Under the Influence

I haven’t had much to say here since the shooting in Pima County, for several reasons. For one thing, I don’t like to jump to conclusions absent evidence. For another, I don’t like to talk about problems without offering solutions.

I read an article in Slate that brought things more into focus for me, though. Jacob Weisberg pointed out that it’s not only the violence suggested by the words “Second Amendment remedies,” but also the implied illegitimacy of government that goes along with those words.

One explanation often given for the right to bear arms is that we need to be able to be armed in order to rise up against an oppressive government. Add to this claims of the Obama administration being tyrannical, headed by someone who is questionably a citizen, and it’s not hard to see where this can go.

You get members of the armed forces refusing orders. You get rallies with people carrying threatening signs. And you get people who shoot at people working for the government that they believe is illegitimate.

I certainly believe that the bulk of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of Jared Loughner. The man clearly has issues. But much of what we do is influenced by external social pressures. If you’re the only one you know who believes that the government is illegitimate, then you have external pressures to keep it to yourself and you are unlikely to act upon it. The more people around you who admit to sharing your belief, the more likely you are to increase your fervency and the more likely you are to act on the belief. This is especially true if the people you’re listening to are secondarily legitimized by being given airtime. Celebrities are more influential than “mere mortals,” which is why they get paid so much to endorse products.

Evidence abounds to illustrate the impact of external influence. The Free Republic website is an especially overt (and extreme) example of this, but there are many others of varying degrees of subtlety. Humans are social creatures, and are typically powerfully influenced by a desire to be accepted as part of a community. Those external influences are part and parcel of that acceptance. It’s why parents worry so much about peer pressure from “bad influences.”

Sign from 2000 Florida Recount

Efforts to discredit the legitimacy of elected government in the United States has been on the rise since the prolonged recount in Florida in December, 2000. As I’ve noted before, the right has focused on reducing voter turnout, primarily by claiming that significant numbers of illegitimate votes are cast. The left has focused on claims of institutionalized fraud, ranging from removal of legitimate voters from the rolls to fabricated vote tallies made possible by electronic voting machines.

The degree of validity of those claims is a topic for another day. Today, I call attention to the claims themselves as evidence of chipping away at the legitimacy of our elected government. The longer this persists, the greater the likelihood of our nation’s citizens concluding that they are no longer being governed under consent. Couple this growing belief with imagery of revolution and armed insurrection, and it is hard to deny that more tragedies of this sort are on the way.

I’m convinced neither that Loughner was pushed over the edge by such rhetoric, nor that he wasn’t. Regardless, the events of this past weekend provide an opportunity for some consideration. We owe it to the very fabric of our nation to step back and pause, to think about whether such hyperbolic bloviation is ripping us apart. Each of us has an opportunity to change, in a small way, the methods by which we as a nation will decide what to do. We can choose to cheer when “our side” wins a battle at the expense of civility, or we can choose to denounce lack of civility, regardless of whose “side” wins in the short run.

I choose civility.

Your move.


About Michael Weiss

Michael is now located at http://www.logarchism.com, along with Monotreme, filistro, and dcpetterson. Please make note of the new location.
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252 Responses to Under the Influence

  1. Mr. Universe says:

    Michael and I generally agree on things. This may be an area were we diverge. Here at 538 Refugees we have a couple of authors who shoot from the gut and a couple who are brainiacs; plus one hybrid. I’ll let you be the judge of who fits those stereotypes.

    As it turns out, Jared Loughlan may have just been your garden variety kook. He doesn’t appear to have any cogent political motivations to speak of that anybody else may or may not have had (but didn’t feel compelled to pick up a gun about).

    But I diverge here. In an atmosphere of political hostility; and I’m using the upsurge of the Tea Party as evidence of this, there is bound to be some pent up tension that is palpable. Throw that in the mix with a ‘disturbed’ individual and you may as well be smoking cigarettes in a room with a gas leak.

    Rachel Maddow put a finer point on it tonight than I was able to articulate in my article. There is a difference between rhetoric (metaphor, analogy, etc.) and a call to arms. This is why I drew the distinction between Palin and Angle. Sharron Angle; whether she knew it or not, was inciting to violence. This uncomfortable atmosphere, in particular given the state of politics and immigration in Arizona, was (I believe) a spark that ignited the fire. I could be wrong. We still don’t and may never know for sure the motives behing Loughner’s actions.

    But the outpouring of calls to ‘dampen the rhetoric’ were swift and pretty universal. I wrote my article within hours of the Tucson massacre without having read the other people who came to similar conclusions. Even the right knew to steel themselves from the onslaught of criticism. That is a tacit admittance that it has gotten out of hand.

    We’ve spent the past couple of days shouting at each other in Pee Wee Herman style ‘your more incidiary than me’. GROG finally encapsulated it best. Who cares? It’s bad. We need to get beyond it. I am in complete agreement. What do we do now?

  2. shiloh says:

    We’ve spent the past couple of days shouting at each other in Pee Wee Herman style ‘you’re more incendiary than me’.

    Yea, Bartles called everyone Asswipes all. and I eventually reminded him he was 538’s #1 ‘R’ word which I hadn’t called him in over a year. So it felt good to remind him of his shortcomings as a human being again lol.

    And then in the very next thread about narcissism, Bart barts in the 1st post ~ For those who have anger issues Too funny!

    So again, let’s here it for redundancy, or as fili expanded on Bart’s m.o.

    Having studied Bart’s m.o. for a long time , I think shiloh has omitted/misplaced a few steps.

    1.) data dump

    2.) begging the question (I learned this from mclever) 😉 consisting of:

    a.) misinterpretation of above data
    b.) sweeping generalization based on above misinterpretation

    3.) gets corrected w/facts

    4.) challenges correction

    5.) gets OVERWHELMED with facts

    6.) Quietly leaves said discussion for more trollish misadventures
    ~~~~~

    but, but, but Bartles is 538’s energizer troll and the more you call him names, the more he is energized ~ god love him! He obviously needs us more than we need him. 😛

    rinse, lather, repeat …

    As Rodney King said quite eloquently ~ People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? No!

    Did I mention Bart is a … ok, that would be redundant! 😀

    hmm, what are those (3) words at the top of the page Reasonable Political Discourse which begs the question ~ Bart, why are you here? What is your mission? er What is your major malfunction?

    This post is all about Bartles which hopefully fulfills all his winger troll needs! lol Well, at least for today …

    take care

  3. dcpetterson says:

    We owe it to the very fabric of our nation to step back and pause, to think about whether such hyperbolic bloviation is ripping us apart.

    Well said.

    I don’t know Loughner’s motives. I don’t know if he was influenced by any particular public figures or political philosophy.

    I do know that there has been a lot of violent rhetoric of late. Even the people who use that rhetoric have realized it, as judged by the reactions of public figures to this tragedy. Whether Loughner was influenced by this language or not, the shooting of an elected government official — and, perhaps coincidentally, a Federal judge — and a large number of innocent bystanders — this is precisely the sort of thing that has been hinted at. And sometimes openly advocated.

    It is time to reflect upon the threatening language of our recent political discourse. We have now seen, once more, what the blood of patriots looks like. Is this really what we want to see more of?

  4. Bart DePalma says:

    MW: I read an article in Slate that brought things more into focus for me, though. Jacob Weisberg pointed out that it’s not only the violence suggested by the words “Second Amendment remedies,” but also the implied illegitimacy of government that goes along with those words. One explanation often given for the right to bear arms is that we need to be able to be armed in order to rise up against an oppressive government. Add to this claims of the Obama administration being tyrannical, headed by someone who is questionably a citizen, and it’s not hard to see where this can go.

    Now that the facts have put the lie to the blood slander that the Tea Party speech in particular and conservative speech in general in any way caused Loughner’s murders, Jacob Weiss instead plays the innuendo.

    Our Declaration of Independence declares that any government which does not enact the will of the people and instead abridges their rights is indeed illegitimate.

    Our Constitution was written by successful revolutionaries against a tyrannical government and they did indeed draft the Second Amendment primarily to preserve and armed citizenry from Congress to use as a check on an illegitimate government. However, first they drafted the provisions of the Constitution providing for elections of our representatives.

    When Weissburg and others here claim that the Tea Party arguing a government which enacts policy in opposition to the will of the people is illegitimate and calling for elections to remedy this illegitimacy, while noting the ultimate solution of the Second Amendment, are fostering an atmosphere of hate which that same government must crush…well, you an see where that is going.

    Weiss isn’t so much attacking the Tea Party as he is our founding principles.

    When it becomes a crime to call a government illegitimate and target it for removal in elections, then it will truly be time for a Second Amendment solution.

  5. dcpetterson says:

    So, Bart — are you calling for violence or not? Yes or no.

  6. Monotreme says:

    I don’t know if this particular link is working, but I’m pretty sure that TPM and Huffington, among other places, have links to this interview in which hero Patricia Maisch calls out the overheated right-wing rhetoric:

    http://www.foxnewsinsider.com/2011/01/09/patricia-maisch-im-not-the-hero-of-az-shooting/

    Go ahead, Bart. Call this “blood libel”. The heroes of this tragedy and the families of the dead and maimed are all saying the same thing. Listen to them, even if you disagree.

  7. dcpetterson says:

    It’s pretty funny, really. Bart decries the implication that the right has been calling for violence, in the same post in which he advocates violence.

    Time to stop taking him seriously. He’s just trying to play with your head.

  8. dcpetterson says:

    Oh Bart, another question — did you intentionally get Michael Weiss’ name wrong twice in your post? Was that an intentional slight? Or was it an example of your careful data collection?

  9. GROG says:

    OK. A couple things. In my previous posts on another thread “sole” should have been “soul” and Olbermann has two n’s. I’m an idiot. (No need to comment Shiloh.)

    DC said: The question still stands, however. In your opinion, is the violent and threatening revolutionary rhetoric of the right to be taken seriously, or not?

    Do you mean should it be taken literally? Can you give some examples of the violent and threatening rhetoric you’re talking about?

  10. drfunguy says:

    @Bart
    “Weissburg [sic] and others here claim that the Tea Party…[is] fostering an atmosphere of hate …which [the] government must crush”
    Huh? Who called for the government to ‘crush’ the Tea Party?
    Besides, I thought that the Tea Party was the government now…
    Oh well. Another day, another lie from Bart.
    Prove me wrong.

  11. filistro says:

    I’ve been stranded in a blizzard for three days, sleeping on a plastic mat on the school gym floor in a tiny prairie town along with 130 other stranded folks. I’m home now (briefly) and both exhausted and humbled by the goodness of ordinary people.

    I have two questions.

    1.) Why do so many Americans feel the need to arm themselves and be ready at a moment’s notice to rise up against a sinister, malevolent, dangerous government? I travel a lot, and I don’t know of any other major country that suffers to such an extent form this irrational delusion. In America it’s like mass paranoia. Where does this fantasy come from?

    2.) Why in HELL does a portion of the American populace fight so hard to protect assault weapons and multiple clips? They have no application in hunting or sport. Their sole purpose is to kill lots of people very quickly. And if it’s YOUR 9-year-old in the crosshairs, you’re going to want that creep to at least have to pause and re-load. Aren’t you?

  12. dcpetterson says:

    @GROG
    Do you mean should it be taken literally? Can you give some examples of the violent and threatening rhetoric you’re talking about?

    Do you honestly not know? Have you not been listening to the conservative rhetoric for the last couple of years? This is, again, an honest question.

    What does “Second Amendment remedies” mean to you? Is that a threat of violence or not? How about “the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants,” coupled with over-the-top hyperbole such as Bart’s bartings about Obama being a “tyrant?” Coupled with Palin’s “lock and load?” And the protest signs such as Michael provided with his article — “We came unarmed (this time).” And couple that with the near-riots of the ’09 Town Hall meetings, and the record number of threats against elected officials.

    Remember, you can’t take these things in isolation — they are a pattern. Do you see these things as promoting a threat of violence? Or as meaningless noise that we should simply ignore? Do these people honestly mean to threaten violence? Or are they too stupid to realize that’s what they’re doing? Or are they like the marshmallow bullies who puff themselves up, but when push comes to shove, they’re really too frightened to follow through on their own threats?

    What’s your opinion? Should we take the threats seriously? Or should we pat them on the head and give them a cookie?

  13. dcpetterson says:

    Thank you, filistro. Yes, those are the threats, and those are not even from the public faces. Clearly, the mob has gotten the message, and continues to spread it.

  14. filistro says:

    I think this one was the worst sign of all… because it conflates every right-wing paranoid delusion and threat in one thought:

    1.) government is our enemy
    2.) this govt action must be stopped because we don’t like it
    3.) if it can’t be stopped through legislation, we will resort to guns

    I don’t believe, based on current evidence, that the Arizona shooter was motivated by politics. But that doesn’t in any way give the right a pass on its violent, manipulative rhetoric. The “government as enemy” delusion creeps into the very fabric of a nation and turns up in the ravings of the mentally ill where you see patients who think they are being “targeted” by a government that has implanted devices in their teeth, is tracking them with invisible satellites, etc. This only happens because the American right wing has worked so hard to make “government” into some sinister, overweening, dangerous entity that causes the mentally fragile to become overwhelmed by terror.

    In other countries, mentally ill people may harbor irrational fear of clowns, flush toilets or shopping carts. Few of them live in terror of government.

  15. dcpetterson says:

    On the previous thread, Number Seven linked a vital article comparing acts of violence in America from the left and the right. It was so far down in the thread, I don’t want it to get lost.

    Right & Left Violence: Timeline

    Please take the time to peruse. And thank you for finding that, Number Seven!

  16. GROG says:

    DC,

    Anytime someone threatens violence it should be taken seriously.

    But let me ask you this. What’s the difference is the “We came unarmed (this time)” tee shirt and “Kill Bush Kill His House” signs at leftwing protests?
    http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=621

    What’s the difference in the SarahPac map and the maps Democrats used with targets and rhetoric like “Behind enemy lines”?
    http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/showthread.php?t=44235

    Is that just meaningless noise we should just ignore?

  17. dcpetterson says:

    electrovibe11 made a brilliant observation at the bottom of the “Violence as a Political Tool” thread. I don’t want this comment to go unnoticed, so I am reproducing it here:

    It doesn’t matter what this crazy person believed any more than what anyone who commits terrorist acts believes. One person doesn’t represent a whole group. The point is should we be using this type of rhetoric when the reality of it is so devastating, terrifying, and criminal? Should we be using words that describes this exact scenario as a possible ‘solution’ to our society’s problems or should we be promoting civil discourse? This isn’t even a right vs left issue (even though the right does this FAR more often, the left is not innocent), but a societal issue that obviously needs to be addressed, starting with our political leaders and followed by our media. The attention whoring that has been happening for the last 20 years needs to stop.

    Now that we have witnessed the spilling of the “blood of patriots,” do we really want to keep tolerating that kind of rhetoric? It doesn’t matter what Laughner believed, or what his motivations were. Do we want to encourage others to take this step? Would the Right be happier if Laughner did this for political purposes, since that is what they have been advocating? Are the threats more okay now than they were last week?

  18. dcpetterson says:

    GROG
    Anytime someone threatens violence it should be taken seriously.

    So, let’s be clear — You admit that the Right and the Teapers have been advocating violence, correct? Let’s be absolutely clear on that.

    And in answer to the absurd “but but the Left does it too!” argument, first go to this link: http://open.salon.com/blog/greg_correll/2011/01/10/right_left_violence_timeline

    And then let me re-post something that Jean put on the “Violence as a Political Tool” thread, in case you missed it there:

    Jean says:
    January 10, 2011 at 20:05

    As a wise blogger commented after Saturday’s attempted assassination of a US congresswomen:

    “The point is, those who want to maintain the fiction that liberals and conservatives are contributing in equal measure to the coarsening of our political culture and the disintegration of reasoned political discourse, must do one of two things. Either they must reach back more than 50 years into history to find examples where liberals were as radically misbehaving as conservatives are today – and to a time when Americans were bitterly divided over a war that most now concede was a tragic mistake. Or, they must overlook the fact that when you scratch the surface on over-the-top rhetoric you might hear from the left, what you mostly find are the outraged reactions of liberals to even more outrageous actions or utterances by those on the right.

    The homosexual who calls a Christian Fundamentalist a “bigot” is not the intemperate mirror image of the religious fanatic who called the gay a “fag” in the first place – and no, fundamentalist Christians do not get a hall pass just because they’ve redefined their bigotry as the “traditional religious values” that compel them to treat homosexuality as a crime against nature and a sin against God.

    Likewise, conservatives frequently equate the rough treatment they give Barack Obama with the equally sulfurous grief that George W. Bush got from the left. Noise is noise after all, the right seems to say, so the merits do not matter.

    But, really. How do you compare calling President Obama a fascist with liberal hostility to Bush over torture policies that even Bush’s own JAG Corps and Joint Chiefs of Staff rejected?

    How do you compare calling Obama a socialist who hates America with liberal animosity to the invasion of a country, on sketchy intelligence at best, which even provoked a number of three-star generals to take early retirement just so they could scold their one-time Commander-in-Chief?

    How do you compare the right wing hysteria that’s met President Obama when he’s relied on more than 50 years of conventional economic stimulus doctrine to fight the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, with liberal attacks against domestic surveillance policies which clearly broke the law — or with Bush’s inflated views of executive authority that the American Bar Association called a violation of constitutional checks and balances and a threat to democracy?

    We’re not talking about legitimate criticism for the many mistakes that Barack Obama has made. We’re talking about ideological extremism and how it is contaminating our democratic politics. And as much as apologists for right wing misbehavior want to say liberals and conservatives are equally to blame for this plague of intemperance, the comparison isn’t even close.

