Fox Nation

Just got back from getting my haircut. I go to a barbershop where it is mostly old-timers, and I’m not exaggerating when I state that I am routinely the only person this side of 70 in the waiting room, and it goes without saying they are all white. There was a long line today of about 5 men, so I got to hear all sorts of things about the country I did not know.

One gentleman went on an extended rant about the economy and the country. Did you know that “If Obama had his way we would all be on welfare, and who knows who would pay for it when that happens? This country is just getting worse and worse every day. Things are so lopsided now with Obama taking over everything.” And on and on and on he went, and I just sat there and bit my lip.

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore, and when he said “You can’t even pray anymore. Christians get stopped from praying, but Muslims get to pray,” I lost it.

“When was the last time someone stopped you from praying,” I asked.

He seemed startled- “Me, never. But they…”

I cut him off- “And when was the last time anyone stopped anyone you know from praying?”

“Well, I don’t personally know of anyone…”

“So who exactly is stopping people from praying?”

And then he went on a rant about saying the Declaration of Independence at the Jefferson “monument.” I just rolled my eyes and kept to myself.

I made a vow, though. In the interest of politeness, I’ve ignored this stuff in public before. I figure I will do my ranting online. But not any more. Any time I am confronted with this nonsense in the future, I am aggressively and publicly challenging these idiots. I can’t take it any more. The damage Rupert Murdoch and those like him have done to this country needs to be countered.

231 replies
  1. 1

    Good luck with that. Dolts like Ed Henry just elevated Fox to credible news source when he gave them the front row.

    Fox employees are laughing their way to the bank while America gets dumbed down to Murdochs trashy style of journalism.

  2. 2
    gex says:

    Wear Kevlar.

  3. 3
    Flugelhorn says:

    What about the damage you do, Arlen?

  4. 4
    kd bart says:

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

  5. 5
    valdemar says:

    If it’s any consolation, the bastard has tried to do the same to poor old England. Problem is, the BBC keeps getting in his way, so the newspapers Murdoch owns keep calling for the evil socialist institution to be abolished. So far, no dice from the politicians. But give it time…

  6. 6
    Crashman says:

    “But I heard it on Fox News!”

  7. 7
    Cain says:

    That’s the only way to do it. They spew this nonsense right minded people need to challenge this stuff.

    cain

  8. 8
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I know what you mean, just the other day, a friend of mine, was going on and on about the “illegals”.

  9. 9
    El Tiburon says:

    You are such a radical!

    I agree, though. I think it is incumbent on each of us to try and stamp out ignorance wherever you see it.

    Most of my friends from high school are teatard-conservatives. I do not relent when they send me stupid and offensive e-mails. In fact, I am in “time-out” with one friend because he can’t stand my “damned librul politics”

    Sometimes all it takes is for these people to hear opposing voices because all they watch is Fox or listen to Limbaugh.

    Sure, most of ’em will never be turned, but you never know.

  10. 10
    burnspbesq says:

    In the timeless words of Bugs Bunny, “I hope you realize this means war.”

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.co.....hange.html

  11. 11

    Dogs taking their blogs to the streets.

  12. 12
    bobbo says:

    I stopped going to family gatherings where my sister’s in-laws are present, because they are all hopeless Fox News rightwingers, and there is just no way one person with actual facts can beat back a mob of ignoramuses

  13. 13
    qkslvrwolf says:

    John, you’re just NOW coming to that conclusion???

    That’s why we’re losing! Because we’re always being so damn polite in public, and they’re out there ranting and raving.

    It’s the “thank you for smoking” rule. You’re not really arguing with the dipshit you’re arguing with. You’re trying to win with everyone listening. If there is an audience, it is your duty as a citizen to step up and call out bullshit. Otherwise we automatically lose.

  14. 14
    Violet says:

    Is a trend emerging? Someone at GOS posted a diary a few days ago about confronting wingnuts at a Starbucks. From the end of the diary:

    A consistent theme in many of the comments is that the right-wingers are cowards and fold quickly when confronted with the truth. I absolutely agree. I encourage all of you to keep these nut jobs in line and expose them for the frauds that they are.

    They’re not used to being challenged. And they can’t back up their statements with any facts when they are.

    We should all speak up. Remember the Burke quote: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

  15. 15
    San says:

    My poor husband has to deal with this kind of rhetoric all the time. And he can’t rant back at them since it’s people that he serves/helps. He does try to gently correct them sometimes. “I want government out of my Medicare!” “Well, do you know that Medicare is a government program?” “Really? No. That’s not possible. And even if it is, I still want the government out of it.”

  16. 16
    ruemara says:

    What took you this long? Let me tell you something, conservatives around me learned a long time ago-Just. Shut. Up. I have forgotten more than you will ever know about the bible, I know more about your own politics & history than your portly ass will ever absorb and I care nothing for money, power or class, because your type have taken all of that from me. Even the ones that like me, fear me on politics. Stupid should be crushed and done visibly as a warning to others.

  17. 17
    You Don't Say says:

    And that’s the exact right way to do it. Don’t start a long argument about anything, just ask the person to prove the ridiculous “fact” they’re claiming.

    I get so pissed off watching news programs on TV wondering why reporters don’t do the same to politicians like Boehner or McConnell spouting total nonsense. Just stop them and ask them to prove this stuff. I don’t care if they spend the entire 7-minute segment on one simple question. That’s what Maddow did to Rand Paul and it was devastating.

  18. 18
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    I agree with this 100%. We spend way, way too much time ignoring this nonsense, and what happens is that the ignorance of conservatives goes unchallenged. Then we get all surprised when a quarter of our country thinks Obama is a Muslim.

    We need to fight these fuckers every time they pipe up. “Reply All” to those chain emails. Challenge family members, acquaintences, and complete strangers to give one example, fact, or source for anything they say. Tell them that they’re wrong, and that the Republican Party is counting on them being gullible tools.

    Yes, it’s not polite to talk politics. But these fuckers started it.

    They have the right to their opinions, but not their own facts or reality. Fuck. Them.

  19. 19
    wvng says:

    I think a whole lot of us have reached the end of our willingness to be polite or to be quiet. My end point came with the recent polling showing a majority of republicans thinking Obama wants to impose sharia law. The simple fact is that we are currently witnessing the result, in the striking behavior of the vast majority of republicans, of the most sophisticated political propaganda operation seen in the western world since a certain man with a funny mustache tried to take over the world.

    My kind and wonderful German step-grandmother believed till her dying day that Poland started WWII. Because Goebbels told her so again and again and again. What we are seeing now is no different.

  20. 20
    stevie314159 says:

    You mean it’s NOT all Rahm’s fault?

    I have gotten so tired of some left leaning blogs these last few weeks. Whether it’s “I told you so”s, or “I still want my pony”, it has just become unbearable. I’m not saying things are great, but these people just have to suck it up, look at what we’re facing, and stop the fragging.

  21. 21
    freelancer says:

    @qkslvrwolf:

    It’s the “thank you for smoking” rule. You’re not really arguing with the dipshit you’re arguing with. You’re trying to win with everyone listening. If there is an audience, it is your duty as a citizen to step up and call out bullshit. Otherwise we automatically lose.

    This. I don’t engage my wingnut relatives unless there are other people in the room. And I’m countering bullshit not to sway the wingnuts, but the others who are staying quiet.

  22. 22
    Smiling Mortician says:

    Silence in the face of lies isn’t a virtue. But arguing with the deeply deluded isn’t often productive. You did this one right: ask questions. In my experience, politely asking questions of the sort you asked here — maintaining an interested manner, not being condescending or snide, asking with a sense of genuine engagement — is the best way to get people to understand that they’ve been sold a steaming pile of lies. Yes, yes, it’s time-consuming and you can’t get through to the really scared/angry/paranoid ones. But with patience you can change things, one tea-partier at a time.

  23. 23
    Alwhite says:

    my reply to that crap:
    I am going to pray right now – you try to stop me . . .
    there, I prayed & you failed. nobody can stop you from praying.

    Good luck with that BTW – I have been doing that for 20 years and still have not changed an agrument. Reality has no hold on those morans.

  24. 24
    kdaug says:

    I have an inbound mother, telemetry indicates impact around 5:30. Fully anticipate two days of precisely these kinds of conversations.

    Ostensibly, she’s a smart woman (CDC/OID/NCHHSTP, Tuberculosis Epidemiology/Control, Navy Vet), but she still watches Fox, listens to right-wing radio, and constantly rails against the Federal government.

    Did I mention, SHE’S A FED?

    The other day on the phone, she started shilling about the deficit, and I agreed – suggesting that the first thing we should cut from the budget are all federal and military pensions (she’s nearing 70).

    Should be a fun weekend.

  25. 25
    wasabi gasp says:

    Prick up your hearing aids, coots, the clock just dun tick-tocked right into denture swallowing time!

  26. 26
    Capri says:

    My stock response to right wing b.s. ( and living in Indiana and dealing with “real” Americans I hear plenty of it) is either:

    “That’s just a lie they tell to scare old people” if the person saying it is old or “That’s just a lie they tell to scare stupid people” if not.

  27. 27
    Martin says:

    I do the same thing at my barber. There aren’t many old-school barber shops in the OC (metrosexual: we marinade in it), but they’re full of >50 white guys in a city of 150K where you could pack all the >50 white guys in a barber ship.

    They’re not full-blown wingnut, but there’s lots of subdued complaining about the asians and mexicans and more specifically illegals, and the usual sniping at Obama and dems. Taking them on is easy as you discovered. Just ask them to recount actual events, where is what they claim actually happening. “So, what job your buddy doing that was taken over by a Mexican?” “And how much more per month are you paying in taxes now?” and so on. That’s all. You don’t actually need to try and defend anyone – just go straight to the facts that they claim supports their bullshit.

    What I’ve found is that even if the other guys in the room are on the side of your target, they’ll get more fun out of laughing at him than siding with him. They all know it’s bullshit. Calling Obama a marxist muslim is dap for old white guys. Doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous, but unless they’re true believers, they fold pretty fast.

  28. 28
    Simp says:

    I run into this ALL the time. What consistently amazes me is that those on the right seemingly have no reservations at all about carrying on political conversations in public even I it might be inappropriate

    A recent family function with a ding-bat, bible thumping, George Bush/limbaugh disciple started spouting off, I kindly and calmly corrected, as John did, the factually inaccurate things said. Nothing bout opinion or perspective, just fact corrections and I was skewered but multiple family members for causing strife at a family function

    Why is it acceptable for right wing bullshit to be spouted but the second a left leaning comment is made you are labeled a weird hippie, socialist freak?

    Actual intelligent political conversation is dead

  29. 29
    Alwhite says:

    @ruemara:

    I think I’m in love! :) You are my kind of being.

    The stoopid has gotten so deep in this country that polite removal methods are not going to make it.

  30. 30
    GeneJockey says:

    They’re not used to being challenged. And they can’t back up their statements with any facts when they are.

    This is very true. However, in my experience, it doesn’t matter.

    This week, for the Nth time on a forum I frequent, some Conservative claimed that “Reagan and Bush cut taxes and greatly increased revenue”. I spent 10 minutes on Excel with the actual revenue numbers from OMB, made a chart that showed how in each case it was SIX YEARS before revenues reached the same levels they’d been before the cut.

    His response? Some stupid metaphor about how ‘tax cuts are like planting your seed wheat’.

    The thing is, for the most part, they work on FAITH, so no matter what facts you muster, their belief in the Tax Cut Fairy (among other things) is immovable.

  31. 31
    StringonaStick says:

    The reason why it is so damned out of hand here and yet not so much in England or Canada is: they have vibrant, remarkably independent public TV and radio. Ours has been chipped away at from within for years now thanks to how Bush packed the governing board, and has never had the independence or reach that is seen in our neighbors to the north or England.

  32. 32
    Wordsmith says:

    Not me, man. That’s too passive aggressive for me. I stop this shit short. I think the ‘smiling mortician’ (never trust a mortician who’s smiling, i say) is pretty on point about it. Sometimes I’ve been snide when the remark or point is soooo freakin’ over the top. Ya know, the Marxist – communist – leftist route. I once asked a couple who were ranting about Marxism and Obama, what is Marxism? They really had no clue. They didn’t know who Friedrich Engels was or who wrote Mein Kampf (Hitler) vs Das Kapital (Marx/Engels), they were spewing shit. And that’s what I said, “if you don’t know what you’re talking about particularly about political ideologies, then you’re spewing shit.”

