Paging Pauline Kael

When I was a Republican, I always felt like I had a feel for the political climate. Right now, though, I’m just baffled. For the life of me, I can not figure out why anyone would be voting for the GOP in the fall. But the Dems will probably get hammered, and it just strikes me as inexplicable.

On the other hand, a sick part of me wants the Republicans to win so our idiot nation, from the never happy poutrage left to the idiot independents to the wingnutty mouthbreathers, can get what they want, and get it hard.






226 replies
  1. 1
    QDC says:

    What keeps me up at night is the prospect that Republicans sweep in, the economy eventually does recover–as it will at some point–and we’re treated to two decades of “John Boehner is the new Reagan.”

  2. 2
    Lavocat says:

    Off topic, but hey.

    John, did you realize that West Virginians are the most medicated in the country. So says MSNBC.

    Too funny.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38.....forbescom/

  3. 3
    gordo says:

    “On the other hand, a sick part of me wants the Republicans to win so our idiot nation, from the never happy poutrage left to the idiot independents to the wingnutty mouthbreathers, can get what they want, and get it hard.”

    …somewhere Ralph Nader is giggling to himself.

  4. 4
    Allison W. says:

    Dear “Hippies”; You are not helping.

    Checking my e-mail, saw this story. Anti-war protester throws pie at Carl Levin.

    right wingers come with guns, the other side comes with dessert.

    http://www.optimum.net/News/AP.....Id=8442918

  5. 5
    tim says:

    “When I was a Republican…”

    Again, an excellent reminder of why your credibility must always be viewed with skepticism.

    Secondly, the Dems will likely be hammered this fall because the American people are a truly stupid lot. I mean, the dems are turncoats and corporatist hacks it’s true, but the republicans contain a whole other level of evil.

    After eight years of JC’s Bush and all the destruction wrought thereby, the fact that the republicans even have a chance to retake power tells us all we need to know about the average American voter: shit for brains.

  6. 6
    mr. whipple says:

    @Allison W.: Jeebus.

  7. 7
    beltane says:

    It is incredible that Americans will want to dunk their heads in the latrine once more, but maybe it’s not as bad when your head is empty.

  8. 8
    Gwiwer says:

    I have to admit, as I watch the news every night and the endless stream of ads being run by various right wing groups, a spiteful part of me wishes I could just vote straight Republican and then flee to some safe haven where I could watch from a distance as the U.S. falls to pieces. I really don’t understand what it will take to make people realize just how completely insane the American right has become. It’s very difficult to not succumb to some level of nihilism and hopelessness anymore.

  9. 9
    demo woman says:

    For me the last straw into melancholy has been the Cordoba House. At what price victory..The Bill of Rights …yeah let’s trash it..The Constitution..well Saudi doesn’t have that and common decency well we don’t believe in political correctness.. Yeah, I feel your pain.
    When the Democratic Party and The President won, all that was left of the Grand Old Party were splinters of wing nuts. The MSM appearing Fair and Balanced wanted to give them a voice and now it’s the only voice. I’m sick, sad, disillusioned and frustrated.

  10. 10
    Jonny Scrum-half says:

    I agree with your earlier post in which you labeled the Republicans’ positions as “lunacy.” Unfortunately, I’m afraid that the difficult economic times and the general ignorance of the population are combining to make such lunatic political positions into a serious movement.

    Independent of our economic difficulties (which will be substantial), I think our nation is headed for a world of trouble in the next 20 years.

  11. 11
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    I really think its the media’s fault for not really coming down hard on the Teatards and exposing all their gooey racist, xenophobic innards. The idea that the fucked up teatard movement represents some sort of legitimate political movement is one which our Village overlords just won’t let go of.

  12. 12
    kdaug says:

    Hell, most everything else that’s ever lived on the Earth – except the cockroaches – is extinct.

    Why not us?

  13. 13
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Allison W.:

    Sucking it up and voting for the Dems simply because the alternative is a bazillion times worse doesn’t mean we should stop criticizing and stfu.

  14. 14
    Emma says:

    We had eight years of crazy and it didn’t teach anyone a darn thing, apparently. I’m not terribly sold on the idea that eight more years of even worse crazy would educate anyone about anything.

  15. 15
    DougJ says:

    I love love love Pauline Kael. The greatest movie critic ever.

  16. 16
    jl says:

    Dear Mr. Cole,

    It has come to my attention that you recently published the following statement on your blog, Balloon Juice:

    “the Dems will probably get hammered, and it just strikes me as inexplicable.”

    If the Dems get hammered (as you vulgarly phrase it) it will because the economy ‘sucks’, and Obama and the Democrats seem neither overly concerned about, nor are offering politically attractive proposals for ameliorating, the human consequences of the economy ‘sucking.’

    If the economy increasingly ‘sucks’ as the election approaches, the probability of getting hammered, and the probably severity of that hammering will increase.

    Hope that helps clear up any confusion you may have.

    Yr obediant servant and etc,
    jl

    PS. When you have time in the near future, perhaps posting a TunchPic will make you feel better about the whole mess.

  17. 17
    Zipperupus says:

    I don’t see the bloodbath. I see modest GOP gains, but not much more. They seem intent in creating split contests that are letting Dems have an unexpected boost. The Rupert Mudoch clown car seems dead set on driving off the cliff.

    My experience in going door to door for Filner, Boxer, and Brown is that the Dems are keen to vote for their sane, governance-oriented politicians. The key phrase that resonates with them is “we want government by leaders, not CEOs.” There is a core group of voters that are turned off by the partisan warfighting and want sanity. Not centrism, but sanity. And I expect them to turn the tide.

    And I personally think more of us need to set aside our ego and fee fees and empower our representatives on all levels with positive volunteering and activism.

  18. 18
    jl says:

    @Zipperupus: I hope you are right. I am going to scrape together time to do some GOTV for CA election, no matter how things look.

  19. 19
    Chris Gerrib says:

    I think your confusion is due to not knowing what the public will respond to. Those of us who are paying attention to politics keep expecting the old Republican fear-mongering to work. It didn’t in 2008. Now was that a fluke or a sign of change?

    The problem is that at least half the electorate just isn’t paying much attention. They don’t vote in primaries, and right now they are debating baseball and barbeque grilling techniques, not politics. Until after Labor Day, when the election starts to loom, we have no idea what’s really going to happen, so we don’t know yet if 2008 was a fluke or a significant change.

  20. 20
    Tsulagi says:

    all we need to know about the average American voter: shit for brains.

    There ya go. They gave the Dems huge majorities in Congress and the White House. WTF were they thinking?

  21. 21
    Alice Blue says:

    I think it was Mencken who said “Never underestimate the stupidity of the American people” or something like that. Maybe it was Twain.

    I already know how the governor’s race in Georgia is going to turn out. Roy Barnes could very well get the most votes–but the presence of the Libertarian candidate (they usually get 2%-3% of the vote) will prevent him getting the required 50% plus one. There will be a runoff between Barnes and Nathan Deal, and because Democratic constituencies in this state do not show up for runoffs, Deal will win. It’s all depressingly familiar.

  22. 22
    Violet says:

    @QDC:

    What keeps me up at night is the prospect that Republicans sweep in, the economy eventually does recover—as it will at some point—and we’re treated to two decades of “John Boehner is the new Reagan.”

    I worry about something like this happening too. Obama and the Dems are doing the right things, more or less, to get the economy out of the abyss. Yet they’re blamed for everything being awful.

    The Dems aren’t helping, though. They let the Republicans define everything on their terms, then spend all sorts of time trying to fight whatever the latest outrage is.

    If the Dems would grow some balls and call the the Republicans on their crap, I think they’d see their poll numbers increase. People would like to feel their politicians are working for them. Seeing them slither all over the place trying not to get caught saying anything controversial makes them look like the wimps they are.

    There’s a reason Alan Grayson is leading in the Republican primary, even though he’s a Democrat. And it’s not because he’s timid and worried about the GOP’s fee-fees.

  23. 23
    DougJ says:

    I started to feel the same way around 2004. Before that, “I got it”, the way my Archie Bunker like relatives voted, that’s how things were going down.

    When they didn’t vote for Bush in 2004, I felt a little perplexed. When, by late 2005, their criticisms of Bush were more shrill than mine, I became perplexed.

    Something changed at some point and I no longer have any idea how Real Murkins feel about things.

  24. 24
    Nick says:

    If the Dems get hammered (as you vulgarly phrase it) it will because the economy ‘sucks’, and Obama and the Democrats seem neither overly concerned about, nor are offering politically attractive proposals for ameliorating, the human consequences of the economy ‘sucking.’

    you know why this is? Because the media is too busy inventing nontroversy to let him talk for five fucking minutes about the economy. He mentioned the economy today, talked it about twice, did you hear about it?

    Nope.

    It’s so fucking easy for the media to ignore the President every time he talks about the economy and then go back and be like “hmm, he doesn’t seem to care” because they never showed when he did care. they did that with the oil spill.

    CNN called Michelle Obama the “modern Marie Antoinette” today.

    On top of that, they never call out the GOP obstruction, they present it as loyal opposition.

    THE MEDIA is to blame.

  25. 25
    BombIranForChrist says:

    It would be wrong to say that our country is in decline, like the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire had a good long run. We are barely keeping up with the Carthaginians. Because of this, I’m moving to China, where I will scare the school children with my pasty white lummox skin. That’ll teach ’em. That’ll teach ’em all.

  26. 26
    kdaug says:

    @tim:

    EVERYONE’s credibility is suspect. That’s the way this thing called “world” works. (See: critical thinking.)

  27. 27
    beltane says:

    @demo woman: I understand how you feel. The Cordoba House hate-fest was the last straw for me, too. Americans have not had to suffer through the same kind of wars and misery everyone on the planet except the Canadians have, and yet the average RealAmerican walks around with a great big chip on his shoulder. They’d give up their Social Security, their health care and their children’s future just for the opportunity to go on a little hatin’ spree.

    Being stupid is one thing, and being vicious is something else, but being stupid and vicious at the same time is intolerable. I’m sorry my kids will be stuck on these assholes’ sinking ship, otherwise I’d see the dark humor of it all.

  28. 28
    neill says:

    Slim Pickens Nation

    Yeeehaw!

  29. 29
    kwAwk says:

    I still think it has a lot to do with the media really. Rush Limbaugh seems to make a lot of sense if you don’t put any effort into thinking about it and don’t expose yourself to other news sources.

    And there has been an over bearing media narrative for almost two years talking about how Republicans were destined to win this election.

    It hasn’t helped that the President has spent the last two years pretending that what America really needed was more Republican involvement in the governing process. Kinda hard to make the case to the American people that Republican ideas are bad, if you’re constantly asking the Republicans to insert their ideas into legislation.

    We’re not living the Democratic brand, we’re living the Obama brand.

    I know how you guys love it when I talk about Obama.

  30. 30
    gnomedad says:

    @Allison W.:

    right wingers come with guns, the other side comes with dessert

    You can take my pie when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

  31. 31
    patrick II says:

    For a long time I did not understand how republicans could do so well either, but I have come to understand that appeals to fear, greed, irrationality and racism have a deeper resonance with the American character than I had ever imagined. Bill Clinton once said that “There is nothing wrong in America that can’t be fixed with what is right in America.” and while that is true, it is also true that there is nothing right with America that cannot be perverted by what is wrong with America. And the well-funded appeal to what is the worst in us works because those worst parts are larger than we will admit.

  32. 32
    MikeJ says:

    @gnomedad: They could have used a bombe.

  33. 33
    Davis X. Machina says:

    At times like this, one turns to the classics, to wit bigot, anti-semite, misogynist, and all-around genius H.L. Mencken:

    “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it — good and hard.”

  34. 34
    SIA says:

    @Alice Blue: Don’t you think Deal will lose at least some votes as his ethics issues are raised? (Not that I really think the insane right gives a damn about ethics, but it might keep some people home).

  35. 35
    apocalipstick says:

    It saddens me when people with whom I share goals act as if the best way for those goals to be accomplished is for Obama to turn into a left-wing version of Bush, ruling via signing statement and illegal power grab. The president has (I believe) tried to force the House and Senate to actually do their jobs and legislate. That’s the only way real, permanent change will be enshrined, but our legislative branch is so craven and downright stupid that I fear this approach, correct though it may be, is doomed. Add to that a certain element of progressives who are impatient with the long game and who think fairy dust and unicorns are right there if Obama would just clap harder. If that combination (craven stupidity and the insistence that only the perfect is good enough, and even the perfect must be delivered right now, dammit!) indeed dooms the Obama presidency, then we do deserve it, good and hard.

