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Bloggingheads
04-17-2008, 03:59 PM

TwinSwords
04-17-2008, 04:16 PM
Woohoo! Bob is back from Saudi Arabia. LOL @ Mickey's comment "the hostage tape edition."

Looking forward to this. Glad Mickey could bring himself to do a full 56 minutes! Double that man's pay! Heck, quadruple it! ;-)

Question: Will Mickey's treatment of Barack's "bitter" comment be any more honest than Pinkerton's?

TwinSwords
04-17-2008, 04:20 PM
As we start another thread on Barack Obama's unforgivable criminal statements about unhappy poor people, let's at least find room for, you know, his actual remarks.

"I think it's fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people are most cynical about government. The people are mis-appre...they're misunderstanding why the demographics in our, in this contest have broken out as they are. Because everybody just ascribes it to 'white working-class don't wanna work -- don't wanna vote for the black guy.' That's...there were intimations of that in an article in the Sunday New York Times today - kind of implies that it's sort of a race thing.

"Here's how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long. They feel so betrayed by government that when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn't buy it. And when it's delivered by -- it's true that when it's delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama, then that adds another layer of skepticism.

"But -- so the questions you're most likely to get about me, 'Well, what is this guy going to do for me? What is the concrete thing?' What they wanna hear is -- so, we'll give you talking points about what we're proposing -- to close tax loopholes, you know, roll back the tax cuts for the top 1 percent. Obama's gonna give tax breaks to middle-class folks and we're gonna provide health care for every American.

"But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Joel_Cairo
04-17-2008, 04:23 PM
Question: Will Mickey's treatment of Barack's "bitter" comment be any more honest than Pinkerton's?

Well, considering that ~5 minutes into the vlog, Mickey has fairly beamed with Schadenfreude at Obama, but been as charitable as humanly possible (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10256?in=00:04:12&out=00:04:24) to Bill Kristol, I'm gonna hazard a guess and say No.

otto
04-17-2008, 04:28 PM
Maybe if Bob paid Mickey for appearing on bloggingheads, he wouldn't cling to his anti-immigrant beliefs. Worth a try!

Wonderment
04-17-2008, 04:40 PM
Bob wonders why the right-wing is dwelling so much on the dynamics of Obama's cling comment.

It might help if you put your own "fetish" (the security blankie you "cling" to) in the laundry list of Obama no-noes.

For example, I'm quite happy to put gun nuts and religious dogmatists in the clingy category because I'm anti-guns and an atheist. So I -- personally - am not offended by Obama's remarks.

But if Obama has said, "They're bitter and then they cling to pacifism and NGOs protesting every little human rights violation on the planet or pro-immigrant multiculuralism," then I would have been very pissed off because I'm a pacifist, multiculturalist and human rights activist.

I suppose in Bob's case Obama would have to say, "He's bitter and then clings to evolutionary psychology..." but you get the idea.

TwinSwords
04-17-2008, 04:42 PM
Maybe if Bob paid Mickey for appearing on bloggingheads, he wouldn't cling to his anti-immigrant beliefs. Worth a try!

ROFL!

You're a Marxist! A crypto-Marxist! ;-)

TwinSwords
04-17-2008, 04:46 PM
Gosh, according to Jim Pinkerton (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10234?in=00:01:13&out=00:01:27), Mickey's brother Steve is a trust fund baby (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10256?in=00:13:58&out=00:14:04) who holds high-minded Mother Jones-type views.

Yeah. The highly successful lawyer and law prof is just a dumb trust fund baby. This illustrates the degree to which Pinkerton is connected to reality.

TwinSwords
04-17-2008, 04:52 PM
Bob wonders why the right-wing is dwelling so much on the dynamics of Obama's cling comment.

It might help if you put your own "fetish" (the security blankie you "cling" to) in the laundry list of Obama no-noes.

For example, I'm quite happy to put gun nuts and religious dogmatists in the clingy category because I'm anti-guns and an atheist. So I -- personally - am not offended by Obama's remarks.

