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January 22, 2006


Shakes here...

So Chris Matthews had a pretty big week, what with cheerfully mocking gays with Imus and then comparing Osama bin Laden to Michael Moore and then defending his remarks, with help from Joe Scarborough, by clarifying that it’s not just Michael Moore who bin Laden sounds like, but all liberals (video). Soon, enough, the Bow-Tied One quickly picked up and ran with the sentiment, as did Newt Gingrich, who said on Hannity & Colmes, “I think it's quite clear as you point out, Sean, that from this tape, that bin Laden and his lieutenants are monitoring the American news media, they're monitoring public opinion polling, and I suspect they take a great deal of comfort when they see people attacking United States policies.” Now it’s making its way through the rightwing blogosphere, because nothing’s more fun than conflating people who don’t share your opinion with terrorists.

There seems to be a rather strange expectation that liberals ought to express some sort of outrage that some of their most public representatives use language that sounds like that used by bin Laden. But the onus here is not on legitimate opposers of the war, who the administration goes out of its way to remind us are not “unpatriotic, not at all,” even as their shills gleefully assert otherwise. The responsibility is on the rightwing who, in choosing to seize upon the comparison to try to score political points, make themselves the useful tools of anyone whose goal is to see the United States torn apart at its seams. Bombs aren’t the only thing that can destroy a democracy; in fact, they are not even the most dangerous thing.

Does a man like bin Laden care if his enemy collapses under the smoke of explosions or from the slow but insidious undermining of the priniciples in which its freedom was forged? Absolutely not.

Dissent is a right. And dissent is only imbued with the capacity to provide comfort to one’s enemies when it is demonized. Were the Right to condemn instead attempts to widen the cavern between two groups of people who simply have different ideas about how best to fight a common enemy, they would strengthen, rather than further weaken, our democratic process, but they have chosen a much darker route, and in the end, we’ll all be worse for it.

That’s the thing about demonization—it only really helps the demons.

January 22, 2006 | Permalink


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Tracked on Jan 22, 2006 3:47:45 PM


great post

Posted by: roublen | Jan 22, 2006 4:01:57 PM

...And dissent is only imbued with the capacity to provide comfort to one’s enemies when it is demonized.

That dog won't hunt.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Jan 22, 2006 5:29:04 PM

Excerpts from the latest Bin Laden tape.

This will prevent the loss of millions of dollars, billions of dollars that go to corrupt businessmen in the United States. Bin Laden

"If each of us cared about the public interest, we wouldn't have the excesses of Enron; we wouldn't have the abuses of Halliburton." - Ted Kennedy (D) 07/28/2004

"He enriched his cronies at Halliburton and other private interests through the occupation." - Dennis Kucinich (D) 04/03/2005

Our situation is getting better and better and your situation is getting worse and worse. Bin Laden

"Military victory there (Iraq) is not possible." - Dennis Kucinich (D) 04/03/2005

"Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We can not continue on the present course." - John Murtha (D) 11/17/2005

"the idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong," - Howard Dean (D) 12/05/2005

The result of the opinion polls are wise and Bush must follow it. Iraq has now become a point of attraction to all qualified people the mujahadeen who by the grace of God were able to infiltrate all the security measures that were taken by Coalition forces. Bin Laden

"His (Bush) war and the continuing occupation transformed Iraq into a training ground for jihadists who want to hunt Americans, and a cause célèbre for stoking resentment in the Muslim world." - Dennis Kucinich (D) 04/03/2005

Anti-war candidate Howard Dean (D) said Monday "the capture of Saddam has not made America safer," directly contradicting President Bush and drawing the wrath of two Democratic presidential rivals. - 12/16/2003

So you see how Bush was misleading people. Bin Laden

"He misled every one of us," Kerry said. "That's one reason why I'm running to be president of the United States." - John Kerry (D) 06/19/2003

"Kennedy told the AP. "This (war) was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud." - Ted Kennedy (D)09/19/2003

The reason why we didn't have any such an operation in the United States is not because of security difficulties; the operation will take place and you will see such operations by the grace of God and by the will of God. Bin Laden

"We killed the Patriot Act," boasted Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, to cheers from a crowd at a political rally after the vote. - 12/17/2005

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jan 22, 2006 5:55:53 PM

Thanks Captain Toke. OBL is a criminal, evil, murderous fiend. But he's not a liar.

Posted by: maurinsky | Jan 22, 2006 6:51:15 PM

So, let's all run up and take the jackhammer to our freeways. After all, the Autobahn was Hitler's idea.

