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Lyle
09-16-2009, 02:03 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UJaeLjCvH4&feature=player_embedded

TwinSwords
09-16-2009, 02:43 AM
The top Republican in the nation, Rush Limbaugh, is now blaming Obama (http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/09/limbaugh-in-obamas-america-black-students-cheer-beatings-of-white-classmates.php?ref=fpblg) for an incident in which black high schoolers beat up a white classmate.

Meanwhile, most of the day Tuesday, conservative thought leader Matt Drudge had the following headline plastered across the top of his site: "White Student Beaten on School Bus; Crowd Cheers." The fact that the "crowd" was black remains unmentioned, by you can see that in the accompanying picture.

One of the top conservative projects now underway is generating the maximum possible white anxiety about the nation being taken over by blacks, Muslims, and Mexicans. One could reasonably infer that your thread, Lyle, is part of that project, although I'm sure you're only barely aware of how your efforts feed into the larger national movement to make whites feel under seige and mistreated by minorities.



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TwinSwords
09-16-2009, 02:54 AM
Meanwhile Mark Williams, a leading national figure in the conservative movement, a Republican strategist, and the 3rd ranking official of the Tea Party Express, says Obama is an "Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug" and "racist in chief. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fymdNxn82M&feature=player_embedded)"

I have no doubt that 95% of conservatives would insist there is nothing racist about this characterization.


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TwinSwords
09-16-2009, 03:13 AM
Although racism is clearly a significant animating factor in the conservative movement, it's not the only factor, and perhaps not even the leading factor.

An excellent bit of analysis from one of Andrew Sullivan's readers:

A common meme on the left is that racism is driving the hatred of Obama. I think the root is deeper and scarier: it is shadow projection.

Our ego wants to believe we are wonderful, and so cannot tolerate evidence to the contrary. Consider America. As good as we are, we have a dark side and our actions often have dark consequences. We are large and cast a large shadow. If we were a more mature people we would simply own our dark side, integrate it into part of our self knowledge, and act accordingly. However American mythology says that we are the good country, and to maintain that the pure version of that belief, we are willfully ignorant of our faults. In the minds of many “patriotic” Americans, we have no dark side. Unwilling to own our dark side, we project our shadow onto others.

The Cold War gave us a long period as “the good country” as the Soviet Union gave us a steady (and objectively evil) force onto which we could project our shadow. After the fall of communism we finally found Saddam Hussein to play that role, which clouded our perceptions of the real Saddam (and again, he was objectively evil). Since the Iraq war we’ve looked for a new target onto which to project our shadow. Perennial candidates China, North Korea, and Iran don’t quite suit our needs, and “the terrorists” finally wore thin. I have wondered who our next victim would be. Now we know.

It is Obama.

Read the rest... (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/09/not-racism-projection.html#more)

Lyle
09-16-2009, 03:47 AM
What does any of this have to do with Democrats portraying any inkling of dissent from the Right as racist rhetoric? What does any of this have to do with a black Congressman accusing Joe Wilson of being at the forefront of a coming white, KKK horde... that's coming to get President Obama and liberal America?

If you're going to condemn Rush Limbaugh's rhetoric, you must restrain your own rhetoric and criticize those on the Left who spout hyperbolic nonsense.

Perhaps you actually believe Rep. Johnson though and really do think angry white people are about to march on Washington to burn the White House down with the black man in it.

Francoamerican
09-16-2009, 07:07 AM
Although racism is clearly a significant animating factor in the conservative movement, it's not the only factor, and perhaps not even the leading factor.

An excellent bit of analysis from one of Andrew Sullivan's readers:

Read the rest... (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/09/not-racism-projection.html#more)

Thanks Twinswords.

That is an interesting and I think correct analysis of how hostility and animosity arise in a political context, how they become a senseless rage to destroy out of all proportion to the issues at stake. Racism is only a symptom of something else, something ugly and deformed in human nature.

I always think of Shakespeare's Iago and Othello when I try to understand the malignancy of certain racists. When the noble and generous Othello (black and a Muslim to boot) prefers Cassio to Iago as his lieutenant, Iago, consumed by pride and envy, sets out to destroy Othello even if it means destroying himself and others in the process.

An allegory? The example seems almost too apposite. It must be deeply painful and humiliating for certain white Americans, less well-educated, less gifted and certainly less intelligent, to see a man of mixed race like Obama at the head of their country.

Pride and envy were the two vices that traditional Christianity condemned above all others---for good reason!

claymisher
09-16-2009, 12:09 PM
Thanks Twinswords.

That is an interesting and I think correct analysis of how hostility and animosity arise in a political context, how they become a senseless rage to destroy out of all proportion to the issues at stake. Racism is only a symptom of something else, something ugly and deformed in human nature.

I always think of Shakespeare's Iago and Othello when I try to understand the malignancy of certain racists. When the noble and generous Othello (black and a Muslim to boot) prefers Cassio to Iago as his lieutenant, Iago, consumed by pride and envy, sets out to destroy Othello even if it means destroying himself and others in the process.

An allegory? The example seems almost too apposite. It must be deeply painful and humiliating for certain white Americans, less well-educated, less gifted and certainly less intelligent, to see a man of mixed race like Obama at the head of their country.

Pride and envy were the two vices that traditional Christianity condemned above all others---for good reason!

The term you're looking for is "white privilege." Bigots don't mind minorities doing well just as long as whites are doing better.

It's obvious that the tea-partiers, Republican nihilists, etc are just jerks, and that racism is just one outlet for their underlying jerkism. It was pretty much the same when Clinton was in office.

If only Othello had been as cool and collected as Obama. That guy was a hothead, and not very bright either.

Francoamerican
09-16-2009, 12:42 PM
The term you're looking for is "white privilege." Bigots don't mind minorities doing well just as long as whites are doing better.

It's obvious that the tea-partiers, Republican nihilists, etc are just jerks, and that racism is just one outlet for their underlying jerkism. It was pretty much the same when Clinton was in office.

If only Othello had been as cool and collected as Obama. That guy was a hothead, and not very bright either.

Othello was a hothead, I agree. Was he stupid? No, just possessive i.e. pathologically jealous.

Are racists jerks? Yes, but the word is pejorative and explains nothing. The sense of entitlement (pride) and resentment (envy) is obvious in everything certain Republicans say about Obama.

claymisher
09-16-2009, 02:43 PM
Othello was a hothead, I agree. Was he stupid? No, just possessive i.e. pathologically jealous.

Are racists jerks? Yes, but the word is pejorative and explains nothing. The sense of entitlement (pride) and resentment (envy) is obvious in everything certain Republicans say about Obama.

Can you think of anything Othello did that was smart? He was sure easily played. How dumb do you have to be to get enraged over a missing handkerchief?

Oh I meant jerk. Let's see what my dictionary says ... "a contemptibly obnoxious person." Yeah, that's what I had in mind. It's the intent to be contemptible and obnoxious that makes them jerks. If they can wind people up with the racism, they'll use racism.

Lyle
09-16-2009, 05:05 PM
... a country so spiteful of Africans and Muslims that there's not a chance in Hades France will be led by a person of color anytime soon.

Look to your own racist house Francoamerican.

kezboard
09-16-2009, 09:27 PM
What does any of this have to do with Democrats portraying any inkling of dissent from the Right as racist rhetoric?

I sort of get the idea that the reason folks have been yelling about their right to "dissent" is because dissent is sort of a broad word. Of course there's a right to dissent, but there's incoherent dissent and there's actually putting forth good dissenting arguments. If that's what the Republicans were doing, their usefulness to democracy would be self-evident and they wouldn't need to portray the Democratic response (that being "Why are these guys so crazy?") as attempts to shut down dissent.

Plenty of good dissenting arguments against all manner of Obama and Democratic policies have been aired here on Bloggingheads, so I'm not saying these arguments don't exist at all, but what's come from the mainstream-media right and the Republican members of the House and Senate has been a lot of incoherent yelling.

I'm sort of getting the idea that we have a problem with coherent dissent in this country. I think it would be fair to say that, looking back, what largely came from the Democrats and the left during Bush's two terms was also incoherent yelling (or, alternatively, total buckling and surrender). There's something about having a politician in the White House that doesn't agree with you that sweeps all coherent arguments away.

That said, what do you mean, the Democrats are trying to portray "every inkling of dissent" from the Right as a manifestation of racism? II'm frankly baffled by the massive outpouring of crazy that Obama's election provoked. I can't imagine that this much insanity would have been ensued if, say, John Kerry had been elected president, so I'm wondering if it doesn't have something to do with race. The "Indonesian Muslim" comments, the birther phenomenon, and Rush Limbaugh's and others' very obvious racebaiting just add to this idea. I think it's a fair question to ask what role race and racism play in the political climate. What I see happening is that every time someone -- Maureen Dowd, for instance -- asks "Is there a racial element to this nuttery?" they get shut down immediately and accused of playing the race card.

ETA: And it isn't surprising at all to me that the invocation of death panels, FEMA concentration camps, and Beck-style socialist-communist-fascist-czarist tyranny by the right is leading to some goofy, hyperbolic comments on the left. It's silly and irresponsible of this congressman to talk about a return of the KKK. All the same, that doesn't make all discussion of how race affects the massive demonization of Obama irrelevant and not worth bringing up. As I said before, if you said that, you would be essentially saying that it's not possible that the popular reaction to the first black president might not in some way be colored by race.

Lyle
09-16-2009, 10:26 PM
Good points, particularly your last point. Nobody is saying there aren't racists in America or that there aren't people out there who dislike President Obama because he's black. There are and some of them are at these conservative rallies. However, there were probably people who didn't like the gringo George W. Bush because he was white. Racists come in all colors the world over.

However, people like Maureen Dowd and Hank Johsnon will get hammered when they have to make up stuff to make an argument. Dowd based her entire column around something Joe Wilson didn't say, the word "boy". Hank Johnson's comments are even more ridiculous and few will even take his comments seriously. However, clearly a lot of people want to believe the same thing Dowd believes, which is that Joe Wilson's outburst was motivated in part by race. Unfortunately for them there's not much evidence of that being anywhere close to true. Not to mention the Democrats had to come out and say the following day that they would make sure there would be ways to verify whether or not illegal immigrants were receiving health care subsidies, etc... So Wilson wasn't way off the mark with his criticism.

kezboard
09-17-2009, 01:13 AM
I will admit that I skimmed Dowd's column because even when she's saying things I agree with, I don't like her. So maybe I misread. But I don't think she was saying "Joe Wilson shouted at Obama because he's a racist"; I think she was saying exactly what I said, which is that the sort of craziness that leads to an atmosphere in which obscure members of congress scream at the president during a joint session may have something to do with the non-whiteness of said president. As she said, Bush's policies were just as hated among Democrats during his administration as Obama's are among Republicans right now, and yet no Democrat openly heckled Bush in any of his addresses to Congress. (I'm aware there was some booing in some of the State of the Union addresses, but booing is pretty common and happened to Clinton as well.) What made Wilson feel this sort of thing is appropriate? Even more broadly, what makes Republican members of Congress so mistrustful of Obama that they accuse him of all manner of nefarious secret plots? Where did the idea, so prevalent among the tea-bag crowd, that Obama is actually trying to turn the US into a communist/fascist/whatever regime, which I've heard actually couched in racial terms -- that he's trying to get back at the white population for slavery, for instance -- come from? I'm a liberal Democrat, and I couldn't stand Bush and Cheney, and I thought they were taking the country somewhere really unfortunate and doing a lot of things that did damage our system of government, but I never, for a second, thought that they were actually attempting to set up a fascist regime or actually wanted to kill my grandparents. I realize that there are 9/11 truthers and other nutbags on my side, but the mistrust of Obama seems to run deeper and broader among Republicans, and I have to think it has something to do with race. I have no doubt that if Kerry were president, people would find all manner of reasons to mistrust him, but I highly doubt people would be calling him a thug, a terrorist, and an enemy within. (They might have been calling him a Frenchman, but I think most people found that lame as opposed to frightening.)

Not to mention the Democrats had to come out and say the following day that they would make sure there would be ways to verify whether or not illegal immigrants were receiving health care subsidies, etc... So Wilson wasn't way off the mark with his criticism.

Yeah, just because Senate Democrats will never miss an opportunity to back down doesn't mean Wilson was right. AFAIK what happened was that Conrad and Baucus said that they would consider putting a provision in that would require you to prove your citizenship in order to participate in the insurance exchange. What is the point of this, aside from these two clowns trying to prove that they're as excited to kick illegal immigrants as the Republicans are? Why should you have to prove your citizenship in order to buy health insurance? Who cares if illegal immigrants buy something?

