The Civility Diversion

James Fallows has solicited suggestions on how we can have a more civil political dialog in the wake of the Tucson shootings. Fallows’ project has merit, and as a consistently civil and reasonable person, he’s the right guy to take it on. But if I had a choice between a more civil discourse and a more honest one, I’d pick honesty every time.

The reason that hundreds of angry people came to town hall meetings in my Congressional district in 2009, and the reason that police had to be present where they had never been before, wasn’t because someone was “uncivil”. It was because their media heroes and party leaders told them a pack of lies about death panels, federal funding for abortions, Medicare being taken away and free insurance for illegal immigrants. The questions that my Congressman took at those hate-filled meetings weren’t reasonable queries about limited government, deficits and healthcare outcomes. They were questions about why he wanted to kill grandma, let the government pay to abort babies, and take away Medicare.

It’s an exaggeration to say that the whole Tea Party movement is built on lies, but not by much. And the beltway media is complicit in those lies, because they were so goddam eager to have a narrative of populist anger about healthcare that they conveniently neglected to emphasize that most of that anger was based on utter bullshit. The only way that’s going to change is if the same DC media decides they can call out liars and the lies they tell during next week’s repeal debate directly in the front page stories they write, not in some goody-goody factchecking ghetto buried behind the fashion section.

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147 replies
  1. 1
    lllphd says:

    agreed. full throttle.

    however, just one point. to my mind, civility and honesty are intimately related. if one is being truly civil, one does not resort to falsehoods. and – consistent with your point – reduce to honesty.

    if honesty is truly pursued, one must be honest with oneself, true to oneself. in that place, the golden rule is beyond obvious; it’s a given.

    being uncivil does not jive with the golden rule.

    kinda sophomore, i know, but — there it is. simple. i think even these people could understand.

    (oops; was that snark uncivil?)

  2. 2
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I agree that if forced to choose betwwen civil and honest, I’d go for honest, for the very reasons you cite. But they’re not mutually exclusive, or at least they needn’t be — and if I remember correctly, President Obama called for both civility *and* honesty in our discourse, although I don’t recall his exact words.

    Thanks for the Fallows link, which I look forward to reading.

  3. 3
    agrippa says:

    I think that it is naive to expect very much civility in american political argument. Incivility may put off some people; but, that will not stop incivility. Failure at the polls will chill it.

    As for lying, political lies are protected speech. The counter to lies and incivilty in political speech is more speech. Eventually, the truth will out.

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    IMO 24/7 news harmed free speech in our country by going with sound bites. Death Panels is a term used to stop debate not encourage it.
    On an earlier post someone linked to MEDIAite about a talk show host challenging Chris Matthews to prove that Sarah wanted someone murdered. Talk about changing the conversation from civil discourse to Sarah is a victim. I hope that Matthews does not fall for this level of crap but instead discusses the need for civil discourse.

  5. 5
    Chris says:

    It’s an exaggeration to say that the whole Tea Party movement is built on lies

    No, no, it’s really not.

    Their claim is that they’re concerned with deficit spending, but they’re the guys who cheered deafeningly when Reagan and Bush were spending like drunken sailors. And they claim to have no guide other than the Constitution, but they want to strip people of their citizenship because of something their parents did.

    I could go on forever and ever, but yeah, the TPM’s founded on bullshit from the very inception.

    The only way that’s going to change is if the same DC media decides they can call out liars and the lies they tell during next week’s repeal debate directly in the front page stories they write, not in some goody-goody factchecking ghetto buried behind the fashion section.

    Well, the trouble with the agitprop about “liberal media” is that a lot of people believe it; therefore, anything the mainstream media writes that supports the liberal view will fit a preexisting script of bias and spin that a lot of people will take in stride with some variation of “oh, they’re just saying that because Soros told them to.”

    Not saying they shouldn’t do it, not saying they shouldn’t stop playing along with conservative crap, I’m just not sure it would have much of an effect. The people who believe the media has a liberal bias will simply see it as confirmation of their beliefs (and right now, that’s most of the country).

  6. 6
    Jeff Spender says:

    Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain…

    I would also take an honest dialogue over a civil one. I’m actually engaged in such a dialogue now. The problem with civil dialogue is that people who lie, or are inclined to believe those lies, are still handing out bullshit.

    Civil bullshit is still bullshit. I was having a rather polite conversation with a conservative about “Palin Derangement Syndrome” (which I don’t think really exists, but for some reason she was adamant that I must be obsessed with Palin because I likened her to a modern-day three stooges character).

    Then another person chimes in about how “blood libel” is an accurate term for what Palin has endured lately, and goes on and on about how she’s the victim in all of this, disparaging the leftists for politicizing the tragedy…while he was politicizing the tragedy.

    The problem with civil discourse is that just because someone doesn’t use the word “fuck” doesn’t mean that what they say is actually civil. It’s a completely subjective term.

    Although, to be fair, so is honesty.

  7. 7
    lllphd says:

    oops; not quick enough on the draw there.

    that last sentence in the first graf should be:
    and both reduce to honesty.

    sorry; it’s early.

  8. 8
    jTh says:

    I’ve been thinking for some time that reporting and correcting blatant falsehoods, and pointing the finger at those spreading them, needs to become “the new sensationism,” i.e., the new “scandal” worth bellowing headlines over. Would clean up some national discourse real quick if propagating bullshit would quickly get you called out with a headline slot on the evening news.

  9. 9
    cleek says:

    well said.

    but, politics will never be honest: not in campaigns, not in campaign promises, not in the day-to-day business. there’s too much at stake for the politicians.

  10. 10
    Dan says:

    The only way that’s going to change is if the same DC media decides they can call out liars and the lies they tell during next week’s repeal debate directly in the front page stories they write, not in some goody-goody factchecking ghetto buried behind the fashion section.

    You lost me here. The only thing that would happen if the dc media started doing this is that the few remaining right wingers who read that same media would stop reading it. That’s not to say those of us who do read it should have to continue being subject to “Obama says X….Tea Party says X is nazi communist baby killing mexican loving fascism), but I don’t think it’s going to change minds on the right. They’ve already assembled their own echo chambers on the radio, television and online.

  11. 11
    Emma says:

    Amen, brother.

  12. 12
    jTh says:

    I’ve been thinking for some time that reporting and correcting blatant falsehoods, and pointing the finger at those spreading them, needs to become “the new sensationism,” i.e., the new “scandal” worth bellowing headlines over. Would clean up some national discourse real quick if propagating bullshit would quickly get you called out with a headline slot on the evening news.

    To the point above, it wouldn’t sway the lunatics, but it would help marginalize them further, and probably help clear out some of the bullshit from the top and people running for re-election.

  13. 13
    jTh says:

    Sorry, trying to edit a comment on my iPhone led to the repeated content above.

  14. 14
    Ija says:

    I think this call for civility will only disadvantage the left further. The right will continue with their lies and distortions, and the left would be expected take it in silence in the name of civility. F**k civility. Let’s win this time.

  15. 15
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @Chris:

    Their claim is that they’re concerned with deficit spending, but they’re the guys who cheered deafeningly when Reagan and Bush were spending like drunken sailors. And they claim to have no guide other than the Constitution, but they want to strip people of their citizenship because of something their parents did.

    Not to mention that TEA stands for Taxed Enough Already and yet this group didn’t exist until after Obama lowered taxes in the stimulus bill. The entire foundation of their movement is a lie.

  16. 16
    Joy says:

    I thought this was an important distinction that Jon Stewart was making the other day in his interview with Pawlenty, but it seemed to just go over Pawlenty’s head (or maybe that was just an intentional dodge). I haven’t watched the continued interview online, which I heard was good and continued with this point, but I agree with you that it is dishonesty that in large part drives the incivility. As a lawyer, I certainly understand that the First Amendment protects this speech, but I also always get frustrated when I compare political debate/discussion with oral advocacy in court. A lawyer making an argument in court would never get away with the evasion and lying that politicians routinely display.

  17. 17
    over_educated says:

    Seriously, how can you expect civility from this.

  18. 18
    Ija says:

    And isn’t there something familiarly centrist and Broderish about the call for civility? When I listen to people call for civility, what I actually hear is for the left to unilaterally disarm. Why would we be so stupid as to do that?

  19. 19
    Lorna says:

    I’d pick honesty every time.

    Really?

    I’ll just take on one of the misleading statements for now, because I don’t have the time for them all this morning.

    It was because their media heroes and party leaders told them a pack of lies about death panels, federal funding for abortions

    http://www.factcheck.org/2009/.....bricating/

    I consider factcheck to be left leaning, please read the article, the whole article and then to use the phrase you all love, try to be intellectually HONEST!

  20. 20
    Lorna says:

    http://vimeo.com/18733744

    You are all so beautiful on the inside. Nice way to tone it down. All the hate that comes from the right……I see your point. Seems the President was wasting his breath……or was he just talking to the right?

  21. 21
    Sly says:

    Back in 1964, historian Richard Hofstadter wrote a book (based on an essay he wrote for Harper’s with the same title) called The Paranoid Style in American Politics. I would rank it very high on a list of written works that best describe American political thought, because even though it put forward a thesis that was defined contemporaneously (Hoffstadter dealt mostly with the movement surrounding Barry Goldwater’s run for the Republican nomination and the John Birch Society), it is sufficiently broad to cover really any era in American politics. Particularly helpful for those who want to understand the most prevalent form of American demagoguery is how he defines the “paranoid spokesman,” or the politician or media figure who stokes fears among the populace:

    The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms—he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization. He constantly lives at a turning point. Like religious millenialists he expresses the anxiety of those who are living through the last days and he is sometimes disposed to set a date for the apocalypse. (“Time is running out,” said Welch in 1951. “Evidence is piling up on many sides and from many sources that October 1952 is the fatal month when Stalin will attack.”)
    __
    As a member of the avant-garde who is capable of perceiving the conspiracy before it is fully obvious to an as yet unaroused public, the paranoid is a militant leader. He does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish. Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated—if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration. Even partial success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began, and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes.

