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Lyle 04-30-2009 02:09 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
How do you reward a politician by voting against him or her?

mmacklem 04-30-2009 02:09 AM

Some dingalink highlights
 
Good luck with that...

Them sounds like fightin' words!

and I have no idea if these ones are nearly as amusing as I found them, but here goes:
Sorry John, had to post this one... and part 2 of John's epic battle against tangerine goodness
and
Tell us what you really think

mmacklem 04-30-2009 02:43 AM

Re: Some dingalink highlights
 
But to get away from the silliness for a moment, although I disagreed with most of what John and Glenn were saying on the topic of torture, these two clips in particular got me thinking:

Glenn on motives of critics: although I would (highly) take issue with the notion that any of what he's saying here would be agreeing with the conservatives on this issue, I do think that it is an incomplete debate that is going on on the topic of torture if it is only looked at in isolation. If you believe that the Iraq War was knowingly justified based on false pretenses, then there is a casualty count in the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, which did not need to occur. If you believe that the case was honestly (albeit wrongly) made, then the war was a mistake that resulted in hundreds of thousands of Iraqi casualties. There is an incredibly destructive margin of error in the use of military force which also indicates a lack of perspective on or appreciation of the value of human lives that we ourselves will never naturally encounter.

Surely this is also part of the decision mechanism that resulted in the torture program, that our absolute knowledge in the truth of our assumptions about the "hearts of man", be that on an individual level or at a macro international relations level, justifies taking actions which can result in the horrific pain and suffering and death of other people, about whom our assumptions or knowledge can potentially be mistaken, should also be part of this debate.

Torture is evil, yes, and by its natural can never be justified as a "means", but to say that torture is wrong and end there, without a conversation about aggressive war or militarism writ large seems like a horribly incomplete conversation.

John on priorities: John seems focussed throughout this discussion on the idea that there are more pressing issues to be focussed on than torture: the financial crisis, the sorry state of the schools, prisoner re-entry programs, people shooting up nursing homes (?). Fine. Then when? When do we come back to this issue?

If we are the world's superpower, and we torture people, and then we decide afterwards, not to ignore it, but to come back to it later, then personally I find that an even more disgusting message than to ignore it entirely. If we ignore it, that at least seems to acknowledge the magnitude of the misdeeds: torture is so terrible that we as a nation cannot quite handle grappling the shame and loss of honor that is the result of actually having taken part in such horrific acts. But if we acknowledge it and say that we'll come back to it later, then that places a priority ordering on it. Saving our financial system is more urgent than the fact that we approved of torturing fellow humans. Ensuring universal health coverage is more urgent than the fact that we approved of torturing fellow humans. Making sure that it is easier for workers to form a union is more urgent than the fact that we approved of torturing fellow humans. Each of these things have value and are important, but to focus on them first with the explicit statement that we will come back to dealing with the torturers afterwards makes the implicit statement that every single thing we do between now and that future point is more pressing than dealing with the fact that we approved of torturing fellow human beings. I'm sorry, but I find that notion repulsive.

bjkeefe 04-30-2009 02:53 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 111999)
This is a little harsh I think. Their "arguments" don't deserve to be addressed?

Harsh or not, that is my view of the general tenor of what Glenn and John had to say. I am not going to ignore most of it and search for one or two possibly non-useless points, because that would excuse their overall wrongheadedness. An analogy, admittedly a little extreme: I would not discuss curious artifacts in one photograph from the Apollo missions, even if I thought it might be a reasonable-sounding point, with someone who started out by saying, "The Moon landings were a hoax."

Quote:

Tom Friedman said more or less the same thing today in the New York Times.
That is no way to convince me. If you want to appeal to authority, you'll have to find someone else.


Quote:

The three of them all make good points.
See first answer.