Francoamerican
09-17-2009, 05:40 AM
... a country so spiteful of Africans and Muslims that there's not a chance in Hades France will be led by a person of color anytime soon.

Look to your own racist house Francoamerican.

As usual, in your abysmal inabilty to understand English, you miss the point.

There are racists in France; but unlike American racists, they hide in shame.

Francoamerican
09-17-2009, 05:46 AM
Can you think of anything Othello did that was smart? He was sure easily played. How dumb do you have to be to get enraged over a missing handkerchief?

Oh I meant jerk. Let's see what my dictionary says ... "a contemptibly obnoxious person." Yeah, that's what I had in mind. It's the intent to be contemptible and obnoxious that makes them jerks. If they can wind people up with the racism, they'll use racism.

Still, the word jerk explains nothing. As linguists say, it is dislogistic. It expresses your disapproval and nothing else. Moreover, I don't think the concept of racism, as it is currently bandied about, is an explanation of much of anything. You have to understand the psychological motives of racists, and these are always shaped by history and culture. In the US for example (to state the obvious) the South has never really gotten over the humiliation of its defeat in the Civil War.

I was talking about Iago, not Othello. Iago is the key figure in the downfall of Othello. It is his "motiveless malignity" (Coleridge) that sets the whole story in motion. It isn't just the missing hankerchief that provokes Othello's rage. It is the delusions that Iago insinuates in his mind.

Francoamerican
09-17-2009, 06:09 AM
I sort of get the idea that the reason folks have been yelling about their right to "dissent" is because dissent is sort of a broad word.....

You put your finger on the main difference between the dissent that Bush aroused and the dissent that Obama encounters today. Bush was loathed because of his policies; Obama is feared and loathed because of who he is.

The suggestion that Obama is an "alien," the rumors of his being a Muslim, the hysteria about his quite modest proposals for healthcare reform (socialism! fascism!), the proposterous accusations of his wanting to "brainwash" American children by telling them to work harder, the heavily emotional rhetoric of certain wingnuts whenever they mention his name, the contemptuous outburst of Wilson (I think Dowd had it exactly right) are indeed unprecedented in recent American politics. All these phenomena point to something nasty and unspoken going on in the subterranean soul of some Americans.

Lyle
09-17-2009, 08:32 AM
Haha... clearly they're not ashamed enough to not go out and vote on election day.

Lyle
09-17-2009, 08:37 AM
Absolute nonsense.

Francoamerican
09-17-2009, 10:47 AM
Haha... clearly they're not ashamed enough to not go out and vote on election day.

The US was and is the most racist society in the western world, once you leave behind the educated elites of the East and West Coasts. I grew up there and je sais de quoi je parle. NB: I said society.

FYI (since you always like to deflect attention to irrelevant matters when you have nothing intelligent to say).

1. Racist speech is punished by fines and imprisonment in France. Le Pen has been fined and sentenced several times for inciting racial hatred. So is anyone who so much as utters a racial epithet in public.

2. The vast majority of Africans and/or Muslims immigrated to France after WW II. They have expressed in opinion poll after opinion poll that they prefer to live in France.

Francoamerican
09-17-2009, 12:28 PM
Absolute nonsense.

When Lyle says "nonsense" I know I must be speaking sense.

Whatfur
09-17-2009, 12:29 PM
Did you ever really venture outside the glow of the educated elites on the coasts?

nikkibong
09-17-2009, 03:58 PM
1. Racist speech is punished by fines and imprisonment in France. Le Pen has been fined and sentenced several times for inciting racial hatred. So is anyone who so much as utters a racial epithet in public.



But Franco, isn't this simply the result of France's racism problem? If France had no racists, wouldnt such regulations be needed? I don't think this bit of data helps your case.

(Obligatory disclaimer: I love France, my parents used to live there, I had a year+ long relationship with a french woman, and have visited many, many times, etc.)

There are a lot of contemptible racists here in America; many congregate at these ridiculous rallies. That being said, prefer the American model to the French: no limits on political speech, ever.

Lyle
09-17-2009, 06:49 PM
America is the most racist country in the World? Haha... that's probably the stupidest thing you've ever written here Franco. Yes, non-whites are in government and are elected officials the country over, and yet America is the most racist country in the world. There are even southern States in the United States who have or have had minorities govern them. Large cities in some places haven't had a white mayor in years.

Get a clue Franco, you live in a more bigotted and racist country than the U.S.... the great country of France, where white men have forever reigned supreme, and which will likely continue into the near future.

Barack Hussein Obama is President of the United States of America Franco, not France.

... and I concur with nikkibong, that France is a wonderful country, but its citizens cannot claim that it is less racist place than America. That is obscene.

Whatfur
09-17-2009, 07:36 PM
The US was and is the most racist society in the western world, ..


One interesting statistic is to go look at the % of whites who voted for Obama in this country and then go look at the % of whites who voted for Kerry and Gore. The result might surprise you...even in most the southern states.

Whatfur
09-17-2009, 07:42 PM
You put your finger on the main difference between the dissent that Bush aroused and the dissent that Obama encounters today. Bush was loathed because of his policies; Obama is feared and loathed because of who he is.

The suggestion that Obama is an "alien," the rumors of his being a Muslim, the hysteria about his quite modest proposals for healthcare reform (socialism! fascism!), the proposterous accusations of his wanting to "brainwash" American children by telling them to work harder, the heavily emotional rhetoric of certain wingnuts whenever they mention his name, the contemptuous outburst of Wilson (I think Dowd had it exactly right) are indeed unprecedented in recent American politics. All these phenomena point to something nasty and unspoken going on in the subterranean soul of some Americans.

Yeah yeah yeah. Talk about rhetoric...you take the extremes and try to make a point out of them and then hop on Dowds back. Dowd's entire Wilson column was based on a word he never said. You continue to show that you know very little about America, Frank.

Francoamerican
09-18-2009, 03:43 AM
But Franco, isn't this simply the result of France's racism problem? If France had no racists, wouldnt such regulations be needed? I don't think this bit of data helps your case.

(Obligatory disclaimer: I love France, my parents used to live there, I had a year+ long relationship with a french woman, and have visited many, many times, etc.)

There are a lot of contemptible racists here in America; many congregate at these ridiculous rallies. That being said, prefer the American model to the French: no limits on political speech, ever.

Europeans do not consider racist insults to be political speech. I agree with them. Civility can only be preserved if certain forms of conduct are forbidden.

You might have noticed that I referred to American society when I said that the US is racist. American laws, on the other hand, have tried to correct past abuses (although any country that asks its citizens to identify themselves on the census by their "ethnicity"---hispanic as opposed to white!--is strange from a European perspective). Social attitudes in the US, once you venture outside the liberal élites, are often tinged with racism. I once travelled around the South and know several people who teach there. Anyone who thinks that white Southeners are no longer racist is either blind or naive or self-deluded. I might add that northern cities, like Boston where I went to graduate school, are hardly bastions of liberalism either.

These are just my impressions, backed up by a certain amount of reading over the years.

White "nativism" has been growing of late, and I have no doubt that with Obama as president it will continue to grow. The psychology of American racism is inseparable from the history of the US---slavery, the civil war and its aftermath. It differs from the psychology of European racism which is related to immigration and, in the case of France and Britain and Holland, with their colonial empires. Both kinds of racism are ugly. Denying that they exist, however, is stupid.

Whatfur
09-18-2009, 06:49 AM
... Both kinds of racism are ugly. Denying that they exist, however, is stupid.

Nobody is denying that there is racism. Using it to explain why people in the U.S. are upset about the direction this country is taking, is deflection(and just as stupid as racism denial)...an easy mark...kind of like using a war from the 1800's to be its example. Who historically again is the party of racism?

Francoamerican
09-18-2009, 12:45 PM
Nobody is denying that there is racism. Using it to explain why people in the U.S. are upset about the direction this country is taking, is deflection(and just as stupid as racism denial)...an easy mark...kind of like using a war from the 1800's to be its example. Who historically again is the party of racism?

That was then. The "southern strategy" of Goldwater, Nixon and Reagan among others, sold the GOP down the river.....an appropriate idiom if ever there was one.

You are free to interpret the evidence I gave above however you like. Anyone familiar with American history and politics knows how the "code" works. When racists can't speak their minds publicly, the code speaks through them.

Obliquity is the name of the game.

Francoamerican
09-18-2009, 12:54 PM
One interesting statistic is to go look at the % of whites who voted for Obama in this country and then go look at the % of whites who voted for Kerry and Gore. The result might surprise you...even in most the southern states.

Obama won more white votes for two reasons: the financial meltdown and Palin. Educated northern Republicans deserted the GOP en masse.

The South went massively for McCain, except NC and Virginia--- if I remember correctly. Both states have been colonized by better educated northerners.

Whatfur
09-19-2009, 12:44 PM
Obama won more white votes for two reasons: the financial meltdown and Palin. Educated northern Republicans deserted the GOP en masse.

The South went massively for McCain, except NC and Virginia--- if I remember correctly. Both states have been colonized by better educated northerners.


A couple things (you wish to gloss over)...

1. So those racist, white Republicans are going to vote for a black man because they are mad about the economy or mad about McCain's VP choice??? Riiiighht. For someone who is here telling us about racism you obviously know very little about it.

2. The south was carried "massively" and exclusively by Bush in both 2000 and 2004 including NC and Virginia. So these educated notherners hopped on their sailing ships and colonized NC and Virginia between 2005 and 2008 then? Pretty silly. Point being that they both were carried by Bush, and this time went for Obama. So YOU find racism in those numbers. Au contraire.

3. Obama received a higher % of votes from whites than either Gore or Kerry in every southern state except 2 which were only slightly less. So YOU find racism in those numbers. Au contraire.

4. Northern States were already in Democratic hands and the % of Republicans voting Democrat held steady. What numbers were you looking at?

Bottom line is that most EVERY election statistic disputes and discounts any racist component on the part of the white electorate. Actually, your comments reflect more ignorance and bigotry than the white electorate here.

Francoamerican
09-19-2009, 02:06 PM
A couple things (you wish to gloss over)...

1. So those racist, white Republicans are going to vote for a black man because they are mad about the economy or mad about McCain's VP choice??? Riiiighht. For someone who is here telling us about racism you obviously know very little about it..

I said nothing about the electorate of Obama being racist. Are you capable of reading? I said that a certain number of people, republicans and independents, voted for Obama because of the financial crisis and because of Palin. They might well have voted for McCain if he had chosen a qualified running mate .

2. The south was carried "massively" and exclusively by Bush in both 2000 and 2004 including NC and Virginia. So these educated notherners hopped on their sailing ships and colonized NC and Virginia between 2005 and 2008 then? Pretty silly. Point being that they both were carried by Bush, and this time went for Obama. So YOU find racism in those numbers. Au contraire..

Once again, I said nothing about the electorate of Obama being racist. Are you capable of reading? It is a well-known fact that the populations of NC and Virginia are better educated than the rest of the south.

3. Obama received a higher % of votes from whites than either Gore or Kerry in every southern state except 2 which were only slightly less. So YOU find racism in those numbers. Au contraire..

McCain carried the south massively. Whether that is the result of Southern racism I leave for someone less vituperative than you to decide.

4. Northern States were already in Democratic hands and the % of Republicans voting Democrat held steady. What numbers were you looking at?.

No numbers. I just talked to a few friends and members of my family who switched. There were a number of prominent defections...some BHTV celebrities.


Bottom line is that most EVERY election statistic disputes and discounts any racist component on the part of the white electorate. Actually, your comments reflect more ignorance and bigotry than the white electorate here.

I did say, nota bene, that the lunatics who are now screaming about Obama being born elsewhere, about his being a socialist or a fascist or the antichrist, about his brainwashing children, are most probably racists. You may disagree. I couldn't care less.

stephanie
09-19-2009, 03:56 PM
3. Obama received a higher % of votes from whites than either Gore or Kerry in every southern state except 2 which were only slightly less.

As an aside from this argument, where are you getting these numbers? I ask, because I've found the '08 by state exit polls irritatingly difficult to access. CNN has easy access to '00 and '04, but '08 is in some weird format that my computer, at least, seems to have problems with, and thus it's unclear whether it has this information available or not. I love looking at the detail on the exit polls, so this has been an annoyance for months now. (Yeah, I'm weird.)

Whatfur
09-19-2009, 04:03 PM
I said nothing about the electorate of Obama being racist. Are you capable of reading? I said that a certain number of people, republicans and independents, voted for Obama because of the financial crisis and because of Palin. They might well have voted for McCain if he had chosen a qualified running mate .



Once again, I said nothing about the electorate of Obama being racist. Are you capable of reading? It is a well-known fact that the populations of NC and Virginia are better educated than the rest of the south.



