Thursday, January 30, 2014

BUT SOME ARE MORE UNEQUAL THAN OTHERS.

Some yap from Ace of Spades about "social inequality," which is what liberals (all of whom, one would surmise from this essay, light their American Spirits with hundred-dollar bills) are really up to with their Class Warfare:
It is weaponized for politics. Sarah Palin quite plainly is not dismissed by the New Class merely because they disagree with her beliefs. Their disdain has a nasty personal edge to it -- they disapprove of her and the class she hails from. The New Class is not to content itself with disparaging Palin. They actively wish to include millions of Americans they've never even met inside the broad circle of their angry, arrogant disdain. The fact that they are not just attacking Palin but attacking millions of other people is not a bug, but a feature. The additional casualties of the attack are not regrettable collateral damage, but rather bonus damage to be celebrated.
However heartbreakingly unfair this may be to her, I suppose Palin consoles herself with money, of which she has tons. As for those "millions of other people," Spades apparently hopes to excite in them a rooting interest in Sarah Palin of the sort they might also hold for, say, the Seattle Seahawks against the Denver Broncos, or Team Edward against Team Jacob.

We who have free souls know these struggles are only really meaningful to shareholders in the respective franchises.  But under present economic conditions, a growing number of Americans are out of sympathy with rich fucks of any sort, and will pick a side between them not out of fellow-feeling but on the theory that one bunch of rich fucks is less likely to leave them to starve than the other.

And the only reason we're having this ridiculous discussion is that Spades' team isn't doing well in that regard.  The State of the Union wasn't much of a speech, but it was very good politics, and Spades' panic gives a clue as to why.

UPDATE. Some commenters see the relevance of the Duck Dynasty racket to Spades' social-equality blubbering; like Palin, the Dynasts are rich fake backwoodsmen whom the suckers are inveighed to support against somebody who failed to treat the fakes with the proper respect -- and by so doing, they assure their marks, they are disrespecting you, too.

Jeffrey_Kramer subjects Spades to some admirable textual analysis -- and while that sounds like something fancy-pants liberal academic elitists would do, even a lumpenprole such as myself can enjoy it:
Notice the negligible degree of fact which has to be provided, in order to fuel the ragegasm. Ace declares:
...that the New Class has dismissed Palin!
...that they are nasty and personal in their disdain for her!
...that they have most contumaciously disapproved of her and her class!
...that this New Class is not content to disparage but arrogantly disdains!
...that they attack not only Palin but millions of others!
It's like he's writing a Declaration of Independence from the Liberal Elites, but without any content whatsoever.
Finally, regarding another missing piece, DocAmazing: "As Ace of Play-doh opposes social inequality, I suggest that we find out where he lives, and throw a big party. I'll invite all my friends from East Oakland and the Mission District. We'll all have a splendid time, and Ace can enjoy the company of those of a different social caste." No, Doc, you don't understand: Black people are part of the Social Inequality Oppression forces -- that is, when conservatives slur them, people get offended, which is totally unfair.

158 comments:

  1. Derelict11:36 PM

    They actively wish to include millions of Americans they've never even met inside the broad circle of their angry, arrogant disdain.
    Ace, your local cinema called--they want their projector back.

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  2. Derelict11:37 PM

    It's why we fight for a classless society--although many of the loons of Ace's stripe use the wrong meaning of class as they, too, try to make society classless.

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  3. JennOfArk11:47 PM

    All this imaginary disdain for the "class" from which Sarah Palin hails...would that be the stupid class? Because as Roy notes, bitch is loaded with the profits of grifting from those even dumber than she is. I disdain Palin because she's a fucking ignoramus who is too lazy to bother learning anything and who substitutes attacking and mocking people who actually HAVE made the effort to not be dumbasses for knowing shit she can't be bothered to learn. Also too, because she is so clearly a rotten, nasty human being.


    Compare and contrast with the shit we hear regularly from the right: these people are poor because they haven't bothered to improve their skills (as if people who do essential low-skill jobs don't need to eat, too), they're being paid "what they're worth" as if the guy who makes hundreds of millions playing with other people's money is actually "producing" more than the guy who works in a factory, or as a cook, or whatever...that unemployed people don't have jobs because they're lazy from sucking the gov't. teat rather than because there are no jobs available, and so on and so forth...rightwing disdain for the average working American is broadcast 24/7 by the usual suspects on radio, TV, internet, you name it. A day doesn't go by that we don't see at least one example of it, without even stretching to imagine the "disdain" results from GOP looking down on certain classes. We know who they disdain - anyone who doesn't have plenty of money already, plus those who do have plenty but won't give any of it to them.

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  4. stepped_pyramids11:51 PM

    Sarah Palin is rich and she went to college. She was a mayor and a half-governor. She's not exactly a shitkicker.


    It's not Middle Americans I hate, it's the disingenuous rich fucks like Palin and Dubya who put on a hillbilly routine for the media.

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  5. stepped_pyramids11:54 PM

    All 65,915,796 of the votes Obama received in 2012 were from three major political blocs: black people, shiftless white millennials grown fat on SNAP, and illegal Mexicans voting in the place of dead people.

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  6. trizzlor11:59 PM

    There's so much marrow in the bones of Ace's arguments I don't know how you picked just one. For example, referring to even-the-liberal Mickey Kaus: "I don't love his policy prescriptions on this score (making most welfare like Social Security an entitlement, to be received without shame or stigma, re-instituting the social-mixer and social-leveler of the general draft for all able-bodied men)."

    Yeah, you read that right, O'Spades is simultaneously upset at the proposal that a government service should be administrated without shame and that a government responsibility should be administered without nepotism. All that just from a parenthetical. Read to the end as O'Spades simultaneously decries classism while attacking some random TV pundit for being middle class ... if you dare!

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  7. Gromet12:00 AM

    Nuts -- Palin is a class warfare victim? If any national politician of the past 30 years was a class war hawk, it was her. Shootin up reality TV, starin down Putin from her front porch, tellin Katie she didn't trust none of that elite media --Truly the best was when she couldn't tell Couric one paper she read. Terrified that anything "elite" would wreck her image, panicked that coughing up nothing elite might wreck her claim of readiness for the #2 elite job in the world. She hoist herself on her own petard there. nothing more, and it was fatal. To still be hailing her in 2014 takes some serious guns n bibles. But by all means, Ace, proceed to cling.

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  8. JennOfArk12:01 AM

    And what is Dubya if not intellectually lazy? Just like Palin. Brain laziness is epidemic on the right.

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  9. Tehanu12:01 AM

    If they had any class, they wouldn't be Republicans.

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  10. JennOfArk12:01 AM

    To be more accurate, she was hoist upon her own retard.

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  11. stepped_pyramids12:02 AM

    That's my impression of both Dubya and Palin. They're not dumb, they're just people who have learned to get by without having to be smart.

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  12. stepped_pyramids12:04 AM

    What Palin strikes me as is the kind of person who is smart enough and charming (in a certain sense) enough to fake their way through most of life, but if you poke them enough you realize there's nothing there.

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  13. JennOfArk12:06 AM

    I wouldn't say "nothing." Whenever she's poked enough, bile squirts out.

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  14. It's the ol' "wealth does not class make" bit that they've pulled in every election cycle since Bill Clinton left office. I'm actually hoping it comes back as it's personally hilarious.

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  15. Derelict12:14 AM

    This. The whole bit of behaving as though you barely finished 6th grade, but that level of ignorance somehow makes you supremely qualified to run the country. AND the horrifying notion that millions of our fellow citizens actually vote for such obvious fake dumbasses because they either can't tell they're being conned (and really do think a grade-school dropout should be in charge) or they think dishonest people should be in charge.

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  16. And here we go again.

