Comments: Michael Kinsley Furious At Americans For Believing The Wrong Lies

"I will document all of the rest of Kinsley's lies as soon as God grants me an extra lifetime."

out of the ballpark, monsieur!

Posted by almostinfamous at September 13, 2008 10:04 PM

"In a democracy, obvious lies and obvious liars should be self-defeating. Why aren’t they?"

Well... I tend to agree with the premise so the answer I draw (and anybody who does believes that obvious lies and obvious liars should be self-defeating in a democracy) would be that we don't live in a democracy (or at-least as democratic a society as Mr. Kinsley seams to believe we live in).

Posted by Benjamin A. Schwab at September 13, 2008 10:18 PM

Well, it's not just the pundits. Everything about our political system seems designed to turn people into practitioners of doublethink. Obama starts out as the great antiwar candidate (always exaggerated) and I heard that over and over last spring--how much better he was than Hillary precisely because of that issue. Then he picks Biden as his running mate and proclaims the Surge as a great success and just flushes the Iraq War issue down the toilet. And how do his passionate supporters react? They swallow it. They even talk about what a great pick Biden is. They do this even before the Palin pick.

I understand lesser of two evils voting because I do that myself, but I don't quite get why people feel they have to be enthusiastic about the choice they've made.

Posted by Donald Johnson at September 13, 2008 11:18 PM

I disagree, he certainly has a good reason to be mad at those lies - obvious lies.

Kinsley is an expert in spin, bullshit, subtle lies. As these obvious, boldface lies become more and more accepted and ubiquitous, they render Kinsley's considerable skills obsolete and needless. You see, all liars are not the same.

Posted by abb1 at September 14, 2008 04:40 AM

Congratulations guys -

McCain is winning.

Of course the unspeakable morons who directly support him are to blame, but let's look at the logic displayed by some "progressives".

How much did the "left"'s logic of attacking Obama for being imperfect, rather than working steadily to defeat the far greater threat, contribute? Who knows? It was one straw on the camel's back, that's all we know.

Let's put this in terms of game theory. It's just a very stupid strategy. Angrily strive to prevent the most favorable outcome, because it isn't perfect, and end up with a far worse outcome as a result. Does it make sense? No.

The motivation for this illogic is often hatred of one's own "team". One of the few things that right wing nutjobs get right is that a few "leftists" really do "hate America", and fantasize about disaster, chaos, violent revolution, and so on. The problem is, you are more or less stuck in the US yourselves - whether you like it or not. And a US meltdown will impact the rest of the world, as well.

I honestly thought that the thirty year cycle of "conservative" insanity might be over, but apparently, not yet. One reason, of course, is the double-teaming that any electable progressive faces. The extreme right unites behind any electable Republican, but the pampered "left" attacks the Democrat over and over again.

Instead of an incrementally far more progressive administration historically headed by an African-American man, you're going to get a hyper-corrupt, hyper-incompetent, hyper-authoritarian McCain-Palin administration. Which means that all the miscreants of the Bush-Cheney years get away with their crimes. And although you certainly aren't the main directly responsible parties, you did your bit to encourage it.

Excellent work.

Posted by harold at September 14, 2008 09:07 AM

Harold -

What does it mean to be "incrementally far more" anything?

And what does game theory have to do with your point?

What you say might make sense if this were a game which ended - say, when somebody reaches 100 points. But it's not.

The way to get the Dems to pay attention to their peace and justice wing is to make them lose until they do. The precedent supporting this observation is the guys in power right now - the Republican party. Bernard made this point on a separate thread some time ago.

I like Obama all right and I don't want him to lose. But he won't represent my views unless he's pressured to do so.

Posted by Aaron Datesman at September 14, 2008 09:30 AM
Does it make sense? No.

Um, yes. You're too busy kicking the ball downfield.

The problem is, you are more or less stuck in the US yourselves - whether you like it or not. And a US meltdown will impact the rest of the world, as well.

Either way, the US impacts the rest of the world.

you're going to get a hyper-corrupt, hyper-incompetent, hyper-authoritarian McCain-Palin administration.

