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January 15, 2008

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Can't wait for Cohen to next comment on the fidelity of Clinton in her marriage, since he's such an expert himself.

The problem with Cohen is that somewhere inside him is a bright, perceptive, rational and eloquent writer. That Cohen even shows up occassionally (though less and less frequently). Too bad all this dreck comes with it.

I hunted all over the WaPo site for a place to vent my wrath but couldn't find one. Does anyone know how to email a complaint about this?

It's my belief that Rudy Giuliani admires Winston Churchill. Churchill, of course, received a Nobel Prize - as did

YASSER ARAFAT!

I think Rudy has some explaining to do about his links to Palestinian terrorism.

Slightly, but not entirely, off topic: RedState banned me a while back, but they have yet to remove me from their mailing list. That's why I've been getting all their recent fundraising appeals, including one today that says, in part:

"I’ll be blunt: I hate asking you for money. But I hate even more to imagine what America will be like if someone like Hillary Clinton or Barack Hussein Obama wins the presidency in November. RedState can help prevent that nightmare from coming true – but only if we’re offering the best possible web experience to the widest possible audience."

I think it's very, very important to use candidates' full names, and I anticipate many thoughtful RedState posts about Willard Mitt Romney, John Sidney McCain III, Michael Dale Huckabee, Rudolph William Louis Giuliani, Ronald Ernest Paul, Johnny Reid Edwards, Maurice Robert Gravel...

Though why they didn't start here and refer to Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is a mystery.

She lied.

You know, Cohen and the rest of his fellow travelers should just come right out and fncking say it: Obama is a muslim. Muslim muslim muslim muslim! Aieeeeeeeeee!

We are so fncked.

The anti-semite! Not just Farrakhan but Bacon and that ham Gibson!

I'm fine with avoiding full names and using initials for W. Mitt Romney and Rudolph W. Giuliani.

I actually made a Kos diary documenting the double standard:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/1/15/12110/9204/94/437234

Basically, the GOP contenders have much more direct ties to anti-Semites than Obama does.

hilzoy - I got that one too, it was signed:

Erick Erick Erickson.

Hilzoy, did you get banned for being uncivil, or for talking sense?

Come on, you have to admit it wouldn't be as fun to say 'blam! You won't be seeing our email appeals for funding" with the virtual chorus saying 'yeah, nicely done!'

So, anybody check some of the stuff that's come out of the Vatican lately? Maybe we can pin Obama to that shit, too.

I think it will be a matter of fair play once all the Roman Catholic, Baptist, Mormon, etc. etc. candidates are routinely called upon to denounce their pastors and spiritual authorities, too. The current Pope defends the trial of Galileo - where are the calls for American Catholics to attack his judgment on the matter? And so forth and so on.

Can you imagine a site that would ban Hilzoy, of all people? The mind reels, contemplating it . . .

DL: I have no idea. I showed up one fine day to write a factual comment on a stem cell piece, and I was banned.

Fwiw: as best I can remember, I only ever made three kinds of comments. (1) Factual corrections (mostly on stem cells.) (2) Attempts to help during the Ben Domenech affair. (3) Occasional polite responses to criticisms of ObWi or me in particular. These were rather rare.

I knew it was their site, and tried to respect its spirit and its rules. What I did wrong is a mystery to me, though not one I spend a lot of time puzzling over.

Well, well ... you DO learn something new (nearly) every day... especially at ObWings!

John Edwards was actually christened "Johnny"??

Anyway, hilzoy, among other projects, apparently RedState is undergoing a six-figure program to switch blogging platforms in time to more adequately demonstrate their irrelevance to the 2008 election campaigns - and your money (tainted, evil liberalism-drenched blood-gelt though it may be) is still, I suppose, as good as anyone else's in pursuit of their goal. Nice to know your contribution will not only go towards saving the nation, but supporting the private (IT consultant) sector as well!


