Heavens to Bobo, neocons believe some whack ass shit. Harvey Mansfield:
“You can count voters and votes,” Mr. Mansfield says. “And political science does that a lot, and that’s very useful because votes are in fact countable. One counts for one. But if we get serious about what it means to vote, we immediately go to the notion of an informed voter. And if you get serious about that, you go all the way to voting as a wise choice. That would be a true voter. The others are all lesser voters, or even not voting at all. They’re just indicating a belief, or a whim, but not making a wise choice. That’s probably because they’re not wise.”
By that measure, the electorate that granted Barack Obama a second term was unwise—the president achieved “a sneaky victory,” Mr. Mansfield says. “The Democrats said nothing about their plans for the future. All they did was attack the other side. Obama’s campaign consisted entirely of saying ‘I’m on your side’ to the American people, to those in the middle. No matter what comes next, this silence about the future is ominous.”
At one level Mr. Obama’s silence reveals the exhaustion of the progressive agenda, of which his presidency is the spiritual culmination, Mr. Mansfield says. That movement “depends on the idea that things will get better and better and progress will be made in the actualization of equality.” It is telling, then, that during the 2012 campaign progressives were “confined to defending what they’ve already achieved or making small improvements—student loans, free condoms. The Democrats are the party of free condoms. That’s typical for them.”
All this from a guy who probably doesn’t the approximate GDP of the United States and who may well believe that Syria is Iran’s path to the sea. Yeah, I get that he’s 80 years old and at least half-senile.
I think this gets to the gist of his meaning.
Keats, really? Or did some rapper use that in a rap?
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
If we could just repeal a couple of amendments, we’d have only “wise” voters!
Or maybe go to the “one dollar, one vote” system.
How much money will it take to get Stanford to shut down the Hoover Institution and blacklist everyone who works there?
Oh, and that quotation is one of the most vile and loathesome things I’ve ever read.
It’s just another:
It’s okay, there really isn’t a black president, we’re still a white supremacist nation, because… uh… er… well, Obama’s voters shouldn’t count, therefore he stole the election. So there!
“All they did was attack the other side.” This from a man whose awful book, Masculinity, jumped all over feminism as though nothing had changed within the movement from the 1970s. He apparently never got over being rejected during the free love era.
From what I’ve read about Strauss, this doesn’t surprise me at all.
I recently learned that Mansfield supervised Andrew Sullivan’s PhD thesis. Somehow…that makes so much sense.
That’s some General Jack Ripper grade right wing bullshit. Maybe it came to him during the act of a righteous chicken fuck.
What is it with these Republicans? Time and time again, when they think they’re describing Democrats, they’re really describing themselves. I’m almost beginning to feel sorry for Jindahl.
And of course Mitt Romney’s campaign was famed for its long and detailed position papers and thorough explanations of everything that he intended to do in office. Oh, and Mitt Romney and the Republicans *never* attacked the Democrats. Not ever.
Just how stupid does the WSJ think its readers are?
Republicans are the party of vulture capitalists. That’s typical of them.
To be fair wouldn’t we be going on about the idiocy of the electorate if Romney had won?
Mansfield mention that Leo Strauss turned him conservative.
This is Leo Strauss. The man was a fucking nut.
ETA- I posted before reading the comments, but #8 hit on the Strauss thing before me.
Circlejerk, thy name is Republican.
But in that case we would be right.
@dmsilev: It was a five or nine point plan and he promised to create 12 million jobs.
point 1 …..
point 2 …..
Just Some Fuckhead
That’s funny coming from an 80 year old.
shorter whine – ‘murka is supposed to be a white country.
@dmsilev: Typical winger projection.
I love the smell of sour grapes, delusion and projection in the morning.
No plans for the future? Rich from the guy backing the candidate promising that some more tax cuts will make the sky fart money and balance the budget and spent the past year calling our president a foreigner who wants to give money to lazy blah people. Whatta moran.
@Ajaye: Nice false equivalency.
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
The right has really gotten blatant about their anti-democratic views. After the last election, there were babblers about brining back the poll tax (because only people with “skin in the game” knew how to vote right – never mind that for the poor, it’s their actual skins, and they know it’s not a game.)