    Much of American paranoia can be attributed to the notion that somewhere out there is someone who is getting something they do not deserve at your expense. American political rhetoric is replete with this basic assumption, but it is far more pronounced within reactionary circles than progressive ones (it is not entirely absent from the latter, just not as powerful or persistent). For the right, the government is the agent who is responsible for this transaction; it takes money from suburban, small town white Americans and gives it to lazy, urban brown Americans and lazy, rural white Americans. This assumption is the very essence of modern conservative orthodoxy.

    We live, essentially, in a political culture largely defined by paranoid conspiracy. And people who traffic in such conspiracies do not drop them easily, and will not engage in any of the steps that Fallows recommends. Someone who ardently believes that the Democratic Party is an organization bent on fomenting a tyranny over their lives is not someone who is going to avoid violent rhetoric or empathize with their political opponents. Such a view demands violence by convention.

    The only way to have a civil politics is to have a civil people, and we will only have a civil people when we have civil leaders on all sides of a given political divide. So long as the paranoid spokesman is given a platform, or votes, that will never happen.

  22. 22
    Chyron HR says:

    @Lorna:

    I…….am going…….to call you…….sub……human…….degenerates and……trait…….ors…..and you…….have to……be nice……to me……. That’s what……civility is……right?

    Of course it is! A thousand apologies for subjecting you to “blood libel”.

  23. 23
    Michael says:

    The sad part is that I now find myself wishing that we had come up with death panels for Granny, an “abort all white christian babies” plan and a massive redistribution of wealth from suburban/exurban service provision and infrastructure maintenance to strapping young bucks and undocumented workers.

  24. 24
    Michael D. says:

    @Lorna: Oh Lorna: You put up a video of some random tweets from people no one knows or cares about and expect us to draw some moral equivalence between them and Sarah Palin’s crosshairs graphic and Sharron Angle’s second amendment remedies – people who can actually, you know, INFLUENCE PEOPLE.

    Pathetic. Try again.

  25. 25
    sherifffruitfly says:

    You’re right. It’s mostly built on racism.

  26. 26
    brantl says:

    @Lorna: What hate is there from the people here, Lorna. We’re sick of people being lied to. Did the Democrats say that the Republicans were setting up death panels? Did the Republicans ever come up with any workable health care reform? No, they didn’t. They obstructed, and sabotaged, and lied. Sorry, but they did. Period. The Republicans have been fighting against benefits that the soldiers that they cavalierly put in harm’s way, desparately need. If you can’t spot hypochrisy when it smacks you right in the face, quiet down, and let those people smart enough to pay atttention tend to these kinds of things.

    I’m really sorry to have to say this, because somewhere, down deep, you may be a nice caring person, but you need to get your head out of your ass. You really are a stunned fuck.

  27. 27
    harlana says:

    @Lorna: Everybody who is talking about returning to civility in politics is talking to the right, they just refuse to say it because they don’t want to hurt fee fees.

  28. 28

    @jTh:

    Would clean up some national discourse real quick if propagating bullshit would quickly get you called out with a headline slot on the evening news

    Problem is that now, everyone has their own news. It’s not like there aren’t groups and websites and even media outlets (like Politifact) calling out bullshit already. CNN and MSNBC could call out the Tea Party and the Republicans all day long and it won’t matter as long as Fox keeps passing on the bullshit and suggesting that everyone else is lying to them about the world. We’re faced with a society where facts can’t even be agreed upon now, much less something as slippery as truth.

  29. 29
    Ija says:

    @Michael:

    LOL. If we are going to be accused anyway ……

  30. 30
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Lorna: Show me the person that does that that has a nationally syndicated radio show. Or had a cable reality show. Until then, you’re a tool.

  31. 31
    cleek says:

    @Sly:
    whenever i read Hofstadter’s stuff, i try to apply it to the modern left. it always fits, because even though Hofstadter focused on right wing paranoia, paranoia itself is bi-partisan; the left has its own set of unfounded/hyperbolized fears and many people on the left (including many commenters here and elsewhere) talk about politics in that same way that Hofstadter describes on the right.

    people on the left can be equally as apocalyptic, binary and paranoid as anyone else. people on the left are just people, after all.

    (yes, i know this kind of thinking is forbidden here)

  32. 32
    mr. whipple says:

    But if I had a choice between a more civil discourse and a more honest one, I’d pick honesty every time.

    Why do you hate America?

  33. 33
    PeakVT says:

    The only way that’s going to change is if the same DC media decides they can call out liars and the lies they tell during next week’s repeal debate directly in the front page stories they write, not in some goody-goody factchecking ghetto buried behind the fashion section.

    I agree. Unfortunately the (big) media is stuck in its own, self-reinforcing unreality. where “both sides do it” is a fundamental concept. As long as twits like Chuck Todd or Mara Liasson are well-rewarded for blurring the distinction between the parties (as well reinforcing the idea that there are ONLY two sides), we’re fucked.

  34. 34
    Jan says:

    First Known When Lost quotes these lines from Patrick Kavanagh’s poem “Leave Them Alone”:

    “Newspaper bedlamites who raised/Each day the devil’s howl.”

  35. 35
    Sly says:

    @sherifffruitfly:
    I think its a bit deeper than racism, actually. Racism is, to put it bluntly, the language through which political paranoia (and the violent rhetoric and actions that it justifies) is most commonly spoken in American culture though things like racial resentment.

    A Klansman, for instance, is not someone who views black people as merely inferior to him. He is someone who believes that black people expressing social and political agency are a threat to him and his way of life. Thus he is able to exclude black people from his circle of empathy and moral responsibility, and terrorism in the name of mitigating or destroying that threat becomes acceptable.

  36. 36
    Surly duff says:

    I am unsure of media motive. Are they in pursuit of a narrative they are interested in pursuing or is the decision to push a narrative that will not provide conseratives to argue about the “liberal”media?

  37. 37
    Punchy says:

    But at least the TeaTards aren’t racist.

    Wait….nevermind.

  38. 38
    djesno says:

    here, here! you knocked it out of the park in three concise paragraphs. nicely done!

  39. 39
    Sly says:

    @cleek:
    I agree. The difference is that modern leftist paranoia is merely humorous and is, I think, primarily the cause of the “Hippy Punching” phenomena. If believing in odd assumptions like “there is no difference between the parties” or that “Obama is a sellout” is the worst that leftist paranoia can produce, I think that is a good thing.

    It wasn’t always like this; American labor history, for instance, is replete with the kind of violence that would make most of our heads spin. Hofstadter himself criticized the Vietnam anti-war movement for its strident paranoia, which is the main reason why many on the left stopped liking him so much.

  40. 40
    bloomingpol says:

    Suggest taking at look at The Authoritarians. It may explain what we are dealing with.

  41. 41
    nancydarling says:

    @cleek: I’ve said it before—there is a paranoid fringe on the American left. The difference between them and the fringe right is they have no sway in the Democratic party. There is no equivalence here. Name the Democratic counterparts of Bachmann, Palin, Limbaugh, Alex Jones, all the loons in Congress like Gohmert, Foxx, etc. They just don’t exist in any significant numbers or with an equivalent megaphone.

  42. 42
    jTh says:

    Brian S, I don’t fundamentally disagree, but my goal is to increasingly marginalize the deranged right away from “the confused center.” And if someone’s running for re-election, having their lies ignored by one outlet (Fox) but used to “sell papers” by the others should add up to a useful calculus, because that confused center is still determining elections.

    Admittedly, I’m proceeding with an assumption that the voting public breaks up roughly into thirds, with two sides that are paying acute attention and a middle that’s only gleaning rather than investigating. Most pols running for office couldn’t ignore the consequences of being (repeatedly) called out as a liar by 3 or 4 major TV news outlets. Might be only worth a try, but it’s the only hope I can muster (largely because of exactly “facts are relative” as you point out).

  43. 43
    Sly says:

    @Surly duff:
    The media motive is to promote controversy, because controversy grabs and holds a person’s attention. When they have a person’s attention, their advertisers can sell them shit. The more attention they grab, the higher the amount of money they can charge for advertising real estate. So, if the controversy entails a position that is easily demolished by subjecting it to empirical scrutiny, then that scrutiny must be avoided. The proprietor of the news then concocts all sorts of reasons to justify this behavior as ethical.

    Put another way, the newsmedia essentially poses questions to the public and avoids answering them, because in the finality of answers the public finds a reason to change the channel.

  44. 44
    jTh says:

    @nancydarling, I’d argue that Olberman is our only leading light who even comes CLOSE. I.e., if I were on the right, but still possessed cognitive reasoning powers, he’s the only one I could even point a finger at.

  45. 45
    Scott says:

    @Punchy: And then there’s this. At this point, they’re almost admitting that they are racist.

  46. 46
    Chyron HR says:

    @Punchy:

    You have no proof that those people are members of the Tea Party. They might be apolitical. No, wait, they’re super-liberals and the FBI is covering it up.

  47. 47
    cleek says:

    @Sly:

    If believing in odd assumptions like “there is no difference between the parties” or that “Obama is a sellout” is the worst that leftist paranoia can produce, I think that is a good thing.

    that’s far from the worst.

    there was a lot of talk a few years back that Bush might suspend the election, using the war as an excuse – and it wasn’t just bloggers saying that. there are the dozens of truther variants, which are only slightly bi-partisan; a lot of truther lore revolves around Bush and the GOP using 9/11 to seize and hold power and the grand, decade-long plans they followed to bring about 9/11. “Bush = Nazi” wasn’t limited to that one MoveOn video, and it wasn’t just rhetorical – some people spent a lot of time outlining parallels. there is still a lot of talk about how Bush was a dictator, driving this country to tyranny, etc.. it’s the same shit we hear from the right. the right responds to these kinds of things differently than the left does, but the conspiracy theories are still just as wacky and widespread.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    Chris says:

    @Sly:

    For the right, the government is the agent who is responsible for this transaction; it takes money from suburban, small town white Americans and gives it to lazy, urban brown Americans and lazy, rural white Americans. This assumption is the very essence of modern conservative orthodoxy.

