Re: This Twitter thing: it's neat-o.

1

That guy is funny. "I suspect that Herman Cain would stop running for President if someone let him run a Hooters." is great. Now following.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 9:24 AM
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Herman Cain is totes qualified to be president of Olive Garden.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 9:24 AM
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Borowitz is funnier with the 140-character limit than he is in long form.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 9:25 AM
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A candidate running on a platform of unlimited breadsticks would be nigh unstoppable.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 9:26 AM
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3: This is a fact. Because his long-form stuff is shockingly unfunny.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 9:29 AM
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Herman Munster is qualified to be President in the same way that Olive Garden is qualified to be Antarctica.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 9:34 AM
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I don't think that "would have a beer with" ought to qualify a person for prominent political office, but "would take later flight, with or without airline voucher for a free trip, to avoid sitting next to on cross-country flight, even in first class" seems like it ought to disqualify somebody from something. What is it about transparent blowhard-charlatans that excites America's fat, drunk and stupids so much?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 9:56 AM
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5: Yes, exactly.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 10:11 AM
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7: The world is Del Griffith to Flip's Neal Page.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 10:17 AM
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No more masturbating to Andy Rooney.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 10:39 AM
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Least necessary warning ever.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 10:56 AM
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I used to describe Borowitz as "spectacularly unfunny" when he used to ply his schtick on the CNN morning show. I was pleasantly surprised to see that he flourishes in the Twitter format. His best one recently was (paraphrase) "I'm afraid that my planned Halloween costume, 'sexy Gaddafi', would now be in bad taste."

His true story about how he almost died is harrowing and hysterical: http://www.borowitzreport.com/ (video on the right).


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 11:01 AM
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Erotonormativist.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 11:01 AM
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his long-form stuff is shockingly unfunny

Word.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 1:39 PM
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Does anyone know a good recipe for frangipane tarte with pears? There's a gazillion of them online, but they are all over the place in terms of ingredients, so I don't know which one to trust.

|>


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 1:41 PM
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15: The Alice Waters book next to me has wine-poached pear frangipane tarte. Shall I send it to you?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 1:47 PM
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16: If it's not too much trouble, yes.

The poaching versus no poaching divide is one of many differences among the competing recipes. I was hoping that "no poaching" was canonical, because, you know, easier.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 1:59 PM
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Detto fatto.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 2:03 PM
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Pear poachers are particularly harmful to the environment, because then the partridge in the tree just has to go hungry.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 2:06 PM
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You should poach, I think. It doesn't take long.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 2:16 PM
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!ěž


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 2:30 PM
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Dagger Aleph!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 2:30 PM
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I think dagger aleph should instead go by †ℵ.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 2:42 PM
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Pear poachers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 2:49 PM
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The pear poacher makes the best gamekeeper.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 2:57 PM
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Pair poachers with broilers for a tasty hors d'oeuvre.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 3:10 PM
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you know what's good? quail wrapped in bacon, on toast.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11- 5-11 11:11 PM
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I want to pick the unfoggedtariat's brain on a simple question regarding the 2012 election.

What should the liberals' approach to the race for the Republican nomination: A) Root for Romney so that, should the GOP win, the president will be a right-winger that's not too far from the center; B) Root for a crazy tea-partier such as Perry or Bachman or whoever, in the hopes of creating a division within the GOP that will make moderate Republicans less likely to vote, or maybe even push some to vote Obama just to fend off the crazies; or C) Do nothing?


Posted by: John Stapleton | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 3:31 AM
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I want to pick the unfoggedtariat's brain on a simple question regarding the 2012 election.

What should the liberals' approach to the race for the Republican nomination: A) Root for Romney so that, should the GOP win, the president will be a right-winger that's not too far from the center; B) Root for a crazy tea-partier such as Perry or Bachman or whoever, in the hopes of creating a division within the GOP that will make moderate Republicans less likely to vote, or maybe even push some to vote Obama just to fend off the crazies; or C) Do nothing?


Posted by: John Stapleton | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 3:31 AM
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C-do nothing.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 3:52 AM
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Whether to root for A or B is tricky, but not quite for the reasons you're giving. The reason to rout for Romney isn't that he's more moderate (he may not be, and it won't make a huge difference anyway because he's not that moderate) but because he's more *competent*. He wouldn't break everything. The reason to rout for a conservative is that a republican will win one of the next two presidential elections and if a clearly conservative candidate loses badly this time around then there's some hope of Huntsman being president in 2017.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 6:33 AM
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And of course competence cuts both ways. Romney is going to be sanely and competently trying to put through policies I disagree with. Cain, if he somehow became president, would be trying to do things that simply aren't going to happen. What would happen is hard to predict, but it might be better than the Romney option.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 6:40 AM
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33

And of course competence cuts both ways. Romney is going to be sanely and competently trying to put through policies I disagree with. Cain, if he somehow became president, would be trying to do things that simply aren't going to happen. What would happen is hard to predict, but it might be better than the Romney option.

The problem with this is that although Presidents are constrained domestically (although it is hard to see Cain as President without big majorities in Congress) they can start wars more or less on their own.

Not that I see much chance Cain being elected.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 7:11 AM
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33: You lead my thoughts down a depressing garden path, James: i.e., that a new Republican el presidente, finding him- or herself (but, seriously, him-) unable to deliver quite the thorough rejiggering of marginal tax rates and scorched-earth where the Department of Education used to be that he (or she, but, you know) promised, would turn to foreign policy to realize his (or her) Internet tough guy campaign promises.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 8:24 AM
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Presidents don't do much at all about the domestic agenda, and I don't just mean the one we have. Most Executive domestic stuff is driven at the agency level, so you're not just thinking about the sanity/prudence of the guy at the top, but also about the 3,000 people who come with him. People he doesn't know and isn't going to meet, but come based on resumes and connections.