McCain carried the south massively. Whether that is the result of Southern racism I leave for someone less vituperative than you to decide.



No numbers. I just talked to a few friends and members of my family who switched. There were a number of prominent defections...some BHTV celebrities.




I did say, nota bene, that the lunatics who are now screaming about Obama being born elsewhere, about his being a socialist or a fascist or the antichrist, about his brainwashing children, are most probably racists. You may disagree. I couldn't care less.

Actually Frank, I CAN read and where I stayed on my original point you tried to make the point about something else.

Like many ignorant liberals including much of their media, you grab fringe groups or ludicrous statements by individuals and try and paint all conservatives with them. In your case, because you obviously educate yourself with the best of the biased, I think you actually believe what you write here. Pretty funny stuff Frank.

But yes the 2 people on the New Jersey poll who actually believed what they responded to concerning Obama being the anti-Christ ARE probably racist. I sure hope you do not represent the educated of France.

Whatfur
09-20-2009, 10:13 PM
Kathleen Parker even (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/18/AR2009091802734.html?nav=rss_opinion/columns).

cognitive madisonian
09-23-2009, 10:38 PM
Was it contemptuous when Democrats interrupted Bush during his state of the union address? What about when Harry Reid called Bush a liar? Or a loser? Or when Pete Stark made any of his numerous belligerent outbursts?

It's time to give this faux outrage a break. Wilson's behavior was boorish but absolutely not outside the history of behavior in congress. Now, if he beats a colleague into a coma with a cane, then come back to me. Until then, save the phony umbrage.

Francoamerican
09-24-2009, 04:05 AM
Was it contemptuous when Democrats interrupted Bush during his state of the union address? What about when Harry Reid called Bush a liar? Or a loser? Or when Pete Stark made any of his numerous belligerent outbursts?

It's time to give this faux outrage a break. Wilson's behavior was boorish but absolutely not outside the history of behavior in congress. Now, if he beats a colleague into a coma with a cane, then come back to me. Until then, save the phony umbrage.

Are you responding to my post? Wilson's outburst has to be seen in the context of delirious rightwing Obamaphobia. I agree that Wilson is pretty insignificant, in every respect.

cognitive madisonian
09-24-2009, 09:47 AM
The problem I have with this type of statement is that this brushes virtually all criticisms of Obama the same.

I doubt anyone on here is going to defend the Birthers, who are rather insignificant but for the obsession that MSNBC has with highlighting them. The whole 'secret Muslim' nonsense is even more insignificant.

But then you have criticisms which do not deserve such dismissal. At the most controversial end, I don't think you can honestly dismiss out of hand the charge that Obama is, culturally, not American, at least not American in the same way as you or I are (assuming certain things about your background). He hasn't been honest about his childhood--the fact that he was for a time a Muslim is insignificant, but the fact that he has not been honest about it is.

Some of the charges concerning the school speech were over the top yes, but not all of them. The DOE's guidebook deserves criticism. And the fears of zealous Obamananiac teachers using it to go over the top was well grounded, as this proves (http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/23/video-children-sing-songs-of-obamas-glory/).

We can go through this with any number of topics. There are criticisms that are over the top but many more that are not. I think Obama has been a disgraceful and dishonorable president, and I think he is a Machiavellian megalomaniac. I could go through and establish grounds for each of these charges (his actions in regards to Iran and Honduras underpin some of the former charges), but I don't think that's particularly useful to the debate. The central issue is the attempt to delegitimize all criticism of Obama, which is done by calling people who object racists, klansmen, etc. It's terrible behavior on the part of the left.

nikkibong
09-24-2009, 09:51 AM
Was it contemptuous when Democrats interrupted Bush during his state of the union address? What about when Harry Reid called Bush a liar? Or a loser? Or when Pete Stark made any of his numerous belligerent outbursts?

It's time to give this faux outrage a break. Wilson's behavior was boorish but absolutely not outside the history of behavior in congress. Now, if he beats a colleague into a coma with a cane, then come back to me. Until then, save the phony umbrage.

Agreed.

I'm stunned at how many commentators on cable news (yes, I'm also stunned that I've been watching cable news) have levied the proposterous charge that we have reached a "new low" in civility.

We've had Presidents shot, for Chrissakes.

And black people considered 3/5s of a human!

Our political culture has never been more civil.

AemJeff
09-24-2009, 10:00 AM
Agreed.

I'm stunned at how many commentators on cable news (yes, I'm also stunned that I've been watching cable news) have levied the proposterous charge that we have reached a "new low" in civility.

We've had Presidents shot, for Chrissakes.

And black people considered 3/5s of a human!

Our political culture has never been more civil.

This argument puts the original complaint in soft focus. Nobody ever challenged Bush, or any other sitting president, during the delivery of an address to the legislators. That's a significant taboo broken. It occurred in the singular climate of disrespect that this President, who happens also to be the first black president, has endured, and which shows no signs of abating.

Semiotics matters.

Francoamerican
09-24-2009, 10:02 AM
Agreed.

I'm stunned at how many commentators on cable news (yes, I'm also stunned that I've been watching cable news) have levied the proposterous charge that we have reached a "new low" in civility.

We've had Presidents shot, for Chrissakes.

And black people considered 3/5s of a human!

Our political culture has never been more civil.

You have pretty low standards of civility if you think that slavery and assassination are the benchmarks of incivility.

cognitive madisonian
09-24-2009, 10:14 AM
This argument puts the original complaint in soft focus. Nobody ever challenged Bush, or any other sitting president, during the delivery of an address to the legislators.

See: democrats interrupting Bush as he spoke about social security reform during a state of the union address.


That's a significant taboo broken. It occurred in the singular climate of disrespect that this President, who happens also to be the first black president, has endured, and which shows no signs of abating.

As opposed to if he happened to be a white president. Please give the race baiting a break. The American people aren't buying it and it does your side a disservice.

In regards to 'disrespect', there was no respect given to Bush by people like Harry Reid. And I have little respect for Obama beyond the basic respect I have for the position of the presidency. That doesn't mean that I would interrupt him during a speech, but this "climate of disrespect" stuff is nonsense and you know it is. Have you already forgotten how George Bush was treated?

cognitive madisonian
09-24-2009, 10:15 AM
You have rather high ones if you think that interrupting a president once during a speech are lowmarks. You'd probably faint in a House of Commons session.

Francoamerican
09-24-2009, 10:21 AM
The problem I have with this type of statement is that this brushes virtually all criticisms of Obama the same.

I doubt anyone on here is going to defend the Birthers, who are rather insignificant but for the obsession that MSNBC has with highlighting them. The whole 'secret Muslim' nonsense is even more insignificant.

But then you have criticisms which do not deserve such dismissal. At the most controversial end, I don't think you can honestly dismiss out of hand the charge that Obama is, culturally, not American, at least not American in the same way as you or I are (assuming certain things about your background). He hasn't been honest about his childhood--the fact that he was for a time a Muslim is insignificant, but the fact that he has not been honest about it is.

Some of the charges concerning the school speech were over the top yes, but not all of them. The DOE's guidebook deserves criticism. And the fears of zealous Obamananiac teachers using it to go over the top was well grounded, as this proves (http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/23/video-children-sing-songs-of-obamas-glory/).

We can go through this with any number of topics. There are criticisms that are over the top but many more that are not. I think Obama has been a disgraceful and dishonorable president, and I think he is a Machiavellian megalomaniac. I could go through and establish grounds for each of these charges (his actions in regards to Iran and Honduras underpin some of the former charges), but I don't think that's particularly useful to the debate. The central issue is the attempt to delegitimize all criticism of Obama, which is done by calling people who object racists, klansmen, etc. It's terrible behavior on the part of the left.

I see the US from afar since I haven't lived there for many years. In fact, I have always found the US a mannerless and boorish place, even though one half of my family is American. The politics of a country reflect its mores. From the perspective of Europe American political debate often appears superficial, hysterical, overpersonalized and vulgar (think: sexual scandals). But given my political sympathies I suppose I see more boorishness on your side of the aisle. Call it bias.

Obama a Machiavellian megalomaniac? That isn't boorish. That is just over the top.

AemJeff
09-24-2009, 10:29 AM
You have rather high ones if you think that interrupting a president once during a speech are lowmarks. You'd probably faint in a House of Commons session.

The British Prime Minister is not the Head of State. British custom is not American custom. See: "Semiotics matters."

The direct, personal challenge "You Lie!" during the delivery of a speech to a Joint Session is completely unprecedented. There are specific and arcane rules regarding what can and can't be be properly directed at another member, and the President has a rank above that of any member. Wilson's ejaculation was a deliberate sign of contempt that is, in fact, formally prohibited. Trying to dismiss it as analogous to the partisan showmanship that has been a part of these events forever bespeaks a misunderstanding of what occurred.

White guys should avoid using the term "race baiting." It's unseemly. If the Right wants people to stop pointing out acts of racism, the Right needs to learn to refrain from engaging in it, and/or condoning its use when convenient.

Starwatcher162536
09-24-2009, 11:02 AM
[...]

Like many ignorant liberals including much of their media, you grab fringe groups or ludicrous statements by individuals and try and paint all conservatives with them. In your case, because you obviously educate yourself with the best of the biased, I think you actually believe what you write here. Pretty funny stuff Frank.

[...]


Blame the conservative news apparatus for the recently heightened perception that mainstream Republicans are rabid.

Fox News, Red State, Talk radio...All these organizations, instead of focusing on actual items of merit, like lets say, weaknesses in the stimulus bill, have instead chosen to take every available opportunity to paint Obama as some otherly Un-American radical that wants to destroy all that makes America great.

Its rather obvious that the conservative news media (As a whole, there are of course some exceptions), has chosen to indeed go for the most rabid 5% on the right. I guess they think that having a higher noise level with a minority will be better at mitigating Democratic policies then a silent majority that includes moderates and Independents.

cognitive madisonian
09-24-2009, 11:05 AM
I see the US from afar since I haven't lived there for many years. In fact, I have always found the US a mannerless and boorish place, even though one half of my family is American. The politics of a country reflect its mores. From the perspective of Europe American political debate often appears superficial, hysterical, overpersonalized and vulgar (think: sexual scandals). But given my political sympathies I suppose I see more boorishness on your side of the aisle. Call it bias.

I'm curious, is it because we concentrate so much on sex scandals? Because certainly the presence of sex scandals isn't unique to America. I remember an Israeli cabinet member getting involved with some rather embarrassing activities, and I think there was just some news that no one was surprised about concerning Berlusconi.

Now, I'll confess that I much prefer the French debate format (I caught some of Sarkozy's debate), but I don't find the US to be particularly boorish in political behavior compared to many other nations. The first thing that comes to mind is Taiwanese and South Korean political battles, but even comparing it to the behavior of the House of Commons in the UK, some of the statements of various parties in Belgium, the Netherlands, etc. I don't think that really holds. Obviously we're painting in broad and vague strokes here, but I will also add the mannerless is a very cultural idea. Even within America there is a significant difference of perceptions of what constitutes manners. For instance, I think little of charging Obama with some fairly weighty condemnations, but I find it impolite to swear.




Obama a Machiavellian megalomaniac? That isn't boorish. That is just over the top.

I cna understand that kind of reaction in people. We'll save that for another day.

Starwatcher162536
09-24-2009, 11:08 AM
[...]

But then you have criticisms which do not deserve such dismissal. At the most controversial end, I don't think you can honestly dismiss out of hand the charge that Obama is, culturally, not American, at least not American in the same way as you or I are (assuming certain things about your background). He hasn't been honest about his childhood--the fact that he was for a time a Muslim is insignificant, but the fact that he has not been honest about it is.

[...]


Only if you define America's culture as equivalent to small town America. I know I myself seem to have much more in common with many urban foreigners then I do to someone in some small southern town.

bjkeefe
09-24-2009, 11:15 AM
Just ...

... I don't think you can honestly dismiss out of hand the charge that Obama is, culturally, not American, at least not American in the same way as you or I are (assuming certain things about your background).

... wow.

Please give the race baiting a break. The American people aren't buying it and it does your side a disservice.

cognitive madisonian
09-24-2009, 12:08 PM
Only if you define America's culture as equivalent to small town America. I know I myself seem to have much more in common with many urban foreigners then I do to someone in some small southern town.

I think that we can have a much broader definition of what encompasses the landscape of cultural America while still acknowledges that there is a foreignness to Obama. He grew up surrounded by radicals in Hawaii and a distinctly non-American experience in Indonesia. His family and friends in his formative years included many radicals who were utterly divorced from anything resembling the American mainstream. His father was an authoritarian Marxist in philosophy, and without specifics cites, I am inclined to believe that his mother was of a similar bent.

