Steve Benen asks, “What do you think would happen if a Democrat had said this“:
We spent the night in the Green Zone, in the poolhouse of one of Saddam’s palaces. A little weird, I got to be honest with you. But I felt safe. And so in the morning, I got up early — not that I make this a great habit — but I went to the gym because I just couldn’t sleep and everything else. Well, sure enough, the guard wouldn’t let me in. Said I didn’t have the correct credentials.
“It’s 5:00 in the morning. I haven’t had sleep. I was not very happy with this two-bit security guard.
Do you even need to ask? Really?
If McHenry was a Democrat there would be a full on red alert action report sent across the WingNetTM. Kerning charts would be pulled out for referencing. Cheeto’s and Mountain Dew stock would triple. McHenry’s countertops would be inspected, and the Confederate Yankee would spend a week linking all the times McHenry had been in the same state as Barack Obama, showing decisively that Obama hates the troops (Jake Tapper would note that he thought this was the case, because he has a really keen sense for traitors- ask anyone in his family). We would learn that someone in McHenry’s family tree did something vaguely subversive in the 1960’s (maybe smoked a joint while listening to Jimi Hendrix’s version of the Star Spangled Banner, rather than standing erect and proudly displaying a lapel pin).
The Instapundit would kick his passive/aggressive BS into overdrive, linking every rambling yahoo on the intertrons who wants to proudly display their patriotism (500 different links to poorly written proclamations without the benefit of a shift key that “OUR TROOPS AIN’T JUST SECURITY GUARDS THEY ARE THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTESTEST). Red State would send out a fundraising letter for another 25k for website development to combat evil leftist smears against our troops. Mickey Kaus would stop
sodomizing fellating goats long enough to pen a column about his outrage, and since he is a Democrat himself (wink, wink), this would give the outrage enough respectability that the odious fool Howie Kurtz would write six columns about it, describing the outrage, pushing it until there would be wall to wall coverage on the cable networks and Wolf Blitzer finally asks the poll question:
“Why do Democrats hate our troops and why do they hate the country, and how can they expect to win the Presidency with that attitude? ”
That is what would fucking happen.
*** Update ***
Apparently something similar already did happen, but with a reporter instead of a Democrat (same thing to a wingnut). My prediction of what would happen is alarmingly accurate.
*** Update #2 ***
Tom Maguire asks:
My question – what in the telling of this story (other than their own partisan desire, of course) makes them think the guard in question is either American or a soldier?
I am doubtful that we are talking about a full security checkpoint at the limits of the Green Zone, although even there it is possible to encounter foreign troops, Iraqi security, and (IIRC) private contractors. But if the encounter occurred inside the Green Zone, as is likely, why couldn’t the “two bit security guard” simply be an Iraqi rent-a-cop or private doorman?
Nothing, and I actually thought about that myself when I watched the video. And here is where it gets really, really depressing. Even if the “two bit security guard” turns out to be an actual “two bit security guard,” if a Democrat uttered it, the outcome would be the same. The right-wing outrage machine would keep on a’churning, and instead of asking why Democrats hate the troops they would ask why Democrats hate Americans over there protecting us. And, regardless, it would enter into the mythology that it was a soldier anyway, and for the next 30 years that Democrat would have people accusing him of hating the troops. That what was so particularly evil about Jonah Goldberg’s bs Liberal Fascism. Everyone with a brain knows it is utter nonsense. Everyone, that is, but the target audience- the brain-dead frat boy morons and Corner readers who will repeat it for the next 30 years.
*** Update #3 ***
Our buddies (I kid) at Protein Wisdom (You got to admit they have a crack staff over there. I mean, it couldn’t be easy finding someone more long-winded than Jeff, but they did with Karl) have the following to add:
The Leftosphere, at post-time, has not updated their posts to reflect Amanda’s apparent error. ThinkProgress should have particular fun explaining themselves, given that they recently passed along a bogus claim that Iraqi doctors in al-Anbar province are warning of a new disease they are calling “Blackwater Fever” named after the controversial security firm. However, John Cole deserves special mention for admitting he considered that the story maight not involve a US soldier from the outset, only to argue that he really does not care, because — if the roles were reversed — the ”right-wing outrage machine” would just perpetuate the Big Lie anyway. Them are some fine standards he’s got.
Heya Karl. Here is Ed at Hot Air:
Does this really make it any better? After all, the contractors risk their lives as well, albeit for better compensation. One of my good friends worked in Iraq as a contractor, and I can assure McHenry that Mike the SEAL is no two-bit security guard. He’s a highly trained professional who does vital work whether as a SEAL or as a contractor.
Ding Think Progress for the inaccuracy, but McHenry isn’t off the hook.
Quit worrying about my standards, Karl, because I am right about how you all would react. Besides, don’t you all have ex-girlfriends to publicly trash (we know- it is tough love).
*** Update #4 ***
Karl, continuing to suffer from bunched up Superman underwear:
Wrong. Cole’s side of the story is that he watched the video, noticed it did not really specify a soldier, but decided to go with it anyway because the “right wing outrage machine” wouuld do the same if the shoe was on the other foot. But as you and I agree, people on the Right criticized McHenry for his comments (though it now turns out some selective editing was involved). So Cole propagated the bogus story based on a bogus perception of his opponents. I don’t know whether that qualifies him as Father of Lies, but it does make him doubly dishonest in this instance.
Umm, I didn’t propagate a bogus story, I simply gave a response to the Carpetbagger about what would have happened in Karl’s little circle-jerk of friends had McHenry been a Democrat. That it already happened to a McClatchy reporter, precisely as I suggested it would, is just doubly funny.
Does Karl really doubt this? Does anyone? Really? Seriously?
Who said this?
so I called this moron’s office to complain…
his staff member said…”he didn’t say it about a US soldier, he said it to a foreign contractor”
I guess it’s OK to call a “foreign contractor” a “two bit security guard”..because those pieces of scum are only protecting self important congressman.
