How I learned to stop worrying and love the f-bomb

posted at 4:08 pm on March 9, 2009 by Jeff Goldstein

(Ed. note: Guest post by Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom and Hot Air original video contributor)

Let me begin by noting that this post is not about Rush Limbaugh.

You’re welcome.

Now, just to be clear, Mr Limbaugh will appear in the post — and as a character he will be prominently featured — but this post is no more about Rush than, say, Moby Dick is “about” cetology, or “The Jeffersons” is “about” a string of dry cleaning stores.

I offer that disclaimer because what seems to have gotten lost in the late unpleasantness between those who have supported Mr Limbaugh for his comments, offered in response to a specifc (and leading) prompt about the trajectory of an Obama presidency (with supporters having been called, alternately, “cultists,” “denialists,” “extremists,” or “idealists,” depending on who is doing the describing) and those who have been more critical of Mr Limbaugh for what they argue was either the provocative nature of his formulation or the lack of precision with which it was delivered, is the reason why any of this is at all important to begin with: namely, because where you stand on the issue provides insight into how you think language works — or should work — something that, protestations by a few prominent right wing pundits to the contrary, is not only not trivial or “fundamentally unserious” but is in fact crucial, I’d argue, to any understanding of how and why the conservative movement finds itself out in the political wilderness.

But before I elaborate, allow me to do what so few commentators have done: provide the full context for Rush Limbaugh’s “I hope he fails” soundbite:

I got a request here from a major American print publication. “Dear Rush: For the Obama [Immaculate] Inauguration we are asking a handful of very prominent politicians, statesmen, scholars, businessmen, commentators, and economists to write 400 words on their hope for the Obama presidency. We would love to include you. If you could send us 400 words on your hope for the Obama presidency, we need it by Monday night, that would be ideal.” Now, we’re caught in this trap again. The premise is, what is your “hope.” My hope, and please understand me when I say this. I disagree fervently with the people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, “Well, I hope he succeeds. We’ve got to give him a chance.” Why? They didn’t give Bush a chance in 2000. Before he was inaugurated the search-and-destroy mission had begun. I’m not talking about search-and-destroy, but I’ve been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don’t want them to succeed.

If I wanted Obama to succeed, I’d be happy the Republicans have laid down. And I would be encouraging Republicans to lay down and support him. Look, what he’s talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don’t want this to work. So I’m thinking of replying to the guy, “Okay, I’ll send you a response, but I don’t need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails.” (interruption) What are you laughing at? See, here’s the point. Everybody thinks it’s outrageous to say. Look, even my staff, “Oh, you can’t do that.” Why not? Why is it any different, what’s new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what’s gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it? I don’t care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: “Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.” Somebody’s gotta say it.

From the context, it is clear what Limbaugh is on about, specifically, Obama’s “plans [...] “as he stated them,” and his desire to see those plans fail.

That Rush made the statement on January 16th, in advance of any of these plans going into effect, makes hypothetical questions (and unscientific polls dedicated to interpreting them) about whether or not Mr Limbaugh wants to see the economy tank and America disintegrate into socialist hell if indeed those plans go into effect moot; Limbaugh speaks on air fifteen hours a week and would almost certainly have something specific to say about what he hopes to happen going forward. Which is why the trick by those in the media — and the cause of the failing of those on the right who have been critical of Rush’s supposed ambiguity — is the idea that Limbaugh’s initial statement is somehow frozen in time, like some verbal mosquito caught in amber. But in truth, his statement is not some fixed artifact incapable of clarification or amplification as new realities arise — and in fact Limbaugh has been at pains to reiterate exactly what he meant on a number of occasions now.

So why worry about those four words — and not address the context in which they were uttered and framed?

One answer we’re hearing from many political pragmatists and conservative realists is that those four words are what most people will hear, given that the media has seized on that formulation and built around it a narrative — at various times both implied and explicit — that Rush Limbaugh wants to see the President fail regardless of what Obama does while in office. ABC News, in fact, cut together a video in which they juxtaposed Rush uttering the words — again, removed from their context — with additional video clips that added a racial dimension to Limbaugh’s statement, a dimension since seized upon by “conservatives” like David Frum but which appear nowhere in Limbaugh’s statements.

The argument by these political realists or “pragmatists” goes something like this: people don’t bother to explore the news past soundbites and headlines, so all they are likely to take away from the media’s reporting on Limbaugh’s statement is that, as George Stephanopoulos among others have framed it, Rush “hopes the President fails,” the suggestion being that Limbaugh is hoping the country fails. And such a statement, in addition to being needlessly provocative, the realists tell us, also suffers from being less clear than it may otherwise have been.

Leaving aside for the moment the impossibly high standard that comes with demanding that a man who speaks mostly extemporaneously for fifteen hours a week need be so careful with his phrasings that they cannot be removed from their context and made to mean what they clearly weren’t intended to mean, except by great effort on the part of those whose aim it is to misrepresent intent, the subtext of such an argument is twofold: 1) by being more judicious with our words, we are providing those who are out to misrepresent us with a smaller target; and 2) that something less provocative will not alienate us with those we are hoping to win over to conservatism by appearing to them ugly or hostile — that as a strategy, being more solicitous about how we phrase things will help make conservatism more appealing, or at least, less revolting to those who remain undecided about their political allegiances.

And in fact, this is precisely the argument Patterico makes in his column here yesterday when he writes:

Some say: conservatives can’t worry about how they say things. They know their arguments will be distorted anyway, so they shouldn’t worry about being misinterpreted. I completely disagree with this argument. I say: when you know people will distort your meaning, you have to be extra careful to express yourself clearly.

Naturally, if what you are after is clarity, there is nothing wrong with expressing yourself in terms that make it difficult to take you out of context. And if we think back, we can remember that Bill Bennett tried that exact thing several years ago, only to have his statement shortened in such a way that the disclaimers he took pains to add were simply excised.

At the time — just as with Limbaugh — several conservative realists chided Bennett, not for being racist (the charge most frequently leveled at him), but rather for being impolitic.

