Lie to me

Matt Yglesias writes of Breitbart and the Daily Caller:

At some point conservatives need to ask themselves about the larger meaning of this kind of conduct—and Andrew Breitbart’s—for their movement. Beyond the ethics of lying and smear one’s opponents, I would think conservatives would worry about the fact that a large portion of conservative media is dedicated to lying to conservatives. They regard their audience as marks to be misled and exploited, not as customers to be served with useful information.

I used to believe this sort of thing, that it was shameful, for example, that Fox provided such a low level of journalism to its captive conservative audience. My thinking was that conservatives watched Fox and listened to crazy conservative talk radio not because they enjoyed being lied to, but because they enjoyed overtly conservative media and Fox/Rush/etc. was what they had to choose from; the lying and low level of discourse, I reasoned, might very well be bugs rather than features.

Well, I was wrong, they’re features. Compare the ratings of Shep Smith with the ratings for Glenn Beck. Compare the traffic numbers for Hot Air, Drudge, and Instapundit with those of FrumForum, The American Scene, and Eunomia. And note that the Daily Caller traffic went way up with when they started in with the JournoList silliness (whatever one thinks of JournoList, the way that Daily Caller is presenting the story is extremely dishonest).

Given the choice, conservatives as a group will go for the dumber, more dishonest, more insane option. There’s a market for good-faith conservative media, but that market is liberals. Who watches/reads the faux-good faith propaganda of David Brooks? Totebaggers. Who reads The American Scene and Eunomia? People like me.

Conservatives, by and large, have no interest in what you or I or actual journalists consider journalism. It’s telling that when Clark Hoyt and Andy Alexander muse about pleasing conservative readers, they don’t talk about covering legitimate stories that conservative readers are interested in, they talk (exclusively) about following ginned-up Breitbart controversies.

Yglesias has it backwards: the problem isn’t that conservative media lies to conservatives, it’s that conservatives seek out media that tells lies. There is no way for media to appeal to conservatives without lowering your journalistic standards.

I give Jim VandeHei and John Harris credit for realizing this. If you want to construct an optimal amoral pageview machine, you better be willing to debase yourself.






132 replies
  1. 1
    Kryptik says:

    Studies have proven already how attempts to inform and correct ideological diehards simply ends up solidifying their misconceptions like a psychological defense. Conservatives are the ur-example of this.

  2. 2
    scav says:

    There’d certainly be a market in the country for mirrors that reflect one’s self-image and scales that show one’s ideal weight when one steps on them. Just turns out those things are hard to produce while print that reconfirms your prejudices and flatters your ego are easy.

  3. 3
    Cacti says:

    The election of the first black POTUS really did push the right wing into full blown insanity.

    I think a generation of current GOP voters is going to have to die off before they change direction.

  4. 4
    Corner Stone says:

    Yglesias has it backwards: the problem isn’t that conservative media lies to conservatives, it’s that conservatives seek out media that tells lies

    it’s that conservatives seek out media that tells lies they want to hear.
    Small inflection point, but I thought a needed one.

  5. 5
    GeorgeSalt says:

    The conservative mindset favors narratives over evidence-driven objective reality.

    When the birther nonsense started up early last year, I tried to engage some of those folks, and I was struck by the similarities between their style of discourse and that of creationist evolution-deniers. Another example is the neoConfederates who adamantly deny that the civil war had anything to do with slavery.

    I have yet to figure out how to engage these people.

  6. 6
    matoko_chan says:

    @Kryptik: yes, backfire effect is only observed in conservatives in this study. The salience of the meme is actually increased by reading contradictory facts!

    DougJ, don’t you have sympathy for them? It is like Jim Webb’s piece we discussed the other day….both sides sneer at them and despise them…but conservatives at least pretend to care about them, and give them a few shreds of dignity…they just laff behind their backs like Weigel…..liberals mock them openly.
    Both sides believe the conservative base is stupid…..too stupid to learn.

  7. 7
    slag says:

    Yglesias has it backwards: the problem isn’t that conservative media lies to conservatives, it’s that conservatives seek out media that tells lies.

    Honestly, I’m not convinced that the lies are the feature. I think the gossipy bullshit is the feature and the lies just come as part of the overstuffed package. All the conservatives I know (which is more than I care to admit) love themselves some gossipy bullshit. Whisper campaigns–preferably with a prurient angle to them–reign supreme in their world.

    Honestly, I think it’s because either their own lives are incredibly confined and relentlessly boring (as in the case of all the conservatives I know) or their lives are incredibly deviant and they want to feel ok about their deviance by indulging in titillating fantasies about other people’s lives.

    Just guessing here.

  8. 8
    Quiddity says:

    Many on the right believe that liberals are evil, blacks are racist, and go to where that can be validated, even if it means consuming made-up facts.

    This Brietbart affair is very interesting in that regard. After the full video of Sherrod was released, they pivoted to saying that NAACP folks were applauding her at one point during her speech. But it didn’t happen. It’s clear it didn’t happen. Set aside the charlatans (Hannity, Limbaugh) and think about the right-wing audience. What’s going on in their head when they are told there was applause, yet it’s not there? They have surrendered their own senses to somebody’ else’s narrative.

    That’s cult-like behavior.

  9. 9

    You are right – the people who watch FOX etc want to hear what they want to hear and truth has nothing to do with it. That said I think FOX gets credit for a great deal more influence/power than it deserves. While FOX may be the most watched cable network the fact remains that only about one percent of the population watches cable news which means about Fox viewers represent about one half on one percent.

  10. 10
    Keith G says:

    @Kryptik: Our society seems to be finding more and more ways to weird me out. And I do not mean this lightly.

    Rays of sunshine and hope still exist. but there is an underlying emotional context that that I find troubling and it seem to be persistently growing.

    This

    the problem isn’t that conservative media lies to conservatives, it’s that conservatives seek out media that tells lies.

    is just one manifestation.

  11. 11
    Brachiator says:

    Yglesias has it backwards: the problem isn’t that conservative media lies to conservatives, it’s that conservatives seek out media that tells lies.

    Yeppity yep. I think I saw this reach some kind of peak with the Terry Schiavo case. Even though the court record was available online, conservatives would go out of their way to avoid the truth.

    But the other side of this is that Rupert Murdoch and other media barons, and a number of conservative reporters and pundits have made a deliberate decision to use their talents to provide material for the marketplace of conservative lies.

    The sad thing is that journalists who are not on the con still act as enablers because most of these people run in the same social circles and their are a few who just view this as a game in which it doesn’t matter who gets hurt as long as they can pat each other on the back over their tight prose or hot, edgy TV appearances.

  12. 12
    Keith says:

    It’s the dreaded epistomogical closure in a nutshell, with the added inclusion of “the American public believes” to make them feel *even* better. Not only does the world work just like I want it to, but everyone knows it!

