Late Night Open Thread: Last of the Schadenfreude

(Jim Morin via
… probably. Unless something really delicious pops up, of course.

Doghouse Riley tells the usual suspects, “Buck Up. You’re The Party Of Tradition. So Wait Two Months And Then Act Like Nothing Happened, The Way You Always Do.”:

LEAVE us dispense with “Pulitzer” Parker first: the idea that Poor Mitt was driven too far right by the crazies in the primaries is, by now, an old man with a long beard. Not ten or eleven months old; four years and eleven months old. After 2007’s Most Blatant Pandering Operation Ever Seen in American Politics almost got him the prize in spite of himself, and 2010’s midterms, which proved once and for all time that the country is one big seething Teabag, was there really some expectation that Mitt Romney was going to be anything else this time? If moving toward the Even Less Hinged end of the Republican spectrum was such an awful idea, then Mitt Romney was twice an awful candidate. Similarly, if pointing out something this trite, at this late a date, constitutes Republican punditasting, then your party is even awfuller. I’ll be happy to agree that the Republican primaries may’ve cost Mitt Romney the election. Except it was the 1980 primaries that did it.

Rubin, we need not mention, is eminently disposable, sorry that the Brilliant CEO’s people let him down, and eager that we all know that the Obama campaign ran “really nasty ads in Spanish” which were apparently too shocking to translate and too numerous to need citation. Plus, there was a hurricane which lasted eight or nine days, and threw the challenger off so much more than the incumbent, who might’ve lost instantly had he been one-quarter as incompetent as the last Republican president. Whatever his name was.

[And, by the way, how many Republicans now complaining that Obama “unfairly looked good” after Sandy complained when George W. Bush finally crawled out from under his desk on 9/15, and posed with a bullhorn and a prop fireman? Answer: zero.]

Rubin is, or was, a Romney campaign stovepipe, merely, though she has some helpful advice for Paul Ryan there at the end, and, no, it’s not “find another line of work”. But George Eff Will, of course, is our leading right-wing intellectual…

Mr. Charles P. Pierce took off for a well-earned vacation leaving us with this happy thought:

You apparently could convince this guy of anything. I’m surprised they haven’t convinced him that he actually got elected. (Maybe they have by now, and he’ll show up in morning clothes on the steps of the Capitol next January. Hilarious hi-jinx ensue!) Let me be the first to point this out: By the available, and continuously emerging evidence, Willard Romney was a dumber politician than Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin combined.

(Let’s just say I fully expect the Secret Service to lock down Belmont, La Jolla, Lake Winnipesaukee, and possibly the SLC Temple precincts on Inauguration Day. For everybody’s peace of mind.)

Finally, Billmon is a better person than most of us:

I realize how easy it is to make fun of those people (our those people), but for me the images posted there call up — somewhat to my surprise — decidedly mixed emotions. Spite and sympathy, it seems, can co-exist, and even lay the groundwork for something that begins to resemble empathy.

It’s an involuntary reflex, to be sure, after the bile, racism, and sheer deranged hatred those people have flung at us these past four years — not to mention their cocksure arrogance (up until about 10:00 pm Tuesday night) that “real” Americans were going to rise as one and send the Kenyan usurper packing…

I also know that they have been lied to, with ferocious intensity and relentless dedication, by the conservative propaganda machine and its political masters. If we must have demons to hate, better to seek them among the con artists who have turned Rwandan-style hate speech into an industry profitable enough to rival the porn business.

Go read the whole thing, it won’t take but five minutes. And there’s video!

88 replies
  1. 1
    burnspbesq says:

    Doghouse is, as usual, incomprehensible. I assume it has something to do with counting coup in some childish way that some people will find deliriously funny. I must not have the right decoder ring.

  2. 2
    MikeJ says:

    If I still lived in DC, and if I were a media prankster, I would find someone vaguely arabic looking to stand near the visitor’s entrance to the capitol dressed in a thawb and without identifying the source, read from the Republican platform.

  3. 3
    👽 Martin says:

    The Rove and Co operation couldn’t have been more like Wall Street. All that money that otherwise wasn’t doing anything productive for the economy got sucked up by a bunch of self-described wizards, thrown at assets that they paid to have misvalued, and before anyone caught on, the whole enterprise collapsed with nothing to show for it – other than the wizards got rich along the way.

    The pre-Obama economy that they refused to acknowledge during the election was the very one they were living in – and they got the same outcome. Fuckers never learn. And it’ll keep repeating until they do. Fine by me.

  4. 4
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    Peak Schadenfreude? I’d like to think that won’t happen till we round the magical bend of Peak Wingnut. For, surely (which I will now stop calling you that), when we can no longer mock and/or deride their twenty-seven percent of our so-called center-right national collectiveness, we are e’er so fecked.

  5. 5
    MikeJ says:

    If this is the end of the schadenfreude, and I hope it isn’t, Ars Technica has more on Orca. The campaign is now saying Orca wasn’t a disaster while right wing bloggers are hysterical because black people were allowed to work on, and therefore sabotage, Orca. The blogger even gets prematurely defensive, “I will be accused of ‘racism’ for [saying this]”.

    Perhaps billmon should have gone with a different Randy Newman song.

  6. 6

    It is tempting to go out and buy lots of footballs to spike on the front porches of right-wingers all over America, but Billmon is right. Right for moral reasons and right for practical reasons.

    A gentleman is one who knows how to play the bagpipes, but refrains from doing so. Similarly, if we are the people who we claim to be, then we aren’t going to act like right-wingers, all mean-spirited and contemptuous.