  36. 36
    Sandmann says:

    There are many days I have the exact same sentiments, and with the internet available to most people, there is no excuse for ignorance anymore.

    IMO, evolution of thought is the only solution.

  37. 37
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chris Gerrib:

    I think your confusion is due to not knowing what the public will respond to. Those of us who are paying attention to politics keep expecting the old Republican fear-mongering to work. It didn’t in 2008. Now was that a fluke or a sign of change?

    It didn’t work in 2006, either. Remember, in 2006, the media drumbeat was that the Republicans were not only going to maintain their control of Congress, they were going to extend their majority. Instead, they lost control of both houses of Congress and the media was absolutely dumbstruck.

    They think that 2006 and 2008 were flukes and people are going to come running back into the arms of the Daddy Republicans. Call me a foolish optimist, but Nah. Gah. Happen.

  38. 38
    danimal says:

    Please don’t throw in the towel, Cole. The GOP always plays a confidence game and make Republican rule seem inevitable at this point in the cycle. But they’re fielding a really weak team and are much more divided than they appear. The Dems will get it together enough to stave off massive losses, though it appears likely that the GOP will make some gains. The media has been playing things cute, but the GOP dominance of the media narrative can turn on a dime (and will, I predict). Keep the faith, we haven’t even reached halftime.

  39. 39
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    Right now, though, I’m just baffled. For the life of me, I can not figure out why anyone would be voting for the GOP in the fall.

    Remember 2008? I know it’s been a long time but try to concentrate. Remember how completely and utterly they had destroyed the country by November of that year? They got 42-46% of the national vote anyway.

    One more time.

    In 2008, after completely destroying the economy and the country’s international credibility, they got 42-46% of the national vote anyway.

    That’s the baseline they’re working from. Maybe what you should be hoping for is not that Obama will change his name to Biff Whiteguy, or that Harry Reid will finally grow a fucking spine, or that the media stops flogging nontroversies like the “Ground Zero Mosque”, but that another Ross Perot starts splitting the vote, because those other things ain’t gonna happen. God bless the UUUUUUUUU-SSSSSSSS-AAAAAAAAA…………

  40. 40
    JGabriel says:

    Violet:

    If the Dems would grow some balls and call the Republicans on their crap, I think they’d see their poll numbers increase.

    That requires believing that the electorate is both intelligent and capable of good judgement.

    Sadly, you can’t entirely blame the Dems for worrying that the evidence might point in a different direction.

    .

  41. 41
    Jody says:

    The batshit right will never be satisfied.

    As the country circles the drain they will blame any and all problems on traitorous libs in their midst.

    They could control all the levers of power and they will still insist the problems are because of hidden libs secretly bringing it all down from within. Or just insist the policies and people they supported not five minutes ago were actually liberal all along and they never really supported them anyway so shut up.

  42. 42
    Violet says:

    @Nick:

    Because the media is too busy inventing nontroversy to let him talk for five fucking minutes about the economy. He mentioned the economy today, talked it about twice, did you hear about it?

    Yes. I turned on the TV to catch the weather on my local news and it was still on when network evening news began. The headline story was Obama visiting a plant in Wisconsin (?) that is hiring and how jobs have been added for seven straight months. Or something along those lines. I wasn’t paying much attention, really, but it was the very top story.

  43. 43
    beltane says:

    @DougJ: The only things Real Murkins feel is hate. The are a sad, servile group of people who would rather this country go down in flames than fall into the hands of people they hate. Salt of the earth or scum of the earth-take your pick.

  44. 44
    DougJ says:

    @apocalipstick:

    I really like your handle. It puts me in mind of both “Liptstick Vogue” and “Apocalypse Now”.

  45. 45
    jaywillie says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: That’s because the media covers politics like it’s professional wrestling. They don’t have any interest in telling the truth or getting to the bottom of an issue. They’re role is just like that of the ringside announcers in a WWE match – stoke the freakish soap opera to generate ratings.

  46. 46
    Gretchen D says:

    @Zipperupus: I’m really pulling for you to be right. Here in Colorado, we have 2 insane Repubs – Maes of the communist bicycle fears and Tom Tancrazy – and I’m thinking we should elect our pretty darned good moderate Dem, Hickenlooper. The letters to the editor are crazed, however, so it’s hard to tell really how the winds are blowing.

  47. 47
    Lurker says:

    @John Cole – Saturday night I attended a party. I struck up a conversation with a fifty-something gentleman, and without any prompting on my part he started bashing the Obama administration. In response, I said that I was grateful for this administration, and he moved quickly to correct my clear misunderstanding of this country’s situation.

    Without pausing for breath, he spouted several right-wing talking points that I have seen Balloon-Juice valiantly debunk in this past year. Outraged, he asked me if I knew Obama was allowing a mosque to be built on “hallowed ground.” He ranted against the evils of socialized medicine. He blamed President Obama and the Democrats for the state of the economy. He insisted that the Democrats held all the power, without considering the situation of 41 Republicans in the Senate. However, he grinned, all was not lost. This was a center-right nation, he claimed, and the excesses of unchecked liberalism would be corrected in the mid-term elections this year.

    He would not listen to anything I had to say, but he kept trying different talking points on me, perhaps hoping that one of them might stick. I had read posts debunking them here, though, so they didn’t make a dent in my facial expression.

    I asked him where he got his information. Fox News? Glenn Beck? He insisted that he got his information from many sources, including BBC News. He said that Americans could not trust the left-wing crap that comes out of the liberal American news media, like MSNBC and CNN. He asked me where I got my information, and I replied: “Ezra Klein.” This gave him pause. He had never heard of Ezra Klein.

    Later in the evening he emphasized to everyone how Obama heavily relied on a teleprompter.

    Still later on in the evening he booted up his iPhone. A Fox News RSS feed pushed itself to the front and beeped. So, he gets some of his information from Fox.

    I hope this anecdote helps explain why some people are voting GOP this November.

  48. 48
    yankeedevil says:

    @ Alice Blue, I think the (most likely apocryphal) quote was
    “Nobody ever lost a dollar betting on the stupidity of the American public.” And it was Barnum.

    Also, too: I think that the Dems maintain their majorities in both houses, albeit with nothing like the margins that they had. This is the strangest cycle I’ve seen in a long while. I’m not Nate Silver, but the polling is increasingly head-scrambling. (except for Rasmussen, they’re pretty ****ing predictable.)

  49. 49
    jl says:

    I don’t think the US public is naturally stupid. I think much of it is suspicious, fearful, angry and confused, not in a mood to make thoughtful decisions. Snark aside, I am apprehensive about what the next election will bring. Specifically, how much damage one Republican run branch of Congress and a party of compromised, rudderless, and ineffectual Democrats can do the country.

  50. 50
    Zipperupus says:

    Kwawk:

    Obama was elected as a postpartisan. A postpartisan with a solid but not overwhelming majority. The whole point was that Obama was going to lead with a different ideology, because the neocon ideology has failed. While changing the ideology to one that emphasized diplomacy and reform, the other party was welcome to the table in good faith.

    I actually found that inspiring and necessary. Why necessary? Because there needed to be some crossover votes for every agenda item.

    It’s so freaking easy to chuck bon mot spitballs from the rafters of high-mindedness, but quite difficult to actually perform the business of leading and managing.

  51. 51
    beltane says:

    @danimal: I am excited about our upcoming governor’s race as is everyone else I know (still have decided to vote for in the primary), but it is still disheartening to see signs for the Republican in the garbage-strewn yards of a lot of the trailers. It’s too bad these people will never realize that their only real enemy is the face that greets them in the mirror when they go to brush their teeth.

  52. 52
    kwAwk says:

    @apocalipstick:

    Hmmm….. And I kind of wish that Obama would have come out and said all of this two years ago. That he didn’t want to be the leader of the free world, he wanted to force the congress to legislate and he would sign what they offered.

    I’ll state it again. Its pretty hard to make the case that democratic principles are better than republican principles when the President, a democrat if you’ve forgot, wants to be the representative of both sides.

  53. 53
    Alice Blue says:

    @SIA: Maybe. But I can’t help but think that some Repubs who can’t bring themselves to vote for Deal will vote for the Libertarian (I can’t remember his name). My outlook is probably influenced by the fact that I live in Meriwether County and they loves them some Nathan Deal over here.

  54. 54
    Violet says:

    @JGabriel:

    That requires believing that the electorate is both intelligent and capable of good judgement.

    No, actually, I think it points to the opposite. A lot of the electorate votes on feel, imho. Policies are secondary. And they really want to feel like their elected officials are working for them. That’s why Grayson is doing to well in the Republican primary. Because he makes it very clear over and over again that he’s working for his constituents. And he’s not afraid to call a spade a spade. It’s refreshing and people are responding.

    If the Dems would use straightforward language like, “The Republicans are lying to the American people” or “Republicans want you to die if you get sick” or “The only people Republicans want to have a tax cut are their rich, fat cat buddies” it would resonate with the average person. It would put Republicans on the back foot and in the unfamiliar position of having to respond to a Democratic-defined issue. Win all the way around.

  55. 55
    ColeFan says:

    When I was a Republican, I always felt like I had a feel for the political climate. Right now, though, I’m just baffled.

    You were an idiot then, and you’re an idiot still. Does that help?

  56. 56
    Allison W. says:

    Maybe its the eternal optimist in me but why are we choosing to accept what pollsters and media folk tell us? I know, some of these guys are very smart and they’ve got the numbers, etc. etc. but my attitude is “okay, then I better step up and hit back fast and hard until the last vote is counted.

    I don’t give a damn who said what when. ALL Democrats(from liberal to conservative) have a lot at stake this Fall. Ya’ll need to suck it up, get a strategy together and pick off the extremists one by one. if Liberals don’t want to fight for establishment Dems then you can spend the next 2 months solelyattacking Republicans and going after corporations that are hiding behind Citizens United. I know it might cost some television appearances, but the American people come first, right? Conservadems – if you must pretend to be deficit hawks, tag the Republicans as being deficit frauds – pretty easy task. And the Obamabot Centrists (XOXO) can push the accomplishments that Dems have achieved in the past 20 months.

    If you gonna go down, you might as well go down with a fight AND a strategy.

  57. 57
    Nick says:

    @Violet:

    The headline story was Obama visiting a plant in Wisconsin (?) that is hiring and how jobs have been added for seven straight months. Or something along those lines. I wasn’t paying much attention, really, but it was the very top story.

    What I saw was “Obama in Wisconsin to visit plant that’s hiring BUT HE IS GETTING BLASTED FOR THOSE MOSQUE COMMENTS OVER THE WEEKEND”

  58. 58
    soonergrunt says:

    Between the time I started to type the following in the puppy thread, and the time I hit the submit button, John created this thread and it got 50 responses. Or I’m just fucking slow, which is more likely. I’m only reposting here so that everybody knows. And for the record, I’m deeply touched that you all care so much. If you knew me in real life…well, thank God for the Internet because I can be, as my wife will tell me, a hard man to know.
    Without further ado:

    Hi, all.
    I spoke to an Anesthesiologist at OU Medical Center today. From what he and the Thoracic surgeon We are tentatively scheduled for surgery on Wednesday, the 8th of September. It will be a “cardiopulmonary bypass” which means that the heart and lungs will be bypassed and a machine will pump and oxygenate my blood. I’ll be in surgery for between four and five hours, but will be pretty much out of it for the whole day. Probably not released from the hospital until the weekend.
    If it weren’t for the recent pneumonia, we’d go earlier, like next week, but I still get weak and tire easily.
    On a personal note, I wonder if anyone else has ever dealt with something like this and noticed how all the doctors all seem to hedge what they’re saying, “it seems to be” and “appears that” and so on. It’s like they’re spooked about either spooking me (that train left the station long ago) or they’re spooked about me suing them.
    Also, what is it with anesthesia? Like five minutes of different things that could go wrong and either kill me or leave me drooling on the lazy boy for 30 years. I’m almost more scared of the surgery now than just leaving the damn thing in.

  59. 59
    SIA says:

    @danimal: Everything you wrote. Needed that. So easy to get dispirited in the face of the GOP utter confidence and bullying.

