Tuesday, August 16, 2011

GOP Wants to Stop Movie About Killing Bin Laden. No, Not A Typo.

There is no feeling quite so warm to me as being proven correct about humanity, and the segment of humanity that occupies the political realm in particular. I understand that some view naked demonstrations of craven opportunism and bald-faced unironic sleaze with dismay, but for me they are cause for contentment - for they affirm that my instincts regarding a sizable majority of my loathsome species are still sharp and well-founded...

You may or may not be aware that Kathryn Bigelow is following up her Oscar-winning - though now essentially forgotten - "The Hurt Locker" (oh, now, be honest: for most people, reading that was the FIRST time you've thought about that movie in at least a year) with a feature based on the military operation dedicated the chasing down Osama Bin Laden. As you can imagine, the film now has a MUCH different ending than it would've when they started out.

You might imagine that American "conservative" lawmakers - whose relationship with the film industry for the last decade has been largely complaining that Hollywood wasn't delivering enough movies where Islamic Terrorists got blow'd up real good - would be psyched about this. I mean, set aside the whole "ALL Americans should be united on this" angle: 9/11 avenged by a gunshot wound to the face delivered by a Navy SEAL team on an "eff your borders, we want this bastard dead!" nighttime raid... you CANNOT get more bad-ass/macho right-wing "Amurrica Fuck Yeah!!!" than that. Right?

Well, not quite. See, the guy who happened to be President when we finally found Bin Laden - and thus got to be the President who gave the order - is a Democrat. And also a secretly-Muslim Kenyan Communist, apparently. And since a movie that, by it's very nature, will serve to remind people that Obama gave the order and thus MIGHT make people feel positively about him... IT MUST BE STOPPED! After all, if he IS re-elected, it's only a matter of time before whatever White Christian Babies haven't yet been ordered-aborted will be forcibly re-educated to believe in evolution during gay marriage ceremonies, and surely some other bad stuff, too.

And so, a Republican lawmaker has introduced a bill specifically designed to damage the film's production under the guise of "fiscal concerns." Essentially, it would bar the government from spending "taxpayer money" in the pursuit of sharing information between the Pentagon and the film's research/verification department - which would amount to asking Sony Pictures to reimburse the cost of all the copy-paper and bandwith used to answer Bigelow etc's "how did we do ______" questions.

But, really, it's ALL about making sure that a movie that MIGHT concievably lead someone to think a sliver of positive thought about Barack Obama. Honoring the service of SEAL Team 6? Immortalizing the end of an era in a proper narrative art form? Offering Americans still traumatized by 9/11 a small measure of catharsis? The GOP apparently does not consider those things to be nearly as important as making sure that Obama does not get a second term.

Folks... do you have any idea just HOW shameless and ethically-bankrupt ANY given action has to be for ME to be morally-affronted by it?

40 comments:

Laserkid said...

While I think such a movie WOULD be a bad idea, I don't think it should be blocked by anything legal or otherwise. This little thing called freedom of speech.

This is why when asked which party I like I say "I hate republicans, and I hate the democrats more."

While the democrats do things that I don't particularly approve of the Republicans are a bunch of chimpanzees that so poorly go at things and misrepresent those of us on the right of the political scale that I constantly have to head desk to retain any amount of sanity I have regarding political issues.

As for why I think its a bad idea? We still have soldiers in the field - despite Obama's claims previous we should immediatly pull out (which is something I give him credit for learning not to do).

Thus making something like this is very likely to incite martyrdom for the bastard, and get our soldiers killed for no good reason.

OTHER then that I have no issue with it personally, and republicans going "DURHUR WE CUT SPENDING TO STOP MOVIE" are missing the point of cutting spending. Cutting a minute amount of cash to get correct info to film makers is NOT why they got elected and stupidity like this WILL bit them in the ass - and rightfully so.

Jensev said...

This proves again that the republicans have got their heads so far up their asses that their brains got digested by their own stomach acids.

vamast said...

we need a movie about ponies

Ryan said...

Laserkid, if you want to be consistently disappointed by your party, you'd be much better off as a Democrat. At least the Republicans play to win.

Reverend Allan Ironside said...

Maybe they wouldn't be so opposed to the Bin Laden movie if it wasn't so very obvious and blatant that Hollywood has a SIDE in politics. You pick a side, then you don't get to throw your hands up and claim innocence when the other side throwsa punch at you.