Rea, when hilzoy first mentioned being banned at Red State, I thought, "This is just iconic." There may be people in the blogging world more rigorously dedicated to careful documentation, alert and charitable reading, temperance in response, and so on...but darned if they're coming to mind. Hilzoy makes an awfully good benchmark for "This is what good will looks like in action." I mean, I could see banning someone like, oh, me for my intemperate outbursts about conservative mendacity and culpability. But her? It's illuminating, is what it is. :)

Everyone knows Jews don't like Bacon so this is proof Proof PROOF I say of a Trilateral UN Conspiracy to tatoo black helicopters on all of our foreheads

Oops- spittle on the monitor again

This is one of your worst posts, Publius. Try to do your homework next time. Randy Quaid was in Brokeback Mountain, too. Randy Quaid was also in The Adventures of Pluto Nash with Illeana Douglas. Illeana Douglas was in Stir of Echoes with Kevin Bacon. Clearly there is a more direct connection here, which you conveniently overlooked in you liberal zeal for the demonization of our American journalists.

i believe Obama's full name is "Barack Osama Saddam Hussein Madrassa Obama X", code name "BOSHMOX".

oh, and he's too hopeful and well-spoken to be president of anything bigger than a Toastmaster's Club.

How do I loathe Richard Cohen? Let me count the ways...

Hmmm, maybe this should be posted on the poetry open thread instead?

I suppose it's time for me to lift my ban of hilzoy at AmFoot...can't be in league with RedState is all.

But publius, you're still persona non grata. Sorry man, you just don't have liberal blog cred - unlike the hizzzoy...

Barack Obama is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

Barack Obama is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

Wierdly, I just read a similarly worded comment about Ron Paul. Space folds in on itself.

Obama's church is, itself, a little off-putting. But so's mine, for different reasons. That bit about remaining "true to the native land" could carry a wide array of meanings, so I think the poo-flinging hasn't even really started, yet.

Um, just in case anyone misconstrued: I make no comparison between Ron Paul and Barack Obama, other than (as far as I can tell) they're both male and humanoid in appearance, and both running for President.

Anyway, FWIW: Here's Sen. Obama's rejoinder to the TUCC/Farrakhan "flap" - a flat disagreement with the church's decision, I note. Wonder if it will do much good?

(h/t TPM)

Great minds think alike when it comes to blog post titles.

By these standards, I'm associated with *quite a few* terrorists.

...a flat disagreement with the church's decision

"see, he's even faking his faith!"

To complain to the Washington Post, send your email to ombudsman@washpost.com.

Arguments such as Richard Cohen's present a particularly serious problem in political discourse, precisely because they defy the normal foundation for common decency, namely reciprocity. The argument that Farrakhan get it done for the Black community does not work for Richard Cohen the way it works for many African Americans, simply because he has never had to confront the exhausting effects of overt and covert White supremacy. For similar reasons, many African Americans will not respond to Farrakhan's anti-Jewish comments the way Richard Cohen does.

The emotional impact of facing violence of any kind based on racism (and here I include anti-Jewish racism) reduces the capacity for the imaginative empathy required to put yourself in the place of other victims of racism. If you put the matter to him in the abstract, I have no doubt that Richard Cohen would see the importance of solidarity to a community coming out of a history of centuries of ghastly oppression. If you suggested to him that all communities have members who simultaneously make a significant contribution, and yet have, and express, some very unfortunate attitudes, I suspect he might agree that such people present a complex problem for the members of their communities. Certainly, I suspect that if you put this in a explicit context, and asked if Richard Cohen agreed with FDR accommodating racist southern democrats in order to keep the coalition that back his war policies together, Mr. Cohen would accept the necessity of that compromise.

But put this in the context of Louis Farrakhan, and Mr. Cohen has a different perception. And unfortunately, it makes eminent sense, in human terms, that he should. Attacks aimed at me simply feel different from attacks aimed at other people. To overcome that difference takes a serious effort. Unfortunately, it now appears quite clear that if many people do not make that effort, the democratic coalition will fracture.

