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May 10, 2008

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If you read Douthat's comments, the numbers don't even seem to be accurate if you accept this as a decent source of data. And insofar as the trend exists at all, it seems to be entirely attributable to Ron Paul.

NRO really doesn't seem to have a fact checking department of any kind. There are generally all kinds of laughers in their detainee articles. This is another example of how ideological balance is separable from basic journalistic quality--Jeremy Scahill at the Nation, say, may be as far left of center as NRO writers are right of center. But Scahill does accurate reporting, & the Nation verifies its accuracy.

(they also don't have a corrections policy, as far as I can tell.)

My admiration for William F. Buckley and Thurston Howell III notwithstanding, I find it distressing when my plumber peeks his head out from under the kitchen sink waving a pipe wrench around like Buckley making a point with his famous pen, sniffs, and inquires in his best poncy enunciation:

"Tell me, lovey, who's been been pouring grease down this drain?

To which I say: "I figured since I paid you $90 just to drive out here in your Audi coupe to tell me the obvious, I'd make the job challenging for you. At $45 bucks an hour, you can shut your elitist gob and get back to rotorootering, thank you very much.

I hate it when I'm forced to get uppity with the proletariat.

"... of the 14 waitresses who gave to Republicans, 13 gave to Ron Paul."

Makes sense, even if Paul's candidacy was all about getting the IRS to stop auditing tips so that he could then tell the waitresses that 15% always seemed an exorbitant tip to him, the libertarian skinflint, and from now on they can live on 5% and a slap on the fanny.

"Have you noticed that a lot of the people who are trying to purge all mention of 'jihad' are the same folk who insist that restaurants must post calorie counts on the menu?"

"Have YOU noticed that every time a guy places an innocent order for the low fat hummus appetizer or inquires about the couscous, the eavesdropping paranoids at the next table make a call to Homeland Security and the next thing you know you're face down and spread eagle in the parking lot surrounded by heavily armed guys in black, bomb-sniffing dogs, and the local Republican pol seeking a photo op?"

Maybe.


Well if you insist on accuracy, Franc can just clarify that Republicans are leading in donations from working stiffs who work for multimillionaires who want to contribute in excess of the legal limits to Republican candidates and hide their contributions in their employees' names. Will that satisfy you? Or maybe there is a solid base of working class people out there who have more than $200 to throw away on a bunch of politicians. It could happen.

"Unrelated NRO oddness"

I found far more amazing the succeeding paragraph that you didn't quote, starting with "I explore this contradiction in 'The Jihad in Plain Sight,' a paper submitted for the 2008 Bradley Symposium presented by the Hudson Institute's Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal and Encounter Books."

It's not just that he asked a moronic question. It's that he wrote a paper about it.

"I maxed out for Obama, but two of my contributions were under $50."

I bought two packets of stuff from the Obama store. It counts as a donation/contribution, but both my purchases were under $50, and thus not listed by the FEC.

The FEC database is also incomplete. For instance, it doesn't list several of my donations that exceeded $250.

Well, some of Franc's fundraising/demographic "conclusions" actually DO make a modicum of sense: those "skilled craftsmen" trades he cites are likely, in this day and age, to be mainly independent operators - who might, one supposes, be more amenable to Republican support for lower taxes and looser regulation, and thus freer with their GOP donations. But of course, this kernel of sense gets lost in a thicket of assertions. A significant GOP fundraising advantage among "janitors, custodians, cleaners, sanitation workers, factory workers, truckers, bus drivers, barbers, security guards"? Sounds fishy, to say the least.

Most likely Franc (like so many NR contributors) is simply writing what they expect their readership wants to hear, and crafting the narrative to fit the stereotype. I.e. that the Democrats' donation/support base are mainly snotty, arrogant, affluent-yuppie elitists, while Joe Lunchbucket and his "real American" pals all support Republicans as a matter of course. And naturally, things like facts ought not to get in the way of a good story.

Plumbers, electricians, garage-door installers, pizza spinners, and backhoe operators are a threat to the Academy. Good ones can make well into the six figures without spending four years prostrate to the higher mind. Mexican illegals were getting $5k cash every month framing during the housing boom.

That is a loss of thought control.

What the f*@# are you talking about, Bill?

Gary: yeah, that's how I ended up with two little contributions. One was from the Obama store; then I forgot how much I had spent there, but I knew it was under $50, so I donated up to $50 below the max; then the Obama campaign helpfully emailed me to let me know I could still give $35, so I did. ;)

I thought pointing out NRO stupidity was DeLong's franchise.

