Steve M. on what conservatives really want:
First of all, ask yourself why fifteen-year-olds say “Fuck you” at the dinner table to their parents. That’s easy: they do it because they know they’re stuck living with these people; the only way to make that bearable is to needle their parents by saying whatever pisses them off the most. Well, that’s how right-wing pseudo-intellectuals feel about us liberals and moderates — they have to live in the same country with us, and they hate it, so they become God-botherers and moralists because they think nothing could possibly annoy us more. I really believe that’s one of the primary reasons they do this — do you believe Brooks and Murray and Ross Douthat and William Bennett really have a deep, abiding love for God and a profound level of spirituality? I certainly don’t. Jimmy Carter really loves God — not these self-satisfied clowns. It’s all just a bird-flip disguised as a moral philosophy.
I think that’s some of it but some of it is I’m-a-special-snowflake. You’ll notice that a lot of media-world right-wingers like to call themselves “libertarians” (Murray, for example), as in you can’t call me a conservative because I support gay marriage/smoke dope/believe in legalized contraception. Megan McArdle takes it to an extreme, vegetarian who hates vegetarians, “libertarian” who’s uncomfortable with reproductive rights, economics blogger who can’t add numbers. You can’t pigeonhole her! That’s exciting. Today’s Kaplan has a classic example — an arty critic/poet/artist who’s really a tough factory worker and hates imaginary worker-hating liberals. Modulo his desire to be ruled by a strong Chinese leader, Tom Friedman’s positions are almost entirely standard Obot-fare, but he’s also a pimp for third parties.
It goes on and on. No one (excluding many of us here of course) wants to be a standard liberal, even if they support Democratic policies on every issue. You are all different. Yes, we are all different.
I can’t think of anything I’d rather be. What these idiots don’t get is that their schtick is the lowest common denominator. To be a standard liberal, in today’s political climate, means you really ARE a special snowflake because it’s so out of the norm and, apparently, so shameful and out of the mainstream.
“First of all, ask yourself why fifteen-year-olds say “Fuck you” at the dinner table to their parents.”
Who the fuck are these 15 year olds saying that to their parents at the dinner table? I think Steve M. might want to rethink that analogy because the real problem in it isn’t the kid with the dirty mouth. It’s the adult who tolerates or enables such behavior.
If I had said ‘fuck you’ at the dinner table my father would have seriously kicked my ass right then and there. I know you can’t do that any more but that was back in a less enlightened era.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Speaking as an atheist myself Brooks always comes across to me as a Theist’s idea of the an atheist is like; self absorb, preachy, poser intellectual and devoid of all human empathy. Now you are telling Brooks claims to be a Christian? Now that is funny.
“No one wants to be a standard liberal” because it does not fit the image of the wised up, street-smart, savvy kind of person that so many aspire to be. Meathead from All in the Family still seems to be everyone’s idea of a standard-issue liberal.
What can I say? Our PR sucks.
That is just wrong.
Kids do it because the parents don’t make their ears ring with a slap to the head. Conservatives see us as weak, because they see compassion as weakness. We are slowly changing that perception.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
Just do what bothers these “libertarians” most. It’s very easy to pigeon hole them: call them Bushlovers. They will then protest. Then ask them who they voted for. Twice. They usually shut up.
Gin & Tonic
@MBunge: Yes. Raised three kids through teenage years and into well-adjusted adulthood without having that sort of thing directed at me. Mutual respect and understanding works.
I don’t get it.
Didn’t the wingers deregulate Wall Street and overthrow Saddam? And aren’t they going after women and gays with everything they can under the cover of morality?
Seems to me that the right wing is exactly who they say they are. And they are proud of it.
Four decades of cultural programming that says any idea to the left of the gospel of Ronaldus Magus is dirty-hippie-flaky will do a lot to increase one’s self-loathing.
And for the record, I can’t really consider anything about McArdle ‘exciting’.
I honestly disagree. I think Douthat and Brooks and Murray would be thrilled to have the polite conservative theocracy roll right over us. The Holy Roman Empire was good times for the upper crust. And maybe a few witches got burned along the way, but these guys have the court sycophant game down pat so their skin isn’t on the line.
