August 4th, 2011

More creative metaphors to describe the Tea Party Republicans

They’re not terrorists any more. Now they’re carjackers.

[ADDENDUM: Salon’s Joan Walsh says the Republicans are out to “destroy” Obama, like they did Clinton before him. I wonder whether she thinks either man might have done anything to cooperate in his own “destruction.” As for Bush and what the Democrats said about him, Walsh doesn’t seem to think it’s worthy of mention.]

31 Responses to “More creative metaphors to describe the Tea Party Republicans”

  1. Shouting Thomas Says:

    Since I live in Woodstock, NY, one of the most progressive liberal communities in America, I can tell you exactly how the left would respond were the circumstances reversed.

    This attack on the Tea Party alleges that the party has committed or is likely to commit violence. There is absolutely no evidence that this is true. This attack started with the Vice President, which suggests that the President approved this tactic.

    Let’s reverse this and see how the left would react. Suppose a Republican president launched an attack on his most effective political opponents, alleging that those opponents wer about to commit violence.

    The left would be screaming about suppression of speech and freedom of assembly. They would be writing feverishly that this signaled a deliberate attempt to use police and military force to suppress dissent.

    Is this what Obama is doing? Is he testing the waters?

  2. M J R Says:

    I responded (along with hundreds of others) to this boob earlier today. This was my response . . .

    BEGIN PASTE

    Obama — head of the Executive branch — merely needed to direct the Treasury to prioritize incoming revenues: first, service the debt (avoid default); second, ensure military personnel and veterans’ benefits get paid; third, ensure social security payments are delivered (’cause we were all forced to pay in for years and years); fourth, prioritze everything else.

    The idea that Tea Partiers would have forced the country into default is ludicrous — and critics such as you ^know^ ^it^. Just another talking point; whatever works; right?

    Obama had a whole other car to use, and the baby was already in the back seat.

    Now maybe let’s talk about how Obama, Reid, and Pelosi hijacked the system to shower us all with an absurdly expensive Obamacare that a clear majority never wanted . . .

    Today 8/4/2011 1:36:55 PM EDT

    END PASTE

    . . . not that he’ll read it, not that the oceans will cease to rise or anything like that. But it made me feel just a teeny weeny bit better.

  3. Shouting Thomas Says:

    The bit about Republicans destroying Clinton is also pretty risible.

    I voted for Clinton twice, and was over all satisfied with most of his job performance.

    I also thought he deserved to be impeached, and that he probably deserved to be convicted and removed from office.

    He committed perjury before a Federal grand jury. I’m no prude, and I don’t care about his dalliances.

    The crime probably demanded his conviction. He was lucky to have remained in office to serve out his term.

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    Shouting Thomas: whether or not Clinton committed perjury in the legal sense is extremely iffy. One of these days I will write a post on that question, because it comes up again and again. Till then, see this.

    You and I may think what Clinton did was wrong, and that in the usual sense of the word he was lying or at the very least attempting to mislead. That does not mean he committed perjury. In fact, it is my opinion that he did not. “Perjury” is a legal term with a very precise definition, and that is the case for a reason.

    There’s much more I could say—but as I wrote earlier, I’ll probably deal with it one of these days in a full post. But here’s part of the draft that I wrote a while ago, focusing on the issue of his disbarment, which some people think was for perjury. It was not:

    As for the reason Clinton was disbarred in Arkansas, it was not for perjury, and no court even alleged he had committed any crime. As part of the settlement of Paula Jones’ suit, Clinton was found by the judge to be in (civil) contempt of court for his misleading and evasive testimony. Why didn’t the court say “perjury?” Almost certainly because perjury was not committed. Clinton actually was not disbarred permanently, either; he was suspended and unable to practice for five years in Arkansas and then would become eligible, although as far as I know he has never petitioned to do so. His suspension from practicing before the Supreme Court followed automatically from the Arkansas action, and there was absolutely no judgment on the merits by SCOTUS either involving perjury or contempt of court.

