Why I am Not a Conservative

Short answer: When I think about the GOP retaking Congress I get cold sweats and flashbacks of 2000-2008. Ditto that for the prospect of say, Newt Gingrich sitting in The Oval Office. The only Republicans who are at all honest – like Gary Johnson who has really good civil liberties bona fides – would A) never win and B) are really way too economically conservative for me. So yeah, Republicans taking back Congress in a couple months is just bad news as far as I’m concerned.

This graph, for instance, really frightens me:

gallup

I’m really flabbergasted by the lack of enthusiasm on the part of Democrats. It’s not so much that the Democrats are offering anything particularly exciting to the voters (though they have passed a few major pieces of legislation, you know!) but that the alternative just seems so unabashedly awful…can’t Democrats at least mobilize opposition to the opposition?

Okay so that’s the short answer.

Long answer after the fold…

It’s certainly been a change of pace and perspective for me to blog here at Balloon Juice, and one I’m profoundly grateful to John for. I’ve been drifting leftward for quite a while now (from dissident conservative to fed-up libertarian to, more recently, pro-market liberal with libertarian and especially civil libertarian streaks) – so drifting leftward, but on uncertain feet. And one weakness of my blogging style and perhaps of the habits I’ve gotten into blogging at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, is that I’ve been able to walk this particular ideological tightrope past the point of its usefulness. The ‘pox on both your houses’ style really is sort of annoying after a while even if it is unintentional and even if it is due to honest doubt rather than an attempt to please everyone. Certainly it’s nothing to build one’s political philosophy upon. And quite frankly, the pushback I’ve gotten in the comments about having it both ways is fair, and it’s gotten me thinking – a lot – about picking a side. How you frame your argument and who you frame it for matters. Picking sides matters.

So I will. I no longer have any desire to be considered a conservative – and no longer consider myself one (I do have a somewhat anti-modernist streak, for instance, which I blame on all the fantasy literature I read as a child but which is more a sort of romanticism than anything very political. I recall as a child being quite depressed by the thought that no matter how far I walked in any direction from my home I would inevitably come up against a paved road. How this translates into right vs. left is another matter though it does make me a strong supporter of localism and buying locally and so forth.)

I’ll vote Democrat this fall and I’ll almost certainly vote Democrat in 2012. If I’d been a Senator last year I would have voted for the HCR bill. The Democratic Party has its flaws but at least it cares about governance, at least Democrats try to make the world a less harsh, more egalitarian place even when sometimes their policies backfire or are simply wrong to begin with. And liberalism generally is just more serious an endeavor than conservatism is. More wonky, more beholden to, you know, data and facts.

I have always voted Democrat in any case, even as a self-described conservative, and remain pro-gay-marriage, anti-war, anti-torture, and against the drug war, against the security state, against crony capitalism. It’s not my politics so much that have undergone a change lately (though they have as well), but my thoughts on who I should and should not align myself with, and why this is important

Conservative politics don’t even lend themselves all that well to conservative ends to begin with.

For instance, I’d say the generous maternity leave in Sweden or Germany is far more in line with a belief in the importance of family than our lack of any policy to that effect. If being pro-family is conservative then I guess I’m conservative in that way – but I think ‘family’ should include committed gay couples. If wanting a stable fiscal future is conservative, then again I suppose that describes me. But we can’t simply cut spending down to the marrow to achieve this, nor should we. Slashing taxes at all costs is not fiscally conservative. Raising them is much more so – and conservatives are by and large too irresponsible to even countenance this. Only a very few are considering cutting defense spending to help balance the budget. And indeed, there are a very few very smart, honest, hopeful thinkers on the right who I admire a great deal but they are only a very few. And not movers and shakers in any case. On the libertarian front – or the liberal-tarian front at least – I see much more hope.

I also share a good deal more cultural affinity with the left, broadly speaking, than with the right and my cultural politics have always reflected this. I watch Colbert and the Daily Show and almost never turn the channel to Fox News. I listen to NPR. I hang out mostly with liberals. I have very liberal views on most social issues. I still believe in the importance of decentralized power structures, checks and balances, and in not placing too much faith in the state – but again, these are positions that are perfectly acceptable on the left in ways that my belief in gay marriage or higher taxes or non-interventionist foreign policy are simply not acceptable on the right.

Furthermore, while I think there’s a great deal of merit to competition (one reason I really liked Ron Wyden’s healthcare plan!), free markets, economic liberalism and so forth I find the fetishization of low taxes among the right and among many American libertarians more than a bit silly. I favor investment in public health, public transit and infrastructure, and in the welfare system generally rather than some vague bare-boned state. Sure, there’s problems with all sorts of government programs, with some public sector unions, etc. but at least liberals seem open to tackling these problems. At least within the big tent of liberalism there is room to disagree.

I’ve noted before that I don’t think free markets are sustainable without a broad and sturdy welfare state to support them. Theoretically, sure – anything is possible – but the fact is markets fail and must fail to be effective as a system, and very real people pay the price – not because they are lazy, or because they are lacking enough rugged individualism, but because life can be hard, and it is much harder for those people who lack strong family or community support. Ultimately, the highest price is paid by those who can afford it least. We need to craft a society where that price is not so high – and I think we can use markets and the welfare state to achieve this, much as they have done in northern Europe (though undoubtedly our version will be unique and we can, on the way, learn from their mistakes). I don’t see many conservatives taking these questions seriously, and even the most progressive-minded conservatives out there, I fear, are placing their hopes in the wrong coalition.

I don’t feel at home in that coalition, personally, and it’s high time to bid it adieu.

P.S. you can follow me on Twitter or email me anytime.






262 replies
  1. 1
    slag says:

    Ooooh. You are so going to get in trouble for this! I don’t know why yet, but you will.

    And I’m with you on that graph. Disturbing as all hell. Once again, I feel like I’m in bizarro world and can’t get out.

    PS I feel your pain on the taking a stand issue. I used to have your tendencies…being semantically obtuse (or, just obtuse, really), but then I realized that, no, I’m not going to debate the Civil Rights era anymore. And no, I’m not going to debate women’s rights. Or the rights of gays and lesbians anymore. At which point, I became shrill. Because, at some point, the debate just gets old.

  2. 2
    Ruckus says:

    Welcome Home

  3. 3
    danimal says:

    I’m hoping a lot more self-described conservatives come to the same realization as you have, especially in the next few months. The future of our nation depends on it.

  4. 4
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Conservative smervative.
    There are the WINGNUTS and there are the rest of us.

    For Democrats it is always true: We have not yet begun to fight.

    If you want irrational whackjobs, stay home on election day.

  5. 5
    Midnight Marauder says:

    I’m really flabbergasted by the lack of enthusiasm on the part of Democrats.

    Clearly, you have never read any posts outside of your own on this blog.

  6. 6
    El Cid says:

    Americans are sick of being told that half an aspirin will cure their painful headache, and so out of frustration with their headaches not being cured yet, will consider once again listening to the other guy saying that drinking fecal matter soaked rotting meat will help better.

  7. 7
    The Commish says:

    Welcome the the Fight, ED Kain.

    ;)

  8. 8
    General Stuck says:

    Must of been the Beck Palooza of Hate that reached the threshold. Republicans, and those that hold the floor on conservatism are quite insane these days. The democrats have annoyed me to platitudes of high blood pressure, and why I went back to being an independent, but caucus with the ceiling cat dems. But I have and always will consider myself an ordinary liberal, that to me means I don’t turn my brain off in service to any cause, but on nearly every issue, I am left of center. There are leftwing nuts as well, but they are not malevolent like the rightwing nuts, and I fuck with them almost entirely over political process to keep the dogma to a minimum. Picking sides does matter these days, more than any other in my lifetime, but that should not devolve into warring over labels and jingoism and casting judgments on anything other than the substance of a persons belief system.

    So call yourself anything you want, so long as you clearly state what you believe and don’t tailor that to fit what your commentors expect. That way lies confusion and despair.

  9. 9
    David Brooks (not that one) says:

    You fit in the British LIberal party, it seems to me. Maybe even in the Conservatives long ago, say under Edward Heath.

    The word “conservative” is very context-dependent.

  10. 10
    morzer says:

    Well, Mr Kain, I guess you’ve just fallen out of the running for a Gingrich Red Pioneer or Boehner Hunchbacked Eagle or Palin Rabid Wolfslayer Award. But that doesn’t detract from your rapidly growing appeal to this unabashed liberal.

    As for the graph, I am not tremendously surprised that the Dems seem to lack enthusiasm, while the GOP are fired up. We’ve seen 12 months of shameless, hateful, dishonest propaganda. We’ve seen the Blue Dogs selling out, as usual. We’ve seen Dems like Harry Reid groveling to the nutjobs for re-election. I respect Obama, I think Pelosi has done a fabulous job, but the Democrats as a party look pretty unimpressive, despite having achievements to run on. They haven’t even managed to whack a GOP that is chock-full of thugs, frauds, bigots, swindlers and snake-oil salesmen of the worst variety. The irony is that the polls keep telling us that the country wants more liberal policy, not less. And yet the Dems scuttle off to hide, and get picked off one by one. Until the Dems learn to fight and hang tough together, it’s hard to blame the country for not respecting them. More Grayson and less Reid, please.

  11. 11
    Mark S. says:

    I’ve noted before that I don’t think free markets are sustainable without a broad and sturdy welfare state to support them.

    I agree, and I also don’t think a modern economy is healthy when the top 2% (or whatever it is) controls 50% of the wealth. Every proposal from Republicans (and their buddies at Reason) would have the effect of making the superrich even richer. Any disagreement with this is soshalism.

  12. 12
    geg6 says:

    I am impressed and won over. We will still disagree about some things and you still have some learning to do about how to phrase things so as not to unintentionally piss of half the commenters, but this is your best post ever, a heartfelt declaration of who you are and what you believe. Wish you’d done this when you were introduced. Could have saved you some grief. Some of which came from me. Based on what you said here, our basic values line up almost perfectly. Welcome to the reality community. It often sucks on this side, but the snark is the best anywhere.

  13. 13
    JMG says:

    Dear Mr. Kain: Another good post. I am very glad you are here at Balloon Juice.

  14. 14
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I’ve always thought of myself as conservative–my personal tastes and lifestyle, temperament. I often think that if I lived in Europe, I’d probably be in one of the center-right parties but this

    The Democratic Party has its flaws but at least it cares about governance, at least Democrats try to make the world a less harsh, more egalitarian place […] And liberalism generally is just more serious an endeavor than conservatism is. More wonky, more beholden to, you know, data and facts.

    is the reason I’m a Democrat, and considered a DFH by the likes of David Broder. I grew up, politically, while Ronald Reagan was refusing to acknowledge apartheid and sending a madman to give a Bible to Islamic fundamentalists, then Old Man Bush started his unique brand of snivelling demagoguery about the pledge of allegiance and taxes. Then came Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey and Tom Delay. As I get older, Republicans get meaner, angrier and more detached from reality, culminating in Sarah Palin. I think I’ve voted for one Republican in my life. I can’t imagine it will happen again.

  15. 15
    Glenndacious Greenwaldian (formerly tim) says:

    other commenters have said it much better, but generally speaking, “vote for us because, yes we do suck, but we don’t suck quite as much as the other guys” is not an inspirational campaign slogan.

    I’m of the opinion most of the elected Dems will WELCOME being back in the minority. The concept of leadership, of actually backing up words with bold action, scares the poop out of them and cuts into their cocktail party time.

  16. 16
    Mark S. says:

    @El Cid:

    We’ve never actually tried true fecal matter soaked rotting meat to cure our headaches, so how do we know it won’t work?

  17. 17
    cleek says:

    can’t Democrats at least mobilize opposition to the opposition?

    the Dems suck suck suck suck suck at politics.

    and they’re only barely acceptable at policy.

    the Dems only look good because the GOP is a fucking nightmare; they’re definitely not inspiring or even competent.

  18. 18
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    Kain, I’m about your age, and I can recall going through a similar transformation several years ago. It wasn’t that I necessarily thought conservatives were right, but I subscribed very strongly to the “pox on both your houses” view and was profoundly skeptical of certain elements of the left (which is easy to do, because the left is pretty ideologically diverse). Mostly what resolved my dilemma was the realization that leftist nuts had vastly less influence and importance in the democratic party than rightist nuts had in the republican party.

