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"I wasn't even thinking about the tragedy that happened in Wyoming."
September 7, 2010 1:14 PM   Subscribe

Montana Tea Party president Tim Ravndall was fired today due to public outcry over jokes about the murder of Matthew Shepard -- Ravndall's contribution to a discussion on Facebook about the recent ACLU lawsuit filed on behalf of seven gay MT couples who wish to get married. Last week, Montana GOP senate candidate Jason Priest ran into similar trouble on Facebook. (Priest supports the criminalization of homosexual acts.)
posted by hermitosis (249 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Jerks.
posted by Daddy-O at 1:17 PM on September 7, 2010


Great defense.

"No, I do not support violence against homosexuals. It just seems that way because I'm ignorant and stupid."
posted by muddgirl at 1:19 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Firing someone whose only mistake was having his bigotry heard on a public forum doesn't change the core character of the Tea Party or its membership.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:20 PM on September 7, 2010 [21 favorites]


Shitbag bigots use appeal of shitbag bigotry to attract the votes of other shitbag bigots, then act surprised when other people notice.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:24 PM on September 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Tim Ravndall and Jason Priest gay love nest scandal in 3...2...1....
posted by lordrunningclam at 1:25 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Firing someone whose only mistake was having his bigotry heard on a public forum doesn't change the core character of the Tea Party or its membership.

Perhaps. But exposing their uglier rhetoric to the light of day will make them unattractive to reasonable people who might otherwise be drawn in by the surface 'small government, low taxes,' stuff. So, fine.
posted by jonmc at 1:35 PM on September 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Course, this is the same movement that gets really angry if you fool it by asking straightforwards questions and recording teh answers.
posted by Artw at 1:35 PM on September 7, 2010 [12 favorites]


Last week, Montana GOP senate candidate Jason Priest ran into similar trouble on Facebook. (Priest supports the criminalization of homosexual acts.)

I'm a special snowflake and I'm voting for Nader! There's no difference between Republicans and Democrats! Both parties are hypocrites! Maybe I won't even vote!

(Oh, except you vote for enough Republicans and gay people lose what few rights they have. And go to prison. For being gay.)

No real difference!
posted by orthogonality at 1:35 PM on September 7, 2010 [35 favorites]


Is the wording of his statement that he does "not condone violence to any human being" meant to leave open the possibility that he may not consider gays and lesbians to be human beings?
posted by Morrigan at 1:35 PM on September 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


Tim Ravndall and Jason Priest gay love nest scandal in 3...2...1....

Well, things have been rough since 90210 was cance-

sorry.
posted by jonmc at 1:36 PM on September 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


A candidate for public office who supports the criminalization of homosexual acts doesn't 'run into trouble.' He spends three weeks following trouble home every single night until he figures out trouble's schedule so he can pretend that he just happened to run into trouble when trouble was out walking the dog.
posted by koeselitz at 1:37 PM on September 7, 2010 [53 favorites]


Damn that one bad apple.
posted by kafziel at 1:38 PM on September 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


I am kind of curious to see what will happen after the midterms and so many states are left represented by total incompetents. I mean, presumably the roles that these people are being elected into require some thought and action from them? What happens when it is assumed by someone incapable of that?
posted by Artw at 1:39 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm a special snowflake and I'm voting for Nader!

OFFS. What a terrible conflation between local and national politics. A common mistake, but still an incredibly annoying one.

Voting for Nader does not get douchehound state Senators elected.
posted by muddgirl at 1:40 PM on September 7, 2010 [13 favorites]


Oh, lets not pretend that the Unicornists aren't having a role in ensuring GOP victory by sucking motivation out of potential Democratic voters just as Teabaggers are ensurring it by drumming up the crazy racist vote for the GOP.
posted by Artw at 1:44 PM on September 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


I joined the Tea Party because I don't want the government stealing my hard-earned dollars for useless, socialist projects like public schools or health care, but I'll gladly hand them over so it can punish and/or kill homosexuals.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:47 PM on September 7, 2010 [12 favorites]


This was what I was talking about in that thread a few weeks ago about conservative humor. Humor is about undermining expectations; the weak pun about "hanging fruits" barely qualifies, and a person who is vehemently against gay rights saying something anti-gay is as expected as it gets.

The only expectation undermined here is that these people can be expected to use civilized arguments, to treat their fellow man with respect, to abhor violence. Undermining that is a particularly cold, cruel form of humor and it takes a cruel person to find it funny.

That this type of humor is so prominent in the conservative world tells you everything you need to know about the mindset behind many conservative "values".
posted by Riki tiki at 1:48 PM on September 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


This sort of thing will probably happen more and more often in the future of the Tea Party; when your core principles are centered around a message of fear, mistrust, and outright hatred of different groups of people, the chances that someone will overtly say something objectionable about one of those groups begins to approach 1.

The only question is which happens first: the general public coming to realize that the leadership of the Tea Party is filled with bigots, or the press losing interest in reporting on new instances of them revealing themselves as such?
posted by quin at 1:48 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Another fine, brave man victimized by the Homosexual Agenda, and their liberal allies.

When will it all stop?
posted by Danf at 1:53 PM on September 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal.

"Keep"?

Um. Does the Montana GOP not have any lawyers? Because you can't "keep" (or make) "homosexual acts" illegal anymore. Lawrence v. Texas.

I guess they think smaller government is good for everyone and everything. Unless you're a homo.
posted by rtha at 1:54 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


orthogonality: "No real difference!"

Sarcasm which holds up right until you meet the rights of people outside the United States, particularly to be alive, about which the positions of the two parties really don't make a difference.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:55 PM on September 7, 2010 [12 favorites]


I am kind of curious to see what will happen after the midterms and so many states are left represented by total incompetents.

You presume that the people in office now are competent? They're not even competent enough anymore to do the one thing that they used to be good at -- keep their jobs.
posted by blucevalo at 1:55 PM on September 7, 2010


I joined the Tea Party because I want the federal government to respect State's Rights. Except when people are doing stuff I don't like.
posted by lordrunningclam at 2:00 PM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Um. Does the Montana GOP not have any lawyers? Because you can't "keep" (or make) "homosexual acts" illegal anymore. Lawrence v. Texas.

Blah-Nah! *

* This is my new interjection. It means "Hey! I was just going to expend large amounts of mental effort disagreeing with you on the edges of what you said because there are possible interpretations where you're not 100.0000000% correct. But I thought better of it and don't feel like being a contrarian for its own sake today.
posted by thesmophoron at 2:02 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sarcasm which holds up right until you meet the rights of people outside the United States, particularly to be alive, about which the positions of the two parties really don't make a difference.

Yes, that's true. But the best is the enemy of the good, and politics is the art of the possible.

Given the choice of: gays in prison and Iraqis bombed, and gays not in prison and Iraqis bombed, I'll take the latter.
posted by orthogonality at 2:04 PM on September 7, 2010 [14 favorites]


The comments weren't "jokes" about the death of Matthew Shepard -- they were tacit approval, and encouragement for others to go out, and commit similar crimes.

I'm proud of the Tea Party for firing, and distancing themselves from this guy. As much as I disagree with almost everything they do, this was unquestionably the right call to make.
posted by schmod at 2:05 PM on September 7, 2010 [12 favorites]


Tim Ravndall and Jason Priest gay love nest scandal slashfic in 3...2...1....

Jim Priest has started some of the write-up himself, with a guest appearance of Obama's disembodied thumb.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:10 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


The comments weren't "jokes" about the death of Matthew Shepard -- they were tacit approval, and encouragement for others to go out, and commit similar crimes.

That's how conservative jokes work!
posted by Artw at 2:10 PM on September 7, 2010 [27 favorites]


In related news: NAACP, Think Progress, Media Matters, and New Left Media launch Tea Party Tracker.
posted by ericb at 2:10 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't worry, I'm sure he'll be right back in a few weeks from now.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:12 PM on September 7, 2010


Nader was a footnote in Montana in 2008 with 3,686 votes. Ron Paul's candidate for Secretary of State got more than twice as many votes. The Libertarians got 24,000 votes for Secretary of Public Schools.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:12 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Source.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:13 PM on September 7, 2010


lets not pretend that the Unicornists aren't having a role in ensuring GOP victory by sucking motivation out of potential Democratic voters...

When the Democrats lose the House in November, it won't be the fault of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, or Nancy Pelosi. It will be the fault of the people who don't appreciate them.

Am I understanding this correctly?
posted by Joe Beese at 2:16 PM on September 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


Jason Priest's painstakingly intimate knowledge of what he assumes to be homosexual sex acts is quite fascinating. Yet another sign that the shadow that these creeps fear most is the shadow of their own subconscious longings. I guess the poor goober didn't get the kind of finger he was expecting at Williams.
posted by blucevalo at 2:16 PM on September 7, 2010


Course, this is the same movement that gets really angry if you fool it by asking straightforwards questions and recording teh answers.

"Here's more from Whitestock 2010, courtesy of intrepid New Left Media reporter Chase Whiteside, who released this clip in response to Tea Party claims that his first clip was 'selectively edited' to show that teabaggers are idiots."*
posted by ericb at 2:17 PM on September 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


Give some money to the dems and make sure you get your friends out to vote. Time to get fired up and ready to go.
posted by humanfont at 2:17 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sarcasm which holds up right until you meet the rights of people outside the United States, particularly to be alive, about which the positions of the two parties really don't make a difference.

Yeah, because Evangelical Extremism's international influence on civilian death is obviously limited to casualties of military operations. There's also no difference in how imprudently the Democrats and Republicans rush to war.
posted by thesmophoron at 2:20 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm proud of the Tea Party for firing, and distancing themselves from this guy. As much as I disagree with almost everything they do, this was unquestionably the right call to make.
Thanks for being the first one to jump in and say this clearly and simply.

To some extent, anyone who legitimately believes in small-government conservatism and "reasonable social conservatism" -- the kind of things that many MeFiers would disagree with, but doesn't veer into hatred and homophobia... well, anyone who fits that bill is in a bind. If someone in the movement turns out to be a racist, or a homophobe, or a genocidal maniac who eats kittens, it's taken as confirmation about The Movement. If the members of The Movement try to push that person out of the spotlight quietly, it's a coverup. If they fire them and ostracize them, it's an admission of guilt, etc etc.

It's worth noting that this problem seems to happen frequently, but it's also worth applauding when they do the right thing in response. The Tea Party is a young "proto-movement," and if it evolves beyond its astroturf roots it will have to go through this difficult process of self-policing, self-defense via ostracism of its most unpalatable fringes, etc.
posted by verb at 2:24 PM on September 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


When the Democrats lose the House in November, it won't be the fault of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, or Nancy Pelosi. It will be the fault of the people who don't appreciate them.

Am I understanding this correctly?


It will be the fault of people who don't support them, and go out of the way to undermine them, often undermining their own position.
posted by Artw at 2:24 PM on September 7, 2010 [6 favorites]




Jason Priest's painstakingly intimate knowledge of what he assumes to be homosexual sex acts is quite fascinating. Yet another sign that the shadow that these creeps fear most is the shadow of their own subconscious longings. I guess the poor goober didn't get the kind of finger he was expecting at Williams.

Williams College? Well, I can see how four years at one of those rich hippie crunchy granola schools could turn a man Republican, but going Tea Party is pushing it way too far.
posted by jonmc at 2:26 PM on September 7, 2010


It will be the fault of the people who don't appreciate them.

Am I understanding this correctly?


Well, presumably since you and others with like dispositions have done nothing BUT assail the POTUS from the left since the day he took office (thus foolishly stoking the Firebagger rhetoric that plays right into the hands of these Tea Party types) AND presumably are either staying home on election day or voting Green or some such foolishness then, yes: you will bear a portion of the responsibility if that is what transpires. Elections, and rhetoric, have consequences.

If I have mischaracterized your likely Election Day behavior, I apologize. I am basing it on your comments here over the past several months / years.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:28 PM on September 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Nader was a footnote

2000 Presidential Election
Bush: 271 Electoral Votes
Gore: 266 Electoral Votes

New Hampshire (4 EVs)
Bush: 273,559
Gore: 266,348
Nader: 22,198

If everyone New Hampshirite who voted for Nader in 2000 had voted for Gore instead, the world would be vastly different today. I suspect for the better.

Duverger is a jealous god.
posted by thesmophoron at 2:30 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


If everyone New Hampshirite who voted for Nader in 2000 had voted for Gore instead,

Even better, if only 7,212 NH Nader voters had voted Gore....
posted by edgeways at 2:34 PM on September 7, 2010


Another whackjob!
"Christine O'Donnell is the Tea Party candidate for the U.S. Senate in Delaware and wants all of you to stop jerking off right now.
'The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. So you can't masturbate without lust,' she said. 'The reason that you don't tell [people] that masturbation is the answer to AIDS and all these other problems that come with sex outside of marriage is because, again, it is not addressing the issue. You're just gonna create somebody who is, I was gonna say, toying with his sexuality. Pardon the pun.'"
Have we ever seen an anti-masturbation candidate before? Delaware's primary is next week and O'Donnell is essentially tied in the polls with the GOP candidate she attacks in the ad below. O'Donnell's campaign has also been spreading rumors that her opponent is 'cheating on his wife with a man.'" *
posted by ericb at 2:35 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


The heart of Nader's (and supporters) villainy wasn't measured in number of votes that he actually got, it was in the general acceptance of the meme that Gore and Bush were interchangeable.
posted by octothorpe at 2:39 PM on September 7, 2010 [17 favorites]


unattractive to reasonable people


Yeah, but this is Montana.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:39 PM on September 7, 2010


I'm proud of the Tea Party for firing, and distancing themselves from this guy. As much as I disagree with almost everything they do, this was unquestionably the right call to make.

Why wait until a Teabagger gets caught saying these things in public before taking action or making the "right call"?

Clearly this and similar kinds of bigotry is shared and tacitly approved within the Tea Bag organization and at small political events with less media coverage.

The only reason they are firing and "distancing" is because he got caught on a public, non-political forum where it can't be ignored or cheered on. He'll probably continue have some role in the organization leading up the elections, in any case.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:43 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


If everyone New Hampshirite who voted for Nader in 2000 had voted for Gore instead, the world would be vastly different today. I suspect for the better.

You know, I'm not the smartest man in the world, but how does 271 - 270 come out in Gore's favor?
posted by Brak at 2:44 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Once Gore took the state Bush would not have their electoral votes anymore.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:47 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Brak: Try 267-270.
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:49 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


See? I told you I wasn't that smart. :)
posted by Brak at 2:49 PM on September 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


I apologize for contributing to this unnecessary Nader derail.

Seriously, is this necessary in every single political thread from here to the November mid-terms? Because it's getting real annoying, real fast.
posted by muddgirl at 2:50 PM on September 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


Great defense. "No, I do not support violence against homosexuals. It just seems that way because I'm ignorant and stupid."

It's not just a lame defense, it's a baldfaced lie. There's no plausible explanation of his comments unless he was in fact referring to Matthew Shepard.
posted by straight at 2:51 PM on September 7, 2010


It will be the fault of people who don't support them, and go out of the way to undermine them, often undermining their own position.

My, how that takes me back...

It seems like just yesterday that we were told that our failures in Iraq were the fault of those who wouldn't support the President and his policies.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:52 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've an ambiguous (at best) relation to "The Orange Satan" but it looks like they rooted out a pretty active provocateur today. Add that to the R agents on.. er was it Digg? a month or so back, and the active funding of Green candidates by the TX Republican party... I think I know where vast piles of Republican cash is disappearing to. Dirty tricks part 1000x.