Besides, Moviebob, where's the movie about the soldiers who chased down Sadam Hussein? Oh right, we can't have THAT movie because that makes George W. Bush look as though he accomplished something.

This movie don't mean shit. Right now a Howler Monkey would be a better president that our current one, so let them release the movie. No one right now gives two shits about who was president when Bin Laden was killed. Americans have a notoriously short memory--worse than that of the average pro wrestling fan. By the time this movie rolls around, I'd be shocked if the audience at large even remembers who Bin Laden even is.

The claim that Obama was the one who did it is a pretty shitty argument to make in the first place. Think about it: It was Bush who put all the pieces into place to allow the current president to even put that mission into motion. G. W. Bush bought the gun, assembled the gun, loaded the ammo into the gun, put the gun into place, aimed it, and all the while Obama was behind him, deriding him for what he was doing before walking up and just pulling the trigger and taking the credit for the kill. Ungracious, to say the least

BrandonL337 said...

So you mean to tell me that over the course of seven years GWB bought assembled and aimed a gun but didn't fire it? Never mind the fact the Obama had a demonstrably different approach to the war, considering the number of lieutenants and second in commands he killed before Bin Laden.

I'd say it's more like GWB bought and assembled a gun then started firing wildly at random in the general direction of bin laden, ie. the middle east, and never hitting his target. Instead he killed hundreds of thousands of innocent men women and children in Iraq alone, while occasionally killing someone worth killing.(though I suppose you think that all Muslims are evil baby-killing terrorists and thus worth killing.) While Obama comes along, takes Bush's gun away from him, aims carefully and kills a bunch of Al-Queda higher-up before taking out the big bad.

Mads said...

"
Maybe they wouldn't be so opposed to the Bin Laden movie if it wasn't so very obvious and blatant that Hollywood has a SIDE in politics. You pick a side, then you don't get to throw your hands up and claim innocence when the other side throwsa punch at you.
"
They're not throwing up their hands. They're saying the republicans who are doing this are selfish narcicistic dickwads, who care nothing for their countrymen and the shared sacrifices made by them, in the face of their own challenge to get reelected. They're unpatriotic scum, putting themselves and their party ahead of their country.

So what if maybe they wouldn't be against it if hollywood didn't have a side, that's besides the point; they _are_ against it even though, in this, it's unpatriotic to be against it.

Reverend Allan Ironside said...

Yeah, that's right. We went overseas cause we weren't doing anything at the time. Certainly wasn't because we had been attacked at any point during the 2000s. I mean, it's not as if some buildings got knocked down and a response to that attack was needed, no, no no. We went overseas cause Republicans are dicks. That's all. Only reason.

Joe said...

@Laserkid:

As for why I think its a bad idea? We still have soldiers in the field...Thus making something like this is very likely to incite martyrdom for the bastard, and get our soldiers killed for no good reason.

Whenever I hear this argument, usually in the context of the Six Days in Fallujah or the Medal of Honor "playing as the Taliban" game controversies, it never makes any sense to me. Hollywood movies and American superhero comics were attacking the Nazis before America even entered World War II. They sure as hell didn't stop after Pearl Harbor, either. Does anyone blame Jack Kirby or Humphrey Bogart for putting American troops in danger?

Several dozen films about Afghanistan or Iraq have come out since 2002, including a comic book movie called Iron Man. Did those put the troops in danger? Why would a dramatization of current events put the troops in more danger than the endless ranting of pundits on cable news?

Samuel said...

@ Allan: Lol, that's one of the most blatant straw man arguments I've ever heard.

The guy said nothing--NOTHING--to indicate that the USA had no impetus for a strike on the Middle East, just that said strike was handled very poorly. Much of the rest of the world rather tends to agree, in fact. There were rather a lot of bodies, far more than died in 9/11, and overall rather few of them belonged to evil terrorist bastards.

Smashmatt202 said...

I know I keep saying this, but Republicans and just too easy to make fun of and despise intensely...

Raziel 'kchakrak' Moshman said...

Oh wow, and I thought UK politics sucked ass. This is sick.

Chris Evans said...

It's just a shameless attempt to cash in on his only success. It shouldn't be blocked. Such obvious propaganda will backfire hard on Obama, they should just ignore it.

Markus Aurelius said...