And Jonah Goldberg wanted to have a test before people could vote, on important issues like their understanding of the word “cloture” (because that’s what everyone bases their vote on, right?) he kinds dropped that after someone suggested that the test should have two questions: (1) How many WMD’s did we find in Iraq, and (2) What was the connection between Iraq and 9/11? If you got the answers right – nothing and nothing – you could vote.
Now they’ve reached the point of “votes I don’t agree with just aren’t real votes, because they’re not!”
@debbie: I first heard people talk about GOP projection as a joke. However, I’ve found that it’s dead serious and applies to nearly everything they say. At this point, if a Republican claims an opponent is doing X, I pretty much assume that they’re guilty of the act.
So this guy is using thousands of words to say basically, “Any voter who doesn’t vote for my candidate is an idiot”?
I mean, seriously? This is what they’ve come down to?
By what measure? He never offers any measure.
My current favorite projection moment is Mitch McConnell, speaking to the C-Span camera and probably very few filled seats, criticizing Obama for “campaigning” when he should be seriously negotiating with the Republicans to avoid the fiscal cliff.
We might be, but I guarantee we wouldn’t be making an argument that their votes shouldn’t count on some cockamamie metaphysical level, if not literally.
Just Some Fuckhead
They shoulda titled that article “Soon To Die Old Person Finds Out Life Was Total Wasted Effort”.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
The pride of Harvard, no doubt.
It was between the lines. “Dogs eating Dogs”
Ted & Hellen
You don’t read much, do you.
@different-church-lady: Sort of. He’s saying “Now that my party only appeals to a slight majority of white males and has given up on everyone else, I think it would be a great idea if everybody but white males only counted 3/5 of a vote”.
Side note: I used to get some amusement from the poster now known as T & H, but I think it’s pie filter time. Except my pie filter seems to be missing.
ETA: I don’t think he’s thought through the idea of giving less vote weight to misinformed or uneducated voters, considering which subset of American white males is the bulk of the GOP support and that they get their info from Fox.
Aaand the troll is here.
Sure they did. They said they planned to raise taxes on rich people. People heard about this plan, liked it, and voted for them.
They had other plans, such as not allowing health care reform to be rolled back or repealed, not paying down debt by throwing old people into the street or starving poor people or closing schools, and people heard about those plans and liked them too, and voted for them.
Having plans you don’t like does not = “not having a plan.” And people who vote for those plans are not unwise – they are, as the wealthy people who own the GOP have been doing for quite some time now, voting in their own self-interest.
And there’s more of them than there are of you.
@Baud: They voted for Obama, didn’t they? By (Republican) definition, that’s unwise.
Especially sneaky and unexpected because Silver and Wang had those Models up for simply months luring conserves into the comfy snuggles of their confident UNLIMITED DESTINY!
@debbie: I can’t stand Mitch Daniels. He was infuriating as governor and now we have to watch 3.5-4yrs more of the BS you pointed while everyone wonders if he’ll run for prez in ’16. On behalf of the few sane Hoosiers, I apologize for inflicting him on the rest of you.
ETA- Oops! I got my Mitches mixed up. I’ve got 99 problems and apparently a Mitch constitutes 2 of them. In any case, you’re quite right.
I absolutely get the reference, but I don’t think he’s even arguing for 3/5ths. He’s talking about complete disenfranchisement of some strange, metaphysical kind. It’s like, “Oh, sure, we had an election, but, you know, it wasn’t really a legit election because the wrong kinds of people went to the polls.”
Let me see if I got this straight. This guy Mansfield has a painful bowel movement because they served him some soul food at the Harvard cafeteria that didn’t agree with his sensitive, white innards. He then smears said movement on a page of the WSJ which then gets read by lots of belly-aching white guys and it gives them all a sad.
Well, I would like to offer Mr. Mansfield some advice: Harvey — Can you hear me Harvey? This is AMERICA. Our side won — so SHUT THE FUCK UP, CRYBABY!
Thinking about it, this is actually of a piece with Stuart Steven’s WaPo op-ed: not merely content with denying reality, the wingnuts must now construct and inhabit an imaginary alternate reality, one in which their candidate didn’t actually lose.
