August 06, 2004

There's no shame in being a mental contortionist

I haven't done a full-scale fisking in a while and it's high time I got my dander up! So, let's have a little look-see at Jesse Jackson's latest op-ed piece from the Chicago Sun Times.

There's no shame in being liberal
August 3, 2004

There they go again. Devoid of ideas, running from the record of failure on the economy and national security,

Wow, is Jesse criticizing the Democrats for once?! Nope, he's just projecting their characteristics onto "the enemy".
President Bush and his campaign are going negative again, trying to label John Kerry rather than level with Americans.

Bush will expose John Kerry because Kerry wont show you his true colors like the fact that he hasn't produced one bit of legislation with his name on it in 19 years. This is called levelling with Americans
Now the refrain is that Kerry and Edwards are too ''liberal'' for America.

Yep, the 1st and 4th most liberal members of the Senate. I'd say they're pr-r-r-etty darn liberal.

Democrats tend to duck when such charges are leveled. Clinton dressed up as a ''New Democrat,'' trying to separate himself rhetorically. Reformers now call themselves ''progressives,'' trying to avoid the label. Frankly, I think it's time for people to stand up.

Stand back for a lesson in how today's leftists are just like our God-fearing founding fathers! Oh, boy, is this great...!

Think about it: A conservative Christian is a contradiction in terms. Christ wasn't a conservative. He fed the hungry simply because they were hungry. He didn't require that they go to work first.

Okay, let's just set aside the fact that it's rediculous to apply modern definitions of "liberal" and "conservative" (of which there are several -- even within the paragraphs of this op-ed piece) to a 2,000 year-old society governed by Kings and Emperors.

The hungry that Christ fed were his followers. He was not their government and they were not his citizens. You can argue, I suppose, that they were in the Kingdom of God and Jesus was their King, but then you get into a dangerous area if you want to compare Christ to the Federal government and Christians to American citizens. Okay? Okay? Okay.

Christ fed his followers with bread and fishes that he produced under his own divine powers, not by taxing society and it's citizens into economic stagnation.
And that line about "He didn't require that they go to work first" sounds like you not only have forgotten the context of where and when and how He fed them, but you almost sound like Jesus was an enabler for the deadly sin of Sloth. That may be a liberal attitude for a "king" to take, but it's certainly not a Christian one.

He healed the sick, simply because they were sick. He didn't push them into an insurance company, or let the drug companies gouge them on prices. Jesus was a liberal; Herod was the conservative.

Maybe I know now why you didn't include the title "Rev." before your name at the head of this article. This isn't the writing of a Reverend, it's the writing of a demagogue.

The sick who were healed were healed by their Faith in Jesus. There were plenty of sick and crippled people around him who were not healed in His presence.
The bit about insurance companies and drug companies at the time of Christ is just too incoherent to address. But I suppose your message is that modern doctors and pharmaceutical scientists ought to be forced to work for the government because, dagnabbit, King Jesus did!

Moses was the liberal; Pharaoh was the conservative. Abolitionists were liberals; slave owners were the conservatives. Mandela is a liberal; the South African apartheid leaders were the conservatives. That's why conservative Dick Cheney supported apartheid over Mandela, and approved of keeping Mandela in prison.

Wow. Talk about a nonsensical string of conclusions that have to basis in rationality. (That was redundant, I know.)
I suppose you could say that Moses, abolitionists, etc were liberals because they were liberators -- much like today's conservatives. But what in tarnation is conservative about Herod, Pharaoh or any other tyrant? You clearly have no understanding of what a conservative is.

And Dick Cheney did not support apartheid or keeping Nelson Mandela in prison you lying sack of shit. He opposed economic sanctions on South Africa because it only hurts the people we wanted to help liberate -- much as you opposed sanctions on Iraq, Cuba, and anywhere else your favorite tyrants choke the livelihood out of the People.

Cheney also voted against drafting a meaningless Congressional resolution calling for Mandela's release. My memory is that he thought it was a confrontational tactic at a time when we were trying to convince the SA government to do away with apartheid. I wished he voted in favor of it, because, frankly, I like confrontational tactics when you know you're in the right about something. But claiming that Cheney "approved of keeping Mandela in prison" is a vicious lie that undermines, in my mind, everything that comes out of your mouth. Liar.

The Suffragettes were liberals; those who opposed the vote for women were conservatives.

Would you stop it already?! What the hell is the rationale for these statements?!

Martin Luther King was a liberal; the segregationists were conservatives. He wanted to end racial discrimination; they wanted to conserve it.

Ah ha! So, you're taking the literal meaning of "conservative" and using to define Conservatives! I should have known it'd be this simplistic!

