Bitter Tears Of Bitterness That Are Bitter

Jay Nordlinger breaks down over at The Corner into a pile of denatured protein goo and laments the unbearable ennui of it all:

In our culture — as manufactured by Hollywood — businessmen are the villains, time after time. And the heroes? Lawyers, political activists, journalists, environmentalists. You know the deal.

At the end of the ’08 campaign, Obama promised people that he would “fundamentally transform” our nation. Did he mean that businessmen would cease to be villains? No, no. Anyway, the people said, “Go ahead.” And they’ve now said, “We like it. Keep doing it.”

I was tremendously heartened by the tea-party movement. I had thought the country would go quietly unto social democracy. I thought they wanted to be Norway (without the oil, of course, because the people, through their elected representatives, won’t permit the acquisition of American oil). But the tea-party movement represented hope. Maybe there was life in the old gal yet. Maybe people still wanted the Constitution, fiscal discipline, and free enterprise.

They were demonized so quickly and thoroughly, the tea-party people. Tarred as racist. Once they succeed in tarring you as racist, you’re pretty much done.

Free advice, Nordlinger.  If you honestly think that hordes of minority voters were easily manipulated into believing the Tea Party is unfairly racist because minorities are, you know, dumb rubes who don’t know any better, you might have discovered part of the problem as to why hordes of minority voters believe the Tea Party is racist.

I mean, businessmen came and cost the country trillions of dollars in an orgy of greed, and then said “Well, we’re not paying for this mess.  You people and your children are, pony up you lazy welfare queens” and all.  If you haven’t stopped to consider that maybe there’s some kernel of truth to the perception, you’ll keep on losing as you deserve to do.

151 replies
  1. 1
    SenyorDave says:

    Since it isn’t possible to have less than zero chance of something, I will say there is zero chance that the Jay Nordlingers of the world will ever realize and/or accept the premise that they are wrong about the election.

    Its all the fault of the blahs, liberals, brown-skinned people, and anyone other than real Murkins.

  2. 2
    fuckwit says:

    Keep fucking that chicken.

  3. 3
    japa21 says:

    Self-examination is not a trademark of the RW.

  4. 4
    Scott S. says:

    They can’t change because that would involve admitting they’re not SUPER-GENIUSES. They’ll just keep thinking that insulting Hispanic and African-American voters is the perfect way to turn them into conservatives. Because sneering about “getting free stuff” is what they’ve always done before, and changing that strategy would require work. Work is for lazy messicans, not for Repub pundits!

    Also, treating minority voters like human beings would involve treating them like human beings, and they sure as fuck don’t want that…

  5. 5
    Lee says:

    Maybe people still wanted the Constitution, fiscal discipline, and free enterprise.

    Has anyone every said they did NOT want any of those things?

    I’m pretty sure OWS wanted fiscal discipline and free enterprise. They wanted free enterprise, not croney capitalism.

  6. 6
    Chris says:

    In our culture — as manufactured by Hollywood — businessmen are the villains, time after time. And the heroes? Lawyers, political activists, journalists, environmentalists. You know the deal.

    Actually, in Hollywood, the heroes are usually uniforms. You know, cops, soldiers and secret agents and the like. Activists, journalists, lawyers? Not so much. ESPECIALLY lawyers. Lawyers are the pond scum tying up NCIS with red tape by alleging that “people” have “rights.”

  7. 7
    the Conster says:

    I haven’t had this much fun out of bed and sober since forever.

  8. 8
    jwb says:

    I just wish the fuckers would go Galt or get raptured or whatever fantasy their lazy-ass brains feed to them and get the fuck out of the way so the rest of us can do the hard work of making a more perfect union.

  9. 9

    Must be tough to wake up thinking you’re the Class President and Most Likely to Succeed and go to bed realizing that everyone else sees you as the Class Clown, only minus the funny.

  10. 10
    Tom65 says:

    But the tea-party movement represented hope

    Found your problem.

  11. 11
    Hal says:

    They were demonized so quickly and thoroughly, the tea-party people. Tarred as racist. Once they succeed in tarring you as racist, you’re pretty much done.

    If the Democrat elected in 2008 had been white, I’m fairly certain there would have been no motivation for these Republicans to re-brand themselves into the Tea Party in the first place. They could have just gone on hating the Democrat for being a Democrat without any new marketing scheme.

    I thought they wanted to be Norway

    You mean 95% white? Sounds about right.

  12. 12
    catclub says:

    @Scott S.: “treating minority voters like human beings would involve treating them like human beings,”

    The most revolutionary thing in the Gospels is when Jesus implies that people whom you are not like, are your neighbors.
    (And actually human beings)

    It still is.

  13. 13
    Foregone Conclusion says:

    I’m sure we can all think of films where businessmen are the heroes.

    Here’s two off the top of my head: Schindler’s List and Willy Wonka.

  14. 14
    Cassidy says:

    Speaking of butthurt has Freddie expressed another ink cloud?

  15. 15
    Democrat Partisan Asshole says:

    Jay Nordlinger

    I know this name. He’s an asshole with nothing of consequence to say and no influence over anything or anyone, right?

  16. 16
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @japa21: As I noted in another thread, they seem to think a long hard look in the mirror is the way you find the faults of other people. And no, I’m not being facetious.

    I wonder what soul searching is from that perspective.

  17. 17
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @japa21: As I noted in another thread, they seem to think a long hard look in the mirror is the way you find the faults of other people. And no, I’m not being facetious.

    I wonder what soul searching is from that perspective.

  18. 18
    Sterling says:

    “In our culture — as manufactured by Hollywood — businessmen are the villains, time after time.”

    We’ve rarely had captains of industry or tycoons as presidents. The last one was Hoover, I think. They don’t fit well into the electoral system. It’s like being asked to vote for the boss who wants to fuck you out of overtime or who is constantly complaining that you’re disloyal for not coming in on Saturday to work.

  19. 19
    Citizen_X says:

    The Tea Party is doubling down, vowing to take over the GOP by 2016. (Although, it is mostly usual-old-farts Viguerie and Bozell being quoted, so who knows.)

  20. 20
    Violet says:

    The reason they didn’t win is that they didn’t have a candidate who was a Real Conservative. I hope they nominate a Real Conservative next time!

