Wednesday, October 03, 2012

On The Debate

Very briefly, because I have work to do:

1.) Neither guy got knocked out, which means Romney did "better" by default because as the challenger he's the one who only needed to prove stamina. This will move the needle - not enough to "save" Romney outright, but it moves it.

2.) Jim Leher should have been given the power to cut mics - dude got run over all the time by both guys, and it's bullshit. The debate moderator is the guy who holds the participants accountable to the audience which in this case is the voters. He should've put them in their respective places - re: two guys vying for a job from us - and he didn't.

3.) Obama's team obviously expected Romeny to put his foot in his mouth. He didn't. Romney's team obviously expected Obama to hang back and not show aggression. He did.

4.) As of now, Obama is probably still "winning," but he had the opportunity to settle the election tonight and he didn't take it.

5.) In the end, this has always been the problem with Obama: He's just NOT a fighter. He doesn't like to get dirty, he doesn't naturally view ideological opponents as mortal-enemies, he doesn't like to take the killshot. These are admirable qualities in a person, but weaknesses in a modern politician and major flaws in a guy I'm ultimately counting on to continue the Good Work of saving this country by dismantling the "traditional values" patriarchy (which Romney both embodies and supports) through judicial appointments and policy-pushing.This is why the best modern Democrat is still and will always be Bill Clinton: Clinton relished the fight. Clinton enjoyed hurting his opponents. He had a liberal brain but he had a conservative's bloodlust - oh, to have him back.


pastacat said...

I couldn't have said it better myself.

The Saarai'ari said...

Obama should get rid of John Kerry as his debate coach/sparing partner and bring in Bubba. Would help him a whole lot. Obama be Beatrix Kiddo, Clinton be Pai Mei.

Huntaur said...

I think the Obama team understands the debates themselves don't matter as much as the spin and the ads and sound bites afterwards. As long as they play it safe, they win in the long run because they don't give the Romney team anything new to play with. The superpacs will have to keep recycling everything they've been using for the past year and the message will get stale.

Sir Laguna said...

Bring the AMERICAN BOB show back!

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

Bob, do you know how I know you realize Romney wiped the floor with Barack?

I know this, because you tried your best at making a fair list of your thoughts on the the debate as a whole, instead of copying and pasting Baracks head on a transformer.

I do agree your point about Leher being given the power to cut mics though.

Lord Slithor said...

This summed-up my feelings on it perfectly. Copy/pasting this to my FB page (with proper source being credited, naturally!)

Lord Slithor said...

Also, I wouldn't discount Obama's ability to fight back just yet, Bob. When his back's up against the wall, he's shown he's willing to roll up his sleeves and get nasty when he has to. I think like you said, they weren't expecting Romney to be as good as he was, and team Obama kind og got caught with their pants down. But I expect them to mount a good counteroffensive between now and the next debate.

Bill Maher once said it best: "In many ways — especially for progressives — [Obama] is too white for them. He plays golf, he’s too cozy with bankers. But when it comes to knowing how to fight, he’s black."

Anonymous said...

Honestly, it's only the first debate, one of god knows how many. The few undecided voters left (ie morons) are going to have forgotten this debate entirely by the time they forget to go to the polls at all.

Fault-Finder said...

look... I actually agree with the tenet of just about everything in this post, but... "bloodlust?" "Relished the fight?" "Enjoyed hurting his opponents?" Jesus Bob. I know you view conflict as necessary for political (and/or general) progression- I do as well, to a lesser extent- but conflict is not the same thing as the level of vindictiveness these words imply.
As important as it is to take a stand and fight on issues when a clear black and white presents itself (gay marriage being the big one this time around) I would still insist that this does not necessitate actually hating your opponent- that blinds you to the points they may have right. What we need from our leadership is logic- clear observation and assessment of facts, unrelenting force when one's opponent conflicts with the best decision based on same, and humility when they have a better answer/improve your own solution.
Obama may have adopted similar ideals to his detriment, but I still stand by this:

Anonymous said...

The "debate" was a sham; there was no 3rd party presence, so we just had Obama and Romney spouting the same bullshit they have been for months.

Hey Bob, still waiting for you to defend Obama's kill list, drone strikes, indefinite detention, ect.

Anonymous said...

Bob, when are you going to grow a spine and admit that Obama's as bad as Romney? If you want a REAL progressive candidate, you should be supporting Jill Stein.

Megabyte said...