These are authoritarians. They’ve got a deep and abiding love for Big White Elderly Pappa being in charge. They would love to have Pope for President.
Jimmy Carter was a born-and-raised evangelical, but he wasn’t a doctrinal theocratic. Jimmy Carter didn’t run for President to take orders from his church-appointed masters. These guys and their Presidential picks are just empty suites. They are puppets who want to do what they are told and get paid well for the privilege. I have absolutely no problem believing they’d swallow a moral philosophy that deifies the kind of person they pretend to be and crucifies the rest.
why in the heck to these real ‘muricans listen to a canadian born jewish person like bobo about religion?
From the Kaplan link:
‘ Here’s Walter Russell Mead, a noted policy scholar, saying in a recent blog posting that revolutions in information technology create “the potential for unprecedented abundance and a further liberation of humanity from meaningless and repetitive work.” ‘
Mead was too optimistic about work in the info and tech revolution, not too liberal biased against factory work or manual labor (speaking as one who has done plenty of manual labor in the past).
The end of the column was just a smear against the liberal side of the ‘knowledge class’, or tote baggers, or whatever. They don’t deny the dignity of work, they just want everyone to get recognized and paid and treated fairly, for the work they do, no matter how ‘ordinary’ it is, while the conservative knowledge class that does not. That is the difference in my mind.
Anyway, glad I read that column, now I can sneer at Adam Smith for being a liberal elitist tote bagger who worried about the effect of difficult repetitive factory work on people back in the 18th century.
Paul in KY
IMO, Tom Friedman is a neo-con who goes to lengths to try and obscure fact that he is a neo-con.
Also too, Mead is a conservative, no matter what he calls himself. He’s a classic snowflake type.
Cris (without an H)
That’s why I spent the 90’s — and some years into the 00’s — claiming I was an “independent” or some other variation on denying my connection to the big D. Eventually I became more honest with myself.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: I believe he identifies as Jewish, FWIW.
I think a lot of it is really just habit. In the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, conservatives hated liberals because liberals absolutely killed them for being isolationists, mocked their precious values, changed the country several times over and kept winning. Conservatives weren’t necessarily known as “angry” before FDR, at least not according to anything I’ve read. But they have been ever since, and the longer it takes to roll everything back to the 1920s that exists in their imagination, the angrier they get. IMO, the end of the Cold War turned liberals from being the #2 to the #1 enemy, and even though they’ve tried to bring back Cold Warriorism that didn’t change back after 9/11. They’ve been angry and at war so long it’s just habit, how they see things. And the reason they’re getting absolutely killed among young people is because a 24 year old can’t fathom hatreds that go back eighty mf-ing years.
people who call themselves “libertarians” or “independents” are just embarrassed republicans. they also think it makes them sound as smart as or smarter than liberals.
Paul in KY
@MBunge: Right on. Probably just a poorly thought analogy. Maybe a better one would be listening to music your parents detest.
I can live with being a Lib-bot 3000. Beepboop! Universal Healthcare! BEEEEP! Living wage! BOOP! Regulated market! HUMMMMM!
Paul in KY
@kindness: I would never have wanted to find out what would have happened had I done that at 15 (which I was back in circa 1974).
That column is a great entry in the conservatives’ fact-free history lesson genre. It takes a lot of nerve, or a lot of confidence in your audience’s gullibility, to assert that working-class people disappeared from TV in the early 1970s, and then use as your example Archie Bunker, who was on the most popular show in the country for at least half the decade.
They don’t want to be able to flip us off. They want to be able to whine about how persecuted they are. If religion appeals to them, it’s because religions love to sell themselves as persecuted by the big, bad world.
Always remember: You’re unique, just like everyone else.
There’s another level of complication on top of that.
Every extended “family” will have it’s problem children. A kid that loves making the other people at the Thanksgiving get-together squirm a bit.
For the most part, that kid will get one shot at being a jerk, then his dad, or some other mature member of the family will pull him aside and make him behave.
The GOP has grown into a disfunctional family.
At that Thankgiving dinner, if anyone tries to settle the unruly kid, the head of the household will raise hell and kick out anyone “who dares to tell *my* kid what he can do”.
