The Most Unintentionally Funny Bit of Political Spittle Flinging You’ll Read All Day

It’s here, via the Fredricksburg Free Lance-Star. It’s pretty much exactly like your angry conservative uncle four-fifths of the way through a bottle of Maker’s Mark. This fellow was apparently director of foreign-policy speechwriting at the White House from October 2003 to July 2005, which means it’s possible he’s the genius behind the “Stay the Course” turn of phrase. If so, well. Heckuva job, there, Burgess. Heck of a job.

55 Comments on “The Most Unintentionally Funny Bit of Political Spittle Flinging You’ll Read All Day”

  1. Over 2300 who have died? Uh, yeah, might want to, I don’t know, read a current newspaper there pal ’cause you’re about 500 short (or about 18%).

    Say, is there an election near? You know, one that somebody might be losing? It certainly has that feel along with the Fall Crispness.

  2. So what he’s saying is anyone who doesn’t buy into the cult of Dubya is a liar and a hater. Riiiiight.

    Sounds like he’s OD’ed on the Kool-Aid…

  3. We’ve infected him with our hate. [ponder] Now I feel bad. In my own defense, though, I’m not a “Bush hater.” I love, respect and revere G.W. Bush every single bit as much as my right wing brothers and sisters did Bill Clinton. So there.

  4. Yeah, I read that. The opinion-column equivalent of taking a rifle up into a tower and seeing how high he can push the body count. Which, given that he evidently didn’t realize that he was carrying the opinion-column equivalent of a Super Soaker, is actually schadenfreudenly amusing.

  5. I’d just like to have some of those quotes checked and context given. How much of that was ‘wish’ and how much of that was really ‘dire prediction’?

    Of course, I find it amusing that he didn’t take a crack at those on the right who have wished death on our soldiers…

  6. It’s pretty obvious that this guy wasn’t in charge of making cohesive arguments that stay away from a tar pit of various logical fallacies.

    Or perhaps he was. That would explain a number of things.

  7. That’s good stuff.

    I’ve noticed a trend among the college republicans on campus, and it seems to be reflected in this screed. That trend is the creation of the right wing victim myth.

    There have been several columns in the local college rag that have this sort of tone – that it’s hard for conservatives to compete in the marketplace of ideas because liberals are so mean and run everything, so on and so forth. Real “White people just can’t get a break from the man” type stuff.

    To hear a conservative tell it, we would have won the war in Iraq if the conservatives had been in charge of things. But the powermad liberals have refused to give the conservatives thier rightful due, barring them from the highest levels of state and locking them out any of the decision making processes. Truly, the flaws and failures of the Iraq war lay at the feet of the liberal left.

    This victim myth trend is sort of amusing, but I think it might lead to real trouble in the future.

  8. Fredericksburg (home of the Fredricksburg Free Lance-Star) is about 45 minutes from here – and things have been extra special ugly during this election.

    We have George “Macaca” Allen slinging some A+ mud with his campaign commercials, and has recently attacked the challenger Jim Webb regarding some of his fiction writing.

    Mr. Burgess may indeed find himself “crawling over broken glass” next week when he votes – as today’s latest polling figures show Webb with a slight lead.

  9. DJN:

    “This victim myth trend is sort of amusing, but I think it might lead to real trouble in the future.”

    As opposed to now?

    Personally, I want to know just when it was that conservatives became whining pukebags of victimization. Back in my day, conservatives enjoyed the fruits of their oppression of the other classes! Unapologetically! And we liked it!

  10. I live in Fredericksburg. The area is reliably red. He is simply preaching to the choir. I’ll bet the “marriage protection” amendment passes in Spotsy county with at least 60%. Hopefully the more sane corners of the state will cover for us.

  11. One, when the right-wing commentators ask how the left can call them mean, this is an example. Also see Rush’s non-apology to M. J. Fox.

    And this “victimization” is a hard reverse to the thought “we work better as the underdog/minority party.” That is, the Republican Party held together and had more spirit when they weren’t in control. So this rhetoric is meant to convince everybody that they still have to fight to win and to change, instead of fighting to stay where they are.

  12. Or a Prozac.

    I think one is obvously ready for the butterfly net if they can say with a straight face that they are voting “straight Republican” in this election… because, you know… everything is just so damn peachy right now it would be a shame to change anything.

  13. The right-wing help-help-we’re-being-oppressed-even-though-we’re-in-power attitude is partly the last dregs of their pseudo-populism. But I think it’s also partly it’s a side-effect of supposedly being all government-is-the-enemy while the folks they so slavishly support show us all what really big and bad government looks like.

