And we’re changing our ways, taking different roads

Hunter S. Thompson once wrote “My mother hates Nixon, my son hates Nixon, I hate Nixon, and this hatred has brought us together.” Bush had the same effect on the family of non-wingers. The Slate/New Republic/Atlantic crowd turned on Bush with a vengeance by the end of his second term, making common cause with the hippies who had hated him all along. It was just too hard to refrain from kicking him when he was down, I guess. Also too, Sarah Palin.

Thankfully, those days are coming to an end. I hated having to agree with all those asshole about anything.

65 replies
  1. 1
    Yatsuno says:

    So…Hillary’s gonna lose then?

  2. 2
    Jewish Steel says:

    I couldn’t make past the first page of that Chait piece on race. He already was tying himself in knots carving out rhetorical space to take no responsibility for his argument. Appeared to be saying, “Of course it’s all about race. BUT! It’s not actually about race.” Anyone wanna splain the point of that 7 page thumbsucker?

  3. 3
    Belafon says:

    @Yatsuno: So, here in Texas (DFW), I saw bumper stickers on two cars that made me smile.

    The first said “Clinton/Obama 2016.” The driver looked to be a 30somthing male.
    The second had the following stickers: “I Heart Obamacare” and “Ready for Hillary ’16”. This man looked to be in his 70s.

  4. 4
    shelly says:

    They turned on Bush? Did that include changing their position/support of the Iraq war?

  5. 5
    srv says:

    IDK if this was covered earlier, but Doug, your theories are correct per Mother Jones:

    So how do we then live with the other side—with those who disagree with us, for reasons over which they may not have full control? Hibbing believes that understanding that you don’t fully control your political orientation, any more than you do your sexual orientation or your left-hand/right-hand orientation, promotes political tolerance. “My dad was left-handed,” says Hibbing, “and he got beat on the hand with a ruler when he was a kid.” Nowadays, Hibbing continues, that would never happen—we’ve grown much more tolerant because we recognize that left-handed is just the way some people are.

    So maybe the same can happen for politics. “We have this silly and naive hope, maybe it’s more than that,” says Hibbing, “that if we could get people to see politics in the same light [as left-handedness], then maybe we would be a little bit more tolerant, and there will be a greater opportunity for compromise.”

    The opposition is just sick in the head, there’s nothing you can do about it.

    Poor Dick, he just gets no respect. I wonder what Obama would be doing in WV without the EPA.

  6. 6
    Cacti says:

    (cough) John Cole (cough)

  7. 7
    nomnomnom says:

    I hate people I might otherwise disagree with, too, because go peace, love, and understanding. Yay, hippies!

  8. 8
    srv says:

    @Belafon: I was just in Dallas, and a young waitress was talking about traveling and doing English training around the world at Army bases, but “I just can’t do it while Obama is in office.”

    I told her to follow her dreams or she’d better learn to love CinC Hillary.

    Bless her heart.

  9. 9
    srv says:

    @Cacti: John Cole is one of the handful of bloggers I’ve seen who gets more liberal the older he gets.

    It’s the only thing I have in common with him.

    DougJ is just going through an emo-anarcho phase because he didn’t get enough Rand as a child.

  10. 10
    Belafon says:

    @srv: That’s what I would normally expect around here, but I’m really curious as to why Obama being in office was stopping her.

  11. 11

    There’s only so much being associated with hippies that the atlantic/tnr/slate crowd can stand as well. The siren call of “center right nation” is powerful. I tried that shit back in the early aughts and will not repeat the mistake.

  12. 12
    Turgidson says:


    Sure. But a lot of them only changed from “America fuck yeah!” to “maybe I was wrong, but it was for the right reasons” or “still a great idea, but Bush’s incompetence fucked it up.” Some went all the way over to “I was wrong, the dirty hippies were right, it turns out that was a really bad idea.” But even this crowd still sometimes tries to rationalize their initial support. Chait for example still won’t own up to the fact that BushCo’s WMD claims were clearly fucking bullshit to anyone who cared to look. He also took the opportunity in his “mea culpa” piece last year to warn the dirty hippies that just because they were right this time doesn’t mean they might not be wrong next time some neocon assholes start beating the war drums. And Innumerate Tory Clown Andrew Sullivan claims, without evidence, that Gore would have done the same thing as Bush!

  13. 13
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    expecting that a lot of the eventheliberals who got a bit more liberal post-bush will revert to form.

    Can someone explain just WTF that means? I only know of one way to be a liberal and I have done it that way for most of my 66 years. Have the rules changed?

