I guess we can add NASA and space policy to the ever-growing category titled:
“Things Josh Marshall Knows Nothing About But Feels Very Comfortable Talking About at Length.”
I will let Rand Simberg, no partisan grenade thrower, explain why:
So how do supposedly competent commentators get it so wrong?
Well, in the case of Joshua Micah Marshall, the author of the drive-by hit job on the president’s policy, it can be attributed to a combination of ignorance about space policy (a subject that he rarely comments on), and a well-established animus to President Bush, as exhibited on an almost daily basis in his weblog. The ignorance is demonstrated by the fact that he never even mentions in his comment the loss of Columbia a year ago, let alone suggests that it might have something to do with new space policy a few months after the release of the investigation of the report on that event.
Neither knowledgable or even casual observers of space policy would make such an omission, because it is clear that the formulation of the new space policy was accelerated, if not initiated, by it. The status quo was clearly no longer acceptable after it, because it was equally clear that the long-term continuation of a manned space program was not possible with a fragile fleet of three shuttle orbiters.
Hatred of Bush, dislike of Republicans, and a distaste for this administration are what passes as informed commentary these days. Josh Marshall long ago joined the list of ‘moderate’ Democrats who had lost their credibility and who are now nothing more than a Rallian laughingstock.
If Rand wanted to read something really funny, he would read some of the know-nothing Marshall’s thoughts about Korea. And remember, Bush is the dumb one.
I have quoted you here.
Gary- I tried to respond, but your comments don’t work.
I am not sure what cutting and pasting various quotes from numerous posts and putting it together in an odd mishmash does except to verify that I have a bellicose and over-the-top writing style.
The fact of the matter is that I will stand by my statements, however you have distoreted them:
Josh Marshall, Kevin Drum, Atrios- and many on the ‘moderate’ left have such a seething hatred of Bush and this administration that all thought is suspended and every charge is believed, with or without evidence.
Even with the press reporting that Clark was behind the leak and the fact that Lehane’s fingerprints are all over this, they peddle the nonsense that this is a Rove led GOP hit. You have to be drinking something to believe that nonsense, particularly, as I have noted, since the GOP would probably like to hold off on this sort of thing until AFTER Kerry has the nomination.
Josh Marshall has worked so dilligently to discredit himself that I need not even bother. He is as credible as Joe Conason, and not quite the capable writer.
As far as Kevin Drum- you read him and me- what have I misrepresented? Every day he is wqrong about some aspect of Bush’s military service- I think the term know-nothing is rather easy going in that light.
The fact of the matter is, these ‘moderate’ voices on the left are doing just as I said- providing shrill accusation with little merit, all for partisan gain. If pointing that out in a bellicose manner offends you, my apologies.
I am not sure why you decided to ignore the points of my post by copying only the mini-rants. An uncivil tone does not make me wrong.
I started noticing Josh’s problems with allowing partisanship to influence his analysis about 5-6 months ago. At that point, his writing provided no insights I couldn’t get from Hesiod, Ted Rall, or Michael Moore. Since, if nothing else, they are more entertaining than Josh, I haven’t felt particularly compelled to return to his weblog. FWIW.
Just between January and March 2002, Josh Marshall excitedly proclaimed at least five different scandals that were just about to break and inflict major damage on the President or other conservatives. None came to pass.
Why Marshall has any credibility is beyond me.
Gary, impolitic is not the same as uninformed.
“… however you have distoreted them….”
I haven’t “distorted” them. I excerpted them. If you believe I “distorted” the meaning of a single comment of yours by so doing, please indicate to me specifically which comments you believe this of, and if I believe you are correct, I will delete any such “distortion,” and apologize.
Perhaps I misunderstand some of the points you’ve been making, John. You decry “loudmouth(s) [who] can’t win on the issues, so they sink to this shit….”
All these reprehensible rhetorical devices you decry, which I quoted at greater length, “are the staple of the ‘moderate’ left.”