VDH has an outstanding column that isn't precisely along my (admittedly controversial) contentions, but is still worth mentioning:
http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson092309.html

AemJeff
09-24-2009, 12:14 PM
I think that we can have a much broader definition of what encompasses the landscape of cultural America while still acknowledges that there is a foreignness to Obama. He grew up surrounded by radicals in Hawaii and a distinctly non-American experience in Indonesia. His family and friends in his formative years included many radicals who were utterly divorced from anything resembling the American mainstream. His father was an authoritarian Marxist in philosophy, and without specifics cites, I am inclined to believe that his mother was of a similar bent.

Radicals, Muslims and Marxists! Oh My!

It's depressing how jingoism has infected so much of right-wing rhetoric that the issuers have lost any sense of how embarrassing this sort of empty name-calling ought to be.

cognitive madisonian
09-24-2009, 12:22 PM
Are you denying that Obama Sr. was a Marxist? That Frank Marshall Davis was a radical? That Obama consciously surrounded himself with radicals when in college? I can find the quote from his book on that last matter, if you so desire.

AemJeff
09-24-2009, 12:28 PM
Are you denying that Obama Sr. was a Marxist? That Frank Marshall Davis was a radical? That Obama consciously surrounded himself with radicals when in college? I can find the quote from his book on that last matter, if you so desire.

You didn't read what you're responding to.

cognitive madisonian
09-24-2009, 12:35 PM
You didn't read what you're responding to.

You're attempting to dismiss valid criticism, which is precisely what I was condemning to begin with.

AemJeff
09-24-2009, 12:42 PM
You're attempting to dismiss valid criticism, which is precisely what I was condemning to begin with.

Valid criticism has content, and isn't dependent on name-calling and empty invocation of "otherness." You weren't talking about "valid criticism," you were posturing.

TwinSwords
09-24-2009, 12:57 PM
Agreed.

I'm stunned at how many commentators on cable news (yes, I'm also stunned that I've been watching cable news) have levied the proposterous charge that we have reached a "new low" in civility.

We've had Presidents shot, for Chrissakes.

And black people considered 3/5s of a human!

Our political culture has never been more civil.

You are doing a very poor job of tracking what is happening in this country.

Whatfur
09-24-2009, 02:38 PM
...Its rather obvious that the conservative news media (As a whole, there are of course some exceptions), has chosen to indeed go for the most rabid 5% on the right. I guess they think that having a higher noise level with a minority will be better at mitigating Democratic policies then a silent majority that includes moderates and Independents.

And where do YOU actually hear this happening...let me guess, MSNBC giving you clips.

cognitive madisonian
09-24-2009, 06:20 PM
Valid criticism has content, and isn't dependent on name-calling and empty invocation of "otherness." You weren't talking about "valid criticism," you were posturing.

Perhaps if I had said "Barack Obama is a big dumbyhead!" you'd have a point.

But I didn't. Barack Obama's father was a Marxist. This is not an attack, it is an appropriate description of his political leanings. Frank Marshall Davis' politics can best be summarized as radical.

And, Barack Obama in his first book directly noted how he sought to surround himself with radicals when he entered college.

So how precisely is any of this name-calling?

bjkeefe
09-24-2009, 06:23 PM
Barack Obama's father was a Marxist.

And had telepathic powers? You are aware how much time Barack Obama spent with his father, aren't you?

I mean, not that your empty assertions about these supposed sinister influences on Obama early in life aren't completely vapid in any case.

Admit it -- this is just more crypto-racism. People like you have a whole slew of codewords that all translate to "OMG THEIRZ A NEGRO IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!!1!"

cognitive madisonian
09-24-2009, 06:30 PM
And had telepathic powers? You are aware how much time Barack Obama spent with his father, aren't you?

Obama admired his father, looking upon him as an almost tragic hero, a man of great ideals undid by character failings and a corrupt system. But Obama Sr. was basically an all around reprobate, an autocratic jerk who was a value brand Kwame Nkrumah.

And, it stands to reason that Obama's mother shared his father's political views.


I mean, not that your empty assertions about these supposed sinister influences on Obama early in life aren't completely vapid in any case.

Please tell me how Barack Obama's own statement that he sought to surround himself with campus radicals an 'empty assertion.'


Admit it -- this is just more crypto-racism. People like you have a whole slew of codewords that all translate to "OMG THEIRZ A NEGRO IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!!1!"

That's an utterly offensive and false accusation.

AemJeff
09-24-2009, 06:34 PM
Perhaps if I had said "Barack Obama is a big dumbyhead!" you'd have a point.

But I didn't. Barack Obama's father was a Marxist. This is not an attack, it is an appropriate description of his political leanings. Frank Marshall Davis' politics can best be summarized as radical.

And, Barack Obama in his first book directly noted how he sought to surround himself with radicals when he entered college.

So how precisely is any of this name-calling?

What exactly did his father's politics have to do with anything? This is just more of the same - bandying about emotionally charged labels in an attempt to sway sympathies without ever mounting an honest argument. Obama has a record as a legislator and as President. If you'd like to talk about his politics, talk about his political record - instead of hiding behind a dishonest, partisan rhetorical smokescreen.

cognitive madisonian
09-24-2009, 06:37 PM
What exactly did his father's politics have to do with anything? This is just more of the same - bandying about emotionally charged labels in an attempt to sway sympathies without ever mounting an honest argument. Obama has a record as a legislator and as President. If you'd like to talk about his politics, talk about his political record - instead of hiding behind a dishonest, partisan rhetorical smokescreen.

You have not established how any of what I have said is remotely dishonest.

Claiming that Obama's early years are insignificant is naive. Imagine if a GOP candidate had grown up the son of a neo Nazi. Or heck, just think back to all of the stink made about Geoge HW Bush's fathers supposed Nazi connections.

Now, in terms of his politics, his despicable handling of the Honduras situation, which involved having the US aggressively side with a Marxist proto-dictator against the rule of law and the Honduran public, shows that Obama absolutely has deep seeded radical views.

bjkeefe
09-24-2009, 06:40 PM
That's an utterly offensive and false accusation.

I am as at least as confident in my assertions about what drives you as you are in what you say about what drives Obama.

AemJeff
09-24-2009, 06:42 PM
You have not established how any of what I have said is remotely dishonest.

Claiming that Obama's early years are insignificant is naive. Imagine if a GOP candidate had grown up the son of a neo Nazi. Or heck, just think back to all of the stink made about Geoge HW Bush's fathers supposed Nazi connections.

Now, in terms of his politics, his despicable handling of the Honduras situation, which involved having the US aggressively side with a Marxist proto-dictator against the rule of law and the Honduran public, shows that Obama absolutely has deep seeded radical views.

In fact I have. You haven't made your case at all, and continue to illustrate what I've said with each new post.

cognitive madisonian
09-24-2009, 06:42 PM
I am as at least as confident in my assertions about what drives you as you are in what you say about what drives Obama.

You are making spurious accusations, I am pointing to facts. And, when Obama has made the US an ally of an ousted Honduran Marxist tyrant, it's rather apparent that Obama is a closet radical. Only not so closet.

bjkeefe
09-24-2009, 06:57 PM
You are making spurious accusations, I am pointing to facts. And, when Obama has made the US an ally of an ousted Honduran Marxist tyrant, it's rather apparent that Obama is a closet radical. Only not so closet.

No you're not. You're imagining things, to put it politely. To speak more plainly, I think there's a very good chance, based on my observation of the right wing in this country, that you're using codewords.

Even if we set that aside, and pretend for the moment that you are the outlier compared to all of the other hyperventilating Obama-haters furiously typing away, there is nothing to support your claims about Obama being a "radical" or a "Marxist" in any of his political career. The man has a clear legislative and executive record, and it doesn't remotely approach what you claim.

Now, if you're going to give yourself the luxury of circularly defining "radical" and "Marxist" so that they amount to "anything Obama has done that I don't agree with," then you've lost the privilege to complain about other people using terms in ways you don't subscribe to.

So, suck it up, racist. Or, clean up your own habit of hurling accusations.

TwinSwords
09-24-2009, 07:13 PM
You are making spurious accusations, I am pointing to facts. And, when Obama has made the US an ally of an ousted Honduran Marxist tyrant, it's rather apparent that Obama is a closet radical. Only not so closet.

Cog,
Can I ask you a question? Suppose for the sake of argument that a radical Marxist got elected by the American people. Would it be okay to overthrow him by force? Or would you recognize the legitimacy of his presidency and the right of the people to elect him? Just curious what you think.

cognitive madisonian
09-24-2009, 07:46 PM
Cog,
Can I ask you a question? Suppose for the sake of argument that a radical Marxist got elected by the American people. Would it be okay to overthrow him by force? Or would you recognize the legitimacy of his presidency and the right of the people to elect him? Just curious what you think.

Merely getting elected would not be sufficient grounds for overthrow. If, however, the Marxist would attempt to circumvent the Constitution and make himself president for life (ala Zelaya), or some other serious breach of the social contract, it would be not only a right but an obligation to (peacefully) remove the Marxist from office. What happened in Honduras was a model of a democratic society saving itself.

claymisher
09-24-2009, 08:58 PM
Cog,
Can I ask you a question? Suppose for the sake of argument that a radical Marxist got elected by the American people. Would it be okay to overthrow him by force? Or would you recognize the legitimacy of his presidency and the right of the people to elect him? Just curious what you think.

There's nothing dumber than calling somebody Marxist. WTF does it even mean? Are people accusing Obama of subscribing to the labor theory of value? Relating social conditions to underlying economic factors? Obama's views on primitive accumulation? Come on people, be specific here.

Bobby G
09-24-2009, 09:32 PM
In fact I have. You haven't made your case at all, and continue to illustrate what I've said with each new post.

I think I lost the thread of what you were talking about. As I understand it, cognitive madisonian made the claim that there's a certain foreignness about Obama that separates him from the cultural mainstream. Starwatcher rightly said that America has a lot of cultural values, not just small-town American ones. Cognitive madisonian elaborated on his point by noting that Obama was raised by people who embraced Marxism, or variants thereof, and then made friends with people who had radical views in college. Finally, in order to prove the point that Obama's past background has perhaps had an effect on how he thinks about the world, cognitive madisonian pointed out that Obama supported an anti-democratic leader in Honduras.

AemJeff, your first response was: "Radicals, Muslims and Marxists! Oh My! ... It's depressing how jingoism has infected so much of right-wing rhetoric that the issuers have lost any sense of how embarrassing this sort of empty name-calling ought to be." I take it your claim is that to call someone a Marxist or a radical is a claim empty of content? If so, I don't think this is correct. While Barack Obama's father may not have been a doctrinaire Marxist in the 19th century sense, there are elements of Marxism that remain today in people who call themselves Marxists. One such thing is the notion of class struggle--the idea that classes, drawn along economic lines, have their own interests that leave them resolutely opposed to members of other classes. Another is class consciousness--the idea that the members of the economic class with the most economic power have an interest in propagating a false consciousness in members of the working class so as to make them work against their own interests (this, of course, includes the accompanying view that religion is an institution devoted to service the powerful and keep the economically weak in thrall). These particular viewpoints may sound innocuous, but it's quite possible that they could be held very forcefully by someone, such that she thought it her obligation to foment violent revolution against the ruling class; or, less strongly, that she didn't need to treat the claims made by people in power seriously, and that she instead ought to look at the economic motives of the people who made them. This way of thinking about politics leads to a very oppositional political discourse, one perhaps coarser than our own current one, even if our own current one is trending ever more quickly in that direction.

You also say: "What exactly did his father's politics have to do with anything? This is just more of the same - bandying about emotionally charged labels in an attempt to sway sympathies without ever mounting an honest argument. Obama has a record as a legislator and as President. If you'd like to talk about his politics, talk about his political record - instead of hiding behind a dishonest, partisan rhetorical smokescreen."

In response to your claim that Obama's father's politics don't obviously have anything to do with Obama's beliefs, cognitive madisonian said that Obama admired his father very much and that quite possibly Obama's mother shared Obama's father's political views. Since she raised Obama, it's quite possible that her political beliefs, which may have been influenced by those of her husband (i.e., Obama's father), may themselves have influenced Obama. Indeed, I would go so far as to say it's quite lilkely that Obama's mother was influenced by her husband's political beliefs, and that it's also quite likely that she influenced Barack Obama's own political beliefs.

