Re: Moment of clarity

1

Somewhere at this very moment a conservative is thinking,"I finally get it. The liberals just hate us."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:09 AM
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We just want to win their love. Maybe they'll like us with just one more concession!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:11 AM
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Yes, this has been the motivating impulse for the conservative movement since at least the 60s. Which is why people who thought Obama would usher in a new era of post-partisanship were always fooling themselves. The last three Democratic presidents (and there have only been three since the 60s) have been increasingly conservative, to the point that all of Clinton's and Obama's signature achievements were essentially Republican policies. Which you'd think would earn them at least some grudging respect from the other side, but not even close.

No amount of meeting in the middle will placate them, because they don't care *at all* about policy. It's 100% identity politics, all the time.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:20 AM
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I think it's a bit more subtle than that. The essence of conservatism is a mindset that takes a whole bunch of things for granted, as if they were absolute laws of nature, and a lot of those things are taken by liberals as either wrong, open to question, or merely matters of personal preference. The set of things taken for granted varies from one conservative subgroup to another, but there are common elements that reflect the loyalty/purity/authority parts of Haidt's moral foundations.

When a liberal does something that grossly violates one of the assumed foundations of morality the only way to interpret the action without reexamining their own worldview is to assume the motivations behind the act are consistent with the conservative worldview, and the only way to do that is to attribute malice to the actor. Sure they hate us, but it's because they think we want to hurt them, and viewed from within their value system, we do.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:27 AM
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You're right from your side,
But I'm right from mine


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:35 AM
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I think it's _not_ more subtle than that. What's the glue that holds the right together? The glibertarians, the neocons, the religious right, what do they all have in common? Opposition to liberalism.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:35 AM
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When a liberal does something that grossly violates one of the assumed foundations of morality

Except that they get just as outraged when a Democrat enacts items from the Republican agenda.

they think we want to hurt them

I certainly do.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:35 AM
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6: I'm thinking mostly of the religious right.

7.1: why should they trust us when we claim we are enacting items from the Republican agenda? After all, we have established that we are evil, so presumably the motivation behind anything we do is evil.

7.2: Sadly, so do I. My conclusion based on my model of conservative motivations is that getting people to see things my way isn't likely, so the only other options are give up or fight them. I'm rather conflict averse, so I'd prefer not to fight, but I much more strongly prefer not to have millions of my fellow citizens consigned to second class status, hundreds of thousands of non citizens killed or maimed, and my own freedom circumscribed by abusive authoritarians.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:48 AM
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From the archives:

One salutary result of the [2004] election is that we blue-staters (speaking spiritually, of course), finally feel free to say, "Oh, fuck you already" to the red-staters. It is, as the apostropher catalogs, amazing how much abuse "liberals" take, and are expected to take, while any mention that crazy right-wing Christians are crazy, or right-wing, is beneath us, or out of bounds, or bound to cost us votes, etc.

Yes, we'll get around to crafting the brilliant rhetorical/political strategy that will lead the Democrats to their rightful place atop the American political pyramid, but I've been waiting years and years to hate my closed-minded neighbors, and I'm not passing up this chance.

They want a culture war? Great. I do too.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:56 AM
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From the link at 9, Yglesias:

Interestingly, I never actually saw John Kerry or any other Democratic elected official condescend to these people. Certainly, Kerry had no equivalent to Bush's sneering evocation of Massachusetts as a land of pure darkness and evil.

Well, they did elect Scott Brown to the Senate.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:05 AM
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I hate to be a bringdown, and I don't really disagree with what you mean. But "They just hate us" is too simple, and too broad -- not just that there are plenty of perfectly pleasant, non-hateful conservatives out there, but also that it assumes that people mean the things they say. I'd say that a whole lot of the conservative media message is that hating liberals is okay, and commendable, but I doubt that's sincere from the people it's coming from, most of whom live in coastal liberal enclaves and seem to like us just fine on an interpersonal level.

Not that your reaction is wrong -- an atmosphere where the Senate minority whip cracks a joke about how the best thing that could happen to the American people is that the President, the Speaker, and the Senate Majority leader should drown, in public, comfortably, without worrying that it's a fucked up thing to say about people he's supposed to be working with, is a desperately poisonous atmosphere, even if he doesn't really personally hate them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:11 AM
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And it's not "us", really. It's the imaginary liberals who live in mcanus's imaginary Massachusetts. They don't know "us". They probably know (a few) people who are liberal, and they think "oh, well, they're fine. Must be the exception to the rule." Or they live in a deep, deep red state where people who actually are liberal feel so isolated anyhow that they express it in a relatively colorful and vocal way, and thus serve to confirm the stereotype -- even though they might be all right. The kind of fear and anger seen on the right is almost entirely unlike the kind of fear and anger a person feels about somebody they know. It's the kind of fear and anger they feel about an unknowable other. That's why the tribal appeal to racists works so well. They get the intuitive hatred and fear of the unknowable other.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:18 AM
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It's the imaginary liberals who live in mcanus's imaginary Massachusetts.

Or NYC! Part of the reason I get touchy about NYC (other than irrational parochialism, which I am, of course, seething with) is that I see it getting used as a symbol of those hateful liberal enclaves where no real people live.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:21 AM
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I really did mean to type "mcmanus" in 12.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:23 AM
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11,12,13:

But that's how hatred always works. You don't apply it to the sane exceptional people that you happen to have gotten close with. Racism doesn't apply to the kindly old guy who cleans your building, etc. Hatred of a group always requires you to invent a little distance.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:24 AM
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Also the "they might be all right" was referring to the hypothetical personal evaluation of a red state liberal by a teabagger who knows them personally, rather than my judgment of enthusiastic red state liberals, who needless to say I love dearly even when they make me crazy on blogs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:25 AM
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13: What makes me angry about that particular misuse of NYC is that the same people turn around and weep and rend their garments over 9/11, which, you know, they hate NYC for pretty much the same AQ does.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:27 AM
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15: in this case the group (the imaginary liberals that wingnuts hate) has basically been invented whole cloth by powerful people with a political agenda. Although thinking about it, I suppose that's not so uncommon, either.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:28 AM
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But "They just hate us" is too simple, and too broad

I would say "They just hate us" probably applies to about 40% of conservatives out there. But they are the 40% with all the power, and the 40% you always hear from. I suspect the other 60% go along with it out of loyalty to the cause/respect for authority/general ignorance, but are not themselves generally hateful.

Or am I being too charitable?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:29 AM
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15: I guess what I'm saying is that I think hate-spewing conservative media figures and politicians probably really don't hate liberals, they actually like having us around making them delightfully cosmopolitan cities to live in with interesting food, intellectually powerful universities to send their children to, and so on. But they get money and advance their political goals by making hating liberals normal and mainstream.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:32 AM
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17: The 2004 Republican convention being in New York was one of the more disgusting pieces of political theater of my lifetime. That in and of itself should have lost them election--even before the purple bandages. Arrrgh, don't even want to think about it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:33 AM
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You don't apply it to the sane exceptional people that you happen to have gotten close with.

Why assume that your ordinary, everyday conservative has gotten close to any liberals or that they think the ones they know are okay? I am certainly not close to any Republicans and reflexively recoil when forced to interact with them socially.

At the same time, I absolutely agree with 20.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:40 AM
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re: 20

Sure, some of them are cynical bastards, but the fact that they are cynical doesn't stop them being bastards.*

* which I know you weren't saying.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:41 AM
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In any event, this topic has apparently been big on conservative blogs recently:

The dispiriting part of all this is that hating liberals more than loving liberty is hardly a new phenomenon. Unfortunately, it has defined a large part of postwar conservative politics all along. As Prof. Lukacs wrote in his "The Problem of American Conservatism" 26 years ago: "Many American conservatives, alas, gave ample evidence that they were just conservative enough to hate liberals but not enough to love liberty." What we have seen over the last ten years is a tendency to make loathing for liberals the thing that truly matters, and usually liberty becomes important to most conservatives only when it is useful to berate liberals. To the extent that liberals have defended constitutional liberties against anti-terrorist government intrusions, it is the latter that most conservatives have embraced. It is not just that loathing for liberals exceeds love of liberty, which might be true for members of all kinds of ideological movements, but that love of liberty becomes almost entirely contingent on whether or not it can be marshaled in opposition to liberals.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:42 AM
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Sure, probably some of the media folks are hating-with-a-wink. But many? Straight up hate us. And I think members of congress who spew this shit genuinely hate liberals.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:44 AM
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19.last: I think you are being approximately correctly charitable. There's not much to be gained by attributing horrible motives to people. It's the actions that count. The horrible actions that need to be stopped.

I have a certain sympathy for the conservatives who live in fear of the world changing around them in ways that challenge their self conception and their understanding of right and wrong. It's a scary experience. There's a right and a wrong way to handle it, though. The ones who deal with it by making some accommodations and by shoring up their own little community are unobjectionable to me.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:46 AM
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20 is I think correct. Back in 2004 or so someone made a good dig at Tucker Carlson along the lines of, "If he had to choose between getting stuck on a desert island with the Sugarland, TX Republican Committee or with the Bennington College French Department, he wouldn't hesitate a second before busting out a poorly pronounced 'Comment allez-vous?'."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:46 AM
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Also, the sekrit motivations in their heart matter not a jot, of course.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:46 AM
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28: Well, it can matter tactically.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:50 AM
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Well, if someone is cynically affecting a pose of hatred for advantage then yes, I suppose one can change the calculus they are using, by making it extremely disadvantageous. It is how one has to deal with sociopaths.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:52 AM
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7: Except that they get just as outraged when a Democrat enacts items from the Republican agenda.