Then he’ll tell the kid that he’s a laugh riot and get some more chuckles retelling the story about how he kicked out that cousin who wasn’t really part of the family anyway.
In teh modern GOP there is a value to being someone who is willing to do *anything* to push towards the goals of the man of the house.
It’s a “rules are for sissies” kind of attitude that makes the GOP look like the bad guys from The Karate Kid (the original version)
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@Paul in KY: my kids know not to try it.
@DougJarvus Green-Ellis: Would you say that McMegan is a bigger snowflake than Jamie Kirchick? Where’s Andrew Sullivan on this scale?
The good news is that they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of positions that just piss off liberals, so to appease the rump nutter minority they’re taking positions that also too happen to piss off most everybody else.
When I was in my teens and early twenties, I had a whole mess of contradictory views on a lot of things, some liberal, some conservative. I was a smart kid, but I had done too much intellectualizing without enough life experience.
I’d had a somewhat sheltered upbringing, which left me with idealized views about how people and families “should” be. And I picked up theories about society from a variety of ideological and theological sources, some of which did not actually correspond to human reality.
Luckily I had smart friends (and girlfriends) who set me straight about a number of things I was clueless about. And my life got a lot more complicated: my parents divorced, I had a kid out of wedlock, and eventually, my sister-in-law and both of my brothers came out. So I was pretty thoroughly disabused of my more naive theories.
Short Bus Bully
It’s the damn dirty fucking hippies.
Even my friends who are Obots on policy hate the fucking hippies and their stupid shit (even though the hippies are right on a lot of stuff) enough to cut off their noses to spite their faces. And then when they hear the word “Democrat” all they think about is the Clinton’s and their political machine.
Oh, and they are way too cool to ever be associated with anything not underground and like, totally legit. And they would try to kill me if I ever confronted them about any of this shit.
i just love “elites” calling people like me “elitist” b/c i vote Dem, btw
i am so pleased to learn, after all these years of thinking i was just an ordinary slob, that i am a member of the elite class!
excuse me while i go and lord it over everybody
Paul in KY
@Zifnab: I think they just see lots of money & power in it for them as courtiers for the Right (whom they have picked as the eventual winners).
Another theory is they are just pitchmen who get their marching orders from the corporation they work for & know they’ll be out on their ass if they don’t toe the line. Sort of a ‘nothing personal’ kind of job like a Mafia hitman.
@harlana: So, what pray tell do I call my European Socialist Green style aspirations? Sure as hell ain’t Democratic. Show me their plank for nationalizing critical infrastructure.
I don’t know about snow flakes but they certainly are flakes, especially McMegan. She even looks like a crazy person. BTW I am proud to be a liberal. There, I said it. We need to reclaim that word and not be afraid of the Burkean Bobos. Also too, I made you guys a recipe and I didn’t eated it.
Megan McArdle is a lying sack of shit who should be lucky to be working at burger shop. She’s not funny, she’s not accurate, and every time she types on her computer, she does permanent and fundamental damage to the cause of journalism.
am I making myself clear?
I realize that teenagers go through some messed-up years during which they do their level best to incite their parents to incoherent rage, but this is a really awful analogy. If your kid gives you an FU at the dinner table, and this is not an extraordinary and unprecedented event provoked by some medical or external factor, this is a parenting failure that did not begin with this dinner or your child’s entry into puberty.
Paul in KY
@Belafon (formerly anonevent): I sure did :-)
Did any one see Bruce Bartlett on the Daily Show? Bartlett was critical of the Republicans, going so far as to call them insane, so what did Jon do? He started criticizing the Democrats, he is getting too Brodersque these days.
Paul in KY
@Short Bus Bully: God what a terrible time the 90s were, all due to that Clinton Political Machine. A regular Tittewinsky Hall it was.
Adding: Some of the naive theories of my youth did have an element of hippie-punching… in that I had internalized caricatures of angry/utopian leftists, and was reacting against these caricatures. Again, it was mostly about a lack of real-life experience and accurate knowledge.
“Liberal” is due for a resurgence in trendiness and popularity. Have “the kids” started adopting it yet, claiming they’re liberal? Hipsters? It’ll happen, maybe just not yet.
