August 18, 2004

Fisking the Nuance

I have an announcement to make later (regular readers can probably guess what it's going to be), but before I do that, how about one more fisking of some Pittsburgh Post-Gazette letters to the editor? There are some good ones today. Let's get started:

Rise above fear

Try to imagine a world without hypothetical questions!

Okay! And then you can try to imagine a world without unnecessary exclamation points!!!

A reader from Monroeville asked what we are to do if someone like Edwards were to be vice president if Iran were to develop an atomic bomb ("Consider Crisis Mode," Aug. 9 letter).

I'm guessing "cower in fear" would be involved at some point.

True, Cheney was the defense secretary in 1991 during the Persian Gulf war and thereby has a lot of experience. However, it is known that he also has a vested interest in the oil companies that are profiting from the misery and deaths of the Iraqis and of our own soldiers as well.

Here come the memes! Can't you neolibs ever think for yourselves? I would still take you seriously when you're wrong if you would stop parroting these stupid lies.

What I ask -- based on the 9/11 report and other recent evidence that our foreign intelligence is flawed -- would make you vote for a candidate on such an issue?

Since it would still be the same intelligence, I'll take Cheney over John "I will destroy you with my smile" Edwards.

Edwards is more concerned with the issues at home: the economy, health care and education, not nightmarish claims by foreign intelligence (and we have seen how imprecise that intelligence can be in the last few years under the Bush administration).

And that's a good thing? I'd like to see that as part of the campaign:

"Kerry/Edwards: They're too optimistic to give a crap about your security!"

Fear should not be the propelling force of this election!

Sounds like someone's still living in a September 10 world. It's sad to know that some people still think issues like health care are more important than getting rid of evil fanatics who want to slaughter us.

Let's go to the extended entry for another letter. This one's even better:

More than military

In New York Times columnist David Brooks' thinly veiled homage to the Bush presidency ("Is Military Experience Really a Requirement for National Leadership?" Aug. 5), we have another conservative strategically missing the point. Contrary to the Brooks inference, John Kerry is not running for president based on his military experience.

You obviously haven't been paying attention. Have you forgotten about the "Band of Brothers," "I'm John Kerry, and I'm reporting for duty," the biography at the convention that went in depth about Kerry's heroism in 'Nam, etc.? Give me a break.

Kerry is opposed to the current administration's policies because his military experience has taught him about the cost in human life and international politics.

So you're saying Kerry is running on military experience? At the very least, you've proven that his supporters have nothing else to work with, so he's obviously mentioned it a lot.

A nuanced understanding of both military and international relations is missing in the current administration...

Once again, I fail to see how this can be considered a Bad Thing. If "nuance" means "taking both sides of every issue," I want as little of it in my president as humanly possible. evidenced in the mishandling of the pursuit of war and its aftermath.

Our letter writing friend is obviously unaware that in order to use the phrase "as evidenced in," you actually have to present evidence, not nebulous opinions.

In a complex world the ability to consider weighty issues in more than simplistic terms is a virtue, not a weakness.

And the inability to come to a conclusion based on those considerations is why Kerry would make a horrible president. What's so hard about this?

The Democratic convention's central theme was the need for a commander-in-chief who will apply experience and intelligence in a time of dire need.

I could've sworn it was either "Bush is the Antichrist" or "Kerry was in Vietnam," but maybe I'm not nuanced enough to see the real meaning.

The failure to do so has to this point cost us dearly in terms of unnecessary loss of human life and international good will.

First of all, you really need to work on supporting your claims with evidence. Second, what makes you think that Kerry would apply any experience or intelligence to his presidency? He sure hasn't demonstrated that he has either of those.

If the conservative instinct to protect the Bush presidency at all costs relying on a strategic "missing of the point..."

You know, the inability to consider another person's point of view as valid is a sign of mental immaturity. I learned that in my introductory psychology course.

I'd also like to mention that, as a conservative, I would dump Bush in a nanosecond if there was an actual conservative candidate, but that's just not gonna happen this year.

...the reader had best beware of simplistic spin as substitute for careful consideration.

Hmmm...let's compare:

Simplistic: "We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail."

Careful: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

Draw your own conclusions.

Posted by CD on August 18, 2004 06:20 PM
Semi-Intelligent Comments

hey, i found another pittsburgh blogger! i'm not the only one subjected to the insanity of the pg's letters page! hooray!

and don't even get me started on gene collier...he's not doing not-even-close-to-reality lefty politics (under "lifestyle" in the pg) anymore, but man, that was some great fisking material. that dude makes dean look sane.

Posted by: francisthegreat at August 19, 2004 07:34 PM
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