Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Ben Shapiro's TruthRevolt reporting from CPAC some days back:
[Dr. Ben] Carson spoke about the need for small government, but warned that the tactics of progressives come straight out of Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals." They are not trying to have a conversation with you, he said, because that will humanize you. Their ultimate goal is to demonize you...
Then they quoted Carson:
And then recently, I said that in Nazi Germany, people do not believe in what Hitler was doing. Most of them did not. But did they speak up? Did they say anything? Absolutely not, and look at the atrocities that occurred. And of course the left said, Carson says that they are changing American to Nazi Germany. Of course that is not the case, but that is what they do. They repeat these lies over and over again because they cannot argue the actual facts...
At TruthRevolt today:
Dr. Ben Carson: U.S. is Like Nazi Germany
Again they quoted Carson:
I mean, [we are] very much like Nazi Germany. And I know you’re not supposed to say ‘Nazi Germany,’ but I don’t care about political correctness. You know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe. And it’s because of the PC police, it’s because of politicians, it’s because of news...
In a few more days TruthRevolt will cover Carson saying the left lies about him saying "they are changing American to Nazi Germany," and then a few days after than he'll compare America to Nazi Germany again, and a few days later...

You get the idea. So does Carson. He's caught on quickly to the secret of conservative political success: Say something offensive, then complain that liberals are misrepresenting you.  It's like writing a book called Liberal Fascism, then saying "the real problem with all of this loose Nazi talk is that it slanders the American people." Not everyone's dumb enough to buy it, but the ones who are you can get coming and going.

UPDATE. Paul Ryan's pretty good at it too.


  1. Fawning manchild Shapiro covering the very serious Dr. Carson on the topic of liberal Nazism at CPAC, or as it's better known, "Springtime for Zitler."

  2. Warren_Terra12:06 AM

    There's that famous PT Barnum quote:You can fool some of the people all the time, and all the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.The important corollary, which people like Carson have discovered, is that there's a lot of money to be had if you can nail down that group of people whom you can fool all the time. Turns out, a lot of them are Conservatives, or vice versa.

  3. I know the point is Shapiro's weird duplicity, but I just can't get past Carson's comment.

    And I know you’re not supposed to say ‘Nazi Germany,’ but I don’t care about political correctness.

    Yes, Dr. Carson. "Political correctness."

    It's not the grotesque historical inaccuracy of the comparison. Not the fact that comparing someone to the Nazis for anything short of actual genocide only serves to minimize a unique historical evil - one that still haunts us three-quarters of a century later. Not the insensitivity to the people who saw it firsthand, who lived through it, who survived. Not the fact that sends shudders down the spine of every student of modern history - If people are this callous about the Second World War now, when you can actually speak to people who were there, what's it going to be like when they're all dead? How are people going to interpret this when the historical Nazis are just ghosts and words on a page? Will they still tremble at the thought, or will they just shrug it off as another bullet point? And, God forbid, what fresh horrors might we overlook in the 21st century and beyond because we turned a 20th century global terror into a fucking wiffle bat in the never-ending pillow fight that is our political discourse?

    No, it's none of that. It's "political correctness." You got us.

  4. And then recently, I said that in Nazi Germany, people do not believe in what Hitler was doing. Most of them did not

    Most of them did not? Where the hell did they think their Jewish neighbors were going when they packed them into the trains, never to be seen again?

  5. Does Shapiro ever get a frisson when Saul Alinsky is trotted out as a bête noire? Every time I hear of a conservative excoriating Alinsky, I can't help but think of Henry Ford and the "Protocols".

  6. Gromet12:58 AM

    you had a government using its tools to intimidate the
    population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what
    they actually believe. And it’s because of the PC police, it’s because
    of politicians, it’s because of news

    One of my favorite best things about conservatism is how it equates "the PC police" with actual police. Germans were afraid to be outspoken on behalf of Jews because it meant a night in jail getting a mouthful of broken teeth. Americans are afraid to be outspoken on behalf of Voter ID Laws because it means a lot of people are going to think you're a moron. How is that even -- Ohhhh, unless the truth literally hurts. Got it.

  7. Spaghetti Lee12:58 AM

    If I may ramble for a bit, from about 2009-2011 I was a regular on a political forum full of longwinded blowhards of varying ideologies (and some cool people too, for the record) who loved to argue. Like big, long, point-by-point bulleted lists back and forth, five topics at once, it could go on for days. I credit this place with making me more knowledgeable and better at debating, but after a while it began to really feel like a chore. I'd waste entire days (I was in college at the time) not merely writing my own long screeds, but just physically despairing at how people could be so immune to facts and reason. It took up way, way too much of my time and mental energy. It was like an addiction that you know is hurting you but you can't break out of, except it wasn't something cool like drugs or alcohol. One day I left cold turkey and haven't been back.

    Point is, I'd once get so infuriated about how stupid Carson is being that I'd just fly into a rage and either channel it into an obnoxious wall of text or a ruined day full of murderous thoughts. Eventually I figured out that you can ignore most cranks, that failing to rebut them won't bring about the death of decency, and in fact a lot of this blogger slacktivism is primarily a scam. I've read interviews with Bill O'Reilly and I think Glenn Beck, among others, where they acknowledge that some of their bluster is part of the show and not really deeply felt. And I think it's likely that deep down, even if you'd never get him to admit it, Carson knows he's bullshitting people. He's a very rich doctor who has made a whole second career out of speaking his right-wing mind, which is very much not illegal and not causing him undue persecution. And he knows it. On some level he also knows that the idea that demonizing your opponents is exclusively a lefty thing is a joke. Or maybe he really is an absolute stone dumb moron who believes every word. Problem is you can never be sure.

    At the risk of being condescending, I sometimes think of the people who are the audience for this scam, just how much emotional torture they put themselves through for no good reason, every day. All the chain e-mails and kook websites they take absolutely seriously, and worry over with people who also take it 100% seriously, and then they all send their money to these scammers. How must it feel to be in a constant state of panic, absolute certainty that the end is nigh and every powerful institution is in on it, and you and your friends are the only ones who know and all you can do to fight back is act as a meme conduit and an open wallet for professional bullshitters? Just seems like a weird way to live.

    I've always believed, and still do, that violent revolution, civil war, etc. over the issues of the day is not in the offing, because there just aren't enough true believers willing to go that far, and because the careers of the people stoking this stuff depend on always keeping people fearful and paranoid without allowing any release. But even assuming that's true, these scammers still have a lot to answer for. If they're self-conscious at all then they know that they basically make a living by emotionally torturing people, many of them elderly and lonely, out of their money. It's hard to make the true believers look like the good guys, but fighting for what you believe in, however kooky, is always at least one step up on the moral ladder from not believing it at all but egging it on just for fun and profit.

  8. Spaghetti Lee1:44 AM

    If you asked a conservative to define 'political correctness' without using the words 'liberals' or 'thought police', I bet not one in ten could do it.

  9. davdoodles1:51 AM

    "[I]n fact a lot of this blogger slacktivism is primarily a scam. I've read interviews with Bill O'Reilly and I think Glenn Beck, among others, where they acknowledge that some of their bluster is part of the show and not really deeply felt. And I think it's likely that deep down, even if you'd never get him to admit it, Carson knows he's bullshitting people."
    I've never believed for a second that Glenn Beck (et al)'s views are even remotely sincerely held. They are, to my mind, grifting carnival barkers of the lowest order. Nonetheless, I used to get angry at their irresponsibility and elder-abuse anyway.
    Then I realised that, for better or worse, the same wild raving prophet-of-doom evangelical craziness and paranoia that pumps their marks' daily hate-woodies ALSO operates to self-limit the effectiveness of the shtick to people well-and-truly within those already-lost tribes. Their audiences only ever dwindle.
    There will always be grifters and bloviates (I call dibs on using that wonderful word as a noun!) and their glass-eyed, swaying, braying acolytes. But the worry is when a Real Master comes to town. And luckily for the world they ain't got one. Hence the unedifying parade of uninspiring idiots like Ron Paul, Caribou Barbie and the rest of the B-Roll freakshow.
    Let them gibber and catastrophise all they like. It just highlights the many reasonable alternatives.