They do really have trouble with the paradox of how we *are* all individuals, but we also *are* all human beings. They refuse to believe that we have the same human motivations and just do our best. They are sure we have evil motivations completely unlike theirs. That’s how they know almost all welfare, abortions, birth control, tort judgments are just lazy because it feels good degenerate behavior. However they paid in to welfare, their abortion is justifiable, their families don’t number into the teens, and some (like Ricky) will accept huge settlements from the one company that did a bad thing to them instead when normally that company make the world better with their ruthless greed.
As MBunge (#3) and kindness (#4) have pointed out, this isn’t a well chosen analogy. But allowing for that, I think there is an important truth concealed under this poorly chosen example. I’m struck by how often, when you listen to right-wingers complain about liberals and the govt, if you stop parsing what they are saying to try to tease out the implied policy arguments and instead pay more literal-minded attention to their exact choice of words and tone of voice, how their speech sounds like that of angry and rebellious teenagers adressing their insufferable parents. The diction really gives it away “nanny state”, “you can’t make me eat broccoli”, “you can’t make me change my light bulbs”. Much of right-wing speech is just a restatement in political terms of “You are not the boss of me! Na! Na! Na! So there! I hate you! ! I hate you! !”.
How much more obvious does it need to get, before the parent-child relationship implied in this speech is made clear? They do everything but stomp down the hallway and slam the doors to their bedrooms.
And here I thought Henry Allen was dead.
Paul in KY
@schrodinger’s cat: Missed it. John has to do that sometimes (IMO) to be able to get an A-List Repub on the show. I do hate it, though.
Fuck the A-List Repubs. I can’t believe many Repubs watch the damned show anyways. His ratings might be higher if he would stop all that ‘fishing for eqivilency’ garbage.
@MBunge: The real problem is a society that invents a word, then makes it so you can’t say the word. This is that goddamn apple trick all over again.
@Short Bus Bully: there is a subset of the DFH’s that i’m not a fan of. there was some discussion at crooket timber about this yesterday. the subset are the hippies that are protesting outcomes from the existing system and not the system itself. Freddie DeBoer asked, “how many occupiers would switch places with the banksters?”
no dude, you are wrong, and so is Steve.
They just think they are right.
They utterly believe in their bulshytt, like EDK believes in the “freed” market.
They are happy to stick a blade in but that isnt their prime motivation.
they just arent bright enough to pass the bar.
Conservatives are just stupider than liberals.
what is wrong with you, retard?
did be Bore suck out your brain?
@Gin & Tonic: The trick, as with most parenting, is to start when they are young. The first time your 3-4 year old pops off an “I hate you” or “shut up” to you, you let them know that talking disrespectfully is completely unacceptable. You don’t have to smack them around, just draw a clear, bright line that this is JUST HOW LIFE IS. And stick to it.
And, of course, you have to also treat them with respect & listen to them. Your kids will walk where you walk, not where you point.
And this is where Bush the Elder gets put back into place. Often hailed as somewhat reasonable for a recent GOP President, his campaign to make liberal the worst epithet in America really took hold. I know they’ve always been working on that, but he and Atwater really set that in stone.
Now, even though majorities seem to favor liberal policy positions when not labeled, they feel differently when there is a D or an R associated with the policy.
@Samara Morgan: objection noted. it’s a fair question imho. my time with the occupiers showed me that there were more than i expected that desired different outcomes. maybe my expectations were misplaced.
The modern GOP is a tenuous joining of libertarians and social conservatives, which naturally leads to hilarity and difference of opinion. The idea that these so called right wing intellectuals do things in order to piss of liberals is simply narcissistic. And funny, but mostly narcissistic.
@pragmatism: each occupy movement is different, yet similar. wtf is de bore talking about?
de Bore does nothing but talk out of his ass and engage in kangaroo slap fights with bloggers higher up the food chain.
@makewi: you dont believe that they are sold on their own bulshytt, like the “freed” market?
its all faking?
Purple heart bandaids.
Factors that influenced my journey to liberalism:
As a nuclear-war-fascinated kid in the 1980s, reading in depth analysis of the Soviet military threat and realizing that Ronnie Reagan was full of shit and the Russians weren’t anywhere near starting WW3, they were actually about to collapse.