  19. 19
    General Stuck says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I’ve always thought of myself as conservative—my personal tastes and lifestyle, temperament

    Same here, and why I think conservative principles that are centered around the conserve part are great for individual guidance on day to day living. They are a complete disaster when applied to governing a country that was created as a liberal democracy.

  20. 20
    E.D. Kain says:

    @David Brooks (not that one): I like the Lib Dems in the UK a lot.

  21. 21

    There was a time, back in the Stone Age, when I tried to keep up with a few conservative thinkers. A lot of problems are complex and it often helps to look at it from another perspective.

    Plus, I often had a suspicion that the Best Way might be some combination of the two views.

    Now, alas, that isn’t so. The smart, constructive, and creative thinkers from the conservative side are all in hiding or something.

    It is our loss. We are all poorer for the lack of real, solution-oriented dialogue. We still have problems that are very complex and we have too few folks who are willing to think about these problems.

    Do you think we might coax some of those intelligent conservatives to come out of hiding?

  22. 22
    mr. whipple says:

    Wow. Good for you.

  23. 23
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That sounds about right. I’m sort of culturally conservative in many ways, but politically – meh – in America at least, I’m right with you. In Europe – center-right for sure.

  24. 24
    HumboldtBlue says:

    The reason you’re a conservative comfortable in the Democratic party is because that’s where all the sane conservatives have gone. I’m a liberal Democrat, and yet someone like Ben Nelson is called a Democrat which is like calling me Lady Gaga, it just makes no goddamned sense.

    Nelson was known as a Republican when I was still a kid, now he’s supposed to champion liberal values like equality, fairness and strong, reasonable regulation so that we all aren’t poisoned by the eggs we eat at breakfast.

    You’re left with tight-ass conservative fuck whistles who couldn’t pass muster at a Beck-Palin fucknozzleooza masquerading as Democrats all the while shilling for corporate interests over the interest of union members, the ever-shrinking middle class and the powerless poor.

    Thanks Reagan, you mealy-mouthed fuck knuckle. We want Democrats and they send us the least crazy christianist fuckwads. Aint it great to be an American?

  25. 25
    morzer says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Which version? The Orange Bookers or the older Lib Dems who founded/integrated the party?

  26. 26
    El Cid says:

    @Mark S.: Rather, the fecal matter soaked rotting meat we were given under the Bush Jr. triumvirate wasn’t virulent and putrefied enough and we didn’t get enough of it, so, it’s pretty much like we’ve never tried it.

  27. 27
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @cleek:

    the Dems suck suck suck suck suck at politics.

    I just hit mute for a commercial that has Uncle Sam digging a pit that has to be about twelve feet deep, while an announcer ominously intones that we have to borrow more money from China to pay for a health care bill that raises taxes, increases insurance premiums and cuts Medicare. It’s all horseshit, but it takes a while to explain that, and if you’re explaining, you’re losing.
    The right wing is spending over $400 million to sell lies in this cycle alone, and that’s just a down payment on what they expect in return for their money. That stat alone ought to make it clear to most voters who’s on whose side, but more people probably know who won the last dancing with the stars than are aware of it.

  28. 28
    Pavlov's Dog says:

    heh…keep walking toward the light E.D., you can do it…

  29. 29
    Frank says:

    Another great posting!

    It’s not so much that the Democrats are offering anything particularly exciting to the voters (though they have passed a few major pieces of legislation, you know!) but that the alternative just seems so unabashedly awful…can’t Democrats at least mobilize opposition to the opposition?

    Well, one thing I have learned since the 2008 election (from reading dailykos now and then) is that unless Democrats get 100% of what they think was promised right away, they apparently are just going to take their ball and go home. When I was a Republican, their people seemed to better understand that it can several elections to get things done.

  30. 30
    slag says:

    @Glenndacious Greenwaldian (formerly tim):

    I’m of the opinion most of the elected Dems will WELCOME being back in the minority. The concept of leadership, of actually backing up words with bold action, scares the poop out of them and cuts into their cocktail party time.

    Good. Let’s make them pay for their pathetic performance by re-electing them into the majority.

    Because fuck them, that’s why!

  31. 31
    morzer says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    But there are two sorts of Lib Dem, at least – those, like Clegg, who wrote for the more right-wing Orange Book, and those like Charles Kennedy who are more interested in social justice and avoiding regressive taxes. From this piece, you sound closer to Kennedy.

  32. 32
    amorphous says:

    Looks like John bringing over a “thinking” conservative, or however he put it, lasted all of – what, three weeks? Time to go find someone new, John. BJ’er #13 on the way.

    I vote four Douthat. Now that will piss people off.

  33. 33
    John Cole says:

    I hate to be the one to have to break this to you, but the reason you are not a conservative is because you are a Democrat.

  34. 34
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN) says:

    @Mark S.: Are you claiming that it’s real fecal matter we haven’t tried, or real rotting meat?

  35. 35
    cleek says:

    @Frank:

    When I was a Republican, their people seemed to better understand that it can several elections to get things done.

    the current GOP (aka “teabaggers”) doesn’t seem like a patient bunch, to me.

  36. 36
    Ruckus says:

    @The Main Gauche of Mild Reason:
    leftist nuts had vastly less influence and importance in the democratic party than rightist nuts had in the republican party

    And it has been getting more so every day. Now all you can see and hear are nutjobs of epic proportions.

  37. 37
    slag says:

    @John Cole:

    I hate to be the one to have to break this to you, but the reason you are not a conservative is because you are a Democrat.

    Logic fail. Don’t make me break out the Venn diagram.

  38. 38

    @General Stuck:

    There are leftwing nuts as well, but they are not malevolent like the rightwing nuts, and I fuck with them almost entirely over political process to keep the dogma to a minimum.

    Means to an end, or an end unto itself? I find toying with the youngsters is akin to a cat with a foil-ball-and-string, on the right kind of days its amusing as hell.

    er… which them is ‘them’? Maybe I got it sideways…

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mark S.: It was ersatz fecal matter? Where ever does one find such a thing?

    @ED Kain: Nice post. It is, I am sure, not easy to dissociate oneself from one’s affiliations. People here at BJ will continue will continue to disagree with you on issues, both big and small. People will still hurl abuse at you for any reason they can find, but it is par for the course. Don’t let bug you; it happens to everyone.

  40. 40
    d.eris says:

    “I’m pro-gay-marriage, anti-war, anti-torture, and against the drug war, against the security state, against crony capitalism.”

    Wait, so why are you so sympathetic to the Democratic Party then? The Democratic Party is against gay marriage, it’s extending the wars, looked the other way on torture, passed the military commissions act, stands strongly in favor of the drug war, continues to expand the national security state and strongly supports the banking cartels and crony capitalists who fund them.

    “It’s not my politics so much that have undergone a change lately (though they have as well), but my thoughts on who I should and should not align myself with”

    Oh, so you’re a reactionary! You’ll be right at home in the Democratic party then.

  41. 41
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I still think the best counterpunch to that kind of stuff is a “They must think you’re not very smart” ad, which would call out the way every fucking thing Republicans do in their ads and media is a giant fucking lie, _while at the same time_ upholding the Bob Somerby point about how we on the left should talk to the disgruntled people by blaming the media misinformers rather than on the sometimes-not-entirely-evil people who fall for it because that’s all they hear.

  42. 42
    morzer says:

    @John Cole:

    Mr Cole, we have Senator Nelson on line 1….

  43. 43
    Frank says:

    @cleek:

    the current GOP (aka “teabaggers”) doesn’t seem like a patient bunch, to me.

    Well, compare them to the dailykos crowd who claim they are not even going to vote because they haven’t gotten everything they claim was promised. I bet the tea baggers will not only vote this November, they will vote in 2010, 2012 etc irregardless of whether they win or lose this fall.

  44. 44
    E.D. Kain says:

    @morzer: I like Clegg’s politics fairly well though honestly I’m not an expert.

  45. 45
    geg6 says:

    @slag:

    Win.

    Heh.

  46. 46
    eric says:

    let me say this again slow-ly for the 100th time…you cannot simply blame the dems for being bad at messaging when the vehicle for the message (the media) is bought and paid for to be anti-democratic, anti-union, anti-tax, anti- welfare state.

    Chomsky/Herman’s Manufacturing Consent was right all those years ago and is still right today. the cultural and political affinities of the corporate class controls the media and thereby what is acceptable discourse in the country.

    Just look at the mining disasters and the utter lack of any pro-union, worker protection legislation.

    many of the dems may indeed be bad, but not Al Franken, not Bernie Sanders in the Senate, for example. Heck, there is a sizable progressive caucus in the House that may just as well not exist because the means to getting the message out would rather them go away.

  47. 47
    Gus says:

    It’s not so much that the Democrats are offering anything particularly exciting to the voters (though they have passed a few major pieces of legislation, you know!) but that the alternative just seems so unabashedly awful

    “We suck less” isn’t a particularly exciting marketing slogan.

  48. 48
    monkeyboy says:

    Bad politicians (ones who don’t serve all of their constituents) can be classified as Evil, Venal, and/or Know Nothing Stupid.

    A lot of the recent right wing media push seems to be along the lines that all government and politicians are bad so we might as well vote for the Stupid because at least they are pure.

    I see no other way to explain Palin.

  49. 49
    demkat620 says:

    I too have to admit I really can’t understand why anybody would vote for a Republican.

    I’ll say it now, if they take back both houses Impeachment will not be enough.

    This is almost like a blood lust on the right. This is scary, scary stuff.

  50. 50

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Do you think we might coax some of those intelligent conservatives to come out of hiding?

    And risk their wingnut welfare? No way. Money talks, intelligent conservatives walk.

  51. 51
    Suffern ACE says:

    Well, it looks like this is going to be a social issues election and the big issues of the past Summer have all been framed as social issues. We could of course be squabbling about immigration as an economic concern, but we fail to do so. Or we could talk about building mosques for the construction jobs that would bring as well as the benefits of having an empty building refurbished for a new use. But we don’t do that. Democrats are always more divided on social issues than Republicans. It would also be nice if, say, the Taliban would have responded to our little surge by surrendering en masse, Israel and Iran would not have entered into high-profile drone construction projects, oil in the Gulf would have turned out to have been really just water, and the Senate wasn’t encumbered by self-inflicted rules, including the odd rule that it can only tackle one issue at a time and it must take at least a few months to deliberate on each.

    But it is going to be a social issue election with the economy faltering. Yippee.

  52. 52
    Johannes says:

    Welcome on board, E.D. Glad to have you. (And glad to have you speaking with greater clarity, but still having an eye ti nuance).

  53. 53
    Crashman says:

    Erik,

    Just wanted to say I love the post. Thanks for the honesty. This side is infuriating, but at least it’s not nihilistic.

    By the way, great reading list.

  54. 54
    morzer says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    I suspect that Clegg is well down the road to destroying the Lib Dems, and that we shall see some high-profile defections in the next year. Voters seem increasingly unhappy with Clegg’s willingness to prop up a Conservative government that has largely abandoned the pretense of being genuinely moderate, and this is before the big changes really bite.

  55. 55
    Lavocat says:

    The Dems should just run with something catchy for the midterms.

    Something like: “Vote Democratic – it’s not like you have a choice!”

    Or: “Vote Democratic – we didn’t fuck things up as badly as the other guys!”

    Or: “Vote Democratic – we promise, it’ll get better, really!”.

    My advice? Start drinking heavily.

  56. 56
    jwb says:

    @General Stuck: I’m quite sure there are malevolent leftists, but politically they are so powerless today that they are not worth a thought.

  57. 57
    Delia says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I still think the best counterpunch to that kind of stuff is a “They must think you’re not very smart” ad

    Or “Vote Democratic. We’re the ones who aren’t batshit insane.”

  58. 58
    Mark says:

    Well, it’s not like we didn’t all see this coming. “Sane conservatism” is liberalism. The only way to associate conservatism with modern wingnuttery is to be, well, stupid. ED, whatever his faults, is not stupid.

  59. 59
    jwb says:

    @E.D. Kain: I doubt you will once they’ve been in power with the Tories much longer.

  60. 60
    slag says:

    @d.eris: Dude, you need to find yourself a history book. And a dictionary while you’re at it.

  61. 61
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Welcome to the borg, clown.

  62. 62
    Church Lady says:

    I thought a few weeks ago that E.D. said he never voted for either major party, that he usually voted Libertarian. Maybe I’m getting him confused with someone else. No matter, he might be “sane”, but John’s selling him as a “sane Concervative” might have been a little less than truthful. I guess it’s back to the drawing board in search of a true sane Conservative.

