STATES RIGHTS! FEDERALISM! STATES RIGHTS! FEDERALISM!

Except when the panty-sniffing fetish-fetishists get involved:

The Republican-controlled US House of Represenatatives is considering legislation that would enact stringent new limitations on minors who seek an abortion outside of their home state. The “Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act” effectively federalizes state laws aimed at preventing women under the age of 18 from obtaining an abortion, and would impose harsh penalties on doctors or anyone else who assists the minor without first informering her parent or guardian.

Look, I love Adam Serwer, but he and others can simply shut the fuck up until they apologize to Markos. We’re not dealing with normal human beings, we’re dealing with the American Taliban, and when Adam gets the vapors when someone provides an accurate diagnosis and description of the problem, Serwer might as well be a one man The New Republic.

There’s a war on. Shut the fuck up, get out of the way, or grab a weapon. But stop lecturing me about so-called intemperate speech. And your apology to Markos should be as loud as your denunciation.

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95 replies
  1. 1
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I don’t necessarily need to see anyone grovel, but factual journalism would be nice.

  2. 2
    guckertgannon says:

    If MoJo’s got it right, this is a straight-up Fugitive Slave Act issue.

  3. 3
    Martin says:

    Too Cute, Kittens! not on tonight?

    BTW, this legislation is fucking awesome. There’s zero chance it’ll get signed into law, and it reveals the assholes for who they are. Bring it.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    @Daaling:

    just like cartoons descrining actual laws the gop is trying to force through state legislatures, are considered too icky to print, accurately describing the theocratic movement to prostrate american law to conform to their beliefs is unacceptable.

    maybe its the efforts of the christofascists in the first place that lacks civility and all those other bullshit cudgels.

  6. 6
    Warren Terra says:

    We’re not dealing with normal human beings, we’re dealing with the American Taliban, and when Adam gets the vapors when someone provides an accurate diagnosis and description of the problem, Serwer might as well be a one man The New Republic.

    Heck, there might be hope even The New Republic might not remain The New Republic. I know nothing about Hughes, and he may turn out to be wankerrific – heck, the odds are better than even he will turn out to be wankerrific, because otherwise he might’ve pumped his millions into The American Prospect instead of into Even The Liberal New Republic. But surely Hughes can’t be as bad as Peretz (who is losing his Editor Emeritus title), and Hughes probably can’t manage to hire assholes to match the clown cavalcade of disingenuous and morally bankrupt neocon-fluffers Perutz hired, Andrew Sullivan included.

  7. 7
    Martin says:

    @Warren Terra: You probably shouldn’t read too much into Hughes from an editorial standpoint. My guess is he’s going to aim the magazine into a relatively uncontroversial left-leaning political publication, but with a fully app store revenue model. Losing the click revenue will only help the quality of output.

    If he’s doing what I understand he’s doing, TNR won’t be looking to establish any particular distinctiveness based on content (other than hopefully, quality) – their distinctiveness will come by way of their distribution model.

    Honestly, I don’t know why publications are so fucking daft about this. A good circulation for a magazine like TNR is 75K. Apple will sell about a million iPad 3s this Friday alone, and it’s fucking easy to drop $3/mo on a subscription. No print or mailing costs – everything goes into content, and they should have no problem getting that kind of subscriber rate if they turn out a decent product.

  8. 8
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @guckertgannon:

    Yup, that’s what it looks like.

    These assholes are going for broke. There’s no doubt that their hypocrisy has no limitations. Absolutely none.

    John’s right about this. This is a war. Lead, follow, or get the fuck out of the way. Sewer is being an idiot. Fuck the Talibangicals.

  9. 9
    amk says:

    One of the few rare occasions I agreed with kos’ framing. The present congress critters are the nuttiest bunch.

    ETA: The mobile site is still fucking up this site. When you gonna to fixit, cole ?

  10. 10
    Calouste says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Well, there’s going to be a lot of recruitment for the Chastity Police (Free Market Version(TM)), so there’s that…

  11. 11
    El Cruzado says:

    It’s like a tiny replica of the Escaped Slave act for the XXIst century.

    In a sense, it’s a thing of beauty.

