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Another Rant About the Left That Slowly Slides Into Metaphoric Meanderings

[I'm nothing if not predictable] The cognitive dissonance of the left has become profound in the past few days. In addition to all the Swimming to Cambodia stories making the rounds, there is also the story of his weaving tales of health care woe:
The story told by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is compelling: A woman undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer continues working for fear of losing her health insurance, because her husband is unemployed. In television ads, e-mails and speeches starting before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary last January, Kerry has used the plight of Mary Ann and John Knowles, both 57, to criticize the Bush administration's health care policies. But an account from John Knowles in the New Hampshire Sunday News contains more details. He said Mary Ann could have taken disability leave without losing her health insurance, but needed to keep earning her full salary. "Her coverage is very good," he said. "It's not something that is a problem with her employer.
If the shoe was on the other (Bush's) foot, the left would have been all over him, calling him a liar, accusing of him of using the plight of others for his own good and holding him up as untrustworthy. Crickets. Imagine the Cambodia issue on Bush. The left attack machine would be in full-frontal assault mode. Liar. Fibber. Crazy. Dishonorable. Unfit for the presidency. That's just the beginning of what they would be hurling at Bush. Defense. That's all I see on the left is one defense after another of Kerry's "searing memory" gone haywire. And if it's not defense, it's justification. It's as if they can't comprehend - or don't want to comprehend - the information given them so they either gloss it over, ignore it, or find some way to shoot spitballs at the people bringing the story to the front. Found over at VodkaPundit today: an excerpt from a story that appeared in the American Thinker in May. Here's just a small part:
It got to a point where Wright told his divisional commander he no longer wanted Kerry in his boat group, so he was re-assigned to another one. “I had an idea of his actions but didn’t have to be responsible for him.” Then Wright and like-minded boat officers took matters into their own hands. “When he got his third Purple Heart, three of us told him to leave. We knew how the system worked and we didn’t want him in Coastal Division 11. Kerry didn’t manipulate the system, we did.”
To which Stephen replies: bq. Let me get this straight. Kerry used his authority recklessly, and it cost him his job. Tell me again what his beef is with George W. Bush? Not sure, but I can certainly tell you what the left's new beef with Bush is. Ready? He's a dirty rugby player (yes, this is four days old, I'm a bit behind on my blog reading). In the mind of Bob Harris (who posted this story over at Tom Tomorrow's place), Bush's elbow to an opponent is fair game as long as we are "revisiting the 60's." Apparently, you can tell a lot about a person from one photo taken from a game he played in 1968. Even though we have no idea what went on before that play, the photo is proof positive that Bush is an arrogant cheater who is not fit to be president. And we (Republicans/Bush voters) owe it to ourselves to really think hard about this when we vote for Bush because, after all, it's the moral equivalent of Kerry's actions in the same era. Right. This is the way Harris introduces the incriminating evidence: bq. As long as we're re-examining the 1960s, looking for signs of character, trying to decide if a man who volunteered for combat and was decorated five times was more or less courageous than a guy who didn't even show up for his own medical exam... here's George W. Bush during his college days, hitting a fellow sportsman in the face. He writes the rest of his post with a giddiness that belies the unimportance of this clue to the inner workings of George W. Bush. One would think that Harris h himself has uncovered a smoking gun in Bush's closet. So here we have a guy - Kerry - who, according to sources that were present with him - lied about his service in Vietnam. And now we see that a story that was seared in his memory is not the truth. This is a story he told to Congress. But, hey, let's compare that to a punch thrown in a rugby match. Granted, it looks like it was an illegal move. But I'll be damned if I was so desperate to take the heat off of my candidate that I would drag this photo out and proclaim it to be evidence of some great character flaw that makes him worse than his opponent. Alas, it's the M.O. of the left these days. You did it first. Your guy did something worse than ours. Yea, I know you are but what am I. They don't want to address the issues, they want to obfuscate them. Indeed, before the day is out, there will be at least one comment here saying something along the lines of "Bush lied, people died. Let's talk about that." And the issue here -t hat John Kerry is dishonest in some major areas - will get passed over as the comments will once again end up in a fight about WMDs. I think the main thing to remember here is that for most of the Anybody But Bush voters -who make up a good deal of the left - Kerry is not their candidate of choice. No one is. So in order to campaign for what they want to see happen in November they must spend their time throwing stones at Bush rather than supporting Kerry. Most of the people I talk to from the left don't even like Kerry. He's just not Bush and that's good enough for them. But that makes for some dishonest campaigning, as it all becomes so much rhetoric. Of course they won't address the issues. They can't. If this were a football came they would be running a hell of an offense. Unfortunately, their defense is non-existent. And they don't even have cheerleaders to take your mind off the ugly game on the field. What they have is a sold-out crowd of fair-weather fans, most of which bet the over-under and are just hoping for the right score without caring who wins. (Damn, maybe I should have went with a rugby metaphor)