    And the practical thing to do would be to start making the argument that the Republican leaders, FOX, Rush, and right-wing blowhards have lied to them. They haven’t been told the truth about Obama, about Obamacare, about taxes, about the economy, about anything.

    We aren’t going to convince more than a few of them, but we don’t need but a few. If we can move 5% of the white middle class, solid Republican voters from R to D, we’ll make history.

  7. 7
    NotMax says:

    (Apologies in advance.)

    The key thing about schadenfreude
    Fresh tastings do not make it cloy. De-
    spite passage of time
    (And this tortured rhyme)
    Like brandy it still is enjoyed, huh?

  8. 8
    Linda Featheringill says:

    A lot of Republicans were lied to. And the liars were very talented, very accomplished.

    In with all the other lies was the big one: In spite of available evidence, we’re going to win.

    That’s the lie that led to the most pain, the most grief. When the True Believers recover a bit, they won’t be as easy to fool. Maybe some of them will look for harder evidence before they make decisions. And James E. Powell is correct: A small percentage of converted-to-actual-facts Republicans can change the landscape.

    These converts, by the way, would have a happier life from here on in if they choose to live in reality.

  9. 9
    PreservedKillick says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    the liars were very talented, very accomplished.

    Some were. But geez, there were – are – a lot of really, truly bad ones out there. George Will, for example. Or Glenn Beck.

  10. 10
    JohnK says:

    Converts? What converts? The wingers are going to double down and preserve their precious delusions and the manipulators will lead them. What is striking about the tumbler pics is how many young people there are. They have many years left to screw up another couple of generations.

  11. 11
    Kerry Reid says:

    @Linda Featheringill: I don’t see this happening. They love the lie too much — after all, they’ve been voting for “trickle-down” economics and believing that the GOP is about “fiscal conservatism” for over 30 years. I think they will just circle the wagons even more tightly. So while schadenfreude may be classless, I don’t think it will have any ultimate effect.

    It’s kind of like the hedge-fund people whining that they’d like Obama better if he just didn’t say such NASTY things about them (while saving their asses and their big-ass bonuses). Whether he kicked or kissed their bums, they were always going to whine about having to pay more taxes to support THOSE PEOPLE.

    I mean, I’d love to be proven wrong and to see a lot of staunch GOPers have a road-to-Damascus moment. But if the unmitigated disaster of the George W. Bush years didn’t turn them off the lying and incompetence of their party and its candidates and spinmeisters, I’m unconvinced anything ever will.

  12. 12
    geg6 says:

    @Kerry Reid:

    This. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Fuck ’em. I point and laugh at their misery. They’ve made me miserable for the last 32 years. I’m gonna savor every second of their pain.

  13. 13
    greennotGreen says:

    @James E. Powell: No, no, I’m with James. A small percentage of them (I don’t think as many as 5%) may be persuadable. Remember, our esteemed blog host, John Cole, was once a confirmed citizen of the Twilight Zone. Some may come to doubt their understanding of reality as it has been fed to them.

  14. 14
    amk says:

    @Kerry Reid: @geg6: Yup. The majority of them won’t change. It’s not in their dna. billmon is being the typical holier bleeding heart.

  15. 15
    bob h says:

    How much of that $300-400 million stuck to Rove’s fingers? What was his overhead rate?

  16. 16
    fester says:

    @JohnK: converts… w ho needs them.. why would we want a rhetoric teaching, puppy loving conservative curmudgeon to look at the insanity of his previous allies and say fuck it, not only do the hippies have better weed, they are right about the important stuff within the realm of empirical reality… why would we need that convert among others

  17. 17
    Biscuits says:

    I read Billmon’s post. He is a better person than I. I don’t hate them but I know the feeling is not mutual. I remember the Bush years and all the triumphalism and arrogance that these people shoveled on the rest of us without a second thought. They were the “real” Americans and delighted in pointing this out at every opportunity in SPITE of the facts the rest of us could plainly see (Iraq lies and incompetence, Katrina…) I wish only that they’d go back to their compounds and wait for the rapture. Leave the rest of us alone to clean up their mess.

  18. 18
    Ash Can says:

    @burnspbesq: He has a good point about the 1980 primaries, though.

    And I too agree with Billmon. I never bothered looking at the Mourning Romney tumblr because those aren’t the people I want to see mourning. I want to see all the grIfters and assholes and ghouls and soulless charlatans who caused all that mourning, who caused 47% of this nation’s electorate to vote for an empty suit, be the ones to mourn. I want to see everyone who’s had a hand in poisoning the minds of half the nation be the ones crying over their lost futures. They’re the ones who deserve to be crushed and swept up and dumped into the dustbin of history, for having taken the most unseemly elements in impressionable people and made them far worse.

  19. 19
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Linda Featheringill: They will be exactly as easy to fool, because the vast majority of them aren’t “being fooled,” they’re actively choosing to believe that they’re the Good People getting ripped off by the Bad People, fit anecdotes and sexed-up news stories into that framework, and they won’t stop believing it until they’re dead. Even if they didn’t soak in a vat of Fast and Furious and Solyndra, they would still believe Obama wanted to screw them and ladle out free stuff to moochers, not because he’s Obama but because that’s their deepest political principle. It’s like waiting for Catholics to stop being Catholic because of the sex abuse cases. They’re Republicans because “welfare” is the bad thing Democrats do with their hard-earned money. Any particular lie just taps into and reinforces that premise, which was there beforehand and will remain afterwards. Alas.

