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Kurt_and_Hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:54 AM
Original message
Principles and intellectual consistency are not just a river in Egypt
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 12:06 PM by Kurt_and_Hunter
I have seldom seen such DU unanimity on the wrong side of a no-brainer as the thirst for Congressional action to formally criticize (condemn, censure, wrist-slap, stigmatize, whatever) Joe Wilsons (R-Loudmouth) spastic outburst.

The question is this how does the average DUer invoke the need for institutional respect for the president and presidency without turning to stone on the spot, as if having gazed directly into the eyes of the Gorgon of self-stroking hypocrisy?

Anyone who demanded institutional respect for the president or presidency during the last eight years was a fool. Anyone demanding it today is also a fool.

The aggrandizement of the executive lies at the heart of almost every political pathology that has arisen throughout human history.

The most obvious concept in political philosophy is that the best form of government is rule by an infinitely enlightened dictatorship. The second most obvious concept is that the first most obvious concept is a horrible idea in the world of human beings. Executive power is more durable than good intentions.

Democracy is intrinsically at odds with the executive. The executive is a necessary evil. It is understood that human nature favors monarchy and that when you have a president some folks will treat him/her like a monarchfor instance, taking a great interest in his/her taste in music, or the cuteness of his/her children. Its primitive stuff, but inevitable.

One hopes that a liberal democracy can retain enough rigor to resist the human drive to project ones own person-hood onto the chief executive. Usually it does.

Alexander Hamilton wanted the President to have a pimped-out uniform, a host of retainers and a list of titles as long as your arm. Fortunately the view of other founders prevailed. Hence we call our president Mister and he dresses just like anyone else who works in an office.

It is quintessentially American that protesters deride the president in every way. Our contempt for the president is a national virtue independent of partisan considerations. And we have all seen the danger that arises when America abandons its usual attitude of the President being the latest guy in the national dunking tank. Sometimes, like the mid-1960s, you get an enlightened over-powerful executive who passes civil rights and Medicare before being ruined by an insane war. Over times, like 2002, you get a more typical tyrant who cuts right to the insane war. Interesting that in both post-war cases where tragedy thrust a president into a near-monarchical position a ruinous war followed. Such is the price of exaggerated respect.

Formal action against someone for being rude to the president is mideval. And the fact that the House has a rule demanding such respect is about as meaningful as the fact the house voted to put In God We Trust on the money. To say that rules must be enforced even when they are servile, anti-American rules is the heart of dumb-conservatism.

If I were in the House 2002-2003 I would have punctuated Bushs address about all of Saddams WMD with a lot more than a Tourettes-esque, You Lie. Would my antics have prevented the Iraq War? Probably not, but it is hard to argue that my incivility could have led to a worse outcome than what we got. Perhaps it would have emboldened some opponents of the war, just as Wilsons incivility has emboldened some racist crack-pot tax-cheats.
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. This is going to be interesting

:popcorn:
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I'll buy a round for the house. Settle in and enjoy.
:toast: :popcorn:
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. cheers
:toast:

:fistbump:
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. "medieval"
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DevonRex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
3. Oh wow. So you are in line with the Republicans. Why are you here?
Your attempt at flowery speech doesn't cover the fact that you think it's okay for a racist white congressman from South Carolina to shout "Liar!" to the first African American president in our history WHEN THE PRESIDENT WAS NOT LYING. You compare Obama's truth to Bush's lies? Why is that?

I also find it quite telling that you used "pimped-out" in your piece.
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
41. oh, he's a true patriot dontcha know...
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
5. Maybe you don't understand the difference between respect and decorum?
The Rebublicans are fools

You waste an awful lot of energy defending the actions an asshole by trying to slight those who choose to hold him accountable.



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DevonRex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Did you find it odd that the word "pimped-out" was used? I did.
It's a struggle to even come UP with that phrase in the context of a uniform the president would or would not wear back in the 1700s.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Some people have issues. n/t
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DevonRex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Big ones that are coming to the surface, apparently. nt
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Kurt_and_Hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. "You waste an awful lot of energy defending the actions an asshole..."
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 12:12 PM by Kurt_and_Hunter
"You waste an awful lot of energy defending the actions an asshole..."

Yes, because I am a decent person with a grasp of the issues involved.

