On Liberal Contempt Toward Conservatives

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Unfortunate, but oh so very true.
     
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    On the Value of Truth

    Source: MSNBC
    Link: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41512202/ns/msnbc_tv/
    Title: "'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, February 9th, 2011" (transcript)
    Date: February 10, 2011

    re: Truth is Negotiable—transcript text

    Excerpts of last night's The Last Word, featuring Rep. Steve King (R-IA):

    O'DONNELL: While Bill O'Reilly was interrupting President Obama 72 times during his 24-minute, two-part, non-history-making, non-news-making, pre-Super Bowl interview, he asked the president about the Muslim Brotherhood and its connections to the protests in Egypt.

    To keep things fair and balanced, Sean Hannity got a roomful of Republicans in Iowa, the first presidential caucus state, to analyze President Obama's answer.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)​

    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe that Barack Obama's religious believes do govern his foreign policy.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what are his religious beliefs?

    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe that he is a Muslim.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You do?

    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many of you believe that here? Wow. You believe he's a Muslim?

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you think that has an impact on what he says and does?

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fundamentally, yes.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jack?

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do, also.

    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do think it's quite possible he is Muslim, even though he says he is Christian. But I think that this type of rhetoric, he's waffling on both sides.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But let's focus on his presidential—how he communicates when it comes to foreign policy and his policies. Shouldn't we be backing the president? Isn't that the loyal thing to do?

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is Neville Chamberlain in 1939. He is an appeaser and he will lead us down a path of destruction if we're not careful.

    When Rep. King appeared, Lawrence O'Donnell played an audiotape for his consideration:

    REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: I am in the business of seeking to embarrass the administration into enforcing a law, particularly with regard to immigration.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He won't do that. He's a Marxist! He's a Muslim Marxist.

    KING: He's at least a Marxist. And he surely understands the Muslim culture.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He surely does. That's where he grew up with, that's what his culture is.

    KING: He doesn't have an American experience. He does not have an American experience.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't grow up in America.

    KING: Mm-hmm.

    O'Donnell and King opened with pleasantries and then set about a back and forth about Obama's childhood:

    O'DONNELL: .... But, Congressman, I want to go back to the tape we just showed. I'm not sure you had good enough audio to hear every word of it, but you lived it. You were in a constituent's meeting, and one of your constituents said, you know, he doesn't have American experience. You said, he—this is what you said about the president of the United States. He doesn't have an American experience. He does not have an American experience and the constituent then said to you he didn't grow up in America.

    Congressman, where did Barack Obama grow up?

    KING: Well, by his own reports, he spent a lot of his early formative years in Indonesia.

    O'DONNELL: How many?

    KING: And—

    O'DONNELL: Congressman, how many years did he live in Indonesia?

    KING: I'm going to guess it was five or six—perhaps five or six years in Indonesia, perhaps longer. Pardon me?

    O'DONNELL: Then where did he live?

    KING: Then he moved to Hawaii, which is America, which is going to be your next point.

    O'DONNELL: OK. So, my question to you is: you know more than your constituent about a lot of things, and awful lots of things, and you know more than constituents about Barack Obama. Why didn't you say he grew up in Hawaii?

    KING: Well—

    O'DONNELL: Why couldn't you bring yourself to say that in Iowa?

    KING: It would have been a contradiction of the facts. I mean, really, very formative years, from age about 5 to 9 or 10.

    O'DONNELL: He grew up in Hawaii, Congressman. Are you denying that he grew up in Hawaii?

    (CROSSTALK)​

    KING: It certainly was. It certainly was. I don't think there's any question, part of his upbringing was in Hawaii.

    The question about President Obama's faith was interesting, but King's answer, essentially (and quoted) was—

    ... the president stood in Cairo and spoke to the Muslim world and professed to be a Christian. If he will stand in front of the Muslim world and make that statement, I take him at his word. I don't—I don't question his religion. I will say that the criticism of his religion seems to have accelerated his church going, and I think that's a good thing.

    And, yes, it is possible to pick nits about King's answer; indeed, I intend to try the, "I'll take him at his word", argument if it ever comes up, and see how that goes over. But set that aside for the moment.

    The real issue—or what I see as the real issue—is much more fun.