    Except no one cares when the money goes to lazy, rural white Americans. You see any outrage over farm subsidies and road subsidies from the teabaggers? You see any outrage about the fact that New York and California’s money has been getting redistributed to the red states for seventy years and the trend shows no sign of stopping? You see any outrage over Rand Paul’s double standard, that he’ll oppose earmarks but not good earmarks that benefit Real Kentuckyan salt-of-the-earth people?

    Of course not. The South and the heartland were swimming in welfare money for thirty years after the New Deal started, and they loved every minute of it. It wasn’t until black people and Latinos started receiving the same welfare in the sixties that you suddenly had the explosion of outrage.

  50. 50
    piratedan says:

    @cleek: yeah but cleek, BUSH WOULD HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT! if it wasn’t for those meddling kids and their dog Scooby Doo

  51. 51
    Karen S. says:

    OT: Let’s everybody hop on the victimhood, I mean, tea party express —

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....-tea-party

    Edit: I just want to add something: I cannot believe the unmitigated nerve of these people!

  52. 52
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    This is beyond stupid (of Fallows). So much of the over-the-top rhetoric comes from conservative tv/radio personalities (Beck, Palin, O’Reilly) and it works for them in terms of making money.

    End of story.

  53. 53
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    @Dan:

    You may be right about that. This is something I wonder about.

  54. 54
    geg6 says:

    Honesty does not require civility and, when it comes to a large number of those on the Right (and even a much, much smaller number on the Left), honesty itself is seen as uncivil. Until this changes (and how could it?), we will live in an uncivil society.

    I really don’t know how we get past that reality.

  55. 55
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    @nancydarling:

    You are exactly right.

  56. 56
    Chris says:

    @Sly:

    Much of American paranoia can be attributed to the notion that somewhere out there is someone who is getting something they do not deserve at your expense.

    And I’d say another big reason is that, like all forms of paranoia, it gives people an exaggerated sense of their own importance.

    With the economy and society in the shitter the way it has been for the last thirty years, people realize they’re being screwed, but many don’t entirely understand why. If you believe it’s because the country’s being infiltrated by an all-powerful global conspiracy whose purpose is to destroy you and your way of life personally, that’s a pretty powerful ego-booster.

    Certainly it is when compared to the much more mundane truth; that the people screwing you aren’t sinister conspirators but regular businessmen. That they neither know nor care about your way of life. That they aren’t out to get you anymore than people who build highways are out to get prairie dogs; the prairie dog towns just happen to be in the way, and business is business.

  57. 57
    JRon says:

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    I also think as long as the rest of the media keeps pretending that Limbaugh and Beck’s radio shows are not part of their demographic and therefore from another planet and not worth giving more attention to (until they want to try to take that demographic by emulating them), then lying will still be its own reward.

    People should be shamed for lying, willfully doing so should be career-devastating. Instead they get gigs on CNN. Remember, that’s where Beck had his first tv show, not Fox.

  58. 58
    scav says:

    And, please, could everyone tattoo “Not being persuaded by one’s civil arguments supporting one’s position is not, in itself, proof of incivility on part of your interlocutor” on their foreheads? OK, either need very large foreheads or very small type. Because I really want to get something about “Bipartisanship is not equal to getting everything your own way” on there too.

  59. 59
    Chris says:

    @Karen S.:

    Edit: I just want to add something: I cannot believe the unmitigated nerve of these people!

    Was it here that someone said it was amazing how Palin somehow managed to be “the bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral, the victim of every massacre”? Cause that was one of the better quotes I’ve heard to describe this.

    For Christ’s sake, a Democrat was shot, a nine-year old girl was killed and several others were injured. But somehow, once again, the real story here is how poow widdle Sawah Palin’s fee-fees were hurt and how that’s just AWFUL! And this woman’s supposed to be in politics? Her skin’s thinner than water.

  60. 60
    MarkJ says:

    I agree that we need to prioritize honesty over civility, especially because conservatives take offense at the most banal and uncontroversial statements. It’s impossible to be perceived as civil when anything you say gets taken as a slight by the other side. They look for grievance in everything and take offense at everything.

    The best that can be done is to call them out on their lies, and hope people catch on that they are being lied to. Unfortunately, calling out untruths is just going to be taken as “more incivility” by conservatives, which just spurs them toward a greater sense of grievance and more incivility on their part. It’s a negative feedback loop that doesn’t appear to have an off switch.

  61. 61
    artem1s says:

    Not sure I agree in that I don’t like the subjective nature of ‘honesty’. Fred Phelps believes he is honestly presenting the word of God. So do most of the Social Darwinists who believe poor people should just go ahead and DIAF already.

    I want a discourse based on FACTS. Not feelings.

  62. 62
    RalfW says:

    @Ija: “F**k civility. Let’s win this time.”

    Yes, but I’d add lets be uncivil but truthful.

    “[T]rue civility can be disruptive—it is not civil, for example, to abandon the unpopular or unfairly treated. There are times when smiling blandly is far more cynical than raising one’s voice would be—when politeness is uncivil…” Amy Davidson, New Yorker online, 1.13.11.

  63. 63
    scav says:

    civil ain’t necessarily mealy mouthed. It meanders though “Of, relating to, or befitting a citizen or citizens”, “Of or relating to citizens and their interrelations with one another or with the state”, “Of or in accordance with organized society; civilized”, and “Sufficiently observing or befitting accepted social usages; not rude”.

  64. 64
    chopper says:

    @cleek:

    i would posit that there’s a difference between the right and the left in this regard (which correlates with the noticeable difference in both quantity and quality of wackos from either side), which is basically religion. religion, specifically the modern puritanical brand of christianity, is insanely popular on the right and not much at all on the left. noting the similarities in thought between the religious and political beliefs of those on the right (magical thinking, black-and-white thinking, eschatology) it’s easy to see how the right and its leadership appears to embody the paranoid personality so much more so than the left.

  65. 65
    numbskull says:

    @cleek: I can’t recall, help me out here…

    Did we have Free Speech Zones prior to Bush? And if we did, was that a good thing to do it in the 21st century?

    Did we have the Bush Doctrine, and enact it, prior to Bush? And if we did, was that a good thing to do it in the 21st century?

    Did we have torture as standard operational procedure prior to Bush? And if we did, was that a good thing to do it in the 21st century?

    Did we have the Guantanamo-like messes prior to Bush? And if we did, was that a good thing to do it in the 21st century?

    I know you’re not arguing that any of these things were good things to do, and I realize that the US has a long and sordid history full of behaviors that approximate the above activities, but let’s not gloss over some of the realities that resulted in DFHs mashing down on the big red button.

  66. 66
    chopper says:

    another thing we need to have is a discussion on encouraging shit. sorry, but you don’t have to explicitly ask for such an action in order to encourage it (ask Henry II).

  67. 67
    Lorna says:

    @Michael D.: Well here you go…..know any of these names?

    In 2009 Pelosi accuses Tea Party of carrying Nazi signs; 2010 top Pelosi staffer leads Nazi-Sign Rally holding a sign of Sarah Palin with a Nazi mustache.
    RWB News: Will this be spoken of on State Run Media?
    I didn’t see this covered….did you?

    August 2009– Speaker Nancy Pelosi compared tea party protesters to Nazis.
    “They’re carrying Swastikas and symbols like that.”

    September 2010– Pelosi’s Deputy Director of Member Services leads a Nazi-sign rally in Chicago.

    Pelosi crossed the line when she related the rhetoric of anti-gay protesters in San Francisco in 1978 — “The Speaker is now likening genuine opposition to assassination of Harvey Milk. Such insulting rhetoric.

    Vile protesters with Nazi signs were caught on film returning to Rep. Debbie Halvorson‘s office this week after protesting in front of Americans for Prosperity offices in Chicago.

    On October 23, 21010 Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., said this about Florida’s new Republican Governor Rick Scott:

    “That Scott down there that’s running for governor of Florida,” Mr. Kanjorski said. “Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him. He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he’s running for governor of Florida. He’s a millionaire and a billionaire. He’s no hero. He’s a damn crook. It’s just we don’t prosecute big crooks.”

    “John Kerry was asked whether he couldn’t have “killed two birds with one
    stone” by visiting New Hampshire. He responded with a mild joke about
    assassinating the president: “I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and
    killed the real bird with one stone.”

    President Obama”whose asses to kick” Obama predicted “hand-to-hand combat” with his political opponents and has made such remarks as

    “if they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun” — making Obama the first American president to advocate gun fights since Andrew Jackson.

    We’re gonna punish our enemies”

    we can’t have special interests sitting shotgun. We gotta have middle class families up in front. We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.

    Then there is just the out and out lies and spreading of hate based in rhetoric ONLY!

    –Howard Dean getting crazy, ” ‘Senate Republicans Want To Kill The Bill And Kill The President'”:

    –Alan Grayson- “Republicans want you to die quickly”

    –Al Franken-Drug war, well, as Rush Limbaugh said, anyone who uses drugs illegally should be prosecuted and put away. I don’t agree with him; I think they should be treated, but that’s what Rush believes and so, you know, we’re praying for Rush because he’s in recovery and you take responsibilities for your actions so I’m sure any day now Rush will demand to be put away for the maximum sentence and ask for the most dangerous prison and we’ll be praying for maybe an African American cellmate who saw the Donovan McNabb comments on ESPN. So we’re prayin’.”