    ETA @soonergrunt – what is the diagnosis? Or is that exploratory surgery? I am so glad you commented, I have been thinking about it but unable to access the blog till this evening.

  60. 60
    Allison W. says:

    Jon Stewart or Daily Show writers have fallen for the “walk back” nonsense.

  61. 61
    Nick says:

    @Violet:

    “The Republicans are lying to the American people” or “Republicans want you to die if you get sick” or “The only people Republicans want to have a tax cut are their rich, fat cat buddies” it would resonate with the average person.

    they’ve been relentlessly saying this, but it hasn’t been resonating because the media won’t let it get out on a regular basis.

    I actually agree that if the Democrats were able to attack Republicans this way, they’d win, but that will never happen with the media we have.

  62. 62
    Nick says:

    @kwAwk:

    I kind of wish that Obama would have come out and said all of this two years ago. That he didn’t want to be the leader of the free world, he wanted to force the congress to legislate and he would sign what they offered.

    he made it pretty clear that was intention. I kind of wish you had paid better attention

  63. 63
    mr. whipple says:

    @Allison W.:

    If you gonna go down, you might as well go down with a fight AND a strategy.

    Amen.

  64. 64
    soonergrunt says:

    @SIA: One thing to remember about the GOP–no matter what happens, they act like they not only expected it, but were planning on it.
    Think of the totally tone-deaf way they handled Mark Foley and Larry Craig. The whole time it was like “we meant for that to happen. Hell, Larry’s taking one for the team so we can show everybody just how we treat gays in our own midst!”

  65. 65
    General Stuck says:

    I can not figure out why anyone would be voting for the GOP in the fall. But the Dems will probably get hammered, and it just strikes me as inexplicable.

    Reagan won by one of the largest landslides in history in 1980 and got his clocked cleaned by the dems in 82 and a lot of wingers were asking themselves the same question. It is a strange paradox that occurs in such elections, the first mid term of a new president. Where the more he gets his agenda enacted, the greater the energy of the opposition to come out and vote the next election. There are other factors as well, and Reagan still was sheparding a struggling economy like Obama, but by and large, historically, the phenom I stated above has held true.

  66. 66
    bootsy says:

    @beltane: “You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.”

    But always remember they are being manipulated by banks, defense contractors, and the rest of the financial-military-industrial complex.

  67. 67
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Allison W.: The Daily Show suffers occasionally from the mirror-image vice of its considerable virtue, namely the whole “Politics is a shuck, and we alone are hip enough to see through that facade” pose that Stewart will default to. Something like the Obama ‘walk-back’ fits into that framework — ‘Politicians say one thing, then say another — shallow frauds the lot’. Front-and-center it goes.

    He — or his staff — does get lazy from time to time.

    Colbert — whom I can’t watch, his character is so good — realizes this is deadly serious business.

  68. 68
    gex says:

    @Sandmann: That’s the goal. Unfortunately the wingnut base believes in intelligent design. And their ideas have been intelligently designed by right wing think tanks, religious freaks, and warmongers.

  69. 69
    SIA says:

    @soonergrunt:

    One thing to remember about the GOP—no matter what happens, they act like they not only expected it, but were planning on it.

    Yeah I think that’s right. When someone has a soul that is capable of existing long term in cartoon land, it’s not hard to drum up the bravado.

    I’m pretty sure I’ll end my days in a different country.

  70. 70
    P.D. Obvious, Esq. says:

    The mouth-breathers NEVER pay the price for Republican rule. Between agricultural subsidies, federal highways, cheap gas, SSI, and the military-industrial complex, they are always spared the natural consquences of their social worth.

  71. 71
    Nick says:

    @Violet:

    And they really want to feel like their elected officials are working for them.

    What do they consider “working for them”

    for many people, that means deport illegals, oppress muslims and cut everybody’s taxes while forcing welfare mothers on the street and keeping government out of Medicare.

  72. 72
    Allison W. says:

    One more. Please refrain from calling the American people stupid (at least not all the time). Most of them are uninformed and can be persuaded when presented with the facts. Yes, I remember that article, but keep in mind that sometimes people are not committed to the opinions they give in polls and that poll questions are sometimes worded to get a specific response. It was only two years ago that I used to roll my eyes at people who ranted about the corporate media. Now I know.

  73. 73
    mclaren says:

    Whenever a group of people says “The American people are idiots” or “The American people are stupid,” we need to start giving ’em tests to make sure they don’t belong on the short bus.

    If the American people are all idiots, what are the chances that you people are magically exempt?

  74. 74
    demo woman says:

    @soonergrunt: If you really feel that way get a second opinion out of state. I think you will be fine but if you need to reassure yourself ask friends if they know anyone. When my son got yucky results for a cyst I was fortunate to find someone that could look at the results and he gave a different scenario. That held us together until the surgery. Anesthesia is normally not that big of a deal.. I can remember decades ago, they were the first sued but I’m not sure that is true today.

  75. 75
    Nick says:

    @Allison W.:

    Most of them are uninformed and can be persuaded when presented with the facts.

    No, no they cant

  76. 76
    Brachiator says:

    Right now, though, I’m just baffled. For the life of me, I can not figure out why anyone would be voting for the GOP in the fall.

    Because even though the Democrats have done a better job than some give them credit for, they have not magically rescued the economy.

    And so, the GOP invites people to vote their discontent and fears, and many will take them up on the offer.

    It’s still the economy, stupid, as James Carville once said, and even though some of the steps the Democrats took may pay off in the long run, in the short term they have done little to rescue the economy.

    The American people are impatient. They are not stupid, but they often disdain subtlety. They often demand short answers to complex questions, even when this is unrealistic.

    And the Republicans offer the most unrealistic, but simplest and most easily comprehended alternative. Tax cuts for everybody. Especially the rich.

    The tea bagger and GOP appeal to bigotry is noxious, but is not a priority for many people who have lost jobs or who fear losing their job.

    And yes, there is a surprisingly substantial core of white Americans who would rather drown than allow themselves to be rescued by a black man.

    And yet, despite this, even if the Democrats lose some seats in the Congress in November, they are still in charge. Despite all the attempts to derail Bill Clinton, he was able to push on.

    I expect no less of Obama.

  77. 77
    Violet says:

    @soonergrunt:
    So glad to hear that the diagnosis wasn’t as bad as it could be and now that you’ve got a plan going forward. To answer your question, in my dealings with doctors I’ve found they most often hedge, especially with more complicated issues. Your surgery is involved and they won’t be absolutely sure about everything they’re dealing with until they’re in there, so you’ll get the hedging vocal stylings. A lot of that is lawsuit avoidance, but also they don’t want to tell you something is for sure and then it turns out that a test or surgery shows something different.

    Wishing you all the best as you get over the pneumonia and prepare for surgery. Sending healing thoughts.

    @Nick:
    I disagree. The Democrats have intimated such things, but very few of them say them in a straightforward manner. I remember when Grayson did say, “Republicans want you to die” or words to that effect. A friend of mine was across the room when I played the video, and stood up and clapped at the end. People are thirsting for politicians who will call it like it is. Democrats could fill that void.

  78. 78
    soonergrunt says:

    @mclaren: Quite often, you post incredibly stupid, poorly sourced, offensive shit.

    If the American people are all idiots, what are the chances that you people are magically exempt?

    But I’ll give you props for that, because it is spot-on.

  79. 79
    Allison W. says:

    @kwAwk:

    Hmmm….. And I kind of wish that Obama would have come out and said all of this two years ago. That he didn’t want to be the leader of the free world, he wanted to force the congress to legislate and he would sign what they offered.

    KwAwk, he has done that and got slammed for it. Dude pay attention.

  80. 80
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Allison W.:

    Most of them are uninformed and can be persuaded when presented with the facts.

    In this fallen world, the facts, and a quarter, will buy you a cup of coffee.

    People embraced, embrace, will embrace, malevolent and irrational politics because in the aggregate, they are irrational and malevolent. Any politics not predicated on the fact that people in the aggregate are shits is doomed to disappoint.

    The game is rigged, someone got to the refs, and the forces of darkness always have the home court advantage.

    Not that that’s an excuse not to try. It a reason to expect not to succeed very often, or for very long.

  81. 81
    Nick says:

    @Violet:

    I remember when Grayson did say, “Republicans want you to die” or words to that effect. A friend of mine was across the room when I played the video, and stood up and clapped at the end. People are thirsting for politicians who will call it like it is. Democrats could fill that void.

    Yes, I remember that too, and I remember my friends rolling their eyes

    I also remember Anthony Weiner’s rant a couple of weeks ago that ended in my coworkers wanting both parties out of power, because everyone just keeps yelling at each other.

    Some people like that type of thing, those who want to win rhetorical battles, for whom legislative ones aren’t important, but most people don’t. They want action, they want stuff done, not yelling. A Democratic Congress that accomplishes nothing, but yells at Republicans a lot isn’t going to be any more popular.

  82. 82
    mai naem says:

    I am a left wing website newsjunkie(i.e I avoid Fox and all other obviously rightwing websites but will read newspapers) so I generally don’t trust my own feelings on how things are. I do,however, run across non-news junkies at my job. IMHO, people have lost patience with Obama because the economy sucks and while they don’t blame him for being the cause of the sheety economy, they blame him for not making it better. And blaming it on Bush ain’t cutting it. For me, Obama is a disappointment but miles ahead of the alternative. Also too, I am on a multiyear plan to move the f#$k out of here because all I see is the development of a banana republic.

  83. 83
    Alice Blue says:

    @soonergrunt: I’ve never had anything close to the type of surgery you are having, but I had a simple procedure done in which I was not totally unconscious–I was put into a “twilight sleep.” Beforehand the anesthesiologist informed me of dozens of ways something might go wrong. I think they just have to legally cover themselves, even though the chances of any of those things happening are next to zero. Your anesthesiologist will be in the operating room the whole time with you, and in the recovery room too.

  84. 84
    demo woman says:

    @Alice Blue: hahahahaha…Sorry but I live in Roswell and they will vote for Deal even though they loved Karen. The repubs are fickle folks, they are for family values, except when they are not, they are for ethics, except. You get the point. Barnes has to turn out Fulton County big time and I doubt that he can do that by running republican light.

  85. 85
    Allison W. says:

    @Nick:

    yes, yes they can. look, I’d rather spend time convincing those who are open than let the entire ship sink to teach them a lesson.

  86. 86
    beltane says:

    Made the mistake of reading Douthat’s infamous column because I just had to see the trainwreck for myself. His version of America is not a place I’d want to live in; I’d be out of place. Are we certain that Douthat was not cloned from one of Peggy Noonan’s nostril hairs?

  87. 87
    General Stuck says:

    @soonergrunt:

    I wonder if anyone else has ever dealt with something like this and noticed how all the doctors all seem to hedge what they’re saying,

    Twelve years ago, I had my big cancer scare. It was from massive inflammation in my lower urinary tract, that several antibiotic trials did not effect. So I had multiple biopsies done in one surgery to see if it was a malignancy. The doctor tried to be ho hum about it all, and wouldn’t answer specific “what if” questions and would just say “why don’t we wait for the results”.

    It was a full week at the Biloxi VA before the day I took the long walk to the appointment to await my fate. Weak and wobbly knees, that were not helped by a foley catheter and piss bag tied to my foot.

    When he said it was not cancer, it was like a thousand jolts of electric that hit me, and I almost collapsed from relief.

    There is a national cemetary there on the grounds of that VA hospital, and the previous week, I wondered around it, thinking what would be a good spot for my coming dirt bed. Maybe under that Live Oak, or that Magnolia Tree where it was cooler.

    And after the doc gave me my reprieve, he told me he didn’t want to tell me earlier, but if it had been malignant, we would have had to remove everything. I asked what he meant, and he repeated everything with a long look. I said the fuck you would and left.

    Later, they started some anti inflammatories and finally an anti biotic that worked.

    Good luck sooner, I will say a little something to earth mother for you.

  88. 88
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @soonergrunt: Don’t worry about the equivocal language; the docs are just covering their bases on the remote chance that they are wrong. Lawyers, accountants, and auto mechanics do it too.

    As for the rest, best of luck, take care of yourself leading up to the big event, and stay cheerful.

  89. 89
    Stillwater says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: I really think its the media’s fault…

    Are you saying some people are too stooopid to think for themselves?

  90. 90
    Allison W. says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Well I guess if no one on the ground is willing to try then the calls for Obama to use the bully pulpit should stop – now.

