Both sides do it

What I’ve learned over the past few days is that both sides do it. Whether it’s a left-leaning writer using the phrase “curb-stomping” or an angry mob of conservatives actually performing a curb-stomping, whether it’s a liberal drawing a Hitler mustache on George W. Bush or a right-wing militia member blowing up a federal building, whether it’s two black guys in berets standing outside a polling station or a hundred years of Jim Crow laws. It’s all the same stuff and we should just admit it.






136 replies
  1. 1
    morzer says:

    I wonder which of the right-wing nut-farms will take you literally, and link approvingly to this “confession” with “Even left-wing extremist DougJ admits that liberals are the violent ones….”.

  2. 2
    Bulworth says:

    Especially since the lefty writer saying the phrase “curb-stomping” caused the curb stomping by the very nice group of conservatives and the liberal drawing of a Hitler mustache on Bush caused the OKC bombing and the two black guys with berets caused 100 years of Jim Crow lynchings.

  3. 3
    Maude says:

    So, it’s all okay because everyone curb stomps women.

    Did she go to the hospital later on?

  4. 4
    Pangloss says:

    Which one is the Republican ACORN again?

  5. 5
    david mizner says:

    Is this the theme of John Stewart’s “both sides are kerrrazy” rally?

  6. 6
    DougJ says:

    @Maude:

    We are all curb-stompers now.

  7. 7
    El Tiburon says:

    Of course both sides do it.

    We all do it.

    I just did it and am going to do it again.

  8. 8
    Bella Q says:

    Sigh. Just another day in 21st century American politics. Such a noble debate about the issues of the day.

  9. 9
    Hunter Gathers says:

    “Both sides do it” is the new “she was asking for it”.

  10. 10
    WyldPirate says:

    It’s all the same stuff and we should just admit it.

    Damn, I never thought of it this way DougJ.

    I guess this means that a single firecracker and a 50 megaton nuke have the same effect when they go off.

    I learn something new every day here! I love Balloon Juice!

  11. 11
    El Cid says:

    @david mizner: I fear as much.

  12. 12

    Reminds me of “male bashing”.

    When women “bash” men, the men get criticized, and sometimes criticized severely.

    When men bash women, the women get beaten and sometimes beaten severely. Some die.

    But it’s all “bashing”, right?

    [What’s the matter? The English language doesn’t have enough words in it to describe what is going on?]

  13. 13
    El Tiburon says:

    @DougJ:

    We are all curb-stompers now.

    To be fair, Joe the Stomper was wearing sneakers so it was more like he gave her a noogie.

  14. 14
    sherifffruitfly says:

    Don’t we all wank to American X?

  15. 15
    edmund dantes says:

    @El Tiburon: It’s good to be the King.

  16. 16
    morzer says:

    Mother Jones has apparently caught the mother of all curb-stompers in action:

    http://motherjones.com/media/2.....-animation

  17. 17
    GregB says:

    Just what do you folks here think will happen if the polling has been skewed and the tea-party right over represented and the Democrats have a good GOTV effort and the wingnut lawyers start screaming voter fraud at every close race?

    Does anyone think that Sharon Angles’ crew will start resorting to their 2nd Amendment rights?

  18. 18
    Zifnab says:

    Yeah, sure I beat my wife. But she beats me too.
    /OJ Simpson

  19. 19
    DougJ says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Yes, he was wearing sneakers like a Real American.

  20. 20
    lacp says:

    And wearing a blond wig at a political event is exactly the same as Waffen-SS-cross-dressing. Because shut up.

  21. 21
    BGinCHI says:

    It gets clicks and fills the 24-hour news channels.

    We’re all Mad Men now.

  22. 22
    racrecir says:

    That “both sides do it” should be qualified. OTB commenter Lynne makes some reasonable observations:

    “With the execption of Ace of Spades (often funny, more often profane), the right leaning blogs seem to be pretty civil. The left, however, is a whole different story. I would put DeLong as one of the worst, but the front page at Balloon Juice seems to have lost their minds (there is a reason that someone referred to the commentors there as a vitriolic mass of vicious jackals), Krugman’s Conscience is always very, very liberally shrill, and I can even look at the Daily Kos anymore.”

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.c.....nt-1335483

  23. 23
    Suck It Up! says:

    @GregB:

    They don’t have the guts. We’ll just see a lot of bitching from Fox and its partner right wing sites. The msm will treat it seriously as if they didn’t contribute to the whole mess and some member of congress will put up a bill to defund NPR and ACORN.

  24. 24
    morzer says:

    I suspect “Lynne” is an undercover DougJ classic.

  25. 25
    Maude says:

    @DougJ:
    I didn’t think the comment had loaded. The server slowed down.
    This really scares me because there wasn’t an immediate denunciation of violence by the Republican Party and not even by those who are members of the government.

    I read that Lauren went to the hospital and I hope she doesn’t have brain injury.

    Real Murkans stomp for Jeebus.

  26. 26

    But but….both sides have militias that want to overthrow the feds!!!

  27. 27
    IM says:

    Calling Jon Chait left-leaning is migthy generous.

    And TNR has a tradition of calls for violence, mostly against people in other countries.

  28. 28
    El Cid says:

    But… but… BILL AYERS!

  29. 29
    Bella Q says:

    @El Tiburon:

    To be fair, Joe the Stomper was wearing sneakers so it was more like he gave her a noogie.

