Still speaking after Election Day

Man, sometimes God really sucks.”

“I went to Tea Party rallies and I would ask this question: ‘Have taxes gone up or down in the past four years?’ They could not answer that question correctly. …  You have to know that taxes have not gone up.”

“I suspect Ralph Reed doesn’t really care if his outreach wasn’t all it was cranked up to be. After all, he still got paid.”

I knew the election season had gone on too long when I saw this ad for the United Church of Christ and all I could hear was Mitt Romney’s voice: “Excuse me, ex-CUSE me, but I haven’t finished talking. I’m still speaking. Let me finish. It’s still my turn. Aaandersonnnn!”

“We’re now going to have to argue and struggle and persuade, before eventually getting what we want.”

“The hate we’ve seen spewed into the political discourse this year was bone-chilling and among the worst we’ve seen, with preachers speaking out against gay marriage by calling for gays to be rounded up or killed by the government, but it’s going to get uglier and nastier.”

“He initiated an eight year attack, pitting a heterosexual majority against a homosexual minority to prevent the democratic process from working in the minority’s favor. … And he never meant to alienate anyone?

“I don’t have it. Do you? [Laughter]

Why should we sign a suicide pact with the National Organization for Marriage?

“There is a rump faction of ultramontane social-issue types that has attached itself to the rest of the Christian right and, therefore, to the Republican party. But they are a shrinking minority.”

“What can be worse than to sell your soul and find it not valuable enough to get anything for it?”

“What’s shocking and disturbing about these tweets is just how many people out there reflexively and thoughtlessly indulge in outright and outrageous racism — and then express surprise that they’re accused of being racists.”

“This election witnessed an increased political awareness and mobilization effort among American Muslims that dealt a major blow to the Islamophobia machine.”

“In fact, you love us SO much you just want to protect us from acting as independent moral agents in a free society.”

“This state of affairs, like all colonies, is a travesty of justice and an embarrassment for an allegedly democratic state.”

Like any penis, I’m a realist. I know I have to bring it back to the sex scandal if I want to keep you reading. …”

“Let’s declare Florida an election disaster area and bring in the feds.”

“Where are the leading Republicans and conservatives repudiating voter suppression?

“I no longer believe that the way to make things better for everyone is to let people with money do whatever they want, whenever they want. I feel I’ve earned the crap out of this belief, given that I used to believe precisely the opposite, and I’ve taken a long journey to the side I stand on now.”

“Hurricane Sandy is projected to cost $50 billion. Imagine one or more of those types of weather events every year, in the midst of rising oceans that will only make the impact greater.”

“The simulations that most closely matched humidity measurements were also the ones that predicted the most extreme global warming.”

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Seems like a thousand years to go
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OotGOism: 'Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it ...'
Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 79: 'Grace and greed'
  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I completely understand the appeal of being an intelligent young
    conservative. When you’ve spent your entire academic career in
    gifted-and-talented programs, constantly being made an exception of,
    there’s something really appealing in imagining the grown-up world as a
    perfect arena of achievement where the talented and strong triumph,
    because they’re better than everybody else and they work harder, and
    everybody else watches from the sidelines or works the concessions
    stand, or worse.

    I am so thankful I never fell into this trap. I wasn’t in that many G&T programs, but I consistently scored very high in my classes generally and was made much of because omg hearing impaired person vry smrt etc.I think it was the very fact of having to wear hearing aids and experiencing the downside – which is that being different, people are dicks to you because of it. And because people can be dicks for little to no reason, being conscious of the fact that there are other underdogs besides you who have it even worse comes fairly early.I think this is why I naturally gravitated to more left-wing philosophies.

  • Gotchaye

     My deaf brother went hard-libertarian (and RTC) a bit before he started college.  He took the opposite lesson from some of his experiences; if he was doing quite well in high school and then college despite having a disadvantage, then nobody else had an excuse.  He’s still not an Obama voter, but I’ve been hearing a lot less of that from him after two incredibly annoying years of very obviously being refused interviews because of his deafness (he’ll get an email “we’d like to interview you”, he’ll notify them that he’s deaf and will need some accommodation for that for the interview, and that’s the last he’ll hear from them).

    I had my own libertarian phase when I was 18 or 19; fell right into the trap. 

  • aklab

    Me too, me too.  Subscribed to the Cato newsletter and the Mises institute, the whole bit.  So embarrassing now!  
    Although I never read any Ayn Rand other than Anthem.  Her terrible writing was my saving grace, I suppose.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Anthem drove me bananas.

  • Tricksterson

    Try reading it at the age of ten.

