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I'm SO awesome!
06-16-2009, 12:32 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWulnfog20c

guess what? nobody's gonna do anything! what a surprise!

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 01:27 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWulnfog20c

guess what? nobody's gonna do anything! what a surprise!

Well, right off the bat you're wrong that nobody is going to do anything. Maher speaking out is an example of that, and it's not as though he's the only one nominally on Obama's side to speak out harshly. Far from it.

Some of his criticisms are legitimate, I thought, though I'm not sure how much I agree with all of them. For many of them, I would at least partly disagree because (a) Obama has always said that he was going to try to accomplish things by reaching out to the other side, (b) not every issue can be tied for priority one, (c) it really only has been a short while since he took office, and (d) there are a lot of Congressional Dems who deserve a lot more of the blame for things like stalled/diluted health care reform and lack of progress on gay rights.

I am not saying Obama is without fault on any of the substantive issues that Maher raised, nor am I suggesting that Maher should STFU. Just some things I wish he would keep in mind, especially part (d).

On Maher's "too often on TV" complaint -- nah. Ain't buyin' that at all.

For one thing, this is how the media focuses their news coverage, such as it is, particularly the teevee part of the MSM -- they always make it about one person, if they can, particularly the president. Like it or not, that's reality.

For another, if a president doesn't do those "just folks" sort of appearances on a regular basis, it is inevitable that the "out of touch"/"trapped in the bubble" noise gets turned up by the Villagers. I'm not saying Obama is getting a whole lot of actual useful citizen input by going out for burgers or letting BriWi "inside" to do a puff piece, but the perception matters, hugely.

Third, I think Maher's attempt to equate Obama doing these photo-op-type things with his failure to move as fast as one might like on the real problems is wrong-headed. Whatever you might think about Obama's lack of progress, I guarantee his taking an hour here and there to do a publicity stunt is not the cause. I'd go further and say that one of Obama's most potent weapons if we do hope that he'll make progress is his continued popularity with the general public. If nothing else, it helps diffuse the GOP attacks on him and it helps put more pressure on Congressional Dems to get with the program.

Whether or not you believe Obama is all talk, just skating through being president, and really has no plans to push for major changes is largely a gut call. I happen to believe his heart is in the right place on most issues, even if I disagree about some specifics and some priorities. I also believe that he's a patient man, with a better ability to think long-term than most people, especially most politicians. Finally, I believe he is sincere about preferring to accomplish things through consensus and process, rather than by jamming things down his opponents' throats.

On this last, I think a lot of us on the left are at least partly driven by an urge for payback after eight long years of the dickish Bush/Cheney/Rove way of doing things. While that's understandable, I don't think it's preferable, ultimately. One of the first things that appealed to me about Obama, starting back in 2004, was the thought that "Man, if anybody could help this country get out of its endless love of divisiveness for divisiveness's sake, it's this guy." I still have that wish and that belief.

Therefore, I remain of the mind that I signed him to a four-year contract, and I am not looking to micromanage. I don't think that people like Maher are wrong to go off on rants like that, but I don't really agree with them. I think they sometimes suffer from unrealistic expectations and urges for instant gratification and vengeance.

And most importantly, I'd really like Maher and others to realize that just as they complain about it being all about Obama, they are doing the same exact thing themselves. I'd like to see them focus some of their ire on the Blue Dog Dems, and I'd like them to remember that for all of the clownishness of the leaders on the other side, they remain a non-trivial obstacle.

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 04:27 AM
Wonder how Maher feels about being identified as an ally by Glenn Beck (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_06/018629.php)?

I'm SO awesome!
06-16-2009, 12:02 PM
duly noted. thanks for sharing that long post. i think you're right that his heart is in the right place but i just got the overwhelming sense, even before he took office, that the financial sector, insurance industry, etc. would do pretty much nothing to change their ways because they simply didn't have to. they got bailed out so it doesn't matter. we'll see where we're at in 4, though, and hopefully things are a lot more stable/fair then.

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 05:31 PM
duly noted. thanks for sharing that long post. i think you're right that his heart is in the right place but i just got the overwhelming sense, even before he took office, that the financial sector, insurance industry, etc. would do pretty much nothing to change their ways because they simply didn't have to. they got bailed out so it doesn't matter. we'll see where we're at in 4, though, and hopefully things are a lot more stable/fair then.