    –MSNBC’s Schultz Compares Tea Party Movement to Nazi ‘Brown Shirts’ to Demonize Beck Rally

    – Ed Schultz -Republicans want you dead!

    Democratic use of targets or bullseye on campaign maps

    The DLC one appeared in the December 13, 2004 edition of Blueprint Magazine: It says, in all caps, “BEHIND ENEMY LINES.”

    The DCCC one is from February 23, 2010: When you click on the graphic targets you get in nice bold letters “Targeted Republican” with a photo and what he/she has voted against.

    Don’t even get me started on Michael Moore and his films or the film titled “Death of a President”

    Sandra Bernhards Palins gang rape joke
    http://www.upi.com/Entertainme.....221944567/

    Wanda Sykes Hopes Rush Limbaugh’s Kidneys Fail

    ‘Ashley Judd Targets Sarah Palin for Sport Hunting’

    ‘Boondocks’ Creator McGruder Calls Condi Rice, Colin Powell Murderers

    Ebert’s Site Praises Left-wing Bush Assassination Film

    Kathy Griffin Says 2011 is 16-year-old Willow Palin’s ‘year to go down’

    Alec Baldwin threatens to Stone Henry Hyde, kill children

    Joy Behar wants that ‘*****’ Sharron Angle to go ‘to hell’

    Aaron Sorkin happy when hunters shoot each other

    Playboy Magazine’s Hate-F**k List of Conservative Women

    Montel Williams Urges Michele Bachmann to kill herself

    Perez Hilton Calls Miss California a ‘c*nt’

    Jeff Wells Praises metaphor of ‘Hobo’ film blasting wealthy with shotgun

    Sean Penn Calls Reagan’s Alzheimer’s ‘Justice’

    Rosie O’Donnell Calls bush ‘war criminal’ who must ‘be held accountable’

    Madonna bashing Sarah Palin and shrieking “I will kick her ass:”

    Sandra Bernhard bashing Sarah Palin and cursing her head off with hate warping her crazed face.

    Probably not! Feel free to google any and all quotes, they are available for you free of charge on the web.

  68. 68
  69. 69
    Zach says:

    “It’s an exaggeration to say that the whole Tea Party movement is built on lies, but not by much.”

    I cannot, offhand, think of a single position that’s broadly held by the Tea Party that isn’t mostly based on some fabrication or other except, possibly, 2nd Amendment issues. What were the animating objections most often raised by the Tea Party circa 2009?

    1. Obama is a Socialist, broadly
    2. The bailout cost hundreds of billions and cost jobs
    3. The recession was caused by poor, usually black people, who bought houses they knew they couldn’t afford, and the bailout mostly saved their asses
    4. Election fraud is a major problem in America; specifically, poor, usually black people, register multiple times or register illegally and subsequently influence elections
    5. The stimulus bill was a failure because unemployment continued to rise after it became law
    6. Obama and folks who work for/around him harbor secret motivations much like those of the late-mid-century far left and their actions only make sense in light of this

    And, later:
    7. The healthcare reform law will raise the national debt and eradicate freedom and kill sick/old/conservative people
    8. There is no global warming, but there is a conspiracy of scientists who’ve tricked the world into thinking there is

    Frankly, I think the Tea Party’s been great for America. I think that the GOP would’ve picked up many more seats with competent leadership that wasn’t forced to sign loyalty pledges to Glenn Beck. I don’t think all of the chickens have come home to roost yet in terms of what folks have said to placate the tea party over the past two years influencing future success. Who thinks Gingrich has a future in politics after calling Sotomayor a racist and Obama an anti-Colonial, Kenyan radical? What about when Palin defended Dr. Laura’s right to repeat “nigger” six times on the radio and tell a caller she shouldn’t marry outside her race? Romney opposing a bill that he loved before? The Tea Party’s forced virtually every Republican politician with legitimate national aspirations to say things that are utterly toxic.

  70. 70
    Uloborus says:

    @Lorna:
    Your deceptive claims are amazing. I’m not sure where to begin.

    I’m going to go right to the top of your list. Tea party protesters WERE flaunting swastikas. Do you understand that? White power advocates are common in those rallies and are included in high level tea party leadership. Comments about Nazi imagery are *correct*, not threats or even particularly inflamed rhetoric. I would go so far as to say the tea party is not really actually driven by them or about them, but you have accepted them under your wing and refuse to repudiate them.

    Comedians Do Not Count because they are *understood* to be joking. That’s… 9/10ths of your list. I sometimes think you could include Rush on this list, but the unfortunate truth is that whether or not he thinks he’s joking, his audience takes him seriously – and he knows it.

    The abortion bit you linked to? You are being, not lied to, but seriously deceived. The HCR does indeed let you get an insurance plan that covers abortion and will pay for part of it. However, if you want abortion on the plan you must purchase it as an addition that the government will not pay for. Obama was not lying. Rather, you are being deceived with half-truths.

    Bullseyes are not particularly dangerous rhetoric, which is why the vast majority of the left considers the proposed bill to outlaw them silly. Bullseyes are dangerous rhetoric when combined with a major political figure making repeated references to guns at the same time while other leaders around her (Beck being the most influential) remind their listeners constantly of the need for armed revolution. This is especially bad when you have been lying to your followers repeatedly and telling them – and not jokingly – that your opponents are murderers who want to kill their grandparents.

    Do you have no concept of the sense of scale involved? Your major leaders are constantly pushing talk of violence and outright, flagrant lies. Not even different interpretations – utter and baldfaced lies, many of them accusing the administration of murder. On our side you have had to dig up comedians with no particular influence on anything or quotes taken wildly out of context.

    Both sides do it in the sense that a pebble is the same as a mountain. Hey, they’re both rock.

    EDIT – I would like to add that not only do comedians not count because they’re joking, they also have zero influence over anybody. But… geez, the things I’d like to add could fill the Grand Canyon.

  71. 71
    singfoom says:

    @Lorna:

    Montel Williams Urges Michele Bachmann to kill herself

    /snark on
    Well, you’ve got us. I give up. You’re so right and Montel gives us all our marching orders.
    /snark off

    Methinks

    A)You doth protest too much.
    B)Your examples don’t even prove the stupid point you think you’re trying to make.

  72. 72
    Chris says:

    @Uloborus:

    Bullseyes are not particularly dangerous rhetoric, which is why the vast majority of the left considers the proposed bill to outlaw them silly. Bullseyes are dangerous rhetoric when combined with a major political figure making repeated references to guns at the same time while other leaders around her (Beck being the most influential) remind their listeners constantly of the need for armed revolution.

    This.

    Gun metaphors, one thing (and that covers Palin’s bullseye map in my opinion, by the way, even if she was full of shit in trying to claim they were “surveyor symbols”). Gun violence being discussed as an actual policy option by Sharron Angle in the context of being an alternative should they fail to win the election, something considerably different.

  73. 73
    scottinnj says:

    I’d add the other lack of honesty is the whole mortgage lending kerfuffle. There are still many who believe the whole mortgage crisis was caused by Barney Frank making banks lend money to dark skinned people because of the Community Reinvestment Act.

    Now I can see reasonable people disagreeing on policy remedies to prevent things like the subprime mortgage meltdown from recurring but we can’t really have that debate if you can’t agree on the basic historical facts.

  74. 74
    agrippa says:

    @Sly:

    Sly, I think that Hofstadter is correct. I think that there is a parnoid style in american politics. I think that that style is back.

  75. 75
    MattR says:

    @Lorna:

    we can’t have special interests sitting shotgun. We gotta have middle class families up in front. We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.

    I have to say that I think this is my favorite example. Of what, I am not exactly sure.

  76. 76
    agrippa says:

    @Lorna:

    paranoia will destroy ya

  77. 77
    Uloborus says:

    @Chris:
    Yes. And let me add that the ‘second amendment solutions’ comment did NOT get her repudiated by Palin or anybody else. When a conservative goes way, way over the line and deliberately and seriously recommends violence other conservatives stand up for them. That just plain does not happen on the Left. By the same token, our loony Truthers are viewed as lunatics. Are Birthers treated the same way?

  78. 78
    Chris says:

    @singfoom:

    Your examples don’t even prove the stupid point you think you’re trying to make.

    Well, her examples would prove her point if there’d been a spate of ideological left-wing murders comparable to the right wing ones in the last two years. If the Weathermen and Black Panthers’ recruiting numbers had gone through the roof during the Bush years. If death threats to the White House had gone up several hundred percent after Bush walked in. If ideological left wingers had stockpiled ammunition and guns so high that the manufacturers (and this in America) literally couldn’t keep up.

    And yet, there hasn’t been a wave of left-wing paramilitarism in the last twenty years; it’s all come from the right, and it’s invariably prompted by the simple fact of a Democrat winning the White House. Nope. Still no equivalency possible.

  79. 79

    […] . . if I had a choice between a more civil discourse and a more honest one, I’d pick honesty every time. The reason that hundreds of angry people came to town hall meetings in my Congressional district […]

  80. 80
    Shinobi says:

    I quite enjoyed when Al Franken stood up in the senate and said “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.”

    Unfortunately the right wing has an entire TV station devoted to giving them their own facts. Many conservatives live in a completely alternate universe concocted by Fox news with no actual perspective on the honesty of that particular news network.

    My father recently sent me several articles from Fox News, one of them talking about “death panels.” I requested that he stop sending me links from Fox news and he responded “You know, someday you’re going to have to live in the real world.”

    The irony, it is lost on them. And then you have to deal with the cognitive dissonance, getting people to see that they’ve been lied to all this time is going to seriously conflict with their ideas that they are actually smart people. So no matter how much we debunk them or expose the truth, they wont believe it, because that would mean that they are stupid idiots who got duped by Fox News.