Here’s the contact info for this proud, brave American:
Washington, D.C. Office
224 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Hickory District Office
P.O. Box 1830
87 4th St. NW
Hickory, NC 28603
Telephone: 828.327.6100 Toll-Free in North Carolina: 800-477-2576
Shelby Regional Office
311 East Marion Street
Shelby, NC 28050
Spruce Pine Regional Office
Spruce Pine Town Hall
P.O. Box 715
Spruce Pine, NC 28777
Of course, the real laugh line in this story of rocket attacks and military casualties is the headline of the piece.
Link to original piece as the link jumps from John’s get kinda confusing.
With headlines like that, how can you argue? 100 years McCain is a shoe-in this season. How could anyone even suggest pulling out?
if you watch the vid to the end, as he recounts the experience of incoming that apparently hit the gym while standing there with his thumb up his ass, he says this:
‘and the reason i tell you this story — it’s not because of my bravery…’
Dennis - SGMM
You forgot to mention that the sunsets would be orange for weeks due to the catastrophic levels of Cheeto dust mixed with spittle that would be in the atmosphere.
— Dick Cheney
My the “two-bit security guard” was a little irritated because he didn’t get to Pull the Train™ with the other contractors the night before, so he wasn’t cutting no one a break. Oh gawd, what a fucking mess.
You forgot that then the hypothetical Democratic McHenry would go onto the House floor and deliver a tearful apology for his shameful and un-American disrespect for the troops.
Dennis - SGMM
The Republicans would then compel Harry Reid to pass a sense of the Senate resolution denouncing and rejecting Democrat McHenry.
If we dont pull out soon, we’re gunna get Iraq pregnant.
what the hell…no scale models in the sandbox? What kind of rightwing faux outrage IS this?
Dennis - SGMM
Why aren’t the wingers after McHenry?
Because shut up is why.
Oh come on now, the guy McHenry is talking about is a “phony soldier”, not a real soldier like David Petraeus or George W Bush.
I just called that fuckwads office and the two bit secretary told me that “it was a poor choice of words” and the person at the door was “a foreign security contractor.”
Everything about this post made me happy.
The Instapundit would kick his passive/aggressive BS into overdrive, linking every rambling yahoo on the intertrons who wants to proudly display their patriotism (500 different links to poorly written proclamations without the benefit of a shift key that “OUR TROOPS AIN’T JUST SECURITY GUARDS THEY ARE THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTESTEST).
Indeed. And of course, repeatedly demand that Obama denounce him.
So, our allies in the “Greatest War Evah on Terra” are no longer “alies” but two bit foreign security contractors. Now I get it.
This cracks me up, because I can guarentee you, at the next presser, when someone asks about how bad or how long we’ll be in a recession, Johnny Spokesliar will say, “no one is predicting nor declaring a recession”. With a straight face.
Regardless of who said it, this is bad news for Democrats. At least McHenry was wearing a flag lapel pin when he was speaking. The American people respect that.
There is no such thing as Cheetos stock and Mountain Dew Stock. Cheetos are made by Frito-Lay, which is a division of Pepsico, and Mountain Dew is also made by Pepsico. This proves you don’t know what you’re talking about, and discredits your whole analysis.
You liberals need to GET A BRAIN!
This is an example of the political equivalent of “I can call my mom a bitch, but you can’t.”
Because Republicans love the troops – because the military IS a family member of the Republicans” a Republican can call a soldier a “two-bit,” but Dems can’t.
Bojangles taters all over my keyboard
McHenry was probably just pissed that the security guard wouldn’t take a shower with him.
The Other Steve
In your heart you know he’s right.
This is why I have such a crush on you John!
OT: Awesomely Bad Military Patches (via)
No need to speculate about what they would do — they already did it. Not to a Democrat, but to a McClatchey reporter whom they deemed behaved rudely to a soldier in Iraq over the issue of showing credentials. And of course, Insty and Malkin link, demands the reporter be fired as un-American, etc.
Remarkably similar incidents, only the reporter had more justification.
I can’t wait to read McHenry’s war journals.
It’s funny because as all of this swirls around, I become more and more ashamed to think of myself of a democrat. They have no balls, choose the wrong fights and back down in the name of another terrorist attack, regardless of civil liberties. Terorrist for President! Oh wait, we already got that…
No, Mikey Kaus fellates goats.
Normally I just lurk, but I felt the neeed to set the record straight.
Whenever anyone says this:
I have to add LBJ’s 1964 campaign rejoinder (they even handed out buttons with Goldwater’s picture on them to make the point):
“In your guts, you know he’s nuts.”
Blog Post of the Year!
I don’t doubt that the right wing would be calling a red alert if McHenry was a Democrat. On the other hand, it would have been completely dumb and we would have been defending him. After all, if you watch the whole clip, it’s clear from the context he was poking fun at himself for being arrogant and having that attitude, not the security guard. The story ends when he finds out that there’d been a rocket attack that hit the gym he’d wanted to go working in, so in the end he was saying they’d been safeguarding him and even suggested they might have saved his life.
Actually, the really interesting thing about this story isn’t the two-bit security guard remark. The interesting thing is we’re over five years into this war, and in the safest most secure spot we’ve nailed down, the green zone, you can’t work out at the gym because the place gets shelled with rockets!
Oh, and we’re winning thanks to the surge.
So, Mchenry felt safe even under the watch of two-bit security? The surge works! *tears up* *waves desktop flag*
But seriously, folks. I know when I have to overnight in a war zone it just really pisses me off when I can’t get into the gym. That’s why when I travel I go right by the toppled dictator’s palace and pull me in to a nice Hampton Inn.
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
Wow – I knew there were rumors that McHenry was a homosexual but to have Rick Taylor come in and give him a virtual blowjob, well, I don’t know what to say.
I just had a vision of an Instapundit post from the future:
That’s not tearing up a flag – that’s tearing up my eyes – but the asterisks makey the bold here – not makey the asterisks – yay two-bit wordpress
“The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. As the landscape changed from brown to green, the army awakened, and began to tremble with eagerness at the noise of rumors. It cast its eyes upon the roads, which were growing from long troughs of liquid mud to proper thoroughfares. A river, amber-tinted in the shadow of its banks, purled at the army’s feet; and at night, when the stream had become of a sorrowful blackness, one could see across it the red, eyelike gleam of hostile camp-fires set in the low brows of distant hills.”
(h/t–Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage)
Caidence (fmr. Chris)
You’re also forgetting the current candidates.
