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Can Obama Spell “Failure”?

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There actually was a time when an “e” ended a political career. Or, at least, the misuse of an “e” did. I refer to that fateful day in 1992 when Vice President Dan Quayle told a 12-year-old schoolboy that “potato” was spelled with an “e” at its end. While the reality is that a flash card Quayle had been given bore the misspelling, the mistake was seized upon by the media and used to cement the eye-candy-and-air image of the boyishly good-looking vice president. It was a silly way to measure a man, but image is everything in politics.
So now it’s time for the gander’s sauce. If it was justifiable to write off Quayle as a dolt for stumbling over the spud, how should we react to frequent misspellings in press releases issued by the White House? Michael O’Brien at The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room reports on this story, writing, “Misspellings continued to plague the Obama administration on Thursday [9/9], after two more releases containing errors were sent to reporters in the last 24 hours.”

First the White House staff misspelled Obama’s first name, writing it as “Barak.” Then, O’Brien reports, there were two more examples. They are, “Recvoery.gov Version 2.0 $18 Million Contract Awarded” and, referring to U.K. leader Gordon Brown, “The Prime Minister wlecomed the President's plans for a nuclear security conference in 2010.”

Now, while sweating the small stuff can get you branded as punctilious today, a person’s failure to attend to detail tells you much about him. And this is not at all like the Quayle potato blunder. Not only had the former vice president been given that flash card bearing the misspelling, it’s also understandable that he wouldn’t have spotted the error, since the plural form of the word does end in “oes.” Second, unless you’re an Idaho farmer, you probably haven’t written the word “potato” in a very long time. Lastly, it’s simply impossible for an individual to make continual public appearances without making some mistakes. Hey, just ask Al Gore about how “a leopard can’t change his stripes.”

But what the Obama administration exhibits is quite different: Institutional sloppiness. It’s one thing for an individual to sometimes make mistakes; it’s quite another when a large organization repeatedly churns them out. And let’s place this in perspective.

Some may note that Internet news and commentary websites are rife with mistakes as well, and this is true. However, this is often a function of manpower. Most e-zines simply do not have the staff necessary to achieve near perfect presentation, as they usually operate on a shoestring budget. In contrast, if you write for even a small magazine, their superior finances allow for tremendous oversight. A piece will be filtered through a number of different editors. It then may be returned to the writer for review, allowing him to assess the editorial changes and make a few more alterations before the work ever makes it into print. The result of this collaborative process is that you really can cross all your t’s and dot all your i’s.

Now, the fact that the Obama administration isn’t achieving quality even approaching that of a small magazine is striking. This is the White House, remember, with the endless resources government provides. Hasn’t the person or people writing Obama’s press releases ever heard of a spell-check program? Wouldn’t it be reasonable to have at least two different individuals proofread the material before disseminating it to the whole world? Such institutional sloppiness is inexcusable.

Some may say I’m being picayune, that this is much ado about nothing. But if you think this sloppiness somehow magically limits itself to the issuance of press releases, then you’d probably believe that Michelle Obama buys her sneakers at Wal-Mart. In point of fact, it tells us something about those at the helm of our listing nation.

It’s not that they’re stupid. A genius, even a responsible one, can transpose letters while typing just as he can fail to spot the misspelling of a type of starchy tuber. But when such errors are consistently made by large groups of people working together, that institutional sloppiness, it bespeaks a lack of conscientiousness and attention to detail, an absence of the desire to uphold standards.

This is characteristic of liberals; it is part of their world view. These are the people who don’t trouble over standards in morality because, their relativism informs, Truth doesn’t exist anyway. They don’t worry about the standards prescribed by the Constitution or, for that matter, any inconvenient law of man because, without Truth, laws can be based on nothing transcendent. And, of course, if these greater matters can be ignored, why worry about language? (I’d bet that the too-cool-to-care leftists in the White House are the type of people who, in personal emails, replace “you” with “u” and don’t capitalize the first words of sentences. I bet they can spell “socialism” and “social decay” just fine, though.)

This is the modus operandi of the situational values set, of those who have contempt for standards. After all, if standards are ever and always negotiable, why worry much about them? Without Truth to use as a yardstick for determining them and making moral decisions, you might as well just use the only guide you have left: Emotion. This is why liberals are so feelings-oriented.

So, in the case of the press releases, spelling errors are minor problems but a major indicator. With such institutional sloppiness, why should we think that the Obama administration is meticulous about anything? Why would we think that they’d pay attention to the details of where stimulus money is going? How could we expect them to iron out all the details of managing national health care? Why should anyone trust that these liberals could, as they purport to be able to, regulate an economy involving millions of minor details? We have a bull in the china shop of policy.

Yet, what is worse is liberals’ failure to attend to detail in their own minds. I often quote G.K. Chesterton; one reason I like him so much is that he was a “complete thinker.” That is, he would analyze a matter from every angle, thereby peeling away the layers of illusion and uncovering Truth. But this is uncommon among normal people — and unheard of among the left. This is one reason why they can embrace nonsensical, illogical ideas. Some of them may entertain communism, completely ignoring the simple fact that if people were good enough to make a communist government work, we wouldn’t need government. They embrace multiculturalism, oblivious to the plain fact that nations without a unifying culture descend into disunity. They will say that man is just a highly evolved animal, but then insist that, in the violent animal kingdom, this animal’s children must be “taught” to be violent (when arguing against spanking). They will aver that homosexuality is inborn while just as passionately averring that sex roles must be taught. They will insist that right and wrong are relative, while also insisting that the right is absolutely wrong. And just recently, Obama cited California as an example of a state that is energy efficient yet economically healthy. He ignored two minor details, however: Bankruptcy and rolling blackouts.

Barack Obama is an urban rube. And he surrounds himself with like-minded, or I should say like-impassioned, urban rubes. Some fancy these people sophisticated, but while they give the illusion of sophistication, they possess none of its substance. They were simply raised wrong and rendered bereft of logic, as they never learned to subordinate emotion to reason so that the former wouldn’t cloud the latter. They are people who don’t cross their t’s and dot their i’s in anything, be it philosophy, personal life or policy. They are ruined souls. And they are bringing us to ruin.

As for Dan Quayle’s potato problem, if an onus belonged anywhere, it was on the institution that printed an incorrect flash card. And we should note that this institution was a school, one of those great bastions of liberal unthought.

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About Selwyn Duke

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Oh, wow! How erudite! Mr. Duke, I think we completely misunderestimated you!

