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Traitors Everywhere

A little while back I did a post which led a commenter (the most excellent Praktike, I believe) to suggest it was time to revisit "The Paranoid Style In American Politics" and with the news that the increasingly influential Power Line blog thinks "Jimmy Carter isn't just misguided or ill-informed. He's on the other side," I think that's clearly right. Jimmy Carter left office as one of the least-loved presidents ever, and you'd still be hard-pressed to find a liberal who'll mount a really full-throated defense of his tenure in office. But on the other side? Not some academic or blogger or activist type, but a veteran of the United States military and a former President of the United States. On the other side. A traitor. These are serious allegations, seriously demented.

I don't think it's at all unreasonable to say that Hindrocket owes Carter a serious apology. Flinging this sort of totally unsubstantiated allegation is disgusting and utterly destructive of any effort to have serious debate about anything. Is Jimmy Carter really in league with the jihadist forces responsible for the murder of thousands of Americas? Is this what Power Line's fans and those who link to them believe? That a jihadist agent managed to get himself elected president? That an ex-president turned traitor?

February 16, 2005 | Permalink

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» Break on through to the other side from The Liferaft of Love
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» Where's that famous civility? from FoolBlog
The Powerline blog, full of its own importance, comes on out and calls Jimmy Carter a traitor. Jesus. Pardon my french (and sorry Mom, if you're reading), but Powerline, fuck you. You really think that a former President, who was... [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 16, 2005 11:35:43 AM

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» Navy to Commission Attack Submarine Named for Traitor from Liberals Against Terrorism

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Tracked on Feb 17, 2005 1:12:18 PM

» The Right's Obsession with Jimmy Carter from ISOU
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The Powerline blog, full of its own importance, comes on out and calls Jimmy Carter a traitor. Jesus. Pardon my french (and sorry Mom, if you're reading), but Powerline, fuck you. You really think that a former President, who was... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 19, 2005 11:11:50 AM

» Where's that famous civility? from FoolBlog
The Powerline blog, full of its own importance, comes on out and calls Jimmy Carter a traitor. Jesus. Pardon my french (and sorry Mom, if you're reading), but Powerline, fuck you. You really think that a former President, who was... [Read More]

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Comments

i must've missed the part where the powerline guy said carter's a jihadist or whatever. i thought the other side was the anti-everything democrats. shows you what I know.

Posted by: hanger on | Feb 16, 2005 10:34:27 AM

Hey, the Pentagon is about to name a nuclear submarine after Carter--check it out on Drudge. I guess that makes the Pentagon "on the other side", too!

Posted by: debs | Feb 16, 2005 10:36:56 AM

Maybe the term "traitor" has been so debased with overuse that at this point it is meaningless. Which is a good thing, I guess. It's just a cheap rhetorical gimmick . . . means nothing, like calling democrats "commies" or something.

Anyway, Bush's policies are objectively pro-Iran, so who's the traitor?

Posted by: Brian | Feb 16, 2005 10:40:24 AM

While I would not call it fascism, there is a revanchist element, exemplified by Power Line's smear, that is growing on the right. This is due to a sense of moral panic and fear.

Many Conservatives, like Paul Craig Roberts , have noted this.

My own experience agrees: Clinton was someone I opposed, and many Clinton defenders would argue with me, but never call me disloyal- yet, now that I oppose Bush, I hear that crap all the time (not to my face, because they are usually pussies, but you know what I mean)

-It's rampant, and it started with the slobs- like the Limbaugh -types, but it has been building steam.

It's pure itch - whenever I argue with these people, they say it was different, because we were not at war with Clinton- they totally forget that we did have a war, etc-

Posted by: Gotham Image | Feb 16, 2005 10:40:29 AM

Gee, Matt. Ya think?
Welcome to the world that's been in front of your eyes since 1992. This is not about political advantage. It is about political obliteration.

Posted by: Jim Madison's Dog | Feb 16, 2005 10:41:38 AM

"I don't think it's at all unreasonable to say that Hindrocket owes Carter a serious apology."
Forecast for Hell today: 500 degrees and firey...

Posted by: SP | Feb 16, 2005 10:41:48 AM

Hanger On: "The Other Side," when used by Powerline and its ilk, is an InstaPundit trope that DEFINITELY means jihadist, or jihadist fellow traveler, or in general people who don't just disagree with the Bush administration but affirmatively want our troops murdered and the U.S. as a nation to fall. It certainly does not just mean "anti-everything democrats." It's code, and very nasty code at that. That's why Matt is absolutely right to say that Carter (and I'm no fan of his) is owed an apology.

Posted by: Richard Riley | Feb 16, 2005 10:42:22 AM

This crap has been going on for quite some time. Raygun even blamed Carter for the bombing of the Marine barracks at the Beirut airport.

9/26/84
President Reagan claims the latest Beirut bombing is the fault of Jimmy Carter, who he said "presided over the destruction of our intelligence capability." Carter responds that Reagan tends "to blame his every mistake and failure on me and others who served before him."

