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Reply to “Infanticide, Buchenwald and Core Values”

Posted by Rick · May 8th, 2004 · 34 Comments

Last night, as I was going out the door for a well-deserved and much-needed “date” with my wife, I said that I would respond to Nat’s “Buchenwald” post in more detail. And I’m going to do that, even though I’d prefer today to be writing about other issues. (I’m actually reading a pretty interesting book right now by Deborah Tannen, called The Argument Culture: Moving from Debate to Dialog, and I’m looking forward to talking about some of the ideas in it.)

Nat’s post — and Nat, I swear I mean no disrespect saying this — is somewhat stunning because it’s an actual argument. After all the posts over the last week, it was actually a surprise to me that you could write like this. And it was refreshing. Your other posts give nothing to think about; they merely sound like one of The Unmedicated standing on a street corner railing at the world. (This is descriptive of the posts, Nat, not of you.)

And for that reason, I actually had trouble at first believing you didn’t just cut and paste someone else’s article. I even did a little research to see if perhaps I could find that exact article on the Internet. (I didn’t.)

Not that it would have mattered, actually. In any honest discussion, the “meat” of the argument and the facts that support it are what count. And, in the end, one can see some of the “old Nat” peeking through — the anger and the hatred (of Clinton). The allusions, similes and outright comparisons of Clinton and his wife, whom Nat cannot avoid calling “Hitlary” to save his life, are actually offensive to me, and not because I liked Clinton (which I did) or his wife (which I didn’t), but because they threaten to make the memory of HaShoah, where nearly all of my family was destroyed, trite.

Be that as it may, Nat’s comments provide the undisciplined reader good reasons to hate the Clintons. Nat’s comments taken by themselves, out of all context of anything else that Clinton did, are good reasons to hate him, too.

The Wrongness of Partial-Birth Abortions

I’m not going to argue with Nat over the so-called “partial-birth abortion,” because I don’t feel that I can. My wife differs with me on this (and that’s truly okay, hon!), but I do believe that there are some methods of abortion which could be banned, without requiring that the whole area of law encircling and protecting women’s rights to choose when it comes to their bodies be abrogated. To say that disallowing partial-birth abortions is a step towards banning all abortions is to abuse a good Jewish concept, the concept of “building a fence around the law.” The fear of the slippery slope ends up resulting in inhumanity. Few (except traditional Catholics) would argue that birth control — at the other end of the continuum from the murder of a human being — is immoral. (Incidentally, I am not using “murder of a human being” in the last sentence as so many anti-abortionists do. I was setting up an actual continuum running from before conception to after the appearance of a full-fledged human being.) Fewer still would argue that murdering adult humans is immoral. The problems arise as we start to move towards the middle of that continuum. Even some people who would not find it offensive to — pardon me if this seems to graphic — pull out during intercourse and thus kill millions of sperm cells find it offensive to kill one immediately after it has joined the egg; for them, life begins at conception. And even people who find the murder of adult human beings unacceptable have no problem with partial-birth abortions; still fewer of this group is bothered by an “ordinary” abortion.

Personally, I don’t know exactly what I think about this. Fortunately for me, it isn’t something I’ve had to directly face. (And anyone who wishes to argue that because I vote for politicians who will make decisions impacting such things and therefore should have had to face this issue are just kidding themselves. Have you thought through every potential issue a politician might be involved in that doesn’t directly impact you? I doubt it. And if you did, you’d probably be wrong about at least 40% of what you believed, if not more, so I’ll not force myself to live by your standard on this.) What I do believe is that it likely involves a bit of a balancing test. You may find this immoral of me. But there are very real and (to me and many others) persuasive arguments about situations where choices have to be made between the life of a pregnant woman and the life of the fetus. There are other, equally persuasive, opinions regarding the impact of bringing unwanted children into the world.

And please don’t feed me that crap about families waiting and willing to adopt. It ain’t happenin’. See here (Scotland has kids who can’t find parents to adopt them) and here (UK has children waiting to be adopted) and here (700,000 children reportedly waiting) and here (Bush’s website notes more than 134,000 U.S. children currently await adoption because not enough people adopt) for more on that issue. And that, by the way, doesn’t even count kids from third-world countries or those with special needs.

Personally, if it were up to me, I’d be working on a plan to determine which 40% of the population gets sterilized in an attempt to get this sort of thing under control.

But it does not logically follow that prohibiting the killing of unborn children via partial-birth abortion must lead to a ban on all abortions anymore than it logically follows that forbidding the killing of two-year-olds (who, I’m told, may genuinely deserve it) must lead to a ban on all abortions. And many anti-abortionists have no problem with killing adult human beings under “the right circumstances” — e.g., self-defense, police action, for particularly heinous crimes, because they work in abortion clinics, or to pad the pockets of already-wealthy oil executives.

So, for my part, I find it completely acceptable to ban partial-birth abortions and I do not feel that in supporting this idea I am also required to support a complete ban on all abortions. Disallowing women the right to choose in some situations is no more morally unacceptable to me than disallowing other people (“non-women,” if you will) from choosing to do things they’d like to do just because the circumstances under which they wish to do it are not socially acceptable — and we do that all the time.

Nat’s concomitant claim that Clinton “made this a priority” because he wanted to seal a particular voter base is unsupported; it’s simply character assassination. There genuinely are people who believe partial-birth abortions are acceptable and that any attempt to prevent them is an attack on a woman’s right to choose her own destiny — if there were not, this would be a non-issue — it would appear the Clinton is in that group. The mere fact that he signed legislation which he believes in does not mean he is pandering. If that’s all it takes for pandering, then Bush has an equally large problem. Because I’ll say this point-blank: I believe it’s possible that Bush is some kind of Christian. But I also believe he is more likely pandering to a group of Christians who, if they were fully aware of his actions and motivations, would never consider Bush to be one of them. I simply do not believe that Bush is as motivated by his purported Christian beliefs as he is by Mammon — and isn’t it interesting that some believe that Mammon was originally a Syrian g-d? Nevertheless, it is possible for politicians to actually believe in the merits and need for the orders and legislation they sign.


I have seldom seen actual footage of Joseph Goebbels. The Jews in my family who might have been able to tell me about him are dead. I do not believe I own a copy of his “play book.” But I have sat on stages while people were speaking about things I believed in. And on some occasions where this happened and they said something with which I agreed, I have nodded my head in affirmation.

And although I have not seen much actual footage of Joseph Goebbels, I have watched too many political broadcasts featuring George “Dubbed-Y’all-Idiots-Di’n’t-I” Bush. Surprisingly, in light of Nat’s explanation that this comes straight out of Goebbel’s playbook, I have seen Republicans who accompanied the President during these events nodding their heads in affirmation!

I have seen footage of church leaders speaking to their followers as other church leaders — and even people scattered in the “audience” — nod their heads in affirmation!

The fact of the matter is that when people hear speakers saying something with which they agree and consequently nod their heads, this isn’t “straight out of the Goebbels play book”; this is straight out of the realm of normal human behavior.

