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Nasty Politics

The word "nasty" was first used somewhere around 1400 CE, probably derived from the Old French word nastre which meant something bad and strange. But when used in conjunction with politics, the word 'nasty' puts me in mind of the political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Nast was the most famous cartoonist of the 19th Century, and is commonly regarded as the man who affixed to the Republican and Democratic political parties their mascot animals of elephant and donkey, respectively. Nast built his reputation and success on political attacks in his cartoons. His most common theme was to cast a well-known politician as a crook or predatory animal. That's not to say that many of Nast's targets were not the villains he cast, but Nast's cartoons were effective partly because there was no forum for debate, no available recourse for the target - if the public believed the cartoon, you were toast. While many political historians lionize Nast, it should be remembered that he introduced a new dimension to character assassination, legitimizing the caricature of people as inhuman monsters in order to persuade his audience, without any sort of debate on the facts or evidence. In many ways, the rants of Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann simply carry on the tradition of Thomas Nast, the petty venom of Peggy Noonan and George Will carry on the same behavior of an earlier flame-thrower from their party (Nast was an important player in Lincoln's 1864 re-election, and he was particularly savage in his malignment of George McLelland).

To some degree, such artists of malice are an evil we must endure; the same protection of freedom which allows one idiot to dress up as Hitler and stomp down a street on the one hand, allows David Letterman to prove himself a moronic misogynist and thug on a nightly basis on the other. But a line has been crossed when elected officials act in such manner. Without naming names, it is sadly obvious that the political world has degenerated to such a condition. We now have the closest thing to one-party rule with deliberate public disparagement of all disagreement for the first time in two generations. And as long as the public puts up with such behavior, it will remain the new standard, or become even fouler.



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Comments (46)

"We now have the closest th... (Below threshold)
hgg:

"We now have the closest thing to one-party rule with deliberate public disparagement of all disagreement for the first time in two generations."

So, you were asleep from 2001-2007 during a one-part rule? So, you never read or heard dissenters during those years being called traitors?

Just asking.

Seriously asleep, apparentl... (Below threshold)
Second to Nun:

Seriously asleep, apparently.

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Sarah Palin set the standard. No surprise that the right likes to live by the sword... but runs away like children when the favor is returned.

So, you never read... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
So, you never read or heard dissenters during those years being called traitors?

All traitors are dissenters, but not all dissenters are traitors. When dissent gives aid and comfort to the enemy during a time of war that dissent crosses a line beyond which only traitors knowingly go. Take for example the folks who still want to release photos of prisoner abuse even though it serves no purpose, but to endanger the lives of our military men and women.

"artists of malice"... it a... (Below threshold)

"artists of malice"... it all depends on which side of the aisle you're sitting on. If you're on the receiving end, it's nasty, improper and proof that the other side can't argue on the merits, while if you're on the side dishing it out, if you're not openly cheering on the Olbermanns or Coulters, you're definitely not complaining and condemning their tactics

And Nast didn't do anything that hadn't been done since the advent of politics.

And to answer hgg, why don't you point to any posts where you condemned a conservative for going too far? You know, to show that you're not a pot calling the kettle black?

DJ, I understood the one pa... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

DJ, I understood the one party rule comment. Apparently the left has a problem with history and perspective. ww

I do not agree with your eq... (Below threshold)
James H:

I do not agree with your equation of Nast and George Will. Please show me when Nast used the word "piffle."

hgg: "So, you were aslee... (Below threshold)

hgg: "So, you were asleep from 2001-2007 during a one-part rule?"

In the Senate, the Republicans did NOT have a "filibuster-proof" margin...the Dems do now.

In the House, the Republicans had a narrow margin, meaning they could not ram legislation through without at least SOME Dems in almost all cases.

But most important...EVERYTHING that the Republicans did was put under the media "microscope"...and generally put into the worst possible light. NOW the media looks the other way when they're not outright CHEERLEADING!

As for "dissent"...in several very visible instances of late, the media has VASTLY outnumbered "dissenters" at a rally by the LEFT, that they chose to cover. Meanwhile, they ignore the Tea Party (et al) "dissents"...or disdain them when they DO cover them!

nuff said!

Second to Nun, somebody has... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Second to Nun, somebody has to point out the big pieces floating on top.

