Re: Texas Messes With Itself

1

And how on earth is it that Clinton's folks only figured that out last month?

They were tricked by teh Patriarchy!

(Really, I assume she picked an All-Star Texas team. But Texas hasn't mattered in a long, long time, so the All-Stars are probably selected for some reason other than arcane knowledge. Team Texas made a series of assumptions, as literally everyone does when faced with complicated systems and short resources. They just picked the wrong assumptions. I suppose I can hold it a little bit against her advisors, but not a lot.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 8:19 AM
horizontal rule
2

That's way too easy on them SCMT. The system is convoluted but a matter of record. It's simple incompetence on the part of her organization to not have looked at this before. Either they don't have anyone local familiar with the systems (incompetent) or they aren't communicated these things up to the top levels (incompetent).

It's hardly the end of the world, and I'm sure every campaign makes errors of this magnitude. But it is clearly an error.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 8:27 AM
horizontal rule
3

2: Or they had researched it, but they're now making worried public noises to spin a possible loss.

And even if true, "several top Clinton strategists and fundraisers became alarmed after learning" doesn't mean nobody in the campaign knew, just that nobody at the top cared until Texas got on their radar.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 8:30 AM
horizontal rule
4

To be fair, "last month" means January. Prior to that, HRC was the the presumptive nominee, and the primaries were expected to be part of a coronation process. To the extent that there is blame to be parceled out, it has to do with underestimating Obama, and underestimating the extent to which people were bothered by complicity and wanted change.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 8:32 AM
horizontal rule
5

4:

Tim gets it right in 4. Nobody cares about a rigged system when you think it is rigged in your favor.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 8:34 AM
horizontal rule
6

Tim gets it right. It wouldn't look like a mistake not to worry about the details of Texas if the assumption that Obama's candidacy was going to go down in Dean-Tsongas-Bradley style flames had turned out to be correct.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 8:41 AM
horizontal rule
7

Semi-relatedly: Rush Limbaugh is also telling Texas Republicans to vote en masse in the Democratic primary for Obama.


Posted by: Moby Ape | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 8:42 AM
horizontal rule
8

3: Sure, but that's basically my latter situation -- absent a really stupid approach to Texas (not having anyone on board who knew the ropes) it's clear someone knew about it, but it may not have been clear at the top that this could be important.. Like I said, it's not a big gaffe, but it's not something that was out of their control.

I hadn't considered that it might just be spin to pretend they didn't know --- I suspect that's the wrong way to go at it but it's as plausible as having missed it would have been.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 8:43 AM
horizontal rule
9

3 gets it right. This is anticipatory spin aimed at superdelegates.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 8:45 AM
horizontal rule
10

6: Ok, but that's just pushing the error around.

Again, hardly earth shattering stuff. But either they were actually caught flat footed here (for whatever reason), which means they could/should have handled it better, or they're spinning it as `we didn't know what we were doing'. Which probably sounds a bit better than `we assumed Texas wouldn't matter' but isn't exactly positive, either.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 8:45 AM
horizontal rule
11

It's sort of like Presidents' Day: No one remembers that this Monday is Presidents' Day until some point between Friday and Sunday. All the things you schedule for Monday end up going out the window. (For example, alas, the job interview I'm supposed to have today.)

Maybe the Clinton campaign didn't think about Texas until they got to Texas. But what's more important now is that they're advertising the fact. I think this article represents careful expectations management on behalf of Clinton. After all, Texas is not a system that's "rigged" to benefit Obama immediately: the windfall he's quite likely to see from the caucus bonus of the state's primary+ system won't take effect until June. Her worry, I bet, is not that she won't beat Obama&mdahs;again, he may win it but because the state pledges 90-some-odd of its 226 delegates in June, his win won't quite count for March 5. I think her worry is that she doesn't have the resources to compete with Obama's team in Texas and she's afraid she'll see him digging into her margins in South Texas.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 8:55 AM
horizontal rule
12

Right: she's not leading by as much as she hoped, so she wants to convince the superdelegates that she should be treated as a strong victor regardless.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 8:58 AM
horizontal rule
13

I don't think it's spin aimed at the superdelegates. I mean, maybe. But she has to survive the fact of her not winning it all in two states that count: Ohio and Texas. So what she's saying now is: Texas doesn't count. It recalls to mind the mistakes of Santa Anna, when the inevitability of his victory dwindled to dust by the time he reached San Jacinto. Remember Goliad, yes we can!


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 8:59 AM
horizontal rule
14

11: Yeah, that's what I hadn't though of originaly. I agree it's the attempt, but dont' think the spin looks that good for her. Maybe there is just nothing better though.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
15

I think she needs to convince the press more than she needs to convince the superdelegates. She doesn't come away with a moral victory from Texas (and Ohio), she can't make it to Pennsylvania.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:01 AM
horizontal rule
16

they're spinning it as `we didn't know what we were doing'. Which probably sounds a bit better than `we assumed Texas wouldn't matter' but isn't exactly positive, either.

I'm actually not convinced that the former does sound better. "To be honest, we expected to be winning at this stage. Furthermore, we've always known we'd win Texas, and everyone agrees we'll still win Texas; what we didn't realize - because we were so busy in all these other states, whom we wuuuuv - was that kicking Obama's ass in Texas somehow won't get us any delegates."