Actually, I think this is a fair political move on the outset of an election year. If the author can pitch it as a national security issue, the bill could get around some very obvious First Amendment problems. I mean let's be honest: for the next year, the Republican MO is gonna be prevent Jimmy Carter's third-- I mean, prevent President Obama's second term at all costs. I don't think the Democrats would restrain themselves were the situation reversed (and I certainly don't think anyone would call them out on it). So whatever, it's politics as usual. That said, were I the bill's author, I'd make it really obvious what I was after and put an expiration date on the bill set for November 3, 2012.
FWIW, I don't think it's a necessary measure. Barring some drastic positive turn in the economy in the next year (which is highly unlikely), anti-Obama sentiment will run so high that his opponent (ANY opponent. Even--GASP--Michele Bachmann! OH NOES!) will win in a landslide.

Sylocat said...

Funny thing... when I scrolled down to read the comments, I predicted that I'd see several people projecting their own ruthlessness and insecurities onto the allegedly-monolithic "left-wing conspirators."

Raenir Salazar said...

American right-wing idiocy never ceases to amaze me. (I'm Canadian)

1) Obama isn't likely to lose, right now it's just about a sure thing, about 55-60%, the most pessimistic polling only has him losing by 3% to a "generic" republican candidate.

2) Bachman and her Tea Party ilk are batshit insane and crazy who would single handedly rejuvenate grassroots support for Obama. Despite the widespread disappointment in his administration among the American left because _they are batshit insane_.

3) Afghanistan was the only morally and legally justified war in the Middle East by the Bush administration. Iraq was a disproportionate invasion of a sovereign nation that has completely failed in all of its goals. The Iraqi's were better off under Saddam and distracts money, resources and attention away from Afghanistan; Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction, has no ties to Al Que Eida and his military was in tatters.

4) No him being a dictator or bending the rules of the sanctions imposed on him do not justify an invasion, there are dozens around the world are you going to invade all of them? What about when the Chinese drove away a US listening boat from their Economic Exclusion Zone in the pacific? The PLA hacking into the DoD? Are you going to treat all of them as casus beli's and invade every nation that so much as looks at you funny?

The money spent on AC in iraq is actually in excess of NASA's yearly budget, over a trillion$ has been spent on foreign unnessasary wars that are stagnating your economy and ruining your ability to compete long term.

The Age of American Greatness and over-achievement is over. All because of the tea party and their enslavement to Corporate interests.

Mads said...

"
Democrats would restrain themselves were the situation reversed (and I certainly don't think anyone would call them out on it)
"
Democrats likely wouldn't do that because they have no balls...and those few who do are usually not retarded. Which is what this proposal is.

Also, you recall a little show called american bob? you saying moviebob is so darn partisan he would give a flying fuck _who_ proposed this piece of shit bill?

No really. A filmmaker wants to portray the greatest manhunt ever undertaken as realistically as possible, and you want to stop the government from trying to help? WTF.

Also, Allan, no reply to my response? You don't want to reason about the contents of your post?

TheAlmightyNarf said...

If I'm reading this right (and I'm not certain I am) this bill really seems more like a minor inconvenience for the movie is anything. Sony has to pay for any expenses the military had to put out to give them the information (which they would probably have to do anyway), and they can't get any top secret information (which they wouldn't get anyway).

I don't see how this is that big of a deal. If politicians wanted to actually stop the movie, there's hell'a more efficient ways of doing it.

BrandonL337 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BrandonL337 said...

@Markus Aurelius

"Actually, I think this is a fair political move on the outset of an election year. If the author can pitch it as a national security issue, the bill could get around some very obvious First Amendment problems."

*sigh* I could simply say 'republican politics in a nutshell' but i won't instead I'll just leave you with this

When you refer to the first amendment as a problem to be solved by fear-mongering (and make no mistake, calling it a national security issue is fear-mongering) or anything else, chances are you're on the wrong side of the issue in question.

Intentionally circumventing the first amendment in order to stop a movie that might give credit to your Anti-Christ is an absurd and petty game, essentially saying that republicans are willing to violate the founding principle of the nation just to spite a bl- excuse me, communist president and prevent him from getting credit.

Which he deserves as much of as any other president in this situation, personally I'm more interested in giving credit to seal team 6 and the intelligence guys who found Bin Ladin; but I give him a hell of a lot more credit than Bush, who spent his entire effort on looking for Bin Ladin in Iraq, when credible intel had already told us that not only was he not there, Iraq and Al-Queda had nothing to do with each other in the first place.