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Another Rant About the Left That Slowly Slides Into Metaphoric Meanderings:

» Part of Kerry's Stump Speech Turns Sour from Cranial Cavity
Kerry even lies about the sick now. Is there no shame in this man. Kerry has repeatedly used the story of John and Mary Ann Knowles to illustrate shortcomings of the Bush health care system. Based on Kerry's telling "it’s the story of a... [Read More]

» POLITICS/OTHER SPORTS: Band of Ruggers from Baseball Crank
Eric McErlain takes apart one of the stupidest political arguments I have ever seen, this Bob Harris post at Tom Tomorrow's place showing a still photo of George W. Bush playing rugby at Yale and trying to make out Bush... [Read More]


Re: Harris' opening comment "As long as we're re-examining the 60s ..."

We aren't; we are replying to Kerry's focusing on his 4 months from 35 years ago instead of, oh I don't know, the intervening 35 years? We are replying to his use of his service to his country, of which he was quite obviously ashamed back in 1971, as a political feather in his cap now, like it was always something to be proud of.

And it's pretty damn funny that anybody on the Left would invite "re-examining the 60s", since they basically used that decade to attempt to destroy the country.

Great post Michele.

anything on tax cuts for the rich? about US corporations running a world empire, oppressing the third world and working people? about how Bush lied so the neocons and oil companies could make money?

nope, keep bloggin for your Haliburton and enron money, you right-wing fascist sheep. you are going down in November....


That's not exactly fair on the health care thing. The same article you linked goes on to say:

"John Knowles said taking disability leave would have meant living on about 70 percent of Mary Ann's regular paycheck - not an option when he was unemployed. Knowles said Kerry didn't distort facts.
'Kerry never said anything we didn't tell him,' he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview."

And yet another attempt to speak as an adult gets torpedoed by a whacko. Thanks a lot, rightwingers are sheep. Moron.

Solonor is right on the health care thing. I didn't RTFA.

However, it only took two posts for someone to prove my point.

However, Solonor, the point wasn't that people who undergo major medical problems might have problems getting income to pay for mortgage, cable TV, food, and whatnot, but that they don't have health insurance to cover them and thus would hurt financially. It wasn't paying for health care that would hurt the Knowleses financially, it was the loss of income if Mrs. Knowles didn't work. That's an entirely different issue.

Kerry wasn't trying to argue that disability benefits aren't good enough. By the way (I'm in the insurance biz), there is private disability insurance out there. This is a good idea if one is dependent on only one income in a family, and one doesn't have emergency funds set aside. (Further disclosure: my company does not sell disability insurance.)

Oh, and I do not hold the escapee from DU against your arguments, Solonor.

Why can't they stay on the reservation?

I have to laugh about the rugby thing. You can actually smell the desperation. It was the only thing on Atrios' site when John Kerry's fantasy life was being revealed. Oooooo... GW committed a foul in college rugby!! OOoo! Two of my daughters played varsity high school soccer, they never ever ever committed a foul! [yeah, right]
. Under Kerry's plan, he added, she would have been covered indefinitely.

Oh... "free" universal care? How lovely. "Fixing" the healthcare system that way makes a much sense as encouraging Americans to get their prescription drugs from Canada.

Sorry, Enron is out of money and Haliburton hasn't sent the check yet. Also I'm waiting for the check from the ZOG. Talk about your sheep/idiot.

