Had Enough of This?

I’ve had enough of the Republicans and their lapdog media yapping about  Nancy Pelosi and what and when she was told about torture in 2002.   These Republicans and media pals have memories shorter than a worm’s.  It was Dennis Hastert (R) that was Speaker of the House in 2002 and he led the actions or better yet, led the inactions of Congress during the Bush/Cheney years.  Nancy Pelosi was not in a position of power during the Republican dominated Congress.  There was little that she could do at that time.  It was the responsibility of Dennis Hastert to speak up against torture.  Instead, Hastert and the Republicans in Congress along with their friends in the media turned their backs on the Constitution and the American people and did nothing.

Ultimately, however, the greatest horror of Hastert’s House was not confirmed by its specific failures to serve the American people who most needed a Congress to counter the malignant neglect of the Bush-Cheney administration. Rather, it was defined by the remaking of an essential legislative chamber as nothing more than an extension of the executive branch of the government. The damage to the Congress has been severe, as has been the damage to the Republic.

All this talk about Nancy Pelosi is a diversionary tactic by Republicans that are guilty of negligence.

Hastert’s House was a crude and unworkable place, where members who sought to uphold their oaths to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic” were held up to ridicule and forced to hold hearings on issues involving the most extreme abuses of presidential authority — lying to the Congress and the American people about matters of war and peace — in basement rooms.

So what exactly did Dennis Hastert know about torture?  When did he know it and why didn’t he do something about it?  Nothing more than Republican lies.  I’ve had enough of it.

(cross posted at PennsylvaniaforChange)

41 thoughts on “Had Enough of This?

  1. Good catch, Cats.

    The fact that Fat Hastert was in charge of the House at the time in question seems to have escaped Main Stream Media.

  2. BnF… Thank you.

    When I first turned on the computer this morning, this was one of the headlines…
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30884459/
    It is about Pelosi and Boehner is whining as usual and it just set my rockets off. I’m having difficulty in understanding how stupid our media has become. There is no thought put into any news articles anymore. It’s all crap.

  3. What a crybaby you are! No one said anything! That’s why it was so disingenuous of Princess Pelosi to feign outrage!

    She lied and now she’s having a nervous breakdown because she was caught in it! Not unusual for her to stammer and stutter, loose her place, leave sentences unfinished, look like the liar she is . . . . but the distraction of going to China? What a laugh!

    What do you mean “lapdog media”? Just shows how far left and out of touch you are. The people are growing tired of primadonna liars and those who pass legislation w/o reading it.

  4. CIA Can’t Find Its Ass With Its Hands

    “The CIA cobbled together the chart from notes, memo and recollections because transcripts of the meetings were not kept.”

    They also tried to say Sen. Bob Graham was at meetings that he can PROVE he didn’t attend.

    But wait, there’s more!

    “Feinstein’s briefing came more than four years after former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham was briefed by the CIA when he chaired the intelligence panel. Graham disputes the CIA’s contention that he was told about enhanced interrogation techniques used on a detainee who already had been waterboarded. But even if he had been told, Graham says, it would have all been classified information.

    “There’s not much you can do, because you can’t talk to anybody,” he says. “You could talk to the executive branch and express your concerns, but there aren’t a lot of effective options available to you.”

    You’re not allowed electronic devices or to even take notes at a classified briefing. No materials are allowed to leave with attendees. In this case it’s “She said they lied, and then they lied again when trying to contradict her.”
    Also, if she had actually been informed, there was nothing she could do with the information because it was CLASSIFIED!

  5. Democrats abandoned her. Leon Panetta, a democrat friend, stated so – that she’d lied about the CIA had not briefed her . . . . do you not follow any of this? Or is it you only listen to one side? That’s a sure way to never find the truth . . . .

    Then, she accused the CIA of lying to Congress. Now lying to Congress is a crime . . . . she attempted to back-peddle, but didn’t actually; she just refuses to talk about it – did you see that? She was pathetic. Maybe you should read my post about it! http://josiahe.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/distraction-tactic-to-hide-pelosis-breakdown/

    People that are so partisan about this stuff are pathetic. Both parties are w/o integrity. If you want to even have a chance to find the truth –
    READ BOTH SIDES!