    If you look at one of the videos, the guy (plaid shirt) who tackles her really puts his weight into it once he has her down. That’s not exactly a noogie, though it doesn’t make for the dramatic still photo that foot-on-head does.

  30. 30
    BR says:

    Put succinctly:

    Premise Four: Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims.

    Jensen’s talk on this.

    Edit: I guess what I’m learning these days is that liberals are lower on this hierarchy. I didn’t realize that until recently, I guess.

  31. 31
    liberal says:

    Don’t have the time to look for it, but another commenter in another thread here at BJ recently pointed out that journalists cannot cite facts and truths and then make some kind of point. They have to “quote” someone serving in some capacity. (Not saying this is a novel observation.)

    In the context of who does what, quoting both sides will always lead to false equivalences.

  32. 32
    Kryptik says:

    I’ve really just given up trying to understand this crap. Really. It’s just….good fucking god.

  33. 33
    El Tiburon says:

    @IM:

    And TNR has a tradition of calls for violence, mostly against Muslims in other countries.

    FIFY

  34. 34
    Martin says:

    @racrecir:

    there is a reason that someone referred to the commentors there as a vitriolic mass of vicious jackals

    Yes, we are over the top violent. Why just yesterday I shot a conservative in Reno, just to watch him die.

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @racrecir: Commenter Lynne’s “reasonable” views differ somewhat from what others have observed. Also, let’s look at actual violence. Have people on the left pulled a protester to the ground, set her head on a curb, and stepped on it? I didn’t think so.

  36. 36
    cmorenc says:

    I don’t know which is the worse potential outcome:
    a) a bona fide angry bunch of Paul-supporting goons mobbed and attacked this woman, and the head-stomping was a genuine, frightening piece of goon political violence;
    b) OR, the incident turns out to have been a staged piece of MoveOn political theater, designed to try to make Paul and his supporters look even uglier and stupider than they are (which is plenty).

    If the former case (genuine), the potential for growing right-wing menacing behavior is even worse than we thought.

    If the latter (a staged piece of theater), then this will have been an incredibly stupid piece of political theater that will badly backfire with the public, and harm Conway’s prospects.

  37. 37
    chopper says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    this.

    i love this country. a right-wing douchebag blows a doctor’s brains out and it’s all ‘both sides do it. why, last week a ‘new black panther’ punched a guy!’.

    i give up.

  38. 38
    BR says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Imagine if that were to happen. It’d be on Fox 24/7 and Issa would be calling for hearings before the day was out.

    But I guess that’s not how the hierarchy of violence works.

  39. 39
    rapido says:

    mcardle has passively-aggressively suggested that we all do it as well over at her place, after first admitting that the woman’s take down was not nearly as awful as she had been led to believe – but, she argues in her most concerned voice available, still ‘we’ shouldn’t behave this way, and it’s not fair to suggest that because coakley’s assistant roughed up a reporter that they did it first and blah blah blah.

    can’t figure out if she’s being disingenuous, ignorant or both.

  40. 40
    Larry Bird says:

    People who are 100% partisan for either side make me uncomfortable.

  41. 41
    IM says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I first wanted to write muslims, but then remembered that TNR is reputed to be quite a enthusiastiac supporter of all the right-wing massacres in central america in the eighties.

  42. 42
    Redshift says:

    @liberal: What do you mean “cannot”? Yes, he-said-she-said false equivalences are all the rage nowadays, but there’s no reason why journalists cannot state the truth, and point out if one of those quotes is clearly false. That’s supposed to be their job.

  43. 43
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @cmorenc:

    b) OR, the incident turns out to have been a staged piece of MoveOn political theater, designed to try to make Paul and his supporters look even uglier and stupider than they are (which is plenty).

    Let’s get real. This is not a potential outcome.

  44. 44
    El Tiburon says:

    @cmorenc:

    OR, the incident turns out to have been a staged piece of MoveOn political theater, designed to try to make Paul and his supporters look even uglier and stupider than they are (which is plenty).

    Fucking brilliant. Rarely have I ever witnessed genius.

    Little did I know when I took my morning pee and ate my bowl of Frosty flakes that I would be in the presence of such magnificence.

    Bless you.

  45. 45
    Bella Q says:

    @Midnight Marauder: Thank you. It’s especially unrealistic since the plaid shirted tackler appears to be a teabagger featured in a photo on a teabagger website, the link to which is in another thread.

  46. 46
    Culture of Truth says:

    It’s axiomatic

  47. 47
    liberal says:

    @racrecir:

    “… I would put DeLong as one of the worst…”

    LOL. DeLong, the left? He’s a solid neoliberal douchebag. Here’s a hint: anyone who’s said good things about Alan Greenspan isn’t of “the left.”

    DeLong does have one grave sin, however: he routinely censors comments at this blog (both on the right and the left).

    OTB commenter Lynne makes some reasonable observations…

    Yawn. The problem here is that no distinction is made between superficial politeness and the more important kind. (I think some people have used the terms “civil” and “decent.”) The Right, as per historical norms, is populated with thugs. (That includes the right-wing bloggers that “Lynne” praises.) It is of little consequence that some of them use nice language.

  48. 48
    El Cid says:

    This is unpossible.