  20. 20
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Ash Can: I think you’re too charitable. The preponderance of those minds were poisoned long before the charlatans got to them. The poison is what makes the charlatanry stick so fast.

  21. 21
    Ash Can says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I’m not being charitable, I’m being practical. I don’t care enough about these useful idiots to revel in their misery. I won’t go so far as to say that they”re not the problem, but it should be obvious to everyone that they’re not the biggest problem, that they’d be far less of a problem without so many people in authoritative positions giving them permission to be bad people.

  22. 22
    SFAW says:

    @Kerry Reid:

    The wingtard overseers have had 40 years of plying their trade, including working the refs (“LIBERAL MEDIA ZOMG!”), the Big Lie (the entire RNC “brain” trust, Fox, various “sensible moderate” Villagers, and so forth), and generally sociopathic behavior. It will take a damn long time, and a sustained effort, to get the country back to the left-of-center ethos/sensibility/whatever it used to have.

    Unfortunately, I think it is easier for groups and individuals motivated by fear, hatred, and anger to maintain the commitment to keep at it for that long, with the required intensity. Most lefties that I know do not hate, nor are angry, with that intensity. Oh, sure, we hate Rethugs like Limbaugh, Ryan, The Turtle, Norquist, and the rest of the wrecking crew – I hate those mofos with the proverbial heat of a thousand Zippos – but we don’t hate society in general. We hate what the hoi polloi DO at times, but we generally don’t hate THEM. (Love the sinner, hate the sin? I dunno.) So can it be done? I choose to hope that it can. Will it be done? I am less sanguine about that possibility.

    Of course, it would all be a lot easier if they all moved to Dumbfuckistan, to save us a lot of time and energy. Now, where’s my Rolodex with Rick Perry’s number in it?

  23. 23
    fuddmain says:

    There may be a few I have empathy for, but not all. They weren’t lied to about one key fact: Obama is black. That’s a real problem for many of these people.

  24. 24

    He’s telling George Will that the GOP’s problem is not Romney’s unlikeability. Romney’s unlikeability is baked into the GOP’s positions.

    @👽 Martin:
    I agree. And like Wall Street, the system won’t fix itself because the grifters have no reason to stop. They made out like bandits. If anything, they’re the ones designing more beautiful systems for fleecing America’s richest marks next time. The Koch brothers are sure as Hell not going to wise up.

  25. 25
    over_educated says:

    So I thought I would post this here. Earlier this year I mentioned on a thread that I had a large (2k) bet with my wingnut cousin, on the outcome of the election (proceeds going to charity, in his case planned parenthood). After the election I sent a brief email where I told him that I didn’t expect him to honor the bet but that I would ask that he respect my prognostication a bit more in the future. Over the past week I haven’t heard from him (neither by phone or e-mail) which is odd because I am usually inundated with e-mails from him when a big political event is occurring. I sent another brief email and I still received no response.

    So… went to my father’s house last night. My father is the king of trolling, he was trolling people IRL decades before the internet. I swear to god had the man been born 50 years later he would be the king of 4chan by now. Anyway… I mentioned to him that my cousin hasn’t returned my emails regarding the election of our new supreme leader. he immediately picks up the phone and calls him. When he get’s on the phone all he says is “my son wants to talk to you about the election” and hands me the phone.

    Holy hell. I really think my cousin snapped. First he said after the results he just stared at the TV until 2 o’clock in the morning, he couldn’t believe that America had done this. Then the tirade began, and my friends no one was spared. He went through the usual litany of offenders: Obama, Biden, Pelosi, unions, the liberal media etc.. then he began to veer off into the land of the great betrayers: he wanted to behead Chris Christie for performing fellatio on Obama after hurricane sandy (which was apparently the proximate cause of obama’s victory); Romney was a RINO and a terrible candidate, if they had a conservative they would surely win; Karl Rove is screwing the real conservatives out of their money; Boehner was a wimp because he is going to cave into Obama, FOX news was lying to him. After a while I started to get concerned that he was taking this way too seriously so I tried to talk him down, to little effect, finally hanging up after my father called me to dinner.

    I didn’t even have the opportunity to ask him about the bet.

    TLDR: I was going to gloat to my wingnut cousin about winning a bet on Obama’s victory, but his unhinged rant made me just concerned for his well-being.

  26. 26
    SFAW says:


    What, no Alinsky? I thought no unhinged wingtard rant could omit him.

    I hope your cousin regains his sanity, sooner rather than later. It was a quasi-epic rant, but it’s a little scary that there are people like that walking the streets. Well, I’m assuming he hasn’t already been committed, of course.

  27. 27
    jefft452 says:

    @James E. Powell: “And the practical thing to do would be to start making the argument that the Republican leaders, FOX, Rush, and right-wing blowhards have lied to them. They haven’t been told the truth about Obama, about Obamacare, about taxes, about the economy, about anything.”

    Screw that,
    An email scammer who claims that he is the ex finance minister of Nigeria, and will pay you to put the millions he embezzled in your savings account, just give him your account info and you can keep 10% – a very bad person
    The sweet little old lady whose life savings are stolen by said scammer – innocent victim? No, also a very bad person, who tried to get rich by helping to steal from starving 3rd world children
    No sympathy

  28. 28
    aimai says:


    Call him back and tell him you want the 2000 dollars. The way he’s going you need to put it in trust for him because he’s going to run through that in straitjackets. And by the way, are you under the impression that he wouldn’t be charging you the 2000 plus vig if Romney had won?


