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The Kos Progression

Today, I want to write about madness. It's a pandemic human condition, you know. Throughout human history, there is a tide which periodically washes away sanity and reason, to be replaced for a time by the most irrational assumptions and superstitions, and so far as I can tell there has never been a society yet which has been immune to the unbalancing of order, and even its best ideals are thrown down in manic frenzies, sometimes of the masses, but at other occasions at the whim of a few elites, or even one madman who gains control of the works. Ancient civilzations developed cities and laws and commerce, but also fell into cult behavior, which included human sacrifice and wars for no better reason than the command of a demagogue. Crusades and Jihads were called up on little more than the command of certain Popes and Caliphs, which did no better than to kill hundreds of thousands of men at a stroke, along with the wholesale devastation of cities and farmland. Even in the last century, nations fell prey to similar personality cults, from Chairman Mao and "Uncle Joe" Stalin to "Der Fuhrer" and various "Maximum Leaders" and the like.

But I do not want to give the sense that this madness only appears in warfare, or that it is solely present in the arrogance of political leaders. No, this madness appears everywhere to some extent. We certainly saw it when Dan Rather tried to influence a Presidential election which documents he knew to be forged. We certainly saw it when a foreign-born billionaire tried to buy votes in that same election. We certainly saw it when religious groups demanded the "right" to sway the direction of national policy. We certainly saw it when leading Congressmen and Senators chose to damage U.S. troop morale and advocate the goals of terrorist groups, by opposing the war effort and national security for political gain. We certainly saw it when the most outrageous lies and falsest accusations became the common currency of certain talk shows and websites. Which brings me to the Daily Kos, arguably the least rational of the major blogs.

What makes the Kos significant, is its influence with leading Democrats. Kos does not speak for the Democratic Party of the United States, but it does carry interviews with some high-profile Democrats, and it does get the attention of every leading candidate in the Democratic Party. Given Kos' incendiary and perjorative posture, this behavior increases the virulence of the Leftist rhetoric, and suppresses the voice of reasonable Democrats and moderate liberals; one is compelled to recall the response to Senator Joe Lieberman's support for the war effort in Iraq. Lieberman did not support the Bush Administration's policies, nor did he say anything to damage Democrats' political positions - he simply chose to support the troops and to note that Iraq needed to be stabilized. For this he was hounded by Kos and similar thugsites, and lost the Democratic nomination for re-election in his Senate campaign. When Lieberman won anyway as an Independent, Democrats simply pretended they had not tried to drive him out of the party, while Kos held its breath while waiting to see if Lieberman would prove sufficiently radical. Since then, Kos has addressed Lieberman in angry and petulant tones, as if Lieberman were the one who owed an apology.

What's interesting to me, is that the Kos crowd marched along to its present angry position from a much calmer and rational one. While the Kosites may have been more inclined to unreasoned assumptions then other people, they still chose to move towards greater hate. In the same way, political candidates have moved towards friction and deliberate discourtesy to opponents and the other party. It's not enough to say you can do a better job, now you have to punch in some scare tactics, suggest that the other guy would be hopelessly inept or else a criminal, that very bad things would happen if they were elected. And this spirit of aggression gets fed by a growing segment of the population, an almost mindless echo chamber of hatred and groupthink. We've seen it before, of course, but it's always trouble when it pops up again. Politics is rancorous enough, without giving in to the worst among us.


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Comments (24)

>We certainly saw it when D... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>We certainly saw it when Dan Rather tried to influence a Presidential election which documents he knew to be forged.

Nope... In his heart of hearts, he actually believed them... but he's mad you know.

Actually, he said they were... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Actually, he said they were "fake but accurate".

So he knew they were forged, he just didn't care, as long as he could use them to say what he wanted.

You refer to Soros as a "fo... (Below threshold)
JFO:

You refer to Soros as a "foreign born billionaire...." As if he is not a citizen of this country, which he is. This Freudian slip further evidences two traits of the right wing - xenophobia and bigotry.