But if Obama has said, "They're bitter and then they cling to pacifism and NGOs protesting every little human rights violation on the planet or pro-immigrant multiculuralism," then I would have been very pissed off because I'm a pacifist, multiculturalist and human rights activist.

I suppose in Bob's case Obama would have to say, "He's bitter and then clings to evolutionary psychology..." but you get the idea.

Are you saying it's right for the American media to dwell on this for days, if not weeks?

Sure, Obama's comment might have offended some people. Does that provide the final proof conservatives have been looking for that Obama is a Marxist? Does it mean he's an elitist?

The conservatives are dwelling so much on Obama's cling comment because it profits them to do so. Sort of like Kerry's botched joke about the troops in Iraq. It might have been offensive to the few troops who heard it initially; the profit for Republicans was to make sure that every last service member heard it, heard it often, and heard it interpreted the way Sean Hannity wanted it interpreted. If it hurt the feelings of the troops, the Republicans wanted to make sure as many troops heard it as possible. And Kerry wasn't even running for anything at the time! They spread that distortion around just for the fun of (1) hurting Kerry, and (2) alienating the troops from the Democrats.

That's what they're doing with Obama's "bitter" comment: trying to make sure it offends as many people as possible by spinning it their way and make sure it reaches every home in America.

Wonderment
04-17-2008, 04:53 PM
P.S. I should add that I am a swing voter -- i.e., I swing from candidates to the left of the Dems (like Ralph Nader) to Dems., so it's perfectly plausible that a Clinton or Obama type moderate would explain my beliefs as "bitterness" and see me as "clinging" to my pet issues .

TwinSwords
04-17-2008, 04:56 PM
Well, considering that ~5 minutes into the vlog, Mickey has fairly beamed with Schadenfreude at Obama, but been as charitable as humanly possible (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10256?in=00:04:12&out=00:04:24) to Bill Kristol, I'm gonna hazard a guess and say No.

LOL, I think you're right.

Joel_Cairo
04-17-2008, 05:08 PM
Oh Noes!

Looks like Bob just made the now infamous "Charlie Gibson Income Attribution Error (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10256?in=00:50:15&out=00:50:20)."

moderator Charlie Gibson suggested that the Democratic presidential candidates' proposals to roll back or let some of President Bush's tax cuts expire would affect middle-class families, adding, "If you take a family of two professors here at St. Anselm, they're going to be in the $200,000 category that you're talking about lifting the taxes on." According to the U.S. Census, however, the median income for a U.S. household is $48,451, and the mean household income is $65,527; and only 3.4 percent of U.S. households have an income of $200,000 or more.
http://mediamatters.org/items/200801060004

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 05:10 PM
I will never understand why Mickey claims that he's going to, or did, vote for a candidate, and then spends all of his energy working against that candidate. It's mildly nice to hear that he plans to vote for Obama, but he outweighs whatever contribution that might make a thousand-fold with his words.

I'm not sure if the claim about voting is supposed to make him seem more "reasonable" or if he suffers from a particularly acute form of buyer's remorse or what, but it it's dissonant at best.

On the Saudi efforts to get a high-tech culture going, I wish them all the best. I think it would be good for them, since the oil isn't going to last forever, and I think it would be good for the world, if more rational thinking can help balance their religious fundamentalists. I think the more likely scenario, though, is that they'll go down a path similar to what we see in the US -- there will be a divide between those who like the new ideas and those who fear them.

The thought of the Empty Quarter being filled with solar panels is pretty intriguing, though.

Wonderment
04-17-2008, 05:13 PM
Are you saying it's right for the American media to dwell on this for days, if not weeks?

No! On the contrary. I view the obsession with the whole US electoral campaign as a very disturbing phenomenon. I won't even get into the psychopathology of that. Suffice to say, we are all avoiding some major world problems while deluding ourselves into thinking that by focusing on the campaign we are addressing them.

Sure, Obama's comment might have offended some people. Does that provide the final proof conservatives have been looking for that Obama is a Marxist? Does it mean he's an elitist?

He's not a Marxist. That's as idiotic as calling George Bush a fascist or a Nazi.