    I have no clue where Ace hails from, but if this "liberal out-of-touch elitism" crap catches on again (and what else do the cons have, really?), then it's going to be coming mostly from people who grew up in places like New York, Washington, Los Angeles, at best Chicago. As someone who spent the majority of my life in a town in western Kansas of under 7,000 people, there is nothing funnier to me than hearing someone from Manhattan explain to me that I don't understand Middle America.



    (Reminds me a little bit of an exchange I had with a German man a few years back. When I mentioned where I was from, he said "Hmm...Kansas." Then he laughed. I said, "Yeah, that's pretty much what we think, too.")

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  17. stepped_pyramids12:16 AM

    The good news is that a huge percentage of the people who vote for Fakey McRedneck aren't voting because of the put-on, but because Fakey has (R) after his name.


    The act isn't meant to win over the voters directly. It's meant to get the Beltway media to constantly refer to the candidate as folksy, down-home, a straight shooter, etc. etc.

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  18. stepped_pyramids12:17 AM

    She is, really, very mean. Which I think has derailed her political career, honestly. Even her fellow wingnuts know she's a backstabber.

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  19. stepped_pyramids12:18 AM

    Hmm, sounds like this guy I know. His name is something like... "chortling"?

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  20. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume12:40 AM

    they disapprove of her and the class she hails from


    Remind me again just who was yapping about "Real America" when she was running for VP. Excuse me, "'Ere yon she be runnin'", or however one conjugates stupid.

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  21. PersonaAuGratin12:45 AM

    Dio de los Muertos now extends to Election Day.

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  22. ColBatGuano12:46 AM

    Much like the fake Duck Dynasty clan, authenticity is only obtained by speaking with a Southern drawl and hating gay/black/poor people.

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  23. BadExampleMan12:47 AM

    Can you imagine what it was like to go to high school with her? I'd sure love to track down some of the females that were in her social circle back then and see what they remember. I bet the stories would make your Farrah Fawcett bangs stand straight up in the air.

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  24. Waffle_Man1:03 AM

    This is Mickey Kaus, not Ace of Spades:

    As Reagan's quote suggests, achieving a rough social equality in the midst of vivid economic contrast has been something America's historically been good at, at least until recently.



    No we fucking haven't! For most of our country's history you could literally own some of your social inferiors (eg black people), while for others it was acceptable to simply use force to keep them in ghettos.


    I mean, Jesus Christ, if a society where some people own others because those others are an inferior class is a society with rough social equality, I'd really hate to see one with no social equality!


    I guess that's where I really disagree with Spades; what he's describing is an actual, real phenomenon (For example, a wealthy black man in early 20th century was still of a different social class than an equally wealthy white man) he doesn't provide any evidence that this is a new phenomenon, or that it's gotten worse in our lifetimes.


    To remove race from a discussion of inequality in American history is just flat-out offensive to me.

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  25. Spaghetti Lee1:04 AM

    That's a lot of Obamaphones!

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  26. DocAmazing1:30 AM

    As Ace of Play-doh opposes social inequality, I suggest that we find out where he lives, and throw a big party. I'll invite all my friends from East Oakland and the Mission DIstrict. We'll all have a splendid time, and Ace can enjoy the company of those of a different social caste. We'll even bring fresh Fruit of the Looms for him.

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  27. Spaghetti Lee1:35 AM

    And of course, if you had to pick a geographical median for "Out-of-touch elitists who don't understand real America", it would be somewhere inside the Beltway. Probably wherever Piers Morgan, David Gregory, and John King are having a business lunch.

    The 'purple map' stuff is kind of a cliche, but really, there are Democrats everywhere, even in the reddest of red counties: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012/countymappurple1024.png
    The Republican fake-redneck act is mendacious, but the media that thinks being a Real American means acting like a townsperson in Blazing Saddles has some 'splainin of it's own to do.

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  28. montag21:41 AM

    Truthfully, I think POS/AO'S has been whimpering for a mercy fuck from Palin for five solid years. How many even halfway serious people still think of her as a force of nature, instead of the joke she's made of herself, and with a seeming absence of effort in the transformation? And yet, he's still mentioning her as if she's still relevant. Sure, he's delusional, but, he's also pretty fucking needy about it, too.

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  29. "obvious fake dumbasses" followed by millions? Why it's like a dynasty of ducks or something.

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  30. Susan of Texas7:01 AM

    I appreciate Ace's advice regarding those who advance due to social connections but I already look down on Megan McArdle so it's not necessary. Maybe Ace should ask Luke Russert for advice on how to bring down the elites who rise due to their connections and social class.

    Poor Ace. Kissing up and kicking down only work when you can find someone lower than you so Ace is forced to invent them.

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  31. There's no one more fanatically religious than the converted, what. I graduated HS in a town of just over 4,000...in Tennessee, and I agree that relocated urbanites tend to be the most vocal in support of some fantasy small-town lifestyle.

    As they generally tend to be considered Outsiders or Newcomers for at least 10 generations or so, I bet they do this out of insecurity that they aren't genuine hillbilly and a need to justify their abandonment of the city to their mystified friends and family still living wherever they came from.

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  32. Derelict7:19 AM

    He'd never ask Russert. He'd be much more likely to ask Podorhetz, or Jonah the Fail, or Wrongway Kristol about how much of a meritocracy America really is.

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  33. Susan of Texas7:43 AM

    I suspect Ace is really thinking about the Home Depot cashier who he just knows has a superior attitude because her cousin got her the job.

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  34. coozledad7:47 AM

    Maybe Ace should ask Luke Russert for advice on how to bring down the elites who rise due to their connections and social class.

    Matthew Continetti is on his way over right now with a stack of back issues of Vogue.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/24/bill-kristols-son-in-law-declares-combat-war-on-opportunistic-social-climbers/

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  35. El Manquécito7:54 AM

    The farmer I worked for when I was a kid had a remarkably nuanced way of saying 'flatlanders' that contained volumes.

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  36. Pope Zebbidie XIII7:54 AM

    Official Real American Republican Response to the SOTU:


    "My fellow Americans, it may have escaped your notice that the President is a [clang]"

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  37. coozledad7:59 AM

    I was going to say you could check the many colleges she attended as an undergrad, but she wasn't there at any of them long enough to leave any impression beyond a Jean Nate/ eggfart cloud.

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  38. mortimer20008:01 AM

    I don't even need to power up the old Bullshit Detector for an Ace of Spades piece that begins by extensively quoting Mickey "Are You Shitting Me?" Kaus, then Matthew "Sonny One So True I Love You" Continetti, and then his own dogmagoguey self, with all three claiming knowledge about subjects of which they are exceedingly bereft of anything but their own looney opinions. But it's nice to know that some hedge-funder parasite out there, for whom "Ace of Spades" will only ever be just a playing card, is getting virtually tea-bagged by a serf with a blog.

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  39. JennOfArk8:04 AM

    Yes. And Jonah Goldberg is "crucial" to him, which really tells you all you'd ever need to know about him.

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  40. coozledad8:06 AM

    Yet another corollary to rule 34. Is it possible to entertain a Palin fetish and puke fetish simultaneously?


    Do I even need to ask.

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  41. Derelict8:11 AM

    Maybe he knows she has a superior attitude because she wouldn't give him her number.
    Or her bacon.

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  42. coozledad8:15 AM

    Yoga?

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  43. Derelict8:16 AM

    Oh, they'll come up with something, even though they don't have to. For at least 27% of voters, all that's needed is an "R" next to the candidate's name. Reaching plurality numbers only takes a bit more screeching about "those people" to get them over the top in their majority white districts.

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  44. Derelict8:16 AM

    And, of course, lesbian literature studies.

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  45. tigrismus8:25 AM

    Yes, I keep replacing Palin's name with, say, Michelle Obama, or Lena Dunham, or Sandra Fluke. Nasty, personal edge that reviles whole groups is what Ace's folks do best.