    I hope my tone doesn’t come off as harsh, by the way.

  91. 91
    kwAwk says:

    @Nick:

    lmao Well, I’m beginning to wish I’d voted for McCain. Hell, we got his healthcare plan anyways, so why not.

  92. 92
    jl says:

    @apocalipstick:

    Presidential clapping harder may not bring perfect policies immediately (in fact, nothing will bring perfect policies ever), but the president does need to find a way to convince most people that he is fighting hard for their interests. I do not think Obama’s approach is very good at doing this basic task of leading the party in control of the WH and Congress.

    As for the long game, the average household that has lost income, and is unsure about keeping their home, and getting food on the table. tends to think like Keynes: ‘in the long run we are all dead’.

    I don’t think this society deserves what a GOP sweep of Congress would have in store. I do not care how stupid some people say the US public is supposed to be, or how self righteous and attitudinal some lefties have been.

  93. 93
    demo woman says:

    Deep thought is Kwawk Tunch. From everything John has said about Tunch, it does sound like him.

  94. 94
    Violet says:

    @Nick:
    But Democratic Congress that is accomplishing things, and then finding a way to let the American people know (they’ve totally sucked at that part) will work better than just accomplishing things and having an incredibly muddled message, which is what they’ve had.

    The media loves a fight because they’re all about ratings. We’ve figured that out, the Republicans have too, why haven’t the Dems? You can’t change the media and their incompetence. But you can work with the system you’ve got, while other ways of getting the message out are being developed. Social media, blogs, etc. fill some of the void, but the MSM is still the main conduit for a lot of people who actually vote. So the Dems should figure out how to use it better. And they suck at it. The Republicans define every issue (“death panels,” “Ground Zero Mosque”) and the Dems then start the discussion on Republican terms.

    The media is complicit, but it’s not like they’re doing anything differently than they’ve done for years. But the Dems couldn’t sell ice water in hell they’re so bad at messaging.

  95. 95
    Hal says:

    But the Dems will probably get hammered

    All I got is; meh. I’m over it.

  96. 96
    Nick says:

    @kwAwk:

    Well, I’m beginning to wish I’d voted for McCain. Hell, we got his healthcare plan anyways, so why not.

    Well I’m sorry you didn’t.

  97. 97
    demo woman says:

    @jl: How would Chris Matthews report the landing on the Mission Accomplished ship if President Obama were in office. It’s not just emotion, it’s how that emotion is reported. There was a conscience attack on taking down the President by MSM and they are doing it. Look at what Cnn had on today
    To some she is a self-made woman and a global superstar.To critics she’s an “angry black woman” ashamed of her country.Now she’s been called a modern-day Marie Antoinette.

  98. 98
    kwAwk says:

    @demo woman:

    I wouldn’t go there. Tunch is a beloved figure around here. Me? Not so much.

    My commands of ‘Obey’ don’t carry near the weight from what I can tell.

  99. 99
    Nick says:

    @Violet:

    Democratic Congress that is accomplishing things, and then finding a way to let the American people know (they’ve totally sucked at that part)

    This is not possible. When are we going to understand this is not possible?

    We cannot accomplish something without compromising and sausage-making and compromising and sausage-making makes it harder to let the American people to understand what we’re doing.

  100. 100
    Allison W. says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    Sucking it up and voting for the Dems simply because the alternative is a bazillion times worse doesn’t mean we should stop criticizing and stfu.

    Yep. that’s exactly what I said. stop criticizing and stfu.

    In one ear and out your ass.

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kwAwk: And we got his Supreme Court justices, and his foreign policy team, and his regulatory enforcement, and his willingness to sign the Lily Ledbetter Act, etc. What the fuck are you thinking?

  102. 102
    morzer says:

    In part, the right-wing hate and fanatical ignorance arise from a desperate desire to avoid facing the obvious: their views are outdated and their policies have failed. They’ve been the party of short-term gratification, social division, wasted tax cuts and costly wars for thirty years now. Jeebus ain’t going to lead the 7th Cavalry over the hill to victory.

    I don’t think it’s surprising that their base is old, white and bitter. After all, their politicians haven’t delivered for them – and at some level it has to hurt when the voices in the head start muttering “We got screwed”. They ought to be stringing up the GOP – but it would take much too much self-reflection and admission of getting wrong. It’s a lot easier to blame others.

  103. 103
    Svensker says:

    @soonergrunt:

    Doctors hedge. They have to. Doesn’t mean anything.

    Just get strong and well so you can take that surgery.

  104. 104
    Tsulagi says:

    @soonergrunt:

    if anyone else has ever dealt with something like this and noticed how all the doctors all seem to hedge what they’re saying

    It’s part of their basic training. You’re never going to get a definitive answer, or anything remotely close to that, from them. That was very aggravating when my mom was ill.

    they’re spooked about me suing them.

    That’s a major part of the reason why.

    Good luck with your surgery. And good to hear it’s likely benign. Certainly not a doctor, but given the size of your lump, I would think a PET scan could pretty much nail whether it is or isn’t cancer before they go in. About the anesthesia, a little tip, maybe ask for some anti-nausea med before the operation. Helped my mother with her multiple surgeries. Zofran worked for her.

    Hate doctors and hospitals.

  105. 105
    suzanne says:

    @soonergrunt: Thanks for posting… I’ve been wondering all day how you were doing. Glad to hear there’s a plan. Do they know what the hell the damn thing is? They just gonna go take it out, and biopsy it later?

    In my experience, anesthesia seems scary when they tell you everything that can go wrong, but isn’t scary at the time. I remember once when I had surgery, they told me to count backward from ten. I got to seven, then it felt like I woke up and they were all done. When my daughter was two, she had general anesthesia, and I was so friggin’ terrified I was about to tell them to operate on her without it. She was fine. Only problem I ever had was with my epidural when I was in labor, which was completely ineffective, but apparently that happens on occasion because it’s a different type of drug. So my advice would be not to worry, but to go enjoy another margarita.

  106. 106
    Violet says:

    @Nick:
    It’s totally possible. The message doesn’t have to include all the details about the sausage-making. “Death panels,” for instance didn’t include any other aspects of the healthcare bill, but it sure defined the debate. The Dems need to do that in a positive way. And then hammer it home.

    Republicans want you dead. Democrats want you to live.

    Pretty simple, really.

  107. 107
    demo woman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The great Kwawk Tunch think.. Tis not possible.

  108. 108
    demo woman says:

    @soonergrunt: Several folks mentioned this already but if they are waiting until you are healthier, it’s time to ask what are you doing to make sure that you are healthier. Make a list and at the top put exercise. Don’t forget that exercise not only means physical exercised but breathing exercises, also, too. Take care.

    Demowoman..aka someones mom

  109. 109
    Sly says:

    @Allison W.:

    I once heard some wise words on the effectiveness of hippies.

    Which cupboard is it in, man?!

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    When that criticism comes in the form of throwing tasty food at elected officials, showing up to Armed Service Committee hearings drenched in fake-blood, signing letters with Grover Norquist demanding that the White House Chief of Staff be fired, or any other sort of bald-faced idiocy that hurts the cause of liberalism then, yes, people issuing that “criticism” should sit the fuck down and most certainly shut the fuck up.

    People on this site and elsewhere in Greater Leftistan don’t punch hippies because we disagree with their policy platforms. We do it because their tactics are goddamned retarded and we are heading off any attempt at being associated with them.

  110. 110
    Nick says:

    @Violet:

    Republicans want you dead. Democrats want you to live.

    this went nowhere, all it did was get Alan Grayson blacklisted from TV.

    The messaging is done by anchors and reporters and editors who put headlines on newspapers. They decide what the message is, the Democrats just respond to it. they don’t control what gets written as a headline or what an anchor reports on or who the guests on the Sunday talk shows are.

    it’s Rupert Murdoch’s world, we just live in it

  111. 111
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @demo woman: That kind of stupid shit just pisses me off. Criticize Obama, fine. There are reasons. Come from the right and want right-wing policies, fine. You are wrong, but that’s your right. Come from the left and want leftish, even, policies, then don’t say there is no difference. Say Obama hasn’t done a good enough job, say he could do better, pressure him to do better, but if you throw a hissy fit and threaten to take your ball and go home, why would you expect anyone to take you seriously?

  112. 112
    Violet says:

    @demo woman:
    Good point. Soonergrunt, ask them if there are any breathing exercises you should be doing to strengthen your lungs. Like, the blowing into the tube with the ball in it, where the ball has to reach a certain height in the tube. That kind of thing. And any exercise you can do to get in shape should help you recover from the surgery faster.

    Although be sure to check with your doctors, given the nature of your health issue. Perhaps taxing your heart and lungs is not recommended at this point, and you should only do light exercise such as walking, and not get your heart rate above a certain level.

  113. 113
    kimp says:

    I, too, wind up hoping they regain power.The party that got us into this mess, and have utterly no clue as to how to improve things , can only assure an Obama re-election in 2 years. While i count myself among the people that Mccain lost with his pick of Palin, I do not recognize the Republican Party as lucid, sane, or sincere. They are pandering to the most base and ill-informed of the populous.When the general electorate has not had it’s problems cured with the election of the opposition party, within 2 years, (given the extremely short attention span they apparently have), Democrats will have it in a walk.

  114. 114
    demo woman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Kwawk is an empty suit That type doesn’t bother me as much as the Breitbarts and Drudges of the world because they actually do damage
    EDIT Murdoch does the most damage and for what a few bucks or lots of bucks.. How much does it take to corrupt one?

  115. 115
    SIA says:

    @Alice Blue: But doesn’t the Libertarian candidate help the Dems by splitting up the vote on the right?

  116. 116
    Nick says:

    @Violet:

    The Republicans define every issue (“death panels,” “Ground Zero Mosque”) and the Dems then start the discussion on Republican terms.

    Violet, the media presents things in Republican terms. The Ground Zero Mosque debate only started after the New York Post cover featured a headline calling it the “World Trade Center Mosque” and talking about how outrageous it was. Right then and there, the media had adopted the Republican meme that “A right can be infringed upon if enough people are outraged by it”

    What are the Democrats supposed to do to prevent THAT from happening?

  117. 117
    kwAwk says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Very true. And perhaps my comments were a bit over the top. But I’m a tad bit tired being told to accept what I’m given by this administration and smile about it.

    The truth is that the Ledbetter Act, while I think it is just and fair, doesn’t really do much for me as a while male.

    I’m a little bit worried that Obama’s Supreme Court picks might be a lot like him, and quite a bit more centrist than meets the eye.

    Though I do find myself agreeing with Obama and his policies on Iraq and Afghanistan, I’m afraid that might put me in the minority around here.

  118. 118
    apocalipstick says:

    @jl:
    The average household has lost income in no small part because the right-wing authoritarians have been willing and able to play the long game. They funded think tanks and media operations and started getting elected to school boards and slowly, slowly nurtured their message of resentment and victimhood. If you think that’s going to be undone overnight, well, sparkles.

  119. 119
    suzanne says:

    @kwAwk:

    The truth is that the Ledbetter Act, while I think it is just and fair, doesn’t really do much for me as a while male.

    If you don’t see the benefits that come to you from justice and fairness, then I have pity for you.

  120. 120
    You Don't Say says:

    @soonergrunt: You’ll be in my thoughts.

    Have you ever had surgery? Just in case you haven’t: I had minor surgery but they had to put me under. The anesthesia was the worst part for me (it was minor surgery though) and I felt much worse the second day after, i.e. I had surgery Thursday, felt pretty good Friday and just awful on Saturday.

    Best, best wishes.

    Edit: The anesthesia was probably worse for me because I was an out patient and they hurried me out before I was really ready.

  121. 121
    Tom Q says:

    @Allison W.: We’re now inside 80 days till the election. I think that puts us in a clear SFTU zone. Anyone wants to bitch and moan about Obama and the Dems on, say, November 10th — knock yourself out. But anyone who indulges in it between now and voting day I view as an enemy.

  122. 122
    kwAwk says:

    @suzanne:

    Didn’t say I didn’t see the benefits of it or that I’m unhappy with they law in any way, just that it wasn’t at the top of my personal priority list. It doesn’t excite me all that much.

  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kwAwk:

    The truth is that the Ledbetter Act, while I think it is just and fair, doesn’t really do much for me as a while male.

