Michael Reynolds, you are exhibit 131,768 of left wingers who are prone to psychological projection.
You began this thread by stating that ALL right wingers need an enemy, need reassurance, like to spread fear, blah, blah. You are able to deduce that because you are an expert on everything, but especially on how other people think and feel. You're even an expert on what gives right wingers a boner. But when someone points the generalizations back at you, then you get apoplectic.
You complain about name calling, but if anyone expresses a different viewpoint than Michael Reynolds, they are completely ignorant.
You give the GWB administration ZERO credit for its foreign policy successes, even though you keep trumpeting BO's predator strike policy in AFG/PAK, even though it's a continuation of GWB policy, like many of BO's policies. The best part is when you write, "So frankly I don’t really have much interest in chest-thumping Right wingers who know nothing of the history involved, nothing of the countries involved, or the issues involved, but reduce everything to some imbecilic assumption that conservatives are always right on defense and foreign policy." Do you realize, Michael, that you were talking about YOURSELF in that comment? Come on, take a good long look in the mirror. If you're capable of being even 10 percent honest with yourself, I promise you'll feel better.
I'm done chatting with you. Normally, I enjoy debating with ideological opponents, but you are so unpleasant and pompous that you take all the fun out of it.Comment Posted By Buckeye On 2.01.2010 @ 11:12
"You’re trying to blame Mr. Clinton [for 9/11]. Which is ridiculous." False. I "blamed" Mr. Clinton for pursuing an anti-terrorism strategy (similar to the one you support) that coincided with the ascendancy of AQ. I agree that the verdict is still out on the Obama administration. Thing is, some of us are very worried about current trends and would rather not wait until a dirty bomb goes off in NYC before deciding that the Obama administration is on the wrong track.
"Iran was far stronger at the end of Mr. Bush’s term than at the start." And yet the Iranian regime could possibly be on the verge of collapse. Mr. Bush has not been given enough credit for his policies contributing to the destablization of the Iranian regime. I wrote elsewhere about 6 months ago: "First, the presence of 120,000+ American troops in Iraq forced the Iranian regime to respond to the potential external military threats and internal democratization threats by ramping up spending on military arms and personel, security forces, Iraqi interventions, and the nuclear program. Despite the high petroleum prices, the Iranian regime has managed to burn through $238 billion in oil revenues since 2005. Much of the money probably went to pay for subsidies on gas, milk, and other basic necessities that keep the poor and middle class happy, including the Basiji now fighting on behalf of Ahmadinejad; but a lot of the money was also spent to keep up in the arms race against Bush. Second, the otherwise inane increases in ethanol subsidies authorized in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 might have had an important negative impact on the Iranian economy, which is one of the world’s leading importers of grain. Third, in spring 2005, the Bush administration declared a 'shock and awe' campaign against Iran’s financial system. The U.S. Treasury Department alerted the world banking community not to deal with Iran, which has a history of sponsoring terror and engaging in state sanctioned illegal financial activities."
Do you really believe that Obama's "unclenched hand" engagement with the Iranian regime has accomplished anything and/or contributed to the destablization of Iran?
As for what I would do, given the latititude: Cut off some of the energy imports into Iran by any means possible; send in spooks and paid mercenaries into Iran to kill regime elements, disrupt the regime's command and control infrastructure, and otherwise wreak serious havoc and yet maintain total deniability; as a last resort, and only if absolutely necessary, bomb their nuclear facilities and any related infrastructure.
Btw, applying a policy of Unilateral Assured Destruction to the millennialistic Iranian regime would be an entirely unacceptable risk. I can't believe that you would propose such a thing. I thought you were a hardened foreign policy realist. That's just insanity.
Raising fleet mileage requirements only works in the short term. They force the market to supply lots of fuel efficient cars, which in turn lowers demand for gasoline and eventually the prices, and people also drive longer distances in their fuel efficient cars, live farther away from work, etc. If/when gas gets cheap enough, they go back to buying Navigators and Suburbans. But I'm guessing that you would like to "progressively" regulate Navigators out of existence? I'm not against taxing gas at a higher rate per se (better option than many other taxes), but I'd like to see the Democrats try that one on top of all the other taxes they are adding/increasing.
OBL had his entire life to create networks and hiding places before GWB was president, right? Obama is the president now, though. Excuses are cheap.
Finally, the GOP record on counter-terrorism between 2002 and 2008 was quite good. In addition to protecting the homeland, they killed or captured a lot of jihadis. And, no, I'm not one of those who believes that Islamism has an endless supply of 20-35 year psychopaths from which to recruit and the historical record gives little support to the contention that the war on terror was good for recruitment.