  21. 21
  22. 22
  23. 23
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Nordlinger has a point. Who among us wasn’t rooting for the government bureaucrat to shut down the protection grid and save us from the environmental hazards of radioactive ectoplasmic containment units?

  24. 24
    Mark S. says:

    @Foregone Conclusion:

    Atlas Shrugged.

  25. 25
    moocher says:

    @Lee: @Lee:

    I’m pretty sure OWS wanted fiscal discipline and free enterprise. They wanted free enterprise, not croney capitalism.

    Indeed. What makes these people think they get to define what fiscal discipline is? Or what free enterprise is? Or religious freedom? Most of us want those things too, we just don’t think the right understands what those words mean any more. They venerate their ideals without any consideration that the real world is not kind to implementations of ideals. Free enterprise doesn’t exist in the real world, it is only approximated.

  26. 26
    TooManyJens says:

    In our culture — as manufactured by Hollywood — businessmen are the villains, time after time.

    John Rogers has pointed out on many occasions that people think the villains in Leverage are over-the-top, but they’re nothing compared to the real stories he took inspiration from.

  27. 27
    rlrr says:

    @Foregone Conclusion:

    All the Batman movies…

  28. 28
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Mark S.: Ironman.

  29. 29
    Bendal says:

    The Teabaggers can’t change; that would mean abandoning the social issues that have become part and parcel with their brand. Doing so would alienate the Religious Right, also known as the racist far right side of the Republican party that believes it is Jesus’ will that the poor starve to death.

    If the GOP somehow managed to divest themselves of the Teabaggers, what is left for them? Moderate Republicans were driven out in 2010, or primaried out this year. The remainder are converting to Teabaggerism or were followers all along (and kept it hidden).

    The GOP had a chance to stifle the growing racism/bigotry back in 2009 when the Teabaggers began taking shape, but instead thought that movement was a convenient way to attract voters while distancing themselves from their attitudes. It didn’t work; they got absorbed by the monster they created, to the point that the entire country now equates Republicans with Teabaggers. The GOP is now dominated by mostly white, male voters who are fearful, bigoted, racist or so religiously indoctrinated they literally cannot see the rest of the world changing around them.

  30. 30
    catclub says:

    @Violet: Yeah.
    Tell us who, of the people (ie, the population of a clowncar) who were actually running, was both a true conservative, and would have won?

    Herman Cain? Michele Bachmann? Rick Perry?
    Newt Gingrich? Rick Santorum – could easily have out Akinned Akin?

  31. 31
    rlrr says:

    @Mark S.:

    Atlas Shrugged.

    If you want to include shitty movies.

  32. 32
    Chris says:

    But the tea-party movement represented hope.

    The TPM represented an off-year election where the turnout was massively lower than it was in the presidential election right before and after it. If that’s your hope of salvation… uh, yeah…

  33. 33
    vtr says:

    First of all, calling Mitt Romney a businessman is like calling Blackbeard a sea captain.

  34. 34
    beltane says:

    @Citizen_X: The Tea Party itself is mostly old farts so Bozell and Viguerie might be on to something. So far, even the brightest among the GOP ranks seems to think their problems with the American electorate will be solved if they only employ more women and minorities as tokens.

  35. 35
    Sir Nose'D says:

    Tea Party is unfairly [labeled as] racist because minorities are, you know, dumb rubes who don’t know any better

    Spot on! Because, you know, liberals and minorities are the real racists! One must ask…is our children learning?

  36. 36
    rlrr says:

    @vtr:

    That’s not fair, Blackbeard never outsourced anyone…

  37. 37
    Violet says:

    @Citizen_X: From your link:

    Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots said Romney failed to make the kind of strong case for conservatism that would have won the election.
    __
    She described Romney as a “weak, moderate candidate hand-picked by the country club elite Republican establishment.”

    This is not the first time I’ve seen someone claim that Romney was “hand-picked by the Republican establishment.” So…all those primary voters in all those states are the “Republican establishment”?

    The cognitive disconnect with these people really is kind of breathtaking. Or maybe I can’t catch my breath because I’m laughing too hard.

  38. 38
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    George Baily was a banker, too.

  39. 39
    Yutsano says:

    @Citizen_X: How, exactly, are they gonna take over something they’re already a part of? The riddles get deeper and deeper.

  40. 40
    Pee Cee says:

    Someone said iron Man … how about batman?

  41. 41
    gf120581 says:

    Oh brother, more of the “why does Hollywood demonize businessmen so much” whining. I thought this reached its pathetic apex when conservatives attacked The Muppets for making oil execs look bad, but guess not.

    If you needed an example of the current conservative reaction to the election, I can think of no better idea than Bill O’Reilly on Faux News on election night, lamenting that “the white establishment” is now the minority, that “traditional America” is no more and that all those who vote for Democrats are moochers who “want things.” It was the modern GOP in a nutshell: An angry, bigoted white guy pissing and moaning about “his” country being taken from him.

  42. 42
    Chris says:

    @rlrr:

    Funny thing about that is that the protagonist and antagonists were both rich assholes. (Though the protagonist didn’t start out that way).

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace:

    I will risk my liberal credentials by saying that Iron Man is one of my favorite superheroes… not just in the movies (where the character arc sends him from arms dealer and complete asshole to clean energy magnate and self-sacrificing hero) but even in the books, way more so than Captain America. (Even in the Civil War storyline).

  43. 43
    GxB says:

    @Tom65: Zing. ‘Fraid there may be some underlying complications also, too. Try it now!

  44. 44
    catclub says:

    @Violet: Well, except for NH, Romney got more votes than the others, but still got less than 30%, so 70% or so of GOP primary voters ( a pretty liberal crowd) could not stand him.

    Only when all the others had dropped out did he get majorities.

  45. 45
    beltane says:

    The GOP will respond to their 2012 loss by running a Rand Paul/Allan West ticket in 2016. That should do the trick in attracting the youth and minority vote.

  46. 46
    rlrr says:

    @gf120581:

    “the white establishment” is now the minority

    Bill might want to reflect on why he thinks that’s a problem.

