Man In the Mirror

Frank Rich lit up the Opinion section of today’s New York Times in the view of an admittedly avid fan. This tour de force—“The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party” is its straightforward title—mercilessly laid waste to the troglodytic creeps and their benefactors who fouled our nation’s capital yesterday. Whatever one’s opinion of that feckless lawprof called Barack Obama, it certainly doesn’t permit Glenn Beck’s monumental stupidity and treachery. In the contest for all-time ignominious affronts to the Lincoln Memorial, the appearance of Glenn Beck’s fat, casually-dressed person beat a clinically depressed Richard Nixon’s late-night rap session going away.

Vive la révolution!

There’s just one element missing from these snapshots of America’s ostensibly spontaneous and leaderless populist uprising: the sugar daddies who are bankrolling it, and have been doing so since well before the “death panel” warm-up acts of last summer. Three heavy hitters rule. You’ve heard of one of them, Rupert Murdoch. The other two, the brothers David and Charles Koch, are even richer, with a combined wealth exceeded only by that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett among Americans. But even those carrying the Kochs’ banner may not know who these brothers are.

Their self-interested and at times radical agendas, like Murdoch’s, go well beyond, and sometimes counter to, the interests of those who serve as spear carriers in the political pageants hawked on Fox News. The country will be in for quite a ride should these potentates gain power, and given the recession-battered electorate’s unchecked anger and the Obama White House’s unfocused political strategy, they might.

In the interest of full disclosure: I’m a progressive Democrat who for a long spell had nice things to relay about the Tea Party movement. This may be a bit difficult for some to understand but for a time the Tea Party movement was a “spontaneous, leaderless” development. Despite the movement’s libertarian underpinnings, opposition to the Troubled Asset Relief Program, ObamaCare, and corporatist policies of this sort presented the beautiful potential for coalescence of contrarian liberals and populist conservatives. While we were always destined to depart from each other on proper solutions for combating the badass recession, its resultant unemployment crisis, rising health care costs, and so forth, we were joined in contempt for this rotten bipartisan ruling class.

I considered myself a bohemian Tea Party person, attended rallies, and was treated graciously. (At this year’s Tax Day protest, however, one reactionary dragon on stage did refer to the president as a Muslim in no uncertain terms.) Unfortunately the movement has been devoured by Dick Armey, et al—as mercilessly as one can envision the fat Mormon annihilating ham hocks, turkey broth and sweet potato pie on Thanksgiving. This is tantamount to some hideous left-wing oligarch wrapping his tentacles around the progressive… Oh, nevermind.

Tea Partiers may share the Kochs’ detestation of taxes, big government and Obama. But there’s a difference between mainstream conservatism and a fringe agenda that tilts completely toward big business, whether on Wall Street or in the Gulf of Mexico, while dismantling fundamental government safety nets designed to protect the unemployed, public health, workplace safety and the subsistence of the elderly.

Yet inexorably the Koch agenda is morphing into the G.O.P. agenda, as articulated by current Republican members of Congress, including the putative next speaker of the House, John Boehner, and Tea Party Senate candidates like Rand Paul, Sharron Angle, and the new kid on the block, Alaska’s anti-Medicaid, anti-unemployment insurance Palin protégé, Joe Miller. Their program opposes a federal deficit, but has no objection to running up trillions in red ink in tax cuts to corporations and the superrich; apologizes to corporate malefactors like BP and derides money put in escrow for oil spill victims as a “slush fund”; opposes the extension of unemployment benefits; and calls for a freeze on federal regulations in an era when abuses in the oil, financial, mining, pharmaceutical and even egg industries (among others) have been outrageous.

While I often have counterintuitive and complimentary words for Tea Party favorites like Sarah Palin (she’s cute and the left was despicable and unjustified in its treatment of her during the last presidential campaign) and Marco Rubio (he’s cute and has a heartwarming background as the son of Cuban immigrants), Rich and I are simpatico in our trembling at the sight of Dr. Ratched from Kentucky, the wide-eyed harlot in Nevada, and the Chuck Norris doppelgänger who murked Sen. Lisa Murkowski up there in Alaska.

However I’d like to know specifically what Mr. Rich considers “mainstream conservatism.” For establishment liberals this usually means some staid, buttoned-up New England politician who’s capable of support for the extension of unemployment benefits (out of noblesse oblige) and Keynesian pump-priming but more than eager to bail out insoluble financial institutions on Wall Street and rapacious insurance companies. Fine gentlemen like David Brooks or ol’ Willard Mitt Romney, let’s say.

When wolves of Murdoch’s ingenuity and the Kochs’ stealth have been at the door of our democracy in the past, Democrats have fought back fiercely. Franklin Roosevelt’s triumphant 1936 re-election campaign pummeled the Liberty League as a Republican ally eager to “squeeze the worker dry in his old age and cast him like an orange rind into the refuse pail.” When John Kennedy’s patriotism was assailed by Birchers calling for impeachment, he gave a major speech denouncing their “crusades of suspicion.”

