Mr. Rove gives in his comment. I really don't care if the Democrats in Congress want to call themselves liberal or not (as a socially conservative Democrat, I know they are); what I'm more concerned about is the fact that, in America today, political pundits--whether they be radically conservative or radically liberal--are trying to divide this country's ideologies into two and only two camps: liberal and conservative, thus lumping sets of beliefs together that do not necessarily include each other. Karl Rove's comment reflects this insane trend, and, thus, reflects his inability to seriously deal with the topic of dissent from the Administration apart from en masse labeling ("Well, they're just the liberals who side with the terrorists.").

Pathetic.

The young fogey said...

Bryan: well put, sir.