  10. MBouffant2:30 AM

    "But the worry is when a Real Master comes to town." Maybe so, but if Great Depression/Weimar Germany conditions returned, I suspect an Ersatz Master could do the job just as well as a Real one.

  11. Odder2:39 AM

    Yep. If there's one thing human history has proven, it's that there's always room for another Potemkin potentate under the right conditions.

  12. montag22:48 AM

    And one in fifty couldn't manage it without "feminazi."

  13. montag22:51 AM

    A neurosurgeon that has no small number of screws loose upstairs?

    Irony may be on a ventilator and a feeding tube, but it's back from the dead.

  14. From Illuminatus!:

    I looked back at the paper and still saw the fnords. This was one step
    beyond Pavlov, I realized. The first conditioned reflex was to
    experience the panic reaction (the activation syndrome, it's technically
    called) whenever encountering the word ``fnord.'' The second
    conditioned reflex was to black out what happened, including the word
    itself, and just to feel a general low-grade emergency without knowing
    why. And the third step, of course, was to attribute this anxiety to the
    news stories, which were bad enough in themselves anyway. Of course,
    the essence of control is fear. The fnords produced a whole population
    walking around in chronic low-grade emergency, tormented by ulcers,
    dizzy spells, nightmares, heart palpitations and all the other symptoms
    of too much adrenalin. All my left-wing arrogance and contempt for my
    countrymen melted, and I felt a genuine pity. No wonder the poor
    bastards believe anything they're told, walk through pollution and
    overcrowding without complaining, watch their son hauled off to endless
    wars and butchered, never protest, never fight back, never show much
    happiness or eroticism or curiosity or normal human emotion, live with
    perpetual tunnel vision, walk past a slum without seeing either the
    human misery it contains or the potential threat it poses to their
    security . . .

  15. MBouffant2:53 AM

    None of the g-dless atheists & Unitarian devil-worshippers here have the slightest understanding of the deep & mature religious faith that motivates such sincere believers in America as Dr. Carson & the other grifting sons of bitches mentioned, whose only sin is wanting to save America from herself, for Geee-zus! And like J.C., every one of them is persecuted, & forsaken by the BIg Effin' Killer in The Sky.

    Srsly. Every political loon M.D. is a religious loon. Carson, Paul Broun, Ron Paul, others whose names I've mercifully forgotten.

    Wait. Easily Googled.

  16. Reagan came close... he came damn close. We're still in the hole the plastic demigod landed the country in. If he'd had his wits about him to a greater extent, he could have been much more dangerous.

  17. montag23:06 AM

    And that doesn't include the Senate, which, if we're talking about doctors in Congress who are religious loons, must include Coburn.

    On the doctors' caucus page, I'm really surprised that DesJarlais is still showing his face. I thought for sure he would do his entire 2014 campaign with a paper bag over his head after all the bad press he's generated for himself.

  18. Jeffrey_Kramer3:08 AM

    No statement beginning "I know it's not politically correct to say it, but..." has ever ended in a clause which an informed and morally sane person would assent to.

  19. MBouffant3:11 AM

    Already ear-wormed, over & over. Thenk yew so much.

  20. MBouffant3:13 AM

    Cheeses yes. I really had forgotten him, but I didn't think he was still in office.

    Of course his issues go well beyond religion.

  21. What about every political M.B.? What kind of loon are they?

  22. I can count the number of politically incorrect but non d-baggy persons on the fingers of one hand, and two of them have shuffled off this mortal coil.

  23. Spaghetti Lee3:37 AM

    I'd go with 'bloviati'. Singular is bloviatus, which sounds like it should be some gross invertebrate sex organ or something, so it fits well.

  24. montag24:20 AM

    Even without the geriatric mental handicaps, Reagan was, basically, a dope. But, he'd had enough time journeyman acting that, even in his condition, he could still hit his marks and read his lines with something resembling human inflection. That's why the right wing latched on to him--he was a reliable stooge. He always had some configuration of the "Kitchen Cabinet" around him, to make the truly diabolical personnel hires that really fleshed out the evil in his administration. The people he surrounded himself with, I think, were adept at exploiting his weaknesses while staying in the background, and one of those weaknesses was his mind.

    There's a story (possibly apocryphal, admittedly) that a week after his first inauguration, he held his very first meeting in the White House with all his major national security figures--NSC adviser, joint chiefs, the intelligence director, etc., and it had been scheduled for one o'clock in the afternoon because his staff said that the campaign and the inauguration had overtaxed him and they were letting him sleep in a bit in the mornings. By quarter after one, Reagan was sound asleep. So, the meeting participants let him sleep and continued on with the business of state.

    Somehow, I see that as a metaphor for his eight years in office. That's not to say that he was a nice man, but misunderstood. His smiling, avuncular face was a public one. He showed plenty of mean streaks and stubborn intractability, authoritarianism and weaselly behavior in his earlier years. But, he was never a smart man, even when he had most of his faculties. He was easily led to the conclusions others made for him.

  25. smut clyde4:26 AM

    An investigation of the Fooling-people quote traces it to 1880s Prohibitionist circles, where people quickly saw that it sounded even better if they attributed it to Abraham Lincoln. The attribution to Barnum started in the 1890s.

    It would be more accurate, I suspect, to say that "Some of the people want to be fooled all of the time, and all of the people want to be fooled some of the time", though it sounds better in the original Latin.

  26. smut clyde4:38 AM

    the tactics of progressives come straight out of Alinsky's "Rules for
    Radicals." They are not trying to have a conversation with you, he said,
    because that will humanize you. Their ultimate goal is to demonize

    Via the searchable version of "Rules for Radicals" at Google Books: neither "humanize" nor "demonize" appear within its pages
    . I'm beginning to suspect that as well as the book written by Saul Alinsky, there is a second version, sharing the name but existing only in the fictive universe like The Necronomicon and The King in Yellow, where anyone is free to invent their own quotes from it.

  27. GlockPalin5:17 AM

    By "believe in" I think he means "support" and not "comprehend the reality of", since he goes on to talk about them not speaking up.

  28. MikeJ5:34 AM

    Potemkin potentate? I suppose fucking a battleship would make you the most exalted potentate of love.

  29. smut clyde5:47 AM

    You can convince some of the people to accept all of your spurious attributions for made-up quotations, and all of the people to accept some of your spurious attributions for made-up quotations, but you can't convince all of the people to accept all of your spurious attributions for made-up quotations.
    -- Winston Churchill.

  30. MBouffant6:11 AM

    For synchronicity, here is Potemkin 2014: Spring Training:

  31. smut clyde6:16 AM

    fucking a battleship
    Godzilla meets Rule 34.

  32. DocAmazing6:27 AM

    I comfort myself with the thought that Howard Dean and Che Guevara are/were both MDs.

  33. Making fun of people, staging "poop ins" and simultaneously flushing toilets to create havoc, are just like demonizing people.