  47. 47
    gene108 says:

    I don’t like the feeling of arrogance Democrats are having, with regards to having a lock on the Presidency.

    All it will take is Ohio or Virginia to slip back into Republican hands, in order for the Democrats to lose a Presidential election.

    I don’t know why, but I’m nervous about 2016.

    Maybe it’s the fact SuperPAC money will be put to better use. Maybe OfA won’t be around, because it’s Obama’s baby and he’s not running again. Maybe it’s Mitt getting 49% of the vote despite how he brazenly lied, how he openly said he’d kill Medicare as we know it and give massive tax cuts to the rich, as well as maybe use U.S. troops in another war that has me worried, along with a Republican Congress that has a 9% approval rating, yet retained the House.

    I really worry that anybody the Democrats run in 2016 will be painted as a baby-murdering-child-molesting-cannibal-homosexual-Satan-worshiper* by the SuperPAC’s and Republicans, before the Democratic primaries are even over.

    *For the GOP base, the days of Bush, Sr. declaring Gov. Dukakis a “card carrying member of the ACLU” is far too milquetoast an insult. Even labeling, then Gov. Clinton a draft dodging, drug dealing, pot smoking un-American candidate wouldn’t be high enough on the demonizing your enemy meter to register with right-wingers anymore. The sort of “hit” that’s needed to keep the right-wingers frothing mad just keeps getting more and more vulgar.

  48. 48
    butler says:

    @Citizen_X:

    “It should have been a landslide if Romney had run as a true conservative,” said Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center.

    … it can only be failed.

    So predictable you can almost set your watch to it.

  49. 49
    PeakVT says:

    businessmen are the villains, time after time. And the heroes? Lawyers, political activists, journalists, environmentalists. You know the deal.

    Art (and entertainment) reflects life. Businessmen in real life do things like screw their employees or market dangerous products or fund climate science deniers. Those are, to most people, morally wrong acts. If conservatives want businessmen to be portrayed better, maybe they should encourage businessmen not to be villainous douchebags.

  50. 50
    Violet says:

    @catclub: Oh, you want an actual person? Who perhaps has a voting record or at least a past that can be combed through and perhaps contains one or two items that don’t pass the Real Conservative test? Well, that’s a bit more challenging.

    But why let facts and reality intrude upon a nice pipe dream? Romney wasn’t a Real Conservative and that’s why they lost so next time they need a Real Conservative.

    I heartily endorse this way of thinking for the Republican party.

  51. 51
    lacp says:

    Tea-partiers were branded as racists? I’m pretty sure they were branded first as morons. Not that they can’t be both.

    …and Jay Nordlinger sits on his porch, American flag pin askew, waiting for the Hoveround of Hope that will, alas, never pass by….

  52. 52
    JustMe says:

    In our culture — as manufactured by Hollywood — businessmen are the villains, time after time.

    Which explains the national outpouring of grief in 2011 when Steve Jobs died.

  53. 53
    gf120581 says:

    @Violet: Exactly! I want to ask these people – do you seriously think Rick Santorum would have done better than Romney? Gingrich? Bachmann? Rick Perry, who couldn’t even name what cabinet departments he wanted to whack?

    This is another benefit to Romney being the nominee. The teabaggers and the rest of the base will now be able to keep pretending, just like with McCain, that they lost because a true conservative wasn’t nominated and that if they only go that route, they’ll win everything. Which means four more years of conservative delusion, hopefully culminating in the nomination of a complete whackjob in 2016 who will get blown out of the water.

  54. 54
    Mark S. says:

    Iron Man? Tony Stark stops selling weapons and starts developing clean energy. Could you see Mitt Romney doing that? And Mitt’s more machine than Stark is.

  55. 55
    Lee says:

    @TooManyJens:

    He has commented that he had to tone it down from the reality of it because no one would have believed it.

  56. 56
    catclub says:

    @Violet: I just realized I left Ron Paul out of the list. Of course, while Romney was getting 25% of the GOP primary vote, he was getting 15% or less.

    Sad that they never could find a that ‘Generic republican’ to run against Obama.

  57. 57
    Violet says:

    @gene108: And the economy should be better, hopefully something positive will be done wrt immigration, and there will be fewer white people voting.

  58. 58
    GxB says:

    @Sterling:

    The last one was Hoover, I think

    Uh, Dub?

    Granted not much of a Business man…

    It’s okay, a lot of folks suffered the trauma which resulted in eight year situational amnesia.

  59. 59
    PeakVT says:

    @gene108: I don’t know why, but I’m nervous about 2016.

    Please stop thinking about 2016 until 2016. Thinking about it now is bad for the country, and probably your health, too,

  60. 60

    Someone at the Free Republic sent this “open letter” to the Queen of England saying America needs to rejoin the United Kingdom to escape soci@l!sm (link is to Wonkette, not Free Republic BTW).

    I mean … just … whew. No words. None.

    I wonder why wingnuts never stop to think about the reason WHY when the political winds don’t blow their way they have no place in the world to go? Because they are completely WRONG about EVERYTHING!

  61. 61
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @gene108: Gene. Let’s worry about that next week. You are correct. But next week we worry.

  62. 62
    gene108 says:

    @Sterling:

    We’ve rarely had captains of industry or tycoons as presidents. The last one was Hoover, I think.

    Bush, Jr. was our last CEO President. Reagan’s dogma of “government is the problem” has became gospel for people, who now assume any private sector job qualifies you more aptly for any government job, including President.

    I think history needs to reevaluate Hoover. He was a bad President, but unlike Bush, Jr. he was a successful businessman, damn fine engineer and humanitarian.

  63. 63
    Mike Lamb says:

    Lawyers as heroes? Why wasn’t I informed of this?

  64. 64
    Violet says:

    @catclub: Yeah, imagine if they had a Generic Republican to run. He (and it would be a he) might have won. But facts and reality and history have a way of intruding on pretty fantasy worlds like that.

  65. 65
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Businessmen would make lousy Hollywood villians if the corporations they lead didn’t act in a sociopathic manner so frequently. Of course they have no choice, being compelled by their fiduciary responsibility to shareholders, a responsibility which trumps all other ethical considerations. If only there were some way for society as a whole to step in and make it harder for corporations to act like sociopaths, then the poor business managers wouldn’t be caught in this ethical trap.

