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June 12, 2009

Comments

Tomaig,

It's called Google. It's in there somewhere.

I would imagine that your failure to find any documentation for the claim is probably closely related to your not bothering to look.

No doubt Rush is just a kind and benevolent soul being picked on by the VLWC.

Jeepers. I feel really, really repentant for having brought up the A word while in something of a snit this morning. Mea maxima culpa.

"I am trying to figure out what would possess Erick Erickson to write something like this"

It's not that hard. He's a loon. An angry, fulminating, mouth breathing loon. Does it make human less than human? No, of course not. But it does make him stupid.

There are a group of far right wingers who grew up during the Reagan "revolution", gained sea legs at the knee of Gingrich and Limbaugh, and weaned on the idea that Americans were engaged in some sort of holy war with each other and winning all your points 100% of the time was the only outcome acceptable. Eric is one of these guys, and IMO he's lost forever. Trying to figure out why he's reacting the way he does is not hard. It's how he was taught, and he's just not bright enough to question his assumptions.

Hilzoy's post:

[...] I'm not interested in 'explanations' like: he's on the right, so of course he says idiotic things. Treating his opponents as one big undifferentiated cartoonish mass is part of what makes what Erick wrote so objectionable, and I have no interest in following his example.
Possibly this paragraph didn't show up in some people's browsers.

Jeepers. I feel really, really repentant for having brought up the A word while in something of a snit this morning. Mea maxima culpa.

Have more coffee. And a cookie.

I'm feeling somewhat repentant (though as an ex-Quaker, I find it impossible to go the full Mea maxima culpa route) for having leapt at your abortion bait and - mostly - for getting suckered by the troll.

Jeepers. I feel really, really repentant for having brought up the A word while in something of a snit this morning. Mea maxima culpa.

And I too am sorry I ran with it, frankly. But if it hadn't been you, it would've been someone else, most likely, Andrew. Your comment was more point of departure than a specific focus, I hope.

BTW, did everyone hear the news? Brunn is a leftist! Strange, isn't it?

@Adam Collyer (in a small voice in the great fizz) - Even worse: sophistry would require some actual attempt at argumentation, or at the very least a pair of functional ears. As joel hanes points out, it's not even that, it is all performance for the sake of improving one's standing with the like-minded.

BTW, did everyone hear the news? Brunn is a leftist! Strange, isn't it?

it really is, considering that he hates liberals.

what a confused, crazy, black-hearted, bastard.

i'll get that.

Beautiful post.

My nephew, age 20, is in the Army and set to deploy to Iraq later this year. Obviously I want him to come home ASAP, physically and psychically whole. Yet I remain left-of-center.

Obviously I'm not the only one.

By his (and most of conservative talk radio's) own logic, if liberals are happy when a soldier dies or if the war they oppose is going poorly, republicans must rejoice every time a family loses their home or their job, since they oppose Obama's economic policies.

I poked into the stories about Limbaugh's Chelsea Clinton dog joke. It's not easy to find evidence for it.

There are two separate incidents that get referenced, one in 1993, one in 1992.

The 1993 incident -- which matches Hilzoy's description -- is mentioned in a lot of places, all of which seem to be refering to a newspaper column by Molly Ivins. I haven't found any direct evidence of it, nor a date.

The Nov 6, 1992 incident was a slightly different thing. It definitely did happen; transcripts are easy to find. Limbaugh was talking about the change of the occupancy at the Whitehouse:

In today’s New York Daily News right here… it’s the obligatory in-out list. Every time there’s a massive change somewhere, people are in, people are out. I’m now out. It says about me on here, Rush Limbaugh, loud-mouthed conservative and Bush favorite. He’s out.

In: A cute kid in the White House. Out: Cute dog in the White House.

Could– could we see the cute kid? Let’s take a look at– see who is the cute kid in the White House.

(Picture of Millie the dog appears)

No, no, that's not the kid.