  34. Oops, should have read down. Beat me to it mb.

  35. davdoodles7:05 AM

    I've never read Alinsky. In fact, never heard of him, Monbiot, Soros, nor whatever that 1960s radical hippie acquaintance of ObamaHitler's name is. Until has-been fearmongers like Glen(n) Beck began flinging "Alinsky!" at each other like zoo-crazed chimps flick shit.

    Somehow, like most of the planet, I worked out that the wingnut-o-sphere are execrable arseholes* all on my own. Based on their own words and actions.


  36. Emily687:33 AM

    In days of yore, people used the word "polite" instead of "politically correct." Ex: It's not polite to use racial epithets.

  37. Derelict7:38 AM

    Reagan was, indeed, pretty dim. And pretty stubborn. But at least he (or his advisors) had enough on the ball to look at what his policies accomplished in the real world and then change those policies based on the new information. The vaunted Reagan tax cuts are the prime example--after the historically huge cuts produced historically huge deficits, Reagan actually started raising taxes. (He also started "user fees" and the now-enshrined practice of shoving federal programs off on the states as unfunded mandates.)
    Today's rightwingers no longer have the ability to look at the results of their policies and make any changes whatever. The Bush tax cuts exploded the deficit? Well, then, the answer can only be more tax cuts! That nearly half of American voters have also lost their capacity for reason is a disturbing sign.

  38. Emily687:41 AM

    But we can take heart that not all the doctors in Congress are religious loons. Jim McDermott, who represents Seattle, is a psychiatrist but definitely not a loon.

  39. "Half of the people can be part right all of the time,
    And some of the people can be all right part of the time,
    But all of the people can't be all right all of the time.
    I think Abraham Lincoln said that."

    - Bob Dylan, Talkin' World War III Blues

  40. William Miller8:10 AM

    Just ask any Republican politician who might be harboring favorable thoughts about Obamacare what his/her thoughts are about "political correctness."

  41. A large part of the concept of "politically incorrect" speech is a childish motivation to do or say whatever one wants, without regard to social norms. It wouldn't be as fun if you weren't likely to be scolded for it.

    When I was young, I remember my even younger niece sitting in the backseat of her family's car, giggling and saying "Dooky."

    Her mother turned around and scolded her, saying that nice people don't say that word. My niece giggled and stayed silent for a moment, and then … "Dooky!" This cycle repeated several times.

    It's like that.

  42. coozledad8:21 AM

    We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe


    The last tea-trash I talked to said he could tell my wife and I were Obama supporters because we were quiet. "Obama people are always quiet "

    I would have said "That's because we're thinking about filling a slit trench with you and your kind, then smoking a cigarette while we dangle our legs over the side.
    But you'd call us Nazis." But he wouldn't have understood it.

    He was way too busy saying what he believed.

  43. mortimer20008:23 AM

    adjective: blovine
    Speaking of nazi gasbags, some of them suffer from blovine spongiform encephalopathy, or Mad Kraut Disease.

  44. mortimer20008:24 AM

    We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe.

    Mein Gott, given the constant stream of unhinged drivel from these yahoos, what on earth would they say if they weren't afraid? Ya mean there's stuff even more bizarre and insane?

    (BTW,Revolting Truth commenters are all excited about Doctor Ben, until a hard liner sets them straight:
    Dr. Ben Carson is getting the benefit of the doubt from white conservatives because he's black. Carson is not a real conservative. He actually said that George Zimmerman had murdered Trayvon Martin. Sorry, but that's a deal killer.)

  45. smut clyde8:27 AM

    Hindenberg libel!

  46. smut clyde8:29 AM

    Sorry, but that's a deal killer.
    But only in self defense.

  47. coozledad8:34 AM

    It happens. I grew up with a very smart young woman who went on to become a neurosurgeon. Last I heard of her she was having her ass sued off because of at least two instances where she performed operations on the wrong side of someone's spine, and If I remember right, a couple of wrongful deaths.
    She' a good painter, though.

  48. If I ever get scheduled for spinal surgery, I'm going to try to forget having read your comment...

  49. glennisw8:57 AM

    You really have to wonder what happened in this guy's head to make a smart, accomplished guy like Carson turn into a raving lunatic.

  50. glennisw9:00 AM

    We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe

    He said, and was widely reported on multiple media outlets.

    This kills me - their complaints about being silences are splashed in headlines everywhere.

  51. Matt Jones9:09 AM

    "here just aren't enough true believers willing to go that far"

    It only takes one:

  52. philadelphialawyer9:10 AM

    I totally get the problem with refusing to cabin one's internet arguing. How it can be like an addiction, take over your life, and so on.
    On the other hand, just to play devil's advocate, if nothing else, while I agree that the O'Reilly's and Beck's and Carson's are grifters on the make, who don't believe half of the crap they spew, I wonder if the "marks" really are as pitiful as you make them out to be. Some of them, I think, are in on the game.
    If you can stomach it, if you can stand it, it is actually entertaining to listen to extremist political non sense (from whatever extreme). The refusal to be "polite" or "PC" gets turned into an insane, outré, performance art type thing. This guy will say ANYTHING, he just doesn't care. And then the rhetoric builds and builds to a crescendo, and, even though the logic is faulty, the history worse, and the conclusions horrific, it is still mesmerizing and, again, at some level, entertaining to see and hear. I know back in college there were stoners who loved to watch the tele fundamentalist preachers for the same kind of buzz. While most of the audience probably does agree with part of what these guys say, some of it, at least, knows that. say, comparing the USA with Nazi Germany, is not only not "PC," but wrong, inaccurate, etc. But they still get a thrill out of hearing.
    For others, and I know this to be true from personal experience, these jokers give them ammunition to bait liberals. It is not that my cousin actually believes what these clowns say, rather he knows that their BS has the effect of pissing off liberals. And, until you get the gag, it is actually quite infuriating and quite hard to resist refuting it (like your internet experience).
    For others still, the true believers, they may be nothing but marks form the point of view of the huckster, but, from the perspective of their experience, to take a Jamesian POV, it gives meaning to their lives. From "the inside," as they "feel" it, the Tea Partiers and their ilk "know" that they are working to save the Republic, to stop the would be dictators, etc. Really, being part of what they see as a small, committed "band of brothers," fighting the good fight, standing up to evil, telling truth to power, etc, is probably a net positive in their lives, when viewed in that light and by that criteria. In their minds and hearts and fantasies, they ARE reliving the American Revolution, with them, obviously, cast as the heroes on the Lexington Green and at Bunker Hill. Or like Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest Band of Merrie Men. Or like the rebels in Star Wars. (As an aside, I believe, perhaps, that at least some Communist Party members in days gone by had a similar experience.) Rather than giving themselves ulcers, this weird form of political engagement provides them with purpose, with structure, with a belief system, with self esteem, and with an alternative to more obviously self destructive addictive behaviors. I know more than one TP'er who is a recovering addict, and for whom attending TP meetings, rallies and so on is just an extension, really, of the Twelve Step program that got them off drugs/alcohol.
    Just sayin'
    Of course, it is not doing our politics or society or country any good. But that is a different issue.

  53. It would have been funny if the words "Nazi Germany" were bleeped out of the audio… that might have lent some veracity to his comparison.

    Also, it would have forced people to guess what was bleeped out.

  54. redoubtagain9:21 AM

    If the U.S. was like Nazi Germany, he (and I) would long since have been liquidated as untermenschen, and therefore unable to make ridiculous comparisons.