Obama and Clinton would both be asked how undeserving our military is.
Clinton would be stupid enough to reply with a denial, granting the premise of the question. The media would have a field day with her admitting she might think the military is overrated. Bill Clinton would then scream at a random woman on the street that Hillary is unfairly abused by the media and all women are under-appreciative of Her.
Obama would say something along like the lines of “Fuck off”, thus denying the premise. The media would walk off the field, dejected. The Holy Right Wing Media would step in to analyze how Obama is cowardly, and how he must hate America for refusing to get verbally raped by the media.
McCain would be asked for the names of everybody that stiffed him more than a nickel after the war, and the media would so a 6-part documentary on each name on the list.
Don’t forget the part where he “misspoke” and said that someone died in the rocket attack. Whoopsie!
He’s SOOO brave!
Y think Yglesias ys gyvyng a shout out to your town, JC.
Wow, my SnarkOmeter went off the dial on this post. I bow to the master-John Cole. Hell hath no fury like a former Republican who discovers he has been played.
Thats why I love this blog!
Don’t you see that you are the same blogger that you were in 2002-05, just with a different tribal affiliation? I looked through some of your archives, from when you were a Steyn fanboy up to your Big Important second thoughts during Schiavo. You’re the same guy. Insufferably self-righteous. Obsessed with rhetorically needling and stomping on the bloggers and pundits on the other team. (Remember what you said about Ezra Klein during the neocon era of Balloon Juice?) Fascinated by petty disputes and spin. You’ve hardly changed at all, John Cole.
I remember that. The nutters began stalking him online. “Researching” and then posting his family history, academic history, employment history, where he lived, everything he ever wrote anywhere, and lots of helpful contact info for people unlucky enough to know him.
It was actually pretty frightening.
“I love the smell of napalm in the morning…..after a healthy workout, a hearty breakfast, and a glorious hummer from Lindsey,….”
This was in Iraq so O, Henry! was just a foreign legistlator. QED and shut up, that’s why.
Well whaddaya think we’re here for, the recipes?
That is some kinda profound observation, that John changed political persuasions but didn’t get a personality transplant. Also, Arianna Huffington still has that Zsa Zsa Gabor on Green Acres accent, shouldn’t she have gotten rid of that when she became a lib?
Fair enough, although I would argue I actually believed the things I was supporting when I was a Republican. I was one of the true believers. Right now, I am a registered Dem, but in large part as a means to end the current GOP. There is much in the Democratic agenda I simply do not buy into (the anti-Nafta rhetoric from both candidates during Ohio was particularly grating).
Additionally, I always tried to have a sense of fairness. There may have been times when I was awful and failed, but I did try.
But yes, I am a horrible person. I don’t know how you can stand to be forced to read this site.
Dennis - SGMM
Well, Colugo, you’ve certainly done a great job of proving that John Cole is, indeed John Cole – haven’t you, Colugo? Here’s a thought, Colugo, go start your own blog, Colugo, and show us all how it’s really done, Colugo. Take your time, Colugo, we’ll still be here, Colugo.
Caidence (fmr. Chris)
I suggest you create and maintain a blog where everything is level-headed: there’s no snark, no needling, no insult, no mockery. For all the blog avoids, it will also avoid traffic like the Plague.
The goal isn’t to be honorable. The goal is to direct the snark at the people that deserve it the most: the hypocritical.
These days, it’s good to mock the Right-Wing, because they are supremely hypocritical these days. Hillary Clinton isn’t doing too hot herself. You notice the last time this blog launched a scathing attack on Arlen Specter? How about Lindsey Graham?
Nim, ham hock of liberty
Oddly enough, wingnut pinhead Don Surber did not appreciate McHenry’s remark. He was also part of the reporter lynch mob, so at least he wins points for consistency.
McHenry has a long history of deplorably stupid, offensive, and rampantly dishonest statements. He’s one of the Crazy Aunts of NC politics. How his constituents could be as clueless as he is I don’t understand, but the dolts elected him and they’re now stuck with the batshit crazy knucklehead.
At least he’s not the rep from my district, although it is cold comfort when you realize that this nutter is actually in Congress and gets to propose or even vote on real laws and stuff that the rest of us have to live by.
Dennis - SGMM
Maybe they’re all cousins.
Good grief, look how nutso Virginia Foxx is, and then consider she had to defend herself in a Republican primary against a certified lunatic who called her a Hitlery wannabe. He implied that my representative was teh ghey because he didn’t have children (your wife’s hysterectomy tends to do that). Stay classy, Vernon!
Yep, even at his formerly wingnuttiest, John was one of the more reasonable people on the right, and always seemed more from the classic Goldwater Republican mode.
A lot of it is just the major shifts in the political climate, though. No one could have predicted that coming out against things like illegal domestic wiretapping, torture, and the suspension of habeas corpus would suddenly become radical, leftist ideas.
I always considered myself fairly liberal on social issues and generally conservative on fiscal issues (you know: crazy, kooky ideas like a balanced budget) but now I’m pretty firmly in the Democratic camp. I think this is becoming a pretty common occurrence now.
What do you think it would have been like if 9/11 had happened (just grant it for a second) under President Gore?
How long would it have taken for the pitchforks and torches mob to assemble in front of the White House to demand the lynch mob justice of the President who allowed the largest ever foreign attack on the domestic U.S. soil since the War of 1812?
these trolls are teh suck
Dennis - SGMM
Hell, nowadays, Zombie Dick Nixon would be called upon to prove his conservative cred. Zombie Spiggy Agnew not so much.
John, this is a brilliant post. Absolutely brilliant. Thanks. I agree with what someone said above, this gets my vote for post of the year.
Jen- we must have the same CongressCritter. Did you ever get that Vernon Jordan flier accusing Miller of gayness because he quoted Kos quoting a gay escort?
Curious thing is, that gay escort that Miller cited Kos quoting was non other than that Pultzer-nominated journalist, Jeff Gannon.
I about did a spit take when I read that flier.
So, let’s get this straight. This is a job that a US Soldier might be required to do, and because he does it, he’s worthy of respect, and if he isn’t treated respectfully it’s outrage-worthy news. But instead of a soldier doing the job this particular time, somebody other than a soldier was doing it instead, and because he wasn’t a soldier, he wasn’t worthy of being treated respectfully and when he wasn’t, that isn’t news at all.
