Third Party & Independents Archives

Not the right crusader

For those of you who have not had a chance to see this, following is a link to Keith Olbermann’s “special commentary” regarding the Bill Clinton Fox News Chris Wallace interview as it specifically relates to the former president’s statement that he tried to get bin Laden and that leading up to 9/11 the current administration did not Special Commentary

While there is much in this 10 minute commentary that I agree with and much that I feel needed to be said by someone with an audience larger than the biggest blog site, its tone and lack of respect for the current president defeats the purpose. Though I do not respect President Bush, I respect the presidency; and though, as I said, there is much there that needed to be said and said strongly, Olbermann must understand that the way his message was delivered will turn off anyone who should hear it. He can use that "tone" when preaching to the choir all he wants; but preaching to the choir is just that, raving to the already-converted.

For the message to have true value, it must be delivered in such a way that those Americans who have yet to consider it or have not had access to the information which make up its points are willing to hear it.

If I sat in my seat and squirmed, what effect do you think it had on the people who in my opinion most needed to hear it? That's right, they immediately turned it off or, worse yet, it served to push them further away from the light, the light that should be shone brightly on the truth. There is much truth in what President Clinton said and in what Olbermann said, but there is also much truth available to counter-balance their side. So why not make a political commentary nearer the whole truth, thus nearer the middle where the vast majority of the hearts and minds of Americans reside?

Keith, you come across as disrespectful and biased. What point does that serve? What point does it serve to insinuate that our president is not a grown-up?

For a commentary such as this to have any real value, its messenger must deliver it with facts only, not intertwined with opinions as facts. To do so makes you no better, the same, as those you attack. The messenger will be seen as much a tool as the tools he hopes to shine the light of truth on. So while he fancies himself a crusader of truth and justice, he instead pushes us further from the truth.

Posted by Zeb Pike at September 27, 2006 11:11 AM
Comment #184441

Well, the “middle” may not be where the “truth” resides. Having said that, I agree, less overtly partisan commentary better serves the country. There are some writers in all three columns here I don’t take seriously for that reason.

Posted by: Trent at September 27, 2006 2:06 PM
Comment #184442


Well spoken. I’m not sure who Keith Olbermann speaks for, but certainly not for me. I quickly perused his rant, but got bored quickly. Didn’t seem to have much to add that I hadn’t read before—just a rehashing of old bullet points.

The real goal needs to be a discussion rather than a debate. In a debate, you try to win points for your side. The tactics are trick questions, halftruths, semantics, and badgering, among others. A discussion is different—-both sides genuinely attempt to understand each other’s positions, find areas of agreement, agree to disagree on other areas, and look for solutions to agreed upon problems.

There seems to be very little discussion anymore, but lots of debating. And it only benefits the better debater, and even then, since no solutions are derived, it eventually doesn’t even help the better debater.

Good job of pointing it all out so clearly.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at September 27, 2006 2:07 PM
Comment #184513

Zeb, Olbermann is the left’s answer to Rush Limbaugh. An effective one too! You are right, he does play to choir. Effectively. Very effectively as do Limbaugh and others on the right.

Countdown is NOT a news show. You can acquire some news from the show, but, the show is first and foremost designed to entertain and make feel good a particular target audience. There is merit to most of what Olberman covers, but, it has its own spin.

As regards Bush and 9/11. The facts are out. More than enough facts to prove to those on the left that Bush allowed 9/11 to happen out of negligence and ignoring information presented to his office. There is also ample evidence that Clinton failed in taking out al-Queda.

That said, 5 years after 9/11, we still have 4300 miles of unsecured border inviting any of our enemies to just step across and lay waste to us and our families. That fact folks, is entirely the responsiblility of the Congress and the White House current. And there is no bloody excuse for it 5 years after 9/11.

