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October 10, 2008

Comments

hear hear,

i dont like mike huckabee's views, but he's a really likeable guy. i have friends in college who are socially conservative christians, but we hang out a lot.

It seems odd that you don't mention the famous David Brooks interview that had the blogosphere so agog on Wednesday. It's a heck of a lot more pungent than yesterday's column.

Publius,
the far right is anti intellectual for more reasons than merely that colleges are all full of diversity 'n stuff. The far right and the rural right are anti intellectual because science and logic are seen as dangerous--as anti religion and anti faith. And, to a certain extent, they are. Certainly they are anti blind faith. These individuals, families, and communities are petrified of new ideas and of a comparison of ideas and religious practices. You can see it in their writings to each other where each little believing individual and family is seen as an island in a sea of frightening "otherness" that includes every modern convenience from birth control to yoga. We've often joked about it--that they want to reppeal the enlightenment. But that is exactly correct. They want to reppeal everything that broke humans out of their little, hide bound, communities and introduced them to the possibility that their own tribal god was not the only way to salvation. And they know, from bitter experience, that unless they can hang on to the reins in their own families and communities they will lose out, long term, to the delights of the big city, of "the gay" temptation, of the sheer love that people have for running and finding stuff out.

In fact one of the applause lines/attack lines on Obama is specifically that he is arrogant enough/upper class enough/elite enough to *try* to have answers for the questions voters are asking him--to *put* himself forward as a potential president. What can you do with people like this? The republican party has nailed its flag to the mast of these know nothings and it will, hopefully, go down with them. But we will never be read of this will to ignorance. Its all they 've got.

aimai

I agree with aimai that right-wing anti-intellectualism is separate from (though related to) the diversity-bashing. When David Brooks talks about the Republican Party telling intellectuals to go away, it's not just bashing "the liberal elite" in words: it's also reflected in the party's unwillingness to trust experts or expertise and its willingness to absolutely ignore evidence (that abstinence-only sex education doesn't work, that deregulation is always a good idea). One of the things I learned in college, that I think is part of what unites people who consider themselves educated, was to trust evidence, that the world is more complicated than it seems, and that some people (often but not always professors) really do know something about the world that I don't. The Republican Party has been railing against all those basic ideas for years, and that, rather than "those mean Republicans telling us to go away," is part of what Brooks ought to be talking about. They didn't just tell us to go away - they set up an entire party based on values antithetical to education.

The right is not nearly as anti-intellectual as liberal intellectuals like to think; You've got a real problem with conflating "disagrees with me" with "stupid".

It isn't the far right that got suckered by Belesilles because they liked his position on a social issue.

It isn't the far right that is wedded to a conception of the human mind as an infinitely mailable blank slate, in the face of everything modern neuroscience and genetics has to say.

I'd say that the right is, on the margin, less 'intellectual' than the left, but it's not nearly as black and white as you make it out to be: On some social issues, the anti-intellectualism is on the other foot.

I've been thinking about the US right's anti-intellectualism as compared to that in other cultures and it does seem to me to be historically unusual to get an alliance of part of the ruling class of a country (in the US now increasingly big business interests) and populist anti-intellectualism. Most populist movements (left or right-wing) have been disliked heartily by those who already have political/economic power because of their policies. (For example, neither anti-immigrant sentiment nor wealth redistribution play well with big business).
This has meant that populist politicians have rarely been able to get into government and when they have, their policies normally get watered down (see e.g. Lula in Brazil).

So it's not all together surprising that this Republican anti-intellectual alliance is starting to come apart, because it's always relied on the delicate balance of those at the top of the Republican party misleading those lower down that they are really just like them, while never seriously implementing the populist policies they want, because those are regarded as stupid.

This facing two ways simultaneously (to the movers and shakers and to the plebs) gets harder and harder as the interests of global capitalism and small-town conservatism get ever further apart. I thought Sarah Palin's comments on magazines was a classic symbol of that. It would have been very easy for her to lie and say she read various specific journals on the internet (so it couldn't easily be proved she didn't have subscriptions to them). Or she could have gone the populist route and said she didn't have the time for sitting around and reading. But either way would have upset one section of the party and so she had to flail around.

I don't know if a genuinely populist Republican Party might emerge if they lose this election (I don't know enough US history to know if the current system allows it). But I would add that if politically-significant populist parties on either the right or left are going to emerge anywhere in the West, a serious recession is one of the more likely times for them.

An old post by Coturnix about the village vs. the university.

"It isn't the far right that is wedded to a conception of the human mind as an infinitely mailable blank slate, in the face of everything modern neuroscience and genetics has to say."

And technically speaking, this claim as worded is completely correct - the far right isn't wedded to utter blank-slate-ism (except when it comes to sexual attraction, I guess). Of course, I'm still catching a whiff of straw , but . . .

It isn't the far right that is wedded to a conception of the human mind as an infinitely mailable blank slate, in the face of everything modern neuroscience and genetics has to say.

Nah, they are wedded to Manichean claims that try to create black and white when everything is dark grey. Though Brett is welcome to point to the far right pundits who have a good grasp of the current state of research.

also... because college professors in general skew liberal, it's easy to demonize the entire notion of higher education as a liberal scheme - especially easy to demonize when the people you're trying to scare don't know any better, having never been to college themselves.

it's just another cynical short-sighted ploy by the party of fear.

It isn't the far right that got suckered by Belesilles because they liked his position on a social issue.

The far right got suckered by the NRA into believing that private ownership of guns is an important civil right far exceeding any other civil right...

Interesting that people are still trying to keep alive the modern-day version of the Whig Party. But then David and Brett appear wedded to it. The GOP will crater just as the Whigs did, and it will probably be the death of the fantasy of a "free market" that does it.

Brett says:

"I'd say that the right is, on the margin, less 'intellectual' than the left, but it's not nearly as black and white as you make it out to be: On some social issues, the anti-intellectualism is on the other foot."

Which only means something if words mean nothing. Social values that are construed as moral or religious values are not *intellectual* values at all--they are an ipse dixit. The holder holds them not *because* of their education or their intellectualism but despite it. Christianist families and social groupings emphasize this all the time, preferring anti-intellectualism and even anti-education policies precisely because they see education and independent thought as antithetical to rote absorption of religious values.

And those who reject (some) moral or social values as inapplicable or useless, harmful or wrongheaded, may or may do so on the basis of the intellect, education, or a higher morality.


"On some social issues the anti intellectualism is ont he other foot" doesn't mean what Brett wants it to mean. Certainly, on some social issues the right and the left disagree--but their disagreement can't be put down to "intellectualism vs. anti intellectualism" because social values can't be reasoned about and are not the subject of expert opinion. It is the case that the more educated you are, in a conventional sense--the more broadly, the more deeply, the higher the quality of your teachers, the more you will tend to have science, history, literature, and philosophy to back up or to challenge your moral views on some topics. When you come to reject other people's social objectives as inhumane, ahistorical, non utilitarian, immoral, cruel or childish and spiteful you do so not on the basis that those people are "stupid" or "ill educated" or "not intellectual" but on the basis of the fact that you have reached your conclusions based on science, history, religion and morality in their broadest possible application and foundation and you don't find those "values" persuasive on their merits.

aimai

the elite left exist because the Repulbicans created the conditions for them to succeed. Lowering the top tax rates from 90% to 35% created the educated, knowledge worker class. Lowering the crime rate made cities safe to live in again. Ending most busing and desegreation created suburban schools safe for white and Asian children but with few blacks or Hispanics.