Michael, I can tell that you're a smart and reasonable guy. But when someone quacks like a "progressive" and waddles like a progressive, well you the rest. Maybe I'm wrong, but you remind me of the types who first go to JournoList to get the talking points, and then go onto right-leaning sites posing as a indpendent, non-partisan "moderate" who is just trying to save conservatism from its excesses.Comment Posted By Buckeye On 31.12.2009 @ 21:43
AQ was in ascendancy throughout the 1990s and into the first part of this decade, culminating in 9/11. That long-range trend coincided with Clinton-era policy, but yes Bush must take some responsibility for it happening on his watch. Please tell me that your more intellectually honest than to say it was Boooshes Fault!
If Iran’s main strategic opponent was neutered by Mr. Bush, good riddance! Now let's see how we can neuter Iran.
By your comments, are you suggesting that allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons would be a major mistake. I agree. What should Obama do about it?
Finally, the only sensible reason why we would moderate our use of oil would be if we have a better techological alternative - better combo of price/energy output. Do you know of any?
Under Mr. Obama, Bin Laden continues to look for ways to attack us. Why hasn't the Chosen One caught Bin Laden yet?
As for experts, Michael, apparently you're the expert.Comment Posted By Buckeye On 31.12.2009 @ 16:12
Michael Reynolds: let's see, you throw out a string of assumptions about "you guys." You tell us - as if conservatives, classical liberals, libertarians, etc. were all one monolothic entity - what we "need," what's good for us politically, how we all think, what gives us boners, blah, blah. But when the same generalization game is pointed back at you, then you bring oout your war medals and security credentials, and set yourself above and apart from the progressive v. conservative divide.
Ugh, Michael, I did not fail to notice that you avoided my my main point altogether, which was that the progressive approach/THEORY to fighting terror (which you suported) about not feeding into the fears and using other allegedly more sophisticated methods has been completely ineffectual IN REALITY. Please explain to me how/why Islamist terror movements proliferated and were emboldened during the Clinton and Obama administrations, respectively?
Besides, I never said that you were a member of the academy. Rather I suggested that were a "compatriot" of the progressive academic community, mainly because your arguments sounded just like what I have heard from dozens of progressive academics.
But I did get a kick out of when you lectured me about avoiding "cliched assumptions" and then in the very next sentence wrote, "We need to do what works, not what gives right-wingers a boner." Once again, one set of rules for Obama supporters and another set for everyone else.Comment Posted By Buckeye On 31.12.2009 @ 15:17
Michael Reynolds: and strangely enough, somehow you "progressives" deprive the Islamist terrorists of their main source of sustenance - fear - and you "fight them effectively and yet, under "progressive" administrations Islamist terror proliferates and is continually emboldended. Ugh, Michael, along with many of your compatriots in the "progressive" academic commuity, you might want to give the terrorists a call and tell them to stop behaving in a manner that it is inconsistent with your self-serving theories. You can forgive them the mass murder, but if they jeopardize your funding sources, then shudder for the poor jihadis!Comment Posted By Buckeye On 31.12.2009 @ 13:14
“'Obama is a SocialistCommunistFacist dedicated to the utter destruction of America, liberty, grandma, and puppies.' is fanaticism. There is no thought to the opposition — its automatic regardless of what the issue is. Obama wants to plant tomato plants in the lawn? Anarchy! Revolution! I want my Country back!"
I made the point, although not explicitly (and perhaps not very well) that those who talk like you describe above are mostly (but certainly not exclusively) intolerant, rabid folks to begin with, who just tend to wander toward one extremist pole or the other. At first, I was tempted to say that you created a strawman - because few reasonable conservatives would ever talk like that - but then I have heard these types of comments for real. Thing is, I've also heard self-described moderates/centrists, who also happen to have unhinged personalities, say some pretty two-dimensional cartoonish things, too. I think that's more reflective of 21st century American culture at large than it is 21st century conservatism or classical liberalism in particular.
Also, at the risk of seeming patronizing, I think a lot of moderates/centrists misunderstand the nature of tyranny - and its dangers. The vast majority of people have good intentions - that goes without saying - although some people will have more integrity, self-reliance, etc. than others. We all covet things, including government policies that might favor our interests at the expense of the general welfare (which I mean in the old school sense, NOT "social justice"). Our Founders understood that there is a tyranical impulse that lurks within us all.
