Monday, June 23, 2008

Bill Kristol is Not Stupid, So Why Does he Pretend to Be?

Republicans, especially the near-extinct war-mongering faction of the party, aren't really good at anything these days, but they sure have perfected the art of framing a political issue to suit their rhetoric. In his NY Times op-ed column Monday, "Someone Else's Alex," uber neo-con Bill Kristol demonstrates the skill with such uber-deftness that it's a painful reminder of how much the left still needs to learn. And hopefully well before November when, in Kristol's dreams, the nation could elect the GOP's nominee, Sen. John McCain, as Bush 3.

In his column Kristol whines about the new 30-second ad, "Not Alex," about the Iraq war and McCain's position on keeping troops there indefinitely, even for as much as "100 years," as he's been quoted. In attacking the ad, Kristol claims all it does is "express contempt for all who might choose to serve their country in uniform." Nice catchy soundbite, Bill. Damn those unpatriotic Democrats, right? Well here's what the ad actually says, according to Kristol's own account:

A mother speaks as she holds her baby boy: "Hi, John McCain. This is Alex. And he’s my first. So far his talents include trying any new food and chasing after our dog. That, and making my heart pound every time I look at him. And so, John McCain, when you say you would stay in Iraq for 100 years, were you counting on Alex? Because if you were, you can’t have him."

Now, let's play a fun little game. Can anyone actually spot the part where the ad expresses "contempt for all who might choose to serve their country in uniform?" Kristol's accusation is a pretty big leap, no? Here's a woman who "simply" (as Kristol writes) says she does not want McCain or anyone else to send her baby to fight in Iraq someday. Where does she say anything...anything...about our military forces in general or her "contempt" for them?

Kristol continues by quoting the reaction of the mother of an "actual" soldier (as if only mothers of actual soldiers can have an opinion about the war): "Does that mean that she wants other people’s sons to keep the wolves at bay so that her son can live a life of complete narcissism? What is it she thinks happens in the world? ... Someone has to stand between our society and danger. If not my son, then who? If not little Alex then someone else will have to stand and deliver. Someone’s son, somewhere."

No ma'am, I believe what Alex's mother is "simply" saying is that she does not believe the Iraq war is justified; or that it's accomplishing the mission it set out to achieve; and that she does not want her son to have to grow up and be shipped off to another futile Vietnam-like debacle which the Republicans so cavalierly started and are now so clueless as to finding an end.

Kristol finishes his piece with a preachy, nauseatingly faux-compassionate sermon about patriotism and fairness: "The MoveOn ad is unapologetic in its selfishness, and barely disguised in its disdain for those who have chosen to serve —and its contempt for those parents who might be proud of sons and daughters who are serving. The ad boldly embraces a vision of a selfish and infantilized America, suggesting that military service and sacrifice are unnecessary and deplorable relics of the past. And the sole responsibility of others."

That's pretty ironic, Bill. This is what Democrats have been saying since the war began. That our soldiers fighting and dying in Iraq are the sons and daughters of the poor and middle classes, not those of the wealthy, or those of the Republican war-mongers who sent them there. The true contempt for our soldiers comes from you and your neo-con pals who sent them off to fight and die in a totally bogus, elective war where America faced no threat whatsoever. It is you and your testosterone-starved henchman who need to apologize, not or Alex's mother.

But as I said, Kristol's a great framer. He's not as dumb as he sounds. He's actually quite smart. Smart enough to know his audience, who's clearly not nearly as smart as he is.

HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: It's now time for us to pull together as Democrats and unite behind Obama and his historic candidacy. These are exciting times. I urge you to support Obama by sending the campaign whatever you can afford. In politics, money is key. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizeable war chest for campaigning, ground teams/staff, ads, mailings, Internet/email promotions, etc, he can win these states. I am commited to raising $25,000 for the campaign between now and November. Click here to make a contribution and help me reach this goal. Together we can change America.

George Carlin, RIP.


Anonymous said...

Just more kinder and gentler conservatism.

What did you expect.

