Re: Heston's speech

From: Neal Blaikie (
Date: Thu Feb 22 2001 - 10:02:19 MST

Chris Russo wrote:

> I'm just pointing out that you criticized someone for supposedly
> identifying with a certain "side", but your stances indicate that you
> have your own side. Pot, kettle?

If you look carefully at my original response to Brian, you'll see that I
didn't criticize him for identifying with a particular side. I simply asked
him to define his terms, and asked him why he was so interested in taking
sides. As I have said over and over again in this forum, I see knee-jerk
side-taking as more of a problem than taking a particular side. This is a
subtle distinction, I will admit, but an important one. As long as we continue
to automatically take one side or another, to see side-taking as an important
thing to do, we'll never get anywhere. This is the main problem with partisan
politics. Everyone's so busy taking sides, defining positions, and then
defending them to the death, that no actual problem solving or forward
progress is possible.

> Just because you give lip service to the idea of partisan
> independence doesn't mean that you live by it. You might try not
> being so offended when someone makes a jab at the left.

I've never once expressed offense because someone has taken a jab at the left.
My problem is with the act of replacing critical thinking with simplistic
jabbing. Again, this isn't side taking. It is critiquing what I see as useless

> Actually, if you had read Brian's post carefully, you would have
> noticed that he didn't claim to be on one side or the other. He
> simply said that "the other side" was getting a taste of their own
> medicine. He could easily have been referring to the other side of
> Heston's affiliation, but your own simplistic thinking didn't give
> Brian the benefit of the doubt, you just pounced.

I never claimed he was taking sides. As I said above, I was merely asking him
to define his terms, and was questioning his need to see things in
oppositional, side-taking terms. There is a difference between simplistic
thinking (side-taking) and subtle thinking (questioning the need to take
sides). Oh, and asking someone to clarify what he has said in a public forum
is not pouncing. It's a legitimate response.

> If you reject tired old thinking, then how can you see what happened
> in Florida as anything but a power struggle between two political
> parties using every legal means they each had at their disposal. The
> struggle was initiated by the Democrats because they were behind in
> the count, then it was finished by the Republicans, because they had
> the highest trump card to play.

I've never once disagreed with this position. I have equal disdain for the
machinations of the Democrats.

> To say that "we have no president" is an indicator that you bought
> into every single scrap of Democratic thought that came out of the
> whole affair.

Not true. It simply indicates that I thought Bush was handed the presidency
unfairly. If Gore had won by the same or similar tactics, I would have made
the same comment. My problem is and will continue to be the fact that we, the
American people, have been screwed, they did it blatantly, and very few people
seem to care about it. I am not a supporter of Gore or the Democratic party,
and thought he handled himself poorly. If you see this as me being partisan, I
guess there's nothing I can do about it. You obviously have a different
definition of the term.

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