I think it's too strong to say that cognitive madisonian hasn't made his case at all. He has provided some reasoning, and I'm not sure your responses so far have been very substantive or engaged. What you perhaps should have said is that cognitive madisonian's main claim--the claim that Obama is culturally different from the mainstream of American culture--may have been true of the young Obama, but that there isn't very much evidence to support it when being made of the current Obama. If the Honduras case is all cognitive madisonian has to support his view, then I don't think he has enough evidence to make it with much confidence. At least, that's what I would have said.

cognitive madisonian
09-24-2009, 09:38 PM
I think it's too strong to say that cognitive madisonian hasn't made his case at all. He has provided some reasoning, and I'm not sure your responses so far have been very substantive or engaged. What you perhaps should have said is that cognitive madisonian's main claim--the claim that Obama is culturally different from the mainstream of American culture--may have been true of the young Obama, but that there isn't very much evidence to support it when being made of the current Obama. If the Honduras case is all cognitive madisonian has to support his view, then I don't think he has enough evidence to make it with much confidence. At least, that's what I would have said.

Though I'd like to pretend otherwise, the quality of my posts is usually directly correlated with the quality of the posts to which I am responding. So I didn't develop the case for Obama's cultural foreignness quite as much as I would have if conversing with someone else on here.

AemJeff
09-24-2009, 10:04 PM
I think I lost the thread of what you were talking about. As I understand it, cognitive madisonian made the claim that there's a certain foreignness about Obama that separates him from the cultural mainstream. Starwatcher rightly said that America has a lot of cultural values, not just small-town American ones. Cognitive madisonian elaborated on his point by noting that Obama was raised by people who embraced Marxism, or variants thereof, and then made friends with people who had radical views in college. Finally, in order to prove the point that Obama's past background has perhaps had an effect on how he thinks about the world, cognitive madisonian pointed out that Obama supported an anti-democratic leader in Honduras.

AemJeff, your first response was: "Radicals, Muslims and Marxists! Oh My! ... It's depressing how jingoism has infected so much of right-wing rhetoric that the issuers have lost any sense of how embarrassing this sort of empty name-calling ought to be." I take it your claim is that to call someone a Marxist or a radical is a claim empty of content? If so, I don't think this is correct. While Barack Obama's father may not have been a doctrinaire Marxist in the 19th century sense, there are elements of Marxism that remain today in people who call themselves Marxists. One such thing is the notion of class struggle--the idea that classes, drawn along economic lines, have their own interests that leave them resolutely opposed to members of other classes. Another is class consciousness--the idea that the members of the economic class with the most economic power have an interest in propagating a false consciousness in members of the working class so as to make them work against their own interests (this, of course, includes the accompanying view that religion is an institution devoted to service the powerful and keep the economically weak in thrall). These particular viewpoints may sound innocuous, but it's quite possible that they could be held very forcefully by someone, such that she thought it her obligation to foment violent revolution against the ruling class; or, less strongly, that she didn't need to treat the claims made by people in power seriously, and that she instead ought to look at the economic motives of the people who made them. This way of thinking about politics leads to a very oppositional political discourse, one perhaps coarser than our own current one, even if our own current one is trending ever more quickly in that direction.

You also say: "What exactly did his father's politics have to do with anything? This is just more of the same - bandying about emotionally charged labels in an attempt to sway sympathies without ever mounting an honest argument. Obama has a record as a legislator and as President. If you'd like to talk about his politics, talk about his political record - instead of hiding behind a dishonest, partisan rhetorical smokescreen."

In response to your claim that Obama's father's politics don't obviously have anything to do with Obama's beliefs, cognitive madisonian said that Obama admired his father very much and that quite possibly Obama's mother shared Obama's father's political views. Since she raised Obama, it's quite possible that her political beliefs, which may have been influenced by those of her husband (i.e., Obama's father), may themselves have influenced Obama. Indeed, I would go so far as to say it's quite lilkely that Obama's mother was influenced by her husband's political beliefs, and that it's also quite likely that she influenced Barack Obama's own political beliefs.

I think it's too strong to say that cognitive madisonian hasn't made his case at all. He has provided some reasoning, and I'm not sure your responses so far have been very substantive or engaged. What you perhaps should have said is that cognitive madisonian's main claim--the claim that Obama is culturally different from the mainstream of American culture--may have been true of the young Obama, but that there isn't very much evidence to support it when being made of the current Obama. If the Honduras case is all cognitive madisonian has to support his view, then I don't think he has enough evidence to make it with much confidence. At least, that's what I would have said.

Wow, there's a lot here. I'll try to do it justice, but probably not at equivalent length.

I'm skeptical of Cog's claims, prima facie. The claim of "otherness" regarding Obama has been used repeatedly as a racist dog whistle. If Cog wants to seriously make that claim, he has a hill to climb convincing his interlocutors that he's not just blowing that whistle. His perfunctory argument hasn't, IMHO, risen to that challenge, despite multiple iterations.

My claim, by the way, is that it's pretty clear that Obama isn't a Marxist, a radical, etc... Even if, arguendo, those things have been true, his record as a public official refutes that claim. QED.

I've toyed with being a Marxist. I'm slightly older than Obama. Anybody who knows me, hearing the claim that my youthful flirtation with Marxism (or IPU help me, Hinduism) is in any way helpful in parsing my current worldview would laugh at the suggestion.

Cog's broadsides regarding O's MIA father are weightless. Missing your dad, and deciding your political philosophy are not the same thing. Characterizing the outlook of a working, middle aged politician based on the views of his parents, despite an extensive public record is ridiculous on its face.

Cog's loose characterization of events in Honduras doesn't provide me with confidence in his analytical acumen, and his stated view of Obama's connection to it is risible, not even worth comment. (IMNSHO.)

TwinSwords
09-24-2009, 11:33 PM
There's nothing dumber than calling somebody Marxist. WTF does it even mean? Are people accusing Obama of subscribing to the labor theory of value? Relating social conditions to underlying economic factors? Obama's views on primitive accumulation? Come on people, be specific here.

Exactly. As used by 99% of the people who use it, the term "Marxist" is simply a pejorative -- a specific kind of pejorative, but one dissociated from the actual definition of the term. Which is why they lump it together with every other bad name they can think to call their political enemies. The important part, though, is that calling someone a Marxist is, to a significant portion of the wingnut/loon/Republican base, the same as saying they are an enemy of the Republic. And they believe you deal with enemies of the Republic through force, not through politics. Cogmad, though I doubt he would admit it here, sounds like one of his many ideological brethren who believe that the Honduras model was one that should be followed by the US military to "save the Republic" and "restore the Constitution" and help Cogmad "get his country back."

Bobby G
09-24-2009, 11:34 PM
Wow, there's a lot here. I'll try to do it justice, but probably not at equivalent length.

Length is in no way correlated with goodness of the post. I wrote a long post just to make sure I didn't mischaracterize anyone.

I'm skeptical of Cog's claims, prima facie.

Is this because of your past interactions with him (as in: "I'm skeptical of Cog's claims") or because of the content of the claims ("I'm skeptical of Cog's claims")? Or both?

The claim of "otherness" regarding Obama has been used repeatedly as a racist dog whistle.

I'm not convinced by that. Claims of otherness were also made regarding John "French" Kerry, Al "wooden" Gore, and Michael "looks bad in a tank" Dukakis. I'm sure racist feelings will be corralled into any attempt to discredit Obama's message, just as anti-Christian feelings will be used to discredit W, but that doesn't mean that those are the main motivating feelings, or anything but incidental feelings.

If Cog wants to seriously make that claim, he has a hill to climb convincing his interlocutors that he's not just blowing that whistle. His perfunctory argument hasn't, IMHO, risen to that challenge, despite multiple iterations.

I agree with you that I don't think of Obama as particularly other, but there are other claims cognitive madisonian can make to support his thesis, such as Obama's running in the late 1990s for a very left-wing party. Admittedly, he was only in his late 20s at the time, but by that point one's political convictions are fairly close to solidified.

My claim, by the way, is that it's pretty clear that Obama isn't a Marxist, a radical, etc... Even if, arguendo, those things have been true, his record as a public official refutes that claim. QED.

I think this is really the only thing that needs to be said. Regardless of whether Obama is secretly a Marxist, he doesn't govern like one. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about.

I've toyed with being a Marxist. I'm slightly older than Obama. Anybody who knows me, hearing the claim that my youthful flirtation with Marxism (or IPU help me, Hinduism) is in any way helpful in parsing my current worldview would laugh at the suggestion.

What's IPU? Also, I used to be a libertarian, for many years, and that definitely affected my worldview, in noticeable ways. I think there's a difference between flirtation and commitment.

Cog's broadsides regarding O's MIA father are weightless. Missing your dad, and deciding your political philosophy are not the same thing. Characterizing the outlook of a working, middle aged politician based on the views of his parents, despite an extensive public record is ridiculous on its face.

Well, his broadsides have to be seen in light of the fact that Obama, as he made clear in his first book--which I haven't read--, was searching for his identity for a while. Seeing his father as a lodestar could have had a greater effect on him than on typical men.

Bobby G
09-24-2009, 11:37 PM
Oh. So what's the point of responding to AemJeff if you're going to give responses that it's easy for him to laugh off? I don't get it.

In fact, as I've made clear to other posters here in private communication, I really don't understand why anyone posts on BH.tv at all. I know why I do it--I use it to procrastinate. But I gather that's not why everyone does it.

Bobby G
09-24-2009, 11:39 PM
You think CogMad, in his heart of hearts, or something, wants to take up arms against Obama?

Just think of how much you disliked W. Did you ever consider taking up arms against him? What would you think of the analytical acumen of someone who said that, based on your comments on a blog, you looked like a violent revolutionary?

AemJeff
09-25-2009, 12:10 AM
Is this because of your past interactions with him (as in: "I'm skeptical of Cog's claims") or because of the content of the claims ("I'm skeptical of Cog's claims")? Or both?


What I meant was I'm skeptical of this set of claims. But I'll openly admit that it's also true that I'm generally skeptical of the source.


I'm not convinced by that. Claims of otherness were also made regarding John "French" Kerry, Al "wooden" Gore, and Michael "looks bad in a tank" Dukakis. I'm sure racist feelings will be corralled into any attempt to discredit Obama's message, just as anti-Christian feelings will be used to discredit W, but that doesn't mean that those are the main motivating feelings, or anything but incidental feelings.


I don't think I agree that claims about Gore and Dukakis were about "otherness." In Kerry's case, the "Frenchy" designation neatly dovetailed into another meme that was more or less contemporary. (Remember "Freedom Fries?") It's certainly not the case that any other candidate for or holder of the office of the Presidency has been subject to the sorts of claims against legitimacy that Obama has. His putative "otherness," regardless of his race, is a dominant theme of the opposition and it doesn't seem particularly controversial to claim that that's sui generis. Assuming that that fact is coincidental to the fact that he's the first non-white man to hold the position doesn't, in my opinion, survive Occam's Razor.


I agree with you that I don't think of Obama as particularly other, but there are other claims cognitive madisonian can make to support his thesis, such as Obama's running in the late 1990s for a very left-wing party. Admittedly, he was only in his late 20s at the time, but by that point one's political convictions are fairly close to solidified.


Cog hasn't made that claim. Political opportunism is as good an explanation for O's association with that party as anything. And, again, his record contradicts the notion that that party represents his beliefs.


I think this is really the only thing that needs to be said. Regardless of whether Obama is secretly a Marxist, he doesn't govern like one. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about.


As a matter of pure logic, I agree completely.


What's IPU? Also, I used to be a libertarian, for many years, and that definitely affected my worldview, in noticeable ways. I think there's a difference between flirtation and commitment.


IPU is an irreverent Atheist avatar, similar to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. At the risk of repetition, O's record isn't consistent with the notion of the sort of commitment this refers to.


Well, his broadsides have to be seen in light of the fact that Obama, as he made clear in his first book--which I haven't read--, was searching for his identity for a while. Seeing his father as a lodestar could have had a greater effect on him than on typical men.

Ditto - His father's recorded political views are what they are. His political record stands on its own. Any claim that the former is an important component of his current belief system would require a great deal of confirmation from his record.

TwinSwords
09-25-2009, 12:45 AM
You think CogMad, in his heart of hearts, or something, wants to take up arms against Obama?
Here's what I know with certainty, and what you should know with certainty, if you don't: A vast number of Republicans today are openly talking about violent revolution and believe in their heart of hearts that Democratic government generally, but especially government led by the "foreigner and Marxist" Barack Obama, is the literal (not hyperbolic) enemy, and that removing enemies by force is appropriate and justified, if not necessarily the best option at this time. (They're willing to try other things, first, especially given the difficulty of overthrowing the government. But they signal their intention and wish every day, and if you watch/read them, you will watch them grapple with the "problem" of how to start the revolution they long for. They know how easily they can be demonized, like McVeigh, and they know they will need broad public support. On the other hand, they are extremely happy to have the constant rhetorical support they get from mainstream conservative media and Republican Party leaders.)