    Then business acting in a socially tolerable fashion would be a normal, regular part of our world; too bad that our society doesn’t have any mechanism for governing itself like that.

  66. 66
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Mike Lamb:

    Lawyers as heroes? Why wasn’t I informed of this?

    Didn’t you ever watch the cartoon show Deposition Man as a kid. It was on every Saturday morning.

  67. 67
    shortstop says:

    @the Conster: I thought the huge afterglow would wear off a bit. But I was super busy yesterday, and didn’t get to read/watch much of anything, so if anything I’m more ecstatic today than I was Tuesday night.

  68. 68
    gene108 says:

    @Violet:

    I’m of the opinion the success/failure of a fully implemented Obamacare will be the issue de jour in 2016.

    That’s my crystal ball, stone cold, lead pipe lock prediction for 2016.

  69. 69
    Bulworth says:

    This is not the first time I’ve seen someone claim that Romney was “hand-picked by the Republican establishment.” So…all those primary voters in all those states are the “Republican establishment”?

    If only there had been some debates or something where teabaggers could have had the chance to discern the Real Conservative in the race.

  70. 70
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Violet: I wonder if generic republican would have had an unmanly snit when we tried to bring up his record, just like their actual candidate did.

  71. 71
    Chris says:

    @Sterling:

    Traditionally, American tycoons don’t want to sit on the throne, just own the person sitting on the throne. It’s a lot less tedious when there’s someone else to do all the day-to-day work, and take the blame when something goes wrong.

    (I remember reading somewhere that a lot of tycoons actually considered it beneath them to enter politics).

  72. 72
    GxB says:

    @gene108:

    I really worry that anybody the Democrats run in 2016 will be painted as a baby-murdering-child-molesting-cannibal-homosexual-Satan-worshiper

    And this was different from 2012 how? Look, we’re lefties, we have a tendency to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and fret excessively but give yourself a breather and revel in the post-electoral afterglow…

  73. 73
    gene108 says:

    @PeakVT:

    So you’re saying I should just be content to bathe in water falls of wing-nut tears?

    It’d probably do wonders for my health, like visiting a mineral bath.

  74. 74
    catclub says:

    @gene108: “That’s my crystal ball, stone cold, lead pipe lock prediction for 2016.”

    The technical term is ‘Bookmark it, libs.’

  75. 75
    chopper says:

    But the tea-party movement represented hope spite

    fixt.

  76. 76
    Bulworth says:

    Conservative reaction is moving along as expected:

    1. Romney wasn’t a Real Conservative
    2. Obama only won because he promised to give people Stuff
    3. Libeal Media

  77. 77
    jeremy says:

    @gene108: No one is being arrogant. Facts are facts and with the changing Demographics it is hard for Republicans to win states on the presidential level like a Nevada, or Colorado, and it’s getting tougher in states like Virginia etc.

    Look some liberals love to worry about everything just like they worried about 2008, and 2012 when I said time and again that Obama would win over 300 electoral votes. The Dems are in a good positions presidential wise and it hasn’t been this way since the 1930’s-1964.

  78. 78
    catclub says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace: I am still appalled that Romney NEVER released his tax forms, and was not pilloried for it.

    The lying in 2016 will be far worse than this year.
    There is no motivation to tell any truth.

    Both of these have the press in common.

  79. 79
    Citizen_X says:

    @gene108: Worry about 2014 now. Worry about 2016 later.

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bendal:

    The teatards do not revere Jesus. They revere Jeebus, the Son of Mammon, their true deity.

    Jesus of Nazareth was very obviously the archetype dirty fucking hippie. All that “love others as you do yourself” socia1ist bullshit.

  81. 81
    Slagathor says:

    @gene108:
    “I think history needs to reevaluate Hoover. He was a bad President, but unlike Bush, Jr. he was a successful businessman, damn fine engineer and humanitarian.”

    Agreed — he helped save Europe from starvation after WWII because of the relief efforts he organized, and is still revered there. Even Truman, later in life, grew to defend some of the efforts Hoover was trying to use to combat the depression.

  82. 82
    Highway Rob says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Deposition Man

    Decent Sting song, horrible movie.

  83. 83
    Violet says:

    @Bulworth: You forgot:
    4. Women and browns are stupid.

  84. 84
    redshirt says:

    @gene108: LOL. I thought you were snarking, but no, you’re serious. Really? Worried about 2016, today?

    Lighten up, Francis. Jeepers!

  85. 85
    Violet says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Worry about 2014 now. Worry about 2016 later.

    Exactly. The next big election to concentrate on is 2014. And some folks have elections in 2013 that will be important.

    The key is not to worry but to WORK. Take that energy and put it to work for candidates that need the help. Doing something is better for your health and actually helps win elections.

  86. 86
    hueyplong says:

    gene108, Bush the Lesser was a pretend CEO.

    Then again, he was a pretend President, too.

  87. 87
    Onihanzo says:

    Some of the half-ass attempts at remedy from defeated conservatives have been absolutely fascinating to read. These gems about the youth voting bloc from the geniuses at HotAir for instance:

    “In 2008 there were two superstars, Obama and Palin. The crowds that Palin attracted were huge.. (How soon we forget). I voted for Palin not McCain, and well the Obama ‘charm’ has diminished. Obama carried the youth vote, so evidently free birth control was a winner for the barely post-puberty set. If he pushed free recreational drugs he would have gotten even more votes from them.”

    Or this one.

    The under 30′s are an ambitous lot. They like to collect government checks,attend obama and pelosi rallies, marry their own gender and smoke a lot of dope.

    How do you just raise your arms and denigrate all that potential as completely useless when you’ve just suffered such a blistering defeat by those voters? It’s fucking mind-boggling, the insistent disdain.

  88. 88
    Chris says:

    @Pee Cee:

    Someone said iron Man … how about batman?

    I know we’re talking iconic tycoons and not iconic conservatives, but, question for comic book nerds – am I the only person who finds it weird that Batman’s considered “a conservative icon?”

    He doesn’t kill. That’s been his thing for years. That right off the bat puts him closer to MacGyver than Jack Bauer.

