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Bitter Clingers

Over at Chicago Boys, Shannon Love posits an interesting theory to explain the left's visceral, obsessive hatred of Sarah Palin:

Since they have few meritorious indicators of a personal and group claim to status remaining, leftists are forced to fall back on the same standards employed by the European upper classes. They try to restrict status not by merit but by conformity to their own life pattern. They demand that people go to the right elitist schools. They demand that people live in certain communities. They demand that people have the right recreational interests. They demand that people enjoy uniform kinds of art and music. They demand that people have the proper modes of speech, accent and allusion. They demand that people have the right religious beliefs. And so on.

On this basis Palin is a nightmare: She went to a state college. She lives in the "backwoods". She likes hunting, fishing and sports. She likes country music and representational art. She doesn't have the right accent. She doesn't dress appropriately. She's a Pentecostal instead of atheist, Unitarian, Episcopalian, etc.

... That is why leftists see Palin as a genuine and significant threat of unusual magnitude. In the emotional thinking of leftists, she is a personal threat to everything each individual leftist has attained in life. They feel a sincere, visceral sense of danger about her because she attacks the very core of their egos. They feel the same hatred towards Palin that the European upper classes felt towards the upstart middle-class. They feel the same hatred that poor whites felt towards non-whites. They feel that way for the same reasons. If she succeeds, worse, if she is right, then they become nobodies.

The loathing that progressive elitists feel toward Sarah Palin is almost axiomatic, and practically a requirement for admission to their ranks. And Love's explanation must be painful for them to read, because it absolutely nails the depths to which liberals bitterly and righteously cling to their own brand of secularist-Marxist-postmodern fundamentalism.

Love's theory may also explain the persistent belief among liberals that they possess a certain innate purity or superiority that only the uninitiated fail to understand. Witness Michael Moore's initial puzzlement over the fact that the 9/11 terrorists attacked New York City, a bastion of liberalism that is predominately Democrat and that overwhelmingly voted for Al Gore during the 2000 presidential election; in other words, a holy people who had done nothing to deserve the wrath of Osama bin Laden.

Unfortunately for our pedigreed elites, the performance of their "best and brightest" in governmental roles -- as Congressional representatives, agency chiefs, "czars," advisers, and the Presidency -- has been underwhelming. And as Love accurately observes, most of the governmental policies championed by progressives during the past 40 years have ended in failure. The past two years have been no exception.

Will the Democrats' embarrassing failures under President Obama precipitate even nastier attacks against Sarah Palin, Tea Party supporters, and anyone else deemed by progressive elitists to be culturally inferior? Perhaps, but I don't see how such attacks can be politically advantageous, because they will only serve to further alienate an already disenchanted electorate.


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Comments (53)

I work with a lot of women ... (Below threshold)
David S:

I work with a lot of women in my office. Without exception, the ones who have lost their looks at Sarah's age, or the one's who have an unhappy family life, or those who are not married, hate Palin viscerally. I've never heard such knee-jerk negative reactions anytime her name is mentioned. I think the basis for all the antipathy is simply resentment and jealousy. Her political beliefs have little to do with anything.

It's much simpler than all ... (Below threshold)
the Dane of your existence:

It's much simpler than all of that. She's an idiot, and the thought of that idiot being in a position of real power is frightening.

And that's before we knew she was quitter who cuts and runs every time life gets difficult.

And we learned she's a quitter before we learned that she's now making over $10 million this year from her fear mongering and pointy-head pontificating. In other words, she's cashing in.

Still, she's the great last chance, in my view. The way things are going now the only way we'll see a Democrat in the White House in 2013 is if Sarah Palin is on the GOP ticket in 2012.

I know speaking ill of Mrs. Palin only makes the chattering class want her more. You think we don't realize that?

She's an idiot, and the ... (Below threshold)

She's an idiot, and the thought of that idiot being in a position of real power is frightening.

Never stopped you with Biden. It's difficult to take you seriously when you claim you don't want an idiot in a position of real power after you voted for one.

You think we don't realize that?

Yes, actually, I think your side doesn't realize that. You might, Dane, because you spend your worthless time trolling a right-wing blog, but most of you mindless leftist drones don't.

Have to commend y... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

Have to commend you, Dane--most people can labor a lifetime and not display that level of stupidity. Your mom must be SO proud.

I love the fear that the left displays over this woman. They cannot -or will not--realize that she resonates with with ordinary Americans because of who she is, and what she is.

This woman, and her male counterparts are the REAL Americans--more examples of what makes this the most exceptional country on the planet.

So stew in your venom, Dane you haven't the intellectual chops to even begin to understand Sarah and the country she so eloquently espouses.

But DO remember November.

And Dane steals his mommy's... (Below threshold)
Sky Captain:

And Dane steals his mommy's keyboard and proves once again that his obnoxious personality brings damn little to the thread.

There is something about Sarah Palin that scares the liberals shitless.
I'm not sure exactly what it is.

If liberals are soooo sure Sarah Palin is "unqualified" or "a danger", then how can they not be petrified about Obama? Oh, that's right - to be aware of that, liberals would have to have a function brain cell.

Which Dane helpfully demonstrates on a regular basis that isn't the case.

"Will the Democrats' embarr... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Will the Democrats' embarrassing failures under President Obama precipitate even nastier attacks....?"

As the election gets closer, you can bank on it. Pretty hard to run on your 'accomplishments' when they've all been shown to be failures.

As to the idiot, Dane. "She's stupid". Oh, and Barry is a font of wisdom? Take away his prepared speeches (by someone else), pull them from the teleprompter, and you get "Er...ah...umm....er....ah...a....er..."

There is something about... (Below threshold)

There is something about Sarah Palin that scares the liberals shitless.
I'm not sure exactly what it is.