    President Obama’s approval ratings have jumped substantially, crossing the magic halfway threshold to 54 percent, up from 48 percent in late September, while the portion of respondents who disapprove of the president dropped to 40 percent, the lowest disapproval rating in a NEWSWEEK Poll since February 2010.

    Also, heroic documentarian James O’Keefe is at it again.

  49. 49
    mistersnrub says:

    It just astounds me — in multiple comment sections, no one on the right is willing to say, gee we have our differences but this does not represent me. It’s all, she had it coming, or it was a plant, or but, but SEIU thugs! There is a frightening lack of human decency on display

  50. 50
    liberal says:

    @Redshift:
    By “cannot,” I mean “either are constitutionally incapable of writing that way, or would be fired if they did.”

  51. 51
    cleek says:

    @Larry Bird:
    i prefer a Kinsley-type scale.

    i’d say i’m about a “5” Democrat. which is to say i’m predominately Democrat but open to the idea of conservatism, should the right Republican come along.

  52. 52
    liberal says:

    What is it about the comment code that makes it suck so badly?

  53. 53
    Bulworth says:

    I for one am pretty proud to be thought of as a vicious jackal.

  54. 54
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Bulworth:

    Hi! I’m Vitriolic, glad to meetcha!

  55. 55
    liberal says:

    @Larry Bird:
    It depends on what you mean by “partisan.”

    And given the fact that the Republican Party, as currently constituted, presents a grave threat to the future of the United States, I don’t see how a thinking, moral American could avoid being extremely partisan.

  56. 56
    Ash Can says:

    @racrecir: Whoa. High praise.

  57. 57
    Stooleo says:

    @Bulworth:
    “I for one am pretty proud to be thought of as a vicious jackal. ”

    I had the same thought. I feel as if I have arrived.

  58. 58
    Eric U. says:

    @david mizner: I was very interested in going to the Stewart/Colbert fake rallies until I saw Stewart’s mealy-mouthed “both sides do it” bullshit. I would love it if enough national dems would stand up and do eviscerate the republicans for their policies. But it just doesn’t happen. Instead, we have the Beck at the Mall shilling for hate and the Republicans (but I repeat myself). The response on the Dem side? Nothing. I see the republicans lying and slandering large swaths of the public and I see very mild response from the Dems. To some extent that’s the way we are. But I can’t stand to see one of the more astute observers of our politics saying that both sides do it; that’s republican propaganda.

    It is amusing to see people saying that Stewart/Colbert shouldn’t be doing this rally because of something, but it’s ok for Fox News personality Beck to have a Republican campaign event on the Mall.

  59. 59
    El Cid says:

    The problem with considering to support sane Republicans right now is that they would still uphold the party agenda, filibustering all the time and voting in Congress against nearly everything. It’s just not yet a real world option. I don’t think any of them who didn’t do that would survive the next primary.

  60. 60
    Martin says:

    @BR: They are lower, but not because they’re Democrats but because Democrats are made up of and represent minority interests.

    Look at any national issue and see how Republicans frame the source of the problem vs how Democrats do.

    Katrina: Republicans said God had it in for the gays (minority) and that black residents (minority) weren’t responsible enough to get out. Democrats said the Federal government failed – both in the levee design, Congress for refusing to fund it, and FEMA for failing to respond. All groups of power.

    2008 Financial Crisis: Republicans blame CRA (serve minority groups) and poor people (minority) for living too close to their means. Democrats blame banks, Congress, and regulatory bodies. Again, all groups of power.

    Even the kookie stuff – election fraud: Republicans blame black voters (minority), ACORN (serve minorities), immigrants (minority). Democrats blame the voting machine companies and Secretaries of State. Again, groups of power.

    Republicans for decades have been all about reinforcing and excusing those with power, and blaming all of societies problems on minority groups. They may come around after you shove enough evidence on them, but they always start with minorities and force you to work off of that point. This allies them with those in power, even the power groups aren’t interested in the alliance.

    Democrats, to their great credit, instinctively blame the groups in power. They naturally ally themselves with minorities and that puts them as the group out of power, because they’re constantly, constantly having to fight from a much more difficult position. They don’t fight every battle, they give in on quite a few (they have to), but they always start from the same place.

  61. 61
    Frank Chow says:

    Does this mean gays can finally get married? And start ruining straight marriages?

  62. 62
    Left Coast Tom says:

    Dougj, hat happened to your economics and business editor title? Did you buy a working calculator?

  63. 63
    DougJ says:

    @Left Coast Tom:

    I started using TurboTax.

  64. 64
    liberal says:

    @El Cid:

    The problem with considering to support sane Republicans right now is that they would still uphold the party agenda…

    What sane Republicans?

  65. 65
    Ash Can says:

    @El Cid:

    heroic documentarian James O’Keefe is at it again.

    Jeezus H, isn’t that putz in jail yet?

  66. 66
    Jules says:

    Over on a local blog a guy just wrote:

    Dirt bag activist (moveon.org) got exactly what she deserved and “wanted”. She wanted to disrupt the debate and to get the Rand Paul campaigned smeared in the liberal media. Guess what–she succeeded.

    and this

    A woman in disguise, working for an antagonistic organization, who lied about who she represented, all in order to gain access to a candidate she hated – was rightfully taken down by crowd attendees but ONE who so no mistake could be made, was overly adorned in shirt and stickers of the person she hated appeared to abuse but not hurt her…
    And SOME people are siding with this woman. REALLY? Is this the first time you folks have ever heard of how dirt-bag activists work?
    Maybe people now feel they have to protect themselves as our Dept. of Justice will allow voter intimidation by Black Panther organizations.

    and he’s not being sarcastic or ironic.

