Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Fool on the Hill

I have been traduced.

Most of you who read this blog on a semi-regular basis (that would make it two people) are familiar with the Santorum Blog. It is officially unaffiliated with, but very supportive of, the floundering campaign by Virginia's third Senator to keep his seat.

It is run by AlexC, who is, to all appearances, making a real effort to bring some quality to that site. He provides a great deal of information about the latest buzz, on the news and opinion front, on issues related to the contest between Santorum and Casey. There are others on the staff, who contribute on an irregular basis, of differing levels of quality and rabidness, but none of whom present themselves in nearly an admirable way as Alex. Some of them are thoughtless and shrill in their cause. Those members of the crew pepper the Santorum Blog with unsupported assertions, unsourced "facts", and not infrequent ad hominem attack when refutation grounded in fact and logic lays beyond their grasp.

And so it is with this latest entry by one of the lesser minds on the Santorum Blog who sought to rush to the defense of our Great Decider from a post of mine that, interestingly enough, consisted largely of direct quotes from Commander Codpiece and absolutely no commentary from your ineloquent Slob.

The dust-up was occasioned by a series of quotes which I have been running in the "Howz That" sidebar for two or three weeks. Replacing them over the weekend, I saved them for posterity in this post (which was birthed mostly as an excuse to run this post).

What I learned about myself from this attack was remarkable. (As was the attack's headline, suggesting that any linkage between Bush and God was fearmongering. Leaving aside for the moment that I am of the devout opinion that any influence of religion in our government is something worthy of fear, for a far-right bushlapper to make the same connection is truly worthy of remark.)
I am "misquoting people and making stuff up" (my quotes were direct and linked to their sources).

It appears that I believe that "Bush is a Christofascist lunatic who . . . wants to kill everyone who doesn’t convert to Methodism". I haven't been able to find that argument in any of my posts, but I am subject to the periodic blackout, especially on weekends, so if anyone can help me find it . . . . ("Christofascist"?!)

Apparently, I don't do "the slightest bit of research". That's actually good to hear because in the morning I am going to call Lexis\Nexis and tell them they are going to have to eat that bill they sent me because obviously it wasn't me using their service. While I am at it, I might as well cancel my subscription to the service, that'll save me a nice bunch 'o bucks every month.
I had not realized just how an incompetent fraud I have been. And here I was going to the trouble of linking to my sources and researching them a few hours each post when apparently all I need to do to sustain my opinons is refer to the little voices in my head. Oh good, now I can stop taking that medication, too -- there's another couple hundred bucks a month saved!

There's more, too, and here's how I responded on the Santorum Blog site (from which I am getting even MORE hits thanks to this):

Well, thanks for paying attention and confirming that the quotes are embarassing to any rational person.

But nothing you say to refute them is correct.

You say “in order to help promote his and most hysterical liberals’ idea that Bush is a Christofascist lunatic who I guess wants to kill everyone who doesn’t convert to Methodism

I have never made any such claim and neither know nor care of the identities of the others with whom you desperately try to lump me. Of course, in keeping with the pattern of shrill denial, there are no links to the source material on which you rely.

You then say “he cites a pair of discredited Bush quotes“. Two lies here. One, I provided more than two quotes from Bush, the others you ignore, but more on that presently. The second lie, unsourced, as usual, that that the quotes have been discredited. To the contrary, despite repeated requests, the White House has refused to deny the quotes — nor confirm them — as the Washington Post reported here. This last cite ties in to your overarching lie — false, unsourced, allegations that I have misquoted, made things up, and not researched what I say. To the contrary, everything in MY post is sourced and the quotes are correct.

Thus, when you say “It’s easy to see how Abbas and Shaath just completely made these quotes up if you do the slightest bit of research. Not that the left would bother to double-check anything which is anti-Bush, but still.” You again fail to source the easy research you did. Instead, you rely simply on your own opinion, falsely presented as fact. But, here in the real world, we do not cite to the voices in your head.

Your statement about any claim that Bush said God wanted him to steal oil for Haliburton is simply bizarre. I never said anything like that (indeed I said nothing — I simply posted the quotes simpliciter, sans commentary). But, once again, you rely on misleading your reader to make a point.

Your statement that “Bush allegedly made these statements during a meeting with various Middle Eastern leaders on June 4, 2003, in Aqaba, Jordan“. Is likewise false, but necessary to set up your crushing blow: “Thanks to, we have a full transcript as well as a full audio clip from the meeting.

If you had bothered to read the reports, to which I linked as my source material, you would have learned that these comments were made in a private meeting among Bush, the Palestinian President and Palestinian Foreign Minister, for which we have only the — highly detailed — minutes of the Palestinians, which formed the basis of the reports that I cited. The White House has refused to release its memoranda on the meeting, has refused to deny the comments, and has refused to comment on the report (as the Washington Post article said).

Your comment “That’s just as bad as saying that God told you to kill Muslims” once again suggests something I never said. Of course, we are not given the link to your source for my supposed comment.