Rarely, quite rarely, is there proof that an upper level education cannot alleviate stupidity, displayed in such bold, certain form as this article. Excellent work.
I love how this article complains that Obama was silent on what his plans are for the future, while Republicans are in the midst of complaining how Obama’s fiscal cliff plan is nothing more than his existing budget.
In VINO [email protected]
Voters In Name Only, bien sûr.
For God’s sake, do not go to the full article and look at the comments if you don’t want to spend the rest of the night trying to render yourself unconscious by banging your head against a wall. I mean, yeah, it’s the WSJ editorial page and Murdoch owns it now, so consider the audience. But Jeebus Aitz Crisco, the way those people simultaneously play the victim and deride others for being victims is enough to make one despair of any end to their unshaken determination to drive us into plutocracy that doesn’t involve guillotines and bullet-pocked walls.
Proving, yet again, that there are two, and only two, basic narratives in Republicanworld:
1. Those so-called “victims” you bleeding hearts are mewling about had it comin’!
2. Hey, I/we am/are the real victim(s) here!
“All they did was attack the other side.”
Talk about some fuckin’ projection…
@Baud: The measure is: “People who vote differently than me are unwise.” No need to quantify anything. He knows this is true.
“lack of mandatory retirement age is a bitch”? What the hell? When you get to a certain age, you’re supposed to STFU?
You have a point though. No Republican younger than 75 years ever says anything stupid. Right?
Well, but it’s dirty pool to “attack” the other side by telling the truth about them, or repeating things they’ve said, or doing math that shows their “plans” don’t add up.
Making up shit about welfare expansion and the price of gasoline 4 years ago and Chrysler planning to send all Jeep production to China is how true gentlemen play the game.
They aren’t stupid, they’re just so deeply in denial that they need to worry about being eaten by crocodiles, and the WSJ has calculated that their readers will abandon the paper if it tries to bring them back to reality.
This “eminent political scientist” just proves that you don’t have to be in tune with the American electorate or in touch with reality in order to teach at Harvard.
Full Metal Wingnut
I always snort whenever some conservative harps on this-free condoms are actually a great idea. They had free condoms in my college’s student health center, and I’m pretty sure you can get free condoms at Planned Parenthood. They’re cheap if you buy them in bulk. That said, the fact that my political views, as a liberal, are reduced to “free condoms” is ridiculous. If you’re a political satirist, that’s kinda funny. If you expect to be taken seriously, that’s sad.
It is kind of easy to consider this Manfield article as the ramblings of a senile, old man. What is a little scary is reading some of the 200+ comments on the article at WSJ site. For the most part these do not appear to be the toothless idiots in their hoverarounds.
This is hilarious:
” Mr. Mansfield holds steadfast to an older tradition that looks to the Western canon as the best guide to human affairs. For him, Greek philosophy and the works of thinkers such as Machiavelli and Tocqueville aren’t historical curiosities; Mr. Mansfield sees writers grappling heroically with political and moral problems that are timeless and universally relevant. ”
Mansfield read Machiavelli? Even if he only read The Prince, he should be able to read between the lines. Did he not get the jokes? Did he read the places where Machiavelli contrasts the common people, who only wish to get some portion of the rewards of their labor and to be left alone, versus the, well, the Princes? He does not appreciate dry humor I guess.
And he has read Tocqueville? But maybe if he has just read the reactionary thinktank that has adopted the name, maybe that explains it.
He’s read the Ancient Greeks! Looks like only Aristophanes, and he didn’t realize that too was full of jokes.
This is fun too:
‘ “Entitlements say that ‘I get mine no matter what the state of the country is when I get it.’ So it’s like a bond or an annuity. What the entitlement does is give the government version of a private security, which is better because the government provides a better guarantee than a private company can.” ‘
The same analysis can be made for the institution of tenure. Rational people understand it has its benefits and costs, and that one must take a broad view of its usefulness. For, one can learn from Professors like Mansfield, even if the method be, in some sense, Socratic (Edit: or maybe a better term is ‘inductive’)
@Felonius Monk: I doubt it has much to do with senility. Harvey Mansfield has been saying cretinous things for decades.
Hole in one.