I would be the last to actively accuse anyone of provocateur status without definitive proof, but I sure do a lot of tuning out nowadays. Which makes me angry, because I want to be critical and engage in honest political discourse, but there is so much purist anger that it crowds out anything with nuance. There are things to be legitimately angry about our system, that cuts across Democrats and Republicans both, and there are legitimate complaints about our current administration. But politics is such a relative game, and you always have to balance the dislikes of one candidate/party against another. Yeah, Obama is not the great black liberal liberator, but and this is important, is is about 500X better than any of the viable alternatives.

The Dems didn't "learn' from 2000, they aren't going to become a moderate left party anytime soon/ever. They are a coalition party from center right to fairly left, if we actually had three viable parties the Dems would be the Centrist party... which is still better than the current Republicans. Sanders knows this, as does any national left of center politician in the US. "The Left" sometimes knows this, and sometimes forgets. I am part of the left, but as with any "movement" I may belong to there are members who ideologically I agree with 100%, but with whom I absolutely can not stand...
posted by edgeways at 2:53 PM on September 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


You're just gonna create somebody who is, I was gonna say, toying with his sexuality. Pardon the pun.

I can't see the pun.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 2:55 PM on September 7, 2010


^@ArtW: I am kind of curious to see what will happen after the midterms and so many states are left represented by total incompetents

They'll come looking for YOU in your East- or West-coast enclave.

"Brains!4¡¡¡!," they'll be muttering in their posthumous tones...
posted by vhsiv at 2:55 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm a special snowflake and I'm voting for Nader! There's no difference between Republicans and Democrats!

If everyone New Hampshirite who voted for Nader in 2000 had voted for Gore instead, the world would be vastly different today. I suspect for the better
.

Not that I want to contribute to the derail, but -- I've never quite understood this criticism of Nader and Nader supporters.

People who voted for Nader could have voted for Gore instead. Gore's name was on those ballots, too. But for whatever reason, Gore's message wasn't as convincing to them as Nader's was. Why should Nader be faulted for being more politically persuasive? Shouldn't the blame properly go to Gore for not being more persuasive than Nader? Those 20,000 New Hampshire voters, for example, could have voted for Gore -- easily. But Gore didn't win them over.

As for Nader himself -- I refuse to condemn him for participating in the democratic process. He's free to participate, and free to try and convince people to his point of view.

Suggesting that 20,000 Nader votes (and not to pick on thesmophoron in this) would all have translated to Democratic votes? First, it's a hell of an assumption. Second, and more importantly, it has this whiff of restricting democratic choice that I'm very, very uncomfortable with. 'If only there were just A & B, and not A, B & C, then C wouldn't have mucked everything up! People should not have chosen C!' Well, people shouldn't have chosen A, either, so why pick on C?

All of which is respectfully submitted.

posted by Capt. Renault at 2:55 PM on September 7, 2010 [18 favorites]


They'll come looking for YOU in your East- or West-coast enclave.

We have Eastern Washington as a radioactive buffer zone.
posted by Artw at 3:01 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


No real difference!

Sarcasm which holds up right until you meet the rights of people outside the United States, particularly to be alive

Not to mention, oh, the foundations of our (disastrous) economic and energy policies.

There are certainly differences, but whether they are "real" or not depends on your definition of "real," I suppose.

I'm proud of the Tea Party for firing, and distancing themselves from this guy. As much as I disagree with almost everything they do, this was unquestionably the right call to make.

Huh. It seemed like a molehill/mountain to me. It's not clear that Ravndall even understood the (admittedly rather offensive) joke. Maybe I'll read it again ...

@Dennis, Where can I get that Wyoming printed instruction manual?"

Is that the "only" offense? Just curious, because I can honestly see how he wasn't thinking of Matthew Shepherd when me made the comment. Justmy2c.

voting Green or some such foolishness then

Some of us can see past our own generation.

It seems like just yesterday that we were told that our failures in Iraq were the fault of those who wouldn't support the President and his policies

Ha.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:03 PM on September 7, 2010


Artw: It will be the fault of people who don't support them, and go out of the way to undermine them, often undermining their own position.

Ahh, the old sit down, shut up, and wait for a convenient season. My suggestion is that you can shout at 3,700 (generously rounding up) fringe voters in Montana until the cows come home. All of the 3rd party candidates combine won't give you a victory in that state though. Or you can look at the approx. 500,000 non-voters who could be mobilized by Obama's excellent grass-roots organization.

joe lisboa: Well, presumably since you and others with like dispositions have done nothing BUT assail the POTUS from the left since the day he took office (thus foolishly stoking the Firebagger rhetoric that plays right into the hands of these Tea Party types) AND presumably are either staying home on election day or voting Green or some such foolishness then, yes: you will bear a portion of the responsibility if that is what transpires. Elections, and rhetoric, have consequences.

Yes, and one of the consequences of being elected is that your actions are open to public comment and criticism. Of course, what you ignore is the fact that criticism of Obama from the left doesn't exactly complement Teabagger rhetoric. Teabaggers don't appear to be concerned regarding health care reform or the slow progress on the federal gay rights front.

octothorpe: The heart of Nader's (and supporters) villainy wasn't measured in number of votes that he actually got, it was in the general acceptance of the meme that Gore and Bush were interchangeable.

Which of course is something of an urban legend. But by all means, don't let honesty and integrity get in the way of a great myth.

thesmophoron: If everyone New Hampshirite who voted for Nader in 2000 had voted for Gore instead, the world would be vastly different today. I suspect for the better.

Yes, but we're not talking about 2000, we're talking about 2010. When Nader does run, he can't get on the ballot in all 50 states. When he does, he draws significantly fewer votes than no-name Libertarians. And unlike Libertarians, Ron Paul, the Greens (who are now even more marginal) and even the Communists he has no presence in legislative races.

His primary influence seems to be generating fear and angst among people who really should know better.

edgeways: a month or so back, and the active funding of Green candidates by the TX Republican party... I think I know where vast piles of Republican cash is disappearing to.

Good for them! I can think of few organizations less politically effective at this time than the Greens.

edgeways: Yeah, Obama is not the great black liberal liberator, but and this is important, is is about 500X better than any of the viable alternatives.

Sure, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't stop lobbying Congress and the President for the kind of changes we want. The nature of the political process favors open debate and discussion, not silence.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:04 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Capt. Renault: Put very simply, it has to do with people having the political maturity to understand that in a closely contested state, every vote counts, and it would be more wise to vote for the major candidate that most closely mirrors your beliefs, than to vote for a 3rd party candidate who has no chance of winning.

It may be unfortunate, but Nader had no chance, no chance at all, of winning New Hampshire. And it was clear it was a battleground state. That's why the Nader voter, in some people's opinion (mine included), should have looked at the landscape, and made a (more) rational choice. Perhaps there are a couple hundred Nader voters who would have aligned more closely with Bush. But far and away, an honest appraisal of their positions versus the two major candidates, the choice would have been clearly for the democrat.

People will get nasty over this subject, but that's it in a nutshell.

In a blowout race, use your vote to make a statement if you wish.

In a close contest, you can, of course, "vote your conscience", but understand in this instance, voting your conscience is voting against your best interests.
posted by discountfortunecookie at 3:05 PM on September 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


> It's not just a lame defense, it's a baldfaced lie. There's no plausible explanation of his comments unless he was in fact referring to Matthew Shepard.

Yeah that's what's infuriating to me as well. I try, and I cannot come up with a charitable interpretation of the exchange. If he's going to even try to apologize for something, it has to be for publicly condoning the beating of homosexuals to death. If he doesn't apologize for that, then it's not an apology for what he actually, unambiguously did.
posted by churl at 3:07 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ahh, the old sit down, shut up, and wait for a convenient season.

I'm confused here a little - are you saying that a portion of the people who supported Obama in 08 *haven't* withdrawn their support or started actively campaigning against the Democrats, or are you saying that there are good reasons for doing so that make it a good thing despite the likely results?
posted by Artw at 3:10 PM on September 7, 2010


Teabaggers don't appear to be concerned regarding health care reform

Where you around when the Firebaggers openly courted far-right critics of HCR because the final bill did not contain a public option? It is easily the most obvious example that comes to mind, but there are plenty of others.
posted by joe lisboa at 3:10 PM on September 7, 2010




Capt.: You think it's a "hell of an assumption" that Green Party voters would prefer the guy behind An Inconvenient Truth to an oil company CEO? What are you smoking?

Gore's message was "It's me or the other guy." If their response was "we don't care if it's you or the other guy, I'm voting against you out of spite" and such a response is an actual cause of the worst political disaster in second half of the 20th century, then yes, they are to blame. Do the math. You CAN'T split up voting blocks and expect them to win in a first-past-the-post system. It's simply impossible. And to sacrifice an election - which, in the context of the greatest military superpower the world has ever known, is to say people's lives - on the basis not even of different beliefs but on the relative weights assigned to the same beliefs, that's just irresponsible.

Thousands of people died so a few mountain hippies could write about how anti-establishment they were on LiveJournal.
posted by thesmophoron at 3:13 PM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Somewhat off topic: "reach around" is getting a lot of homophobic use lately. I get the impression that it is the new "don't drop the soap."
posted by Morrigan at 3:14 PM on September 7, 2010


I'm a special snowflake and I'm voting for Nader! There's no difference between Republicans and Democrats! Both parties are hypocrites! Maybe I won't even vote!
Spare me this bullshit. The lawyer that argued against prop-8 (and won, so far) was a republican too. And Obama hasn't exactly done much for gay rights. There are probably more anti-gay bigots in the Republican Party, for sure. But I bet there are some homophobic democrats. And the Democratic Party hasn't exactly covered itself in glory here.

But beyond that, there are more issues in play then gay rights. Republicans can't actually make gay sex illegal because of the Supreme Court decision (and it wouldn't be a federal issue anyway).

Anyway, the democrats have had nearly complete power in the U.S. government for a couple years and they haven't really done anything except pass a watered down health care bill (that was mostly a give away to special interests), and a watered down financial reform bill.
Yes, that's true. But the best is the enemy of the good, and politics is the art of the possible.
People usually say 'perfict'. But it's become almost like an incantation that people chant, like it was a magic spell you can just say to take away the ethical problems posed by the democrats.
Given the choice of: gays in prison and Iraqis bombed, and gays not in prison and Iraqis bombed, I'll take the latter.
No one is putting gays in prison, dipshit.
The heart of Nader's (and supporters) villainy wasn't measured in number of votes that he actually got, it was in the general acceptance of the meme that Gore and Bush were interchangeable.
Vice president Lieberman. Of course, as VP he would have been the establishment candidate in '08. Wouldn't that just be wonderful! I have to say I have a lot more sympathy for Nader circa 2000 after seeing the democrats bollox things up nowadays. It wasn't Nader's fault people didn't see much of a difference between Gore and Bush. It was Gore's. He ran a crappy, and ultimately cowardly campaign. He tried to run as a boring centrist, and the result was that he bored people.

You always see this obnoxious entitled attitude that powerful 'liberals' feel like they are entitled to votes from people on the left just because, and it doesn't matter if they actually do anything or work for any liberal goals once they actually get power. It's ridiculous.

To compensate for their not actually doing anything, they love to highlight crazy right wingers and point out how crazy they are, as if they were going to be driving policy if the republicans got power.

But bush never banned abortion or homosexuality and he wasn't able to privatize social security. And what's more, Obama now has his 'deficit commission', co-chaired by Alan Simpson who calls social security A cow with 310 million tits, which is likely to recommend cuts to social security. So now we get social security cuts under Obama and the Democrats. So voting democratic hardly helped there.

And what about the Iraq war? Well, most democrats would prefer you forget, but that was a bipartisan thing. Lots of senate democrats voted for the war. And the democratic party could have stopped it (at least from being authorized by the senate) Both parties were responsible, not just the republicans. Although obviously the bush administration deserves a lot of blame for cooking the books, and not all democrats voted for the war.
posted by delmoi at 3:16 PM on September 7, 2010 [15 favorites]


It seems like just yesterday that we were told that our failures in Iraq were the fault of those who wouldn't support the President and his policies.

Right, because casting a vote that actually adds or subtracts a numerical amount with consequences is directly analogous to some nebulous idea about public support that matters little to an Iraqi listening to one of Sadr's sermons.
posted by fatbird at 3:16 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyway, the democrats have had nearly complete power in the U.S. government for a couple years and they haven't really done anything except pass a watered down health care bill (that was mostly a give away to special interests), and a watered down financial reform bill.

You're not that ignorant of how the Senate works.
posted by fatbird at 3:18 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Capt.: You think it's a "hell of an assumption" that Green Party voters would prefer the guy behind An Inconvenient Truth to an oil company CEO? What are you smoking?
You realize that he didn't do An Inconvenient Truth before the election, right? He didn't spend much time talking about Global Warming during the campaign either. Post-election gore was a lot more liberal then pre-election Gore. People can't make decisions based on future events.
posted by delmoi at 3:18 PM on September 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


You're not that ignorant of how the Senate works.

I know it takes 50 votes to change the rules.
posted by delmoi at 3:19 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's not just a lame defense, it's a baldfaced lie. There's no plausible explanation of his comments unless he was in fact referring to Matthew Shepard.

I have friends who would probably barely recognize the name Matthew Shepard if he were mentioned, and I bet they wouldn't make the connection between him and Wyoming unless it were explained outright.

People tend to be peculiarly tunnel-visioned about historical events that don't concern them directly.
posted by zarq at 3:19 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


"I wasn't even thinking about the tragedy that happened in Wyoming,"

The implication being that he was thinking of some other way to "hang fruit".
posted by carsonb at 3:19 PM on September 7, 2010


Where you around when the Firebaggers openly courted far-right critics of HCR because the final bill did not contain a public option?

"Firebaggers?" *googles it* Huh. I guess it's a thing. I'll have to file it with "moonbat" and "democrat party" under political slurs that irritate me.

Capt.: You think it's a "hell of an assumption" that Green Party voters would prefer the guy behind An Inconvenient Truth to an oil company CEO? What are you smoking?

Uh... He hadn't made An Inconvenient Truth in 2000. And it is a hell of an assumption that those Green Party voters would have voted for either major candidate, relative merits aside.
posted by brundlefly at 3:20 PM on September 7, 2010


discountfortunecookie: I appreciate that point of view, and there is something to be said for being pragmatic instead of idealistic, but with all due respect:

voting your conscience is voting against your best interests.

I would suggest that a) only that individual voter knows what their 'best interests' are, and b) they may indeed have voted for what they saw as their 'best interests'. Probably did, even. And that brings it right back to who should have been more persuasive in their political arguments.

posted by Capt. Renault at 3:20 PM on September 7, 2010


Er, I mean 51 votes obviously (or 50 votes + the vice president). Anyway, you can also pass things by reconciliation. The public option, for example, could have been passed by reconciliation. (Whether or not a bill is amenable to reconciliation is decided by senate parliamentarian, who is appointed by the majority party, and who can be replaced whenever they feel like)
posted by delmoi at 3:23 PM on September 7, 2010


The public option, for example, could have been passed by reconciliation.

No it couldn't.
posted by fatbird at 3:27 PM on September 7, 2010


I still don't understand the part where my Green vote in 2000 is assumed to have gone for Gore otherwise. What if it were the case that I wrote in Nader/LaDuke in 1996 and wrote in some variant of Socialist in the two elections before that? What if I voted for Cobb/LaMarche in 2004. Would you believe that I actually *am* a Green? What, specifically, will it take for you to understand that I am a Green and specifically *not* a Democrat?