Which may be because they just hate us; or it may be because the distasteful features of such Republican-lite agenda items suddenly become apparent to Republicans when they somehow weren't apparent when pushed by Republicans themselves (think Romney's Mass health care reform and any number of other cases in which conservatives were for something before they were against it, or the reverse).

Those two possibilities may sound like they amount to the same thing, but the point is really that it's not just a hatred of liberals, and by extension their ideas, but a concurrent blindness to anything problematic about Republican ideas.

I hypothesize.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:53 AM
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"And these particular people--and, you know, God knows why--well, they just don't like us. They don't like us. They simply don't like us. So it's not hard to see what will happen one day. there's the majority, them, the minority, us, and the way they feel about us, great dislike, very very great dislike. So, in other words 'enemies' are not exactly imaginary beings."

I couldn't help but think of Mike Nichols saying this in the film of Wallace Shawn's The Designated Mourner.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:54 AM
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I think it is fair to say we hate them to. Apo has owned up to it. Peep made a joke about it.

However, I think--I hope--there is a difference in how we manage the emotion. One of the more interesting aspects of Haidt's theory is his claim that liberals actually possess the purity/authority/loyalty instincts, sometimes as strongly as conservatives do. The difference is that liberals do not interpret these instincts as *moral*. Instead they are viewed as prejudices to overcome. (I have very clear memories of working through my own instinctive repulsion of male homosexuality in high school and early college.)

It would be nice to think that something similar happens or can happen with hate. I feel hatred for a lot of groups on the right, but I try to let it go. I've seen people on both sides of the political divide do something very similar. A lot of conservative Christians take the universal love stuff very seriously.

One difference in the sides of the political debate, though, is that certain subgroups of the right don't have that Christian commitment to set aside hate. Libertarians don't have it, and really are motivated strongly by contempt for the poor and weak. Tea Party Nationalists don't have it.

Of course, there are people on the left who are uninterested in putting aside negative emotions as well. Back in college I remember attending some march on Washington on a culture-war-ish issue (gay rights, reproductive rights, gender equality, something) and a woman from NOW (Eleanor Smeal?) gave a speech about the importance of being angry. She ended by saying "don't forget your anger." At the time I joked "oh my anger! I must have left it in my other jeans." Some hippie I was with asked me if I really disagreed with the speakers attitude, and when he asked the question, I realized I did. I said so, and he was surprised, I think because he knew me as a very angry person.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:55 AM
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7: Except that they get just as outraged when a Democrat enacts items from the Republican agenda.

Remember how outraged we all were when Bush managed to push through prescription drug coverage? Pot, I'd like you to meet kettle.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:57 AM
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11-12:

I'm not sure that "they just hate us" is wrong, exactly, but it's not more true than "we just hate them" is a decent explanation for the way most (or many) liberals feel about many conservatives. In many cases the hate and tribalism and fear of the unknown other is just as strong from left to right as it is from right to left. As an example, I'm thinking of a play I saw in Hollywood a while back that mocked a "Hell House," which was basically presented as a window into the radically evil world of the other. It's not like our side of the culture war is just motivated by a rational, dispassionate assessment of the policy arguments; there's plenty of fear and othering on the left, too.

I do think that there's Republican type, particularly common in universities and liberal enclaves, who basically likes being a conservative for shock value. These types (the Ann Coulter or Jonah Goldberg or Instapundit or McMegan types) really do have "pissing off liberals" as their primary agenda item. These folks are very visible, since they are overrepresented in the media and in politics, and are both the easiest kind of Republican to make fun of and the kind many of us are most likely to encounter. But let's not overrate their importance.

Most Republican voters, IMO, are largely apolitical types who feel OK with what they have in life, are not particularly inclined to question whatever (primarily white) privilege they have (or do not feel particularly privileged), and worry that Democratic administrations will try to take what they have away. They're especially inclined towards those views if everyone in their church or town or office or whatever seems to basically be acting the same way.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:00 AM
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32: I really liked that play/movie.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:00 AM
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1: He doesn't have to think it. Right at this moment, he's being instructed to believe it.

You know, I was about to mock Heebie's post with a "Hey! I just discovered water is wet!" reference -- this is the kind of subject matter where I confess her signature touch-of-twee delivery seems so wildly inappropriate as to drive me directly up the fucking wall, like listening to Paula Deen discuss lynching* ("I heard it's pretty bad, y'all, but then today I thought, 'Heavens to Betsy! It was probably awful!' ") -- but then I see people in the comments trying to lecture her about how this post is insufficiently nuanced. So, you people first: WTF?

I mean, for maximum accuracy you'd want to replace "Republicans" with "movementarians," because the two still don't quite 100% overlap, but apart from that, the insight that movementarianism is driven at this point almost solely by hate of an ill-defined other (tagged "liberal" and meaning "anyone the movement's leaders tell them is outside the movement") is completely unremarkable. That the leaders of said movement may not buy the snake-oil they're selling is likewise unremarkable in the history of such movements. It also doesn't matter; people who exploit and stoke hatred and fear as a means to power are necessarily beholden to it whatever the hell they privately believe.

Water is wet, Unfogged. Wow! Water is totes wet.

[* This flagrant breach of the analogy ban undertaken for hyperbolic purposes only. I do not believe Heebie is quite this clueless, and certainly not about lynching. I am merely illustrating, with exaggeration for effect, the kind of discordances of tone, substance and subject matter that makes me so persistently hostile in her political threads. No Paula Deens were harmed in the deployment of this analogy.]


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:00 AM
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35: These types (the Ann Coulter or Jonah Goldberg or Instapundit or McMegan types) really do have "pissing off liberals" as their primary agenda item.

This is quite wrong. Their primary agenda item is to profit from pandering to the loathing of liberals. That's where their revenue stream comes from. They don't "shock" liberals, by and large, into running out and buying their books or reading their columns. They enjoy a steady living because of the nature of what they are pandering to.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:04 AM
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35 written before seeing 33, which is a much better way of making whatever I think my point is.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:05 AM
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I haven't read the whole thread, but this:

Racism doesn't apply to the kindly old guy who cleans your building, etc.

is just completely, comically false. Almost absurdly false. Unless you're limiting "racism" to something involving seething hatred, which would be very bizarre. (And even then I'm not really sure the statement would be a true.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:07 AM
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tagged "liberal" and meaning "anyone the movement's leaders tell them is outside the movement"

It's even broader and less directed than that. The calculation I see most often goes something like this:

1. Liberals are bad.
2. Therefore everything I think is bad is liberal.

Pornography? Liberal! Crime? Liberal! Child abuse? Liberal! Satanism? Liberal! Hitler? Liberal! Stalin? Liberal!

There's no middle ground to be reached with that mindset and, despite the equivalent hatred on each side, the left really does not employ the same equation.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:09 AM
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38-- Well, you're right about where their money comes from (not actually that much money! how much does McMegan or Instapundit or JG actually earn?), and there's clearly an audience for the crowd of conservative provacateurs. But that's basically what they are, and I think it's a mistake to confuse their agenda with the mood of the Republican electorate as a whole -- or, at least, it's no more appropriate to take these media provacateurs as the authentic political voice of 40% of American than it is to take Michael Moore or Amy Goodman as the voice of the Democratic Party.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:10 AM
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42: JG had a multiple-week #1 NYTimes bestseller. He does ok.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:11 AM
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I have very clear memories of working through my own instinctive repulsion of male homosexuality in high school and early college.

Heh. Me too. It really disturbed my ex-wife when I told her about making an effort to see other men as potentially sexually interesting, just to get a grip on why I was repulsed. She was particularly disturbed when I told her that I narrowed it down to smell by a process of surreptitiously sniffing physically attractive men. Now I'm completely comfortable with the fact that if I met a hot guy who smelled like a woman I'd totes carry his luggage. To Wisconsin dot com.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:12 AM
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33: However, I think--I hope--there is a difference in how we manage the emotion.

The difference is institutional. I don't hate Republicans (nor Conservatives in my own country), nor small-c conservatives more generally. But I certainly despise movementarians, which overlap with all these groups, for the same reason I despise skinheads: because on the whole, they have no apparent raison d'etre except to hate (whatever they're told to imagine about) me and mine, and that is something that pisses me off and damages my country just as it's damaging America.

The difference is that their politics and their movement is -- has become about, and as some conservatives point out, always has been to some degree -- built around hatred, and doing whatever satisfies it at any given moment. This has reached the point now where movementarians quite openly have absolutely no platform about any issue of the moment except "do the opposite of whatever the liberals say to do" and/or "pretend such-and-such problem doesn't exist." What makes a hate movement distinguishable itself is not that nobody else feels hate; it's that hate is all that movement has to offer. It's not incidental, but the primary function.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:13 AM
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44: Yes, smell! I had that realization, too, although I actually didn't go around sniffing hot guys.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:14 AM
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take these media provacateurs as the authentic political voice of 40% of America

I would say it's the authentic political voice of at least 27%, which is better than half of the GOP coalition.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:15 AM
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42: And the funny thing is that media provocateurs like that are exactly the ones where I'd say it was very unlikely that they actually have anything against liberals -- that is, they have a business model, which they seem to personally enjoy a great deal, built on badmouthing liberals, but they like their cities with a vibrant music scene, have liberal friends and acquaintances, and so forth. This isn't really a useful insight in any way, it's just peculiar.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:16 AM
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42: They are neither interchangeable with nor irrelevant to the views of their audience. They are simply exploiting a large and eager market for hate, and pushing the boundaries of what is publically permissible to say in that kind of career.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:16 AM
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44: So, if you ever decide that you really need to broaden your sexual horizons, you're going to have to do it sometime when you have a head cold?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:19 AM
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Yes, this has been the motivating impulse for the conservative movement since at least the 60s Burke Spinoza Sparta.

