Fuck You, Joe

These words actually came out of Joe the Plumber’s (but not really, since he never actually was a plumber) obnoxious piehole:

I’m not talking here about the three tragic murders Rodger committed by stabbing before his driving and shooting spree; I speak now only to the families of the gunshot victims in Santa Barbara:

It’s a tragedy.

I am sorry you lost your child. I myself have a son and daughter and the one thing I never want to go through, is what you are going through now. But:

As harsh as this sounds – your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.

Fuck you.

193 replies
  1. 1
    Lizzy L says:

    “Your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.”

    Yes, Joe, they do.

    And — fuck you.

  2. 2
    Betty Cracker says:

    It’s long past time to plunge that obnoxious turd down the national drainpipe and into the septic tank of political oblivion. What an asshole. Even if you believe that’s true, why say something like that to people who’ve just lost their children?

  3. 3
    ronin122 says:

    You forgot that his real name isn’t Joe, but Sam something that begins with a W but too lazy to give a shit. So basically, not-Joe the not-Plumber said something stupid and/or sociopathic? *Looks at calendar* Yup, it’s another day that ends in “y” for Anglophones, nothing new to see here.

  4. 4
    Hunter Gathers says:

    At least the NRA has the good sense to STFU and at least wait a week. They’ll blame the gays or something like that, but they’ll wait until Saturday to do it.

  5. 5
    dmsilev says:

    John McCain was responsible for foisting both Sarah Palin and not-Joe the not-plumber on us. May that forever be what he is remembered for.

  6. 6
    Morzer says:

    On a somewhat related note:


    After waging a lengthy turf war with the federal Bureau of Land Management and offering his thoughts on the current state of “the Negro,” Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has decided his views no longer align with the Republican Party.
    The Associated Press reported that Bundy and his wife Carol signed registration forms on Friday night to switch their affiliation from the Republican Party to the Independent American Party. The party was holding an event in Las Vegas to honor what its organizers called Bundy’s “courage in standing up for state sovereignty,” according to the AP.

  7. 7
    Joe Bauers says:

    Actually, he’s right. They don’t. They should, but they don’t. And that’s part of what’s wrong with this asylum we call a country.

  8. 8
    Morbo says:

    Oh, Todd McKinnon has got that beat. Wishing veterans dead on Memorial Day is the class you’d expect from a former director of the SC Republican Party. Also, shitting on his 100% disabled veteran father.

  9. 9
    BGinCHI says:

    I volunteer to pry the gun from his cold, dead hand.

  10. 10
    Eric U. says:

    @BGinCHI: I’ll fight for his right to join a well-regulated militia

  11. 11

    @Joe Bauers: The absolutist interpretation of the 2nd isn’t as widely held as you and Joe say it is. Otherwise St. Ronnie’s assault weapon ban would have been declared unconstitutional in CA

  12. 12
    KG says:

    So much for the inalienable right to life…

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Human life is not as important to Joe the Plumber as his fucking compensation tool for his can’t find it without an electron microscope dick.

    Just spelling it out so it’s clear what this is all about for him and his fellow cowards who hide behind tools used for one thing, and one thing only…to kill. Well, two things. Also to compensate for having a dick that needs to be found with an electron microscope, but I repeat myself.

    Also, too, I’d say fuck you, Joe, with Ted Nugent’s dick, but it’s more clit sized, too. So it wouldn’t be a very satisfying experience.

  14. 14
    jl says:

    @Joe Bauers:
    I agree. Why piss on this poor grifter for saying it straight out, short and simple. The NRA and their flunkies in the GOP will say exactly the same thing, but spin it out in long variations, hiding the message under tons of bamboozle, misdirection and red herrings.

  15. 15
    Morzer says:

    @Eric U.:

    I’d even fight for his right to join a well-regulated asylum, now that the GOP attempt at one is being run by the Ted Cruzes of this world.

  16. 16
    Hal says:

    @Joe Bauers: pretty much. I’ve lost respect for some very smart, kind people I know who also believe fake Hitler quotes about gun control and talk incessantly about their love of their assault rifles. 20 murdered kids is just a call for more guns to them.

  17. 17
    Trollhattan says:

    “Life, liberty and the pursuit of an instant lead implant to the skull.”

