Re: Anarchy

1

I think the claim is not that people are being judged irrationally, but everything is being interpreted through the lens of how we feel about the candidates. Obama is picking a fight with Krugman because deep within his heart, he wants only to sell out to the Republicans; Obama is picking a fight with Krugman, because he truly believes that his health care plan is the best first step to universal coverage. HRC is a hawkish Democrat who will sorrowfully nuke the fuck out of Iran to prove her toughness; HRC is a savvy student of political theater who knows that tough rhetoric will let her adopt a sensible foreign policy. It's really, really evident on Ezra and Sausagely's blogs, where commenters (particularly Edwards fans) have been constantly tell people about hermeneutics of the primary race and their one true reading.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 3:36 PM
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Constantly popping up, that is.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 3:37 PM
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Might be claiming that for people who have already spent over 12 months closely following this election are unlikely to have their opinions of the candidates changed by any future facts or arguments, excluding major scandals/revelations, so it's time to stop talking about it as long as those people are your audience.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 3:49 PM
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I think the reason (it would be argued) that the compressed prinary schedule makes this true is that the Kabuki of mass media campaigning is (arguably) much more determinative than it had been in the past.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 3:50 PM
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Where you stand depends upon where you sit, or something.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 3:51 PM
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Ben, don't read comment 4.

3 is meant to summarize one claim they're making, both Drum and Yggls make multiple claims in the linked posts, and I'm not sure they're all the same claims.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 3:51 PM
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Mickey Kaus really is a piece of work. Did everyone see him pimping the Edwards has a secret love child story from the Enquirer? (If you haven't, a woman who worked for Edwards last year is pregnant. She denies having any relationship with Edwards, he denies it, she's identified another man as the father, who's confirmed that he is the father, and no named sources contradict any of it. But anonymous sources say the kid is Edwards'. What a piece of garbage.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 3:52 PM
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O doughty buccaneers of the blogosphere!
O petty self-delight!
Every man his own Walter Lippmann Casaubon!
Every screen with opinion alight!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 3:52 PM
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Mickey Kaus really is a piece of work.

Where "piece of work" = "scumbaggy tool".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 3:55 PM
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Well, exactly. I suppose you have to hear my mother saying it to understand the full implications of 'piece of work'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 3:56 PM
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Is this the first primary in which there's been this much division within the "netroots"?

In 2004 it seemed like the point at which the "netroots" became passionate was in calling for Kerry to pick Edwards as his running mate. Obviously there were strong supporters of Clark and Dean in the "netroots" but I don't remember as much sense of people taking sides as there has been this year.

People were disappointed when Dean lost but I feel like there were fewer people bitter about the loss than there will be this year. Specifically there will be more people this year that will be bitter and will complain about the blogosphere's attacks on their favored candidate.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 3:59 PM
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You know what would rule? If Edwards sued the pants right off Kaus' ass on behalf of the campaign worker. That would be pretty sweet.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 3:59 PM
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10. Listening to his voice on the "radio blog" bits on NPR was enough for me.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 3:59 PM
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Given "scumbag's" origins I hyper-literally read "scumbaggy tool" as "condom-festooned penis."


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 4:04 PM
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11: Huh. Mostly I think the splits come from all the options being at least tolerable. I'm for Edwards, suspect Obama of being too concilatory but am not unhappy if he gets nominated, and while I have real issues with Hillary I'm not horrified by the prospect of her as president. None of the Democrats strike me as terrifyingly bad, which is unusual.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 4:06 PM
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13: Oh, I've been listening to Bloggingheads on my iPod the last couple of weeks (I can't bear watching it, but it's decent commuting amusement), and I hate Kaus even more now that I know what his voice sounds like.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 4:07 PM
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16. Not only a face for radio, but a voice for print!


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 4:09 PM
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Speaking of listening to things on iPods, I had the This American Life (episode "The Middle of Nowhere") from two weekends ago on this morning, and the part I got through on the Subway was well-done and informative.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 4:14 PM
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Also, has anyone been reading Errol Morris's blog at the NYT? I just noticed it today and have been going through the archives. It's kind of awesome, though his writing is too long-form for a traditional blog.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 4:30 PM
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Ogged, Drum describes his own observation as banal, so I think you and he are sympatico.

