April 15, 2004

If You Said to Me, Name 25 Million People Who Would Maybe Be President... He Wouldn't Have Been in That Category

Rock-solid Republican and Carlyle Group founder David Rubenstein gives his view of George W. Bush:

Susan Mazur: [W]hen we were putting the board together, somebody [Fred Malek, best known for trying to help President Nixon fire Jews who worked for the Labor Department] came to me and said, look there is a guy who would like to be on the board. He's kind of down on his luck a bit. Needs a job. Needs a board position. Needs some board positions. Could you put him on the board? Pay him a salary and he'll be a good board member and be a loyal vote for the management and so forth.

I said well we're not usually in that business. But okay, let me meet the guy. I met the guy. I said I don't think he adds that much value. We'll put him on the board because - you know - we'll do a favor for this guy; he's done a favor for us.

We put him on the board and [he] spent three years. Came to all the meetings. Told a lot of jokes. Not that many clean ones. And after a while I kind of said to him, after about three years - you know, I'm not sure this is really for you. Maybe you should do something else. Because I don't think you're adding that much value to the board. You don't know that much about the company.

He said, well I think I'm getting out of this business anyway. And I don't really like it that much. So I'm probably going to resign from the board.

And I said, thanks - didn't think I'd ever see him again. His name is George W. Bush. He became President of the United States. So you know if you said to me, name 25 million people who would maybe be President of the United States, he wouldn't have been in that category. So you never know. Anyway, I haven't been invited to the White House for any things...

Never yet has a grownup looked me in the eye and said, "George W. Bush is qualified to be President of the United States." The most anyone has ever done is to say (around the time of the inauguration), "Look, Brad, he'll be Queen Elizabeth; Colin Powell will be Tony Blair and Paul O'Neill will be Gordon Brown. There are lots of Head-of-State things that George W. Bush will do really well, and the government will be in good hands." But I don't think any grownup would say that or anything like that now.

Back in the 1980s--after Iran-Contra--the grownup Republicans staged an informal coup: Howard Baker became Grand Vizier, responsible for making governmental decisions, while Ronald Reagan sat in the Oval Office without authority to do anything other than approve what Baker recommended, and without sources of information other than those approved by Baker.

Where are the grownup Republicans today? What do they think they are doing?

Posted by DeLong at April 15, 2004 03:51 PM | TrackBack | | Other weblogs commenting on this post
Comments

Moderate Republicans have been purged from the White House and the House of Representatives. You can count the decent Republicans on the fingers of 2 hands. There's no one left to lead a coup, let alone participate.

Of course, I could ask where have all the real Democrats gone? Paul Wellstone might be calling for Bush's impeachment, after having voted against the war. No one of the opposition seems to have the courage to call Bush for his behavior.

Posted by: infoshaman on April 15, 2004 04:23 PM

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If you want to know, on all levels, we've been forced out. The problem is that the grown-up Republicans always have been kind of distant, a little disasteful about pandering to the base. Because of that, over the last ten some years other up and comers - the religicons, politicons, and neocons - were able to seize the levers and positions of party power away from us.

Us realcons lost first the religious right, then the anti-tax crowd, then big biz and anti-environment, and then just recently the neocons eclipsed. Each time it happened by a group pushing a radical ideological agenda that pandered to the red-meat frustrations of various parts of the base that was transforming itself away from the old Republican base.

You see the old Republican base was the blue-collar guy who was hard working and loathed unions. He was the white collar guy who came home and read the WSJ. He was the business owner who wanted reasonable regulation and taxes. Once upon a time Eisenhower was a Republican for god's sake.

Nixon's Southern strategy really started changing us, as well as many who became unscrupulous and power seeking - politicons - after the long period of Democratic domination in the Congress. Eventually the captore of the House o'Reps by the politicon by Gringrich (who at heart is a pragmatic but ambitious politicon thru and thru) lead to the driving wedge of radicalized Republican legislative dominance - Delay, etc.

Reagan also turned out to be a polarizing force, moving the party further right. When the disastisfied elements rebelled in the forms of supporting both Buchanan and Perot, and choosing to defeat a relatively moderate incumbent Republican President they consolidated their control and focused on undermining Democratic seats in the Congress.

Rush Limbaugh was symptomatic, as well as the various string of televangelists whom I do not exclude BG here of a "dumbing down" of the Republican base. Where Republicans once prided themselves on sharp pragmatism and a limited government philosophy, gaming the system became more important. As the Republican base lost touch with its core values, and became consumed with party loyalty and winning the old realcons were consistently and gradually marginalized.

Now the voices of reason still do exist, but mostly have been shut out of the inner corridors of power. Even those who willing to speak out like Lugar have been attacked. There remains a significant minority of Republicans including me extremely discontented by this Administration

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2004_04/003681.php

However we've been shut out Brad, shut out in the cold. They've got a clean lock on most of the base, and all the party levers of power. Even independent prominent guys like McCain, Hagel, etc. or dissenters - (even Susan Collins has sounded shaky recently ) - have minimal pull inside the party machine anymore.

Career guys like Halper or Odom are just plain locked out of the policy process.

http://www.npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=1837816

We got the worst sort of ideologues in the driver's seat, and none of the "good guys" or grownups even allowed near the process. Anybody who does has to pass a loyalty litmus test. Even Rumsfeld has given dissenting signals on occasion, but he's loyal as a dog - he'll do the wrong thing because his boss told him to. Even to an extent Powell has succumbed to loyalty politics.

Anyone else who get's in their way, Republican or not like Whitman or O'Neill, simply get's used up, thrown away, or actively targeted for destruction. O'Neill's treatment was pretty shabby in the end.

To some extent, old realcons deserve some of the blame. Brent Scowcroft fostered and apprenticed Condi for instance. However she succumbed to a form of loyalty politics and gaming the system that the oldman would have never tolerated - and openly spoke out quite presciently against in the run up to the war.

We're locked out in the cold Brett. It's been leaked that even Herbert asked "what was the exit strategy?" before invading Iraq in private family meetings. However, he loves his son and has been publicly defending him. Loyalty politics.

Personally, I'd like to rescue the Republican party of those oldmen for a new generation because there used to be something Grand in the Grand Old Party indeed. But it's all gone to h*ll now Brett, and us grownups are forced to watch the hellion teenagers make a muck out of everything.

Posted by: Oldman on April 15, 2004 04:27 PM

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"Once upon a time Eisenhower was a Republican for god's sake."

What I'd give for a Dwight Eisenhower or Teddy Roosevelt to run the Republican party once again. Sane. Responsible. Moderate Jeffersonian conservativism. I'd switch to the GOP in an instant. As it stands, both parties have shown themselves completely irresponsible. --M

Posted by: J. Maynard Gelinas on April 15, 2004 04:48 PM

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"Back in the 1980s--after Iran-Contra--the grownup Republicans staged an informal coup: Howard Baker became Grand Vizier, responsible for making governmental decisions, while Ronald Reagan sat in the Oval Office without authority to do anything other than approve what Baker recommended, and without sources of information other than those approved by Baker."

