Re: What A Place

1

Even worse -- Obama is John McCain's bastard son!


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 5:06 PM
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I don't think African-Americans are any different from other constituencies: they're not going to back a loser. If Obama looks like a serious candidate on vote day, I suspect he'll get the vast majority of African-American female votes. But it'll be really, really interesting if he doesn't.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 5:07 PM
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Next thing you know, he'll have black children with black prostitutes women ...


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 5:25 PM
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2: Did black voters not support Jesse Jackson?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 5:30 PM
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what is that impulse, to vote for the candidate who's already ahead, or to root for a team JUST because it's the favorite? (a different phenomenon to paying more attention to your preferred team during years when it's not depressing). Based on how the primaries tend to go, it's widespread--though also amplified by the extent to which the press loves a winner. But I've never understood it.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 5:45 PM
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You're not helping me get over my knee jerk hatred of the South.


Posted by: WillieStyle | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 6:00 PM
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4: Very different times, very different guys, very different alternatives.

5: I'm not sure it's very different from FP people sitting on their hands because Berger has warned them that punishment will be meted out once HRC's president. For most people, there are mediators--clergy, local leaders, national leaders like Lewis--who can be bought and threatened, and who do gain by supporting winners. I suspect that people who closely follow politics and who make pretty independent judgments on candidates are the rare ones.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 6:01 PM
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5: because there are quite a few people who like to win more than they care about who's winning? If you don't overtly care much about who's going to win, why not back the obvious winner? That way you get to share in the excitement and glory, no matter how minor.



Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 6:17 PM
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Somebody needs to tell these women about the "If you hurt Obama, we will BURN SHIT DOWN" strategy.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 6:33 PM
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Interesting that Bill Clinton's legacy seems to be positive for Hillary in two different ways: she'll be good, because he was good; she'll be good, because he was good and she was running the show anyway.

The first worries me a little bit.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 6:47 PM
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what is that impulse, to vote for the candidate who's already ahead, or to root for a team JUST because it's the favorite?

It's the kind of thing that would make me want to invoke sociobiology, if I actually knew anything about sociobiology.

Whatever the ethics of jumping on the lead bandwagon, it would seem to have some selection value.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 6:50 PM
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jumping on the lead bandwagon

I outsourced this post to China. Not safe for young children.


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 6:51 PM
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I expected that the "Hussein" part would be, or be made, a stumbling block for the squeal-like-a-pig vote, as if the black thing weren't bad enough, but it's pretty amusing that they're mentioning the United Church of Christ specifically.

I wonder if they're expecting the Warren-Oates-in-Ride the High Country vote to key on the black thing and the "of Christ" part of the name and hate the dissembling usurper, and the deep-dyed fundamentalists to add membership in the hippie denomination that welcomes gays to the offense they're engraving into their silver bullets.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 6:53 PM
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Pollsters caution that polling in a contest like this can be unreliable because whites might not be telling the truth when they say they will vote for a black man, and blacks might not be telling the truth when they say they are undecided.

I wonder if anyone has done research on whether people give different answers to pollsters depending on the (perceived) race of the people asking the question.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 6:57 PM
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isn't it kind of embarrasing that the first female president is going to be elected because of her husband's work?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 7:00 PM
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Fatalist


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 7:04 PM
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nah i'm just depressed


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 7:06 PM
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Yeah, Trevor, I may be all wrong about that selection value.

Flippanter, I think some of them would rather vote Muslim than UCC.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 7:07 PM
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15, no, that's how the vast majority of female presidents and governors have gained power. Those that weren't part of a family dynasty, that is.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 7:08 PM
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And, it should probably be noted, no small number of men come into political power through family connections. Which probably shouldn't be very surprising. Horatio Alger was a Harvard grad.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 7:16 PM
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15: An odd objection to Hillary. A lot of presidents make it on the basis of their political mentors and associates. And nobody was embarrassed by the current president (who, you may recall, has a family connection) until after his behavior required it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 7:22 PM
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It's just the 'how sad for feminism if HRC makes it because of her connections to Bill' nonsense. I'm sure it will eventually get wide play should she win, but it's a pretty dumb argument given that we have no shortage of legacy patricians running around the government.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 7:26 PM
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As would have been, for example, our preferred 2000 choice, Gore.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 7:28 PM
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I'm neither a fan of political dynasties nor of Hillary Clinton's candidacy, but I don't think that she's doing as well as she is because she's seen as an extension of Bill--she's definitely benefiting from how things went in the Clinton administration, but she's no Lurleen Wallace.


