A free ride when you’ve already paid

Not my most successful effort at getting a dumb ass answer, but the “ironic” part at the end is a nice touch.

BOTH SIDES DO IT

Q. With this issue, as with ALL issues, both sides are wrong. The truth is in the middle ALWAYS, on all issues. I don’t even check anymore what the issue is before I tell my wife “both sides are wrong, extremist, the truth is somewhere in between.” Why can’t more people realize this obvious fact, that the truth is always in the middle?

– December 05, 2012 1:17 PM Permalink

A.

BRAD HIRSCHFIELD :

I hear you, and would make one small adjustment to your process. Listen to BOTH sides because the truth is often NOT in teh middle per se, but may be an amalgam of views from both sides. In other words, the solution is not always to split the difference, as much as it is to learn form both sides and create a third alternative. You may see that as a too fine distinction, but I assure you it is not.

“Extreme” positions can actually be correct, but it is rare that when one takes all of the extremes of one camp, and ignores all those of the other, that a wise response will be found. On the other hand, discounting a position simply because it comes from either the far-raight or far-left, robs us of alternatives which may actually be needed.

As to why people find all of this so difficult, it is because we are trained from very early on to confuse purety of thought with wisdom and sophistication, stuborness with loyalty, and adaptation with weakness. The last is particulalry ironic given that we are only here because our ability to adapt.

– December 05, 2012 1:49 PM

Update. Win, if I do say so myself.

Q. WHAT WOULD DAVID BRODER THINK?

As I watch these fiscal talks unfold, I wonder what David Broder would say about it if he were alive? If He’s looking down on us from heaven, what do you think he might be thinking? That he spent his whole life praising bipartisan moderation, and now look at the mess we’re in.
– December 05, 2012 1:20 PM Permalink

A.

BRAD HIRSCHFIELD :

What a beautiful and powerful image to evoke. David Broder indeed. Thank you, especially from me personally, as he is one of my role models.

If it’s any comfort, I think he would be not only disturbed, but sagely sanguin. He would caution us to combine outrage about what is going on in both parties, but also remind us that we are a great nation populated with good people, and that we have every reason to believe that however bumpy the road, we will travel the road to a better place.

– December 05, 2012 1:57 PM

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147 replies
  1. 1
    Wag says:

    Un-f*cking believalbe in its total believablity.

  2. 2
    SFAW says:

    I tell my wife Balloon Juice readers “both sides are wrong, extremist, the truth is somewhere in between.”

    What you started to write, but corrected in midstream I bet.

  3. 3
    Alex S. says:

    So true, the middle way leads to liberation.

  4. 4
    some guy says:

    Rabbi Schmuck is an idiot.

  5. 5
    Ted & Hellen says:

    “Extreme” positions can actually be correct, but it is rare that when one takes all of the extremes of one camp, and ignores all those of the other, that a wise response will be found.

    Sounds pretty reasonable to me, especially the first phrase. And he does say “but it is rare that…” (clearly implying that it DOES happen) and we are in one of those “rare” periods of history, so…uh, what’s your point exactly?

    This really is how you spend your days, isn’t it?

    You are the first to ban alleged “trolls” here on BJ, but you spend a great deal of time trolling the entire Internet.

    Revealing to say the least.

  6. 6
    Wag says:

    @Alex S.:

    So true, the middle way leads to liberation libation

    FTFY

    Let’s start drinking.

  7. 7
    Maude says:

    The far raight is crazier than a S house rat. How does it help to listen to them?

  8. 8
    PsiFighter37 says:

    The fact he couldn’t figure out you were trolling is sad. I could smell that kind of trollishness if I was in the middle of a toxic wasteland.

    Such is our revered MSM. /sigh

  9. 9
    Zyla says:

    The fact that he couldn’t see the BLATANT TROLL right in front of him is deeply depressing.

    Also props for the post title.

  10. 10
    Hoodie says:

    Ok, fess up, who did this?

    WHAT WOULD DAVID BRODER THINK?
    As I watch these fiscal talks unfold, I wonder what David Broder would say about it if he were alive? If He’s looking down on us from heaven, what do you think he might be thinking? That he spent his whole life praising bipartisan moderation, and now look at the mess we’re in.
    – December 05, 2012 1:20 PM Permalink
    A.
    BRAD HIRSCHFIELD :
    What a beautiful and powerful image to evoke. David Broder indeed. Thank you, especially from me personally, as he is one of my role models.

    If it’s any comfort, I think he would be not only disturbed, but sagely sanguin. He would caution us to combine outrage about what is going on in both parties, but also remind us that we are a great nation populated with good people, and that we have every reason to believe that however bumpy the road, we will travel the road to a better place.

    – December 05, 2012 1:57 PM

  11. 11
    Wag says:

    As I watch these fiscal talks unfold, I wonder what David Broder would say about it if he were alive? If He’s looking down on us from heaven, what do you think he might be thinking? That he spent his whole life praising bipartisan moderation, and now look at the mess we’re in.

    I bet this question from the Q+A is from Doug, as well.

    Excellent work!

    Edit
    …and the reply is priceless, as well

    “What a beautiful and powerful image to evoke. David Broder indeed. Thank you, especially from me personally, as he is one of my role models.

    If it’s any comfort, I think he would be not only disturbed, but sagely sanguin. He would caution us to combine outrage about what is going on in both parties, but also remind us that we are a great nation populated with good people, and that we have every reason to believe that however bumpy the road, we will travel the road to a better place.”