Understand, Sky Captain, that what the left loves more than anything else is POWER. Right now they have it, and they see it slipping away. So they lash out with sheer hatred at anyone on the right who they see becoming popular.

Personally, I'm not a Palin fan, but I do love the fits she causes in party hacks like Dane.

Dane,So according ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Dane,

So according to you and the left Palin is an idiot. Yet she has actually governed a state. She has reformed state commissions. She has had a successful career.

And Barry has done what? Let's see...He was President of the Harvard Law Review, The first to never write a single article. He was placed on the Univ. of Chicago faculty as a lecturer (against the wishes of the department), and never published a single article (quite an accomplishment for a university 'professor' at a top rank university). He ran a charitable foundation and spent tens of millions on improving Chicago schools and achieved no measurable effect. He managed to get elected to the state senate and rarely voted, but when he did managed to be the most left wing in the body. Same for the US Senate. He has lead this nation into the ditch with an inept foreign policy and an even worse domestic one.

Tell you what I'm thinking: If he does any more even the libs will start thinking that Palin is a better choice.

There is something about... (Below threshold)
jim m:

There is something about Sarah Palin that scares the liberals shitless.
I'm not sure exactly what it is.

That's easy. She belongs to a victim group (women) and therefore she must toe the line for all the left's victim group ideology. She made her own way and didn't get all the victimhood handouts that the left wants to dispense.

In short she is living evidence that the left's use of victim groups and keeping them in poverty is nothing more than a tool to keep people ignorant and oppressed. People following the left's route end up right where they began. People like Palin who make heir own way can do anything they aspire to.

That makes her dangerous.

I think the explanation of ... (Below threshold)
Eric:

I think the explanation of why the Left hates her so much is simple. It is the same reason black Conservatives are called Uncle Toms. People hate apostates. Whether it is Sarah Palin, Clarence Thomas or Condaleeza Rice, they are "supposed to be" on the Left. The fact that they aren't makes them traitors. So there must be some other explanation to rationalize their heresy. Such as they are idiots, fools, tools, or just plain evil. The normal rules of discourse don't apply. The Left has no problem treating women like Palin to the most mysonogistic talk. Or subjecting Clarence Thomas and Condi Rice to racist talk.

So according to yo... (Below threshold)
the Dane of your existence:
So according to you and the left Palin is an idiot. Yet she has actually governed a state. She has reformed state commissions. She has had a successful career.

She didn't even finish the term she signed up for.

She quit.

On the right, quitting half way through the job is "successful".

Nobody else but the right would come up with something that moronic. She quit, and she's called a "success." But that's why we on the left are so happy Palin is as popular as she is.

Oh wait, I forgot. She isn't popular. Her popularity has plummeted since the Nov. 08 election.

The Huffington Post reports of a Vanity Fair/60 minutes poll which indicates that 59% of Americans don't believe that Palin would make a suitable president, compared to 26% who think that she would.

Run her. I dare you.

No, I'll pay you. Please run her. Please.

Dane- no DailyKos poll to q... (Below threshold)
zaugg:

Dane- no DailyKos poll to quote? LOL at your ignorance.

Eric, Of all the theories ... (Below threshold)
Sue:

Eric, Of all the theories I think yours is the one that is correct. Liberals can't stand it if someone has a different opinion than they do. If that someone has power and others listen to her/him then they go batshi* crazy.

It's the same reason they hate Michelle Bachman.

Dane, you confirm all the negative stereotypes of liberals there is every time you comment here. You're not helping your side any. Keep it up though, at least it's entertaining.

Interesting theory here. I... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Interesting theory here. It's the "ordinary American" vs the "elite" theme again. Yay, populism. If you guys really think that everyone who disagrees with you (leftists, liberals, etc) are just a bunch of filthy elites, then you need to pay a little more attention to reality.

On this basis Palin is a nightmare: She went to a state college. She lives in the "backwoods". She likes hunting, fishing and sports. She likes country music and representational art.

Hmmm. I went to a state college. I think fishing (ocean or river) is great. I love baseball and have my whole life. I like country music (older stuff mostly). And I really like the realism of people like Hopper and Sheeler. And I am pretty sure that my bank account precludes my inclusion in the "social elite" category.

That said, I'm no fan of Palin. This has nothing to do with her social class, where she comes from, how she talks, or the fact that she likes hunting and fishing. I'm not scared of her by any means, and I certainly don't hate her. I've listened to her speeches, seen her in interviews, read through some of her books. I'm not impressed, period. Read into this what you wish.

I think some of you guys are taking Palin's populism a little too far, personally. There are plenty of people on the "liberal" side who are just average working class Americans. They just happen to disagree with some of you about certain issues. Might be a good idea to keep that in mind when you go around repeating all of this nonsense about the supposed "liberal elite", as if that's all that exist. Yes, there are indeed plenty of elite, snobby politicians, but don't kid yourselves and pretend that they only walk on one side of the political aisle.

"Right now they have it,... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"Right now they have it, and they see it slipping away. So they lash out with sheer hatred at anyone on the right who they see becoming popular."

That it's slipping because of their own actions is incomprehensible to them, Otto. They got the power, and so it should be theirs from here on in no matter what they do. How DARE the peons revolt!

"On the right, quitting half way through the job is "successful"."

Let's see what Obama does, Dane. I think he's just looking for an excuse to cut and run, if he can save face when he does so. Being a President is HARD, and it's the first difficult thing he's ever done in his life - the poor sap. If someone offered him something 'better', he'd bail in a heartbeat.

Maybe we should set up an island in the Pacific, declare him Emperor of the Planet, and put his ass out there with once a week air service, once a month ship service and a fiber connection to the rest of the world. (Darn shame it's down about 3/4ths of the time...)

Maybe Johnston Atoll would do. We'd have to put a palace and support structure in place, but if we contract out to Disney to do the Palace we could get something just right for Obama. And it'd be a hell of a lot cheaper than having him screw around for the next couple of years.