    The origin stories of the Joker and Bane, read like a social commentary on the way America treats its underclass and on right-wing regimes in Latin America, respectively. And not from a rightie POV.

    The entire story arc of Knightfall, with Batman vs Azrael, has Batman embodying mercy and justice with Azrael as the kind of “kill them all and let God sort them out” vigilante that was growing popular in the Reagan years (and among conservatives).

    Pretty much all of “Batman Begins.” His parents teaching him that Gotham’s been good to them and it’s their obligation to give back. Him saying that “when you’ve had to steal in order to not starve, you lose many assumptions about the simple nature of right and wrong.” The entire falling-out between him and Ra’s al Ghul, with the latter preaching “your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share” and “criminals thrive on the indulgence of society’s understanding” – I read that stuff almost word for word on right wing blogs, and the hero in the movie is the one who rejects that ideology.

    From what I’ve read and watched, Batman strikes me as a Rockefeller Republican, the type who fought “big city machine corruption” (which is pretty much Gotham in a nutshell) but still supported the New Deal and other things that helped the public. In other words, a liberal. For conservative superheroes, you’d have to look at the Punisher.

    ETA: tee hee! “Right off the bat.” I see what I did there, without actually meaning to.

  89. 89
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @PeakVT:

    Those are, to most people, morally wrong acts. If conservatives want businessmen to be portrayed better, maybe they should encourage businessmen not to be villainous douchebags.

    Arguably the greatest Christmas story of all time involves a businessman who starts out as a villainous douchebag and rediscovers empathy. Every winter conservatives flock to see A Christmas Carol only to celebrate the ethos of pre-conversion Scrooge after the curtain drops.

  90. 90
    Chris says:

    @Slagathor:

    For some reason, leaders who reap the popular backlash against the ruling system never seem to be the ones who deserve it the most. Louis XVI, Herbert Hoover, Mikhail Gorbachev… not nearly as bad as their predecessors.

  91. 91
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @gene108:

    I don’t know why, but I’m nervous about 2016

    The economic climate will be different in 2016. If as many seem to expect the economy is primed to expand into a solid recovery over the next 4 years despite the best efforts of the GOP at sabotaging it, then Dems will be able to claim the credit for that, and there will be even less people still alive and kicking who personally remember the last time we had an expanding economy under a Republican President. Us Dems will have Obama and Clinton as surrogates to campaign for our 2016 nominee and remind people what it means to have a Dem in the WH, and the Republicans will have who again? George W Bush?

    Nothing is certain, but I’ll take those odds.

  92. 92
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    In our culture — as manufactured by Hollywood — businessmen are the villains, time after time. And the heroes? Lawyers, political activists, journalists, environmentalists. You know the deal.

    Except for the times that the villains are liberal judges, who just tossed out some Dirty Tom Dick or Harry’s collar on “a technicality”, i.e. that he used a split-infinitive when he read him his rights, not the fact that he broke in without a warrant and beat the shit out him which is only normal.

    I mean I bet he’s never seen that plot before in movies or on TV, ever.

    @Chris: Edit: What Chris said.

  93. 93
    hueyplong says:

    “If he pushed free recreational drugs he would have gotten even more votes from them.”

    Would have worked for me, but Barry correctly noted that he already had my vote.

  94. 94
    NonyNony says:

    @gene108:

    I don’t know why, but I’m nervous about 2016.

    Because you’re a liberal in America and this whole “winning” thing doesn’t come naturally to you. You’re looking for the cloud hiding inside that silver lining.

    Don’t worry about 2016 now. We just finished a goddamn election! There’s a whole year of political stupid to go through before we get to 2014 – let alone 2016! Sit back and enjoy the schadenfreude of watching wingnuts who have spent two years denying reality suddenly seeing reality stand up and punch them in the nose.

  95. 95
    scav says:

    In our culture — as manufactured by Hollywood RW churches — .
    businessmen the poor, the disenfranchised, the melanin-gifted, the bevaginaed, are the villains, time after time.

    But the real next sprinkling of sugar on my icing might be if they go after their country-club esablishment all-the-while screaming about the class warfare waged by the shiftless success-hating demoncrats who want to upend the established social order. I’m easily amused by things like that.

  96. 96
    Leaving Texas says:

    @Bulworth: Let’s pretend they ran a Real Conservative in 2012 – one of the really batshit insane ones, like Bachmann, say – and she lost in a landslide. How would the Republicans explain the loss? Would the definition of conservatism be pushed further to the right to exclude even her? What would have to happen for this party to realize that it’s their policy, not their people, that is the problem?

  97. 97
    Paul says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Someone at the Free Republic sent this “open letter” to the Queen of England saying America needs to rejoin the United Kingdom to escape soci@l!sm (link is to Wonkette, not Free Republic BTW).

    Wow!

    So to escape “Obamacare” (as they like to call the ACA), which is NOT socialism, they now want to be part of the UK where the NHS is socialized medicine.

    Furthermore, can you imagine if someone on the left dared suggest something like this? They would be tarred as traitors, un-American behavior etc etc.

  98. 98

    My friends and I were discussing how well we slept last night. Must have been suffering serious anxiety for MONTHS.

  99. 99
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @TooManyJens:
    I think he’s said something to the effect of “The parts of our villains that seem over-the-top? Those are the parts that are real.”

  100. 100
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @lacp: Hoveround of Hope? That’s brilliant

  101. 101
    Paul says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Someone at the Free Republic sent this “open letter” to the Queen of England saying America needs to rejoin the United Kingdom to escape soci@l!sm (link is to Wonkette, not Free Republic BTW).

    Wow!

    So to escape “Obamacare” (as they like to call the ACA), which is NOT socialism, they now want to be part of the UK where the NHS is socialized medicine.

    Furthermore, can you imagine if someone on the left dared suggest something like this? They would be tarred as traitors, un-American behavior etc etc.

  102. 102
    rlrr says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    Arguably the greatest Christmas story of all time involves a businessman who starts out as a villainous douchebag and rediscovers empathy.