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    This piece speaks many truths. However, the blatant demonization of so-called liberals isn’t quite even handed.

    They are people who don’t cross their t’s and dot their i’s in anything, be it philosophy, personal life or policy. They are ruined souls. And they are bringing us to ruin.

    Are you speaking of these so-called liberals? Or are you speaking of folks like John Ensign, Larry Craig, Mark Sanford, Charlene Crist or Saint Rick Santorum? When it comes to dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, George W. Bush and his Administration under the tutelage of Comrade Spotted Dick let details and facts be damned in favor of advancing their own Cold War era style agenda.

    All that being said, it seems we agree on one fundamental. Education. There must be a reintroduction of civics, personal accountability and quality standards in our schools. Less union influence is key, followed by a dismantling of the present lobbyist system in Congress. Revolt. Reform. Renew. Those are the new three R’s for this generation.

    In 2010, every incumbent member of Congress must be sent home permanently regardless of political ideology. There are many fine sitting members but what’s more important is the message sent to Washington. We have a clear choice in the next election — perpetuate the status quo or shake up the house. I prefer the latter.

  • Baronius

    The tagline to this article is “The White House’s frequent minor errors presage major problems.” This article is really impressive, but it doesn’t quite live up to the description. Selwyn, you could have closed the deal by including more cases of their sloppiness (the Russian mistranslation, the British diplomatic gaffes, the initial reaction to the Honduran crisis, etc.), along with naming some potential consequences of such errors.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Oh pullease, Dan Quayle’s one blunder??? What about what he said about Murphy Brown. What about the United Negro[e] College Fund or the Holocaust?

    It was a silly way to measure a man, but image is everything in politics.

    The guy was a dimwit!

    As far as your article goes, all I can say is this:

    And they are bringing us to ruin.

    My personal feeling is that many people need to experience ruin. People are too self-centered. They will never care about anything unless it happens to them personally. As I am wont to say, some people have to be set on fire before they can empathize with others. No problem.

    I hope your ruin is speedy and sufficiently painful. And by ‘your’ I mean the vast sea of selfish people. Let it collapse. Bring it on.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “a person’s failure to attend to detail tells you much about him.”

    you mean like a person who improperly capitalizes words after a colon?

    “This is one reason why [the left] can embrace nonsensical, illogical ideas.”

    Yeah, no one the right does that. Hmm, looks like rain. Can you gather a pair of all the animals while I build a boat big enough to hold them all?

  • Irene Wagner

    Yeah, no one the right does that.
    I blame it on text messaging.

  • Baronius

    What blunder about Murphy Brown?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Boy, am I in trouble. I’m a lousy typist. And I do mean lousy. From what Selwyn writes, I need scads of editors to check every single comment I type. One wife (who hasn’t got time to do these things) may not be enough!

    Seriously, though, folks. American “liberal” administrations often seem to have an air of carelessness about them. “Friends of Bill” (remember them?) often seemed to have major career problems or shortened life-spans and it did not seem to bother Slick Willie one bit. Little “mistakes” seemed to happen all over the place.

    And now we see an administration that lectures Africans while kissing up to Arabs, that bullies Jews while backing off from Persians, that undermines democracies while it hangs with thieves.

    And they can’t spell or be bothered to check their mistakes! Maybe if they are that careless, they can tack on an extra zero to the dollar amount on my Social Security checks (if they ever get around to them)….

  • Irene Wagner

    Baronius, you’ve probably already googled “Murphy Brown” “Dan Quayle” and had a blast from the past. Today it would’ve been more politically expedient for Quayle to have praised Murphy Brown’s character for deciding to keep the baby.
    The network that carried her program? not so much.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    What an unbelievably stupid, petty and churlish article.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Selwyn –

    The editors may have given you some encouragement – but that’s part of their job. Some on the far right may have liked your article – but the points you bring up are as nonsensical as those of the ‘birthers’.

    What you apparently don’t realize is how the majority of readers would see your article. Those few who would agree with you would likely agree with today’s supermarket tabloid about Obama’s “secret Muslim conspiracy”. In other words, you’re not trying to convince those who disagree with you, but you’re only ‘playing to the base’.

    But most of us see your article for what it is, and Doc gave the most accurate descriptive: “petty”.

    P.S. Next time you castigate someone else’s skill at English, make doggone sure your own is beyond question. Don’t feel badly about that admonition, because I learned that lesson the hard way, a long time ago.

  • Baronius

    OK, since this thread might not be going anywhere, I don’t feel guilty about a digression.

    The most interesting thing about the Quayle story to me is that he was caricatured as being stupid, and he tried to fight it. That’s an impossible situation because it dares the media to catch you doing something stupid. It’s like being on a reality show.

    W learned the lesson. He was labelled stupid, and didn’t put up a fight. Good short-run strategy. I think it cost him in the long run, though, because he gave up on trying to communicate. There’s got to be a balance in there.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    The moral is, if you actually are stupid, try not to keep opening your mouth and thereby repeatedly proving it, do what W did–just shut up.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Every president and vice-president in history has been lampooned and caricatured, some more unkindly than others. Often that caricaturing paints a picture of stupidity, as with Reagan and with Bush Mk. I (to a lesser extent, since unlike his predecessor he clearly DID retain all his marbles throughout his presidency). Clinton didn’t get the Stupid tag, because he manifestly wasn’t stupid, so instead he got painted as a sex maniac. Bush Mk. II got the Stupid tag taken to extremes – there are entire book collections of ‘Bushisms’ – while his deputy was painted as a sociopath.

    Obama’s a harder one to peg so far. If a primary caricature does emerge, it’s probably going to be either the teleprompters or his wordiness.

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    Spelling is not that tough. There should be someone in the White House who can proofread.

    I thought this article was not churlish, but instead humorous. For a guy who just yesterday stood outside a local community college and pledged millions of money for more training (for what? No jobs in Michigan.)to have a staff that can’t spell is rather funny.

    We all laughed at Dubya for his mispronunciation of “nuclear” right?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Joanne, it’s churlish because we see stupid typos on official documents, public notices and even vehicles and buildings every day. I’ve long since given up the battle, although my wife occasionally loves to annoy the perpetrators by calling the phone number displayed on the side of the “Glorias Flower’s” van we just passed on the street and point out their error.

    It’s a societal ill and to focus on the White House just for the sake of throwing mud is cynical.