That sounds OK to me - at least compared to the other ways of talking about an obvious fuck-up. I think it's an understandable fuck-up, per Tim's 4, but the trouble is that HRC can't afford any fuck-ups. A lot of the things that have gone poorly for her campaign have been either not her fault (BHO's a great candidate, no one could have predicted that her AUMF vote would be unpopular*) or reasonable judgement calls gone wrong (presuming not to come in 3rd in IA, emphasizing Super Tuesday over the rest of the Feb contests). But this one is just a simple fuck-up, magnified by everything else.

Frankly, this is probably the last nail in her campaign's coffin. It was extremely dubious that she could win even with big wins in TX, OH, and PA; now it appears that she could win all 3 of those by 10-15 points, and still be a 100 delegates down. At this point, she needs a big surprise - either a huge win in WI, or Obama getting caught going to Friday prayer. I just hope that she doesn't go scorched-earth on BHO.

* Joke.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:02 AM
horizontal rule
17

I'm actually not convinced that the former does sound better.

You may well be right about that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:04 AM
horizontal rule
18

10: If a mistake it is, I see it as the kind of mistake that even very competent people can make. There are a whole lot of things going on that compete for attention; one could even argue that if the top campaign people had studied detailed Texas analyses in November or December, they would have neglected their duties then.

Not to be an HRC apologist - whether the account is true or not, I suspect spin is the reason we're hearing about it. But one must manage priorities.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:08 AM
horizontal rule
19

If Obama wins Texas, there will be barbecue.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:10 AM
horizontal rule
20

But 16 is right too - it's not a mistake she can afford to make either.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:11 AM
horizontal rule
21

OK, and now that I've read the WaPo article, it really is a pretty bogus system. I understand the underlying logic, but it's a screwed-up way to create incentives: "vote in the meaningless General or we won't count your votes in the significant Primary." Among other things, there's no real mechanism for actually letting voters know about this - do you think that, in 2004, canvassers were telling people, "get out and vote for Kerry, who will lose by 20 points, or we won't care who you want to be the Dem nominee in 4 years"? I know there's more on the ballot than the presidential, but still.

All that said - clearly bad on HRC's campaign to get this wrong. If nothing else, they could have been laying the groundwork for dealing with this since Nevada, when BHO got more delegates out of a clear headcount win for HRC.

I might add that I think this is a situation where the superdelegates have a legit role - if HRC wins TX with 60% of the vote, but only gets 40% of the pledged delegates, then there's no reason for superdelegates not to counter that. The whole objection to supers has been that, if they support HRC when she hasn't won delegates selected by voters, that would be bogus. But if the pledged delegates don't reflect the voters, then the supers can step in. But it won't matter - HRC is trending downward, and won't win the popular by enough to make the system's bogosity apparent, or a real issue.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
22

If Obama wins Texas, there will be [what Texans mistakenly call] barbecue


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
23

If Obama wins Texas, there will be barbecue.

I've never been, but my understanding of Texas is that there will pretty much be barbecue regardless.

Or do you mean at the Flophouse? Wouldn't that be tricky, what with the lead time for smoking a brisket?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:16 AM
horizontal rule
24

22: Dissension in the Southern States of America! Will the Great Plains of America send in peacekeepers? Possibly Kansans with 55 gallon drums of thick, sweet sauce?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:17 AM
horizontal rule
25

I don't have many good things to say about Texas, but the awesomeness of brisket is one of them.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:19 AM
horizontal rule
26

Fucking A. Now all I want is Texas-style brisket. This will not be happening in my life anytime soon. Damnit.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:21 AM
horizontal rule
27

18: My original comment included noting that this is the sort of (size of) error I expect every major campaign makes.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
28

Right, here. I'm thinking about throwing a brisket on Tuesday morning, though it would be a quite early launch for Q season. And if Obama loses then I'll be basting that brisket in bitter tears.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
29

If Obama wins Texas, there will be [what Texans mistakenly call] barbecue

I don't have many good things to say about Texas, but the awesomeness of brisket is one of them.

See Apo, Walt has the gist of it. My understanding from the locals is that it's not so much mistakenly called bbq, but that since there really isn't any point in doing something other than the brisket, then don't need another name.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
30

They may mistakenly call it barbecue outside of Austin, but in and around Austin, you can find yourself some incredible barbecue. Stop the hating!


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:39 AM
horizontal rule
31

Sigh. I love brisket as much as the next guy, really I do. But the foodstuff known generically as barbecue goes oink before you put the bolt through its head.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:46 AM
horizontal rule
32

I grew up believing that barbecue was hamburgers and hot dogs.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
33

This is just the type of thing that happens when you make your pollster your main campaign strategist. Polls are hard! And shouldn't be mixed in with minute understanding of complex election rules.

This will likely be a break in Clinton's firewall. Swing voters are bad news and Hispanics are polling as trending away from Hillary.

Do I get a Texas biscuit if I'm right?


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:51 AM
horizontal rule
34

I get to vote AND caucus! AND eat brisket at the Salt Lick! God bless.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
35

My reaction would be "I have to vote, and caucus? At least I can have some brisket."


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:54 AM
horizontal rule
36

I grew up believing that barbecue was hamburgers and hot dogs.

See, this is exactly why it's still too early to end affirmative action.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:57 AM
horizontal rule
37

I have myself made pulled pork—it's tasty! I'm not trying to say anything against vinegar-soaked ham. But it can never exceed in flavor a slice of brisket slow-smoked at Kreutz Market in Lockhart, Texas.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:57 AM
horizontal rule
38

But the foodstuff known generically as barbecue goes oink before you put the bolt through its head.