    I like the one about the kid scheming to get a BB gun for Christmas…

  103. 103
    Splitting Image says:

    @Foregone Conclusion:

    Ghostbusters

    Working Girl (Sigourney Weaver’s character is a bad egg, but all of the other businessmen in the movie are stand-up guys)

    Citizen Kane

    There are actually a lot of movies where private enterprise is portrayed positively, but Twue Conservatives only see the characters’ good deeds as supporting a liberal agenda. Their complaint isn’t really that Max Shreck in Batman Returns is an inaccurate portrayal of a businessman, it’s that it’s an accurate portrayal of a How a Businessman Ought to Be but his actions are not shown in a positive manner like they should have been.

  104. 104
    rlrr says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    “So, shall I begin the Christmas story?”

    “Absolutely, as long as it’s not that terribly depressing one about the chap who gets born on Christmas Day, shoots his mouth off about everything under the sun, and then comes a cropper with a couple of rum coves on top of a hill in Johnny Arab land.”
    — from Black Adder’s Christmas Carol

  105. 105
    hueyplong says:

    “Let’s pretend they ran a Real Conservative in 2012 – one of the really batshit insane ones, like Bachmann, say – and she lost in a landslide. How would the Republicans explain the loss?”

    They’d say, “Michele was a flawed candidate; we should have run Ricky Santorum. He knew how to appeal to the workingman.”

  106. 106
    Ash Can says:

    The fact that so many Republicans/right-wingers have been saying silly stuff like this since the race was called for Obama shows that despite calls for cooler heads to prevail in the GOP, it ain’t gonna happen. Delusion doesn’t fall away (literally) overnight, and the GOP is steeped in it to their bones. The proof will be in the next Congress (although I’m sure we’ll have ample indication before then). If anyone really expects Boehner, Cantor et al. to moderate their behavior, they’re in for a shock. All Obama will have to do is to make conciliatory noises in their direction (which of course will inflame all the usual suspects here), sit back, and let the wackos take off like a Roman candle and make themselves look like asses.

    And all the while, whoops, guys, hey whaddya know — the prez isn’t worried about getting himself and his agenda re-elected anymore. He can afford to get just a wee bit, ahem, angry. No, he’s not going to raise his voice or pound the table. That’s not who or what he is. But I’d bet the ranch we’re going to see a lot more icily nasty (and effective) “please proceed, Governor” moments.

  107. 107
    El Cid says:

    There has never, ever, ever, ever been a business owner who was a Democrat because that is impossible because if you don’t believe me I’ll just say it again and again and again and that makes me right about that. Because FREEDOM.

  108. 108
    Felonius Monk says:

    Has anyone else noticed this? So far, there seems to be little or no introspection on the right with regard to Tuesday’s results. It all seems to be that their world has been torn asunder by the takers, the African-Americans, the Latinos, etc.

    I have hardly seen one word or heard a single statement like “Gee, I wonder what we did wrong?” from inside their bubble.

    You are correct — they will continue to lose until they get a grip on reality.

  109. 109
    Chris says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    I wish I could find it: I had a conversation on Balloon Juice months ago with someone where we talked about TV crime/action shows today as opposed to twenty/thirty years ago and agreed that the genre had gotten way more conservative.

    The other guy’s point was that the heroes of the 70s/80s were outsiders who often worked as a check on the system (Magnum, Matlock, MacGyver) and sometimes were even outlaws themselves (A-Team). Whereas the heroes of today were either cops/feds themselves (24, NCIS) or best of all, outsiders who consulted for the cops, Castle-style, which allows the show to have its cake and eat it too by starring someone who doesn’t have to play by the rules, but can still count on having the full weight of the authorities behind him.

    I like most of those shows regardless of politics, but there’s definitely been a shift in how uniformed authorities get portrayed in pop culture. (Heck of a thing for me, as a millennial, having grown up hearing screams of “liberal media” all around me, to look at the shows of a generation ago and see what an actually liberal media looks like).

  110. 110
    Ash Can says:

    @hueyplong:

    They’d say, “Michele was a flawed candidate; we should have run Ricky Santorum. He knew how to appeal to the workingman never send a woman to do a man’s job.”

    I seriously would not be surprised.

  111. 111
    El Cid says:

    The guy who built CostCo (which Republicans love to shop at) and who spoke at the DNC didn’t build that.

  112. 112
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @catclub: Sad that they never could find a that ‘Generic republican’ to run against Obama.

    Actually, I think they did a fine job of that. It’s just that Generic Republican sounded better on paper than in person.

  113. 113
  114. 114
    LanceThruster says:

    Cost of corporate welfare discussed here.

  115. 115
    El Cid says:

    I’m sure Queen Elizabeth is just all excited about the prospect of getting a bunch of Tea Party refugees to move to England. They’re such a useful, smart, well-behaved, responsible bunch. Quite the desirable addition to British culture and sophistication.

  116. 116
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The problem with asswipes like Nordlinger is that his hero is a guy who says something along the lines of “there is no good or evil…there is only power!”

    Rethuglicans for Voldemort.

  117. 117
    El Cid says:

    @rlrr: You can keep your so-called facts, I know from an email a guy told me he read that all of those supposed “business owners” are really New Black ACORN Panther spies from Kenyonesia.

  118. 118
    Origuy says:

    In the desert
    I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
    Who, squatting upon the ground,
    Held his heart in his hands,
    And ate of it.
    I said, “Is it good, friend?”
    “It is bitter–bitter,” he answered;
    “But I like it
    Because it is bitter,
    And because it is my heart.”
    In the Desert by Stephen Crane

  119. 119
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Chris:

    For conservative superheroes, you’d have to look at the Punisher.

    Superheroes who would be considered conservative:
    * Hawkman (the alien one from Thanagar); DC used to use him and Green Arrow, an avowed liberal, as foils for each other.
    * USAgent; John Walker, who replaced Steve Rogers as Captain America for a time, then took his own superhero identity later.
    * Green Lantern Guy Gardner; during the Justice League International years, he was pretty much a caricature of a conservative.
    * Hank Hall, Hawk of Hawk and Dove; intended as a study in contrasts, where his brother Don (Dove) was a pacifist.

    Thinking of John Walker/USAgent reminds me; when he was the replacement Captain America back in the 1990s, one of his friends, Lemar Hoskins, became his partner and used Cap’s old sidekick codename, Bucky. This generated a few angry letters about having the poor taste to name a black superhero “Bucky.”