Yglesias, on the other hand, is accusing Krugman of being enslaved by his own frame on Obama. Krugman describes a set of tactical moves made by a state senator, doesn't directly criticize those moves as inappropriate, says those same moves wouldn't be appropriate for a U.S. president, and assumes unevidenced that Obama wouldn't recognize this distinction.

Krugman is making a more specific claim than the one you attribute to him - not that Obama's experience is useless, but that it is counterproductive because (Krugman suggests without evidence) Obama will be unable to alter his strategy.

Yglesias, I think, reveals his own Rorschach frame when he talks about Obama having been successful as a senator in Illinois. That's unevidenced by Krugman's synopsis, at least.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 4:59 PM
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Here's a helpful tip for people who like to listen to This American Life on their iPods and so forth: you might have noticed that the This American Life website features the full archive of episodes to listen to for free online. They also have the episodes available for download from the iTunes store for a nominal fee. Since information wants to be free, though, you can easily download the version that goes to the web player for free and jam it onto your portable media device, like so: Take the number of the episode you want to download and insert it into a URL like this one, to download episode 253, Middle of Nowhere:
http://audio.thisamericanlife.org/jomamashouse/ismymamashouse/253.mp3
With this you may enjoy the soothing fricatives of Ira Glass and David Sedaris during your evening commute.

Or you can do it their way and support public radio.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 5:07 PM
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Yglesias, I think, reveals his own Rorschach frame when he talks about Obama having been successful as a senator in Illinois. That's unevidenced by Krugman's synopsis, at least.

Yes, which is exactly the point Yglesias was making; he and Krugman interpret the exact same piece of evidence in totally different ways, each of which is shaped by a prior attitude toward Obama.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 5:33 PM
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11: Huh. Mostly I think the splits come from all the options being at least tolerable.

That's my take on the primary as well, and I would hope that nobody gets too bent out of shape whatever happens in the primary, but that's not the outcome I expect.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 5:56 PM
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I did not expect to hear Sausagly on "Marketplace" this afternoon, but there he was, being chatted up about the horse-race by Kaiye Ryisszdaahle as if he was E.J. Dionne or something. He made one good point which was that we aren't hearing about the Iraq War in the campaigns because we are still in the primaries and therefore none of the candidates disagrees with the people they are currently running against. (except Ron Paul)


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 6:07 PM
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Mostly I think the splits come from all the options being at least tolerable.

I'd take this to be about right: not just that all options are at least tolerable, but that policy positions don't differ terribly widely from one another (with a few exceptions) in contrast to the Republican agenda.

I also have the sense that Dems are highly paranoid that any one of the three major nominees may be (forgive me) a wolf in sheep's clothing. Hence all the digging into their perceived willingness, or ability, to stand by their words should they take office. The Rorschach analogy is actually interesting in this regard: leaving aside the blur of words, the electioneering, how does it strike you really?

This may reverse the sense of a Rorschach test, actually.

I haven't read the linked Drum & Yglesias posts. I heard sauselgy on NPR this evening; he began nearly every sentence with "Well!" which was very cute.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 6:23 PM
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Partially pwned, I see.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 6:24 PM
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Yglesias, I think, reveals his own Rorschach frame

Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face.
The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 6:49 PM
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Nice one, snarkout.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 7:35 PM
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I just picked up the new Bechdel book an my girlfriend bought me a copy of Y the last man. Pow, Zap! Comix are not just for kids anymore.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 7:51 PM
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27: The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save Us!"

And we'll look down and debate their electability.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 7:56 PM
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The first section of Y: the Last Man just blew me away.

ogged, the claim is banal: what a person believes a certain claim reveals about a candidate depends in part on what that person already believed about the candidate. HRC stays with Bill: proof that she is forgiving; shrewd about her political advancement; or, obviously a lesbian. &c.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 7:57 PM
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Speaking of listening to things on iPods, I had the This American Life (episode "The Middle of Nowhere") from two weekends ago on this morning, and the part I got through on the Subway was well-done and informative

Slightly on topic, two things I love: This American Life and my Ipod. Love them!