Anonymous said...

Ostroy The Idiot,
Conservatives are not the only ones that have "perfected the art of framing a political issue to suit their rhetoric."

You take McCain's "100 year" comment completely out of context for the framing of a political issue to suit your rhetoric. I'm not surprised because you are about as slimy of a partisan as they come.

An honest person must put the "100 year" comment in context by including the rest of McCain's statement, "As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed then it's fine with me".

We have been in German for 60+ years Korea for 50+ years and you are not complaining. This is what you pretend to not understand.

Unknown said...

I guess its still going to be awile before we're done fixing this mess, and we can get Neocons like Bill Kristol who now are so demostratively wrong to shut the hell up. I want the not sees out of my government and off of my television set.

Anonymous said...

to anonymous .... if you feel the need to insult Ostroy maybe you could use your real name ..... oops I forgot you are a reactionary!!! If you notice ..second amendment advocates alway leave out the part about a well regulated militia !! Perhaps you might learn that one of the reasons for 9/11 was Saudi (Bin Laden) resentment towards the US for OCCUPYING their country!!

Anonymous said...

We have been in Germany for 60 years, this is true.

But we are not getting attacked by the German people there.

Nor are we attacking them back.

There is no bloodshed or violence.

The German people haven't requested us to leave multiple times.

Our military presence in Germany isn't a multi-trillion dollar affair.

Additionally, Germany has autonomy and their own government. Iraq does not.

Your comparison is like saying "Who cares about Warren Buffet's money, the guy that flips burgers at the fast food chain has money too, so there!"

If you are going to snag lip service from ann coulter, at least put some brainpower into analyzing it.

Unknown said...

Kristol is really dumb or fails to see that the mother wants neither her son nor any mother's son to be cannon fodder for McCain's war.
Is The NYT using Kristol as an easy straw man?

Anonymous said...

Someone should ask that "patriot" Kristol which branch of the military he served in during his younger years.

"What's that Bill?" "You didn't serve in any branch, didn't have the time?"

And so it goes with our endless number of armchair generals who are always more than willing to ship off your sons and daughters to fight and die in wars for Empire and Israel.

Anonymous said...

Olstroy, I'm sure being that he knows all, is ex military.

The thing is Olstroy, along with MoveOn, takes and twists what was said and meant by Kristol. It takes being "real" smart to do this. Olstroy is using this for his political advances, thats all. Not really honest, doesn't take intelligence but for the progressives who needs smart or honesty?

Anonymous said...

The ad obviously is to appeal to "working class" women and the implication is they should vote for Obama so there will be no war. Fat chance of that.

And it's absurd to even imply that a single mother, whose earnings equal 69 cents on the dollar as compared to male workers; who has no child daycare, as do most civilized countries; who has no health insurance for herself or her child; who has no support from the child's father; and who will not be able to send that child to college so that he, like Chaney and the rest, will be exempt should the draft ever be restored; and who suffers in the workplace where she will not advance; and suffers there and everywhere else at the hands of mysogynists, has any influence at all on what the future of her deprived child will be.

The ad is simply depressing. Obama will not make her life and that of her son any better nor will McCain. These conditions for single moms have gone on for decades.

BTW MoveOn was for Obama from the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Bill Kristol's soul is as black as tar.

Some people are evil just because they can be.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Nice article, until the shill for Obama at the end.

Anybdy that thinks theres a nickels worth of difference between McCain and Obama, should probably look up Zbigniew Bzrezinski. He is the foreign policy advisor for both of them (and both are members of the CFR). Theres no difference. Obama is a fucking fraud, just like McCain. Theres no "choice".

Anonymous said...

anon 12:52,

The problem with McCain's 100-year comment is that his condition of "no American soldiers being harmed or killed" is absurd. The logical retort to his position is that since American troops ARE being harmed and killed then they should be removed. But, no, we cannot do that, either, since then the "terrorists" will have "won" something or other (not defined).