    Oh, and E.D., enjoy your coming tongue bath.

  63. 63
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Well, you may not be conservative, but given how perverted all political categories have become these days, who the hell know WHAT they are anymore. Your posts are good reading, with lots of food for thought.

    By the way, I hate to Pee in the Libertarian Pool Party, but I survived “Let them eat cake” Gary Johnson as our governor and I hope to God the current media love fest with him fades fast. He’s not the great “honest” guy he seems. Yeah he’s got that warm, fuzzy, “Legalize Marijuana” halo around him. But his totally irresponsible funding cuts for even basic education, social service, and public safety obligations of government were outrageous.

    He’s a compulsive narcissist who I am sure is loving his 15 minutes of fame on the national politics beat. While our NM school and police forces and health and social services department “beasts” were “starved”, he fiddled his multimillionaire-ass time away, spouting utopian libertarian fantasies (“High school shouldn’t be funded by the government–they’re just seat time for lazy teenagers. Their parents should pay for private schooling after 8th grade”.). And training to compete in marathons and triathlons. Oh, and hiring his business buddies at Wackenhut to privatize our state prison industry.

    Under Gary Johnson’s self-gratifying romp into public office, this state was in the dark ages for eight years. God forbid he ever becomes President of the United States. We’d all need to be smoking marijuana on a daily basis to survive it.

  64. 64

    @jwb:

    I’m quite sure there are malevolent leftists

    Well, one showed up in a thread a few down from this one …

  65. 65
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: A couple have shown up today.

  66. 66
    tom p says:

    We will still disagree about some things and you still have some learning to do about how to phrase things so as not to unintentionally piss of half the commenters, but this is your best post ever, a heartfelt declaration of who you are and what you believe.

    Why do I seem to be the only person here who thought to himself, “I know ED, I know.” Everything ED said in this post he has said before. But oh so many people got fixated on how he said it then… rather than what he said.

    ED: it takes time, it takes time to face up to the lies. Especially when you have been telling them to yourself (I am speaking of me and my marraige to a drug dealing, lying theif of a c…. )

    OK I will pass on that word, but the truth is, I was lying to myself because to face the truth of who and what my soon to be ex wife had become was just to horrible a truth: “If she is that, What am I?”

    Well, stupid for starters….

    Seriously tho, I have heard a tenor of what I went thru with my ex, in the voice of every conservative convert I have listened to. And I always knew where they were going, long before they did.

  67. 67
    The Commish says:

    @Delia: My bumper sticker idea is:

    “My Dems are pathetic, but
    your GOP is F***ING NUTS.”

  68. 68
    bago says:

    Y’know, I’m really appreciating the writing of Conor Friedersdorf these days. He seems like a conservative kid who traveled the world, and is willing to admit he might be wrong. If people like him and this Kain fellow are going to be our new conservative overlords, it’s a step up from Gingrich and Palin.

    Damning with faint praise above, but it’s the essence of dealing with reality as opposed to ideology that makes for a good conversation. And that’s what these people seem to aspire to. This is where the debate belongs, not on Palin’s twitter page.

  69. 69
    General Stuck says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: Well, Susan Martinez is leading Denish right now in polls, and she seems like the real deal wingnut, though I haven’t been keeping up with the campaign that much. Johnson was a loon, by any standard. You could have sat turnip in the Governors chair and nothing would have been different/

  70. 70
    The Commish says:

    @Gus:

    “We suck less” isn’t a particularly exciting marketing slogan.

    How about “We suck less than endless war, foreign and domestic, compounded by poverty, class immobility, and environmental catastrophe.”

    Nah, you’re right, not catchy enough.

  71. 71
    jwb says:

    I think you probably are still conservative, you just aren’t insane. But anyone who isn’t crazy really ought to be voting for the Dems given the platform that the Republicans are running on.

  72. 72
    cleek says:

    @Frank:

    the dailykos crowd who claim they are not even going to vote

    personally, i doubt the veracity of those claims. a couple months of “Speaker Boehner” and “Majority Leader McConnell” talk will give them the proper perspective.

  73. 73

    @bago:
    I’ll just repeat my comment from an earlier thread re: Conor:

    Any time I hear Conor Friedersdorf’s name, I am reminded of this (true/slant link):

    QUOTE
    Dear Jonah Goldberg,
    I’m writing this letter as a fan – I’ve tremendous respect for the pioneering work you did at National Review Online, your attempts to inject humor into political writing, and the enjoyable debates you’ve done with Peter Beinart.
    END QUOTE
    (emphasis added)

  74. 74
    morzer says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Heh, indeedy.

  75. 75
    cleek says:

    @Gus:

    “We suck less” isn’t a particularly exciting marketing slogan.

    if only the Dems would take the time and energy to come up with one of their own…

    alas.

  76. 76
    Mark S. says:

    @Church Lady:

    Oh, and E.D., enjoy your coming tongue bath.

    Well, if you offering, but I didn’t expect that from you, Church Lady.

  77. 77
    slightly_peeved says:

    can’t Democrats at least mobilize opposition to the opposition?

    For some reason, the US Democrats, and by extension the US left as a whole, are the only leftist movement in the world that treat “solidarity” as a dirty word. A lot of the world’s leftist political parties expect a level of party loyalty and cohesion greater than that of US Republicans. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these political parties tend to get a lot more done than the Democratic party.

    Party cohesion is necessary to get stuff done. What makes the Republicans evil is not that they stand together; it’s that they stand together in the fulfilment of evil, selfish policies.

    That being said, Reagan had a worse fall in popularity in his first term with a better economy. 2 years into term + high unemployment + midterms = bad for incumbent party. Because it’s a pattern that has repeated so many times, I think it’s the result of factors beyond any single policy decision by the Obama administration.

  78. 78
    suzanne says:

    It’s not my politics so much that have undergone a change lately (though they have as well), but my thoughts on who I should and should not align myself with, and why this is important.

    Welcome, neighbor. You gets it. :)

  79. 79
    slag says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Which, by the way, is now the only reason I’ll ever need to not read Friedersdorf again. So, thank you for that.

  80. 80
    Neo says:

    Barnhardt: Tell me, Hilda, does all this frighten you? Does it make you feel insecure?
    Hilda: Yes, sir, it certainly does.
    Barnhardt: That’s good, Hilda. I’m glad.

  81. 81
    DougJ says:

    The ‘pox on both your houses’ style really is sort of annoying after a while even if it is unintentional and even if it is due to honest doubt rather than an attempt to please everyone

    Welcome aboard.

  82. 82
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @jwb: Nowadays, that makes him a fucking liberal.

  83. 83
    d.eris says:

    @slag: @slag:

    Why? Is there some parallel world, alternate history I’m not aware of, in which the Democratic party is not in bed with the banksters, not in support of the drug war, not weak-kneed on civil liberties issues, etc?

    Further, lesser evilism is the primary form of political reactionism in the United States today, i.e. in which a person supports one party first and foremost because they oppose the other party.

  84. 84
    jwb says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: If this is how realignment happens, I need a drink. Make that several.

  85. 85
    ColleenSTL says:

    @Frank: Someone needs to separate “enthusiasm” from whether-am-I-going-to-vote and who-am-I-going-to-vote-for.

    At 53, I have recently discovered that I am officially a “geezer” here, so perhaps I am speaking out of turn. But I don’t think that’s a fair representation of liberals or, specifically, of the Great Orange Satan. Liberals are mostly willing to compromise themselves into being actual Republicans (See Nelson, Ben) if it will permit them to get something done. (If anything, Markos is a ruthless pragmatist when push comes to shove. That’s actually one of the things he does/is that irritates me.)

    That doesn’t mean we don’t get to bitch about it. The authoritarian streak that leads Republicans to “fall in line” simply doesn’t exist in the Democratic party. The very intellectual honesty that makes me proud to be liberal is the cause of Democratic malaise.

    I was never an Obama-bot, and wasn’t surprised to see him turn out to be the most centrist of the three choices originally available. What I DID believe was that he would reclaim our national character, and stand true to certain essential values. And in that I’m afraid our President has been a dismal failure. If anything, he stands as proof of the inherent corruption of absolute power.

    Oooh, so we don’t torture people anymore. Good for us! But rather than renouncing Bush/Cheney’s breathtaking expansion of Executive power, Obama has extended it. We are now supposed to accept that the President has the power to order the execution of any US citizen he deems a “terrorist.” And oh-by-the-way there is no review of this designation.

    So ETFOOM but I get to be “unenthusiastic.” It doesn’t mean I won’t vote, as I have done at every opportunity since it became legal for me to do so. But it does mean I will not continue to work on behalf of hacks whose votes are as reliable as my local weather forecast.

    Rather than being a bunch of cry-babies who won’t go along if they don’t get everything they want, the real problem with progressives is that we go along too easily! Republicans play to their base. Democrats flip theirs off to gain credibility with people who will never support them. That this continues to happen under Obama is something we get to be pissed about.

    But we still have to vote.

  86. 86
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @General Stuck:

    No kidding–Gary Johnson WAS a loon. And a Wanker and an Ass Hat.

    I still think it’s a close race, regardless of the polls. But Susana Martinez is riding on the fact that no one REALLY knows her outside her home town so she can look like she’s a biggie. For years in my former career, I had to work closely with her DA’s office on community projects. She used to be a Democrat until she got into a feud with her former boss and changed parties to run against him, and once elected you’d never know she wasn’t one. My organization was a very liberal one, and we always could count on her support. But she’s also a small town politician, and a bit of a fake who is willing to sell out politically to get elected. And now, true to form, all her positions statements are completely scripted right off the Republican Party of NM Platform because she wouldn’t have a clue about where to stand on issues outside her tiny range of experience as a DA. She’s never done ANYTHING to prepare her for the balancing act required to effectively run an entire state, and lacks the skill or breadth of knowledge to be Governor. Denish has been highly underrated because she served in the shadow of Big Bill, but I think she’s a smarter, savvier leader than most people give her credit for.

  87. 87
    jwb says:

    @d.eris: Welcome your wingnut overlord!

  88. 88
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @jwb: Hellifiknow, but being a liberal used to mean something: traitor, child molester, commie symp, agitator for black power, etc. Now ya just gotta be a disaffected Republican.

  89. 89
    Paris says:

    the generous maternity leave in Sweden or Germany is far more in line with a belief in the importance of family than our lack of any policy to that effect

    Bingo! I hope there are more of oyu.

  90. 90
    slightly_peeved says:

    What is this strange country where people trust politicans? Lesser evilism is the way politics works, anywhere. The preferential system of voting is codified lesser evilism – it selects the candidate that the most people dislike the least.

  91. 91
    anon says:

    @HumboldtBlue:

    I’m a liberal Democrat, and yet someone like Ben Nelson is called a Democrat which is like calling me Lady Gaga, it just makes no goddamned sense.

    It actually does make sense. At least according to some measures, the most conservative Dem in the Senate (which I think is B.N.) is more liberal than the most liberal Rethuglicans in the Senate.

  92. 92
    anon says:

    @slightly_peeved:

    Lesser evilism is the way politics works, anywhere.

    That discounts the fact that in some other countries, there’s proportional representation, so you can have more than two workable parties, unlike places like the US which have both first-past-the-post and no proportional representation.

  93. 93
    jwb says:

    @ColleenSTL: No, the real problem with progressives is that we are a bunch of lazy asses put to shame by the teabaggers, who are about as lazy ass as you can get. The complete lack of organization on the progressive left the past two has been nothing short of astounding. Then when things didn’t go exactly the way we wanted we started pouting and saying “the real problem with progressives is that we go along too easily.” No, the real reason the right regularly cleans our clock is because they own the fucking corporations and media and we have to work 10 times as hard just to be in the ballgame.

  94. 94
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @slightly_peeved:

    For some reason, the US Democrats, and by extension the US left as a whole, are the only leftist movement in the world that treat “solidarity” as a dirty word.

    Democrats aren’t a “leftist movement”. What’s true of a Senate caucus that includes Barbara Boxer and Sherrod Brown as well as Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor is true of the national party as a whole. As (I forget who) said, in any rational world any bill that these four people all voted in favor of would be seen as “bipartisan”. Until either Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins (and now Mike Castle and to a lesser extent Scott Brown) retire, or the filibuster is left in the ash heap of history, this is the party we’re stuck with. That’s why I think working the media is (one of) our most effective near-term option

  95. 95
    burnspbesq says:

    @d.eris:

    “Wait, so why are you so sympathetic to the Democratic Party then?”