  5. Curtis Says:

    I like the summation Paul Johnson gives Bertrand Russell in his very enjoyable and good book, “Intellectuals:” logical fiddlesticks. You have to read the chapter but it is worth it.

    http://tinyurl.com/3hg2wb4

    Clinton may not technically fit the perjury description, but a lot of people think its a case of logical fiddlesticks.

  6. M J R Says:

    Legal perjury? Dunno.

    Legal witness tampering? Sure as heck seems to me. And that’s something a president shouldn’t be doing. Not no-how.

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    Curtis: the law is a case of logical fiddlesticks to many people.

    But it is not just that, at least in most instances. Nor is it with Clinton and perjury. The laws of perjury are written the way they are for a reason. The law is not merely nitpicking, talking about angels dancing on the head of pins. It is actually very well thought out, and “perjury” is not (and should not be) the same as “lying under oath” or “misleading under oath” (and it is probably only the latter that Clinton was guilty of, by the way).

    Again, more for another day. It is an unpopular stance to take on the right, but I have thought about this issue long and hard, and for many years, and that is the conclusion I have come to.

  8. Curtis Says:

    Hope your perjury article comes out soon. It’s actually something I should know.

  9. rickl Says:

    Personally, I think Clinton should have been impeached for transferring missile technology to the Chinese Communists in exchange for campaign contributions, but that’s just me…

  10. pst314 Says:

    “I did not have sex with that woman” is not perjury if you are allowed to redefine “sex” to mean whatever you want.

  11. Libby Says:

    Oh, please! I love the assumption built into Walsh’s claim that Clinton was defenseless in the face of Republican hatred. He of the “war room”, his “scorched earth” treatment of political enemies including possession of their FBI files, and with minions responsible for handling “bimbo eruptions.” Had it not been for the infamous blue dress, Lewinsky would have been written off as a crazy stalker. Yep, it was all just a vast right-wing conspiracy.

  12. neo-neocon Says:

    pst314: it is actually you who are redefining the situation to mean whatever you want. Before he answered, Clinton asked for the court’s definition of the word. He was using their definition, not his own, and not the usual definition, either. Yes, he was very clever in a lawyerly way, and no one has to like or admire it, but he made sure he did not perjure himself.

  13. neo-neocon Says:

    pst314: And by the way, “I did not have sex with that woman” was something Clinton said to the press, not under oath, so it cannot be perjury although it is a lie (he actually said “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”—which is no coincidence, since it was the legal term used in his testimony under oath in the Jones trial).

    The definition of “sexual intercourse” which was used in the Jones trial was an odd one indeed, but it wasn’t Clinton’s definition;

    At Clinton’s deposition, Jones’ legal team asked Judge Susan Webber Wright to approve a very precise, three-part definition of sexual relations. Clinton’s attorney Robert Bennett objected to the whole definition, but to the last two parts especially, as being too broad. Wright agreed to disallow parts 2 and 3, leaving only the first, narrowest definition of sex in place.

    With that, Clinton may have been given the room to offer a technically “true” denial to the question of whether he had sex with Lewinsky–even if she happened to perform fellatio on him. The truncated definition characterizes sex in terms of a checklist of body parts, including the genitals, breast and thigh. Oral sex would not necessarily require the President to touch anything on Lewinsky that appears on that list. Strange as it may sound, under one reading of the definition, Lewinsky could have been having sex with him (because she was “touching” the President’s genitals) while at the same moment, he was not having sex with her. (At the deposition, Clinton wasn’t asked if she had sexual relations with him, just if he had them with her.)

  14. Shouting Thomas Says:

    I’m surprised that nobody has taken up my first post, in which I suggested that the Democratic attack on the Tea Party as “terrorists” is a veiled threat of political suppression that originates with the President.

    The left, if confronted with a Republican president who used such tactics, would be howling about freedom of speech and assembly.