Palin - she could have stayed in office and continued defending herself against bogus lawsuits, each one very costly in time and money, reducing her effectiveness as governer and imperiling her family financially. But then - it wasn't enough that she wasn't the VP, it would have been best if she'd been completely ruined so nobody would DARE try to break into the Washington political cliques again, right?

Guess you know about all that cliquey crap, don't ya Dane? Always on the outside, never being good enough, never having a chance - and then Palin comes along and proves all that cliquey crap to be worthless and not worth your time to try to break into it.

Of COURSE you hate her, Dane. She's effective and accomplished. You're not.

Ryan A -

Might be a good idea to keep that in mind when you go around repeating all of this nonsense about the supposed "liberal elite", as if that's all that exist. Yes, there are indeed plenty of elite, snobby politicians, but don't kid yourselves and pretend that they only walk on one side of the political aisle.

Well, I'm not thinking they're only on one side, but I'm looking at the ones that are causing the most problems and going "Okay - we'll take care of these first, and see if the rest of them understand the lesson."

I could be wrong on this - but I think the elite left have far more control of the Dems than the elite right have on the Repubs. Telling the assholes to take a hike is always a possibility, but the problem with the left (as I see it, I understand you might see things differently) is that they're so determined to do what they think is good for you that they will not listen to any differing opinions. (See AGW, greenhouse gasses, forcing CFLs over incandescents, health care and the like.) They won't let us have a choice, because they know we're going to decide wrong - so they'll just make the choice for us, pat our pointy little heads, and set us up for a thourough screwing by the Law of Unintended Consequences.

(And honestly? I'm getting a bit tired of that.)

Dane of your existence...WO... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Dane of your existence...WOW! Cognitive dissonance of the 1st water!

"She didn't even finish the term she signed up for. She quit. On the right, quitting half way through the job is "successful".
Nobody else but the right would come up with something that moronic. She quit, and she's called a "success
"."

Gee, Dane...how much of Barry's term as U.S. Senator did HE complete? 1/3...technically. In reality he began running for President the instant he was elected Senator.

She has run a city, a company and a State as an Executive of all three. SUCCESSFULLY.

If Barry ran ANYTHING it was numbers for the Chicago Mob...but I don't think he ever even worked THAT hard.

Obammy is the freaking President...and the biggest LOSER in history. When your attempting to pleasure yourself later while looking at his picture consider that.

Liberals can't sta... (Below threshold)
ryan a:
Liberals can't stand it if someone has a different opinion than they do.

I respectfully disagree.

Now what, Sue?

"If you guys really think t... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"If you guys really think that everyone who disagrees with you (leftists, liberals, etc) are just a bunch of filthy elites, then you need to pay a little more attention to reality."

Oh, and would that be like your Obamassiah saying things about 'bitter clingers to their guns and bibles'? And the constant liberal reference to 'fly-over land'...like it and the people there do not exist?

just Dane-"The ... (Below threshold)
914:

just Dane-

"The Huffington Post reports of a Vanity Fair/60 minutes poll which indicates that 59% of Americans don't believe that Palin would make a suitable president, compared to 26% who think that she would."

So Dane seeks refuge in a 3rd hand heresay lib poll to to lessen bedtime "accidents" that are becoming more numerous as November approache's.


Dont fret dane, you can still watch Barney when Barrys a lame duck.

ryan a,The leftists ... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

ryan a,
The leftists who call the shots, create the narrative, set policy, etc. are considered the elites. You know, the political leaders, the liberal talking heads, etc. I believe they do indeed have this very visceral antipathy toward Ms Palin. I did not get from this post that everyone who dislikes Ms Palin is considered a member of the elite. Your resume suggests you are not a member of the elite and you simply do not take to Ms Palin. I respect that. I have right of center friends who are not enamored of Ms Palin but they do not demonstrate their feelings with red-faced, spittle showering invective and condescending distain. For some reason the people who should be least threatened by her because of their standing react with the greatest outpouring of loathing. They say she is irrelevant yet they cannot turn away. All of us have people we "don't take to" but if we reacted to the mention of those people the way the elites react to Palin, we would be serious candidates for therapy.

JLawson,I... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

JLawson,

I could be wrong on this - but I think the elite left have far more control of the Dems than the elite right have on the Repubs.

I guess I tend to think that plenty of elites have their hands in the pie when it comes to both sides (and this includes the power and influence of the corporate world). I mean, plenty of powerful people contribute to both parties just to hedge their bets.

But then again, maybe I'm just too cynical about politics in general.

...but the problem with the left (as I see it, I understand you might see things differently) is that they're so determined to do what they think is good for you that they will not listen to any differing opinions. (See AGW, greenhouse gasses, forcing CFLs over incandescents, health care and the like.

All good points about the left shoving its agenda down the throats of the public. As for health care, I personally think it's a good idea to develop some sort of national health care, but AT THE SAME TIME, I think it's ridiculous to force people to take part. So ya, I think there are plenty of things that the current admin is doing all wrong.

That said, in my view the right just as willing to tell us all what's "good for us," they just force DIFFERENT agendas. The foreign policy of the last admin is a case in point. The US took a certain stance about international relations, basically, because the president and the government decided it was "good for the American people." The details are different, but I fail to see how the Republicans are any less willing to tell people how to live their lives.

Oh, and would that... (Below threshold)
ryan a:
Oh, and would that be like your Obamassiah saying things about 'bitter clingers to their guns and bibles'? And the constant liberal reference to 'fly-over land'...like it and the people there do not exist?

Of course they exist, GarandFan. My point is that it might not be the best idea to base all of your opinions about "liberals" on Obama, which is about as accurate as basing all of your views about conservatives on, say, Dick Cheney. Neither necessarily represents the views/ideals of the whole, despite the political positions they hold/held.