    Because the Democratic Party is all that stands between us and the Republican Party. And if you think there’s no difference, you are way dumber than I think you are, and I already think you’re pretty dumb.

  96. 96
    Arclite says:

    E.D.,

    Conservative or liberal, I don’t really care. I’ve enjoyed the writing and the points of view you have expressed and the discussions you have stimulated at this site. I started becoming a regular here two years ago, and have enjoyed this site’s growth, and you are an important part of that. Thanks for spending time here and improving this blog.

    Also, in your book list, I didn’t see Roger Zelazny’s Amber series. As much as the LOTR and Prydain, the Chronicles of Amber had an effect on me, prompting me to explore the nature of the universe and reality. Really a fantastic series.

  97. 97
    Allison W. says:

    An outside group should create a campaign called:

    “WTF AMERICA?!”

    It would be a series of commercials where a comedian will joke (except he’ll be serious) about the complete absurdity of voting for the same party that tanked the economy, encourages hate and shamelessly pisses on the poor and the middle class.

  98. 98
    slightly_peeved says:

    Rather than being a bunch of cry-babies who won’t go along if they don’t get everything they want, the real problem with progressives is that we go along too easily!

    Look at many other countries with universal health care, paid maternity leave and other benefits, and you will see a progressive base that is more loyal and dependable (and in general, more engaged) than the US progressive base. Part of the reason the US scores 18th in the Economist’s Democracy index is the lack of participation of Americans in politics.

  99. 99
    Allison W. says:

    @jwb:

    No, the real problem with progressives is that we are a bunch of lazy asses put to shame by the teabaggers, who are about as lazy ass as you can get. The complete lack of organization on the progressive left the past two has been nothing short of astounding. Then when things didn’t go exactly the way we wanted we started pouting and saying “the real problem with progressives is that we go along too easily.” No, the real reason the right regularly cleans our clock is because they own the fucking corporations and media and we have to work 10 times as hard just to be in the ballgame.

    totally agree with you, but when I’ve brought this up at other blogs the blame immediately shifts to Obama.

  100. 100
    Nick says:

    can’t Democrats at least mobilize opposition to the opposition?

    not when the party consists of 50 plus million members who have the attitude “Give me what I want, when I want it or let it burn”

  101. 101
    wes g says:

    @Midnight Marauder:
    i agree with Kain, there’s not nearly as much shrill’ness on the democrats side as there is on the republican side.

  102. 102
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I don’t feel at home in that coalition, personally, and it’s high time to bid it adieu.

    Is this how you repay Glenn Beck for Restoring Your Honor yesterday?

    Ingrate.

  103. 103
  104. 104
    Jager says:

    @El Cid:

    True, and only those lefty liars the “Si-un-tists” say its bad for you, then and also!

  105. 105
    Nick says:

    @ColleenSTL:

    But rather than renouncing Bush/Cheney’s breathtaking expansion of Executive power, Obama has extended it. We are now supposed to accept that the President has the power to order the execution of any US citizen he deems a “terrorist.” And oh-by-the-way there is no review of this designation.

    you know this is something I can’t get too excited about, because the expansion of Executive power has been an issue for the entire history of our nation and always continue to be.

    I never criticized Bush for what he did here because the truth was, the people were ok with it, and their minds were not going to be changed (Lord knows I’ve tried), so if this is how we’re going to live, I’d rather have a Democrat in office doing this than a Republican.

    America would hand power over to Francisco Franco if they could..lets be thankful they can’t.

  106. 106
    noncarborundum says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Where ever does one find such a thing?

    Amazon.com

  107. 107
    morzer says:

    @noncarborundum:

    I swear I bought a dozen of those at the local Dunkin’….

  108. 108
    Mike in NC says:

    @demkat620:

    This is almost like a blood lust on the right. This is scary, scary stuff.

    Almost? Recall that back in the day one of the books on the GOP crusade against Clinton was entitled “Bloodsport: The Hunting of a President”. SSDD.

  109. 109
    jwb says:

    @Nick: “America would hand power over to Francisco Franco if they could..lets be thankful they can’t.” Are you sure we can’t. Under the right circumstances, I could easily see a Franco type being elected, and it’s not like the current supreme court would step in and stop it before it was too late.

  110. 110
    Jager says:

    As I explained to a wingnut the other day…”President Obama politically is well to the right of President Eisenhower”! Of course, the Birchers thought Ike was a commie stooge.

  111. 111
    slightly_peeved says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Democrats aren’t a “leftist movement”.

    I’m defining them as a leftist movement relatively speaking, in that the Democratic party as a whole wish to move the US government further left than the other party does. They are the mechanism by which the leftist movement in the US as a whole attempt to have their desired policies implemented. To my mind, that makes them part of the leftist movement even though a large proportion of their members sure as hell aren’t leftist.

  112. 112
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Just to continue preaching to the already converted: These people are fucking psychotic.

    A full 14 percent of Republicans said that it was “definitely true” that Obama sympathized with the fundamentalists and wanted to impose Islamic law across the globe. An additional 38 percent said that it was probably true — bringing the total percentage of believers to 52 percent.

  113. 113
    TVL says:

    @jwb:

    No, the real reason the right regularly cleans our clock is because they own the fucking corporations and media and we have to work 10 times as hard just to be in the ballgame

    Bzzzzzz wrong answer…..

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I just hit mute for a commercial that has Uncle Sam digging a pit that has to be about twelve feet deep, while an announcer ominously intones that we have to borrow more money from China to pay for a health care bill that raises taxes, increases insurance premiums and cuts Medicare. It’s all horseshit, but it takes a while to explain that, and if you’re explaining, you’re losing.

    Bingbingbingbing….we have a winner.

  114. 114
    jwb says:

    @TVL: And yet you ask yourself, why is it that I’m having to explain that this is horseshit, if not for the 10 gazzillion dollars that’s been used to spread the horseshit in the first place?

  115. 115
    JamesC says:

    The problem with the Democratic strategy’s pretty darn simple. The Democrats are saying that we’re going to have to spend a few years of hard work fixing an unimaginably complex system whose breakdown was caused partially by the spending habits of you and your’s. And part of the cost and work towards the repairs is, well, your fair share of the burden.

    The Republicans are saying that if you hire them, they’ll make sure you* (*if you’re white, male, Christian and rich) will prosper despite the recession.

    You’d have to not be desperate to treat snake-oil salesmen with the skeptical contempt they deserve. But “not desperate” isn’t a phrase I’d use to describe our nation right now. To exacerbate it all, the media’s in the business of heightening desperation – it is, after all, what draws eyeballs…

  116. 116
    numbskull says:

    @eric: True.

  117. 117
    mr. whipple says:

    Republicans play to their base. Democrats flip theirs off to gain credibility with people who will never support them.

    They might play to them, but what do they get? The wingnuts I knew that were so happy when Newt the Snoot took over in ’94 felt like they were sold out within a year.

  118. 118
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @mr. whipple: I remember that, Newtie explaining that in the Contract they promised to bring those things to a vote, not to pass them– Term limits, balanced budget amendment, maybe?

  119. 119
    Martin says:

    Welcome to the party of ‘Democrats are pathetic, but holy fuck are those Republicans crazy’. There’s a lot of us here. We need a better name than independent, though.

    But in describing your various positions, it sounded like you’d fit in pretty well with Democrats but perhaps didn’t realize it.

  120. 120
    ronin122 says:

    So can we still give you shit? Not that any offense would be meant by it of course, just it seems unfair for JC to get all of our whiny moments (especially with paypal stress getting to him). [Mostly kidding of course]

  121. 121
    Frank says:

    @ColleenSTL:

    I was never an Obama-bot, and wasn’t surprised to see him turn out to be the most centrist of the three choices originally available. What I DID believe was that he would reclaim our national character, and stand true to certain essential values. And in that I’m afraid our President has been a dismal failure. If anything, he stands as proof of the inherent corruption of absolute power.

    I wish people would realize that the President only has so much power. He tried to close Gitmo but the Democratic led Congress wouldn’t let him. They refused funding of it.

    If you are you going to call Obama a dismal failure, then you should also call the Democratic Congress a dismal failure. By the way, Clinton, Edwards or Kucinich would have all run in to the same damn problem, ie the idiotic senate, as Obama did.

    No, Obama is obviously not a dismal failure. Unlike Clinton, he did get HCR passed. He got Wall Street Reform passed. He is in the process of ending the Iraq war as promised. I for one am very proud of my vote for Obama.

  122. 122
    Martin says:

    @cleek: I doubt it too, but for a website that proclaims it exists to elect more and better Democrats, announcing that you aren’t voting goes way beyond working against the cause – it suggests that participation in government is pointless. That lands you in the antipatriotic camp in my book, and being a WATB doesn’t fly as an excuse in my book.

  123. 123
    Josh James says:

    Appreciate this post, dude.

  124. 124
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    Congrats. You just made a move that John Cole made five years ago, and did it while saying more about it in one post than John has said about it in all the five years put together.

    But make the move you did, and good for you. Now your misery really begins, because no group of people on earth will tear you a new asshole faster, deeper, more often, or for less provocation, than your new Democrat allies. Kiss self esteem goodbye. Hello, heartburn.

  125. 125
    mr. whipple says:

    @Frank: Ditto. Most of my disappointment goes to congress. On the other hand, in the last few election cycles while they tried to regain a majority, it was pretty obvious they were adding a lot of blue dogs to get it.

  126. 126
    Jack Bauer says:

    @E.D. Kain: Count me as an original SDP type, I know Shirley Williams. The Liberals are at their very core a Social Democratic party. They are Left by any US political measure and only split from Labour because of an excess of communist activism amongst the unions.

    They are a little more centrist now, but they have serious respect for the welfare state. Their coalition deal with the Tories might seem off putting to a leftist like me but it actually shows how moderated the British Tories have become. And frankly, all three British parties garner far more respect from me than the D’s or R’s.

  127. 127
    jwb says:

    @Jack Bauer: Well, none of them are out and out crazy.

  128. 128
    chaseyourtail says:

    Anyone who votes Republican in this day and age is certifiably insane. It’s no longer about liberal vs. conservative, it’s about the sane vs. the insane. And the lunatics are poised to take over the asylum…again. But I don’t care because I never got my pony.

  129. 129
    JGabriel says:

    E.D. Kain:

    I’ve noted before that I don’t think free markets are sustainable without a broad and sturdy welfare state to support them.

    Of course not. Saying the state shouldn’t intervene where the economy fails to support people is like saying people shouldn’t go to doctors when they’re sick.

    Conservatism & Libertarianism are the Christian Science of economics.

    .

  130. 130
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @LikeableInMyOwnWay: Oh christ, are you off yer meds again? No need to be so fucking dramatic.

  131. 131
    J says:

    God am I depressed. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if the Republicans do anywhere near as well as expected, they will take their victory as a vindication of their strategy since the last election, i.e, absolute devotion to the interests of the ruling class at the expense of those of the great mass of the citizens, ceaseless lying and slander, complete indifference to reason, truth and honor, xenophobia, nihilistic obstructionism… I could go on, and on.

  132. 132

    @J:

    if the Republicans do anywhere near as well as expected, they will take their victory as a vindication of their strategy since the last election, i.e, absolute devotion to the interests of the ruling class at the expense of those of the great mass of the citizens, ceaseless lying and slander, complete indifference to reason, truth and honor, xenophobia, nihilistic obstructionism… I could go on, and on.

    The problem is that *no matter what happens* the Republicans take it as a vindication of their position. They’re pathological that way.

    But I’m sure Chris Dowd will come along soon to tell you how much of a bunch of anonymous wankers you all are.

  133. 133
    jwb says:

    @J: The silver lining is that, if it’s going to happen, it’s better that it happen in 2010 than in 2012. It means that We, the People have two years to come to our senses. If not—well, let’s hope the Europeans and Chinese are wargaming how to neturalize our nukes without blowing up the world.

  134. 134
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Frank: Ah, Frank. You don’t understand. Trying to close it and failing to do so is just a sign that he never wanted to close it apparently. And now the Dems are supposed to run on protecting the rights of Anwar al-Awlaki as a most pressing issue. We still don’t have a consensus in Congress as to what to do about Guantanamo and whatever processes that have tried to be set up have resulted in fractures within the Democratic party. And we still don’t know exactly how to deal with citizens like Anwar al-Awlaki. But, no. It’s Obama’s fault and these problems will apparently be solved by returning the Republicans to power.