Tyranny creeps up on us a thousand drops, drops, drops at a time, until it is too late. Every generation must fight against it (usually by non-violent means) thereby bailing things out for the next generation. Throughout our history, Americans have fought gamely against the natural trend toward tyranny (although the ground has shifted), but holding the (always wandering) line can never be taken for granted, even with our built-in advantages: the Constitution, the American psyche, etc.
We have 100 things a day to worry about other than fighting the quiet, gradual, seemingly imperceptible slide toward tyranny. But I think it is dawning on a lot of people that the present course is both unsustainable and dangerous. Look, I'm sure Barack Obama and the great majority of "progressives" are just fine people at heart. But right now they're persuading folks to drop their buckets, that they shouldn't worry about the waters rising around them.Comment Posted By Buckeye On 1.09.2009 @ 06:37
Rick, I agree with a lot of what you're saying. When I read Levin's book, I had many of the same concerns as did Friedersdorf. For example, a lot of people are statists of convenience: in favor of a heavy government hand in some cases and a light hand in other cases, and every different combination in between. Therefore, on one issue, Levin would be allied with a fellow "anti-statist" only to see that same guy switch sides the very next day. The world is more complicated than Levin's two-dimensional world.
Still, I think you underestimate the natural (or default) tendency of mankind to backslide into tyranny. The real "slippery slope" is human nature, which provides plenty of its own gravity, but so-called progressivism does help nudge us along.
Yeah, there's a lot of angry, closed-minded, intolerant, people out there. And, sure, they tend to be clustered at the extremes, but we also sometimes confuse cause and effect - i.e. the guy was intolerant before he became conservative/progressive, but his intolerance hardens his outlook. On the other hand, it would be presumptious to categorize somoene as "extermist" simply because they perceive the dangers from Obamaism to be more pronounced than you do.Comment Posted By Buckeye On 31.08.2009 @ 13:44
I would never venture to say how legitimate the vote counts were, but Rick alludes to an interesting point: given the way that western media, political analysts, diplomatic staff interact these days - internet, cell phones, etc. - perhapr the pro-Mousavi voters seemed to them to be more numerous than they were because these types of voters (typically urban elites) tended to be more visible to them. The vote spread does look suspicious, though. Perhaps the Mullahs and/or Ahmadinejad panicked when they did not have to - maybe Ahmadinejad would have won with 58% of the vote without fraud.
It does seem like American (or Western) neocons, Juan Cole types, and "centrist" progressives all have a stake in the elections having been fraudulent. I know, strange bedfellows.Comment Posted By Buckeye On 15.06.2009 @ 07:54
Rick, you certainly make many fair and accurate points about tendencies among anonymous blog commenters. And you're probably right that cases in which someone was fired for writing perecived politically sensitive comments on a blog are very rare, if they happened at all.
At the same time, I guess that I take a better safe than sorry approach. This fall, I am applying to PhD programs. I am still debating between applying to public policy programs or urban/regional planning programs, or some combination. Anyway, the urban planning programs tend to be very "progressive." The odds of my comments on a blog site affecting my prospects are probably quite low, but why take a chance?
I never use vile or disgusting language. I will often use a sharp edge against the "progressive" left, but I never write anything that I would not say to someone in real life - assuming that person is not in a position to affect my future.Comment Posted By Buckeye On 9.06.2009 @ 07:46
I agree that the socialist rebranding might not be especially helpful and it is vulnerable to counterattack. Yes, using such language is imprecise and perhaps even intellectually lazy. But so what? If you can get every voter in America to read (or reread) The Road to Serfdom, then we can have a really sophisticated conversation.
Until then, we probably won't get far using only Ivy League-approved terminology. You'll notice, in addiiton to calling the Obama administration "lawless" (which is effective), George Will suggests at the end of his column that the administration is "maximizing dependency" by imposing "economic planning" in the name of "social justice" - all code words for socialistic policies of whatever degree. I thought Will's column was terrific, but how many people read it, and how many understand his subtleties? Still, he was calling Obama a socialist in his own way.
I also agree with Freedom's Truth that, if "what Obama is doing should be opposed with every fiber of our being," then it's even less helpful to agitate for an intramural war. The left pretends to have internal disagreements, and will viciously attack apostates, but most of the time time the left reserves its character assassination campaigns for its opponents.
Look, it's just over 100 days into the Obama administration. At this stage, the two most important things to do are: 1). Engage in ideas - research, analyze, think, have healthy debates, etc.; 2). attack, attack, attack all bad Democrat policies, and force them to take 100% ownership over their messes. Soon, it will also be important to find dynamic new leaders and settle internal differences. But why do the left's bidding for it?Comment Posted By Buckeye On 14.05.2009 @ 14:59
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