As a Christian-raised kid in the 1980s, reading comically misinformed articles about role playing games and rock music being tools of the occult, and realizing that religious leaders were full of shit, the Devil wasn’t trying to ensnare me through my D&D books, and well, a little more digging turned out the whole Jesus thing was pretty much bullshit as well.
When I’ve looked into some sort of conservative panic, it’s turned out to be complete horseshit upon cursory inspection, while liberal anxieties (such as environment) has turned out to usually have at least a kernel of truth.
Mostly I just hate being lied to.
Oh, and as a geeky, hightech young adult in the 1990s, reading Atlas Shrugged and realizing that Ayn Rand is full of shit, and that libertarianism or Objectivism, call it what you will, is pretty much bullshit used to justify selfishness and greed.
That was a big step.
@Samara Morgan: i agree and i was just speaking to my own experience with one occupy group. i don’t disagree that he “seagulls” a lot of other bloggers (flies in, craps all over and then flies away). i do agree with what i believe to be his narrower point–Occupy has a lot of work still left to do. the people who want different outcomes and not systemic changes are detrimental in that they play into the DFH moocher stereotype. the reality is that since anti-occupy people are incentivized to promote that stereotype whether it exists in reality or not. i submit it exists. the extent to which it exists is an open question.
I believe that both sides believe in their own brand of bs. Actually I’d go one step further and say that both sides believe in their own ideas each of which is right and wrong to varying degrees. Thing is, since that is both the truth and not nearly hatey enough – it isn’t likely to gain many converts from anyone firmly entrenched on their “side”.
Same reaction happened with “Ishmael” as “Atlas Shrugged”, so I’m bipartisan in that sense. Totalizing bullshit theories generally give me hives.
Even today I’m not so much a lefty as staring open-mouthed in shock at movement conservatism.
@gex: I was laughing the other day because I was at a kid’s party and parents were like “he’s hearing the F-word at school.” And I was thinking- crap, I can’t have this kid over at my house because they’re going to hear it from one of us sooner or later. We don’t have any rule against any one word because it’s about intent. Which I think everyone here agrees on.
The analogy is imprecise because I can think of millions of reasons a teenager might tell their parents to fuck off and be well within bounds (sorry son, I forgot to pick you up from school because I was drunk…). But conservatives are like the kid who throws a tantrum because they didn’t get a new car when they were 16.
Really? It’s a mystery why 15 year olds specialize in figuring out ways to annoy their parents?
It’s actually quite an apt analogy in that the underlying reasons are the same. Fifteen year olds and wing-nuts are both operating from a place of fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough, fear that they will fail. (Wingers are actually like 15 year olds in that they are also juvenile).
Those of you who think the answer is to be even harsher have got it backwards. The solution is to embrace them all the more, make them feel secure, make them feel LOVED. This is the lesson that our side seems determined not to understand: the way to take the sting out of Greater Wingnuttia is to let them know that no matter how hateful or mean they are, we still love them and value them as our fellow Americans. This doesn’t mean ignoring transgressions, or blithely being a victim. But it does mean that one’s entire posture is one of openness and acceptance.
Striking out is a way to let others know you’re in dire straits. Let’s remember that those in the thrall of today’s conservatism are hurting like everyone else, and in some ways more. They see a “mainstream” culture in which they are absent. How many new CBS dramas are set in Cincinnatti or Lubbock? How many Southern accents do you hear on the news? How often do GOP-ers hear themselves mocked?
I think BHO gets this. It’d be nice to see some more of our folks acting this way. It will help us get past this, at least to some extent.
I know what you mean. Big factor in my case was that the more I dug through politics, the more two things became apparent: one, that what conservatives said about liberals tended to be utter bullshit, and two, that what liberals said about conservatives turns out to be depressingly true.
I too was surprised to be alerted by Newt Gingrich that I’m part of the elite because I ride the subway. It didn’t feel that way when the guy standing two people down from me on the train last night puked all over himself. However, the apartment building I live in is just six stories, not a high-rise, so maybe I’m just a semi-elite on the Newt-O-Meter.
Bob Herbert was dyed-in-the-wool.
