tippecanoe and tyler too

1/30/06

I’m sorry, but I’m finding the hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing over Hamas’ huge victory in the Palestinian elections to be largely flatulent. Certainly a group that wants to overthrow Israel should be shamed beyond recognition, but here’s the thing about elections: no matter how much you hate who wins, you gotta play with the hand you’re dealt.

The Bush Administration got its panties in a wad when sections of Pakistan also voted in hard-line America-haters in 2003, but the Brits who oversaw the elections shrugged, “It was a fair election, all the votes were counted, and the victor took office. Sounds like ‘democracy’ to us.”

My feeling is that Hamas will continue to shout out a few “Israel Sucks” favorites to keep it Old Skool, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, they’re going to quietly take back everything they said about their neighbors, and things will progress fine.

Why? Because if you believe democracy works, as I do (and as Bush Co. say they do), that kind of extremism goes out the window pretty fucking fast. Yes, the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, but they weren’t a democracy. There are only two countries with a “democracy” run by tyrant thugs, and one of them is Italy.

If you want to see someone drop all plans to blow themselves up, give them a country to run. Hamas will be up to their elbows in people wanting parking passes, school bus crossings, weird trade agreements with Chad (the country), and their drycleaning. They will find their old notebooks from high school with “I HATE ISRAEL” written on the binder and wonder how they ever had the time.

Terrorism is the natural byproduct of people who have no voice and have resorted to nihilism. When you let a would-be terrorist vote, they usually stop being a terrorist. No matter how much a democracy may hate America (like the localities in Pakistan certainly do), the mere fact that THEIR VOTE WAS HEARD will keep them from actually doing anything about it.

Again, the fine print on the Hamas brochure has always been sickening. But America wanted there to be democracy in the Middle East, and now America can suck it up. They may think Palestine accidentally elected a racist, violent, corrupt government with a lust for blood, but they’ll just have to learn to live with it. God knows us liberals have.

0 thoughts on “tippecanoe and tyler too

  1. greg from winston dorm's roommate

    I went to NC public schools all the way through college, so I admit I am not the sharpest geography knife in the drawer. But, can someone please tell me what country Ian is talking about. I just looked at a map and I do not see it anywhere.
    Ian is actually wrong about the USA’s reaction to the election. The administration has applauded the elections and has not said the elections were corrupt. But, they have also said that the USA is not going to keep sending money over there. To me, it is almost akin to a freedom of speech issue — they can elect who they want and we can spend our money where we want. What is the problem with that?
    As for Ian’s last sentence where he spouts his usual diatribe about the racist, violent, evil Bushies, give it a rest. Such vitriol (good word, Greg, right?) is silly. I used to get my panties in a wad and want to debate folks who used such langauge. But, now I just feel sorry for them. Question for liberals:
    Do any of you think that the use of such insults wins any elections? I mean, really? You and I both know the country is fairly evenly divided between red and blue states and there is a small minority that is “undecided.” In the last few elections, the Roves of the world have pulled the undecideds into the Republican camp. Do any of you liberals really think that a truly undecided voter is going to be pulled to the liberal camp when the loudest voices of the liberal camp are screaming such things? In all honesty, I just don’t understand your tactics. Do you really want to win a national election or are you happy being a petulant gadfly?
    Although I do not want your side to a national election, I welcome your ideas. Hell, why else (except good Dook-bashing) would I read this site daily? But, I want a liberal to explain how they would have addressed particular problems they currently see. That is how they are ever going to win. Show me another option. Like it or not, that is precisely how the Republicans took Congress in 1994 — with their so-called Contract With America.
    Again, I love this site, but I wish the anger was mre often directed at Dook and constructive thought was more often directed at the nation’s problems.
    You certainly would attract more flies with honey than the vinegar.

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  2. kent

    Greg, sometimes you have to say what you mean. It doesn’t take more than a sip of the Kool-aid to justify “racist, violent, corrupt government with a lust for blood.” That might not be what I’d say at my keynote at the Democratic National Convention, but that’s not where we are — Ian is telling the truth as he sees it.
    And there’s plenty of nasty language on the conservative side of the equation. Ted “dine ’em, dick ’em, and drown ’em” Kennedy, cruel “Hilary is a Lesbian” jokes, all the pro-life bloody fetus posters and screeching demonstrators, Ann Coulter, Michael Medved, Oliver North, Rush Limbaugh, etc etc etc.
    Why do you demand manners of the left that those on the right do not feel bound by? Why does someone saying what they mean offend you so much?
    For that matter, why don’t you tell us all exactly how well Bush has prosecuted the war on terrorism, how well he planned for the aftermath of the Iraq war, how he’s brought decency and conviction back to Washington, how he’s balanced the budget, educated our children, saved our environment, made us respected around the world, fixed Medicare, and saved Social Security.
    A little name calling might be rude, but starting a war of choice on false pretenses, squandering billions of dollars and thousands of lives, only to be mired in a chaotic, dangerous mess? That, in my opinion, is pretty fucking bloody rude.