The author also writes:

"And this spirit of aggression gets fed by a growing segment of the population, an almost mindless echo chamber of hatred and groupthink. We've seen it before, of course, but it's always trouble when it pops up again. Politics is rancorous enough, without giving in to the worst among us."

We see it on almost a daily basis here on Wizbang.

And you have the stones to criticize another blog?

[quote]Today, I want to wri... (Below threshold)
OlafNunya:

[quote]Today, I want to write about madness. It's a pandemic human condition, you know. Throughout human history, there is a tide which periodically washes away sanity and reason, to be replaced for a time by the most irrational assumptions and superstitions..[/quote]
I could have sworn this was going to turn out to be an advertisement for Whizbang Blue...

Unlike you, JFO, I can stan... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Unlike you, JFO, I can stand on reality. I've visted Kos out of curiosity, and there is no way you can honestly tell me or anyone else that Wizbang! sinks - even remotely to that level of paranoia and insanity.

Polipundit makes an effort, but even THEY don;t get that low ...

And here to defend the Am... (Below threshold)
RobLACal:

And here to defend the America's haters is not other than JFO. NO JFO , you are just trying to change the subject away from the fact a

"foreign-born billionaire tried to buy votes in that same election."

This is a fact stupid.

"This Freudian slip further evidences two traits of the right wing - xenophobia and bigotry"

Shut up you racist traitor. Quite repeating your democrat talking points stupid , I know you are too dumb to think for yourself. Also, this is proof of democrats hate and their criminal smearjob. Democrat hate crimes.

"And this spirit of aggression gets fed by a growing segment of the population, an almost mindless echo chamber of hatred and groupthink. We've seen it before, of course, but it's always trouble when it pops up again. Politics is rancorous enough, without giving in to the worst among us."

That is you JFO and your bed wetting budddies. And yes we do see you , almost on a daily basis here on Wizbang.

There's nothing wrong with ... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

There's nothing wrong with pointing out someone was born in another country. Sheesh. What is it with liberals wanting to censor everything that's not in toe with their thinking?

Hey I was born in a foreign... (Below threshold)
epador:

Hey I was born in a foreign country too - while my dad was serving overseas with my Mom in tow. Yikes. Guess I can stop commenting now. Oh wait a minute. I'm not a millionaire. Whew. Must mean JFO doesn't support me after all.

What fucking difference doe... (Below threshold)
matthew:

What fucking difference does it make where Soros was born? The correct answer is of course none, so why bring it up? What has he done that causes you to implicitly question his allegiance to the United States? Is he too Jewish? Too wealthy? Does the existence of enormously successful foreign-born American capitalists cause you to lose the ability to disguise your nativist nincompoopery?

This is going to be a painful year for the GOP and their flying monkeys. I'm going to look into buying bourbon futures.

JFO - "You refer to Sor... (Below threshold)
marc:

JFO - "You refer to Soros as a "foreign born billionaire...." As if he is not a citizen of this country, which he is. This Freudian slip further evidences two traits of the right wing - xenophobia and bigotry."

And you're so full of SH*T your eyes are brown. It was a simple statement of fact nothing more. At least nothing more until you decided on your hateful version of it.

matthew - "What has he ... (Below threshold)
marc:

matthew - "What has he done that causes you to implicitly question his allegiance to the United States?"

How about specializing in weakening or collapsing the currencies of entire nations for his own selfish interests?

You don't think his hand in collapsing the Bank of England didn't hurt U.S. citizens? If not you're sadly devoid of reality.

Soros signed a consent decree in United States District Court, in a Securities and Exchange Commission case involving stock manipulation, and was fined $75,000 by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for holding positions in excess of speculative limits.

Do you think that didn't hurt U.S. citizens that lost cash because of him? If not, again, you're delusional.

I'd wager a great deal of t... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

I'd wager a great deal of the anger/paranoia over yonder has to do with the Kossacks' utter lack of success in electing the candidates they endorse.