  • Baronius

    Joanne, I just heard a funny one on Limbaugh. Rush was talking about his new iphone charger (I think) that he was very happy with. He talked about the company that makes it, and the small Michigan town in which it’s located. He ended by saying that in the last 3 minutes he’d done more for the economy of Michigan than Jennifer Granholm had done in two terms.

  • http://marksaleski.com MarkSaleski

    mmmmm…..satyre!

  • Clavos

    It’s a societal ill and to focus on the White House just for the sake of throwing mud is cynical.

    Perhaps.

    But Selwyn’s observation about the Obama lack of attention to detail is nonetheless accurate.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Baronius,

    I thought you weren’t listening to Limbaugh any more? Or was that Savage?

    :-)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    This whole topic on typos is useless for two reasons:

    1) Is Obama making any mistakes that approach the level of the Bushisms? For instance, can one imagine what the right wing would say if Obama were to say (and as Bush DID say), “Al Qaeda never stops thinking of ways to hurt America, and neither do we!”

    Boy, what would Rush and Hannity do with that one? The typos of a few Obama staff do NOT compare with how Bush himself mangled the English language.

    2) My oldest son just got his bachelor’s in business, and he would help the professor with grading the tests of the underclassmen. One of his biggest gripes is how so many would answer NOT in proper English, but in ‘text language’, like that used when texting on a cell phone.

    In other words, we are all watching the English language evolve before our eyes.

    Okay? Get it yet? Y’all ain’t gonna grok dis thang ‘fore y’all git dat clue 4 sale n Craigslist!

    Again, Selwyn, your post was petty, another wonderful example of the conservatives insisting on seeing a few rotten trees around them while not comprehending the living forest as a whole.

  • Baronius

    Limbaugh, yes. Savage, maybe twice in my life. Medved, currently.

  • Ed

    It seems like some of you didn’t read the article. What Bush did doesn’t matter. Like the author said, individuals will make mistakes when speaking off the cuff. But it’s a lot different when the White House puts out PREPARED press releases that seem like they were written by a hung-over college student.

  • Clavos

    I’m amused by the defensiveness that arises any time anyone criticizes Obama, however mildly.

    Entire books have been written about the Bush malaprops, but one article on a blog about Obama staff errors engenders indignant retorts from otherwise rational people.

    Must be the Democratic inferiority complex.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos and Selwyn –

    Do you not remember a time when ANYone who criticized Bush was labeled a traitor and accused of ‘giving aid and comfort to the enemy’?

    I remember it quite well – but now that we stick up for our guy (while NOT being so crude and unAmerican to call those on the Right traitors for such criticisms (as they did us)), all of a sudden we’re suffering from an ‘inferiority complex’.

    Well gee whiz, why don’t we look at some of the ABSOLUTELY FREAKING BRILLIANT statements made by Selwyn?

    1) “Some of [those liberals] may entertain communism, completely ignoring the simple fact that if people were good enough to make a communist government work, we wouldn’t need government.”

    Response – First, very few of us do so (I helped fight the Cold War, remember), for we know just as well as you how communism can’t work. Second, if Selwyn’s going to try to taint all liberals with those few on the far Left with the ‘communist’ descriptive, how about we do the same for the right with ‘Nazi’, hm? Because you know very well which party – if given a choice between Dems and Republicans – skinheads will choose. AND while we’re at it, how many Americans have those far-Left-liberal-communists killed in acts of domestic terrorism? Very few.

    On the other hand, how many Americans have far-RIGHT-Nazis killed in acts of domestic terrorism? We can start with Oklahoma City back in ’95….

    2) “They embrace multiculturalism, oblivious to the plain fact that nations without a unifying culture descend into disunity.”

    Response: Has Selwyn traveled in America lately? Has he heard of ‘Little Italy’ and and the Creoles and the Deep South and the scores of Indian nations and the French Quarter and Chinatown? ALL of these were a part of America, and part of the Greatest Generation that fought WWII!

    Here’s a WONDERFUL question for Mr. Selwyn – Out of the ENTIRE American army in WWII, WHAT is the most highly decorated military unit in the history of the United States Armed Forces, including 21 Medal of Honor recipients, earning the nickname “The Purple Heart Battalion”? Here’s a clue – they were the Fighting 442nd. See

  • Glenn Contrarian

    (y’know, I really don’t like the filter that chops my replies because it doesn’t like a link even to a very reliable and accepted website) The rest of post #25 follows here:

    Look who and what comprised that particular battalion, the Fighting 442nd, Selwyn!

    “Give me your tired, your poor, your wretched refuse…yearning to breathe free!” I suppose the Statue of Liberty is now a sign of socialist liberalism to you…and HELL YES it is!

    Who’s the real American here, Selwyn?

    3) They will say that man is just a highly evolved animal,

    Response: You see, Selwyn – there’s this really new development called ‘science’…and in a recent poll, only SIX percent of scientists called themselves Republicans. But I guess that would be proof to you that science must be wrong.

    4) but then insist that, in the violent animal kingdom, this animal’s children must be “taught” to be violent (when arguing against spanking).

    Response: Yeah, I spanked my kids as many liberals have done – but we also realize that if this is done TOO much, yeah, it DOES tend to make the kid more violent than they otherwise would be. But since the plethora of scientific studies which have shown this use that EVIL thing called ‘science’ and doesn’t agree with you, then all the scientists (and liberals) must be wrong.

    5) “They will aver that homosexuality is inborn”

    Response – That’s where the science is leading, too. It’s not concrete yet, but it’s certainly strongly leaning in that direction. BTW, didja know that America and Turkey are the ONLY two countries in NATO who still discriminate against homosexuals in their militaries? Even ISRAEL doesn’t have a problem with it. Just homophobic ‘Christians’ here in America, and homophobic Muslims in Turkey.

    6) “while just as passionately averring that sex roles must be taught.”

    Response – And betcha Selwyn still doesn’t know that, generally speaking, teenage pregnancy is significantly LOWER in states where sex education is taught. Ooooh, that EVIL science rears its head once more, preventing those oh-so-holy teenage pregnancies!

    7) “And just recently, Obama cited California as an example of a state that is energy efficient yet economically healthy. He ignored two minor details, however: Bankruptcy and rolling blackouts.”

    Response – Selwyn’s ignoring two minor details himself. One, California’s bankrupt because for ever since the Republican-backed Proposition 13 they haven’t had the tax income to pay their debts…and now the chicken’s coming home to roost. Two, ‘rolling blackouts’…SELWYN! DO YOU NOT REMEMBER that the CAUSE of the rolling blackouts was ENRON????? DO YOU NOT REMEMBER that ENRON was able to CAUSE those rolling blackouts because of DEREGULATION?????

