Friday, September 29, 2006

Tristero Speaks Out

By Cassandra D

...on Hullabaloo:

"The truth is that the United States government is presently holding, torturing, and even murdering countless numbers of people who have no chance in hell of obtaining a lawyer, let alone anything resembling a trial. The government is doing this under the direct orders of George W. Bush. There is no law, no bill, and no legislature who can stop him. If Congress were to pass a law unequivocably banning torture and send it to him, he'd use it for toilet paper. If the Supreme Court were to rule against Bush in the harshest and bluntest language, he'd yawn.

The truth is that there is a rogue presidency and there has been, since January, 2001 (earlier, if you count the stolen election). Certainly, everyone in Washington knows it, but no one dares to admit it. The bill legalizing torture merely enables Congress to pretend they still have some influence over an executive that from day one was governing, not as if they had a mandate, but as if Bush were a dictator. If, for some miracle, the bill didn't pass, every congress-critter knows Bush would keep on torturing.

Better to vote to pass and preserve the appearance of a working American government, the thinking goes. For the very thought that the US government is seriously broken - that the Executive is beyond the control of anyone and everyone in the world - is such a truly awesome and terrifying thought that it can never be publicly acknowledged. If ever it is, if the American crisis gets outed and Congress and the Supremes openly assert that the Executive has run completely amok and is beyond control, the world consequences are staggering. It is the stuff of doomsday novels."

There's more.


At 12:47 PM, Blogger Cassandra D said...

I republished this post, so now RedDirt can comment here. He commented on this post in comment #9 of the previous one.

I'll respond. RedDirt, you don't respond to Tristero's point that Bush has been operating independent of the law for years. What about all those signing statements? What about his saying, basically, that anything he thinks is necessary goes as "we are at war"? Forget, for a few minutes, the "stolen election" question and think about the issue at hand.

At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Brad said...

Why respond to that point when you can create a diversion?

At 3:07 PM, Blogger RedDirt said...

Cassandra this is not directed at you but at the writer of the post you excerpted...

This continuing line about a "stolen election" must stop. It must stop now. I’m begging anyone who considers themselves moderate and reasonable to join me in condemning this misinformation about a stolen election. One legitimate study after another has repeatedly shown that Bush won Florida. This is a painful truth for supporters of Gore, but it’s a truth nonetheless.

Like him or not, Bush is a legitimately-elected president. The “not my president” sloganeering is simply another example of the extremes of the left, the wedge that has driven people like me away from the center and further to the right.

I urge everyone here to reject this inappropriate sloganeering and radical chic language. Even Rep. Charlie Rangel referred to Bush as “my president” last week when Rangel lashed out against Chavez for his ridiculous remarks at the U.N. If a dedicated Democratic partisan like Rangel sees Bush as his legitimate president, surely commenters here on CTTC are level-headed and logical enough to do the same thing, and still vehemently disagree with their president's politics and policies?

Those who insist on continuing to use this inaccurate and inflammatory line about a “stolen election” are doing a disservice to our country and to our shared sense of democracy.

This is not a “rogue presidency.” Though, as I said, I have serious reservations about the legislation passed yesterday, it passed in an atmosphere of debate, divisions and compromise accurately reported on the front pages of our newspapers and broadcast on our networks – perfectly in line with legitimate legislative processes and our democratic republic.

Please join me in rejecting the extreme rhetoric of writers like Tristero, whether you’re right, left or center.

At 3:19 PM, Blogger RedDirt said...

Okay, having read Tristero's entire post, I guess I'm confused. It seemed to me his entire premise is that of a "rogue presidency" and his line of "a stolen election" seems central to his theme of a fascist dictatorship or whatever it is that he seems to think the Bush administration has become. Is that not an accurate reading of the post? Anyway, how am I supposed to ignore the "stolen election" line? It's been thrust in my face for six years. It's been the continuing drumbeat of the "loyal opposition." Cassandra, I don't think the signing statements or "I'm the decider" or anything else like that is indicative of a "rogue presidency." I think that's over the top. Aggressive, confrontational, polarizing? Sure. But a constitutional crisis? No way. Different from past presidents in war time? Not likely.

