Fashionably sensitive but too cool to care

One of my all-time favorite Balloon Juice comments (from commenter MikeJ):

The choice isn’t obot or paultard, it’s being too cool to actually approve of anything. The whole thing smacks of effort, man.

Democrats are also famous for only liking the first album (or better yet, the unreleased demos.)

I wonder, though, if this is more true of professional centrists than anyone else. They liked Obama when he was relatively unknown Senator, they hate him now that he’s president. The only candidate in either party that they liked in 2012 was indie darling Jon Huntsman. All elected officials regularly break the professional centrists’ hearts by selling out, in the form of opposition to whatever barbaric, unpopular “grand bargain” the professional centrists are pimping.

The only way to impress the professional centrists is to walk away from it all, like Evan Bayh (even though walking away from it all meant quitting as a Senator to become a lobbyist). I guess that’s not the only way, there’s a few rebels like Joe Lieberman and John McCain, fighting bravely to change the system from within.

And, of course, caring too much about anything (other than bipartisanship) is strictly verboten.

98 replies
  1. 1
    D58826 says:

    Totally off topic but that loud noise you just heard is the heads in Texas exploding – a federal judge just declared the Texas ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional!!!!!!I Seems the federal constitution and SCOTUS are mightier than Rick Perry

  2. 2

    Are you referring to John Dickerson’s slate column or Jon Stewart every night on the TDS?

    ETA: One line summary, politics is awful and both sides are equally bad. *slow sad head-shake*

  3. 3
    DougJ says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    They’re far from the worst offenders, in a world where Ron Fournier exists.

  4. 4
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    there’s a few rebels like Joe Lieberman and John McCain,

    Looserman is a lobbyist now, despite his sacred vows never to become one.

    McCain, on the other hand, surrendered his remaining integrity to his ambition in 2008. Then he sealed the deal by selecting an utter airhead as a running mate.

    The centrists are actually Rethugs who are too embarrassed to call themselves Rethugs anymore.

  5. 5
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:


    Beacha there at the bottom of the last thread.

    Also, I thought Huntsman was a douche before it was cool. I also hated Edwards in 2004.

  6. 6
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    I think I get more annoyed with the “both sides do it” fake equivalency bullshit from the so-called independents than I do from the wingnuts. Yesterday I posted something on my FB page about the Texas Gooper who said we should be able to just shoot “wetbacks” trying to enter the country on sight and that Obama was a “socialist son of a bitch.” So this dude pops up with the BSDI mantra and then got really pissy when I asked him which Dem politicians were talking about shooting immigrants.

  7. 7
    Violet says:

    It’s like hipsterism. Studied non-conformity turns into conformity (beard implants are a thing now, the morning news informed me).

  8. 8
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Reminds me of some dialog from Attack of the Clones where young Anakin Skywalker does a centrist dance himself.

    Of course, later he surrendered to the Dark Side.

  9. 9
    cyntax says:

    Of the people who liked Jon Huntsman or Evan Bayh, those two analogies seem to fit well. Of other Dems I know who aren’t happy with Obama, not so much.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    D58826 says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): well good news is always worth repeating esp. when it discomforts the folks in Texas

  12. 12

    @Villago Delenda Est: You actually remember those movies? They were so utterly forgettable with cringe worthy dialog.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    It’s because I cringed that I remember them!

    “You can write this shit, George, but you can’t say it!” – Harrison Ford

  14. 14
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @DougJ: Fournier is an ideologue, though. Different sport.

  15. 15
    Marc says:

    All elected officials regularly break the professional centrists’ hearts by selling out

    Where “selling out” is usually defined as “acting on the ideology they ran on.” (Or “acting on behalf of the constituents who elected them,” but only if they’re Democrats.)

    Yeah, it’s a poor definition of sellout that doesn’t include Evan Bayh.

  16. 16
    Chris says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    I think I get more annoyed with the “both sides do it” fake equivalency bullshit from the so-called independents than I do from the wingnuts.

    Me too.

  17. 17

    Who is the new Beltway media darling now that Christie’s star is no longer shining brightly?

  18. 18
    BGinCHI says:

    When the choice is between hard work and fundamentals or innovation, you can always separate out the two kinds of people we are talking about here.

    In education this is profoundly true. When those of us who work in the trenches hear the word “innovation” at a meeting, we reach for our revolvers.