The job is unimportant. The person is irrelevant. The uniform is all that matters.
Dennis - SGMM
jenniebee, you don’t seem to understand that the filthy WOG barred the way of a white man. Sheesh!
Another Sensible Centrist(tM) offended by everything and nothing at the same time.
Now that his ire is directly equally at all sides, I prefer the presently sufferably self-righteous John Cole to the previously “insufferably self-righteous” John Cole. The one-legged rock-slinging and the Kool-Aid moustaches were just unpleasantly farcical (not least for being intellectually dishonest, which see exemplar web site Instapundit) and a complete waste of a true vituperative talent.
John Cole in stratospheric dudgeon against I-care-not-whom can be a redemptive moment in an otherwise lost day.
I gots the Brad Miller, who coulda been caught in bed with a dead girl, a live boy, and assorted livestock and still successfully defended against Vernon Robinson.
I didn’t get the flyer, but I do remember the ads with the Twilight Zone music about how Brad Miller wants to make America into a giant fiesta for illegal immigrants and homosexuals. If you think I’m paraphrasing there, think again.
Did you ever actually read Balloon Juice in the past? We’re talking about someone who thought the Swift Boat Veteran’s attacks were a model of fairness and accuracy.
Just Some Fuckhead
I can’t compete with Exotic Monkey Guy’s analysis because I’m drunk most of the time but you seem different these days, John. Less inclined to be reflexively wrong with your first impulse.
Sorry, the sentence in bold should have been outside the blockquote.
Criticism not properly formatted is criticism ignored.
The Improper HtML Argument Nullification Rule?
That’s the one.
Dennis - SGMM
You guys have, like, politics and stuff? Here in Sunny California both parties have colluded together to Gerrymander the state into a patchwork of safe districts. Incumbency is gold. Barring serious demographic changes in a district the high cost of running here means that whoever holds the seat – or his or her designated successor – keeps the seat.
I know the checkpoint in question between the pool and the gym in the palace compound, and it is manned by Peruvians and other South Americans under contract to Triple Canopy, Inc., which has a contract with the Dept. of State.
Still, it’s not nice to abuse contract guards out in the open for hours of the day while the Green Zone is getting rocketed.
I think they get something like $2K per month.
Hence why California has the craziest elected officials in either major party.
how the fuck do you claim the reporter had more justification? Not only that, the reporter did it to a fucking US SOLDIER and the congressman did it to, well, a fucking 2 bit security guard, just like he said. Sure, that makes him an asshole, but it doesn’t make him a traitor or someone who demeans the US military just trying to do its job. The reporter was trying to get over a security checkpoint. The Congressman was trying to get into a gym. Big difference.
The Other Steve
John Cole is teh suck!
That is just patently false. I went out of my way to proclaim that Kerry should be considered a war hero (even defended him against Clark when Clark shit on him for being a junior officer), I protested the bullshit purple heart band-aids at the RNC, and about as far as I would go was to address some of the inconsistencies in their statements. I was never supportive of the Swiftboat BS. All I ever said was that, as veterans, I respect their right to say their piece. I also thought the Democratic response to it was total bullshit- rather than face things head on, they tried to prevent the commercials from being shown, and did a bunch of lawyering up. The other thing that I remember really honking me off was that the Democrats kept using Kerry’s military service as a centerpiece for his campaign, but then would accuse you of a hate crime if you looked into it. That was a tactical error on their part.
This post is about as wingnutty as I got (and it is pretty bad, but I still never embraced the Swift Vets and rejected questioning Kerry’s patriotism), and even then I had the good sense to think Armando was an ass.
I will own up to my shit, and there was a lot of really bad, bad stuff out there. Hell, the change in perspective has me often wondering WTF I was thinking when I read back at my defenses (my God I was a partisan Republican), so I actually like it when people come in here and write things like Colugo did. I don’t want to lose perspective like that again.
But even at my wingnuttiest, I never tried to close a blockquote with a bold (and I fixed yours).
not really politics, more like theater. Miller crushed Robinson like a rancid little nut – which he is.
Drinks are on me!
Get off your high horse, moonbat. Not being a soldier had nothing to do with it.
He wasn’t worthy of being treated respectfully because he was a dirty foreigner who didn’t scrape and grovel in the august presence of American nobility. Those People should remember their place, and when they don’t, it’s our patriotic duty to remind them.
American soldier in Iraq = worthy of respect
Non-US security guy in Iraq helping protect Americans = wog
You’re just saying that because that Moran guy is comping you a case of Absolut.
Dennis - SGMM
Yep, there is no incentive to moderation or reasonableness here. In fact, there’s actually a disincentive because the only way to get knocked off is when someone who’s even more of a loony (With more money) than you are mounts a challenge. It’s why our state legislature in near-eternal gridlock. There was some hope that term-limiting our legislators would fix things but leaving the same districts in place meant that all we get is new legislators with the same agendas as the old ones.
He takes this back by the end of the day. He’ll realize McHenry was “misquoted”, and then blame the liberal media for all the hysteria.
The Other Steve
Interesting that John Mccain’s stint as a POW is the centerpiece of his campaign, and $20 says nobody is allowed to question his service.
Dennis - SGMM
Anyone who comps me a case of vodka ain’t a Moran – he’s my brother.
The Other Steve
I thought a guard standing in front of a door asking for your id was considered a security checkpoint.
Why else would you have the guard there?
The Other Steve
Did you know John McCain was misquoted when he said he’d be comfortable staying in Iraq 100 years?
But Al Gore wasn’t when he supposedly invented the internet.
There are lots more posts from that time,I just did a quick search. I remember them clearly because I usually enjoyed your posts even though I mostly disagreed with them, and your SBVT posts really ticked me off.
It was simply a really emphatic block quote.
