Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Harriet Miers will withdraw

I now have an opinion on what will happen with Harriet Miers: She will withdraw her nomination before the start of the Judiciary Committee hearings. This opinion is not based on the latest George Will column that explains why she cannot be defended, nor is it based on my discovery of the tacky Harriet Miers’s Blog. My opinion is based on overhearing private conversations (i.e., reading between the lines in press reports), getting a sense of her declining fortunes from Senators and staffers who have been inclined to support her, and my visit to the local watering hole last night.

Even overlooking the congenital anti-Bush bias in the MSM, press reports make clear that the more would-be-defenders of Miers get to know her (visits to their offices, reading responses to written questions, etc.), the less they like her. This is supported by private, off-the-record opinions I get a whiff of now and then indicating that almost everyone who has had dealings with her during the last few weeks has come to regret that she has been nominated. And, if she doesn’t withdraw, this negative opinion will come to a peak during the Judiciary Committee hearings, to everyone’s huge embarrassment. Since neither political interest nor honor will not allow this to happen, she will not make it to the scheduled hearings.

My second reason for thinking that she will withdraw is the sampling of the opinion of local citizens, culminating in last night’s visit to the tavern. I haven’t been to O’Brian’s since July (the department had dinner with James Muller; I had a steak and drank water, by the way) and last night had the opportunity to sample the opinion of a number of people who came by to say they were glad to see me alive and so on. These are good, conservative, Republican folks, always giving Bush the benefit of the doubt; trusting Bush. Not this time. They have become convinced that this nomination is a huge mistake and their thoughtful conversation convinced me that they are right: the best thing Bush can do is to ask her to withdraw because she has no support. I was a bit surprised how deliberate and thoughtful their logic was; neither bitter nor vengeful, just the common sense of the subject. One man, a Marine, said this was like a bad love affair: the more you got to know Miers, the less you liked her. Very clarifying, I thought. It’s over. Never mind the justice of the thing. It’s over. Now the only thing left is for either Bush or Meirs to find a graceful way out. Perhaps

this will help.

Discussions - 106 Comments

First, great to see you back blogging, Peter. I hope you ordered that steak extra rare.

Second, boy do I hope you’re right about pulling the plug on this Miers debacle. Miers should take a powder ASAP to end this slow-motion train wreck of a nomination. Then Bush should step right out and nominate judges McConnell or Luttig or Garza or Edith Jones in her place.

The GOP base will forgive and forget and rally behind any of these excellent nominees. The Senate Dems will go predictably into orbit and reveal once again how in thrall they are to the NARAL/ACLU amen corner. This seat is just too important to let Bush fill it from his staff, no matter how personally impressed he is by this lady. If he gets it right the second time around, the conservative rank and file will be back in his corner in no time at all.

Yes, I hear similar things. It seems she can’t answer questions about the law intelligently enough. This is a matter of basic competence not whether she is up to battling Ronnie Dworkin, etc. I guess the trick is just to do it in the least embarassing way for her.

She can truthfully say that in the best interests of all concerned she has decided to withdraw herself from consideration, thank President Bush for honoring her with his trust, and maybe finally go marry that judge in Texas she’s supposedly been in love with on and off for all these years. She seems like a fine lady and nobody has anything against her personally. I certainly don’t want to see her get roasted and toasted in hearings. That would serve nobody except maybe Democrats who want to embarrass the president (who if he sticks with Miers will deserve to be embarrassed, let me add).

The vitriol launched at Miers & W irritated me to no end. The air of condescension, the hysteria - it about pushed me over the edge to supporting Miers. As each day passes, though, more and more information comes out that just can’t be papered over.

I know that personal loyalty is a big thing for W, and ’loyalty down’ is a trait too many so called leaders lack. But I cannot help but think that, in this instance, W erred.

On Fox News Sunday, Bill Kristol said pretty much the same thing: he expects her withdrawal in the next two weeks.

She should withdraw as soon as possible and put an end to this embarrassing debacle. In the future, we would be wise to remember that two Presidents Bush dropped the ball. We should never elect another one.

National Review reports on Bench memos today that among the people the White House consulted on who their nominee should be was one Joanne Davidson. If that is the case, Bush is indeed no conservative, and barely a Republican. Davidson is the political (and moral) equivalant of a penny hooker on payday, and the idea that a country club hack like her would be consulted on an issue like Supreme Court nominations says all we need to know about Andy Car.. -er, George Bush’s White House. The autopsy of this Miers disaster, as each rotten fetid organ begins to be removed and weighed, shows the guts of the process are even more disturbing than the apalling surface decision.

If the White House would like to consult someone in Ohio about an Ohio nominee, may I suggest an actual Republican like Ken Blackwell or one of our distingished conservatives in the congressional delegation like John Boehner, not a sand traps and cocktails careerist whore like Davidson who distinguished herself in the legislature primarily by stabbing the potential nominee’s husband in the back every two years? Is it too much to ask that the White House learn the political history of the swing state that allowed them another four years? Or did they know precisely what the history in Ohio politics was, and that is why they chose to talk to a spineless liberal Republican backscratcher and careerist instead of consulting people with principles. Absolutely disgusting.

Yes Peter, it’s great to see you back!

So does anyone have any predictions (or suggestions) as to the possible replacement nominee if Miers does the right thing here? Can we hope for Batchelder now??

The voters deserve better than to have a petty, vindictive liberal as their co-chairman. How did this happen? Why do Ohio Republicans always cannibalize their own? Davidson should have been singing the praises of her home state candidate, not sabotaging her behind the scenes.

We will see if the President pulls the nomination. If she is defeated, what then? Despite the enthusiasm of the comments about Luttig et al., an appointment like that is the very last thing the President will do. The President has twice now indicated that he wants to avoid a fight with the Dems in the Senate.

The obvious way he will go is to eliminate the more obvious “defects”. She will not be a “crony”. She will be a sitting judge. She will be acceptable to some Senate Dems. She will be known to the President only by reputation.

She will not be a man. She will not be one of the people on the conservative wish list.

I am sorry but the fantasy of Alice B. or Luttig or anyone on the wish list is just that, a fantasy. If the President wanted to go that way, he would have done it. If it is an Edith, it will be Clements, not Jones. It might be Connie Callahan who is a Latina to boot.

ok - then we will know he is a fraud, and not just a bungler. fair’s fair.

"fraud"? How so? He promised "strict constructionists" and judges who would not "legislate from the bench". Miers fits this, so do Clements and Callahan. They are just not wish listers. Did he promise to appoint Luttig? Or Alice B? Or, to be more general, did he promise "originalists" or "textulists".

he promised to appoint people who were qualified

promise broken

Bob, none of the people you listed are "strict constructionists." (Neither are Scalia or Thomas, for that matter.) The White House has even gone a long way toward proving this with respect to Miers, for whom we were given nothing about "judicial philosophy" but instead were assured that she would vote the right way because of her religion (she would legislate from the bench).

Yes, he did promise "originalists" (Thomas) and "textualists" (Scalia). His inability to understand their philosophies and his improper use of a term that applies to neither of them just further proves why he is not capable of making these decisions.