Nat Dawson says,

Goebbels [sic] main claim to fame was “the big lie” theory by which a lie was invented – which on its face was aburd – but which was then enlarged and repeated ad nauseam. The bigger the lie, the more often it was repeated, the more credible it became. Goebbels was also the mastermind behind the techniques of mass brainwashing applied at political gatherings which are the perfect setting for manipulating public opinion.

I could ask, “Can you say ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction?'” But the fact of the matter is that James Carville was no more Clinton’s Joseph Goebbels than Karl Rove or Dick Cheney are Bush’s “Goebbels.”

Additionally, Nat appears to say that Clinton’s genuinely held beliefs regarding returning the Golan to Syria justify comparing him and his wife to Nazis and he is “naturally shocked to [his] core — to see this woman emulating the campaign tricks of the Nazis.” It makes him “want to vomit with grief and anger.” This is probably not unlike the shock he felt and the need to vomit with grief and anger he must have had when he read in The Jerusalem Post that Moshe Dayan repeatedly refused to capture the Golan Heights in the first place.

“The Syrians opposite [the Jewish settlers in the north] were soldiers who shot at them, and they certainly didn’t like that. But I can say with absolute certainty that the delegation that came to convince Eshkol to ascend the Golan did not think about these things. They thought about the land of the Golan,” Dayan is quoted as saying.

“I know what went on. I saw them and I spoke with them. They didn’t even try to hide their lust for that soil. That’s what guided them.”

No doubt it’s the same deeply-felt — indeed, overwhelming — shock and need to vomit with grief and anger he had when he heard the hard-right hardcore self-proclaimed Christian Pat Buchanan speak approvingly of George Bush’s plans for the Golan Heights and the Old City of Jerusalem:

In Beirut, the Arab nations have signed on to a Saudi peace plan in which President Bush seems to place some hope: Arab recognition of Israel, in return for withdrawal from all the lands taken in the Six-Day War of 1967 — the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Old City — plus the right of return of Palestinian refugees to Israel.

Two years ago, Prime Minister Barak offered Syria 99 percent of the Golan Heights, and the Palestinians 95 percent of Gaza and the West Bank, and a sovereign presence in Jerusalem, with Islamic control of the holy places of the faith inside the Old City.

While there is a deep divide between what the Arabs demanded in Beirut and what Barak offered at Camp David, the two plans do not seem wholly unbridgeable, if the alternative is a war to the death.

But Prime Minister Sharon has withdrawn Barak’s offer. [Ed. note: Emphasis added.]

Clearly Israel could not exist today without all evangelical Christians, such as Buchanan and Bush — “the strongest supporter Israel has ever had in the White House” (until now, I actually thought that might have been Jimmy Carter, followed possibly by a man who also spent a great deal of time trying to help the peace process: Bill Clinton) — thank goodness Israel doesn’t go into shock or vomit with grief and anger!

“So there you have it…”

The best response to this is what I said in a reply to Nat last night:

Sometimes people ask me to fix mistakes in the posts they make and I’m happy to do that.

Here’s the fix for what you’ve said:

There have been no moral lapses in the White House…except for the constant stream of lies that convinced the American public to send their sons and daughters to die in Iraq.

So there, indeed, you have it. Politics does make strange bedfellows. Nat would much prefer to hate Clinton for what Bush has done and to ignore the fact that Bush would push things farther. He would remove more land from Israel than Bill Clinton proposed. He would take the United States and invade countries without provocation (doesn’t anyone remember al Queda and Afghanistan?). He would cause the deaths of your sons and daughters after they were born, which is to say at a time when no rational person believes they do not have a right to life.

And he will continue hacking away at civil liberties and abortion — after all, there ought to be limits to freedom — but Nat won’t have to be shocked to his core. He won’t have to vomit from grief and anger.

The rest of the world, however, just might.

Categories: Social Issues


34 responses so far ↓

  • 1 abi // May 8, 2004 at 1:10 pm


    Thank you for this. I was starting to outline something similar today, but didn’t get as far through it.

    I was going to mention Godwin’s Law. If anyone hasn’t heard of it, it states that, as online discussions progress, the chance that someone will bring up Hitler approaches 100%. The corollary is that whoever crosses that line loses, having clearly exhausted all reasonable arguments.

    The fact of the matter is that no one we’ve been discussing is wholly good or wholly evil. Not Clinton, not Bush, not Paula Jones, not Kerry, none of them. All of them are genuine people with sincere motivations — highly divergent motivations, true — whose actions have impacted and will impact many lives.

    Calling anyone a Nazi, “Hitlary”, or whatever, is the sort of cheap shot that comes from an overly simplistic worldview, and I for one find it hard to be convinced by what little reasoning such a worldview permits.

  • 2 Bob // May 8, 2004 at 5:05 pm

    Prior to 9-11 there were no more emotional issues in this country than so-called “reproductive rights” and the status of homosexuals in society. These people are far more invested in their single cause than are, for example, the average Union member. These people are very hard core and very fanatical. In other words, the ideal type of supporter for a politician. Co-opt their single issue and you have a built in base of support.

    Nat, how is this different from Bush?s Christian Fundamental Right Wing support? Just for the record, I am a Christian. SOME of the values of the Fundamentalists are also shared by other Christians, and therefore me, however there is one significant position that the Fundamentalists take that is highly offensive to other Christians, and to non Christians. It?s the ?you?re either for us or against us? mentality that permeates their (numerous) denominations and this administration in particular.

    If you look at how politically active these Fundamentalists are, you can see that Bush has his single issue and his base of support according to your observation.

    It is a tactic that was then duplicated all along the line with those “emotional” constituencies such as the homosexuals.

    Nat, I believe you would have to agree that there are few more emotional constituencies than the Fundamental Right Wing Conservatives in this country today.

    I would also respectfully argue that AFTER 9-11 there was no more emotional issue in this country than fear. Bush did the right thing by going into Afghanistan and the Taliban, but Iraq is another matter. We as a country were sold the ?fear? of terrorism, the ?fear? that the Iraqis had WMD and a ?fear? of a future with Saddam Hussein in power.

    Our allies did not back us up because the intelligence was not there, and still has not been discovered. So far, nothing has been discovered that makes any of this true.

    I would respectfully argue that Bush?s ?for us or against us? mentality has thrown us into a country that will take decades to make democratic, and his Fundamental base of support will be there the whole time.

    This, of course, is straight out of the Goebbels play book where he would have the people on stage nod at points in Hitler’s speeches as a cue to the crowd suggesting approbation of what they just heard. It is raw, it is crude, it is blatant mass manipulation and it is shocking that it is something that Hitlary Klinton has no qualms emulating.

    Nat, let?s be honest here. Every candidate who has an TV commercial with an American flag waving behind him is attempting mass manipulation. Candidates seldom give speeches in arenas that are NOT filled with their supporters. The applause you hear is genuine but still manipulated. And the people there are wiling to be manipulated for what they consider is a worthy cause.

    Mass manipulation is a very, very old science. It was practiced with remarkable results by the Catholic Church (remember the Crusades?), Lenin & Marx (remember the USSR?), Colin Powell (remember the Security Council briefing justifying the Iraq invasion?) and too many other leaders. Hilary is not someone I would care to have over for dinner but she is not in any way to be associated with a Nazi under any circumstances. This is over the top. I am sorry for your family?s suffering but they are not associated with this discussion.