And I like it that the consensus at Maquire’s place seems to be that if the guy was a contractor, fuck ’em. Cuz contractors aren’t patriotic like soldiers, just mercenary bastards. This from war supporters? Me no unnerstan deez peeps.
and now you are ???what???
i read this site often and mostly enjoy it, especially when posters/commenters INFORM me. the commenters figure large in both my enjoyment and distress.
although it’s a great descriptor of JC’s full on rant mode,
is not sufficient (and may not even be necessary). rants (and snark) eventually get old…at least for me. maybe i just have a low tolerance for hearing the same joke over and over and over. when DougJ was perfecting his shtick (years ago, really), i had to stop reading. it just seemed perverse.
sometimes the issues provoking the rants (and the snark) are overwhelmed by the rhetoric/jokiness. we spend so much time being outraged, spoofing outrage, mocking outrage. these days i often cannot figure out what position someone is holding….are they being sarcastic or hyperbolic or ignornant or incoherent? what is the fucking world coming to if one cannot even determine incoherence?
/MY rant off
You are killing me by not using links, oregony. I have to open a new window and do searches for strings of words.
In your first blockquote, I am laughing at Kevin Drum asserting that everything turned out to be true about Bush/Awol, while the reverse happened with the Bush case. Additionally, I still think Bush is a shtty president, but the AWOL crap was just that. If someone wanted to look at my military record in the Guard, they would find gaps in service and people could launch the same attacks against me.
In your second blockquote, you quote this:
You neglect to note that the entire post is of me stating that John O’Neill, one of the swift boaters, is full of shit and losing credibility.
As to the final one, it is from this post.
My failure back in those days was to not realize the methodology used to debase the debate. I got distracted by the volume of crap they threw out, and would lose the forest chasing the trees. I still think that even under scruitny, I can honestly assert that I never bought into the swiftboating crap. I made a good faith effort to interpret it, and where I made my mistake was allowing them to get me tangled up in extraneous bullshit. Additionally, I flat out rejected their questioning whether or not he was a war hero.
My big mistake was taking their claims seriously at all. Once I started to take them seriously, it was an easy road to try to be “fair” and agree that some of the swiftboat claims were true.
I tried reading John’s post, but then I realized they were formatting errors and I felt obligated to ignore it until are fixed.
Then I noticed a grammatical error in my own post and wept bitterly to myself.
Dennis - SGMM
You blog with the commenters you have – not the commenters you wish you had. Which, if I understood your post correctly, pretty much encapsulates everything you find objectionable about the place. :)
If an absence of formatting, spelling, and grammatical errors is what you require before reading posts, you really are at the wrong place.
And that is not even going into the errors of logic and reason and the thorough displays of stupidity.
Let’s play, “Imagine if Think Progress actually posted a truthful and accurate story!”
Nope, can’t imagine it.
Dennis - SGMM
Way to go, John. Just attack my whole raison d’etre. It’s okay, no, really.
[Dennis tries in vain to remember his old login at Eschaton]
A quick check of the links shows that Think Progress updated the Blackwater fever story in line with new information. If they were real men, they would never admit to being wrong!
If the trolls were unionized and got benefits, do you think the quality of their work would at least improve to the point that their feeble, unfunny attempts at snark would at least be directed at the blog on which it is posted?
Snark, spoof and people who say “fuck” a lot – what’s not to like? I can get dry, earnest commentary at dozens of other lefty blogs.
And it is about go get a whole lot dumber in here with a Protein Wisdom link. Lambchop might even stop by.
As noted by, anong others, over at Protein Wisdom:
They also get in a pretty good knock on John.
As his story about the “two-bit security guard” [who was in fact a security guard and not a soldier] unfolds we learn that McHenry was denied entrance to the gym and escorted back to his room. Shortly thereafter, the gym was hit in a rocket attack. McHenry then segues to a bit about the bravery of the people serving in Iraq and the YouTube clip stops. So, the hypothesis – McHenry went on to explain that this “two bit security guard” did his job and saved McHenry’s life, from which Mchenry took an important lesson.
Neo, is it too much to ask for you to read the comments? See here. We have watched the video. Rick has discussed this already.
None of that changes how the right wing bloggers would have reacted if the roles were reversed. Period.
First of all, Think Progress did issue an update (with their sources) as well as quoting Ed Morrisey:
“Does this really make it any better? After all, the contractors risk their lives as well, albeit for better compensation.”
Is Karl over at Protein Stupid going to unleash on Hot Air Ed?
Nope. Because of the very double standard that John Cole mentioned.
Isn’t McHenry living in DC with a male friend, with whom he co-owns the home, and also implicated in some gay male porn actor’s death? Hypocrisy runs deep with this boy.
Ok – so as far as I can tell, we’re taking the word of a McHenry office hack that this was a contractor. Lord knows- they’d never lie!
Sorry – I don’t mean to distract from John’s main point, which is right on the money.
But you don’t know if it’s a race thing either – it just said that the guy was with a private security company, so this could be a Belgian merc or a Bubba from ‘Bama on Blackwater’s payroll as easily as it could be anybody else (besides, would anybody have asked what race the soldier was before frothing about it?)
It’s the solidity of the symbolic association that strikes me. The uniform = “there to protect us,” no matter what the uniform’s actually been sent there to do, or whether it’s actually protecting anybody at the time (like the commenter on the journalist’s blog who said that the journalist ought to have been more grateful to the soldier who was refusing him access to the green zone and wanted to send him out to be a target on the street because that soldier was protecting the journalist’s life. Well, no he wasn’t – he was showing a callous indifference to that journalist’s life, so what exactly was he doing that deserved the kind of fawning approbation that they think was due to him?) That’s why they get so incoherent about military misconduct – it’s: “the person did that, not the Uniform how dare you insinuate that the Uniform would do something bad by stating that the person in it did those things?”
Grand Moff Texan
The guard in question was not a soldier, but instead was what liberals like to refer to as a “hired killer,” or as the rest of us call them, a security contractor.
In which case, he almost certainly was NOT “two-bit.”
Make. Up. Your. Minds.
Geez, John, you’re taking a beating today. I never read this blog prior to the “conversion,” but you never seem all that partisan to me. Mainly just practical and realistic.
I may be wrong. The real partisans can correct me if they want to.
“Besides, don’t you all have ex-girlfriends to publicly trash”
To have ex-girlfriends would require having had girlfriends, no?
hmm, the topic is “what do you think would have happened”. thus, we are invited to wonder about things that might happen, but have not actually happened.
i suggest revising your statement thusly.
because what you originally wrote is, dare i say, incoherent.
