Archive for the ‘Talking With Tyrants’ Category

The Bitter Conservatives

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

I see the “Republicans Throwing Tantrums Because They Lost the Elections” talking point is still out there in full force. I briefly entertained the idea that it was reverberating so strongly because there was an element of truth to it — until I realized, to date, the most impressive tantrums I’ve seen lately came from Perez Hilton and the rest of the No-On-Prop-8 crowd.

But it’s our nation’s leaders telling us this; they’re even putting out official Department of Homeland Security reports about it. So it must be true. In this country, when we have elections, we are voting on what’s true — and those other guys won the elections. So you have to believe everything a left-winger says. So let us entertain no further doubts. The report is out, it is official, it must be true.

Besides, who can doubt the wisdom of the Garofaloracle?

Now, how did it work. Us bitter right-wingers, already clinging to our Bibles and our guns, and driven half-crazy because of the “global climate change” Karl Rove made happen with that giant machine he used to cause Hurricane Katrina, became even more unhinged when a black guy became President. So we formed our extremist groups, recruited some veterans who were just returning from The Iraq and Such As, and because of their youth, lack of experience, the trauma they’d been through, found them to be extremely pliable. We dressed them up as Somali pirates, ordered them to abduct Captain Phillips, but that plan fell through when Barack Obama bravely ordered the head-shots. So we took the gullible veterans we had left, had them spread some swine flu down by the Mexican border to try to force the government to close it down, and then we had them buzz-bomb people in New York City in Air Force One and an escorting F-16 fighter jet.

We’re just so bitter, you know.

It’s got nothing to do with the Treasury being forced to borrow an unprecedented $361 billion just for the second quarter of ’09, or what completely unpredictable things that is going to do to our inflation rate. It’s got nothing to do with leaving post after post unfilled in the executive branch, when dealing with perhaps the most friendly Senate in modern times…just because the executive is so busy with granting interviews and appearing on magazine covers. It’s got nothing to do with approaching tyrants on foreign soil, appeasing them, giving them the photo-ops they want, initiating conversations with them about American culpability — when said tyrants haven’t even asked for apologies yet. It’s got nothing to do with what all this says about dedication, or lack thereof, to forming a coherent and sensible plan, or to a true love of this country. It’s just black skin, that’s it. If it was a white guy signing off on all this stuff we’d be completely cool with it.

And so we’ll continue to slowly poison this country to death…with our toxic suggestions that, if it really is so awful to pass debt on to future generations (refer to State of the Union Speech, 2009)…maybe we should make a better effort to avoid that. And, that when people run companies that earn money, they ought to be able to keep some of it.

Community Organizer Logic

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Okay class, what is wrong with the logic used here. What’s going on is our new President using the Everything’s-a-meetin’ brand of diplomacy to get something done…or undone…I’m really not sure what and I don’t think anybody in the administration knows, either…with Venezuela’s boss, Hugo Chávez. James P. Rubin wrote a column defending it — so what exactly is wrong with Rubin’s logic. That’s your assignment. Hint: Think “back-to-basics.” Plans versus goals.

Despite the results of November’s election, Mr. Obama’s critics are judging him on the basis of the old Bush calculus. Whether it is Venezuela or Cuba, they assess Mr. Obama’s actions based on whether or not they immediately contribute to the downfall of a regime. If not, then they go off in high dudgeon.

Worse yet, Mr. Obama’s critics are using the same logic that contributed to early failures in Iraq. They say the president’s politeness to Hugo Chávez, for example, should be judged by the standards of the Cold War. They point to the fact that dissidents in Eastern Europe were heartened when President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire.” But that truth doesn’t always translate to other parts of the world. If Iraq has taught us anything, it is that not all countries respond the same way when a dictator falls. Unfortunately, many heirs to the Reagan tradition haven’t learned that policy by analogy is a risky business.
If the president’s critics continue to judge him by Bush-era standards of diplomacy and regime change, they are going to have a lot to shout about over the next four years. But the majority of Americans who supported Barack Obama will withhold judgment and give the administration the opportunity to implement its initiatives on climate change, nuclear proliferation, Afghanistan and Iran. They may even give the new policies time to work.

