Re: I Forgot

1

I've said this before, but every time I see Thompson's face I imagine his brow furrowing and his jowls working while he munches down a sausage or a hoagie or something. If that's how you become a sex symbol, I'm glad I'm sexless. I always wonder whether his Depends are securely fastened, too.

Don't give me that agism shit, either. He's 3 years older than I am.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 11:33 AM
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"ageism"

We regret the error.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 11:34 AM
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Thompson is gross, man. I hope WL is right about it being easy to defeat McCain. Did he say why? Is McCain not wingnutty enough?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 11:34 AM
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What, like he's going to have a compelling reason? Conventional wisdom is that McCain would be the most difficult opponent for any Dem.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 11:39 AM
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No, like his reason might be entertaining. Duh.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 11:47 AM
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His theories on the media track interestingly with the theories of many people on this site.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 11:48 AM
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You just love conventional wisdom, don't you?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 11:48 AM
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6: What, that the media wants a Democratic win?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 11:49 AM
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Has he tried to find your blog yet?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 11:49 AM
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OT, but Salon has given Jonah Goldberg an interview. It's not uncritical, but Goldberg has figured out that if you repeat your nonsense in good English with a straight face, and if you use the NPR "thoughtfulness" key words and mannerisms, that many readers will think that you're reasonable. And since the interviewer is on the NPR civility bandwagon, he isn't able to treat Goldberg's arguments with sufficient scorn, nor does keep coming back when Goldberg explains a lame statement weith an equally lame statement.

[O]ne of the biggest distinctions between what I'm calling liberal fascism ... and classical fascism, is that classical fascism was masculine and violently oppressive and today's liberalism is feminine and not oppressive but smothering with kindness.

"Imagine a day care worker giving kid a cookie -- forever!", said O'Brien.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 11:50 AM
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8: that if the media gives unfavorable coverage to a candidate it is necessarily because they have some kind of unrevealed stake in having that candidate lose.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 11:50 AM
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From John Cole, The Goldberg Principle: "You can prove any thesis to be true if you make up your own definitions of words."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 11:54 AM
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The reception Goldberg's book is getting is just...well, it's disgusting. Effective conservative machine, widespread intellectual collapse...not sure quite what the deal is.


Posted by: Perfectly GD | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 11:59 AM
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Welcome to the end times.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:03 PM
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Forgot who said this, but Thompson looks like a basset hound who has just taken a particularly satisfying dump in your closet.

I understand the sex symbol thing though -- men can be sex symbols even if they aren't particularly attractive, so long as they project a particular sort of symbolic image. Thompson has got the big, comfortable, self-confident daddy thing going. I do think he's truly "comfortable in his own skin", to use the cliche. He has managed to relax, take it easy, and live a pretty hedonistic life while drifting upward without a whole lot of effort. He doesn't seem to have a lot of demons.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:03 PM
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big, comfortable, self-confident daddy

Hawt.

::shudder::


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:06 PM
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The media love McCain because he was nice to them. He let them on his bus at all hours. He joked around with them, probably had a few beers and told some bawdy jokes. That's really all it takes to get them on your side forever, just convince them that you are part of their crowd.

You Washington Media Types have probably heard this before, but I just learned my new favorite description of the media: "The press is like an electron: small, negative, and easy to spin."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:13 PM
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B is in denial. She worries that her deep, overpowering desire for the kind of jowly, incontinent father-figure she never had will take over her life and make it a living hell.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:14 PM
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classical fascism was masculine and violently oppressive and today's liberalism is feminine and not oppressive but smothering with kindness.

The ESSENCE of traditional facism was that it was masculinist and obsessed with violence! What does it even mean to talk about a facism that is kind and not oppressive! ARGHHH!


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:19 PM
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I thought the BF looked kind of paternal.

Also: The GOP candidates as Buffy villains.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:19 PM
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"Liberalism is like classical fascism, except it is not masculinist, violent, nationalistic or obsessed with racial purity"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:21 PM
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I thought the BF looked kind of paternal.

You must be kidding. What was your dad like?


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:21 PM
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22: Urbane, well dressed.