Advocates of national health care are liberals; George W. Bush, the HMOs and drug companies are the conservatives. They profit from the current system and want to conserve it from reforms that would make health care affordable for all Americans.

Finally, a paragraph that's, at least, mostly true!
What the drug companies want to do is conserve a system whereby they can actually turn a profit and thus actually create the drugs that you want to take from them and hand out like condoms in a schoolyard. Without the money flowing in there ain't no more R&D and thus no more nifty miracle drugs.

What the insurance companies want to do is stop the creation of a system that drives up the cost of healthcare by further removing barriers to price gouging and abuse on the part of physicians and hospitals, or driving up the cost by providing a system where mommy carts little Billy off to the government run clinic everytime he gets the sniffles. [See: Nationalized Healthcare]

America was a liberal idea. Washington and Jefferson were the liberals; King George was the conservative.

Again: a Tyrant is not a Conservative, m'kay? Oh, but I suppose that, once again, you're invoking the irrelevant meaning from the root word "conserve". That would mean that supporters of school vouchers are liberals, while those that want to conserve the anti-choice status quo are conservatives?
Or, if I really wanna be a jerk, I could say that Hitler rolling over Europe was the liberal and the Allies were the conservatives. See, isn't demonizing philosophical opponents with illogical argumentation fun?! :D
God yer dumb.

America was founded on the proposition that ''We the people'' were endowed with inalienable rights -- including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And when oppressed by an unjust ruler, we had the right to declare our independence and establish our own form of government.

Hurray! A paragraph completely devoid of lies, sophistry and idiocy!
But I always wonder why you "liberals" always stop short at "...and the pursuit of Happiness." Don't you like what immediately follows: "And that, to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed"?
Not too fond of that phrase, are ya, Rev...?

And America was built by liberals -- by dissenters, by those persecuted for their religion or their race. The Statute of Liberty doesn't say, ''Send me your privileged, your wealthy, your powerful yearning to conserve their fortunes.'' It says, ''Send me your tired, your poor, your humble yearning to breathe free.''

Damn right. But are you under the impression that the tired and the poor were coming here to remain tired and poor? Don't you think that maybe, just maybe, they came here to be free and, oh I dunno, become wealthy? Or, at least, wealthier?
Of course, once they made a little money they might actually be interested in "conserving" it rather than handing it over to the UberState -- like the one that they just got themselves the hell out of. [See: Eastern Europe]

Today the choices are equally clear. Bush and Cheney argue for tax cuts for the wealthy; they want to consolidate the wealth and power of the ''have mores'' that the president calls ''my base.''

Welp, I just lost what little respect I (may have) had left for ya, Reverand J.J.
Now you're parrotting Michael Moore's use of a tongue-in-cheek address by Bush at an Al Smith dinner as if it were a serious address.

And, fercrisakes, you don't "consolidate" wealth, you create it and invest it in expanding business which then expands employment. I can accept that you don't agree with the economic philosophy, but I can't believe you don't, by now, understand it.
Or, maybe you don't.

Or, maybe you do, and just find it easier to call people "evil" than to have to actually, oh I dunno, debate the issue honestly.

Liberals are for rolling back tax cuts for the rich and investing in education so every child gets a fair shot.

And, I guess Ted Kennedy's a conservative then, 'cause he wrote the Education Bill that Bush signed. No, wait, he's a liberal because he voted for the change that it brought. No, wait, he's a conservative because he voted against the tax cuts when Bush wanted to change... crud, you make my hair hurt...

Conservatives would conserve the two Americas: one system of education, health care and retirement security for the powerful, and one for the rest of us.

Great, now yer channelling John "crossing-over-in-a-pleasant-pink" Edwards...

Liberals would make certain that everyone has the right to a high-quality education, to affordable health care, to a decent retirement.

Well, that wouldn't be a "Right", it'd be a charitable contribution, no? Some eligible people get these things for free, in whole or in part, right now. The trick is to get assistence to those who can't afford insurance (because prices have gone through the roof due in large part to doctors and hospitals having to pay skyrocketting malpractice insurance premiums because people yer buddy John "Two Americas" Edwards like to sue doctors and hospitals into destitution over chicken shit).

Bush wants to cut guaranteed benefits under Social Security while privatizing it;

Another lie. Hey, wow!! Yer on a roll, eh?!!!

Bush's plan for partial privitization (about 2%) would be voluntary, and all promises made in the past will be kept.

liberals want to save Social Security so that all Americans have a basic floor beneath their feet. "conserving" the status quo which will bankrupt the country within 30 years...