WEll than why did you vote for P "not Bob"? That is what I cotinue to ask on here everytime I see this slew of anti- Judge Miers comments. What I want to also ask now is just what exactly is everyones complaint about Judge Miers? HOw do you know that she is not qualified exactly? Answer is you don’t. Lets get her in there before we get stuck with some bleeding heart and see how she does, is what I say.

My last comment should have stated why did you vote for President Bush but I slipped up there.

Well, gee, Not Bob, if you think that President Bush is "not capable of making these decisions," then why don’t you run for President of the United States, and see if you can do any better? I bet you’re afraid to do that.

You’re right Kathy McPartisan. It’s not because I lack the extraordinary inherited wealth and family connections. It’s certainly not because I don’t have the same last name as another President. It’s because I’m "afraid" to make a better nomination than Harriet Miers. Are you on crack?

As for how I know she is not qualified, exactly, I can only assume you did not look at any of her pitiful responses to her Senate questionaire.

Have you ever heard of the "proportional representation" clause? If so, maybe you and Miers can form your own little court in my garage.

What really hurt about this nomination was that Bush acted like his enemies have portrayed him. Moreover, he ignored highly-qualified conservative judges with tons of experience to nominate a nobody from Texas. It was a slap in the face to all who had supported him through thick and thin, and he’ll never again have that rock-solid support. The floodgates are open, and those of us who were willing to overlook his shortcomings for the sake of the war will never again come so quickly to his defense. Loyalty has its limits, and most of us (unlike Bush) believe in a government of ideals, not a government of men.

The Left sees Bush as the avatar of the Right, but he isn’t and never will be. Brethren, it’s time to get serious about 2006 and 2008

Dain what do you mean by get serious about 2006 and 2008? Even if you have abandoned your President it’s not like he can run again in 2008 so what is your meaning exactly?

I am still waiting for a citation to the "proportional representation" clause. Can someone other than Harriet tell me where it is?

My meaning is that we invested a lot in Bush, but he isn’t our future. It’s time to get serious...conservativism has a great chance here, but we could blow it if we let establishment GOPers and complacent politicians call the shots. We need to remember who we are and reassert ourselves in party politics.

"those of us who were willing to overlook his shortcomings for the sake of the war will never again come so quickly to his defense"

Well, in addition to the cool war that he started, even without the clear exit plan that he promised, I think he has brought Republicans many other benefits: There is the high moral tone in Washington, the excellent economic performance brought about by sound fiscal policy, the almost magical way that he turned a budget surplus in to a deficit, the support and admiration of our friends abroad, the faith and gratitude felt by the average American in Washington’s ability to assess and reward good performance, the renewed skepticism and mistrust of government among the African American community, the terrific profits among his oil company buddies that my children are paying for this Christmas.

Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater, here! This war has been lots of fun, but Bush has brought us much more than death , explosions, and renewed hatred! Give the guy a break!

Yeah Fung, no one supported the war as a principled attempt to spread democracy and enlightenment principles into a region dominated by various forms of sadistic despotism. Conservatives only supported the war because they are a bunch of mouthbreathers who dig explosives.

This from a guy who quit posting because the tone of the board wasn’t moral enough?

Not Bob: Everyone knew that when the President promised "strict constuctionists" and "no legislation from the bench", he meant people who would rule in our favor and would reverse liberal decisions. That is what the mass of conservatives want, not theory. "Stict constructionist" is not a technical legal term at all, is it? It is a political code word, it has been since the 1960s.

Not Bob again: Who did who vote for in 2004? Your insults about the President’s background don’t seem much like a supporter.

Bob,

Like most Miers supporters you cannot distinguish between symptom and disease. The out of control judiciary is the disease, mandatory legalized abortion in all 50 states is its worst symptom.

The Supreme Court has been acting as an out of control superlegislature. This is unconstitutional and immmoral. As a conservative, you do not just slide the most reliable vote you can find into the superlegislature, that is dodging the problem - putting it off to another day. Furthermore, it is conceding to the left that the constitution means whatever a justice feels like it should that day, and that the ends of social policy justify the means of subverting the constitution. As a conservative you should demand a justice long versed in constitutional law, an intellectual who can make the case for a more restricted, constitutional, and legal role for the court.

If you get that, the absurd death watch for old justices, the breatheless waiting for the names of nominees totally inappropriate to a free and self governing people, and the melodrama/Ragnorak-like atmosphere of confirmation hearings will come to an end, because the only people legislating will be the ELECTED legislature. Think about it - we are a free people who have accepted the idea that a nominee cannot talk about what he or she believes about social policy, while simultaneously allowing our social policy to be set by these same nominees once they become justices! A vote against Roe is a band aid - a judge who can make the legal, moral, and philosophical argument against judicial tyranny is a systemic solution to a chronic problem. Miers can’t offer that solution any more than Stephen Hawking can play center for the Lakers. Whatever her gifts, however swell you think she is, she cannot write and she has no conlaw background. Miers is NOT an adequate choice.

"... the war as a principled attempt to spread democracy and enlightenment principles into a region dominated by various forms of sadistic despotism."


What a joke. That’s what you and your right-wing buddies were saying about the war when it started? I seem to remember some hysteria about WMD and a dire threat to our security...

There absolutely was a defensive posture on WMD’s, but there was a great deal more to it than that. The administration’s mistaken expectation that they would be greeted as liberators rather than occupiers speaks to the idea on the part of a lot of foreign policy people like Wolfowitz that what the US was doing was not only containing a menace but destabilizing a despotic culture in the Middle East. I don’t recall anyone advocating the invasion because explosions are cool...

wm - You’re not keeping up on your right-wing talking points! They’re still going with the line that we (as in US troops) were, for the most part, greeted as liberators, and that we are still welcome there as the same. And you’re right, we didn’t hear that explosions were cool, but we did hear that "it’s fun to shoot some people." Given that, it’s not really so hard to fathom someone - Dubya perhaps? - whispering "Explosions are cool" when there’s no mike on him. And maybe Cheney or Rumsfeld muttering back "Oh yes they are - big time!"

Bob, "Strict Constructionist" is a technical legal term, and it is one that has been rejected by Scalia. Scalia has repeatedly said: "I am not a strict constructionist, and no one should be, but better that than believing in the ’living Constitution,’ I guess." I knew at the time that Bush didn’t understand what he was saying, but I hoped he would get it right in the long run. Unfortunately, he did not.

Setting aside his failure to appoint a textualist or an originalist, I again ask you why you claim, despite ample evidence to the contrary, that Harriet Miers is a strict constructionist. Can you "strictly construe" the Equal Protection Clause to require "proportional representation"? I think not. The fact of the matter is that Miers was appointed because she is a crony, and because W cared more about the opinions of liberals like Arlen Specter and Jo Ann Davidson than he did about keeping his promise to us.