    Edit again-
    I see @10 beat me to it.

  12. 12
    Francisco The Man says:

    TEH TRUTH IS IN TEH MIDDLE!

  13. 13
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Ted & Hellen: I see you know nothing of internet traditions, or of the history of this blog, especially as it relates to Doug.

  14. 14
    Scott S. says:

    The media bubble is thick as hell if they can’t yet tell that to the rest of the world, David Broder is remembered only as a cautionary tale…

  15. 15
    Betty Cracker says:

    LMAO! I salute you, sir! Well played.

  16. 16
    Keith G says:

    WTF?

    That is the type of answer I would expect from Rabbi Hirschfield. He politely told the questioner to expand his thinking…in other words…”Dude, you aren’t doing this right. Think about it this way.”

    Sometimes I feel B-J seems to be tip-toeing of on the edge becoming a lame parody of a lefty blog.

  17. 17
    Lee says:

    FYI there is an AMA at Reddit for the NYT Washingtin chief going on now.

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:

    Somebody tell me where Tip O’Neill is buried so I can make sure to piss on his fucking grave.
    I swear the next cocksucker on TV that invokes the Reagan-O’Neill corollary is getting marked for first at the guillotines when the time comes.
    Fuck you Tip O’Neill, fuck you right up your stupid fucking ass.

  19. 19

    Along those lines, our dumbass Tea Party is rallying against the state setting up a health insurance exchange at the capitol as I type this. Literally, they cannot let dust settle on the Tricorn hats.

    Anyway, I wondered if they realized if the state does not set up an exchange the Feds will do it? Don’t they know that? Wouldn’t they rather have the state do it than that Mooooslim usurper Obummer? States rights and all? Isn’t that what they’ve been rallying about? No?

    Sigh.

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G:

    Sometimes I feel B-J seems to be tip-toeing of on the edge becoming a lame parody of a lefty blog.

    Sometimes? SOMETIMES?!

  21. 21
    Cassidy says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    @Ted & Hellen: I see you know nothing…

    You could have stopped right there.

  22. 22
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Corner Stone: He’s in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington. Sounds like you could get a lot done if you went there with a full bladder.

  23. 23
    Chris says:

    Listen to BOTH sides because the truth is often NOT in teh middle per se, but may be an amalgam of views from both sides. In other words, the solution is not always to split the difference, as much as it is to learn form both sides and create a third alternative.

    We already did that. It’s called modern liberalism.

    Seriously. The whole point of modern American liberalism was that it tried to take the good and bad from the two sides of the socialist/capitalist divide (wealth creation AND a humane society where all benefit from it), while excising the bad traits associated with it (capitalist inequality, socialist authoritarianism).

    Right now, we have one party that believes in being pragmatic and taking whatever ideas will work (as you just saw again when they passed a modified version of a Heritage Foundation health insurance reform plan, since anything more wasn’t going to pass) regardless of the source, and one party that… that… Well, it’s hard to say, actually.

    You want to be a pragmatist who cares about the ideas rather than their origin and wants to create a “third way” between two extremes? Good for you, you’re a Democrat. Now shut up and vote.

  24. 24
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    I see you know nothing of internet traditions, or of the history of this blog, especially as it relates to Doug.

    Wrong.

    I’ve been around BJ for eight years and am well aware of DougJ’s pathetic Internet wide trolling. Also too the fact that he finds it high-larious to troll BJ under various nyms.

    The fact that BJers think this is clever somehow, added to the fact that DougJ is a very thin skinned, ban-happy poster here; goes a long way toward explaining certain BJ hive mind pathologies.

  25. 25
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Sometimes I feel B-J seems to be tip-toeing of on the edge becoming a lame parody of a lefty blog.

    Please.

    This is a center/right, Nixon Republican blog on its most left leaning days.

  26. 26
    Joel says:

    I love the smell of napalm in the morning…

  27. 27
    Joel says:

    “Sometimes I feel B-J seems to be tip-toeing of on the edge becoming a lame parody of a lefty blog.”

    Well, no one’s making you stay here, right?

  28. 28
    Chris says:

    I’ve been around BJ for eight years and am well aware of DougJ’s pathetic Internet wide trolling. Also too the fact that he finds it high-larious to troll BJ under various nyms.

    So, seriously, who’s DougJ? I’ve been told that he trolls various blogs including his own under assumed nyms, but never paid much attention to it. Who on this website has he been (in the last year or two)?

  29. 29
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Okay, if he got fooled after THAT comment, he’s a real fool.

    I guess Alexandra whatshername isn’t around to flirtatiously troll?

  30. 30
    DougJ says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Wait…are you Spatula or are you a parody troll?

  31. 31
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Chris: No kidding. For better or worse, the Democratic Party is remarkably devoid of ideology. You have to be pretty obtuse not to see that.

  32. 32
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Southern Beale: If they understood the law, they wouldn’t be out there.

  33. 33
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    This is good news! Hirschfield can now die the slow, painful death that Broder deserved, since Broder is one of his role models.

  34. 34
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @DougJ: T&H is way too holier-than-thou for Spatula.

  35. 35
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Fuck you Tip O’Neill, fuck you right up your stupid fucking ass.

    After all, he is the man responsible for the US invasion of Nicaragua, and the ’82-86 Nicaraguan War, and the tens of thousands of American casualties in that fiasco. That and killing off Social Security

  36. 36
    Chyron HR says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Also too the fact that he finds it high-larious to troll BJ under various nyms.

