In response to the unprecedented rage that has been leveled at Obama, the Right contends that the Left’s rage against George W. Bush was just as toxic. This has to be the best example of False Equivalency I have seen for some time. Were there an equal number of death threats against political figues during the Bush terms? I am not recalling them. The whole tenor of the rancor is much worse now than at any time during the Bush junta.
Sure we said Bush looks like a chimp. The fact is: he does! Even though he invaded foreign lands on false premises, did we ever refer to GWB as Hitler: we did not. Even though Bush did everything he could to shuffle govenment resources to his corporate friends, did we say he was out to squander our country’s resources: we didn’t.
We should have done all of the above and more. Where else did we fail in our criticism of POTUS 43?
37 responses to “The False Equivalency of the Left vs. Right Rage”
We all know the meanings of the various words that end in ‘ism,’ so we aren’t as likely to throw around stupid comments as the right.
“Let’s argue. Let’s have the great American debate about the role of government and the best policies for the country. It’s fun. It’s citizenship. It’s activism. It makes the country better when we have those debates. And your country needs you. It needs all of us. But two things disqualify you from this process. You can’t threaten to shoot people. And you have to stop making stuff up.” — Rachel Maddow
I see several from the ‘right’ are now ratcheting down the stupidity, the purely made up stuff. Not Palin, Bachmann, Beck, Rush and other complete idiots, but those capable of thinking realize just how it plays to people who aren’t loony as bedbugs, and have begun participating rationally about what is best for our country and her citizens.
Even Republicans who aren’t of the nutjob variety know how dangerous people like Palin and her tea baggers are to the Republican Party. I, on the other hand, am enjoying the split between the crazies and the rational, and am wondering how in the world they’re going to find someone to nominate who will be able to bridge that gap.
I am too Fnord, but to be honest not too sure as to which side of the scales has the heavier weight to it?
Even those I personally know and consider more middle of the road have parroted the radical talking points.
Refused to listen to reason and the pointing out of the facts and illustrations.
I would refer to them as the simply partisan, not really think about just being on one side.
I always stop and remind myself that I live in Kansas. That is all it takes for me to remember that living among the most partisan nutjobs doesn’t offer a balanced or rational view of what’s going on in our country.
The criticism of Bush was out there along with the accusations of being everything from a fool to a dictator.
But it seldom ever made it on to the MSM, either the media is not as claimed in the pocket of the Left or was frighten to speak out against the President when troops were dying.
It was one of my concerns when I was researching the Neo-Conservatives was trying to stay away from the wild swings for the walls.
As delusional as the Neo-Conservatives are they are Politically savvy.
If you have a secret that is so damning and big that the truth will come out and can not be hidden.
Allow it to be disclosed by your worst enemy, those who would follow and support you. Will dismiss it as nothing more then partisan spin and lies.
Even those who support your enemy will not totally accept it as the truth.
Since it comes from the worst enemy, they too will not consider it as NOT being partisan spin or lies.
In a sense it can come back to the question of is the MSM truly left leaning?
Failing to report accurately the damnation of Bush and over covering the distant and hatred of Obama.
Swaying public opinion, we do tend to be herd animals going with the majority opinion.
I’ve heard the accusations of main-stream media leaning left all my life, and have never seen any proof of that.
Before Fox News was there an entire television network dedicated to one political persuasion? Is there another to equal Fox News? No, there isn’t.
There have always been left and right leaning publications and journalists, but mostly everyone knew who they were and knew to balance news by listening to both sides and never taking a single opinion.
Today, the most dedicated right-wingers watch absolutely nothing but Fox News, and even if they’re subjected to another viewpoint, or the facts, they reject those completely. Now take a look at how many ‘news’ outlets Rupert Murdock owns all over the world and look to see who is involved with him — that, in my opinion, has made THE major difference.
Let’s not forget that Rupert Murdock obviously sees nothing wrong with associating with Muslims – as was evident in his dealing with the Muslim Prince awhile back on some big deal.
But I thought all Muslims were to be hated? Isn’t that one of the constant drumbeats we hear on Fox News?
I think it’s part of their propaganda and part of the path to making sure the haves and the have mores get even more.
Fnord you know what I believe was the case with the Bush administration.
I will say if not for having found enough creditable evidence that it finally convinced me.
I myself would have dismissed it as spin and lies, the point is that if the media was truly left leaning there was evidence that would have totally dismissed if not called for the indictment of the administration.
Yet if there was coverage it was more the simple minded claims like the Iraq invasion was all about oil.
Perhaps that was more acceptable to the American mind then what I saw as the real true.
The worst nightmare of the country coming true…..