Posted by: the Other Paul | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 7:29 PM
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Sullivan, meanwhile, contends that Hillary can't be a feminist because she makes use of her husband's political capital.

And speaking of Sullivan, Ezra is firing back at the prick on the Hillarycare thing, and this time, it's personal.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 7:30 PM
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How many outstanding debate challenges does Ezra have these days anyway? Kaus, Malkin, Sullivan ... more?


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 7:38 PM
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a pretty dumb argument given that we have no shortage of legacy patricians running around the government.

Word. The whole fucking country runs on this stuff. The difference between an Ivy League MBA and one from a state school is connections, not coursework.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 7:43 PM
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I liked the second article.

Also, like Pollitt says, if people don't stop saying sexist things about Hillary Clinton, I'm totally going to have to vote for her. But you all knew that already.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 8:22 PM
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No one but you is confused about whom you're voting for, B. And that's fine.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 8:25 PM
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"15, no, that's how the vast majority of female presidents and governors have gained power. Those that weren't part of a family dynasty, that is."

Well htat hardly makes it better.

Also there is a big difference between someone's parent being important, and their spouse being so.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 8:28 PM
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I mean basicallly voting for hilary doesn't do anything for showing that women are just as capable as men, it shows that the good ole boys&girls network is alive and well. which baffles me in garance or b's support.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 8:33 PM
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Is there some way to easily simulate the experience of being a non privildeged sort?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 8:33 PM
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32: Try thinking through what you're saying.

For instance:

voting for hilary doesn't do anything for showing that women are just as capable as men, it shows that the good ole boys&girls network is alive and well

How do men get to the point of being the leading candidate for their party's presidential nomination? Purely through hard work, merit, and outshining all competitors? Or through some kind of connections?

If men get there through connections, then a woman doing so does, in fact, demonstrate that women are as capable of men. Moreover, Clinton's qualifications go just a leettle tiny bit further than "her husband was president." And finally, it's the "old boys' network"--until very recently, women weren't part of it. And now the women who are are tokens.

So if your point is that for a woman to be a valid candidate, she'd have to not use connections, not be part of the network, and be qualified In Her Own Right, then what you want is a woman who is far *more* qualified than any man has ever been.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 8:39 PM
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In other news, I think Katha Pollitt is 100% correct in that link, and as a matter of fact, I believe I am going to vote for Edwards in the primary. I'll get to vote for Hillary in the election itself, after all.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 8:43 PM
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Is there some way to easily simulate the experience of being a non privildeged sort?

Sleep with your bosses wife, spend all your money on meth, then move to Wyoming. Should work a treat.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 8:45 PM
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So if your point is that for a woman to be a valid candidate, she'd have to not use connections, not be part of the network, and be qualified In Her Own Right, then what you want is a woman who is far *more* qualified than any man has ever been.

How did Margaret Thatcher become leader of the Tories? Serious question.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 8:48 PM
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She slept with the queen.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 8:52 PM
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I have to agree with bitchphd et al. Yoyo, you're setting up a standard that precious few male politicians could meet.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 8:53 PM
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32: Try thinking through what you're saying.
lolocaust.

For instance:
How do men get to the point of being the leading candidate for their party's presidential nomination? Purely through hard work, merit, and outshining all competitors? Or through some kind of connections?
If men get there through connections, then a woman doing so does, in fact, demonstrate that women are as capable of men. Moreover, Clinton's qualifications go just a leettle tiny bit further than "her husband was president." And finally, it's the "old boys' network"--until very recently, women weren't part of it. And now the women who are are tokens.
So if your point is that for a woman to be a valid candidate, she'd have to not use connections, not be part of the network, and be qualified In Her Own Right, then what you want is a woman who is far *more* qualified than any man has ever been.

What are Hilary's advantages in this race? How did she get them? How does this compare to anyone else in the race?

and there is a difference between excelling compared to a general class of the top 2% or so of the population, and being the wife of the exprez.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 8:55 PM
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I mean basicallly voting for hilary doesn't do anything for showing that women are just as capable as men, it shows that the good ole boys&girls network is alive and well.

You'll notice that Hillary can't flap her arms and fly, and is therefore governed by the law of gravity. I find this very disappointing. My litmus test for woman candidates is the ability to walk on water.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 8:56 PM
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WEll, B reinterpreted the standard i set up to be that, yes.

And i'm not suggesting that Mitt Huckabee is some emblem of male ache3vment.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 8:56 PM
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Women have long been able to reach power by being wives/daughters/etc of powerful men. see: most ruling queens. But reaching ruling power from the class of courtiers/beltwayers is something men sometimes acheive without that sort of advantage. hilary being president isn't in line with taht.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 8:59 PM
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36: I'm sure she Lifted Herself Up by her own Bootstraps from a childhood of poverty and obscurity.