I am an ACLU-style Democrat and have spent much of my life "defending the actions an asshole" in one way or another.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. I take that as not understanding the difference. n/t
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #8
27. ...
:applause: my biggest current disappointment with Du has been that we have become exactly the people we detested a few years ago
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #27
42. wait a minute. we're just like the freepers because we don't approve of that racist fuck's outburst?
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 02:57 PM by dionysus
man, you guys will use any, and i mean any excuse to get in a dig. even if it means defending that assclown wilson. and like the gop, cloak yourself in some kind of patriotic shroud at the same time. while at the same time equating the people on here that support obama with freepers.
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DevonRex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. Anybody who equates Obama's truth with Bush's lie is a freeper IMO.
Only a freeper could be that irrational, right?
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. these guys will twist logic into pretzels to justify their bitter existence.
shouting down the prez is patriotic!111! durrrrrrr.....
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #45
54. this has nothing to do wiith the president. far as i know, obama has said very little about the
subject
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #8
36. "I'm a decent person"..
:nopity:
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #36
55. .
:spray:
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alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
12. And yet
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. ouch!
:yoiks:
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Kurt_and_Hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. I imagine that's pretty much what he told Thoreau in prison
It is easy to dismiss principle as foolish consistency when convenient.

Ironic, since the many who have argued that the House rules, however absurd, must be enforced lest the dragon of anarchy be unleashed are invoking the ultimate in foolish consistency.

And the fact that the appeal to such foolish consistency here of late is, in most cases, ad hoc makes it doubly absurd.

My "foolish consistency" is of the sort that leads to even "obviously" guilty people being allowed counsel, and so on.

The wisdom of foolish consistency is that for all of its flaws its simplicity is a buttress against the complexity of our ability to construct ad hoc exceptions driven by perceived self-interest.
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. Kurt... Kurt... Kurt...
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 02:01 PM by Hutzpa
your condemnation of such action by the House as 'foolish consistency' speaks volume of
your deliberate attempt to curtail their clandestine movement, instead will adhere to
business as usual.

Truth is, people are trying to move from 'the good ol' days' to a future where this type
of attitude is seen as unacceptable. No more sweeping it under the carpet.

"foolish consistency" you say, I say "gratuitous malignant" from you.

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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
14. The "Liar" debacle is a convenient distraction against the backdrop of a sputtering recovery
and an increasingly unfocused and disjointed healthcare debate.

It was so orchestrated into a "rally the troops" moment at a time when the troops had never been so disorganized that I begin to suspect there was collusion involved.
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DevonRex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. WTF? Collusion? Among whom?
:tinfoilhat:
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #17
43. it's all an evil plot, obama is in with the repukes to enslave us all to the corporate overlords.
didn't you get the memo in the tin foil package?
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DevonRex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #43
46. But Super Dennis will save the day! Faster than a speeding bullet.
More powerful than a locamotive! Or something like that. :rofl:
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. swooping down on his magic unicorn, his pixie dust of freedom will save the planet...
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 03:33 PM by dionysus
huzzah!
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DevonRex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #47
49. OR is he Underdog? Underdog will save the Day! Or was that some
other superhero? I get them all mixed up.

Heh. I like the image of DK playing with My Little Unicorn, though. :evilgrin:
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. maybe it was mighty mouse you're thinking of. thats apropos
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DevonRex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #50
51. You win. ROFL!!!!!
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
15. If you are seeing near unanimity at DU and you are taking the opposite side
and consider your position as a "no brainer" then that is a very good indication that it is a) not a no brainer and b)you are probably missing an important element of the argument.
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msallied Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. +1
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Kurt_and_Hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. I will not surprise you to know that I disagree
The argument supposes that an internet forum cannot be nearly unanimous in an error.

Yet you and I know that many or even most fora are distinguished by just that.

I can go to Free Republic right now and get 500 hostile replies to any number of statements you and I take as almost beyond rational question.

So I must suppose that DU has a special wisdom, unlike all the other internets.

And I do not. It is better than RW hate sites but that means unanimous error is more rare here, not that it is unknown.

(Muslim and Christian alike condemn my atheism, yet I remain faithless.)

It's particularly ironic that you offer an appeal to majoritarian consensus in response to an argument about the evils of majoritarian consensus. That doesn't mean you are wrong, but you are sowing in rocky ground.

The distillation is that the national executive goes somewhere with much pomp. Some asshole barks out something like, "You suck." A formal proclamation is prepared condemning the yeller. When imagining the bare-bones scene it involves castles and ermine.

That said, you remain a particularly respect-worthy voice in my eyes. (Mixed metaphor, but on the web I read your voice.)
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. I think the key is "no brainer". I understand your argument on the issue

But when I find myself against the tide of opinion here its a good sign that, in a term used by Thais "reconsider myself".


Even in the UK where MP are able to shout and jeer against the Prime Minister it is not permissible to accuse the Prime Minister of "lying, intellectual dishonesty, or intentional deceptive". You can shout and jeer but there is a line. When it is crossed the member is immediately removed from the chamber.