Yes, I think you're right about the power of the entrenched interests in our political system, and I do know how frustrating it is to realize that the Dems are just as much in thrall to them as the Reps. At the end of the day, the cynical way to look at it is that the Dems are just marginally less likely to push for truly objectionable policies, and about the most optimistic way that one can spin things while still being realistic is to think that a guy like Obama can give a measurable push against the huge amount of existing inertia. But really, as Howard Zinn is right: for all of its good points, our system was also designed from the get-go to keep the rich and powerful rich and powerful.

I should have said before that one of the good parts about criticism from the left is that, in addition to pushing him to Do The Right Thing, it also provides Obama cover, if one believes that he truly wants to do the things that the left would like him to do. Which, of course, I mostly do. I guess I mostly have a problem with criticism that seems unhelpful, and while it's hard to define what that means in general, certainly one criterion for inclusion is anything that sounds like it could as easily have been said by the right-wing noise machine. In Maher's case, harping on the "celebrity" thing struck me that way, even leaving aside my view that he was fundamentally wrong about why a president has to do some of those photo-oppy things.

cognitive madisonian
06-16-2009, 06:14 PM
Howard Zinn is right:

That officially invalidates anything you have to say.

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 06:46 PM
That officially invalidates anything you have to say.

As if you ever thought I had something valid to say to begin with.

I'll get over it.

cognitive madisonian
06-16-2009, 06:47 PM
As if you ever thought I had something valid to say to begin with.


True, but this removes any hope that I had that you might someday surprise me.

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 07:05 PM
True, but this removes any hope that I had that you might someday surprise me.

Don't give me that. If you believed in hope, you'd be an Obama supporter.

You're one of the hopeless bitters.

graz
06-16-2009, 07:20 PM
You're one of the hopeless bitters.
At least he is on the cutting edge of derangement:
Cog Mad accent on the latter. (http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-bitterness25-2009may25,0,4544029.story)

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 07:38 PM
At least he is on the cutting edge of derangement:
Cog Mad accent on the latter. (http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-bitterness25-2009may25,0,4544029.story)

Science! (A known liberal field.)

cognitive madisonian
06-16-2009, 07:47 PM
Don't give me that. If you believed in hope, you'd be an Obama supporter.


I believe in the hops of Obama being voted out of office in 2012, thus saving the American economy.

graz
06-16-2009, 07:54 PM
I believe in the hops of Obama
To satisfy your taste for an epecially bitter brew:
Hops is to beer what lemon is to lemon aid. It is a bittering ingredient without which, everything would be just peachy!

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 08:19 PM
To satisfy your taste for an epecially bitter brew:
Hops is to beer what lemon is to lemon aid. It is a bittering ingredient without which, everything would be just peachy!

That's barley true!

cognitive madisonian
06-16-2009, 08:39 PM
It's rather ironic, given the vitriol directed at George Bush by persons such as yourself, for you to now complain about any supposed bitterness on conservatives' part. For eight years your ilk drove around with bumper stickers saying "not my president," compared Bush to Adolph Hitler, and rooted for military failure for political gain. And now because we do not go along with Obama's heavyhanded nationalization philosophy, we are 'bitter.' Hmmmmm...

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 09:34 PM
It's rather ironic, given the vitriol directed at George Bush by persons such as yourself, for you to now complain about any supposed bitterness on conservatives' part. For eight years your ilk drove around with bumper stickers saying "not my president," compared Bush to Adolph Hitler, and rooted for military failure for political gain. And now because we do not go along with Obama's heavyhanded nationalization philosophy, we are 'bitter.' Hmmmmm...

First, you're rewriting history again. Virtually no one hated on GWB for eight years. There was anger over the way he stole the election, to be sure, but the hatred didn't really start until after it became clear that he'd lied us into war, lied about how well it was going, lied about torture and warrantless wiretaps and kidnappings and secret prisons, and so on. That took years. To the extent that anyone hated on Bush before that, they certainly weren't invited to bloviate on the opinion pages (Krugman is a rare exception) or the Sunday yakfests until after Bush let New Orleans drown, going on five years after taking office. By contrast, you have been howling about Obama from the get-go, and the people who speak in the same tongues as you have been given top billing since then, too.

