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Does "Bush bashing" bother you?

 
 
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2003 09:18 am
Has all of the Liberal Bush bashing begun to bother you at all?

I try to let it roll off my shoulders, but the never ending barrage of pure hatred sometimes gets to me. I was brought up to respect the president, whether I agreed with his policies or not. I guess that comes from the Military/Boy Scouts upbringing.

What are your thoughts?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 32,008 • Replies: 640
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2003 09:40 am
No not at all. Some being justified and some is simply sour grapes because they did not come out winners. What does bother me is America bashing. I may be overly sensitive but it gets under my skin.
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2003 10:07 am
Yes, I am bothered. I am very concerned that over the last 25-30 years that we have become a much less civil society. The extreme polarization of our partisan political views bothers me. Intolerance and distrust seems to be the result of the democratization movement that we began back in the early Sixties, and that bothers me. Opening the system up while breaking down barriers to popular participation in government has led to less efficient and effective governance, that bothers me a lot.

We were idealistic; we believed deeply that our system would be improved by overthrowing the powers of traditional authorities, but we were wrong. Political leadership is more concerned with Political Correctness and catering to the mob than the public wellfare. Special, and often hidden, Interests have more power today than they did during the Gilded Age. Campaign Reform legislation and the demise of real political parties has resulted in making re-election fund raising the primary occupation of politicians. Constantly on view, Politicians are less independent from special interest pressure. Popular opinion, as reflected in polls and the media, is difficult to resist. What used to be done behind closed doors is now open, but less is actually done.

We have been steadily replacing representative government, with something approaching a direct democracy with fatal results, and that makes me anxious for the future of the Republic. The trend lines, it seems to me are clear, and if unchecked they may lead us into a future where many of the liberties guarded by the Constitution are eroded. The Constitution is a marvelous document that prescribes a government that in its checks and balances prevents any group from gaining too much power, or power for too long a time. The tyranny of the majority, and the destructiveness of mobs were regarded by the Founding Fathers as one of the most dangerous of all possibilities, and they were right.

Republicans? Democrats? These no longer have much meaning. The political parties are basically dead, they have little power except to ape the views of candidates able to seize public attention, and that generally means the candidate with the most money behind them. Election is possible only from the middle. On the other hand, candidates need the activists, with extreme views from the ends of the political spectrum, in order to run a modern campaign. The more power the extremists are able to wield, the less candidates have to appeal to the center. The trends we have witnessed toward extreme polarization is very troubling. If the center collapses and elections are increasingly won by the extremes, many of the liberties we hold most dear will be in jeopardy.

When trends become powerful, they are difficult to reverse or channel into different directions. The current trends, it seems to me, are very strong and the resulting problems will probably only become worse.

The changes we've wrought by opening up the system, and extending the power of individuals to "steer" government are probably irreversible. Civility and dedication to the public weal will probably continue to deteriorate as special interest groups continue to fight for short term benefits at the expense of the long term good of the whole of our society. Fashion and the surface popularity of "leaders" (actually, followers) and "ideas" (actually slogans), will probably continue.

Yes, I'm bothered a lot.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2003 01:35 pm
Asherman makes several very good points. The focus on financing campaigns and our present intolerance and distrust of goverment, IMO, are among our most destructive problems.

-----------------

I don't take Bush bashing personally. I happen to think Bush is doing a great job, given what is on his plate. But, I don't feel compelled to defend him, unless the critic is ridiculous (which happens frequently). I think partisans are more likely to feel they must defend members of their parties, and I'm more angered by unfairness than the GOP taking a hit.

I will criticise Bush myself, if I believe he is wrong about something. But, my criticisms are tempered with: how difficult is the job at hand--was there a better choice-- I don't judge Presidents harshly, and do so from an angle of respect, as McGentrix mentioned. This respectful criticism did go out the window with Clinton, because of his unending pattern of self-worship-type behavior, which IMO overrode all else.

A thoughtful critique doesn't bother me at all, if it is based on reasonable opinion or fact. The scurrilous, partisan stuff, I either ignore or respond--depending on my mood. :wink: I think it is childish to heap unfounded, ludicrous charges on a politician--or anyone. Don't think a lot of those who practice this behavior.
------------------
Good topic, McG Cool
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Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2003 02:36 pm
I would offer a lengthy reply, but Asherman nailed this one. Put me down for a "ditto" on what he wrote. Cool
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2003 04:40 pm
Not much bothered by the bashing, but the hatred behind it is disturbing. It seems to be clouding the reasoning process, if you get my drift.