And Obama? So far, sadly, this question answers itself.

Barack Obama’s fecklessness isn’t merely “sad,” it’s outrageous. President Obama’s policies—not his unwillingness to engage political opponents—are the problem. This isn’t a presidency worth fighting for. Faced with the choice between Frank Rich’s relatively mild critique of the president and substantive policy differences with the professional left, the White House would flock to Frank Rich everyday and twice on Tuesday.

America isn’t looking for the president to confront teabaggers at the feet of Abraham Lincoln, a la Dick Nixon. They’re despondent because his miserably failed policies haven’t mitigated their sufferingnot enough anyway. The failure of deep-pocketed reactionaries in the Roosevelt and Kennedy eras had much less to do with rhetoric than Frank Rich would have us believe.

While the filthy lucre of Rupert Murdoch and the Kochs have been indispensable, the teabaggers were created by us.

Tags: New York Times, Barack Obama, Glenn Beck, Tea Party Movement, Frank rich (all tags)

Comments

54 Comments

Well....

No stones should be cast here. George Soros and his counterparts were busy bankrolling numerous groups during the 2008 campaign. So for anyone to gripe abotu the other side doing it is hypocritical. Now does that mean its a good thing? No...

by BuckeyeBlogger 2010-08-29 04:23PM | 0 recs
RE: Well....

Yep. That was precisely my point, bro.

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-29 04:27PM | 0 recs
RE: Well....

I should learn to read a little slower :)

by BuckeyeBlogger 2010-08-29 05:34PM | 0 recs
With All Due Respect You're Out of Your Mind!

Sorry, but anybody who can say these things with a straight face deserves nothing but mocking:

1. "Sarah Palin (she’s cute and the left was despicable and unjustified in its treatment of her during the last presidential campaign) and Marco Rubio (he’s cute and has a heartwarming background as the son of Cuban immigrants)"

Do I have to point out how completely wrong this is? Can you spot the fundamental error? Anybody running for the Presidency of the U.S. who is that completely vacuous deserves absolutely EVERYTHING they get.

She deserves VASTLY MORE "despicable" criticism. In fact she deserves to be gutted like a dead carp on every possible occasion because she is deadly dangerous.

Millions of idiots love her. She COULD become the next President of the U.S. and being "cute" won't help us survive that apocalypse. Not at all. So BIG thumbs down there! Anything that helps to tear her to shreds is not only right but vitally necessary!

2. "I considered myself a bohemian Tea Party person, attended rallies, and was treated graciously."

The Tea-baggers are racists. Period. There was NEVER anything potentially good about it and any idea that there was is simply delusional. If you weren't clear about that from day 1 then you weren't paying attention. I KNOW what I'm talking about; my own father is a full-on Tea-bagger who likes to talk about how terrible it is that America in the future won't be a white man's country anymore. He's not the only one. His Tea-bagger friends are all the same.

He angrily rejects the idea that he's a racist: it's just that white culture is clearly superior and created all the great civilization we enjoy today and all the brown and black people coming into this country are destroying it. No hard feelings you understand. We just need to "take our country back."

THAT is why Tea-baggers are so opposed to all forms of "welfare" even when it means food stamps for their own families: because blacks and Latinos will get it too and we can't have that!

They'd rather starve than have their tax dollars "go to support some family of Mexican immigrants." Quite literally starve.

 The only "change" that's taken place in that party is that now organizers are getting media-savvy and refusing to let the drooling idiots carry signs that highlight what vicious bigots they are because it makes them look bad on national TV.

by Cugel 2010-08-29 05:06PM | 1 recs
RE: With All Due Respect You're Out of Your Mind!

Completely agree.

She deserved far more than she got. She deserved to have her career completely destroyed so she would never have a chance of being put in charge of anything important.

She's crazy, ignorant, decietful and too many people like her for it.

by jeopardy 2010-08-29 05:22PM | 1 recs
RE: With All Due Respect You're Out of Your Mind!

Ok, fine. But when you take this sort of attitude you relinquish your moral authority and are henceforth unable to complain about Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the Willie Horton ad, the smearing of Max Cleland, "Obama is Muslim," "Elena Kagan is a dyke," etc.

Anything goes, right? Well, sorta. Here's thing: I don't scare easily and I've got no problem green lighting hardball tactics. But in doing so I always remember there are millions of people on the other side with the same mentality. Therefore when it happens to us, I try not to bitch and moan and cry endlessly about it. Remember this.

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-29 07:17PM | 0 recs
RE: With All Due Respect You're Out of Your Mind!

false equivalencies. 

True statements about Palin should end her career. Not swift-boat style falsehoods.