    George W. Bush was attacked by liberals because he broke the law and threatened long-standing constitutional principles. Barak Obama is being attacked mercilessly by conservatives today because he’s a liberal Democratic president who refuses to govern like a right wing Republican. Period.

    http://www.theygaveusarepublic.com/diary/7469/establishment-closes-ranks-after-shooting-to-protect-gop-from-charges-of-extremism

  19. drfunguy says:

    @Grog
    Still waiting for an example of someone on the left with the prominance of Coulter calling for the killing of conservatives. The differences are: the prominance of those making violent assertions, the frequenciy of these assertions and the lack of condemnation from others on your side of the debate.
    Kill Bush is not acceptable. I condemn it. When are you going to condemn Coulter and other spokespeople from the right?

  20. shortchain says:

    It’s time to reflect that this world is no longer the world of the 18th century, and that Jefferson’s famous “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” — is no longer to be taken literally, any more than the Bible is to be taken literally.

    It was appropriate at a time when constitutional democracy and the rule of law were in their infancy, but times have changed. Perhaps you’ve noticed:
    a) Weapons technology has progressed to the point where a person can no obtain, with astonishing ease, weapons with which he can kill many people.
    b) Even without weapons, technology provides ways for a malignant individual to cause enormous damage.
    c) There are already enough malignant people in the world who will commit unspeakable acts with no more motive than a desire to obey the voices in their heads. It’s neither necessary nor beneficial to add external voices to the ones inside their heads.

    Isn’t it the case that humanity learns from its previous mistakes? Do we need to keep re-enacting the Revolutionary War, or the Civil War, or WWI or WWII? Eventually, the practice of war becomes a farce — if it doesn’t end up escalating and eliminating the practice along with the race that practiced war.

    I’d like to think that, although we haven’t perfected the art of civil society (I’d point in particular to a problem we have with just how corporations should behave, and what their legal status truly is), we’ve managed to develop a body of laws and customs, and a habit of government, that avoid the necessity to pick up the old squirrel gun and go ambush the neighbor down the lane because his dogs tore up my hen-house, and the local sheriff, who is is cousin, refuses to do anything about it.

    I’m not proposing that everyone recline supine while the juggernaut of a government whose policies they disagree with runs over them. Far from it. But I think it’s an unfortunate anachronism to speak openly of a resort to violence in opposition to government. For one thing, it would be no contest — no individual, group of individuals, or even states in the modern world could withstand the might of the American military. For another, even if it were successful, the result would be a reversion to anarchy, not to an imaginary golden age of sound government.

    IOW, violence in support of a positive outcome is self-defeating. I think the people who speak of “2nd amendment remedies” and “nourishing liberty with blood” and the like know this. As DC says, their clinging to this metaphor is a reflex, done without thinking. Or it’s a rhetorical flourish, a dog-whistle, equally void of real meaning.

    This is not to say there are those who would be willing to tear down the edifice of civil society rather than live with electoral, judicial, or legislative results they disagree with (see Bart’s comment above for an example — I leave you to decide whether to take him at his word or consider it rhetorical). These people must be shamed, shunned, and de-legitimized for the sake of society.

  21. GROG says:

    DC,

    So is your argument “we do it too, but you do it more than we do”? Because clearly your side does do it. Right?

  22. shortchain says:

    Note to self: don’t attempt a double negative without a second cup of coffee. There is a sad double negative missing a “not”: as in “This is not to say there are not those…”

    Correcting for that now (lack of coffee, that is.)

    Also, I wish to commend Michael for his post. I can’t find a thing in it to disagree with.

  23. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    I notice you answered DC’s question with a question unrelated to answering his question.

    I’m probably not alone in that observation.

    We’ll get farther if we answer questions honestly. Just a suggestion.

  24. GROG says:

    @drfunguy,

    I condemn any violent speech by the right or the left including Coulter.

    Why is it that there has not been a single act of Muslim violence in the last two years that the left was willing to identify as motivated by Islam. Like the Fort Hood killings, the left blames it on psychological problems or bullying or blames U.S. policy but never acknowledges it was motivated by Islam.

    But as soon as a non-Muslim, deranged lunatic with no political ties to anyone goes on a killing rampage, those on the right are immediately blamed before the smoke has had time to clear.

  25. Mr. Universe says:

    Fili said,

    2.) Why in HELL does a portion of the American populace fight so hard to protect assault weapons and multiple clips? They have no application in hunting or sport. Their sole purpose is to kill lots of people very quickly. And if it’s YOUR 9-year-old in the crosshairs, you’re going to want that creep to at least have to pause and re-load. Aren’t you?

    I read a report from a Homeland Security type guy who said regulation of extended clips would only have made a difference in two of the multiple homicides that have happened in history (including Tucson). Frankly, I think that’s two too many and enough reason to ban extended clips from all except perhaps SWAT teams.

    Loughner’s purchase of a gun with an extended clip this past November is certainly indicative that this guy’s actions were pre-meditated. Filistro is right; these modifications are for efficiently killing as many people as possible. It is a modification designed for offense; not defense.

    As an owner of a semi-automatic weapon, I have mixed feelings about this whole scenario. Might be a topic I need to take up in the future.

  26. drfunguy says:

    @Grog
    Why is it that there has not been a single act of Muslim violence in the last two years that the left was willing to identify as motivated by Islam.”

    I don’t grant your premise. But I don’t have time to prove you wrong.
    Still waiting for an example of someone on the left with the prominance of Coulter calling for the killing of conservatives.
    Until you provide such, saying you (on the left) do it too is just wrong.

  27. Mr. Universe says:

    Hmmm…Just when I think Bart Kaczynski can’t sink any lower.

    Do you suppose the Tea Party holds out their pinky finger when handling their guns?

  28. GROG,

    But as soon as a non-Muslim, deranged lunatic with no political ties to anyone goes on a killing rampage, those on the right are immediately blamed before the smoke has had time to clear.

    I’m going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that, when someone shoots one of only two people on Palin’s hit list who was re-elected, and does so within days of her being sworn in, at one of the first public appearances in her district after being sworn in, that it’s not unreasonable for people to expect a connection.

  29. GROG says:

    DC said: You admit that the Right and the Teapers have been advocating violence, correct?

    No. I absolutely do not in any way admit that because it’s not true.

    Would you admit the Left is advocating violence because of death threats against Bush and Obama’s friendship with the terrorist William Ayers or Obama czar Van Jones who was a founding organizer and leader of the communist revolutionary organization, Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM).

    (Have you guys honestly forgotten the hateful, violent rhetoric against Bush, Cheney, and Republicans during the 2000’s?)

  30. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    Apples and oranges. Nobody on the left argued, to my knowledge (which I admit is imperfect, as “the left” seems to shift a lot depending on who is using the term, and I may have missed some of the rhetoric) that the Ft Hood killings were not motivated by a violent interpretation of Islam. The silence of “the left” on the resulting issue of extra-legal targeted killing, in which the American-born Yemeni cleric who appears to have been involved has been put on a “better dead” list, may give you a clue about this.

    We do object to blaming all of Islam for it. BTW, nobody is blaming all of “the right” for Tucson. We are not even “blaming” Palin or Angle, directly, for it. But we are saying that irresponsible rhetoric and extremist hyperbole have created a climate in which such actions are less unthinkable. How many people were truly surprised by Tucson? I’ve been expecting something like this for a long time.

    Turn it around. A lot of people on the right have been trumpeting that all of Islam should be blamed for 9/11, etc, unless they denounce, openly and repeatedly, the actions. Now, “the right” — that would be you, I guess — don’t want to repudiate the “gunsight” imagery, which even Palin realizes, after the fact, was over the line, and Angle’s suggestions of “2nd amendment” solutions.

  31. GROG says:

    @Michael,

    Loughner was obsessed with Giffords as early as 2007. Few knew who Palin was then

    Maybe Loughner’s drug addiction and atheist beliefs played a role in his actions. (NO. IMPOSSIBLE.)

    I have this funny suspicion that the leftwing was so disappointed when they found out he’s not an evangelical Christian instead of a pot smoking atheist.

  32. dcpetterson says:

    GROG:
    You still sidestepped my question. Let’s be clear. The Teapers and the Right Wing — loud radio commentators, politicians, public figures, as well as mob-like protesters — in the last two years, from bottom to top, these people have been advocating violence. Correct?

    And the data in the Salon article clearly shows right-wing violence to have been dominating our political landscape for decades — Correct?

    And your “you ‘too!” argument is nothing more than an attempt to avoid admitting the violence that your side has both threatened and committed. Correct?

    Answer those questions.

    As for your attempted deflection: Yes, there were isolated nasty signs about Bush and about his criminal administration. There were people protesting — sometimes with violent rhetoric — the detestable contempt which the Bush people had for the law and the Constitution. The Bush administration lied us into a war, used torture, allowed corporations to rewrite the regulations that were supposed to rein in their excesses, expanded the powers of the Presidency in breathtaking ways, engaged in illegal wiretaps of American citizens, and destroyed the world economy. That was what liberals protested. Today’s right wing, on the other hand, is engaged in a pervasive pattern of intimidation and of actual violence in an attempt to bring down a President merely because he is a Democrat.

    Do not compare these situations. It makes you look unutterably silly.

  33. Mr. Universe says:

    GROG said,

    (Have you guys honestly forgotten the hateful, violent rhetoric against Bush, Cheney, and Republicans during the 2000′s?)

    Hateful and violent? I suppose there could have been some of that but by and large most of us at the 2003 protests of the Iraq invasion were outraged (and the sheer number of people who protested around the world make the Tea Party look like…well, a tea party with my grandaughter). We didn’t want dubya killed. We didn’t hate as much as we thought he was (and remains) an idiot. I think that while most of us would like for dubya and Cheney to be held accountable for war crimes, we’ll settle for them quietly fading into obscurity as an embarrassing moment in American history.

    And you really should peruse that Salon Article mentioned above before you go using the Pee Wee Herman defense of ‘you do it too’. An 80 to one ratio? Man, facts really sting, don’t they?

  34. GROG,

    Loughner was obsessed with Giffords as early as 2007.

    And you knew this on Sunday morning, including the name of the gunman? No, you found out roughly when the rest of us did.

    Here, let me take you waaay back to almost an hour ago, when you said

    But as soon as a non-Muslim, deranged lunatic with no political ties to anyone goes on a killing rampage, those on the right are immediately blamed before the smoke has had time to clear.

    I was responding to your accusations regarding the immediate reactions, before any of us knew who did it, let alone his background.

    What we knew then was:

    1. A member of Congress was shot point-blank in the head at a public event.
    2. That member of Congress was one of only two from Palin’s hit list who had been re-elected
    3. She had just returned from DC, where she was sworn in for her term in the 112th Congress

    It’s a remarkable coincidence for that to happen without some sort of connection. Surely even you must recognize this.

  35. GROG says:

    DC,

    You are so completely blinded by your partisanship it’s astounding. Your rant above is justifying and excusing violent rhetoric against Bush because you didn’t like him.

    Today’s right wing, on the other hand, is engaged in a pervasive pattern of intimidation and of actual violence in an attempt to bring down a President merely because he is a Democrat.

    Is that your opinion or is that a statement of fact? I’m curious to know the answer. If it’s a statement of fact, please provide proof.

    The Teapers and the Right Wing — loud radio commentators, politicians, public figures, as well as mob-like protesters — in the last two years, from bottom to top, these people have been advocating violence. Correct? No.

    And the data in the Salon article clearly shows right-wing violence to have been dominating our political landscape for decades — Correct? No.

    And your “you ‘too!” argument is nothing more than an attempt to avoid admitting the violence that your side has both threatened and committed. Correct? No.

    You are using deflection and a “you too” argument by blindly admitting that “we’re poopy heads but you’re a bigger poopy head”.

  36. shiloh says:

    No need to comment Shiloh. grog, that would be redundant. Coincidentally, I made that same mistake recently sole/soul. My usual blog faux pas are your/you’re and there/their/they’re

    Indeed grog spelling errors are trivial as your 538 major malfunction is of course deflection ie answering a question w/a question and the winger troll daily meme of but, but, but. But hey, this has been mentioned before. Again, let’s hear it for redundancy.

    Speaking of Bartles laughable, daily, ad nauseam, minutia, juvenile winger talkin’ points … thanx for not disappointing as yes, we had already determined he is a very, very needy teabagger, eh.

    And blood slander/blood libel must be John Fund/Frank Luntz/limbo/wingers new cause célèbre deflection er words/phrases of the day …

    We’re makin’ progress ~ stay the course ~ supporting the troops ~ uniter, not a divider benchmarks ~ you’re either w/us or against us ~ freedom fries ~ Obama care ~ mavericky 😛 ~ family values ~ activist judge ~ socialized medicine ~ limousine liberal ~ birther ~ death panels ~ they’re gonna take away our guns ~ illegal aliens/immigrant ~ bailout ~ 9/11 oh the irony! ~ terrorists ~ I’m not a witch 😀 ~ refudiate ~ held hostage ~ ground zero mosque ~ death tax ~ marriage penalty ~ we’re fighting them over there, so we don’t have to fight them here ~ mama grizzly ~ fair and balanced ~ giving aid and comfort to the enemy ~ Hitler ~ I don’t recall ~ islamofascists ~ wealth distributor ~ liberal media ~ pro-business/family/life ~ states’ rights ~ civil liberties ~ strict constructionist ~ uniter, not a divider ~ and my personal fave statist.

    And of course Bartles personal fave Reagan, Reagan, Reagan who again cut and ran from Beirut, Lebanon ~ ah redundancy!

    Like yesterday, if I left a winger catch phrase off my list, please share. 🙂

    Did I mention Bart is a …

  37. GROG says:

    I knew the leftwing would make this political from the beginning because she’s a Democrat. I knew they would jump to conclusions before all the facts were in, almost as if they had written the script and were just waiting for something like this to happen.

    When a day or so had passed, we all found out this was a completely random act by a madman who had no connection to the Tea Party, the Rep Party, or Sarah Palin.

    Democrats “target” Republican seats all the time. We also use terms like “bomb” and “gunner” in football. That doesn’t mean the other team is going to “bomb” them or gun them down. The whole thing is completely ridiculous. Nothing more than political oppurtnuism.

  38. GROG says:

    @Michael,

    My above comment was in response to your post.

  39. GROG,
    As I said:

    We can choose to cheer when “our side” wins a battle at the expense of civility, or we can choose to denounce lack of civility, regardless of whose “side” wins in the short run.

    So is your choice to cheer when your side wins, or to denounce in favor of civility?

  40. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Some fool somewhere posed the question about whether violence committed by a Muslim should be, or was it, identified by the left as being motivated by Islam.

    WTF kind of question is that? A STUPID one, if I may answer myself. One that identifies the questioner as a person with an agenda and a person who is trying to create an irrelevancy.

    Who, on ANY effing side of the political spectrum, blames the actions of Scott Roeder or Eric Rudolph on Christianity, even though THEY base their actions on THEIR personalChristian beliefs.

    Anybody posing a question like that is worthy neither of respect nor of an answer and is beneath contempt.

  41. filistro says:

    Years ago there was a regular feature in a popular Canadian women’s magazine. The feature was called “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” Readers were introduced to the relationship, the problems and conflicts, the viewpoints of the couple and the advice of the marriage counselor, plus a follow-up on what ultimately happened. (I guess it was sort of a precursor to reality TV… and thus it probably has a lot to answer for…)

    Anyhow, it popped into my mind this morning when I visited Freeperville where they are discussing various initiatives being suggested in the wake of the Arizona shooting, including bans on incendiary speech and imagery, and bans on certain types of guns and ammo.

    One intelligent Freeper (I know, I know… but there ARE some over there…) posted this:

    “I really think it is time to go our separate ways. Our political divide is not about a difference of opinion but a difference in culture that has become ingrained. Even our own Declaration of Independence acknowledges the fact that things can change over time. It does not have to be a bloody mess like the Civil War. You would think it would be mutual. I don’t understand how Liberals can be happy living amongst (people they consider to be) bigots, racists, stupid ignorant people just as I am extremely frustrated by living amongst people who don’t think the Constitution is the source of our strength as a country. Which is worse, having our reactionary government take away everything day in and day out so that they can control what we think and say now? This is really nuts!!! I don’t want to leave this country, I love it. But…I can’t live where my life is controlled from my speech to my light bulbs. Our ancestors left to find freedom…it seems we have come full circle.”

    And it made me wonder.

    CAN this marriage be saved? I truly don’t know.

  42. mclever says:

    I want to thank Michael Weiss for the insightful commentary about the damage that incendiary rhetoric does to the legitimacy of our government. Whether it’s Democrats harping on Florida in 2000 or Republicans suggesting Obama isn’t a citizen, coupled with the memes of violent revolution to “take our country back,” we all bear some responsibility for the tone of the discourse. This doesn’t mean that Palin (or Angle or whoever) is to blame for the shooting in Arizona, but rather an acknowledgment that their rhetoric (and others) is contributing to a climate where the unthinkable becomes thinkable.

    As Michael said:

    Regardless, the events of this past weekend provide an opportunity for some consideration. We owe it to the very fabric of our nation to step back and pause, to think about whether such hyperbolic bloviation is ripping us apart. Each of us has an opportunity to change, in a small way, the methods by which we as a nation will decide what to do. We can choose to cheer when “our side” wins a battle at the expense of civility, or we can choose to denounce lack of civility, regardless of whose “side” wins in the short run.

    I choose civility.

