US Politics

Sane Bush Hatred

By Joel S. Hirschhorn
Published November 15, 2007

The Wall Street Journal gave the top half of its opinion page yesterday to a long essay by Peter Berkowitz titled, The Insanity of Bush Hatred. If anything, it deserves a gold medal for political propaganda.

What caught my attention immediately was the frequent use of the word "progressive" to describe the people Berkowitz was attacking. It was used ten times. In other words, progressives were attacked for hating Bush.

There is a major lie of omission. No mention was made of the vast number of Americans who certainly do not call themselves progressives but hate Bush. Surely there are many millions of sane independents, moderates, libertarians, conservatives and liberals who rightfully hate Bush. To ignore all these Americans betrays the intellectual legitimacy of the article and its arguments.

Here are the few core reasons given by Berkowitz for condemning Bush hatred: It is not a rational force in politics. It clouds and impairs political judgment. It subverts sound thinking. It has addled minds. It damages the intellect. It reduces "complicated events and multilayered issues to simple matters of good and evil." It "blinds to the other sides of the argument, and constrains the hater to see a monster instead of a political opponent."

There is no detailed analysis of all the ways that the Bush administration has betrayed our Constitution. No mention, for example, of Bush signing statements that self-justify not obeying the laws passed by Congress. No mention that the Bush claim of not using torture is so obviously a lie. No mention of using illegal surveillance of Americans and lying about it. No mention of countless lies used to get us into the absurd and costly Iraq war. No mention of the enormous amount of evidence showing that 9/11 was not solely an operation by foreign terrorists, but involved the federal government. And on and on.

The only rational and sane conclusion is that hating Bush is justified and completely sane.

There is some truth to the opening statement: Hating the president is almost as old as the republic itself. But the growing consensus that George W. Bush will go down in history as the nation's worst president is a much larger truth.

It is perfectly reasonable for all Americans to hate Bush for squandering the lives of the many people in our armed forces, for squandering the nation's wealth, and for squandering our nation's good name and reputation. Bush is a national embarrassment and disgrace, and for that he deserves to be hated.

All those with a clear and sound intellect, rational objectivity, sensible judgment, and the ability to know evil when they see it should hate Bush. Hating Bush is nothing to be ashamed of. The real challenge is moving beyond Bush hatred to seeing the need for deep political reforms that restores American democracy.

We must convert the national Bush-hatred-energy into rebellious action. We must re-establish our constitutional checks and balances and removing the unlawful and excessive powers of the presidency. How do we achieve reforms? That is the right question.

As to insanity: I say Americans must stop doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. That same thing is voting for Democrats or Republicans.

Americans must remember that virtually all the evil and corrupt things Bush has done could not have been accomplished without the tacit or explicit support of Democrats in Congress.

The two-party partnership also deserves our hatred. It has removed political competition and the ability of third party candidates from winning national office. To let Bush hatred result in knee-jerk support for Democrats is a mistake.

The only way to restore American democracy is to remove the legitimacy and credibility of the two-party-controlled political system. The way to do that is through a voter boycott in the 2008 US elections for the president and members of Congress. Neither Democrats nor Republicans faithfully represent the interests of the public, and that makes our representative democracy a sham.

To keep playing the game and voting for any candidates who are members of the two-party criminal conspiracy is plain stupid. If Americans keep sustaining this corrupt and dishonest two-party system, then they will continue to witness the decay of their society.

Joel S. Hirschhorn, Ph.D., is the author of Sprawl Kills - How Blandburbs Steal Your Time, Health, and Money. He can be reached through his website: Check out Joel's new book at


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By Frank (registered) | Posted November 15, 2007 at 14:09:08

What the??? Ok, i get that Joel wrote a book called Sprawl Kills and how that's relevant but this is the second piece in the U.S. political section that is entirely irrelevant. I suppose someone's going to come up with the argument that the Americans are major oil consumers and thus pollute a lot which means that Hamilton has to deal with that pollution, but come on!!! How does this directly affect Hamilton! Stick to the stuff that makes a difference here! None of this crap about some other country's political propaganda and ppls despising of it...the only time something like this should be here is if it DIRECTLY relates to Hamilton. This is ridiculous.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted November 15, 2007 at 14:10:54

As an aside, in one of Joel's previous posts he says he's been writing a lot about American politics and admits that it falls outside of the scope of RTH. That's 4 articles in the last 2 months. Are you that hard up on material?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 15, 2007 at 14:40:30

Hi Frank,

Thanks for your feedback. As I've written before -

  • we've always posted occasional articles and blog entries about issues not directly related to Hamilton. RTH has a pretty large and diverse readership, comprising both local and international segments, including a significant share of American readers.

I'd like to think RTH is big enough that it can accommodate occasional forays outside local urban revitalization - especially in the blog section.

As always, you're under no obligation to read every single article. Just pick and choose what's relevant to you and ignore what's not.