  13. 13

    @GeorgeSalt:

    When the birther nonsense started up early last year, I tried to engage some of those folks, and I was struck by the similarities between their style of discourse and that of creationist evolution-deniers. Another example is the neoConfederates who adamantly deny that the civil war had anything to do with slavery.

    Aren’t these virtually the same people? I’m not being snarky at all. I imagine these are our famed 27-percenters. There’s a lot of overlap there.

  14. 14
    Mike in NC says:

    Compare the ratings of Shep Smith with the ratings for Glenn Beck.

    Last year they put Beck on the cover of TIME magazine, along with a fawning profile. Odds are they’ll do the same for Breitbart sometime within the next month.

  15. 15
    ChristianPinko says:

    Fred Clark had some really good posts related to this topic. The most relevant part is probably the second, although readers may want to check out part one well.

  16. 16
    Mike Furlan says:

    @GeorgeSalt:

    Well the argument here is that the sane ones are the folks who don’t think the Civil War was about slavery.

    Eunomia is Daniel Larison who doesn’t believe that the Civil War was about slavery.

    He is a member of the racist hate group League of the South.

    He is one of the sane ones?

  17. 17

    Compete.com analytics.
    Even with 500,000 clicks, the DailyBullshit is nowhere near the traffic of legitimate media.

  18. 18
    MattF says:

    You’re one step away from the classic theory of cognitive dissonance, a la Leon Festinger, discussed here (see ‘Lesson 3’) in the context of “why do economists always get it wrong.” In a sentence, the fact that the world doesn’t work the way right-wingers want it do doesn’t lead to weakening beliefs or changing minds, it leads to stronger beliefs, social discipline, and a search for confirming evidence.

  19. 19
    bleh says:

    Slag has it right. “Epistemic closure” and similar erudite conceptualizations are severe overcomplifications, not to mention manifestations of a material category error, to wit, that the target audience THINKS about what they’re being told.

    It’s about ENTERTAINMENT. 4 simple syllables, repeat after me.

    Having pounded this theme to death in comment threads for a long time, I might feel inclined to express confusion that it isn’t mentioned more widely, except that Paddy Chayevsky said it long ago and far better than I ever could.

    All y’all go watch “Network.”

  20. 20
    matoko_chan says:

    and …well…..conservatives may just not be as smart.
    there is an emergent body of research that seems to be trending toward significant measurable between-group differences in IQ and g between liberals and conservatives.
    i could explain but Cornerstone might have another freakout.
    ;)

  21. 21
    John W. says:

    This is the market – not the independents for the most part, not the libertarians, not the wise deep thinkers on the right (whoever they are, i assume they logically have to be somewhere) … it’s the Foxnews idiots who can determine the nominee.

    That’s why Palin has a chance, that’s why Jeb has a chance.

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    @matoko_chan:

    there is an emergent body of research that seems to be trending toward significant measurable between-group differences in IQ and g between liberals and conservatives.
    i could explain but Cornerstone might have another freakout.

    I’d be the last person to deny the President of your Fan Club Nethead Jay the opportunity to see you display your expertise in this matter. Please, continue at your leisure.

  23. 23
    matoko_chan says:

    @MattF: not just cognitive dissonance, but confirmation bias, fact-blocking, backfire effect, functionally adaptive misbelief, consensus effect, false consenus effect, generation effect, memory illusions, source monitoring defects, and cognitive dissonance reduction.
    whew!
    Jonah Lehrer— How We Decide.
    great book.
    ;)

  24. 24
    joe from Lowell says:

    I agree, DougJ.

    You can’t reason your way in good faith and honest investigation of the evidence to the denial of global warming. You have to actively work to lie to yourself in order to come to that conclusion.

    Movement conservatives do that. It’s an important part of who they are. The greater the faith it takes to convince oneself of something, the more virtuous.

  25. 25
    Silver says:

    @Mike Furlan:

    Yep. Ignore the fact that the league of the South may or may not be racist…they are totally fucking insane batshit Alan Keyes and Mel Gibson had a insane baby level insane.

    Read this: http://larison.org/2005/03/01/.....the-south/

    That’s a totally fucking crazy person writing. And he’s the sanest thing the GOP has going.

  26. 26
    matoko_chan says:

    @Corner Stone: well…..ppl can click over to my sufi blog if they are interested.
    that way i won’t interrupt important discussions of general relativity theory of hot sauce.
    :)

  27. 27

    @Corner Stone: WTF is it with you. Every goddamn thread you start a fight, or try to, pitting yourself and any fool that joins you, against your current perceived enemies. And usually based on personal shit, not disagreements over debating points.

    If you continue to blogstalk Matako then I will blogstalk you. Something has to give with this shit, and for those who continue to feed this troll and play footsie with it, you only make it stronger.

    lecture over.

  28. 28
    joe from Lowell says:

    We should make clear that we’re talking about a particular strain of conservative here. There are a lot of conservatives, like my Uncle Franny and my cousin Michael, who don’t do this sort of thing at all.

    The movement conservatives may have taken over the media on the right and the national GOP, but that doesn’t mean they are the only conservatives.

  29. 29
    Mike Furlan says:

    @Silver:

    Thanks for posting the link:

    “Though my lineage is almost entirely from the North, ours were the sort of conservative and republican people who opposed usurpation at every turn, and as much as my kinsman, William Plumer of New Hampshire, was right in arguing for secession over the illegalities of the Louisiana Purchase the Southern states were even more justified in resisting the usurpation of their rights. In the League of the South, I see the natural home of anyone who would honour and venerate the legacy of his ancestors and the early fathers of this country. ”

    Daniel Larison

  30. 30
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    IHRTTB,

    it seems to me that this is stating, after discovering, the obvious about the right’s interaction with the media.

    The lie is the product. It’s akin to sitting at work with your iPod earbuds and listening to your favorite tunes. The righty audience wants to put in their FoxNews earbuds and listen to their favorite fairy tales. They don’t really care what the content is as long as it sounds like the left, the liberals, are losing, or bad, or losing and bad, or eating their livers even if they are winning, or whatever.

    Rush Limbaugh has made an industry out of this for years, and FoxNews is just a different arrangement of the same music.

    They are not out to “convince” voters of anything, they are out to resonate with voters who already have their minds (if you can call them that) made up.

  31. 31
    Booger says:

    Dude. I saw Optimal Amoral Pageview Machine at the 9:30 back in the day…before they went mainstream.

  32. 32
    MikeJ says:

    @joe from Lowell: I know that you must be right, but on the other hand if you vote for Sarah Palin to be veep for any reason whatsoever you are a seriously fucked up person. It doesn’t really matter if you enjoy being lied to.

  33. 33
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Quiddity:

    What’s going on in their head when they are told there was applause, yet it’s not there? They have surrendered their own senses to somebody’ else’s narrative.