I still have Rachel Maddow’s show the day after the election on my DVR. The opening segment is still a must see.
You want to know what this election was about?
From the transcript:
Oh, for fuck’s sake. How many “Obama voters are stupid and don’t count, so we really won” essays are we going to be subject to from the right?
Yeah, I think a key name here is Strauss.
Prof. Mansfield understands the esoteric secret meanings of many texts that to us lesser people seem to say in plain language something entirely different.
@JasonF: Many. You are welcome.
All of them, Katie.
No, no, no. Free birth control pills. Republicans should be happy to buy condoms.
Pricks gotta pay for their kicks.
About as stupid as Fox viewers.
Shit, man, they’ve got plenty more elections to lose. This country ain’t getting any whiter.
The MSNBC commercial segments featuring the faces of the election are really well done and moving. Some of them have Rachel’s speech, some are just visual.
I mean, seriously? This is what they’ve come down to?
It really is all they ever had. All conservative policies for at least the last 60 years have all been about power and Shut Up, never any thing else.
Is there where commenting on the Wall Street Journal without paying for the privilege?
@jl: This. Seconded and thirded.
@jl: Reading between the lines of:
says “the unwashed masses are too dumb to selfgovern and need to be lead by the enlightened oligarchy” and that screams Strauss.
Comment over there in the article are just sickening. This is what it looks like to keep living in the bubble.
New blow their chubby little brains out to have an article written by Rachel Maddow show up there.
But it would certainly increase eyeballs and clicks… And aneurysms
them have to decide whether to pay the mortgage, the heating bill, the food bill, or the kids’ tuitions.
You know you most likely 2 of those items cost more money than you have allotted them even if that’s the only thing they paid?
This explains everything:
Whining about free condoms make it sound like the guy never had any good times when he was young, and that his wife has made him sleep in the spare bedroom from the day she got home from the hospital with their second kid.
Full Metal Wingnut
@Turbulence: Is there something special about Sullivan? I just don’t get it. I know he went to Hahvad, but I honestly have never been impressed by anything I’ve ever read by him. I mean I know he’s got a Ph.D., just seems sad to waste it on being a village hack.
This is new? This is Neocon thinking. Dick Cheney probably has long discussions with this goofball. It’s a strange moral and political system where you give people freedom by forcing them to do things your way. Once you do so, they will magically realize you were right all along.
EDIT – You might understand them better using one of their previous slogans, ‘The white man’s burden.’
Yutsy, do we show up at vessel carrying a few green balloons or what?
Anyone else remember the days when Republicans would screech about how everyone who lived on either coast was a fancy intellectual elitist who looked down on The People because they didn’t know what was good for them?
Apparently, all it took for the words that were put into our mouths to come spewing out of theirs was a couple of lost election cycles.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Full Metal Wingnut: To me Sully is important because I suspect he has an outsized influence in the Village. Like Newt Gingrich, he’s a stupid person’s idea of a smart person, but his stupid admirers are the people who determine the what the Village is going to be talking about, and far too many Democrats (i.e., Ed Rendell and Claire McCaskill) still think that Seriousness is defined by the Davids Brooks and Gregory. I remember the Today show and NPR quoting him for days about Obama’s terrible awful double plus un-good first debate performance, to an audience who I’d bet by and large have no fucking idea who Andrew Sullivan is.
OT: can we get a fresh thread for the Seattle BJ meet-up liveblog? We’ll need to memorialidse MikeJ’s drunken shenanigans.
@Yutsano: I made sure I had on clean boxers in case it gets too out of hand.
@Bago: Or a picture of His Tunchiness. I have on a light gray sweatshirt and MikeJ will be wearing a Boston Red Sox cap. I’ll see if I can’t get the host to identify us by the blog name. Hopefully they’re not too uptight.
@MikeJ: I’m running a bit late, so if you could mark our territory in the bar for us that would be superlative! I haven’t checked I-5 going south yet but I’ll just bite the bullet there.
Elsewhere in the article:
Mansfield comes across as being blinkered, uncaring, and arrogant. I think it’s admirable to try to improve the well-being of the poor and the “incompetent”. In fact, someone who denigrates others’ efforts to do this is a bad person in my book.