I think a similar coup was staged on Bush's inauguration day.

The difference is that the people making the decisions aren't remotely competent.

Posted by: Jon H on April 15, 2004 05:22 PM

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But why are the people who give accurate advice the ones that George W. Bush fires?

Posted by: Brad DeLong on April 15, 2004 05:28 PM

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They don't care about anyone or anything but themselves and they cronies,who are reaping billions on a minimal investment. They have no concern for the long-term effects of their actions. They'll be living in their guarded compounds,behind walls,laughing. I don't consider myself overly religious,but I DO hope there is a special circle in Hell for these "people". Disgust doesn't even begin to cover it..

Posted by: Palolo lolo on April 15, 2004 05:34 PM

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Ten years ago I'm sure if you asked anyone I worked with if that long-haired metal dude was going to be a senior engineer in a major telecommunications company, they would have asked for a hit off of whatever you were smoking. People grow up....even if it happens a few years later than it should have.

Posted by: Brian on April 15, 2004 05:51 PM

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People forget something about Ike.

The best evidence is that he ran for President in 1952, and declared as a Republican, because he thought that Bob Taft was an isolationist right wing disaster.

Without that, we'd probably never have known his political preference.

That would have been a good thing.

His two terms had our best chance for single payer health cate, but having NEVER had to pay for his own care, he didn't see the need.

Posted by: Matthew Saroff on April 15, 2004 05:52 PM

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Brad asks why Bush fires those who give accurate advice. The answer is simple: Accurate advice conflicts with the dreamworld construct in which Bush and the neocon cabal live.

Dreamworld says that invading Iraq and remaking the entire Middle East will be a cakewalk. Theilman provides accurate advice that invading and occupying another country tends to be quite complicated. Advice conflicts with dreamworld, and Theilman is shitcanned.

Dreamworld says slashing taxes cures all ills. O'Neil provides accurate advice that the contemplated cuts may lead to fiscal disaster. Advice conflicts with dreamworld, and O'Neil is shitcanned.

The key here is that Bush is the most hideous spoiled child you've ever encountered--but this brat has actual power. Those whom he trusts feed him info and ideas that play to his most childish impulses. Those who do not feed those impulses trigger Bush temper tantrums. Instead of holding his breath until he turns blue, he just wishes the offender off to the cornfield. Meanwhile, his remaining "advisors" continue to tell him how neat and peachy his impulses are. Reality never gets anywhere near him.

Posted by: Derelict on April 15, 2004 05:54 PM

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First of all, this story first made the rounds last summer:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2003/07/02/carlyle/index.html

Second of all, there's a real shaggy-dog quality to it, in that Bush's father was, uh, president of the U.S. at the time Rubinstein put him on the board. Sure, just doing a favor for a friend of a friend ...

Posted by: Pericles on April 15, 2004 06:28 PM

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Devastating post, and a devastating comment from Oldman, if indeed he is real.

I've thought many times how I, much younger, yearn for the days of somebody like Gerald Ford, who was not at all despicable.

I see no hope for people like Oldman within the GOP; possibly in 10 years and only after 2 or 3 consecutive White House defeats, if that happens (which in my view is entirely possible).

Otherwise, Oldman is better off joining the Democratic party. Moderate Senators should go Jeffords's way...if the Democrats close the margin.

Posted by: Hypocrisy Fumigator on April 15, 2004 06:29 PM

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Republican message, updated for the 21st century:
Intelligence, hard work, and competence don't matter.

And that was supposed to be the Republican's version of the Democrats message. My, how things have changed.

I'd like to believe my staunch Republican father is rolling over vigorously in his grave about now. He died shortly after Reagan took office and was already worried about what was happening to his party. If he could only see it now.

Posted by: tstreet on April 15, 2004 06:35 PM

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Brad --

the serious answer to your question is: loyalty. Bush does not fire people for telling the truth. when the truth contradicts his stubbornly counterfactual readings of reality, then he sees speaking the truth as disloyal.

the grownups may have thought they were electing a figurehead, but they got a culture of clan loyalty -- and the guy in charge is more than willing to fire (or after firing to instruct his Rovebots to smear) anyone he sees as disloyal.

simple, based in fact, and more or less testable. so far, most of what I see fits the hypothesis.

Posted by: wcw on April 15, 2004 07:10 PM

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As somebody else noted, this story has been out there for quite a while, and I'm not sure how Brad DeLong failed to notice it. But the thing I find ironic about it is the lack of insight Rubenstein shows in the telling of the story. *By Rubenstein's own admission*, Bush got talked onto the board in the complete absence of any indication he would do a good job. In other words, Bush got ahead due to his name, the influence of others and, perhaps, some feelings of loyalty. But this is, of course, *exactly* the kind of dealing that can get you pushed ever higher up the political ladder. Whether your name is Bush or Gore or Kennedy or Taft or whatever.

In some fantasy land where merit determines political success, Bush would not be in the running for the presidency, but then again, Gore would not have been the man he ran against, either. Since FDR, the only way almost anybody has gotten to be president has been to become first a senator or a governor. The exceptions are very interesting, though: Gerald Ford got hit by lightning, and George Herbert Walker Bush benefited from what must have been massively powerful connections. For his son to become president could not have been anywhere near as unlikely as Rubenstein apparently believed. DeLong likewise appeals to grown-ups in the GOP to make the current situation better, but GWB was essentially *their* candidate in 2000...or so they thought. But as Oldman suggests, the grown-ups are nearly all gone from the national GOP, and the remaining ones are being targeted for neutralization. Heck, Arlen Specter is facing a stiff primary battle this year; he could lose. Even if Specter wins, I suspect you will not see him veer from the path of loyalty for as long as the party remains in power.

I think the only good news here is that Bush has so massively over-reached that he himself will face a difficult re-election. Should he go down, he'll have plenty of company, and the power vaccuum in the GOP should logically favor the group that has had some success outside of DC: the more-or-less grown-up Republican governors.

Posted by: Jonathan King on April 15, 2004 08:21 PM

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To be honest the story does seem fishy. In this Guardian story ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/wtccrash/story/0,1300,583869,00.html ) it says that Bush actually returned the favour.

But if the Binladins' connection to the Carlyle Group lasted no more than six years, the current President Bush's own links to the firm go far deeper. In 1990, he was appointed to the board of one of Carlyle's first purchases, an airline food business called Caterair, which they eventually sold at a loss. He left the board in 1992, later to become Governor of Texas. Shortly thereafter, he was responsible for appointing several members of the board which controlled the investment of Texas teachers' pension funds. A few years later, the board decided to invest $100m of public money in the Carlyle Group. The firm's magic touch was already bringing results. Today, it is proving as fruitful as ever.