    Modern conservatism is not about empiricism (using the senses, in an open-minded, experimental manner to attempt to determine how things work). It’s about faith. And The True Faith says that people who attend NAACP meetings are virulent racists. Similarly, it says that climate change is not happening (contrary to all the science), that evolution is a liberal lie (contrary to all the science), and that cutting taxes both increases tax revenue *and* starves the beast (mod-cons apparently make a special practice of committing to dogma several contradictions before breakfast).

    That’s cult-like behavior.

    It sure is. Which is why mockery is probably the best way to handle it.

  34. 34
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Just chiming in with the Nth iteration of the point about how it’s not so much lies as _flattering_ lies, lies that reinforce what the people who hear them already believe. (My personal favorite remains the belief that there is a War On Christmas.) They would believe the truth, too, if it squared with what they already believed. But therein, um, lies the rub. I can’t name too many _true_ things that movement conservatives believe. Maybe that white Protestant cultural dominance is waning. I think that’s _true_; I just don’t find it frightening.

  35. 35
    Brachiator says:

    @matoko_chan:

    and …well…..conservatives may just not be as smart. there is an emergent body of research that seems to be trending toward significant measurable between-group differences in IQ and g between liberals and conservatives.

    Aren’t you the one who argues that most Muslims would vote for sharia law? Are you suggesting that Muslims as a group have lower IQs than liberals?

  36. 36
    burnspbesq says:

    @Silver:

    Note that the Larison post to which you link is from 2005.

    Recall what this place was like in 2005.

    Show me some evidence that Larison, today, holds beliefs that are consistent with the core beliefs of the League of the South.

    I don’t think you can.

    Any more than you can show that I, today, hold beliefs that are consistent with the core beliefs of the Federalist Society, of which I was once a member.

    Some people get smarter as they accrue experience.

    You might want to try it.

  37. 37
    Dennis G. says:

    The lies are comfortable for Conservatives. Hearing them is a refuge from the cognitive dissonance of daily life. The year may be the hottest on record, but in Wingnut media there is nothing to worry about. The Country may be on a fast track to massive demographic shifts towards diversity, but in Wingnut world this is a White Nation.

    The lies are outrageous and any child could see through them, but they also comfort the fears and hate of Wingnutopia. One would hope the the marks realize that they are being conned, but it is a codependent relationship. The liars need fools to believe the lies and the fools need the lies as a shield against reality.

    Cheers

  38. 38
    burnspbesq says:

    @Booger:

    Was that when the 930 was still on F Street?

  39. 39
    Bender says:

    Blah, blah, blah…

    More emptyheaded “they’re just too stupid/insane/indoctrinated to know they’re being duped” drivel. You do realize, of course, that this is also exactly what those hyper-con blogs are saying about you guys (well, they don’t know from Ball-Juicers much, but Kos, Yglesias, Klein, etc.) every day on their Street-corner of the Intertrons…

    It’s pointless, fruitless, brainless, and I guess it gets everybody through the night. Everybody gets to feel superior, everybody gets a medal!

    It’s like watching WWII-era Looney Tunes cartoons with the Japanese with the coke-bottle glasses and big buck teeth. Sure, it was fun at the time, but history will be more than a little embarrassed at this line of rhetoric.

  40. 40

    I got into it with a Tea Party supporter on Facebook and debunked all the things he said drove him into the movement. He never denied a single fact I posted, but then went on about how evil liberals are (using the nomination of Justice Bork as his prime example… geez!)

    I again realized that human beings are inherently tribal in nature. Part of what sustains the tribe’s coherence are shared narratives. It doesn’t matter whether they are true, or not. Narratives can even be music, art or literature. But they bind us together and turn us into a force to defeat other tribes.

    It doesn’t matter whether the conservative media lies to conservatives, or not. It only matters that they provide a group identification and power to vanquish their enemies.

  41. 41
    asdf says:

    Tonal Crow wrote, “It’s about faith.”

    I’ve always thought that was what’s going on.

  42. 42
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    We are saying roughly the same thing, which strikes me as being essentially, “The Lie is my shepherd, I shall not want ….”

    Does it work? Ask Rush Limbaugh.

  43. 43
    Mike Furlan says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Here is one from 08:

    http://larison.org/2008/01/16/my-noxious-views/

    But I guess your standard of evidence is that I must show that he believes this nonsense, right now, this instant.

  44. 44
    asdf says:

    “this is also exactly what those hyper-con blogs are saying about you guys”

    but is it true? Is the left suffering from the same symptoms?

  45. 45
    Emma says:

    Slag: There might be something to this. I am a fan of a British TV show called Torchwood. A conservative acquaintance of mine happened to hear myself and another co-worker talking about it and went off on a tirade, not about the Jack/Ianto storyline, which is usually a big flashpoint for a lot of people, but about John Barrowman “seducing” that nice Gareth boy!

    We were staring at her like she had grown a second head. Then, the person I had been talking to said very gently John Barrowman has been together with his partner for over twenty years and they recently had their civil ceremony and nobody has ever found even one bit of evidence that he’s not faithful. Where do you get your gossip from?

    She got so angry with us it was as if we had been trying to steal something very valuable from her. She kept saying “well, those gay actors, you know how they are.” After a few minutes we just walked away. NO FACTS made it through. She had her little vicious gossip and she was going to stick to it come hell or high water.

    It wasn’t JUST homophobia. It was that she COULD NOT give up her nasty, titillating narrative, no matter what.

  46. 46
    DougJ says:

    @Bender:

    Bender, I’m going to engage you here. Did you not notice that I cited several conservative outlets that I regard as good faith?

  47. 47
    matoko_chan says:

    @Brachiator: why does voting for shariah imply lower IQ?
    you need to understand that in Islam, the clergy ARE the lawyers and intellectuals.
    Unlike in America, where believers cannot be thinkers and thinkers cannot be believers…..in islamic countries the thinkers ARE the believers.
    For example, in America, higher IQ correlates positively with atheism.
    In islamic countries there is no significant sub-population of atheists.

  48. 48

    @DougJ:

    Bender, I’m going to engage you here

    this cannot end well.

  49. 49
    DougJ says:

    @asdf:

    Not to the same extent, no. Conservatives listen to Rush, liberals listen to NPR. Conservatives read Hot Air, liberals read TalkingPointsMemo (FWIW, I also think HuffPost is much better than Drudge, though I don’t like HuffPost).

  50. 50
    matoko_chan says:

    @Bender: its just science, dude.
    Don’t take it personal.
    ;)

  51. 51

    @matoko_chan:

    where believers cannot be thinkers and thinkers cannot be believers

    can I call bullshit on this statement? Even as an agnostic/atheist, this makes no fucking sense.

  52. 52
    Teddy Salad says:

    Also, too the notion that “Conservatism cannot fail; people can only fail Conservatism.”

    You gotta have faith.

  53. 53
    Brachiator says:

    @Bender:

    More emptyheaded “they’re just too stupid/insane/indoctrinated to know they’re being duped” drivel. You do realize, of course, that this is also exactly what those hyper-con blogs are saying about you guys (well, they don’t know from Ball-Juicers much, but Kos, Yglesias, Klein, etc.) every day on their Street-corner of the Intertrons…

    Of course, not everyone is saying that these morons are too stupid/insane/indoctrinated to know that they are being duped.

