Sunday, March 09, 2014

NEW VILLAGE VOICE COLUMN UP...

...about the Crimea crisis and the rightblogger angle that a real man/President would be kicking Putin's ass right now-- you know, like we did to Saddam, only rhetorically! It brings to mind the old saying: Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to commit U.S. troops to a highly unpopular foreign war.

UPDATE. Oh God, I have to transfer a comment from my Facebook feed from Bill Alexander: "In Yakov Smirnoff voice: 'In Russia we have Pussy Riot; in America, Dick Armey!'"

104 comments:

  1. Mark_B4Zeds9:23 PM

    The original Crimean war was famous for producing the first photographs showing the horror of war. This photo seems tame by modern standards, but it was important in the history of photography. Fenton could not take any kind of action photographs, due to the cumbersome nature of his equipment, but he managed to capture a valley where so many cannons had been shot that the ground was littered with cannonballs. Hopefully that will not happen again.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Roger_Fenton_-_Shadow_of_the_Valley_of_Death.jpg

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  2. Bethany Spencer9:26 PM

    It's those mom jeans; they're constricting his balls.

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  3. "The restlessness, suspicion, and fear shown in various phases of the pseudo-conservative revolt give evidence of the anguish which the pseudo-conservative experiences in his capacity as a citizen. He believes himself to be living in a world in which he is spied upon, plotted against, betrayed and very likely destined for total ruin. He feels that his liberties have been arbitrarily and outrageously invaded. He is opposed to almost everything that has happened in American politics in the past 20 years. He hates the very thought of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He is disturbed deeply by American participation in the United Nations, which he can see only as a sinister organization. He sees his own country as being so weak that it is constantly about to fall victim to subversion and yet he feels that it is so all powerful that any failure it may experience in getting its way in the world--for instnce in the Orient--cannot possibly be due to its limitations but most be attributed to its having been betrayed. He is the most bitter of all our citizens about our involvement in the wars of the past, but seems the leat concerned about avoiding the next one. While he naturally does not like Soviet communism, what distinguishes him from the rest of us who also dislike it is that he shows little interest in, is often indeed bitterly hostile to, such realistic measures as might actually strengthen the US vis a vis Russia..." From "The Paranoid Style in American Politics; The Pseudo-Conservative Revolt (1954).

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  4. satch9:28 PM

    "Obama's life style-friendly military" (gays gays gays)..."


    Yeah! Why caint we be more like them Spartans, who, before battle, would braid each other's hair and oil themselves up, and... and... jeez, Professor Hanson, they did WHAT!?! Ugh... never mind...

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  5. I thought the point of mom jeans is that they had tons of room for his enormous balls?

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  6. Buffalo Rude9:30 PM

    I think you're talking about Putin Jeans.

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  7. Spaghetti Lee9:33 PM

    Obama's just trying to avoid one of the classic blunders: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWW6aDpUvbQ

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  8. Do you get the feeling that the brethren don't really know what to do with Crimea? It's a major story which is going to have a huge impact on the geopolitical landscape. On the other hand, there's no way to neatly pack it into a nice partisan package - it's too complex, and no one had any talking points ready. So you end up with a bunch of pundits who have to talk even though they have nothing to say, so they default to just making the same complaints about the President that they'd make any other week.


    This is the conservative movement - and really, the whole punditocracy - trying to think on its feet and failing. At this point, I don't know why we don't just dump the whole lot and replace them with computers designed to procedurally generate new talking points and fling them at each other. It wouldn't be any more coherent, but it couldn't possibly be any more embarrassing.