  55. First the progressives came for the Teatards, and I did not speak out--Because I was not a Teatard.
    Then the progressives came for the Republicans, and I did not speak out--
    Because I was not a Republican.
    Then the progressives came for Dr. Carson, and I did not speak out--
    Because I was not Dr. Carson.
    Then the progressives came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.
    Because progressives in America today are running Concentration Camps just like Auschwitz-Birkenau. They’re in California.

  56. mgmonklewis10:11 AM

    Why limit ourselves? I think the Oxford Internets Dictionary (unabridged) allows for both forms to be correct, with bloviatus/bloviati merely being the more formal, Latinate usage.

  57. I also think this use of "believe" is really weird and culturally significant. What's to believe? They were seeing it done. They were, in fact, eventually actually voting for it and working for it. If he means something like "support" why doesn't he say that? I'm not quite sure what I'm arguing here but Christianists often use the word "believe" where a normal person would mean support. For example "I don't believe in gay marriage." Like its the person's individual willingness to wear blinders, like a horse, that matters in public policy. Maybe it comes from worshipping an invisible (no idols) god who is everywhere and nowhere. I don't "believe" in the sun, I can actually see it and everyone else can too. I don't "like" hitler but I believe in his existence and the reality of his political acts.

  58. realinterrobang10:13 AM

    That humour is so black I got a sunburn from it.

  59. Whut? Aren't they supposed to have protocols to prevent that from happening? Like: writing on the portion of your body that is supposed to be operated on?

  60. mgmonklewis10:15 AM

    Alinsky fhtagn!

  61. mgmonklewis10:16 AM

    Exactly. I never, ever heard of Alinsky until he became part of the Wingnut Catechism, and they began spitting his name like Tourette's.

  62. Yes. Exactly. "They don't really believe it" strikes me as that old "Tip and Ronnie had drinks after hours" thing. If they did it was morally culpable on Tip's part.

    Maybe there's a carve out for entertainers like Beck and O'Reilly but for the most part these guys are true believers in at least the most vicious parts of their belief system, if not willing to suffer and die for it or with the rubes they are fleecing. There's plenty of evidence that Limbaugh et al don't want to actually associate with their followers, but no evidence that they don't believe their own shtick about how depraved and dangerous the rest of us are.

  63. by way of illustration - as zizek says, people think that stalin and his inner circle were are truly cynical and didn't actually believe anything they said publicly. the truth is, is that yeah, they were cynical, but they were true believers in private too.

  64. Well, naturally you would say that, since the first rule of alinsky is never to say the word...




  65. Is "quiet" some kind of euphemism for "elite?"

  66. Halloween_Jack10:23 AM

    I'll grant you that they're not all Lonesome Rhodes; Michele Bachmann seems to be genuine, for example, albeit genuinely unhinged, and Michelle Malkin has some sort of bottomless reservoir of rage that she constantly taps into. They both lie, of course, frequently and forcefully, but whatever's driving them isn't just an act.

    But Glenn Beck? Definitely in the grifter crowd, with his constant hustle of the goldbugs. Palin, too; when Beck told Palin that she was full of "bullcrap" after one of her evasive non-answers, it was one grifter critiquing another, and their subsequent collaboration on this event shows that she elevated her game sufficiently to be worth working with.

  67. Yeah, good luck trying to get into Neurosurgery while being black, for fuck's sake. Other than as an experimental subject, that is.

  68. i think the reason is that beck is both a throwback and something new - his rhetoric and gestures are right out of mormon speechifying, and his thinking - per skousen and rand - is a mix of early 20th century corporate paternalism and religiosity.

  69. coozledad10:27 AM

    You'd think.

    I was wondering if it was a case of failure to communicate with the attending staff, but it happened several times.

  70. susanoftexas10:29 AM

    Yes, it is their need for structure, purpose, self-esteem and especially belonging that steered them towards the tea party.

  71. susanoftexas10:36 AM

    Either he expects a Greek chorus of assent or experience has taught him that when he meets an Obama supporter in the wild they quietly wait until the rhino is finished at the water hole.

  72. I read an entire book on this topic but a few years ago so I'm a bit fuzzy. I think it was called "The Checklist Manifesto"

    Yes, that's right, by Atul Gawande. He basically makes the point that most medical error happens because of completely preventable errors arising out of failure to follow protocols. In other fields, like aviation, there's a clear focus on getting mindless, automatic tasks, to be done in a standardized way and to be reviewed and checked off so everyone on a team can be sure that what needs to be done has been done. Having the surgeon come in, see the patient, and mark the limb to be operated on is one of the "new" methods used to prevent last minute errors in surgical procedures because otherwise they are incredibly common.

  73. There's quite a bit of cross over in the American tradition between self made man-huckster-and preacher. Glenn Beck is right out of that tradition. How can you tell the dancer from the dance?

  74. tigrismus10:41 AM

    The Night of the Long Blue Pencils.

  75. I often said to my young cousin, who was wasting away her life waiting for romance and something to happen to her (she is now still an adolescent in a 50 year old woman's body) "you are the only hero of your own story." Didn't have any useful effect on her but at least I can say that she didn't choose to place herself as the protagonist in the Left Behind series or other religio-political-horror novel.

  76. That makes sense.

  77. GeniusLemur10:44 AM

    "Their ultimate goal is to demonize you..."
    Why would liberals bother, seeing what a great job conservatives do of demonizing themselves?

  78. yeah. the medium is the messenger is the medium...

  79. Rick White10:52 AM

    Apropos of nothing but awesomeness...

  80. Ellis_Weiner11:08 AM

    Agree. Some years ago I saw an impromptu exchange between Pat Buchanan and some other Repubs, and some nutbar civilian stood up and said/yelled something deranged, and Pat laughed and said to his peers, "That's one of mine." It was both breathtakingly cynical and completely accurate.

  81. According to them, that self-demonization is the result of a nefarious Alinskyite plot. Yeah, party of personal responsibility.

  82. Another victory for religion !

  83. "We have ways to make you talk according to speech codes."

  84. Ellis_Weiner11:16 AM

    So why can't we do that? Why can't we make up any stupid, hysterical bullshit and defiantly defy it in their faces? "We now live in a society in which Republicans feel free to roast babies on spits and eat them in public parks." "We now live in a society in which corporations require employees to give them the PINs of their checking accounts." See? It's easy and it's fun!

  85. RogerAiles11:19 AM

    I can understand how someone attending CPAC could conclude that America is like Nazi Germany.

    I can't understand how someone would accept a speaking fee from the Nazis.

  86. Ellis_Weiner11:21 AM

    Has anyone here said yet that one of the allures for them of demonizing "Alinsky" is how Jewy-Jewish the name is? That it's Emmanuel Goldman by another name? That Alinsky's supposed ruthlessly practical precepts (which the GOP observes and enacts, chapter and verse) are analogues for "the secular Jew's" blasphemous indifference to all that's holy? If not, consider it said.

  87. Ellis_Weiner11:24 AM

    They said that the great American naval commander John Paul Jones would, every morning, open a safe in his quarters, take out a piece of paper, read it, and put it back, before beginning his day. Finally, he died. His first mate, privy to the safe's combination, made so bold as to open the safe and reveal to the world the specific text of the hero's daily inspiration. On the sheet he read:

    Starboard is RIGHT.
    Port is LEFT.

  88. Ellis_Weiner11:26 AM

    Churchill my ass. He stole that from me.

  89. Magatha11:32 AM

    And his discussion about protocols to ensure the operating team is truly acting like a team (rather than a surgeon god-king attended by minions) is awesome. He makes it so clear that it's absolutely essential that any person in the operating theater can, should, and must speak up at any time he or she sees anything that just doesn't seem right, even if you're saying it to the most senior physician in the facility. It's a fascinating book.