@Yutsano: You might try hailing the powers that be on the Tweet Machine. I’ve found they are more likely to respond to such requests in tweets than in comments. On the other hand, none of the FPers on Twitter seem to be tweeting at the moment.
@RSA: He’s a Straussian, which is only just a step above a Randian on the dicktitude meter.
You don’t need to be a classicist* to be an condescending douchebag, but you do need to be an condescending douchebag to be a classicist.
*Someone operating under the persistent delusion that they know everything there is to know about any given subject just because they read Aristotle.
@Felonius Monk: Beat me to it.
Is this a seminar or a clown car was their best lyric.
Does being a step above Randian on the dickitude meter mean they’re a step more or less dickish? Cause I could believe either one.
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
In other words, the people with the poor taste not to be born rich, white and male.
Thanks for the calibration. I spent some time figuring out what Rand was about, but for me Strauss is still just a brand of blue jeans. Maybe that’s for the best…
@Yutsano: I’ll be a blue light special. As in I wear a blue light so the bus driver stops for me at my unlit bus stop.
@Roger Moore:Straussians are less dickish than Randians.
@Tara the Antisocial Social Worker:
And Newt. Herman Cain. And Mark Sanford, And Petraeus. And Donald Trump, bankdruptcy artist extraordinaire. And a slew of crooked GOP Housers, too many to name. Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew (who, was Greek for Pete’s Sake, surely he should have been a standard of virtue and wisdom!).
But, you see, they all have reasons to excuse their inability to govern their lives. Probably involving heavy burdens of some sort. No doubt.
Forum Transmitted Disease
It would be crass and unsporting of me to point out that this, the utter minimum required of a presidential candidate, was something that Mitt “born with a silver spoon jammed up my tight, white ass” Romney was utterly unwilling to do. Because he was not on the side of the American people. He was on the side of those robbing them blind.
Are you saying that guys like Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, William Kristol, or Richard Perle are less dickish than libertarians? At least libertarians don’t want to rule the world militarily.
And y’all just don’t get old Mansfield. Don’t you know he’s golden and the rest of us are baser metals.
@Forum Transmitted Disease:
Mitt is a Prince.
Sadly, a failed Prince.
And to think, in this day and age when we protect the unworthy, the incompetent, and losers, Mitt only paid for his defeat with the currency of shame. Mitt is not grateful, but he should be.
Mitt did not read Machiavelli. Or, probably he paid a guy who paid a guy to read it for him. And the third guy probably didn’t understand and read the executive power guru guide rip off version.
@nancydarling: Yeah, I’d put the Straussians above the Randians on the dickishness scale. Full NeoCon Jacket.
@Forum Transmitted Disease:
True dat. Actually almost all the comments on this thread have been great but I especially like yours.
80 years old and half-senile. Doesn’t that define a hell of a lot of the GOP?
Uh, “mirror, mirror on the wall…”
Anyone else having funky scroll problems with FF?
That’s ironic, considering Romney wouldn’t tell us about his plans at all, because he feared the Obama campaign would “use them against” him.
Frankly I’d rather be the party of free condoms than the party of forcing rape and incest victims to take a resulting pregnancy to full term.
Big fucking deal if that’s the worst this rancid piece of crap lacking even minimal moral sensibility can come up with.
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
I’m not even getting how he equates being poor with being “unable to govern your life.” Someone works for crappy wages, or lives on unemployment/disability/welfare/social security, and manages keep body and soul together, how is that being incompetent or not governing their life?
Oh, right – because they’re voting “unwisely.”
Incidentally, these Superior Straussians snorting down at the masses are totally dependent on the most ignorant and retrograde white populists for their electoral coalition to have a chance in Hell of winning anything politically. White know-nothing populists and the most sociopathic of the economic elite. If I wanted to talk about “lesser voters” and “sneaky victories”, I’d start there…
Full Metal Wingnut
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I don’t really think he’s dumb, I just think most of his analyses are superficial or off the mark, which I guess is not surprising given that he blogs at The Daily Beast.
Full Metal Wingnut
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: That first debate thing pissed me off. He knows people listen to him, and that he has more influence than he really deserves, and he blogs irresponsible, uninformed bullshit like that.