  29. 29
    Eric U. says:

    I think the republicans like to be lied to because they know it pisses us off. They are destroying themselves with their reflexive hippy-punching, but since that pisses us off too, they are enjoying that as well.

  30. 30
    over_educated says:

    @aimai: I would have donated had he won, it’s a matter of pride. But I am trying (and probably failing) to be the bigger person here.

  31. 31
    Cassidy says:

    Fuck them all. Every single red state rat bastard one of them. They want to hurt people. They want to enact policies that will make the lives of most Americans a living, third world hell. Fuck them all. The only advice I have for them is to go walk in front of a fast moving train or bus. I hear it resolves grief.

  32. 32
    Ben Cisco says:

    Yes, they were lied to. REPEATEDLY.

    But you know what? The reason the lies worked is because those lies were what they wanted to hear and believed anyway. Aggressively willful ignorance doesn’t deserve so much as a second of my sympathy, any tinge of which I might otherwise have felt having been neutralized by the fact that they, by supporting the NeoConfederate agenda:

    1) Tried to shove women back into the kitchen, gays back into the closet, and anyone darker than a pair of khakis off the voter rolls and into second-class citizen, AGAIN..

    2) Tried to turn the US into the world’s largest company town, where the people give all for the betterment of the Misters, and are supposed to be grateful to watch good paying jobs get sent overseas while we work, if we can find it, for $.25 and a glass of fracked water.

    So yes, where they are concerned, my empathyometer is well and truly broken right now.

  33. 33
    blingee says:

    Getting a chance to point and laugh at all the idiotic pundits who looked so so bad in all of this for going along with the Republican spin that they were gonna win was fun.

    That lasted a few days and as far as I can tell not one of these people lost their jobs. Not even Karl Rove. How Jennifer Rubin and Peggy Noonan still have jobs is beyond me. More importantly why people still read them is hard to understand.

    Then you have the Chuck Todds who only a week or two before were going on and on about mittmentum.

  34. 34
    aimai says:


    They don’t respect the “bigger person.” They think you are as sap, and we are all saps. I hate to tell you that but there’s no coming back from this and demanding the 2000 for PP (and yes, I get that it was going to be a donation) is really the only way to give him the zen koan style kick to the head. I’m quite serious–your cousin has never had to face reality the reality he is going to respect is not composed of “My cousin is a really nice guy who forgave my debt”–the fact of the matter is that he respects nothing but fear, power, and anger. Show him some. Or don’t show him some but grind his face in it every day “Where’s my 2000 dollars loser?” I’m not much for trolling but your father actually has the right idea. Be brutal to your cousin “Why would America ever vote for bet welshers and fools like the Romney voters?”


  35. 35
    EconWatcher says:

    I know Peak Wingnut is a lie and all, but I do wonder if we might have hit a tipping point with Fox News. If the Soviet Union could collapse, so could Murdoch’s evil empire.

    No one likes to look foolish. Fox caused droves of its viewers to look like buffoons.

    Imagine all of the brutal ribbing wingnuts are going to get at Thanksgiving tables across this land. Will that be immediately forgiven?

  36. 36
    jimmiraybob says:

    …they have been lied to, with ferocious intensity and relentless dedication, by the conservative propaganda machine and its political masters.

    Who is this they? “They” were willing participants in the con. Just because the con failed doesn’t mean that the Romneys and McConnells and Palins and Limbaughs won’t work to improve the con and try again.

    And “they the people” will be very happy to help run the con again against the marks, the unAmericans and blahs, that they despise. “They” are not innocent victims of the big lie, …….uh,I mean conservative entertainment, “they” are the conservative entertainment complex.

    There’s this story about a scorpion and a frog………

  37. 37
    efroh says:

    Always nice to read something new from Billmon, but his reference to Geronimo was ill-advised. It is an understatement to say that Geronimo had legitimate grievances. Romney supporters? White Christian Americans? Not so much.

    And if people think liberals are enjoying themselves too much, just wait until 2014 when the GOP likely makes gains in Congress – conservatives are going to make our smorgasborg of schadenfreude seem like amateur hour.

  38. 38
    Cassidy says:

    Imagine all of the brutal ribbing wingnuts are going to get at Thanksgiving tables across this land. Will that be immediately forgiven?

    You really think the pundits and media and con men will be blamed for that? Not likely. It’ll be the blah’s fault, or the women’s fault, or the gay’s fault….conservatism is never wrong.

  39. 39
    PreservedKillick says:


    Imagine all of the brutal ribbing wingnuts are going to get at Thanksgiving tables across this land. Will that be immediately forgiven?

    Jaysus, no, the tirade of bullshit excuses will be fearsome. These people aren’t going to turn *away* from Fox, they are going to turn *toward* Fox. Fox’s ratings will go *up*. The bullshit will get ever more odious. The unreality bubble will get stronger and more divorced from reality.

    This wasn’t enough to turn the tide; arguable nothing will be. This is going to be a long, hard slog with a lot of setbacks.

    Buckle up, kids, this ride is just beginning.

  40. 40
    beltane says:

    @Ben Cisco: @Ben Cisco: Thank you. The myth these people were sold, and which they were very, very eager to buy, was not some beautiful myth of a bright, utopian future with prosperity and happiness for all, but the same old white supremacist bilge of oppression, poverty, and even death for everyone who is not a member of their Randian cult of a pasty white race of male “makers” and their aggressively blond breeding utensils.