First of all, there is the question of time. It is used here, consistently, and as nothing but, an agent for implementing Obama apologetics. Let us borrow, here, a page from Tom McMahon’s 4-block world. Imagine a matrix of four blocks arranged two-by-two: President Bush succeeds, President Bush fails, President Obama succeeds and President Obama fails. James Rubin’s recognition of time, then, is consistently implemented in the following way…

If President Bush has succeeded at something, it will take time to recognize all the ramifications.

If President Bush failed at something, the verdict is IN!

If President Obama has done something that might lead to success, we can go ahead and declare victory right away.

If President Obama failed at something, you’re being premature, reckless, and a bit of an oaf by pointing it out at this early date. Give him a chance fer cryin’ out loud.

Another issue raised with regard to time, is this notion that there are “eras” and “chapters” in diplomacy. This is a very silly notion, considering that even today the wise diplomat finds it prudent to quote from Aristotle, Machiavelli, Cicero…et al. This “old Bush calculus” said the imprimatur of the United States should not be lent to the likes of Chavez and other thugs, because they’ll use it as a prop to achieve their goals, and their goals are inimical to us. What is Rubin’s response to this, exactly — that Chavez is not an enemy once you get to really know the guy? Or, rather, that the photo-op with the current United States President is of insignificant value to him? Perhaps both? But neither supposition is meritorious enough to be tangibly fastened to Rubin’s good name — he won’t come out and spell out either one.

This is the trouble with Barack Obama. It seems, to even defend his new policies, necessitates a rather vicious assault upon logic and common sense; there is a wedge driven rather cleanly between the desired outcome of a plan, and a plan itself.

This is measurable. Easily. Imagine yet another four-block matrix, with Bush-era logic on the top, current logic on the bottom, desired outcomes in the left column and implementation plans in the right column:

Top row: Regime change in Iraq…is achieved by…getting that s.o.b. out of there. With our 2009 wisdom, we look back on that and say, that there didn’t work…was stupid…was a failure. Although the objective was completed. Certainly, it worked a lot better than disarming North Korea in the ’90s, or getting the hostages back from Iran in the early ’80s. And, a cool, dispassionate, reasonable mind with a robust command of the historical record, would have to nurture some strong doubts that any other method ever would’ve or could’ve worked.

Bottom row: Stronger United States economy…is achieved by…unprecedented, extravagant deficit spending. That’s supposed to be “smart” — and solely because of the identity of the idea’s author. Nobody can even explain how it has a greater-than-50-50 chance of working. Simply spelling out what exactly is to be achieved, and placing it in juxtaposition with a summary of how we’re going about doing it, is sufficient to deal it a devastating rhetorical blow. Not my idea of a great plan. Sorry.

But I’m in the minority today. This is the logic by which it seems to be a swell idea to send our leader down to pal around with Chávez. With this kind of modern logic, we really shouldn’t expect success, though, without somewhere along the line fundamentally re-defining what it is we’re trying to do. Because this logic demands that we try to do something, we don’t really try to do it. In sum, it really isn’t logic at all. Simply keeping in mind, as the project is underway, what you had hoped to accomplish at its inception — is coloring outside the lines. So this modern logic is really nothing more than raw emotion when all’s said and done. It is a strange and surreal form of anti-logic.

To make this look like a cool idea, that’s the style of thinking you must embrace. Everything is judged by a current and instantaneous emotional state, history always began this morning, and if we ever knew what it is we were trying to achieve here, we forgot it a few minutes ago. Kumbaya.

