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  #1  
Old 01-11-2011, 06:12 PM
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Default Take Three (Mickey Kaus & David Frum)

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  #2  
Old 01-11-2011, 06:49 PM
bjk bjk is offline
 
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Default Re: Take Three (Mickey Kaus & David Frum)

The discussion between 35 and 47 is interesting. BH should have excerpted it. Discussion of immigration and inequality. Too interesting perhaps.
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2011, 07:00 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Hear, hear

Very well put, David.
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  #4  
Old 01-11-2011, 08:33 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Hear, hear

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
David's right that just because you have what are considered moderate politics you don't have to be milquetoast. But I think that has less to do with people's expectations and more to do with the people who have those politics simply happen to be squishier people. For me, a person like Ross Douthat's politics are inextricably linked to his temperament and personality. However, David's point still stands, and if there are actually people expecting him to act a certain way because of his politics, they should shut up.
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2011, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Take Three (Mickey Kaus & David Frum)

do i not hate these two people now? is this happening?
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  #6  
Old 01-11-2011, 07:56 PM
graz graz is offline
 
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Default Mickey has the key.

Hype or tragedy?

Mickey's friends from the affluent hills above Hollywood have been forced by teacher unions to rent their palaces and live above their storefronts.

Last edited by graz; 01-11-2011 at 08:23 PM..
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  #7  
Old 01-16-2011, 05:54 PM
graz graz is offline
 
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Default Any Excuse For Mickey Bashing Is Allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by graz View Post
Quote:
This is Mickey Kaus doing his elaborate dance, calling himself a Democrat and liberal while he mouths every anti-leftist screed possible, calling unions the cause of all of our problems while unions are a dessicated, impotent shell of what they once were.
That is an excerpt from a piece that touches in part on the subject of the so-called leftwing bias @bhtv.

Source: Freddie deBoer
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  #8  
Old 01-16-2011, 06:32 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Any Excuse For Mickey Bashing Is Allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by graz View Post
That is an excerpt from a piece that touches in part on the subject of the so-called leftwing bias @bhtv.

Source: Freddie deBoer
Very interesting post; thanks for passing it along. The comments thread looks interesting, too. For the record, I think Wilkinson is wrong when he says the American public is right-wing. Polls have for decades shown that there is broad public support for a mixed economy, welfare state, and liberal values generally.

See here, here, here, here, and here.

The lie that the public is right of center has been repeated so long that most people have either come to accept it, or have given up disputing it.
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2011, 07:37 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Any Excuse For Mickey Bashing Is Allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by graz View Post
That is an excerpt from a piece that touches in part on the subject of the so-called leftwing bias @bhtv.

Source: Freddie deBoer
This bit is also spot-on, in describing the liberal diavloggers as a group, and not just the one he picked on:

Quote:
... conciliatory rather than aggressive, more likely to look for compromise than to stand his ground.
Thanks for the link. An interesting read, although I must say that I spent most of the time reading it tilting my head back and forth, +/- few degrees off the vertical axis. I guess I share his general view about the dearth of real leftist voices occupying prominent positions in the blogosphere (and it's even worse concerning the discourse writ large). I also agree with him that just about all prominent bloggers labeled liberal (or "far left," by the wingnutosphere) have views in certain policy realms that aren't very old school liberal/socialist.

However, I felt his argument was not particularly persuasive, and ED Kain's rebuttal (that he linked to) was better, even as I am more aligned, ideologically, with Freddie than ED. (I do admit there are some specific areas where Freddie and I are probably not very much in agreement, where he would no doubt slap the dreaded neoliberal and/or Serious labels on me.)

...

I just tried to elaborate on this, but it was too boring even to my eyes, so you can all thank me for deleting those half a dozen paragraphs. I guess I'll just say that my reaction to Freddie's piece could be summed up thus: it's all very well to write a long, heartfelt lament, but one-offs are highly unlikely to change things, especially when they concern a wish to change the established order. There is no substitute for hard work and consistent, ongoing effort. This is, to my mind at least, one of the major reasons the fringe right and the glibertarians get more attention than Freddie's sort of leftists do: they stick to it, and they have been since long before blog was a word.

I should also say that I have a sense that there are, in fact, a bunch of quite liberal people who are sticking to it, and have been for years now. So maybe in addition to pitching in and helping, Freddie could realize a bit of patience is also in order. These things take time. A ship of state the size of the US has a lot of inertia.
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  #10  
Old 01-17-2011, 04:02 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Any Excuse For Mickey Bashing Is Allowed.