Some people like their tribe/culture/civilization.

They should hate and fear me. I want to send them the way of the dodo.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:19 AM
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What is the OP's "They just hate us" supposed to be ruling out? Is the claim supposed to be that they hate us rather than hating our ideas?

Or are these supposed to be more or less the same for these purposes, so that the claim is more (per the quotation in 24) that they're motivated by negative impulses rather than by a positive agenda?

I'd find the first claim to be somewhat interesting, actually, having some meat on it if only because I find it tough to untangle; the second, not so much.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:22 AM
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Yes, smell!

Huh, this is somewhat surprising. Smell is not among the factors that make me disprefer women as sexual partners.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:23 AM
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50: I met a very nice gay couple not long after I realized the importance of smell, and one of them spent quite a long time trying to convince me I should buy nose plugs or one of those little clips swimmers sometimes use. I'll do a lot to get laid, but disabling a major sensory system isn't one of them.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:23 AM
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I'm not sure I understand 44 and 46. You believe smell is the factor that makes you more sexually interested in attractive woman than an attractive man? Do you not react differently to photographs of the two? (Or do you think that reaction is just conditioned by your prior experiences with smells?)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:23 AM
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Oh, hell Haidt

Loyalty, Purity, Authority

Those are powerful. Check out tweety ("mcanus"). I am impure, I pollute his harem tribe.

I want to eliminate them forever as foundational. Damn right they should hate me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:27 AM
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Is it wrong that 53 cracked me up?

I notice smell as a strong positive -- if I'm attracted to someone, I find the way they smell a real component of that. But I don't notice women, or men I'm not attracted to, smelling repellent. I just don't have any active desire to sniff them..


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:28 AM
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I suppose my only real point here is to challenge the smugness of "they just hate us, but we don't just hate them."

I do see some prominent elements of the current Democratic coalition as motivated primarily by hatred/fear of the conservative other. I think this is particularly true of well off/basically economically conservative/extremely socially liberal types whom I spend a lot of time with.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:30 AM
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Republicans stink, however. Like mayonesa.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:30 AM
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Wait, I think 44/46 were just saying that the smell of other men was what was driving the reaction of physical repulsion at the thought of same-sex sex. That makes sense.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:31 AM
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I'm not sure why those slashes are going in different directions. I guess because I typed them that way.

This emphasis on sniffing other people is making me fear the next Unfogged meetup.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:31 AM
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Racism doesn't apply to the kindly old guy who cleans your building, etc. is just completely, comically false. Almost absurdly false. Unless you're limiting "racism" to something involving seething hatred, which would be very bizarre. (And even then I'm not really sure the statement would be a true.)

Are you kidding, Brock? What I mean is that people who hate whole groups routinely make exceptions for people they know, except they often still apply much of their stereotypes to the person they know. Ie "Some of my best friends are my Jewish accountants."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:31 AM
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this is the kind of subject matter where I confess her signature touch-of-twee delivery seems so wildly inappropriate as to drive me directly up the fucking wall,

I'm twee?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:33 AM
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55: I just meant that smell was the one thing I would have a really hard time getting over if I wanted to go gay all of a sudden.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:33 AM
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And inappropriately so?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:34 AM
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What I mean is that people who hate whole groups routinely make exceptions for people they know, except they often still apply much of their stereotypes to the person they know.

I don't disagree with this, but I don't see it as even very similar to your other statement. But if this is what you meant, then comity, I guess.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:34 AM
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re: 37

Yes!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:34 AM
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63: If you were a twee, what sort of twee would you be?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:35 AM
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I was channeling the person who believes himself when they say such things.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:35 AM
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Plenty of liberals have a tribal hatred of conservatives. And a lot of Old Left socialist/labor politics relied on class solidarity against the bosses, etc. (We could use more of that these days.) But one big asymmetry is in the way liberals are always thinking that if only they could just talk to conservatives, really talk to them, everything would be fine and everyone would agree. "I want to engage in discourse with you" is quite different from "I want to lock you up for destroying the Constitution," etc.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:36 AM
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64: got it. I'm not sure I've really thought about it before, but that makes sense.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:36 AM
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63:Not that there is anything wrong with twee, is there?

Some of the best Blanquist bombers listen to Blueboy.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:37 AM
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70 is why I am not a liberal.

Me & the dogs are going swimming.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:38 AM
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Twee is annoying
if you're tweeer than me.
But those who are less
are too stodgy, DS.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:38 AM
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No Paula Deens were harmed in the deployment of this analogy.

Ham-fisted analogies are less injurious to Paula Deen than actual hams.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:39 AM
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70: The lifestyle hatred also isn't symmetrical. Republican vitriol tends to get directed to cultural markers, like lattes, arugula, urban living -- stuff that isn't in itself political or directed at anyone who isn't the one doing it. I haven't seen that sort of vitriol from liberals directed at red-state cultural markers that aren't innately political, like Confederate flags. I suppose disapproval of car-dependent living might look that way to someone who lives a car-dependent life, but from this side it feels like a belief that car-dependency is substantively harmful, not that it's a cultural marker that just makes me mad.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:41 AM
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58: I suppose my only real point here is to challenge the smugness oh, I'm sure. Imagining that one is "challenging smugness" is of course one of the primary pleasures to be found in "awww, Limbaugh ain't no big deal" commentary. However, you should distrust that particular high as a reliable motivator; it can lure you into mushy thinking, as has already happened on this thread, and overindulged it turns you into Paul Berman or Chris Hitchens. I would also cordially suggest that your irritation with your inane socially-liberal acquaintances (about whom I can't help but suspect you're being a touch disingenuous in your attempts to pseudo-symmetrically accuse them of being "primarily" hate-motivated) may not in fact be the single most important consideration in frame.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:41 AM
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53: Certainly it ranks well below "lack of cock" on my list.


Posted by: Lyndon B. Johnson | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:42 AM
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If it helps, Heebie, it never would have even occurred to me to call you twee.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:42 AM
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That's why I liked the Authoritarians. Maybe it is an oversimplification, but at the end, Altemeyer talked about how to get people out of that mode. He said the only thing that works is exposure, and recommended joint activities. Creek clean-ups and the like.

I have a hard time understanding being hated in the abstract, although I certainly hope to do every hedonistic thing that appalls conservatives. I can't believe they believe the stereotypes of me. But I once had someone tell me that she was amazed: I was moral, even though I didn't believe in god. If people are starting from that far back, even I could be a good counterexample, apparently just by using silverware and not spooking the horses.

I also can't really believe that people are genuinely offended and injured by swearing. Really? It isn't just punctuation to you? Really?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:43 AM
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Those are powerful. Check out tweety ("mcanus"). I am impure, I pollute his harem tribe.

I swear to god, it was a typo. And I implicitly said I loved you in, like, the next comment!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:43 AM
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Also this:

I am certainly not close to any Republicans and reflexively recoil when forced to interact with them socially.

is totally mind-boggling to me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:43 AM
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60 is corret. Smell is the difference between "not interested, thanks" and "Eeeewww! get away from me!"


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:44 AM
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As a matter of fact, I happen to be developing a rather unpleasant head cold right now... gentlemen.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:44 AM
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But I once had someone tell me that she was amazed: I was moral, even though I didn't believe in god.

I have come across this many, many times.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:44 AM
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ultural markers that aren't innately political, like Confederate flags

I think you mean "unlike"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:45 AM
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Thanks, rob! You're not twee, either.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:45 AM
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ok, I have to get off this thread and get to work.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:46 AM
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What is the OP's "They just hate us" supposed to be ruling out? Is the claim supposed to be that they hate us rather than hating our ideas?

That there's they have a pervasive, visceral hatred of us, and their actions are much more consistent with this lens than any other I've ever worn.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:48 AM
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86: Actually, the sentence got more screwed up than just 'unlike' for 'like', but you're right that it came out backwards -- what I meant was that liberals, IME, tend to actually be kind of impressed by and attracted to red-state cultural markers, and save their vitriol for the specifically political cultural stuff.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:48 AM
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I haven't seen that sort of vitriol from liberals directed at red-state cultural markers that aren't innately political, like Confederate flags.

NASCAR.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:48 AM
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I have to get off this thread

...because it's starting to smell of dudes.

and get to work.

Getting to work is totes twee.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:49 AM
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75: The proletariat strikes an historic blow against Smithfield and their running dogs! To the revolution!


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:49 AM
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re: 82

I couldn't be friends with someone who held strongly right-wing opinions. It would be impossible.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:50 AM
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Republican vitriol tends to get directed to cultural markers, like lattes, arugula, urban living -- stuff that isn't in itself political or directed at anyone who isn't the one doing it. I haven't seen that sort of vitriol from liberals directed at red-state cultural markers that aren't innately political, like Confederate flags.

Country music takes its fair share of abuse. And NASCAR fans. Hunting too. And I've heard at least one liberal say a derogatory thing or two about, say, evangelical christianity. I know a lot of the vitriol there is directed at the political entanglements, but not all of it, and they're hard to disentangle.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:50 AM
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90: Demolition derby WOO! Been to one already this year. LOVE THEM.

I have come across this many, many times.

