Towards A Good Samaritan World

Thursday, August 31, 2006

DailyKos approvingly links to this article:

The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.

Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet...

Dissent and disagreement with government is the life’s blood of human freedom; and not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as “his” troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq.

It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile it is right and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.

How unbalanced do you have to be to conflate a defense of dissent with a critique of the Bush administration? A more vivid demonstratin of the continued vitality of the right of dissent than the past six years in America can hardly be imagined. Bush has been assailed, impugned, castigated, compared to Hitler; leading voices in the top universities and major media outlets like the New York Times have opposed him relentlessly and ferociously; the left-blogosphere has poured an endless stream of bile on him. All these people have done so without the least fear of reprisals from the administration, and I'd wager that not a single person is currently in jail in America today for criticizing the president. (Olberman goes on to compare the current government with that of Neville Chamberlain and say we need a Churchill to oppose it. No, I don't understand, either.)

I'm not a big fan of Rumsfeld, but he certainly looks good compared to some of his critics. To be fair, here's a more sensible response to the Rumsfeld speech, from Fred Kaplan at Slate.

UPDATE: What does Keith Olberman mean by "the man who sees in absolutes?" How can a "man who sees in absolutes" be distinguished from non-abolutists? What is the opposite of a "man who sees in absolutes?" Does this postmodern term of abuse convey any actual meaning, other than that the speaker dislikes the person he is referring to?


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