  43. mclever says:

    I’d also like to echo what electrovibe11 said on the Violence as a Political Tool thread:

    It doesn’t matter what this crazy person believed any more than what anyone who commits terrorist acts believes. One person doesn’t represent a whole group. The point is should we be using this type of rhetoric when the reality of it is so devastating, terrifying, and criminal? Should we be using words that describes this exact scenario as a possible ‘solution’ to our society’s problems or should we be promoting civil discourse? This isn’t even a right vs left issue (even though the right does this FAR more often, the left is not innocent), but a societal issue that obviously needs to be addressed, starting with our political leaders and followed by our media. The attention whoring that has been happening for the last 20 years needs to stop.

    I agree. The hyperbolic, incendiary language needs to stop. Each of us should do our part to promote civil discourse. Turn off the vitriol. Marginalize the hate. Use the ballot box rather than a gun (whether figurative or not) as the instrument for change.

  44. shiloh says:

    Again fili, your freeper is just a partisan sore loser, intelligence ?!? notwithstanding.

    Nothing more, nothing less and yes there are a lot of Rep/teabagger sore losers, especially after Obama became president.

    ie Which is worse, having our reactionary government take away everything day in and day out so that they can control what we think and say now? … But…I can’t live where my life is controlled from my speech to my light bulbs.

    Bart has competition in the (((whining))) category eh 😛

    Reps really, really don’t like to lose and totally hate Democracy when, gasp!, they actually do lose!

  45. mclever says:

    filistro,

    Intelligent as your Freeper friend may be, I take issue with his/her supposition that liberals “don’t think the Constitution is the source of our strength as a country.”

    Perhaps the real problem is that for the past several years, we’ve been so busy shouting past each other, that no one is really listening to what anyone else says.

    Anyone who starts their argument with, “You liberals/conservatives always think ______…” is probably wrong.

  46. drfunguy says:

    @filistro
    Being a Canuck, you may have missed the following:
    “Dear Red States:

    We’re ticked off at the way you’ve treated California and we’ve decided we’re leaving.

    We intend to form our own country and we’re taking the other Blue States with us.

    In case you aren’t aware that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast.

    We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

    To sum up briefly:

    You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.

    We get stem cell research and the best beaches.

    We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay.

    We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand.

    We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.

    We get Harvard. You get Ole’ Miss.

    We get 85 percent of America’s venture capital and entrepreneurs.
    You get Alabama.

    We get two-thirds of the tax revenue. You get to make the red states
    pay their fair share.

    Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition’s we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.

    Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro choice and anti war and we’re going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight ask your evangelicals. They have kids they’re apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose and they don’t care if you don’t show pictures of their children’s caskets coming home.

    We wish you success in Iraq and hope that the WMDs turn up but we’re not willing to spend our resources in Bush’s Quagmire.

    With the Blue States in hand we will have firm control of 80% of the country’s fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce, 92% of the nation’s fresh fruit, 95% of America’s quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90% of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the US low sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven

    Sister schools plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

    With the Red States you will have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans and their projected health care costs, 92% of all US mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of all televangelists, Rush

    Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

    We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

    38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we’re discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.

    We’re taking the good pot too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

    Sincerely,
    Author Unknown in New California.”

  47. mclever says:

    GROG,

    Can you not see the difference, really?

    It’s not just about the word “target” or “opponent” or “enemy.” Yes, we target goals. This is common, non-incendiary parlance when used in an appropriate context. I target my budget projections for the week, and I target an 8-minute pace on my morning run. I want an RBI, so I target the opponent who’s asleep in right field. Those dang Minnesota Gophers are the enemy and we’re targeting a homecoming showdown…

    But, I’m not carrying guns to rallies or drawing posters with guns or gun-sights on them or implying that any of these objectives are things that need to be literally (or figuratively) shot.I’m not talking about reloading a weapon or using revolutionary language to delegitimize the duly-elected government. There’s no blood of patriots imagery or second amendment remedies or… We’ve belabored the rhetoric enough that I shouldn’t have to keep listing the examples.

    Or, are you seriously suggesting that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with such violent rhetoric in the political sphere?

    (Note: I’m not saying anyone is to blame for what happened in Tuscon. More that, this is the type of event that the political blowhards are apparently advocating, which is why such talk should be self-censored by any reasonable person.)

  48. shiloh says:

    drfun excellent lol but, but, but Ohio has a lot of mosquitoes also 😉

    If only Noah had decided to them behind …

    Jesusland 2004 ~ what a shocker when in 2008 OH, FL, NC, VA, IN, IA, NM, CO sorry Bartles, and NV (((defected))) from Jesusland! Oh the humanity! 😛

    Praise the Lord!

  49. GROG says:

    mclever said: Or, are you seriously suggesting that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with such violent rhetoric in the political sphere?

    I’m not saying that at all. What I am saying is that violent rhetoric occurs on both sides. I’m also saying that there is no evidence at all that viloent rhetoric had anything to do with the shootings in Tuscon.

  50. dcpetterson says:

    Thanks for answering my questions. GROG.

    You don’t feel that the right wing rhetoric of violence and revolution, of “tyranny” and “liberty,” the threats and intimidation and intimation of armed retribution — none of that should be taken seriously. So I won’t. On your advice. I’ll assume right wing politicians and commentators who speak this way are all liars with nothing to say of value.

    Palin, Angle, Rush, Beck, McConnell, Cantor, Boehnor — all of them have used this language. By implication, you’ve just called them all liars and charlatans, by saying their rhetoric is intentionally and knowingly false. I’m inclined to agree. Thanks.

  51. shortchain says:

    No point in further argument with GROG. There is none so blind as he who will not see.

    To imagine, as he does, that both sides are equal in violent rhetoric requires willful blindness, but fine. If he doesn’t notice the 80 to 1 ratio, and he insists that “target” is equivalent to putting gun-sight imagery (by a moose-huntin’ mama, to boot) up on a web sight over a district, you can’t make him see the difference.

    I notice, however, that in all this he still has never backed off an inch from his staunch support of the purveyor of such violent rhetoric. For my part, I swear never to vote for Olbermann or Maher or any of the rest of the purveyors of “violent rhetoric” on the left. Let’s here it from the other side. I’ll be waiting here as the deafening silence continues on that score.

    And that clearly illustrates the difference.

  52. dcpetterson says:

    @mclever
    GROG, Can you not see the difference, really?

    I think conservatives honestly have a problem with context. A concept that requires more than one sentence to express seems to be beyond them.

  53. mclever says:

    @drfunguy

    While the hypothetical split between liberal and conservative regions of our country can make for a humorous post, I really don’t like any suggestions that splitting is a reasonable solution to our country’s problems. I’ve seen the conservative version of the same theme, and I didn’t find it very funny at all…

    See, even in the bluest of blue states, there are pockets of red, and in the reddest of red, there are pockets of blue. No town or county is 100% conservative or liberal. The whole nation is varying shades of purple, admittedly with some being a little more magenta or violet than others. Anyone who thinks that everyone else around them feels the same about something is probably wrong. If we were to split, then how do we handle all of those people who are ideologically the opposite of whichever side of the red/blue line they ended up on? Make ’em all move? Split up families? Or, do we keep dividing everything up until we end up with a thousand ideologically pure little islands.

    The real answer is for politicians to quit staking out all-or-nothing positions and get back to the deliberation table to work out compromise solutions to the problems we face. No, those compromises won’t be perfect, but we can’t make progress if we don’t start somewhere. And, getting half of what we want is better than getting none of it.

  54. Eusebio Dunkle says:

    filistro, see my post from the other long thread. IMO, weapons can be a deterrent for Iran, Michigan militia, and me (well, not me, I cower before the might of our citizen torturing government). I am paranoid and afraid of my government, mainly due to their documented abuses. I also think that gun control in response to gun crime (usually spectacular gun crime, not every day youth-on-youth violence) is disproportionate. Just like anti-terror legislation. Just like anti-gun legislation. Bizarre and arbitrary gun laws ( <10 bullet clip ) is pandering.

  55. mclever says:

    Eusebio Dunkle,

    I agree. Reactionary gun legislation is just pandering.

  56. filistro says:

    Eusebio… how can keeping a weapon (of any caliber or capacity) protect you from your government?

    The government has TANKS.

    I don’t mean to be flippant (well, maybe a little flippant) 😉 but I do have trouble determining what is visualized by you and your fellow travelers. Do you see a future where jack-booted thugs come to your door to enforce some evil law, and you are barricaded inside, blowing them away with an automatic weapon?

    I just can’t imagine precisely what it is you are imagining. Perhaps it’s a failure of imagination.

  57. filistro says:

    mclever… for the sake of argument, why is a division of the United States so completely unthinkable? Perhaps two separate but closely-related countries could both prosper more readily than one where two political parties spend all their time fighting and trying to block each other’s legislation. It can even be validly argued that this growing division, animosity and lack of commonality is contributing to the country’s economic decline.

    When a nation reaches such a complete ideological divide that people can no longer communicate across the chasm, prehaps it IS time to consider some sort of division. It’s a question of critical mass. After all, a nation of 300 million becomes quite unwieldy… and that number is projected to soon pass 400 million. A country so large can probably only be managed efficiently though some kind of totalitarian government like China… something Americans will obviously never tolerate.

    I believe America will not still be “united” a hundred years from now. In fact the question is not whether division is inevitable… it is whether division should be based on economic, cultural, geographic or ideological grounds, and how it will be accomplished.

  58. shiloh says:

    As mentioned previously, America survives despite itself and I’m not sure if that’s bad or good other than survival in and of itself, is basically a good thing. How many countries have survived an internal, all out massive American Civil War as America was lucky it happened in 1860, eh when there was no internet lol.

    America, being the melting pot means “we” get the best and worst the rest of the world had/has to offer over the past 300/400 years. America indeed, must have a lucky star looking over it.

    Interesting dichotomy: Late ’60s, early ’70s it was the liberals/Dems involved in violent, civil rights protest against their govt. ie crying/whining especially after Nixon was elected w/43.4% which partially explains Nixon going from 43.4% in ’68 to a landslide victory in ’72 as America was frightened by the radicals.

    Now of course, we have the 24/7 crying/whining conservative teabaggers/militia on the right who are advocating 2nd amendment remedies to all their imaginary faux, sore loser problems. The big question, how will the middle ie moderate independents respond in 2012.

    Stay tuned as the rhetoric reached scorched earth levels some time ago. Bill Parcells ~ “You are what your record says you are”. America, you are what your record says you are: a violent society w/plenty of guns ~ we like to blow things up on the internet :::video games::: and in real life. btw, America’s prison population is 2.3 million and folks, were out of $$$ soooo no more money to build prisons lol.

    Interesting one of Jan America’s sweetheart Brewer’s AZ growth industries is building prisons. Yea, that’ll kick start AZ’s economy! 😀

    Did I mention America survives despite as again “we” need more pundits er discussion groups er presidential commissions after another national tragedy occurs. Late ’60s: Millions are starving in Africa so let’s form a discussion group!

    Again, I yield back the balance of my time …

    take care

  59. shortchain says:

    filistro,

    Perhaps the Quebecois could help the southern states in their quest for independence.

    (weak attempt at humor).

    Seriously, ask anybody who has ever gone through divorce. It’s incredibly painful, and the longer and more intertwined the parties have become, the more painful it becomes. After two-hundred odd years, there is simply not going to be a split without pain and suffering beyond imagination.

    There will be no split. There could be a disintegration, as a result of events unthinkable, but that would entail a simple regression to anarchy (if such a thing could ever be termed “simple”).

    You have to keep in mind that there is an absolute ruler in this country. Money is king. The people who own the place (corporations, the wealthy) have nothing to gain from a split and everything to lose. Should one of the major political groups start to foster such a movement, they’d lose monetary support so fast they’d be out of business in a week.

  60. filistro says:

    shortchain… seriously, Canadians are pretty sanguine about Quebec separation. Most wouldn’t much mind if they would actually go through with their constant threat. Using your divorce analogy, it’s infuriating when one party continually uses the threat of leaving as a sort of emotional (or political) blackmail.

    The problem with Quebec separating is mostly geographic. It would be fine, really, for everybody except the Maritimers who would be cut off from the “mainland” and set adrift. Also… would passports be required to travel from PEI to Alberta? Would there be border crossings and customs on each side of Quebec?… etc etc.

    I can see a nice neat division that includes CA, runs south of WA and heads east, ending south of OH and PA. This allows for two contiguous nations and gives citizens the freedom to choose which one best suits them. Most of the current angst is because people feel they have no CHOICE… they are forced to co-exist with others whom they abhor. In that case, a no-fault divorce is the most merciful option for everybody.

  61. GROG says:

    DC said: I think conservatives honestly have a problem with context. A concept that requires more than one sentence to express seems to be beyond them.

    Yes and you also believe Today’s right wing, on the other hand, is engaged in a pervasive pattern of intimidation and of actual violence in an attempt to bring down a President merely because he is a Democrat.

    That’s says pretty much all we need to know about DC Petterson. You have no factual evidence at all to support such an idiotic statement, yet you make a sweeping generalization about “the right wing”.

    an attempt to bring down a President merely because he is a Democrat.
    (I’ll assume for a moment that you may acknowledge that some people who don’t like the President, alos don’t engage in violence.) I truly believe your blind ideology allows you to think that the only reason anyone could dislike the President is because he’s a Democrat. No other reason. Only because he’s a Democrat. You can’t think of a single other reason because no one could possibly disagree with a belief or policy of Obama. I honestly think you believe that.

    And that’s why it’s impossible for you to have a reasonable discussion with someone you diagree with. Your blind ideology will always get in the way.

  62. Bart DePalma says:

    filistro says: Eusebio… how can keeping a weapon (of any caliber or capacity) protect you from your government? The government has TANKS. I don’t mean to be flippant (well, maybe a little flippant) but I do have trouble determining what is visualized by you and your fellow travelers. Do you see a future where jack-booted thugs come to your door to enforce some evil law, and you are barricaded inside, blowing them away with an automatic weapon? I just can’t imagine precisely what it is you are imagining. Perhaps it’s a failure of imagination.

    Think Mao, not Waco.

    The Army and Marines with National Guard and local police have less than a million line troops to hold a continental size country against potentially 100 million adults with firearms, a substantial minority of which have military experience of some sort.

    Moreover, the military is sworn to defend the Constitution and not a government acting outside the Constitution. It is very debatable if the military would accept orders from that government to attack the citizenry.

    I like the odds of an armed citizenry prevailing.

  63. shortchain says:

    filistro,

    I don’t see a “nice neat division” where you do. I see a world of bickering, back-and-forth, and pain.

  64. GROG says:

    @fili,

    Would you be kind enough to say if you agree with this statement by DC? (Only asking you because of, well you know, the crush.)

    Today’s right wing, on the other hand, is engaged in a pervasive pattern of intimidation and of actual violence in an attempt to bring down a President merely because he is a Democrat.

    I’m interested if other lefties believe this. Thanks.

  65. Bart DePalma says:

    dcpetterson says: So, Bart — are you calling for violence or not? Yes or no.

    We in the Tea Party have not called for violence, we protested our government enacting policies with which we disagreed and then went to the polls to fire those who enacted these policies. So long as the People have remedies in elections and through the courts, there is no need for a Second Amendment solution.

    Monotreme says: I’m pretty sure that TPM and Huffington, among other places, have links to this interview in which hero Patricia Maisch calls out the overheated right-wing rhetoric…Go ahead, Bart. Call this “blood libel”. The heroes of this tragedy and the families of the dead and maimed are all saying the same thing. Listen to them, even if you disagree.

    Performing a heroic act does not preclude one from making a blood libel/slander. If Ms. Maisch falsely accused conservative speech for causing these murders, she is making a blood libel/slander, even if she personally saved the entire human race from imminent death.

    drfunguy:

    To who do you think progressives will turn to suppress “conservative hate speech” if not the government? In the last thread dedicated to this blood libel, I have already linked to the first Dem to propose legislation outlawing speech which tends to endanger Congress.

  66. Bartbuster says:

    Blankshot, we’re a democracy. We don’t need guns to stop the government from acting outside the Constitution. That is what elections are for.

  67. GROG says:

    shiloh said: Pot/Kettle as grog (((projects))) Hey, all I ask for is consistency …

    Not at all. I understand there are reasons the left disliked Bush and Cheney and dislike Beohner and other Republicans. It would be simpleminded of me to say it’s just because they’re Republicans.

  68. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    And Bartbuster, THAT is what Bart and GROG just DON’T seem to be able to understand. That other people, even a majority of voters, can POSSIBLY disagree with THEM! And that when that majority ELECT their representative, because that representative presides or passes laws that reflect that recent election, it’s THEM and THAT government, not the GROGs and Barts that are “tyrants”.

    “baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrtttt”

    “gggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroooooogggggg”

  69. mclever says:

    @filistro,

    Division is unthinkable in my mind, because we are all too intertwined. No matter how much I argue with my brother, we’re still family. I really don’t believe that our political divisions are as extreme as we pretend they are. There is a lot of overlap between the various political persuasions, and most people don’t fit neatly into the bucket on one side or the other. However, escalatory rhetoric magnifies tiny differences, blowing things way out of proportion.

    As I said to drfunguy, no matter how blue a district is, there are still some “red” folks there, and no matter how red a district is, there are still some “blue” folks there, too. I saw this when living in Texas, Georgia, and California. Some of the folks in Texas were surprisingly conservative to me, but there were also folks there who were far more liberal than I am. So, if we lop Texas off into the “Jesusland” half of the country, what happens to the 33% of Texans that are die-hard Democrats? They aren’t all in Austin… We’re culturally intertwined with liberals in conservatives no matter where you go, and there’s really not a clear-cut division anywhere.