So, what are you going to do? Reelect these people and give them a pat on the back for this kind of gross negligence of duty to protect and defend America? Or, are you going to say this is as unacceptable as 9/11 or the levees failure in New Orleans and vote for challengers instead of irresponsible and negligent incumbents?

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 27, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #184529

“So why not make a political commentary nearer the whole truth, thus nearer the middle where the vast majority of the hearts and minds of Americans reside?”

This is a specious argument. Another paen to “the great American middle.” As Trent says, “Who says the Truth’s in the middle?”

“Can’t we all just get along?” The short answer: no. This country is polarized and divided to an extent I’ve never seen—yes I remember Vietnam. It’s been the neo-cons’ way of doing business—wedge issues, law-breaking, smear campaigns, and obstruction every step of the way.

A little truth-telling without the sugar from Olbermann and Clinton and it’s ‘partisanship’ as far as the eye can see. This kind of crap has been spewed from the Right ever since Newt fell of his hay wagon in front of the Capitol building and exclaimed, “You mean you’re going to pay me to be disagreeable?”, and Tom Delay decided the Dems were obsolete, right along with the Geneva Conventions and the Constitution.

So, the air in the room is getting a little close for the GOP—it’s about time. After the vicious thuggery in trying to get Clinton, the door-closed way of running Congress by the GOP, the calling of real concern for Iraqi policy and foreign policy belligerence being labelled ‘aiding and comforting the terrorists”, I think the ‘partisanship’ should just be starting.

A drift to the feel-good middle would be disingenuous, and short-circuit some real, honest-to-god political payback—the stuff that makes American politics go.

Most people, when you average out their concerns and the issues that speak the most to them, aren’t in the middle. It’s two from column A, one from column B, three from column C. Besides, if there’s anyone left in the middle after what’s been going down for the last ten years, they are definitly in the minority—and we all know how important the minority is in politics.

So, I advocate for a nice, bloody partisan war—the dumb-ass Democrats have been pulling their punches for the last…ever! So the country drifts for awhile. It’s only what it’s been doing under this moronic presidency for the last five years; what’s another five years?

So, much like the hands-off policy of the Bush administration when Israel was trying to beat the shit of Hezzbolah in Lebanon, let’s let this bloodbath go awhile. I’m just starting to enjoy it.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 27, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #184537


You are a rabble rouser, but what the hell — so was Thomas Paine.

Posted by: Trent at September 27, 2006 6:20 PM
Comment #184543

“You are a rabble rouser, but what the hell — so was Thomas Paine.”

I’m honored to be in his company—along with every other rabble-rouser: MLK, Eugene Debs, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Cesar Chavez, Emma Goldman, William Sloan Coffin, Paul Robeson, Bill Moyers.

We’d still be drinking tea and gushing about “the child-like wonder” of our darkies without them.

So, you complement me better than most.

This is mayonnaise politics we’re witnessing, and the country and it’s people are slowly going down the drain. Civility in the service of conformity, temerity in the search for truth is wasted time.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 27, 2006 6:51 PM
Comment #184563

Tim Crow, I know Thomas Paine and you’re no Thomas Paine. Those other names you mention (with the exception of Bill Moyers) were actually extremely civil most of the time and bothered to get their facts straight in order to CONVINCE people of something instead of just rant. No, your type of “rabble rousing” is more in the tradition of Anne Coulter, Michael Moore, Hugo Chavez and Louis Farrakhan, by which I mean illogical, and without power to sway anyone. And it is actually very much in the service of conformity—perfect conformity to a far left ideology and party line.

It’s fairly ridiculous to exalt in “truth telling” in regards to (1) statments made on Fox which demonstrably not even in the same zip code as truth (Clinton, as even many of his own adminisration officials have pointed out), and (2) manic red-faced partisan ranting from the far side of idiocy (Olbermann).

When Olbermann isn’t speaking his so-called “truths,” he’s bringing down the condemnation of REAL moral leaders such as the Anti-Defamation League, who has condemned him for running around making Nazi salutes, demeaning Jews, and even by feminists for his frequent half-baked misogynistic remarks about women.