  • Lori

     

    He’s still not an Obama voter, but I’ve been hearing a lot less of that
    from him after two incredibly annoying years of very obviously being
    refused interviews because of his deafness (he’ll get an email “we’d
    like to interview you”, he’ll notify them that he’s deaf and will need
    some accommodation for that for the interview, and that’s the last he’ll
    hear from them).   

    Give it a little more time. At some point it’ll dawn on him that not only will jerks refuse to even interview him because he’s deaf, the GOP will then call him a lazy mooching freeloader because he doesn’t have a job.

  • MikeJ

     Signorile talks about the rise of the “nones” or non religious. Eventually somebody might figure out that when you tell people “You’re not a real Christian if you’re a Democrat” or “You’re not a real Christian unless you hate gay people” will cause at least as many people give up the church as give up the “sin”.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    People may be interested to know that today is the feast day of Saint Albert the Great – patron saint of  natural scientists http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albertus_Magnus

  • MikeJ

     Hey, hey hey! It’s Greeeeeeat Albert!

    Na, na, na

    Gonna have a good time

  • EllieMurasaki
  • esmerelda_ogg

    Has anyone else seen Romney’s explanation  of why he lost? (http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-romney-election-campaign-donors-20121114,0,5622330.story) Basically, his argument is that too many people voted for Obama because Obama’s policies will benefit them!

    Of course, Romney doesn’t phrase it quite like that. He puts a thoroughly racist spin on it (Blacks and Hispanics making $25,000 – $35,000 a year believe that being able to get health care coverage will improve their lives! Oh noes!), while showing himself to be utterly selfish and cold-hearted (Only greedy young people care that they can now be covered by their parents’ health insurance for a few years longer! No one else, not even the parents, would be in favor of that!) and as sexist as any of the rape-Republicans (College girls like them some free contraceptives, wink-wink!).

    Well, at least we know which Romney is the real one now. It wasn’t Mr. Moderate, pushed into a corner by the crazy-making Republican primaries. Nope. Forty-seven percent Mitt: that’s the real man.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Forty-seven percent Mitt: that’s the real man.

    Romney’s comments confirmed the impression I’ve been getting from a lot of conservative anaylsts and politicians in the last week: They really can’t comprehend that anyone believes Obama’s policies and agenda (let alone liberal policies and agenda) are good for America. They truly think that everyone who voted for Obama accepted the Republican formulation of Obama and his ideology and voted for him anyway. If the GOP feels that America has failed them and not vice versa, we had better be prepared for this year’s voter suppression to look quaint compared to what’s coming next time.

  • Michael Pullmann

     Well, that’s just like the RTC thing, isn’t it? These Jews and Muslims and atheists can’t possibly hold their heathenous beliefs in earnest; they KNOW deep down that Christ is Lord, but they reject him anyway.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    we had better be prepared for this year’s voter suppression to look quaint compared to what’s coming next time.

    In America 2014, the POV character (Winston Smith, natch) states that he was involved in a massive nationwide effort to do just this, by scooping up millions of people with outstanding pot possession warrants, which effectively defranchised enough Democratic voters to cement the permanent Republican one-party state of that book.

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

     Social privilege is really poisonous to one’s theory of mind. 

     One thing I’ve noticed about conservative White men in my social orbit is that they have been actively encouraged to be self-centered.  They take it as a given that they are supposed to use themselves as models for assessing the world outside and everyone in it.  “Real America” is going to continue thinking of itself as such  for some time to come. 

  • Carstonio

     Yeah, I had assumed that Romney simply followed the Strom Thurmond/Lee Atwater playbook as a deliberate act of pandering, except that his execution of it lacked any real passion. But now he sounds as if one of those race-baiters actually took possession of him like in “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” or “Heaven Can Wait.” Romney had been running for president for a while, and the most charitable theory is that Romney was playing the part for so long that he lost himself in it. But it’s far more likely that he’s a Just Worlder to the core. He could have been that as governor and was hiding it, or else this grew over time, but either way we don’t need someone of that mentality as president.

  • Madhabmatics

     I still believe that this:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/mitt-romney-haunted-by-past-of-trying-to-help-unin,20097/

    Is the most biting onion article to come out of this election.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    People vote for candidates that will benefit them?  Who knew?

    And, again, my coworkers and I don’t exist.  I would give an eyetooth to me making $25,000 again.  I didn’t realize how good I had it when I was only *that* underpaid.

  • Tricksterson

    Ths is a really odd reaction from a group that promotes selfish thnkng.

  • EllieMurasaki

    No, no, not at all–they don’t promote selfish thinking so much as they promote thinking that benefits them. Them specifically, not necessarily the people doing the thinking or any of the work towards the benefiting.

