[FoRK] Protest the war and the Prez can now take your stuff.

J. Andrew Rogers <andrew at ceruleansystems.com> on Thu Jul 19 13:46:22 PDT 2007

On Jul 19, 2007, at 12:06 PM, Jeff Bone wrote:
> On Jul 19, 2007, at 1:19 PM, J. Andrew Rogers wrote:
>> then you can paint the last several administrations with that brush
>
> You can.  But frankly, the last several administrations weren't  
> nearly as big a concern as this one, now were they?  I.e., I'm much  
> less concerned about this type of thing in the hands of a generally  
> moderate poon-hound than a delusional, power-drunk theofascist.  So  
> here's the other question:  why is the retort to anything that Bush  
> does always to point out that it bears some resemblance to  
> something that some previous administration has done?  That doesn't  
> in any way excuse or dismiss or dilute the "badness" of the thing  
> in question;  it merely distracts at best, at worst it desensitizes  
> us to the problems of power.


This is a really weak rationalization that is essentially some  
combination of selective outrage and selective morality.  I would  
expect you to have higher standards than this.  The "bad"-ness of  
something and the consequences of it has no relation to whether or  
not you like the guy currently in power.  As some political  
historians like to point out, Hitler got a *lot* of mileage out of  
policy and law that was put in place long before he ever got his  
hands on the reins.  Paging Santayana to the white courtesy phone.   
People on all sides of the aisle have been complaining about this  
particular type of Executive Order for at least a couple decades but  
somehow it is never a problem that needs to be curtailed when your  
guy (whoever "your guy" may be) has the power.  And the "other guy"  
is always a power-drunk evil bastard of some sort.  However, I will  
readily acknowledge that genuinely severe abuses of power by the  
executive, not the stuff people like to breathlessly go on about  
today, apparently earns one a lauded place in the history books, so  
maybe we are asking for it. See: FDR and Lincoln.

When I comment on things like this it rarely has anything to do with  
whether or not I *agree* with any particular action, in large part  
because I find the typically blinkered, myopic, and disingenuous  
perspectives of the individuals making the fuss to frequently be more  
toxic than the day-to-day idiocy of the political class they are  
making a fuss about.  This pervasive notion among political  
ideologues that everyone else's shit stinks more than theirs is at  
least as obnoxious as the fact that they are shitting all over the  
country in the first place.  If they actually stopped shitting rather  
than merely pointing at the other guy and saying their shit stinks  
worse, I might care a little more.


>> You just got played by political activists in the media.
>
> Merely quid pro quo for the usual frothings of Faux News and the  
> radio mouthpieces.  It's nice to see the other side spinning up  
> their propaganda chops.


Since I generally consider Kool-Aid to be unhealthy, I do not  
consider the advertising for different flavors to contain a  
meaningful distinction that should cause me to prefer one over the  
other.  It's all sugar water to me.

Cheers,

J. Andrew Rogers


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