The BF was much more communicative than my dad is, though.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:24 PM
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The BF also sexually abused Rob, though it was legal in this case.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:27 PM
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My own instinct has long been that McCain would be the most difficult for the Dem to beat. He is closer to the D front-runners on a lot of issues and has an appropriately gruff presidential demeanor. And lord but the wingnuts *hate* him on immigration. I hear, though, from a friend who works on the Hill that McCain is an unparalleled dick to his staff.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:27 PM
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11. Thompson was pulled out of his crypt to make a run because panicked moneycon Republican operatives realized that they had a problem with their pool of candidates. They were ably abetted by some in the media. Enthusiasm cooled with Thompson's performance*, but it ain't dead yet per this bit of fluff from Kit Seelye that I put up on the other thread. That Fred fucking Thompson is even in the race supports the argument which you mock and over-simplify.

* I do give him some credit for some of the best self-deprecating humor this campaign, but I'm sure when it is over even he will be thinking "Now what the fuck was that all about?"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:28 PM
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I'm not sure what that last 'though" is doing up there - it doesn't really qualify anything.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:28 PM
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"Liberalism is like classical fascism, except it is not masculinist, violent, nationalistic or obsessed with racial purity"

This is one of those games you could play all day, isn't it?

"Vorticism is like pre-Rafaelism, except it is not narrative, romantic, physically realistic, or obsessed with the past".

Your turn.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:31 PM
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McCain will have the media in his pocket. The Christianists and wingnuts have threatened to bolt if he's nominated, though. And he does have anger-management skeletons in his closet.

The idea that he's "genuine" has resonance, though he's as phony in politics as anyone, because of his pre-political life and also because he sometimes does let the mask slip. I think that his hanging out with the media is much less staged that Bush's frat boy BS, though the media eat up Bush BS too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:31 PM
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20: OMG, I love Huckabee as Caleb. Especially the description.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:32 PM
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McCain is more hawkish than Bush though, and on most issues he's horribly conservative. It's just that he wasn't a completely obedient slave of Norquist, Dobson and Rove that he seems less conservative.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:33 PM
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The media love McCain because he was nice to them.

You're getting your cause and effect mixed up. McCain or W can afford to be nice to the media. Democrats cannot. See: Gore, Al.

See Greenwald.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:34 PM
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how am i supposed to feel abotu McCain's campaign finance reform? Good? Bad?


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:34 PM
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To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other.

Jack Handy


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:34 PM
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So basically the media are like graduate students. If you give them some free beer and maybe a cheese plate, and if you joke around with them about some stupid shit that doesn't trigger their "omg what if someone finds out I haven't read that?!?" anxiety, they'll love you forever.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:35 PM
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That is a pitch perfect description of my graduate student life.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:37 PM
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Yes, I remember those days well. Bizarrely, it's only in retrospect that I realize that's actually a pretty awesome way to live.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:40 PM
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Thompson's campaign theme song: "Daisy" (as sung by HAL)


Posted by: swampcracker | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:41 PM
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It's a sweet way to live, but now that I am a few months away from submitting, I am realizing the extent of my lack of power. And that makes me feel like its a shitty way to live.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:41 PM
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And my bust of a job market run doesn't help.No amount of cheese adn cheap wine makes up for unemployment.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:42 PM
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The complexity is that the media will only be pathetically grateful for attention from people who they are intimidated by, who they consider above them in the status hierarchy. And for some reason Republicans are above them -- they are cowed by Republicans, but not by Democrats.

I think this is because the Republicans really do represent a scarily violent and authoritarian impulse in American life, with a lot of money and power behind it. Democrats are a little too close to being the kind of people they went to school with. There is some kind of jealous status competition there.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:43 PM
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Bush's cameraderie with the media is 100% bullying, and they love it. They're power-worshipping, money-worshipping social climbers, and he holds the keys to the kingdom.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:45 PM
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Congratulations on being close to submitting! And you know, there are worse things that not getting the swanky Research I job. Really.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:48 PM
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Thanks, B. It's not even that I so much wanted to swank job, I applied for a lot of non-swank ones that I didn't get. It's more the uncertainty of Januaries that I am over. What will I do next year, what will the days look liek, do I bother to arrange childcare, all that sort of blah.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:53 PM
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The graduate students don't "love you forever," they love you until they realize they are fucked out of a job.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:54 PM
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Very few words in English are less appetizing than "jowls." I shudder to contemplate what the German might be.