    We differ there. As a white male, I benefit from the Ledbetter Act because I live in a better, more fair world as a result, one where my wife (or any other woman) is less likely to get screwed over because she doesn’t have external plumbing. I benefit because people did the right thing.

    ETA: FYWP

  124. 124
    reality-based says:

    @jl:

    I don’t think the US public is naturally stupid

    Sorry, must beg to differ.

    see polls: 47% of Americans believe that the TARP program was originated by Democrats and signed into law by Obama – not Bush.

    Forty-#?$?”#?-Seven Percent of your voting public are Completely Backassward with actual historical reality – that happened not even two years ago, fer’chrissake.

    Not only stupid, but with the attention span of a mosquito.

  125. 125
    J Kevin says:

    @Lurker: Yeah, I live in Crazytown/Colorado Springs, and its just like that. Its at first like they’re probing your position. Then if you don’t immediately go into a anti-Obama screed your obviously delusional.
    I was used to that thing with all the religious fanatics here, its just a transference of the ‘I’m right, your wrong” crap.
    What I’ve started to get in feedback from said conservo-wingers is the meme of “it’ll all get better in the Spring of 2012”. Its like, just obstruct for a couple more years and we’ll get our saviour.?
    Also in fashion here on your bumper is the “Boehner for Speaker” sticker. But, this is from people who still have the “W,04” stickers like badges of honor.
    Finally, one more point. I went to vote in the primaries and was asked by the attendants if I was there to vote “the right way”? I was kinda set back a little, then said “it was the right way for me”. All these folks are elderly so you don’t want to be rude, but something seemed off about that line of questioning in a polling place.

  126. 126
    Wannabe Speechwriter says:

    When I was growing up, my godfather was one of the most conservative people I knew. State trooper, total hawk, hated affirmative action, pro-death penalty, tough on crime, devout Catholic (yes, I know the Catholic Church’s stance on capital punishment but you get where I’m coming from.) In 2000, he couldn’t wait to vote for Bush. In 2004, he hated Kerry’s guts and supported the Iraq War.

    However, in 2008, he public said he was voting for Obama. While many people at first thought he was just saying this to make me happy (I was a huge Obama supporter as early as 2006 and worked on his campaign in Ohio), the amount of times he said it, how he said it when I wasn’t around and how much he said he didn’t like McCain convinced us he was genuine.

    About a month ago, I was staying at his place. I asked him about Obama. His only complaint wasn’t that he wasn’t working fast enough. What was interesting was when I asked him about the tea party-

    He said, in no uncertain terms, they were idiots. They were turning him off to the Republican Party. Guys like him, as he put it, were moving away from the GOP.

    I figured when the GOP looses my godfather, who do they have left?

    When I see these national polls and the amount the GOP is gaining, I too ask myself who are these insane folks that populate our country?

  127. 127

    @soonergrunt:

    I work administering the clerical aspect of a surgery dept with 31 operating rooms. I’ve gotten to know the various medical personae and how they think. I also know how a layman can react negatively and how they can be tone-deaf to that. It’s probably legalese and full disclosure laws that require anesthesiologists to be so dire in rattling off worst-case scenarios, so I understand your bafflement. I want to preface this by saying I’m neither a doctor, nor a medical expert, I just have a ton of experience dealing with medical experts and what one should expect for surgery.

    A CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass [Graft]) is one of the most heavy duty surgeries out there. It is serious business, however, it is only necessary in your case not because of heart failure or clogged arteries, but because they will need to immobilize the heart tissue itself in order to remove the mass. This is welcome and excellent news. It’s procedural and not due to a systemic failure within your circulatory system. If you are reading any doomsaying into what the or staff is saying, it is probably that they are running through the fine print one more time. If it sounds boring to them, it may very well be, routine as a matter of fact. It’s okay, that’s to be expected. My advice? Have the surgery, but if you have a question, concern, or even a weird out of left field curiosity, speak up, and get answers.

  128. 128
    apocalipstick says:

    @Sly:
    Have you ever heard of “the bigger asshole” theory expounded on the Mahablog? She basically says that the side that loses a conflict is the one that looks like the biggest asshole. When Bull Conner turned police dogs loose on peaceful marchers, he became the bigger asshole. Nelson Mandela made everyone who opposed him look like one. I think it’s a sound theory.

  129. 129
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Please take me out of moderation, I have removed the trigger word. I’ll be a good boy.

  130. 130
    WaterGirl says:

    @soonergrunt: Having to have that surgery completely sucks, but getting the news that there’s nothing they can do or that surgery is not an option would be unimaginably worse. So in a weird sort of way I am very happy for you that surgery is an option.

    I mean, how cool is it that a month from now the surgery could be over and this scary nightmare could be completely over? But in all fairness, I have to tell you that I am a big baby about anything medical, and I was even freaked out about my recent oral surgery. So you’ll get no judging from me about your response to all this scary stuff.

    My suggestion? Don’t read the fine print. I remember reading the fine print on the form when I dropped my dog off at the vet school, and I was afraid to leave her for whatever the very simple procedure was. It’s all a big CYA.

    I will end with a bit of humor, even though you have all probably heard this one before.

    Q: You know the definition of minor surgery?
    A: Surgery that is being performed on someone else.

    Wishing you peace…

  131. 131
    Violet says:

    @Nick:
    The Democrats can’t control how other people label things, so they will have a disadvantage if it happens like the “World Trade Center Mosque” did. That doesn’t happen every time, but Murdoch owning a fair share of media does mean it can happen when they want it to.

    But the Democrats could have easily turned it around if they weren’t such pansies. Bloomberg (an Independent, I know) gave a fantastic speech, which the Democrats should have used as a springboard. Hell, they should have done a similar sort of things days earlier.

    Then they should have turned it around, “Republicans want to stop you from building your church.” “Republicans want to tell people where to worship.” “Republicans want to take away our freedom of religion.” “Democrats believe in the first amendment.” That kind of thing.

    Sure, there were the occasional people who did that, and the lefty blogs have been screaming about it, but the weak sauce coming from the timid Democrats was embarrassing. There was no coordination, no indignation at the Republicans trampling over the Constitution, no standing up for the little guy. Just a few individuals with courage and a whole lot of wimpiness from the Dems as a whole.

  132. 132
    BTD says:

    Calm the fuck down,

    Obama’s got it.

  133. 133
    SIA says:

    @Violet:

    People are thirsting for politicians who will call it like it is. Democrats could fill that void.

    True, true, absolutely true.

  134. 134
    Anne Laurie says:

    @soonergrunt: Sounds like ‘the best possible news, given the circumstances’ so far. Only surgery I’ve undergone (knock wood) was simple ‘elective’ gall-bladder removal some 15 years ago, but yeah — the anesthesiologists seem to be the designated “scare the hypochondriacs into changing their minds” personnel. If you have yet to discover any particular quirks about the way your body handles the standard pharmacopeia, the chances you’ll have problems are vanishingly small; if you have, this is your chance to bring it up & let them re-arrange their options before you’re splayed out on the table. (As in, I remember pointing out to the anethesiologist that I’d had a bad reaction to contrast dye, and he said something like, okay we’ll use X instead of Y because a few people have cross-sensitivities.)

    Also, be very very glad that you are going to be hospitalized AFTER the holiday weekend — all the people who actually make your stay bearable (nurses, nutritionists, bedpan-handlers, even janitors) will be back from vacation & over their hangovers when you need them!

  135. 135
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kwAwk:

    The truth is that the Ledbetter Act, while I think it is just and fair, doesn’t really do much for me as a while male.

    We differ there. As a white male, I benefit from the Ledbetter Act because I live in a better, more fair world as a result, one where my wife (or any other woman) is less likely to get screwed over because she doesn’t have external plumbing. I benefit because people did the right thing.
    ETA: FYWP. Second try.

  136. 136
    soonergrunt says:

    @freelancer (itouch): Thanks for this, specifically. That helps put it into perspective.
    And thanks to all for your input. I’ll talk to my doctor’s office tomorrow about some respiratory exercises that I can do.
    It makes me feel (a little) better knowing that my experience isn’t totally unique. I had my appendix out and had a left inguinal hernia repaired, both in 1991, and both with local and tranquilizing stuff and I don’t remember any speech about all the ways to die on the operating table.
    At least nobody has posted “well, if they were talking like that…well, then you’re fucked. Sorry dude.”

  137. 137
    soonergrunt says:

    @BTD: lol

  138. 138
    suzanne says:

    @kwAwk:

    Didn’t say I didn’t see the benefits of it or that I’m unhappy with they law in any way, just that it wasn’t at the top of my personal priority list. It doesn’t excite me all that much.

    So fairness and justice aren’t on the top of your “personal priority list”? And don’t “excite [you] all that much”?!

    White male privilege/selfishness, party of one, your table is now available.

    Christ, what an asshole.

  139. 139
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Tom Q:

    I think that puts us in a clear SFTU zone. Anyone wants to bitch and moan about Obama and the Dems on, say, November 10th—knock yourself out. But anyone who indulges in it between now and voting day I view as an enemy.

    The BLS should probably hold off on releasing any data until then, huh?

  140. 140
    BTD says:

    @soonergrunt:

    Good thoughts for you.

    Take care of yourself.

  141. 141
    Nick says:

    @Violet:

    That doesn’t happen every time

    Can’t you point to a time lately when it didn’t?

    But the Democrats could have easily turned it around if they weren’t such pansies. Bloomberg (an Independent, I know) gave a fantastic speech, which the Democrats should have used as a springboard. Hell, they should have done a similar sort of things days earlier.

    Bloomberg paid a hefty political price for that speech, he was slammed by the local media, just slammed, as did every other local politician and lately Obama who did springboard off his speech.

    Then they should have turned it around, “Republicans want to stop you from building your church.” “Republicans want to tell people where to worship.” “Republicans want to take away our freedom of religion.” “Democrats believe in the first amendment.” That kind of thing.

    The American people are ok with taking away people’s right to worship, as long as it isn’t Christians, sometimes Jews, and if you tried to argue that Republicans would come after Christians, you’d be laughed across state lines.

    You’re forgetting that while most Americans recognize their constitutional right to build the mosque, they still oppose it. Another words, pointing out that the Republicans are trampling all over the Constitution (which a lot of Dems DID do, and some Republicans like Joe Scarborough), you’re forgetting that 70% of Americans, like the Republicans, support trampling all over the Constitution.

  142. 142
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bob Loblaw: Not what he was saying and you know it.

  143. 143

    Hate is exciting; the GOP thinks they have an excited base. And they might be right.

    And when I see some of the comments posted in various places (some news stories, some blogs) there *is* some excitement. There is a lot of it that makes me go “eeew, if I was a lifelong Republican, I wouldn’t vote GOP because I’d be agreeing with *you*” (Uh, “you”, the writer of the comments I’ve seen… not you-John-Cole), which means, I suppose, it depends on what kind of excrement – er, excitement – it is.

  144. 144

    I suspect your last line was a homage to H L Mencken — “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

  145. 145
    kwAwk says:

    @suzanne:

    So fairness and justice aren’t on the top of your “personal priority list”? And don’t “excite [you] all that much”?! White male privilege/selfishness, party of one, your table is now available. Christ, what an asshole.

    No offense, but the Ledbetter Act doesn’t do much more than change the statute of limitations of an existing equal rights law to enable filers to claim discrimination for a longer period of time. Its not a landmark law. It is a good law. I’m all for it. But it isn’t earth shattering.

  146. 146
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kwAwk:

    No offense, but the Ledbetter Act doesn’t do much more than change the statute of limitations of an existing equal rights law to enable filers to claim discrimination for a longer period of time.

    Not really.

  147. 147
    zzgorme says:

    I think the Democrats have forgotten something fundamental to politics because they held the Congress for so long continuously. Now they want to hold it for another 20 years and this is why they are trying to grab so many independent votes instead of standing on principles. They’ve forgotten that normally the public throws out political parties after 4 or 8 years because they get disenchanted, rightly or wrongly. It doesn’t matter much what they do, people will want a change and believe politicians get corrupt if they are in too long.

    So a party needs to stand by its principles even if extreme left wing because sooner or later the public will throw out the right wing party for these reasons. Then you apply your extreme policies, then the Republicans do the same when you get thrown out, and eventually both sides moderate. But moderating yourself is pointless because the public will throw you out anyway as soon as you have been there long enough to not satisfy their illogical expectations.