Phil, that is a crock of sh*t. Spreading democracy was always one of the central justifications for the war, and in the months leading up to it, it was the central justification offered by the President. We don’t need to speculate about this. You can look up transcripts from contemporaneous speeches. At the time, the left (and probably you) called it a "pretext." A few months later, you again criticized it (as you do you) by claiming that you were hearing it for the first time. Shameful hackery.

Wait, Ashland Man, I thought our invasion of Iraq was a counterattack against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. I thought it was to overthrow an evil dictator. I thought it was to safeguard Iraq’s neighbors, who were under threat from Saddam and his weapons (even though strangely, they weren’t worried or asking for our help). I thought it was to improve women’s rights. I thought it was to make sure that Iraq’s oil revenues were expropriated from Saddam and distributed evenly amongst Iraq’s people for their welfare. I thought it was for the children!! I thought it was to save the Iraqi environment. I thought it was to save the whales!! With such a wide array of ever-shifting "central justifications for the war" it’s hard to pick just one!! Good job at the historical revisionism, Ashland "Man"! Ann Coulter’s publisher will probably give you a contract for as much of that as you can shovel!

Dain offered this gem - "What really hurt about this nomination was that Bush acted like his enemies have portrayed him."

I don’t suppose that this fact will prompt the thought to cross your mind that maybe Bush’s enemies have portrayed him accurately?

Not Bob: When the President said "strict constructionist", you are right, he did not mean anything in a legal sense, it was a political code word. It meant rule as we like.

You want another Scalia because he writes well. I say his brilliant writing is counterproductive. His biting comments in opinions make him fans in blog world but not on the Court. The Court is all about building a consensus of 5 people. Scalia is a general with no followers, not even Thomas. Miers with Roberts can help the conservative cause by building such a consensus.

Whoa, sorry Homo ashland! It seems like I’ve had this debate before, maybe with my pal Dain, but it’s always the same. You guys INSIST that it was all about spreading freedom and democracy- ALL ALONG, and that yes, WMD were mentioned, but they were NEVER the main focus. Well, YOU can point to whatever quotes you want to, but you know full well that this war was sold as being about WMD. Take the supposed threat of WMD away and this war would never have been allowed to happen.

And what have we gotten from this war, anyway? How can you possibly still think it was A) justifiable or B) necessary? Do you work for Bush?

Ashland Man is hoping that a day will come soon when he can show his voter registration card and get a price break at the gas pump, but that might take a third Bush term!

I began a response back at comment #29, got called to a meeting, and now most of my points have all been very well made by Phil, J Mont, Chris L, and Kim.

wm - I don’t see the connection here between my response to the Katrina aftermath, and my response to our Invasion of Iraq. I have been called a traitor -- a traitor! -- for suggesting on this site that Bush is a liar, and now all I read is how hurt you all are that you seem to have been misled by him. Your choices are indeed sad ones: Is he a liar, or a bungler? The flip side of that choice, of course is this: "Am I a dupe, or a puppet who got caught up in the party line?"

I can see why you don’t want to entertain either choice.

After Katrina, I was sickened, not just (or even primarily) by the administrators of this blog, but by many contributors, as well, because they were turning catastrophic human misery and misfortune into a forum for discussions on gun control and partisan blaming and retroactive finger-pointing. At the same time, people were jumping all over each other to be the first to pre-empt the other party’s predictable political profiting at the expense of thousands of homeless people.

But the war is different. It was not a natural disaster, but rather a big adventure for the military and the oil companies, justified with lies and supported with martial glee, and opposed by good Americans who treasure integrity and peace more than they treasure symbolic substitutes. Perhaps you have forgotten how the government allowed reporters to ride along in Bradley fighting vehicles, reporting breathlessly about the thrill of the cavalry charge across the desert? Perhaps you have forgotten the CNN/FOX/MSNBC seminars we enjoyed regarding WMD’s and guided missiles, and drones flying over the mountains? the nighttime thrillshows featuring bombs over Bagdhad? The screaming jet landing on the deck of the aircraft carrier, and the President wrapped up in his little flight suit, telling us about Mission Accomplished? You don’t think we were supposed to think that war and explosions were cool?

I think you are fooling yourself. Not only was war supposed to be cool, but it was supposed to be American! To be against it is to be unAmerican, and limp-wristed. Now, I understand, you are truly feeling the lack of integrity and moral coherence behind the decision-making of this administration.

Fung, when you asked the armchair generals here if they "(had) forgotten the CNN/FOX/MSNBC seminars we enjoyed regarding WMD’s" in the build-up to war, I don’t know if you were intentionally sticking to the TV media, but either way you left out the NY Times’ star WMDs cheerleader, Judith Miller - you know her, part of the liberal, if not pro-terrorist, media here in America. For a while there, her sole purpose for existence seemed to be pumping up those WMD claims (for liberal purposes, I suppose). But bringing up Miller not only puts yet another gaping hole in their Swiss cheese "liberal media" theory, it also connects to another subject that could well be a sore spot here these days.

By the way, J., we were greeted as liberators. Still are.

Since we’re on this subject - though not the subject of the posting - I love this neo-lib approach of calling the President a liar. Though wholly lacking in logic, it is your loudest argument (probably because it requires zero intelligent thought to slap the bumper sticker on your Subaru and proclaim to the world that you hate the president). Under this leftist logic, any time someone claims something they believe to be true that turns out to be false, we have a liar. You know, it takes a little more requisite mens rea to qualify as a "liar." I guess the left would have us believe that the President knew all along that Saddam didn’t have WMD. There is no way that this could have been an honest mistake.

Coincidentally, this makes a liar out of every Iraqi I’ve ever met - and most of the democratic senators in office in 2002.

LT- Perhaps we need to accommodate for a new fashion for liberator-greeting. That is, forget the old Parisian way of throwing flowers, and having parades. Substitute kidnapping journalists, assassinating collaborators, and leaving explosives in the way of Humvees. If we make that substitution, then okay, I buy your argument. I also acknowledge that many Iraquis are glad to see Saddam gone. But, if you are supporting an intelligent argument, and opposing over-generalization, then I think you have to acknowledge the violence and opposition that has killed (as of today) over 2000 members of the American military. Some welcome.

And as for logic: call it what you want. Are right-wingers incapable of calling a person a liar? What would you reserve it for? In my book, when a person promises to do "A" and then repeatedly does "not A," that person is a liar. Call me wacky!

Fung, you’re a liar. The enemy, through violence or opoosition, or ill-will, or even mean looks, has not killed 2000 soldiers. I know this 2000 killed in action figure is wonderful thought to you, but unfortunately it just ain’t true. I wish you would quit lying and do some research.

Just so you know, since it is obvious you have no grasp of what really happens in Iraq, there are between 5-8000 (at the upper limit) enemy combatants in Iraq. (Of course you probably wouldn’t believe this figure since it comes from military intelligence circles who clearly don’t know anything). It is the enemy combatant, not the Iraqi civilian in general, who are placing IEDs (the explosives in the way of HMMWVs) and attacking us. In my book, when people actually - verbally, and physically - welcome me as a liberator, it seems like they think I’m a liberator. Call me wacky!