  135. 135
    El Cid says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: When they lose elections, it’s because of ACORN and Mexicans, so their agenda is the bestest and the ones the Americans want. When bad things are made to happen under their governments, then it turns out to be the fault of their Democratic predecessors and successors, and they’ll shout that enough until the conservative-loving billion dollar news media start repeating it as a ‘critics say’ type of troof.

  136. 136
    Suffern ACE says:

    @jwb: On the bummer side, I remember in 1994 thinking that the shift would be temporary, but my hair had started to go grey by 2006.

  137. 137
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: @J: and the Broder/Politico axis will sing along with their “refudiation of Obama” sloganeering

  138. 138
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @jwb: Tell me how Obama runs in 2012? Change you can almost touch? This time is the real time? It’s mourning in America?

    He already shot his load. It’s all downhill from here.

  139. 139

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Tell me how Obama runs in 2012?

    Considering the batshit insane group the GOP has leading the pack right now, there’s a wide berth for his run, imho. Two years is a long time. Clinton won re-election too, remember.

  140. 140
    eastriver says:

    I could so not give a fuck about why you aren’t going to become a conservative. I vaguely remember you being a conservative. Whatever.

    Frankly, you seem like a the pimply kid at a high school dance who will say just about anything to get others to chat with you.

    If you have nothing to say, say nothing.

  141. 141
    handy says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I’m gonna go with, “This Ponies are just around the corner.”

  142. 142
    jwb says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: He’ll probably coast home running on “I’m not crazy”—the same way Clinton did in ’96, because if the goopers do take the House, they’ll overreach by miles. It’s also much easier to yell “obstructionist,” when your opponent is clearly obstructing as opposed to when you have healthy majorities in both the House and Senate, and it looks like you simply don’t have power to control your own party.

  143. 143
    MattR says:

    @Frank:

    I wish people would realize that the President only has so much power. He tried to close Gitmo but the Democratic led Congress wouldn’t let him. They refused funding of it.

    Do you really think that closing Gitmo was really a high priority for Obama or that he was willing to spend much political capital to achieve it? What percentage/how many prisoners have we released in the last 18 months? Maybe I am just not hearing about it, but from what I can tell Obama has made no significant effort to figure out which detainees were rightfully detained and which should be released/repatriated.

    Personally, I am much more concerned about the lengthy detention of people based on the flimsiest of evidence and without and real ability to challenge it than with the physical location where these people are detained.

  144. 144
    handy says:

    @jwb:

    Well that’s inspiring.

  145. 145
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    I no longer have any desire to be considered a conservative

    Well isn’t that just rich. After John called me a psychotic middle-aged caucasian loser I burned all my Chomsky books and Gil Scott-Heron LPs and converted to Pentacostal Tea-Partyism. I guess it’s a wash.

  146. 146
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @jwb: Yeah, that’s been working awesome so far.

  147. 147
    jwb says:

    @handy: That’s not crazy we can believe in.

  148. 148
    jwb says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: So far, the goopers haven’t had to own their obstructionism. That will change the dynamic considerably. All that stuff about if you are explaining, you are losing. The second the goopers enter into open obstructionism, they’ll have to start explaining, and I don’t think even Fox will be able to change that—though I’m sure they are working on a way of overcoming that limitation even as we speak.

  149. 149

    @eastriver:

    I could so not give a fuck about why you aren’t going to become a conservative. I vaguely remember you being a conservative. Whatever.

    The feeling is mutual, I’m sure.

  150. 150
    Bob says:

    E.D.,

    I remember a long time ago you wrote, over at LOOG, that your wife chided you that you might just as well come out of that conservative closet. Just admit it, she said, you are liberal. (That’s my memory.)

    Fucking A! Way to go! Now I’ll probably have a lot fewer occasions to accuse you of conjuring false equivalencies.

    Cheers,
    Bob

  151. 151
    Violet says:

    Hi, Erik. I’m late to seeing your post, but wanted to thank you for such a thoughtful post. I knew you were a DFH deep down. Heh.

    I appreciate your thoughts on how un-serious conservatives are about governing. I’ve felt that way for a long time. It’s interesting to see more and more people come to see it too.

  152. 152
    daveinboca says:

    What happened between July and August for a 16 point swing?

    Duh and double duh…? The economy is going in the wrong direction while MIchelle & daughter spend $50 million on a jaunt to Spain and BHO golfs and takes his ninth vacation doing what he does best—nothing but talk out of both sides of his mouth. And Joe Biden, Mr Credibility himself, is sent out to tell us that the economy is going in the “right direction.”

    Welcome Back Carter? — Commandante Zero never visited the Gulf oil spill until after it became an issue—politically tone deaf and prone to reclusiveness when confronted with reality [rose garden syndrome]. His interview with Bri-boy Williams yesterday was a whining and defensive performance. And he tended to seize up on air when Bri-boy offered questions that weren’t gigantic softballs.

    Could be a landslide come November. Thanks to the Obamanator.

  153. 153
    Cacti says:

    I’d like to say that American voters are too smart to put the GOP wrecking crew back behind the levers of power…

    But they’re really not.

    We’re some 19 1/2 months removed from the 8 glorious years of George Dubya Bush that the American electorate (with an assist from SCOTUS) gave us.

    If a majority really believes the country will best be served by a Speaker of the House who used to hand out Tobacco Lobby Checks on the House floor, then the country gets what it deserves.

    I’ve got outrage fatigue and just have trouble mustering up the energy to give a crap anymore.

  154. 154
    Midnight Marauder says:

    If being pro-family is conservative then I guess I’m conservative in that way – but I think ‘family’ should include committed gay couples.

    I’d say this example is a particularly appropriate one, since it reflects the kind of limits that modern “conservatism” demands of its disciples. Of course, most people are for creating an environment where families of all kinds are able to blossom. The difference is in thinking that gays, lesbians, and transgendered individuals should also be acknowledged as belonging to this group. But if you belong to the Republican Party–or subscribe to the principles and ideology that serve as its political framework-and you try to maintain both of these positions, then you are automatically at odds with their ultimate endgame.

    In their ideal world, such people are perpetual second third class citizens. For many, they wouldn’t be satisfied until anyone who possessed The Gay was dead and gone. And I think it’s easy for people to lose sight of those stakes. That’s where the battle lines are being drawn.

    At the end of the day, are you going to go to battle for the people who, for all their many faults and squabbles, still fight for equality and justice…or are you going to abet and enable the forces of intolerance and ignorance?

    It shouldn’t be a hard choice for anyone who is sane and sensible.

  155. 155
    Craig says:

    @daveinboca: Oooh, that’s a fun game we can play. Firebagger, Teabagger or Troll. I’ma go with….teabagger. Boring answer, I know, but when in doubt, go with rock.

  156. 156
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Bob: I expect you to keep giving me plenty of crap, Bob. You’ve stuck with me this long!

    Thanks everyone. I promise to revisit these as soon as time permits!

  157. 157
    handy says:

    @jwb:

    At this point, I’d take crazy. It would certainly make things more…interesting.

  158. 158

    @daveinboca:

    Could be a landslide come November. Thanks to the Obamanator.

    We libs are busy bookmarking it right now.

  159. 159
    morzer says:

    @daveinboca:

    Did the fucknutterium close early today?

  160. 160
    David says:

    Man am I sick of being told that I need to buck up and support the Democrats because the Republicans are worse. Yeah, I know they’re worse. It’s obvious they’re worse. But “they’re worse” just has it’s limits as a motivational technique, when you can’t say in the next breath “… and we’re going to do something good.” And right now, the Democrats can’t say that.

    Okay, so the Republicans in Congress voted against economic stimulus and health care reform. But the Democrats in Congress delivered a half-assed stimulus that won’t lead to job recovery before 2014 and a half-assed health care bill that won’t contain costs or really do anything to make health care delivery better.

    I worked, unpaid, for the Obama campaign, full-time, for more than a month. I care about these issues, and I know that the Republicans are “worse” in the sense that they want the wrong things. But the Democrats who tell me they want the right things, can’t deliver those things. They won’t try to deliver those things, not if it means (gasp) campaigning in Maine or ending the filibuster (Trotskyite steps tho’ those would be). They won’t put single-payer on the table, they won’t insist on the public option even when they have an opening, they won’t go back to the well for another stimulus package… maybe it’s true that the Republicans don’t want to, but the Democrats can’t. Anyway, like I say, I’m getting tired of being told I’m supposed to care about the difference between the two. Yeah, the Republicans are worse. But the Democrats are still pretty bad.

  161. 161
    birthmarker says:

    @eric: Yes. It is really just corporation vs. worker, the rest is white noise. The repubs have large corporate money to run the well oiled propaganda machine. Who benefits? Follow the money.

    The only solution, which will never happen, is to get the money out of politics.

    In the last couple of weeks, we have had verbal attacks on public workers, Palin saying unions are great except for the dems, and that feminism is a conservative idea. Then we had the wonderful Beckathon this weekend, bogarting off MLK. Beck previously attacked churches who preach a message of social or economic justice.

    These are in essence attacks against traditional dem voting blocks. I expect we will see more of this through 2012. I think it’s the new meme.

  162. 162
    E.D. Kain says:

    @morzer: Like I said, I’m no expert. I’ll have to do more research to give you an honest answer. I like the direction the Tories have taken, and I like Clegg on civil liberties and war, etc. I think the coalition is in many ways quite progressive. But I’m no expert, so…

  163. 163
    E.D. Kain says:

    @John Cole: Haha. Well that’s the short, short version.

  164. 164
    Yutsano says:

    @daveinboca: Yeah, and here’s the funny part. If you guys do win back the House, you’re gonna have to, y’know, DO stuff and stuff. You don’t get to spend two years investigating the arugula sources for the White House to see if Obama is lying about them being organic. And if that’s all you do while the economy decays, you’re dead. And you know it. But you want your last hurrah before fading into demographic obscurity. Enjoy it because it ain’t gonna last.

  165. 165
    Suffern ACE says:

    @MattR: Good Lord. I remember the entire months of November and into January being spent on trying to find a trial location for Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed. Maybe the administration should have dragged that out longer. Should have let that overwhelm anything else he was trying to do. Cause it was so popular. Oh and the Greenwaldists were defending those moves all the way and drumming up support for it…helping to make it a popular move with people outside the civil libertarian community, like they always do.

  166. 166
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Oh, I’m sure I’ll still manage to piss people off plenty and vice versa. Such is politics.

  167. 167
    E.D. Kain says:

    @d.eris: I’m not talking about being sympathetic to the Democrats, per se. I think talking about political philosophy within the crude rubric of GOP vs Dem is way too limiting. Right vs left is limiting, but two parties?

  168. 168
    morzer says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    As Jerome wrote to Augustine:

    “You are hated by the heretics – a greater glory!”

  169. 169
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @David:

    But “they’re worse” just has it’s limits as a motivational technique,

    I would disagree. If anything, I think the past 19 months have demonstrated to everyone that there is no Peak Wingnut and that things can, in fact, get unceasingly worse.

  170. 170

    I think that, over time, you will find that localism is no more compatible with the Democratic party than with the Republicans, neither of which would recognize subsidiarity if it bit them in the ass.

    The best one can do is help build structures and communities that will enable people to wean themselves away from the imperial state, so that when the inevitable crash happens, we have each other to fall back on.

  171. 171
    Cacti says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    I would disagree. If anything, I think the past 19 months have demonstrated to everyone that there is no Peak Wingnut and that things can, in fact, get unceasingly worse.

    I would add to that, it’s not just that the GOP “wants bad things”. They don’t want anything beyond the perpetuation of their own political power. They see themselves as Republicans first, with everything thereafter competing for second. They are a Nihilist party that doesn’t even feign concern for good governance.

  172. 172
    MattR says:

    @Suffern ACE: But that is kinda my point. I don’t particularly care about KSM. He and a handful of other “legitimate” detainees are red herrings. If Obama was actually concerned about indefinite detention and Gitmo he would be focusing on the 90% of cases that are no brainers to anyone looking at them objectively.