    This is totally different from delivering a heaping helping of left-wing truth under various nyms, which is the duty of all true progressives.

  37. 37
    Cassidy says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): They’re the same. Someone has been trolling as “spatula” and tedbeatshellen asked who was using his old name.

  38. 38
    kdaug says:

    I happen to be eating soup right now. Good soup, with lots of garlic and ginger.

    HA! I know what you’re thinking – but nope, didn’t spit it out.

    “sagely sanguin”

    Wishing this spoon was a fork.

  39. 39
    danimal says:

    @Keith G:

    Sometimes I feel B-J seems to be tip-toeing of on the edge becoming a lame parody of a lefty blog.

    If at first you don’t succeed…

  40. 40
    1badbaba3 says:

    DougJ, I think you’ve been made. The inclusion of “teh” in his response is the tell. I think I see your problem of late. True centrists like you must be exceedingly rare, so you are way too easy to spot. I mean Bobo doesn’t read the WaPo, does he?

    Perhaps you should troll from one of the fringes, for a change. I’m sure Spats could help you out with that from either side.

  41. 41
    Corner Stone says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    After all, he is the man responsible for the US invasion of Nicaragua, and ‘82-86 Nicaraguan War, and the tens of thousands of American casualties in that fiasco. That and killing off Social Security

    Exactly. Hate that fucking guy.

  42. 42
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Cassidy: Good to know.

  43. 43
    Baud says:

    I don’t understand how Broder could be both disturbed and sanguin. If you’re sanguin, why would you be disturbed?

  44. 44
    Warren Terra says:

    I wonder what David Broder would say about it if he were alive?
    __
    ….
    __
    He would caution us to combine outrage about what is going on in both parties, but also remind us that we are a great nation populated with good people, and that we have every reason to believe that however bumpy the road, we will travel the road to a better place.

    You, sir, have achieved Poetry. The fact that HIRSCHFIELD was attempting to achieve Poetry only makes your achievement the greater.

  45. 45
    kdaug says:

    @DougJ: It’s m_c post-lithium.

  46. 46
    tbunny says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Hirschfield’s comment is just as inane as DougJ’s. That’s what’s remarkable. Hirschfield’s sophisticated quibble is that it’s not the middle per se that holds all truth but some kind of triangulated position in between the two. In practice however Hirschfield’s procedure is indistinguishable from endlessly elevating a “middle” and holding that such a middle is always best.

  47. 47
    bfr says:

    I want to learn more about ‘teh purety.’ Where can I subscribe?

  48. 48
    Mike in NC says:

    You can start posting as ‘Sagely Sanguine DougJ’ immediately!

  49. 49
    Cassidy says:

    @kdaug: Let’s not disparage m_c to that degree. She had her issues and was a little casual with bigoted language, but she wasn’t nearly as obnoxious.

  50. 50
    Jade Jordan says:

    David Broder is certainly not looking down on us. He is gazing lovingly upward and seeing our A** cracks.

  51. 51
    Lurking Canadian says:

    I think you can retire now. The Broder-in-heaven post and reply might someday be equalled, but it will never be exceeded.

  52. 52
    Yutsano says:

    @Betty Cracker: That is indeed a thing of beauty. Although I think Herr Rabbi makes it easy.

  53. 53
    SatanicPanic says:

    That second one’s a keeper!

  54. 54
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    What a beautiful and powerful image to evoke. David Broder indeed. Thank you, especially from me personally, as he is one of my role models.

    Sweet jumping jesus. I pretty much read all political journalism with the idea that they’re all Little Broders in the back of my mind, but… “beautiful and powerful”? Does the lad know David Broder’s penultimate column was a call on Obama to not only turn the government over to the losing candidate of the previous election, but that said losing candidate was the war-mongering nitwit who wanted to put Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency? Of course, he probably does.

    ETA: David Broder in “Heaven”. Explaining to all the dead of the Iraq War that it really is all too bad that they were killed for no reason, but they must understand that there was bipartisan support for the war, so their deaths were quite justified in the minds of all serious and reasonable people.

  55. 55
    RP says:

    Is it really that hard to type “the”?

  56. 56
    RP says:

    What’s sad is that his response to “Both sides do it” is one of his better ones.

    I don’t understand why this guy is talking about the fiscal cliff in the first place. Isn’t he supposed to talk about morality and ethics or something? Why is he opining on politics and economic issues that he obviously knows nothing about?

  57. 57
    Corner Stone says:

    @RP:

    Is it really that hard to type “the”?

    It brings up the curious possibility that he was spoofing the spoofer.

  58. 58
    Legalize says:

    Proto-punk David Broder.

  59. 59
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Chris:

    S

    o, seriously, who’s DougJ? I’ve been told that he trolls various blogs including his own under assumed nyms, but never paid much attention to it. Who on this website has he been (in the last year or two)?

    There’s not enough bandwidth in the entirety of the Intertubes to list them.

  60. 60
    EconWatcher says:

    You have a tough job, trying to replicate your triumph with the “Burkean centrist” email to Sullivan. But keep trying!

  61. 61
    Svensker says:

    Dear DougJ,

    You are my hero.

    Sincerely, Svensker

    Also, too, Hirschfield is right. Let’s take the age of the earth: One side says 6,000 years. The other side says 4.5 billion. Hirschfield’s Law of the Sacred Middle gives us 2,250,003,000 years as the agreed upon age of the earth. Let’s get those textbooks updated, folks.