    Almost all Americans hold similar ideals of freedom, liberty, and equality. We all love our Constitutional system and our image of ourselves as a beacon to the world. We’re all pretty much agreed on regulated capitalism with a representative democracy and limited safety-net, but we just argue about how much regulation and of what precisely. Both liberals and conservatives proudly serve in our military and in other government roles. We quibble over details, and some of us push for reforms, but few (if any) are seriously talking about scrapping the system.

    What it comes down to in my mind, is that we’re so busy shouting over minor differences and painting caricatures of the other side, that we’re not really listening to the many, many, many things where we still agree with one another.

  70. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    You apparently flunked military history. Well-led and well-trained troops, commanded by competent officers, can defeat many times their number of ill-led troops, even when weaponry on both sides is roughly equal. That was proved in Gulf War I. (I’m rather surprised you didn’t know that.)

    When we factor in the total lack of any officer corps on one side, the massive inequality in weaponry, and the lack of relevant training on one side, the advantage would probably be 100 to 1 in a set battle. The only way the military loses is if the entire country comes apart and it devolves into a Somalia or Afghanistan situation. In that case, the result would be enclaves of relative stability surrounded by vast swathes of “no man’s land” and the starvation and death of millions as a result of the breakdown of civil order and supply.

    That you imagine this would end with any kind of good result for anyone but a few military governors, perhaps, you are an idiot. Or a low-grade fantasy buff. Or both.

  71. Mule Rider says:

    “Perhaps two separate but closely-related countries could both prosper more readily than one where two political parties spend all their time fighting and trying to block each other’s legislation. It can even be validly argued that this growing division, animosity and lack of commonality is contributing to the country’s economic decline.”

    Very good post, filistro. Of course, I posted something similar not too long ago and was excoriated for it.

    Either way, kudos on your insights. I really appreciate them and the theme they convey: If we’re going to be so divided with hate/animosity, why can’t we simply go peacefully in opposite directions and thrive under a political order that we’re most comfortable with.

  72. GROG says:

    Max said:
    And Bartbuster, THAT is what Bart and GROG just DON’T seem to be able to understand. That other people, even a majority of voters, can POSSIBLY disagree with THEM! And that when that majority ELECT their representative, because that representative presides or passes laws that reflect that recent election, it’s THEM and THAT government, not the GROGs and Barts that are “tyrants”.

    Can you point to anything I have said on this thread or this entire blog that would make you come to that conclusion?

  73. mclever says:

    I usually see talk of splitting up our country to be the political equivalent of, “If I don’t get my way, I’m gonna take my toys and go home. Wah!”

  74. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    GROG,

    Why is it that there has not been a single act of Muslim violence in the last two years that the left was willing to identify as motivated by Islam. Like the Fort Hood killings, the left blames it on psychological problems or bullying or blames U.S. policy but never acknowledges it was motivated by Islam.

    I have this funny suspicion that the leftwing was so disappointed when they found out he’s not an evangelical Christian instead of a pot smoking atheist.

    I knew the leftwing would make this political from the beginning because she’s a Democrat.

    Only a partisan idiot would think these things incenuate openly advocating violence. Angle was warning against second amendment remedies, she wasn’t calling for them. If a state were to withdraw from the Union, that state wouldn’t take violent actions against the other 49 states.

    Sherrif Dupnik is a Democrat.

    This is the kind of unsustainable, irresponsible government we’re seeing in large states like California, Illinois, and New York, as well as our Federal Government. We spend too much money. Republicans have acted like Democrats in South Carolina for too long.

    Your ideology and the ideologies of states like California, Illinois, and New York don’t work.

  75. Mule Rider says:

    “I usually see talk of splitting up our country to be the political equivalent of, “If I don’t get my way, I’m gonna take my toys and go home. Wah!””

    And I usually see the relentless condescension, mocking, and talking down to from the left to be the political equivalent of them saying, “You conservative morons don’t see it OUR way but we’re ALWAYS right and we ALWAYS know what’s good for you, and to prove it we’re going to tell you what toys you can play with, when you can play with them, how you can play with them, who you can play with, etc., etc., etc.”

    That’s NOT democracy. It’s subtle totalitarianism. And there’s a few million people in this country that don’t appreciate it.

  76. drfunguy says:

    “@Bart
    “Weissburg [sic] and others here claim that the Tea Party…[is] fostering an atmosphere of hate …which [the] government must crush”
    dfunugy: Huh? Who called for the government to ‘crush’ the Tea Party?”
    Still waiting for evidence of this outrageous statement. That would be specific quotes from ‘Weissburg and others here’ that the government must crush the Tea Party.
    Since you deflected with a rhetorical question I’ll take that as meaning you have none.
    Also still waiting for evidence to suport your accusations of blood libel (and the Bart-speak definition thereof since I doubt you are saying anyone made claimsof using baby flesh to make matzahs).
    Until then you are purely fabricating (as usual). But thanks for playing, it is amusing to see you get all worked up in your overactive imaginings.

  77. Bart DePalma says:

    mclever says: Almost all Americans hold similar ideals of freedom, liberty, and equality. We all love our Constitutional system and our image of ourselves as a beacon to the world. We’re all pretty much agreed on regulated capitalism with a representative democracy and limited safety-net, but we just argue about how much regulation and of what precisely.

    No we most certainly do not share the same ideals on very many issues. We still share more than what divides us, but the gap is widening between the progressive minority which dominate many of the levers of power in the bureaucracy, courts, academia, & media and the center-right majority.

    Rasmussen started adding questions to his polling to years ago seeking to identify those who do and do not share populist views about the power of government and found a pretty consistent division between a 55% majority of respondents who share the populist limited government beliefs and a 7% minority who do not. He calls the former the “mainstream” and the latter the “political class.” Their views on the role of government, the responsiveness of government and Obama policies are diametrically opposed by enormous margins. Its like these folks live on different planets. Go google “Ramussen political class” and review the series of polls. It is a real eye opener.

  78. filistro says:

    @Muley… Very good post, filistro. Of course, I posted something similar not too long ago and was excoriated for it.

    I know you did… in fact, I was thinking of you when I posted. Like you, I don’t see why this is something so deeply taboo that it can’t even be discussed. Personally, I think peaceful co-existence would be a whole lot better than mutual destruction and constant gridlock.

    If there were two countries, where do you see the division being drawn? Just the “Old South” or parts of the midwest as well? There would have to be a fair allocation of industry, resources, etc. so both new countries could be viable and self-sustaining.

  79. shortchain says:

    MR,

    We treat filistro more gently because
    a) she’s a furriner. She doesn’t know any better.
    b) she’s filistro. and a she. Call it the last vestiges of chivalry.

    Your comment would be totally spot-on, except that — my experience with your comments is that you seem have a tendency to go off half-cocked, on the basis of incomplete information.

    See the previous thread, for example, where you claimed, wrongly, that Krugman compared people, not ideas, to “zombies”.

    But that’s OK. Nobody has complete information, and we’ll work on it. You’ve been noticeably civil of late, and I commend you for it. Keep up the good work. Just don’t expect to be treated as well as filistro…

  80. filistro says:

    @GROG… Would you be kind enough to say if you agree with this statement by DC? (Only asking you because of, well you know, the crush.) “Today’s right wing, on the other hand, is engaged in a pervasive pattern of intimidation and of actual violence in an attempt to bring down a President merely because he is a Democrat.”

    I’ve been giving this some concentrated thought because of… you know… the crush… 😉

    … and now I’m ready to answer.

    Yes, I think the right wing is opposed to the president simply because he is a Democrat. And there’s no doubt their goal is to bring him down… Mitch McConnell SAID that was their goal.

    As for “a pervasive pattern of intimidation and of actual violence” , no, I don’t think I can agree. When the right wing talks about guns and “second amendment remedies,” I don’t think they are really trying to intimidate people. I think this is just the way they handle frustration. When they feel threatened, they turn to guns.

    They LIKE guns. They find weapons comforting and reassuring. So their talk of guns is more an attempt at self-reassurance than threats to the other side. And while there have been isolated incidents of “actual violence” I don’t think it’s been anything one could call a “pattern.”

    So no… I don’t agree with the literal meaning of the statement. But I think anyone would agree this kind of language and implication more commonly flows from right to left than the other direction. A lefty who feels threatened or frustrated is much less likely to mention guns, just because the left are not as fond of guns and gun imagery.

  81. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    So, GROG, hope that answers your question.

    Your ideology . . . don’t work.

    Particularly where, just above, you list CA, NY, IL, as examples and TOTALLY ignore the fact that EVERY state, except WY and AK, has SERIOUS budgeting problems when more than a DOZEN of the states you ignore have GOP Govs and GOP led legislatures, and have controlled those states for YEARS.

    You just can’t SEE that or your ideology refuses to allow you to . So you don’t mention them as in trouble.

    That’s ideological blindness.

    Note that when the “lefties” here argue, they usually BEG for reasoned rebuttals and concrete citations. What they USUALLY get are talking points, tail-chasing fallacies, diversions, and/or

    Your ideology . . . don’t work.“.

  82. Mule Rider says:

    “See the previous thread, for example, where you claimed, wrongly, that Krugman compared people, not ideas, to “zombies”.”

    This is 100%, absolutely something I am NOT wrong about. Krugman has called more than just ideas zombies. He’s called people that. See the title of this piece:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/20/opinion/20krugman.html?_r=1

    It’s called – When Zombies Win

    Ideas don’t “win” (or lose) things. PEOPLE “win” (or lose). I challenge you to find anything about the definition of an “idea” that would make you think he’s referring to it in that context.

    I’ll do you one better and get you started:

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/idea

    1. Something, such as a thought or conception, that potentially or actually exists in the mind as a product of mental activity.
    2. An opinion, conviction, or principle: has some strange political ideas.
    3. A plan, scheme, or method.
    4. The gist of a specific situation; significance: The idea is to finish the project under budget.
    5. A notion; a fancy.
    6. Music A theme or motif.
    7. Philosophy
    a. In the philosophy of Plato, an archetype of which a corresponding being in phenomenal reality is an imperfect replica.
    b. In the philosophy of Kant, a concept of reason that is transcendent but nonempirical.
    c. In the philosophy of Hegel, absolute truth; the complete and ultimate product of reason.
    8. Obsolete A mental image of something remembered.

    Lastly, why can’t you just admit you’re wrong and concede that, yes, Paul Krugman has called people zombies. And even in instances where he calls something a “zombie idea” he’s still, albeit indirectly, calling people a zombie.

    If you called someone’s idea “moronic,” aren’t you indirectly calling them a “moron”?

    Either way, in this instance (and there are others, but I’ll concede it goes both ways between calling people or ideas “zombies”) he’s directly referring to people as zombies.

  83. dcpetterson says:

    Barted:
    We in the Tea Party have not called for violence, we protested our government enacting policies with which we disagreed and then went to the polls to fire those who enacted these policies. So long as the People have remedies in elections and through the courts, there is no need for a Second Amendment solution.

    By “Second Amendment solution” I assume you mean some sort of large-scale violence. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    So, in other words, you are threatening to commit large-scale violence if our duly elected government persists in “enacting policies with which we disagreed,” and if the courts actually uphold those policies.

    You are threatening violence if you don’t get your way.

    Thanks, that’s what I wanted to know. We have confirmation from Bart that at least some part of the Tea Party is threatening violence if policies they disapprove of are put in place. I trust you will no longer object when it is stated that at least some Teapers are engaged in a program of intimidation and threatened violence.

  84. Mr. Universe says:

    Krugman called someone a zombie…oooooohhhh, scary.

    So?

    – Dick Cheney

  85. Mule Rider says:

    “his inane comment re: Olbermann”

    Yeah, it was really “inane.” I said the same thing you’ll hear out of almost any circle outside of the far left-wing who watches Olbermann and gets off on his schtick….that being that his vitriolic bile is over-the-top and often destructive to the state of political discourse in the country.

    Tell me what’s “inane” about that….for help understanding what “inane” even means, maybe you should use a dictionary:

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/inane

    inane [ɪˈneɪn]
    adj
    senseless, unimaginative, or empty; unintelligent inane remarks

    Point out what you think about my comment was senseless, unimaginative, empty, or unintelligent, keeping in mind that your assertion on any of those will be exactly that, an assertion (factless opinion).

    I guess maybe it’s guilty of being unimaginative….’cause I gotta admit, I didn’t come up with Olberman being an over-the-top clown all by myself. That’s widely agreed upon by anyone familiar with him and what he does.

  86. shortchain says:

    MR,

    Please. Let me quote the first two sentences of that piece: “When historians look back at 2008-10, what will puzzle them most, I believe, is the strange triumph of failed ideas. Free-market fundamentalists have been wrong about everything — yet they now dominate the political scene more thoroughly than ever. ”

    And then, about halfway down: “the crisis should have killed but didn’t, we’re still — perhaps more than ever — ruled by “zombie economics.” Why?

    Part of the answer, surely, is that people who should have been trying to slay zombie ideas”

    What kind of reading comprehension is necessary to turn “zombie ideas” into “zombies”?

    I guess if you only read the title and went off on that …

    Which is what I said earlier. You tend to go off half-cocked.

  87. drfunguy says:

    @MR
    The piece begins: “When historians look back at 2008-10, what will puzzle them most, I believe, is the strange triumph of failed ideas. ”
    “… zombie economics…”
    “… people who should have been trying to slay zombie ideas …”
    “Yes, politics is the art of the possible. We all understand the need to deal with one’s political enemies. But it’s one thing to make deals to advance your goals; it’s another to open the door to zombie ideas. When you do that, the zombies end up eating your brain — and quite possibly your economy too. ”
    All mentions are of zombie ideas.

  88. dcpetterson says:

    @Mule Rider
    This is 100%, absolutely something I am NOT wrong about. Krugman has called more than just ideas zombies. He’s called people that. See the title of this piece:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/20/opinion/20krugman.html?_r=1

    If you actually read the piece, you will find that you are absolutely 100% wrong. At no point in the piece does he refer to any person or persons as “zombie” or “zombies”. He uses that term exclusively, throughout this article, to refer to “zombie ideas,” that is, ideas that are (or should be) dead and that keep coming back.

    So, unfortunately, you’re wrong.

  89. drfugnuy says:

    @shortchain
    😉

  90. shiloh says:

    hmm, speaking of free speech/censorship ~ posts are disappearing and being moderated after the fact in this thread …

    take care, blessings

  91. Mule Rider says:

    “Krugman called someone a zombie…oooooohhhh, scary.”

    On the surface, I don’t have a problem with Krugman calling anybody anything. It’s a free country, and as long as it’s not hate speech, wtfever….right?

    Anyway, the subject came up because he was one of the first to politicize the Tucson tragedy and was quick to condemn the “vitriolic tone” in our political discourse. I pointed out that he’s as guilty as anyone (of name-calling), especially from someone whose thoughts/words are so regularly put in print on political/economic matters in this country. I would think a Nobel Prizing winning economist would hold himself to a higher standard than that. The childish mud-slingining he engages in doesn’t speak well for his maturity and, in my opinion, is a knock on his credibility.

    I just used the “zombie” example to point out one of the things he says to denigrate his opposition. Shortchain’s “defense” is that he only calls “ideas” that, not people. The evidence suggests that that’s not the case and that he does (directly) call people zombies. Not that it matters. His tone is full of snark and condescension, and he’s every bit as guilty as the people he excoriates for escalating a damaging and divisive tone in this country.

  92. shiloh says:

    MR ~ “his inane comment re: Olbermann”

    Yeah, it was really “inane.” I said the same thing you’ll hear out of almost any circle outside of the far left-wing who watches Olbermann and gets off on his schtick….that being that his vitriolic bile is over-the-top and often destructive to the state of political discourse in the country.
    ~~~~~

    MR, people say many things in the media ie fixednoise, right-wing talk shows, and yes even at 538 er the internet that is totally inaccurate … inane opinions/generalizations notwithstanding!

    take care

  93. Mule Rider says:

    “If you actually read the piece, you will find that you are absolutely 100% wrong.”

    No, I’m not. The title of the piece is “WHEN ZOMBIES WIN.” For the umpteenth time, ideas DO NOT win (or lose) anything.

    And at no point are the words “zombie ideas” used together in the article.

  94. shortchain says:

    MR,

    Let me just point out that, in fact, “ideas” do win.

    Tell me, what capitalists alive in 1945 “won” the Cold War?

    Tell me, where are the living Christians who won the competition between paganism in the classical world?

    Tell me, where is Johannes Kepler? Martin Luther? Isaac Newton? Albert Einstein? Yet their ideas won.

  95. Mule Rider says:

    shortchain/drfunguy,

    Question for ya both…

    If he had said “Republican ideas” or “conservative ideas” or “moderate ideas” or “Democratic ideas” or “libertarian ideas” would that not be, albeit indirectly, referring to the holder(s) of those ideas as a Republican, a conservative, a moderate, a Democrat, or a libertarian?

    So when he says “zombie ideas” – and he clearly intends the reader to believe there are people who hold those ideas – is he not, again indirectly, calling them a zombie?

    The sophistry the left employs to disavow them of some of even the most childish of statements is quite appaling….and telling about their character.

  96. shiloh says:

    Take two and why are my posts being moderated ?!?

    Again, considering Mule Rider’s 538 history ~ the fact that MR is still allowed to post here is damn nice of the powers that be, filistro notwithstanding!