    Some of us are saying that these people willfully and deliberately avoid facts and actively seek out conservative news outlets that cater to their fears and biases.

    And numerous conservative news outlets not only cater to this group, they eagerly keep old lies alive and serve up new ones to keep their viewers satisfied.

  54. 54
    scav says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Why pick on that statement? M_C’s self-described and self-congratulatory youth has blown past childishness in the negative direction a long time past.

    ETA: I mean out of all the other fine candidates. . .

  55. 55
    matoko_chan says:

    @asdf: in a word, no.
    Jay Rosen–

    Hi Jonah. You said… “And it’s worth pointing out that this irrationality applies to both sides of the political spectrum.)”
    But you overlooked something in the Boston Globe article you were writing about. The article is mainly about the so-called “backfire” effect, wherein contrary information not only doesn’t inform but actually strengthens the existing (and incorrect) belief, thus backfiring. Seems irrational, right? Here’s what the article says about this irrationality applying across the board:
    Nyhan inserted a clear, direct correction after each piece of misinformation, and then measured the study participants to see if the correction took.
    For the most part, it didn’t. The participants who self-identified as conservative believed the misinformation on WMD and taxes even more strongly after being given the correction. With those two issues, the more strongly the participant cared about the topic — a factor known as salience — the stronger the backfire. The effect was slightly different on self-identified liberals: When they read corrected stories about stem cells, the corrections didn’t backfire, but the readers did still ignore the inconvenient fact that the Bush administration’s restrictions weren’t total.
    In other words, the backfire effect did not occur “across the board.” It was observed among conservatives and not among liberals, at least in this portion of the study. However, blocking out facts that were inconvenient did occur among liberals, as well. This shows that liberals are not immune to these irrational tendencies, but it does not show that the irrationality discussed in the Globe article is evenly distributed across the political spectrum. I think that’s an important qualifier.
    I also think that there’s a danger of PC thinking taking over here. In being careful not to encourage fantasies among liberals of being immune from these tendencies, which is an entirely valid thing to do, some writers, I have noticed, are too quick to suggest that a kind of symmetry reigns over political behavior. I don’t think we should be doing that.

    Both sides ARE NOT THE SAME.
    Presumeably this what DougJ is going to engage Bender on.
    Please use cyber-std protection, DougJ.
    You don’t know where its been.

  56. 56

    @Ron Beasley:

    I think FOX gets credit for a great deal more influence/power than it deserves. While FOX may be the most watched cable network the fact remains that only about one percent of the population watches cable news which means about Fox viewers represent about one half on one percent.

    I go back and forth on this. I think the 2008 Presidential Campaign really illustrates how little influence the media has. There were multiple debates where several pundits on the famed panel would declare the night as a victory for McCain, and then the snap polling and later polling would drive that narrative out of the park. Viewers didn’t care what the pundits said; they made their own choices.

    But even if cable news viewership seems insignificantly low, it does help drive a “narrative,” which is then imparted to other forms of media. The overwhelming narrative can change the audience’s perception as a result. Fox News helps to drive a narrative and reinforces plenty of nonsense, and that can’t be good for anyone. Their influence might be overstated, but it’s not non-existent.

  57. 57
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: wha? you never heard that?
    it is cultural myth, but widely believed.
    sure you can give me examples of smart religious people….wallah, im religious!
    my point (to Brach) was there are no secular smart people in islamic states. only religious smart people, because pretty much everyone is religious.

  58. 58
    Quiddity says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    mockery is probably the best way to handle it

    I was hoping there would be some way to engage and change minds, slow as that process might be.

  59. 59
    El Tiburon says:

    To an extent conservatives understand there is a certain level of covert ops required in their Epic War Against Liberals.

    What we call ‘lies’ they consider a necessary tactic to defeat the left.

    All is fair in love and war. Why we on the left are struggling to get the truth out, they are struggling to defeat us by whatever means necessary.

    So they have no shame in lying, or getting caught. It’s a battle scar, a medal of honor. O’keefe is a hero, Breitbart is a hero, On down the line.

    To conservatives, using any means whether it is a lie or otherwise is as heroic as a soldier jumping on a grenade tom save his platoon.

  60. 60

    @matoko_chan:
    Just never heard it condensed to such utter bullshit.

    There are quite a number of “intellectuals” in the US who are also “believers. I believe our current president counts himself as one.

    you need to understand that in Islam, the clergy ARE the lawyers and intellectuals.

    Separation of church and state is a good thing, imho.

    there are no secular smart people in islamic states. only religious smart people, because pretty much everyone is religious.

    because they want to be? or because they have to be?

  61. 61
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Quiddity:

    I was hoping there would be some way to engage and change minds, slow as that process might be.

    Do you have some ideas? I’ve run clean out after years of getting nowhere with carefully-constructed arguments based upon cited-source facts.

  62. 62
    slag says:

    @Emma: I know. What is that? Why do people care so much about other people’s personal lives? And not only do they care, they go through the effort of making complex assumptions and judgments about them based on incredibly flimsy evidence. It seems like quite a lot of work for very little payoff. I don’t get it.

    Maybe more conservatives should enter the arts. Writing romance novels or whatever. Give them some way to get their ya-yas out without having their overwrought imaginations infect their real-life attitudes.

  63. 63
    MikeJ says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    because they want to be? or because they have to be?

    Or they claim to be religious in public because they don’t want to be stoned to death, and smart people learn how to game the system.

  64. 64
    matoko_chan says:

    @Brachiator:

    not everyone is saying that these morons are too stupid/insane/indoctrinated to know that they are being duped.

    that is not what i am saying….for example, racism is so ingrained over the last 50 years into the conservative base, that they CANNOT turn it off, even when they desperately need to. that is what Breitbart is so furious about, he thinks the NAACP and the media are costing the TPM voters by making the TPM look racist.
    for a half century conservatism has been memetically selecting for voters that either are racists, or tolerate racists well.
    they can’t just flip a switch and turn it off.

  65. 65
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    because they want to be? or because they have to be?

    what is the difference?

    Separation of church and state is a good thing, imho.

    yes in your opinion. but that is not how it is in islamic culture.

  66. 66
    MikeJ says:

    @slag:

    Maybe more conservatives should enter the arts. Writing romance novels or whatever.

    Which one wrote about the little girl forced to have sex with a caged bear?

  67. 67
    sherparick says:

    By the way, the fact that Conservatives will lie is not just characteristic of Conservative Blogs, Limbaugh, or Roger Ailes’s Faux News. The Washington Post publishes George Will 3 times a week and he fills his columns with serial lies, apparently all to serve the greater good of defeating Liberals and repealing the hated New Deal. It is very depressing when someone as non-ideological as Barry Ritholz, who basically runs a financial blog, who posts a column by a another non-ideological, but Conservative, financial guy, Jeremy Grantham, on global warming and the possible risks and the possible consequences for the economy and they get flamed by their audience. These people do not want to hear facts, little lone arguments or opinions, that challenge their world view. In response, Ritholz posted these 3 short videos which included one of the best take downs of Will I have ever seen in the 3rd video.