Just to be fair about it, Air Amerika (and me, Comrade Al Franken), Public Radio, and the broadcast news media, Newsweak, Time, the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, San Francisco Comical, and the Minneapolis Red Star ought to be mentioned in the same paragraph. Add Keith Olberman, Chris Matthews, and CNN's "neutral" reporting. I'll give you Fox News as an offset, including Sean Hannity and Bill O'Really, like a carbon credit.
What's left? Talk radio and a few blogs.

All in all, the right generally has talk radio, and the left has broadcast, newspaper, slick news, television news and hate TV.

I don't remember a time since Jack Kennedy where supposedly serious news media turned into lickspittle cheerleaders like they have since Obama took office. Every time I hear a news reporter get all damp and swoony about Obama this or Michelle that I want to vomit.

If you can't put aside your partisan crap long enough to honestly assess the state of news reporting, you ain't paying attention.

Here's the thing: the media have a first amendment responsibility to be the guardians of the country, and simply put, they have sold out journalism and turned into some sort of adolescent Glee Club. Who's actually asking hard questions these days?

The country is weaker because of it.

the media have a first a... (Below threshold)

the media have a first amendment responsibility to be the guardians of the country,

Huh? there's no responsibility in the 1st amendment. the 1st amendment outlines rights, period. one doesn't lose 1st amendment rights by being an Obama cheerleader any more than Coulter lost her rights by pissing off liberals.

And why the moaning over the media? Whose minds do they change anyway? If only liberals are watching Olbermann, what difference does it make what he says?

Where's the modern-day Nast... (Below threshold)
apb:

Where's the modern-day Nast? We're stuck with non-starters like Toles and Oliphant...

Eh - I guess only thinking people of a certain age would recognize a cartoon of a douchebag with jug-ears attached, and understand it...

"And why the moaning over t... (Below threshold)
sam:

"And why the moaning over the media? Whose minds do they change anyway? If only liberals are watching Olbermann, what difference does it make what he says?"

You forget an important point. Olbermann may only preach to the choir, as do the other outlets. However, they drown out any balanced, impartial coverage. If non-engaged people only hear one side of the story, they don't know if there is another side at all.

Hgg"So, you were a... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Hgg

"So, you were asleep from 2001-2007 during a one-part rule? So, you never read or heard dissenters during those years being called traitors?

Just asking.
"

A. For the most part of 2001-2003 the dems had control of the Senate thanks to Jumpin Jim Jeffords.

B. Show me one quote from Bush, CHeney, Rumsfield, Rice or Bush cabinet member calling an American a traitor.

You were fed stuff by the MSM while you were asleep.


" but runs away like children when the favor is returned.
"

Oh you mean like the cries of racism when someone says something against OBama?


Oh and Second to NUn. I gue... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Oh and Second to NUn. I guess you were asleep during the last 8 years of Bush Derangement syndrome too

I don't remember ... (Below threshold)
jmc:
I don't remember a time since Jack Kennedy where supposedly serious news media turned into lickspittle cheerleaders like they have since Obama took office.

You are looking through filtered glasses. We had to endure: "what a great leader", Bush was after 9-11, from virtually everyhwhere. Hell even, Chris Matthews (The one you consider uber left-wing) was talking incessentatly, in glowing terms, about how "Manly" president Bush was as he landed on the aircraft carrier to proclaim the end of combat operations in Iraq. Instead, of saying hey, this photo-op is a tad premature. Basically, the party out of power always seems to feel screwed by the press. We did. But go to a right-wing blog like this one and the press is so left wing. Go to a left-wing blog and you'll hear how the corporate press protect their Republican constitutents.

It would be nice if people saw without their idelogical goggles on, but I might as well pray for world peace. Just as likely to get that.

jmc lies, spews and then wi... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

jmc lies, spews and then wishes someone else would take off their "idelogical goggles".

Now that's irony.

You know you're on the righ... (Below threshold)
max:

You know you're on the right track when DJ's only response is to call you a liar. Which seems to happen alot, now that I think of it.

Wow, max is wrong twice in ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Wow, max is wrong twice in one comment. First off, I don't call people liars very often at all .. only when they are lying, of course, and only when it addresses the question.

The lie, of course, is that Matthews or any of those leftist spit-bulls ever complimented Bush after the start of the War in Iraq. If I am wrong, you should have no trouble finding the proof that it happened. Since you are lying, we may expect a violent change of subject and bitter denunciation in 3 ... 2...