Here’s what I wrote at the time, which applies equally to the Limbaugh dustup:

First, [certain conservatives are making the claim] that it is standard business and political doctrine that communicators be aware of how they are likely to be interpreted, which conflates the idea of practice with rectitude. And the fact is, being aware of how your utterances may be interpreted by those who are looking to maliciously misrepresent them in a soundbite culture is a fool’s errand—one that is shown up by the very issue at hand: Bennett was careful to note that the hypothetical in question was morally reprehensible—and in fact used it to argue against utilitarian rationalizations for moral problems (a stand that implicitly rejects statistics-based racialist arguments)—but that important qualification was left out of many media representations of his quote, which allowed those who wished to embarrass Bennett to call him out. In this case, Bennett clearly was aware of how his words might be used, but that awareness could not prevent misuse. For Bennett to have avoided the “major failing” [some conservatives identified] he would have had to avoid the subject altogether. And to do so is to trade intellectualism for the kind of circumspection that has the practical effect of chilling free speech.

Linguistically speaking, we have but two choices: either insist language be ground in the intentions of its utterers, or else conclude that we must each be responsible, in perpetuity, for whatever might be done with our utterance once it leaves our control. [Some conservatives] it seems to me, [are] choosing the latter—an unfortunate choice, in that it will forever codify a use of language that demands of its users the kind of overly-self-conscious self-censorship that is anathema to the free exchange of ideas. And if our goal is to hash out policy or to discuss potentially controversial issues, we simply must be able to do so without worry that parties invested in maintaining the status quo are allowed to silence us by assuming control over the terms of debate.

[The political pragmatists'] thesis here is straightforward—and it matches the theses of many of those (including the White House and the Corner’s Ramesh Ponnuru) who’ve taken Bennett to task for his “impolitic” remarks. Bennett, the argument goes, is a seasoned political operative and a professional communicator, and so he should have known that certain people—from the perpetually aggrieved to those in whose interests it is to try to smear what they take it he represents—would use his remarks against him. Which is certainly true.

But why must an awareness of such dictate a surrender to it?

Descriptions about how communication can be made to function are no substitute for the insistence that it be made to function as it should—in a linguistically coherent way that is dependent on appeals to the utterer’s intent, and so therefore refuses to give equal weight to the whims and motivations of interpreters who wish to use their interpretations as a rhetorical cudgel (in this case, quite disingenously) against the utterer. Each time a conservative makes such excuses for linguistic surrender in the guise of world weary linguistic pragmatism (which it is not; it is a feint toward relativism and certain pernicious post-modern ideas of language that undercut its moorings), they cede a bit more control over future debates to their opponents.

I refuse to do so. And while I can understand why many on the left wish me to be cowed by their linguistic presumptuousness, what I can’t understand is why so many on the right allow them to get away with it.

All of which brings us back to those conservative political realists and pragmatists now criticizing Rush over his impolitic (or unclear) remarks: their desire for Limbaugh to be more careful with his phrasings as a way to avoid being misrepresented in a soundbite culture is, frankly, a fool’s game — and, even more frankly, it is indicative of a political strategy that amounts to conceding loss, with the concomitant hope that perhaps we’ll lose more slowly.

– Which is not to say this is a conscious part of the strategy of the realists, just that it is the inevitable effect of backing such a strategy. Because even were Republicans to begin winning elections based on their newly found ability to negotiate a hostile media bent on misrepresenting them, they’d be compelled to maintain the practice of carefully parsing their words, which means they’d always be at the mercy of those looking to attack and discredit. And such has the effect both of chilling speech and of determining in what way a message must necessarily be delivered.

And when your opponents are making the rules, you are necessarily playing their game.

To put it more forcefully, it is a fact of language that once you surrender the grounds for meaning to those who would presume to determine your meaning for you, you are at their mercy. Nowhere is this more clear than with Britain’s new definition of racism, whereby racism is determined not by the actions of those purported to cause it, but rather by the feelings of the person who claims to be its victim. Frighteningly, such is a formulation Ms. Obama seems to share. And this is not a road we should be heading down, because at the end of that road lies meaning as determined by “interpretive communities,” which in political terms equates to particular interest groups. And that way lies totalitarianism and, to borrow from both G.B. Shaw and Jonah Goldberg, “liberal fascism.”

Patterico, in response to the linguistic aspect of my arguments, has offered his own idea about how interpretation should work, namely, that “words should be interpreted the way a reasonable person would interpret them.” But what Patterico doesn’t seem to understand is that a “reasonable” person might “reasonably” interpret, for instance, Curious George in a “reasonable” way, arriving at the conclusion that what we have is a post-colonial text: the man in the big yellow hat captures the native, brings him home and hopes to civilize him, at which point the reluctant captive’s essential Otherness rubs against the conventions of the culture into which he was forcibly assimilated. And mayhem ensues.

Or perhaps the story is homoerotic, with the cute, furry monkey spending time in the pajamas of the man in the big yellow (conical) hat, who by all appearances is a bachelor and someone who likes to spend a lot of time in a long overcoat.

Reasonable, certainly. And in fact, this is what literary critics do all the time. But what we need to do is ask ourselves, if what we are claiming to do is “interpret,” what is it that we think the author(s) were trying to say? What did they mean?

And it is at that point most of us recognize that what they meant to do was write a children’s story about the exploits of a curious monkey.

To say that “words should be interpreted the way a reasonable person would interpret them” is to open texts up to whatever people can reasonably do with an authors marks, which, while this can prove enjoyable and even useful or enlightening in some way, has the dangerous effect of conflating the intentions of those doing the decoding with the intentions of those who did the original encoding. And if what we are trying to do is communicate — to understand a message as it proceeds along the interpretive chain — it is imperative that we work to uncover the meaning as it was designed to be received.

But back to politics: if, as I’ve argued, political realism as a strategy is doomed — not because we can’t be more careful with our words, but rather because it is not always rhetorically effective to do so, nor does such care prevent us from being misrepresented, no matter how precise we try to be — what is the alternative? As many pundits will patiently explain to you, ideological purity and idealism doesn’t win elections, so if not pragmatism, what?

