Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dudgeons* and Dragons


#StandWIthGeorge 

Because however much his stunt was clearly targeted at advancing his personal political fortunes by  playing to the worst paranoid fantasies of his wingnut base, his stand on federal gummint overreach is convenient to me at the moment.

Which is why every true civil libertarian must absolutely ignore everything else this freak has ever said or done and stand shoulder to shoulder with this hero.

Unless, of course, you're a Liberal hypocrite who hates America...just like Karl Rove, George Bush and Sarah Palin!
Such Obama-defending progressives also wilfully ignore just how much they now sound like Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, and George Bush when ridiculing concerns about due process for accused Terrorists:
Bush in his 2004 Convention speech mocking John Kerry: "After the chaos and carnage of September the 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers";
Rove in 2005 mocking liberals: "Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments";
Palin in her 2008 RNC Convention speech mocking Obama: "Al Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America, and he's worried that someone won't read them their rights".
Find any defender of Obama's claimed power to assassinate accused Terrorists without due process and that is exactly what you will hear. 
Because, yeah, wondering aloud whether there might not be occasions where killing a terrorist with a drone is logistically necessary and/or the best bad-choice out of all the bad-choices available is exactly the same as mocking Liberals as soft-headed dolts who are too stupid to love America in the proper, approved, lights-out missionary fashion.

Do not try to distract me with piffle about how there are meaty debates about the uses of drones breaking out all over, like this exchange on NPR I heard yesterday while en-route to a meeting:
How The 'War On Terror' Became A War On 'Tribal Islam'

INSKEEP: Well, let's talk about what happens when you begin raining drone fire on a region like Waziristan. And let's talk about it first from the proponents' point of view. What are the advantages if you are a foreign power like the United States to using drones, rather than sending thousands of troops into a region? 


AHMED: The American argument is plain and it's clear. And it's a strong argument, that none of our troops are involved, there's no danger to them. We're sitting in the Midwest somewhere, we press a button and people are killed across the world, and we achieve what we want to achieve which is to kill the bad guys.

The reality is that for every one, quote-unquote, "bad guy" who's taken out, there may be a hundred ordinary mothers, children, relatives who are killed. So when the drones falls, it doesn't just fall one day and goes away for the next 10 days. Steve, what happens is in fact, the drones are hovering and buzzing overhead round-the-clock, so that kids cannot sleep. They're traumatized.

They're terrorizing entire generations because they say we're living in fear; fear of where this will strike next. And I think as someone very concerned about trying to bring some sense of peace and order and humanity to the situation, we really have to step back and begin to say: Is this the most effective way of dealing with terrorism, and is it working?

INSKEEP: Are there some pretty well-documented bad guys who've been killed this way?

AHMED: Yes. But how many other bad guys have emerged, Steve? If you kill five or 10 or 15 or 30, you may have then alienated 100,000, 200,000, 300,000. Someone has to do the mathematics. 
...
And do not to try to deflect my righteous (tm) anger (tm) with a lot of yadda yadda about how, as Liberals, we believe that making our conversations about critical issues of the day as expansive and inclusive as possible is a virtue.

Instead, let me remind you of the rules of Dudgeons and Dragons:
  • Players are permitted to choose between two-and-only-two roles: America-loving, civil libertarian hero and hypocritical, boot-licking O-bot Rove-clone. 
  • Players are required to conduct all discussion within severely circumscribed limits as dictated by the Dudgeon Master (me).  Players attempting to smuggle any broader context or mitigating information into the game will be severely penalized 
  • Because the Dudgeon Master says so, that's why.


UPDATE:

dudg·eon 1  (djn)
n.
A sullen, angry, or indignant humor: "Slamming the door in Meg's face, Aunt March drove off in high dudgeon" (Louisa May Alcott).

32 comments:

OBS said...

I knew this was going to be good when I saw the title, and then that last photoshop! Oh man, it's perfect!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

donkey pyramid scheme
~

Mugsy said...

Not to be a spelling Nazi but more a fan of D&D, that's not how you spell "Dungeon". :)

marindenver said...

"donkey pyramid scheme"

Needs moar straw donkeys!

David said...

Some of this was good, some of it I think Driftglass (tm) Overthetop (tm) anger (tm) for emphasis (tm).

I'm certainly not going to defend Greenwald's excesses - any more than I will yours - but I will push back on this:

"Because, yeah, wondering aloud whether there might not be occasions where killing a terrorist with a drone is logistically necessary and/or the best bad-choice out of all the bad-choices available is exactly the same as mocking Liberals as soft-headed dolts who are too stupid to love America in the proper, approved, lights-out missionary fashion."