  62. 62
    Keith says:

    So on one hand, you have a side thinking Broder is looking down at us from heaven. The other position would be that he’s looking up at us from hell. Split the difference, and it means that David Broder is buried in a hole doing nothing.

  63. 63
    Woodrowfan says:

    if Broder were alive today? He be pounding on the coffin lid screaming “LET ME OUT!”

  64. 64
    Lex says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    The fact that BJers think this is clever somehow, added to the fact that DougJ is a very thin skinned, ban-happy poster here; goes a long way toward explaining certain BJ hive mind pathologies.

    Actually, it goes a long way toward explaining just how idiotic our media are, and I feel perfectly comfortable saying that despite, or because of, having taken a paycheck from it for a quarter-century during my misspent youth.

    (I’m now misspending middle age, too. It’s kind of fun.)

  65. 65
    jibeaux says:

    Sagely Sanguin needs to be the full legal name of whatever pet lands in Cole’s house next.

  66. 66
    jibeaux says:

    Sagely Sanguin [sic] needs to be the full legal name of whatever pet lands in Cole’s house next.

  67. 67
    SFAW says:

    DougJ –

    Maybe I’m being a heretic, but, seriously, what’s your fucking point with all the trolling of people like Hirschfield? I can understand Sully, to some extent, because he’s so full of himself/shit. Maybe Hirschfield is too – never read him before this thread – but busting someone’s balls because he’s Broderian, just to show how fucking cool/smart/snarky/hip/dickish you are? Seems like there are about 8 billion more important things in this world, some of which you might actually have a positive impact on.

    Which is not to say I think T&H has it right – his time would be better spent working on his art, than trying to tell us all how we’re to the right of Nixon, etc. Nixon? Yah, right. When I want to read insightful/intelligent commentary, few can match T&H’s wit and wisdom. His wisdom is exceeded only by Jonah Glodberg or Jeff Jacoby (a/k/a “Older Jonah”).

  68. 68
    RP says:

    @Corner Stone: I don’t think so. I’ve read previous chats and he does it all the time. (although I guess it’s possible that it’s some sort of ongoing meta joke. But that seems unlikely.)

  69. 69
    Bill Murray says:

    @Svensker: wrong. It gives 5,196,152.423 years. and it’s sky baklava not sky cake

  70. 70
    RP says:

    Jeez…lighten up, Francis.

  71. 71
    Felonius Monk says:

    David Broder indeed.

    Oh, you mean “that” David Broder — World’s oldest non-living Presstitute.

  72. 72
    David in NY says:

    @Corner Stone: I don’t get this Reagan-O’Neill crap. I don’t watch TV, so I don’t know the CW very well, but my memory of the situation in about ’82 was that what happened when Reagan got together with O’Neill, was that Reagan (and the Republicans) ate his lunch. That is, they agreed to “compromise,” then O’Neill kept his end of the bargain, Reagan and the R’s Senate didn’t.

    But it was a long time ago.

  73. 73
    nastybrutishntall says:

    I think that Broderism arises out of the inability to recognize one’s own participation in the banality of evil.

    You’re an idealistic journalist, you graduate from the best programs, you get the good job at the big news organization, you meet the important people who, even if you don’t agree with their positions, are nice enough, with a sense of humor, and quite human. So these people whom you have cocktails with become people you don’t want to embarrass or criticize too harshly without overwhelming evidence, institutional support, and faith in one’s own professional security.

    In other words, never. And this doesn’t make you a bad person. Or any worse than all the rest.

    Just not better.

  74. 74
    LanceThruster says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion.

  75. 75
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ) says:

    @Svensker: Ur doing it wrong. One idea is that the earth is 6,000 years old, because the Bible says so. The other extreme says it’s 4.5 billion years old, it’s what science says.

    We must borrow ideas from both sides to come up with the true answer. The truth is that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, but was in a completely different location in the galaxy, billions of light years from here. Around 6,000 years ago, a mysterious force, call it God, pushed it into a wormhole where it was instantaneously positioned exactly where it is now relative to the Sun, providing the perfect climate for life. So, both sides have a point, but neither is completely right.

  76. 76
    Culture of Truth says:

    What a beautiful and powerful image to evoke. David Broder indeed. Thank you, especially from me personally, as he is one of my role models.

    NSFW

  77. 77
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Baud: “Sanguin” doesn’t mean “sanguine”. It means “bloody penguin”, which is a pretty damn disturbing image, if you ask me.

  78. 78
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    I think he would be not only disturbed, but sagely sanguin [sic]

    Disturbed, but wisely and cheerfully optimistic about it? What the fuck?

    …okay, who broke block quotes?

  79. 79
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    T&H is way too holier-than-thou for Spatula.

    DO try to keep up, child.

    I WAS Spatula until DougJ pulled on of his sensitive feefee pouty pants routines and banned me without regard to the clearly defined parameters of Cole’s banning policy.

    So…as he always does because he has some integrity, Cole restored my commenting privileges under another nym. This has happened many times. It’s some kind of a weird dance DougJ and JC do.

    As for who has recently been commenting under my old nym Spatula, I do not know. Though naturally I suspect Doug Tender Fee Fees J.

  80. 80
    MTiffany says:

    Put down the blunt DougJ, and back away from that blotter…

  81. 81
    SFAW says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    “Sanguin” doesn’t mean “sanguine”. It means “bloody penguin”,

    OK, I take it all back, Doug – if your trolling can produce a response like this, it was worth it.

    You’re still being a dick, of course, but at least we get some benefit from it.

