Fear is a man’s best friend

A few weeks ago when I was in New York, I had lunch a few tables over from Fareed Zakaria (I was nowhere too fancy, at A Voce Columbus). I thought about walking over to his table and saying “thanks for the Iraq War, you stupid neocon motherfucker”, and I would have if I hadn’t been with my parents who wouldn’t have liked this.

I think everyone should confront our sociopathic media overlords whenever they see them out in public. If Fareed or Bobo or Nooners thinks that if they write something, they might get fucked with next time they go out, they’d think twice about writing it.

People scare easily, especially careerist people. It’s just not hard to fuck with people if you want to do it. I can’t emphasize that enough. The right understands this, because they are essentially brownshirts at heart for the most part, and the left needs to understand it too.

The Times had a very good piece a few days ago about how Kaplan and other for-profit educational grifters gutted White House efforts to limit their ability to scam prospective students. Kaplan et al. hired a bunch of lobbyists, including former White House aide Anita Dunn, to convince their buddies to let the scamming continue. It really is that simple.

What I’d like to know is why the White House didn’t ask for something in return. How hard is to say I do something for you, you do something for me? I want a new editorial board at the Post. They’d do it, if it meant their asses.

I’m not so pessimistic about this election or the next few, in terms of Democrats managing to retain some kind of control. But until the left scares the establishment as much as the right does, we’re mostly fucked politically, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

151 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I would have if I hadn’t been with my parents who wouldn’t have liked this.

    You just kind of totally undercut the whole point of this post.

    ETA: To my knowledge, the right does not go up to random media figures and get in their faces. Do you have an example?

  2. 2
    DougJ says:


    I know. I’m being honest.

  3. 3
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Just caught the end of the Ed Schultz Show, a clip of Liz Cheney saying that Obama risked “losing both wars” after all the blood and treasure we have sacrificed. She may be in echo chamber of Fox News now, but she trained as a pundit on the WaPo op-ed page (and ABC). And certainly no individual did more to assure that there would be no accountability for the Iraq War among his friends than David Broder.

  4. 4
    Comrade Mary says:

    You could have delivered a note.

    Dear Mr. Zakaria,
    Thanks for the Iraq War, you stupid neocon motherfucker.
    Sincerely, Doug J.

    I think your Mom would have been OK with this if you had used a good pen and heavyweight cream paper.

  5. 5
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Baud: George W Bush got drunk and belligerent with Al Hunt (who was in a restaurant with his wife and small son) when Hunt wrote that he didn’t think Poppy would win the ’88 nomination. Not that he shouldn’t just that he wouldn’t. Bill O’Reilly sends cameras after people, Olberman, a Think Progress blogger. Ginnay THomas got drunk and called Anita Hill.

  6. 6
    rageahol says:

    Carry a photo of someone in their late teens in your wallet, just in case another opportunity like this presents itself. if you see a fuckbag like this, go up to them, and ad-lib a story about your cousin who enlisted, etc etc. end on a suitably accusatory (but sad) tone.

    the sad thing is, i think a lot of us dont really have to dig that deep to find personal scars from the iraq war, whether family or friends, what have you.

  7. 7
    Tokyokie says:

    Unfortunately, my only up-close encounter with a national media celebrity type was going past CNN’s Bella Shaw on my way into a theater in Atlanta 25 years ago, and all I could think was, hey wasn’t that Bella Shaw? But I think the movie was Dance With a Stranger, so at least she went to see a Mike Newell film. Unless she saw something else. Sorry.

  8. 8
    Alexandra says:

    Moore Award! Moore Award!

  9. 9
    DougJ says:


    He wouldn’t give me the satisfaction.

  10. 10

    until the left scares the establishment as much as the right does

    You mean what passes for the left? When liberal meant something you’d hear terms like “liberal, ultra-liberal, and left… maybe even radical left.” Now anything that isn’t barking at the moon crazy is liberal and people who actually propose to do something to address the problems are left. I don’t mean amongst the “shoshalizm” crowd, right here will do.

  11. 11
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    The worst thing I ever did was when I met Jimmy Carter press secretary Jody Powell, long after Carter left the White House. I asked, “Didn’t you used to be Jody Powell?” I had nothing against the poor man, now gone from this vale of tears. It just slipped out, and I feel terrible about it to this day.

    @Comrade Mary: Love this. Exactly right.

  12. 12
    liberal says:

    Is FZ really a bona fide neocon? (Not that not being a neocon, in itself, excuses anyone who supported the invasion at the time.)

  13. 13
    DougJ says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Yes, I mean “what passes for the left”. That is what I mean.

  14. 14
    DougJ says:


    Are you familiar with James O’Keefe?

  15. 15
    Alexandra says:


    Heh. He’s doing my head in at the mo, whitewashing the Tories’ disastrous policies. Still, I can’t think of anyone who needs a public dressing down more right now for his nutty ‘fearless’ Bell-curvery.

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    This is why I love New York. Over the years I have sat next to or close to in NYC restaurants: Mitch Miller, Soupy Sales, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, John and Yoko*, and Ruth Gordon. I don’t think many of them were stupid neocon mutherfuckers but I could be wrong.

    *John and Yoko weren’t technically in a restaurant but in a tiny tiny tiny little itty bitty place on 57th Street, halfway down the block from Carnegie Hall, called the Zen Coffeehouse, up a creaky flight of stairs from a tiny tiny tiny little itty bitty bookstore called, it will not surprise you, the Zen Bookstore. The Zen Coffeehouse served only one thing, pound cake, plus — according to the sign posted at every one of the three tables — “Coffee Served by a Pot.” I saw J&Y in there twice, and understood from the staff that they were regular habitués of the place.

  17. 17
    Baud says:


    Are you familiar with James O’Keefe?

    THAT’S who you want the left to mimic????

    And anyway, his actions are not random, they are deliberate and calculating.

  18. 18
    Lee says:

    I had no idea Fareed Zakaria was a neocon and supported the Iraq war.

    Never had much of an opinion of him either way, but it certainly is much less now.

  19. 19
    Tokyokie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Well, the jury’s still out on Soupy Sales…….