Except that that was exactly what conservatives said during the Bush era - sure, we would all love to take care of terrorists in the way we treat our American citizens, but these are Dangerous People and we have to make the best of a bad situation. Whether the motivations are different, or the people have better policies on different issues, but the arguments used are extremely similar.

Greenwald is not much of a practical, tactical thinker. And he does get shrill - in his defense, because he believes a particular issue is so important that it merits as much attention as he can possibly get it. You are much more interested in the tactics of picking the best option of those presented to you, and that's what wins political victories.

However, I think that a big reason that the conservative movement has been so successful is that it has been a strategic purity troll, putting the fear of the voter into its elected officials, so that election after election their representatives have to move closer to their ideal conservative vision. Over a span of decades, this has dragged not just the Republican party to the right, but the Democratic party as well. Each election when the Republicans move rightward, the compromises between the two parties move further to the right, and so elected Democrats can get away with being a little further to the right while still being the more liberal option. Then the conservatives coerce their representatives to move toward still more right-wing purity and the whole conga line lurches rightward again. I totally understand and support your tactical decisions about who is the best option available now, but for a long-term view I think you need people agitating your current-best-option to move leftward. And it does look like a purity troll. I'm trying take this view out of theory but by looking at how well it's worked for the other side: where is the scope of US political debate today vs where it was thirty, forty years ago, and what happened to push it this direction?

driftglass said...

David,

Your points are well taken.

However, regarding this...

"Except that that was exactly what conservatives said during the Bush era - sure, we would all love to take care of terrorists in the way we treat our American citizens, but these are Dangerous People and we have to make the best of a bad situation. Whether the motivations are different, or the people have better policies on different issues, but the arguments used are extremely similar."

...where exactly are these legions of Liberals I keep reading about who think suspected terrorists should not be taken into custody, charged and tried when doing that is at all possible?? Where are these "America, Fuck Yeah!" Liberals who are so indistinguishable from Bush-era "kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out" Conservatives that it is impossible to tell them apart?

And no, one or two outliers will not do: Glenzilla routinely slams the "large bulk of the Democratic and liberal commentariat - led, as usual, by the highly-paid DNC spokesmen called 'MSNBC hosts' and echoed, as usual, by various liberal blogs..." and "lowly cable news shows" who, according to him, had been completely unwilling to say single discouraging word about the Kenyan Usurper's policies until they were "forced" to do so "by the Paul filibuster".

Hamfast Ruddyneck said...

I do believe Glenzilla struck a nerve.

The difference between the modern GOP and the modern, corporate-friendly, Imperial Democratic Party is no more significant than the difference between Sauron and Saruman, with the Dems being Saruman, who thought the way to beat Sauron was to become like him.

driftglass said...

"The difference between the modern GOP and the modern, corporate-friendly, Imperial Democratic Party is no more significant than the difference between Sauron and Saruman, with the Dems being Saruman..."

Perfect!

All it needs now is a pinch of really condescending whitesplaining about how those dang minorities keep voting Dim-o-crap by overwhelming majorities because they're just too darn ignorant or moochy to leave the Kenyan Marxist's welfare "plantation" and you've got yourself a sure-fire CPAC panel crowd-pleaser!

Anonymous said...

Why is it so hard to distinguish political discussion from voting? Greenwald routinely identifies 1) the hypocrisies of a large group with whom I suspect he shares a healthy expanse of ideological common ground, and 2) the occasionally sensible if surprising utterances from the fringe. Neither observation picks a side nor determines who will win. Engaging in these observations has nothing to do with the question of whether or not--or the extent to which--the GOP differs from the Democratic Party.

Matthew Stephens said...

Jeez, I saw the LOTR reference and though DG was gonna say 'everybody take a drink.' Live & learn.

driftglass said...

Matthew Stephens,

LOTR isn't science fiction :-)

Karen Crosby said...

Very wizardly with the words and the photoshop. Made my day.

Matthew Stephens said...

Driftglass,

My mistake. I've been hanging out at Lawyers, Guns & Money, taking a shot each time Brian Leiter unleashes a new sockpuppet on poor Paul Campos. (Good times, but hard on the liver.)

Unknown said...

Sauron and Sarumen.
Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown: same thing.
Bernie Sanders and Take Your Pick: same guy, really.
Obama's same-sex marriage stance and DOMA floggers? No difference at all.
Paul Ryan and Joe Biden? a hair's breadth.
Alito and Sotomayor? Make one of them wear a red robe so I can tell the difference.
Drones and B-52s 50,000 feet over the Ho Chi Minh Trail? .... you got me on that one.

Unknown said...

Sauron and Sarumen.
Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown: same thing.
Bernie Sanders and Take Your Pick: same guy, really.
Obama's same-sex marriage stance and DOMA floggers? No difference at all.
Paul Ryan and Joe Biden? a hair's breadth.
Alito and Sotomayor? Make one of them wear a red robe so I can tell the difference.
Drones and B-52s 50,000 feet over the Ho Chi Minh Trail? .... you got me on that one.

