Sometimes I wonder about the serious, principled conservatives at Outside The Beltway (here attacking the joke that if Sarah Palin should run for president, then so should Jon Hamm):
Palin’s show is a bizarre infomercial being packaged as a “reality show” on TLC. “Mad Men” is one of the most critically acclaimed shows of its era.
Elites consider the former to be a curiosity, watched either by brain dead rednecks or people like themselves waiting for a train wreck. They view “Mad Men” as must see TV that everyone they know is watching and talking about. That they have essentially the same audience is a testament to the reality of the elite world-view.[….]
Literally every show on CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX has more viewers than “Mad Men.”
Uh, isn’t that exactly why the comparison is accurate, that Jon Hamm and Sarah Palin are both stars of shows with cult followings that are not on network tv? Does Joyner not get that the comparison between Palin and Hamm was not meant to be flattering to Palin? And what’s the point of an Joyner’s extended analysis of tv ratings unless it’s to convince us that Charlie Sheen and the Doogie Howser guy would make stronger candidates than Palin or Hamm?
I used to believe there were lots of reasonable conservatives on the internets and that I would enjoy reading their points of view. I’m afraid there aren’t (other than Daniel Larison). Even when they write in complete sentences, they sputter incoherently about elites every time someone mentions Sarah Palin, even when they claim not to like Palin.
Update. I’m probably being more of an asshole here than necessary and in fact, I find OTB interesting and will continue to read it. But I just can’t take the conservative reflex to turn everything into a “cultural issue”. Palin is, at this point, primarily a celebrity. And so is Jon Hamm. Why turn this into Chapter One Million of elites versus Real Murkins?
Update update. Per the comments, James Joyner says that he considers himself an elite too (the last sentence of his post does go in that direction) so this is not elite-bashing. So I misread it. Not to get all McMegan “sure I am wrong but I am still right” about this, but I’ve been reading a lot of “culture war” stuff the last week, so I think my misreading is understandable. But I’m wrong to accuse James Joyner of elite-bashing, since that was not his intent. So sorry about that.
Serious principled conservatives, are I am afraid a fictional construct, just like free markets and frictionless planes, they do not exist, neither off the beltway or off the milky way.
ETA: I watch neither of these two shows, so what does that make me, I wonder.
Barb (formerly Gex)
Can’t be Doogie. Too gay for the GOP. At best he could be the head of the RNC.
Huh? The era of the “reasonable conservative” never existed, and to the extent it’s imagined it did, it ended before the public internet began.
The big problem for them is that they really, really do like Palin. They’ve mostly been trained to worship whoever the party leaders are — hence, why they still think everyone loves Dubya, why they snap to attention every time Limbaugh and Beck open their cakeholes. Palin is one of the party leaders, and they love Palin so very, very much. No amount of “Nuh-uh! Girl cooties!” will make it not so…
From my own data point, it makes you not “a man who’s wife just cannot get enough Jon Hamm.”
But won’t admit it because they want to be taken seriously by Sullosphere.
Hmm…given how overrun this blog is (at least its comment section) with Obama worshippers, this is kind of a glass houses comment.
Mike Kay (Team America)
This is why I want Sarah to run and win the nomination — just to stick it to those dirty elites on the coasts!!
@liberal: I don’t have a wife, and I am not a man. I also did not get your joke.
@liberal: Only if you ignore the difference between the number of Palin detractors and Obama detractors
Of course, Neil Patrick Harris would make a better candidate than Palin (though not a Republican one, of course.) Don’t know much about Hamm as a person, so I can’t make a comparison there.
But it still doesn’t have anything to do with ratings.
Mike Kay (Team America)
Yet another vindication of the Pragmatists. Too bad lefties don’t belong to the reality based community for they would enjoy the sight of one victory after another.
You mean Dear Leader?
Jon Hamm’s running for president? Cool.
Of the two, I will vote for whichever Tom and Lorenzo endorse.
@Mike Kay (Team America):
link? I enjoy seeing Lindsay Graham getting angry.
So let me get this straight: the measure of political gravitas is now just how large of a TV audience somebody can draw?