    We would reach for our rubber souls, but who has the time to beat people?

  19. 19

    @Chris: Me 3. The same reason I hate Brooks more than Limbaugh.

  20. 20
    cleek says:

    when i hear “both sides do it”, i assume i’m talking to someone who doesn’t actually know anything about politics. it’s a way of pretending to know something.

  21. 21
    DougJ says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    It was going to be Scott Walker but now I think it may be Jeb Bush.

  22. 22
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Bless you, Harrison.

  23. 23

    @BGinCHI: Is it because, innovation usually means figuring out a new way to make money usually by compromising on quality.

  24. 24
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    Fair enough.

  25. 25

    @DougJ: I predict Paul Ryan will make a comeback. Beltway types love him and his austerity BS.

  26. 26

    @Villago Delenda Est: I only remember this;

    I have the high ground

    I burst out laughing in the theater.

  27. 27
    DougJ says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I don’t think he wants to run for president though.

    I think his pathological lying would do him in. Mind you, I have friends who do the same thing (make up weird braggy stuff about themselves), so I don’t think it makes him a bad person but I think it makes him a poor presidential candidate.

  28. 28
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    And speaking of lobbyists … Remember that guy we were discussing in a thread (yesterday, I think) who was drafting legislation to prohibit the NFL from having gay football players? Remember that?

    Well, hahahahahahaha!!

  29. 29
    C.V. Danes says:

    They liked Obama when he was relatively unknown Senator, they hate him now that he’s president.

    Actually, they liked the imaginary Obama that was speaking directly to them about how he was going to change the world in just the way they wanted.

    The only thing I will say in this regard, and where Clinton may have been more resilient, is that she knew full well the kind of ratfkers she would be dealing with in the Senate and House, having been the recipient of their antics for years. She would have had no illusion of some “grand bargain.”

    Although I think political dynasties are bad for the democracy, I’m tempted to support her just to see how much more crazy the Republicans will become, knowing that she will be merciless in dealing with them.

  30. 30
    Trollhattan says:


    My money’s still on Walker. For whatever reason, okay, due to general ignorance, he plays better on the teevee machine a couple thousand miles away from his ongoing crime scene. When he forms sentences, he seems moderate compared to pretty much every other Republican with a camera aimed at them.

  31. 31
    Joel says:

    @DougJ: Stewart is pretty low on the “offenders” list.

    Dickerson is quite a bit higher, but certainly below Fournier.

  32. 32
    Joel says:

    @DougJ: Stewart is pretty low on the “offenders” list.

    Dickerson is quite a bit higher, but certainly below Fournier.

  33. 33

    The “fake” part of fake centrism is that their actual positions are nowhere near the center. They’re basically zombie Reagan positions.

  34. 34
    BGinCHI says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Innovation is almost always pushed by people who don’t have to do the hard work in the day-to-day sense. They are always Fordists, whether they think so or not.

  35. 35
    Villago Delenda Est says:



    That’s the sound of my Schadenfreude meter pegging out.

  36. 36
    BGinCHI says:

    @ranchandsyrup: This. They are the status quo. The tell is that they always punch down.

  37. 37

    @BGinCHI: We can also call them MoUists now.

  38. 38
    BGinCHI says:

    Anyone else notice Mitt Romney sticking his oar in about a lot of issues (like the one in AZ)?

    He’s running.

  39. 39

    @DougJ: I had a friend like that in grade school, she would be utterly unfazed when called out about it too.

  40. 40

    @BGinCHI: Why? Does he think he and his dad jeans will fare better the third time around?

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    “Only a Sith deals in absolutes”

    Norman, coordinate!

  42. 42
    Belafon says:

    @D58826: Being here on the edge of the Metroplex, I’ll let you know when I start hearing popping sounds. That being said, most people around here aren’t going to care one way or another.

  43. 43
    IowaOldLady says:

    @Trollhattan: I’m scratching my head, looking at Rand Paul, and saying surely not. But he’s all over my TV machine these days.

  44. 44
    BGinCHI says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: His ego, it is large.

  45. 45

    @Joel: Jon Stewart is always pushing the civility meme, and is way too kind to the Republican war mongers when they show up to hawk their books on his show andis extra harsh when Dems show up. Also, these days he is increasingly unfunny.