  82. 82
    raven says:

    @Joel: Every time you talk to it it hangs around more.

  83. 83
    General Stuck says:

    While the truth is usually not in the middle. The votes often are.

  84. 84
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Svensker:

    Also, too, Hirschfield is right. Let’s take the age of the earth: One side says 6,000 years. The other side says 4.5 billion. Hirschfield’s Law of the Sacred Middle gives us 2,250,003,000 years as the agreed upon age of the earth. Let’s get those textbooks updated, folks.

    Which would be awesome and snarky except that’s not what he said at all. Get a new brain.

  85. 85
    gene108 says:

    @David in NY:

    O’Neil behaved the way normal Congressmen would’ve done to a President in the opposing party.

    Since the President was elected by all the people, they let the President set the agenda and negotiate with the President on how the agenda should be implemented.

    “Old School” Republicans thought like this in 1993, which is why the Heritage Foundation churned out what would eventually be the blueprint for “RomneyCare” in Massachusetts and Obamacare, the opposition party opposed by bringing alternatives to the President’s agenda.

    From 1993 onwards Congressional Republicans stood that idea on its head and decided they could drive the national agenda, irrespective of whatever mandate an elected President is supposed to have. If the President wasn’t onboard with the Republican agenda, they’d just flat out oppose whatever he proposed.

  86. 86
    Killjoy says:

    @Baud: The truth would lie somewhere in the middle, as always.

  87. 87
    Thomas F says:

    Doug, something about the all-caps headlines in the WaPo Q/A’s puts me in stiches. Thanks for making my humpday that much easier.

  88. 88
    les says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    When you went to Dick School, did you major in humorless?

  89. 89
    Taylormattd says:

    Holy fuck, that last exchange makes me want to kill myself.

  90. 90
    scav says:

    First, Many would be at least slightly disturbed if they were sprinkled with sage, or perhaps they’d first have to be slighly disturbed in order to stand around patiently, let alone sanguinly, while being sprinkled with the bloody sage.

    Second, ponder the life status of the famous boxed cat under his broderesque conditions.

  91. 91
    Cassidy says:

    @raven: I keep waiting for just Hellen to come and tell us Ted walked in front of a bus.

  92. 92
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @SFAW:

    Cute how you wanted so badly, and did!, call DougJ the dick he is, but were quick to back off any perceived alliance with the dreaded Ted & Hellen, who has so much influence as a front pager on this blog, so as to retain your seat at the table next to the table at which the cool kids sit.

    Well done.

  93. 93
    SFAW says:

    @les:

    When you went to Dick School, did you major in humorless?

    Actually, he had to CREATE that major, because of his breaking new ground in the field.

  94. 94
    shortstop says:

    Dougie, you fucking crack me up.

  95. 95
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @SFAW:

    OK, I take it all back, Doug – if your trolling can produce a response like this, it was worth it.

    Of course you do…

  96. 96
    Cassidy says:

    Awww…SFAW has his own little stalker. Bring the chickens in at night. You don’t want your poultry to be “tenderized”.

  97. 97
    Corner Stone says:

    @RP:

    I’ve read previous chats

    Good God. Why?

  98. 98
    Liberty60 says:

    @Svensker:

    Also, too, Hirschfield is right. Let’s take the age of the earth: One side says 6,000 years. The other side says 4.5 billion. Hirschfield’s Law of the Sacred Middle gives us 2,250,003,000 years as the agreed upon age of the earth. Let’s get those textbooks updated, folks.

    No, read Hirschfield carefully.

    Sometimes the Truth is an amalgam of the two extremist positions.
    For instance, the formless void may be 4.5 billion years old, however the waters parted from the firmament only 6,000 years ago.

    So really, both sides are right, in their own way.

    This is the sort of intellectual sophistication that most bloggers don’t understand, and only Beltway commentators can grasp.

  99. 99
    SFAW says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Amusing how much you flatter yourself. Others, with less insecurity or cluelessness, might have seen the comment as being backhanded snark.

    And, in the real world, unlike in T&HWorld! !, a person can have the same view as some (unnamed) clueless fuck about one or more issues, without it being an “alliance.” But that’s kind of an advanced concept, apparently, so I ain’t expecting you to get it.

    I’m also not expecting you to get over yourself any time before the meteor hits, either. Thanks for reinforcing my assessment.

  100. 100
    Culture of Truth says:

    Sanguin” doesn’t mean “sanguine”. It means “bloody penguin”, which is a pretty damn disturbing image, if you ask me.

    The controvery was well covered in Holy Penguin, Bloody Penguin, soon to be a movie with Tom Hanks directed by Opie.

  101. 101
    JPL says:

    @SFAW: It brings us pleasure and I’m jealous of his skills.

  102. 102
    SFAW says:

    @Cassidy:

    Awww…SFAW has his own little stalker. Bring the chickens in at night. You don’t want your poultry to be “tenderized”.

    I appreciate the warning, it hadn’t occurred to me. On the other hand, we got fishers, foxes, and coyotes ’round hyar, so chickens don’t last too long if you don’t bring them in.

    But does this mean we now have to say “Keep tenderizing that chicken”? Instead of the original?

  103. 103
    Cassidy says:

    @SFAW: Thought I’d change it up a bit.

  104. 104
    SFAW says:

    @JPL:

    and I’m jealous of his skills.

    That doesn’t make you a bad person, though.

  105. 105
    Gravenstone says:

    @RP: Yse it is.