    8) “These are the people who don’t trouble over standards in morality because, their relativism informs, Truth doesn’t exist anyway.”

    Response – It was said best in the third Indy Jones movie: “If you want truth, go down to Philosophy class. Here, we deal in FACT.” Provable FACT, Selwyn – that’s why we liberals like SCIENCE – it’s PROVABLE, unlike most of your rather ridiculous assumptions in your article.

    9) “They don’t worry about the standards prescribed by the Constitution or, for that matter, any inconvenient law of man because, without Truth, laws can be based on nothing transcendent.”

    Response – Hm, let me see here – an invasion committed on false pretenses and in violation of international war to which we are a prime signatory AND to which we are bound BY LAW…and let’s not forget TORTURE and exposing entire CIA networks just to ruin a spouse’s career and using illegal voter caging to keep tens (and perhaps hundreds) of thousands of American citizens from voting…yeah, those Republicans REALLY ABIDE by the law and the Constitution, huh?

    Keep your ‘truth’, Selwyn – give me PROVABLE FACT.

    CLAVOS – if you want to take up for Selwyn, go ahead…but if you do not castigate him as well for the gross inaccuracies in his article while otherwise supporting him, then you are tacitly supporting ALL his contentions in his article…and in all honestly, I can’t believe you’d back him up in everything he said in that article.

    But you know what’s most frustrating? It’s as if scientific fact doesn’t matter, history doesn’t matter to those on the Far Right as long as they are able to hold on to power. My neo-con friend once told me that as far as he’s concerned, it’s all about power.

    And looking at it from his point of view, from the point of view of most on the Far Right, he’s right…and he and they mistakenly assume that the same motivation holds for those of us on the Far Left…because it doesn’t.

    The Right looks for a Leader, while the Left looks for a meeting. The Right’s forte is organization, but leading the Left is likened to herding cats. Why? Because we do not care as much about power as do those on the Right…and we are MUCH more concerned when people have power over us – a wonderful example of which can be described in one name: McCarthy.

  • Clavos

    Do you not remember a time when ANYone who criticized Bush was labeled a traitor and accused of ‘giving aid and comfort to the enemy’?

    Sure. So which description for what libs are doing now do you prefer? “Pay back,” or “Two wrongs don’t make a right?”

    …but now that we stick up for our guy (while NOT being so crude and unAmerican to call those on the Right traitors for such criticisms

    Haven’t read the DailyKos and other lefty cesspits lately, have you?

    I helped fight the Cold War, remember

    Really? Where and when did you fight?

    …if Selwyn’s going to try to taint all liberals with those few on the far Left with the ‘communist’ descriptive…

    Except he didn’t.

    That’s typical inaccurate hyperbole from you Glenn. You yourself quoted Selwyn in your comment, two lines above, as saying “Some of [those liberals] may entertain communism… (emphasis added) You don’t even remember from one sentence to the next what you’ve written yourself.

    6) “while just as passionately averring that sex roles must be taught.”

    Response – And betcha Selwyn still doesn’t know that, generally speaking, teenage pregnancy is significantly LOWER in states where sex education is taught. Ooooh, that EVIL science rears its head once more, preventing those oh-so-holy teenage pregnancies!

    You completely missed Selwyn’s point here; he’s not talking about sex education, he’s talking about the boneheaded liberal contention that boys don’t naturally play with toy soldiers and toy guns, and little girls don’t naturally gravitate to dolls, they both have to be taught those things. And he’s right. As is often the case, the French say it best: “Vive la difference.” Boys are boys and girls are girls. They are different from birth, and thank Zeus for that.

    It’s as if scientific fact doesn’t matter, history doesn’t matter to those on the Far Right as long as they are able to hold on to power. My neo-con friend once told me that as far as he’s concerned, it’s all about power.

    And looking at it from his point of view, from the point of view of most on the Far Right, he’s right…and he and they mistakenly assume that the same motivation holds for those of us on the Far Left…because it doesn’t.

    If that’s true, why are Obama and his cronies leading the biggest government power grab since at least the New Deal and perhaps longer?

    Anyone who claims politics isn’t all about power is naive or stupid. Likely both.

  • Baronius

    “My neo-con friend once told me that as far as he’s concerned, it’s all about power.”

    Yeah, well, I know a liberal who once admitted that all liberals are stupid. And I slept this really hot girl over the summer, but you wouldn’t know her. She’s from Canada.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Really? Where and when did you fight?

    Clav, that’s a pretty low blow and misses the point besides. You know as well as I do about Glenn’s Navy service.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    he’s talking about the boneheaded liberal contention that boys don’t naturally play with toy soldiers and toy guns, and little girls don’t naturally gravitate to dolls, they both have to be taught those things. And he’s right.

    Hmm. While I think you’re more likely than not correct, for my money the jury’s still out on that one. I did find a reference to a couple of studies in Psychology Today that support the contention that toy preference is biological, but they both seem a bit suspect to me for the rather obvious reason that the psychologists used monkeys. How would a male monkey know what a police car was, for instance? It does seem that the preference crosses species boundaries, but I suspect the reasons are more subtle than the study indicates.

  • Baronius

    Dread, the studies are more compelling because they used monkeys. Males tend to play with toys that train them to track movements. Females tend to prefer toys with facial features, on which they can practice nurturing skills.

  • Clavos

    Clav, that’s a pretty low blow and misses the point besides. You know as well as I do about Glenn’s Navy service.

    Obviously, I disagree.

    What point did I miss? I honor his service and am grateful for it, especially if he served in combat somewhere.

    It’s a fair question.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    My service? My retirement ceremony was on 9/10/01…the day before 9/11. Yeah, that was pretty surreal.

    And ‘fighting’ doesn’t always mean combat. It also means manning your station in the fuel manifold compartment on a floating gas can when your ship’s gone to GQ after having been told by the captain that Iran’s launching missiles in your direction. It also means comforting your buddy when his best friend just died in a fuel oil fire while we were all out in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It also means reporting your friend to NCIS (it was NIS then) when he’s quietly bragging about selling technology to the Soviets. It means passing on hard-earned wisdom to a younger generation…and taking some secrets to the grave.

    No, Clavos, I (thankfully) haven’t seen combat…but I’ve done my part.

    You posted: “he’s talking about the boneheaded liberal contention that boys don’t naturally play with toy soldiers and toy guns, and little girls don’t naturally gravitate to dolls, they both have to be taught those things. And he’s right.”