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  9. Spaghetti Lee9:36 PM

    "He is deeply obsessed with things being shoved down his throat." (60th anniversary edition, 2014)

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  10. I don't think they care, frankly. As Jon Stewart pointed out once they've got a kicky logo graphic to put up behind the talking heads they are good to go. In fact actual knoweldge or facts would just get in the way of the narrative which is completely fore-ordained. The only time reality got in the way of their preferred story was when Obama sat through the White House Correspondents Dinner letting himself take shit (though giving it too) to Trump about not having killed Bin Laden right before he walked out and told the US people that he'd ordered the strike. They simply had no way of fitting that fact into their storyline and had to regroup and reframe it by making up a totally new accusation that Obama either hadn't been there in the situation room or had failed to say some magic "thank you" to the seal team.

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  11. Spaghetti Lee9:47 PM

    What was the line from the Simpsons? "The crisis has progressed to the point where we've given it its own dramatic musical intro", or something like that?

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  12. coozledad9:48 PM

    Brings this to mind:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Passchendaele_aerial_view.jpg

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  13. Fats Durston9:48 PM

    This seems the perfect place to revisit my favorite White House tape of all time: "the crotch, down where your nuts hang, is always a little too tight. ... So leave me ... you never do have much margin there, but see if you can't leave me about an inch from where the zipper ends around under my--back to my bunghole."

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  14. "Life style friendly" strikes me as also being an accusation that its "luxurious" and probably not very rigorous, if you know what I mean. Its wonderfully vague.

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  15. coozledad9:53 PM

    He is a demobbed German regular, circa 1920.

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  16. M. Krebs9:59 PM

    Yikes, that's a huge file. Try this one instead:

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  17. M. Krebs10:03 PM

    Obviously Pootin' would not mess with LBJ.

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  18. coozledad10:05 PM

    Or they'd mudwrassle for a steak.

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  19. M. Krebs10:08 PM

    All's I got to say, Roy, is that you deserve a goddamn vacation. Go someplace warm.

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  20. Have you ever read TPSIAP? Its kind of obvious, now, but reading it now for the first time, considering the signature essay was delivered in 1963, is really pretty eye opening. With very few amendations the entire thing could have been written today. I'm finding it rather soothing, in an odd sort of way. Today it was reported that outraged property owners in Key Largo were upset that the President would be vacationing there since everybody knows he hates rich people like them and is out to destroy the country. At first I was upset but then I came to the part of TPSIAP where an angry Republican voter, enraged that Eisenhower won over Taft, stalks out screaming about socialism and the end of the world. Maybe its just me but I found it rather calming to think that absolutely nothing we do, or don't do, can make these people one jot or one tittle less awful.

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  21. Mark_B4Zeds10:10 PM

    Thanks, my browser resized the image so I had no idea how huge it actually was. Disqus is acting weird , though.

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  22. Mark_B4Zeds10:15 PM

    What, there's a picture icon in the Disqus comment box? How'd I miss that? I was trying to type the HTML to embed the image and Disqus wasn't cooperating.

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  23. John D.10:20 PM

    Weren't these same assholes having themselves a groovy love-in about their hero Putin not that long ago?

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  24. Oh, it's not like I expected anything else from these guys. It's just that, even at this late a date, I'm still amazed by how stupid most pundits are when their prewritten talking points fail them. Look, I realize that not everyone can respond on the fly to what other people say - it's a rare gift. But if you're so bad at thinking on your feet, why would you put yourself in a position where you're dealing with other people live? And more to the point, why would anyone choose to keep putting people like that on the air?

    Our press fucking sucks, is what I'm getting at. The only surprising part is that I'm still surprised.

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  25. Spaghetti Lee10:21 PM

    Maybe it feels worse now because they're got so many poor and middle class suck-ups ready to echo their complaints, and a whole internet to do it. I don't care where the president vacations or how the snooty locals think it's so untoward. No one who makes less than 500 grand should care. Yet I bet right now there's some Republican on SS or welfare bitching on Facebook about it.

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  26. M. Krebs10:22 PM

    Have they revived the chyron yet? Or did it ever go away?

