Comments Posted By Lane
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The Beckian Wing of Conservatism

I teach high school. I consider one mark of my job well done is whether my students can sustain a rational, evidence-based conversation on a controversial topic. Our community is rural and traditionally conservative. I spend a fair amount of time reading blogs and punditry, to try to better understand the mechanics of polarization on both sides. Surely it's not coincidence that the fringes of each side sound identical to each other? Rigid thinking and paranoia are personal traits, reinforced by ranters like Beck and Olbermann, much more than they are political differences.

So when I want to test my own ability to follow a train of logic and learn from a different point of view, I come here. If I represent the kind of independent voter Republicans need to attract, then yours is the kind of voice that could do that.

Comment Posted By Lane On 12.04.2009 @ 11:24


"although I can’t offhand think of a single instance where an American president or our State Department has treated anyone in Europe derisively."

Do these count?
"Germany has been a problem, and France has been a problem," said Rumsfeld, a former NATO ambassador. "But you look at vast numbers of other countries in Europe. They're not with France and Germany on this, they're with the United States." Germany and France represent "old Europe," and NATO's expansion in recent years means "the center of gravity is shifting to the east," Rumsfeld said.

nyt, May 22, 2002
Condoleezza Rice, the American national security adviser, told German television on Monday that German leaders should isolate Iraq and educate their public.

''We also expect German support for the story that we are telling about this terrible man who has tried to acquire terrible weapons his entire life,'' Ms. Rice said of President Saddam Hussein.

Another senior American official expressed impatience at ''European whining,'' saying: ''This president expects support from his allies on issues of importance like Iraq. If there is useful advice that helps him achieve his goals to defeat terrorism and eliminate weapons of mass destruction getting to terrorists, he wants to listen.''

NYT, May 30, 2003
''When I say something, we actually go do it,'' Mr. Bush told an interviewer from Nile-TV, an Egyptian network. ''And when I say that I'm going to be involved in the peace process, I mean I'm going to be involved in the peace process.''

In another interview, he made clear that the United States and France still had a troubled relationship.
He told the French newspaper Le Figaro today, in an interview to be published on Friday, that he expected to have a ''good discussion'' at Ãvian with the French president, Jacques Chirac.
At the same time he warned that French leaders ''must work to convince their own citizens and show that France is ready to cooperate with the United States.''

Given the context--the U.S.'s assurances that Saddam had WMD and that the invasion would be a cakewalk, is it surprising that ignoring the Europeans who thought otherwise (and were proven right) was considered derisive and high-handed?

Comment Posted By Lane On 7.04.2009 @ 09:34

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