I’m guessing that the Spongebob Squarepants administration is going to be reeeeeeally interesting.
I used to think that too. Heck, growing up in the French school system (dual citizen) where when international politics came up, everything was America’s fault, I was even sympathetic to the GOP viewpoint.
Then for college, I switched to the American system, meet conservatives for real, and realize that actually, yes, they really are stark raving mad. And read a ton of history (on my own, mostly) and realize that yes, they really have always been this way, and you really can trace their lineage back to pretty much all of America’s major sins. As liberal puts it,
Mike Kay (Team America)
how dare you!
how dare you!
I’m not a worshiper, I’m a disciple! :^P
“Does Joyner not get that the comparison between Palin and Hamm was not meant to be flattering to Palin?”
In fairness to Joyner, his point is obviously that Hamm and MAD MEN are gushed over and deified by the media and cultural elites, with no concern whatsoever given to the pitifully small number of people who actually watch the show.
Mike Kay (Team America)
Is this the part where we overlook all the uncomfortable and unseemly things Larison has written about “The War of Northern Aggression?”
Because, yeah. Not so much.
"Fair and Balanced" Dave
Charlie Sheen? C’mon do you really think the Rethugs would go for a former B-movie actor turned TV star? Let alone a guy who cavorts with prostitutes?
From what I’ve seen of Jon Hamm as a panelist on Bill Maher’s HBO show he seems to be pretty bright (and liberal).
It seemed to me a pretext to bash “elites” for making fun of Sarah and loving “Mad Men”.
@Mike Kay (Team America): I dunno, I’m enjoying it. Of course, the enjoyment is tempered by the fact that we’re about to enter about a year or so worth of Full Frontal Wingnut courtesy of the incoming House, which I think will only begin to subside once the Presidential race starts sucking away their oxygen.
I like reading him anyway. I realize he believes crazy stuff too.
@Redshift is right about “that Doogie Howser Guy” making a better President than Palin.
Another thing, for all the talk of Palin’s babehood, I think Neil Patrick Harris is more attractive, and I’m not even gay. I just appreciate a willowy figure.
Actually, once N.P. Harris gets the Freeze Ray up and running, he’ll take over directly and suspend elections. Voting for him wouldn’t make sense, given those facts.
And he thinks this is a good point? The purpose of television critics and the like is to gush over shows based on the quality of the programming, not the number of people who watch it.
I’ll tell you, that Pauline Kael controls us even from the grave!
Mike Kay (Team America)
You go, Girl!
This is the most productive Presidential agenda since the country came together after the brutal shock and sorrow of the Kennedy assassination (1964-1965).
In the past two weeks, alone:
■ DADT passed
■ A landmark Food Safety bill passed.
■ Umployment Benefits passed.
■ START passed.
■ Tax cuts for students passed.
■ Tax cuts for parents with children passed.
■ Community Radio bill passed.
■ 19 Judges were confirmed.
■ 9/11 First Responder bill close to passing.
All, in all, one victory after another for the President and America.
And just wait until 2013/2014 after Obama crushes Palin with 60% of the vote.
James is kind of in a weird position and has been for a couple years. He knows the GOP is full of shit on most everything, he routinely disagrees with near everything they do, but still only gives mild criticism of their tomfoolery. He’s a bright guy, and really interested in foreign affairs, and the sum total of his commentary on the START shenanigans of the GOP has been to call passing START a “no-brainer.” Yet he doesn’t point out what idiots the Republicans are being.
He sort of has this odd c’est la vie attitude combined with a pervasive case of “both sides do it” when that clearly isn’t the case with the GOP of the last few years. They are obviously much, much worse than the Democrats and have been for a while.
That, and for reasons that remain a mystery, he still links to frothing lunatics like that nutjob Jim Hoft.
It’s really quite odd to watch the cognitive dissonance every day on display over there.
@David Hunt: You have to love a guy who works so hard to gain the affections of a homicidal horse.
TV talk: is it just me, or has The Big Bang Theory lost whatever charm it once had this season?