The gf's birthday is tomorrow. I got her an Ipod Touch.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:02 PM
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I told Mr. B. I want an Ipod Touch for xmas. But then we made a deal that he'll pay for the ridiculously expensive data recovery on my dead hard drive instead.

I'm secretly hoping he gets it for me anyway, I confess. If not, I'll ask again for my bday....


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:07 PM
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But then we made a deal that he'll pay for the ridiculously expensive data recovery on my dead hard drive instead.

You've probably checked, but is it truly dead? Did you try Diskwarrior?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:10 PM
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33:

Darn it! Now everyone knows our secret. Yes everyone, Bitch is not my gf.

I'll let you know what she thinks about the Touch.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:11 PM
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Not sure about the Touch, but the iPhone is truly a device from the future. I'm using it as an iPod in the gym right now as I post this comment. Ironically, I think my old mini makes a better pure iPod. 16Gb would be real nice, though.


Posted by: not one to brag | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:24 PM
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I read 4 and don't see what the problem is.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:36 PM
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I played around with the iPhone at the Apple Store and would have preferred a real keyboard with buttons to push.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:36 PM
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"than it had been in the past" s/b "than it was in the past"

"prinary" s/b something else, probably


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:38 PM
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Nitpicky, nitpicky! I meant too say "prinary".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:40 PM
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I also meant to say "too".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:41 PM
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If that's part of your idiolect I presume you should have used it in 41 as well.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:44 PM
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Context is everything, Ned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:45 PM
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I really want to post a reply to Cala's 38 from my iPhone, "Cala is banned!" with incorrect auto-corrections intact, but that would be way more effort than the joke would be worth. Plus, somebody wouldn't get it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:45 PM
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Ah. Sifu primed me to think that there was a "reason is because"-like mistake lurking therein.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:45 PM
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I think using the pluperfect instead of the perfect is a similar sort of mistake.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:47 PM
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Why would you want Cala banned?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:48 PM
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I still maintain that "than it had been in the past" is only slightly clumsy and inexact, and not actually incorrect. "Than it has been in the past" would have been better, certainly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:48 PM
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I played around with the iPhone at the Apple Store and would have preferred a real keyboard with buttons to push.

I got used to it pretty quickly. I can't type super-fast, but I can type fast enough to compose somewhat abbreviated emails. And I like having the screen real estate available when I'm not typing.

YMMV, just pointing out that it's one of those things that gets better with time.


Posted by: not one to brag | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:48 PM
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44: That would have cracked me up. Auto-corrections or auto-words on phones lead to interesting text messages because shivbunny tended not to care enough to correct a typo. Messages would come with nonsense words, so I would have to figure out the likely misspelling in order to guess the word. Ducking chimeso!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:49 PM
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49: Perhaps. I liked the rest of the interface but got frustrated by misspelling so much.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:51 PM
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frustrated by misspelling so much.

I was surprised by how little I misspelled on my first attempt - I've never used a tiny keyboard, so I had no expectation of precision with the virtual keyboard of the iPhone. Yet it was OK from the start, and improving.

That would have cracked me up

Rats.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:54 PM
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I'm coming from a RAZR and T9, so my standards are low. I also misspell shit all the time and have to go back and fix it, so YMMreallyV. The interface is REALLY SLICK though.


Posted by: not one to brag | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:56 PM
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a "reason is because"-like mistake

I get the willies reading that, even in this context. My mother would visibly tense up when the liturgical reading would occasionally include a "reason why." As she would always point out, Jesus would clearly never say such a thing.

From my current secular viewpoint, I now see it as evidence that he wasn't really the son of God.

