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October 16, 2013

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I heard the House republicans did sing Amazing Grace after it was over.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=meqSBMId5vg

As for your wish that it won't happen again, there is every reason to believe that some version of the same nonsense will be repeated many times. Go read Erick Erickson's post at Red State Advancing, Ever Advancing. The hard core radical right wing believes that this episode was how things should be done, and that they will only get stronger as they eliminate the faint of heart in their own ranks. The undercutting of mainstream Republicans will continue, with vicious primary challenges to remove anyone not certifiable. I would bet that Mitch McConnell is now toast, and will get a roaring challenge in his primary -- they are already pointing to the earmark he got into the bill as the "Kentucky Kickback.".

By all reason and objective criteria, they got pantsed, but this is not a bunch influenced much by reason. If the polls show that they took a public relations beating (and they did, an historic beat down), then the polls are "wrong." Or allegedly it was the "liberal media" that caused bad public opinion.

But one thing is certain -- we will never reach peak wingnut with this crowd. And another thing is certain -- you are going to have to fight fire with fire; there is no polite response.

Ha, I know this painting so well that I could lead you to its hanging place blindfolded (last room to the right of the central hall, it's the only painting on the west wall right between the doorways).
Those Dutch took every opportunity to depict vice and madness under the pretense of morality (the lady on the painting was a favorite for that or so I hear, a true inebriated celebrity) ;-)

And then there's this:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/gop-rep-we-re-going-to-start-this-all-over-again

I thought the singing of Amazing Grace happened earlier back when the nouveaux-Confederates thought they and something to celebrate.

And of the multiplicity of things that piss me off, highjacking a lovely song about a person "who once was blind" but now can see and using it by one of the blindest bunch of egomaniacs even to disgrace the halls of Congress is right up there. Not at the top, but up there.

The next battles will be at the state level. The same billionaires who funded the Tea Party will pick races all over the nation, looking to flip districts and get an extremist Republican majority in for gerrymandering and voter suppression. North Carolina and Wisconsin are already experiencing this, as is Colorado.

The crazies are not out of the Republican party. And while it is clear that the party leadership wants to reduce their influence in Congress, it is not clear that the party leadership wants to or has the capacity to reduce their influence on state level elections.

By all reason and objective criteria, they got pantsed,

They pantsed themselves.

Go read Erick Erickson's post at Red State Advancing, Ever Advancing.

No thanks.

But one thing is certain -- we will never reach peak wingnut with this crowd.

There is no peak wingnut. These folks are who they are, they are not going to change until they die.

I read "Advancing, Always Advancing".

All I can say is I sure hope so. Go for it, rightwing loons!

I've done my time in RedState land. Nobody over there is saying anything they haven't said before, and then again before that, and again before that.

Plus, the extra readership only encourages them, and probably turns into money in Erickson's pocket.

I have no interest in encouraging them, and IMO Erickson should go get himself a real job.

So, I deny them my eyeballs and my unique-user-hood.

If you insist on killing yourself, that's the way to do it. Yum!

The polls show that they took a beating, but why worry about that? If you are El Rushbo, you talk about polls the way that Marx anthropomorphizes commodities:

A new poll shows more frustration with Washington over the government shutdown and risk of default, with the number of people satisfied with the state of the country plummeting to the lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis. Only 14 percent of Americans said they were satisfied with the way things are going in the US. ... The survey also picked up a strong 'throw the bums out' sentiment."

Now, of course, what this poll attempts to convince people of [emphasis added] is that everything in Washington was fine and that everybody was happy with Washington until the shutdown....

(No link. If you want to visit Bizarro World, you'll have to buy your own ticket.)

That's how extremists maintain their momentum in the face of the friction of reality. Just claim that the data in question is manufactured propaganda.

Hockey sticks!

Devil made dinosaurs!

Rinse and repeat.

In the Cephalopod Book of Etiquette, it is considered bad form, bad manners, and Bad Karma to rejoice in excess after a contest is over. Bad winners do not make good losers. So I shall not gloat.

I shall not gloat.

I.shall.not.gloat, period (!)

ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO GLOAT ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO GLOAT ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO GLOAT ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO GLOAT ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO GLOAT ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO GLOAT ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO GLOAT GLOAT ROFLMAO

"I shall not gloat."

That is good advice.

As an Australian, I am astounded by the practices that go on in american elections.

The presidential elections are held on a Tuesday. they are always held on a Saturday, so most people can vote. It is as though the American Government doesn't want people to vote. How can you claim to be a democracy with that attitude?

With the abolition of the Queensland gerrymander, the number of voters in an electorate is held to be within 10%. If the variation exceeds that, there is a redistribution.