Sorry Bob, Obama got his ass kicked last night. You making a list to convince people doesn't change that. When I literally had people in my twitter telling me "debates dont matter, Mitt is a horrible human being" 20 minutes in without even responding to anyone else, I knew who was winning and who as was on the ground.

Cyrus said...

What amazes me about this lazy "just as bad as" rethorik, is how inept the various third parties seem to be to form any even somewhat chohesive unit or voice.

I get that mainstream media will not help to challenge the two party status quo (in fact, it might actively do the opposite), but in the age of both profound problems and ubiquitous social media, one'd think that all the disillusionment would amount to more than Occupy camps and the reps being dragged further to the right.

Pat said...


Uhh, did you read Bob's post or did you just assume its contents? He basically said that Obama lost. His list isn't about convincing anyone that he didn't, it's stating what Obama needs to do differently.


For the love of god, Jim, GIVE IT A FUCKING REST.

Eze said...

It started like a prize fight, and then turned into a pro wrestling match. Overtalking, stepping on words, stammering, smugness. I caught Obama making the "5 second" comment and laughed. He has until 5, referee! Romney's "Entitled" jab was also sharp. It's fun to watch the spectacle of a debate unfold.

That said, for round one, Romney started strong, and had Obama stammering a bit, but when it came to later specifics...Obama regained composure and maintained a cool head, as Romney got under his skin. I'm still shocked that Romney flat out told Jim Lehrer he'd cut funds to PBS. He practically fired him if he gets the job....along with Big Bird.

They kept to their starting points, and if there's a round 2, expect some different strategies.

Gotta love analysis.

Anonymous said...

Cyrus: Saying Obama is as bad as Romney isn't "rhetoric", it's the truth.

Still waiting for an answer from the hypocrite who hosts this blog. Come on, Bob, you love Obama so much, defend his kill list. Defend his drone strikes. I'll keep harassing you until you answer.

Megabyte said...

Actually, Pat, I did read it and I saw nothing of the sort:

Point 1 read as an excuse for Obama since it had to come with the caveat of "by default." He did not admit Obama got cleaned out... he basicaly said "it was a tie, which means Romney has an automatic edge as the newcommer."

Point 2... yeah, ok... I can agree to that. It was like listening to 2 people on an internet forum each fighting to have the last word at times... and Leher couldn't control that.

Point 3 says nothing other then no one did what the other guy expected.

Point 4 is basically saying "yeah, but Obama is still winning but he should have won." Which could be anything from defending a "Mitt has an edge in a tie" from point one to copping out in admitting his guy lost. With point 1, IM not convinced its more then the first.

Point 5 is basically a personal attack on Romney's social standing (without, really describing it... 3 words don't cut it, Bob) displaying Bob's view is entirely based on social values so he NEEDS the guy who meets those to win and to HELL with everything else. It frankly shows more of Bob then of how he really feels about the debate.

So... which point did you want me to see "Mitt won" in?

DavidW said...


Why do Obama's kill list and Drone strikes need to be defended? He is the president of a country with enemies and is using the tools at his disposal to make sure they know that so long as they choose to plot and attack his country they are not safe. I call that doing his job.

Also, as far as I can remember Bob has been comparing the two based on their economic and human rights policies not their military practices so I fail to see where this hypocrisy lies.

Nixou said...

"He's just NOT a fighter. He doesn't like to get dirty, he doesn't naturally view ideological opponents as mortal-enemies"

On the other hand, if he tried to fight back the way you hope he would, the US media would drown itself in the "Angry Vengeful Black Man" within seconds. Remember: one of the cardinal rules of the "traditional values" patriarchy is that only rich straight white males are allowed to express anger and/or agressivity: which is why one Chris Christie is allowed to behave like a schoolyard bully while the tiniest eye twitch betraying some sort of exasperation on Obama's side will be drumed up by Fox, Drudge & co as the absolute proof that Obama is the love child of Malcolm X, Bin Laden and Adolph Hitler.

Anonymous said...

I expect nothing but maturity in the responses to this article.

Anonymous said...

DavidW: Obama's human rights policies are abysmal as well (war on drugs continues, indefinite detention, he pays lip service to marriage equality without doing anything to promote it, ect.) And I'm sure the innocent Pakistanis who were killed in the drone strikes Obama authorized would have some negative things to say about his human rights record.

Anonymous said...

You really need to get a new hobby and do something more interesting. Also the libertarians are never going to win regardless of what you say. You claim you won't choose one of the two because the lesser of two evils is still evil and all that bullshit. Well tough shit life isn't fair now shut up and fuck off.

MovieBob said...


The "Kill List" meme is theatrical fodder for conspiracy-theory twits. Do better.