Anonymous said...

People really need to smarten up politically. I'm surprised anyone on the left fell for Rand Paul's nonsense. I'm amazed that people still take Greenwald seriously. Greenwald is not the second coming of Fred Hampton. He's a clown that takes any opportunity to exalt himself. Please keep that in mind whenever Greenwald's head pops up.

Drifty, I've got to take my hat off to you. Your knowledge is appreciated.

Vic78

Compound F said...

"...there are meaty debates about the uses of drones breaking out all over..."

First, "breaking out all over?" Really?

Second, even at this late date to be debating robot assassination, which by most credible accounts is pathologically arbitrary (e.g., "signature strikes" with high civilian counts), you heard this meaty debate only yesterday, after Paul's filibuster. So maybe Paul's stunt did, in fact, precipitate this huge itchy rash you speak of.

Third, why are we in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban again? I recall they offered bin Laden on a silver platter. So, tell us your thoughts on the "war on terror," aside from "We Killed Dillinger!"

We already know Greenwald's views, because he speaks frequently and openly about them, unlike all cruise missile liberals who came to themselves in a dark wilderness where the straight way was lost.

Anonymous said...

"People really need to smarten up politically."

Whew. Thank you. Hadn't considered that before.

I love the rhetoric of prescription. "It'll all be better if folks just..." Fuck. This is why I have never voted, nor registered to vote. What a bunch of utterly stumped citizens with whom I share this experiment. Hey, gang, let's keep trying.

Cliff said...

Greenwald used to be one of my regular reads.

But between advocating for Crazy Racist Golbugger Ron Paul, the regular 2,000 word columns about how stupid and shitty mainstream journalists are*, and the pronunciations of heresy against Maddow and David Atkins, I had to go find better uses for my time.

*There are a lot of stupid and shitty mainstream journalists, but Greenwald has beaten that horse into Jello by now.
That's basically his stock in trade, I now realize.

Hamfast Ruddyneck said...

Nice comeback, DG--except the CPAC orcs love themselves some GOP, whereas I despise both wings of the Property Party (h/t the late, great Gore Vidal). Hence, I doubt the CPAC orcs would appreciate my comparing their favorite wing of the Property party to Sauron--or them to orcs, for that matter.

Also, I do not mistake the USA-born non-Marxist Obummer for an actual small-d democratic socialist, and hence a supporter of the welfare state for the common citizen. If he were a democratic socialist--or hell, just an old-fashioned, New Deal & Great Society Democrat--on domestic issues, well, I'm only human (alas), so I might weaken, hold my nose, close my eyes to the blood of swarthy moppets on his hands, and support him.

I might even call him by his right name. ^_^

So now that I think about it, I am somewhat grateful that your Dear Leader is a moderate Reptilian masquerading as a Dinocrat, since it spares me such temptations.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

TOTALLY meant in jest...

http://sqbr.tumblr.com/post/2933685082/calvin-neo-cubist-oh-no-everything-has

Oh, and if you're going to bring up D&D, there's this thing called "True Neutral" I could see you coming back to at some point in the future...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alignment_%28Dungeons_%26_Dragons%29#Neutral

---Kevin Holsinger (in the event my name STILL isn't appearing in these posts)

Zipperupus said...

"Robot assassination"

Because it really is the scary science fiction that gives you The Fear. Just be careful when you startle because you might tip over the bong.

Anonymous said...

Droneglass stoops to ridiculing Glen Greenwald for being a decent human being.

Words fail me more from sadness than anger.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLqKXrlD1TU

OBS said...

Glen Greenwald being a decent human being.[citation needed]

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Greenwald. Obama is not the same as the GOP. If he was, he'd drone the whistleblowers instead of just imprisoning them.

Berto

Lit3Bolt said...

Cry "Havoc!" and unleash the Glennbots and Randroids, who will press the single button over and over again in hopes that someone will:

1) Capitulate to their politically powerless demand unconditionally.

or,

2) Tell them to shut up because their single-mindedness and self-righteousness is annoying.

or,

3) Ignore them.


No matter how self-righteous you get...

No matter how many political allies you alienate with your vitriol...

No matter how many times you fluff the Pauls...

No matter how many times you call every fellow journalist every epithet in your thesaurus...

No matter how many times you say Obama could rape an African-American baby nun and get away with it...

No matter how many times you press that single button...

The last 2 options above are the only responses you'll get.

Coldtype said...

This is so comical when one applies the simple formula: What-If-Bush-Did-It™.

liberals would be committing seppuku in the streets in protest if GWB arrogated to himself the "right" kill anyone on earth including American citizens without due process based on secret evidence. But a follow member of the Dem tribe? Girrrl please!