Shorter: GHWB gave us Clarence Thomas.

And, of course, as JBS notes, big domestic stuff goes through Congress. Boehner and McConnell are bigger players than Romney (probably) and Cain (certainly).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 8:45 AM
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34 -- There are still some men in shackles he can beat up on. That never fails to satisfy the bully caucus.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 8:47 AM
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The president does a lot of running stuff independent of what we think of as policy. Someone who won't run the country into the ground is actually important.

The current crop of republican candidates other than Romney (and huntsman, but he has no chance) are not serious or competent. It'd be different if we were talking about pawlenty or jeb bush instead of the current ridiculous bunch.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 8:57 AM
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31: I rout, you rout, we all rout for root beer.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 9:19 AM
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I don't know what 'run into the ground' means independent of policy.

In terms of seriousness and competence, I'm not sure a greater contrast can be drawn than that between Bush Sr and Bush Jr. What's the difference in the outcome?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 9:25 AM
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Oh, I think you absolutely want Cain or Perry to get the nomination. Obama-Romney debates will be boring affairs that will unfailingly get called draws by the media. No matter Romney's other shortcomings, he's quite good at that part of politics. But Obama would absolutely destroy either one of those other two on stage. Utterly different leagues. He would embarrass them.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 9:33 AM
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40 -- Right, but that's not the worst of it. Romney wins the nom and Obama's turnout gets depressed by the constant 6 month drumbeat from the left side of the spectrum about how Romney won't be all that bad, and probably no worse than Obama.

I don't understand why 'GHWB gave us Thomas' isn't a complete and devastating refutation of both parts of this.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 9:41 AM
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For future reference, Charley, you should remember that the enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans is already huge. Which is to say, if Obama loses to Romney, it won't be because parts of the Democratic base* complained that Romney wouldn't be worse than Obama. It will be because parts of that base already hated Obama and because people in the center of the political spectrum, especially swing voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania, found a candidate this time who was whiter than Obama but not John McCain (or, equally realistically, that they weren't as angry at Republicans this election, because they can't remember four years ago, so they reverted to the mean of their voting preferences, which have been R since Reagan).

In short, don't blame the left for Obama's failures and the center's fickleness. It's not a fair or accurate analysis.

* As distinct from people on the left. It's not just Democrats on the left who hate Obama.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 9:50 AM
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That was me, by the way.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 9:52 AM
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41: I think that we may overestimate the audience for the quintennial "Clarence Thomas is a bitter, angry man and he's going to ruin everything he gets his mitts on" profiles in the NYT or the New Yorker. I don't think many people appreciate the wholly and intentionally negative effects of Clarence Thomas.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 9:53 AM
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VW, isn't that why Charlie is arguing for effectively saying, "This isn't an election for the least awful of Romney or Obama, it's an election for the successor to Ginsberg and probably Kennedy." If I was an American disaffected Democratic voter that would concentrate my mind pretty sharply.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 9:58 AM
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I don't blame people who hate Obama for his impending defeat. Unless they evangelize against him with delusion about Republican rule. Which serves to legitimize the already strong Village bias in favor of Republicans.

We saw that movie in 1988 and 2000, and it doesn't end well.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:02 AM
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39

In terms of seriousness and competence, I'm not sure a greater contrast can be drawn than that between Bush Sr and Bush Jr. What's the difference in the outcome?

GHWB didn't wreck the economy and he kept our middle east war goals achievable. Seems like a pretty big difference to me. Not that I appreciated GHWB at the time.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:03 AM
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You don't know what you've got til it's gone.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:07 AM
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Personally, I should have appreciated dip more. But I just didn't realize that I'd get old be unable to rationalize the risk of cancer for any longer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:13 AM
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I'm not totally convinced by the Clarence Thomas thing. He's awful, the Court as a whole is awful, and so on. But I keep on losing faith in the idea that a Supreme Court that did everything we wanted it to would help much, or that the bunch of clowns we have now are doing all that much damage on top of the damage the other two branches are doing.

This doesn't have much of an effect on anything for me -- it's not as if a tradeoff between a good executive branch and a good judiciary is on offer, you do the same thing to get one as to get the other. But if it were, I'd pack the court which Scalias and Thomases in a heartbeat to have a couple of decades of solidly competent left-wing sets of executive branch personnel.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:14 AM
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Actually, I think GHWB just about deserves to be on Mt. Rushmore for containing Republican excess re the fall of the Berlin Wall and of the Soviet Union. That said, he repudiated the 1990 budget deal, and while he was obviously right about the limited objectives of the Iraq war, I don't think he would have been able to hold his party back had the US been attacked.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:16 AM
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50 -- Only to have health care reform or CO2 emission regulations struck down as violations of the Commerce Clause?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:18 AM
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Obama's turnout gets depressed by the constant 6 month drumbeat from the left side of the spectrum about how Romney won't be all that bad, and probably no worse than Obama.

Right, because the chief determinant of Democratic turnout is what's said in the comments threads of Democratic Underground.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:19 AM
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28/29: D) Work on local races, door-knocking, phone-banking, voter-registering, election-judging and donation-giving (where possible) and try to build the Democratic power base while also keeping that base as far left as is feasible.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:20 AM
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50.2 -- And that, of course, is exactly what is not on offer. Your choice is between an awful Supreme Court and an awful Executive, or a moderately bad Supreme Court and a moderately bad Executive. I don't begrudge anyone making that choice on personal moral grounds. I'm not going to sit quietly that while people go around saying (a) empowering the right wing is going to lead to left governance or (b) they're not really right wing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:22 AM
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53 -- It's about narratives. And yes, DU is a part of the narrative, and influences the narrative to its right.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:24 AM
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There's an expression you hear from right leaning Villagers: a liberal is someone who won't take his own side in a fight. (This is said by people who do not differentiate between liberal, leftist, socialist, communist, dfh: they're all the same.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:26 AM
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55: Your choice is between an awful Supreme Court and an awful Executive, or a moderately bad Supreme Court and a moderately bad Executive.