FrndlyMisanthrpe said...

Scumbag congress:

Three wars not wasteful spending.

Faxes to Sony Pictures cost too much money.

Sam Robards, Occasional Gamer said...

Well, if anyone was wondering Bob's political affiliation, that should be pretty clear at this point. I don't watch American Bob, but when every single mention of politics, despite his claims of relative neutrality (or whatever "liber-tine" means), in these shows is used to bash someone on the political right, the writing's kinda on the wall. Sorry, Bob.

As for this, I'm a Conservative Republican, but I'm not thrilled about the idea of a movie on this, either. Not because I think it'll get Obama reelected (he's going to get kicked out based on the horrific state of the economy), but because it just seems kinda like a slapped together cash-grab.

Yeah, it's probably been gestating a little while, but it doesn't mean it isn't opportunistic, especially now that they have the "got him" ending.

As for the rest of the political mudslinging that's going on here:

-Iraq: Yeah, there weren't WMDs, but we still needed to go in there. It's possible to do the right thing for the wrong reason.

-Afghanistan: I don't think this hauling ass outta there is the right thing to do. I have a feeling it'll be viewed in ten years like the last time a superpower went in there...That was the USSR in the late 70's, if I recall correctly. They got owned pretty bad.

-Obama's reelection chances: Right now, awful. People elected him to fix the economy, and all he and his Congress have done is make it worse. I don't see him figuring it out by the time November comes around next year.

-People who aren't American acting as if they know anything about American politics: Shut the Hell up: we can talk crap about our government (regardless of party affiliation) because it's OURS. The second someone else comes along with a glib remark and a superiority complex, then we're gonna have words.

I think that covers my musings.

Oh, and Bob, just because we're on complete opposite sides of the political spectrum doesn't mean I value your opinions on movies, games and comics any less.

Though comics are the greatest form of entertainment God has ever given man.

Peace out!

David (The Pants) said...

Waste of time that could be used to solve social problems and other stuff that chiefly those in elected office can accomplish.

kevmon1116 said...

I think this might qualify as a violation of free speech. these jackasses better watch themselves.

On a personal note, I'd never watch this movie voluntarily, but only because I don't care for war movies. I still think these people have a right to make it.

antecedentless said...

Nobody seems to have mentioned the timing of this. It is slated to be released October 2012.

" whatever White Christian Babies haven't yet been ordered-aborted "

Those of african descent tend to get aborted much higher rate than those of european descent in this country. You do realize that, Bob?

antecedentless said...

I'll just leave this here

Mads said...

Sam Robbards

Oh, stay the hell out of american politics you say? I can't use my freedom of speech now? We're gonna have words?

41 of my countrymen have lost their lives in Afghanistan. Might not seem like a lot, but for a nation of 5 million people, that comes out to more soldiers per capita than the US has lost in Afghanistan.

So fuck you. We support the largest terrorist manhunt ever because it's imperative to a close ally that the perpetrator be captured. We also support the stabilization of his country of origin, because we _know_ the US would have our back if we were attacked, and the US analysis was, this was necessary.

So now that the culprit has been caught, your government starts trying to prevent the release of a movie trying to accurately document how things went down? And I'm supposed to stay quiet? Fuck that shit.

We bled too, we _earned_ the right to have an oppinion on this.

Also, I hate to pull a Godwins law here, but if people in the 1930'es from around europe had been a little bit more willing to speak and act on another country's politics, maybe we coulda avoided that whole world war 2 thing. Not saying there's a hitler in the US (there isn't), just that it's a good principle for nations to pay attention to eachothers politics.

It's a weaker point than "we were bloody well sacrificing just as much as you to get bin laden", but it's still worthwhile.

Oh and here's another thing. It's perfectly possible to bash republicans and not be a democrat. I'm doing it, after all, and I'm not even american. I think democrats are gutless sissies, for what it's worth, and that they care way too much about keeping up appearances when it comes to superficial bullshit.-

Anyway, that whole point besides, it's a false dichotomy. Democrats believe in certain things, republicans believe in certain things, but the world is not binary. Republicans are, for instance, for the control of certain guns (fully automatic assault rifles are strictly controlled), and democrats are, for instance, against abortion after the first trimester...and those are just the most binary wedge-issues.