  106. 106
    eyelessgame says:

    “If it’s any comfort, I think he would be not only disturbed, but sagely sanguin. He would caution us to combine outrage about what is going on in both parties, but also remind us that we are a great nation populated with good people, and that we have every reason to believe that however bumpy the road, we will travel the road to a better place.”

    That’s straight out of Cold Reading 101 – to sound like you’re saying something profound by combining opposing traits. “You hate hard work, but you’re willing to do it when needed. You are quick to form opinions, but always open to revising them when you find they’re wrong.”

    It’s obvious enough that I wonder if he was subtly trolling you back.

  107. 107
    Culture of Truth says:

    He would caution us to combine outrage about what is going on in both parties, but also remind us

    Combine our outrages into one big OUTRAGE?

  108. 108
    TooManyJens says:

    @Culture of Truth: An Outrage Voltron, if you will.

    Gah, that reply pissed me off. Fuck this “both parties” false equivalence bullshit.

  109. 109
    grandpa john says:

    @Keith: Perfect; Located exactly where he should be doing what he was most capable of doing.

  110. 110
    Cervantes says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Actually, Tip is buried in Harwich Port on Cape Cod. There is a cenotaph for him at the Congressional Cemetery in DC.

  111. 111
    shortstop says:

    I think we may be giving Mr. Hirschfield too much credit when we wonder if he was trolling back. First, he’s never shown much perspicacity so far. Second, I doubt he would construct answers to target one cynical reader rather than play to the hordes of Village pablum-consuming citizens who make up his usual audience.

  112. 112
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    Let’s see – communism and fascism are extreme opposites. Communists believe in political repression and government ownership of capital. Fascists believe in political repression and capital ownership of government.

    So we can meet in the middle and take their point of agreement as good, right?

  113. 113
    steve says:

    Did anyone see Adam Gopnick, in a New Yoker last year, thoroughly destroy Tom Friedman? Here’s an excerpt. No linky available, though if you want, you can all probly find it by going through your public library website. It’s from the Sept 12, 2011 issue. Here’s the relevant excerpt:
    __

    While British historians savor big-wheel explanations of why everybody is going to hell in a handbasket, American historians and journalists tend to work within a smaller historical compass. A case in point is “That Used to Be Us” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; $28)–the title comes from a remark of Barack Obama’s about the disappearance of American innovation–which promises to be the small-scale Spenglerian volume of the season. A joint effort by the Times columnist Thomas Friedman and the Johns Hopkins professor Michael Mandelbaum, and written in a cozy, confidential style (there are frequent references to what “Michael” has written elsewhere and what “Tom” has seen in India and China), it accepts that the post-9/11 obsession with the Islamic threat and the War on Terror was a catastrophic national distraction. “Twenty-five years from now the war we undertook against al-Qaeda won’t seem nearly as important as the wars we waged against physics and math,” the authors declare, and then they catalogue all the ways in which America has, in the interim, slipped behind the rest of the rich world. There’s our creaking infrastructure (compare the Shanghai and New York airports, or the rail connections that get you there); our paralyzed education system, where that war against science was fought; and our generally inverted values, which leave us with too many bankers betting on each other’s bets and too many lawyers deposing other lawyers.
    __
    Who can argue with all this? Yet Friedman and Mandelbaum’s book is marked by a kind of tactical disingenuousness. Not only do they propose, as a way to arrest the decline, a third party, with no clear policies, programs, popular constituency, or potential leaders; they also present every problem as one confronted by a uniform “we.” The idea is that we all, left and right, wrinkle our brows and wring our hands and share the same goals, and are just so frustrated about our inability to achieve them. (“Senator Lindsey Graham leaned back in his chair in his Senate office, trying to imagine for us what would have happened if America’s current media had been around to cover the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.”) Now, there may be states and circumstances in which everyone wants something and the system prevents anyone from getting it. Perhaps all Italians want to save Venice from sinking, yet the dysfunction of Italian politics prevents them from doing so. But that’s not the case here. Friedman and Mandelbaum want their countrymen to face the future without first facing the facts about their countrymen: this is the country that a lot of “us” want.
    __
    Despite their title, the authors seem, for instance, determined to avoid the obvious point that one American who shares their outlook and ambitions in almost every detail–who hates partisan wrangling, doubts the wisdom of big foreign wars, proposes a faith in a brisk mixture of private enterprise and public guarantees, accepts the priority of rebuilding our infrastructure–is the President of the United States. If he’s been frustrated, it’s not because of some vague “systemic” political paralysis. It’s because, as he has been startled to discover–and as Friedman and Mandelbaum will also be startled to discover, if they ever get that third party up and running–there is another side, inexorably opposed to these apparently good things. The reason we don’t have beautiful new airports and efficient bullet trains is not that we have inadvertently stumbled upon stumbling blocks; it’s that there are considerable numbers of Americans for whom these things are simply symbols of a feared central government, and who would, when they travel, rather sweat in squalor than surrender the money to build a better terminal. They hate fast trains and efficient airports for the same reason that seventeenth-century Protestants hated the beautiful Baroque churches of Rome when they saw them: they were luxurious symbols of an earthly power they despised. Friedman and Mandelbaum wring their hands at “our” unwillingness to sacrifice our comforts on behalf of our principles, but Americans are perfectly willing to sacrifice their comforts for their ideological convictions. We don’t have a better infrastructure or decent elementary education exactly because many people are willing to sacrifice faster movement between our great cities, or better-informed children, in support of their belief that the government should always be given as little money as possible.
    __
    The reasons for these feelings are, of course, complex, with a noble reason descending from the Revolutionary War, and its insistence on liberty at all costs, and an ignoble one descending from the Civil War and its creation of a permanent class of white men convinced that they are besieged by an underclass they regard as the subsidized wards of the federal government. (Thus the curious belief that a worldwide real-estate crisis that hit the north of Spain and the east of Ireland as hard as the coast of Florida was the fault of money loaned by Washington to black people.) But the crucial point is that this is the result of active choice, not passive indifference: people who don’t want high-speed rail are not just indifferent to fast trains. They are offended by fast trains, as the New York Post is offended by bike lanes and open-air plazas: these things give too much pleasure to those they hate. They would rather have exhaust and noise and traffic jams, if such things sufficiently annoy liberals. Annoying liberals is a pleasure well worth paying for. As a recent study in the social sciences shows, if energy use in a household is monitored so that you can watch yourself saving money every month by using less, self-identified conservatives will actually use and spend more, apparently as a way of showing their scorn for liberal pieties. (Presumably, you could construct a similar experiment running toward the left, with the goods at play carbon footprints or local produce or the like.) The kind of outlook that Friedman and Mandelbaum assume is somehow natural to mankind and has been thwarted here recently–a broad-minded view of maximizing future utility–has, from a historical perspective, a constituency so small as to be essentially nonexistent. In the long story of civilization, the moments when improving your lot beats out annoying your neighbor are vanishingly rare.

