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Conservative Compassion
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JoshSpazJosh



Joined: 20 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 2:36 pm    Post subject: Conservative Compassion Reply with quote

Edmund Morris of the New York Times wrote:
Conservative Compassion
By EDMUND MORRIS
CINDY Sheehan's attempt to have President Bush tell her - again - how sorry he is about the death of her son in Iraq is escalating into a protest more political than personal. As such, it is a legitimate expression of antiwar sentiment. But the individual cry for attention at the heart of it - "Mr. President, feel my pain!" - is misguided. Ms. Sheehan cannot expect a commander in chief to emote on demand.

I once spent two days at Ronald Reagan's side, for the purpose of seeing what it was like to be president of all the people, all the time. (At least, from his morning emergence out of the White House elevator until the equally prompt moment when, tapping his watch and chuckling, he would say to the host of his evening function, "The fellas tell me it's time to go home.")

Long before that moment - in fact, within a couple of hours - I was so emotionally exhausted that I could hardly stand. It was not that Mr. Reagan, 30 years my senior, set the pace that some hyperactive presidents have kept. What drained me was my writer's tendency to feel what people in the room are feeling. The hundreds who shook his hand (he told me that he averaged 80 new acquaintances a day, for eight years) were avid to make the most of the window granted them in the president's schedule, whether it was an interview, conference, ceremony, drop-by, or photo opportunity. With the exception of a few disapproving Democrats, they all bore the strange smile that celebrity imprints on the faces of supplicants and spectators: a fixed grin below dilated eyes, expressive more of yearning than delight.

The president's very first appointment was not even on his printed schedule. An aide, waiting with me at the elevator door, told Reagan that he would have to pause in the conservatory en route to the Oval Office. "There's a Louisiana state trooper there, sir, with his wife and daughter. He had his eyes shot out in the line of duty. Just a few words and a photograph."

We rounded the corner and came upon the little family, with the father in full uniform and mother and child radiant at his side. All three wore the smile, rendered still stranger in the trooper's case by his sightlessness. How long had they been dreaming, planning, saving for this catharsis? Reagan was masterful, enveloping them in his kindly aura even as he maneuvered them, with practiced ease, toward the camera. The whole encounter lasted less than a minute. It was so harrowing that I was taken aback by the president's instant switch to joviality as he continued toward the West Wing. He actually seemed to be looking forward to the rest of his day.

Not everybody who approached him after that first meeting sought consolation. But they all wanted something: decisions, commitments, encouragements, congratulations, interested frowns, laughter in response to their jokes, and always the photograph - to be mailed later, signed usually with an autopen, ready for framed display in dens from Anchorage to Key West, Fla.

Some presidents are better than others at handling this relentless demand for a show of personal involvement. Theodore Roosevelt exuded such cheerful charm that one visitor wrote about going home from the White House "to wring the personality out of your clothes." But T.R. did not like to have his deeper sentiments presumed on by "milksops" and "mollycoddles." No weeper himself, he recoiled from public displays of grief. Not so Bill Clinton, who (as a video of Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown's funeral demonstrated) carried his own automatic sprinkler system, responsive to the proximity of any TV camera.

Richard Nixon was not unsympathetic so much as transcendentally awkward. His way of dealing with a situation only half as fraught as Reagan's encounter with the state trooper was a desperate attempt at wit: "Don't worry, soldier, you see too much out of the other eye, anyway."

The allegedly chilly Jimmy Carter was a warm man face to face, curious, a careful listener, at ease with children. Yet he kept a tight rein on his emotions and real opinions. I recall one of his oldest friends saying in bemusement, "The moment he was elected president, a glass wall came down between us."

I have had few chances to observe George W. Bush close up, and can say only that he appears to have Theodore Roosevelt's muscular positivity (what Owen Wister, author of "The Virginian," described as "his determination to grasp his optimism tight, lest it escape him") and Reagan's benign lack of interest in individual human beings - without either man's ability to silently convey that they had, at least in private, pondered the larger questions of life and death.

But who am I to know? He has, after all, the loneliest of jobs. The Oval Office is not always disrupted by visitors. A president occasionally has (and needs) what Reagan used to call "quiet time." Except for the great wooden clock ticking, there is no more silent place in the world. Here - since we do not, despite frequent exaggerated misgivings, elect insensate persons to high office - a wartime commander in chief has to acknowledge that far afield, men and women in uniform are dying because of him.

Which may account for the fact that Reagan found comforting a state trooper and his family relatively easy: the officer, after all, was not blinded in response to a White House order. But when for the first time he had to salute a row of coffins with dead Americans in them - after the bombing of the American embassy in Beirut in April 1983 - he was, by his own admission, "too choked up to speak." Possibly the family members he greeted that day were puzzled by his silence. They should see the words he drafted in his private shorthand, words that he did not utter, presumably at the urging of White House spinmeisters:

TODAY . . . FAMLYs . . . THS. HONORD DEAD . . .

