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Sat Dec 1, 2018, 04:30 PM

Let's be real: EVERY president and most senators and MOCs have done things in office we can condemn

Every single president in modern times has pursued, advanced and implemented policies that we find abhorent. All of them have knowingly taken actions that foreseeably resulted in the deaths of innocent people. All of them have given orders to kill people (for example, Obama's orders to kill bin Laden and the Somali pirates - and those are just ones we know about). All of them have made decisions that balanced the good of some against the good of others.

By the same token, virtually every senator and Member of Congress has voted for and supported actions and policies that were arguably immoral - war resolutions, arms sales, etc.

So, if we feel morally compelled to trash George H.W. Bush on the day he died because we believe he engaged in immoral behavior in public office, we should be prepared to condemn every single other public official for their immorality, including those we love and support, such as President Obama, Bernie Sanders, Maxine Waters, Joe Biden, etc. - and extend that condemnation to ourselves for endorsing and electing them.

Or, we can recognize that governing - like life itself - is extraordinarily complicated and doesn't always lend itself to cut-and-dried, black-and-white moral judgments.

62 replies, 2896 views

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Reply Let's be real: EVERY president and most senators and MOCs have done things in office we can condemn (Original post)
EffieBlack Dec 1 OP
sdfernando Dec 1 #1
cwydro Dec 1 #2
kacekwl Dec 1 #3
EffieBlack Dec 1 #7
melman Dec 1 #16
SammyWinstonJack Dec 1 #40
NewJeffCT Dec 1 #45
melman Dec 1 #49
kacekwl Dec 1 #47
betsuni Dec 1 #4
DemocratSinceBirth Dec 1 #5
EffieBlack Dec 1 #10
Lordquinton Dec 1 #36
questionseverything Dec 1 #56
Lordquinton Dec 1 #59
Stinky The Clown Dec 1 #13
lilactime Dec 1 #6
GusBob Dec 1 #8
ProudLib72 Dec 1 #9
elmac Dec 1 #11
Post removed Dec 1 #12
XRubicon Dec 1 #14
mahatmakanejeeves Dec 1 #35
XRubicon Dec 1 #38
Hassin Bin Sober Dec 1 #39
LSFL Dec 1 #55
Hortensis Dec 1 #15
politicaljunkie41910 Dec 1 #25
Hortensis Dec 1 #54
politicaljunkie41910 Dec 1 #60
Hortensis Dec 2 #61
Hermit-The-Prog Dec 1 #17
EffieBlack Dec 1 #19
PaulX2 Dec 1 #26
Hermit-The-Prog Dec 1 #58
erronis Dec 1 #18
UTUSN Dec 1 #20
EffieBlack Dec 1 #21
UTUSN Dec 1 #22
EffieBlack Dec 1 #29
Stinky The Clown Dec 1 #23
wryter2000 Dec 1 #31
watoos Dec 1 #24
guillaumeb Dec 1 #27
curiouso Dec 1 #28
sharedvalues Dec 2 #62
cos dem Dec 1 #30
Downtown Hound Dec 1 #32
thegoose Dec 1 #33
ZeroSomeBrains Dec 1 #34
Prof.Higgins Dec 1 #37
BadgerMom Dec 1 #41
Ciaphas Cain Dec 1 #42
Curmudgeoness Dec 1 #43
Hekate Dec 1 #44
a la izquierda Dec 1 #46
Baitball Blogger Dec 1 #48
Jake Stern Dec 1 #50
BlueWI Dec 1 #51
sharedvalues Dec 1 #52
tymorial Dec 1 #53
edhopper Dec 1 #57

Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 04:42 PM

1. K & R

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 04:50 PM

2. Yep.

Obama allowed the fucking oil company to use Corexit on the spill.

It’s still killing marine life and will for years,

I’ll never forget that.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 04:54 PM

3. It's kind of a different thing when your

whole family has a pattern of policies that are abhorrent. Millions of dead and disfigured mentally and physically people can attest to.