    Um, NOT as right as you think, for there are MANY documented cases of little boys who refused to play with toy guns and little girls who refused to play with dolls. Do I really need to look them up for you?

    Clavos, if you’re going to follow Selwyn down this road and claim that God would not allow homosexuality to be a natural condition, then explain why God DOES allow the very rare but very real hermaphrodite, or those women ASD – androgen sensitivity disorder – in which some women even have functional testes inside of their body.

    Provable FACT, Clavos, not rhetoric and supposition. Give me FACT, for that’s what I’m giving you.

    You posted: “If that’s true, why are Obama and his cronies leading the biggest government power grab since at least the New Deal and perhaps longer? Anyone who claims politics isn’t all about power is naive or stupid. Likely both.”

    That’s the bitterly cynical view…and such an argument has a fatal flaw.

    If politics is all about power, then juxtapose that view with the proclamation by the founder of the Heritage Foundation that “elections have never been won by a majority” (which was made before 15,000 Baptist ministers, Jerry Falwell, and Ronald Reagan).

    If those are true, then our election system is a cruel joke. It would have been a joke when first proposed and set in motion by the Founding Fathers, and continued to be a joke for the past two centuries.

    These two views, then – which (thanks to the speech I mentioned above) I feel quite comfortable in attributing more to conservatives than to liberals – make base hypocrites of EVERY Republican and conservative pundit who decried ACORN. After all, if they feel that elections are a joke anyway, then why make such a fuss over ACORN (which as far as I can tell resulted in less than TEN actual fraudulent votes).

    Not only that, but the juxtaposition of these two views also makes clear the motive of those Republican supporters who engaged in voter caging, which DID cost tens of thousands of Americans their votes in this past election.

    These two views explain why the Far Right said absolutely nothing when Bush joked how things would be easier if he were a dictator over America.

    No, Clavos. Our system of elections is NOT perfect, but it is REAL. Obama didn’t steal the election – he won it because the majority of Americans voted for him.

    That’s not naivete – that’s reality.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Baronius @ #31:

    Yes, I appreciate that aspect of it. I do think that nurture plays a far bigger part in what toys children choose to play with and the roles they adopt than Selwyn seems to acknowledge. Right from birth we dress girls in pink and boys in blue and decorate their nurseries accordingly. We give boys cars and action figures to play with and girls get dolls and toy stoves. They play with them because they’re given them, but who’s to say that would be their invariable first choice? I played with both Action Man (the British version of GI Joe) and a doll as a kid, and my favourite soft toy was a cat named Jenny. Then again, I am a little odd. And my mum did have a habit of going to jumble sales and coming home with who knows what old crap. She had two sons and no daughters and was utterly indiscriminate as to the toys she got hold of for us.

  • Franco

    24 – Clavos

    “I’m amused by the defensiveness that arises any time anyone criticizes Obama, however mildly.

    Entire books have been written about the Bush malaprops, but one article on a blog about Obama staff errors engenders indignant retorts from otherwise rational people.”

    Clavos, that is fare and astute observation worthy of consideration.

    I think Glenn’s #25 & #26 consisting of 1214 Words, 5908 Characters (no spaces), 7098 Characters (with spaces), 33 Paragraphs, and 122 lines of irrational retort…….kinda more then makes your point for ya, dont’ ya think.

    The part I can’t agree with you on though is finding that kind of irrational agression amusing. But hey, Glenn says he and his comrads arn’t into irrational power. So I guess that makes me feel better?!?!.

  • Clavos

    Thanks again for your service, Glenn. As I remember my service buddies who lost their lives in actual combat for a false cause promulgated by power-hungry politicians, I consider your claim to have “helped fight the Cold War” a little presumptuous.

    Clavos, if you’re going to follow Selwyn down this road and claim that God would not allow homosexuality to be a natural condition, then explain why God DOES allow the very rare but very real hermaphrodite, or those women ASD – androgen sensitivity disorder – in which some women even have functional testes inside of their body.

    Once again, completely misses the original point about children being “taught” their gender roles, and worse, puts words in my mouth which I never uttered, a tactic which I’ve noticed you attempt to employ with distressing frequency.

    The entire last part of your comment (much too verbose to quote) also misses the point, but in this case is obviously an obfuscation to avoid answering my question or responding to my point, which I’ll repeat:

    [If politics isn’t all about power,] why are Obama and his cronies leading the biggest government power grab since at least the New Deal and perhaps longer?

    I said nothing about elections, ACORN, or anything else having to do with voting.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Franco –

    I notice how you refer to my replies as ‘irrational retort’, apparently with the opinion that my wordiness is proof of such.

    What I did was point out blatant inaccuracies in the article point-by-point, phrase-by-phrase, exposing Selwyn Duke’s errors using established FACT.

    And did you refute me? Did you use established FACT? No. You just said I was ‘irrational’.

    In my experience, that’s what people do when they can’t refute with fact. They insult, they tear down with insinuation and generality.

    And that’s what you did.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    You posted: “[If politics isn’t all about power,] why are Obama and his cronies leading the biggest government power grab since at least the New Deal and perhaps longer?”

    Response – ‘Power grab’? That’s just another conservative strawman, assigning to liberals yet another attribute that is far more evident in the actions of the conservatives.

    Do you really want to go down this road? Then post what Obama’s “power grab” consists of, and I’ll point out in return how conservatives have done it before and to a significantly greater extent. The sole exception might be the bailout – which is in purpose no different from that which FDR did to end the Great Depression.

    You posted: “Once again, completely misses the original point about children being “taught” their gender roles, and worse, puts words in my mouth which I never uttered, a tactic which I’ve noticed you attempt to employ with distressing frequency.”

    Response – I looked again at your post…and you’re right. I put words in your mouth, and I sincerely apologize.

    That said, do you agree or disagree with Duke’s claim “[Liberals] will aver that homosexuality is inborn”? The context makes it clear that he strongly disagrees. Furthermore, I do not believe his statement concerning ‘roles must be taught’ concerned a ‘nature-vs-nurture’ argument, but rather (again, determined by context) was a rant against sex education, and that is what I refuted.

    Do you support his belief that homosexuality is not inborn? Do you support his belief that multiculturalism presents a danger to America? Do you support his statement that “[Liberals are] people who don’t trouble over standards in morality because, their relativism informs, Truth doesn’t exist anyway.”?