    After establishing that President Obama's "upbringing was in Hawaii", and that Rep. King takes the president's word about being a Christian, O'Donnell set into the tough questions:

    O'DONNELL: Now, do you think the kind of meeting you had with your constituent helps clarify for them the president's religion, or helps confuse them to the point that 40 percent -- 40 percent of a Republican focus group in your state is completely wrong about the president being a Muslim?

    KING: Well, I saw a poll in "The Examiner" today that showed 46 percent of Republicans believe that. So, I would submit it's not a Republican problem. This is the president's problem. I mean, he has done some to dispel this, but not completely.

    (CROSSTALK)​
    O'DONNELL: Well, let me ask you this: Republicans believe the world is flat, is that a Republican problem or a geography problem?

    KING: If the president has been involved in convincing people the world is flat, it's partly his problem, too.

    O'DONNELL: If they want to believe something that stupid, who's fault is it?

    KING: If you listen, the president went to Cairo and gave a speech. He said to the people in Cairo, and he went to speak to the Muslim world, that's how he presented it. He said he's a Christian. But he also said he grew up in three continents, of exposure to the Muslim culture, and that he's familiar with the Muslim culture. He also talked about the call to prayer. And so, he reached out and he reminded them of his middle name.

    The president has done not a lot to dispel this thing that I think is a myth. And so, I think it is the president's problem, not a Republican problem.

    Rep. King seems to argue that the president owes substantive responses to unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. Which, of course, led to a silly moment in the exchange:

    O'DONNELL: When JFK gave a speech about the Berlin Wall, did people in Iowa think he was German?

    KING: Of course not.

    O'DONNELL: Why not?

    (CROSSTALK)​

    O'DONNELL: Are you telling that its legitimate people in Iowa think he's a Muslim because of a speech he gave in Cairo?

    KING: I think you're missing my point. I'm talking about the content of the speech and the purpose for the speech. He went to Cairo—

    O'DONNELL: Well, if he gave a to Germans—if he gave a speech addressed to Germans, OK, as other presidents have done when there was a Berlin Wall—

    KING: Barack Obama did do that, by the way.

    O'DONNELL: -- wouldn't you think the president is then German?

    KING: Of course not.

    O'DONNELL: Why not? That seems to be the logic that prevails among your constituents, which you do nothing to correct.

    KING: Let me submit that he said "My name is John Fitzgerald Kennedy," not "Barack, mention my middle name, Obama." The president made it a point to emphasize his middle name in Cairo and to talk about his upbringing in the Muslim culture. And so, that helps to perpetuate the persona that he has a close affiliation with the Muslim religion. I think that's—

    Strangely, O'Donnell did not invoke that famous line from Kennedy's speech in Berlin. That would have made for a pretty pickle. I mean, didn't JFK call himself a Berliner?

    Do we have any analogue of President Obama in Cairo saying, "I am a Muslim"?

    Perhaps it's best that O'Donnell skipped that point; the silly factor spiked in that exchange, and never really settled back to normal:

    O'DONNELL: Did you think when you meet with your constituents and you do not explain to them the truth about the president that you are also complicit in perpetuating this lie?

    KING: How about I just didn't want to have an argument in that scenario, Lawrence?

    O'DONNELL: What about an argument—

    (CROSSTALK)​

    O'DONNELL: Congressman, what about an argument about the truth? What about an argument about the truth? It is your duty to argue with your constituents about the truth.

    KING: Well, and with you. And I do do that. But you can't pick every fight.
    You have to pull that out of context. And you're in a meeting.

    (CROSSTALK)​

    KING: We had a lot of angry people. They wanted their freedom. They didn't want Barack Obama taking their liberty and imposing Obamacare on them. That's the emotion that was behind that statement and they're looking for every argument that protects their liberty, and I am pledged to uphold the Constitution and protect their liberty, that's what this is about.

    O'DONNELL: Congressman, I will ask this favor for America—the next time your constituents talk to you like that, would you please treat it the way John McCain treated it during the campaign when we saw in a live television situation a woman say something like that to John McCain and he just said, no, that's not true. You can do that for us, Congressman. You can do it for this country. You can do it for your constituents. Get it on some videotape and we will show it here.

    KING: Let's do this, I'll ask you, go back and read the president's speech in Cairo. That will give a sense of what he's doing that helps move this myth along. And if he will pull back from that a little bit, I'll see if I can move a little that direction. We can come together, Lawrence.

    Rep. King repeatedly refers to the problems in the Cairo speech, but never actually points to one.