Here’s him being him.
@Paul in KY: When I was 15 I came home late and semi drunk. At the door was my old man in his T shirt and boxers waiting for me and he was pissed. I didn’t say fuck, instead I took a swing at him. He blocked it and punched me in the nose, hard. I went down like the sack of shit I was with a neatly broken nose. My Mom came screaming into the room and said “we have to take him to the emergency room!” Dad said, “you take him, I’m going to bed!” The really bad part of it was my nose had been broken in a hockey game in January, it had only been healed for about a month. That was the only time my Dad hit me other than an occasional whack on the ass when I was younger. Never took a shot at him again.
“Harry’s Law” is, but it’s on NBC.
Really? Turn the other cheek and love your enemies? I’ll concede that might be the right approach with indvidual conservatives who aren’t obviously just hateful sociopaths. Your right-wing dad, fundie neighbor, low-information friend brainwashed by Fox News, etc. But this doesn’t work in politics. That’s what Obama tried to do in his first two-and-a-half years and they just threw it back in his face and refused to give an inch while trashing him as the most dangerous, evil, Kenyan, Muslim, blah, blah, blah…
Politics isn’t therapy. The stakes are too high.
Really? No one has made the Life of Brian connection yet?
I’ve taken to saying that if you scratch a libertarian, you find an old soculist.
Meaning they share the same love of abstraction, or a perfect self-regulating perpetual motion machine of politics.
((raises gold-plated Waterford crystal glass of Armand de Brignac in your general direction))
The funny thing is libertarianism and Marxism kind of end up saying the same thing – how it’s all supposed to end with the State fading away and leaving a happy self-regulating utopia in its wake, just like that. How? Well, the details are a little fuzzy…
@Lev: Conservatives weren’t necessarily known as “angry” before FDR
They were pretty angry in 1861 or so . . .
You of all people are r-bombing someone?
Irony is dead.
@Paul in KY: I didn’t have a problem with that segment. Jon simply pointed out (or agreed with Bartlett) how dysfunctional the Democrats are, and who can argue? Frankly, I would much rather have a Democratic party with spine than a rational Republican party. If you had the first, the Republicans would either reform or disappear.
Who the heck are these 15-year olds saying “FU” to their parents at the dinner table? Has anyone here ever seen one in the real world? Are they all children of the hippies who spit on soldiers returning from Vietnam?
This reminds me of people who plan trips abroad, insisting that they do not intend to be tourists. They will be authentic people-of-where-they-are-visiting-for-ten-days!
@Jager: He’d never get away with it today, but damn if that wasn’t pretty much exactly the correct response to a drunk teenager coming home and taking a swing at him.
I abhor violence to children, but sometimes the school of hard knocks is the only way that some people will learn a critical lesson about the way the world works and why there’s some things you Just Don’t Do. Better you learned that from him than from taking a swing at a cop.
You make some good points but I disagree with the bit above. If anything, I think the male southern redneck viewpoint is over-represented in mainstream TV, and this is especially noticeable when it is held up as the archetype of blue collar manliness, which is pretty typical. On TV, real men are white, drive pickup trucks (preferably a Dodge RAM), smoke or chew tobacco, and speak with southern accents. This is more noticeable in the advertising than it is in the shows, but it is very pervasive. Somehow I don’t think “they never show us in a positive light on TV” is a valid complaint for GOPers to make.
I think this analysis of conservatives is completely wrong – its all superficial, with a little Narcissism thrown in to think that conservatives would waster anytime trying to piss off liberals.
conservatives are looking and talking way past liberals, and everyone else. conservatives are talking to themselves. They know internally they are ratf*ckers to their core. they project intense hypocrisy to try to fool themselves, which of course you can’t do, which only increases their internal tension (the cognitive dissonance inside what passes as the conservative mind is a fearsome thing to imagine).
you really can’t run from yourself and its a horrible, barren, indecent picture conservatives have to deal with.
I can only assume that you don’t spend much time paying attention to said conservatives.
Because I can assure you, many of them–elected or otherwise–are quite explicit about how much they are motivated by spite and hippie-punching.
It’s not narcissism on our parts when they are actually saying it out loud, and changing their positions literally overnight once liberals are in favor of something that conservatives used to favor.