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2.....Picture%29

  68. 68

    @matoko_chan:

    what is the difference?

    If you can’t tell the difference, then I pity you.

  69. 69

    Separation of church and state is a good thing, imho.
    yes in your opinion. but that is not how it is in islamic culture

    And can we not posit that on this point “Islamic culture” is wrong?

  70. 70
    asdf says:

    I’ve been wondering lately if conservatives have noticed that the news is full of race these days. It’s one story about race after another. Do they wonder what happened?

  71. 71
    Emma says:

    Slag: I would agree with you except that when they do they end up writing Twighlight. *shudder*

  72. 72
    slag says:

    @MikeJ: Ack! I forgot about that. Scooter Libby?

    Never mind. I take it back. They shouldn’t enter the arts. Apparently, they just get it confused with real life anyway. I have no solution to this problem.

  73. 73
    Brachiator says:

    @matoko_chan:

    why does voting for shariah imply lower IQ?

    I am simply following the implications of your previous posts. You consistently want to assert some relationship between conservative viewpoints and IQ. It seems to me that if you really believe this, you must also believe that the relationship holds across other cultures and societies.

    you need to understand that in Islam, the clergy ARE the lawyers and intellectuals.

    This does not invalidate my question.

    Unlike in America, where believers cannot be thinkers and thinkers cannot be believers…..in islamic countries the thinkers ARE the believers.

    This is simply not true. It is much like the claim by the old Soviets that all serious intellectuals were by definition also committed Communists.

    Are there liberal Muslims and conservative Muslims? Do liberal Muslims have higher IQs than conservative Muslims?

    In islamic countries there is no significant sub-population of atheists.

    Don’t you mean that there is no significant sub-population that can admit to being atheists?

    By the way, within the last week or so, there was the case of the Pakistani couple convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning. Which clerics, lawyers and intellectuals in Muslim countries have condemned this ruling?

  74. 74
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    And can we not posit that on this point “Islamic culture” is wrong?

    no.
    every instance of a secular state in MENA was imposed by dictatorship or a military junta. you are exhibiting the same western culture chauvinism that led to the Epic Fail of the Manifest Destiny of Judeoxian Democracy in MENA…..aka the Bush Doctrine.
    When muslims can vote, they vote for Islam.
    They like Islam.

  75. 75

    @matoko_chan:

    When muslims can vote, they vote for Islam.

    Neda would like to have a word with you.

    BTW, you assume that it is an either/or situation, which I don’t believe it has to be.

    Also, you assume that everyone in an Islamic-dominated country would share the same ideal. Tyranny of the majority is no more appealing when it wears a burka than when it wears a cross.

  76. 76
    matoko_chan says:

    @Brachiator: again this is not our bidness. WTF are we doing there anyways?
    Are american kids dying so you can free muslimahs from the tyrrany of hijab or bring bibles into baghdad?
    You dumbass, get a grip.
    when muslims can vote, they vote for Islam.
    5000 american kids died for that you better FUCKING validate it you asshole.

  77. 77
    MikeJ says:

    Attaturk would like to have a word here I think.

  78. 78

    @matoko_chan:
    Evading the questions Brachiator posed, epic fail.

  79. 79
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: neda was an islamic studies student who covered, you intransigent asshole.
    she was protesting Nejad’s actions which broke the islamic law of the islamic republic of iran through voting fraud.
    wallah the stupid is strong in this one.
    are you a conservative or something?

  80. 80

    @matoko_chan:
    still avoiding the questions. Nice.

  81. 81
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Emma:

    Great story.
    @El Tiburon:

    Right you are. And though Breitbart is going to be anathema among the mainstream media now, a disgraced figure, he won’t be shunned by right-wingers in the name of their reputations.

    They’re going to treat him like a wounded war veteran. A shahid, so to speak.

  82. 82
    Quiddity says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Do you have some ideas?

    Not really, but people (at least some) do change their minds over time. Look at Bush’s approval ratings. From way, way up to pretty low. I don’t know what all the reasons are, but I suspect the failure to find WMD in Iraq was a key factor. So maybe facts do matter, but it takes years to take effect.

    OTOH, there are some folks who will never be persuaded and attempting to deal with them is futile. But I think that of the 40% who don’t like Obama/Democrats, maybe up to half could see things differently.

  83. 83
    matoko_chan says:

    @MikeJ: ok, here is how muslims view Ataturk.
    Turkey is nominally 98% muslim, and evolving back to an islamic state under Erdogan from a kemalist dictatorship/military junta.

    Thank you Yasemin for your lengthy comment. I fully agree with you that darkness will never replace enlightenment nor should it! It is just that I see democracy the expressed will of the Turkish people as enlightenment and Kemalist dogma which silences the voice of the Turkish people as darkness.
    You have done an excellent job of memorizing Kemalist propaganda, but you need to do some critical analysis of this dogma. Remember the Turkish war hero Gen Kazim Karabekir said, “We won our independence, but lost our freedom through a single party regime.” when Ataturk took over.
    Your whole defense of Kemalism boils down to your belief that Turkish people were/are ignorant and cannot elect the “correct” people to represent them. I think you are wrong. Turkish people have elected the AKP to govern the country, not the generals. If AKP doesn’t meet Turkish people’s expectations, they will be kicked out in the next election and replaced by some other party that’s democracy and all Turks except hardline Kemalists understand it very well. You should try to understand it, too.
    You are saying, there were no empires when Ataturk took over. Well, there are still a lot of empires and kingdoms far more advanced than Republic of Turkey. It may surprise you to find out that England, Belgium, Sweden, Norway & Denmark are NOT republics but kingdoms, not despotic kingdoms, of course. People can get rid of the Kings & Queens through a peaceful referendum. On the other hand, Libya, Syria & Egypt are republics. Where would you rather live if you had a choice?
    Ataturk changed the alphabet to cut off future generations of Turks from the 600-year heritage of the Ottoman empire and re-write history in line with his ego! You see you cannot read the massive Ottoman archives! There were other reasons, too.
    Muslims are commanded to obey ..not worship.. legitimate authority in the interest of social order. In democracies, elected governments are legitimate authority, not generals armed to the teeth! You seem to think that the only choice in Turkey is Kemalism or Islamic teachings formed in the 6th century. That’s not right. The real options are despotic Kemalist dogma enforced by guns or democracy which is the free expression of the will of the people. I prefer democracy.

    it seems people here are experiencing backfire effect…..one more time, when muslims can vote they vote for islam.

  84. 84
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: ill answer them all at once.
    IT IS NOT YOUR BIDNESS.
    Take your dead and your broken teeth and go home Big White Xian Bwana. no wants white jesus in MENA.
    does that hurrt your fee fees?