To which I reply, pragmatism is fine. But why not use our idealism pragmatically — which is to say, why not make it our strategy to use idealism as our cudgel against the media and the left in such a way that their tactic of misrepresentation and outrage no longer pays dividends? Why not make it our strategy to destroy their tactics — and in so doing, reaffirm the very principles at the heart of classical liberalism?

The fact of the matter is, for all of Limbaugh’s provocation, his statement, having been carefully and purposely misrepresented by the media as a way to demonize him and drive a divide between conservatives and more moderates within the party, has had the rather happy effect of getting us talking and arguing about what we as a movement should do next. And it was precisely his choice of language that baited the press and the left (and, more frightening even, the White House) to engage him, and to force the ideas of conservatism center stage.

That we are having this debate about how to proceed as a movement is a step in the right direction, I think — and it is a debate I don’t think we’d be having were it not for Rush’s choice of language. And so arguments that more clarity and less provocation are the proper way for conservatives to communicate in the current media culture must be tempered by the realization that sometimes the best defense is a good offense — and that what Rush has done is perhaps fire us up and get us angry enough finally to push back against a dishonest media. And a vital tool for doing so is language — more specifically, by refusing to spend any more time on the defensive, withering prey to a tactic the left has used so successfully to provide the very parameters for acceptable conservative speech.

Now, if only we can convince our elected officials to follow suit, we might be on to something.

Rush Limbaugh speaks for Rush Limbaugh. Which is why the next reporter who asks a prominent Republican figure whether or not he or she agrees with Limbaugh’s “hope” that “the President fails” should be met with a firm reminder that the reporter has left out an important part of the context, one that effectively alters the suggestiveness of the question, and that aside from such fundamental dishonesty, Rush Limbaugh is not the head of the party, nor is he an elected leader, so why on earth would I presume to answer for something he said?

If we are worried about “undecided voters” who get nothing but soundbite news, we must work to change the culture of how news is delivered. For my part, I don’t want to have to measure every word I say with the thought in mind that somebody is going to take me out of context. Instead, I’d like to be free to say what I mean, and when my meaning is obvious, I would like to know that honest people have my back — and will tell dishonest people to stop being dishonest, and uninformed people that they need to smarten up before they presume to join the conversation.

Oh. And OUTLAW!


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That was long. In any case, Obama sucks. I hope he fails.

JiangxiDad on March 9, 2009 at 4:12 PM

has left out an important part of the context

And Rush’s comment about McNabb wasn’t really about McNabb either, but about the media.

But it doesn’t matter.

lorien1973 on March 9, 2009 at 4:13 PM

people don’t bother to explore the news past soundbites and headlines

Gee, lot’s of words in this post…

DamnYankee on March 9, 2009 at 4:15 PM

To put it more forcefully, it is a fact of language that once you surrender the grounds for meaning to those who would presume to determine your meaning for you, you are at their mercy. Nowhere is this more clear than with Britain’s new definition of racism, whereby racism is determined not by the actions of those purported to cause it, but rather by the feelings of the person who claims to be its victim. Frighteningly, such is a formulation Ms. Obama seems to share. And this is not a road we should be heading down, because at the end of that road lies meaning as determined by “interpretive communities,” which in political terms equates to particular interest groups. And that way lies totalitarianism and, to borrow from both G.B. Shaw and Jonah Goldberg, “liberal fascism.”

Smartest damned thing anyone’s posted on this site since… since…

… well. Since one [F-BOMB] of a long time, is what.

Thank you, Jeff.

Kent18 on March 9, 2009 at 4:16 PM

Wow, what a post. And I think I agree with pretty much all of it…

changer1701 on March 9, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Thank you Jeff and thanks to Hot Air.

Stephen M on March 9, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Refresh my memory……….was there this much media coverage over “spread the wealth around”. Because if there was an inordinate amount of coverage, it didn’t do much good. If that statement didn’t nudge moderates over to the right, I doubt “I want him to fail” will move anyone over to the left given the revelations of this administration so far.

sherry on March 9, 2009 at 4:18 PM

If you love quick soundbites and drive-by journalism, you’ll love today’s media (and hate reading Goldstein’s outstanding insight).

Hoodlumman on March 9, 2009 at 4:19 PM

I’d like to be free to say what I mean

In fact, that’s what we all want from your ilk and all of our elected officials. Maybe the pull that Rush has on most people is that he doesn’t apologize because someone is offended by his words. Don’t say it if you don’t mean it and don’t apologize if you say it.

BTW…your reference to Moby Dick and the Jeffersons is not quite valid. A large section of Moby Dick was about cetology and was used by some at the time as a reference.

genso on March 9, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Gee, lot’s of words in this post…

DamnYankee on March 9, 2009 at 4:15 PM

Heh.

I largely agree with the greater point Jeff is making, but not as it pertains to Limbaugh. There is quite a distinction between being unable to state your point, and needing to choose your words carefully. Everyone in show business needs to choose their words carefully.

MadisonConservative on March 9, 2009 at 4:22 PM

If one more Republican answers the Rush question I will scream. Call Tingly legs or Olbie out for the liars they are. If our officials can’t see through the media bulls#$t they have no business being on television representing the party.

msmveritas on March 9, 2009 at 4:23 PM

My I add, OUTLAW!

Stephen M on March 9, 2009 at 4:24 PM

Whew! I’ve started going to Sir Charles Barkley with my questions on philosophy and stuff. Easier.

a capella on March 9, 2009 at 4:25 PM

Now you post the Stimulus bill????!!!!!

I kid…I kid……Good post.

Rocks on March 9, 2009 at 4:25 PM

This is the reason I have stopped reading newspapers. Words, just words. Obama has said it himself over and over. Words mean nothing to him nor do they mean anything to us anymore. Rush isn’t talking about this either and off to other terrible things that Obama is doing. It is pointless to waste this much time on it.
When people actually see how Obama’s policies affect them and how they don’t have any money anymore they will finally “get it”. Right now they don’t see anything. Unfortunately we will have to wait for this to take it’s toll. It is starting, but we aren’t there yet.

BetseyRoss on March 9, 2009 at 4:25 PM

My tone, context and explicit DREAM is very literal: I want obama to fail, resign or come up missing (with bin biden in tow). In any order. Soon.

