Join Date: May 2002
Location: Give critical thought a chance
Originally posted by SkinWalker: And "liberal" isn't a bad word... it gets used that way by the more ignorant of the conservative right (some might say fascist)
Originally posted by Noxrepere: Well Fascism, as defined in Webster's New World Dictionary is[: "]a system of government characterized by rigid one-party dictatorship, forcible suppression of opposition, private economic enterprise under centralized governmental control, belligerent nationalism, racism, and militarism, etc...["]
In what way is that related to the Republican Party or conservatism?
- "a system of government characterized by rigid one-party dictatorship" – The neo-conservative goal of dominating the House, Senate, Federal Judiciary, and Executive branch, doesn't smell of that? I won't pretend that the Democratic Party's goal is much different, but the Democratic Party (since FDR) hasn't demonstrated that it's policies are to limit civil rights and ignore the working class to the extent that the Republican Party has. The neo-cons have few of the traditional Republican goals like reduction of government (Reagan Conservatives were adamantly opposed to increasing the size of government), instead, their goal is power (Paul, 2003).
- forcible suppression of the opposition – We see it overtly in foreign policy: strong arm tactics with the UN, authorizing torture tactics of "enemy combatants" (Gonzales, 2002), etc. But we also see it subtly in little manipulations of the press, policy, or even corporate levels: Woodward told 60 Minutes that Bandar has promised the president that Saudi Arabia will lower oil prices in the months before the election - to ensure the U.S. economy is strong on election day. (60 Minutes, 2004)
- Private economic enterprise under centralized governmental control – See 60 Minutes quote above.
- belligerent nationalism – "if you're not with us, you're with the terrorists. (Bush, 2002); and John Ashcroft (2001) citing that "those that oppose us [in creating the Patriot Act II] are providing aid and comfort to the enemy." "Aid and comfort to the enemy," coincidently, is the exact words that describe treason in the Constitution. The implication is clear: belligerent nationalism, dissent unwelcome and unpatriotic.
- racism – Redistricting by the Republican dominated houses and senates of the U.S. as well as states like North Carolina, Calif., and Texas, raise some serious concerns about racism (Garrett & Slover, 2004). It may be incidental and/or accidental, but the fact remains that formerly democratic districts comprised of African American and Hispanic voters are being broken up and are finding themselves with Republican majorities. The process effectively breaks up less affluent communities and gives their newly created portions to the more affluent ones. The reasons why these communities had such strong Democratic voter bases to begin with is because they lacked the infrastructures that the rich communities obtained, such as city water and sewage obtained by the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, TX in the last few decades. Now their votes will pale in significance and the affluent neighborhoods can get their diverted funds back. At least that's the perception in D/FW.
- militarism – hmmm... need I really go there?
While I wouldn't necessarily state that the neo-conservatives of the Republican Party are fascist, I would definitely say they lean hard in that direction.
Originally posted by Noxrepere: By your explanation though, you’re implying that not only are the conservatives opposed to all change, but also that the liberals are open to all change. That simply is not the case. The terms merely represent that, generally, the liberals are open to change in certain areas and the conservatives are opposed to change in those areas. [...] Someone who is liberal might not consider that word to be a derogatory representation of their beliefs and opinions.
I was simply implying that conservatives
are generally opposed to change and prefer the status quo
, while liberals
generally seek change for the sake of progress. I wasn't attempting to assign any right or wrong to either viewpoint. They both have their places. The neo-conservatives,
however, do seek change and larger government
, and I think that's important for everyone to take note of.
Originally posted by SkinWalker: So a happy median is to be a conservative democrat or a liberal republican.
Originally posted by Noxrepere: So basically that already exists. The opinions differ on both sides on what should be changed, and how, and what should be left alone. [...] Also, the term “conservative” can, likewise, be thrown around in a negative light, and has even been done on this board.
Conservative can, and is, often used in a derogatory manner, however, not nearly to the degree that liberal is. I think you'll have to agree that "damn liberal" is used with far greater frequency than "damn conservative." Moreover, there are far more compound terms in use to increase it's derogatory nature than with conservative: i.e. "bleeding heart" and "liberal media."