I always hated this part of the debate because neither side’s narrative is entirely accurate.
1. IIRC, Kerry was wounded by shrapnel from a grenade that he either threw or shot from a G-launcher. This is, in a very legitimate manner of speaking, a “self-inflicted wound”. It is also a perfectly legitimate purple heart, since the wound happened in the course of combat against an enemy force. The Republicans were sadly able to successfully use this term to imply “intentionally self-inflicted” which was pure slander but I dont think Prof. Cole ever meant to imply that.
2. It might piss off some people but, ignoring the extreme rightwing slander, Kerry actions both during the war and after the war appear to paint a portrait of someone who always had an eye on becoming a politician. I personally do believe this and I also believe it influenced the way he put in for medals for some wounds and actions that most soldiers without political ambition would not have put in for and the way he quickly took a high-profile spot in the anti-war movement after he came home and saw which way the political wind was blowing. These are the reasons that a lot of vets I know consider him the military equivalent of a “carpet-bagger” who served a few tours as a road to office rather than purely out of a desire to serve in the Navy.
OT but sure to be a hot topic soon:
I don’t begrudge these people their right to earn a living, but dayuum!
OK, this is weird. When I went to the HotAir site, the PC speakers began producing this shrieking, screaming sound. It was awful.
Then when I went over to ProteinWisdom, all I heard out of the speakers was this faint slapping or smacking sound.
Is this normal?
Heh, oh, you ain’t paraphrasing. I recall the signs around the Beltline stating “Vernon Jordon, Secure Our Borders” As if, say, there wasn’t 1.478 x 10^5676578425 other slightly more pressing (some might choose the word ‘real’) concerns.
Apparently someone in my neighborhood ‘hosted’ a cookout for him that I was invited to via flier. I would have loved to attended to ask him some frank questions had I not been out of town that weekend.
Although, something tells me I might have been shot.
Oh, the irony of having a carpetbagger politician from another part of the state tell his ‘constituency’ there is a problem with people from somewhere else.
Wow, a worshiper of Glennzilla calling someone long-winded.
The Sanity Inspector
The churlishness caused by the arrogance of power crosses political lines. All of this back & forth rightfully should be directed at McHenry.
Grand Moff Texan
Wow, a worshiper of Glennzilla calling someone long-winded.
There’s a difference between long-winded and thorough.
Grand Moff Texan
the topic is “what do you think would have happened”.
Except that JC used to be one of them, so I figure he knows how they operate.
Now, if somebody can determine that this “two-bit” contractor worked for Haliburton, my day will be compelete.
What kind of frank questions do you ask at a cookout?
Just kidding. Brad Miller’s my Rep, and while I can’t say that I’ve noticed much about him either way, he’s no McHenry.
Blackwater would be funnier, but someone upthread already told you who they work for- triple Canopy.
Grand Moff Texan
Now, if somebody can determine that this “two-bit” contractor worked for Haliburton, my day will be compelete.
Seeing as how McHenry wasn’t raped, I think you’re going to be disappointed.
Because the reporter didn’t get snarky with the soldier until the soldier started to mock the name of the company he worked for and was making unreasonable demands that turned out to be unnecessary. Yes, the reporter should have been nicer, but so should the soldier. What sane people would conclude the story amounted to was one of how in a stressful situation people don’t always display perfect manners.
I have no idea why the wingnuttosphere went ballistic & decided that this utterly trivial incident deserved to get the reporter fired, and probably scalped as well. I could speculate for you if you like, though.
Grand Moff Texan
I have no idea why the wingnuttosphere went ballistic & decided that this utterly trivial incident deserved to get the reporter fired
Because they have a keyboard shortcut for that?
Dennis - SGMM
FWIW: the 40mm grenades of the time armed themselves three to five meters from the muzzle. The kill radius was closer to twelve meters. The problem was that the detonators were so sensitive that it was a really bad idea to fire one off in heavy rain. Just smacking a good sized raindrop was enough to detonate the grenade way closer than you’d want.
Ballpark or Nathans? With mustard or relish?
Whew, this thing just gets crazier and crazier.
John, I have to wonder why you still have Maguire’s festival of lies on your blogroll. His is one of the most inherently dishonest blogs out there, and the comments section is just plain disgusting.
Oh, no, John, how will you recover from losing this “contract”. I think a quick conversion to McCainism is necessary to keep you on the Pajamas gracy train.
I really give you a LOT of credit for leaving your archives up, John. I sure wouldn’t be brave enough to make my past pronouncements available for inspection.
As to the comments you made about the Swift Boaters back in 2004, if you ever have any doubts that most of those questions have been very nearly completely answered in the meantime*, check out these links, which for some reason I can’t format:
(contains links to original sources)
(excellent site put together by a Yale grad student, also has links to original sources)
(more general debunking)
*For instance, Kerry didn’t lie about “Christmas in Cambodia,” the Navy has explained why there are multiple Silver Star citations, the Silver Star with “V” device is a false issue, and he did earn the VN campaign stars.
Who the hell is Martin?
And considering PJ Media is an advertising portal, all they should care about is pageviews.
Okay, at the risk of turning this into a Swift Boat thread, I’d like to respond to a couple of your points.
1. There is only one person who claims to have seen Kerry use a grenade launcher – William Schachte, who has not a shred of proof that he was even there. The other eyewitnesses, Runyon, Zaladonis, and Kerry, all insist that (a) Schachte was not there, and (2) Kerry did not fire a grenade launcher.
On the other hand, Kerry had always said he didn’t know where the shrapnel came from, but as you note, a “friendly fire” wound received while trying to inflict damage on the enemy or enemy property qualifies one for a Purple Heart.
2. Kerry may have been politically ambitious, but he didn’t “put himself in for medals,” nor could he have. He didn’t even know he’d been recommended for a Silver Star, and by the way, not a single eyewitness disputes him deserving it. Jim Rassman and Del Sandusky recommended him for the Bronze Star. The only medal that really has any question about Kerry’s involvement – according to the SBVT only – is his first Purple Heart, and the fact is the wound met the criteria.
Saying the rightwing blogosphere would react differently if the same thing had been said by a Democrat is that horrible?