As for drone strikes... I don't like when there are civilian casualties. I don't like war, in general. I'd prefer that it not be necessary to conduct violence overseas, but the fact is it is necessary so long as there are those looking to do us harm.

And since there ARE people willing to do us harm, such actions will continue to be necessary and so long as this is the case I can say without hesitation that I prefer the use of precise drone strikes to massive, costly (in blood and treasure) military insertions. This does NOT mean I am "for" illegal actions or civilian casualties, but the plain facts are that the drones are stopping more threats and killing fewer innocents than re-dos of Iraq of Afghanistan would. Also, in a broader sense, an increasing streamlining through mechanization of the military means a less expensive AND less expansive military, which is a tremendous good.

As to the domestic policy stuff (war on drugs etc) this is where you seperate the political grownups from the political children. Voting for a President based on what they claim to believe or their personal goals is, frankly, childish to me. A president is not a king, laws do not change just because a new president disagrees with them. The MOST important function of a U.S. President is that they appoint judges, and THAT'S what changes the law. And knowledge of what kind of judges a president is likely to appoint is how I make my decision.

I don't know what Obama's "real" feelings about the drug war are, but I DO know that the war on drugs will end when drug laws are successfully challenged and defeated in the higher courts. For that to happen, you need liberal/progressive judges ON those courts and you will ONLY get that via Democrat presidents because even the best third-party alternatives are decades away from mounting a serious campaign.

Same deal with marriage: I'm grateful for the SYMBOLISM of Obama embracing gay rights, but it doesn't really CHANGE anything. Gay marriage will become legal in all 50 states ONLY after a Supreme Court challenge and ONLY if the court's "liberals" outnumber it's "conservatives." Guess what the ONLY way to make sure that happens is?

And no, before anyone brings it up, "Libertarianism" is not a viable alternative right now. The problem with Libertarianism is that it fundamentally embraces the flawed concept of States Rights absolutism; which made a certain sense from 1776 up until maybe the very early 20th Cetury but just doesn't WORK anymore - the idea that someone could be (for example) a MURDERER in one state but free-and-clear in another because they'd had an abortion is ASININE in an age where one can cross the entire country (and the borders of dozens of states) in a few hours. Standardization of important laws, centralized in the federal government, is no longer simply "liberal philosophy," it's the only system of management that makes ANY sense in an age of mechanization and instant communication.

DavidW said...


Thank you for your reply. While I don't consider all of your points to be human rights violations I get your point that Obama has made tough decisions that have resulted in the unfortunate loss of innocent life (it is part of the job after all) and many of the policies resulting from these decisions are actions associated with the right.

If I understand correctly you are suggesting that these activities will happen regardless of wheather Romney or Obama win the election. If that is the case this issue can't really be used to differentiate between the candidates.

Thus far Bob's main point is that in his opinion Romney's policies are to prevent marriage equality and to ensure that the white rich men remain white rich men and that the poor (white or otherwise) remain poor. These are policies that Bob disagrees with therefore that is why he expresses support for Obama instead who' s policies are more inline with Bob's beliefs.

And I think those who died on 9/11 might have something to say about Pakistan hiding those responsible for their deaths and are working on figuring out how to finish the job.

DavidW said...

Never mind, Bob beat me to it.

Markus said...


Well, what about the NDAA? That should be a big enough hint that Obama doesn't have the American people's best interests in mind.

Peter S. said...

@Jame... I mean, "Anonymous"

There. Bob has answered your incessant and accusatory line of "questioning" in a much more comprehensive reply than you deserve. Now will you please GO AWAY. Seriously, you've said time and again that if Bob will just pay you attention (which you don't deserve considering you've said at least twice you'd stop bothering Bob with your repetitive questioning and ad hominem attacks) that you'll consider that a victory and you'll cease "harassing" him (the fact that you yourself even consider it as such is troubling in its own right). Well, you've got what you wanted. You finally wore Bob down enough to where he was willing to offer up several paragraphs in response to your dumb ass. But that's not going to be enough is it? You say you'll stop harassing him, but exactly what is your word worth? Why should any of us have any reason at all to believe anything you say, when you've shown time and again that you will break promises you've made just to harass a Z-List internet celebrity who apparently ate your kitten. So I say this, and I'm willing to bet a good number of commenters on this blog will agree with me:

Just walk away. Leave. Take the victory you've won, and fuck off. If you return, I can guarantee you'll only be met with more of the same and you'll be viewed in an even worse light (if that's possible) because it will be yet another in a string of broken promises. Given that you've directly tried to interfere with Bob's professional life (harassing Jim Sterling and Susan Arendt on Twitter asking why they support him) and then realized that was kind of a dick move you promised you'd stop this bullshit, but now you're simply doing the same thing except under an anonymous handle instead of using your actual name. You are a bully, a coward and someone with little to no integrity. You are not welcome on this blog and after all the broken promises you've made, I sincerely doubt you ever will be.

tl;dr Feeding the troll but also getting shit off my chest yet again.