  6. Did she or did she not accuse the CIA of lying? That is a crime!
    Instead of bringing up proof (as Panetta did – as Cheney did), she pulled back into her tortise shell and won’t comment!
    She knew about the waterboarding!
    Let’s see how do you feel about the beheading of Daniel Pearl?
    You complain about our waterboarding (3 times total) and where have you mentioned the Sheik who was one of the three who was waterboarded – he (brags that he beheaded Perarl) . . . . I’m so sick of progressive hate America First.
    You have my permission to leave . . . any time you like!

  7. You have nothing but your own opinion.
    The CIA has been accused of lying on multiple occasions, by Republicans! Anytime they didn’t agree with what the CIA said, it was the CIA that got it wrong.
    I’ve seen no proof from anywhere to refute Pelosi’s claim, and certainly none from you.

  8. The way you say “republicans” . . . . just keep playing the partisan cards and you’ll remain believing lies.

    • I’m sorry, josiahe, I don’t see that you’ve offered evidence or proof that Speaker Pelosi lied to Congress. Simply saying so is not proof, as you know.

      We at TheZoo, like most other Americans, love our country. That’s why we hold our Constitutional freedoms so closely, and will not stand to have them diminished in the name of so-called “national security.”

      I appreciate you giving each of us your permission to leave this country, but, I’ll be staying. There’s a big mess to clean up here, and I’d like to take care of as much of it as possible before my children have to take on the burden.

  9. josiahe,
    We try to maintain a civil atmosphere on our site. Mindless rantings are not appreciated. Please note that HoR has the mental capacity to realize that ‘Republicans’ is a proper noun and should be capitalized. Please at least respect that party whatever it’s current state.

  10. josiahe – you don’t get it do you. This is not about Pelosi. It is about placing blame where it belongs… on the House that was led by Republican Dennis Hastert who may very well be the WORST Speaker of the House ever.

    jsiahe – how old are you? Where have you been for the past 9 years? Living in a bunker? You are not making any sense in your comments. There is no logic to your discussion.

  11. The people are growing tired of primadonna liars and those who pass legislation w/o reading it.

    Are you calling Dennis Hastert a primadona? I can’t vouch for his sexuality so I’ll leave it at that.

  12. Josiahe
    Pelosi said the CIA didn’t tell her about torture.

    The CIA called Pelosi a liar,

    Pelosi told the CIA to prove that she was lying.

    The CIA offered their ‘proof’; which is a short list of Intelligence Committee ‘briefings’ which variously either never happened, or claimed participants that weren’t actually there, and that nonetheless have yet to reveal anything about the briefings themselves.

    You yourself might think she lied about what she was briefed on, but you don’t get to declare that “she lied”, because you offer no evidence—and thus far neither have her primary accusers, the CIA.

    And it should also be noted that NOT ONE of the EIGHT Republican members of the Intelligence Committee who would have been present in a committee briefing has backed-up the CIA claims.

    Now why haven’t the EIGHT REPUBLICAN Committee-members provided some PROOF that Pelosi was “lying” about not being-briefed on torture?
    BECAUSE it would mean that THEY WERE BRIEFED ON TORTURE, TOO!
    OR it’s because THEY WEREN’T BRIEFED ON TORTURE EITHER!

    But despite the CIA providing NO PROOF, despite the Intelligence Committee REPBLICANS providing NO PROOF of Pelosi lying, the media is convinced she’s probably lying, YOU are convinced she did lie, and you are all missing the point that BUSH, CHENEY AND RICE LIED ABOUT ACTUALTORTURE and LIED ABOUT WHAT THEY TOLD OTHERS, WHO THEY TOLD AND WHEN. THEY LIED ABOUT THEIR JUSTIFICATIONS and LIED ABOUT ITS PURPOSE AND RESULTS TOO!

    But YOU think the big issue is that Pelosi appears to be acting suspiciously about what she was told and when? Really?!!

    You apparently aren’t bothered by the facts that Bush and Cheney and Rice not only lied about torture, they ORDERED the TORTURE EVEN BEFORE THEY CAME UP WITH THEIR BULLSHIT EXCUSES TO BEGIN TORTURING!
    And they are STILL LYING ABOUT THEIR LYING and THEIR TORTURING, TODAY!

    Here’s a tip for you, josiahe.

    Think of a blog as a restaurant; a publicly accessible place but privately owned.

    And most people go into a restaurant for the first time what they tend NOT to-do, is to loudly declare that the food and service sucks, proclaim that all the other patrons are idiots, take a giant crap on the center table and then expect to be hailed as the world’s greatest gastronome and bon-vivant!.