Quote:

There would also be fewer black men in prison if fewer black men committed crime. Not only are there a disproportionate of black men in prison, but black men are also disproportionately the victims of crimes, like murder.
This has nothing to do with the Bush Administration torture issue. I don't care to discuss it at this time, thanks.

bjkeefe 04-30-2009 03:01 AM

Re: Bravo John & Glenn
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rcocean (Post 112000)
As usual, these two are the stars of BHTV. Right on Torture and pretty much everything else. The country - except for the wingnuts and KOS kid rejects - doesn't want a show trial over torture. The adults need to take charge and move on to more important topics.

Not sure whether you consider me or many of the other commenters who have strongly rejected John and Glenn's view on the torture issue as "KOS kid rejects," but if so, you are sorely misunderstanding where we're coming from.

I, for one, would like proper investigations to be conducted. Depending on what comes out of those, then, yes, trials might be appropriate. They should be held in open court, if they are held. If that is what you mean by "show trial," fine, but somehow, I don't think you do.

I am also open to the path of a truth and reconciliation-style commission if the best judgment of the President and leaders in Congress is that it would be harder to get the whole story out, and the nation back on the proper path, if there are going to be too many lawyers involved and too much of a media circle jerk created.

I have said both of these things numerous times in this forum, and so have many others. Our positions are considerably more sophisticated then your airy dismissal suggests.

As for "wingnuts," I am unaware of anyone from the unhinged right who is calling for even the slightest bit of accountability or investigation, let alone "show trials." Perhaps you could give some examples.

Finally, I fail to see what is so "adult" about putting your head in the sand, rather than facing up to the strong suggestion that what happened during the previous administration was wrong. Seems to me it would be more grown-up to find out the truth, rather than try to pretend nothing happened.

Seems to me a real conservative would not be so quick to dismiss the worth of taking responsibility for one's actions.

Lyle 04-30-2009 03:03 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 112009)
That is no way to convince me. If you want to appeal to authority, you'll have to find someone else.

Tom Friedman is as much in authority as Paul Krugman, if not more so, and you routinely quote Paul Krugman.


Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 112009)
This has nothing to do with the Bush Administration torture issue. I don't care to discuss it at this time, thanks.

Why did you bring up the "racial inequalities in our justice system" then?

bjkeefe 04-30-2009 03:26 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 112012)
Tom Friedman is as much in authority as Paul Krugman, if not more so, and you routinely quote Paul Krugman.

Sorry, that is not true in my view. When he's not writing these cotton candy pieces about the whole world based on the last cab driver he talked to and the last CEO he had lunch with, Friedman has a long record of being dead wrong about things throughout the 21st century. I used to respect his views, particularly on the Middle East, but I haven't for years.

I don't agree with everything Krugman has said, and I'm sure someone somewhere has made it his business to assemble everything that could be called a mistake by Krugman, but generally, my view is that Krugman is far more often right than wrong. In particular, he saw through George Bush before November 2000, and he was about the only pundit anywhere near his level to have the guts to call them as he saw them from 9/2001 on.

You may disagree, and that's fine, but I am just telling you that if your aim is convince me of anything, invoking the Moustache of Understanding will not help you at all.

Quote:

Why did you bring up the "racial inequalities in our justice system them"?
Aw, Jesus, Lyle. It's hard to believe anyone could be so obtuse. I'm going to let you contemplate the idiocy of this question rather than dignify it with an answer. Learn to fucking read for context.

bookofdisquiet 04-30-2009 03:28 AM

reprinted from another source
 
"Evil is not banal.

What is banal is moral preening by those who judge others who stand up to evil, who judge those who may have been compromised in their human fallibility to fight evil so that others may enjoy the good (life). What's banal are all those pundits and ideologues on the sidelines who only get their hands dirty when they change ink cartridges on their printers.

What's banal are all those preeners calling for revenge against those acting in good faith, who did what they believed to be the right action at the time in thwarting evil. What's banal are the men and women who enjoy making those who are less than pure in fighting evil look as though they're commensurate with the evildoers themselves. They round up the usual suspects, the cliched villains of Nazi Germany and Bosnia and trot them out for a show trial of their imagination.