  20. 20
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @liberal: That’s my sense. More a Very Serious Person, interchangeable with Friedman or that Brooking Inst chucklehead who won’t go away, a mope with an IRish name that escape me.

    Friedman was on the Maher show a few weeks back, IIRC with Rachel Maddow, and Maher kind of casually alluded to TF’s stance on the war, making the point that he was wrong, but in a forgiving tone as if Friedman had admitted he was wrong, and Friedman sort of sadly nodded in the same way, as if he had done public penance. He has not, of course.

  21. 21
    El Cid says:


    How hard is to say I do something for you, you do something for me?

    ‘They have no sense of, “I do this and you give me cash,” unless it’s illegal.’

    Well, at least one of the VSP’s knows how to say it.

  22. 22
    ellennelle says:

    also pretty empathetic about bugging celebrities. avoided that while in the music business, and then when i found myself next to last in line on a flight to orlando years ago, i realized the very last guy was none other than tony snow. i spent a good bit of time trying to think of how to politely and gracefully stick a principled verbal dagger in his neck, but somehow could not muster the necessary gumption before we boarded.

    this was before the public knew he was dying of colon cancer, so i was ultimately quite relieved i’d kept quiet.

    on that note, actually – are you really advocating that we, as liberals and lefties, reduce our behaviors to that truly repugnant level of the o’reilly’s and breitbarts and o’keefe’s and yeah, george w’s? are you honestly suggesting we take on perhaps their most repugnant trait and then somehow justify slinging it back at them because they “did it first?”

    my brother and i regularly pulled that crap till we hit jr hi, and then it sort of petered out. you want we should pick that back up again? really?

  23. 23
    DougJ says:


    He’s an idiot, which is too bad because he’s a hard worker and a good entertainer.

  24. 24
    wilfred says:

    “and the left needs to understand it too.”

    The left has always understood it. The great advances in social justice made during the early part of the 20th century and the 1930’s weren’t due to some outbreak of altruism on the part of the ruling class but from fear of propaganda of the deed and organized masses capable of doing real damage.

    Menace is necessary. This is what’s killing OWS – its unrelenting niceness and self-neutering. Confrontation doesn’t have to be physical, but it has to be threatening enough for the ruling class to cede power and control.

    Millions of people protested the Iraq War – those protests didn’t stop it or even shorten it by one day. Unless protest is actually threatening – in some way – power structures continue as before.

  25. 25
    Ben says:

    Now I feel bad for not doing something like DougJ wanted to when I ran into Ross Douthat at the dry cleaners two years ago…I was just nice and cordial to him, and held off on making any snide comments about chunky Reese Witherspoon…

  26. 26
    beltane says:

    I actually had an opportunity to confront Bobo in this way at an Obama rally in NH right before the primary but of course I kept my mouth shut. He didn’t really seem like such an asshole in person. George Stephanopoulos was also at this event and he did seem like even more of an asshole in person.

  27. 27
    MikeJ says:

    How hard is to say I do something for you, you do something for me?

    Blago certainly knew how to say this.

  28. 28
    DougJ says:


    Tony Snow is not such a good example. He’s a conservative who did a pretty good job as White House press person, restored some sanity to that. I have nothing against him.

    But, as far Jr. High style fucking with people? Yes, that is exactly what I advocating.

  29. 29
    DougJ says:


    Unless protest is actually threatening – in some way – power structures continue as before.


  30. 30
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    They’d do it, if it meant their asses.

    You’re an optimist. They’d get it passed, and then show the evidence that Obama was trying to influence the paper and get it to only report favorably for him.

  31. 31
    beltane says:

    If I ever have the opportunity to get in a few words with Tom Friedman I will pretend to be a cab driver so I can fill his mind with nonsense.

  32. 32
    Steve says:

    @wilfred: Unrelenting niceness worked pretty well for Gandhi and MLK. Nonviolence isn’t some kind of mystical feel-good prescription, it’s actually pretty smart political strategy. Maybe if MLK had gotten in a few more faces he would have accomplished more, or then again maybe not.

  33. 33
    DougJ says:


    I have the utmost respect for MLK and Gandhi. But I think this is a different type of situation and until someone presents a reasonable MLK/Gandhi approach, I cannot believe that one exists.

  34. 34

    But until the left scares the establishment as much as the right does, we’re mostly fucked politically, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

    I’m not sure the right scares the political establishment. I think the right IS the political establishment.

  35. 35
    El Tiburon says:

    I agree dougJ.

    Did anyone see that dude get umbrelled by Bill O’Reily? Every time these fuckers go out in public they need an earful. It doesn’t have to be belligerent, in fact it would be better if it was calm, cool and collected.

    It is time OWS went truly global.

  36. 36
    Gary says:

    But until the left scares the establishment as much as the right does, we’re mostly fucked politically, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

    Pretending to know shit you just don’t know. Teabaggerism is taking the right nowhere but down a toilet. Thanks for the advise buddy, but you can keep it.

  37. 37
    El Cid says:

    I’ve confronted very high up officials, including Reagan and Bush Jr. administration (yes, including Cabinet) types, but only in public fora; and you damned better be sure of what you’re going to say, if you intend it to be a back and forth. I got the best of them. You don’t have to believe me, and I’m not giving details, else my pseudonymous life gets narrowed a great deal.

  38. 38
    RD says:

    My fav John Cale tune:

    I’m the bishop and I’ve come
    to claim you with my iron drum
    la la la la la la

  39. 39
    Baud says:

    Doug, how exactly would you maintain quality control with this strategy? The left is hardly unified on who should be the focus of these reprisals. What I think you’ll end up with is just a bunch of random fuckers getting nasty with another bunch of random fuckers, until everyone gets sick of it and blames the hippies for being uncivilized.

  40. 40
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    “I had lunch a few tables over from Fareed Zakaria (I was nowhere too fancy, at A Voce Columbus). I thought about walking over to his table and saying “thanks for the Iraq War, you stupid neocon motherfucker””

    I have a dream…..

    I would like to have a banana republic cream pie to smash in the face of any
    Shrubbie I can find….

    Et voila !!!!

  41. 41
    Punchy says:

    What does Sully think of A Voce Columbus?