Sitting Down With Iran

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Hey — if you believe Obama’s position (as expressed by Obama) is the right way to go, it should already be raising an enormous red flag with you that we’re engaging in such an incredible volume of talking about the talks…and saying nothing, zero, zilch, nada, bubkes about what would actually be said in the talks.

That should raise a red flag with you, before that other red flag. The one where once we take the idea seriously, the running-mate starts lying his ass off, backpedaling. That’s your second red flag. But the first one is important too.

Recalling my own comments about sitting down to talk about things, last month:

Archie: Discuss…why wit’ you everything’s always gotta be like a meetin’?

Meathead: Because in a meeting, people sit down together and exchange ideas.

Archie: Oh, okay. Okay. Sit down, huh? (Meathead sits down.) (Archie Sits down.) Now. Let me hear your idea again.

Meathead: Okay. I want us to watch Jack Lemmon and a group of famous scientists discuss pollution and ecology on channel thirteen.

Archie: Good. And I want to watch football highlights on channel two. (Poignant pause, locks eyes on Meathead.) Now, guess what’s going to happen? (Cue laugh track.)

Meathead: (Pause.) You’re going to watch football highlights on channel two.

Archie: Meeting adjourned. (Gets up.) Hey Edith, lemmee have some beer in here, okay?

This Obama/Ahmadinejad would go different — oops, wait, I guess Biden says there wouldn’t be any such thing, but it looks like maybe Biden’s wrong — anyway, I’m to believe that meeting would go different from this one…why?

On Talking About Talk

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Ann Coulter impresses me in a lot of ways as being a possible clone of Keith Olbermann, just marching off in a different direction. There are some differences, though. I think she criticizes people who need more criticism. Other people think Keith Olbermann is criticizing people who need more criticism…although I should add, I’ve seen Keith Olbermann criticize very few people, and the people he does criticize, if criticism toward them is going to fix something I would imagine we would have seen those beneficial effects some time ago. Coulter thinks up some new stuff here and there. Olby seems to be on kind of a merry-go-round…disgrace…sir…impeach…cowardly…lied…thousands dead…weapons of mass destruction…civil liberties.

If you’re a good little moonbat liberal, you have to constantly champion Olbermann. You can’t call anything he says into question. And furthermore, you’ll get kicked out of the moonbat liberal club — as in, your membership card is torn into pieces in front of your tear-filled eyes — for daring to imply Ann Coulter is right. About anything. Anything. Or, for daring to imply anyone else might be right about anything, who in turn would dare to imply Ann Coulter is right about anything. Or for saying anything nice about them. Or for giving them aid or comfort. Hmmm. Boy, it’d be nice if we could get that kind of resolved aimed elsewhere.

The irreconcilable dichotomy is that you will, similarly, be kicked out of the moonbat liberal club if you dare to prove Ann Coulter is wrong about certain things…like

Liberals view talk as an end in itself. They never think through how these talks will proceed, which is why Chamberlain ended up giving away Czechoslovakia. He didn’t leave for Munich planning to do that. It is simply the inevitable result of talking with madmen without a clear and obtainable goal. Without a stick, there’s only a carrot.

I’ve been waiting a long time for Coulter to be proven wrong on this point. I hear a lot of talk about talk. We need to talk to our enemies…that’s what’s missing in this administration…sit down and talk…blah, blah, blah.

I’ve always thought it odd and strange that people who talk about talk, who so clearly love to talk, never seem to talk about what takes place within the talk. Here, Coulter supplies the beginnings of an explanation for why that might be. Where there are no sticks, there are only carrots.

Nobody wants to talk about sticks, and nobody wants to talk about carrots. Talking about talk, on the other hand, is cheap and easy.

Update: You know, now that I’m thinking on it and trying to recall what it is I have and have not seen…it seems eminently reasonable, to me, to ask “Senator, would your administration talk to President Ahmadinejad using sticks, or carrots?”

I wonder what Obama’s answer to that would be. Probably something containing the words “hope,” and “change.” And it would make someone in the crowd faint, no doubt.