[refers to the reference shelf of the Festung Flippanter"

Unterkiefer.

Actually, that's not that bad.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:55 PM
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I just figured out how major Democrats could achieve 41: publicly hang out with celebrities.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 12:57 PM
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Yeah, that's how Al Gore got to be president!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:00 PM
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it is necessarily because they have some kind of unrevealed stake in having that candidate lose.

I didn't absorb this the first time I read it. I don't think anyone here is saying that this stake is "unrevealed". See Greenwald above for one recent example, but really the media's coverage philosophy has been a matter of public record for years.

Or decades. Guess what? The media really didn't like Nixon back in the day. And then, as now with the Democrats, they said why.

Today, Nixon-like stuff is going on with the President without even much effort to cover it up, but the institutional imperatives for the media work in the opposite direction, in support of the coverup.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:02 PM
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True, the uncertainty really does suck, and that's the part that it's easy to forget in retrospect.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:02 PM
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I'm looking forward to that.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:03 PM
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Did Gore hang out with celebrities before he ran? The first I remember hearing about it was after he lost.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:06 PM
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Very few words in English are less appetizing than "jowls."

Moist hubby crotch cooze!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:08 PM
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47: No, what's odd is that the Democrats have much better celebrity cred than the Republicans. Clinton was way more popular in Hollywood than Bush, and Obama would be a total rock star as President. There are heavy hitting Democratic fundraisers on Wall Street, in Hollywood, in Silicon Valley, and those sectors are at least as wealthy/powerful as the Southern/Texan sectors that go heavily Republican.

Democrats aren't *objectively* less wealthy/powerful, there's some dark psychosexual authoritarian/militarist thing going on. Either that, or conservative media overlords have rigged it all.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:11 PM
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I continued to feel intense, sometimes paralyzing uncertainty, until I landed my first TT job, eight years after I completed my Ph.D.

OTOH, I am very very insecure person, and I still feel bouts of uncertainty, even though things are much more stable now.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:12 PM
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is that classical fascism was masculine and violently oppressive and today's liberalism is feminine and not oppressive but smothering with kindness.

So other than the "gender", the assumptions, the goals, the methods the results and the rhetoric, classical fascism=liberal fascism. Works for me!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:12 PM
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Moist hubby crotch cooze!

Only one of those words was not sexy.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:13 PM
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I also believe that liberal donors are vainer, more controlling, and less political than conservative donors. In particular, they seem to be unwilling to fund an ideas infrastructure either of the thinktank kind, or of the Fox New / Washington Times kind.

And yes, we need those. We aren't getting the word out. A liberal / Democratic Fox news wouldn't have to be as dishonest as Fox News itself, but it would need a lot of shallowness and fluffines, and it would have to be willing to be no-neutral and openly liberal or at least center-left and Democratic.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:16 PM
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55: Certainly it's unreasonable to feel uneasy about trying to raise a family in the face of strong economic uncertainty. I suggest that you use more drugs until you're normal.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:18 PM
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35: This puts it in a way I hadn't thought about before, but I think you're on to something. It's got to be a lot easier to cover a presidential campaign when you don't have to fret about factuality.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:19 PM
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I also believe that liberal donors are vainer, more controlling, and less political than conservative donors.

I will tell you one thing I've definitely observed: liberals are not as good team players as Republicans. They are much more individualist, much more sectarian, much more concerned with getting a hearing for their own clever, brilliant ideas rather than getting together and pushing a unified line. That is indeed a form of vanity. It sometimes seems that liberalism is a movement made up entirely of people who want to write their own white papers.

This has a lot to do with why Republicans have great message discipline and can get a unified line out there, while Democrats have great difficulty even when they are in power.