  46. 46
    JPL says:

    @BGinCHI: That would be my guess but I don’t think, he would get the nomination.

  47. 47
    BGinCHI says:

    @JPL: That’s what everyone said last time. He might be the only one without a scandal left standing.

    Please proceed, guv’nor.

  48. 48
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Maybe he believes that he has a duty to get himself elected President, so that the White Horse Prophecy might finally be fulfilled.

  49. 49
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    That’s rich coming from MikeJ.

  50. 50
    some guy says:

    finally, the US Government comes to its senses and removes Abu Muhammad Al-Julani from his spot (#6) on the list of Most wanted Terrorists. How could a “moderate” al Qaeda leader like Abu Muhammad Al-Julani ever have gotten onto a list al Qaeda terrorists. Just because the guy pledges loyalty to Zawahiri, and just because the guys militia has beheaded a couple dozen people, and just because he’s committed to establishing an Islamic regime and putting women back into their proper place, that is no reason to call an al Qaeda leader a terrorist.

    bravo, Secretary Kerry, now Abu Muhammad Al-Julani no longer has to worry about being listed as a terrorist when he receives US taxpayer dollars to wage jihad.

  51. 51
    Chris says:


    The “fake” part of fake centrism is that their actual positions are nowhere near the center. They’re basically zombie Reagan positions.


    “Both sides do it” would be a lot more plausible if it wasn’t for its unspoken corollary, “but liberals are always wronger.”

  52. 52
    Belafon says:

    @Amir Khalid: I’m reading all of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, and Doyle’s description of the Mormons in A Study in Scarlet is not very kind.

  53. 53
    piratedan says:

    @J.D. Rhoades: agreed JD, at least the grifters on the right are honest unrepentant self centered assholes; these magical balance fairy types always set my teeth on edge because they hope to play off each side against each other while appearing to be above the fray. I don’t mind it when someone has a difference of opinion with my own belief set, when you have someone telling me to pipe down, everyone is to blame and look at me pontificating here and self inflating it smacks of intellectual and emotional laziness.

  54. 54
    bemused says:


    Good. Now I wonder how many other clients this creep has and when they will dump him too.

  55. 55

    @Belafon: How realistic is that portrayal? A Study in Scarlet was my first exposure to Mormons.

    ETA: The Mormons I have known IRL are too goody goody kinda like TNC’s comment section. I am more at home among jackals and hyenas of Tunchland.

  56. 56

    @Chris: Bipartisanship is acquiescence to standard righty positions by Dems to give the GOPers cover. So brave. So very brave.

  57. 57
    David Hunt says:

    @D58826: As a Texan, I’m proud to say this does not discomfort me at all. Even though as a tax preparer, it could mean a slight reduction in income: Preparing One Married Filling Jointly return instead of two Single returns.

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Belafon: Not very kind? Rather brutal, I would have said.

  59. 59
    Jeffro says:

    @BGinCHI: OMG, hear hear! On a related note, did you know “entrepreneur”, like “innovator”, means “doesn’t know how to execute on the fundamentals” (or get along with others)?

  60. 60
    Chris says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I liked his use of the Ku Klux Klan in another story, too.

  61. 61

    @Chris: And gangsters of Chicago in The Valley of Fear. The Sign of Four is bit too Orientalist, though.

  62. 62
    Trollhattan says:


    I should check in with my NH brother as to whether they’re also receiving a media “Randing.” Similar to Cruz, I simply don’t believe he’ll stand up to continual media scrutiny without gaffing his way right out of the mix. He doesn’t have a sliver of dad’s “aw shucks” persona, which washes away countless embarrassing stains. Basically, Rand’s a preening git with a marmot on his head.

  63. 63
    Amir Khalid says:

    One description of Mormonism that kept popping up around here, especially during Mitt’s presidential campaign in 2012, called it the Scientology of the 19th century.

  64. 64
    Chris says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Don’t remember The Sign Of Four, but I do remember liking The Valley Of Fear. The bad guys were thinly disguised Molly Maguires, IIRC. (With ties to Moriarty).

  65. 65
    Bill Arnold says:


    … it may be Jeb Bush.

    Are there any scandals dogging him? (Semi serious; low-scandal candidates appear to be what the right beltway types are looking for now.)

  66. 66

    @Chris: Its a good yarn, you should read it.