Wait, where do we get this choice? I thought your whole point about GHWB is that even a moderately bad, 'competent' Republican is likely to appoint squamous, rugose, crawling horrors to the SC. I think you're right about that, but I also think it means the SC sort of drops out of the electoral calculus -- it's just another awful side-effect of any Republican in the White House.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:27 AM
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58 -- Right, it's a choice whether to do anything that does or might increase the chances of a Republican in office, versus refraining from any actions that will or might have that consequence.

I'm not referring to the choice facing Republican primary voters. They're free to decide based on who has the best hair.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:32 AM
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58: ColorTextureful!

And we'll never find out whether the last thought to pass through the mind of the captain of the Thresher was, "It's squamous and rugose," or simply, "It's squamous!"
-- Charlie Stross


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:34 AM
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||
Today is the grand opening of The Donut Cooperative here in Mpls. They had almost 2,500 FB fans before their soft opening Thursday-Saturday. They're in one of those doomed spaces that goes through businesses one after the other, but I'm thinking they'll probably turn it around. I have rarely seen a new business which has come in for this kind of overwhelming support, especially within the radical/bohemian community, right off the bat. I don't know if there's a political lesson here, but I sure wish I had thought of it first. [People tried to do the same thing with pizza 10 years ago, and it totally flopped.]
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:35 AM
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Okay, actually only 2100 fans, but still.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:36 AM
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61: Striking a blow against the very essence of the culinary hegemony of the man!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:37 AM
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52: They didn't manage to block the New Deal. "They have made their decision, now let them enforce it" as a last-ditch solution for executive/judicial conflict is always available, and that's going to shape how lesser conflicts turn out as well. (I've left out congress for some reason, and of course congress can trump either if they want to. My fantasy executive is successfully leading congress in the direction it wants.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:37 AM
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45: insofar as what you're saying is what he's arguing, I'm on board. I've said so many times before. Not that it matters. Swing voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania aren't going to be persuaded by "Remember the Supreme Court!"

That said, my problem with what Charley said is that insofar as he appears to be pre-blaming "the left" for Obama's loss to Romney -- because "the left" will claim that there's no difference between the two -- he's wrong. First, because I don't think Obama's loss, should he lose, to Romney will be the left's fault. Again, it will be white swing voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania and Florida who will deliver the election to Romney. Second, because the left hated Obama before the choice was Obama or Romney. And the left's hatred of Obama is largely a result of the fact that Obama has sucked in ways that are important to the left, not because the left is stupid or fickle or unable to understand that Romney is terrible. And that's where the enthusiasm gap I mentioned above comes from. Democrats on the left aren't enthusiastic about Obama this time. He let them down. Their disappointment long predated a contest between Romney and Obama.

That's not to say that people on the left aren't going to say that Romney and Obama are the same. I'm sure they will. But if Obama's going to lose this election, that's not going to be the reason why. And I think Charley shouldn't be prepping the ground for that kind of argument.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:41 AM
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61: Deeply ironic, that a left-wing collective should devote itself to serving the fundamental diet of its natural enemies.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:42 AM
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64 -- Vote/advocate your fantasies. What could possibly go wrong?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:42 AM
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65: You betcha.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:42 AM
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58

Wait, where do we get this choice? I thought your whole point about GHWB is that even a moderately bad, 'competent' Republican is likely to appoint squamous, rugose, crawling horrors to the SC. I think you're right about that, but I also think it means the SC sort of drops out of the electoral calculus -- it's just another awful side-effect of any Republican in the White House.

You all forgetting that GHWB appointed Souter also, or do you hate him too?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:43 AM
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67: Nice job pounding the table, Charley.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:44 AM
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63 -> 66


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:44 AM
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54

Right. But aside from all that, I assume liberals do have a preference as to who gets the Republican nomination. What I want to know is what people here think is the best bet: a Romney/Obama match, which would be a fairly tight race and could draw a lot of people in the center to the Republican side on the belief (however false it may be) that Romney really wouldn't be all that bad because after all he did pass healthcare reform, didn't he?; or a Cuckoo-of-choice/Obama match, in which Obama would clearly have the upper hand but which result in an unmitigated disaster should cuckoo pull off a win.


Posted by: John Stapleton | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:45 AM
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54

Right. But aside from all that, I assume liberals do have a preference as to who gets the Republican nomination. What I want to know is what people here think is the best bet: a Romney/Obama match, which would be a fairly tight race and could draw a lot of people in the center to the Republican side on the belief (however false it may be) that Romney really wouldn't be all that bad because after all he did pass healthcare reform, didn't he?; or a Cuckoo-of-choice/Obama match, in which Obama would clearly have the upper hand but which result in an unmitigated disaster should cuckoo pull off a win.


Posted by: John Stapleton | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:46 AM
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I apologize for the double posting. Not intentional.


Posted by: John Stapleton | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:47 AM
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In a two party system the two parties are roughly going to alternate in power. Winning every election is not an option. In the long run it's much more important the Republicans turn into a reasonable sane serious party than that Democrats win a slightly higher number of elections. I've been seriously considering registering Republican for this reason. It seems to me that Republican primaries are the most important elections.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:47 AM
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People who add to the narrative that persuades white swing voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania that they were wrong to trust the black guy are no less responsible for the consequences of their actions than anyone else.