The control of Federal elections is in the hand of the AEC, a federal public service organisation that is structured to minimise partisan control. It is not in the hands of the states, so every voter country wide uses the same method of voting. when I hear of how voters are treated differently depending on which state you are in, I am gobsmacked.

I've done my time in RedState land.

Tiresome, predictable and trite. Plus, arguments that could double as self-caricatures.

It's not where they are, on the right-left axis, relative to me. It's a matter of where they are, on the smugness-humility axis relative to me. I say that proudly.

Say, does Charles Bird post over there? I was wondering what had become of the guy.

It's a matter of where they are, on the smugness-humility axis relative to me.

I think that captures it quite well. Including the "relative to you" part.

Haven't spent time there in years, but once upon a time RS was actually not a bad place to hang out. They've always been full of themselves, but early on it was kind of fun - "hey, look, we have a blog!!"

The pseudonyms were very entertaining, also. Not many folks care to cosplay as patristic fathers nowadays. I'm not making fun, it was playful and sort of spunky, in a very very niche nerdy way.

Trevino was even still around in those days. It was back before he heard the call of Roland's horn and went all full metal fascist, you could have a good conversation with him.

Coming in there as an unapologetic lefty, you had to be basically respectful and not be a jerk, but it was fun and interesting and eye-opening, so that was not hard to do.

At some point "hey, let's start a blog" turned into a business model, some folks figured out there were careers to be had out of this right-wing interwebs thing, and the hubris and self-importance factor spiked through the roof.

Around the same time, the acceptance, or at least tolerance, of other points of view offered intelligently and with due respect kind of disappeared.

And this was even before Moe and his "blam" gun.

It wasn't really a lot of fun anymore. It became harder and harder to have a civil conversation, so I got out.

It was a really interesting couple of years, though.

As an Australian, I am astounded by the practices that go on in american elections.

You and me both, buddy.

We're nuts here in the good old USA.

It is as though the American Government doesn't want people to vote. How can you claim to be a democracy with that attitude?

we vote on Tuesdays because that's the way it's been done since the 1840s: tradition.

many states allow for some period of 'early' voting: some number of days before the official Tuesday during which you can vote at your leisure.

the Tuesday thing is the least problematic aspect of the whole mess, IMO. i'd rather fix the Electoral College, gerrymandering, ever-changing voting regulations, etc. first.

I notice that what's missing from cleek's list of things he'd like to fix is rampant voter fraud. Just sayin'.

Perhaps cleek was just starting with things that are visible to everybody. Whereas voter fraud allegations are in some dispute. (As are allegations that Diebold deliberately made their voting machine software hackable, so the votes could be changed if necessary.)

I seem to recall Charles Bird having been gone after by the commentariat at RedSmut a couple of years ago in such a way that made his treatment here at our hands seem like a gentle massage by winged maidens.

why would i want to 'fix' the one thing that guarantees Democratic victories !? sheesh.

i honestly love, now that we have a decade or so of history, to be able to look back on blogs and marvel at their strange ideological trajectories.

Balloon Juice changed from raging right to raging left; dKos changed from a Dem strategy and outreach thing into a seething mess of conspiracies and purity contests; RedState as russell notes; LGF's recent xform from raging right to a more libertarian anti-GOP stance; Pandagon from a wonky lefty hangout with Jesse Taylor and Ezra Klein to Amanda Marcotte's very slickly designed woman-centric/feminist place; ObWi's ever-changing lineup and slow loss of righty front pagers; seeing Greenwald, Klein, Yglesias, Douthat, Drum, Erickson etc. all ascend into the MSM.

i wish someone would write all this stuff up : origins, reasons for change, current state, etc. into a nice long article. (not me, i'm no writer)

"It's not where they are, on the right-left axis, relative to me. It's a matter of where they are, on the smugness-humility axis relative to me. I say that proudly."

Truth.

This is where I agree with you 100%, Slart.

In my sports/baseball career, such as it is, there is nothing that gets me more revved up to kick butt than an opposing team, who may very well be more talented, formidable and better-looking, strutting and smugly trash-talking their stuff as the game starts.

It's then a game of Bob Gibson high cheese for me.

If the shortstop is Grover Norquistian or the second baseman has the 1000-mile stare of the godbesmited Michelle Bachmann, spikes ... up they go.

Even if we don't win, there will be time outs while my teammates have to extract me from the bottom of a dog pile.

Much more when I was younger.

I don't say that proudly.

I don't mind losing to nice people.

Balloon Juice changed from raging right to raging left

The common factor is raging.

Ken Layne went from writing things like this:

http://web.archive.org/web/20011211001617/http://www.kenlayne.com/

It's 2001, and we can Fact Check your ass. And you, like many in the Hate America movement, are no longer able to dress your wretched "reporting" in fiction. We have computers. It is not difficult to Find You Out, dig?