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  27. Gromet10:26 PM

    I wonder if such people as Hofstadter describes ever read Hofstadter and feel a twinge of recognition. And then feel ridiculous. Maybe not. Or maybe they do, but possess an elaborate defense mechanism whereby it is swept aside because Hofstadter was an ivory tower so-and-so, thus considering his words would be akin to listening to the devil's seductions. Ignore this essay! It feels utterly true only because that is how Satan can best imperil your soul and God's favorite nation!

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  28. Roy also deserves a medal for going above and beyond the call to mingle with these nutters.

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  29. Spaghetti Lee10:26 PM

    I wonder if such people...read...

    Nope.

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  30. Derelict10:30 PM

    It's especially humorous (NOT) to hear someone like Senator Huckleberry talking about how we need firm, decisive ACTION!!!!
    If the good Senator had his way over the last three years, we'd still have troops fighting in Iraq, as well as troops in Libya, Iran, Syria, and now Ukraine. I guess there's just no end of American blood and treasure available when the objective is to make chickenhawks look butch.

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  31. JennOfArk10:34 PM

    "...Vladimir Putin, it turns out, is who we thought he was."

    And who you thought he was was some cuddle bear. Why, I can remember when one GW Bush, whom you all thought was the bestest president ever, said "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul."



    At the time, quite a few of us were noting that former KGB men weren't huggy bears, but what were the observations of a bunch of "unhinged leftists" compared to the penetrating wisdom of George W Bush?

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  32. XeckyGilchrist10:35 PM

    Yup. Last month.

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  33. XeckyGilchrist10:37 PM

    I don't know why we don't just dump the whole lot and replace them with
    computers designed to procedurally generate new talking points and fling
    them at each other.


    "There is another theory that states that this has already happened." -- Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

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  34. DocAmazing10:40 PM

    Does whaterver a dildo can...

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  35. glennisw10:40 PM

    The problem is that the Crimea situation doesn't fit into any of the pre-determined tropes about Obama. That's why they're flailing around so much - they can't figure out who to admire, what actions to urge or what actions to condemn. They all know that they hate Obama, but they can't figure out how to fit that into a changing narrative.

    That's why they just make shit up now - they've become completely detached from reality.

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  36. Gromet10:41 PM

    I don't need the right to agree with the left. That would be delusional. But I am constantly surprised how delusional I seem to be just for expecting the right to agree with the right. Here we've got rightwingers denouncing a presidential vacation as a symbol of weakness -- but W's summers off were fine. And when Carter vowed NOT to take a day off until the hostages came home -- didn't the right denounce THAT as weakness because it let the Iranians effectively take him hostage, too? I just ask for my opponents to have actual beliefs.

    I might as well ask for a flying pony.

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  37. Condoleeza Fucking Rice in the Washington Post? Really?!?! I know it's been a long time, but "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud", anyone who takes that woman seriously is a moron.

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  38. Spaghetti Lee10:46 PM

    Does it have real web-shooting action?

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  39. Gromet10:51 PM

    It occurred to me at the time that if a Democrat had said that about Putin's eyes, it would have caused a Republican meltdown straight through the Earth's core. Today, I believe we would STILL be hearing from them about it. In fact, if Gore had said it, I believe you could count on the GOP candidate in 2024, maybe even 2028 to still be dropping it into campaign speeches: "America can't afford to elect a president from the party that claims it can look into a dictator's eyes, see his soul, and trust him." But their guy said it so I suppose it was a butch way to warn Russia off from being allies with Syria and invading Georgia.

    Cf my other post re: consistency vs flying pony. Ugh.

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  40. Gromet10:53 PM

    That is much preferable to it doing whatever a spider can.

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  41. PersonaAuGratin11:01 PM

    "Nothing comes between me and my Vladimirs!"

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  42. Mark_B4Zeds11:11 PM

    It really adds meaning to the phrase 'going commando.'

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  43. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person11:38 PM

    But if you're so bad at thinking on your feet, why would you put
    yourself in a position where you're dealing with other people live?


