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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Malkin: Begala Unhinged?

Michelle has the story. Apparently, Dhimmicratic Mastermind(TM) Paul Begala is running around telling young college students that the Republicans want to kill him and his family:
They want to kill me and my children if they can. But if they just kill me and not my children, they want my children to be comforted -- that while they didn't protect me because they cut my taxes, my children won't have to pay any money on the money they inherit
What the...

UPDATE:

Some pissed-off chick named Lauren Patrizi, a self-described "progressive" (euphemism for "leftist") whose principal claim to fame (outside of being featured here) is apparently her gambling prowess, posted the following comment to this post:
Leave it to a right winger to take something completely out of context. This is libelous at best this CNSNEWS.com story. If you are going to use Begala's quote use it in its full context. What he said was, the terrorists want to kill us and after that republicans will feel comfort telling his children that they wotn [sic] have to pay taxes on what they inherit. Shesh. what a bunch of LIARS.. go to campusprogress.org to watch the conference and Begala's TRUE statement and Begala's response to the right wing media finding linguistic convenience to take his statements out of context. Idiots. oh and by the way, I think [sic] is true because i [sic] was one of those "commie elitist college students" at the conference.. Oh crap you mean intelligent? lol. Sorry!
First of all, every excerpt is, by its very nature, "taken out of context." That's what makes it an excerpt. There's nothing right-wing, or even untoward about it. It's only deceptive if the statement has a different meaning in its original context than it does set off by itself. Second, I don't consider myself a "right-winger". I may be, and actually am, anti-leftist, but that's different than being right-winger. Just because someone doesn't agree with the simplistic crap you believe in doesn't mean they necessarily subscribe to some other group's simplistic crap. You have your faith. You believe in something which apparently helps you feel good about yourself. Leftism is all about faith. No reasoned, intelligent person could possibly review the available evidence and decide that socialism is the answer. Myself, I'm not all that interested in feeling good about myself. I'd prefer to look at the facts and make the best reasoned decision. In a better world, the best alternative would sometimes be the one offered by the Democrat party (assuming Lieberman and his posse could somehow temporarily overpower the army of wacko left wing nutjobs normally manning the controls over there). Unfortunately, Democrat partisans haven't been offering any alternatives in the last five years or so, so that's not really an option, is it?

Now, back to your point: What you're describing may be what Begala meant to say, but it's certainly not what he said. What he actually said is, I now realize, open to multiple interpretations. The sentences immediately preceding the above-quoted excerpt read as follows. Emphasis added. My comments in [brackets]:
And so, their [the Republicans'? Al Qaeda's?] theory is, we [Republicans? America? the U.S. government?] can't really do everything to protect our country because we [the Republicans? America?] have to cut taxes for the rich, and so they [Republicans? Al Qaeda?] want to kill us [Americans? Democrats?], particularly in this city and in New York and some other places. I was driving past the Pentagon when that plane hit. I had friends on that plane. This is deadly serious to me.
As you'll have to admit, it's a little tricky to make out just what it is that Begala is saying, context or no. He's appears to be using "they" pretty consistently to refer to the Republicans in his speech. Then again, there's a case to be made that he's using "they" to refer to Republicans generally, but intended "they" to refer to terrorists in the first part of the quoted sentence, even though he clearly meant "they" to refer to Republicans in the second part of the same sentence (unless Al Qaeda has suddenly taken an interest in estate tax reform). Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised at the confusion--I recall Belgala's boss had some trouble figuring out what the word "is"and the term "sexual relations" mean.

That said, I'm willing to take my lumps, here. I assumed I understood what Begala meant to say, and I realize now that that assumption probably wasn't warranted. I'm probably guilty of confusing Paul Begala with a Howard Dean or a Dick Durbin--neither of whom he is. On the other hand, I didn't lie, and I certainly wasn't alone in my interpretation of Begala's language. I submit to you that it's a good idea to have a real lie or some real idiocy before you go around calling someone a LIAR or an IDIOT, or throwing around a word like "libelous". Otherwise, you risk looking stupid, crazy and/or unhinged.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Lauren Patrizi said...

Leave it to a right winger to take something completely out of context. This is libelous at best this CNSNEWS.com story. If you are going to use Begala's quote use it in its full context. What he said was, the terrorists want to kill us and after that republicans will feel comfort telling his children that they wotn have to pay taxes on what they inherit. Shesh. what a bunch of LIARS.. go to campusprogress.org to watch the conference and Begala's TRUE statement and Begala's response to the right wing media finding linguistic convenience to take his statements out of context. Idiots. oh and by the way, I think is true because i was one of those "commie elitist college students" at the conference.. Oh crap you mean intelligent? lol. Sorry!

6:50 PM  
Blogger Chicagogal said...

Excuse me for my outrage. I'm sorry that I got mad because you took a convenient textual error and turned it into something I was not. I speak from my heart and from things I believe in. For you to attack me as a person about my gambling article is not only uncalled for, but really shows that you have little to talk about. You honestly in your heart believe that Begala meant Republicans? Have you honestly convinced yourself of that? Or are you going to say "Oh, well I dont know, I have no opinion", instead of admitting you may been wrong? I am a leftist for many, many reasons, but what reason do you have to lie? Is it being an anti-lefist as you have categorized yourself? Either you lied or didnt do enough research to make your point and instead reiterated what the rest of the right-wing talking heads say. Either way, it's bad news.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Eman said...

>>>I speak from my heart and from things I believe in.

As someone who does the same on a regular basis, let me be the first to express that there's nothing at all wrong with that. (Whether there's any reasonable basis for any of the things you believe in remains to be seen.)

>>>For you to attack me as a person about my gambling article is not only uncalled for, but really shows that you have little to talk about.

Let's be serious, here. I didn't "attack you as a person." I gave you, in response to your sharp ad hominems against me (e.g., "LIAR," "idiot"), a response which you, quite frankly, completely deserved. At the same time, it wasn't necessary and distracted from my point.

>>>You honestly in your heart believe that Begala meant Republicans? Have you honestly convinced yourself of that? Or are you going to say "Oh, well I dont know, I have no opinion", instead of admitting you may been wrong?

Lauren, I'm pretty sure I went further than "admitting I may have been wrong." It's most likely that I was wrong in my interpretation of Begala's comments. My only qualification was that Begala's butchering of the English language was largely to blame for the confusion.

>>>I am a leftist for many, many reasons, but what reason do you have to lie?

There you go with the "liar" tag again. I haven't called you a liar or an idiot here. Can't you extend others the same courtesy?

I'm not a liar. It appears that I was mistaken. Being mistaken doesn't make one a liar (though it might, of course, make one an idiot).

1:52 AM  

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