For what other politician would a witch doctor video not sink their career? She's flat-out crazy and a liar.

by jeopardy 2010-08-29 08:59PM | 1 recs
TARP

Your opposition to the TARP is seriously misguided and calls into question your knowledge of how financial markets works. Bank failures are not a good thing.

I have no problem with the TARP per se which was passed under Bush anyway. The issue I have is that no concessions on future business practices were extracted from Wall Street in return for what was a bridge loan and for which the govt received preferred stock and warrants. And you omit the fact that most the TARP money has been repaid. So railing against the TARP at this point is railing for sake of railing and buying into right-wing memes.

It's also rather sad that you are buying into the meme that the Tea Party movement was  a “spontaneous, leaderless” uprising. It was perhaps spontaneous for a day after Rick Santelli's rant on CNBC. On day two, it became parcel post of the destroy the New Deal and restore classical liberalism reactionary right.

And the difference between George Soros and the Koch Brothers should be obvious. Soros doesn't go around hiding from his projects. The Koch Brothers do. Moreover Soros doesn't espouse bizarre conspiracy theories. The Koch Brothers well their conspiratorial nonsense goes back to their father Fred, a founder of the John Birch Society.

And there's nothing "heartwarming" about a reactionary rightwing nut like Marco Rubio. He's a moronically infantile and the only difference between him and Sarah Palin is that he can speak in complete sentences. Moreover, his foreign policy views are closer to the neocon position than any other GOP candidate running this cycle. Whether that's a relief or not I can not tell because Joe Miller's and Sharron Angle's foreign policy views have a John Birch Society quality to them.

There's a very real danger that system is edging towards economic collapse and that's not a good thing either. Some nuance, however, is a good thing. Polemics for the sake of polemics is frankly rather boring. 

You'll get lots of angry comments perhaps but I think the point of an exercise like blogging is to shed light and instruct. This post's objective is to stir the pot. It's polemical.

by Charles Lemos 2010-08-29 05:46PM | 1 recs
RE: TARP

You'll get lots of angry comments perhaps but I think the point of an exercise like blogging is to shed light and instruct. This post's objective is to stir the pot. It's polemical.

I'll address this first because I've noticed critics of the administration (and people who stray from establishment thought in general) are always attacked among these lines. It's a common trope and it's rather silly... boring, you might say. If your ambition is to write for, I don't know, Reader's Digest or something that's your business, Chuck. Besides you apparently have an incredibly narrow concept of "shedding light and instructing." But whatevs. Whatever floats your boat.

If there's one thing I always try to be mindful of it's that no one has a monopoly on truth. This humble attitude doesn't necessarily translate well through my sarcastic writing style and that's tragic, I guess. But some folk are above such modesty. "Your opposition to the TARP is seriously misguided and calls into question your knowledge of how financial markets works. Bank failures are not a good thing." Your unfailing support of TARP is seriously misguided and calls into question your judgment and ability to distinguish reality from Wall Street fear-mongering in excitable circumstances. The initial $700bn price tag is a pittance compared to the total cost of the government's intervention and I'm absolutely certain you know this. Your attempt to frame the discussion in such a manner shows you to be an apologist for Wall Street. My advice would for you to take your TARP Apology Tour on the road to assist Democratic candidates struggling in the upcoming midterms. While we can't be completely certain how the electorate will respond to "progressives" adopting the Hank Paulsen-Tim Geithner line, I think I have an idea of how it would play out.

To continually rail against TARP is to live in the real world. Those minor quibbles you have about accountability and assurances to the American people were the whole point of passing financial reform in a Democratic administration. That historic financial reform signed not longer ago by the president was a sorry product of the same anemic, corrupt system that gave us the TARP program two years ago.

As far as the Tea Party being a cover for the return of classical liberalism since its inception, history and facts are a bit more complicated than that. Wasn't the whole point of the Times piece a few months ago to highlight the internal contradictions of the movement? Tea Partiers are eager to mouth the rhetoric of Rick Santelli but they're about as supportive of proven entitlement programs as the population in general. That's what I meant about the past potential of grassroots Tea Party folk. That potential no longer exists and I've acknowledged and lamented it.

To say George Soros is transparent with his activism and doesn't espouse conspiracy theories is damning him with faint praise. His relative transparency is wonderful (and sometimes conspiracy theories become widely-accepted historical fact) but that doesn't change the fact that George Soros is a left-wing oligarch who funds Astroturf just like the right-wing billionaires. Philanthropy is a virtue but it shouldn't inoculate oligarchs from criticism. Often times that's the intended effect.

As far as Marco Rubio and Sarah Palin: This creepy inability to say anything nice about even some of the opposition (in personal terms; no one's defending their politics) is a bridge to hyper-partisan lunacy I'm not willing to cross. As if liberals don't have to abide all sorts of thugs and creeps on our side because of their favorable politics...