Of course, the Republicans are much more ideological than Democrats, so their line is simpler, and they feel much freer to ignore reality. But the problem goes beyond that.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:23 PM
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The Democrats have much better celebrity cred, but I don't think they do a good job of exploiting it. For example, I thought that Gore accidentally got some mileage out of the fact that Jon Bon Jovi and other musicians jammed at his house in the wee hours of his election night party in 2000. I think Gore is a much more glamorous figure now than he was in 2000, thanks to the Oscar and the Nobel. If he were dealing with the media now, they would be more intimidated than they were in 2000.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:28 PM
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I think that a lot of Democratic donors think that they themselves are great political thinkers, but just don't have the time, so they aren't willing to give a grantee fre rein.

There's also the thing I noticed during my brief adjuncting experience -- a tendency to treat ever grant as a Christmas tree to hand as many issues as possible on. Anecdotally, this struck me when I was supposed to show (among many other things) how my proposed course on Marco Polo related to feminist and handicapped-inclusiveness issues.

A very dedicated, capable, and hard-working woman I know lost a position where she had been performing wonderfully well because of affirmative-action issues. She was terribly hurt, partly because the board's communications to here were pretty insulting, but she loyally refused to complain.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:30 PM
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61 is brilliant and insightful (i.e. I'd noticed the same thing).

I'm still mulling over the theory in 41. Does the same effect work for Mitt Romney? Mike Huckabee?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:33 PM
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One factor here, which relates to what I said in 61, is that the Democrats tend to be intellectual types who at least think of themselves as idea-motivated (even when you disagree with them, there is truth to this). Republicans tend not to be as intellectual, and are more attuned to pure authority and social control. The media are very anti-intellectual. I think a lot of them feel like they are smarter than the people they're covering, so they're a combination of competitive with and contemptuous of people they perceive as coming from an intellectual place.

Because of this, I don't think the media would be intimidated for one second by the new Al Gore. Why? Because he's received a lot of publicity? Hell, they control publicity, they know how worthless it is.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:33 PM
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I still think most of the difference in coverage is accounted for the by the fact that liberals are temperamentally critical of people like themselves and eager to please people different from themselves. This is why it's true that the media is "liberal" and also why coverage favors Republicans in bizarre ways. A bit more detail: Democrats get slammed as "inauthentic" constantly because Democrats are real people to reporters, who find all politicianness in them fake and inauthentic, but Republicans aren't real people, so they get a pass on authenticity; they are what they are.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:35 PM
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Self-hating liberals.

Wouldn't it be more fun to go back to speculating about B's deeply-repressed, sick, potentially-life-threatening sexual obsession with Fred Thompson?

Drug her up too, like Help-chalk.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:37 PM
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66 is just a great comment and a better expression of what I was trying to get at in 65. I've noticed in general that highly verbal intellectuals can have some tendency toward self-contempt, or at least contempt for people who are like them.

64: thanks. You know, I've seen what I said in 61 confirmed over and over again by experience. I'm very certain it's true. It's also related to the great difficulty liberalism has had in building a broader movement that cross-cuts the issue-specific lobbies (pro-choice, environmentalist, poverty, etc.). There's no more contradiction between those issues than there is between Republican coalition members like evangelicals, libertarians, and militarists. But there is no Democratic counterpart to something like Grover Norquist's Wednesday breakfasts, where the abstinence education people break bread with the anti-tax types and decide on unified messages for the week.

It's not just a matter of funding new organizations. The newly established Democratic organizations have tended to replicate some of the problems with the older ones.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:41 PM
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I don't think it's the publicity, it's the glamor. Al Gore is now a little bit glamorous the way George Clooney is, or Derek Jeter. I think this is something that's worked in Schwartenegger's favor with the media.

