January 23, 2009

Not even a week

And the Rush Limbaugh's, Sean Hannity's and some wingnut Christian right person from the World Nut Daily are all openly hoping that Obama will fail.

Funny thing really. When people on the left criticized Bush's policies, they were accused of wanting the country to fail and being un-American.

But people on the right can jump straight to hoping Obama will fail, and no one questions their patriotism.

25 comments:

ANewAnglican@gmail.com said...

Excellent point.

Tony said...

Well, if you are wondering why the prevailing conservatism crashed and burned, its this kind of brain dead, knee jerk thinking that did it.

"100% at odds?" I don't think I know what that means.

Monk-in-Training said...

Tony hit the nail on the head. The best thing I saw of conservatism's demise was a picture of Reagan in Obama "hope" style. It was put up by a conservative, not a liberal.

Then I knew the philosophy was truly dead

LB said...

Conservatives made the mistake of thinking liberalism was dead after 1994. It's a major reason why conservatives lost their way and got themselves into the mess they are in now.

It would be a mistake for liberals to think that conservatism is dead. These things are cyclical and I doubt the liberals rise to power will last more than 10 years.

Streak said...

Why would liberals believe that conservatism is dead? It is well represented in the think tanks and media outlets. Even this week, Obama has been chided for enacting any liberal policies because centrism is the good thing. Of course, when it was Bush, there was no call for him to be centrist--it was assumed he got to run as far to the right as he could.

what is more, I object to the very idea. I am liberal, and unashamedly so, but that doesn't mean I am anti-intellectual or so arrogant to believe that liberal viewpoints are the only valid ones. The fact that conservatives seem to think that should be a point of shame. We are better when we have a dialogue between these different perspectives. There are things from both views that can work and make our country operate better.

Unfortunately, for the last 8 years, liberal ideas have been ignored in favor of conservative ones, even when they have been found not to work.

Tony said...

Streak, if I may clarify what I said for the sake of "LB", the type of thinking represented by the WND article is why the prevailing conservatism is dead.

Conservatism is not dead; very far from it. It is this inability to grasp the other side's viewpoints and the unwillingness to talk about those same viewpoints is what is at issue here.

This was my issue with the "100% at odds" statement made by Farah. Farah uses horrible exegesis to justify what he says is a valid Christian stand. He is wrong. Since when is it ever Christian to wish ill against someone? For him to make the statement that he makes, "Pray Obama fails," is to wholeheartedly dismiss what Scripture really says over his own biased opinion. That isn't conservatism. That is just being an ass.

LB said...

Actually my comment was directed at Monk-in-Training's comment "Then I knew the philosophy was truly dead."

Also Streak, in 2000 there was a call from some for Bush to govern from the center because of the closeness of that election with many hoping Bush would appoint a Democrat to the Cabinent. (Senator Breaux from Louisiana was the popular pick as I recall).

ANewAnglican@gmail.com said...

To add to what Tony said, I would say that conservatism (at least of the stripe we've seen in the last eight years) isn't dead, but it was clearly repudiated. It'll come back. Always does.

Streak said...

LB, apologies for taking your comment out of context.

And you are right, some called on Bush to do that. I was one of them, because I felt like an actual majority of the people didn't vote for him.

But when he didn't even come close to moderation, the media didn't punish him for that.

Tony said...

LB--my apologies as well.

I would like to say however, that I am a conservative and Bush alienated many conservatives with his dogma, me being one of them.

steves said...

Bush is not a conservative.

But when he didn't even come close to moderation, the media didn't punish him for that.

With the exception of post 9/11, I didn't see the media as being easy on Bush. They could have done a better job, but most of the media outlets didn't, IMO, go all that lightly on him. OTOH, their relationship with Obama is starting to worry me. I certainly don't want them to run with stories that have little basis in fact, but I'd like them to make an attempt at objectivity.

Tony, I sent you an e-mail.

Streak said...

It is all fine and good to say that Bush isn't a conservative, and I agree with much of that sentiment, but the fact is that the conservative power structure supported and enabled his worst policies.

