2 October 2004

Mexed Missages

I listened to the debate on the radio, not being able to afford one of those expensive image transporting devices. This, of course, left me bereft of many gestures and facial ticks used to decipher the candidates' true character and fitness to be daddy of the nation. To compensate, I've developed an uncanny ability to detect Shrub's smirk merely from the rising lilt in his voice. In all fairness, both candidates did quite well, according to the standards we've set for them. Kerry limited himself to no more than two relative clauses per sentence while Shrub managed to add only a few more words to the already overburdened English lexicon (two of them found their way into the title of this post, you'll notice).

Some are ready to pre-emptively give up on Bush, but I think if we are little more patient and allow him to continue to reign as the American king for another 8 or 12 years, we just might be able to get him from the phrase level ("You've gotta understand," "Well, flip-flopping, you know...") to form actual sentences, although I grimace as I consider what Shrub's education is costing us in terms of U.S. economic viability, the national debt, international standing, or the environment. Even so, I guess we need to "bite the bullet," having all vowed to leave no child behind...

We lefties like to tease Shrub and it really isn't fair, you know. I would even agree with those conservative voices that say Bush didn't really need to show up to grace us with his presence. He's running on his record and his "core" values, after all. Personally, I'd rather he got in touch a little more with some of his "peripheral" values, but I guess we'll have to wait for one of his future incarnations to see that happen.

During the debates, Shrub, being the tough Texan daddy that he is, pounded that whimpy war-hero Kerry on a number of issues. Shrub insisted, for example, that we can't criticize the war because that might discourage troops in Iraq. Perhaps I'm also one of those poor left-behind-children but I can't quite follow the intricate meanderings of the neocon brain at this point. Someone help me out here. Don't a lot of the arguments we hear lately seem a bit circular:

(a) We can't criticize the war.
(b) So the troops must stay in Iraq.
(c) And since the troops are in Iraq.
(c) We can't criticize the war.

or how about:

(a) The U.S. government now has the ability to arrest American citizens in the U.S. because they're terrorists.
(b) They're terrorists because we've determined them to be terrorists.
(c) But if courts or other U.S. citizens want access to determine who should be held (or even more importantly, who's been arrested), they can't have this information.
(d) Because the people being held are terrorists.

I think we need to add an extra category to Aristotelian logic, something called the Shrub Syllajizm (or mexed missages, for short).

Pinko Feminist Hellcat talks about the debate and some of Shrub's "mexed missages." For a good Esperanto article on the debates, see Gxangalo.

P.S. Far East, a leading Japanese blog, has an interesting Japanese-language post on the implications of a Kerry win for Japan.


Rook said...

Oh, and thanks for the link! I just added you to my list.

You know, it's like exchanging business cards.......

Screwy Hoolie said...

Too right! Syllabajizms straight from the sillyjizmy mouth of the First Slizjizmer.

delftsman3 said...

"a We can't criticize the war"

Funny statement, Karlo, as that seems to be about the main thing you and Diane and Robert DO complain about, and I haven't heard of any jackboots comeing to pick you up and taking you to the gulag.

Bush is certainly a...colorful..speaker,not as urbane as one might wish, but don't make the mistake of underestimating him...one that did is a grease spot on a cave wall in Tora Bora, and another is awaiting his just deserts in a cell in Iraq.

I can't fathom how people can call someone who received an MBA from Harvard a moron.

To disagree wih his policies are certainly fair game, but the constant hyperbolic insuations on his mental capacity is just indicitive of the "root cause"(ala Diane) of most of the arguments...they aren't founded in anything but pure hatred of one man.

Karlo said...

I will plea bargain, accepting the minor charges of hyberbole and misunderestimating the power of the executive. As for my the criticism of Bush's criticism of Kerry's right to criticism, I plead innocence. Bush is clearly trying to make an end run around the issue when he complained to Kerry in the debate that one can't criticize the war because of the message it sends to troops in the field. Clearly, a challenger's presidential campaign must be able to assess the record of the incumbent. It seems to me the Bush logic could be used to disastrous effect in other areas as well. Perhaps we should also not criticize No Child Left Behind as that would send the wrong message to schools that are running the program.

delftsman3 said...

"Bush is clearly trying to make an end run around the issue when he complained to Kerry in the debate that one can't criticize the war because of the message it sends to troops in the field."

It wasn't the criticism that Bush was decrying, it was the manner the criticism was rendered. Someone as linguistically adroit and with a military background to boot should have been able to disagree with policy without denigrating the boots on the ground AND their comrads in the coalition units, much less the heads of state of those other nations.

Mr. Kerry has continually proclaimed his abilities to engage other nations in joining together for the welfare of the world....If his recent statements are examples of his abilities, it seems that he must be forming coalitions in his mind; he sure won't be getting any together in the real world.

A recent survey of military personnel by Army times
reveals that 73% of the troops support Bush over Kerry...puts the lie to low morale that the troops involved would support the man who put them where they are, doesn't it?

Karlo said...

What exactly did Kerry say that "denigrated" the boots on the ground?

delftsman3 said...

What exactly did Kerry say that "denigrated" the boots on the ground?

"I voted for the 87B before I voted against it."
NO senator, you voted AGAINST it, money needed to equip our men on a battlefield, and then decrying a lack of body armor...armor that money would have provided.

"wrong war, wrong place.wrong time."
Telling a soldier that he's not fighting the "right" war?!? YOU would know better than that.

dismissing the contribution of our allies as "bribed or coerced"
Our men know exactly what our friends have contributed, and to dismiss those of our allies that payed the final price is a slap in the face to every man there.

I had a lot more, but I've been thrown off twice already and lost everything and it suffices to say that Kerry demonstrates that there is nothing he won't politicize for his own agrandizment at the expense of those that serve. When 73% of the soldiers in the zone support the president, it puts the lie to Kerry's claim of low morale and disenchantment with the goals of the operation. Do they want to be there? HELL NO!, who would?, but they are confident in the objectives and reasons for being there and are proud of being involved in achieving them.

Karlo said...

On the other hand, if it is, in fact, the wrong war, at the wrong place and wrong time" (a view that has been echoed by a number of top security analysts such as Jeffrey Record), it seems to me to denigrate our troops by lying about the war in order to justify one's political record. I don't quite see why the existence of "troops on the ground" needs to control our analysis of what has happened and what needs to happen. Are you recommending that we lie, if need be, to justify current policies?

delftsman3 said...

No, not at all, Karlo. I would agree with you that if it WERE the "wrong war", it would be denigrating to say it wasn't I think It would have been better if he had had just said that "Mr. Bush made an incorrect in sending them there." His battle is with Bush, not the troops.

It means the sane thing, but puts the onus on the source, and not on the troops. Like I said in an earlier thread, there are ways of saying things that don't insult those you have to deal with...it's called diplomacy. Kerry has no inkling of it's existance.

delftsman3 said...

Add "decision" after incorrect..PIMF...

Karlo said...

Delftsman, what happened to your digital cluebat. I tried to access your site and got an error message. Where will I go now to vent my leftist rage?

delftsman3 said...

I got caught up in the dispute between Mblog and MT Karlo; Mblog just shut their hosting service down without any warning.

I hope to have a new home by the end of next week. Don't worry, I like the exchange ov views as much as you do. It's fun to point out the error of your ways LOL. Talk to you soon, hopefully with a new blog addy.