Of course, logic requires that these moral purists make distinctions, sort of. "I know it's offensive to compare almost anything to the Nazis," Richard Cohen writes in The Washington Post, as he does just that in a discussion of the Third Reich: "but the Bush-era memos struck me as echoes from the past."

Mark McKeon, who was a prosecutor against the war crimes perpetuated in Bosnia, concedes that the level of our leaders' crimes does not approach the level of the crimes of Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein, but we must punish "the most senior government officials responsible for [our torture] crimes."

The debate about the so-called torture techniques in interrogating enemies is not one of good vs. evil. It's about moral abstraction vs. grim reality. It has moved from saying that "torture is wrong," something with which most people will agree, to seeking revenge against those falsely perceived as moral enemies in our midst.

It's relatively easy to criticize lawyers in this country who take advantage of our free system to sue, but not in making lawyers targets for prosecution because they offered arguments in defense of certain techniques to elicit information at a time when we were extremely afraid of attacks on our country that might murder thousands more through hidden terrorist plots.

The debate has moved away from making pre-emptive laws for the future that forbid using such techniques to seeking revenge against those who in a moment of collective panic thought the techniques they used were legal and necessary to save American lives.

What a difference eight years make. "

Lyle 04-30-2009 03:44 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Tom Friedman is still quality I think, but he's not a fully fledged left-winger so I can see how he sticks in your craw.

Black men should also murder fewer black men. America would be much better for it.

MikeDrew 04-30-2009 06:03 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Glenn looks more and more like a quadriplegic trillionaire floating in his customized space module, communicating with Earth only via BhTV and John McW every time. Is it just me?

bjkeefe 04-30-2009 07:00 AM

Another 100 Days Conversation Between Two More Guys Who Don't Want To Have One
 
Ta-Nehisi Coates and Andrew Sullivan (text) chat about the mother of all clichéd round numbers.

claymisher 04-30-2009 11:37 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeDrew (Post 112024)
Glenn looks more and more like a quadriplegic trillionaire floating in his customized space module, communicating with Earth only via BhTV and John McW every time. Is it just me?

No.

Abu Noor Al-Irlandee 04-30-2009 11:43 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Brendan,

Quote:

As I heard him, John was objecting to Chris Matthews comparing the swine flu (as handled by Obama) to Katrina (as handled by Bush). His major complaints, in other words, were with the comparison in the first place and the rush by CM to jump on the bash-Bush/praise-Obama bandwagon. Not saying I agree with John, but just to make clear what he was saying.
Thanks for trying to clarify what Mr. McWhorter was saying, I really didn't get it. (Still not sure I do, but thanks for trying). If that was his point, though, it still doesn't make sense since he was comparing the swine flu to the 1918 Flu epidemic when it is actually much closer in scale to Katrina than it is to that.

I don't know on what basis pundits could be saying that Obama is doing a great job with the swine flu situation at this point, so if that's what they are saying then I agree it doesn't really make sense.

Salt 04-30-2009 01:12 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Snap! Suddenly, Glenn and then, reluctantly, John adopt the Bush-Cheney position when it comes to waterboarding, caterpillaring, etc. What do you call that? Realism, I suppose. What do you call all the anti-"torture" rhetoric from the election? B.S.

uncle ebeneezer 04-30-2009 02:36 PM

Re: Another 100 Days Conversation Between Two More Guys Who Don't Want To Have One
 
Thanks for finding that. Good stuff.

opposable_crumbs 04-30-2009 02:44 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
In the unlikely event that anyone in the US is convicted of toture or related offences, then they will surely be pardoned by either this president or the next.

I think the US will also have to look at whether it can allow detainees to be tortured by it's allies in the war on terror, be that in Basra or Baghram.

halfers3 04-30-2009 03:03 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Come on people. I am really quite dismayed by some of the comments and by the views expressed by John and Glenn on the topic of torture. At least in my view their attempt to discredit calls for further investigation into the previous administrations involvement in the torture of suspected terrorists is entirely unfounded and based on specious reasoning.