    And as I said above, Clavos, “CLAVOS – if you want to take up for Selwyn, go ahead…but if you do not castigate him as well for the gross inaccuracies in his article while otherwise supporting him, then you are tacitly supporting ALL his contentions in his article…and in all honestly, I can’t believe you’d back him up in everything he said in that article.”

    If you’re going to DEFEND his article, Clavos, then DEFEND his specific claims within that article…or at least cover your butt politically by pointing out where you agree and disagree with him!

    P.S. I’m ‘presumptuous’ concerning my service? I haven’t walked a mile in your shoes, Clavos. Please don’t presume to know how I walked mine.

  • Baronius

    Clavos, I agree with Franco. That observation about the defensiveness of Obama supporters merits an article, at least. I also agree with Dread about respecting military service.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    Same challenge for you as to Clavos. If you want to defend his article, then defend the specific claims within his article.

    It is the SPECIFIC CLAIMS within Duke’s article about which I’m raising a red flag – his inference that homosexuality is not inborn, his claim that multiculturalism presents a danger to America, his claim that liberals “don’t trouble over standards in morality”.

    But because I raised a red flag over such claptrap, I’m ‘irrational’.

    If you’re going to defend his article, then defend the SPECIFIC CLAIMS he makes within the article. If you can’t or won’t, but will only sit back and decry the ‘defensiveness’ of liberals, then the following statement I made to Franco also applies to you:

    “In my experience, that’s what people do when they can’t refute with fact. They insult, they tear down with insinuation and generality.

    And that’s what you did.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Glenn,

    It’s not so much the facts of the case as the quantum leap the author is making on page two, namely, from saying that “when such errors are consistently made by large groups of people working together, that institutional sloppiness, it bespeaks a lack of conscientiousness and attention to detail, an absence of the desire to uphold standards” to his conclusion:

    “This is characteristic of liberals; it is part of their world view. These are the people who don’t trouble over standards in morality because, their relativism informs, Truth doesn’t exist anyway. They don’t worry about the standards prescribed by the Constitution or, for that matter, any inconvenient law of man because, without Truth, laws can be based on nothing transcendent. And, of course, if these greater matters can be ignored, why worry about language? (I’d bet that the too-cool-to-care leftists in the White House are the type of people who, in personal emails, replace “you” with “u” and don’t capitalize the first words of sentences. I bet they can spell “socialism” and “social decay” just fine, though.)”

    In short, the so-called “institutional sloppiness” serves as an occasion to stereotype the libs. That’s the weakest part of the argument, IMO, and another rather silly attempt to engage in divisive politics.

  • Baronius

    Dread, as a child, I played with Le Capitaine Incapable, the French equivalent of the GI Joe. I reread Selwyn’s article, and I have no idea what his opinion is of nature and nurture. He only mentions it as an example of the contradictory positions held by the Left.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Rog –

    I addressed that when I pointed out not only the plethora of Bushisms in the past eight years but also how the English language is evolving before our eyes as evinced by the papers submitted by college students.

    Of course these weren’t worthy of consideration, and pointing out the Bushisms was ‘irrational’ – even though there really were enough to fill books!

    Again – in my experience, those who cannot refute with facts must then resort with insults, insinuations, and generalities. I think the responses by most of the conservatives on this thread is proof enough of that.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That’s why, Glenn, I didn’t give this article the time of day. Except for the comment addressed to you. Let them stew in their own juice.

  • Clavos

    When you actully do address, and refute the points I’ve made here, then (and only then) will I be inspired to reply to you yet again. So far, all I’ve seen in you responses to me have been evasiveness and red herrings, both of which are characteristic of your debating style.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Address your ‘specific issues’? I did.

    You posted: “Boys are boys and girls are girls. They are different from birth, and thank Zeus for that.”

    And I’ve already asked you to explain, then, the presence of hermaphrodites and women with ASD. If ‘girls are girls and boys are boys’, why are there many documented cases of boys refusing to play as boys normally do, and girls refusing to play as girls usually do?

    You then posted: “If that’s true, why are Obama and his cronies leading the biggest government power grab since at least the New Deal and perhaps longer?”

    I asked you to provide specific examples of such. Until then, you’re only stating an unjustified generality.

  • Baronius

    Selwyn argues that the problem has nothing to do with intelligence. I’m not sure that’s correct. I remember hearing about the “team of rivals”, the amazing Cabinet that Obama was assembling: Richardson, Clinton, Geithner, Daschle, and Holder. All of them have scandals in their past, and a couple of them never made it into the Cabinet. Are they really that smart?

    The press doesn’t ask that question about Democrats. That’s been amply demonstrated by the treatment of Palin and Biden. If you’re an insider, it doesn’t matter if you’re a stupid insider.

    A nod to Dread: typically, the VP does get depicted as stupid. It didn’t happen with Reagan’s or W’s administrations, because the narrative dictated that the president was the dumb one. The rehabilitation of Gore’s image took most of 2000, and ultimately didn’t succeed. (Since then, of course, he’s been called a prophet and handed every award possible.) It’s not hard to guess whether Obama or Biden will be labelled the fool of this administration.

  • Clavos

    And I’ve already asked you to explain, then, the presence of hermaphrodites and women with ASD. If ‘girls are girls and boys are boys’, why are there many documented cases of boys refusing to play as boys normally do, and girls refusing to play as girls usually do?

    You’re arguing from the general to the particular, a logical fallacy. There are 6.7 billion people in the world; how many of them are hermaphrodites? A few thousand? Even a few million, out of 6.7 billion is statistically insignificant.

    Boys are boys, and girls are girls for all but a tiny (and insignificant) fraction of humanity.

  • Clavos

    I asked you to provide specific examples of such

    Autos, financial industry, energy, medicine, are all he’s had time for until now, but he’s on a roll.

    And yes, I know all were in bad shape, but my assertion is in regard to his maneuvering to take control of them, which he is clearly doing: growing the government and extending its power to unprecedented heights.

    And of course, all the PC liberals are delighted.

    For now.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I don’t know if anybody noticed, but you guys are all argung over the views of that sphinx of an author, Selwyn Duke.

    So far as I’m concerned, his deductions are not as far-fetched as some here would think they are, and it’s nice to see the Obama defenders in such a lather.

    Let’s put it this way. Obama has many defenders – but no defense. (Thanks, Abe)

    I’ll let it go with that. I’d like to see Selwyn get out from behind his shield of silence and answer his critics. I suspect I’ll have a long wait.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ruvy –

    You posted: “Boys are boys, and girls are girls for all but a tiny (and insignificant) fraction of humanity. ”

    BUT the presence of one, even ONE, destroys any argument that homosexuality can’t be inborn.