    I expect any day to see headlines about Norquist having accidentally drowned in his own bathtub.

  14. For me it was listening to my friend’s Dad drinking Rock and Rye.

    He belonged to the John Birch society and some really bizarre ideas that would come out while drinking.

    Switching topics to the College Republican ‘victim’ mode – Uggg. The need to constantly play the victim is one thing about certain christian groups that REALLY creeps me out. No doubt the college republicans have learned the benefits of playing the victim role by watching their fundie colleagues. I wonder if they will ever learn the costs that go with the benefits?

  15. DJN: You’ve put your finger on what I call the “conservative culture of complaint.” Maybe, in some places, they’ve got a point — I’d imagine Madison can feel like quite a hostile place to conservatives, but screw ’em — they can dream about the day they move to Texas.

  16. So, all liberals are represented by Ward Churchill the same way all Republicans are represented by Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh?

    Yeah, right. (On both counts.) (Except Ward Churchill doesn’t get obsequiously profiled in Time and Newsweek or get book deal after book deal, either.)

  17. I’ve noticed a trend among the college republicans on campus, and it seems to be reflected in this screed. That trend is the creation of the right wing victim myth.

    It’s also present in the evangelical Christian community. A number of my friends buy into this “Christians are oppressed in the US” myth, when what they (and the Republicans you mention) mean is, “People don’t automatically agree with us! Even worse, some people argue and say mean things!”

  18. Stephen G, you can expect the rhetoric on the “War on Christmas” to start right after all the Neewollah parties are over. I’ve already received the anti-ACLU Christmas Card campaign email and a few others that indicate this year is going to be a bad one.

  19. Remember that nonsense about how Republicans were the daddy party? Now they’re the drunk angry daddy party.

  20. If you haven’t read Kevin Baker’s article “Stabbed in the Back!” from the July 2006 Harper’s (and, of course, only a bunch of limp-wristed, chardonnay-sipping liberal Islamo-humpers like Harper’s would have such an article), please do. It’s a great exploration of the right-wing myth of how they’ve always been the victims of betrayal from said limp-wristed etc. lefties.

  21. Brian,

    Growing up my Uncle was an alcoholic who didn’t dry out until his mid 40’s, so I got to see almost first hand what a family with an alcoholic Dad is like.

    In many ways I’ve seen the same behaviour in the US with Bush as a President. The ‘taboo’ things no one can talk about, the insistence that we all agree on everything, including some obviously false things, and the identification of a scapegoat within the family for all the bad behaviour.

  22. I’ve finally read the screed.

    So Paul Burgess hates my ‘lying’ guts.

    What ever. He needs to grow a pair and get laid. What kind of a limp dick has to get off spewing his hate in a two-bit newspaper? I mean what’s the point? I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a closeted self-hating homo. Hey, Paulie, politics ain’t therapy, so get yourself straightened first out and then maybe we can talk.

  23. I think this paper needs to receive many letters praising Burgess for his dead-on, witty parody of a right-wing blowhard.

  24. The bestest part was:

    So I intend to vote on Nov. 7. If I have to, I’ll crawl over broken glass to do it. And this year I’m voting a straight Republican ticket right down to dog catcher, because I’ve had it. I’m fed up with the deranged, lying left. They’ve infected me. I’m now a hater, too.

    …because I’m sure Mr. Burgess’ path to the polls will be strewn with broken glass (also, possibly, with a box puzzle, two moving platforms, a hidden sewer filled with enormous gold coins, and a mushroom that allows you to power up). Because I’m sure that Mr. Burgess intended to vote for a bunch of Democrats in the first place. Because I’m sure he wasn’t a hater until the deranged, lying left bit him or peed in his cornflakes or whatever they did to him.

    Hey, Burgess: you’re a huge dork–THPHBBBT!

  25. Wow, I haven’t read so much rhetoric in a long time. I love how fighting in Iraq is fighting for the Constitution. Last I checked Iraq was forming it’s own government and I don’t think there’s anything in the United States Constitution about entering foreign lands, ursurping power, sacrificing our men and women and giving uncontested government contracts to our cronies.

    You want to annoy a Pubie, ask them what terrorism Iraq was involved in that we had to go in and capture Saddam. My uncle is ex-military, worked until retirement for Boeing military and the rest of my family can still annoy him with that one. Or we mutter “WMDs? Where?” and look around the room.

  26. I was thinking that his having to crawl over broken glass was an allusion to the “Night of Long Knives.” But that could just be me.