    Those damn, empathetic progressives as MR continues to generalize about liberals ie his inane comment re: Olbermann yesterday …

    take care, blessings

    btw Mr. U, you have my email address soooo if you want me to stop posting here, please let me know. TIA

  97. Mule Rider says:

    “And at no point are the words “zombie ideas” used together in the article.”

    Strike this comment from the record. An oversight….but it doesn’t change what I’m saying.

  98. shortchain says:

    MR,

    Now you are arguing rather mulishly and, like GROG, moving the goal-posts rather than admit you are wrong. Let’s not go there.

    I complimented you in my earlier comment. Sure, it was a backhanded one — I’m not really capable of any other kind. (We all have our faults.)

    Take the compliment. And a deep breath. I’m not going to argue anymore about this. Let anybody who cares read the article in question and make up their own mind.

  99. Mule Rider says:

    Yeah, shortchain, it’s hard to argue with your liberal logic and liberal ideas….

    Oh, wait….I’m saying you employ “liberal” logic….and have “liberal” ideas….could it be???? No!!!! Or could it?

    Could it be that I’m referring to you as….GASP!….a L-I-B-E-R-A-L when I say that???

    So if I were to to talk about all of the “zombie logic” or “zombie ideas” out there, am I not calling the people who hold those ideas zombies???

  100. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Mule, you do realize that authors DO NOT write the heads, editors do, don’t you?

  101. Mule Rider says:

    “Let anybody who cares read the article in question and make up their own mind.”

    Fair enough.

    But I’ll go to my grave believing that if you say someone has “liberal ideas” you’re indirectly calling them a liberal….and by that logic, if you talk about “zombie ideas,” it’s not much of a stretch to believe the person using those words means to imply the holders of those ideas are zombies. I don’t see why it’s so hard to admit that PK engages in a bit of childish name-calling, which is very unbecoming for a Nobel winning economist and, because of his inate desire to sling mud, makes his credibility on matters where he should be considered an expert somewhat suspect.

  102. shiloh says:

    MR, since you didn’t reply yesterday, I’ll give you a second chance …

    MR ~ re: Olbermann ~ “fact that nearly every other thing he’s uttered in the realm of political discourse has been downright filthy, disgusting, and bordering on the kind of bile”

    Interesting hyperbolic generalization w/no specifics, citations, source quotes, verifiable/certifiable links …

    >

    Eagerly awaiting citations verifying every other thing Olbermann says is filthy/disgusting/bile!

    There are silly generalizations and then there are inane 😉 generalizations …

    take care
    ~~~~~

  103. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    The other failure our resident right wing folks are blind to in this issue is the difference between explicit and implied.

    “shiloh, I’m going to kick your ass next time I see you.” – explicit

    “Mule Rider, I know where you live and it would be a real shame it your house burned down sometime when you were away.” – implicit

    “Go out and start shooting liberals if we don’t win in 2012.” – explicit

    “Second Amendment remedies. We came unarmed. This time.” – implicit

    ALL examples of threats.

  104. shortchain says:

    MR,

    Since you ask, let’s take a look at this: “by that logic, if you talk about “zombie ideas,” it’s not much of a stretch to believe the person using those words means to imply the holders of those ideas are zombies”

    And if someone has wrong ideas, they’d be simply wrong. (This would include all of us.)

    OK. And if some one has “spiritual ideas” then you’d be calling them a ghost. Speaking of going to your grave believing something.

    I have a problem with your logic, sir.

  105. shiloh says:

    Max re: implicit/explicit tone and context are also important ie a parent to a (2) year old child who makes a mess 😉 I’m going to kill you!

    Same when MR threatened to kill Nate Silver ~ everyone laughs at his childishness and eventually moves on …

  106. dcpetterson says:

    @filistro
    When the right wing talks about guns and “second amendment remedies,” I don’t think they are really trying to intimidate people. I think this is just the way they handle frustration. When they feel threatened, they turn to guns.

    This is an interesting idea. I certainly find it curious that none of the conservatives here seem willing to either state A) that they are, indeed, advocating violent acts, nor B) that they denounce rhetoric that implies (or outright states) a willingness to do violence.

    I think there is a thought-pattern that wants to have it both ways — not willing to actually commit violence (or at least, not willing to admit to such a willingness), but also having a need to express feelings and desires and fears in terms of reacting in a violent way. Perhaps it’s a matter of being unwilling to definitively give up the option of committing violence, should circumstances (in their eyes) warrant it.

    For my money, if one is willing to imply violence in a political sphere, then one should be honest about it. This dance of maybe-I-would, maybe-I-wouldn’t is dishonest, and seems intended to avoid dealing with the real issues. “If, in the end, I don’t get my way — look out! I’m holding out the option of really kicking your butt!” This seems to be a way of warning, in advance, that there is a point beyond which negotiation will not be allowed to continue.

    In one sense, that’s fine. Stating principles, and standing by them, is a laudable thing. And if that’s the intent, I can even respect that (though I’d respect it more if the expression were less belligerent). But there is a hidden implication in that as well, especially if this “principled limit” is stated, re-stated, and re-re-re-stated.

    The hidden implication is that the other guys is, in fact, willing to push beyond that point. When, for instance, it is said, over and over, that “second amendment solutions” are an appropriate response to “tyranny,” there is a hidden implication that the party in power is (or may become) “tyrannical.” It is an implication that, almost as a matter of course, the “other side” consists of unreasonable madmen, who are willing (perhaps eager) to push the nation beyond reasonable boundaries.

    This sort of implication is damaging by itself. It is a form of demonization that makes rational conversation difficult, perhaps impossible. It is an attempt to paint anything other than the speaker’s ideas as being radical, dangerous, and beyond the civilized pale.

    There is a time for stating principles. But that is different from a panicked insistence that the other side is beyond rational limits.

    Bart’s rhetoric is a good example of precisely what I’m talking about. He wants to say that extreme and violent actions are appropriate in the face of “tyranny.” And then he constantly calls Obama a “tyrant.” What other conclusion are we to come to? And how can Americans negotiate with someone who takes a position such as Bart’s?

  107. Eusebio Dunkle says:

    No. I’m not afraid of tanks or apaches (although the USG does have a history of illegally using these weapons against citizens). In principle, I’m afraid of spooks, “neutralization teams,” illegal swat raids, and g-men informants. In principle, I’m afraid of being eliminated using a bogus DEA warrant in the middle of the night. I’m not afraid in practice because I’m a coward I won’t raise the ire of USG/LEO.

    The government has shown me that my past democratic activities are terrorist in nature and are subject to the full-force of the USG. Thankfully, both of these cases have been quite public [nornc.org, wikileaks]. But USG claims the right to seize citizens, hold them indefinitely without charge, and deny that any detention is taking place. I don’t understand your lack of imagination.

    I don’t accept that I should be prevented from owning a firearm due to isolated acts of ultra violence. I endorse background checks, trigger laws, mental competency, and non-criminal history as ways to prevent gun violence. But the idea that a few deaths/yr should be cause to abridge the rights of millions of people is absurd. That otherwise intelligent people argue for clip restrictions so that only 4 people die during the next biannual crazy-person massacre amazes me. Ultimately, as with terrorism, laws and restrictions are not going to prevent a determined individual from committing ultra-violence.

    I agree on one point. Individuals have zero hope of successfully defending themselves from the USG. But they can showcase their legal response to USG illegality. All the major armed confrontations between isolationists and the USG have [unfortunately] shown widespread lawless behavior on the part of many colluding branches of the USG. This doesn’t even consider the awful corruption of LEO everywhere. The sad part is that no one takes note except other loons (due to “that would never happen to me syndrome”). Myself included. I accept that I become a loon when I announce my fear of the government.

  108. filistro says:

    DC… I think gun rhetoric gives a feeling of power to wingers who are distressed by their growing powerlessness… and the essence of wingerhood is fear of being rendered powerless in the face of cultural change, societal progress and the encroachment of the Other. So of course they turn to the kind of talk that makes them feel empowered, and that is talk of guns. It’s more like a verbal crutch than it is an actual threat.

    However, that said… as shiloh points out, there are parents who will tell their annoying 2-year-old, “You do that one more time and I’ll kill you.” Of course they don’t mean it. But I would posit that a parent who says that to a 2-year-old is more likely to harm that child than a parent who refrains from such speech.

    I believe there is still truth to the Biblical admonition that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”

  109. GROG says:

    @fili,

    Thanks for your response. I knew you would give an honest answer. But let me ask you this. You don’t think “the right” disagrees with Obama’s policies or his plan for the country? You think the only reason they don’t like him is because he’s a Democrat? Really?

    @Max,

    What does this comment from me have to do with what you posted?
    GROG said: I knew the leftwing would make this political from the beginning because she’s a Democrat.

    Max said: That other people, even a majority of voters, can POSSIBLY disagree with THEM! And that when that majority ELECT their representative, because that representative presides or passes laws that reflect that recent election, it’s THEM and THAT government, not the GROGs and Barts that are “tyrants”.

    What does one have to do with the other? Help me out here.

  110. shiloh says:

    I accept that I become a loon when I announce my fear of the government.

    “Blind faith in your leaders, or in anything, will get you killed.” ~ Bruce Springsteen

    Again, it’s interesting conservatives who, as a rule, never protest anything ~ have all come out of the closet to rail against the govt. after Obama’s election ~ go figure! Whereas they were totally silent while cheney/bush were FUBAR’ing America from 2001/2009 …

  111. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: We in the Tea Party have not called for violence, we protested our government enacting policies with which we disagreed and then went to the polls to fire those who enacted these policies. So long as the People have remedies in elections and through the courts, there is no need for a Second Amendment solution.

    DC: By “Second Amendment solution” I assume you mean some sort of large-scale violence. Correct me if I’m wrong. So, in other words, you are threatening to commit large-scale violence if our duly elected government persists in “enacting policies with which we disagreed,” and if the courts actually uphold those policies.

    Are you a pathological liar? Most normal liars are smart enough to avoid quoting the comment they plan to misrepresent, hoping their readers are too lazy too check. On the other hand, you can’t seem to resist the impulse to lie even when the quote immediately above the lie makes it obvious.

  112. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Read it, especially the last line, and think.

    Actually use that brain God gave you. And you, with an open mind, will see the relationship.

    I have to do the research for you. I refuse to do the thinking for you.

    It’s just like you “misunderstand” fili just above. I will clarify that for you.

    It’s not JUST because he’s a Dem. It’s the use of terms like “tyrant”, etc, when talking about a President elected by 69 MILLION Americans. As I just said, above. You have to look without those ideological blinders, and you will see.

  113. shiloh says:

    Most normal liars Bartles, what kind of liar are you ~ just wonderin’ as being a wannabe lawyer, you should be familiar w/many categories …

  114. GROG says:

    Michelle Malkin (hey, you guys posted salon.com) put together her own timeline of “The Progressive Climate of Hate”.

    “The progressive climate of hate: A comprehensive illustrated primer in 8 parts:

    I. PALIN HATE
    II. BUSH HATE
    III. MISC. TEA PARTY/GOP/ANTI-TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE HATE
    IV. ANTI-CONSERVATIVE FEMALE HATE
    V. LEFT-WING MOB HATE — campus, anti-war radicals, ACORN, eco-extremists, & unions
    VI. OPEN-BORDERS HATE
    VII. ANTI-MILITARY HATE
    VIII. HATE: CRIMES — the ever-growing Unhinged Mugshot Collection

    To say there’s more hate on the right than on the left is laughable. You can see the details here:

    http://michellemalkin.com/2011/01/10/the-progressive-climate-of-hate-an-illustrated-primer-2000-2010/

  115. filistro says:

    @GROG… You don’t think “the right” disagrees with Obama’s policies or his plan for the country?

    Of course they do. They disagree with his plans and policies because they are generic Democratic ideas… the kind that woudl be advanced by ANY Democratic president. Obama is not even all that left-leaning. (If he were, he wouldn’t have aroused the furious, implacable anger of the entire far left in this country.)

    But, since Republicans are reluctant to admit they want to bring down a duly elected president just because he is a Democrat, they instead resort to all kinds of nomenclature nonsense… calling Obama a socialist, Marxist, Nazi, tyrant, Muslim, illegal alien, liar, imposter… you name it.

    When truth is, they hate him simply for being a Democrat.

    It’s shameful, it’s wrong, and it’s dangerous.

  116. Mr. Universe says:

    I do not want anyone to stop posting. I do get tired of the one-liner insult bombs being lobbed into my house in an attempt to goad others into a flame war. That is not ‘reasonable political discourse’ and many of my guests are put off by it. I am recieving e-mails from people who refuse to return because of it. That’s not how I envision the future of this blog.

  117. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Grog,

    Why don’t YOU take some time to do some research YOURSELF? Google. Bing. Whatever. Instead of depending on wingers with a agenda to pitch already.

  118. GROG says:

    @fili,

    So you think “the right wing” dislikes Democrats because of their ideas and policies or they dislike their ideas and polices because they’re Democrats?

    @Max,

    You mean like the salon.com link from above? Because clearly that’s not a leftwinger site with an agenda, right?

  119. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    I would be interested to hear from our resident conservative folk. It may call for a bit of conjecture on your part. But, please answer, as best you can in a reasoned response:

    Why, if she did NOT think there was a POTENTIAL causal effect, direct on not, then why, after EIGHT/NINE MONTHS did Palin JUST NOW immediately after the AZ shootings, take down the crosshairs post AND state that “those weren’t crosshairs, those were surveyor’s marks”? Wasn’t the election over 2-1/2 MONTHS ago? Wasn’t there criticism 8/9 months ago about the “crosshairs” THEN? How did they JUST NOW become “surveyor’s marks?

    Just as an exercise in cause and effect, I respectfully would like to hear your answers.

    Thank you.

  120. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Not playing your game, GROG. Just asking a simple question.

  121. filistro says:

    @GROG… So you think (a)“the right wing” dislikes Democrats because of their ideas and policies or (b) they dislike their ideas and polices because they’re Democrats?

    An interesting question. Of course logic, reason and commonsense would dictate the answer must be (a)… right?

    But in the light of facts like this… a whole list of policies Republicans once supported and now oppose… I’d have to say the answer is (b).

    The right wing seems to dislike a whole lot of good ideas and policies simply because they come from Democrats.

  122. hmm, speaking of free speech/censorship ~ posts are disappearing and being moderated after the fact in this thread …

    Some of that may be my fault, but it’s not on purpose. I’m having some minor issues on my phone reader.

  123. Mule,

    The title of the piece is “WHEN ZOMBIES WIN.” For the umpteenth time, ideas DO NOT win (or lose) anything.

    You may not be aware of this, but the titles of articles (at least in the MSM) are rarely written by the authors of the articles’ content. Even here, the titles are frequently written by someone other than the author.

  124. Jean says:

    Max,

    re: Why, if she did NOT think there was a POTENTIAL causal effect, direct on not, then why, after EIGHT/NINE MONTHS did Palin JUST NOW immediately after the AZ shootings, take down the crosshairs post AND state that “those weren’t crosshairs, those were surveyor’s marks”?

    Everyone knows that a website with surveyor symbols should be scrubbed immediately upon the news of a shooting at an opposition party’s political event. It goes without saying.

  125. shiloh says:

    I do not want anyone to stop posting. I do get tired of the one-liner insult bombs being lobbed into my house in an attempt to goad others into a flame war. That is not ‘reasonable political discourse’ and many of my guests are put off by it. I am recieving e-mails from people who refuse to return because of it. That’s not how I envision the future of this blog.

    ?!?

    hmm, Waaaahhhh! :::sniffle::: Waaaahhhh! ~ BDP’s original

    Asswipes all. ~ BDP’s original

    Bart do you never get tired of being an asshole? ~ Mainer’s original

    Interesting MR used the ‘F’ word 25/26 times in a reply to me and it was not deleted. Let me repeat, it was not deleted! as it appears 538’s so-called moderators have a consistency problem, eh.

    One of my deleted posts today ~ from memory.

    btw, my last comment was 11:11 on 1/11/11

    Like Bill Murray in Caddyshack, I will receive total consciousness.

    apologies for mentioning Bill Murray and Caddyshack …

    If I was a die hard conservative, I could w/out hesitation truthfully say this blog is run by a small groups of liberal elites who think their shit don’t stink, so much so that they delete posts w/out any explanation. And like Olbermann, I don’t take myself all that seriously, again unlike the small group of smug folk who run this site.

    Sorry I rained on your parade …

    and the truth shall set you free ~ ciao

  126. The right wing seems to dislike a whole lot of good ideas and policies simply because they come from Democrats.

    This is that football game issue. If it’s going to move the ball forward for the other team, it’s bad, period. I’ve seen it on the left as well, though from where I sit it doesn’t seem as severe as it is from the right. That is, I don’t recall seeing a case where Democrats supported a particular position only until Republicans tried to pass it while they held one or more of the branches of government.

    If it happened, I’d like someone to point it out to me, I’d like to see it. Jim Crow stuff doesn’t count.

  127. GROG says:

    @fili,

    Interesting article and a couple thoughts:

    1) There’s a difference in “the right” as DC said and “politicians” who change their positions depending on the political climate. To save their jobs in November many Republicans had to flip flop. (Politicians are sleazy.)
    2) There are many examples of the same thing on the left. Take for example this Paul Krugman article from 2001 in which he says “Given that the Bush tax cut wasn’t designed to fight a recession, it’s no surprise that it isn’t working.” He later noted that Larry Summers (Obama’s former chief economic adviser) opposed Bush’s lower tax rates as he claimed it wouldn’t help the recession the economy was then in. Then in December 2010 Larry Summers said “To pass this bill in the next couple of weeks would materially increase the risk that the economy would stall out and we would have a double dip.”