I understand the problems with health care and not having enough set aside, as I'm one of them.

However, you must admit that it's pretty desparate on their part to dredge up a picture in a rugby game from the 1960's. Isn't that game famous for being down, dirty and brutal anyway? If it's an illegal move, was he penalized? Did the ref see it? I notice that there is no background information about this picture. He may have been penalized for it for all we know.

Imperial Keeper

and Bush counters with a 'Halliburton' uppercut

Solonor, you should know that we "rightwingers" don't ever group you with MOST, unfortunately, on the left. Even most of the TV pundits on the left sound like that commenter before you.

And what Mary Pat said is also true, the issue Kerry tried to raise was about health care not disability pay. It immediately didn't ring true to me as soon as I heard it live; why didn't the press pick up on it immediately?

Wouldn't the Family Medical Leave Act and COBRA prevent an employer from doing what Kerry suggested?

The people who are making a stink about this have evidently never actually watched, much less played in, a rugby match. Or any other team sport, for that matter.

The best comparison I can make is fouling your man in basketball. When a situation arises in which you need to stop the other player, you foul him, play stops, he takes his penalty kick, and you get on with the game.

I know that some folks would love to spin this as "Bush plays dirty!" but I don't think anybody's gonna fall for it.

It seems like absurdly too much effort to spend on a stupid 35-year old rugby picture, but I saw a post somewhere yesterday saying that, like a lot of sports action photos, it might not even be what it looks like at first glance. The implied physics of the picture (assuming Bush to be throwing a punch) would have Bush and his fist moving in opposite directions, not a great way to hit someone (but, hey, Bush is dumb, so that would fit, I suppose!)

And, of course, it's a devastating picture, ruining Bush's rugbycentric strategy, which he planned to kick off at the end of the convention when he'd be joined by a dozen former Yale rugby players, his "Band of Ruggers."

And, of course, it's a devastating picture, ruining Bush's rugbycentric strategy, which he planned to kick off at the end of the convention when he'd be joined by a dozen former Yale rugby players, his "Band of Ruggers."

That's the funniest thing I've read all day. I know it's only nine in the morning, but I've been up for a while, so that's saying something.

David, you're my king.

Remember what happened in Vietnam after Kerry and his ilk got done? "Reeducation" camps? Mass exodus?

Kerry lied, millions died!

Are there even any fouls in Rugby? My roomate in college played and called it "smear the queer with touchdowns."

Thanks ABB, all this will do is to show people that Bush liked all kinds of sports (played baseball, tossed footballs and now rugby.) Sort of like how no one knew Bush flew high-performance jets on dangerous missions until the "AWOL" flap.

Oh, and Kerry still throws lieka girl.

Oh, and I still can't spell worth a dran.

Its obvious in the rugby photo that the guy has just slipped a tackle, pulling down and through the arms. Bush isn't throwing a punch, hes wrapping his fingers so they're not likely to get broken (rugby is a heavy contact sport, remember). His body language is not right for swinging his right arm forward. This from a lifelong martial artist and long-ago rugby player.

Though they could get him for leaving his feet during a tackle, though thats really intended to keep players from leaping forward to "spear" somebody. Jumping upward, while certainly not an effective tackle, isnt really going to hurt someone.

Just my $.04 (inflation, you know)



I hear the Kerry campaign has dug up further devestating information about GW, the cheat. Seems that a Ms. Grundy, GW's third grade teacher, had to discipline GW for taking advantage of another child with unequal lunch trading when GW traded his American cheese on whitebread with mayo sandwich for five Oreo cookies.

The horror!

That photograph assures Bush the EU-Oz hooligan voting block, which considers "nuance" the stuff toffish NancyBoys say before eating a size ten Doc Martin.

I knew a bunch of rugby players in college. Every single one of them was certifiable. It took real guts to play that game at all.

I'm thinking I smell desperation. The MSM is still trying to bury this, but it can't work much longer.

This is a sport where the people who play do so with a band of tape wrapped around their heads, like one would wrap a bandana around their forehead to mop up sweat. Why? Because if they don't wrap the tape around their heads, their ears will get torn off in a scrum.