@Mike Kay (Team America): We can likely add one more to the list. The START treaty ratification just passed cloture. With 67 votes. Assuming that nobody changes their minds (an always-important proviso), that means that an important treaty will be ratified in the next couple of days and (almost as important) John McCain will cry himself to sleep again…
I agree. You always have to stay on top of the Neo-Confederates. You never know when those motherfuckers might decide that halftime is over, amirite?
@liberal: Since I’m typically characterized as an Obot, I think you are mistaken in some of our positions.
We’re not saying that Obama does no wrong. We’re saying that Congress has massively more say in the things you are criticizing Obama for than Obama does. The left used to hate the notion of the ‘unitary executive’, except when it comes to ascribing blame, apparently.
I certainly have my issues with Obama but politics is the art of the possible, and we can’t take departures into the land of 100 Bernie Sanders to establish our baseline for what should have been done. That’s all.
Bear DNA, stem cells, ignoring that genetics independently confirm Evolution, and now ACLU DNA, I’m beginning to think that the GOP just hates DNA itself.
Watson! Crick! A pox on both their houses!
@Mike Kay (Team America):
The nutrition bill got rid of Reagan’s ketchup is a veggie.
Cue up Obama is going to defund Social Security.
I am waiting for the START vote, tomorrow I think. The AP says Obama has the votes to pass it. I hope so.
A bit of denial?
it’s slipped a bit, definitely. up until the Emmy’s, i didn’t know Sheldon was supposed to be the “lead” – i thought it was (just barely) Leonard. then, after, all the episodes became very Sheldon-heavy. and, they stopped dropping so many really obscure references. it’s dumbed-down and Sheldoned-up.
i think it’s still funny, though.
on the other hand, i dearly wish Community would dial back the wacky. i don’t know if i can take too many more theme episodes.
I’d just like to point out that the current season of 30 Rock has an average of 6.6 million viewers.
Tina Fey for President!
@Chris: I was going to disagree, since I remember reasonable Republicans from when I first started paying attention to politics in the 70s. But then I realized that was before the post-Civil Rights reshuffling of the parties was complete, and while there were reasonable Republicans, that doesn’t mean there were reasonable conservatives. Though I wasn’t as aware at the time of the distinction, as far as I can sort it out now, conservatives were nutjob assholes then, too.
And don’t get me started on my college years during the Reagan administration…
@freelancer: Hey, if they want to declare that DNA is liberal and they want nothing more to do with it, I’d be cool with that.
@Mike Kay (Team America): and @Mike Kay (Team America):
I chilled the fuck out. Obama had this. Not a lot of other people seem to have chilled out, but whether or not they did Obama STILL had this.
Dougy The Headliner:
Remember, the strongest element of their movement right now is motivated almost entirely by in-group bias. For conservatives attacking elites or welfare negros is crucial in making a good argument. It’s what their base cares about – framing things in an ‘us vs. them’ way. That’s what’s important to them. And the elites part is EXTREMELY important, because one of the major foundations of the Republican machine is keeping their own voters from realizing that they’ve drawn the ‘us/them’ lines wrong and the ACTUAL wealthy elites who have contempt for them as rubes are the pundits they’re listening to and the rich people whose interests they’re protecting.
@Peter J: Wait, if Tina Fey became president, would we need to suffer through 4 years of Sarah Palin playing her on tv?
I think that would break the universe.
@DougJ: I have never understood the relevance of this conservative “elite bashing” usually coming from conservatives who are pretty elite themselves.
For example, Romney at the Republican convention in 2008. I mean can anyone get more elite than Romney?
otoh, charlie sheen’s father was one of my favorite presidents.
See my Just Above. They have to keep beating this drum to prevent their base from figuring out exactly what you just said.
Right. And re the civil rights era, note that despite their red-faced claims that they were the party of civil rights… support for that seems to have come mostly from the Northern, moderate, pro-New Deal Rockefeller/Eisenhower wing of the party. The conservative Goldwater wing, e.g. the people who run the party today, went with the Dixiecrats when the CRA and VRA came up.
Ultra-capitalism went along with racism even back then, apparently.