There's a lot in the middle. That's my point.

They say she is ir... (Below threshold)
ryan a:
They say she is irrelevant yet they cannot turn away. All of us have people we "don't take to" but if we reacted to the mention of those people the way the elites react to Palin, we would be serious candidates for therapy.

I guess not of it really surprises me. Pundits and politicians freak out and overreact all the time. I mean, look at how people reacted to anything and everything that Bush did for eight years! And, sorry, but plenty of conservatives have the kind of visceral reaction to Obama that some liberals have to Palin.

Who knows? It's a circus, and we're all just trying to find the exit row before the tent comes crashing down.

#23 Should read:"I... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

#23 Should read:

"I guess NONE of it really surprises me."

"The details are differe... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"The details are different, but I fail to see how the Republicans are any less willing to tell people how to live their lives."

Well, one thing about our foreign policy (as I see it) is that we think that stability is a good thing and that dictatorships aren't good for stability. But time will tell whether the foreign policy of Obama or Bush was better. I do think it telling, however, that the only folks who were looking to reinstitute a draft during the Bush administration were the Democrats. (Most likely just a political ploy, not meant seriously.)

Overall, I think a strong "Don't fuck with us, we won't fuck with you" attitude goes down better in the world community than a weak "We apologize for even existing so please don't mess with us" one.

In most aspects of personal lives, the Repubs don't really care. Want to smoke? Drink? (Shrug.) Drugs - I'm iffy on. That could go either way, Prohibition failed on alcohol, looks like it's failing with other drugs, but the potential for damage is (I think) worse than for alcohol so it's iffy. Alcohol's a known quantity for general consumption - but the current stuff (heroin, crack, crystal meth and so on) isn't. Pot? If you've ever read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy I think it's reminiscent of the description of Earth in the guide - "Mostly Harmless". (Of course, that was all that was in the Guide about Earth - so many planets, so little space that the details get a bit on the sketchy side for the backwater planets...) Mostly harmless - but 'Mostly' isn't the same as 'Completely'.

Sex? Way I look at it, what two (or more) consenting critters do behind closed doors is their own business. It's when you force me care or condone behavior that it starts to get offensive. (Look, I don't CARE you really, really love that sheep, and it's reciprocated - I don't want to watch, dammit! None of my business at all!)

Abortion? Don't like it - haven't thought it a good thing since I held my 15 minute old son in my arms - but I think it should be a legal choice. Just because I don't like something doesn't mean it should be illegal. (Like smoking.)

Re health care - there were cheaper ways to get coverage for the uninsured, with far fewer side effects. Heck, just give folks on unemployment a Health Care Debit card with $1000 on it that could only be used for doctor visits and prescriptions. Refill the thing annually until the IRS reports they're making $30k or more, at which point it's no longer topped off. If there's a condition that needs long-term care, then different arrangements could be made - as they are anyway now. No need to tear down a working system for most... but then I don't think it was so much about providing care as providing the illusion of caring and the creation of a few bureaucracies that could be passed out as perqs to appropriate 'heads'.

Just because something CAN be done by politicians doesn't mean it MUST be done. Unfortunately, I think we're past a point where the essential legislation to keep the government functioning more or less properly is complete - and now pretty much every politician is hitting a 'I've got to do something to justify my existence' stage, whether the stuff has to be done or not.

Cynical? Guess so - but it's hard to understand why we need a full-time Congress any more.

On the right, quitting h... (Below threshold)
cirby:

On the right, quitting half way through the job is "successful".

It's funny how so many people have forgotten what was happening about the time she resigned. A number of baseless complaints had been filed against Palin by some lefties, and due to an unfortunate bit of Alaska law, she had to spend her own money to fight the charges. The Palin family didn't have the money, and resigning was the easiest way to get out from under those complaints without heading into bankruptcy.

But that's a liberal "success" for you: abuse the system, do what you can to ruin someone who has done no actual wrong, then spend the rest of your life telling people how horrible they are for taking the rational way out.

First of all, anyone who ma... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

First of all, anyone who makes a reference to the Hitchhiker's Guide is okay in my book...

"Well, one thing about our foreign policy (as I see it) is that we think that stability is a good thing and that dictatorships aren't good for stability.'

Well, considering how the US was willing to placate certain folks like Somoza, Pinochet, the Shah of Iran, and other strongmen in the past, I'll be glad if the US has indeed learned this lesson.

"But time will tell whether the foreign policy of Obama or Bush was better."

Just to make myself clear, I'm not a big fan of Obama in this regard either. He talks a different game, but he's pretty much kept a lot of the same things in place. Obama's shtick is highly rhetorical (all talk, that one).

"Overall, I think a strong 'Don't fuck with us, we won't fuck with you' attitude goes down better in the world community than a weak 'We apologize for even existing so please don't mess with us' one."

I'm basically opposed to the foreign policy of the neoconservative/PNAC types--those who feel that the US needs to go around asserting its place in the world by demonstrating its military force. I'd rather see us use our military wisely, and gain influence through other means (like supporting democratic movements even when they might not be economically beneficial to the US in the short term).

"In most aspects of personal lives, the Repubs don't really care."

SOME Republicans, yes. But then you have the social conservatives who are quite willing and ready to dictate how people should live. You take a pretty libertarian position when it comes to the social issues. But the Republican party has another side that takes a very different approach--they seem quite unwilling to accept the fact that the US is a pretty diverse nation.

"Re health care - there were cheaper ways to get coverage for the uninsured, with far fewer side effects."

Agreed. I think the health care legislation turned into yet another massive beast. I've always like the idea of having local doctors/clinics where you pay a reasonable price for everyday issues, and then something like the "major medical" insurance that used to exist. I don't think I should have to go through an insurance company every time I sprain my ankle, you know? Why not just go to local doctors for this sort of thing? But maybe I'm in lala land on this one.