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  46. Jeffrey_Kramer8:49 AM

    Notice the negligible degree of fact which has to be provided, in order to fuel the ragegasm. Ace declares:


    ...that the New Class has dismissed Palin!
    ...that they are nasty and personal in their disdain for her!
    ...that they have most contumaciously disapproved of her and her class!
    ...that this New Class is not content to disparage but arrogantly disdains!
    ...that they attack not only Palin but millions of others!


    It's like he's writing a Declaration of Independence from the Liberal Elites, but without any content whatsoever. It's a Bill of Imparticulars. Because where Jefferson & co. thought they needed to offer a few specifics out of "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind," Ace knows he doesn't need to offer jack shit. He doesn't even have to give a perfunctory quotation from Pelosi or Hillary or whoever -- not even a word from the very people Continetti was raving about as avatars of this New Class -- because his readership can entertain themselves just as well with their fantasies of the awful things "they" must be saying about "us". Entertain themselves even better, actually.

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  47. carolannie9:00 AM

    Sarah who?

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  48. Wrangler9:07 AM

    A volunteer at my work did go to high school with Sarah and it sounds like nothing is easier to imagine than what that was like. Sarah was a very popular student, but not the kind of popular where people like you a lot and find you nice and charming, more the kind where your peers are almost in awe of you because of your good looks, unusual confidence and capacity for cruelty. The volunteer was on the track or cross country team with Sarah, and Sarah's father was the coach, and he made sure to constantly remind the other girls how great Sarah is.


    What struck me was just how uneager this person was to really start telling crazy stories about Sarah, even though it was clear the volunteer despises Sarah Palin. I think that's because there aren't any. Sadly, it sounds like being in high school with Sarah was annoying to live through and boring to talk about. There's a Sarah Pailn in every high school in the country. Sometimes more than one.

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  49. glennisw9:08 AM

    I keep scratching my head over the disconnect between this hagiographic championing of the Palin-esque salt-of-the-earth working class, and the policy goals of cutting the social safety net, destroying labor unions, destroying rural America, and keeping poor folks poor.

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  50. BigHank539:13 AM

    Well, it is bacon-and-playdoh Ace we're talking about here. The few glimpses we've had of his feelings about women haven't made anyone sleep better at night.

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  51. Their disdain has a nasty personal edge to it -- they disapprove of her and the class she hails from.


    The grifter class? Yeah, I disapprove of it.

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  52. Maybe they think that, if the poor weren't poor any more, they would cease to be salt-of-the-earth... or maybe they're sociopaths.

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  53. satch9:32 AM

    Much was made a while back of her high school nickname "Sarah Barracuda" but digging a little deeper reveals that it had nothing to do with her play on her basketball team, and everything to do with her personality and the fact that no one felt comfortable turning their back on her.

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  54. who is sarah palin?

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  55. The inventor of a perpetual grifting machine?

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  56. satch9:51 AM

    Unfortunately, I'm afraid classism is embedded in the human psyche, as is tribalism, and the wealthy class/tribe is afraid to death that their "hard earned" wealth will be taken away either directly by some lower class thug, or worse, redistributed to those unworthies by Big Gummint. Also unfortunately, wealth can buy them a lot of P.R. talent and megaphones to use as weapons.

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  57. Declaration of Indignance.

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  58. chuckling10:26 AM

    Although personal anecdotes may or may not provide valuable insights into larger questions, it's difficult to choose what other people believe over what we actually experience. For example, I've spent plenty of time with watcha might call New York elites, many of whom are from somewhere else, btw, but cannot recall any one of them ever telling me that I didn't understand middle America. In one of my different lives, however, I've spent a lot of time around watcha might call middle Americans and regularly hear them express disdain for New Yorkers, and I'm sure they aren't talking about the construction workers.

    Regarding Kansas, it's interesting that Thomas Frank, author of "What's the Matter with Kansas?," who is actually from there, and current occupant of Lewis Lapham's easy chair at Harper's makes very similar arguments as poor chuckling, and sadly AOS as well, albeit with much more writerly flair. From the January issue, for example:

    "Being on the left is about good taste and personal intellectual rectitude. The idea is to summon the right answers for the Big Exam and to castigate the dunces who get them wrong. And after watching progressive organizations in action for most of my adult life, I’ve started to think that the main reason lefties join social movements is in order to kick everyone else out of them."



    So as I've noted before, when a perception like that is so widespread, there's likely a kernel of truth in there somewhere.


    And you know, now that I think about it, back when liberals were in power and using it wisely on new deals and great societies and the like, East coast elitism was associated with the Republicans. Perhaps, as per Frank, when much of the Ivy League snob contingent came over to the liberal side, they drove a lot of regular people out. Makes more sense than the "all those bumpkins, excuse me, low information voters in flyover country are stoooopid" analysis that's so popular in more educated circles.

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  59. redoubtagain10:28 AM

    Grifterbrow, just below highbrow

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  60. redoubtagain10:36 AM

    This. There's a reason I live in a city, even here in the American South--I don't have to worry about a "fantasy small-town lifestyle" that consists of burning crosses.

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  61. I've been sleeping with the light on ever since I first started reading AceO'--I've always thought he was part of the NRA's outreach to women. If anything could turn me into a pistol packin' second amendment sister it would the the thought of living in a neighborhood infested with AceOSpuds types.

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  62. Oh, fuck off an die already, angry old white man with angry old issues.

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  63. chuckling10:54 AM

    Have we met? Should I be sleeping with the light on?


    Seriously though, that comment shows that self-aware you are not. Angry, most certainly. And racist, sexist, and ageist as well, apparently. As if "old white man" is any more a logical argument than any other pejorative that puts together age, ethnicity and gender to make a point.

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  64. Morgoth10:55 AM

    Declaration of In-Depends

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  65. Someone who had never heard of you, nor read the last 1,000 iterations of this disingenuous trollery, might wonder why Aimai is so mad. I don't think that's true of anyone here.

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  66. Mark_B4Zeds10:58 AM

    Almost. How about
    Declaration of In-Depends Dunce.

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  67. Ellis_Weiner10:58 AM

    Right. You cain't get a man with a gun--but you can try.

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  68. Susan of Texas11:01 AM

    You know what else has a kernel in it? Crap.

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  69. (For example, a wealthy black man in early 20th century was still of a different social class than an equally wealthy white man)


    Of course, the wealthy black man in the early 20th century could lose it all when a white mob decided to torch his business or to lynch him. Before the Tulsa race riots, there was a neighborhood known as "Black Wall Street" which was razed.

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  70. Ellis_Weiner11:05 AM

    Let's not quibble, but I think Palin is dumb, in terms of what she knows, what she understands, how she thinks, etc. But she's shrewd. She has one act, and she knows who her audience is.


    Morally she's not so much dumb as irredeemably corrupt, but that's a separate discussion.

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  71. Keep chuckling that ficken!

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  72. Susan of Texas11:08 AM

    Those who have no dough to play with end up shakin' for bacon.

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  73. Your insults to the imaginary coastal elites who pissed in your wheaties are, of course, ageist, sexist, insulting, racist, and regionalist to boot. You can't post here without cutting up the country into the good/real/rurality voters you think the bad/elitist/liberal/democrats/women/blacks/urbantypes are refusing to pander to. That's your ENTIRE shtick here--you claim to speak for the real people. As though the rest of us aren't real, our votes don't matter, our political goals are not sufficient for the party we support.


    No, really, you absolutely can fuck off and die with the rest of the fox news cohort whose viewpoint you retail here for free. If I wanted to be lectured to by Roger Ailes's faux populist stooges I'd watch Fox News myself.

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  74. Which brings us back to Ace!

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  75. Mark_B4Zeds11:09 AM

    Apparently, Democrats congregate near water.

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  76. That ain't a gun or Bible Ace is clinging to!

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  77. Salt licks...and Margaritas.

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  78. You know the answer to this.

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  79. Too small for either.

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  80. With practice you might get bits of him.

