Fred Thompson

Fred Thompson: good actor.

Look. I like Fred Thompson. I liked him in Marie, I liked him in Die Hard 2, I liked him in Cape Fear, I liked him on Law & Order. I know nothing about his political career, but all it takes is a sentence like this to allow me to completely write him off as any kind of serious candidate:

“Republican Fred Thompson said Friday that terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden is “more symbolism than anything else” as the presidential hopeful warned of possible greater al-Qaida threats within the United States.”

Got that? Osama bin Laden is not a criminal, or a terrorist, or a person, or a freedom fighter, or a psychopath, or the leader of a terrorist organization, or the murderer of 3000 Americans on our own soil, or any other concrete appellation you could give him — he’s a symbol. He’s a symbol instead of a person.

Why would Fred Thompson characterize him thus? Because you can fight a symbol forever and never win, while a person you could hunt down and capture and bring to trial. Which, by the way, Bush failed to do.

(Why did Bush fail to do this? Conventional wisdom says he could have captured bin Laden but “got distracted” by Iraq at a crucial moment and let him go. Personally, I don’t think Bush ever wanted to capture bin Laden — that would be accomplishing something, and would make a lot of his Arab friends angry. Better to attack a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 and is not a theocracy — the better to create his world of endless war and profits.)

Now then, that’s just the first part of the sentence. Bin Laden is “more symbolism than anything else,” not a big deal, not worth going after, not worth thinking about, nothing to see here, move along, move along. But then, without even pausing for a breath, Thompson goes on to “warn of possible greater al-Qaida threats within the United States.” Yes, exactly. No, we’re not going to pursue bin Laden because frankly, who cares, he’s not important, he’s just a symbol, but for god’s sake YOU MUST ELECT A REPUBLICAN, OTHERWISE AL- QAIDA WILL KILL YOU IN YOUR SLEEP!!

The fact that this blatantly deceptive, manipulative crap is reported without comment, of course, is another matter altogether.
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5 Responses to “Fred Thompson”
  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t like Fred Thompson.

    I don’t like him and can honestly say I never have. I haven’t seen any of his movies, and don’t intend to, now that I know what he stands for. I don’t care if he’s a good actor. I wouldn’t mind seeing Cape Fear someday, but I’d rather ignore it for another decade than unwittingly contribute a dime to that gassy cracker’s march to glory.

    The story you posted is vintage Fred. All you have to know is that he’s playing a good old boy and has inane, barely coherent opinions on most issues. Like Reagan and Bush before him, he thrives on facile platitudes and his supporters’ daddy-complexes. If he’s nominated, it won’t be because of any effort on his part.

    Which of his attributes is not utterly despicable? He’s a casual homophobe, a chickenhawk, a stuffed shirt, a phony, a buffoon, a puppet, a corporate shill, a lecher, a glutton, a condescending redneck, and a theocrat. He’s less awkward than Bush, but no different in terms of ideology or even personality. He’s Bush v2.0, with a brand-new acting subroutine.

    Let’s hope he fizzles. His fundraising has been pathetic, so maybe that will do him in. Then again, you can always count on the GOP to select the most objectionable candidate.


  2. eronanke says:

    Don’t you think that the current administration has used Bin Laden *as* a symbol? It’s as if HE is the only one we need to come down. Between him and Zarqawi, we’ve exhausted the names of all Al-Qaida operatives that Americans have been taught.
    I actually appreciate this statement differently; it’s more realistic. If we’re going to fight terrorism, we should recognize what terrorism *is*, and it’s NOT, by any means, ONE PERSON.
    Now, I am NOT in favor of a typical War-on-Terror, but his statement,
    “Bin Laden being in the mountains of Pakistan or Afghanistan is not as important as there are probably al-Qaida operatives inside the United States of America,”
    is TRUE. Bin Laden is NEVER going to get on a plane or blow up a building. He’ll send someone else, and if you want a realistic resistance to terrorism, you go for the poor shmucks who will be sent.
    This is, by no means, as bad as Cheney saying that if John Kerry was elected, there would be another ‘strike’ against America, and I think you’ve been a *little* unfair to Thompson.
    That being said, I would never vote for him, even if I were allowed to vote.

  3. ghostgecko says:


    Well, Republicans have been in charge since 9/11 and there have been no more successful attacks, so OBVIOUSLY they’re doing something right? Right?
    Reasoning like that makes me want to throttle someone.

  4. noskilz says:

    I have a feeling that Thompson will regret his bid for the presidency: his fellow republican candidates have lost no time laying into him, his campaign has been hemorrhaging staffers for months, that overturning Roe vs Wade will probably come up again( not that Dobson seems to be warming to him which can be a problem for those hoping for parts of the dead-ender vote), as will his lobbying activities (at least one gig contradicts his RvW stance), he’s not really trumpeting his Watergate connection of late for some reason, and the there’s that “Free Scooter” thing – like some of his campaign statements, I don’t really think he’s really thought through his latest project. And that’s just a small slice – it’s almost as if someone slipped him a list of ways to launch an unsuccessful campaign and he’s laboriously ticking them all off as he goes.

    He may be a capable actor and I’m perfectly willing to distinguish between his performing career and his political career, but he should be glad he’s got something to fall back on, as I don’t think the presidenting thing is going to work out. Anything is possible – his fellow republican contenders are as dysfunctional in their own special ways as he and it’s always possible whoever wins out for the democratic nomination will come up with some ingenious way to fail – but he seems to be coming into the game with as many disadvantages as he could lay hands on.

  5. teamwak says:


    “Saddam Hussein was on the cusp of having defeated the United Nations and the free world and the United States. He had certainly had weapons of mass destruction and the capability of reviving his nuclear program.”

    Where, when? Im more forgiving than most on the run-up to the war. It was the selective use of of intel, and the sheer incompitance of the planning including ignoring the generals manpower requests that really gets me.

    But that comment is a pure lie. He certainly didnt have WMD, and his nucear program was a joke. Freds just making it up now!