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Bloggingheads
05-28-2008, 09:32 AM

David Thomson
05-28-2008, 09:43 AM
No sensible white person should vote for Barack "Barry" Obama. He is a leftist race hustler who will set back race relations a good ten years. Obama and his guilt tripped white yuppie allies have every intention of sticking it to the non-Ivy League white person---especially if they are male. Don't ever forget the disastrous U.S. Supreme Court decision, Griggs vs. Duke Power and busing. The "elites" are not to be trusted.

threep
05-28-2008, 10:12 AM
Skirting close to the line there, Mr. Thomson.

Joel_Cairo
05-28-2008, 10:13 AM
^ Where are you Comment Nanny? Will nobody think of the comment children??

bjkeefe
05-28-2008, 11:05 AM
Matthew tried to argue that had the Iraq invasion not turned out to be such a disaster, none of the "death of conservatism" talk would be happening. This hypothetical has a strong flavor of "if pigs had wings" to it but even if I grant it, I'd remind him that we have as evidence this: another Bush, this time with a successful war in the Mideast under his belt, popularity ratings in the 80s shortly thereafter, who then could not get reelected.

The short explanation of why that happened is that the voters did not see him as having any clue or concern about domestic policy. I expect Matthew would say, no, no, the reason he lost is because he strayed from conservative principles and lost his base. As with Ramesh in yesterday's diavlog, I'm always amused to see how quickly the far right tries to abandon the GOP whenever the GOP is doing well -- it's never that conservatism has fallen from favor or run out of ideas, it's always that those who claim to be conservatives have failed the purity test. Neither of these guys is willing to acknowledge that on generic issue surveys, the liberal viewpoint beats the conservative viewpoint time and again.

I was also amused to hear Matthew namecheck the same three people as did Ramesh -- Douthat, Salam, and Frum -- when trying to make the case that conservatives have fresh blood and new ideas on tap. Nothing against the first two -- I myself find them refreshing -- but as Chris pointed out, they are hardly anywhere near the center of conservative power. I'd also say that a good chunk of their thinking probably fails the old guard's purity tests.

(For the sake of completeness, I'll just say that Frum strikes me as another Gingrich -- someone who really is doing nothing but trying to repackage and re-spin old ideas. mostly in a self-interested attempt to stay relevant so as to maintain his place at the wingnut welfare trough. He is unimportant -- he may still have a congregation who will listen to his sermons, but it's shrinking, not growing.)

Kudos to Matthew, however, for having enough honesty to say that the possibility of McCain's success is entirely dependent on Obama. He's right -- few people will be voting for McCain because they favor his policy proposals. He's got a core of support of people who have bought into the maverick/war hero image, but the bulk of his support will come as votes against Obama.

Related to this, I was surprised that both Matthew and Chris felt that McCain is seen as conservative only by those who don't follow politics closely, and that those who do see him as not much of a conservative. I see it just the other way -- the casual observer buys the maverick image, while those who pay attention realize that this is a sham, that McCain has voted in accordance with Bush much more frequently in recent years, and that his views on things like Supreme Court appointees is about as hard right as it comes.

ohcomeon
05-28-2008, 12:12 PM
Nice one, Joel.

ohcomeon
05-28-2008, 12:14 PM
David! I was thinking of you and laughing through the whole McWhorter & Loury divalog. Wish you were there. I was thinking you could shorten that phrase of yours to NILWM -we will all know what you mean.

Bobby G
05-28-2008, 12:51 PM
"I'm always amused to see how quickly the far right tries to abandon the GOP whenever the GOP is doing well -- it's never that conservatism has fallen from favor or run out of ideas, it's always that those who claim to be conservatives have failed the purity test. Neither of these guys is willing to acknowledge that on generic issue surveys, the liberal viewpoint beats the conservative viewpoint time and again."

I hear this a lot--that conservatives are misunderstanding things by saying that their candidate lost because he wasn't conservative enough, instead of what is taken to be the real answer: conservatism doesn't work, and conservatives should admit that.