LT Naum, what are "HMMWVs"?? Translation for us civilians, please! Thanks!

"High Mobility Medium-Wheeled Vehicles" - nomenclature: Humvees. I apologize. I was simply making a thinly-veiled, labored point that I know vastly more than Fung and the other willfully ignorant neo-libs in this country about the war in Iraq. I’m exceedingly proud of the fact that I’m what we call in the military a "subject matter expert"; and I’m tired of listening to the garbage that the media’s Kool-aid is producing. It was fun for me. Sorry it was confusing for you.

Hey, I thought of a slogan for the bumper sticker on my SUV: "Fung lied. Not that many died." It will go right next to my "Kerry/Edwards, A Stronger Al Qaida ... er, America" sticker that I’ve defiantly left on my car to protest the re-election of the president.

This is fun. Not as fun as liberating a country, but still fun.

You certainly do seem to be exceedingly proud. Your expert knowledge of subject matter such as obscure and ridiculous military abbreviations is quite something. When you return to the States, you might want to bone up on subject matter like politics and economics, for starters. It is highly unlikely that your opponents here at this blog are "neo-libs" or neoliberals. Neoliberalism is not at all synonymous with the liberals that are targeted by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. With the exception of certain social issues in certain contexts, neoliberals typically fall within the basic conservative end of the political spectrum. Neoliberals, in what is usually a stark contrast to liberals, advocate minimal government spending, minimal regulations on businesses, minimal taxation, and minimal direct government involvment in the economy. If anything, most neoliberals probably supported the war in Iraq at the beginning, and many probably support it now. Liberals and leftists, however, generally do not. I see that you have also confused "leftists" with "neo-libs" here. There are even substantive differences between classical liberalism and neoliberalism, in case you were somehow conflating those two, but that’s another lesson altogether. Anyway, your substitution of "neo-libs" (neoliberals) for liberals is inaccurate and only serves to confuse things further. For now, maybe you should just stick to your military abbreviations.

The distinction being that LT Naum is a man who has mastered military jargon serving his country doing man stuff, and Chris L is a pedantic twit who has mastered political jargon and a word processor.

Fung, when you type your ridiculous self justifications, what I am hearing is:

"When I hurl around insults and attack people’s integrity, it is fine! When I try to score cheap political points about the Iraq war, it is A OK, but don’t lets have anyone else lower the tone. Why? My natural moral superiority as a man of the left allowed me to see through all of your mindless war fever. This, after all, was surely the only reason anyone supported the war outside the Je.. -oops! - neoconservative cabal in Washington. The rest of you warmongering yahoos were all fired up about the war because you delight in slaughter. Would that you had my moral superiority, it would have protected you from your blood crazed villainy! And since I was against the war, (with my natural moral superiority I am always on the side of the angels), then none of the rest of you bloodthirsty jingoes could have possibly had a reason to support it other than the insane blood lust that results from failing to think the way I do."

Only the smug self satisfaction of a true man of the left would allow him to transmute his unfair ad hominem mischaracterizations of his opponents’ ideas and motives into high minded expressions of principle, while viewing the practice of smashmouth politics by anyone on the other side as "sickening." Your moral sense is exquisite, Fung. We’re all impressed.

LT Baum your my hero!! You are the right man for this blog because you can tell these loony leftists The TRUTH about whats going on in the IRaq situation and you can back up what your saying because you have been there. ARe you still over there right now, my man or are you back yet. Wasn’t clear to me from the posts you made.

Sorry, I am such a partisan hack that I let it get the best of me. Living in my mom’s garage and sitting on line all day make me very grumpy.

I’m sorry. I forgot that in the world of the right, real men support war, and only women, children and fags oppose it. I will cede the floor to people who do man stuff (great phrase, wm!)

So, LT, tell us how many HAVE been killed in action? How many injured? Tell us what the liberal MSM is afraid to! And of COURSE they are enemies who are attacking the U.S.! Isn’t that what enemies do in a war? No one is suggesting that they are our friends.

I do understand why you are so angry. You and people like you have sworn to do your duty, and you have been sent instead to invade a country based on a set of lies. Of course, it is easier to be mad at people like me than it is the commander-in-chief who lied to you and to me and to the whole world.

I understand.

Seriously, wm, doing man stuff?

You notice fung, the only guy using words like "fag" here is you, in your sanctimonious self righteous projection of your fantasy of what the benighted people who disagree with you must think.

This nasty little habit of patronizing everyone who disagrees with you extends especially to Lt Naum. How delicious it must be for you to tut tut at him about misdirecting his anger! The poor thing, he served his country instead of getting a tenured sinecure like you have! What opportunity did he have to cultivate your superior instincts?

Yeah! Go back to your sinecure!

Don’t let the America hating outsiders get to you LT Naum! I salute you and your good work abroad. Maybe and I stress MAYbe, little Chris L is right about the neoliberal stuff but he did’nt have to be such a jerk about it. Thats no way to treat a soldier. No way, no how!! I just thank God that America has some good men willing to fight this good fight and other good men like wm, Mr. Frisk and Dain to support you. So, LT Naum on other matters I think Im gonna need a new truck to get through the winter. Any chance you can smuggle me over one of those HMWWVS??

Never forget!

No need to worry about LT. He’s a MAN! He does MAN STUFF!

And, why do you assume that LT had no opportunities like mine? Becaue a person with opportunities would never choose to "serve the country?" What are you suggesting, wm, about your hero?

And, you don’t like it when I use the term "fag"? It is nasty, isn’t it? And, it is exactly what you imply when you use your silly, sycophantic "man stuff" argument. Question the manhood and patriotism of people who don’t goose-step along with your excuse for a leader. Then, get peevish with me because I didn’t get shaky in the knees because LT wears a uniform, or says he does. Grow a pair yourself, wm! Say what you mean! This is right wing blogging, after all! No need to be pc! We’re all friends, here!

Wow, this really is fun. I truly haven’t had this much fun since I goose-stepped my way through Iraq chanting "Heil Bush!" Oh, Fung, though you are not my friend, you’ve nailed it on the head. Your intelligent rejoinder is irrerpressible. Ah yes, the never tiring, always fresh, always probative "Bush Lied" argument. Nothing further needs to be said, just, "Bush Lied" and all the lefties fall in step (though, not goose-step, as that is reserved for those of us who were forced to be in a military that was forced to serve under and for a sycophantic tyrant). By the way, have you figured out how many of us have been killed yet? I’m sorry that the answer won’t be as uplifting as you’d like it to be. It will probably set you back a few months of dogma. It’s really easy to find, though, if you can spell "google." I could tell you the number, but I want to give you an opportunity to rehabilitate the lies you have spread.