Yglesias responds:

Quote:
But one point that I agree with here, is that while I’ll cop to being a “neoliberal” I don’t acknowledge that I have critics to the “left” of me. On economic policy, here are the main things I’m trying to accomplish:

— More redistribution of money from the top to the bottom.
— A less paternalistic welfare state that puts more money directly in the hands of the recipients of social services.
— Macroeconomic stabilization policy that seriously aims for full employment.
— Curb the regulatory privileges of incumbent landowners.
— Roll back subsidies implicit in our current automobile/housing-oriented industrial policy.
— Break the licensing cartels that deny opportunity to the unskilled.
— Much greater equalization of opportunities in K-12 education.
— Reduction of the rents assembled by privileged intellectual property owners.
— Throughout the public sector, concerted reform aimed at ensuring public services are public services and not jobs programs.
— Taxation of polluters (and resource-extractors more generally) rather than current de facto subsidization of resource extraction.
...

I really and sincerely believe that liberalism is the best way to advance the interests of the underprivileged and to make the world a better place. I offer “further left” people the (unreturned) courtesy of not questioning the sincerity of their belief that they have some better solutions, but I think they’re mistaken.
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  #11  
Old 01-17-2011, 04:24 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Any Excuse For Mickey Bashing Is Allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
Yglesias responds:
Thanks for passing that along. The whole post deserves reading.

I had a part in my earlier truncated response saying that among the many things that bothered me about Freddie's post was his cherry-picking of Yglesias and from there, making sweeping statements about what Teh Left has become. He's far from the first disgruntled liberal I've seen do this, and I really think it's a habit that should be gotten out of. I grant that as someone who is among the first who comes to mind when hearing the phrase "liberal bloggers," Yglesias is one relevant possibility for offering examples, but the excessiveness of it on the part of Freddie and others (including some commenters on this board) smacks of the denialists' attempt to "rebut" AGW by saying little else besides "Al Gore has a big house!!!1!"

This is independent of how much or how little one agrees with Yglesias, or what one thinks about his competence, or whatever. If you have a problem with him, or better still, a view of his on something specific, address that. If you want to make statements about a group as multi-hued as the liberal blogosphere, you've got to come up with quite a larger collection of samples to be persuasive. And no, just tossing in a bit about "EZRA, TOO" won't get it done.

(Obviously not you you, Uncle Eb.)
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  #12  
Old 01-17-2011, 05:00 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Any Excuse For Mickey Bashing Is Allowed.

I thought the characterizations of Yglesias and Ezra (by Freddie) were pretty off-the-mark, personally. I have been reading Yglesias for years, and I have not noticed any detectable shift in his opinions (or the passion with which he makes them.) And as for Ezra, he seems to perpetually have a target on him because he deals almost exclusively with real possibilities rather than idyllic left-fantasies. It's strange that conservatives, bhtv commentors and people like Mickey have such an angry hard-on for these two you ng liberals (add Michelle Goldberg to that list as well). How many times have we seen it stated that they have NO CLUE!!1! It seems to have far less about their actual blogging/reporting/analysis and more about their youth, grammar, success etc. Although if you are young and conservative/libertarian (Will Wilkinson, Ross Douthat, Ramesh Ponuru, Matt Welch, Matt Continetti etc.) bhtv commenters at least, seem to value their fresh ideas rather than whine about their inexperience/cluelessness.

I wonder too if there aren't bloggers out there who fit Freddie's wish-list mold, even if they don't get the same attention as the young guys: Eric Alterman, Charles Pierce, Henry Farrell, Scott Lemiex etc. Would any of them qualify? I'm not that familiar with what Freddie would consider the hard left, but I wonder if they are less represented in the overall debate because their views are less common among the populace.
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  #13  
Old 01-17-2011, 06:29 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Any Excuse For Mickey Bashing Is Allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
I thought the characterizations of Yglesias and Ezra (by Freddie) were pretty off-the-mark, personally. I have been reading Yglesias for years, and I have not noticed any detectable shift in his opinions (or the passion with which he makes them.) And as for Ezra, he seems to perpetually have a target on him because he deals almost exclusively with real possibilities rather than idyllic left-fantasies.
[strike]ED Kain[/strike] Will Wilkinson* made a good point about this, and I agree: Ezra blogs according to his old tagline: Momma said wonk you out. Always has. That's what he's interested in -- the hardcore details of what's up for discussion in the here and now. It's silly to hold him up as an example of insufficiently pure liberalism, since he's not pushing an ideology so much as he's doing analysis and reporting, albeit with an openness about which outcomes he prefers. It's like saying Rajon Rondo typifies the decline of the shooting guard in the NBA.

Quote:
[...]