Much of what they serve there did. They're just more committed to diversity in Texas.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:58 AM
horizontal rule
39

37: I'm not arguing flavor, Smasher, just nomenclature. But maybe I've got another thing coming.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:58 AM
horizontal rule
40

Do I get a Texas biscuit if I'm right?

I guess I wouldn't get a brisket if I ask for a biscuit.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:59 AM
horizontal rule
41

We'll have to agree to disagree. Q means brisket.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:59 AM
horizontal rule
42

a slice of brisket slow-smoked at Kreutz Market in Lockhart, Texas

[weeps salty crocodile tears of bitter longing]


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:59 AM
horizontal rule
43

Kreutz! Damn it, it's 9 a.m. and I want barbecue.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 9:59 AM
horizontal rule
44

A brisket biscuit wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility, asl.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 10:00 AM
horizontal rule
45

I don't understand why we have to fight about barbecue. It's all delicious, and I will have some of each, please.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 10:00 AM
horizontal rule
46

I grew up in a city that's 50% black. And yet, the fancy thing to make at tailgate parties before football games is either bratwurst, or chicken marinated in barbecue sauce and wrapped in tinfoil.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 10:00 AM
horizontal rule
47

We'll have to agree to disagree

I don't think you understand how this blog works.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 10:01 AM
horizontal rule
48

I decided that becoming a vegetarian for ethical reasons was incompatible with my lifestyle and revealed priorities, but I could still stop eating beef for ethical reasons (environmental). So, I'm happy to have grown up with North Carolinian conception of "barbecue".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 10:04 AM
horizontal rule
49

revealed priorities

When did you find the Lord, Brother Ned?


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 10:05 AM
horizontal rule
50

Unfogged is really trying to mess with my breakfast plans this morning.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 10:06 AM
horizontal rule
51

He found it in a slice of bacon, like the rest of us.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 10:07 AM
horizontal rule
52

44- Thanks. Eh, I'm just happy we have a non ironic thread going. Irony is so overrated.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 10:07 AM
horizontal rule
53

Eschewing industrially produced beef in favour of industrially produced pork for environmental reasons is at best problematic these days.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 10:08 AM
horizontal rule
54

I'm so disappointed that I missed so much of the past weekend's comments threads. Or not. But since this is the most current political thread, let me note these lines from an article on Obama in The New York Review of Books:

Obama heard Jesse Jackson speak at a rally on 125th Street, but he says he couldn't figure out how to join Harlem life. He spent three months working for a Ralph Nader offshoot, trying to convince City College students of the importance of recycling.

And later:

What perhaps informs Obama's desire to be inclusive as a black candidate is his feeling for the insecure white America that doesn't recognize itself in the images of middle-class well-being.

No wonder we like him!


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 10:10 AM
horizontal rule
55

Hog lagoons is good drinking, soup brisket.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 10:10 AM
horizontal rule
56

Eschewing industrially produced beef in favour of industrially produced pork for environmental reasons is at best problematic these days.

I have a pack of "Free Range" stickers. I slap one of them on whatever and my conscience is clean. (Your urine's never smelled quite as pungent as it does twelve hours after grilled free range asparagus.)


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 10:11 AM
horizontal rule
57

Thread is making me hungry; no food extant. Solution? Weird soda! Bundeburg's Ginger Beer or Malta Hatuey?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
58

I was thinking more of the greenhouse-gas impact than anything else. It's tough to remember things like actual pollution these days, although maybe I should just presume that the climate is doomed and go back to thinking about water and air pollution.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 10:16 AM
horizontal rule
59

56: `Free Range' doesn't help you really, it's an industry sponsored term that has become fairly meaningless.

What you want is `100% pastured' stickers.

58: It's difficult, isn't it. The real ramp up on concentrated hog production is fairly recent too; it wasn't nearly as bad 15 years ago. I'm coming to think a combination of weighting heavily for local and against sloppy industrial practice is more effective than, say, in these areas. M/tch knows quite a bit about all of this stuff.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 11:46 AM
horizontal rule
60

In my native KC bbq is primarily thick slices of heavily smoked beef w/ sweet KC Masterpiece-like sauce. There is pork bbq in KC, but it's cooked similarly to the beef. It is not pulled and the sauce is not vinegar based.

I recall my first NC bbq. The meat came in 1 gallon plastic tubs and looked like nothing more than food scraps swept into a slop bucket (if you grew up in the country you know what I'm talking about). But everyone else was eating it, so I gave in to the peer pressure and tried it. It wasn't bad. And the sweet tea was sweeter than anything I'd ever had. I've since learned that the trick for getting it that sweet is to add the sugar to boiling water so that more of it can be absorbed.

And I love that Clinton is (probably) going to get hosed in Texas. It's not just that she might lose, but that she'll walk away thinking that she got screwed out of it - that's what will tickle me.