  90. susanoftexas11:33 AM

    The right thinks the entire entertainment complex is our stupid, hysterical bullshit that we defiantly fling in their faces. The truth is that the media would never let the left get away with lying; there's nothing in it for them and a lot to gain by churning controversy.
    They can't be beaten, they can only be marginalized.

  91. Buffalo Rude11:35 AM

    "Believe" gets mixed up with "accept", too. For example, I don't "believe" in climate change or evolution; I "accept" that they are falsifiable facts.

  92. The error everyone makes is assuming that "zealot" and "huckster" are mutually exclusive categories and, therefore, anything that proves one also disproves the other. Study con artists long enough, and you'll realize that it's decidedly not true.

  93. tigrismus11:54 AM

    Don't forget it, pull out your Sharpie and mark yourself up.

  94. Shakezula11:57 AM

    Yes of course. All of those people shouting and crying at the huge rallies were just there because there was nothing on TV. They didn't actually believe what Hitler was saying.

    Hitler Youth? Boy Scouts, nothing more.

  95. Weirdly enough, self-demonizing DOES seem a little bit like exercising personal responsibility...

    It would sound a little something like this: "Demonizing service! How can we help you? Do you need to be demonized today?"

    "No thanks; I'll do it myself."

  96. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.12:04 PM

    Actually the then Afro-German population then flew under the radar of the Nazis. Sure they were subject to the Nuremberg laws, couldn't marry white people (interracial marriage was legal put frowned upon till 1933) and were on the lowest rung of the racial order. But since there were not that many to begin with they were often left alone. Then there the "Rheinlandbastarde", children of black French soldiers and natives of the Rhineland, who were mostly sterilized.
    Another story was black prisoners of war who were sometimes summarily executed by German troops, but often also held as legal prisoners of war albeit segregated from white POWs.

  97. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.12:05 PM

    He could maybe have found work in a circus.

  98. Fred Clark used to argue that it's not just liars and innocent dupes. There's a group in between, people who are smart enough to know better but choose to believe something that they must at least suspect is false. These people may be dupes, but they're hardly innocent - and in fact, they're the ones that lend credence to these crackpot theories because they're not obviously lying or crazy.

    As weird as it is, there are some people out there who would actually prefer living in a dystopian nightmare world (as long as they don't have to give up the creature comforts, of course). There are a lot of reasons for this. Some of them want to feel tough and righteous, and standing up against invisible oppressors is a good way to do that. Some of them like the feeling of intelligence that comes from knowing something that the sheep don't. And some of them are just Walter Mitty types who find fighting demons a lot more exciting than their real lives. There are a lot of motives out there to self-deceive, and everyone's vulnerable to it.

  99. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.12:11 PM

    As an aside: Someone at Wikipedia set link of Lonesome Rhodes Beck to Glenn Bleck.

  100. That's right; it's not "either one or the other."

    Con artists have this in common with good salespeople. To be really good at sales, the salesperson must believe whatever he or she is saying at any moment.

  101. buyaclue12:16 PM

    If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times, if P.T. Barnum was alive today he'd be the world's first trillionaire.

  102. Yes, I agree. It IS culturally significant. In this context, the word "believe" describes a thing that's more like "support," but not exactly. There's a little bit more to it.

    I used to work with a guy from New Orleans. When he lived there, he was a Catholic, like most people he knew. After he moved here to North Georgia, he became a Baptist. It's a social thing; he was active in the church, and it was a great part of who he was. He didn't seem like any kind of phoney.

    Could it be that his whole theology changed overnight? Did he once believe in The Trinity, but now he doesn't? Does the word "believe" even apply here (as it's usually defined?)

    Sometimes when such people say "I believe," I think it's more like "I align myself with" or "I consider myself a part of."

  103. coozledad12:39 PM

    I need a xerox of that.

  104. Maybe Ben Carson's just trying to belong. I know people who repeat all kinds of things that Alex Jones or Rush says, and they repeat it because they know that the people they're talking to will nod and say "Ain't it the truth."

    Maybe Ben Carson has simply decided to align himself with this group of people, and the whole idea of our country actually being like Nazi Germany is just an abstract thought.

    There's a character in Vonnegut's "Breakfast of Champions" that defined truth in this way. He said “You know what truth is? ... It's some crazy thing my neighbor believes. If I want to make friends with him, I ask him what he believes. He tells me, and I say, "Yeah, yeah - ain't it the truth?”

  105. Spaghetti Lee1:21 PM

    All this talk about wishing life was more exciting or heroic than it is (and it's a recurring theme when we talk about these guys) scares me just a little bit, because that's a big part of where I am right now psychologically. Don't know if it's youth or boredom or depression or just a personality quirk, but there you have it. Maybe I'm just trying to build up some distance between me and them.

  106. Gromet1:25 PM

    Wow, the litmus test for conservatives is pretty tight. You could be a pro-life, pro-NRA, pro-tax-cuts, pro-invading-everyone job creator -- but if you think one chunky doofus in Florida didn't need to chase and kill a black kid then you, sir, are NOT a conservative.

  107. sharculese1:28 PM

    To b fair, and I don't know how fair it is since it's still insane, I'm pretty sure that if you asked him, he would claim it was PC to assume the Holocaust was something uniquely terrible and then he would mumble something about abortion.

  108. Yep, one small slip and you're a RINO. A conservative has to be careful what he says out loud...

    Come to think of it, isn't that also a "political correctness" of a sort?

  109. Daniel Björkman1:42 PM

    True enough. It's not even as sinister as all that, when you think about it. Anyone who's actually gotten a chance to try to govern will have noticed, I think, that no ideals, no matter how good, will always produce the optimal result. But if you admit that, you weaken your message and take the risk of letting people think that maybe we should try some entirely different ideals, then.

    So yes, I think it's perfectly possible to sincerely hold a set of complex beliefs, complete with caveats and exceptions, and still be willing to lie your ass off to make the masses believe in a simplified, streamlined version of them.

  110. coozledad1:45 PM

    Nothing Nazi about these fucks in the least:

  111. Gromet1:45 PM

    I'm with you on this one. I've often heard people use "believe" this way and because of the way I think (I try to use words purposefully) I tend to suspect it is chosen exactly because it is a dodge. It is a way to avoid being called to account -- because who has to justify a belief? Evidence can be questioned, opinions can be interrogated, positions need defended -- but a belief? There's a dumb but widely accepted culture of seeing a belief as something that stands outside space and time, in the cloud of unknowing. "I don't believe in gay marriage" is not so much an incompetent word choice (to my way of thinking) so much as a kind of mystical slight of hand to avoid practical thought.

  112. Howlin Wolfe1:56 PM

    They can write on the wrong one.

  113. ohsopolite2:10 PM

    No way--that would imply some sort of widespread logical inconsistency, which could never never never be part of the glorious modern conservative movement, no matter how many times eeeeeeeeeevil liberals bring it up.

  114. You're missing the point, and that's that the other side doesn't think like you do.

  115. If that ain't true, it oughta be.

  116. Mutaman2:48 PM

    The camera!

  117. She wants a risk-free romance, and she doesn't understand part of the charm is in the risk.

  118. BG, dismayed leftie3:01 PM

    CPAC attendees:

    The Nazis were much snappier dressers --- and they had a flag! (With apologies to Eddie Izzard.)

  119. willf3:02 PM

    We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what
    they actually believe. And it’s because of the PC police

    Huh, and here I thought it was because of the actual police.