  13. And you’re telling me to be civil?

    You guys keep circling your wagons and read only what you already believe, talk only to each other and you’ll find that you make a lot of mistakes that will not only harm others, but you’re contributing to nothing but partisanship which serves no American.

    It was the democrats who complained about the waterboarding . . . . get it? Ok; maybe you don’t …

    Calling waterboarding torture (what we put our own Navy Seals through) while not responding to my comment about Daniel Pearl’s beheading screams volumes!

    3 terrorists were waterboarded – wah, wah, wah! And the Shiek who set off a bomb in the WTC was the main one! He gave up information that saved thousands!

    Those that lay down their lives for you, for all of us, feel shame when they read of how some of you whine about waterboarding and say nothing about the beheadings!

    The Constitution is very clear and democrats and republicans are both corrupt and lacking ethics, as proved by $787 Billion passed, without even reading it!

    The corruption called “pork” and “earmarks” designed to get them re-elected – our tax money.

    I would encourage your going to Europe where you’ll be much more at ease with your blame America first mentality! I too will be leaving, but to a different country . . . .

    I’ll drop my following this post; ya’all just ain’t worth it!

    josiah rivers

  14. This is our country, land of the free, home of the brave and we’re not going anywhere.

    You believe in torture, THEN YOU GO TO A COUNTRY THAT BELIEVES AS YOU DO MOTHER FUCKER.

  15. well, josiah has just volunteered to fuck-off.

    Perhaps he’s been inspired to join the Army see the rest of world that he so despises and kill people he knows nothing-about, for Freedom!

    But I doubt it. I expect he’ll just continue to complain about taxes–like the taxes that pay for the people “who lay down their lives” for us, even though a lot of them joined so that our taxes could pay for the education they wanted because they couldn’t afford it on their own—well, not THOSE Taxes, but other taxes, like for disaster relief–well, not THOSE taxes either, but taxes that pave roads and preserve parkland where you can go hunting—well, not THOSE taxes either. but you know, taxes that pay for clean water and safe food—well, not THOSE taxes either, but…well you know, BAD taxes, like the taxes we ALL suffer from as a result of the bailouts, YEAH, THOSE TAXES that REAL AMERICANS wouldn’t have to be paying if it hadn’t been for the free-market economic theories of the , the oh yeah, the Republicans and Libertarians and Conservative Democrats and their idiot followers who think that minimal government and minimal taxes for the wealthiest means wealth for all!!!

    Oops! If everyone had gotten wealthy from 8-years of free-market economics and tax cuts, we’d none of us having anything to complain about, would we?

    Oh but we do, and it’s the Republican and Libertarian champions of those policies that are now bitching the loudest–but blaming the results of THEIR OWN POLICIES on the Democrats.

    Anyway, buh-bye josiah.

  16. ” You believe in torture, THEN YOU GO TO A COUNTRY THAT BELIEVES AS YOU DO MOTHER FUCKER”

    Nice one, Shayne !

    Of course the countries that legally and routinely torture tend to be full of foreigners and aren’t keen on individuals criticizing their political system—hence the torturing.

  17. Hello again, fellow critters. I see we rated our very own neo-con troll again today. Sorry I missed all the fun…looks like 8:00 is its bedtime.

    There’s no rationality behind its arguments; a blend of non-facts and emotive arguments (but, Pearl was beheaded! – which means we can waterboard 3 terrorists before they’ve been convicted of being terrorists, oh, and nevermind the fact that Saddam was hung)

    So, how about this argument:

    Bush took American citizens and forced them to go to a foreign country against their will, a country where they were hated and despised and targeted for death from the moment they arrived until the moment they went home – and he kept those citizens over there for years, frequently against their will and always under the threat of jail if they refused. Those that survived to return home were forced to go back, time after time after time. Thousands of Americans died; mothers, wives, fathers, husbands – shot to death or blown to pieces in a far away land. FOR NOTHING. Oh, except a very few businessmen got very, very rich from government contracts with Bush.

  18. 5th, I didn’t have the energy to even try to be as eloquent as you and then BnF. I have just had it with those defenders of torture. As long as the Republicans do it they’re fine with anything. They disgust me.

  19. Let me start by saying “Great Post, Cats.” I have some things to say to josiahe, now.

    josiah rivers,

    Thank you for visiting TheZoo and sharing your thoughts with us. We enjoy having discussions about various topics and welcome people with dissenting views, provided they don’t resort to the same, silly, childish personal attacks we see so often at TP. Perhaps you didn’t know it, but that’s why we started this blog – because some people at TP were just getting so vicious in their personal attacks that about two dozen of us got fed up and started our own blog.

