Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Through The Looking Glass

No offense intended to the Buddhists out there, but the middle path is often the road to hell. While I'm as apt to ask why we can't just get along as any other exhausted and beat up person, I'm not about to attempt it with the people who tell me that it's OK to launch into hysterical fugues of hyperbole about leading Democrats and things they never said or did, but insist that reacting to it in any way but submissive whimpering is nastiness or name-calling and a justification for further libel, slander, bigotry and threats.

I'm disgusted enough to dream about my own gun-toting tea party when citing established facts or exposing blatant lies of the previous administration are described as being just as bad as the furious lies about death panels, birth certificates and Presidential Marxism. Citing massive evidence for global warming is just as bad as comparing Democrats to Communists. Detailed studies showing that certain economic policies produce recessions, that markets self-regulate only within certain limits is just as bad as incitement to murder the President's family, as accusing him of murdering his grandmother and planning to murder yours. It seems to escape a great number of trolls that calling a thief a thief is not the same as accusing an honest man of stealing. Truth matters, facts matter and nothing but weeds grow in the space between facts and lies.

Is retaliation really the equivalent of unprovoked aggression, is self-defense? I don't think so. Is there a reasonable middle ground in an unreasonable attack against reason? I don't think so. Where after all can a middle ground exist between lies and truth; between insane accusations of Marxism or Fascism or extending Medicare being just like Pol Pot or Leon Trotsky? And where does the accusation of being the most, far-left radical Liberal ever to sit in the Senate intersect with the actual Obama who so far seems far too conservative for the people who voted for change?

Are we really the "party of hate" for "picking on" poor Rush for engaging in unprovoked and dishonest slander or trying to defend against him? Is there really any relationship between the label Liberal and the attempt to identify it with irrational hate, beyond the wish of an unscrupulous aggressor to distract us from discussing truth and responsibility?

No, the shadow world, the bizarre country between whatever the truth is and the worn out, beat up used car the Republican apologists are trying to sell is down some rabbit hole somewhere. Some twilight zone where all the terrible things we said about Nixon were untrue and just political, but none the less Obama, by beginning to denounce some of the lies told about him is "building an enemies list" just like Nixon. Nixon wasn't a bad guy they say; it was all political, but Obama is a bad guy for being like him -- even when he isn't. I told you this was a strange land.

Old Nixonian Lamar Alexander suggests that the administration might, like Nixon adviser and Watergate felon Chuck Colson, be planning to "use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies." So what advice is Lamar giving here? Obama should, he suggests, stop blaming the banks, should stop chastising the insurance companies, stop taking advice from advisers Congress hasn't approved ( remember when Bush asserted his right to do so and our non-right to know who they were or what they said?) and stop "calling out" members of congress who disagree with his policies. That's like "street brawling." Calling a lie a lie? That's the equivalent of Nixon's plan to use the IRS to "go after the Jews." That's just like burglary, Arson and obstruction of Justice!


Curiouser and curiouser, this path between truth and fiction and somewhere Lewis Carroll is watching this through a looking glass.


  1. Thank you, Capt. Those are my questions, too.

  2. Yes, Lewis Carroll -- how apt for today's polarized word-wrangling:

    "'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'"

    "'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'"

    "'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master -- that's all.'" (Through the Looking-Glass, Chapter 6)

    I think liberals do more good than they think just by stating their own views gracefully and without apology. A fair amount of us still appreciate good prose, and connect it with the ability to think clearly.

  3. Well said. I'm a Buddhist but I definitely will defend myself when necessary. Especially against eggheads like many on the right.

  4. Handsome B. Wonderful:

    I'm pretty sure they're not eggheads.

  5. A simple explanation: Republicans live in an alternate universe where everything is inside-out. That universe overlaps our own, but moves in the opposite direction. These two universes have been at war, but now they are spinning off in opposite directions and these unfortunate souls have been LEFT BEHIND in our universe.

    Thanks for this, Captain. It's always a relief to be reminded I am not the only one fed up.

  6. I have many reasons to be thankful for Buddhism, but I don't do labels.

    Joe Lieberman does not have the Buddha nature.

    No, you're not the only one fed up and disgusted!

  7. "A fair amount of us still appreciate good prose,"

    Ah -- show me good prose and I'll show you a Communist!

    A prose is a prose and would be a tweet by any other name, even a rose.


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