"Unfortunately, I think we're past a point where the essential legislation to keep the government functioning more or less properly is complete - and now pretty much every politician is hitting a 'I've got to do something to justify my existence' stage, whether the stuff has to be done or not.'"

Ya, that's when people start building more pyramids and temples just to make it look like they're DOING SOMETHING. You nailed it here. Maybe we just need these bastards to step aside.

"Cynical? Guess so - but it's hard to understand why we need a full-time Congress any more."

Well, who else is going to find a way to waste the $6.25 that's coming to me in social security when I'm 92?

"But then you have the s... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"But then you have the social conservatives who are quite willing and ready to dictate how people should live."

I must be hanging with the wrong crowd. I really don't see folks on the right trying to force their opinons on people. I do see the press giving loads of face time to people on the left (Hey, Al! How's that AGW scam playing for you these days?) or covering idiotic celebs who think because they're making millions through their talent they have some great understanding how everyone should live. (One square of toilet paper per ...? Um, pardon me if I don't shake your hand, 'k?)

If you could point me towards conservatives who want to dictate - (not necessarily who are anti-abortion, I'm anti-abortion but pro-choice, if that makes any sense... or who are anti-gay marriage which I think is becoming more culturally accepted and thus their influence is waning fast...) then it'd be interesting to check them out to see what their stances are. What are they trying to force on people, and why do they think it's justified?

I'm willing to be tolerant of other people's lifestyles and choices. It's when they attempt to force them on me that I get a bit ticked off.

Re foreign policy - there's not been an administration yet in the 20th Century that didn't screw something up big-time. And that goes for other countries as well. But in all fairness, there's never been a particular set of geopolitical and geofinancial conditions like the present ones - and we're finding that what kind of worked in the past (establishing strong-man dictatorships to provide stability) doesn't work as well as other ways (establishing governments which have a rule of law as their foundation, as the Brits did in former colonies) so we're kind of stumbling along here.

Another hundred years or so and we might have this 'worldwide technological civilization' thing kind of figured out, if we don't collapse first.

Re SS... don't really know what to tell you. I think I'm a good bit closer to retirement than you are, and I'll be surprised to see it. It was there for my folks, who needed it as a supplement - but I don't think it'll be there for the little guy in anything but a drastically shrunken format. I'm not even too sure about the safety of 401ks or Roth IRAs - it's too much money that's too tempting for too many politicians. At this point, about all I can hope for is that Dems or Republicans don't screw up the economy to the point they feel justified in taking it. Because pensions from business and the like just aren't there...

Interesting times, aren't they? Don't you wish you could get a half-hour with a history book from 2110 that covers the first half of the 21st Century?

Ryan a:So let's se... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Ryan a:

So let's see, you hold a lot in common with Palin. Your rant in that regard proves absolutely nothing to counter the premise of the post. Since you and Sarah have so much in common why don't YOU try running with that elite crowd and see how well accepted YOU are. Then come back and report to us how they embraced you and allowed you into their inner circle. Until then, you've proven nothing.

The only acceptance you'll get from them will be due to the fact that you may share an ideology and then they'll only see you as another poor sap they can pity or use as a tool.

COMING IN 2012!!Re... (Below threshold)
Olsoljer:

COMING IN 2012!!

Republican Ticket

Sarah Palin - President

Joe Arpaio - Vice President

Clean up America
Clean out Congress

What a novel idea

If you could point... (Below threshold)
ryan a:
If you could point me towards conservatives who want to dictate...
Well, you kinda disqualified the two examples that are the most politically salient these days. Abortion and gay marriage are two issues in which CERTAIN social conservatives are absolutely willing to legislate social behavior (tell people what to do with their lives).

A couple other related examples would be those who periodically try to pass legislation to enforce an official language, and those who try to force a specific form of creationism into high school science classrooms. As for the latter example, I understand why people feel strongly about this issue, but it makes no sense to me to try to take a certain brand of Biblical literalism and jam it into science classrooms with a thin layer of a science-y overlaid on top. I think there are other solutions possible to deal with this particular issue.

My main point, again, is just that there are plenty of conservatives who are willing to tell people how to live--they just support different ways of doing so. But I agree with you that the kind of libertarian take on social issues is really common among conservatives.

I'm willing to be tolerant of other people's lifestyles and choices. It's when they attempt to force them on me that I get a bit ticked off.

Agreed.

But in all fairness, there's never been a particular set of geopolitical and geofinancial conditions like the present ones - and we're finding that what kind of worked in the past (establishing strong-man dictatorships to provide stability) doesn't work as well as other ways (establishing governments which have a rule of law as their foundation, as the Brits did in former colonies) so we're kind of stumbling along here.

That's a good point--it's not like there is some manual that just spells out how to deal with these incredibly complex issues. I guess I would argue that supporting strongmen never really worked in the long-run, and hopefully we have figured that out. Iran is a case in point--the repressive regime of the Shah definitely fueled the radicalism that exploded in 1979. Considering certain events in 1953, and the human rights record of the Shah, I think we made a bad call in that case--mostly because we put economic and geopolitical concerns ahead of democracy and human rights. Now, this is an oversimplification of the whole thing, but basically I think the US had other options. Hopefully we keep those lessons in mind.

Interesting times, aren't they? Don't you wish you could get a half-hour with a history book from 2110 that covers the first half of the 21st Century?

YES! I would turn to the section titled "End of the Economic Meltdown" first so I would know how much top ramen and bottled water I need to buy.


Hey Dane? Did Obama finish... (Below threshold)
RYan:

Hey Dane? Did Obama finish his term in teh senate or did he. . dare I say. . quit?

So let's see, you ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:
So let's see, you hold a lot in common with Palin. Your rant in that regard proves absolutely nothing to counter the premise of the post.

