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So, is he questioning the Administration's patriotism? Because I thought you weren't supposed to question anyone's patriotism... (and while I don't like the current Administration that much, I would challenge anyone to come up with a quote of President Bush questioning someone's patriotism -- actually using the word -- that directly. "Code words" don't count. And saying that he doesn't like a certain Democrat's stand on defense spending doesn't count either -- one is allowed to say they disagree with an opponent without it automatically being "questioning their patriotism".)

Julie in Boise

Oh come on ... code words DO count. Code words are the language and the coin of this administration!

Every time Cheney et al say that questioning policy emboldens the enemy - that's tantamount to saying the questioner is unpatriotic.


Interesting theory. Doesn't this kind of unfairly limit the speech that Republicans are allowed to engage in if they follow these "rules"? I note that there seems to be no restriction on calling neo-cons "war-mongers" or "traitors" (especially wrt the Plame case) or comparing them to Nazis, and Tim Robbins did on Saturday. Isn't that speech as least as potentially hurtful as questioning someone's patriotism?

[BTW, before you say that this speech is OK under the "rules" because it's true and Cheney's speech is false, it is possible to make a case that those who speak out against the war are in fact emboldening the enemy. In short, given that the enemy cannot hope to win militarily (absent any political constraints), their only hope of victory in Iraq is a politically-motivated withdrawal by the U.S.; therefore, speech that tends to result in that end does therefore aid the enemy in their war aims. While that line of reasoning might not be true, it's certainly at least as true as a claim that Bush = Hitler.]


Who said you couldn't question someone's patriotism? I believe the problem liberals have is when our patriotism is questioned when we state our opposition to the War in Iraq or this Aministration's policies.


So, it's OK for liberals to question a neo-con's patriotism, but not OK for a Republican to question a progressive's patriotism? Mayor Anderson's quote above seems to be questioning the patriotism of those who support the War in Iraq or the Administration's policies. Doesn't seem quite fair...
Or maybe could you give me an example of when you think it would be OK for a Republican to question a Democrat's patriotism.

Julie in Boise


I can see we'll go round and round on this forever.

Would you agree that it's OK to question someone's patriotism when they've lied?

I don't think anyone would argue at this point that the administration lied its way into this war. So calling them "warmongerers" is fair game, IMO.

From what I've seen, most progressives aren't lying. Most have done nothing but call attention to the neocons' lies. And for that, we get our patriotism questioned.

Fortunately, very few Americans are still listening to the neocons' blather.

Julie in Boise

Also: I do not question the patriotism of citizens who still support the administration or its war policies.

I feel unspeakably sad for them.


Even last week when Sen. Graham was tossing softballs to Gen. Patraeus he was flirting with the definition of treason arguing that criticism of the escalation policy was giving "comfort" to the "enemy". This Republican Talking Point tactic is utilized to quell a much hungered for debate and is reprehensible just for that reason despite the fallacy of it. Ironic that you now contend you are losing your right to free speech. The ice queen herself wrote a book labelling all liberals traitors which was eagerly purchased by millions and she recieved the accolades of the local Republican party by being requested as their keynote speaker. Bubblehead you have mighty big cajones for even suggesting that Republicans don't own this device and use it constantly to actively quash debate.

And drawing comparisons to current events and historical circumstances is an interesting and many would argue very useful tool to avoid repeating past disasters when done as an intellectual exercise but not when its used purely to demonize. I think the Mayor's comments were in response the notion that war critics have been labelled as unpatriotic for the last five years by the mouthpieces of the government, which I note was controlled by Republicans during that time period.

Julie in Boise


I see you had dinner the other night with the local Bush Defense Society. That explains a lot, my friend.


I knew there had to be some good reason for your surliness. A night with Clayton will do that to the most moderate among us, I'm sure.


Sysiphus: I'm not claiming that I'm losing my right to free speech; I'll continue saying whatever I feel like. The fact that people feel that they can't continue speaking after they've been accused of "aiding the enemy" either means that they recognize the correctness of the accusation or they lack the moral fiber to defend themselves -- debate can't be "quashed" unless one side decides to stop debating. Since the speakers at the rally haven't been sent to Gitmo, I assume you'll agree with me that we still have free speech here in America. Free speech means not only that people can engage in protected political speech, but that those who disagree with them can also engage in protected speech by pointing out why they disagree with them. Anyway, as I said, who is to say that being called "unpatriotic" is worse than being called a war-monger? Democrats (who I'd like to see do better in Idaho) end up sounding somewhat whiny when they make statements that end up equating to "those mean neo-cons are being mean to me" without recognizing that they engage in similar actions -- just not as successfully. It's only a "Republican-owned" device when Democrats back down because they know deep in their hearts that they'll lose votes if they continue on that track. I've said before that if people believe that it's in the best interests of the country and/or the world for us to withdraw now from Iraq despite the seeming advantages this would give the enemy, they shouldn't be afraid to say so; they just shouldn't whine when someone disagrees with them.

Julie: It was actually quite a nice conversation during the dinner, and except for when I raised my voice and got really snarky when someone tried to defend Bill Sali, it was very peaceful. Clayton's a good guy.


Also, Julie, re: "lies" -- are you now of the opinion that the Administration knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that there were few WMDs in Iraq before the invasion? If so, why didn't they plant WMDs later? Or pick another reason to invade? Cherry-picking the intelligence and using faulty assumptions, yes; "lies", I'll still disagree. I still maintain that the Administration has been incompetent, not evil. (Here I'm defining a "lie" as "knowing one thing to be the truth, and holding forth another as the actual truth". Please let me know if you have a different definition.)


Geez Bubblehead, you did it again. I either accept that I'm unpatriotic or I lack moral fiber. What is it with you people and your black and white mentality? There are mulititudes of reasons beyond those cited. Yours is an intimidating tactic utilizing labels to help frame a debate into a scenario that has only one outcome, the one you seek. It discourages critical thought and encourages fear and emotional response. I do not view the Mayor's comments as aggresive rather they are defensive remarks rebutting the intimidating tactics that this administration utilized to discourage Americans from supporting the myriad critics in and out of government that said the Iraq War was not in the best interests of the US. How is using such a tactic good public policy? But even more reprehensible is the fact that your government was using the tactic. The Mayor is not impugning your patriotism unless you used the tactic for these spurious reasons. I believe that using these emotionally charged labels detracts from the search for the truth and that really should have no place in forming policy.

And regarding cherry picking and stovepiping intelligence to support an invasion, Bubblehead, don't you wonder about the motives of your public leaders that would go to these lengths to get us into war? Using information removed from normal intelligence channels to support a policy you are advocating the US to follow is using unverified information to support the outcome you want.
If you knew it was unverified, and they did, then you are lying. Before you answer my question watch some of the Libby trial. It is being live blogged here: http://www.firedoglake.com/ The definition of lying is at the heart of the case. Then answer my question.


Which policy is it I'm advocating. The one where I say we should pull out of Iraq? ( http://bubbleheads.blogspot.com/2006/08/iraq-gallipoli.html )

My point, again, is that there are plenty of good political points to make against the Administration's policies; I'm not sure why many Democrats seem to be pushing the not-so-good ones that make them sound so whiny. I'm assuming you've read the Time article on the new breed of Western Democrat ( http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1580387,00.html ). Could you imagine Gov. Schweitzer pulling that "the Republicans are being mean to us and it's hurting my feelings" crap?

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