Ris4victory on March 9, 2009 at 4:27 PM

To put it more forcefully, it is a fact of language that once you surrender the grounds for meaning to those who would presume to determine your meaning for you, you are at their mercy.

Amen.
Great post.

The thing to remember is that with the intertubes it is much harder for the Left to control the game. They can claim Rush said he wanted Dear Leader to fail, and get the MSM to report that, but we are now able to see the context ourselves.

rbj on March 9, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Oh… I thought was going to talk about the use of the word “Frack”

Skywise on March 9, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Right ON JEFF!

Topsecretk9 on March 9, 2009 at 4:31 PM

To put it more forcefully, it is a fact of language that once you surrender the grounds for meaning to those who would presume to determine your meaning for you, you are at their mercy.

This is the crux of the matter. Once you cede the premise, you are playing by their rules which they can then change at any time to make sure that you are wrong.

Great post Jeff. Thanks.

BillyRayValentine on March 9, 2009 at 4:31 PM

For my part, I don’t want to have to measure every word I say

I’d say you’re heavy on mass, light on weight …

What is this crap with bringing on a bunch of third-tier bloggers to exclaim, “Rush Limbaugh doesn’t speak for me!”

Whoever said he did?

BigD on March 9, 2009 at 4:31 PM

General Limbaugh must be mighty tired of being a one-man army. If I were him, I’d tell the Republicans to sod-off. There’s a war on and he seems to be the only one fighting, and the only one taking incoming fire.

Don’t let the bastards get you down Rush. Even the one’s supposedly on your side who are happiest to remain gazing at their navels.

JiangxiDad on March 9, 2009 at 4:31 PM

What the hell dudes.

Its easy. Its nothing about what Rush says.

That Emmanual prick and that wussy that cried when Obama got elected and those two pricks Begala and the other liar southern drawl prick(who bth were the two last americans to figure out that Clinton had an affair) have conference callsw most mornings to figure out how to fool the american public.

They didnt have gingrich anymore (thankfully) and Bush is gone so they needed a boogeyman. Thats the way they work. So they did a poll, found out that non-conservatives dont like him too much…probably cause he has a personality that, if you dont get it, is easy to be turned off by…and they started changing the subject so we wouldnt talk about how Obama and Emmanual and all the other demo lib jerks are ruining our country.

The media, the guys that got Obama elected, are focused on Rush cause thats what Emmanual and the other libs want them to do.

They dont want to the american public to get a “sudden case of the emporers new clothes (sinead oconner)”

Meet the new boss…same as the old boss.

The Wall on March 9, 2009 at 4:32 PM

Nicely done. It’ll take a couple of more reads to take it all in…

Doc56 on March 9, 2009 at 4:32 PM

Everyone in show business needs to choose their words carefully.

MadisonConservative on March 9, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Yes, but for one reason — maintaining their fan base. Rush is not employed by the RNC or by the voters, for that matter.

The problem with this whole kerfuffle is that the folks who have decided to go public with their concerns about Rush’s comments have no respect for his listeners. We’ll decide if he goes over the line. If he does, he’ll lose listeners, advertisers, and his influence. Remember Don Imus?

I still maintain that if this were really about a concern for the good of the Republican party, the people who are criticizing Rush would do so privately.

Now the guy who should really be insulted, I suppose, is Hughley. Apparently, Steele thought he was speaking privately ’cause he didn’t think anyone except a handful of Hughley’s fans watched his show.

Y-not on March 9, 2009 at 4:33 PM

I hope the entire democrat party FAILS, and fast. Uh, nevermind, they already have.

Rush is laughing all the way to the bank.

HornetSting on March 9, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Obama bad.
Hope him fail.

Itchee Dryback on March 9, 2009 at 4:33 PM

the proper way for conservatives to communicate in the current media culture must be tempered by the realization that sometimes the best defense is a good offense — and that what Rush has done is perhaps fire us up and get us angry enough finally to push back against a dishonest media.

Interesting stuff.

Hope you’re right.

Otis B on March 9, 2009 at 4:35 PM

Judas went out and hanged himself…and Jesus said, “Go thou and do likewise.” So, you see, Anything can be taken out of context to prove/disprove whatever point you want to make. Or, are the liberal talking media going to use this soundbite to hang themselves.

I also hope the Won fails miserably. I just wish there was a conservative out there with the hutspah (sp?) to get in there and do battle.

TimothyJ on March 9, 2009 at 4:36 PM

It’s rather disappointing to see comments regarding the length of this post. If Jeff hadn’t taken the time to put everything into context, he’d be criticized for not covering all the aspects involved in the debate. You’ll never get it.

OUTLAW!

mossberg500 on March 9, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Oh. And OUTLAW!

Indeed. It’s time to stop tip toeing and start fighting.

Topsecretk9 on March 9, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Jeff you rock. You are a voice sorely missed here at Hot Air. I hope you will do more guest posts in the future.

As for Rush, he continues to catch more flies in his trap every day. Now noted liberals Jim Cramer and Warren Buffett say they supports Obama but he doesn’t support his policies. Jon Stewart can lampoon Cramer and add Buffett to the list, but ultimately, the narrative has changed.

Buffett saying he supports Obama but doesn’t support what he is doing to stabilize the banks right now is akin to Colin Powell saying publicly that he did not support President Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq. Powell’s “you broke it, you own it” pronouncement changed the narrative and opened Bush’s policies to legitimate criticism without the necessity of posing an alternative.

Angry Dumbo on March 9, 2009 at 4:37 PM

I’d say you’re heavy on mass, light on weight …

What is this crap with bringing on a bunch of third-tier bloggers to exclaim, “Rush Limbaugh doesn’t speak for me!”

I’d say you’re light on reading comprehension. Maybe you could print it out and mouth the words as you follow them with your finger.

Pablo on March 9, 2009 at 4:37 PM

I just wanna say how cool it is that we have had a few more guest-posters lately. It spices things up a bit, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of it in the future.

jimmy the notable on March 9, 2009 at 4:37 PM

hutspah (sp?)