You know, World of Warcraft has more players than Sarah Palin’s Alaska and Mad Men combined.
I can’t wait till we finally elect the Lich King to high office.
@mellowjohn: President Bartlet FTW!
ETA: FTW= For the win.
Fey v Palin? Awesome debates!
You slept through 2000-2008? When Arth- George W Bush was placed on the throne as the possessed puppet warrior of the malevolent necromantic corpse Dick Cheney?
licensed to kill time
I don’t know, it seems to me that on some level they mustknow Palin is an unqualified twit and they have to bend themselves into pretzels to keep that knowledge from surfacing into the frontal lobe. Hence, deflect! Elites! They fear her! Keep the Knowledge Monster away!
It’s kind of a charm, like tying a blue stone around your neck to keep the Evil Eye at bay.
I have a certain degree of respect for OTB just because it is so rare to find a conservative blog that is not totally bat shit crazy. I wonder, though, if I am not simply setting the bar low because I am so accustomed to the unmitigated insanity on the right.
With that said, I don’t really read OTB because I find it to be uninspired, banal and boring. The only conservative blogger I can stand to read anymore is Daniel Larison. Even though I find plenty to disagree with in his writing, he is consistently thoughtful, sincere, and engaging.
@Uloborus: What I don’t get is why is this not clear to the GOP base, is it that they don’t know or pretend not to know.
THAT’S a good question. I’ll give you my opinion/guess/understanding. I believe they can maintain this illusion because of the way in-group bias thinking works. Once you’re in, you’re *in*. You must be zealously defended against the outsider. That’s why corruption scandals, being caught having gay affairs, acts of obvious stupidity or ripping off their own constituents – none of these seem to be problems for GOP personalities. Our Side Good, Their Side Bad. In a very literal and actual sense It’s Okay If You’re A Republican. They’re already conditioned not to be paying any attention to the facts or any logic of the situation, only whose membership card you have stamped. It makes it difficult to get yourself disqualified.
It also makes these people tremendously vulnerable to being lied to. Rush, Beck, Palin, Fig Newton, these people are ‘in’, therefor they must be right in any disagreement with ‘us’, who are out. And an us vs. them conflict like that is the most important conflict they know of. As long as the people the GOP base are being shafted by keep going ‘Hey, I’m one of you, but those ICKY ELITES are after me!’ they’ll keep swallowing it because it’s what they’re prepared to hear.
@Zifnab: The Lich King is dead, long live the Lich King!
Jon Hamm, well spoken, thoughtful, modest liberal with a sense of humor and sound fact-based views …. for president?
Sarah Palin, screechy-voiced Phyllis-Schafly-haired rightwing lunatic who probably thinks dinosaurs rode on Noah’s Ark and doesn’t know why there are two Koreas …. for president?
And Mad Men ratings? Sure, they can’t top Three and a Half Men, but Three and a Half Men doesn’t have to serve as a lead in for Rubicon, either.
You all remember Rubicon, the drama that lasted, amazingly, for an entire one season before it was cancelled for crushing boredom?
Uh, no. They might have the same audience numbers, but unlikely that they have the same audience.
I guess reasoning is an elite thing.
@DougJ: Two things in Larison’s favor: (1) he tends not to talk about his crazy beliefs much any more—I don’t remember a post within the last two years dealing with his extreme views on the Confederacy, for instance, though it does form the foundation of some of his policy preferences; (2) he tends to recognize when his crazy beliefs are in fact crazy or at least carry very little prospect of ever being adopted by a significant number of people. So I would say he has a pretty fucked up political fantasy life, but unlike pretty much every other conservative (and many on the left as well) he knows how to and is willing to deal with reality.
DougJ and John:
The point of the post was: Holy shit, as many people are watching that crappy Palin show that we’re all making fun of as Mad Men?!
In this context, I’m one of the elites.
The point of calling BS on Weigel’s joke is that Palin’s audience are drawn to her because of her political career whereas Hamm’s is to watch an entertainment program. Otherwise, I’ve been making the “Palin’s a pop culture figure more than serious candidate” point for 18 months or so.