Actually I think her background is pretty middle class, but then she went to Oxford and married money, which put her through law school.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:00 PM
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How did Margaret Thatcher become leader of the Tories? Serious question.

Unexpectedly.

Thatcher agreed with Sir Keith Joseph and the CPS that the Heath Government had lost control of monetary policy -- and had lost direction -- following its 1972 U-turn. After her party lost the second election of 1974, Joseph decided to challenge Heath's leadership but later withdrew after an unwise speech seen as supporting eugenics. Thatcher then decided that she would enter the race on behalf of the Josephite/CPS faction. Unexpectedly she out-polled Heath on the first ballot, forcing him to resign the leadership. On the second ballot, she defeated Heath's preferred successor William Whitelaw, by 146 votes to 79, and became Conservative Party leader on 11 February 1975.[5] She appointed Whitelaw as her deputy. Heath remained disenchanted with Thatcher to the end of his life for what he (and many of his supporters) perceived as her disloyalty in standing against him.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:01 PM
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The answers to the questions in 39 are obvious, and I don't want to get into this fight again, so you can do your own looking.

42 is patently offensive.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:02 PM
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Speaking of women and leading I saw Elizabeth: The Golden Age today. I didn't like it as much as I liked the first one, but it was fun, with lots of pretty costumes and there were only a few times where I thought Elizabeth was going to ask Frodo to take the ring.

It needed more battles and less Clive Owen, though as I said to shivbunny on the way out of the theater, there's really not all that much to the 1588 defeat of the Spanish Armada: big ships get stuck in storm, English set the fleet on fire. It would have been fun had there been more about state-sponsored... uh, piracy.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:05 PM
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And Pollitt's wrong. She neglects "who will staff the Administration" as a tell. There's a reason that HRC's the choice of Krauthammer and the rest of the Republicans. But if neither Obama or Edwards can take it, they don't deserve it. She's been beatable, and they haven't done it. I've come around to the position that primaries are good for at least showing whose organization is run well enough to win in the general.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:08 PM
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Hillary really speaks to Democratic loyalists and party workers who really liked Bill. The same people would support Gore for the same reason. Our ideological / liberal / cause-oriented friends are not characteristic Democrats.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:11 PM
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Less Clive Owen? I can take an awful lot of Clive Owen.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:11 PM
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The girl I had the date with is not a Hillary Clinton fan; in fact, she's registering as a Democrat solely to vote against her in the primary. The cousins of mine I had dinner with, however, who just got back from lobbying in DC, are so certain that she's going to win that they gave us "Hillary 2008" t-shirts for their future historic value.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:13 PM
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She's been beatable

Has she? The desire for a return to the Clinton years seems pretty overwhelming among the Democratic rank-and-file, and Hillary hasn't made any mistakes of note.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:14 PM
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He's handsome enough, but the romantic tension wasn't really as high this time around.

I think I could get my hair to do the Elizabethan thing.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:15 PM
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Does anyone think that a black person named Michael Smith could ever be elected US president? I don't.


Posted by: terpbball | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:23 PM
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The girl I had the date with is not a Hillary Clinton fan; in fact, she's registering as a Democrat solely to vote against her in the primary.

Sleep with her just to spite B.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:23 PM
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54

He needs to give her that kiss first, though.


Posted by: terpbball | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:25 PM
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I'm working on it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:28 PM
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"42 is patently offensive."

for real?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:30 PM
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Do we really have to have this argument again?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:33 PM
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is there an argument that hasn't been had?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:34 PM
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58: No, teo, you just need to kiss her.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:34 PM
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Probably.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:34 PM
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i don't understnad how its a date if you're not making out, tbh


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:35 PM
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In a crowded restaurant?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:37 PM
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primaries are good for at least showing whose organization is run well enough to win in the general.

The winner of the Democratic primary has lost 7 of the last 10 general elections.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:47 PM
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64: The loser of the Democratic primary has won none.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:47 PM
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63: all you need to do is ask "can I kiss you?" and see what happens from there.

64: Clearly, the democrats need to nominate someone who hasn't won the democratic primary.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:50 PM
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Like George Clooney or Wilt Chamberlain.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 9:52 PM
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I was invited to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr with a Muslim friend and his wife today, so Obama Hussein's secret Muslim background doesn't scare me at all, it only makes me want to vote for him more! Durka jihadi!