I’m still laughing that this moron thinks *Obama* was the one who ran on a detail-free platform.
Good quote by Keats, dude. The “Ode to a Nightingale” still remains, after 35 years, my favorite poem ever.
I teach that poem every semester and it never gets old for me. But looking at Mansfield’s list of students brings to mind another couple of lines:
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs
Guess that explains Sullivan and the fainting couch.
I have no problem accepting that the majority that elected Obama is an “unwise” majority. No, not everyone, but a lot. I’ve talked with too many ill-informed lefties to believe otherwise.
However, a majority that would have elected Mitt Romney (and thank goodness there wasn’t one) would have been not just unwise, but somewhere between grossly stupid and batshit crazy.
After all, doubling down on policies that have impoverished millions, led to near financial ruin, and resulted in the grossly unequal distribution of wealth we have today is insane.
I’m just thankful there were enough merely unwise voters to save us from the catastrophe that Romney promised.
If, between now and 2016, the majority of all American voters become “wise,” I’d expect to see the Republican candidate get at least 20% of the vote (but probably not much more). It’s hard to know exactly how many Americans would actually benefit from yet another right wing administration (the rich and super-rich), but the number is relatively small and after those few million all that’s left for Republicans would be those for whom “baby-killing” is the only real issue. Since they will never be wise, no amount of information is likely to move them to vote “D.”
However, if looking beyond one’s short term wealth is required to be considered “wise,” then the Republican candidate is down to the anti-baby-killers and the candidate’s immediate family.
Fascism has to happen somehow, and this is one way. I hope all of you are ready to defend yourselves.
Let me just say that, as someone who has been affiliated with Harvard’s government department, Harvey is not representative of the American politics group. He is a political theorist who theorizes crazy things about the masses. The work done by the Americanists tends to be a lot more quantitative and the Americanists are generally a pretty liberal working group.
Metrosexual Manichean Monster DougJ
I am 100% pro mandatory retirement age.
Mansfield has a lot to atone for, including William Kristol and Alan Keyes.
@Full Metal Wingnut: The problem with Sullivan – and part of his popularity – is that he wears his heart on his sleeve. He went off the reservation with Palin and that should have been enough for everyone to take notice.
It’s really a shame, because his father, Harvey Mansfield Sr., was a liberal who used to teach American government and public law at Columbia. He was much smarter and had no use for his son’s crackpot ideas. And despite a life of public service and scholarship, the older Mansfield’s legacy is lost behind the notoriety of his son, now ruining a good name.
@Tara the Antisocial Social Worker: Given that Romney and Ryan refused to give any details at all about their proposals whereas Obama had a 4 year record, Harvey Mansfield’s words, like those of so many NeoConservatives, are incompetently informed, deeply dishonest or both.
exactly. and so glad you frontpaged this, even if I missed the discussion
Minor Correction: Mansfield never got over having to pay during the free love era.
Harvey Mansfield’s superpower is the ability to decide which activities are manly and which ones are not, the same way that mere mortals can tell odd numbers from even numbers.
By some strange coincidence, the things he likes are manly, and the things he doesn’t like are not. Weird, no?
Well, let’s see, “baby-killing”, “war”, and “guns”. That’s three issues. I might add “school prayer”, but that’s likely a subset of the “baby-killing” set. “Hippie-bashing” is possible, but that’s been bi-partisan for a while now.
Q: Now that some corner seems to have been turned, will it be viewed as safe to cut the hippie-bashing, or will people figure that they don’t need hippies so people can still bash them? If it’s safe to cut it out, why would people keep doing it?
Thank you, DougJ, for posting this. It brings into perspective all the vote suppressing things going on in the states, the Supreme Court agreeing to review the Voting Rights Act, etc. There are people on the right who simply do not believe in universal (wo)manhood suffrage. They really do believe that you must demonstrate you are an “informed” voter in order to be able to vote. To my shame, I used to think it would be a good thing if only “informed” people voted (although I did not think the state should determine that, it was solely a voluntary thing), but now I am for everybody voting. I would happily register every person in the United States to vote and make it very easy for them to go to polls and vote. I now think that regular voters become informed voters.
I call ageism on this.