If that’s the kind of guy the far left wants as their spokesperson, they’re welcome to him.

Posted by: Pilsner at September 27, 2006 8:07 PM
Comment #184603

I adore Thomas Paine, and Olbermann, and Tim Crow, and the majority of righteous rabble rousers in the world.
I even fancy myself one sometimes.
Without them nothing would move, and the world would be an extremely boring place.

“Tim Crow, I know Thomas Paine and you’re no Thomas Paine.”

I’m of the opinion that these days, when our friends on the right feel the need to insult, mock, or even express hatred for any of us on the left, we’re obviously being effective debaters and sh*t disturbers. Because what we’re saying must be pushing all of their buttons.

This button-pushing is so very true of Clinton’s smackdown on that Fox propaganda weasle, Olbermann’s sincerely delivered rant, and the things that Tim Crow just wrote. Statements so chock-full of the unvarnished truth, that it confuses the right (and some in the middle) and drives them kind of crazy. They’re so used to us attempting to be nice, that when we simply serve it up straight, they don’t know what to do.
We need many more such people…

Posted by: Adrienne at September 27, 2006 10:37 PM
Comment #184608

R-I-G-H-T, Adrienne.

After all of your even-tempered, highly rational and love-filled posts directed toward conservatives, you’re in a fine position to decry those who “insult, mock, or even express hatred.”

Now what was that about “propaganda weasles?” Something, I assume, that attacks the idea of a free press in this country?

Posted by: Pilsner at September 27, 2006 10:46 PM
Comment #184610


You outrank me by several intellectul levels, thus your defence of my paultry efforts are cherished all the more.


Thanks for the compliments. May the bird of unvarnished truth lay an egg in your rightous indignation.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 27, 2006 10:49 PM
Comment #184619

Tim Crow:
“You outrank me by several intellectul levels, thus your defence of my paultry efforts are cherished all the more.”

I suspect you set me up for this!:
Thomas Paine proved to the world that all anyone needs is Common Sense.

Thanks for belching out another compliment. ;^)

Posted by: Adrienne at September 27, 2006 11:15 PM
Comment #184685


I doubt sincerely that Adrienne outranks you on the intellectual level, but I do believe she’d be able to properly spell ‘intellectual’ and ‘paltry’, so perhaps my doubts are unfounded. :)

Seriously, you mentioned how partisan the country has become. I don’t think we need to engender more partisanship; instead, we need to foster a political climate where both sides do a better job of trying to work together to solve problems.

Currently, a US problem (pick one—-any one) is first considered in light of who can be blamed for it. A second consideration is who can be praised for solving it.

When we allow our elected officials to act this way, it becomes Democrats vs Republicans, rather than Americans vs the problem. What we need is discussion rather than debate. A discussion fosters ideas from both sides in a spirit of compromise. Both parties want a successful and strong America, and both parties have vastly different ideas of what that means and how to accomplish it. By working together for all Americans, the parties can succeed. If they work only for the good of their respective party, they will fail as they have been failing (consider what David Remer has to say on the subject of politician’s failure).

We don’t need civility for the sake of conformity, but we do need civility for the sake of finding solutions. When Americans fight with each other politically, sometimes we find our country bloodied and bowed as a result, with the only gain being to our enemies. Better to find issues that we can all support than to beat each other up on everything, don’t you think?

Posted by: joebagodonuts at September 28, 2006 8:27 AM
Comment #184686

I absolutely agree that it is the extremes that create the middle; but if you’re like me (still shaking your head that as much as 40% of the country still hasn’t caught on), you hope for the sake of the country that they do catch on. That will not be accomplished by half-truths. I frankly feel this country needs to figure out what the truth has been and is, and then come together as one to move this country back to its respected place. By being partisan to the extreme the left does what the right has done, solidify its base (and yes, middle is shorthand for A, B and C); but I fear the end result will be the vast majority of the country tuning out coming election day because they’re sick of it. Then nothing will change.
So while I too can be a liberal rabble rouser, the centrist in me knows that being pragmatic and logical is the only way.