I wonder too if there aren't bloggers out there who fit Freddie's wish-list mold, even if they don't get the same attention as the young guys: Eric Alterman, Charles Pierce, Henry Farrell, Scott Lemiex etc. Would any of them qualify? I'm not that familiar with what Freddie would consider the hard left, but I wonder if they are less represented in the overall debate because their views are less common among the populace.
That's a good point. Freddie could have made a stronger case by listing some examples of people whom he wishes got more attention, rather than just saying, in effect, "there are none."

==========
* Bad memory. More details here.
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  #14  
Old 01-17-2011, 06:58 PM
graz graz is offline
 
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Default Re: Any Excuse For Mickey Bashing Is Allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
ED Kain made a good point about this, and I agree: Ezra blogs according to his old tagline: Momma said wonk you out. Always has. That's what he's interested in -- the hardcore details of what's up for discussion in the here and now. It's silly to hold him up as an example of insufficiently pure liberalism ...
I didn't read Freddie as saying that Ezra was insufficiently liberal. It was more a media critique. A media that posits that the likes of Ezra or Matt must be leftists since they are outermost on the acceptable and popular spectrum.
Quote:
That's a good point. Freddie could have made a stronger case by listing some examples of people whom he wishes got more attention, rather than just saying, in effect, "there are none."
A missed opportunity for sure.
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  #15  
Old 01-17-2011, 08:52 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Any Excuse For Mickey Bashing Is Allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by graz View Post
I didn't read Freddie as saying that Ezra was insufficiently liberal. It was more a media critique. A media that posits that the likes of Ezra or Matt must be leftists since they are outermost on the acceptable and popular spectrum.
Okay. As you must know, I basically share that view about the media.* I may have been going off on a tangent in speaking about Ezra. Or perhaps I just placed more weight than you did upon small parts like this:

Quote:
I just find him so bloodless and conciliatory that I don't know what good can come of liberalism if it takes its cues from him. [...] At his worst, he does his Saint Ezra routine, where being correct on policy is supposed to flow directly from his moral rectitude. I can't dismiss his preference for a genial globalized social order out of hand, much as I may want to, but I wish he understood that his lack of fire, combined with his considerable access and influence teaches young liberal pundits that there is more to be gained from being a caricature of a Very Reasonable Fellow than there is from sticking to principle.
Also, minor point of correction: in my eagerness not to be seen as claiming sole credit for what I spoke of in the last post related to Ezra, I misremembered that the seed was planted by ED Kain's response. It was, in fact, planted by Will Wilkinson, in Comments under Freddie's post.

==========

* However, I remain uncertain how much of this phenomenon of mildly liberal opinionators being defined as the absolute left edge of acceptable discourse is due to forces out of control of the left writ large. Certainly I would concede that there is a lot of money working on demonizing anything upon which they can slap a scarlet L. Certainly, also, we have an increased problem lately with much more of the senior tiers of the MSM being comprised of relatively affluent, comfortable people, who as a consequence are going to be more inclined to view things as good just as they are. And certainly, there exists a relatively new (or newly accessible) path to riches (teevee, quickie books, fat appearance fees, etc.) that tempts many young idealists into fitting into a mold that pleases the establishment.

However, I am not willing to say that it is entirely out of our control. We have to work harder, we have to work more consistently, and we have to accept that the kind of changes in attitude we'd like to bring about demand an enormous amount of patience and stick-to-it-iveness. (That's a word, right?) I may be on a little bit of a hair-trigger in this regard, and so Freddie's getting an unfair reaction from me, but I can't help but think that part of the problem with the decline of the left (of the sort the Freddie has in mind) is that if ponies do not appear immediately, much pouting results.

I also think that at some point, this nose-in-the-air dismissiveness towards people who judge the possibility of attaining certain things differently from the way he does is another part of the problem. It's all well and good to believe in strong unions, for example, but wishing ain't gonna change the reality that we're in a different arena from the one Woodie Guthrie was singing in. Now, I may be wrong about the chances of reorganizing labor as a political force, and I will readily join up in opposition to the chipping-away efforts that the GOP has enabled at least since St. Ronald ascended to the throne, but I don't think it deserves derision for someone to think we're not going to get back to the heyday of organized labor anytime soon. There are externalities that are new -- globalization and efficiency gains from better machinery, most prominently -- that cannot just be dismissed out of hand.

So, when Freddie says things like this, as he did in Comments under Matt's post, ...

Quote:
Support for organized labor. Non-negotiable.
... I can't help but feel like I'm listening to a zealot, and maybe even a reactionary. Or at least a firebagger.