  120. Chocolate Covered Cotton3:03 PM

    It's been a while since I've seen the movie but it seems like what dex is describing is exactly like Lonesome Rhodes. (For those who don't know the reference, it's the 1957 film "A Face in the Crowd" starring Andy Griffith as a Glenn Beck-like character, a country singer turned conservative pop commentator.) Rhodes wasn't a total cynic nor a fraud. He was cynical about his audience and the ease with which he could manipulate and get rich off of them, but his whole tragedy of his story was the way he believed his own hype and how that turned into self-destructive pride.

    I guess the difference is in the way Rhodes started as an innocent true believer who was himself manipulated into becoming monstrous. Beck, et al, are both true believers and cynics, but their not the tools of some nefarious secret powers, I don't think.

  121. Look at all those youthful go-getters!

  122. redoubtagain3:10 PM

    Thanks for reminding me of a favorite book of mine, "Destined to Witness" by Hans Massaquoi.

  123. John Casey3:13 PM

    I spotted the black guy! Is that like finding waldo?

  124. tigrismus3:15 PM

    Well, human rights for all but the sub-human vermin, amirite?

  125. There's some bastard who's been saying that for a couple of years, because "Upper West Side liberal elitist" is too esoteric for knuckle-draggers. That same bastard once compared Saul Alinksy to a combination Saul Alinsky/Sun Tsu... would that be a Sun Jew?

  126. satch4:41 PM

    It's not even necessary to make up stupid, hysterical bullshit. All we would have to do is point to the wingnut saying those things and say: "You're lying, and here are the facts", and we won't even do that.

    As an aside, to anyone wondering about the value of grifters stoking the rage and fear of the winger base, today I saw an analysis of the election results in the Florida special election pitting David Jolly against Alex Sink that puts the voter turnout in precincts won by Romney 10 points higher than the turnout in precincts won by Obama. Now, one might think that after the 2010 debacle which we are still paying for, Dems might have learned their lesson, gotten off their butts, and turned out in every election because every one is important. But one would be wrong.

  127. satch4:44 PM

    Well, among liberals, Alinsky is He Who Must Not Be Named, or else... AVADA KEDAVRA!!!

  128. satch4:48 PM

    As we all should know by now, when liberals react to conservatives with pointing, eye rolling, and mockery, it's exactly the same as forcing conservatives into boxcars and shipping them to the FEMA concentration camps in Area 51.

  129. satch4:56 PM

    Atul Gawande wrote a piece for The New Yorker on that subject, probably excerpted from the book you mentioned. Probably the most disturbing thing was that, while the pilots of very complex airliners find checklists indispensable, surgeons were arrogant enough that they fought the concept tooth and nail.

  130. TomParmenter5:00 PM

    Michelle Bachman is very pretty, I must say.

  131. neoconstantine5:10 PM

    roy. the week you were reporting from cpac there were no posts from tbogg. are you him? is he you? is this the beginning of something beautiful or is there a smoking gun in the socks over there?

  132. Halloween_Jack5:14 PM

    At the risk of being condescending, I sometimes think of the people who are the audience for this scam, just how much emotional torture they put themselves through for no good reason, every day. All the chain e-mails and kook websites they take absolutely seriously, and worry over with people who also take it 100% seriously, and then they all send their money to these scammers. How must it feel to be in a constant state of panic, absolute certainty that the end is nigh and every powerful institution is in on it, and you and your friends are the only ones who know and all you can do to fight back is act as a meme conduit and an open wallet for professional bullshitters? Just seems like a weird way to live.

    I think about these people quite a lot, because I'm related to a bunch of them. I think that at least a few of them must think of me as "that smart-ass cousin/nephew who keeps posting links to Snopes."

  133. Yes--they fought against checklists. His research also showed, I think, that teams that worked together all the time were better than scratch or pickup surgical teams but not every hospital supported them.

  134. Its not just on the right--even if the College Republicans scamming elderly people out of their Social Security checks is the apotheosis of this politics-as-grift. My mother is consantly besieged by personal phone calls from all kinds of democratic politicians, pretty high up including live Senators, and everyone of them pitches her an "end of the world for the democrats" scenario. "Only you can help us, Obi Wan Kenobi" looks really different if you imagine its a political pitch for money and support that Obi Wan doesn't actually have. I mean the guy's living in a fucking cave--how much can he send them by carrier pigeon?

  135. TGuerrant5:28 PM

    Yeah - I actually feel a bit of gratitude toward Beck for introducing me to Frances Fox Piven.

  136. As S.M. Stirling always has his heroic characters say "Adventure means someone's in deep shit far away." There's a lot of adventure everywhere around us but what makes it adventure is not knowing how it turns out and that it may turn out badly. Its not a canned experience.

    To get back to the point upthread that Fred Clark likes to make in his series on Left Behind this kind of open ended adventure, with disaster and triumph twinned and related to the action the hero takes, is actually quite a complicated thing. In the Left Behind books none of the "heroes" act in ways that are recognizably heroic to a normal person. They are shadowwalking their way through a story which is really about something other than their choices and experiences. The authorial imperative to have them stand in for the reader and bear witness seems to require them to stand around talking about death happening to other people, but never to actually risk death to save anyone else because, after all, if god is going to do it, he'd have already done it or will do it.

  137. Hell, the media won't even let us get away with telling the god damned truth about these assholes.

  138. TGuerrant5:31 PM

    And then... she died. Never dis a doc.

  139. TGuerrant5:33 PM

    Bill Frist watching a much-edited video of Terri Schiavo and rendering a diagnosis from the Senate floor...

  140. Most people aren't voters. Most people don't intersect with the political world except, as they see it, on special occasions. I used to have furious discussions with a guy on a work crew who was a total right wing kook. Of course in the end it turns out he never votes at all--he has opinions and feelings but he is not a political actor, he's not a voter. He's a working class (non union) guy in a blue state where his "side" never wins.

    The district Sink was trying for had been held by the same crazy asshole for about 30 years--most people haven't had to think about who they were voting for that entire time. Its a largely republican district--and republicans feel threatened right now so you can easily turn out a spite voter. But sink lost by only 3,500 votes in a traditionally red district in an off time election. If she runs again she can do better.

  141. susanoftexas5:51 PM

    I think of that as an authoritarian yeaning for transcendence. It might be a need for unconditional love (yadda yadda authoritarian parenting) . They want to feel a perfect union, an infinite love, perfect safety and warmth. Transcendence.

  142. TGuerrant6:06 PM

    "They don't really believe it" strikes me as that old "Tip and Ronnie had drinks after hours" thing. If they did it was morally culpable on Tip's part.

    I bring you joy:

    The government shut down seven times when O'Neill was speaker and Reagan was president. ... If your metric for quality governance is "ability to avoid shutdowns," then Reagan is absolutely the worst president of the modern era. ... And O'Neill is an even worse speaker....

    And one for the Tipper:

    Tip O’Neill said it was “sinful” that Reagan had been elected president. He said Reagan didn’t care about the poor, and that Reagan would have made a better “king” than a president -- and that, in any event, Reagan was the “worst” president of his lifetime....

    In 1984, O’Neill advised Democratic nominee Walter Mondale that he had to “remove the evil that’s in the White House at the present time.” What was that about close friends?

    But he got knuted more than he rockneed:

    In one or two cases, the Democrats cut good deals with Reagan, such as when they revised the Social Security program. But on the key legislative issue of Reagan’s presidency — the 1981 fight over his budget, which slashed taxes on the rich — O’Neill simply got rolled. Spooked by the president’s popularity, which surged after he was shot by John Hinckley in March of that year, O’Neill failed to compete with Reagan in the new age of media politics. Worse, he also came up short in his supposed strong suit — riding herd on his caucus — as scores of Democrats, fearing the tax-cutting bandwagon, defected to back the Reagan bill. The consequences — skyrocketing budget deficits and debilitating inequality — have plagued us ever since.