I merely find it educational as to what you, in turn, offer as “informed commentary.” Quite the distinction you draw.
Incidentally, how would you characterize Republican commentary on the President of the United States in the year 1992-2000? The opposite of “paranoid and delusional,” and the furthest thing from “you guys don’t smear and attack for any particular reason other than vindictiveness?”
Incidentally, do you find me guilty of smearing and attacking, lying, etc., out of vindictiveness?
Scott H notes: “Gary, impolitic is not the same as uninformed.”
So it’s fine for Democrats to be “impolitic” then?
John says “If pointing that out in a bellicose manner offends you, my apologies.”
John, respectfully, this is not the way a sincere apology is done. You’re not apologizing for being bellicose — which is your privilege — you’re “apologizing” for my being “offend[ed]” at something for which you do not apologize or withdraw, but which you “stand by.”
That’s not an apology. That’s an insincere rhetorical device.
“Hatred of Bush, dislike of Republicans, and a distaste for this administration are what passes as informed commentary these days….”
Also incidentally, my Enetation commentss do mostly work, after a fashion; they’re just a bit unreliable from time to time, and require patience. Your comment was posted five times. I shall do you the normal courtesy of deleting the extra repeats when I have a chance. You are welcome to comment there, of course.
Myself, I think it might be a useful mental exercise if everyone prone to writing “bellicose” attacks on Republicans/Democrats, or Presidents of the US, would first mentally examine what they would think of their statements if the opposing Party/President were substituted in what they wrote. This is not to say that genuine differences, which very much exist, should not be highlighted; it’s just a useful tool.
Let me quote you, Gary.
“I have…distorted…them. I…believe…I…distorted…the meaning. I…apologize.”
Excerpting is fun.
I repeat my request to have any specific “distortion” I made quoted.
If you can’t do it, “CleverNameHere,” you owe me an apology.
I never said you distorted what he said. You just excerpted, just like me. I dunno why you’re getting so upset…
Jack Sparks (burn rate)
1. To twist out of a proper or natural relation of parts; misshape.
By stripping Cole’s comments of all their context, you’ve clearly distorted them. If anyone should apologize, it’s you..
Name the distortion.
John, were you not decrying “what passes for informed commentary”? Did I “distort” that?
I’ll try to explain this, very slowly, one more time.
If one wishes to argue the merits or demerits of various charges: fine.
If one wishes to make accusations of dishonesty and bad faith: those can be argued on the merits or demerits of the charges.
If one wishes to critique the language being used by someone in a political discussion: fine.
But you cannot logically criticize as a terrible thing people using language that you yourself use without simultaneously engaging in self-criticism.
You cannot logically criticize people for engaging in “hate,” “dislike,” and “distaste,” while engaging in hate, dislike, and distaste, without in self-criticism.
It equally logically fails to charge people with being “partisan” when one is being partisan in so doing.
This is all the logical equivalent of screaming at someone: “I AM NOT YELLING!” The words come out, but they do not describe a true situation.
I quoted examples of John so doing. I “distorted” none of it.
If he didn’t wish to say these things, he didn’t have to. If he wishes to take any of them back or modify them, he is free to do so. If not, not. If he wants to yell at people for acting as he does, that’s up to him.
If other people want to yell at me for pointing this out, that’s their right, as well.
I’m sure you’ll find it very productive towards changing the sad state of political discourse that John was assailing. Way to support him!
John obviously believes that he’s attacking unfounded or unreasonable hatred of Bush. He’s not criticizing the rhetoric itself, he’s saying it’s unsupported rhetoric. It should be uncontroversial to state that invective is not incompatible with a substantive critique. That’s what John is doing.
The reason your selective quotation is distortive is because it implies John’s critique was based on style rather than substance. Your post suggests John is being hypocritical, but unless and until it addresses John’s substantive claims, it misses the mark.