I haven't stopped laughing ... (Below threshold)
Second to Nun:

I haven't stopped laughing yet. Drummond writes about the nastiness in politics then he spews his own venom at at the commenters who dare speak to the facts.

http://mediamatters.org/columns/200812190012

In 2005, for example, Matthews said of Bush: "I like him. Everybody sort of likes the president, except for the real whack-jobs, maybe on the left -- I mean -- like him personally." At the time the "real whack-jobs" who disliked Bush constituted a majority of the American public. The following year, Matthews called Bush "a wise man ... almost Atticus Finch."

Matthews' praise for Bush was at its most effusive when Bush gave his "Mission Accomplished" speech in 2003. Praising Bush's "amazing display of leadership," Matthews gushed:

He won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics. ... He's like Eisenhower. He looks great in a military uniform. He looks great in that cowboy costume he wears when he goes West. I remember him standing at that fence with Colin Powell. Was [that] the best picture in the 2000 campaign? ... The president's performance tonight, redolent of the best of Reagan ... He looks for real. What is it about the commander in chief role, the hat that he does wear, that makes him -- I mean, he seems like -- he didn't fight in a war, but he looks like he does. ... Look at this guy!

Just as Max said.

And venom and spew from Drummond, just as Drummond said.

jmc lies, spews a... (Below threshold)
jmc:
jmc lies, spews and then wishes someone else would take off their "idelogical goggles".

Now that's irony.

Wanna bet? How about I'll post a link, with video, if it shows Bush being called "Manly" and shows mathews speaking glowingly of Bush you'll admit you are an idiot who called someone a liar without checking the facts? Which of course would make you a liar. Oh, the irony.

The quote you used to try t... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

The quote you used to try to spin, in itself spews venom at Bush.

Yep, you miss the irony.

DJ's post is spot on when i... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

DJ's post is spot on when it comes to artists of malice misogynist thugs. They are also crooks that lurk in the shadows within the entertainment industry. An example would be how Michael Jackson's message of peace was twisted and manipulated into something else. At two minutes and forty seconds into this video, you will get an idea of what can corrupt a musician's message of peace and love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MufrxpVovj4 And, of course, there is more than mere speculation that Jackson was murdered for his publishing rights. Yep, it was all about the money.

The quote you use... (Below threshold)
jmc:
The quote you used to try to spin, in itself spews venom at Bush.

Yep, you miss the irony.


My ass. Many a Mathews quote was glowing:

- "We're proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who's physical." [5/1/03]

- "Sometimes it glimmers with this man, our president, that kind of sunny nobility." [10/25/05]

- "I like him. Everybody sort of likes the president, except for the real whack-jobs, maybe on the left." [11/28/05]

- "A little bit of Lincoln there, I think," referring to Bush finally admitting that telling Iraqi insurgents to "bring it on" in 2003 "sent the wrong signal to people." [5/25/06]

The only Irony is yuour idiocy. Next Time you Call Someone a liar better have some proof if you don't want to look like a bufoon.

Shorter DJ: "I'LL decide wh... (Below threshold)
max:

Shorter DJ: "I'LL decide what Chris Matthews REALLY means, thank you very much."


What an ultra-maroon.

A huge blockquote with a fe... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

A huge blockquote with a few lines to accompany it. Just as max said? Jake, is that you?!

- "I like him. Ev... (Below threshold)
jmc:
- "I like him. Everybody sort of likes the president, except for the real whack-jobs, maybe on the left." [11/28/05]

Wow, that is harsh DJ! And you are a Liar. The difference between when I call you one, is that I prove it.

Context, jmc. But then you... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Context, jmc. But then you never were strong in that area.

Context, jmc. But... (Below threshold)
jmc:
Context, jmc. But then you never were strong in that area.

Pleeeeeaase. Do enlighten us DJ. explain the context that makes: "I like him. Everybody sort of likes the president, except for the real whack-jobs, maybe on the left" an insult.
depp=true

I smelled a trick from our ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

I smelled a trick from our lefty friends, so I looked up their IP.

"Max" posts from IP address 209.xxx.xxx.87 (partly removed to protect privacy)

Waddayaknow, so does "jmc".

Says something when you fall back on a sock puppet, using a leftist website for some out-of-context support to pretend you have a clue.