    In short, I think honesty is a worthy goal, but civility might be the best we can do.

  81. 81
    singfoom says:

    @Chris: Indeed. I think the saddest part about it is that Lorna may actually believe that the incident she lists are equivalent.

    I think the weird entitlement of the boomers has turned them inward and made them just go fucking crazy. The idea that there’s any kind of equivalence vis-a-vis the left and right on violent rhetoric is laughable.

    I’m still waiting for a media talking head to listen to someone spout bullshit and just start laughing at them hysterically….and then go on and say “Seriously? You’re bringing that bullshit to the table? Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? Are you even an adult?”

    But alas and alack, no media personality like such exists and they certainly wouldn’t want to be accused of bias against the stupid…

  82. 82
    burnspbesq says:

    @lllphd:

    Exactly. The repeated use of the word “fuck” adds nothing useful to any discussion that’s not about fucking. Same for “douchebag” and “cudlip.”

    It’s also worth remembering that “wrong” and “stupid” are not synonyms. And that it’s possible to attack an idea without attacking the person espousing it.

    And now, I would appreciate it very much if you children would find somewhere other than my lawn to congregate.

  83. 83
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Sly:

    The only way to have a civil politics is to have a civil people, and we will only have a civil people when we have civil leaders on all sides of a given political divide.

    As a result of how easy it is today to construct a closed world view and live in it more or less 24×7 I think we may have crossed a threshold beyond which the top down solution you imply in this quote (i.e. a more civil leadership will lead us to a more civil population) no longer works. I don’t think it is in the hands of the leadership any more. A significant fraction of our population want red meat, and if their leaders don’t give it to them they’ll find others who will, and pronto. You can see this in microcosm in the frustration that the activist left has with Obama, and matters are even worse on the right, where the top leadership isn’t even trying to hold it back.

    The only way out of this mess is for us to become a significantly more civil population spontaneously from below, out of a common desire to end the madness. I don’t know how that happens without some sort of national and purely domestic trauma that makes folks really pause and stop to look inside themselves at what we’ve become as a people. From what I can see it doesn’t look like Tucson was shocking enough to be the event that does this, which is a terrible shame.

  84. 84
    matoko_chan says:

    @cleek: but people on the left have not been observed to exhibit backfire effect.
    50 years of memetic selection for highly religious white supremicist creationist homophobes that are dimwitted enuff to vote against their own economic interests has created STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT BETWEEN GROUP DIFFERENCES.
    Look up Salam-Douthat stratification on cognitive ability.
    Grand New Party, page 154.
    left and right are not the same ANYMORE.
    there is memetic and genetic selection opperating here.

    Researchers at UofT have shown that the psychological concern for compassion and equality is associated with a liberal mindset, while the concern for order and respect of social norms is associated with a conservative mindset.
    “Conservatives tend to be higher in a personality trait called orderliness and lower in openness. This means that they’re more concerned about a sense of order and tradition, expressing a deep psychological motive to preserve the current social structure,” says Jacob Hirsh, a post-doctoral psychology student at UofT and lead author of the study.
    The study, which appears in this month’s Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, may even lend some legitimacy to the term, ‘bleeding-heart-liberal.’
    “Our data shows that liberalism is more often associated with the underlying motives for compassion, empathy and equality,” says Hirsh.

    the REASONS people choose to be republican or choose to be democrat are myriad, but the biological basis of behavior is one of them.
    Another is social levelling. Republicans get skillups for NOT BEING SMART– anti-intellectualism saturates the GOP…i think this is because of the strong protestant tradition of anti-intellectualim..
    Its a kind of inverse social darwinism– selection for stupid.

  85. 85
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brisbane Belff (formerly G. Nelson Buttnergle (formerly Mumphrey (formerly Renfrew Squeevil (formerly Mumphrey Oddison Yamm (formerly Mumphrey O. Yamm (formerly Mumphrey)))))):

    You have to admit, it’s hysterical that Lorna actually thinks that actors have a vote in Congress, so therefore their opinion is just as important as Jim DeMint’s.

    I also missed where Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, or Kathy Griffin has a three-hour daily radio show to make their remarks on like Limbaugh or Hannity do. Lorna, can you tell us what station you get that Alec Baldwin radio show on, or do you only hear it in your head?

  86. 86
    Chris says:

    @Shinobi:

    My father recently sent me several articles from Fox News, one of them talking about “death panels.” I requested that he stop sending me links from Fox news and he responded “You know, someday you’re going to have to live in the real world.”

    I had a friend who used to send me shit like that for ages, which I used to just ignore until (knowing full well my nationality) she sent me one of those “French are ungrateful for our sacrifice and we have nothing to apologize for because WW2!!!” emails. I snapped back. No swearing, but definite “go fuck yourself” overtones. Didn’t get another email like that for months, and when I did, I snapped back again. Haven’t gotten anything since.

    I don’t know how that would work with someone’s dad, though.

    And then you have to deal with the cognitive dissonance, getting people to see that they’ve been lied to all this time is going to seriously conflict with their ideas that they are actually smart people.

    The same friend wasn’t nearly as conservative as she thought she was; could easily come up with liberal ideas on her own, but her brain would hit RESET the minute she found out that those were in fact liberal ideas that didn’t fit with her delicately constructed narrative of What You’re Supposed To Support. Cognitive dissonance might be too mild a word for that.

    Still not sure how to deal with that level of willful ignorance. If you ever figure it out, you let us know.

  87. 87
    ericblair says:

    @artem1s:

    Fred Phelps believes he is honestly presenting the word of God.

    From what I understand, that’s not true. The Phelpses are being deliberately unbelievably provocative in order to goad someone into taking a swing at them and then they sue for money. That’s their business model. They’re evil fucks.

  88. 88
    matoko_chan says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: no, that wont work because of human nature.
    what will happen is that the end result of Salam-Douthat stratification, the demographic timer, and the gradual realization that the new arms race is human capital will force either the extinction or the evolution of the GOP.
    it just takes time.
    you are simply never going to get a kumbayah moment from the unholy alliance of white christian evangelicals, white supremicists, homophobes, bankstahs, neocons, or glibertarians.
    they are actually extinct already, but the teeny wittle dinosaur brains in their hips havent gotten the message yet.

  89. 89
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    I have to say that I think this is my favorite example. Of what, I am not exactly sure.

    Well, clearly it means that using a metaphor about making Republicans ride in the back seat of a car is exactly like shooting a Congresswoman in the head and killing six people.

    It’s just so strange to me that people like Lorna can look at a fiction film (or any film or TV show at all) and decide that it’s exactly the same as six actual people being murdered in real life. Does she realize that TV isn’t real? Does she ever leave her house?

  90. 90
    Lorna says:

    @Uloborus: Yes, continue to be full of sh–. Of course you made no reference to the violent rhetoric of the 7 politicians in office, some with multiple quotes or the movie “death of a president” No comment about the hateful rhetoric of Ed schlutz……I have never heard Bill O’rielly say to his audience Dems want you dead.
    How many comedians that are right leaning use that kind of hate violence in their acts? How many actors on the right have made such discusting remarks? I don’t happen to find gang rape funny, do you? You want to dismiss all of that hate but it is out there and it is heard. Don’t be intellectually dishonest.

    You always scream about intellectual honesty and you are the biggest perps of it.

    I am sure that there have been signs that were inappropriate, but you have no FACT that it was a tea party member. If so please supply the link. Anybody can show up to a meeting with a sign that they made. I also remember the tea party coming out and denouncing such things.

    They weren’t just targets, there were accompanied by war analogies, photos of the politician and their voting info.

    You have just proven my point, you don’t want to have civil discourse, you, your side feeds on the vile hate.

    I have given you Facts on a fact checking website and your reply is I am being deceived…….did you read the entire post? I will respectfully disagree. I believe you are being misled.

    I have a concept of the scale that is involved, I don’t believe you do!

    I think your favorite politician has said it best. “We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It”

    Way to go Nancy!

  91. 91
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @agrippa:

    Sly, I think that Hofstadter is correct. I think that there is a parnoid style in american politics. I think that that style is back.

    I think the paranoid style is always with us, but recedes into the background of our political discourse when the nation faces accute external threats. It comes into the foreground when we are safer and more secure. When external enemies are lacking we go looking for internal enemies. Compared with much of the 20th century the US today faces little in the way of external threats to our security except for slow moving systemic crises many of which are at least to some extent self-inflicted. That is the climate in which the paranoid style blossoms. In particular I think it is no accident that the paranoid style in US politics has been on the increase since the end of the Cold War.

  92. 92

    @Mnemosyne:

    I can’t understand why she wastes her time with all that bullshit. I mean, what the hell, even if she does believe the shit she sprays all around here, surely she can’t believe she’s going to sway us. You’d think she’d have better things to do than put that list together, unless somebody with even more free time put it together for her and sent it her way. But that still leaves unanswered why she shows up here to fuck around. I don’t get it and I don’t care. I just want her to go away. That’s why I don’t think we should argue with her on the merits. Her “arguments” have no merits. I keep hoping that enough fuck offs will show her she isn’t welcome. Here’s hoping…

  93. 93
    nancydarling says:

    @burnspbesq: One of the reasons I come to BJ is to learn stuff. The second reason is that most of the scatological humor makes me laugh out loud—it’s a guilty pleasure. Granted, it doesn’t add to the discussion, but it may be cathartic to the writers as well as the readers. Telling someone to fuck off on a blog is not the same as calling for second amendment remedies when you are a senatorial candidate.

    I think a lot of people say stupid when they actually mean ignorant.

    And the children are welcome on my lawn.

  94. 94
  95. 95
    singfoom says:

    @Brisbane Belff (formerly G. Nelson Buttnergle (formerly Mumphrey (formerly Renfrew Squeevil (formerly Mumphrey Oddison Yamm (formerly Mumphrey O. Yamm (formerly Mumphrey)))))): But but but, that wouldn’t be civil. You’re so full of hate! And vitriol! You totally proved her point!