The very fact that American soldiers are on the ground in Iraq is causing much of the strife and turmoil in that country - witness yesterday's killing of American troops by a member of the Iraqi government. This is what McCain is seemingly unwilling to acknowledge or simply does not understand. Unfortunately the latter seems to be the case as it's made manifestly clear by his own words he does not understand the social, religious or political realities on the ground.

Oh, and before you slime Ostroy, it's worth noting that McCain himself did not want to compare Iraq with Germany or Japan... before he changed his mind and started doing so.

Just another in a long, long list of policy position mutations on the part of "maverick" McCain.

Anonymous said...

Kristol chastises this mother for her "selfishness", but he sure doesn't see himself as the one who should go serve in Iraq in little Alex's stead. Nor, for that matter, anyone of his ilk, intellectual erudition, education level, socio-economic status, and on and on.

Anonymous said...

What good is that little punk Alex going to be to us at 1 or 100 years old, or anywhere in the middle? With a crybaby mother like that he's surely going to grow up pampered and effeminate, just the way Mom hopes he'll be. I'm starting an Alex-tracker - back to you in 2020. In the meantime...

Ostroy (whoever you are), you accuse Kristol of reading into the ad, but let's play another fun little game: can anyone actually spot the part where the ad expresses that "what Alex's mother is "simply" saying is that she does not believe the Iraq war is justified; or that it's accomplishing the mission it set out to achieve; and that she does not want her son to have to grow up and be shipped off to another futile Vietnam-like debacle which the Republicans so cavalierly started and are now so clueless as to finding an end. "

All she's saying is (assuming Alex doesn't grow up to be a warrior-type after all) "You can't have him." Who knows, she may just be one of those over-indulgent moms who never let their kids speak their own mind. Jeez.

Anonymous said...

all the ads are sickening with their sentimental, saccharin messages. This mealy mouthed mother with her wistful "you can't have him". Not even any streugth behind that. And, Obama posing in his ad as a barefoot farm-type boy from Kansas. "I'm as corney as Kansas in August." blah blah blah.

And McCain's are no better.

These are turning out to be worse than the CHristmas ads with the crosses we had to endure when all the canadidates sere still in the race.

I wish all these ads were outlawed. It's like the Mad. Ave. stuff we have to watch every ten minutes on TV. Our presidential elections should have some dignity and class.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 3:02 AM,
I'm glad you are a liberal because you certainly don't represent a normal person.

Anonymous said...

3:02's vocabulary indicates [s]he is a peace-at-all-costs Democrat. The peace-at-all-costs Democrats are usually the slimiest (and most violent) of them all.

Anonymous said...

To the lunatic who enjoys indulging in bilious self-hatred at 3:02 am: Which "Anon" are you referring to, nudnik? We're all anonymous here. Let's keep it that way for the sake of public safety. My mom and dad were brother and sister, and my sister and I are celebrating our 2nd anniversary this weekend. That makes my mom my aunt, and my sister is my wife, sister, and cousin! And I live in Massachusetts, where restrictions on marriage are as relaxed as anywhere in the country! I'm lovin it!

Anonymous said...

Well, at least "anon" came clean. What puzzles me is that Kristol and all you nay-sayers get wrapped up in a bundle over what some mother of an infant said in a 45 second spot about how she doesn't want her baby to go fight in a war.

Do we need to worry all that much? There are plenty of mothers that are just pumping 'em out every 9 months for the effort - I mean, mother, "patriot" and "warrior maker" are all synonymous in my book.

Y'all must be a bunch of men or something! Obviously you don't understand -real- motherhood.

Anonymous said...

I am stunned at the "sicko" rsponses to this ad. It must have very ugly subliminal messages that are getting to the "shadow side" of a lot of people.

We got more to worry about than we thought. I hope everything connected with MoveOn ads and Obama doesn't turn out to be a Rorschach test. But who knows -- maybe that's what this election will be.

Anonymous said...

republican war mongers who sent them there??? ha ha Most of the dems in congress voted to send them there. lol

Also the dems could bring them home today, but never will. Maybe you should focus your anger closer to home. lol