Seriously, unless another Democratic candidate sent the email to try to divide the African-American vote, this doesn't really make much sense. In South Carolina, Whitey McWhiteson already votes Republican; he or she doesn't need to be warned not to vote for Obama.

(On the other hand, it could be Republican spam, sent to cause dissension in the Democratic ranks and generally stir the shit.)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 10:00 PM
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all you need to do is ask "can I kiss you?" and see what happens from there.

Yeah, I know. I'm quite sure she wants me to, even. But overcoming my inhibitions is hard.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 10:02 PM
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From the Katha Pollit article:

Clinton probably is a shade more hawkish than the others, but all three buy the trope of the "war on terror"

Hasn't Edwards denounced the war on terror as bullshit? I remember reading that he had.


Posted by: WillieStyle | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 10:06 PM
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Butchaknow, emails like this have been flying around all over the country for the past year. I have a 1000+ comment thread on my site with various lunatics debating whether he's just Muslim or the Antichrist. This might well be more like the "send this kid with leukemia a bajillion greeting cards so he can set the record" than the "John McCain has a secret black baby" thing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 10:06 PM
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The palpable resentment Katha Pollit and Dr. B feel for Barak Obama is quite interesting. Good thing this primary isn't close or things could get ugly.


Posted by: WillieStyle | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 10:08 PM
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Democrat John Edwards Wednesday repudiated the notion that there is a "global war on terror," calling it an ideological doctrine advanced by the Bush administration that has strained American military resources and emboldened terrorists.

In a defense policy speech he planned to deliver at the Council on Foreign Relations, Edwards called the war on terror a "bumper sticker" slogan Bush had used to justify everything from abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison to the invasion of Iraq.

"We need a post-Bush, post-9/11, post-Iraq military that is mission focused on protecting Americans from 21st century threats, not misused for discredited ideological purposes," Edwards said in remarks prepared for delivery. "By framing this as a war, we have walked right into the trap the terrorists have set--that we are engaged in some kind of clash of civilizations and a war on Islam."

In the first presidential debate last month in South Carolina, Edwards was one of four Democrats--including Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel--who said they did not believe there was a global war on terror. Front-runners Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama indicated that they did.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 10:09 PM
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Hasn't Edwards denounced the war on terror as bullshit? I remember reading that he had.

Yes he has, quite explicitly. I believe he's also said that at the end of his first term, he expects American troops will still be in Iraq.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 10:09 PM
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Thanks for the link Apo.


Posted by: WillieStyle | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 10:13 PM
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all you need to do is ask "can I kiss you?" and see what happens from there.

I'm not trying to talk Teo out of anything, but wouldn't it be great if this girl just kissed him first. Being inhibited is hard.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 10:26 PM
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Why yes, that would be great.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 10:29 PM
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There really is going to be a third date, btw.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 10:30 PM
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don't ask, ever.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 10:32 PM
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Bill Clinton's presidency was in part Hilary's creation, so she gets some credit for that. She is not and never was "just" his wife, in some cliched uninvolved 50s stereotype sense. When she stepped out into her own political career we just saw the focus, discipline, dedication, and drive that he saw in her and the Clinton organization always benefited from. But she's still the politician in the race who has been most supportive of the Iraq war and most inclined to be the enabler of the neocon foreign policy agenda. Yadda yadda yadda, etc.

To get to the more interesting question: yeah, asking for a kiss is not the best. It puts the burden on her. If you really want her, pay her the compliment of taking a risk, even if it's hard. But if you *do* ask, and she hestiates at all, then don't wait around for an answer -- just go in and kiss her.

However, sometimes you just have to go with your genuine awkwardness. The important thing is to try to kiss her. Even if it involves asking, it's still better than not trying at all.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 11:24 PM
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Here's the thing about kissing someone: it requires being inside their personal space. If someone is fine with you being close enough to them for a proper kiss then they're probably happy with you kissing them. So don't lunge, just get close and if she stays close, then kiss her. It's getting into the intimate space that's the key.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 11:36 PM
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You know, I didn't actually ask for advice on whether and how to kiss her.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 11:37 PM
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never ask for advice on whether and how to kiss someone!


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-13-07 11:44 PM
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Do you have one of these yet, teo?