  14. 14
    gogol's wife says:

    DougJ, way OT, but I hope you saw the Dave Clark 5 documentary last night. If not, it’s on the PBS website:

    It’s highly enjoyable.

  15. 15
    RP says:

    It’s definitely true of Atrios! I liked reading him in 2005-2006. Now I find him to be an insufferable blowhard with no depth.

  16. 16
    bobbo says:

    Especially if Hillary gets elected. The VSPs hate them some Clinton.

  17. 17
    scav says:

    @Belafon: I’m rather enjoying a vision of her dreaming about teaching English on army bases only being frightened of all the CIC-infected soldiers. Are they going to go all gay at her? They’re already apparently not speaking English well enough. Or, is the thought of encountering foreigners with a different opinion of O (let alone gasp possibly soldiers with same) enough to drive her back to the sHell of TX. Not quite following her English myself.

  18. 18
    DougJ says:


    I did too a bit. Though in fairness some of it involved fighting with Nader supporters.

  19. 19
    kc says:


    Fuck her, I’ll take that gig. Where do I sign up?

  20. 20
    Roger Moore says:


    Nowadays, Hibbing continues, that would never happen—we’ve grown much more tolerant because we recognize that left-handed is just the way some people are.

    I thought it had more to do with switching to pens that are less likely to smear when you touch them. It’s very difficult to write left handed with a pen that uses slow drying ink. Slapping people with rulers when they did it wrong might have been heavy handed, but it was a response to a real problem. Continuing to do it today makes as much sense as treating women as irresponsible because they use the pill while having pre-marital sex.

  21. 21
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Wow, Dougj, you just stomped the shit out of Elon’s thread. Hope you’re proud of yourself … and … stuff …

  22. 22
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Jewish Steel: Easy. I don’t read Chait and I don’t even read stuff refuting Chait. Straight into the round file.

  23. 23

    @DougJ: For me it was set and setting. Had just done some election work and severely disliked it. Moved to a new place and started hanging out with some very conservative/military friends. I tried not to care about politics (and took a job with no political work) and just listen. My “inaction” only lasted for a short spell, thankfully.

  24. 24
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @RP: This.

  25. 25
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Roger Moore:
    It’s a right-handed world. There are subtle design biases in aircraft and other things that make bring right handed handy. Thanks to an uncle of mine I learned to work and to shoot right handed. OTOH, there’s nothing better than a well delivered left uppercut.

  26. 26
    Trollhattan says:


    Bless her heart.

    Glorious Southern Snark. Another favorite: “You’re just a big ol’ sack of sugar.”

    Am very sad that HST and Molly Ivins won’t be available to write obits when dubya commences his dirt nap. Can’t think of anybody qualified to take their places.

  27. 27
    Roger Moore says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Can someone explain just WTF that means?

    He’s blasting the Atlantic/Slate/New Republic crowd. The bit about “eventheliberal” is because those publications are supposedly liberal but are actually the home to a lot of centrist or center-right writers who spend a lot of time agreeing with Republicans and being used as support for the idea that “Even the liberal [publication]” agrees. They were willing to shy away from Bush when he made the Republican party obviously toxic, but their memories are short enough that they’re reverting to their Republican-friendly ways.

  28. 28

    @Roger Moore:
    No, it was very specifically a ‘stop being different’ thing. I’ve known people who went through it.

    I think it’s racism. There are levels below ‘I hate blacks’ where a lot of folks grew up with the message that black males were a little bit scary. Hell, for all I know some blacks may have been contaminated with it, because it could be very below the surface. I only know the ‘White boy from the 80s’ angle personally, where it was pervasive. Anyway, the result is that a lot of people who don’t have obvious feelings about race see Obama and have a gut reaction of fear and distrust. They can’t identify it. They don’t even know they picked up the meme. It leaves them vulnerable to all kinds of crazy conservative shit spawned by folks who fear and hate blacks a lot. Obama becomes Eastwood’s empty chair. They look at him and it’s obvious that he’s an America-hating liar. It doesn’t need evidence, it’s obvious.

  29. 29
    scav says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: From what I remember, yup, it generally wasn’t restricted to just not writing with the left hand (which would cover any ink problems) it was not favoring that sinister hand at all. not exactly the hallmark of a merely rational response to a purely mechanical issue.

  30. 30
    srv says:

    @Belafon: You can’t rationalize with all of the people all of the time, but you can snark them.

    @Frankensteinbeck: It happened to me, and we had ballpoints. And and a young Catholic nun.

    Probably explains everything, I still write left, but bat right. Just wanted to fuck with them.

  31. 31
    Roger Moore says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    It’s a right-handed world.