So, was Limbaugh making dog jokes about Chelsea Clinton? My guess is he was -- the set-up and timing in the transcript I found are about right for a joke, and Limbaugh definitely did this sort of prop gag regularly-- but he's got plausible deniability.

That strikes me as about right. Right-wing talk radio -- which my school bus driver had on every morning back then -- wasn't as baldly vicious then as it is now. They've had to up the dosage some to keep getting their highs.

I should add: None of this changes my opinion of Rush Limbaugh much. He's the political equivalent of a bacterial infection. What bugs me about him though isn't the things he says; its that our political immune system is weak enough that he has an audience. Limbaugh may not have started the Chelsea Clinton dog jokes, but they were everywhere when I was in school.


What Erick Erickson desperately needs is a good, old-fashioned ass-kicking. If this bag of pus ever said anything like this in my presence, I would happily break his nose for him.

Like so many of his rightwing pals, Erick thinks himself so very macho, albeit not man enough to actually join the Armed Forces, of course. I'd wager he would hit the sidewalk in two or three punches, if he didn't crap his pants and faint beforehand.

A little context.

It's reassuring that Slartibartfast says he isn't among redstate's fans, and of course some of that traffic comes from critical links like Hilzoy's own. If fully half of the redstate.com traffic comes from people like us, that means that only 750,000 people read and approve of stuff written by the likes of Erickson.

And yes, of course he's human. Saying that people are at risk of forgetting that is a bit of a strawman. Lots and lots of humans are horrible people.

Krugman has a great column about this. Follow the link below.

"No one -- not liberals, not conservatives -- should forget that their opponents are human beings."

I no longer accept this as true. After the last 9 years, I am no longer capable of recognizing the humanity of Republicans. Given the unrelenting hatred; the effortless bigotry and mendacity; the sheer, unadulterated evil espoused by the GOP, I do not consider myself a member of the same species as the GOP and consider that organization and the people who support it to be nothing less than the enemies of the entire human race.

We are talking about people who are willing to murder us in our own churches! Why should we even pretend to recognize any humanity to be found in them?

Alan, in what way does what you wrote just now substantially differ from what Erick wrote?

Alan: what Catsy said. It is absolutely no better when we do it. Plus, thinking like that is what makes people do the things you object to.

There are people on this blog who are Republicans, and they have no desire to murder anyone in their church, any more than I wanted to blow things up when the Weathermen were active on my side, or kidnap Patty Hearst when the Symbionese Liberation Army was.

Jebus, get rid of Dr. Gonzo's post. And whatever you do, DON'T CLICK THE LINK.

This is why I will never ever ever click a tinyurl link again.

It's almost six years since Ann Coulter informed us, on national television, that "liberals want there to be lots of 9/11's." And, you know, it's all worked out very well for her.

While I understand (and applaud) your desire to get under the hood and figure out what's making these people tick, Hilzoy, I feel compelled to point out that there's very little new here.

Sorry, I'm lining up with Alan, Uncle Kvetch, et al:

1) The Far Right has peddled mendacious vile slime since the Wars Against Clinton, and the GOP party apparatus and leadership has actively cheered them on for that long.

2) There is no equivalence - NONE - between an occasional on-line poster or commentor talking trash about the Right and the GOP, and the vile agitprop spread by an entire Party leadership and soi-disant news network 24/7 that has, in fact, no sh*t folks, led to a rise in murderous violence against the Right's usual hate objects.

Polite is nice, y'know? But there comes a point when being polite is no longer nice, but delusional. The Right's been pushing eliminationist rhetoric for at least 15 years, and the best that most of the "good" Republicans can muster is to say stuff like "Well, I don't agree with their actions so please don't tar me with the same brush" - this, after at least 15 years of at best enabling and at worst propagating the eliminationist rhetoric!

I am NOT going to worry about hurting their ever-so-fragile feelings, not when their ideological comrades are murdering people.

Erikson is writing about his own ego and messed up fantasy.