    Naw, it’s an expression I’ve used a long time now. It may be a Southern thing, but it means that you’d undergo pain and blood loss to do whatever it is you’re set on doing, so serious is your intent. I’d bet it pre-dates Nazi Germany, but I can’t be certain.

    In any case, I believe it’s Kristallnacht you’re thinking of, with the broken glass and all. I’m not sure what would invoke the Night of the Long Knives — “… even if I have to murder a bunch of brownshirts …” maybe.

  27. Philip, “Kristallnacht”, that’s what I was going for, thanks. This is what I get for clicking through the History Channel as I’m going to sleep.

  28. So leftists are a bunch of limp-wristed, wusses, with no guts for real action…who somehow manage to run the country despite conservative majorities in both houses of Congress and the Supreme Court (not to mention the presidency).

    Boy, really makes you think those manly Republicans can get things done, huh?

  29. I love the fact that he mentions he hates people who think Bush knew in advance that there were no WMD. What scares me is that if he indeed really thought that there were weapons, and his whole basis for going to war was as a result of these weapons…I don’t know whats worse that Our President lied to us or that he’s an idiot and couldn’t get the right intelligence. Personally I would like to believe that we were lied to. Better to have a lying dictator of a man than an idiot who thinks navel lint is Anthrax.

  30. This article reads almost like Ming the Merciless, his out-of-control Flagship of Doom crashing into his Palace of Tyranny, screaming “Curse you Flash Gordon! Curse you! Curse youaaaAAAGGGGHHH!”

  31. The conversation about the victimization myth actually reminds me from a quote from the recent storyline over at Something Positive(a hilarious dark humor webcomic):

    “Do you even know what the word ‘persecution’ means, boy?”
    “Yeah, it means you don’t do what I think is right.”

    Unfortunately, that truly does seem to be the mindset of too many people these days.

  32. Because it’s Halloween. The musical version of Burgess’ screed.

    Democrats and Lose-elles

    They’re left. They frown. They give-up. They’re down.
    They’re in. They’re out. They flip-flop about
    They’re far in the rear. They’re gone. They’re here!
    They’re quick and slick and insincere.

    Beware! Beware! Be a very wary bear.

    A Democrat or Lose-elle is very confusel.
    The Democrat or Lose-elle is very sly.
    They stump in ones and twoosels,
    but if they so choosels
    behind your back you’ll have them multiply.

    They’re extra-ordinary, so better be wary.
    They’ll bloat government and tax every shape and size

    If money is what you covet you’ll find that they love it.
    Because they’ll tax up the very thing you prize.

    They’re green. They sue. They’re pinko. They ain’t Right.
    They’re round. They’re square. Ted Kennedy is a terrible sight
    They’ll tie K-Street in horrible knots.
    They’ll wear stripes with polka-dots!

    Beware! Beware! Be a very wary bear.

  33. I approach each election with an independent mindset, although I tend to lean slightly right or libertarian on most issues.

    A couple of points.

    Not all Repubs are raving lunatics like the author of that paper, nor are they conservatives. Not all Christians are snake-handling clinic bombers. In fact, the Methodist church we attend is one of the most diverse I’ve ever seen. Wealthy folks, blue-collar folks, straight, gay, liberal, conservative etc. But politics are kept out of the pulpit and that’s why we attend.

    It’s not my intention to defend ‘all conservatives’ or convince anyone that a particular political party is right or wrong. There are thousands of websites for that.

    I’m merely suggesting the author of that article is obvioulsy unstable, and the newspaper editor is either equally kooky, or crazy like a fox for giving him enough rope to publicly hang himself.

    Finally, for what it’s worth, I served four years active duty, three reserve and am very active in veterans affairs. I served in GitMo under Jim Webb when he was SecNav.

    I’m dubious of any poltician, Republican or Democrat, that crows about war without ever having served.

  34. Scott, I’m dubious of anybody who bangs the drums of war. Especially if they’re still in uniform. Most people I know who have served are very cautious about going to war because they know what it really means instead of this “glorioius and honorable” claptrap.

  35. Steve: Thanks for your response.

    In some respects, I agree. Especially when it comes to starred flag officers at the pentagon who are particularly hawkish, yet safe in their houses out in Fairfax.

    On the other hand, CNN had a report yesterday on the war in Afghanistan. They had an embedded reporter with the troops, and across the board, felt they were doing good work and asked that they be allowed to finish the job. (I don’t have time to source the transcript.)

    We need warriors, and sadly, we sometimes need war.