I'm not blaming anyone for their hatred or disappointment. The question is how they act on it. If they act in a way that helps Romney win, they deserve blame.

Just because Obama has sucked doesn't mean one is free to advocate Republican rule without obloquy.

(Obviously, if it's a blow-out, the marginal effect of this is zero. But if it's close, then each little bit is a but-for factor.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:48 AM
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72/3: Oh, that's easy -- if I could pick the Republican nominee, it's Cain in a heartbeat. (A) Almost certainly Obama wins, which as lousy as he's been he's much better than any Republican, or (B) if by some freakish concatenation of circumstances Cain wins, we have no idea what will happen, and there's no particular reason to think it'll be worse than what Romney will do.

But we don't have any particular influence over how that turns out, so there's no real need to have a position.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:50 AM
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72: I pick A. Minimize the worst case where "worst" is defined in some way where only things with p > .01 are included.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:51 AM
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69 -- I don't forget that. But he and his people view it as having been a mistake.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:51 AM
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Further to 65: it's usually impossible to isolate a single variable for why a candidate wins or loses an election. But it's become very popular, since 1968, to pretend that the left is the reason that superior Democratic candidates lose to supposedly inferior Republican ones.* In this case, we're talking about a seated president who's had nearly four years to shore up the left flank of his party. Instead of doing that, he's taken strategic shits on the left again and again. People like me will still vote for him. Hell, I'm even going to send him money and might even work for him. But don't ask me to like him any more. My dad, though, a left voter and longtime Democratic activist in Ohio, will actively campaign against him. The Obama administration largely absented itself from Governor Kasich's assault on public employees' unions in Ohio, and my dad now hates the president with the fire of a thousand suns. He genuinely believes that Romney can be no worse and might be better. He understands that the Supreme Court is in play. He would tell Charley that the court doesn't matter enough to make the difference if there are no unions to get out the vote, and that a Democratic president who can't, as he promised to during his campaign, seed the ground so that the Party can grow, isn't worth supporting.

* If this isn't what Charley is doing, I apologize. I misunderstood him in that case.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:52 AM
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63/66: Well, Aaron Cometbus has been complaining for years that we don't have a good culture of doughnought shops here. And we don't -- I think there used to be a few Dunkin' Donuts locations around, but not like you saw in other major cities, and now they're all gone. And of course we all know how the Krispy Kreme flash-in-the-pan fizzled. And the two nearest Winchell's to my zip code are both in Omaha. So it is just a power vacuum. We have a number of independent bakeries that sell really good donuts, although the best one downtown closed several years ago. I have no idea what cops eat here. You never see them getting shite donuts from Stupid America.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:53 AM
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A Cain presidency would wreck the economy, Romney might actually be smart enough that he would know that he needed the economy to turn around. It's possible that a Romney presidency would lead to the best economy as the Fed will want him reelected because he's in their little rich people club.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:53 AM
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76: The weak point in this argument is when you start blaming 'the left' for 'advocating Republican rule'. Blame anyone you like that you actually see advocating Republican rule -- dig up Ralph Nader's moldering corpse for what he said about preferring Bush to Gore. But blaming people for insufficient enthusiasm for Obama, or for pointing out his many flaws, because it might have the effect of slightly raising the chance that a Republican wins, is a recipe for nothing ever improving at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:53 AM
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76

People who add to the narrative that persuades white swing voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania that they were wrong to trust the black guy are no less responsible for the consequences of their actions than anyone else.

If Clinton would have been a better President then the people who persuaded the Democrats to nominate Obama should also be held responsible for the consequences of their actions.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:55 AM
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Also, how important is the candidate vs. the party in shaping what the administration looks like? Where I'm from it doesn't much matter who the candidate is since most high-level appointments (i.e., the ones with potential influence on policy) are already decided within the party structure. (Not true of superfluous, irrelevant yet highly-paid appointments, so there's still a fair bit of primary competition).


Posted by: John Stapleton | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:56 AM
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Just because Obama has sucked doesn't mean one is free to advocate Republican rule without obloquy

If advocating Republican rule were in fact the only alternative to campaigning enthusiastically for Obama and pretending he will set right what ails America, it would indeed be a problem.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:58 AM
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||

OT Personal consumption bleg: I'm going to get a new phone soon. My current one is about four years old and has moderately functional web capability, but nothing beyond that. So I'm looking to get a smart phone and curious what my primary considerations should be.

A couple details: I'm currently a T-Mobile customer. I'm happy with them, and plan to stick with them, but could switch if some other company has a deal that's worth taking advantage of.

By default I would probably get a fancy smartphone of some sort. My one hesitation is that I'm thinking about getting a tablet at some point (which means, in my case sometime between 1 and 18 months from now. I've been tempted for over a year, but haven't acted on that yet). My biggest concern is that I don't want to pay for internet on both a tablet and phone. Talking to the phone salesman it sounded like it's pretty easy to just get internet on the phone and then use it as a wireless hot-spot for a tablet when needed, but I'm curious if there's any reasons not to go that route? Also I'm curious if the possibility of a tablet would be a reason to get a smaller phone, or if I'd be happy anyway to have a phone that I can read things on.

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:58 AM
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81: Donuts are bound to be more successful than pizza, because donuts are much easier to make an edible version thereof. Having eaten my share of anarchist collective pizza . . . no.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:58 AM
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73: but which result in an unmitigated disaster should cuckoo pull off a win.