Jake said...

I understand your point about voting for a president based on judges, but what about the Kelo decision. ( I'm a libertarian that actually (somewhat) agrees with you on State's rights (Powers is probably a better term). As long as the states aren't violating anyone's rights they should be aloud to do what ever they want.
You should visit the website of the institute for justice, a libertarian law firm that fights against the abuses of the Kelo decision and has a video on the 14th amendment that I'm sure you'd love. You should also visit the Volokh conspiracy legal blog, made up of libertarian lawyers which also shares the same opinion on the 14th amendment. You probably won't agree with every thing on those sites, but that's OK, the only reason I'm showing you these sites is to show that not all libertarians are Ron Paul fan boys who support what almost amounts to a confederation instead of a federation, which what we are and should remain.

Pat said...


The NDAA situation is pretty overblown. It's a piece of legislation that is put through every year because it basically contains the national defense budget. This year, they added a provision that required the President to indefinitely detain suspected terrorists. He initially threatened to veto over it, so they did a quick wording change so that he wasn't REQUIRED to use the provision. So he passed it, stating that he would ignore that provision. Then it went to the courts, assessed by a judge that Obama himself appointed who declared it unconstitutional. The administration has been appealing this decision, but it appears as though they aren't taking the appeal seriously and are just doing it so no one else can if he doesn't get re-elected. In other words, he's probably making sure that no one else can use this provision after he leaves. I think Obama has made it pretty clear that he's not fond of that new provision. Or at least if he is, he's doing a really lousy job of keeping it.


I'd actually say that Bob's assessment was accurate. Neither Romney nor Obama really made a particularly compelling case. No one will deny that Romney won the debate, but I don't think he really dealt any serious blows to Obama. His greatest victory was essentially denying everything Obama said.

And your assessment of Point 3 is wrong. The point Bob made was that Romney didn't do what Obama expected, but Obama did exactly what Romney was hoping he would do. For me, that's basically Bob admitting that Romney got the upper hand.

I think you're just upset because you believe that Romney did way better than he actually did. I'm sorry, but that's not reality. Romney returned to his more Moderate persona and Obama prepared to debate the Romney from last week. But now Romney risks appearing inconsistent in future debates if he's not careful. Additionally, his economic plans all hinge on an economic boom in response to his tax cuts and election. If that doesn't happen, we WILL lose $5 trillion over 10 years, no matter what Romney insists. I'd rather not take that gamble.

I'm not saying Obama's plan is all that much better, but at least we know where the money is coming from: Increased taxes on the wealthy. Romney's plan is funded by closing tax loopholes and limiting deductions and hoping that the economy will respond better to his tax cut than it did for George W. Bush. If that doesn't happen, either we have to cut a lot of important government programs or we dig a much bigger hole in the deficit.

Romney didn't do as well as you think. He did really well, but he didn't "clean out" Obama. I've seen politicians get cleaned out in debates. That didn't happen last night. There was no moment where Obama became flustered or dismantled. There was no famous moment that got 5 million hits on YouTube. It was just a night where Obama really disappointed his supporters and Romney did his best to make people forget about the Romney that has been running for the past year or so.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Bob, for revealing that you're a tool who doesn't care if lives are lost as long as you get what you consider progress.

And yes, the kill list is REAL, you fucking sheep.

Anonymous said...

James, look up the word "dox" on an internet culture site, learn about the type of people that throw that word around, and realize they have them. Now, also realize that you're essentially being a gigantic douchebag and target in your actions on this site.

Now, I'm not saying anything will happen, but you don't think your crank conspiracy theory talking points are going to do shit when you finally cross that final line, do you?

Pat said...

@Anonymous 6:35

Don't go there. Someone already did that to James a couple months ago. Moviebob deleted the comment, said it wasn't acceptable, and considered moving to Wordpress, which is why James promised that he would leave Bob alone from that day forward.

Until I guess he decided that he could keep doing it so long as he was Anonymous.