    Lulz. The stupid burns. And if you want to take issue with me calling Lorna stupid and call it uncivil that’s fine.

    When two adults meet and have an adult discussion debating reasonable points on which people can disagree, I’m all for civility.

    But when one side is “DEATH PANELS KENYAN MARXIST” and denies the actual facts and reality in preference to their framing, I’m going to call out the stupid.

    But I’m uncivil. Lulz.

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brisbane Belff (formerly G. Nelson Buttnergle (formerly Mumphrey (formerly Renfrew Squeevil (formerly Mumphrey Oddison Yamm (formerly Mumphrey O. Yamm (formerly Mumphrey)))))):

    I think it’s because she genuinely thinks that she’s smarter than all of us because she knows The Truth. It’s the same thing with global warming denialists — they get a charge from telling themselves they’re so much smarter than those egghead climate scientists.

    Unfortunately, current research shows that we can provide her with an entire boatload of the actual facts and being confronted with that reality will only make her retreat further into her fantasy world. It’s sad, really.

  97. 97
    matoko_chan says:

    @burnspbesq: cudlip is a perfect descriptive of the majority of the american electorate.
    consider the midterms.
    Republicans are the Feedlot Management that is drench feeding the base the same recycled conservative shit as the last time.
    the emergent problem is the same as happened to the actual feedlots.
    feeding cows their own shit (drenching) for reprocessing causes madcow disease.
    that is what is happening in the GOP base today.
    mad cudlip disease.
    :)

  98. 98
    matoko_chan says:

    there is no point in being civil.
    the other side simply exploits it.
    they know they are WRONG.
    Like EDK.
    they just exploit your courtesy to go believing their freemarket/murrican exceptionalism bullshytt and laff at you behind your back.
    Shorter EDK– sry i was wrong about ______ (insert subject here) BUT! fap-fap-fap market innovation!

  99. 99
    cleek says:

    @numbskull:

    Did we have Free Speech Zones prior to Bush?

    yes

    And if we did, was that a good thing to do it in the 21st century?

    of course not. maybe you should ask Obama about that, and all the other Bush-era abuses he’s continued, with the nearly unanimous support of the Democratic party.

    Did we have the Bush Doctrine, and enact it, prior to Bush?

    what is your definition of “Bush doctrine” ?

    Did we have torture as standard operational procedure prior to Bush?

    not sure, exactly. pre-9/11 there wasn’t as much need (so to speak) to torture anyone. but we did use extraordinary rendition – which is often outsourced torture under Clinton. and we had Carnivore under Clinton. and we had abuse of the FISA court, etc. etc. etc. etc.

    Did we have the Guantanamo-like messes prior to Bush?

    well, we had the internment of the Japanese during WWII. under a Democrat. and that’s a far bigger deal than Guantanamo.

    but let’s not gloss over some of the realities that resulted in DFHs mashing down on the big red button.

    i’m not glossing over anything. i’m pointing out that lefties aren’t immune to conspiracy theories and hyperbolic thinking. none of what you listed justifies thinking Bush is any more of a dictator than any other modern president – Obama hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory on civil rights issues, and Clinton had his own set of failures.

    and, of course, there are lefties who think Obama is not only just as bad, but much worse than Bush – and have their own constellation of conspiracies about him…

  100. 100
    matoko_chan says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: it is also becoming distilled, refined.
    the GOP is now a wholly religious party.
    they cannot field a single presidential candidate that doesnt profess counterfactual religious doctrines; creationism, ensoulment, climate change denialism, homophobia, supply side economics.
    :)

  101. 101
    Chris says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Not sure I agree with your premise as a whole. It’s true that the right’s gotten even more obsessed with communism and the far left since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Even though there are no communists to speak of abroad, Democrats at home have moved to a centrist “Third Way” position, and their ideology rules the world unchallenged, somehow they’ve never felt as marginalized as they were now. That ought to be a subject for a psychological dissertation in itself.

    But I’m not convinced the presence of an external threat would have toned things down. The Cold War was rich material for this kind of paranoia; the 1950s especially gave us the Red Scare, the John Birchers got off the ground largely thanks to anti-communist terror, to the point that they even accused Eisenhower of being a commie agent.

    I think the Cuban missile crisis probably sobered people up, once they realized that that kind of extremism could literally end civilization. Now that the stakes aren’t as high anymore and people have had fifty years to forget, it’s a lot easier for the same craziness to come back.

  102. 102
    cleek says:

    @cleek:
    which is not to say i think Bush was a good president, or better than Obama or Clinton. but that many of his worst abuses either haven’t stopped under Obama, or started before Bush. Bush just abused things more, which should be at least understandable (though still not acceptable), given the circumstances.

  103. 103
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @matoko_chan:

    the GOP is now a wholly religious party.

    No more secularized libertarians then, eh? I must have missed the announcement when the purge occurred.

    Imagine how relieved EDK will be to learn that his pals no longer need to be held responsible for supporting the GOP. Does this mean that you will now cease and desist from bludgeoning him with that particular rhetorical blunt object?

    Or would you prefer to reconsider the statement above?

  104. 104
    matoko_chan says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    the GOP is now a wholly religious party.

    that is a true statement.
    when the party platform includes ensoulment (LIFE!), that party is a religious party. that is a religious doctrine.
    when the party cannot field a candidate that doesnt profess creationism, homophobia, climate change denialism, prosperity gospel (tax cuts) and fetal personhood (ensoulment) that party is simply a religious party.
    libertarianism in this country is wholly suborned to the socons and the bankstans.
    you know that.

  105. 105
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Chris:

    The Cold War was rich material for this kind of paranoia; the 1950s especially gave us the Red Scare, the John Birchers got off the ground largely thanks to anti-communist terror, to the point that they even accused Eisenhower of being a commie agent.

    Yes, but it was precisely during this early phase of the Cold War that the US had overwhelming superiority in strategic weapons vs. the Soviet Union. That kind of talk simmered down (at least in respectable circles) once they built up their nuclear arsenal to rough parity with us and modernized their conventional armored forces in Europe during the 1960s.

  106. 106
    Bobby Thomson says:

    It’s an exaggeration to say that the whole Tea Party movement is built on lies, but not by much.

    It’s not an exaggeration at all. I challenge you to identify anything truthful or intellectually honest in what the Koch Party teabaggers do.

  107. 107

    Yes, fuck civility. Civility doesn’t matter a bit until there’s a mutual commitment to truth. Call the assholes assholes, the liars liars, and the malcontent cranks … well, you get the picture.

    Imagine you’ve just caught your eight-year-old in a whopping invidious lie. Negotiate or punish?

  108. 108
    Ash Can says:

    @Lorna: I’m going to highlight something Chris @ #78 said because it hits the nail on the head:

    …Her examples would prove her point if there’d been a spate of ideological left-wing murders comparable to the right wing ones in the last two years. If the Weathermen and Black Panthers’ recruiting numbers had gone through the roof during the Bush years. If death threats to the White House had gone up several hundred percent after Bush walked in. If ideological left wingers had stockpiled ammunition and guns so high that the manufacturers (and this in America) literally couldn’t keep up. And yet, there hasn’t been a wave of left-wing paramilitarism in the last twenty years; it’s all come from the right, and it’s invariably prompted by the simple fact of a Democrat winning the White House.

    You’ve knocked yourself out compiling a list of grievances against the right to try to prove that the left side is as bad or worse than the right, but you can’t — or won’t — see that everything on your list is a swing and a miss. You list complaints about Dems that amount to nothing more than them repeating or observing what some right-wingers did. (Seriously, I was reading through those instances looking for what they were leading to, and was confused when they led to nothing.) You repeat things said by people who are in no way considered to be leaders of the Democratic Party in particular or the left-wing political community in general. You list things taken out of context that, once put back into context, mean something entirely different. The quote from John Kerry is a primo example. I hadn’t heard of that one, so I looked it up. Lo and behold, once the context was filled in, it turns out that by saying he could have “gone to 1600 PA Ave. and gotten the real bird with one stone,” he was talking about getting birthday gifts for his wife, and how winning the 2004 election would have been the ultimate gift.

    In short, the list you worked so hard to compile does nothing but undermine the points you’re trying to make.

    That hole of yours is deep enough. Do yourself a favor, and stop digging.

  109. 109
    Sasha says:

    That’s why in his speech, Obama specifically requested “civil and honest” discussion.

  110. 110
    patrick II says:

    I’m late to this party, but I just want to add that I heartily concur. You can be civil and relaxed and reasonable sounding and sit in front of the U.N. and make up reasons to go to war that are lies that end up costing hundreds of thousands of deaths. There are times to be uncivil — you just have to be sure you are right when you are.

  111. 111

    @Ash Can:

    Yeah, but see, for one thing, John Cole yelled at a Comcast operator once. He told us so himself! And Obama said the word “shotgun”, which clearly means that he wants to go out and shoot conservatives with shotguns. And maybe you just don’t know how far the liberal fascist movement has gotten, or maybe you just don’t care, but Alec Baldwin, Wanda Sykes, Kathy Griffin and Sean Penn now all have seats on the Senate Judiciary Committee! Al Franken did that. So they totally have unlimited power to, say, pass laws mandating the harvest of Rush Limbaugh’s kidneys! (Can’t think why anybody would want them, but that’s another matter.) So Wanda Sykes was not making a joke, she was laying out her platform!