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  81. chuckling11:12 AM

    Oh I don't know. Close observers would note that it is Aimai who always launches personal attacks in response to comments that are not directed to her. In a metaphorical sense, she's like the character in that children's story -- I can't remember its name. But what happens is that these billy goats are walking along minding their own business and then an angry creature or some sort comes out from under a bridge and starts haranguing them. Or something like that. Anyway, poor chuckling would much rather be ignored by those sorts of creatures. On an entirely different subject, I have politely asked Aimai to just ignore me on many occasions, but she chooses to continually hurl shit instead. It's in her power to the shitstorm. All she has to do is stop throwing shit and she won't have to worry about any shit coming back at her.



    Beyond that, I just don't get this need some people have to be hall monitors in someone else's blog, especially when what they get so upset about is a mild leftist critique of democratic centrism. And it's not just Thomas Frank. There was a similar article in Salon a week or two ago from someone left of professional liberal bemoaning the state of the party. There was a great line about Obama being just like Nixon only without the personality disorders. Considering the drone murders and all seeing surveillance state and other notable achievements of the administration, I can see how the analogy might fit. And that made me think a bit about this need for people to be hall monitors, or in the larger world of communications, to police the message by attacking those with slightly different points of views. Those people are kind of like little Haldemans and Ehrlichmans, with the same personality disorder, but without the power.

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  82. Susan of Texas11:13 AM

    Or buddy cop movie. One's an east coast "intellectual" who hates east coast intellectuals. The other's a young man with stars in his eyes and love of authority in his heart. Together they fight crime!

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  83. Mark_B4Zeds11:13 AM

    tl;dr

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  84. Ellis_Weiner11:15 AM

    But he's right about one thing: I am entirely personal in my disdain for Palin--as I'm personal in my disdain (read: politely-managed hatred) of anyone who continually lies to me in order to obtain money and power. You should see how personal I am in my disdain for Rush Limbaugh! I don't care if it's a professional shtik that they're performing. I personally despise them.

    That's why I have no use for James Carville. You can't be married to that reptilian harpy and expect me to join you at the barricades. The personal/professional dichotomy is useful and important, but there are limits.

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  85. The 48 Most Conservative Hours

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  86. Its not a leftist critique.A leftist critique is that offered by Susan of Texas, Ifthethunderdontgettya, DocAmazing et al. Yours is a a classical white ethnic rightist faux populist critique. And its a bit rich for the hall monitor/church lady scold of Alicublog and the Democratic Party to pretend to be injured when people talk back. You are continuing a conversation that you insist on having and I am simply joining in. It goes like this:


    Regardless of the topic Chuckling pretends to have gone out among the white/rural/republican people of America and discerned that at heart all they want is to be loved and respected by the democratic party. Ergo, if the Democrats can't win them with actual policy and legislation we can win their votes by praising their virtues and by ignoring the ways in which they, as Republican voters, actively choose the policies which are oppressing them and everyone else. For instance: we should ask white red state farmers very nicely to consider the needs of poor people for food stamps and not suck up all the ag bill money for themselves. Or we should agree with Kansas right to lifers that women are horrible sluts for wanting to have health care coverage for their naughty bits?
    These are tried and true center-right, upper class, elitist Democratic gestures towards white republican voters. This is not a critique from the left at all.

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  87. I think I've seen this movie. It unfolds like a 2 and a half hour slow mo car crash.

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  88. Objective accounts, like objective measures, are elitist.

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  89. Mark_B4Zeds11:25 AM

    Add Mark Steyn, give it a Science Fiction twist, and call it 'The Third Element.'

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  90. Magatha11:26 AM

    I am embarrassed: I have sometimes mocked Sarah Palin for what seems like her fake down-home speakin style, like (for example) droppin the "g" all the time. I don't want to seem all stuck up, so from now on, I will be more respectful to former Governor Paling.

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  91. tigrismus11:31 AM

    The presence of snobs and purity trolls is a human problem, not a leftist one.

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  92. carolannie11:39 AM

    Back off the hammer, ACE

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  93. "Hall monitor" is a phrase used 99% of the time by trolls who like to pretend unfamiliarity with the concept of "being sick of someone's constant bullshit." Everyone here is familiar with your writing, and with Aimai's. You're not fooling anyone. Bye.

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  94. Mooser11:58 AM

    Beautiful!

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  95. chuckling11:59 AM

    Much better, though you didn't quite manage to lose the racist angle and you completely misrepresented chuckling's typical point. But you did mostly lose the angry tone. That's a positive. A place to start. A little progress. Keep up the good work.


    It's true that I think and often make the point that people want to be respected (duh) and that some outreach is called for. But, I also make the point that the democrats aren't doing shit with policy or legislation either. No, they are engaging in stupid foreign wars in which mass murder of women, children and innocent men is the norm, overseeing an out-of-control national security state that spies on everyone all the time, fucking up the education system and screwing the teachers, fucking up the once every quarter century opportunity to do something about healthcare, while shielding criminal banksters and continuing to shove tons (literally) of money the .001 percents way, among other policy blunders from a leftish point of view.


    The unfortunate mindset I see in your comment above is that you seem to believe things are carved in stone. People in Kansas are right wing crazies, anti-abortion religious zealots and gun nuts. The implication is that they have always been that way and can never change. But that's simply false and easily observably false at that as they were once one of the more liberal states of the union. So once you realize they can change, because, duh, they have changed, then you should start asking what brought about that change and consider how to counteract it. But that's not what's happening. What's happening is that the professional liberal class has abandoned those people in order to concentrate on the urban vote. They don't want to money into races they expect to lose. Howard Dean's 50 state strategy was the cure of that, and it was working, but it was abandoned. The millions of people living in red state hellholes were abandoned right along with them.


    You may not like that critique, but it's hardly right wing and racist as you claim. And along with the abandonment issues, the way you denigrate the reality that people generally want to be respected and loved... What exactly is that kind of liberalism good for? Good for business as usual, I'll hazard.

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  96. glennisw11:59 AM

    not content to disparage but arrogantly disdains!
    Well, disparagement is bearable, but arrogant disdain? That's beyond the pale!
    Boy's got some mighty fine powers of distinction, there, being able to categorize the varieties of disdain, disapproval, disparagement and dismissal! He a regular expert.

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  97. Mooser12:01 PM

    Together they fight crime! Social Crime!

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  98. Mooser12:06 PM

    You deserve a promotion for that comment!

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  99. Jeffrey_Kramer12:07 PM

    Right; but you can be sure he's never going to quote what you just said as an exhibit of how awful They are to Us, because it wouldn't lend itself to his 'social class warfare' routine.

    Or maybe it could, it he just went for all-out Otterism. ("For if you say this about Palin, then shouldn't we blame the whole Alaskan people? And if the whole Alaskan people are guilty, then isn't this an indictment of white Americans in general? I put it to you, Ellis - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America!")

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  100. Mooser12:08 PM

    "Close observers would note that it is Aimai who always launches personal
    attacks in response to comments that are not directed to her."



    Hey, I do that, too, a lot! Thanks for noticing, Chuck.

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  101. Mooser12:16 PM

    "With practice you might get bits of him."


    If I am not mistaken, the first indication that you need to use your gun in an urban situation is being pierced by a bullet, that comes from you know not where.

    I suppose if it was just a flesh wound, you could return fire, if, if you had any idea where the person was, without a director to show you.

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  102. Needless to say I supported Dean's 50 state strategy--as did lots of east coast liberals. The problem I have with your lectures is that they are completely divorced from reality, that they confuse center-right democrats (who have been incredibly solicitous of the angry theocratic white male vote) with the actual attitudes or programs espoused by individual democrats in blue states. These are not the same thing at all.