What is more, I think you are being far too easy on how the media addressed Bush. When he ran in 2000, they treated him with kid gloves, and practically lowered the bar of expectations for him. That part reminded me of how they responded to Palin's first debate, where if she succeeded in not puking on herself, she was the winner. And the media response to the Iraq war is simply disgraceful, and they should all be ashamed, including the mighty NYT who allowed Judy Miller's transcriptions of Cheney's wishes to pass as journalism.

The issue with our media is, and has not been an issue of ideological bias, but one of corporate profit and what will "sell." Of course we should be worried about how they cover Obama, but that fear isn't new. Obama is just a much more attractive sell than Bush became. We should be pushing them to ask good questions, but until the media cares more about that, than what the ratings will be for something on Sasha and Malia, then you can bet what their choices will be.

LB, btw, I will let Monk speak for himself, as he has proven more than capable of doing so, but I suspect he was hopeful that the more destructive part of conservatism was dead. Unfortunately, as Anglican notes, as long as Grover Norquist is a player, the "destroy government" segment of conservatism will be well represented. Well, that and the fact that Rush Limbaugh is still on the air.

Sigh

steves said...

Conservatism is not dead; very far from it. It is this inability to grasp the other side's viewpoints and the unwillingness to talk about those same viewpoints is what is at issue here.

I don't think this is a failure of conservatism, but rather a failure of specific conservatives that are unwilling to have rational discussion (e.g. Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, et al). I don't see anything inherent in conservatism that precludes listening to liberals and working with them.

I have met some liberals that preach tolerance, but are some of the nastiest and narrow-minded people I have met. Their tolerance only extends to people who believe exactly what they believe. Of course, there is nothing inherent to liberalism that says they can't have a rational discussion.

I think there is an unfortunate aspect to modern political discourse that says the other side is the enemy. Maybe it has always been that way, but I find it difficult to engage in discussions on politics with many people I know.

Streak said...

Steve, please remember that on this blog, we have never said that all of conservatism is like that. You know that. We have all articulated that we know that Limbaugh and Coulter are not what conservatives are, but you have to admit we can't just dismiss them as they turn a great profit.

I have said about a million times here that I value conservative ideas. I just wish that modern conservatism would let the adults talk instead of the moral lepers from Fox and Limbaugh's radio program.

steves said...

It is all fine and good to say that Bush isn't a conservative, and I agree with much of that sentiment, but the fact is that the conservative power structure supported and enabled his worst policies.

In some cases, they did, and I have never defended them for doing so.

I think you and I have gone around and around on the topic of media bias. Unlike some, I have never said they were completely in the tank for the left, but I do see them (and by them, I mean an amalgamation of the major media outlets) being slightly more tough on the right then the left. That being said, I will also say that perspective has a lot to do with it and I am not always that objective.

Besides Sean Hannity, who called Palin the winner of that debate? I recall Biden winning or their being a tie.

What do you think the media should be saying about the Iraq War? I have gotten my reports from a variety of outlets, including Al Jazeera, which can be fairly decent on some topics. What are we missing?

steves said...

I have said about a million times here that I value conservative ideas. I just wish that modern conservatism would let the adults talk instead of the moral lepers from Fox and Limbaugh's radio program.

I know and agree. There is no accounting for taste and there are plenty of other things that are popular that totally baffle me.

Streak said...

A couple of points of clarification. On the Palin debate, not so much that they called her the winner, but that they elevated her performance because she passed the low bar set for her.

And when I said the Iraq war, I meant the run up to the war when they really refused to ask good questions or bother to see if the Administration's claims were actually true. The same could be said about their coverage of the 2004 election. I remember when John Kerry said that the war would cost 200 Billion (remember those better days?). Bush and the Republicans called him a liar and the media really never bothered to check. Kerry may not have been right on the numbers, but he has proven much closer than Bush ever did. Likewise, I remember when Kerry said that Bush would try to privatize Social Security if he was reelected. Bush called him a liar (not in those words, I am sure) the media refused to actually do any work, and what happened after the election?