Really, I'm just musing on your original theory, PGD. The media love Bush and McCain because they come from status hierarchies that the kind of person who was in the media could never compete in. Bush is like a modern day landed aristocrat; up close on some level the fact that he's never worked at anything and yet he's on the verge of becoming President must seem like he possesses some magical power, like he's the favorite of God. McCain was a career military man who suffered for his country. Journalists are probably mostly middle-class strivers who were editors of their high school newspapers. The fact that alpha males from other status hierarchies deign to pal around with them must be heady stuff.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:44 PM
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I've also wondered the same as 66, that the media is so hard on Democrats partially because they really do think of themselves as liberals.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:47 PM
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The media love Bush and McCain because they come from status hierarchies that the kind of person who was in the media could never compete in. Bush is like a modern day landed aristocrat;

That's a good theory, that accords with what Ogged was saying too. The mystical attraction of authoritarianism, vs. garden-variety bourgeois intellectual striving.

But then why weren't the media impressed with someone like Wesley Clark? He had an amazing military background.


Posted by: Perfectly G. Delightful | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:48 PM
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But then why weren't the media impressed with someone like Wesley Clark? He had an amazing military background.

Yeah but he was a Democrat.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:49 PM
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As I keep saying, the media dance to the owners' tune. The content we see is decided upon by a bunch of mostly nameless people in the back room, and both the bylined people and the back-room editors have to please the publishers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:50 PM
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Yeah but he was a Democrat.

I think you're close here, but remember: Lieberman is a Democrat and they like him, too.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:51 PM
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PF, that's a joke, isn't it? For one thing, he's not a Democrat.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:52 PM
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Did Clark pal around with the media? I think it's the "deigning to pal around" that makes it work. Probably that hurt Kerry, who had a little bit of both the landed aristocrat and the military man, but didn't seem like the kind of guy who'd give you a silly nickname.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:54 PM
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75: I seem to remember the press liking him before 2004.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:55 PM
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75: Yes, that was a joke.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:55 PM
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I don't even like Star Wars, but this is a perfectly executed thing.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:55 PM
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One journalist I knew (her beat was not politics) often mentioned that she was ready to have Wes Clark's babies.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:56 PM
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Lieberman was liked to the extent that he was stabbing other Democrats. In 2000 they probably liked him when he sabotaged the recount fight a couple of times.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:58 PM
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Lieberman endorsed John McCain; he's not a Democrat anymore.

Do they like him or just like him as a Senator? I think that it's possible for them to like him as a Senator but think of him as a buffoon when he's running for president.

Wesley Clark was respected when he wasTV military analyst. Once he got into presidential politics, less so. I think thatthere may be a narrative going where the mdia think that Democrats make good legislators but bad executives.

I think some liberals mayeven believe that. Democrats are lawyers whereas Republicans work in business and manage other people. Catsarelovely, but it'struethat they're hard to herd. Legislators canbe ornry and independent; members of the executive branch need tobe part of a team. (I don'tknwo whether this is accurate,butI'vebought into this abitmyself, which goesto showyouhow powerful the narrative is.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 1:59 PM
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Come on, let's make smutty remarks about Thompson. I'm burned out on serious shit.

Also, let's have a liberal fascist thread, explaining how we became fascists and what fascism means to us.

To me it means brutally giving cookies to toddlers in daycare -- forever! But YMMV.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:00 PM
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Whenever I see "YMMV", I always think "YHWH".


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:02 PM
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To me it means brutally giving cookies to toddlers in daycare -- forever! But YMMV.

Broccoli, John Giving broccoli to toddlers in daycare -- forever. Not cookies. Cookies are bad for you. The guards at Dachau made cookies sometimes, though they used organic honey so that isn't so bad.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:02 PM
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Combined with "HMV". Which make sense, deity-wise.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:02 PM
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I take a Fanonian view of the Democrats. They've been colonized so long that cringing has become second nature. Some of the newer ones and newer groups have learned to stand up straight, and a few others (e.g. Feingold, from a state where the high alcohol consumption and occasional cannibalism foster courage). But a lot of them are inveterate backstabbers and cringers.

McManus should pitch in now.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:03 PM
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These are sugarless, vitamin-enriched bran cookies.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:04 PM
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Wesley Clark was respected when he wasTV military analyst. Once he got into presidential politics, less so.