    I’ve been politically in touch – heavily – since a sophomore in high school (1968). I’m not tolerating bullshit any longer.

  33. 33
    sukabi says:

    be careful John, you might be in for a gumming and a caning if you piss off the old-timers enough…

  34. 34
    Origuy says:

    OT, but this could be big:

    A 7.4 magnitude earthquake just hit Christchurch, New Zealand. Any Kiwis around?

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/ear.....353174.php

  35. 35
    Frank says:

    This country is just getting worse and worse every day.

    I remember when people said this during the Bush era. The response from right-wingers were “love it or leave it, terrorist lover”.

    If these people have such dislike for our nation, then why don’t they just leave (per their very own logic)?

  36. 36
    Wordsmith says:

    @Capri:

    writing these on my hands to use later

  37. 37
    Billy K says:

    I’m so sick of angry, old white men.

  38. 38
    Paul L. says:

    No idea where the guy would get that idea about playing.
    Bill Press: Talking about God not appropriate for “sacred” spot

    Lincoln Memorial and its “sacred” location was no place to talk about either God or politics.

  39. 39
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Good job John. I enjoy smacking down shit when I hear it and I have a very low tolerance for it. I am not aiming to convert them but rather ridicule them, especially when they say crazy shit in front of others. I’ll use reason and an even tone when I can but if they are batshit crazy then out comes the verbal Gatling gun with the laser sights.

  40. 40
    p.a. says:

    I’ve been polite with family members but have confronted the Foxtards on this stuff. Then one weeknight last month at their beach house I just snapped and shouted them down after a retiree’s rant about ‘Obama wants to raise my taxes and impose Sharia law while he socialistically communizes the country.’ I finished with “I’m sorry you made me yell after inviting me here and feeding me but now I have to get back to planet Earth.” Walked to my car and went home.

    These are people who pay for Fios TV (800+stations) but all I’ve ever seen them watch are Fox ‘News’, the Military Channel, The History Channel, and any war movie that isn’t ambiguous about the wonderfulness of war and the US military.

    as an aside, has anyone seen a History Channel show on US and/or Western Hemisphere slavery? One of the most influential events in the development of the New World, and I’ve seen more H.C. shows on Nostradamus!

  41. 41
    Zandar says:

    I believe in you and fighting the good fight, John.

    Just as long as you realize (and I’m pretty sure you do) that this has nothing to do with welfare, praying, the Declaration of Independence, government spending, immigration, or anything along those lines and everything to do with the fact that large swaths of America are clearly not ready for a black President and most likely won’t be for another generation or two.

  42. 42
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    It’s interesting that the knucklehead in the barber shop mentioned the “Jefferson monument”, seeing how the memorial is filled with words reflecting Jefferson’s barely contained anti-clerical outlook.

  43. 43
    TooManyJens says:

    @Paul L.: And against whom did the mighty Bill Press use his powers to force them to stop praying?

  44. 44
    Face says:

    I am routinely the only person this side of 70

    But not by much, right?

  45. 45
    chopper says:

    lol, i’d be all ‘dogg i just prayed to god that you weren’t possibly this much of a dumb shitbag and nobody stopped me.’

  46. 46
    b-psycho says:

    @Paul L.: Is Bill Press a government agent, Paul?

  47. 47
    gmf says:

    This reminds me of my 92-year-old grandfather. Just as the primaries were starting, he actually kind of liked Obama. Three years later, he’s a full-on birther who gets crazier each time I talk to him.

    All he listens to is talk radio & fox news – I know every single argument he’s going to make before he makes it – death panels, socialism, secret-muslim…

    It breaks my heart, I can hardly talk to him anymore.

  48. 48
    bemused says:

    I agree. If someone starts a ranting garbage straight from Beck country, I have a right to say what I think. Enough of this politeness.
    The barber shop crowd must be the same old, retired white guys that have their daily morning coffee klatch down at the local cafe and do the same rightwing bitching there. They tip lousy too, I hear from our local cafe waitresses.

  49. 49
    daryljfontaine says:

    @Paul L.: Wow, I wasn’t aware Bill Press had the power to actually stop people from using that site to talk about either God or politics, much less pray.

    Shorter Paul L: HERP DERP DERP.

    D

  50. 50
    roshan says:

    Don’t get shot, proprietor, don’t get shot.

  51. 51
    patrick II says:

    Of all of the problems this country faces, the lies and distortions told by right wing corporatists is the worst. Murdoch is the king of liars of course, but don’t discount the money spent by the oil industry disparaging climate change, or wall street, or big tobacco in they day.

    Psychotics live in a real world, but they describe the world to themselves with an inner voice voices that distort that world to such a degree that they cannot constructively engage with it. This country is beginning to border on insanity with the crazy inner voice becoming stronger as the real world becomes more removed from the version we describe to ourselves.

    Global climate change is real, so are our other problems. If we cannot engage with those problems because of the lies we tell ourselves, we face the same outcome as anyone unable to deal with reality.

  52. 52
    Console says:

    Being black has its advantages. People don’t usually approach me with crazy shit from conservative chain letters.

    But then again Black barber shop political wisdom isn’t too much better…

  53. 53

    John, you aren’t the only one no longer biting his lip. Frankly, none of us can afford to remain silent in the interest of politeness any longer. The stupidity MUST be challenged.

  54. 54
    Punchy says:

    Fox has more half-truths than a Midget Honesty Convention.

  55. 55
    Frank says:

    @Paul L.:

    I don’t think you understand what the issue is whatsoever. The old man in the barbershop made the appalling accusation that Obama has taken over everything and that as a result Christians get stopped praying. What in the world does bill Press’ opinion have to do with anything???

    Can you give any examples of where President Obama has forbidden Christians from praying?

    On the other hand, I can give you a number of examples where Muslims in our country have been shot at and had their mosques burned as a result of arson (presumably by “Christians”).

  56. 56
    JR says:

    I nail people on their bullshit every chance I get — and believe me, living in Texas, I get plenty of chances.

    It certainly helps that I’m a big ol’ country boy and former offensive lineman … :)

  57. 57
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Paul L.: And he stopped Beck how many times?

    Once again, someone can be against praying in public – Jesus and Paul – but it is still a right.

  58. 58
    Jewish Steel says:

    I’ve organically come to embrace push-back mode myself over the past few months.

  59. 59
    WereBear says:

    John’s mad as hell, and he’s not gonna take it anymore!

  60. 60
    MikeJ says:

    Paul L exists for people to practice fighting back against stupidity.

  61. 61
    chopper says:

    @Zandar:

    it seems like the salient fact of american politics is that conservatives treat democratic governance as if it were a military occupation rather than democracy. the moment a democrat (and a black one at that) steps into the white house it’s nonstop insults and howls of indignation and attacks and opposition to every single thing, no respect at all for the position or anything like that, but demands for respect when a gooper is in charge.

    i’ve seen dudes in hamas with more respect for israel’s government than what some of these guys have towards a democratic WH.

  62. 62
    bemused says:

    John, one caution about speaking your mind while the barber is cutting your hair…make sure the barber isn’t a wingnut or you may have to wear a stocking hat for weeks.

  63. 63
    Jager says:

    At Mrs J’s birthday party one of her friends brought her Mom. (in her 70’s, retired bank officer) This very nice woman at the end of the evening got all riled up about the Mosque in NY, she was spouting BS; from Fox, Palin, O’Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh. I responded to her (I really like her) calmly that she didn’t know what she was talking about, she came back at me like a banshee, she was screaming, cursing (rare for her) and it ending up with her crying about how we have lost our country, etc, etc. When she left, we were all shaken by her intensity and her fear, these people have had the living shit scared out of them! Finally, I thought screw it and poured myself a very large Bulliet on the rocks, gave Mrs J a birthday kiss, petted my dog and on to better thoughts.

  64. 64
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    Shrill blogger is shrill

  65. 65
    TooManyJens says:

    @Jager: Scaring the living shit out of nice old people is an acceptable price for our overlords to pay to get their tax-and-regulation-cutting buddies elected. It’s just that simple.

  66. 66
    licensed to kill time says:

    You know, Paul L, if the government can’t stop the “God Hates Fags” bunch from doing their truly offensive protests and prayers at military funerals (because we have this ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘freedom of religion’ thing here in the good ‘ol USA) how in the world do you think the gov’t or anybody else has the power to stop individuals praying in public at any monument they choose?

    That is just such a stupid argument.

  67. 67
    Shinobi says:

    Ugh, it sucks that it is just SO incredibly hard to counter misinformation. It is not enough to counter their facts and misinformation, you have to give them new and correct facts.

    People remember the stuff they hear the most often so it actually doesn’t help to stand up and say “Obama is not a communist” because you are still repeating Obama and communist in the same sentence. (Brendan Nyhan has also done some research on this, but I learned about this about 10 years ago in cog psyche.)

    It is better to say things like “Obama is a capitalist working to improve the lives of working people instead of the rich.” Postive statements about what is true are more important than denying their false facts. Repeating a false fact in order to contradict it is just counter productive as far as dispelling the myth, the more people hear a myth repeated, the more they will remember it and believe it. For stupid people frequency is the same as truth.

    (Say it with me everyone “Obama was born in Hawaii and is a Christian, Obama was born in Hawaii and is a Christian, Obama was born in Hawaii and is a Christian.”)

  68. 68
    Shinobi says:

    Crap, I’ve been caught by the anti marxism and spam filter.

  69. 69
    Angela says:

    My family are all Fox watchers and right wingers. I finally started speaking up a few years ago, now my mom tells my sons – “your mom is impossible to talk about politics with, she gets so angry.” If you disagree with the lies they believe, you are angry. Sometimes it just feels hopeless.

  70. 70
    russell says:

    just don’t argue with the barber while you’re sitting in the chair. especially if you’re getting a shave.

  71. 71
    Martin says:

    @GeneJockey: It doesn’t work online. It does work in person. There’s no personal shame of being wrong online, of looking like a fool, of being belittled in front of your friends. It doesn’t take much in the barbershop. Everyone goes back every month and nobody wants to walk in there knowing that everyone thinks they’re a lying idiot.

  72. 72

    You tell ’em, John! This crap has got to be challenged and exposed for the 100% bullshit that it is. Aside from Rachel Maddow and a few others, the media won’t do it. So it’s up to us as individuals, one wingnut at a time.

  73. 73
    chancelot says:

    Why don’t we do what the confederate party wants and get rid of Social Security and Medicare and then by 2020 most of the demographic that watch Foxnotnews and support the confederate party will be dead? And people who actually care about governing can pick up the pieces Just sayin.

  74. 74
    p.a. says:

    I’ve been polite with family members but have confronted the Foxtards on this stuff. Then one weeknight last month at their beach house I just snapped and shouted them down after a retiree’s rant about ‘Obama wants to raise my taxes and impose Sharia law while he socialistically communizes the country.’ I finished with “I’m sorry you made me yell after inviting me here and feeding me but now I have to get back to planet Earth.” Walked to my car and went home.

    These are people who pay for Fios TV (800+stations) but all I’ve ever seen them watch are Fox ‘News’, the Military Channel, The History Channel, and any war movie that isn’t ambiguous about the wonderfulness of war and the US military.

    as an aside, has anyone seen a History Channel show on US and/or Western Hemisphere slavery? One of the most influential events in the development of the New World, and I’ve seen more H.C. shows on &Nostr*adam%us!

    is the last word why this comment went to moderation at comment 40?

  75. 75
    Kryptik says:

    I’ve been doing some pushback of my own, particularly in response to things regarding Park51 (especially on the ground there). I’m measured about it and generally avoid being hostile.

    The unfortunate thing is that, it’s good for face to face, one on one stuff, but like the saying goes, ‘A lie can go around the world before the truth gets its shoes on.’ The time you confront a lie and discredit someone face to face, the media has already probably seeded 50 more into the consciousness of the broader public in a sadly indelible way.