  173. 173
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Cacti:

    I would add to that, it’s not just that the GOP “wants bad things”. They don’t want anything beyond the perpetuation of their own political power. They see themselves as Republicans first, with everything thereafter competing for second. They are a Nihilist party that doesn’t even feign concern for good governance.

    I like what you added to that. They really only care about power for power’s sake. They are, essentially, the Party of Gollum. Indeed, I am fascinated to see what people write the Republican Party of today 30-40 years from now.

    Assuming the Mayans were wrong, of course.

    +10

  174. 174
    Violet says:

    @birthmarker:

    These are in essence attacks against traditional dem voting blocks. I expect we will see more of this through 2012. I think it’s the new meme.

    I agree. They’ve also decided that gay marriage is no big deal. Come home to the party that declared you evil and subversive, gay people! No hard feelings!

    @Yutsano:

    If you guys do win back the House, you’re gonna have to, y’know, DO stuff and stuff. You don’t get to spend two years investigating the arugula sources for the White House to see if Obama is lying about them being organic.

    Oh, sure they can. The economy will turn around eventually. If they just wait it out they can claim all their investigations were what made it improve. They can very easily do absolutely nothing.

  175. 175
    Mark S. says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    +10

    Not fucking around tonight.

  176. 176
    Frank says:

    Good Luck, Ed… You are strange and wish you luck. But aren’t we all…

  177. 177
    Yutsano says:

    @Violet:

    They can very easily do absolutely nothing.

    There really is no “can” there. They have said over and over all they will do is investigate and obstruct. They have declared themselves do-nothings and their supporters are right behind them in all that. And any economist worth their salt says that we need jobs programs NOW. Waiting until the eventual improvement (or banana republic status) will hurt way too many folks for me to get complacent.

  178. 178
    jwb says:

    @handy: May you be cursed to live in interesting times. Me, I’ll take boring and sane.

  179. 179
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Mark S.:

    Not fucking around tonight.

    3 Bud Ice 40 oz. for $5 at the local 7-11. I’m just saying…you cannot pass up a deal like that.

  180. 180
    Sofia says:

    Welcome home, brother.

  181. 181
    birthmarker says:

    @Violet: Yes! I forgot that! First Coulter’s speech announcement, , then the pretend outrage by somebody (The Weekly Standard?)

    BTW, who was it a couple of weeks ago who said the repubs don’t need the gay issue this time b/c they have other divisive issues? I can’t remember.

  182. 182
    JGabriel says:

    daveinboca:

    [Obama] golfs and takes his ninth vacation …

    Does a Bush supporter really want to go there?

    .

  183. 183
    jwb says:

    @David: “But the Democrats are still pretty bad.”

    And it’s depressing as hell. Yet there I’ll be pulling the lever in November. BTW, have you called your representative and senators to tell them how you feel?

  184. 184
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @birthmarker:

    BTW, who was it a couple of weeks ago who said the repubs don’t need the gay issue this time b/c they have other divisive issues? I can’t remember.

    I believe you are referencing Peter King:

    King, the Long Island congressman, said that in terms of social issues, the raging controversy over the Arizona border laws is providing more than enough ammunition for Republicans in key districts.
    __
    “The Arizona immigration law is there, there’s no reason to be raising an issue of gay rights” as a wedge, he said.

  185. 185
    handy says:

    @JGabriel:

    Because when Obama goes on vacation, he’s not “clearing brush” at his “ranch.” Big diffie.

  186. 186
    jwb says:

    @JGabriel: Really, daveinboca is not worth the effort. He makes me nostalgic for BoB.

  187. 187
    birthmarker says:

    @Midnight Marauder: Thanks!

  188. 188
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @jwb:

    But the Democrats are still pretty bad.”
    And it’s depressing as hell.

    The other point of the showing up anyway strategy: The Democrats who survive, and most of the up-and-comers, will not see a defeat as a lesson that they should have fought harder and moved left, they, reinforced by the usual media suspects, will take the lesson that they should compromise more. The Firebaggers are working for Dianne Feinstein and David Broder.
    When I send money to a candidate, I tell them I expect them to stand up to Republicans, and not to go Blue Doggy.

  189. 189
    burnspbesq says:

    @daveinboca:

    Could be a landslide come November.

    Doesn’t have to be. What are you, personally, prepared to do in order to prevent it from happening? If your answer is “nothing,” then kindly GtFOotW.

  190. 190
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I have to say, even with Bush I never much gave a damn about whether he was in DC, Maine or the fake ranch.

    OT: I’ve been getting fund-raising requests on Harry Reid’s behalf from people like Al Franken and Sherrod Brown, ever since he stepped on his tongue with the mosque thing. Anybody else getting them from progs?

  191. 191
    Yutsano says:

    @burnspbesq: Ahem good sir, he’s cheerleading for the landslide. Not even worthy of your considerable clowning talents honestly. Since I’d love to see how the Republicans survive sitting around investigating when employment benefits run out again and state budgets decay even more.

  192. 192
    d.eris says:

    @burnspbesq: @burnspbesq:

    “Because the Democratic Party is all that stands between us and the Republican Party. And if you think there’s no difference, you are way dumber than I think you are, and I already think you’re pretty dumb.”

    Yes, good come back, I can see you put serious thought into it. No wonder you vote Democrat. As I said above, lesser evilism is the primary form of political reactionism in the United States today. Ironically, the Democrats don’t even stand up to Republicans. They don’t stand between you and anything. You’ll end up facing a Republican majority once again.

  193. 193
    gnomedad says:

    @Craig:

    Oooh, that’s a fun game we can play. Firebagger, Teabagger or Troll.

    Hmm, Fire burns Troll, Troll drinks Tea, Tea puts out Fire. Now all we need are the hand signs.

  194. 194

    @d.eris:

    No wonder you vote Democrat.

    That’s what’s known in the business as a “tell,” troll.

  195. 195
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Dave Trowbridge: Maybe so. I think this calls for a post on subsidiarity and solidarity…

  196. 196
    Yutsano says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: D’OH! Good catch there.

  197. 197
    Texas Dem says:

    Since I’d love to see how the Republicans survive sitting around investigating when employment benefits run out again and state budgets decay even more.

    I suspect the GOP will do quite well with a “scorched Earth” strategy. Remember that the right wing media is a hell of a lot stronger than it was in the 90s, and the mainstream media (what’s left of it) is much weaker and more easily intimidated. The GOP will cripple Obama with multiple investigations and blame him for lack of action on the economy. It will be a set up for the 2012 election. And if the present trends continue, that election will bring a radicalized and vengeful GOP back to total power, with catastrophic consequences for the country.

  198. 198
    morzer says:

    @Yutsano:

    You should try a glance at the poor creature’s blog. He’s still foaming at the mouth about “the Beast Clinton”.

  199. 199
    Yutsano says:

    @morzer: I don’t have the intestinal fortitude right now, plus I had a good dinner and I’d prefer if it stayed in my digestive tract. Tomorrow is another story, although I get the strangest feeling we’ll never hear from this one again.

  200. 200
    morzer says:

    @Yutsano:

    Well, he turned up yesterday. I wouldn’t bother with his blog. No-one else has, and I only went there as a piece of field anthropology.. or anthrolology. I suspect he’ll get tired of being whacked around the head with logic and evidence soon enough.

  201. 201
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @gnomedad: Ha! That’s a game for the ages!

    @morzer: Not. Getting. Off. The Boat.

    E.D., great post. Of course, I knew you would make a post like this eventually. In the world of American politics today, you are nowhere near conservative.

  202. 202
    d.eris says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    A tell? I never said I was a Democrat. In the Manichean political universe of Democrats and Republicans, not being a Democrat immediately implies that one is a Republican. In fact, I am opposed to both the Republican and Democratic parties. One of my less intelligent interlocutors here stated earlier that the Democrats are the only thing standing between him and the Republicans. Well, there’s no one standing between us and Democratic-Republican joint misrule. E.D. Kain mentioned above the necessity of taking sides. I am on the side of the opposition to the two-party state and against the insanity that is voting for Democrats and Republicans over and over again and expecting something other than the continuing reproduction and expansion of the global warfare and corporate welfare state.

  203. 203
    Bob says:

    Sure, I’ll vote for the Democrats in November. I’m not stupid. And as much as I despise the Republicans, I’m also completely fed up with milquetoast Democrats who can’t seem to muster either a collective spine or a sense of passion about what they supposedly believe. There seem to be only a handful of Democrats anywhere who don’t act like craven wusses, people like Alan Grayson, Al Franken and Russ Feingold (what, do only Jewish Democrats have balls anymore, or what?). Win or lose, at least those guys don’t start out the debate by eating shit for a bipartisan pat on the head from their “good friends” across the aisle. Obama and the rest of the Democrats have already lost it for themselves, riding their mealy-mouthed bipartisan choo-choo train straight to oblivion. What pisses me off the most is that they seem to care more about getting approval from the people who will always despise them no matter what, while doing everything in their power to never, ever, follow the advice of the people who got them elected and who have been right about pretty much everything for the past eight or ten years. And then they go on with the whining “nobody could have predicted” routine, or “Joe Lieberman made us do it.” It’s embarrassing and pathetic. That is all. Over and out.

  204. 204
    d.s. says:

    A lot of Americans use the word “conservative” to mean temperate, sensible, skeptical of changes. I’m guessing that’s what E.D. Kain was thinking when he labelled himself as one.

    American conservatism for the last few decades has been a toxic combination of radicalism and irresponsibility. It’s gotten explosive the last few years though.

    I guarantee that in the 2012 Republican primary, Sarah Palin is going to be pushed by the media as a the “moderate,” simply because her Republican competition is going to be crazier than Sharron Angle. I may end up having to switch my registration and pull the lever for Palin.

  205. 205
    SciVo says:

    Welcome! I converted in 2005, about the same time as John Cole and many others. However, the macro realignment has been an ongoing process extending across decades. We’re just individual casualties of a long-term process with the result that “Democrats are much more liberal than Republicans on the economic dimension: Democrats in the most conservative states are still much more liberal than Republicans in even the most liberal states.”

  206. 206
    Mnemosyne says:

    @d.eris:

    I am on the side of the opposition to the two-party state and against the insanity that is voting for Democrats and Republicans over and over again and expecting something other than the continuing reproduction and expansion of the global warfare and corporate welfare state.

    In other words, you’re jerking off on a street corner and asking passersby to watch.

    Gotcha.

  207. 207

    @d.eris:

    I am on the side of the opposition to the two-party state and against the insanity that is voting for Democrats and Republicans over and over again and expecting something other than the continuing reproduction and expansion of the global warfare and corporate welfare state.

    Well, let me know when your unicorn pony shows up. In the meantime, I’ll keep voting for the less insane option.

    ETA: @Mnemosyne said it much better than I could. Although “Keep fucking that chicken” did cross my mind.

  208. 208
    greyjoy says:

    Republican will not have to explain why they’re being obstructionist. They didn’t have to explain it from 2000-2008. They won’t have to explain why they will finish the job of siphoning off the remaining wealth of the middle class and giving it to the rich. They didn’t explain it when they were in power. They won’t explain finding another country to declare war on, because they didn’t explain it in the first half of this decade. Instead, they will lie, cheat, steal and crow, “We can do this because we won and you lost!” Just like they did last time they won. And the people who support them will happily give up their unions, their civil liberties, their job benefits, their affordable education and their affordable health care, JUST LIKE THEY DID LAST TIME.

    It’s like cows lining up and begging to be hired at McDonald’s, not really understanding or, incredibly, caring that the only open position is for cheeseburgers. All they see is the yellow and the red.

  209. 209
    chaseyourtail says:

    The left will never change. If they didn’t learn their lesson with Nader, they never will. Fools…the lot of them.

  210. 210
    Xenos says:

    The problem is that the Constitution forces deeply undemocratic institutions like the Senate, which tilts so much power to the uneducated and reactionary that moderates and liberals get fed up with the lack of progress, and disengage. And if we try to change the Constitution, with such entrenched power in the hands of the reactionaries, god only knows what we will end up with. So we don’t dare fix the constitution, and politics and government gets worse, and worse, and worse.

    This is not how realignments happen. This is how countries go from Global Hegemon to backwaters over the course of a couple generations. Pick your own example – Germany, Spain, France – a round of fascism is par for the course. How the British got through it with nothing worse than Thatcher may be luck or it may be instructive in some way.

  211. 211
    E.D. Kain says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Thanks!