Rugby is a violent sport. There's no getting around it. I've watched more than a few games and always came away shocked with the amount of blood left on the field. Yet, this is just the way the game is played. This is the way it's always been played. There are penalties and fouls in rugby, and chances are Dubya, if this hit was a. noticed and b. what we think it was, would have cost his team a free kick from out of bounds.

But this photo which is reportedly so friggin' scandalous nowadays, probably took no more than two minutes total, from beginning to end, to resolve. This is such a non-starter. No one should fall for this crap.

Quite frankly, I'd much rather have a rugby player in office than one who didn't play that game. It's brutal. Life is brutal, particularly if you're an elected official. This game tells its players to blow off the pain; that pain is actually your friend, because it makes you learn. Now, do you think Kerry got the same lesson out of Vietnam? I don't.

Oh my. George W. Bush might have once hit someone during a Rugby game in 1968. This changes everything!
It will no longer suffice to vote the straight Anybody But Bush ticket. Those of us who are well known must threaten to leave the country if that dasteredly elbower should be reelected, those of us who are unknown must riot in the streets.
There's never an excuse for violence in a Rugby Game. It's MUCH more important than the two million dead Asians following the Kerry crowd's victory in SE Asia.

My sister played Rugby in college, and yes, she probably is approaching certifiable in some ways. I spent half an hour on the phone last night with her, listening to how Bush is Hitler AND the anti-Christ (and he hates Roman Catholics in particular), Kerry is wonderful, Bush is going to raise all our taxes, and how we need socialized medicine. I specifically asked her if she really thought we should give France a veto over our foreign policy and she said "yes". Oh, and the only reason the cold war lasted as long as it did was that we were in Cuba, and the only reason the arabs hate us is that we support Israel, and Michael Moore is wonderful, and didn't I know that he doesn't really have anything against guns, because he's a member of the NRA?

I keep telling myself she's only in her mid 20s, and I was a bit of a LLL moonbat at that age too (though I don't think I actually got to the barking stage).

I still despair.

Sorry this is a bit OT, but I just have to vent to someone - my husband is getting tired of listening to me, since he doesn't pay any attention to the news, and I have to explain everything, and the entire rest of my family is firmly entrenched in Blue State / Academic America.

"And, of course, it's a devastating picture, ruining Bush's rugbycentric strategy, which he planned to kick off at the end of the convention when he'd be joined by a dozen former Yale rugby players, his "Band of Ruggers.""

I hereby nominate this for post of the year.

Am I the only one who, if this photo is actually of W punching this guy (which I happen to share the wiggled-out-of-a-tackle theory, since the opponent has the ball), has MORE respect for him? I've participated in a number of organized sports from the earliest age (football, baseball, basketball, cycling, volleyball, Aussie Rules, Theater Sports) and many others unorganized, and I can tell you, as I am sure a number of you can, there are a number of dirty players. Generally, dirty players don't have the expression W has. They generally have an "I'm innocent until proven guilty" expression. W's looks more like "I've had enough of your BS so here is my right hook" expression and I believe the "gratifying" caption clears it up. I've done that before, generally in defense of a teammate, but I will do it in my defense, too. Sorry, but if they want to tout this "scandalous" photo it will only help W.

Typical 60s boomers w/the entitlement mentality.

He's entitled to the job he wants at the pay he wants in the area he wants because he doesn't want to move.

I was raised to keep money coming in until something better came along. He could work nights and weekends, who's going to interview him then?

He's got 5 years to go until he collect SS. You do what you have to do until you get to that date.

Does her company have other offices? Could she move to another state and run the program?

We don't know all their options.

Did they downsize? If they have a big house, she might not want to take care of it.


Maybe in the next 5 years the parents will die and they'll get an inheritance and can continue on.


What happened to "I'm going to be starting a positive campaign for Bush"?

You seem to have a very funny definition of the word "positive"...

How can any of you sit and watch Bush and not be deeply disturbed by his lack of interest in whatever he's talking about.

Earl, are you deeply disturbed by my lack of interest in anything you talk about?

No, Earl is just deeply disturbed.