  • AnonymousSam

    When Republicans tout this nonsense, what they’re trying to say is that all us blindly selfish evil people are voting with short-term gains in mind, whereas it takes a good conservative Christian man with wealth to understand that sometimes, you just have to vote against your own interests so that tomorrow will be a better day.

    I could almost get behind this kind of thinking, if not for two transparently obvious problems with it:

    1) The people telling us that it’s time to tighten our belt, let a few poor people die and wait for the long arc of justice won’t be affected by any of the policies they’re proposing. The majority of them are so rich, they could fund entire states all by themselves with their yearly income. So being told that I need to think unselfishly by a person who can afford to be as selfish as he damn well pleases is just a bit hypocritical. Especially when these same people vehemently oppose any policy which asks them to give up any portion of their millions of dollars.

    2) Similarly, I notice these same people tend to rally behind anyone who suggests tax cuts for the 1%. They say it’s because, if we just let them make a few more millions of dollars a year, they’ll produce lots and lots and loooots of jobs for us, zap the gas prices down to a buck a gallon, magify the foreign trade market into buying our billions of nonexistent technological wonders, and everything will be juuuust dandy. Except this never happens. The tax cuts get passed and they squirrel away even more money into their Swiss accounts and then say “Yeah? And — more? lol”

    Fuck these hypocrites. The reason I vote selfishly is because I know this the only way to get anything at all. I sure as hell can’t count on them to make sure I get my fair share. Or anything at all, for that matter.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     The thing that truly disturbs me about current right-wing economic theory is that we’ve tested it. For thirty years. We know it doesn’t work as predicted, and yet they cling to belief in it.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I think what’s actually happening is some of them cling to right-wing economic theory because it benefits them short-term and any proposal that benefited them more long-term would of necessity benefit others short-term too, and the rest cling to the belief that the people in authority over them (who have heavy overlap with the first lot) are in authority because they’re in the right, and also wouldn’t do anything wrong to keep that authority (and when they’re caught doing wrong things, it was a one-off they didn’t mean, or whatever).

  • esmerelda_ogg

    “it benefits them short-term and any proposal that benefited them more long-term would of necessity benefit others short-term too” – EllieMurasaki

    I don’t doubt, intellectually, that you’re right on this. But emotionally, I just don’t get it at all. To my mind / gut / whatever, benefitting me AND other people too is a feature, not a bug, as we say in the computer geek world.

  • EllieMurasaki

    If you’re of a zero-sum mentality, it makes more sense, especially if one factors in fear of falling behind in a devil-take-the-hindmost world. Thing is, the economy is not zero-sum, there’s no reason to let anyone fall, and people who die with more toys are just as dead.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     Well, yeah. The economy is not zero-sum, unless we carefully structure it that way. Knowledge is absolutely not zero-sum. Emotional satisfaction is the opposite of zero-sum. I can see how and why medieval peasants would feel prosperity was a zero-sum game, but we first-worlders have never lived in that situation, and neither did our parents or our grandparents. So why would the right wing prefer to think in zero-sum terms?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Maybe thinking in zero-sum terms produces emotional satisfaction, provided they’re on the winning side of the zero-sum?

  • AnonymousSam

    It’s making them rich, so I’d say it’s working exactly as it’s intended to.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Until they’re first against the wall when the revolution comes. The sad part of that is that if there was a better social safety net, they’d be just as rich (not in comparison to the country’s worst off, because the worst off would be much less badly off, and probably not in dollar amount either, but they’d still be able to afford all the stuff they can afford now) and not putting themselves in nearly as much danger.

  • AnonymousSam

    When that time comes, they won’t be able to say we didn’t warn them. ^_^

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    Of course, Romney doesn’t phrase it quite like that. He puts a
    thoroughly racist spin on it (Blacks and Hispanics making $25,000 –
    $35,000 a year believe that being able to get health care coverage will
    improve their lives! Oh noes!), while showing himself to be utterly
    selfish and cold-hearted (Only greedy young people care that they can
    now be covered by their parents’ health insurance for a few years
    longer! No one else, not even the parents, would be in favor of that!)
    and as sexist as any of the rape-Republicans (College girls like them
    some free contraceptives, wink-wink!).

    It’s like a little microcosm of the fundamental problem with the modern GOP: issues important to middle-aged rich white heterosexual men are “real issues” for “all americans”, but issues which are important to women, to african-americans, to hispanics, to QUILTBAG folks? Those are “special interests”.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Has anyone else seen Romney’s explanation of why he lost? (http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-romney-election-campaign-donors-20121114,0,5622330.story) Basically, his argument is that too many people voted for Obama because Obama’s policies will benefit them!