You're our emissary, HG. Thanks for all the good work you do out there in the wilds.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:50 AM
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I have my share of nominally right-wing friends, but they're all people a) whose actions tend to belie their stated politics, and b) with whom I specifically avoid talking about politics.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:52 AM
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77 is pretty bitchy, but I'm not really sure about the mushy thinking you're accusing me of. Since I haven't turned into Paul Berman or Christopher Hitchens, well, I haven't turned into them. And I don't really see, frankly, what you're on about, but since we're talking here about motives, not what side to draw in any actual political fight, I don't think that we need to be quite as cautious as you are about maintaining morale amongst the ranks. Why can't we both be critical of smugness on the left and willing to defend it in actual political fights?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:52 AM
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85: I went looking for our earlier discussion of this and would like to note that, later in that thread, Stanley predicted the rentboy.com scandal.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:53 AM
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I have friends with very soft centre-right sympathies, sure, but proper Tories, or libertarians? No.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:53 AM
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that sort of vitriol from liberals

Disgust at Applebees, Hooters, Hummers, Joel Osteen-- do these count? Anger is uncool, do conservatives given to vitriol have a category "beneath contempt?"

I think this is a category error, judgemental scorn has different styles for different people.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:54 AM
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90: I think I'm going to disagree, if I'm not understanding "cultural markers" too broadly. I'm not sure if I know the exact analogy for arugula and latte (and I understand analogy is banned hereabouts anyway) but liberals are pretty quick to use apolitical stand-ins when taking shots at the other side.

I'm thinking foremost of regional accents and, if this can be said to be a cultural marker, the kind of spelling and grammar that often accompany them for more or less class-bound reasons. Problematic and maybe comparable to the arugulophobia you're talking about?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:55 AM
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I couldn't be friends with someone who held strongly right-wing opinions. It would be impossible.

I can't be close friends with the right-wingers, but when there are so unavoidably many, you just avoid talking politics and roll with it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:55 AM
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98:Since I haven't turned into Paul Berman or Christopher Hitchens, well, I haven't turned into them

You sure? Check a mirror! The metamorphosis can come without warning. It may also have been accompanied by faint howling in the distance.

Why can't we both be critical of smugness on the left and willing to defend it in actual political fights?

We sure can! We can also be critical of supposed criticisms of smugness when they appear inaccurate or sloppy, and critical of those criticisms, and so on! Pretty neat, hey?

I'm not particularly impressed by your imputations of "smugness" is what I'm getting at, and in my estimation your imagining yourself as battling against that particular big "s" hasn't produced any very striking contributions to this conversation.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:00 AM
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Perhaps we are using 'friend' differently, then. Obviously one can't completely avoid interacting socially with people with odious opinions. But I very rarely meet genuine right-wingers in the flesh in social contexts anyway.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:00 AM
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See, I don't live among right-wingers, to my knowledge. Since I'm not having daily pleasant interactions with them, I'm less surprised to find out they hate me. I mean, I'd be equally surprised to be hated from afar as revered, since both are unreasonable. But I'm not having daily experiences that contradict either, so what do I know about what they think? What the media tells me, is what I know.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:02 AM
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Eh, maybe I'm in a bubble of nice people, aside from their being liberals. But I see a lot more references to liberals having contempt for red-state lifestyles than I see actual contempt in the wild. This is really anecdotal, though, so I could just be wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:03 AM
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Sorry to disappoint then. We can't all have your brilliance, insight, knowledge, and wit, together with the great political acuity and precision you've brought to the discussion. But since this is a free space, I'm going to go on using it, and you can take what you like and leave the rest.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:04 AM
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I have libertarian friends, but they're intellectually honest. So not glibertarians, real libertarians. They object to unions but they also object to corporations. Their model of how the world would work if their preferred form of government prevailed is completely wrong in my opinion, but they are willing to talk about it. I see them as being not much different from left wing anarchists, who I get along with just fine despite believing that their preferred form of government would lead in short order to warlords running everything.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:05 AM
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108: We can't all have your brilliance, insight, knowledge, and wit, together with the great political acuity and precision you've brought to the discussion.

Ahem. You forgot my good looks and sexual prowess.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:05 AM
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I see a lot more references to liberals having contempt for red-state lifestyles than I see actual contempt in the wild. This is really anecdotal, though, so I could just be wrong.

And this is probably true for both sides. Actually, it's probably even more true for conservatives, many of whom really do drink lattes and eat arugala and live in big cities and whatever.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:07 AM
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And this is probably true for both sides.

Well, no. The point I was making is that the media-based conservative hostility to liberals, which I do have access to despite not spending a lot of time around conservatives in person, does have this heavy lifestyle component: Liberal Fascism: From Heidegger to Whole Foods. And the media stuff in the other direction is comparatively much less hostile. I could be wrong about the amount of lifestyle hostility there is on an interpersonal level, but I'd stick with saying it's not symmetrical in terms of media rhetoric.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:13 AM
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re: 109

I can see that, I just haven't met any self-professed libertarian who didn't turn out pretty quickly to be a glibertarian. I know intellectually honest examples of the stripe exist, and read a few, but they are like little oases in a desert of shit.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:13 AM
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just saying that the smell of other men was what was driving the reaction of physical repulsion

If you went around smelling teen-aged men, I'm not at all surprised.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:14 AM
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I just mean that in both cases the contempt is largely spawned by media culture-war hype, not people's actual behavior. Lifestyle contempt in the wild is a rarer beast than the contempt generated for fun and profit.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:17 AM
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Halford, how many examples of real prominent conservatives expressing scorn for "latte-drinkers" would you like to receive?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:18 AM
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115: If that's what you're saying, I'll stick with saying that I really don't see media culture war vitriol aimed at redstate lifestyles. Some mockery, but not wildly different from mockery in other directions (like, Kenneth on 30 Rock is made fun of, but not differently than Tracy Jordan is), and almost no straight up hostility.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:21 AM
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107: I'm deep in a sheltered cocoon, and from here, no one makes lifestyle cracks about right-wingers, because we never encounter any and don't think about them much. Maybe in places where the balance is closer and there are more interactions, people on both sides have more opinions about food and car choices.

Mostly, though, I agree with your thesis. Except, wasn't there some meme about how Real Americans feel looked down on, and they're extremely sensitive about it.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:22 AM
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I haven't seen that sort of vitriol from liberals directed at red-state cultural markers that aren't innately political, like Confederate flags.

NASCAR.

May I add

Camo wedding themes.
Utah baby names
Multiple fundy births ('The vagina is not a clown car')

I'm guilty of directing whole carboys of vitriol at all of the above cultural indicators and at many more. Does that make me an evil winger-hater or just someone who can't stand teh ugly?


Posted by: palau | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:22 AM
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just saying that the smell of other men was what was driving the reaction of physical repulsion

A job for Axe Body Spray™.

Or MANDOM.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:24 AM
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33, 44- Friendly amendment to replace "instinctive" with some other word that is less nature-y and more nurture-y? Ingrained?

I have been thinking a lot lately about how rarely I hang out with anyone who isn't from exactly the same world as I am. We don't even have any of that diversity in my family.

I did date a Republican once. In LA. Street cred!


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:24 AM
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117: The dynamic, one might say, goes even further than this. Whatever (mild) mockery of redstate lifestyles exists, it's also a long-established media trope to self-consciously and self-defensively praise a construct called "middle America" -- identified with constructed-as-redneck social phenomena like NASCAR and professional wrestling and hunting and gun-fancying and honky tonks and Nashville -- and mock whatever has recently given offense to this construct. This was precisely what gave legs to the infamous John Kerry "who among us does not love NASCAR?" trope during the '04 election. (It's not a done thing, by and large, to even identify a politics in everyday cultural output like 24 or Forrest Gump.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:29 AM
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(This reflex developed as a response to the Real Americans Megan alludes to in 118. It of course did not recognize that those "Real Americans" were in fact a product of, and market for, movementarianism, which doesn't give a toss what actual concessions are made to the positive depictions of "Real Americans," it will go on depicting the New York Times and CNN as Satan regardless.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:31 AM
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As to why wingers loathe liberals... liberals think they're innately smarter than the Right and don't hesitate to show it in ways both blatant and subtle.

I would hate me too if I were constantly on the receiving end of my scorn.


Posted by: palau | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:32 AM
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89: That there's they have a pervasive, visceral hatred of us, and their actions are much more consistent with this lens than any other I've ever worn.

Of us, or of our ideas? Is there a distinction to be made there? Do you not see one? Apo gets at it in 41: there, it's just liberals who are bad/hated, regardless of the content of liberal ideas, which can be assigned willy-nilly.

I'm just trying to understand whether you mean that they're, as DS puts it, movementarians -- driven by hate and fear -- in which case, no kidding; or whether you mean something else.

Meanwhile, I see the thread has somewhat moved on to interpreting "they hate us" in terms of hatred of alleged liberal lifestyles, which interpretation resolves the distinction I'm drawing here and in 52 between liberals themselves and liberal ideas in a particular way.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:32 AM
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Friendly amendment to replace "instinctive" with some other word that is less nature-y and more nurture-y? Ingrained?

Conditioned.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:36 AM
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One of the more interesting aspects of Haidt's theory is his claim that liberals actually possess the purity/authority/loyalty instincts, sometimes as strongly as conservatives do. The difference is that liberals do not interpret these instincts as *moral*. Instead they are viewed as prejudices to overcome.