  15. SteveH Says:

    Clinton’s slipperyness on the definitions of sex in court will always be remembered for highlighting his poor character more than a blow job in the oval office ever could. So in essence he won by losing.

  16. ErisGuy Says:

    “Republicans are out to ‘destroy’ Obama, like they did Clinton before him.”

    Let’s hope she know something the rest of us don’t know. If the Republicans are out to destroy Obama, it isn’t apparent to me.

    My memory says the Zero destroyed Clinton. Oh, we weren’t talking about Hillary, well, she is unimportant, I guess.

    As to Clinton, I was destroyed as Clinton was destroyed…and now I too am worth $50+ millions. I wish such destruction on everyone.

  17. njcommuter Says:

    I wonder if these folks do not see the difference between their own words, containing nothing but hate, and the substantive arguments of Obamas critics, which really do destroy the (il)logical premises on which he stands? And that they hate Obama’s critics the more fiercely for using a weapon that to them is as foreign as a Martian death ray?

  18. bandit Says:

    “Shouting Thomas: whether or not Clinton committed perjury in the legal sense is extremely iffy.”

    Not so iffy to the Arkansas Bar Association

  19. Richard Aubrey Says:

    If Walsh claims Clinton was “destroyed”, then that’s all we need to know about the article. Nothing more is relevant.

  20. Dan Says:

    Walsh (and many others on the Left) is engaging in a pretty run of the mill ad hominem style attack. After all, if your opponent is crazy, you don’t need to address his arguments. Convenient rationalization but dead wrong.

  21. DNW Says:

    “The truncated definition characterizes sex in terms of a checklist of body parts, including the genitals, breast and thigh. Oral sex would not necessarily require the President to touch anything on Lewinsky that appears on that list.”

    Apparently touch then is defined as restricted to the hand. Rather different from the dictionary definition.

    I guess Bill never “touched” Monica’s mouth.

    Reminds me of the pseudo puzzle created by camera obscura model of the development of sense data.

    I guess if you took a cricket bat and smacked John Locke on the back of the knee from behind, he could develop no idea, hence knowledge, of what happened since he didn’t see it through his pinhole skull camera.

    I know that is an somewhat unfair characterization, but it’s fair enough, I think.

    We used to joke about sending idealists that leveraged off this model, blindfolded and with ear plugs out into traffic to see what would happen; but never carried through with the experiment, and thus never collected empirical evidence falsifying their claims.

    Perhaps one will volunteer someday.

  22. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    Dan:

    I used to have arguments like that all the time. A colleague was fond of seeking out some excuse for discrediting me, so that he could use his favorite line: “With that in mind, Daniel, why should I listen to anything you have to say?”

    The problem was that, once his excuse is shown to be false, he has no argument left. (This was usually when he changed the subject. I don’t think he liked having his favorite debating technique backfire on him so thoroughly.)

    respectfully,
    Daniel in Brookline

  23. Indigo Red Says:

    What about TEA Party Democrats? We have many Democrats at the TEA Party Patriots meetings I attend. Hispanics, too. And a Chiricahua Apache. We even have Libertarians and Independents, god-believers and atheists. The TEA Party groups I’ve experienced are a mixed bag of America. Seldom is the word ‘Republican’ ever used.

  24. neo-neocon Says:

    DNW:

    Incorrect.

    This was the definition used:

    “Contact with the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.”

    By that definition, Clinton most definitely did NOT have sexual relations with “that woman.”

  25. neo-neocon Says:

    bandit: did you bother to actually read what I wrote here? If not, I’ll repeat it for your benefit:

    As for the reason Clinton was disbarred in Arkansas, it was not for perjury, and no court even alleged he had committed any crime. As part of the settlement of Paula Jones’ suit, Clinton was found by the judge to be in (civil) contempt of court for his misleading and evasive testimony. Why didn’t the court say “perjury?” Almost certainly because perjury was not committed. Clinton actually was not disbarred permanently, either; he was suspended and unable to practice for five years in Arkansas and then would become eligible, although as far as I know he has never petitioned to do so. His suspension from practicing before the Supreme Court followed automatically from the Arkansas action, and there was absolutely no judgment on the merits by SCOTUS either involving perjury or contempt of court.