Since there's plenty to go around he might not object.

John Thullen: National treasure.

" Good ones can make well into the six figures without spending four years prostrate to the higher mind."

I stopped by the bar at 3 a.m.
to seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend
and next thing I knew I was face down and spread eagle in the parking lot surrounded by heavily armed guys in black, bomb-sniffing dogs, and the local Republican pol seeking a photo op"


- what? You didn't know those were the original lyrics? Although I agree, they don't work quite as well rhythmically . . .

I wonder if it might be possible that these numbers sugggest something else. I know a lot of big donors "bundle" donations across families, informal networks, etc. If Republicans are beating Dems among waitresses whose contributions are big enough to warrant reporting, might that not suggest that these are really "bundled" donations?

I dunno, BOB. As a member of that dreadful Academy, I don't see a huge threat-response to those janitors and electricians or mechanics or whomever. I think we're pretty damned glad they're here, so we have more time to warp the minds of 18 year olds and teach them to hate America and become Marxists and atheists. That's much harder to do by candelight.

lowly_adjunct: *giggles*

But isn't it the "conservatives" who want candlelight, as opposed to that new-fangled electricity stuff?

(I'm sure if I go back and grovelled around in newspaper editorials and other writings of the period, I could find at least one person fulminating about The Dangers Of Electric Light. Witness the tizzy that first existed about using anesthesia during childbirth. "Ungodly", "against the Bible" and all that. Then Queen Victoria used ether during one of her childbirths and well, amazing how quickly the Anglican clergy shut up. Sometimes lese-majeste is a wonderful thing.)

Jay C: "...those 'skilled craftsmen' trades he cites are likely, in this day and age, to be mainly independent operators - who might, one supposes, be more amenable to Republican support for lower taxes and looser regulation..."

I'm sure such guys are out there, but I don't get it. I'm trying to make it as an independent contractor now; the last time I did that was in the Clinton years. Back then, I got screwed by self-employment taxes and the cost of health insurance. Now, I'm getting screwed by self-employment taxes and the cost of health insurance, and the economy is rapidly turning to poop. "Looser regulation" hasn't helped me one bit; like most independent contractors, it's hard for me to take proper advantage of being able to pollute a river or trade a shady security.

Some trades are pretty culturally conservative, for sure... I just don't buy the notion that it's out of rational self-interest as a class. That's how the Republicans would like to see it, but it's a crock.

As the NRO story does not seem to be backed by data either way; I can offer an anecdotal account of an experience that I was personally involved in. For reasons of security, this will be under a pen name.

There was a small town that was experiencing a healthy building cycle. Construction in this small town was regulated by a gentleman with a Master’s Degree from a prestigious school. He made $65,000 per year as Community Development Director and was a good progressive. He had a shiny new truck and the payments weren’t that bad, given his recent promotion.

As demand for labor began to outstrip supply, wages rose for the field workers to the point where workers on their own shingle began to make more money than the Director, much more. They began to accumulate property. Simple laborers on overtime were achieving pay parity. The Director became bitter, and clung to his diplomas and the expectations of respect to which he had become accustomed. He took out his bitterness on the development community, costing people money.

I was retained to manage the Director.

In the process of my work, I encountered proles. The proles I encountered were nothing like the Ingsoc proles I had read of, these were American proles. AND THEY WERE ARMED.

After months of intermittent contact, I was able to finally win their respect by out-drinking them at a horseshoe tournament.

I met one prole who actually made the back of milk cartons as a delinquent dad. He had a collection of rattlesnakes from which he periodically drew venom to sell to clinics for the production of anti-venom. It was his own side-business. I took time to get to know this specimen. Strangely enough, he held conservative values.

And as I got to know the prole community as a whole better, I found out that he was no exception. They had a certain sense of pride in their craftsmanship. As a group, they were very conservative.

These American proles are not to be underestimated. They bear watching at all times.

I need to go back to surrealism school to brush up.

They say don't try to kid a kidder, but the kidder is fully and well kidded.

That no kidding is taking place makes the situation even more delicious.

How can anyone not like that?

Dear Hilzoy: I trust you are well.

Thank you for the interesting blogpost about Michael Franc's column for NATIONAL REVIEW Online. Your criticisms about the need to refrain from drawing too many conclusions from inadequate data are valid. So was your stressing of the need for more careful fact checking by editors.

