Saturday, November 13, 2004

Cognitive Dissonance and Terror

Our man Jimmy Carter, The Smartest Man to be President, summons all of his rhetorical powers in his Jellospeak on Arafat:

"Yasser Arafat's death marks the end of an era and will no doubt be painfully felt by Palestinians throughout the Middle East and elsewhere in the world.He was the father of the modern Palestinian nationalist movement. A powerful human symbol and forceful advocate, Palestinians united behind him in their pursuit of a homeland. While he provided indispensable leadership to a revolutionary movement and was instrumental in forging a peace agreement with Israel in 1993, he was excluded from the negotiating role in more recent years..."

The Jerusalem Post reports a different point of view, stated with the utmost clarity:

"He (Arafat) had more Jewish blood on his hands than anybody since Hitler. He was a strategist of the murder of women, children and the aged. No normal nation would have dedicated this amount of endless broadcasts to a person responsible for the deaths of so many of their kin," aides close to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in what appeared to be a rebuke to the media for its exhaustive coverage of the burial of the Palestinian leader on Friday...

Drop a line to Jimmy at the Carter Center and remind him of some of the facts his statement ignored.

PS - I actually worked for this guy's campaign in '76...I can only shake my head and wonder what on Earth I was thinking...

Monday, November 08, 2004

More comment on the "Values Vote"

David Brooks has an interesting take on this:

NYT Column, 06 Nov 2004: "The Values-Vote Myth"

Every election year, we in the commentariat come up with a story line to explain the result, and the story line has to have two features. First, it has to be completely wrong. Second, it has to reassure liberals that they are morally superior to the people who just defeated them...

...In the first place, there is an immense diversity of opinion within regions, towns and families. Second, the values divide is a complex layering of conflicting views about faith, leadership, individualism, American exceptionalism, suburbia, Wal-Mart, decorum, economic opportunity, natural law, manliness, bourgeois virtues and a zillion other issues.

But the same insularity that caused many liberals to lose touch with the rest of the country now causes them to simplify, misunderstand and condescend to the people who voted for Bush. If you want to understand why Democrats keep losing elections, just listen to some coastal and university town liberals talk about how conformist and intolerant people in Red America are. It makes you wonder: why is it that people who are completely closed-minded talk endlessly about how open-minded they are?...

Brooks' entire column is here.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

The Dems respond to the "Values Voters"

The "reasonable" Democrats (the "Bush May Not Be a Fascist" caucus) have formulated a response to November 2nd's Right Hook, namely, that morality and values also include health care for those in need, growing quality jobs, and better public education. Ahem - they really don't get it, do they? Everyone understands that these issues need to be resolved, but it's demagogic to define the Democratic solution to these problems as the moral position. That is, in part, what Redland is revolting against. Reasonable, equally moral people can differ as to the solutions here. Equating universal "free" prescription drug coverage and radical redefinition of a marriage as a taproot societal value is - shall we say - foolish.