    But when pressed to be truthful with his constituents, Rep. King responds in exchange for accomodation of his amorphous objections to the Cairo speech, maybe he will reciprocate with some truth.

    Truth is a commodity to Rep. King. It is negotiable, and on rather strange terms. Where else, even in America, do we get that offer: Pay me, and maybe I'll let you have the product.

    The value of truth.
     
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  5. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

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    King is just one of many whoremongers in American politics-- so adorable isn't he, vying for these dumb asses votes.

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  7. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

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    Mine is not Liberal contempt for Conservatives, mine is contempt for people with not a modicum of common sense! True, it is the conservatives that are whoring themselves out to this nonsense and as a result I have no respect at all for their party!
    So many on the right who I thought were above this kind of whoring are right there w/ King in encouraging this nonsense

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  8. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    The Value of Truth:

    O'DONNELL: Well, let me ask you this: Republicans believe the world is flat

    Pot, meet Kettle.....

    Arthur
     
  9. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Arthur, you are demonstrating that all too common Republican/Tea Party trait, deception.

    Now let's put O'Donnell's words in context, shall we?

    "KING: Well, I saw a poll in “The Examiner” today that showed 46 percent of Republicans believe that. So, I would submit it‘s not a Republican problem. This is the president‘s problem. I mean, he has done some to dispel this, but not completely.

    (CROSSTALK)

    O‘DONNELL: Well, let me ask you this: Republicans believe the world is flat, is that a Republican problem or a geography problem?

    KING: If the president has been involved in convincing people the world is flat, it‘s partly his problem, too.

    O‘DONNELL: If they want to believe something that stupid, who‘s fault is it?"

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41512202/ns/msnbc_tv/

    It is clear, O'Donnell was posing a hypothetical in order to clarify a point with his guest.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  10. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Nothing about that statement makes it hypothetical.

    Had he said: IF Republicans were to believe the world is flat, would that be a Republican problem or a geography problem?

    That would be hypotheticial, but that's NOT how he stated it.

    He stated it as a FACT.

    Republicans believe the world is flat is a definitive statement.

    Arthur
     
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    I didn't really think the rhetoric was all that complicated, Arthur

    The value of literacy: Did it occur to you that the statement you take such offense to didn't seem to bother Rep. King?

    Is it that he likes being insulted?

    Or, maybe, is it that he didn't feel insulted because he actually understood what the words meant? To wit:

    Consider why Rep. King didn't take offense to this alleged denigration of Republicans.

    What you're taking from is called a "rush transcript". Generally speaking, there's only so much you can take literally, especially when you're ignoring punctuation.

    There is a comma after the word flat. Written as it appears, the sentence doesn't actually make sense. One might use a semicolon, colon, or even long dash:

    • Well, let me ask you this: Republicans believe the world is flat—is that a Republican problem or a geography problem?

    • Well, let me ask you this: Republicans believe the world is flat; is that a Republican problem or a geography problem?

    • Well, let me ask you this—Republicans believe the world is flat: is that a Republican problem or a geography problem?

    Any of those forms would suffice. You're welcome to argue the point, but so far your argument needs to omit the punctuation question entirely.

    And you're alone in your confusion insofar as Rep. King himself understood the question, and instead of taking offense as you have, tried to dodge it as most politicians do when faced with a question they don't like.

    Look, Arthur, you might have some differences with me, or with other posters, but I can tell you genuinely that people find it puzzling when in order to see the brilliance of your argument, they must sacrifice their own intelligence and literacy. It does not help the rifts between various groups of people if one must constantly stoop to forfeit their own faculties in order to accommodate the other's arguments.

    Even the distinguished gentleman from Iowa could figure out the question, and while making a complete moron of himself, at that.

    So, yeah. Perhaps you might write Rep. King's office, asking why he wasn't outraged at so obvious a denigration of Republicans. And be sure to share with us whatever response you get.
     
  12. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    None of those edits change that statement. It remains a declarative statement.

    You WANT to believe it was hypothetical but clearly it is not and it is one of the most common insults I see thrown at Republicans.

    Don't believe me: Search on "Republicans think World is Flat" and see for yourself.

    So, NO, you can't dodge this one. He was insulting King and King simply chose to ignore it.

    Further, using an insult to make a point, even if it is supposed to be taken hypothetical, is still an insult.