1. On whether or not acts of torture were committed:
Precedent is a foundational principle of the west's system of jurisprudence. Military tribunals, although clearly operating on different principles from those that guide the public courts, ruled that waterboarding constituted the torture of American prisoners during WW2. Precedent set. Unless of course we hold that it is not the application of it but the situation in which it is used that constitutes whether an act is torture or not (they are terrorists so it is not torture). This is would clearly open the topic up to all sorts of arbitrary and subjective definitions of situations where torture is or is not justified.

2. On Glenn's argument that the U.S. does lots of other violent stuff so why should people be held accountable for these acts of violence:
a)for the same reason that we hold soldiers responsible for intentionally killing non-combatants,or, for the same reason that we threw a bunch of grunts into jail for the abuses at Abu Ghraib. Is the principle here that we should hold very young soldiers accountable for their actions while excusing those individuals responsible for allowing and promoting the institutionalization of these practices?

3. The ends justify the means. (sorry for the cliche)
Torture Works! So does killing surrendered enemy combatants as opposed to using scarce resources to hold them for an indeterminate amount of time in prison camps. The resources used to jail enemy combatants in all previous conflicts could have been used to manufacture new and better weapons, pay spies, provide adequate armor for our soldiers etc. etc. ... all of which could have resulted in more American lives saved.

There are many reasons why this practice is not institutionally adopted regardless of its apparent benefits. We dont want other people to do it to us. It might incite more hatred for us among the enemy's population leading to more recruitment. It might make their soldiers more determined as they know that capture means certain death ... or over the last eight years possible torture. Or maybe, just maybe, we believe in a set of moral principles that tells us that some acts are wrong, and that by engaging in these acts we weaken the very principles that we espouse. I digress, but I think my point is made.

Thanks, dad! 04-30-2009 03:13 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
i don't think me or anyone else was advocating torture....i was just saying that it works;)

uncle ebeneezer 04-30-2009 03:36 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Very Well said Halfers3,

I would add that considering that any real punishment as far as conviction or jail time is extremely unlikely for pragmatic and political reasons, I think some sort of truth commission to let the people know who did what (democrats included) is the least we can do. This is OUR government. If Bush/Cheney et al authorized torture, I want that on the record right beside their names in the history books. I don't think that's too much to ask as an American citizen.

mmacklem 04-30-2009 03:37 PM

Confusion about clip comparisons
 
One last point: not sure how any of the discussion that Glenn has on torture in this DV squares with this discussion on torture.

uncle ebeneezer 04-30-2009 04:16 PM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
Ouch. Game, Set, Match!!!

nikkibong 04-30-2009 04:25 PM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mmacklem (Post 112079)
One last point: not sure how any of the discussion that Glenn has on torture in this DV squares with this discussion on torture.

Nice catch, mack. This really cuts to the heart of what I find so irksome about Glenn: his nearly pathological need to be contrarian. This has been apparent throughout nearly every diavlog he's done here at BHTV: and indeed, it has been evident throughout the history of his career. This torture example is a nearly perfectly distilled example of this, but there have been dozens of others.

Frankly, I'm tired of the whole schtick. And I'm also curious as to why Glenn has never on bh.tv addressed his alleged field of expertise: economics.

Abdicate 04-30-2009 04:59 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Glenn incorrectly refers to 'the last helicopter taking off from the US embassy in Saigon' or something. In fact--as Tim Weiner writes in Legacy of Ashes--the aircraft lifted off from a CIA safe house, not from the US embassy. See: http://tinyurl.com/cazhfv

claymisher 04-30-2009 05:00 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
I didn't get very far. These two are usually really interesting but this time they were just arrogant jerks.

Glenn was talking about people getting on their high horses for wanting to prosecute torturers. Do you really need to explain incentives to an economist? If you let people get away torture, you're going to get more torture. And Glenn should really get off his own damned high horse. He's doing a hell of a lot of mind reading here, assuming that everybody who wants to, you know, enforce the god damn law is on a partisan witch hunt.