  114. 114
    Svensker says:

    @Liberty60:

    Thank you. I see the era of my ways, now.

  115. 115
    jamick6000 says:

    haha amazing. Favorite part that (I don’t think) anyone has brought up: “If He’s looking down on us from heaven, what do you think he might be thinking?”

    I love the capital H in He referring to Broder. He is the God of bipartisan centrists.

  116. 116
    RP says:

    @Corner Stone: Because they were linked here. I swear!

  117. 117
    Corner Stone says:

    @shortstop:

    Second, I doubt he would construct answers to target one cynical reader rather than play to the hordes of Village pablum-consuming citizens who make up his usual audience.

    But the perfect answer does both. And only one, if suitably trolled, would recognize it. The others would sip their mocha grande no fat triple shot with cinnamon latte for $11 and nod their heads slightly.

  118. 118
    shortstop says:

    @Corner Stone: Certainly. Do you think Hirschfield has it in him?

  119. 119
    SFAW says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Half-caf or full-caf?

  120. 120
    Corner Stone says:

    @shortstop: I don’t know. But it’s far more entertaining to consider the possibility.

  121. 121
    Anne Laurie says:

    Sorry, DougJ — I think you & Hirschfeld are now trolling each other, which is kind of the working definition of “pointless”. But, hey: Your time, your entertainment!

  122. 122
    slag says:

    I think he would be not only disturbed, but sagely sanguin

    I wonder how many DougJ trollposts it would have taken here to get Broder sanguinely sagely disturbed? Sanguinely disturbedly saged?

    DougJ, your mission is left undone. Science demands answers to the question of how many different combinations deceased David Broder can find for cheerful optimism, distracted anxiety, and wisdom/herbal essence.

  123. 123
    ruemara says:

    I’m still stuck on the misspelling of “sanguine” for “sanguin” meaning, blood red cloth. Of course, I do find Broderism to be a red flag to me, so perhaps it’s just meta.

  124. 124
    khead says:

    I, for one, welcome our new troll, T&H.

  125. 125
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Culture of Truth: Opus is directing penguin snuff films now?

  126. 126
    DougJ says:

    @jamick6000:

    Glad someone caught that touch!

  127. 127
    feebog says:

    Let’s remember that this post is just one day after 38 -assholes- Republicans voted to block a treaty encouraging all nations to treat the disabled with dignity and respect. Dougs point, once again and always is that MSM and the Villagers just cannot get past the “both sides do it” meme. Bullshit. Both sides do not do it. Both sides do not stick up for the wealthy while shitting on those without a voice.

  128. 128
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @DougJ: Frankly, I have always been partial to your harangue against long division. The very bizarreness of it appeals to my sense of whimsy.

  129. 129
    shortstop says:

    @jamick6000: I missed that! Fantastic.

  130. 130
    SFAW says:

    @feebog:

    Dougs point, once again and always is that MSM and the Villagers just cannot get past the “both sides do it” meme.

    And thank FSM that DougJ is here to point that out, because none of us here has ever heard that before.

    Well, not more than 83 gazillion times before, but when DougJ does it, he somehow manages to make it fresh and new.

  131. 131
    kbsuttle says:

    Jesus. What a masterful effort. I’ve been reading and loving this site for years, but have just kind of lurked and enjoyed but never engaged. You sir, with this post, have broken the inertia. Here it is, my one and only comment at Balloon Juice ever: This was fucking genius. Your best trolling effort so far, and the Broder follow up . . . for the win, indeed. Amazing what people will say when they don’t know they’re being ruthlessly, ruthlessly mocked.

  132. 132
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @steve: Great article. Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  133. 133
    Em Aych says:

    @SFAW:

    Why troll those guys? Because it’s a hilarious way to point out how much damage they’re causing. Hirschfeld and other Broderians are viewed by many as valid sources of info about the budget debate. The Republican side right now is unambiguously and categorically wrong. This needs to be called out clearly until they reform.