Barely-related: Watched Charlie Brown Christmas with my 3.75-y.o. tonight. During Linus' recitation, she said, "What is he talking about? This doesn't have anything to do with Christmas! He's not talking about decorating trees, or...." I wasn't quite sure how to respond. She's aware of the Baby Jesus aspect of the holiday, so I explained that he was referring to that. But she was rather adamant that Linus was just off in left field.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 8:59 PM
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I concur with 49. The auto-correction has been working pretty fantastically for me.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 9:01 PM
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RAZR's are really pretty, but man does the interface suck, at least with VerizonWireless.

Mine is "dusty rose".


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 9:02 PM
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RAZRs also suck going through the wash. My basic Samsung clamshell phone has been through the wash twice and still sort of works, but the RAZR died the first time. What a piece of crap.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 9:05 PM
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I have a RAZR and god the thing is a bitch to type on. It's like it just has a slow reaction time. OK! OK! I already pressed OK!

I want an enV but by the time my contract is up to get one there will probably be a new phone with friggin' laser beams that I covet instead.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 9:06 PM
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CREDO, which is Working Assets' mobile service, will buy out $200 of your existing phone plan to get you to switch. Part of their pitch (which I got in an email and can't find on the website) is that they aren't supporting telecom immunity:

AT&T and Verizon are now preparing for the next battle over telecom immunity, and so are we.

If telecom immunity is passed by the Senate, we may never know how much Verizon and AT&T helped the National Security Agency listen in on Americans' phone calls -- or how much they're helping now.

What can you do? If you have a cellphone from Verizon or AT&T, you can keep on sending them your money and supporting them -- and Bush -- in their cover-up.

Or you can join CREDO Mobile [...]


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 9:37 PM
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Haven't read the thread, but even though U.S. public opinion now opposes the war, and even though primary voters oppose the war more than the average American does, Hillary has been very reluctant to say either that the war itself (as opposed to the execution) was a mistake, or to commit to getting the troops out of Iraq.

This leads me to believe that her hawkishness is entirely sincere, and probably is stronger than we know.

On the other hand, there are reports that Hillary is now getting some of the money that would normally go to Republicans, in which case it seems likely that War Party A will be replaced by War Party B.

And I'm sure that all candidate know that and candidate more than very mildly anti-war will be systematically trashed by the media.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 9:40 PM
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57: RAZRs also don't do well in a very large pot of simmering spaghetti sauce. The sauce did ok tho', the restaurant didn't toss it after the phone was retrieved.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 9:42 PM
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61: Like I said, piece of crap. Designing a simple electronic device that can't stand up to that kind of quotidian wear and tear is unconscionable.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 9:46 PM
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21: Episodes of This American Life can be downloaded free for the first 7 days after broadcast. See: http://thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Podcast.aspx


Posted by: Chris Conway | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 9:56 PM
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Also, has anyone been reading Errol Morris's blog at the NYT?

Yes, I have.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 10:01 PM
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The Rorschach-aspect is derived from the fact that there's so little distance between the candidates that all distinctions are within the margin of rhetoric. I dislike Clinton because, among other things, she seems to be running a traditional Dem campaign. Traditional Dem politics just aren't doing the trick, in my view, but it could turn out she'll be a kick ass President. All I have to go on to decide one way or the other is rhetoric, which could turn out to be bullshit. Contrast this with the R field, where the candidates have meaningful differences in policy, and you'll see the Rorschach element.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 10:43 PM
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65: within the margin of rhetoric

Nice turn of phrase. I like it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 11:07 PM
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60: "Haven't read the thread, but even though U.S. public opinion now opposes the war, and even though primary voters oppose the war more than the average American does, Hillary has been very reluctant to say either that the war itself (as opposed to the execution) was a mistake, or to commit to getting the troops out of Iraq."

Sadly you apparently haven't read what HRC has said about the war either.


Posted by: rilkefan | Link to this comment | 12-19-07 11:38 PM
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Rilkefan, Hillary has been very sly and stubborn. She has always been the most militarist and least anti-war of the three major candidates, and even Edwards has been too cautious.

I realize that you and I disagree about many, many things, which is why you support Hilalry while I oppose her, but please don't try to convince me that she agrees with me about the Iraq War, because she fucking does not. I have no idea whatsoever what you were trying to accomplish with this post of yours.