TimothyJ on March 9, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Chutzpah.

BigD on March 9, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Judas went out and hanged himself…and Jesus said, “Go thou and do likewise.”

Your point is well taken but your example is absurd. ha ha ha

The Wall on March 9, 2009 at 4:38 PM

Good job, Jeff.

I would remind you that clarity in the defense of liberty is no vice.

N. O'Brain on March 9, 2009 at 4:38 PM

Will the worrywarts tell us what exactly our “wishing for Obama to fail” will actually do?

Because seems to me, he controls the levers of power. It’s his party in charge of Congress. As Obama told us, “I won”.

So what difference does it make whether or not we want his policies to succeed or to fail?

Seems to me, they’ll succeed or fail on their own. Carping about us seems to me, a lame attempt to effect damage control before the ship has left the dock.

NoDonkey on March 9, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Jeff,
Brilliant! Can you stay a while longer at Hot Air? :-) I actually stumbled across your site yesterday and was intrigued, so this was great timing for your post to appear. I’ll definitely be a regular visitor.

I’ve long been concerned about the attack on language. Now you’ve given me permission to be politically incorrect (according to some)!

Slightly related, one of the best things anyone can do is to purchase a Webster’s 1828 dictionary. IMO, it is an essential for studying our founding documents. We simply cannot interpret those documents from today’s vernacular. You will be amazed at how your perspective changes when you understand the nuances of word meanings at that time.

PrincipledPilgrim on March 9, 2009 at 4:40 PM

I have long suggested that what is problematic about the modern Democratic party is that they have bought into postmodernism lock, stock, and barrel. The salient element here is that, in postmodernism, words means whatever you (the reader) want them to mean, rather than – as a modernist or premodernist would say – what the author intended them to mean.

In other words, the battle between conservative and liberal is about policy and ideology only tangentally – the real battle is one of worldview.

One problem I have had in talking with many Republicans at the local level is that for some reason, we don’t seem to understand what the issue is, nor how to address it. Instead we settle for focusing on fighting socialism, abortion, and so on – which are, in reality, merely symptoms of the underlying creep of postmodernist thinking into our culture. Not to say that they aren’t important issues – but if we lose the war of worldviews, we’ll never make progress with the battles of issues.

Just my two cents – your milage may vary.

psrch on March 9, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Jeff Goldstein is right. The fight is calling the MSM, the Democrats and their mole Republican allies (and no Patterico is not one of them) on their lies.

Rush was correct in what he said. Do I expect George Will, Krauthammer, or even Democrats like Kathleen Parker, to say it the same way Rush does? Of course not. But that does not mean we have to denouce Rush to be credible. If we buy into this BS from the left we lost before the argument even starts.

Mr. Joe on March 9, 2009 at 4:41 PM

Jeff, brilliantly written and meticulously thorough as always. I am as ever in awe of your wascally way with words.

Welcome back to Hot Air! I only lurk at PW, so this is also a fashionably late — exceedingly late — welcome back to regular blogging.

Don’t be a stranger here. :)

Terrie on March 9, 2009 at 4:41 PM

It is time to unleash the Outlaw in us all.

Mr. Joe on March 9, 2009 at 4:42 PM

mossberg500 on March 9, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Strange as it may be, considering we’re talking about a professional speaker (Rush), a post about language, and are doing it on a website, I think the intention of those comments about length reflects the idea that the time for talking seems to be coming to an end.

Everything’s going from the theoretical to the real right in front of our eyes. Do we really think that the necessary response to four or eight more years of Obama is four or eight years more of talk? I think we’re running out of time, and as intellectually interesting as a piece on language and its uses may be, it might not fit the moment as much as it might initially appear.

JiangxiDad on March 9, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Amen.

Maquis on March 9, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Buffett saying he supports Obama but doesn’t support what he is doing to stabilize the banks right now is akin to Colin Powell saying publicly that he did not support President Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq. Powell’s “you broke it, you own it” pronouncement changed the narrative and opened Bush’s policies to legitimate criticism without the necessity of posing an alternative.

Angry Dumbo on March 9, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Buffet’s “defection” is the most interesting thing I’ve read in the news today yet I haven’t seen a lot of commentary here.

Maybe I missed it.

Otis B on March 9, 2009 at 4:42 PM

What’s with the title? lol

I largely agree with the greater point Jeff is making, but not as it pertains to Limbaugh. There is quite a distinction between being unable to state your point, and needing to choose your words carefully. Everyone in show business needs to choose their words carefully.

MadisonConservative on March 9, 2009 at 4:22 PM

But at the same time, Rush was awfully clear in context. Anyone who has seen the context it was in yet still thinks he wants the country to fail is out of their [f-bomb] mind. If it wasn’t this four word phrase it would be something else. Remember the fiasco about the whitey tape? The media seized on something so out of context, there’s no way he could possibly phrase everything so carefully that it’s never misrepresented.

OneGyT on March 9, 2009 at 4:43 PM

And McNabb is a overrated quarterback and a cry baby. The Eagles will never win the Superbowl until they dump him.

Mr. Joe on March 9, 2009 at 4:43 PM

+1

The whole “Rush Limbaugh is the devil” schtick from the media is liberalism at its worst, and most effective. Liberals can’t win on policies, but they realize that their supporters don’t typically apply a rigorous standard to their statements. So instead of coming up with a better idea, liberals say “Rush is the devil!”. They follow that up with a mailer saying “give us your money to help the evil hate-mongering homophobe racists on radio.” And people give them the money, because they think they remember reading somewhere that Rush wants the country to fail.

For the right to ever win, we need to tear the mic out of the left’s hands, or shout more loudly, and more often. Instead, we fight a retreating battle.