    The Republicans know this, they know they can bleed the country white fleecing it for the rich and people will elect them over and over because they will get sick of the Democrats and give them the benefit of the doubt again. This is why Grayson is popular, because he talks like someone who is prepared to not be elected for a while to stand up for a coherent set of principles.

  148. 148
  149. 149
    D-Chance. says:

    Between the 9th Circuit, Harry Reid, and the Obama DOJ, it’s been a damn fine day… for Republicans.

    Today proves why Democrats are crap. They’re wimpy. Republicans are authoritative, and don’t mind saying, “No, my way. Fuck off.”. But Democrats, even when in charge, want to whine, hem and haw, yammer, ANYTHING but take action.

    Maybe that’s it: Republicans walk their talk; Democrats just talk. And, most of the time, they can’t even hold their talk.

  150. 150
    Kryptik says:

    I just find myself so totally disheartened and despondent, not because of what’s getting done or not getting done. That pretty much is whatever, aside from the sad and clear extension of the FISA line and various other civil liberties issues Obama has taken cues from Bush for.

    My depression comes solely from the way that our public discourse feels irreparably tarnished and regressed. The GOP, in their desperation, has turned to scorched earth politics, and not only has it succeeded in making them viable again, it’s managed to help mainstream even the vilest stuff that the Bush Administration era wouldn’t touch. And…the media eats it wholesale and pushes it. they treat it as ‘another side of the debate’. And whether Dems do it out of cowardice or necessity, they end up playing by those rules, working within the GOPs and Tea Party’s frames, because there doesn’t seem to be any other way around it.

    Like so many others, the Cordoba House was the last straw, but it was the Shirley Sherrod mess that really broke my back. The Cordoba thing just finished the job.

    There simply is no right-wing position too vile, too extreme, too terrifying that it won’t be mainstream anymore. And whether or not the GOP takes Congress back wholesale or not this Fall (a possibility that is all to terrifyingly possible, more than it has any fucking right to be), the point is clear: we’re on a black diamond, ice-slickened descent into reichwing madness, and I can’t see it getting any better even 2012 onward.

    I fully expect Palin to win the nomination precisely because she’s batshit. And more terrifying, I expect her to be viable, because nothing’s too fucking crazy for our political climate as long as you’re a ‘Real ‘Murican’ rightwinger.

  151. 151
    Violet says:

    @Nick:

    Can’t you point to a time lately when it didn’t?

    I’m tired and heading to bed, so I am not going to spend a lot of time trying to think of one. I will say that the recent oil spill is something the Republicans tried to find any number of messages for. The Obama administration stuck with facts, working through the problem, and so far it doesn’t seem that it’s become “Obama’s Katrina” at least in the minds of voters, like the Republicans had hoped. YMMV.

    Bloomberg paid a hefty political price for that speech, as did Obama lately.

    Because they are alone in sticking out their necks. If the Democrats had a coordinated message standing up for American values, shaming the Republicans, pointing out that “Americans don’t let fear win” etc., etc., they would have paid a much smaller price and in fact might even have won over some converts. There’s strength in numbers. Instead the Democrats either said nothing, offered vague non-statements, or joined the Republicans (like Reid). The can’t win if they act like Republicans or do nothing. They might as well try to do the right thing, own it, and stand up for their beliefs.

    The American people are ok with taking away people’s right to worship, as long as it isn’t Christians, sometimes Jews, and if you tried to argue that Republicans would come after Christians, you’d be laughed across state lines.

    Not if it’s done right. Lots of emphasis on the first amendment. Appeal to the “nation of immigrants” history. Talk about how American’s great strength is in allowing everyone to worship in their own way. Then talk about Christians being persecuted and how in America we don’t do that to Christians…or any other group. Create a bridge between persecuted Christians and persecuted other religions. Remind people what it feels like to be persecuted (early Christians were persecuted, we know what it feels like). Remind that Christians don’t operate from fear because they (we, if the person talking can be honestly included) have the love of Christ surrounding and supporting them. Christians love their fellow believers and support their right to worship. Etc. Etc.

    The point of all this is to tie American greatness with freedom of religion, fear with being un-American, freedom of worship with the best of America. You do that and suddenly people want to allow people to build a mosque because it’s part of America being great. But the message has to be solid and coordinated. Dems suck at this.

    It could be done. Could have been done. But the Dems are weak, spineless and look for every opportunity to let the Republicans walk away with every talking point. Worse yet, they let the wingnuts undercut the very core of American values. It’s sad.

  152. 152
    Nick says:

    @Violet:

    If the Democrats had a coordinated message standing up for American values, shaming the Republicans, pointing out that “Americans don’t let fear win” etc., etc., they would have paid a much smaller price and in fact might even have won over some converts.

    I can’t believe you honestly believe this. Violet there has been a coordinated movement here in New York to defend the rights of the mosque and it hasn’t even made a dent. No one is converting, or even listening to us. We tried shaming people and they are proud of what we’re shaming them for.

    There’s strength in numbers.

    It’s a 70-30 issue, Violet, we don’t HAVE numbers. New Yorkers even oppose the thing

    Lots of emphasis on the first amendment. Appeal to the “nation of immigrants” history. Talk about how American’s great strength is in allowing everyone to worship in their own way. Then talk about Christians being persecuted and how in America we don’t do that to Christians…or any other group. Create a bridge between persecuted Christians and persecuted other religions. Remind people what it feels like to be persecuted (early Christians were persecuted, we know what it feels like). Remind that Christians don’t operate from fear because they (we, if the person talking can be honestly included) have the love of Christ surrounding and supporting them. Christians love their fellow believers and support their right to worship. Etc. Etc.

    You aren’t serious. You really honestly believe if every Democrat, united, kept saying this, it would have made any difference at all? For Chrissakes Violet many of us fight this battle everyday and never change a single mind. We did create a bridge with persecuted Christians and what it led to was “you know who’s persecuting Christians? MUSLIMS”

    Violet, the American people hate Muslims, they hate illegal immigrants, and they’re easily scared. No coordinated Democratic message is going to change that.

    It could be done. Could have been done. But the Dems are weak, spineless and look for every opportunity to let the Republicans walk away with every talking point. Worse yet, they let the wingnuts undercut the very core of American values. It’s sad.

    No, no Violet, it cannot be done, because some of us have been doing it and have been reduced to tears with the responses we get. How a “mass suicide” will eliminate the need for more mosques, etc.

    You keep making the same mistake all liberals make, you think these people have genuine good in them, they don’t Violet, they’re evil. At least half this country is evil. We need to accept this.

  153. 153
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kwAwk: Not arguing with that bit. The fact that it effectively turns each paycheck into a separate act of discrimination is going to be significant. Also, while it does little for you or I, it makes a fuck-ton of difference for women who got shafted in the hiring process. In any case, the Ledbetter Act was one example I gave, sorry it’s not meaningful to you. Do you really think having Obama in office is no better than McCain would have been?

  154. 154
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    People embraced, embrace, will embrace, malevolent and irrational politics because in the aggregate, they are irrational and malevolent. Any politics not predicated on the fact that people in the aggregate are shits is doomed to disappoint.
    __
    The game is rigged, someone got to the refs, and the forces of darkness always have the home court advantage.
    __
    Not that that’s an excuse not to try. It a reason to expect not to succeed very often, or for very long.

    (My people! This is why I love this blog.)

    That’s my mantra for dealing with politics: It is not required that one win, but it is always required that one try.

  155. 155
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anne Laurie: Camus, The Plague.

  156. 156

    @Kryptik: I agree with the notion we are headed for a reckoning of some sort in this country. A critical mass that we will either survive from, which I think/hope is most likely, but it will be ugly and painful, and quite possibly violent. Or, we will split into the two countries we really are, when you get right down to it.

    I don’t think the Snowbilly idjit will run, or get elected if she did. But some winger not to far from her beliefs may well and win. Mainly because we are facing prolonged economic straights and a forced lower standard of living, and voters will whipsaw parties to power in desperation to come out of it to have shit going back to what it was. But it will be in vain, imho, as we are in need of some lessons given in the hard school of reality that there really is no free lunch, and to continue to thrive we are going to have to set limits and rules and become more socially and economically awakened and fair, or else.

  157. 157
    kwAwk says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I think it may have been better long term for the Democrats to not have somebody in office with a D after their name that seems to be interested in proving the equivalence of Democrats and Republicans.

    McCain with an overwhelmingly Democratic congress may have done less damage to Democrats than Obama may do long term. He seems intent on pulling the whole party to the right.

  158. 158
    Nick says:

    @kwAwk: this is the most idiotic statement you’ve said yet.

    Obama is intent on pulling the party to the right? For chrissakes, his entire platform is further to the left than any government since like the 1960s.

    Take a pill or something.

    McCain with an overwhelmingly Democratic congress may have done less damage to Democrats than Obama may do long term

    duh, because we’d have a Republican president to blame and idiot liberals wouldn’t have had delusions of grandeur.

  159. 159

    At least nobody has posted “well, if they were talking like that…well, then you’re fucked. Sorry dude.”

    Dude, we’re all fucked. You’re gonna make it through this surgery no problem and then watch Jeb Bush get elected in 2012 as a 3rd party candidate.

  160. 160
    frosty says:

    @Kryptik: Sigh. And I just heard one my father-in-law state that Palin was more qualified to be President than Obama? Really. Really?

    OK, let’s step back. You served your country in combat. She didn’t. You ran your own business. She didn’t. You raised successful, independent, capable children. She didn’t. I call bullshit. I think my father-in-law is more qualified than Palin.

    But I’ll bet he doesn’t.

  161. 161
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kwAwk: On that note, I will conclude that we disagree on politics being the art of the possible. Purity is lovely, but accomplishes little. I think Obama has accomplished a lot. Draw your own conclusions.

    ETA: People are pissing me off. I’m going to bed.

  162. 162
    Violet says:

    @Nick:

    Violet, the American people hate Muslims, they hate illegal immigrants, and they’re easily scared. No coordinated Democratic message is going to change that.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Americans believed it once before, they could believe it again.

    You keep making the same mistake all liberals make, you think these people have genuine good in them, they don’t Violet, they’re evil. At least half this country is evil. We need to accept this.

    Americans like to see the good in themselves. They do need help being reminded what that is. I refuse to believe that half the country is evil. Half the country doesn’t vote. They’re much more interested in Lindsay Lohan being in jail and who’s guest starring on next seasons’s “Glee” than in some mosque in New York City.

  163. 163
    beltane says:

    @General Stuck: We are not a country shared values. That is the main lesson that one takes away from the events of the past year. With the exception of WWII this country has only been unified when the blue half accedes to the demands of the red half. In this respect, we are like a larger, richer Pakistan: part modern state and part backwards ass tribal hinterland.

  164. 164
    Nick says:

    @Violet:

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Americans believed it once before, they could believe it again.

    and yet they still put Japanese people in camps

    Americans like to see the good in themselves. They do need help being reminded what that is. I refuse to believe that half the country is evil. Half the country doesn’t vote. They’re much more interested in Lindsay Lohan being in jail and who’s guest starring on next seasons’s “Glee” than in some mosque in New York City.

    They think by opposing the mosque, they are doing good…they’re “respecting the 9/11 victims” and “denying a victory to Muslims”

    You don’t get it, they see opposing the mosque AS A GOOD THING, AS A JUST THING and those of us who think it’s right and just are wrong and evil. I got called ignorant for thinking the mosque should be build. IGNORANT or fighting ignorance.

    It’s time we wake up and really see what we’re dealing with here.

  165. 165
    MattR says:

    Ignorance never settles a question

    Seems like an appropriate fortune from my Chinese dinner tonight.

  166. 166

    @beltane: Yup, And the WW2 unity has pretty much worn itself out.

  167. 167
    beltane says:

    @Nick: The people in every nation like to see the good in themselves. The bad things they do, they do because it makes them see the good in themselves. Human evil is a very real phenomenon, and is hardly limited to obvious psychopaths or serial killers. American exceptionalism is the belief that we are somehow immune from the evil that the rest of the world endured and committed. We are not, and what happened elsewhere could easily happen here. The media would cheer on the atrocities, the cowards would remain silent, and the few people who spoke up would lose everything.

  168. 168
    maus says:

    @Nick: Yeah, the media pits us against each other more than the wingnut left and the teabagger right combined.

  169. 169

    I agree with the notion we are headed for a reckoning of some sort in this country. A critical mass that we will either survive from, which I think/hope is most likely, but it will be ugly and painful, and quite possibly violent. Or, we will split into the two countries we really are, when you get right down to it.