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 12:24 AM
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82: The Enrichment Center reminds you that the Weighted Companion Cube cannot speak. In the event that the Weighted Companion Cube does speak, the Enrichment Center urges you to disregard its advice.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 12:26 AM
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Teo -- My heartfelt advice is "don't overthink it." Not because I know whether not overthinking it actually works out. But because I know all too well that overthinking it is the kiss of death. (Or not-kiss of death, I guess, in this case.) It'll happen when it happens -- just enjoy the ride.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 12:39 AM
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46 is wrong, but most of the interesting stuff happens in Mary's reign, when Philip II modernizes the English Navy in an all-time example of scoring an own goal. (There's interesting stuff with Drake, too, but not very movie-interesting stuff.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:57 AM
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The tired logic on display in 80 has been pissing me off throughout this primary season. We're told that Hillary was more than just a first lady, and that she had powerful, powerful input on Bill Clinton's administration and policies, but we are never, ever told what that input was. The only concrete instance of her actually having a position of political power within the administration was when she headed up the health care task force, which was a disaster. But we're invited to believe that Hillary was saying all sorts of other useful things behind the scenes, to give her this sort of "extra credit" political experience, without ever providing the content of that experience.

So when we look to Bill Clinton's various bad ideas - DOMA, don't ask don't tell, welfare reform, mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent drug offenders, NAFTA, outsourcing torture, the line-item veto, ECHELON, etc. - policies that show a repeated nonchalance for the suffering of marginal and low-income Americans, an indifference to civil liberties, and a desire to expand the power and role of the executive - there's no explicit Hillary stamp there, just as there's no explicit Hillary stamp anywhere. So liberal Hillary supporters like B and Pollitt are free to pretend Hillary had nothing to do with them, while attaching her to the general sense of good will and nostalgia most liberals feel for the 90s. It's almost as if she served in a highly visible, yet purely symbolic role during that time!

With other politicians, experience is valuable to the extent that it gives us an idea of what those politicians are going to do in the future. With Hillary Clinton, however, we're being asked to take for granted that she has all this experience without being given any specific information as to what that experience is - and therefore, whether it's good or bad. I call bullshit. If she was there and was important, tell us why and how she was important, and on which issues. Does she defend gutting welfare? Extraordinary rendition? The Defense of Marriage Act? Showing little to no administrative support for Kyoto? Conducting a war entirely by air raid in a way that maximized civilian deaths in what was ostensibly a humanitarian intervention? If she's running on a record, let me know what that record is, instead of vaguely waving towards fond memories of the tech bubble.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:24 AM
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Most supporters oversell their candidate. I'm not sure why HRC's would be different.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:29 AM
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88: Are you arguing that Hillary didn't have a significant measure of participation in Bill's political and policy career? Seems like in other contexts I've seen you argue that you won't vote for her precisely because of her association with her husband's policies.

Anyway, this does work both ways. If the judgment of Democrats and the American people is that Bill Clinton was a lousy president, then Hillary will suffer for it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 9:13 AM
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Stras: Pollit is not a Hillary supporter. What she said was something like "I don't like Hillary, but the sexist comments are pissing me off so much I might support her". She was well-established as anti-Hillary before that.

There are two arguments: 1. Is Hillary good on the issues? and 2. Is Hillary just a nobody hitchhiking on her husband's name? To me the answers clearly are No and No. I'm not sure anyone here actually says Yes to #1.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 9:23 AM
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yeah, what Emerson said.

Hilary's strength was always her discipline, focus, and organizational skills -- things that Bill lacked. Which is why she was a big help to him. Those skills are independent of her policy positions. When she headed up health care reform, they actually became a liability, since she turned into something of a control freak and shut Congress out of the process for way too long. But she's learned from that, and I think won't make that kind of procedural mistake again.

Single best piece I've seen on Hilary:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200611/green-hillary


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 9:49 AM
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With the qualifications noted in 91, I think 88 is generally fair, on its core point.

I don't think it's fair, though, to lump core WJC positions in with strategic retreat WJC positions. I'd put NAFTA and welfare reform (about which he made a big deal in his nomination speech at the 92 convention) in the former category, but DADT and DOMA were defensive, reactive, and designed to head off much worse alternatives.

You don't have to respect WJC for any of these things, obviously.

I'm damn annoyed about the complaints about HRC's management of the health care thing. What happened, imo, is that a small group of people let perfect get in the way of good, a larger group of people went around acting as if all you had to do was beat this and you'd get universal coverage of some different flavor (how'd that work out, by the way) and both let themselves be used, shamelessly, by the party that wants nothing, no how. Was her handling perfect? Of course not. Could something have been passed? Not in 1993, with the Republicans recovering from 1992, and Democrats in Congress looking to triangulate. In what has to be one of the more epic political failures of our time: they didn't stand up for the President, and Dem voters largely stayed home, and let the 'omg the wicked witch is trying to enslave the munchkins' people carry the 1994 elections, and carry away nearly all the promise (such little as it was) of the WJC presidency.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 10:26 AM
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"DOMA [was] defensive, reactive, and designed to head off much worse alternatives."