The elite whites benefit because they do into career fields that do not suffer from affirmative action, set asides or immigration (such as law) as much as jobs further down the food chain.
Look at how the children of elite whites have abandon career fields such as medicine, engineerinig, or science for career fields in finance, law, or publishing.

Look at middle class jobs such as teaching, nursing, or law enforcement that probably make it much harder to care about social issues than working in Manhatten.

The educational split for white is between the directional state graduates who have to compete with blacks and Hispanics for jobs versus the elite whites who attended schools that are much less diverse than the average public school.

However, the elite white progressives should begin to consider what politics will be like when the Repubican party completes its collapse and the U.S. is a one party state. Once the Republicans no longer exist to you really expect blacks, Hispanics, and poor voters to give the rich white boys what they want?

The right is not nearly as anti-intellectual as liberal intellectuals like to think

Publius was specifically talking about politics. Are you denying that Republican politicians use more anti-intellectual slogans than Democrats? Can you give me some examples of anti-intellectual statements by prominent Democratic politicians in the last 30 years or so, comparable to sneers at 'pointy-headed intellectuals'?

There is certainly an anti-intellectual strain in some left-wing politics (such as some forms of green politics), but such views are marginal in the US. I can't think of any anti-intellectual leftwing views that are as politically prominent as, say, Creationism.

Right-wingers need not be anti-intellectual, but many of those in the US have deliberately chosen to be. Which seems fairly bizarre for someone like me coming from a country where a right-winger like Boris Johnson can also have fairly serious intellectual pretentions.

what politics will be like when the Repubican party completes its collapse and the U.S. is a one party state

now where have i heard that before...

I find this to be relevant to the issue, and is worth reading in its entirety if you follow the link:

"#1. The People Are Not Bamboozled

Faced with their many failures to convince even a significant minority of the American population to act in ways that they assume are in the best interests of the overwhelming majority, many leftists tend to blame this lack of success on the fact that most people do not understand the nature of the social system or their class interests.
[...]
Contrary to the theorists of consciousness who explain away left failures,...They may not understand all the details of the close working relationship between big business and government, or how and why markets currently work to the great advantage of capitalists, but they know full well they are being ripped off, and they fully believe that the circumstances they find themselves in are not fair.
[...]
it seems likely that everyday people don't opt for social change in good part because they don't see any plausible way to accomplish their goals, and haven't heard any plans from anyone else that make sense to them. But why don't they just say "the hell with it" and head to the barricades? Why aren't they "fed up?" The answer is not in their false consciousness or a mere resigned acquiescence, as many leftists seem to believe, but in a very different set of factors. On the one hand, for all the injustices average Americans experience and perceive, there are many positive aspects to everyday life that make a regular day-to-day existence more attractive than a general strike or a commitment to building a revolutionary party. They have loved ones they like to be with, they have hobbies and sports they enjoy, and they have forms of entertainment they like to watch. In fact, many of them also report in surveys that they enjoy their jobs even though the jobs don't pay enough or have decent benefits.
[...]
On a less positive note, many ordinary white workers have priorities that they put ahead of economic issues. As all voting and field studies show, a large number of average white Americans do many things based on their skin color. They often vote Republican, for example, especially in the South. They protest against affirmative action programs. They live in segregated neighborhoods.
[...]
It is these alternative issues, both positive and negative, rooted in their own lives and experiences, not a false consciousness created by the capitalists' ideological hegemony, that explain why most Americans don't rebel -- or even vote their pocketbook -- most of the time...They have misconstrued the problem, which has to do with structures of power and life circumstances and the compelling nature of everyday life, not the chains of consciousness... They have misunderstood everyday people, and in effect blamed them for the failures of the left, even though at the theoretical level it seems like they are blaming the overwhelming powers of the dominant class or power elite. They have made the people the problem instead of considering the possibility that what the left offers does not make any sense to most people.

Brett Bellmore prefers a better class of intellectualism; that's why he hangs out here. ;)

I was watching some Youtube footage of Palin supporters being interviewed as they stood in line for Palin events to have their anger stoked. "Terrorist" and "Hussein", etc, etc, etc.

A lot of young punks, who should have been suckerpunched and kicked in the nuts on the spot, and a lot of overweight middleaged sputtering guys who would have gone into immediate cardiac arrest had they needed to defend their garbage with their fists.

Young, white women too, who will probably be assigned the job of removing fillings from the mouths of Jews when the time comes. These women were very forthright about their ignorance.

I've a friend or two who sound like this too.
All very nice people who listen to Mozart and Beethoven while they clean their guns.

Their anti-intellectualism and every other anti they harbor make me feel like Alvey Singer in "Annie Hall", when he visits Annie's upper middle class Wasp family: they look at me like I'm decked out in Hasidic garb ---- and I'm a Protestant for crying out loud.

"Annie Hall" is a comedy.

Here's what's not so funny: the Republican Party seeks out the "chicken farmer" vote and gets the "chicken farmers' into meeting halls and stokes their "chicken farmer" anger.

These "chicken farmers" will someday make the trains run on time and probably develop new furnace technology.

When Obama is elected, he needs to turn Homeland Security's sights on these people.

They are the terrorists. Nip it in the bud.

They'd kill US if they could.


Urban educated Republicans don’t even try to defend this garbage, but instead are embarrassed by it…

And some rural educated Republicans as well. Even some that are clingy.

And so that’s what you have — a lot of angry, proudly uninformed conservatives out there.

You also have some proudly informed conservatives out there who simply disagree with Democratic policies.

They’re like a armed heat-seeking missile gone astray in the water.

Heat seeking missiles go astray in the water 100% of the time. They just don’t work worth a damn in that environment. ;)

That’s why I think Palin very much remains a 2012 player even if McCain loses.

Guaranteed. She’ll be top of the ticket then.

Look – I agree with some of what you say here, but I’m guessing you have no idea how elitist sounding this might come across to some people, or understand that it’s this kind of elitism that actually riles up many of the folks you are discussing here. You understand that they are a significant voting block, but rather than offer some proposals to connect with these folks, your solution is to mock them and declare that they’ll be irrelevant in a few years anyway. I’m sure that will work. ;)


You simply can’t win a general election when almost half the country detests you.

Bush 2004?

Brett, there's a lot of straw there. And going the other way a mountain of evidence: 'he thinks he's smarter than me' isn't viewed as disqualifying on the Dem side, while one heard this over and over about Gore, Kerry, and now Obama. Insult Dukakis because he went to Harvard -- it totally works, because the electorate they were trying to reach thinks elite education is a bad thing.