  85. 85
    matoko_chan says:

    @Brachiator:

    You consistently want to assert some relationship between [global] conservative viewpoints and IQ.

    i did not…if you read my post, i gave 4 reasons that APPLY ONLY TO AMERICAN CONSERVATIVES.
    you are dragging your bullshytt evangelical xianity/western culture chavinism into this.
    sod off retard.

  86. 86

    @matoko_chan:

    IT IS NOT YOUR BIDNESS.
    Take your dead and your broken teeth and go home Big White Xian Bwana. no wants white jesus in MENA.

    And so the religious minorities in your Islamic paradises continue to suffer. nice. I’ll take my religious pluralism any day. And go fuck yourself with your Big White Xian Bwana bullshit.

    ETA: I have no problem with keeping US military out of MENA. And white Jeebus has nothing to do with it, at all.

  87. 87
    matoko_chan says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    A shahid, so to speak.

    that is not the arabic definition of shahid. shahid means witness in arabic, and the implication is that witness creates justice in response to witnessing injustice. martyr is some bastardized occidentalist translation.
    Breitbart cannot be a shahid because his actions were unjust.
    Justice cannot be created through unjust action.

  88. 88
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: again the REASON you have to bash Islam is that otherwise you have to admit that 5000 kids died because Bush was too stupid to understand that when muslims can vote they vote for islam…..they died FOR NOTHING.
    WTF are we doing there with soldiers still dying?
    you tell me awsp……why are we there?

  89. 89
    Emma says:

    Joe from Lowell: it’s a kind of funny story now but it wasn’t then. I had never met someone whose mind rejected reality so completely before. Terrifying.

  90. 90
    Corner Stone says:

    “Nethead Jay, you’re wanted at the white courtesy phone. Nethead Jay, your stupid douchey self is wanted at the white phone.”

  91. 91
    Brachiator says:

    @matoko_chan:

    again this is not our bidness. WTF are we doing there anyways? Are american kids dying so you can free muslimahs from the tyrrany of hijab or bring bibles into baghdad? You dumbass, get a grip.

    Note that I never said anything in this thread about the presence of American or other forces in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

    I ask again. Based on your ideas about IQ, do liberal Muslims have higher IQs than conservative Muslims? If any religion appeals more to individuals with a conservative mindset, does this suggest that the religion would appeal most to those with lower IQs, based on your past posts and assertions?

    when muslims can vote, they vote for Islam.

    Irrelevant to my questions here.

    I also asked whether clerics, lawyers, and intellectuals within Muslim countries openly disagreed with or challenged the recent ruling by a Pakistan tribal authority condemning an adulterous couple to death by stoning.

    Note here that I am not asking about the opinions of outsiders or human rights groups, nor am I contrasting Western vs non-Western beliefs. But it seems reasonable to attempt to calibrate the degree to which this kind of thinking might be categorized as conservative thought, since you strongly assert that there is a correlation between low IQ and conservatism.

    5000 american kids died for that you better FUCKING validate it you asshole.

    You’re no daisy! You’re no daisy at all. Poor soul, you were just too high strung.

  92. 92
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brachiator:

    You’re no daisy! You’re no daisy at all. Poor soul, you were just too high strung.

    This is really strange because earlier I considered posting a response to the effect of “I have not yet begun to defile myself.”
    Excellent, really re-watchable movie.

  93. 93

    @Corner Stone: but you are my Huckleberry Johnny Ringo

  94. 94
    matoko_chan says:

    Based on your ideas about IQ, do liberal Muslims have higher IQs than conservative Muslims? If any religion appeals more to individuals with a conservative mindset, does this suggest that the religion would appeal most to those with lower IQs, based on your past posts and assertions?

    oh, WITHIN group differences? yes there is a distribution of conservatives and liberals WITHIN islam. islam is not monolithic, dumbass. the salafis and wahabbists are millenials and conservative fundamentalists. just like the teabaggers want to go back to a 200 year old electorate where white male landholders were the electorate, the conservative muslims want to go back to the caliphate.
    the stoning, is not your bidness Brach. defend the patriarchy daddies that are still marrying 13 year old girls here in america.
    work in your own garden, candide, and stay the fuck out of theirs.

  95. 95
    Ed Drone says:

    @slag:

    Honestly, I think it’s because either their own lives are incredibly confined and relentlessly boring

    Actually, I think it’s because conservatism is based on myths that are not based in reality, so they seek other unreality, rather than the reality that creates a cognitive dissonance in their tiny, enclosed-world minds. In other words, if you live in a fantasy world, you have to maintain the fantasy.

    Conservative/Republican/Confederate/Tea-Kluxers:

    YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!>

    Ed

  96. 96
    matoko_chan says:

    here is an interesting parallel…just like the teabaggers do mormon-dead-baptism on Thomas Jefferson, the wahabbis and salafis do proxy baptism on al-Ghazali. Both men were liberal polymaths that would have been horrified at associating with fundie conservatives.

    im going clubbing.
    you have depressed me horribly, and now i have to rethink my thesis.
    perhaps liberals ARE just as stupid as conservatives….balloonjuice liberals at least….just racist against muslims instead of blacks.

  97. 97

    perhaps liberals ARE just as stupid as conservatives…

    Technically True but Collectively Nonsense

  98. 98
    matoko_chan says:

    the religion would appeal most to those with lower IQs,

    fundamentalism appeals to low IQ indiviuals.
    everywhere.
    See Dr. Lynn and Dr. Nyborg.
    adieu

  99. 99
    matoko_chan says:

    one more thing.

    Note that I never said anything in this thread about the presence of American or other forces in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

    you said people would have to be stupid to vote for shariah.
    5000 american soldiers died so Iraqis could vote for shariah.
    you are an asshole.

  100. 100
    scav says:

    sigh. has m_c finished announcing what all of us and the Muslims do and should think yet? and was everything based on a sufficiently youthful sci-fi derived theoretical basis?

  101. 101

    @scav: LOL. I think Matako is fascinating except when she drifts into amoral territory. It’s like listening to Mr. Spock on acid.

  102. 102
    scav says:

    @General Stuck: I keep getting flashbacks to teaching Sophmores with a few classes under their belts.

  103. 103
    matoko_chan says:

    @scav: well i dont know, scav…..why not ask Jack Sparrow.
    he has a blog too.

  104. 104
    Mark S. says:

    Did Mr. Spock ever use The Bell Curve to argue that Romulans were dumber than Vulcans?

  105. 105
    scav says:

    @matoko_chan: sigh. shoo shoo, you left for clubbing.

  106. 106
    Brachiator says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Excellent, really re-watchable movie.

    Very true. I recall that at the time, conventional wisdom was that Kevin Costner’s Wyatt Earp was going to be the film to beat. But that movie has turned out to be a crappy, really un-watchable movie.