    How do you split from within, and then remain two equal, yet whole halves?

    Your reckoning would rip this country into chaos. It would not just pit brother against brother, but parents against children, teachers against students, teachers against students, the religious against secular, the ignorant against the learned.

  170. 170
    roshan says:

    Just a thought, would Hillary Clinton have had given so much importance to bipartisanship as much as Obama? I mean, she already knew what it was like to face constant wingnut criticism for about 15 yrs before she ran for the office. It was her who mentioned the “right wing conspiracy” angle back in the 90’s.
    Those are just the if’s of the matter, I really believe that she wouldn’t give two hoots about working with the GOP, that said I don’t know what she would have done about the other shit that has been thrown at Obama.

  171. 171

    @roshan: You mean the Hillary that went on Fox News to bash Obama during the primaries, or the Clinton that snuggled up with Gingrich as a senator over Health Care reform several years ago. Or the one that agreed with Mccain that Obama wasn’t qualified to be Commander in Chief during the campaign. Is that the Hillary Clinton you refer to not playing with wingers.?

  172. 172
    Nick says:

    @roshan:

    would Hillary Clinton have had given so much importance to bipartisanship as much as Obama?

    If you mean would she be labeled a sell out who capitulated to Republicans at every corner, then yeah absolutely, because that’s the standard complaint from anyone who didn’t get everything they wanted immediately…some of the names who would say that are the same, others would be different.

    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter…Obama’s importance on bipartisanship, along with his opposition to Iraq and him not being a Clinton, is a major reason why he beat her.

  173. 173
    roshan says:

    @General Stuck:
    Well, the health care proposal under Clinton was Hillary’s pet project, she put a lot of effort into it and was mostly new to the national political stage. I guess no one could have predicted at that time that Newt was going to turn into a rabid right-winger.
    The shenanigans during the election are a part and parcel of trying to get elected. You should ask Obama why he selected her as SOS after all that.
    It’s just that I have a hard time believing that Hillary would have had made public overtures to bipartisanship as much as Obama. What goes on behind doors, I couldn’t tell, but at least her public stance would not have had given so much importance as to include the GOP in a dialogue.

  174. 174
    Nick says:

    @freelancer (itouch):

    Your reckoning would rip this country into chaos. It would not just pit brother against brother, but parents against children, teachers against students, teachers against students, the religious against secular, the ignorant against the learned.

    Dude, this is already happening.

    We’re fighting a civil war and we don’t even know it yet.

  175. 175
    Ash Can says:

    @soonergrunt: Late to the party again, but what I noticed first and foremost about your surgery situation was the fact that your doctors did not rush you into surgery immediately (not the greatest sign), and instead did say, “Let’s see, we can work you in, say, September 8th” (a far better sign). And that whole “surgery involves risks including death” talk is legal boilerplate that has emerged in recent years as a result of the, ahem, exuberance of the legal profession. So, not to worry.

  176. 176

    @roshan: She would have needed 60 senate votes just like Obama, the rest of Obama’s posturing over bi partisanship is just that posturing, to impress independents who like that sort of thing. She would have done the same thing, simple politics.. He gives them nothing much, unless it’s to get that 60th vote.

    And I wasn’t talking about her hc proposal when Bill was presnit. I was talking when she was a senator. This might enlighten you some.

  177. 177
    Nick says:

    @roshan:

    It’s just that I have a hard time believing that Hillary would have had made public overtures to bipartisanship as much as Obama. What goes on behind doors, I couldn’t tell, but at least her public stance would not have had given so much importance as to include the GOP in a dialogue.

    It really doesn’t matter. IMO, Obama’s talk of bipartisanship kept him popular all those months during the healthcare debate because he looked like the only adult in the room. I don’t think it hurt him with anyone except a tiny subset of liberals who wanted to see blood. On top of that, it was a fair assumption that he could offset a Democratic “no” vote for two with a couple of Republicans, as that’s how Democratic presidents got shit passed in the past. It gives you options. You’d rather have Ben Nelson, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are jockeying to be the 60th vote than just Ben Nelson…little did we know that none of the above wanted to be the 60th vote.

    In the end it doesn’t matter as long as the media gives them a chance to be included, that IMO would be more apparent in a Hillary administration. The media always loved Hillary vs. Republicans.

  178. 178

    @freelancer (itouch):

    Your reckoning would rip this country into chaos. It would not just pit brother against brother, but parents against children, teachers against students, teachers against students, the religious against secular, the ignorant against the learned.

    So did the Great Civil War. And it’s not “my” reckoning, but what seems to be coming when two very distinct in values and world view in people have nothing to unite around. Like a WW. It is nothing more than an expanding natural division that already exists. It could be a mild reckoning, but I kind of doubt it given the degree of hostility that is occurring now.

  179. 179
    Nick says:

    @General Stuck: I’ve lost friends. I have friends who stopped talking to family, brothers, sisters. I even know of a couple that divorced over politics.

    the country is being ripped into chaos

  180. 180
    roshan says:

    @Nick:
    The supporters act as they always do, there is no way to contain that, but knowing Hillary and her past fights with the wingnuts, she most likely would have had done away with the public affection for bipartisanship that also draws the ire of the Obama supporters. Another thing to note, is that Obama has done away with any legal prosecutions of the Bush era crimes that could have put the wingnuts on the back foot. I am not sure Hillary would have had done the same, I mean why give up the ace card so early in the game. She was also most likely to receive the deficit talk as mostly that, just talk and wouldn’t have tried much to do anything about it. Her economic team might have been different too and she also had the benefit of having the Big Dog’s service on demand.
    Anyways, take this as just thoughts and nothing more. Can’t wish away the reality.

  181. 181
    Nick says:

    @roshan:

    Obama has done away with any legal prosecutions of the Bush era crimes that could have put the wingnuts on the back foot. I am not sure Hillary would have had done the same, I mean why give up the ace card so early in the game

    Now you’re being ridiculous. This is not a popular move, and she often agreed with many of the Bush era crimes. There is no way she would have pursued legal prosecutions. The fact that you even suggest this nonsense makes me suspect there’s a little PUMA troll thing going on here.

    Her economic team might have been different too and she also had the benefit of having the Big Dog’s service on demand.

    and this is when you outed yourself as a PUMA troll. Her economic team IS Obama’s economic team.

  182. 182

    @General Stuck:

    Might be the case, but even my most right-wing relatives aren’t ready to seek out 2nd amendment remedies against their family members just yet. Once that happens, the seriously apolitical, anti-activist 60% will step-up and be like “aww hells naw!”

    There’s no fucking way the local news/voterepub/wheeloffortune crowd is gonna rally behind the teabagger/whitesupremacist/wingnut revolution.

    2 days without wifi/cell coverage, and everyone normal is gonna buck, but the wingers will think it’s all Lexington and Concord, Part Deux.

  183. 183
    TrishB says:

    @soonergrunt: Best of luck with your surgery. My dad was recently scared out of far more minor surgery by reading the paperwork too closely. He spent 3 hours pacing in the waiting room before bailing out. Crap, he had 3 stents with my mom’s or my consent, but when given a choice, he was flabbergasted and opted out. If you need a second opinion get one, but don’t freak out because of the legal nonsense.

  184. 184
    TrishB says:

    @soonergrunt: Best of luck with your surgery. My dad was recently scared out of far more minor surgery by reading the paperwork too closely. He spent 3 hours pacing in the waiting room before bailing out. Crap, he had 3 stents with my mom’s or my consent, but when given a choice, he was flabbergasted and opted out. If you need a second opinion get one, but don’t freak out because of the legal nonsense.

  185. 185
    Yutsano says:

    This may or may not make y’all feel better:

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINIO.....tml?hpt=C2

    If I were an employee at Princeton, I would so audit his courses. He’s wicked smart and 99% of what he says makes sense even if I don’t agree with it.

  186. 186
    Uriel says:

    @soonergrunt: Hey- geting on this thread pretty late, but I just want to say-

    Screw good thoughts and prayers and all that crap.

    Tough it out son. Be a f’ing man, if only for once in your pitiful life!

    Oh, wait, anesthesia is spooky– sure. And fluffy pillows are the tools of the devil. You know what we used in my day to combat pain? Fuckin’ belts soaked in modeling glue! And not those cushy canvas or leather ones- no we used fucking straight up metal ammo belts! We’d chew like em’ like termites, all the time bitching about how cheated we felt because the pain wasn’t nearly enough to knock us out! And, god help em if they tried to wheel all those machines at our gaping chests- we’d just spit in their faces and say, just give me some white hot razor-wire to wrap my hands in so I can be “sterile” while I keep my heart and lungs working with the vice-like action of my massive fore arms and vice like grip!

    Which is a long way of saying- good luck man It’s a god-damned creepy, crappy situation to be . My thoughts are with you.

  187. 187
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    Best wishes Soonergrunt!! While the warnings they give sound dire they really are SOP for those people. They can sound fairly dispassionate but it’s more from the repetition than anything else; they gotta satisfy the legal requirements in our litigious society and that is all. There are risks but their job is to do the best they can for you and the warnings are just to cover their asses. I have been knocked out more times than I want to recall but they all went pretty well. One post-op period was a bit rough because two new nurses made the mistake of listening to someone who was still out even though he thought he was ‘there’…lol! I did pull off a stunt when I was going under one time when I pointed up to the ceiling and said there was a fly on it. After the surgery they told me that my arm then dropped to the table as I went out light a light. They said that they were looking all over the op room for a fly before coming to the conclusion that I imagined it as I was going under.

    I didn’t remember a thing about it…lol! At least I knew they took op room cleanliness seriously.

    Beef up for the surgery, pay attention to your health and diet and get plenty of good rest to help relieve stress. Post-op, take it real easy and take your time getting your feet back under you. Listen to the docs and do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions about anything.

  188. 188
    Uriel says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal): The only interesting thing that ever happened to me under anesthesia was when an operation that was supposed to take “around and hour” ended up lasting over three. Which led to me waking up somewhere in the middle of them dicking around inside of me.

    I’d like to say that verbal lashing the assembled medical professionals suffered that day still haunt their dreams- but unfortunately, the stern response I managed to summon up was “could you maybe give more of that sleepy stuff.” The last words I remember hearing were something along the lines of “would you please hold his head down!”

    Never wound up finding out what took so long. Or why “out-patient” surgery ended with a two day hospital say, with instructions that I be observed for internal bleeding.

    But, then, science is a mystery to the likes of me.

  189. 189
    Xenos says:

    Best of luck, Sooner!

    I take back all the mean things I was saying about Oklahoma yesterday.

  190. 190

    I blame it all on Obama. He had the opportunity to do the right thing and to establish a new narrative (i.e. rekindle the traditional American narrative), but instead decided on the recent degenerative business as usual approach. “Hope” and “change” have lost all meaning now.

    I cannot see America going well in the next decade:

    On security, America is one dirty bomb away from fascism.

    On the economy, America is becoming a banana republic.

    Politically, America is a banana republic.

    Ethically, America is in the sewer with the death penalty, war, torture, tasers, weak social security, weak health care, and a two-tiered justice system.

    Etcetera.

  191. 191
    Josh says:

    Martin, You can say that at Empire Burlesque, Pruning Shears, Conscience of a Liberal, Sideshow, TNC, or Welcome Back to Pottersville. At Balloon Juice, if you blame Obama, you may not last very long.

  192. 192
    Xenos says:

    Martin. Martin. Martin.

    If Obama had changed the narrative he would never have been elected. He ran on, and was elected on, a promise to make America as we know it work. He offered a tremendous improvement, but nothing as revolutionary as what you want, or what I want, or would be necessary to stop the decline of the country. If Obama pulls it off he might get us a couple extra decades, and if the madness abates we might have enough time to recover and redirect the Titanic from the iceberg.

    Am I disappointed in Obama? Sure, a bit. But I am really very disappointed in the American people as a whole.

  193. 193
    cleek says:

    On the other hand, a sick part of me wants the Republicans to win so our idiot nation, from the never happy poutrage left to the idiot independents to the wingnutty mouthbreathers, can get what they want, and get it hard.

    fed up with the way things are? amazed at how stupid people can be? not sure there’s a way to get good results out of the system as it works today ? willing to allow the GOP to win out of pure spite ?

    ah yes, a classic case of hurt fee fees.