Thank you. After reading Cohen's article last week 'The Mendacity Of Hope', I was beginning to think that he was starting with a conclusion rather than a fact.

But this week's column cleared that up.

John Spragge: ...put this in the context of Louis Farrakhan, and Mr. Cohen has a different perception.

And put this in the context of John McCain, and Cohen has another perception altogether.

The Mendacity of Hope was really a strange case of attacking a strawman. I don't really care about what silly people say about Obama. It really should not be an argument against Obama that people make bad arguments for Obama. Surely, the idea that experience is some kind of sufficient condition to good leadership is silly (see Cheney). And surely the idea that being an intuitive person is all it takes to be a good leader is silly (see Bush).

And, obviously, some people just have better judgment that other people. They just do. I don't think this is particularly mysterious. It is not that they have some kind of crystal ball for the truth that others lack (which is what talk about a candidate's intuitions seems to come down to), it is just that they are more disciplined in the way they reason. And, just as obviously to me at least, we really don't have the tools at our disposal to figure out which of these candidates has the best judgment to a high degree of certainty.

People make silly arguments when they start to pretend that these subtle inferences they make about a person's character are a lot more certain than they really are. If they were not advocating for that candidate, I think people would think more clearly. But they are trying to reach for something the evidence just doesn't provide them.

Really, you can tie it back to the basic conceit of presidential elections: this idea that this process allows us to vet out enough to make a sound choice about our governmenance every four years.

Cohen sounds racist to me. The subtext of this little smear job seems to be, all those schwartzers hate the Jews, so any hint of a relationship to Jew haters is proof. Either that, or this is typical East Coast elite nitwittery concerning the extent to which the average religious person follows the personal beliefs of his or her clergy. Or both.

I can't stand Farrakhan, and I'm quite prepared to despise Minister Wright just based on his endorsement. But let's be real, it's very hard to find a significant black institution without some tie or other to Farrakhan. If Cohen doesn't know that, he has no business writing a national column.

Mr. Publius, you're slipping. Everyone knows the link between KEVIN BACON and Obama is much shorter. Heath Ledger was in _Casanova_ with Oliver Platt, another of KEVIN BACON's co-stars in _Flatliners_.

Clearly Obama has much more to explain here.

AJB @12:48pm: The diary isn't bad, but you might want to make a correction - Ron Paul is actually pretty easy to link to bigotry.

Not that I can (or even can pretend to) prove anything, of course. But he's certainly more clearly linked - be it fallacious or not - to opinions of this sort than Mr. Obama is.

(I apologize in advance if I've set off any flamewars.)

On the mendacity of hope- it seems to me that Cohen's argument here hinges on his claim that Barack Obama told a lie about the relative numbers of Black men incarcerated versus Black men in college. That argument, in turn, hinges on the definition of incarceration. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, as far back as 1997, the United States contained over two million Black men under some form of judicial supervision. According to the census bureau, only about half a million young Black men (18-24) attended college. Given those facts, I'd say that at worst, Obama's "error" amounts to saying the word "prison" when he meant "prison or some form of judicial supervision".

"I hunted all over the WaPo site for a place to vent my wrath but couldn't find one. Does anyone know how to email a complaint about this?"

Yes, you can email it to Deborah Howell, the ombudsman, but it won't do any good, because she's a moron.

Judge for yourself.

To make contact:

Deborah Howell can be reached at 202-334-7582 or at ombudsman@washpost.com.

"(and here I include anti-Jewish racism)"

Jews very very very emphatically are not a race.

It's a fraught suggestion, given that much of the basis of anti-semitism is founded in the false notion that the Jews are a race.

It's particularly fraught given the major popularizer in the 20th century of the notion that there is a Jewish race.

I'd like to ask you to perhaps please consider this in future usage, if you might be so kind. I'm fairly sure you don't intentionally desire to raise hackles.