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  3. Kevin from Philadelphia

    Chad would be an African nation sandwhiched west of the Sudan and east of Niger, directly south of Libya. I realize not many Americans care much about what goes on in Africa, but it is a fairly improtant continent, and we should be working on courting flowering democracies there instead of invading random bits of the middle east, but I digress . . . .
    As for Bu$hCo and there reaction to the Palestinian elections, it is important to look at recent elections in other nations (South America in particular) where candidates aren’t running against eachother’s positions, but against the new US imperialism. It is a sad state when a country votesd for the candidate who MOST hates our current leadership. Can you see, maybe, just a little bit, why those of us who care about being a part of the global community hate what these miserable bastards have done not only to our own country, but how there scare tactics have turned well over half of the world against us?

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  4. Kevin from Philadelphia

    *taht should be “their”, not “there” after Bu$hCo., and Kent: “Hear Hear!!!!” – thanks mom.

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  5. greg from winston dorm's roommate

    Perhaps I did not make myself clear. I was not necessarily addressing (or disagreeing) with some of Ian’s points. However, I think that the only way things are going to change is if the Democrats can win the White House. Bill Clinton did not win the White House two times by demonizing those rascally Republicans. The Democrat in 2008 will not win if his/her main position is that Republicans suck. The Democrat must come up with an alternative. Yes, I know the main role of the minorty party is to bang their chest and shout at the majority. But, winning an election requires more — show the people how things will be different. Hell, it is conceivable that I could vote for a Democrat for President if I knew what he/she would do different.
    As for the earlier point that Republicans are ugly too: I concede that there are crazies on both sides. But, although one might wonder whether it was an accurate portrayal, recall that the last Republican convention featured McCain, Rudy, Arnold, etc. But, one of the lasting images of the Democrats’ convention (thanks to Rove) is that of Michael Moore sitting in the Presidential Box with former President Carter. Those “independent” voters clearly felt more in synch with McCain et al instead of Michael & Jimmy. You did not see Coulter, Limbaugh, et al within ten miles of the convention! Again, I am not saying those 2 portrayals were necessarily accurate portrayals of the 2 parties, but they were very powerful signals nonetheless. Hell, if you don’t want to win, just put Cindy Sheehan in the Box next time with Moore and Jimmy. That will go over really well in any red state that is flirting with being blue.
    To win a national election, each party must moderate their position and be a little dishonest. Both parties try to cloak their more extreme positions, whether it be regarding abortion, judicial philosophy, immigration, etc. Yes, it is all bullshit, but a Democrat other than Bill Clinton better learn to dance this dance or there will be no chance for change.

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  6. Sean

    I think the country Greg was asking for was “Palestine”, which doesn’t exist. The Palestinians electing Hamas has about as much effect on the world stage as a high school in Alabama having a gay Prom king. Sure, it’s worth looking at in the news, it’s *interesting*, but Hamas can offer the Palestinians better ventilated *TENTS*, so of course they won.
    Greg’s point (and the Republican convention was pretty ugly, by the way, in case you forgot Zell Miller) is that hollering isn’t gonna get the liberals anywhere. Obama’s recent statesmanship is the kind of example we should follow. Greg is absolutely right, until the LIBERALS, and I’m not talking about Democrats even, until the Left shows that it has alternatives worth considering, we won’t win.

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  7. kent

    Here’s what I think vis a vis’ Democrats and their perceived lack of independent conviction: Bullshit. The Democratic party has a clearly defined set of policy positions and ideas for improving the state of the Nation, but no one pays much attention, because they’re not in power.
    Maybe Democrats don’t stay “on message” as well as Republicans. But I don’t think people in general are so stupid as to not see mindless parroting of talking points for what it is. Anyone who actually pays attention to what’s going on in Washington has to feel a lot of cognitive dissonance, because the things the Republicans say are completely at odds with reality.
    Granted, I think Howard Dean and Cindy Sheehan should devote more of their intellects to saying what needs saying with more tact, but I disagree that there’s anything Ian, or I, or any of us here should do to curb our rhetoric. To think that what Ian writes has any effect on the conventional wisdom of the body politic is really reaching.
    Here’s where I make the distinction: Howard Dean has been rightly criticized for his rhetorical excesses. George W Bush SHOULD be criticized for everything coming out of his mouth being a bald faced lie. When Bush says “we don’t torture prisoners” what he’s really saying is “damn right we torture prisoners, and you should shut the fuck up about it.” If Bush tells you the sun is shining, the only rational response is to look outside and see for yourself.

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  8. Greg from Winston Dorm

    Dean, use your own name when posting to this blog. You have half of the posters today thinking YOUR comments are from me.

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  9. greg from winston dorm's roommate

    Greg, is right. I should use my own name when posting on this site. My name is Ruffin Hall and I lived with Greg in Winston Dorm at UNC. Is that better, Greg?

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  10. emma

    Dean – be careful who you pose as. Whenever I hear Ruffin’s name, I think of his “tagging” on the tunnel at Camp Trinity that reads “No muff is too tuff for Ruff.”

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  11. Ian

    Ah, Ruffin Hall.
    On another note, the vilification of Cindy Sheehan is one of the saddest, cruelest things the Bush Administration has ever done, no matter her tact. Anyone with kids on this list knows what I mean, or at least they should.

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  12. Chris

    Ian writes : ” On another note, the vilification of Cindy Sheehan is one of the saddest, cruelest things the Bush Administration has ever done ”
    Ian, perhaps you could provide us some quoted-statements or actions taken by the Bush administration where they vilifed Cindy, I do not remember any.
    It seems to be that it is Cindy spewing the hate. Talking about USA troops getting out of occupied New Orleans. Meeting with Chavez, making anti-Israel remarks……

    Reply

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