The last thing we need is congressional hearings or a truth commission. How much truth are we going to get out of these liars? And it was hearings that turned Oliver North into a hero. Getting those creeps in front of the cameras explaining why torture is teh awesome is just going to make it more partisan and further debase our standards. It ought to be prosecuted like the crime it is, with the plain old law and plain old prosecutors.

claymisher 04-30-2009 05:03 PM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mmacklem (Post 112079)
One last point: not sure how any of the discussion that Glenn has on torture in this DV squares with this discussion on torture.

That has gotta be one of the all-time best dingalinks. Well done.

claymisher 04-30-2009 05:10 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 112012)
Tom Friedman is as much in authority as Paul Krugman

It could go either way. The next six months will be crucial in determining the relative authority of Tom Friedman.

bjkeefe 04-30-2009 05:12 PM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mmacklem (Post 112079)
One last point: not sure how any of the discussion that Glenn has on torture in this DV squares with this discussion on torture.

That is an awesome bust, mm.

For the sake of my own instinct to be pathologically contrarian ;^), I'll speculate about two possible reasons that Glenn might give were he to respond:

1. He's an academic, so he sees it as his role to examine the opposite of the conventional wisdom or new fashionable point of view. It may even be instinctive to do this, or at least, deeply ingrained as part of his training. So, in 2004, he wanted torture raised as an issue because few other prominent voices were calling for that, and now that many others are doing so, particularly from the left, he looks for a reason not to be part of the chorus.

2. He saw the issue as appropriate to be raised during the (2004) campaign, so that the People May Decide, and sincerely does not believe that a "witch hunt" is what's best for the country now. That is, as he did make fairly clear in this diavlog, he feels that loss of reputation for the senior Bushies is sufficient punishment.

The truth is, I've long believed (and said elsewhere, I'm pretty sure) that Glenn's problem is that he holds Obama to an impossibly high standard, and will always look for the downside to anything that Obama does or does not do. I'm not sure what drives this, but I think it's a combination of several possible things, among which are (1) a worry that Obama-as-trailblazer will be less than great, (2) a reluctance to be seen as an Obama fanboy lest he lose cred as a critic at large, and (3) an ongoing resentment at Obama as a member of a new generation not paying enough respect to the previous generation.

mmacklem 04-30-2009 05:14 PM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 112096)
1. He's an academic, so he sees it as his role to examine the opposite of the conventional wisdom or new fashionable point of view. It may even be instinctive to do this, or at least, deeply ingrained as part of his training. So, in 2004, he wanted torture raised as an issue because few other prominent voices were calling for that, and now that many others are doing so, particularly from the left, he looks for a reason not to be part of the chorus.

2. He saw the issue as appropriate to be raised during the (2004) campaign, so that the People May Decide, and sincerely does not believe that a "witch hunt" is what's best for the country now. That is, as he did make fairly clear in this diavlog, he feels that loss of reputation for the senior Bushies is sufficient punishment.

That clip was during the last election, not 2004. They make references to Boumedienne.

bjkeefe 04-30-2009 05:19 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Abu Noor Al-Irlandee (Post 112041)
Brendan,



Thanks for trying to clarify what Mr. McWhorter was saying, I really didn't get it. (Still not sure I do, but thanks for trying). If that was his point, though, it still doesn't make sense since he was comparing the swine flu to the 1918 Flu epidemic when it is actually much closer in scale to Katrina than it is to that.

I don't know on what basis pundits could be saying that Obama is doing a great job with the swine flu situation at this point, so if that's what they are saying then I agree it doesn't really make sense.

If it is the case that pundits are making this comparison, I completely agree. I haven't heard this, myself. I don't watch TV news, and if John said it, I don't remember it.

popcorn_karate 04-30-2009 05:21 PM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
yep - it only took him 8 months to make that about face.

impressive.

bjkeefe 04-30-2009 05:32 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 112077)
Very Well said Halfers3,

I would add that considering that any real punishment as far as conviction or jail time is extremely unlikely for pragmatic and political reasons, I think some sort of truth commission to let the people know who did what (democrats included) is the least we can do. This is OUR government. If Bush/Cheney et al authorized torture, I want that on the record right beside their names in the history books. I don't think that's too much to ask as an American citizen.