I bet you could put all the people fooled by Bellisles in a medium sized conference room. First, you'd have to find the people who care, then the people who read, then the people who read and ignored the evidence going the other way. On the other hand, you could fill stadiums in every state with the people who think the world was created 10,000 years ago or less, and that the people who think that what is known about physics, biology, astronomy, geology, etc that makes this impossible is just wrong.

You also have some proudly informed conservatives out there who simply disagree with Democratic policies.

I absolutely agree with this. The problem is that role your side has let the Know Nothing element play in your coalition. It's a real problem for you, because it prevents you from getting your best and brightest into office. (OCS, I re-read Bob Dole's 1996 convention speech the other day. Find it and read it; you'll be glad you did). It's a problem on our side, because when you guys win, a certain amount of policy has to get allocated to this element. Not anywhere near as important as their numbers in your coalition, but more than a modern economy/nation ought to see.

I’m guessing you have no idea how elitist sounding this might come across to some people, or understand that it’s this kind of elitism that actually riles up many of the folks you are discussing here.

Not to speak for P, but I think this is very well understood. The thing is, we've learned that we get nothing from respecting these people either. Patience doesn't work, respect doesn't work, presentation of policies that might be in their interest doesn't work. there's an element of folks who are reacting in a tribal sense, and would take the same insult exactly from someone on their own side without complaint, but are looking for reasons to be offended by the other side. and after a while -- a long while -- you just get fed up walking around on egg shells, and have to call it out.

Brett, it isn't really fair to bag on "the left" for liking Bellesiles - after all, the whole point of his book was that it was careful quantitative historical research in colonial documents, all very scientific - until his research was exposed as fraudulent, after which he had no defenders on the left. To take an exactly parallel case, on the other side of the same issue you have John Fund, who published research purporting to show that gun ownership greatly reduces crime - and who was humiliated when it was shown that he'd cooked his numbers and that he'd engaged in weird sock-puppetry online to defend himself. And Fund, unlike Bellesiles, was not forsaken by his ideological allies. You'd be on much more solid ground to more explicitly attack the new-age sympathies of some members of "the left", or better yet Alternative Medicine. I offer up the paranoid and discredited anti-Thimerasol crusade, represented by Robert Kennedy Jr, for you to use; he doesn't get enough stick for that nonsense.

I don't know whether the republicans would actually nominate Sarah Palin for president, or whether conditions will ever be such that she can win. I certainly wouldn't ever say never.

That, by the way, is a bigger insult than anything else I've ever written on this site.

I agree with some of what you say here, but I’m guessing you have no idea how elitist sounding this might come across to some people, or understand that it’s this kind of elitism that actually riles up many of the folks you are discussing here.

see... "elitist" is just another part of the GOP's inane celebration of ignorance.

i have a T-shirt (from GYWO) that says:

    If “elitist” just means “not the dumbest motherf*cker in the room”, I’ll be an elitist!

to me, that sums-up the situation completely. to me, the "anti-elitist" bullshyte implies a voluntary race to the left-side of the bell curve. well, count me out.

i'm no grammar elitist, but no, there should be no hyphen in "left-side".

the elite left exist because the Repulbicans created the conditions for them to succeed. Lowering the top tax rates from 90% to 35% created the educated, knowledge worker class. Lowering the crime rate made cities safe to live in again. Ending most busing and desegreation created suburban schools safe for white and Asian children but with few blacks or Hispanics.


The elite whites benefit because they do into career fields that do not suffer from affirmative action, set asides or immigration (such as law) as much as jobs further down the food chain.

The 'elite whites' you describe are mainly Republicans. It is the middle class that skews Democratic.

You understand that they are a significant voting block, but rather than offer some proposals to connect with these folks

There's no way to connect with these folks. They have deliberately severed any connection to the rest of the country. They can't be persuaded by reason, since they reject its use. The only hope is for containment.

To take an exactly parallel case, on the other side of the same issue you have John Fund

John Lott, no?

Scott,

If you look at http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2008/10/the_numbers_on_the_white_working_class.php you will see that the upper middle class is less likely to vote Replubicans than the middle class. Middle Class whites in Alabama or Texas are much more likely to be exposed to minorities than rich whites in DC, NYC, Boston, etc. That is one of the reasons that rich whites in Boston vote Democratic and rich whites in Texas vote Republicans. It is also why liberal elite whites probably decided to live in Boston, SF, or Seattle versus Dallas. More private schools to send your kids and fewer blacks and Hispanics to deal with.

They can't be persuaded by reason, since they reject its use

you can see that working in McCain's campaign; knowing that he was going to take his campaign into the realm of 100% negativity, he simultaneously started telling his supporters that he was at war with the only people in a position to point out the fact that he's completely deserted his "last honorable politician" image, that his attacks are frequently baseless, that he is 180 deg from how he pledged to run his campaign - the media.

now it's McCain vs the world. don't listen to reason, to facts, to logic. listen to McCain, for the only truth is his truth. everyone else is lying to you.

steve is right -- i mean, i could have worded some of this more diplomatically. at the least, i should have made it more clear that there reamins a large chunk of reality-based conservatives.

but that said, i sort of agree with Charley too. i'm weary of trying to express things through a filter so as not to sound bitter toward a group of people that i frankly feel bitter toward. and that act the same toward dems regardless of how liberals talk about them. i was very concerned about this stuff circa 2004 - now i don't care so much anymore.

i'm starting to think that the answer isn't so much reaching out, etc., the long-term answer is that this group of people will get left behind demographically, regardless of what i say.

Some things never change....

At one time there was an American political party called the "Know Nothings"

Adlai Stevenston was decried as a 'pointy head intellectual' back in the 50's.

Richard Hofstadter wrote a book on this in 1963. True! Look it up.

The whole premise of Brooks' analysis is phony self serving conservative crappola. That he is now striving to appear "reasonable" does not obviate this in any respect. Just watch, his next book will whine that conservatism was "never really tried".....just like the ex-communist disillusionment after Kruschev's "secret" speech in 1956.

Hilzoy: "Huckabee is what smart conservatives like Ross Douthat want the GOP to be. They want a populist, tradition-respecting, inclusive party — one that appeals to people’s needs and aspirations, instead of to their ressentiment."

Huckabee's campaign strategist, longtime GOP maven Ed Rollins, got my attention last night on Anderson Cooper's news program. (Sorry, Gary, against your advice, I tuned into cable last night -- or I should say I was checking it out between innings of the Dodgers-Phillies playoff game.)

Anyway, Rollins said: "It's over. This is going to be a landslide."

That's the strongest on-the-record remark I've heard yet by a well-known Republican about McCain's weakening campaign.

Rollins' point was the Ayres and Rev. Wright stuff should have been brought up weeks ago -- that it is too late now, being drowned out by the extreme economic downturn.

Basically, he agreed with Obama's assessment that McCain looks erratic -- whipping up his base at rallies about Obama's Ayres connection and trying to slip in new economic plans at the same time.