    I understand. I’m right handed myself, but most of my siblings are left handed, so I grew up around left handed stuff that had to be bought from special stores or by special order so they could use tools as easily as a right hander could. I also learned that it’s a good idea to set a table so left handed people are grouped together, and so left and right handed people sitting next to each other sit with their off hands adjacent, to avoid bumping elbows.

  32. 32
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Thank you for this important post, DougJ.

  33. 33
    Roger Moore says:


    I still write left, but bat right. Just wanted to fuck with them.

    A common theory today is that you’re supposed to bat so your dominant eye is closer to the pitcher and doesn’t have to look around your nose to see the ball. If you’re left eyed as well as left handed, you might be better off batting right.

  34. 34

    @Roger Moore: or you can open yr stance to have your dominant eye with a better view.

  35. 35
    Turgidson says:

    @Roger Moore:

    continuing OT, but: My dad had the theory that you want your dominant hand to be at the bottom of the bat, doing more of the work to guide the swing, generate more power and improve hand eye coordination. I was absurdly right hand dominant as a little kid – as a toddler I’d reach all the way across my body to pick something up with my right hand rather than use my much-closer left, so he taught me to bat lefty starting at about age 3 with wiffle bats, etc. (I carried that over to all sports involving holding or swinging a stick-like object [insert sexual joke here], so I swing golf clubs lefty and held hockey sticks lefty too.

    In short, your dominant hand does not dictate whether you bat lefty or righty. How you are instructed at a young age mattered more, in my case.

  36. 36
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Thank you. To quote the estimable Lily Tomlin, “No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.”

  37. 37
    Matt McIrvin says:


    I think it’s racism. There are levels below ‘I hate blacks’ where a lot of folks grew up with the message that black males were a little bit scary.

    One of Richard Cohen’s most persistent strains of toolishness is his insistence that this isn’t racist.

    Even if it’s understandable where it came from, it’s still racist. That’s the distinction he doesn’t get.

  38. 38
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Roger Moore: Music teachers often try to persuade left-handers to play stringed instruments right-handed, and one thing they say is that left-handers are actually at an advantage because they’re fingering with their dominant hand.

    Not everyone swallows this. If it were true, it makes you wonder why the instruments aren’t all built the other way around.

  39. 39
    Culture of Truth says:

    Did that include changing their position/support of the Iraq war?

    Eventually, yes. There’s been a spate of ‘I was wrong pieces’, but this only proves how thoughtful, serious and objective they are unlike the hippies who won’t also admit they were wrong about the war.

  40. 40
    Culture of Truth says:

    When I was young, my dad wanted a golfing companion, so I took lessons. We told the instructor I was a strong lefty. He said I should learn right handed since golf courses were made for righties, or something. In retrospect he was probably just lazy or stupid. Anyway, to this day my game sucks, left and right. (I can hit righty, just not terribly well).

  41. 41

    @Culture of Truth: phil mickleson is right handed. his dad taught him to golf left handed so Phil could “mirror” his dad’s swing.

  42. 42
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Matt McIrvin: It’s tough trying to improvise with a lefty guitarist; your usual trick of watching what chords he’s playing gets really confusing.

  43. 43
    Culture of Truth says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Okay, so maybe it’s me. ha ha. But it certainly disproves the idea that it made sense to teach a lefty to play right because of how golf courses are laid out, or some such nonsense.

    On those lines, I was a decent tennis player lefty, cannot imagine using my right hand, which is why I’m always surprised Nadal is a natural righty who plays left. Imagine his success if he used his strong hand!

  44. 44
    Mike E says:

    @gogol’s wife: I especially enjoyed the Ready Steady Go footage, and that DC treated it as an irreplaceable record to be preserved for all times. Love that stuff.

  45. 45
    Roger Moore says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Thank you.

    I figured that was an honest “DougJ is talking in code too deep for me to follow” complaint rather than an obnoxious way of criticizing what he had to say. Given how much we like to make fun of teabaggers for talking in code that only insiders can follow, we should try to avoid falling into the same trap.

  46. 46
    rikyrah says:

    Barack Obama has fucked so many people up in this country. I will say it again…for the “clinging to Whiteness” group, they have spent their entire lives believing that no matter how bad their lives are,
    well, at least I am not a Nigger.
    Then along comes Barack Obama with his Black wife and Black children and he is not only elected, but ‘re-elected’, and they can’t handle it. Now it must be pointed out that 60% of White people voted for Mittens, and it was not even close. The non-Whites of this country said THIS MAN IS OUR PRESIDENT. Some people can’t handle it.