I don't know that to your level of certainty but I'm hoping.

Nell said that Palin was doing nothing but lying. Frankly I haven't been really listening to things she says, because my mind starts to wander whenever I see her on TV. When are her bikini pictures going to surface? College indiscretions? The RedTube clip?

Posted by Labiche at September 14, 2008 09:42 AM

Why dontcha do what they do in Cambridge and New Haven: call the lies myths. So much more respectable and excuseable.

Posted by donescobar at September 14, 2008 09:52 AM

The extreme right unites behind any electable Republican...

Actually, the reason we may end up with Vice President Palin is because christian fundamentalists refused to unite behind John McCain unless he gave them the V.P. they wanted. And they maintained this position despite the fact that McCain's opponent is a pro-choice black mooslim with the scary name of Barack Hussein Obama, a man that many Christian fundamentalists suspect may actually be the antichrist.

Anyone have an explanation for why "lesser of two evils" only seems to work on liberals?

Anyway, it's a good lesson in how to get what you want from a major party. It's not how many votes you turn out for their candidates, it's how many votes you're willing to withhold when the party doesn't do what you want.

Posted by SteveB at September 14, 2008 10:34 AM

Anyway, it's a good lesson in how to get what you want from a major party. It's not how many votes you turn out for their candidates, it's how many votes you're willing to withhold when the party doesn't do what you want.

in the words of one fictional and yet (therefore?) wiser dude, Fuckin A, man.

Posted by almostinfamous at September 14, 2008 12:18 PM
How much did the "left"'s logic of attacking Obama for being imperfect, rather than working steadily to defeat the far greater threat, contribute? Who knows?

He doesn't know. He don't know shit. More accurately, shit is all he knows because harold is talking completely out of his ass here.

First, he makes shit up. There was not a group of people criticizing Obama for "imperfection" -- that's harold's lie. It is actually harold's right-wing lie because criticisms of Obama over the war and FISA hurt right-wingers, ultimately, since they make it harder for Obama to ignore the base he hopes to tap. In essence, by miscostruing the evidence for the sake of a right-wing cause, harold is a right-wing troll.

Of course, the effect of this can only be positive. Why? Because right-wingers don't give a shit if Obama is accused of being pro-war. They won't even carry the idea on Fox news. This is because it does not jibe well with the idea that Obama is WEAK on war. There's no benefit to non-cipher right-wing wastes of flesh out there.

So, for the patriot: criticizing Obama's evil policies has a benefit and no downside.

For the right-wing cipher: criticizing Obama's evil policies has a huge penalty -- it pushes him away from mass murder. harold and his ilk can't have that.

For the obviously right-wing: criticizing Obama's evil policies is ignored. Who gives a fuck? He's a girlie-man without the bloodlust of Uncle Lecher and his favorite token.

Let's put this in terms of game theory. It's just a very stupid strategy. Angrily strive to prevent the most favorable outcome, because it isn't perfect, and end up with a far worse outcome as a result.

Okay, that was too fucking stupid to even find a handle with witch to criticize it.

The motivation for this illogic is often hatred of one's own "team".

harold is, of course, a right-winger, and the only team he's on is his own. Or Satan's, if you want to get all New Testament about it. He proves it here:

One of the few things that right wing nutjobs get right is that a few "leftists" really do "hate America"

. . . And thanks for playing. That's right, the intellectual tradition that was against slavery and for women's sufferage is the philosophy that hates America. Is this the best troll we can get, folks?

The extreme right unites behind any electable Republican, but the pampered "left" attacks the Democrat over and over again."

If harold was anywhere near as impoverished as me and mine, I'd expect that I'd have to call him stupid, rather than evil. But dollars to donuts, he's far whiter and more pampered than most of the people I know who have had a problem with Obama since day 1. And I'm afraid that well-off whites who love military adventurism (e.g., mass murder of brown people abroad) are better thought of as subtle right wingers than as any flavor of "progressive."