The point of the rest of the ratings analysis was just to point out how few people, comparatively, are watching either show. Shows that I’d literally never heard of on the major networks — that just don’t come across my radar screen — get three times the viewership.
@Mike Kay (Team America): All which came after it was amply shown to Our Masters that the base will indeed sit out an election if they’re too pissed off.
That’s the point you’re making with all this last-minute productivity, right? :)
That’s a really good point, and it’s not just “us” the outsiders, but even members of their own base who go “I disagree with them, I must be wrong.” Thinking of a friend I had in college – there are several examples, but the most blatant two are this;
One, soon after the Obama inauguration she said “I agree we needed a stimulus, just not THAT stimulus.” “Okay. What would you have done?” She proceeds to outline almost exactly what Obama did, and there’s a long silence until “… umm… that IS ‘that’ stimulus.” Of course, the realization didn’t make her a stimulus supporter. She’s still against it. Just because.
Two, taking an internet quizz to see which Republican candidate her politics were closest to; she ended up with McCain, and was disappointed and a little disgusted because “McCain’s not a true conservative.” It didn’t even occur to her that if her own beliefs didn’t match up with “true conservatism,” maybe she shouldn’t be voting for it.
And it’s not like she’s ignorant; she’s a college grad who got out with pretty good grades and a bachelor’s in national security studies, on a politically active campus where she’s heard a bunch of different views thrown at her. If she actually let herself think and then listened to her own thoughts, she’d be brilliant, but her brain essentially hits RESET the moment she finds out that it’s not in sync with The Movement. It’s an insane state of mind, and makes me wonder how many people like her are in the same zombie-groupthink zone.
@Uloborus: This is what I see with conservative friends, family, and co-workers. When I walk the smart ones through their outrage of the day, they just get quieter and quieter.
But they never admit error and they never change. Ever.
They are ALWAYS convinced that somehow, some way, Democratic policy or liberal ideals are much worse. Always.
My bad then. I added a later update .
Most of humanity. Well, that may be excessive to say. That is the starting point for us. That is how we operate by instinct. Anyone who doesn’t think that way had to overcome it, and is still fighting against it all the time. Same thing with Rationalization or Cognitive Dissonance. Humans are not logical animals, they’re animals capable of logic. It’s one of the most fundamental and important discoveries of modern psychology.
Rationalization, right there. The arguments are nothing but a way of trying to justify to YOU what they’ve already decided. The decision is made, and it’s not made based on logic. It’s made based on instinct and emotion. Instinct #1 is ‘Which argument is being made by My Side, and which argument is being made by Their Side?’
Are you kidding me? She was a lost, aimless, immature boob who bounced around enough different institutions that have some sort of reciprocity to the point that she could cobble together the number of credits needed to fulfill some degree, any degree, requirements. Hell, the “awarding” institution’s bursar deserves a medal for simply computing all the credits, half credits, and zombie hours strewn across six years and as many colleges.
… I don’t mean Palin. I was talking ’bout someone I know personally. And it definitely did not take her six years or as many colleges.
OTOH, couldn’t agree more on Palin. Actually, that was beautifully said.
Thanks. And, yeah, I could have been a bit more clear.
No, you could have been a bit CLEARER.
Waves at DougJ. While in process of being pissed off at Sully’s quotee, found Dave Marsh analogy to Pauline Kael–Jon Landau and “rock and roll future” was like Pauline Kael’s review of “Nashville”. It made all the critics sit up and take notice because a respected critic had given such definitive praise. Slightly different Pauline Kael symbolism although Kael is writing about an interpretation of a clearly nonelite subculture. And per wikipedia, the mainstream country music community hated that movie.
Essentially, the stories that Dave Marsh was trying to tell in both books take most of J.D. Daniels’s points and say, “So what?” What is deployed against Bruce in Book 1 is a whole array of the same rock and roll in bad faith that punk was reacting against, and the fans accepted it as a substitute for freedom. AC/DC is not immune. In the second book, rock and roll allows Bruce to see the world and to become a public figure with a political mission. Bruce can cultivate his Apollonian potential because he is living inside rock and roll and “has believed in its threats and promises” and metaphors. TNC won’t find that story very strange at all.