  47. 47

    @Culture of Truth: it was the instructor’s fault. It may be true that the course where he was teaching was set up to favor righties, but not all courses are.

    Re: tennis, could that be a top hand/bottom hand thing as discussed above with baseball? having dominant hand on bottom for forehand?

  48. 48
    Keith G says:

    Who has the time or energy to hate so many, let alone political figures so far removed from one’s tangible world?

    Politics nurtured, or even just accompanied, by hate bears its own kind of bitter fruit.

  49. 49
    Mike E says:

    @Keith G: You’d be surprised…or not…to know that this zero sum reasoning permeates a great deal of day-to-day life for these folks. It’s living on a razor’s edge for them.

  50. 50
    Culture of Truth says:

    @ranchandsyrup: As I recall, his uncle felt that it would help give Nadal a stronger backhand, and when possibly help when facing right handers. In any case, as counterintutive as it is, it worked.

  51. 51

    @Culture of Truth: yeah i’m sure as hell not gonna argue with the results.

  52. 52
    Roger Moore says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    Musical instruments generally require contributions from both hands. Even most of the brass instruments where it looks as if the right hand is doing all the work have important work for the left. I think music is sometimes used as a way of training people to do more with their non-dominant hand.

    My guess about the strings is that people picked the handedness when the playing style was very different and the bow/plectrum was at least as important as the fingering for the overall music. It was only when more complex musical styles became popular that the fingerings on the left hand became the most challenging part.

  53. 53
    Donald says:

    @RP: No idea what you’re talking about. I understand atrios and haven’t seen any change since 2005-2006 and what exactly makes him a “blowhard with no depth”?

  54. 54
    Marc says:


    He posts a few sentences, mostly cheap shots and strawman mockery of others, and doesn’t do anything substantive. I stopped reading him regularly years ago, and nothing appears to have improved when I drop by occasionally recently. Sometimes pithy one liners are not sufficient to explain complicated things, and he just seems bitter and spends a lot of time lashing out.

  55. 55
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Is this in response to anything in particular? The Chait piece? I can’t quite bring myself to read it.

    Tweety has been sorta/kinda hinting lately that he wishes he had called the thrill up his leg for Hillary, and squawking about the good old days of the man who drove him to vote for Bush because dirtysex.

  56. 56
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Marc: Rock on.

  57. 57
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Roger Moore: From a violinist’s perspective, bowing is vital to tos quality of sound. The left hand definitely not doing all the work.

    At the same time, as a right handed person who played the violin, there are some tasks that are easier for me to do left handed such as unscrewing things like light bulbs, nuts, or jar lids.

  58. 58
    EriktheRed says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I play bass and I’ve wanted to try a left-handed model to see if I could have improved fingering. Not willing to fork over a bunch of cash to buy one, though, in case it doesn’t work.

  59. 59
    RP says:

    @Marc: Exactly. I found his comment ironic because Atrios himself was a great resource for me during the Bush administration — we both hated what was going on, and it was so hard to find people willing to say publicly in the early years of the Iraq war that the emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes. Snark and one liners are great when you’re pissed and want to commiserate, but it gets old pretty quickly and is useless when we’re trying to get sh*t done. He’s criticizing new republic types for moving to the center now that Bush is no longer in office, but his failure to adapt and grow is just as much of a problem.

  60. 60
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    …to do left handed such as unscrewing things like light bulbs, nuts, or jar lids.

    I f left handedness made it easy to unscrew then my life would be quite different today.

  61. 61
    different-church-lady says:


    It’s definitely true of Atrios! I liked reading him in 2005-2006. Now I find him to be an insufferable blowhard with no depth.

    Back then he actually wrote stuff instead of using his blog to send out tweets without actually using Twitter.

  62. 62
    Fort Geek says:

    @EriktheRed: I’ve considered the same thing, both with guitar and bass. I’m thinking of getting a cheap pawn-shop bass and stringing it lefty a la Hendrix (I’ve already got an acoustic I could string that way)-but I don’t really have the space for yet another axe (1 bass, 2 acoustics, 4 electrics…)

  63. 63
    burnspbesq says:

    Do you stand for ANYTHING beyond your unjustified feelings of smug superiority?

  64. 64
    taylormattd says:

    I literally don’t understand.

    What does this mean?: “expecting that a lot of the eventheliberals who got a bit more liberal post-bush will revert to form”

  65. 65
    xian says:

    @Matt McIrvin: i am left handed but play ukulele righty. the left-hand smarts may help with fingering but the right-hand spazziness helps much less with rhythm, so it’s a tradeoff, but there’s something to be said for being able to pick up and play most instruments.

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