Uncivil Discourse

Because civility is overrated.

Friday, June 10, 2005


John Cole notices Sam Brownback placing a "hold" on Bush's nominee for ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe because she's pro-choice and wonders where the intellectual consistency is. Rhetorically, of course.

And John, no, we're only required to back off criticizing someone's avowed "firm religious beliefs" when they square with what the religious right declares as true religion. Otherwise, you're "afraid" to go into your own Church (see John Kerry) or something similar like this. Being pro-choice obviously means you're flounting the One True Interpretation, so there's no need to give it respect.

He also has a good link discussing Helms' refusal to disavow his segregegationist past, along with his own commentary. The comments section also has some decent discussion.

But what really bothers me about Jesse Helms is how he continues to say things like "Until then, it had been my feeling that AIDS was a disease largely spread by reckless and voluntary sexual and drug-abusing behavior, and that it would probably be confined to those in high risk populations. I was wrong." Because AIDS would be ok if it had stayed with the faggots and junkies, given how Helms and Reagan had a policy of ignoring the issue altogether.

There's a good post here, via Atrios, on why we should never, ever give a shit about anything that fuckhead Jesse Helms has to say.

Finally, Billmon (twice) gives a different view of Dean's adventures in chairmanship. And he makes some very good points. While I still don't think Dean's shooting from the hip or, really, botching things as bad as some have made it out to be, we'll see what the follow through is. It's all in risky waters -- with the proper followup, it could pay some great dividends, but if there's just an incoherent mix of denunciations and half-hearted support along with a lack of focus on the agenda, it'll be exactly what people are saying it is, a big mistake.

Do I think Dean was ad-libbing his "white Christian" remark? Well, maybe, but I still think he knew what he was saying and what the reaction would be. It's not some codeword. He knows what he's doing, but it's not some Grand Master Plan. I think Dean's understanding of the nature of the media is what's giving him the confidence to shoot off these remarks. And my enjoyment of Dean so far is not only derived from his flipping off of the fuckers that be. But given the current climate, I can't see how we can't have someone who's willing to fight fire with fire. Even if he is the chair, it can't hurt, since regardless of what we do or say, the minions over at Fox Nooz will ask why we hate America so, and Wolf Blitzer will nod and smile along. If we can maintain some semblence of party discipline, Dean'll have been justified in that confidence, because then he's the lightning rod (not, say, a future presidential candidate), and meanwhile, nothing's distracted from our agenda, because we've constantly emphasized that nobody is saying anything different except in terms of diction.

Of course, any plan that requires the Democrats to maintain party discipline is probably doomed to failure.

Update: John links to this article, in which Dean says "You know, I think a lot of this is exactly what the Republican want, and that's a diversion." And that's true. What I would really like from Dean is more of the Today show-ish comments, where, rather bluntly, he called out the Republicans for what they are rather than making some pithy comments. But at least, for once, we've got someone who isn't so afraid of kowtowing to the sensibilities of Bill Schneider that he'll run circles around himself to appear civil. Now to harness that...