Not presidential, said Rollins, who thinks McCain should take the weekend off the campaign trail and huddle with some great economic minds, then unviel a Big Plan on Monday.

This won't happen, Rollins said, because McCain is one of the most impatient candidates he has ever seen. Disgust was all over the former Reagan aide's face.

Correction:

Publius wrote: "Huckabee is what smart conservatives like Ross Douthat want the GOP to be. They want a populist, tradition-respecting, inclusive party — one that appeals to people’s needs and aspirations, instead of to their ressentiment."

"It isn't the far right that got suckered by Belesilles...." who, by the way, was unmasked by 'liberal' scholarship and peer review.

I could count the number of conservative critiques of "The Bell Curve" on one raised middle finger.

"SuperDestroyer" (an odd moniker that makes it hard to take his/her postings seriously) wrote: "Middle Class whites in Alabama or Texas are much more likely to be exposed to minorities than rich whites in DC, NYC, Boston, etc."

Really? Less exposure to minorities in Washington, DC or New York City? A scarcity of private schools in Dallas?

Warren Terra, you're saying "John Fund," but I think you mean John Lott. John Fund is another guy, who had some problem involving sex and alleged physical abuse of his partners, a mother-daughter team. Hard to keep all these scandals straight, I know.

This sentence of Brooks' tells you a lot: "What had been a disdain for liberal intellectuals slipped into a disdain for the educated class as a whole." Note, rather than citing a disdain for liberal ideas, he cites disdain for "liberal intellectuals." This is reactionary thinking, not the way intelligent, objective people form ideas.

My political conscience began forming in the 60's, and by my early teens I considered myself a moderate liberal. I came to this set of beliefs without developing a disdain for conservatives (even though in those days Southern politicans stood in schoolhouse doors and spouted hate speech vile enough to warm Hannity's or Limbaugh's heart, so there were plenty of people to disdain), no doubt partly because my parents considered themselves conservatives, but weren't racist, anti-Semitic or reactionary. Instead, comparing the ideas of liberals and conservatives, I decided that those of liberals were closer to my moral beliefs and empirical judgment about the steps government could take to expand opportunity as broadly as possible. In wrestling with ideas, I frequently told myself "the fact that Lester Maddox is so clearly wrong doesn't make the opposite position clearly right. The rightness or wrongness of any idea should be judged first on its inherent rightness or wrongness, not on whether the idea is similar to something some stupid or hateful person said." Opposing Maddox (or Ayers on the opposite side) is easy - fulfilling the promise of equal justice under law, assuring the that the US is secure in its borders and a force for good in the world, is difficult.

But, the conservative movement took the opposite approach - as Brooks lets slip, they didn't argue that liberal ideas are bad, but rather that liberal people are bad, and you therefore shouldn't listen to them. "If Ted Kennedy is for it, I'm agin it." Tactically it makes sense to tie ideas you dislike to unlikeable people - the Joe Sixpacks may not know Hofstader or Niebuhr or Hayek or Friedman (or Locke or Blackstone or even the Sermon on the Mount), but they do know they don't like "pointy-headed intellectuals" (why hasn't Palin revived that one yet?) telling them what to do, or scary black people demanding equal rights and sometimes setting their neighborhoods on fire to make a point. Unfortunately, however, this focus on straw men and easy targets deprived conservative thought of intellectual and moral rigor, and even worse, riled up people discomforted by necessary social change by encouraging them to think of anyone challenging an obviously flawed status quo as inherently evil and unworthy of being considered good Americans.

This reactionary thinking is so ingrained in conservative "thought" that I'm not sure even serious people like Brooks see it any more. Thus, he seems to justify reactionism - "liberals had coastal condescension so conservatives developed their own anti-elitism." This is obviously part self-serving, but I think it's also intended as a legitimate excuse. He seems to be saying that conservatives can be both intellectual and anti-liberal, but these are incompatible. Intellectualism requires rational, objective thought. This means that conservatives can't be content with immolating straw men and stoking bigotry against the Other, they have to actually engage with serious ideas held by serious people.

They also have to look past the fact that some liberals are condescending snobs who look down their noses at small town folks, religious people or Mr. and Mrs. Salt-of-the-Earth. Obviously, this is true of some liberals, but it's untrue of many more - in fact, there are millions of liberal voters (and more than a few liberal elites) who fit into one or more of the groups allegedly looked down upon. Thus, in considering, for example, whether Palin is qualified to be Veep or Prez, the relevant question is whether she's qualified, not whether some people dislike her for the wrong reasons.

Middle Class whites in Alabama or Texas are much more likely to be exposed to minorities than rich whites in DC, NYC

Have you ever been to New York City or Washington DC?

I don't care how rich you are, you are "exposed" instantly. There is no way you could live in NYC and not be "exposed."

Ditto DC.

MandyW,

Over 30% of the school age children in Boston attend private schools. The public schools in DC are less than 4% white. If you live in Boston or DC and are white, your chidlren attend private school. The same can probably be said for NYC, Seattle, LA, SF.

The middle class in states like Alabama and Texas send their children to shcools with signifcant black or Hispanic populations. Yet, Senator Obama sends his children to a school that is less than 10% black and less than 5% Hispanics. I wonder who has an easier time being an elitist.

Also, do the rich white kids at Williams or Haverford have an easier time support diversity or the middle class white kids at UT-Austin?

Cleek,

You have to admit that is looking more likely that the Republican Party will collapse. Any intelligent, evidence based, expert believing person who understand demographics should be able to see it coming.

goeff,

It is hard for liberals to claim that they are rational and fact based when they scream racism whenever anyone points out that blacks commit crimes at a higher rate than whites.

If you look at the modern, pubic schools, they are based upon liberal dogma that is not based in evidence, facts, or studies at all. Modern public schools are based on dogma. Does anyone really believe that everyone can be taught quantum mechanics. The public schools are built on those ideas.

If you look at modern criminal jusitice, liberal dogma is also not built upon evidence or facts but upon dogma. That is why the crime rate went so high in the 1970's and one of the reasons people stopped calling themselves liberals.

Just to pile on Brett a little bit more: I find it ironic that someone who says

You've got a real problem with conflating "disagrees with me" with "stupid".

uses, as his example, a conflation of "disagrees with me" and "anti-intellectual". There's no incompatibility between being intellectual and being wrong. It happens all the friggin' time, believe me. What's anti-intellectual is to overturn the standard means of verification -- whether historical analysis, as per Bellesisles, or the scientific method, as per the fundagelical Right -- in favor of misty-eyed, ideological hocus pocus.

To put it even more bluntly: Bellesisles committed intellectual fraud, and was punished for it -- by intellectuals, I might add. The Christianist Right commits anti-intellectual fraud every single day, and is rewarded for it -- by vast swathes of the Republican (and often the Democratic) Party. There's no comparison.

[A more apt comparison would be the environmentalist fringe, or (as noted above) the new anti-vaccination lunacy. As noted by magistra, though, they don't really have any presence in American politics.]

the elite left exist because the Repulbicans created the conditions for them to succeed. Lowering the top tax rates from 90% to 35% created the educated, knowledge worker class.

