June 29, 2004

Partisanship is Fun; Principle is a Drag
— Ace

The Round Mound of Non-Profound, obnoxious ovoid Oliver Willis quotes the following observation approvingly:

Personally, though, I'm concerned about the symbolism. What does it say that, for fear of violence, we have to transfer sovereignty early and in secret? It would have been a better show of strength, I think, to have done it as planned, in a large public ceremony, and pulled it off without violence. That would have sent a message that terrorism isn't going to affect the normal day to day operations of Iraq.

He then comments:

Then again, Alex, that would mean the Bush people actually care what Iraqis think. They want out, and they want out by November. There are elections to win, and Iraqis don't vote.

Anyone care to guess what Willis would have said had Bush had a big public ceremony for the transfer of power?:

Today, George Bush risked the lives of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women, and children in order to have a phoney photo-op that would lead the nightly news. He made the transfer of power an irresistable terrorist target simply to give himself a minor bump-up in the polls. He put his own electoral chances ahead of the very lives of the innocent Iraqis he claims to be working to protect.

Wouldn't it have demonstrated actual concern about Iraqi life and limb to have conducted a subdued, perhaps secretive, transfer of power ceremony, rather than risk so many lives for fireworks and favorable news coverage?

Then again, Alex, that would mean the Bush people actually care what Iraqis think. There are elections to win, and Iraqis don't vote.

Exact opposite hypothetical premise, but the exact same conclusion.

Some time ago I wrote a long (some would say too long) analysis concluding, inter alia, that our then-current mission of doing as much as possible to fight terrorists in Iraq was in fact counter-productive, and that the best policy was Iraqification-- letting them handle their own problems.

This caused some disagreement among my readers. Which is good-- we were all debating strategy and principle. We were all thinking about the war, and how best to win it.

But liberal hacks like Cankles the Clown never write posts that their readers might disagree with, because they don't bother analyzing strategy and principle. If they did, there's the risk that Bush might actually follow their suggested strategy, and then they'd have to praise his wisdom on that point; and they daren't risk that.

So instead their blogs are nothing but partisan conclusions. If Bush does A, A is wrong, and Bush sucks. If Bush does Not-A, then Not-A is wrong, and Bush sucks.

Oliver Willis is particularly obnoxious in this regard, shifting his "position" from the left to the right and back again depending on the particular partisan needs at the moment. If Bush is being tough in Iraq, he complains that this hardline attitude lacks nuance and that Bush is a bloodthirsty cowboy. But the moment Bush seems to be pursuing a softer, more accomodationist policy, Willis complains that we're selling out the Iraqis in order to disengage in time for the elections.

It's one or the other, Fatboy. It can't be both. If you favor a get-tough, damn-the-consquences policy, say so, but then you can't whine about that approach when Bush takes it. If you want greater Iraqification, then say that, but you are forbidden to whine that Bush is being a pussy for following your own policy prescriptions.

Willis' critics accuse him of mere "carping." Willis piously rejoins that it isn't "carping" just to disagree with Bush.

With all due respect, Man-Tits, yes it is-- at least in the manner you disagree with Bush. It is not carping to state a position and then argue in favor it. But Willis, of course, doesn't do this; what the hell is his position? It changes from day-to-day, depending on what Bush is doing at the moment. Whatever Bush is doing at the moment, that's the wrong position, and Willis argues for the alternatives.

That, Roundy McHeartdisease, is in fact mere carping. That is the definition of childish nay-saying. This is Argument Clinic stuff-- taking a contrary position simply to take a contrary position.

Does Willis want out by November? If not November, then when? Since he's been against this war from the start (or at least until it became clear that the Democratic standard-bearers were opposing the war), it's kinda weird to see Willis suggesting that we take a maximalist approach to a war he thinks was unwise, unjust, and unnecessary in the first place.

If I had to guess, I'd say that Willis is all in favor of a true bug-out himself, but that he doesn't want that bug-out to come until after the November elections. He loves the idea of a bug-out; he just doesn't want George Bush stealing all his great ideas.