  12. 12
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    This is disgusting, but why do these idiots think minors need to get abortions without their parents or guardians being notified? 999,999 times out of a million, it’s because it’s their father or stepfather or mother’s boyfriend that got them pregnant in the first place!

    How many of them can afford to go out of state (let’s face it: out-of-region for most of them) to get an abortion? How many can take the time to do so while still keeping it a secret? This is a nonexistent problem even from their perverted point of view.

  13. 13
    David Koch says:

    Um, states rights?

  14. 14
    David Koch says:

    Um, 10th amendment?

  15. 15
    piratedan says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge: not to mention that thanks to the jihad against abortion providers that many states don’t even have one?

  16. 16
    middlewest says:

    We’re just a hop, skip, and a jump away from state troopers with ultrasound wands performing random checks. Repubs must have that in the can somewhere.

  17. 17
    piratedan says:

    OT but the internet knows how to mold a meme:

    http://www.someecards.com/conf.....unny-ecard

  18. 18
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    @middlewest:

    Hell, even here in latte-land, we had a state trooper up on charges that he picked up a young couple who had car trouble on the way to get an abortion, and he forced them to go to some fundy prayer meeting to try to talk them out of it.

  19. 19
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Marcellus Shale, Public Dick:
    The comment you’re replying to ain’t there no mo. I take it dear Daaling/Derf is in time-out again.

  20. 20
    Emdee says:

    Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act

    Is it just me or is there some deliberate attempt to make people refer to this act as CHINA?

  21. 21
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Adam Serwer’s piece is dated September 28, 2010. Why the long memory, John?

    If this was a one-off on Serwer’s part, there’s hardly any need to dust it off and bring it up 18 months later. And if it wasn’t, then link to something more recent, OK?

  22. 22
    WJS says:

    The Republicans are appealing to a very key demographic here. They want to garner as many votes as possible from men who impregnate underaged girls but then refuse to allow them to get abortions. This is a voter who has strong beliefs about ending the massacre of little babies, but not such strong beliefs about having unprotected sex with a vulnerable minor who is probably in their care or custody. In a number of key red states this fall, look for these voters to come out of the woodwork and support the party that represents them.

    Ignore them at your peril.

  23. 23
    bobber says:

    Glad you’re on Markos’ side on this one, John. It really pisses me off when I see libruls saying tut tut to Kos’ characterization, when it’s pretty damn accurate (and I don’t say that in a triumphant manner, either).

  24. 24
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Not to pat myself on the back, but I’m going to pat myself on the back. I wrote about this on International Women’s Day. We at ABLC are going gangbusters on all the anti-women bills/laws being pushed/passed around the country. ABL started #TeamUterati and a website with the same name. She started a wiki that will keep track of all these bullshit laws state-by-state as well. Please join us in fighting against the War on Women™.

  25. 25
    danielx says:

    I’m starting to wonder whether the Republicans can draft any legislation that doesn’t have “harsh penalties” in it for someone, whether explicitly or implicitly. It’s almost like they glory in being assholes or something.

    Much like evangelicals who live in fear that someone, somewhere is having fun in ways they wouldn’t approve, and/or who won’t be able to enjoy the blessings of heaven unless they can also enjoy the screams of those in hell.

    Oh, wait…

  26. 26
    Schlemizel says:

    @guckertgannon:
    I have been saying for years that we are replaying the pre-Civil War bullshit so I really like your analogy! The problem is the outcome. In 1860 the ugly was largely only pushed by one region & largely resisted by the other. In todays world the confederates are interwoven into decent society around the country.

    If John’s war really does turn hot it will be ugly.

  27. 27
    Schlemizel says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    That explains the improved odor – Thanks JC, a lot of people bitch at you to make the site better & that sure does 8-{D

  28. 28
    Schlemizel says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    Some insults are severe enough to deserve to be remembered. That particular one needs to be on the list. when these beltway grannys clutch their pearls and tsk-tsk something as mild as “the American Taliban” while they ignore the ugly spewing out of the GOP noise machine they have a lot to make up for.