  67. 67
    bemused says:

    Of course, we should admit it’s all just the same stuff and we will keep getting stomped until we do. Every spouse beater knows it’s the only way to get respect.

  68. 68
    Citizen Alan says:

    @El Tiburon:

    In his defense, it’s not completely 100% impossible that this could all somehow be staged, it’s just wildly improbable and would represent evidence that MoveOn is run by insane morons. If the video had showed that a Teabagger had been assaulted in that manner by someone allegedly affiliated with a union or the NAACP or some similar Dem constituency and the video had been shot by James O’Keefe, I might be more suspicious than I am based on what I know right now.

    In any case, even in the incredibly unlikely event that the video is debunked, it would not change my opinion that the Teabaggers are a bunch of brownshirt thugs one bit.

  69. 69
    El Cid says:

    @liberal: I meant hypothetical. Hypothetically, we may someday develop faster-than-light transportation. But just hypothetically.

  70. 70
    eric says:

    If you understand the judeo-christian tradition as it emerged from early judea, you know that winning justifies actions because winning is god’s blessing on his chosen people. thus, if you win, you should have won. If you lost, then (see much of the early jewish prophets in the Bible) you were not doing it right, ie., clap louder and harder. That is where we are. Victory in battle (physical or political) is sanctified by god.

    Or as Lombardi said: “Winning isnt everything, it is the only thing.”

    eric

  71. 71
    Eric U. says:

    @liberal: I find it disturbing that there are no longer any sane republicans. Our representative is a nice guy, but he votes Republican party-line every time. Same for the nominally sane Snowe and Collins. Sanity is an act, required for election in some jurisdictions.

  72. 72
    Nick says:

    When a hen it happens to a conservative, it’s the fault of some mean old liberal who can’t calm down, when it happens to a liberal, it’s just cause “everybody does it”

    there’s a double standard, Republicans can get away with things Democrats can’t, but I got mocked for two years saying that here.

    Take on the media, take on the churches, take on the corporations, or die.

  73. 73
    jl says:

    “Whether it’s a left-leaning writer using the phrase “curb-stomping” or an angry mob of conservatives actually performing a curb-stomping,”

    I agree with other commenters that these two things are not the same. Some thugs curb stomp a woman trying to do a political stunt, and then some liberal says it was curb stomping? How is that an equivalent ‘they both do it’.? Something happens and liberal calls it what it is, what’s wrong with that?

    Now, I did see a report that a Conway supporter got carried away at a demonstration and stomped on Paul supporter’s (a woman’s) surgical boot, opening some stitches. If that story turns out to be true, you can use that example.

    Edit: if true, we have two reports of men feeling it OK to commit violence on women at political rallies in KY. Minor violence, admittedly, but yet, I’ve seen these reports. Probably unfair, but it makes me wonder what is up with men in KY.

  74. 74
    Alice Blue says:

    Here’s the shitty icing on a rotten cake: a PPP poll has Paul up by 13.

  75. 75
    El Cid says:

    @Eric U.: This theme from Stewart sickened me too; but I guess something like that was required if he was going to try — probably unsuccessfully, but at least formally — to portray the rally as not simply librul partisan. Of course, it won’t work with the Republican media. But some version of that ‘both sides’ theme was probably required. It was enough, though, to remove my incentive for taking the trouble and time off to go myself.

  76. 76
    ChrisS says:

    What a bunch of awesome this morning.

  77. 77
    bemused says:

    @Jules:
    Well duh, she deserved and wanted it. What do you expect when she was wearing that tight, short skirt, low cut top and all that makeup? Oh wait, different story.

  78. 78
    El Tiburon says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    In his defense, it’s not completely 100% impossible that this could all somehow be staged,

    Right.

    Then I guess Obama better show his birth certificate, because, you know, 100% and all.

    Please, to even contemplate this is utter stupidity.

    That I am even responding to this shows how utterly stupid I am.

  79. 79
    Bulworth says:

    A woman in disguise, working for an antagonistic organization, who lied about who she represented, all in order to gain access to a candidate she hated – was rightfully taken down by crowd attendees

    OK, I’ll bite. What does “all in order to gain access to” mean? How was she disguised?

  80. 80
    Turgidson says:

    @Larry Bird:

    The asshats on the other side have been itching for a war against anyone who doesn’t share their knuckledragging vision for this country for decades. In a perfect world I wouldn’t be 100% partisan either, but this is not a perfect world. The Democrats are a bunch of spineless lollygaggers who can’t be trusted to screw in a lightbulb without starting a fire, but they’re not knee-jerk regressive at best and just plain hateful, racist or evil at worst like the GOP has become. I’ll stick with the lollygaggers for as long as they’re our only buttress against the teatards and their ultra-corporatist puppeteers.

  81. 81
    Judas Escargot says:

    @cmorenc:

    If the latter (a staged piece of theater), then this will have been an incredibly stupid piece of political theater that will badly backfire with the public, and harm Conway’s prospects.

    Wait– so causing (or attempting to cause) head/brain injury is okie-dokie in some contexts?

    Really?