Brad, I guess it was too much to hope for that you would actually respond to my appeal?

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Brad said...

Oh, but I did. Your "appeal" is a diversion.

Nitpick the tone.
Change the subject.
Interject straw man argument.
Accuse poster of being in league with Chomsky.
Accuse Democratic Party of being the party of Chomsky.
Check Mehlman fax.
Expend far too many precious words and calories reacting and stewing.
Check Rove fax.
Read Kristol.
Marching orders complete.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Have a nice weekend.

At 5:01 PM, Anonymous turtle said...

Florida may not have been "stolen." But, oh, the tactics used to ensure it was won...

At 6:00 PM, Blogger RedDirt said...

Brad, it's saddening to me that you evidently have no interest in a reasonable and moderate discussion. The smirky, corrosive tone is truly depressing. You have a nice weekend too.

More saddening still that the silence in response to my appeal has been deafening on this board (Chase? Hello? Anyone?) thunderous really, and that tells me more than I really care to know. Incredibly disappointing and disheartening.

Turtle, the tactics on both sides of the Florida debacle were indeed a maddening display of modern politics at its worst. I think if you'll be intellectually honest, you'll allow yourself to recall quite a bit of shenanigans by Democrat operatives that were just shy of thuggery.

At 6:14 PM, Blogger RedDirt said...

You know what else, Brad? This consistent "you're using the straw man argument" line (I notice you didn't identify specifically what you felt qualified any of the points of my appeal as a "straw man argument") is in a weird postmodern deconstructionist way itself becoming a straw man argument. It's the straw man argument of using the straw man accusation.

At 7:53 PM, Blogger Cassandra D said...

RedDirt, I didn't read Tristero's post that way. For me, the 2000 election is water under the bridge, and fair or not, Bush was really elected in 2004 without much question. Okay, there are the usual election questions about 2004, but nothing as dramatic as 2000.

I don't care or worry about how Bush got to be president. I just worry about what he is doing to the office, to our country's separation of powers, to our country's moral standing in the world, to our Constitution. Not to mention that he botched the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Plenty of those of us who write and respond on this blog and basically agree with what I am writing don't read Chomsky, don't blanketly oppose war, and don't worry about how Bush ended up our president. My own personal opinion about that last one is that too many people in our country are stupid. That won't win you over, will it?

How do we win in the struggle against Islamic totalitarianism (great article on identifying our enemy in New Republic, by the way) without letting the events of 9/11 cause us to rip our nation to shreds?

I think we all care about our country and about the safety of our citizens, but a lot of us believe that we are 1) destroying the very nation we want to preserve, and 2) creating more enemies with our methods. Not a good way to win. Even if it were done competently.

At 1:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still have post traumatic stress disorder left over from that election. You can say the democrats didn't win as much as you want, but it was sure a long drawn out painful way to lose. I was particularly hopeful that we would see the first Jewish Vice President (irony of ironies huh?). Red State, Blue State, Bush V. Gore, Monica Lewinsky, Macaca: all things that make up politico word games. You can keep telling the Sooners they lost to the Ducks but it won't change their mind (or the fans): they were robbed.

I have really tried to give the President a chance, with his political pedigree he should be knocking my socks off. Lately, I am just reminded of why I didn't like him in the first place.

Nope, Reddirt, you won't hear me saying "not my President" but, in light of some of the recent legislation, you might hear me say "not my country". Things have swung so far to the right that the only way to find our center is to swing way way over to the left.

I'm not sure if I really addressed your comment, I felt I rambled a bit, but I think that is allowed here.

At 12:24 PM, Anonymous turtle said...

The Bushies' nefarious tactics to win Florida were unconscionable. Karl Rove is a total thug.

At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Brad said...

"Reasonable"? "Moderate"?
You do not discuss.
You practice rhetorical overkill.
"Corrosive"? Rovian principle: accuse the opponent of your own committed crime.
Man, that playbook is dog-eared.

Funny how flustered they get when someone on the playground shoves back.

Have a nice day.


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