Posted by: Nick Kaufman on April 15, 2004 08:39 PM

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Oldman,

If your analysis is correct, why do you stay in the party? Why is it that conservatives such as Pat Toomey or Jeff Flake are more likely to buck DeLay than a Nancy Johnson or a Mike Castle? It is not as if moderates have received any rewards for their fealty. Given the slim majorities in both House of Congress, everything bad that has happened that has been with the connivance or sufferance of the moderates. Many of these moderates represent districts and states that voted for Clinton twice and Gore. They ought to suffer at the polls because of their cowardice.

Posted by: Vadranor on April 15, 2004 08:55 PM

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"Moderate Jeffersonian conservativism". That's exactly why I, an Australian, always admired America and the American dream. It was an inspiration to the rest of the world.

Posted by: Steve on April 15, 2004 10:29 PM

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I suspect our amazement has more to do with Cheney than Bush. We all knew he was right wing. We just didn't know how far right, and his regency is a cautionary tale about managing a figurehead with a virtual zealot. This collective lapse in judgment could only have been facilitated by the media which decided the figurehead was The Real Thing. After Tuesday night's press conference from hell, did the media even dare ask what the regent was thinking of?

Posted by: Walter Hall on April 15, 2004 10:55 PM

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The thing I found offensive about this story was not so much that such an underqualified man is our president: at least he stole the election fair and square, with the support of almost half of voting Americans. Rather, it's the whole concept that the purpose of the corporate board isn't to serve shareholders, or the broader stakeholders in the company like shareholders, employees, customers, and society at large (though, personally, I don't agree with the "stakeholders" view of corporate governance, and think that the board should try to serve the long-term interests of shareholders, and unions, the government, etc ought to try to make sure that doesn't involve running roughshod over the rest of us through regulation and pressure. Though I realize some may have a less adverserial view on how our corporate economy should work.).

Rather, the purpose of the board in this story is to serve as a welfare-dole for the well-connected. Bush -- or any other well connected guy who gets such a position -- serves as a yes-man for the management in exchange for a cushy position.

This is the perfect example of welfare for the rich. It is a thoroughly institutionalized part of the way our economy works and goes exclusively to the well-connected (as opposed to meritocratically productive) rich, rather than being distributed somewhat to workers who build the unnecessary tanks/whatever, somewhat to shareholders, somewhat to engineers, etc, as with Pentagon contracts (in my view, a less perfect example of welfare to the rich).

Look, Bush is our president, but a lot of us (by which I mean Americans, not me or my fellow Brad DeLong readers) wanted him to be so. Granted, Gore had a better case than Bush, but Bush had a decent case: a sort of pseudo-consent. Is there any evidence that this move was supported by even a fraction of shareholders? Stakeholders? It seems to me that it was just pulled over them by a rogue CEO who wanted to put a friend of a friend on the corporate dole.

Posted by: Julian Elson on April 15, 2004 11:09 PM

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It makes me nauseous to think of this bumbling fool desecrating the office where Jefferson and Lincoln sat.

Posted by: Chuck Nolan on April 16, 2004 05:19 AM

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"What I'd give for a Dwight Eisenhower or Teddy Roosevelt to run the Republican party once again. Sane. Responsible. Moderate Jeffersonian conservativism."

You have one. His name is John McCain. Imagine how different the world would be if John McCain had been in the White House on Sept. 11, 2001.

Does anyone doubt that he would responded with sufficient force (which is always the argument about why it's better that Dubya, rather than Gore, won in Florida)? Of course not, in everything he's said and done since then, he's demonstrated that he's absolutely serious about dealing directly and harshly with terrorism.

However, does anyone think he would have been nearly the polarizing force, both in the US and internationally, that Bush has been? Not me. Despite his relative conservativism, including strong pro-life positions, anti-tax positions, he's still a darling of the liberal press. He doesn't brag about not reading newspapers, and had done more traveling than making beer runs to tijuana.

It's a damn shame that he didn't win in the 2000 primaries. I think he would have wiped the floor with Gore and been a fantastically unifying figure, which the country desperately needs right now.

Posted by: T. Andrews on April 16, 2004 06:52 AM

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Hi Brad, George W Bush is far more qualified to be President of the United States than Kerry, Gore or Clinton and it's a matter of his superior character combined with a businesslike ability to delegate authority to qualified subordinates as well as an ability to listen to both sides of an issue and then integrate disparate points of view into a real world solution.

It is a modern political cliché that how the public perceives an event is everything. People who say this forget that reality is important too, and only in part because public opinion tends in its rough way to follow it. But as regards President Bush's press conference Tuesday night, his third in three years, public perception will decide all. (Not press perception, which has been negative and will grow more so with time.)

What do I think public opinion of the president's news conference will be? Generally positive. Here's why: The president spoke uninterrupted for the first 17 minutes, when most people were tuning in to see what he had to say. His speech/announcement hit every point that had to be covered, crisply and yet somberly. Yes, things are tough in Iraq now; yes, we are going to stick to the plan to turn sovereignty over to the Iraqis; yes, we will stay as long as our presence makes the difference between success and failure, stability and chaos. Yes, we will increase troop strength if needed; yes, we have faith that Iraq will ultimately choose democracy and civic health. It was a measured and logical layout of U.S. plans and positions. (Read the opening statement here. It tells you everything you need to know about what Mr. Bush thinks and where he stands.) It will have made a positive impression while people were watching with wide-awake eyes.

It was after the statement that things got more awkward. The president rambled and repeated talking points, playing for time as he tried to remember what he'd decided he was going to say in response to this question or that. Sometimes he remembered and became energized; sometimes he didn't.

But here the press came to his rescue, and God bless them. They are so clearly carrying water for the left-liberal establishment, they were so clearly carrying water for the preening and partisan hacks who dominate the 9/11 commission, and the Washington Post's coverage of the news conference yesterday morning was so clearly teeing up Bob Woodward's next book, that the media nullified their hostility. They could have done some damage to the president with a grave and honest spirit of inquiry.

Instead, they played left-wing Snidely Whiplash. They almost twirled their mustaches, and I don't mean only the women: Will you apologize, Mr. President? Do you feel personally responsible for Sept. 11? Do you think you're a loser as a communicator? What was your worst mistake? Do you really like that tie? Do you ever consider hanging yourself from a cornice in the East Room with your tie? When you look in the mirror do you feel mild disgust or just that feeling of shame where you sort of want to tear your face off and run screaming from the room?

Imagine it is April, 1943 and FDR is meeting with the press. Mr. President, why did you fail us on Dec. 7? You call it a day of infamy, but didn't it reveal your leadership style to be infamous? Why did you let the U.S. fleet sit sleepy and exposed at Pearl Harbor? Do you think your physical infirmity, sir, has an impact on your ability to think about strategic concerns, and will you instruct your doctors to make public your medical records?