  143. TGuerrant6:12 PM

    Listen to the might thunder of his footsteps as Bloviasaurus Rush approaches the buffet table....

  144. satch6:14 PM

    True, but the problem now is that our ever helpful media is starting to spin this election as a defeat for "Obamacare", and a warning to other Dems that the ACA is something to be sidled away from as fast as they can. Ed Schultz was making the point to Debbie Wasserman Schultz last night that Sink was not promoting the ACA positively enough, and that if elected, she would help "fix" it. Of course there are tweaks that need to be made; in something as sweeping as the ACA it's not surprising that there would be, but she should have been focusing on the good parts of the law, not the parts that "need fixing". This is just one example where Dems need to be making a positive case and pointing out conservative lies, not playing defense, in spite of what the pundits might be saying.

  145. J Neo Marvin6:19 PM

    Zappa had his d-baggy moments, but they were balanced by his genius.

  146. TGuerrant6:22 PM

    Good thing he learned to play bass.

  147. J Neo Marvin6:39 PM

    Rimshot by John Bonham.

  148. Mickey_Zellberg6:41 PM

    Much wisdom in this comment.

  149. redoubtagain6:50 PM

    That's whiter than a fish-belly klavern.

  150. Spaghetti Lee7:27 PM

    Maybe I'm more sympathetic because I don't have those people in my family.Oh, there are plenty of conservative Republicans, but if there are any chain mail obsessives or conspiracy addicts, they keep it to themselves. I'd probably be much more hostile if I had to deal with that crap every day. Count your fuckin' blessings, eh?

  151. Spaghetti Lee7:36 PM

    Dex, I know you're a good guy and I'm not accusing you of anything nasty. But I read stuff like 'The other side doesn't think like you do' and I get the chills, just a little. It's not a cheery sentiment in itself, even if it's kind of accurate.
    It's easy to watch these guys lock out any facts they disagree with and marvel at how dumb they are, but I sometimes wonder if I'm missing something myself. I hold the beliefs I do because I think they're the best I've found, but you know all the stuff about tribalism and attribution/cognitive bias and the human brain generally being bad at examining itself. And that's such a murky mix already I don't think convincing myself of stuff like 'they're fundamentally not like me' is good.
    Of course, the problem with my little pro-impartiality stance is that the conservatives I see online keep confirming the absolute worst conceptions about them that I have.

  152. LittlePig7:39 PM

    from Huckleberry Forrest, a variant script from Mr. Clemens.

  153. Spaghetti Lee7:41 PM

    Well, Left Behind is the equivalent of the world's dumbest fish in the world's smallest barrel. When I read it's for pleasure and thus I've never touched those books, but from what I've picked up the whole 'characters as pawns for author's religious axe to grind' thing was not so much a failure of the imagination as the whole point. Propaganda barely judgable as art in the first place.

  154. "I know it's not politically correct... but,.." is actually the phonetic pronunciation of an ancient Greek phrase meaning, "I'm about to an obnoxious jackass, please don't call me on it." It explains a lot, actually.

  155. You ever run into a wingnut that's actually read any Alinsky, much less "Rules For Radicals"? I never have, and I've asked every time it gets thrown at me. They get awful bent out of shape when I tell them I can no longer take them seriously until they do.

  156. merl18:28 PM

    I wish plenty of people I know were afraid to open their mouths, but unfortunately they don't. I guess my sister and niece among others have bigger balls than he does.

  157. merl18:35 PM

    I used to picture Rush laughing his ass off during commercials over how gullible is audience is. I told my FIL that Rush was just fucking with his head for fun and profit.

  158. M. Krebs8:37 PM

    Frank was all about taking the piss out of anyone who thought they were cool or felt the need to tell anyone else how to live. He could call bullshit like no one else.

  159. Shakezula8:47 PM

    To review:
    "I am rubber you are glue. Whatever you say bounces offa me and Hitler Hitler Hitler Nazi you!"

  160. I wish the Democrats (in general) weren't so easily frightened.

  161. M. Krebs8:57 PM

    "Believe in" is right up there with "is unconstitutional" at the top of the list of stupid things that people say when they don't know what they're talking about.

  162. Gabriel Ratchet9:18 PM

    Ohhhh, unless the truth literally hurts. Got it.
    To quote the Rev. Ivan Stang: "God's biggest mistake is that he forgot to make stupidity painful."

  163. i hear what you're saying. and i'm sure it sounds like othering - i acknowledge that. let me put it this way - john stauber and sheldon rampton write that for movement conservatives, politics is war by other means. let me put it another way - rick perlstein has made the point, again and again, that the other side has always been this way.

    a kind of politics rooted in this worldview just isn't compatible with anything resembling egalitarian and leveling movements that have brought the most good to the most people. and i think my point here is that we make mistake if we wish away all the cpac speakers as people-who-will-just-say-any-old-thing-for-a-buck-and-they-really-don't-mean-it-and-don't-worry-we're-all-americans-down-deep-and-we-all-want-what's-best-for-the-country.

    i call bullshit. the people we owe some of the great progressive victories of the last hundred years understood that bad politics, and they're adherents, need to be defeated. and again, let me stress - as i noted above - in the political arena. they need to be beaten there. because the really fucked up in thing is that the world they want to live in - and demand we live in too - isn't even practicable. it's built on fantasies of power and submission that's never existed.

  164. yeah good point.

  165. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:15 PM

    Perhaps the Ghost of Prescott Bush could explain. Lemme see if I can summon him...

  166. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:31 PM

    We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe

    And all this blather on talk radio is being beamed in from Planet 10?


  167. smut clyde11:07 PM

    "Obama people are always quiet "

    I want something like that as my epitaph. "He was always such a quiet neighbour."

  168. smut clyde11:11 PM

    I go back to the Necronomicon. You can pass on quotes that other people tell you are from the Book, but you can't read it for fear of insanity or worse.

  169. freq flag12:02 AM

    ...and don't even get me started about sighing. SIGHING!

  170. Except that it is painful, just not for the stupid person.

  171. freq flag12:07 AM

    That would explain a couple of things
    (by way of the 8th Dimension).

  172. AGoodQuestion1:01 AM

    Inner city men make Paul Ryan want to holler.

  173. AGoodQuestion1:04 AM

    I'd use the word "accurate." Fair implies mitigation, and while I think your hypothesis is correct, I don't see as how it helps him much.

  174. AGoodQuestion1:15 AM

    Years ago I had a temporary telemarketing job that could have potentially led to something permanent. I lasted maybe two weeks. Looking back I realized that I'm the last person who should be selling anything because my own sales resistance is so high that I can't picture myself in the position of wanting to be taken.

    Those who do best in high-pressure sales - outside of sociopaths - are those who have a little pigeon in them, regardless of whether they believe in the product. And right wing media has a large element of the boiler room in it.

  175. I have some sales experience, and I believe that salesmen(women) are born and developed, not made. You're probably also very secure in yourself, sales people understand insecurity because they often sell security as part of the product(whiter teeth, cleaner clothes, healthier breakfast, etc).

    Another way is to sell the sizzle, not the steak. That' where the Democrats fail, they need some sizzle for p

  176. sigyn3:53 AM

    "...essential that any person in the operating theater can, should, and must speak up at any time he or she sees anything that just doesn't seem right..."