    Clinton has no core. No grounded values. He is a pure opportunist. Twisting this way and that to gain temporary advantage.

    You know Nat, here we are in partial agreement.

    What I remember most was after the Republicans slaughtered the Democrats in House and Senate in mid-term elections using the balanced budget as their weapon of choice, Clinton suddenly ?heard the voice of the people? and preempted many of the Republicans best ideas with legislation. Clinton was a political chameleon. He was a very wily politician and an exceptional adversary to the Republicans. In fact, in my humble opinion, it was the inability of the Republicans to unite that handed Clinton his second term. Dole never had a chance against the youth and intellect of Bill Clinton but no one but a ?senior statesman? could unite the party.

    I also believe that the venom we now hear daily on talk radio was fostered by the Republicans during Clinton terms brought on by their unique frustration at opposing a president who changed his colors to meet the needs of popularity and reelection. You could make the case that it was because of Clinton that Rush could be heard.

    And I believe that this new venomous era of American politics has weakened a nation.

    But that is another discussion ?

  • 3 Nat Dawson // May 8, 2004 at 5:16 pm

    For a bunch of lawyers I have to tell you, in all candor, that your rebuttal technique needs a lot of polishing. If I was your law professor, none of you people are scoring above a C+ this week. I would venture to say that you have to perform at least at the B level, or above, in order to even have a chance before the bench or, God help you (or – more appropriately – your clients), before a jury.

    I’m a lifetime New York Football Giants fan. I’ve been a member of the Giants forum on the NYT for about 10 years. I have to tell you that the word “Nazi” has yet to appear on that forum. Even this year, when we hired a coach with a reputation for being an authoritarian, the word never appeared. In my own profession, which is meteorology, I have run a discussion board for 6 years. The word “Nazi” has never come up. My wife is known to patrol the forums for the HBO show “Sex in the City”, which I consider to be one of the stupidest, silliest shows on television, and she informs me that the word “Nazi” has never been mentioned in any of the forums she monitors. Both my daughters are highly computer literate and are all over the chat rooms in America Online and they tell me that they have never encountered the “Nazi” word.

    Indeed, a simple googling of the term “Godwin’s law” reveals that it is attributable to someone who has no scientific credential whatsoever to support his contention! In point of fact, the so-called “Godwin’s law” is early Internet folklore and the scientific basis for it is pure bunk. Hokum.

    You Liberals really take the cake. Last weekend you went as far to contend I did not have an 8 year old in 1997. This weekend, my mention of the Nazis is only because of “Godwin’s law”. However, when you make an assertion or a declarative statement, everyone is supposed to accept your word without further review.

    Let me suggest something to you. When you attempt to preclude any form of discussion that might result in “bringing up the word ‘Nazi’ “, you are setting out on a slippery slope that will inevitably lead to …. you know where? Denial of the Holocaust, that’s where. That is the only logical extension of your apparent desire to castigate those who might mention personal tragedy in their families endured at the hands of the Nazis and deny them the opportunity to mention it without incurring the ridicule and scorn such as you have heaped on my post.

    If you are successful in eliminating the word “Nazi” from all Internet discussion boards then the next sequence of steps is all too obvious. Be careful of what you wish for.

  • 4 Nat Dawson // May 8, 2004 at 6:29 pm


    “For us or against us”

    This may surprise you but I am also a Christian. You may say, how could that be if one of your parents is Jewish? Well, as with the Christian faith their are gradations of Jewry and my Jewish parent is from a family of Messianic Jews. My siblings and I were raised as Christians with the full consent of the Jewish parent. I’m proud of my Jewish heritage but I’m also very delighted to have had the good news revealed to me.

    I’m not only a Christian in name, I am a born-again Christian. I attend worship services frequently. I receive the sacrament of Mass – the whole nine yards – on a regular basis. That’s not to say that I totally agree with the Catholic Church on all doctrine. In fact I reject a good deal of Roman Catholicism as false dogma. For example, I think the RC’s have pushed the Holy Mother, the Virgin Mary, to a position of excessive prominence. I do not accept the Doctrine of Papal Infallibility. No man is infallible. And I find the attitude of the Church towards those who have been married outside the Church i.e. not recognizing a civil marriage in time of war, to be excessive pettifogging pedantry.

    I think the Catholic Church, as an institution, is often guilty of adhering to the letter and not the spirit of the Pauline doctrine from whence most Christian morality is derived. If any branch of Christianity were to come close to your “for or against us” theory, then the Catholics would probably be close to the front of the line. But I don’t think they go over it.

    So, I don’t agree with your contention that the “for us or against us” dictum is Christian doctrine. Perhaps there some branches of the Christian Church that might advance that notion but I’ve never encountered them. Indeed, when you think about it that would be a contradiction of our Lord’s commandment to love one another which he clearly meant to be all-inclusive and shared by and for all.

    I think you are confusing the “for us or against us” analogy with the premise laid out by President Bush as a warning to rogue States that might harbor terrorists. In this context The President is absolutely right. We can’t do business, any longer, with those States that knowingly harbor those people who have declared their Jihad on us. If they harbor our enemies, then they are also our enemies.

    Mrs. Clinton and Joseph Goebbels

    Before you attempt to pursuade me that “everyone is doing it” in terms of emulating the flag waving events that were the signature of the Nazi Party rallies in the 1930s, I ask you to examine the “right wing conspiracy” allegation as made by Mrs. Clinton in the days following the eruption of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. As time has shown this was as egregiously and knowingly false an allegation as has ever descended on the American political landscape since the days of Joseph McCarthy.

    Mrs. Clinton knew very well, as the words were tripping off her lying lips, that she had ZERO evidence to support this contention. The right wing pulled her husband’s zipper down and then proceeded to have sex with a cigar? Then the right wing produced a dress to capture Mr. Clinton’s ejaculate? Please. She knew it was a lie but she, and her coterie, proceeded to then repeat it over and over. And you think that Heinrich Goebbels, looking up from the depths of hell, was not shrieking with fiendish delight when she did so?

    Let’s be real, Bob. That was a deliberate mindf**k of the American people. Calculated and coordinated. And, oh so Goebbelsian. Those who stage political rallies may have aped the techniques that Goebbels pioneered but Mrs. Clinton is the only politician I know whose behavior is chillingly imitative of the “big lie” theory that Goebbels invented and perfected. Which is one more reason this woman must never be entrusted with the Presidency of this country.

    B. Clinton’s political skills

    Bob, Bob, Bob. If the man had such great political skills then answer me this. When Clinton arrived in Washington in January 1992, the Dumbocrats had majorities in the House and the Senate. When he left, 8 years later, the Republicans had taken over the House and the Senate and the White House.

    Bob – it’s all smoke and mirrors with him. The man is an illusionist. Look at the family he grew up in. White trash, alcoholics etc. He was trained to lie and dissemble from an early age. But everything he does is of the moment. He engages in nothing of long term consequence. This is why he has no legacy and is desparate to invent one.

    I would not call him good at anything except his own constant aggrandizement and self-promotion. And, of course, at fooling a large number of unthinking people.

    Have a nice evening, Bob.