GALLANT AMs UNDRSTOOD . . . DANGER . . .

WNT WILLINGLY . . . BEIRUT . . .

DASTARDLY DEED - UNPARALLELD COWARDICE

AFLICTD MNKND LOOKS . . . US . . . HELP . . .

COWARDLY, SKULKING BARBARIANS

Maybe one day some such document will reveal what President Bush really feels about his own "honored dead." For the meantime, he is our elected president, with the business of a nation to run. Ms. Sheehan has gotten more time with him than most grieving mothers, and if she felt, during those unsatisfactory minutes, that there was a glass wall around him, it unfortunately comes with the job. A president has to protect himself from emotional predators, or he'd be sucked dry within a week of taking office.

Edmund Morris is the author of "Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan," "Theodore Rex" and a forthcomingbiography of Beethoven.


I am honestly not sure what to make of this.

Also post #600 and I honestly don't care.
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Zenphobia



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why don't presidents fight the war?
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Mooshou



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zenphobia wrote:
Why don't presidents fight the war?



Cause.. it's tradition. And they like to think their winkies are bigger than everyone elses.
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CaptivatingAngel



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mooshou wrote:
Zenphobia wrote:
Why don't presidents fight the war?



Cause.. it's tradition. And they like to think their winkies are bigger than everyone elses.

Zen... I am going to assume you are kidding.
Mooshie... we should ask Ms. Lewinsky, see what she has to say.

I read somewhere once........ "Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war that we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living. "

As far as conservative compassion, it's true, the President can't sit there and lament every death, every single time... he does have a country to lead and all... but with our current President, it's all a crock of shit. We should send him out to negotiate with the terrorists.
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Zenphobia



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As far as conservative compassion, it's true, the President can't sit there and lament every death, every single time... he does have a country to lead and all... but with our current President, it's all a crock of shit. We should send him out to negotiate with the terrorists.


Thats what I was getting at.
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CaptivatingAngel



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zenphobia wrote:
Thats what I was getting at.

Yeah, I figured... you are usually a pretty logical guy... from what I recall. Sometimes, as you know, meanings can be lost online. Somewhat like, Lost in Translation.
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Zenphobia



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Yeah, I figured... you are usually a pretty logical guy... from what I recall. Sometimes, as you know, meanings can be lost online. Somewhat like, Lost in Translation.


Very true very true. I guess you would have to be a system of a down fan to get the jist of what I was saying. My fault.
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DSG



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She's not looking for Bush to lament her son's death...she's looking for Bush to tell her the truth as to why he went to war with Iraq. She already had his insincere gratitude for her son's death, but since then, there has been much new information showing Bush lied about his reasons to go to war.

As for just meeting just anybody in general, unless it's a scripted impromptu (yes, as much a nonsensical term as compassionate conservative) meeting, he won't have anything to do with it.
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Regal Sweatpants



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DSG wrote:
As for just meeting just anybody in general, unless it's a scripted impromptu (yes, as much a nonsensical term as compassionate conservative) meeting, he won't have anything to do with it.


Yeah, wouldn't want to get caught off gaurd with questions like "What's your favorite color?"
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KatralX



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"But whether it be here or in Washington or anywhere else, there's somebody who has got something to say to the president, that's part of the job," Bush said on the ranch. "And I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say."

"But," he added, "I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life."

Yes. It is very important for the President to put this womans death behind him. He cannot let it dominate his thoughts. He must move on.

Text taken from http://chuckvw.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/8/14/151629/616

Idea partially stolen from The Daily Show, that did a better job of displaying this quote than me.
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Theratt



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Very true very true. I guess you would have to be a system of a down fan to get the jist of what I was saying. My fault.


I got it. Hey, why do they always send the poor?
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Elazul Yagami



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DSG wrote:
She's not looking for Bush to lament her son's death...she's looking for Bush to tell her the truth as to why he went to war with Iraq. She already had his insincere gratitude for her son's death, but since then, there has been much new information showing Bush lied about his reasons to go to war.

As for just meeting just anybody in general, unless it's a scripted impromptu (yes, as much a nonsensical term as compassionate conservative) meeting, he won't have anything to do with it.


Downing Street memo anyone?
you know, the memo that proved blair and bush lied about the war, that blair confirmed is real, and instead of it getting media coverage, we were watching micheal jackson's trial instead?
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illiterate



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know. I think it's just a popular trend to hate Bush. I think that's why so many people do. Many of them don't even know why they supposedly hate him. I've asked alot of people and many of them cannot explain it.


DSG, I think you just hate Bush too much to look at the situation in any other way than Bush sucks.

You think he doesn't care? Honestly?
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Zenphobia



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You think he doesn't care? Honestly?


Honestly.
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illiterate



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a laugh. If you honestly don't think he cares, then you're honestly a dumbass.
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tobias



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

illiterate wrote:
That's a laugh. If you honestly don't think he cares, then you're honestly a dumbass.