Instead of an incrementally far more progressive administration historically headed by an African-American man, you're going to get a hyper-corrupt, hyper-incompetent, hyper-authoritarian McCain-Palin administration.

I can't believe the troll actually expected that to fly on this site. God, it would be nice if the trolls would read at least a little here.

Which means that all the miscreants of the Bush-Cheney years get away with their crimes.

They get away with their crimes because assholes like this troll spoil to make sure actual patriots can't survive on a Democratic ticket.

SteveB pointed out what I would have: Republican dedication to corruption plays out with vote withholding. Because patriots can't get Democratic-base-organizations to withhold votes, we hold no equivalent power over the Dems. This is pathetic because a bad Dem in office is often no different than a Republican in office -- literally. Blue Dog Democrats work tirelessly to prove Nader right (which earns them Hell right there). Even the "noblese oblige" Kennedy-style is dying out. This is, of course, way beyond the drooling and spastic mass of text that our visiting trolls believe are arguments, but inability to withhold votes helps create the environment which gives such trolls a home. If unions, NARAL, etc. started playing with true strategy, the divide between parties would become sharper indeed.

Posted by No One of Consequence at September 14, 2008 02:22 PM

harold:

One of the few things that right wing nutjobs get right is that a few "leftists" really do "hate America"

No One of Consequence:

shit is all he knows

it pushes him away from mass murder. harold and his ilk can't have that.

that was too fucking stupid to even find a handle

* * *

I appreciate the frustration you both feel. I feel it myself. But you both need to take a break, and think more clearly about what you're trying to accomplish.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at September 14, 2008 03:22 PM

I was attempting to rant at a right-winger and use the word "shit" as much as possible.

You're right, I should have used it as a verb as well. I'll do better next time.

Posted by No One of Consequence at September 14, 2008 03:26 PM

I don't think you can equate harold with NOoC, Jon. I certainly appreciate No One's frustration, expressed in a scorching, blistering retort with plenty of salty epithets (which don't bother me personally in the slightest), but harold is, as already pointed out, just another troll trying to attack anyone to the left of Bill Clinton instead of being angry at the pathetic Democrats who can't win an election that should be a blowout (and who will, once again, refuse to take that as a repudiation of the "let's be slightly nicer Republicans" strategy).

Rather than blame the useless "opposition" party or the ignorant, bloodthirsty public who seem to be just fine with a Republican even after four decades of seeing what they do once in power, harold wants to make sure that anything resembling an actual left in America gets smothered before it actually becomes effective.

In fact, I admire NOoC's restraint, as I would love to say far worse to harold, but will refrain seeing as how you're not in a mood to see more of that sort of thing.

Respectfully yours,
UDF

Posted by Upside Down Flag at September 14, 2008 05:48 PM

Oh -- oh my. So back inna' day (just five minutes ago in modern historical time, three thousand years ago in media time, and not even a second ago in political time) harold was pushing the bullshit that Nader cost the U.S. Gore's presidency? Oh, my stars and garters.

You know what I love most about that fake-lefty-right-wing lie? The implicit racism. Remember all those black, brown, native american and latino voters whose votes weren't counted in 2000? They weren't meant to count. What matters is not enough lily-white people voted for Gore and wasted their vote on Nader. Rightwing dems who push that line are literally claiming that black people are irrelevant.

This is why I actually prefer dealing with Republicans. You've either got a twisted worldview that's free of facts or raw and utter selfishness or a combination of both -- but there's a chance for innocence (if a tragic innocence). But the concern trolls? There's no hope of the issue being the stupid: it's all about the evil. They know their audience is white middle- to upper-class so they don't even bother hiding their vile when lying.

I'm actually glad Fox News is infecting the other networks. While powerful, I submit that it is less effective, in the long run, than concern troll and blue dog deceit. Let Limbaugh's drug-addled ass run the networks and the populace won't be fed the nastier lies.

Which is what Kinsley et. al. are afraid of, I'd bet.

Posted by No One of Consequence at September 14, 2008 05:57 PM

Harold must have been hibernating all summer, when it became clear the right's narrative about Obama was going to tear him down with mockery of his swollen ego and legions of cultish bug-eyed fans who believe - contra evangelicals suspicious of his anti-christ credentials - that he's the second coming.