Elitist is just a smear to that will play in middle America as "effete intellectual" and in some circles as "uppity Negro." Anybody who actually has a clue as to what Obama's main credential is -- organizing on the streets of Chicago -- will dismiss that charge as complete bullshit.

I agree with your analogy to Kerry's joke.

I think in the long run the Rev. Wright loop will hurt Obama the most. Forget Bittergate, forget Bill Ayers, forget Rezko.

Wright's sermon performance is the image that will be seared into the brain of every swing voter in the nation. Republican racists know that WillieHortonism works. THey will try to ride it all the way to the Oval Office.

Wonderment
04-17-2008, 05:15 PM
It's mildly nice to hear that he plans to vote for Obama,

Bradley effect. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_effect)

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 05:22 PM
Bradley effect. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_effect)

Heh. No, in Mickey's case, I don't agree. I think he can be as clueless about racial issues as any white kid straight out of Beverly Hills, but I don't think he's racist.

I also don't think he's the sort that would hesitate to say that he doesn't plan to vote for Obama out of worry about what people might read into that. It sure hasn't stopped him from rattling off every reason he can think of to dislike Obama, including some that border on race-based motivations, that's for sure.

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 05:33 PM
Wonderment:

Your thoughts on why Obama's remarks might have been offensive were well-put. I liked your attempt to show what putting the shoe on another foot might feel like.

On the other hand, there is a non-stop drone from the right which does all of this and more. Think of how often and how freely "wine and cheese parties," "limousine liberals," "Birkenstocking-wearing hippies," "amoral secularists," and about 9000 others get tossed off. With, I might add at risk of stating the obvious, no one, but no one, in the MSM "examining" how this might be offensive. Cripes, it was like pulling teeth to get them to acknowledge that there might, just might, be some eensy-teensy thing wrong with saying people like me commit treason, hate American, and want the terrorists to win.

Joel_Cairo
04-17-2008, 05:40 PM
I will never understand why Mickey claims that he's going to, or did, vote for a candidate, and then spends all of his energy working against that candidate. It's mildly nice to hear that he plans to vote for Obama, but he outweighs whatever contribution that might make a thousand-fold with his words.

I totally agree. It has a certain "but Brutus is an honourable man" clang to it; Mickey rattles off all these negative things about candidate X, uses his platform as a blogger to amplify and propagate these Negs as much as possible, and then acts like his one vote for the candidate excuses his efforts against the candidate and makes it all a wash. Either he is woefully ignorant about how the blogosphere and public opinion interact (unlikely) or he's just being deeply disingenuous (much more likely).

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 05:44 PM
I'll add that the longer "Bittergate" gets obsessed over, the more I find it amazing that so many rich and upper middle class people apparently worry so much about the feelings of poor people in decaying small towns, but never seem to give a crap about the feelings of poor people in decaying inner cities.

Yeah, yeah. I know. The former's votes are potentially up for grabs more so than the latter group. But really. Stop the faux-righteous indignation already.

I should say that I don't mean just Mickey in this regard. I think it applies to just about every diavlogger this past week.

Wonderment
04-17-2008, 05:44 PM
If he votes for Obama, it's only because McBomb is the perceived enemy of the MinuteKlan.

piscivorous
04-17-2008, 06:18 PM
Wouldn't it be more analogous to the remark of Senator McCain's "100 years in Iraq" which the left has used to cast the Senator as nothing but a warmonger; a talking point that seems to be fading quickly I might add just for the heck of it.

Eastwest
04-17-2008, 06:19 PM
Mickey was correct: my comments of last week referenced the period between the first "oil-crisis" and 2001.

Bob was also incorrect in concluding my comments were directed specifically at his own PR-junket musings. (Those SA / Jihadi comments were part of my back-and-forth with Abu Noor, the commenter Mickey identified as "a bit of a twit.")

Hence Bob's solicitation of evidentiary bases regarding current SA Jihadi support is a non-sequitur. (The monarchy is obviously aware that they could become just as much a target as the Twin Towers.)