    The question to ask is: what wrong would the Republicans have to commit before someone like Hirschfeld would finally call them out? What would have to happen before he’d stop having his fictional Broder cry tears from heaven? I’d bet there is none. I bet they could keep marching in the direction they’re in, and they’d never be called out.

    This is a huge, huge weakness in our national discourse. There is no penalty from the press for unilaterally engaging in destructive behavior. It encourages the sociopaths among us (like those running the Romney campaign) to lie as blatantly as he did–because they know they can get away with it.

    Also: it’s hilarious to make fun of someone who is so arrogant as to put words in a dead man’s mouth.

  134. 134
    SFAW says:

    @Em Aych:
    I think there’s a difference between “calling them out”, and trolling them as Doug does. The former is (theoretically) designed to get them to change their behavior, the latter is to show BJ readers just how fucking smart/ironic/cutesy DougJ can be, and look-at-how-stupid-my-latest-MSM/Broderian-target-is.

    Yes, Doug, we all know the “both sides do it” meme results from laziness, fear, some combination of the two, or possibly some additional motive. We’ve known it for years, we’ve laughed (ruefully) about it for years, and so forth and so on. But after awhile, the schtick gets really fucking old.

    Hirschfield’s a FSM- goddam religion columnist, he’s not a Bobo, or Douchehat, or Friedman. Maybe Doug will troll a movie reviewer next? This whole trolling-the-quasi-pundits things is starting to remind me of “Glory Days”.

    You and I have different criteria for what’s hilarious, obviously.

  135. 135
    Thomas F says:

    @SFAW: Do you see any evidence — whatsoever — that the media zeitgest has taken DougJ’s crusade to heart? Until then, I say the more juvenile trolling of self-satisfied media blowhards, the better.

  136. 136
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Em Aych = DougJ?

    Just sayin…

  137. 137

    Damn you doug for earworming Alanis for me.

  138. 138
    SFAW says:

    @Thomas F:

    Do you see any evidence—whatsoever—that the media zeitgest has taken DougJ’s crusade to heart?

    No. Why would they? It’s not as if DougJ has any following outside of these four walls (so to speak).

    @Thomas F:

    Until then, I say the more juvenile trolling of self-satisfied media blowhards, the better.

    Why? Seriously, why? It’s just another form of narcissism. Maybe not initially, but after the 3,271st time it is. Now, I like busting balls as much as the next person, and I’ve trolled some Reichtard sites in the past, but as I’ve advanced closer to dotage (if not there already, of course), I’ve realized that not everyone needs to have their (literal or figurative) balls busted, even if they may deserve it. And doing the “Hey look at me! Look at who I trolled! A third-stringer for the Topeka Times-Picayune! Woohoo!” thing to excess – as Doug has done – gets old.

    ETA: And, yes, I realize you may have been trolling me. But trolling or not, I figured you deserved a serious answer.

  139. 139
    A moocher says:

    @eyelessgame: I think so too…it was a artful, chin-stroking counter-troll. Because nobody could be that staggeringly drooly of an idjit.

  140. 140
    redshirt says:

    @A moocher: If it was a counter troll, it was cunning and subtle. Powerful troll-fu. But since this can be recognized, it can also be counter-counter trolled. And so on and such possibly to infinity, where, I like to believe, lives The Troll of All Trolls, The Trolliest, or, as others refer to this force, “God”.

  141. 141
    JPK says:

    Excellent, esp. the Broder!

  142. 142
    pattonbt says:

    @Ted & Hellen: This is like the least ban-happy place on the net. You have to cross some pretty far lines to get banned here. Generally trollery far from being enough.

    Notice you are still here, case closed.

  143. 143
    Tony the WonderHorse says:

    David Broder is dead?

  144. 144
    Humble Lurker says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Huh. I don’t consider banning someone who defends pedophiles to be thin-skinned, but hey, that’s me.

  145. 145
    hep kitty says:

    I hear you, and would make one small adjustment to your process. Listen to BOTH sides because the truth is often NOT in teh middle per se, but may be an amalgam of views from both sides

    Let’s see now. Like it or not, I have been listening to the other side for 12 years now. I didn’t like what I heard. I don’t like what I’m hearing. They have been wrong on virtually everything and practically destroyed this country.

    So I’m somewhat justifiably perplexed by this notion, or rather insistence, that I’m supposed to listen to, much less consider, anything they have to say whatsoever within the remainder of my years on earth.

    That is unless they get down on their knees, beg our forigiveness and turn over all the loot they stole from us, then I might reconsider. Also, I am not averse to a few minutes in a “quiet room” with a baseball bat.

  146. 146
    libarbarian says:

    You must be crazy! A non-zero-sum approach to politcs? Remain animated by what your party can accomplish, not how much pain you can inflict on the “other” side? Do politics as if we are one nation with competing approaches regarding how to achieve what is best for all, not just good guys and bad guys endlessly banging away at each other? That’s just crazy, right? Clearly, you are not crazy at all, but a wise and hopeful individual, whose words remind us not only of what is wrong with so much of contemporary politics, but of how we might do better. Thank you for both your wisdom and and your hopefulness.

    What a crock.

    Once one of two parties has decided that their relationship is a zero-sum game … it starts being a zero-sum game.

    The GOP made that decision and now that’s exactly what the game is.

  147. 147
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    Once one of two parties has decided that their relationship is a zero-sum game … it starts being a zero-sum game.

    Assuming, of course, both parties are playing the same game.

    The Republicans, for example, may be playing the “feather my nest with wingnut welfare” game while teh Democrats think they’re playing politics.

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