Posted by buermann at September 14, 2008 06:40 PM

Harold, setting aside the emotion, you're not making much sense. People who get really upset over America and its allies bombing innocent people overseas simply don't have that much impact on American presidential elections, at least not lately. Obama has so little regard for the antiwar left that he even hands ammunition to the prowar right by saying that the surge was successful beyond his wildest dreams. That's his supposed base he's kicking in the teeth. He obviously doesn't feel like he needs to worry about criticism from the left. You, on the other hand, go into raving hysterics because a few people get angry in a comment thread. I wish we did have the kind of power you attribute to us--if we did, then it'd be worthwhile sitting down and figuring out how to use it. I'm not sure I'd ask your advice, though, because I don't know what you think is important, other than Not Criticizing the Democrat.

Posted by Donald Johnson at September 14, 2008 07:12 PM

Re: Jon's earlier comment, it might be fruitful to link longer comments (or responses) to one's own site/blog, as Dennis Perrin usually does. Back and forth tends to degenerate, and as threads progress, the ratio of heat to light seems to drop.

No One, if you don't have a site/blog, I really encourage you to start one. I think people would enjoy it, and it would certainly be a tremendous spur towards refining your thoughts/writing even further. ATR's effect on Jon has been, I think, really salutary in this regard.

Posted by Mike of Angle at September 14, 2008 07:22 PM

EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IS A PROGRESSIVE GOAL. Total win for progressives either way YOU look at it. (only I've noticed that its got to be THEIR kind of woman or THEIR kind of minority who thinks THEIR way)

Posted by Mike Meyer at September 14, 2008 10:20 PM

Donald Johnson:

I wish we did have the kind of power you attribute to us--if we did, then it'd be worthwhile sitting down and figuring out how to use it.

Exactly. I guess I could be persuaded we may be using our power irresponsibly, but that's sort of like saying Lichtenstein is using its power irresponsibly on the world stage. Who cares?

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at September 14, 2008 11:24 PM

Which means that all the miscreants of the Bush-Cheney years get away with their crimes. And although you certainly aren't the main directly responsible parties, you did your bit to encourage it.

when i re-read harold's comments after the dust-up, i couldnt help but laughing for quite some time. as has been pointed out so many times on this site and many others, the party currently in control of the legislature is the democrats and they have been since they won in 2006. they have had plenty of time to not allow the 'miscreants of the Bush-Cheney years' to 'get away with their crimes'. also this little matter of ending the war in iraq. impeachment has been taken off of some imaginary table by Right. Hons. Nancy H Pelosi and Harry Reid. so no, we are not in any fuckin way encouraging anything. the democrats in congress and the senate are.

if anything, Jon Schwartz and crew have been at the forefront of criticizing the immoral and criminal policies and behaviour on view from both parties.

Posted by almostinfamous at September 15, 2008 12:05 AM

I wish we did have the kind of power you attribute to us--if we did, then it'd be worthwhile sitting down and figuring out how to use it.

No, you don't understand. To be a loyal Democrat, one must be able to hold these two contradictory thoughts at the same time:
1) Left voters hold the key to victory in every Presidential election. If they vote for the Greens or Nader, the Democrat will lose.
2) The Democratic Party has absolutely no need to move to the left to capture the support of left voters.

I actually wouldn't mind getting blamed for a McCain-Palin administration if it meant the Democrats would finally learn that they can't take progressives for granted. Instead, we'll get the blame and Dems will continue to assume the left is in their back pocket.

Posted by SteveB at September 15, 2008 08:57 AM

Open and extensive DISCUSSION of the facts and fantasies IS the power that Harold grieves over and it is STRONG. An echo chamber would be abuse but that's NOT what happens here. Unlike Lichtenstein it does matter as the American body politic WORRIES over what is said on the blogs. That ALONE makes THE NET a most powerful political force.

Posted by Mike Meyer at September 15, 2008 11:07 AM