But you just pulled a "if you're not with us, you're against us. Since we are republicans, and we are against democrats, you must be a democrat", which, my counterexamples shows, is a logical fallacy, and anyone with your sense of rhetorics probably already knew that. Maybe you should stop trying to use your obviously adequate intellect to try and pigeonhole people, and put it towards _listening_ to what they have to say and actually considering it.

Sam Robards, Occasional Gamer said...

Mads,

Ok, so I was a little harsh. I can admit that. Though it sounded like it, I wasn't trying to suppress anyone's right to speak. Even if I was, it clearly didn't work. :-)

It just irks me, personally, when people that don't live in America act like they're the end-all-be-all on American politics. You're certainly free to your opinion, just don't expect me to not be bothered by it.

It's like if I said, "Man, my dog is ugly," and someone else says, "Yeah, you're dog's hideous. I don't know which end is its face and which is its ass." And then I get pissed and say, "Hey, man, that's MY dog! STFU!" Pretty much the same gut-check reaction.

And I think you blew my paragraph about Bob's apparent political affiliation a bit out of proportion. I didn't say I hated his guts, won't watch his shows (which are still very entertaining) or anything like that. I just said that all the evidence seems to point to someone on the left side of the political spectrum, which just happens to be the polar opposite of myself.

Watch the Big Picture episode on McDonalds (I think it's Arch-Enemies?): Bob said he'd suggest a theoretical third-party that gets between parents and children regarding food choice. That's an over-simplification, surely, but still, government control/interference/presence is a staple of the left side of the American political spectrum.

In closing, I honor the loss of your countrymen in Afghanistan and wasn't trying at to disrespect their memory in any way.

Peace out!

Raenir Salazar said...

"-Iraq: Yeah, there weren't WMDs, but we still needed to go in there. It's possible to do the right thing for the wrong reason."

Willing to bet that on UN Security Council? Will have the UK and other allies have "gone in" with you if it was apparent that the invasion was illegal? That what the US committed was War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity?

"-Afghanistan: I don't think this hauling ass outta there is the right thing to do. I have a feeling it'll be viewed in ten years like the last time a superpower went in there...That was the USSR in the late 70's, if I recall correctly. They got owned pretty bad."

You need to pull out because you were there for 11 years now, they don't want you there, Karzai is corrupt, and if the Afghani troops cannot defend their own government and nation then there is nothing you can do even if you stay another 100 years. Also the war is expensive, also, all wars are inflationary. It is not possible for the US to fight this war for so long without punishing the lower class disproportionation to pay for it through inflationary war spending.

The longer the war goes on, the longer you are actively conducting class warfare against the poor and the middle class.

"-Obama's reelection chances: Right now, awful. People elected him to fix the economy, and all he and his Congress have done is make it worse. I don't see him figuring it out by the time November comes around next year."

You mean the same economy that the Republicans have been deliberately sabotaging for their own election chances? Wow, I never thought of that. I wonder what will happen when the Dems' hammer the Republicans on the jobs issue and the fact that in the GOP debate every candidate refused to take the hypothetical offer of "if there was 10$ of cuts for every 1$ of tax increases would you take that offer?" They ALL refused!

The Tea Party scare most of the American middle and the American left, the poor recovery can be easily blamed on the Republicans for the toothless Dodd-Frank Act etc etc.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/06/jobapproval-obama_n_726319.html

Considering the portion of "dissaprove" include those who would never vote republican and view Obama as "not going far enough" and would rather hold their nose and vote for the lesser of two evils Obama's chances aren't anywhere nearly as bad as you think it is.

"-People who aren't American acting as if they know anything about American politics: Shut the Hell up: we can talk crap about our government (regardless of party affiliation) because it's OURS. The second someone else comes along with a glib remark and a superiority complex, then we're gonna have words."

I am foreign and thus UnBiased and can objectively tell you how crap the Republicans are in Congress, watch more Jon Stewart and Colbert.

It goes like this, the republicans are beholden to Big Business and dedicated towards destroying the middle class; democrats are spineless cowards.

Audrey said...

antecedentless,

I remember that article. I felt pretty disgusted hearing that the White House gave the movie producers access to the SEAL team and classified information. And the October 2012 release date? It's all so transparent.