Defensive & reactive, sure. What was the worse alternative? I was young then but I don't remember noises about a constitutional amendment until much later.

Your memory of those damned overly idealistic liberals playing a major role in killing the Clinton health care plan doesn't really jibe with mine either, but I was: (1) in high school when it happened and (2) the book I read about it in college was written by David Broder, so perhaps it was inevitable that he blamed it on the opposition party not being bipartisan enough.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 10:56 AM
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Brad DeLong was in the Clinton administration and he thought Hillary's performance was disastrous. There were overlapping problems of various sorts, having to do with mishandling Congress, making too many concessions to the insurance companies, and in general a meticulous technocratic top-down wonkishness that offended everyone, granted that the ultimate product just wasn't as good as all that.

They say that Brad has concluded that Hillary has learned, though I don't remember seeing that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 11:42 AM
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93: your take on health care reform is way off -- I was in DC at the time. A compromise resulting in a substantial coverage increase was likely available soon after the election. But Hilary et. al. hadn't hived off into a massive, secret executive branch planning process for almost a year, and then released a plan that was so big, complex, and comprehensive that people couldn't understand it. Liberals were certainly not the ones who sunk that plan either.

But anyone who has paid attention to how she's operated in Congress can see that she's grown a lot since then and has a far better understanding of how to work with the process. The Atlantic article linked in 92 talks a lot about this.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 11:59 AM
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Teo -- My heartfelt advice is "don't overthink it." Not because I know whether not overthinking it actually works out. But because I know all too well that overthinking it is the kiss of death. (Or not-kiss of death, I guess, in this case.) It'll happen when it happens -- just enjoy the ride.

Yes. I was positive that it would never happen unless I made a plan to see that it happened. But it turned out that at pivotal moments I can overcome my obliviousness and it becomes obvious.,


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 12:05 PM
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Seconding Marcus's recommendation of the Atlantic article on HRC linked in 92.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 12:34 PM
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don't ask, ever.

Eh, I don't know. If a cute guy I liked asked me, it wouldn't bother me so much.

Leaning in and saying, "I really want to kiss you," might even make me melt.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 12:58 PM
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99: In other words, all the advice here from virtually every corner about how to do it, how to play it, how to hold back, when to press forward, whether games are being played, whether they should be countered ... is bullshit!

And likely inappropriate in the case.

There's no substitute for being there. Da dum dum.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 1:43 PM
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The palpable resentment Katha Pollit and Dr. B feel for Barak Obama is quite interesting.

??????? The what? As opposed to the palpable vitriol everyone else seems to feel for Clinton?

57: Yes. But Teo's right that it's boring to talk about the same thing all the time.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 1:44 PM
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In other words, all the advice here from virtually every corner about how to do it, how to play it, how to hold back, when to press forward, whether games are being played, whether they should be countered ... is bullshit!

Yes! Thank you.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 1:44 PM
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I was here too, and had a front row seat to parts of the thing.

I didn't say that the DFH's killed it, or the Left, or anything like that.

I did say tat HRC's handling of the thing was imperfect. I'm not willing to call the Heathers and their incessant whining about how HRC is arrogant, and Al Gore insufferably pompous blameless, especially when the alternatives are, as a blind man can see, catastrophic.

The TNR crowd was critical to the death of the thing. Phil Gramm couldn't have done it without them. But that's not all: all over town long knives came out, from nearly every direction. Using the way the plan was created as an excuse to avoid either discussing the merits of it, or possibilities of ways to fix it was pretty similar to whining about BDS in our own time to avoid talking about another catastrophic failure.

I don't blame the Left, because I don't think they could have turned the tide. It was clear, though, that a number of people who favored a single payer solution weren't dissappointed to see this one go. Again, a small part of the thing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 1:45 PM
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99 has it right. Being asked "Can I kiss you?" by someone who doesn't look at all about to kiss me is not hot. Risk is key.

Of course, the PUA line is to lean back and say, "I am trying so hard not to kiss you right now."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 1:48 PM
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104: yeah you'd want to lean in close and do it.

Alternately, sneak up behind her and lick her face. Women love that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 1:50 PM
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From behind?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 1:53 PM
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well kind of dart in, you know? A little headbutt is okay, too, as long as it's treated lightly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 1:54 PM
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You want to like the inside of her face. This requires breaking through the back of the skull with your tongue. No one said it would be easy.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 1:56 PM
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Like, or lick?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:00 PM
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You want to like the face before you lick it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:00 PM
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Lick. My excuse: I'm ill and my fingers are cold.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:01 PM
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Hopefully after as well.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:01 PM
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Of course, the PUA line is to lean back and say, "I am trying so hard not to kiss you right now."