(This thread is going to be over before I can post something on topic? Cruel fate!)
Hahahahaha. Now that’s an unexpected reference here. I love TLo, but I typically don’t look to them for political guidance. However, it certainly makes more sense than Larry Johnson making political prognostications based on (fictional) actions of horny teenaged boys.
The people I disagree with are all elites
The people I agree with are right.
I am an elite and anyone who isn’t elite can kiss my entire elite ass.
@Mike Kay: Per the well-known firebagger Steve Benen, those 19 judges went through on condition that Goodwin Liu and 3 others didn’t get a vote. Still, it is to be praised that they went through because we were dealing with an emergency situation here.
Mike Kay (Team America)
@4jkb4ia: you right, it would have been better if none of them got a vote. 19/23 is a massive failure.
I guess it’s a mind set. some focus on what has been achieved, others are incapable.
See, this is what I don’t get.
Back when I was growing up, the pre-Cro-Magnon period (yes, that puts me in the generation you young bucks want to rid the world of), education, and higher education was viewed as a plus. There was no question of whether I was going to college; it was merely a question of funding (as the youngest of four children of a single mother). Going to college was what my mother (the youngest of three Depression-era girls, children of a Midwestern farmer) did; it’s what my siblings did; it’s what intelligent people did; it’s what not-so-intelligent people did to become more intelligent; it’s what savvy people did to have better job prospects.
Now, it’s looked down upon and elitist.
How did that happen?
I’m sure you were confused by all of the “elites/they” constructs. How did you not understand that Joyner was including himself in the “elites” group?
Mike Kay (Team America)
The firebaggers are gonna flatline.
I have MSNBC on in the background and Ed Schultz just called Obama a GREAT president.
@Mike Kay (Team America):
“It is to be praised that they went through”. I believe I wrote that.
It’s not being incapable of seeing what was achieved to say “They achieved this BUT”. Absolutely this was a very productive lame-duck session and it showed Obama could fight. Even Jane admitted that on New START he was fighting.
BUT that is in the shadow of the likely utter disaster that will be ushered in by January 5. This probably concentrated people’s minds wonderfully. I saw McConnell tell Politico that you have seen nothing yet.
@Mike Kay (Team America):
Mike Kay (Team America)
@4jkb4ia: oh god. quoting Hanoi Jane.
please, please, stop. Think of the children! Think of the children!
Fighting is a myth. LBJ didn’t get all that shit done in 1964-1965 by fighting, he got it passed with honey (pork/earmarks).
as they say, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”.
On the reality TV show scale of 1 to 10. Palin’s show is a 3. I just watch excerpts on the internet but every one I’ve seen is horrible. The whole family is faking their existence with maybe the exception of Todd. My favorite is the one with Kate Goslin and her litter. For someone who claims ‘all Alaskans always do (fill in the blank)’, they appear to have never done any of what they do on the show.
Mike Kay (Team America)
I’ve said this before: today LBJ is a lefty icon, but few of his followers know that the very first bill he passed as prez was a 20% permanent tax cut for the rich.
to think, the very same followers are freaking over a 4% two year tax extension. I mean, I would be with you if it was 20% cut, but 4% for two years is marginal. I guess, like I said, it’s part of a mindset that weights events.
Unquestionably On Topic: TV By The Numbers shows that neither “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” nor “Mad Men” were even in the Top 20 basic cable series this year.
So “real Americans” might be transfixed by a real political drama like an election more than by an image-enhancing reality show.
The Walking Dead viewers>Mad Men viewers
Mad Men viewers=Palin’s Alaska viewers
The Walking Dead viewers>Palin’s Alaska viewers
Zombies ate Sarah Palin’s brain during one of her attempts at college.
THAT is some math.
@Mike Kay (Team America):
Well, Obama was fighting. That was reported by others. The whole tax cut deal was part of fighting to get New Start even to a vote. The intent was more “He fought enough to impress Jane” than “I believe this because Jane said it”. I have never agreed with Jane enough to assert the latter.
This text editor is very slow.
