Thursday, August 02, 2007

Listen to Me Live on Air America

Well... something must be giving at last, because I have been invited to spend 20 minutes on Air America on Friday morning -- 8am Eastern Time (rush hour) -- on a show hosted by Wes Clark Jr., son of the man John Kerry should have chosen as his running mate, back in 2004.

The chief topic will be a drum I have been beating for four years, but only recently getting any echoes... The Bush Administration's War Against Professionalism.

Remarkably, this one phrase subsumes so much that had puzzled us about the neoconservatives' disparate - but always malignant - agenda. The Republican War on Science. Their brutal repression of the brave men and women of the United States Officer Corps. Their suborning and diversion and discrediting of the intelligence and law enforcement communities. Their relentless savaging of the civil service and their studied evisceration of the Foreign Service. And so on.

How else could anyone explain the Hurricaine Katrina debacle? Or the one in Iraq. Suddenly, the right wing, which had spent decades whining that "we lost Vietnam because of meddling by clueless, draft-dodging politicians," seems unable to mouth those same words any longer.

My chief point for years has been that the democrats need this issue. They need it because:

1) It would strike middle-ground and even "decent conservative" Americans as eminently fair, provable, and profoundly apolitical -- standing completely outside of the normal (and lame) so-called "left-right axis."

2) It would offer succor and help to the Bushites' greatest victims, the professionals who have sworn to serve and protect us and to manage a complex civilization with their skill and attention to real law.

3) It would encourage those professionals to stand up to the bullies who have been appointed over them. The partisan attack dogs and brainless, dogmatic hacks who were annointed by this president to badger and berate and over-rule and divert and castrate the people who we pay to keep us a nation of laws.

And if the professionals do stand up? Then more truth will be told, more doors will open and more windows. MORE professionals will feel encouraged to blow whistles. More light will spread...

... and the demons of this long night will recede like the parasites they are...

...leaving decent citizens to get on with the Great Experiment. And Not only liberal Americans! Because (again) this is NOT about left and right, as much as Karl Rove wants it to be. Banishing these monsters won't end conservatism, but rather leave behind a conservative movement that can awaken from its madness, and return to the virtues of - say - Barry Goldwater. Decency and reciprocal respect and fair negotiation and - above all - a willingness to see other Americans as partners you can negotiate with. Not enemies to be stomped flat.

Tune in! Record it for that "ostrich" you've been working on. I don't claim to be a miracle man. But any Cassandra lives for those moments when the Trojans seem to rouse their heads and listen.



Tony Fisk said...

Go get 'em!

(And give us links to the transcripts)

Rocky Persaud said...

David, did you get a chance to post a question on Youtube for the CNN/YouTube debate by Republican nominees?

Oh, and here's Hillary's response to the BUSH-CLINTON-BUSH-CLINTION thing... here

Anonymous said...

What a coup!

Be prepared to have thick and slick skin when dealing with callers.

Thick as in not letting stupid comments hurt, slick as in shedding them off so you don't get bogged down. Just don't bother engaging the loopy types.

Anonymous said...

Oh, bother. Didn't see this until after I got to work, I could have listened to it on the way.

Anonymous said...

Military's officer corps: too political?

In terms of political inclinations, military officers do not reflect the country as a whole. A year before the 2000 election, a survey by the Triangle Institute for Security Studies showed strong support for the GOP among officers. Of those surveyed, 64 percent identified with Republicans, 17 percent with Independents, and only 8 percent with Democrats.


They are getting exactly what they voted for...

Anonymous said...

So how did it go?

Anonymous said...

Hi David, your show will loop over and over all friday at

I would love to correspond to you about your point, and about the simultaneous specious OPPOSITE argument made by the right against bloogers as "amateurs" when we step up to do the interpreting, investigating and informing that the "professional" press is now too dumb to do. I'd love to see you add that to your argument to underscore how the right is hypocritical in this case as well as hostile and wrong.

Anonymous said...


The "bully" rhetoric resonates with me. His cronies are all bullies, it's true. But I'm afraid it won't resonate with the American public.