I'll grant that conservative ideas, when described nakedly, are unpopular: e.g., we should tax the middle class more than we should tax the rich because the rich are what drive the economy rather than the middle class. But a lot of correct ideas (not to say that the conservative view of economic growth/taxes is correct) are unpopular when packaged nakedly: evolutionary theory, for example. I don't think that conservatives should lie (say, by saying that no matter how much we cut taxes revenues will rise), but I do think a more artful presentation of the issues is morally acceptable.

I will also agree that conservatives are, in some sense, out of ideas, at least on domestic issues. This is because their main domestic policy prescription--lower taxes--has been generally accepted. I remember reading that conservatives are having a hard time this election cycle not just because of Bush but also because most people think taxes are low enough. There are still lots of things to do, though, a lot of market-oriented solutions to problems that have yet to be publicly articulated (i.e., articulated by politicians) that could gain some traction.

Moreover, on foreign policy issues, I think Republicans are still in a pretty comfortable spot, politically speaking. Starting unprovoked wars will probably be unpopular, but I think torture and the rescinding of civil liberties are pretty darn popular in the US (because both of these are thought not to be directed at anything but a small subset of the American population). Contrast this to the Democratic position: diplomacy doesn't look palatable to the US public because it's not obvious how it works. Ideally, what you're supposed to do is figure out what you want from your diplomatic interlocutor and what you can give him and then come to an arrangement. But it's not clear to most Americans--or, I should say, to me--how this is supposed to work with precisely the regimes we're worried about (Iran and North Korea), or how this is supposed to work with the Israelis and the Palestinians, some of whom seem to be implacably against one another for religious/cultural reasons. As for torture, again, the Democrats opposition to torture (and good on them for that) seems to most people, I think, like an abdication of responsibility. Most people are, I think, somewhat skeptical of universal human rights, at least when it comes to a choice between them and defending the interests of the nation. Consequently, it looks like the Republicans are doing everything the Dems want to do vis-a-vis domestic security, plus one more thing: torture. So the Dems have some problems with artful repackaging as well.

Bobby G
05-28-2008, 12:51 PM
Oh, I forgot to say: Barack "Barry" Obama.

brucds
05-28-2008, 01:33 PM
"I think torture and the rescinding of civil liberties are pretty darn popular in the US"

Glad to hear that conservatives haven't run out of appealing ideas...because you've gonna need some honey to coat that "tax the middle class more than the rich" thing.

Joel_Cairo
05-28-2008, 01:37 PM
Oh, I forgot to say: Barack "Barry" Obama.

I've always liked the sound of Ehud Barack "Barry" Saddam Hussein Obama bin Ladin. If Kidneystones shows up, we can add some Ayers-Wright-Rezkos in there somewhere.

Bobby G
05-28-2008, 04:47 PM
Hey, I think it's pretty sad, but I actually think it's true. Willingness to torture is now a values issue (well, it was always a values issue but now for a large block of people being unwilling means you have bad values).

Eastwest
05-28-2008, 06:05 PM
Excuse me, Chris, but your assertion that "charisma" is an intrinsically-existent phenomenon abiding inextricably in the person is utterly erroneous.

It's what we call "an imputed phenomenon" attributed by the observer.

(That's why some of us fall down and roll around on the carpet laughing when we hear you youngsters say absurd things like this. It's also why people differ completely on who they perceive as possessing charisma. I've met a few people in sixty years who I'd say possess charisma. Obama sure ain't one of them. But even with those I favor, no way it's "intrinsic.")

So, please, wake up, smell the coffee: Notice you and the Obama-homophily cult are dancing in your own self-generated spell.

But great, you got to use your 3-dollar "ineffable" word twice in one minute. Keep working on that cult lexicon!

EW

Billiam
05-28-2008, 06:12 PM
So that's (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11404?in=00:38:18&out=00:38:22) how you say his name...