Second, put that "rooted for military failure" nonsense right back up where you pulled it out of -- your ass. This is the wingiest of wingnut talking points, and every time anyone gets challenged to support this claim, the "evidence" never amounts to anything more than nutpicking comments from the bowels of Daily Kos.

Third, I never had such a bumper sticker. You can't hurl stuff at me that I didn't do with your fancy "your ilk." By contrast, I am addressing your bitterness, even as I note that it is a characteristic you share with others.

Fourth, Obama wouldn't have needed to be all "heavy-handed" if he wasn't put in the position of having to do crisis management on the entire economy, thanks to your hero, George W. Bush. This is a big part of the source of your bitterness -- the guy and the philosophy you worshiped were revealed as flawed and they came crashing down. The sooner you admit this to yourself, the sooner you'll start feeling better, not bitter.

cognitive madisonian
06-16-2009, 10:38 PM
First, you're rewriting history again. Virtually no one hated on GWB for eight years. There was anger over the way he stole the election,

Bitterness.


but the hatred didn't really start until after it became clear that he'd lied us into war,

It's not "clear" that he did so.

But let's get back to this outrageous notion you have that your side gave Bush a fair chance.
Here's a great account of the type of "fair chance" your side gave:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=digest&contentId=A57583-2001May21

Students from the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies wore miniature power plants on their mortar boards, burning incense through tiny smokestacks. Scott Hedges, whose power-plant graduation cap even had a toy coal car, joked that "emissions requirements were waived" for his polluting cap under Bush's new energy policy.

More than 170 Yale professors boycotted the ceremony because they said Bush was not worthy of his honorary degree. Students wore stickers declaring "Got Arsenic?" and "5-4," a reference to the Supreme Court decision that essentially handed Bush the presidency. A banner flying from a dorm room window portrayed Bush as Mad magazine'sAlfred E. Neuman wearing a pin that said "Worry."

More of a "fair chance":http://articles.latimes.com/2001/jan/21/news/mn-15159
A site you probably frequent detailing further the "fair chance" your side gave: http://socialismandliberation.org/mag/index.php?aid=280


And of course, most Democrats rooted for George Bush to fail:
http://patterico.com/2009/03/08/democrats-have-no-right-to-be-snooty-about-rush-not-wanting-the-president-to-succeed/

And that's not even getting into the litany of literature equating George Bush with the Taliban or other such despicable figures. Eg "American Taliban."

But hey, it could be worse, I mean, imagine if a significant percentage of democrats were Truthers...oh wait, they are:http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/general_current_events/president_bush/22_believe_bush_knew_about_9_11_attacks_in_advance


Victor Davis Hanson has a good summary from back in 2004:http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200408130813.asp


until after Bush let New Orleans drown

There you go again. Wingnutty bitterness.



Second, put that "rooted for military failure" nonsense right back up where you pulled it out of -- your ass. This is the wingiest of wingnut talking points, and every time anyone gets challenged to support this claim, the "evidence" never amounts to anything more than nutpicking comments from the bowels of Daily Kos.

See: poll showing democrats rooted for the presidents failure. See: Harry Reid's "This war is lost" comment. See: the push to cut off funding for the troops.




Fourth, Obama wouldn't have needed to be all "heavy-handed" if he wasn't put in the position of having to do crisis management on the entire economy, thanks to your hero, George W. Bush. This is a big part of the source of your bitterness -- the guy and the philosophy you worshiped were revealed as flawed and they came crashing down. The sooner you admit this to yourself, the sooner you'll start feeling better, not bitter.

Wow, so many flaws with this paragraph:
1) "my hero" George Bush. That strawman speaks for itself.
2) "My ideology" is economic freedom. Apparently yours is not.
3) Prolonged prosperity followed by a short-term difficult period disproves free market economics like Weimar Germany disproves democracy.
4) Obama is not in the position of having to manage the economy, he is placing himself there, because that is his flawed prescription for the country. It will bankrupt the country. His stimulus package failed. He is lying about the cost of his health care package. He will soon tax health care benefits, something which he ran a series of misleading attack ads against McCain for proposing.