They're so obviously more intelligent, rational, and articulate than right-wingers there must have been some insidious plot hatched by neocons to steal/highjack/override the "will of the people". And like any good salesman who's been told "no" - they respond by screaming, shouting insults, and generally going batshit insane.

And now, after Republican ineptitude and corruption handed the Dems control of Congress they still see their political demands unmet or swept aside.

So they're losing it.

He's a capitalist. What did... (Below threshold)
matthew:

He's a capitalist. What did he do that was illegal, or immoral, that investment bankers born in the United States don't do all the time, marc? He's just so good at it that the extent to which he exercised control within the market was deemed unfair. Boo hoo, go back to Russia, call a waaaahmbulance, etc. Guy made a few billion dollars and you have a problem with it.

Anyway, since when is indirectly harming U.S. citizens a bad thing? It's sad, sure, but isn't that an unfortunate corollary of doing well in a free market? He wouldn't be on your radar if not for his seemingly self-contradictory socialist dispositions. A lot of people have made a lot of money by shipping jobs overseas, and yet they're just smart capitalists.

The American right is afraid of rich left-wing businesspeople because they don't fit into childishly simplistic assumptions about ideology and capitalism. Just imagine if Soros was a woman, marc. I'd hate to be your bong.

"He's a capitalist"<p... (Below threshold)
RobLACal:

"He's a capitalist"

I believe you believe that. What he is criminal POS and a liberal Democrat throwing millions of dollars all over the place to get more criminal liberal rats in power. He's a fraud you fool and Un-American , but what do you care you are probably just an idiot democrat. The ability to change the economy of entire Countries for the worse with money he amassed by not so honest means.

That is exactly why he is an evil democrat. "seemingly self-contradictory socialist dispositions"

You mean Communist right ? We use to kill Communist's and now they have made their home in the democrat party. There isn't any American afraid of any left wing traitorous coward.

"childishly" "Boo hoo, go back to Russia, call a waaaahmbulance, etc."

This most accurately describes the democrat party for the last 7 years after they failed to steal the 2000 presidential election. Even more so having now been beaten twice By President Bush. Ouch.

Soros was convicted of <a h... (Below threshold)
Eric F:

Soros was convicted of insider trading.

He's a paragon of morality and one to be listened to.

The amount of ink wasted on... (Below threshold)
matthew:

The amount of ink wasted on the guy leads me to believe that right wing America's problem with Soros has less to do with his business ethics than it does his foreignness and left wing beliefs. There are a lot of shady businesspeople that I don't read much about in the wankosphere--why not find out which politicians/parties they support and cry about it on the internet?

Matthew, you are right, it ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Matthew, you are right, it has alot to do with his left wing beliefs.
For other corrupt business folks, when they interject themselves and their ill-gotten fortunes into the political process, I am sure they will get plenty of attention.

Still, not the most pathetic attempt at changing the argument. Not a very successful though.

He's jus... (Below threshold)
SPQR:


He's just so good at it that the extent to which he exercised control within the market was deemed unfair. Boo hoo, go back to Russia, call a waaaahmbulance, etc. Guy made a few billion dollars and you have a problem with it.

Matthew, you've already forgotten Soros' convictions for insider trading? How droll.

Matthew - "Anyway, sinc... (Below threshold)
marc:

Matthew - "Anyway, since when is indirectly harming U.S. citizens a bad thing?"

Indirectly? How are Americans that had money invested in various Soros schemes designed for HIS benefit that ultimately hurt their bottomline not a direct effect?

More delusions from Matthew - "Just imagine if Soros was a woman, marc. I'd hate to be your bong."

Ah...no. He makes an ugly enough man.

"The amount of ink wasted on the guy leads me to believe that right wing America's problem with Soros has less to do with his business ethics than it does his foreignness and left wing beliefs."

I smell pig sh*t.