Posted by: chef | Jan 22, 2006 6:52:52 PM

Damn, I missed the point. Liberals, lefties, reality based people were, with very few exceptions, all together in favor of going after Osama bin Laden.

It's the leader that people like Fred Jones and Captain Toke prefer who forgot about going after OBL in favor of going after Saddam Hussein. And now OBL is using Bush fans like the tools they are. Your war is helping OBL, and that's why he is expressing thoughts that criticize you and your foreign policies, because it helps him.

Posted by: maurinsky | Jan 22, 2006 6:55:14 PM

Bin Laden's last tape was a point by point endorsement of Michael Moore's 'Faranheit 9/11'. This one is point by point DNC talking points.

It makes you think.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jan 22, 2006 7:18:19 PM

It makes you think.

Yes, it makes me think how OBL really knows how to get right-wingers' dander up. On one hand, I'd say that OBL is nothing is not a smart "criminal mastermind." On the other hand, you right wingers are awfully easy to manipulate.

Posted by: Constantine | Jan 22, 2006 8:17:58 PM

"On the other hand, you right wingers are awfully easy to manipulate."

It's not us right wingers who spout Bin Laden's talking points, it is the left wingers, as I demonstrate above. Left wingers have been getting Bin Laden's message out here in America for years.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jan 22, 2006 8:31:59 PM

"On the other hand, you right wingers are awfully easy to manipulate."

It's not us right wingers who spout Bin Laden's talking points, it is the left

Case in point from the bedwetters...

Posted by: Constantine | Jan 22, 2006 8:40:40 PM

Constantine, take it easy- he's just sooo excited!

Posted by: TJ | Jan 22, 2006 9:07:07 PM

Well, I guess you don't have much to fall back on.

That was clever. Good for you!

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jan 22, 2006 10:18:38 PM

Oh, bullshit. It is the Right that is full of lying criminals and traitors. While patriotic liberals try vainly to pull the country back to the Constitution, the Right is doing its damnedest to make us just like OBL.

The words may be OBLs, but the sentiments are all Bushes.

Yes, "Captain Toke," I'm calling you a lying criminal and traitor. And I'm not hiding behind a pseudonym to do it either, so I'll add "coward" to the accusation, as well.

Posted by: Frank | Jan 22, 2006 10:29:17 PM

Osama says the world is round. Liberals say the world is round. Therefore, the world is flat.

Great stuff, dude.

Besides, Osama's tape includes just as many right-wing talking points, e.g., the statement that this is a war that will go on for generations, which is something right-wingers say all the time.

But of course, the only question about something is not whether Osama says it, but whether it's true or not. It is true that Bush misled people; it is true that the world is round. Since right-wingers can't dispute that Bush misled people, they instead resort to the irrelevant "Oh, Osama's stealing your talking points" line. Eventually you will get tired of that and go back to outright lying ("There's no evidence Bush lied!")

Posted by: M.A. | Jan 22, 2006 10:55:09 PM

"Yes, it makes me think how OBL really knows how to get right-wingers' dander up."

No Constantine, OBL tapes usually upset left-wingers because the tapes embarrass left-wingers. Check out Frank's rant. When OBL, our hated enemy, repeats all the liberal-Democrat talking points, it reminds the country why liberals can't be allowed in power.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jan 22, 2006 11:50:17 PM

Right. That's how it goes. A rightie calls a liberal a traitor and everyone lets it go, but if a liberal calls a right a traitor, it "reminds the country why liberals can't be allowed in power."

Well, your bunch is in power at the moment and it's fucking the country up one side and down the other. I assume the next terror attack will be my fault as well, right, despite the fact (that's _fact_, you moron, not "opinion" or "assertion") that Bush's bunch has only made us _less_ safe, not more.

You're a liar and a coward, you fucking anonymous git. The Right is the problem, not the solution, and it's time and past that the Left started giving you cowards some of what you've been dishing out.

In the meantime you can continue to be a mindless little fascist and parrot your master's lines. While the Left saves your country despite you.

Posted by: Frank | Jan 23, 2006 12:19:45 AM

See what I mean Constantine, embarrassment and bitterness. See what that OBL tape brought out in Frank. He can hardly contain himself.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jan 23, 2006 12:27:31 AM

It's amusing that Toke is following the script.

Posted by: paperwight | Jan 23, 2006 12:38:51 AM

Ayup, like the good little fascist tool he is.

(And what I can hardly contain, just for the record, is my anger at and contempt for those traitorous lying cowards like "toke." You love your fascist state so much? Join the army, they need more cannon fodder, er, soldiers.)