  67. 67
    Amir Khalid says:

    George Walker Bush is reputed to have said, the French have no word for “entrepreneur”.

  68. 68
    Trollhattan says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Little known fact: “Joe” Smith’s real name is L. Ron Smith. You could look it up.

  69. 69
    catclub says:

    @Trollhattan: You, me and Charlie ‘Don’t go to sleep on this guy’

    He has full wingnut cred (killing unions) for winning Iowa, for starters.

  70. 70
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): I didn’t like Edwards, but I didn’t hate him until I got in the same (very large) room with him. The creep vibe was very strong. It did not make me popular in my circle of friends. They later called me prescient (my view was that I was paying attention in a different way from them).

    Huntsman scared the snot out of me. He could look and sound so reasonable but he was every bit the reactionary the rest of the GOP was. he just hid it much, much better. Had me worried for a bit (see 2004, above).

  71. 71
    RareSanity says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I would have disagreed with you…before I saw him interview Nancy Pelosi a couple of weeks ago. I’ve never seen him grill Gramps McCain, or any of the other GOP whackjobs he’s had on like that before.

    As far as the unfunny part…I don’t think it’s a function of him necessarily “loosing his touch”, I think it’s more that he’s just lost so many extremely talented people. While he’s replaced them physically, he hasn’t even come close to replacing them creatively.

    It might not even be possible. I mean the people he lost are now some big stars in televisions and movies, they weren’t just some dime-a-dozen, forgettable hacks. You loose Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Ed Helms and Rob Corddry, it’s hard to just have open auditions and replace that kind of talent. Then guys like Rob Riggle and Wyatt Cenac left almost as soon as they arrived…and then what I think was the nail in the coffin…John Oliver leaving, and you end up with a show that just isn’t all that funny anymore.

    Those folks were writers as well as on camera participants. The Colbert Report is still funny as hell, for just one example.

  72. 72
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    From a quick Googling (and I didn’t pursue any of the links), it looks like Burkman’s backtracking and claiming it was just a big ole PR stunt. Fucking coward.

  73. 73
    Turgidson says:


    And the above-it-all faux centrists almost always seem to be economic right-wingers, who maybe don’t hate the gays as much as the Paul Broun types, but subtly hate on gay rights advances to the extent that it erodes our nation’s morals or some other bullshit sociological word salad. And they seem to unanimously agree that all would be well with the world if Obama would just stop being so partisan and unleaderlike and adopt Paul Ryan’s granny-starving budget, or failing that, at least the bipartisanly wise and noble Shits n’ Bowels plan. Even though the deficit was never a crisis and is now falling like a rock, to the country’s disadvantage.

    Basically, it’s the driftglass theorem – beltway centrism is largely a refuge for long-time Republican shills who basically believe in 90% of the party platform, but have enough firing synapses to realize that the GOP is on the wrong side of history on some issues, and that BushCo damaged the GOP brand so severely that they can’t proudly associate with the party anymore. And they’re so safely tucked away in their bubble that they can’t comprehend that the voting public outside their social circles hates the supposedly “brave” and “responsible” idea of SS and Medicare cuts and is perfectly happy to raise taxes on the “virtuous job creators” the rich.

    They are indeed worse than Limbaugh. Limbaugh is after all an entertainer. A reprehensible one, of course, and not without influence, but still an entertainer. The faux centrists are, with some success in the case of Bobo and a few others, injecting similarly fatal poison into the nation’s political veins, but are taken seriously and listened to by people who should know better.

  74. 74
    dedc79 says:

    To get your centrist street cred as a Dem you must, on at least one, but preferably a few significant occasions, sell out the poor, the elderly or minorities in a very public way. Even then, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the centrist credit at the time. Clinton, for example, got retroactive centrist cred for dismantling welfare. It didn’t do him any good in terms of the way the press portrayed him while he was president (or at least not that i recall), but it affects how he’s described now.

  75. 75

    @RareSanity: I haven’t seen TDS in a while, I had no idea that Oliver had left.

  76. 76
    catclub says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): “He could look and sound so reasonable ”

    Me too. But DougJ is right that he was only popular with the centrists who never pick accurately.

    He also only got any attention at all because he/his father were billionaires.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    RareSanity says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Yep…HBO is giving him his own “Daily Show”.