This is not quite true for me. In some areas, yes, I see my beliefs as prejudices to overcome -- but it's usually out of a sense of duty to a higher principle. That is, I've got extremely strong purity and loyalty instincts, and they lead me in the direction of supporting equal rights for everyone.

The best example I can think of off the top of my head is assisted fertility, to which I have a very strong personal reaction. But I've work very hard to make sure that my biases aren't imposed on other people, not only legally through government health policy, but also through dinnertable conversation, etc.

I go back and forth about wondering whether it would have been useful to have been taught growing up that there are people who just hate you. I was taught that everyone was deserving of respect and empathy, and it was drummed into me that the way to deal with disagreement was dialogue (not monologue). More than that, I was taught that reason and logic would be persuasive.

It took a long time to understand that some people believe in an actual Devil, and that reason is the Devil's attempt to persuade you of evil. And it probably took ten years of activist work for me to come to the conclusion that there are people who feel such deep and powerful pain and hatred that they will work against their own stated goals if it can hurt someone they don't identify with. In a way it was freeing to realize that, because you realize that their rhetoric often matters much less then their actions.

So I know people who support horrible, vicious politicians and listen to hate radio, but are personally compassionate and responsive. They donate to food drives, they take care of a neighbor's pets when they're ill, they give money when you race against cancer, they visit the hospital when someone has surgery -- and they're actually more likely to do those things than many of the Godless Liberals (tm) that I know.

But I've also worked closely with people who just feel contempt for the very existence of some of my friends. It's as a shock of cold water the first time you realize that they actually don't think of non-white people as full people. It just leaves you gaping and gasping. And there's no reason and logic that will ever fix it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:36 AM
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124: It's sort of a self-reinforcing prophecy. The more the Right's politics is built around spite, the more hostile and innately suspect the rest of the world can be made to appear by contrast. Spite-based politics lead to a lack of concern with reality ("Climate change? Not happening! Health-care problem? What health-care problem! Financial crisis? Probably the Negroes did it! Iraq War? America's proudest moment since MacArthur!"); everyone, after that, who retains a concern with reality is a ipso facto a self-righteous holier-than-thou "liberal." Even if they're a conservative.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:38 AM
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Pretty much all of my family that doesn't live in North Carolina is Republican. We get along fine, though I'm sure they think of us as the freaky outliers. Anyhow, of course you can find condescension in both directions. What you emphatically *don't* see is Democratic members of Congress sneeringly referring to Mississippi or Utah the same way you'll hear San Francisco (and increasingly, Chicago) or "coastal" invoked by sitting GOP members of Congress. You won't hear Democratic politicians insist that their districts are the "real" America, while the other side is not. That sort of symmetry just doesn't exist. Or (if you followed the link in the linked post at #9) a comparable list of books from the left.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:39 AM
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117: Speaking as a wild-eyed anarchist who is often full of vitriolic hated of the right, I very seldom hear a conversation containing "And they're evangelical Christians who like NASCAR and eat at Hooters, isn't that just what you'd expect?" that isn't immediately met by something along the lines of "But have you read Mike Davis's article in the 2000-whatever New Left Review about evangelical Christianity"/"My uncle who is a Democrat loves NASCAR"/"Remember that there's a strong class component to taste...snobbery..performing class through consumption...locally-sourced sandwich-ingredients-eating-yuppies"

I can't be having with right-wing friends, so I have no idea whether there's a strong anti-culture-war discourse on the right.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:41 AM
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Here's a good example of something, (I'm not sure of what):

The Unitarian Fellowship in my town uses a building which is being closed down, and so they are looking for a new building to gather on Sundays. They have been looking for a really long time, and they don't have a big budget.

My carpoolmate, whose judgement I have much respect for, believes that they keep being turned down because no one wants to be associated with Unitarians.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:43 AM
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127: Witt, that is very thought-provoking. How you do live up to your nom-de-guerre!


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:45 AM
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there are people who feel such deep and powerful pain and hatred that they will work against their own stated goals if it can hurt someone they don't identify with.

This is along the lines of what I was trying to say in the OP, if that clarifies things, Parsimon.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:47 AM
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As to why wingers loathe liberals... liberals think they're innately smarter than the Right and don't hesitate to show it in ways both blatant and subtle.

I would hate me too if I were constantly on the receiving end of my scorn.

The issue is the word "constantly", and how aggrieved Republicans use it in this context where they should really use "occasionally" or "never". It's basically the various elements of the Republican media broadcasting the occasional instance of scorn to people and telling them that, no kidding, this scorn is constant.

Our question is why they respond to this so strongly in the absence of any actual scorn, ever, from any prominent political figure. (see 129)


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:54 AM
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It does clarify what you were trying to say in the OP. I was reaching for something more, er, nuanced, and started to run with the possibilities; but yeah, of course. Anger, hatred, resentment (class- and race-based, chiefly) drive many conservatives.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:55 AM
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LB, if I'm getting you correctly, your argument is that "the red-state side of the media is more aggressively hostile to blue-state lifestyle choices than the blue-state side of the media is hostile to red-state lifestyle choices."

If you mean level of expressed vitriol . . . maybe, I certainly I can't think of a left-wing direct equivalent to Bill O'Reilly. On the other hand, I think that what drives the conservative vitriol is conservatives' (mostly accurate) perception that they are losing the culture war and that an enormous amount of American culture-industry production really is designed to undermine their values. You don't really need someone on Air America ranting about how contemptible NASCAR is in order to get the general impression that "media elites" would view a fundamentalist Christian hunter from the Ozarks as an uncool redneck, so beneath contempt that a vitriolic attack would be beside the point.

To show my incredible broad mindedness, I also agree with this:

it's also a long-established media trope to self-consciously and self-defensively praise a construct called "middle America" -- identified with constructed-as-redneck social phenomena like NASCAR and professional wrestling and hunting and gun-fancying and honky tonks and Nashville -- and mock whatever has recently given offense to this construct

That's absolutely true. But I think that it misses some of the complexity, namely that the reflexive, self-defensive praise masks an underlying contempt for (not to mention ignorance of) the actual conditions of really-existing middle white America, which the inhabitants of really-existing middle white America are quite conscious of. Thus, conservatives are perfectly correct to believe that the media and culture industry is somehow "against" them, even as they participate in a multi-billion dollar culure industry designed to exacerbate and profit from their prejudices and ready to exalt them as real Americans.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:55 AM
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why they respond to this so strongly in the absence of any actual scorn, ever

Projection.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:56 AM
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SCORN!
CHEAP TOMATOES!


Posted by: HOWLAND OWL | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:00 AM
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Movies and TV certainly portray red staters as being scorned for their hickness all the time. Wearing camo is shorthand for being a bigot, unless that's the shocking plot-twist: everyone misunderstood the camo-wearing emo kid!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:01 AM
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127: I go back and forth about wondering whether it would have been useful to have been taught growing up that there are people who just hate you.

One should think it would at least be useful to be taught growing up that there people who just hate other types of people. But there's a difference between learning the lesson in the abstract and learning it viscerally. There are very few nonwhite people in North America who don't viscerally know that a substantial proportion of whitey views them as non-people.

So I know people who support horrible, vicious politicians and listen to hate radio, but are personally compassionate and responsive. They donate to food drives, they take care of a neighbor's pets when they're ill, they give money when you race against cancer, they visit the hospital when someone has surgery -- and they're actually more likely to do those things than many of the Godless Liberals (tm) that I know.

I don't know about comparative likelihood, but I know plenty of right-wingers here who fit this description. Some of whom are personally genuinely nice people who just don't understand the implications of their politics, on which they just follow the lead of their church and what their friends and husbands say. Other times it's less noble: there are plenty of sonsofbitches who are publically compassionate specifically to provide cover for their less savory activities. (Look at me being all fair and balanced, though, because this behavior is something I think is just as common on the left.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:02 AM
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really is designed to undermine their values

Which values, though? Having spent lots of my life around these people, I'll assert that their churchy values are so much window dressing and once church is over, their behavior is as morally questionable as the rest of us unchurched coastal elites. If you mean it's undermining their cherished values of xenophobia, racism, and homophobia, well yes it is. And that's the culture war I'm ready to fight.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:03 AM
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You don't really need someone on Air America ranting about how contemptible NASCAR is in order to get the general impression that "media elites" would view a fundamentalist Christian hunter from the Ozarks as an uncool redneck, so beneath contempt that a vitriolic attack would be beside the point.

Comity on agreeing that there's a definite, visible, asymmetry there, then. I'm not with you as far as the quoted sentence -- there's a tendency, which I think you're showing here and which I think is unjustified, to interpret alienation or distance from redstate cultural tropes as contempt. Like Kerry saying "Who among us is not a NASCAR fan?" (leaving aside that he didn't actually use the ridiculously prissy phrasing), and people interpreting the awkwardness as contempt rather than as sucking up to a social group he's not a member of.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:05 AM
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138: MIXED REFERENCES!


Posted by: WOL | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:07 AM
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I only pay attention to environmental stuff, so I've always thought of their cherished values as a set of material consumption. From what I've read, they seem to feel those are under attack. Which they are, because I'd love to see an end to off road vehicles in desert areas and conventionally grown meat.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:08 AM
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141:

I mean some combination of their professed values and their attitudes (so, racism, xenophobia, and homophobia, but also broader attitudes about family, authority, and community) and, yes, that's part of a culture war that I'm ready to fight as well, on your side.

142: I'd say that "beneath contempt" really gets at the blue-state attitude that gets on the red-stater's nerves; it's not just unfamiliarity, it's dismissiveness.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:11 AM
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"Howard Dean should take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading ... Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont, where it belongs."