Case in point – business. How many Republicans leapt on board the criticism of Wall Street? Even many, like McCain, who knew that the housing crisis was caused by Fannie and Freddie, and was allowed to continue by Congress. But we’ve heard SO MANY statements about “the evils of business” that nobody wants to be on the side of business. WHY NOT? Business creates jobs, creates wealth, and funds the government. But we retreated from our defense of business long ago. It’s time to reclaim that ground – business could save this economy, but instead of creating an environment where the next Dell or iPod is launched, the libs take billions from business and use it to insulate schools, or plant grass, or study studies.

hawksruleva on March 9, 2009 at 4:43 PM

As long as we allow libs to redefine the language and the MSM twists and contorts, does not report, and various other forms of obfuscation,,,the truth will not get out. The Founding Fathers expected “The Press” to be the protection against what we have now.

retiredeagle on March 9, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Average Americans are neither very smart nor very interested in politics. They do possess common sense, though. Once the Dear Leader’s actions really hit home, average Americans will wake up & look for alternatives to socialism. We’d better be ready to offer a compelling alternative when that window opens.

OhioCoastie on March 9, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Everyone who cares about this country, quite talking, reading, bloviating and speculating. Go to the streets. The tea parties have just begun and April 15, this year, is a good target date to really, really revolt.

The media, still in Obama’s crotch, is your number one enemy.

No doubt whatsoever, I want Obama to fail at all his socialist policies.

And when your opponents are making the rules, you are necessarily playing their game.

We need a leader, or several, we need to make our own rules. Weasels and sissies no longer win in such a corrupt system.

I remind us again, the media is our number one enemy. Treat them as such.

All who fall for this or that communications theory or rules of etiquette deserve the rapid destruction of this once wonderful land. See the crass liberals: Emanuel, Howard Dean, Carville et coterie.

I’m not saying to become as mal-mannered as they are but stick to the facts. The sheer facts are that Obama is destroying this country faster than anyone before. Even those who can’t listen or communicate well, or get their news from the socialist channels will feel it in their pockets. Talk about that.

Entelechy on March 9, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Everyone who cares about this country, quite quit talking

Entelechy on March 9, 2009 at 4:45 PM

Hi Jeff.

One more thing: this phenomenon is a symptom of out-and-out fear. Many on the Right were afraid before the election and are afraid now. “Oh don’t say that. They will get mad”–whoever they might be. So they get mad. And?

The Left would do exactly what they’ve done in the Limbaugh controversy–shout outrage from the rooftops. The result? CPAC. More and more people are tuning in to Limbaugh’s show.

I’d call that blowback. And it’s not as if any other meaningful consequence might have come from comments like “I hope he fails.”

So what are Republicans and/or conservatives afraid of really wrt unadorned, straight-forward speech?

I don’t know.

baldilocks on March 9, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Thanks for taking the time to put this post together. I appreciate the effort. I need this a few times to give a proper reply, but as I head out the door, a few immediate thoughts:

1. I agree with what I think you’ve said (I need to re-read to be sure!)

2. I like what you said here:

Why not make it our strategy to destroy their tactics — and in so doing, reaffirm the very principles at the heart of classical liberalism?

You are talking about initiative. You are talking about controlling the battle, not reacting to the fight as it’s brought to us. Good. I agree.

3. I also liked this:

Rush Limbaugh speaks for Rush Limbaugh. Which is why the next reporter who asks a prominent Republican figure whether or not he or she agrees with Limbaugh’s “hope” that “the President fails” should be met with a firm reminder that the reporter has left out an important part of the context,

BINGO. You nailed it. In sum, you re-focus their ideological trap to he core of the issue. Don’t allow the press or the President to create Strawmen.

Good post–again, I need to re-read it to be sure I understand it (but I have to leave my cave for a bit!) Thank you again for the work.

Montana on March 9, 2009 at 4:47 PM

JiangxiDad on March 9, 2009 at 4:42 PM

So very well said. Dissecting and analyzing is interesting but the bigger picture is making sure the Democratic rule is abolished in 2010, thereby making his last two years in office a living hell and hastening his full-blown nervous breakdown.

sherry on March 9, 2009 at 4:47 PM

JiangxiDad on March 9, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Yeah, let’s just keep screaming “I hate Obama”… You’re right, reading is pretty tough. If you can’t fit it in a twitter post, it really isn’t worth your time…

Jim on March 9, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Jeff is onto something here. I recognize American public school education has failed many of us, but fortunately most Hot Air readers are self taught in the Abe Lincoln tradition. Read what Jeff is saying carefully, he is onto something that is critical in moving forward.

Mr. Joe on March 9, 2009 at 4:47 PM

That was long. In any case, Obama sucks. I hope he fails.

JiangxiDad on March 9, 2009 at 4:12 PM

Liberalism, socialism, whatever the heck Obama is doing… I’m not even sure Obama knows what he is doing… But whatever it is it is not good. I want good to succeed and bad to fail.

Obama is bad for this country.

petunia on March 9, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Good rebuttal Jeff
Rule number one Never apologize to a liberal and never let them set the terms on how and when to speak.
You give one inch and they take a mile.

Some people have this idea if you play nice then you will convert liberals to your postion. Doesn’t work

it is indicative of a political strategy that amounts to conceding loss, with the concomitant hope that perhaps we’ll lose more slowly.

Nice quote

kangjie on March 9, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Ugh once again my sloppy typing…

I meant to say above:

I need TO READ this a few times to give a proper reply, but as I head out the door, a few immediate thoughts:

Montana on March 9, 2009 at 4:47 PM

I’m reminded of the Democrats’ attacks on McCains “100 Years” comment, where they were suggesting McCain wanted to extend combat in Iraq, casualties and all, to a century or so.

McCain had clearly stated that he was fine with staying in Iraq 100 Years as long as US servicemembers weren’t being attacked. Democrats ripped the statement out of context in order to change the meaning.

There’s no point to try to phrase things so that Democrats can’t twist things around; they will just omit the phrases which do not support their attacks. They’re scum that way.

malclave on March 9, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Reagan said one should never speak ill of a fellow Republican. It makes no sense to participate in a circular firing squad as it plays right into the opposition’s hands.

Other pundits and commentators should amplify where they agree with Rush and clarify where they don’t, but in all cases keep criticizing Obama and his policies where they are harmful to our country’s present and future growth.

The Drive-by Media love this. It’s red-on-red conflict watching for them and none of their friends get bloody. They’re much prefer to talk horse races and winners and losers than the real issues at debate.

We also need to kill the snobbery within the Republican party. The elites in either party aren’t nearly as right, productive and smart as they think they are.