Posted by: Zebster at September 28, 2006 8:45 AM
Comment #184767

Olbermann belongs on comedy central—he’s a winey, ninnyhammer. It boggles the mind how anyone takes this guy seriously.

Posted by: charlie w at September 28, 2006 2:45 PM
Comment #184771


I endeavor to spell correctly, although that is not always in evidence, as you rightly pointed out. Part of the problem is numbness in my left hand from a back problem (someone HAS to make a joke about that, I’m sure), consequently, I miss some keys, not being able to feel them.

I’m all for working across the political aisle, and in the end, that is where the rubber meets the road—politics is definitly a “what have you done for us lately” proposition. But much of what the neo-cons have brought to the political table these past five years isn’t consensus governance, or bi-partisanship—it’s a “we will destroy you” arrogance that feeds on the notion that they don’t have to compromise with anyone. And when they seemingly do compromise, it’s only until they can get the next signing statement typed up and filed away. You always get the feeling with the cons that when they nod their heads, their fingers are crossed behind their backs.

The Right wing echo chamber, so effectively built from scratch over the last twenty-five years, defeats much of what you suggest, though, and this ongoing myth the Right perpetuates that the MSM is left-wing, leaves much of the fictitious Left seemingly without a voice. The Right has it’s talking points, and has very effectivly dominated the media with them. But, as a card-carrying member of the Left, I can assure you that the Left’s message isn’t getting out—only strawmen versions of it by the Right-wing media, easily rendered ineffectual and ripped to shreds—because it’s their creation, and ‘behaves’ like it should.

A few shafts of light in the conservative darkness via a centrist president calling a Right-wing hack of a ‘journalist’ on his loaded questions, and one single, lone voice on TV that isn’t ‘civil’, by Right-wing standards, and America, all of the sudden, is being assaulted by Maoist doctrinares.

But, the real bottom line is—neither side is doing it’s job; the conservatives can’t do the job, because they hate government, at least, any government they don’t control so they can continue the care and feeding of their cronies and lobbyists friends from the defense Department to corporate lackies like the health insurance industry. The Dems aren’t doing their job either—they’ve have essentially walked out on the very people that brought them to the dance, and no, it wasn’t the corporations. They are not fighting for the working class, they aren’t calling the Bush administration on it’s law-breaking, it’s torture, it’s steadfast refusal to run government like a government for all the people, not just their buddies in the business classes. The Dems are much like the far Right in it’s defense of the unborn— from conception to birth, the care is stellar. Your on your own once you’re born. The Dems have it in their collective heads that the ‘real’ party is with the centrists and the mayonnaise right—and all of it’s populist, working class, “everybody does better when everybody does better” ideas that made the party great are dropped. They don’t know who they are, or at least, they don’t know how to articulate their views effectively. This for me is the real stunner, and as I am older now, it makes sense. All political edifices, and governmental ones as well, need to be recast and re-envigorated for each new generation. The Left coasted on it’s laurels from the civil-rights, union hey-day, anti-war history of the fifties and sixties—and the Right got to work.

So, I have two groups to be angry with—the conservatives, who don’t know one end of the Constitution from the other, and the ‘liberals’, who think they’re just misunderstood and can solve any problem by throwing facts and good feelings towards it.

And then there’s me— who has taken from the Right the real belief that values do matter, and that true American values are not being represented by either party. American voters do vote their values—and gay marriage, school vouchers, illegal immigration, pro-life, are only some of them.