He favors a bug-out in which we abandon Iraq, but he wants to make sure American soldiers continue dying in large numbers for a futile cause he wishes to abandon-- at least until the elections, because American deaths = Kerry votes.

I don't know, Krill Breath. Since the Democratic line seems to be in favor of abandoning Iraq, wouldn't it make sense to abandon sooner than later, if we are in fact going to bug-out? What possible reason could antiwar hacks like Willis have for favoring both bugging-out but not bugging-out too soon, except that they want the carnage to continue as long as possible to hurt Bush?

Listen, Ochubb, you want to elevate your game and be taken more seriously, I suggest you actually announce a clear position and stick with it. "Bush is bad and whatever he does is likewise bad" is not a substantive position.

It's just the whining and carping of a sad, lonely, untalented and unfunny man pecking at the keyboard in rotund insignificance.

By the way: Don't call Willis "Ochubb" or "Fatboy" in his comments. It seems that just might get you banned. Apparently he's a little bit sensitive about his weight issues.

And yeah, this post is pretty juvenile. What of it? Oliver Willis trades in this sort of playground invective everyday, so I can't see how the rules of elevated, civil discourse should constrain me while they've never constrained him.

The only thing that seems to constrain Willis is the frayed and straining elastic in his husky-sized sweatpants.

But Can Weathervanes Be Spherical? Nick Kronos gets into the spirit of things and posts some of Cankles the Clown's older musings. You will not be shocked to learn that his positions have, errr, evolved as we've gotten closer to election day.

Posted by: Ace at 10:13 AM | Comments (18)
Post contains 1126 words, total size 7 kb.

1 To paraphrase that great wit Al Franken (who?), "Oliver Willis is a big fat idiot."

Posted by: zetetic at June 29, 2004 10:33 AM (g6RWU)

2 Gosh - Franken had lots of great names for Limbaugh that would be perfect for Willis. My favorites:

"Ten tons of shit in a five-ton sack."

"Fatty McFat Fat"

and the simple, to the point: "Lard Ass."

Yes - I appear to have backed away from my earlier position that invective has no place in political discussion. Therefore, Willis is also a nazi. Certainly he's a spastic retard. And he might be a "furry," too. Chubbies appear to go for that kind of "anonymous gay sex in animal costumes" kind of thing.

Does Andrew Sullivan know who that big, black "bear" coming up behind him actually is?

Sorry - cheap shot. Couldn't resist.

Anyway, Willis sucks.

Thank you.

Posted by: ccwbass at June 29, 2004 10:47 AM (qg4dU)

3 If I simply refer to O-dub as "Margaret Cho-like", do you think I will survive the banning process?

I guess there is only one way to find out....

Posted by: Senator PhilABuster at June 29, 2004 11:01 AM (UHfuz)

4 Two Filet O' Fishes for Ace.

None for O'Blub.

Posted by: sonofnixon at June 29, 2004 11:06 AM (2Pa3z)

5 Yup, the truth is, the Left hates Bush, always has, and nothing he does will change that. They will NEVER forgive him for defeating Gore, and the fact that he did it despite a deliberate hatchet job on him sticks in their craws even worse. So no matter what he does, no matter what his position, they will hate him. He could part the Potomac, and turn Evian into Krystal, and they'd still hate him. If he came out tomorrow in support of gay polygamy and free abortions for all, with a clause stating that no US citizen can take a shit without UN approval and French-made Toilet Paper, they'd still call him Hitler.

And here's the ironic part: I know plenty of conservatives and libertarians who have a serious problem with dubyah, and some who will not be voting for him. But they've made this decision because the disagree with him on issues they consider important, not because they think he's a poopy-head who's too dumb and mean to breathe. Yet, when one of those conservatives tries to point out to a liberal that they're moving goalposts, they'll be accused of being mindless jingoistic supportes of "The Shrub."

I have to conclude that there are gnomes who sneak into liberal homes at night and remove the pages containing the words "Irony" and "Hypocrisy" from all their dictionaries.

Posted by: Brian B at June 29, 2004 11:11 AM (OnnW3)

6 OK..just put my post up on O-dub's site.

If I recall correctly, I made reference to his penchant for comfort food and for getting his "Margaret Cho-sized knickers in a twist".