    They're truly taken by surprise, since it never occurs to them that their pet beliefs might not be true, and that someone else's reality (the real one) might intrude. Their minds are boggled, and it shows. With respect to theOBL raid, they were forced to deal with the fact that Obama had done the thing they least wanted him to do. Their method was, predictably, denial/evasion/obfuscxation. IANAPollster, but I'd bet good money a strong minority of Republican voters still think it never happened. In fact, maybe not a minority at all...

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  44. AGoodQuestion11:47 PM

    The brethren seem to be imagining Obama as the bottom in a gay porn reel starring Vladimir Putin. Needless to say a hint of envy creeps in.

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  45. Wait a minute... first they were crushin' on Putin because he hates the gays, now they want to attack Putin? I think Bruce Campbell would have something to say about that.

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  46. Imagine what's going through his head when he mentions firm, decisive action and Putin in the same breath.

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  47. redoubtagain12:04 AM

    Envy, of course. "Why can't we do that? Why did we have to get stuck with 'government of laws and not of men'?"

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  48. AGoodQuestion12:06 AM

    They all know that they hate Obama, but they can't figure out how to fit that into a changing narrative.
    Any changes to the narrative are adjusted to simply by boosting the volume. At some point you would think that they'd get nodules on their vocal cords.


    Nobody seems to remember that this kind of muscle flexing from the East was a regular feature of life back in the Cold War regardless of who was President. Yes, even their beloved Ronnie.

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  49. montag212:21 AM

    Are they just pissed off that Obama won't make growling noises at that Commie Putin because we run the world, not Putin, or that he's just not doing enough to protect the interests of the neo-Nazis that have taken over Ukrainian government?

    it's so hard to tell.

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  50. I see your Spiderman dildo and I'll raise you a Vladimir Putin buttplug.

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  51. FDRliberal12:46 AM

    I've been utterly touched at seeing how hard the swooning Tea People have fallen for the dreamy, decisive Vladimir. True love is indeed a rare thing.

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  52. Daniel Björkman1:46 AM

    Quite justified, in that case. Ikea is scourge upon the world for which I can only offer, on behalf of all Swedes, a heartfelt apology.

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  53. RHWombat3:17 AM

    Fascinating what the Mars Rovers report:
    http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/images/PIA17944-FigA_Mcam-SOL538-raw-br.jpg

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  54. Gromet5:56 AM

    The Repubs I know personally don't deny that it happened, but they refuse to give Obama credit for it. It is all about aimai's "magic thank you" -- he tried to take all the credit when all he did was sit in a room, he "politicized" it, really it only happened because Bush laid the groundwork.


    Of course, none of these people made a peep when Bush donned a flight suit to proclaim "Mission Accomplished" at the 4% mark of the war. Yeah no that wasn't the bad kind of showy credit-taking -- and the Republicans never "politicized" the war like Obama did when he made his speech announcing the raid, and as much as Obama acts like it was a gutsy call to launch a secret night raid into the capital of Pakistan, gosh, you or I would have made the exact same call without any of Obama's hesitation; and please, let's have zero awareness of the specifics of Bush's groundwork-laying achievements like Operation Anaconda.


    Actually I guess you're right. Giving Bush half the credit, and using Obama's half against him, amounts to the whole episode not quite happening. I remember being elated about the raid for less than 24 hours before the first reports rolled in of Republican stinginess about it and made me feel so dark I could spit.

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  55. Pope Zebbidie XIII7:43 AM

    The Mammoth Condi Retrospective from Princess Sparkly Pony.
    There's three parts more as well!.

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  56. Pope Zebbidie XIII7:52 AM

    Does your apology require an Allen key to construct?

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  57. Jaime Oria7:56 AM

    Gotta say, for a pointy-headed academic, Hofstadter's writing has an astonishing clarity that contemporary political theorists could take a cue from.