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-29 07:10PM | 0 recs
RE: TARP

It is hard to see how your readers are engaged in groupthink because you have offered no rationales for your argument.  

 For instance, Sarah Palin may be cute, and she may have been villified by the left; but is that all you have to say in her favor ?  Not a word about her qualifications, experience, moral compasss etc ?  It is hard to indulge in groupthink when you dont offer a single thought on that.

 

Likewise for TARP.  What is it about TARP that you don't like ?  It was not necessary ?  It was not sufficient ?  It did not do anything for the manufactring workers ?  Railing against TARP without offering any specifics as to what it is about TARP that upsets you is...groupthink.

\

And it's not even hard.  I will give you an example:  I admire Sarah Palin for having the courage to bring a Down's baby into the world, because I probably would not have done that.  And as to TARP, I dont have a problem with TARP because it was enacted in a hurry...and there was no time to negotiate concessions from the bankers when it was done.  I do have a problem with subsequent programs (like TALF, and the ZIRP); which merely socialized bank losses while ensuring privatization of profits.  

by Ravi Verma 2010-08-29 10:46PM | 2 recs
RE: TARP

For instance, Sarah Palin may be cute, and she may have been villified by the left; but is that all you have to say in her favor ?  Not a word about her qualifications, experience, moral compasss etc ?  It is hard to indulge in groupthink when you dont offer a single thought on that.

Now this is stupid. I gave you the reasons why I have some sympathy for and some nice things to say about Sarah Palin. "She’s cute and the left was despicable and unjustified in its treatment of her during the last presidential campaign." That's all I have to say about her. I don't have any defenses of her qualifications (her IQ is probably insanely low), her experience (she was a half-term governor of twelve people), or anything else. The reason why your inquisition is stupid is because you've pulled some arbitrary standard out of your ass and somehow I'm supposed to respect that? Are you actually serious?

Likewise for TARP.  What is it about TARP that you don't like ?  It was not necessary ?  It was not sufficient ?  It did not do anything for the manufactring workers ?  Railing against TARP without offering any specifics as to what it is about TARP that upsets you is...groupthink.

The FP entry wasn't about the specifics of TARP. It was a passing reference. If you actually read the diary (because you didn't), you'd know that I also mentioned ObamaCare, and let's see, I made a nod to President Nixon's famous late-night visit to anti-war protesters camped out at the feet of Abraham Lincoln in 1970. Would you like for me to regale everyone with the specifics of those passing references as well?

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-29 11:07PM | 0 recs
RE: TARP

In your own reply, you address one of my complaints about your sympathies for Sarah Palin, which was about a line in your diary...obviously I must have read your diary to have gotten that line; and I fail to see how you could conclude that I did not (unless that is your conclusion everytime someone criticizes your rationale).

WIth respect to your dairy itself; I have no comments, other than to say that if you express sympathies for Sarah Palin on  a progressive blog, you should back it up with something more than "the left was unjustified".  Perhaps this is not so self evident to you, but it goes to the essence of tailoring the amount of evidence you produce to backup your statements based on your audience.  Most readers here do not think that the left was unjustified in going after Sarah Palin, and so your threshold for evidence there is much higher.  You are not writing for redstate; and if you fail to see the difference, then that speaks to your intelligence, and not that of your readers.

Likewise for TARP.  I think I have decent comprehension skills, and I understand that your diary was not about TARP.  I also understand that the specific comment thread that I was responding to was about TARP.  My complaint was that you produced a rant on TARP without producing any specifics.  The fact that you also ranted on ObamaCare, also without producing any specifics, does not justify the other.

And yes, I am curious.  What is it about ObamaCare, and about TARP that you dislike so much.  

by Ravi Verma 2010-08-30 12:20AM | 2 recs
RE: TARP
Your opposition to the TARP is seriously misguided and calls into question your knowledge of how financial markets works. Bank failures are not a good thing.
The banks had already failed. All TARP did was protect the shareholders, the managers, and the managers' obscene nine figure bonuses. The government takeover of GM is the model that should have been used. The business entity did not have to go. The people who ran it into the ground did. The bankers should have been evicted from their jobs. Instead, people are being evicted from their homes.
by antiHyde 2010-08-29 08:32PM | 0 recs
RE: TARP

A government take over of the entire banking sector was not and is not really an option. Besides bankruptcy proceedings automatically result in a calling in of outstanding debts which would have screwed home owners even more. When Lehman Brothers went bankrupt lots of companies were suddenly called on to pay back their loans - which resulted in a lot of pain.