I'm not sure that this follows. If someone on the Cain/Bachmann/Palin axis of nuttiness wins, they're already going to be somewhat alienated from the (admittedly small) sane wing of the GOP. And from pretty much all the Democrats. Yes, there will be sell-out Blue Dogs and what not, but it seems exceedingly unlikely that any crazy Repug is going to be able to duplicate what Cheney-Bush did. I don't want to find out, obviously, so I'll be voting Obama, damn his eyes, but I still think a rapidly-marginalizing Republican leadership is not the worst of all possible worlds.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 10:59 AM
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88: It wasn't as bad as you're probably imagining. Not great either -- they just never got the crust quite right. But it was edible. They had bike-delivery of pizza. I don't think the Donut People are trying that, wisely.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:02 AM
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80 -- I think the Village narrative is a big deal. I think the left narrative plays a significant but not definitive role in shaping the Village narrative. In every election since 1968, when the left narrative is genuinely supportive (and not unduly nitpicking or just plain unenthusiastic), the Dem wins. Except 1984 and 2004, where the Village narrative was overawed by the raw power of the incumbent.

When the left narrative is 'this Dem is no damn good' the Dem is not going to win.

Ok, the best solution is obviously a candidate who gets a positive left narrative. Two ways to get this are (a) some genuine left orientation (n=0) or (b) experience by the left of Republican rule. I would hope that some day the left would be able to retain (b) in mind for more than one election cycle. It's a hopeless fantasy, I guess.

Obviously, Obama will deserve nearly all the blame if he loses. That doesn't mean that people who acted for his defeat are blameless.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:02 AM
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I still think a rapidly-marginalizing Republican leadership is not the worst of all possible worlds

So what is?


Posted by: John Stapleton | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:05 AM
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If every time a leftist says that Obama is no damn good they also say, three times, that Romney could not possibly be better in any conceivable respect, and that he is sure to be far far worse in ways that surpass counting, I think I'd be satisfied.

I'm not asking people to be enthusiastic about Obama or pretend he's something he's not. Really I'm not. I am asking them to avoid pretending that (a) a Romney is likely to be something it's not and (b) an Obama defeat leads to a progressive future.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:07 AM
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87: I have an android (G2) with a T-mobile plan where I pay $10 a month (on top of a voice plan) for only 200 MB of internet a month. That is enough for email, twitter, and a certain site that has comment pages that load without using too much bandwidth but not enough to do serious surfing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:08 AM
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84 -- Sure. I'll own my part of that, if you can convince me that HRC would have been better in any way.

Back to the Rep side, remember that Romney is going to pick a VP from the batshit wing, to shore up that vote. Probably put the person in charge of some domestic thing, like Quayle was on industry complaints about regulations.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:12 AM
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92: Well, let's see, I think it would probably go something like this:
2012: Obama wins a landslide election against Romney, Tea Party influence significantly reduced.
2013: Supreme Court overturns the few good parts of healthcare law, leaving all the bad parts.
2014: Moderate Republican Party resurgent, takes a lot of local seats, Senate and House with solid Republican majorities.
2015: Republicans, now comfortable with significant majorities, force Obama to make more preemptive compromises to preserve the illusion of control.
2016: Tea Party has completely fizzled, nothing to fight against. Centrist Republicans, with a couple of years running Congress under their belt, nominate a very solid, non-crazy candidate. Democrats, meanwhile, are at each others' throats as usual. Primary contest is between Clinton and some significantly further left candidate. Clinton pulls through, but doesn't have the support of the progressive wing. Republicans win, maintain their majorities in Congress, overhaul healthcare to make it even worse that Obama's plan, crack down further on civil liberties, etc. etc.
Post-2016: This is when the Water & Oil Wars really start going crazy -- Central Asia, Nigeria, South America all go off at once. Israel-Iran War. Maybe some tactical nukes used, excuse for Republicans to put country under Emergency Powers. Refuse to do anything about climate change.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:21 AM
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I've read through 96 three times and I still don't see "Profit!11!!111!" anywhere. Not a good plan.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:23 AM
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Also, Charley, how about this? If you promise to say that Obama sucks milquetoast moderate ass three times for every one time you pre-blame the left for his impending loss to Romney, I'll try to convince my dad to say that Romney isn't going to be any better than Obama when he campaigns against the latter.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:25 AM
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97: I'm not sure it's even the WoAPW, just a pretty bad outcome that involves a sanitized Republican Party.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:26 AM
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Further to 95.1, I think the ways that Obama has failed are mostly institutional -- he and his people have followed the Village consensus, when it was wrong. I can understand why he'd have made that choice: bucking the Village is a tough go. I don't see in HRC, or the people she was listening to in the campaign, anything that leads me to believe she'd have played these things differently.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:27 AM
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That VW's dad is going to campaign against Obama is deeply depressing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:29 AM
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98 -- I'm well ahead of that, honestly. Even if not always in print. I'll give it a go.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:30 AM
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Further to 96: The Republicans are going to have an amazing array of choices for the 2016 nomination. There's a whole bunch of Tea Party freshman who are going to have been assimilated into the usual Beltway mindset by that time, who'll have both the anti-tax/anti-progress credentials from their early years, and the experience of how things actually work that will make them formidable opponents.

Also, no one has apparently used "Knuckleboom" for a band name yet, so get on that.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:34 AM
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Rich people in this country live quite well. Perhaps I should make a lot of money.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:37 AM
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101: it is indeed. Not nearly as depressing as the reasons why, though. Again, my father is a lifelong Democratic activist. And as I've said in other threads, he was a mid-level bundler for Obama in the last election. But he believes that the president's disengagement -- even at the rhetorical level -- from the fights over public employees' unions in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio went well beyond despicable and reached into the realm of self-destructive. He also believes, like Apo, that the Affordable Care Act is a gigantic giveaway to private health insurers. And finally, he sees the president's record on civil liberties as, quoting him now, "deeply immoral" and believes that anyone, including me, who continues to support him is implicated in, paraphrasing now, war crimes.