  212. 212
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: Stop making me have a homosexual woman-crush on you! I may just have to fly down to Santa Monica and spoil you with dinner at Giada’s house or something.

  213. 213
    d.s. says:

    @chaseyourtail: The “left” isn’t the problem.

    Democratic enthusiasm is actually pretty high for a midterm election. Midterms usually have turnout levels of around 30%.

    The problem is the psychotic Republican base which looks set to turn out in absolutely record numbers, and uninformed independents who just want to “throw the bums out” without thinking about who is going to replace them.

    If Sharron Angle beats Harry Reid in Nevada, the first thing firebaggers are going to say is “SEE!!! Voters are angry that they didn’t get the public option!”

  214. 214
    chaseyourtail says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    In other words, you’re jerking off on a street corner and asking passersby to watch.

    Nice.

  215. 215
    chaseyourtail says:

    @d.s.: I agree with you that there are a number of factors in play here. One thing is for sure, it’s going to be a long two months until November.

  216. 216
    mclaren says:

    It’s not just that Dems suck less than Repubs, they suck about equally on most issues, and on a handful of issues Demos are worse than Republicans.

    I mean…holy crap, Obama ordering the assassination of an American citizen without charges and without a trial?

    That’s mafia shit. That’s “Tonight Luca Brazzi sleeps with the fishes.” That’s not America.

    Even the drunk driving C student and his torturer sidekick never tried that shit when they were defaming the Oval Office.

    There’s something to be said for the attitude that you know where you stand with Republicans. They’re going to fuck you over but you know that. With Democrats, they sweet talk you and promise you all kinds of stuff and then they put the ball gag in your mouth and tie your hands and pull down your pants and bend you over the table anyway.

  217. 217
    morzer says:

    @mclaren:

    At least the Democrats promise to use lubricant. I for one welcome our slightly more gentle alien overlords and their exotic pleasure-pain devices.

  218. 218
    Xenos says:

    @mclaren: Hate to burst your bubble, but you would consider the treatment of Padilla as a less serious violation of the law? Padilla was a citizen on our soil, in custody, in no position to cause harm to anyone. If we had the right to target, or assassinate, if you prefer, terrorist leaders in Yemen, I don’t see the distinction, legal or moral, between citizens and non citizens in this context. I doubt W. would have hesitated to do the same thing, or worse, but he would never have been honest about it. With Obama we know about it, and are therefore morally implicated in it, and it should make us uncomfortable.

    This is the sort of moral morass you get into when prosecuting a war on terrorism. Obama had to promise to try to win this war or he would never have been elected. He is doing this because our flawed political system demands it. Player, game, hate – do the math.

  219. 219
    Xenos says:

    @mclaren: Hate to burst your bubble, but you would consider the treatment of Padilla as a less serious violation of the law? Padilla was a citizen on our soil, in custody, in no position to cause harm to anyone. If we had the right to target, or assassinate, if you prefer, terrorist leaders in Yemen, I don’t see the distinction, legal or moral, between citizens and non citizens in this context. I doubt W. would have hesitated to do the same thing, or worse, but he would never have been honest about it. With Obama we know about it, and are therefore morally implicated in it, and it should make us uncomfortable.

    This is the sort of moral morass you get into when prosecuting a war on terrorism. Obama had to promise to try to win this war or he would never have been elected. He is doing this because our flawed political system demands it. Player, game, hate – do the math.

  220. 220
    mclaren says:

    @Violet:

    Oh, sure they can. The economy will turn around eventually. If they just wait it out they can claim all their investigations were what made it improve. They can very easily do absolutely nothing.

    They can do nothing for a year or two. You are making the mistake here of thinking this is just another recession. But it isn’t. Take a look at the graph of median number of weeks unemployed. In this recession it goes exponential. In all previous recessions going back to 1945 that number never got above 13, now it’s above 26 weeks and still climbing.

    Take a look at the graph of manufacturing bounceback in the 18 months after the start each recession since 1948. In the 40s and 50s manufacturing grows in double digits after the recession, in the 60s and 70s it grows in the 6% to 8% range. But in this recession manufacturing in America declines 18 months after the start of the 2007 recession.

    Once again, this recession is radically different from previous recessions. Employers are taking the opportunity this time to offshore the lost jobs. They’re not coming back. The notion that “this is just another economic downturn and employment will pick up soon” overlooks that we (and by this I mean the entire world) have entered into a new economic era. The post WW II economic framework is borken and it’s not coming back. The internet + computers + robots + globalization have shattered essentially all the component parts of the post-WW II Bretton Woods global economic framework and we now find ourselves in a new era.

    Among the things that have changed:

    [1] Skilled manual labor has been automated out of existence by robots since the 70s, but we are now seeing skilled knowledge work getting automated out of existence by computers + large databases + sophisticated programs (like data mining software, neural nets, that kind of thing). Genetic algorithms can now design antennas and cars and flash card access algorithms that are more efficient than human designs. The antennas and cars and algorithms look really weird and they’re like nothing a human would have thought of. But they work better than human designs.

    [2] Global wage arbitrage is now crushing wages in the developed countries. It’s not just kids assembling printed cricuits who compete with adult workers in America anymore, it’s Chinese PhDs who will program that GUI for $5 an hour and be glad of the work, and they’re the ones who now compete with a PhD in computer science who lives in America and expects to get paid $80K per year plus part ownership of the company.

    [3] The titantic overhang of debt has made all banks in the developed countries insolvent, for all intents and purposes. Banks still exist in America and Europe but they’re zombies. They’re extending and pretending. If all their bad loans were called in and all the house-of-cards junk mortgages and toxic CDOs the banks in America and Europe invested in for the last 20 years were written off as the bad loans they actually are, there would be no more banks in America and Europe. There would be scorched earth. We’d be at Year Zero. The financial system in Europe and America would literally disintegrate. Right now it shambles along by a process of make-believe, like Japan after 1990. It took Japan 20 years to dig its way out of its economic collapse. What makes anyone think it won’t take 20 years for America to dig its way out of this Himalaya-sized mountain of bad debt?

    [4] Japan and Europe aren’t spending a trillion dollars a year to lose two wars at once on the other side of the earth, and Japan and Europe don’t have college systems where the average citizen has to pay $40,000 to $200,000 to get a four-year degree. Japan and Europe also don’t have a medical-industrial complex that’s gobbling up 16% of GDP with greed and waste and fraud and collusion and corrupt cartels. America still has half a dozen bubbles that continue to grow, and each one is at least as big as the home mortgage bubble that nuked the U.S. economy in 2007.

    Those bubbles will burst. Only a matter of time. The military-industrial bubble, the college tuition bubble, the medical-industrial bubble, the homeland security bubble, the commercial real estate bubble. Each of these bubbles continues to suck up fantastic amounts of money from the U.S. economy, growing at a rate of 8% to 12% per year (that means doubling every 6 to 9 years; in 12 to 18 years, these bubbles quadruple in size…in 18 to 27 years, they increase in size by a factor of 8… You get the picture).

    And America’s military-industrial and college tuition and medical-industrial and homeland security bubbles are growing by double-digits while the rest of the economy is collapsing. The rest of the American economy is on the tipping point of deflation.

    The U.S. economy is headed for another leg down, and when these bubbles burst, you are going to see a waterfall-like decline.

    So this fantasy that “the recession will soon be over and then things will be back to normal in America” just isn’t the reality. Krugman and other respected economists are projecting a double dip recession and a Japan-style “lost decade.” That means we grind along with 9% to 12% unemployment for a decade, maybe more.

    Let me put it this way: to stop losing more jobs, the U.S. economy must grow at a minimum of 2.4% per year. What rate did we grow at last month?

    1.6%. This means the U.S. economy is still losing jobs. And that growth late is flattening out. The stimulus has petered out and congress doesn’t seem able (or willing) to pass anther round of stimulus. So what do the numbers say will happen to unemployment?

    It’s got to increase. If we’re below the 2.4% annual GDP growth rate necessary for new jobs created to equal old jobs lost because of the natural churn rate of the U.S. economy, than simple common sense tells us the unemployment rate has got to go up.

    I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto.

  221. 221
    sherifffruitfly says:

    I don’t know if you really don’t get it, or if you’re just pretending.

    Progressives WANT to lose. That way they can sit around for the next few years piously giving us a bunch of oh-so-serious itoldyouso’s. They want Democrats to lose to justify their piety.

  222. 222
    Xenos says:

    @mclaren: I can’t find anything in that to disagree with. Working through the cultural and political implications of facing up to this is pretty scary.

  223. 223
    chaseyourtail says:

    @sherifffruitfly: Call it the church of liberal smugness…it has many parishioners.

  224. 224

    There are many reasons why the Democrats are unpopular. Mainly, America has gone off the cliff, and the Democrats are fiddling.

    Obama wants to be popular like Reagan and Clinton, so he has a mix of their policies, but America is in a mess because of Reagan and Clinton (plus Bush II) and while America could cope with Reagan and Clinton’s policies to some extent in the 80s and 90s, America is broken now, and those policies are now very dangerous.

    Neoliberalism, war, and high defence budgets are crazy, but especially so in this environment. Add Bush II’s “security” policies of torture, domestic spying, detention without trial, execution of American citizens abroad, etc., and Obama is a complete disaster. He had the greatest opportunity imaginable when he entered office, but he was stuck in his old dream of being a popular president like Reagan and Clinton, and so he missed the boat. His personality type is the Status Seeker (enneagram type 3), so he figured if he does what all the popular people do, then he can’t go wrong. Oops.

  225. 225
    Elia says:

    Welcome into the fold (though you were already more or less among us for quite some time now)!

  226. 226
    Nick says:

    @Martin Gifford: Reagan and Clinton weren’t that popular.

  227. 227
    Nick says:

    BTW, did anyone see Robert Gibbs on Fox and Friends this morning? No…probably not. Don’t say they aren’t fighting their opposition, because Gibbs got into the mud with Gretchen Carlson this morning. He’s getting criticized for it pretty badly.

  228. 228
    Frank says:

    @MattR:

    Do you really think that closing Gitmo was really a high priority for Obama or that he was willing to spend much political capital to achieve it? What percentage/how many prisoners have we released in the last 18 months? Maybe I am just not hearing about it, but from what I can tell Obama has made no significant effort to figure out which detainees were rightfully detained and which should be released/repatriated.

    Oh he tried all right. Heck, it was one first things he announced that he would do when he became President 18 months ago. He just didn’t realize that people in his own party would stab him in his back. Don’t you remember that he even fired his own counsel over this?

    I will never understand why people are giving Congress a totally free pass on this, but are blaming Obama 100%. Makes no sense since Congress has funding authority for the closure.

  229. 229
    Nick says:

    @Frank:

    I will never understand why people are giving Congress a totally free pass on this, but are blaming Obama 100%. Makes no sense since Congress has funding authority for the closure.

    Because some believe that Obama has unlimited influence over Congress, because Bush did, which he didn’t, but I digress.

    In the end Obama’s problem is even if he tries and fails (like he did with Gitmo, cramdown and Dawn Johnsen), he gets accused of not trying at all, which is why I call bullshit to anyone who said they wanted Obama to reach for the moon even if it falls short…because if he did (and when he does), he gets accused of giving up or not trying hard enough or not being genuine.

  230. 230
    Jack says:

    @mclaren:

    You need to re-read your Krugman. Wage arbitrage allows goods to be built cheaper, increasing the real value of money and cancelling the costs of lowered wages for some individuals.

  231. 231
    Graeme says:

    I’m right there with you, E.D. I am through voting GOP.

    9/11 made me realize I’m more of a nationalist than of any party. I hope the GOP loses in 2010. If they don’t, I’ve already had some lefties tell me independents will be to blame. Even if the Democrats don’t turn out to vote.

    Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

  232. 232

    […] I’ve seen this coming for a long time: the formerly prolific, hetrodox conservative blogger E.D. Kain has abandoned the conservatives, passing the liberaltarian lable and going full on liberal.  […]

  233. 233

    […] a comment » E.D. Kain explains why he no longer considers himself a conservative.  He gives a lot of reasons, some prompting one […]

  234. 234
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Say what now?

    Can’t decipher your post. I take Plavix. It prevents blood clots. They tell me I have to take it or die. So I just take it like a good patient.

    I’m pretty sure that Plavix is what will kill me. Oh well. Maybe the death panel will just end my misery. Plavix is a Republican drug. Not only is it dangerous, but it puts you on a blacklist for future health insurance even if you stop taking it. Now that is one clever pharmaceutical little tactic, I think. Only very smart people like Republicans could arrange something like that.

