Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

March 27, 2004

by J

Voices of Calculated Moderation

We had not started VJ a year ago when Bush sent American soldiers off to die in Iraq for a lie. I was opposed to the war from the minute all of the buzz in the fall started. I thought it was an outrageous misjudgment and to my eyes made it very clear that so-called 'homeland security' is not a priority for this Administration. I was also deeply angered by wishy-washy Democrats who wouldn't fight back against the corruption of the Bush administration. There were prominent webloggers who were just as wishy-washy about the Iraq war. The Sideshow articulates some legitimate frustration with these folks:
Now, it would be too much to expect some individuals to ever admit that they have had the wool pulled over their eyes by maniacs and liars, but I'm still kind of ticked off at the people who once supported the invasion but now, having realized they fell for a sucker-play, think the reason folks like me could put 1+1 together to get 2 were able to do so - when they couldn't - only because we "hate Bush" and therefore wouldn't have believed him even if what he was saying had been obviously true and as plain as the nose on my face.

That is, if Bush had been saying, "1+1=2," we would all have instantly turned around and said that, no, it equals six, or seven, or something else.

Yes, I've beefed about this a couple of times before, but I'm not done with it, yet. It irritates me that these people who think they are being "moderate" and "reasonable" still think they can dismiss the clarity of others who were sharper than they were as some kind of insanity.

Let's get this straight, oh Moderate Matt and Cool-headed Kevin, you guys were the ones who suffered temporary insanity. And we weren't. Even as the towers were falling, we never forgot that one plus one still equals two.

Richard Clarke has only provided the details of what we already knew - what has always been known.

It has always been known that bin Laden hated Saddam and that there was no common cause between them.

It has always been known that Iraq had absolutely no reason to launch a 9/11 and had many, many good reasons to want nothing to do with any such thing.

It has always been known that the Bush administration are liars. They were lying from at least the moment Bush received the Republican nomination, on the record and in front of God and everyone.

If someone has been lying to me consistently, why should I believe them when they are now telling me something that is obviously not true?

The attack on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 changed none of these things. It did not mean "everything had changed." It did not suddenly mean Saddam had inexplicably become suicidal. It did not make George W. Bush into the brave man of integrity he had never been in his life and had certainly proven on 9/11 he was still not, as he hid on Airforce One and scuttled away at a time when he should have been leading his nation.

What changed for you on 9/11? Did you learn that terrorism existed?
V has heard me rant at length about what I perceive to be calculated moderation on the part of some writers. Kevin Drum, for all his analytical strengths, likes to do this. The latest bit of "See, see, don't hate me, I'm a reasonable fellow" rhetoric Kevin tossed out there was the statement that:
there's the mainstream press, which (contrary to blog mythology) tends to be fairly evenhanded, especially if you read accounts from multiple sources.
Perhaps we should have a discussion about what he means by "mainstream" press, but, to my eye, like the rest of the political discourse, the press has been shoved quite far to the right. Their attempts at 'balance' are often just between right and center-right. (And this assumes a one-dimensional spectrum, which is, of course, limited and inaccurate.)

The White House correspondent for the New York Times has admitted to being frightened to ask the President questions at a press conference.
Elisabeth Bumiller, The New York Times White House correspondent, on criticism that reporters were too easy on Bush on the eve of the Iraq war: "I think we were very deferential because ... it's live, it's very intense, it's frightening to stand up there. Think about it, you're standing up on prime-time live TV asking the president of the United States a question when the country's about to go to war. There was a very serious, somber tone that evening, and no one wanted to get into an argument with the president at this very serious time."
And this is our evenhanded mainstream press? Uh huh.
Posted by J at March 27, 2004 01:16 PM

I'd just add that Reading A1 and Brad Delong, among others, have both been doing a very good job lately of documenting the Bush-excusing and Bush-canonizing slant exhibited by particular New York Times staffers.

Posted by: V at March 27, 2004 01:38 PM

Ugh, don't get me started! The revisionist history has only just begun... the dishonest accounts, minimizing how things REALLY were in 2002 and early 2003, will be flying fast and thick.

Thanks for the post.

Posted by: NYCO at March 27, 2004 05:01 PM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
The Great Big Book of Tomorrow

Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

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