Originally posted by SkinWalker: I for one do not agree with allowing someone that is willing to allow themselves to be bought and paid for by groups like the Christian Coalition, Religious Right, and corporations like Haliburton.
Originally posted by Noxrepere: Here you’re implying that President Bush didn’t already agree with their stances and merely changed his opinions and actions to garner their support.
Pat Robertson "hand-picked more than 30 Bush campaign leaders" (Jackson, 1997) for George H. Bush. One has to assume that many of the same connections exist with the Christian Coalition in George W.
Bush's administration. Indeed, many of the Bush policies appear to be direct from the Pat Robertson "handbook" (if one existed) and rest on the same superstitious belief systems and pseudoscientific decisions. Likewise for his corporate connections to Haliburton, Enron, etc. Bush certainly had some harsh words to say about Kenneth Lay, but that didn't prevent him from accepting his money, advice and counsel prior to the energy companies fall from grace.
Originally posted by SkinWalker: Fire the Liar.
Originally posted by Noxrepere: Specifically, what do you believe he lied about that has led you to believe that he should be fired?
Beliefs have little to do with it. I rely on the evidence and will only list a very few. If you would like me to go on, simply ask. It must be noted, however, that I equate "Bush Lies" to be "lies of Bush administration officials" as well. They're his people and his responsibility. If he didn't agree with what they said, he should have made the correction in public.
- Condeleeza Rice (03.22.04) - “the fact of the matter is [that] the administration focused on this [Al Qaeda] before 9/11” – yet Dr. Rice's 2000 Foreign Affairs article listing Bush's top foreign affairs priorities fails to mention Al Qaeda; The Dept. of Justice's Seven Strategic Goals didn't include terrorism prior to 9/11; A senior State Department official tells CNN the U.S. government made a mistake in focusing so much energy on bin Laden and "personalizing terrorism. (Woodruff, 2001).
- That there were significant ties between Al Qaeda and Iraq/Hussein – these simply did not exist beyond perhaps members of Al Qaeda traveling through Iraq. No evidence exists to suggest (Shovelan, 2004) that Hussein funded, supported, or even liked Al Qaeda.
- Iraq had significant quantities of WMD stockpiled. – None found. Indeed, science dictates that the "vast stockpiles" of anthrax that the Bush admin claimed were "still on the books" no longer existed, since their shelf life is approximately three years under ideal conditions. Moreover, the facility used to create the anthrax was blown up in 1996. By 2003, any stored anthrax was not viable. A similar condition existed for the VX nerve agent. Even binary weaponization of sarin has a limited shelf life. The Bush admin's pseudoscience is becoming legendary, however, when this is compared and contrasted to their stand on stem cell research, therapeutic cloning, effectiveness of condoms, and environmental issues.
- "My jobs and growth plan would reduce tax rates for everyone who pays income tax." –George W. Bush, April 26, 2003 - According to the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Lee & Greenstein, 2003), an unspecified number of low- and middle-income families received no tax cut at all because they'd been excluded from an expansion of the child-care tax.
- On Harken Oil and it's impending failure: "I absolutely had no idea and would not have sold it had I known." – SEC records demonstrate the contrary. Bush not only knew, he warned Harken board members two months prior to the sell-off (Lazarus, 2002).
- One last lie that I can only offer anecdote about: Governor Bush claimed in 1997 that he had no intention of using the gubernatorial seat of Texas as a "stepping-stone" to the Whitehouse. – I actually believed him and voted for him then. I won't make that mistake again.
Originally posted by SkinWalker: But if it's true, then the logical question might be, "why?" Why do so many people "bash" Bush?
Originally posted by Noxrepere: You’re implying that people who don’t agree with President Bush’s politics wouldn’t “bash” him at all without just cause. Simply disagreeing politically, or even religiously, is enough for some people to respond hostilely towards not only the President but anyone else as well. When people have differing opinions they can try and find things to complain about whether there is factual basis for it or not.