    I think that Siskel or Ebert noted that had the studio handled Tombstone better and not just kinda dumped it out with minimal publicity, he would have been happy to push for a Supporting Actor nomination for Val Kilmer.

  107. 107
    Ed Drone says:

    @sherparick:

    These people do not want to hear facts, little lone arguments or opinions,

    They don’t want to hear little, lone facts, let alone big, accompanied facts. I love the coinage of “little lone” facts. I may start using it.

    Ed

  108. 108
    scav says:

    @Ed Drone: ! We could put up signs “Must be THIS tall and accompanied by an adult to participate in this argument” outside of all the really dangerous and popular rides.

  109. 109
    Something Fabulous says:

    @Bender: See, but the difference is that thinking and empathetic people knew so even then. My mother told us about how her uncle, an immigrant himself, stood up and took her and her cousins out of the theater during those exact Disney shorts.

    Because, even then, during wartime, those kinds of caricatures were not “fun,” they were clearly wrong.

  110. 110
    slag says:

    @Mark S.:

    Did Mr. Spock ever use The Bell Curve to argue that Romulans were dumber than Vulcans?

    That would have been Evil Spock. With the goatee.

  111. 111
    slightly_peeved says:

    you are dragging your bullshytt evangelical xianity/western culture chavinism into this.
    sod off retard.

    Sounds like someone’s getting planed.

  112. 112
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    Can’t we all agree that matoko_chan loves pie?

  113. 113
    UmYeah says:

    Cons as a general rule of thumb enjoy being lied to.

    They become enraged when someone attempts to pop the bubble of bullshit that colors their worldview.

    I used to believe they could be argued with but “arguing” with them is more akin to blasting someone out of several layers of BS.

    An excellent example of the Con zeitgeist can be seen at the Gunbroker forums.

  114. 114

    @matoko_chan:

    again the REASON you have to bash Islam is that otherwise you have to admit that 5000 kids died because Bush was too stupid to understand that when muslims can vote they vote for islam…..they died FOR NOTHING.

    Who bashed Islam? Is religious pluralism better or no? What the hell does that have to do with the stupid wars Bush put us in? WTF? Oh, wait, you’ve gone clubbing.

  115. 115

    OK, I usually try to steer clear of m_c, but as she’s been unusually active on the board today, let me just say, you are being ageist first of all. You keep saying we’re telling you to get off the lawn. Untrue–we’re telling you to think for yourself and to dig a little deeper. You write like you are in your early twenties, full of conviction that you and only you know the answer to everything.

    You are proof of the theorem that if someone believes a fallacy, she will go out of her way to disregard evidence to the contrary. Plus, you are the one who is bashing Islam in your shallow analysis of it and your sweeping generalizations of the entire religion. And, as your Asian overlord, I can tell you this because I am smarter than you are, according to you. Seriously. I did get hit with the bitch stick today (thanks for the phrase, debit) which makes me twice as unwilling to put up with your bullshit and spurious attacks on people who disagree with you.

  116. 116
    matoko_chan says:

    @asiangrrlMN: pardon, but you are confusing me with Brach and awsp.

    Brach: Aren’t you the one who argues that most Muslims would vote for sharia law? Are you suggesting that Muslims as a group have lower IQs than liberals?

    Brach is painting with a broad JAFI brush.

    awsp:And can we not posit that on this point “Islamic culture” is wrong?

    American culture is NOT superior to islamic culture, and especially not in situ. That is why the Bush Doctrine and COIN are both just recipes for expensive, bloody, failsauce.
    And when Iraqis got to vote, they voted shariah into their constitution.

    asiangrrl: You write like you are in your early twenties, full of conviction that you and only you know the answer to everything.

    Translation– get off our lawn.

  117. 117
    Whoever says:

    Wow.
    What a bunch of ego maniacal, self righteous, elitist jack wads.
    Go debate someone instead of cloistering here and jerking each other off.
    If this country was run by your type we’d still be an English colony, or speaking German, or every Jew on the planet would be dead.

    I tend to be pretty middle of the road, but if the shit were to hit the fan I would want a conservative type by my side.

    Only today’s society allows for limp-wrist-ed, share the wealth types like you. You are the only argument against Darwin’s theory I can think of.

    All the evil conservatives capitalists you are whimpering about have been the ones who built this country so you can lie back and wax on about how everyone should get some of their money.

    Hysterical.

    Take some of your holier than thou, amazing intellect and go open a few businesses and employ some people.

    I hope you are very successful.
    Then I hope a union shoulders it’s way in and takes all your profits.
    Then I hope the Fed raises your taxes so you have to cut back employees and salaries. Then you watch that money go to welfare and wasteful garbage via this bloated pig of a government we have.

    You liberals are SO much smarter, much higher IQ’s.

    Pfft.

    I will take an IQ test vs. any of you clowns any day.

    I won’t return here, so save your weakened wrists the typing of a retort.

    Ayn Rand was a brilliant writer and every passing day proves it.

    You geniuses prove it.

    Good Luck!!!

  118. 118
    Prospero says:

    @Whoever: And the living proof of everything said in the original post has arrived. Yay.

  119. 119

    @matoko_chan:

    Breitbart cannot be a shahid because his actions were unjust.

    He can be a sheehed, though. And he is.

  120. 120
    matoko_chan says:

    @Prospero: rough magic indeed.
    like i said, there is a ginormous wakeup call comeing down the pike for conservatives….actually two separate ones. the first one is the demographic timer. in 2020 non-hispanic cauc becomes an electoral minority. given that conservatives are nearly wholly homogeneously white older christians, and that 1/3 of non-hispanic caucs traditionally vote liberal (like balloonjuicers i guess), that means permanent defeat.
    That means Beck is lying when he says “we surround them”.
    Every year more minorities and youth are born, and age into voting, become irreligious–every year more more elderly white christians pass away or become too infirm to vote.
    Unless the right can begin to attract youth and minorities they will be mathematically dooomed to permanent defeat post 2020.
    Breitbart and company know this– that is why they are so furious about being tagged as racists. Racism has been deliberately memetically selected for over a half century– it is deeply ingrained in the party substrate and they cannot just switch it off, even now that they need to. The right made a full court press to suppress birtherism, which is oblique racism, with the semi-success of driving birthers into the closet….but the occasional erruptions of overt racism (like Mark Williams letter-to-lincoln and the teaparty signage) are impossible to supress.
    Eventually the demographic timer is going deliver a ginormous smackdown to the conservative base. And they will have to give up denialism and magical thinking. at first they will say liberals stole the election, that is what the ACORN sting tapes were all about.
    But the election is going to be a landslide….a forever landslide, once the demographic timer goes off.

