October 18, 2006

Irony beaten to death, Republicans blamed.

Clinton urges Dems to question criticism

But, I thought dissent was the highest form of patriotism. So, like, the more you disagree with someone, the more you love them, right? Sure!

Now then, time for the pap and twaddle:


The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) Former President Clinton bemoaned ideologues who describe opponents as "running for office on his or her way to hell" and urged Democrats not to shy from fighting back.

Clinton, criticizing Republicans weeks before the midterm elections, told an audience at Georgetown University on Wednesday that intellectual debate should trump partisan rancor and either-or choices are false.

"Most of us long for politics where we have genuine arguments, vigorous disagreements but we don't claim to have the whole truth and we don't demonize our opponents and we work for what's best for the American people," he said.

Well said from someone who once had to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

I've said it before, it's worth repeating--never allow yourself to be lectured about veracity by someone who doesn't believe in the concept of absolute truths. Because, let's face it--if we can't agree on a common truth, then his point of view is no more or less valid than any evil stupid baby-eating Rethuglican's view. All the same, in the end, right? Sure!

Clinton, whose wife Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., is eyeing a 2008 White House run, spoke at his alma mater to mark the 15th anniversary of his series of speeches there as a then-fledgling presidential candidate. The former president gave notice that Democrats would not be passive victims of attacks.

One is led to assume from recent events that this means that they should out as many gay Republicans as possible. Because, well, they just should.

"This is a contact sport, politics," he said. "You can't complain about being attacked. It's like Yao Ming complaining about being fouled playing basketball."

Well, not quite--hard to tell what he's actually saying here, but the idea seems to be that Democrats have been being pummelled, but that it's all part of the game, so they should just shut up and take it, or, maybe should dish it back out, or not. But still, it does my heart good to see he still has snuggly warm feelings for the Chinese--they give us a wonderful basketball player AND great wads of campaign cash!

Clinton said he doesn't see Democrats shying from the debate.

"It's not that we want a bland, mushy, meaningless politics," he said. "We like our debate. ... We understand that campaigns will be heated and only one side can win. [...]

Translation: "Only one side SHOULD win, and if it doesn't, we'll sue." And by the way, isn't the fact that one side wins and the other one loses DIVISIVE!? ::crashing piano music:: HE'S A DIVIDER, NOT A UNITER!! But that's okay.

Clinton also argued that the GOP has allowed its conservative element to drown out moderate voices.

"The ideological, right-wing element of the Republican Party has been building strength, partly in reaction to things that happened 40 years ago Barry Goldwater's defeat, the excess of the '60s, Ronald Reagan's election" he said.

Thank goodness the Democratic Party doesn't have any idealogical, left-wing elements that has been building strength, partly in reaction to things that happened (not quite) 40 years ago--McGovern's defeat, the excess of the '60s, Ronald Reagan's election...

"But this is the first time on a consistent basis, the most conservative, the most ideological wing of the Republican Party has had both the executive and legislative branches with a very distinct governing philosophy and very distinct political philosophy."

Thankfully, there is no true right-or-wrong distinction that can be made between this time and the previous bright times in our history when the Democrats ran things, or else we might be able to judge those mean old foulers by that scale. So, hey, whatever, right? Sure!

He said the United States' effort to develop new weapons and cut taxes undercut the moral arguments.

Well, you know, morality has some basis in the idea of universal truths, and that's such a confining construct, isn't it?

Anyway, I'm all for new weapons and lower taxes.

"They favor unilateralism whenever possible and cooperation when it is inevitable," Clinton said without specifically mentioning members of the Bush administration.

"They favor unilateralism whenever possible and cooperation when it is inevitable." Hey, that's not a bug, that's a feature! Because believe it or not, it's not necessarily a bad thing to look out after your own interests first. Aside from that, what's the deal with the reporter saying he didn't specifically mention members of the Bush Administration? Who should we think he's talking about, Martians!?

Anyway, to cap things off:

"The problem with ideology is, if you've got an ideology, you've already got your mind made up. You know all the answers and that makes evidence irrelevant and arguments a waste of time. You tend to govern by assertion and attacks."

Said without the slightest hint of playful irony!

Just remember friends, if you don't believe in something, you'll fall for anything.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at October 18, 2006 03:02 PM

Have you ever noticed how irrelevance never hits the right people?

Note to Messrs. Clinton & Carter - please follow the lovely example set by Ford & Bush the Elder. Go play golf, skydive, dedicate aircraft carriers.

That is, stop annoying the customers & citizens.

Posted by: skinnydan at October 18, 2006 03:28 PM

All I can say is thank goodness irrelevance never hit me, or I'd have quit all this silliness before I even started.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at October 18, 2006 03:31 PM