Everybody's been bullied once or twice, sure, but most people are not the perpetual victims or the bullies.

Most of the folks in America were the people laughing while the bullies beat teh crap out of you and me.

America hates whiners and tattletales, and that's the image the "bully rhetoric" provokes.

It's deep, and cultural. Why? Because we define Whiners and Tattletales as "losers". And it has never been truer than today: America hates loosers. We are a strongly Darwinian society, with afterthoughts of conscience.

Anonymous said...

Change "bullies" to "frat boys" and "elitist preppies."

Xactiphyn said...

I agree with Sam on the bully issue, most people laugh along with the bully and try to make sure they are on the bully's side. I disagree this is an American thing, though, this is a human thing.

That said, we all hate bully's in theory. It is easy in a movie or book to get everyone to hate the bully because the story is always from the perspective of one being bullied. But setting up that narrative basically impossible in the real world of politics.

"If a so-called professional can't take a little criticism, it's probably because he was just a weak amateur in the first place. heh heh." Problem solved, you have no case; bully wins.

Anonymous said...

This isn't relevant to the discussion, but I would like to bring this paper to your attention:

It's as good an explanation of "culture war" as I've seen.

Fake_William_Shatner said...

David Brin,

I guessed you were on "The Young Turks" -- I am a Premium subscriber to Air America, and don't know who is Wesley Clarks son is. He sounds pretty good. And any fan of Mr. Brin's science fiction is cool in my book (Uplift War was one of my all time favorites, and kind of captured the "can do" concept of how Intelligent Monkeys can be the good guys).

I wonder if you have read Al Gore's book; "Assault on Reason," which highlights in another way, what you are talking about with the War on the Professionals. It is even more fundamental, and underscores their attacks on PBS, thoughtfulness, and science trying to explain things.

I also think more people should listen to Air America who describe the Left as loopy. I think you get that idea from watching "TV Liberals" -- people like Al Sharpton who get up there and scream and whine and always ask for money to get thrown their way. That's an opportunist, masquerading as a problem solver. Real liberals are very much shunned by the media. -- but if you are a flake in a tutu, they will put you on, no questions asked.

For instance; if I looked at merely the "Media Libertarians" like Neal Boortz, I would think that everyone on Brin's site would be a nut bag. But Neal is a tool for the monied elite. He loves to site extreme examples of Liberal Teachers as a way to generalize everything, while he counts the tens of dollars this people cost taxpayers. He seems to be unaware of Corporate Welfare.

Anyway, when you listen to old archives of AA, I recommend starting with Thom Hartmann, who is a scholar, historian and an expert on the Constitution.

I also like Rachel Maddow and the Young Turks -- who are amused by the stupidity.

Then when you are ready, listen to Randi Rhodes -- because you need to understand what the problems are before you can share her outrage. Those of us who are awake, are angry. What I like about Randi, is that she doesn't let people get away with whining defeatism -- she points out that BushCo can only get away with what we let them do -- and they can only rig so many votes in an election, so we have to get active and quit complaining.

She also pointed out that Bush and Gonzales destruction of the Justice department is really the threat -- not any trumped up excuse for Martial Law. It's really the courts which can control our daily lives. Though I still am not so sure about that -- it is at least a hopeful and thoughtful position.

Anonymous said...

I have been thinking about this recently and I think the best description of the neocons would be: Genocide friendly. Rather than a bully. If you look at Coulter or Cheney statements they usually want to wipe out the other side. Its not their sense of inferiority but a xenophobic fear of the outsider. Weather they be Communist, Muslim or liberal.

Brother Doug

David McCabe said...

Wonderful! Is this going to be podcasted or otherwise online?

Fake_William_Shatner said...

david mccabe said...
Wonderful! Is this going to be podcasted or otherwise online?

3:08 PM

If you wait a week, Air America will make it available and an archived MP3.

You have to spend money to subscribe to them for getting podcasts the next day. To me, money well spent supporting a news source that has not been compromised.