Hamfast Ruddyneck said...

Coldtype: Hammer. Nail. Bang!

Pinkamena Panic said...

I'm sure you think that's an argument you made there and not a distractionary bullshit desperation measure, bless your stupid fucking heart.

Oh, and way to act like the child you are, Hatefest. Hundred bucks says you're sockpuppeting.

Stop acting like children and you'll get a conversation. Until then, I suggest you sit down, shut up, and listen while the adults talk.

David said...

Wow, tons of insanely belligerent comments.

Coming back to respond to your comment to me, driftglass:


...where exactly are these legions of Liberals I keep reading about who think suspected terrorists should not be taken into custody, charged and tried when doing that is at all possible?? Where are these "America, Fuck Yeah!" Liberals who are so indistinguishable from Bush-era "kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out" Conservatives that it is impossible to tell them apart?

And no, one or two outliers will not do: Glenzilla routinely slams the "large bulk of the Democratic and liberal commentariat - led, as usual, by the highly-paid DNC spokesmen called 'MSNBC hosts' and echoed, as usual, by various liberal blogs..." and "lowly cable news shows" who, according to him, had been completely unwilling to say single discouraging word about the Kenyan Usurper's policies until they were "forced" to do so "by the Paul filibuster".


In Greenwald's original article, those slams contain links to examples. They are necessarily cherry-picked, as are all examples that don't include the entire world: there is far too much out there to reference all of it, and you can find examples and counter-examples if you look hard enough. Greenwald at least attempts to show his "large bulk" of Democrats. The link I most take issue with is a blog post on Maddowblog that purely excoriates Paul's filibuster. Rachel Maddow had a whole section on the program where she specifically praised the opportunity to discuss how we engage in war, while also criticizing Paul's absurd views. Maddowblog often posts contradicting liberal views on an issue, and Glenn was either being deliberately misleading or lazy. I grok that he's upset that she doesn't talk about presidential overreach on the air as much as he'd like (in fact she rare does at all), but she did write a whole book about it in which she says executive overreach is too complicated to go into on a show that needs to cover lots of news points. Whether that's a valid argument or not, Maddow's made her case about it, which Glenn ignores. Lawyerism.

The biggest contention is your comment about people being taken in and tried whenever possible. What is whenever possible? There has been no legal definition for what "whenever possible" means, and no one outside of the executive branch has been brought in to justify when it does or does not apply. From everything that's come out about the raid it seems it would've been VERY possible to extradite bin Laden and prosecute him rather than putting a bullet in his brain. What about the people in Guantanamo? They have already been captured and no attempt has been made to try them in court. Capture and trial could not have been done for Awlaki (or his son, killed two weeks later) because ... why? We have precedence for holding a trial in absentia, so why are these not used? Why has the Obama administration punished whistleblowers so extensively in the US? We don't even have to discuss Bradley Manning - there is John Kirakou, Jin-Woo Kim, Jeffrey Sterling, Thomas Drake... all leaking information to the press, all facing substantial jail time. A search for these names on Daily Kos turns up five items TOTAL, and the newly rebranded nbcnews.com gives six. While silence may not be as bad as active support, the result is still similar.

David said...

(Continued... I should get my own blog, I suppose)


Another thing about Greenwald is that he admits to his tunnel-vision. He sees this as a strength (I, for the record, think it’s a weakness). These media outlets may well be - and often are - concerned with other issues of governance. While I like Glenn get frustrated by what they chose to cover (there's a reason why my MSNBC is limited to Chris Hayes, MHP, and the occasional Maddow; and never ever visit Daily Kos), Greenwald has a propensity to fall victim to the very Manichaeism he accused the Bush administration of (and much more often over the past one-to-two years).

Back to Rand Paul: I am okay with making temporary allies on a narrow set of issues. I can support him doing Thing X without supporting him on Thing Y, Thing Z, and Thing Uncle-Crazy. You've said before there are things you disagree with Obama about but see him as the best person available for the job. This is just extending that to political alliances: I'll take Republican (or Blue-Dog!) support when I can get it for curtailing American wars or prosecuting big banks (hahahahaha!). It may be rare, but if it’s a goal I care to advance, I’ll take who I can get. As you guys have mentioned yourself, there is a perfect place for his daddy, Ron Paul, in American governance: make him Congress's special auditor to the Pentagon. I can get behind that while still vehemently criticizing his goldbuggery or starve-grandma economics. There's a place for Rand Paul, and I'm willing to let that place be a meandering 13-hour filibuster, though not vice president (and God forbid, president).

Hamfast Ruddyneck said...

Is there such a thing as low dudgeon? ^_^