    And as stated, maybe SOME took it that way, but not everyone would.

    Both parties have their fanatics.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/08/03/each_party_has_its_fanatics_97748.html

    Arthur
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  13. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    As Tiassa pointed out, King (Republican official) responded to the question as a hypothetical - not an insult. The context is clear, and you took special effort to exclude those words that put the quote into context, again not atypical of you and others who share your political point of view.

    When one has to be deceptive and sacrifice soo much intellect, as Republicans/Tea Partiers do, in order to beleive the party line - maybe you should reevaluate your point of view.

    Additionally this arguement is not about fanatics, it is about the main stream. Unfortunately, there is no Republican/Tea Party movement when you remove the fanaticism. And that is one of the reasons I hold the movement in contempt.
     
  14. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    What words did I exclude that would have made that a hypothetical statement?

    I'm interested to hear this because when I read it, it appears to be a simple DECLARATIVE STATEMENT and not at all phrased as a hypothetical statement.

    And INDEED, it is a COMMON insult that liberals use against Republicans.

    Again, just search on "Republicans think world is flat" and see how OFTEN it is used as such.

    You can't use the fact that King didn't challenge him as a defense. One picks one's battles and you simply can't ignore the fact that it is a common INSULT that liberals use when they show their contempt.

    Arthur
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  15. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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  16. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Yes they do, and there is NOTHING hypothetical about that statement.

    It was an insult, pure and simple.

    More to the point, it is a COMMON INSULT, so it wasn't just picked at random as an example.

    Arthur
     
  17. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    I suppose that is why you were so careful to lift it out of context - not even lifting the complete sentence.

    And as pointed out by others, the Republican (mr. king) in the conversation understood the context.

    Right

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    The first problem you have it there was no insult.
     
  18. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    The complete sentence changes nothing:

    O‘DONNELL: Well, let me ask you this: Republicans believe the world is flat, is that a Republican problem or a geography problem?


    BS, just because he didn't make a point about it, doesn't mean it wasn't an insult.

    Indeed, it is a common insult spewed by liberals who don't mind spreading lies to make a point, doesn't surprise me at all that King didn't rise to the bait.

    Arthur
     
  19. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, he did not make a point of it.

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    More imporantly he responded appropriately to the hypothetical. Why didn't you include his response Arthur?
     
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    Analysis: Rhetorical devices of deception, and other notes

    The sacrifice of the intellect—as I believe it was St. Ignatius Loyola explained—is that which God most desires. It is at the heart of blind faith.

    Any blind faith.

    A couple of ideas that seem absent from our neighbor's consideration of the issue:

    I. Rhetoric

    The word "rhetoric" often refers, in American parlance, to the specific words someone speaks, e.g., "violent", "revolutionary", or "extremist" rhetoric. But rhetoric itself is an old concept referring to something more general. The most common contemporary treatment of the word considers specific forms and manners of rhetoric.

    Meanwhile, Arthur appears to not recognize a rhetorical proposition. But there might be a reason for this.

    II. Literalism

    While so many people speak colloquially, even in "official" circumstances, there seems to be a growing demand to receive those words "literally". I put the word "literally" in quotes because I don't find that brand of literalism particularly reliable about the definitions that asserts. I mean, for all the times my mother said something or another about wringing our necks, neither my brother nor I ever actually feared she would try to throttle us. We understood, even aged in single-digits, the difference between the literal and figurative.

    Most people still do, but there is a strange, pervading demand in our public discourse that people set aside their comprehension and perceive things according to an unnaturally strict literalism that is also tremendously faulty in its assessments.​

    I was a bit late to the internet among my generation, picking up my first telephone modem and internet service in 1997. Networks were hardly new to me; I admit being puzzled by people who could navigate a company network but trembled before the internet.

    That's actually beside the point; I just remember those years as particularly transformative, both personally and culturally.

    My brother, who was already comfortably ensconced in HTML culture, was excited. A new age of letters, he predicted. People would write, instead of just call each other across a phone line. Communication would improve, be richer, find new vitality. I'm hard-pressed to recall him ever being so optimistic about anything larger than, say, Stanford's chances in the Orange Bowl.

    What really happened, of course, horrified him.

    By 2001 or so—I seem to recall musing over a certain website while sitting in a particular office, which I left in early 2002—there were handbooks published online offering writing advice and style guids for professionals. Striking to me at the time were the prominence and frequency of advice along the lines of, "Don't write office memos in netspeak shorthand." Apparently, people needed 2B told.