Oyster, you must be having an off day. The basic argument of the post is that "elitism" explains how and why "the left" doesn't agree with or like Palin. My point is simple: not everyone who disagrees with Palin is some liberal elite who has status, ego, or class issues.

But I think I see the possible problem here: Michael does vacillate back and forth between "liberal elites" and "the left" or "liberals," so the exact target of his discussion is a little fuzzy.

By the way, what makes you call what I wrote a "rant"? Just the fact that you disagree?

A couple other related e... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

A couple other related examples would be those who periodically try to pass legislation to enforce an official language, and those who try to force a specific form of creationism into high school science classrooms. As for the latter example, I understand why people feel strongly about this issue, but it makes no sense to me to try to take a certain brand of Biblical literalism and jam it into science classrooms with a thin layer of a science-y overlaid on top. I think there are other solutions possible to deal with this particular issue.

Well, we've got the little guy in a Methodist school at this point, simply because the local school districts rate pretty damn badly. We checked out a lot of the private schools - passed on the Catholic and Baptist ones, and the non-sectarians... just seemed pretty shabby. (And what ratings we could find on-line weren't terribly encouraging, either.) The family across the street had a couple of kids going to nominally 'Christian' schools - and when the daughter came over and saw a poster in the little guy's room on the 'Evolution of Fighter Aircraft' I'd picked up, she was appalled at the concept of evolution in general. Made dumping that school off the list pretty easy. I want the little guy to get an education, not indoctrination. And so far his school's done that...

We'll likely be shifting him over to public school in 9th grade - they don't rate nearly so bad as the elementary and middle, and his study habits (as well as the bullshit detector I'm helping him with) should be pretty well formed by then.

Re language - I'm not against English being the official language, primarily because I believe a unified culture makes for a stronger national identity, and having competing languages makes it a lot harder to cohere into a unit. (Think about it on a small scale. Take 5 people, three who speak one language, one who speaks another. Without a common language, perhaps Klingon, it's hard to get things hashed out. (Then again, with Klingon the hashing out may involve mayhem of various sorts and scattered body parts...)

I think a lot's been done over the last 50 years or so to make sure our national identity is fractured, with politicians (and academics)striving to ensure there's plenty of disaffected ethnic groups that they can promise special priveleges to in exchange for support. To use a metallurgical example, we're a lot stronger with a melting pot approach to assimilation, rather than a salad bowl. Salad is not known for it's cohesion or structual strength.

BTW, you're not using this as an excuse for procrastination again, are you? LOL...

"I want the little guy to g... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

"I want the little guy to get an education, not indoctrination."

Ya, that's critical. And it's hard when some educators or politicians don't see the difference between those two terms. I think our education system, public or otherwise, could use a lot of improvement.

"We'll likely be shifting him over to public school in 9th grade - they don't rate nearly so bad as the elementary and middle, and his study habits (as well as the bullshit detector I'm helping him with) should be pretty well formed by then."

Good study habits and a good BS detector will go a long way. Absolutely.

"BTW, you're not using this as an excuse for procrastination again, are you? LOL..."

BUSTED! More later!

"On the right, quitting ... (Below threshold)
914:

"On the right, quitting half way through the job is "successful"."

We can only pray for Barry to be so enlightened and successful.


"Oyster, you must be hav... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Oyster, you must be having an off day."

I'm having an off day? You still proved nothing with your "I'm a lot like Palin" exercize. The premise of the post is the progressive elitists; i.e. The "cultured, affluent, leftist snobs". Who, by the way, have wasted no time belittling her choice of schools, pass time recreation and a multitude of other things she rather enjoys as part of their "destroy her at all costs" campaign. And don't think they only go after those with a different political slant. They're elitists first and foremost. And that's the point I was trying to make to you.

Look, I don't think Palin is cut out to be President. Too many people have feelings too strong either way about her. I hope she doesn't run. Frankly, there are far too many people who hate her unreasonably for her to be effective. They tried to sue her into oblivion as Governor for even the most frivolous of reasons. They'll pull out all the stops if she even runs for CinC.

Let us enlarge this a littl... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Let us enlarge this a little. Liberals, progressive elitists' aren`t so enraged by Palin, they are amused (what do you expect?) by her total transparent ignorance, but independents, moderate conservatives, not the neanderthals, are offended by the rhethoric of Sarah Palin, and politicians of the same ilk such as history professor, Newt Gingrich who should know better, and what has happened to the GOP.

Gingrich says that D'Souza (right wing sociologist) has made a "stunning insight" into Obama's behavior -- the "most profound insight I have read in the last six years about Barack Obama."

"What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?" Gingrich asks. "That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior."


Frum goes on to say

With the Forbes story and now the Gingrich endorsement, the argument that Obama is an infiltrating alien, a deceiving foreigner - and not just any kind of alien, but specifically a Third World alien - has been absorbed almost to the very core of the Republican platform for November 2010...So it's his mission now to present himself as the most ferocious right-winger in the race. Confident (over-confident) that he can best Sarah Palin among business-minded and ideas-minded Republicans, he wants to deny her or some other Tea Party style challenger any footing to attack him as a compromise-minded moderate. Calling President Obama a Kenyan fits into that strategy.

As for the underlying D'Souza article that inspired Gingrich, what is there to be said? When last was there such a brazen outburst of race-baiting in the service of partisan politics at the national level? George Wallace took more care to sound race-neutral.'Nothing more offends conservatives than liberal accusations of racial animus. Yet here is racial animus, unconcealed and unapologetic, and it is seized by savvy editors and an ambitious politician as just the material to please a conservative audience. That's an insult to every conservative in America.

Oyster,"I'm having... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Oyster,

"I'm having an off day? You still proved nothing with your "I'm a lot like Palin" exercize."

I proved that I like representational art and fishing, didn't I?