@Redshift: And that we could remove theirs! eta or inactivate. Sounds less patricidal.
Don’t tempt me to a whole thread about the greatness of Pauline Kael, because I will.
@Zifnab: As was pointed out last night, 13-15 years old males can’t vote, even if they live in Real ‘Murkia.
This matter of LBJ and fighting took some looking up, and it is going to be long.
When it comes to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, LBJ is confronted with not only the Southern filibuster in the Senate, but with Howard Smith of Virginia, the chairman of House Rules. To get the bill out of Rules, he uses the bully pulpit, mentioning civil rights at every opportunity. When Celler proposes discharging the bill directly to the floor, Johnson has helped provide enough popular support that this is likely to happen and Smith lets it go.
Johnson also defuses the threat of the filibuster by working with the Senate leadership to get all the legislation that is important to him passed and off the floor so that the filibusterers can talk as long as they want, but they have no threats.
Immediately after the bill passes the House, Johnson calls Clarence Mitchell of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and Johnson’s old nemesis Joseph Rauh to get them lobbying the Senate.
While continuing to make public statements for the civil rights bill, Johnson understands that Everett Dirksen is key to passing it. He gives him room to feel important.
Link (plus more): A Brief History of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Also, we have a brilliant phone conversation from Taylor Branch here, after the Senate has sent its bill back to the House.
Charles Halleck is the House Minority Leader.
Johnson : “Y’all want civil rights as much as we do. I think it’s a nonpartisan bill. I don’t think it’s a Johnson bill.”
Halleck “sputters”: “No, no, no, we’re not gonna get a goddamn thing…I don’t know what the hell the Senate’s put in there. That means we ought to kind of take a little look at it.”
Johnson: “Well, maybe you ought to.” “Pretending simply to be helpful”, “Well, you wouldn’t want to go to your convention without a civil rights bill, would you?”
Halleck: “…Now wait just a minute. If I had my way, I’d let you folks be fussing with that goddamn thing before your convention instead of ours.”
“When Johnson said he would like to have a rule permitting a vote on his poverty bill, too, before the House recessed before the Republican convention, Halleck sputtered again. “No, no,” he said. “Now wait a minute. I’ll give you a rule in due time, but don’t press me.”
“I’m not pressing you,” Johnson innocently replied.
“Goddamn it, Mr. President,” shouted Halleck.
“I’m not pressing you,” said the President, who opined over chuckles that he was just “an old Senate hand” and “an old House hand”, and an “old Halleck man,” too.
“All right, you’re a Halleck man,” groaned Halleck.”
Is that honey or vinegar? Johnson isn’t directly threatening him. He isn’t directly angry. But he has driven this man to distraction.
It’s hard to say that all this didn’t amount to “fighting”. LBJ knew that he couldn’t do it all himself and that he had to appeal to the country’s better conscience, but he knew that he had to strategize and exercise a strong will to get a bill to his desk. He was not afraid of the conflict that he knew was waiting for him.
Are you treating this all as an academic discussion of LBJ’s status as someone who bullied congress? Because I have to tell you, nothing I read there remotely applies to Obama or his situation with the Republican Senate. It’s completely irrelevant to the current state of affairs.
As my husband lovingly looked at cameras in the store, I decided to interpret this as “You are on notice as being annoying. Please go away for another week.”
Well, sure as far as the Republican Party, because LBJ and the Republicans were actually agreeing on the civil rights issue.
Also sure as far as making excuses that they don’t have the votes. The civil rights faction DID have the votes in this instance. They had to leverage the votes they did have against some powerful people who were not elected party leaders like McConnell. Whereas for the 1957 Civil Rights Act having the votes was a cliffhanger until the last minute.
That whole post was just, “How do you define fighting?” Alan Grayson can’t be the only definition of fighting just because it is comparatively rare from Democrats. Or what Bill Clinton used to do–make a major speech and completely show that the Republicans were making no sense.
(I guess this was fun. I thought I was in everyone’s pie filter for a few days.)
Wow. I am so pleased to learn that – whew(!) – I am NOT an elite. I knew there was a reason that I never watch television.