  29. 29
    harlana says:

    women = breeding stock for the right wing

    PERIOD

    guess it’s time to put someone like me with my dusty old eggs out on the old ice floe

  30. 30

    Teenagers who get pregnant as an act of rebellion against parental authority tend to NOT seek abortions. The pregnancy itself is an insult to the powers that be.

    And so it’s likely that most of the seekers that cross state lines aren’t pregnant on purpose.

  31. 31
    RSA says:

    The ACLU reports that the Arizona legislature is considering a bill to allow employers to fire women for using birth control, and that one house has already approved the bill. The Onion is in trouble.

  32. 32
    harlana says:

    not sure what this is supposed to accomplish in terms of the war on the gay. these sorts of measures do not make being a heterosexual woman particularly appealing.

  33. 33
    harlana says:

    OT, but FUCK – the shooter in Afghanistan had a TBI

  34. 34

    […] response to some seriously righteous indignation from John Cole, I want to bring back a post I wrote in my previous blog-life that I think […]

  35. 35
    Ron says:

    @RSA: Wish the ACLU had a link to the text of the bill or at least some source for this.

  36. 36
    Shari says:

    @RSA:
    Another reason to avoid Arizona

  37. 37
    Shari says:

    In other contraceptive news, a man was killed in an dispute over the cost of condoms.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....39904.html

    See, it’s not just a war on women….

  38. 38
    Steve says:

    The ACLU petition calls it HB 2565, which turns out to be a technical bill regarding lobbyists. Love the ACLU but I’m a little skeptical till I see the actual bill.

  39. 39
    Shari says:

    @Steve:

    It’s actually HB 2625.

  40. 40
    MikeJ says:

    @RSA: I just found it. AZ HB 2625 used to be a bill saying that the court could take abuse or abandonment into consideration for dividing property in a divorce.

    An amendment strikes all of the language and replaces it with a bill about contraceptive coverage. Among other things, this bill:
    Deletes the definition of religious employer. (So every employer can get away with it)

    Removes the provision that prohibits religious employers from discriminating against an employee who independently chooses to obtain insurance coverage or prescriptions for contraceptives from another source.

  41. 41
    Schlemizel says:

    Back around ’68, ’69 I attended a public lecture on birth control. Wish I could remember the woman’s name, she was a good presenter. The thing I remember was she had just been arrested for displaying a condom in public and was gun shy so she used props rather than the real things.

    She flipped out a plastic garbage bag & said “Condom for an elephant!” as she explained the pros and cons, how to use etc. She had a plastic bowl and can of shave creme for a diaphragm & spermicide.

    I think the American Taliban would like us to return to those glory days when a person could be arrested for displaying condoms – or even admitting that birth control was possible.

  42. 42
    John of Indiana says:

    So that’s “Concern Trolling”, eh? Not pretty.

    All one has to do is look at the epidemic of ultra-right anti-women and “intelligent design” legislation introduced this cycle in the various statehouses and you can see there’s something wrong.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Soonergrunt says:

    @harlana: That’s not remotely an excuse. It might be mitigation.

  45. 45
    Zagloba says:

    @Ron: there are only a few Google News hits, here’s one of the more useful. This one needs to fire their copy-editor, but contains the following chilling statement:

    Abraham pointed to an interesting section of law that’s stricken under the proposed bill, which states, “A religious employer shall not discriminate against an employee who independently chooses to obtain insurance coverage or prescriptions for contraceptives from another source.”

  46. 46
    Marc says:

    Are we going to continue to hear that there is not a dimes worth of difference between the two parties?

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Marc: Yes. But you knew that.

  48. 48
    Schlemizel says:

    On the topic of firebagger kicking – Dan Savage has a great post up today about an attack on him (particularly egregious because Dan has specifically NOT called on Obama to support marriage equity and said ‘get re-elected instead’. But what he says in response could fit a lot of left/liberal haters:
    “As for the rest of your post: it’s ridiculous to suggest that kickass activists and impassioned bloggers like Joe Sudbay and Pam Spaulding and John Aravosis and Kerry Eleveld are out of line when they make demands on the president. . . . But to put pressure on a politician—even a president—isn’t a betrayal. And it isn’t shirking. To put pressure on the president is to “get up/stand up.” It is activism. It is work. It isn’t all the work that needs doing and it’s not the only work that Pam, Joe, John, Kerry, et al, are doing.”