I don't think of him this way, overall, not even close. But this sort of simplistic, unyielding attitude on a very complex issue is unimpressive to me, and as such, it undercuts his credibility with me when he pronounces on even larger matters, like, why aren't there any real lefties getting attention?
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  #16  
Old 01-17-2011, 06:29 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Any Excuse For Mickey Bashing Is Allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
... but the excessiveness of it on the part of Freddie and others (including some commenters on this board) smacks of the denialists' attempt to "rebut" AGW by saying little else besides "Al Gore has a big house!!!1!"
You ignore Al Gore's house at your own peril!!!1!

And he's fat!!!!1!

LOL.

On YouTube, the wingnuts post new videos disproving global warming every time they get an inch of snow. I'm not kidding. The run around outside with their cameras and, quite sincerely, go on and on about "how can anyone take global warming seriously1??!"

It seems almost cruel to laugh at them, the poor things, kind of like it's cruel to laugh at your dog when he thinks you threw the ball, fifty times in a row.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:09 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Any Excuse For Mickey Bashing Is Allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
Yglesias responds:
I thought that was a really good response from Matt. Thanks for the link.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:37 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Any Excuse For Mickey Bashing Is Allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
This bit is also spot-on, in describing the liberal diavloggers as a group, and not just the one he picked on:



Thanks for the link. An interesting read, although I must say that I spent most of the time reading it tilting my head back and forth, +/- few degrees off the vertical axis. I guess I share his general view about the dearth of real leftist voices occupying prominent positions in the blogosphere (and it's even worse concerning the discourse writ large). I also agree with him that just about all prominent bloggers labeled liberal (or "far left," by the wingnutosphere) have views in certain policy realms that aren't very old school liberal/socialist.

However, I felt his argument was not particularly persuasive, and ED Kain's rebuttal (that he linked to) was better, even as I am more aligned, ideologically, with Freddie than ED. (I do admit there are some specific areas where Freddie and I are probably not very much in agreement, where he would no doubt slap the dreaded neoliberal and/or Serious labels on me.)

...

I just tried to elaborate on this, but it was too boring even to my eyes, so you can all thank me for deleting those half a dozen paragraphs. I guess I'll just say that my reaction to Freddie's piece could be summed up thus: it's all very well to write a long, heartfelt lament, but one-offs are highly unlikely to change things, especially when they concern a wish to change the established order. There is no substitute for hard work and consistent, ongoing effort. This is, to my mind at least, one of the major reasons the fringe right and the glibertarians get more attention than Freddie's sort of leftists do: they stick to it, and they have been since long before blog was a word.

I should also say that I have a sense that there are, in fact, a bunch of quite liberal people who are sticking to it, and have been for years now. So maybe in addition to pitching in and helping, Freddie could realize a bit of patience is also in order. These things take time. A ship of state the size of the US has a lot of inertia.
I didn't know who to respond to, since a few of you were discussing this, but I did finally read the piece from Freddie, and had a few reactions.

In terms of the dearth of "real" liberal voices, I suppose you and Freddy are both right in a global sense of the word, however you define it. There definitely aren't a lot of straight up socialists in the discourse, blogosphere or otherwise. But this is by an international standard. Dredging up the center right nation debate wouldn't be interested or productive, but I think we can agree that America as a whole is at least *somewhere* to the right of a lot of other nations, especially the European nations cited that have thriving Socialist parties. Maybe that's to America's detriment, but the fact remains that America is where it is ideologically, so it shouldn't be a real surprise that we don't see a discourse that mirrors that of Western Europe.

And in agreement with your last line, I think it will take patience. It seems like a lot this stems from remnants of the Cold War, conflating communism with socialism. Distance and time from the Cold War should get people to realize the differences, and simply accept socialism as a set of ideas. It may not entail ideas they agree with, but it's not defined as a Stalinist regime involving gulags. I know you're going to say "that's the fault of your friends11!" and maybe so, but I can't control what they say, and I don't endorse them doing this.

One more thing: I think Freddie makes a good point about how some bloggers get labelled a certain way because of their tone rather than their ideas. But I don't think it necessarily means that *all* left wingers who are bellicose are labelled as extremists, and *all* right wingers who have extreme ideas but are conciliatory are passed off as just fine. Chris Hayes is an eminently reasonable dude, and one of my favorite 'heads, but his ideas are definitely pretty left wing. Maybe I missed it, but I don't see a lot of people complaining about his extremism. Ross Douthat, on the other hand, is probably the epitome of conciliatory, and that doesn't seem to lead to the lefty parts of the blogosphere cutting him a lot of slack; when he was on with Michelle a few days ago, you seemed to insinuate he was an extremist because of his position on abortion. I do think his point is interesting and right in a lot of cases, I just wanted to say I didn't think it was universally true.