I otherwise entirely agree with your thoughtful comment of 05:02 PM, John Spragge.

Gary, point taken.

That said, the words we use to describe prejudices will always raise problems, because prejudices, including racism, do not have a "real" object. The taxonomies that we used to use to describe "race" do not have any real grounding in the human genome. An anti-racist educator once repeated what an African American researcher said: he could prove "races" did not exist to anyone's satisfaction, and he still could not get a cab home at night.

All of which goes to say that:

(a) I know what you mean and I don't intend to raise hackles,

(b) while affirming Jewish identity as a matter of religion and culture rather than "race", that raises a problem in definition: if someone perceives Jewish people as belonging to a "race", and develops a prejudice on that basis, we have to find a word to describe their attitude, and

(c) any word we use will simplify, and thus distort, the complex relations between the toxic brew of colonialism and White supremacy European cultures marinated in for the last 5+ centuries, and particular prejudices (anti-Jewish, anti-Black, anti-Aboriginal, ad nauseaum).

I knew Kevin Bacon was behind all of this!!!! He's the true enemy!!!

Thank you, Gary, for the link to WaPo. I have posted it on the wall above my computer.

I don't believe that it doesn't do any good to contact annd complain. One of thhe reasons the MSM went rightwing (besides consolidation annd the political orienntation of the management tier) is the persistannt, consistant, continuous barage of complaints from thhe righht.

There has to be a counter complaint or they think they have a market.

I wishht he liberals would join forces and organize boycotts against the adveritsers of so-called professinal s0-called mainstream media since that would get their attention. There is an unofficial boycott going onalready as more and more people abandon the corportate media for weblogs.

Meanwhile I am a believer in complaining.

John Spragge: "That said, the words we use to describe prejudices will always raise problems, because prejudices, including racism, do not have a 'real' object. The taxonomies that we used to use to describe 'race' do not have any real grounding in the human genome. An anti-racist educator once repeated what an African American researcher said: he could prove 'races' did not exist to anyone's satisfaction, and he still could not get a cab home at night."

Wise and true, and I fully agree.

"if someone perceives Jewish people as belonging to a 'race', and develops a prejudice on that basis, we have to find a word to describe their attitude,"

"Anti-semitism" seems to work reasonably well, although it does confuse some people unfamiliar with the history of its usage into thinking that being "semitic" is relevant, which it isn't -- but that's not a big problem; there's always its predecessor as a fallback: judenhass. (Jew-hatred.)

"There has to be a counter complaint or they think they have a market."

Wonkie, I agree, it's just that Howell has a very long and consistent rightish history, long prior to her WaPo hiring, and her term at the WaPo has demonstrates that she's consistently worse than useless as an ombudsperson; I don't believe complaints will get far at the WaPo on many issues until she's gone, I'm afraid.

But more than that, she's just a hired gun/hack. It's the people in management above her who think she's a good choice that need to go.

But more power to you in your complaining, nonetheless.

"Anti-semitism" seems to work reasonably well...

A couple of the professors here -- I can't remember which, I'm afraid, since I only know this second-hand -- refer to the phenomenon as "antisemitism" precisely because there's no "Semitism" being opposed, nor does "Semitic" or "Semite" have anything to do with the issue. I have to say that I find the argument convincing, although I don't always adhere to it myself.

One of thhe reasons the MSM went rightwing (besides consolidation annd the political orienntation of the management tier) is the persistannt, consistant, continuous barage of complaints from thhe righht.

I think that's part of it, but I'm losing hope that complaints from the left will have a similar effect. Granted, we haven't been at it as long as the right, but I'm repeatedly seeing that while the media's response to complaints from the right is to bend over backward to appear "balanced", the response to complaints from the left is to dismiss them, sometimes angrily, as noise from a bunch of irate wackos. Deborah Howell is a good example of that attitude.