Chris L, I’m terribly sorry for my political jargon gaff. I confess, that in 3 years of law school (ooh, did you catch that, Chris L.? I guess I’ve been "boning" up [I assume you meant, "honing" up - though I won’t brow-beat you over the meaning of the two words] on politics and economics)we haven’t yet discussed the fine points of what makes someone a "Neo". I caught most of The Matrix while I was in Iraq (dodging death at every turn, Fung, because it is SO, SO horrible over there), the sound wasn’t on, but I thought I got the jist. Apparently, I didn’t. It was my effort to use an equally meaningless phrase to describe those that call me a "neo-con". Little did I know that it actually had meaning, and that people have nothing better to do with their time than to actually define those words. So, I apologize, and shall never use the term again to describe leftists. From now on, by decree of The Man that Wears the Uniform, I shall refer to you all as simply, "Leftists". (Not that you’re a leftist, Chris L., I don’t know you from Adam. Now Fung, oh yeah, he’s a leftist. Militant, too.) What about "neo-neo-lib"? Will that work?

Oh Fung. I may serve under a "liar", but I’m not one myself. When I claim to wear a uniform, I mean that I wear a uniform (though not right now - right now I’m wearing New Balance shoes, a pair of nicely worn Levis, and an Ohio State Football sweatshirt). If you care to go to the upper left hand corner of this website, you’ll see a link (though I’m not sure it’s actually a "link", Chris L.) called "Photos From Robert Alt in Iraq". If you go there, you’ll see my smiling, uniform-clad mug dodging all of those Iraqis that hated me and tried to kill me. Oh wait ... I lied.

Folks, Fung hates all conservatives...his mind is filled with stereotypes about us. A classic bigot, I’m afraid. It was only a matter of time before his bile built up to the boiling point, and he was forced to return to NLT to spew on us. Such rage...such projection...interesting.

I’m glad to see lots of conservatives on this thread, however. Carry on, good people.

Thank you, Dain, for the workshop on stereotyping. I’m sure the "good people" will appreciate it.

Later, after you type yourself blue in the face suggesting that your antagonists should all leave the country -- take a deep breath and teach us about bigotry!

We have so much to learn from you!

On a serious note, for those of you not interested in mortal wit-combat with me, I appreciate your support and kind words (this isn’t for you, Fung). I’m happy to say that I returned from Iraq earlier this year to my wonderful wife and a son that was born while I was there. And though you didn’t know me, thanks (again, Fung, not you) for supporting me and those that are still there. I cannot stress enough how much better things are over there than what is portrayed in the media - and this is not conspiritorial talk, it’s just the truth. I know what news sells, and I make no claim of media bias. They’re just trying to sell newspapers and commercial spots (though doing it in an arguably unethical manner).

As of yesterday, the Coalition, to include the British, had lost 1706 soldiers to hostile action. I recognize that this is news, but there is so much more news happening over there that makes this sacrifice - and mine, had it been required - worthwhile. I hate that people have been turned against the war on the basis of a number - though one that is unarguably painful. But value is given to that number if people just take an honest look. When we fail to look honestly at what is being accomplished, and fail to identify the value of the sacrifice, it is only then that we have determined their deaths to be valueless. This is why I hate the left. They claim to care, but simply don’t. If they did, they would look for the value - and they would quickly find it. There are good areas and bad areas of Iraq, and both the good and bad areas have good days and bad days. Morale, despite the best efforts of the left, is high, and great things are being accomplished every day.

Okay. I’m off my soapbox (for now). Fung, and you other lefties, I’m not interested in arguing this point with you. I know that I’ll never change your mind (because you don’t care), and I know that you’ll never convince me that what I saw and did wasn’t true.

LT- Maybe you think it is trivial that Bush lied. I don’t. You fall into the trite habit of questioning the patriotism of anyone who questions bush, but you might also question the patriotism of anyone who values your life, and the lives of other soldiers and their families that they would commit YOU to a war that (1) wasn’t necessary, and (2) rendered global conditions and American security WORSE than they were before the war.

I don’t care if you agree with me about Bush being a liar. but, what is truly ridiculous is that you don’t seem to think that Americans have the RIGHT to question their President!

Are you angry because we disagree? Or, are you angry because I don’t have the right to disagree?

Do you fight for Democracy, or do you fight for your president?

Well, I’m glad you’re having such a good time at NLT, LT Baum, because I’m certainly enjoying your aggressive, sarcastic posts!

So far, all I’ve really gotten from you is that everything in Iraq is going REALLY well, and that you think REALLY highly of yourself (congrats on going to law school- now you can be an OFFICIAL, bar-certified jerk!). So those lying liberals in the MSM are just making it all up- it’s just a couple dozen angry guys who are blowing stuff up, right? You haven’t quite come out and said it yet, but it seems that you think only people who have been in Iraq have the right to talk about what’s happening there, or at least that it makes you the ultimate authority on the subject. Now, I’m just an ignorant civilian, but my understanding is that each individual soldier in Iraq does not visit every city there, nor participate in every battle, nor meet every single person in the country. So maybe you’re just the luckiest guy around and you meet only adoring, American-loving Iraqis, but that doesn’t mean EVERYONE there loves you.

SOMEONE is killing Americans (though I guess it’s only 2 or 3, since you keep sneering at Fung about that 2000- I can’t wait for you to let us in on whatever your big secret is! Only LT Baum knows the REAL number, apparently!). So please, tough guy, enlighten us. What IS really going on over there?

Oh, and from www.dictionary.com: Phrasal Verb:
bone up

Informal To study intensely, usually at the last minute: boned up for the final exam.

Fung, why does it bother you so much when people question your patriotism? I don’t recall doing so, but I’m curious why it bothers you so much when someone does. When you speak in the manner that you do - though convicted as you are - why are you surprised that this is the result? You question my intelligence and autonomy based on how I speak, yet I’m not bothered. I’m comfortable in my skin and in my uniform.

Speaking of trite, how trite is it to ask me if I fight for my president or for democracy? Would either answer satisfy you? Because I serve a commander-in-chief, I naturally fight for the president. You hate that idea, because you hate the president. Because I fight for America in Iraq, I fight for democracy. You hate that idea, because you refuse to comprehend that democracy exists and is working in Iraq - because you hate the president. It’s trite to ask me that question because you don’t think I should be fighting at all - whether for the president or for democracy - because you hate the president.

I disagree with you that the president lied because you on the left will NEVER back up the argument with supportable facts. You can’t, of course, without implicating others that aren’t (though certainly want to be) the president. You have an utter, and complete, disregard for facts, and I find that disgusting. So, angry? Nah. Just disgusted.

So, how about that Harriet Miers? Kinda looks like Emperor Palpatine, doesn’t she?

Wow, Phil, I guess I struck a nerve. Yes, I think highly of myself (though some of it is, what you call, sarcasm). Sure, I think soldiers have more authority to speak on war than civilians. Absolutely, I think we that have been there have the ultimate authority to speak factually. So what? What’s the problem? Again, I can’t help it that you people don’t care about facts. I appreciate the insults ("jerk", and "tough guy"?), but I simply have done what you haven’t done. Suck it up. You weren’t called to be a soldier. I have fought, literally, with those that wanted me dead. I’m still alive. I take some pride in that. If I have some confidence in my position, what do you care? Have some confidence in your own - but back it up with some facts - something other than the fact that there have been soldiers and marines killed in a war. Hate my confidence and my bravado. I simply don’t care. I’m tired of sitting silently while you people define this debate with fiction.