  49. 49
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    The Xtian Taliban are working hard to bring us back to the mid-60’s. The 1860’s, that is. It’s getting to the point that I can’t keep up with the crazy shit these Xtian zealots are pulling. It seems that every day brings another round of religion going off of the rails in America.

    It’s as if they are giving it all in one last, dying gasp before fading into history as a bad national nightmare as sane people turn their backs to them and walk away.

    Sounds nice. That last part anyway.

  50. 50
    RSA says:

    Thanks for the text, MikeJ. Wow.

  51. 51
    Karen says:

    @RSA:

    Is there another link besides the ACLU. So far every article I’ve read has referenced the ACLU but no other source.

    It’s one thing for employers not to pay for birth control but it’s a whole other thing for employers to be able to fire employees for using birth control.

    Other source please?

  52. 52
    Zagloba says:

    @Karen: Is there another link besides the ACLU. So far every article I’ve read has referenced the ACLU but no other source.

    See my links at 45.

  53. 53
    Karen says:

    @Zagloba:

    I saw your links but so far from what I read, the employer can deny birth control for “moral or religious reasons.”

    I have not seen the proviso that said employer can fire you for USING birth control except from what the ACLU is saying, which is why I asked for another source.

  54. 54
    Svensker says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    @harlana: That’s not remotely an excuse. It might be mitigation.

    It’s not an excuse or mitigation for the soldier. But what the hell is the military doing having guys with TBIs in this kind of situation? That is some screwed up stuff.

  55. 55
    Bobbo says:

    Serwer is a concern troll. He told us we shouldn’t say Marcus Bachmann is gay because it would make the gay-haters hate us.

  56. 56
    Zagloba says:

    @Karen: I have not seen the proviso that said employer can fire you for USING birth control except from what the ACLU is saying, which is why I asked for another source.

    I quoted the relevant section: it’s currently illegal in Arizona to discriminate based on obtaining a prescription for contraception, and this bill strikes that provision from the books.

  57. 57
    Egg Berry says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    It’s getting to the point that I can’t keep up with the crazy shit these Xtian zealots are pulling.

    I seriously just woke up from a nightmare than involved a rogue group of “confederate” soldiers in the US military, with scene 2 being Rick Perry (!) locking me out of my bedroom to search for incriminating substances.

    This shit has got to end.

  58. 58
    rikyrah says:

    it’s a WAR ON WOMEN.

    PERIOD.

  59. 59
    debit says:

    @rikyrah: Seriously. My first reaction to the bill in Arizona was, “Hell, why not just make it illegal for women to work? Problem solved!”

  60. 60
    Marc says:

    @Schlemizel:

    There is a difference between putting pressure on a politician and demonizing them. The folks who get the firebagger label are largely ones who’ve gone over the edge in their hatred of the man.

  61. 61
    Marc says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    A boy can dream.

  62. 62
    Schlemizel says:

    @Marc:

    I think both firebagger and obot get thrown around here pretty easily sometimes. If we can’t assume honest intent within our own side we’re kinda screwed from the outset.

  63. 63
    Peter says:

    Mr. Cole, I am amazed at your historical memory. Few people know that, when the Taliban assumed power in the mid-1990s, the top plank of their campaign platform was the democratic enactment of modest restrictions on the ability of unemancipated minor Afghan women to cross provincial lines to obtain an abortion without parental consent. The parallels to our own time are indeed quite frightening.

  64. 64
    Barry says:

    @harlana: I’m sorry, but what is a TBI?

  65. 65
    Anton Sirius says:

    @WJS:

    The Republicans are appealing to a very key demographic here.

    “Sock ’em dads”?

  66. 66
    redshirt says:

    While it’s easy to feel anger and rage at these wingnuts,, anger and rage will not solve the issues we face. Only relentless determination to oppose them through civic means at every opportunity.

    This is where non-violent resistance in the face of shocking hatred needs to be put into practice every single moment, on a national scale.