Now JFK was a Republican?

Does anyone really believe that everyone can be taught quantum mechanics.

Yes. Whether it's worth the effort, though, is largely contingent upon the degree to which the student will actually care.

But I'm curious: where on earth is "everyone" being taught quantum mechanics? I went to some pretty dang good schools and I'll tell you, even at those pointy-headed elitist institutions not one in a fifty knew anything about QM...

Over 30% of the school age children in Boston attend private schools. The public schools in DC are less than 4% white.

And 99.9% of your statistics are made up on the fly.


In fact, of students in Boston attending non public schools, 45% are black, 40% white, 11% Hispanic and 3% Asian.

Additionally, these figures include charter schools which are indeed public.

Boston public schools by ethnicity.

Student Demographics:
41% Black
35% Hispanic
14% White
9% Asian
1% Multi-racial, non-Hispanic

You can look up the history of margianl tax rates.
http://www.truthandpolitics.org/top-rates.php

In 1964, the highest rate was above 70%.

Davebo,

From the Boston Globe,

http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2003/09/02/school_study_finds_deep_racial_divide/

"White children have almost entirely escaped the city of Boston, and those who remain in the city live in increasingly advantaged city neighborhoods; half of them attend private schools," it reads. "The vast majority of them live in the suburbs, and in the suburbs they grow up in neighborhoods and attend schools that are typically 90 percent white and remarkably affluent

superdestroyer,

Does anyone really believe that everyone can be taught quantum mechanics. [Sic!]

As a foreigner somewhat acquainted with Physics education around the world, I might say that at least the designers of the US school system do not seem to believe this. The American public school does not teach quantum physics to anyone. In fact, very few school curricula around the world cover anything but the most elementary quantum physics (Bohr model is usually covered, Schrödinger's equation sometimes, but Heisenberg and Dirac formalisms are strictly for under-grads.)

Beside the point, the overall level of science education in American schools is pretty low, and same applies to mathematics. (Of course, with some luminous exceptions.) The freshman year science and maths curriculum of the US colleges is covered in most Continental European high schools in their advanced Physics and Mathematics courses.

SD,

That doesn't even come close to supporting your claims. In fact, it has next to nothing to do with them.

Again, you claim Boston public schools are 4% white.

That's patently false.

>It isn't the far right that is wedded to a conception of the human mind as an infinitely mailable blank slate....

Jeez, Brett, what does the postage run on one of those?

Lurker,

The American school system as implemented by the left believes that all students can learn the same material and at the same rate. The left hates ability tracking or ability grouping and screams racism if blacks and Hispanics do not take AP Physics/Calculus/English at the same rate as whites and Asians. Of course, the left does this while sending their own children to elite private schoosl with few if any blacks or Hispanics.

Look at Californias plan to have all eight graders take albegra even though most of them have not mastered fractions. If you believe all eight graders can learn Algebra, then you must believe that everyone can learn Quantum Mechanics. Look at how Fairfax Virginia has changed entrance to Thomas Jefferson High School (a magnet program) because blacks and Hispanics were not scoring well enough on the entrance exam.


You can looked at how the left hates high stakes testing while their own children attend private schools with entrance exams. You can look at the left's attack on standards while their own children attend private school with very high standards. You can look at how the left's empahsis on critical thinking and citizenship while their own children study literature,history, and foreign languages in private schools.

One of the reasons that many of the white hold white intellecutal elites in contempt is the failure of the elite whites to lead. The left seems to say,"Do was we tell you, not as we actually do."

Davebo,

I said that the DC schools are 4% white. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_Public_Schools

The vast majority of rich white kids in northwest DC attend very white private schools.

The American school system as implemented by the left believes that all students can learn the same material and at the same rate.

Except they don't believe that at all, which is why so many of them opposed No Child Left Behind.

Also, there's an awful lot of "The Left" talk in your posts, which is going to need some unpacking. Which I don't for a second believe you're smart enough to do, but anyway.

rea, I did indeed conflate John Fund and John Lott. I thank you for the correction. My point about the continued acceptance of an exposed fraudster stands - Lott is still a member in good standing of the academic/think tank Right - but I apologize for connecting it to the name of John Fund.

superdestroyer: It is hard for liberals to claim that they are rational and fact based when they scream racism whenever anyone points out that blacks commit crimes at a higher rate than whites.

Actually, people point out in tones varying from polite disdain to angry scream, that it is racist to claim that black Americans are by nature more criminal than white Americans, and it is racist to take crime statistics and deliberately interpret that data to make the argument that "black people commit crimes more than white people". You'd think it would be hard for conservatives to make the claim that it's "liberals" who are irrational when it's conservatives who tend to push racist interpretations of data - but somehow, they do it anyway.

OCSteve: Bush 2004?

Bush lost.

As an American raised abroad, who spent the last eight years teaching (well, TAing and teaching) math(s) in the US...

Lurker: As a foreigner somewhat acquainted with Physics education around the world, I might say that at least the designers of the US school system do not seem to believe this.

I'll stand by what I said above with some minor modifications: the designers of the system, and many (most?) within it, believe that people could learn QM if they had to, or if they really possessed both the desire and will to do what needed to be done in order to understand it.* In general, though, we don't because it would be a waste of time; not because people can't learn the material, but because they don't.

The freshman year science and maths curriculum of the US colleges is covered in most Continental European high schools in their advanced Physics and Mathematics courses.

I went through the expatriate British system, not the Continental one, but that's somewhat misleading. The freshman year science and maths curriculum of US colleges is also covered in the US high school AP courses, or their equivalents (e.g. IB); that's what Advanced Placement means. I, for example, used my AP to place out of the conventional "freshman year" courses -- i.e. Math 103-104 -- into the nominally "sophomore year" courses -- Math 217-218.

[Of course, that in itself is slightly misleading: every math major had placed into 217-218, so it was de facto the freshman year course for math majors, despite being officially "sophomore year". I can assure you, however, that Continental high schools did not teach that curriculum, unless they were somehow busting out Jordan curves and Hausdorff measure.]

That being said, I think there's absolutely no doubt that the standard advanced European high school courses are better than the standard advanced American high school courses, on the understanding that all bets are off at the upper and lower ends of the spectrum.** That doesn't speak to Europe or the US per se -- there's a larger cultural context to consider -- but it's an important distinction nonetheless.

[Though Lurker, you're Finnish IIRC, and I know next-to-nothing about the Scandinavian educational systems except that they're excellent.]

* In particular, the biggest stumbling block in the US are always the mathematical prerequisites. "I really understood physics/chemistry/economics/math except for the math" -- and yes, I really have heard the last of those.

** Well, at least were better. My understanding is that the British system has taken a godawful beating since last I was in it.

superdestroyer fantasizes
Lowering the top tax rates from 90% to 35% created the educated, knowledge worker class.

The existence of our technocratic class has far more to do with the college provisions of the WW-II GI Bill, which ran until Reagan.

If you believe all eight graders can learn Algebra, then you must believe that everyone can learn Quantum Mechanics.