And by the way, it’s NAUM, not BAUM. I’m confident that this is true, too.

"They’re just trying to sell newspapers and commercial spots (though doing it in an arguably unethical manner)."

OHHH! So that’s why they make it sound so bad over there! So that when I’m standing in 7-11, debating on whether or not I want to invest 35 cents and buy a newspaper, I’ll be more likely to take the plunge because I want to read about all the carnage (which I LOVE to read about because I’m a leftist and I therefore hate American soldiers).

And as for your startling revelation that the actual number of deaths is about 300 fewer than has been reported- uh, no one ever said all of the deaths were the result of hostile action. But most of those people wouldn’t be dead from helicopter accidents, humvee crashes, suicides, etc. if there hadn’t been a war, so they are counted among the casualties. The point is, they didn’t need to die.

Why? Because people that don’t look and act like us don’t deserve to be free?

And, yes, the claim was made that 2000 were killed by "violence and the opposition." (see #42) It’s made everyday by uninformed people. My point is that the number is irrelevant. However, if you want to use it as the basis for an argument, you better use is correctly or face the consequence of being a "liar" as the left defines the word.

Please see the discussion under the heading: More Galston/Kamarck . There, we can find the opinion of another soldier whose opinions I agree with. It is not your uniform that bothers me, LT, it is the knowledge that you would fight for a fascist, a hero, a dictator, or a fool, if the uniform legitimized it.

You suppose to judge my heart or put words in my mouth, Fung? When did I claim any of those options? Hell, I fight for you. Which one are you? I’ll tell you you’re not a hero.

As I understand the term, Fung, fascists wouldn’t dedicate huge sums of cash to rebuilding black New Orleans, or go soft of affirmative action, or any of a number of things Bush has actually done. You Marxoids throw that term around way too much (along with ’racist’ ’sexist’ and ’homophobe’. Beware, those words are losing their power).

To paraphrase Gandalf, keep your forked tongue behind your teeth! The biggest fools I see in contemporary society are people like you...wine-sipping, over-educated idiots who, at least in the real world, can’t find their behinds with both hands in broad daylight!

Ok, well, first a few formalities. Obviously, comments 53 and 50 weren’t me, the guy who has been the commenter Chris L otherwise here at Thee Mighty NLT. Duh.

wm - It’s funny that you have such fury over "tenured sinecure(s)," seeing that at least a few of the regular bloggers here are probably tenured professors, with apparently enough time for regular blogging. Do they only count as sinecures when held by a person expressing opinions you don’t like? Also, I hope this doesn’t qualify as a "pedantic" query, but is it even possible to access this blog or post a comment to it on a word processor, or using, say, Microsoft Word? I use a computer with an internet browser.

LT Naum - Wow, what a busy commenter! It’s good to see that you’re getting plenty of "R&R" (is that military lingo for rest and relaxation?) upon your return from Iraq. Perhaps you need more, because your thought processes seem to swerve all over the place like a drunk driver in a car full of bees. First, for a 3rd year law student who also appears to be on the conservative side politically (at least in some areas), your casual disregard for the actual meaning of words is confounding. Presumably referring to your use of the word "neo-libs," you said "It was my effort to use an equally meaningless phrase to describe those that call me a ’neo-con.’" And therein lies the problem, LT Naum. Neither phrase (word) is meaningless. They are meaningful terms of some significance in many circles - left, right and center. While I hardly consider myself to have "mastered political jargon" as wm credits to me (thanks!), I suppose I have a basic understanding of some sociopolitical distinctions that go beyond "conservative" and "liberal," yes. You go on to say that "Little did I know that it actually had meaning, and that people have nothing better to do with their time than to actually define those words." Law school is filled with obscure and archaic words and phrases. Has it bothered you to learn their definitions, or do you also dismiss those as meaningless?

Yes, words have meanings, and what you were saying, with the words you were using, made very little sense. That is why I pointed out your error.

As you may have guessed -or not- from Phil Thompson’s post, I actually did mean "bone up," just as I wrote, not "hone up." I’m familiar with the word hone, as in "to hone one’s skills," but I must say I’ve never heard the phrase "hone up," and I can’t find it in any reference book. In any case, I meant "bone up," so what would you have to brow-beat me for, exactly?

As for your ramblings about you watching The Matrix and wearing New Balance shoes and Levis jeans, I have no idea what any of that was about.

LT -- You asked me:

"Fung, why does it bother you so much when people question your patriotism? ...... why are you surprised that this is the result? "

I am not surprised that this is the result, but I reject the "logic" behind it. It is the same kind of lemming-like party line repetition behind a great deal of left-baiting, and it goes like this: Anyone who isn’t with us in this war is against the United States.

I reject it, and I refuse to be intimidated by it, too. That is why I react to it, so that some light will shine on it. This country stands for much more than military invasions: equality, and liberty, and freedom, and compassion (real compassion, that is). In another time, a President might just as well suggest that we are fighting a war on global pollution, and anyone who resists it, or criticizes it, is not a patriot.

I argue this over and over because it is important! I have friends and relatives who have given their lives in battle. Their courage and sacrifice are humbling. But that is a completely different issue than the one that I am arguing here. I know that we are in Iraq, and that we have to make the best of it. But that does not mean that we should ever have gone there in the first place, and it certainly does not mean that we should make the same mistake again.

I will gladly accept that you disagree with me about the advisabiliy of the war. But, I will not accept the lick-boot cheer-leading and name-calling of soldier wannabes like wm. Again, I will accept disagreement, but I will not accept the label of traitor, or coward, or betrayer because I criticize George Bush OR because I call him a liar.

Sorry, Comments 50 and 53 were mine. I was just trying to have some fun. Living in my mom’s garage really does make me grumpy.

Dare I say it..."it takes one to know one, Fung."

Has it not occurred to you that the time for arguing about the wisdom of the war was BEFORE we fought it, or perhaps AFTERWARDS, but not DURING? The reason people question the patriotism of people like you is that your logic is so often, well...illogical. Here we have a war criminal and mass-murderer, an admitted Stalinist, a would-be assassine of American Presidents,an all-around nasty bastard who did BEYOND ALL DOUBT have dealings with terrorists, and who did employ numerous European politicians on his corrupt blood-drenched payroll, and yet we shouldn’t have touched a hair on his head. Why not, exactly? Once you understand the problem, that the Middle East’s problems have become our problems, you begin to understand that a bold stroke was needed to improve that region...not more sanctions, not more inspectors, not more hand-wringing Euros, but a forcible RESET of critical regions. Iraq is a lynchpin, sir, and as Germany, Italy and Japan demonstrate, peace and democracy often require FORCE.

I’m sorry, but you are a traitor, and a stupid one at that. No patriot would undermine the war effort in this way -- the ’insurgents’ love people like you. Indeed, their bombings are in part for your benefit! They believe that the louder you people squeal the faster America will tuck and run. If you want us to believe in your patriotism, SHUT UP UNTIL THE BOYS COME HOME OR UNTIL YOU CAN WIN AN ELECTION.