I also think a lot of the back and forth between the young wonkosphere has a lot less to do with shutting out more extreme leftists and more to do with a generational cohort. The sort of circular blog exchanges between people like Douthat, Salam, Sanchez, Klein, Yglesias, Hayes, Cowen, and Wilkinson seem to have a lot to do with the fact that a lot of these guys know each other, and genuinely like each other. I'd also point out that while the prominent lefties in this group may be considered "neoliberals", the conservatives considered appropriate for polite company aren't exactly fire-breathers either. I see Ezra engaging with people like Ross a lot more than the crowd at WorldNetDaily. And to be honest, I think this group actually has a net leftward tilt, and this comes back to the generational point, where people this age just tend to be more liberal.

Anyways, this response is increasingly disorganized and rambling, so I should stop, but I just want to make one more point. The part about balance of ideology, and a lack of real leftists is good discussion and a good point. But the part towards the end of the piece that dealt more with tone struck me as a bit silly. This seems to harken back to the "fighting dems" days, and I don't see arguments about how other people should be tone-wise as particularly serious. To each their own, and for my part, I assume that the tone a lot of bloggers take on is a conscious choice on the part of the blogger that in some way reflects their personality. The point about the political establishment dulling the sharper edges of some of the personalities and dragging them towards the middle is well taken, but I think that probably happens on both sides, and not just for liberals.
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  #19  
Old 01-17-2011, 09:34 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Any Excuse For Mickey Bashing Is Allowed.

Most of your points I either agree with, or am not up to discussing at the moment. One thing for now, though:

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
Ross Douthat, on the other hand, is probably the epitome of conciliatory, and that doesn't seem to lead to the lefty parts of the blogosphere cutting him a lot of slack; when he was on with Michelle a few days ago, you seemed to insinuate he was an extremist because of his position on abortion.
I don't recall saying anything about Ross and his views on abortion in that thread.

However, it is true that he is an extremist on this issue. Just because you can think of someone who's even worse than him doesn't change that -- it'd be like saying liquid nitrogen is not actually all that cold because Pluto.

Anyone who supports laws compelling women to persist in unwanted pregnancies is an extremist. End of story. I am not open to discussion on this.

Thank you for your unusually thoughtful tone in the rest of your comment.
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:25 AM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Any Excuse For Mickey Bashing Is Allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
Most of your points I either agree with, or am not up to discussing at the moment. One thing for now, though:



I don't recall saying anything about Ross and his views on abortion in that thread.

However, it is true that he is an extremist on this issue. Just because you can think of someone who's even worse than him doesn't change that -- it'd be like saying liquid nitrogen is not actually all that cold because Pluto.

Anyone who supports laws compelling women to persist in unwanted pregnancies is an extremist. End of story. I am not open to discussion on this.

Thank you for your unusually thoughtful tone in the rest of your comment.
Well, abortion isn't something I feel very strongly about, so I have no desire to discuss this further either. You won't be surprised to learn I don't think all pro-lifers are necessarily extremists. There's another discussion to be had about the word extreme and how we use it. I think it's overly used as a derogatory term as a convenient way of trying to label someone as not mainstream. The trouble is, there's nothing inherently wrong with not being within the mainstream on a certain issue; the majority of people have been wrong about lots of things before.

As for the last part, you'll find you aren't the only person who responds in kind.
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  #21  
Old 01-18-2011, 01:22 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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You won't be surprised to learn I don't think all pro-lifers are necessarily extremists.
Nor am I surprised that you were not able to understand my simple declarative sentence. Try it again, with a little bold-facing.

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Anyone who supports laws compelling women to persist in unwanted pregnancies is an extremist.
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:46 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Isn't advocating laws making abortion illegal pretty much the definition of pro-life? I suppose one could draw a distinction between people that do and do not favor exceptions for the life of the mother, rape/incest, or what have you, but it sounds like your definition labels basically everyone on the right side of the spectrum extreme.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:06 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Isn't advocating laws making abortion illegal pretty much the definition of pro-life? I suppose one could draw a distinction between people that do and do not favor exceptions for the life of the mother, rape/incest, or what have you, but it sounds like your definition labels basically everyone on the right side of the spectrum extreme.
If you were personally acquainted with a woman who was considering having an abortion, and you wanted to encourage her to consider alternatives, I would not call that extremist.

If you wanted to start or work at a center that provided adoption placement assistance and offered counseling regarding alternatives and things of that nature to women considering abortions, and you wanted to put effort into publicizing and fund-raising for this center, I would not call that extremist.

If you wanted to lobby a government (federal, state, county, city) to provide funds to support the above, I would not call that extremist.

