Friday, June 24, 2005

Karl Rove is a Big Fat Idiot

What is happening to this country? Just when you think the Republicans can’t get any nastier, they find a way to stink up the national discourse with a little more of their bile. Let’s back up a step if I may. A few weeks back, Howard Dean called the GOP a white Christian party. And the Republicans flew into one of their echo-chamber-induced tizzies of feigned outrage. How DARE he throw around this sort of divisive language?!?! Of course, Dean’s statement is absolutely true if you consider first that the country is mostly white and Christian in the first place and then take a look at the photos from the 2004 GOP convention – white people / black people. And have you ever, like, heard the president speak? He’s not talking about 50 Cent and mosques unless it’s a speech about building prisons or starting a new bombing campaign. Furthermore as Greg at Wonkette points out – when did white Christian become an insult? Whatever.

Moving to this week, we have Dr. Evil himself, Karl Rove coming into MY TOWN and horking up insults like this:

"Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." Conservatives, he said, "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."
And according to the Republicans, that sort of talk is absolutely fine. In New York he said this! Where was Karl Rove on September 11th? I ask because I was on top of my building watching in stunned horror with my liberal elitist neighbors as the Towers collapsed into a stinking, burning pile of death. That stench hung in the air citywide for weeks too. To this day, every once in a while I’ll smell burning rubber or plastic or something and it will take me back to that horrible morning. I’d like to be able to explain the rage I felt. As opposed as I am to unnecessary military conflict, I distinctly remember talking with my friend about possibly joining the service so we could go after the terrorists ourselves. Lucky for us, we were wise enough not to make any life-changing decisions that week. But some people did have to make some decisions back then.
In the aftermath of 9/11, liberal Democrats on Capitol Hill stood proudly with conservative Republicans to pledge their support for military action against al-Qaida and the Taliban. The wobbly weakness of George W. Bush's initial response to the terror strikes went unmentioned, as did anything else that might hint at dissension at a moment of crisis. When Bush delivered his powerful speech to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 20, 2001, he won standing applause across the bitter divide left by the 2000 election. For the first time, Democratic congressional leaders declined free airtime to answer a Republican presidential address.
The Senate voted 98-0 to authorize war in Afghanistan. The House 420-1. The Democrats might be down in numbers, but I’m pretty sure there were at least a few of them participating in those votes. The chutzpah of Karl Rove to suggest that liberals are weak in the very city most affected by terrorism, yet vote 90% Democrat is beyond outrageous.

On the other hand, while we liberal weenies here in New York were giving blood, contributing to the WTC cleanup, reading handbills posted everywhere around town with pictures of missing loved ones, crying and comforting our friends, Karl Rove had more important plans:
But we now know that even then, at the peak of national unity, Rove was planning to make suckers of the Democrats and liberals who had spoken out in support of the president. He didn't care about bipartisan cooperation, or about the benefit of the doubt that Democrats had given Bush. He behaved as a partisan, not a patriot.

Rove would soon discard the inspiring presidential rhetoric that had joined Americans across race, religion and ideology. The slogan of a nation at war that blossomed on billboards, bumper stickers and storefronts -- "United We Stand" -- was no longer operative.

Or so Rove explained to his fellow "patriots" at a closed meeting of the Republican National Committee during their winter conference in Austin, Texas. Less than four months after Bush's Sept. 20 address to the joint session of Congress, he was scheming to win the midterm elections by transforming the "war on terror" into a war on Democrats.

"We can go to the country on this issue, because they trust the Republican Party to do a better job of protecting and strengthening America's military might and thereby protecting America," he said. Provocative as those remarks were, they were mild compared with the kind of slanders that ensued against Daschle -- who was paired with Saddam and bin Laden -- and many other Democratic candidates.
Let’s face it – there are a few places in this country who actually have to worry about terrorism. New York and Washington for sure. Probably Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago too. The rest of you are pretty much safe and you don’t see for example, soldiers in fatigues with automatic rifles in the subway on the way to work every morning. You don’t have posters all around town telling you to "inform a police officer if you see an unattended bag." I don’t think the FBI has uncovered a nefarious plot to blow up the Corn Bazaar and Mystery Spot in Prairie Lakes, Nebraska. A funny thing about all the cities I mentioned above – we all vote overwhelmingly Democrat. You know why? Because they’re the party that we believe are better suited to protect us from terrorists.