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Response to kacekwl (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:25 PM

7. Where do you draw the line?

It's immoral to kill and disfigure millions but tens or thousands or hundreds of thousands is ok?

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:54 PM

16. Where do you draw it?

When Shrub dies do we have to be nice to him too? If not, why?

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Response to melman (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 07:01 PM

40. Well, Michelle Obama says he's a swell guy, so probably, yes

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Response to melman (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 07:28 PM

45. How about

if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it?

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Response to NewJeffCT (Reply #45)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 08:15 PM

49. I can't agree with that

I never celebrate any person's death. I agree it's bad taste to do that.

But I don't believe you should have to pretend they weren't who they really were. There has to be something in between.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 08:10 PM

47. I don't draw a line. One casualty caused

by lies and deception to start a war is criminal. My point is the Bush family has millions of U.S. and forgien victims to answer to but by no means the only guilty parties.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:19 PM

4. I completely agree.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:22 PM

5. You're braver than me.

I see the Vietnam War and meddling in Latin America being hung on the heads of the Repubs when both parties were responsible.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:29 PM

10. Not brave. Just weary of the sanctimony

Especially from folk who believe they're morally superior to the other side while behaving exactly like them.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:52 PM

36. Behaving exactly like them?

Enacting racist policies, letting an entire generation get afflicted by a plague, setting the stage for trump, setting up your son to carry on your destruction legacy, meddling in other countries so they are effected decades later?

But pointing all that out is just as bad as having done it.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #36)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 09:05 PM

56. you forgot the part where reagon with bush at his side

infected the inner cities with cocaine to pay for illegal wars as reagon/bush were promoting the war on drugs

btw that was after they had conspired with iran to steal the election from jimmy carter

but heaven knows that might offend someone

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Response to questionseverything (Reply #56)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 09:20 PM

59. There's so much that went on

I can understand why some just want to view the years between WWII ending and now as one long vacation.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:50 PM

13. Viet Nam was the Democrats' war . . . . that later got transferred to the GOP.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:23 PM

6. No, I can't. I'll never gloss over anybody's racist actions, dead or alive.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:25 PM

8. Very much wisdom here in your words

So turn it around.

If Hillary Clinton were President now there would be some scandal hey?

But nothing like this shit show

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:28 PM

9. Nor can a president's tenure be judged by a single policy decision

But all of his policy decisions must be weighed together.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:43 PM

11. i'm sure the "news networks" will remind us all next week what a great president he was

it will be non stop hand wringing, tear wiping, spectacular ceremonies befitting a king. In the mean time, tRump gets a bad press break.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)


Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:50 PM

14. Both sides

Last edited Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:32 PM - Edit history (1)



"Every single president in modern times has pursued, advanced and implemented policies that we find abhorent."

Speak for yourself.

ETA: Name something Obama did that was abhorent.

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Response to XRubicon (Reply #14)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:52 PM

35. "Cash for Clunkers." What a dumb idea that was.

It took inexpensive, running cars, the kind of cars that poor people could afford, and destroyed them. The cars might not have been up to your standards, but they would have worked to take someone who could not have afforded anything else to school, to work, to the grocery store -- whatever.

Instead, they were lectured by those who could afford to pay more: "let them eat cake."

That job you wanted, but it was ten miles away? Forget it. That school you might have attended? Better luck next time.

"Cash for Clunkers" was an awful idea from the word "go."

mahatmakanejeeves

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #35)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:56 PM

38. LOL.

Both sides...

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #35)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 07:00 PM

39. That was abhorrent? Maybe on breitbart, Fox News and Hannidate.com

Good lord.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #35)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 08:57 PM

55. no one was forced to scrap old vehicles

I did the math and kept my pubble jumpers. My jeep was 21 years old and i sold it to a coworker. He still drives it today. My grand vitara is 18 years old and I drive it to work.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:53 PM

15. Yes. One standard for all.

Republicans, Democrats, GHWS, Clinton, Hillary, Pelosi, every race, every religion. Etcetera.