But of course they wouldn't have asked these questions. Our press corps in those days was more like Americans than our press corps is today. They were both less self-hating and more appropriately anxious: Don't be killing our leaders in the middle of a war, don't be disheartening the people. Win and do the commentary later.

I noticed once again at the news conference that Mr. Bush has turned garrulous. He has taken to speaking at great length in venues of his choosing, and more and more he chooses. A week ago I took part in a seminar on book writing at a gathering of Republicans in Georgia. The president spoke to the gathering later that night, at an informal dinner for a few hundred, and I stayed on to watch. Everyone knew his remarks would be brief, but they were not. After an hour the governor of Florida, sitting behind him on the small stage, shifted like someone who knew big brother was going on too long, and finally threw a dinner roll at his back to make the point. I made the last part up, but Jeb Bush looked like someone trying to throw his voice: Wrap it up, buddy. Eventually the president did, with what seemed reluctance, after an hour and 20 minutes of a tour of his horizons, a personal and at times startlingly blunt appraisal of other leaders and the realities they face.
When I mentioned to a friend that I'd never heard of Mr. Bush speaking so long, the friend, who sees him often, said the president had recently spoken for more than an hour at a lunch, to the startlement of listeners who wound up furtively checking their watches. Another Washington denizen shared a similar story.

This is unlike our president. I don't know what it means. I suspect it means his staff, having seen his effectiveness in small groups with this style, is telling him to do it for large groups, as he did at the news conference. This should be re-examined.

The president at the news conference did not seem unprepared or uninformed. He looked to me like someone who had been coached within an inch of his life and who insisted on yet more coaching late in the day, and who began the news conference with the kind of tiredness that first expresses itself not physically but intellectually. A subject is introduced and the smooth ivory dominoes do not begin to click into place one after another, as they do when one is fresh, or lucky. (I hereby retract that unfortunate image.) Instead one furrows his brow and shakes his head. Over-stimulated and wanting to yawn is a bad place to be.

Should a president under crisis go into any venue that does not call on his greatest strengths? No. Get him out there doing speeches, meeting with citizens, taking a few shouted questions, again and again. That's how Mr. Bush best communicates his convictions, logic and plans, and that is the purpose of presidential communication.

More and more it seems to me Mr. Bush is not only Bill Clinton's successor but his exact opposite: Mr. Clinton perfectly poised and hollow inside, a man whose lack of compass left him unable to lead within the Oval Office but who gave a compelling public presentation of the presidency, and Mr. Bush a strong president with an obvious soul, decisive at the desk, but with no dazzling edifice. It's actually amazing that two such different men came so close together. Lucky for us, considering the history, that Mr. Bush was the one who came now.

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on April 16, 2004 07:26 AM

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Adrian Spidle should give credit to the sources from which he plagiarizes his posts. Compare his words with what Peggy Noonan wrote at http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/

Maybe Adrian is Peggy in disguise?

Posted by: Joe R on April 16, 2004 07:49 AM

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Adrian,
All this talk of courage and conviction are nice and all but it has nothing to do with having a policy in tune with reality. And another thing, if his business abilities are so great, where is his business success? All the evidence points to a man who has gotten to his position through favors to his name and the need for a figurehead. Sure he is confident and a man of conviction but he does not take the time to think through his actions nor study the paths he must follow. Instead, he makes up his mind using the advice and information from his advisors. Those same advisors, I might add, who have not been right about most anything that has happened since 9/11. How is that conviction working out now?

Though Bush may regale a crowd of supporters, what does that have to do with leadership? Seriously. Is that how you define a great leader? The ability to speak passionately about his passions? No, I would say a leader must make the hard descisions and be able to defend his position by demonstrating understanding and thoughtfulness. You speak of emptiness but look at the words of Bush, empty of substance and thought but full of wishful thinking. Yes, the media is tougher on politicinas these days. Ge used to it, Clinton had to take much worse. It goes with the territory. Oldman is right, you would be wise to listen to him. Realists must take back the GOP from the sycophants and powerseekers.

Posted by: heet on April 16, 2004 07:59 AM

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Joe, you just made my day. Actually, I'm a little sad that I spent 10 minutes writing a post in response to Peggy Noonan. Also, to Adrian -- how the hell are we supposed to take you seriously when you can't think for yourself?

Posted by: heet on April 16, 2004 08:02 AM

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"Adrian Spidle should give credit to the sources from which he plagiarizes his posts.
Posted by Joe R "

As I said before, I don't reference source texts on this blog because it has so many rabbid left-wingers on it that they simply denigrate the author - "Everyone knows he's a racist, sexist, homophobe, greedy, bought and paid for, stupid, evil simpleton and idiot" and completely ignore the valid points raised, just as you did.

I'm beginning to despair of ever finding a liberal Democrat smart enough to intelligently respond to the thoughts of conservatives without being reduced to ad hominem attacks while bleating the simple talking points that you guys so readily confuse with "facts."

Adrian

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on April 16, 2004 08:04 AM

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You can't be serious Adrian. You completely cut and pasted a Peggy Noonan oped and then complain about lefties reciting talking points? You don't deserve ad hominem attacks.

Posted by: heet on April 16, 2004 08:10 AM

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Adrian,
All this talk of courage and conviction are nice and all but it has nothing to do with having a policy in tune with reality.

THERE IS A VERY IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TALKING POLICY AND IMPLEMENTING POLICY EFFECTIVELY AND CHANGING IT AS CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE. W'S ECONOMIC POLICIES ARE NOW BEARING FRUIT AS WILL HIS FOREIGN POLICY IN THE FUTURE. YOU POLITICAL TYPES NEVER SEEM TO BE SMART ENOUGH TO INCLUDE THE BASIC PHYSICAL PRINCIPAL OF "DELAY BETWEEN CAUSE AND EFFECT" IN YOUR ANALYSES.

And another thing, if his business abilities are so great, where is his business success?

IN THE US ECONOMY AND THE LIBERATION OF AFGANISTAN AND IRAQ AND THE SIGNIFICANT DISMANTLING OF AL QAEDA

All the evidence points to a man who has gotten to his position through favors to his name

A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF THE MOST SUCCEEFUL PEOPLE IN OUR NATION OWE MUCH OF THEIR SUCCESS TO THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THEIR FAMILIES. THAT'S AMERICA.

and the need for a figurehead. Sure he is confident and a man of conviction but he does not take the time to think through his actions nor study the paths he must follow. Instead, he makes up his mind using the advice and information from his advisors.

SOUNDS APPROPRIATE TO ME FOR A MAN DEALING WITH THE HUGE MATTERS A PRESIDENT DEALS WITH.