One issue you might want to start with is John’s belief that some bloggers are so partisan they are willing to latch onto and actually believe even the slimmest hope of a Bush scandal. Now, if you can prove that John is similarly credulous, you’ve got yourself an argument.
Until then, I’d hold off on the “the thing speaks for itself.”
“The reason your selective quotation is distortive is because it implies John’s critique was based on style rather than substance. Your post suggests John is being hypocritical, but unless and until it addresses John’s substantive claims, it misses the mark.”
The issue of John criticizing rhetoric and behavior, and his specific substantive disagreements with various points of fact and opinion, are separable, and I so separated them, because I have no interest at present in discussing the specific points of contention.
“One issue you might want to start with is John’s belief that some bloggers are so partisan they are willing to latch onto and actually believe even the slimmest hope of a Bush scandal. Now, if you can prove that John is similarly credulous, you’ve got yourself an argument.”
I have no reason to believe John is so extreme, and have never suggested he is.
I have observed John repeatedly doing something far lesser: a) criticizing others for engaging in behavior he engages in, and b) making accusations that “Democrats” and “leftists” do Offense A, B, C, D, and so on, when, in point of fact, many people on both sides of that conventional political spectrum commonly have and do engage in such behavior.
I don’t mind John making his criticisms of Democrats or leftists; sometimes I share some. I do object when I see him generalizing and complaining that “Democrats” do something that has been very popular with Republicans.
I may have missed it; does John have a “Stupid Republican” category of entries? If not, that must be because Republicans ever do anything stupid enough to have such a category. (No, John obviously doesn’t believe that; he complains about some Republicans, including the President, from time to time; he’s merely partisan about having one category, but not the other.)
My bottom line is that I think the blogosphere is more useful when it engages in substantive discussion than when it’s used as a substitute for anger therapy. I’m certainly more interested in reading John when he’s making substantive points, whether I agree or not, than when he’s frothing with incoherent abuse. I realize not everyone shares this preference.
Everybody, save you apparently, realizes that quoting out of context is distorting. Your faux innocent act only highlights your childish attitude on this.
Now you are being hypocritical.
The entire post is a distortion as it rips the commenst completely from any context. As CleverNameHere points out, it is what John percieves as irrational partisanship that he has a problem with. Not the language by itself. Until you take on John’s core arguments your post will remain a complete distortion…all of it.
“The issue of John criticizing rhetoric and behavior, and his specific substantive disagreements with various points of fact and opinion, are separable, and I so separated them, because I have no interest at present in discussing the specific points of contention.”
The mere fact that you separated them does not mean that the separation was valid. John’s criticism of their rhetoric is contingent upon (and frankly ancillary to) the weakness of his targets’ substantive opinions. He’s criticizing their opinions, not the way in which they choose to express them.
John may be open to the charge that he overgeneralizes, but I don’t understand that to be the present bone of contention.
“I may have missed it; does John have a “Stupid Republican” category of entries? If not, that must be because Republicans ever do anything stupid enough to have such a category. (No, John obviously doesn’t believe that; he complains about some Republicans, including the President, from time to time; he’s merely partisan about having one category, but not the other.)”
Jack Sparks (burn rate)
Goodness. I wonder if Mr. Farber is being intentionally obtuse.
Perhaps this simple example of “distortion” will help.
“After my wife falsely accused me of molesting our child, costing me my family, my job, and my happiness, I was furious. Sometimes, I really hate women.”
“I really hate women.”
Ah. Thank you for the correction! My apologies to John for getting that wrong.
There’s no point in my repeating myself, so I hope this will be my last word on the subect.
All quoting is “selective.”
I’m quite familiar with what the meaning of “distortion” is, and what it means to selectively quote so as to change the meaning — to “distort” — of the quote.
I am also quite familiar with what it means to selectively quote to make a relevant point, that does not change the meaning of any of the quotations.
What I did was the latter, not the former.