The broadcast journalists of today are not of the same caliber as they were in the 50’s, 60’s or even 70’s. There are too many of them being ‘celebrities’ and they put way too much emphasis on the fluff of the day.
Can you picture Walter Cronkite being a guest on The Tonight Show of David Letterman?
Does it seem the ‘right’ is less able to separate what is going on in politics from other areas of life? They seem grumpy all the time, about everything. Very sad sore losers is what they show me.
I have friends who are Republicans, some who are among those I call the religious right-wing nutjobs. Others who simply worship at the alter of tax cuts. When bush was president I was very careful not to bring up the subject of politics and we shared other interests. All was well. Nowadays those same friends bring up politics all the time — the subject colors every other area of their life. I am getting pretty good at keeping my mouth closed. I used to interject my opinions, or ask them why? I don’t any longer, they aren’t rational and they sure aren’t going to listen to anything that differs from what they are convinced of, no matter what the truth is.
We criticized bush but we also had great lives outside politics and we didn’t see that one man being president as the end of the world, Armageddon, everything wasn’t ‘woe is me.’
Is this all about being able to see shades of gray?
I totally agree with you– when Bush was President, I never sent my mother nasty lefty emails about Bush or Cheney and always steered clear of politics in her presence. She does not share that inclination now that the Commies have taken over (JOKE!). Those folks that were so righteous in their indignation when I spoke about George the Usurper (because he wasn’t elected in 2000, he was seated), now use the trumped up “birther” argument to paint Obama as the usurper. They always think they are righteous. There is nothing we will ever do to change that–it’s a character trait.
There is one difference that I will give myself. When W was seated by Supreme Court “decision” I DID give him the benefit of the doubt. I waited to see if the “lefties” were right about their allegations that Bush would drag us into war, ruin the economy and destroy foreign relations. [Did those lefties have ESP?!]. I did not begin a full-scale assault of Bush as soon as he was seated. I waited to see what he was going to do and reacted accordingly. That is not what we have seen from the conservatives and republicans after Obama was elected.
It’s too bad rational talk seems rare. I would really like to know what scares them so badly that they need to make up stuff. I would like to sit quietly and hear someone calmly explain.
Republicans see their grip on power slipping. And now that we have a black president (of which many in this country said would never happen), that fact alone makes their fear seem more urgent.
But rather than work with Obama and do something productive, they have thrown their baby tantrums and held their breath till they turned blue and just said NO to everything.
This is their strategy to win back that power. If truth be told, Republicans know that alot of those health care reform ideas that just passed came from their side of the aisle years ago but THEY did not have the passion to pass any health care reform bill.
They were too busy making money off a war for profit and giving all the wealthy fat cats their tax cuts.
And for this, they know the majority of Americans will not give them their power back – so they need to make it look like the new black president is a socialist or some other made-up stuff.
To be honest I think much to much of it is dismissed by the “first Black President” believe me there really was this much hatred for Bill Clinton.
I think it is more that it is a Democratic President for some reason.
Well Fnord, I cant explain the wingnut mind, but here’s what I think they fear. They fear that the days of white, christian, straight men, and some women, dominating everyone else, are slowly coming to an end. They fear they are not “better than” anyone any more.
I got this at Democratic Underground, but it’s got a link to the OP. It’s entitled “Who are you better than?”
Interesting post about race and the tea party movement. Hat tip to WSY for the link:
It was a big deal in round that town. Now my daddy hated that mule. Cause, his friends were always kidding him about, “They saw Monroe out plowing with his new mule and Monroe is going to rent another field now he had a mule.”
One morning that mule showed up dead. They poisoned the water. After that, there wasn’t any mention about that mule around my daddy. It just never came up. One time we were driving down that road and we passed Monroe’s place and we saw it was empty. He just packed up and left, I guess, he must of went up north or something.
I looked over at my daddy’s face, I knew he done it. He saw that I knew. He was ashamed. I guess he was ashamed. He looked at me and said, “If you ain’t better than a nigger son, who are you better than?”” – Agent Anderson, Mississippi Burning
And welcome to the Tea-hadist mindset. With Barack Obama in charge…who are you going to be better than?
And don’t think some of us recognize the symptom because we are a pack of condescending know-it-all asshats. We are…but that has fuck-all to do with the observation.
It’s just that we have seen this before. Up North…in our so-called “enlightened” neck of the woods.
Want to know the difference between North and South? Well, a man once told me that up North, it is OK to have a Black as your boss, but you will be damned if you will have one for a neighbor. Down South, it is OK to have a Black neighbor…but you will damned if you will have one as a boss.
So we went through all this Tea Party nonsense up North, about 20-30 years ago. And the reaction was just as vehement, inarticulate, and dumb as what is being spewed now. If you want to see hate and spittle, you should have seen how South Boston reacted to school integration.