  42. 42
    Tlachtga says:

    What’s considered being menacing? Do we just threaten violence? Maybe advance to beating up some rightwing media figures? Put Breitbart in the hospital?

    Cause that’ll definitely change how disfunctional congress is.

    The leftists of a hundred years ago were actually willing to assassinate people; now we just blog. One turns my stomach; the other has no effect on changing things.

  43. 43
    Steve says:

    @DougJ: Well I don’t know what makes it different, but I’ll freely admit that if it was that easy to emulate MLK, we’d all be Great Men of History. Nonviolence is actually the easy part. The genius of MLK, I’m convinced, is that he understood where to find the levers of power and how to influence them in a way that others simply do not get. In other words, he didn’t just go out and start randomly marching or randomly boycotting or randomly waving signs. He understood exactly where to apply pressure.

    For every MLK there’s a thousand well-intentioned organizers who have no idea what they’re doing and end up being anywhere on the spectrum from ineffectual to counterproductive.

    Your proposal suffers from a species of the same problem faced by these wanna-bes, in that random acts of violence or political intimidation are unlikely to lead to any sort of positive change. Just as you can’t think of an effective strategy using the MLK approach, there may be an effective strategy using the brownshirt approach but I doubt the linchpin of it is lobbing insults at Fareed Zakaria.

    It’s also worth noting that liberal violence and intimidation don’t exactly get the same coverage as the conservative versions. When Tea Partiers got all hot and bothered during those health care town halls, they were just regular folks who were understandable upset at the prospect of Obama slaughtering their grandmothers. Good luck getting the same benefit of the doubt for anyone on our team.

  44. 44
    srv says:

    We stumbled across a new prototype Cadillac filming a commercial on Twin Peaks tonight and were going to protest, but it looked like it had run over one of the little workers.

    Later we learned he was working on a camera.

    *I myself had an opportunity to run over Al Haig in DC years back, but since it was still thought at the time that he might have been Deep Throat, I hesitated too long and he scampered back between the limos.

  45. 45
    wilfred says:


    Did it? I believe that civil rights legislations had as much to do with Malcolm X and emergent Black Nationalist movements, and their accompanying threat, as MLK’s movement. They didn’t work together but the threat posed by the former was essential.

    The British left India when they were ready to. Not to speak badly of Gandhi but millions were killed during Partition. It wasn’t his fault, but the end of the Raj was hardly a non-violent love fest.

    Hegel was right – the slave is a slave because he faces death first and turns back. The Master is the Master because he got there second. Only this.

    Methaphorically speaking, it’s time for the Master to fear the lash.

  46. 46
    RD says:


    We always said nice things about you.

  47. 47
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    ‘Occupy’ is what it is…

    It is disorganized and yet it is spontaneous.

    Assymetrical warfare is like that. It’s is worked it’s magic. They have changed the discussion. What more do you want?

  48. 48
    Zifnab25 says:


    Menace is necessary. This is what’s killing OWS – its unrelenting niceness and self-neutering. Confrontation doesn’t have to be physical, but it has to be threatening enough for the ruling class to cede power and control.

    Well, we’re seeing stuff like that in the Occupy The Ports endeavor. But the moment the more militant elements of OWS lift a finger, guys like John Cole step in and start saying “Oh no, let’s not piss anyone off”.

    And, the funny thing is, John’s got a point. Populism is a difficult balancing act. You want to have a movement big enough and tough enough to cause your opposition real problems. At the same time, you don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot by encumbering your own constituency.

    On the one side of the coin is militancy. You need an organization that knows how to deal a real blow to the opposition. But on the other side of the coin is fidelity. You want to look out for your allies, keep them happy, and work towards a goal that benefits everyone.

    I mean, maybe OWS is too set on using kid gloves. But compare them to Black Bloc and the like-minded violent anarchists that go around smashing shop windows and torching cars. That kind of reckless abandon doesn’t do anyone any good either. And it poisons the image of your movement in the sees of otherwise sympathetic third-parties.

  49. 49
    MB says:

    You know, when people have the power to affect the lives of many people, and wield that power like an idiot – those among the many people have a right to come up and tell the idiot that he’s an idiot.

    I live and work in DC. On my list of people whom I’ve been direct with in a random public encounter: Rick Santorum, Norm Coleman, Jack Valenti (that one was particularly satisfying) and Mark Warner. My one regret is not taking the opportunity to do the same with Tom Friedman in the multiple times we stood next to each other, waiting for our cars. As regrets go, I’ll take mine over his.

  50. 50
    piratedan says:

    well it would be nice to have handy one of those withering Pithy statements for all occasions, like “thank you for lowering the political discourse in the country with your infantile opinions you doorknob” and then walk away.

  51. 51
    mangrilla says:

    Maybe I’m one of the problem liberals here, but I don’t really think this post is what the left wants to go for. I’m fine with the thought of saying, “Random x person in the spotlight, you are an (insert expletive of choice here) for this position,” I suppose. I think Doug is ABSOLUTELY 100% incorrect that it would change their opinion or make them think twice. And it’s abhorrent that Doug thinks it’s a good idea to try and intimidate people out of expressing their opinions.

    Then Doug says that the Administration should forgo meaningful legislation in return for a more compliant editorial board? Look, I don’t like the WAPO editorial board, but I also don’t think the Federal gov’t should be looking to correct that problem through bribes or strong-arming. Obama should act on education, full stop. That he didn’t is disappointing, but the answer certainly shouldn’t be “Well, make Kaplan an offer they can’t refuse: change your editorial board or we legislate away the profitable portion of your business.”

    Those suggestions don’t really scream good governance to me.

    Finally: “The right understands this, because they are essentially brownshirts at heart for the most part, and the left needs to understand it too.” – So… we should be more akin to brownshirts?

    Honestly, I’ve really enjoyed you since you began here Doug, but this is far from your best work.

  52. 52
    xian says:

    @beltane: not seeming like an asshole is his entire schtick, and the source of his utility as a tool of privilege.

  53. 53
    DougJ says:


    And it’s abhorrent that Doug thinks it’s a good idea to try and intimidate people out of expressing their opinions.

    Define “opinion”.

  54. 54
    DougJ says:


    Those are good questions. And I don’t know what the right balance is.