    I am writing this to you because even though you claim you won’t be back, I have a feeling you will. You’ll want to see what people said about you after you left. Everybody does it, that’s how I know. You mentioned a few things in your various posts to which I would like to respond.

    Before I delve into those, I feel it necessary to point out that your wording and phrasing comes across, at times, as more ambiguous than you might have intended. I realize that you probably knew what you meant to say, but what came out could have been interpreted differently by someone else. I see it happen all the time.

    Your first paragraph is a good example.
    What a crybaby you are! No one said anything! That’s why it was so disingenuous of Princess Pelosi to feign outrage!

    When you say “No one said anything!”, what did you mean by this. Said anything about what? It makes a difference because, apparently, “That’s why it was so disingenuous of Princess Pelosi to feign outrage!” I’m not sure what you are saying here.

    But it’s clear in your next sentence that you are absolutely convinced that Pelosi lied. What proof do you have of this? What facts can you cite that prove that she lied? Others have explained, quite well I should say, why the CIA’s version of events cannot be taken as proof. Here’s something else: CIA Director Panetta said the same thing! He said that the records he had were not completely reliable and that, ultimately, it would be up to Congress to say what happened. We also know, now, that the records were not “contemporaneous”, as they originally claimed. They were often jotted down weeks or months after the meetings. And no Members of Congress were allowed to take notes or make recordings, so there is nothing they can point to that would prove to everyone’s satisfaction that what they say happened is true. It’s kind of a no-win scenario.

    As for her “stammer and stutter,” I did not see that as evidence of her lying, but evidence of her trying to choose her words carefully so that no one could misunderstand her AND that she didn’t reveal anything that was still classified. Not that it helped because a lot of people, yourself included, are saying that Pelosi said the CIA “lied”. I didn’t hear her use that word. I heard reporters ask, “Are you saying the CIA lied?” and she said, “Yes, they misled the Congress.” Still, the evidence, as put before the American people, clearly shows that the CIA does not have any rock-solid proof that their version of events is correct and Pelosi’s isn’t. Their notes have been contradicted. As for anything that Dick Cheney ever said, I think it can be proven quite easily that his word should never be taken as the truth. (“For example, we now know that Saddam has, in fact, re-constituted nuclear weapons.” That was a lie. The source of that information was deemed by our intelligence agencies to be unreliable and untrustworthy, which is why they nicknamed him “Curveball”.)

    What do you mean “lapdog media”?

    Read Eric Boehlert’s “Lapdogs – How the Press Rolled Over For Bush” to understand.

    People that are so partisan about this stuff are pathetic.

    Well, I agree that the republicans who have been attacking Pelosi are partisan. Newt Gingrich is one of, if not the most, partisan political figure in recent history. Newt is also a bald-faced liar. He is so pathologically partisan that anytime he says anything negative about any Democrat, he turns it into an indictment of all liberals. If you knew your political history, then you would know that Newt was the one who encouraged Republicans to use words like “sick and “pathetic” to describe their Democratic opponents.

    READ BOTH SIDES!

    I want to do you a favor and tell you that if you want to know the truth, the last thing you should do is “read both sides”. You have fallen into the right wing’s trap of believing that in order to know what the truth is, you have to listen to both sides of the argument. The reason you shouldn’t do this is because it is not true that both sides have equal validity. One of them is usually lying or distorting the facts to make their point. When you use falsehoods to “prove” your point, your point is not proven. The right wing has been using falsehoods and distortions for more than half a century to convince people that they are right and the left wing is wrong. Instead, what you want to concentrate on is the objective facts.

    You guys keep circling your wagons and read only what you already believe, talk only to each other and you’ll find that you make a lot of mistakes that will not only harm others, but you’re contributing to nothing but partisanship which serves no American.

    Actually, most of us read what we consider to be reliable sources of information. I think what you don’t understand is that we on the left care about the truth, even if it makes Democrats look bad! We do not support corrupt Democrats. You didn’t bring him up, but every Critter here would agree that if John Murtha really did break the law, then he belongs in jail. In fact, I think you’ll find this to be our initial reaction to any discussion of Murtha. If he’s corrupt, lock him up. When a right wing politician is accused of breaking the law, the right often immediately launches into an attack of the accuser without regard to the facts.