by vecky 2010-08-29 09:18PM | 0 recs
RE: TARP

Lehman, an investment bank, had failed. Still commercial & community banks across the country were failing at rates not seen the early 1930s but the entire financial sector had not collapsed. The danger in October 2008 was of a systemic crash. Capital is to the economy what oil is to a car engine. Without it, everything grinds to a halt. That was the danger in October 2008, that everything would have ground to a halt. Instead of 9.2 percent unemployment, we would have been looking at 25 percent. Businesses by the thousands would have failed because the system was starved for liquidity. The credit market tightened and banks were calling in loans. Just to throw one metric at you, look at the LIBOR-OIS spread. The 1-month LIBOR-OIS spread averaged 6 basis points from January 2006 to August 2007. During the credit crisis of late 2007 that continued to build into 2008, the spread continued to widen to over 100 basis points. On October 15th when Lehman failed, the LIBOR-OIS spread was 364 basis points. The LIBOR-OIS spread is a meaure used to gauge the health/credit worthiness of banks.

And you overlooked what I said in the very next paragraph:

"The issue I have is that no concessions on future business practices were extracted from Wall Street."

The bonuses were indefensible but again the onus should fall on the Bush Administration, Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner who at the time was the Chair of the NY Fed for not having a negotiated a better deal for the taxpayers. The TARP has been largely paid back at a profit for the Treasury Dept but still there is no doubt that in October 2008 concessions on a strict regulatory environment could have been extracted from the banking sector.

To gratiously attack the TARP at this point is to advance a right-wing meme and does a disservice not just to the Obama Administration but to the country at large. The misinformation out there is appalling and moreover we live in a country where economic literacy is a rare commodity.

 

The issue I have is that no concessions on future business practices were extracted from Wall Streetnot
by Charles Lemos 2010-08-29 09:36PM | 1 recs
I never thought I'll see a Teabagger as a Frontpager of a progressive blog

like MyDD. I agree with you on the TARP in general. I don't think lot of folks appreciate the calamitous eventuality of a total collapse of our financial system.

by louisprandtl 2010-08-29 06:22PM | 1 recs
RE: I never thought I'll see a Teabagger as a Frontpager of a progressive blog

That's reformed teabagger, thank you very much!

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-29 07:20PM | 0 recs
Well guys

we'll just have to admit that we have a reactionary tea-bagger masquerading as a progressive. I read the entire diary and there wasn't a single progressive or liberal thing in it. 

by vecky 2010-08-29 07:23PM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

Research the meaning of "reactionary," "progressive," as well as "simplicity" and get back to me. We can talk then.

Groupthink is for the conservative movement. Or you forgotten that because the president of the United States has a D behind his name?

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-29 07:29PM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

your engaged in groupthink right here. Actual thought and force of argument is a progressive tradition. you've exhibited none.

by vecky 2010-08-29 09:05PM | 1 recs
RE: Well guys

"Actual thought and force of argument is a progressive tradition." I like you and everything but this is esoteric nonsense.

And based on the preponderance of the responses I've gotten alone, my view is a pretty reliable example of the opposite of groupthink.

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-29 09:34PM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

Being a predictable provocateur does not immunise you from groupthink. Quite the contrary, since you're just as determined by the conventions you purport oppose. Progressive thought is thinking for yourself, inventively and intelligently. rather than just sticking in a fat finger and stirring the pot. 

Charles Lemnos has demolished your arguments about TARP. All we're left with is your orthodox heterdoxy about Palin. Great. It's just inverted culture wars. Fanzine Identity politics. Dumb thinking. Poor writing.

Congratulations. You're a worthy heir of MYDD luminaries such as Texas Darlin and Universal

...does not immunise you from groupthink. Quite the contrary, since you're as determined by the conventions you purport oppose. Progressive thought is thinking for yourself, inventively and intelligently. rather than just sticking in a fat finger and stirring the pot.  Charles Lemnos has demolished your arguments about TARP. All we're left with is your orthodox heterdoxy about Palin. Great. It's just inverted culture wars. Fanzine Identity politics. Dumb thinking. Poor writing. I.e. The last thing US politics needs at this moment...

 

 

by brit 2010-08-30 11:58AM | 1 recs
RE: Well guys

And this software still sucks. Took me about ten tries to post a comment, and then it came out doubled as above. 

by brit 2010-08-30 11:59AM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

Being a provocateur may not immunize me from groupthink but being a predictable, boring, endless defender of the president (and a crab) makes your uniquely susceptible to groupthink.

"Progressive thought is thinking for yourself, inventively and intelligently." Anyone who thinks this way should be locked up or at least kept away from political discussion. How is "thinking for yourself, inventively and intelligently" (so beautiful...) exclusive to progressivism? You mean there aren't any thoughtful people who disagree with you? And if so, what are they exactly since "thinking for yourself, inventively and intelligently" (gosh that's beautiful...) is a hip, progressive thing. I'm going to have to ask you to step away from your computer and relinquish your subscription to the Times. Go watch tv or something.

Chuck Lemos didn't demolish anything. As far as I know he still hasn't even responded to me. And that's fine--I love him regardless.