Because, honestly, there is little about the Democratic party that really enthuses me. Even though we discuss politics as if positions were arranged on a single continuum, it really is more multidimensional than that. Just because I'm "left" of the Republican platform does not mean I'm supportive of the Democratic one. I strongly disagree with a number of Democratic positions. I have never registered as a Democrat.

Yet, for some reason my vote for them is just magically assumed by Democratic party supporters. Truly baffling. Are Libertarians similarly excoriated by Republicans or is this a feature of the "left"?

And lest my special snowflakeness be held against me, I did try the whole lesser of two evils this last time around because I really wanted health care delivery reform. It is the one issue that the Democrats could use to pry me from the Greens. Instead of the change and new government I was promised, I got the same kind of "olé bullshit" leadership from the executive branch and special interest-laden health insurance reform. I played the tactical voting card because I wanted pie--which I got in a manner of speaking. I would have hoped for some kind of edible pie but I guess I should have been more specific on that subject. It looks kind of rotten on the plate.

And now that I've completely fallen for the derail bait...good on the Tea Party for maintaining the faintest trappings of respectability. Hope y'all aren't vilified by the Republicans when you split their ticket this fall because the churlishness of that act is singularly irritating.
posted by Fezboy! at 3:27 PM on September 7, 2010 [13 favorites]


ericb: "Montana House GOP Candidate Declares 'War' on the Gay Community Over Tea Party Leader's Removal."

What in the world, that can't be real I mean goddamn come on.
posted by boo_radley at 3:27 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


discountfortunecooking: Put very simply, it has to do with people having the political maturity to understand that in a closely contested state, every vote counts, and it would be more wise to vote for the major candidate that most closely mirrors your beliefs, than to vote for a 3rd party candidate who has no chance of winning.

Depending on your definition of most "closely mirroring" means. But you are aware that the Greens endorsed strategic voting in 2000 and in 2004 after divorcing themselves from Nader, did you not?

Perhaps there are a couple hundred Nader voters who would have aligned more closely with Bush. But far and away, an honest appraisal of their positions versus the two major candidates, the choice would have been clearly for the democrat.

Actually, we know it would not have been from exit polls. 11,000 (who likely voted for Dems down-ticket) would have stayed home. Of the remaining 11,000 perhaps 2,000-3,000 would have broke for Bush, and the remainder wouldn't have been enough to slip Gore a majority.

Artw: I'm confused here a little - are you saying that a portion of the people who supported Obama in 08 *haven't* withdrawn their support or started actively campaigning against the Democrats, or are you saying that there are good reasons for doing so that make it a good thing despite the likely results?

I'm saying that it's reasonable to both campaign for Democrats, and also be willing to point out their flaws as the majority party in Congress. Strategically voting for Democrats doesn't mean that we have to worship everything they do.

thesmophoron: Capt.: You think it's a "hell of an assumption" that Green Party voters would prefer the guy behind An Inconvenient Truth to an oil company CEO? What are you smoking?

Well, if you have trouble with facts, you're probably at the wrong site.

thesmophoron: Gore's message was "It's me or the other guy." If their response was "we don't care if it's you or the other guy, I'm voting against you out of spite" and such a response is an actual cause of the worst political disaster in second half of the 20th century, then yes, they are to blame.

Well, actually I think the Democrats are to blame for letting themselves be outflanked, outfunded, outorganized, and outnumbered by using an election strategy that left half the country not even remotely in play. But by all means, pass the buck seems to be an easy way to avoid dealing with the fact that the 50-state strategy actually worked.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:28 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would have hoped for some kind of edible pie but I guess I should have been more specific on that subject. It looks kind of rotten on the plate.

What sort of pie would President McCain and VP Palin have put in front of you?
posted by fatbird at 3:31 PM on September 7, 2010


What sort of pie would President McCain and VP Palin have put in front of you?

Various flavors of inedible do not make edible choices.
posted by Fezboy! at 3:35 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


These kinds of people make me sick.
posted by djduckie at 3:35 PM on September 7, 2010


What sort of pie would President McCain and VP Palin have put in front of you?

Let's do the time warp again!
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:35 PM on September 7, 2010


I don't know if some of you understand what it is to make a comment like that.

About a decade ago, deep in the Bible Belt, my first girlfriend and I were outed. It went really badly for her - the kind of badly that didn't get set soon enough. She ran and never saw them again. I kind of expected her family would come try to beat the gay out of me, too, but I got off easy. I was terrified, though, and I remember that real well: being seventeen, terrified, newly unwelcome in the family, and the one person who seemed to feel than any of this was unfair was was much, much worse off than me.

But I moved, and New Orleans is a fine place for a queer. Gay became the new black, or so the internet told me. People started talking about gay marriage, and open military service. The whole tone of the discussion was completely different. I don't know when exactly it happened, but I stopped being frightened.

And then some dumb fuck on Facebook makes a bigoted comment, and I have an actual physical reaction. It's like Mr. Exgirlfriendsfather whispers in my year from nine years away: "I'm not sorry." Just like that, I'm seventeen again. That one comment? The laughing agreement? That's a goddamned act of terrorism.

Except the man saying it isn't just some dumb fuck on Facebook; he's the state president of a major political movement. She still can't lift her arm above her shoulder and I haven't seen my mother in nine years and I'm crying in the library and one of the key figures in this horrible mockery of a "party" is joking about hanging up the fruits.

Fuck.
posted by honeydew at 3:36 PM on September 7, 2010 [92 favorites]


Have we ever seen an anti-masturbation candidate before?

Bill Clinton fired Jocelyn Elders because she advocated masturbation as an alternative to riskier sexual activities.

(Though I guess he wasn't a candidate then)
posted by dirigibleman at 3:36 PM on September 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


[Nader's] primary influence seems to be generating fear and angst among people who really should know better.

He's become the Democratic equivalent of "Hanoi Jane". When the party faithful feel down in the dumps, they turn to the old punching bag - even though though whatever negligible significance it once had is now many years in the past.

But just as it would have been foolish to expect Republicans to acknowledge that the Vietnam War was unwinnable, you can't expect Democrats to take responsibility for having nominated a cold fish who couldn't even carry his own state. If the Obama years have taught me anything, it's that intellectual dishonesty is a bipartisan trait.

Besides, punching hippies never goes out of style. [See: "Unicornists"]
posted by Joe Beese at 3:38 PM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]



I apologize for contributing to this unnecessary Nader derail.

Seriously, is this necessary in every single political thread from here to the November mid-terms? Because it's getting real annoying, real fast.


It's very annoying, but if there are leftists who are in the "they're all the same" camp as there were in 2000, I'd rather they voice their opinions so that we can hopefully gently convince them that they are wrong.
posted by angrycat at 3:38 PM on September 7, 2010


Oh my god, I've had an epiphany. What if we taxed the gays?

Hear me out. Tea Party folks (and Republicans) presumably want their taxes lowered, right? Yet it seems many of them don't like homosexuals. Okay, fine: so let's let homosexual couples get married, give them full legal rights, etc., but agree that every tax collected from such activity (marriage licenses, for instance) be offset by a reduction in taxes for straight people?

Which would win, the desire to punish people they don't agree with/actively hate, or the desire to lower their own tax bill?
posted by davejay at 3:39 PM on September 7, 2010


When the party faithful feel down in the dumps, they turn to the old punching bag - even though though whatever negligible significance it once had is now many years in the past.


Okay, it was ten fucking years ago. Not a fucking century.


And when people are like, hey, this was real stupid activity ten years ago and we got burned in significant part because of it but:

HEY LET'S DO IT AGAIN!!!

Then it's your own fucking fault for hearing about it every fucking day. Fuck.
posted by angrycat at 3:40 PM on September 7, 2010


Various flavors of inedible do not make edible choices.

And right back to Democrats and Republicans are the same.
posted by fatbird at 3:41 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Montana House GOP Candidate Declares 'War' on the Gay Community Over Tea Party Leader's Removal."

Better she reveal her true nature now than after she's been elected into office.
posted by zarq at 3:42 PM on September 7, 2010


And right back to Democrats and Republicans are the same.

And right back to nuance-free douchbaggery. I don't make that claim.
posted by Fezboy! at 3:43 PM on September 7, 2010


Instead of the change and new government I was promised, I got the same kind of "olé bullshit" leadership from the executive branch and special interest-laden health insurance reform.

I dunno, when various Democrats were sitting on the fence over health care reform because they could see that they might be kicked out of office for supporting them, and you went ahead and made it as clear as possible that you absolutely did not have their back on any of this, what did you expect to happen?
posted by Artw at 3:44 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't make that claim.

You said that whatever health care reform came out of a Republican administration would be no better or worse than the HCR that passed ("different flavors of inedible").
posted by fatbird at 3:45 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joe Besse: Oh yes, people would rather fight for the moral high ground to scold an aging activist who gets 0.5% of the vote with no support in legislative races, and a party that gets 0.1% of the vote in legislative races.

angrycat: Those of us who would vote Democrat are already committed to doing so next month. Those who won't are 0.6% (generously rounding) of the electorate. I can guarantee you that you'll do more good 1 hour here than you would fighting a battle you already won.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:46 PM on September 7, 2010


#1) When the executive does not craft legislation and give Congress guidance but cynically tells them to come up with some good stuff on their own and be right quick about it, that smacks of not really leading in my book.

#2) I did specifically contact the one Senator from my state that might actually support the crapular health care legislation and encourage him to vote in favor of it, which Senator Nelson did, I might add. So nice strawman.
posted by Fezboy! at 3:47 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Have we ever seen an anti-masturbation candidate before?

I don't know, but everyone please wash your hands before you pull the lever to vote against her.

And by "pull the lever," I mean voting in the voting booth. Get your minds out of the gutter people.
posted by marxchivist at 3:49 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


In related news: NAACP, Think Progress, Media Matters, and New Left Media launch Tea Party Tracker

I liked it better when it was called TeaFarty.
posted by Evilspork at 3:50 PM on September 7, 2010


You said that whatever health care reform came out of a Republican administration would be no better or worse than the HCR that passed ("different flavors of inedible").

I did not say no better or possibly worse. I did say they were different flavors of inedible. There is a difference. Subtle...but it is there.
posted by Fezboy! at 3:50 PM on September 7, 2010


fatbird: You said that whatever health care reform came out of a Republican administration would be no better or worse than the HCR that passed ("different flavors of inedible").

Wheee! Logic fail.

Artw: I dunno, when various Democrats were sitting on the fence over health care reform because they could see that they might be kicked out of office for supporting them, and you went ahead and made it as clear as possible that you absolutely did not have their back on any of this, what did you expect to happen?

Actually, we made it as clear as possible that we wanted more comprehensive health care reform, and if we got it, we would be overjoyed to pound the pavement and advocate on their behalf. Of course they're right that we'll hold our nose and vote for Blue Dogs come November, but still.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:51 PM on September 7, 2010


yeah, I remember all the positive praise and support. Not.
posted by Artw at 3:54 PM on September 7, 2010


"...punching hippies never goes out of style."

Thank FSM.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 3:55 PM on September 7, 2010


Artw: yeah, I remember all the positive praise and support. Not.

Oh no! We participated in the political process by lobbying (and criticizing) our congresscritters! How disloyal! How unamerican!
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:57 PM on September 7, 2010


yeah, I remember all the positive praise and support. Not.

Hey...I remember you now. You're the guy who took all of my phone calls and answered all of my electronic and snail mail to Senator Nelson's office. Sorry it wasn't supportive enough.

Jesus. Some of you fanatical people are fanatical. Consider my properly smited for asking a perfectly reasonable question. (which you--the fanatical ones--never answered).
posted by Fezboy! at 3:58 PM on September 7, 2010


They can't keep this up. They can't. What I don't get is if this lead is so damned big, why are they acting so desperate? Long-term, they've got nothing.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:59 PM on September 7, 2010


I am not at all convinced the lead is so big. Good news for John McCain and all.
posted by feloniousmonk at 4:00 PM on September 7, 2010


Oh no! We participated in the political process by lobbying (and criticizing) our congresscritters! How disloyal! How unamerican!

You fucked it up. You poisoned the well. You acted as a conduit for every piece of disinformation you could find. You downplayed everything good and upplayed everything bad. Ultimately you ensured you got less than you would have on health, and when midterms come around you'll ensure your own defeat there. Pretend otherwise all you like.
posted by Artw at 4:01 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


No one is putting gays in prison, dipshit.

Indeed. As of seven years ago. In the USA. Point?

(And would it kill you to ponder the origins of the epithets you throw around?)
posted by Sys Rq at 4:06 PM on September 7, 2010


OK seriously?

I never ever ever ever ever say this, but how's about you'se guys take this kerfuffle over to MetaTalk?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:08 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Priest supports the criminalization of homosexual acts.

I had trouble finding this reference. It wasn't under "Weed and Pest Control" or "Meat."

A question, in case anyone knows: if homosexual acts were outlawed, would that mean Kathy Griffin couldn't perform in Montana?
posted by Short Attention Sp at 4:08 PM on September 7, 2010


angrycat: Then it's your own fucking fault for hearing about it every fucking day. Fuck.

Wait, everyone else is to blame because you just can't shut the fuck up every fucking day about a movement that peaked 10 fucking years ago and only fucking 0.5% of the voting public?

Artw: You fucked it up.

Nonsense. We actually did succeed in getting the Obama white house to break months of silence regarding its gay rights agenda.

Artw: You poisoned the well.

Well, that and we fry Republican babies in the fat of kittens, it's more obscene that way.

Artw: You acted as a conduit for every piece of disinformation you could find. You downplayed everything good and upplayed everything bad.

Well, bullshit and bullshit given that I've openly praised both congresscritters and Obama when they take steps forward.

Artw: Ultimately you ensured you got less than you would have on health, and when midterms come around you'll ensure your own defeat there.

How did lobbying our congresscritters in support of health care as part of efforts to contradict the sham packing of townhalls by Tea Party activists hurt health care reform?

I dare say that if Democrats are defeated it's because of more time spent here and less time spent here. There are several million uncommitted voters. Go get them tiger.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:08 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


... if there are leftists who are in the "they're all the same" camp as there were in 2000, I'd rather they voice their opinions so that we can hopefully gently convince them that they are wrong.

... it's your own fucking fault for hearing about it every fucking day.

If this is the gentle convincing, I can't wait for the forceful confronting.

Pro tip for the Democratic Party: Rather than telling liberals at every available opportunity to fuck off, try bringing the real unemployment rate below 20%.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:12 PM on September 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


Joe Beese: If this is the gentle convincing, I can't wait for the forceful confronting.

"Right! If that's the way you want it -- Cardinal! Poke her with the soft cushions!"
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:14 PM on September 7, 2010


How did lobbying our congresscritters in support of health care as part of efforts to contradict the sham packing of townhalls by Tea Party activists hurt health care reform?

Did you? You've been pretty damn queit about that if you have. All we've heard from you from day one is complaints about how Obama didn't come down from the heavens on a unicorn and blast legislation you favour into place with it's laser eyes, because apparently that's doable within the American political system.
posted by Artw at 4:14 PM on September 7, 2010


(I'm just waiting for "If you're not with us, you're against us.")
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:15 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


No it couldn't.
You're so sure your right that you're not even going to bother to explain why, let alone link to any evidence? Well, it's easy to find evidence to show how it could have been.

Here's an article that talks about the potential to pass the public option via reconciliation:
Over the past week, the public option has made an unexpected comeback. As of this morning, 23 Democrats had signed a letter asking Reid to add it into the bill during the reconciliation process. The White House and the Senate leadership both said that if the public option had the votes, they wouldn't oppose its inclusion. But privately, most of the offices were saying the same thing: We don't want to oppose the public option, but we don't want to reopen the public option debate.