Posted by: Steven Jandreau | Feb 16, 2005 10:42:24 AM

Maybe the real lesson is that we all need to pay less attention to what people like Powerline bloggers, Glenn Reynolds, et al. have to say. Unless you secretly get a rush out of that surge of anger you get when you peruse their ravings, I'm not sure it serves any point.
I suppose swatting these sorts of flies would serve some larger point if you thought that they had a larger influence, but I'm not sure they do. It's easy to assume that they must have a pernicious influence of dragging the debate to the right and poisoning our national dialogue, etc. etc., but I tend to think it's more a case of their preaching to the choir. There have always been nuts spewing this sort of stuff, and always dittoheads ready to lap it up. Does it make any difference whether we try to combat them and reason with them and demand apologies from them? It's nice to think so, but I have serious doubts.

Posted by: The Navigator | Feb 16, 2005 10:42:45 AM

A man who calls himself Hindrocket insinuates that an ex-president (the only USNA graduate to be president) is a traitor? This is the return of the stab-in-the-back along with .

hanger-on,

Saying thaat Carter's on the other side and meaning only that he is a democrat would merely show that Hindraker has a firm grasp on the obvious. Kind of like saying that fire burns or that water is wet.

Posted by: Randy Paul | Feb 16, 2005 10:46:18 AM

totally unsubstantiated allegation

Huh? Unsusbstantiated how? Did you even read the post, Matthew? What possible other explanation is there for a group that "certifies" the "election" (wrongly as it turns out) of Chavez but refuses to saying anything at all about Iraq? Isn't it quite obvious which side they are on?

Posted by: Al | Feb 16, 2005 10:48:02 AM

Sorry I screwed up the link. It should have read,

"This is the return of the stab-in-the-back along with this.

"All dissent is opposition. All opposition is counterrevolutionary."

- Fidel Castro

Castro and Hindraker - demosntrating that the far ends of the extremist mindset have much in common.

Posted by: Randy Paul | Feb 16, 2005 10:50:10 AM

what could be more exciting than these daily tit for tat skirmishes between the right and the left blogosphere? if this is the effing "future of jounalism" you can count me out. it's as much of a turn off from the political process as the last election.

Posted by: passing thru | Feb 16, 2005 10:50:16 AM

I think rubbing a few blogger's noses in their messy insinuations is a necessary, if rather unpleasant, part of rhetorical housetraining. Kudos to Matt Y. for doing what needs to be done.

Posted by: David W. | Feb 16, 2005 10:51:31 AM

Huh? Unsusbstantiated how? Did you even read the post, Matthew? What possible other explanation is there for a group that "certifies" the "election" (wrongly as it turns out) of Chavez but refuses to saying anything at all about Iraq? Isn't it quite obvious which side they are on?

How was the election of Chavez wrongly certified? And how could Carter possibly say anything about the Iraqi election when their was absolutely no independent, international oversight of the election, which is what Carter does? Good God, the U.N. monitored the Iraqi election from Jordan.

Posted by: Freder Frederson | Feb 16, 2005 10:54:21 AM

Mr Arsebanger, or whatever his name is, just proves that he's on the other side. To reason.

Posted by: ahem | Feb 16, 2005 10:55:02 AM

Yeah, and Bush said "bring it on"

Obviously he's on the other side and wants to see the death of American troops too.

After all, he managed to create an entire Jihadist movement out of nothing in Iraq. And that takes some doing.

Posted by: Kent | Feb 16, 2005 10:56:14 AM

Umm...hello? This is the level of debate today. Either blind allegience to dishonestly-sold wars, record deficits, growing American hatred, or you're the enemy.

Soon, the line will be that you need to be imprisoned.

Posted by: AlGore | Feb 16, 2005 11:01:40 AM

Al,

I'm no fan of Chávez, but there has been no credible evidence that the referendum in August was fraudulent.

Indeed the main differences were between exit polls and the ultimate results. If that is your criteria, then perhaps we need to revisit what happened in the US on November 2nd.

Posted by: Randy Paul | Feb 16, 2005 11:04:35 AM

I seem to recall that Carter tried lobbying foreign governments not to go along with the US in Iraq I. That could plausibly be argued as being on the other side. For all I know Bush I may have done something similar during Clinton's presidency but I don't recall anything

Posted by: Sam | Feb 16, 2005 11:08:22 AM

Let's just call the Powerline boys what they are: extremists and proto-fascists.

McCarthy was a better man than those goons.

Posted by: Geek, Esq. | Feb 16, 2005 11:10:35 AM


It's just McCarthyism all over again. Whenever there's a war on, the Republicans conflate the Democrats with the enemy. Standard operating procedure.

Posted by: Josh Yelon | Feb 16, 2005 11:15:12 AM

Sam,
No he didn't. You recall incorrectly. If you were to dig, you might find some criticism of Bush vis a vis Iraq in the papers (I know some of Bush I's top people were critical in the run-up to invasion, among others).

I seem to recall myself that the UN was extremely limited in its ability to observe the Iraq elections, due to violence and suspicion. I don't believe Jimmy Carter was invited.

These are the people US News think are undermining the media for good?

Posted by: buck | Feb 16, 2005 11:20:51 AM

Aren't the Bushies carrying water for Al-Queda?

I mean they took out Hussein for Al-Queda and now Syria.

Posted by: NeoDude | Feb 16, 2005 11:23:23 AM

The Democracy proclamations of Mr Bush were vaguely remeniscent of Carter's Human Rights Policy. The Criticisim of Carter was an ideology that resulted in an upheaval of the status quo in places like Iran. Bush has approached the world with a different ideology but has created greater upheaval.

Posted by: bakho | Feb 16, 2005 11:25:08 AM

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