I do think you could have stressed more clearly that Franc's unsatisfactory column appeared in NATIONAL REVIEW Online, rather than the printed version. I checked both the May 5 and May 19 issues of NATIONAL REVIEW, and did not find the Franc piece in either of them.

Truth to say, while I saw the Franc piece on NRO, I was far more interested in the recent NR articles about Obama and his appalling pastor Jeremiah Wright. See esp. Stanley Kurtz's article about Wright's racist theology and is origins in the May 19 issue. Jeremiah Wright is one of the many reasons why I'm not voting for Obama (aside from his liberalism).

I've subscribed to NATIONAL REVIEW since 1976. And the late William F. Buckley's columns in the back pages was a favorite feature of mine. Memory eternal to a great man!

Sincerely, Sean

Sean, you’re a gentleman.

When I get to Heaven, if not before, I want to go out drinking with Thullen. All the angels will love him, as I’m sure they do now.

felix culpa:

I have a feeling I'll need a designated driver on the way back from Toronto after our
assault on the evening, when it happens.

Speaking of heaven, _Figure of Beatrice_?

I just ordered that book last week, after years of procrastination.

One day. I will tell you of Beatrice.

Wow, John, wonderful.

Maybe the kids could set us up our own little thread on TiO just to babble about it.
Otherwise my e-mail is just a click away.

I should really get another copy. I gave my venerable edition to Ann Carson, whom I hold in highest regard (Eros the Bittersweet, Economy of the Unlost) and I failed to supply a means of return. Honorably lost.

Where did you find your copy?
That would be dreamy. I live in hope.

felix culpa: When I get to Heaven, if not before, I want to go out drinking with Thullen. All the angels will love him, as I’m sure they do now.

Now that is a party I can not possibly miss. How many times do you have to change trains to get there from hell?

felix culpa:

Oddly enough, I just received an email that my order for the book can't be filled. (Borders).

I'll try some other places and let you know.

Meanwhile, no TIO thread until I've read the thing. (take note LJ; I think DaveC. named his pukey green Valiant Beatrice, which I wish he would at least cover with a tarp because one look was enough to last me.)

I've ordered the book thru inter-library loan to see me through. Also ordered _Eros the Bittersweet_.

Thanks for being a good influence ........ I think?!?

OCSteve: just step through the door.

As Williams has it (in his nativity play when Mary is explaining to Joseph about The Kid), granted when you’re in love, but more importantly here In Love— as the condition for all existence— Heaven is all around you hidden in plain sight.

Like that. So you don’t really have to even step through the door; just open the window to get a good view.

OCSteve:

We'll have to get numbfaced real quick to overcome what I hope are already reduced expectations, especially everyone else's.

_________________

Is that Beatrice I see lurking in the shadows at that window?

That I need an inter-"library" loan to find _Figure of Beatrice_ is a haunting within a haunting and deeply right over time and the parallel lines that have run through space.

I’m not much of an influence, but Williams? Not to worry.

Me I actually leapt to Amazon, where I was presented with Outlines of Romantic Theology of which I hadn’t heard, and here I thought I knew it all, so I got that too. Poor VISA.

Anyway, whenever. You don’t totter off to my mildewed age by thinking must have now.

Doesn’t change its nature as a fine fish. Been hoping in Heaven all my life, after all.

So yeah, I can wait.

Those parallel lines, John— have you been into the Metaphysical Trigonometry again?

Forget expectations John. Highly overrated, and they just get in the way of the good stuff.
Surprises are what art and life are all about, but of course you knew that.

The Figure of Beatrice is wonderful.

There are lots of people out there who want to be journalists.

Actually, morons like the one you cite style themselves as analysts and scholars, not journalists. Being the "vice president of government relations for the Heritage Foundation" doesn't quite have the intellectual heft that 'analyst' or 'scholar' does.

hilzoy, you know it?
Perfection refuses to elude you.

Those two, Beatrice and Eros pretty close to sum up my world.

Once you’ve read those two, John, you can throw me away.

Dear felix culpa:

Thank you for the compliment!

Thullen and Hilzoy: do you mean Charles Williams' book THE FIGURE OF BEATRICE? CW's study of Dante's great poem THE DIVINE COMEDY.