Greg Toombs on March 9, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Entelechy on March 9, 2009 at 4:44 PM

I share the sentiments. There seems to be a great divide btwn. those who feel they are, or will soon be fighting for their very freedoms, if not lives, and those who think we’re merely the party temporarily out-of-power.

JiangxiDad on March 9, 2009 at 4:49 PM

I think we’re running out of time, and as intellectually interesting as a piece on language and its uses may be, it might not fit the moment as much as it might initially appear.

JiangxiDad on March 9, 2009 at 4:42 PM

I’m afraid that people are getting a bit comfortable being the minority. It makes for righteous commentary but we’re merely treading water. I think I’ve read most of these threads a thousand times since the coronation and nothing is new. Time for some personal thinking about the future.

genso on March 9, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Everyone in show business needs to choose their words carefully.

He did choose his words carefully; he even said as much. But he chose them to provoke and to get ratings.

calbear on March 9, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Jim on March 9, 2009 at 4:47 PM

I’m sure you think Obama needs nuance to be understood. You are wrong. There may be a good idea or sentiment mixed in this utterly wasteful and unnessecary form of government… But at the end of the day–what Obama wants for this country is BAD! His ideas are wrongheaded. They stink.

Therefore, Obama is bad. No nuance needed for truth.

petunia on March 9, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Pragmatism? Duck pragmatism. The media is an arm of the evil, leftist government. Rush Limbaugh could say he thinks Obama is great and the DNC in their mad scramble for an enemy would spin to some supposed outrage. Screw the left and their outrage. Screw the weasel RNC “elites” who haven’t a conservative bone in their body. We will speak the truth and politeness be damned. America is pissed off with spin and modesty. That want straight-shooting honesty. Rush gives that. Anyone who does will be the next target of the left. Thats bad enough, but to have these so-called conservatives attack him for his words. Or ever lamer, for the method he delivered those words is imbecilic and treasonous. I’m tired of all these pinheads whining about how he said the words with never getting around to admitting what he said is right. If Obama succeeds America fails. If i hear one more person comment on Rush’s comment, method of communicating it, or his grammar I’m going to burst in outrage. Get on to real business. Real quick. Or you will be real sorry.

chicagojedi on March 9, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Jiangxi Dad, this has everything to do with praxis.

You don’t have to qualify your intention out of existence through worry about what people who don’t take into account your own beliefs and desires with respect to theirs think. There is a certain liberation to “eff ‘em,” isn’t there?

Dan Collins on March 9, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Expressing one’s thoughts in a way impervious to the machinations of the MainScream Media is impossible.
Cardinal Richelieu said it best:

Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him

The soi-disant “conservatives” who have gone on the air to denounce Limbaugh should instead have castigated their interviewers for misrepresenting what he said. You don’t answer “have you stopped beating your wife?” questions, because no matter how you answer, it will be used against you. The only appropriate response to such nonsense is either righteous indignation or dismissive laughter.

I’m tired of letting the Clever Kids play their little Chomsky-esque parlor games with language. Language matters; it is through language that we think substantially beyond the perceptual level, remember and communicate: ethical values, religious convictions, scientific truths, technological designs, business plans, military strategies…. If we let the Left get away with it, we’ve already lost not only a particular political campaign, but the foundations of Civilization itself.

Here’s a quote from another OUTLAW, Malcolm Reynolds (Maybe he’s some kin of the law professor):

You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I’m asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave.

The Monster on March 9, 2009 at 4:52 PM

All who fall for this or that communications theory or rules of etiquette deserve the rapid destruction of this once wonderful land. See the crass liberals: Emanuel, Howard Dean, Carville et coterie.

If you’re using Howard Dean as a guide for how to behave, then I’m not sure what I can tell you….

calbear on March 9, 2009 at 4:52 PM

malclave on March 9, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Good comparison. Fortunately, this time the utterer of the controversial remarks has enough backbone to defend them and clarify (though the media doesn’t report when he does).

OneGyT on March 9, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Why not make it our strategy to destroy their tactics — and in so doing, reaffirm the very principles at the heart of classical liberalism?

The media are so far from “classical liberalism” that Jefferson needs to come back and pull their ears out, and in the process, their ‘brains’.

The lefties have long since not been true liberals, nor progressives.

‘Liberals’ and ‘progressives’. The true terms have been hijacked. Thus, I agree with you, Jeff. We need to recaptured these terms. However, let’s just not depend on the (old) media to help us.

Entelechy on March 9, 2009 at 4:52 PM

You’re right, reading is pretty tough. If you can’t fit it in a twitter post, it really isn’t worth your time…

Jim on March 9, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Read what I said. I didn’t say reading was hard, or that thoughts should be expressed in a few words or not at all. I said that imo, the time for talk is ending.

JiangxiDad on March 9, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Conservatives and Republicans do need to get a better handle on the use of rhetoric as we explain or debate the issues.

We also need to get back to basic sales: features, functions and benefits.

The other side does a great job at muddying the waters and creating distraction. Consistent explanation and application of basic principles is mandatory to turn things around.

RINOs are too happy wallowing in the mud to be of much help in this. By definition they’re followers, not leaders.

Greg Toombs on March 9, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Or, you know, if blogging doesn’t accomplish anything, JiangxiDad, feel free to take to the streets. You don’t have to sit there and take this crap from anyone.

Dan Collins on March 9, 2009 at 4:53 PM

If you’re using Howard Dean as a guide for how to behave, then I’m not sure what I can tell you….

calbear on March 9, 2009 at 4:52 PM

If you didn’t read further, and only used this line, then you are like the old media, except that I don’t care.

Entelechy on March 9, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Can we lay off JiangxiDad, please?

Y-not on March 9, 2009 at 4:58 PM

I’m sure you think Obama needs nuance to be understood. You are wrong. There may be a good idea or sentiment mixed in this utterly wasteful and unnessecary form of government… But at the end of the day–what Obama wants for this country is BAD! His ideas are wrongheaded. They stink.