Those same advisors, I might add, who have not been right about most anything that has happened since 9/11.

METHINKS YOU'RE A BIT EARLY IN MAKING THAT JUDGEMENT.

How is that conviction working out now?

Though Bush may regale a crowd of supporters, what does that have to do with leadership? Seriously. Is that how you define a great leader? The ability to speak passionately about his passions? No, I would say a leader must make the hard descisions and be able to defend his position by demonstrating understanding and thoughtfulness.

THAT SOUNDS PRETTY IVORY TOWER AND SILLY TO ME. IT'S RESULTS THAT REALLY MATTER.

You speak of emptiness but look at the words of Bush, empty of substance and thought but full of wishful thinking.

I WOULD CALL THAT VISION.

Yes, the media is tougher on politicinas these days.

THE MAJOR MEDIA ARE ACTUALLY THE PR DEPARTMENT OF THE DNC.

Ge used to it, Clinton had to take much worse. It goes with the territory. Oldman is right, you would be wise to listen to him. Realists must take back the GOP from the sycophants and powerseekers.

Posted by heet

THANK YOU FOR YOUR THOUGHTFUL POST.

ADRIAN

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on April 16, 2004 08:17 AM

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Thanks for rebutting my post but I went ahead and forwarded the original to Peggy Noonan for her response. Will post here when it arrives.

Posted by: heet on April 16, 2004 08:22 AM

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T. Andrews wrote: "You have one. His name is John McCain. Imagine how different the world would be if John McCain had been in the White House on Sept. 11, 2001."

Agreed. Like Bob Dole, Arlen Specter, and Bob Barr, I may disagree with McCain's policy views but I believe they are all essentially honest men. I'll take an honest man at the helm over a scoundrel espousing my views any day. He recently published a new book 'Why Courage Matters' and has been on the talk circuit promoting the work. I will definitely buy and read that book.

If McCain had won the 2000 primary I would have jumped ship and voted GOP for the first time in my life. He may still have taken us into Iraq, but at least he would have listened to his generals before committing troops. And he wouldn't have run roughshod over our international alliances prior to engaging the war, so we wouldn't have this combined mess of a disaster in Iraq and the international community sitting back and watching the carnage while smirking.

The same goes for Pat Buchanan. I've been reading his column regularly since he admitted in 2000 that the those several thousand Palm Beach county votes punched next to his name on the ballot probably weren't intended for him. I found that statement refreshingly honest considering at the time I also saw Republican flacks on the pundit circuit putting forth the absurd notion that maybe those liberals really did prefer Buchanan over Gore. Buchanan couldn't stomach the lie and just told the truth. I respect that.

Lately Buchanan has been making mincemeat of Tony Blankley on the McLaughlin Group. Blankley continually puts forth absurd administration spin he obviously doesn't believe and both McLaughlin and Buchanan keep calling him on it. Looks to me like even party flacks are having a tough time holding to administration spin and talking points during debate. The belief that the Bushies are conservative appears to be dying even within the GOP inner circle. --M

Posted by: J. Maynard Gelinas on April 16, 2004 08:26 AM

____

"Thanks for rebutting my post but I went ahead and forwarded the original to Peggy Noonan for her response. Will post here when it arrives.

Posted by heet'

This could get interesting. I'd love to have Peggy post here.

Your response is the type of response I'd hoped to get wherein us Righties and you Lefties would actually debate each other respectfully and hopefully get to understand each other better and, perhaps, incorporate the observations of different points of views in our understandings.

This could get even more interesting if we narrowed the topics down to one chosen topic so we could actually debate it to some depth.

Adrian who's still hoping...

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on April 16, 2004 08:32 AM

____

I too have been admiring Buchanan lately. He has some great points when looking at the "big view" on Iraq and the ME. I have to say this goes against my better judgement but Pat certainly has some spine.

Posted by: heet on April 16, 2004 08:34 AM

____

I'd like to see Ms. Noonan here, too, Adrian. At least we'd be spared regurgitations of her thoughts from folks like you. Respectful debate and understanding begins when we honestly share the fruits of our own intellect, not misrepresent the words of others as being our own.

While we're at it, I think you owe us an apology for your dishonesty, Adrian. That would be respectful. Can you apologize?

Posted by: Joe R on April 16, 2004 08:39 AM

____

"Can you apologize?

Posted by Joe R"

Yes I can, but there's no need here. n.b. I don't sign posts that contain unattributed texts. I'd be happy to attribute my text if all you lefties apologized for your past ad hominems and promissed not to do it any more.

Adrian

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on April 16, 2004 08:42 AM

____

I'm beginning to despair of ever finding a liberal Democrat smart enough to intelligently respond to the thoughts of conservatives without being reduced to ad hominem attacks while bleating the simple talking points that you guys so readily confuse with "facts."

Hee!

OldMan, I wondered if you ever saw this post by David Neiwart:

http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2003_11_23_dneiwert_archive.html#106970848149574609

Posted by: No Preference on April 16, 2004 08:46 AM

____

I apologize for Adrian- I whispered in his ear and told him to do it. I even taught him how to use the TV typewriter so he could. It is a personal element of pride that causes me to apologize, not shame.

Posted by: a lesser mongbat on April 16, 2004 08:56 AM

____

"OldMan, I wondered if you ever saw this post by David Neiwart:

http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2003_11_23_dneiwert_archive.html#106970848149574609

Posted by No Preference"

That's a very interesting link detailing a personal descent from reasonableness to a rabid left-wing partisanship that dehumanizes people who see things from a point of view different from his. I could easily imagine a parallel article describing a reasonable German's descent into being a Nazi persecuter of Jews.

God save us all.

Adrian

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on April 16, 2004 08:57 AM

____

T. Andrews wrote, "'What I'd give for a Dwight Eisenhower or Teddy Roosevelt to run the Republican party once again. Sane. Responsible. Moderate Jeffersonian conservativism.'

You have one. His name is John McCain. Imagine how different the world would be if John McCain had been in the White House on Sept. 11, 2001."

McCain? He *does* seem to have some integrity. But he's hardly a moderate. While his integrity gets in the way sometimes, he's often extremely conservative.

Posted by: liberal on April 16, 2004 09:01 AM

____

Joe R wrote, "Adrian Spidle should give credit to the sources from which he plagiarizes his posts."

Yes, I caught him at it a few days ago. Found myself thinking "Hmm...this is too well written to be a typical comments post."

Adrian Spidle wrote, "As I said before, I don't reference source texts on this blog because it has so many rabbid left-wingers on it that they simply denigrate the author..."

First, it's plagiarism. Secondly, while it's wrong to play up the plagiarism aspect too much---in the sense that clearly you're not doing it to claim someone else's writings as your own---it's confusing and dishonest.

Third, while ad hominem attacks are indeed a "logical fallacy," you're making one yourself (something along the lines of "two wrongs make a right").