    I teach an evening course at a prep school, and we recently lost a very popular 21 year-old alumnus. Talk about a gut check.

    Steve, I’m relatively new here, and have seen your thoughtful posts and respect them.

    However, many of those guys in uniform (the grunts and sailors) are my friends and they believe passionately in their mission, just as you believe (I suppose) that we should end it.

    Anyway, I’m off to the set. Have a good one.

  36. Scott, I’ve worn the uniform of our Air Force and I don’t doubt those still in uniform have enthusiasm for the mission. My feelings about war are very complex.

    Afghanistan, most certainly we should be there. Why the hell did we move on before we pacified and secured that ground (one friend’s son is in Kazakhstan and another friend’s son is with 10th Mountain in the SW of Afghanistan)? We owe the Afghani people for their help with the Soviets and when we abandoned them in the late 80s that created the vacuum that brought the Taliban to power. Why aren’t we spending the money to reconstruct that country? We’ve taken our eyes off the ball and with the corruption endemic within this administration (yes, I said it) the money we are spending there isn’t going to help Afghanis but to US contractors (not our troops) to give them a first world experience while the rest of the country still lives in rubble outside of Kabul. I’ve said I want Osama’s head on a pike on the lawn of the Pentagon and I am not kidding. Yes, I know it doesn’t end the “War on Terror” or collapse al Qaeda, but that’s not what it’s for. He attacked us, he gave the go ahead, he gave the money. I claim blood-price for the US.

    Iraq is the personal vendetta of the Bush Family, and a chance of redemption for Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. Yes, we won the first battle in a Thunder Run, we can all feel proud about that. But just like in Gulf 1, we had no plan for after we won. In this case it was intentional, Gulf 1 was understandable. Why did another friend have to burry his son because of that? “Fighting them over there instead of here,” to me means, “we’re gonna hang your (the military personnel) ass in the wind and see who shoots.” That’s not how you use your troops. Early in this war we could have won easily except this administration blew every opportunity. Now it’s going to be four times a hard and cost eight times as much. All because our leaders who banged the drum of war didn’t understand what war is and were only concerned about “getting Saddam.” Is the world better because Saddam is gone? Sure, even more so that his kids are gone. Why did we have to do it? Why do we have to retake the country? Why is our blood spilt and our treasure spent there instead of securing larger parts of the world that would actually protect our freedoms here at home? How did our professional military get the idea that the crap at Abu Ghraib was okay? I am so filled with anger over this administration losing this war sometimes I explode in a Daffy Duck like expositions.

    I hope that helps explain my posts.

  37. The “War on Terror” needs to start by ousting this administration and every neoconservative warmonger in it. They all subscribe to the Straussian theory that in order for those in power to stay in power they need to conceive epic myths that the “commoners” will abide to. Early Bush was faltering in this department, until he got handed the political gift of the millennium on Sept. 11.

    Now, there’s a good (the U.S., of course) vs. evil (radical Islam) mindset in Washington, and they’ll say/do anything to keep that myth running strong. “Anything” includes: constructing a myth that there’s a vast terror network in over 60 countries all headed by Bin Laden from inside a freaking cave (!), WMD’s in Iraq, conception of the “Terror Alert System”, blah, blah, the list goes on. But the concept is not new: Decide the outcome, then fill in the necessary blanks to get you there. For Bush, the outcome was to start a “War on Terror” and keep people scared to stay in power. When viewed from this perspective, you’ll start to see that, in fact, the administration has not helped us one single bit.

    I hope to God that people are beginning to realize that it’s all BS. It’s a clash of ideals for sure, but not between America and anyone…it’s the Islamist extremists vs. the neocons. Simple as that. Normal Americans like you and I, along with normal Middle-easterners who are similar to you and I, are stuck in the middle. The difference between us and them, however, is that we have an opportunity to change something about it.

    As an entire society (Dems, Repubs, whoever) we need to stop living in fear, stop watching the evening news that’s produced to scare the sh*t out of us, stop taking political ads on face value alone, and stop living by color codes.

    I guess I hate everything, too.

    Great blog, John! Going to grab TAD tonight!

  38. Afghanistan, most certainly we should be there….

    Steve, I’d add to what you wrote that Afghanistan felt moral. I’m tend to be a pacifist, but listening to news reports about movie theaters opening in Afghanistan and girls going to school during the early days of our occupation made me proud to be an American–it felt much like WWII must have felt to a generation, like what was done was not only necessary (responding to an attack) but just (in the process liberating people from facism).