  82. 82
    lacp says:

    @Alice Blue: Y’mean he got a boost from this? Good God.

  83. 83
    Larry Bird says:

    @liberal:

    I agree the GOP is a train wreck right now but I get uneasy being put in the same box as people like Lanny Davis. The Us vs Them mentality freaks me out.

  84. 84
    Grace Nearing says:

    This morning, madcap Fox Newsers Bill Hemmer and Whichever Blonde She Is were just a-chuckling away at the foot-on-head video, which is strongly predictive that the MoveOn supporter probably has some cracked vertebrae.

  85. 85
    Ash Can says:

    @jl: psst — your snark-o-meter needs a little adjusting.

  86. 86
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Alice Blue:

    Here’s the shitty icing on a rotten cake: a PPP poll has Paul up by 13.

    It’s Kentucky. As long as Rand doesn’t turn out to have had a black great grandparent, his supporters can do whatever the fuck they want and he’ll still breeze to victory.

  87. 87
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Bulworth:

    OK, I’ll bite. What does “all in order to gain access to” mean? How was she disguised?

    She gussied herself up real good like a real ‘murkin but the bitch was really a commie terrorist homo lover satanist. In other words, she covered up her Che t-shirt and played up the stupid.

  88. 88
    Alice Blue says:

    @lacp: I believe the poll was taken before the video was posted. It seems to be a reaction to Conway’s “Aqua Buddha” ad.

  89. 89
    Nick says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    As long as Rand doesn’t turn out to have had a black great grandparent, his supporters can do whatever the fuck they want and he’ll still breeze to victory.

    So, 49 State Strategy?

  90. 90
    Turgidson says:

    @Larry Bird:

    Oh, well if your problem is with people like Lanny Davis being on your same nominal team, we are in total agreement.

  91. 91
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Nick:

    I’m perfectly fine with a 50 state strategy, but understand that at least one generation of white folks is going to have to die off before it can really have a chance of success.

  92. 92
    Cris says:

    @Larry Bird: People who are 100% partisan for either side make me uncomfortable.

    Like @liberal said, it depends on what you mean by “partisan.” If it simply means “taking sides” then I think it’s what the situation calls for.

    I don’t take “partisan” to mean blind loyalty, or defending wrongs done by people in my camp. It’s possible — for that matter, it’s necessary — to call out bad positions and improper actions taken by members of a party, while still continuing to give them my electoral support.

    ETA: @Okay, I see what you mean.

  93. 93
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    [What’s the matter? The English language doesn’t have enough words in it to describe what is going on?]

    If the Eskimos have 37 different words for snow and ice, it seems like the Anglo-Saxons should have at least as many different words for bashing people, seeing as how they like to do it so much.

  94. 94
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cmorenc:

    b) OR, the incident turns out to have been a staged piece of MoveOn political theater, designed to try to make Paul and his supporters look even uglier and stupider than they are (which is plenty).

    Well, I guess the point is, how much of “the incident” are you wondering might have been “theater”? Because, OK, clearly what she started out doing was “theater,” like the stuff Billionaires For Bush did in ’04. But is _anyone_ saying that the part where she gets pulled to the ground and stepped on was “a staged piece of MoveOn political theater”?

  95. 95
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    at least one generation of white folks is going to have to die off before it can really have a chance of success.

    I know this is a dark thing to say, but I’m kind of looking forward to that.

  96. 96
    Turgidson says:

    The Paul/Conway result (which I imagine will be about 54-46 Paul when the dust settles) is probably about as close as a Democrat could have possibly gotten in a Kentucky election during a bad cycle for Democrats. The GOP probably could have held that seat if they ran a skunk with downs.

    I just hope Conway considers giving the Senate another chance at some point. He seems like the most electable Dem we’re gonna get in that state without being a full-blown Blue Dog. I think he could beat McConnell or Rand next time they come up for reelection.

  97. 97
    Cris says:

    @Ash Can: I’m seeing at least three comments in this thread that indicate failed save against snark. I can see how a person who isn’t a regular visitor here would fail to understand that the OP and most of the comments are parody. We’ve become so numb to it, we forget that reality has outpaced satire.

  98. 98
    Montysano says:

    someone referred to the commentors there as a vitriolic mass of vicious jackals

    If a wingnut comes around here spewing bullshit and wankery, then yes, they’ll be set upon by the vitriolic vicious jackals.

    OTOH, if they come here with a reasonable argument, they’ll be treated civilly…..

    …. or, they’ll be set upon by the vitriolic vicious jackals. It really depends on general mood, level of hangover, wind direction, the most recent episode of “Chuck”, etc.

  99. 99
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Turgidson:

    The GOP probably could have held that seat if they ran a skunk with downs.

    They did run a skunk with downs. They just had to find a weird bald guy who’d strap it to his head.

  100. 100
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    I see this going one of two ways:

    This is the best shot the flagging right can give. They’ve thrown a two year long tantrum that would embarrass a three year old and what they’ll get out of it is a narrow majority in the House and a roughly 50-50 senate. But like an aging Joe Frazier it will be their best shot and there won’t be anything left in the tank. “The Left” (always put that in scare quotes, since in the U.S. “The Left” is really the center-right) rebounds a bit in 2012 and more or less keeps things under control for the next couple of decades. Or…

    The right doesn’t quite get the complete acquiescence, obedience, and submission that they desire. Foolishly thinking that they’d thrown their best shot, they sucker punch us and send it into warp drive. They openly start calling Obama et al “Weimar Democrats”. Sarah Palin is tossed out for being too much like Eisenhower. I don’t think I will describe subsequent events in any greater detail but leave it to your imaginations.