  194. 194
    Boots says:

    Democrats are getting hammered because when faced with the choice between a crazy person and a catatonic one, people will choose the crazy person every time. The crazy person may make no sense, but at least they can interact with you.

    I have always said Republicans are insane but Democrats are useless, and that’s what’s killing them right now.

  195. 195
    Boots says:

    Your reckoning would rip this country into chaos. It would not just pit brother against brother, but parents against children, teachers against students, teachers against students, the religious against secular, the ignorant against the learned

    This is exactly why I’m planning to retire in New Brunswick, CA. I don’t want to be around when the insanity really hits.

  196. 196
    wilfred says:

    I don’t subscribe to the Manichean world of political blogs, nor mind numbingly infantile ontological categorizations like “But he’s a democrat, how can he oppose building the mosque there??”

    There are shits and decent people on both sides. The screamers scream at each other.

    The country needs a new political party. The die-hards on both sides who see themselves as the last vestiges of goodness, rightness, honesty, sincerity and the REAL American way should go to hell as quickly as possible.

  197. 197
    wvng says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: It does mean, however, that your criticisms should not be framed in a way that makes Dems less likely to vote. How hard is this to understand? Any Dem screaming “I’m not going to vote because my magic wish pony didn’t come” is part of the problem. Any Dem screaming “Obama is the same as Bush” is both part of the problem and probably clinically insane.

  198. 198
    cleek says:

    your criticisms should not be framed in a way that makes Dems less likely to vote.

    since “Dems” keep electing Dems, maybe not voting isn’t such a bad thing.

    Obama might not be the same as Bush, but the size of the overlap is pretty fucking big.

  199. 199
    Boots says:

    Obama might not be the same as Bush, but the size of the overlap is pretty fucking big.

    The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round…

  200. 200
    Nick says:

    @Martin Gifford:

    I blame it all on Obama. He had the opportunity to do the right thing and to establish a new narrative (i.e. rekindle the traditional American narrative)

    What does this even fucking mean?

  201. 201
    Nick says:

    @cleek:

    Obama might not be the same as Bush, but the size of the overlap is pretty fucking big.

    Not nearly as big as the hole in your fucking head.

    Did it ever occur to you that the Democratic voters of this country, who also oppose something as simple as religious freedom for Muslims, are also a problem?

  202. 202
    cleek says:

    hey Nick, DIAF already, and take your knee-jerk Obama apologetics with you.

    on second thought, welcome to the pie factory.

  203. 203
    cleek says:

    @Boots:
    they sure do.

  204. 204
    Boots says:

    @cleek:

    Which is why right-wing extremists keep getting elected. Because there’s evidently no difference between them and anybody else.

  205. 205
    cleek says:

    @Boots:
    they aren’t the same, but guess what: we get shitty results from either party. even the precious Democrats are capable of delivering shit.

    and i’m glad for you that you’re OK with that. i’m not. but unless you have the remarkable ability to share that funky brain chemistry that makes you happy with shitty outcomes, please try to recognize that not everybody shares your special gift. mmk?

  206. 206
    kay says:

    When I was a Republican, I always felt like I had a feel for the political climate.

    I think you probably did. This is too bad, if true, because you’re better at gauging “political climate” than you get credit for, IMO.

    Republicans are going berserk, and the Democratic President is hunkered down, playing defense.

    Clinton was in the same position at this point, and he was the (former) “best politician of his generation”. Everyone thought he was hapless, independents abandoned him, blah, blah, blah. He only looks masterful and in control in hazy hindsight.

    Republicans are really, really good as the opposition. The plain fact is they’re hard to beat at the single thing they’re good at, and this is what they’re good at.

  207. 207
    Frank says:

    @tim:

    “When I was a Republican…” Again, an excellent reminder of why your credibility must always be viewed with skepticism.

    You do realize that the credibility of a lot of Democrats on the far left must always be viewed with skepticism. How about Jane Hamsher who went on to FoxNews to partner with Grover Norquist against HCR?

  208. 208
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    @DougJ:

    I think you are witnessing a general dissatisfaction with failure of institutions. After a while, all the governments and all the fuckups start to look the same. It’s like watching hockey on tv. People are rushing around and slapping sticks but where is the puck? I think government and politics looks to a lot of people just like that. A lot of churn, but where is the puck, and who is looking out for me?

    In a country without shared values, and with a government that doesn’t seem able to follow the puck, people just look out for themselves. Or try to.

    You watch the comments section here pretty closely. Do you think people right here can follow the puck? American politics appears to be about forming and leveraging coalitions, about fundraising and moneyed interests, and about machine politics, discipline, and clarity of message. Clarity, not quality. In this little microcosm, how is it going?

  209. 209
    kay says:

    @Frank:

    I’ve never really understood this either. I think having been on both sides probably adds perspective, in terms of “general political climate”, but I don’t know what the climate is either, so what the hell do I know.

  210. 210
    Nick says:

    In a country without shared values

    This is an important thing I’ve been trying to articulate. We no longer have an unifying shared values anymore.

    Nevermind we can’t all agree on how to improve the economy. Linda McMahon can get on my TV and tell me government agencies don’t create jobs and we need to cut spending to create jobs and half the morons in this country believe it.

    But we used to at least have our common unalienable rights, and what the mosque situation proved is that we don’t even have that anymore.

    We’re not a nation anymore, we just a country.

    What are our unifying shared values? That we all like the flag?

    The correct answer to this is probably Glee.

  211. 211
    homerhk says:

    I despair for the US, I really do. Why should that matter for me, an Englishman who gave up his green card and has no intention to ever move to the US.

    Well, to be honest, I don’t really care about whether the US succeeds as a country or not. In fact, I think it is beyond the time that the US dominance in the world is reduced and eventually overtaken. What I do believe, however, is that the President of the US has an amazing influence and affect for the rest of the world. Bush not only ruined the US in his 8 years, but much of the world too.

    I like Obama – there’s something about him that I respect and I desparately want him not only to be successful (clearly, he already is more successful than any of his democratic predecessors were going back to Johnson) but want him to be recognised as such by his constituents. The reason why Obama’s election provoked such emotion worldwide and spontaneous celebrations across the globe was partly because of him, but a lot of it was because it seemed that it was a great reflection on the US public coming back to its senses after voting for Bush twice. As the Obama administration continues to be beset by lies, dishonest complaining, criticism from its supporters that could be lifted from the screens of Fox News, our faith in Obama hasn’t lessened, but our faith in the US has.

    All those polls that point to a reduced standing of the US in muslim countries don’t tell the full story – it’s not that people like Obama less but that they now realise that Obama is constrained by the fucking stupidity of the US public, democrats and republicans alike.

  212. 212
    Rick Taylor says:

    For the life of me, I can not figure out why anyone would be voting for the GOP in the fall. But the Dems will probably get hammered, and it just strikes me as inexplicable.

    That’s the way I felt back in 2000, and even more-so in 2004. After watching the first debate between Bush and Gore, I was convinced there was no way in the world Bush could win. He was so obviously out of his depth, so obviously unprepared to be President, it seemed impossible to me he’d be elected. Some friends of mine, mostly European, who watched the debate with me agreed.
    __
    In 2004 I was confident Bush would lose. Ok, I’d gotten it wrong the first time, but Bush had just taken us to a war under false pretenses. Even the guy he’d sent to find the weapons of mass destruction declared unequivocally there were none. You just don’t get to say, oopsie, guess I got it wrong when you make a mistake of that magnitude. Bush had only barely one last time (and with the help of the supreme court); he couldn’t possibly win again.
    __
    So ever since then, I’ve learned this country is the way it is, as incomprehensible as it may be. I’ve been expecting losses in the midterms since Obama was elected; after the tremendous energy of his campaign, there was bound to be fall back towards the mean, and with the economy likely to continue to be shitty, it seemed inevitable the midterms would be bad for Democrats. Hope I’m proven wrong.

  213. 213
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Anne Laurie: It’s the Jesuits. Every day for four years:

    to give and not to count the cost,
    to fight and not to heed the wounds,
    to toil and not to seek for rest,
    to labor and not to ask for reward,

    Leaves a mark.

  214. 214
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    What are our unifying shared values?

    Hatred of the Yankees.

  215. 215
    Nazgul35 says:

    On the other hand, a sick part of me wants the Republicans to win so our idiot nation, from the never happy poutrage left to the idiot independents to the wingnutty mouthbreathers, can get what they want, and get it hard.

    Amen brother…amen.

  216. 216
    dww44 says:

    This is a test posting just to see if it will make the comment text fall back within the normal margins, as I would really like to read them. Refreshing doesn’t help.

  217. 217
    Boots says:

    @cleek:

    they aren’t the same, but guess what: we get shitty results from either party. even the precious Democrats are capable of delivering shit.

    and i’m glad for you that you’re OK with that. i’m not. but unless you have the remarkable ability to share that funky brain chemistry that makes you happy with shitty outcomes, please try to recognize that not everybody shares your special gift. mmk?

    Like most tediously outraged and self-righteous people, you make assumptions and miss the point. Would I like a bigger stimulus, single payer healthcare, marriage equality, no gitmo or secret prisons, corporations that are always accountable for their actions? You betcha. But I also realize I live in a country of over 300 million people, some of whom are outright insane, all who are just as equally American citizens as I am, all who have an equal say in what goes on in this country whether I agree or thnk it is the next thing to fascism. For that particular reason, things are never going to be just as I would like them in this country-and that’s my special gift. I realize that I’m not going to get much of what I want, ever-and I’m never going to get everything I want. So, because that’s always going to be true I don’t waste my time wallowing in my own miserable shit because WAAAAHHHH!!!! it didn’t all change in eighteen months!!! Guess what? It will never be 100% to your liking. So I take the victories where I can get them and keep plugging along, realizing as well that George Bush tried governing by ignoring 50+% of the population, and look where that got him-on top of the Worst Presidents Ever list.

    So please grow up, stop fucking whining and stop marinating in your own self-righteous misery. Adults don’t get everything they want, and you’re no exception.

  218. 218
    Boots says:

    @DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective:

    Hatred of the Yankees.

    I’m all over that one.

  219. 219
    cleek says:

    @Boots:
    oh Boots, i gotta give credit where it’s due: it takes balls to tediously and self-righteously lecture someone else about being tediously outraged and self-righteous. balls, man.

    Adults don’t get everything they want, and you’re no exception.

    “everything” ? who said anything about everything ? wasn’t me. but, you just keep pretending i’m mad cause i didn’t get everything i want. go ahead, invent all kinds of positions for me to hold. i’m cool with that. and please, whatever you do, don’t stop lecturing about the evils of making assumptions and missing the point. please.

  220. 220
    Boots says:

    @cleek:

    LOL, thanks for proving my point, dude! You just keep on bein’ mad, buddy…LOL!!!

    I’m done talking with martyrs, which means I’m done talking with you. Ciao, enjoy the self-pity…

  221. 221
    cleek says:

    okie dokie, Boots! it’s been great. stop back when you’ve got some new misinterpretations you’d like to share.

  222. 222
    Makewi says:

    Let me help. As someone who was around before, during and shortly after your “transformation”. You sold your soul for a little bit of popularity. Part of the price for that sale was a kneejerk need to take any position which can be identified as right wing regardless of the actual facts in the case.

    For example, you cannot currently understand why the majority of Americans would not want to see a large mosque built 600 feet from ground zero. Really.

    You’re welcome.

  223. 223
    Kevin Moore says:

    Don’t whine; organize.

    I feel lucky that my local guys are worth keeping in office. If more Dems were like Wyden or Blumenauer, I’d be a more enthusiastic Dem. But the party is a corporate tool war-mongering with a “realist” face; if their main opponent were not bat-shit crazy — or, say, an honest opposition — the Dems would be utterly odious. And if I lived in a district where my main choice was a teabagger and a blue dog, I’d say pox on them both and get involved with the Greens or the Reds or whatever color mounts a credible campaign for workers, women, minorities, the environment and the cause of peace.

  224. 224
  225. 225
    cleek says:

    @Kevin Moore:
    i like my Rep, too. David Price FTW.

    if only all of NC could be made of liberal college towns like Durham and Chapel Hill…

  226. 226
    PanurgeATL says:

    @Allison W.:

    right wingers come with guns, the other side comes with dessert.

    Why this couldn’t be spun in the Left’s favor I have less than no idea. “Left-wing nuts vs. right-wing nuts: Your choice, America.”

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