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Zell

Watching that speech from inside the hall, I was genuinely afraid at one or two points. The audience was so enthused by his frankly fascistic remarks that at any moment I thought the distinguished Senator might point up and say "see, there, right there is one of these unpatriotic liberal journalists busy abusing the freedoms our soldiers fight to protect -- he must be destroyed for the safety of the Republican" and that Matt Welch and I would need to fend for our lives against the onrushing hordes.

Of course it didn't quite come to that, but I don't believe I've ever heard a more disgusting speech delivered in the English language. The fact that I couldn't see a single person on the floor who seemed to feel anything less than the utmost enthusiasm for that lunacy was, well, a bit disturbing.

September 2, 2004 | Permalink

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» Zell Reaction from The Green[e]house Effect: a Weblog
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Comments

Yes, you were in grave danger there. You deserve a medal. Profiles in courage. Like a WW2 or Spanish Civil War journalist on the front lines, fearing for their lives - you are now in that same tradition.

Tell us your other romantic fantasies about yourself!

It's hilarious

Posted by: Blixa | Sep 2, 2004 2:49:35 AM

I keep hearing about Zell's meltdown on Hardball but can't find a link -- could anybody help out? I'm dying to see it

Posted by: gene | Sep 2, 2004 2:55:13 AM

i'm anxious to see the hardball performance myself. and cnn if they're floating around out there.

i saw the speech twice (!) on cspan, but i cannot imagine how chilling it must have been in person. sounded fascistic to me as well.

Posted by: bs23 | Sep 2, 2004 3:00:15 AM

I didn't watch any of the network coverage, since I don't get MSNBC/CNBC where I am now and since my remote is fucked up. I just stick with C-Span, and like you, I cringed at the speech.

But anyway, after reading dailykos.com and other blogs, the general impression is that most commentators were horrified, when they weren't laughing at his screw-ups, by his vicious, dishonest comments. It might have been the start of a true nightmare for the Republicans.

Will the public react the same way? Well, one can hope.

Posted by: Brian | Sep 2, 2004 3:00:37 AM

Quoth Senator Miller:

No one should dare to even think about being the commander in chief of this country if he doesn't believe with all his heart that our soldiers are liberators abroad and defenders of freedom at home.

In other words, once our soldiers are in the field, it's treasonous to question the reason they're there. Our guys can do no wrong.

Posted by: bad Jim | Sep 2, 2004 3:02:15 AM

bs23,

Here is part of it:

http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/001493.html#001493

Posted by: Brian | Sep 2, 2004 3:03:02 AM

holy f$@%& --- over at eschaton is an awesome photo of zell doing his best emperor impression...

thought he looked vaguely familiar during the speech...

Posted by: bs23 | Sep 2, 2004 3:03:20 AM

bad jim: that was exactly the line which first triggered the "you fascist" response in my mind (i came a little late to it both times, so maybe there were some juicy bits early on that i missed).

in contrast, i found parts of cheney's speech (before the kerry bash phase) at least coherent and arguing a point or two, unlike the empty let's-feel-better-about-ourselves-by-chanting-USA
propoganda of the previous speeches. are the speakers told to slow the pace and chant "george double-u bush"?

[note to self: of course they are, dumbass!]

Posted by: bs23 | Sep 2, 2004 3:07:54 AM

I think we on the left need to be careful about conflating *our* opinions of Zell's speech with the opinions of the Public. Whatever *we* might think of his speech, there are surely millions of Americans who think Zell was right on.

Maybe even a majority.

It's easy for us to get lost in our own bubbles, in our own communities. But how did his speech play in the deep South? The Mountain West? The rural areas? I'll bet there were millions who thought his speech was dead right on.

Maybe even a majority of all Americans.

We need to consider that possibility very, very seriously, and think about what our options are in the face of that, if that fact is true. We have to be careful that we don't convince ourselves of what we want to believe. We want to believe that our opinion is the majority opinion. It might not at all be true. Maybe Zell speaks for the majority in many areas of the country. Maybe Zell speaks for the majority, period.