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 11:37 PM
Bitterness.

Yup. I acknowledged in my previous comment that there was anger at how Bush stole the election. Imagine that.

It's not "clear" that he did so.

Yes, it is clear that Bush lied us into war. To deny this at this point is willfully ignorant or pigheadedly partisan. You should try reading something else besides wingnut blogs. You might actually learn something.

But let's get back to this outrageous notion you have that your side gave Bush a fair chance.
Here's a great account of the type of "fair chance" your side gave:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=digest&contentId=A57583-2001May21


More of a "fair chance":http://articles.latimes.com/2001/jan/21/news/mn-15159
A site you probably frequent detailing further the "fair chance" your side gave: http://socialismandliberation.org/mag/index.php?aid=280

Nope. Never heard of the last source. To the stories themselves: (1) see above about righteous anger at a stolen election and (2) wow, some college kids and professors engaging in symbolic protest at Bush's pissing all over previously hard-won environmental protections. Yeah, that's real "hatred," isn't it?

And of course, most Democrats rooted for George Bush to fail:
http://patterico.com/2009/03/08/democrats-have-no-right-to-be-snooty-about-rush-not-wanting-the-president-to-succeed/

Yep. Your great find of a poll from 2006 sure goes a long way to disputing my claim that the hatred for Bush didn't gain legs until about five years after he was in office.

And that's not even getting into the litany of literature equating George Bush with the Taliban or other such despicable figures. Eg "American Taliban."

Sources? None. Color me surprised.

But hey, it could be worse, I mean, imagine if a significant percentage of democrats were Truthers...oh wait, they are:http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/general_current_events/president_bush/22_believe_bush_knew_about_9_11_attacks_in_advance

One-third of Democrats (in a Rasmussen poll, no less, so who knows how the question was framed) believing Bush had some idea of the 9/11 attacks beforehand is not the same thing as saying "a significant percentage of democrats were Truthers." Truthers believe that Bush (or his "operatives") blew up the buildings himself. People who merely think he knew something beforehand are not entirely crazy (http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/04/10/august6.memo/) to believe that.

Your arguments are getting weaker and weaker.

Victor Davis Hanson has a good summary from back in 2004:http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200408130813.asp

No one who isn't a wingnut (or a snark-blogger looking for fish in a barrel) reads VDH. Pass.

until after Bush let New Orleans drown
There you go again. Wingnutty bitterness.

Yeah. No reason at all why anyone should be upset how Bush handled that situation. And again, you're confusing righteous anger about specific actions (or inaction, as is the case here), which opponents of Bush justifiably have, with unfocused bitterness, which you display.

See: poll showing democrats rooted for the presidents failure.

Already addressed.

See: Harry Reid's "This war is lost" comment.

That was an assessment of the situation at that time, not rooting.

See: the push to cut off funding for the troops.

This is an exaggeration (or purposely vague), and you know it, or else you would have supplied a link to a reputable source. Also, the reluctance to keep giving Bush blank checks reflects a judgment call, which you may or may not agree with, but it's not "rooting for failure." It is assessing a situation as not worth pouring more money into and/or playing some politics to get some concessions in return for signing off on more funding. The latter is how our system works, especially when the Congress and the president are at odds.

Wow, so many flaws with this paragraph:
1) "my hero" George Bush. That strawman speaks for itself.

Who else would waste the time you have to argue on his behalf?

2) "My ideology" is economic freedom. Apparently yours is not.

The vacuity of the first sentence is matched only by the mischaracterization of my views in the second. And talk about straw men. You're really shooting blanks now, cog.mad.

3) Prolonged prosperity followed by a short-term difficult period disproves free market economics like Weimar Germany disproves democracy.

This is again so vague, so far off-base with where I'm coming from, so riddled with hyperbole, so ignorant of the problems Bush caused and how serious our problems are that I can't even be bothered to engage with you any longer.