Posted by: OPINIONATED CLUB FOR GROWTH | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:14 AM
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I'd say that "beneath contempt" really gets at the blue-state attitude that gets on the red-stater's nerves; it's not just unfamiliarity, it's dismissiveness.

I don't understand this at all. I mean, I probably have the attitude you're talking about, but I don't get either exactly what it is, or why it would bother people. I'm not interested in a lot of red-state cultural stuff, so I suppose that's dismissive, but I don't have active negative feelings about it, and I'm not sure why anyone would care if I were interested in it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:15 AM
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136: But I think that it misses some of the complexity, namely that the reflexive, self-defensive praise masks an underlying contempt for (not to mention ignorance of) the actual conditions of really-existing middle white America, which the inhabitants of really-existing middle white America are quite conscious of.

This I could buy to some extent, actually, excepting that the proclaimed leadership of the conservative movement displays much the same condescension -- Bush's put-on cowpoke image was palpably, insultingly fake, for instance -- and much the same disinterest in really-existing conditions. So what's being responded to cannot be the condescension per se.

I'd say what the movementarians have and the media establishment doesn't is a well-developed, extremely sophisticated and carefully-crafted language for simultaneously reassuring their base that they share their resentments and priorities and not sounding too radical to anyone else. (This is where I have to take my hat off to Perlstein's Nixonland, which treats at length and it detail how that code-language -- built into supposed concerns with things like "states' rights" and "small government" -- developed and the social and racial conflicts it developed from. By now it's an inheritance, a basic part of the movement.) Or at least, they had this for a long time; there's a point where you can't hide the radicalism any more.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:17 AM
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Because they're already insecure, LB. If they weren't insecure to start with, not paying much attention to them wouldn't trigger them.

And, they're projecting scorn, so our dismissiveness because of limited attention span is taken as dismissiveness because of snobbery.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:18 AM
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Is it twee to suggest that I have no idea what you mean by movementarianism? Are these bowels?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:22 AM
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139: Yes, one cannot deny that there is a general trope of making fun of the "hicks" that goes way back (and of course exists in many cultures). One is reminded of Fred Allen's characterization of his live radio audiences as being evidence of a "slow leak in Iowa". It is also a resentment that is always available to be harnessed for political gain (see Long, Huey). It is currently being exploited in the US to promote a corporatist agenda by well-funded rightwing media augmented by self-hating semi-socially liberal careerists in the structurally oligarchic mainstream media. And it is a bit breathtaking in its hypocrisy and reliance on cognitive dissonance. And very profitable for both the flacks and those that bankroll it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:23 AM
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150: I think you have to read "Nixonland" to know what that means. To me it's just a Simpsons reference.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:24 AM
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150: I understand it as "not just Republican or conservative, but someone who's really hooked into the conservative movement organizations." At the top, someone who works for AEI, at the bottom, someone who waves signs at a Tea Party demo.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:25 AM
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136: the reflexive, self-defensive praise masks an underlying contempt for (not to mention ignorance of) the actual conditions of really-existing middle white America, which the inhabitants of really-existing middle white America are quite conscious of.

Ignorance of. Yes. Which ignorance should be pointed out when necessary, in my view. That ignorance doesn't always translate to contempt, but it makes room for a distinct lack of imagination and failure of compassion. (I'm thinking, for example, of those who really have trouble seeing why a universal health insurance mandate might be a serious problem for any number of citizens.)

That said, liberals have been on the defensive for some time now, due in part to a tremendously successful media campaign on the part of conservatives, but due as well in part to the very real fact that calls for changes to the status quo (in terms of racial equality, equal rights for women and gays, and so on) simply are going to have to 'sold' to the majority.

On preview -- what DS said as well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:27 AM
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Oh, I am a big liar -- I get along fine with Snark's uncle, who is actually employed by AEI, for heaven's sake!, as well as a number of old-time Eastern European anti-communist Reaganites.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:28 AM
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140: Yeah, I should have added a clarifier that in some respects, such as race, only people with white privilege have the luxury of growing up ignorant of that flavor of hatred. In my head I went from childhood memories to adult examples and lost that point along the way.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:29 AM
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I'm skeptical of the idea that most coastal elitists are ignorant of the customs of middle America. It may be true of lifelong New Yorkers, but a lot of coastal elitists grew up in red-state middle America. The aspects of it that I have contempt for are ones I know pretty well.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:32 AM
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but a lot of coastal elitists grew up in red-state middle America.

As pointed out here.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:34 AM
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From158:

Sanctimony tourism really does more to make liberals feel altruistic than repair entrenched prejudice.

Tee-hee!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:37 AM
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I'm not interested in a lot of red-state cultural stuff

I suspect lots of people in the provinces see themselves as getting the short end of the stick in practical terms-- no factory jobs anymore, farmland and small towns are collapsing, everyone smart or good-looking leaves for the coasts. There are also few positive media representations of crackers or Okies. They see themselves as an oppressed minority, and view the quoted attitude the way Langston Hughes viewed white privilege. "They" refers to actual people, not to entertainers. For myself, I don't really care what Lou Dobbs says.

snobbery

A sense of purity and beauty that excludes someone else's lifestyle is snobbery. Mme de Pompadour knew she had good taste, she did not see déclassé as a value judgement but as a statement of aesthetic fact.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:38 AM
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154: Part of the reason liberals have been on the defensive for so long is the liberal tendency to try to referee fights in which they are agonists. You can't effectively crush your opponent when you are also trying to police the fight for fairness. Also liberals have an unfortunate tendency to take the other side's concerns seriously, which just rewards ever more extreme demands. HCR is a great example - it might as well have been right off the desk of an AEI Fellow circa 1996 and still we heard all sorts of crap about death panels.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:42 AM
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Your child will almost certainly have to attend the local public school where his or her academic achievement, socially enlightened views and aims at a greater life elsewhere, a result of your influence, will probably result in him or her being at least moderately ostracized. This will likely drive him or her to go off to college elsewhere and never return.

Hello, small midwestern town.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:43 AM
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I would get along with conservatives a lot better if it weren't for their bone-level disgust about the imagined lifestyles of people different from themselves. Even when they know real human gay people, or immigrants, or women who have had abortions, and they don't viscerally hate them, those real people get shunted into some category of exceptions that prove the rule. My dad is this way to an extreme degree; I've never seen him be anything but friendly to women, gay people, minorities, etc., but ask him what he thinks of those groups and you'll get a long, vicious litany of reasons why women are stupid sluts, gays are evil hell-bound fags, minorities smell bad and breed like rats... I keep saying things like, "But all the women you actually know are pretty amazing, intelligent, brave, capable people. Mom, your mom, your sister, me..." "Yes, AWB, but you're special. You don't know how women really are."

How he can manage it is beyond me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:44 AM
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DS! Are you going to explain movementarianism?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:44 AM
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160: I realize that you're describing, rather than adopting, this position, but I still find it hard to bend my mind around it.

I'm pretty much indifferent to high school football in the South (although I understand there's a recent highly thought of TV show on the subject). This attitude is dismissive. How would I feel about high school football if I weren't being dismissive, or snobbish, or oppressing people?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:45 AM
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Worshipful.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:49 AM
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There'd be frescoes of famous Odessa Permian/Midland games in New York State courtrooms.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:52 AM
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Educated people have unexamined beliefs that come from their upringing just as do people who grow up in mining towns or fishing villages.

It is wrong to assume that a taste for arugula and well-built bicycles is class-neutral. "Snob" is a loaded word-- football would just be a part of your identity. Sometimes people with good taste imagine that they earned or made their good taste rather than inheriting it. I think it's more complicated, certainly not a neutral act of will and assessment.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:53 AM
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From 158:

To the average modern American sophisticate, small-town America is, at its intellectual worst, a racist beer-swilling brute, and at its intellectual best, Sarah Palin.

I always hope that its intellectual best is Dunlap, from Red State Update. Holy crap, I love him.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:53 AM
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161: Part of the reason liberals have been on the defensive for so long is the liberal tendency to try to referee fights in which they are agonists. You can't effectively crush your opponent when you are also trying to police the fight for fairness. Also liberals have an unfortunate tendency to take the other side's concerns seriously

Togolosh, I love ya. Yes, I know. It will probably ever be so. I can't say I'm willing to give it up.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:55 AM
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FWIW, I was actually shocked by the number of insulting comments I received about my background when I moved to Massachusetts. They were all intended to be good-natured, from people who were being friendly, so I generally didn't make a big deal of them. Although I should have. And what struck me most about it wasn't the comments themselves, but the fact that the attutudes were considered so acceptable as to be offered in public in the course of friendly conversations. And of course it wasn't everyone, but it's not like it was a single individual, either. "It's a good thing you went to [a well-regarded law school], otherwise looking at your resume I'd assume you weren't very bright." Ha ha ha! "I bet most people around here who grew up there just tell everyone they're from Ohio--it's a white lie, but sounds a little more respectable." Hilarious! And the most common: "So--you people do wear shoes!" Well, only since I've moved up here, asshole.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:59 AM
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168: Oh, absolutely. I hadn't encountered this until I moved to NYC. In Kansas or Ohio, any liberalish ideas or behavior were set against a backdrop of a wide range of other attitudes and beliefs. Here, there are quite a few people to whom it seems not to have occurred that their opinions might be controversial. It's not just rich white Christian people, either. And it's not just liberals. Communities in NYC can be oddly narrow and clannish.