    What are you taking? How’s the brain tumor? Still in remission?
    Well, nice talking to you, and go fuck yourself.

  235. 235
    scott says:

    Poor Obama – he’s so misunderstood, although also quite lucky to have legions of people apologizing for his every
    (in)action. So it’s not all bad, I guess.

  236. 236
    Lirpa says:

    I appreciate this post, particularly that you haven’t allowed the flaming comments here to push you back into the uncomfortable (for you) conservative mode in backlash. I feel your frustration that polls seem to show that people think going back to the ways of doing things in the 2000s is an actual solution to the problems facing us. I know that Andrew Sullivan respects his cyborg collective but I cannot take them seriously as thinkers, much less conservative thinkers, when Conor writes “I don’t think Obama deserves a second term.” Fine, disagree with the man, but if they want to pretend to be a serious thinker can they honestly name one Republican who could get presidential nomination who “deserves” the job? Maybe it is a failure of imagination on my part, but until the “conservatives” find a conservative solutions to the actual issues of the day, they don’t “deserve” any form of public office.

  237. 237
    dave says:

    Finally! Claiming to be a conservative or libertarian with the beliefs you espouse made no sense.

  238. 238
    scott says:

    The conservatives aren’t the problem, by the way. Well, they are, obviously, in the sense that they want to pillage all of us for the sake of the rich and engage in bloody imperialist adventures. But we’ve known that for at least 40 years and probably 60. The problem is finding “leaders” who actually recognize them for what they are (dangerous) and to fight them rather than coddle them or propitiate them. Still waiting for that to happen.

  239. 239
    RareSanity says:

    I know that I am REALLY late to this party, but I want to remind everyone of a comment I made on Kain’s first post:

    At Balloon-Juice (much like in Mother Russia), you do not stir pot on those subjects, the pot stirs you!

    Considered yourself stirred!

    I tried to warn you…kudos on your introspection. That is definitely NOT a trait of the current incarnation of “conservative”.

  240. 240
    Dividist says:

    You are conflating 2000-2006 with 2006-2008. There was a difference between One Party Rule then, Divided Government, and One Party Rule now. The best was in the middle. There is an alternative voting heuristic to partisan Republican and partisan Democrat.

    Impressive poll, but I am still dubious about the GOP taking the House. There is just no overestimating how difficult it is to flip the House. House incumbents(frequently aided by gerrymandered districts) enjoy extraordinarily high re-election rates. Even when voters tell pollsters they despise Congress in a general poll, they’ll still vote for their specific representative who is often the conduit by which federal services are delivered or expedited to individuals, municipalities, and businesses in the district. House elections are almost always “local” (in the Tip O’Neill sense). In the almost 100 years since we have been been electing Senators directly (only since the 17th Amendment was ratified in 1913) the House of Representatives has never flipped majorities unless the Senate flipped first or at the same time. If conventional wisdom is correct and the Republicans take the House but not the Senate, it would be an historic first… Soooo either the GOP takes both, or they take the Senate and fall just short on the House. You’ll still have a Democratic President, and maybe he’ll find his veto pen – as Clinton did in ’94-’00. As Bush did in ’06-’08. Better governance was the result.

    My complete analysis here: 10 in ’10

  241. 241
    jamie says:

    Welcome back to the fight.

    I think that, although there will be some dark days before then, things may just work out. If we can convince other self-identified “sane conservatives” like yourself to confront the situation as it really is with eyes open, we stand a much better chance.

  242. 242
    d.eris says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    In other words, you’re jerking off on a street corner and asking passersby to watch. Gotcha.

    You are free to join me when you decide to stop letting them fuck you over and over again.

  243. 243
    Mnemosyne says:

    @d.eris:

    Thanks, not really into wanking. You go enjoy yourself while the adults actually try to fix the problems you’re whining about.

  244. 244
    Tax Analyst says:

    @d.eris:

    @Mnemosyne:

    In other words, you’re jerking off on a street corner and asking passersby to watch. Gotcha

    .

    Pretty much.

    You are free to join me when you decide to stop letting them fuck you over and over again.

    And now he’s asking you to lend him a hand.

  245. 245
    Tone In DC says:

    @daveinboca:

    Haven’t heard that in five minutes.
    Thanks for playing. Don’t let the door smack you in the ass.

  246. 246
    d.eris says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    “Thanks, not really into wanking.”

    Could have fooled me.

    “You go enjoy yourself while the adults actually try to fix the problems you’re whining about.”

    Yeah, because “the adults” aren’t wankers.

  247. 247
    MNPundit says:

    Welcome aboard Kain. I’m sorry I missed this, I was out of town.

    I agree with you generally here though I’m not and never will be a conservative. The systems developed by humans in the past worked, but that doesn’t automatically make them better than new systems. Just because something worked in the past doesn’t mean it is the best system for the future–and it doesn’t mean it was the best system in the past either.

    I value conservatism because it can slow liberalism down, not because I think it should be slowed down, but because a lot of humans can’t handle change at the pace it happens and I don’t want them to be left behind. Being left behind is what created the Tea Baggers.

  248. 248

    […] have been a number of reactions lately to my decision to no longer consider myself a ‘conservative’. Few have been exactly favorable. Perhaps that is because I have not been clear enough or because I […]

  249. 249
    TGGP says:

    Argue on behalf of a welfare state because you think it is good in its own right, not because it’s somehow necessary for a market economy. We sort-of argued about it before, but since it was brief consider this a continuation. Do you actually think that before Bismarck in the 1880s there were no market economies? If so, how would the countries we today consider “first-world” be classified?

    I’m not going to vote, but if you want the Devil’s Advocate argument for why a GOP takeover would be good, just remember how things were the last time a Democratic president faced a congress controlled by the other party.

  250. 250
    beejeez says:

    What I don’t get is: Where is the model for this beautifully functioning minimal-government, anti-regulatory, flat-tax utopia conservatives seem to think is within our grasp if only liberals weren’t so pigheaded? Where has this worked in the history of history? What on earth gives them the idea that this is even possible?

  251. 251
    Melissa says:

    To be honest, he sounds like such a liberal to begin with, I surprised he went with the conservative label at all. It’s kind of like calling yourself a vegetarian when you still eat meat. It seems like his biggest problem is with the conservative party as it is now, not with conservative standings themselves, though. Perhaps if things were different in politics, he would not need to change the label at all.

  252. 252
    Mark says:

    “More wonky, more beholden to, you know, data and facts.”

    E.D.,

    Welcome to the club. Been here a long time. Not liberals or Democrats. Not really Independents or Liberaltarians.

    Here, we just value, you know, data and facts. Accuracy matters. So does knowledge. And consistency. The ability to state your case without “talking points” or “framing the message” is key.

    Oh, and we’ve got to be able to take responsibility for those times when we are incorrect in our assessment of a situation, topic, or policy. We’re not infallible. No one is. Here, the ability to self-review and admit when we make mistakes – and we make mistakes, I assure you – is key.

    Didn’t read the comments. I’m sure you’re being skewered by some for being disloyal, Commie, Socialist, Fascist, or all three. Suggest that you laugh at the all three types. Remember, we base our positions on the data and the facts – even if others do not.

    Lastly, E.D., you will doubt yourself at times. Don’t worry about it. Here, we all doubt ourselves. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be worth spit. Or we’d be in the blind loyalists/purge faction. Worse yet, we’d have no sense of humor.

    Be well.

  253. 253

    […] know he’s probably sick of everyone talking about him by now, but E.D. Kain’s recent talk about abandoning the conservative label began to remind me about a similar moment his colleague William had a few […]

  254. 254
    chris call says:

    Your post was linked by Friedersdorf. Very enlightening post. As someone who began on the left and is finding himself uncertain as to which direction to settle on, this is heartening.

    Moreover, I also retain a romanticism-inspired weariness of modernity and specifically technology. Additionally the part about walking until you reach pavement really hit home. I was born in an urbanish area and moved to a suburb with tons of adjoining land and remember many aimless afternoons walking until the sun began to set…thanks for that. Good luck with the new party, just getting us to show up is half the battle.

  255. 255
    TGGP says:

    @beejeez: Depends. For anarcho-capitalists it’s medieval Iceland (and possibly Ireland). Anglo-Saxon law shared many similar features though you were born into a clan rather than voluntarily choosing an organization and they had a king (albeit of the “first among equals” in a warband variety). Modern Somalian anarchy works (or worked, until the U.S targeted it as part of its war on terror) similarly, where law is based on clans one opts into rather than geography. For those libertarians who consider themselves patriots, they generally just think of the U.S. For some it might be the Articles of Confederation or the Jeffersonian era under the Constitution. For Jacob Hornsberg & Bryan Caplan the golden age would be a brief period starting in 1880 and ending with immigration restrictions or Jim Crow (I forget which came first). Restricting things to the post-war era, some like to cite the citystates Singapore and Hong Kong on various aspects. Patri Friedman doesn’t look to existing examples, but thinks that there should be a lot more experimentation, many of which will fail but some of which will succeed spectacularly. Paul Romer is of a similar mind, though I don’t think he is considered a libertarian.

  256. 256
    BrighidG says:

    @ColleenSTL:

    wasn’t surprised to see him turn out to be the most centrist of the three choices originally available.

    You must be joking.

    While I agree Hillary would have been to the left on reproductive issues, she would have gone to the right of Obama on things like foreign policy and the wars. And Edwards? I admit his career was short and unmemorable but he was to the right of both Clinton and Obama on virtually every issue. He just gave pretty speeches. It irritated me to no end that Obama got painted as the one with the least experience, who only had words and an image to go on when that defined John “I co-sponsored the AUMF against Iraq” Edwards. What a lying sack of shit that man is.

  257. 257
    E.D. Kain says:

    @chris call: Thanks!

  258. 258
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Mark: Thanks, man – and yeah, I’ve come to live with doubt. Doubt is my companion.

  259. 259
    Robert Waldmann says:

    It is not polite to say “I told you so” but I did in many comments on your earlier posts here. I will try to remember your list of conservative views — you approve of maternity leave you don’t like the fact that if you walk a while you will meet a paved road (or a metro-line or supertrain rail) . You believe in civil liberties and checks and balances. You are a deficit hawk and think it is better to raise taxes than run deficits.

    All of the views I listed above are called “liberal” in the USA. Libertarians and conservatives might sometimes like to pretend that US liberals don’t believe those things (and are secretly Lenin in dsiguise) but the views are clearly liberal, more likely to be found in the Democratic party than the Republican party etc.

    You also like markets and especially competitive markets and like federalism. Those views are common among liberals but aren’t what is called liberalism in the USA. Respect for markets is very widespread among liberals.

    I remain puzzled as to why you ever thought you were a conservative or, for that matter, a libertarian.

  260. 260

    […] a comment » As I mentioned here, blogger E.D. Kain recently disavowed conservatism.  I mentioned this sort of thing intrigued me, and apparently it’s intrigued a lot of […]

  261. 261
    Mark says:

    @Mark S.:

    Mark S.

    If you want to be the first to try such a cure, I’m sure others would allow you to do so.

    Bravely go, if you wish, where no man/woman has gone before.

  262. 262

    […] light of E.D. Kain’s recent jump from conservatism, Conor Friedersdorf responds to my assertion that so few people seem interested in taking up the […]

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  1. […] light of E.D. Kain’s recent jump from conservatism, Conor Friedersdorf responds to my assertion that so few people seem interested in taking up the […]

  2. […] a comment » As I mentioned here, blogger E.D. Kain recently disavowed conservatism.  I mentioned this sort of thing intrigued me, and apparently it’s intrigued a lot of […]

  3. […] know he’s probably sick of everyone talking about him by now, but E.D. Kain’s recent talk about abandoning the conservative label began to remind me about a similar moment his colleague William had a few […]

  4. […] have been a number of reactions lately to my decision to no longer consider myself a ‘conservative’. Few have been exactly favorable. Perhaps that is because I have not been clear enough or because I […]

  5. […] a comment » E.D. Kain explains why he no longer considers himself a conservative.  He gives a lot of reasons, some prompting one […]

  6. […] I’ve seen this coming for a long time: the formerly prolific, hetrodox conservative blogger E.D. Kain has abandoned the conservatives, passing the liberaltarian lable and going full on liberal.  […]

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