Posted by: blortch | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
61

60: I've never thought KC Masterpiece was stereotypical of KC sauce, though. Gates or Zarda seems more canonical---very spicy and not sweet.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
62

I thought Clinton was expected to win Texas, just not by much.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 11:51 AM
horizontal rule
63

She's expected to win the popular vote, but is likely to get fewer delegates.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 11:52 AM
horizontal rule
64

But when I do wish I weren't a vegetarian, as I occasionally do, it is in the name of a burnt-ends sandwich at Zarda's. Gah.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 11:54 AM
horizontal rule
65

I had a girlfriend who had been a vegetarian for years, but I babbled about the greatness of cheesesteaks for so long that finally she broke down and tried one.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 11:55 AM
horizontal rule
66

Mmmm burnt ends. My only question about NC vs. KC vs. Texas on barbecue is how I profit from it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
67

If I had broken down, it would have been while dating Max, who had a nearly religious relationship with cooking meat. But I know it would make me really really sick at this point. 12 years is a long time.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
68

Surprisingly, she didn't get sick. Maybe they've been serving us cheesetofus all these years.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
69

64: You know, it's been years since I've had one of those wishes.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
70

I get off on watching other people eat KC barbecue, and lots of other meat products. I don't literally want to eat them, but their pleasure in it is contagious.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:01 PM
horizontal rule
71

And the sweet tea was sweeter than anything I'd ever had. I've since learned that the trick for getting it that sweet is to add the sugar to boiling water so that more of it can be absorbed.

In Louisiana/Mississippi, it's sweetened by throwing a chunk of sugar cane in there and boiling it down. (Admittedly, this is only in southern Louisiana. Most of the state if you ask for "iced tea" it'll come dark and bitter.)


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:01 PM
horizontal rule
72

70 has a creepy slipperiness w/r/t "they." Sorry.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:01 PM
horizontal rule
73

67: We're at about the same time. I wonder how bad the digestive issues would be from a single meal. Any radical change in diet done rapidly is likely to get you in trouble, of course.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:02 PM
horizontal rule
74

Most of the state if you ask for "iced tea" it'll come dark and bitter

As god intended.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:03 PM
horizontal rule
75

But I know it would make me really really sick at this point. 12 years is a long time.

I went 15 without and didn't have any of the dreaded "meat sickness" that my friends talked about. Sure, psychologically there's still something ... but that's what I think it is: psychological. I had some problems, and still can't eat red meat, but there were no physical symptoms.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:03 PM
horizontal rule
76

When I was about 17 I began occasionally eating meat again, after not eating it for more than ten years. It didn't make me sick, at all. Perhaps the digestive issues are over-rated?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
77

As god intended.

Have you ever had iced tea in Alexandria? It's the tea equivalent of the "dirty water" Italians serve tourists when they ask for coffee.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
78

73: I have a tricky stomach as it is, and would probably throw up, at least. I can stomach a little soup with a light meat-based broth if I am served it, but beyond that, I think it would be pretty severe for me. Also, as much as I like watching people eat meat, when I've accidentally ended up with some in my mouth (piece of sausage on a pizza or whatever), the texture alone has felt horrifying, like I'm accidentally chowing down on a finger or something.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:06 PM
horizontal rule
79

Perhaps the digestive issues are over-rated?

I think so. I mean, I wouldn't go out and have a rare steak, because some somatic evolution's bound to have favored the production of certain enzymes over others; but I think the transition-to-meat thing is as overblown as the transition-to-vegetarian thing. (I had a friend who claimed to have his stomach expand crazily after eating too many "incomplete proteins" his first week as a vegetarian. Went to the emergency room and everything.)


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:07 PM
horizontal rule
80

I'm accidentally chowing down on a finger or something.

As one ex told me after I converted back: "It's like eating a kitten!"

Those kind of psychological barriers can't be scaled.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:09 PM
horizontal rule
81

I am not sure there's fundamentally a difference between psychological and physiological meat-related problems. If it makes you sick, it makes you sick. If it doesn't, it doesn't. Just because some people aren't made ill by eating meat doesn't mean it's bullshit if it makes someone else very ill.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:11 PM
horizontal rule
82

75: My second-hand experience is inconsistent in this respect. I know people who have had real trouble, and others who didn't notice. I haven't made the switch back myself (at about 14 years now, I think) so I don't know what it would do exactly. I did have one meal, and that didn't give me any trouble. Also clearly small amounts don't give me trouble; over the years I've had a few `hmm, what's in this?' moments. Not very many. Those used to be more problematic for me, dislike of wasting food competing with questionable provenance.

The other day something like that happened to me. I certainly wasn't going to make a fuss about it then, but years ago it would have been difficult for me to just drop. These days, no problem, it seems. I'm not sure how much that has to do with my reasons for it, etc.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:12 PM
horizontal rule
83

I was watching someone eat tiramisu last week, and thinking about the description of how it's made from ladyfingers soaked in something. I momentarily saw the gray ladyfingers as dead, gray ladies' fingers. Gross.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:12 PM
horizontal rule
84

Perhaps the digestive issues are over-rated?

I don't know. Clearly there are psychological vs. physiological issues. A lot of the latter, though, have to do with the bacterial content of your own particular gut, which is somewhat variable and environmentally influenced. At least as I understand it, and that can lend itself to (various sorts of) digestive issues in lots of different situations.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:15 PM
horizontal rule
85

Actually, one of the main reasons I became a vegetarian was that when I was 16 I smelled burning human flesh for the first time. That shit will haunt you. It doesn't bother me to smell meat cooking now as long as I don't eat it. If I'm actually tasting it, I get wicked "OMG this probably tastes like people" flashes.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:15 PM
horizontal rule
86

"OMG this probably tastes like people"

I guess you don't chew off your hang-nails?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
87

Four people sent me this article last week. Anecdotally, everyone who does take up eating meat again does so upon a partner's suggestion (plead, demand). Saiselgy and I decided on a strategy of slipping bacon into vegetarian dishes, then owning up to the reasons for the improved quality of dinner.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:20 PM
horizontal rule
88