There's no mention of any procedural hurdles that would have stopped the public option from being passed by reconciliation. Here's Another article that specifically mentions needing 50 votes for the public option, not 60.

Do you have any basis for believing that the public option couldn't have been passed by reconciliation at all?. It seems hard to imagine that 41 senators would have signed a letter requesting that the public option be passed by reconciliation if it was impossible. I would imagine at least one of them would have known it was against the rules.

What are you talking about?
I dunno, when various Democrats were sitting on the fence over health care reform because they could see that they might be kicked out of office for supporting them
It just boggles my mind that democrats feel like they should be supported even when they don't accomplish anything. They would have lost votes no matter what they did because of the crappy economy, which they're not doing much to fix (needs more stimulus, which they're not doing)
You said that whatever health care reform came out of a Republican administration would be no better or worse than the HCR that passed ("different flavors of inedible").
The reform bill is nearly identical to what Mitt Romney did in Massachusetts, and similar to what the republicans proposed in 1994, and less Liberal then what Nixon proposed. Of course the republicans never bothered trying to actually do any kind of HCR when they were in power. It wasn't a priority for them, obviously.
They can't keep this up. They can't. What I don't get is if this lead is so damned big, why are they acting so desperate? Long-term, they've got nothing.
Just like the democrats! (Also this guy was some random guy running for state senate)
posted by delmoi at 4:15 PM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I never ever ever ever ever say this, but how's about you'se guys take this kerfuffle over to MetaTalk?

At the risk of being all Meta...sorry. I was doing really well about approaching the blue calmly until my usual tea party fare was mixed with the old "Greens Bandwagoners Roont It For Us" gambit was played.

I will do better next time.
posted by Fezboy! at 4:15 PM on September 7, 2010


Artw: Did you? You've been pretty damn queit about that if you have.

Oh no!!!!!!

Artw: All we've heard from you from day one is complaints about how Obama didn't come down from the heavens on a unicorn and blast legislation you favour into place with it's laser eyes, because apparently that's doable within the American political system.

Why, yes, I have suggested that Obama could follow in the footsteps of just about every American President since FDR and take an active role in introducing the kind of legislation he wants to pass. Such a pragmatic criticism certainly falls short of "poisoning the well" since I've consistently announced that I voted for him and would vote for him again.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:23 PM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


sorry for flaming there. maybe metatalk would be good. i don't know anymore.
posted by angrycat at 4:28 PM on September 7, 2010


And I'll again point out that the "defections" you need to worry about are not on the left fringe, which although very vocal here doesn't even come close to tipping most races. It's the center and millions of uncommitted voters who need to be persuaded to stay the course for another two years.

Yelling at voters, most of whom are already committed to Democrats this fall, doesn't make a lick of sense here.

Selling to voters the prospect of continued reform does.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:35 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just wanted to thank honeydew for a cogent and gut-punching (and on-topic) response; I'd favorite it more than once if I could.

All weekend I've had to deliberately not go to Facebook to look up Tim Ravndall and figure out how to tell him just how little it is I think of him. It does no good to knock the scales from someone else's eyes; staking someone out on the road to Damascus misses the point. But still. This shit has got to stop.
posted by kipmanley at 4:42 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


You fucked it up. You poisoned the well. You acted as a conduit for every piece of disinformation you could find. You downplayed everything good and upplayed everything bad. Ultimately you ensured you got less than you would have on health, and when midterms come around you'll ensure your own defeat there. Pretend otherwise all you like.

You know, this doesn't work. Nobody has ever been convinced to switch sides because someone else talked down to them. You're just venting. You'd be better off spending your time and energy doing something productive for Democrats, if that's what's really important to you, because this isn't productive.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:54 PM on September 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


honeydew, I'm crying now too.

This story hit me in waves. First, I rolled my eyes and laughed at what an idiot this guy is. Then I started clicking links and became filled with dread and anger. Then I ended up on Matthew Shepard's home page, and suddenly I imagined his mother reading those comments. His mother. And then I nearly lost it at work.
posted by hermitosis at 4:58 PM on September 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


thesmophoron: "Blah-Nah! *

* This is my new interjection. It means "Hey! I was just going to expend large amounts of mental effort disagreeing with you on the edges of what you said because there are possible interpretations where you're not 100.0000000% correct. But I thought better of it and don't feel like being a contrarian for its own sake today.
"

Your "I know more than you do" comment is annoying at best, and not at all helpful. Why not go full out and explain what about rtha's statement was wrong? I'm curious, and would like to know more.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:03 PM on September 7, 2010


What the holy FUCK you people.

Can you really imagine a worse time under any Democratic leadership than the eight years under Bush the Younger? You didn't get your pony/HCR/this-or-that, I'm sorry. But shut the good god damn up and do anything you can to prevent the Republicans from ever, ever taking power again or you are just as guilty as the most racist teabagger out there.

After eight years of Bush & Co you still believe that the lessor of two evils is no choicel? What more demonstrable proof do you need!? Another country invaded? Another civil liberty stripped away?
posted by digitalprimate at 5:25 PM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


You know, this doesn't work. Nobody has ever been convinced to switch sides because someone else talked down to them.

Yeah, I'm not really seeing how "You fucked it up" and "You poisoned the well" and "You are just as guilty as the most racist teabagger" is going to shame the left side of the political spectrum and/or independents into falling in line and realizing how many different shades of super-awesome the current Democratic leadership is either.
posted by blucevalo at 5:28 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


digitalprimate: After eight years of Bush & Co you still believe that the lessor of two evils is no choicel? What more demonstrable proof do you need!? Another country invaded? Another civil liberty stripped away?

No, but after eight years of Bush and two years of Obama, I realize that the common cold is a bigger threat to Democrats on election day this year.

I also know that telling people who want HCR and a repeal of DOMA and DADT to "shut the god damn up" doesn't really get anything done.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:31 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Which you know, are the reasons why I'm voting Democrat this fall. Why are you?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:31 PM on September 7, 2010


My rhetoric has gotten ahead of my reason.

That said, having just returned from both Holland, with its own historically unique set of craziness, and from SC where, as Mr Byrne put it, "gravity don't mean a thing," I am sincerely afeared that a small lapse in vigilance on the part of those of us voting Democratic will lead to disaster on a scale the most radical Bushists could only dream of. Hence the circle the wagons mentality.

We're complacent because we have President Obama, but there's an ugliness barely below the surface in this country that could, with just a small push, send us down a rabbit hole both theoretically and practically unbearable.
posted by digitalprimate at 5:45 PM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


You want to make a difference in this election? Here is what I recommend:

1: Make a list of three things you hope a Democratic house and senate would do. Make another list of three things you hope Democrats will do in state and local offices.

2: Start telling people. Call people up, and say, "I'm voting for __ because I want to see a, b, and c." Put it up on your social networks. Blog about it. Text it. Tell your neighbors. Tell the guy at the Deli. Write a letter to your newspaper.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:47 PM on September 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


[what he said above]
posted by digitalprimate at 5:49 PM on September 7, 2010


Can you really imagine a worse time under any Democratic leadership than the eight years under Bush the Younger? You didn't get your pony/HCR/this-or-that, I'm sorry. But shut the good god damn up and do anything you can to prevent the Republicans from ever, ever taking power again or you are just as guilty as the most racist teabagger out there.
I'm sorry, but that's just idiotic. There are horrible democrats out there too. I don't think the average republican voter wants to hang gay people. If the democrats have literally nothing to offer beyond fear of the republicans, then what's the point?

Why even bother being involved in the political process if it's just different groups of fanboys with heads full of ridiculous scare stories about the other side based on the antics of extreme outliners. Because that's what it's starting seem like. Hard-core partisans freaking out about some random idiot running for the statehouse from bumbfuck county Montana.

The teabagger types do the same thing, For example the whole ACORN scandal and then the "new black panther" thing where they video taped idiots who happened to be liberal. There was also that Ward Churchill guy the right heaped hate on after 9/11. I don't read their blogs but I get the impression that they bitch and moan about hard-core liberals who don't represent mainstream progressives at all.

Seriously you people sound like hostages. The democrats don't do anything, and then they scare you with stories about crazy republicans, and you get the idea that the republicans will do horrible things if the democrats lose power.

Some people would actually like to see things happen and improve in this country.

The republicans had power for 8 years and what did they do? They started the Iraq war, which was bad -- but supported by democrats at the time. Then there was Katrina, which was a case of incompetence, rather then malice. The Patriot act, Gitmo, spying on citizens, other civil liberties -- still ongoing under the democrats.

I agree that HCR was a step forward, but now that that's done what good are the democrats now? It actually doesn't seem that there even proposing anything major.
posted by delmoi at 6:10 PM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I posted this awhile back, in a comment on another thread. It's one of my favorite Molly Ivins columns, published just before the 2000 election.
So here you are, trying to spot that fine hairsbreadth of difference between the sanctimonious Gore and the clueless Bush, ready to damn both of them in favor of a straight shooter like Nader.

Here's the problem: Government matters most to people on the margins. If I may be blunt about this, we live in a society where the effluent flows downhill. And the people on the bottom are drowning in it.

And it is precisely those citizens — whose lives sometimes literally depend on the difference between a politician who really does have a plan to help with the cost of prescription drugs and one who is only pretending that he does — whose lives can be harmed by your idealism.

The size of a tax cut doesn't matter to people in the richest 1 percent. They're in Fat City now; they don't need more money. But the size of a tax cut makes a real difference to Bush's oft-cited example of the single mom with two kids making $22,000 a year.

When you are barely making it in this society, hanging on by your fingernails, with every unexpected expense a crisis, it matters which is the lesser of two evils.

I know it's hard for young people to envision age or illness, or the sick feeling of frantic despair when your old wreck of a car finally dies (it always does this in traffic) and will not start again. People who work two and even three jobs to support their kids get so tired — you can't imagine how tired — and guilt and depression and anxiety all pile on, too. The difference between Gore and Bush matters to those folks.

This is an old argument between radicals and liberals; sometimes I'm on one side, and sometimes I'm on the other. In the primaries, I vote to change the world; in November, I vote for a sliver more for programs that help the needy.

I do not believe that things have to get worse before they can get better. I think you will find that most mothers object to the idea that you would deliberately do something to make a child's life worse in order to bring about some presumed greater good in the long run. I believe that the best can be the enemy of the better. I believe in taking half a loaf, or even a slice.

And how do we ever change the whole rotten system at that speed? Brick by brick, child by child, slowly, toward liberty and justice for all. The urgent, crucial need right now is to fix the money in politics. It can be done, it will be done, it is being done, and we will get better politics.

In Texas, we'll vote for Nader and a perfect world. You swing-state progressives need to make the hard choice — but you're not making it just for yourselves. Good luck to you all.

posted by zarq at 6:11 PM on September 7, 2010 [26 favorites]


You didn't get your pony/HCR/this-or-that, I'm sorry. But shut the good god damn up and do anything you can to prevent the Republicans from ever, ever taking power again

[wipes spittle from face]

Since your "lesser evil" strategy has brought us to the point where having a President who doesn't order the execution of American citizens without trial is now considered "wanting a pony", I have reluctantly concluded that the strategy doesn't work.

Also, you may want to revisit the "belittle your base" idea. Judging from the recent polls, it's not yielding the hoped-for electoral magic.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:22 PM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


After eight years of Bush & Co you still believe that the lessor of two evils is no choicel? What more demonstrable proof do you need!? Another country invaded? Another civil liberty stripped away?

A civil liberty such as voting for whomever one chooses?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:25 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Another whackjob!
"Christine O'Donnell is the Tea Party candidate for the U.S. Senate in Delaware and wants all of you to stop jerking off right now.

Pun intended?
posted by schmod at 6:29 PM on September 7, 2010


Seriously you people sound like hostages. The democrats don't do anything, and then they scare you with stories about crazy republicans.

Except they weren't stories; it actually happened. We invaded two countries who did us no harm, let the oligarchasdate rape our economy and gave away more civil liberties than enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

And

Since your "lesser evil" strategy has brought us to the point where having a President who doesn't order the execution of American citizens without trial is now considered "wanting a pony"

And you think letting our guard down and possibly electing fuckers even worse than the fuckers that initiated that policy is a matter of principal? Of conscience? Of wanting a pony? Seriously you think the Republicans wouldn't have done even more evil had they been elected two years ago? Honestly?
posted by digitalprimate at 6:30 PM on September 7, 2010


And you think letting our guard down and possibly electing fuckers even worse than the fuckers that initiated that policy is a matter of principal? Of conscience? Of wanting a pony? Seriously you think the Republicans wouldn't have done even more evil had they been elected two years ago? Honestly?

When someone interprets "authorizes the use of deadly force if service of arrest warrant is met with violent resistance" as "ordering the execution of American citizens without trial", you're not gonna persuade them with appeals to reason or sanity.
posted by kafziel at 6:39 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Joe Beese: Since your "lesser evil" strategy has brought us to the point where having a President who doesn't order the execution of American citizens without trial is now considered "wanting a pony", I have reluctantly concluded that the strategy doesn't work.

Well, the alternative is pretty much having one that does. The third alternative, what you want, isn't reachable from this point.

I can understand that you don't like the choices you have, but the worst of the two really will ruin things if we let it. Anyways, the reason the democratic party is as centrist as it has become is to compete with the republicans; if the republicans lose enough support, they'll become more central and the democrats will become more liberal, so you might get what you want from the democrats eventually. Plus, if the democrats eventually get enough support, they'll split up into two smaller parties due to internal differences. So you might get the third party you want at that point.
posted by Mitrovarr at 6:41 PM on September 7, 2010


Jesus would punch this guy in the fucking face.
posted by Mister_A at 6:42 PM on September 7, 2010


I think one negative effect of Nader 2000 is that we progressives have become so touchy when it comes to policy debates. There are some pretty sharp schisms in the Republican coalition that people are very vocal about, and a spoiler party that has pulled 3-5 times as many votes as the Greens since 2004. But not this, "don't criticize ___, you'll spoil the election" talk any time someone grouses that a candidate isn't conservative enough.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:44 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


but it looks like they rooted out a pretty active provocateur today.

A Rand Paul staffer, no less.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:49 PM on September 7, 2010


I hereby retract my attempt to reason with the Firebaggers here and elsewhere.

You haven't "reasoned" with anyone here. You've hurled insults at people for not doing what you wanted them to.

I am bailing out of these threads and praying (as only a secular humanist can) for you to find the light (hint: it starts with pulling your head out of your arse) and to become a willing participant in the collation of the sane.

Thanks for bailing.
posted by zarq at 6:51 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


When (if) you educate yourselves as to what genuine progressive politics entails in these United (fucked up) States of America, call me.

Does it involve continuing to yell at people who will vote Democrat this fall? And how is that working for you?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:52 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


That is a pathetically uncharacteristic reading of this and previous comments, zarq. Hope you enjoy Speaker Boehner, then. Bravo. Ideological purity: 1, Republican take-over: 10. Well played.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:55 PM on September 7, 2010


I wonder if some of this is an experiential thing.

I was so excited when Clinton was elected I almost wet myself. Cut to two years later, when Clinton dismantled federal entitlement programs for the poor -- I tried my hand as an amateur lobbyist and got myself thrown out of a senators office.

I hated Clinton after some of his changes to programs for the poor.

In the context of that whole thing, I was tied to the TV during the horror that was Bush v. Gore, but more as a geeky news addict than anything else. It seemed to me that everybody in power was crap, though Gore was substantially less crappy than Bush. But it really did seem like a choice between two kinds of poop, only one stank less.

And then we had eight years that may go down as one of the worst periods of decision making in American history.