My complaints about Bush are nearly entirely
factually based. With one exception: I dislike his attitude/personality, which seems to be condescending and elitist. But that latter is only my personal opinion.
Originally posted by SkinWalker: Bush's loyalties seem to be to his supporters and pals first.
Originally posted by Noxrepere: I don’t remember the context of that statement specifically ["if you're not with us, you're with the terrorists], but I believe he was saying that if someone doesn’t support the war on terrorism they would be for the terrorists, wouldn’t they?
What he was implying then, and what he and his administration officials implied at later dates, was that there exists a dichotomy: either you support the administration or you are a traitor; that dissent is traitorous; that by not offering logistical and military support as a nation to the Iraqi invasion, your nation supports Al Qaeda. It was deceptive. It was a lie. His loyalties aren't to the American people, they're to the corporations and organizations that keep he and his kind in power.
Originally posted by Noxrepere: Not necessarily supporting his administration, but supporting the war on terrorism, should be common ground across the party lines.
Indeed. Which is why we should have kept our focus there and not
on the Iraq conflict, which is where the neo-conservatives have had their sights set even before 9/11. If we would have put the time, effort, money and political capital (which we squandered) into the terrorist question and not wasted each on the Iraqi one, we could likely have affected change in both. Diplomacy is what works in the Middle East, not strong-arm tactics. History has shown this to be true.
Originally posted by SkinWalker: On topic, I think the fact that there are THAT many people that rank/ranked so highly in the American Government/military who want Bush ousted speaks volumes. I'm with SkinWalker on this
Originally posted by Noxrepere: 26 isn’t really very many people when you consider how many thousands of people the government actually consists of. I’m sure there are more that don’t agree with President Bush, but signing and releasing a statement really isn’t anything special, at least given the information presented in that article. They basically appear to be 26 people saying they won’t vote for Bush.
It's not necessarily the quantity
of people as it is the quality
of them. These 26 people appear to have had access to position and knowledge that gives their allegations and opinions credibility. Like it or not, this will probably have an affect on the public opinion if the media picks it up now that the Reagan passing is out of the news.
Ashcroft, John (December 6, 2001) Speech before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the Patriot Act II. United States Senate Transcripts.
Bush, George W. (Sept. 20, 2001). If you're not with us, you're with the terrorists, from public speech in response to 9/11.
DoJ (2001). Fiscal Year 2001 Accountability Report United States Government http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/annualreport...troduction.htm
Garrett, R.T. and Slover, P. (January 7, 2004). Judges Uphold Texas GOP Redistricting Map; Democrats Plan Appeal. The Dallas Morning News.
Gonzales, Alberto R. (January 25, 2002). Decision Re Application of the Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War to the Conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Memorandum for the President http://msnbc.com/modules/newsweek/pdf/gonzales_memo.pdf
Jackson, Brooks (1997). The Christian Coalition And George Bush. All Politics (CNN/Time).
Lazarus, David (July 5, 2002). Ignorance isn't bliss for clueless executives: The know-nothing defense has been getting a workout. San Francisco Chronicle. pp B-1, Lazarus at Large.
Lee, A. & Greenstein, R. (May 29, 2003). How The New Tax Law Alters The Child Tax Credit And How Low-Income Families Are Affected. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities http://www.cbpp.org/5-28-03tax3.htm
Paul, Ron [R - Texas] (July 10, 2003). Neo – CONNED! House Of Representatives speech. http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/co...3/cr071003.htm
Rice, Condoleezza (January/February 2000). Campaign 2000: Promoting The National Interest. Foreign Affairs 79:1, pp. 45-62
Shovelan, John (20 June , 2004). 9/11 Commission ends with no clear links between Hussein and al-Qaeda. Correspondents Report. http://www.abc.net.au/correspondents...4/s1135717.htm
Wallace, Mike (April 18, 2004). Woodward Shares War Secrets CBSNews.com http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/...in612067.shtml
Woodruff, Judy (April 30, 2001). President Bush Calls European Leaders on Eve of Missile Defense Speech. Cnn Inside Politics. Transcript at http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0104/30/ip.00.html