Glad to see you made it to this board, McGentrix.
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maxsdadeo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2003 05:18 pm
I second roger's welcome, McGentrix, to the calm in the midst of the storm!

I also agree with scrat re: Asherman's post, but I would add this caveat:

Could we please go back to electing presidents that didn't have this:

http://www.etherzone.com/body.html

http://www.adelaideinstitute.org/Conspiracy/bush.htm

kinda crap hangin' around their neck?

I think that would help..............
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2003 05:31 pm
Max

Quote:
Could we please go back to electing presidents that didn't have this:

http://www.etherzone.com/body.html

http://www.adelaideinstitute.org/Conspiracy/bush.htm

kinda crap hangin' around their neck?



That is like looking for a 20 year old virgin.
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maxsdadeo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2003 07:08 pm
Quote:
That is like looking for a 20 year old virgin.


The value in a successful search is only the result of an extensive pursuit, in BOTH instances.

Wouldn't you agree?
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2003 08:50 pm
The President of the country is granted wide and important powers under the Constitution. It would be impossible to wage war or conduct foreign policy through the legislative branch. With each national crisis since the adoption of the Constitution, the Executive reach has increased. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it tends to bring ever greater focus on a single man and the administration he gathers around him. The Presidency is indeed a "bully pulpit", and, with populism on the increase, the Presidential image takes on a significance never intended by the Constitution. A Presidential sound bite, or even the Executive's demeanor, are given media attention that turns trivialities into events of international importance.

When a President even appears to dishonor the office, the whole system suffers. In earlier times a President might become a national joke, but the system itself remained strong because people could easily separate the man from the system. Johnson's prosecution of the Vietnam campaign while advancing his Great Society legislation and civil rights put great strains on the body politic. The radical changes and demands make on the country stirred great opposition not just to LBJ, but to the system itself. Nixon's flaunting of the Constitution to advance his own petty prejudices dealt the system an even greater blow. The People felt betrayed by their government, and it became fashionable to oppose our government almost without asking what was that was being opposed.

Polarization, the loss of governmental authority and abilitity to govern, and the destruction of Party discipline has greatly harmed the overall system. The President is unable to move a divided Congress, or dictate a budget, or even conduct a war without Congressional support, and that support is increasingly found through mobilizing public outcry rather than the design of policies actually intended to work. The President, for all his powers, actually is less and less able to really move the government in directions that it desperately needs to go.

Even if we were to find and elect the strongest, wisest, and best person to the Presidency, they would be likely failures. Jimmy Carter was, and is a wonderful man with a sensitivity to peoples needs that is rare. He was also a disaster as a President. Could even George Washington effectively govern, given the state of our political institutions?

The problems we have are far deeper than just who is President, or what kind of person they are. Our problem is that the system is no longer working very well to guarantee our liberties. The more people tinker with the system, the worse it gets. The greater the power of popular movements, special interests, to influence how Congress, the Executive and the Courts operate, the worse things will be. Small minorities on the extremes of the political spectrum have far too much power, and that power stems from their ability to mobilize emotions.

I wish I knew of some way that the tide might be stemmed, but I don't. I wish for a return of the Federalist Party. I'd like to see the 17th Amendment to the Constitution repealed. I'd love to see the end of Political Correctness. I'd like to see the end of the false notions that there is no qualitative differences between people, or ideas. I would love to see people embrace the idea that they have some responsiblity for themselves. Wouldn't it be nice if folks went into business to make a profit, and not just to see how much they can loot from the public purse? Whatever happened to the idea that one should only buy what they can afford? Oh well, I'm an old man and those who will eventually pay the price for the policies of today are not yet born. I fought for the public good over a public service career that spanned decades, and every year it got worse. Every year there were fewer in the service who cared for anything beyond the short-term.
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Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2003 06:00 pm
http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=%22Hanlon%27s+razor%22
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Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2003 06:00 pm
georgeob1 wrote:
I am dismayed by what appears to be an increased willingness to posit bad intent or hidden conspiracy behind the actions of politicians of both parties.