    To Marvel’s credit, they took the explanations that readers offered and put them into the voice of a bystander, an elderly black woman who berated Bucky for using that codename; he later changed it to “Battlestar”.

  120. 120
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Chris: Huh. Interesting, I’m not sure I agree that it’s only recent, further back in the 60s and 70s villains were often hoards of roving hippies murdering people, which as far as I know in the real world happened exactly once, or okay maybe twice. But the Death Wish movies for instance always mixed the whole beaded love-children/criminal/thug thing beyond recognition. Or just any episode of Dragnet. They were all the same to them, and the authorities were the heroes.

    Specific to the criminal justice system, I’ve heard people who work in it say that contrary to the hollywood myths, the power is entirely with the prosecutors and the judges, that you can prosecute a ham sandwich if you decide to, and all the three strikes laws just made it worse. Which just got reversed somewhat in California I understand, I have to go read about that.

  121. 121
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Foregone Conclusion:

    I was thinking what others already said. Two of the biggest fictional heroes are big, rich, successful businessmen, Tony Stark (Ironman) and Bruce Wayne (Batman). But both use their skills and their wealth to benefit society as a whole, while still living very,, very large. They didn’t have to give up their huge houses, fast cars (many fast cars!) and (many) beautiful women. But they didn’t screw over the people below them.

    In other words, many Americans like fictional heroes who live well-beyond anything the average person could ever dream of doing, but they do so..

    1. On their own skills and brains. Both inherited their daddy’s money and business, but both are skilled and intelligent in their own right.
    2. Without screwing over their employees or those less rich/powerful than themselves.
    3. Recognize (Tony Stark somewhat belatedly) that they are part of a larger society and act to aid that society to the best of their ability.

    In other words, we don’t hate rich people, we hate John Galt.

  122. 122
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @gf120581: It may be better in the long run if they run crazier and crazier candidates that alienate more and more people until one day, they wake up and realize that they have all the relevance of the Whig party

  123. 123
    Democrat Partisan Asshole says:

    If the GOP somehow managed to divest themselves of the Teabaggers, what is left for them?

    @Bendal: Taking back all the Dems with even the vaguest hint of conservative (I mean conservative in the “don’t fuck with a working thing” sense, not the anarchist nihilism that calls itself “conservative” these days) leanings – which would probably include a lot of folks who post here – leaving the True Progressives their home of purity and unicorns, and dumping the Teabaggers back out into the double-wide wilderness and on the tender mercies of the John Birch society, the way God intended.

    They will call themselves the Tea Party and never pull more than 5% of the vote, just like the Greens.

  124. 124
    Ash Can says:

    @El Cid: I happened to catch a program on (IIRC) the Bloomberg channel that profiled Costco and its management. That guy came off as very decent, very well liked, and very, very appreciative of his employees. Makes me want to go to the local Costco and spend a few bucks. :)

  125. 125
    redshirt says:

    It must be noted Superman as originally conceived was a trust busting hero of the everyman, smacking down on profiteers, gangsters, swindlers, and other enemies of the Common Man.

  126. 126
    catclub says:

    @Felonius Monk: “You are correct—they will continue to lose until they get a grip on reality.”

    Well, the presidency is tough, but they can continue batshit insane and be guaran-damn-teed 48% of the house, and with a little moderation, 50+% of it, due to re-districting.

    Also, how many senators? about 40+ with no change in batshittery?

  127. 127
    Woodrowfan says:

    yes, we hate rich people, that’s why Democrats’ most beloved President is FDR, who grew up a poor black child working in a West Virginia coal mine.

  128. 128
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @redshirt:

    A superhero for the New Deal, basically. Going after the assholes that gave us the Great Depression.

  129. 129
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ash Can:

    Interesting, CostCo is criticized by a lot of Wall Street types as not being as relentless about maximizing short term profits for the benefits of asshole Wall Street types, and instead, *gasp*, being concerned about the investment they’ve made in their employees and their long term viability as a going business concern.

    Gives those Wall Street assholes the vapors, it does.

  130. 130

    In regard to Hollywood and fiction in general – in order to be successful the writer must put together something that leads the audience to suspend disbelief. You cannot connect with an audience that is constantly reminded that what you’re doing is FICTION. To get that suspension you have got to give your audience characters and story lines that they’re willing or, better, eager to ignore the fact that it is all just made up and that means things they relate to, or see as real in some way. If Hollywood is succeeding, it isn’t because they’re just making it up out of whole cloth, asshole.

  131. 131
    El Cid says:

    If libertarians want to be seen as the heroic individualist John Galt, maybe they first ought to invent that miraculous free energy motor that Galt did.

    Imagine — Atlas Shrugged could have been even worse if all John Galt did was blather on and condemn all those leeching collectivists without his magic powers.

  132. 132
    Tony J says:

    @Chris:

    Agreed. The Batman the Right loves is Frank Miller’s “Goddam Batman”, a mentally unbalanced thug who acts out the author’s twisted id with acts of theraputic violence against dusky urban types. Society is rotten, people are weak, justice is emasculated by PC namby-pamby bureaucrats, etc, etc.

    That’s not Batman. Regular-DC Batman would kick his ass and cart him off to Arkham in a Gotham City minute.

    Also – “Cyclops Was Right!” (waves geek flag)

  133. 133
    Rob in Buffalo says:

    “[T]he people, through their elected representatives, won’t permit the acquisition of American oil.”

    America is the world’s third largest oil producing country.

  134. 134
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: The Death Wish movies are so weird in their depiction of the urban hordes. Mixing hippies, gangbangers, punks with mohawks, and they all want to rape every woman in sight while doing strong drugs. It’s totally weird. I saw part of one not all that long ago and I’m pretty sure the “gang” had skinny Laurence Fishburne in those louvered sunglasses and also, no lie, Jeff Goldblum.

