Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Left and Dismissal

So I'm listening to the Dennis Miller Show this afternoon. I like Dennis. I don't always agree with Dennis. I don't always agree with anyone. But I agree with Dennis in principle on most things. I think he's a smart guy, fair minded, and never forgets his sense of humor.

And he has this guy on, Vincent Bugliosi who prosecuted Charles Manson et. al. for the Tate Murders, wrote "Helter Skelter", and a scathing condemnation of the O.J. Trial and verdict. Dennis said he knew him and considered him a sharp mind and brought him on to talk about his new book which argues that Bush should be tried for the murders of all soldiers killed in Iraq plus all Iraqi military and civilians who have been killed in the war -- a position Dennis clearly doesn't agree with. But Dennis isn't opposed to letting people with other points of view present and defend their points of view on his show.

And this guy comes on practically sputtering with rage at Bush, deserves the death penalty, he's got the case sewn up tight and all Bush can do is "hide under a table" if he asks these questions in court as a prosecuting attourney. He insisted that Saddam was no threat and that the intelligence was made up.

Upon being challenged with facts (Dennis played a few of these quotes), Bugliosi's counter-arguments quickly boiled down to calling the respondent a "Bush Lover" or "Right-Wing" or something of the sort rather than actually addressing the argument. We'll get to that in a bit. The man was apparently so angry, so enraged, so seethingly obsessed that he couldn't see straight. Let me repeat that. He couldn't see straight.

When he complained that he hadn't been able to present any of his arguments (other than "Bush Lied", "Murder", "Bush Lied", "People Died", and "Right-Wing"), Dennis told him to take a minute and spell out something coherent about his case.

He told Dennis to play defense attourney, and he would play prosecuting attourney. He would ask a question and there's no way Dennis would be able to answer it. Bush is GUILTY! You'll see!

Then he sputtered on about the Downing Street Memo and embellished quite a bit beyond the core of the Downing Street Memo (likely expanding the controversial use of the word "Fixed" in the paragraph I'll publish at the end) and apparently filling in what he thought it obviously meant. It was almost coherent, though you'd have to take a bunch of what this one man said on faith, plus believe that a typewritten copy of a photocopy (which was subsequently destroyed) of a secret document the head of MI6 wrote about a meeting between Bush and Blair before they ever went to the UN in the first place said that they discussed trying to provoke Saddam into a war with ... an air strike or something of that sort. Which was most decidedly not what the supposedly official text of the controversial portion of said document says even when reproduced by rabid left-wing writers. I'm sorry, if that's the smoking gun of the"Bush Lied" argument, then Bush's case for war (the one he actually made, if not also the narrow version the anti-war crowd says it was) was air tight by those same standards.

Apparently in the book he does a Q & A session where Bugliosi asks the questions ... and then answers them as if he were Bush. Clever. Dennis asked him about this, and the author basically dismissed it as the only answer Bush could have given if he were telling the truth. The Truth according to Bugliosi and the TTWDP (Tantrum-Throwing Wing of the Democratic Party).

The word "fixed" in the memo is interpreted by Bush critics as if it were meant in the horse race or gambling sense. Of course, "fixed" can also mean "attached to". Critics say that "fixed" only makes sense in the paragraph in you interpret it in the first sense. Of course, that's only if you believe that the policy, the idea that Saddam needed to be removed as a matter of national and international security, not to mention the domestic pain he inflicted on his own people, was an idea the "neo-cons" came up with rather than something that Democrats and members of the Clinton administration had talked about in the past, re-iterated, and supported in 2002. But if it means "attaching" it could easily mean that they were simply laying out the case for war in terms the general public could easily see and grasp. There is no crime in that -- indeed, it would be their duty. And they did it.

But as we've discussed before, the left isn't in the business of making arguments -- they want to itterate their talking points, then dismiss ad hominiem their opponents so that (in their book) there's no point in listening to the other side. "Bush Lover". "Watches Fox News". "Corporate Interest". "Neocon." "He reads right-wing magazines."

Don't listen to him, he's one of those people!
Rather than going ahead and listening to him and making a case, a logical case backed with facts, showing why he's wrong. They're long on stating things as if they were fact. But when you start poking for references or contradictory facts especially with references, they run right back to hiding behind the trees of "Bush-Lover". "Neocon". "Rethuglican." "Haaaaaaaaaaaaalliburton!!!!!!!!"

What Dennis likes to do with these people is to give them enough rope, let 'em run with it ... to hang themselves. And it rarely fails.

In their world, the only reason one might agree with Bush is that they like him, or worship him. It never seems to occur to them that maybe we agree with Bush because we weighed the facts, thought it out, and came to the same conclusion Bush came to. If that happens, then yeah, I'm gonna agree with Bush. It's not the other way around. I like Bush because I agree with him. I don't agree with him because I like him. Who thinks like that?

Oh, that's right... the Left. They apparently suffer from the worst case of projection you can imagine.

But in their world, merely agreeing with Bush is grounds for dismissing any argument you might make, whether you've had a chance to make that argument or not.

I still think this Bush Derangement Syndrome has more to do with bitterness over the 2000 election than anything else.

The controversial portion of the memo:

C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.
And yet they went the U.N. route, made their case (which went far, far beyond WMD). The argument convinced me, most Republicans, and most Democrats. When the intelligence turned out to be flawed ... which, beleive it or not intelligence often is ... the Democrats saw a political opportunity and most tried to re-write history, claiming they'd never been for the war, claiming that the administration fabricated any threat from Saddam -- and "lied" about it. It became "Bush's War".

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