I wrote this 1n 2009 about Andrew Sullivan, the “the lone member be of some rare and singular new species; some miraculous form of haploid political minotaur.”
Sadly, it still applies. To all of them:
“…if Mr. Sullivan simply outed himself as a Liberal, he would instantly lose his place in the food-chain, wouldn’t he? Because like that microscopic number of self-loathing black Conservatives who make their daily bread by serving the interests of the Southern Bigot Party, more than any other single factor, it was always the sheer gawking, oddballness of the brazen self-delusion inherent in being the gay champion of the Christopath Homophobe Party that put Mr. Sullivan in the spotlight.
That was what gave him his unique and lucrative cache.
After all, Liberal gay political writers are a dime a dozen, and so in a strange way we find Andrew Sullivan locked in the same kind of mortal combat over labels — and for exactly the same reasons — as Roy Cohn’s character in “Angels In America” as he adamantly insisted — even as he was dying of AIDS — that he was not a “ho-mo-sex-shall”.
Because, Cohn reasoned, homosexuals were nobodies; losers who had zero clout and “in 15 years cannot pass a pissant anti-discrimination bill from City Council.” And since Roy Cohn could get the President of the United States (or his wife) on the phone — could take the man he was fucking to the White House and make Ronald Reagan smile at him and shakes his hand — it therefore followed that Roy Cohn could not possibly be a homosexual.
That unlike every other person in his position on Earth, Roy Cohn was a heterosexual man, who fucked around with guys.
Likewise, even though Mr. Sullivan now, belatedly comes to believe much of what Liberals believe and finally deigns to notice a horde of grotesque truths about his Conservative Movement about which Liberals have been sounding the alarm for 30 years, Andrew Sullivan nonetheless looks us all straight in that eye and argues that he could not possibly be some mere Liberal.
Because in Mr. Sullivan’s world, “Liberal” does not refer to a political ideology, but to an impoverishing political ghetto from which no amount of “being right about everything” will permit you to achieve escape velocity. In Mr. Sullivan’s world, “Liberal” is a terrible disease that afflicts losers who do not get invited to spout their views on teevee.
Mr. Sullivan regularly receives such largess, therefore he must not be a Liberal.
He instead must be the lone member be of some rare and singular new species; some miraculous form of haploid political minotaur.
@makewi: Few people here have posted such stupidity – saying that both sides exhibit about the same level of truth is as accurate as climate deniers – utter and complete bullshit.
Thugs are stupid (except for their masters) and rarily ever want to hear truth (better known as facts.)
Few demorats follow any such stupidity anywhere as often. Please give an example like climate denial or the bullshit about Al Gore or Kerry not being a military hero? Or birthers and the list cound go on but is very long.
Please, find identiacl extreme insanity amoung demorats.
You are full of shit with that statement.
True. And let’s not forget that in many ways, the Southern/right-wing/authoritarian etc. viewpoint is over-represented on all these TV crime shows (NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles, Hawaii Five-O, etc.) where the authorities, represented in the person of a tough, no-nonsense veteran who’s now a cop/FBI agent/etc. are always right, and the criminals are always getting away with it because some activist judge let them off on a technicality after the ACLU forced him to do it.
You had me at haploid.
I think BHO gets this. It’d be nice to see some more of our folks acting this way. It will help us get past this, at least to some extent.
So you’re saying that the latest right-wing meltdown is just an Extinction burst?
I miss MacGyver. Wasn’t even around when it was on the air, but I caught it during reruns and as cheesy as it was, it’s a breath of fresh air compared to all the action shows of my era.
(For the Age Of Reagan, the eighties aired some prime anti-establishment stuff. The A-Team and Airwolf come to mind too).
I’m a standard liberal, and proud of it. I still think FDR was our greatest president. I get misty-eyed every time I hear “Abraham, Martin and John.” I celebrate McGovern’s birthday (which also happens to be my wife’s birthday).
Hmmm. I could say “fuck you” at the dinner table. But only after I had finished eating, and definitely not while seated. I would have wanted the head start.
When it comes to people fucked over by an inherently corrupt and self-serving system, bribing them not to revolt is not something to brag about.