    I'm kind of horrified that isn't already the norm.

  177. Pope Zebbidie XIII6:17 AM

    You're selling Fred Clark's dissection short.

  178. susanoftexas7:26 AM

    It's funny, that's one of Megan McArdle's schtickts. She pretends that she is part of a learned and congenial debate in which everyone works their way up the ladder of punditry and just wants what is best for the country.

    They hate it when we remind them they are Koch dependents, gavaging propaganda down conservative geese's throats. So I do it as often as possible.

    I see this as a battle for money, and liberals don't want to scramble on the floor for money after billionaires break open the US like a piñata, unlike some other people we could mention.

    I also see myself carrying a sword and slaying enemies but that's just too much tv as a child.

  179. Pope Zebbidie XIII7:30 AM

    You certainly won't remember it after.

  180. Yes, but I came to the books through Fred Clark's analysis at Slactivist and the extremely funny writing of his commenters who often do a spoof version of the episodes he's commenting on restoring the humanity, agency, and intelligence of the peripheral characters. Its quite a revelation to read Fred's early commentaries because they really illuminate something deep about the world view of the particular christian culture that informs the book. What is masculinity? What is femininity? What is insight? What is right action? (apparently, phoning people and bragging). What is prayer for?

  181. Joy. I'm moving to his district.

  182. El Manquécito8:52 AM

    I'm not sure Frank's output is aging so well but put him in the same thread as Devo and it looks like genius.

  183. satch9:11 AM

    "Until the police came in and found that pile of wingnut skulls in the tool shed."

  184. Fascinating npr interview with a guy who was conned by "clark rockefelller" who later turned out to be a murderer, kidnapper, fabulist born in grrmany who learned his upper class accent watching gilligans island and imitating thurston howell III. The writer said that he asked clark point blank during the prison interviews how he got over on so many people and clark told him that he "gave people what tbey wanted. Total acceptance of how they wanted to be perceived." In the writers case he'd been a scholarship student at princeton and never felt zccepted by the elite studdnts. He describes clark as zeroing in on this psychic wound and (basically) bandaging it by accepting the writer as an elite accustomed to the good life. He didnt empathize or overtly validate the writer as an outsider to wealth and power but as a member of the elite. Its like the difference between celebrating a short friend for their cute lack of height and joining with them in the famtasy that no one knows they are wearing lifts.

  185. Halloween_Jack9:45 AM

    Unless Roy/Tom is maintaining two separate households and SOs, probably not.

  186. Uh, no. "Needs fixing" was probably poll tested because it did well with voters who believe that "where there is smoke there is probably fire." Politics is complicated. Perhaps the majority of sink voters thought she was honest and practical--everyone "knows" the roll out was a "disaster." Especially the kinds of people who vote sporadically and dont pay attention until the last minute. You cant counter confused peoples strongly held position with a mere denial. They are quite likely to be sceptical of everything else you argue.

    I think you are making a mistake in arguing that the dems can always run on a national blue state platform in a red district. Personally i agree and think we always should have a unified progressive snd even tadical message but that would go along with losing some seats--presumably even this one. At any rate i hate "the dems are spineless losers and we always lose" atrguments. It lets the voters off the hook and its not true. If voters organize and vote their interests the politicians will cater to those interests--even if only rhetorically-- if voters are lazy or discouraged by this endless "the party closest to my interests is really kodos, or cowards" they wont vote.

  187. But at the same time every time zimmerman brings disrepute to the movement they rush to dump him overboard.

  188. Born persecuted would be a great book title.

  189. Can't say I blame them for that! (politically speaking.)

    It seems to me that ALL public figures walk a fine line, and have to be careful what they say. That's just the way it is, particularly nowdays. These are the days of instant reactions via social media and cellphone videos, so public figures at any position on the political spectrum have to keep that in mind.

    Surely Ben Carson must realize that these things don't make us Nazi Germany.

  190. Magatha10:50 AM

    I don't know that much about him except that he's a neurosurgeon and a raving lunatic. I think of surgeons as similar to airline pilots or US presidents: it's wholly absurd to think of yourself as the sort of person who can cut into another person's brain or body, or who can load 300 people into a metal tube and fly them from point A to point B at 36,000 feet, or lead a powerful world-dominating country - all with the expectation, the confidence, that you are going to do a damn good job of it.

    What kind of person thinks he or she can do such incredible things? I know I can't, and it's not because I'm too stupid or haven't been trained properly. I know I am not psychologically capable of that kind of responsibility. God, I'm glad some people are. Those people are profoundly different from me in crucial ways.

    But not in all ways. There are probably some things I can do better than Carson, but surgeons' exceptional skills - and being a surgeon is awesome - tend to obscure an awareness that they are not automatically awesome at everything. I used to work in a law office, and it was kind of a standing joke that doctors who insisted on venturing into investments or other businesses were money-makers for us, because they tended to screw it up. They'd think, hey, how hard can it be, then they'd screw it up.

    So I can totally imagine Carson as a smart, accomplished surgeon and a raving, offensive, delusional moran. I might let him operate on my brain, but I'd never go out for coffee with him.

  191. susanoftexas11:06 AM


  192. Helmut Monotreme11:13 AM

    I read somewhere (and cannot verify) that Medical Doctors, as a class make the worst pilots. I wonder if this is part of the reason.

  193. Helmut Monotreme11:29 AM

    Why does it always rain or snow right after I get my car demonized?

  194. glennisw11:31 AM

    Carson is the ultimate in wingnut logic. Constantly being invited to speak on multiple media outlets to complain about how he's being silenced.

  195. Even worse, they make him want to legislate.

  196. Dammit, Jim. Another near-new derpometer for the trash heap.

  197. Daniel Björkman12:26 PM

    I do believe that we are all fundamentally alike, yes.

    But if you think that that's a "comforting notion," then you really have no idea what it is I think we're all like, that's all I'm saying... :P

  198. Yeah I'm sticking my foot in my mouth here. I guess my point is is that there's a gap in world views.

    And yeah fair point!

  199. Hyperbole in the service of liberty is no vice! I think thats basically what they think. Plus, we are always on a slippery slope to hell, with one foot on the banana peel of communism/nazism/otherhorriblepeopleism. They feel the same way, of course, when we call them "Talibangelicals" or "TeaHadis" or other terms linking them with other, to us obviously nearly identical authoritarian theocrats. Then they are all like "but I don't even wear a turban! And I'm only talking about stoning gays, not beheading women!"

  200. susanoftexas1:27 PM

    Almost anyone could do that; we all do it to a degree. Most people make subtle physical and verbal changes during conversations to accommodate or engage the other person.

    We have all these people who have been trained by their parents and then greater society to see independent thought and self-esteem as disobedience and disobedience as blasphemy, and who therefore are insecure, emotionally needy and habitually obedient.

    We also have a group of power-hungry, ruthless people who know how to detect and exploit these gaping holes in conservative souls. The cats among the pigeons don't seek group reinforcement; they want power to control the group to protect the gaping hole in their own souls, if they have one.

    We refuse to reinforce their farce, which is so divorced from reality that it crumbles easily and must be guarded constantly. This makes us the disobedient ones, the ultimate horror of their childhoods. They took every appalling thing their parents said to them --that they were terrified they really were--and put it all on the whipping boy liberals.
    What do they always call us? Lazy, dirty, bad (immoral), disobedient, irresponsible, destructive. Childish. They are sober, responsible, dependable, providers, builders. Parental. That's the psychodrama reenacting constantly in their head. And it is childishly easy to manipulate.