I do realize that many people, possibly including yourself, move in circles that are never exposed to this portion of the base of your party; others are probably in denial. This ignorance of or refusal to acknowledge what is happening in the country explains the confused misunderstanding of the conservative extremists who are following Obama around the country with assault weapons, or the signs which dominate the tea parties, or the rhetoric which is inescapable to anyone who reads comments on blogs, newspaper articles, or YouTube videos. Even when confronted with the sight of a Republican bearing a sign that explicitly states "it is time (http://www.buchanan.org/images/WilliamKostric.jpg)" to murder the president, most observers simply could not process what they were seeing, and instead chose to interpret the statement as nothing more than a principled defense of the 2nd Amendment.



Just think of how much you disliked W. Did you ever consider taking up arms against him?
Of course not. This is one of the many important differences between Democrats and Republicans, and between liberals and what counts today as the mainstream conservatives who form the Republican base (although not conservatives defined more traditionally or broadly). Liberals and Democrats respect the rule of law and the US Constitution. What amuses me is the Republicans who advocate violence as a defense of the rule of law and the Constitution, showing what truly confused creatures they are.



What would you think of the analytical acumen of someone who said that, based on your comments on a blog, you looked like a violent revolutionary?
Very little. And please note that I said Cogmad sounds like the people in his party who entertain the notion that we should remove Democrats from office by force. And that is a true statement. I will add, however, that given everything Cogmad appears to believe, it would not surprise me in the least if he would support a move by, say, the Pentagon to mimic the action of the Honduran military. I have little doubt that if the JCS arrested Obama tomorrow, Fox News and well over half of prominent conservatives would defend the action as necessary and proper. Fortunately, it's not going to happen. Conservatives will only get their revolution in their dreams.

kezboard
09-25-2009, 01:27 AM
What's IPU?

Invisible Pink Unicorn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn).

Lyle
09-25-2009, 02:13 AM
Who's calling for Obama to be removed by violent force? Who in Congress? What Republican politician?

TwinSwords
09-25-2009, 02:22 AM
Who's calling for Obama to be removed by violent force? Who in Congress? What Republican politician?

They don't say it directly; to do so would be a federal crime. But they leave no doubt with their rhetoric. Even the official tea party posters say "Revolution is brewing." That may be subtle where you come from, but it shouldn't be.

Bobby G
09-25-2009, 02:32 AM
Here's what I know with certainty, and what you should know with certainty, if you don't: A vast number of Republicans today are openly talking about violent revolution and believe in their heart of hearts that Democratic government generally, but especially government led by the "foreigner and Marxist" Barack Obama, is the literal (not hyperbolic) enemy, and that removing enemies by force is appropriate and justified, if not necessarily the best option at this time. (They're willing to try other things, first, especially given the difficulty of overthrowing the government. But they signal their intention and wish every day, and if you watch/read them, you will watch them grapple with the "problem" of how to start the revolution they long for. They know how easily they can be demonized, like McVeigh, and they know they will need broad public support. On the other hand, they are extremely happy to have the constant rhetorical support they get from mainstream conservative media and Republican Party leaders.)

I don't know that with certainty, but as you might have guessed, being an academic I don't exactly spend much time around the Republican base. That said, what you say could very well be right; on the other hand, I doubt it is. Think, for example, of Iran, and how Matt Yglesias characterizes that regime; he thinks that, despite their violent rhetoric, it is just that--rhetoric. It would be crazy, he thinks, to take them at face value. So too, I think, with the conservatives you're talking about. I bet that conservatives will tend to use more violent rhetoric than liberals, who I suppose will use crasser rhetoric.

I do realize that many people, possibly including yourself, move in circles that are never exposed to this portion of the base of your party; others are probably in denial. This ignorance of or refusal to acknowledge what is happening in the country explains the confused misunderstanding of the conservative extremists who are following Obama around the country with assault weapons, or the signs which dominate the tea parties, or the rhetoric which is inescapable to anyone who reads comments on blogs, newspaper articles, or YouTube videos. Even when confronted with the sight of a Republican bearing a sign that explicitly states "it is time (http://www.buchanan.org/images/WilliamKostric.jpg)" to murder the president, most observers simply could not process what they were seeing, and instead chose to interpret the statement as nothing more than a principled defense of the 2nd Amendment.

Well, I certainly don't deny that there will be violently inclined nuts out there. But I don't think CogMad even seems like one--he seems more like someone who writes for National Review. Perhaps you think that's about the same (though I doubt you do), but I think that there's a far distance between the two.

Of course not. This is one of the many important differences between Democrats and Republicans, and between liberals and what counts today as the mainstream conservatives who form the Republican base (although not conservatives defined more traditionally or broadly). Liberals and Democrats respect the rule of law and the US Constitution. What amuses me is the Republicans who advocate violence as a defense of the rule of law and the Constitution, showing what truly confused creatures they are.

I think you're painting in entirely too broad brush-strokes. I'm sure that if you and I were to really think hard and look online and read the right books and articles, we'd find many examples of liberals who don't "respect the rule of law and the US Constitution."

Very little. And please note that I said Cogmad sounds like the people in his party who entertain the notion that we should remove Democrats from office by force. And that is a true statement. I will add, however, that given everything Cogmad appears to believe, it would not surprise me in the least if he would support a move by, say, the Pentagon to mimic the action of the Honduran military.

I guess I don't know CogMad well enough, but I can't imagine what else he's said that would make you think that he'd be OK with removing Obama by force. He probably feels the way about Obama that you felt about Bush. Personally, I thought that if Bush were impeached, it might be a justified decision, but it would probably cause real havoc in the Republic. Of course, I'm not a fan of presidents in general.

Lyle
09-25-2009, 02:36 AM
I think you're full of bunk, but why aren't the participants at the Tea Party protests as violent as the lefties out in force in Pittsburgh yesterday?

Don't need tear gas to control the Tea Party people right?

Bobby G
09-25-2009, 02:46 AM
I don't think I agree that claims about Gore and Dukakis were about "otherness." In Kerry's case, the "Frenchy" designation neatly dovetailed into another meme that was more or less contemporary. (Remember "Freedom Fries?")

I think they were about otherness--Kerry and Dukakis were elitist liberals from Massachusetts who intended to capitulate to foreign powers because they didn't really understand what America was about; instead, they took their cues about how to run society from the European model. Or at least, so the story went. (Moreover, Kerry disgraced his fellow soldiers in Vietnam, and Dukakis was so ice cold that he didn't take murder seriously, etc., etc., and etc.) As for Gore, there's the whole Earth in the Balance book, the but I'll grant that the otherness "meme" (goodness, how I loathe that word) wasn't as strong with him as it was for the other two I mentioned.

It's certainly not the case that any other candidate for or holder of the office of the Presidency has been subject to the sorts of claims against legitimacy that Obama has. His putative "otherness," regardless of his race, is a dominant theme of the opposition and it doesn't seem particularly controversial to claim that that's sui generis. Assuming that that fact is coincidental to the fact that he's the first non-white man to hold the position doesn't, in my opinion, survive Occam's Razor.

Well, there were attacks on W's legitimacy--he didn't win the first election, and he didn't win the second--but I grant that they weren't of the same character as the birth certificate nonsense. Still, my ignorance of American political history makes me skeptical of the claim that no president has been subject to the same de-legitimizing assaults, even if you restrict that to presidents from FDR on. I'm open to its being true, though. As for the Occam's Razor business, again, I don't think he's been made to seem much more other than Kerry or Dukakis; to the extent that he has been made more other, I don't think that his race explains much; I think it's rather that the increasing partisanship of news sources is making discourse coarser. I bet if Hillary had become president, we would have seen a similar intensity of denunciation.

Cog hasn't made that claim. Political opportunism is as good an explanation for O's association with that party as anything.

Really? Why that party? Was it particularly powerful? I confess I don't know much about it. It just strikes me a little--a little--incredible that someone as luminously talented as Obama wouldn't have had lots of interested takers among Democrats.

Ditto - His father's recorded political views are what they are. His political record stands on its own. Any claim that the former is an important component of his current belief system would require a great deal of confirmation from his record.

I agree. I wonder, though, whether you would feel the same if some extremely charismatic conservative said he admired his delinquent father who also happened to be an Italian fascist. Is the case too dissimilar in your estimation? Or do you think that you wouldn't find it relevant?

Francoamerican
09-25-2009, 04:58 AM
Even within America there is a significant difference of perceptions of what constitutes manners. For instance, I think little of charging Obama with some fairly weighty condemnations, but I find it impolite to swear..

Spoken like a true gentleman! But I have to agree with Aemjeff and Twinswords that your remarks about Obama's parents, upbringing, and associates, do sound, if not racist, then at least highly tendentious and charged with innuendo. You are making what the French would call a procès d'intention: you are ascribing beliefs, intentions and motives to him that have nothing to do with his record and actions thus far.

Political debate can be vigorous and often rough (as in the House of Commons) without being superficial and personalized. I was thinking more of the kind of discussion that goes on in the US mass media, which play a much bigger role in the US than over here in shaping the contours of political debate. The internet has given enormous scope to the most vile and mendacious commentary by all kinds of lunatics.

P.S. Sex scandals aren't unique to the US. But in continental Europe they are infrequent. The Brits are more like Americans in this respect. Outrage over corruption and money is more common in Europe. As for Berlusconi, he belongs to the realm of opera buffa.

Whatfur
09-25-2009, 07:56 AM
I think you're full of bunk,...


Let me second that notion. TwinSwords, you are foolish. You ramble on with lies trying to make your imagined point and all someone had to say was "who?" "where?" and your point falls apart. You are no different than the 1 guy out of a thousands who had a Obama is Hitler sign.

bjkeefe
09-25-2009, 09:57 AM
Let me second that notion. TwinSwords, you are foolish. You ramble on with lies trying to make your imagined point and all someone had to say was "who?" "where?" and your point falls apart. You are no different than the 1 guy out of a thousands who had a Obama is Hitler sign.

No, Twin is not foolish. He is generally correct. There may be some room for debate about how much likely it is that these blowhard gun-barrel-stroking teabaggers have the guts to actually do what they talk about doing, but it is not by any stretch accurate to say it's just isolated individuals. Anyone can find countless examples of offensive signage at rallies -- Hitler-themed and otherwise -- and that doesn't even begin to account for the non-stop whipping up of these people by media mouthpieces like Limbaugh and Beck, and Republican officials like Bachmann, Wilson, and Palin.

I argue with Twin all the time about the extent of this problem, but I don't at all disagree with his core view: there is a slice of the population in this country that starts by assuming no Democrat can ever legitimately hold high office, that they always cheated in the election, got coddled by Teh Meedeeya, etc.

You can add to this an undeniable second strand, which is at least intertwined with the first: there is a non-trivial chunk of the population who can't deal with a Black Man In The White House.

And you can add to this a third, larger, section of the population, which includes people like you: you all are actually delighted to have these crazy people out there howling about Obama as a radical Nazi Marxist Muslin Hitler Chamberlain baby-killing white-hating America-loathing jackbooted thug, who must be violently overthrown or seceded from or both. You don't like when other people associate you with them, but you do like them as the leading tip of the wedge -- thanks to them, there no longer is any right-hand boundary on the Overton Window when it comes to talking smack about President Obama. The fact that you spend your time denying the reality of what plainly exists on the fringes of your side of the ideological spectrum, or making empty "but what about the left???" equivalences, speaks volumes.

If you were a decent sort, you'd be condemning these people, not denying that they exist or pretending that there's nothing wrong with them.

Big word, if.

bjkeefe
09-25-2009, 10:08 AM
[...] I'm sure that if you and I were to really think hard and look online and read the right books and articles, we'd find many examples of liberals who don't "respect the rule of law and the US Constitution."

The difference is that, yes, you really would have to "think hard" to come up with any liberal examples, and if you looked online, you'd be reduced to nut-picking from the comment sections of a couple of wide-open web sites. By contrast, there's a fire hose of examples just waiting for you on the right, and they come in part from the most prominent of their pundits, bloggers, and party officials.

It is a real mistake for you to assume there must be an equivalence between the left and right, or the extremes of those two sides, when you've started out by acknowledging that you have no exposure to "the Republican base."

Bobby G
09-25-2009, 01:16 PM
The difference is that, yes, you really would have to "think hard" to come up with any liberal examples, and if you looked online, you'd be reduced to nut-picking from the comment sections of a couple of wide-open web sites. By contrast, there's a fire hose of examples just waiting for you on the right, and they come in part from the most prominent of their pundits, bloggers, and party officials.

It is a real mistake for you to assume there must be an equivalence between the left and right, or the extremes of those two sides, when you've started out by acknowledging that you have no exposure to "the Republican base."