  121. 121
    matoko_chan says:

    I will take an IQ test vs. any of you clowns any day.

    and this will be the other big problem for the conservative base. Altho they scorn intellectuals, scientists, academics and the elite, that does not mean they will cheerfully accept scientific proof of an IQ gap between liberals and conservatives. Again, 94% of scientists are not-republican and 70% of post-baccs vote democratic….and the curve goes up every year.
    It is intuitively obvious that the emergent body of research will eventually result in a measurable significant between-group difference between conservatives and liberals in IQ and g.
    Initially this will be received by many people like Dr. Murray’s hypoth(blacks) and Dr. Cochran’s hypoth(askenazai jews) on between-group differences based on racial or religious demes….with furious denial. But we can observe from our field test sample, Mr. Observer, the major intitial reaction will be anger.
    So……i personally wonder if there will be IQ riots, or if ppl will quietly change voter registration to appear smarter.
    I am a scifi head…i get scoffed at a lot, but I think scifi is the way we testdrive future paradigms in the present.
    I think a likely plausible scenario is secession and the formation of Jesusland, a la Richard Morgan’s Thirteen. It would be Dennis G.’s New Confederated States of America established in the american heartland.
    But another opportunity presents….perhaps either scenario I have limned could result in a population wakeup call. And that Americans could become an aware populace and not just a herd of cudlips and ‘slines controlled with cattle prods and haybales.
    i dunno.

  122. 122
    Mike says:

    I had a message board encounter with a right winger around 2006 who kept referring to (then presumptive 08 nominee) Hillary Clinton as “far left”. I asked him to list some of her “far left” positions, which of course turned out to be a mix of mainstream and center-right. When presented with that fact he replied “Well, I knew someone would eventually say that thing about how she’s not really far left, but it doesn’t matter, because she’s perceived that way.” One Goebbels citation later, he stopped responding.
    Then during the 2008 primary campaign, it became apparent as the Republican contestants seemed to be trying to outdo one another in bastanding behind preposterous, bald-faced lies, that the right wing considers this eagerness to spout absolute, transparent bullshit to be a primary qualification for their leadership. They hold hypocrisy in equally high regard.

  123. 123
  124. 124
    matoko_chan says:

    @Mike: they are fighting for memetic survival of their tribe. volume is the only weapon they have left…..the truth has deserted them.

  125. 125

    […] Matt Yglesias (via DougJ): At some point conservatives need to ask themselves about the larger meaning of this kind of conduct—and Andrew Breitbart’s—for their movement. Beyond the ethics of lying and smear one’s opponents, I would think conservatives would worry about the fact that a large portion of conservative media is dedicated to lying to conservatives. They regard their audience as marks to be misled and exploited, not as customers to be served with useful information. […]

  126. 126
    mclaren says:

    It goes much deeper than just conservatives wanting to be lied to.

    Americans as a whole love being lied to. Americans would much rather hear delightful lies than unpleasant truths, and the election of 1980 proved it.

    The bitter truth of “there is a malaise in America” lost out to the comforting lie of “morning in America.”

    If you had any doubt, the election of 2000 sealed the deal. And watch out for 2012: another smooth pleasing liar has arrived on the scene ready to regale us with sunny tales of the magnificence of America and the greatness of the American people.

  127. 127
    matoko_chan says:

    @mclaren: in 2000 GW won with 5 measley ec college votes, and lost the popular vote. he won on culture issues in a non-wartime relatively prosperous period. in 2004 he only got 35 ec vote majority. in wartime!
    Obama won 365 to 173…a difference of 192 ec college votes.
    It is mathematically impossible for Palin to win in 2012, to make up a difference of 192 ec votes.
    The demographics are not there.
    repubs are lying to their base right now.

  128. 128
    matoko_chan says:

    @asiangrrlMN: so what did you hear Brach say?
    I heard….voting for shariah is stupid so muslims are stupid and Islam is a stupid religion.
    what did you hear awsp say?
    I heard…..western culture is infinitely superior to islamic culture and those stupid muslims should stfu and let us colonize them.
    Can you read, old asian person?
    im not the one painting with a JAFI brush here.

  129. 129
    burnspbesq says:

    @Mike Furlan:

    Did you actually read that 2008 post before you linked to it? Or did you willfully ignore the part where Larison says that slavery is morally repugnant?

    The notion that the States have reserved the right to secede is probably incorrect as a matter of Constitutional interpretation, but it’s not batshit crazy.

    The notion that for some significant number of Confederate citizens, secession wasn’t primarily about preserving slavery but was rather primarily about sovereignty … well, who knows? It is true that as of 1860 only five percent of Southerners owned slaves. It may be true that many non-slave-owning southerners wanted to preserve the institution of slavery so that they might someday be able to own slaves (much as today, many people who have no chance of ever paying estate tax are among the most vociferous proponents of its repeal), but who knows? I think Larison has a blind spot on this subject, but having a blind spot is different from being an apologist for evil, which he clearly is not and never has been.

    If you choose to ignore all of the smart analysis and good writing that Larison has produced over time, because he has one blind spot, that’s your privilege, and I’m not going to try to convince you to do otherwise. But it’s your loss.

  130. 130
    Mike Furlan says:

    @burnspbesq:

    This is what I said:

    “Well the argument here is that the sane ones are the folks who don’t think the Civil War was about slavery.

    Eunomia is Daniel Larison who doesn’t believe that the Civil War was about slavery.

    He is a member of the racist hate group League of the South.

    He is one of the sane ones? ”

    This is all true, and nothing you have posted contradicts it.

    As you know he still links to the web site of The League of the South.

    Why would you want to defend a proud member of a racist hate group?

  131. 131
    AJ Hill says:

    We underestimate the gravity of the problem facing us, if we merely assert that the conservative base is deranged and likes being deceived. The problem facing us is far more pernicious than a mass psychosis.
    After Goldwater’s disastrous defeat in the sixties, the conservative power elite undertook a massive reassessment and reorganization. They recruited financial backers, set up think tanks, hired consultants, and groomed candidates. Those think tanks – the Federalist Society, the American Enterprise Institute, and others – did far more than train earnest young Republicans. With wads of cash and all the talent that money can buy, they spent the ensuing decades crafting an ideology whose basic purpose is to persuade a substantial segment of the American public to act against its own best interests.
    We’re all familiar with the public face of this ideology, having seen its manifestations on C-Span, Faux News, the internet, and even in the Tea Party movement. It’s bizarre and counterfactual and much of it seems to makes no sense; but we do ourselves a disservice by discounting it as mere stupidity. Modern conservative doctrine is a sophisticated political construct. We need to invest comparable money and talent to investigate how and why it works so well and to devise ways to combat it.

  132. 132
    AJ Hill says:

    117 – Whoever:
    The fury of this response shows how close to the mark we come in criticizing conservative intellectual failings.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Matt Yglesias (via DougJ): At some point conservatives need to ask themselves about the larger meaning of this kind of conduct—and Andrew Breitbart’s—for their movement. Beyond the ethics of lying and smear one’s opponents, I would think conservatives would worry about the fact that a large portion of conservative media is dedicated to lying to conservatives. They regard their audience as marks to be misled and exploited, not as customers to be served with useful information. […]

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