    I have a feeling it’s going to be awesome.

  79. 79
    Amir Khalid says:

    This kind of story is almost always too good to be true. Sigh.

  80. 80
    mclaren says:

    DougJ here parrots the false and cowardly claim that Democrats who believe unpopular things, like the belief that the president of the united states must obey the law or the belief that launching endless unwinnable wars in third-world country and coddling criminal bankers and Wall Street financial crime lords is not and should not be a basic progressive value, are just spoiled-brat whiners in search of impossible perfection.

    Progressive marginal tax rates are not impossible perfection.

    The right of workers to organize is not impossible perfection.

    Ending the useless unwinnable third-world wars draining this country of its lifeblood and turning our society into an armed garrison camp is not a goal which is impossible, nor does it represent unreachable perfection.

    Asking Demcratic politicians to respond to the middle class rather than billionaires is not impossible perfection.

    Demanding Democratic leaders who aren’t fringe lunatics like Joe Lieberman or Joe Biden (who has claimed that we need “a D-Day in the war against drugs” and who calls Ed Snowden a “hi-tech terrorist”) is not impossible perfection.

    Asking for Democrats to run for office who do not constantly lie and lie and lie and lie and lie about what policies they intend to put in place once in office is not impossible perfection.

    Voting out Democrats out promise one thing and then constantly deliver the exact ultraconservative opposite (i.e., promise to relax marijuana prosecutions by the DEA, then increase DEA raids on state medical marijuana dispensaries; promise that the public option is the best way to set up health care reform, then once in office declare the public option “off the table”; demand accountability for the Bush war criminals while running for office, then refuse to prosecute them once in office) is not impossible perfection.

    Usually DougJ is spot-on, but in this post he reminds me of the bullies and cowards who ridiculed heretics being tortured to death during the Grand Inquisition as “whiners.”

  81. 81
    Amir Khalid says:

    For some reason, FYWP won’t let me mention The Sign of Four in a comment.
    ETA: Now it does. Hmm.

  82. 82
    Jay says:

    A JEWEL KILCHER reference by DougJ!

    That’s it. I’m taking the rest of the day off.

    Also, I bought Ms. Kilcher’s poetry book as a teen. I apologize.

  83. 83
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Amir Khalid: It did the same thing to me earlier.

  84. 84
    Chris says:


    But of course, there is no mirror requirement that conservatives refudiate the teabaggers, or the neocons, or the economic royalists, or… anyone, really.

  85. 85
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @mclaren: One stumbling block to your view is this: DougJ says here that the comment would be more appropriately applied to “centrists” than to Democrats. So he’s not rehashing any of the complaints at which your litany of counter-complaints is directed.

  86. 86
    Amir Khalid says:

    A friend of mine bought that collection of lousy schoolgirl poetry too, and he was in his thirties. He has less excuse than you.

  87. 87
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Snopes may say that, and Blair’s flak may deny Blair told Lady Williams that, but it rings too true to me. The deserting coward is a shithead.

  88. 88
    DougJ says:


    I can’t stand Jewel’s music, but this quote won me over:

    “Around 30, I kind of realized that alcohol really does solve all your problems. Whoever said drinking doesn’t help lied. You live and you learn.”

  89. 89
    DougJ says:


    I’m agreeing with you here. I’m saying that it’s not liberals who are too-cool-for-school, it’s the professional centrists.

    I don’t think liberal positions are necessarily that unpopular with voters, not as clearly as the “grand bargain” is.

  90. 90
    Jeffro says:

    @Amir Khalid: He did say that, lol, and even if it were true, it’d be because they can execute on the fundamentals. ;)

    No need to “innovate” when your food is great, your social safety net is great, and you work to live instead of the other way around.

    Also, too, wine.

  91. 91
    David Koch says:

    Fashionably sensitive but too cool to care

    Digya see the latest from Conor Friedersdor — he says opposes discrimination against gays, but he’s outraged that people want to enact laws banning discrimination. He’s against all big gubmit interference and believes the invisible hand will eliminate hate crimes.

    White male privilege at it’s starkest.

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @David Koch:

    Glibertarians do not get a lot of things, and young Conor exemplifies their abject stupidity.

  93. 93
    dedc79 says:

    @Chris: Republicans get to be called centrists merely by virtue of saying that they might not have used the same words that Ted Nugent used to describe the President.