However, if you want to pass laws making abortion (or some abortions) illegal, that to me is extremist. It's a demand that your views outweigh other individuals' right to make their own personal choices, that your notion of how things ought to be should trump others' moral and medical decisions, just because you say so.

(Not you you, unless applicable.)
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:04 AM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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If you were personally acquainted with a woman who was considering having an abortion, and you wanted to encourage her to consider alternatives, I would not call that extremist.

If you wanted to start or work at a center that provided adoption placement assistance and offered counseling regarding alternatives and things of that nature to women considering abortions, and you wanted to put effort into publicizing and fund-raising for this center, I would not call that extremist.

If you wanted to lobby a government (federal, state, county, city) to provide funds to support the above, I would not call that extremist.

However, if you want to pass laws making abortion (or some abortions) illegal, that to me is extremist. It's a demand that your views outweigh other individuals' right to make their own personal choices, that your notion of how things ought to be should trump others' moral and medical decisions, just because you say so.

(Not you you, unless applicable.)
Ok, well perhaps I'm wrong, but I really don't think I was being that unfair to your view, simply because I don't think there are many pro-lifers who wouldn't want to pass such laws. It doesn't seem like there'd be a lot of people who partake in the above activities who wouldn't be in favor of striking down Roe. Again, I could be wrong, but that's just my instinct.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:31 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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I don't think there are many pro-lifers who wouldn't want to pass such laws.
Maybe I run in weird circles, but I don't find BJK's distinction an unusual view. People sometimes use the term "pro life" to describe their view of the morality of abortion, without necessarily believing that the basic law should change (around the edges, sure).

In any case, I think lots of liberals react pretty positively to Ross, although less so when he wades into the abortion topic and probably somewhat less so since he's had the NYT position.

Disclaimer: I don't consider Ross an extremist at all, although I disagree with him on plenty.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:58 AM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Isn't advocating laws making abortion illegal pretty much the definition of pro-life? I suppose one could draw a distinction between people that do and do not favor exceptions for the life of the mother, rape/incest, or what have you, but it sounds like your definition labels basically everyone on the right side of the spectrum extreme.
I guess I disagree to a certain extent. I just threw this into another diavlog comment thread. I say it's anti-choice not pro-life. Logically anti-choice is the more accurate label. The position you discuss is more like pro-innocent-pre-born-human-life-created-consensually-or-not...

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It's a bit obvious but when it comes to abortion, "pro-life" isn't about life. it's about a human life. Ending life happens all the time to advantage of both pro/anti choicers. In fact torturing animals for food is rewarded in this country. ( industrial animal production )
...

The absolutist pro-life argument is untenable so lets discuss what is really going on and not the aspirations of people who would like to own the label "pro-life" but can't possibly support what is an essentially Janist point of view
Normally I wouldn't bother posting on this but I just happened to be logged in so now everybody is going to have to suffer my wisdom
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:16 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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I guess I disagree to a certain extent. I just threw this into another diavlog comment thread. I say it's anti-choice not pro-life. Logically anti-choice is the more accurate label. The position you discuss is more like pro-innocent-pre-born-human-life-created-consensually-or-not...
When it comes to the terms that participants in political debates use for themselves and their opponents, I don't think it's particularly fruitful to try and figure out which labels are accurate or not. Pro-lifers can play the same game with the pro-choice side; after all, one might argue that legal abortion doesn't preserve the choices of unborn children, and around and around we go. Because people disagree about the philosophical starting point of discussion, the consequences of potential policies, or both, they will almost always think that their antagonists aren't accurately describing themselves. So while I hate it when conservatives use "pro-growth" as a code word for "low taxes and deregulation," it isn't possible to convince people that such a label is inaccurate without convincing people that I'm right and they're wrong. Such arguments are always a waste of time and a diversion from what we're really arguing about.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:48 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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When it comes to the terms that participants in political debates use for themselves and their opponents, I don't think it's particularly fruitful to try and figure out which labels are accurate or not. [...] Such arguments are always a waste of time and a diversion from what we're really arguing about.
I wish I could agree, but I don't. In fact, the right has been enormously successful in hammering on labels. Liberal, for example, has become so toxic that even many people who are liberals tend to shy away from it. On this issue, people who favor making laws to prohibit abortions gain no small amount of mileage out of referring to the pro-abortion side.