  • 5 Rick // May 8, 2004 at 9:17 pm

    Oh, well, I suppose Nat shot his whole wad on the one posting. We’re back to the old Nat again.

    Nat, was there a reason you’ve begun name-calling again and didn’t even mention the logical arguments with which I started this post. Instead, you hone in on a colloquialism noted by Abi? Would that reason be that, true to what Abi humorously noted by noting Godwin was with us, you are unable to respond to the substantive issues raised in the posts? (Incidentally, in spite of your repeated attempts to taunt us “lawyers,” there isn’t a single lawyer here. There are several law students and — to my knowledge — Abi, an otherwise wonderful person, isn’t one of them.)

    Out of everything that had been written before you posted and ignoring the original response to your first organized bit of writing, you latch onto the fact that Abi made a semi-humorous tongue-in-cheek observation that the so-called “Godwin’s Law” had saluted our postings.

    Godwin’s Law never was intended — even by its original author — as anything more than a humorous observation.


    Case’s Corollary to the Law states “if the subject is Heinlein or homosexuality, the probability of a Hitler/Nazi comparison being made becomes equal to one” – but that’s just an old list. Abortion and gun control debates always lead to Nazi comparisons; talk with a Libertarian for more than a few hours and he’ll almost certainly bring up Nazis; book-burning is pretty much considered a sub-topic of Nazism at this point. Hell, talk about anything politically related and you’ll eventually get there.

    If you’re really bored, a fun game to play is Six Degrees of Godwin. Take a topic – any topic – and see how quickly you can relate it to Nazis using legitimate topic drift methods. For example: a discussion about computers will eventually lead to discussions of keyboards and which are best, followed by a lot of complaining about the Windows key on 104-key keyboards, leading to complaints about Microsoft, forcing the standard MS-vs-government flamewar that I’m sure you’re all aware of, leading to attacks on Microsoft’s “fascist” tactics by one side or another, which will force the other side to start talking about the differences between fascism, capitalism, and, of course, Nazism! The fun never stops!

    That pretty much fits here. But the funniest part (and I’m perpetuating this now myself! Ha!) is:

    [S]omebody’s eventually going to say
    something about the Nazis in any thread that lasts very long. When it happens, the thread is going to start either degenerating into a long flamewar over Nazi Germany or about Godwin’s Law.

    We made it!

    Maybe we can end that part of it here, though. When I was explaining Godwin’s Law to my wife, who had never heard it, I said,

    It’s sort of a cultural anthropology joke that started back with USENET. [Remember that?! I was a founder and moderator for soc.culture.jewish.holocaust! We talked about Nazis a lot! (but that is excluded from Godwin’s Law automatically).] Someone made an observation about the way discussions worked on USENET and it was interesting enough to become part of Internet folklore. It’s kind of like if I said, “Bunny’s Garden Law states that ‘the best way to get Bunny to salivate is to bring home a new plant from the nursery.'”

    That Godwin’s Law isn’t scientific is beside the point — to argue that because it isn’t, the person who noted that it seemed to apply and all the rest of those involved in the thread had failed to achieve their objective (an open and honest debate of real issues) is to miss the point, or, in this case, several of them.

    Your constant name-calling and personal attacks are having a negative impact on the noise-to-signal ratio here, Nat.

    Your Buchenwald article contains a more sophisticated form of character assassination and personal attack, mixed with some actual historical facts and even one semi-decent argument.

    If you’ll go back to that level, it might help kickstart more meaningful dialogs than “‘They’re all Nazis!’ ‘No, they’re not!’ ‘Yes, they are!'” ever can.

    But then (just to show you that I can play the same useless game), you’re fighting an uphill battle, aren’t you, you Messianic-“Jew”/Catholic, you.

    For those who are interested, one of the funniest and more interesting explanations of Godwin’s Law can be found here.

  • 6 abi // May 9, 2004 at 12:55 am

    Once again, Rick has pretty much covered what I would have been saying. Godwin’s Law is like Murphy’s Law, not the Law of Gravity. It’s an observation of human nature, particularly in heated debates. If Nat hasn’t run across it in other contexts, I would suggest that the debate hasn’t been heated enough.

    I would be interested in a substantive reply to the actual point of my comment. (Though I am not holding my breath.) But there’s one thing I can’t leave lying there in Nat’s diversionary post.

    Quoth Nat:

    Let me suggest something to you. When you attempt to preclude any form of discussion that might result in “bringing up the word ‘Nazi’ “, you are setting out on a slippery slope that will inevitably lead to …. you know where? Denial of the Holocaust, that’s where. That is the only logical extension of your apparent desire to castigate those who might mention personal tragedy in their families endured at the hands of the Nazis and deny them the opportunity to mention it without incurring the ridicule and scorn such as you have heaped on my post.

    I’m not trying to preclude mentions of the Holocaust, much less lead us to forget one of the darkest moments in all of human history. I’m pointing out that your analogy was an exaggeration, just like if I brought in the Irish Potato Famine in relation to GWB’s economic policies, or the introduction of smallpox to the American Indians (somehow). Both these horrors happened to ancestors of mine, but thankfully we live in more civilised countries now. And all of our efforts must be directed to keeping them that way, though we differ on the methods.

    But arguments like yours lead to something much worse than denial of the Holocaust. They lead to a *cheapening* of the Holocaust. We see it in little ways all the time, in phrases like “grammar Nazi”. When we start referring to the Holocaust casually in political debates, we’re heading toward a bigger problem, where not just the names but the very ideals are seen as safe. After all, if (fill in the name of your political enemy) used Nazi techniques or had Fascist views, and we all survived, then hey, those techniques or views must not have been as bad as all that.

    Let’s remember that *nothing* that has ever gone on in the US comes even close to the things that went on under Hitler. Not even the slaughter of the Native Americans, much less that semen-stained dress that you can’t stop thinking about. To bandy such a monstrosity about in casual debate, to drag the millions dead into your obsessive character assasination of the Clintons, is frankly obscene.

    And I don’t recall using any ridicule. Of course, you may be slightly oversensitive; it’s not unknown for the most heated debaters to be a little fragile.

  • 7 abi // May 9, 2004 at 2:57 am

    Looking at the list of fora that Nat mentions, by the way, I see that they are all likely to be moderated ones. Unless they’re very strange ones, then, the mods will be keeping the tempers down and the flaming to a minimum. This has probably contributed to the lack of inappropriate comparisons to Fascists.

    And let me just reiterate the main point of my comment, since it will probably get lost in Nat’s flim-flam and diversions.

    Every single person we’ve been discussing is a real human being, with real motivations. They all think they are doing the right thing. And none of them is wholly good or wholly evil. If we think so, that says more about our own balance of mind than it does about theirs.

    I would encourage everyone in this discussion to take a moment and think of one unabashedly positive thing to say about his or her political opponent. No backhanded insults, no snideness, just a genuine good thing. I’ll even start: I think George W. Bush is sincerely dedicated to stopping any more attacks on American soil.

    Go on, I dare you all to do the same.

  • 8 Bob // May 9, 2004 at 7:31 am


    Thank you, you’re helped re establish my faith in (intelligent) people again. And my faith in free speech and courtesy.