Bush is against a minimum wage; liberals want to raise the minimum wage. Bush wants to weaken the 40-hour week and reduce those eligible for overtime; liberals want to make certain workers get paid overtime if they have to work more than 40 hours a week.

All of this is news to me. I don't know where you got these "facts", but, if the rest of the article is any indication of their veracity then I'll just assume that they're lies.
Par, meet Course.

You can pick your side -- liberal or conservative, for change or for the status quo, for the poor or for the privileged. For me, I stand with Christ against Herod; Moses against the Pharaoh; the abolitionists against the slaveholders; King against the segregationists, the Suffragettes against the male politicians; the many against the few, and liberals against this crowd in the White House.

Why didn't you throw in "The Hymies Jews against Hitler"? I guess you thought it might cause a ruckus if you were comparing conservatives to Nazis, but that if you just left it at comparing liberals to Christ and conservatives to Herod, Pharaoh, slave masters, racist Democratic segregationists, sexists and any other tyrant you could think up that no one would notice. You really are a whackjob, aren't ya?

But whatever you choose, the next time Bush and Cheney rail about Kerry being too liberal, remember that America was a liberal idea from the start.

Yep. We pushed out the European world of religious intolerance, anti-semitism, slavery (okay, that took nearly 100 years... I know, I know), speech codes, warrantless searches, economic tyranny, the State-run press, and a whole host of other things that I, for one, am eager to "conserve" for future generations of Americans.

I suppose you might want to, at this juncture (or any other juncture that happens to come along), implore me, in your vein-poppingly socialist fervor, to look at what Jesus meant when he said "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and give unto God what is God's".
Great, I say! Caesar gets Nothing!

When it comes to wealth that's created, and how and why it's created, all you can see is the "evil" of "selfishness". You might like to be a cog in a wheel or a drone in a hive, but receiving only what we need does not inspire US to produce according to our ability. Y'get it yet? I've said it before and I'll s-s-s-ay it again: We're strong because we're rich, and we're rich because we're free.

Sapping the very individualism that has made this country great is exactly what will would if it could (almost got me there!) destroy our greatness and send us down the spiral toward mediocrity and the apathetic sloth that Europe currently "enjoys".

And right there's the uncommon ground between us, "Rev."
As Henry David Thoreau wrote (and I think we can all agree that he was a "Liberal"): "That government governs best that governs least".
It seems that I see Greatness in America where you only see "neglect", almost as if you see government - not Freedom - as the cure-all for whatever might ail us.

Be careful, my friend. Remember the axiom "That government that can give you everything you want is a government that can take away everything you have".

If that axiom doesn't cause you pause then you, finally, and unfortunately, like so many modern "progressives" before you, have decided to give everything unto Caesar because you have mistaken him for God.

Posted by Tuning Spork at August 6, 2004 07:06 PM

Hey, Jackson is clearly a scholar and a gentleman. :)

Nice fisking. I enjoyed it.

Posted by: RP at August 6, 2004 09:52 PM

Hurray! Huzzah! Applause, whistles, and cheers! I realize J.J. will never read this, but as the word spreads about the lunacy of his Party, he and Kerry and Edwards, et. al. will "read" it on the first Tuesday in November.

Posted by: Timbre at August 7, 2004 11:47 AM

You need to rewrite the opening sentence. This is well beyond a full-blown fisking. Well done.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at August 7, 2004 01:45 PM

Have you considered sending this in to the newspaper editorial page? A nice little opposing viewpoint piece just might be published. You'd have to rework it and take out the fun stuff, but still, you never know...

Posted by: Ted at August 7, 2004 02:37 PM

Hijack-son says what will blackmail corporations and government into lining his filthy-lucre laden pockets. False accusing extortionists like this are not to be taken seriously. He already showed himself up for what his true "god" is, when caught in bed with the girl next door. There are more relevant issues for us to confront, like
How much more socialism can you afford to support?

Posted by: John Galt at August 7, 2004 05:26 PM

"There they go again."

When your first line is lifted from Ronald Reagan, the argument is pretty much over.

Posted by: Noel at August 8, 2004 09:32 AM



[Standing ovation]

You're gettin' linked. Nice job!

Posted by: CD at August 8, 2004 06:37 PM

Thanks guys! :D

Posted by: Tuning Spork at August 8, 2004 07:22 PM

I'm not an admirer of JJ, and certainly this article addresses some important questions about how we need to apply context to the biblical teachings, lest we poor atrribute and mix anachronisms. I hope people that read articles such as that written by Jesse Jackson, and a similiar rebuttal article such as this one, would want to consider that biblical scholars and historians might have a different POV that either.

Posted by: bahbah at August 14, 2004 05:00 AM
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