  • Clavos

    Ruvy –

    You posted: “Boys are boys, and girls are girls for all but a tiny (and insignificant) fraction of humanity. “

    Ruvy didn’t post that, I did, but it wasn’t in reference to homosexuality, I never said one fucking word about homosexuality.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Again, you speak only in GENERALITIES.

    You posted: “Autos, financial industry, energy, medicine, are all he’s had time for until now, but he’s on a roll.
    And yes, I know all were in bad shape, but my assertion is in regard to his maneuvering to take control of them, which he is clearly doing: growing the government and extending its power to unprecedented heights.”

    You’re asked to point out problem trees in a forest, and all you’re doing is saying, “It’s the trees with wood!”

    C’mon, guy – SPECIFICS. What specifically has Obama done to ‘take over’ the auto industry, energy, medicine, financial, industry in general?

    And to save us time, how about you limit your answers to ones the Republicans haven’t done before, and to a greater extent?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    And sorry – got you mixed up with Ruvy.

    BUT look at the statement YOU defended: “They will aver that homosexuality is inborn while just as passionately averring that sex roles must be taught.”

    Selwyn is obviously arguing against the liberal contention that homosexuality is inborn, and YOU claim it’s a logical fallacy to argue that we must consider the ‘inborn’ concept because of the number of people in the world.

    Therefore, you’re defending his stand against our contention that homosexuality is inborn.

    Unless, of course, you want to clarify your statement and say that the first half of Duke’s statement was wrong and that you were only defending the second half of his statement.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Glenn,

    I just happen to think that it’s a stronger liberal position to argue on behalf of gayness even if we happen to think of it as learned behavior, a matter of sexual preference. Do we have to ground according civil/gay rights on the basis of a belief that gayness is inborn?

  • Clavos

    BUT look at the statement YOU defended: “They will aver that homosexuality is inborn while just as passionately averring that sex roles must be taught.”

    I did not. Show me where I did. I addressed ONLY the point about “sex roles must be taught,” nothing more.

    Read what I wrote, Glenn. With comprehension, if that’s possible.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Roger, you don’t have to base anything on anything.

    But ask any gay person. We are virtually unanimous in feeling we were born this way. That’s not scientific proof, of course, but I believe it’s the truth.

    And that’s why we get so pissed off when [some] conservatives insist that gayness is a choice. That is a political judgment, not a scientific one.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    OK, Handy. How can I dispute it? But I was trying to go beyond biology. The issue concerns human rights, and doesn’t need justification beyond that.

    I hope I’m making sense.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    For conservatives, especially religious conservatives, insisting that being gay is a choice puts it outside the bounds of discrimination and bigotry. It is aberrant behavior, rather than ‘status,’ in the legal sense.

    That’s why this is an issue. But it’s a political dispute more than a scientific one.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I understand the issue, Handy. I just think you ain’t gonna convince those folks anyway.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Ruvy –

    You posted: “Boys are boys, and girls are girls for all but a tiny (and insignificant) fraction of humanity.”

    I didn’t post this (yes I noticed that you apologized, Glenn – you’re forgiven), but I basically agree with the statement. The tiny and insignificant fraction of humanity is that small group of people who have both sets of genitals, generally known as “shemales” in English.

    Other than that boys – even homosexual boys – will be boys, and girls – even lesbian girls – will be girls. Full stop.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    For conservatives, especially religious conservatives, insisting that being gay is a choice puts it outside the bounds of discrimination and bigotry. It is aberrant behavior, rather than ‘status,’ in the legal sense.

    For TRUE conservatives there is no issue. In fact I’m comfortable in reporting that the majority of LGBT folks I know are quite conservative and hold fast to the tenets of the Constitution which is not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. Religious conservatives are a group unto themselves that foster bigotry, intolerance and shunning of anyone different from themselves. Those that proclaim the Good News of Christ most vociferously usually turn out to be the ones who have the most to fear upon the Final Judgment.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I hold fast to the Constitution as well, and I am considered a leftist on here. Whatever.

  • Cannonshop

    Stimulus,or Porkulus?

    Yeah, and we want to trust the rest of it to Geitner too…

  • Cannonshop

    oops.
    I guess posting links doesn’t work now.

    Here’s the URL.

  • Cannonshop

    #63 Handy, I’ve read and read and read the Constitution, it doesn’t say anything about Health Care, nor does it advocate Gun Control, nor does it instruct that some firms are too big to fail, nor does it hold any reference whatsoever to being free FROM religion, nor does it grant a right to be protected from seeing things you don’t like…

    I can’t find a Fairness Doctrine in it either, nor do I see anywhere in it where it implies or suggests that there is a right to an equality of outcomes, redistribution of wealth, Social Safety Net, Social Justice (whatever that means), Federal Bailout of businesses, federal ownership of businesses, Federal Insurance policy FOR businesses, nor anywhere does it contain language implying that citizens can be declared enemies of the state based on DHS memoranda for belonging to groups like Veterans, NRA, opposing federal redistributionist policies, or owning guns.

    I can’t find anywhere except in time of actual WAR where the right of Habeas Corpus can be denied to U.S. Citizens either.

    Nor can I find any language in it providing for quick, speedy trials of non-citizens captured in conflicts abroad-especially if the government is working under a law that denies the same to Citizens (USA PATRIOT act, which has YET to be removed now that we have a Left-leaning congress…)

    There’s no provision in the Constitution requiring worship of the Environment, either, nor anything in it demanding that we subsidize Al Gore’s personal corporation by adopting ‘cap and trade’ legislation.

    Indeed, there’s lots of evidence that both the right and the left in this country have been shitting on the Constitution for decades, mostly to support Government AS a jobs-programme, but also there’s funding for groups like ACORN (which can be argued to be highly questionable-there is no provision in the constitution for vote-buying.)

    People treat you like a leftist, because of the stands you take That are NOT in the constitution-stands that are outside its purview and content.

    It’s like someone arguing that they ARE christian, just not “That denomination”. Absolutely true, and at the same time, absolutely misleading.

  • zedd

    Selwyn,

    Solutions please. Chop chop get to it.

    And no the cone head white sheet isn’t a good one. Let’s try plan B. We’ll be waiting.

  • zedd

    Handy,

    “We are virtually unanimous in feeling we were born this way”

    FEELING.

    Let’s look at human history and evaluate how many unanimous FEELINGS there have been about matters that have been cleared up scientifically.