I'll leave it at this, for the record: We did not have "prolonged prosperity" under Bush from the perspective of the non-millionaire population. We went from having a budget surplus to having successive record-setting deficits. And that was before the problems really blew up, following the burst of housing bubble, which immediately led to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, not a "short-term difficult period."

Your point 4 about Obama is even more deranged.

It's become clear that you're amping yourself into one of your kitchen sink frenzies again, so I'm going to drop this here. Have the last word if you like.

cognitive madisonian
06-17-2009, 12:27 AM
Yup. I acknowledged in my previous comment that there was anger at how Bush stole the election. Imagine that.

Derangement syndrome.



Yes, it is clear that Bush lied us into war. To deny this at this point is willfully ignorant or pigheadedly partisan. You should try reading something else besides wingnut blogs. You might actually learn something.

Prove that George Bush knowingly mislead us into war.



Nope. Never heard of the last source. To the stories themselves: (1) see above about righteous anger at a stolen election and (2) wow, some college kids and professors engaging in symbolic protest at Bush's pissing all over previously hard-won environmental protections. Yeah, that's real "hatred," isn't it?

That's not giving him a fair chance, which you peculiarly have attempted to rewrite. Of course, given your earlier endorsement of Howard Zinn, revisionist history (read: lies) appears to be up your ally.



Yep. Your great find of a poll from 2006 sure goes a long way to disputing my claim that the hatred for Bush didn't gain legs until about five years after he was in office.

It's moreso that I'm unaware of whether comparable polling took place before 2006. I'll also comb over some journal articles I have.


Sources? None. Color me surprised.


Oh dear.
http://www.amazon.com/Fortunate-Son-George-American-President/dp/1887128840/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245212025&sr=1-3

And many others.



One-third of Democrats (in a Rasmussen poll, no less, so who knows how the question was framed) believing Bush had some idea of the 9/11 attacks beforehand is not the same thing as saying "a significant percentage of democrats were Truthers." Truthers believe that Bush (or his "operatives") blew up the buildings himself. People who merely think he knew something beforehand are not entirely crazy (http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/04/10/august6.memo/) to believe that.


Actually it is crazy to believe that Bush had foreknowledge of 9/11. Of course maybe you're secretly a truther, too.


No one who isn't a wingnut (or a snark-blogger looking for fish in a barrel) reads VDH. Pass.

Says the person who appears to read nothing except splenetic leftist blogs. My opinion journalism sources have the ability to debate topics without resorting to expletives and personal insults, unlike yours.



Yeah. No reason at all why anyone should be upset how Bush handled that situation. And again, you're confusing righteous anger about specific actions (or inaction, as is the case here), which opponents of Bush justifiably have, with unfocused bitterness, which you display.

Wow, righteous anger, coming from a paranoid wingnut such as yourself this is comical.






That was an assessment of the situation at that time, not rooting.

That was a pronouncement made out of glee.



This is an exaggeration (or purposely vague), and you know it, or else you would have supplied a link to a reputable source. Also, the reluctance to keep giving Bush blank checks reflects a judgment call, which you may or may not agree with, but it's not "rooting for failure." It is assessing a situation as not worth pouring more money into and/or playing some politics to get some concessions in return for signing off on more funding. The latter is how our system works, especially when the Congress and the president are at odds.

Stalled funding leads to stalled supply shipments, which leads to soldiers needlessly dying. Stop living in a fantasy land.



Who else would waste the time you have to argue on his behalf?

Anyone not suffering from BDS.



The vacuity of the first sentence is matched only by the mischaracterization of my views in the second. And talk about straw men. You're really shooting blanks now, cog.mad.

You are vaguely advocating government control of markets. Either explicitly state your general economic ideology or stop complaining when people reach logical conclusions about them.



This is again so vague, so far off-base with where I'm coming from, so riddled with hyperbole, so ignorant of the problems Bush caused and how serious our problems are that I can't even be bothered to engage with you any longer.

Actually it's a line taken virtually verbatim from Will Wilkerson and it's rather potent against those who would destroy economic freedom and usher in a government bearing an awful resemblance to Juan Peron's.


I'll leave it at this, for the record: We did not have "prolonged prosperity" under Bush from the perspective of the non-millionaire population. We went from having a budget surplus to having successive record-setting deficits. And that was before the problems really blew up, following the burst of housing bubble, which immediately led to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, not a "short-term difficult period."
.