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By BE (anonymous) | Posted November 15, 2007 at 19:11:17

As someone who belongs to the core demographic that RTH is trying to reach.(ie. a person that resides in Hamilton ON. and is currently breathing)
I can't help but feel that posting articles like this that are clearly not part of RTH core mandate greatly dilutes all the very good ideas and discussions that come out of this forum.
Post what ever you feel like, but be aware that you are hurting your core messages.

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By Genghis (anonymous) | Posted November 15, 2007 at 19:43:24

This wholewebsite drew me to it initially to improve Hamilton but is clearly running under a mandate from the Kos.

Nothing but Anti American Anti West claptrap.I came on originally to discuss urban renewal issues and found myself rebutting blatant falsehoods and leftist propaganda.

What a waste of a good site

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By Genghis (anonymous) | Posted November 15, 2007 at 19:52:06

Ryan..occasional forays.Go to Geopolitics blog

It is not American Politics but there are 20 blogs ( stopped counting) in a row about

A) Bush
B) Iran
C)why Bush is Bad an IRan is a victim.
D)repeat and rinse

And thats before you even go to the US politics blog.A lot of BS when you could do better.

Every topic in every Blog leads back to....The Bush White House is responsible for Hamiltons crappy situation in some way.

Is this site just a cover for Leftists to get the message out or is there going to be some PRACTICAL solutions and stopping of the City Hall whinging /blame game..jaysus..

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By jvance (anonymous) | Posted November 15, 2007 at 20:12:59

> No mention of the enormous amount of evidence showing that 9/11 was not solely an operation by foreign terrorists, but involved the federal government.

See, here's where you make Berkowitz's point for him, you lunatic. As someone whose politics make Kucinich look like a Tory, I ask you to please shut the hell up and sit down.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 15, 2007 at 22:58:59


Thanks for your feedback. To address your comments:

"clearly running under a mandate from the Kos."

The major theme of this and particularly the previous blog entry by Joel Hirschhorn is that the big problem in US politics is not the Republicans but the two-party-controlled system itself. Since Daily Kos is a partisan Democratic organization, I hardly think they'd agree with such an argument.

"Anti American Anti West claptrap"

Is opposing torture Anti-American or Anti-West? How about supporting the rule of law? Is it Anti-American to believe US lawmakers should abide by the US Constitution?

"Go to Geopolitics blog"

Yes, those articles are categorized for a reason - so you know what they're about. For the record, blog entries in Geopolitcs and US politics account for 7% of the total. The other 93% of blog entries are related to urban revitalization, sustainability, transportation, land use, local affairs, etc.

"why Bush is Bad an IRan is a victim."

How is Iran not a victim of US policy? There is absolutely no evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapon. None of Iran's uranium has been diverted. The IAEA, which has been investigating Iran's nuclear facilities for several years, has found nothing. Yet the US relentlessly accuses Iran of building a nuclear weapon, strong-armed the UN Security Council into imposing mild sanctions, and then unilaterally imposed much harsher sanctions.

By the way, since Iran has the second or third largest oil reserves on earth, it makes sense to pay attention to what's going on there. If the US decides to launch some kind of military strike and Iran retaliates by blockading the Strait of Hormuz, $200/barrel oil will look like a bargain.

"Is this site just a cover for Leftists"

The site's core contributors run the spectrum from social democrat through conservative and everything in between.

"or is there going to be some PRACTICAL solutions"

We spend much of the other 93% of our blog entries and our articles focusing on local issues, recommending practical solutions and trying to help organize and promote more citizen engagement.

In any case, the biggest strength of RTH is its readers. If you have practical solutions to share, I'm eager to read them.

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By seagull (anonymous) | Posted November 16, 2007 at 01:23:53

i'm of 2 minds about this. on the one hand i enjoy reading these kinds of articles. rth is basically hamilton's independent media (let's be honest viewmag sucks) and it's good to reach out a little bit, otherwise it's just the same stuff all the time. on the other hand i can see frank and be's point that you shouldn't lose the focus on local issues (i think genghis just has his own axe to grind). whatever, you guys are doing a great job.

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By Altosax (anonymous) | Posted November 16, 2007 at 08:13:55

Wtf people!

How hard is it to NOT read something if you don't want to read it?

Do you get mad at the Spec for running a wire story about Pakistan or Afghanistan? So why pile on??

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By Genghis (anonymous) | Posted November 16, 2007 at 16:29:20

"How is Iran not a victim of US policy? There is absolutely no evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapon. None of Iran's uranium has been diverted. The IAEA, which has been investigating Iran's nuclear facilities for several years, has found nothing. Yet the US relentlessly accuses Iran of building a nuclear weapon, strong-armed the UN Security Council into imposing mild sanctions, and then unilaterally imposed much harsher sanctions. "



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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 16, 2007 at 19:07:24

Now Genghis, there's no need to pick up your toys and go home in a huff. If you have any evidence - any evidence whatsoever - other than your gut instinct that Iran must be building a nuclear bomb, please share it.