    So in 2001 the Bush tax cuts were bad under Bush. In 2010 the Bush tax cuts were good under Obama.

    There are numerous examples I could post if I had the time. It happens on both sides.

  128. filistro says:

    GROG… sure, there are examples on both sides of legislative hanky-panky and cynical political expediency. It’s how the game is played.

    But when you say the right wing hates Obama not because he’s a Democrat but “because of his ideas and policies,” when many of Obama’s “ideas and policies”… from cap and trade, to individual mandate in health care, to immigration reform…. are ideas that originated with Republicans… well, that’s just too much for anybody to swallow. It really is.

  129. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Still no conservative rational basis for the timing of the Palin “response” over the “crosshairs” post.

    Waiting . . .

  130. Jean says:

    The defensiveness of the right’s counterattack says all that needs to be said about how uncomfortable they are with their own recent history.

    As George Packer of the New Yorker points out “But it won’t do to dig up stray comments by Obama, Allen Grayson, or any other Democrat who used metaphors of combat over the past few years, and then try to claim some balance of responsibility in the implied violence of current American politics. (Most of the Obama quotes that appear in the comments were lame attempts to reassure his base that he can get mad and fight back, i.e., signs that he’s practically incapable of personal aggression in politics.) In fact, there is no balance—none whatsoever.

    Only one side has made the rhetoric of armed revolt against an oppressive tyranny the guiding spirit of its grassroots movement and its midterm campaign. Only one side routinely invokes the Second Amendment as a form of swagger and intimidation, not-so-coyly conflating rights with threats. Only one side’s activists bring guns to democratic political gatherings. Only one side has a popular national TV host who uses his platform to indoctrinate viewers in the conviction that the President is an alien, totalitarian menace to the country. Only one side fills the AM waves with rage and incendiary falsehoods. Only one side has an iconic leader, with a devoted grassroots following, who can’t stop using violent imagery and dividing her countrymen into us and them, real and fake. Any sentient American knows which side that is; to argue otherwise is disingenuous.”

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/georgepacker/2011/01/tucson-revisited.html

  131. Number Seven says:

    Today’s right wing, on the other hand, is engaged in a pervasive pattern of intimidation and of actual violence in an attempt to bring down a President merely because he is a Democrat.

    Yes GROG, I believe this. Not only that (and I only speak for myself), I think we should treat the right wing like the bullies they act like. And yes, that means smacking you down from time to time.

    Do I advocate bullets? To paraphrase some of the Tea Baggers, ‘not yet’. Most bullies actually quit when publically humiliated, when the crowd turns against them.

    This is why I fully support programs like Maddow and Olbermann who use pure humiliation against the bullies of the Public Con party. They use it so well that the Trite Wing makes false equalvalencies between the way they act and the way O’liely and the Beckster act.

  132. Monotreme says:

    @Max,

    While you’re waiting, let’s see how this goes over.

  133. GROG says:

    @fili,

    1) Cap and Trade: You’re talking about some Republican lawyer in the 1980’s and John McCain, and Lindsey Graham. Hardly representative of “the right wing”.

    2) Immigration Reform: “McCain, McConnell, Graham, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Bob Bennett of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine,
    Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Sam Brownback of Kansas and George Voinovich of Ohio” are hardly representative of “the right wing”.

    3)Individual Mandate: Four current Senators, Hatch, Charles Grassley of Iowa, Robert Bennett of Utah and Christopher Bond of Missouri are hardly representative of “the right wing”.

    These people are not a who’s who of the conservative “right wing” movement. In fact most are some of the most liberal members of the Republican party. You can always find examples of a handful of politicians who vote differently on certain issues.

  134. filistro says:

    GROG… now I’m really confused. John McCain was your presidential nominee in the last election. Mitt Romney… who actually created the first state health care plan with an individual mandate.. is currently the frontrunner to be your nominee in the next election. But you airily dismiss them both as being “hardly right wing.”

    So… you’re saying the people who have been (or are likely to be) nominated to lead your party are also people who are going to be hated by most of the party for their “ideas and policies” just as much as Barack Obama is hated?

    You know… call me crazy… but I really don’t think that bodes too well for your future electoral success.

  135. Monotreme says:

    No true Scotsman would be for the individual mandate.

    GROG, if you think ex-Senator Bob Bennett is “liberal”, you are seriously deluded.

    Before blurting out that kind of nonsense, why not research their rankings with (say) the American Conservative Union?

    http://www.conservative.org/congress-ratings/

  136. filistro says:

    Treme… LOL! You’re right… it’s a classic example of the “no true Scotsman” fallacy!

    How did I miss that? 🙂

  137. GROG says:

    Jean,

    Of course George Packer is going to write that. He’s a far leftwing partisan. Just because the left continues to repeat “the right’s rhetoric is stronger than the left’s” doesn’t make it true, no matter how often they repeat it.

    The exploitative reaction by the left to this tragedy speaks volumes. They will do anything to stop the conservative movement in this country. They need to stop this rhetoric. They’re whipping the people up into a frenzy with this talk.

  138. Monotreme says:

    GROG,

    Do you read what you post? Pete Kent would be proud of you today.

  139. GROG says:

    fili,

    Why did you put “hardly right wing” in quotes? I never said that. I said those people are not representative of “the right wing”. I wish you wouldn’t misquote me.

    You can’t take the votes of a few people on a few bills and say those people and those votes represent the entire right wing.

    Btw, I hope McCain and Romney are not the future of the Republican Party

    Monotreme,

    I didn’t say Bob Bennett is a liberal. Unbelievable.

  140. Monotreme says:

    GROG said:

    I didn’t say Bob Bennett is a liberal. Unbelievable.

    Unbelievable indeed.

    Okay, because I’m a fair guy, let’s turn this around. You said, after listing some legislators,

    In fact most are some of the most liberal members of the Republican party.

    Which ones of those you listed are you including in this statement?

  141. filistro says:

    @GROG… Why did you put “hardly right wing” in quotes?

    Because you said (not once but three times) that these people are “hardly representative of the right wing.” If that means something significantly different than “hardly right wing” I must apologize for using quotes… but I’m afraid the subtlety still escapes me.

  142. Bartbuster says:

    Blocking Shiloh’s posts while letting a lying fascist scumbag like Bart post anything he wants is the most idiotic thing I have ever heard.

  143. Jean says:

    GROG,

    Re: The exploitative reaction by the left to this tragedy speaks volumes. They will do anything to stop the conservative movement in this country. They need to stop this rhetoric. They’re whipping the people up into a frenzy with this talk.

    It has NOTHING to do whatever with the “conservative movement” you are referring to. Actually, whipping folks into a frenzy is the bailiwick of the radical right-wing crowd. The rest of us, the other hand, have an opportunity to educate folks and the heart-breaking event in Tucson, as well as the right-wing response, is an opportunity to educate Americans. And that is what we will do. You, GROG, can choose to be part of the solution or be part of the problem. It’s your choice.

  144. Bart DePalma says:

    For you global warming co-religionists, there is now snow in every state but Hawaii.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/11/snow-in-49-states-map_n_807741.html

    I wonder how many record cold temperatures were set over the past week east of the Mississippi?

  145. dcpetterson says:

    GROG asked:
    You don’t think “the right” disagrees with Obama’s policies or his plan for the country? You think the only reason they don’t like him is because he’s a Democrat? Really?

    Yes.

    This has been shown, time and again. The Republicans will make a suggestion in Congress. Obama will say it’s a good idea. The Democrats incorporate that idea into evolving legislation. The Republicans vote against it.

    The Republicans not only vote against the final piece of legislation. They even vote against the amendments that would insert their ideas into the legislation.

    They vote against legislation they themselves proposed only months previously.

    Republicans in Congress have shown a willingness to vote against nearly anything, even their own suggestions — if Obama and the Democrats embrace those suggestions.

    It is really hard to see this as anything other than opposition simply because they oppose Democrats.

    Perhaps there are other reasons for this blanket opposition of Obama as well. I know you reject the idea of racism. But it clearly isn’t merely policy, since the Republicans have voted against their own policies when Obama agrees with them.

  146. Realist says:

    @Bart,
    I know you have serious problems with reading comprehension, but this article was about the shooting in Arizona. Not a single mention anywhere about the weather, or climate. Given that there are several articles on this site devoted to climate change, don’t pollute this one.

  147. dcpetterson says:

    GROG
    So in 2001 the Bush tax cuts were bad under Bush. In 2010 the Bush tax cuts were good under Obama.

    You forget that the economy was significantly different in 2001 than it was in 2010. Different economic conditions require different approaches.

    In 2001, we had a huge Federal surplus. A tax cut at that time would (and did) eliminate the opportunity to keep paying down the debt. There were a number of other short-term and long-term difficulties that it would (and did) cause, including the main factor leading to the enormous Bush defict, and a contributing factor in the worldwide economic implosion of 2008.

    In contrast, in 2010, the main problem is that consumers do not have money to spend to drive up demand sop that companies will begin to invest the $2 trillion they’re sitting on, in order to increase production and create jobs. A tax cut now (for the middle class) will help to provide consumers more cash (although a massive jobs program would help more).

    Again, in short — the conditions are vastly different 9 years later. The effects of any actoin would also be expected to be different.

    Notice too — in both cases, you (correctly) referred to this as “the Bush tax cut.” The willingness of someone like Krugman to support a Republican idea, when conditions are right for that idea to be implemented, proves he does not oppose Republican ideas simply because they are Republican ideas.

  148. fopplssiegeparty says:

    Bart, you fail to realize that the mountain ranges in North America run predominantly north-south. This allows cold air from the north and warm air from the south to travel across much more latitude than just about any other land mass on the planet. That and weather does not equal climate.

  149. Bartbuster says:

    For you global warming co-religionists, there is now snow in every state but Hawaii.

    Numbnuts, almost every month in 2010 was the warmest ever recorded.

  150. dcpetterson says:

    @Bart
    For you global warming co-religionists, there is now snow in every state but Hawaii.

    As the Earth warms, more moisture evaporates from oceans into teh atmosphere. That means there is more moisture to fall to Earth, in the form of rain or hail or snow. It is currently winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The United States occupies a good part of the middle of the North American Continent. The middle on continents is a good place to get snow. Having snow in every one of the States (other than Hawaii) is not only consistent with, but predicted by, the Global Climate Change models.

    You might do well to read up a bit on climatology.

  151. drfunguy says:

    @Grog
    “The exploitative reaction by the left to this tragedy speaks volumes.”
    Apparently you have forgotten that we were pointing out the hateful and violent rhetoric from your side long ago. Even last week I asked for examples from the prominent left that match Coulter or Liddy. Months ago too. And today. Still none.
    Because it is readily apparent that the level of hate and violence from the spokespeople of the right is of a different qualitiy than that from the left.
    And
    “Of course George Packer is going to write that. He’s a far leftwing partisan.”
    This from the guy who just pointed us to Michelle Malkin as a source of ‘information’.
    The mind boggles.

  152. shiloh says:

    Blocking Shiloh’s posts while letting a lying fascist scumbag like Bart post anything he wants is the most idiotic thing I have ever heard.

    Thanx bb, but 538Refugees reality: without Bartles, there is no back and forth political discussion as he is the only current winger who is somewhat entertaining, by default. And although there is no rationality to anything he says, it is what it is.

    It’s more hilarious they continue to pander to MR when he would not last (2) hours at any blog which had enforceable rules/regulations. Kinda sad really.

    Indeed, if Bart wasn’t here it would be a total liberal circle jerk and even w/him as he’s basically a whipping boy, but as mentioned earlier in this thread, you can reply to him in any way, shape or fame and he’ll still be here regardless ~ he’s addicted!

    Again, 538 is unique: no membership requirement, no rules just various powers that be who play god on any particular day. And basically this forum is more of a diary to me since no one replies to my posts anyway lol as again, 538 has a tight group of elite, self-righteous folk at the top running the show …

  153. dcpetterson says:

    Bart, perhaps I misunderstood you. If so, I apologize.

    You say that Teapers have never advocated violence. How would you interpret this quote from Sharron Angle: “if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies” ?

    Your own statement seemed to allow that “Second Amendment remedies” might be on the table in some circumstances — but not so long has you have access to elections and the courts. Is that correct? If so, there’s no reason to even mention “Second Amendment remedies,” because there is no move afoot to abolish either elections or the courts — Correct?

    Which means also that your talk of “tyranny,” “totalitarianism,” “authoritarianism,” and all that other bunk, is, at best, a joke, and, at worst, intentionally inflammatory hyperbole. Correct? Because nothing anyone has suggested would move America away from a system of fair and open elections, and impartial courts. Correct?

  154. Mr. Universe says:

    Blocking Shiloh’s posts while letting a lying fascist scumbag like Bart post anything he wants is the most idiotic thing I have ever heard.

    Then start your own blog.

    This from someone with the moniker BartBuster. Look, I get it. You hate Bart. You hate Mule. It is uneccessary to be reminded of it every ten posts. But that little blurb up in the corner says ‘Reasonable Political Discourse’. Calling conservatives ‘poopyheads’ doesn’t qualify. I’m running a political blog, not kindergarten. And I actually don’t mind letting Bart make a fool of himself. Such as follows:

    For you global warming co-religionists, there is now snow in every state but Hawaii.

    Nice job of once again illustrating how obtuse and ignorant of climate change you can be, Bart. I hope you’re happy that I take a reaming protecting your first amendment rights, douchebag. It’s fucking 10 degrees hotter than ever at the poles. The avg. mean temps move 3 degrees of latitude northward every year. Filistro can make a killing in Canadian real estate in 10 years at that rate.

    You guys play nice before I send you all to your rooms.

  155. Mr. Universe says:

    And it’s Florida that doesn’t have snow. Mauna Kea gets snow every year.

  156. Number Seven says:

    And that folks is entertainment. Leave it to Bartoinette to even get the current weather situation incorrect. BTW, in Seattle, it is snowing and I can’t wait to see the next issue of The Stranger. Thanks for the heads up, Monotreme.

    Mr. U, now you know what you have gotten yourself into 🙂

    I used to post alot at another site that wanted reasonable discourse. It also adverstised ‘no moderation’ and I think you can guess the result. Over a thousand ‘members’ but only the usual suspects posting. The same flame wars day after day after day….

    Sadly, I just don’t know if it is possible anymore to have a reasonable discourse and I don’t know the solution. If our leaders can’t act in a reasonable manner, why should we?

    The bombs being thrown by those of us on the left are a mear fraction of what has been bombarding us for three decades. And then they have the nerve to think three decades of demonizing a political party as traitors and worse won’t have some effect. Next thing they will be saying is advertising is a waste of money.

    We are a tired, beat down, frustrated lot. Our leaders are not fighting back the way we think they should, in even the smallest fraction, except for the occasional Greyson or Sanders. Obama trys to play this game of being the last reasonable man and gets ragged on by both sides.

    I would like to see us get organized and take some lessons from the Trite Wing (BANG). It is the one thing they really do well, and even admiting they do anything well makes me vomit a little in my mouth. I would love to see us flood the town hall meetings of the Public Cons (BANG) and yell and scream like they did a couple of summers ago. Big signs saying ‘IT HAS BEEN THREE MONTHS, WERE ARE THE JOBS’ or similar slogans easy for the corporate media to digest.

    Anyways, sorry to be off topic and two gin and tonics rambling. I really like this site and I hope you keep it up dispite the frustrations of us bomb throwers. I’ll try to keep my bomb throwing on FDL 😉 Speaking of which.

    I think one of the reasons we have to deal with the Barts is that most on the right just cant handle smart liberals who know how to do a little research and can easily refudiate, lol, their crap. At least Bart can take his punches.

  157. GROG says:

    Monotreme said: GROG, if you think ex-Senator Bob Bennett is “liberal”, you are seriously deluded.

    Before blurting out that kind of nonsense, why not research their rankings with (say) the American Conservative Union?

    OK. The ACU had Bennett as the 9th most liberal Republican in the Senate in 2008.

    1. Olympia Snowe, Maine: (ACU Rating: 12)

    2. Susan Collins, Maine: 20

    3. Arlen Specter, PA: 42 (Only 10 points higher than Mary Landrieu’s 32)

    4. George Voinovich, OH: 52

    5. Lisa Murkowski, AL: 58

    6. Mel Martinez, FL: 60

    7. John McCain, AZ: 63

    8. Richard Lugar, Ind: 63

    9. Robert Bennett, UT: 64

    10. Thad Cochran, Miss: 68

  158. Bart DePalma says:

    Apparently, folks aren’t as gullible as the Dems had hoped when they launched this blood libel:

    http://reason.com/blog/2011/01/11/57-of-americans-think-tone-of

  159. Monotreme says:

    Sarah Palin just used the term “blood libel” in her latest Facebook post.

    I gotta hand it to you guys, you sure know how to copy and paste from each other.

  160. OK. The ACU had Bennett as the 9th most liberal Republican in the Senate in 2008.

    So 25% of all Republicans are now ‘liberal’?

  161. They will do anything to stop the conservative movement in this country. They need to stop this rhetoric. They’re whipping the people up into a frenzy with this talk.

    “They will do anything to stop the progressive movement in this country. They need to stop this rhetoric. They’re whipping the people up into a frenzy with this talk.”

    Sounds like the Tea Party during the 2008 elections. That’s the point. How can you possibly say that pointing out the terrible rhetoric is somehow worse than the rhetoric that has been spewed for years. Hypocritical much?

  162. Monotreme says:

    No true Scotsman would be the 9th most liberal Scotsman in the data that I cherry-picked.

    (Pro tip: try using lifetime ratings, instead of one year’s rating.)