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  58. Jaime Oria8:00 AM

    Possibly code for not enough Marine Corps heat casualties during basic training at Parris Island or Army Rangers dying of hypothermia in the Florida panhandle.

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  59. satch8:03 AM

    Well, if you asked high Gummint officials after you got enough booze in then, they'd probably gloat that, with today's video technology, the "raid" on OBL'S compound was a lot easier to fake than the Moon landing.

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  60. satch8:07 AM

    My problem with these cement heads is not that the paranoid style has been identified for 50 years, it's that in all that time, our side hasn't gotten better at calling it out.

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  61. Jaime Oria8:13 AM

    I'm amused - then disgusted, then amused - by the hysterical reporting about Crimea regarding "Russia invading the Ukraine". Actual facts on the ground are understandably hard to come by but: given that the Russian Black Sea fleet has its headquarters and home port in Sebastopol, couldn't a 'Russian invasion' consist of whatever Russian Marines are based there piling into personnel carriers and driving out the main gate (having first pulled all identifying patches and rank from their uniforms)?

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  62. Doesnt do much could. You cant argue someone out of a paranoid delusion.

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  63. satch8:36 AM

    No, but you should do what you can to keep innocent, marginally informed bystanders from being drawn into those delusions.

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  64. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps8:48 AM

    Six wise blind pundits, walking to the Fox News office, came across an obstruction in their path. "This must be the Crimea," one cried. "Thanks, Obama."


    One reached out and felt soft denim. "Aha! These must be the mom jeans which emboldened Putin!"
    Another tripped over a long, thick cord. "Oh no! The red line! It's Obama's ineffective red line! This has emboldened Putin!"
    The third touched a pane of glass. "Obama's teleprompter!"
    The fourth knocked a container of something icy out of a bystander's hands. "Aieee!! The Cold War!"
    The fifth reached out and grabbed a groin, and being unsure whether it was the weak genitals of Obama or the proud manly essence of Putin, stayed silent.
    "The lifestyle-friendly army is invading my no-no zone!" screamed the sixth.


    Then a beat cop came by and arrested them all for trying to grope bystanders at the Shake Shack. ~fin

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  65. Helmut Monotreme9:12 AM

    The Crimea is a temptation the conservatives cannot ignore. It is the headquarters of the black sea fleet, it is the site of disastrous British military defeat. It lets them dust off and reuse all of their cold war masturbatory fantasies about the next world war with the Soviets, and re-brand them for a post communist world. The smartest of them know that military intervention in Crimea makes about as much sense as attacking a hornet's nest with a fly swatter, of course they don't care that American soldiers would die, they just want to see Obama fuck up. The dumbest of them just assume that the US military would kick the ass of Russians (and Ukrainians and Belorus...ians? and all of the former Soviet republics who line up to tangle with us) as if we aren't on the backside of a decade plus quagmire in Afghanistan.



    The last time so many pundits were so eager to make an unforced error, they were talking about privatizing social security, the time before that was the stampede to blame Iraq for the events of 9/11. Victor Hugo is often misquoted as saying, "There's nothing more powerful than an idea whose time as come" My observation is that there's nothing more powerful than a bad idea whose time has come. Today that bad idea is military intervention in Crimea.

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  66. I don't know where you think culture happens, or conversation either, to make that argument. People have agency in their delusions--they actively seek them out and screen out rebuttals.


    These are extremely long lived paranoid fantasies that continuously pop up, and always have, promulgated through books, newspapers, churches, town hall meetings, families, and ethnic communities--sometimes they take the same historical facts and texts and simply repurpose them. Anti masonic/catholic/mormon becomes anti semitic, anti communist, anti gay and the basic accusations barely change at all.


    One of the constituent features of these systems of thought is the conviction that the very top people--presidents, academics, doctors, lawyers, newsmakers are in on the conspiracy. The John Birchers accused Eisenhower of being a commie, George Marshall of having been behind every failure of the second world war and the post war era. The very idea of an academic or intellectual or moral elite that can rebut these accusations was itself under attack.