    So I tend to blame a certain phenomenon on the fact of the internet and what people have done with it.

    The art of rhetoric has degraded in the twenty-first century. One popular approach to the new sophism is a method colloqually known as "fisking", after journalist Robert Fisk. And while some might praise Fisk for his incisive analysis, or imagine themselves so artfully skilled, much of what passes for fisking is nothing more than manipulation.

    Attend, for instance, what people quote of each other.

    Watch what they focus on. Note what they omit.

    Once in a while, misplaced focus and apparent omission are actually the genuine results of a human failure to communicate. Life happens.

    But for years, it seems that much of that focus and omission is intentional, a means of manipulating.

    Yes, the internet means there are records of so much more information, available to so many more people, than there was in 1994.

    Could I have made the transition as smoothly if I was thirty when Netscape launched, instead of eyeing my twenty-second? I don't know. I've never successfully identified the line of best fit describing the apparent generational gap by which buttons with names like "Home", "Reload", "Back Page", and "Forward Page" became confusing. Don't get me wrong; my father can adeptly navigate the internet these days, or figure out how to make a spreadsheet and graph, and attach it to an email. It took him ten years to figure it out, sure, but he did it.

    Back in this transformative time, people began to get their first doses of information overload.

    And perhaps it is information overload, but here is the thing: People seem to be forgetting how to read.

    No, I don't mean they're losing functional literacy such that they all need the pictorial instructions inside a box of condoms. I don't mean they're unable to read the instructions on a box of toothpicks.

    But something has happened.

    Even back during the Clinton years, it seemed most people were willing—and many anxious—to avoid the kind of issues Arthur raises. That is, people of differing political views could still speak colloquially without offending one another.

    Certainly, we can blame Rush, the Arkansas Project, and others for their degradation of public discourse. And those others certainly include the Air America project. Incidentally, what you're seeing in Arthur's comprehension issue is one of the outcomes of a particular tactic, with which you're familiar, that I criticize. (Yes, I understand fighting fire with fire, but at some point, people are just going to settle in and become accustomed to the fact that everything is engulfed in flames.)

    And I'm certain the Bush Jr. presidency didn't help.

    Indeed, Bush stands out as an excellent example:

    • "I'm going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there's an authoritarian voice saying exactly what happened." (March 17, 2009; regarding his memoir)

    • "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." (August 5, 2004; regarding the War on Terror)

    We just spent eight years under the Bush administration perfecting our best exasperated sigh, sad chuckle, and recitation of the phrase, "Yes, George, we know what you mean."

    Really, should I take that 2004 Bushism and accuse the former president of treason? Or maybe take him to task over the 2009 statement for thought policing? We know what he meant. We don't take his slips of tongue literally, else I might point out that George W. Bush was our first female president:

    "I want to thank my friend, Sen. Bill Frist, for joining us today .... He married a Texas girl, I want you to know. Karyn is with us. A West Texas girl, just like me."

    Our first female president emerged on my thirty-first birthday. Thanks, George, for breaking that glass ceiling ....

    Or we might just chuckle and say, "Yeah, we get it." Indeed, that syntactical failure is of a fairly common form. We might even pause to consider that particular Bushism specifically for our present purposes.

    What Arthur is objecting to is a rhetorical proposition. And like so much of English in the United States, it is imperfectly phrased. That is, while Rep. King certainly understood the point, and rush transcripts are often dangerously unstable; not only do people speak terribly compared to perfectly proper English, there are no standards defining how we transcribe that. The comma after the word flat? All it describes is rhythm; there was a pause.

    If that was an original written form in a manuscript, it would be redlined, and the editor would more likely ask the author to clarify the sentence than to undertake the correction independently.

    Yet even relying on the transcript as the authoritative form, Arthur is still skipping the punctuation issue.

    And demanding a curious literalism.

    Rep. King dispensed with that literalism. I might have a dim view of conservatives, and to be certain it is often said that people are stupid, or politicians morons. But there is a threshold. Rep. King may not have a college degree, but he did manage to build a private business and from there work his way into public service. He's not, fundamentally, an idiot.

    And he had an answer prepared, too:

    O'DONNELL: Well, let me ask you this: Republicans believe the world is flat, is that a Republican problem or a geography problem?