    The only reason these people believed these lies is that these lies were a projection of their pre-existing beliefs and deeply held prejudices. To pretend these people are the passive victims of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh is more insulting to them than to just accept that they are morally diseased. I don’t see them as passive victims but as willing accomplices who would cheer on any atrocity if it were committed in the name of their party.

    In a world full of suffering, these pampered, entitled assholes deserve a place at the very back of the compassion line.

  41. 41
    Jay in Oregon says:

    I’m assuming that the bet was his idea? I’m with aimai—if you had been the one to lose, your cousin would be riding your ass to make good on the bet (mainly because he gets to stick it to a DFH in the process).

    He has no excuse for not paying up; I don’t think you should harass him, but any time he opens his yap about politics you should remind him and everyone else around that he’s full of crap.

  42. 42
    PreservedKillick says:


    I don’t see them as passive victims but as willing accomplices who would cheer on any atrocity if it were committed in the name of their party.

    Exactly. Fox news, the reality bubble, republicans in congress – they are not the cause.

    They are the *effect*.

    It’s their base, writ (somewhat) large.

  43. 43
    Svensker says:

    I’m with Billmon and James. Partly because I know one of those folks — my brother — who was a kind, caring, wonderful human being until he started listening to Rush and watching FOX 24/7 and became bitter and twisted and foul. Wormtongue is real and is living in our medias.

    And partly out of humility because I was one of those deluded folks, too (as was our blog host) so I know souls can be reclaimed from the Dark Side.

    The reason people propagandize is that it works. And it works on lots of folks, not just nasty ones. If we can somehow disrupt the propaganda machine, I have hopes that one day I’ll get my brother back. Other peeps here probably have similar hopes.

  44. 44
    Steeplejack says:


    I would dun him for the check. How is it being the bigger person to let him renege on an honest wager under the theory that he is a (self-)deluded fool? That’s just the sort of paternalism for which he would probably jeer at you (if it were someone else, of course).

    And getting him to take his medicine might ultimately help. It might register somewhere in the lizard brain that “hey, believing this stuff cost me two grand!”

    Finally, I think that if you don’t get this resolved soon it will fester. You will resent it every time you have to listen to one of his rants at Thanksgiving or whenever, and with the passage of time he will inevitably rewrite it–“It wasn’t for $2,000,” “It wasn’t a real bet,” “We were just joking”–until it ends up really being a joke–on you. “Ha-ha, cousin Over_Educated sure goes crazy whenever you bring up the election of aught-12.”

    And it’s good to get it on the family record that he is reneging, with your father and whomever else.

  45. 45

    I find it deliciously ironic that the same people who spent 2012 darkly predicting and cheering for disaster (economic, military, or otherwise) in the belief that it would damage Obama have now settled on the idea that a disaster is what won the election for him.

    These are the jackasses who hoped and prayed for a double-dip recession, crowed over poor job reports, hoped for war with Iran, and generally revelled in any bad news in the belief that it would turn the electorate against Obama. And, when the hurricane hit, they called it “Obama’s Katrina”. Giuliani went on TV and called the Administration’s response “worse than Bush”. Everyone ‘kmew’ this would lose the election for Obama, just as everyone now ‘knows’ that he would have lost without Sandy.

  46. 46
    liberal says:

    @👽 Martin:

    The Rove and Co operation couldn’t have been more like Wall Street. All that money that otherwise wasn’t doing anything productive for the economy got sucked up by a bunch of self-described wizards, thrown at assets that they paid to have misvalued, and before anyone caught on, the whole enterprise collapsed with nothing to show for it – other than the wizards got rich along the way.

    Capitalism, bitchez!

  47. 47
    Ben Cisco says:

    @PreservedKillick: Yup.

    Limbaugh’s at his most potent when he railing against a Democratic administration. You think he hasn’t done the math? He knows full well that while his listeners may be feeling the blues, he’s fully in the black, so to speak.

    That latinum doesn’t earn itself, you know…

  48. 48
    geg6 says:

    I’ll never forgive these people for what they have done to this country and I don’t give a damn about how their fee fees are all hurting. And they are not innocents being taken advantage of in any way. They choose to watch FOX and listen to hate radio. They cheer with a disgusting glee any misfortune that befalls anyone not in their tribe. They eagerly support any and all torture and war for no good reason, they use their quasi-christian beliefs as a bludgeon on “unbelievers.” They are racists and bigots and misogynists, loudly and proudly. And they happily insulate themselves in their bubble, cultivating their anger and resentment and willful ignorance and hate. Anyone who wasn’t perfectly happy to live such a hateful life would have gotten out by now, as many so-called “sane” Republicans have. That they choose to stay, that they crave the lie, that they are the most hateful people I’ve ever had the misfortune to see, tells me that this is exactly what they want. Fuck them. If I had a wingnut relative (which, I guess, I just acquired in my sister’s new husband), I’d laugh right in his face without a single hesitation or regret. If my stupid BIL decides to bring up the subject at Thanksgiving (which will be at myhouse), that is exactly what I will do. Fuck him and fuck them.

  49. 49
    liberal says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Right for moral reasons and right for practical reasons.

    I think arguments based on practicality are reasonable, but I don’t get this morality stuff.

    Look, if we lived in a world where information was very hard to get ahold of, and there was no antidote to the lies available, I’d have some sympathy.

    But that’s not the world we live in.

    The notion that it’s not the poor, poor folks fault that they’ve been deceived is getting a little old now. Apart from people with serious cognitive deficits, people should be held responsible for their actions and convictions.

    Doesn’t mean I think they should all DIAF. But they’re adults, and need to be treated as such.