87: It works the other way too. IME meat-loving partners pretty much don't bother if supplied with a big array of really yummy veggie food. Which isn't quite the same as officially giving it up, but very nearly practically is.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
89

oh, and I got that article too, twice.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
90

Anecdotally, it always seems that the person who feels most desperately oppressed in a meat-eater/veg relationship is the meat-eater. I've never minded dating meat-eaters, and have never said a word about vegetarianism to them, but they always proselytize about meat to me, as if I've never had it before.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:26 PM
horizontal rule
91

90: I've never actually had this happen. I've had friends proselytize a little (mostly joking). Never in a relationship though. Strange.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:27 PM
horizontal rule
92

Have you even tried your hangnails?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:28 PM
horizontal rule
93

91: the people AWB dates are not like the rest of us.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
94

"It's like eating a kitten!"

Kittens are the tenderest. Almost like paté. You must be eating fantastic meat.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:32 PM
horizontal rule
95

I'm getting numbed up at the dentist this afternoon. I hate that feeling that you might just chew through your lip and tongue if you weren't paying attention.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:33 PM
horizontal rule
96

AWB, do you tend to cook more than those you are dating, when you eat together?

I've never pushed any dietary choices, but certainly mostly have had a policy that `if you want it, you'll cook it'.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:33 PM
horizontal rule
97

I was not deliberately proselytizing. I've actually dated vegetarians almost exclusively. I was just very enthusiastic about cheesesteaks. I think for a while I ate them every day -- it was the first time in my life I had any extra money, and it was the luxury item I coveted most. I was pretty young at the time, around 19.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
98

96: Sometimes yes, sometimes no. One of my exes was an obsessive cook, and really hated watching me in the kitchen (I don't measure things and I make stuff up), so he did most of the cooking. Most of my other exes haven't cooked as much as I do, but the non-vegetarians really preferred to eat out rather than tolerate a vegetarian meal.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
99

when I was 16 I smelled burning human flesh for the first time. That shit will haunt you. It doesn't bother me to smell meat cooking now as long as I don't eat it.

Heh. Dr. Oops has noted that the smell of electro-cautery (burning human flesh) in the operating room makes her hungry, and it's not an uncommon reaction among surgeons she's worked with.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:40 PM
horizontal rule
100

Just because some people aren't made ill by eating meat doesn't mean it's bullshit if it makes someone else very ill.

I'm not saying the sickness itself is bullshit, just that the vegetarian/vegan propaganda that you'll DIE PAINFULLY BY DIARRHEA should you ever eat meat again is.

Anecdotally, everyone who does take up eating meat again does so upon a partner's suggestion (plead, demand).

I'm not in your sample set. I decided to eat meat again in a fit of anger: I'd been vegetarian for 15 years, worked out, live healthily, and still got cancer. So I said, "Fuck vegetarianism" and that was the end of that.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:45 PM
horizontal rule
101

And did your cancer go away?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:47 PM
horizontal rule
102

and still got cancer. So I said, "Fuck vegetarianism"

And fifteen years later, SEK passed away from heart disease.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:48 PM
horizontal rule
103

I have a friend who quit being a vegetarian when he found he still craved meat after ten years.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:48 PM
horizontal rule
104

And did your cancer go away?

It did! Which means -- anecdotally -- meat cures cancer. Slim Jims for everyone!


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:53 PM
horizontal rule
105

So what are the odds that the primary system was specifically devised in order to disenfranchise Hispanics and working class voters?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:54 PM
horizontal rule
106

So what are the odds that the primary system was specifically devised in order to disenfranchise Hispanics and working class voters?

In the Dem TX party? Slim, I'd think. I seem to recall that the Dem party there--Hightower, formerly Richards, etc.--is pretty populist in the best sense.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 12:58 PM
horizontal rule
107

just that the vegetarian/vegan propaganda that you'll DIE PAINFULLY BY DIARRHEA

Huh. I've never heard this. I guess I know different groups of vegetarians/vegans/whatever or something. Or I'm not paying attention. I'd say 50% of the vegetarians I know are life-long vegetarian (mostly for religious or ethnic background), of the remainder the vast majority are like me, purchasing food against (what we see as) lousy industrial implementations, rather than `for' vegetarianism per se.

Honestly, I've never found it much of a chore or or a lack. Eating vegetarian gives me somewhat fewer options, but it doesn't give me inferior options, in my experience. It does make restaurants a pain in some places more than others. I like to cook though, and can cook much better meals that I can typically afford regularly, so that's one factor. I also spent a lot of time finding recipes to give me those options, but that was fun for me, anyway.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:02 PM
horizontal rule
108

106: Yeah, but I also think there are a lot of old school machine politics/ dixiecrat/ we-are-democrats-because-lincoln-was-a-republican democrats in TX.

Also, never underestimate the desire of white Texans to exclude Hispanic Texans.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:06 PM
horizontal rule
109

I guess I know different groups of vegetarians/vegans/whatever or something.