    KING: If the president has been involved in convincing people the world is flat, it's partly his problem, too.

    O'DONNELL: If they want to believe something that stupid, who's fault is it?

    KING: If you listen, the president went to Cairo and gave a speech. He said to the people in Cairo, and he went to speak to the Muslim world, that's how he presented it. He said he's a Christian. But he also said he grew up in three continents, of exposure to the Muslim culture, and that he's familiar with the Muslim culture. He also talked about the call to prayer. And so, he reached out and he reminded them of his middle name.

    The president has done not a lot to dispel this thing that I think is a myth. And so, I think it is the president's problem, not a Republican problem.

    It is, apparently, Obama's fault that so many conservatives who are looking for a reason to hate him think he's a Muslim.

    To be certain, Rep. King is playing this strange sort of "literalist" game, but not nearly to the exacting degree Arthur would demand.

    Rep. King, in his Last Word interview:

    • "... the president stood in Cairo and spoke to the Muslim world and professed to be a Christian. If he will stand in front of the Muslim world and make that statement, I take him at his word."

    • "He said to the people in Cairo, and he went to speak to the Muslim world, that's how he presented it. He said he's a Christian. But he also said he grew up in three continents, of exposure to the Muslim culture, and that he's familiar with the Muslim culture. He also talked about the call to prayer. And so, he reached out and he reminded them of his middle name.

    The president has done not a lot to dispel this thing that I think is a myth. And so, I think it is the president's problem, not a Republican problem."

    • "... I'll ask you, go back and read the president's speech in Cairo. That will give a sense of what he's doing that helps move this myth along. And if he will pull back from that a little bit, I'll see if I can move a little that direction."

    The Cairo speech. The Cairo speech.

    Reading through the Cairo speech, it is hard not to snort derisively at conservative dissimulation. I mean, yes, sure, I suppose I can see the concern, but its derivation is so petty and ludicrous as to denigrate the worried conservatives.

    So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. This cycle of suspicion and discord must end.

    I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

    • • •​

    There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground. As the Holy Koran tells us, "Be conscious of God and speak always the truth." That is what I will try to do – to speak the truth as best I can, humbled by the task before us, and firm in my belief that the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart.

    • • •​

    Part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I am a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith.

    • • •​

    I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America's story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President John Adams wrote, "The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims." And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have fought in our wars, served in government, stood for civil rights, started businesses, taught at our Universities, excelled in our sports arenas, won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the Olympic Torch. And when the first Muslim-American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers – Thomas Jefferson – kept in his personal library.

    So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn't. And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.

    • • •​

    Much has been made of the fact that an African-American with the name Barack Hussein Obama could be elected President. But my personal story is not so unique. The dream of opportunity for all people has not come true for everyone in America, but its promise exists for all who come to our shores – that includes nearly seven million American Muslims in our country today who enjoy incomes and education that are higher than average.

    • • •​

    So let there be no doubt: Islam is a part of America. And I believe that America holds within her the truth that regardless of race, religion, or station in life, all of us share common aspirations – to live in peace and security; to get an education and to work with dignity; to love our families, our communities, and our God. These things we share. This is the hope of all humanity.

    • • •​

    It is easier to start wars than to end them. It is easier to blame others than to look inward; to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path. There is also one rule that lies at the heart of every religion – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. This truth transcends nations and peoples – a belief that isn't new; that isn't black or white or brown; that isn't Christian, or Muslim or Jew. It's a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilization, and that still beats in the heart of billions. It's a faith in other people, and it's what brought me here today.

    We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been written.

    The Holy Koran tells us, "O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another."

    The Talmud tells us: "The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace."

    The Holy Bible tells us, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."

    The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God's vision. Now, that must be our work here on Earth.

    It's hard to tell what the president is supposed to pull back from. The assertion of common human purpose and principles? That disputing sides should actually listen to each other? That American culture is not so horribly bigoted as many people perceive it? That three related holy books all speak unto peace?

    Maybe they object to the part about the Palestinian obligation to reject violence. Oh, wait ... duh. He also suggested that Palestinians have rights. And that Israel has obligations. And that the United States has obligations, as well. Is that it? Is Obama being too Muslim by banking on the integrity of the United States of America?

    What? What, exactly, is the problem? Is it that he wasn't condescending or mean enough to Muslims while speaking in Cairo?