    US conservatives are bizarre. I can’t imagine a single one of our politicians deriding the idea that their policies should benefit people. Even those on the most far right wing proudly claim that they’re about giving stuff to people. There’s just an undertone of benefitting “the right people” to their boasting–viz., retirees, couples with kids, natural-born citizens, high income earners.

    I’d never in a million years expect to see voting in your own interests derided as a moral failing. Even when it is!

  • SkyknightXi

    It’s probably meant to be contrasted with voting for the nation’s interests as a whole. Recover the status of “envy of the world” et al. Even if one doesn’t get to reap the rewards of that, one can still delight in physical proximity to those who DID reap. Along with a dose of the promise that supply-side-by-default is the ONLY thing that can hope to summoned infinite prosperity (which would look like…what, exactly?).

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     I *think* that their argument is that “No, really, it’s just a *coincidence* that the policies that are Objectively Good For America just happen to align with the self-interest of rich white men. I’d totally still support these policies even if they did not help me personally.”
    What an amazing and unlikely coincidence.

  • Gotchaye

    It’s also just propertarianism.  They don’t understand themselves as voting for their own interests in a selfish way; they’re only standing up for their right to property.  The amount of money you can convince others to pay you is exactly the amount that you deserve; they’re already being generous when they allow that a flat tax rate is permissible instead of a flat absolute tax.

  • SkyknightXi

    Some of the commentary on the Mother Jones article worries me greatly. The idea that a five-degree increase might be unavoidable…{shudder} I’m not sure WHAT could thwart the situations leading to that, besides setting up a miniature Chicxulub to create LOTS of heat-reflecting dust. The problem is trying to avoid Cretaceous-Paleogene Extinction Event Mk. II in the process.

    What does it take to prevent the Earth from ever suffering mass extinctions again, without erasing life altogether…? Even if I occasionally wonder if temperate climates doom themselves by not being harsh enough to prevent TOO much life from existing. Cattle emitting carbon dioxide on their own, anyone? And I think I read a small article in a newspaper suggesting that  sauropod CO2 emissions were already causing problems for Cretaceous life before Chicxulub. I wonder if the main reason the C-P Event was markedly less grave than the previous extinctions was because there already WAS a similarly grave extinction about to get underway, but Chicxulub destroyed the mechanism first…

  • vsm

    Just
    like those Christians that rolled up the Dead Sea Scrolls and put them
    in pots. I don’t know what happened to those Christians but they hid
    them. They hid them and they preserved them because it was important.
    The Bible was never wiped out, but the people who originally wrote the
    Bible were scattered.

    Wow, that man has no idea what he’s talking about.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

     I totally missed that the first time around.  “Just like those Christians that rolled up the Dead Sea Scrolls” indeed.

  • Hilary

    I saw that too, and exclaimed loudly enough to get some coworkers attention.  Friends of mine – one Catholic and fed up to here with C. politics, and one Muslim.  Sounds like a bad joke – “a Catholic, a Jew and a Muslim walk into a bar and read Glen Beck” . . . . we all could not believe what an idiot he was. 

    “Christians that rolled up the Dead Sea Scrolls . . . ” Dude, would somewhat slap him upside the head with some facts and reality.  The DSS where written by a break away sect of Jews, the Essenens or however you spell it (anybody who reads me scattered thru patheos knows my spelling sucks sometimes) and they were just before Jesus.  Deffinatly pre-Christian, since Christianity didn’t really start until a couple decades until after JC died. 

    So no, Christians did not ‘roll up the DSS’ because they didn’t exist at that time!  Jesus H. Christ on a dinosaur!

    Hilary 

  • Vermic

    Glenn Beck? Is that still a thing?

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    “What can be worse than to sell your soul and find it not valuable enough to get anything for it?”

    If you can get ten other people to sell their souls, maybe we could work something out.

  • Jeff Weskamp

    “Man, sometimes God really sucks.”

    I honestly can’t believe Glenn Beck said that.  Doesn’t he know that will totally alienate most of his audience?  Imagine the firestorm that would result if a Democrat or liberal had said that.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    Wasn’t that more or less the message of the entire Book of Job? 

  • EllieMurasaki

    That might be exactly the point, actually–once God was through torturing him to prove a point, Job got back everything he’d lost and more. Assuming people other than oneself are interchangeable.

  • Lori

     

    I honestly can’t believe Glenn Beck said that.  Doesn’t he know that
    will totally alienate most of his audience?  Imagine the firestorm that
    would result if a Democrat or liberal had said that. 