  • 9 Mark // May 9, 2004 at 7:55 am


    I have to take issue with you about your view that Clinton co-opted Republican ideas. If you are a student of history (and this is a subject that I have always enjoyed), you will see that while Republicans SAY they want smaller government and balanced budgets, they historically bring larger government and wild budget deficits. Clinton’s Budget Act of 1993 was very controversial at the time. Republicans such as then House Speaker (and a fine example of Republican duplicity) Newt Gingrich railed that if Clinton’s budget passed, it would lead to deep recession if not depression. Clinton pushed it through Congress. While I am no student of economics, it is my understanding that economists on both sides of the spectrum point to the Budget Act of 1993 as being a major under-pinning of the great prosperity this country experienced in the 1990s. It was far from a Republican idea. Most Republicans fought it tooth and nail.

    If you don’t want to read the history books to see that Republicans have brought us big government and giant deficits in the past — simply look to the current situation. Excluding military forces from the equation, Clinton shrunk the size of the federal government. Again excluding the military, the size of the federal government, along with its attempts to dictate daily decisions among citizens, has vastly increased during Shrub’s years.

    The Republicans would serve the country better if they tried co-opting some of the ideas of the Democrats. They worked well during the 1990s.

    Ronnie Reagan asked, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” I would propose that anyone who thinks our nation is better off now than it was four years ago is out of touch with reality.

  • 10 Rick // May 9, 2004 at 8:10 am

    I agree with Abi’s comment that the people we’ve been discussing are all human beings who believe they’re really doing what’s right. It’s the only possible explanation. I cannot believe that George Bush actually wakes up and thinks, “How can I make the world a worse place today?”

    At the same time, I believe the end result of his activities is creating a world in which most of us would not want to live — ultimately, I think even he would not want to live in the kind of world his policies are creating. I just think he doesn’t understand that his policies are creating such a world.

    For example, we’re rapidly moving towards what Lawrence Lessig calls a permission-based society, rather than a rights-based society.

    Yet I don’t think George Bush is the only one who is driving us in that direction. To a certain extent, we all have a part in that. It’s one of the reasons I write: on the one hand, to think some of these issues through myself; on the other to encourage and facilitate others to do so as well. I believe that writing is a tool for thinking, but it’s also a way of engaging others in dialog. Both aspects, I hope, push us in that direction.

    And that’s why Nat’s comments have become on good days, sad, and, on bad days, an irritant. “Winning” an argument seems to be the only goal. And I don’t mean a logical argument, but a fight, because Nat hasn’t engaged anyone in a logical argument yet (although he came close with his Buchenwald post). This attempt to win, however, fails when the true issues are simply avoided.

    Name-calling feels good. I know, I sometimes do it myself. Sometimes it’s just an irresistible thing to point out that one’s “opponent” is a hardcore right-wing fruitcake. But as much as saying such things might feel good, it doesn’t actually contribute to any meaningful dialog. I try to avoid it when I can, or to make it a kind of friendly jab (if I can) — but, always, if I simply cannot avoid it, it’s part of a substantive post; it’s not the entire post.

    There are serious problems afoot in our world today, just as there always have been in the past.

    Every age seems to think it’s problems are the worst, or at least worse than those that went before. In some ways, that’s true.

    Last night, my wife and I watched The Last Samurai. As Tom & Zen note at the end of the linked review, the film is “an epic for epic’s sake and not a film of much true substance.” It’s a bit of escapism, but there was enough to it to keep me thinking, too. I won’t talk about much of that now. But I did make a mental note about one thing during the last battle scene. The Samurai were always warriors, so it’s not like there wasn’t a bit of killing, fighting, war going on before. Yet what a thing it was to see hundreds of men, charging thousands of other men, and seeing them all mowed down like grass by the “new guns” — Gatling guns. The thought that came to me then is that although the politics, social issues and other realities of human interaction may not have changed over the centuries, the scope of the damage we can cause has.

    Clearly, the issues that bring conflict among people are not going to go away. It’s therefore imperative that we learn to engage one another in dialog about these issues. While it’s true that none of us here on this blog are single-handedly going to solve the world’s ills, I believe that without more individual human beings thinking about the issues there are, the smaller the chance that anyone will be able to build a world we could all live in. Learning to dialog here helps all the way around.

    Tikkun olam starts at home. For me, this blog is a part of that. When the noise-to-signal ratio gets in the way, I guess the only thing I can do is point out the noisemaker periodically, ignore him otherwise, and encourage others to do the same.

    Because only reasoned logical arguments will help us build a reasonable world. Fighting may be fun (for some), but it’s destructive, rather than constructive.

    So…Nat…how about more organized writing like you did with your Buchenwald post — even though I disagreed with some of it and it still contained a healthy dose of (slightly more sophisticated) character assassination. At least it’s a better starting point for discussion than trying to morph humorous observations into evidence of an inability to understand science and (apparently) trying to say by implication that the parts of the argument you did not address fall by virtue of having come from the same people who you incorrectly believe made the mistake of thinking a joke was science.

  • 11 Nat Dawson // May 9, 2004 at 10:36 am

    uh huh. I think I’m getting the picture. Too bad you didn’t post a “FAQ” somewhere on this site so that folks, such as myself, can determine, in advance, whether their contributions to the discussion fit within certain parameters. That would save a lot of time.

    Perhaps you could let people know that they have alighted on a site where left-liberalism is so entrenched that it even defines not only the approach one must take but also the words one can or cannot say. I submit that you Liberals are so used to imposing speech codes on everyone that your ability to operate, outside of your own little spheres of interest, is only functional if not challenged in any way.

    That’s why you people need me; because I’m still angry. You’ve become so used to agreement among yourselves with your smug, smarmy elitist attitudes of superiority, that your debating skills have deteriorated and have become soft and spongy. Instead of reproaching conservatives who wonder in here, perhaps it would be (I’ll try to say this like a Liberal) enlightening if you would try determine WHY they want to supplant you, and your bankrupt and improvishing ideology, and engage them accordingly.

    Have a nice day.

  • 12 mark // May 9, 2004 at 11:25 am

    Impoverishing ideology? Ask anyone who lived through the Great Depression which ideology was impoverishing:

    1) The arch-conservative ideology that created the conditions that led to the Depression in the first place, and then fought with everything they had to prevent Franklin Roosevelt from relieving some of the misery so many people in this country were experiencing; or

    2) The progressive ideology embodied by Roosevelt and the Democratic Party.

    I have been heartened, in the past year or so, by artices I have read about Alabama Governor Bob Riley. Riley is a bible-banging, evangelical Christian who USED to be from the far right wing of the Republican Party. When he got into office, he realized that when all taxes (sales tax, property tax, income tax, etc.) were considered — poor people in his state were paying about 12% of their incomes in state taxes, while the wealthy were paying about 3% of their income in state taxes. Large corporations were paying about $2.50 per acre (that’s no typo) in property taxes each year. He was stunned. Druggie Rush and Bill O’Lielly are always saying that the poor people pay no taxes at all. How could this be so? But the facts are inescapable.

    Riley sees this disparity as immoral and blatantly against everything he believes Jesus taught. He went on a one-man campaign to pass a referendum to reform Alabama’s tax structure to a more equitable system. The Republican Party and the Christian Coalition put a lot of money into the fight against Riley, and he lost.