  55. 55
    mangrilla says:


    You said “If Fareed or Bobo or Nooners thinks that if they write something, they might get fucked with next time they go out, they’d think twice about writing it.”

    Loose definition, but I would still count the drivel Bobo writes as opinion.

  56. 56
    DougJ says:


    And you you don’t think it is affected by various pressures that he feels?

  57. 57
    Face says:


    There’s twenty-five of you now in the rotation? ;)

  58. 58
    rageahol says:

    @Zifnab25: I find it funny how noone has commented how it’s entirely possible (though the probability of this is completely fucking unknown to me) for unions to sign off on something like occupy the ports, send their members home for the day, and then have their mouthpieces say “we do not support OWS in this”. the fact is that whether they support the action or not, they are going to at least claim that they do not support it because of contracts, etc. the proof is in how much actual protest happened before they told their guys to go home — and the fact that they are mentioning said contracts in their statements of non-support seems like it’d be a clue.

    it’s called the overton window. you might have heard about it.

  59. 59
    mangrilla says:

    @DougJ: Surely. But there’s a distinction between, say, him writing for the pay check, or his bizarre desire to be an arbiter of American morality and people fucking with him. How about you define the boundaries of what “they might get fucked with” includes?

    As I said: If you want to go up to him and express your opinion, more power to you. I don’t think it will change his opinion in the least, nor will it stop him from publishing it in the Times. The most it will do is give him yet another charming anecdote from which to launch into his Very Serious Critique of the lack of moral gooey center from the Modern American Left. “Well, they can’t let me even enjoy my crem brulee. Is nothing sacred? There was a time America, certainly not the 60’s, when a meal with one’s family was never to be interrupted…” blah blah blah.

    But advocating intimidation, if that’s within the boundaries of “they might get fucked with,” is way over the line.

  60. 60
    Ben Mays says:

    Two items:
    In the 80’s I worked on K Street. We used to see Robert Novak all the time. Little tiny body and enormous head. I haad an almost uncontrollable urge to spit on him whenever we passed. Luckily I never did. I did see Bud McFarlane and as I passed told him “better luck next time”. That was probably wrong.

    Second point, I grew up in a labor household with grandparents from Southern West Virginia. My grandfather founded a UMW localjust to ask for a 2 cent an hour raise. They eventually got a lot more, but the owners had to be scared before that happened. Ford didn’t put machine guns on his plant to stop the meek.

  61. 61
    Arrik says:

    Wow, the concern trolls are out tonight, aren’t they? I’m with you, Doug.

  62. 62
    Cassidy says:

    I think we on the left need to start being prepared (emotionally and mentally) that barring all the Xstians boarding ships and forming Jesusland in the Arctic Circle, non-violence, tolerance, and all around getting alongedness is not going to be an option. These crazy motherfuclers are not only pulling our country into fringe, banana republic coo-coo land, but they are also reducing the amount of room left for two opposing sides to discuss, negotiate, and compromise. They are actively taking away rational options. What we really have to ask ourselves is what would light the powder keg?

  63. 63
    DougJ says:


    Save it for the NPR fundraiser, okay?

  64. 64
    eemom says:

    Did Fareed Zakharia do anything other than support the Iraq war in 2003 to deserve the lifelong label “stupid neocon motherfucker”? If so, what is it, and please be specific.

    Cuz frankly it’s getting a little old hearing you condemn people for life just because they once supported the Iraq war, considering you supported it yourself and so did Cole and so did a lot of other people who you don’t single out for that particular life sentence.

    (nb, I never supported the Iraq war, or any war.)

  65. 65
    boss bitch says:

    Ask for what in return?

    By the way, didn’t House Republicans team up with members of the CBC to water this down?

  66. 66
    DougJ says:


    I opposed it. I wish I had demonstrated against it before the war but I did not. I did demonstrate against it between 2004 and 2008.


    EDIT: And if Fareed and Tom Friedman apologized as much as John did, and stopped recommending a Chinese-style system here, I would applaud them.

  67. 67
    KXB says:

    Sorry, but for all the good stuff this blog has, this post is just asking for a circle-jerk response. Given that Zakaria was criticizing the Bush White House even before the 2004 election, dubbing him a neocon is some sloppy-ass reasoning. Factor in he is the only mainstream journalist who routinely takes Netanyahu to task on his CNN show, your writing is even dumber than usual. Seriously, get out of the fucking basement and do something if something pisses you off.

  68. 68
    mclaren says:

    Three cheers for you, DougJ, for remembering that Fareed Zakaria was right in the heart of the planning for the Iraq War, beating the table with his fist and shouting that we had to invade.

    Now, of course, Zakaria tries to present himself as the soul of moderation and enlightenment. You won’t hear a whisper about his fervent advocacy for the Neocon New World Order back in 2001, not on Zakaria’s TV program, not in his editorial articles for the Newsweek Int’l edition, nowhere.

    This neocon asshole has managed to whitewash his dirty past and now acts all horrified and offended at America’s crazy out-of-control military adventures…when he was one of the main proponents of that insanity 10 years ago.

  69. 69
    eemom says:

    fwiw, a while back there was an FDL commenter who took on ACTUAL neocon motherfucker Donald Rumsfeld, big time, at a DC bus stop when he (the commenter) was waiting there with his kid. IIRC it was a pretty good story. I think his name was Brendan.

  70. 70
    kyle says:

    DougJ is proof that a liberal can think like a wingnut, God help us.

    If Fareed or Bobo or Nooners thinks that if they write something, they might get fucked with next time they go out, they’d think twice about writing it.

    … The right understands this, because they are essentially brownshirts at heart for the most part, and the left needs to understand it too.

    So liberals need to be more like brownshirts? Good thinking, DougJ!

    For full wingnut points, he backs off from his restaurant confrontation with Zakaria, then finds a keyboard where he can beat his chest.

  71. 71
    RD says:


    FUCK you.

    Enjoy your next eight years of tax cuts for Jesus.

    I hope one your kids gets half his face blown off in Iran.


  72. 72
    eemom says:


    hmm. I thought you said you had supported it at the time but maybe I’m misrememberating.