    It won’t alienate even a tiny fraction of his audience, let alone most of it. Sure, if a Dem said it there would be no end to the howls of outrage and oxygen deprivation caused by the mass pearl-clutch would present a real health hazard. When Beck says it they just laugh or shrug it off. A few might tsk tsk a little about the fact that he shouldn’t be so flippant, but it won’t stop them from tuning in or from by Beck’s next book.

    It’s not about principles or beliefs. It’s strictly about who is a member of the tribe and who is not.

    Even their (supposedly) most cherished beliefs mean nothing compared to correct tribal affiliation. If you’re a member of the Tea Party and you spout enough platitudes about being “pro life” and demonstrate that you will reliably vote to control those dirty, dirty slues it doesn’t even matter that you personally once tried to pressure a woman with whom you had committed adultery (obviously a hussy) to have an abortion so that your wife wouldn’t find out that you were cheating on her (with one of your patients). Just ask Scott DesJarlais, who won easily won reelection. Apparently his supporters  found something more important than the bay-bees to think about while they were in the voting booth.

    Come to find out now that Rep DesJarlais’ wife had not one, but two abortions during their marriage. One for medical reasons and one because they were having problems in the (doomed) marriage when she got pregnant. Per DesJarlais oth abortions were very difficult, poor choices.

    Yeah, the only good abortion is my wife’s/mistress’ abortion. Which then  becomes bad too once it’s done and it becomes inconvenient for some reason to deny your own lived reality that people don’t chose to end pregnancies for fun or because they hate Jesus.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Cule/100001621659800 Michael Cule

    I would like to say that my penis is not a realist. Like me, he is an incurable romantic and inveterate optimist. It’s how the two of us get through the less active bits of life….

  • reynard61

    “Man, sometimes God really sucks.”

    Oh, Boo-hoo! Here, Glenn, let me help you with that fainting couch and those clutching pearls! Are you comfy? Good! Now let me lay a little reality on you:

    First; President Obama won. Romney lost. *DEAL WITH IT!!!*

    Second; a couple of questions:

    1. Did God even vote? I didn’t see any news stories that highlighted how God cast his ballot for Good Ol’ Mitt. Which leads me to…

    2. How do you know that it wasn’t the *Republicans* who sucked? I mean, look at all of the potential constituencies that they *actively* alienated during both the primaries and the general election: Women, Latinos, Unions, gays, African-Americans, Veterans; hell, the “47%*”! — and those are just the ones that I can think of off the top of my head! You don’t get votes by jettisoning whole blocs of your votership and depending on a single, aging, relatively narrow (and narrow-minded), reality-challenged demographic (i.e. “the Base”) that’s apparently shrinking with each election cycle! (It also didn’t help that they *actively* tried to target certain classes of voters for suppression, pretty much *daring* them to vote for the opposition — which, it seems, they did!)

    So rather than blame some possibly-non-existent deity, how about we place it (and there’s *plenty* of it to go around!) squarely where it belongs: on the shoulders of the morons who *nominated* Romney, the incompetents who *ran* his campaign, and the idiot pundits (yes; that includes you too, Glenn) who touted him while ignoring his lies and played up fantasies about how he was going to open a can of electoral whup-ass on that anti-colonialist maybe-possibly-Kenyan pretender-to-the-Presidency.

    So, yeah, Glenn; you go right ahead and stew in your juices and wallow in your self-pity. The rest of us? We’ll go ahead and, for better or worse (and I wouldn’t bet against “better” at the moment!), get on with the task of rebuilding our lives, our Economy and our Country — with or without your help.

    Who’s sucking now, Glenn?

    *who actually turned out to be the 51%.

  • Carstonio

     Beck blames his god for Obama’s victory? Don’t people like him believe that Obama’s stances are against the will of their god?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Albright/100001047690991 Michael Albright

     I’m pretty sure Beck thinks this is God in His “off-again” phase, like how he allowed the Jews to be enslaved over and over.  I imagine Beck figures there’s a Republican savior coming and the devout need only wait for the coming of Supply-Side Jesus.

  • Dash1

     I claim, I am deliriously happy to say, no insight into Beck’s thought processes, if you will (and I won’t, but let’s call them that for the moment, just to get on with it), but I wonder if he’s not referring to the White Horse Prophecy, the coming of the great Mormon president who would rescue the U.S. when “the Constitution was hanging by a thread,” one of Beck’s favorite phrases.

    I suspect Beck was heavily invested emotionally in Romney being the White Horse and is probably in the same state of denial as a lot of the right wing when the Soviet Union collapsed or as a lot of Rapture-Ready fundies when the EU went beyond 10 members, or the Millerites back in 1844 or Camping’s followers last year when the apocalypse failed to materialize.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     I would be astonished to discover that Beck was any more sincere in the stuff he espouses while on television than Colbert is.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I suspect Beck was heavily invested emotionally in Romney being the
    White Horse and is probably in the same state of denial as a lot of the
    right wing when the Soviet Union collapsed

    And look who they found to put in the USSR’s place: domestic enemies.