    More here.

  26. Richard Aubrey Says:

    It appears, from liberals, that incivility is actually civil if it is deemed to be a fact.
    So all the vile, awful, terrible things I want to say about liberals are now allowed because I deem them to be a fact.
    Good to know.

  27. DNW Says:

    neo-neocon Says:
    August 5th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    DNW:

    Incorrect.

    This was the definition used:

    “Contact with the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.”

    By that definition, Clinton most definitely did NOT have sexual relations with “that woman.”

    I’m not sure what was incorrect: my stating that a dictionary definition was different from the one apparently used, or that the definition actually used must have assumed touching meant by hand.

    Since the definition you present states “contact” and then defines the context, I guess you meant “incorrect” because touching was not defined by what Bill used to to make contact, but rather by the area of Monica he targeted with whatever appendage he used to make it.

    Since his hand never came into contact with her breast, but only his genitals with her mouth, there was presumably no sexual touching per definition

    Yeah … that makes sense.

  28. neo-neocon Says:

    DNW: yes, that’s what I meant.

    The court used a definition that defined “sexual relations” by the part of the body of the person touched by him. Also, it defined it as being to gratify that other person. Although perhaps Monica got a charge from the interaction, the primary purpose was to gratify Bill, not Monica.

    And yes, it’s a rather weird and restrictive definition. But it was the one the court adopted for the purposes of his answering the question.

    People who allege perjury usually are not aware of these details. The details may seem absurd, but legally, that’s what was operating at the time he was under oath.

  29. rickl Says:

    Since his hand never came into contact with her breast, but only his genitals with her mouth, there was presumably no sexual touching per definition

    That is a ridiculous definition, that oral sex doesn’t count as “sexual relations” somehow.

    This sort of thing is why so many people despise lawyers.

  30. Artfldgr Says:

    Have they called them reactionaries yet?

    the scary one is the slate article…

    Lessons of the Crisis
    The debt-ceiling debacle revealed that politics is broken in every possible way and there’s no point in explaining complicated matters to the American people.

    No point in explaining complicated matters to the American people… so what happens then?

    The antediluvian Republicans…
    They believe that the 2009 stimulus bill, which has prevented an even worse economy over the past two years, is actually responsible for the current weakness.

    -=O=-

    are simply intellectual primitives who reject modern economics on the same basis that they reject Darwin and climate science

    now THIS is a gem:
    The conservative position that all spending is evil obliterates any distinction between investment and consumption, between the long-term and the short-term.

    and after 40 years of left liberal progressive ideas and schools and such… this is where we are…

    The United States suffers with an increasingly third-world level of infrastructure, a third-tier education system, and enormous gaps in the preparedness of its workforce. The debate has now ended: Money to upgrade those faltering systems will not be forthcoming.

    -=O=-

    by the way, the United States isn’t going to take on any other major problems either—immigration, tax reform, or climate change, for example.

    and WHY will all this happen?

    It isn’t going to do so for the same reason it has failed at sensible economic management: because the Tea Party has a veto.

    you really cant put that into one word can you?

    It was that some of them clearly desired default as a kind of ultimate weapon against social spending. The precedent has been set for using America’s credit rating as blackmail.

    blackmailer…. nice term…

    and like nitsche never did, he declares compromise dead…

    is that the same as elmer fudd saying this mean war wabbit?

  31. rickl Says:

    Art:
    I’m waiting for them to declare Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin to be Enemies of the People.

    It’s clear to me that this is a process of the Left systematically dehumanizing their opponents and whipping up hatred. It’s as plain as day.

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