    Anyway my point stands that such support, standing alone, and considering how common it was at the time, is just not a fair litmus test for judging someone.

  73. 73
    carpeduum says:

    Jesus titty fucking christ Doug. There are probably hundreds of journalists who deserve blame for Iraq before Fareed. Are you fucking kidding me?! His sunday show is about the only thing worth watching on CNN.

  74. 74
    DougJ says:


    I think that in combination with a sick fascination with Chinese-style command economy, it’s worthy of condemnation.

    Josh Marshall and Jon Chait supported the Iraq War and never sufficiently apologized either. But they don’t wank about third parties ad nauseam.

  75. 75
    jl says:


    Resist the Dark Side, DougJ.
    Their fear must arise from the forces for good turning out to vote, not from our harassment.

    And IIRC. Josh Marshall gave rather wobbly support during the early run up to the Iraq war, but decided it was a bad idea a few weeks before the election.

    You can criticize him for reaching the right conclusion too weakly and too late, but he was not in support of the war when the invasion began.

  76. 76
    MikeJ says:

    @RD: You should seek professional help.

  77. 77
    RD says:


    Too confrontational for you?

  78. 78
    jl says:

    @kyle: I agree. DougJ needs a time out to relax and decompress.

    DougJ, go to your room and take some time for reflection.

  79. 79
    RD says:

    Dougj is doing just fine.

  80. 80
    Bill in Section 147 says:

    The internet is a great place to vent these feelings. Get it off your chest and move on. Sadly the rude approach in an unconnected setting always reflects poorly on the interloper.

    Not all of us have the good fortune of the gay Veteran in New Hampshire to have chance place a fool conveniently in our path so we may politely dole out shame and embarrassment.

    BTW I took your post to be more of a gut-reaction musing than a call to grab pitchforks and torches.

  81. 81
    sherifffruitfly says:

    “I think everyone should confront our sociopathic media overlords whenever they see them out in public.”

    This, after a tedious story about how you chickened out?


    You first, firebagger coward.

  82. 82
    RD says:

    @Bill in Section 147:

    gay Veteran in New Hampshire

    That new Brick Oven isn’t going to build itself, Bill.

  83. 83
    DougJ says:


    This is the kind of comment I was hoping for.

  84. 84
    YoohooCthulhu says:

    I once (2005 ish?) got roped into attending North Coast Church, which is the megachurch Darrell Issa attends when he wants to be pious. He was there, and I definitely gave him a snide “so how’d those WMDs in Iraq work out for you, asshole?” as everyone was filing out of the church. The couple friends I attended were flummoxed and immediately tried to hide, but they weren’t as visibly disturbed as he seemed to be. Of course, I’d just received the form email from his office explaining about how the Iraq war was NEVER about WMDs and always about humanitarian aid to Iraqis.

    The only thing I’m a little worried about is that, if this became common, Congresspeople might start enlisting hired bodyguard thugs who could unaccountably beat up hecklers. Democrats would never do that but Republicans may…

  85. 85
    mangrilla says:

    @DougJ: Uh, good one?


    FUCK you.
    Enjoy your next eight years of tax cuts for Jesus.
    I hope one your kids gets half his face blown off in Iran.

    Haha, right because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my time on this earth, aggressive and aggressively stupid people certainly always have the solutions. “I don’t like Bobo’s dismissal of the plight of the 99%! LET’S THREATEN HIM!” Brilliant.

    Anyway, I’m in a union that won’t bear fruit, as it were, so your hopes are misplaced on that front.

  86. 86
    Jebediah says:

    I think some of these twatwaffles think that the majority of the public agree with them. I don’t see any big downside if some of them get an occasional earful or are made mildly uncomfortable. Even if it doesn’t change their professional excretions.

  87. 87
    RD says:


    I’m in a union that won’t bear fruit

    Imagine my surprise.

  88. 88
    Hunter Gathers says:

    The only time I’ve had the opportunity to do what DougJ wanted to I was restrained by my wife. To this day I remind her that there is absolutely nothing wrong with calling 2010 Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady a cock-knocker to his face. Because he is, in fact, a cock-knocker. A cock-knocker that I am very distantly related to, but a cock-knocker nonetheless.

  89. 89
    Tom Hilton says:

    A world in which scaring people is the primary means of motivation is a world that exists for the exclusive benefit of the right wing.

    Maybe that’s the world we live in; I hope not, but I don’t know. The point is, it’s a ridiculous stupid fucking pipe dream for any liberal to think that kind of shit can ever work for us.

  90. 90
    mangrilla says:

    @RD: That was way harsh, Tai.

  91. 91
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:


    I agree. If they want to opine publicly then they ought to be ready for meeting people in public who want to offer a different opinion. Or an on the spot evaluation of their job performance, questioning of if there are any branches on the family tree and so on. If I did shitty work and customers wanted me to know about it then I’m sure I would hear it from them if we ran into each other.

    As should they.

  92. 92
    Queensbridge says:

    Condoleeza Rice received this treatment in New York a few back, and what a glorious thing it was:

    As South drowns, Rice soaks in N.Y.
    As South Drowns, Rice Soaks In N.y.
    Friday, September 02, 2005

    Did New Yorkers chase Condoleezza Rice back to Washington yesterday?

    Like President Bush, the Secretary of State has been on vacation during the Hurricane Katrina crisis, with Rice enjoying her downtime in New York Wednesday and yesterday. The cabinet member’s responsibilities are usually international, but her timing contributed to the “fiddling while Rome burns” impression given by her boss during the disaster, which may have claimed thousands of lives.

    On Wednesday night, Secretary Rice was booed by some audience members at “Spamalot!,” the Monty Python musical at the Shubert, when the lights went up after the performance.

    Yesterday, Rice went shopping at Ferragamo on Fifth Ave. According to the Web site http://www.Gawker.com, the 50-year-old bought “several thousand dollars’ worth of shoes” at the pricey leather-goods boutique.

    A fellow shopper shouted, “How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!” – presumably referring to Louisiana and Mississippi.

    The woman expressing her First Amendment rights was promptly removed from the store. A Ferragamo store manager confirmed to us that Rice did shop there yesterday, but refused to answer questions about whether the protester was removed, and whether by his own security or the Secret Service.