  101. 101
    Nick says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I know this is a dark thing to say, but I’m kind of looking forward to that.

    The good news I guess is when we’re a third world country, they’ll be the first ones to die off.

  102. 102
    soonergrunt says:

    @fasteddie9318: As long as he isn’t caught with a dead girl or a live boy or dark-skinned relatives, he’ll win the election?

    I’ll bet you that the first one is negotiable, after all it being Kentucky, is 14 really a ‘girl’ under the law?

  103. 103
    Cris says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.): The right doesn’t quite get the complete acquiescence, obedience, and submission that they desire.

    This is the weakest link in your hopeful scenario. It’s true that the TeaBorn GOP has no real limit for how much submission they desire, but the Democrats will try very, very hard to give it to them.

  104. 104
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Nick:

    when we’re a third world country

    When? Income inequality and trade deficits say we already are. Actually, we’re home to two countries now, the trans-national country of the top 2%, who own the overseas factories that make our manufactured goods, and the third world mercantilist colony that the rest of us live in, exporting raw materials to industrialized nations and receiving manufactured goods back in return.

  105. 105
    Turgidson says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    This is the best shot the flagging right can give. They’ve thrown a two year long tantrum that would embarrass a three year old and what they’ll get out of it is a narrow majority in the House and a roughly 50-50 senate. But like an aging Joe Frazier it will be their best shot and there won’t be anything left in the tank.

    We keep hoping for this. Remember how quickly our hopes about reaching Peak Wingnut were dashed?

    They only get crazier when adversity strikes. I just hope their ranks thin with the passage of time and the “Government out of Medicare/I can’t believe a Kenyan is president” generation is replaced by something saner. Not holding my breath, though.

  106. 106
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @soonergrunt:

    As long as he isn’t caught with a dead girl or a live boy or dark-skinned relatives, he’ll win the election?
    __
    I’ll bet you that the first one is negotiable, after all it being Kentucky, is 14 really a ‘girl’ under the law?

    I’d be willing to bet the second one would be negotiable too, after a tearful apology and pledge to rededicate his life to Jesus. Plus the boy would clearly have seduced him, liberal plots, and so forth.

  107. 107
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    If the Eskimos have 37 different words for snow and ice, it seems like the Anglo-Saxons should have at least as many different words for bashing people, seeing as how they like to do it so much.

    I’ve always been partial to the word, ‘paddywhack’…

    So colorful and playful…

  108. 108
    Cris says:

    @fasteddie9318: the third world mercantilist colony that the rest of us live in, exporting raw materials to industrialized nations and receiving manufactured goods back in return.

    I became aware of how true this is for the state of Montana when businesses began relocating here citing a “friendly wage environment.” We’re like the gatorade station at the starting line of the race to the bottom.

  109. 109
    WyldPirate says:

    @Alice Blue:

    Here’s the shitty icing on a rotten cake: a PPP poll has Paul up by 13.

    You clearly have never been to Kentucky. There are an enormous number of ignorant fucks living there.

  110. 110

    @racrecir: The funny part is that she thinks Hot Air, Ace of Spaces and the rest aren’t far right…

  111. 111
    matoko_chan says:

    hahaha.
    No DougJ, we are not all the same……because it is UNFAIR when our side does it. Because we have all the smart people and the cool people and the young people on our side. (and all the scientists)
    Dig Insane Clown Beck–

    On his radio show today Glenn Beck took aim at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’€™s October 30th rally, by labeling it progressive plot to win the election. Beck said of the Stewart/Colbert rally, €”They are going to activate the youth to try to get them to vote with the labor unions apparently.€”

    Conservatism wants a do-over. they picked the clown team, and they are just now realizing it.
    Its Ross and Reihan’s dreaded stratification by IQ, personified by Palin and COD (christine o’donnell).

  112. 112
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @Turgidson:

    I just hope their ranks thin with the passage of time and the “Government out of Medicare/I can’t believe a Kenyan is president” generation is replaced by something saner.

    Is it possible to nominate an entire generation for a lifetime Darwin Award?

  113. 113
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @WyldPirate:

    You clearly have never been to Kentucky America. There are an enormous number of ignorant fucks living there.

    FTFY.

  114. 114
    soonergrunt says:

    @fasteddie9318: Yeah, but that last part is utterly unforgivable. Society has to have standards, after all.

  115. 115
    dww44 says:

    @cleek:

    Then I must be an 8 or a 9, possibly even a 10 on this scale. It’s been a long long time when I even considered a Republican at the national level on a ballot, or for that matter on a state one. There’s no rational way I would even get within 50 feet of one in the current environment.

    So, Larry Bird, you can label me as one of those persons who makes you uncomfortable, albeit there isn’t a violent bone in my body.

  116. 116
    BobS says:

    @Citizen Alan: Brownshirt thugs aren’t what they used to be. Physically, anyway. I saw a group of overweight old people (four who could reasonably be charged with battery, including the large woman who appeared to step on the young lady on the ground) who remind me of some of the loud and obnoxious old folks who pepper the audience at our township board meetings.
    I blame Social Security and Medicare for the teabaggers. Without their government entitlements most of the Tea Party would have died of hypothermia due to their inability to pay their utility bills or lack of medical care for their heart disease or type-II diabetes would have put them in their graves.