Please understand, my father is not shrill. He's a bedrock New Deal Democrat who sees the last vestiges of the institutions that he believes in -- and in some cases helped to build -- being destroyed. And he now fears that the rot is coming from within the Democratic Party.

Is that depressing? Yes, it is. Is, "But the alternatives are worse, dad." a strong enough argument to change his mind? No, no it's not.

Are there many people in my dad's circle of Jewish liberal friends in Northeast Ohio who feel the same way? Yes, there are. Is Obama potentially in deep shit because of this enthusiasm gap? Yes, he is. Will it have nothing to do with "the left" or comments at liberal blogs? Nothing at all. If Obama loses Ohio by a few thousand votes, he will have earned his loss. The thing is, we'll all suffer for it, and that's what Charley wants to avoid.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:40 AM
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88: You've never gotten to experience the Cheese Board, then?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:49 AM
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If Obama loses Ohio by a few thousand votes, he will have earned his loss.

I understand your point, of course, but I can't help but think that there's something deeply flawed in your dad's reasoning, and I'm not sure, yet anyway, that I can manage to blame Obama for it.

I don't want or mean to harsh on your dad -- this isn't the first time I've heard of these kinds of sentiments.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:53 AM
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It's going to be smashing fun to link to discussions like this when we're all doing the J'accuse twist in approximately 52 weeks.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:53 AM
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105 is well written and also depressing.

"Where am I going, and why am I in this handbasket . . ."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 11:54 AM
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I'm not sure, yet anyway, that I can manage to blame Obama for it.

What part of Obama's foreign policy and civil liberties record do you not blame on Obama?


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 12:00 PM
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100

Further to 95.1, I think the ways that Obama has failed are mostly institutional -- he and his people have followed the Village consensus, when it was wrong. I can understand why he'd have made that choice: bucking the Village is a tough go. I don't see in HRC, or the people she was listening to in the campaign, anything that leads me to believe she'd have played these things differently.

Yes, HRC was no prize, as shown by her stupid campaign. In truth I don't remember all that much about the primary campaign (including who I was rooting for). Obama made a couple of dumb campaign promises, not to raise taxes on anyone in the under $250000/year bracket and to escalate in Afghanistan. Where was HRC on these issues?

I do find it hard to believe HRC wouldn't have been better on prosecuting wrongdoing committed during the runup to the financial crisis since I simply do not understand Obama's inaction in that regard.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 12:06 PM
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Even if we could look into a crystal ball and see alternate scenarios where the country goes to shit or not longterm depending on how well the left holds its nose and campaigns for Obama, I still don't think it's valid to point the finger for it. Politics is not a war where deserting your post is a crime; it's about hearts and minds, and there is nothing more natural than to labor insufficiently on behalf of someone who disappoints you at every turn, regardless of the consequences of this insufficiency.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 12:18 PM
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Wait, VW, is your father going to campaign for the Republican, or just against Obama? Or for you know whatever rando is also going to run?
Frankly it's not clear to me that you can find a US pres in recent memory who isn't guilty in various senses of "war crimes." And if your father thinks that this is especially the case for Obama, well, huh. What did he think of Clinton ending welfare as we know it, etc.?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 12:28 PM
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110: I wasn't clear. I meant that when push comes to shove, as it were, I distinguish between voting affirmatively in full-fledged support of a candidate (what VW's dad apparently wants to be able to do), and voting against a worse alternative.

I invariably do the latter. If someone else feels it correct to support a worse alternative because the better (but not at all awesome) candidate is, well, not awesome, I think that person has made a fundamental error, which error is not the less-than-awesome candidate's fault.

But VW said in 80 that his dad genuinely believes that Romney can be no worse and might be better.

I don't know what the thinking is there, frankly, given that Romney supports Kasich's union-busting moves in Ohio.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 12:29 PM
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Durrrr...


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 12:38 PM
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VW, thanks to your dad for working hard on OH's Issue 2. It's something that directly impacts our family finances and it's been very interesting and heartening to me to see the sources of support for the embattled unions.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 12:39 PM
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Obama sucks. Badly. I'm in full accord with 105.1 and 105.2. (Must I go on, VW? I totally can.)

The thing is, your dad, and everyone else, has the choice between voting interests and voting feelings. If they can't articulate an 'interests' position that doesn't have an underpants gnomes element in it, then it looks to me like they're voting 'feelings.' A tragedy that Obama has brought this on himself and everyone else, because he totally has, and deserves the consequences.

But, still, no substitute for voting 'interests.'


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 12:42 PM
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2 is going down handily, I think. Driving around NE Ohio I have seen countless iterations of No on 2 signs and precisely 3 (1, 2, 3) Yes on 2 signs.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 12:43 PM
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and deserves the consequences.

The rest of us don't, though. Just thought I'd make that explicit.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 1:01 PM
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118: I hope that's true, but I just don't trust Ohio elections. Things seem more contested in this area. I haven't talked online about participating in a strike but the amount of hostility we had to deal with was overwhelming and scary at times, though the unexpected support was encouraging.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 1:09 PM
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120: Isn't the polling practically 60/40? I haven't checked in a while, so maybe I'm delusional.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 1:12 PM
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I think even stronger than 60/40 and I fully admit my paranoia is irrational, but it's also real.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 1:16 PM
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119:Yes, you do.