I was surprised to hear this response from you, given that my response to Twin was motivated by an internal BJKeefe. That is, Twin wrote:

"This is one of the many important differences between Democrats and Republicans, and between liberals and what counts today as the mainstream conservatives who form the Republican base (although not conservatives defined more traditionally or broadly). Liberals and Democrats respect the rule of law and the US Constitution."

And I thought to myself of the many times BJKeefe upbraids people who talk about the motivations of "the left"--as if there a monolithic leftwing about which much of interest can be said. And yet here is Twin saying things like, "Liberals and Democrats respect the rule of law and the US Constitution", with the implied "Conservatives and Republicans don't respect the rule of law and the US Constitution."

I will grant that _right now_ there are more conservatives and Republicans who talk in a way that makes it seem as though they have violent contempt for legitimately elected officials. But I bet that's due to the fact that they're outside of power right now. I shouldn't be at all shocked, if we stretched back to the days of Thatcher and Reagan, to find numerous instances of prominent liberals and labour party types who condemned Reagan and Thatcher with violence-inducing epithets. That's what I meant by thinking hard--just trying to remember what the days of W., Thatcher, and Reagan were like, and the things that were said about them.

As for my claim that I don't hang around the Republican base, I don't want to give the impression that I haven't noticed a lot of nutty things said by, e.g., Beck. What I made my claim for is that I'm not in a position to assess the seriousness with which rank-and-file Republicans are really entertaining the notion of murdering Obama. <SARCASM>Perhaps they really are serious, and we should take preemptive violent action against them. Maybe 25% of the population is, basically, a violent militia movement.</SARCASM> From the few I've known, though, they strike me much more as Dale Gribble than Travis Bickle.

AemJeff
09-25-2009, 02:06 PM
I think they were about otherness--Kerry and Dukakis were elitist liberals from Massachusetts who intended to capitulate to foreign powers because they didn't really understand what America was about; instead, they took their cues about how to run society from the European model. Or at least, so the story went. (Moreover, Kerry disgraced his fellow soldiers in Vietnam, and Dukakis was so ice cold that he didn't take murder seriously, etc., etc., and etc.) As for Gore, there's the whole Earth in the Balance book, the but I'll grant that the otherness "meme" (goodness, how I loathe that word) wasn't as strong with him as it was for the other two I mentioned.



Well, there were attacks on W's legitimacy--he didn't win the first election, and he didn't win the second--but I grant that they weren't of the same character as the birth certificate nonsense. Still, my ignorance of American political history makes me skeptical of the claim that no president has been subject to the same de-legitimizing assaults, even if you restrict that to presidents from FDR on. I'm open to its being true, though. As for the Occam's Razor business, again, I don't think he's been made to seem much more other than Kerry or Dukakis; to the extent that he has been made more other, I don't think that his race explains much; I think it's rather that the increasing partisanship of news sources is making discourse coarser. I bet if Hillary had become president, we would have seen a similar intensity of denunciation.



Really? Why that party? Was it particularly powerful? I confess I don't know much about it. It just strikes me a little--a little--incredible that someone as luminously talented as Obama wouldn't have had lots of interested takers among Democrats.



I agree. I wonder, though, whether you would feel the same if some extremely charismatic conservative said he admired his delinquent father who also happened to be an Italian fascist. Is the case too dissimilar in your estimation? Or do you think that you wouldn't find it relevant?

I really don't think that "looks dumb in a tank with a helmet" can be equated with "Commie Muslim Kenyan that isn't a citizen." (And I didn't even bring up the whole Antichrist theme.) I think the burden is yours, on this point, to show why there's a useful equivalence.

(By the way "meme" is a perfectly good word that identifies a useful idea. It gets overused and abused, [like meta- for instance] but I think there's a there, there. :))

The question of W's legitimacy had a factually arguable basis - and even that never rose to the pitch that we've been witnessing for the past year and a half. Strong opposition to him didn't develop until well into his first term and was a reaction to policy. A reaction whose content seems to have found some confirmation in public opinion during the intervening time.

I'll have to read back into last year's news to remember the details of that little party O associated with. My recollection is that the whole issue was (like so much else, last cycle) a tempest in a teapot, and really not that interesting, but I'll look back and try to report on that.

On the last question, it would always depend on the content of the person's record. I have a hard time with the hypothesis, because there aren't any real facts om which to frame an opinion. I can't say I'd always be perfectly fair, but I can say that's what my intent would be.

Bobby G
09-25-2009, 02:36 PM
I really don't think that "looks dumb in a tank with a helmet" can be equated with "Commie Muslim Kenyan that isn't a citizen." (And I didn't even bring up the whole Antichrist theme, there.) I think the burden is yours, on this point, to show why there's a useful equivalence there.

I gave a bunch of other reasons for thinking that Dukakis was other than the looks dumb in a tank thing. Remember: the ice-cold reaction to the question about his wife's murder, his coming from Massachusetts, his professorial demeanor, his weak on crime stance, his willingness to capitulate to foreign powers.

And you didn't respond to the Kerry points either. (Not that you're obligated to!)

Anyway, I've changed my mind about Obama's otherness. I now think he is completely other, as this video (http://www.theawl.com/2009/09/barack-obamas-got-that-smile-nailed-down)shows.

He's a robot.

claymisher
09-25-2009, 02:46 PM
Anyway, I've changed my mind about Obama's otherness. I now think he is completely other, as this video (http://www.theawl.com/2009/09/barack-obamas-got-that-smile-nailed-down)shows.

He's a robot.

1) That's a funny animation.
2) You'll complain about anything. click click click *ignore*

AemJeff
09-25-2009, 03:06 PM
I gave a bunch of other reasons for thinking that Dukakis was other than the looks dumb in a tank thing. Remember: the ice-cold reaction to the question about his wife's murder, his coming from Massachusetts, his professorial demeanor, his weak on crime stance, his willingness to capitulate to foreign powers.

And you didn't respond to the Kerry points either. (Not that you're obligated to!)

Anyway, I've changed my mind about Obama's otherness. I now think he is completely other, as this video (http://www.theawl.com/2009/09/barack-obamas-got-that-smile-nailed-down)shows.

He's a robot.

Cute video.

Do I really need to enumerate each one of those comparisons to make my point? Dorky, aloof, robotic, pompous... these are not adjectives with comparable power to foreign-born, Muslim, Communist, terrorist pal. The first list applies to your boss and your embarrassing brother in law, the latter characterize a cinematic antagonist. These are not equivalent things. And lurking in the shadows are things like this (http://thinkprogress.org/2008/10/16/obama-bucks/):

http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/racist16_400.jpg

Bobby G
09-25-2009, 03:33 PM
Do I really need to enumerate each one of those comparisons to make my point? Dorky, aloof, robotic, pompous... these are not adjectives with comparable power to foreign-born, Muslim, Communist, terrorist pal. The first list applies to your boss and your embarrassing brother in law, the latter characterize a cinematic antagonist. These are not equivalent things.

OK, I'll give up the Dukakis comparison, in this sense: I still think there was a move to paint Dukakis as other, just as Democrats often try to paint Republicans as trying just to benefit the rich; I'll grant, though, that it wasn't _as_ other as for Obama. But of course, it's a lot easier to do the whole "Obama is an other" thing when his name is Barack Obama. Moreover, I still think the Kerry comparison is apt. And remember, Kerry wasn't just described as dorky or aloof, but also as treasonous, unpatriotic, and French.

Francoamerican
09-25-2009, 03:58 PM
OK, I'll give up the Dukakis comparison, in this sense: I still think there was a move to paint Dukakis as other, just as Democrats often try to paint Republicans as trying just to benefit the rich; I'll grant, though, that it wasn't _as_ other as for Obama. But of course, it's a lot easier to do the whole "Obama is an other" thing when his name is Barack Obama. Moreover, I still think the Kerry comparison is apt. And remember, Kerry wasn't just described as dorky or aloof, but also as treasonous, unpatriotic, and French.

Yes, but he spoke French like a vache espagnole (=like a Spanish cow: idiom for someone who murders the French language).

So he was really a good ole guy after all.

AemJeff
09-25-2009, 03:59 PM
OK, I'll give up the Dukakis comparison, in this sense: I still think there was a move to paint Dukakis as other, just as Democrats often try to paint Republicans as trying just to benefit the rich; I'll grant, though, that it wasn't _as_ other as for Obama. But of course, it's a lot easier to do the whole "Obama is an other" thing when his name is Barack Obama. Moreover, I still think the Kerry comparison is apt. And remember, Kerry wasn't just described as dorky or aloof, but also as treasonous, unpatriotic, and French.

I think we're wandering toward an interesting topic here: why are the boundaries relative to Obama so much trickier than they would be for almost anyone else?

Let's say Kerry really was demonized as badly as Obama has been. That's still a bad thing, an ugly artifact of contemporary American politics. But in the case of a black man, the first black man to mount a credible run, and the first to assume the office, there are still deep, open wounds to be avoided. Obama stands as a proxy for an entire population of people in a way that a another white guy in a long line of white guys would not be. The very fact that that is true is a direct consequence of the profound, institutionally supported racist history that we're trying desperately to leave behind us.

In other words we're not really talking about a difference of degree, but a difference in kind. It will be far harder to mount an argument such as this one, after the fifth or the twentieth, or whatever it takes, black or hispanic or female, etc... has been elected without incident. But that's not now.

cognitive madisonian
09-25-2009, 04:08 PM
I've had some good discussions with some users, including Wonderment. I usually don't engage aemjeff or bjkeefe. I think it's quite possible to have an enjoyable and even enlightening experience here (well, moreso in the forum for the diavlogues), it's just also very easy to get drawn into pointless exercises.

Bobby G
09-25-2009, 05:14 PM
why are the boundaries relative to Obama so much trickier than they would be for almost anyone else?

I don't think I understand this question. What do you mean by "boundaries"? Do you mean, "what is and isn't permissible to say about him"?

Let's say Kerry really was demonized as badly as Obama has been. That's still a bad thing, an ugly artifact of contemporary American politics. But in the case of a black man, the first black man to mount a credible run, and the first to assume the office, there are still deep, open wounds to be avoided. Obama stands as a proxy for an entire population of people in a way that a another white guy in a long line of white guys would not be. The very fact that that is true is a direct consequence of the profound, institutionally supported racist history that we're trying desperately to leave behind us.

Let me see if I understand you: is it your view, that in the white mind, or at least in some whites' minds, that BO sounds for blacks in general? Is it furthermore your view that BO stands for blacks in general in the black mind? And, finally, is it a consequence of this view that, given what BO stands for, people have an obligation to be more circumspect in their discourse about him?

If this is your view, I have a couple of problems with it: (1) it's a bad incentive for Obama himself; if people were to take the kid gloves approach with him (not that there's any danger of that happening), then there'd be less of a check on him than there should be. And there should be strong checks on someone with as much power over our lives as the POTUS. (2) It may be demeaning to BO himself. I should think it a testament to race relations if people could comfortably treat him like they treat any other Democratic political figure. (3) If the first black POTUS had turned out to be a G.W. Bush Republican, I think that Republicans crying "racism!" against Democratic opposition to him would be a pretty nauseating sight. I don't think the sight of Democrats crying "racism!" against BO would be as nauseating, because Democrats since the 60s have been more interested in problems in black America than Republicans have. Still, it would be a bad sight, a way of strangling legitimate political opposition to a very powerful person.

bjkeefe
09-25-2009, 05:46 PM
I usually don't engage aemjeff or bjkeefe.

He kept getting his ass whipped, is why.

Starwatcher162536
09-25-2009, 05:54 PM
So, even with the recent upsurge in populist attacks on the banks, you still think that class warfare is Un-American?

AemJeff
09-25-2009, 05:58 PM
I don't think I understand this question. What do you mean by "boundaries"? Do you mean, "what is and isn't permissible to say about him"?


Not exactly, though it's a good first order approximation. Talking about anybody is risky. Talking about somebody in Obama's position, particularly for critics who also happen to be white, is probably even more difficult. There's a lot of baggage on the topic of race, and regardless of whether it's fair, there's a potential minefield that can require a degree of artfulness if you want to avoid it.


Let me see if I understand you: is it your view, that in the white mind, or at least in some whites' minds, that BO sounds for blacks in general? Is it furthermore your view that BO stands for blacks in general in the black mind? And, finally, is it a consequence of this view that, given what BO stands for, people have an obligation to be more circumspect in their discourse about him?