Posted by: liberal on April 16, 2004 09:07 AM

____

Adrian Spidle wrote, "That's a very interesting link detailing a personal descent from reasonableness to a rabid left-wing partisanship that dehumanizes people who see things from a point of view different from his. I could easily imagine a parallel article describing a reasonable German's descent into being a Nazi persecuter of Jews."

(1) If that's not an ad hominem attack, it's pretty close to it.

(2) Godwin alert.

Posted by: liberal on April 16, 2004 09:09 AM

____

And why would such a "grownup" Republican as Baker have gone to such extraordinary lengths as the Florida recount battle/Supreme Court to put this piece of rubbish in office?

Posted by: Bob H on April 16, 2004 09:45 AM

____

Sorry guys, read below and weep. Obviously the outrageous disrespect you guys feel and express for Bush/Republicans/Conservatives is not shared by most Americans (though it is certainly shared by your fellow-traveling EuroSocialists).


"Friday April 16, 2004--The latest Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll shows President George W. Bush with 46% of the vote and Senator John F. Kerry with 44%. This includes two full nights of polling after the President's press conference as well as data collected the night of the televised event.

As the voice of Osama bin Laden emerges again calling for attacks against the United States, 53% of Americans prefer Bush over Kerry when it comes to national defense and the War on Terror. Just 38% prefer Kerry. Those numbers reflect an improvement for the President over the past week. The President has gained ground a bit on economic management as well. His overall Job Approval is now at 52%."

I predict Kerry will get a good bump after the Democrat convention and then dive into obscurity, ignominy and defeat.

You all will condemn the Democrat Party to perpetual also-ran status in the USA until you change your ways and get a little more conservative.

You guys don't realize it yet, but Clinton was more conservative than Nixon or Ford which is why he won.

It hurts me more than it hurts you but I'm just trying to help you wake up and smell the roses before it's two late. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, even Republicans, so we need a healthy loyal opposition for the health of our Nation and you guys ain't on the right track for that.

Adrian

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on April 16, 2004 10:25 AM

____

Liberal said:
"(1) If that's not an ad hominem attack, it's pretty close to it."

Thank you for that -- I was about to say much the same thing. The unintentional(?) irony in Adrian's post was truely beautiful.

Posted by: Grep Agni on April 16, 2004 10:52 AM

____

"Hi Brad, George W Bush is far more qualified to be President of the United States than Kerry, Gore or Clinton and it's a matter of his superior character combined with a businesslike ability to delegate authority to qualified subordinates as well as an ability to listen to both sides of an issue and then integrate disparate points of view into a real world solution......"

Hilarity ensues. Expect a laff riot.

Adrian deserves some kind of award for that opener. I couldn't have done better myself.

Posted by: Zizka on April 16, 2004 12:22 PM

____

Rubenstein says, "And I said, thanks - didn't think I'd ever see him again. His name is George W. Bush. He became President of the United States. So you know if you said to me, name 25 million people who would maybe be President of the United States, he wouldn't have been in that category."

Bush defeated Democrat Anne Richards to become governor of Texas in 1994, the same year he resigned from the Caterair International, Inc. board, not the Carlyle board. Isn't it currious that Rubenstein didn't know that Bush, a former board member, had become the Governor of Texas.

It's also currious that Rubenstein would have thought of 25 million other people becoming President before coming to a two-term Governor of the State of Texas.

Rubenstein's head must be up his ass.

Posted by: Dan on April 16, 2004 12:22 PM

____

Adrian Spidle wrote, "Sorry guys, read below and weep. Obviously the outrageous disrespect you guys feel and express for Bush/Republicans/Conservatives is not shared by most Americans (though it is certainly shared by your fellow-traveling EuroSocialists)."

This is an odd statement.

(1) It's not clear that polls, or even votes, on candidates reflect public opinion on *the issues*. In fact, if you look at polls on the issues, mainstream American is mostly in the Democratic camp.

Why the divergence? (a) The Republicans have more campaign money. Bush in particular has *much more* money than Kerry. (b) The distorting role of the press. While contentious, it's reasonable to at least *posit* overall pro-Republican bias on the part of the press. (Not on issues like abortion. But if you compare coverage of the Lewinski affair, which did not concern a crime involving the State, to the coverage of the false premises under which the US went to war against Hussein, it's a reasonable claim to make. Not to mention the differential treatment the press gave Bush and Gore---light on the former, hard on the latter.)

(2) A distortion of "our" views. (Scare quotes, because I'll take the liberty of speaking for fellow liberals and leftists.) By using the words "disrespect" and "express," you imply that we've arrived at our views by emotion. Nothing could be farther from the truth---we think Bush and the Republicans in general *push for policies that will be harmful to America in the long term.* That is, we arrive at our positions by a combination of assumptions that follow from deeply held values, and deductions based on them by reason. An Enlightenment position, if you will.

(3) At least an *appearance* of an argument by popularity. Let's assume, for sake of argument only, that you're right that our ideals are losing hold in the political marketplace. Why does that mean we should alter our positions? Perhaps one could claim that politicians should do this and go after the "median voter," but that hardly applies to the positions and tactical stances assumed by individuals. On the contrary; a good argument can be made that by staking out a more extreme position (i.e., by *not* moving to the center), you shift the weighted average of political opinion in the other direction. There are more subtle tactical issues to consider---I, for one, think "our" demostrations should be adorned with the American flag, and protestors should dress formally, so that others think about the actual message instead of relying on sartorially-based stereotypes---but those are tactical issues.

Posted by: liberal on April 16, 2004 12:25 PM

____

Another thread ruined, in this case by a plagiarist.

Posted by: Zizka on April 16, 2004 12:27 PM

____

"It's also currious that Rubenstein would have thought of 25 million other people becoming President before coming to a two-term Governor of the State of Texas.

Rubenstein's head must be up his ass.

Posted by Dan"

Way to go Dan my man. Perfect example of the left wing trash that these simpletons believe.

Keep it up.

Adrian

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on April 16, 2004 12:28 PM

____

Please people, don't feed the trolls.

Posted by: heet on April 16, 2004 12:30 PM

____

"Another thread ruined, in this case by a plagiarist.

Posted by Zizka"

What's with you Lefties? Is it that you're too sensitive to talk to people with a different point of view or is it that you're simply not smart enough to argue with people who disagree with you?

Adrian

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on April 16, 2004 12:35 PM

____

"...(2) A distortion of "our" views. (Scare quotes, because I'll take the liberty of speaking for fellow liberals and leftists.) By using the words "disrespect" and "express," you imply that we've arrived at our views by emotion. Nothing could be farther from the truth---we think Bush and the Republicans in general *push for policies that will be harmful to America in the long term.* That is, we arrive at our positions by a combination of assumptions that follow from deeply held values, and deductions based on them by reason. An Enlightenment position, if you will..
Posted by liberal"


Sheesh, liberal, you gotta be the dumbest liberal I've ever seen. Do you have an EdD from some state college or something?