This is perhaps the most astounding syllogism I've ever seen. Words fail me.

For what it's worth, I've taught algebra to eighth graders, many of whom had a weak grasp of fractions. It is indeed feasible. Not easy, but possible.

Regardless, if you're going to claim that the mathematics reform movement is led by "elite whites", it would be nice to provide some sort of evidence. Even better would be some evidence that their opponents are not also "elite whites".

I won't hold my breath.

Ari,

Do you believe that everyone can learn to perform algebra? If yes, then do you believe that everyone can learn calculus? If yes, do you believe that everyone can learn quantum mechanics? Once you answer no, you will called a racist. Thus, the modern education system that is filled with people who never really learn algebra actually believes that everyone can learn qauntum mechanics if given the proper level of schooling.

Boy, this thread got ratholed in a hurry.

I just want to point out that no scientist ever had to write a book called The Democratic War On Science.

Before Bush 43, there was an appreciable minority of Republican, or at least consertative, scientists in the US, but the installation of idealogues as political officers at the heads of scientific inquiries, the stifling of valid scientific conclusions that are politically inconvenient to the Bush 43 Administration, and the defunding of scientific projects that seem likely to produce inconvenient data, have driven virtually the entire scientific commumnity firmly into the Democratic column for the forseeable future.

Boy, this thread got ratholed in a hurry.

i recommend putting superderailer in the pie works.

Once you answer no, you will called a racist.

That's flat-out untrue, as a brief glance at the literature will show. It's only called racist if you argue that one ethnicity is less capable than another because -- wait for it -- that is racist.

And I'm curious: do you have any experience whatsoever in the educational field, superdestroyer? Any teaching background? A Math Ed degree? Anything at all?

I want her to remain credible in a future GOP primary because there’s no longer any way on Earth she could win a general election.

A lot of people said this, with equal confidence, about Reagan.

Do you believe that everyone can learn to perform algebra? If yes, then do you believe that everyone can learn calculus? If yes, do you believe that everyone can learn quantum mechanics? Once you answer no, you will called a racist.

I take it back. This is the best syllogism of all time.

I certainly believe that everyone can learn algebra. Of course, it is not the case in America that everyone does learn algebra. Perhaps the question you should be asking is, "Do you believe that everyone can learn algebra in American public schools as they are today?" And then my answer, of course, is no.

The notion that mathematics is uniquely unlearnable for those without the correct predisposition is widespread and, in my opinion, outright false. Nobody asks questions like, "Can everyone learn to write a decent history paper?" or "Can everyone learn to hit 20% of their free throws?"

You somehow see a contradiction between the belief that mathematics is learnable and the reality that not everyone learns it. Why? It sounds to me like you are asserting, "Clearly, not everyone can learn algebra; if they could, they'd have learned it!"

In the liberal intellectual, elite educated world, the only answer to why blacks and Hispanics cannot learn Algebra is because of systematic racism. Any other answer is immediately called racist.

Also, if you want to amuse yourself look at the Department of Educations website on educational research. You can find thousands of articles of the effects of blacks attending majority white schools, yet you cannot find more than one or two articles, you cannot find any research of whites attending majority-minority schools. Given that kidergarten students in the U.S. are less than 50% white, that is the research that the government should be doing but refuses. And why does it refuse? Because it is afriad of the what it will find.

There was also scientific coverup during the Clinton Administration. There was a lawsuit that forced the government to release raw data used to develop EPA regulations because Industry felt that the Clinton Administration was "cooking the book."

Cleek,

Thanks for the example of who the left supports free speech for itself but censorship for everyone else.

Ok, so superdestroyer is a racist troll. Can we get back to discussing the anti-intellectualism in the Republican Party? In particular, does anyone have any suggestions as to how to go about stopping this?

anarach,

You have showed why many people resent elite white progressives. Eventually their only answer to any discussion about the U.S. is to call people racist, tell them to shut up, and to call for censorship.

And yes, I have taught physics at the undergraduate and graduate level. There are some people who just cannot learn the concepts. it is the same idea that not everyone can learn to play the violin or be a chessmaster. To deny that different people have different capabilities is liberal dogma and has no basis in fact. But sense the dogma can be used to support progressive policies, it cannot be challenged.

I have had a hard time accounting for the ani-intellectualism. It certainly serves to highlight the "Us versus Them" mentality. I have to agree, that it is of limited political value as time goes on, and the sorcerer's apprectice metaphor is quite fitting.

I appreciate the comments that have highlighted the idea that intellectual pursuit is antithetical to fundamental religious belief. There has always been a tension between education and religion. One teaches you HOW to think, the other teaches you WHAT to think.

There is a particular vein of Republicanism that seems quite shocked when people do not respond in lock to step when told what they should believe. I suspect these same folks despise higher education. Since they believe people are so easily indoctrinated, they would naturally believe that a university serves the same function against their interests.

On a broader note, the following academic analysis is worth a read, since it explores valid cultural disconnects:

What Makes People Vote Republican?

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/haidt08/haidt08_index.html

"If Democrats want to understand what makes people vote Republican, they must first understand the full spectrum of American moral concerns. They should then consider whether they can use more of that spectrum themselves. The Democrats would lose their souls if they ever abandoned their commitment to social justice, but social justice is about getting fair relationships among the parts of the nation. This often divisive struggle among the parts must be balanced by a clear and oft-repeated commitment to guarding the precious coherence of the whole. America lacks the long history, small size, ethnic homogeneity, and soccer mania that holds many other nations together, so our flag, our founding fathers, our military, and our common language take on a moral importance that many liberals find hard to fathom.

"Unity is not the great need of the hour, it is the eternal struggle of our immigrant nation...Until Democrats understand this point, they will be vulnerable to the seductive but false belief that Americans vote for Republicans primarily because they have been duped into doing so."

Uh, if you believe that the word "since" is spelled "sense," let alone your thousand and one other spelling, grammar and syntax errors, then dollars to donuts you have not taught anything at the university level. Except maybe recess or nap time.

Also, using a browser plug-in to filter out someone's blog comments is hardly "censorhip," no matter how hard you stamp your little feet.

To deny that different people have different capabilities is liberal dogma

In shocking news, superdestroyer discovers that you can make things true just by typing them!

Okay, I'm done. DNFTT, even if it's ostensibly about math education.

To deny that different people have different capabilities is liberal dogma and has no basis in fact.

Wrong. Of course people learn different things at different levels and with varying degrees of success.

The dreaded liberal academia does support a classroom scheme that puts students in higher or lower level classes depending on the above.

Many people, however, bristle at the suggestion that there is a corrolary between learning capacity and race or ethnicity.

why blacks and Hispanics cannot learn Algebra

But they can! Many, have, in fact learned Algebra. Why, there are even black and hispanic mathematicians! And scientists! And physisists!

Fancy that.

Phil,

The left has argued that forcing hecklers at public meetings is censorship but not wanting to have someone post on a blog is not.