    If you have a problem with particular Democratic activists or politicians why don't you take it up with them? Why do you continue to make blanket assertions and insults to "east coast liberals" or whatever your hate group du jour is on behalf of imaginary red state/rural/white people who have actively supported "stupid foreign wars...mass murder of women and children....out of control national security state that spies on everyone all the time...fucking up the education system and screweing the teachers...health care..." etc, etc, etc... None of these positions are actual, official, Democratic positions--they all long predate President Obama's time in office (for example). And to the extent that they are actual policy positions they are actually in the Republican party platform. Right down to the determination to destroy education (which I admit has become a bipartisan goal of the oligarchy) and to destroy healthcare reform. The idea that these are ideas or issues foisted on the helpless people of Kansas is absurd. People in red states have agency. And to the extent that people in red states object to what the republican party does in their names they actually go right ahead and join the democratic party--you might take a gander at fucking Texas and the women there who are valiantly trying to turn it blue. Or the hispanic vote in all the red and blue states. There are lots of people, not just your fictional friends, who are fighting to get represented and heard. And they aren't fighting against fantasy democrats--they are fighting against an entrenched right wing republican power system.

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  103. Wrangler12:32 PM

    Ace is a little late to the party here. David Mamet already tapped this ass in his book "Secret Something or Other". The quote was like, "What liberals despise about Sarah Palin is her identity as a Worker." Since David is very smart and good at his job tinkering with words, from this sentence I learned that when you capitalize "worker" the word takes on a completely different meaning, though I am still not sure what that is.

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  104. Susan of Texas12:35 PM

    Are you seriously saying the liberal professional class is responsible for converting the red state working class, and one way to achieve this goal is to show them love and respect?

    Because so far the only thing that works is losing elections and then pointing out that the left fucks up your life much less than the right. Then we have to wait a few years for memories to fade and the cycle starts all over again.



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  105. chuckling12:36 PM

    There are many different realities, but one of the realities I see and comment on is the reality of the scoreboard. The numbers are real and the people on the losing side of those numbers are real as well.


    It's true as well that the leftish list of grievances against Obama; foreign wars, torture, murder, blah, blah, blah, as you say, are crucial parts of the Republican platform. But that's the problem, innit? Nixon without the personality disorders. Not quite true, but close enough for discomfort.


    And of course there are all different types of individuals in different regions. Many of my best friends are east coast liberals. I am one myself sometimes. It's difficult to get the terminology right all the time and be consistent when making more or less off the cuff blog comments. but my intent as a writer is that when I use the term "east coast liberals" or something like that as a pejorative, I am passing along what other people say or think. When I am being dismissive of the broad class I think they mean to embody by that term, I've been leaning towards "professional liberal." It's hard to get the nomenclature just right though.

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  106. Daniel Björkman12:43 PM

    Being hostile to rich people is supposed to be a bad thing? Seriously?

    Okay, let me say something here. I actually agree that the rhetoric against some privileged groups often get overly hateful. But that's for two reasons. Firstly, a lot of those groups are simply not possible to opt out of - you get born into them and you stay there, so being hostile towards people for being part of them is being hostile to them for something they didn't choose and can't help. Secondly, just because a group is privileged does not mean, in most cases, that every single one of its members is. Being white does not mean you might not be poor, being male does not mean that you might not be the victim of violence, being heterosexual does not mean that you might not get bashed and shamed and harassed. It makes it statistically less likely, yes, but that is small consolation for anyone who suffers statistically-less-likely misfortune and then on top of that have to hear about how unfairly lucky they are.

    But... none of that applies to rich people. Rich people can choose to be not-rich very easily - just give away your fucking money, and the mark of shame that supposedly bothers you so much vanishes! And being rich doesn't make you statistically less likely to be poor, it actually means that per definition you are not poor. People are saying mean things to you? Why the fuck do you even care? You're living comfortably and they can't do anything except complain about it - why then are you begrudging them even the right to complain?

    So, yeah, I'm hostile to rich people. And thin-skinned though I am in most ways, I am perfectly all right with people who are poorer than me being hostile to me, too. Upward-directed hostility is part of the natural order of things.

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  107. whetstone12:46 PM

    Being on the left is about good taste and personal intellectual rectitude.

    I like a lot of Thomas Frank's work, but one of his more recent dispatches from Lewis Lapham's leather-ensconced Chair of Despond is a lament for the Chicago he moved to, in which young bohos could comfortably afford to live in the spectacular wreckage of the American urban dream. And, uh, it adds some texture to his opinions about liberalism.

    Now he's pissed that Rahm's neoliberalism is bringing rich people to the city, in particular his old crash pad in Kenwood (near the University of Chicago, where Frank got his PhD), which now belongs to some consultant. O tempora! O mores! Editors of boutique liberal journals will have to move to Bronzeville, now that the wrong kind of professional class has moved in.

    The best part is when he gets pissed that Longman and Eagle (a fancy gastropub in a slowly but surely gentrifying northwest neighborhood), is playing music from one of his favorite "fairly obscure punk bands." And Wire! And the Dead Boys! And the Clash!!!

    Every one of these songs hit home—this was music I once thought would change the world. Now it was a soundtrack for the fussy morass of late capitalism.... That's what the Clash was good for, in this corner of the U.S.A. circa 2013. The world was burning, but here we are having a happy riot of our own.

    I guess he missed the Clash's line about "he who fucks nuns will one day join the church."

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  108. chuckling1:00 PM

    Well, there is a professional class of liberals who are paid to win elections, which in effect means converting the red state working classes. The fact that they are doing a horrible job of it is one of my regular plaints.

    If, as you say, the best strategy is losing elections, then the professional liberals are doing a wonderful job in much of the country. Problem is, we elected Obama and he's mostly continued to implement the Republican platform, so on substantive issues many people don't see that much difference between the left and the right, so vote on personality or what they consider "values."

    And yes, treating people with love and respect is almost always a good strategy. It would be more effective if it were just the way we were instead of a strategy, but even if the professional class can't genuinely feel it, they'd be wise to do a better job of faking it.



    No disrespect intended towards you, Susan. I've always enjoyed your writing here and when I come across it on other blogs.

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  109. Look, Chuckling, this gets old. There is no "scoreboard" and you aren't much of a writer or political analyst. Your descriptions of who is saying what about whom, politically, in this country is just completely wrong. There is no, none, zero, zilch, sustained left wing or liberal critique of right wing voters as people. Sometimes some people make fun of iconic faux southern populist TV figures like Sarah Palin or the Duck Dynasty people but at the level of, say, actual Politicians or administrative officials there has never been any kind of critique of the rightist voter on a personal level. Meanwhile, on the right, you get actual major TV and radio personalities (major in terms of their fan base) and actual presidential candidates who describe actual Democratic voters and immigrants as liars, cheats, thieves, traitors, sluts, pagans, satanists, and fraudsters.


    So your self arrogated role as "speaker for the lost voter" in the red state is unnecessary. They have speakers that they have chosen and those speakers speak the language that both parties insist is necessary for political leadership. In fact one of the things they hate about Obama specifically is his refusal to speak the language of exclusion and division, hatred and violence.


    But that isn't to say that I, or the Democratic party such as it is have given up on red state voters. If you knew anything about the actual political struggles that actually politically active people are waging there is a massive fundraising campaign going on at every level to register people to vote and to run candidates so that people have a choice. In fact thats what the entire struggle at the top level over immigration reform and voting rights are all about. But that doesn't fit your extremely white centric view of red state voters and their needs, does it? Because to register non white, non resentful, female and college age voters in red and blue states is--what? Not necessary if we could only get the scoreboard filled with white voters?

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  110. Jaime Oria1:10 PM

    This could be fun!
    "What liberals despise about Bill O'Reilly is his identity as a Pugnacious Blowhard."
    "What liberals despised about was his identity as a Guy Wearing A Bowtie."
    "What liberals despise about Pat Robertson is his identity as a Mendacious God-Botherer."