After I signed off, I realized I should have thrown in "Oliver Walrus" as well. Maybe next time.

Any over unders on how long it will take for me to be banned?

Posted by: Senator PhilABuster at June 29, 2004 11:16 AM (UHfuz)

7 Senator,

I saw the post. Good work. He'll ban you within an hour.

Part of the problem with hitting him where he lives (i.e., the Haagen-Dasz aisle in the supermarket) is that you get your comment deleted, rather than having your point remain up there.

On the other hand: Who gives a rat's red raw ass whether all of Oliver Willis' 1500 morons read a comment? He's not exactly Walter Fucking Lippman, now is he?

Son of Nixon,

Thanks for the Filet-O-Fishes. I hate to say it, but I do agree with Cankles the Clown on this simple point: Filet-O-Fish sandwiches are tasty.

Posted by: Ace at June 29, 2004 11:20 AM (iog7U)

8 LMAO, ace.

"mound of the non-profound": that's wit, I tells, ya.

"husky-sized" sweatpants: funny because it's true.

See, when someone's entire philosophy boils down to one particular, unreasoned opinion (Bush=Bad), there's no reason to take the high road. Ridicule is the only resort to someone who refuses to see anything outside of their monomanical position.

Nicely done Ace. We need more people insulting the morons who refuse to engage in logical or reasonable debate.

Keep slicing like a fuckin' hammer.

Posted by: hobgoblin at June 29, 2004 11:37 AM (2da3S)

9 Juvenile? Yes. Funny? Yes! For a tasty mix of juvenile scorn and political thought, try Ace of Spades!

Posted by: Nick at June 29, 2004 11:43 AM (Xroyb)

Posted by: Nicholas Kronos at June 29, 2004 11:47 AM (d8L+J)

11 Ace, it's my experience that people who preen themselves in public on how right they are usually can't abide contrary opinions. Oliver has adopted a very hubristic attitude. Should he ever admit that he's been wrong about something, what sort of crack would that put in his veneer of omniscience? Enough, perhaps, to bring his ego's house of cards down for good?

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at June 29, 2004 11:51 AM (MzH7h)

12 You're right. Partisanship IS fun! Funniest damn stuff on the web today, (with the possible exception of the love note that Allah caught Jane Fonda passing in class.)

Senator Phil: commendable, selfless action on your part! Good job! Bravery is an attractive quality...

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at June 29, 2004 11:52 AM (v5daR)

13 I really think that, in most cases, this simply boils down to a character assessment. Some people have made a judgement on the character of President Bush: he's a liar, a cheat, a crooked snake-in-the-grass. As such, his words and actions--and especially his reasoning--should be immediately dismissed as maneuvering. After all, you wouldn't trust Saddam Hussein to watch your back, would you? That's the way they see Bush.

Those who have come to the conclusion that Bush is fundamentally honest and sincere will nearly always take his words and actions at face value.

Most of this is partisanship (you tend to distrust those with whom you disagree) and anger over the perceived injustice of the 2000 election. But at this point, it's become ingrained. Nothing can be done to convince them: their opinion of the President has settled in and will color their view of everything he does.

20 or 30 years from now, perhaps a few of them will look back with less anger and emotional investment and will come to a more reasonable conclusion. I myself have softened somewhat on Clinton. I still think he was wrong on many issues and I think he did a lot of things that were self-serving and dishonest. But I no longer think he was the devil incarnate; and I even have some sympathy for him in his personal faults and problems.

Posted by: Smack at June 29, 2004 01:12 PM (lpGKc)

14 OK...I need someone to watch my back! For some reason, my post about O-dub has generated a mortal enemy in his comments section. The dudes name is "Just Rex". I get the feeling "Just Rex Reed" would be more appropriate.

Anyway, if y'all feel like it jump over there and flame ol' Rex. Since he hates all of us "bush davidians" I figure y'all might have a few things to say.

Posted by: Senator PhilABuster at June 30, 2004 06:54 AM (UHfuz)

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