So I get why leftist Obama detractors a) Think they're being asked to support poop and b) We should think outside the box and go with a non-poop substitute.

Speaking only for myself, this is why I try to be calm in these Obama ain't good discussions, and then flame: I'm gun shy. Really really gun shy from going from Clinton (blech) to Bush (O MY GOD THE FIERY HOUNDS OF HELL) to Obama (blech on some issues).
posted by angrycat at 7:01 PM on September 7, 2010


If this - and so many similar - threads have shown anything, it is that there is an arguably healthy inter-party discourse on the left. In case my online persona fails to have made it clear, I sincerely hug the JoeBeeses and KirkJobSluders of the world, if only because I know (deep down) they are on the side of right here. Apologies for hateful rhetoric, I know we all want the same (or similar) things, policy-wise. Just wish we co-existed with a polity along equally sane lines. Seriously: sorry for abetting the circular firing squad. GRAR: this is difficult.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:06 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would hazard that the mindset of this dumbfuck is pretty prevalent among Tea Party leadership (this kind of thing has happened way too much for it to be coincidental). They are the puppetmasters pulling the strings of Tea Party voters who may, or may not, feel the same way. Remember, the leadership is probably much more politically motivated than the rank-and-file-voters. Also, as pointed out above, it's important to recognize that hatred/fear of "big government" != hatred/fear of gays - although there is a metric shitload of intentional conflation going on in this "movement".

Every incident that shines a light into reptilian thinking on the part of elected officials needs to be exposed and debated - doesn't really matter what side they're on. Shame still works from time to time.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:08 PM on September 7, 2010


[few comments removed. BACK IT UP and be decent or go somewhere else to be assholes about politics. Seriously, no death threads, no fuck you talk, no taunting. MetaTalk is your option if this chafes.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:14 PM on September 7, 2010


Artw: ... we're calling you that because you've already done it.

Let's do the time warp again!

Artw: relentless negativity

I can't even take this seriously, my goodness. If giving credit to Obama for the health care bill, the stimulus package, a winning strategy in 2008 (which doesn't seem to be happening now), and getting the ball rolling on DADT is relentless negativity, I'd hate to see what you call the teabaggers. Ultimate negativity?

So, what are your three things?

angrycat: So I get why leftist Obama detractors a) Think they're being asked to support poop and b) We should think outside the box and go with a non-poop substitute.

What you don't get is that most of us are a) committed to holding our nose and supporting poop anyway and, b) think outside the box in terms of local activism and services, legal activism, lobbying, etc., etc., not third-party candidates at this time.

The Greens lost. And at a tiny fraction of a percent they're not worth chasing. They're insignificant.

joe lisboa: Apologies for hateful rhetoric, I know we all want the same (or similar) things, policy-wise.

Thank you.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:27 PM on September 7, 2010


That is a pathetically uncharacteristic reading of this and previous comments, zarq.

Actually, it seems fairly accurate to me. You've not commented much in this thread, and most of what you've said has been quite angry, yet light on constructive content. Preaching to the choir and attacking people who disagree with you is not generally considered an acceptable substitution for critical thought and analysis around here.

Hope you enjoy Speaker Boehner, then. Bravo. Ideological purity: 1, Republican take-over: 10. Well played.

Perhaps if you had bothered to ask me what my political leanings are, you'd know my feelings on the matter.
posted by zarq at 7:28 PM on September 7, 2010


Perhaps if you had bothered to ask me what my political leanings are, you'd know my feelings on the matter.


Really? That is what my good-natured apologia engenders? Okay, I apologize further for presuming you are not a GOP shell. You win, I guess? You are making this harder than I hoped, zarq.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:31 PM on September 7, 2010


Really? That is what my good-natured apologia engenders?

I hadn't seen it when I clicked "post comment." I don't always preview beforehand. Thank you for apologizing.
posted by zarq at 7:34 PM on September 7, 2010


Or are you just pissed cuz I omitted you from the JoeBeese and KrikJobSluder apologia from before? Seriously, l have no idea what prompted this particularly self-obsessed call-out other than your own hurt fee-fees. Again: I am sorry for contributing to the circular firing squad of the left, but painting a target on your callow chest and bitching about my failure to take aim strikes me as pathetic at best. Please prove me wrong.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:36 PM on September 7, 2010


Should I assume you also didn't preview? Or would you like me to respond?
posted by zarq at 7:37 PM on September 7, 2010


Shit. That is what I get for not previewing, either. Seriously: my bad.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:38 PM on September 7, 2010


*hugs zarq, red-facedly so*
posted by joe lisboa at 7:38 PM on September 7, 2010


Get a room, girlymen!
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:40 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


S'ok. No harm, no foul.

You're right that we want the same things politically. We really do.
posted by zarq at 7:40 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Get a room, girlymen!

Dude, anyone with "Threeway" in their name.... :D
posted by zarq at 7:41 PM on September 7, 2010


*hugs joe*

In a manly-slap-on-the-back sorta way, of course.
posted by zarq at 7:41 PM on September 7, 2010


In a manly-slap-on-the-back sorta way, of course.

Of course! Thanks for being a mensch.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:44 PM on September 7, 2010


This guy named Markos Moulitsas - he runs a blog or something, I think - put it best:

If Democrats can’t deliver on good policy with strong popular support and dominant congressional majorities, then they’re too incompetent to be in power.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:44 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm reluctant to step into what is a pretty big derail, but I'm one of those awful hippie Nader voters (twice, as it happens) who made my choices for reasons less defiant than the presumed angry-young-man political tantrum. I come from Democratic stock on both sides (actually Socialist stock on my Irish, blue-collar Baltimore side, where my family once had Eugene V. Debs over for dinner), and I campaigned with my family for Carter (talk about being the uncoolest kids in school), stumped for Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, etcetera. Even my church-going Southern Baptist relatives have stuck firm to the party.

I was so proud to vote for Clinton in '92. It's hard for people younger than me, who didn't live through the through-the-looking-glass inverted, ugly, mean-spirited world of Reagan and Bush I, to understand the flush of possibility that came to me that day when I ran my ballot into a machine, watched the results, and saw an empire of nastiness come crashing down.

Oh my, what a day that was.

I was pretty much a one-issue voter, then, too, being a 24 year-old gay guy who'd emerged in adulthood in the middle of AIDS and Reagan's murderous indifference. That's not entirely true, of course, and I was and remain socially progressive in most of my motives, but the emotional hot button was that I harbored the unamerican belief that I am a valid human being, despite what the killers and the spoilers want to make out.

The nightmare of don't-ask-don't-tell was a body blow. I just couldn't fathom why, when Clinton was beaten, he didn't just drop it, but that's not how it went, and that malignant policy was the law of the land that wrecked a lot of lives.

In '96, when Clinton enthusiastically—braggingly, even—signed the "Defense" of Marriage Act, I was done. At his malicious, wretched worst, Reagan could have never dreamed of successfully pushing something as global and mean-spirited as that law, which was the first anti-rights law ever to come into being to circumvent the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution.

Fall of '96, I voted for Nader.

S'okay, though. I'm in Maryland. It's party building, okay? The polling place proctors, all neighbors and friends, chuckled when I requested instructions on doing a write-in, and said "heck, we thought John Lofton would be the guy to do the first write-in," which is not too unlikely, as he called the next street over home and is a terribly loud crank of a whatever-he-is. In my district, they publish tallies of how many voters voted for each candidate, and I was the only Nader voter. Baba Booey actually received more write-in votes in that year.

The party-line Dems told me to chill out, to wait, to let Clinton do his magic and use all that political capital to do some good stuff for the gays…except he really just didn't. He needed that capital to get him out of hot water when he did other things, I suppose. I chilled out and waited, and watched Gore work on things like the Telecommunications Act, which pretty much obliterated independent radio and funneled our media down to an assailable few corporate owners.

I think I sort of half-believed the "they're all the same" Nader line back in 2000, because Clinton/Gore had pulled some amazing feats of right-wing policy co-opting, but my vote's meaningless because I'm in Maryland, which will pretty much always go with the Dems, so it wasn't a hard choice to make a stand for a third party. I sort of half-believed the line because it was sort of half-true, and despite Gore's post-office media events, I still don't have much confidence in him, and the thought of the little conservative troll doll VP being a heartbeat away from office was scary.

Besides, how can you take Bush seriously?

People forget what a floundering, one-term loser he was until he had the luckiest day of his life in 2001. He really was just a cipher, a blank-faced nothing of a guy, voted in on little more than a vague feeling that he'd be a fun guy to bullshit around with down at the corner bar and a complete disastrous, inept campaign on the Gore team's part.

Except for his very lucky day—

And, well, the Dems rolled over. Oh my fvcking gawd how they rolled. They rolled for the war, for the Patriot Act, for FISA, for one thing after another after another after another, and I could be forgiven for saying, with a hell of a lot more conviction, that the parties sure seemed pretty similar.

Except, well no. You know whose fault this whole mess is? It's us Nader voters! It's how we split the vote, we stupid, naïve hacky-sack playing hippie idiots! It wasn't that Gore ran a campaign where he couldn't beat an idiot, coming from the administration that was supposed to have given us the greatest economy ever. It was selfish, tie-dyed dumbasses like me.

All that rage, all that demeaning, ugly, insulting trafficking in stereotypes cartoonish enough for television, all the blame, and the indignant judgments, all aimed at who? Aimed at Democrats who voted in lockstep with the Republicans on the war? Aimed at Democrats who went on to mount the next tragic non-campaign? Aimed at something, at anything, that might make a difference?

I rarely talk about politics anymore. Eight years of being the scapegoat for the Bush years has burned me out on arguing with apologists for any party. I left the Nader camp in '04, when he turned out to be a media whore whose claims of wanting to build a third party were shown up by his inexplicable independent run. Yeah, I'm eating crow—the guy's a dick—but only on the issues of personality and character. Held my nose and voted Kerry, but there wasn't a chance in hell.

In 2010, I'm supposed to accept that voting for the lessor of two evils is just fine, and I get it, I really do. I get the sausage factory, the industry of politics, and the lot of it, but you know, in 2010, I am not a valid human being to either of the big parties. Tell me to wait some more. I'll do it because I can't do anything else, unless I can get this Point-Of-View Gun I've been building in my basement to work properly. I'll wait, I'll hold my nose and vote, and I'll get stuck in conversation after conversation with right-wingers who want to goad me into defending Obama (or Clinton—their time machines are stuck on "remember how you ruined the whole world?" too), who really doesn't seem to give a shit about my inherent, evolution-given humanity.

I'm sitting here writing this because I'm tired, and yet I'm not entirely worn-out.

The thing is, to get back to the actual topic of this post—the reason I'm not entirely worn-out is because I've seen the future, and it's a place about seventy miles east of here, where it's lighter and populated by the people of my niece's generation, who have heard all the crazy right-wing, religious, and locker-room bullsh!t about fags and sin and everything and have looked at their little friends, who came out at twelve instead of thirty and were just people, just like them, just exactly like them, and laughed at how dumb grownups are in the same way people of my age laughed and scowled at pictures of George Wallace standing in a doorway, wondering who could have ever believed a load of crap like what that guy believed?

The tea parties are all doing what people do when they're drowning, and they flail and rail and cry out about the end of the world, but it's their world that's ending, not this world. The next few years are going to get ugly, just like they did in those olden days when people figured out that they'd been wrong for so very, very long, but I don't see a way for the haters to convince people that what they see, feel, and know about people they love is wrong.

Maybe it's the hippie in me, or just more naïveté, but I think we did something right and raised a skeptical generation to replace our squabbling selves, and while we fight the battles, the war's already won. We just have to wait a bit, just like they said all along, though the heroes and exemplars coming to save the day almost certainly aren't the ones chasing after your vote.

Maybe I'm wrong. Sometimes I am, and sometimes I'm right.

This time, though, I think I'm right. Only time will tell.
posted by sonascope at 7:46 PM on September 7, 2010 [59 favorites]


Sorry all. It gets all too predictably easy to squabble over tactics whilst forgetting about the larger war at stake. I hereby promise to stop trying to score internet debating points at the expense of forging a larger coalition against the politically insane. Thanks for the wake-up call, as it were.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:53 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have friends who would probably barely recognize the name Matthew Shepard if he were mentioned, and I bet they wouldn't make the connection between him and Wyoming unless it were explained outright.

Zarq, the man said you should check Wyoming newspaper archives from ten years ago for a picture of the proper way to "hang up...fruits." If you can think of anything this could possibly be referring to besides Matthew Shepard, I'd love to hear it.
posted by straight at 7:54 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


zarq, thanks for reminding me of Molly Ivins. I miss her and her clearheaded, actual-hands-dirty reporting and real-life-lived perspective.

Now, that said, you also say this:
I have friends who would probably barely recognize the name Matthew Shepard if he were mentioned, and I bet they wouldn't make the connection between him and Wyoming unless it were explained outright.

People tend to be peculiarly tunnel-visioned about historical events that don't concern them directly.
Matthew Shepard is a notable name, and anyone who follows the news, even vaguely, would be aware of that name, and the circumstances of his death. The young man has a law named after him. Let's do a search with google for articles mentioning his name just on foxnews.

I think people concerned enough about the legislative process to run for office might be aware enough of the news to know about prominent (and to some, controversial) legislation Matthew Sheperd. Those foxnews articles almost all have a reference to why it's so named.
posted by artlung at 7:59 PM on September 7, 2010


And it is precisely those citizens — whose lives sometimes literally depend on the difference between a politician who really does have a plan to help with the cost of prescription drugs and one who is only pretending that he does — whose lives can be harmed by your idealism.

The size of a tax cut doesn't matter to people in the richest 1 percent.
Vote for us or the kitty poor people get it!

How does cutting social security, which is what Obama's deficit committee is likely to do going to help poor old people? Bush wasn't able to privatize social security, but what happens if a democratic administration is pushing it?

What's happened to the millions of people who lost their jobs because Obama was too afraid of political controversy to push for a stimulus that would have actually done the job (at least 1.2 trillion, according to Christy Romer's internal reports).

The fact of the matter is that people 'at the margins' are significantly worse off then they were two years ago, and while Obama didn't cause the economic problems, he hasn't done much to fix them, because it would upset the rich and powerful who fund both parties.

(More deficits now mean higher taxes later on. Better go with 'austerity' and cutting spending even though it makes things worse in the long run and worse for the poor and lower middle class now).
After eight years of Bush & Co you still believe that the lessor of two evils is no choicel? What more demonstrable proof do you need!? Another country invaded? Another civil liberty stripped away?

A civil liberty such as voting for whomever one chooses?
Or not assassinating U.S. citizens. What exactly is the difference between bush and Obama on civil liberties from your perspective? They seem nearly identical. And again, lots of democrats voted for the Iraq war, and it authorization resolution wouldn't have passed without their support.

Seriously, it actually seems like a lot of Democrat defenders don't actually pay attention to the news or something.
Except they weren't stories; it actually happened. We invaded two countries who did us no harm, let the oligarchasdate rape our economy and gave away more civil liberties than enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
If by "We" you mean "republicans and democrats". And "two countries"? I'm not a fan of the war in Afghanistan, but did you pay attention to the campaign at all? Obama promised to increase our troup presence. He claimed Bush Do you watch the news? Obama followed through on his promise and actually did put more troupes there!

How can you seriously use opposition to the war in Afghanistan as an argument in favor of Obama and the democrats? Do you watch the news at all?

And in case you hadn't noticed, olicarchies are still raping our economy, and civil liberties are still being raped by the Obama administration. He's kept pretty much everything bush had, and added assassination of U.S. citizens. How exactly is that an improvement?

The only thing you can point too is the Iraq war, but again, democrats supported that too!