I think it's kind of funny that such a minor point irritates you so much.

"The premise of the post is the progressive elitists; i.e. The "cultured, affluent, leftist snobs"."

The premise of the post is pretty conflated, and I already pointed that out. Michael goes back and forth between referring to liberal elites and leftists/liberals overall. In fact, he only refers specifically to "liberal elites" after his short intro and the quote he supplies. So, the post starts off by making generalizations about leftists/liberals and then conflates the argument by bringing up "elites". After that, he still goes back and forth between the terms.

I only responded only to clarify a point that should be obvious: people don't have to be "liberal elites" to disagree with or dislike Palin. Sorry if that rattles your cage so much.

"And don't think they only go after those with a different political slant. They're elitists first and foremost. And that's the point I was trying to make to you."

No sh*t. If you think I have some naive understanding of liberal politics, and that I somehow don't think there are plenty of elitist fools on the left side of the aisle, well, you've got the wrong person. I certainly don't have a fuzzy romantic view of any politicians, liberals included.

"Look, I don't think Palin is cut out to be President. Too many people have feelings too strong either way about her. I hope she doesn't run."

Well, she appeals to her base quite well. Outside of that, not so much. Not exactly a good choice for a presidential candidate, IMO. But we already went through this discussion last week.

YES! I would turn to the... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

YES! I would turn to the section titled "End of the Economic Meltdown" first so I would know how much top ramen and bottled water I need to buy.

I'd be glad to see it's written in English, myself, and not Islamocentric...

Seismic cultural changes do happen - whether imposed from without or within. You wouldn't have thought, looking at Japan in 1900 or so, that 40 years later they'd be doing their damndest to take over the Pacific theater and looking at Australia as a chew-toy, or that 40 years after THAT they'd be a peaceful economic powerhouse. Looking at the USSR in 1970 wouldn't give you much of a clue that in 2000 they'd be split up into individual states giving the Kremlin the finger.

I've wondered sometimes whether cultural tipping points can be so delicately balanced that all it takes is the right (or wrong) person at the wrong (or right) time to gently flip things (like an almost balanced see-saw) - or whether the repression inside a culture of some aspect or another causes a hard flip with little possibility of going back without something pretty traumatic. (Like a concrete block flipping from one face to another...)

When the shift happens - then history gets interesting fast...

Oyster -We might d... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Oyster -

We might disagree on this, but I don't see Ryan as being obnoxiously adversarial as most of the left-wing trolls... in fact I don't see him as a troll at all. He's expressing his opinion pretty politely, and he's respectful of others' opinions - usually ;) - and that's about the best you can ask for around here, I think.

JLawson, I don't hink he's ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

JLawson, I don't hink he's overly rude myself. That's why I'm not overly rude back to him. I just think he takes everything he reads here as a personal affront. If you think about it, he has a long history here of taking others to task if they aren't as succinct as he would prefer. Generalizations are used quite often by both sides and unless you want to drag out every statement you make with disclosures and exceptions, they will be used. Generalizations are almost always ryan's primary beef and I just think we spend too much time placating his sensibilities in that regard.

I read all manner of blogs left and right, opinion pieces, etc. And I see "the right" and "the left" used all the time. I don't take offense when "the right" is painted a certain way and I don't feel any particular urge to nitpick it.

But that's just me.

"I just think he takes e... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"I just think he takes everything he reads here as a personal affront."

Well, I don't know his background or experiences, but I know when I started commenting I tended to take things personally.

After a while, however (it was around 2004, with the Bush AWOL garbage floating around) it became pretty clear that the responses I got for my rebuttals of same weren't directed at me, but at some fictionalized mindless conservative image that they constructed that couldn't POSSIBLY know what the hell I was talking about - because THEY didn't, but had to pretend they did.

(Hey, I was a personnel specialist in the Reserves, handling pay and attendance records for the squadron. Give me a printout like Bush's points record, and I can give you an analysis of his attendance, pointing out normal drill weekends, makeup time for missed weekends, annual tour weekends - and there's normally no problem with missing a drill weekend and making it up later with the squadron commander's approval, or taking your two weeks annual training in one-day chunks. I knew the system, they didn't have a clue and didn't want to get one because it didn't support the AWOL myth, end of story.)

He might well be taking things personally, but if he is I think he'll grow out of it in time. Besides - I think he's already seeing and acknowledging the flaws on the left and right.

"I just think he takes ever... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

"I just think he takes everything he reads here as a personal affront."

Ya, I hate to tell you, but you're completely misreading the situation. I certainly don't take what I read here at Wizbang personally, trust me. I often comment because I disagree with the arguments that people put forth, and that's about it. But if you think that I get OFFENDED when I read an opposing point of view, well, I don't know what to tell you.

"If you think about it, he has a long history here of taking others to task if they aren't as succinct as he would prefer."

No, not at all. It has nothing to do with clarity or being concise. It has everything to do with completely disagreeing with arguments that are based upon flimsy assumptions. That's generally my issue with some of the generalizations that authors throw around on this site. But, I take issue with plenty of people at DKos as well, if that makes you feel better.

"Generalizations are used quite often by both sides and unless you want to drag out every statement you make with disclosures and exceptions, they will be used."

So? Generalizations don't uphold arguments automatically, and they certainly don't work just because lots of people use them. Generalizations work when they are upheld by specific facts, details, or empirical information. The easiest argument to take apart is one that has few actual specific details that support it. I often comment on here when I see an argument that I feel is unsubstantiated and based upon HUGE assumptions. And yes, massive stereotypes about large groups of people are one of my pet peeves.

Go read through the histories of the 20th century and you might see why I actually give a damn about such silly "semantic" issues. Some pretty nasty political sh*t can happen when people completely lost sight of reality and starting talking about one another on purely ideological terms.

