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April 01, 2006


Sorry dude, count me out. The high road is for losers this time around. Don't get caught trying to uphold the decorum when it's been ransacked by the right.
What I believe most Americans will respect at this point in our history is the willingness to fight for principles, not engage in acceptable discourse. What...are you hoping to appeal to the other side's sense of honor ?
We've been gamed by these perceptions the last two cycles. Let's stick to principles and when we find rather large piles of shit, let's call it such.

Ha...ha...and fuckin' ha!

Who da fuck you dissin' here MB.

You ain't never gonna "mam" nor "suh" no slime-bag, fucktard like Specter nor Sessions nor Frist much less a barking mad racist piece of shit like Tancredo.

So cut da jive and get down wit it.

What is today, again?


I think it's perfectly appropriate that the "Wag the Dog" president should be referred to as "Mr. Bush".

I wouldn't have believed you even if it weren't the day it is today.

As I automatically reacted to someone's shopping cart clipping me in a slightly-too-small aisle today, I remembered one significant similarity between Southern Politeness and Canadian Politeness: When someone bumps into you, your immediate reaction is to apologize to them. I don't know anyone other than Southerners and Canadians who do that.

I'm polite in most instances

but I can be "not polite" too

you don't want that

I agree with your "child abuse" theory. but that's the whole point of "polite society"

beat your kids into conformity, it's the American way

Whether Meteor is serious or not, back in the late '60s when I was teaching high school US Government, kids told me that they hated politics because the two sides were always sniping at each other. It reminded them of their parents arguing.

Those kids are now in their 50s, but I suspect many still feel the same way, and today's classes, if they tune in long enough even to hear the discourse probably also feel the same.

Standing up for a belief doesn't require belittling the oppoent. That is the Right's game. It doesn't have to be ours.

Hey, Mister Blades, that's *President* Bush to you! Why?

Because I have to be reminded every time my name is spakened since Mister Rove & Mister Cheney pretty much do my job. They take turns being called "President" every day. It confuses me so much since I thought I was appointed King, er, President.

Anyway, I'm the President of the...um....um...yeah, THE WORLD, gosh damn it!

This. is. too. funny.

My first visit to this site will not be my last, M.B.

I grew a republican in Oregon, a toddler under Wayne Morse, a child under Tom McCall, Mark Hatfield, and yes, the hapless Bob Packwood. The last republican I voted for was the superb Bill Milliken of Michigan, casting my very first vote at eighteen.

There was a time when your wicked snark would have caused a heart-twinge, making me long for the Oregon GOP of my childhood. Today, I'm laughing my ass off. Thanks.

Is this an April Fool's Day post?

Actually, were I to refer to Bush in public, I'd probably call him "Mr. Bush." Because I ABSOULTELY REFUSE to call him "President" Bush.

LOL - MB! I hear you. And having also spent my early years in coastal Georgia, I STILL say "ma'am" and "sir".

My momma taught me that the only people who spoke like people do today were white trash ("trash is as trash does," she used to tell me, meaning that if you acted like trash, you were trash). Of course, we never heard any black folks talk like that, even if they did, because they wouldn't do it around white folks.

Now, for those folks upthread who say that they'd never say "sir" to someone they despise like Jeff Sessions, like me tell you how wrong you are. Many of us who have been raised in that culture consider it an admission of defeat to have to resort to name-calling and rudeness.

After all, the Southern definition of "tact" is "the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that he actually anticipates the trip."


Nice to see mention of "the superb Bill Milliken of Michigan." Superb really is appropriate in referring to Governor Milliken. He's the type of Republican who too many Republicans hare hoping will return to power, but those days are long gone. But he continues to be superb. After a career of environmentalism that would have made Teddy Roosevelt of the elder Chaffee proud to embrace him as a fellow Republican, a respect for labor rights and civil rights and reproductive rights, he continues to stand for integrity and progressive values. In 2000 he publicly denounced the tactics used by his party in demonizing Democratic nominees for the state supreme court. And in 2004 he came out against Michigan's idiotic marriage amendment, he endorsed John Kerry for President, and he worked with the ACLU in opposing a database used by Michigan law enforcement that was later found to be unconstitutional. And he's such a gentleman. He apparently goes walking on the track at Traverse City HS most evenings in the summer, and he's known for his gregariousness and graciousness in chatting with any of his fellow walkers interested in chatting with the man who served as governor for 13 years.

And finally, he and the man he beat in his first two runs for governor, current Congressman Sandy Levin, apparently have become good friends, and I heard they generally get together for dinner a couple times a year.

One need not be raised in the South to be a well-mannered gentleman. But it's clearly hard to be a well-mannered gentleman of generous spirit and remain enamored of the Republican party. Bill Milliken is an excellent example of both points.

Oh, MB, great post, but I've got on small quibble about this:

The lawyers say, no, no, no, what Mister Bush has done doesn't fit the very specific meaning of treason in the Constitution. Or, at the very least, it would be stretching the meaning. The political strategists say, maybe it's true that Mister Bush is a traitor, but for crying out loud, don't say it or you'll sour the voters who will punish the Democrats, reducing our chances to regain Congress in `06.