You point out that it would have been beneficial to have stood up during Bush's speeches and yelled "Liar". That is arguable. (For example the question of how that might impact the vast middle that would be offended by the rudeness and not listen to the arguments is not easily answered.)

But for the sake of argument let's say that would be the best tactic to have undertaken. Then the congressperson(s) should have done so, not apologized and taken the censure without complaint.

What you are arguing for is not that the protocal and decorum be breached in extreme situations but that there be no line at all.

Once you accept that it should be the rule that Congressman should be able to interupt a President's speech because of an abuse by a past President you arguing that no standard of decorum should be established for the office of the President, or also for the House of Representatives, and that every speech by the President can be interupted and that every speech in the House can be interupted.


While I agree with you on the facts of Bush's speeches I would argue that the rules for decorum not be changed and that if a Congressman feels compelled by conscience to take the radical step of heckling the President (or another Congressperson) then they should do so. They should also expect and accept any discipline that the rules of decorum enforce.

Hence I disagree with your position, and certainly don't consider that it can be accepted as a "no brainer".
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. I would not even agree with him
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 01:58 PM by Hutzpa
on Bush, the office of the Presidency has got to be respected no matter how inept the
applicant is, thats why we have elections to make sure the right man gets the job.

Whether it's a republican or democrat, there has to be some form of decorum, where
representatives knows there is a line they cannot cross.
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
20. I agree with you COMPLETELY. all these clowns screeching
about decorum or whatever would be "high fiving" the Democrat who called a republican president a liar. there is MUCH political grand standing going on here and it's TRANSPARENT.

it's bread and circuses for the easily DUPED masses.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. What bullshit. People have called out things they believe are classless.
Also, a Republican president is a liar.



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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #20
32. This argument is moot
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 02:43 PM by Hutzpa
if so, democratic reps would have done that during Bush's tenure but never did,
this is thrown in just to muddy the water....unacceptable.
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. ...
:rofl: for someone who just attempted to correct my language use, this is hysterical.
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. I am letting the poster
know this is 'non sequitur'
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. a point cannot be mute. it can be moot.
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #35
38. Thanks for pointing that out
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 02:44 PM by Hutzpa
but you get my point...right? thats what matters we are not all perfect all of the time,
mistakes are bound to occur especially if you are multi-tasking.
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. did you not get my point of political martyrdom. do you not know it to be different
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 02:49 PM by La Lioness Priyanka
from religious martyrdom? or real martyrdom?

did it stop you from pretending that i was speaking without knowing what i was talking about?
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #39
52. you just can't let go
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 04:40 PM by Hutzpa
can you?

I digress means I don't intend to continue the discussion after you have
made it clear you used martyr as an idiom, ok!

Can we move on...
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #52
53. sorry. i didnt understand you. honestly, the word digress threw me off,
peace
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
24. You just have a problem with rules I think.
I prefer that for the rest of Obama's Presidency the wing nuts show a little class and respect, as I understand it the congress has rules in place to that effect. If someone breaks them, then the congress itself should decide what penalty if any is appropriate, not me and not the ACLU.
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. that could be true. most activists have to a greater or less degree a problem with rules
most of us strive in many ways, to change rules that are useless or ineffectual or unfair. so to a degree i do think, a difference in opinion, is driven by a greater/lesser emphasis on rules
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #26
37. I believe there is a reason for this particular rule,
to prevent outbursts and reactions that could lead to actual violence whether in the House of Congress or outside of it. Or maybe we should allow our Congress to devolve into a contest of who best verbally/physically intimdates their opponent.
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DevonRex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #37
48. Exactly. With all the threats against the President, with all the GUNS
at rallies in August, how could ANYONE think this was okay?
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
25. thank you. i would have KILLED (not literally) for a congress person
who could stand up to bush and say, you lie. it would have given me the hope to do more antiwar activism. instead of giving up.

we have made a martyr out of wilson and made huge petty hypocrites out of ourselves.

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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. Do you know who a martyr is?
using it in this context tells me two things; 1)you have used it as a loaded word which is what
republicans do constantly and 2)you have no idea what makes a martyr.

Wilson is not a martyr, not even close.
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. yes, i do. do you know what an idiom is?
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 01:40 PM by La Lioness Priyanka
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Ok
on that note, I digress.
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
40. christ almighty. "It is quintessentially American that protesters deride the president in every way"
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 02:53 PM by dionysus
what a load of pap. not surprising you'd do backflips to find a way to defend that clown.

damn just reading that garbage makes my head hurt. you should have stuck to kurtonomics, your previous area of expertise...

:rofl:
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