Right. There was a media boomlet for Clark when he was considering getting into the race, but once he started campaigning and it turned out that he was a legitimately bad campaigner, he fizzled.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:06 PM
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I think Romney is a suggestive test case. He's image is of successful businessman, but I don't think the media particularly likes him.

Did the media clearly dislike Kerry, or Clark? Clark may just not been liked by the voters, without being disliked by the media. I didn't have the sense that the media disliked Kerry; this is a case where John's "hillbilly theory of agency" would apply. McCain versus Romney or Clinton versus Obama you have to look at the media's personal neuroses to explain.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:06 PM
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Well you're not getting one until you eat your broccoli and read John Has Two Mommies aloud.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:07 PM
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I'm sticking to serious shit because I am procrastinating from completely vital work, and by striking the Rodin pose here in comments, I feel virtuous in doing so.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:08 PM
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fascism is warlike; liberal fascism is wimpy. Fascism is macho and dominant; liberal fascism is passive and weenie. Fascist gangs rampage through the streets and beat up old Jews; liberal fascist gangs sit in libraries and discuss empowerment. Fascists are health-conscious vegetarians; liberal fascists are health-conscious vegetarians too! Fascists are nationalists; liberal fascists are multiculturalists. Fascists kille Jews; liberal fascists are Jews. Fascists are anti-abortion; liberal fascists are baby-killers. Fascists destroy labor unions; liberal fascists use unions to destroy schools. Fascists burn decadent art; liberal fascists produce decadent art.

See, it all makes sense, especially the vegetarian part.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:18 PM
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I don't think that anybody likes Romney; the Republicans hate him. Paul Begala called him a phony today on "Wait, Wait Don't tell me," and he *is*a phony, butwhy he seems to be more of a phony than George W., I don't know. (He has changeshis basic principles a lot over the pstfew years. He portrayed himself differently asagubernatorial candidat, and (when he was in the state) ran Massachusetts differently from the way he's presenting himself now as a presidential candidate.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:18 PM
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Romney's phoniness is his most positive trait, because at this point a sincere Republican would have to be insane.

Politicians pretty much have to be phony. This doesn't necessarily mean that the phoniest politician is the best politician, but damn near.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:20 PM
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55: Oddly, I feel much less uncertainty now that I'm not an academic. Go figure.

liberals are temperamentally critical of people like themselves and eager to please people different from themselves

In short, get off my back, Ogged, and stop sucking up to Baa.

That said, people, I have decided I was wrong about the Steinem piece. I still think she was trying to express a real feeling of pissed-offedness at the coded misogyny that's part of most Clinton criticism, but I regret defending her on the blacks vs. women thing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:21 PM
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So far, Goldberg's book comes down to two kinds of statements.

1: "Liberalism is like classical fascism, except it is not masculinist, violent, nationalistic or obsessed with racial purity"

2: Endless variations on "Auschwitz had buildings! The New York Time is housed in a building! The New York Times is Fascist!"

If we come up with any other elements, I'll put them in a comment with these two, so we can have a good place to keep the summary.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:25 PM
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B: You left the business entirely. I'm in the business in a more secure position. Of course you feel better than I do.

Also, did you just admit to being wrong about something?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:26 PM
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That said, people, I have decided I was wrong

B, house style is to never admit that you were wrong.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:30 PM
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97: Real Jonah is frankly stupider than fake Jonah.

To wit (ganking from Sadly, No!):

Then there's the omnipresent canard that I must be wrong because of fascism's "overwhelming anti-liberalism." Neiwert is again displaying either his ignorance or his dishonesty. It is absolutely true that a great many academic definitions -- Ernst Nolte's "fascist negations" for example -- cite fascism's anti-liberalism. And it is true that Mussolini and Hitler spoke of their disdain for liberalism many times, and there are many quotes to that effect. But guess what? These two European statesmen were speaking in -- wait for it! -- a European context where liberalism generally means limited government: classical or "Manchester" liberalism. They were most emphatically not talking about progressivism or socialism . . .