    You can't combat these delusions except from inside the community and if you listened to what people actually say from inside you'd see that they spend a ton of time arming themselves against counterargument--that's Rush Limbaugh's entire shtick, explaining to his listeners how liberals will try to explain things away and how to rebut them.


    The conviction that "our side always loses" and that our leadership is throwing the game is, btw, classically paranoid thinking. The left is as guilty of it as the right.

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  67. Not enough likes in the world for this comment. Or enough revulsion.

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  68. satch9:53 AM

    But it doesn't even seem to be that these ratbags actually WANT to intervene militarily now, it's that somehow, Obama wasn't competent enough, not prescient enough, not MAN enough to stop their pet thug Putin... not from doing something that Russian leaders have been wanting to do ever since they gave away Crimea to Ukraine in the 50's... but from making Amurka LOOK bad. It's like Charles Pierce pointed out: someone gave Princess Dumbass a 3x5 notecard with "Putin might invade Ukraine" on it four years ago, and now the Right thinks she's a genius, and "Why couldn't Obama have foreseen this?" Like I noted down further, I certainly don't begrudge the Right its nervous breakdown, but I resent it when they try to spread their mental deficiencies to others.

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  69. mortimer20009:55 AM

    Among Barone's suggestions, besides using "gravely": "Extend the list of Russians barred from the United States under the Magnitsky Act"...

    Or, as Maverick John McCain put it:
    "...these “kleptocrats, these corruption people... We could expand [the Magnitsky Act] and identify those people and it'd be their last trip to Las Vegas!"

    That's some hard-hitting stuff right there. You won't see McCain in mom jeans, it's Sansabelts all the way.

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  70. El Manquécito9:55 AM

    Ack! Evidently she's wrong in ways I hadn't considered.

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  71. Magatha9:56 AM

    Once again, the piece from Ron Suskind in the New York Times Magazine on October 17, 2004, quoting the Bush aide (now known to be Rove):

    "...The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' ... 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'...."

    Now Rove is ruthless and malevolent, but he is not stupid. But he and his minions popped open this can of depravity and it's been polluting the political landscape ever since. It preempts any kind of sensible, productive discourse, and not only that, it pretty much attempts to destroy history, too.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality-based_community

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  72. El Manquécito9:57 AM

    Yeah, with an Action Zone.

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  73. Of course "People have agency in their delusions", and they pick and choose what they want to believe. You seem to be saying that these delusions just can't be disputed since they are so firmly ingrained, so it's useless to try. My conviction is not that "our side always loses", it's that our side will lose if we don't even suit up and take the field.

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  74. Halloween_Jack10:17 AM

    Would multi-like if I could, especially for the italicized part. The really fucking depressing thing is that, after living in a country mired down in two wars for about a decade (the results of which are that the region is even less secure than before), they still think that it's just a matter of landing the Marines on the shore of the Black Sea and rattling some sabers until the other guys back down and head back to Moscow. (Actually, their bases a few miles away, but details, details.) After all this time and all the bloodshed and heartbreak, they really can't see a downside.

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  75. Halloween_Jack10:20 AM

    You may want to revisit some of the reactions to Bill Nye's debate of the creation museum guy, and how some people faulted Nye for not delivering some sort of epic smackdown, ignoring that the creationist basically had a self-granted immunity to actually dealing with real facts. Pearls, swine, &c.

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  76. Meh... I don't care as much about epic smackdowns as I do about Bill just being out there.

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  77. They need to expand the "kleptocrat, corruption people" list to encompass the Koch Brothers, Jaime Dimond, and their cohorts.