And it's easy to see why they want this, too. After all Obama has no other record to run on.

Raenir Salazar said...

His record is that if the Republicans win it is the end of the Middle class.

Republicans want to end Social Security, want to end Medicaid, want to make massive cuts to education and infrastructure, want to continue to waste trillions on pointless wars, repeal crucial regulation that keeps our air and water clean, they want to bust the unions and eliminate the middle class life style in what is nakedly class warfare by the rich and have no interest in securing american competitiveness on the world stage in a broken belief that the "unhindered free market will solve all problems."

Obama only needs to hammer on Republican crass childish obstructionism, their shoddy record on the economy, the outrageous and bigoted social reactionary mindset such as Bachman's "gay lifestyle is slavery to satan" bs, they're refusal to accept the increase of ANY taxes based on ideology and discredited economic beliefs and point out the fate Republicans have wrought in Michigan and other states with anti union and anti labour policies and the election is his.

Audrey said...

Hon, that's not a record. A record would be things Obama has accomplished that he can trumpet. The reason his approval ratings are down to Bush level numbers is because more and more people aren't happy with what he's done in the last 2 and a half years, and I'd love to see you guys complain it's due to Republican obstructionism when it was Democrats who controlled the House, Senate AND the White House for two years.

CraftyAndy said...

well you can't even get mad at obama anymore since the house got it it's republicans back. Anything he tries to do is rejected. So who knows whether or not any of his plans would of been effective. Not that both parties are not controlled but corporations anyways right? To bad I'll probably still be here to see this country fall into disarray and ruin. Rome 2 goodbye sweet prince.

Audrey said...

CraftyAndy,
The point is that he did do a lot of things in those first two years (which Republicans couldn't reject at all because of the huge Democrat majorities in Congress). He had free rein to do whatever he wanted, and what he's tried has only worsened the economy. Now, he has a 39% approval rating to show for it.

(And believe me, the new Republicans in Congress getting in his way are doing exactly what the voters in 2010 intended.)

antecedentless said...

@Raenir Salazar
Medicarelessness denies more procedures than any private health insurance company.

Socialist Insecurity pays out poverty level wages.

Both are insolvent.
They need to be overhauled.

Raenir Salazar said...

"****

Medicarelessness denies more procedures than any private health insurance company.

Socialist Insecurity pays out poverty level wages.

Both are insolvent.
****"

1) Citation Needed.

2) Social Security is meant to be a SUPPLEMNT not replacement for income, it's there to help poor families afford food and basis anemities; that's part 1, part 2 is that how inflation is calculated has been distorted over the last 12 years to nolonger reflect reality, if calculated as it was in 1980 SS payments would be 70% higher, that's non trivial.

"*****

Hon, that's not a record. A record would be things Obama has accomplished that he can trumpet

*****"

1) He passed healthcare reform. (Single Payer would be better but the republicans refused to consider it as well as various blue grit conservative demorats)

2) The GM-Crysler bailouts saved tens of thousands of jobs AND the money has been paid back with interest. (stronger unemployment insurence would've been better)

3) he got bin laden.

4) He is pulling out from both Iraq and Afghanistan (though not fast enough)

5) He technically managed to pass financial regularatory reform (though they were defunded and rendered toothless due to republicans)

6) President Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which ended the role of private banks in lending out federally-insured student loans.

7) On May 19, 2009, Obama announced a plan to increase the CAFE national standards for gasoline mileage, by creating a single new national standard that will create a car and light truck fleet in the United States that is almost 40 percent cleaner and more fuel-efficient by 2016 than it is today

8) On January 22, 2009, Obama signed an executive order ensuring safe, lawful, and humane treatment of individuals detained in armed conflicts. This order restricts interrogators to methods listed and authorized by an Army Field Manual.

On March 13, 2009, the administration announced that it would no longer refer to prisoners at Guantánamo Bay as enemy combatants

9) On April 1, 2009, Obama and China's President, Hu Jintao, announced the establishment of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue and agreed to work together to build a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive U.S.-China relationship for the 21st century.

The thing about having a "majority" in 2009 is largely a myth, in reality the filibuster limited to what extant the Democrats could pass bills requiring bipartisan support something the republicans only rarely granted and only after the proposed legislation was significantly watered down.

Mads said...

Sam Robards, Occasional Gamer

I commend you for keeping a cool head in the face of what I wrote; I went a lot futher than necessary with that first argument, but something you wrote hit a nerve I guess.