He is clueless about the military, their family and friends. He has a fantasy in his head of what the military is, mostly it is based on G.I. Joe doll commercials and Hollywood movies not the actual people.

CaseyL:

It's not about hurting them, it's about hurting you. Just as in the CS Lewis quote hilzoy used, the more you let yourself think of other people as "not human" the more of yourself you cut off. There is no "get out of species free" card (and I hear the Martian citizenship residency requirement is a *bitch*).

But I did not, as far as I recall, accuse you of celebrating Doctor Tiller's death.

I suppose that makes it ok then to call me a homophobe and misogynist engaging in hate speech with no factual basis whatsoever. If it is allowed on this blog to smear somebody in this way with impunity, then hilzoy's outrage rings a bit hollow, because treating opponents as "one big undifferentiated cartoonish mass" seems to be your favorite past-time.

"This is why I will never ever ever click a tinyurl link again."

I didn't click the link because I'd never click a tinyurl link. I keep trying to tell people why it's an unbelievably bad idea to trust tinyurls.

You'd think folks had never heard of rickrolling, or 4chan, or spoofing on the internet....

CaseyL, how do you feel about rants about "the Far Left" and what "the Left" do? Any problem with that? Do you find it useful when people engage in such usages? If someone on "the Left" writes or does something, is it appropriate to hold you responsible? Should we hold "the Left" responsible for everything you say or do?

"I am NOT going to worry about hurting their ever-so-fragile feelings"

Whose feelings? Who is talking about anyone's feelings? What's that got to do with anything?

The fact is simply that neither "the Right" nor "the Left" consist of Borg. That's all.

People are responsible for their own acts and statements; they're not responsible for "the Right" or "the Left."

"...not when their ideological comrades are murdering people."

Ideological comrades of everyone murder people, if we lump generally enough. I'm a liberal, so I'm responsible for Pol Pot.

Some reasoning. Thinking like this is just a way to make people stupid.

I suppose that makes it ok then to call me a homophobe and misogynist engaging in hate speech

If you were making homophobic remarks and declaring yourself to be opposed to a woman's right to choose abortion, what did you expect? Love and kisses?

The distinction is that I am reacting to what you say - and pointing out some pretty direct implications of what you say, if you declare that you believe no pregnant woman can be trusted to make good decisions about when/whether to terminate - but I'm not claiming you said/did what there's no evidence of. You may believe that Doctor Tiller had no right to decide to offer late-term terminations of fetuses that were going to die anyway, to women whose health was at risk if they chose to continue the pregnancy. But that belief would make a person misogynistic: it wouldn't necessarily mean they were sick enough to celebrate when Doctor Tiller was murdered.

But Erick thinks that when Andy was killed, we were "celebrating" because we were "excited". That goes beyond anything. It really does,

then hilzoy's outrage rings a bit hollow, because treating opponents as "one big undifferentiated cartoonish mass" seems to be your favorite past-time.

Actually, Hilzoy's been pretty outraged against me too, at times. If it's any consolation to you.

Absolutely, my opponents are all one big undifferentiated cartoonish mass of green silly putty and lego bricks. Thanks.

Dr. Science: "It's not about hurting them, it's about hurting you."

Exactly.

"The distinction is that I am reacting to what you say - and pointing out some pretty direct implications of what you say"

I know you don't want my opinion, Jes, so I'll just say this once and drop it, but you're very big on running together what you take to be "direct implications" of what someone says with what they actually said. You tend to treat the former exactly as if it were the latter, and as if there were no possible distinction between the two.

What you think someone must mean is actually often different from what they, in fact, do mean. No matter how unreasonable that obviously seems to you.

That's where you constantly get into unnecessary trouble.

Now I'll shut up again as regards your style.

Dr. Science: "It's not about hurting them, it's about hurting you."

No, it's not about that.

It's about they're fncking killing people. They're terrorists - successful ones.

I don't spend my every waking moment thinking about them, or hating them, or doing whatever it is that hurts one's karma.