They took dictation from Bush on all the major issues until his poll numbers were so low that they had to challenge him. That is my point.

leighton said...

Speaking of journalistic misconduct, media sources are dutifully repeating Republican outrage about a report that doesn't even exist.

steves said...

One result of 24/7 media coverage and having so many outlets is that they get lazy and report stuff without doing enough fact checking. We certainlly saw enough of that in the campaign.

I think the media did try and ask questions before the run up to the war, but when the only real source of information is the government, then what do you think will happen. It took time before information started leaking out. I am sure we can trade examples all day long. I don't know where that will get us.

Bootleg Blogger said...

Hey- Lots of good points. I think the key point in the media discussion is that the their first love is always for themselves. I switched on one of them (maybe MSNBC) this morning and didn't get any real news- just whining about not being included in the second swearing in. Something about not publishing the photos due to the perceived snub. It really gives me great respect for them. There was at least a half hour of media people interviewing media people about this important "news".

Regarding who is conservative or who is the "power structure" behind the support of Bush, I'm reading one of Zacharia's books right now. One of his many sub-theses is that there is less "power structure" now than ever before. I won't go into all the details, but he says that a number of factors, particularly the individual fundraising and the broadening of the primary process, has made the old power structures and even the parties less important than the candidate him/herself. "For most of American history, presidential candidates were reflections of their political parties. Today, parties are reflections of their candidates. If the candidate moves to the center, the party moves to the center...... When George W. Bush announced that he was a compassionate conservative, the rest of the Republican Party discovered that was what they had been all along." In this mix are the expansion of the lobbyists', "lords of the rolodex" fundraisers, and the endless polling, and the traditional structures have lost most of their meaning. The prevailing liberalism or conservatism or whatever we want to call it is becoming much more of a moving target, changing sometimes as quickly as the next poll.

Limbaugh's statements, as you say, would have gotten someone branded anti-American in '01 or later. What a difference a few years makes. Unfortunately playing on fear, militarism and nationalism invokes more so called patriotism than reestablishment of the rule of law and personal liberty- the very things the terrorists supposedly resent in us. Life is strange.

Later-BB

Streak said...

Jeesh. Republicans pouncing on a non-existent report. That sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it?

Steve, we will have to agree to disagree on this one. Yeah, I know reporting on a war is tough, but the government wasn't the only source for information. there were other countries involved. What is more, the Judith Miller fiasco could have been avoided, if she were a real reporter. What, they couldn't get Jeff Gannon to do their reporting?

Most of the reporters recognize they dropped the ball. Some, like David Gregory still cling to the myth that they asked the right questions. But I don't even think his peers believe that.

Maybe we would have gone to war anyway, I don't know. We now know that Bush and Cheney were absolutely going no matter what came out of inspections, or no matter what Saddam did.

Bootlegger, I love the image of the media spending all that time on why they weren't in some non-story. That is exactly what this 24-7 (as Steve also noted) news cycle. They have to blather on about something, and unfortunately, that means that they end up confusing an event with news.

We have been watching West Wing over the last few weeks, and there was a great episode where a reporter who had been reporting overseas found himself in the Press room. He heard a rumor about one of the senior staffers saying something they shouldn't have, but didn't report on it because it was clearly not news. Everyone around him thought differently, because they were in that political/media bubble. A bubble that includes politicians, of course.

I think Zacharia's point is interesting, but am not sure I buy it completely (as far as I understand it here). Bush's "compassionate conservatism" became a talking point for some conservatives, but we found pretty clearly that lots of the Republican leadership wasn't interested in compassion in the least. They may have acted like they liked it, but the Tom Delay's of the world didn't give a shit about compassion.

Anyway. good discussion.

ANewAnglican@gmail.com said...