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  78. Helmut Monotreme11:21 AM

    The want a military crisis though. They loved them some cold war style godless communism. Stalinist -Maoist communism was a birthday and Christmas present to them. The existence of communism in the USSR was a perfect excuse to perpetuate every single money making injustice in America because the number one job was fighting communism, and addressing any other problem was a dangerous distraction from the task at hand. The existence of communism was the perfect counter argument for every labor complaint, it was the stick investors and managers used to beat labor for 70 or 80 years. We can't have socialized medicine because communism. We can't have civil rights because communism. We can't address pollution or carbon emissions because communism. The bipolar cold war world let injustice fester at home and bloom abroad. How many coups did the US sponsor in the name of fighting communism? How many dictators did we support in the name of fighting communism? For a large fraction of the US economy, the cold war was a license to print money, and there's a lot of people who miss that gravy train.

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  79. The point is that they don't like Obama.


    They just haven't been able to work all the rest of the stuff in yet... not in any way that makes sense.

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  80. All I have to bring to the table is this [Batman Squirt Gun.](http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2012/12/25-most-pause-worthy-childrens-toys/batman-water-gun)

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  81. Oh for christ's sake we just won two presidential elections in a row. Not only did that rely on "our side suiting up" but it kicked the paranoia into high gear. I just can't stand all this bellyaching about how someone else should do the heavy lifting, and be darned clever about it already. This is an ENORMOUS country with tons of people who are simply locked into their little communities, or even just inside their houses watching fox news. The reality is that the most virulent Fox watchers are retired people--they can't be reached suit we never so wisely. And as for outreach to younger people well--get out there and give 'em a reacharound.

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  82. tinheart11:47 AM

    I would have given this comment 10 upvotes, but The Man prevented it.

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  83. Well, this was both true and not true--the spectre of communism spawned massive anti communist crazy, but it also restrained capital from going its length. Famously FDR is supposed to have pointed out that he was all that stood between the capitalists and the pitchforks and the US was petrified that Martin Luther King would be able to turn Jim Crow and US racism into an international cause. The accusation that certain people were communist went hand in hand with trying to buy off the working class. All that evaporated along with the the actual communist menace, except the cheshire cat grin of the far right anti communist agitators.

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  84. Forgive me for raking up a possibly painful point but weren't you complaining that we fought the civil war when if we'd just left things along slavery would have withered away? What makes modern politics different such that we now need to be, or can, delivering the coup de grace to people's beliefs rather than waiting for them to wither away? That's actually been rather true of gay marriage and homosexuality, btw--people fought, came out, acted up and then just said "the hell with it give us actual legal rights" and slowly but surely the actual populace, if not the farthest right, has gone from total opposition to support. And all that without political thought leaders doing it for us.

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  85. Is that what they call it? No kidding, is there an "action zone" in a sansabelt?

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  86. I've quoted from that Ron Suskind piece quite a few times over the years myself. It really goes a long way toward understanding the "conclusion first" method of thought that's so common on the Right.


    However, I didn't know that the source was definitively Karl Rove. Where did that verification come from?

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  87. Aimai, my love, there's an "action zone" in every pair of pants.

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  88. Not in McCain's. Not without a McCrane.

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  89. El Manquécito12:32 PM

    I was sure everyone on the toobz had seen this by now.

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  90. Ellis_Weiner12:35 PM

    Obama could cure cancer, and the next day the brethren would be denouncing his "short-sighted indifference to a wide range of diseases."

    The only error one can make in dealing with these horrible people is to believe that they mean well.

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  91. Ellis_Weiner12:51 PM

    "...absolutely nothing we do, or don't do, can make these people one jot or one tittle less awful."


    This, this, a thousand times this. It's a mistake to think that these people are sincere, or that they harbor a respectable disagreement with one over the meaning of history, the truths about human nature, etc.


    No, they get out of bed every morning filled with resentment, and find the next target of opportunity. If it's not delivered to them by Rush Limbaugh, then they get it from Fox News, or their fellow idiot at work. Expecting them to be consistent, or show some honesty, or acknowledge facts, is like expecting a schizophrenic to "be reasonable."