    Now, we dastardly, bastardly liberals might not want to acknowledge all these embarassing and damaging facts, but since Lorna has brought them all to light, I think we’re going to need to think about damage control here. As for me, I think we should just kill all the conservatives! And since I now have a seat on the Senate Health and Pensions Committee, thanks to Tom Harkin, I’ll be in a good place to make it happen by bringing them all up before our Liberal Health Care Reform Death Panels (LHCRDPs). Let’s not tell Lorna, though. She might get the word out, and then all our nefarious machinations will be for nothing.

  112. 112
    Chris says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Yes, but it was precisely during this early phase of the Cold War that the US had overwhelming superiority in strategic weapons vs. the Soviet Union. That kind of talk simmered down (at least in respectable circles) once they built up their nuclear arsenal to rough parity with us and modernized their conventional armored forces in Europe during the 1960s.

    Very interesting point!

    I see a parallel with the obsessive denunciations of the Iraqi “threat” after 9/11, even though Iraq was basically a ruined wasteland at that point. Meanwhile, the other two members of the Axis were far more powerful, but there was nothing about the threat they posed that even approached the rhetoric about Saddam. Hell, North Korea exploded its first nuke in the middle of the buildup against Iraq, and still they did nothing but shrug, say “oh well, that just proves we gotta get Saddam!” and continue.

    Again, that kind of discrepancy should be a subject for a psychology book.

  113. 113
    Chris says:

    @Ash Can:

    You list things taken out of context that, once put back into context, mean something entirely different. The quote from John Kerry is a primo example. I hadn’t heard of that one, so I looked it up. Lo and behold, once the context was filled in, it turns out that by saying he could have “gone to 1600 PA Ave. and gotten the real bird with one stone,” he was talking about getting birthday gifts for his wife, and how winning the 2004 election would have been the ultimate gift.

    Thanks for looking it up. Still not the worst I’ve ever seen; in an attempt to prove that Islam was an inherently violent religion, I’ve seen wingnuts link to websites with Koranic verses that literally didn’t exist.

    I mean, it’s an Abrahamic holy book – you’d think you could find violent verses without having to actually make them up. At worst, just take them out of context. But literally making up verses? Lawl. If you have to sink that low, you lost the argument before you even started.

  114. 114
    ord_avg_guy says:

    @Lorna: Tell me about your girl’s ($arah) death panel claim. Or your good, pal Newt making the same claim. You tea baggers LOVED the “”DEATH!!!”” panel bs, right? A total fabrication that you and your bagger buddies could scream at town hall meetings (wouldn’t want any truths getting out there, would we Lorna – scream ’em down!). But that was civility, right. That was intellectual honesty, right? That wasn’t inflammatory for the crack pots out there, right?

    Lorna, and this may not be civil, but you make me sick. Putting a mustache on $arah hardly compares to you guys referring to all of us who do not agree with your bagger bullshit as terrorists, traitors and murderers. If I believed all the LIES that you and your right wing buddies spread about Obama, Democrats and the political left (by your definition, anyone who thinks that gov’t should do more than just bomb Muslims) I might make a run on the gun store – you know, just like you fear-mongering right wingers did.

    Every time you right wing assholes ratchet up the fear and threats a tragedy gets inflicted on America. And you fucking liars and cowards point fingers at the left talking about how we are worse than you (Rush/$arah/Beck/Angle/Bachmann/Newt/Hannity/etc). Just like Oklahoma City, Centennial Olympic Park, Holocaust Museum, Jim David Adkisson, Hutaree Christian Militia, Byron Williams – the inspiration for all goes directly back to you and yours. Oh…but all those cases are clearly the same as Montel Williams, right?

    When you assholes can point to a body count caused by a leftie, inspired by lefties and perpetrated against the right wing fucktards like yourself, then you can blow your “Libs are just as bad” smoke. Until then, STFU.

    You smugly see your self as some truth teller in the lion’s den making us hapless libs face reality, right? Guess what, you’re just another ignorant right-winger coming here and carrying the water for the hateful, millionaire talking heads who you serve, like a good little bagger that you are.

  115. 115
    Lorna says:

    @Ash Can: Ash can you are such a LIAR!!!!!!You can even watch the video of Kerry saying it on Bill mahr. Talk about DISHONESTY! I am sure a lot of the rest of you are too lazy to google it. Thanks ass can, I don’t associate with people that tell BOLD FACE LIES! the transcript:

    October 8, 2006 in politics

    The recent episode of Bill Maher was awesome. Robin Williams and Richard Clarke were great but what I found really interesting was when John Kerry seemingly threatens to kill President Bush (which is a crime).

    (Maher asks Kerry what he got his wife for her birthday)

    kerry: I did not get her catchup

    *laughs*

    maher: … you could have gone to New Hampshire and killed two birds with one stone.

    *laughs*

    kerry: I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone.

    *laughs*

    1600 Pennsylvania avenue is where the Whitehouse is located.

    Google it, I don’t use profanity very often, but you have just shown what a lying sack of poo crap that you are. Just change your name to ASSHOLE fits you better.

    bunch of sheeple.

  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:

    @cleek:

    i’m not glossing over anything. i’m pointing out that lefties aren’t immune to conspiracy theories and hyperbolic thinking. none of what you listed justifies thinking Bush is any more of a dictator than any other modern president – Obama hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory on civil rights issues, and Clinton had his own set of failures.

    I think the difference between Clinton (and probably Obama) and Bush is that they didn’t try to glorify or normalize torture. There’s a difference between doing something in secret because you know it’s wrong and insisting that it’s not only not wrong, it’s now your moral duty to have US personnel “use enhanced interrogation techniques” on prisoners instead of outsourcing it to non-Americans.

    There’s an outsourcing joke in here somewhere, but I can’t think of one right now.

  117. 117
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m starting to think that English may not be Lorna’s first language. She seems to have a lot of trouble understanding and interpreting the meaning of common American idioms.

    When someone tells her that some information came “straight from the horse’s mouth,” she looks around for Mr. Ed.

  118. 118
    brantl says:

    @Lorna: Oh, yeah! Those are mostly prominent democrats, NOT. Pelosi saw them carrying swastikas….. now, who carried swastikas…… it’s right on the tip of my tongue………………….. Oh yeah! NAZIS CARRIED SWASTIKAS.

    forLorna, you really are a dope.

  119. 119
    SFAW says:

    Larry @ 114

    Boo fucking hoo, you whining candy ass.

    Glad to see you’re keeping under control, SFB.

    Don’t you have “work” to do? (Yeah, I know, you’re a highly paid and well-respected employee of GE. And I won 12 Olympic gold medals. [You CAN count as high as 12, can’t you?] Of course, since you seem to have plenty of time to comment, it’s obvious that’s a lie, too. But you can certainly cut-and-paste “intellectually dis/honest”, so at least you know how to click a mouse button.)

    OK, toddle off to your inflatable “husband”, why don’t you, you ridiculous waste of oxygen. Although I doubt “he” really needs you to cook dinner, since plastic doesn’t generally eat.

    Have a nice day.

  120. 120
    SFAW says:

    “straight from the horse’s mouth,”

    In Larry’s case, it’s the other end.

  121. 121
    Lorna says:

    @SFAW: ahhhhahahaha. Sucks to be a progressive! Tangled in all your hate and lies. Really, you think that I don’t work at GE? What was your first clue sherlock…..Let’s see I am really going to tell a blog full of unhappy, bitter, hateful, lying vile people where I really work. ya, okay.

  122. 122
    SFAW says:

    Sucks to be a progressive!

    Wouldn’t know, I’m a liberal.

    Tangled in all your hate and lies.

    Pot calling the milk black, what else is new?

    Really, you think that I don’t work at GE? What was your first clue sherlock

    You have a room-temperature (in Celsius) IQ, and you have apparently a shitload of time to spend here.

    ..Let’s see I am really going to tell a blog full of unhappy, bitter, hateful, lying vile people where I really work. ya, okay.

    Poor baby. Will your lying never cease?

    Poor baby Larry. Having a tough time pretending to be a female? Spoofing not as easy as you thought, SFB? Yeah, tell us all some more about having to cook for your “husband”.

    Poor baby. Not get your bottle of formula today?

    Poor baby.

    Have a nice day!

  123. 123
    Lorna says:

    @ord_avg_guy:

    Tell me about your girl’s ($arah) death panel claim. Or your good, pal Newt making the same claim.

    Please tell me you are joking? It is amazing how you all claim to be intellectuals! Okay, I’ll type slowly……She was talking about government rationing your healthcare, the government taking the decisions out of doctors and patients hands and making them. Now before you blow smoke up my a–, we all realize that some rationing is taking place now. Come closer……I will say it real quiet like. I think she was using a colorful METAPHOR! She has been known to do that!

  124. 124
    Lorna says:

    @SFAW:

    Have a nice day!

    I always do!

  125. 125
    SFAW says:

    Larry –

    You can’t even keep your lies straight. But thanks for saying it “real quiet like”, because we don’t want you to embarrass yourself even more by lying at the top of your lungs (so to speak).

    Not that you haven’t already done that, of course.

    Poor baby. Sucks to be you, huh?

    Poor baby.

  126. 126
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Lorna:

    She was talking about government rationing your healthcare, the government taking the decisions out of doctors and patients hands and making them. Now before you blow smoke up my a—, we all realize that some rationing is taking place now.

    Some rationing is taking place by for-profit healthcare companies that then give their CEOs massive bonuses.

    But I’m guessing that you worship money like most of the people on the right and see nothing wrong with the CEO of Cigna getting a bigger bonus for killing transplant patients like Nataline Sarkisyan.

    I mean, we’re talking about a million dollars that could either go towards Nataline’s medical care or towards a third vacation home for Edward Hanway, and she was pretty sick already, so it may as well go to the CEO instead, right?

  127. 127
    Mnemosyne says:

    It is amazing how you all claim to be intellectuals! Okay, I’ll type slowly……

    Remember what I said in my comment #96? She really does think that parroting right-wing talking points makes her smarter and more informed than people who have actually read about a subject.