And never forgetting that we must elect imperfect people who must work with many unknowns in a very imperfect world.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #15)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:13 PM

25. Where did you find your Mueller quote? I've seen it a few times now, and I'm just curious as to

when it was said and the context in which it was said. Not try to be critical or anything, just curious.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 08:54 PM

54. Which one is it?

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #54)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 09:21 PM

60. The one that always shows up as a quote at the end of your most recents posts.

Here it is:

Mueller: "...the Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy." Beware of Right-Wing Provocateurs. Don't Be a Useful Idiot.

I just wanted to know when and in what context Mueller had written it.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Reply #60)

Sun Dec 2, 2018, 07:09 AM

61. Oh, duh! :) It's from Mueller's historic indictment

last February that laid out in detail Russia's operation for subverting the 2016 election that began in 2013 or early 2014. The wording I used is actually from a Rosenstein quote from Mueller's indictment.

But here's a link to the transcript and a sample:

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/16/text-full-mueller-indictment-on-russian-election-case-415670

6. Defendant ORGANIZATION had a strategic goal to sow discord in the US. political system, including the 2016 US. presidential election.

It charges that their agitprop operations go decades farther back than that, but of course we've known that nearly as long. We see Russia's poisoning of minds in the sheer numbers of those who bemoan the loss, corruption, failure of, and lack of faith in our democracy -- even though they've received its blessings their entire lives. Courtesy of the weakness Russia and others exploited on the right, institutionalization of corruption of course is finally true, but only very partially.

"Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy. We must not allow them to succeed." Rob Rosenstein

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:57 PM

17. politics is hard

I don't have any doubt that George H.W. Bush did what he thought was best for the country.

That evil parasite in our White House now never has and never will.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #17)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:58 PM

19. I agree

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #17)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:15 PM

26. Would You Be Interested In Purchasing A Bridge Hermit?

"I don't have any doubt that George H.W. Bush did what he thought was best for the country"


I don't have any doubt that George H.W. Bush did NOT DO what he thought was best for the country.

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Response to PaulX2 (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 09:08 PM

58. how many terms as president did you give up?

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:58 PM

18. And everyone, not just presidents and MOC, have to make choices that are less than perfect

We have to choose between paying our past-due bills or feeding our families. We sometimes have "Sophie's Choices" where a trying to save one person may cause another to suffer.

Sometimes our "choices" are only really one - Hobson's. Pragmatism is a dirty word but it is what we have to do if we want to survive. Evaluate the alternatives and try to choose the best.

I'll guess that is much harder for a person in power that has a lot of possible choices and a lot of competing voices/pressures. You can't please everyone, everytime.

Still, with the current piece-of-spresident, he's made his personal choices to the damnation of the country and world.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:59 PM

20. We are not "better" - everybody is a mix of good/bad. Death does not absolve bad-overall of badness.

Neither is anybody who is a member of a particular group absolved of bad/immoral/criminal behavior by virtue of being such a member. Nobody is obligated to praise or even not speak badly of somebody just because they died.






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Response to UTUSN (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:03 PM

21. No. No one is obliged to do anything

But what they choose to do at a time like this speaks to their character.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #21)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:07 PM

22. As does setting judgment markers for what others do.

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Response to UTUSN (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:35 PM

29. How ironic ...

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:08 PM

23. Thank you, Effie

Like you, I am up to here with the DU Hate machine.

With presidents, there is the man and the policies.

I never liked very much about GHWB's policies. I never really liked his wife very much; I found her arrogant and elitist. But the reality, as I see it, is he was a genuinely decent man who held the nation in the very highest regard and did his best to do the best for it as he saw the best to be.

As you say, they are all flawed. WE are all flawed.

Until now, every modern president was within a standard deviation from dead center perfection. To be sure there are degrees of good and degrees of bad, and even at that the degrees are measured by each of us based on our own standards. I believe it is only now we are seeing an outlier. We would be very much better off were a person like GHWB now our president.

You cite current politicians in your OP, but looking back on Democrats of the past two come immediately to mind. Both WJC and JFK were horndogs to similar degrees. One was impeached for it, one lived in a different time. Both were good presidents.