But you would not have seen it 24/7 as you do today. It happened…but not in a perpetual echo chamber. And thank Christ for that.”
…better than another human…
Hard to imagine how that thought process works.
Makes me want to cry.
Me too, Fnord. It makes me want to cry almost every day. Especially since I’m generally on the sharp end of that stick….
I am probably the only one on here that had not seen the movie ‘W’ until recently.
We finally decided to go with Direct TV and we have been watching alot of things we never saw before (we had the basic Cox cable TV – and it was basic – believe me)
Back to the movie – it was interesting to see Oliver Stone’s take on GWB’s life. But what intrigued me was this theme that came up time and time again.
It was the fact that Daddy Bush always favored Jeb over George.
The most interesting scene was in the Oval Office when GWB was talking to his Daddy (but Daddy was not really there). It showed a vulnerable side of GWB that I never thought about before. The scene was where the Iraq War was going badly and Daddy kept hammering on George that he messed it up for the Bush plan – the plan where Jeb was to be president.
That got me to thinking. If this is truly what the dynamic was between this father and son, then are we really surprised what happened in the 8 years of GWB?
Add that dysfunctional Bush family factor to Dick Cheney being in his undisclosed location doing the real work behind the scenes, I am thankful the country survived.
Once George H and Barbara said that they always thought that Jeb would be the one that would be President.
They honestly did not think George W. was smart enough.
Toosmart – you may be right but I do think it makes a difference when the first black man beat the white male Republican very soundly at their own game. That election was not a close one – by any means.
I read somewhere about a theory floating around that Obama was allowed to win that election because no one could fix the huge problems we have and then they can blame it on the fact that he was a black man that was inexperienced and did not know what he was doing.
The theory goes – that would be one way to make sure another black man or woman never makes it the White House.
Kinda like that red-headed bastard child at the family reunion – nobody wants to claim him but they all sure do like to use him as their whipping boy.
That sound a likely thought, generally it was assumed that no Republican stood a chance of winning after eight years of Bush. In a sense that is why McCain got the nod he was a throw away.
I do believe there is a great deal of pressure on the President, it is right that if he screws this up it maybe another thirty years before another if any minority gets a chance to be President.
I have been debating whether to repeat this, to be honest I do not think Democrats actually are all that insulted with Obama being called a Socialist.
But how Dr. Ron Paul refer to him as and I guess it had not occurred to me before.
But Paul in a half defense said that President Obama is nothing like a Socialist he is a Corporatist like many with in the Republican/ Conservative party!
(LOL I can picture T.B. reading this and shouting “I knew it…. I knew it! that S.O.B.!)
That is what he told the people at the Southern leaders conference.
Thanks to Hard ball as I can not imagine the viewers of Fox hearing about that!
I think Bill Clinton made the Repubicans mad but for a different reason. Bill Clinton could get away with his sexual indiscretions and when Republicans got caught with their sexual indiscretions, it turned out to be bad publicity.
Even today, Bill Clinton is still a popular former president. Yeah, we know what he did with his personal sex life – but the majority of people don’t care.
What is the first thing most Republicans will say about Clinton? – his adultery with Monica Lewinsky.
Ask any other American about Bill Clinton and I doubt if Monica Lewinsky is even mentioned.
Even now, the story on Newt Gingrich is his baggage on how he treated his first wife and second wife.
That is what I mean about why Republicans hate Clinton so much.
It is an interesting story, the effect the Neo-Conservatives had in that.
Clinton was the first President since Kennedy that would not give the Neo-Conservatives the time of day.
They had been an influence with every administration since Kennedy and for once they had none.
So they set out to at least undermine Clinton if not get him impeached.
In a twist of fate they were the ones who started all the scandals White water, the Cattle scandal and even the suicide of Vince Foster being murder by the Clintons.
But Monica they heard about and dismissed it as someone else’s partisan spin they did not believe it!
It was the only truthful thing about a scandal and they were not the one who started it.
When I heard about Monica, my first thought was ‘how stupid of Bill Clinton to hand the Republicans his head on a silver platter’.
But now I learn that the Republicans were so totally stupid they did not even know about the silver platter?
Now, that’s funny!
Remember Rove planned a permanent Republican majority. He convinced many people of that fantasy. Maybe they think President Obama was a little hiccup in that plan and they will both regain and keep power as soon as 2012. Good luck on that plan. They’ll need to have something other than meanness, grumpiness and opposition to make it work. And, that’s after they decide who is really a conservative and will lead them.
I had to think about this one a moment. Apart from comparisons of Bush to Hitler (which, superficially, had an acorn of validity), one found the most dedicated denizens of the Left opposed to violence.