We should all follow the simple rule known as Hanlon's Razor:

Quote:
Do not attribute to malice that which can be more easily attributed to stupidity.
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2003 06:00 pm
Scrat,

I have never before heard of "Hanlon's razor" as such, and am curious about the origin of it.

I certainly agree with the point, however. I have learned many times that we humans are far more often foolish than evil or conspiratorial.
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2003 06:00 pm
Not much to add after Asherman's lucid posts.

I am dismayed by what appears to be an increased willingness to posit bad intent or hidden conspiracy behind the actions of politicians of both parties. I believe this not only lowers the quality of political discourse in all forms, direct or through the media, but it also negatively influences the politicians themselves. I have learned many times that people and groups will tend to rise, or fall, to the levels of the expectations communicated to them.

I know that in some sense this is done probably as much by people on the right as on the left. It happens that those on the left are more numerous on ATK and most such forums, so the phenomenon here most often takes the form of Bush bashing. But even beyond that, it does appear that the contemporary version of right thinking (or should I say left?) has an almost religious orthodoxy to it that, in its worst manifestation, comprises the cant of political correctitude.

The current debate over the failure to find WMD in Iraq is illustrative. Many commentators appear to accept that this failure establishes, beyond doubt, the existence of an evil administration conspiracy to do - I don't know what. No discussion of whether the world is or is not better off as a result of the fall of the former regime. The several other, far more likely possibilities, seem to be ignored. After all we haven't found Saddam Hussein either, but I have heard no one suggest he didn't exist.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2003 11:18 pm
Bush bashing has taken on new, disgusting dimensions, in my opinion. I don't know what kind of person accuses George Bush of hiring the murder of Paul Wellstone, --but I really think these people are mentally disordered, or something.

Does it ever strike you--some of these left field conspiracies? When someone says they believe this crap--to me, its like they instantly grew another head or something--no longer human. Their credibility is zero.

The thing is--are they just saying it because they can, like the ultimate partisan attack----or do these people actually believe all this stuff?! Anyway, my answer to the topic question is changing. I have a very low opinion of conspiracy theorists--not their character--but their mental stability and most certainly, their credibility in any discussion.

<Rant ends here.>
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2003 06:42 am
Sofia
Is bashing of leaders a new phenomenon or that which has always been with us? IMO it is as old as politics itself. The only thing new is the ability to promulgate the "Bashing" through the advances in communication.
I will admit that Bush has been subject to an inordinate amount. However, IMO in most instances it is well deserved.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2003 06:50 am
Criticism doesn't bother me at all. Nutbar accusations like the 'murder' of Paul Wellstone--blaming him for the heat wave deaths in France--aren't criticism.

There is a world of difference in criticising someone for something they may actually be responsible for--and trying to smear them with outrageous, completely irresponsible slander.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2003 07:01 am
Sofia
People get carried away. In this instance the more liberal the further they are carried. In some measure it is the game of can you top this. I should note what is said on this forum has as much impact as a feather falling on a pillow.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2003 07:43 am
Sofia- Do you know the expression, "The Big Lie"? Tell people something often enough, and they will take some credence in the craziest things.

I think that there are people who are so hell bent on removing Bush from office in 2004, that they would say ANYTHING. It is a sad commentary though, on how the some politicians and the media view the American people as naive idiots who can be taken in by the most bizarre and unlikely scenarios!
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Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2003 07:49 am
Sofia wrote:
Bush bashing has taken on new, disgusting dimensions, in my opinion. I don't know what kind of person accuses George Bush of hiring the murder of Paul Wellstone, --but I really think these people are mentally disordered, or something.

Does it ever strike you--some of these left field conspiracies? When someone says they believe this crap--to me, its like they instantly grew another head or something--no longer human. Their credibility is zero.

The thing is--are they just saying it because they can, like the ultimate partisan attack----or do these people actually believe all this stuff?! Anyway, my answer to the topic question is changing. I have a very low opinion of conspiracy theorists--not their character--but their mental stability and most certainly, their credibility in any discussion.

<Rant ends here.>

Strongly held beliefs--on either side of the political spectrum--are often proof against logic, facts, reality, etc..

Oh, and we shouldn't forget the dolts on the right who continue to claim that Clinton had Foster whacked.
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