@Anonymous 5:15 (AKA James)

Thank you, James, for further solidifying that you are a petty, moronic, man-child who thinks nothing of breaking his promises so long as it allows him to feel good about himself. You decide to self-admittedly harass Bob again after saying you wouldn't anymore on both of his blogs AND on Twitter, and he finally decides to give you an honest response ANYWAY, and your retort is to further insult him and his audience because he has an opinion that differs from yours. Fuck you, dude.

Jill Stein would be a terrible President. She has no experience, no support in the legislature, no experience with writing, revising, or interpreting law or policy, and her running mate is more interested in raising awareness about poverty than actually doing real work to help solve it.

You just want to break up the two-party system. I don't blame you, but it's not as simple as you seem to think it is. Even if we all got up and voted for Jill Stein, she wouldn't be able to do anything without the support of the Senate and the House. If you want a third party to start gaining power, it can't start from the top.

Oh, and for the record, we all know that the kill list is real. We don't doubt it. What we DO doubt is that the kill list has anyone other than high-ranking hard-to-reach terrorists.

Oh, and one other thing. While Pakistani government and military officials (the same ones, I might add, that insisted that Bin Laden wasn't in Pakistan despite the fact that he was even living comfortably in a retirement community near a military training facility) have always opposed the drone strikes, the civilians themselves rarely ever speak negatively of them when interviewed. They consider them far more effective than the Pakistan Army in regards to handling the Taliban and al-Qaeda and they also manage it with far less collateral damage than the Pakistan Army. Yes, some civilians die, but these same civilians are also under the constant threat of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Do you think we should just ignore them? Let them suffer while these extremist groups feed on their suffering to promote bigotry which affects the entire world?

Compare this approach to the approach Bush took. We aren't invading Pakistan. We aren't occupying it. We aren't even dispatching troops. We just send in drones after high value targets, they hit them with precision and minimal collateral damage, they leave. The only way we could fight against the terrorists more effectively is if we had a freaking Death Note. The highest estimated civilian deaths in Pakistan number in the hundreds and those reports are difficult to assess since the terrorists often claim that their dead are "civilians". In Iraq and Afghanistan? Tens of thousands. Also, how many tens of thousands of lives have been killed by the Taliban in Pakistan? And how much has Pakistan really done to stop it? Sadly, not enough, and it doesn't just hurt Pakistan.

Andrew said...

@Point #5:

I was with you, Bob, right up until this. Because it represents everything I find wrong with the political process. And while many Democrats are quick to point out how much better than Republicans they are on social issues, they are just as dirty and underhanded when it comes to the process.

The fact is, as long as we continue to see it as "us" vs. "them", nothing will EVER get better and it'll be the American people who just want to live their lives who get caught in the crossfire while the two sides measure dicks and argue about who is more right.

For the record, I don't support either candidate.

Megabyte said...

@Pat: You may be suprised, but that is kinda irrelevant. The point is it looks more like a list of "yeah, well he only won because" like Bob is trying to diminish what happened on behalf of his team... an excuse for everything as if to say "yeah he won, but he really didn't." This really is where Im going on this, as it sounds to me like a kid who lost a Magic tournament pouting how his trump card didnt show up.

Point 3, ok, you got me... I missread his last sentence... but it really doesn't prove any point, which was my point. It was kinda meaningless.

And finally, Im not upset at all.. I was amused with the debate, laughed at the twitters (Especially Jim Sterling... he was on FIRE last night), and now Im kinda laughing at this. Dont want me to laugh, dont take politics so personally that your team losing means you have to list off why it's not so bad for the world to see. That's really the only reason I point here. All politics aside, I bet I would like Bob personally... gamer to gamer... so long as he doesn't live his politics like he appears to.

And to you Bob... seriously, I can only hope you hype it up more here then you do IRL.. there is so much more to life then this shit... and while fun once in a while, all politics and nothing else makes for very miserable people.

Redd the Sock said...

I don't know if it wasn't the will not to fight on Obama's part, or that in trying not to come off so anti-business he really can't defend his economic record. His only needed response to Romney was that he didn't raise taxes and gave stimulus money out, but somehow his existence creates an "aura of uncertainty" that causes normally risk taking businessmen to curl up and a fetal position and suck their thumb despite record profits, historically low effective tax rates, and a stock market nearing record highs again. He can't put a gun to the head of the companies sitting on 2 trillion in liquid capital and make them create jobs (without being vilified more than he already is) so it might be better to ask them where the jobs and recovery are at.