  128. 128
    SFAW says:

    She really does think

    That’s where you’re wrong. There’s no thinking taking place between his/her ears.

    HTH

  129. 129
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Lorna:

    She was talking about government rationing your healthcare, the government taking the decisions out of doctors and patients hands and making them.

    A statement which was not true, either then or now. Thanks for confirming the point made in the top level post.

     

    we all realize that some rationing is taking place now.

     
    By private insurance companies.

     

    Come closer…

    No thank you.

    You appear to have discovered a previously unknown black-body temperature at which most of the energy is radiated in the form of hatred. Apparently Planck’s Law still needs a little tweaking.

  130. 130
    Lorna says:

    @Mnemosyne: What would be an acceptable profit margin for health insurance companies?

  131. 131
    Lorna says:

    Sarah Palin deserves an apology. When she said that the new health-care law would lead to “death panels” deciding who gets life-saving treatment and who does not, she was roundly denounced and ridiculed.

    Now we learn, courtesy of one of the ridiculers — The New York Times — that she was right. Under a new policy not included in the law for fear the administration’s real end-of-life game would be exposed, a rule issued by the recess-appointed Dr. Donald M. Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, calls for the government to pay doctors to advise patients on options for ending their lives. These could include directives to forgo aggressive treatment that could extend their lives.

    This rule will inevitably lead to bureaucrats deciding who is “fit” to live and who is not.

    Google it yourselves……..you are all so intellectual. Sucks to be a liberal/progressive.

  132. 132
    Lorna says:

    @Mnemosyne: What would be an acceptable profit margin for health insurance companies?

    Cat got your tongue?

  133. 133
    ord_avg_guy says:

    @Lorna: Poor Lorna! When $arah talks about Death Panels it’s just colorful metaphor. But when evil Kerry says “kill the real bird”, it’s not a colorful metaphor for winning the presidency, it’s a threat on the life of the sitting president. Hahaha. OMG, how stupid are you?

    But the reason “death panels” was brought up in the original post (when you first chose to ignore it) is it represents the type of inflammatory rhetoric your masters on the right throw at chumps like you to keep you throwing money their way.

    Your boy Newt reiterated and defended $arah’s Death Panel claim – I guess he didn’t quite understand the colorful metaphor the way you did. Maybe he’s not that intellectual?

    Your friends at FactCheck clarify: $arah is an assclown

    The point that you either refuse to acknowledge or are just a little to slow to pick up on is that using language like “Death panel” in the context of a president that $arah said “pal’ed around with terrorists” (among many, many other shitty and FALSE things) is the kind of rhetoric that your side uses incessantly, and our side keeps warning could lead to tragedy. Bitter pill, I know, but truth is truth. Sorry.

    I appreciate you displaying your hypocrisy, your dishonesty, and your misplaced arrogance. I’m sorry if you got embarrassed. Though, sometimes shame can be helpful in your self-realization journey.

  134. 134

    @Lorna:

    Fuck off.

    Seriously, people. This asshole warrants nothing more than a boatload of fuck offs dumped on her (his? its?) head. Please stop answering this loser on her terms, as it only eggs her (him? it?) on. Once Lorna understands that anything she writes will get nothing but a chorus of fuck offs, then she’ll leave us alone. I come here to read the front page stories and the thoughtful and funny comments that most of the commenters churn out.

    Clods like Lorna do nothing but sidetrack everybody into debating the worthless lies that she excretes, trying to show her she’s wrong. It’ll never work. Either she’s too dumb to know any better than to believe the lies she tells or she doesn’t care. Either way, she isn’t worth anybody’s time, and if we work together, we can take all the fun out of it for her. Then, I hope, she’ll go somewhere else.

    I myself haven’t read anything she’s written since abouot the third thing she shat out here. I just automatically answer her with a hearty fuck off whenever I see she’s left a smear here. I suggest all of us try the same tack. I don’t want to piss anybody off–aside from Lorna; I don’t care how she feels–and I know I don’t have any right to make demands. I know that, and for that reason I’m not demanding this. I’m only asking. People like her really do make it hard to have fun here. Let’s make her understand we don’t want her around.

  135. 135
    licensed to kill time says:

    I don’t know what Lorna Doone’s gonna do when she finds out God hates figs.

  136. 136
  137. 137
    Lorna says:

    @Brisbane Belff (formerly G. Nelson Buttnergle (formerly Mumphrey (formerly Renfrew Squeevil (formerly Mumphrey Oddison Yamm (formerly Mumphrey O. Yamm (formerly Mumphrey)))))): But you see, it is so much fun for me.@ord_avg_guy:

    But when evil Kerry says “kill the real bird”, it’s not a colorful metaphor for winning the presidency, it’s a threat on the life of the sitting president.

    OH MY HEAVENS, how dense you are…..Yep, I thought Kerry was serious! ahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahaha! Really? Thanks for clearing that up!

    Still sucks to be a progressive!

  138. 138
  139. 139
  140. 140
    shep says:

    The reason that hundreds of angry people came to town hall meetings in my Congressional district in 2009, and the reason that police had to be present where they had never been before, wasn’t because someone was “uncivil”. It was because their media heroes and party leaders told them a pack of lies about death panels, federal funding for abortions, Medicare being taken away and free insurance for illegal immigrants…It’s an exaggeration to say that the whole Tea Party movement is built on lies, but not by much. And the beltway media is complicit in those lies, because they were so goddam eager to have a narrative of populist anger about healthcare that they conveniently neglected to emphasize that most of that anger was based on utter bullshit.

    Spot fucking on.

  141. 141
    burnspbesq says:

    @matoko_chan:

    I don’t understand your obsessive hatred of EDK.

    Did he make you sleep on the wet spot?

  142. 142
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @nancydarling: I agree with you. We have our crazies. They are tolerated at best. What we don’t have is Olbermann or Maddow or Nancy Pelosi going off about armed revolutions or reloading or shit like that.

    A-fucking men to more honesty, less civility. I don’t understand why saying something like, “It’s not torture because it doesn’t leave any permanent physical marks” is civil, but saying, “That’s a fucking lie” is not civil because it has ‘fucking’ in it.

    Here is my post in reaction to Tuscon Lipton Tea Bagger Party Co-founder Humphries saying that pointing out the vitriol and the violent rhetoric is ten times as dangerous as the actual violent rhetoric itself.

    What’s more uncivil? The fact that I say ‘fuck’ and ‘fucking’ a lot or the fact that Humphries is implying that Congresswoman Giffords couldn’t really have been afraid since she attended an event in public, and why won’t the mean lie-brals leave poor Sarah Palin alone?

  143. 143

    Honesty is much more important. Without the lies you could still use the gun rhetoric; maybe I’m being too generous to peoples’ enjoyment of getting angry, but I’d think that without the ability to portray the other side as sinister, intruders, tyrants, etc. the violent rhetoric would largely fall flat. The vast majority of the hostile shit that gets thrown around just wouldn’t fly without the BS though: Glenn Beck would be outt’ve a job, and “You’re right, we’re only talking about going back to Clinton-era tax rates, which certainly would not cause the country to collapse. But we’re talking about it socialistically!” just doesn’t have the same effect.

    On the other hand you can certainly have civility without honesty. We see that much every day.

  144. 144
    ord_avg_guy says:

    @Lorna: Hey moran, You brought the Kerry quote up as an example of “Lefty” death threats. Are you really that fucking stupid that you think we can’t read your comments? Talk about dense!

    This is so typical of the right-wingnuts who post on left leaning blogs. You guys make ridiculous claims and when you’re called on them you pretend everyone else is stupid because they’re not buying your bs. Do they give you a script to follow at whatever GOP rock you crawled out from under, or is your thought process in such lock-step that you all naturally do the same thing?

    Looking forward to your final post “You libs are too stupid for me to waste my time with. I’m going back to my right-wing blog and tell everyone I kicked your asses”.

    See ya’

  145. 145
    SFAW says:

    Mumphrey (I spit on your open and close parens) @ 134 –

    First of all, Larry is too stupid to understand anything you wrote, so you just killed a lot of innocent pixels for nothing.

    Second, Larry is clearly delusional – claimed he/she/it worked for GE, which is unpossible, given that GE only hires people who can think; talked about “her” “husband” and how “she” had to cook dinner. Unfortunately, she’s still trying to figure out how to boil water. Hint: turn on stove

    Third:

    I myself haven’t read anything she’s written

    Neither has he/she/it. If he/she/it had, there wouldn’t be the constant self-contradiction.

    I look at it this way: he/she/it is trying his/her/its damnedest to emulate his/her/its love object, Sarah! Starburst. Doin’ a pretty good job, too, you betcha, except no mention of blood libel so far. That’s probably because he/she/it saw the word “libel”, thought it said “liberal”, and got a-skeered.

    Poor baby that he/she/it is.

  146. 146

    […] Don’t Matter The Civility Diversion and Justificatory Closure January 15, 2011 Balloon Juice has a really nice post that, I think, buries its insights a wee too deep in the weeds. Here’s a cut: The reason that […]

  147. 147

    […] mistermix argues the real poison in the discourse is not incivility but, rather, dishonesty: if I had a choice between a more civil discourse and a more honest one, I’d pick honesty every time. […]

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  1. […] mistermix argues the real poison in the discourse is not incivility but, rather, dishonesty: if I had a choice between a more civil discourse and a more honest one, I’d pick honesty every time. […]

  2. […] Don’t Matter The Civility Diversion and Justificatory Closure January 15, 2011 Balloon Juice has a really nice post that, I think, buries its insights a wee too deep in the weeds. Here’s a cut: The reason that […]

  3. […] . . if I had a choice between a more civil discourse and a more honest one, I’d pick honesty every time. The reason that hundreds of angry people came to town hall meetings in my Congressional district […]

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