I'll leave it there. The rest of your tirade looks like incomprehensible redundancy. Bless your heart.

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-30 03:19PM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

Trolling 101 - reiterating someone else's comment a double the length: the insulting Parrot Tactic.

Jack. Give it a rest. We've seen people like you come and go. Usually they don't get FP status, but they're characterised by the same level of idiocy, insult and inability to sustain an argument.

To think intelligently and inventively is a precondition of human progress, and therefore progressive thought. If you're celebrating the elevation of stoopid, then MYDD, and American politics in general is in more trouble than I thought.

Enjoy your moment in the sun. And rub more sunscreen onto your exposed parts.

by brit 2010-08-30 04:25PM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

You didn't expect me to respond in a serious, measured tone to that shrill nonsense you shouted my way, did you? O, brother!

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-30 04:30PM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

I doubt your're capable of a serious measured tone. Besides, I expect you to shut up and suck it up. 

by brit 2010-08-30 05:03PM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-30 05:17PM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

Gee Brit.  I have admired you and thought I was learning from and with you for a good long while.  What a chump I've been.  I cannot, for the life of me, begin to describe how grateful I am to Jack Landsman, who just revealed to me how predictable and boring an endless groupthinky defender of the president you've been.  Mostly, I am so disillusioned to discover that you are such a crab.  I also believed that progressive thought involved thinking for myself, inventively, intelligently, and beautifully.  But now Jack has exposed that as well.  It turns out that independent thought is just another form of groupthink.  The only way, it seems, for us to escape crabby and boring group think is to think like Jack.  Finally, I cannot believe I missed that your claim for progressive thought being inventive and independent meant that ONLY progressive thought was creative and independent.  I guess I needed Jack to help me infer how restrictive your claim is.

Jack's right.  You need to step away from your computer and get out of Jack's way, so he can show us how to think independently and express ourselves sarcastically and with humor, irony, and wit.  

I'm following Jack down the rabbit hole.  I'll be reading Sarah Palin's book tomorrow and admiring it.  Then I will call the President a Muslim, liberty-gobbling marxist.  Then I will refudiate those positions, pulling a double-quadruple rogue move and howl about how the President is a worthless corporate shill.  And to think, I used to consider him a flawed politician with whom I agreed on some points and disagreed on others.  Anyway, this way around I'll be original and independent, just like Jack.

As for you Brit, please destroy all of your communications media.  You are a boring crabby groupthinker.  Leave Jack alone.  

Gee, if I'm lucky, Jack will now call me crazy or stupid.  

by Strummerson 2010-08-30 04:13PM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

Gee Brit.  I have admired you and thought I was learning from and with you for a good long while.  What a chump I've been.  I cannot, for the life of me, begin to describe how grateful I am to Jack Landsman, who just revealed to me how predictable and boring an endless groupthinky defender of the president you've been.  Mostly, I am so disillusioned to discover that you are such a crab.  I also believed that progressive thought involved thinking for myself, inventively, intelligently, and beautifully.  But now Jack has exposed that as well.  It turns out that independent thought is just another form of groupthink.  The only way, it seems, for us to escape crabby and boring group think is to think like Jack.  Finally, I cannot believe I missed that your claim for progressive thought being inventive and independent meant that ONLY progressive thought was creative and independent.  I guess I needed Jack to help me infer how restrictive your claim is.

Jack's right.  You need to step away from your computer and get out of Jack's way, so he can show us how to think independently and express ourselves sarcastically and with humor, irony, and wit.  

I'm following Jack down the rabbit hole.  I'll be reading Sarah Palin's book tomorrow and admiring it.  Then I will call the President a Muslim, liberty-gobbling marxist.  Then I will refudiate those positions, pulling a double-quadruple rogue move and howl about how the President is a worthless corporate shill.  And to think, I used to consider him a flawed politician with whom I agreed on some points and disagreed on others.  Anyway, this way around I'll be original and independent, just like Jack.

As for you Brit, please destroy all of your communications media.  You are a boring crabby groupthinker.  Leave Jack alone.  

Gee, if I'm lucky, Jack will now call me crazy or stupid.  

by Strummerson 2010-08-30 04:14PM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

This had tons of potential but unfortunately it carried on a bit too long. 

Half a clap.

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-30 04:21PM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

You're right. So right. The insightful literary criticism. The stellar but generously shared appreciation of politic rhetoric. Why did I not see it before. Strummerson has got it nailed. I'm an idiot. He's an idiot. You're a genius.

All hail to the new 'one'. Palin is a Progressive. Obama is a corporatist socialist. Oceania is our ally.

And now the clocks are striking thirteen.

I think I love you. 

by brit 2010-08-30 04:31PM | 1 recs
RE: Well guys

I prefer hero to genius. 