In fact, in the protests where they were routinely brutalized (available only on Free Speech TV, via public access), one found usually restrained, normal people who objected to policies that literally killed people or at least subsumed their voting power to the will of worldwide monetary powers.
But, to be fair, there is and always has been a “left wing fringe,” those who believe that the only response to violence is violence, and the only response to intimidation is “right back at ya!”
There are exceeding rare.
I think the main difference is this: there was a time when those on the radical fringe were not treated as a normal part of the political discourse. Hell, even relatively mainstream leftists rarely add access to the microphones.
These days those who advocate violently opposing the government are embraced politically by the same Republican leaders who would have denounced them as terrorists, had they not been of a part of their coalition.
By comparison, Moveon.org–not even a partisan organization–was forced to apologize for posting a member’s comparison of Bush to Hitler–in his own video (as part of a contest).
Bush’s team then used the video in a campaign ad, to show how dangerous and disloyal (and probably consorting with terrorists) his critics were.
People forget what a scary America Bush had created.
Yet, by and large, the same people who gloss over Bush’s authoritarian object to Obama. But about what?. Continuing Bush’s unconstitutional spying on Americans? Continuing the un-American so-called “military commissions”? Suggesting–with a straight face–that some people might be detained indefinitely, without trial?
Nope. The big scary threat is HEALTH CARE.
Is it hypocrisy? Nope, not at all. For anyone who didn’t know that, observe the astounding level of ignorance in this video, and all will become clear.
P.S. I think it says something ominous when the recent plot by a militia group was foiled by. . ..a “good” armed militia.
I don’t want to jump on the Perkins/Maddow alarmism bandwagon, but how long until the next McVeigh?
McVeigh – a perfect example of the ‘angry white male’
well make room Zippy, I am kind of joining you have that bandwagon,
“Extremism in the defense of Liberty is not an extreme!”.
That is almost a standard motto of the militias.
Every morning I wake wondering if this will be the day that the news suddenly breaks in with a report of another bombing or the likes of Waco.
It is more likely to be home grown terrorists then Islamic, White and thinking they are defending against the Socialist Government.
These Republican Righties also think they are spreading the true version of Christianity – but anyone with one working brain cell knows that is not true.
I think we have always had these kinds of people in our country. And they have the same rights as I do because they are Americans.
But that’s the difference between me and those Republican Righties.
believe these fringies have the same rights – they believe that unless you’re a cookie cutter Christian exactly like them – then you’re the evil one, the Devil himself or that dreaded word – Socialist.
I do agree with you that I wake up each morning wondering which wacko in what city decided to do something that will bring him those 40 virgins along with his ying/yang buddy Islamic terrorist in Paradise.
corr: I believe these fringies have the same rights
I have to come clean, Ziggy. I compared Bush to Hitler while he was president. I compared the Rise of the Neo-Con Power Elite to the Rise of the Nazi Party. There are many similarities. I don’t back off of that at all. But I can back up those statements with some factual evidence; it’s not just a smear.
I will also tell you that every time I saw Bush on television, I cringed. I believe his administration permanently damaged our country. I won’t back off of that either. I can make some fact-based arguments on that point.
One other thing–I can’t count how many times I had the following conversation with my husband in regards to George Bush while he was president. He would get on tv and say some dumbass thing or another, or they would talk about another dumbass thing that he did and my husband would look at me and say, “I just don’t understand how this man is still alive and in the White House.” And I would reply, “It’s because I don’t have a gun and can’t get close enough to shoot.”
I was only half-kidding.
But the Liberals were comparing Bush to Hitler in his invading Iraq without just cause – I believe, wasn’t it?
The Republicans and Tea Bagger are comparing Obama to Hitler because he wants health care for everyone – not just the select few.
And the same with the bailouts – Obama wanted bailouts to help everyone with the hopes that when times get better, those people and companies would do the right thing and give back to the country.
Unlike Bush and his bailouts were given to those select few Wall Street buddies and all they had to do was to phone in their order!
There are so many more comparisons that liberals were making with the Bush Administration and the rise of the Nazis. Among them were the use of propaganda, nationalism, turning the national media into a propaganda arm of the administration, abuse of power for a chilling effect on protest by the citizenry including surveillance of all communications and infiltration of and harrassment of legal citizen groups that opposed his policies. The invasion of Iraq was just one more way in which the comparison can be made.
There is no factual, rational argument to compare Obama to Hitler. But then again, when you are talking about extremist conservatives, when did they ever let facts or logic get in the way of a vicious smear campaign?
You’re right Paula. If the extremist conservatives did not have hate, they would have no emotion.