Several people above have stated that the Republicans problem is that they do not want to listen to someone who does not agree with them. After your post, I do not see how liberals like yourself are any different. Remember, there are organizations to defend conservatives right to speak on college campuses but the left does not need one since they know that virtually all universities let the left have a free rein when it comes to speech.

Eventually their only answer to any discussion about the U.S. is to call people racist, tell them to shut up, and to call for censorship.

Lawdy. I didn't tell you to shut up or call for censorship, I (implicitly) called for people to ignore you. It's not my problem that you can't tell the difference.

As for racist... well, given that you're vehemently espousing racist conspiracy theories, I stand by my assessment. A devotee of rational thought such as yourself should embrace the truth, no matter its personal cost.

And yes, I have taught physics at the undergraduate and graduate level.

I would love to know where.

There are some people who just cannot learn the concepts. it is the same idea that not everyone can learn to play the violin or be a chessmaster.

If you can't tell the difference between a) learning quantum mechanics, b) learning to play the violin, and c) being a "chessmaster", and d) why this claim has nothing to do with race contra your fevered (and febrile) declarations that it must, there's absolutely no point in continuing this conversation.

Come to that, there isn't any point in continuing this conversation. *plonk*, and DNFTT.

In the liberal intellectual, elite educated world, the only answer to why blacks and Hispanics cannot learn Algebra is because of systematic racism.
Y'know, SD, if you don't want to be called a racist you might try to avoid racist precepts. I think a lot of people are hardly ready to concede the ntion that Blacks and Hispanics cannot learn algebra.

P.S. Should I attempt analysis of your choice to capitalize "Hispanics", and for that matter "Algebra", in the same sentence in which you don't capitalize "Blacks"?

Ari -- any time you want to talk about math education, I'm game. I'm vaguely considering some kind of Math Ed MA at some point; I had a lot of friends in the Math Ed program, which was most excellent, and what little I've done has been really interesting. It's really freaking hard to find useful programs, though -- there are only a handful in the country that are worth a damn, IMO -- so that may have to wait indefinitely.

Anarch,

When it comes to secondary education, blacks and Hispanics take and pass algebra at much lower levels than whites or Asians. The county government in Fairfax County Virginia is always trying to find a way to eliminate the 95% white and Asian student body at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (one of the best public high schools in the nation). It is not that all blacks or Hispanics cannot learn Algebra. It is that they learn it at such low levels when compared to whites or Asians. Can racism be the only reason that blacks and Hispanics perform so poorly in mathematics versus whites and Asians. Or do you attibute it to the prevailing black and Hispanic culture in the U.S.?

When looking at
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3935/is_199910/ai_n8868177 is says

... much of today's educational literature seems to reflect a detracking consensus...

The average education school researchers, who are overwhelmingly Democratic voters, oppose tracking and ability groups. Even though virtually all of the leadership in the Democratic Party send their children to elite private schools that are the ultimate in tracking.

John Derbyshire's latest piece of brilliance seems relevant to this thread.

"If you believe all eight graders can learn Algebra, then you must believe that everyone can learn Quantum Mechanics."

You apparently don't realize this claim makes no sense whatever.

"You can looked at how the left hates high stakes testing while their own children attend private schools with entrance exams."

We could if you gave a cite. If a cite was available, you'd give one. Q.E.D.

How do you come up with a metric for what "the left" does or does not do, in any case? Answer: you can't. Conclusion: you're pulling your assertious out of your butt.

Way you can refute me: with a link to a reputable cite with actual metrics.

We'll wait.

"Do you believe that everyone can learn to perform algebra? If yes, then do you believe that everyone can learn calculus? If yes, do you believe that everyone can learn quantum mechanics? Once you answer no, you will called a racist."

In some strange other universe, I suppose that's true.

"In the liberal intellectual, elite educated world, the only answer to why blacks and Hispanics cannot learn Algebra is" that your assertion is facially false.

Italiacto!

Ok, seriously: Italics-B-gone!

Death to italics.

I have no pity for David Brooks. He loved championing the anti-elitist cause throughout Bush's tenure. Let him reap what he's sown

David Brooks couldn't out-think an Applebee's...

"until his research was exposed as fraudulent, after which he had no defenders on the left."

Sorry, I can understand you'd like that to be the way things went down, but that's simply not true. Belesilles won the Bancroft award after being exposed, not before. Admittedly, he won it before his defenders admitted he'd been exposed, but that's the point: All the problems met with massive denial.

"To put it even more bluntly: Bellesisles committed intellectual fraud, and was punished for it -- by intellectuals, I might add."

Most of whom had to be dragged kicking and screaming into even looking at the evidence.

Hhmm.

My ex-father-in-law was a Democrat back in the twenties and thirties when he needed to be. FDR's programs were his life support. In the fifties my ex-F-i-l continued to derive his living from liberal socialist projects. He got his water from the Snake River Dams, his electircity from Bbonneville, his farm subsidies from Congress and his SS check arrived every month. But he was financially comfortable so he started voting Repubican. He wasn't a racist toward people wh knew but he was racist toward people he didn't know. Reagan's santitized versions of George Wallace slogans went over very well with him--even though he had been more of a recepient of federal largesse than any welfare family ever dreamed of.

He just flat refused to bleieve anything that contracited his beliefs: Watergate wass a conspriracy, Reagan was a saint, etc. I'm sure that if he was still alive he's be a Bush supporter and vote McCain/Palin.

What's the theme her? Well, self interest and ego investment. He was for government programs thhat helped him and against anything else for anyone else. Once he got comfortable he voted out of his precieved self interst which was to see himself in competition with others and to vote for the politicians who would keep the others down and him up. And, since his ego, but nopt his intellect, was involved in his political decsions he could not be wrong.

There are an awful lot of voters like him.

They vote out of pervievd self interst. They either percieve themselves as needing to vote Deomcratic in ordser to get hoelp or they precieve themselves as needing to vote Republican in order to keep others down. Or they dither between the two needs.

The Deomcratic party philosophy is centered on the notion of the common good. The Rpeulcian party philosophy is centered on the notion that it is bad for the government to serve the common good.

That's how I see it.

Ok, so superdestroyer is a racist troll.

I have an honest question, because I've seen posters admonished for personal insults toward other posters, and I'm not trying to pick on Anarch. This particular comment was the one that jumped out at me. I could probably have chosen another example. I'm also not sticking up for superdestroyer or espousing any of his ideas. But, is it okay to call superdestroyer a racist troll according to the posting rules in this situation? I personally have not problem with it, but I'd like to know what someone in authority at this site has to say about it.

P.S. Should I attempt analysis of your choice to capitalize "Hispanics", and for that matter "Algebra", in the same sentence in which you don't capitalize "Blacks"?

Hang on: lots of African-Americans have long objected to the trend of capitalizing "Black" as racist. Others disagree equally strongly. There's certainly no consensus, and logically, if "Blacks" gets capitalized, so does "Whites," and how this is non-racist escapes me.

"Hispanics" gets a capital because the name is derived from the historic nation of Hispania.

"Algebra" doesn't get a cap unless it's at the beginning of a sentence.