Clearly in spite of the fact that the Bush tax cuts saved us from a severe downturn in the wake of 9/11, you will persist in this silly notion that only the 'rich' thrived under Bush. Because of course the eeeeeeeeevil republicans exploit the poor for the rich.

bjkeefe
06-17-2009, 02:06 AM
And most importantly, I'd really like Maher and others to realize that just as they complain about it being all about Obama, they are doing the same exact thing themselves. I'd like to see them focus some of their ire on the Blue Dog Dems ...

I should have been a little less restrictive, it would appear (http://www.bobcesca.com/blog-archives/2009/06/for_lawmaking_c.html).

stephanie
06-17-2009, 10:49 AM
For eight years your ilk drove around with bumper stickers saying "not my president," compared Bush to Adolph Hitler, and rooted for military failure for political gain.

That's not remotely true for the majority of Democrats and/or liberals. I certainly did none of the above, and as you may recall, the majority of the US strongly supported Bush post 9/11 and again after he went into Iraq (despite the fact that they were against the decision to do so). Sure, as he showed himself incompetent in many ways and as information regarding the intelligence on which the Iraq War was allegedly based, people grew less and less supportive. The kinds of claims you are talking about were still not all that common, and it's ridiculous to claim otherwise. Makes me think you live in a bubble.

And now because we do not go along with Obama's heavyhanded nationalization philosophy, we are 'bitter.' Hmmmmm...

Smart conservatives know there is no such thing, of course. Some of you (not all, I like many conservatives, both personally and as commentators various places) seem bitter, but it's not all that clear why. You (meaning the bitter ones) rant and rave about socialism (and more ridiculous claims) based on policies (such as the progressive income tax) that are not only not Dem-specific, but the pretty consistent long-standing policy of our country, unchallenged by any mainstream Republican. And you bitch, perhaps with some justification, true, about economic moves born out of desperation (related to the incompetence of the past administration) which aren't particularly different than what Bush did, what McCain would have done, and what the Chamber of Commerce and traditional Republican interests supported. Fake libertarian populism makes for fun rhetoric when you aren't in power, but if you think there's a chance that any mainstream Republican candidate would have done much different re the budget and bailout, you are delusional. The specific items getting money in the budget would have had some differences, that's the main thing.

Now, re health care reform, sure, there's a difference in policy, but to try to spin it as something more dramatic than that is silly and prevents any kind of rational discussion. (Is that the goal?)

In any case, I think Maher has a point (one that in some ways I'm fine with, since I don't share his views on some matters, although I do re DADT, where everyone is behaving badly) and that criticism from the left is good -- as others have said, it provides both a push and cover.

I'm SO awesome!
06-17-2009, 01:42 PM
yeah, it's just so hard to tell what's really happening and even harder to tell what will happen. at least, i have faith that our country will be better than it is now in 100 years.....maybe......i think.......well, southerners do a pretty good job of indoctrinating their youngins so maybe it'll still suck. oh well! all i have left on my "To Do" list is to retire and then die so i have to just stay focused on my list, above all.

bjkeefe
06-18-2009, 12:01 AM
For eight years your ilk drove around with bumper stickers saying "not my president," compared Bush to Adolph Hitler, and rooted for military failure for political gain.

You may not like this post, cog.mad., since I suspect it will cut a little too close to the bone, but I encourage everyone else to see what Hilzoy has said (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_06/018580.php) about this sort of sweeping accusation, in this case as it emanated from Erick Erickson.

(h/t: Twin)

AemJeff
06-18-2009, 12:16 AM
You may not like this post, cog.mad., since I suspect it will cut a little too close to the bone, but I encourage everyone else to see what Hilzoy has said (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_06/018580.php) about this sort of sweeping accusation, in this case as it emanated from Erick Erickson.