Having a healthy environment for our children and grandchildren, an economy that works for everyone, a foreign policy that understands the nature of the dangerous world we live in, but also understands that, at the end of the day, we must work with people and countries that don’t agree with our views—and we can’t invade all of them. We must understand the needs of the billions of people out there who don’t give a rat’s ass about 9/11, the war on terror, or where the oil is. They’re just trying to feed their famlies, and live evey day with some hope and satisfaction, with clean water, a roof over their heads, and a neighbor who won’t shoot them for their ideas.

You are absolutely correct—there are serious problems to be addressed. Energy independence and peak oil, global warming, the unbelievable national debt, the real decline in America’s moral authority and leadership, the economic decline of the middle classes. But, I suspect, every one of these problems will be dealt with in a partisan fashion—until the nation realizes, “Hey, this isn’t working.” Enter David Remer and VOID.

This post has been much longer than I anticipated—I’m sure we will continue this discussion in other venues and topics. I just wanted you to know that I have read your post and don’t disagree. Entirely.:-)

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 28, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #184773


I know you are, but what am I-
I know you are, but what am I-
I know you are, but what am I-

Posted by: charlie w at September 28, 2006 2:58 PM
Comment #184774

“Olbermann belongs on comedy central—he’s a winey, ninnyhammer. It boggles the mind how anyone takes this guy seriously.”

Yeah, I know what you mean—there are literally millions of people who take George Bush seriously. Whatta going to do!?

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 28, 2006 2:59 PM
Comment #184778


I wanted you to know that I took note of your post as well. My arm and back are killing me, though, so I’m afraid that I might give your thoughts short shrift. It is not intentional.

Part of your call to rational debate and bi-partisan solving of problems I addressed to joebagodonuts—perhaps you can gleen something of my position from it.

I know this is all theater here—and we all ‘fire for effect’ to see what kind of rise we can get from the other side.

But if the duty and responsibility of governance were suddenly transferred by some incredible fiat to the regular members of Watchblog, I think you’d see a different side of things to our collective personas.

And, perhaps not.:-)

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 28, 2006 3:08 PM
Comment #184810

Tim, hope your arm improves and your back, though that’d mean your posts would be longer (just teasing, of course)

I agree with you in large part, and let’s hope for the revolution that puts us in charge. Couldn’t be any worse, could it?

I also understand what others have said: To compromise with those who are so wrong and never compromise is hard to make sense of. But which option is right: Go to whatever extent it takes to hold them accountable, which will alienate a large portion of this country, or compromise in an effort to fix with the knowledge that the whole truth will therefore never be revealed.

I’ve been struggling with this for some time. I want the whole mess revealed and then I want them punished but will that resolve anything?

Posted by: Zebster at September 28, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #184844


“I’ve been struggling with this for some time. I want the whole mess revealed and then I want them punished but will that resolve anything?”

Well, it might make the next guys look over their shoulders. I’ve noticed though, that the ‘deciders’ very seldom pay the piper for their antics.

Thank you for your best wishes—is this post short enough?:-)

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 28, 2006 5:37 PM
Comment #185108

Why is it that the right cries for civility and “non-partisianship” whenever the TRUTH is brought up and the light is shoan on their lies, mistruths, halv-truths and libel??
The right is like the bully who loves to beat up people that don’t fight back, but as soon as they pick on someone who retaliates they begin to wave the white flag and cry about how the other side is “being mean” —
The calls by Joe and the others for civility and “non-partisianship” would go much further if they and those on their side of the aisle had not lead the nation down this path of the uglist, nastiest, dirtiest politics since Richard Nixon.
We all have Karl Rove, Tom Delay, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbauh and all the people who hold them up to idolization.
it is truely disgusting
If you want civility and non-partisianship — why don’t you start with your own leader??
Just this week His Highness — GWB resorted to horrific name-calling and misrepresetation of the Democrats and their position — yet you cry for civility and wonder why there is such partisianship??
Look in the mirror and clean up your own house before you point fingers and ask us to “rein it in”

Posted by: Russ at September 29, 2006 1:34 PM
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