    Being down at Park51 and feeling like I can actually convince people helps me feel better, but it still doesn’t make me any less depressed about the broader political environment

  76. 76
    freelancer says:

    If these people have such dislike for our nation, then why don’t they just leave (per their very own logic)?

    David Cross has the answer to this one.

  77. 77
    p.a. says:

    just testing to see if this content-less comment goes to moderation. if so, I wonder what I’ve done? nope. wonder what made my previous comment go?

  78. 78
    numbskull says:

    she came back at me like a banshee, she was screaming, cursing (rare for her) and it ending up with her crying about how we have lost our country, etc, etc.

    See, this is one of many things I do not understand about wingnuts. Why do they think ANY of their bullshit is worth my time or any other stranger’s time? Why do they think that not only is it A-OK to spew their shit in mixed public arenas, but that there is an imperative to do so? I just do not give a flying fuck what the next person in line to me at Walmart is thinking about at that particular moment. It’s none of my business and I don’t like having it foisted off on to me and everyone else in hearing distance.

    But even worse is what you relate. How is it that these people can think that, once they have spewed their mental diarrhea, everyone has to agree? And that those that disagree aren’t allowed to comment?

  79. 79
    Punchy says:

    @Angela: That’s when you tell your kids, “We love Grandma, but she’s batshit insane”

    My dad was so conservative/racist/opinionated growing up, that our Mom had to consistently and rotely remind us that, no, we dont call black people “n#ggers” in public.

  80. 80
    DonkeyKong says:

    JOHN COLE REPORTS FROM THE HEART OF THE IDIOCRACY.

    Now all you need are sirens on either side of that headline and you’ve got a new byline for your blog sir.

  81. 81
    Shinobi says:

    @p.a.: You’ve been having problems too? Half of mine have been going into moderation. I didn’t think I’d been that mean…

  82. 82
    You Don't Say says:

    Some silver lining: I am beginning to think Beck’s big bash was a bust. (How’s that for alliteration?!) Low turnout. A religious theme that convinced no one. The evangelicals don’t like him and the non-religious wingers don’t want to be preached to. I’m not saying this is the beginning of his downfall, just that I think in the end that whole shebang will have zero impact. And may diminish his influence.

  83. 83
    one two seven says:

    I don’t run into this stuff too often, but I’m afraid that when I do, I have a tendency to go from 0-100 in about 0.001 seconds flat. So I just try to keep to myself.

    I need to wrk on countering these people (including my mom at times) calmly.

  84. 84
    mnpundit says:

    About fucking time.

  85. 85
    quaint irene says:

    That’s the ticket. Every fool who parrots the ‘I want my country back,’ ‘get our honor back, ‘Obama is a socialist, etc, etc.’ should be asked point blank exactly what they mean. No, and not another bumper sticker phrase; they have to be specific.

    If only for the gratification of the likely blank expression on their face.

  86. 86
    Frank says:

    @freelancer:

    Hilarious!

  87. 87
    Shinobi says:

    @Punchy: I was the one who had to tell my family to stop doing this at 10. And then I got into a huge argument with my grandmother but she did not appreciate my 10 year old reassurances that the F-word is not in fact african in origin.

  88. 88
    Countme? says:

    You might want to ask the shitheads at the barber shop why they are using your money (Social Security) to buy a haircut.

    Tell them you want your money back. Tell them they’ve got five minutes to pay you back.

    Ask them about their latest medical procedures, too. Let them know that you paid for their latest prostate procedure and you want your effing money back. NOW! you Medicare whore.

    I normally counter Republican filth who call me, or Obama, or anyone else “traitor” or “Nazi” or “commie” by pointing out: “you know, I don’t normally go around calling people cocksuckers, particularly conservative manly men
    like yourselves who probably would never do such a thing,
    not that there is anything wrong with cocksucking in its proper time and place, but since you use that mouth to call me names, who knows what else you use it for. So, in your case, cocksucker, the name fits.”

    If they complain about taxes, point out that you are happy to pay that last dollar of a 39.6% marginal tax — one buck — but it’s the first 35% of the marginal rate you won’t be paying
    to any Republican gummint – at any level — and any Republican officeholder whose gummint attempts to steal that money from you will be dealt with in much the same way the Inglorious Bastards dealt with their enemies — they will be effing scalped.

    It’s fun to talk just like the bullying prairie scum Liberty Valances in this anti-American murderous beast called the Republican Party just before you ask Pompie for the carbine and do to them what they constantly flap their lips about doing to us.

  89. 89
    Walker says:

    @GeneJockey:

    His response? Some stupid metaphor about how ‘tax cuts are like planting your seed wheat’.

    The problem is that they are often too mathematically ignorant to understand the real rejoinder. If their claim is correct, then the derivative of the graph should be altered. While the revenues may drop at first, the trend line should have greater slope.

    As Krugman points out, this has never happened. Not even with Reagan. So they may be like planting your seed wheat, but those seeds have never sprouted.

    But just try making that argument to a mathematically illiterate conservative. Hell, if you look at some of the conservative blog posts around the same time that he pointed it out, you will discover that they did not remotely understand what he was saying.

  90. 90
    p.a. says:

    @Shinobi:

    I’m not mean either. I’m fucking charming! ;-) My mediated post mentioned a trademarked name, the number above 799, and a medieval futurist, so the program might have seen it as advertising or a crackpot post. Wrong on first count, debatable on second.

  91. 91
    TuiMel says:

    Way to go, John! Foxoids need to have their certitude-born-of-ignorance shaken up at every opportunity. They cannot back up their broad proclamations of grievance, so a public outing now and again is the least they deserve. I’ve got a family full of them, and they do not like being confronted with demands for evidence of the slings and arrows that they think they are suffering.

    That said, I guess this is my day to feel somewhat despondent about the anti-Obama backlash that is being reported every place that I look. I am the first to admit that I have been disappointed more than I expected to be in the first 19 months of Obama’s administration. BUT, the alternative is so outrageous; I would rather celebrate what often feels to me to be wicked caution and incrementalism than cede this fight to the acolytes of superstition and reactionary politics. I hope the president and his party feel the same way and bring some energy and spirited push back to this debate soon. In the meantime, I will try to do my small part.

    Thanks for the lift and example, John.

  92. 92
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Shinobi:

    p.a.: You’ve been having problems too? Half of mine have been going into moderation. I didn’t think I’d been that mean…

    The moderation is completely automated, no humans involved (except to get you out!). The most common causes are being a first time commenter, changing your handle/misspelling it, changing your email addy, or using a word that the WP spam filter catches.

    eta: there are a couple of trick words like social ist and ca sino and pus sy…

    You are simply being ground up in the gaping maw of FYWP.

  93. 93
    Mark S. says:

    @numbskull:

    No shit. I still remember a couple years ago minding my own business in a Barnes & Noble and some geezer sits down next to me and wouldn’t lay off his fucking Limbaugh spiel. I finally got up and left which pissed him off even more (as well as the fact that I didn’t refer to him as sir after every sentence). I get a little nervous around old white dudes now.

  94. 94
    DMG says:

    I’ve been doing my best to just ignore and keep my mouth shut for the last few months, after getting tired of countering every line of bullshit being parroted by the utter morons I come into contact with on a regular basis.

    But I may have to give that up soon.

  95. 95
    wmd says:

    I confront the BS whenever I hear it.

    Last night someone was saying prop 19 would take cannabis away from the people and put it in control of RJ Reynolds.

    I said, no, federal law isn’t going to change, all that would happen is California law enforcement couldn’t arrest people for possession or small scale growing. RJ Reynolds wouldn’t have anyway to get into the business legally from the passing of Prop 19. And that there were over 77,000 arrests last year in California for cannabis Misdemeanors and did he want those people to keep going to jail? He claimed because he’d never been arrested personally in 20 years of growing and selling there’s no way any one gets arrested. I asked him if he’d been growing in Bakersfield? He told me to shut up.

    His audience picked up that he was full of it. Which is why I engaged, as he was urging her to vote no. I doubt the idiot ever votes.

  96. 96
    JenJen says:

    Since I tend bar at night, I overhear more than my fair share of crazy-talk like this. The most common theme in my anecdotal experience is “Obama wasn’t born in America and it’s all going to come out and he’s going to have to leave office.”

    Now, I depend on tips, so it’s not really good for my bottom line to insult my customers, but sometimes, I just can’t help myself. A few nights ago, a nice, middle-aged couple were chatting with an older man about this very theme, and I piped up.

    Me: “Wait… so how is this going to ‘come out’ that Obama wasn’t really born in Hawaii?”

    Long pause… Man #1: “It’s on the internet, it’s all over the place, if you just look for it. But you probably don’t want to believe it so I’m not going to be able to convince you.”

    Me: “Oh, OK. But, hey, don’t you think it’s weird that all of this didn’t come out when Hillary was battling him for the nomination?”

    Woman: “That’s because Obama was calling them racists the whole time! But they had the proof.”

    Me: “Huh? So Bill and Hillary were too scared to release the information they had that proved the man standing between her and the White House wasn’t born in the US? I’m sorry, but that doesn’t make any sense.”

    Man #1: “Well… I don’t know about that.”

    Me: “Well, whatever. Anyhow, so, when this comes out, Obama has to leave office, is that what you’re saying?”

    Man #2: “You’re damned straight he’ll have to leave office!”

    Me: “So, then, Joe Biden gets to be President? I mean, of course, assuming he was born here.”

    Woman: “Hell no he won’t!”

    Me: “No, I’m pretty sure that’s how it would work. President Biden.”

    And that was the end of that. They were a little squirmy and quiet after that, and nobody ordered a second round of drinks. But you know what? They left a good tip.

  97. 97
    jibeaux says:

    Now I kind of really want someone to start some stupid wingnut shit with me in public. Never seems to happen. Husband was pointing out the other day that all of a sudden there’s all these people saying they want their country back, and how this seems to him to be the same thing as saying they want the Bush years back, although of course no one says it that way.

  98. 98
    Davis X. Machina says:

    How is it that these people can think that, once they have spewed their mental diarrhea, everyone has to agree?

    Because the fact-value of an utterance is a function of the sincerity and vehemence with which it is held, and not the degree with which it comports to any known reality.

  99. 99
    Legalize says:

    I hear the nonsense Cole describes pretty much every day here in SW Ohio / N. Ky. I always pipe up because I’m lawyer and I’m used to it. I don’t even think about it any more. The formula of what I ask is always the same, and boils down to: “how,” “why,” and “for example?” I don’t know if it does any good, but at least I get to see the expression on their chubby, yet smug faces change from enlightened certainty to something resembling the expression my cat makes when I scrunch up a piece of paper within ear-shot.

    In any event, these people will all be dead soon.

    I have 5 nieces and nephews, all with bright parents. I figure that nurturing their intellectual curiosity and education is the best bet.

  100. 100
    matt says:

    All of these idiots are older than us. I don’t even waste my breath trying to talk to them anymore. I just tell them I can’t wait for their generation to die off so we can have adults in charge for once.

  101. 101
    Jager says:

    Shortly after my sister married her 2nd hubby, a red, white and blue winger, he and sis were at Mom’s for dinner and he started spouting off about his time in the Army, my Mom said “my son was in the Army too” Bro in law said “no way”! Mom went into the basement and brought out an old jungle jacket and some pictures from my tour in Viet Nam, some shots from my time at Fort Bragg and a few decorations. My Mom said he was stunned that his “god damned liberal brother in law” had out ranked him and would consider him a “REMF”…he seldom gives me shit or let’s loose his ‘talking points” when I’m around. What an asshole.

  102. 102
    Nutella says:

    John’s method, asking ‘Give me a specific example of when [shocking-generality] happened to you or someone you know’ is a good one.

    Another good one that’s not used enough is ‘really, how do you know that?’ Susan Faludi did that for lots of conventional wisdom junk published in major media and usually found that the stories splashed across the cover of Newsweek/Time/etc. claiming scientists have found X are just completely fictional.

  103. 103
    JWL says:

    You might want to preface your encounters with the simple yet vital question: “Are you armed”?