    The situation in Alabama is similar to the situation throughout the entire country. The federal government takes in less than 42% of its revenue from income taxes — yet right-wing reactionaries who know better speak as if income taxes were the only taxes in existence. Sales taxes are extremely regressive, as poor people spend every penny they make. The sales tax, however, is not nearly as regressive as the payroll tax — a system under which someone who makes $5,000,000 a year pays not one penny more than someone who makes $90,000. The temporary suspension of the estate tax creates a situation in which someone who earns $5,000,000 by sweat, work, and/or taking risks pays taxes on the money, while his neighbor who inherits $5,000,000 from his father pays absolutely no taxes. Meanwhile, the Birth Tax, the federal debt that every child born in America inherits the moment they draw their first breath, was re-instituted under Shrub and continues to grow at a dizzying rate.

    Bob Riley may have lost his fight. But he is one of my heroes. He saw something that was “morally bankrupt”, to borrow a phrase from Nat, and was willing to fight against his party and others in his church to try to change it.

    To me, it’s immoral for neo-cons and evangelical Christian political organizations to use the name of Jesus to push policies designed to transfer money from the working poor to the wealthy who do not work. Some of the very same people making these arguments (Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, to name two) used to tell people that Jesus wanted blacks to live as second-class citizens under segregation. Now that the insanity and immorality of segregation has been exposed, they set their sights on poor people of ALL races. So far, only a few voices in the wilderness, voices like Bob Riley’s, have been willing to denouce systematic shafting of poor people to be immoral.

    I will admit to admiring their marketing job in getting dumb rednecks to fall all over themselves for a place in line behind drug-addicted talk show hosts who spout the incredible lie that big government give-aways to the non-working wealthy are good for the poor and the working men and women of this country.

    But, like Bob Riley, I was raised in a Christian chuch. And like Bob Riley, I see these schemes as about as far from the teachings of Jesus as anything I can imagine.

    These are just a few of the reasons that it blows my mind to hear a presumably educated neo-con presume to teach morality to the Left.

    “What Would Jesus Do?,” was a popular phrase a few years ago. Bob Riley believes Jesus would not want the government to screw poor people for the benefit of the rich. And even though Bob Riley is a Republican and an evangelical Christian — on this particular subject, I couldn’t agree with him more.

  • 13 abi // May 9, 2004 at 11:59 am

    Quoth Nat:

    …I’m still angry.

    I would agree with this statement, and I think it’s the source of a lot of the problems I have had with your arguments. You’re still angry about an administration that left the White House almost 3 1/2 years ago. And you let that anger show when you use personal invective and hyperbole to make your arguments, instead of facts and reasoning.

    I would remind you that anger is one of the Seven Deadly Sins for a good reason. It blinds people to their own weaknesses, and to the value of the people around them. It ties their tongues and stops their ears, making compromise and unity impossible.

    You profess to be a Christian. Consider, then, for a moment, that everyone who has contributed to this blog – you, me, Rick, Mark, Bob, Nick, and Lisa – each of us is infinitely beloved of God (Sorry, Rick, my phrasing and yours do differ here.) So are all of the people we discuss, including the Clintons and Bush.

    If you can let your faith, or your common humanity, inform your arguments and moderate your temper, then you’ll probably earn more respect for your opinions on this site than you have thus far. I would point out, though, that far from being made unwelcome, you’ve been allowed to say what you like on a variety of topics. The fact that others have also said what they like, and that some of that contradicts you or reacts negatively to you, is an expression of the same freedom of debate that you demand for yourself.

  • 14 Nat Dawson // May 9, 2004 at 1:33 pm

    Oh please. Someone jam a pencil in my eye. Please. Please. Please.

    Sorry. I can only take so much Liberal carping.

    We need to find the person who came up with “What would Jesus do?” and lock that person away in a maximum security prison so that they can never come up again with a slogan that only misleads and confuses the unwashed.

    Of course, on its face, this saying would appear to have every good motive but the unintended consequence has been to require people who have NO CLUE of the eschatological theme of Jesus’s ministry, to make judgements about the absurd trivia of their lives in terms their, often very limited understanding of a supposed moral code. How can people make a WWJD-style-judgement when they might have NO CLUE, for example, as to the the content of The Sermon on the Mount? Or little or no knowlegde of the fact that most of the moral teachings of Christianity were given by St. Paul who showed no interest in Jesus’s life prior to his Crucifixion, Death and Resurrection?

    If people want specific guidelines on whether they should choose pink or regular lemonade then they should get out their phylacteries, beat their heads against a wall and look for guidance among the 613 strictures of the Levitical code.

    Just, please people, don’t sit there and engage in anthropomorphic, sustitutionary handwringing and think that your’e carrying out The Great Comission because you have a “WWJD” friendship bracelet on your wrist!!

    Oh, the bitterness!!

    And as for you abi, as far as anger goes I find your attempt to weave the so-called “Seven Deadly sins” into a Christian clothcoat to be, at best, mildly amusing, and , at worst trite and inaccurate.

    According to Paul, anger is only sinful if practiced against a brother in the Church and left unresolved. When Jesus saw the merchants and money changers defiling the Temple I would think that the act of whipping them and kicking their tables over had an element of anger in it. Wouldn’t you?

    Not that I’m using that incident for self-justification but the point, which you can’t seem to grasp, is to punish the sin not the sinner. I am only “angry” in the political sense that our beautiful American democracy was hijacked for eight years by two grifters who cared nothing about the glories of the Republic itself but sought only to use the office they obtained by deceit for their personal gratification and enrichment.

    The transgression was ours. We gave these people licence and they abused it. The pardons, the illicit sex, the betrayal of State secrets, the private Gestapo, the undermining of Israel and on and on and on. Just an unending list of abuse, lies, fraud and deceit. If there was a sin it was that we gave these people the keys.

    And still they are coming back for more!! And still, a portion of the country – after having been raped, defrauded, betrayed and abused by these people – is willing to entertain that notion!!!

    Please. Does anyone have a really sharp pencil they could lend me?

  • 15 Nat Dawson // May 9, 2004 at 1:39 pm

    “The pardons, the illicit sex, the betrayal of State secrets, the private Gestapo, the undermining of Israel and on and on and on”

    On this, Mother’s Day, to not include in this list one million Tutsi women and children hacked to death by the Interahamwe, while Clinton watched from the sidelines, would be a grievous omission.

  • 16 Bob // May 9, 2004 at 2:00 pm

    (If Nat is real, he can answer this)

    OK, Nat,

    If you are what you claim, please consider ‘Ubi Caritas’. Do you have to look it up or does it resonate inside you?

    This is your moral X-ray Nat. Ubi Caritas. Can you name the day it’s prayed and why? Are you on Google already?

    You’re missing the point, you’re missing the boat. Intentionally.

    The transgression was ours. We gave these people licence and they abused it. The pardons, the illicit sex, the betrayal of State secrets, the private Gestapo, the undermining of Israel and on and on and on. Just an unending list of abuse, lies, fraud and deceit. If there was a sin it was that we gave these people the keys.