Bush is without question making it less safe to live here. Frankly, I believe that he really couldn't care less if New York did blow up. He saw his approval ratings before we were attacked, and he saw his ratings after we were attacked. And we city slickers ain’t votin’ for his redneck ass in the first place. So all of you out there, Karl Rove included – don’t tell us what we are. You don’t know us. You didn’t experience what we experienced that day. We pussy liberals are the ones who are facing certain future attacks with courage and conviction and not letting the terrorists “win” by moving out to the countryside (and in so doing, devastating the American economy). So until it happens in your town, until it’s you and your neighbors’ lives who are increasingly threatened by Bush’s inept policies – shut your fucking mouth.


Nate Wazoo said...

With all due respect, my friend...there´s no fucking way I´m letting you get away with that last comment.

(This is a response to a comment MG made on this post, on a different blog. The following is my response, albeit hastily composed, and with a bit of anger.)

MG -

I like the way you´ve changed your tune.

It was funny, and he was making a MOVIE. Get a grip.

So, you´re admitting that it´s just a movie, and we shouldn´t take it seriously? That we shouldn´t regard Moore as being entirely truthful? Really, what the hell do you mean when you say it´s just a "movie"? Because the way you treated him before, I could have sworn you regarded him as a truth-teller.

Moore is a filmmaker whose only obligation is to his film producer to make money.

Is this an admission that his first obligation isn´t to the truth? I don´t really care if his first obligation is to making money...if he decieves, he decieves.

On Bush working hard -

You´ve entirely missed my point. If Moore wanted to claim that Bush wasn´t working hard, then he could easily have used the evidence you just gave me. Why you´re defending him when he used crap evidence is beyond me, especially since, from what you´ve just told me, he could have made a good argument. The fact that he used a bad argument and distracted from the real questions concerning Bush´s work in office should piss you off even more.

By the way, your article doesn't say anything about the "law" insisting that the rally HAD to happen in Colorado, nor that it had to happen that very week.

Standard corporation law. Every corporation is required to have a meeting once a year, planned in advance. This is like asking me to cite a law saying you have to stop at a red light, dude. It´s been on the books for decades.

On the Pantagraph Headline -

You haven´t said anything, which I find quite telling, given that it´s an obvious example of doctoring evidence. Please, tell me how that was in any way defensible.

On Ellis -
It happened to do some good for Bush.

You don´t have any evidence of that whatsoever. You believe it only because it fits the version of reality you want to believe. Moore does the same. I want some evidence that Ellis did something, and neither you nor Moore have anything. Anything.

In any case, you're missing the forest for the trees. Bush is massively indebted to his wealthy oil baron donors.

I´m speechless.

Look, you´re defending Moore´s claims, not Moore himself. I don´t really give a damn about his claims. If they hold up under their own weight, fine. But they don´t hold up for the reasons Moore gives, mostly because he never gives the whole story. Ever. Show me once where he does, where I can´t poke any holes - gaping, gaping holes - in what he says, and I´ll bow to you and call you master. If the assertions Moore makes are true, then it seems doubly odd that you wouldn´t condemn him for making use of good arguments in lieu of bullshit.

On the poor fighting for the rich - no. Do your homework, or maybe I should do it for you. That´s an overwhelmingly stupid assertion that has little to no ground in reality.

US military personnel acquisitions , ages 18-24 2002 (latest numbers available, Bush Administration era)

White 66.96 %
Black Hispanic, Others - 33.04%

And my favorite...

That it doesn't piss you off that Bush was sipping mocktails instead of preventing the biggest attack on American soil is, I think pretty cold to us New Yorkers and probably a result of not actually experiencing what that feels like for yourself.

Thank you so, so much for using the Trade Center attacks as a way to hide behind not doing any significant research. I appreciate also the way you´ve managed to draw a line between me and you with the bodies of the victims, because I certainly have no idea how it feels to lose loved ones, and certainly felt no fear when I saw the towers crash.

(Read: that was an incredibly fucked-up thing to say. Don´t be a prick.)

(It´s that last line that pissed me off. Do you really have so much of a problem with someone calling into question bad methods of deception that you will defend your own worldview with the dead?)

Nate Wazoo said...

Holy crap...was so angry I completely missed something obvious.

MG says this -

...he was making a MOVIE. Get a grip.

No, he wasn't. He was making a documentary.


Unsure of what the standsrds for that are? How about if Moore himself tells you?