Posted by: Jeff | Sep 2, 2004 3:08:01 AM

I'm mildly confident that most people tuned out to the convention. Boring old white guys making bombastic speeches, whoopee!

Zell speaking for the majority? Not according to the polls or the last election results.

Posted by: bad Jim | Sep 2, 2004 3:30:18 AM

Jeff (or his evil twin) has been posting a similar ideas over at Eschaton.

I think it's FUD. But if everyone opposed gives up the fight due to a self-induced trance of defeatism, it might be reality some time in the future.

Posted by: modus potus | Sep 2, 2004 3:41:16 AM

Zell speaking for the majority? Not according to the polls or the last election results.

We'll see -- I wouldn't dare try to predict what would happen if, for example, there's a major terrorist strike between now and Election Day. At that point, we could find out what Americans *really* think of the sentiments Zell expresssed...

My point, I think, is that we seem so certain that Zell doesn't speak for many Americans; and maybe he doesn't. But I guess a little caution might be in order to remember that even if Zell didn't punch *our* buttons, there are tens of millions of Americans whose buttons he *did* push. We just have to remember as we plan and act from here forward that what *we* think isn't necessarily what everyone else thinks.

Posted by: Jeff | Sep 2, 2004 3:46:22 AM

Yeah. Lots of defeatist posts everywhere. Looks like a trend.

Perhaps the people who are willing and able to sit through this sort of entertainment are particularly susceptible to anxiety.

I'm confident that the actual spectacle of this president on stage tomorrow night will restore regular readers and viewers to projectile vomiting.

Posted by: bad Jim | Sep 2, 2004 3:52:11 AM

Looks like Jeff's definitely out of the closet.

I wouldn't dare try to predict what would happen if, for example, there's a major terrorist strike between now and Election Day.

No, thanks to our president's steely resolve, no one anywhere is vulnerable to terrorist attacks any more.

Posted by: bad Jim | Sep 2, 2004 4:06:28 AM

Jeff (or his evil twin) has been posting a similar ideas over at Eschaton.

After some encounters with some vicious trolls out there on that board in the deep long past, didn't think posting on that board under my real name and e-mail was a wise idea.

I think it's FUD. But if everyone opposed gives up the fight due to a self-induced trance of defeatism, it might be reality some time in the future.

True -- but I think we're equally in big danger if we fall into the trap of thinking everyone thinks like we do. I mean, it's that inability to think outside of the bubble, that misperception that everyone thinks the same way, that has caused so much trouble in so many other fronts over the last few years, isn't it?

Of course if we give up, we're dead. We've got to fight to the finish. But we've got to fight *smart* -- and that means considering the possibility that a *lot* of people *don't* share our opinion, and what to do about it. I'm certain we all know many folks who would fall into that category. I mean, for starters, reports are that the RNC floor reacted quite well; surely they aren't alone in their home communities?

As subsequent comments on Atrios have seconded, there *are* not a few folks who thought Zell was right on. That's a reality we're just going to have to figure out how to deal with. But the near-triumphalism that seems to be the liberal blog consensus so far to me both seems premature --and more importantly, dangerous.

Every challenge can be dealt with and overcome on the way to victory --but only if we don't blind ourselves to those challenges first. How much of thinking Zell Miller's speech was a failure is *hoping* that the majority of Americans saw that speech as a failure, out of fear of what it would mean if the majority bought the entire speech lock, stock, and barrel? If that prevents us from figuring out strategies to make *sure* the speech gets seen as what we want it to be seen as, then that is a problem.

Even if the best way to deal with this problem is to write it off or ignore it, it's something we need to consider, I think, and consider it carefully. *We* might not agree with Zell Miller, but there are a *lot* of folks who *do*. How do we either change their minds, or neutralize their power? You're right --we give up, we perish. But we can't fall into the same deadly mistake made by others of thinking that just because we're convinced we're right that that alone will give us the victory.

Posted by: Jeff | Sep 2, 2004 4:09:31 AM

Jeff,

Go read Digby. Then get a good night's sleep.