I don't have FIGURE OF BEATRICE, but I do have other books by Williams like DESCENT OF THE DOVE, WITCHCRAFT, and his fantssy and supernatural novels--THE PLACE OF THE LION--being one of them. Great reading and food for thought.

Sincerely, Sean

Exactly so, Sean.

Sean: yep.

imho, Williams has his self-indulgent moments in the fantasies, and in DoD, but TFOB is just wonderful. *grins*

Hilzoy, dare I ask what you think of Williams’ poetry? Taliessen and Region?

John Thullen et al: Powell's Books (Or should I have kept that to myself?). Anyway, that's where I got the PDF of Hilzoy's book. I love Portland.

I know this isn't an open thread, but speaking of great characters in literature...


felix c: I have a much, much vaguer memory of the poetry. This must mean that I didn't like it as much, since if I had, I would have remembered it more clearly. But why I can't say. (It has been at least 25 years since I read the poetry.)

David Kilmer:

Thanks.

I've heard of Powell's Books.

John & Felix, thanks for reminding me of CW. His novels have a prominent place in my house but I keep forgetting to give the poetry and nonfiction another try (although I may just have to accept that I don't have the background for Taliesin to be readable by me).

Hilzoy, no worries,
Auden admitted to having trouble with it too (at first).
I’m sure I mentioned it over at TiO, but in a mid-fifties paperback of Descent of the Dove I have, in his quite wonderful introduction Auden remarks that in conversation williams made him “feel twice as intelligent as one knew oneself to be”.
This from he whom Joseph Brodsky described as the most intelligent man of the twentieth century. always loved that.

Hopkins would be my main man, but I’ve read “The Departure of Merlin” to friends countless times, and only the last did I not have to stop to stifle sobs. The beauty of language bursting “into times variously veined”.

(I do hope the terrorist kitten didn’t eat my request for your F&R pdf.)

Dear Hilzoy and felix culpa:

I'm something of a Dante freak. I have no less than three translations of the DIVINE COMEDY by Dorothy L. Sayers, John Ciardi, and Allen Mandelbaum.

Plus, I have shorter works of Dante like LA VITA NUOVA, DE MONARCHIA, and a collection of his surviving letters.

Hilzoy, could you list a few parts of THE DESCENT OF THE DOVE you did not quite like? So I can look them up in my copy.

Of Williams fantasies, the ones which most impressed me were MANY DIMENSIONS and DESCENT INTO HELL. The latter book was SCARY. But it's been too many yaars since I last read. Think I'll reread some this summer.

And it looks like I'll have to find a copy of THE FIGURE OF BEATTRICE! (Smiles)

Sincerely, Sean

Geez. Even Preview couldn’t save me from myself. Intended to follow form and decapitalize hilzoy and capitalize Williams.

Hob, truly darn swell. You saw my remark to hilzoy about the difficulty.
As in all things, it’s my ability to accept my inescapable ignorance that keeps me going. Like enjoying theater in a language I don’t speak, of which I’ve done a lot.

Yeah, Sean. Descent Into Hell is my fave. Perhaps not altogether oddly, Donald recalls as central images other than the ones I do.
There’s a rich fund of images from which to draw.

FOB now ordered via Powell's Books.

Thanks

NRO does have the Iran News Round Up, a pretty good source of information in my opinion. Beatrice would be a good name for an old car, especially because those are known as "beaters" around Chicago. I'm not sure I have ever really named my cars, except for the Pinto wagon, which I called "The Flying Coffin". What, should I name my Crown Victoria "Vick"? I'll do that after I have the front seat lowered so that I can barely peer over the steering wheel.

"The National Review could surely find someone, somewhere, who bothers to check whether the data he's using actually support his conclusions."

If they did that, they wouldn't come to the conclusions the NRO wants 95% of the time.

Where did you find your copy? That would be dreamy. I live in hope.
AbeBooks:
43 Results (Displaying results 1 - 30)
The cheapest is US$ 20.00 & $3.00 shipping, and the others go up from there. The first 8 are available for a combined total of under $30 each.

Thanks Gary.
At Amazon it was $18.95. That plus the Introduction was $34.95.
On principle I’d prefer to deal with Abe, but I was doing it quick & dirty; Amazon was the first listing on Google so I leapt for that and am well content.
Well more than pleased by the context of ramifying pleasures.

I saw this one about a week ago. I wasn't capable of figuring out where the spin lay on my own. Thank you very much.

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