  104. 104
    Kryptik says:

    @Kryptik:

    You know, I say this, and then I go and read the commments section on the NYtimes editorial on the new poll on the center, and I find myself nearly punching myself in the head at the sheer brick wall impenetrability of the anti arguments. WHich essentially boil down to ‘I don’t oppose freedom of religion, but all them goddamn Muslims hurt us on 9/11 so they need to get out of the goddamn city’. And no one fucking has the fucking insight to look back and realize ‘Huh…this sounds like the bullshit used to marginalize all sorts of other minorities before’. All muslims are terrorists, apparently. Just like all catholics are papists intent on subverting national gov’t and ceding power to the pope. Just like all jews are taking over the world through the banks, and making baby sacrfices for blood libel. Just like blacks are all thugs and rapists bent on hurting whitey and being ‘uppity’. Just like the Indians are all savages and killers.

    Same tapdance, different song, different name. And it makes me rage that so many seem blind to that fact.

  105. 105
    slag says:

    __

    Any time I am confronted with this nonsense in the future, I am aggressively and publicly challenging these idiots. I can’t take it any more. The damage Rupert Murdoch and those like him have done to this country needs to be countered.

    I so feel this pain. Here’s my thinking: Even if you don’t change these people’s minds (which you won’t), you will at least make it clear to them that not everyone thinks like they do. And that’s important. When these people dig into their little caves their minds churn and churn and go deeper and deeper into their labyrinth of conspiracy theories. Shining some light into that dark space at least disorients them for a little while and forces them to regroup before proceeding forward.

    I always think of it in terms of the Galileo Seven Star Trek episode where Spock’s team tries to disorient the giant cavemen long enough for the Galileo to escape the atmosphere of the planet. (Of course, Spock’s character was deeply wronged in that episode, but that’s a different story.)

  106. 106
    patrick says:

    One of my best friends is the daughter of David Schippers, the Democratic attorney Henry Hyde selected to be Chief Investigative Counsel for the U.S. House Judiciary Committee during the Clinton impeachment hearings. She told me that her father only watches FOX News, however, because only FOX, in his opinion, would listen to what he had to say during the Clinton impeachment debacle.

    Of course, there’s no surprise there considering that FOX had its agenda, but it remains baffling to me to this day, how someone as intelligent and well-read as he is would allow himself to be sucked in like that. But I suppose that if someone of his intelligence can be fooled, the average, undiscerning person is equally as (if not more) gullible.

  107. 107
    Frank says:

    @Nutella:

    Good point. I have heard these mouth breathers calling Obama a socialist. When I have asked them to name evidence, they usually are speechless. One tea bagger uttered that health care reform was socialism. I quickly told him that since there was no public option there by default was zero socialism involved.

    I think putting them on the spot and asking for examples/evidence is the key. FoxNews has done a terrible job in giving examples to their gullible viewers.

  108. 108
    Woodrowfan says:

    You know, I just don’t see anyway that this isn’t going to end in violence, and I don’t mean the already occurring lone nut kills a couple of people violence either. I mean large scale political murders by the RW. Faux is poisoning our country and stirring up so much anger and hatred that it will have to find an outlet. But what’s the alternative? We can’t outlaw and shut down Faux and it will just continue to spew its garbage.

  109. 109
    JenJen says:

    @Legalize:

    I have 5 nieces and nephews, all with bright parents. I figure that nurturing their intellectual curiosity and education is the best bet.

    I think that’s the best bet, too.

    And you’re right about geography… what is it about this part of the country that we seem to get more than our fair share of crazy-talk from wingers? They’re not the least bit shy about it, either. For me, the most comforting part of listening to these people rant in my restaurant is that, almost immediately, our young wait staff convenes in the back of the house to talk about this dumbass at Table 11 who thinks Obama is a Muslim and he wants his country back. We gotta look to the young, everyone, we really do. I think they actually get it. Also, they watch “The Daily Show” and “Colbert Report” almost religiously. :-)

    @jibeaux: My theory on that “I want my country back” shit is yes, indeed, they want the Dubya Years back, and I think it’s because they’re under some foolish impression that if we just put the GOP back in power, the cash spigots will start flowing again and we can have another Money Party. It’s kind of sad, really.

  110. 110
    wes g says:

    I hear you John. People say a lot of crap, but when confronted about it, they can’t back it up. I’ve asked people simple questions “how are your liberties being taken away?” or “how have your taxes gone down?” and they always deflect by attacking me or going on more rants. I didn’t claim i was given more liberties or my taxes have gone down, i’m just asking you, the idiot, to back up your claims.

    And without even mentioning Fox news, they’ll go “oh and don’t give me that shit about Fox news being biased! They interview democrats too! and they’re the most watched news channel in America!”

    At which point i shake my head, because the argument is just not worth having.

    Oh, and… It’s less about “interviewing democrats” and more that Fox pushes a right-wing agenda actively. That’s like saying “i’m not racist because i have black friends” which oh, yea… right wing nutbags do say that…

  111. 111
    Jay says:

    Bravo, John.

  112. 112
    twiffer says:

    it’s probably been mentioned before, but a conversation my wife had with one of her friends (who is terribly bored, being unemployed and recovering from surgery) reminded me of this simple truth: the content of rightwing sites is indistiguishable from that found on the pages of “national inquirer”.

  113. 113
    abscam says:

    @chancelot: Sounds good to me.

  114. 114
    quaint irene says:

    Me: “So, then, Joe Biden gets to be President? I mean, of course, assuming he was born here.”
    Woman: “Hell no he won’t!”

    What’d this genius think how it worked? It’s like the Miss America pageant? The first runner-up (McCain) gets crowned when the winner has to step down?

  115. 115
    MattR says:

    @JenJen: I think that my new response to birther crap might be to say “Works for me. I voted for Biden in the primary anyway.”

  116. 116
    Kryptik says:

    @wes g:

    Sadly, have 100 people watch that kind of exchange, and I assure you that a significant number will think that you were the psycho loon instead.

    There feels like there’s something much more impenetrable about the psychosis we’re experiencing today. And as satisfying as face to face dialogue can be, it’s still no competition for the noise machine of Limbaugh, Beck, Fox News, and the media mutts who reel away every time a right wing crazy raises their hand at them, as if afraid to get hit. The fact that the mosque opposition is growing, the people who believe all the crazy shit about Obama is growing, the people willing to return the keys to the car to the Republicans keeps fucking growing, despite all the provably false shit being peddled and….

    Goddammit, goddammit, goddammit….It’s taking all I have to keep me from punching myself in the head just to induce the sweet haze of apathy.

  117. 117
    REN says:

    @ruemara Love your attitude. More of this please from the Dems.

    In order to preserve what is left of sanity in this country Fox “news” will need to start getting some serious pushback, and at this point I just can’t imagine where it’s going to come from. Not from our MSM, everytime Fox hollers bias they run for cover and increase their coverage of right wing BS. Not from the Democratic party, their spinelessness, outside of Barney Frank and a few others, is a fact.

    Once untruths are absorbed and believed there is no hope for reasoning with these people. We have seemingly all tried it with people we know or meet and it is mostly a waste of time. But, on the whole, John is right, those of us who know better need to stop biting our tongues and start fighting back.

  118. 118
    Nylund says:

    This sounds like my daily life in Texas. During the health care debates I had someone explain to me how the health care bill was going to make it so that when you went to the ER, you would first have to be interviewed by a hospital worker to determine if you were productive enough as a citizen to warrant medical care. He claimed that he read this section of the Bill first hand. The fact that I admitted to not having read the bill in its entirety (like he supposedly had) proved that I didn’t know what I was talking about and he was right.

    I also have two relatives that are viciously opposed to the government running their health insurance plans. The irony being that one gets his from the VA, and his wife gets hers from Medicare.

    Another middle-class friend of the family claimed that Obama had already raised her taxes by $4,000 a year. When I asked for proof of that, she, after a long fight, admitted that he hadn’t, but knew he would eventually, so it may as well have already happened.

    The amount of lies and misinformation is staggering. If all the things that Fox News said were actually true, I’d hate Obama too!

  119. 119
    freelancer says:

    @Woodrowfan:

    There’s a lot of demagoguery that has resulted in no violence, but many genocides have been prefaced with a media push to dehumanize “the other”. I was watching “Worse than War” the other night (Available on Netflix Instant and Youtube, and in it, they played exerpts from Radio Rwanda. The Hutus getting their hate on for the Tutsis, at least in the rhetoric sounds a lot like what Fox and RW talk about their strawman versions of “liberals”. (You see this in the conservative culture at large with “Liberalism is a Virus, Liberal Hunting Licenses, etc.)

    The thing they lack, at least in terms of the biggest impediment to genocide, is a power structure at the top, and lieutenants that would be delegated to, for someone to give the actual order to start exterminating people. Someone at the top has to give an actual order first.

    /Godwin

  120. 120
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Back in the day, Public Enemy was one little word off: It Takes A Nation Of Millions Morons To Hold Us Back.

    Fight the stupid! Fight the stupid!

  121. 121
    hitchhiker says:

    I was sitting in a golf club restaurant a few years ago, listening in as the old fat guys at the next table waxed eloquent about stem cell research.

    Did you know they have to grow the babies to be a few months old before they kill them for their body parts?

    Bald heads around the table nodded sagely, full of sadness and outrage. They ate a few french fries and sipped their mid-day beers.

    To my deep shame, I kept my mouth shut.

  122. 122
    scandi says:

    @GeneJockey:

    I have the same conversation over and over. When I point out how Clinton entered office with a deficit and exited with a surplus, I get “well, everyone knows that it’s really what the lastguy did. You want to throw your hands up at the stupidity, but at some point, I think it’s just stubbornness.

  123. 123
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Violet:

    They’re not used to being challenged. And they can’t back up their statements with any facts when they are.

    And this is why it’s infuriating at the national level when the Democratic Party doesn’t ultra aggressively go after Republican lies. These people are so used to just being able to say whatever the fuck they want, no matter how egregiously wrong it is, without any kind of a challenge or pushback as to the veracity of their claims. It just doesn’t exist in any prominent form, and the one arena where it should be a constant (the media) is the absolute worst when it comes to enabling this mentality.

    Just think of the prominent elected Republican officials who we discuss on a daily basis and consider if a single one of them could withstand one minute of rigorous follow-up questions. None of them could do it. It’s not even a thing they prepare themselves for anymore because they don’t consider it a realistic possibility. So when you actually challenge the nonsense they’re regurgitating, they are legitimately blindsided by the event because they are grossly unprepared for such an occurrence.

    They are utterly incapable as a party of defending their “ideas.”

  124. 124
    Woodrowfan says:

    @hitchhiker:

    Oh my, ironically, the “baby body parts” story started as a Soviet disinfo campaign in the 1980s that was spread in the Third World. So these teatrads were basically parroting old Soviet propaganda!

  125. 125
    RedKitten says:

    @Frank:

    If these people have such dislike for our nation, then why don’t they just leave (per their very own logic)?

    Because it’s THEIR country, doncha know? In their minds, they, and people just like them, are the real Americans. And anybody else is just an imposter who should go away. Because back in the good old days, in their minds, most people WERE like them, and America was a great place. But then the communists and the hippies showed up and ruined everything. And now they don’t even recognize their own country anymore. So they want you to leave, so that America can be a proper, conservative Christian, God-fearing nation again. Why do you think we hear all this rhetoric about them wanting their country back? They realize that society is changing, and that they (and those like them) are not the ones running everything anymore.

    And they fucking hate it.

  126. 126
    JenJen says:

    @quaint irene: @MattR: See, I just don’t think the birther-types have thought this all the way through. That’s why it’s kind of fun to pop “President Biden” on them; just makes them seem all the more ridiculous, and I like to amuse myself. :-)

  127. 127
    Kryptik says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Ladies and gentlemen, Welcome to the Errordome.

    @hitchhiker:

    My god, that’s just said. That’s just…depressingly sad. What’s sadder is that it’s probably not even that uncommon of an untruth now.

  128. 128
    Legalize says:

    @JenJen:
    Lots of old, and frankly, way undereducated people who don’t give a shit about the education of their kids. It’s a toxin that gets passed through every generation in these parts. Coupled with lots of Jesus and corporate wealth.