Sadly, it's anti-business (at least to a business crowd that feels entitled to low taxes and a booming economy through no effort of their own) so it won't happen. I don't expect the debates to change much though. If you're undecided by now I doubt you'll find the poling station.

Still, come on Obama. At least one snarky Question about if that 47% Romney doen't claim to concern himself with include "people" like General Electric or Verizon that have paid no income tax and got money from the federal governemnt the last several years.

Anonymous said...

Bob, daily reminder: you're a fucking tool and a self-absorbed, egotistical prick.

Anonymous said...

Okay Bob, you say what matters most to you is the courts. Well answer this, dipshit; what happens when the president OVERTURNS a progressive court ruling, like Obama did with judges who ruled against the NDAA and warrantless drug raids? Then what?

You're a fucking tool, Bob. You come up with pathetic excuses to rationalize your double standards, and treat anyone who calls you on your bullshit like an idiot. You're just a worthless fucking hypocrite. You are not working for progress; you're part of the problem with this country. Just another sheep supporting the corrupt status quo. Fuck you, Mr. Chipman.

DavidW said...


You have the right to disagree with Bob's opinions. You have the right to dislike his opinions, you have the right to dislike Obama, the system and whatever you want to dislike and freely express those views in a public forum such as this one. Just as Bob has the right to publicly express his views on his blog.

Earlier you said that you expect nothing but maturity in the responses to this article. I can only assume you said this since you don't have the dignity or confidence to stand by your opinions by using your name. Responses containing "dipshit", "tool" and "fuck you" are immature and will not be treated seriously or with maturity.

If you want to challenge the beliefs and values of others you need to do so by showing respect and well thought out arguments. Not slander.

You seem to have a lot of passion for what you believe in. Don't you think it could be used for better things than screaming insults on a blog that doesn't really have that much effect on things?

Pat said...

@Anonymous James

Obama HASN'T overturned their ruling on the NDAA provisions and he CAN'T. He can only APPEAL them. And yes, his administration is appealing them, and will likely take the rulings to the Supreme Court, but they've been doing such a shitty job that many who've been following the court rulings (myself included) believe that it's simply a farce to prevent future administrations from using it. After all, if the Supreme Court rules that the new provisions are unconstitutional, there is no higher court to take the appeal to. This way, even if Obama doesn't get re-elected and Romney doesn't want to remove the provision in this year's NDAA, it won't matter because the Supreme Court will have already deemed it unconstitutional.

In fact, it's ALREADY been determined during the District Court proceedings that the indefinite detention cannot be used against journalists, activists, or American citizens in general.

The way I see it, Congress gave Obama a really uber-powerful gun that he didn't want, so he's firing it into the air until it breaks, so no one else can use it.

Yes, it's possible that Obama is appealing the rulings because he actually DOES want the new provision, despite what he said while he signed it, but if that is true, he's doing a really lousy job of it, particularly since his claim to fame was being a constitutional lawyer.

Anyway, Bob's point still stands because the President doesn't have the power to overturn court rulings. He can only appeal the court rulings to higher courts or have the Legislative branch overrule it with a 2/3 majority (which will basically never happen in this case). So really, the only thing that can reasonably overturn a judge's ruling is a higher-ranking judge.

Case in point? The judge that initially deemed the NDAA provision unconstitutional? Appointed by Obama. So even if Obama DOES genuinely want to keep the provision, he's being overruled by the judges he appointed.

Pat said...

@Anonymous James

One more thing, I did want to remind you of the time you swore to leave Bob alone. To quote verbatim:

"Okay Bob, Okay, I'll leave you alone. I read what you said on Twitter, I don't want to kill your website. This is the last you'll hear from me, I swear this time."

ImadK said...

To pat, 6:55 reagarding this: "...the civilians themselves rarely ever speak negatively of them when interviewed. They consider them far more effective than the Pakistan Army in regards to handling the Taliban and al-Qaeda and they also manage it with far less collateral damage than the Pakistan Army. "

Where in the world did you get fed that?? While having no love for the Pakistani State (being born there, I have no confidence in it, at all), I can assuredly tell you that Pakistanis civilian view America very, very negatively! You don't even have to take my word for it, this article on Pew Global displays just how negatively the US is viewed.

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


First of all, I want to be perfectly clear on what I said. I did not say that Pakistani civilians necessarily thought positively of the US in general, just the drone strikes themselves. That may sound contradictory, but good foreign relations require more than just good military support, and we ARE violating their sovereignty and basically taking the law in our own hands. Think of it like what happened in "Incredibles". They might appreciate our assistance, but might not like how cavalier we are about it. If I were in their shoes, I might be glad that someone was killing the Taliban, but just sending murderous robotic planes doesn't really make me like you all that much. It comes off as impersonal and as though we care more about killing the extremists than helping the villagers.

