Commenter Archive


Why haven’t they been doing that? It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that it’s because they’re social-climbing, fingers-in-the-wind, bed-feathering and -wetting opportunists.

CK MacLeod on April 26, 2009 at 8:29 PM

Nah, they are just Aspergers Positive, like meh and Larry Summers.


dude, if'd known you'd make us popular, i would've used proper syntax and grammar.


[...] territory or to extradite them to other countries for prosecution." And thanks to a post on Hot Air, here's some of the provisions from that Convention that Reagan signed and championed: [...]


Torture to me would be to make me listen to rap music. Really now are barking dogs torture? Being naked? A women in command of you? Give me an F'n brake.


his or her and our

jic my unconscious reference to Reagan as antecedent is mistaken for a sexist default assumption - especially untimely given whom a big chunk of the base clearly wants

note: I'm indulging in this OT because it's my darn thread and this theme I like and still consider under-explored.


People are going to start talking about us, grrrl.

Larison has to insult Sarah Palin and her supporters in some major media outlet for anyone even to care who he isn't.

If the reform conservatives want to be accepted as part of political conservatism, they might want to learn some manners. It's particularly unseemly for the smarty-pants, in-the-know, self-styled better angels of conservatism, the people intent on housebreaking conservatism of its troglodyte tendencies, to be so downright compulsively rude.

Instead of posing as the under-appreciated brain of conservatism, they need to get used to being part of the left brain of conservatism. Otherwise, we'll just keep hanging out with Mark Levin, Victor Davis Hanson, Mark Steyn, and Rush and the rest. We'll pick our Reagan ourselves. As we work things out, instead of focusing on that individual's and our flaws, his and our failure to treat the reform conservatives as the be-all and end-all of the conservative intellect, they can try to bridge the gap between the base's passions and intuitions and everyone else's prejudices.

And we'll thank them for it - though some of them better get started soon if they expect any of us to forgive and trust them by the time it matters.

Why haven't they been doing that? It's hard to avoid the conclusion that it's because they're social-climbing, fingers-in-the-wind, bed-feathering and -wetting opportunists.


Or...tell Frum et al to just step on.
Are the reform conservatives actually a part of conservatism at all?


Do you what I think conservatives need, Highlander?
You need a bridge.
You need someone with unimpeachable conservative credentials that can translate Frum and Larison and Douthat for the base.
I thought about Reynolds, but hes impeachable on abortion and hESCR.
I would pick Michelle Malkin.
I think she must be a lot smarter than she writes, or AllahP wouldn't be so into her.


I sent the Derb a copy of Snowcrash, but he wont even talk to meh after I wrote a mock on K-lo and Goldberg on the SS Conservative Titanic at Culture11.
I loved Culture11.
It was perfect for meh.


Sowwy Highlander.
You brought it up, tho.

but was finally banned (or part-banned)

I got you beat. ;)
I've been banned at dKos and lgf, and althouse AND feministe, and AllahP banns me perodically when i get too raw. I been banned at Sadly No, and at TAS, but they always let me come back, and right now I think im still banned at Secular Right, my beloved old friends Razib and the Derb.
I'm sort of an equal opportunity internet pariah.


And you cannot argue the results.

I could argue the results. I've probably written the equivalent of a book arguing the results, and as important the plausible alternatives, on various web sites - right, middle, and left. One guy up above apparently considers me suspect because I was registered at TalkLeft and participated in discussions with relatively sensible Dems mainly about the '08 campaign, but was finally banned (or part-banned) for arguing about, you guessed it, the war in Iraq. (It was Big Tent Democrat who banned me from his threads. Jeralyn Merritt I lost all interest in when she converted to Obamanaut then offered a TL tote bag to the person who correctly predicted when Sarah Palin would be dropped from the McCain ticket. There was some other guy but he was basically the TL Kossack...)

But I won't argue the subject here. I'll just say that calling an undefined entity - the Bush Doctrine - an "Epic Fail" is childish. And off-topic.


From my perspective, the Bush Doctrine is an Epic Fail.


And you cannot argue the results.
Iraq is an islamic state that is still undergoing sectarian violence.
Afghanistan is just as bad as when we went in, and Pak has now ceded sovereign territory to the Taliban.


I await revelation and epiphany.

strangelet on April 26, 2009 at 4:12 PM


[I leave you with that.]


{One just has to enable that bit of freedom….}

coldwarrior on April 26, 2009 at 3:53 PM

Watever you call it cold, enabling or forcing, why can you not admit that Bush was essentially clueless about how incredibly difficult the enabling would be?
Alternatively, I bet someone told him it was impossible, or near impossible, and he ignored them.
Since....I am sooooo clueless about what the Bush Doctrine is (apparently) please, by all means, enlighten meh.
I await revelation and epiphany.


strangelet on April 26, 2009 at 3:21 PM --

Still on that Bush Doctrine and forcing democracy stuff, eh?

Just because you have repeated and repeated this meme on this thread and a number of others here at HotAir doesn't make it a fact that your conjecture is in fact the "Bush Doctrine."

I challenge you to show me factual evidence that Bush, or the so-called Bush Doctrine, at anytime stated or even alluded to forcing democracy on anyone.

I will leave you with this, from one of my favorite authors of the post-WWI generation, who saw the result of war, disliked the thought of war, and broke with and was humiliated many times by fellow author, and one time friend, Hemingway, for daring to say that the American Left's involvement in the Spanish Civil was an evil, that they were mere pawns of Stalinism. He [being a Democrat] is also noted for calling the Democrat Party on the carpet in many scathing articles in the leading press of the time, and in speeches across the nation, for even considering a blatantly socialist FDR as the Democrat Party candidate in 1932.