I agree with you that if one wants to have a reasonable discussion, these things are a waste of time and a diversion. But it is those very characteristics that help make them useful tactics for people who care about winning political victories.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:58 AM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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it isn't possible to convince people that such a label is inaccurate without convincing people that I'm right and they're wrong. Such arguments are always a waste of time and a diversion from what we're really arguing about.
I agree that the MSM have stuck with "pro-choice" and "pro-life" and that we aren't going to get much better from them and I agree that pushing on the idea that "pro-lifers" aren't pro-life is a difficult proposition and for the most part a waste time but if you at least throw in a more accurate label such as pro-american-fetus or pro-zygote-except-in-cases-of-rape, to the mix things up a bit, it might be fruitful in clearing up some issues of logic if nothing else ( not that logic has a place in life/death issues ). I mean IF you believe zygote = human being well that is fairly absolutist position, one that would need to be put under more scrutiny, when is it a human being, with or without rape. What does health of the mother mean to a "pro-lifer", if you force a 14 year old to bring the pregnancy to term but in the process she is left without reproductive organs and cronic pain for the rest of her life have you just made a proper pro-life decision ?

Seems to me pro-life is used to do 2 things, succor those that employ it without thought; "I'm pro-life because I want every zygote to become a baby and nothing should stand in it's way" Well that position will also cause a lot of suffering for a lot of people and will kill more women in the process, so one way to justify it is to believe that you are part of a culture of life, you aren't likely to be of course ( you feast off of tortured animals, support wars in other countries that kill both born and unborn, death penalty etc ) unless you are a vegan catholic ( barring the body/blood of christ of course ). The other thing it does is put your oppononents automatically on the defensive because if you are pro-life then your opponents are pro-death and you can't rationally deal with the pro-death side of things can you, you have to face the forces of evil right ??

It may indeed be a waste of time but trying to point out how the labels are used ( and they are important and chosen for a reason ) you actually can hone in on what "we're really arguing about". Barring the religous paradigm of human development ( which in not insubstantial in this debate ) we are talking about people conflating a zygote or fetus with a baby ( american baby ) but is it the same thing. By design a zygote is an clump of material that given the right environment and time and luck, will become a baby but when you work off of the premise that it is a baby then you have to make some weird logical leaps. I mean as bad as a miscarriage is does it hold a candle to losing a 5 week old ?
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:52 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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My point isn't that those points are inaccurate, it's just that a self-described pro-life individual isn't going to accept any of those arguments without changing his/her mind on the underlying issue. It's just a roundabout way of arguing about the same thing.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:27 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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so one way to justify it is to believe that you are part of a culture of life, you aren't likely to be of course ( you feast off of tortured animals, support wars in other countries that kill both born and unborn, death penalty etc ) unless you are a vegan catholic
vegans kill plants, ticks, on the other hand, they really are pro life.
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:21 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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That is an excerpt from a piece that touches in part on the subject of the so-called leftwing bias @bhtv.

Source: Freddie deBoer
If there remains anyone not tired of talk about Freddie's piece, B'head Robert Farley has a considered response over on Lawyers, Guns & Money. (He does not apologize for his inconsistent views on the serial comma, to my sadness.) Here's how it begins:

Quote:
Blindspots, Leftishism, and LGM
[ 70 ] January 20, 2011 | Robert Farley

A bunch of thoughts on Freddie DeBoer’s thoughtful post on the progressive blogosphere and leftism. I’m going to divide this post into “serious thought” and “navel gazing,” so feel free to skip the second half:
The rest.
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:30 AM
graz graz is offline
 
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If there remains anyone not tired of talk about Freddie's piece ...

The rest.
I've nearly tired of the multiple blog posts that have responded to the original piece. In the comments at lgm I found a telling answer to Freddie by the contributor Eric Loomis. What is most interesting to me generally regarding the matter is that it suggests the opposite of epistemic closure. I haven't seen much movement away from where writers started from, yet it illuminates the breadth of the spectrum and a willingness to examine preconceptions.

Both you and uncle eb incorporated to an extent a little "hippie punching" in your observations. As in the "left" needs to get real. Unions are passe', etc. (not referring to your remarks specifically). The vast majority of commenters agreed with this. Maybe unions need rebranding? What Freddie was decrying was the approach of the neo-libs regarding labor in general. He wants empowerment prior to the effects, not trickle down after the fact or social programs necessitated by the downsides of globalism to ameliorate issues it created. Problem is, no one knows how to get there from here.

His critique of Matt certainly hit a nerve. I agree that Matt tends to ignore his critics from the left. He doesn't see the need according to his own admission as his position is as egalitarian as possible. I don't think as much interest would have been generated without the personal swipes Freddie took at Matt and Ezra. It instantly became tribal. "Hey! Don't slam my guy. And you're just a dreamer anyway, so there."

In that stream of comments at lgm I also found a list of the leftist writers (sources) that you thought Freddie should have pointed to. I don't know if anything was gained by the exercise. I guess it's likely that Freddie will take his concerns with him to academia. I wish him well.
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:56 AM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Hey Graz, what partof my comments seemed like "hippie punching" to you? Just curious, since I didn't see (or intend) anything of the sort.