Chill out dude.

Dain, I don’t know if you’re inspired by the Bush administration here, but you are only abiding by the letter, not the spirit, of our earlier agreement against name-calling and ad hominem attacks when you cop my name and write as me. I can overlook it this time, but can you give it up from here on out, please? (I suspect you’ve done the same thing with Chris L, as I don’t think he uses "dude" as regularly as you do, if he uses it at all)

Dain- this gets so tiresome. You don’t move beyond your old position, and so we have to have the same argument over and over. I don’t care to disagree with you any more about the reasons for the war. You have accepted the lies, and I have not. We could just leave it at that.

But then, you can’t seem to do that! You have to yell "Traitor" at those who disagree with you. And that is the bigger problem, at this point, because you claim to represent, to some extent, the thinking of this terrific administration, or the remainder that is not looking at indictments tomorrow, anyway, and if you are correct -- that is, if you accurately represent their thinking-- then this country is already in much worse trouble than Saddam could ever have dreamed up.

If our "leaders" believe as you do, that to question them, and their decision-making is tantamount to treason, then we have lost our democracy. It is as simple as that. So, either you are NOT representative of their policies and rationales, and are just a bitter, raving loose cannon with delusions of reference, or you are correct, in which case you are, as I have suggested before, one of the bubbas of fascism. The advance line of brown shirts taking the early hits for a regime that has no respect for the rights of the people.

Either way, I don’t like you or what you represent.

Jmont, I have not used your name. Break the "accord" if you wish, but I am innocent of this.

OK, let’s move past that. Explain to me exactly why we should never have ousted Saddam Hussein. And please, no general principles like "no preemption." Also, please keep in mind that one reason Bin Laden says he attacked us is because we had troops stationed in Saudi Arabia (’the Holy Land’). Well, Bush fixed that by eliminating the need for them to be there...how would YOU have fixed the problem? Allowed good ol’ Saddam to slaughter the Kurds AGAIN by leaving the area? SOLUTIONS, FUNG, NOT ACCUSATIONS LIKE ’LIAR’ THIS TIME.

LT Naum said:

I guess the left would have us believe that the President knew all along that Saddam didn’t have WMD

I am certainly not any part of "the left," LT Naum, but these documents from the British government certainly provide good reason for one to pause and wonder about the administration’s motives, their honesty with the American people, and perhaps even , yes, their mens rea.

Huah!!

Dain- First, I maintain that the status quo was workable for a much longer time than we gave it. I expect that you disagree. In terms of expense (all kinds) it was vastly prefereable to our current situation. I also acknowledge that Iraq needed Saddam to be replaced, but (a) we always get into trouble when we replace Middle East (and Southeast Asian) leaders with our own. See Iran, Vietnam, and Iraq, for that matter! So, find ways to help Iraq rid themselves of Saddam, but it does not need to be our job. (b)we CANNOT assume that role! It is untenable, once we look at powerful countries like North Korea, China, or messy countries like Somalia, Sudan, etc....

Second, work towards and wait for other key countries to commit to sharing the burden of an attack and occupation.

Third- When you commission a WMD inspector to find WMD’s and he does not, then BELIEVE HIM!

Fourth- If Bin Laden is our enemy (and of course he is) then find and kill Bin Laden. Find and kill the rest of his operation. I know that it is hard, but that’s why we pay them the big bucks, isn’t it?

The other benefit of NOT attacking Iraq by ourselves is the "unseen" benefit that we experience by decreasing the rate at which we cause people to hate us, thereby decreasing the rate at which we spawn new terrorists.

I’ll think of more, but I must go do MY job, now.

Your point is not made. Nowhere in that memo is there any grain of proof that the administration knew that the regime lacked WMD. There is hardly a firm accusation - only, as you say, a reason to pause. As for the strategic build-up prior to the war itself - preceding and concurrent with the UN process - I fail to see how this has any force. GEN Franks openly discusses the build-up, and the necessity thereof, if there was going to be even the contingency, let alone the reality, of war. This, GEN, I’m sure is just sound military operational strategy - please correct me if I’m mistaken. This far from proves that the President is a "liar", and fails to show any mens rea as regarding an accusation of lying about WMD. Sure, the administration may have "made up its mind" to invade Iraq regardless of WMD - but this doesn’t approach proving that it "lied" about them. This was the point of my quotation - and I stand by it. If the left wants us to believe that the president "lied", it absolutely must prove that he "knew" there were no WMD and acting inspite of this knowledge. They have failed do ever do so.

"Hoohah."

LT, what do you think about Paul Rieckhoff? (This is not meant to be an attack, I’m genuinely curious).

Here is latest post on huffingtonpost.com:
Paul Rieckhoff

Having never heard of him until just now, my opinion is of first impression:

I think he, personally, is a great American. I think his motives are pure. I think his position is wrong and dangerous. I think 600 veterans is not a big number.

I think he is a young John Kerry. Interpret that however you like.

Yea, Fung, believe the UN inspectors...now where these the same one’s on Saddam’s payroll? The inspectors I TRUSTED did their jobs AFTER we invaded, when Saddam wasn’t there to run interference. Of course, Saddam had months to erase any proof, now didn’t he? At least, that’s the what UN says HERE.

And we aren’t "setting up" a ruler for Iraq...that’s what the elections are for. Of course, you probably have some "black helicopter" theory of evil Bush/Rove rigging the elections.

Face it, Fung, you have no solutions, you refuse to admit the seriousness of the pre-invasion Iraqi situation, and your current views are animated by blind hatred of Bush.

I know how many multitudes of Vietnam vets would interpret that.

Well, if they can rig them here, they can rig them anywhere (sounds like a song!)

Trust who you want! They turned out to be right! Your guys turned out to be worn. Are we back to that old pattern where you ask for proof, or ideas, and then we provide you with them, and then you ignore them? I’d rather get a back-alley colonoscopy.

Oh no. Can we not proceed down the "rigged election" specious argument trail in addition to the "Bush Lied" specious argument trail? Let me guess ... we never landed on the moon, either? Just when I thought you could reason like a serious person, Fung, you go and do something that makes me wish you would get a back-alley colonoscopy as well.

I’m done with this. So long.

LT - Are you sure you’re not Dain? You’re not going to tell us stories now, about your recent trip to the moon, are you? How come you reject my flippant remarks about the rigged election, but you adopt my back-alley colonoscopy? They are both funny!

Everyone else: Sorry. That was supposed to read "Your guys turned out to be wrong." After tomorrow, "worn" may apply, as well.

Seems to me, Fung, that I provided you with a UN document that proved Saddam was ditching his illegal weapons just prior to the invasion. I see no reasoned comeback...just a lot of BS (FSOP). Bush nor the CIA was ’wrong’ about WMD...perhaps he did destroy the nastier varieties sometime in the past (who really knows), but the UN itself says he had every intention of rebuilding these WMD programs once the Fungs of the world took over and left him alone.