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  111. Well, but the US seems unique, to me, in the refusal of the working and middle class to identify with their own class as a class, and in a tribal way. I mean I realize that we have had a sustained battle for control of the category "real american" and that masses of money and pressure has resulted in people aligning themselves qua, as someone said the other day, "temporarily embarrassed millionaires" rather than, say, permanently unemployed or in the underclass. But thats tos ay that "classism" isn't embedded in the human psyche at all--or rather that classless classism is the product of some serious manipulation. Because otherwise we'd be having a very different conversation about what to do about John Perkin's wealth.

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  112. Gromet1:19 PM

    Being hostile to the rich is, I think, bad. What's justified is being hostile to those who imagine their wealth is entirely the result of their own hard work, therefore entirely deserved and not to be "stolen" by the government and given to the undeserving. It goes to Obama's "you didn't build that" moment -- clearly he meant look, be a financial giant, but recognize you're standing on the shoulders of others. Your $500k salary, that $40k you rake in on investments -- you can't have all that and also cry that a tax hike of $11,000 ruins you. It isn't true, and it smacks of unrelatable arrogance -- the conviction that luck and dependence on the broader civilization we all occupy have played no hand in getting you that wealth. But wealth itself? Go for it! Be a zillionaire! And accept the 3% hike on income over $200k with a little dignity, for pete's sake.

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  113. But it hurts rich people to be told they don't deserve their riches, or that their riches make up for the fact that without them they would be ugly, or fat, or talentless.**


    **I'm somewhat sympathetic to rich, priviliged, white people on this point, actually, since I'm one of them. People can be all those things and also hard working and talented and driven and generous and whatever other good thing normal people want to be. So of course it hurts to be told that but for your whiteness or accident of birth or whatever that your talents wouldn't be called talents or your skills wouldn't measure up. But who cares, really? If the worst thing that happens to you after working hard at your talents and achieving something worthwhile with them is that someone else farts gently in your direction and says "huh, you never would have gotten there without a boost up from your privilige" you can count yourself lucky.

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  114. Waffle_Man1:23 PM

    Word.


    I really disliked Sarah Palin after her speech to the Republican National Convention. In the same speech, in less then a minute, she


    A) Praised her experiences with the PTA as having been essential for preparing her for national politics


    B) Made fun of Obama because obviously "community organizing" doesn't prepare you for national politics and isn't it silly to think it does?


    Also, her description of the bridge to nowhere story wasn't really entirely truthful.


    Look, I know here in America we're supposed to just gloss over the fact that the people who want to rule us are most often lying, disingenuous, hypocritical shitbags, but fuck that.


    She acts like a jerk in public and I'm damn well going to call her out on that (And yes, I do get just as angry when Democrats do that kind of thing).

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  115. tigrismus1:25 PM

    Hmm, yes, but they are those things in a way Palin is not a Worker. A Shirker, maybe.

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  116. But even this critique of Democratic politicians and voters is incorrect, just factually incorrect. We are not failing to appeal to red state voters in sufficient numbers because our policies suck, or we are rude to them. We are in fact appealing to them in record numbers-- The only reason the Democrats didn't win the House and the Senate at the same time that they won the Presidency is that the gerrymandering of congressional districts resulted in the odd fact that Democrats received more total votes than Republican candidates did but still did not end up controlling a proportional number of seats. You could look it up. This is as true at the Senate level as it is at the House level, of course, where it is a rather well known fact that Blue States and their workers/voters who vastly outnumber Red state workers/voters are underrepresented and always will be.

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  117. On the subject of hostility--its the tribute the demos pays to the oligarchs when we can't exact a fair tax plan or even get them to recognize that we are all in the same boat together. I would be for a whopping progressive tax code hike whether it was someone I disliked personally or someone I loved--because its the right thing to do. The relentless drumbeat of greed is good has convinced these masters of the universe that the poor and the middle class would never pay a high marginal tax rate if it were applied to them but a lot of us would--because its the right thing to do.

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  118. Waffle_Man1:38 PM

    Exactly my point; wealth very often wasn't enough to protect black people from white violence.


    So Ace is right that social status and power don't always map directly to wealth.


    But one hundred years ago, people of the lower classes were being lynched. And I don't mean that in the modern sense of the word, where a lynch mob is a group of people who say mean things to you; I mean in the sense that one social class could torture and murder the members of another with near impunity, and that national politicians could argue that this was a good thing and not be tarred and feathered.


    Given that for most of our history inter-class hatred was so severe and so mainstream that it routinely led to inexpressibly terrible violence, it's actually pretty offensive to say that the 2000s are the worst time for inter-class hatred.


    Wake me up when any of the classes Ace defends are being lynched, firebombed, or herded into camps and reservations.

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  119. chuckling1:43 PM

    The scoreboard says that in many congressional districts Republicans win with 60, 70, 80+ percent of the vote. The scoreboard says that they have taken over large swathes of the country at the local, county, and state levels. The reality is that the Democratic party has switched from a policy of contesting elections in 50 states to concentrating the money on contests they have some possibility of winning. To me, that is abandoning a large chunk of the population, certainly abandoning the attempt to communicate with them through political campaigning.

    But I really don't get what it is with you and these racist rants. I've never argued that anyone should be excluded. Everything I've ever said is in favor of inclusiveness. Everyone should be respected and included. Their concerns addressed. It's really that simple.

    And I recall you once writing that you were a Jewish woman and that every time someone disagreed with you, your first thought was likely to be that you were being denigrated because of your gender and ethnic heritage. The implication was that classifying people by their gender and ethnic background was a bad thing. Yet that's exactly how you seem to act. You constantly use gender and ethnic background as either a cudgel to hit someone with or a pedestal to put them on. That kind of worldview is unfortunate, but unfortunately common. (those interested in reading a much better writer on that topic (more or less) should head over to the atlantic and check out Ta-Nehisi Coates' current article.

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  120. Thats quite backwards, Chuckling. But I can see how you would be completely ignorant of how race plays in your own politics.
    1) I've just explained to you that "the scoreboard" does not reflect the actual will of the physical voters because of gerrymandering.


    2) There are places in this country where Republicans are going to win by large margins because they are giving their own voters what they want. Why shouldn't they? And why shouldn't they win? There isn't some perfection of liberal policies that will win over every single voter in this country because some people (shocking, I know) don't want liberal policies.


    3) The race part is that you seem to argue that the views of the satisfied white Republican party (because that is all that is left. The party as a whole is older, whiter, better educated, and more christian than the rest of the country) should be targeted and those voters should be converted to voting for Democrats. So your strategy is explicitly an "appeal for white votes" strategy because that is who is available in solid R districts.


    4) Except for potential Democratic pick up voters who are largely a) immigrant, b) non white, c) non christian, d) non wealthy, e) both highly educated and not highly educated i.e. working class, f) native american, g) native hispanic but not yet registered to vote.


    5) Republican politics since the Southern Strategy has been two pronged: culture war and voter suppression. In response Democratic politics, lurching from thing to thing, has been based on an attempt to fight off culture war attacks and expand voting rights and actual voting practice.


    Some people are always going to vote Republican because they like those politics, policies, the culture war, and they hate the rest of us. Those people can't be converted and to continue to fixate on them to the exclusion or despite of voters who do want to hear the Democratic message is absurd.


    You can talk about "inclusion" all you want but this is the division in the country--between satisfied, if miserable, Republican white male (ormarried white female) voters and the rest of us. When you lecture us here at Alicublog because we are not sufficiently massaging the egos of people you think of as the "real" rurality voters (your terms, not mine) you are imagining a straight white christian population. It exists but its not the only voting population in those areas and very sensibly the Democrats, after running one southern white male after another, have decided to give other people a turn.

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  121. Gromet2:31 PM

    has convinced these masters of the universe that the poor and the middle class would never pay

    In California, the electric utility provides the option of signing up for green energy. You tick a box, they buy 0.00000001% more wind and solar instead of fossil fuels, and your personal bill goes up about $5. I ticked the box, and months later mentioned it to a Republican (who makes maaaybe triple the money I do). He was surprised. Why would anyone tick that box?! It makes your rates go up! Ugh.