  67. 67
    Suffern ACE says:

    So are you supposed to ask your employer first what he or she feels about the pill so you won’t get fired if you decide to take it? You might want to get that in writing

  68. 68
    Anton Sirius says:

    @Svensker:

    But what the hell is the military doing having guys with TBIs in this kind of situation?

    You need to put your tin foil hat on. Clearly Obama personally sent him to the front lines, hoping there’d be an incident like this in order to discredit the whole Afghan mission and “force” him into an early withdrawal. QEMFD.

    Of course Obama probably expected him to kill other American soldiers and not his fellow mooslims, but this’ll do.

  69. 69
    BrianM says:

    @Barry: I believe in this case TBI means “traumatic brain injury”.

  70. 70
    Anton Sirius says:

    @Barry:

    what is a TBI?

    Traumatic brain injury

  71. 71

    @Egg Berry:

    with scene 2 being Rick Perry (!) locking me out of my bedroom to search for incriminating substances.

    I wouldn’t worry. Probly scouting for Bieber Pinups.

  72. 72
    TG Chicago says:

    It’s worth noting that the entire point of the Serwer article that Cole linked was that we’d see the electoral effectiveness of the “Taliban” label in the Grayson race. Grayson lost.

    So is it accurate to call Republicans “Taliban”? Who cares? If it’s going to win them elections, shouldn’t we avoid the term anyway?

    I’m not saying we should avoid talking about these issues. Just that if the “Taliban” label isn’t effective, then we shouldn’t insist on using it to our detriment.

  73. 73
    stratplayer says:

    The truth is, no one ever invokes formal or procedural arguments like “states’ rights” except in the belief that their application in a particular context will yield a desired substantive outcome. Arguments based in so-called “first principles” are almost invariably tools of frauds and hypocrites, as we can see here.

  74. 74
    Roger Moore says:

    @rikyrah:

    it’s a WAR ON WOMEN.
    __
    PERIOD.

    No. It’s a war on anyone who isn’t a rich, white, straight, Christian man. That includes women, but it also includes gays, atheists, Muslims, poor people, and those rich, white, straight, Christian men who refuse to support the attacks on the other.

  75. 75
    Rafer Janders says:

    If you ask the average person “should a minor need to get her parents’ permission to have an abortion?” I bet a majority would say “yes”, on the grounds that it’s a medical procedure.

    If, however, you then ask “should a minor need to get her parents’ permission to become pregnant and give birth?” it will get a lot more confusing. Many will want to say yes, but the logical outcome of that is that it would then allow the parents to order the daughter to have an abortion.

    Others will say no, but then you’re left with the contradiction that you need your parents’ permission to have a safe, short, out-patient medical procedure with few complications, but don’t need your parents’ permission for a nine-months long pregnancy with many complications and potential dangers, capped by a painful delivery.

  76. 76
    James L says:

    I live in the FL 8th district and Grayson was my congressman. He really worked hard for his district and constituents, but people here really resented his persona.
    If he had just kept a lower profile he would probably still be in office.

  77. 77
    Persia says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge: Some of the New England states have borders that aren’t that far away from each other. This may be in part aimed at helping those assholes in New Hampshire who passed a notification law make sure their teen birth rate continues to be one of the highest in the US.

  78. 78
    Rafer Janders says:

    Rather than American Taliban, I prefer the term Genitaliban….it gets right at their obsession.

  79. 79
    Rafer Janders says:

    Some of the New England states have borders that aren’t that far away from each other.

    To be technical, every state has a border that is not that far away from the neighboring state…. ;-)

  80. 80
    Malatesta says:

    @Zagloba: Shorter Arizona House: “What we need is more discrimination.”

    Actually, that works for just about every law they pass, doesn’t it?

  81. 81
    Roger Moore says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    I don’t think there’s a lot of contradiction there. What a lot of people really think is that minors shouldn’t be having sex in the first place, which would naturally nip the whole pregnancy/abortion issue in the bud. The problem is the jump from “minors shouldn’t be having sex” to “my law will prevent minors from having sex”. If there were any way of stopping people from having sex less drastic than castration or solitary confinement, you’d think somebody would have come up with it already.

