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January 26, 2006

Comments

Robbie

I think the point of Mal's post was essentially - liberals have many a reason for being cranky and bitter. Joe's post was indeed cranky and informed by bitterness.

So, there ya go.

Jamie

Robbie--

I realize that you're not saying they voted in those governments because of Bush. I'd have to be pretty stupid not to. What I'm saying is that any comparison/metaphor/relation between foreign elections that tries to cast a positive light on the foreign perception of Bush is invalid. Why? Because that's what I'm told by my friends across the pond. They all pretty much HATE him, no matter which way they vote.

And, in every conservative victory in a foreign nation, the press has always noted that it means better ties with Washington. Perhaps it won't work out that way, but that's the conventional wisdom out there at the moment.

It may be the CW, but I still don't buy it. I quit listening to "the press" long ago. Talking with people who voted in the German election gave me the distinct impression that they wanted someone to fix and unify their country. I did not hear one good thing about Bush in those conversations. Perhaps these governments may be more "America" friendly, but Bush really burned a lot of people's asses by his decisions over the past 5 years--not waiting for Germany and France to get into the Iraq situation pissed a lot of them off because they're cut off from the market advantages of those who did participate, and Kyoto sticks in a lot of foreign craw. They certainly don't want their governments cuddling up to Bush. They just don't like him. But, like you and I, they don't vote on just one issue.

And THAT's why I don't think "Bush-friendly" is an accurate term at all. "Conservative-friendly," sure, but "Bush-friendly" ignores some realities.

think the foreign trend towards conservatism (which is not the same brand as American conservatism) that is happening in a lot of countries is a result of domestic politics - specifically how socialistic welfare systems are really a bit of a mess, and reform is needed in order to avoid economic hardship and collapse in the future.

I think you're right on the money here.

Robbie

Jaime - you're reading too much into my comments. I'm not saying any foreign person's perception of Bush is changing. As far as I know, they hate him as much as ever.

I'm just saying the string of political defeats for Bush opponents is interesting. That's really all I mean. It's just one of those things. I'm not saying it's caused by Bush, or that anyone's sentiments towards Bush have changed, or anything else along those lines. I was really just saying something along the lines of, "Oh look, a cloud shaped like a penis. Interesting."

The only perception towards Bush that I believe is changed by these elections is the American Left's. They're losing their foreign allies. I think they must be very cranky to see government after government they liked because of shared opposition to Bush voted out of power.

I think many new conservative foreign governments will be more friendly towards the Bush administration insofar as they're not going to be out there constantly bashing the president as a bit of demogogic domestic theater the way liberal leaders have done in the past. They probably won't be bosom buddies, because their constituents won't allow it, but they'll certainly be more amenable to hearing each other out, with a higher chance of productive dialogue being exchanged.

I mean, how much productive communication do you think was going on between the Bush administration and Gerard Schroeder when the Chancellor was out there ripping on Bush 24/7 in order to whip up domestic election support? We'll probably not see that behavior from the new Chancellor, which is generally a good thing. No, it doesn't mean the German government is going to leap into Iraq and suddenly be all gung ho to go along with Bush, but it's progress nonetheless.

Malcontent

Hell, my Dad, a lifelong Republican (big R) voted for Bush twice, and now he wants him impeached because he isn't actively pursuing Osama.

Jamie, I love ya', but you can't tell me you honestly believe this. If Bush weren't interested in taking out the top leadership of al-Qaeda, then why did we just bomb a bunch of them in Pakistan? Besides, most terrorism experts say that Osama has exactly zero to do with the day-to-day operations of al-Qaeda anyway and is not really "calling shots" anymore in the terrorist world.

Malcontent

Anapestic: Did I say "Republicans"? No, I was talking about their ideas.

I'm noticing a pattern where commenters from the left refuse to deal with the substance of my critiques and instead busy themselves setting up and kocking down strawmen.

No one has effectively supported how calling one's political opponents "ugly" furthers any particular social or political good, aside from Joe's miscreantism. And after 114 comments, no one has convincingly explained why "9/11 Victims for Osama" is any less viable a comparison regarding gay Democrats than "Jews for Hitler" is to gay Republicans. All we get is invective, whining about hurt feelings and irrelevant commentary on my admittedly amateurish Photoshop capbilities.

Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if it was the truth of that "Osama" post that helped prompt Joe's sophomoric excuse for political commentary.

Josh

But Mal, you forget, he "let Osama get away" when he couldn't mobilize enough troops to occupy all of eastern Afghanistan. Nevermind that the Brits, Russians, even the Taliban couldn't even occupy eastern Afghanistan...

But I think it's funny. On my own blog, I've been accused of being an ugly troll, or chubby, or "freakish" because of my moderate political conservatism, and far worse. Hell, I was dumped for being too conservative in the summer of 2004.

It's just not enough to ask some people to think. They don't frankly. And I've given up trying to justify myself to such people. It's such a fundamentally unthinking statement to make, I just sort of taught myself to ignore it.

I dunno, maybe developing a filter is the best approach.

Jamie

Robbie--

I'm just saying the string of political defeats for Bush opponents is interesting. That's really all I mean. It's just one of those things.

I realize that, but I still wouldn't call it "Bush-Friendly" is all. Just poor word-choice in my opinion.

Oh look, a cloud shaped like a penis. Interesting."