    It was the democrats who complained about the waterboarding . . . . get it? Ok; maybe you don’t …

    Yes, we get it. It’s you who doesn’t get it. BTW, I feel it necessary to say that not all liberals are Democrats (or vote only for Democrats) just as not all conservatives are Republicans (some are Blue Dog Democrats). And everyone in Congress should be complaining about waterboarding, not just Democrats. It is illegal, even the “waterboarding-lite” that was “authorized” by Bush and Cheney. It is torture. Ask anyone who has gone through it, like Eric Mancow.

    Calling waterboarding torture (what we put our own Navy Seals through) while not responding to my comment about Daniel Pearl’s beheading screams volumes!

    You tell us that we should read, when clearly you do not practice what you preach. If you had done any reading, you would understand why your argument that “we out our Navy SEALS through” it does not prove that it isn’t torture. There is so much that is wrong with that line that I don’t want to waste any time repeating it. Several of us have posted about that elsewhere at TheZoo.

    I’ll respond to your reference to the murder of Daniel Pearl later, as part of a larger point I need to make to you.

    3 terrorists were waterboarded – wah, wah, wah!

    Three that we know of!. While I have no proof to the contrary, I am not convinced that we waterboarded three, and only three, people. IMHO, that number came from the ones admitted to in the memos that were declassified. If the memos indicated that four people had been waterboarded (without mentioning any of the others), we would be hearing that “only four” people have been waterboarded.

    And the Shiek who set off a bomb in the WTC was the main one! He gave up information that saved thousands!

    This is where you go off the rails. The “Sheik” who was waterboarded was not a sheik, but rather Khalid Sheik Mohammad. The “Sheik” who “set off the bomb in the WTC” was Sheik Omar Abdul-Rahman, a/k/a the “Blind Sheik”, a different person altogether. And Clinton never had the blind Sheik waterboarded. KSM admitted to being the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, a different crime altogether. If you can’t get even the basic facts of the situation right, then you really shouldn’t criticize those with opposing view points.

    Those that lay down their lives for you, for all of us, feel shame when they read of how some of you whine about waterboarding and say nothing about the beheadings!

    I served in the USAF and I feel no shame about saying what I have been saying. Now, a final word covering “the beheadings”. To compare waterboarding people going through survival training to a brutal, inhumane act of vengeance against an innocent person is an insult to the very people you claim to support. I was offended. I believe that where you are wrong is that you view the crimes committed by the terrorists as “acts of war” and not as crimes. Like other people on the right, you view this whole thing in the framework of “War” and not in the framework of “Crime.” It doesn’t matter how organized or how far across the planet they are spread, they are not a nation in and of themselves, and do not act as one. A War is a conflict between nation states. What the terrorists have done all around the world is commit crimes. And crimes should be responded to with police work, not military action. Our greatest success in stopping terrorists since 9/11 has been through police work, not military action. yes, our military killed a few well-known bad guys, but our police work has stopped a lot more. Beheading someone is a crime, and the people who did it should be treated as criminals, not as some special group who deserve a military reaction.

    The right wing has, without any doubt, successfully framed this whole issue as one of a “war” with the terrorists, instead of responding to “crimes” committed by a group of thugs who are no more of a nation than the Mafia is. And we don’t send the military to go after the Mafia. If we were to shift the framing and think of it as “What do we do about this international group of criminals bent on killing innocent people,” it would be obvious that you don’t send tens of thousand of soldiers out to go get them. You get all your international law enforcement agencies together to share information and track down the criminals. Do I think there would be any role for the military in all of this? Yes, but only a small one. I believe it would be appropriate to send a small commando unit in to places to kill or capture people like bin Laden (who Bush let get away and then never looked back.)

    Well, I just had to say all that, and I apologize to my fellow Critters for the length. And I do want to say, again, thank you for visiting TheZoo. Y’all go read a book and come back now, ya hear?

  20. Two observations, Wayne.

    1. One man’s “terrorist” is another’s “freedom fighter.”

    2. “If we were to shift the framing and think of it as ‘What do we do about this international group of criminals bent on killing innocent people… ” The first logical question is, “Why do they want to kill innocent people?”

    The false answer provided by the Bush Administration is, “They hate our freedoms.”

  21. The false answer provided by the Bush Administration is, “They hate our freedoms.”

    And the reason that this was false is because it was the Bush Administration that actually hated our freedoms. That’s why they worked so hard to take them away.