I just am not joining the Great Kumbaya Chorus looking for common ground with people who would cheerfully see me dead, imprisoned, or exiled.

"It's about they're fncking killing people."

"They" don't kill people. Neither "the Left" nor "the Right" kills people.

Generally, whenever people start ranting about "They," it's a good time to step back for a moment of self-examination.

When we quit noticing individuals, and can only talk about "They," what we're doing is dehumanizing people, and treating them as if they are homogenized.

This is what we are against Erickson doing. It's what, I'd like to think, we're against anyone doing.

There's no such thing as dehumanizing and homogenizing In A Good Cause. It doesn't suddenly become A Good Thing to hatefully generalize just because we're doing this.

See "abysses, staring into."

Casey: Seb is not killing people. Andy was -- well, he didn't kill anyone, and he was pretty clear on the distinction between civilians and soldiers. Von is not killing people. This matters.

"we know our current troll can spoof an IP address, because otherwise, it would long since have been permanently banned"

Well, no. Our friend has been IP-hopping, and we're playing whack-a-troll.

BTW, a number of posts have now gone into the memory hole, and a few others have had the names changed to protect the innocent.

This is the real Slarti. Some of the other posts weren't, and they're getting "adjusted" slightly to reflect their woeful lack of authenticity.

I just am not joining the Great Kumbaya Chorus looking for common ground with people who would cheerfully see me dead, imprisoned, or exiled.

While I share your outrage at those "who would cheerfully see [people] dead, imprisoned, or exiled" I'd like some assurance that you're not one of them.

I keep being amazed by the depths that conservative commentators will sink to (how about that Wiley Drake?) but their offense is not that they're conservatives but that they're liars, demagogues and thugs.

Conservatives are people I disagree with, demagogues and thugs are people who threaten to destroy our society, if you can't tell the difference (and it can be challenging these days) you're liable to wind up on the wrong side of the real struggle.


NB: I figure you just want to express your outrage which is understandable and appropriate, I don't actually assume you're some kind of zealot but I do think the stakes in the rhetorical game couldn't be higher.

If you look at the shootings and the bomb plot that have happened recently the common thread is that they were all crazy people who believed nonsense that evil (or at least extremely irresponsible) people told them. The answer has to be an insistence on reasoned debate not an escalation of violent nonsense.

"Generally, whenever people start ranting about "They," it's a good time to step back for a moment of self-examination."

Either that, or it is a good time to carefully define "they".

Erick is part of something. He's part of a pattern. The pattern is the use of hateful, overheated demonizing rhetoric deleivered by a very large percentage of those Repubicans who are in the position to be public speakers through the media and/or in Congress over the last decade or more. It is is not lumping all Republicans into a cartoonish army of nonhumans to acknowledge the fact that over the last decade or so the majority of those Republicans who have public platforms in the media have indulged in language that falls in the range from bullying to outright eliminationist rheotric with a lot of lying thrown in.

That rhetoric is linked to violence. The guy who shot up the Unitarian church wrote in his diary that he was inspired by a rightwing radio personality. The guy who shot the three cops did so because he believed that the Obama administration was after his guns--a lie promoted by Faux news and an array of Republican politicians. The rhetoric that provided the justification for the murder of Dr. Tiller came in part from O'Reilly and from the rightwing religious fanatics of Operation Rescue. So there is a connection between the pattern of over the top hateful rhetoric from the Republican party and rightwing terrorism.

CaseyL just needs to be more precise about who "they" are.

CaseyL:

When you say "this (group, behavior, whatever) is not human", you are not telling the truth. In addition to my moral reaction, I'm a biologist, and I invariably find that the behavior people are most ready to label "inhuman", "not a human being", etc., is in fact *precisely* human. Frequently-made comparisons are insults to weasels, snakes, and things that live under rocks. There are no "vicious" wolves, because wolves have no vice -- though there may be vicious dogs, because we've made them into half-people, psychologically.