As the Sadly, Notzis ponder: Dumb? or Liar?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:32 PM
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97: I would add

3. Have you ever wondered where the word "Nazi" came from? Hardly anybody knows that it was an abbreviation for "National Socialist". That's right, Socialist! Bet you never learned that in school.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:33 PM
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98: It's not the first time I've admitted I was wrong, don't be a smartass.

And I haven't left the biz entirely. I'm actually updating my cv and plan on sending it out on Monday, so there.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:34 PM
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B. this isn't about Steinem. It's about your deeply repressed Thompson fantasies.

Jowly, lip-smacking,incontinent old men!

Nice distraction, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:37 PM
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John, I know you're holding out hope that I'll develop an interest in incontinent old men, but it just isn't going to happen. I'm sorry.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:42 PM
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Once I attain incontinence and lipsmacking jowliness, I'll phone you up. Your harem has room for another love slave, right?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:46 PM
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Nope.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:52 PM
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Damn.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:56 PM
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Does "love slave" count as a relationship?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 2:58 PM
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You know, this screws the hell out of my retirement plan.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 3:06 PM
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Very few words in English are less appetizing than "jowls." I shudder to contemplate what the German might be. [refers to the reference shelf of the Festung Flippanter. Unterkiefer. Actually, that's not that bad.

A better translation would be "Wangen" or "Backen" (the latter particularly if you are referring to hogs jowls, or Schweinebacke). Unterkiefer denotes the lower jaw, usually the jawbone.

Interestingly, German has the same dual meaning of the word "cheeks" as English (Arschbacken=ass cheeks). I wonder if the secondary meaning in English entered the language by way of German or Yiddish immigrants.



Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 3:46 PM
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Or by obvious visual similarity?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 3:48 PM
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Or by obvious visual similarity?

Never seemed that obvious to me. But you could be right. OTOH, French does not have the dual meaning, and AFAIK Spanish doesn't either. I don't know how common it is in other languages. OTOOH a lot of German vocabulary is based on visual analogies (e.g. the head of the penis is the "acorn").


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 3:55 PM
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Could be via Anglo-Saxon too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 4:02 PM
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Round, fleshy, come in pairs?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 4:35 PM
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You know, and I know you do, Wingnut Lifeguard's reasoning reminds me yet again that the political thinking of, shall we say, many people bears little to no resemblance to the semi-fevered speculations of the chattering classes. I can't help but be amused by our pretensions to relevance. Sometimes.

But witness: a recent off-topic post by a woman on a bookselling discussion list who explained that she really favored "that handsome Romney," but wouldn't vote for him because he'd left her state bereft of gubernatorial leadership in pursuit of higher office ... but she likes her current governor because he's stated he's in favor of gay marriage, which shows her that he has no higher aspirations.

Okay.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 5:57 PM
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Yeah to 115.

I had a chat with an African cabbie recently who liked Obama because (he said immediately) Obama was the only Democratic candidate willing to stand up and support drivers' licenses for immigrants.

A) I hadn't noticed Obama's really leading on that issue during that debate, and B) I realised that there might be reasons to prefer medallion-licensed cabs.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 8:42 PM
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I had a taxi driver here in sing/apore the other day who was going on and on about what a shame it was that gary hart had been destroyed by bimbo eruptions, because his policies were all so good, and he was a "natural" politician, etc etc. why this dude should know and care so much about gary fucking hart I cant imagine, but it was diverting.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 5:51 AM
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117: I think I have previously mentioned in this forum that I encountered a lot of folks in Greece in the early 1990s who were brimming with optimism that Michael Dukakis was going to make a comeback.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:48 AM
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gary hart is not chinese.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 8:47 AM
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119: of course not. He's Malay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 8:58 AM
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gary hart is not chinese.

True, but he was known to be fond of eating Rice.

Ta-dum-dum-CRASH.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 9:09 AM
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Rice is now an anti-porn activist. Jessica Hahn went in the other direction. That's irony or something.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:30 PM
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115: OTOH, presumably most people think that the obsessiveness with which we parse what candidates say, trying to divine what specific things they'll do--knowing that once they get elected, they'll be dealing with a jillion different folks in congress and various lobbys tweaking things one way or another, etc--is itself kind of insane.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:06 PM
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