It's quite possible that Yglesias has turned more right on certain issues that I just don't follow that closely, myself (Farley seems to agree with Freddie on a certain shift from MY, but doesn't get specific). So in my case, this wasn't a matter of defending Yglesias but just not seeing that shift that they claim in his positions.

As for hippie-punching, remember you are dealing with a dedicated Phish Phan here
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:30 PM
graz graz is offline
 
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Hey Graz, what partof my comments seemed like "hippie punching" to you? Just curious, since I didn't see (or intend) anything of the sort.

It's quite possible that Yglesias has turned more right on certain issues that I just don't follow that closely, myself (Farley seems to agree with Freddie on a certain shift from MY, but doesn't get specific). So in my case, this wasn't a matter of defending Yglesias but just not seeing that shift that they claim in his positions.

As for hippie-punching, remember you are dealing with a dedicated Phish Phan here
I took the point about "idyllic left-fantasies" as a reflexive shot at the unicorn or pony hopeful that don't recognize the serious and practical approach that Ezra takes. While I agree about his style and function, he also shapes the narrative because of his privileged perch. I don't think he's obligated to do anything differently than he does. I'm just in agreement with Freddie that it sets the left side of acceptable margin. Which may have an impact on what is politically possible. I know Brendan is a proponent of the idea that politics is the art of the possible. But giving a more comprehensive consideration to unions or an organized labor movement needn't be a radical process.

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Old 01-21-2011, 02:43 PM
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I took the point about "idyllic left-fantasies" as a reflexive shot at the unicorn or pony hopeful that don't recognize the serious and practical approach that Ezra takes. While I agree about his style and function, he also shapes the narrative because of his privileged perch. I don't think he's obligated to do anything differently than he does. I'm just in agreement with Freddie that it sets the left side of acceptable margin. Which may have an impact on what is politically possible. I know Brendan is a proponent of the idea that politics is the art of the possible. But giving a more comprehensive consideration to unions or an organized labor movement needn't be a radical process.
Could someone be so nice to inform me what the heck "hippie punching" means?

I would enjoy your discussions better if I knew what you're talking about.

Thanks.
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:00 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Could someone be so nice to inform me what the heck "hippie punching" means?

I would enjoy your discussions better if I knew what you're talking about.

Thanks.
Hippie punching is a particular kind of attack on the left made by other liberals (usually moderates) who are trying to impress conservatives by showing them how willing they are to attack their own side. Usually done to prove "reasonableness." Attacks on Michael Moore, unions, Keith Olbermann, people who favor single payer health care or the public option, etc., are all classic forms of hippie punching. The critical ingredient is the desire to attack one's own side to prove one's reasonableness to the other side.
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:04 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Hippie punching is a particular kind of attack on the left made by other liberals (usually moderates) who are trying to impress conservatives by showing them how willing they are to attack their own side. Usually done to prove "reasonableness." Attacks on Michael Moore, unions, Keith Olbermann, people who favor single payer health care or the public option, etc., are all classic forms of hippie punching. The critical ingredient is the desire to attack one's own side to prove one's reasonableness to the other side.
There has never been, in all my life, any significant rightwing equivalent. Call it "wingnut punching." Just in the last year I have heard the occasional conservative suggest that some of the tea partiers are too conservative, a sign, I think, of just how far off the cliff the GOP has gone. Joe Scarborough, who is extremely conservative, has recently been attacking Sarah Palin. Perhaps we are seeing the dawn of a new age of wingnut punching.
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:03 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Hippie punching is a particular kind of attack on the left made by other liberals (usually moderates) who are trying to impress conservatives by showing them how willing they are to attack their own side. Usually done to prove "reasonableness." Attacks on Michael Moore, unions, Keith Olbermann, people who favor single payer health care or the public option, etc., are all classic forms of hippie punching. The critical ingredient is the desire to attack one's own side to prove one's reasonableness to the other side.
Thanks. I had no idea.
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:04 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Could someone be so nice to inform me what the heck "hippie punching" means?

I would enjoy your discussions better if I knew what you're talking about.

Thanks.
There are two parts to that answer. In the late sixties, when construction workers and rednecks were iconic conservative archetypes, some of those guys thought beating up inoffensive longhairs was a sport, and patriotic to boot. They called that "punching hippies." The term was used as metaphor by a left-wing blogger last year, during the run-up to the election, to describe the Obama administration's arms-length relationship with the left, despite their support and ability to raise money for the Administration. The term seems to have caught on.
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