Where I'm from, moving away and seeking other experiences of life is pretty standard for bright kids. Here, when people learn something of my story, they tend to act like I did something unthinkably heroic. Although I have occasionally made friends with NYers, I have to admit that, in long-term friendships, I tend to gravitate toward immigrants and other people who have chosen paths for their lives that would never have occurred to their parents. They don't treat me like an alien from outer space.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:03 PM
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141.last gets it exactly right.

On friendships across ideological divides: I learned a couple of years ago that some very close family friends, as beloved to me as my own family, voted for Bush in '04. This had never occurred to me as a possibility; they're UUs, for crying out loud. (So they're down with the inherent worth and dignity of all mankind, at least nominally.) My reaction when I learned their politics was deep dismay—totally different from the resignation I feel about the sometimes raving conservatism in my extended family. The existence of this difference remains unsettling, from the perspective of my own commitment to inherent worth and dignity.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:04 PM
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170: As long as you don't smell like a man...


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:09 PM
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172: Huh. I have found quite the opposite to be true. NYers, because of their deep parochialism, find it the most obvious and banal thing in the world that some bright, ambitious kid would leave wherever (Kansas, Mumbai, Paris) and come to NYC. It's what everyone does, no?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:12 PM
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174: I don't see how I could. That which would ever be thus was the liberal tendency to ... &c. Of course.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:13 PM
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164: Sorry, my connection crapped out.

I see that in the meantime Ms. Heebie-Deen has looked at me and uttered the rough equivalent of, "So what's this Agri-Business y'all keep talkin' about? Is it the kind of business that's truly aggravatin'?"

Tell you what, let's multiple-choice this. The term "movementarianism" could be:

a) A reference to a sect from a Simpsons episode which some crazy Canuck thinks is operative in the real world;

b) As LB has noted, a reference to the infrastructure of think-tanks, community and church and media and political organizations -- and the various employees, directors, and constitutents of same -- which collectively form what's commonly known as the "conservative movement;"

c) A reference to bowel movements;

d) A reference to people who like to move house a lot;

e) Both b) and c), to add a little humor to things.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:13 PM
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Comments are made by fools like me
But only Heeb can make a twee.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:14 PM
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From the outside, I've noticed that in fora like this the very mention of NASCAR raises a laugh. As someone who has been to stock car races a few times in a country where it has no ideological or social connotations beyond "broadly working class", I find this hard to accept. I can see that a lot of quite dodgy people might be very visible at NASCAR meetings, but laughing at the sport itself, which is actually quite a lot of fun, seems to me to be playing into their hands.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:14 PM
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168: Sure, my tastes are shaped by my background. I know that's true generally, I probably don't allow for it sufficiently in specific cases, but it's absolutely true. Where I can't get to is how my tastes having been shaped by my background should be interpreted as contempt or hostility by anyone who doesn't share those tastes.

171: That's really shitty, and that's the sort of thing I was claiming didn't happen much because I hadn't seen it. I'll remember I was either flat wrong, or at the least overstating it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:14 PM
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179: I also laugh at golf...


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:15 PM
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||
Luggage-carrying Lucien speaks:

Rekers allegedly named his favorite maneuver the NASCAR "long stroke" -- a complicated caress "across his penis, thigh... and his anus over the butt cheeks," as the escort puts it. "Rekers liked to be rubbed down there," he says.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:17 PM
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172, 175: Mmm. I'm mostly with oudemia on this, or at least I'm not following the nuances of what AWB is saying. I feel like a bit of a weirdo in NY being from here -- it's mostly a place people come to from other parts of the country and the world.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:17 PM
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181. But you have Mark Twain on your side.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:18 PM
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179: Part of what's going on is that it's regionally identified over here -- NASCAR comes off as not just non-urban, but specifically Southern, and so there's a regional/political antagonism thing there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:21 PM
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I can see that a lot of quite dodgy people might be very visible at NASCAR meetings, but laughing at the sport itself, which is actually quite a lot of fun

NASCAR's fun when they run at non-oval tracks, but die-hard NASCAR fans look down on that sort of racing. Oval-track racing? Boring as fuck.

(But of course I prefer MotoGP and Formula 1... which means that I'm a nancified coastal liberal.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:21 PM
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Oval-track racing? Boring as fuck.

Depends on the camber. My sister and her husband are F1 fanatics, but it strikes me it's one of the sports that's better on TV than live, which prejudices me against it.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:26 PM
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||

UK polls close 10PM GMT. Thread?

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:30 PM
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177 surprises me. I didn't think movementarianism was confined to the conservative realm, or to the realm defined in the last 30 years by neocons.

Why not just flatly call it the conservative movement in that case? What's gained by the "movementarian" business? Just curious.

N.B. I have not read Nixonland, and keep wondering if I should make a point of it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:35 PM
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Well I hate all you guys and I'm not even conservative.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:35 PM
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I don't get 176.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:36 PM
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Nate Silver is still calling a hung parliament (just), but if the average polling errors from the last four elections were repeated, that would translate into a Tory majority of 30. I shall go to bed.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:37 PM
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a hung parliament (just)

Luckily the gentleman from East Midlands with the big hands tipped them over.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:39 PM
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I have a theory about Jonah Goldberg.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:41 PM
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||
The economy is dying, again.
|>


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:49 PM
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191: Don't get 176, really? Well, 176 read: I don't see how I could. That which would ever be thus was the liberal tendency to ... &c. Of course.

Parsed, that means: I don't see how I could smell like a man. Furthermore, when I said in 170 that It will probably ever be so. I can't say I'm willing to give it up, I was referring to what Togolosh said about the problem with liberals in 161, not to my love of Togolosh, deep and abiding though it may be.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:49 PM
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"Rekers liked to be rubbed down therein Wisconsin," he says.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:50 PM
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189.1: What's gained by the "movementarian" business?

Why, I'm glad you asked!

"Movementarianism" is shorter than saying "members of the conservative movement." I use it because there was a time when conservatives themselves used the same shorthand, and it's therefore something of an autonym (though the Simpsons overtook them in '98 more than I thought, to judge by the Google hits). It's less derogatory than "winger," "wingnut," "teabagger," and more specific and descriptive than "conservative" or "Republican." OTOH I don't think it's a neutral descriptor, and it certainly isn't meant to be, so the resonances with the cult from the Simpsons and bowel movements alike are happy ones. And who I mean by it is usually abundantly clear from context; this thread is actually the first time I've run across someone who claimed an inability to parse the term. (Other people of course can have political movements, but that's not especially relevant for my purposes. "The realm defined in the last 30 years by neocons" was only ever a small subset of the conservative movement, which is why they had a specific descriptor for themselves.)

Having said all that, 177 is of course a trick question. The most correct answer is

f) Fans of the Ini Kamoze song "Move It" and remixes thereof. I just hate that song that frigging much.

189.3: You should definitely read Nixonland. IMO it should almost be required reading, actually.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:51 PM
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Can't read the thread now, so sorry if there is semi-pwnage about. But re: 2:

We just want to win their love. Maybe they'll like us with just one more concession!

Every Ron Paul / tea party / Glen Beck / Sarah Palin Conservative whom I talk to thinks that the Bush era was a long list of concessions to liberals to make Republicans look more compassionate re: social outcomes (e.g., prescription drug benefit, no child left behind, immigration reform, and more generally the increases in domestic, discretionary federal spending).

They think the financial collapse happened because Bush didn't govern Conservatively, and they think that the tea party movement is a way to get Republicans to adhere to Conservatism's "roots" and stop making concessions to liberals ("Roots" is put in scare quotes because there has historically never actually been a tea party Conservatism put into practice, which is what it makes it a safe ideology around which to mobilize a mass movement that is critical of what the government is now doing. The ideology is insulated from empirical criticism, because any instance of Republican failure is blamed on the impurity of the Conservatism it practiced. See also Marxist-Leninism).


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:55 PM
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196: Oh, got it. I thought the second sentence was somehow supposed to be an explanation of the first. Which had me scratching my head. I'll go get more coffee now.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 12:59 PM
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198: Thanks for the lengthy explanation.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:00 PM
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Ron Paul / tea party / Glen Beck / Sarah Palin Conservative

To be fair and balanced again, one of these things is not like the other. Say what you like about the Paulists (many of whom are unsavory), they're not welcome in the Beck/Palin tent. Too vocally anti-war for one thing.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:05 PM
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202: ??

Paul, Beck and Palin are the three members of the tea party's holy trinity.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:06 PM
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202: Yeah, that was supposed to be a disjunction, not an identity. What they would have in common, though, is thinking that Bush era Republicans were doing it wrong.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:08 PM
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How do they reconcile Paul's attitude towards the War on Terror and the military in general? Or don't they bother?


Posted by: Tom Scud | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:09 PM
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203: The Paul people are less cohesive than what DS is calling movementarians. There's some overlap, but my survivalist, anarchist roommate? Totes lurves Ron Paul, and thinks the Tea Party people are insane and have hijacked elements of Paul's grass-roots movement.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:09 PM
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202: Yet the presidential straw poll at the latest CPAC convention (featuring Glenn Beck as headlining speaker) produced a majority vote for Ron Paul.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:11 PM
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203: AFAICT Paulist libertarianism describes a fault line in the teabagger activist movement. Beck and Palin appeal to the traditionally partisan and militarism-oriented base, Paul does not.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:13 PM
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207: 33% ≠ a majority


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:13 PM
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Beck is, not surprisingly, a little all over the place on the military issue: "We need to close all our foreign bases and just start deploying tactical nuclear weapons against terrorist havens, please."