When you label someone "inhuman", you are stating "there is no way that could be me, there is no commonality between me and that behavior." If there's one thing we learned in the 20th century, it is that this is a delusion. It is *always* us, it is always pure 100% human behavior with no non-human ingredients going on.

I'm just waiting for some of y'all to decide whether I'm human or not. I'm a patient man, though.

Doctor Science @ 10:41 -- well said.

Going far afield from the usual discourse here, here's a quote from Solzhenitsyn and a poem from Thich Nhat Hahn:

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

**********

And from Thich Nhat Hahn:

Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply: I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
in order to fear and to hope,
the rhythm of my heart is the birth and
death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing in the
surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes,
arrives in time to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the
clear water of a pond,
and I am also the grass-snake who,
approaching in silence,
feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly
weapons to Uganda.

I am the 12-year-old girl, refugee
on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after
being raped by a sea pirate,
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo, with
plenty of power in my hand,
and I am the man who has to pay his
"debt of blood" to my people,
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes
flowers bloom in all walks of life.
My pain is like a river of tears, so full it
fills up the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughs
at once,
so that I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

What I don't understand is why a person chooses to center their understanding of political life around hating. It is, as Dr. Science says, an all-to-human behavior. I can see why the Republican party chose hatemongering and fearmongering as political tactics; since the Republican party has done little for the US in the last hundred years except help the rich, pander to corporate power and deliver federal dollars to special interest groups, they have to have some message to sucker the not-rich into voting for them. What I don't understand is the people who fall for it.

Most of the women who volunteer at my local dog rescue are wingnuts. They leave racist jokes on the table in the break room and say things like "Obama is not my President." None are wealthy. They all love dogs and work really hard without pay at the rescue. I like all of them and I am in awe of how hard the director works and the good she has done. I really don't get why their view of politics is so paranoid, insular, and angry.

Slarti, I have always figured you are as human as I am. Of course, that may not really make things any clearer according to some people that know me.

I wonder whether hilzoy (and others who focus on whether Erickson is just not being virtuous) is unsympathetic to a structural account here. Reading the stuff at Red State is very similar to reading dense tracts of late official East German historical materialism, to pick an example - I'm just not sure that I share enough background assumptions to have a meaningful political conversation with, say, Erich Honecker in 1986. Too much work had been put in to the conscious creation of a particular worldview.

This kind of view just gets up and running more quickly nowadays. It may be more shallow, but in some cases it is more intense: here it is tethered to an explicit self-consciousness that RS is some kind of virtual vanguard.

I don't know what the category "bad faith" means in the situation where you're talking across that kind of basically subcultural divide.

Rush said it on the November 6, 1992 episode of his TV show, Tomaig. You're welcome.

I'm just waiting for some of y'all to decide whether I'm human or not.

well played, a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test">Dr. Turing.. but i'm afraid this kind of analysis take time.

So, here I am at a bit after Midnight Friday (Saturday morning) and I've read most but not all of the comments, including the ones that went WAAAYYYY far afield, and I have to say: Erickson succeeded.

Remember, one of the main tenets of wingnut conservatism is pissing off the liberals! There are at least 142 comments ahead of this one. A highly unusual number for this or any other blog post.

I'd say EE pissed us off good and proper (and got a number of us sniping at each other, too). Success, wot?

I think that you have to consider posters like that, on blogs like that, to be trolls from the start, even if they own the blog.

F

I find it both saddening and amusing to note that in response to this post, we have people arguing that we should lump EE and pals into one tidy inhuman mass to hate viscerally and that not doing so is obviously only caused by concern for their feelings.


And yet, I assume that part of what pisses this person off is the fact that EE anc co use this exact same farking argument when talking about why we should invade/glass all of the middle east. Good lord,people, even if you can't follow the fairly simple moral argument hilzoy is making, you hopefully can understand the tactical utility in her position, since you have likely been arguing the point re:Muslims for the last 8 years.