Get a different handle, anyway. Rilke was a great poet, not a political polemicist.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-20-07 12:00 AM
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45: I shouldn't admit, since I wouldn't be caught, but I wrote 6 thinking there was such a mistake. Much later I read 37, looked back, and realized I'd misread 4.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-20-07 12:04 AM
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64: Me too. His series on the Fenton photographs was outstanding.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-20-07 12:11 AM
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66: Thank you very much, I'll be playing here all week.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12-20-07 12:32 AM
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68.last: Mr. Fan has a long and arguably distinguished history of commenting that would make this piece of advice silly if were not already so. Just because the man is dense about this particular piece of policy doesn't render him anathema.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12-20-07 12:39 AM
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seems likely that War Party A will be replaced by War Party B.

Language of this sort obscures very real and very important differences between the most hawkish Democrat (Hillary) and whoever the second-least hawkish Republican is, after Paul.

I dislike Clinton because, among other things, she seems to be running a traditional Dem campaign. Traditional Dem politics just aren't doing the trick

Well, if "the trick" is getting elected, then we'll find out, won't we? I do agree with your analysis, though, and I don't think Hillary will get the nomination.

(And if "the trick" is something other than getting elected, well, getting elected is necessarily the first step in performing that trick.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-20-07 7:06 AM
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The key is not really policy differences for me; it's what wings of the party will be empowered given the respective presidencies. Clinton (and Obama, to a lesser extent) brings the entire DLC/corporate "we're not so different from Republicans, honest" crew back to represent the face of the party. It's better than actual Republicans, obviously, but Christ almighty, can't we do better than sending back our GOP-lite faction yet again? They are way overrepresented currently and consider most of us here smelly hippies to be held at arm's length. Really, this hurts the party in the long run. That wing has to be part of the governing coalition but they've been firmly in charge for 15 years now, and not to a particularly salutary result.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-20-07 7:52 AM
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and Obama, to a lesser extent

Like so.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-20-07 7:55 AM
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73: Yes, the Republican candidates are much worse. I'm not talking about voting Republican, staying home, or supporting a third party -- I'm not talking about the general election at all.

What I'm saying is that if Hillary is the Democratic nominee, the war party will be safe, and peace Democrats will be fucked.

As I keep saying, one of the Democratic vices is not thinking beyond the immediate question, which soon will probably be Clinton vs. [Romney / Giluliani / ....]. For any peace Democrat for whom the War and related issues are the most important ones, that choice will be a disaster.

After giving us eight years of super-hawk incompetence, the war party is very likely to retrench a little, and unless one of the Republicans jells, Hillary might be their best chance.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-20-07 10:22 AM
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I'm not talking about the general election at all.

That's not the way it reads to me - and that's why I object. You divide the country into two parties, and place Hillary in the bad one. That has the effect that I described in 73.

If you are saying Hillary is the worst Democrat, I sympathize. If you say she's the worst because she's the most like the Republicans, I'm with you.

But if you're saying Hillary is closer to, say, Giuliani than Edwards on war issues, I think that's an error. And that's the effect of grouping Hillary with the Republicans (as part of the War Party).



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-20-07 12:45 PM
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I take John's point to be that the War Party is a bipartisan grouping. Which is an accurate statement.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-20-07 12:57 PM
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75: oy. Though this, from the same link, is pretty great:

"In answering a question on immigration, Obama said it would be impossible to lock all the illegal immigrants up, even if he wanted to.

"We'd clear out some of the prisons to make room for somebody who's a housekeeper at Mitt Romney's house," he joked. "(He's) an example of somebody who, 'Oh, we gotta be real tough. But my lawn, you know, is important."


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 12-20-07 1:08 PM
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At least Hillary has not (as Obama has) stood next to conservatives and biblethumpers and bellowed forth from baptist pulpits on a "Faith and Families" tour. BO, the PC-Dem Huckabee.


Posted by: 01011010 | Link to this comment | 12-20-07 3:28 PM
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