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:16 PM
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I see that in the meantime Ms. Heebie-Deen has looked at me and uttered the rough equivalent of, "So what's this Agri-Business y'all keep talkin' about? Is it the kind of business that's truly aggravatin'?"

Seriously, are you trying to pick a fight with me?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:16 PM
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The Paul people are less cohesive than what DS is calling movementarians.

This is probably true of the tea party types generally.

And Paul definitely has supporters who aren't stereotypical tea partiers, but the tea parties as a whole totally lurv Ron Paul. He's considered a founder of their movement, or something. And 204 is completely right. And I'm not really sure I know the answer to 205, although the tea parties have always been more anti-tax/small-government (where Paul scores very well) than pro-military (where Paul fails).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:17 PM
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Back with soggy doggies.

Sorry for the misinterpretation and assumption of bad faith , Sifu Tweety.

Rich Puchalsky at CT, yesterday I think, shocked me with his belief that Global Warming Denial was intimately connected to racism. My first reaction was that this said a lot about Puchalsky and liberals. I guess I was trying to find some logical connection between GWD and racism. This might on topic. Somehow.

195:The "Greek Bailout" is of course about bailing out French and German Banks under the table at the expense of the Greek People. The financial system remains insolvent.

Next year the "Catfood Commission" will try to do it to America.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:19 PM
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211: That's it! Bike racks at 3:30! Yr phuckin dedd!!!

Seriously, I already explained what my major malfunction is back in 37. It remains the case. Faux-naif questions about terminology do happen to aggravate it, it's true.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:20 PM
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And I'm warning y'all to be careful about laughing at twee, The Field Mice, Orchids and Trembling Blue Stars were produced by sumkinda scary socialists.

Need a Lebowski quote here.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:24 PM
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Your major malfunction seems to be that I'm a wide-eyed fucking idiot who's stumbling around painfully obvious notions for the first time. Yet quite a few people here seemed to think there was an idea worth engaging with, (which you noted). So quit with the hostility towards me. Or go pound sand.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:26 PM
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No, Donny, these men are nihilists. There's nothing to be afraid of.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:28 PM
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209: Noted. I had the impression that it was widely reported as a Paul! Win! but apparently not quite.

Suffice it to say that that the ideologues in question are quite conflicted.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:28 PM
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209: it wasn't a majority, but it was a plurality with a pretty healthy margin of victory, iirc.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:32 PM
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Water is wet, Unfogged.

Be fair, Doctor; some of us already knew that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:33 PM
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216: Your major malfunction seems to be that I'm a wide-eyed fucking idiot

Yeah, you know what? It's kind of getting be, actually. Think I'll pound sand.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:33 PM
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Somebody else is having a moment of clarity -- "They don't just hate conservatives. They hate liberals that don't hate conservatives."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:37 PM
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Alright! Who else wants to fight me?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:38 PM
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(221 is mean, and untrue. But since I'm plainly losing perspective, I'd better pound sand anyway.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:38 PM
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223 can we fight via the question game?


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:39 PM
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223: peep is running very far away.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:42 PM
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Well, I'm about to throw up a new post, so maybe that one will provide a happy new conversation.

Although I generally like conversations where people get riled up and shouty, myself included.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:42 PM
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GO THROW UP A NEW POST ALREADY, HEEBIE!!!!1!!!


Posted by: BAVE DEE | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:46 PM
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I'm about to throw up a new post

WTF? I've been frantically hitting "refresh" for several minutes now, and... nothing.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:46 PM
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I GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:46 PM
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I can't think of a title.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:47 PM
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Also, now you all are going to be disappointed. It's not like the coolest post ever.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:47 PM
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JUST POST IT GODDAMNIT.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:48 PM
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Dang. Now I wish I'd drug it out longer.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:50 PM
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Now I wish I'd drug it out longer.

Too drugged out, and your post starts liking Phish and stuff. And that's bad.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:52 PM
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I predict the Tories + that NI party end up with a majority in the UK elections.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:53 PM
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236: No way. BNP's going to sweep. Mark my words.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 1:54 PM
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Water is wet, Unfogged.

We know that. But the whole point of Unfogged is to be a forum for endless arguments over exactly how wet water really is and whether, in a perfect world, water would be more wet or less wet than it is now.

That, and cock jokes.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:02 PM
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Re: the original post. I think this is one way in which anonymous internet discussion also exacerbates what would be hedged emotions IRL. A conservative who has liberal coworkers whose lifestyle and cultural preferences she finds inimical (e.g., recycling, listening to NPR) probably deals with it mostly by be being quietly irked but maintaining genuinely friendly relations when discussing Lost or professional stuff.

However, when that person becomes Don'tTreadOnMe1776 on the internet or in a mass Palin rally, all of those hedged and balanced emotions go out of the window, as they become fully taken over by their conservative animus.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:04 PM
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227.2: I don't mind getting shouty. I do mind crossing the line into genuinely hurtful or personal, especially with someone whom I otherwise like just fine. I feel bad about that, and just to be absolutely clear, of course I do not regard you as an idiot of any variety of eye-width or fuckery. And I'm confident that you move with grace and confidence around painfully-obvious notions. (Hey, I never said the peevery I referred to in 37 is necessarily always defensible or admirable.)

Just didn't want to leave the outburst in 221 hanging there, because that's sort of awkward. Anyway, I have located some sand, and am now on the hunt for a mallet to pound it with. See you in a while.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:26 PM
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I had always thought that the distinctive unpleasantness of pounding sand derived from the fact that implicit in the invitation to do so was the thought that the "mallet" to be used was an (always?) already part of the male anatomy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:28 PM
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@188: do we get a thread? polls close in 12 mins...


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:36 PM
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Your wish is my half-assed command.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:43 PM
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Oh. I thought the unpleasantness of pounding sand was that it is pretty much incompressible and it can't be damaged further, making the activity especially fruitless.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:48 PM
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Or apparently 13 minutes in whatever alternative universe the Unfogged server resides.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:50 PM
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I thought it was like "go take a hike". Just an elaborate way to tell someone to walk away.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:50 PM
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241: "My fists are not the hammer mallet."


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:51 PM
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Huh, I always thought of "pounding sand" as being done with one's feet, as one stomped away (presumably by analogy to "ground pounders") but the internets tell me that I am wrong about that.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:52 PM
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There is an ancient Slavic folk tradition that the young men of the village should (literally) pound the earth in springtime to ensure a bountiful harvest. The current Marina Abramović show at MoMA contains a filmed reënactment of this ritual.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:02 PM
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Sifu and I were just having the "Pound Sand" (and Salt) conversation. Which thread was that in? I can't find it.

Anyhow, I explained my understanding of the origin (and I've since looked it up ON THE INTERNET and confirmed it) is that the idea is that you're suggesting the person do the pounding of sand or salt up his or her bunghole.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:18 PM
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"Pound sand" is IME short for "go pound sand up your ass," which I assume to be painfully unpleasant, though I've never tried it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:18 PM
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simulpost isn't pwnage.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:19 PM
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Ha. Whatevs, tog. Way to pwn sand!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:21 PM
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You know, I'm surprised it took this long for someone to point out the obvious. Maybe conservatives just hate heebie, and the rest of us are just collateral damage?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:11 PM
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Huh. Like heebie, I just thought the expression meant the same thing as "hit the bricks." I was totally joking about the mallet thing.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:24 PM
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||

Well, this thread has quieted down, so

Louis Proyect argues with his commenters about the Greek bank firebombing

Richard Estes anarchist joins in

My British leftists are busy today trying to keep the Middlesex philosophy dept alive. Or something

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:04 PM
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If the Greek people win their fight, or if the Greek gov't goes martial law, there may be default and withdrawal from the Euro. This, and threat of other South Med nations defaulting, could quite possibly cause the collapse of the European Banking system and/or fallen gov'ts everywhere. Britain is very fragile, and what happens in Greece may be more important than the election.

We may be actually approaching politics, the shout in the street.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:09 PM
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If Halford turns into Hitchens does that
mean we don't have to invite him to the next meetup (the planned picnic of lobster and champagne, followed by some anal)?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:10 PM
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I was actually enjoying the image of DS (or anyone in his position) pounding sand -- preferably wet sand, say, beachside -- with a mallet. Engage in a fruitless activity, but get that frustration out in the meantime!

That's what I thought "pound sand" meant.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:20 PM
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You're supposed to pound the sand up your ass? Christ.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:13 PM
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124

As to why wingers loathe liberals... liberals think they're innately smarter than the Right and don't hesitate to show it in ways both blatant and subtle.

I agree with this although I would add morally superior to smarter.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:33 PM
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260: Actually it's not that bad.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 3:56 AM
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261: You're a bad person, you dumb sonofabitch,


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 3:57 AM
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.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 3:58 AM
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Anyhow, I explained my understanding of the origin (and I've since looked it up ON THE INTERNET and confirmed it) is that the idea is that you're suggesting the person do the pounding of sand or salt up his or her bunghole.

Well then your INTERNET IS WRONG. It originally just conveyed the sense of useless and/or foolish activity. But of course we live in a fallen age where vulgarians of every stripe fancy themselves transgressive pioneers by boldly invoking sexual connotations even if it leaves the thing drabber and diminished.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 6:50 AM
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I would add morally superior

The Left hardly has the market cornered on that, given that approximately 100% of the you'll-burn-in-hell family values contingent votes Republican.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 6:53 AM
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265: Rathole, bunghole; people who don't know their ass from a hole in the ground should avoid pounding sand.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 6:58 AM
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