(which you may or may not dig) to editing Wonkette, and then Gawker. There's your sign of the times.

Of course everyone should be aware of OW's early days as sort of an overflow blog of tacitus.org, which has been excluded from the internet archive for some reason. Which is a pity, because you could have gone all the way back to a dozen years ago to see what I was saying back then.

But I think I was posting under a different name then. Pretty easily identifiable as me, though. I think my many arguments with Jesurgislac go back that far, but no further.

Some people are doing and saying the same things now, like instapundit. Others have mellowed and sanded some of the burrs off of their personality (believe it or not, I was less pleasant before, than now). Some people, like von, have just hung it up. And some people we have lost forever.

Suddenly I have run out of things to say.

i miss the medium lobster.

Regarding Balloon Juice, and I may be wrong about this, but John Cole was, I believe, on the Board of Redstate when it first launched. But once he got a load of what they were up to, and once he admitted he was up the creek on his pro-Iraqi War position, he set about redirecting the rage machine.

His rage is a bit of a pose, too. After all, he love his dogs and cats, but you get the feeling from him that they dodge his projectile shoes pretty often.

I suspect he is one of those sweet curmudgeons.

My candidate for most even-tempered and steady Eddie, on point liberal over the years is Kevin Drum.

Daniel Larison on the conservative side seems to maintain an even keel as well, on a different boat than me, but at least he doesn't run over the buoys and take out the pier.

I link to Andrew Sullivan often because of his eclectic and many times very interesting posts on topics other that politics. However, even though he is outraged at the Tea Party, I still can't bring myself to trust him after his behavior at the New Republic and his more-than-a-dalliance with neo-conservative foreign policy and his domestic Thatcherism.

But then it took me ten years to forgive myself for once being a registered Republican.

i miss the medium lobster.

totally.

fafblog gave the world my favorite blog post ever.

But once he got a load of what they were up to, and once he admitted he was up the creek on his pro-Iraqi War position, he set about redirecting the rage machine

IIRC, the Terry Schiavo fiasco was what finally put him over the edge.

i miss the medium lobster.

Fafblog, right? I only went there a few times, but I remember it being uproariously funny. What they could do with Sarah Palin...

I can't read anything by Andrew Sullivan without hearing his interview with Hugh Hewitt play back in my head.

His excessive defensiveness I thought was a put-on, at first; a joke of some kind. And then I realized he meant every bit of it.

"...tacitus.org, which has been excluded from the internet archive for some reason."
8-|

Perhaps the Internet Archive finds the current content associated with the URL objectionable. You may have to wait until the URL is abandoned again.

"...tacitus.org, which has been excluded from the internet archive for some reason."

8-|

Perhaps the Internet Archive finds the current content associated with the URL objectionable. You may have to wait until the URL is abandoned again.

I agree with Perlstein (in bobbyp's link above) and also with digby here--

link

Call the Tea Party crazy, but in some ways they're winning.

The fact that shoveling up all of the elephant dung left behind by former GOP rule coincidentally addresses some tea party issues is not the same as saying they are winning. The real point is that centrist Democrats like Obama do not fight to protect core Democratic priorities, which puts them in jeopardy when dealing with the hard right over the last 4 years. The real key going forward is whether or not there are failures to protect social security and other basic social programs in the name of austerity and budget balancing. There is clearly no win in that, and Digby is right to repeat concerns about meaningless "grand bargains" that compromise such basic things. There is no grand bargain possible since the GOP will simply seek to undo that the day after it is passed.

I agree with Perlstein (in bobbyp's link above) and also with digby here--

That's some depressing sh1t. (I have kids.)

Here's more:

Obama has been eagerly seeking to inflict the Grand Betrayal since 2011. The irony is that had he succeeded the resultant second recession would have made him a one-term president. The Tea Party has prevented the deal by being unwilling to take “yes” for an answer from Obama. The Tea Party could have skipped all the extortion and negotiated the Grand Betrayal with Obama. The Republican leadership has attempted to negotiate the deal, but the Tea Party keeps blocking it. Nevertheless, the Grand Betrayal is so available and so obviously in the political interests of the GOP and the Tea Party that the odds remain good that even the Tea Party will eventually say yes and give Obama the legacy he desires as the Democrat who led the unraveling of the safety net. Obama may yet snatch defeat from victory and the Tea Party, when all else fails, may snatch victory from defeat by agreeing to the Grand Betrayal.