"deeply held values, and deductions based on them by reason"

You think you are unique in this matter? I suggest your "values" are more about perspective and that your reason is based on simple causal chains of carefully preselected data points and that your "reason" has absolutely no relation to reality and absolutely no value whatsoever.

Adrian

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on April 16, 2004 12:43 PM

____

Adrian Spidle wrote, "THERE IS A VERY IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TALKING POLICY AND IMPLEMENTING POLICY EFFECTIVELY AND CHANGING IT AS CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE. W'S ECONOMIC POLICIES ARE NOW BEARING FRUIT AS WILL HIS FOREIGN POLICY IN THE FUTURE. YOU POLITICAL TYPES NEVER SEEM TO BE SMART ENOUGH TO INCLUDE THE BASIC PHYSICAL PRINCIPAL OF 'DELAY BETWEEN CAUSE AND EFFECT' IN YOUR ANALYSES."

That's odd.

(1) Of course "we political types" understand the separation of cause in effect. In addition, we also understand the difference between changes in the economy due to normal variations in the business cycle, and changes in the economy due to structural consequences of changes in the tax code. Unfortunately, most voters (of whatever ideology) do *not* understand the distinction. Nor, apparently, do you.

(2) Much of Bush's tax changes are "backloaded" into the future. "We political types" also understand the basic physical principle called "causality"---namely, an effect cannot precede its cause.

(3) "...CHANGING IT AS CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE..." This is particularly delicious, given that Bush's positions do *not* change as circumstances change. That applies to Iraq---when UN weapons inspectors failed to find any WMDs, he didn't change his policy of gunning for invasion---and the economy, where right-wing anti-tax ideology calls for tax cuts if the economy is doing poorly, tax cuts if the economy is doing well. In fact, the right-wing faith in tax cutting does not appear to satisfy Popper's "falsifiability" criterion.

Posted by: liberal on April 16, 2004 12:44 PM

____

Adrian Spidle wrote, "Sheesh, liberal, you gotta be the dumbest liberal I've ever seen. Do you have an EdD from some state college or something?"

No, "I-call-others-out-for-making-ad-hominem-attacks-and-then-make-them-myself," I have a PhD in mathematics from MIT, and am most assuredly much more intelligent than you are.

"I suggest your 'values' are more about perspective and that your reason is based on simple causal chains of carefully preselected data points and that your 'reason' has absolutely no relation to reality and absolutely no value whatsoever."

Nope, no argument or evidence there.

By the way, what preselected data points? Maybe selecting the position that certain aluminum tubes are for uranium centrifugation, not artillery rockets? Or selecting BMD tests that don't test a weapons system under realistic field conditions, then going ahead an building it? Or lauding the economic effects of the Reagan tax cuts by not properly controlling for the business cycle?(*)

Oh, silly me...those are *right wing* selections.

------------
(*) Footnote: Reference is to Stephen Moore; I believe our gracious host had a post on this issue many moons ago.

Posted by: liberal on April 16, 2004 12:55 PM

____

1) Of course "we political types" understand the separation of cause in effect.

COULD YOU EXPLAIN IT?

In addition, we also understand the difference between changes in the economy due to normal variations in the business cycle, and changes in the economy due to structural consequences of changes in the tax code.

REALLY NOW. EXACTLY HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

(2) Much of Bush's tax changes are "backloaded" into the future. "We political types" also understand the basic physical principle called "causality"---namely, an effect cannot precede its cause.

YOU DO, DO YOU? WELL I'M AFRAID YOU'RE WRONG AGAIN. EFFECTS REGULARLY PRECEED CAUSES IN CYCLES.

(3) "...CHANGING IT AS CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE..." This is particularly delicious, given that Bush's positions do *not* change as circumstances change. That applies to Iraq---when UN weapons inspectors failed to find any WMDs, he didn't change his policy of gunning for invasion---

YOU CAN'T REALLY BE THAT STUPID. CLINTON SAID IRAQ HAD WMDS, GORE SAID IRAQ HAD WMDS, BLAR SAID IRAQ HAD WMDS, THE ENTIRE SECURITY COUNCIL SAID IRAQ HAD WMDS, IRAQ USED WMDS ON ITS' KURDS, IRAQ USED WMDS ON IRAN. ARE YOU TOO STUPID TO UNJDERSTAND THE PRINCIPAL OF DESTROYING OR HIDING EVIDENCE?

and the economy, where right-wing anti-tax ideology calls for tax cuts if the economy is doing poorly, tax cuts if the economy is doing well.

EVERY TIME TAXES HAVE BEEN CUT GOVERNMENT REVENUES HAVE INCREASED BECAUSE ECONOMIC ACTIVITY HAS INCREASED. AGREED THERE IS MOST CERTAINLY AN INFLECTION POINT WHERE THIS PHENOMENA WOULD REVERSE, BUT WE ARE CLEARLY NO WHERE NEAR THAT INFLECTION POINT.


ADRIAN THE MIGHTY TROLL WHO YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN'T RESIST

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on April 16, 2004 12:56 PM

____

Adrian Spidle, "Sheesh, liberal, you gotta be the dumbest liberal I've ever seen. Do you have an EdD from some state college or something?"

Adrian Spidle, "...despair of ever finding a liberal Democrat smart enough to intelligently respond to the thoughts of conservatives without being reduced to ad hominem attacks..."

Adrian Spidle, "...I'd be happy to attribute my text if all you lefties apologized for your past ad hominems and promissed not to do it any more."

Adrian, why do you insist upon condemning ad hominem attacks when they are evidently one of your favorite - if limited - rhetorical devices?

Posted by: manyoso on April 16, 2004 01:04 PM

____

"...I have a PhD in mathematics from MIT, and am most assuredly much more intelligent than you are.

Posted by liberal "

Since I am a former MIT undergrad - Course 3, Materials Science, and my best friend also got his PhD in Mathematics there, I now understand you better.

You can't tell the hamburger from the picture of the hamburger on the menu. The models you make to represent reality are not reality. If you were an undergrad there you would have read AN ENQUIRY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING in freshman humanities and you would understand causality a little better and you would know the hamburger is very different from that picture of the hamburger.

Smarter than me... I THINK NOT.

Adrian

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on April 16, 2004 01:06 PM

____

"This is particularly delicious, given that Bush's positions do *not* change as circumstances change."

Thank you Adrian, for acknowledging one of the most damning critiques of this administration:

Bush refuses to change his ideology even in the face of changing facts. Faith based governance indeed.

Posted by: manyoso on April 16, 2004 01:09 PM

____

"Adrian, why do you insist upon condemning ad hominem attacks when they are evidently one of your favorite - if limited - rhetorical devices?