    Perhaps, perhaps if the Bush administration had sold the Iraq war as a war of liberation instead of a hunt for dubious WMDs and more-dubious links to terrorism, some of that rosy feeling would have transferred. Instead, whatever good feelings one might have had about getting rid of the Hussein family is tainted by the way we were misled and by the fact that we now stand to lose Civilization’s gains in Afghanistan even as Iraq becomes an even more futile bloodbath.

    Perhaps there’s a contradiction in there–I wouldn’t say there’s anything logical, but sometimes feelings are reasons nonetheless. Anyway, thanks for your post.

  39. Hey all-

    Taking a quick break…borrowing a laptop.

    Steve – good post, will try to respond later.

    Tor – I actually own a house down in Charlottesville and have been watching the race closely. In short, I would vote for Webb for a number of reasons..a vet with leadership experience and a son in the sandbox who understands war. He’s big on education and few other points with which I agree. His tax policies are dubious and that could be a deal breaker. One of my life-long best friends is a big player in the VA democratic party and he swears the guy is the real thing. All of that said, Allen moved to VA as a sophomore in college, is the son of a wealthy football coach and never served. Webb looks pretty damn good, and I would probably vote for him, tax policy aside. The fact that he was SecNav, author and Hollywood guy really mean very little to me.

    Andy: On 9/11, I stood at the tip of Manhattan island with a camera crew and rolled on the towers as they fell. We spent the next five days taking socks and t-shirts to the rescue teams. I assure you friend, the radical Islamists want to kill all Americans, including moderate Muslims. There were people of all political, religious and ethnic stripes killed that day, and I saw it and smelled it, up close and personal.

    To say this is some ‘Neo-con only’ war is absurd.

  40. A challenger for “The Most Unintentionally Funny Bit of Political Spittle Flinging You’ll Read All Day”, from the other end of the political spectrum… From the Great State of Maine:
    “I-295 prank leads to lawyer’s arrest
    Taken to jail Tuesday on a criminal-threatening charge, Tom Connolly was freed on $500 bail after he dressed as Osama bin Laden, carried a fake AK-47 and held a sign along Interstate 295.”

    Methods overshadow message

    “Lawyer” doesn’t quite cover it since this yonk was actually the (D) candidate for govenor in 1998. Apparently he was protesting our Question 1 ballot initiative — a piece of legislation I personally hope goes down to flaming defeat — yet I can’t manage to find any sympathy, just a bit of disappointment that I leave for work early enough that I missed seeing him in person despite the fact that he staged his little stunt about 1/4 mile from where I live.

    Idiocy, of course, knows no ideology.

    Watch the video:

  41. This victim myth trend

    No doubt the college republicans have learned the benefits of playing the victim role by watching their fundie colleagues.

    A number of my friends buy into this “Christians are oppressed in the US” myth, when what they (and the Republicans you mention) mean is, “People don’t automatically agree with us! Even worse, some people argue and say mean things!”

    “Do you even know what the word ‘persecution’ means, boy?”
    “Yeah, it means you don’t do what I think is right.”

    This is all part of what Wikipedia calls “a central theme in United States cultural identity”.

    In the early 17th century an English protestant sect felt they were being prosecuted, and perhaps they actually were (I don’t know and I don’t care). Some members of this sect saw that the young Dutch republic had this new-fangled thing called Freedom of Religion, so they said to each other: “that’s what we want”. And they crossed the sea, and settled in Leyden.

    But the sect soon realized that the Dutch version of freedom of religion wasn’t for them, because it meant that everybody could have the religion they wanted. “You don’t believe what we think is right,” they told the Dutch, and went back to England. There they leased a boat called the Mayflower, and sailed it to America.

  42. The following struck me as distinctly odd:

    I used to be a Marine, and as a returning adult student, I have lunch with a bunch of other ROTC and Veteran types – the college democrats are represented 7-1 over the republicans. It says something when they argue so vociferously for a war they refuse to enlist to fight in.

    Ah, so the Democrats do the Republicans’ dirty work (fight their dirty wars). You guys must be so proud of yourselves.

  43. “Ah, so the Democrats do the Republicans’ dirty work (fight their dirty wars). You guys must be so proud of yourselves.”

    Yes, actually. Why wouldn’t we be ?

    Look, the Iraq war is one of the Hasto/Is problems – It doesn’t “have to” be a mess. But it is.

    Noone I know was/Is against the war because the war itself is inherently wrong. (nearly)All of the stated reasons for it are good ones. It’s just that the leadership is far more concerned with the appearance of success rather than actual success in Iraq – and that sucks.

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