MikeDrew
05-28-2008, 06:14 PM
This was a really great diavlog.. Captures the stalled moment we are in in the race, and the seeing eye-to-eye on many things is refreshing.

A point on the politics of talking to countries in the world: they are simple. This topic should serve as THE defining point on which Obama connects McCain to Bush: McCain's position is Bush's, except where it's even MORE extreme. (In fact the whole debate is meaningless, since we do talk now to Iran at various levels under Bush, and contrary to Matt's distorted characterization of the You Tube debate, Obama did not and has not promised to meet with any head of state, only their "leaders." In fact he has not promised to talk with unsavory types at all, only affirmed his WILLINGNESS to do so without PREconditions, which is not the same thing as UNconditionally. But back to the politics, since the merits are not a winner for anyone here, since it's all gibberish anyway since no one is representing correctly what he said, AND McCain's policy is not in place even under Bush.)

Obama must portray his stance on diplomacy not as something radically new, but as the restoration of the American way in foreign affairs: diplomacy first, violence only if made necessary by bad actors, and then according to the Powell doctrine. It's not new; it's tried and true (except when we stray from it and get stuck in unwinnable wars, of course). If he ties McCain to Bush on this question -- which he absolutely MUST do because it is one of the most unequivocal points on which they are in fact tied -- he can allow it to be the symbol of the restoration he would bring of the firm confidence with which America has traditionally confronted the world, and of the overall direction he wants to take the country in.

preslove
05-28-2008, 06:32 PM
No sensible white person should vote for Barack "Barry" Obama. He is a leftist race hustler who will set back race relations a good ten years. Obama and his guilt tripped white yuppie allies have every intention of sticking it to the non-Ivy League white person---especially if they are male. Don't ever forget the disastrous U.S. Supreme Court decision, Griggs vs. Duke Power and busing. The "elites" are not to be trusted.

It amazes me that someone as stupid as you actually sits through these diavlogs.

bjkeefe
05-28-2008, 06:46 PM
EW:

But even with those I favor, no way it's "intrinsic."

If charisma is not intrinsic, what is it? Where does it come from? Why do we say one person is charismatic and another isn't? If it's not intrinsic, can it be acquired or developed?

Speaking as someone who spent a long time trying to be "charismatic" with at best very poor results, I'd be curious to know.

piscivorous
05-28-2008, 07:02 PM
Pheromones

Wonderment
05-28-2008, 07:06 PM
It amazes me that someone as stupid as you actually sits through these diavlogs.

What makes you think he sits through the dialogs? He writes the same dreck no matter what the dialog is. We are the dummies for reading it.

uncle ebeneezer
05-28-2008, 07:15 PM
And I'd like to know if you're ever going to stop ridiculing Obama and his supporters and start focussing your venom at McCain.

Eastwest
05-28-2008, 07:17 PM
Charisma -noun: A conventionally-established ideational concept reducible to a set of outwardly-occurring visual forms, sounds, and ideation-associated sense-object data instigating one to, mediated by visual, auditory, and intellectual consciousnesses and based on one's own karmic propensities, to assign exalted qualities to what is after all merely an ever-changing sub-momentary co-location of forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables, and objects of mind falsely (from the standpoint of ultimate truth) construed to constitute a karmic continuum or "person."

Because the subjective factors involved vary entirely from one observer to the next, the objective factors to which such exalted qualities are merely imputed necessarily vary as well. Hence what one observer might characterize as "charismatic," another observer might characterize as "egotistical," "juvenile," "fantasy-ridden," "surreptitious," "pandering," "flagrantly deceptive," etc., etc.

I could go on, but since BJ is a good student, having lifted one corner of the argument, I'll let him infer the other three.

Cheers,
EW

Bobby G
05-28-2008, 07:19 PM
That is a very funny response. Personally, I read because I wonder how he's going to connect his comment to the topic of the diavlog. At times, he's been sublime; lately, he's been phoning it in. Get more creative, Thompson!

handle
05-28-2008, 07:47 PM
That is a very funny response. Personally, I read because I wonder how he's going to connect his comment to the topic of the diavlog. At times, he's been sublime; lately, he's been phoning it in. Get more creative, Thompson!