"There are a lot of shady businesspeople that I don't read much about in the wankosphere--why not find out which politicians/parties they support and cry about it on the internet?"

Then you don't read much, or in the correct places. Soros gets more ink, so to speck, because no one or damn few, have "invested" nearly 25 million dollars funding MoveOn.org, the Tides Foundation, Open Society Institute, etc...etc all organizations that are so far left they nearly constitute a new universe as they relate to what America has been, is and will be.

Matthew, aren't you being a... (Below threshold)

Matthew, aren't you being a bit contradictory?

You say:

There are a lot of shady businesspeople that I don't read much about in the wankosphere--why not find out which politicians/parties they support and cry about it on the internet?

Yet you begin with:
The amount of ink wasted on the guy leads me to believe that right wing America's problem with Soros has less to do with his business ethics than it does his foreignness and left wing beliefs.

You encourage us to go after people with "shady business ethics" and find out which party they support. Yet, you see it as "wasting ink" on a guy with "shady business ethics" and "left wing beliefs" that supports the Democratic party. Have I got that right?

Furthermore, your childish little terminologies like "wankosphere" and "cry" are duly noted. I notice you're here wanking away with your sophomoric diatribes and elementary command of communication skills. Slinging out a few insults is more important than being contradictory in the process. You offer no more intellect here than my 6 year old granddaughter would.

Furthermore, your childi... (Below threshold)
Heywood:

Furthermore, your childish little terminologies like "wankosphere" and "cry" are duly noted. I notice you're here wanking away with your sophomoric diatribes and elementary command of communication skills. Slinging out a few insults is more important than being contradictory in the process. You offer no more intellect here than my 6 year old granddaughter would.

Oh . . . .ouch! We should be a little more compassionate, let's help Matthew up off the floor after Oyster used him to wipe it up.

Take a few pain relievers Matt (seems like an appropriate shorting of your name) and take some time off, you'll need the rest to recover.

lol

Matt asks: "What fu... (Below threshold)
doubled:


Matt asks: "What fucking difference does it make where Soros was born? The correct answer is of course none, so why bring it up? What has he done that causes you to implicitly question his allegiance to the United States?

I would say funding the JohnHopkins 'study' that was published in Lancet that claimed 650,000 extra deaths CAUSED by AMERICA, and published right before an election would allow me to question his allegiance to America.

All the other reasons stated by others on this thread would also suffice for me as well. He is a financier who looks to make profit from others ruin. At least Haliburton is a publicly held company where anyone with capital can enjoy the profit, but they get slagged endlessly/mindlessly by progressives? Why the difference?

The harm inflicted on Ameri... (Below threshold)
matthew:

The harm inflicted on Americans is indirect, insofar as it stemmed from tectonic shifts in wealth and not targeted, intentional attempts at undermining the American way of life. The harms visited upon autoworkers in Detroit are indirect, right? Who cares anyway, it's splitting hairs.

Would I vote for Soros if he ran for office? No. But I'm less offended by his participation in the political process than I am by corporate stooges from, say, Monsanto or Lockheed Martin, who try to buy influence in order to do Very Bad Things. And since when are conservatives opposed to freedom of political speech? If he wants to write a few million dollars worth of checks to far left organizations, you can either be big babies and cry about it on the internetz, or you can get motivated and try to compete. You're just jealous because the conservative netroots has next to no influence on the Republican party, and no right wing billionaires are throwing money at Pajamas Media. (You know, if you take a step back, ya'll have to seem either really lazy or really useless compared to the Kos Kidz and Obama's army of keeners.)

If Obama or Edwards wins this year, and the sinister motherfuckers who lobby for Big Pharma/Big Guns & Bombs/Big Mercenary go hungry for four or eight years, Soros' money will have been well spent, and he'll be one happy insider trader. Meanwhile, you'll still be crying about him on the internet. This... this is funny.

It's interesting that Matth... (Below threshold)
Eric F:

It's interesting that Matthews posts only go to further support DJ's theory in the original post.




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