Michele, I see that "cognitive dissonance" is the trendy new phrase to use in blogospace, kind of like "smarmy" was two weeks ago. But before you use it to death, could you please go find out what it is? Cognitive dissonance is the single most researched topic in social psychology, having generated thousands of academic papers, more recently revived for a second life within the connectionist paradigm, and I hate it see it being used by little-thinkers as just another catchy phrase for putting down lefties.

michele, you dumb conservative. liberals smart. we liberals quote much good journals. stop using big words dummie! stuides prove you conservatives are stoopid like bush.

There is no doubt that Kerry lied. His spokesmen have tried a bunch of lame excuses, but he was never in Cambodia on Christmas Eve in 1968.

The people michele cites in the post ARE experiencing cognitive dissonance.

"Cognitive dissonance was first investigated by Leon Festinger and associates, arising out of a participant observation study of a cult which believed that the earth was going to be destroyed by a flood, and what happened to its members — particularly the really committed ones who had given up their homes and jobs to work for the cult — when the flood did not happen. While fringe members were more inclined to recognise that they had made fools of themselves and to "put it down to experience", committed members were more likely to re-interpret the evidence to show that they were right all along (the earth was not destroyed because of the faithfulness of the cult members)".

I see a lot of reinterpretation. Don't you?

Or is that too little-thinker for you, pass?

Oh, OK, I apologize for trying to use words the right way, I realize now that was so nineties. Building on the discussion of tribal sovereignty: "Uh, cognitive dissonance, that means there's, uh, dissonance, and uh, it's, uh, well, it's cognitive, yeah. And then, y'know, that's when ya got, uh, cognitive dissonance."

Ray, cognitive dissonance is a motivational state that exists when an individual's attitudes, behaviors, and/or cognitions are inconsistent with one another. The tension among logically contradictory cognitive elements motivates the individual to change some elements, through denying some of them, reweighting their importance, adding consonant elements, etc. I think the most salient example of this in the present time is seen when people insist that weapons of mass destruction might still be found, that Iraq really was connected to al Qaeda, that Abu Ghraib didn't matter, and so on. These cognitive contortions require a rather extraordinary rearrangement of facts.

Yes it is astonishing.

Some WMDs were found.

Iraq did have connection to Al Qaeda.

Abu Ghraib did matter. And michele so stated.

So thanks for the functional example of CD.

"committed members were more likely to re-interpret the evidence to show that they were right all along " And you have so nicely.

Oh yeah, PTG, cognitive dissonance is such a complex definition that we rightwingers can't understand it. Your examples of cognitive dissonance on the right, quite frankly, SUCK. None of the examples you show display this behavior except in YOUR own opinions not facts. Geez, maybe I could write a paper on the first derivative of CD, and use you as a case study.

(I mean derivative in the classic mathematical sense, BTW)

Oh boy! Math!

Unfortunately this comment setup doesn't support superscript.....

I didn't say you couldn't understand it, just that Michele and others have been using it wrong.

And thanks Ray for that demonstration. The question is why would people (like you) insist that there were weapons of mass destruction, and links to al Qaeda, in the absence of evidence, and the theory of cognitive dissonance provides a good explanation. It works on both sides, and is not a political theory. But I believe it is the best explanation for why people have clung to disproven beliefs about Saddam and Iraq, beliefs they held before the war and before there was any evidence one way or the other; this is exactly like the apocalyptic cult in When Prophecy Fails that you cut-n-pasted about, above.

The phrase "cognitive dissonance" sounds like it would mean you're confused, and so for somebody who doesn't know the theory it seems a perfect phrase to hurl at your political opponents. But it fits the right very well in its proper form.

Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation. It therefore occurs when there is a need to accommodate new ideas, and it may be necessary for it to develop so that we become "open" to them. Neighbour (1992) makes the generation of appropriate dissonance into a major feature of tutorial (and other) teaching: he shows how to drive this kind of intellectual wedge between learners' current beliefs and "reality".

Beyond this benign if uncomfortable aspect, however, dissonance can go "over the top", leading to two interesting side-effects for learning:

* if someone is called upon to learn something which contradicts what they already think they know — particularly if they are committed to that prior knowledge — they are likely to resist the new learning. Even Carl Rogers recognised this. Accommodation is more difficult than Assimilation, in Piaget's terms.