Posted by manyoso'

I just can't help it. There just way too much fun. But hey, I'm just kidding. I really love you guys, and even respect you, a little. Heck, my own son, the scientist, is a liberal.

Can't you guys take a joke?... or two?

Adrian

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on April 16, 2004 01:10 PM

____

All,
Peggy Noonan got back to me with her rebuttle of MY rebuttle to her op-ed that Adrian so graciously cut and pasted for us. Her response follows:

"Adrian Spindle and I are lovers. Furthermore he actually wrote my article for me after a night of sweaty passion. Don't be fooled by his stupefying hypocrisy, simplistic views of the world, nor his complete and utter lack of scruples. He is a giant among men, literally."

Here I was thinking that if Adrian is the best the right can offer we Dems are in great shape. Peggy has since helped me see the error in my ways. Bravo Adrian, Bravo.

Posted by: heet on April 16, 2004 01:12 PM

____

"...rebuttle..." how about rebuttal? As for what Peggy said... well I must be a gentleman.

Adrian the giant among men

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on April 16, 2004 01:16 PM

____

DAMN! You got me Adrian! Oh wait, you can't spell either. Ah yes, Peggy was right about your hypocrisy. Thanks for understanding my mistake.

Posted by: heet on April 16, 2004 01:18 PM

____

This thread has reached a food fight state of frenzy. Which reminds me, a senior citizen, how George Bush struck me when he surfaced to campaign for the presidency: as being immature. All that has followed has had this as its root cause.

JD

Posted by: wianno on April 16, 2004 01:45 PM

____

brad: "why are the people who give accurate advice the ones that George W. Bush fires?"

wcw: "loyalty. ... when the truth contradicts his stubbornly counterfactual readings of reality, then he sees speaking the truth as disloyal."

I think wcw nailed it on the head here. I think more specifically, Bush knows what decision will further his political goals and chooses it. His thought process is probably that anyone advocating a different decision must want to hurt Bush politically.

BTW, Oldman, I loved your comment. What's your position on electoral reform?

Posted by: fling93 on April 16, 2004 02:11 PM

____

wcw: "loyalty. ... when the truth contradicts his stubbornly counterfactual readings of reality, then he sees speaking the truth as disloyal."

Posted by fling93"

This sounds like an accurate analysis of the way you lefties think. Can't anyone here realize how subjective - thus unreal - your "facts" are upon which you build your castles of logical silliness.

Adrian - who can see

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on April 16, 2004 02:22 PM

____

It's not true that trolls go away if you ignore tham. Adrian is determined to squat here and annoy people until he wins. Scroll up to the top and you will see the beginnings of a very interesting discussion which was ruined by Adrian's nasty hackery.

Only banning will get rid of Mr/Ms. Spidel.

Adrian is someone whom none of us would invite into their home twice, and whom no one would respond to if they met him in a public place, and whose letters no one would answer. But by the peculiarities of the internet he/she can come here and inflict himself/herself on us. In other words, on the internet it is impossible to be malicious with impunity, and he loves that part.

The internet is also a place where nothing happens if you say something especially stupid, especially if annoying people is your main goal.

Adrian feels that we're obligated to listen to his/her crankouts, and that if we don't do so, we're irrational, undemocratic, etc. He/she also believes that he/she has a right to be here, and if he/she is banned as he deserves, he/she will whine.

This is the tragedy of the commons. If something is available to everyone and not policed, eventually some crack whore or Hell's Angel will come along to ruin it. In Adrians case, gleefully so.

I just read the preceding ten comments by Adrian. Only one or two have any real content, and those two are just boilerplate right-wing allegations that are mostly false. The rest are personal remarks.

Brad should appoint a few monitors with passwords to delete posts. He could even set up a separate comments line for those who are banned from this site to whine on. Perhaps they'll devour one another like centipedes and spiders trapped in a jar.

Posted by: Zizka on April 16, 2004 03:13 PM

____

This reminds of an old Internet saying:
"On the internet, nobody knows your a dog"

Posted by: heet on April 16, 2004 03:26 PM

____

Adrian: "This sounds like an accurate analysis of the way you lefties think."

Actually, I've been a registered Republican ever since college (little over ten years now) who typically votes for Libertarians (I voted for Harry Browne, not Gore). So politically, I'm a lot closer to Dan Drezner than Brad DeLong, but I enjoy reading them both.

Posted by: fling93 on April 16, 2004 03:46 PM

____

What if the Iraqi conflict is merely a staging ground for the war between Halliburton and the Carlyle Group for military-industrial predominance? Who better than the fool son of a Carlyle scion to legitmize and tax fund the challenge of the plebeian Halliburts? Give Mr. Cheney his due. He has been brilliant and nary a soul recognizes his achievement. True Genuis.

Posted by: DhDohm on April 16, 2004 07:18 PM

____

Adrian is easily delt with. If all who post here can agree to not respond to anything he posts he becomes invisible. I always scroll down to see who is posting a (lengthy) comment before reading it. In the case of Adrian I often just keep on scrolling and never look back.

Posted by: Dubblblind on April 16, 2004 09:17 PM

____

http://www.al-islam.org/nutshell/

Pick any fact sheet on the menu at the bottom of the page on merits or diseases of the soul. They all apply to King George....

Posted by: Hesai Deshaid on April 18, 2004 12:10 AM

____

http://al-islam.org/nutshell/files/ujb.pdf

Bush is Ujb personified.

Posted by: Al Dabaran on April 18, 2004 12:13 AM

____

Dear Adrian (whose e-mail is spidle@mc.edu):

So you're a student at Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi (www.mc.edu), "where faith and learning are valued," are you? Do your teachers value intellectual integrity, as well? If so, do they know that you're a plagiarist?

You should be ashamed of yourself. No; that would be too hard for kids like you; you have no sense of what you've done, so how can you know remorse? You're just parroting back the witless conservative drivel you hear all around you. It's nauseating to hear such young people (I'll assume you're young, given that you're enrolled in such advanced fare as Computer Science, Math for Teachers, New Testament, Intro. to Reading, Methods of Reading, and Educational Psychology) spouting off in a public forum without any idea of what they're talking about. I'm reminded of the Lord's reply to Job, "Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?" (38:2 "quis est iste involvens sententias sermonibus inperitis?")

Brad de Long's site is an insightful island in a sea of partisan garbage. Please stay off the island until you learn how to spell, learn something about politics you don't hear on Rush Limbaugh, and develop at least some primitive sense of morality to go along with your blind loyalty to Bush. After all, plagiarism is theft, and theft violates one of the Ten Commandments. Ask the prof. who teaches the Old Testament course--I have a feeling you haven't taken that one yet. Yours--

George Standfast

Posted by: George Standfast on April 20, 2004 03:18 PM

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