You might be missing the point. The whole “he wasn’t really a soldier” thing also kind of implies not only that “their guy” didn’t bash the troops, but that a Democrat who did the same thing also wouldn’t have bashed the troops and therefore would have been spared their rage.
The funny thing is that they are blind enough to think that they would have actually bothered to investigate the truth if it was a Democrat instead of jumping in feet-first, context be damned.
John Cole: “If a Democrat had said anything similar
Ok – I know less about the dispute over authenticity than you. But as you noted my point was that even if it was his own grenade he still qualifies for a purple heart. It doesn’t much matter though when it comes to perception. Right or wrong the media narrative set the tone.
Well, the medias line was that he had and I knew people who believed it and thought it reflected badly on Kerry.
Don;t underestimate the Winter Soldier Investigation though. EVERY SINGLE VET I know,old enough to have lived through the Vietnam war, brought that up as something they still held against Kerry. They thought it, and he, were painting the entire military with the misdeeds of a minority and they thought it was a cheap shot. Don’t explain to me why it’s wrong/foolish – I’m just reporting what I saw.
I tried hard to talk my family, including several current and former officers, to vote for Kerry in ’04 but it was mostly futile. They still held grudges and it was precisely over these two things (though predominantly his post-service work with the anti-war forces)
Well, it looks to me (granted, I’ve read a lot of Dennis the Peasant on the subject) like they’re a money-losing, no business plan house of right-wing hacks and David Corn. A $7 million dollar boondoggle that will eventually implode under the terrible burden of capitalism. But didn’t Pam Atlas have a falling out with them because they weren’t crazy enough for her tastes? I guess they get some credit.
He did make a post on this subject.
Zuzu, you’ve made your point—John was a bad, bad boy. John has said so himself, a couple of times. You can stop trolling the Balloon Juice archives now.
The Comish (sic)
You’re missing the entire point of the story. The “two-bit security guard” might have saved his life. The point of calling him a “two-bit security guard” was to draw attention to his indignant, ignorant reaction when he was initially turned away. The whole point of the story is that he was dumb and wrong to question the soldier/contractor, who knew more than he did and was just trying to protect him. It’s a story about humility.
He doesn’t actually think the soldier/contractor is a “two-bit security guard.” He thinks he saved his life.
@Jen @John Cole, apologies for not being able to stick around to hear the troll insults be tossed about. But I had to get to some meetings, and, well, traffic was a bitch.
Regardless, Jen, I understood to whom I was directing my comment. If you would click through John’s link in the first line of this post, you might notice that the line I parodied is the title of Steve’s post. I posted it here precisely because of John’s link and because of my respect for John and this blog – although I doubt that respect is reciprocated due to my remaining an evil Republican and all [smiley emoticon deleted].
Further, I’m surprised that no one (forgive me if I misread the comments) here appears to care that 3 times in the past week or so, TP has highlighted and promoted a “too good to be true” expose on some particularly juicy GOP target, only to quickly be shown that said posting was indeed too good to be true. The egg on their face does little for their own credibility and likely reflects poorly on all those who approvingly link to such posts.
I expect better from the right side of the blogosphere (where frequently I am also disappointed by journalistic failings and overheated bloviations) primarily because it’s (a) the right way to act and (b) because acting foolishly only causes you (and for better or worse, your cause) to look foolish).
I know that calm reasoning and caution are not hallmarks of the blogosphere, but it might serve both sides not to let their partisan zeal get in the way of the facts. I’ll try not to submit and run this time, Jen, but will need to get to other activities in a bit. Hope we can chat again.
Humility may be a virtue we can’t afford when we’re at war. Though I have always admired McHenry for his humility.
What was the third one- McCain plagiarism and this one they clearly blew, but I don’t remember the third.
As far as I am concerned, all I was doing with this post was respond to benen’s hypothetical. Hell, I don’t think this post was up more than an hour before I threw up the first two updates, and I know for a fact less than two before it was clear the guy was not a soldier.
The reaction from Karl and others is pretty fucking hysterical. It is like they don’t even remember the right-wing distortion of Dick Durbin’s remarks and the hundreds of other examples of precisely what I am talking about.
And I am the hack, according to them. Too funny.
Since I enabled the latest update in the John Cole-Karl spat, let me quote myself from the Protein Wisdom thread:
“Between this and the linked Balloon Juice thread, this tempest in a piss pot shows just how ridiculously meta the blogosphere has gotten.”
“Or do both opposing camps prattle about trivialities using formulaic displays of righteous outrage and clumsy parody?”
Indignation (JC) about indignation (K) about indignation (JC) about hypothetical indignation. Priceless.
You are correct, John. Apologies to TP. It was FireDogLake that had the Lieberman “Al Qaeda IN Iran” mis-step. I confused the two in my earlier comment.
I disagree, in part, with your take agreeing to Steve’s point that rightwingers would jump all over this. I think that given the same facts (i.e., no ID of guard), some would jump all over a Dem for that behavior. Those also happen to be the blogs I both read less of and with a more skeptical eye. I cringe when bloggers on my side appear so credulous just to play gotcha. My advice: read twice take a breath and apply the WTF test. If seems too good and too wild, check it further.
Btw, I should note that, regardless of the guard’s status and military service, McHenry sounds like an ass. However, that would not appear to separate him much from about 534 of his preening, self-important congressional colleagues (of either party) and countless others in their employee and in the exec branch.
libarbarian, I agree that with most vets the perception of Kerry trumped the reality. Including the perception that he trashed all veterans at his Senate committee appearance (he didn’t).
It was a perception that the GOP was happy to promote, including through such well-funded efforts as the Swift Boaters.
Thanks Josefina, but I actually was responding to excerpts that were posted on this thread, and referenced by John himself, along with a denunciation of the claims.
That is, John denounced the claims at the same time he referenced the old post.
I fail to see where I’ve been trolling anything, or trying to discredit John personally.
Here’s another comment from one of the blogs, this one with quite a compliment for Mr. Cole:
Just for yucks, relive the spectacle of Mchenry getting schooled by Barney Franks…
…and notice that Mchenry was doing the “American Samoa” bidding of Abramoff in this clip…
“Self Inflicted Wound”.