BTW, Gary, this:

Yes, you can email it to Deborah Howell, the ombudsman, but it won't do any good, because she's a moron.

is one of the best things you've ever written. Lethally succinct and lethally accurate in one fell swoop.

[...] refer to the phenomenon as "antisemitism" precisely because there's no "Semitism" being opposed, nor does "Semitic" or "Semite" have anything to do with the issue.
Precisely.

The name you want to google is "Wilhelm Marr."

Note the foundation element of the accusation that Jews are a "race."

Jews very very very emphatically are not a race.

And neither is anyone else.

We had a fun go-round over at Slacktivist about "race", and other designations a while back. But we all agreed that "race" is a social construct used to discriminate against population groups.

(In other words, what http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/01/six-degrees-of.html#comment-97313138>John said at 8:18). [I hope you get at least some small enjoyment from the use of a link. {grin}]

==============================

refer to the phenomenon as "antisemitism" precisely because there's no "Semitism" being opposed, nor does "Semitic" or "Semite" have anything to do with the issue.

Is "anti-semitic" then anti-semantic?

"But we all agreed that "race" is a social construct used to discriminate against population groups."

I've been pointing this out all my life, but it's a point relatively few people understand, still. See this thread from a few days ago, for instance.

It's not going to cease to be a problem until people stop identifying themselves as members of a "race," rather than a cultural group. But trying to change lifelong held beliefs that go back generations isn't something that goes quickly.

It's more than unfortunate that most people still believe in human "races," when it's an inherently racist concept itself. But the defensiveness an argument about this can arouse holds passion like few others, in my experience.

It's nice to find a point of agreement with you, Jeff. And great closing line, too.

It's nice to find a point of agreement with you, Jeff.

I think we agree more often than not, but don't post to say ITA! And, thank you!

One of thhe reasons the MSM went rightwing
--Posted by: wonkie | January 16, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

ummm...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Thanks for the laugh!

Note the foundation element of the accusation that Jews are a "race."

Although I'm sure you know this, to clarify: the racialism goes back further, receiving its modern incarnation in Gobineau's works in the 1850s. The identification of Jews as a "race" had been around for a while but it received its modern incarnation a little later, in Treitschke's works in the 1860s. [It's likely that he also coined the word "antisemitic".] Marr's contribution to the edifice of antisemitic "thought" -- I use the term loosely -- was to weld the disparate strands together into a single antisemitic ideology called "antisemitism", largely by a process of culling the insufficiently or inappropriately racist elements of his intellectual -- again, I use the term loosely -- predecessors.

There's also an interesting interaction between the rise of the "antisemitism" ideology and the rise of anti-black racism in the US, as well as the development of the modern Chinese racialism. I've been informed that prior to European intervention in China in the 19th century, the Chinese didn't perceive race -- that is, some immutable biological identity -- as a determinative element in their distaste of others; instead, they were what might be termed "culturalist". It took the Europeans to teach them how to be racist. Or so the redoubtable dr ngo hath informed me, and hopefully he'll be along to set the record straight.

[Ok, I confess: I had to look up some of the dates and names above. God, I'm so rusty; time was I could've cited them all chapter and verse without blinking. Perils of the PhD process, and encroaching senility.]

Way back when, Cohen wrote a piece for the first issue of the Washington Post Magazine in which he sympathized with a hypothetical jewelry store owner being more on edge when a group of young black men entered the store compared to other customers.

This resulted in all sorts of outrage from the black establishment in Washington. His head was called for, but not delivered.

Cohen is a bitter, pathetic little man.

Kevin Bacon? Pfah!
Kevin Bacon was in Hollow Man with Elizabeth Shue.
Shue was in Cocktail with Tom Cruise.
Tom Cruise is a scientologist.
The prosecution rests.
And I know for a fact that L. Ron Hubbard isn't dead, he's in cryo under Disneyworld, right next to Walt's chamber.

Just his head, though.

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