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  122. chuckling2:34 PM

    Interesting, and I see what you're saying.


    He was born in 1965 so he was 12 when "The Clash" was released and 14 when "London Calling" came out, so he probably came to them later in life. Perhaps it's one of my snobbish affectations, but I've often thought there's some kind of dividing line between those of us who came by way of "I'm so bored with the USA" and were angry and bitter and pretty much thought the world had ended on the first listen or two to "London Calling" -- and may have even contemplated suicide when they heard "Train in Vain"-- and those who were introduced to the Clash years later when "London Calling" pretty much was the Clash along with "Rock the Casbah", the green album a museum piece that no one actually listened to and "Give em Enough Rope" completely forgotten.

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  123. chuckling2:45 PM

    I actually clipped that. Not to use against you in some future argument, but because it was so sad, and profound in its way. And I won't use it against you now, but I will say that my memory of it as expressed above is much closer to reality than what you relate as your memory of it.


    You sometimes manage to annoy me, but I really do feel for you. I wish you could just let these things go. The world is a better place when race and gender insecurities cease to be a part of it. Maybe nothing you can do to change the external world in that respect, but for those of us privileged enough to be able to change our internal world, it really should be a no-brainer.

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  124. And it's certainly a chuckling problem.

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  125. No, you misunderstood me at the time. I remember it well because it was so very...chuckling of you. Really, its ok. I don't now and never did feel like being female or jewish was a bad thing and I don't now and never did feel like only in complete anonymity could I express valuable thoughts, or be valued as a blogger. But if it helps you to imagine that you have some vantage point to pity me, go right ahead. I've pitied you for a really long time. Now more than ever since I see you are, basically, a rather badly informed concern troll only slightly to the left of the lovely Donalde Douglas but, sadly and even more funnilly, completely unaware of your class and race position and how obviously you tread it out here.

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  126. What's mildly interesting about this is that both the Minnesota and Alaska accents which inform her speech employ a hard "g" at the end of a word; think any character in the movie "Fargo." She began dropping the hard g in order to effect a folksy way of speaking when she entered the national political scene and needed to appeal to the rubes.

    In other words, she's a total "fuckin'" fake.

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  127. Smarter than Your Average Bear3:03 PM

    Well gosh, it's not like they don't clump millions of liberals into a category that they scorn, nooooooo

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  128. Halloween_Jack3:07 PM

    Given that he's started to refer to himself in the third person, absolutely.

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  129. chuckling3:23 PM

    Oh, I understand where you're coming from on class and race and privilege. Of course I realize there's a lot of truth to it, but it's a social construct that's best to ignore on a personal level. Not believing in it, and not participating it it, can often make it go away. Not always and certainly not for everybody, granted, but some of us can grab that privilege. That privilege to make privilege go away. Its not always limited by skin tone or gender. All may participate, at least on a personal level. Nothing is forcing you to be race and gender obsessed. Nothing is keeping you from treating all people as equal. And your constant put downs of those with privilege is a bit rich considering what you've told us about yourself. If any of that is true, you are probably the most privileged individual in this group. You are from a prominent family. You got a top quality education at private schools. You are east coast big city Jewish but not religious, which is may well be the most privileged way to be born in the U.S. these days. Sorry if I've got some details wrong, but the point is that all your privilege needn't define what you can be in life any more than being darker skinned or Muslim or rural or whatever should define other people. As long as you are free, the privilege of not seeing the world in antiquated racist terms or derogatory gender terms is available to you. It is sad that you choose to squander your massive amounts of privilege in that way.


    One last note, you always talk about me as though you know me personally. All I can say is that if you've done oppo research, you've done a poor job of it. Sometimes you hit, usually you miss. Whatever. Obama, nice, super intelligent man with great family though he is, still sucks at being president and the Democratic party is a sick fucking joke. Even if poor chuckling is the evil white christian male of your nightmares or your dreams, those sad facts will not be changed and screaming at strangers on the internets will help, nor make you a better person.

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  130. Oh, Chuckles, the spite which is not spite. How nice of you to attack me, personally, as a priviliged upper class Jewish woman while admonishing me not to think about the camel's left knee!

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  131. Smarter than Your Average Bear3:39 PM

    Oh ya - Obama kneed them in the balls during SotU - he focused heavily on Minimum Wage and as Rachel noted handed the Democrats a platform that they can bury the GOP with (assuming they don't snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as they are want to do) - The GOP must either defy their corporate masters and come to the plate late, accepting the raise, or they have to show, yet again, their complete contempt for the working poor. Every Democratic candidate should repeatedly hold every GOP candidates feet to the minimum wage bonfire right up to voting day in November.

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  132. satch3:40 PM

    There have been other nations that thought of themselves as "exceptional", but in recent times, only Britain at the height of their Victorian Era empire and Nazi Germany even begin to compare to the U.S. in the depth of their citizens perception of themselves as Blessed-By-God !exceptional!... We're a nation of proud, steadfast warriors, but only in the cause of peace and justice, dont'cha know. Also a nation of Up-By-Our-Bootstrap achievers who let nothing stand in our way to attain the American Dream. And we'll welcome all newcomers to out shores, as long as they pay their dues by tending our lawns, picking our agricultural products, and building our infrastructure for pennies on the dollar. This is a powerful image to have of one's self, and one that conservatives have been nurturing for a hundred years, and it comes as absolutely no surprise that the working and middle classes buy into it.

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  133. chuckling3:42 PM

    No attack there. Nothing wrong with being an upper class Jewish woman who went to elite schools any more than there is being a lower class Philippine transexual, or white christian midwesterner, or pretty much any combination of ethnic/class distinctions. Just pointing out that you who talk so much about other people's privileges fail to acknowledge your own, which are substantial. That and my belief that for those of us (you in particular) who have enough privilege to transcend those kinds of ridiculous race/class social constructs, it's unfortunately when we fail to do so.

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  134. I missed this first time around, though. I'm puzzled why you think that being race and gender "aware" are identical to being somehow angry at other people for having racial or gender identities too? I don't even understand how you can argue that being aware of race and gender means "treating people unequally." Why would that be? Are those identities not equally human and equally respectable?


    I'm a woman but I am, of course, related to many men--some even by marriage. I'm technically a Jew but I'm related by marriage to some Palestinians and even (gasp) some black people. Incredible!


    This is not to play some kind of "I know people not like myself" oppression olympics with you. Even you couldn't be that absurd. But its to point out, again, what seems to escape you which is that these identities are not oppressive prisons that people need to seek to abandon in order to have true relationships with each other but simply component parts of our humanity and our experience.


    You seem really wounded by having it pointed out to you that your perspective on politics is that of a white male of a certain class. Thats not an insult to you because "white males of a certain class" are the enemy, or bad. Fuck, I'm married to a white male, probably of your class. But your viewpoint has a certain limitation which is that you discount and seem even unaware or hostile to the perspectives of other kinds of people except for those you've adopted as your pets--your imaginary white red stater. And then you get offended when I point out that your imaginary friend is white/christian and already republican because they like it and you start arguing that noticing this fact is somehow racist or exclusionary of me. Its just a fact. You are advocating for a policy of engagement with a slice of Republican/Rural/White voters because you think they are something Democrats can "get" if Democrats stop fighting a "culture war" against them. I don't think Democrats are fighting a culture war against anyone. The culture war is a creation of the right wing and always has been since they were accusing northerners and anarchists and jews and commies of trying to destroy the traditional family and the traditional hierarchy of the south. Its not something we are doing to them. Its something they are doing to us.


    But, in any event, joyfully participating in the ethnic mashup that is America is not the same as discriminating against or despising any of the other groups you've mentioned.