Heh. That line would make me gag.

I have no idea why, but I'm trying to give this PUA stuff, which is basically idiotic and disgusting, a fair shake. This requires extreme charitability. In this case, I don't see what risk has to do with it: it's more like, Don't say it unless you mean it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:01 PM
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I have no idea why, but I'm trying to give this PUA stuff, which is basically idiotic and disgusting, a fair shake.

I have no idea why either.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:03 PM
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I have no idea why either.

I thought it was the FASHION.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:06 PM
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If a cute guy I liked asked me, it wouldn't bother me so much.

This sums up a lot. Do I like the guy already? Awesome! Do I not like the guy? Well, in that case I might respect his awesome moves, but won't necessarily be glad he put them on me.

And wasn't this
sneak up behind her and lick her face
what B did to ogged recently?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:21 PM
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116: B is definite MPUA material.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:23 PM
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This sums up a lot. Do I like the guy already? Awesome! Do I not like the guy? Well, in that case I might respect his awesome moves, but won't necessarily be glad he put them on me.

But this is true of everything about dating, is it not?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:24 PM
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I've been effortfully charitable about the PUA stuff as well, without knowing all that much about it. My thinking is roughly: there's nothing wrong with wanting to meet people you don't know in a sexual context; this is actually hard -- 'just be yourself' is lousy advice, unless 'yourself' is someone who's effortlessly charming talking to strangers; there probably are concrete strategies that make ordinary clods better at being charming, and while it sounds pathetic, there's nothing wrong about trying to learn them consciously, if the effortless thing isn't working for you and; yeah, the underlying philosophical structure sounds misogynistic, but as long as the behaviors being taught are pretty harmless, I doubt it's going to influence anyone's outlook that much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:25 PM
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119: but it is pathetic and misogynist, and it does influence people's behaviors, and it's gross. At least, that's been my experience with friends of mine who've signed on for the program.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:27 PM
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I'm skeptical that it actually works, as well.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:27 PM
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118: Well, it's not like what you do and say has no influence on whether someone likes you.

But I'm with b-girl -- leaning in and, rather than just going for the kiss, murmuring 'can I kiss you?' is at least harmless, and possibly quite attractive. Saying it from the other side of a table, as though you were simply gathering information, probably a poor move.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:29 PM
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122: what over the phone, or in an e-mail?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:30 PM
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120, 121: Yeah, well, that's where the 'not knowing much about it' comes in. If it were an even moderately effective method of learning to be pleasant and charming, I'd figure the benefits might outweigh the misogynist underpinnings.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:31 PM
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118: sure. The question is how changeable your like-the-guy-already quotient is. Also, I'm sure the guys I'm prone to liking right away upon meeting are not necessarily the ones I'd want to date after getting to know them better.

This isn't adding up to any coherent argument about when to put on the moves. What I mean to say is: AAAAAAAH! Dating = complicated!!!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:31 PM
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123: Nope, and semaphore probably also bad. Any means of communication incorporating Morse Code, though? Hottt.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:32 PM
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My 104 was not intended to derail into a conversation about whether PUA lingo makes for a good life-ethos or not. My point was, it allows dudes to be total pussies about doing things like kissing girls. If you don't have the balls to actually lean in, you find ways of making it look like you're taking a risk when you actually aren't.

As much as I think PUA lingo is interesting, I think it's mostly a series of scripts for avoiding "rejection." I lean in to kiss people all the time. I get rejected quite often, but I'm not afraid to do it. What you realize when you lean in to kiss people a lot is that people, even those who probably do want to kiss you, are tempted to reject you by leaning back and turning away---just to tease you! Why? Because we live in a cruel world in which people prefer power to sex.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:33 PM
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Touchdown Moss!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:34 PM
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If a guy communicated via Morse Code, I'd think he must have been a Boy Scout.

Then I'd wonder about his knot-tying skills.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:35 PM
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Just write a letter to the lady's father.

"Dear Sir:

Kindly inform your daughter that I intend to kiss her on our next date. Thank you.

Yours truly, &c.

[Your Name Here]"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:38 PM
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If it were an even moderately effective method of learning to be pleasant and charming, I'd figure the benefits might outweigh the misogynist underpinnings.