I second uncle eb's kudos.

Mostly, I agree with the sentiment that says I'll be satisfied if we just get the truth out about the whole sorry mess. I am certainly loathe to be driven by vengeance on this one, even though my viscera vibrate daily with fantasies of Bush, Cheney, Yoo, Bybee, Rumsfeld, Rice, et al, dressed in orange jumpsuits, moldering away in small, dank rooms.

However, at some point, if it is found that laws were broken and an unambiguous legal case can be made, I think it might well be worth it to go to trial. Again, I am not (intellectually) driven to see these guys in jail, but it might be for the best, for the sake of precedent and the rebuilding of our nation's image and moral fiber, to have them go down in history as convicted of crimes in a court of law.

That's getting ahead of ourselves, and we don't need to decide that now, but I do think thorough investigations are mandated. The key is to bend over backwards to make it clear that it is not a partisan witch hunt. So ... anyone want to nominate a couple of honest and honorable Republicans for the job?

uncle ebeneezer 04-30-2009 05:34 PM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
Just to play devil's advocate to your devil's advocate argument:

Quote:

2. He saw the issue as appropriate to be raised during the (2004) campaign, so that the People May Decide, and sincerely does not believe that a "witch hunt" is what's best for the country now. That is, as he did make fairly clear in this diavlog, he feels that loss of reputation for the senior Bushies is sufficient punishment.
If, ultimately nothing is meant to be done about the torture (including even just getting the details out for people to know), then what exactly would be the people Deciding? Which candidate they would prefer to have do nothing? I think it's fairly safe to assume that Glenn's point about 2004 campaigning was that torture IS an important issue and that the Dems should have been more brave in raising their objections to it. And the Dem candidate should be one who shares that sentiment and intends to do something about it. That was my read of essentially what he was saying back then, and I heartily agreed (and still do.) If Glenn was just saying that the Democrats should have used torture as an issue for campaigning but with no real intention to do anything about it, then he deserves even less of my ever-waning respect for his moral squishiness.

For the record, I think your assessment is probably accurate. It just really irks me that someone (Glenn) could appear so passionately opposed to something morally 9(s he appeared to me in this Dingalink) and then show no sign of that passion when the rubber starts to hit the road as far as taking action (and even ridicule those who still have that passion and write them off as being overtly political and vengeance-hungry.)

bjkeefe 04-30-2009 05:37 PM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mmacklem (Post 112097)
That clip was during the last election, not 2004. They make references to Boumedienne.

My bad. I evidently retained the number from the second sentence ("I remember the Republican convention of 2004"). Still, my speculation still works (to the extent that it does at all) -- Glenn might see this as the sort of thing that should be aired during a campaign, and not by a new administration vis a vis the last one.

To be clear, this is not my view. Just trying to imagine what he might say were he to respond to your fine first post in this subthread.

uncle ebeneezer 04-30-2009 05:38 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
I nominate Arlen Spec...um.

bjkeefe 04-30-2009 05:42 PM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 112105)
Just to play devil's advocate to your devil's advocate argument:



If, ultimately nothing is meant to be done about the torture (including even just getting the details out for people to know), then what exactly would be the people Deciding? Which candidate they would prefer to have do nothing? I think it's fairly safe to assume that Glenn's point about 2004 campaigning was that torture IS an important issue and that the Dems should have been more brave in raising their objections to it. And the Dem candidate should be one who shares that sentiment and intends to do something about it. That was my read of essentially what he was saying back then, and I heartily agreed (and still do.) If Glenn was just saying that the Democrats should have used torture as an issue for campaigning but with no real intention to do anything about it, then he deserves even less of my ever-waning respect for his moral squishiness.