And Sarah Palin is obviously not a progressive. She shouldn't be allowed on a White House tour, much less serve as president. I've already admitted--here and elsewhere--that my unlikely warmth towards her isn't predicated on policy at all. I simply have some nice things to say about her. And despite the invective I use to criticize President Obama, I like him personally as well. Like I told someone else, this creepy inability to allow for any complimentary words for even some of the opposition is a bridge to hyper-partisan lunacy. You guys are welcome to cross if that's your prerogative. I'll chill on the other side with a good book and my iPod. See ya whenever.

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-30 04:38PM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

So you're not a hyperpartisan? Perhaps BiHyperPartisan since you use inane rumor and rhetoric from both left and right: 'Corporatist shill' below and above 'Feckless law prof'.

By the way this ad personam approach is hardly the way to describe someone you 'like personally'. Do you mean that incidentally, or are you abusing the English language as well as political logic? Do you know Barack personally?

You claim you also have 'nice things to say about Sarah Palin'. Frankly, Jack, who gives a fuck. This isn't a chat show or a beauty context. You clearly know as little about these people personally as you know about their policies.

Finally, I also suspect you're nothing like you claim to be. Though your name is new, you claim to know the political predilections of several commenters here in advance, even though several haven't commented for months. I accuse you of being a troll in style, but I also suspect you to be a sockpuppet too. Time will tell...

Adieu

by brit 2010-08-30 04:53PM | 1 recs
RE: Well guys

But you didn't actually say anything new. Your diary was just a mix of right-wing and left-wing talking points. That's the whole point, it was simply a jumble of unoriginal TPs. So you hate both sides, big deal, i got that same argument in 2000. 

by vecky 2010-08-30 01:33PM | 1 recs
RE: Well guys

Again with these meta-criticisms! Where is your original thought? I want to see if I can understand this: I'm arguing in TPs and you (along with everyone else who agrees with you and vehemently disagrees with me) are all chasing down original stories and doing investigative journalism? Is that how this goes? I'm learning.

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-30 03:23PM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

So you're not a hyperpartisan? Perhaps BiHyperPartisan since you use inane rumor and rhetoric from both left and right: 'Corporatist shill' below and above 'Feckless law prof'.

By the way this ad personam approach is hardly the way to describe someone you 'like personally'. Do you mean that incidentally, or are you abusing the English language as well as political logic? Do you know Barack personally?

You claim you also have 'nice things to say about Sarah Palin'. Frankly, Jack, who gives a fuck. This isn't a chat show or a beauty context. You clearly know as little about these people personally as you know about their policies.

Finally, I also suspect you're nothing like you claim to be. Though your name is new, you claim to know the political predilections of several commenters here in advance, even though several haven't commented for months. I accuse you of being a troll in style, but I also suspect you to be a sockpuppet too. Time will tell...

Adieu

by brit 2010-08-30 04:54PM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

"BiHyperPartisan?" Er, ok. If you like...

By the way this ad personam approach is hardly the way to describe someone you 'like personally'. Do you mean that incidentally, or are you abusing the English language as well as political logic? Do you know Barack personally?

You claim you also have 'nice things to say about Sarah Palin'. Frankly, Jack, who gives a fuck. This isn't a chat show or a beauty context. You clearly know as little about these people personally as you know about their policies.

Are you sitting there telling me you don't like Barack and Michelle Obama as people? It's all academic for you, right? Gosh you're funnier than these episodes of "American Dad" I'm watching while I chat with you people.

Finally, I also suspect you're nothing like you claim to be. Though your name is new, you claim to know the political predilections of several commenters here in advance, even though several haven't commented for months. I accuse you of being a troll in style, but I also suspect you to be a sockpuppet too. Time will tell...

That's got to be it, right? Here's an idea: Have Jerome do an IP check. I don't think it's possible for you to look any sillier than you already do so make the request. 

Ciao.

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-30 05:11PM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

An IP check would prove nothing. Grammar and content might. As I said - we'll see.

Are you claiming you know the president and his wife, personally?

by brit 2010-08-30 05:18PM | 0 recs
RE: Well guys

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-30 05:24PM | 0 recs
My above comment was actually a reply to Charles' comment.

The reply button is not working for me. Nor is next generation MyDD allowing me to post regularly.

In anycase, I don't think this teabagger diarist knows anything about Financial Economics.

 

by louisprandtl 2010-08-29 07:38PM | 1 recs
My above comment was actually a reply to Charles' comment.

The reply button is not working for me. Nor is next generation MyDD allowing me to post regularly.

In anycase, I don't think this teabagger diarist knows anything about Financial Economics.

 

by louisprandtl 2010-08-29 07:38PM | 0 recs
RE: My above comment was actually a reply to Charles' comment.

You guys aren't going to whine when I start flaming and responding in kind to you again, are you? Gimme a heads up at least.