The civilization and justice of bourgeois order comes out in its lurid light whenever the slaves and drudges of that order rise against their masters. Then this civilization and justice stand forth as undisguised savagery and lawless revenge ... the infernal deeds of the soldiery reflect the innate spirit of that civilization.
...Marx on the Paris Commune
Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 1:32 PM
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||

I'm at an iStore waiting for my iPod to be iRepaired. I had no idea being in a room that is entirely battleship gray could feel so hip. Such smooth, vaguely metallic surfaces! The dark blue t-shirts bespeak of deep technological knowledge.

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 1:38 PM
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In a society intrinsically and irremediably unjust, those calling for interests over feelings, or order over disorder, or cost-benefit calculations, or the protection of innocents over justice for the wicked are on the wrong side of the barricades by their own choice and always will be, no matter how horrific the crimes of the state.

Sometimes Romanticism is right, and sometimes batshit crazy is the only sane reaction, but honestly, most times we don't really have a choice. It is our separate and different natures to acquiesce to horror or to die screaming.

I don't care about you. Voting for Obama is a vote to make it worse, even if Romney would make it more worse.

I repeat, voting for Obama is a vote to make it worse. It is an evil act. I won't do it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 1:48 PM
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124: Are you in Beechwood? Or is there one further west?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 1:49 PM
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125.last: OMG, we've lost bob!!!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 2:03 PM
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The thing is, your dad, and everyone else, has the choice between voting interests and voting feelings. If they can't articulate an 'interests' position that doesn't have an underpants gnomes element in it, then it looks to me like they're voting 'feelings.'

Part of the interests rationale for not voting for someone whose record you find repellent is that if there's no downside to the party closest to your views in selling you out, you'll never get a candidate who doesn't disgust you. That motivation doesn't always trump everything - often you're going to have to work enthusiastically for a candidate you're not happy with because the alternative is so bad.

But you're talking as if it's never a motivation that should be taken into account at all; that withholding support from a repugnant candidate, if he's detectably better that the alternative, is always cutting off your nose to spite your face. And that's just wrong -- its a tactic that can have a positive effect.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 2:11 PM
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I've written in myself in local elections that are uncontested. It gets me get used to voting for people who I don't trust.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 2:17 PM
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s/b "It helps me to get". Which kind of supports my point.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 2:17 PM
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128 -- That strategy has never worked, and, in our system, is never going to work.

If Obama loses, some fringe characters might blame the left. (And the left will argue back -- taking both accusers and accused out of the field of relevant discourse). The predominant narrative, and the one that will inform future candidacies, is that Obama pushed too far to the left, and the country wanted the safety of center-right Romney.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 2:20 PM
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What you mean is that that strategy hasn't worked in recent memory for the left, not that it's never worked for anyone. The right didn't turn out enthusiastically for GHWB in 1992 because he was a RINO, and they've been getting slavishly catered to ever since.

I'm not claiming that it's a strategy that's always going to work. Sometimes it's misguided. But writing it out of the calculus of what's politically conceivable is wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 2:31 PM
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127: And maybe Texas, too!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 2:33 PM
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132 -- Have a Democratic example? In what way does the nomination of Dole fit your thesis? Or of uniter-not-a-divider compassionate conservative Bush Jr? The nomination of McCain? The coming nomination of Romney?

Plenty of people thought that the appearance of spittle-flecked Buchanan delegates at the 92 Republican convention was a big turn-off to centrists. Dole went out of his way to repudiate those people in 96. The impeachment definitely was, which is why Bush ran away from it. McCain paid lip service to the right wing, but they knew he wasn't one of them.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 2:45 PM
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But the objective, material conditions will keep getting worse. The rich will get richer, the poor poorer, rights diminished, and the wars will go on.

A personal politics that abstracts itself from material conditions and a person who attempts to idealize herself as a "rational actor" are obviously objectifications. Simple escapism into a role.

A personal politics that is a real human response to our objective conditions will look non-rational, because, as all the above has made clear, there is no rational choice to be made between feelings and interests, between personal morality and social responsibility.

Carp, you are hanging on to such a slender thread, such a meager hope. This is not so rational. It saddens me, the despairing center-left are the saddest ones.

Especially since I remember the late 60s.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 2:51 PM
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Wait, VW, is your father going to campaign for the Republican, or just against Obama?

My dad is actively campaigning against Obama in that he's suggesting that his circle of friends use their money (this, of course, is the key thing for the local Democratic Party) and time to influence local elections and not give a dollar to the national reelection campaign. I don't believe that he's stumping for Romney or anything. Mostly, he's been very involved with the 2 campaign and with several others in Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin (I don't know the details but can ask if you want me to). Dad also believes that Sherrod Brown is a genuinely excellent senator and well worth the time for anyone who might be interested in progressive legislation. Finally, he was appalled by welfare reform, as it had a direct effect on the social service agency that he ran at the time. But he continued to support President Clinton because of I'm not sure what. I think because Clinton massively increased funding for various mental health initiatives and also for several backdoor welfare programs? But honestly, I don't remember the details, as we try not to talk about politics too much. Indeed, I only mentioned my dad as a way of illustrating the trouble that Obama may face, trouble not born of FDL or wherever Jane Hamsher is blogging these days. I mean, I'd like to blame Obama's impending loss (if it happens) on bob, but I think that represents a real mangling of causation.