On the idea of Bush "not really being a conservative": I guess I bought into that myself for a while. Indeed, I voted for him back in Texas and then in 2000 for president. He may have become "less conservative" over time, but there's no debating that conservatives followed him all the way, and so that, to my mind, is what "conservatism" is now. And I want no part of it.

Sorry, Repubs, you blew it and lost at least one voter (me)--probably for the rest of my life. It would take a lot for me to go back.

steves said...

I'll have to check out the Zacharia book, which one are you reading? I suppose it isn't fair to say that Bush is 100% not a conservative. In one regard, it is impossible to get all coservatives to agree on what is a "real" conservative, but he still doesn't fit in within what I would say is a conservative. I also hang out on some boards that are pretty popular with conservatives, and most seem to agree that Bush made a lousy conservative. Many got behind him probably because of a lack of conservative alternatives.

Steve, we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

I don't think that we are all that far apart on this one. We have different perspectives and I am sure that influences how we view what is "good" news. I know that the list of decent news programs and reporters has seemed to have dwindled over the years.

Limbaugh's statements, as you say, would have gotten someone branded anti-American in '01 or later. What a difference a few years makes. Unfortunately playing on fear, militarism and nationalism invokes more so called patriotism than reestablishment of the rule of law and personal liberty- the very things the terrorists supposedly resent in us. Life is strange.

Over on Volokh, someone had this to say:

Just A Reminder, for the folks who thought that President Bush had the power to arrest anyone in the United States and detain them as "enemy combatants" without any hearing as part of his Commander-in-Chief power, that this power is now enjoyed by Barack Hussein Obama. That's right: A liberal with the middle name "Hussein" who pals around with terrorists and is adored in Paris now has all that Commander-in-Chief power. And if he decides that you're a threat to the nation, he can order you seized and locked up indefinitely. Congress can't get in B. Hussein Obama's way: As the FISA Court of Review emphasized back in 2002, Congress "could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power." And that meddling Supreme Court can't stop "The One," either. Or at least that's your view of things.

Of course, late conversions into believers of checks and balances are more than welcome.


Strange, indeed.

Bootleg Blogger said...

"I'll have to check out the Zacharia book, which one are you reading?"
Steve- Right now I'm reading "The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad". I also have his newest "The Post American World" but wanted to read the earlier one first. Your comments and Streak's go along with Zakariah's assertion that the candidate is now more independent of the party and traditional power brokers. The book is written pre-Obama, but I think he (Obama) is the latest example. His amazing fund raising and wins in caucuses and primaries resulted in his election with very little to owe the party as a national structure. On the other hand, plenty of democrats probably owe a great deal to Obama for their elections this time around. You comments about Bush support this,
"most seem to agree that Bush made a lousy conservative. Many got behind him probably because of a lack of conservative alternatives." Bush was the dominant force in the election and follow-up. While plenty of conservatives followed his lead, he did not feel obligated to them in a traditional party sense. I think his getting the general election votes was viewed as distinct from the Republican/traditional conservatives as a party to which he didn't feel he owed any accountability. He had plenty of people doing his dirty work for him (e.g. Delay) but none willing to challenge him on conservative principles, especially fiscal restraint.

I'm thrilled that our president's middle name is Hussein. It just shows that your middle name (or any other name) has little to do with your allegiance. It seems to be raining wingnuts this week.
Anyway, just some thoughts.
BB

Monk-in-Training said...

LB,
I actually should unpack my comment. I don't mean conservatism is dead, what i mean is the current Bushite view of it is dead.

Reagan has become an icon, frozen in time rather than a living, breathing philosophy that changes with circumstances. After all, Reagan had the biggest tax increase in the history of the Republic, and did a complete turn around in Lebanon. He was far more flexible than his current Bushite disciples are able to be. They have locked themselves into a frozen interpretation of his rule.

And also, any time your symbols copy someone else, and you are in the 'me too' mode, you are not leading you are following and reacting.

That is more of my thinking when I said that. The ground HAS shifted under the feet of the Republican party as it did under the feet of the Democrats in the late 60's and 70's.

They will change and reinvent themselves as all parties do.