  117. 117
    Larry Bird says:

    @dww44:

    The word “label” in your post is kind of what I’m talking about. I wouldn’t do that because I don’t know you. I share your feelings about the republican party as it stands right now. Trust me when I say a favorite activity of mine is laughing at the ridiculous state they are currently in. This doesnt preclude me from listening and supporting a future GOP candidate who’s views I share even though at this point it seems very unlikely in my lifetime. My point was more about people treating politics in the same manner as how people root for a sports team. Painting with a broad brush isn’t accurate or helpful and I see it on both sides. The Tea Partiers I have no problem with mocking. I know their views to the extent they’ve expressed them. Putting the whole right in a box in a us vs them scenario is what makes me uncomfortable.

  118. 118
    Cris says:

    @dww44: It’s been a long long time when I even considered a Republican at the national level on a ballot, or for that matter on a state one.

    You make an important distinction, because generally I’ve found party dynamics are different on the local level. There are Republicans serving in my county who I still respect and feel I can trust to occasionally act on better motives than “pissing off the liberals.”

    But you know what has cemented my partisanship, at least for congressional races? Committee rules. People love to profess independence and say “I vote for the candidate, not the party” but when it comes to Congress (both state and local) you’re still voting for the party, because the person you elect is part of a caucus and if that caucus gets control, they get a lot more power than simply having more votes.

    Anyway, the thing that really drove it home for me was when the GOP gained control of the Montana House in 2006, and appointed a hard-right Constitution Party member, who publicly opposes the very idea of public education, to chair the House Education Committee. That’s just plain irresponsible.

    Like I said earlier, partisanship is what the situation calls for. The GOP as a whole must be kept out of the Congressional majority, however “reasonable” any individual Congressperson is.

  119. 119
    Karen says:

    @Maude:

    That’s because it’s overthrowing tyranny and I can see that from my house!

  120. 120
    morzer says:

    @Larry Bird:

    Do you really think the right wing is going to give you the choice? They cultivate an us versus them mentality, and have done for decades. It doesn’t matter what you think – for them, those who are not for them are against them, and are not real Americans to boot.

  121. 121
    Don says:

    Don’t have the time to look for it, but another commenter in another thread here at BJ recently pointed out that journalists cannot cite facts and truths and then make some kind of point. They have to “quote” someone serving in some capacity. (Not saying this is a novel observation.)

    Sounds like me. Or rather, me talking about the kind of points that people like Jay Rosen have been making when he talks about the “view from nowhere” attitude the media requires their employees to have. Or any number of other commentator have made over the years about how the media elevates the direct quote and expert and denigrates “observation” journalism.

    There’s nothing inherently wrong with the base premise except when it’s taken to the extreme. Take a journalism class and they’ll tell you that quotes from officials and authorities should rank higher in your writing above your own observations. Go to a local city council meeting, for example, and you could write about what you observed yourself: the council debating the merits of, say, outsourcing trash collection.

    You can state that the council debated merits x, y and z. Or you can provide quotes from three people on the council advocating each position. The second is preferred in journalism because it removes a potential source of bias and attributes statements accurately.

    The problem is that the media has fallen all over itself in this quest to avoid any implication of bias (which is almost always an accusation of liberal bias) that they opt to do everything in this horse-race style. Person X makes a statement, Person Y responds. It works well for things where there are differing opinions – what are the merits of a higher or lower minimum wage, perhaps – but falls down on things that are demonstrably true or false.

    If the reporter will never summarize and say that Person X’s statement is overtly false then you end up with competing assertions. To some extent this is fine, but when it turns into this complete refusal to craft an arching narrative it gives an edge to the liars. After all, everyone gets quoted every time. Simply lie overtly only 10% of the time and hey, now you’re just competing voices on average rather than someone making a blatantly untrue statement.

    I think we see the result of this in how far daily news has fallen while still turning out some pretty impressive long-form or multi-part pieces. Compare the average output of the Washington Post on any given day to the absolute fantastic work they do when they offer up things like Dana Priest’s work on Walter Reed and the VA. When they let themselves connect the dots or write something sufficiently sweeping that you can see the obvious lies they are irreplaceable.

    Unfortunately this strategy doesn’t work on daily tidbits and the people gaming the system know it. In a sane society we alter how we do things when people game the system. If the media wanted to really continue to offer value they’d grit their teeth and take their lumps from the bias screamers and stop letting people get away with this.

    Unfortunately they haven’t figured out that they’re going to get the bias beating no matter what.

  122. 122
    WyldPirate says:

    @Don:
    Nice post, Don. Too bad it is so far down in the thread that few will read it.

    I think a lot of the nitwits in the media know that what you say is true. They just don’t have the stones–or more specifically–the station/network/paper/magazine ownership–don’t want to face the wrath of either the screaming hordes of TeaTards/Skinheads/Repukes or their stockholders and upper level management who benefit from playing the rubes off against each other.

  123. 123
    Larry Bird says:

    @morzer:

    Just because they encourage it does not mean I have to accept it and act the same way. I do know decent people who still call themselves republicans who feel their party was hijacked and as shameful it would be to call someone unamerican for not supporting a unjust war its just as shameful to call a whole party assholes based on the actions of a small but highly motivated vocal minority.