I'm willing to back down on saying that the Tea Party is "winning"--but by staking out such an extreme position, they make people who don't try to destroy America's credit rating seem that much closer to the center. Paul Krugman has been trying to make the case that Paul Ryan isn't really such an honest guy, and that his budget proposals are nonsense, but compared to Ted Cruz Ryan looks reasonable. And if liberals refuse to go along with centrist dreams of a Grand Bargain, what do you want to bet that they will be portrayed as the extremists on the left, especially if Obama himself wants a Grand Bargain? So the Tea Party has "lost", but they may have succeeded in dragging the center a bit further to the right.

Obama has been eagerly seeking to inflict the Grand Betrayal since 2011

it's hard to convince myself that nobody would welcome a Grand Bargain more than the leftier-than-thou purity brigades would, if only because it would finally validate their years of predicting it.

and so I quote Joe From Lowell:

The most important thing to Protest People is their self-image as Protest People. If they’re the first to denounce something, that gets them mega-points on the Protest People scale. If they’re wrong, whatever loss of credibility they gain in terms of being reality-based is outweighed by the demonstration of what awesome Protest People they are. Heck, it actually helps their credibility among their intended, Protest People audience to be so wrong, because it’s just more evidence of how ideologically hard core they are.

"it's hard to convince myself that nobody would welcome a Grand Bargain more than the leftier-than-thou purity brigades "

Only those wealthy enough not to have a personal stake. That wouldn't include me and not digby either--she seems personally a little worried about cuts to Social Security.

As for Obama, it's hard to tell what he'd do, because the center-right reasonable Republicans he keeps looking for either don't exist or are too scared of the people to their right to strike a bargain.

"Only those wealthy enough not to have a personal stake."

That wasn't quite accurate--I should also add "only those who care more about winning arguments on the web than about figuring out where the truth lies." Which is an easy habit to fall into--I think many or most of the arguments between the "Obots" and the "Glennbots" in the comment section at Balloon Juice and at "Lawyers Guns and Money" are basically worthless, because everyone is out to score points for whatever position they've staked out. It's a game. It's one that makes the Balloon Juice comments section a vast wasteland most of the time (IMO).

I know I bash Obama a lot here--there are various reasons for this. The biggest one is that on some issues, but only some, I think he deserves to be criticized. A less defensible reason is that the admiration some give to him bugs me--no politician deserves that. But I don't honestly know exactly where he stands on domestic issues or for that matter, exactly where I stand on some of them. I just saw a leftwinger attacking Obamacare in the comments at another blog (I don't provide the link because his substantive points are mixed in with a stupid inflammatory comparison.) I don't know enough to say whether his points are valid. On this grand bargain issue, I don't trust him, but would be happy to be wrong. I like the way he stood up to the Republicans over the past month.

"it's hard to convince myself that nobody would welcome a Grand Bargain more than the leftier-than-thou purity brigades"

The quantity of electrons wasted at BJuice, LG&M, FDL, Digby, etc., on this matter is indeed staggering, and out of all proportion to any influence the alleged "green lanternists" actually have, but nonetheless, the hippie punching must be seen in some quarters as non-stop essential, due mostly to their unfathomable ability to discern a general rightward shift in our polity since the mid 70's that is deeply disturbing to our country's social health.

So who do you support? Chicago teachers or Rahm Emanuel, a guy who is off-the-scale on the Slarti humility index?

It's good to see the GOP having their own circular firing squad. I'm getting tired of dodging bullets.

"I don't know enough to say whether his points are valid. On this grand bargain issue, I don't trust him, but would be happy to be wrong."

Pronoun confusion there. The "his" in "his points" is the leftie commenter who criticized Obamacare using an overheated Godwin-violating comparison, while the "I don't trust him" means "I don't trust Obama". I need an editor. I don't pay enough or I'd take the job on myself.

Cleek, that Fafblog post makes me want to melt my keyboard, turn in my pencils, and cut out my tongue.

Right after I write this:

It makes me sick that the Tea Party in recent weeks has made Paul Ryan, in comparison to them, appear to be Aristotle in some eyes, even it is Ayn Rand's Aristotle, the well-endowed architect.

As well, Grover Norquist's avuncular advice to the House and Ted Cruz in recent days makes me want to crawl inside Trotsky's skin and beg the nearest person to scratch the back of my neck with an ice-pic.

Put the orange cones back up:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/boy-scout-leaders-topple-utah-rock-formation-from-jurassic-period-then-cheer-video

I expect the men are liberals.

A fitting end:

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2013/10/18/lead-tell-stenographer-from-shutdown-vote-hears-holy-spirit.cnn.html

I think I'm going to start reading fafblog to my kids at bedtime. That'll learn 'em.

I'm curious to find out what blog platform you happen to be utilizing? I'm having some small security problems with my latest website and I'd like to find something more safe. Do you have any solutions?

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