Still, I'm not alone in suspecting "free-lance" SA oil-money financiers of Pakistani & Taliban persist in their efforts with a mutual wink-wink going on between themselves, religious conservatives, and the monarchy in a "tacit agreement" whilst all-the-while the monarchy itself still dribbles out a few obligatory face-saving teaspoons of "modernization / liberalization" PR for gullible western media and amazingly uncritical mind-sets such as Bob Wright apparently still entertains.

Bob: Closer reading of the "flow" of threads could prevent misimpressions of this sort in future. (Not a big deal to me, as I just "Wright it off" as a function of PR Kool-Aid and jet-lag.)

Regards,
EW

a Duoist
04-17-2008, 07:07 PM
The last monarch in an Islamic country to attempt to 'modernize' in the face of theological conservatism was the Shah. The Imam Khomeini made his phone calls and fiery sermons, and the 'modernizing' Shah ran for his life to the security of his Swiss billions.

Osama bin Laden also has some considerable opinions of 'modernity' occuring in his native country. There are 5,000-10,000 princes of the House of Saud, with Osama on one side and the clerics on the other. Does 'modernity' then become not just the weak third leg of the triangulation, but the match that lights the fire?

Lastly: Has anyone given any thought to the potential horror of engineers and scientists educated and trained in an absolutist culture? Osama bin Laden is an engineer. So is the president of Iran. Zawahiri is a medical doctor. How disproportionate is the ruling membership of extremist groups in Islamic countries made up of scientists and engineers?

Sgt Schultz
04-17-2008, 07:32 PM
Blue State atheist billionaire Howard Stern has stated on the air that he carries a .32 caliber Seecamp.
Is carrying that pistol the same as or different from clinging to it?
When seconds count and NYPD are minutes away why has Howard evolved inadequately. No better than one of those toothless flyover country humanoids we read about. In the evolutionary psychology sense of things.
I know Howie is not homophobic. I don't think he's xenophobic.
As I said, Howie's an atheist. He's not poor.
This evolutionary psychology as a predictor of actions/belief systems - is it up to the task?
Is there a doctor of social sciences in the house?
Why does Howie carry/cling to that pistol?
Is it the small penis thing he talks about?
Erm, you guys ever seen a Seecamp?
Any among you ever reached into to your pocket and fondle it - for comfort?
No need to raise your hand Matthew.

uncle ebeneezer
04-17-2008, 07:40 PM
Mickey is not a Democrat, he just pretends to be so he can maintain his "contrarian" persona that he thinks we all have been suckered into believing. Until I see proof of his voting records, he is nothing more than a covert GOP hit-person. I mean, Dem bashing is his favorite past-time.

SFMALENURSE
04-17-2008, 07:46 PM
So a country which does not permit Jews to step foot on its sacred soil is going to start several science cities and staff them without Jews. This should be fascinating.

jasonN.
04-17-2008, 08:42 PM
has anyone noticed or know why at the start mickey says "hey bob" with the inflexion of a question mark? ie, Hey Bob? kind of drives me crazy. does this bother anyone else? (i know it's trivial, but hey, this is the internet)

BornAgainDemocrat
04-17-2008, 08:49 PM
If trading with populous, low wage countries causes wages to fall in the U.S. ("factor price equalization" in the jargon), then even though the economic pie gets bigger (the "gains of trade") it means labor's slice is smaller, not just in relative terms but absolutely. In that case why isn't it right to want to redistribute income back to labor from capital so that everyone can benefit from trade? Or, absent that -- do we know how to redistribute income in a way that is both fair and economically efficient? -- why is it "pandering" to oppose free trade?

Personally I would like to see wage subsidies financed by a graduated consumption tax, but absent that the vast majority of Americans who earn their livings from their labor and not their brains and educations, or their wealth, are right to protest our trade policies.

I get the feeling that Robert Wright and Mickey Kaus don't really know modern trade theory. Maybe because qualified economists haven't been honest with them. Recheck it with Paul Krugman; he's about ready to come clean.

look
04-17-2008, 09:32 PM
Heh. No, in Mickey's case, I don't agree. I think he can be as clueless about racial issues as any white kid straight out of Beverly Hills, but I don't think he's racist.