  163. filistro says:

    electrovibe, I’ve been reading your posts and have decided you are a great addition to this site 🙂

    Welcome!

  164. GROG says:

    fili said:
    If that means something significantly different than “hardly right wing” I must apologize for using quotes… but I’m afraid the subtlety still escapes me.

    I you didn’t think it meant something significantly different you wouldn’t have changed my words around. You would have used my actual quote.

    I don’t think you can take the votes of a handful of Congresspersons (many who are quite liberal) on a handful issues and use that to make the sweeping conclusion that the entire right wing dislikes Obama only because he’s a Democrat.

    I don’t think I’m making an unreasobable point although Monotreme thinks that makes me like Pete Kent.

  165. Monotreme says:

    fili said:

    electrovibe, I’ve been reading your posts and have decided you are a great addition to this site

    So say we all.

  166. Monotreme says:

    @GROG:

    What makes you like Pete Kent is that you don’t seem to actually be reading what you’re posting.

    For example, calling both of the conservative Republican senators from the second-reddest state in the Union “liberal”.

  167. filistro says:

    GROG.. okay, I give in.

    The “right wing” doesn’t hate Obama because he’s a Democrat. They hate him because he refuses to govern as if he were a Republican.

    There. We’re done.

    (Whew. I need a hug.)

  168. electrovibe, I’ve been reading your posts and have decided you are a great addition to this site

    Welcome!

    Thanks fili! It has been very welcoming here and I like the discussion.

  169. Monotreme says:

    @fili:

    The “right wing” doesn’t hate Obama because he’s a Democrat. They hate him because he refuses to govern as if he were a Republican.

    Or a true Scotsman.

  170. shortchain says:

    Words mean whatever he wants them to mean when Humpty-Dumpty, er, Bart, uses them.

    What do we expect from someone who doesn’t know the difference between weather and climate?

    Which brings me to the issues at hand. Dumping more energy into a sealed container raises the pressure. That’s one analogy. Another one, which is more accurate, is to observe that both the weather on this planet and the society of this country are chaotic systems. When you put more energy into a chaotic system, you don’t necessarily get the same chaos but at a different point of equilibrium — you instead will very likely get more extreme chaotic behavior.

    Here’s an explanation of chaotic equilibrium.

    In the case of society, this means you don’t necessarily get the same swings of 5-6 percent of the electorate moving from voting for one party to the other every 4-6 years, except (as some would want) centered farther to the right. Instead, you get 8-10 percent swinging every 2-3 years. Instead of an occasional broken window or defaced lawn sign, you get people showing up at political rallies armed, a lot of other people staying away because of that. You get people using violent imagery and hyperbolic speech — and who knows what effect that might have?

  171. Bart DePalma says:

    Monotreme says: Sarah Palin just used the term “blood libel” in her latest Facebook post. I gotta hand it to you guys, you sure know how to copy and paste from each other.

    I credited Professor Glenn Reynolds for the original use. Blood libel is an archaic legal term which I had forgotten. However, it legally and emotionally describes this defamation for political gain perfectly.

    Palin also issued a video on Youtube commemorating the victims and launching a counterattack on her Dem attackers.

  172. Monotreme says:

    Well put, shortchain.

  173. filistro says:

    @Bart… Blood libel is an archaic legal term

    “Archaic legal term!” LOL… Bart, you are just so cute.

    What gets me is the TIMING of Palin’s latest “you meanies stop picking on poor little me!” narcissistic wallow.

    Today of all days, when the Arizona memorial services are literally underway. The stupidity is breathtaking.

    Picture a group of sorrowing children sobbing in the playground as they bury Fluffy under a tree. Then picture Palin, the ringleader of the gang of nasty kids who have been chucking rocks at Fluffy for months. She is standing outside the playground fence yelling, “Don’t blame ME! I didn’t do it! Besides, you’re all poopy heads!”

    Nate is right. This woman really, really needs some better advisors.

  174. Mr. Universe says:

    “Job killing Health Care Plan”

    There. I said it before Bart. Now can we move on?

  175. GROG says:

    Monotreme said: (Pro tip: try using lifetime ratings, instead of one year’s rating.)

    OK. I did the work for you.

    According to ACU’s latest Senate ratings, Bennett ranked as the 14th most liberal Republican in terms of lifetime record.

    And btw, the following are also in the top 14 of the most liberal Republicans in terms of lifetime ratings:

    McCain
    Murkowski
    Voinovich
    Snowe
    Collins
    Bond
    Gregg
    Lugar
    Grassley

    So 10 of the 14 most liberal Republicans were the flip flopped. Not very representative of the right wing.

  176. mclever says:

    So he was the 14th-most-liberal.

    Ordinals don’t tell scale.

    If the top three scorers on a basketball team average 23.1, 22.2, and 19.9 points respectively, but the next highest scorer only averages 6 points per game, then being ranked 4th or 5th on that team doesn’t make you a high scorer.

    The fact that Grassley is in that list of “most liberal” shows just how quickly the Republicans move from “liberal” to “conservative” in the Senate. Being ranked 14th doesn’t mean much when there are only three or four Republican Senators who could legitimately carry the “moderate” or “moderate-liberal” label.

  177. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili:

    Palin is preaching to the choir of voters who see through the blood libel. See the poll to which I linked above. Rasmussen just came out with similar results today.

  178. filistro says:

    Bart.. do you KNOW what “blood libel” actually means? Did you bother to look it up?

    Once again you embarrass yourself. (In fact, I am embarrassed on your behalf.)

  179. dcpetterson says:

    A list of the 18 best selling books of all time puts one book (“A Tale of Two Cities”) over 200 million copes. The second-highest (“Lord of the Rings”) is over 150 million. The next four are between 100 and 150 million. The next 12 are under 100 million. Nothing else is over 50 million. The dropoff is very steep.

    Let’s also compare the voting records of the 14 “most liberal” Republicans with the voting records of the 14 “most liberal” Democrats. Or even the 14 “most conservative” Democrats. You’ll find someone in the 7 – 14 range for the Republicans is still pretty damn conservative.

    Finding the “most liberal Republicans” is like looking for the “least spicy Habanero peppers.”

  180. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart, GROG, Mule Rider:

    STILL waiting for a reasoned discourse on the WHY of the timing of the take down and “surveyors marks” concerning the “Crosshairs’ Palin post.

    Just curious for a conservative perspective.

    Been best part of a full day now since my polite request.

    Meanwhile, y’all just go on and on.

  181. shiloh says:

    OK Bart, you got me as I left Porkulus off my list yesterday of silly/juvenile/childish winger troll expressions.

    My bad!

    Repeating:

    And blood slander/blood libel must be John Fund/Frank Luntz/limbo/wingers new cause célèbre deflection er words/phrases of the day …

    We’re makin’ progress ~ stay the course ~ supporting the troops ~ uniter, not a divider ~ benchmarks ~ you’re either w/us or against us ~ freedom fries ~ Obama care ~ mavericky 😛 ~ family values ~ activist judge ~ socialized medicine ~ limousine liberal ~ birther ~ death panels ~ they’re gonna take away our guns ~ illegal aliens/immigrant ~ bailout ~ 9/11 oh the irony! ~ terrorists ~ I’m not a witch 😀 ~ refudiate ~ held hostage ~ ground zero mosque ~ death tax ~ marriage penalty ~ we’re fighting them over there, so we don’t have to fight them here ~ mama grizzly ~ fair and balanced ~ giving aid and comfort to the enemy ~ Hitler ~ I don’t recall ~ islamofascists ~ wealth distributor ~ liberal media ~ pro-business/family/life ~ states’ rights ~ civil liberties ~ strict constructionist ~ and my personal fave statist.

    Bart, don’t wingers look rather silly when they use these deflecting absurdities ?!? Rhetorical question.

    >

    and again, as regards to baiting: Truly, Bart would bait himself in order to keep posting at 538 …

  182. Bartbuster says:

    Then start your own blog.

    I could, but it would not change the fact that blocking Shiloh’s posts is idiotic.

  183. shortchain says:

    Speaking of literate references (oh, we weren’t? Then this is off-topic), I’d just like to say that Bart reminds me far more of Grima than Sidney Carton.

    He’s obviously pushing the “blood libel” idiocy as hard as he can on the theory that people will hear “blood” and “libel” and not understand what the term actually means. Standard Luntz tactic. They must have been working the focus groups overtime over the last several days to find a frame they could hang around this tragedy that would exclude their being in any way perceived as culpable.

  184. Bartbuster says:

    But that little blurb up in the corner says ‘Reasonable Political Discourse’.

    That’s pretty funny. How many years do you plan to wait for Bart to attempt some reasonable discourse?

  185. shiloh says:

    Again thanx bb as let the record show I have one supporter at 538 lol having worn out my welcome some time ago.

    and all of you who prefer to stay in the closet 😉 it’s ok …

  186. filistro says:

    @shortchain… They must have been working the focus groups overtime over the last several days to find a frame they could hang around this tragedy that would exclude their being in any way perceived as culpable.

    BINGO!!!

    Unfortunately for them, this is one that even the genius of Luntz will be unable to fix. Think ahead a few weeks. After all this has died down, reality will set in. Gun language and imagery in politics (plus all incendiary hate rhetoric) is going to be unacceptable for a long time.

    And Sarah Palin’s electoral prospects will be as spoiled and stinky as last week’s potato salad.

    I’ll bet there are also some anxious moments down at NRA headquarters right now as they debate how to spin all this.

  187. GROG says:

    DC,

    “Liberal” is a relative term. I used it relative to the Republican Party. The Republicans fili was referring to based on her link, are some of the most liberal in the Republican party. Those handful of people are not representative of the entire “right wing”. Why are guys have such a difficult time comprehending that?

  188. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    So, if individual responsibility, as illustrated by the “mandate”, isn’t a goal representative of the “right wing”, what is?

    Either the “right wing” represents some coherent political philosophy in which case you should be able to elucidate it (or show us where it is explained) or it’s a random collection of knee-jerk reactions, in which case it’s as correct to call the “mandate” a “conservative” idea (which it was — some of were alive and aware when it was proposed by the conservatives in response to the other proposals of that time).

    So which is it? Coherent or random? And if it’s coherent, show us where it’s explained — because I don’t see it. All I see is pretty much mindless reaction to anything Obama proposes.

  189. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    GROG would not “less conservative” be more accurate?

    Still waiting. Give it a try. Why so long???

    Y’all know that if SOMEBODY doesn’t come up with a rational reason for the Palin “crosshair” post takedown/”surveyors’s mark” episode, then among EVERYBODY, outside her very limited base, Sarah will be going down faster than a $5 Tijuana hooker.

  190. GROG says:

    shortchain said: All I see is pretty much mindless reaction to anything Obama proposes.

    I remember thinking the exact same thing during the Bush years. Democrats opposed everything he stood for. Remember the surge? It didn’t matter how right Bush was, Democrats were going to mindlessly oppose it. Still to this day, Democrats have a hard time admitting the surge was the correct call.

    The idea that an individual be forced by law to purchase insurance is not in any way shape or form a conservative idea. I don’t care what Hatch, Grassley, Bennett or Christopher Bond may have said or done at some point in the past.

  191. Grog, the surge was opposed because most democrats wanted out completely, not because it was proposed by Bush. It’s being intellectually dishonest to say otherwise.

    Do you have any examples of a bill that was originally proposed by democrats, but then when voting came around for it all democrats then voted against it simply because it was proposed by republicans? Something like the health care bill (mostly republican), or the stimulus plans (many republican ideas proposed by republicans, who then voted against it) or one of the many bills that have gone through the past 2 years? I’m truly curious.

  192. GROG says:

    OK Max. I’ll try to give you some attention now.

    1) Sarah Palin didn’t make the comment about surveyor’s marks. Some aide of her’s did on some podcast and she’s not even the one who brought it up. The host did.
    2) The host said this before the show…”Rebecca works for Governor Palin’s SarahPAC and while she joins me personally and not on behalf of the PAC, she does address the shocking effort by depraved liberals to somehow blame Governor Palin for today’s atrocity.”
    3) Don’t ya think Palin took the crosshairs map down after the leftwing mob started hurling their vitriol at her and outright blaming her for the shooting? Good God. Have you not been paying attention to the hateful crazies in the leftwing media the past few days? Palin is the most viciously attacked person on the planet. Of course she took it down. She probably fears for her and her family’s safety.

  193. Mule Rider says:

    “Bart, GROG, Mule Rider:

    STILL waiting…”

    Sorry, dude. Can’t speak for Bart or GROG, but as far as I’m concerned, you can just keep waiting. You won’t be hearing a response from me on that, or just about any other issue, in which you’re looking for a “conservative perspective.” This is just a heads-up for any future inklings you might get to want to engage me in discussion.

    I’ve found you to be very combative and confrontational to anything I (or Bart and GROG) say, no matter how innocuous it might seem. It’s like you’re more interested in picking a fight or engaging in a never-ending circle of sophistry with these “requests.”

    Two instances in the last couple of days tell me you just aren’t worth the time. One was your deflection about my critique of the Krugman/zombie issue yesterday and defending it by saying that editors usually come up with titles, not the authors. Lame, dude. Really lame. The other was you chastising GROG for linking to Michelle Malkin’s page cataloguing instances of left-wing hate/violence/nonsense and ordering him to research it on his own. Pathetic, man. Why should he have to when she’s done the work already? Why reinvent the wheel? Especially when you guys were linking to the Salon.com article for your own “one-stop shopping” on right-wing violence/rhetoric. Hypocrite much?

    Anyway, cut that kind of crap out and I’ll have a dialogue with you. Keep it up and I won’t waste my time….you’ll just get the treatment I give 2-3 others in here who show little/no semblance of rationality.

  194. Don’t ya think Palin took the crosshairs map down after the leftwing mob started hurling their vitriol at her and outright blaming her for the shooting? Good God. Have you not been paying attention to the hateful crazies in the leftwing media the past few days? Palin is the most viciously attacked person on the planet. Of course she took it down. She probably fears for her and her family’s safety.

    Don cha think that if the imagery wasn’t so distasteful it would still be up there, regardless of what the ‘leftwing media’ does or says? I thought she was all about ruffling liberal feathers anyway, this seems like a perfect opportunity, so why take it down and not make your stand against that mean ‘ol librul media.

  195. dcpetterson says:

    GROG
    Those handful of people are not representative of the entire “right wing”.

    No true Scotsman would vary even a dime from the Republican orthodoxy.

  196. dcpetterson says:

    shortchain said: All I see is pretty much mindless reaction to anything Obama proposes.

    GROG said: I remember thinking the exact same thing during the Bush years.

    Translation : You must be wrong, because I can misinterpret things your guys did to look similar.

  197. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    You may say: “I don’t care what Hatch, Grassley, Bennett or Christopher Bond may have said or done at some point in the past.”

    Unless you are Mitch McConnell, posting here under an assumed name, the people you name are among the leaders of the conservative side of the Congress, and have been for decades, why should we take your unsupported word about who is a conservative and who isn’t?

    After all, the people mentioned have done far more for the conservative cause than you have. I think they’re entitled to some respect from fellow conservatives.

  198. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Muley, and after I have recently complimented you for the “new” Mule, your comments surprise me! I am deeply hurt. And you KNOW how sensitive I am!

    On your first point: Sorry if you are not aware of the facts of publishing. I believe Mr U also pointed out the truth of my statement. But it IS a fact that the ‘working title’ of an authors work seldom becomes the published headline. Headline writing is generally the bailiwick of the Page Editor in most all newspapers or the General Editor elsewhere. It’s happened to me all the time. Nothing at all “lame” about my comment.

    On your second: You know beyond any doubt that spewing talking points, easily and lazily done, especially without doing any verification beforehand is NOT my cup of tea. That is NOT discourse, that is simply parroting. See: peer review.

    Ultimately I could care less if you should take up the challenge. I. personally, WOULD like very much to see Palin as the 2012 GOP presidential candidate. The actions of her webmasters/associates in re the “crosshairs” post and her video “response” of today, as I said on the other thread within the hour, mark today as the beginning of the end of her as a viable candidate. Perhaps should one of the conservative folks be able to put forth a rational reasoning for the post takedown, her credibility might have been saved. You may have been the one to make a cogent argument.

    As it is, the recent actions surrounding that post have all the subtle rationale of a cat covering a turd.

    But then her video shot down ANY hope for salvation. Her statement that the comments of the media and others questioning the poisonous atmosphere of the political arena this past year endangering her and other conservatives, while at the same time dismissing her and others’ comments as having no effect demonstrate inconsistency, rank hypocrisy and a tone deafness unsurpassed by any politician in my almost 50 years of experience.

    You may do as you wish, we all have that option. But when I see you make false or “lame” assertions, I WILL call out your comments.

    en garde!

  199. shiloh says:

    Mule Rider er Shots er shilohbuster er Michael er undeniable barted ~ very combative and confrontational ~ more interested in picking a fight ~ just aren’t worth the time ~ Hypocrite much?

    Again, given MR’s childish past 2+ years at 538, his irony level is now at condition red ~ severe!

    Everyone is immediately directed to start walking on the ceiling to evade Mule Rider’s BS! Take extreme precaution in avoiding this NBC er MR attack …

  200. filistro says:

    Now we have a suggestion from a serious politician that Dems and Reps should sit together for the State of the Union Address.

    I predict by the time this is all over, Sarah Palin and the Tea Party will be completely marginalized and reduced to tatters; the two parties will be working together on all kinds of legislation; and the last two years of wild political fury will be yesterday’s news.

    And President Obama’s approval ratings will be at 75%.