We need to be more charitable in our assessment of our leaders.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #23)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:37 PM

31. One other exception besides the current squatter in the White House

W started a war for no good reason. (I would not fault him for invading Afghanistan, but Iraq was different. It was to make him a "war president" for the 2004 election.) He also instituted torture. That puts him outside one standard deviation of perfection. He will never approach good, in my estimation. The only thing I remember him doing that was genuinely good was to stand against hatred of Muslims.

There may be others before FDR I would also put in that category. I don't know enough about history to do that.

Short of W and the current abomination, I have to agree with Effie's and your point, though.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:09 PM

24. I've got just one thing to say.

I was in class in high school when they announced over the intercom that JFK had been shot. We all prayed for him. No one doesn't remember where they were when JFK was killed. Poppy Bush was in Dallas the night before and flew to a small city outside of Dallas. When asked by a reporter where he was, and this question was asked 20 years ago or more, he replied that he didn't remember.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:16 PM

27. Historical revisionism is harmful.

Reagan was given the same treatment by the US corporate media.

Perhaps DU posters are tired of the constant ignoring of what the GOP really is.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:29 PM

28. What a bunch of crap...

Thank god none of us ever has to make monumental decisions while a bunch of self-serving lobbyists and members of Congress are making unrealistic demands. To suggest that any president in modern history has committed sins against humanity that compare with those being committed day after day by the so-called PROTUS we have now is as beneath contempt as the imbecile in the White House and the goons who worship at his altar. Ours is a nation built on a foundation of genocide and slavery but until 2016 we seemed to be getting better. If you people want to blame those who made it better for not making it perfect, I offer the Old Testament blessing Woody Allen recalled sharing with a bully he encountered - "Be fruiltful and multiply ... but not in those words."

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Response to curiouso (Reply #28)

Sun Dec 2, 2018, 09:45 AM

62. Exactly. No "both sides do it" crap.

The Republicans are the problem.

Democrats shouldn’t get sucked into “both sides do it”. That’s a GOP propaganda strategy.

Obama expanded health care and nominated good judges.



Bush and Trump didn’t, tried to cut healthcare, cut taxes on the rich, damaged the social safety net, and nominated judges that will hurt average Americans while helping billionaires.

There is no “both sides”. Republicans are the problem.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:36 PM

30. Look at it this way...

Say nice things about GHWB (and sure, give Shrub the same, or not), then when we piss on the graves of Orange Hitler, Cheney, and Bannon, the disrespect will mean so much more.

One can be gracious most of the time, even if the person is disagreeable, saving the "best" for the "worst". GHWB was a middling Republican, GWB was a partisan hack, but both of them obviously have some shred of human decency. Can't say the same for the rest of these guys.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:43 PM

32. Or we can acknowledge that there are limits on what any society that calls itself civilized should

tolerate, and that some things just can't be justified in the name of politics, policies, or the greater good. The Bush family reached that point several generations ago.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:43 PM

33. Let's be really real

Child. Dump is America Mafioso thanks to Putin. That has never never happened before. Fuck all of them to hell.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:49 PM

34. We can't whitewash the past

Yes GHWB was a war hero during WW2 and did a lot of good. But he was the one who ran the Willy Horton ad and refused to apologize for the almost 300 innocent Iranian civilians that were killed when the US shot down an Iranian civilian aircraft. I get a little sick and tired of elevating people who didn't lift a finger for AIDS victims and those who helped continue an economic system that gives so much to so few and not enough to those on the bottom.

