10/20/04

Arendt on Bush


If you wondered why Cheney persists in his
9-11/Saddam link, look at the last
sentence. These quotes were found in a Michelle Goldberg piece in
Salon.



"Before mass leaders seize the power to
fit reality to their lies, their
propaganda is marked by its extreme
contempt for facts as such, for in their
opinion fact depends entirely on the
power of man who can fabricate it."


"The chief qualification of a mass leader
has become unending infallibility; he can
never admit an error...The stubbornness
with which totalitarian dictators have
clung to their original lies in the fact
of absurdity is more than superstitious
gratitude to what turned the trick, and,
at least in the case of Stalin, cannot be
explained by the psychology of the liar
whose very success may make him his own
last victim. Once these propaganda
slogans are integrated into a 'living
organization,' they cannot be safely
eliminated without wrecking the whole
structure."


Hannah Arendt, 1951 The Origins of
Totalitarianism

10/19/04

Why were the Cheney's soft on Alan Keyes?

'Little over a month before Kerry said, "I
think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's
daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell
you that she's being who she was, she's being
who she was born as," Illinois GOP Senate
candidate Alan Keyes condemned
homosexuality as "selfish hedonism"
in a
satellite-radio interview during the
Republican national convention. Asked if Mary
Cheney was also "a selfish hedonist," Keyes
replied, "Of course she is."


Dick and Lynne Cheney, who have
roundly criticized Kerry's pro-gay remarks,
said nothing in the face of Keyes' highly
derogatory comments.
This should come as
no surprise: There is a long history of
suspicion in moral conservative circles that
the vice president has not been adequately
supportive of their agenda because of his gay
daughter. And that has led the vice president
and his family to be exceptionally tolerant
of those who talk about his daughterĊs
sexuality -- as long as they are anti-gay.'

From
Garance
Franke-Ruta, "Don't Ask? Do Tell!", The
American Prospect Online, Oct 18, 2004

10/10/04

Bush's bulge migrated south


Some long pent up thoughts about this election thingy.



In the second debate there was no sign of
the little box behind the suit coat, but Mr. Petulence
still simmered like a frat boy whose fake ID was just
laughed at by the guy checking ID's. Kerry is still playing too
nice, in my opinion, but did I win the primaries?



About that first debate, I have to admit that Jim Lehrer did a better job this time. His follow
ups were worthwhile and while he didn't ask Bush who was actually
answering the questions, he kept hope alive that perhaps the candidates
would be tested. It's a shame he didn't ask about the Plame affair.



Now that Derrida is dead, the infamous security moms can finally
leave behind deconstruction and proceed to
just plain old destruction of common sense, aided and abetted by the guy they
tell pollsters is
best equipped to protect them. (Well, maybe not, but he clears a
mean brush.)



At some point we're hoping that the mainstream press either (a) gets spine enough
to spite the WH (which has locked out, shut up, or just plain neutered most of
them for the past four years) and GO AHEAD AND ASK THEM ADULT QUESTIONS AND DEMAND ADULT ANSWERS,
or (b) follows the same craven self interest that
has allowed this resident of the White House to plunge us and thousands of innocent
civilians into a carnage the likes not seen since Bush didn't see Vietnam.
Surely they will want to switch sides just before the ship goes down, won't they?




A friend of mine involved with the Kerry campaign has been urging that Kerry talk
as if Osama had been captured already. Kerry has not listened, apparently, as they
seem to be putting a lot into the "why haven't you caught Osama" rhetoric. Does
Kerry know something about Osama that we and Bush don't know? Intriguing.



One last question: how many people will watch the third debate? I am assuming
a major drop off in viewership; if that's true, then Kerry did well if most
stopped watching after the first debate, and less well if after the second.
Bush secured, as Michael Berube put it, the Drunken Aggressive Asshole vote
in that debate which, after 11 years in Texas and 3 in Tennessee, is
electorally numerable.



Meanwhile, in the Nature Strikes Back Against the Worst Environmental
President in US History category, Mount Saint Helens warms up for the
final aria, comfortable with the chin music that 3 hurricanes laid down for
Florida, land of the Governor Who Just Happens to be the President's
Brother. Here's hoping the eruption doesn't screw up the delicate touch screen
voting machines.