Oh, and I don't give a flying fuck about OBL, except insomuch as he's an actual threat rather than the inspiration for more right-wing lies.

Posted by: Frank | Jan 23, 2006 1:17:14 AM

It has been said before, but I will say it again. Those who support Bush and his policies are motivated by fear. They fear terrorists, they fear science, they fear education, they fear homosexuals and immigrants and women and minorities and anything "new" or "different" that may come along.

So when Bush orders people to be held without charges or legal counsel, they poke their heads up from under the covers long enough to mutter their shaky approval. When Bush orders captives to be tortured and sent to secret illegal prisons, they stop their mewling long enough to grovel at Dear Leader's feet once again and proclaim his wisdom and toughness, how "safe" he has made us all. And when they find out that their fellow citizens have been wiretapped illegally, they fall back upon not only the warm fuzzies of "safety" that Bush gives them, but also upon their own sense of self-righteousness, believing that only those who are "bad" or who do "bad things" will be affected by this.

When OBL releases a tape, they are obviously the ones who go over it, point by point, and then do Google searches trying to find some Democrat who said something that maybe, at least in their fantasy world, could sound similar. They claim that OBL matches Democratic talking points, and then claim that the Democrats match his talking points, depending upon who they are trying to debate at the moment. Everyone who disagrees with them is a traitor and terrorist supporter, because to admit the truth, to face reality for even one moment would cause their entire world to come crashing down upon their heads, and that is what they fear the most.

The world is a dangerous place. It always has been and always will be. And while I want my elected officials - my employees - to do their jobs protecting this country, I would rather die a free man than cower and quiver behind jingoistic propoganda, slander and lies while this nation, which has so long been a light of liberty, is slowly turned into yet another authoritarian state.

To those who believe "liberals" support terrorists and sympathize with OBL: you are pathetic. You don't deserve my consideration or my respect, only my pity. I pray that we can wrest this nation from you and your ilk before it is your name on the list provided in the torture cells, before it is your door which is kicked down in the middle of the night, and you and your loved ones that are dragged off into the gaping maw of "safety and security."

Posted by: Stephen | Jan 23, 2006 2:00:09 AM

Stephen, they don't deserve your pity, either. As long as they try to drag us all down with them, they only deserve our contempt.

Posted by: Frank | Jan 23, 2006 2:08:58 AM

No successful attacks since 9-11. What ever they are doing, please continue.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Jan 23, 2006 8:44:23 AM


I guess seeing Democratic leaders talking points compared to Bin Laden's really wound you guys up.

Talk about angry, bitter liberals!

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jan 23, 2006 10:18:27 AM

It's amusing that Toke is following the script.

Yup. And after you posted that link, he even goes on to say, "Talk about angry, bitter liberals!" In the original, I especially liked this part:

Conservative: I told you, I don’t have time to spend all day cruising the internet, looking up geography questions! Maybe if you were busier at your job, trying to live the American Dream, you wouldn’t have time for all this hate!

Liberal: I work hard at my job!

Conservative: Then why are you spending all day downloading Michael Moore?

Liberal: I don’t spend all day downloading Michael Moore! I don’t even know what you mean by that! All I’m saying is that the USA has fifty states!

Conservative: Again, according to YOU!

No successful attacks since 9-11. What ever they are doing, please continue.

Wow, the most massive failure of America's defenses in decades, the worst strike on America since Pearl Harbor, and the fact that thousands died in an attack on New York on this President's watch is actually proof of how well he protects us. That, and the fact that the man responsible is still sending us taunting tapes. But when you look back prior to 2001, when massive foreign terrorist attacks on US soil took place weekly, well, this administration must be doing something right. I know! It must be their willful violation of FISA that's doing the trick. Or possibly spying on Quakers. Or creating an Iran-friendly Iraq. Or outing CIA NOCs. Or letting the anthrax mailer waltz off into the sunset.

And the funniest thing is how great the scenario is. The fact that we've gone over four years without a major domestic terrorist attack is proof that whatever they do is working. If and when the next terror attack hits, they will still be in the right, because Michael Moore's vast political and military powers allowed it. Plus the President will need even more unconstitutional powers. Because if someone has fucked up everything he's touched, he clearly needs more power.

Oh, and dissent against one political party's policies gives aid and comfort to the enemy. I mean, come on, we fought the Revolutionary War to get rid of dissent against authority.

Posted by: mds | Jan 23, 2006 12:15:40 PM

Just imagine Gore or Kucinich in the oval office threatening "police action" against OBL.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Jan 23, 2006 12:28:28 PM

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