    You never intend to debate, you intend to distract, to use misdirection, to lie by omission. It’s obvious …you’re no one’s brother…


  • 17 Nat Dawson // May 9, 2004 at 3:29 pm


    Where IS that pencil?



    Bob, get a grip, man. You’re all over the place. I answered Mark on his ‘WWJD’ question and I answered abi on her ‘anger’ question.

    That IS debate Bob. Unlike your silly, puerile, mordant and totally unsupported emotional outburst about “apostasy”. Grow up, man!

    And after you’ve done that go and study the seventh chapter of the gospel of Matthew and pay particular attention to the paragraph beginning “Judge not lest you also be judged”.

    You are in NO position, I repeat, NO position, to make a judgment as to the level of my faith, my commitment or my inner thoughts.

    What you said …that’s very ugly and ungracious, Bob. You need to apologize.

    For your own sake, if no one else’s.

  • 18 Rick // May 9, 2004 at 3:37 pm

    It’s clear Nat will never address any of the issues that have been stated here.

    Trying to get him to do so only causes him to sputter again about a President who left the White House almost four years ago.

    Oh, yeah, and to complain that when we ask that he actually address the points we’re making instead of just calling us names, we’re defining the approach one can take and the words they can say.

    No one — no one at all — has been more abusive towards others here than Nat has been. And yet he complains that he doesn’t get to take the approach he wants to take, or use the words he wants to use, because…uh, because I erase what he says? No. Because we ask him if he might consider talking to us instead of just insulting and calling names.

    So I basically give up on Nat.

    What’s the phrase some of my other conservative friends like? “Talk to the hand!”

    I’ll join back in again if, and only if, Nat actually says something worth a response. Name-calling and insults don’t fall into that category.

  • 19 Mark // May 9, 2004 at 5:54 pm

    Remarkably, I find myself agreeing with Nat on something!

    Nat points out, if I am paraphrasing correctly, that Christianity has a lot more to do with Paul than with Jesus. As I remarked earlier, I was raised in a Christian church. Due largely, I believe, to the fact that my three siblings were much older, I was a precocious child and was a voting member of the congregation by the time I was seven. My mother was convinced I was going to be an evangelist. The stories they were teaching me in Sunday School were the Jesus stories about how to live your life. I learned later in life that this was basic Jewish theology. The behavior-based moral code struck a chord inside me that still resonates.

    When I was twelve, my Sunday School lessons got into the belief-based moral code of Paul. I was aghast. I met with the minister, hoping that somehow he would tell me this was all a joke. As it turmed out, the church was deadly serious about what Paul had to say. In order to be true to myself, I was forced to leave the church I was raised in. I was taught as a child that one of the worst things you could do was to say you believed something when you didn’t.

    Later in life, I studied more about Paul. He grew up Jewish in a town where Mithraism was the predonimate religion. Mithraism is a religion that started in Persia many centuries before Jesus was born. It was quite popular for a time, especially among Roman soldiers. When Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire, the Romans did all they could to obliterate information about Mitrhaism. There was good reason. The mythology and rituals of Mithraism bear an amazing resemblance to Christianity. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what Paul had done.

    I agree with you, if I am understanding you correctly, Nat, that the Christian church is more about Paul than about anyone else. Interesting that you and I, of all people, would see something in a similar way.

    Regarding your observations on personal enrichment of the last elected President, didn’t the Clintons leave the White House essentially broke, relying on fundraisers and book advances to be able to buy their home in New York and pay the legal fees required to fight off the man who spent $60 million of taxpayer money and found only a blow job? Just how were these two personally enriched?

    Prosperity, relative peace in the world, fighting and winning wars in the Balkans with international cooperation and virtually no U.S. casualties, budget surpluses, adding millions of jobs (instead of losing them), shrinking the size of government — if this is being “raped,” I think the country could stand some more of that kind of abuse, Nat. It’s a shame that the success of the Clinton Administration still angers you so.

    You’d think that someone who worships Shrub so would spend more time talking about the positive things he has done and not running down the success of Clinton. I suppose if there were positive things to say about Shrub, you would. I can see why you don’t, Nat. Not much to talk about on that score, is there?

  • 20 Bob // May 9, 2004 at 7:25 pm

    During the administration of William Jefferson Clinton, the U.S. enjoyed more peace and economic well being than at any time in its history. He was the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second term. He could point to the lowest unemployment rate in modern times, the lowest inflation in 30 years, the highest home ownership in the country’s history, dropping crime rates in many places, and reduced welfare roles. He proposed the first balanced budget in decades and achieved a budget surplus. As part of a plan to celebrate the millennium in 2000, Clinton called for a great national initiative to end racial discrimination.


    That’s a real source folks, the White House!

    Mark, I did reading and, suprise (not), you were right!

  • 21 Bob // May 9, 2004 at 7:45 pm

    A large website dedicated to the accomplishments of the Clinton Administration ( and a really cool political cartoon ).


    And a website dedicated to the polls about what the American public thought of Clinton during his administration.


    That might really surprise some people.

    And you too can take the Clinton Administration quiz. Yup, this is a FACTUAL quiz by http://www.historyteacher.net. They’re pretty sticky about accuracy.


  • 22 Mark // May 9, 2004 at 8:54 pm


    How can you say ANYTHING nice about Clinton? Don’t you know he could get GIRLS! All other men should be jealous! What’s wrong with you?

  • 23 Nat Dawson // May 9, 2004 at 9:07 pm

    Oh puhleaaazze. Gag me!

    Clinton was the beneficiary of the dot.com bubble, people!! He did nothing, nada, to create the economic boom. Just like he did nothing about Islamo-facism. Just like he did nothing when the Sudan offered the US bin Laden. Just like he did nothing when our embassies were attacked.

    Where is the landmark social legislation of his Administration? You Liberals love that social legislation stuff, so please tell me where is his signature contribution? Where is HIS New Deal or HIS Great Society Program?


    You can put up all the links you like but none of them will change this central fact – he did nothing of lasting consequence in 8 years. NOTHING!! His presidency will be a footnote in history only because he got himself impeached. And disbarred. And disgraced.

    He’s the only US president to have ever been sued for sexually harrassing a female. Where is that in your “list of accomplishments?” He’s the only president to have ever pardoned someone who was on the FBI Top 10 wanted list. Did that make it? He’s the only president in US history to have taken illegal campaign funds from Communists. Is that there? He’s the only president in US history to have provided US nuclear technology secrets to our enemies. Thanks to him Chinese rockets can now target our children using technology that would have taken them another 20 years to develop.

    And yup, he’s the only son of white trash, alcoholic, redneck rubes from Arkansas that made it to the White House. And who brought all his inherited family dysfunctionalism with him. I guess that’s an accomplishment of sorts. Oh, and he did bomb an aspirin factory. His signature foreign policy accomplishment?

    You people have a strange way of looking at history. You just don’t want to hear about how Clinton dishonored the presidency. You don’t even want to hear about how a semen-stained dress exposed his 8 month long “I never had sex with” lie.

    Well, I’m sorry but you can’t be selective with history. These things happened. They will be in the books. When all the telling is done and all the facts are in, I’m confident that history will portray Bill Clinton as the slime that he really is.

    Oh, and btw … WHERE IS the semen-stained dress?