I honestly think he doesn't KNOW. He is not in possession of a notoriously snappy mind. To the extent that he knows what he is doing (or what is being done by those around him or what he is being used as an instrument to do) - to that extent, no, he doesn't give a shit. He obviously and demonstrably does not give a shit about thousands of American lives or hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives - why on earth would he allow what has happened to happen and to keep happening (if we are to believe he has any power to stop it) if he gave a flying fuck?

I just look at the evidence, man, and the evidence is that he cares about money, BIG money, and power, and about the favour of those who have both. He always wanted to be a Big Player in the Big Pond of Big Power and Big Money, and through Big Daddy's influence he got what he wanted, and that, and only that, is what he cares about. The rest of us can go fuck ourselves. That is what the evidence tells me. No other interpretation seems possible to me at this stage, much as it saddens me.

If you honestly look at the horrendous situation he and his cronies have put your previously great nation in, and honestly think he cares and wants to make things better for The People who (almost/kind of) elected him, twice - then quite honestly: more than just your ass is dumb.
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Zenphobia



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you honestly look at the horrendous situation he and his cronies have put your previously great nation in, and honestly think he cares and wants to make things better for The People who (almost/kind of) elected him, twice - then quite honestly: more than just your ass is dumb.


Yay for tobias.

Quote:
That's a laugh. If you honestly don't think he cares, then you're honestly a dumbass.


Ever look into the idea that at the very least Bush and his administration allowed 9/11 happen (I'm not saying facilitated, I'm saying at the least they allowed it to happen)? There is a lot of shadey shit surrounding that douche and the idea that I have friends dying (1 down, and another shipped out 2 months ago) for some lying fuck severely pisses me off.

If he cared about the troops he would have listened to the UN and stayed out. Which, we bitched about Saddam not complying with the UN, then we go and invade against the UN's wishes. Yeah, little hypocrasy there don't you think?

And they're looking at least 4 more years, fucking awesome. Its a good thing we're doing everything we can to get the job done quick so we can save some lives.

Fuck you illiterate. Bury a sibling, a friend, and for some children a father. Then think back to what the war was for. If the pretense was a lie, then the agenda is a selfish one and the death count doesn't matter.
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illiterate



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tobias wrote:
illiterate wrote:
That's a laugh. If you honestly don't think he cares, then you're honestly a dumbass.


I honestly think he doesn't KNOW. He is not in possession of a notoriously snappy mind. To the extent that he knows what he is doing (or what is being done by those around him or what he is being used as an instrument to do) - to that extent, no, he doesn't give a shit. He obviously and demonstrably does not give a shit about thousands of American lives or hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives - why on earth would he allow what has happened to happen and to keep happening (if we are to believe he has any power to stop it) if he gave a flying fuck?

I just look at the evidence, man, and the evidence is that he cares about money, BIG money, and power, and about the favour of those who have both. He always wanted to be a Big Player in the Big Pond of Big Power and Big Money, and through Big Daddy's influence he got what he wanted, and that, and only that, is what he cares about. The rest of us can go fuck ourselves. That is what the evidence tells me. No other interpretation seems possible to me at this stage, much as it saddens me.

If you honestly look at the horrendous situation he and his cronies have put your previously great nation in, and honestly think he cares and wants to make things better for The People who (almost/kind of) elected him, twice - then quite honestly: more than just your ass is dumb.


Oh garsh. Does that mean that WWI//II was all about money, too? And that those American presidents didn't care about the loss of life, as well?
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illiterate



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zenphobia wrote:
Quote:
If you honestly look at the horrendous situation he and his cronies have put your previously great nation in, and honestly think he cares and wants to make things better for The People who (almost/kind of) elected him, twice - then quite honestly: more than just your ass is dumb.


Yay for tobias.

Quote:
That's a laugh. If you honestly don't think he cares, then you're honestly a dumbass.


Ever look into the idea that at the very least Bush and his administration allowed 9/11 happen (I'm not saying facilitated, I'm saying at the least they allowed it to happen)? There is a lot of shadey shit surrounding that douche and the idea that I have friends dying (1 down, and another shipped out 2 months ago) for some lying fuck severely pisses me off.

If he cared about the troops he would have listened to the UN and stayed out. Which, we bitched about Saddam not complying with the UN, then we go and invade against the UN's wishes. Yeah, little hypocrasy there don't you think?

And they're looking at least 4 more years, fucking awesome. Its a good thing we're doing everything we can to get the job done quick so we can save some lives.

Fuck you illiterate. Bury a sibling, a friend, and for some children a father. Then think back to what the war was for. If the pretense was a lie, then the agenda is a selfish one and the death count doesn't matter.


Yeah. I've heard that theory.

Fuck you back.

I have family and friends in Iraq, and more on the way. Everyone has thier sad story.
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Zenphobia



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And you still support the quack that sends them there even if he lies about his reasons?
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