  129. 129
    slag says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    And this is why it’s infuriating at the national level when the Democratic Party doesn’t ultra aggressively go after Republican lies.

    I used to think this way. But then I’d watch how quickly the fainting couches filled up after the President or somebody else called Faux out for being faux and I’d just throw up my hands. It really is a no-win.

    I should add that putting Van Jones on my Google News alerts has been…enlightening. It’s not just Faux. It’s every dime store news outlet in the country: http://www2.hernandotoday.com/.....residency/.

  130. 130
    MikeJ says:

    @freelancer: A lot of observational humour isn’t that funny if you’ve already been paying attention. I suppose to the non-political internet people some of what he said may be new, heck they may think he’s exaggerating. I think the average person really has no idea how much crazy is out there.

  131. 131
    tBoy says:

    My stock question the racists & bigots “would you trade places?”

  132. 132

    I figure I will do my ranting online.

    A lot of us came here just for that.

    More. More. More. Rant early and often. Not many can do it better than you can.

    I’m dead serious here.

  133. 133
    jibeaux says:

    Well, to be fair, we only get President Biden if Al Haig isn’t around. Wait, I just checked. He’s dead. So, ok, President Biden.

    To just chase the “keep your gubmint hands off my Medicare” rabbit for a moment, it always kills me that people, even if they’re not real let’s say tuned in to politics, can’t figure out that if a) they don’t have a job, b) they aren’t writing a premium check every month, but c) they seem to have health insurance — that probably the government has some sort of role in all that.

    I hadn’t heard the stem cells are actually babies a few months old stuff before. Just depressing. I knew we were dumb, but dumb and hopelessly, beyond all words gullible, is not a good combination.

  134. 134
    db says:

    Thanks, John. It’s encouraging to know you are out there and doing what you can to counter so much misinformation held by such a loud few.

  135. 135
    PurpleGirl says:

    I have done something like this a number of times. Once while on the bus I overheard two people talking about Giuliani and how they missed him as mayor because of the crime fighting he did and how he cleaned up Times Square, blah, blah, blah. I couldn’t help it. I went over and sat by them and told them how wrong they were about the Times Square cleanup because all those new buildings they gave him credit for were in the planning stages way before he became mayor. I had a narrative about what really went into changing the Times Square area. And I explained the whole process to them. They just looked at me like I was crazy and probably still think that RG cleaned up Times Square. But I felt I had to tell them how wrong they were.

  136. 136
    Nutella says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    I don’t understand why there are no political ads in the districts where the incumbent refuses to debate the challenger that prominently feature chickens squawking in the background and the challenger calling the incumbent a coward in the foreground.

    I don’t understand why there are no political ads in the districts where the incumbent shouts about government spending while personally living off government subsidies that prominently feature pigs at troughs in the background and the challenger calling the incumbent a hypocrite in the foreground.

    What do they have to lose by calling these people out in specific and dramatic ways? You’ve seen the billboards in Ohio about Boehner playing golf all the time – privately paid for, not sponsored by the party. The billboards got a lot of reaction and a lot of press. Why don’t we have more of this? Is it just that Democrats are still thinking there are rules of politeness and professionalism in politics and Republicans know there aren’t?

  137. 137
    quaint irene says:

    Fight the stupid! Fight the stupid!

    But the fight never ends. Do you know the Flat Earth Society still exists?
    (Tho to be honest, reading their website I’m not exactly sure if they’re kidding or not.)

  138. 138
    tt crews says:

    Facts don’t sway them at all. The just make up new ones. Logic is lost on them. People who have rejected the Enlightenment have rejected rational ways of thinking.

    My brother put up on FB the old Reagan rant against medicare. You know the one where RR rants about “soshalized medicine.” All his wingnut FB friends were “Right on! ” And I pointed out that RR was talking about medicare and didn’t they all have parents on medicare?

    They all agreed that medicare was a good thing. I said “Well then you disagree with Reagan.” In answer, I was told that “Obama wants to make cuts to medicare to kill all the old white people and give the money to illegal immigrants so they will vote for him.”

    For real. This person was not joking. I admit I had no answer to this BS, other than “If cuts would kill people, what would not having medicare at all do?” My brother then deleted all my comments after informing everyone that “my sister is a soshalist.”

    Still, it was fun while it lasted.

  139. 139
    Karen Wood says:

    I am beginning to get in touch with just how pervasive Fox and right-wing radio has become. These folks uttering stupidities like “Christians don’t get to pray, Muslims do” are picking this stuff up from the likes of Rich Savage, Limbaugh, etc. They can’t come up with facts to back their ridiculous statements because none were presented to them. I think of people like you encountered as “radio parrots” – and it is indeed damaging the country.

  140. 140
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Part of me is just very, very sad when I hear this kind of nonsense, from those who are all Foxed up.

    There’s a hole at the center of a lot of these folks. They can’t deal with the fact that they’re not playing their own small part in a titanic, Maninchaean struggle between Good and Evil.

    They realize — but can’t deal with it — that their lives are a hollow and pointless circuit of house-work-store-house, with children who despise them, bosses who hold them in contempt, and a car which while newish, is clearly inferior to the one in the next driveway in the cul-de-sac. Metro-boulot-dodo, as the French say. If they’re a bit older, they’re in the home stretch now, but never quite got the job, the girl, the children, they wanted, no, that they deserved

    Movement conservatism, is for a lot of people who don’t clip bond coupons for a living, therapeutic. Their lives matter. They stand between us and the abyss.

    If they’d read the occasional book, or go for a run, or buy an old Korean Strat clone on Craigslist and have their kid teach them how to play, or learn to cook Thai, our Constitution, our planet, and their cortisol levels would all profit immensely.

  141. 141
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @quaint irene:

    Fight the stupid! Fight the stupid!

    But the fight never ends

    .
    We can’t win, perhaps, but we can cover the point spread.

  142. 142
    mark k says:

    Hell yes! Good for you and I swear, its like you read my mind. We must start fighting back in public.

    If I read one more post about someone who heard a RWer lie for 5 minutes and then the poster says “I didn’t say anything but….” Bullies love wusses. Stand up to them.

  143. 143
    Brachiator says:

    I made a vow, though. In the interest of politeness, I’ve ignored this stuff in public before. I figure I will do my ranting online. But not any more. Any time I am confronted with this nonsense in the future, I am aggressively and publicly challenging these idiots. I can’t take it any more. The damage Rupert Murdoch and those like him have done to this country needs to be countered.

    That’s it! That’s the ticket!

    @freelancer:

    I don’t engage my wingnut relatives unless there are other people in the room. And I’m countering bullshit not to sway the wingnuts, but the others who are staying quiet.

    Excellent point. You may not be able to change the minds of wingnut true believers, but you might be able to blunt their impact on the opinions of others around them.

    I mentioned in another post some time ago that at work there are people who are deeply into Malkin and Limbaugh and their ilk. They have been shut down in the past when they tried to bring the stupid. Now, instead of engaging others, they will quietly huddle together and reinforce each other. It’s odd to see how desperately they need to believe nonsense.

  144. 144
    JenJen says:

    @Nutella: Just to chime in here about the Boehner billboards since I pass one of them every day on my way to work (which, for the record, isn’t anywhere near Boehner’s actual district and instead sits in Driehaus’ OH-01 district)… you know, I just think the whole thing is a waste of money. Sure, I get a kick out of it, and they’ve gotten under Boehner’s skin, and that amuses me. But thing is, no way is Boehner going to lose the OH-08. It’s just not going to happen. For reasons I can’t explain and will never understand, Boehner is a Crispy Orange-Glazed God around these parts.

    So sure, the billboards are fun and they piss off conservatives, and I’m all for that, but I really believe private money (and especially our money) could be better spent on races that are actually competitive.

  145. 145
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @slag:

    I used to think this way. But then I’d watch how quickly the fainting couches filled up after the President or somebody else called Faux out for being faux and I’d just throw up my hands. It really is a no-win.

    You know, I can’t quite agree with this because a) it’s going to happen no matter what essentially, so fuck them and their faux concerns about civility and b) you have to engage that nonsense head on if you ever want to reframe the terms of the conversation. You have to attack their protestations as baseless and their fainting as melodramatic exaggerations of an absurd level. That has to be a part of the countermessage. It’s not enough anymore to just call out lies and liars; liberals need to start aiming to reshape the terms of debate and discussion this country permits and that will never happen if we define those kinds of moments as no-win situations.

    Basically, what I’m saying is this. Republicans, conservatives, whatever you want to call them–they have not been punched in the mouth viciously for a sustained period of time at any point in the last 40-50 years, and part of the reason is there are always concerns that such attacks appear disrespectful and paint the wrong impression and other nonsense.

    But here’s the thing: do you actually have any respect for the modern Republican Party? Do you actually respect the conservative movement that gave birth to, and continues to nurture, the Southern Strategy? Do you seriously ever believe elected Republican officials will ever stop being shameless assholes? Now, if you don’t actually believe any of these things, why would you afford your opponent respect you don’t believe they deserve? And that doesn’t mean you go around calling them assholes and launching pointless character attacks. But it does require that you put an end to being civil for civility’s sake and start acknowledging out loud that these people do not, in fact, care about the overall well-being of this country nor a vast swath of the citizens who inhabit this nation.

    Of course, they will howl, bitch, and moan about the baseless attacks you’re launching. But when that’s happening, you should be reassured that not only are your attacks not baseless, but your opposition is fucking terrified that you’ll keep repeating the truth and people will actually start listening for once.

  146. 146
    ogb says:

    Bravo, Cole!

    I run into this nonsense multiple times per day, everyday, owing to my line of work. I bite my lip because it is my customers spewing forth, and I’d like to stay in business.

    But outside of work, when confronted by teh stupid, I let the expletives fly.

  147. 147
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I always find threads like this fascinating because, for obvious reasons, I don’t get to hear the unvarnished opinions of people like the old men in the barbershop very often.

    I do think that in general any kind of pushback is more for the audience surrounding than the idiot actually making the statements.

  148. 148
    LarsThorwald says:

    Here’s my story:

    So my aunt, who lives in North Carolina and is an evangelical Christian, and who completely shut out her daughter (my cousin) when my cousin revealed she was a lesbian, goes off for about ten minutes about how Obama (who she fucking knows full well I campaigned for in four states, a fact she pretends she doesn’t know) is bad. Not overtly racist or “socialist” or whatever stuff, but just seething with sarcasm and hatred. And then she goes off on how Obama is a crook and how he let the federal government get huge, and wants to spend, spend, spend, and how the government is bad…

    And then she proceeds to tell me how she is trying to game the system so she can collect unemployment after she was laid off by her company.

    The irony was so palpable I could actually fucking taste it.

    But I didn’t say anything.

    No more.

  149. 149
    J Edgar says:

    I’m learning (but keep forgetting) that I must preface my statement “I’d like to ask you a question about that, but please, don’t change the topic.”

    Because they always change to topic.

  150. 150
    John PM says:

    I mentioned in another post some time ago that at work there are people who are deeply into Malkin and Limbaugh and their ilk. They have been shut down in the past when they tried to bring the stupid. Now, instead of engaging others, they will quietly huddle together and reinforce each other. It’s odd to see how desperately they need to believe nonsense.

    Sounds like you work in my office, although one of the wingnuts just left to become a (gulp) teacher.

  151. 151
    KSinMA says:

    @qkslvrwolf: This. What the ranters are doing, really, is bullying (sometimes with a smile, sometimes not). Their goal is to cow the rest of us into submission. The way to counter bullying is to refuse to be cowed– i.e., to stop being a bystander, and to get other bystanders to stop being bystanders.

  152. 152
    Senyordave says:

    The amount of lies and misinformation is staggering. If all the things that Fox News said were actually true, I’d hate Obama too!

    Nylund, very well said. But nobody short of Hitler could be that evil.

  153. 153
    joel hanes says:

    My barber John, a shuffling old white guy, is a liberal. The only other barber in his shop is Ishmael, a six-foot-six Lebanese Muslim, peace be upon him. John shears all the old white guys like me, and the men and boys of yuppie families, in conventional styles; Ishmael does all the latest tricky cuts for a large and predominantly-young clientele of all degrees of melanin.