The scene in Baton Rouge tended toward ugly militarism. The vegetarians/vegans in California are much more sedate.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:07 PM
horizontal rule
110

Yeah, soup, that's roughly my experience, which is why I've never gotten why meat-eaters often make such a big deal about how hard it is for them to date vegetarians. As Smasher suggests, it's very tempting for them to convert veg's back. I don't think it means they're assholes---contrary to general opinion, I've actually dated a lot of wonderful people---but that there's something going on there that's really hard for me to understand, about how it's harder to be near a vegetarian than it is to be one. I certainly don't experience it as a hardship to do it; why would someone else experience it as a hardship to be near someone who does it?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:07 PM
horizontal rule
111

If you cook for yourself, being vegetarian gives you *better* options. The only time it is an inconvenience is in dealing with the food produced by others.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:07 PM
horizontal rule
112

Meat eaters in veg/meat eater relationships often perceive their partners diet as creating a power imbalance. No matter what, it seems, their partner will have the moral high ground. The shame is that the solution to this problem is generally to level down, rather than up.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
113

112: I think that's probably right, Rob. What's funny is, this happens even in scenarios in which the vegetarian is not acting on a moralistic impulse.

For some of my exes, they often expressed disappointment in my palate if meat wasn't aesthetically acceptable. But again, I think meat's very beautiful and I totally get why people are really into it. I just can't eat it myself.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:14 PM
horizontal rule
114

111: I agree, but I didn't see a need to push the claim (resulting in `food X is the best, how can anyone live without food X). My food experience growing up was pretty mediocre. No money for restaurants really, and neither of my parents had time to cook, liked to cook, or had actually done any prior to getting married.

I worked in kitchens a bit as a teen so learned a lot of basic technique etc. But they were always mid-level places, and the fare hardly amazing. Changing my diet radically is actually one of the best things I ever did for the quality of food I eat. I was careful about making the change nutritionally, so looked at new ideas pretty hard for a while -- and discovered all sorts of wonderful stuff that can be done pretty easily. Prior to that, I was too lazy to look I guess.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:15 PM
horizontal rule
115

So what are the odds that the primary system was specifically devised in order to disenfranchise Hispanics and working class voters?

None. Every voter in Texas has the opportunity to vote in the primary. Especially mobilized voters may then caucus for their preferred candidate after the polls close. To the victor goes more spoils, is the idea. Furthermore, it's the Texas Democratic Party—moreover it's the Texas Democratic Party in 2008, meaning the party after years of humiliating setbacks. Who in the party isn't a working-class voter?


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:16 PM
horizontal rule
116

112/113: That seems to make sense. It's bizarre that it happens without any intentional moral positioning on the part of the veggie.

I've never been in quite the position AWB describes, but I guess I've had some similar experiences. If anyone asks for the details, I'll try and explain why I feel the way I do about food and food production. Some of my friends had literally never thought about it before that conversation --- so I did have a couple of people who sort of regretted/resented having asked me.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:18 PM
horizontal rule
117

Changing my diet radically is actually one of the best things I ever did for the quality of food I eat.

Yeah, me too. I went from being very meat-and-potatoes to suddenly needing to explore African, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisines in ways I hadn't before, and probably wouldn't have if I had gone on eating meat. It also forced me to think about balanced nutrition, which hadn't ever been something on my mind.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:19 PM
horizontal rule
118

115: Makes sense, I suppose.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:22 PM
horizontal rule
119

Meat eaters in veg/meat eater relationships often perceive their partners diet as creating a power imbalance. No matter what, it seems, their partner will have the moral high ground.

"Moral high ground"? I might buy that from a vegan, but any vegetarian who eats eggs and milk is pretty damn complicit in the evils of modern farming.

And when it comes to vegans, they may get to have the moral high ground, but they have to eat vegan baked goods. *shudder*


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:24 PM
horizontal rule
120

Also, I feel compelled to link to this, if for no other reason than to make 'smasher tear up again.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:26 PM
horizontal rule
121

119: I think it's pretty clear that most vegetarians aren't actually claiming moral high ground, but that meat-eaters tend to feel some kind of moral competition there, even where there isn't one.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:28 PM
horizontal rule
122

You may (correctly) argue that Tom DeLay has disfranchised Hispanic voters by redistricting heavily Latino areas so as to divide and dilute their votes, so as to reward state senate seats to the GOP. Meanwhile DeLay and co. consolidated heavily African American areas in order to protect GOP seats. The unintended consequences being that state senate districts with liberal college student and African American populations voted in greater numbers for John Kerry and Chris Bell (Dem gubernatorial candidate) in 2004 and 2006, respectively, than did South Texas Latino districts. Those votes determined the delegate allocation for this year's primary.

It has to be emphasized that it's a contest between Dem and GOP state candidates that determines the delegate count for each district. College students and African Americans overwhelmingly favored losing Democratic state and national candidates whereas the Latino vote has been split.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:28 PM
horizontal rule
123

I think it's pretty clear that most vegetarians aren't actually claiming moral high ground, but that meat-eaters tend to feel some kind of moral competition there, even where there isn't one.

Not true in my experience, excepting those that grew up veg. It's certainly not all, but I'd guess that the slight majority of vegs by choice that I've known have made explicit the moral claim as part of a program of "correcting" me. I don't know that many choice-vegs, though (or all that many vegs, come to that).


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:31 PM
horizontal rule
124

"Moral high ground"? I might buy that from a vegan,...

The point was that they weren't being asked to buy it from anyone, it was self imposed. The validity of such a claim is irrelevant, then.

Vegan baked goods: some are pretty good, mostly when they aren't trying to be non-vegan baked goods.