---
I was so excited when Clinton was elected I almost wet myself. Cut to two years later, when Clinton dismantled federal entitlement programs for the poor -- I tried my hand as an amateur lobbyist and got myself thrown out of a senator's office.
That's another good point. Clinton "ended" welfare "as we knew it". Which definetly fucked over those 'marginal' people. The idea that voting for democrats is going to help the poor and struggling wasn't the case with Clinton, and if Obama's deficit commission goes the way it appears to be headed then it will have been Obama, rather then a republican who screwed social security.

Hardly big wins for the "poor and marginal".
posted by delmoi at 7:59 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Zarq, the man said you should check Wyoming newspaper archives from ten years ago for a picture of the proper way to "hang up...fruits." If you can think of anything this could possibly be referring to besides Matthew Shepard, I'd love to hear it.

I'm not going to make excuses for the man. I think it was a despicable statement. I'm just saying that it's possible Ravndell didn't make the mental connection between Wyoming and Shepard before he agreed. I certainly don't think he was in any way right to do so.

I've never been convinced that right-wingers understand or even care about the importance of Shepard's life and memory to those of us who want and are demanding equality for all Americans.

Here's an analogue: Father Richard John Neuhaus. Neuhaus was arguably one of the most influential evangelical religious figures of the 20th century. He was an unofficial advisor to President Bush (II), and his opinion influenced Bush's positions on every issue that's important to the Catholic Church -- from abortion to stem cells to gay marriage.

I suspect most folks who are active in the pro-life movement are familiar with his name and perhaps even his books and statements. He was a pretty important voice to them. But I would be willing to bet that he's not particularly well-known to most moderates or lefties.

I'm not trying to measure the two men against each other. I'm just saying that Shepard may not have been on Ravndell's mental radar.
posted by zarq at 8:13 PM on September 7, 2010


Matthew Shepard is a notable name, and anyone who follows the news, even vaguely, would be aware of that name, and the circumstances of his death. The young man has a law named after him. Let's do a search with google for articles mentioning his name just on foxnews.

I think people concerned enough about the legislative process to run for office might be aware enough of the news to know about prominent (and to some, controversial) legislation Matthew Sheperd. Those foxnews articles almost all have a reference to why it's so named.


True. I admit I could be completely wrong about this.

I just wonder if the folks on the right who oppose civil rights for gay and transgendered men and women understand the impact his murder had, and what a galvanizing force his memory has become.
posted by zarq at 8:17 PM on September 7, 2010


Of course! Thanks for being a mensch.

Thank YOU for being one. :)
posted by zarq at 8:17 PM on September 7, 2010


"I just wonder if the folks on the right who oppose civil rights for gay and transgendered men and women understand the impact his murder had, and what a galvanizing force his memory has become."

They're aware. It was one President Barack Obama who signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act a little over a year ago.

Those folks on the right do tend to keep up with the President. I'm pretty sure they don't like what he does.
posted by artlung at 8:20 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


After reading this thread I've mostly given up on the democrats chances this fall. There are clearly many of you who think we still have a chance, but I've seen the fundraising totals and it doesn't look good. I'm also disturbed at the ease with which the right wing media machine has convinced many here that HCR, Financial Reform, Energy Legislation and other significant work from this President and Congress have been anything less than a liberal triumph. On the other hand as a married straight white male, who has been moderately successful I'm going to assume if the Republicans win, I'll get a big tax cut. So I plan to celebrate their victory with a tea party party. If you don't like the idea of me spending money borrowed form the Chinese and given to me in ridiculously low tax rates on things that will contribute to global warming and support the consumer culture; then you can contribute to this act blue page and stop my Tea Party Party. If enough people donate I'll change my plans.
posted by humanfont at 8:28 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm also disturbed at the ease with which the right wing media machine has convinced many here that HCR, Financial Reform, Energy Legislation and other significant work from this President and Congress have been anything less than a liberal triumph.
Please. The right wing noise machine was working to portray those things as EPIC TRIUMPH for LEFT WING SOCIALIST TYRANNY. Also, what energy legislation are you talking about? I don't think they passed anything at all, so how could it be a liberal triumph?
posted by delmoi at 8:42 PM on September 7, 2010


> After eight years of Bush & Co you still believe that the lessor of two evils is no choicel? What more demonstrable proof do you need!? Another country invaded? Another civil liberty stripped away?

We're getting all this with Mr. Obama (if you count three half wars in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia as equal to a whole war).

Mr. Obama and the Democrats took our support and our votes and our money and delivered us nothing. If we continue to reward them with our unconditional support, they'll truly understand that they never need give us anything every again. The Democrats need to stop spitting in the face of their base. The Republicans would never be so stupid.

Mr. Obama is in many ways responsible for the existence of the Tea Party. By pushing the Democrats so aggressively to the right, he's forced the Republicans to move to the loony bin right. This is deeply unhealthy for the country.

We cannot keep adding negatives to get a positive. The Democrats need to understand that they are answerable to us, their supporters. Telling them has only gotten us abuse. We need to show them that we are serious.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:46 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


It wasn't Nader's fault people didn't see much of a difference between Gore and Bush.

"On the real, important issues of corporate power, the only difference between Gore and Bush is the velocity with which their knees hit the floor when big corporations knock on their door." -- Ralph Nader

"There is a difference between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, but not that much." -- Ralph Nader
DONALDSON: Well, you said repeatedly that you don’t think you would throw the race to Bush. You don’t think it matters. You’ve said it doesn’t matter to you who is the president of the United States, Bush or Gore.

NADER: Because it’s the permanent corporate government that’s running the show here. What do you think 22,000 corporate lobbyists every day and 9,000 corporate PACs do? The two parties are becoming increasingly insignificant that way, and you can see they’re morphing more and more, on more and more issues, into one corporate party.
-- Ralph Nader Interview With Sam Donaldson

"I have indicated that there are 'few major differences' between the two parties, not that there is ''no difference between Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush.'" -- Ralph Nader
posted by kirkaracha at 8:49 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


The best way to think about the Tea Party movement is that it's basically the kind of extremist nationalist ideology that tends to emerge in times of national hardship and cultural instability, such as 1920s Germany or Yugoslavia following the collapse of communism.

By themselves, such movements aren't particularly dangerous. The real danger is when those movements are bankrolled by an oftentimes-discredited and desperate right wing, and by large corporations, with the premise that such groups can be controlled... which they can't.

The sub-narrative to these organizations is generally about scapegoating certain ethnic or political groups for their failures, and empowering their people to go on a free-for-all, essentially.

These groups don't even need to "come to power" in order to essentially take control in critical ways. For example, there's the overtly racist, ultranationalist Yisrael Beiteinu, who has less than 20% support, but only the other day announced that they're going to effectively block any chance of successful peace negotiations, while continuing to build settlements.

Most of the time, these groups just hold their countries back and lead to a prolonged period of decline. However, the longer the economic/social/political environment supports their existence, the more dangerous they get, leading to a government that usually turns against repressing elements of its own people, and, if prolonged, against other countries.

The real question is what, if anything, can be done to stop these groups from gradually obtaining more power, once the right wing starts bankrolling them, short of removing the conditions that provoke their growth in the first place.
posted by markkraft at 8:55 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mr. Obama and the Democrats took our support and our votes and our money and delivered us nothing.

Well, I do not deign to speak for you or yours, but as a Detroiter and Michigan-resident and working-class nobody, I have to question your sense of quote-unquote nothing, as you put it. President McCain would have left the domestic auto industry (among many other folks and industries) twisting in the wind. This might be an academic exercise to you (maybe?) and yours, but for me and mine, it is the difference between a livelihood and surrender/desperation altogether.

Also: I have health insurance now. But, you know, that does not line up with your own ideological interests, so whatever. I try so hard to stay copacetic with the intellectual left (being part of it, and all) but this sort of shit just sells us all short. I wish it were a game for me and my proto-family. It is not. So please stop treating it as such. This shit means something.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:01 PM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


This original post is about a Tea-Partiers talking about murdering gay people and banning homosexuality and the comment thread is about how the Democrats are just as bad because they haven't repealed DADT. Do I have that right?

Christ this country is fucked.

All things considered, I'd rather vote for the folks who don't want to murder my friends or throw them in prison.
posted by empath at 9:01 PM on September 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


The real question is what, if anything, can be done to stop these groups from gradually obtaining more power, once the right wing starts bankrolling them, short of removing the conditions that provoke their growth in the first place.

I think as long as the radicalization is restricted to the voting both, it's fine, because radicals are called radicals for a reason -- they won't win majorities. If it expands to actual violence, then we have a problem.

Keep in mind, we're in a recession, not a depression. This is not the Weimar republic. The Republic isn't desperate, it's only cranky.
posted by empath at 9:07 PM on September 7, 2010


This original post is about a Tea-Partiers talking about murdering gay people.

It was actually a thread about someone getting kicked out of the tea party for talking about murdering gay people.
posted by delmoi at 9:10 PM on September 7, 2010


If you want to do some good, pass some bucks to the atheists in that particular foxhole, Montana Human Rights Network. Truly good people.
posted by warbaby at 10:06 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


President McCain would have left the domestic auto industry (among many other folks and industries) twisting in the wind.

Here's an idea for a push poll: "Would the country be better or worse than it is today if Sarah Palin had won the Presidential election?"
posted by Jimmy Havok at 10:30 PM on September 7, 2010


Please. The right wing noise machine was working to portray those things as EPIC TRIUMPH for LEFT WING SOCIALIST TYRANNY. Also, what energy legislation are you talking about? I don't think they passed anything at all, so how could it be a liberal triumph?

The right wing media uses a combination of strategies. To their audience on the right every step is ultraleft. Then on the left they flood the zone with not good enough outrage. Classic divide and conquer.

You say they passed nothing:
1- health care reform. Coverage for kids, business pooling, buy into government plans. Perhaps you should check out http://www.healthcare.gov
2- financial regulatory reform including federal oversight of insurance industry, the Volker rule and hedge fund regulations.
3- energy and transportation bills-- the biggest investment in public transportation and clean energy in our countries history. Potentially the biggest change since the interstate highway and the TVA.

Oh yeah and we saved the auto industry got back half the tarp money already and extended unemployment benefits.

And we started and orderly withdrawal from Iraq.

We would have had carbon trading and immigration reform but Lindsey Graham chickened out.

Nothing Done? Go write the DCCC a check and a letter of apology for slinging that bullshit.
posted by humanfont at 11:39 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I can't get over honeydew and sonascope's comments. Thanks for sharing those.

Legal and social recognition as full equals of straight people is not a "pony" request, but a demand that others recognize our common, basic human dignity, and that that dignity be protected in the face of very real legal and physical opposition. I will no more cease criticizing Obama and other Democrats for foot-dragging* than I will cease insisting that I'm no less of a citizen or a human for being bi. Moreover, no one can justly insist that I cease the first activity any more than they can the second because those activities are one in the same.

If that doesn't fit your preferred electioneering strategy, do some good and go try converting the folks who are uncomfortable with the idea of LGBT folks being free to live and work like anyone else. They may not be any more likely to budge than I am, but at least you'd be in the right when you ask them to do so.

*To put it charitably. While they have been slow on popular measures like ENDA and DADT, they, along with the Republican and Tea Party, have actively opposed less popular ones, like same-sex marriage.

And since we're on the "it's the complaining liberals' fault" derail anyway...

Ultimately you ensured you got less than you would have on health, and when midterms come around you'll ensure your own defeat there.

I suspect that the 9.5% unemployment rate and the proportion of potential voters in a given district who are white, straight, and either between 30 and 45 or older than 55 have more effect on voting outcomes than leftist complaints on the internet. It's less satisfying than moral outrage, I'll grant, but does a hell of a lot better job of predicting the outcome in any given district than the survey responses to the question, "Did you listen to leftist liberals complain about Obama and other Democrats?"
posted by Marty Marx at 1:50 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Then on the left they flood the zone with not good enough outrage.

Most of the people who want to see more reform from the Democrats are committed to voting for them anyway. The rest are an immovable triviality of 0.1% of the polity.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:37 AM on September 8, 2010


Ok, 0.3% in California still something of a triviality when Dems are trailing by much larger numbers.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:57 AM on September 8, 2010


Hey, anyone else remember how in 2008 a group of Republican monkeywrenchers got the MSM convinced that middle-aged women were going to walk out of the Democratic National Convention rather nominate Obama? Then the PUMAs turned out to be little more than a Republican front of a few dozen?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:39 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm also disturbed at the ease with which the right wing media machine has convinced many here that HCR, Financial Reform, Energy Legislation and other significant work from this President and Congress have been anything less than a liberal triumph.

Right-wing media machines like the World Socialist Web Site?

Obama's toothless banking overhaul to become law

And the owner of Daily Kos?

Insurance companies win. Time to kill this monstrosity coming out of the Senate.

Look, if you think that a law forcing you to give a government-mandated percentage of your income directly to for-profit, anti-trust exempt corporations who all but wrote that law themselves represents a "liberal triumph", we can agree to disagree.

But please don't insult me by saying that my disagreement was programmed into me by Rupert Murdoch. OK?
posted by Joe Beese at 5:48 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, anyone else remember how in 2008 a group of Republican monkeywrenchers got the MSM convinced that middle-aged women were going to walk out of the Democratic National Convention rather nominate Obama? Then the PUMAs turned out to be little more than a Republican front of a few dozen?

No. On the other hand, I clearly remember a lot of Hillary Clinton supporters who were infuriated with the disrespectful way they and their candidate were treated by their own party. I also clearly remember how despicably they were shunned, censored, mocked and shouted down by the community over at Daily Kos.

Feel free to try to rewrite history if you like, but it doesn't change the truth of what happened: the left wing was highly intolerant and aggressive against its own dissenting minority.
posted by zarq at 5:50 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


No. On the other hand, I clearly remember a lot of Hillary Clinton supporters who were infuriated with the disrespectful way they and their candidate were treated by their own party. I also clearly remember how despicably they were shunned, censored, mocked and shouted down by the community over at Daily Kos.

This is buillshit, honestly.
posted by empath at 6:13 AM on September 8, 2010


So, wait... I came into a thread about Tea Party attacks on homosexuals and wandered into a bunch of attacks on Nader?

I don't even know where I am anymore.
posted by sonika at 6:17 AM on September 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


zarq: Certainly there was a ton of misogyny floating around Daily Kos. But the incident I'm thinking about in particular involved Republicans trying to game that in order to create a mess of irrational infighting.

On the eve of the DNC, an "organization" calling themselves "Party Unity, My Ass" declared that a coalition of white women were going to switch over to the Republican Party. The MSM was all over this like flies on a shit sandwich, and it drew a ton of much the same irrational drama that we're seeing here on this thread, including paranoid conspiracies that Clinton will lead a block of voters away from the Democrats.

This, of course, had no basis in reality. Clinton was already on heavy interview rotation unequivocally endorsing Obama. The PUMAs turned out to be tiny Republican-funded group, and there were few protests, much less a mass defection of Clinton supporters. Democratic partisans were fighting an entirely illusionary threat born of their own paranoia.

The fears of a decisive Green defection strikes me very much like the historical legend of the English watchman charged with perpetually looking for the return of Napoleon Bonaparte decades after his death.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:25 AM on September 8, 2010


Mr. Obama is in many ways responsible for the existence of the Tea Party. By pushing the Democrats so aggressively to the right, he's forced the Republicans to move to the loony bin right. This is deeply unhealthy for the country.