  124. 124
    keestadoll says:

    A country stricken with Everyone’s Entitled to My Opinion-ism…it’s the new Mono.

  125. 125
    Basilisc says:

    Outstanding. Post of the year.

  126. 126
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Larry Bird:

    I do know decent people who still call themselves republicans who feel their party was hijacked and as shameful it would be to call someone unamerican for not supporting a unjust war its just as shameful to call a whole party assholes based on the actions of a small but highly motivated vocal minority.

    I really sympathize with the stand you are taking here (I too know personally people on the right who are decent in their behavior towards me and my family), but we’ve got a really big problem to tackle here. Because the GOP is a more top-down authoritarian style of political party than the Dems, in order to set policy you only need to control (at most) half of the GOP (with the other half going along in lockstep support because of party unity), and then achieve 51% in a general election. In practice this means that a mere 25.5% of the electorate get to dictate policy to the other 74.5% of us. Now factor in the John Rogers’ 28% crazification factor – essentially there are more crazy people in this country than the threshold needed to take and wield power.

    And this sorry and dangerous state of affairs is not going to change until such time as the GOP receives a large injection of party-unity-my-ass. How is that going to happen? What leverage do those of us who are outside of the GOP have to help make it happen? From what I can see, social shaming of the “decent Republicans” is the only tool we’ve got. It has to hurt them to give lockstep support to an vanguardist movement run by lunatics and haters, or else they will never stop doing it.

  127. 127
    dj spellchecka says:

    “a vitriolic mass of vicious jackals…..”

    and here i didn’t think anybody read my stuff…

  128. 128
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @WyldPirate:

    the station/network/paper/magazine ownership—don’t want to face the wrath of either the screaming hordes of TeaTards/Skinheads/Repukes or their stockholders and upper level management who benefit from playing the rubes off against each other.

    It doesn’t help that they are either losing or have lost their lefter-leaning audience, as a function of both demographics and different tastes re: content and style. The mainstream media are a plague-ship from which the healthy passengers have fled. No wonder they have decided that to an increasing degree each year their business model requires catering to the needs and wants of the infected.

  129. 129
    Tax Analyst says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Fucking brilliant. Rarely have I ever witnessed genius.

    Little did I know when I took my morning pee and ate my bowl of Frosty flakes that I would be in the presence of such magnificence.

    I sincerely hope that there is no actual connection between your “morning pee” and that bowl of Frosty flakes other than merely framing the time segmentation of your reaction. Personally I’m lactose intolerant, but I have found that “Mocha Mix” or the generic store-brand equivalent works pretty well.

    But you never know these days and far be it for me to judge someone else’s dietary preferences or habits.

    I do, however, like to speculate now and then.

  130. 130
    morzer says:

    @Larry Bird:

    Have fun when they storm your unaligned castle.

  131. 131
    Tax Analyst says:

    @Eric U.:

    @david mizner: I was very interested in going to the Stewart/Colbert fake rallies until I saw Stewart’s mealy-mouthed “both sides do it” bullshit.

    You know, this is one thing that Stewart does repeatedly that annoys the hell out of me. I realize that he’s probably trying to appear even-handed, but isn’t that exactly how we have descended into this obligatory false-equivalency pen of pigshit?

    No, I realize it’s not Jon Stewart’s job to be the “Official Bullshit Caller” for our Republic. Since he really, truly, actually is “just an entertainer” there is no reason it should be. The problem seems to be that if a “partisan” should happen to point out the obvious difference between “a boot placed on your head and forcefully pushed down” vs “calling someone a corporate lackey” the media voices begin a chorus of cluckery over that person’s “lack of civility” or some other such specious bullshit. Then the caller gets to spend the next two or three or four news cycles defending or explaining what they said.

    Anyway, yeah…I have had portion plenty of the “both sides do it” crap. It leaves me absolutely apoplectic on an almost daily basis.

  132. 132
    jl says:

    @Ash Can: Thanks. Yes, I got pnkd.

  133. 133
    liberal says:

    @Larry Bird:

    Painting with a broad brush isn’t accurate or helpful and I see it on both sides.

    Here’s a broad brush for you: those who vote predominantly Republican are doing harm to our country.

    Putting the whole right in a box in a us vs them scenario is what makes me uncomfortable.

    Most of the right sucks, frankly. The only element of the right for which I have some admiration is anti-war paleocons and libertarians of the sort that post at/run antiwar.com. If you want me to offer that the rest aren’t scum as human beings, OK, that’s true for a good fraction, but their beliefs are still despicable.

  134. 134
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Larry Bird:

    Putting the whole right in a box in a us vs them scenario is what makes me uncomfortable.

    Dude, I don’t know if you noticed or anything, but right now it is “us vs them.” We didn’t make it that way.

    And your Republican friends who are so embarrassed about the degradation of the Republican Party but not embarrassed enough to do anything about it are part of the problem.

  135. 135
    Charlie says:

    False equivalences: This is what the conservatively controlled media engages in to claim neutrality, it is what the republicans engage it to excuse their criminality.

  136. 136
    Don says:

    I am opposed to both legal and illegal immigration. This country is overpopulated, and 21 million Americans are out of work.

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