    The sheer viciousness with which Republicans went after Clinton, his wife, his daughter, and then went on to trash GLBT people to the point of rubbing their noses in permanent second-class status with a “Defense of Marriage Act”, and then winked and nudged at right-wing militia groups, along with a nice side slice of race-baiting through the 1990s….

    Now that Osama is dead and Al Qaeda is barely a blip on anyone’s radar these days, I can only shudder at the thought that the next major target in their sights will be all women and what they will do as they try to keep ripping and tearing at the fabric of American society in their desperate need to have an enemy of some kind.

  • P J Evans

    what they will do as they try to keep ripping and tearing at the fabric
    of American society in their desperate need to have an enemy of some
    kind.

    I’m hoping that they go after each other for a while, in their ongoing quest for a purer form of conservatism.

  • Dash1

     Truly. For some reason, these folks need an enemy or they can’t function. There’s probably something about that in Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians.

  • Lunch Meat

    Curious why it’s the most evil horrible shameful thing ever when Obama expresses regret to other countries and admits the US is not perfect, but it’s patriotic and good when the Republican leaders call 51.5% of the country stupid, evil, and wrong, and say they’re “ashamed” of us, that we’re “everything that’s wrong with the country.”

  • EllieMurasaki

    Obama in his position as president is speaking for everyone when he’s regretful of things the US has done, which implies that Real America is regretful of these things. These Real Americans, meanwhile, are speaking only for Real America.

  • kisekileia

    I’m not sure which article Invisible Neutrino was quoting, but I was a gifted kid, and the more effective the gifted programming I got was, the less I looked down on other kids. G&T programs are a great way to prevent gifted kids from resenting their peers who would otherwise seem to be holding them back. Those programs are a necessary part of fulfilling every child’s legal right to a free and appropriate education, just like programs for kids with other types of special needs. 

  • Loquat

    IN was quoting the third article from the bottom, the one with “Dear Young Conservative” in the linked url.

    But like you, I think I have to disagree on the effect of the gifted programs; nothing encourages me to develop a superiority complex and resent those with less ability than myself half so well as getting stuck in a class with people who take five days to learn what I can learn in one. Put me in a group where everyone’s in my league, and I’ll be much more humble.

  • P J Evans

     It’s fun being in schools where a third of the students are at least as smart and as fast as you are. You grow up thinking you’re average.

  • Gotchaye

     I agree with Invisible Neutrino on this, I think.  If you’re actually better at X than most people, there are advantages to not realizing that.  But there are disadvantages too.  Not realizing that you’re particularly good at something means that you’re less likely to look down on humanity as a whole, but it means that you’re more likely to look down on specific people, because those who aren’t as good at X as you are not only bad relative to you.  They’re also just plain bad.  It makes it easier to favor policies that would work if everyone had particular capabilities, even when that’s a bad assumption.

    This is basically what causes the whole “bootstraps!” mentality, right?  People project their own “personal” situation – their health, their talents, their education, their family, etc – on to others and can’t think what would excuse anyone else’s failure to make ends meet, since they don’t think they had any special advantages themselves.  I expect a lot of this is just the blindness you describe – they only tend to see other people in similar situations, and so think of themselves as average.  It’s extremely important to be aware of one’s own advantages, but it’s also important  to realize that you got very lucky in obtaining those advantages.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    That rather bothers me, actually. It’s easy to condescend to other people because they just don’t pick stuff up as fast as you do.

    Another facet of my personal life is around the time I could have started forming those kind of elitist thoughts, I encountered the writings of Isaac Asimov, a person noted for his rather liberal political views. These views inevitably colored his books, and I strongly identified with the characters he portrayed as basically good people, who also held egalitarian and humanistic viewpoints.

    As such, while I liked being good at what I was good at (science, mainly), I never felt like I was being held back by being in a class aimed at the average individual. I think it’s because I supplemented my knowledge on my own – going to the library, reading all manner of books, what-have-you.

    I think if I had to boil down why I always called myself a left-wing moderate, as far back as probably the age of 13 or so…

    1. Feeling the sting of being the ‘obvious outsider’ exposed me to the kind of assholery I could easily have started taking part in had I been a person without a hearing loss.

    2. I read widely on my own and exposed myself to social and political philosophies, taking away the message of the dangers of extreme right or left wing (particularly the extreme right – I must have devoured books about Nazi Germany) movements.