Jesus. This is so ... Christ, I don't even know where to begin. This is the kind of childish nonsense that almost makes me wish for a Palin presidency and a Republican Congress just so I could watch them kick the shit out of nitwits like you. Almost, I say, because while they were kicking the shit out of you, they'd be kicking the shit out of me, too.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:39 AM on September 8, 2010


Hey, sonascope, I hear you. But I really take issue with some of what you say.

I could be forgiven for saying, with a hell of a lot more conviction, that the parties sure seemed pretty similar.

Except that without Bush, there would have been no invasion of Iraq, and there would have been no massive tax cut that made our deficit explode. Presidents really do make a difference.

Except, well no. You know whose fault this whole mess is? It's us Nader voters! It's how we split the vote, we stupid, naïve hacky-sack playing hippie idiots! It wasn't that Gore ran a campaign where he couldn't beat an idiot, coming from the administration that was supposed to have given us the greatest economy ever. It was selfish, tie-dyed dumbasses like me.

In legal theory there is something called the last clear chance doctrine. The rough definition is that the person to blame is the person who knew disaster was coming and had the last opportunity to avert it. In early November 2000 the polls were flipping back and forth. Nobody knew who was going to win the election. Anyone who voted for Nader knew there was a possibility they were tilting the election to Bush. The neocons had been clamoring for years to invade Iraq. Bush ran on a platform of a massive tax cut (remember "fuzzy math" during the presidential debates)?

Yes. The Dems in Congress rolled over. They voted for the massive tax cut and they voted for FISA and the AUMF to go into Iraq. But without Bush in office, those policies would never have existed.

The Republican Party is massively incompetent and, if I believed in the existence of evil, I would call them evil. They must be stopped at all costs. I hope everyone here realizes this.
posted by Tin Man at 6:47 AM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is buillshit, honestly.

No, it's not. But hey, feel free to try and rewrite history if that makes you feel better.
posted by zarq at 6:48 AM on September 8, 2010


I don't know that I'd want to hang my hat with the PUMAs considering the company they tended to keep.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:54 AM on September 8, 2010


Mr. Obama is in many ways responsible for the existence of the Tea Party. By pushing the Democrats so aggressively to the right, he's forced the Republicans to move to the loony bin right. This is deeply unhealthy for the country.

I disagree. markkraft touched on this a bit above.

History shows us that the American political landscape is cyclical. Extremists rise and fall in popularity based on the country's mood and economic status. When times are good, extremists tend to remain marginalized. When times are challenging, those elements tend to become more outspoken. Wars and recessions consistently galvanize extremists.

From Father Coughlin to Joe McCarthy, the hatemongers and paranoiacs gain power when the masses feel insecure.

So, for the last 20 years, right wing extremists have been fed a steady diet of fascistic nationalism, racism, bigotry and fearmongering from pundits in the media, like Limbaugh, Coulter, Malkin, etc. During the Clinton boom, they slowly gained power, but once President Bush II started the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, their influence and audiences grew quickly. The recession has sped up that process.

So, now far right wing politicians have picked up and spread their rhetoric in order to win elections on the backs of an increasingly disaffected and frightened audience. They play off the fears of the electorate in order to secure and maintain power. They portray this country as "Us Vs. Them" because it works.

VP Cheney and Karl Rove are masters of this technique. Fearmongering wins elections. Every speech Cheney gave during the 2004 election cycle could have been summarized as "Do What I Say, Or The Terrorists Win."

We cannot keep adding negatives to get a positive.

If you're looking for negatives, Republican rhetoric and the divisive politics would be a better place to place blame than a President who ran one of the most positive campaigns in modern history.
posted by zarq at 7:06 AM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Tin Man: In legal theory there is something called the last clear chance doctrine. The rough definition is that the person to blame is the person who knew disaster was coming and had the last opportunity to avert it.

Which doesn't really apply here because applies liability in a contributory negligence framework, not blame.

Still, it's a moot point because the Greens are an irrelevant footnote these days while failures of Democratic electoral leadership vs organized conservative activism seems to be a lesson of 2000 we're doomed to repeat.

Tin Man: Anyone who voted for Nader knew there was a possibility they were tilting the election to Bush.

Actually slim to none in my state. It was never in play, and the only question in September, October, and November was the point spread.

octobersurprise: I don't know that I'd want to hang my hat with the PUMAs considering the company they tended to keep.

Given that the PUMAs were mostly a hoax, I don't know that there would have been a place to hang your hat. I would like to have coffee with Bigfoot and sushi with Nessie however.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:12 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


But not the Greys. They've never gotten over themselves after they became big-name monsters. Yeah, I suppose I'm happy for their success and all but there is such a thing as overexposure when people remember you more for buggery than for Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The Reptilians though, they're cool, or perhaps it's just the air conditioning that makes them mellow.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:27 AM on September 8, 2010


On the eve of the DNC, an "organization" calling themselves "Party Unity, My Ass" declared that a coalition of white women were going to switch over to the Republican Party. The MSM was all over this like flies on a shit sandwich, and it drew a ton of much the same irrational drama that we're seeing here on this thread, including paranoid conspiracies that Clinton will lead a block of voters away from the Democrats.

This, of course, had no basis in reality. Clinton was already on heavy interview rotation unequivocally endorsing Obama. The PUMAs turned out to be tiny Republican-funded group, and there were few protests, much less a mass defection of Clinton supporters. Democratic partisans were fighting an entirely illusionary threat born of their own paranoia.


Ah. Thanks for explaining. I didn't remember the PUMAs and now that you mention 'em I'm finding it hard to remember any real related uproar. But Google turned up a TON of speculative articles dating back to July '08, so obviously my impression/memory was wrong. Interestingly enough, there was at least one fundraiser held by former Clinton "Hillraisers" for McCain/Palin.
posted by zarq at 7:43 AM on September 8, 2010


I've never been convinced that right-wingers understand or even care about the importance of Shepard's life and memory to those of us who want and are demanding equality for all Americans.

well, fine, but then what was he referring to? Forgive me for being obtuse if I am - is there some kind of famous plum-hanging festival in Wyoming or something? Otherwise, what is he possibly talking about by advising that his friend "call Wyoming for display instructions"? What do you think that sentence means?
posted by mdn at 7:51 AM on September 8, 2010


If you want to do some good, pass some bucks to the atheists in that particular foxhole, Montana Human Rights Network. Truly good people.

As a Montana-dwelling queer who knows a lot of the good people involved with this organization, I also support this idea. They put out great newsletters and briefs that galvanize the community. They did a lot of great work recently helping the city Missoula pass an anti-discrimination ordinance despite the campaign of irrational fear-mongering.
posted by ikahime at 7:56 AM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


They're aware. It was one President Barack Obama who signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act a little over a year ago.

True. That makes sense.
posted by zarq at 7:56 AM on September 8, 2010


No, it's not. But hey, feel free to try and rewrite history if that makes you feel better.

Holy Christ. Alegre was insane and went on to post on crazy anti-Obama sites like No Quarter.
posted by empath at 7:58 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


well, fine, but then what was he referring to? Forgive me for being obtuse if I am - is there some kind of famous plum-hanging festival in Wyoming or something? Otherwise, what is he possibly talking about by advising that his friend "call Wyoming for display instructions"? What do you think that sentence means?

I know what it means. I was saying I didn't know if he understood what it meant.

Look, I already conceded yesterday that I'm probably wrong about the right's awareness of Shepard. What else would you like me to do here? Repeat myself? Should I do so in bold, blinking letters?
posted by zarq at 7:59 AM on September 8, 2010


Holy Christ. Alegre was insane and went on to post on crazy anti-Obama sites like No Quarter.

Did you have a valid point to make?

Alegre didn't "go on" to become anti-Obama. She was a Hillary supporter who was against him quite early in the campaign.
posted by zarq at 8:07 AM on September 8, 2010


She was viciously anti-Obama and posted on websites populated by the same racist jerks who most likely went on to become tea-partiers. The writer's strike was a stunt, and dailykos was better off without her (and the rest of the cranks on No Quarter, and Hillary is 44)
posted by empath at 8:15 AM on September 8, 2010


She was viciously anti-Obama

Oh, please. She didn't say anything worse about Obama than what some of the Daily Kos folks said about Hillary and her supporters.

...and posted on websites populated by the same racist jerks who most likely went on to become tea-partiers.

Heh. Yes, like MyDD, that bunch of heinous bigots.

The writer's strike was a stunt, and dailykos was better off without her (and the rest of the cranks on No Quarter, and Hillary is 44)

Yes, it opened up an opportunity for some of the DKos folks, to attack Hillary and her supporters as viciously as possible.

posted by zarq at 8:28 AM on September 8, 2010


*sigh* Italics fail.
posted by zarq at 8:28 AM on September 8, 2010


I was saying I didn't know if he understood what it meant.

I just don't get why he'd refer specifically to something he had no comprehension of...

Look, I already conceded yesterday that I'm probably wrong

sorry, didn't see this was basically wrapped up, my bad.

posted by mdn at 8:39 AM on September 8, 2010


Well, Tin Man, in my defense, there was never even the remotest chance that Bush would get Maryland's electoral votes, unless he'd somehow managed to get 331,986 extra votes in the last day of the campaign. Even if you assume that the 55,768 Nader voters in Maryland had gone straight to Bush, he'd still have had to round up 276,218 votes to turn Maryland to his side. Wasn't going to happen, even with the lousy campaign Gore/Lieberman ran.

If you look at a state like Florida, where Bush was up by 537 votes over Gore in the end, Browne got 16,415 votes, Buchanan got 17,484, Hagelin got 2,281, Harris got 562, McReynolds got 622, Moorehead got 1,804, Nader got 97,488, and Philips got 1,371. Every single one of those third party candidates could have changed the outcome of that state's vote, but I've never heard a complaint about how Hagelin wrecked the country. I don't necessarily think that the parties are identical, but doesn't it seem strange that a dynamic, intellectual, well-spoken figure like Gore could have somehow differentiated his party enough to have had more than a cellophane-thin margin?

What gets me is that this is still so raw and so urgent that so many Democrats are still at it, and still going after their own side ten years later. If we Nader people just capitulate and ask to move on, will that work? I mean, I cast a vote I thought was important, and I hoped to work to build a third party alternative to a party that wasn't serving the progressive cause anymore, not by a long shot, and my vote for Nader had zero bearing on the election as a whole. Zero. I didn't campaign for the guy, didn't advocate for the guy, and just voted the way my gut said to vote.

The thing is, I've been told for ten years that I wrecked the world by party loyalists who told me to sit down and shut up and take the handouts I could get and be happy, and it looks to me like it's this cannibalistic auto-genocide that's really done us in. We're so busy fighting a dead war amongst ourselves that the Republican vultures can just swoop in and butcher the remains. Right about now, it doesn't matter--the Dems won, the center-right positions won, the selling out of the media won, and there is no Green party, and no Nader, and no organized progressive opposition to the Democrats.

You won, okay? The President of the USA is a Democrat. The House and Senate are run by Democrats. You're in control, so do something. Stop the war, kill the tax cuts, undo the Telecommunications Act, do something for the gays, put a real health care plan in place, but do something, and make it something more than just pointing a finger at Nader voters for the rest of human history.

Whether the world would have been rosy if Democrats had made it in is another question, and one Democrats can't answer anymore than we can. There's this weird, cynical revisionism by people who point at Nader folks as the enemy, where they say, sometimes literally, "well, of course we all knew 9/11 was coming!" Except we didn't, and you didn't, and history didn't, and believing that Bush II would be a broken-down one-termer at best wasn't really that much of a stretch. That claim of future knowledge always gets me, like the people who think we must have anticipated AIDS, in spite of the fact that nothing like it, with the kind of particular epidemiology it had and demographic it had, had ever happened in history.

But again, Nader's gone. A joke. The Green Party is hopeless. For all of those who say that, yes, the parties are different, and substantially different, all I can say is this:

Show me.

For the next few months, at least, you're in charge. Change the world. Make things better. Bring back civility, and openness, and the society we would have had if Nader hadn't ruined everything. It's not 2000, we're not in your way, and this time, I'm happy to sit back and be patient. If your party is that much better, then show me. Be patient, understanding, and kind to the people who are out there waving tea bags at the world, and find a way to change their minds. Win enough hearts to have a mandate again. If your party is really that much better than the party of fear, suspicion, and selfishness, this shouldn't be hard.

I'll be happy to eat all the crow you can serve.
posted by sonascope at 8:48 AM on September 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


sorry, didn't see this was basically wrapped up, my bad.

It's okay. What he said was completely indefensible, and it was dumb and wrongheaded of me to have tried to excuse it.

That wasn't what I set out to do when I made my initial comment, but ultimately that's what I wound up doing.
posted by zarq at 8:49 AM on September 8, 2010


"Cultures can be astonishing. The hands-on workers who harvest our food, clean up after us, repair our property, look out after our health and safety conditions and serve as nannies to our children receive few honors, status or anywhere near the compensation of those who gamble with our money, entertain us or drive us into wars they don’t fight themselves."

- Ralph Nader, 9/3/2010

Political cultures can be astonishing as well. The people who work tirelessly for the public benefit and give 80% of their net income to charity are called "dicks" by people who voted for them, while the people who lead us into endless war and make millions for their personal bank accounts are angels.

Astonishing.

This original post is about a Tea-Partiers talking about murdering gay people and banning homosexuality and the comment thread is about how the Democrats are just as bad because they haven't repealed DADT. Do I have that right?

To be fair, the Democrats started it. And were roundly applauded and encouraged.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:59 AM on September 8, 2010


MetaFilter: To be fair, the Democrats started it.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:04 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


well, fine, but then what was he referring to? Forgive me for being obtuse if I am - is there some kind of famous plum-hanging festival in Wyoming or something? Otherwise, what is he possibly talking about by advising that his friend "call Wyoming for display instructions"? What do you think that sentence means?

zarq has recanted, but I'll continue to give Ravndall the benefit of the doubt. I'll admit I spent more time reading comments than reading news articles, but I'm not convinced that Ravndall knew the dude was referring to Shepherd.

(Disclaimer: everyone says they have gay friends, but I actually have loads of them. Too many. One couple of friends is hitting their late 60s and literally dying to get married. I have been on the short end of far too much hate speech just for walking around my neighborhood with a male friend. That's my POV.)

First off, Ravndall isn't the one who says "call Wyoming for display instructions." That was Dennis Scranton. I believe this is his Twitter account (TCOT, natch).

Ravndall responds to that comment with "@Dennis, Where can I get that Wyoming printed instruction manual?"

Ravndall here seems more like an idiot than someone joking about torture and murder of homosexuals, i.e. Dennis Scranton, who makes a comment about hanging fruit and "call wyoming for hanging instructions" the word "hanging" being the biggest, most offensive clue.

Ravndall responds with "@Dennis, Where can I get that Wyoming printed instruction manual?" which is a little boggling. My first thought is that he doesn't know what the guy is talking about, i.e. Matthew Shepherd's torture and murder. Then I think "Well, maybe he does ... but what the hell does he mean by 'printed instruction manual' ..."

Perhaps the key to figuring out the intent of this assholish response (if it's worth figuring out--which it, of course, is not) is those three words: "printed instruction manual" - is this code for anything related to Matthew Shepherd? I didn't do an exhaustive search, but it's hard to see a connection.

So while I can't honestly say I see it one way or another (or again, that it even matters, as his inherent political stance is as offensive as any "jokes" he might make), based on the evidence of the communication itself, I'd probably give Ravndall the benefit of the doubt and take his word that he didn't know the joke was about Shepherd.

Again, LIKE IT MATTERS. The guy has despicable political views, and he doesn't deserve any place in rational political debate. I too am hoping that this is the sound of a culture in its death throes.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:13 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, please. She didn't say anything worse about Obama than what some of the Daily Kos folks said about Hillary and her supporters.