  50. 50
    Ben Cisco says:

    @beltane: Well put. You said it better than I did, actually.

  51. 51
    gex says:

    The main reason, Billmon, that *those people* look so familiar is because that is what our media has told us for decades is what “normal” looks like. What “real Americans” look like.

    To me, the hatred in their faces, the gullible willingness to believe whatever horrible things the right wing media says about their fellow citizens, shines through.

    When W. won in 2004, sure some people talked of moving to Canada. It was not the same kind of seditious talk that the right wing spouts out on a daily basis when even the tiniest thing goes the opposition’s way.

    I can see it. These are the faces of people who think they are better than us, realer than us, and more human than us. I can see humanity in them. They do not see humanity in me. I’ll temper my sympathy until they stop calling for apartheid or executions for me.

    ETA: The racial and religious superiority these folks have was there all along to be played by the con men. It wasn’t installed by the con men.

  52. 52
    charon says:


    I used to come here when our host was still Republican and Tim F. was the only other poster, and Cole never struck me as delusional enough to be in the 27%. For a Republican, he always struck me as unusually thoughtful and logical.

    (I still mostly just lurk, but I’ve been doing it for years.)

  53. 53
    gex says:

    @greennotGreen: John Cole did not see through the lies until John Cole was ready to see through the lies. No amount of moderates/leftists/Democratic outreach would have accomplished anything.

    Like treatment or therapy or any other such life changing decision, there is nothing someone else can do to make a person want to change and do the hard work of change.

    We’ve all had calm discussions with wing nuts. Does it make a dent? Never.

  54. 54
    Someguy says:

    Billmon’s an idiot. The right thing to do here is proceed from victory to victory. Angry white males are marginalized and on the losing end of demographic change. The time has come to disempower them, remove their liver spotted white hands from the levers that steer society, and drive them into exile. They can come back if they change how they believe, but until they give up their racism, sexism, and crackpot economics and liburty talk (which generally involves the freedom to be a racist gun nut) they aren’t welcome here.

    There’s a difference between being a good sport, and stopping play because you have a lead. There’s no mercy rule in politics, nor should there be. They’re losers on the wrong side of history. Finish driving them out.

  55. 55
    gex says:

    @SFAW: Worse yet, those guys are the guys who will get conceal and carry permits and utilize the “no need to deescalate a situation” aspects of the new stand your ground laws. That’s what makes these mofos scary.

  56. 56
    Ash Can says:

    @Svensker: It’s reminiscent of the Native American allegory of the good wolf and the bad wolf within us, and the one that wins being the one we feed. These people have made the choice to feed their hatred and fear, but how much less bad would they be if broadcast media (including the Internet) weren’t supplying them with endless fodder, and were even constantly reminding them that they shouldn’t be feeding the bad wolf at all? People respond to this kind of reinforcement, and those gIvIng them permIssIon, encoragIng them, and even demandIng them to be bad people are the even bigger problem.

  57. 57
    RaflW says:

    Huckster, er um Huckabe was on The Daily Show last night and Jon did his best to try and eeek out some sort of acknowledgement that Huck was hucking – no go. At the very end, Jon exasperatedly asked “will you ever understand the point I’m making?” and Huck just flatly said “no.” It was such a political lie.

    He knows what he’s doing. But if he admitted it, the grift would be over.

    They’ve learned nothing from their loss. So we must hand them several more.

  58. 58
    SFAW says:

    Great. Thanks for helping kick my nervosity level up another notch.

    Oh wait, I don’t live in a C&C state. OK, back to “normal.”

    You’re right, of course, just would rather not have had yet another thing to worry about vis-a-vis wingnuts.

  59. 59
    Rekster says:

    I wonder how Cole’s feeling this morning? If you saw him on the twitter machine last night it looks like he was pretty deep in to that bottle of gin.

  60. 60
    Palli says:

    Yes, Billmon is gracious.
    When I look at those priveledged faces of white dismay,
    I am disquieted that so many Americans feel sympathy but without a thought to balance that humanism with mental portraits of Fannie Lou Hamer’s sad but determined face or vintage images of Suffragettes or contemporary photos of Representative John Lewis…

    We are a country of uneven memories and our lives are weakened because we do not claim the strength from the movers and changers of our injustices.

    Hypocrisy prevails.

  61. 61
    McJulie says:

    @Svensker: Agreed. I think cultists can be deprogrammed, Wormtongue can be exposed, eyes can be opened, the prodigal son can come home.

    Most of the time it won’t work, but you have to try, right? I’m all for gloating heartily at the Peggy Noonans of the world, but Joe and Jane Republican — especially when they are family — I’m not willing to write them off entirely. It’s not only kinder, it’s more practical — in a winning elections sort of way. There are simply too many of them for a blanket write-off. It’s almost as bad strategically as Romney writing off 47% of America.

    Anyway, with a long history as the most liberal person in my family, I’ve seen the way people come around. My parents will barely admit to voting for Reagan now. I got my Dad wearing a “people of faith for Referendum 74” button and he showed up in 2008 wearing an Obama button without me having anything to do with it. If you’d told 15-year-old me that this would ever happen, I would’ve thought you were crazy.

  62. 62
    gex says:

    @SFAW: Gotta check if your state does reciprocity. The NRA’s next trick is to do to C&C what credit card regulations in South Dakota did to the credit card industry.