It's always a penis with you, isn't it? ;)

The only perception towards Bush that I believe is changed by these elections is the American Left's. They're losing their foreign allies. I think they must be very cranky to see government after government they liked because of shared opposition to Bush voted out of power.

Yep, most likely so. But maybe it'll serve to jar those on the far left back into reality.


Mal--

Dad saw a clip on some show where Bush said something like, "I don't really think about him anymore," referring to Osama, and from that point on my father has wanted Bush o-u-t OUT!

Now, as to what I believe, that's a horse of a different color. Of course I think we're trying to get him. For one thing, Bush would be a complete idiot if he didn't salivate at the prospect of having the picture of Osama over the headline "CAUGHT" or, even better, "PAYBACK" (I think we'd all like that title, don't you?)

I do think we have some people with a political agenda at certain points within the chain that want to drag it out as long as they can.

Malcontent

I think catching Osama would be an inherently good thing, if only so that he could be tried and executed. But in terms of the prosecution of the War on Terror, I think it would be a wash, at best. Whatever spine-stiffening it would engender in people like John Kerry who have tried to paint the War on Terror as an abysmal failure because Osama has reamined at large would be temporary at best. While it might mean a temporary to the radicalists' morale, I think that also wouldn't last long.

Moer effective and terrible leaders have already taken Osama's place, which is why there's a greater focus on al-Zarqawi. (Here's to hoping that he rolls over wrong in the night ...)

o

"How is it Bush, Blair, and Howard survive..."
Anthony is spot on as far as the UK goes: the British government is not 'conservative', has more in common with the American left than the right and Blair's support for Bush is unpopular. Blair's prolonged power is almost entirely due to a lack of decent opposition and a specifically English desire for self-reinvention - Blair's election promise of a 'New Britain' - arguably based on a liberal embarrasment with the old empire.

Robbie

Oh, no, I never meant to imply Labour is conservative. It's not. (I lived in Britain for a few years, and I'm very familiar with their parties and domestic politics). I meant Blair as Bush ally. Bush's main allies, Blair and Howard, remain in place while two of his biggest opponents, Schroeder and Martin, bit the dust.

Again, it doesn't mean anything. I just find it amusing because it no doubt pisses off the Left like nothing else.

Craig Ranapia

Jamie & Anthony:

Look, I'm sure there's an element of crude, mindless anti-Americanism in both Canada and Australia (there certainly is in New Zealand) but you can over-play it.

Has anyone here actually seen the anti-Martin attack ads the Liberals were running? Truly bizarre - you'd think he and Dubya has a time-share arrangement on Brokeback Mountain with Jake & Heath. Ditto for the ALP. Mark Latham forgot George Bush wasn't standing for Prime Minister of Australia; John Howard was and he effectively painted the opposition as soft on domestic security, flaky on health and education and not to be trusted with the economy.

North Dallas Thirty

I'm kinda let down by the fact that in just one week the comments here have gone from intelligent discussion to back-and-forth mudslinging.

And we wonder why we can't accomplish any mutual goals.

Well, I can give you one answer, Jamie.....it wouldn't hurt when you hear stuff like "All gay conservatives are ugly" to point out that you know better.

North Dallas Thirty

I think catching Osama would be an inherently good thing, if only so that he could be tried and executed. But in terms of the prosecution of the War on Terror, I think it would be a wash, at best. Whatever spine-stiffening it would engender in people like John Kerry who have tried to paint the War on Terror as an abysmal failure because Osama has reamined at large would be temporary at best. While it might mean a temporary to the radicalists' morale, I think that also wouldn't last long.

I agree. Assuming that the people who are screaming the loudest would actually be satisfied if we DID catch Osama is foolish at best. This is why the same Democrats who supposedly want to devote more resources to catch Osama also follow Cindy Sheehan, who completely opposes the use of the US military in Afghanistan.

Osama bin Laden is al-Qaeda's weakness. As long as it's a personality cult, as long as it's devoted to him, they are vulnerable -- because they won't move until he does, and their attempts to contact him expose them.

o

Not really Republican, but certainly Thatcherite, which is close enough. Conservative, handsome and openly gay: Ivan Massow
http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view.php?ArtID=944
But sadly not Lord Mayor of London. Instead we got (anti-semite) 'Red' Ken Livingstone.

Queer Conservative

I would totally vote for Ivan. Based on his positions of course.

Jamie

Well, I can give you one answer, Jamie.....it wouldn't hurt when you hear stuff like "All gay conservatives are ugly" to point out that you know better.

NDT--

I'm sorry, baby, you know I love you. ;) I just wouldn't want people to think I was mooning over you. Besides, I try my best not to respond to the comments that are explicitly stupid. They just keep coming back for more.

BTW, I think part of the reason we haven't caught Osama yet is because if/when we did, he'd most probably get killed on the spot. Then he would no longer be this frail old man hiding in a cave, he'd be a martyr for his "cause." We're probably better off letting him die on his own out of the limelight.

anapestic

"I'm noticing a pattern where commenters from the left refuse to deal with the substance of my critiques and instead busy themselves setting up and kocking down strawmen."

You set up Joe's graphic as a response to the Canadian elections, but I'm the one "setting up and k[n]ocking down" a straw man? Kettle on line 2, indeed. Joe's graphic specifically mentioned Republicans, and I was pointing out that it was in no way related to the Canadian elections. If you want to poke fun at Joe's graphic and poke fun at the liberals in Canada, have at it, but don't pretend that the two are related.

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