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-29 07:47PM | 0 recs
RE: My above comment was actually a reply to Charles' comment.

Jack, you and Jerome are the two sanest people at MyDD. For pretty much everyone else, its considered a sin to have any opinion that doesnt fall in line with this sort of progressive, liberal ideal. You will be slammed, called a fraud, a phony etc......just more proof your in their head speaking the truth.

by BuckeyeBlogger 2010-08-29 07:52PM | 2 recs
RE: My above comment was actually a reply to Charles' comment.

And all of that is fine. It really is. The only thing that bothers me is when these little lemmings run in here crying about how rude I often am--in response to rude people. I try not to take it personal because I know how often my contrarianism puts me ahead of the curve. Believe it or not I still consider them bros and sistahs even though we're going through an phase of acrid disagreement right now.

Let not your heart be troubled; this bizzaro Obama era will be over one day and dissent will once again be patriotic. I'm certain.

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-29 07:58PM | 1 recs
RE: My above comment was actually a reply to Charles' comment.

Jack, you and Jerome are the two sanest people at MyDD.

 

At this rate they'll be the only two people left on MYDD. Strange how the inmates actually created the asylum

by brit 2010-08-30 04:56PM | 0 recs
RE: My above comment was actually a reply to Charles' comment.

Jack, you and Jerome are the two sanest people at MyDD.

 

At this rate they'll be the only two people left on MYDD. Strange how the inmates actually created the asylum

by brit 2010-08-30 04:56PM | 0 recs
I think you're using a carnival mirror

and that you're a clown.  Or you're serious and actually can't tell the difference between a fascist movement and liberal Democrats who managed to prevent an economic collapse.  You might want to check out the history of the Weimar Republic and see if you can find a similar equivalence among all parties in that moment of history.   

by Thaddeus 2010-08-29 10:23PM | 0 recs
RE: I think you're using a carnival mirror

Name-calling isn't necessary, chap! And you might want to do a little closer research on "fascism." Fascism as an exclusively right-wing phenomenon is unserious and childish supposition. Research.

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-29 10:39PM | 0 recs
Research. Chap. Childish? Oh, You are a clown!

Fascism is authoritarian, nationalist and corporatist. The nationalism typically appeals to some imaginary pure past.  The political and economic analysis emphasizes the importance of major corporate economic interests and limited government controls on the actions of ruling class actors.   Sound familiar?  And yes, fascism is a right-wing phenomenon.  Anyone who doesn't understand that is remarkably ignorant or is feigning ignorance.  With you it's hard to tell.

More intellectually curious readers may want to read about fascism.  The Fascism Reader (ed. Aristotle Kallis) Routledge Pub. is a serious read.  Those with less time might want to read the Wikipedia entry on fascism.  It's very well done and very clear about the political orientation of fascism.

by Thaddeus 2010-08-30 01:26AM | 1 recs
RE: Research. Chap. Childish? Oh, You are a clown!

Absolutely. I blame the libertarian movement for creating these trolls who equate fascism with anything they dislike, and seem to have no understanding of the differences between it (basically ultranationalism) and socialism

Jack thinks like a teapartyer still: Obama is a socialist fascist. 

Hard to believe this is the kind of stuff that counts as informed political debate by an FP frontpager, but Jerome has always surpassed expectations in his ability to limbo dance under any ethical standard

by brit 2010-08-30 04:25PM | 0 recs
RE: Research. Chap. Childish? Oh, You are a clown!

Gracious me, I never called the president a socialist! Corporatist would be the more precise designation. Reload and try again, friend.

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-30 04:31PM | 0 recs
RE: Research. Chap. Childish? Oh, You are a clown!

Gracious me, I never called the president a socialist! Corporatist would be the more precise designation. Reload and try again, friend.

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-30 04:31PM | 0 recs
Without being specific...

....this is a sort of progressive point of view that completely escapes my understanding, which perhaps says more about me than Jack.  Heck, lots of points of view defy my understanding, so this is nothing new.


Do I wish Obama was more progressive?  On some things, but on others, I think he has been very progressive, or at least the most progressive president since LBJ. 

Do I think Palin should have been treated better in the last election because she is cute?  Seriously, that is the sort of pandering and sexist comment for which progressives will generally BBQ conservatives. 

Do I think Palin was treated dispicable during the last election?  Are you kidding me?  Are you talking about the same person that stated Obama was paling around with terrorists?  LOL.  We can agree to disagree with this one.

When we look back at this time, we will see what positive ground has actually been achieved in terms of equal treatment of women in the work place, moving toward a sane energy policy, the rights of gays and lesbians, creating a different direction in healthcare, dealing with the two ME wars.  It's clear we have had the most significant progress  in 3 decades. 

 

 

by zmus 2010-08-30 01:13AM | 0 recs

Diaries

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