If my statement is incorrect, it should be a simple matter of citing the evidence that Iran is building a bomb. Can you do it? The IAEA, which kind of specializes in this sort of thing, cannot.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 16, 2007 at 19:35:58

today Hugo Chavez announced a nuclear energy plan. Does anyone want to lay down a wager on how long it will take the US to 'warn' the rest of the world about Venezuela's 'real' intentions?

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By beancounter (registered) | Posted November 19, 2007 at 16:04:14

Interesting discussion.

Not too much I can add to this but here is one thought: What about publishing a a blog or two about Canadian politics?

There are a lot of interesting issues in this country that we can discuss (even without "picking on" Stephen Harper).

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By Frank (registered) | Posted November 20, 2007 at 10:44:04

As far as picking and choosing what I read, I didn't even finish the article... As far as "occasional forays", they're getting less and less occasional. Previously about an article per month, and now up to double that or more. I completely agree with beancounter. What about Canadian politics? Nationally I mean. This kind of article is just plain old not necessary.

Jason, talk to people who live in Venezuela, Chavez needs to get out before much bigger problems start. Putting policies in place that allow you to be voted into office indefinitely especially in a country that operates like Venezuela is a recipe for dictatorship. Few run-of-the-mill Venezuelans like Chavez...Let's hire the Unit! haha!

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By Frank (registered) | Posted November 20, 2007 at 10:47:39

As far as the nuclear energy policy, who knows what the plans are? Venezuela should be trying to get away from oil as a primary source. North Americans didn't try hard enough and now we're stuck behind the eight ball wrt oil prices and supply levels. As long as regular nuclear inspections by UN officials are allowed to be conducted, who really cares? That was the issue with Iraq was it not?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 20, 2007 at 12:02:23


We do publish blog entries on federal politics in Canada (and yes, some of them 'pick on' Stephen Harper), but have been filing them under the 'Politics' category, along with municipal and provincial items:

Perhaps we should separately categorize them to make them easier to find. What do you think?

I'm also working on an article for the next issue on the role the federal government can play in addressing the municipal infrastructure deficit.

Finally, bear in mind that we're volunteers with limited resources. If there's some area you think is being missed, we'd really appreciate it if you contribute an article or blog entry. The biggest strength of RTH is its readers.

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By Genghis (anonymous) | Posted November 23, 2007 at 11:27:52

Ryan, your trying to be too cute by a child caught in the cookie jar with crumbs on his mouth jar blatently denying he "did it"

August, 2002: Iranian exiles say that Tehran has built a vast uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and a heavy water plant at Arak without informing the United Nations.

December, 2002: The existence of the sites is confirmed by satellite photographs shown on U.S. television. The United States accuses Tehran of "across-the-board pursuit of weapons of mass destruction." Iran agrees to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

June, 2003: IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei accuses Iran of not revealing the extent of its nuclear work and urges leaders to sign up for more intrusive inspections.

ad nauseaum.. til today... now Al Baradi says they are not building weaopons.Obviously the West does not beleive it, and those that do have vital interests in Iran.suprise.

They certainly are not doing anything wrong.Until they are caught then they claim foul and buy time to get to where they need to be in the program.The UN is the perfect vehicle for this.Fiddling time away with endless unenforcable decrees.It really says something about why the US has to attack countries to protect itself when the UN was supposed to act as one and defuse these issues.And before you go on about the inevitable "Iraq and no WMD",If the UN had enforced its own sanctions and inspections in the early 90s there would have been no question of yes or no.Saddam was guilty of the biggest bluff gone wrong in history.

Does anyone have "evidence" they are building Nuclear- Weapons? No.No evidence can be found or will be because the "weaponization" is a by product of the final phase of enrichment.You can go on forever denying hostile aims while proceeding with" Nuclear Power".Pakistan did it with CANDU reactors from the Trudeau era.Peacful Nuclear energy.right.

Does the world have evidence they have been secretly enriching Uranian for years against IAEA regulations that once finished can be put into a Weapon?.Yes.

Have The Iranian leaders not threatened Israel, the West and its neighbors in the past.Yes.

Does it use inflammatory Koran inspired apocalyptical language indicating it will destroy its enemies?.Yes.

Is it UNREASONABLE to think they might want a Nuclear Weaopn.No.

Have they stated thier desire to be a Nuclear Power Yes.

IF amadinnerjacket was in the docket under cross examination this would be a slam dunk.

What part of common deduction here blinds people so much that in order to hate Bush effectivly, you must believe absolute fantasy from leaders such as Iran?

I think the anti Bush haters have a real Stockholm Syndrome with anyone who hates Bush.

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