  93. 93
    RD says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    We live in a world where people actually believe Saddam Hussein masterminded 9/11.

    If you’re fine with that, keep your mouth shut.

  94. 94
    Apsalar says:

    A few months ago I had dinner at an Italian place in Palo Alto, and Condoleezza Rice was a few tables away. Mostly we were just trying to figure out if it was her, since it looked like she’d had the gap in her teeth fixed, but how many Condi lookalikes could possibly live in the Stanford area?

  95. 95
    eemom says:

    this is a weird thread that is going weird places. Which I guess was the intent.

    Anyway, the solution is to live in a boring suburb where you never see any Serious People.

    Once about a million years ago as a young lawyer I was having lunch in a deecee “power” restaurant when I excitedly asked an older lunch companion if that guy over there was George Will. He glanced over briefly.

    “I don’t think so.”

    That was that.

  96. 96
    Anne Laurie says:

    Back before cheap internet printing capabilities, or even Kinko’s, novelty shops used to sell packs of business cards that said, in classical flowery fonts, “Thank you for being a HUGE FUCKING ASSHOLE”. Some of those cards even had a checklist on the back to identify the specific HFA behavior — mundane stuff like bad parking, or littering, or being rude to waitstaff.

    DougJ, I think your mom would be willing to overlook you “making a scene” if you made yourself up some of these business cards, nothing garish, on a good-quality cream stock. At some future restaurant near-encounter, you could even have the card delivered to the HFA’s table, maybe with a reasonably-priced wine from the lower end of the house list. Just be sure that you use a fountain pen when you add a personal note, and that you spell “Kochsucking warmonger” correctly…

  97. 97
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Is this supposed to be an example of the kind of thing liberals should do to become feared and powerful? Why would Fareed Zakaria think twice before doing something if this really had happened? “Well, I _was_ leaning towards supporting covert action in Kyrgystan, but now that some random guy called me a bad name in a restaurant, I’d better reassess everything I believe!”

    Media guys don’t care about isolated nasty comments. They’re _proud_ of those. They care about thousands of coordinated complaints that take over the execs’ email and phones. They care about lost sponsors. They surely don’t care about restaurant rudeness. They don’t care about O’Keefe himself, they care that O’Keefe can run to Drudge and Breitbart and turn one stunt into myriad angry messages. Unless you can do that, DougJ, this is nothing but a particularly lame case of l’esprit de l’escalier.

  98. 98
    FlipYrWhig says:

    “The jerk store called, Zakaria; they’re all out of you!”. Zing!

  99. 99
    Rome Again says:

    Hmmm, imagine my surprise to find this thread. I thought inciting people to commit violent acts was illegal on the internet, no?

    I guess I’ll put BJ on my “do not visit” list again. Thanks for being my reason for ceasin’ DougJ.

  100. 100
    tensor says:

    We Yanks call it the First Amendment for a very good reason. Wanna let Charles Krauthammer have an earful? Go for it; he volunteered to be a public figure. Better yet, record your entire vicious tirade on your smart-phone; when he types up a pack of lies about what you said, go viral on his sorry ass with the real version. “You should be in chains in The Hague, you worthless little coward. Generations of future historians will cite your verbal vomit as proof of the utter moral degradation of our times. I’m very sorry there were no WMD, because you should die a slow, ugly, hideously painful death from an ‘enhanced interrogation’ using them. I hope you see nothing but piles of Iraqi corpses in your dreams, and that eventually we learn even a risibly gutless psychopath can lose his itty bitty mind from it; justice would be sweet.”

    Remember, you’re not a piss-drunk W (in the year after he famously gave up drinking!) screaming obscenities at Al Hunt, in front of his then-four-year-old child; you’re not some worthless fake pimp from Noo Cherzey, attacking a non-profit. You’re a citizen, with exactly the same rights as he has, telling him exactly what he is. At least you won’t be morally responsible for the deaths of children. Will it have any effect? Who knows? But if thousands of us did it, maybe even these guys could connect effect to cause, and figure out why they keep getting described properly (and loudly) in public.

    (BTW, if anyone thinks MLK was polite, please stop being naive. He was using non-violence as a tool to destroy the established order, and he explicitly stated, over and over and over, that he would NEVER compromise with the powers-that-be. He was going to obliterate their entire system, and replace it with the one he wanted, and his only concession was they could quit sooner, rather than later.)

  101. 101
    mangrilla says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Eeeeexactly.

  102. 102
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Anne Laurie: Things like this?

  103. 103
    wasabi gasp says:

    Better if Fareed’s mom yelled at him.

  104. 104
    Thymezone says:

    @Rome Again:

    I agree.

    DougJ? Three things.

    One: Zakaria now believes “the costs of the invasion and occupation have been much higher than the benefits.” He’s admitted that he misjudged, and has been a serious critic of the war effort. In fact, the whole episode changed his trajectory as a pundit from being a smart right-center guy to more of a smart left-center guy. But the main thing about him is …

    Two: He’s smart, and he learns. Which is more than I can say for a lot of big headed shitsuckers on this blog, Doug, and if that shoe fits, buy yourself an extra pair because you will be wearing them out soon enough. And …

    Three: Zakaria doesn’t post drunk or waste time being a spoof or spend his time obsessing over the stupidest shit on the radar on any given day, all of which is MORE THAN WE CAN SAY FOR YOU, MOTHERFUCKER.

  105. 105
    dead existentialist says:

    Goodness gracious, this thread is the epitome of incivility. Have you people no manners? Is this anyway to address anonymous strangers in the public sphere that is the internetz? Where’s the holiday spirit?

    Save this sort of behavior for your family get-togethers.

  106. 106
    gil mann says:

    This, after a tedious story about how you chickened out?

    Oh SO MANY TIMES this. Seriously, Doug, you do good work, but it’s always creepy when you put the bandanna on.

  107. 107
    TG Chicago says:

    Hard to believe this is a DougJ post. So much stupid in there.

    Telling Fareed Zakaria that he’s culpable for the damage done in the Iraq war is fine. But if you curse, then you give him the chance to just dismiss you as a loon. You have to cut with a scalpel. If you swing a sledgehammer at him, he’ll just dodge the blow.