    John knows his customers, and only talks sports when he has a bristling right-winger in the chair. No TV in the shop, just classical music and a year’s issues of Sports Illustrated.

  154. 154
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @p.a. You used the word “sociaIistically” which embeds the word “ciaIis” which is a filter trigger.

  155. 155
    WereBear says:

    I like to do bright eyed naivete. When I ask them for specifics “Oh, really?” I counter with facts “But what about …?” and soon they just start repeating themselves and can’t wait to get away.

    But I’m a lady (unless they get up in my grille) and then I’m from Brooklyn.

    I understand male to male is a whole different set of imperatives.

  156. 156
    REN says:

    Have heard the Pres. Biden retort used on a couple nuts. After thinking about it for a second, with that look of incomprehension, one shrugged his shoulders and said ” Well, at least he’s not a n*****.

    Hard to hold any kind of meaningful discussion about politics, or anything else for that matter, with someone whose thought processes are so primitive.

    My dad had a line for people like that. ” The only thing between your ears is bone.”

  157. 157
    slag says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    You know, I can’t quite agree with this because a) it’s going to happen no matter what essentially, so fuck them and their faux concerns about civility and b) you have to engage that nonsense head on if you ever want to reframe the terms of the conversation. You have to attack their protestations as baseless and their fainting as melodramatic exaggerations of an absurd level. That has to be a part of the countermessage. It’s not enough anymore to just call out lies and liars; liberals need to start aiming to reshape the terms of debate and discussion this country permits and that will never happen if we define those kinds of moments as no-win situations.

    I hear this. But in order to do this, we need allies. If Democrats are alone in calling out the farce, then we become the tinfoil hat wielders. It’s a tale as old as time. Remember Hillary calling out the vast right wing conspiracy? What a farce, right? Well, until there really is a liberal media in this country (which won’t happen any time soon), we will have no allies. If I blame the Democrats for anything in this, it’s for not actively, aggressively, and consistently cultivating new liberal media.

  158. 158
    Andy Hall says:

    Good for you. But one tip — take the “I’m jest askin'” approach, like at the barber shop. Ask them for specific. Explain that you don’t understand what they mean. Act stupid. Politely and persistently ask for examples.

    My favorite is to hand people at work a piece of paper and a pencil and ask them to show me, with something simple and commonplace like sales tax, how cutting taxes results in more overall tax revenue. They almost never even try. (Of course.)

  159. 159
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @JenJen:

    So sure, the billboards are fun and they piss off conservatives, and I’m all for that, but I really believe private money (and especially our money) could be better spent on races that are actually competitive.

    I would agree with that sentiment, but I also would say that it’s definitely not a waste of money to antagonize and go after the man who is already having colleagues refer to him as Speaker Boehner. First of all, Boehner himself is trying to increase his profile and legitimacy as someone who can open his mouth and actually know what the fuck he is talking about. I can’t see how it would hurt to shine a light on not only how big of a moron he is, but the salient fact that this know-nothing who looks like he was born in a vat of Tang could very well be the Speaker of the House of Representatives in a few months.

    That is a legitimately terrifying prospect and it shouldn’t be hard to tie Boehner’s legendary idiocy with the real world effects of the horrifying reality of Boehner actually becoming Speaker. Moreover, it’s entirely worthwhile because we all know the moment your provoke a prominent Republican on any issue, they respond with barrage of inane and humiliating logic, which should be used to further humiliate them.

  160. 160
    Violet says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    And this is why it’s infuriating at the national level when the Democratic Party doesn’t ultra aggressively go after Republican lies. These people are so used to just being able to say whatever the fuck they want, no matter how egregiously wrong it is, without any kind of a challenge or pushback as to the veracity of their claims. It just doesn’t exist in any prominent form, and the one arena where it should be a constant (the media) is the absolute worst when it comes to enabling this mentality.

    Absolutely. I wish the media would figure out that when they do push back against ridiculous claims and lies, they get lots of attention. Look at what just happened with Gov. Brewer in AZ, with her claim about the beheadings. The media pressed her on it, she acted like a child, and the video went viral. Why did it go viral? Because she acted like an idiot and wouldn’t answer a simple question. But that only happened because she was asked the question.

    That’s just one simple example. Imagine if that kind of thing happened on a regular basis. The average person might kind of enjoy watching their political overlords get questioned by the press. And the rightwing might learn that lies don’t pay because you have to answer for them.

    Okay, I know, I know, I’m dreaming. Sigh.

  161. 161
    Frank says:

    I agree.I would also let this stuff pass, particularly if it was some oldie carrying on, but I realized that this is how bullshit come to dominate , and that I was patronizing these people with my silence. If any adult feels free to shoot his mouth off about politics he should be prepared to handle any counter-point that arises.

  162. 162
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @slag:

    I hear this. But in order to do this, we need allies. If Democrats are alone in calling out the farce, then we become the tinfoil hat wielders. It’s a tale as old as time. Remember Hillary calling out the vast right wing conspiracy? What a farce, right? Well, until there really is a liberal media in this country (which won’t happen any time soon), we will have no allies. If I blame the Democrats for anything in this, it’s for not actively, aggressively, and consistently cultivating new liberal media.

    I think the one of the biggest problem confounding liberals today is our inability to cultivate and maintain allies and advocates who are fucking fearless in confronting the opposition. There are always a few brave souls willing to get the conversation started, but as soon as the battle really gets going, they quickly discover that no one is coming to assist them.

    That has got to change somehow. And soon.

  163. 163
    REN says:

    @midnight marauder

    How about we nominate you as our candidate for DNC chairman? Your strategy gets my vote.

  164. 164
    JenJen says:

    @Midnight Marauder: OK, I can see it under those terms (antagonizing Boehner just for the sake of antagonizing him). I’m OK with that. But let’s not get under any kind of false impression that the considerable amount of money being thrown at these billboards is in any way helping Boehner’s opponent, Justin Coussoule. The midterms are only a few weeks away now; maybe this kind of money would be better spent right now on competitive House races. If we don’t want Speaker Boehner, we’re gonna have to hold the House, aren’t we? I have some issues with the timing, you know?

    Speaking of Coussoule, he’s a stellar candidate and we really got lucky when he stepped up to take on Boehner, but if I had my druthers, I wish he’d move just a few miles south to my district (OH-02) to take on Mean Jean Schmidt, because that’s a race he could actually win.

  165. 165
    GeneJockey says:

    @Walker:

    The problem is that they are often too mathematically ignorant to understand the real rejoinder. If their claim is correct, then the derivative of the graph should be altered. While the revenues may drop at first, the trend line should have greater slope.

    That is EXACTLY what I have said again and again there. But a month later, some guy says the same damn thing again – sometimes even the SAME guy. And it’s gotten worse. It used to be that at least one or two would try to counter with actual data – not that they could, since they got their info from Hannity who was using CURRENT dollars, not constant.

    Now? They don’t even care that their point has been disproved. It seems to me that there’s been a shift in how they view things, like their views are now so prevalent that they no longer have to be able to prove they’re right. I think this all happens at a level that is deeper than reason, which is why reason doesn’t work.

  166. 166
    Rob says:

    I believe that what the left now has to do is to fund a campaign to educate the American public. We have waited too long for the media to “mediate” our discourse. To some extent they will do so during a presidential election because so many more people are paying attention to what they’re doing. But for the most part our current newsmedia are storytellers. And then of course there’s Fox to tip the scales.

    It is not enough to hope that we’ll get through with logic and correct facts during the “he said/she said” matches which pass for debate on news programs. And the right-wing disinformation campaign is relentless, well-funded and shameless; it’s not enough to run ads which support our far superior electoral candidates.

    The left (or “Democrats”) need to run a full-time media campaign which teaches basic facts to the public. It’s sad that supposed journalists won’t do it, but they won’t. I’m tired of fighting for our ideas and our way of life in small election-by-election contests. We need a campaign for the minds of Americans.

    Interestingly, a good model for this might be the Mormons who, when I was a child, would run campaigns showing themselves to be decent and normal, touting a feel-good message which would end with “brought to you by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints… you know, the Mormons.” Honestly we need a basic campaign to re-teach the essentials of our message. We’ve been outgunned by deception, screaming, more money (every liberal blog I read is blanketed with right-wing ads!) and smooth-talking snakes. We are losing the media messaging war. And we have the more clever, creative, engaging, interesting and attractive people. The only time we coalesce is during presidential elections. We need to broadcast our message every day.

    PS: I don’t watch much TV anymore, but I hear the Mormons have new ads currently running which are “creepy” — their ads were always a little odd, frankly. People will react strangely to ads for vague things like an entire religion or “what’s good” or “liberal values” or whatever. I know that it won’t be easy. But it would probably move the needle more noticeably than picking individual fights with strangers every day!

  167. 167
    sven says:

    @chopper: I think this is an often over-looked point.

    I’ve often argued that liberals and conservatives have a fundamentally different view of how a government derives its legitimacy.

    Liberals tend to view government as deriving its legitimacy from a process. If the process is democratic and conforms to prearranged rules then it is a legitimate government even if the outcome is infuriating.

    By contrast, conservatives seem to judge whether a government is legitimate by whether it conforms to their preferred outcome. If they view the outcome as flawed then the process itself must have been corrupt.

    I think this partially explains why statements like “elections have consequences” play so differently on either side of the aisle. Liberals are much more willing to believe that “sucking it up when you lose” is a necessary part of participating in the democratic process. Because conservatives tend to be more outcome focused they also define the (endless) battle for a specific goal as their participation in the process.

    (or maybe modern conservatives are just more likely to be jerks, I’m open to range of theories)

  168. 168
    Glenndacious Greenwaldian (formerly tim) says:

    HOORAY COLE.

  169. 169
    suzanne says:

    I was no older than seven the first time I out-talked a wingnut—my grandfather. It hasn’t gotten any harder. They’ve just gotten more shrill.

    SCENE: I’m eating dinner with my grandparents (a WWII vet and his wife), and the evening news is on in the background.
    Me: Grandpa, why is America the greatest country in the world?
    Grandpa: Because we have more freedoms than any other country. And we have the best lifestyles in the world.
    Me: Then why doesn’t everyone from every other country want to come here?
    Grandpa: Eat your dinner.

  170. 170
    slag says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    I think the one of the biggest problem confounding liberals today is our inability to cultivate and maintain allies and advocates who are fucking fearless in confronting the opposition. There are always a few brave souls willing to get the conversation started, but as soon as the battle really gets going, they quickly discover that no one is coming to assist them.

    OK. I cannot disagree with this. It really is amazing how quickly potentially meaningful moments are thrown away by Democrats. Part of that is that we lack the machinery (still! goddamnit!) to keep pushing the narrative. And the other part is that we lack the bravado to keep pushing the narrative.

    The value of being faith-based for Republicans is that they don’t give a shit when facts prove them wrong. Because they’re never proven wrong in their own minds. That’s bravado. We don’t have nearly enough of that. But unfortunately, sometimes, I’m not sure I even want more of that. Because those assholes are freakin crazy! And hence…the saga continues…

  171. 171
    gex says:

    @scandi: Except weirdly in this case the bad economy that started in 2006 on was a result of a guy who wouldn’t be elected for two more years.

    Economics is a seriously weird discipline in the hands of idiots.

  172. 172
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    I grew up in Orange County (Calif.) in the ’50sand ’60s, so got plenty of on-the-ground training. Welcome to my world, John.

    I’ve found that the approach you mention seems to work very well. Politely ask the person to back up their claim. Examples please. Be specific.

    Usually all you have to do is sit back and watch them implode. And if they’re halfway intelligent, they might learn something…more from just getting preached at.

    A good example of this technique, used with only the lightest direction:

    New Left Media, Interviews with Palin Supporters

  173. 173
    gex says:

    @tt crews: It’s as if they actively take joy in being completely wrong. It’s bad but it’s good but cutting it is bad is basically their position on Medicare. Good grief.