I have invited my fellow documentary nominees on the stage with us, and we would like to — they're here in solidarity with me because we like nonfiction. We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fictition of duct tape or fictition of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you.

There you go. Now, please tell me again, in light of the fact that this movie is a documentary, how, say, fabricating a headline (Pantagraph) isn't deception.

Ellie said...

Wow, that's exactly the kind of speech my fellow Democrats who have sadly gone into hiding post-election need to hear to get them off their asses and to work. I dunno if I have the balls to be that forward: hence why I have a blog and I don't go round making grand speeches ;)

Michael Grant said...

Wazoo. Moore is more of an op-ed filmmaker. He's not required to show every argument and every side. As you said yourself, he doesn't lie. He gets his point across using interesting hyperbolic story-telling devices. And as you are aware from some of the other posters over there, you really have to hammer a point home to get through the right-wing echo chamber.

Bush, on the other hand, was both deceptive AND lied and in a matter of national security. That you think making a movie and declaring war are equivalent undermines your argument by making you look foolish.

Your bit about the number of blacks in the army is irrelevant. I didn't say anything about race. I said it was about socio-economic status. There are poor white people too. And again - Moore uses a non-scientific type examination to make his point, not prove his point. The scene where they decide to go to the "poor kids" mall instead of the "rich kids" mall.

Take his stop-smoking commercials. They don't prove a point either. So there are dangerous chemicals in cigarettes. It doesn't prove that those chemicals actually are what kills people. And he doesn't take the time out to say that smoking one cigarette a day might be fine but that smoking two packs a day might kill you. He doesn't need to. He doesn't need to show the guy who lived to be 103 smoking a pack a day either. He's making a point.

Nate Wazoo said...

MG -

Read the damn article.

It says, specifically, that the idea that the military recruits the poor is false.

Or, as I like to call it, bullshit.

Check the stats.

That you think making a movie and declaring war are equivalent undermines your argument by making you look foolish.

Well, they're both forms of deception. And, as I recall, the original question that started this discussion was whether or not Michael Moore could be trusted. The fact that you've changed it to "Bush is worse, so there" seems particularly telling.

Deception is deception. If you want my opinion on Bush's deception, I'll gladly give it to you. In my opinion, however, condoning one type of deception because your opponent is worse hardly makes you look like Wosdom Personified.

And would you please answer the Pantagraph question?

Nate Wazoo said...

One more thing, on Dean:

Pussy Republicans aside (if they can dish it out, they should be able to take it), what pisses me off is when Dean says something like this and the DNC does...nothing.

“You think the Republican National Committee could get this many people of color in a single room? Only if they had the hotel staff in here."

Welcome to the party, Dean.

Nate Wazoo said...

I'm sorry I keep doing this, but I found one more Moore move that I didn't know about.

The opening scene features Michael Moore in the North Country Bank & Trust in Traverse City, Michigan, which was running a promotion saying that for every account opened, they would give away not a toaster or a walkman, but a gun. We see Moore filling out the paperwork to open a new account. This done, the teller hands him a rifle. Moore exits the bank, thrusts the rifle into the air like some well-fed Sandinista, and over the freeze-frame says “maybe it’s not such a good idea to give people a gun…in a bank!” Oh, how the NPR film club tittered at that line!

This isn’t just misdirection. This is, pure and simple, a goddam lie. The bank did offer this promotion, and when Moore heard about it, he found out that when you open the new account, they give you a certificate. You then have to go to a gun shop to pick up the gun.

This wasn’t damning enough. So Moore convinced the poor, decent, gullible people who ran that bank that it would be much better publicity for them if they could hand him the gun right there in the bank. Uh, well, um…okay. If it will help you with your movie. But the bank did not hand out guns on the premises. Moore created this scene to advance his premise. It’s a funny scene. It is most emphatically not a documentary scene.

It's way, way down, and not at all the point of the essay, but still there.

James said...

Out of curiousity, why did you kill the Michael Moore thread?

Michael Grant said...

Because it was pointless. The points on both sides had been made 100 times before. I'd rather keep DoG focused on something that matters. Things like our country being led into a war based on lies. Like science being subjugated by religion and the highest campaign donor. Like fundamental human and civil rights being discarded like yesterday's doughnuts. It was turning this place into Jerry Springer.

James said...

Fair enough, it's your blog, and you get to call the shots.