Friday, February 17, 2006

Moose Hatred

I’ve asked this before, but who on earth respects Bullmoose?  I just don’t get it.  Hell, I could understand if he strongly fulfilled people’s dogmatic needs; but he’s supposedly a centrist.  So without being able to rely heavily on the extremist-card, you’d think he’d actually have to be intelligent or something.  But he doesn’t even have that going for him.  So I just don’t understand how he does it.

In the post I just linked to, he laments Bush hatred and insists that lefties are more hate-filled than righties.  He writes:

The Moose does not hate George W. Bush. That is a very controversial statement in almost all of the left and in much of the Democratic Party.

And what serious person could believe such nonsense?  Sure, there are lefties who supposedly ascribe to the “Bush hatred” idea, but I don’t believe them.  Because the word “hatred” typically means that the feelings are irrational.  And there are too many good, rational reasons to not like Bush.  You don’t even have to be paying attention and you’ll quickly be offended by what he does.  So I just don’t see exactly what the problem is with not liking the dude.  But if this is what passes for “hatred” these days, then I believe the intelligent position is to hate Bush.

But more importantly, lefties don’t attack anyone simply because they say they don’t hate Bush.  That’s nothing but a cheap insult.  Lefties attack guys like Bullmoose because we disagree with them; not because they don’t hate Bush.  Could the Moose really believe such an absurdity?  It’s enough to imagine that perhaps the Moose has taken the irrational hatred thing onto himself; and now believes that nobody could really disagree with him: We’re just Moose-haters.

Referring to Glenn Greenwald’s idea that Bush-loyalty is the new criteria for being considered conservative, the Moose writes:

From his varied experience, the Moose questions whether this is true. The reality is that prominent conservatives have been critical of this President on a range of issues - the Weekly Standard has questioned Administration's execution of the war, the National Review and the Heritage Foundation have been critical of the President's big spending ways. And now, a range of libertarian conservatives have differed with the President on the NSA program.

I mean, shit.  We’re talking about HUGE issues.  Life & Death stuff, impeachable offenses, and what have you.  And the Moose points to minor criticism from people who have remained loyal supporters.  What the hell is he talking about?  He complains that there are some conservatives who have a “Leninist discipline”, and yet cites conservatives who have posed only minor criticism of a few Bush flaws; and acts as if that’s a major break with Bush loyalty.   And that is apparently all it takes in the conservatives’ opinion: Minor disagreements with Bush reflect major dissent.

But as most did, the Moose completely missed Greenwald’s point.  Because he only cited conservatives who continue to support Bush.  But what about the conservatives who completely stopped supporting Bush.  Or the ones who never liked him?  Or the ones who’ve always hated him?   Guys like Moose are convinced of the theory of irrational Bush-hatred; and yet none of them are conservatives?  Bush-haters can only be liberal?  How can that be?  

Another point to make is that all of the conservative Bush-criticism has a very specific tint to it.  It’s not necessarily that Bush was a bad conservative.  It’s that Bush was a bad Bush.   That he didn’t live up to the ideal that these people hold for him.  Here’s the Moose criticizing the most recent SOTU address for being “Bush-lite”.  To them, the worst thing that Bush can do is not be the strongest Bush that he can be.   And this level praise-filled criticism is enough to be denied the title “Bush loyalist”.

But the truth is obvious: Even the Moose is conflating conservatism with Bush-loyalty.  And he and other conservatives fail to recognize this even when it’s brought to their attention.  To them, the fact that you raised such an argument is proof enough of how much you must hate Bush.  Even Lenin would have envied such loyalty.

And that ties into my final Moose quote:

There is far too much ideological conformity in both parties. That is why the Moose belongs to neither. It would be far better if both sides of the ideological spectrum had more introspection and self-knowledge.

Ideological conformity???  His whole post was about Bush hatred and loyalty.  What did this have to do with ideology?  But the implication is obvious: Bush IS the ideology.  And that completely confirms Greenwald’s point.  Greenwald repeatedly stressed that he was talking about conservative policies, and how they’ve been abandoned in exchange for the “Cult of Bush”.  And Moose confirms this point by constantly referring to Bush loyalty and hatred; rather than on conservative policies.

And that’s how clueless these people are regarding the Cult of Bush.  Because I have yet to read the proper response to Greenwald’s post (excepting Doctor Snedley’s, of course).  The proper response isn’t to mention loyal Bushies who’ve slightly disagreed on a few issues, or to denounce lefties as the more egregious players.  The proper response is to tell us how these ideological shifts still allow them to be called “conservative”.  Or at the least, they could show us large groups of Bush-hating conservatives who are still considered good conservatives.  

Because Greenwald’s post wasn’t necessarily an attack on Bush-loyalists.  It was to denounce Bush-loyalists who continue to use a “liberal v. conservative” framework, when they really mean “Hater v. Loyalist” framework.  They continue to defend their ideology, but all they’ve done is defended Bush.

P.S. If you’d like to have some fun, go to Bullmoose’s site and try to find posts that are seriously critical of Bush.  I see many many many posts which are critical of Democrats and liberals; but none which criticize Bush.  In fact, many of them suggest that Dems try to out-Bush Bush in order to defeat them.  So again, why does anyone listen to this guy?  It certainly seems as if the reason he failed to defend against the “Cult of Bush” theme was because he is one of the cultists.

P.P.S. Is there anything lamer than the Moose’s constant use of the third person?  Doctor Biobrain suspects that the Moose still doesn’t feel comfortable putting those absurd words into his own voice.  And Doctor Biobrain doesn’t blame him.


coturnix said...

Really, does anyone read Moose any more (as in: the last year or so)?

neuralgourmet said...

I've got to say that was one of the first blogs I consciously made a decision not to read. But you may be on to something with the third person schtick. Maybe Bullmoose is secretly Bob Dole?

glenda said...

I am not sure there really is a left anymore. I mean, people don't fit so neatly into boxes, but can vary by issue. I have absolutely no respect for Bush, but it has nothing to do wuth my idealogy, his behavior, tactics, flaunting of human rights and lies have earned my scorn. Some fellow Texans see him as a well-meaning boob. I think he understands exactly how he is underminig the constitution, for example, and is arrogant enough to think his way is better. He's a fundamentalist idealogue who follows the teachings of the neoconservatives who are hijacking our democracy.

Rob said...

Hey, the issue is not whether or not someone disagrees with Bush--it's whether or not someone HATES him.

The rhetoric of HATE comes from both sides, and is totally counter-productive. Hate is a personal issue, not a political one, and it has no place in constructive dialog

I disagree with President Bush on lots of things. I disagreed with President Clinton on a lot more things. But I would never vote for a candidate whose platform comprises hatred rather than sensible alternative approaches.

Doctor Biobrain said...

Sorry Rob, but the "Bush hatred" thing was entirely a ruse devised to discredit all of Bush's critics. It was a purposefully broad brush to dismiss their opinion and to force "centrists" to denounce such haters. And I thought that was pretty clear in what I wrote.

Believe it or not, the first step to constructive dialogue is to actually listen to what other people say. You don't seem to have done that, seeing as how you completely missed a large point of this post. "Bush hatred" was a red herring.