  174. 174
    jibeaux says:

    @tt crews:

    I still think you should keep doing it. I would, if I had an idiot brother. Well, mine’s kind of an idiot, but not a wingnut. The type of idiot who, as soon as John McCain picked Sarah Palin, started working out an anagram for what “JOHNMCCAINANDSARAHPALIN” could be. The best result was some sort of ass ranch dip, if I remember correctly. Which is a much better sort of idiotic brother to have altogether, not to lord my brother over you or anything, it’s not your fault.

  175. 175
    ImJohnGalt says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    Davis, that might be the best description of movement conservatism I’ve ever seen. Would that people of every political stripe would avail themselves of the remedies you describe.

    Thank you.

  176. 176
    roshan says:

    Just to make sure that you’re heard when interacting with dumb-as-shit conservatives and Fox News watchers, try to portray that you’re a conservative too. Never explicitly say that you’re, just try to appear as or give a false impression of one. This approach makes it possible that your views will be heard and not dismissed outright. Then go on with your questioning, rebutting and undermining what ever conspiracy theories or plain crazy views that get spewed forth.

  177. 177
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    This sort of jackassery is rampant in business. At my last company, I finally snapped on the CEO after his seemingly millionth boardroom rant about how awful liberals are. He became surprisingly agreeable after that.

    At my new company during the height of the health care debate, the CEO and I were filing with the SBA registry online and he became exasperated with the hurdles and declared this is what it was going to be like trying to get health care when the government takes it over.

    I stopped typing, turned around and looked at him angrily and told him the government was not taking over health care and would he like to continue or would he rather have a health care debate? He laughed, and like the other CEO, became surprisingly compliant.

    It only takes a little pushback.

  178. 178
    Brachiator says:

    @John PM:
    RE: I mentioned in another post some time ago that at work there are people who are deeply into Malkin and Limbaugh and their ilk.

    Sounds like you work in my office, although one of the wingnuts just left to become a (gulp) teacher.

    A teacher? Now, that really is unfortunate.

    By the way, the vast majority of the people in my office are under age 40, so this is not a matter of old white guy wingnuts.

    And it’s not just the Fox News effect. I have noticed that people who are deep wingnut actively use the Internet to reinforce their stupidity. They only go to conservative sites. Occasionally one of them will send an email with some conservative approved bit of stupidity.

    But no matter how often they are shown to be wrong, no matter how often you provide them with links that objectively refute their claims, they keep going back to the wingnut sites.

  179. 179
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @slag:

    The value of being faith-based for Republicans is that they don’t give a shit when facts prove them wrong. Because they’re never proven wrong in their own minds. That’s bravado. We don’t have nearly enough of that. But unfortunately, sometimes, I’m not sure I even want more of that. Because those assholes are freakin crazy! And hence…the saga continues…

    I certainly wouldn’t want the kind of bravado Republicans seem to have cornered the market on, but I most certainly am all about the bravado that comes from holding a position you know is empirically correct and squaring off with opponents you know are all-galaxy ignorant. When I discover that someone is a wingnut as they continue babbling the talking point du jour from Fox News, I get fucking giddy at the prospect of engaging them in discussion because I know they won’t have a goddamn clue about anything and when confronted with facts, the idea of their worldview violently crumbling in on itself will be enough to shut them down.

    That by itself should be enough to empower liberals and Democrats to go after these incompetents with everything they have. These people are cowards, they are morons, and they are deathly afraid that they world around them is irreversibly changing and making them more irrelevant.

    The fact that this last item is true is another reason why we shouldn’t be afraid to confront them.

  180. 180
    ImJohnGalt says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals:
    Man, those folks over at New Left Media are doing God’s work, if I believed there was a god.

    Good stuff, Zuzu’s Petals. Between that video and the one of them wandering around Beck’s Self-Congratulatory Circle Jerk on the Mall, I’ve become a fan.

  181. 181
    Beulahmo says:

    John, I think you did the right thing. Calm, rational push-back won’t have any effect on the most hard-core Fox/Limbaugh adherents, but it may well give others within earshot something to think about.

    I’m just thinking about my own change of views. I used to vote Republican, but exposure to other points of view helped me to gradually change my own. If I’d never been exposed to thoughtful, reasonable comments from people who held more liberal views, or if I had never had people telling me that I should re-evaluate the information I was using to inform my opinions, I might never have tempered my views.

    @Simp:

    My sympathies to you — I have a very similar problem. I’m a left-leaning moderate (formerly conservative/libertarian), living in a university town/seat of government with a metro-area population of over a million. Relatives from my small-ish, Southern hometown have felt perfectly free to send me outlandish right-wing propaganda in emails. I assume it’s because they live in the comfort of a reassuring echo chamber — they rarely (if ever) encounter people with opposing points of view. Still, it bothers me, because they know that I have left-leaning positions and that I supported (by donations and volunteer work) Obama’s presidential campaign. I’ve tried a variety of things when I’ve received these emails; none of them leading to a happy resolution. Simply ignoring the emails felt lousy — it seemed like I was at least tolerating, if not tacitly approving of the silly crap they were sending. When I finally decided I wasn’t willing to indicate ANY amount of agreement or tolerance of the silly stuff they sent to me, I pushed back — firmly but respectfully. It did not end well. It resulted in a family member insinuating that my values were objectionable; furthermore, “they” have found me to be combative and dislike being around me! (He would not elaborate on who this “they” included — he was just letting me know that some or all of the family were in agreement about my shortcomings.)

    So now, for the first time in my life, this bullshit partisan crap emanating from the right-wing noise machine is having an effect on my personal relationships. Fucking depressing.

  182. 182
    kideni says:

    Another depressing thing is it’s not just older people spouting this crap. I spent the day with my mother and my eighteen-year-old nephew, and I was stunned at the barrage of the right-wing talking points he was spouting. Granted, my brother and sister-in-law have become quite the libertarians, but when I traveled with this kid two years ago he was a big supporter of the Democrats and of Obama, and he used to speak sympathetically about social inequalities and that sort of thing. I finally had enough when we passed a panhandler and he made a crack about how a lot of panhandlers are millionaires who live in penthouse apartments. I laid into him about how that’s bullshit concocted so that we can tell ourselves it’s OK not to care about how we’ve abandoned people who need help, and how mean and selfish we’ve become as a society. He was pretty taken aback by my response, but unfortunately, it may have been more that I used profanity in front of him for the first time in his life. At least I didn’t hear any more of that crap for the rest of the afternoon. (And as for my sister-in-law, it’s always fun to hear someone who’s been a stay-at-home wife and mother since she had her first child complain about social security freeloaders taking her hard-earned money — my mother really loves that one.)

  183. 183
    Lysana says:

    All too true. Have to start presenting the other side and defending our own. I recently terminated a budding relationship because the other party insisted that abortion and same-sex marriage are states’ rights issues. He failed to see how that worked to make me a second-class citizen. I also keep running into issues with people commenting on my freelance articles who are drinking the Fox FlaVorAid (it wasn’t Kool-Aid at Jonestown) or worse. I point out their factual errors and they insist I’m spewing socialist malarkey or just plain clam up.

  184. 184
    Lysana says:

    Oh, bah. I forgot the filter on sokalist on 179.

  185. 185

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Ditto.

    When you push back, they shut up. That has been my experience in real life.

  186. 186
    dww44 says:

    I am in your corner, John, as I have already committed to do this whenever and where ever I encounter it: like the lovely email I got yesterday about illegal immigrants with a vote those critters out in November cause they haven’t dealt with illegal immigrants. Like the publicly funded rural hospital where my Mom is in the nursing home that has a TV in the gift shop spewing Fox News with no ability to even turn the TV off. Talk about captive audience;this is what happens all the time in my red red state.

    Bothers my husband, but the era of hiding one’s political views in the public arena in support of politieness and getting along is no longer the right thing to do. We have to all wake up the electorate now. And, we do need our liberal political leaders to quit playing it safe.

  187. 187
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @DonBelacquaDelPurgatorio: It probably helps that I’m a little bit of a monster.

  188. 188
    bmcchgo says:

    It was very reassuring reading this entire thread.

    Kudos to all who who are articulate enought to challenge the BS.

    And next time someone says ‘I want my country back!’, tell them they did not lose their country – they just lost an election.

  189. 189
    maus says:

    @Paul L.: If anyone prays in front of that dude, he SHOOTS THEM IN THE FACE.

    ps: You’re a drool-slick moron if you believe this is at all relevant to what we’re talking about.

  190. 190
    BDeevDad says:

    This seems like a good way to get a wingnut to STFU.

  191. 191
    Wordsmith says:

    @JenJen:

    Man #2: “You’re damned straight he’ll have to leave office!”

    Me: “So, then, Joe Biden gets to be President? I mean, of course, assuming he was born here.”

    Woman: “Hell no he won’t!”

    Me: “No, I’m pretty sure that’s how it would work. President Biden.”

    Geezzz…… i wonder WHO she thought (thinks) would be next in line for the presidency? What? We get to vote again or Glenn Beck gets to choose one?

    “I’m pretty sure that’s how it would work. President Biden” – poor things, what a nightmare. They better HOPE Joe doesn’t get the chance. I have the feeling ole’ Joe is a hellraiser!

  192. 192
    maus says:

    @BDeevDad: I’m not so sure. In my case, they usually just quote Beck-history falsified figures, slippery slope claims and other conservative lies.

    I don’t know what conservatives people are talking to that are often stunned by demands.

    Well, that and when I get annoyed with my mom for spouting this bullshit and demand she research absolutely anything independently, she starts crying and saying she doesn’t have any time to do so (which is itself a lie) and I feel guilty. I can’t call her/them on anything without a wiggle room.

    According to her, meeting her halfway would involve me getting cable and watching Beck’s show, which nobody transcribes, so I’m not “doing my part”.

    Blecghhghh.

  193. 193
    Sanka says:

    I go to a barbershop where it is mostly old-timers, and I’m not exaggerating when I state that I am routinely the only person this side of 70 in the waiting room

    Nice work. You stuck it to a bunch of senile, old-timers who’ve probably been saying the same cr.ap for decades. Betcha they were saying the same stuff during the Bush administration, or even Reagan.

    But the important thing here is that you stuck it to ’em good Cole. Well done. We really are a left-of-center nation!

    Stupid old people…

  194. 194
    Cain says:

    @Wordsmith: @Nylund:

    Another middle-class friend of the family claimed that Obama had already raised her taxes by $4,000 a year. When I asked for proof of that, she, after a long fight, admitted that he hadn’t, but knew he would eventually, so it may as well have already happened

    You should tell her that Obama turned you into a newt! Then tell her later that you got better.

    cain

  195. 195
    Beulahmo says:

    @GeneJockey:

    Now? They don’t even care that their point has been disproved. It seems to me that there’s been a shift in how they view things, like their views are now so prevalent that they no longer have to be able to prove they’re right. I think this all happens at a level that is deeper than reason, which is why reason doesn’t work.

    I think you’ll find this article compelling — about the power of political misinformation:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....75_pf.html

    I’d like to read Nyhan and Reifler’s publication on this study.

  196. 196
    Beulahmo says:

    @GeneJockey:

    Here’s a link to the actual paper:

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/.....eifler.pdf

    And here’s a Columbia Journalism Review article on Nyhan and Reifler’s work:

    http://www.cjr.org/campaign_de.....p?page=all

  197. 197
  198. 198
    A.J. says:

    I fight back on this shit all the time! Hell, it’s fun!

    I get those crank emails slamming Democrats (and NEVER Repiglicans) and slam them right back in their face, and I do a “Reply-All” when I do. And I’m not that nice about it when I do. It’s more fun than going to bookstores and sneaking the Bibles over to the fiction section.

    And I save a copy of every one of those Reich-wing shit-pieces, and my responses to them; ‘cuz, they have a habit of coming around a second time.

    For grins, I just checked the email file I keep of these rants and my replies. The count is 483 messages! Wow. Didn’t know it was that large; and that only goes back to 2008!

  199. 199

    […] mini rant from John Cole needs to be heard. Just got back from getting my haircut. I go to a barbershop […]

  200. 200
    dan says:

    Which is why I love Alan Grayson.