This part of the Kerry controversy really, really disgusts me.
FWIW Back in the ‘Nam, “Self inflicted wound” MEANT ONLY ONE THING: YOU DELIBERATELY DID IT TO YOURSELF.
/sorry, this makes me angry.
Also- yeah- John Kerry volunteered for the Navy to avoid being drafted into the army. And I believe he joined the swiftboats because it seemed like a hell of a lot more fun to jet around Nam as the commander on a big ass power boat rather then being a junior officer on some tin can (destroyer).
And he clearly wasn’t career track Navy.
So what. He served and he served honorably.
And when the fit hit the shan and he found himself and his unit in it, he continued being a first rate officer and acquitted himself as well as could be expected. Just like so many others in a long tradition of American citizen-soldiers. Thats what matters.
People forget that:
1. Every guy in Kerry’s unit at the time had volunteered thinking they’d be in some big ass powerboat offshore. They all did their duty when the orders changed, just as Kerry did.
2. Kerry’s second choice of billet was PBR duty, which was always on the rivers, and never considered safe duty.
Request for Swiftboat Duty
You’re missing the entire point of the story. […] The point of calling him a “two-bit security guard” was to draw attention to his [own] indignant, ignorant reaction when he was initially turned away. The whole point of the story is that he was dumb and wrong to question the soldier/contractor, who knew more than he did and was just trying to protect him. It’s a story about humility.
This is a believable interpretation — and entirely beside the point. John Cole’s single, fundamental point in this post was that if Rep. McHenry had been a Democrat, he would never have been given an opportunity to defend or clarify his statement. He would have been used as today’s sacrificial “LIBRUL”, slandered and dragged about… until the next cause celebre came along. The ultra-rightist bloggers’ ready contempt for the status of this contract guard makes that all too clear. (What if the guy is actually some former SEAL working for Triple Canopy — and not a lowly “Russki” Chechnyan campaign veteran — they’d never admit to embarrassment, even then!)
John’s contempt for his erstwhile fellows seems grounded in his rage at their two-faced self-aggrandizement. Which is why I read him.
I’m one of Glennzilla’s minions, BTW. It’s a slow night over there.
Translated into English for BJ newcomers.
John Cole is just being silly. The comment by McHenry was mean both to be self-deprecating and a kick to the pants of those who denigrate what these contractors do.
Cole once again makes a fool of himself.
Hmmm what happened to the rest of my post?
which was; Too bad that our current administration was not willing to make themselves a part of that long tradition while quite willing to see that many young americans continue to be a part of that long tradition,
Wow. I haven’t even been posting, and Cole STILL manages to take a shot at me.
WingNet? Mountain Dew and Cheetos? Jesus, Cole. Your material is about as original any of your thought.
Seriously, dude. I’m not the one doctors stuffed on a recumbent bike. It’s getting warm out. Go for a fucking walk or something.
And please. See if you can’t quit me.
I expect five-year-olds to whine about what somebody else did to them as a way to justify why they’re doing something wrong. That’s normal behavior for a five-year-old. I don’t expect it from adults.
The political left in general gets itself into high dudgeon every time any conservative says a single word that might, by a little dishonest twisting, be made to sound uncomplimentary toward US troops. Why? Because the left has been wholeheartedly supporting the US’ military and political enemies for at least 70 years, counting from Walter Duranty’s whitewash of Stalin’s show trials and continuing through the false accusations against US soldiers in Iraq. The attempt at moral equivalence would be lame on its face, but when it’s understood that what’s being attempted is nothing more cogent than a five-year-old’s whining that “She did it too!” it becomes truly pathetic.
When are you folks going to grow up enough to feel even a little bit of shame about acting like spoil infants?
Invoking your psychic skills to tell us what would have happened if this was uttered by a Democrat, why not tell us if the inevitable piling on of the Democrat would be warranted?
Are you saying that McHenry was wrong? Or is the entire point of the post that you think it was right but if a Dem said it, they would be unfairly attacked?
It sounds like to me that McHenry made an idiotic statement (or poorly worded attempt at self deprecation) and that has nothing to do with his party affiliation.
or there will be cock slaps all around!
I made the mistake of clicking on JefG’s link to PW.
Thread seemed to revolve around his Mini-Me’s complaints of not being appreciated for all his hard work, including bringing in tons of hits by flagging John Cole…then some pats on the back by Dear Leader for bringing in the “heavy hitters.” Yes, he used the term “heavy hitters.”
“Even if the “two bit security guard” turns out to be an actual “two bit security guard,” if a Democrat uttered it, the outcome would be the same. The right-wing outrage machine would keep on a’churning, and instead of asking why Democrats hate the troops they would ask why Democrats hate Americans over there protecting us.”
So, “they” are too stubborn to change their tune when the facts change. Yet that’s just what you’re doing. There’s no difference.
Pearls, meet swine. I’m outa here.
Man, Cole, Goldstein sure showed you. Recumbent bike? Is there a funnier phrase? Goldstein is just a comedic genius!
I mean, John said things were about to get stupid after he linked to Protein Wisdom. Instead, it was a supernova of stupidity as Goldstein takes time to wipe the baby oil off his scrawny frame, pull himself away from the homo-erotic, oh-so-masculine “catch-and-release” martial arts (or some such bullshit. Goldstein, if you want to learn a martial art, go to a recruiting station instead of a youtube channel), and just make an ass out of himself.
The reverence those numbnuts send his way is something to behold. He holds more sway with them now that he doesn’t write!
Hold on, maybe they are so clever they are figure rhetorically fellating him in his absence might keep him away. Just brilliant on his part. Collins racism and Karl’s meandering poll watches are far more exciting than another Goldstein post on intentionalism (or some other dreary nonsense).
After all, for Jeff being rhetorically fellated by “JD” must be as satisfying as wrestling some half-dressed dude, right?
Still, recumbent bike is just so funny.
The attempt at moral equivalence would be lame on its face, but when it’s understood that what’s being attempted is nothing more cogent than a five-year-old’s whining that “She did it too!” it becomes truly pathetic.
Because RighteousBob would never stoop to making the “Clinton did it TOOOOOOOOOOO!” argument.
Yes indeed. Bob has grown from the infant to the toddler stage.