  82. 82
    Catsy says:

    @Marc: I am done playing nice with people who try to claim that there’s no meaningful difference between the parties, or the even stupider breed of fuckwit that thinks it’s acceptable to let the GOP win if it teaches the Dems a lesson about [insert pet issue(s) here].

    You have to be either willfully ignorant to the point of negligence or flat-out dishonest to claim the former by this point, and the latter takes a special kind of sociopath who’s willing to cause incalculable damage to the country and their own interests in order to make a point. Either sort can FOADIAF.

  83. 83
    Catsy says:

    @rikyrah:

    it’s a Republican WAR ON WOMEN.

    FTFY.

    PERIOD.

    I’m sure there’s a menstruation joke to be had here, but I got nothing today.

  84. 84
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Peter: Go ahead, be sarcastic while the right wing chips away at rights held by, oh, I don’t know, women, labor, poor people. But I’m sure you are safe, especially if you’re white and male. I don’t know that you are white, you are probably male, but no matter. If you think it’s no big deal now, what will it take? Do you think the comparison means YES! IT’S JUST LIKE THE TALIBANNN1!!!? Or are you capable of more subtle reasoning and insight than your snotty sarcasm implies?

  85. 85
    shortstop says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge: I don’t think the percentage is nearly that high. It’s way higher than it should be, for sure, but in the way of the world, quite a few underage girls are still getting pregnant by underage boys to whom they are not related.

    This is just part of the “leave no obstacle unerected” plan that makes getting an abortion as difficult as possible so as to prevent some from happening. Other parts of the plan, which affect girls and women of all ages, include unnecessary ultrasounds, condescending waiting periods for people who have taken off work and traveled long distances, bizarre sales taxes, forced viewing of/listening to medically nonindicated graphics and lectures, etc.

    The underage part is just a way of getting as many emotional parents on board as possible with this legislation. “Your child can’t get an aspirin at school without your permission; should she be able to get an abortion?” resonates with a lot of people who haven’t thought through the fact that no parental permission is required to carry a pregnancy to term.

  86. 86
    Peter says:

    @Howlin Wolfe: I happen to find such bills deeply misguided and wrong. I am, however, amused when John Cole puts his Big Boy Polemical Britches on and tries to convince us that It’s Time to Get Serious. If he were a bit more honest, he would say that this is all tactical positioning and that the imperatives of an election year demand that we engage in the collective delusion that (1) President Obama has been far more successful from a progressive vantage point than he actually was and (2) The Republican Party is much, much more evil than it actually is. It is very difficult for me to restrain my laughter when he cites the wisdom and insight of the thoroughly unimpressive and uneducated Markos Moulitsas, who barely pretended that he wasn’t cribbing off of Jonah Goldberg with his paint-by-numbers book. The fact is that there are patisan incentives to labeling your opponents fascists and theocrats that are wholly unrelated to the empirical value of these designations. Cole is intelligent enough to realize this and yet continues to go through the motions. Groupthink is a wonder to behold.

  87. 87
    Adam S. says:

    Well I was going to say something more extensive, but Peter said it okay:

    @Peter: Mr. Cole, I am amazed at your historical memory. Few people know that, when the Taliban assumed power in the mid-1990s, the top plank of their campaign platform was the democratic enactment of modest restrictions on the ability of unemancipated minor Afghan women to cross provincial lines to obtain an abortion without parental consent. The parallels to our own time are indeed quite frightening.

    These restrictions aren’t “modest” of course, and if the child in question is a victim of incest or has a parent prone to physical abuse…well that’s pretty horrible to think about. But it seems odd to use foreigners as a metaphor for religious backwardness and coercion when describing something as fundamentally American as the campaign to whittle away Roe piece by piece, especially since some Islamic fundamentalists are actually to the left of say, Rick Santorum on birth control, like the government of Iran. But I’d say it doesn’t reflect well on US politics that both left and right seem to spend a lot of time thinking about how much their political enemies resemble those nasty, evil Muslims.

    I’m certainly not going to apologize for defending my then colleague’s thesis that the modern GOP is not really comparable to a group waging an armed insurgency with the intent of violently imposing a fundamentalist religious regime. That Republicans seek to impose their own religious views through winning elections and governing is no small difference. And my job isn’t to glom onto a political message, effective or otherwise. If political strategists want to employ “American Taliban” they can go with it, but they haven’t because I suspect it’s (a) ineffective given the kind of coalition the Democrats have and (b) the kind of really obvious hyperbole that gets on journalists’ nerves. Or as others might put it, “get the vapors.”