More generally on being complicit with the evils of modern farming; it's all pretty complex and getting moreso (hence my 59) There certainly exist vegetarians who are largely ignorant of the complexity, and I'm willing to believe that some exist who pad a sense of moral superiority with that ignorance all while consuming dodgy (from this point of view) products of big agriculture. This doesn't at all describe the ones I know though, and I suspect it's probably pretty far off base for most.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:32 PM
horizontal rule
125

121: Yeah, I was responding more from my own personal perspective than making any claims about vegetarian/meat-eater dynamics in general. IOW, meat-eaters who feel moral competition should realize that we all have blood on our hands, and that even being Robert Fisk can't save you from it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:32 PM
horizontal rule
126

I was veg for 8-1/2 years before going back. I found that I can't eat a lot of uncured pork without getting a mild stomachache, but poultry and beef are A-OK. I suspect that this may be because I eat out way too much and most restaurants don't worry themselves about keeping the veg stuff away from the meat on the griddle.

In fact, one of the things that convinced me I needed to be eating meat again -- especially red meat -- was the insane surge of energy I got after having about 4 oz. of the "lady's cut" at House of Prime Rib on Josh's birhday. My friends and family (who didn't always understand the vegetarian thing but never pressured me to eat meat) still speak of the "meat rush" in hushed, reverential tones.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:33 PM
horizontal rule
127

123: I've known a large number of vegetarians of various stripes, by choice, by culture, by religion, by habit. Outside of those young enough to be judgemental about all sorts of things, my experience doesn't match yours, for whatever that's worth.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:34 PM
horizontal rule
128

Yeah, IME vegetarians mostly aren't holier-than-thou. I don't think I've ever met a vegan who wasn't smug as fuck about it, though.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:35 PM
horizontal rule
129

I think part of what makes meat-eaters insecure in these relationships is that they don't want to think of diet as being a moral choice *at all*. If a vegetarian says "look I have blood on my hands, too, because I eat dairy" it provides no comfort to those who are trying to avoid thinking of blood altogether.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:37 PM
horizontal rule
130

Outside of those young enough to be judgemental about all sorts of things, my experience doesn't match yours, for whatever that's worth.

Yeah, most of the people I'm thinking about were young.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:38 PM
horizontal rule
131

128: There's also a selection bias. I've met some smug as fuck vegans, but they were pretty much all teenage (or near it) smug as fuck proto-hippies. As against the other variants of smug as fuck teenagers. Hopefully most of all of them grew out of it.

The problem is, these are exactly the sort of people who will make a point of letting you know they are vegan. So that's the ones you remember. I've met other people who were strictly vegan but you'd never know it until it came up by necessity (come over for dinner? sure, but ....)

Most of the vegetarians-by-choice I know are more vegetarian as proxy for reduced reliance on the nastier aspects of the western diet and industrialized agriculture, not out of an ethical problem with consuming animals per se. Some of them are far more informed than others, but it's an easy enough proxy to implement that at least improves a lot of directions if you are concerned about that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:40 PM
horizontal rule
132

111: If you cook for yourself, being vegetarian gives you *better* options.

Wait, what? Aren't the options you have as a vegetarian a subset of the options I have as an omnivore? I'm probably being obtuse, but I really don't understand what this can mean.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:40 PM
horizontal rule
133

I can't eat a lot of uncured pork without getting a mild stomachache

This makes me sad for you.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:40 PM
horizontal rule
134

I think 129 nails down something important in all this. A lot of people would rather not think about this stuff at all. It's not a position I have a lot of sympathy for, but it's one I can understand.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:41 PM
horizontal rule
135

If you cook for yourself, being vegetarian gives you *better* options. The only time it is an inconvenience is in dealing with the food produced by others.

I would argue that being vegetarian forces you to look at a much broader range of options than what you might have considered before, a la AWBs 117. But by definition, eating a less restricted diet gives you more food choices.

For me it was only a mild annoyance at restaurants because I lived in very veg-friendly places. After I started eating meat again, though, I found that there was a huge social component that you miss when you're, say, at a family dinner and you're eating something that's special and different from what everyone else is eating, regardless of how supportive the people at the table may be of your food choices.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:42 PM
horizontal rule
136

132: Being vegetarian obliges you to broaden your horizons on what kinds of things there are to eat, so you end up practically with more options than an unadventurous meat eater. It's logically false -- a meateater could be just as adventurous -- but psychologically true for vegetarians I've known.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:45 PM
horizontal rule
137

131: I live in the Bay Area. I think perhaps you underestimate just how much smugness I'm exposed to on a regular basis.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:45 PM
horizontal rule
138

Aren't the options you have as a vegetarian a subset of the options I have as an omnivore?

Technically, yes, but for the omnivore most of the good options are less visible, because you are in the habit of simply cooking a slab of flesh for dinner.

You could also say that good food (in terms of taste and nutrition) occupies a larger portion of the vegetarian diet. Even if the veg and the meat eater have access to the same absolute number of good dishes, if you are measuring the proportion of good food in your diet, the vegetarian wins.

[I can't actually quantify the claim in my second paragraph. I'm just pretending.]


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:45 PM
horizontal rule
139

Being vegetarian obliges you to broaden your horizons on what kinds of things there are to eat

Wait, what? As one of the vegans I knew said when we were discussing the health merits of veganism, "French fries are vegan."


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:46 PM
horizontal rule
140

After I started eating meat again, though, I found that there was a huge social component that you miss when you're, say, at a family dinner and you're eating something that's special and different from what everyone else is eating.

I know people who have a family-holiday exception for this very reason.