Thanks for playing, max/jmc/loser

Well, how about that? jmc/... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Well, how about that? jmc/max/hacker, you're a bigger jerk/crook than I thought you were. Small world, eh? And boy, does that ip address look familiar.

Looks like DJ, is lying aga... (Below threshold)
jmc:

Looks like DJ, is lying again. You really are a lying sack of shit.

I smelled a trick from our lefty friends, so I looked up their IP.

Better look again, because I have no idea, who max is. and Nice dodge On Chris Mathews lie btw.


Waddayaknow, so does "jmc".

Translation: I got my ass handed to me on my Lie about Mathews Better change the subject with another lie. quick.

Says something when you fall back on a sock puppet, using a leftist website for some out-of-context support to pretend you have a clue.

Translation: You are right JMC I can't find a context that makes "I Like the President" and insult. I'll lie some more instead.


Thanks for playing, max/jmc/loser


The only loser is your pathetic lying ass.
depp=true

Unlike your try with the qu... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Unlike your try with the quote, there is no context to IP addresses; one address being used by someone pretending to be two people and that's a fact

You're busted and you know it.

Say bye-bye to any new posts here under your IP.

New york is a hell of a tow... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

New york is a hell of a town. But then again, so are Marina Del Rey, various parts of Virginia and Michigan. Yeah, you keep up with your "liar" shtick and see how far it gets you, jmc, IT wizard. As I was telling "max" I just report IP addresses and let the proper authorities take care of it. You pinky and the brain, you. "Your firewall is inspecting those packets. You're not getting ip addresses." Jerk!

jmc, are you psycho or some... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

jmc, are you psycho or something? In the words of another commenter here, "Don't you ever shut up?"

"The only address you have ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"The only address you have will be your own."

I have a close friend who is highly skilled in computers, installation, and firewalls. He feels sorry for your IT department. How do you keep coming back here? Are you at work using different computers? God, you're a psycho!

JMC"It would be ni... (Below threshold)
retired military:

JMC

"It would be nice if people saw without their idelogical goggles on, but I might as well pray for world peace"

You mean like this

"You are looking through filtered glasses. We had to endure: "what a great leader", Bush was after 9-11, from virtually everyhwhere"

Or did you sleep through (as your fellow liberals put it) all the "My pet goat" talk, Cheney cowering in some unknown location talk and the whole slew of other crap the left threw out.

All proxies and impostors a... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

All proxies and impostors aside, DJ is spot on.

DJ"You're busted a... (Below threshold)
retired military:

DJ

"You're busted and you know it.

Say bye-bye to any new posts here under your IP.
"

May I be the first to say thank you for sending JMC packing to pick his toenails.

"Well your dumb ass wouldn'... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"Well your dumb ass wouldn't know a proxy from an imposter."

Well, jmc. You claimed you used to study logic and you work now in an IT department. The very absence of your acumen in both areas make you the perfect example of an impostor. Also, if you visit a website or send packets to someone else's computer, most certainly is the correct firewall pick up the IP address. I serious doubts about your credentials if you don't know something that simple.

Go way, jmc. You're obsess... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Go way, jmc. You're obsession and insanity are showing.

No rage at all. But thanks... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

No rage at all. But thanks for remembering that I have cancer, it means so much to know that you hate as badly as you think.

"Pleasse report the IP to t... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"Pleasse report the IP to the police."

jmc, you're stupidity is trickling down. You don't even know how to report an ip address.

For those keeping score at ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

For those keeping score at home, jmc/max/mynameisnobody keeps trying to post, apparently hoping to salvage some bizarre satisfaction in a futile effort to rant.

A few responses from the sane readers may therefore pop up, while fake-boy's posts are, as promised, being deleted excepting the early ones which set the stage.

That's what happens when yo... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

That's what happens when you are a nomad like jmc that claims to be logical. Sooner or later you're going to blow a gasket.

Is it me or are the liberal... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Is it me or are the liberals on the board exceptionally touchy the last couple of days.

Bruce Henry yesterday, JMC today.

Who will it be tomorrow ?

Drugs are bad, jmc. So is ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Drugs are bad, jmc. So is your criminal and illogical mind.

jmc, don't tell us about ho... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

jmc, don't tell us about how you screw up because you type so fast. We don't need the cringe factor knowing you work with computers.




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