At this point, there's nothing to fear but fear itself. And lots of work yet to be done.

Posted by: modus potus | Sep 2, 2004 4:28:29 AM

Good line, Jeff:

But we can't fall into the same deadly mistake made by others of thinking that just because we're convinced we're right that that alone will give us the victory.

We definitely have to avoid the Republican disease.

The Democrats are probably not going to win by fighting the war in Iraq. We'll win by pointing out that the Republicans are loading the dice against anyone who isn't already a winner.

Posted by: bad Jim | Sep 2, 2004 4:35:10 AM

Actually, the comments about defeatism touch on a pet peeve of mine. It's only defeatism if you *quit*. I mean, part of why we're in such trouble in Iraq is that people like Shinseki, who said we'd need many times more troops than we really sent, the people who warned that we *wouldn't* be seen as liberators, the people who warned we didn't do enough pre-war planning, were dismissed as "defeatist", as insufficently confident, and look where *that* got us!

Quitting the fight when things look bad --or thing *might* look bad-- is stupid, foolish, and cowardly. Especially this fight. This fight we've got to wage, without flagging, without pause, until the very utter end. This is our country --our homeland, and everything we hold dear-- and we've got to fight for that to the very last, no surrender, no quarter.

But false confidence is, in its own way, equally cowardly and certainly as stupid. We've got to have the guts to consider the possibility of truths we really, really hope aren't true --and more to the point, *plan* and *fight* against them. Considering and worrying ain't enough. We've got to fight *back*, and fight *smart*. And we can't do that if we hide from truths we hope aren't true.

Yes, there are a lot of truly defeatist people out there. But merely pointing out seriously unpleasant possibilties by itself isn't defeatist. We could have used a lot more serious consideration of "defeatist" talk before we went into Iraq, so at the very least we could have avoided some of the mistakes we subsequently made because we put too much confidence in things we really had no basis to believe. Let's not fall into the same mistake of substituting hopes for plans.

Are there a lot of folks who don't share our opinion of Zell's speech? Probably. Are there ways we can deal with that? Absolutely! Should it be fought against? Damn straight! Is it a serious enough threat to spend limited resources on? That's a good question. Maybe the size of the problem isn't worth dealing with. Maybe, after due consideration, the best way to deal with that problem is to ignore it, and concentrate on other fronts. But we're *not* going to get to answers on that if we're so lost in our own confidence that we forget there's lots --and lots and lots-- of folks out there who see things very, very differently than we do.

Now none of us were born yesterday -- we know how to deal with these sorts of things. And guys like Atrios, Kos or Yglesias are damned smart and sharp fighters. I've confidence in them --and in us-- that we'll find a way to throw back --with interest-- whatever gets thrown at us. And we *have* to --this whole election, and everything it stands for, is not a fight we can afford to give up or run away from. In the end, it's our country we're fighting for, damnit, something I'm sure everyone here would agree is worth fighting for. We just have to be careful that we don't forget that the way we interpret things --the way we *want* to interpret things-- isn't the same way everyone else does. Our leadership in the White House is often accused of failing to think outside their bubble. Let's be careful not to make the same mistake.

Posted by: Jeff | Sep 2, 2004 4:38:09 AM

I want to affirm the Jeff = nontroll line.

On the other hand, I want to point out that Pat Buchanan seriously damaged Bush41 at the '92 GOP convention. At least if Al Franken is to be believed, nobody thought it was a problem for the GOP at the time. But as it turned out, people weren't in the market for his 'red meat' and the speech is now regarded as a disaster.

Posted by: Ethical Werewolf | Sep 2, 2004 4:44:10 AM

Spiked by curiosity regarding the comment about defeatists on Atrios and other boards, went over to take a look. And encountered folks talking about fleeing the United States.

Okay, *that's* defeatist.

Fleeing the country? Screw that noise -- my family, like so many others of you out here, already *did* that fleeing thing once already. And even for the few of us who *could*, we've got lots of friends and family who *can't*. What, we're just going to leave them behind? Screw that.