    Sadly… like a forest that needs regular fires in order to get rid of deadwood and maintain healthy growth… America seems to need regular outbreaks of tragedy to resolve its differences and move forward productively.

  201. Bartbuster says:

    I’ve found you to be very combative and confrontational to anything I (or Bart and GROG) say, no matter how innocuous it might seem. It’s like you’re more interested in picking a fight or engaging in a never-ending circle of sophistry with these “requests.”

    Coming from someone who has repeatedly threatened other posters, this is quite comical.

  202. Mr. Universe says:

    Conservatives will be glad to know that the Tea Party isn’t ust gunning for Democrats. Today, a GOP (and African American) official from Arizona resigned saying that the threats he’s been getting combined with Saturday’s event are causing him to fear for his family. There you have it. The Tea Party is officially a terrorist organization.

  203. filistro says:

    @Mr U… Today, a GOP (and African American) official from Arizona resigned saying that the threats he’s been getting combined with Saturday’s event are causing him to fear for his family.

    Actually, four AZ Republicans have just resigned out of fear of Teaper violence including Anthony Miller, a moderate black Republican whom the Tea Party charmingly refers to as “McCain’s boy.”

    One Tea Party member “made his hand into a gun and pointed it at me,” says Miller. That, coupled with phone threats to his family, caused Miller to resign, saying “I love my party, but not enough to take a bullet for it.”

  204. Mule Rider says:

    “On your first point: Sorry if you are not aware of the facts of publishing.”

    Sorry, that still doesn’t cut it, and I’m not about to excuse Krugman just because a page editor may have (we don’t know for sure, do we?) created the working title for him. He’s one of the most widely-read economic/political pundits today and a Nobel Prize winner. Whatever message is conveyed in his article titles is all on his shoulders, not some page editor. He’s a big boy. He’s aware of how is editorials are posted and exactly what kind of message he’s sending in them. Besides, and as I pointed out yesterday, even when he’s talking about “zombie” ideas, he clearly means to suggest that there are people who hold those ideas as true. And, to give you a quick lesson on language usage, if someone were to talk about “conservative ideas,” they would be insinuating that people who hold those ideas tend to be conservative. Krugman invoking the term “zombie ideas” is him calling the holder of those ideas zombies….which of and by itself isn’t that mean/nasty….but it is a childish insult for an esteemed Nobel prize winning economist.

    “On your second: You know beyond any doubt that spewing talking points…”

    What talking points? There was an entire list of events/acts that were well laid out with link, evidence, etc. Maybe one or two were questionable, but that doesn’t discount the veracity of all the others….again, if quoting that was so wrong and is nothing more than a “talking point,” then so is the Salon.com article. Again, you lose.

    “Coming from someone who has repeatedly threatened other posters, this is quite comical.”

    That was an old gig that I haven’t used in a very long time. I deeply regret acting like such a child when I’m capable of so much more.

  205. Mule Rider says:

    Sticks and stones, shiloh, sticks and stones….

    You can work yourself into a frenzy all you want with retorts/snarks and wannabe court jester mocking, and it won’t phase me at all.

    Give it your best shot…I really don’t care and by the near universal non-response you get from other posters here, I’d say most everyone else gives you pretty similar treatment.

  206. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    No true Scotsman would resign and bail out of the political arena just because of words by people of his own party!

  207. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Mule said: “ I deeply regret acting like such a child when I’m capable of so much more.

    After your last 3-4 comments, that now remains to be seen.

    GROG had nothing remotely useful to rationalize the Palin actions.
    You have a convenient excuse not to attempt.
    Bart remains silent on the subject.

    Perhaps there IS no rational basis that can be argued.

    Shame and shameful.

  208. shiloh says:

    Mule Rider er Shots er shilohbuster er Michael er undeniable barted ~ That was an old gig that I haven’t used in a very long time.

    hmm, just a couple months ago you used the ‘F’ word 25/26 times in one post as “kindergarten spoiled brats” were jealous.

    Bottom line Mule, you got no worries at 538 as Mr. U/fili and the rest of 538’s hierarchy have been pandering/apologizing for you the past 4/5 months ie you’re on their team dude ~ congrats!

    And it’s puzzling ?!? why the powers that be deleted my innocuous posts yesterday as it just called more attention to me, eh ~ Big mistake as what were they thinkin’

    Indeed as this has turned out to be my all-time favorite 538 thread, deleted posts notwithstanding lol. Go figure! btw, one of my deleted posts called Bartles an anarchist, which all things considered, is probably a compliment to him. 😛

    The truth really does set you free …

    take care

  209. dcpetterson says:

    The Tea Party is officially a terrorist organization.

    And Arizona officially harbors terrorists.

  210. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    I got a quarter (US) that says that over the next several national polls, Obama’s approval ratings will rise.

    And, corresponding to her rant today, that Sarah Palin’s approval ratings will sink below where they are now.

    Any takers???

  211. shortchain says:

    Max,

    I don’t think Sarah Palin’s approval will fall much. And neither do I think her negatives will rise very much. You can’t get blood out of a turnip, no matter how you libel it.

  212. filistro says:

    @shortchain… You can’t get blood out of a turnip, no matter how you libel it

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  213. Mr. Universe says:

    I got a quarter (US) that says that over the next several national polls, Obama’s approval ratings will rise.

    Already happening. Obama rose to 53% today.

  214. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    I believe last month’s NBC/WSJ poll had Obama-55 v Palin – 33.

    Hold on to that, let’s see what the next NBC poll says and then you can send me your two bits.

  215. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    blood . . . libel”

    NOW i get it!!!!!!

    Very good!

  216. shiloh says:

    Speaking of palin’s/Bartles blood slander/blood libel reply to the tragedy in AZ, Chucky T just mentioned the obvious ie it makes Obama’s job easier tonight as he will easily rise above the fray er scum of the earth palin’s pedestrian/pathetic response …

    >

    Just wanted to give everyone at 538, especially MR, another post to ignore …

    Don’t let me down!

  217. Jean says:

    Sarah Palin’s problem, which she is belatedly handling only now, and handling poorly at that is that Gabrielle Giffords comments way back in March in response to Sarah Palin’s cross-hairs were, “The way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. When people do that, they’ve gotta realize there’s consequences to that action.”

    Yes, indeed. There are consequences.

  218. dcpetterson says:

    Jean
    re: “The way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. When people do that, they’ve gotta realize there’s consequences to that action.”

    And that was the perfect opportunity for Palin to have corrected the false impression that it was a gunsight, and tell us all it was a surveyor’s tool. And yet, surprisingly, she didn’t.

  219. Jean says:

    DC,

    Surveyor’s symbols! Of course! Why didn’t we see it before? Given that Sarah Palin always poses with surveying equipment, and her slogan is “Don’t retreat, re-survey!”

  220. Bart DePalma says:

    Mono/Fili:

    A blood libel means a false accusation against a group of people for committing murder. It is a general term hardly limited to its medieval origins as an attack against the Jewish people. As Alan Dershowitz properly explained today:

    <I.The term “blood libel” has taken on a broad metaphorical meaning in public discourse. Although its historical origins were in theologically based false accusations against the Jews and the Jewish People,its current usage is far broader. I myself have used it to describe false accusations against the State of Israel by the Goldstone Report. There is nothing improper and certainly nothing anti-Semitic in Sarah Palin using the term to characterize what she reasonably believes are false accusations that her words or images may have caused a mentally disturbed individual to kill and maim. The fact that two of the victims are Jewish is utterly irrelevant to the propriety of using this widely used term..

    Meanwhile, the actual murderer’s fellow students reported that Loughner did not watch or listen to political news and could care less about it. Are you folks who launched this blood libel prepared to apologize and withdraw your defamations yet?

  221. shortchain says:

    Dershowitz is not the arbiter of what the words mean. Neither are you. Don’t expect an apology for anyone pointing out that Palin’s over-the-line imagery is over the line.

  222. drfunguy says:

    Bart,
    Are you prepared to substantiate alleged accusations of murder that you refer to as ‘blood libel’ yet?

  223. shortchain says:

    Oh, and Bart, GROG, et alii, are we supposed to ignore Sarah Palin’s hypocrisy about “blood libel”?

  224. drfunguy says:

    p.s. from today’s Guardian
    “The blood libel refers specifically to perhaps the most notorious verse in the Bible: Matthew 27:25, which has been used by some Christians to persecute Jews for nearly 2,000 years. That it should be used by an avowedly Christian politician about a Jewish one just takes crassness and insensitivity to a new level.”
    Blood libel-what does it mean? http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/12/blood-libel-sarah-palin-arizona

  225. filistro says:

    @Bart… Are you folks who launched this blood libel prepared to apologize and withdraw your defamations yet?

    I can’t speak for others, but I’m certainly not. And I would not have volunteered this opinion but since you insist on asking, I am forced to say I blame YOU, Bart De Palma, for this growing undercurrent of violence, as much as I blame Sarah Palin. Read the article to which we are responding, and think about it.

    People like you who go around spreading the lie that a duly elected government is somehow sinister, malign, or illegitimate…. you are the people who encourage an insurrectionist spirit in a nation, and encourage deranged individuals to take up arms and commit mayhem. You create division, insecurity, hatred and a lack of patriotism. You tear the fabric that holds a nation together.

    And you do it for nothing more meaningful than petty ideology and hope of personal gain.

    I find that really, truly despicable.

  226. shiloh says:

    Once again Barack Hussein Obama, America’s freely elected 44th President of the United States of America!, hits the ball out of the park w/his empathetic/intelligent/spiritual/uniting/healing/uplifting/presidential speech tonight ~ ‘nuf said!

  227. Mr. Universe says:

    That was indeed a moving memorial. I pulled a John Boehner a couple of times.

  228. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Me too, Mr U

  229. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Me too, Mr U

    Having lost a son, most every time they had a shot of Christina’s dad and, most unfortunately, knowing firsthand what he must be feeling inside.

  230. dcpetterson says:

    Bart, the over-the-top, irresponsible, obscenely inflammatory rhetoric of the insane right has got to stop.

    Or be continually ridiculed. I’m okay with that too.

    You’ve already indicated that you don’t mean a word of your vile and violent rhetoric. So we’ll start treating you as the clown you are.

    Bartles the Clown asked,
    Are you folks who launched this blood libel prepared to apologize and withdraw your defamations yet?

    As soon as you prove which of us is eating Christian babies, yes. Otherwise, we’ll sue you for defamation of character.

  231. shiloh says:

    Bart, I’m feeling a lot of progressive, empathetic love for you in this never ending under the influence thread …

    As you may have guessed, I’m really jealous and please, never change my blood slander/blood libel teabagger buddy!

    solo estoy diciendo

  232. Gainsbourg69 says:

    I almost crapped myself laughing when I read how Bart learned about the word blood libel. Hahahaha!!!! That quote of Dershowitz is classic. What’s hillarious is that he uses the word blood libel just like Palin does. Purely for shock value. Thanks for making everyones point for them Bart.

    Seriously, how do you guys believe that Bart is a lawyer? He strikes me as a lawyer groupie who never got into the trade but knows the lingo well enough to fool some people.

  233. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    I simply cannot believe the tone deafness of Speaker Boehner who, though being offered a seat on AF1 to make the trip to Tucson, declined so he could attend a previously planned RNC fundraiser.

    Totally unbelievable and supremely disrespectful.

    It must be in the GOP bottled water.

  234. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: Are you folks who launched this blood libel prepared to apologize and withdraw your defamations yet?

    filistro says: I am forced to say I blame YOU, Bart De Palma, for this growing undercurrent of violence, as much as I blame Sarah Palin. Read the article to which we are responding, and think about it. People like you who go around spreading the lie that a duly elected government is somehow sinister, malign, or illegitimate…. you are the people who encourage an insurrectionist spirit in a nation, and encourage deranged individuals to take up arms and commit mayhem. You create division, insecurity, hatred and a lack of patriotism. You tear the fabric that holds a nation together.”

    Translation: Support your government running dog or we will personally destroy you with any lies necessary.

    Your post comes appallingly close to the mind set behind the Chinese communist Cultural Revolution. What is truly scary is that this is the point of view of an otherwise charming grandmother who spends her extra time cooing over her little duckling grand kids. My lady, take a real hard and careful look at where this path is leading.

  235. Bart DePalma says:

    Thankfully, our President foreswore the blood libel path of many in his party and took the high road with a magnificent speech tonight.

    Follow his path.

  236. Mule Rider says:

    @Max (or anyone else demanding me to defend/explain Sarah Palin or her words/actions),

    GROG and/or Bart may feel otherwise, but I’ve said before, and I thought I was clear about this, that I’m not a fan of Sarah Palin. I didn’t vote for her/McCain in 2008, I didn’t send them money, nor do I believe she should hold elected office now. She is, borrowing liberally from a liberal who used to visit the old 538.com, a booger-eating moron. I find many of the attacks against her to be scurrilous, but I, ultimately, do not support her, did not vote for her, nor will I vote for her in the future.

    To imply it’s “shameful” that I won’t try and explain her actions is ridiculous. She doesn’t represent me and I don’t support her. So give it a rest, please…

  237. Gainsbourg69 says:

    I don’t hold Bart responsible for any mayhem. He’s too stupid to rile anyone up. Poor little fella is just a victim of the rabble rousers. Look at him. A grown adult full of revolutionary war and insurrection fantasies. You have to pity him.

  238. dcpetterson says:

    Translation of Bart: Stop pointing out the hypocrisy and dishonesty of conservatives, you running dogs, or I’ll tell lies about you.

    Bart, you don’t actually know how to converse rationally, do you? Nor can you listen to what someone else says without twisting it and turning it into what they didn’t say.

    It shows also with the sites you link, that in 90% of cases prove the opposite of what you claim they prove (in the other 10% they are only vaguely related).

    But now you’ve gone too far. You’re misrepresenting our beloved filistro. That’s too much.

    You keep telling these lies about other people, Bart, and we’ll be forced to keep telling the truth about you.

  239. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    MR, thank you for your comment. I can respect you for your position.

    Please remember that my request was to see if anybody, particularly from the right COULD give a rational, reasoned explanation for the actions of the Palin team concerning the “crosshairs” post.

    For my part, I cannot. I have been involved in politics since the 64 election. I have a bit of experience in the inner sanctums. I STILL cannot. As you see for yourself, no one else can or will do so either. So it must not be just me.

    Thanks again.

  240. drfunguy says:

    Bart
    Perhaps instead of (mis-) translating others remarks you should read what they say.

  241. Monotreme says:

    Gee, Bart, tell me what I said that pissed you off so much.

  242. Mr. Universe says:

    Bart said,

    Thankfully, our President foreswore the blood libel path of many in his party and took the high road with a magnificent speech tonight.

    Follow his path.

    Glossing over that blood libel comment, this is as close to a backhanded compliment that Bart has ever made towards this administration.

    A commendable effort, Mr. Depalma.

  243. GROG says:

    The President made many in his own party and the leftwing pundits look silly last night. Great speech Mr. President.

  244. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    GROG left out, by mistake I’m sure, “BOTH parties and BOTH left and right-wing pundits”.

    On Bart:

    This individual does not see the lesson of the President’s speech last night as applying to him and his ideological brothers and sisters, only to the rest of us political mortals. He thinks he and his are above the fray. So sad.

    I am glad to see Judy Clarke on the defense team. I want Loughner to have the BEST lawyers on his side, so that, as I fully expect, on a finding of guilt, he’ll get the punishment that fits the crime and there will be no excuses. For those who don’t know her, Ms Clarke was on the defense teams representing “20th highjacker” – Moussawi, the Unibomber – Ted Kaczynski, and Susan Smith, who drowned her sons in Union SC in 1994.

    BTW Ms Clarke RETURNED the $80+k fee she was paid by South Carolina for her defense of Susan Smith so other indigent defendants could be defended. She is an excellent example of what an attorney could and should be.

    I am very proud that she is a product of my home area. An Asheville NC native, undergrad degree from Furman U in Greenville and of the U of South Carolina Law School. Another Scot-Irish lass, “Born Fighting”. For the BEST of American Constitutional values, even when unpopular.

    Bart could take a lesson.

  245. Bart DePalma says:

    Ms. Clarke should not have to work too hard. Loughner has every appearance of long term mental illness and an inability to tell right from wrong. He belongs in a hospital.

  246. shiloh says:

    long term mental illness and an inability to tell right from wrong.

    hmm, sounds like a typical teabagger, not that I would ever generalize like grog

  247. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Hmmmm, I’m beginning to believe that Chuck Todd, Mark Murry and friends over at NBC are looking over my shoulder, or at least reading this blog, according to their “First Read” column as of this morning. Else I just stated the obvious @ 15:25 and 19:42 yesterday in comments on this thread.

    They even used the term “tone deaf” about both Palin and Boehner.

    LOL!

    Bart, of course, got his “blood libel” talking point in the progression from Glenn Reynolds – Breitbart – Bart – Palin. Who knew he actually read. Oh, no, scratch that. The “blood libel” was in the HEADLINE to Reynold’s article in the WSJ. (Ain’t that another Murdock property?)

  248. shiloh says:

    Max, I think it’s more a case of a keen grasp of the obvious as a few times over the past (2) years I also thought Keith and Tweety were stealing er appropriating my and other 538 posters info.

    Again, there’s nothing new under the sun as Tweety hasn’t had an original thought in (10) years although I will give him credit for being the first to say after Obama’s 2004 convention speech that Obama looked like a presidential contender and had that certain something ie star quality! 🙂

    Again, we need more pundits …

  249. Pingback: Outrage Speech: Was the Left Right? | 538 Refugees

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