"I read all manner of blogs left and right, opinion pieces, etc. And I see "the right" and "the left" used all the time. I don't take offense when "the right" is painted a certain way and I don't feel any particular urge to nitpick it."

Well, if you think that reductionist terms like "the left" and "the right" accurately reflect the political and social realities of some 300 million people here in the US, by all means, stick to it. I think there's a lot of inaccuracy with these terms, and I actually think they're pretty politically destructive.

Anyway, you may disagree with 100% of what I say here. No problem. Dish it out. I can certainly take it. If you pay attention to what I actually write, maybe you'll see that I try to stay respectful, even when I disagree pretty strongly. I mean, I'm actually not sure why you take issue with me. Are you more comfortable with the empty, bullsh*t rhetoric of someone like Lee Ward?

JLawson,"...but at... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

JLawson,

"...but at some fictionalized mindless conservative image that they constructed that couldn't POSSIBLY know what the hell I was talking about - because THEY didn't, but had to pretend they did."

You have hit the nail on the head when it comes to stereotypical left/right thinking. IMO, people often make some pretty big assumptions about the supposed other side, and then spend most of their time arguing against a very fictionalized construction of their opponent. And there is no actual communication--just a bunch of polemic nonsense.

"He might well be taking things personally, but if he is I think he'll grow out of it in time."

Nah, it's not a personal thing. If I took every counter argument personally, especially considering what I do, well, I'd be in deep trouble. Actually, I really think it's important to be able to learn how to listen to and understand different points of view. That's often where a lot of the learning happens, if you ask me. And yes, debating with you folks here on Wizbang has certainly been a positive--if sometimes frustrating--experience.

"Besides - I think he's already seeing and acknowledging the flaws on the left and right."

I'm not sure how often I have to repeat this, but I am by no means enamored with the extreme left. I have certainly seen my fair share of progressive hypocrisy and ignorance--trust me. Like ill-informed leftists espousing the wonders of Stalin while speaking about the freedom of "the people". Or people joining protests while having absolutely NO IDEA what on earth they were about. Ya. I'll just leave it at that.

So ya, for some reason when I disagree here people automatically assume that I must have a bunch of Che Guevara memorabilia all over my house...

...not that I don't. I just don't like it when people assume without asking. ;)

"So ya, for some reason ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"So ya, for some reason when I disagree here people automatically assume that I must have a bunch of Che Guevara memorabilia all over my house...

...not that I don't. I just don't like it when people assume without asking. ;)"

Ebay is ready when you are! LOL...

One of the funniest exchanges I had on the Bush AWOL thing was from a lawyer who was very certain I was wrong, because HE was a lawyer and I was just a clerk. He insisted on a legal analysis - I was pointing out it wasn't necessary because it was clear what was going on. I finally referred him to his local base and their Judge Advocate General office - who would have given him the same analysis I did.

It was also wierd how some wanted me to analyze it presuming he was guilty from the outset. Told 'em it wasn't a matter of slant - if the points record indicated he was there, he was there. The military takes point recording for retirement VERY seriously, and it's a felony to fake attendance.

You can check out the whole thing here if you're interested (and looking for a reason to procrastinate again, lol) - my blog crashed but it was one of the archived pieces so I pushed it into the new.

By the way, Oyster:<p... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

By the way, Oyster:

I should tell you the other reason why I have read and commented on this site for the last six years or so. While I may disagree with people on here all the time, I absolutely respect and appreciate many of the perspectives and opinions I encounter. Many of the people who post and comment here have made me rethink certain issues, and forced me to look a lot further into others. I have definitely learned a lot from arguing and debating with many people here in the last few years.

After a few experiences with the extremes of our little political circus around 2004, it became clear to me that all of the hyper-partisan rhetoric was pure BS. That's pretty much why I am skeptical of any extreme position that makes no room for opposing points of view--right or left. Overall, I could really care less about who is a liberal and who is a conservative--because really most people are just people. That's it. Every once in a while it makes sense to step outside of all the nonsense that pundits and politicians push and keep that in mind. So, while I may disagree with a lot of you, I respect where you're coming from and realize that you're just people, out there, living lives that extend far beyond these silly little internet sites.

JLawson,"One of th... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

JLawson,

"One of the funniest exchanges I had on the Bush AWOL thing was from a lawyer who was very certain I was wrong, because HE was a lawyer and I was just a clerk."

Just a clerk! Ya, no WAY he could have been wrong!!! Classic case of someone thinking their position makes it so they just HAVE to be right. I can't stand this sort of hierarchical BS.

Thanks for the link. I'll definitely read it. I can always use a good reason to procrastinate--especially when I get further on in the semester! If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm in grad school. So around this time of year I am usually pretty slammed with reading, writing, teaching, and all that good stuff. I tend to end up talking politics here and elsewhere when I need a little break. Ironically, I often end up talking about the same things that I study all the time--politics, social issues, etc. Some break!

And, btw, thanks for the vote of confidence earlier. Definitely appreciated. Okay, back to work.

If I may....The la... (Below threshold)
Hank:

If I may....

The later comments above are one aspect of wizbang at its' best.

Just because we disagree, H... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Just because we disagree, Hank, doesn't mean we've got to be at each other's throats. There's far more points in common than different overall, I think - but there's folks who want to polarize it all into a 'left v. right' battle where nobody ends up a winner.

Agreed, JLawson and I hope ... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Agreed, JLawson and I hope my comment came across as the compliment I intended it to be.

By the way, I always thought you should be writing hare at wizbang. Now that I know you have a blog, I'll be dropping by there on a regular basis.

Thank you, Hank. Just a wa... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Thank you, Hank. Just a warning, I tend to do the heavy political blogging over here, and leave my home blog for other stuff.

Sadly we have a few folks h... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Sadly we have a few folks here that reinforce the left/right stereotypes... looking at you Dane and 914.




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