  94. 94
    ThresherK says:

    @C.V. Danes: Actually, they liked the imaginary Obama that was speaking directly to them about how he was going to change the world in just the way they wanted.

    Pithy observation.

    Allow me to tangent: Not that I have a Venn diagram of the intersection between the right noiziers and the Kewl Kidz, but is there anyone that Fox News admires, in the abstract and in passing, more than the second-place Democrat in a Prez primary?

    (I’m thinking of their words when Hillary was nominee-apparent, in late 2007.)

  95. 95
    mclaren says:


    One stumbling block to your view is this: DougJ says here that the comment would be more appropriately applied to “centrists” than to Democrats. So he’s not rehashing any of the complaints at which your litany of counter-complaints is directed.

    Permit me to demur, sir. One of my biggest concerns going forward is that Democratic `centrists’ have been moved so far to the right by the shifting of the Overton Window since 1981 that nowadays a Democratic `centrist’ means: a Democratic politician who believes we should only torture accused terrorists without a trial and without charges by cutting out their eyes instead of slicing off their testicles. Nowadays a Democratic `centrist’ is someone who asserts that America should be involved into three different simultaneous unwinnable wars, instead of invading every country in the Middle East. Nowadays a Democratic `centrist’ is someone who thinks that we should reform health care by forcing every U.S. citizen to purchase unaffordable private health insurance from greedy corrupt for-profit medical providers in a system where health insurance premiums and underlying health care costs are guaranteed to rise forever without limit (as opposed to the Republican health care ‘plan’ which means that “if you get sick, you die quickly”).

    Nowadays a Democratic `centrist’ is someone who thinks that reforming the War on Drugs means reducing the number of arrests of terminal cancer patients using prescription marijuana to combat the nausea that keeps them from eating after their chemotherapy, rather than ending the entire misguided insane War on Drugs entirely.

    Isn’t anyone else deeply concerned that `centrist’ Democratic politicians in 2014 are basically advocating positions significantly to the right of Republican politicians in 1982 and 1983?

    I’m seriously worried about this trend. Everyone here is celebrating the fact that the Republican party has gone so insane that it’s losing the electorate — and well they should. But no one here seems to be concerned with the fact that the Republican party drifting so far right that it’s gone off the edge of the world has dragged the Democratic party with it. This process of drifting to the right has gone to the point where Democratic progressives are now mostly talking about issues like free trade and potential inflation, when the real problem is the destruction of the American middle class, the unlimited growth of corporate power, the capture of out entire governance process by superwealthy War Street criminals, and America turning into a garrison state that requires eternal war everywhere in the world to survive as an economy.

    DougJ seems to me to have joined the amen chorus that pooh-poohs such concerns as “unrealistic” and “preposterous” and “the purity patrol.” If we now define as an unrealistic purity patrol returning the constitution of the united states and dragging American society out of its rut as a garrison state embroiled in eternal war both against the world’s poorest third world peoples and the American people (via War on Drugs, War on Copyright Infringement, War on Whistleblowers), then we’re fucked.

  96. 96
    mclaren says:


    Okay, well, then clearly I misread your post. There’s a large contingent in the Democratic party that claims that anything not Republican-lite is “unrealistic” and “a purity patrol.” This is based on the silly fantasy that Washington is “wired for Republican control” and Republicans are somehow “more responsible than those giddy foolish tax-and-spend save-the-snail-darter-by-shutting-down-dam-project Democrats.”

    When the entire reality of the last 30 years has shown clearly that Republicans simply cannot govern. They’re incapable of it. Repubs are great at campaigning, but they just can’t manage to run an organization and make it work — probably because ever since 1981, Repubs have thought of government the same way they think of corporations…as giant jewelry store windows ripe for a smash-and-grab.

    Apologies, then, Doug. I missed the message of your post entirely.

  97. 97
    Ian says:

    You agree with Pie too?

  98. 98
    James E. Powell says:

    The only way to impress the professional centrists is to walk away from it all, like Evan Bayh (even though walking away from it all meant quitting as a Senator to become a lobbyist).

    When they quit and give their “I can’t abide this – plague on both houses” speech, the press/media just love them and I mean L-U-V. Paragons of political virtues, that’s what these quitters are. Cf. Bill Bradley.

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