  63. 63
    aimai says:


    Fox news will never go out of business until Murdoch et al are carted away in chains for interfereing with the murder investigation of that girl in Britain. Because it remains a trusted friend and companion for people who are, basically, emotional and political shut ins. If you were alone, retired, widowed, an emptynester, out of work you would embrace whoever came into your house on a daily basis and told you what you want to hear. And because its a constituent part of authoritarian wingnuttiness that you can be both a triumphal majority and a victimized minority there is never any problem with whiplash. You are as satisfied to have your hand held and be told “poor, misunderstood, minority you” as you are to have your spirits pumped up with triumphalism.


  64. 64
    The Moar You Know says:

    Kind of get where Billmon’s coming from. These people have been lied to, and as with all stupid people, it’s not their fault that they’re stupid or gullible. It just sucks that when they fuck up, they seem to get off scot-free every time and we get stuck with their bills.

    Read a story on Yahoo last night about some woman who was convinced that Obama would be the death of us all; she found out her husband hadn’t done his duty to stop the Muslim Menace because he forgot to vote, and in a fit of rage chased him through a parking lot with the family SUV and finally ran him over, and looks like he’s permanently crippled. That they’re both raging wingnuts doesn’t afford me any schadenfruede; that’s just fucking sad.

  65. 65
    redshirt says:

    My father has gone into a deep depression. His liberal wife has moved out; he cancelled Christmas. He doesn’t want to see his 1 year old grand-daughter because her mother voted Obama.

    Fuck him. I wrote him off years and years ago as a greedy bastard, but I’ve always been civil, because he’s my Father, and for the sake of family gatherings etc. Yet I’ve never held my opinions, and I never will.

    He made a fortune in his life on facts – investments. To make money here, you must have a strong handle on what’s factual and what’s BS. He was very good at it. But to now be so suckered by Fox Lies? It’s incredible, really.

    I’ve got compassion, and some mercy. But I’m going to drive this home. If he wants to cut me off for the rest of his life, so be it. My hand will be open, but so too will be my mouth.

  66. 66
    SFAW says:


    I don’t get the SDAK reference, so I’m definitely missing the nub of your gist, as it were. (Sorry, not normally so dense, must have entered the Clue-Free Zone when I wasn’t looking.)

  67. 67
    The Moar You Know says:

    @redshirt: I don’t get this, but I’m watching it happen with my wife’s mother, who refuses to discuss anything save how my wife and I are bleeding the nation dry – we’re both union members. Being totally hateful about it. Now, me, I don’t give a shit, she’s pathetic, but it’s really killing my wife and that is not OK in my book.

    Funny thing is, she’s the one living 100% off government money, and of course is a TeaTard to the core.

    Going to be sharing a vacation home with this vile bitch for ten days over Thanksgiving. Going to be the shittiest vacation ever.

  68. 68
    MaryRC says:

    I was with Billmon at first in feeling some sympathy for the Mourning Romney crowd but then I saw this. They’re just doubling down now.

  69. 69
    redshirt says:

    @The Moar You Know: Sorry to hear it. I say you push back as hard as she pushes you. The only way we’re going to change things is person to person, family to family.

  70. 70
    El Cid says:

    Pick your targets.

    Don’t make the people you know and work with and love you hate you, but let them know you won’t and don’t have to put up with a bunch of shit.

    I told one Republican I know who complained about ungracious libruls rubbing it in, “I just spent the last two or so years having to listen to you telling me what a loser Obama was and how all of America was going to throw him out and how the whole country agreed with that. Now since the election I haven’t taunted you or anything, but if you think you didn’t make me feel real, real tempted to, you’re wrong. So next time, don’t do that shit.”

  71. 71
    Jonothan8 says:

    “[And, by the way, how many Republicans now complaining that Obama “unfairly looked good” after Sandy complained when George W. Bush finally crawled out from under his desk on 9/15, and posed with a bullhorn and a prop fireman? Answer: zero.]”

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! It has always puzzled me how W., so lost and bewildered in the days leading up to that moment, was able to suddenly grab a bullhorn and – miraculously avoiding any feedback – snarl such a macho and quotable line… off-the-cuff.

  72. 72
    John T says:

    Forgiving an honest bet, won fair and square, won’t make you a “better person,” it will only make you a doormat. It won’t make your cousin change his mind, it will only make it easier to delude himself that he was right after all. He will convince himself that since you didn’t have the balls to collect on the bet, that means you knew in your heart that you were being unfair and didn’t deserve to win. He will respect you even less than before.

  73. 73
    Suffern ACE says:


    Look, if we lived in a world where information was very hard to get ahold of,

    We actually DO live in that world.

  74. 74
    gex says:

    @SFAW: It’s sort of like the GOP’s “ideas” on health insurance – where the state with the least regulations can sell credit cards/policies everywhere in the country but subject to the originating state’s regulations. If Mississippi wants to make it so absolutely any idiot gets a conceal and carry license subject to Mississippi’s SYG laws, Mississippi essentially gets to set national policy.

  75. 75
    Ruckus says:

    @Ben Cisco:


    I’d like to be the better person. I was taught to be the better person. I’ve tried to be the better person.
    I don’t sleep any better, my life hasn’t improved because of it, in fact I think it’s gotten worse. The better person gets run the fuck over by those who don’t give a shit or who are actively trying to stomp on your neck. Fuck that I’m fighting back.
    I will give the clinically stupid the benefit of the doubt but the willfully stupid, no fucking way.

  76. 76
    Ruckus says:

    The squirrels must be running at top speed this morning or they are passed out drunk.

  77. 77


    I was going to gloat to my wingnut cousin about winning a bet on Obama’s victory, but his unhinged rant made me just concerned for his well-being.