I did not, as I have been accused of, string together words to reverse the meaning, or change the meaning by lack of context, of a single thing John said. (So far as I’ve noticed; I’ve repeatedly invited correction if I am in error on this.)
I’ve asked that anyone who thinks I changed John’s meaning supply the exact quoted words whose meaning I changed. No one did. It’s a simple enough task to accomplish if it’s possible. Quote. The. Words.
The inevitable conclusion is left to the fair observer.
Here endth the lesson.
Gary, I was going to let you off, but now I’m going to have to tear you a new one.
Here’s your excerpted quote: “…assholes….”
The clear implication is that John called those he’s criticizing “assholes”.
Now here’s what comes before and after the “quote”:
“Like my Drill Sergeant told me- “Opinions are like assholes- everybody’s got one.” ”
So instead of calling someone a name, as you imply, John is actually slamming someone’s opinion. Just the way I said he was.
Now that I’ve given you an example of your mistakes, now that I’ve “Quote[ed]. The. Words.”, will you finally admit you screwed up?
btw, I’ve got nothing against you, Gary, and I agree that overheated rhetoric doesn’t necessarily contribute to the debate. I just think you haven’t proven the hypocrisy charge.
Jack Sparks (burn rate)
Clever just called you out. Are you man enough to admit your deliberate misrepresentation?
Your weaseling and backpedalling are noted. Further, moving goal poasts is rather boring.
Sure this is literally true, but this dodges the criticism leveled at you that you have stripped away all context from the parts you selected.
Uhhh, no you aren’t. If I go through your blog and quote every fifth word is that a “fair” representation of your blog posts? Would be be correct in concluding you are an irrational lunatic who can’t seem to string two or more words together to form a coherent thought? Or would I be distorting your views?
Yes, you did as Clever has just shown. Now be adult enough to admit you distorted John’s views.
Same with this one,
All you quoted was,
You have completely stripped out all of the substance to the comment leaving the reader to conclude that John is making some broad based claim with nothing to support it.
Second, you state to find the source of all these quotes one has to merely scroll through the first five posts. Bzzzzt. Wrong! The comment about
Is actually the sixth post down.
Further you by leaving out the rest of the sentence the reader would not realize that John’s statement applies to one issue, and is not as broad and sweeping as you make it sound by stripping out the context.
Your post reminds me of a movie poster. It’ll say something like,
“…great film making…”
–Some movie reviewer
Then when you find the reviewers actual column the full sentence reads,
“This was clearly an attempt at great film making that failed miserably.”
That gun shot you just heard? That was you shooting your own credibility.
This is such an asinine critique of Josh Marshall’s piece. Clearly, it is driven solely by JMM hatred.
Seriously, JMM wasn’t criticizing Bush’s space plan – for which he arguably would need a substantive understnding of the issues. He was pointing out that there is no space plan. Bush’s mission to mars is strictly vaporware.
Excuse me, but since when do you need a degree in rocket science to point out that there is no substantive policy behind a proposal?
I do believe you are quite wrong on this. While one doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist, one should know if this plan can work with the amount of money being talked about–i.e., and understanding of the plan. Marshall has concluded it isn’t real since Bush isn’t talking about hundreds billions of dollars and a national effort. Since he doesn’t see that it is a fake plan. In short, he is criticizing the plan by saying there is no plan.
He has no support for his hundreds of billions of dollars nor any support the national effort claim. Space travel is now fairly routine. Even (mega-rich) private citizens are making it into space. It happens so often now it is for the most part a yawner unless a tragedy occurs.
I want to see some support for Marshall’s claim, but he has none. Maybe he had a word limit or something, but I am unmoved by his claims. Mr. Simberg on the other hand is a rocket scientist and works in the field still to this day. I gotta admit that in looking at the two I find Simberg to be more credible that Marshall. It also looks to me like Marshall is making his statements based on partisan bias and nothing more.