I also don't think he's the sort that would hesitate to say that he doesn't plan to vote for Obama out of worry about what people might read into that. It sure hasn't stopped him from rattling off every reason he can think of to dislike Obama, including some that border on race-based motivations, that's for sure.

I agree. Mickey has been unfailingly forthright in his views, all the way down to his opinion of our merry little band. And Mickey, Abu Noor Al-Irlandee is not a twit, but a knowledgeable and well-mannered poster.

harkin
04-17-2008, 10:27 PM
Maybe if Bob paid Mickey for appearing on bloggingheads, he wouldn't cling to his anti-immigrant beliefs. Worth a try!


Awesome! Once again someone who doesn't understand the difference between legal and illegal. Mickey, they'll never learn (or maybe it's just a weak smear attempt).

ohcomeon
04-17-2008, 10:39 PM
I sincerely hope Mickey will give us the definition of the word twit as he means it. I really enjoy reading Abu Noor Al-Irlandee's comments.

Sgt Schultz
04-17-2008, 11:05 PM
Can you nerds laugh at yourselves?
http://tinyurl.com/5rwvmb
I know I can laugh at you.

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 11:11 PM
Imagine that. A conservative asking if others can laugh at themselves.

Guess I need to go buy a new irony meter.

Wonderment
04-17-2008, 11:11 PM
I think he can be as clueless about racial issues as any white kid straight out of Beverly Hills, but I don't think he's racist.

Well, I can only tell you that our family has been offended by his remarks, which we perceive as anti-Mexican bigotry.

I think if you polled the Mexican-American community after showing respondents a sampling of Kausisms, you'd get about 9 out of 10 people seeing them as racist.

I also think there's a syndrome of emergent racism among nativists. They often begin only by arguing in favor of Culture A's interests and the value of assimilation (English only, no bilingual education, etc.) , but they have nowhere to go except to disparage Culture B.

They may not start out as xenophobes, but that's where being a perpetual immigrant-basher takes you. You begin to see the immigrant culture (predominantly Mexican in Southern California) as the enemy.

Some people may be able to walk this tightrope of loving the Mexican but hating the sin of "illegal" immigration, but Mickey ain't one of them.

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 11:12 PM
Sorry, Wonderment. You're right. I was thinking only in terms of Mickey's view of black people, not brown people.

Jack McCullough
04-17-2008, 11:44 PM
We generally look to Mickey as the pop culture guru of BHTV, but I'm afraid he's missed the mark this time. Does he really think there are a lot of yuppie boho professors who are going to be dissuaded from moving to Saudi Arabia because they won't be able to see a Britney Spears concert? That seems laughably unlikely to me, unless the demographic of the professoriat has been expanded to include lots of eleven-year-old girls in the decades since I graduate from university and law school.

Still, overall a great diavlog.

StillmanThomas
04-18-2008, 03:10 AM
I've begun applying my Kaussian Blur Filter to all these guys' conversations. I simply unplug my right speaker and enjoy a refreshingly erudite Bob Wright monovlog. It's safe and effective every time!

bjkeefe
04-18-2008, 03:11 AM
I've begun applying my Kaussian Blur Filter to all these guys' conversations. I simply unplug my right speaker and enjoy a refreshingly erudite Bob Wright monovlog. It's safe and effective every time!

That's not a blur filter. That's a freakuency cutoff filter.

Baltimoron
04-18-2008, 03:45 AM
Why even bother, TwinSwords?

From the debates on these forums and in the MSM, it's arguable whether people even care about what Obama actually said. The "discussion" has gone past the useful stage, to spin, counter-generalize, and wreck.

Valiant attempt!

Baltimoron
04-18-2008, 03:46 AM
Point taken! Score!

Baltimoron
04-18-2008, 04:05 AM
Think of how often and how freely "wine and cheese parties," "limousine liberals," "Birkenstocking-wearing hippies," "amoral secularists," and about 9000 others get tossed off. With, I might add at risk of stating the obvious, no one, but no one, in the MSM "examining" how this might be offensive.

I'll add that the longer "Bittergate" gets obsessed over, the more I find it amazing that so many rich and upper middle class people apparently worry so much about the feelings of poor people in decaying small towns, but never seem to give a crap about the feelings of poor people in decaying inner cities.