  • 24 Nat Dawson // May 9, 2004 at 9:17 pm


    The Clinton LIEgacy!!


  • 25 Mark // May 9, 2004 at 9:57 pm

    The dress? I think it’s being kept with all of those WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. Where are THOSE, Nat?

    Where’s Osama?

    I was just reading reports of a Wall Street Journal poll that says 40% of Republicans say they will consider voting for Kerry if the war in Iraq gets any worse. Does any rational, non-drug-addicted person think it’s going to get better any time soon?

    Nat, you’d better hope that a heck of a lot of Americans vote on those electronic machines that can be programmed to produce any result the owners (who are Republican) want. Because if the votes are actually counted this time, Shrub will have to go back to the TV set he bought (oops, I’m sorry, the pig farm he bought) for photo ops. Do you think for one second he plans on actually living there when he leaves office?

  • 26 Bunny // May 9, 2004 at 9:59 pm

    I think Nat has the semen-stained dress. I think that’s why no one can find it.

  • 27 Mark // May 9, 2004 at 10:00 pm

    And speaking of what Clinton did or did not do — he didn’t run like a chicken when our embassies were attacked. Remember when about 250 Marines were killed by a terrorist in Beirut? Remember what Reagan did? He withdrew so fast it made your head spin. Ran away like a dog with his tail between his legs. Strong Republican leadership — YOU BET!!!!

  • 28 Mark // May 10, 2004 at 6:09 am

    I’ve just be re-reading some of the posts.

    NAT quoting scripture about “Judge not, lest ye be judged”?

    THAT is rich! That would be like Shrub admonishing someone to tell the truth or fulfill their commitment to serve in the military!

    Judging from some of the things Nat has posted, it is apparent he has an education. I find it impossible to believe that the irony of his own post preaching to Bob was lost on him.

  • 29 Nat Dawson // May 10, 2004 at 7:02 am

    White House operator: “Hello, White House”

    Convicted criminal fugitive: “Hi, let me speak to Clinton”

    WHO: “I’m sorry – he’s in an important meeting with Miss Lewinsky”

    CCF: “Tell him I have a lot of money I will pay to his brother-in-law in exchange for a pardon”.

    WHO: “I’ll put you right through, Sir”.

  • 30 Bob // May 10, 2004 at 7:40 am

    Guess what kids? The only other president to get disbarred was…a Republican!

    Since we have no worries about being on topic with Nat posting I don’t feel bad about posting this:

    Nixon resigned from the California bar and the U.S. Supreme Court bar after stepping down from the presidency in 1974. He tried to resign from the New York bar as well, but it would not accept his resignation unless he would acknowledge that he could not successfully defend himself against charges of obstruction of justice. Nixon refused to do this, and after an investigation, the New York state court went ahead with disbarment. Nixon did not contest the action, which became official in July 1976.


    So it’s Democrats 1, Republicans 1.

    I guess that our resident moral superior has to acknowledge that questionable morals is not just a trait of the Democratic Party.

    And talk about questionable pardons, Gerry Ford pardoned Nixon. I’m sure Nixon was clean as a whistle and didn’t need it but I’m sure our resident moral superior will teach us otherwise.

    I wonder if pulling up facts and figures that don’t apply to the topic bother our resident moral superior?

  • 31 Bob // May 10, 2004 at 7:59 am

    (To serious readers and posters to this blog, I apologize for bringing in ‘ancient’ and seeminly unrelated history, but this is how Nat builds his arguments and I wanted to demonstrate to him how inane the tactic is).

    And didn’t that REPUBLICAN president also have a secret bombing war against Cambodia? Oh yes, Nixon DID bomb another soveriegn country without declaration of war or even informing Congress and the American public?

    Hmmm, secret bombings, abuse of Constitutional powers, pardoning the guilty, obstruction of justice, disbarment…it MUST be something REPUBLICAN about all this and therefore anyone who votes Republican is stained with the same shame.

    Now I can close my mind and sleep well at night. No bothering with debate or research, I know everything now. It’s all the Republican’s fault.

    And anytime those bad people ask me a question I cannot answer, I can just go back to this logic to answer everything.

    Now if I could just get a date…

  • 32 abi // May 10, 2004 at 8:26 am

    Gentlemen (and ladies, if Lisa and/or Bunny are reading),

    I vote we stop feeding the troll. He’s shown himself unwilling to discuss the issues in a serious manner, acknowlege anyone who disagrees with him as a person worthy of basic respect, or even stay remotely on topic. I hope he chooses to rejoin the discussion after reforming one or more of these traits, but until then, we’re wasting our bandwidth responding to him.

    If you get as angry as he is, how will that help anything?

  • 33 Mark // May 10, 2004 at 8:37 am

    When neo-cons keep focusing on Clinton’s ability to get girls while ignoring the outrage of an unprovoked attack on a sovereign country done with no exit strategy, putting our troops in harm’s way while cutting their combat pay, meanwhile diminishing the resources needed to fight terrorists such as Osama bin Laden who have attacked us and are a real threat to attack us again — this indicates a complete bankruptcy of morals, serious thought, and common sense.

    The neo-cons never talk about the sexual escapades of Newt Gingrich, Bob Livingstone, Helen Chenpoweth (one political observer far more clever than I once quipped that, “Helen Chenoweth is living proof that you actually CAN fuck your brains out!”), Henry Hyde, etc. This shows that it’s not sex and morality that they are truly concerned about. They never could attack Clinton in the issues (he held the high ground and had a track record of outrageous success), so they had to go after him on something that would stir up other idiots who also have never been able to score with girls, and would therefore also feel jealous.

    I feel genuinely sorry for anyone who can talk of nothing other than this broken record about Clinton and girls. Envy doesn’t look good on the neo-cons. And it doesn’t cover up the gall, the hypocrisy, and the duplicity. Frankly, it’s embarrassing to watch.

  • 34 Mark // May 10, 2004 at 9:31 am

    Forgive me! I inadvertently failed to mention two prime examples of G-O-P (Greed On Parade) duplicity regarding sex from right here in the Golden State.

    Congressman Bill Thomas is Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee. A few years ago, it was revealed that Thomas (who is married) had been carrying on a long-term affair with a lobbyist (also married) who regularly lobbied the Ways and Means Committee! Any Republican outrage? Of couse not! Did we spend $60 million in taxpayer money to investigate? Of course not! Was Thomas impeached? Of course not! He’s still in office. He still chairs the Ways and Means Committee.

    To my mind, screwing a lobbyist who is trying to influence your committee is a much more grievous and outrageous violation of the public trust than anything Bill Clinton ever dreamed of doing. If the Republicans had been screaming for Bill Thomas’s head, I would have at least had some modicum of respect for the sincerity of their attacks on Bill Clinton. Their silence regarding Thomas was further proof that the screams about Bill Clinton being able to get girls was about jealousy and politics, and had absolutely nothing to do with any so-called “morals.”

    Of course, who could forget the way the Right Wing screamed “pussy, pussy, pussy!” when our own Governor Gang Bang was elected last fall? The Republicans (stauch self-appointed defenders of our nation’s morals) WERE screaming about Governor Gang Bang, weren’t they? What will we tell our children?

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