Therefore, Obama is bad. No nuance needed for truth.

petunia on March 9, 2009 at 4:51 PM

I fully agree that Obama is terrible for this country however “Obama is bad” doesn’t make for a very compelling argument. A bit of a problem arises when most of those running around claiming that the time for talking and thinking is over, screaming “Obama bad!” can’t answer the simple question of “why?”

It’s not about nuance, it’s about being able to support your position.

Jim on March 9, 2009 at 4:58 PM

Or, you know, if blogging doesn’t accomplish anything, JiangxiDad, feel free to take to the streets. You don’t have to sit there and take this crap from anyone.

Dan Collins on March 9, 2009 at 4:53 PM

I might have to, but I gather you won’t be there. Since you’ll be home with nothing to do, let’s hope Obama doesn’t go after HA after he finishes going after talk radio.

JiangxiDad on March 9, 2009 at 4:59 PM

I dislike Obama BECAUSE I love freedom. Because I think capitalism gives the most people the best chance to be happy, me included.

Obama thinks one person can know enough to manage an economy. I think that is stupid!

Obama thinks that giving people money they do nothing to earn will make all people’s problems go away. I think that is stupid!

Obama thinks people are rich because they stole money from somelse and made someonelse poor. I think that is a stupid way to look at the world.

petunia on March 9, 2009 at 4:59 PM

“There is quite a distinction between being unable to state your point, and needing to choose your words carefully. Everyone in show business needs to choose their words carefully.

MadisonConservative on March 9, 2009 at 4:22 PM”

Shhh. There’s a fascist in the house!

klickink.wordpress.com on March 9, 2009 at 4:59 PM

Can we lay off JiangxiDad, please?

Y-not on March 9, 2009 at 4:58 PM

No, no .No problem. Still a free man in a free country expressing my opinion, even if some object.

JiangxiDad on March 9, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Read what I said. I didn’t say reading was hard, or that thoughts should be expressed in a few words or not at all. I said that imo, the time for talk is ending.

JiangxiDad on March 9, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Yep, thinkin’ never got no one nowhere!

“They took our jobs!!!”

Jim on March 9, 2009 at 5:02 PM

From yesterday’s HA tea party thread, I loved one protester’s sign the best “I can’t afford your mortgage“.

Talk about saying so much, with so little, so succinctly.

When people begin to really hurt, and can barely make their own mortgage payments, or can’t, and are asked to bail out others’, then the shiite will hit the fan. May it splatter all over the do-gooders.

Entelechy on March 9, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Do you actually expect anyone to read a blog post this long? It’s a blog, not a dissertation.

Next time put an executive summary at the top and then you can paste all the gory detail behind.

The Principal Chair on March 9, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Time for some personal thinking about the future.

genso on March 9, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Yeah. Think I see a tea party in mine :)

JiangxiDad on March 9, 2009 at 5:02 PM

JxD, please don’t waste your good energies. Not worth it.

Entelechy on March 9, 2009 at 5:04 PM

Yep, thinkin’ never got no one nowhere!

“They took our jobs!!!”

Jim on March 9, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Yours is a perfect example of the post. I clearly state what I mean, and you act as if it’s unclear, or has multiple meanings.

You’re the enemy of clear thought Jim. Clear enough?

JiangxiDad on March 9, 2009 at 5:04 PM

Do you actually expect anyone to read a blog post this long? It’s a blog, not a dissertation.

Next time put an executive summary at the top and then you can paste all the gory detail behind.

The Principal Chair on March 9, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Umm. Thanks for directing our attention to one of the main reasons our society is stuck on sound bites and taking things out of context.

Do you have a ritual you go through whenever you pass a Library? Cross your self? Chant? Throw salt or sand over your shoulder? Cry?

Montana on March 9, 2009 at 5:04 PM

Elated to see that “the boss” provided you with space for this post here at HA. I happen to also believe that yours is the correct analogy. I have been screaming at my monitor and TV for a long time, upset with the manner in which the conservatives speaking or writing, even, essentially dignify the liberal-MSM narrative by responding dutifully to the question concerning when they stopped beating their wives…

Hazard on March 9, 2009 at 5:06 PM

But before I elaborate,……….

Rush good……….

………… Mr. Teleprompter bad.

Seven Percent Solution on March 9, 2009 at 5:06 PM

That was a thing of beauty Jeff. Your precise and interesting methods for constructing a written argument never cease to impress me. I hope you do more guest posting at Hot Air.

Also, thank you to Michelle for allowing him to do it. It’s great to hear another perspective.

TheUnrepentantGeek on March 9, 2009 at 5:07 PM

Shhh. There’s a fascist in the house!

klickink.wordpress.com on March 9, 2009 at 4:59 PM

Now listen, you queer: stop calling me a fascist, or I’ll sock you in your goddamned face and you’ll stay plastered.

MadisonConservative on March 9, 2009 at 5:07 PM

I agree that the time to strike is now, but there are more ways to strike than simply taking to the streets. One way is to provide people with the tools for combating the left’s use of a given interpretive paradigm to put us on the defensive and chill speech.

Knowing how and why it works is a way to prepare you to stand athwart it, yelling “don’t even try putting your balls in my face.”

In a few short days I’ve managed to sign up hundreds of volunteers for the nascent OUTLAW movement. We’re working on putting together a wide network dedicated to reaffirming the founding ideas of this country in a way that I hope makes play nice politicians on the right especially uncomfortable.

So yeah, I’m all for doing something more than talking, and the ball is already rolling on that. Beyond that, what should I be doing that doesn’t involve “talk” — putting together a “classical liberals against the misuse of language” celebrity soft ball team?

Jeff G on March 9, 2009 at 5:08 PM

JxD, please don’t waste your good energies. Not worth it.

Entelechy on March 9, 2009 at 5:04 PM

Hi E. The other day, reading those endless posts full of bush lied, people died spam from DTMH and getalife, I thought I’d turn the tables with the Obama variant.

Pretty dull and boring and repetitious, in both cases, yet DTMH and getalife are still here.

Oh well, everybody has a limit. I guess I’m reaching mine. Maybe I’ll see you at a million man tea party some day :)

JiangxiDad on March 9, 2009 at 5:09 PM

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