Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Congeries of Cons

The other day I heard on the TV, while I was trying to take a nap, some talking head discussing how the Republicans had framed the word "liberal" so that it now has almost exclusively negative connotations and how the Democrats had not succeeded in coming up with s similar frame to use against the Republicans.

And that got me to thinking.

It seems to me that there is one term -- "Neocon" -- that describes a group of people on the right who -- what with the war in Iraq and all -- are almost universally despised. The trouble is, of course, that the Democrats can hardly get away with applying the label "Neocon" to all their opponents, for most of them, however distasteful they may be, are not exactly Neocons.

But, thinking that, I suddenly realized that even if they are not Neocons, all of those opponents can be framed as some sort of "cons" and justly smeared with the opprobrium that is attached to their "Neo" congeners.

So here is a list of "cons" of various sorts. (I have not bothered with definitions, since normally they will not be needed when the labels are applied.)

Neocon, Retrocon, Quasicon, Me-Me-Con, Mexicon, Texicon, Psuedocon, Econ, Geocon, Globulcon, Paleocon, Scardycon, Killercon, Wimpycon, Whoopsicon, Contracon, Lexicon, Hemi-Semi-Demi-Con, Republicon, Anticon, Greedycon, Anti-Americon, Bullycon, Bellycon, Jellycon, Parasiticcon, Crypticon, and Idioticon.

I could go on, but I'm sure that you get the idea.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lieberman & Rovian Tactics

Senator Lieberman lost the Connecticult Democratic primary to the almost unknown challenger Ned Lamont, and on the last day before the election Lieberman's website went down -- sort of.

Lieberman's staff immediately claimed that the site had been "hacked" and had been subjected to a Distributed Denial of Service Attack -- two inconsistent explanations of what went wrong (although it is possible that there were two separate attacks).

Lamont's staff reportedly offered Lieberman's staff space on their web server until the problem could be resolved, but Lamont never received any reply.

Instead, Lieberman accused Lamont's campaign of being responsible for the dastardly deed and accused Lamont of Rovian tactics, demanding a statemen from Lamont repudiating the hacking, a statement that apparently had already been issued by Lamont.

It appears that the most likely cause of the outage was that Lieberman had not purchased enough bandwidth to handle the demand on the last day of the election. In any event, the server has been back up for a long time -- and may never have been down -- although all it says now is:

This account is under construction Please check back soon. It will be available shortly. Thank you.

It should, however, only have taken an hour or two to get the web pages back up on the old server, or on a new one -- like Lamont's. The only explanations that anyone seems to be able to think of for this delay is that Lieberman's staff did not have any backups of the material on the web site or that Lieberman wants the site to stay down so that he can continue to accuse Lamont of hacking and Rovian tactics -- in other words that Lieberman's campaign was unbelievably incompetent or that Lieberman himself is using what he would call Rovian tactics.

I think the country is very lucky that Lamont won.