Of course, I'm naive, but you hint at one of four responses I'm just not hearing (now, or about McCain). Overall, I'm sorta pleased American journalism and some laypeople have discovered epistemology. I'm pleased that laypeople and the elitist pundits can both talk about Marxism without red-baiting. It's taken long enough for leftie academics to get their research into the MSM, and now college grads can share their yawns with our families. "Listen, Mom, I read The Communist Manifesto and The German Ideology, and we covered this one week!" I'm also glad we could learn about African-American churches, but still we can't talk about Malcolm X (the "chickens" quote is still toxic after 40 years (http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/829), and is covering the field from assassinations and elections) and his discussions with MLK. But, we can't talk about Muslim nationalism in the African-American community head-on. Next, I want to have a national chat about my father's messianic Judaism and gambling and African-American tribal members on Native American reservations. We have time yet, don't we?

1. rationalism: innate truths
2. empiricism: somewhere right now some Poli Sci prof is crunching numbers, and in 2010, we can invite him on bhTV (when Bob/Mickey read the APSA publications for talent). Really, though, I see no great demand for homemade polling.
3. constructivism: I have a soft spot for this, but after these incidents, I realize talking and reaching consensus is un-American (I need to do polling).
4. skepticism: leads to elitism.

By all means, though, let's just trade generalizations and admire spin!

bjkeefe
04-18-2008, 04:12 AM
Baltimoron:

Of course, I'm naive, but you hint at one of three responses I'm just not hearing (now, or about McCain).

Sorry. Don't understand what you're saying.

Baltimoron
04-18-2008, 04:22 AM
Quoted post edited now (twice) with the passages of yours that inspired me to rant and my faulty enumeration rectified.

bjkeefe
04-18-2008, 05:34 AM
Baltimoron:

Sorry. I still don't understand what you're trying to say, even with the added quotes. What is the "one of three responses" that I hinted at? What are the other two?

Thus Spoke Elvis
04-18-2008, 02:20 PM
We generally look to Mickey as the pop culture guru of BHTV, but I'm afraid he's missed the mark this time. Does he really think there are a lot of yuppie boho professors who are going to be dissuaded from moving to Saudi Arabia because they won't be able to see a Britney Spears concert? That seems laughably unlikely to me, unless the demographic of the professoriat has been expanded to include lots of eleven-year-old girls in the decades since I graduate from university and law school.


I think Mickey's using "Britney Spears concert" as a euphemism for something else that young professors would miss if they moved to Saudi Arabia. I'm sure living in Saudi Arabia for an extended period would be an interesting cultural experience, but I'm thinking that most red-blooded Western men would probably prefer to live in a society where women wore a little less clothing and seemed a little more available.

jaoneal
04-18-2008, 05:18 PM
Bob is wrong to imply that others are necessarily in a better situation (than we ourselves are) to explain our behavior. The sorts of '1st person' cognitive biases he refers to are just as prevalent in our explanations of others as ourselves.

When someone makes a decision with bad consequences they are predisposed to view the cause of the decision as external--so Pres. Bush might see his decision to remove WMDs from Iraq in terms of the bad information that the CIA and others (such as former Pres. Clinton) were giving him.

From the 3rd person point of view, humans are much more likely to view a decision with bad consequences as due to something internal to the person making the choice. I.e. a Bush critic will see the decision as due to something internal to president Bush ("he was stupid", "He wanted the oil", "he is a warmonger", etc.).

The same biases will simply reverse in case of a decision with good consequences. (i.e. a bush critic will attribute the declines in violence in post-surge iraq to the Iraqis rather than anything bush did).

We are in no better position to explain someone else than we are ourselves. Our biases simply reverse.

It is also wierd for someone like Bob, who claims to be a big fan of evolutionary psychology, to claim to be an economic determinist. Part of the renewed popularity of darwinian psychology was Dawkins (and others) claim that much behavior can be explained in terms of group/kin selection--i.e. causal forces from 'below' the level of the individual. According to this view, rather than my own material circumstances defining by my concerns, I ought to be just (if not more) concerned about the wealth of my kin and group, rather than my own material status.

johnmarzan
04-19-2008, 09:07 AM
mickey was a little mean to bob, from the tone of his voice in the podcast.

as for bob, i hear that he plans to introduce saudi bloggers to BHTV. would be interesting to find out what they are allowed and not allowed to blog about in saudi arabia.