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  135. I so obviously cop to my own privilige that you actually know all about it. Its like those Secrets that No One Is Reporting when they only appear on the Front Page of the Times. I'm not a Democrat because I'm defending my privilige, I'm a Democrat because I want to extend all those priviliges to other people--specifically the privilige to have health care, a good education for our children, safe homes and clean water and a good living wage for safe work. I don't think this is at all odd of me. In fact its traditional for my people.

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  136. Susan of Texas4:30 PM

    You are moving words around in the most interesting way. Your liberal professional class is now the liberal political elite. A strategy that is best as losing becomes the best strategy to win.

    You say people vote based on emotion. We should be kind and respectful to the lower class right to sway their emotions our way. But that presupposes they vote for Rs because Ds are so mean and disrespectful to them. Or that they vote at all. Or that the emotion they vote out of is pique, not anger and fear. Because much more important than their feelings is their wallet.

    "It’s worth noting that in this [2010 midterm] election only those earning less than $50,000 voted in the majority for Democrats. Above the $50,000 income line, voters swung Republican. Among those earning $50,000-$75,000, voters chose Republicans over Democrats at a rate of 52 percent to 46 percent. Those earning $75,000-$200,000 voted Republican 56 percent to 42 percent. And those making more than $200,000 voted for Republican candidates 62 percent of the time. - See more at: http://www.spotlightonpoverty.org/OutOfTheSpotlight.aspx?id=f733d09b-6808-4115-9b88-8c89262c7b3d#sthash.DUXV48al.dpuf

    "
    Most of the middle class people Republicans I know down here, including both southerners and former east coast middle/ lower upper class, vote Republican because they don't want all those lazy shiftless poor people taking their money. It's not ego or even racism much of the time. It's greed.
    So no, we don't need to be kinder and more respectful to the poor red staters. We need to continue to tell them the truth, which is frequently rude and always disrespectful.

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  137. coozledad4:32 PM

    I live where chuckling says the Democrats ought to be doing more outreach.


    Since 2006, I've been part of the outreach effort. Sometimes you walk up to an old white monkey's house and he'll threaten to shoot you. Sometimes when you're registering voters in a grocery store parking lot, that cancerous old ape will throw a shit hemorrhage in front of the manager to get you kicked off the property. Sometimes, when you're explaining the ACA to genuinely confused people, a bunch of rednecks will show up to try and shit on the proceedings. The meeting we arranged with Get Covered America was disrupted by a couple of elderly pieces of white garbage who slept through the presentation and then distracted people during the question period saying things like 'This is just that Obama shit.'


    No duh, white monkey- but we couldn't call it that because non-partisan political groups would have been slammed by the Republicans. James O' Keefe was entrapping Enroll America volunteers at the time.


    The ACA will bring us a few votes, but the only way the Democrats could pull a few more white trash bastards out to vote is with old Atwater's Nigger Nigger Nigger. All that's left of the people who are not already busting their asses off for the Dems are racist Republican garbage.


    Thomas Frank and chuckling do not know jack shit about the hinterlands, and if they did, they'd shit their pants to bursting.

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  138. Susan of Texas4:43 PM

    You can hardly sit in a donut shop or fast food joint early in the morning without running into a Breakfast Club of seniors loudly complaining about Obama's redistribution. If I were the rude and condescending type I'd point out they were all on Social Security and Medicare but I am a liberal so I don't.

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  139. Mooser4:45 PM

    All those things are also to the dismay of some on the left. Maybe not all, but some.

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  140. Mooser4:49 PM

    I can't disdain Ms. Palin personally, I don't know her. Sounds like a win-win for me. But I despise her for whatever part she had in constructing her public image. And the rest of them, too.

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  141. coozledad4:50 PM

    And seriously, could their be a better response to those old fools than to tell them their lives have been a complete waste, and they're now just bags of donut-sucking urine?


    I fucking think not.

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  142. Love you for this, Coozledad.

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  143. coozledad5:09 PM

    I'm going to blogwhore this because it says more about "those simple country folk" than just about anything else I've witnessed. The republicans work racism from every angle, and white trash eats it up. They haven't even quit fighting the war they got their asses pulverized in:

    http://rurritable.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/blood/

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  144. What a story, coozledad--(and very nice mules and bathroom tiling, btw.) Thanks for posting the link. I was thinking about people like you, and Juanita Jean in Texas (Of Juanita Jean's Dangerous Hair Salon), and all the various people out there fighting to turn this country purple/blue during this discussion.

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  145. mgmonklewis6:26 PM

    Evidence, please. I would be shocked if "many" districts were won by Republicans with 70 or 80+% of the vote. That's an extremely difficult feat to pull off even at a county level, even when counties are small and homogenous.

    Then again, I grew up in a red state in a rural community (I graduated in a class of 16 people, and we were the "big" class), so I guess my Liberal Coastal Elite pedigree disqualifies me from the conversation.

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  146. smut clyde7:11 PM

    ...that the New Class has dismissed Palin!
    ...that they are nasty and personal in their disdain for her!
    ...that they have most contumaciously disapproved of her and her class!
    ...that this New Class is not content to disparage but arrogantly disdains!
    ...that they attack not only Palin but millions of others!

    Is this the Wingnut version of "I will consider my cat Jeoffrey"?

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  147. J Neo Marvin7:20 PM

    Their disdain has a nasty personal edge to it -- they disapprove of her and the class she hails from.

    If you want to refer to "stupid people" as a "class", that's your prerogative, I guess.

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  148. J Neo Marvin7:39 PM

    That was clear at her very first speech at the Republican Convention in 2008. She is one hateful character.

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  149. J Neo Marvin8:16 PM

    You have seen this movie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVtKrGyUS5o

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  150. Well, it's not his entire shtick— there's also the noble struggle against Polish welfare cheats, or whatever.


    But I think it's pretty obvious that he continues to beat this particular drum (a subject on which he may or may not have any actual opinions) because it gets responses, just as he aims his most condescendingly offensive jabs at you because you're a person who takes serious things seriously and sometimes writes about feelings and that is where bullies look for buttons to push. This is a person who craves attention and we're all providing it, so I guess we will continue to get the occasional hundred-page threads of chucklogues.

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  151. chuckling11:15 PM

    It's the basics. Using the gender/race/religion construction to ascribe group characteristics is bad practice for any number of reasons. Your oft stated belief that red states are filled with white christian males so there's no point in respecting nor engaging them is just horrifically wrong. And I can't help noting how you apply that race/religion/gender construct to others and can't seem to understand how they might it insufferable, yet you have eloquently detailed how traumatic an experience it has been when others have applied that very same construct to you as a way of marginalization.


    That's what I find so interesting and maddening about you, or at least your internet persona. I don't mean to pity you. It's more that I empathize with you as a kind of flawed literary character. You mean well but the world just doesn't work like you think it should, and rather than adjust, you lash out. Ultimately, I love you for those blind spots, those tragic flaws, though I can't deny you can be very annoying. It almost approaches stalker level, actually, so I do worry a bit when you drop hints that you may have investigated beyond chuckling's internet persona. If you can't carry on a polite conversation, I really don't want to talk with you. Any normal, decent person would honor such a request. Of course you have the right to be an asshole and intrude where you're not wanted, but is that really the kind of person you want to be?

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  152. DocAmazing1:01 AM

    Well, she certainly Worked Mamet.

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  153. I know. Sometimes I'm just torn between being generous and letting him have his go, and being serious and wanting to talk about serious things. But I will renounce him and all his works for now. Because, really, most of what he writes is just crap, and not even interesting crap at that.

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  154. stepped_pyramids4:29 PM

    Cities tend to be built near water for reasons of commerce. People who live in cities tend to be Democrats.

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  155. AlanInSF6:50 PM

    Conservatives would never, ever express nasty disdain for a liberal politician, and the majority of American voters who chose him.

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