And well, your dog, to use your analogy, is the entire neighboorhoods watchdog. American hegemony influences the entirety of the western hemisphere to such a degree that I know a lot more about american federal politics than I do about european union politics; I have to if I want to understand what's going on in the world.

If I have an oppinion on US politics, it's because they're important, and they matter. But being american is legitimately a large part of many americans identity. I can see why criticism of the US, or even a specific political party, can seem like a slight against you personally; whereas if I was american too, at least I'd be harping on myself as well.

I don't have a good answer for how to deal with that. It seems to me that it relates to how brands influence consumers:
http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/08/users-treat-criticism-of-favorite-brands-as-threat-to-self-image.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss

Derogatory article titles aside, there's a good point to that story. I can't do much other than be respectful of the fact that criticism of another peoples nation can be seen as a slight, and try to be mindful of my manners...but I can try to do that.

My oppinions are still going to go up, though.

As for Bob being a leftist...well, the more examples of decidedly leftist politics he subscribes to, the more reasonable it is to call him that...but Bill Maher is in favor of the death penalty and in favor of eliminating government funding of the arts, and we can probably agree he isn't on the political right, yes? So you gotta look at the big picture.

But I'm not even sure it should matter. If you find him to be hypocritical, favoring a leftist position when he'd declared he had some overarching principle he subscribed to that should overrule that...yes, then it would matter. But other than that...why is it important to pigeonhole someone as something they say they aren't?

Sam Robards, Occasional Gamer said...

Before I start, I'm not touching anything Raenir Salazar says. Take a rage dump, man!

Mads,

Saying Bob's a Leftist is different than saying he's on the left side of the political spectrum, at least to me. A Leftist, in my perception, is a person who's far, FAR Left on every issue with no willingness to negotiate or make compromises.

I think Bob's merely on the Left side of the spectrum, which means that he (seemingly) sympathizes with that side, but can compromise and empathize with the Right.

I think Bob mentioned in one of his shows that he has a hunting and fishing license: what kind of Leftist would have either one of those?

I think there are very few people who, despite their party label, conform to every Left/Right political issue. Your example of bill Maher was apt. As another example, I'm a Conservative Republican but I believe in gay marriage.

But you're right. In the end, it's not important: I was really just making an observation that has no bearing on my views of him as a commentator of both popular and nerd culture.

One of the side effects of the internet age is that people sometimes say things that have no bearing on anything simply because they can. I kinda fell into that trap here.

Peace out!

Mads said...

Sam

Well, you gotta pick your battles. I think you're well excused for not jumping into any other loose ends in this comments section ;)

Amd in this case, I can see your point. Bob does come off as a person with much more of an axe to grind with the political right. That in turn makes him seem like something that is definitely not there.
So long as my point from above - that it's all about the content and reasoning of individual points, rather than the leanings of the person delivering them - still stands, it seems we're largely in agreement.

Raenir Salazar said...

"Leftist" is stupid name calling, and also garishly incorrect political science terminology, "leftist", "left wing" and "simply being on the left of the political spectrum" all mean the same thing.

"are terms generally used to describe support for social change to create a more egalitarian society." Period.

You use it the same way you and others have perversed "progressive" and "socialist" to fit a agenda of fearmongering and partisan politics.

Coupled with your ridiculous ad hominem that progressives "wouldn't own a hunting license" in the same way pundits in a blatant fuck you as possible have said "left wingers don't have large families".

Its completely and absolutely crass.

I vote for the NDP party of Canada, we're FAR more left wing than your Democrats could even IMAGINE and consider myself a Marxist and guess what motherfucker I have a hunting rifle and actively look to collect vintage WWII firearms.

"Socialist Athiest God Hating Communist Muslem Radical Extremists Who Hate/Destroy/Take Over America" its all a slippery slope and an inherent part of the American Right's strategy of demonization of the Left and it STARTS with those "oh so clever" little "no true scottsmen" asides of "no leftist would support something like hunting, what Leftist would do that?"

There are people on the left who think like that, they're usually in the Green party or subscribe to some of the more fringe bioethical theories, they're stupid. I'm all for conservation and enviromental protection so we you know, don't hunt the caribou or whales (if your inuit) into extinction, its all about balance. Don't over hunt, don't over protect.