Just for the record: as mmacklem corrected me, Glenn was referring to the 2008 Democratic Convention (although he did mention the 2004 RNC). That said, all of your DA to my DA argument still works, and I agree with it.

Quote:

For the record, I think your assessment is probably accurate. It just really irks me that someone (Glenn) could appear so passionately opposed to something morally 9(s he appeared to me in this Dingalink) and then show no sign of that passion when the rubber starts to hit the road as far as taking action (and even ridicule those who still have that passion and write them off as being overtly political and vengeance-hungry.)
Yeah, there's no doubt about this point. I used to have great respect for Glenn's moral sense, and I said after several of his early diavlogs that Obama could do far worse than to hire Glenn to be the conscience of his Administration. This feeling has been ebbing lately, and mmacklem pretty much just let all the rest of the water out of my pool with that one clip.

bjkeefe 04-30-2009 05:43 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 112108)
I nominate Arlen Spec...um.

ROFL!

bjkeefe 04-30-2009 05:46 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by claymisher (Post 112093)
It could go either way. The next six months will be crucial in determining the relative authority of Tom Friedman.

Hee hee!

Let none of us ever forget.

uncle ebeneezer 04-30-2009 05:48 PM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
Yeah, just as I finished writing I saw your correction on the context. I had an itching feeling that that discussion was regarding the 2008 Dem convention, but I was too lazy to confirm my instinct. The proper context makes Glenn's change of heart even more peculiar IMO.

I also remember originally during that divalog thinking that Glenn and Josh had passed over some of the less prime-time speeches at the convention where people like Kucinich DID raise the issue of torture rather emphatically.

mmacklem 04-30-2009 05:52 PM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 112107)
My bad. I evidently retained the number from the second sentence ("I remember the Republican convention of 2004"). Still, my speculation still works (to the extent that it does at all) -- Glenn might see this as the sort of thing that should be aired during a campaign, and not by a new administration vis a vis the last one.

I've generally been hearing three defenses to the Bush administration on this debate:
1. After 9/11, we were all freaked out. We over-reacted. There's no benefit to dragging the nation through a giant traumatic debate to discuss whether this was a mistake. Of course it was a mistake, but we meant well and simply wanted to protect the country.
2. The election and its aftermath have so completely repudiated Bush and his cronies, and their governing ideology, that there's no point dragging the entire country through a needless process simply to bring everyone to a point of agreement that we all already agree on.
3. None of this was torture: there were doctors there to make sure nobody died, we're a civilized nation and would never cut anyone's head off, and the entire question is moot because al Qaeda isn't a signatory to the Geneva Conventions.

It seems like Loury is arguing point 2 now, whereas beforehand he was specifically arguing against point 3. I think the defense of holding both positions is that during the campaign point 2 didn't exist.

bjkeefe 04-30-2009 05:59 PM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mmacklem (Post 112113)
I've generally been hearing three defenses to the Bush administration on this debate:
1. After 9/11, we were all freaked out. We over-reacted. There's no benefit to dragging the nation through a giant traumatic debate to discuss whether this was a mistake. Of course it was a mistake, but we meant well and simply wanted to protect the country.
2. The election and its aftermath have so completely repudiated Bush and his cronies, and their governing ideology, that there's no point dragging the entire country through a needless process simply to bring everyone to a point of agreement that we all already agree on.
3. None of this was torture: there were doctors there to make sure nobody died, we're a civilized nation and would never cut anyone's head off, and the entire question is moot because al Qaeda isn't a signatory to the Geneva Conventions.

It seems like Loury is arguing point 2 now, whereas beforehand he was specifically arguing against point 3. I think the defense of holding both positions is that during the campaign point 2 didn't exist.

Yes, that sounds like a very plausible explanation for Glenn's mindset.

All right, I am tired of trying to make a case on his behalf, since his attitude on this issue in this diavlog did bug me so much. Let me say in closing that I sincerely hope I never hear him make argument 3.

Oh, and again: great catch with that dingalink.


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