* if learning something has been difficult, uncomfortable, or even humiliating enough, people are not likely to admit that the content of what has been learned is not valuable. To do so would be to admit that one has been "had", or "conned".

Sounds right to me, PTG.

Or maybe I'm just being a little thinker?

Once again, PTG is a condescending blatherer.

Condescending blatherer: That's, uh, a blatherer, y'know, that's somebody that blathers. and, mm, they're condescending, like, they condescend at people, I mean, to people, and so they're, uh, condescending blatherers.

Your statement: The cognitive dissonance of the left has become profound in the past few days.

No, it hasn't. "The left" is very confident. The negativity of Bush's campaign has only supported their expectations, and has not made Kerry's supporters feel any conflict about their opinions. No cognitive dissonance.


If you are so blinded that you cannot acknowledge that their were some weapons found and that the 9-11 commission did find links, michele is asolutely correct.

Only I would have used a somewhat stronger term following the "condescending".

Is Gassy new here? Do y'all not know him? He's been spewing his particular brand of bullshit all over sites like The Command Post for a while now, so I know Michele knows him.

Gassy, like all rabble-rousers, is best ignored.

I show restraint with him at Command Post for obvious reasons. I don't have to do that here. And I won't.

Gassy is typical. Caught flat-out in a falsehood, he still maintains he's right.

Gotta love the left.

I check in here occasionally, mostly I can resist, but this cognitive dissonance thing has been bothering me for a few weeks, as the blogosophers have been misusing the phrase more and more frequently. Sort like what Bush did with fuzzy logic, take a good idea that you're ignorant of, and make it into a slogan for slandering your enemies. So I couldn't resist the urge to be smarmy -- oh, woops, that's so last week.

Enjoy yourselves, believe whatever you want to, have a good time with it. Adios.

Passing Gas, no one has used the concept incorrectly, as others have explained to you over and over and over again. You can type "you're using it wrong, you light-brained rightheads" until your keyboard melts under your bleeding fingertips, and YOU will still be the one who is WRONG. And you'll have sore hands.

Let me try:

"you're uxing iq wrocg, you lidht-brained righthesds"


"sou're wseng ir wrogg, yeu tight-rained rihhtheeds"

No, turns out you're wrong. I really can't type that "until [my] keyboard melts under [my] bleeding fingertips."

I never typed it before, and I still can't, even when I really, really try.

You're wrong.


Huh. Ain't that a kick in the head.

Enjoy yourselves, believe whatever you want to, have a good time with it. Adios. Posted by Pass the Gas on August 12, 2004 08:29 PM

And then:

You're wrong.


Posted by Pass the Gas on August 12, 2004 10:08 PM

Yeah. Troll. Hit the "ban" button, Michele.

Well, that was fun.

Maybe the next time Michele uses the phrase "Whiny Ass Liberal", Pass will come give us another first hand demonstration of "what it means".

BUSH LIED! and you small-thinkers don't know what lying means either. so stoopid, the rightwing is.

-Smell My Farts

Just like Clinton didn't know the meaning of the word "is."

And they call us stupid?

Imperial Keeper

Re: CG -- We ALL do it. I'm a total leftie, and I can see myself doing it. I can also see people on the right doing it.

I think once we've decided what to believe, we look for proof to support it and find clever ways to discount proof that refutes it. Sometimes that's hard... like when Scalia ruled against Bush's policy of holding people indefinitely without charge. But I thought Scalia was evil!! So there's something I have to absorb into the whole. Maybe Scalia has some integrity after all.

I mean CD, not CG!

"If the shoe was on the other (Bush's) foot, the left would have been all over him, calling him a liar, accusing of him of using the plight of others for his own good and holding him up as untrustworthy."

Right you are. And to prove your point lets retouch your paragraph.

If the shoe was on the other (Kerry's) foot, the right would have been all over him, calling him a liar, accusing of him of using the plight of others for his own good and holding him up as untrustworthy.

Which only proves the left and the right will always call the opponent a liar who is out for their own personal gains.

The real test of unbiased editorializing is if they are willing to call both candidates liars and thieves as the occasion warrants.