(h/t: Twin)

Hilzoy was polite. Erickson is competitive for the title of dumbest, most loathesome blogger (need an example? (http://www.redstate.com/erick/2009/06/17/senator-boxer-needs-to-put-on-some-big-girl-panties-and-suck-it-up/)) with more than ten page-views daily. The particular generalization she's taking on here cements the accuracy of that judgment of loathesomeness. Cog's inability to rise above the laughably low bar set by Erick and fellow travelers makes it hard to find any nicer adjectives that you might (charitably) apply in his case. And charity isn't the gesture that immediately come to mind when one considers the relentlessly unimaginative tropes Cog repetitively employs against people with whom he disagrees, but seems (much like Erick) to utterly fail to understand.

claymisher
06-18-2009, 02:01 AM
The great Jim Emerson on Bill Maher:

I mean, the guy admits he thinks what he sees on TV is "news," and then he watches PR puff pieces about presidential puppies and romantic nights out on Broadway and thinks it's Obama who lacks substance? Turn off the boob tube, Bill, and read a newspaper or a web site -- or a blog. If you wanted to learn something about politics (and "topical humor") from TV, you'd have to watch Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert, not Leno. But I warn you, it's going to make you feel as tired and ancient as your schtick. You may as well be telling jokes about airline food and Geritol. (Anybody remember Geritol? That's my point.)

Maher is fresh off an Abbot & Costello tour with his old "clubbing buddy" (and TV show semi-regular) Ann Coulter. Their routine is that they take diametrically opposed "political" stances (he's ostensibly a libertarian and she's a proud McCarthyite), but they share a fundamental set of values, a common vision. Both see politics as primarily an avenue for stupid insult humor. They do for "political jokes" what Don Rickles did for "race jokes." ...

Maher likes to appear "smart," like he has something of substance to tell you. And you know he's "edgy" because he'll often shake his head and preface a remark with, "I'm sorry, but..." -- and he'll scowl when he gets to the "serious part," like he's really leveling with you. But here he is, using silly Obama photo ops to imply that the six-month-old administration has not accomplished anything yet. You have to pretend you're an idiot to accept his premise. (Oh, where was Bill Maher during the Kennedy administration! We could have so used his perspective then!)

http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/2009/06/bill_maher_dumb_jokes_for_the.html

bjkeefe
06-18-2009, 02:22 AM
The great Jim Emerson on Bill Maher:

http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/2009/06/bill_maher_dumb_jokes_for_the.html

That's farther than I'd go, but he does have a point. Maher does make me cringe at times.

I will say, in his defense, that while can be simplistic and wrongly self-righteous, he also speaks to an audience that might not be ready for (or interested in) anything more. If you think of him as a small counterweight to Rush Limbaugh, he has some worth. Plus, I think he's actually funny every now and again (e.g. (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2007/04/line-of-day-2007-04-17.html)), and sometimes, his crankiness is spot-on (e.g. (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2008/07/more-breath.html), e.g. (http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2007/05/25/carter/index.html)).

'Course, I realize those examples are a little dated, so maybe that says something, too.

bjkeefe
06-21-2009, 02:47 AM
And most importantly, I'd really like Maher and others to realize that just as they complain about it being all about Obama, they are doing the same exact thing themselves. I'd like to see them focus some of their ire on the Blue Dog Dems, and I'd like them to remember that for all of the clownishness of the leaders on the other side, they remain a non-trivial obstacle.

I'd like to imagine Maher read the above, but no, I'll stay in the reality-based community and just be happy that I'm not the only one who reacted as I did. Check out the last and longest of this week's "New Rules (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtUAHPYYzeM)."

I'm sure he felt this way before getting the blowback, but it's nice to hear him say it out loud.

(h/t: res ispa loquitur (http://rising-hegemon.blogspot.com/2009/06/testify-brother.html))

kezboard
06-21-2009, 05:06 AM
at least, i have faith that our country will be better than it is now in 100 years.....maybe......i think.......

Clearly Bob Wright taught you well.

I'm SO awesome!
06-22-2009, 12:47 AM
http://http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2009/06/compare-and-contrast

more nothing being done!

bjkeefe
06-22-2009, 05:18 AM
Shorter ISa (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=117248#post117248):

Because Obama has not fixed everything in five months, he is therefore just like Bush.

I'm SO awesome!
06-22-2009, 01:01 PM
Wow, I mustve touched an "Obama nerve" I should know better than to criticize Him, right?;)