  22. Wow. Between 5th, BNF and Wayne, I have never read a more concise, respectful or complete dressing down of talking points on torture. I almost feel sorry for josiah. With his head spinning from the polite refutation of his ‘facts’, he can’t even sit down because he can’t have much of a butt left.

    And then Shayne had to administer the coup de grace.

    Now that is entertainment.

  23. A very calm and adult response Wayne, and a pleasure to read.

    I just don’t see the point of anyone jumping into a thread and starting the dialog with petulant mockery—I sure as hell wouldn’t do it on a right-wing blog as it’s no way to have a genuine discussion.

    But of course this is the m.o. of the aggressive right-winger, learned from the examples of their leaders in Congress and the media.

    It just doesn’t seem to occur to Josiah’s sort that some of us have been enduring the same crap for years, but there are always some around who take justifiable pride in responding calmly and firmly. That’s not to immediately dismiss those who quite reasoanably tell them immediately to just fuck-off, but when that type of response dominates the thread it lowers the whole tone.

    The trouble is, it can take a lot of time and energy to address incoherent arguments made up of puerile slogans, especially it so often can become an exercise requiring explanations of what should be common knowledge and basic concepts–like. torture is immoral, illegal and unproductive according to international agreement and experience, without exception.

    Fortunately there always seem to be people like you who manage to resist provocation consistently and in so doing inform fellow readers in the process ( whilst flummoxing the gadfly).

    Sometimes that approach results in some lively and clever argument–even though it never really seems to persuade the aggressive dogmatist to acknowledge concede even an ordinary fact, such as the fact that Bush didn’t “keep us safe”—and then the exchange becomes amusing rather than maddening.

    And then there’s Zooey. who jumps quickly into the fray on TP, but is a kind and generous host here at the Zoo.

    Well done all.

  24. Thank you, 5th. I try. I do it because I like to hone my debating skills in both content and clarity. That’s not always to do in a hurry, but it helps if I’ve written it out before. I also do it to share what I know (and am certain of) with others who may not know those things, including the person to whom I am responding. (To be perfectly honest, one reason I settled on this approach is because of how much I enjoyed watching Monty Python (and other British comedy) skits, where one person is completely wild and unreasonable, and the other just calmly says, “Be that as it may,…” and then politely explains why the other person is wrong.)

    But I also believe that a respectfully-worded response is more likely to evoke at least a lame-ass attempt at a rational response than a, shall we say, more aggressive approach might. I’m not trying to back the person into a corner. I want him to stop, take a deep breath, settle down, and explain to me how he got himself into that corner. Maybe he can see where he took a wrong turn in his thinking. 🙂

  25. Wayne: ” But I also believe that a respectfully-worded response is more likely to evoke at least a lame-ass attempt at a rational response”

    Quite so. and then as you mention one practices the art and science of argument.

    As TP is so busy especially on certain topics that attract troll s like flies to shit, the pace of comments is so rapid that I often find it easier to be non-reactionary because to do otherwise would just be redundant (and also all the best possible zingers have too often been already have been provided).

    But if its a troll well-known to me, then I either jump right in and tease or just ignore.

    I must say yell “you are a scum sucking turd” are some are won’t to do just doesn’t do any good at all–the “argument” is lost with that kind of engagement (however apropos the characterization might be) . .

    It’s much more satisfying to break things down methodically than to just charging in with a hammer (the calm methodical approach also works well when talking to police or occupying foreign countries!)–or else let someone else do it 😀 .

  26. My current “policy” for posting at TP is to try to engage the conservative-minded visitor in a serious discussion on something. If they want to give me a serious response, then I will try to understand why they think the way they do. If they become evasive and “trollish”, then I go for the clever putdown. In those cases, I sometimes like to be sarcastically polite. (I’m from New York; we know sarcasm.)

    But I figure the best way to get a rational reply from a conservative is to politely ask them why they believe what they do. If they are both willing to have the discussion and intellectually capable of having it, then I try to keep the conversation going. I think it’s helpful not just to me but to others.

    If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend David Brock’s “The Republican Noise Machine”. he tells the history of how the right wing got to dominate the media over the past sixty years. You’ll learn about people like Richard Mellon Scaife and how he and other wealthy conservatives have been trying to influence public debate for their own purposes (to make the things they believe more acceptable to the public at large, through lying, distorting and manipulating facts.) People like Scaife are directly responsible for why we get some of the trolls we get – ignorant, oblivious to the truth, and unwilling to accept even the suggestion that they might be wrong.

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