    The Lady Escargot’s network on the Book of Faces includes a number of evangelicals (thanks to a close friend of hers from HS), so I get more intel on what they’re saying than I normally would.

    As you’ve noted, they’ve gone, as a group, completely unhinged. Words like ‘infanticide’ and of course ‘soshulism’ are being used. Diagrams of partial birth abortion are being posted. A few have sworn to get concealed carry permits before Obama takes away all the guns, etc (quite Christian that– must have missed the part of the Sermon on the Mount where the Son of Man advocated for concealed carry).

    I really did want to gloat last week, but I’ve grown beyond hating these people and just don’t have the heart for it. But I do hate whomever is feeding them such dangerous bullshit lies.

    If these groups get violent, we must make sure that those who are truly to blame (looking at you, Fox, Beck, Rove, Limbaugh, and whatever shadowy office originates all those chain emails) are made to pay. I can forgive ignorance. But I cannot forgive malice.

  78. 78
    brantl says:

    @burnspbesq: Jesus, are you slow. Here’s a comment that I left on Billmon’s post:
    I would buy exactly this if these people, in the main, weren’t motivated by fear of a loss of privilege, which privilege they have conspired to keep from the people that they fear, all the while saying everything is equal, when they know damn well it isn’t. Did anybody pity Loki, after he shot off his mouth at The Hulk? No. Why? Because he was asking for it.

  79. 79
    The Reverend Lowdown says:

    I have a few right wing buddies and have made out very well, with bets of $50+ bottles of liquor, over the election. So, in a perverse and selfish way, thank you fox news, etc. The Glenlivet 18 year will flow like a mighty river over at my place! I’m giving these bastards a week or so to recover, then back to hammering away. Giving them the same quarter that they would give me. Also, making it a point to get involved on a local level. After last week, I am too invigorated to be content with just voting any more.

    OT, this last weekend, I went on a road trip to a huge gun show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. My buddy warned me not to engage anyone in politics. Np, just there to site-see amidst the 11 acres of tightly packed vendors. I was a weapons mechanic, in the Army, so this stuff is mildly interesting to me. I was not at all surprised to see a lot of anti-Obama stuff there(“an Obama nation is an abomination” was the most popular bumper sticker), as well as the repeated conversational meme that “he’s coming for our guns, oh nooo! None of that was too surprising. Surprising was the sheer amount of nazi paraphernalia on sale. I’m talking lots of uniforms, medals, guns and even dinnerware. Wow. You would have to be born in Germany in the early 40’s to see more of that crap than I did. Very disturbing. I engaged a vendor or two about it. They claimed it was for “history buffs”. Funny that, of all the world’s recorded history, the nazi era is the only one that sells well there.

  80. 80

    @efroh: Always nice to read something new from Billmon, but his reference to Geronimo was ill-advised.

    The comments on his post bear this out. A lot of people couldn’t really see past it, and his overall point was then lost.

  81. 81
    brantl says:

    @over_educated: Why? Why should your charity get screwed, but not his? He shouldn’t have made the bet if he couldn’t pay it off? Did he show any worry about your ability to pay it off? I doubt it.

  82. 82
    Original Lee says:

    @McJulie: I agree. I think everyone has their Schiavo moment. My parents, my grandmother, and one of my in-laws all had a wake-up call after the Tea Party took over the Michigan legislature, and these life-long Republicans voted for Obama last week. My mother-in-law almost certainly voted for Romney, largely over immigration issues. IMO, the 27% are unlikely to change, but the remaining 20% just need a wedge issue to move.

  83. 83
    fuckwit says:

    Wait, no. Billmon is missing something important. This is different.

    In 2004, I remember a blog that had pictures of Americans saying “I’m sorry” to the world, for allowing Shrub to be re-elected.

    Sure, there was mourning, BUT IT WAS NOT FOR US!!! It wasn’t self-pity. It was APOLOGIES to the people we were going to continue bombing and killing, for letting them down.

    Ain’t no ballpark neither, ain’t the same league, ain’t even in the same GAME.

  84. 84
    gex says:

    @Judas Escargot, Bringer of Loaves and Fish Sandwiches: Those guys will never get blamed. Doesn’t matter how many white dudes go nuts and shoot up a place, having shelves full of Hannity and Coulter books. It’s always mental illness and a lone wolf when they do.

    I’m afraid of there being a lot of sick wolves out there going rabid at the start of Obama’s second term.

  85. 85
    Turgidson says:


    That lasted a few days and as far as I can tell not one of these people lost their jobs. Not even Karl Rove. How Jennifer Rubin and Peggy Noonan still have jobs is beyond me. More importantly why people still read them is hard to understand.

    Damn near everyone who got every single fucking thing about Iraq wrong has maintained either their current jobs, or found a similar one, or failed upward in the time since. This episode of total wrongness is a trifle compared to that. I’ll never be surprised that perpetually wrong pundits keep their jobs again after that. Pissed about it, yes. Surprised? Nope.

  86. 86
    Ellyn says:

    I thought that a lot of the younger ones were probably Mormons.

  87. 87
    Ellyn says:

    I read the Billmon dairy and I thought the writing was really fine.

  88. 88
    Ellyn says:

    @RaflW: I had no interest in Jon Stewart’s debate with O’Lielly because of that very reason. O’Lielly gets paid the big bucks to lie and Jon debating with him is “a waste of spirit in an expense of shame”. O’Lielly will never see the light. He gets paid too much to put it out. And Jon debating him gives O’Lielly burnishes O’Lielly’s image.

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