    –“We’re the AristocratsAmmosexuals”

  18. 18
    Morzer says:


    “Life, liberty and the unmocked public display of large, black, metal man-dildoes which are absolutely not compensating for anything”.

  19. 19
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    The party was holding an event in Las Vegas to honor what its organizers called Bundy’s “courage in standing up for state sovereignty,” according to the AP.

    Oh, so that’s what they’re calling shitheaded anarchy these days. Very interesting!

  20. 20
    Darkrose says:

    And yet, dead blastocysts apparently do trump my rights to decide what I do with my body. Funny, that.

  21. 21
    Anne Laurie says:

    @ronin122: Sam Wurzelbacher.

    When he first floated to the top of the GOP septic tank, I thought his last name meant ‘turnip farmer’, but that’s not quite it. Anyone with actual German-language skills want to correct me?

  22. 22
    Morzer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The neo-confederate love that dare not speak its name.

  23. 23
    scav says:

    Poor guy miss the big time gravy train is jumping up and down shouting “Over Here! Over Here! I’m ready for my close-up! I will only feel “sorry” for deaths that might possibly interfere with things I enjoy and only insofar as I don’t want such things (the loss of a child) to happen to me (those other deaths I am explicitly not sorry for). But hey! My Own Kids and Other Parents! Be warned! Nothing must interfere with my amusements, my priorities, so nothing must change, nothing be avoided. Sorry Kiddos, I’ll just tough out my own loss of you when it happens. You are well sacrificed to a higher god and I won’t whine like these other un’mercan losers I’m edging out of camera-range.”

  24. 24
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Oh, so that’s what they’re calling shitheaded anarchy these days.

    Just like in 1860 or so.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @dmsilev: I think those foistings qualify as Crimes Against Humanity.

    Let’s check with the folks in Den Haag and see what they say.

  26. 26

    @Joe Bauers:
    No they dont because the 2nd ammendment is not absolute. It has far less reach than the 1st…or at least it should.

  27. 27
    Morzer says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    It probably just means “Person from Wurzelbach”. Wurzelbach is a hamlet in Hesse, so Joe the Plumber might actually be descended from George III’s mercenaries.

  28. 28
    Belafon says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Ronald’s signature gun control achievement was made before the Originalist SCOTUS decided that the Founding Fathers in interpretation of the second amendment did not matter.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @scav: You know, making sacrifices to Moloch used to be the most heinous thing possible for one to do.

    Now it’s routine.

  30. 30

    “No way to prevent this,” says only nation where this regularly happens
    from The Onion

  31. 31
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    That’s because you’re a human shield woman and women require direction from men.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Darkrose: Well, you realize you’re not an actual sovereign human being for at least two reasons: No pen!s, and melanin surplus.

  33. 33
    Chris says:

    As harsh as this sounds – your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.

    I wonder how many Confederate slave owners said something similar when Uncle Tom’s Cabin and other representations of the evils of slavery were being released. (Rhetorical question. I know the answer).

    Putting aside the stupidity of believing that the Constitution is being enforced when you have to ignore the first half of an amendment in order to make it say what you want –

    – the fetishization of it as an American Bible really isn’t a good thing. As with slavery, if the Constitution allows this sort of brutality, then it might just be that the Constitution’s wrong. “This is what the Founding Fathers wanted!” shouldn’t be a conversation-ender unless you hold them in the kind of reverence usually reserved for religious prophets (not to say, gods). It’s fairly sad that that is indeed how we seem to view them today, and I suspect many of them would, themselves, be very uncomfortable with it.

  34. 34
    srv says:

    Well, some liberal blogger called gun owners fascists and nazis.

    But I guess everyone needs their daily 5 minutes of hate.

    One Million Mom’s For Guns

  35. 35
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    If that wasn’t enough, McCain introduced Wurzelbacher as “an American hero, a great citizen of Ohio and my role model.”

    No video of that moment, the one I linked cracks me up every time.

  36. 36
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    I can’t but encourage this dip shit and the open carry crusaders to continue to let their freak flags fly. They’re ingratiating themselves with middle America about as much as flag burners do.

  37. 37
    Morzer says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Do you remember the time McCain practically offered up his wife to a group of bikers?

    “I told her with a little luck, she could be the only woman ever to serve as both the first lady and Miss Buffalo Chip.”

  38. 38
    Svensker says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Root baker.