I have to agree. He even forgot to mention who the "real racists" are. Maybe he is in ill health and has passed the torch. (and cross?)

bjkeefe
05-28-2008, 07:58 PM
EW:

I'll go along with you on the notion that A and B might disagree that a given person, C, is charismatic. If you want to say that the fact that A calls C "charismatic" while B calls C something else, then I'll grant that charisma, under this narrow definition, is not something intrinsic.

Nonetheless, there is something there in person C that resonates with most everyone, whether positively or negatively, and I would say that that something is intrinsic to C.

Maybe it'll be clearer if we consider person D. If I say that D is dull, chances are no one will say anything much different about D. They may be more polite and choose terms such as phlegmatic, uncontroversial, low-key, or laid-back, but rarely will you come across a person whom some consider dull and while other consider him or her charismatic.

So, under my definition, we might disagree about whether Obama is charismatic, but we would not likely disagree that, say, John Kerry is not.

ohcomeon
05-28-2008, 08:39 PM
I agree. He is certainly phoning it in. He won't respond to direct questions. He amuses me so very much and I really want to play with him but he refuses. If he was a REAL MAN he would comment on the McWhorter/Loury divalogs. Wingers and Crazies just aren't as much fun since Bush dropped below 30%.

samuelsd
05-29-2008, 12:56 AM
Really, Matt? You think that if the Iraq misadventure hadn't ended up being a complete fiasco, the Republican brand wouldn't have ended up completely trashed (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11404?in=36:29&out=37:02)?

To this sort of deep insight, there's really only one proper response. As my grandfather would put it: Az der bubbe vot gehat baytzim vot zie geven mein zayde.

Certainly, if the Iraq War hadn't been a horribly-conceived, poorly-executed scheme, doomed to failure from the get-go, then executed by a group so incompetent that labeling them as such gives all incompetents a bad name, then, yes, maybe John McCain would not have such a deep hole to dig out of this fall.

Alternatively, if Republicans didn't hold views on issues, ranging from taxation to international relations, which were so repugnant that the only way they could hold onto power was to inspire fear and loathing in the American populace, then they'd be more popular. And they'd be you know, Democrats.

Cross-posted at Damn Lefties (http://damnlefties.wordpress.com/2008/05/28/matthew-continenti/).

piscivorous
05-29-2008, 06:42 AM
I wonder how much of The Unraveling (http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=702bf6d5-a37a-4e3e-a491-fd72bf6a9da1&k=) has to do with the fact that by fighting in the Arabian Iraq has to do with the Arabian founders of the philosophical underpinnings, used by radical Islamists, are now turning against them. If it were primarily western infidels and not Arabian muslins that were it's victims would Noman Benotman, Sheikh Salman Al Oudah and Sayyid Imam Al Sharif (Dr. Fadl) now be speaking so loudly against it. Juxtapose this article with one just six months or so before it, War of Error (http://www.newamerica.net/publications/articles/2007/war_error_6154), by the same author.

Eastwest
05-29-2008, 06:48 AM
Nonetheless, there is something there ... and I would say that that something is intrinsic to C.

Nice try, but still untrue:

That's just a case of a significantly large group sharing the same general set of past karmic propensities and aspirations and thus generating largely similar imputations. The perception is still created in their own minds and hence still does not in any way reflect a correct perception of any validly-establishable objectively-existent entity.

Of course none of this matters so long as enough people fool themselves with the same sort of general imputation that the guy succeeds in getting elected.

But anyway, enough of this Buddhist emptiness metaphysics here. This is after all, primarily a politics-addiction website wherein nobody's that concerned with objective reality.

BTW, the same analytic model is equally valid in evaluating other highly-charged but still inherently unreal phenomena. (Like "art" for instance. "Sexual desirability" would be yet another example. Also: "happiness," "suffering," etc.)