  135. 135
    jefft452 says:

    @Foregone Conclusion: Little Caesar

    (no, im not just being snarky, the original screenplay was about an immigrant who starts as an office boy and by virtue of his hard work and dedication ends up as CEO. They changed it to a gangster story because in the depths of the depression that wouldn’t fly. Now that you know that, watch it again, aside from the fact that his “business” is illegal activity, it’s a Heratio Alger story about a guy who “works hard and plays by the rules”)

  136. 136
    Soylent Green is FReepers says:

    I love the way that in the wingnut mindset the movie business isn’t actually a business. Is this because when wingnuts make movies, they always seem to lose money doing it?

  137. 137
    Legalize says:

    My favorite comment so far:

    cindobindo53 •
    The fact that almost all people of color in America voted for Obama (blacks,Asians,Mexicans [legally here and not]), despite the fact that black unemployment has greatly worsened under Obama makes me think that we ARE a nation permanently divided by skin color due to the unashamed and unrepentant bigotry of the COLORED people.

    No. Our wingnuts is not learning.

  138. 138
    JustRuss says:

    In our culture — as manufactured by Hollywood — businessmen are the villains, time after time.

    I guess Jay wasn’t around 4 years ago when the biggest economic disaster of my lifetime was caused by….businessmen. Or did Hollywood just make that up?

  139. 139
    danielx says:

    They were demonized so quickly and thoroughly, the tea-party people. Tarred as racist. Once they succeed in tarring you as racist, you’re pretty much done.

    Gee, I wonder why. Could it be because of this? (great spelling too!)

    Or maybe this?

    Or perhaps this?

    If they didn’t want to be “tarred” (freudian slip, much, Jay?) maybe, oh, I don’t know, but just perhaps they shouldn’t be fucking racists?

  140. 140
    Cmm says:

    @Chris:

    Not to mention there were shows that just have no equivalent anymore–the crusading reporters (Lou Grant), the average family just trying to get along in a non over the top, soap operatic way (Walton’s, Family, 8 is Enough), crusading coach (White Shadow)…

  141. 141
    Cmm says:

    @Chris:

    Not to mention there were shows that just have no equivalent anymore–the crusading reporters (Lou Grant), the average family just trying to get along in a non over the top, soap operatic way (Walton’s, Family, 8 is Enough), crusading coach (White Shadow)…

  142. 142
    Unsympathetic says:

    Once again we have proof: Republicans actually think their problem is one of messaging and convincing.. not in the product they’re selling. They just need a better lie!

  143. 143
    gelfling545 says:

    @El Cid: I always picture the British as sitting around congratulating themselves on having managed to get shed of us; some of us more than others, of course.

  144. 144
    TG Chicago says:

    Several have mentioned Iron Man. It’s worth pointing out that he was the central hero of The Avengers, which was the biggest film of this summer. A big part of the movie was the fact that businessman Tony Stark (Iron Man) built a huge tower in Manhattan with his name on it — what could be more proudly capitalist than that?

    The other huge film had Batman (a billionaire businessman) fighting a bad guy who seemed to have similar ideas to the Occupy Wall Street movement. I’m very pro-OWS, but I still enjoyed the movie because it was a freakin’ movie!

    Conservatives again wallow in victimhood.

  145. 145
    Chris says:

    @Tony J:

    Yep. And that’s pretty much what happens with Azrael in “Knightfall.”

    @TG Chicago:

    Well, “it’s just a movie,” but there’s also the fact that Bane’s “revolution” is made up of either foreign mercenaries or criminals from Blackgate. No protestors, the public’s completely passive, which means any analogies with OWS (or the teabaggers, or any protest movement) pretty much fall flat.

    (I actually think the movie would’ve been better if there had been that type of commentary and if Bane had gotten the average citizen to come out and play – that was one of the things that made the Joker awesome in TDK).

  146. 146
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @gene108: there are these states called Colorado and New Mexico (and Nevada). Obama could have won (albeit *very* narrowly-272) without Ohio and Virginia. With only VA, that’s 285, only OH, that’s 290. But that depends on CO and NM staying blue. And with a narrow 272, that places a lot more importance on NH. I think we’re looking good, although your point is well taken.

  147. 147
    Patricia Kayden says:

    “If you honestly think that hordes of minority voters were easily manipulated into believing the Tea Party is unfairly racist because minorities are, you know, dumb rubes who don’t know any better, you might have discovered part of the problem as to why hordes of minority voters believe the Tea Party is racist.”

    Why would Nordlinger or any other Rightwinger care if Blacks think that T’Baggers are racist? I can see him caring that his fellow Whites think that T’Baggers are racist, but I don’t think Conservatives give a damn about what Black folks (or other minorities) think. Their actions show that.

  148. 148
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @NonyNony: It’s not 2016 you need to be looking forward to but 2020.

    President Obama won the popular vote narrowly against a caricature of a Republican candidate, a retired grandfather with virtually no political record to run on who bumbled and fumbled the most basic requirements of campaigning (no tax returns, the infamous 47% speech etc.). The result is not an overwhelming success for the Democratic Party but relief that a competent charismatic incumbent scraped by, mostly because of his ground organisation which focused hard on GOTV and winning what they needed to win in the Electoral College.

    On the other hand Democrats gained only two Senate seats, not because their own candidates were that great but because their opponents crashed and burned before them. They gained only nine HoR seats leaving the Republicans in charge of the House, the Governmental budget and of course the all-important pork barrel.

    I read somewhere that one state went hard for the Democrats, 60 or 70% of the popular vote and the Congressional split was something like 7R and 5D, and why? Redistricting, and that’s the reason 2020 is the most important election upcoming and Democrats need to win the State houses which control redistricting even if that means losing the White House that year because of the shift in effort away from the national stage.

  149. 149
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Citizen_X: I would LOVE for them to take over the Rethug party. Take it over and take it down. Same dang thing.

  150. 150
    Legalize says:

    @TG Chicago:
    Well hold on about Bane. He’s not an Occupier or any type of protester. That’s a ruse he uses to distract from the fact that his act is really only about revenge on behalf of Marion Cotillard. He’s punishing Gotham on behalf of MC because it will hurt Bruce Wayne, not because Gotham is a symbol of capitalism or anything like that.

  151. 151
    Chris says:

    @Legalize:

    TDKR: basically Die Hard With A Vengeance, sans the awesomeness that is John McClane. (Right down to the setting in New York City).

Comments are closed.