May his soul rest in peace. But may those Iranian civilians souls who he disregarded rest in peace and be remembered as well.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:54 PM

37. Not, as such.

This has nothing to do with making moral judgements. It is necessary to undertake a rational assessment whether any president made our country more united, equitable, secure, just, compassionate, fair, respected, prosperous, peace-seeking etc.. Both Bushes were arch-conservative warmongers pushing the destructive Reaganisms of trickledown economics and divisiveness. Neither Bush was a positive, effective, sagacious president. Accordingly, it is irrelevant whether either is a “good” person or, say, a Donald Trump sort of personality.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 07:04 PM

41. I'm with you, EffieBlack.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 07:15 PM

42. He was ok

Trump himself is going to spend enough time trashing the man over the next few days. Just let him say what you feel. Most importantly don't embarrass yourselves by getting caught bashing a dead President.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 07:20 PM

43. Don't the right wingnuts do enough condemning of Democrats for all of us?

We don't have to like everything that they did, but there is no reason for us to trash them just so that we can feel good about ourselves and how we point out flaws in GHW Bush.

Is anyone ready to add Hillary to the list of Democrats we should condemn?

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 07:24 PM

44. KnR and good luck

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 07:35 PM

46. You mustn't be Latin American then.

And most certainly not Guatemalan.
Sorry, but I won’t say anything bad, but you should pardon my “sanctimony” on behalf of the more than 100K dead Guatemalans.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 08:13 PM

48. We should make a list of the decisions that each president made that has made our world worse.

And then we'll find remedies to those mistakes. That's how we'll find the Democrat's platform.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 08:16 PM

50. Yes

How we forget the imprimatur that congressional Dems put on the Iraq War, including the 2016 popular vote winner.

How we forget that 44 got us mixed up in Libya or how he escalated the drone war in Yemen which has led to the deaths of scores of innocent Yemenis.

How we forget that Bill Clinton stood by and did nothing while Rwandans were being slaughtered en masse.

How we forget it was Dem president who knowingly went along with a lie and massively escalated the Vietnam War despite being elected on a promise that "We are not about to send American boys 9 or 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves."

How we forget that it was Jimmy Cater and his National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, that began pouring cash into the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan, including a young Saudi named Osama Bin Laden.

In fact, Brzezinski gloated about helping "give the Soviets their Vietnam War".

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 08:24 PM

51. The most obvious point missed in this OP is that presidential legacies differ widely.

Last edited Sat Dec 1, 2018, 10:44 PM - Edit history (2)

Most certainly, I don't recall the Obama, Sanders, or Biden campaigns using a race-baiting Willie Horton style ad. I don't see how it's a moral failing to mention this, given that it's part of the legacy being discussed this week. And I do think it's a black and white issue when an already powerful person seeks greater power by purposefully stigmatizing a vulnerable population. If it's me, you, or a president, that kind of behavior deserves public censure.

I also don't recall GHWB supporting health care for all or opposing the general drift of American foreign policy towards full-on imperialism, though to be fair, all of the public figures mentioned supported some forms of multilateralism. The wars of choice (Panama, Kuwait) may well have been resolved differently by Obama, Sanders, or Biden, though in his Senate role Biden didn't ask enough hard questions in the run up to the second gulf war. To me, this is a reminder that putting political differences aside at the wrong moment can have unfortunate, long-lasting consequences.

A respectful tone is important to maintain in these conversations when possible, but given the gravity of the issues being discussed, it's fine for some to choose tribute and others to go with critique of policy.

On a good day, Democrats are a big tent party, and it seems unsurprising to me that people grieve (or do not grieve) differently.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 08:28 PM

52. No, not at all. Republicans used racist dogwhistles for years. MUCH more than Dems

None of this bothsideism, both sides the same, both sides do it stuff. Please!


Here's the bottom line:
Modern Republicans are an alliance between billionaires and racist, hateful, and/or evangelical white people. The billionaires provide the money. The racists provide the votes. And the GOP establishment has thus been fanning the flames of racism for decades.

Reagan's assistant campaign manager, and Bush's campaign manager, was Lee Atwater. Who said this, about Republican electoral strategy:



To repeat: George H. W. Bush hired Lee Atwater as his CAMPAIGN MANAGER. After Atwater said the above.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 08:49 PM

53. Right on!

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 09:07 PM

57. So now we can't criticize Republcans

Both Gingrich and Kennedy cheated so no difference.

I won't celebrate Bush's death, but neither will I gloss over what he did.

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