That being said, my sources on the subject are limited, and while I generally try to get as full a picture as possible, I believe I may have failed to do so in this case.

The main reason I believe that the drone strikes were perhaps not as negatively viewed as initially perceived was because the only article I could really find discussing civilian reactions to them was this one from 2010, and this one contextualizing and supporting it. Also, this.

In addition, the other articles I read suggested that the Taliban was starting to get very frustrated with the attacks and even going so far as to torture the tribesmen who they believed to be informants. While regrettable, this implies that the Taliban is often resorting to force to sway the tribesmen. If the tribesmen truly despised the drone strikes, I imagine that the Taliban wouldn't have to go to such lengths.

This was the fullest picture that I could find at the time, and it seemed to suggest both that the Taliban DO pose a genuine threat to the Waziristan tribes and that the tribesmen are generally supportive of any effective military effort to reduce their control.

However, prompted by your comment, I have learned of an impending peace rally leading to Waziristan. While I suppose it has yet to be determined how many will join this rally and how the rally would be received in Waziristan, it is entirely possible that natives of Waziristan (and Pakistan in general) have either never been fond of the strikes or they are growing tired of them, feeling they are no longer necessary or have proven ineffective in stopping extremist rule. I do find it interesting that the Taliban has offered to act as security for the rally, but that can either be evidence that the rally may not actually be all that peace-loving or that our drone strikes are perhaps causing the Pakistanis to see the Taliban more favorably. I'm not personally sure which is more likely. Like I said, this rally is a new development.

It is a complicated issue and it is important to get as full a picture as possible.

I do, however, still support the drone strikes if only because I do not have an enormous amount of faith in Pakistan's ability to deal with its extremists. If they were, I'd probably think the drone strikes were too much, but I often get the impression that the Pakistani government is either sympathetic to their extremist groups, or fear taking any deliberate action against them for the possible risk of reprisals.

DavidW said...

Did we just have a fairly respectful and informed discussion about an issue backed up by references to the source material informing the different opinions?

That's pretty cool:-D

David said...

In regards to that last paragraph...

Whoa, Bob. I've long known that you have serious emotional problems, but sweet Jesus!

You have, on multiple times, openly and explicitly admitted that your heart is filled with bitterness and anger; that your heart is burdened with emotional baggage; that you're actively obsessed with traumas and conflicts from your childhood.

So you've had a life much harder than mine, I understand and respect all that. But when you're so open about your own inner-rage and misery, how can you at the same time think society should operate on the same plane of morals that you do?

I've been raised into these 'traditional family values' you speak of, and I've seen them work pretty damn well. My parents have never fought. Never.

No really, never. I'm serious. Never in front of me or my siblings, at least.

They've annoyed or irritated each other, certainly, but I watched them always suck it up and continue to respect one another.

I've confronted my dad about how many doubts and questions I have about the validity of the Bible, and while I've never plainly admitted to not having any faith of any kind, I've heavily suggested it on numerous occasions, and he has been soft and cheerful every time. "It's good to ask questions like this" he's said; he's been patient and kind like you might not believe.

So I don't know exactly what kind of Christian upbringing you had, Bob, but I can figure that it has left you with some debilitating hang-ups with what you perceive as the whole of 'traditional' American Religious culture, to the extent that you have no hesitation to describing a psychopathic murderer as a "typical right-winger" (in the same video where you argue against the people who say he's a 'typical gamer'), or to the extent that you actually called all people of faith "sick" and that they should be treated as "sick". I gather from your various videos and blogs that you've spent the most recent chunk of your life free of your Catholic upbringing, and lived by your own personal moral code.

And you also say that you're a bitter person. From this, it's logical to conclude that your idea of how to live sucks. Yet you think the rest of America should follow your lead. See the problem here?

I see Louis CK do the exact same thing. His whole act is about his misery and how much he hates himself and his behavior, yet he'll still scoff at the way Sarah Palin lives her life and the beliefs and principles that she stands for.

Is there something I'm not understanding, Bob? What you say about Christianity really, truly bothers me, because you're a commentator that I respect so much, and an intellect and insight on the issues of culture I so greatly admire. Do you think you could talk more about your personal experiences and views on the world some time in the future?

Yeah, I know you talk about politics a lot, but not in any way that I'm able to understand. 'Whatever personally benefits me' you once described your political philosophy as. Certainly you aren't really that self-centered, right? I'd love to have you explain what it is that you, on a fundamental level, believe in, and why.