If this is your view, I have a couple of problems with it: (1) it's a bad incentive for Obama himself; if people were to take the kid gloves approach with him (not that there's any danger of that happening), then there'd be less of a check on him than there should be. And there should be strong checks on someone with as much power over our lives as the POTUS. (2) It may be demeaning to BO himself. I should think it a testament to race relations if people could comfortably treat him like they treat any other Democratic political figure. (3) If the first black POTUS had turned out to be a G.W. Bush Republican, I think that Republicans crying "racism!" against Democratic opposition to him would be a pretty nauseating sight. I don't think the sight of Democrats crying "racism!" against BO would be as nauseating, because Democrats since the 60s have been more interested in problems in black America than Republicans have. Still, it would be a bad sight, a way of strangling legitimate political opposition to a very powerful person.

It's my view that for many people, particularly black people, Barack Obama is a personal token of participation and inclusion, special because it's an unprecedented thing for them to feel. White people questioning (or seeming to question - there's no reason to think that for most people this is intentional) his legitimacy, especially when it seems to be based on questions of identity, are also, from the point of view of all those folks who feel so strongly invested in Obama, questioning the legitimacy of their new, hard won feelings of being a potentially equal part of this society.

It's certainly true that the vast majority of Republicans are not racists, and would be horrified to be seen as such. It's also true that racists (and cynics - by whom I specifically mean Rush, among many others) are using the opportunity presented by O's Presidency to open old wounds deliberately. I think the Republican party is culpable because it benefits - from the energy and emotion this generates; and because it's been willing to strategically look away when such things are to its benefit. (Think "Southern Strategy.") And to be sure there are Democrats who are racists, and I seen some ugly garbage on PUMA sites - there are no angels. I point to the Republicans for the reasons I just outlined, not because they have an exclusive relationship to racism.

Is this unfair to the Republicans? Yeah, to some extent, of course it is. But the best answer to the charge of "racism" is less racism. If the label didn't bear some truth, it wouldn't sting.

bjkeefe
09-25-2009, 05:59 PM
I was surprised to hear this response from you, given that my response to Twin was motivated by an internal BJKeefe. That is, Twin wrote: [...]

You're going to concede my point by trying to pretend you were saying something else, is that it? Okay, piscivorous. I mean, Lyle.

I shouldn't be at all shocked, if we stretched back to the days of Thatcher and Reagan, to find numerous instances of prominent liberals and labour party types who condemned Reagan and Thatcher with violence-inducing epithets. That's what I meant by thinking hard--just trying to remember what the days of W., Thatcher, and Reagan were like, and the things that were said about them.

Show me the data. Anyone can hand-wave with an "I shouldn't be surprised." Point to comparable Democrats in Congress and in leadership roles in state government from back then, if you can. Point to prominent liberal pundits, if you can. But you can't. You simply are not going to find anything like what is now constantly directed, encouraged, winked at, etc., in ways subtle and overt, by the leadership and media outlets of the GOP and the conservative movements.

As for my claim that I don't hang around the Republican base, I don't want to give the impression that I haven't noticed a lot of nutty things said by, e.g., Beck. What I made my claim for is that I'm not in a position to assess the seriousness with which rank-and-file Republicans are really entertaining the notion of murdering Obama. <SARCASM>Perhaps they really are serious, and we should take preemptive violent action against them. Maybe 25% of the population is, basically, a violent militia movement.</SARCASM> From the few I've known, though, they strike me much more as Dale Gribble than Travis Bickle.

No one can say for sure what percent is just talk and will always be just talk. I myself expect well more than 99% of it is. However, I also think it's about an even money bet that we will have to see something on the scale of the Oklahoma City bombing before the leadership on the right backs away from the strategy they are employing now, and I don't think the individual nuts whom we've already seen go on their rampages all did so independent of the mood fostered for the past year by the right-wing media and blogosphere, and politicians like Palin and Bachmann.

Bobby G
09-25-2009, 08:04 PM
You're going to concede my point by trying to pretend you were saying something else, is that it? Okay, piscivorous. I mean, Lyle.

Wow, I really piss you off, huh?

bjkeefe
09-26-2009, 08:12 AM
Wow, I really piss you off, huh?

No. That response of mine was merely mockery -- calling you on the way you tried to squirm away from the point under discussion.

Bobby G
09-26-2009, 03:44 PM
Looking over the discussion, I've found it difficult to formulate the point under discussion. I take it the point was whether Democrats respect the rule of law more than Republicans do? And I thought that I _admitted_ that Republicans, _right now_, don't respect it as much as Democrats do, at least with regard to the question of the legitimacy of Obama's being president.

This is squirming away, though, because I brought up what I thought was a surprising response from you, given some of your past pronouncements? OK, let me make it clear:

You are right: more Republicans than Democrats doubt the legitimacy of Obama's being president. I think you are also right that more Republicans doubted, for bad reasons, the legitimacy of Obama's being president than Democrats doubted, for bad reasons, the legitimacy of W being president.

That said, I STILL find it perplexing that you often criticize people for talking about "the left", but you don't have any problem with TwinSwords talking about "Democrats" and "liberals" respecting the rule of law and the US Constitution while "Republicans" don't respect the rule of law and the US Constitution.

bjkeefe
09-26-2009, 04:02 PM
Looking over the discussion, I've found it difficult to formulate the point under discussion. I take it the point was whether Democrats respect the rule of law more than Republicans do? And I thought that I _admitted_ that Republicans, _right now_, don't respect it as much as Democrats do, at least with regard to the question of the legitimacy of Obama's being president.

This is squirming away, though, because I brought up what I thought was a surprising response from you, given some of your past pronouncements? OK, let me make it clear:

You are right: more Republicans than Democrats doubt the legitimacy of Obama's being president. I think you are also right that more Republicans doubted, for bad reasons, the legitimacy of Obama's being president than Democrats doubted, for bad reasons, the legitimacy of W being president.

Okay, noted.

That said, I STILL find it perplexing that you often criticize people for talking about "the left", but you don't have any problem with TwinSwords talking about "Democrats" and "liberals" respecting the rule of law and the US Constitution while "Republicans" don't respect the rule of law and the US Constitution.

In the context in which he was speaking (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=131202#post131202), I don't see a real problem with the generalization. Sure, you could find some exceptions -- lefties that talk about violence, righties who say that we should respect the will of the people, the rule of law, etc., -- but as a statement of difference between the politically active members of the two sides, what Twin said is is quite real. I will restate that you are clearly speaking in this thread with very little awareness of what's on the minds of the far right/GOP base. Both Twin and I spend a lot more time tracking this than you do.

By contrast, when I object to wingnuts making pronouncements about "Teh Left!!!1!," there's invariably a much more ridiculous and inaccurate statement involved; e.g., "the left hates the troops," "the left hates America," "the left wants to suppress free speech," "the left hates religion," etc.

And THAT said, I don't see what your point is in raising something you should have addressed to Twin in the first place. Are you trying to foment a spat between two other commenters? Looking to pick a fight by proxy? Asking someone else to fight your battles for you? Whatever your motivation, asking (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=131255#post131255) "B-b-b-but what about what Twin said???" had nothing to do with what I said (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=131238#post131238). And that's why I accused you of trying to change the subject.

kezboard
09-26-2009, 05:21 PM
No one can say for sure what percent is just talk and will always be just talk. I myself expect well more than 99% of it is. However, I also think it's about an even money bet that we will have to see something on the scale of the Oklahoma City bombing before the leadership on the right backs away from the strategy they are employing now, and I don't think the individual nuts whom we've already seen go on their rampages all did so independent of the mood fostered for the past year by the right-wing media and blogosphere, and politicians like Palin and Bachmann.

I don't disagree with you on this, Brendan, but I think it's missing the point a little. It's true that violence would be the worst outcome of the current crazy right-wing rhetoric, but for now it's only a hypothetical one (Kentucky census worker notwithstanding, since we don't know the details); the less frightening but very real consequence is non-crazy reasons to criticize Obama are getting less attention, and we spend more time thinking about who's a Marxist and who's a socialist and demonizing unions and debunking the demonization of unions and that's both not very useful and destructive to the political culture.

bjkeefe
09-26-2009, 05:32 PM
I don't disagree with you on this, Brendan, but I think it's missing the point a little. It's true that violence would be the worst outcome of the current crazy right-wing rhetoric, but for now it's only a hypothetical one (Kentucky census worker notwithstanding, since we don't know the details); the less frightening but very real consequence is non-crazy reasons to criticize Obama are getting less attention, and we spend more time thinking about who's a Marxist and who's a socialist and demonizing unions and debunking the demonization of unions and that's both not very useful and destructive to the political culture.

Yes, good points. We're not going to make much headway solving the serious long-term problems this country and world face as long as the core of the minority party insists, as a starting point, that the majority party is in power without legitimacy and that every proposal they put forth is nothing but the leading edge of the ruination of all that is sacred.

I do acknowledge this, and have in other places, but I was focusing in this thread on another aspect of the right -- their violent fringe and the much larger group who likes to fantasize about it.

Bobby G
09-26-2009, 05:58 PM
In the context in which he was speaking[/URL], I don't see a real problem with the generalization. Sure, you could find some exceptions -- lefties that talk about violence, righties who say that we should respect the will of the people, the rule of law, etc., -- but as a statement of difference between the politically active members of the two sides, what Twin said is is quite real. ... By contrast, when I object to wingnuts making pronouncements about "Teh Left!!!1!," there's invariably a much more ridiculous and inaccurate statement involved.

Ok, now I know the standard you're applying.

I will restate that you are clearly speaking in this thread with very little awareness of what's on the minds of the far right/GOP base. Both Twin and I spend a lot more time tracking this than you do.

I gather from this that you think I should either stop talking about the GOP base, or that I should regard you and TwinSwords as experts about it, such that I should take your claims about the GOP base as having significantly more authority than my own impressions of it. That's fine; it's a little bothersome, since I do have impressions, but I can deal.

And THAT said, I don't see what your point is in raising something you should have addressed to Twin in the first place. Are you trying to foment a spat between two other commenters? Looking to pick a fight by proxy? Asking someone else to fight your battles for you? Whatever your motivation, asking (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=131255#post131255) "B-b-b-but what about what Twin said???" had nothing to do with what I said (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=131238#post131238). And that's why I accused you of trying to change the subject.

I wasn't trying to change the subject, nor was I trying to start a war between you and TwinSwords. What happened is that you intervened in my conversation with TwinSwords to support Twin's point. I was surprised to hear you defend Twin's point, given the generalizing nature of the point and given your past attitude to generalizations.

And just out of curiosity, why did you mock me? From your comments just now, it appears you mocked me because you thought I was trying to change the subject, either to start a commenter war between you and Twin, or because I didn't want to face your point. Why did you assume I acted in bad faith? I don't think I act in bad faith when I interact with you or anyone else on this board.

Maybe I don't comment on blogs often enough to know what impression I'm conveying, but I'm really, really not trying to be snarky or mocking when I say things to people. I even put in the sarcasm brackets to let you know when I'm being sarcastic.

bjkeefe
09-27-2009, 08:17 AM
Ok, now I know the standard you're applying.

Okay.

I gather from this that you think I should either stop talking about the GOP base, or that I should regard you and TwinSwords as experts about it, such that I should take your claims about the GOP base as having significantly more authority than my own impressions of it.

I wouldn't say it's that absolute. I think Twin and I have more familiarity with this topic, due to more time spent observing, is all. Say what you want, but be aware that it's irritating to hear the nine hundred forty-seventh reiteration of an argument from personal incredulity about the non-existence of something for which there is actually mountains of evidence.

I wasn't trying to change the subject, nor was I trying to start a war between you and TwinSwords. [...]

Okay. It's no big deal. Consider it forgotten.

(I don't want to have a conversation about a conversation -- if you need something to take away, write off what I said to an instinctive, half-kidding/half-snappish reaction, where what irritation there was came about as described above. Given the right's well-documented insanity over at least the past two decades, blithely asserting "I haven't seen any of this" and "Oh, the left must be just as bad" is no way to ensure calm or to be taken seriously.)

nikkibong
09-27-2009, 09:09 AM
2) You'll complain about anything. click click click *ignore*

Lame.

claymisher
09-27-2009, 11:38 AM
Lame.

Meh.

TwinSwords
09-28-2009, 11:15 PM
BobbyG,
Sorry I haven't been able to respond; was away from the forum since last Thursday, and haven't yet had a chance to catch up on all the new discussion in the thread - and won't until tomorrow evening at the soonest.

But in the meantime, thought you might enjoy this typical example of the conservative base with which you should familiarize yourself, given your desire to reward them with political power.

— Get Your Guns Ready For ‘Bloody Battle’ With Obama The Nazi (http://thinkprogress.org/2009/09/28/werthmann-nazism-socialism/)

When you start paying attention to the character of the conservative movement, you'll find that stories like this are reported regularly — and have been since Sarah Palin started her "Kill Him!" Tour last summer.