I'm just waiting for some of y'all to decide whether I'm human or not. I'm a patient man, though.

I thought you were that Fjord-designer from Magrathea. Humanoid? Yes, but that may be just convergent evolution.

If you were making homophobic remarks and declaring yourself to be opposed to a woman's right to choose abortion, what did you expect?

The thing is: I didn't make homophobic remarks and I don't oppose a woman's right to choose. Also, what Gary said. ANd I didn't mean to

oops, continued:

And I didn't mean to attack hilzoy, as I realize that she probably has better things to do than baby-sit each and every comment on this blog, so apologies.

It is is not lumping all Republicans into a cartoonish army of nonhumans to acknowledge the fact that over the last decade or so the majority of those Republicans who have public platforms in the media have indulged in language that falls in the range from bullying to outright eliminationist rheotric with a lot of lying thrown in.

Exactly. Well put, wonkie.

As the years go by I find that I'm less and less interested in knowing what lies in the heart of political actors, or what they're "really" thinking. Did George Bush invade Iraq to bring democracy to the Middle East, or to show up his old man, or as an exercise in machismo? Is Barack Obama's pragmatic centrism heartfelt, or is he really a thwarted progressive? Does Ann Coulter really believe that liberals want there to be lots of 9/11's, or is she just making a buck? These may be very interesting questions in the abstract, but I don't see where they get you.

Let's keep our eyes on the ball here: what do people say, and what do they do? What Erickson said is part of a much larger, well-entrenched pattern of slander from the most prominent representatives of "conservatism" in this country. What should the response be from those who are the targets of this slander? That's the central question to my mind, and I don't have an easy answer. But going round & round on the "does he really mean it?" carousel does not strike me as particularly useful.

Pardon my rambling--coffee's just kicking in...

"Let's keep our eyes on the ball here: what do people say, and what do they do?"

A good point, and well said.

Sometimes political theater is just theater. Sometimes it's not.

And sometimes the distinction between the two is kinda academic.

Mainstream political rhetoric on the right regularly includes justifications for and outright incitements to violence.

The tolerance of that needs to end.

BTW three members of a Minutemen-type organization did a home invasion of a Mexican American family and killed a nine year old girl.

It is a crime that was justified by the killers by the use of the rhetoric of the Minutemen.

The killers may be people who live in a fantasy world of faux heroism--heroes in their own eyes--with no actual connection to the faux-heroes of the better known Minutemen organization. The female killer has a long history of violent behavior and is descried by the local police as a psychopath. In a minute I'll try to post some links or references.



This is from News 4 of Tucson, Arizona. Near as I can figure the website is www. kvoa.com.


"David Marino reports on arrest of Arivaca suspects

Head of a minuteman group arrested for double homicide


TUCSON, AZ - Three people have been arrested in connection with last months deadly double homicide in Arivaca that left a nine-year-old and her father dead. One of the people arrested for the homicide is the National Executive Director of the Minuteman American Defense group (M.A.D.), a group known for patrolling the border, and is dedicated to "Defending America's Borders" according to their website - http://minutemenamericandefense.org/

Jason Eugene Bush, 38, Shawna Forde, 42 and Albert Robert Gaxiola, 43, were all taken into custody and charged in connection with the murders of 29-year-old Raul Flores and 8-year-old Brisenia Flores. Both were killed during an alleged home invasion.

According to authorities, Bush, Forde, and Gaxiola broke into the home of the Flores family just after midnight on May 30th. At the time, the mother, father and daughter were home. The invaders reportedly shot the three members of the Flores family, killing the father, Raul, and the daughter, Brisenia. The invaders then left the scene."

Flores was known to be involved in drug trafficking.

Shawna Forde was involved in one of those boader watch events organized by a coalition of Minutemen-type organizations. Her own organization might not be much more than a website. Well, that and three killers.

Farther down in article is the quote from the police officer who describes Forde as a psychopath.