    3. In reference to the above Asimov literature, many of the ‘bad guy’ characters, if you will, held viewpoints which were Fantastic Racist (as TV tropes wouild term it
    now), and the contempt they held for their inferiors was inevitably their undoing. Thus, I purposely felt impelled to be part of the general mass of humanity rather than believing myself to be special and contemptuous of “inferiors”.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I have my own story to tell about this kind of thing.  

    Back in high school, I met another student in my technology class who told me that his father was the head of the local National Rifle Association chapter, and that he hated unions, and the like (not all upfront, just came up in conversation now and then.)  Anyway, from that context it was probably pretty easy to guess his political leanings.  

    I ended up leaving that high school for another one due to an incident involving the young me telling someone something cynical on my part, said person telling the school police officer, said police officer filing a standard report, and an over-aggressive District Attorney reading the report in a time when Columbine was fresh in the news.  However, the student at my old high school I ended up seeing again when it turned out that we were both going to the same community college.  

    We ended up in the same class again, this time an anthropology class.  I found the class easy enough to follow along, and the teacher was very good at it.  Every class would start with an informal quiz on the previous day’s lecture, where the teacher would call on people randomly and ask them something we had just covered.  Some people tended to struggle with a few questions.  I leaned that raising my hand did not get me called on (since the teacher apparently figured out after the first few calls that I was paying attention,) but if I waited until a few people missed the answer then raised my hand the teacher would call on me immediately to keep the class moving along.  

    One of the other students in the class kept asking the teacher questions, and they were questions which I thought seemed really obvious.  I was surprised that he would even need to ask them, they were just so simple regarding our subject matter.  The student that I met back in high school apparently thought the same too, as I heard him audibly snort from the next table over when this other student asked his obvious questions.  After one class got out, the student form high school approached me, had a laugh “Did you hear that stupid guy?  Ha!”  

    I said nothing, though the words that formed in my head were, “At least he has enough self-awareness to know when he is struggling, and enough courage to let it show in his attempts to correct that.”  

    So much of the time, it seems that people were too afraid of looking stupid to actually self-improve.  I get the feeling that the student asking the simple questions probably got further along in his education than I ultimately did.

  • Otrame

    I’m sure someone has mentioned this quote recently, but in case not, the former young conservative reminded me of this golden aphorism:

    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

    John Rogers 2009

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    “Man, sometimes God really sucks.”

    Well, sure, we all feel that sometimes. For me it’s set off by things like the earthquake in Haiti that killed a quarter of a million people in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere; for you it’s the democratic election of a centre-right candidate over the far right one. People are different.

    Unrelatedly, as a resident of the land of melanoma, that sunburn that Beck was sporting disturbed me. Be sun aware Glenn!

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    Unrelatedly, as a resident of the land of melanoma, that sunburn that Beck was sporting disturbed me. Be sun aware Glenn!

    As a currently sunburnt member of that fine land, I have felt terribly ashamed of myself all week. As I said to the boyfriend: “I look like someone who didn’t grow up hearing annual slip-slop-slap campaigns!”

    Be sun-safe, people. Skin cancer is bad.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Speaking of, now that the election’s over it’s worth remembering that the ongoing day to day debates over governance continue.

    I just got an email from Planned Parenthood which states, in part:

    It’s shocking but true — and under current law, it’s what military women hear if they become pregnant as a result of rape.

    Thousands of women in the military are sexually assaulted each year, but
    they are denied health care coverage for abortion, even if they are the
    victim of rape.

    I wasn’t even aware of this! :O

    PP has a petition drive going on and I’m sure they could use some money, too. Also probably best to write your Congressperson and/or Senator and ask them to start busting their humps to get this fixed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    For anyone who’s interested: http://www.scifiwright.com/2012/11/message-from-morlockland/#more-6768

  • AnonymousSam

    I got a few sentences into his rebuttal when he whipped out redundantly better military hardware being a better societal safety net than evil socialized medicine and decided that with the mood I was already in, it would be irresponsible of me to put his life in jeopardy by fully reading his argument.

  • Gotchaye

     I count two ideas there, wrapped up in a lot of condescension.  Quotes:

    …if life is not sacred, there is no duty to preserve it, either by food
    stamps nor any other means; and if it is sacred, one cannot end the life
    of helpless in the womb without abrogating that sanctity.

    There does not appear to be an argument for this, although “logically” is used several times.

    …the argument that the government should not fund a new generation of
    fighter jets on the grounds that the old ones were already the best in
    the world applies with equal, if not greater, force to the argument that
    the government should not socialize the American medical industry on
    the grounds that the free market model was already the best in the world, the one which subjects suffering under socialized medicine in other
    lands fled to when they craved the latest and best life saving
    procedures.