One usage note. Another. Another.

(When copyediting, one might go with authorial preference; my own preference is that the notion that there's a single "race" or even ethnic group of "white people," or "black people" is absurd pseudo-science nonsense, but I'm also not apt to tell people they can't self-describe as they like.)

Anarch,

The way that the Democrats are dealing with the Republican party is to bury the Republicans with a demographic avalanche. The Democrats know that putting millions of illegal aliens on the fast track to citizenship will produce millions of additional automatic Democratic voters. The higher birth rates of Hispanics and blacks also ensure that the Republicans will become irrelevant to politics.

In a country where less than half of the children in kindergarten at White, the Repulbican party has zero chance for long term viability.

However, the quesiton for all of the current Repulbicans is how much they will be forced to pay for the common good of everyone else.

Funny, but I actually thought this was a true story:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand_and_Deliver

The left has argued that forcing hecklers at public meetings is censorship but not wanting to have someone post on a blog is not.

1. What is "forcing hecklers at public meetings?"
2. Who is this "the left" of which you speak, and where has he said this? Link, please?
3. Do you not understand the difference between a public -- i.e., government -- meeting, and someone's blog, which is private property? And do you not understand how free speech rights operate vis a vis each of them?
4. Don't answer #3, because the answer to both questions is quite obviously "No, I do not understand these things."

Several people above have stated that the Republicans problem is that they do not want to listen to someone who does not agree with them. After your post, I do not see how liberals like yourself are any different.

Liberals like myself? Son, you don't know anything about me. To whatever extent that I am "a liberal," I promise there are none like me.

Great thought train at 12:49, wonkie.

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/09/quick-thoughts.html#comment-129006258>Davis X. Machina's pithy summation last month of this phenomenon you describe is one of my favorite quotes of all time.

In a country where less than half of the children in kindergarten at White, the Repulbican party has zero chance for long term viability.

However, the quesiton for all of the current Repulbicans is how much they will be forced to pay for the common good of everyone else.

Hey, at least he admits that the GOP is the rich white people's party.

And with that, I join Anarch in plonking you into the dustbin in which you belong.

Belesilles won the Bancroft award after being exposed, not before. Admittedly, he won it before his defenders admitted he'd been exposed, but that's the point: All the problems met with massive denial.

Politically-motivated personal attacks on respected individuals will tend to meet with denial, Brett - I've noticed this myself. ;-) The 2nd-Amendment Firsters who were attacking Bellesile's work were for the most part gun-mad nutcases who would have attacked anything they perceived as being a threat to their right to buy more and more guns.

But you have your facts the wrong way round. After politically-motivated attacks by Second-Amendment defenders, Bellesiles won the Bancroft Award.

After an independent panel of historians had reviewed his work and exposed the major flaws, the Bancroft Award was withdrawn.

You might like it to be the other way round, but that's how it happened.

Look – I agree with some of what you say here, but I’m guessing you have no idea how elitist sounding this might come across to some people, or understand that it’s this kind of elitism that actually riles up many of the folks you are discussing here.

OCSteve,

I speak only for myself here. But I am sick of caring how "elitist" these my opinions appear. I'm tired of trying to save people from the consequences of their own bad judgment and ignorance of the world. If such thoughts from some random guy on the internet prompt these ignorant fools to vote for a moron to run the place, so be it - the beatings will continue until intellegence improves. I'll do just fine regardless, thank you.

Phil,

Actually the Republican Party is the party of middle class and upper middle class whites. The Democratic Party is the party of the every rich, the upper classes, the poor, and minorities no matter their level of wealth.

What David Brooks is arguing is that the Republicans are losing the upper middle class to the Democratic Party. If the marginal tax rate was still at 70% or higher, that move would not be occuring. If the Democratic Party was still pushing for forced busing across county lines, that move would not be occuring. If the Democratic party was still the party of not building new prisons, the move would not occur.

And if you want to look at censorship, it has occured at many public and private universites and even city council meetings. Remember, the Clinton Administration using conservative community organizers for opposing HUD Housing? The last thing the Left in the U.S. wants is free debate on the issue and especially does not want free debate in an educational setting.

hairshirt,

SD has posted on many other liberal threads employing the same name, tactics, and "arguments". There is nothing new here.

He\she\it is a troll in the classic sense of the term. As for racist, read his comments and decide for yourself.

"However, the quesiton for all of the current Repulbicans is how much they will be forced to pay for the common good of everyone else."

Which implicitly implies that Republicans, as a general rule, have more wealth (i.e., they are the elite) than others, and generally undermines just about everything you posted.

I’m guessing you have no idea how elitist sounding this might come across to some people, or understand that it’s this kind of elitism that actually riles up many of the folks you are discussing here.

OC, with all due respect (which is considerable), what I really want to say here is that I don't give good god damn what the folks who get bent out of shape by "elitism" think.

Or, perhaps another way to put it is: likewise, I'm sure. I'm quite sure my level of general outrage and pissed-offedness will compare quite well with that of any Joe Sixpack you care to name.

I'm happy to let it go, because we have things to get done. I really recommend that they do likewise.

It's a plain fact that the Republican party has been running, for the last 40 years, on the resentment of folks who feel like everyone else is looking down on them. That is a shitty basis for a common public identity, and a shitty basis for making public policy.

It's time for heartland America to get the hell over themselves, roll up their sleeves, and get freaking busy like the rest of us cleaning up the god damned mess the folks they have elected have made of this country.

If they're very, very lucky, I will not kick them in the nuts if I should ever meet them. IMVHO, they have it coming.

If you're among those who voted for, frex, George Bush because you thought he was someone you'd like to go fishing with, just keep it to yourself if we should ever meet. Believe me, things will go much more smoothly that way.

"You" in the last paragraph is, of course, the rhetorical "you", and is not directed specifically at you, OC.

I hope all of that is clear enough.

Thanks -

Brett:

concerning political differences in approaches to science, I give you:

TERRY SCHIAVO

After that mess, the Republicans have a long way to go in regaining any credibility that they are the pro-science party.

I guess superdestroyer just want to prove this point for CharleyCarp's comment above:

"The thing is, we've learned that we get nothing from respecting these people either. Patience doesn't work, respect doesn't work, presentation of policies that might be in their interest doesn't work. there's an element of folks who are reacting in a tribal sense, and would take the same insult exactly from someone on their own side without complaint, but are looking for reasons to be offended by the other side. and after a while -- a long while -- you just get fed up walking around on egg shells, and have to call it out."

Sometimes, walking away just makes sense.

*plonk*

I haven't heard the notional *plonk* of a troll landing in the killfile in years.
Brings back memories, it does, of long afternoons spent reading Usenet with trn while my libraries compiled, hitting the space bar over and over like a Pavlov-conditioned pigeon. Good times.

Truly, everything old is new again.
I expect to encounter Kibo or B1FF or Ludwig Plutonium or weemba or Doctress Neutopia at any moment.

Gary Farber we have always with us.

I'd just like to say that russell's comment was a thing of rare beauty.

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