December 20, 2005

Jonathan's "Alter"nate Universe

Does anyone remember the nightmare that was election night 2000 when the pundits didn't know what the heck to say because no one was really certain what was going to happen? I do.

I remember watching all the cable news channels, even * blech * CNN. And when they called Florida for Bush late into the night, Jonathan Alter of MSNBC went nuts. He kept screaming about how Gore got more popular votes and that Bush would be illegitimate, blah, blah, blah. He wasn't just forcefully arguing his position - he was losing his mind on national television.

At that moment I realized that the normally mild-mannered Alter had, in fact, lost all touch with reality (not to mention whatever journalistic objectivity he may have had).

Well, this morning he concocted an impeachment fantasy and went and posted it up on MSNBC's website. If you read some of this incoherent blather without knowing the author you would swear it came off of Kos' site.

"WeÂ’re seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator, or in his own mind, no doubt, like Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War...

...This will all play out eventually in congressional committees and in the United States Supreme Court. If the Democrats regain control of Congress, there may even be articles of impeachment introduced. Similar abuse of power was part of the impeachment charge brought against Richard Nixon in 1974"

Here's the problem with Alter's analysis: he's so impaired by the mindset of Vietnam and Watergate that he's seeing what we wants to see rather than what really is. And he's making as ass of himself. Don't get me wrong, it's very amusing. John McIntyre at the RCP Blog explains:
Just to recount the facts: in 1968, Richard Nixon and the virulently anti-hippie George Wallace got 57% of the vote. In 1972, Nixon received over 60% of the vote. In 1976, with Republicans utterly on the ropes after NixonÂ’s disgrace and impeachment, Jimmy Carter barely beat that political powerhouse Gerald Ford. The public put a final punctuation point on the era in 1980 with ReaganÂ’s 489 electoral vote wipeout of Carter.

But to someone like Alter, the late 60’s and 70’s were the penultimate halcyon days for the press and politics. It was when the “good guys” in the liberal press took out the “bad guys” in the Republican party. The mindset survives among many to this day who constantly see the ghost of Nixon around every corner.

Alter is clueless when it comes to the political ramifications of this story. Politically, the White House loves this story. As I mentioned in my column yesterday, it dovetails nicely with the debate over the Patriot Act, Iraq and works to reinforce the existing image of the Democratic party as just not serious when it comes to the nationÂ’s security.

Liberals are busy focusing on the past. But, fortunately for us, we have a President who understands the threats of the present and future.

Keep digging, guys. You'll hit bottom sooner or later.

Hat Tip: The Political Pit-Bull

Posted by: Gary at 03:30 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
Post contains 519 words, total size 4 kb.

1 Upon reflection, I don't remember Jonathan Alter "having my back" on 9/11/01 when, due to my own stupidity, I was caught at the intersection of Albany and Greenwich Streets as Tower Two fell, shortly after 10:00 AM. I don't remember Alter being forced to run about 100 yards into the mouth of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel as (what we thought was the building) a 30 story wall of cement dust closed us in. I DO remember 2 F-15 fighters circling a perimeter around lower Manhattan that Friday, 9/14/01, as President Bush vowed that he would do everything possible to never allow that to happen to me again. I can't think of a single thing Jonathan Alter has ever done to ensure that 9/11/01 never happens again...I guess that I will NOT be voting for Jonathan Alter anytime soon, that's for sure.

Posted by: Brian at December 20, 2005 04:53 PM (1u7XF)

2 I've made the case a coupla times on my blog that Jonathan Altar (especially for an editor of a major news magazine) is incredibly under-informed (or under-informing). He either hears only what he wants to hear and fashions an argument based on that, or else he is deliberately ignoring facts that he doesn't like because it'll hurt his case. Even after all I've read from him I honest and truly can't tell which! Either way, I've said it before and I'll say it again: Jonathan Altar sucks at his job.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at December 20, 2005 11:16 PM (mgNeU)

3 And why do I keep spelling it "A-l-t-a-r"?!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at December 20, 2005 11:18 PM (mgNeU)

4 Jonathan Alter is a loony bird, for sure. However: "But, fortunately for us, we have a President who understands the threats of the present and future" >> I'm sure you mean a President who "creates" the threats of the present and future, right? Missed Zarqawi in northern Iraq before the war, created a breeding ground for islamofascists after the war, found no weapons, has failed to deal with Russia's potential source of nukes, has waffled and wavered on nutjob Kim-Jong ill, and has done nothing to address Iran, the real threat this whole time? You mean THAT president? He understands threats about as well as he understands fiscal policy.