    And telling people they need to “fuck with” other people and “scare” them? And act like brownshirts? Can’t possibly imagine how that advice could go wrong. Seriously, suppose some winger said that same shit about Krugman. “We need to fuck with him like good brownshirts!” They’d look like sociopathic morons. Kind of like you look now.

    And you seriously can’t imagine why Obama didn’t demand a change in the editorial board at a newspaper as a political favor? You can’t see how that would end up blowing up in his face?

    I’m hoping we’re still going to learn that this was a parody of some winger screed. I looked through the post (including the tags) for a wink of some sort and didn’t see it (unless it was the “I would have if I hadn’t been with my parents” part).

    As it stands, I’m really surprised at the level of brain dead awfulness in this post. The more I think about it, the more I think it surely must be a parody, though.

  108. 108
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @dead existentialist: Fuck off.

  109. 109
    Thymezone says:

    @dead existentialist:

    Oh yeah, BJ has always been known for its civility. Since, you know, never. Suck it.

  110. 110
    Thymezone says:

    @TG Chicago:

    Maybe parody. More likely, just Doug +6 and bored.

  111. 111
  112. 112
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @dead existentialist: Heh.

  113. 113
    srv says:

    @Thymezone: Shit ppGaz, you were the nut that came up with Civility Thursdays.

  114. 114
    Thymezone says:


    I came up with a lot of things. Someday you will recognize their greatness. Not soon, but someday.

    I also came up with the idea that I have never used any language here that John Cole didn’t use first, so kiss my ass if you don’t like my style. Cole has never acknowledged the supreme truth in my assertion, nor paid me adequately.

  115. 115
    eemom says:


    Zakaria doesn’t post drunk or waste time being a spoof or spend his time obsessing over the stupidest shit on the radar on any given day, all of which is MORE THAN WE CAN SAY FOR YOU, MOTHERFUCKER.

    hmm. A bit harsh. I think it’s more Cole who posts drunk — not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    Being a spoof? Eh.

    But “obsessing over the stupidest shit on the radar on any given day”…..zing zing zing ZING the fuck ZING. Why does he DO that?

    Also too, the wide-eyed wonder persona, e.g., yesterday’s “wow, the republicans seem to be losing here — can someone explain that to me?” That is the weirdest.

  116. 116
    Brachiator says:


    I think everyone should confront our sociopathic media overlords whenever they see them out in public. If Fareed or Bobo or Nooners thinks that if they write something, they might get fucked with next time they go out, they’d think twice about writing it.

    Aren’t the media overlords the editors and publishers, not the drones they hire?

  117. 117
    Thymezone says:


    They both post impaired. Either that or they are not actual people but a committee of performance artists.

  118. 118
    Thymezone says:


    A bit harsh.

    Thank you.

  119. 119
    RD says:

    @Rome Again:

    Don’t let the door hit your ass.

  120. 120
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Rome Again: Good night precious flower, but I hardly think that calling a pundit on his bullshit qualifies as violence.

  121. 121
    srv says:

    @Thymezone: I’ll leave it to you and your NM cousin to fight over who Cole owes the most, you don’t have to compete with Fuckhead anymore, he’s dead Jim.

  122. 122
    William Hurley says:

    It does seem that at this point in our nation’s history and the progress of scientific insights into the epiphenomena known as the human mind that any and every public official and corporate “leader” should be required to take the psychopath test.

    And you’re spot in with regard to Obama’s non-action action on for-profit “college” regulatory reform. It’s just one more case of happy talk followed by don’t know, don’t care didn’t try.

    If you haven’t given a read, either Suskind’s new book or Froomkin’s review of it are well worth reading.

  123. 123
    Thymezone says:


    Yeah, whatever.

  124. 124
    Kathleen says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: They prefer flooding emails and voicemails with death threats.

  125. 125
    The Spy Who Loved Me says:

    Shorter DougJ: I was too chickenshit to say anything to Zakaria, because I might upset my Mommy, but now that I’m back at Keyboard Commando HQ, I heartily encourage my faithful readers to have the stones to do what I was too chickenshit to do myself.

  126. 126
    eemom says:


    what DID happen to fuckhead? : (

    @William Hurley:

    go away, please. You are so unbearable. It’s not your politics. Pathetic as they are, they’re a dime a dozen on this beat. No, it is the grotesque, pompous verbosity of your expression that stands out…..the brutal slaughter of innocent words that turns the stomach…..the genocide upon the English language, that shocks the conscience. Please, go forth and seek refuge among others of your kind — you will find many of them out there.

  127. 127
    AA+ Bonds says:

    DougJ I really like this post, I really like it a whole lot, but I really wish you had left the Zakaria story out if it wasn’t going to help you

    Anyway everyone should do what DougJ said to do anyway, I do, it’s great, feels great

  128. 128
    Arclite says:

    This is either the best DougJ post in a long time, or DougJ hasn’t been laid in a long time.

  129. 129
    Barry says:

    @liberal: “Is FZ really a bona fide neocon? (Not that not being a neocon, in itself, excuses anyone who supported the invasion at the time.)”

    He supported the war when ordered to do so, and changed his position after his master authorized it (i.e., loooooong after the majority of Americans figured out what was going on).

    I’d peg him as shameless prostitute, but he rode with the neocons, so….

  130. 130
    ellennelle says:


    aw, man, really? really??

    dare i suggest the obvious and say grow up?!

    with all due respect of course.

    luvsya, man, but that behavior is toxic and will not get you what you’re after.

    what about this? what if you were to approach these people – without snark or jr hi disdain – with some very grown up questions, like, ‘i appreciate your work; could you help me understand the fervor in your position to get the US into this quagmire in iraq?’ or some such.

    dropping stink bombs and running away snickering and snorting to your buddies will only be dismissed. approaching them with respect and calm and rational, reasonable questions – along with a pile of polite respect – is the only way to go. THAT is what shames them. which, i think, is what you’re ultimately after.

    as for tony snow, i agree he was not the best example in terms of the player in your schoolyard stunt. however, he did take over from scott mcclellan, who – for all his missteps and flailing – was plagued with a conscience, and thus unable to spin. snow, on the other hand, was a master of spin, as well as the necessary repartee for bantering with the press corps, who like their spin and truthiness delivered with a good helping of insider joviality.

    plus, he’s all i got. especially to make my point that the impulse to hammer these diabolical cretins with just the right jon stewart zinger is most often better restrained. how horrible if the incident were replayed with me landing a real laser slice, only to discover he was a dying man.

    not the brand of humanity i wish to promote or advocate; it’s what i despise about the rightwing faction these days. i don’t wish to become my enemy. that’s my point.