My guess is that this would require talking about your childhood and your life experiences. And I'm also guessing that you really, really don't want to talk about that in much detail. Still, I would love to hear about it, if you were ever willing to talk.

I think I'm starting to sound weird and creepy now but dammit, Bob's politics and views on the world have been mystifying me for over two years now, and I'm starting to feel really sorry for him.

Markus said...


Drone strikes don't fight terrorism, they ARE terrorism. They CREATE more American enemies than they kill.

Pat said...


I'd love to see your statistics on that. I personally can't find any saying how many American enemies were created by drones. I know that we've KILLED somewhere between 2000-3000 enemies, but I hadn't heard your statistic on how many we CREATED before, so I'd really love to see your source.

All I could find was this article saying:

"Organisers also complained of the strain on resources being brought by strikes from CIA unmanned aircraft.

Bin Laden's number three, Atiyah abd al-Rahman, said that Al Qaeda fighters were being killed faster than they could be replaced."

Look, all snark aside, I understand that Pakistan is unhappy with us sending in drones against their will, but right now they are ill-equipped to handle this situation. Corruption runs high, the soldiers they sent to Waziristan were moved to the other side of the country after the Mumbai attacks, and the terrorist groups aren't going anywhere. If we left, they'd just call it a victory, continue eating away at Pakistan like cancer, and then strike against non-Muslim nations when they've built up strength again.

It's a really shitty situation and the drones ARE keeping the pressure on the terrorists more than ever before AND without requiring a military occupation.

There aren't a lot of ways we can handle this situation and they all suck. We can leave it to Pakistan, but then the terrorists will just keep using it as a safe haven and then it's basically just a matter of time until the next 9/11 or Mumbai attack. We can invade them, but then we'd be repeating Afghanistan and we can't afford that in more ways than one. We can manipulate them politically, but that also has a really shitty track record in the Middle East and Pakistan doesn't really have a decent political alternative yet in terms of parties to replace the current corrupt administration.

If you've got a better idea on how to deal with this, I for one would love to hear it, because I hate that we have so few choices here.

And frankly, there's not a lot we can do to change how much Pakistan hates us. The only year they hated us a LITTLE less than normal was in 2006 when we provided them with aid after a massive earthquake. And even then it was something like 25% favorable, 60% unfavorable.

I also find it annoying that the protest march led yesterday that was intended to go to Waziristan gave up part of the way there, which was a huge disappointment to me (and probably the protesters) because I genuinely wanted to hear the people of Waziristan speak for themselves rather than have a bunch of political people speak for them or use them as props. I personally don't give much of a shit about how an ex-cricket player feels about the drone attacks. I want to know how the people who live with them feel about them, and sadly there's not a lot of data on that.

Anonymous said...

Bob, words of wisdom from the webcomic Something Positive: "The ends justify the means" is a cowards way of saying "I know it's wrong, but I did it anyway and don't wanna face the consequences."

FinalCupil said...

@Anon 10:02

James, just go away.

Anonymous said...

So, Bob - here's a question you'll most likely be too chickenshit to address - why do you even WATCH the Debates if you already (ignorantly) decided which Party to vote for, automatically, a long time ago?

No wonder you want Gay Marriage legalized. You spend so much time sucking Obama's dick on your blog.

Fallen Angel said...


We get it, Bob said something that upset your delicate libertarian sensibilities. Now fuck off and let the grown-ups have a conversation.

Anonymous said...

I agree that "traditional values" need to be dismantled, but explain how Obama is going to fix anything. Things have only gotten worse, for the most part.

MovieBob said...

@Anonymous 7:43

Because his Supreme Court nominees will be reliable votes in favor of Roe v. Wade, gay marriage, etc.

A president cannot really "fix" anything on his own, and our system makes it very difficult and time-consuming for Congress to do the same as a group. The Courts, on the other hand, can solidfy or strike-down law with the swing of a gavel - the ULTIMATE curative for important societal transformation in our lifetimes.

Anonymous said...

Bob: what happens, then when the president overturns a court's ruling?

FinalCupil said...

@Anonymous 3:36

I see you have no idea why the Supreme Court exists. It is one of the checks to the president. Presidents can not over-turn a Supreme Court decision. Seriously, do you think the president has that much power? If he could just say "fuck the supreme courts decision" what would be the point of the Supreme Court then?

Seriously James (or if you are not, say otherwise), actually learn how the system works before typing bullshit.