    In the meantime, we can certainly avoid that question if we simply skip it in order to complain about the rhetorical sleight that Arthur is working so hard to invent.

    That is, if we trade one somewhat simplistic rhetorical game for another fished out of the gutter.

    The point is to avoid the larger issues. The method is to forfeit any faculties of context and insist on a specific assertion of literal interpretation for a manipulated quote.

    This fake literalism is a cancer to the public discourse; it only distracts from genuine progress. But it can also be consuming, and if we are to accept that Arthur isn't trying to con us, we are left to wonder if perhaps he hasn't waded in over his head.

    A rhetorical metaphor was introduced, perceived and understood, and responded to. Rep. King knew the score, and his answer most certainly disappoints people of more liberal political inclination.

    Who, I asked of Rep. King's offer to barter for truth, will defend it?

    The answer, apparently, is nobody. Indeed, the strongest defense we've seen is Arthur's little invention, which does nothing to defend King's standard, and only serves to distract people from the larger, apparently unpleasant, consideration.

    He's had his say. You and I have had ours. Personally, I think it's quite clear what's going on with his argument, and maybe that's why he's the only one pursuing this spectre.

    It's a straw man that we've both given more attention than it deserves. To the other, yeah, we've had our say. It should be quite clear from Arthur's history in this community that nothing will dissuade him from his stupid digression. We don't have to find it honest, or dignified, or even useful.

    Meanwhile, if he wishes to present himself in such a manner, fine. I'll accommodate him. That's not a problem. I mean, functionally at least, he insists on depicting himself in such a manner. And, certainly, an accurate description of this behavior exceeds the site's rules, but nobody can stop you from remembering how he wants us to see him the next time he pops off with one of these idiotic tantrums.

    Treating him appropriately doesn't mean excoriating him on a regular basis. Rather, one need only regard his manipulations according to what they are. I might find Rep. King's standard repugnant, but Arthur's is flat-out insane, to put it as kindly as possible. His credibility is assessed according to his conduct.

    Leave him to it.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Weisberg, Jacob. "The Complete Bushism". Slate. March 20, 2009. Slate.com. February 11, 2011. http://www.slate.com/id/76886/

    MSNBC. "'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, February 9th, 2011". Transcript. February 10, 2011. MSNBC.com. February 11, 2011. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41512202/ns/msnbc_tv/

    Obama, Barack. "Obama's Speech in Cairo". Transcript. The New York Times. June 4, 2009. NYTimes.com. February 11, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/us/politics/04obama.text.html
     
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    37,816
    A Contemptible Proposition?

    A Contemptible Proposition?

    Paul Constant refers to the Egyptian Revolution as "Obama's Tear Down This Wall Moment". But only to make a point:

    If Democrats were as disingenuous as Republicans, we would already be framing the Egyptian revolution as a direct result of President Obama's Cairo speech from about two years ago.

    And I say, why not? Why not take ownership of it, for its political advantages? It's not like Reagan's "Tear down this wall" speech really tore down that wall. But if Republicans childishly insist Democrats take ownership of everything bad that happens during the Obama administration, why not take ownership of the good things?

    To answer Mr. Constant in terms he would certainly understand: For obvious reasons, which, of course, are why you made the point.

    And for those who need clarification: Because it's sleazy and contemptible.

    And that's the point.

    If Democrats came out and made this argument, the only defense of it would be comparative: What? This is how you conservatives do it.

    And that, generally, should be considered insufficient justification for such grotesque exploitation. Just because conservatives get away with contemptible sleaze—and seem rather quite dedicated to it—doesn't make such behavior proper, or even merely acceptable.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Constant, Paul. "Obama's Tear Down This Wall Moment". Slog. February 11, 2011. Slog.TheStranger.com. February 11, 2011. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/02/11/obamas-tear-down-this-wall-moment
     
  22. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,829
    No, he didn't respond at all to any hypothetical.

    He ignored the insult and simply used his turn at the mike to slam the president, equating "convincing people the world is flat" (something obviously false) with "Obama not convincing people he isn't a muslim"

    KING: If the president has been involved in convincing people the world is flat, it‘s partly his problem, too.

    Which says NOTHING about Republicans and a flat earth now does it?

    LOL

    Arthur
     
  23. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,910
    Yeah, you keep telling yoruself that Arthur and I am sure you will.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    The transcript speaks for itself.
     

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