It’s interesting when you compare a lot of the crime shows of the 70s and 80s to the crime shows of today. In the older shows the protagonists were often private detectives (Magnum, Rockford), loners (MacGyver) or even outlaws themselves (the A-Team) who worked on their own and were often at odds with authority. But these days, the heroes are either police themselves, or, if they’re private detectives, are PIs who “consult” for the police and may as well be cops themselves (The Mentalist, Monk, Psych, Castle, etc.). It lets the writers play both sides, have a rogue protagonist who doesn’t have to play by the rules, man, while at the same time putting him squarely on the side of authority with its handcuff and prisons and guns.
Another Halocene Human
@Paul in KY: Tom Friedman believes a Platonian élite should rule through enlightened despotry and lie to the little people classes so they don’t have to trouble their little heads with the ugly business of real governance?
Sounds too deep for Friedman, really.
Another Halocene Human
@Cris (without an H): Liberals had sucky messaging/branding and too many nimrods were held in high esteem.
I’m very pleased today to see woo-purveyors like HuffPo relegated to the sidelines and 9/11 tr00fers marginalized.
Also, too, if the current rejection of right-wing death-cultism takes hold, expect some of the grifters, slicksters, and trolls to roll back over to the other side. Sigh.
Another Halocene Human
@harlana: My mother is an independent. I think it was an authoritarian background. She watched Ronald Reagan’s policies–the same ones he campaigned on–absolutely screw her mom and brother economically, which pushed her out of the Republican party, really for good, and she’s lived long enough in big government states to see what truly good government can do. But she still refuses to be a registered Dem (at least it’s an open primary state so she can vote in partisan primaries when there is no opposing party race) and vacillates wildly on social issues depending on how her mood/personality disorder is doing that day.
She really whipsawed me when I was in college, praising the idea of same-sex marriage one day, haranguing against it some months later. Well, the difference was that in-between those two rants I had come out as gay. (whose ox is being gored and all that) She wanted those frisky gay men to settle down and share her misery. She did not want to contemplate the idea that her eldest was not going to start churning out BABBIES! BABBIES NAO!!!
Another Halocene Human
Well, you’re not dumb enough to vote Republican, with your fancy shmancy cerebral cortex dominance and lack of massive personality disorders. You must think you’re special!
Another Halocene Human
Yeah, at this point I’ll settle for anyone not promising to sell it all off.
Another Halocene Human
@schrodinger’s cat: Disagree. He’s in NYC and he knows who pays for people like Dodd and Lieberman’s election campaigns.
The Dems haven’t seized the moment on tax or any other reform because the finance industry has a bunch of key senators in their pockets.
Henry Allen is what my English friends would call, a “try hard”.
I know, it’s quite a change. I chalk it up to the post-Vietnam, post-Watergate disillusionment with the authorities and society in general, which made fertile ground for loner-at-odds-with-authority TV shows. But “the authorities” have gotten a lot of their public cred back since then.
S.E. Cupp comes to mind. There’s not a more intellectually incoherent contrarian I can think of. What she claims to be (and the hipster babe image she presents; not to mention the constant legshow) is completely at odds with her mouth, which she uses as a surrogate for angry white male platitudes every time she shows up.
perhaps you’re too superficial to understand the origins of derision of “the other”.
@scav: I am impressed by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
And George F Will is the herd sire.
The trouble facing conservative intellectuals is that the constituency of conservatism is for the most part inherently anti-intellectual. They just don’t trust thoughtful people who read books and use big words, even if those people are conservatives. They have an opinion, but it is always visceral; they don’t want to be bothered by having to learn why they have that opinion.These are people to whom nuance and uncertainty are unsettling, frightening, even. They want a list of things to believe in and recite, not a way of thinking.
Paul in KY
@Jager: You must have really been drunk. I was a non-hockey playing kid that never got drunk enough to take a swing at my dad (who would have kicked my ass up one side of street & back down the other).
Glad you got that out of your system :-)
Paul in KY
@The Golux: I didn’t see the segment in question. Sounds less bad than another poster painted it.
Paul in KY
@Another Halocene Human: I guess he could be that & a stealth neo-con to boot.