I admire the guy...had stones...wrote damn well, too.

"Democracy evolves where freedom is able to determine its own policy." --John Dos Passos

{One just has to enable that bit of freedom....}


by assumptions about the former president’s character

I have never for a heartbeat thought GW was evil. He was a well-intentioned evangelical bumbler. The evangelical part, of course, conditioned him to believe he was right when he was not, and to dismiss any advice or contraction.
For example.....the Bush Doctrine.....did not a one of his advisors explain to him that democracy cannot be forced?


The Founders were true Machiavellians, in many ways - and Machiavelli was a democratic republican.

CK MacLeod on April 26, 2009 at 11:33 AM

I believe this, Highlander.
I also believe that even though he was himself tortured, Niccolo would have absolutely supported torture in the vein that you support it.



the beginning of life, the nature of marriage, the censorship of pornography, and even what constitutes racial discrimination (whether or not includes affirmative action),

The TRUTH of all these things are proscribed by natural laws, whether they be the laws of science, natural law, or the rule of law exemplified by our constitution and the bill of rights.
All the right sides arguments boil down to to "because MY god says so."

The preachers of epistemological humility when it comes to one set of beliefs become the Christianists they loathe when it comes to another set of beliefs, but they offer no account as to why this is so.

For anyone above a certain IQ arguing for life-at-conception, for denial of citizen rights to minority citizens in a pluralist republic, for censorship and for discriminination represents not epistemological humility but intellectual whoring.
To deny the truth in service to the twin beasts of supernaturalism and tribalism.


Can those two positions ever be reconciled?

Have you ever read THE SPIRIT OF DEMOCRATIC CAPITALISM, strange? The Constitution of the United States is a mechanism and the American system is a machine for that reconciliation, ad infinitum/til kingdom come.

The Founders were true Machiavellians, in many ways - and Machiavelli was a democratic republican.


A decent and moral person in a position of political authority may, as a matter of conscience, think it necessary to subject a terrorist to enhanced interrogation techniques for the purpose of saving thousands of lives. This is why some people may want greater precision on what constitutes torture. Not because they are sadists looking for loopholes, but rather, because they have a sense of moral obligation, as well as a deep loathing for the deaths of innocents, that motivates them to seek clarity so they can sleep at night. This sort of person believes that it his duty to exhaust every possibility in order to know for sure that there is a moral means that will help extract information that will save thousands.

The historical context of the Geneva Convention were Nazi and Japanese war crimes that were commissioned for only one reason: to advance the cause of totalitarian regimes. Given the spirit of that convention, do you think that its participants would approve of interpreting its prohibitions overinclusively so that they would inhibit the rescuing of the innocent?

I carry no brief for torture, and I am not saying that waterboarding is not torture. What I am saying is that this present discussion is colored by assumptions about the former president’s character that don’t seem to account for the totality of his actions in relation to the terrorist threat. Did he in fact cross the line by ordering interrogations that are immoral? Of course, that is certainly possible. But did he do so with the intent to perform an immoral act? I think there is no evidence for that. So, why not commend rather than condemn the cautious public servant who wants to offer a plausible account of torture prohibitions that would allow borderline practices for the purpose of rescuing the innocent?

In an age in which many of our fellow citizens believe it is obligatory for one to be skeptical about the beginning of life, the nature of marriage, the censorship of pornography, and even what constitutes racial discrimination (whether or not includes affirmative action), all of a sudden, on the question of what constitutes torture many of these same citizens are absolutely certain they know what it is and that anyone who requests greater precision is declared a moral monster. The preachers of epistemological humility when it comes to one set of beliefs become the Christianists they loathe when it comes to another set of beliefs, but they offer no account as to why this is so.

-Francis Beckwith



I'll put a footnote on the thread thread, an epitaph, a's my summation.
The MacLeod, channelling Niccolo Machiavelli--

“How one lives and how one ought to live are so far apart that he who spurns what is actually done for what ought to be done will achieve ruin rather than his own preservation.”

Strangelet, channelling Fyodor Mikhailovitch Dostoyevski--

“Neither man or nation can exist without a sublime idea.”

Can those two positions ever be reconciled?
I think not.


"These things I know, Ubertino; I also have belonged to those groups of men who believe that they can produce the truth with white-hot iron. Well, let me tell you, the white heat of truth comes from another flame.” – Umberto Eco


sesquipedalian on April 25, 2009 at 7:40 PM

I believe that what you advocate would last until the next major failure, perhaps a little longer as a result of so many in our current leadership now on record pretending that they didn't really go along with post-9/11 aggressiveness - perhaps not even as long as that, if we are lucky enough to gain actionable intelligence and a captive with time-critical information, leading Obama to take advantage of the reservations and flexibility he's quietly provided himself even while stirring up an attack on the prior administration for in effect the same things.

I agree that our prisoner treatment should strive to be exemplary and humane, but our policy should also be effective and resilient, and less concerned with letting others, under some amorphous concept of international public opinion, stand in judgment of how we go about securing our interests.

If we were committed to effectiveness, in all of its dimensions, first, we would avoid such a crisis, or we would at least have a framework for dealing with it. It's possible that professionals, much better informed than you and I are, would determine that a "soft" approach with an implied threat of getting as hard as necessary, would be entirely adequate - meaning less rough treatment viewed by some as torture, less voluntarism and informal heroics, less need for lies and secrecy, less recrimination and politicization.

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