    Anyway, I’m a fan of yours as well John, though I miss your Tunch avatar on Twitter.

  88. 88
    Nemesis says:

    When the hard working folk of this country arrive home after a long day at the office, the least our elite media should do is this: offer to their fellow citizens an honest appraisal of the day in politics.
    This may include some of the outrage du jour, but not a whole 24 hours of this shit. We deserve to hear the specific policies of both parties, dissect those policies and understand the differences that exist between goopers and Dems. Will we hear word one about the anti-choice legislation proposed? No. We ar too busy with the daily bullshit to bother. Thanks media. You are worthless.

  89. 89
    dww44 says:

    @redshirt: You got it.

  90. 90
    dww44 says:

    @Peter: Collective disillusion that Obama has been more effective than he’s actually been? Or was the caveat “progressive” the really operative word? Everything I’ve read of late points historically to how much Obama has accomplished, not withstanding my fundamental disagreement with his administration’s positions vis-a-vis security versus civil liberties.

    And, as to the relative evilness of the modern day Republican party, I’d say it ranks right there with the Taliban. The term may be over the top, but their actions at the national, state, and local levels are not. Those positions are evil and regressive. But, then, I’m a woman, and presumably you aren’t. I would no more vote for any Republican at any level than I would vote for Sarah Palin for President.

  91. 91
    Peter says:

    @dww44: I am not a woman, but I find this legislation pernicious and would not begrudge you your animosity toward those who crafted it. However, neither the bill’s sponsors nor the Republican Party at large are comparable to the Taliban. There is a difference of both kind and degree that is obvious to anyone with even a scintilla of knowledge regarding the Taliban and recent Afghan history. Those who say otherwise are either wilfully ignorant or consciously obtuse. There is not much more to say.

  92. 92

    @Adam S.:

    It should be obvious, Adam, that the US religionists that dominate the GOP, never more than they currently do, are not waging a real insurgent war with bullets and bombs. They are doing it mostly within political norms, so far. But that insurgency making hot war is a tactic of the real Taliban, not a prevailing state of mind on their world view as a looking glass to American religious rightists. It may be necessary to make this distinction out loud, to clear up the difference for some slower souls. But most of us that follow this stuff, kind of know what is meant when comparing the present GOP with theocratic overtones to the Taliban, and sometimes blatant promotion of such theocracy in this country.

    The mentality is close enough for political work in describing our opponents, and likely much more quasi factual than when they describe us, no?

    And do you not think, in a state of less stability, they wouldn’t be shooting at us for real? If not, you don’t really understand these people, nor what they are capable of, given the right conditions.

  93. 93

    To summarize briefly, the comparison of real Taliban and the American Taliban, is simply all else being equal, both would prefer their fellow countryman to be constituted by their respective Holy Books. How they go about doing that has many unsimilarities between comparisons of the political and general stability of each country, molding the tactics that are possible. But the end game is roughly the same. Bible/Koran running our lives.

  94. 94
    David Koch says:

    @James L: This.

    Being an asshole is very popular in the blogsphere. I mean, look at Cole and Greenwald and Sullivan and on and on, they’re all assholes and popular.

    But that doesn’t work in swing electoral districts.

  95. 95
    Nathanael says:

    Krugman has made this tactical point repeatedly: when you’re dealing with fundamentally dishonest people who are not arguing in good faith but who are instead “playing for team Republican”, you *cannot be polite to them*.

    Your job is to *discredit* them, which involves mocking them and insulting them when they deserve it.

    Calling for politeness when dealing with people who want to establish a theocracy — but lie about it when pinned on the question — is just inappropriate.

    (Now, if the American Taliban were upfront about what they wanted — an end to democracy and human rights in the US — then we *could* be polite to them. We could simply point out that nobody else wants that and that they should not be allowed to have any power. But in fact they are deeply dishonest, so it is critical to expose them and mock them.)

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