I do not believe that people like Buchhanan, Tancredo and Lou Dobbs who routinely say things which are untrue and xenophobic are directly responsible for the behavior of three psychos in Arizona. On the other hand the three psychos are acting in a way that is the logical extension of the sorts of things Dobbs, Tancredo and Buchanan say so there is a connection. Perhaps Forde would have killed someone sooner or later regardless of overheated, irresponsible rightwing rhetoric on TV; the sketchy info in the article about her does make her out to be a timebomb. Nevertheless when the mainstream media allows itself to be used as a platform for hate rhetoric and misinformation, the hate rhetoric and misinformation is legitimized and spread and becomes the rationale or the inpsiration for acts by unhinged, marginal people. The point I am working around to here is that not only are many Republicans responsible for creating the kind of cultural environment that encourages wackos to kill their neighbors, but the media is too. The media is very, very much to blame for continuing to treat Republcans who are rightwing extremists like normal people just because they happen to be members of politicians or their relatives, well-known Republican spokespersons or conservative media figures.

Hit "post" too soon, as usual.

That last phrase should read "just because they happen to be politicians". For get the "members of", please.

"Remember, one of the main tenets of wingnut conservatism is pissing off the liberals!"

efgoldman has a point. So, to that extent, Erickson has succeeded.

I'd say to Alan and CaseyL that their anger and frustration is understandable. But now that we have the ball, Democrats need not become like the right wing of the Republican Party and function narrow-mindedly.

If I were a moderate Republican, I'd be more angry at the heads of my own party than the opposition for turning the GOP playbook into, as wonkie said, full of hate-mongering and fear-mongering -- and, ultimately, ruinous.

I'll leave with a Chinese proverb that I saw under the blotter of a manager's desk yesterday. It fits the situation we are talking about here. (I found it ironic it was under this manager's blotter since he has well-known anger management issues; then again, having this reminder at his desk is a good sign, I hope.)

"Do not create in anger what you lack in reason."


---the real btfb

Gary nailed it. I think ObWi's subtitle should be changed to:

The fact is simply that neither "the Right" nor "the Left" consist of Borg.

Hey, btfb, I'm glad to hear from you! I worry about you.

That is a great quote. I have trouble disciplining myself to communicate in a way that isn't designed to piss people off. The real way to win an argument is to change the other person's mind and that doesn't happen if one puts the other person on the defensive or pisses them off. There is (to me at least) a seductive satisfaction to scoring points, but that comes from conceptualizing the converstion as a boxing match: pow! Sock 'em! What hilzoy does so very well is to conceptualize the conversation as communication (what a concept!)and she just explains carefully and reasonably what she thinks, resorting to emotion only very judiciously and within the context of communication.

Unfortuanately our corporate media conceptualizes political discourse as a boxing match and they promote the flashiest, most colorful boxers. The media acts like it is all a game, just theater, like no one really means anything they say and there are no real life consequences influenced by the tone of the conversation.

SDG: If you read down this far, thanks for the explanation. My understanding is that the difference is whether the arguer considers sex as something that can or should exist without the possibility reproduction. Obviously, this is a simplistic way of putting it, and doesn't take into consideration infertile couples, for example, but it seems to be the basis. Reproduction is a part of the process, and denying it is denying a part of sexuality. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I disagree, because I feel that sex has other important purposes than just reproduction and all purposes of an action don't have to be realized to make something worthwhile. For example, I'm growing a vegetable garden this year. Because it was the first year I planted, costs were higher. I'm also sharing vegetables with another family, who isn't doing well financially right now. This means that, while a garden is a good money-saving strategy and that may be the main purpose for many people, I might actually lose a little money on it this year.

However, my reasoning for planting the garden is fresh produce and getting my kids involved (I have a vague hope that they'll eat the vegetables because they helped grow them). I may not realize one purpose of the activity - one which may be the most important purpose for some people - but that does not lessen it, as another equally important purpose will be realized.

Not the best analogy, I'm sure, but it'll do.

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