    That last clause appears to be the author’s reason for claiming that free market health care is the best in the world.

  • EllieMurasaki

    That last bit only makes sense if the only measure of a health care system’s quality is the knowledge and skill of its specialists. No worries about whether there’s enough specialists to go around, or whether there’s enough general practitioners and how good they are, or how many people are having health problems that they wouldn’t have or wouldn’t have as severely if they’d had access to preventative care. Vision. Dental. Mental health. Prescriptions. Amount of money spent on health care per capita. Percentage of the population dying of treatable things!

    I bet if given ten minutes to think I could double the length of this list.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     Oh, heck, I’ll give you a real simple one: average life span. It upsets (and frankly scares) me that my country, for all its power and wealth, has a shorter average life span than most other wealthy countries. And it enrages me that the right wing thinks an appropriate reaction is “La la la best in the world we can’t heeeaaaar you!”

  • SkyknightXi

    Never mind that when people “suffering” under socialist health care come to America for treatment, it’s usually on the socialist health care bureau’s bill! They’re not going to let an accident of geography interdict you from getting the degree of expertise you need.

    Well, at least that’s the case with Canada. Might be a bit of a problem if you’re coming from France, Indonesia, or Angola, with the attendant air fare.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also, the queue-jumper Canadians who actually go to the US on their own dime are a fraction of the general population and are usually the kind of rich douchebags who practically hump the American flag anyway.

  • Dash1

    Never mind that when people “suffering” under socialist health care come
    to America for treatment, it’s usually on the socialist health care
    bureau’s bill!

    Not, apparently, in all universal health care contexts. This little guy is in Britain and needs an operation that he would have to wait too long for in Britain but could have reasonably soon in the U.S. for about $105,000. The parents are trying to raise it, so presumably the National Health isn’t picking up the tab.

    (“Too long” = literally too long; so long that it would no longer be possible for him to have the surgery.)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    “Could have reasonably soon for $105,000” means “could not reasonably have”

  • Tricksterson

    Should be noted that John C. Wroght (whose  Children of Chaos trilogy I loved) is a former atheist and Catholic convert.  I haven’t had an opinion on this conversion because I hasn’t, until now, read any of his political stuff but having read, or tried to read, this and another article on his blog, I now file him under “How I found God and Lost My Marbles”.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Edit: And what’s with the Houyhnhnm talk? Wikipedia points me to Gulliver’s Travels.

    That essay drips with exactly the kind of self-congratulatory contempt for “inferiors” that I became acquainted with in both the Fantastic Racist sense in science fiction as well as in real life later on.

    “Houyhnhnms” are very intelligent horses who treat Gulliver as a special person, equivalent to them, because he can speak in complete sentences and is capable of logical thought and expression, unlike human-like apes who do nothing but grunt, eat and poop. The irony is, the Houyhnhnms reject Gulliver at the end when they realize that he is still physically equivalent to the other beings when one of the females shows attraction to him.

    Gulliver never entirely recovers from the shattering effects of that rejection, and when he returns to Great Britain he becomes an insular, condescending crotchety man who has difficulties relating to anyone.

    The extra loaded contempt is in the use of “Morlocks” to describe people who disagree with the writer. In H G Wells’s books, the Eloi are the fair, English-speaking yet completely inept humans who the barely-human, savage Morlocks feast upon at regular intervals. The irony here is that the Morlocks retain the technology and knowledge of machinery, while the Eloi are (in the narrator’s words) almost effeminate (and today we would term them androgynous – right-wing political commentators tend to express extreme distaste for people like that because they don’t fit well into traditional gender roles or into easily categorized sexually dimorphic classifications of men and women).

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    “Houyhnhnms” are very intelligent horses who treat Gulliver as a special
    person, equivalent to them, because he can speak in complete sentences
    and is capable of logical thought and expression, unlike human-like apes
    who do nothing but grunt, eat and poop. The author clearly fancies
    himself one of these super intelligent special beings.

    Being Swift, it’s more complicated than that.  *Gulliver* thinks that the Houyhnnhms are an ideal to aspire to, not Swift. You’re supposed to figure out in the end that just like all the other races Gulliver met, they’re obsessive extremists who ultimately fail at being good people on account of their narrow-mindedness.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Clarification: “The author of the blog entry.”

  • arcseconds

    wrt ‘Dear Young Conservative’:

    The word ‘evidence’ sets of alarm bells?  WTF?

    (I’d expect this of certain portions of the religious right, but Pierson rather appears to be addressing the libertarian portion of the Republican voting bloc.  And here was I thinking libertarians prided themselves on their Reason and Science…)


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