I think there's another position from a political strategy standpoint. I'm not sure voters will be turned off or turned against Dems if that position is voiced and advanced. But I'm also not sure it's all that effective, compared with other approaches toward winning control of Congress. Maybe it will be a more salient argument if there are some high-level indictments of others in the Plame outing, such as Rove. If Cheney is clearly implicated, then it probably will become a good electoral argument to be presented to voters. But in a sense, political/electoral messaging is sort of like computer bandwidth; only so much information can get through before things become clogged up. Therefore, while there may be lots of messages that have some effect on voters, you generally have to narrow down your messages and issues to a fairly small number that will cut through the consciousness of voters. And with that in mind, I'm just not certain that charges of treason for what to most voters is a fairly complicated set of technical and legalistic issues probably isn't as powerful a message as general incompetence, cronyism and congressional corruption in failing to deal with a wide array of problems facing the country, like Iraq, the debt, ineffective government, health care and perscription drugs, energy, etc.

DATE: January 11, 2006
PLACE: Senate Judiciary Committee
NONRECUSAL: Lindsay Graham, Senator, SC, has just completed excusing Supreme Court Associate Justice-nominee S. Alito for nonrecusal in Vanguard insurance matter; Graham describes ABA scrutiny of Alito as..."ABA has looked at this and said that it did not reflect poorly on you".
GRAHAM (CONTINUING), OTHER PERSONAL REFERENCES: "... lawyers and judges who know you have said that you're just, really, sort of, what we want in a judge"..."I don't think you could get 300 people to say that about me or some of us"...
ALITO (SELF-EXCULPATORILY): "The idea that the outcome of this case could have some effect on the mutual funds that I hold is beyond preposterous..."
GRAHAM (WAXING COMEDIC): "What is in it for this guy? Why would he bring all this grief upon himself consciously? Is it to intentionally break a promise to the Senate so you'd go through hell for three days?"
GRAHAM (PERFORMING A MINI-ENCORE ROUTINE): (The next remarks are subtle ambivalent play on Concerned Alumni for Princeton, a membership which Alito denies recalling; CAP was a known social regressive organization; one CAP activity was holding member only lunchmeetings.) (As laughter wanes following the nonrecusal joke, Graham launches into the following tangentially, about CAP and other memberships Alito maintained at Princeton Univ, suddenly now on a new topic.)
GRAHAM: Now, your days at Princeton. The more I know about Princeton, it's an interesting place.
GRAHAM (Speaking over rolling laughter of those in hearingroom.) "What is an eating society?"
ALITO: (He explains one must pledge to eat, i.e., like vetting for joining fraternity.)
[EFFECTS: PLAY LAUGHTER AGAIN as Graham vows to research eating societies...]

(As one reads the ensuing interchange between GRAHAM and ALITO, recall that the scene ends DOWNSTAGE as nonspeaking character WIFE OF ALITO EXITS crying. Recall also that within the hour MSM was reporting that DEMOCRATS had caused WIFE OF ALITO to cry. The strange aspects of this misreporting by MSM include misattribution. First GRAHAM prepared the crowd by comedy; then he said something that hurt WIFE OF ALITO's feelings. It was GRAHAM who triggered WIFE OF ALITO's teary EXIT.)
(This sequence immediately follows upon the eating clubs routine, above.)
GRAHAM: (Jumping instantaneously from eating clubs to CAP membership.) Now, this organization that was mentioned very prominently earlier in the day, did you ever write an article for this organization?
ALITO: No, I did not.
And some quotes were shown, from people who did write for this organization, that you disavowed. Do you remember that exchange?
ALITO: I disavow them. I deplore them. They represent things that I have always stood against and I can't express too strongly...
GRAHAM: If you don't mind the suspicious nature that I have is that you may be saying that because you want to get on the Supreme Court; that you're disavowing this now because it doesn't look good.
And really what I would look at to believe you're not -- and I'm going to be very honest with you -- is: How have you lived your life? Are you really a closet bigot?
ALITO: I'm not any kind of a bigot, I'm not.
[EXIT WIFE OF ALITO downstage, crying.]

ERRATA: CAP and dining club were separate matters.
ADDENDUM: LINK to transcript, above, is one webpage above the trope whose script is transcribed in my comment; here is a closer link. The Sen. Graham schtick takes place around 100 lines into the Q+A.
NB: In my playscript the only two Actors are Sen Graham and AJ-nominee Alito i.e., where I clipped diversions in the Graham monolog and truncated Alito's protracted replies, the only missing text in my version is segments of those two folks' conversation; no other senator was speaking, nor did the chairman, Sen. Specter, intervene. It was only Graham addressing Alito, and Graham playing to the audience in attendance.
I found the Graham questioning and rhetoric germane to MB's subtle post in that something emotional resulted, and the media reported it very partisanly actually blaming the opposite political party for the hurt feelings, instead of revealing Graham R-SC was the one who precipitated the dramatic moment at the end.
The effect of the Graham questioning session in this passage is nearly Greek tragicomic.
My gratituted to Wa-Po for capturing it verbatim.

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