Posted by: Napoleon Dolemite at December 21, 2005 11:12 AM (ecLFn)

5 ND - Hookay. You want to let loose with a "Bush Lied" rant go ahead. And what a failure, huh? Now let's look at reality: Al Qaida wants: 1)more control in the region, 2)more nations to support their activities, 3)less freedom for Muslims and 4)terrorists killing Americans on their own soil rather than being killed in Iraq. That makes them 0-4 so far. And if Bush were taking ANY action right now against Iran or North Korea, you'd be accusing him of "creating" those threats too. Nice try.

Posted by: Gary at December 21, 2005 11:50 AM (PLHs9)

6 Gary: Please, leave the straw man alone. "Bush Lied" argument? Huh? The decision to go to war was complex, and I definitely have Wilsonian sympathies to the spread of democracy. However, execution and perception ("hearts and minds") is everything when it comes to that. Furthermore, I was referring to Bush's alleged understanding of threats in my post. In that capacity, please the failures I outline in my post instead of using red herrings about Al Qadea(and the elimination of Western presence in Middle East is #1 on those bastards' list) and a straw man about what I would or wouldn't complain about EXISTING threats. I like this blog and hope that it isn't one that resorts to that kind of stuff. (ok, my own post was a little snarky, but come on, the "threat" comment was deserving....)

Posted by: Napoleon Dolemite at December 21, 2005 03:17 PM (ecLFn)

7 On another note, I think we all can agree that Alterman is deranged, for if Bush were impeached, wouldn't that mean that Cheney would ascend to the throne? If he went down too, Hastert takes over. 4. Condi 5. Snow 6. RUMMY 7. Gonzalez Surely he doesn't think these would be better for his leftist desires, does he?

Posted by: Napoleon Dolemite at December 21, 2005 03:22 PM (ecLFn)

8 NP - the elimination of a Western presence anywhere is their #1 priority. That is the threat. I think Bush understands it pretty well. It's clear that Democrats don't. Sometimes doing what's right isn't popular. And it doesn't help when all you hear in the media is doom and gloom at the expense of all the positive stories coming out of Iraq (read some MilBlogs once in a while). It's hard to win "hearts and minds" when the situation is constantly being distorted. As to the "hearts and minds" of the people of Iraq, I'd say an election with a 70% turnout (including significant representation amouns Sunni Arabs) speaks volumes about how they feel about what we've done over there.

Posted by: Gary at December 21, 2005 04:23 PM (QoxB+)

9 I read both military news sites and emails from the dozen or so mates of mine serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. No one is doubting the heroism, or gains and successes, and especially the touch-and-go success of implementing a representative government. We had BETTER make sure we get at least ONE thing right over there. I was referring to some bigger strategic problems with the endeavor, problems that the most powerful and intelligent nation on earth should have dealt with. Still waiting on those responses. "I think Bush understands it pretty well. It's clear that Democrats don't." >> *sigh* Doesn't that shibboleth ever get you tired? Why did he divert critical resources from Afghanistan to Iraq when bin Laden was cornered? Why did he let Zarqawi go? Why didn't he send enough troops, or equip them properly? (My best friend had to steal his (second-generation) body armor from the supply depot. He was an infantryman)

Posted by: Napoleon Dolemite at December 21, 2005 06:13 PM (ecLFn)

10 Don't you ever get tired of using cliches like "straw man" and "shibboleth", and typing patronizing things like "Puh-lease" and "*sigh*"?

Posted by: Gary at December 21, 2005 07:07 PM (wPJid)

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