For temporary relief from all such headache categories, a late-night listen to this 8-minute Guzheng "Fantasia Pouring Out Feelings" may be palliative: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7i1kSrmnNQ&feature=PlayList&p=F047791B5A5EEEEB&index=1

EW

Wonderment
05-29-2008, 03:11 PM
EW,

This is three times, at least, that you've used the word "karma" or "karmic" in your posts on this topic.

Do you actually believe in reincarnation, or do you use the word metaphorically? If the former, do you think posters' beliefs in the supernatural have a serious role to play in the discussion of human behavior?

bjkeefe
05-29-2008, 03:26 PM
For temporary relief from all such headache categories, a late-night listen to this 8-minute Guzheng "Fantasia Pouring Out Feelings" may be palliative: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7i1kSrmnNQ&feature=PlayList&p=F047791B5A5EEEEB&index=1

Ugh. I cannot express in words how much I hate New Age music. It is absolutely devoid of soul. All it does is make me more irritable.

Thanks for the recommendation, which I'm sure was well-meant, but in between this and your waving around terms like karma, you're not doing much to win me over to your way of seeing things.

I grant that you probably do not care about this, but just in case you do, now you know.

Eastwest
05-30-2008, 12:35 AM
Ugh. I cannot express in words how much I hate New Age music. It is absolutely devoid of soul.

Actually, although a newer composition, it's squarely in the Chinese Classical Music tradition by one of the more famous Chinese composers, on an instrument dating from before the time of Christ, performed by Yuan Sha, the first prize winner of the 2002 International Chinese Instrumental Competition.

So, no, although somewhat meditative in the mood it sets up, it's not "New Age Music."

But then, this is about the level of transcultural sophistication I've come to expect from you after marvelling at your outsider comments about the feelings of Tibetan peasants towards their preferred religion.

Hopefully some day you'll gain a broader experience of the world and notice its utility in contributing a third dimension to your consistently two-dimensional Wonder-Bread opinions.

Just to challenge you a little, here's Song Fei doing a very old classical piece "Waters of the River" soloing on the Erhu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsvzzolvwMo&feature=PlayList&p=B5A87E719716A420&index=0

(I've been playing it more often lately whilst thinking about the earthquake victims crushed in the collapsed school buildings of Siquan.)

EW

amdurbin111
05-30-2008, 03:08 AM
I've always liked the sound of Ehud Barack "Barry" Saddam Hussein Obama bin Ladin. If Kidneystones shows up, we can add some Ayers-Wright-Rezkos in there somewhere.

you're crazy. Get a life and stop posting nonsense on messageboards.

bjkeefe
05-30-2008, 01:37 PM
EW:

I guess I deserved that response after insulting your tastes. Sorry for doing so.

pod2
05-30-2008, 01:54 PM
Actually, although a newer composition, it's squarely in the Chinese Classical Music tradition by one of the more famous Chinese composers, on an instrument dating from before the time of Christ, performed by Yuan Sha, the first prize winner of the 2002 International Chinese Instrumental Competition.

So, no, although somewhat meditative in the mood it sets up, it's not "New Age Music."

But then, this is about the level of transcultural sophistication I've come to expect from you after marvelling at your outsider comments about the feelings of Tibetan peasants towards their preferred religion.

Hopefully some day you'll gain a broader experience of the world and notice its utility in contributing a third dimension to your consistently two-dimensional Wonder-Bread opinions.

Just to challenge you a little, here's Song Fei doing a very old classical piece "Waters of the River" soloing on the Erhu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsvzzolvwMo&feature=PlayList&p=B5A87E719716A420&index=0

(I've been playing it more often lately whilst thinking about the earthquake victims crushed in the collapsed school buildings of Siquan.)

EW

Thanks for this one. Emotional and kind of subtle, though I don't think that erhu is an instrument that translates well to digital recording, particularly youtube.

Incidentally, it's Sichuan, not "Siquan." Also "Szechwan" in the olden days or restaurant menus.