Baltimoron
04-19-2008, 10:00 AM
I'm excited about the new Saudi blood, too. I just hope they aren't aping MSM talking points.

pod2
04-20-2008, 09:53 PM
I'm a little bit confused about all of the commentary about cling-gate. Several things:

No one seems to ever mention that, among all of the things on the list of things that people "cling" to (Mickey's right-- that's the problematic word, not "bitter." "Stick" would be a synonym that would have produced none of the backlash, yet would have made the exact same point.) is 'anti-trade sentiment.'


Second, Obama's analysis was not that these rubes don't understand and are acting irrationally. His comments, in SF, Charlie Rose, and Terre Haute on April 11 explicitly describe the rational choices that small town people make-- Democrats and Republicans have both abandoned their communities economically in the last two or three administrations, so they "stick" to issues that are meaningful to them outside of economics. Why vote along economic 'marxist' materialist lines when it makes no material difference in their lives. Better to vote along cultural ways that do make a cultural difference to their identities.

Actually, Obama's analysis was very explicitly non-materialist, non-marxist. He explains how voters can rationally vote against their economic interest. Because voters do not trust Washington to help them in an economic sense, they vote in ways that Marx would not predict.

The attempt to paint Obama's remarks as vulgar marxist, or telling us that they are condescending is kind of priceless. how is voting along economic lines rational if Clinton sold Pennsylvania working class voters down the river just as the Bush administrations have? It isn't.

dougfretty
04-21-2008, 02:18 PM
Bob--

Your perspective always fascinates and enlightens, but you need to listen more carefully to Mickey.

He supplies you with a very fertile question (what's the difference between lecturing the Muslim world about the economy-jihad complex and lecturing small-town America about the economy-bigotry complex), and you dismiss the question on its face. Pretend for a moment that Mickey is one of your sociology profs. or public intellectuals, whom you pay respect with probative, meaning-of-life dialogs, and engage him in the same way.

Old couples who have been married for years start to become deaf to one another. Bob, please don't start sounding like Mickey's long-suffering spouse.

thouartgob
04-21-2008, 06:01 PM
I think Mickey's using "Britney Spears concert" as a euphemism for something else that young professors would miss if they moved to Saudi Arabia. I'm sure living in Saudi Arabia for an extended period would be an interesting cultural experience, but I'm thinking that most red-blooded Western men would probably prefer to live in a society where women wore a little less clothing and seemed a little more available.

Well, professionals of any stripe like money so I feel that they will not suffer for talent. Besides with lots of money there are plenty of ways to quench one's thirst in that arena. Just follow all of the petroleum engineers and western middle-men that have been around for years to whatever sinful oasis is available.:-)

thouartgob
04-21-2008, 06:26 PM
Bob wonders why the right-wing is dwelling so much on the dynamics of Obama's cling comment.



You don't have to wonder much about why right-wingers are dwelling. This Johathan Chait article (http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=f9944ce3-fc34-4112-8f1a-34e7e6a7b7c9&k=44586) gives you a flavor of the hypocrisy of one set of elites howling in outrage another another set of elites.

I can't help but steal a quote.

"The victim-hero class is the object of competitive flattery and the subject of mutual accusations of disrespect. You can't read a Peggy Noonan paean to real America--"a healthy and vibrant place full of religious feeling and cultural energy and Bible study and garage bands and sports-love and mom-love and sophistication and normality"--without thinking of a junior faculty member extolling the dignity of Guatemalan peasant women. Bill O'Reilly's or Tim Russert's endless invocations of their working-class backgrounds are the equivalent of the campus activist who introduces every opinion by saying "As a woman of color . . . ." (The one difference being that the latter really is a woman of color, while the former are multimillionaires who retain only the most remote connection to blue-collar life.)"