Finally, Charley, your distinction between feelings and interests is, as I suspect you knew when you wrote it, at least half horseshit. For real activists, people who have spent most of their adult lives actually working the trenches for the Democratic Party (for some reason I think you're one of these people, by the way), there are only ever political alternatives. My dad has decided that this president is both personally irredeemable (that's at the level of feelings, I'll grant you) and politically a major liability (that's interests). He believes that supporting this president is supporting the destruction of what remains of the New Deal. He thinks that a President Romney won't be actively worse in that regard. I disagree with him on that front, as I've said many times, but I certainly can see his point and don't think it's irrational or purely emotional. I also think, as I noted above, it has nothing to do with blogs or what people usually mean when they talk about "the left" or anything like that. I think it's a pretty cold calculation being made by an activist who had limited time and money and who has to figure out how to spend both. As I think about it, where's the bulk of your money going? Obama or Tester?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 2:53 PM
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134: Again with the table pounding.

I'm explicitly not claiming this always works, or that it's always a good idea, so examples where it failed to work aren't relevant to anything. But if you write it off as inevitably and always counterproductive, which you have, (a) you're just wrong on the facts. The right is in a stronger, better political position because they're demonstrably willing to walk away from a candidate who dissatisfies them and (b) you're giving up any reason for the Democratic party to ever offer us candidates who appeal to us on their merits.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 2:57 PM
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Eh, I should be quiet and let the Dutch Cookie do the arguing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 3:00 PM
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I don't mean to make light of your father's situation. He's just so wrong about the downside risk.

The proper question is whether the bulk is going to Tester or the open house seat. So far, the senate seat is in the lead, but once there is a house nominee we'll see.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 3:04 PM
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You can't write a coherent sentence that makes the nominations of Dole, Bush Jr., McCain, or Romney, each in their context, into evidence of right triumph through withholding votes.

It doesn't matter. I'm giving up on this, to spare bob further sadness on my behalf.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 3:12 PM
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140: If you compare the Bob Dole of 1996 with the Bob Dole of 1976, maybe? That's a bit before my time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 3:15 PM
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Wait, VW, is your father going to campaign for the Republican, or just against Obama?

I agree. He doesn't. But I don't think you can ascribe his disagreement to emotion (making it irrational). I think he's made a calculation, based on years of experience, and he thinks that Obama is the great of two evils.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 3:16 PM
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I'm supporting Obama the Great over Hitler the Lesser.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 3:21 PM
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By 141, I mean that what makes a "moderate" Republican has shifted over the years. I'm not making any claims about causation for that shift.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 3:23 PM
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Dole lost. That's sort of the point -- the base didn't come out for him in the general.

Bush catered to the hard right and won; even more so in the way he governed and ran for re-election. McCain tried to cater to the hard right and lost, partially because anyone would have lost to Obama under the circumstances, and partially because they didn't buy the shift from politician approved of by both parties, to hard right ideologue. In both cases they picked a hard right VP. Romney isn't running as the moderate his record would suggest, he's sucking up to the right, and will probably if elected, do the same thing Bush did, governing as far to the right as possible in the hopes of re-election.

The right gets candidates that cater to its policy preferences, because they stay home (Dole, McCain) when they don't like the candidate on offer.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 3:43 PM
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47, 48: Shit. Now I'm imagining us all in 20 years saying "We didn't realize how good we had it under GWB."


Posted by: wink ;) | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 5:14 PM
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This is pretty messed up: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/11/2011114635741836.html


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 5:41 PM
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137: The right is in a stronger, better political position because they're demonstrably willing to walk away from a candidate who dissatisfies them

Of course, the right-wing propaganda machine also spent the last 30 years *nurturing* a large enough base hostile to e.g. the New Deal, that the prospect of that base walking (staying home) is seriously damaging to the party's electoral prospects.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 6:03 PM
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147: Ugh.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 6:10 PM
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Bush catered to the hard right and won; even more so in the way he governed and ran for re-election. McCain tried to cater to the hard right and lost,

For the record, this is not what the "hard right" believes about these guys. They just think mainstream Democrats are stalking horses for Stalinism.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 6:18 PM
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Sure. They keep moving further right and redefining positions that would have been right-wing extremist ten years before as the new center, so they're still dissatisfied. But they're getting candidates who would have been unthinkably far right even twenty years ago.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 6:35 PM
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146

47, 48: Shit. Now I'm imagining us all in 20 years saying "We didn't realize how good we had it under GWB."

Well rumor has it GWB vetoed war with Iran.

And the price of oil figures to be a lot higher in 20 years independent of who is President.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 6:37 PM
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Well rumor has it GWB vetoed war with Iran.

I'm not saying I don't believe it, but when? Why? Where did he find reasons to stand up to his attendants' well-worn ways of manipulating him?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 6:42 PM
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153: When Who's The Boss was released on Netflix streaming, he would not take any interruption that week.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 6:45 PM
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George W. Bush and the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations, a Fantasy in Two Terms.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-11 7:03 PM
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To the OP, I liked this tweeted cite from the NYT:

"To say Cain has imperfect grasp of policy wld be unfair not only 2 GWBush in 1999 but also to Britney Spears in 1999"


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 7-11 6:14 AM
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UN PRESIDENT TIM KALEMKARIAN, US PRESIDENT TIM KALEMKARIAN, US SENATE TIM KALEMKARIAN, US HOUSE TIM KALEMKARIAN: BEST MAJOR CANDIDATE.


Posted by: ANONYMOUS | Link to this comment | 11- 7-11 6:02 PM
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Where did he find reasons to stand up to his attendants' well-worn ways of manipulating him?

It was with the help of two young advisors who arrived late in his second term.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 11- 7-11 6:41 PM
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I'm not sure a greater contrast can be drawn than that between Bush Sr and Bush Jr. What's the difference in the outcome?

I can draw a pretty decent contrast between 91-92 and 07-08 on a few relevant grounds, to whit: were we mired in a crazy war? were we at the start of an economic meltdown? was music ok or shitty? was the sparkle in my eye dead?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 7-11 7:05 PM
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