    Why does what you feel have to do with whether or not your civil rights are trampled upon? I think that gays would have a better shot if they’d stop with the psuedo sciece and just focused on “this is what I want to do and I should be able to do it”. There is no way at this stage of our development to prove that you are born gay. We may just find out in a few hundred years that you are absolutely wrong. There is no gay gene or even malfuction in the womb that causes homosexuality (as some have suggested) or whatever. But it still doesn’t mean that you don’t want the liberty to live a homosexual lifestyle.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Good point, Zedd. I tried to argue earlier that the matter of gay rights ought to be argued as a “rights issue,” rather than on biological/genetic grounds.

  • Cannonshop

    #25- Glenn, not all cultures are equal. Seriously… Cultures that toss their little girl in the well for kissing the boy down the street are NOT equal to cultures that don’t. Likewise for “Honor Killings”, Stoning, lighting crosses on fire in front of people’s houses, desecrating synagogues (or churches), or agitating for a resumption of Hitler’s final solution.

    Some cultures DESERVE to die-or be forced to adapt. Arranging a marraige for a six-year-old really IS creepy-especially to a forty year old man. WE don’t NEED that kind of shit here. There’s a LIMIT to how “Multicultural” you can get and still have a viable nation. If you can’t communicate with your neighbour (or if it requires four-plus-years of formal schooling) you aren’t going to have a community that functions. If you spend more printing ballots in different languages than you spend counting them, well…that’s also a problem.

    It’s basic mechanics in some cases, in others, it’s choosing whether or not you’re going to let someone operate under Sharia in a nation founded on principles of reason.

  • Clavos

    Here’s an excellent NYT Opinion piece by well-known liberal pundit David Brooks on how Liberals are shooting themselves in the foot.

    Some choice bits:

    We’re only in the early stages of the liberal suicide march, but there already have been three phases. First, there was the stimulus package. You would have thought that a stimulus package would be designed to fight unemployment and stimulate the economy during a recession. But Congressional Democrats used it as a pretext to pay for $787 billion worth of pet programs with borrowed money. Only 11 percent of the money will be spent by the end of the fiscal year — a triumph of ideology over pragmatism.

    ***

    Nancy Pelosi has lower approval ratings than Dick Cheney and far lower approval ratings than Sarah Palin. And yet Democrats have allowed her policy values to carry the day — this in an era in which independents dominate the electoral landscape.

    ***

    Machiavelli said a leader should be feared as well as loved. Obama is loved by the Democratic chairmen, but he is not feared. On health care, Obama has emphasized cost control. The chairmen flouted his priorities because they don’t fear him. On cap and trade, Obama campaigned against giving away pollution offsets. The chairmen wrote their bill to do precisely that because they don’t fear him. On taxes, Obama promised that top tax rates would not go above Clinton-era levels. The chairmen flouted that promise because they don’t fear him.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’ve always respected David Brooks.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    “Machiavelli said a leader should be feared as well as loved.”

    Machiavelli was talking about kingship. Doesn’t really apply to the American type of republic.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And that’s one aspect of Brooks’ analysis I don’t agree with. Why fear rather than inspiration?

  • pablo

    David Brooks a liberal, now I have heard everything Clavy.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t believe in labels, Pablo. What are you saying?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Exactly. Perhaps Clav intended that to be funny. Brooks is to the left of Rush Limbaugh, but he is always introduced on TV as a ‘conservative commentator.’

    He is uncomfortable with the Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins of the world [as are many/most people with brains], but no liberal.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Clav has been funny of late, and I don’t mean it as criticism. But the point isn’t ultimately about Clavos; it is about what Brooks had said.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Of course, Clavos leaves off the first two paragraphs of Brooks’s article — the set up:

    It was interesting to watch the Republican Party lose touch with America. You had a party led by conservative Southerners who neither understood nor sympathized with moderates or representatives from swing districts.

    They brought in pollsters to their party conferences to persuade their members that the country was fervently behind them. They were supported by their interest groups and cheered on by their activists and the partisan press. They spent federal money in an effort to buy support but ended up disgusting the country instead.

  • Clavos

    handy, that’s why I put a link to the article in my comment.

    It was never my intent to simply copy-and-paste the entire article into the thread.

    And of course I cherry-picked. I have never, ever claimed to be non-partisan, nor will I ever be, either in my comments or in my articles labeled as “opinion.”

    Anyone on these threads who claims to be is either self-deluded or a liar.

    Oh, and BTW, those first two ‘graphs are why I called him a liberal pundit; he’s certainly well to the left of my POV.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Brooks is a member of that vanishing species, the moderate northeastern Republican. He and the two ladies from Maine are about it now.

  • Clavos

    Never thought I would say this, but Hugo Chávez is occasionally right. He’s quoted in an article in the Latin American Herald Tribune as saying:

    Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama was at best an “ignoramus” for saying the socialist leader exported terrorism and obstructed progress in Latin America.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    You disagree with Obama’s characterization of Chavez, or you just get a nice, high-minded chuckle out of calling the prez an ignoramus? Lovely.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    There’s a higher road, Clavos, above the madding crowd: what’s good for the country. And that kind of patriotism is a quickly disappearing breed. The solutions don’t fall neatly into the old categories or divisions of political thought. Perhaps integrity is the right word for what’s desperately needed.

  • Clavos

    …you just get a nice, high-minded chuckle out of [Chávez] calling the prez an ignoramus?

    Yep.

  • Clavos

    what’s good for the country.

    Exactly the base from which I pick my positions, Roger.

    As always, YMMV.

    Perhaps integrity is the right word for what’s desperately needed.

    Integrity. In politics. Hmmm.

    Why don’t you try floating that balloon inside the Beltway? They can’t even spell integrity in D.C.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Not integrity in politics but integrity of thought. Like I say, one’s ideas shouldn’t be preempted by neither the right nor the left. They should stand on their own. And that’s not partisanship.

  • Bliffle

    “Can Obama Spell “Failure”?” is a title that is obviously partisan.

    But if there is a failure it is most likely to be due to the republicans who are mounting a take-no-prisoners approach and employing flaming partisanship to pursue that.

    The reps seem to not care about the actual content of legislation so much as they are in attacking Obama.

    Their Rule Or Ruin politics will probably not work (since a partisan divided congress is unfavorable to them) and eventually the blame for failure will fall on them.

  • dlf

    People aren’t omniscient beings in nature although some of us attempted to be one. We never fail to correct a man without making others laugh at his mistake.