I mean, even in the worst concievable circumstances, there were folks who fought back, fought to the very last -- I mean, where did guys like Havel come from? Or Mandela? I don't pretend to even have a fraction of the courage that a guy like Mandela has in his left middle toenail --but I can at least try. Yeah, we gotta fight smart --but above all, we gotta *fight*.

'course, it doesn't seem like any of you here need that reminder. :-)

Posted by: Jeff | Sep 2, 2004 4:54:20 AM

Jeff=sneaky Repub troll
Yes a majority of Americans think John Kerry wants to arm our soldiers with only spitballs.
Are you kidding me Jeff? Of course you are since you are a stealth troll trying to convince this board that a majority of Americans believe the crap Miller was selling so it must be true and those the disagree are in a bubble. Miller flat out lied with his crack that Kerry won't act unless he gets UN approval. Yes Kerry voted to cut defense spending. Peace dividend ring a bell. Funny how Sec Def Cheney also thought programs like the B1 and B2 were expensive and UNECESSARY. Nice try Jeff

Posted by: Muldoon | Sep 2, 2004 4:58:50 AM

Which were the "fascistic remarks," Matthew? "Fascism" is a word that used to have a very particular meaning. Are you just using it as a synonym for "nasty"? I'm genuinely curious (a) if you know what the word means, and (b) if so, which lines in Sen. Miller's speech you believe endorsed or promoted that political system.

Posted by: Beldar | Sep 2, 2004 5:03:54 AM

Jeff sure *seems* like a troll because he *keeps* putting stars around *way* too many *words*. No real person would do that.

Also by the way he keeps saying "we" over and over and over again. It's farcical.

Kerry voted against weapons programs that Cheney voted against. And now Kerry is unfit and Cheney is a paragon of national security. Funny how easy it is to believe lies like these when *you* live in a *Republican* *bubble*.

Posted by: mattfwood | Sep 2, 2004 5:17:45 AM

Of course you are since you are a stealth troll trying to convince this board that a majority of Americans believe the crap Miller was selling so it must be true and those the disagree are in a bubble.

Did you actually *read* what I wrote? (On a non-sequitur, I sure seem to have written a lot tonight...)

Since when did what the majority believed necessarily mean that the majority was *right*? Those two facts are in no way related. The majority, for example, thought Iraq had weapons of mass destruction --that's why they supported going to war. They were *wrong*, but that's what drove the dyanamic. Unfortunately, merely being right doesn't win elections --you've got to have a majority behind the right, too. And if many --potentially, a majority-- of folks think Zell Miller's right, that doesn't change the facts or the lies --but it *will* hurt our cause. Unless we do something about it.

*You* know and *I* know and everyone else on this board knows the truth -- but how many folks out *there* know it? And much more importantly, how do we make *sure* they know it, and get convinced of it? Did you even catch that idea?

My point is that it seemed everyone in the liberal blogosphere was convinced that Zell's speech was a disaster for the RNC -- when there are probably plenty of folks who ate it right up. It's up to *us* to make sure the speech gets seen the way *we* want it to get seen. It's not necessarily going to be a disaster for the RNC unless we *make* it a disaster for the RNC. A lot of liberal blogosphere folks seem to think it's going to take care of itself, that what is obvious to us will be obvious to everyone else. I think we'd better be prepared to *make* it obvious. And we've got a lot of sharp, smart folks who can make it so.

Modus Potus had it dead right --we've got lots of work to be done. Let's do it.

Posted by: Jeff | Sep 2, 2004 5:20:03 AM

I do use an awful lot of stars -- it's a function of my verbal rhetorical style, which involves a lot of stressing particular words, which doesn't translate well to the verbal page.

I'm also hoping there isn't some rule against too many posts from the same individual. :-)

Regarding the substance of your complaint, mattfwood, if after this many paragraphs from me you still can't tell the difference between me thinking Zell Miller is right and me worrying too many folks out there are going to think Zell Miller is right, then I really ought to give up.

Posted by: Jeff | Sep 2, 2004 5:28:22 AM

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