You suggest that it would be obvious why the Palestinians would make up the quotes (which the White House has refused to deny). But that statement is rather ignorant of the political situation. Here we have a President who has made clear his commitment to the re-establishment of a Palestinian state — which is the goal of the Palestinians. If the quotes were intended to place Bush in a poor light, what would the Palestinians gain from antagonizing the person who is supportive of their ultimate goal? It is hard to see who gains by the fabrication of the quote.

But what is revealing are the two quotes which you ignore — one from a group of Amish with whom the President met, in private, and the other from one of his closest friends:

“I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.”
President Bush (July 2004). Here he was speaking with a group of “Old Order Amish”. Once again, no reason to suspect that a group of Amish men, women, and children, had anything to gain by fabricating this quote.

But then we have the comment from Bush’s very close personal friend which, as is the Amish quote, similar to and in the same vein as the (un-denied) quotes to the Palestinian leaders:

‘Bush believes he was called by God to lead the nation at this time’.
– Commerce Secretary Don Evans (April 2004)

These last two comments are entirely consistent with the thoughts expressed by the first two — this President is a man who actually believes that he has been divinely selected. That consistency of thought process, and the White House refusal to deny the Palestinian minutes of the private meeting, as well as the lack of any profit to the source of fabrication, led me to conclude, after my research, that I had a legitimate basis for posting the quotes.

Of course, what you completely ignore is the much more important theme — that when a man believes, as completely as this President so obviously does, that he has the invisible man in the sky behind him, that “God speaks through me”, he not only has little reason to question what he does, his theology would suggest that questioning what he does would be near heresey.

And that is the dangerous situatiuon which my six quotes, posted without commentary, intended to convey.

You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your facts. And you are less entitled to falsely and without basis disparage the integrity of someone with whom you disagree. But that last point is one far lost on this Administration and many of their blind faithful. Thankfully, today those are a small minority.

I recall a time when Bill Buckley would sit down with people who disagreed with him, nearly every week, and have a rational, thought-provoking, and respectful discussion (well, except for that unfortunate encounter with Gore Vidal). The ability of people to disagree honesty and respectfully seems to be on the wain, and that's unfortunate. It is a development not unrelated to the alacrity with which critics of this Adminstration's policies ( even if calling them "policies" gives them a false implcation of resulting from careful thought), are so quick to be tagged as disloyal and compared to Nazi sympathesizers.

Back when I was a practicing attorney, an older lawyer wisely advised me that, if your opponent is a fool and the argument empty, never say that. Instead, he told me, skewer them with fact and reason -- lead the court to "discover" the vacuity of the argument for itself. If they discover it for themselves, they will own it forever.

Of course, that advice never works if you are the fool.

UPDATE (09/25/06): As if attempting to prove that he is indeed the fool, John Lewandowski has posted an update on his main post which is typical of his retreat from truth, logic, and fairness. The intended impact is to discourage his readership to actually read my response to his lies:
Naturally I would forget to mention that all of this is quite similar to what Santorum’s critics are doing to him with his book, “It Takes a Family”. If Bush and Santorum are so evil, why do they need to be attacked with years-old quotes, second-hand alleged “quotes”, and out-of-context distortions of what they actually said or wrote?
The Slob defends the integrity of the second-hand Abbas and Shaath quotes in the comments. His acceptance of the suspect quotes seems to be based upon a misreading of his sources and a general misunderstanding of Christianity. Well, I guess we really shouldn’t expect a leftist to understand the Christian faith, so we can let that slide.
The first paragraph is just silly (as if the whole thing weren't) -- Santorum is running for reelection based on his record of bushlapping. He and Bush are issues in this election. I guess this clown would have us ignore what they have said. The remainder of that paragraph once again falsely says that something was misquoted, without a link to any source showing that to be so (the voices in his head approach to proof).

The second gaf is yet another astounding descent into intentional dishonesty to hide personal failure. What I questioned was the source of this fool's claim that the comments were discredited. After I pointed out that Bush had refused to deny them when given the opportunity, I guess the best he can do is to now change the argument to yet another false claim. (Can anyone say "WMD"?)

Finally, once again, I said nothing about christianity (and remind you that I said nothing in my original post -- I merely posted the quotes without commentary) -- I was talking about a President who has said -- and has been quoted by close personal friends as saying -- that god selected him the way god selected Moses, and that he is doing god's bidding. As if thinking that he is talking to an invisibile man in the sky wasn't enough of a worry when the man has his finger on the button, Bush not only believes that god speaks to him, but that he is doing god's work.

As I mentioned, he posted this non-update as a response to things I didn't say, not in reply to my post, but on the front page. Obvioulsy the intention was to discourage his fellow travellers from reading the detailed response. Not only is this John Lewandowski person a liar, he's also a wimpering coward.


Will Divide said...

You know Slob, it strikes me that you are spending an awful amount of effort disputing men who probably live in their parents' basements. But hey so be it, I guess. It does fill in the empty hours.

r moshki said...

Is there not a rich hx of of the Powerful pretending to speak through or for an an invisible monster known as "god" (Goddi/Gotti)?

One of my all-time heroes, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, said "god is make-believe."

She (not Hillary) was the smartest woman on Earth.