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  92. satch1:32 PM

    Jeez... this is getting awfully personal. Re slavery, I never said that we should have done nothing. There is standing up against slavery, doing what you can to prevent its spread, and not caving and compromising in the decades leading up to 1860, while at the same time not wanting to start a full blown war. And I'm not saying now that we can be delivering a once and for all coup de grace to people's beliefs rather than waiting for them to wither away, but we DO have to say something... we DO have to make an argument. The gay community did not wait around saying "Aw, hell, people's attitudes are set in stone and we might as well not even try to get equal rights". Their argument, made over and over again for years, was "We're really no different from you. We want the same things you want... jobs, children, dignity, all the things that go into a fulfilling life." And they had to SAY it, not wait around for the culture to change. I'm not looking to get into a Chuckling vs Aimai style steel cage match here, I'm just saying that whenever some wingnut blowhole like Lindsey Graham or John McCain, or Charles Krauthammer leaps up (OK, granted... Krauthammer won't be leaping up) and calls Obama a weak, pusillanimous, mom-jeans-wearing 21st century Neville Chamberlain, I'd like to hear someone, preferably a Dem senator, congresscreature, or other "thought leader" state unequivocally that they are, in fact, blowholes who should stfu unless they actually have something constructive to contribute. SOS Kerry, I guess, feels he needs to speak in measured, diplomatic tones, so he doesn't seem to want to tell some of the more strident chickenhawks to take a seat and cool out. There are a lot of progressive bloggers, not the least of which our own Roy, who do the calling out really well, and some...but I'd like to see more... columnists. But Dem politicians... not so much. I hope this covers your post below, too. If not, well, you can have the last word.

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  93. Jaime Oria4:11 PM

    In the run-up to Desert Storm, CNN's 'dramatic musical intro' their coverage was referred to by the boys in the control booth as "Enya's head trauma".

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  94. Headline: Obama walks on water. Republicans charge "He can't swim!"

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  95. I'm sorry you took that comment as a personal criticism. I was honestly curious about what you were envisioning as pushback and why. I am personally extremely offended by the endless name calling and sheer childish bitchery of the right wing--including its political figures and is celebrities. And I'd like it if the Democrats were ruder and more vicious in return. Myself I'd never, ever, let the chance for a joke to get by me. But I'm not sure it would have any particularly desirable effect on the innocents you imagine are standing by, just being influenced by the right wing. And I'm really sure its not appropriate for people in positions of power to call out people ("STFU") or lash out at their enemies public and unsubtle ways.

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  96. TGuerrant6:49 PM

    But there's this heartening news:

    It appears that the anonymous artist has put up at least one other installation. Bowery Boogie reported in September of 2013 that a Barbie doll and a dildo were seen hanging from the telephone line at the intersection of Eldridge and Broome Streets on the Lower East Side. As you can see, the composition of the two art projects are quite similar.

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  97. TGuerrant7:14 PM

    They don't enlist or pay more taxes to support the wars, so it's just John Wayne and more John Wayne.

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  98. TGuerrant7:22 PM

    The Errol Morris fascinator!

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  99. TGuerrant7:24 PM

    The Errol Morris fascinator.

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  100. TGuerrant7:24 PM

    Misplace that comment and tried to remove it. SPLAT.

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  101. Magatha8:12 PM

    You're right. I checked some more and there is no actual verification. "Widely thought to be" or "later attributed to" doesn't constitute verification. One such example is cited in the above-linked Wiki article and attributed to Mark Danner, in a 2007 anthology entitled "What Orwell Didn't Know". My mistake. In Suskind's original article, he says only "a senior adviser to Bush". Anything else is still speculation. Sorry. Thanks.

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  102. Honestly, I'm disappointed.


    I wish we knew for sure who said this.

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