  201. 201
    Woodrowfan says:

    @freelancer:

    What worries me is that I am sure there are people out there who would willingly give such orders, and that there are plenty of wingers that would follow them. One thing about the latest RW claim that fascists were left wing, is that, no matter what they do, THEY can’t be fascists because they’re not on the left. It’s the mirror version of the “no true Scotsman” fallacy.

  202. 202
    birthmarker says:

    @WereBear:

    But I’m a lady (unless they get up in my grille) and then I’m from Brooklyn.

    Too cute! I am stealing! “I am a lady first, then I’m from Bama.”

    That so explains the culture here!

  203. 203
    GeneJockey says:

    @Beulahmo:

    I’d seen something about that just yesterday. It’s depressing, really.

    My own observation is that any source that provides information that corrects a Conservative talking point, no matter how authoritative or irrefutable it may be, becomes suspect itself. The CBO, for example, is held to be an authority until it releases a study that says the PPACA will cut the deficit; Generals are sacrosanct, until they say something bad about Bush or nice about Obama.

  204. 204
    Svensker says:

    Where I’ve always drawn the line in the past is racism and bigotry. And anti-Muslim/Arab stuff you hear all the time, even in liberal New York. I’ve learned people will shut up pretty quickly when I say, “I have Arab family members and I find your comment personally very upsetting.” (I don’t mention that they are Christian Arabs, but what the hey.)

    But I’ve started pushing back on other stuff, too. Being respectful (hard!) and just asking questions kind of works, although usually I just get Rant 4489B Mooslim Sokalist Terraist Teleprompter Honor I Want My Country Back. Still, I figure it’s always good to let them know that not everyone goes along with that shit.

  205. 205
    maus says:

    @Svensker:

    (I don’t mention that they are Christian Arabs, but what the hey.)

    The right wing gives no fuck about Christian Arabs, unless they’re in exile and agree with a particular neocon invasion, or recommend one. Palestine is a good example of this.

  206. 206
    Beulahmo says:

    @GeneJockey:

    Right. It’s amazing how quickly they’ll turn on their own revered authorities when there’s a challenge to their deeply-held beliefs. Here’s another conservative hero-turned-heretic, because he dared to challenge Republican myth (or as they see it, conventional wisdom): Bruce Bartlett. He was one of the original supply-siders who worked for the Reagan [sound of angel choir] and H.W. Bush administrations. He has beat his head against brick walls for years, trying to push back against the tax-cuts-equal-increased-revenues myth, even from the “venerable” pages of the National Review Online.

    http://old.nationalreview.com/.....0402.shtml

  207. 207
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Console:

    But then again Black barber shop political wisdom isn’t too much better

    Reminds me of this.

  208. 208
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Wordsmith:

    And if Biden is hit by lightning, then it’s…gasp, Nancy Pelosi!

    After that only 86-yr-old Daniel Inouye stands between Hillary Clinton and the throne.

    That oughta give ’em pause.

  209. 209
  210. 210
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Nylund:

    He claimed that he read this section of the Bill first hand. The fact that I admitted to not having read the bill in its entirety (like he supposedly had) proved that I didn’t know what I was talking about and he was right.

    This is why I love having a smartphone. Depending on how schoolmarmy you wanna be, you can just pull up the Internet text and say, “Really, please show me exactly where it says that.”

  211. 211
    Mumphrey says:

    @Paul L.:

    Yeah, boy, Paul, I’ll tell you. I swear, every time my wife and I go to church, which is in Washington, D.C., who should come barging in but Bill Press to tell us we’re all forbidden to pray. And, well, we have to stop praying and go home after that. It’s so sad how we’ve lost the right to pray, even in our own church. I’m sure that if we were Muslims, he’d let us pray freely, but we aren’t, so we’re stuck. What can we do about it? I mean, he doesn’t represent the U.S. or District government, so he doesn’t really have any actual power to wield over us, but, well, after all, it is Bill Press, so what choice do we really have but to bow to his wishes?

  212. 212
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Beulahmo:

    Oh yeah, classic.

  213. 213
    GregB says:

    I had made that commitment some time ago myself. When I hear idiocy being spewed in public I’m not afraid to offer my reasoned 10 cents.

    My moment of pride was when I confronted Frank Luntz for his tireless efforts in destroying the English language when I bumped into on the streets of Manchester, New Hampshire.

  214. 214
    maskling says:

    i sometimes challenge this nonsense in public too. you have to pick your fights: if there are other people around (especially young people) who may be undecided, go ahead and pick the fight. let the theoretical undecided hear a different view point. and you are arguing for their benefit, not arguing to change your adversary’s mind – that is nearly impossible. people like that old timer will never change their minds.

    first time i challenged a winger’s opinion in public was during the mccain/obama contest. when some guy at work kept assserting that obama was a muslim and had sworn into the senate on a koran. i could not take it anymore. i called his bullshit and it was on. yeah, it is hard, but cole, you strike me as an argumentative cuss anyway. so go for it.

    keep your sense of humor, keep smiling. make it plain that you find your adversary’s opinion downright amusing. make his opinion the butt of your joke, so to speak. the point is to take away his social proof – articulating reason seldom changes minds. sad but true. but opinons without social proof are poison – people avoid them like the plague.

  215. 215
    The humanity says:

    You can fight them with words now, or you can wait until they tell you to sew the little blue patch onto your clothing

  216. 216
    Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom says:

    @bobbo: Sounds like the fights I’m currently having with my Dad, and his sister, my aunt. No, muslims are not trying to take over the world. There are muslims in the armed forces of both Canada and the US. Oh, and you don’t have to be a Christian to be good person. Sound familiar?

  217. 217
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @GregB:

    Thank you!

  218. 218
    Jrod the Cookie Thief says:

    @Sanka: Yeah, Cole! Don’t you know that once a person gets old, it’s wrong to argue with him? Sure, he’s probably still voting, and he obviously wanted to talk politics, but you still should have assumed that old folks were unable to think and reason, cuz liek their old lol.

    That’s how you show respect to the elderly.

    (Seriously, though, good job.)

  219. 219
    maus says:

    @Jrod the Cookie Thief: The best way to handle the teabaggers is to never, ever challenge them.

  220. 220
    CynDee says:

    @numbskull: One time a friend of mine I had known for 15 years started getting frustrated when I showed her my bedroom newly painted a nice blue. Apparently she had some bad associations with pale blue in her own life.

    Then she simmered and boiled and launched into a long and increasingly angry rant. Lots of crazy statements that had nothing to do with me freshening up a room with new paint.

    I was stunned to find myself backed into a corner with her leaning over me yelling into my face about now I would have “a bad sex life.”

    I actually thought she was going to hit me, so I said, “Let’s go outside.” We went out, and she finally went home, and I just broke off the friendship and didn’t see her any more. I had enough going on in my life to not want to deal with sorting out her demons, and she wouldn’t listen, anyway.

    However, later I thought of what I wish I had done.

    Like so many ranters and haters, her face was all contorted. She looked like a maniac. I should have taken her by the arm to the mirror and said, “Look at yourself! You’re all disfigured from the anger you’re carrying around. I don’t know what it has to do with, but it’s not about me and my blue room.”

    So, that’s one thing you could do. Take their picture with your iPhone and show it to them and say, “Here’s what you look like when you’re spewing poison.” Stay that way, or base your life on reality. Is this the Real You that you want to be the rest of your life? What a waste to turn yourself into this. I’d like to be a better friend to you, but I don’t know how, and I don’t need this kind of trash thinking and behavior in my life. Good-bye.”

  221. 221
    LiberalTarian says:

    You go big guy.

  222. 222
    angler says:

    Well done, JC, well done.

  223. 223
    CynDee says:

    @Cain: Turned you into a newt! That’s a masterpiece. I’m keeping that.

  224. 224
    LanceThruster says:

    There’s got to be some sort of Jack Chick type booklet that can be made and handed to them to help them pull their heads out.

    Comforting words should be offered as in Vonnegut’s “Timequake” where Kilgore Trout, helping people adjust to coming out of the time rift would say, “You were sick, but now you’re better & there’s work to do.”

  225. 225
    bob h says:

    In my case, with my aged parents and brothers all Fox News drones, speaking my mind runs the risk of damaging family relations and possibly disinheritance. But I have about had enough.

  226. 226
    goatchowder says:

    I live in “liberal” San Francsico, and just today, I was waiting in line at West Marine, and didn’t have my discount card, and was sputtering around trying to figure out which phone number they might have had on record for it, getting annoyed at the corporation for this silliness of requiring all this information of me, and an older gentleman behind me in line conspiratorially said to me, “Oh don’t worry, they’re tracking everything you do anyway. The government.”.

    Huh? What government? This is a fucking private corporation invading my privacy, not the damned government. Are you even aware of where you are? Don’t you know the difference between them? Don’t you see which one keeps getting more and more power and invading people’s privacy and taking control of our lives more and more every day? Hint: it ain’t the damned government.

    I just looked at him, stunned. Didn’t say anything. I wasn’t in a DMV line, I was in a store checkout. A corporation was probing both of our rectums, and here this guy was worrying about the government. This in San Francisco.

    What the FUCK is going on out there?

  227. 227
    RobMidd says:

    The Jack Chick idea is closer to what I think would be effective. I really don’t think it helps our cause to shoot down individual wingnuts in person. (Not that I don’t enjoy that occasionally!) I think we must research ways to spread our messages farther and wider. A Jack Chick style tract with simple facts about health insurance reform or climate and energy or any other Democratic issue would probably help more than yelling…

    (I am the Rob who posted
    this comment
    above.)

  228. 228
    CreativeAnarchy says:

    Civility never made anyone smarter. The old guy who works at my comic shop on the weekend loves him some FOX. Finally one day I wasn’t in the mood to be tolerant and the second I heard some jackhat ranting about Socialist Muslim Barrack Obama I shouted at him to turn that shit off. I told him that that crap was offensive to me and If I ever saw it on again I was going to have a talk with the owner. My best friend’s Gun Nut buddy is still a wingnut but he keeps tight lipped around me because whenever he spouts Foxfacts I call him on it. When people say prejudiced or offensive stuff in public and nobody challenges them you are in effect all telling them their warped worldview is correct.

  229. 229
    chicago dyke says:

    @GeneJockey:

    i had a very similar experience with a rich couple of friends of the family. his response was “well, i don’t really trust statistics” or something similar. these two aren’t fundies and they aren’t stupid, and the truth is they know they didn’t earn the money they have, like most of their rich friends didn’t either. they’re just willfully hypocritical and among themselves they admit that they support republicans for the tax benefits. most of my rich friends say the same, when they’re honest with me.

    nobody will talk politics when i’m around unless they’re liberals. i am completely unafraid to skewer anybody to the right of me, including mushy moderates and intellectually lazy people who just like to feel comfortable and believe “it’ll all work out.” and i talk to strangers and neighbors all the time. i’m like an anti-wingnut. i appropriate their policy that it’s totally ok to start, end or otherwise shape a conversation towards liberal political ideas. as others noted, they do it, why shouldn’t we? i’ve been forcefully political since 2000. i really wish there had been more of us back then, when all of this could’ve been avoided. now i’m pretty sure the only way this will end is global war. i second the notion that the value of being publicly political is because of the audience, not for changing wingnut minds that propaganda has permanently warped.

  230. 230
    MarkusR says:

    Yes. It’s time that we stop sitting quiet when the nuts go raving. No more mister nice guy.

  231. 231
    inthewoods says:

    Speaking of Democrats with balls, this is why I like someone like Grayson – just go at them.

    I have a regular email exchange with two wingnutters (who I’ll call GunNut and Bumpersticker) and it amazes me how they all end – I ask for either:

    (a) What would you do to change X (the economy, the deficit, illegal immigration)?

    (b) What is the proof of what you are saying? Do you have any proof that is not from a right wing blog quoting a 3rd party that is in any way verifiable?

    They generally then stop talking about whatever the original point was and move on to the next one. However, I started keeping score in these email exchanges of all unanswered challenges from me (which I rightfully, I believe, consider “wins”) – I’m up to about 57 right now. I paste this number across the top off all of the emails in a larger font in red.

    And the emails keep coming – amazing.

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