  131. 131
    DougJ says:

    @Rome Again:

    Mission accomplished! You better not be kidding.

  132. 132
    Thymezone says:


    Fuckhead took his leave, I have sighted him recently at an undisclosed location. I can say no more.

    Special to DougJ: Yeah, getting rid of an occasional poster who calls you on your shit WOULD be a major accomplishment for you nowadays. Keep up the good work.

  133. 133
    elm says:

    @Rome Again: Don’t forget to apply for a refund on your way out.

  134. 134
    Tom Hilton says:

    @RD: And shit like DougJ is suggesting wouldn’t change that. To believe otherwise is to indulge in magical thinking.

  135. 135
    eemom says:



    I must know more. Is there some secret code in which we can communicate?

  136. 136
    wonkie says:

    I’m with Doug on his. I think that diretly confronting people to hold them accountable in some small way is a good thing to do. I’m not talking about lying (O’Reilly, Limbaugh etc) or ratfucking (O’Keefe).

    When the Rethuglican House members went home last time some of their own base confronted them. Peole asking how they could survive without Meidcaid. There were Dems in those audiences too, asking why the Rethugs created the deficit if they really belive deficits are so bad or asking why, after nine extetions of the tax cut for the rich, the rich aren’t making jobs yet. That sort of things works.

    By “works” I don’t mean it changes the Rethug’s mind. It makes them look stupid and weak and that lessens their influence. It moves the Overton window. It empowers our voices it the coversation.

    So yeah if I were to see some famous ashole I think walking up and saying one sentence about their shitty behavior would be a good thing. If the asshole is at a public meeting then asking an embarrassing question is a good thing to do.

    There’s a place for confrontation. Our side is too polite.

  137. 137
    eemom says:


    I am quite impressed with this post. Among other things, you are dead on right about Snow vs. McLellan:

    he did take over from scott mcclellan, who – for all his missteps and flailing – was plagued with a conscience, and thus unable to spin. snow, on the other hand, was a master of spin, as well as the necessary repartee for bantering with the press corps, who like their spin and truthiness delivered with a good helping of insider joviality.

    It used to be so amusing watching McLellan stand up there day after day looking like he wanted to crawl under the podium. Or as Jon Stewart put it, “Scott McLellan’s least favorite part of the day: work.”

    Snow was a smooth talking snake, pure and simple.

    Anyway, hope you will come around more often.

  138. 138
    Thymezone says:


    seY. eW nac epyt sdrawkcab. tcatnoC em ta koobecaF.

    yT enozmE @ koobecaf tod moc.

  139. 139
    Thymezone says:


    Snow was a smooth talking snake, pure and simple.

    Saw him earlier in the fall on something or other, he has not changed a bit. Still the consummate liar.

  140. 140
  141. 141
    The Spy Who Loved Me says:


    Tony Snow is dead. Perhaps it was someone else you saw?

  142. 142
    Bill in Section 147 says:

    @RD: I always wondered what happened to him…

  143. 143
    The Raven says:

    Isn’t what you are advocating basically what Occupy is doing?

    …or did I miss something?

  144. 144
    ellennelle says:


    wow, thanks, eemom; i count this as valuable praise, as i often find your comments the most worthwhile in whatever batches and on whatever topics.

    truth is, don’t come ’round here no more much because have had some pretty disturbing encounters with trolls, and it was too time consuming. but, sure appreciate the invite. i count on you to inject the large dose of sanity into the mix; you’re awesome!

    appreciate too the stewart quote on mcclellan; had forgotten that.

  145. 145
    ellennelle says:

    @The Raven:

    can’t speak for dougj, but my take on occupy is that – for the most part in most places – they have taken great pains to be respectful, polite, and above all, peaceful. bottom line, no flame throwing.

    i could be overstating dougj’s intent, but it sounded to me like he was looking for more flame-throwing. personally, i don’t see how that can ever be helpful to advance our various causes.

  146. 146
    Bob says:

    …if they write something, they might get fucked with next time they go out, they’d think twice about writing it.

    Paul Krugman thanks you for that idea.

  147. 147
    ellennelle says:


    ooh yeah, bob; thanks for flagging this!

    don’t i recall, wasn’t it ari fleischer who made this as a threat right after 9/11?

    like i’ve been sayin’ here, this is not the sentiment we want to target.

    (not to keep hammering dougj, but these particulars need to be spelled out, despite those raw and honest impulses.)

  148. 148
    The Raven says:

    @ellennelle: Mmmm…there are factions of Occupy that are quite radical; it is an anarchist movement, after all. Rather like a US political party internally, come to think of it.

  149. 149
    ellennelle says:

    @The Raven:

    as i said, “for the most part in most places.”

    true, there are anarchist factions that have tried to hold sway, but they are not typically successful. the movement as a whole has tacked toward the very civilized, and very self-governed with an emphasis on an egalitarian approach. hence the general assemblies.

    not that anarchy = flame-throwing, but they do not = civilized or general assemblies.

  150. 150
    Jon Karak says:

    “until the left scares the establishment as much as the right does…” Yea, intimidation is the kind of freedom of expression American liberals should embrace. Just a scare or two. It worked so well for the browshirts. Nothing could ever go wrong with that. amiright?

    If we have to resort to physical threats, doesn’t that tell you something about the health of our democracy? You think brandishing Republican standards is really how to get your way?

    And when someone else’s skull gets cracked in, is that the sound of progress, or is that the sound of democracy being messy?

  151. 151
    Stentor says:

    @Rome Again: Don’t let the door hit you in the ass you little bitch.
    You remind me of my sister when she used to say to me that she was going to do something nice for me, but now that I made that nasty comment she wasn’t. She was full of shit then just as much as you are now.

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