On the strength of the above, am now willing to murder Dr. Oops's SO to have a shot. If she's up for it, obviously.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:38 PM
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My 104 was not intended to derail into a conversation about whether PUA lingo makes for a good life-ethos or not. My point was, it allows dudes to be total pussies about doing things like kissing girls. If you don't have the balls to actually lean in, you find ways of making it look like you're taking a risk when you actually aren't.

But what if the supposedly pussy way of leaning back and claiming you're trying hard not to kiss them is actually more effective, be it on average or in some more likely to occur subset of cases? Is it still cowardly, or just cynical?


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:40 PM
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Any means of communication incorporating Morse Code, though? Hottt.

Not many people know it, but that's what Goethe's actually referring to in the fifth Roman Elegy.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:41 PM
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132: or both!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:42 PM
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Goethe = hottt ???

Hott, maybe, but no way does JW get three Ts.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:44 PM
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The thing is, none of us have good scripts for dealing with people. Some people believe that all interpersonal interactions should grow naturally and lovingly from the dictates of the individual moment and the specific truths of your relationship with that person. Then there are those of us who are far too neurotic and emotionally stunted to handle things that way.

I, for example, get totally manic when I'm out and about with a person or people I find attractive. I have to think of ways to make myself sit back, not say everything on my mind, not paw at them, give them a chance to open up, etc. I don't need someone else's lines---I write my own material, thnx---but I do need to think about things like how to use my body language to convey something other than squirmy impatient neurotic desire.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:44 PM
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131: I'll check for some month when she's particularly short on kidneys.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:44 PM
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Right! The whole point of being human is intelligence and self-awareness; the natural reaction for someone dealt a weak hand in terms of interpersonal skill and good looks should be to try to game the system.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:46 PM
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132: I say, whatever works for you. I'm coming to realize many people have extremely crippling fears of risk, and PUAish lines are mostly about saying something risky that invites the desired person to contribute some risk of his/her own. I have to come up with my own methods because I am not afraid of risk in that way, and it would feel weird to me to use lines like the above, since they're obviously totally untrue. (I'm trying not to kiss someone? My nose would start to grow.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:47 PM
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(I'm trying not to kiss someone? My nose would start to grow.)

That would make it even harder to kiss them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:48 PM
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It's not my nose, but I know what you're talking about.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 2:57 PM
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Um, okay, so for those who aren't dealt a weak hand in terms of interpersonal skills, and who aren't always neurotically squirming and wanting to paw at people, and who don't have crippling fears of risk, and aren't emotionally stunted, and I presume have some self-confidence and pride,

even if they are not exactly god's gift to studliness, male or female, but just regular people,

these people probably don't need these guidelines for gaming the system.

Probably not.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:26 PM
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There are lots of good tips to give someone about interpersonal interactions that aren't creepy and misogynistic and scripted. It's not as if the Mystery people, who are pathetic and creepy, are the only game in town.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:31 PM
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Right! There's also unfogged.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:33 PM
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142: Yeah. The few, the proud, the 2%.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:35 PM
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But what if the supposedly pussy way of leaning back and claiming you're trying hard not to kiss them is actually more effective

No, it's not more effective. You want to show that you're in control, but vulnerable at the same time. I think eyes are key in kissing. Look at her and if she stares back at you, showing a little vulnerability herself, then BGs suggestion of leaning in asking for the kiss, or saying that you've wanted to do this for a while, will likely be successful.


Posted by: terpbball | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:35 PM
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Hey, the AI dudes are working on this. A kissing robot is on the way. Don't bother your little heads any more. The algorithm is in development already.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:36 PM
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Um, okay, so for those who aren't dealt a weak hand in terms of interpersonal skills, and who aren't always neurotically squirming and wanting to paw at people, and who don't have crippling fears of risk, and aren't emotionally stunted, and I presume have some self-confidence and pride,

Wow. Ouch.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:09 PM
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Which one of those are you, mrh?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:22 PM
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I'll take "crippling fear of risk," please!


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:26 PM
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"Neurotically squirming and wanting to paw at people" sounds like it might be fun for a day.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:29 PM
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Or at least an evening.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:31 PM
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I'm sure there is some drug that could produce exactly that effect.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:33 PM
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151: You can have a good time playing the AWB figure, in that repeated attempts will eventually yield some successes. The failure rate, however, remains high.

I hold the thesis that a woman in possession of a visible libido is both extremely attractive and, at the same time, a target for a lot of misogynistic teasing and stringing along.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:47 PM
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I hold the thesis that a woman in possession of a visible libido is both extremely attractive and, at the same time, a target for a lot of misogynistic teasing and stringing along.

Better than a man in possession of a visible libido.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:49 PM
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