You know, I don't feel the need to condone everything that some internet nutball wrote about Clinton. A lot of shit got slung by people who should have had their keyboard privileges taken away. Likewise, I don't think you want to endorse the No Quarter racists and their hunt for the Whitey Tape.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:15 AM on September 8, 2010


So, wait, his name is actually spelled "Ravndal"? What up with that?

I mean, come on, just the one L?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:19 AM on September 8, 2010


They had a whole category!
posted by empath at 9:22 AM on September 8, 2010


They had a whole category!

*throws up hands*

You're being deliberately obtuse.
posted by zarq at 9:44 AM on September 8, 2010


You realize that he didn't do An Inconvenient Truth before the election, right?

That particular ecological resume bullet point was chosen for recent salience. In case you weren't just being pedantically GRAR-y, and you actually dispute the substance of the idea that Gore was a vocal ecologist before the 2000 election, I present to you the following timeline:

--

1976 - Gore holds first congressional hearings on the climate change, and co-sponsors hearings on toxic waste and global warming.

1988 - Gore begins to write a book on environmental conservation.

1992 - Gore's book, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, is published.

1993 - As vice-president, Gore pushes for the implementation of a carbon tax to modify incentives to reduce fossil fuel consumption, which is partially implemented.

1994 - On Earth Day, Gore launches the Globe programme, an education and science activity that uses the internet to increase student awareness of their environment.

1997 - Gore helps broker the Kyoto protocol and pushes for the passage of the treaty, which calls for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

1998 - Gore symbolically signs the Kyoto protocol.

--

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/oct/12/climatechange1
posted by thesmophoron at 9:46 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


zarq: one of my favorite Molly Ivins columns

.
posted by fook at 9:57 AM on September 8, 2010


Dennis Scranton: "I think fruits are decorative. Hang up where they can be seen and appreciated. Call Wyoming for display instructions."

Tim Ravndal: "@Kieth, OOPS I forgot this aint(sic) America no more!@ Dennis, Where can I get that Wyoming printed instruction manual?"


Yeah. Honestly, without further context, I don't see how Ravndal is in on the joke. If he is trying to make a joke, he's horrendously bad at it. Unless (as mrgrimm says) there's some other idiomatic interpretation to "printed instruction manual," it seems like Ravndal is confused and takes Scranton literally.

And can I say I feel physically ill just reading that first comment by Scranton? What a vile waste of a human being.
posted by thesmophoron at 9:58 AM on September 8, 2010


octobersurprise: Likewise, I don't think you want to endorse the No Quarter racists and their hunt for the Whitey Tape.

Anti-Obama racists in the Democratic party constituted a handful of cranks who were irrelevant. The defection of a handful of Clinton fundraisers (at a $1,000 per ticket, $25,000 per plate event) wasn't even a statistical blip in a merged fundraising machine that was bringing in twice as much as McCain in a good week. They certainly didn't harm Obama on an election day marked by historic and surprising turnovers.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:50 AM on September 8, 2010


Anti-Obama racists in the Democratic party constituted a handful of cranks who were irrelevant.

I wouldn't dismiss their relevancy entirely, especially during the primaries. They set a tone for later attacks and some of their nonsense is still being repeated by tea partiers and birthers, but on the whole I agree. Certainly, they were much more irrelevant than they believed themselves to be and their influence on the final election was practically nil.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:31 AM on September 8, 2010




Well, Tin Man, in my defense, there was never even the remotest chance that Bush would get Maryland's electoral votes

Fair enough, sonascope... fair enough.

I should have clarified that it was the Nader voters in Florida who screwed it all up.
posted by Tin Man at 11:54 AM on September 8, 2010


Stay classy MT Teabaggers!
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:58 AM on September 8, 2010


empath, I made literally thousands of comments there at the time and I can assure you that during the 2008 primaries Daily Kos might as well have put a banner on the front page saying "Hillary supporters, don't let the sun set on you in this blog." (I personally joined in several beatdowns - sometimes with a savageness of rhetoric that would have gotten me bounced in short order from our more civilized saloon here.) We had placed our desperate hope in Obama, she was clearly the biggest threat to his candidacy, and she ran what I still believe was a contemptible campaign. (Naturally, after I came to feel as I do about Obama, it became my turn to be driven out.)

But sonascope is right: This is all wearisomely ancient history.

You won, okay? The President of the USA is a Democrat. The House and Senate are run by Democrats. You're in control, so do something. Stop the war, kill the tax cuts, undo the Telecommunications Act, do something for the gays, put a real health care plan in place, but do something, and make it something more than just pointing a finger at Nader voters for the rest of human history.

THIS.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:41 PM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


If any of y'all are actually interested in background, expansion and follow through of the topic of this post (no, not the Democrats suck part) then I suggest these fine Montana blogs.

Montana Cowgirl. The Cowgirl has been on the Tea Party beat since before Ravndal's Facebook screw-ups and has gotten comments from the man about the Tea Party. She's also been all over Allen-Gailushus and her suit against the Helena school district.

From Eternity To Here. D. Gregory Smith was instrumental in getting the word out to the greater GBLT community.

Intelligent Discontent. Pogie teaches in the Helena School district, and has brought much to light. His post of yesterday chides the press for ignoring the pivotal role that the blogs have played in these events, and how they've been ignored (kinda like they've been in this post).

Left in the West. Not leading this fight (for once) but still terrific analysis.

I'd link individual posts, but trust me on this. While the rest of the press have been trying to get their poop in a pile, these folk have been posting up a storm about the Tea Party in the Big Sky. There are simply too many good posts to link.

A few notes about Montana.

If you got too wrapped up in the Great Nader Wars, then go back and read ikahime's comment.

When the first organized Tea Party Rallies happened on April 15th, 2009, the largest attendance wasn't in the south or a big city somewhere. It was right here in beautiful Bozeman Montana, during a snow storm, even. Bozeman is one of the more liberal locales in Montana. The Tea Party is serious shit in this state, and when members of the GBLT community talk of being scared, it isn't hyperbole. Montana, we (and by "we" I mean the assholes in lower Flathead valley) elected the first and only (Christian) Constitutionalist candidate to ever hold state office or higher. Montana is one of the better educated states, but that doesn't protect us from the hate these folks enjoy.

Lawrence v. Texas did not strike down anti-sodomy laws. It simply ruled that they can't be enforced (as an earlier ruling in Montana, Gryczan v. State, had already done here.) 4 attempts have been made to strike the sodomy and perversion laws from the Montana code. All 4 attempts (the most recent in 2001) have failed. That is what the plank in the Montana GOP platform refers to. They want Gryczan v. Montana overturned, and will support any effort that leads the question to the Montana Supreme court. Montana elects it's SC justices, and those elections are by statute non-partisan. We currently have one SC candidate (Nels Swandel) who is courting right wing and Tea Party votes and dollars. How does anyone think he would vote, given his 'base'?
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:37 PM on September 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


From ericb's link:

"At a frequently contentious meeting, many of the approximately 30 members in attendence blasted acting board chairman Roger Nummerdor and chairman Jim Walker — absent because he’s hunting in the Crazy Mountains — for stripping Ravndal of his position and membership without giving him a chance to defend himself, and for announcing the move to the press over the Labor Day weekend."

Yes, I know there really is a Crazy range in Montana.
posted by gamera at 5:38 PM on September 8, 2010


The right wing media uses a combination of strategies. To their audience on the right every step is ultraleft. Then on the left they flood the zone with not good enough outrage. Classic divide and conquer.
Do you have any evidence whatsoever that anyone criticizing Obama for being ineffective are right-wing operatives? Are Glenn Greenwald and Paul Krugman right-wing operatives now? Who specifically are you talking about? What actual evidence do you have?
2- financial regulatory reform including federal oversight of insurance industry, the Volker rule and hedge fund regulations.
By insurance industry, do you mean derivatives? Anyway, the consumer protection is good but the rest of it was pretty watered down. And a lot of that stuff (such as the volker rule) is actually going to be implemented by people at the treasury, who will let the banks get away with whatever they want. It will be interesting to see who gets put in charge of consumer protection. A lot of people want Elisabeth Warren, but the banks (and Chris Dodd) hate her.
3- energy and transportation bills-- the biggest investment in public transportation and clean energy in our countries history. Potentially the biggest change since the interstate highway and the TVA.
What bill are you talking about specifically? ARRA? How big is "the biggest in history"? $10 billion, $100 billion? You may not believe it, but these numbers actually matter. Superlatives like "the biggest in history" are totally meaningless. Anyway, I asked about energy, not transportation. Again, what energy bill are you talking about? A few billion for clean energy funding (I guess in ARRA?) isn't going to do much of anything stop AGW. And it'd doesn't count as an energy bill.

The democrats did have an energy bill that was going to include cap and trade, but first they were going to give away 80% of the emissions permits to incumbent interests. Then they got rid of cap and trade, then they the bill died. It was pathetic. A few crumbs in ARRA that don't do a thing to solve the problem isn't an 'energy bill'
Oh yeah and we saved the auto industry got back half the tarp money already and extended unemployment benefits.
You mean the banks chose to give back tarp money because they were able to replace it with interest arbitrage on free money loaned to them by the fed. (So they could get the TARP oversight panel off their backs)


Anyway, the thing you have to understand is that numbers matter, not superlatives. How much money is spent (relative to the size of the problem), not the fact that money was spent is what matters. And it's not the pretty words you use to describe bills, but rather their effects that matter.

Really, you're just spewing marketing points. Totally unmoored from reality. You're spewing PR bullshit and accusing people of being right-wing trolls with zero evidence. But I guess in the democratic fanboy world everything negative anyone could say about the dems is a right wing plot. You people are the ones who are just as bad as the teabaggers, honestly. It's not about what's true, it's about what helps the party. Now granted, dem fanboys tend to have much nicer ideology then the 'baggers, but the dishonesty/delusionality is just as tedious.
No. On the other hand, I clearly remember a lot of Hillary Clinton supporters who were infuriated with the disrespectful way they and their candidate were treated by their own party. I also clearly remember how despicably they were shunned, censored, mocked and shouted down by the community over at Daily Kos.
To be fair, they treated Obama supporters the same way. Don't you remember the pit of insanity that was Hillaryis44.org? That's just how people act. Really, the primaries were a perfect example of political fanboyism overcoming common sense. On both sides. You had two candidates who were nearly identical on most issues, but their respective sides too every slight or comment to 11 and hated each other. Regardless of which side you were on, it clearly seemed like the other side was insane.

(Frankly I find the whole thing hilarious in retrospect. Although I thought the hard core Hillaryites were completely insane during the primary. I did recognize there were insane Obama fans as well – on preview I can't believe people are trying to re-litigate that shit in this thread)

But remember, the people on the other side had almost the exact same views but they seemed totally delusional. Then after the primary almost everyone got on board.

The dem fanboys today are just like the [insert candidate you didn't support] fanboys during the primary. Totally delusional and poring on the hate about people who have the temerity to disagree with them about minor issues to anyone who will listen.

It's totally idiotic.
Jesus. This is so ... Christ, I don't even know where to begin. This is the kind of childish nonsense that almost makes me wish for a Palin presidency and a Republican Congress just so I could watch them kick the shit out of nitwits like you. Almost, I say, because while they were kicking the shit out of you, they'd be kicking the shit out of me, too.
I don't even know what that means. The dems would have control of congress and everyone would be blaming McCain/Palin for the economic problems. Anyway, there was no way McCain could have won. And getting so emotional about this crap is exactly what I'm talking about: totally insane delusional and democratic fanboyism. It's more important to you that people say nice things and like the democrats then it is to move the country forward.
That particular ecological resume bullet point was chosen for recent salience. In case you weren't just being pedantically GRAR-y, and you actually dispute the substance of the idea that Gore was a vocal ecologist before the 2000 election, I present to you the following timeline:
I was responding to a comment about the greens wanting to vote for the author of An Inconvenient Truth in 2000, which obviously would have been impossible.
posted by delmoi at 7:22 PM on September 8, 2010


delmoi: I only brought it up as yet another case when a bunch of people who should have known better created a whole mess of drama over election-day schisms that never materialized. There wasn't a PUMA exodus in 2008, and there isn't a Green block in 2010. If the Democrats loose congress this year, it's going to be because the Tea Party recaptured conservatives who stayed home in 2008 and fair-weather swing voters.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:41 PM on September 8, 2010


delmoi: I only brought it up as yet another case when a bunch of people who should have known better created a whole mess of drama over election-day schisms that never materialized.

Right, and my point is that democratic fanboys today are just like the hillary/obama fanboys during the campaign: Insane. And also some kind of argument sprung up about it in this thread about who was meaner, which is ridiculous. Who seemed meaner depends on which side you were on.
posted by delmoi at 9:19 PM on September 8, 2010


I should have clarified that it was the Nader voters in Florida who screwed it all up.

I thought it was the Buchanan voters who literally screwed it all up.

There were more overvotes than Nader votes in Florida. It's possible that technically incompetent Democrats screwed it all up themselves.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:51 PM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Did anyone see The Daily Show last night? Jon Stewart was ripping into DNC chair Tim Kane. I suppose that means Jon Stewart is part of the right-wing media now.
posted by delmoi at 5:22 AM on September 9, 2010




Howard Dean should have stayed on as DNC chair, tbh. Somehow, taking both houses of congress and the white house gets you fired in the democratic party.
posted by empath at 7:49 AM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I thought it was the Buchanan voters who literally screwed it all up.

It was the SCOTUS, actually.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:53 AM on September 9, 2010


John Stewart: Crowning our Republican overlords with Relentless Negativity!
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:05 AM on September 9, 2010


Hey thanks, Wulfgar!

I suggest these fine Montana blogs.

There's also 4&20 Blackbirds.
posted by ikahime at 11:41 AM on September 9, 2010


Yes there is, and I thought of posting that link as well. But they've been observing this current fight, while duking it out in others. Still, it's one of my faves.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:09 PM on September 9, 2010


Howard Dean should have stayed on as DNC chair, tbh. Somehow, taking both houses of congress and the white house gets you fired in the democratic party.
Actually, he left at the best possible time -- for himself. He became DNC chair and 2 years later the dems sweep congress, with lots of extra seats thanks to the '50 state strategy'. He's on for another 2 years and the dems pick up more seats in congress and the whitehouse.

Then he leaves right before the party implodes due to economic problems (and their failure to deal with it)

He should have kept his mouth shut about the Mosque, though.
posted by delmoi at 7:25 AM on September 10, 2010


Gay became the new black,... The whole tone of the discussion was completely different. I don't know when exactly it happened, but I stopped being frightened.

posted by honeydew


One of my sisters, the lesbian mother with the PhD in gender relations, is quick to point out that any gains in gay rights you see now, are not that different than many past cycles of gains in gay rights. They come and go, maybe on a 200 year cycle. Her point was, everybody can't completely stop being frightened.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:23 PM on September 11, 2010


"How did Reagan, even as a big business apologist, hold the 54 GOP Senate seats and only lose 26 House seats in the mid-term election of 1982? Reagan was, in the words of Jim Kessler, “facing 10.8 percent unemployment, 6 percent inflation, a declining GDP, an approval rating barely above freezing and the indignity of having drastically increased the budget deficit over the previous year after running as a fiscal hawk.” Maybe it is because enough voters saw the “Gipper” as knowing what he stood for and showing steadfastness and better times coming soon, in comparison to the wavering, concessionary posture of the then-majority Democrats in the Congress."

- Ralph Nader, Doomsday for Democrats?
posted by mrgrimm at 12:08 PM on September 13, 2010


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