132: pwned by 135, but that's the sense that I read it in, and roughly agree with. Of course the least restrictive diet of all (how do you all feel about beaks & faces & offal & grubs & live seafood & durian & ... & ) gives you the most nominal choices. But there is a very real effect sometimes (as in my case, and it seems AWB's) that restricting your choices has an effect of hugely opening up your options.

There is also an (arguable of course) point of what you will actually cook at home. Given the constraints of expense, skill, and time, you may very well find that you feed yourself better food if it's vegetarian.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:47 PM
horizontal rule
141

137: Ok, but are you specifically calling out vegans then? My limited experience living there yielded plenty of smug bastards, but I wouldn't say the vegans were over-represented.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:48 PM
horizontal rule
142

Being vegetarian obliges you to broaden your horizons on what kinds of things there are to eat

obliges was the wrong word, but the gist of what LB said is exactly correct.

There are definitely people (particularly kids living at home) whose approach to vegetarianism is to eat what they used to eat, with the meat products taken. It's not a good idea or a good diet, but that's not who we were taking about.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:51 PM
horizontal rule
143

Veggies take quite a bit of time to prepare -- you have to clean them, cut them up, and then they cook at different rates. But you can slap a steak in a pan and have dinner in 10 minutes. For quick weeknight meals, meat really is easier. (Which, of course, isn't necessarily a convincing argument against vegetarianism; it's just that vegetarianism often requires more work and planning than meat-eating.)


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:51 PM
horizontal rule
144

Ok, but are you specifically calling out vegans then?

Yeah. The smugness radiating off the vegan raw-food restaurants, e.g., is measurably higher than the ambient level.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:52 PM
horizontal rule
145

It's not a good idea or a good diet, but that's not who we were taking about.

I thought we were talking about vegetarianism as it's actually practiced, not vegetarianism under ideal circumstances.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:52 PM
horizontal rule
146

And now I have to leave because I'm HUNGRY and haven't had lunch yet. (Which will not have meat in it, most likely.)


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:53 PM
horizontal rule
147

Simply taking your current diet and subtracting the meat is not healthy or pleasant, and people who do that rarely stay vegetarian very long.

Also, re soup's 134, I try not to be holier than thou about vegetarianism (esp because I am not vegan) but I do get angry at people who want to pretend diet is not a moral decision. All consumption is a moral decision, but diet especially so, even if you ignore the animal suffering aspect.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:55 PM
horizontal rule
148

And we're back to the white people thread.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 1:56 PM
horizontal rule
149

145: In my experience, with the exception of children who independently decide to become vegetarian and whose parents don't adjust diet much, this is not how it is practiced. Is your experience different?

Then again, 143 doesn't really match my experience either, so it wouldn't surprise me.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 2:02 PM
horizontal rule
150

There are definitely people (particularly kids living at home) whose approach to vegetarianism is to eat what they used to eat, with the meat products taken. It's not a good idea or a good diet, but that's not who we were taking about.

Actually, I still eat Hamburger Helper with Gimme Lean, 'cause it's damn tasty. (One of those "recipes" I perfected while living at home.)


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 2:04 PM
horizontal rule
151

My only question about NC vs. KC vs. Texas on barbecue is how I fit it all on one plate.

In other words, I'll be in line behind m.leblanc.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 2:08 PM
horizontal rule
152

150: that was meant as a problem with general policy, not individual dishes. And you're talking about providing a work-alike, not just having a meat & potatoes + 2 veg turn into potatoes + 2 veg.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 2:12 PM
horizontal rule
153

I am not vegetarian, but since coming to graduate school I have moved away from the slab-of-meat+veg+starch cuisine of my youth, and I've found that vegetarian food that was meant to be vegetarian (as opposed to subtract-the-meat food) is very tasty. And the meat I eat tends to be of smaller portions (I was scared of the mutant chicken breasts) and as an accent to the meal.

Once or twice a year, however, I would travel out west where my now in-laws either raise beef cattle or live in the middle of people who do, where it's possible to get delicious grassfed beef (mad cow: worth it!) Slab. on. a plate. I enjoy it, but it certainly messes with my digestion to the point that shivbunny teases me about it.

So, to speak to the transition back to meat eating: while I expect that human beings, being omnivorous, can adapt rather quickly to a new diet, it wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that it could be a miserable transition.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-18-08 6:24 PM
horizontal rule
154

Late entry comment time: isn't this an argument in favor of Dean's 50 State Strategy? If Clinton did, in fact, get the Texas Democrat Party All-Stars together and couldn't get useful work out of them, doesn't that mean that the Texas Democratic Party is in dire need of attention and help from the DNC? Isn't a functional Texas Democratic Party very much in the interests of the national party, for congressional purposes, if nothing else?


Posted by: NBarnes | Link to this comment | 02-19-08 2:07 PM
horizontal rule
155

Additionally, as an aside, I plan to laugh my ass off at the wailing and tears from the all-hat-no-cattle-white-folks crowd the first time that the brown people in Texas finally flex their political muscles and turn Texas blue.


Posted by: NBarnes | Link to this comment | 02-19-08 2:08 PM
horizontal rule
156

But you can slap a steak in a pan and have dinner in 10 minutes. For quick weeknight meals, meat really is easier.

Oh yeah? Two gardenburgers in the toaster. 10 minutes and no pan to clean. Ha!

More seriously, though, there are plenty of vegetarian dinners I can make in 10 minutes. Some may involve packaged ingredients and most would fail to reach AWB-soup-M/tch standards, but they cover the nutritional bases and are cheaper than steak.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-19-08 3:15 PM
horizontal rule