Now, why don’t you come clean. Simple disagreement with Bush’s approach wouldn’t generate such angst. You know, I asked you a question long ago and you NEVER answered me. Here it is again: Fung, did you agree with the war against Afghanistan? A yes or no will suffice.

Dain, I’m glad to know that it wasn’t you who posed as me in the bogus comments earlier. I will not be breaking our earlier accord. At least we can remain civil, as we agreed!

LT Naum - when you say that you’re "done with this," does that mean you’re done with the blog overall, or just this thread? Won’t you be responding to Chris L (comment 71), or Fung’s latest? Your presence here has created quite a sideshow; I almost hate to see you go! Before you do move on, just to clarify, does the "LT" stand for Lieutenant? Is it military protocol to write the abbreviation like that, instead of "Lt."? Honestly curious.

Since it was against the Taliban, yes.

Well, Fung, that’s good to know...although I don’t see how you had much choice but to say "yes." Only the communist traitors disagreed with the Afghan campaign.

Still, you really don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to Iraq. We had cause to do it, and it was right to do it. Yes, pushing the "restart" button has severe costs, but if it works the payoff will be enormous. Iraq was simply unfinished business, and the sanctions/inspections regime was ineffective and actually killing innocent people (not by our hand, of course, but they were dying nonetheless). Indeed, if Bin Laden is to be believed (and I’m not saying he is, necessarily), that corrupt sanctions/inspection regime led to the deaths of 3,000 of our people (primarily because it wouldn’t have worked without lots of American troops next door in Saudi Arabia). Something had to give, and I bet that if Clinton had done this you’d be cheering. Bush simply had the guts to do what was necessarily (unlike Clinton).

When is that Rambo guy - LT Naum - going to return? Maybe he wasn’t getting enough assistance from the NLT comments-section right-wing peanut gallery, so he decided to retreat? He was a real trip, though. I’ll actually miss him!

Hmmm...we’ve been given yet another clue in figuring out the ever-enigmatic Dain Bramaged. He apparently looks down on the "over-educated," particularly when they sip wine. I wonder how many No Left Turns bloggers have PhDs and sip wine from time to time? In any case, I think we can narrow things down a bit in determining who Dain is. He’s someone who lacks a PhD, or perhaps even a masters or a bachelors degree. Additionally, he either abstains from drink or prefers to guzzle it like a horse, to differentitate himself from the "sippers."

Rambo? Yeah, I like that. Rambo was right, you know. You hippies always draw first blood.

No, "LT" is not "military protocol" - but it is Army protocol. The Marine Corps still abbreviates the old way. (Man, I should write for Mail Call).

No, I’m not done with the Blog. I read it everyday and owe a great deal to the Ashbrook Center for providing my family - and many other families - a lifeline last year. I’ve just wasted too much time this week. I may return (for what it’s worth) when I see one of you post something that reaches the levels of the idiotic as that I saw this week.

As for not responding to Comment 71, there was just nothing of substance to respond to. I chose not to waste any more time with someone who was incapable of arguing the substance of a position and could only argue the form in which it was written. I realize that I’m not the best sattirist in the world - and sarcasm doesn’t show really well in print. Either way, that individual didn’t get it, and I’m sorry for that and for his bitterness.

Now I’m sorry that I’m wasting more time on you folks. Liberal dogma is like a hard drug - it keeps me coming back for more and more and more and .... Now, please excuse me, I have more manly things to do (thanks, wm!) (And please, lefties, don’t get in a tizzy over my use of that word. Otherwise, I guess the Declaration of Independence would cause fits - but it probably does anyway, what with all of its criminal mentions of God, and enemies, and the necessity of war, and honor, and ...)

You just keep guessing, MES. Obsess even...fine we me.

And I prefer beer, which I tend to drink in moderation.

Actually, liberal dogma is like the wine I sip from time to time. Bitter.

And I think that many of us -- right and left -- are pretty good at communicating sarcasm in print. That was insulting!

But sarcasm only gets you so far, right Fung? For instance, I notice that our "reasoned discourse" on Iraq has been pretty one-sided (i.e., I’m reasoning and you’re evading). Why don’t you just admit that you’re wrong about Bush and Iraq and be honest about your opposition...you’re a socialist/multiculturalist traitor. Honesty is good for the soul....

I guess LT Naum’s version of "honor" allows him to post things as other people and make horribly weak "jokes". (I guess there’s a slim possibility that was Dain, but I think I actually give him enough credit that he’d pass on that prank...oh well, whatever)

Dain- I have not evaded you. I have articulated my stand about you and yours who cry "traitor" at anyone who would critique the President -- that is YOUR president. When it was Clinton in the office, my guess is, you had plenty of "traitorous" lines to your credit.

Your response has been to call me a traitor. That is not only unoriginal and redundant, it continues to make my point. Not to you, but to anyone reading this. I have already said that I don’t aspire to change your "mind." When I write to you, it is in fact, a way to expose your thinking, and that of people like you, to other readers who might otherwise be lulled into thinking that your version of democracy has any room for checks and balances, or for questioning, or freedom of expression. With every utterance, you make it clear that your version of "Amerika" would be full of gulags, prisons, and freedom only for people just like you. Anyone who valued true democracy could expect to be sent to the guulag, or two wear a patch on the sleeve to keep them in the ghetto.

So, just in case your are getting more delusions of grandeur, to augment those of reference that I mentioned before, I really don’t care about our dialogue for its own sake. But, I expect that readers with brains, instead of bubba programs will find your ranting illuminating.

It’s high irony to get a baseless lecture in honor from one who would falsely accuse another person without a shred of proof. Unfortunately, I have no reason to hide behind another person’s name or initials. Well done, "M.E.S.". What an example of honor you are to all of us.

Sorry, it wasn’t me. I guess we have yet another liar from the left.

First, MES is correct...I never pretend to be someone else. Being a frequent victim of such childishness, I do not engage in it myself.

Fung, I have given you reasons why you should rethink your stance on Iraq, but all you do is come back with "fascist!" and "gulag!" and other such nonsense. If you don’t want me to call you a traitor, then demonstrate that your position on Iraq is logical. Moreover, explain how being so critical of an on-going war will help us win it. Asserting that the "inspection regime" could have worked given more time ignores recent revelations about European and UN corruption...it is no longer a reasoned persective. You are a good name-caller, but you really don’t believe any of that -- it’s just a diversion away from the poverty of your arguments. I, on the other hand, am COMPLETELY SINCERE in calling you a traitor. This isn’t a ploy to win an argument or divert attention away from the debate...I think you are a traitor. And the poverty of your arguments along with your continued (unreasonable) critique of the war demonstrates to most of us that you are, in fact, a traitor.

Calling Mr. Fung a traitor is a serious charge. I’ve seen no indication from what he’s written that he is a traitor. Mr. Dain said "And the poverty of your arguments along with your continued (unreasonable) critique of the war demonstrates to most of us that you are, in fact, a traitor." What exactly do you mean by "most of us" Mr. Dain? Who’s the "us"? Are there others here who consider Mr. Fung a traitor? If so, they should speak up for themselves with an "aye".

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