  39. 39
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chris: This is why the “Christians” insist that the Constitution was not, in fact, drafted and haggled over by men, but was instead handed to them by an archangel on stone tablets.

  40. 40
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    You mean to say that Wurzelbacher was a POW too? No wonder he’s McCain’s role model; Wurzelbacher was only two years old when the Vietnam war ended.

  41. 41
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    Wurzel is German for root (of a tree), and Bach means stream or brook. So my guess is that the original German name was Wurzelbach and meant the source of a river.

  42. 42

    A more accurate quote:

    “Your dead kids don’t kids don’t trump my poor reading comprehension and political sociopathy.”

  43. 43
    Amir Khalid says:

    On second thought, you’re probably correct.

  44. 44
    Morzer says:


    You are confusing Bach (stream/brook) with Bäcker (baker).

  45. 45
    Trollhattan says:

    Since we’re discussing McCain’s problem children, up in currently-on-fire Sarah Palin’s Alaska, they’re still shootin’ wolves from helicopters. “They” being the fvcking State of Alaska.

    The morning of Friday, Feb. 21, dawned bright and clear in the rolling boreal forest of Alaska’s eastern interior. The temperature was 8 below zero – perfect for flying. Yet Troy Cambier, a 46-year-old army veteran and one of the state’s best bush pilots, was reluctant to take the controls of his yellow Robinson R44 helicopter. Word had gotten out that the Lost Creek wolf pack was stalking the Fortymile caribou herd beyond the protective borders of Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, and a state biologist wanted Cambier to fly an aerial gunner in to eliminate the pack.

    While Cambier is not necessarily opposed to bolstering Alaska’s moose and caribou populations through predator control, he prefers non-lethal assignments. A few years earlier, he’d flown National Park Service biologists out to radio-collar two members of the same pack he was now being asked to help kill. But the pilot who usually flies predator control was away, and Cambier knew that if he refused the job, it would likely fall to someone less capable of getting close enough for a clean shot. “I’d heard of situations before where they’d used (an inexperienced pilot), and it was pretty brutal,” he says. “It was hard on the critters.”

    So as the winter sun rose, Cambier found himself racing low over the contours of 5,000-foot mountains, his helicopter doors thrown open. He won’t talk about what happened next. “I don’t think anybody enjoys that stuff,” he says. By the time he touched back down in Fairbanks, though, all 11 wolves in the pack – including those with collars – were dead.


  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Wow, those North Vietnamese really got around capturing Americans, or the Air Force and Navy were recruiting pilots/aviators right out of the maternity ward.

  47. 47
    gogol's wife says:

    The New York Times had an article about how “even in a state with tight gun control” the guy was able to get guns. Some law professor said it just shows that there’s no magic solution.

    They completely ignore the fact that no state in this country actually has tight gun control. Why can anyone in any state walk in off the street and buy this kind of weapon? We are so sick.

  48. 48
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’ve seen Naval Aviators act like two-year-olds. Never saw a two-year-old acting like a Naval Aviator.

  49. 49
    Morzer says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Actually, the hamlet of Wurzelbach lies on a tributary of the Wurzelbach. Just to make the situation even more clear and logical.

  50. 50
    Tommy says:

    @Betty Cracker: Exactly. He might be right but you don’t have to say it out loud. I don’t have a child myself. But super close with my niece. She is 6. If she was killed with a gun and Joe said this I might find it in myself to track him down and Superman punch him. Then kick him a few times. Then punch him again just to make sure I had his attention. I say this all as a total pacifist that thinks violence of really any kind is wrong.

  51. 51
    gogol's wife says:



  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gogol’s wife: “Tight” being a relative term. But you’re of course correct. Even “restrictive” gun laws allow just about anyone to with a fistful of dollars to obtain a firearm.

  53. 53
    gnomedad says:

    C’mon, Todd McKinnon is a bot created by some unimaginative lefty ratfucker. Way too obvious.

  54. 54
    ronin122 says:

    @Anne Laurie: Thanks, I knew the name but was at a loss on how to spell it correctly (to me he’ll forever just be “Not Joe the Not Plumber”, his name irrelevant to the fact that he’s a man whose 15 minutes of fame on a shit box has long past and other wingnuts have long taken his place on his throne, so now he’s seeing people forget about him so he’s back to saying asinine crap that passes for just another day in looney-ville, population GOPpers.

  55. 55
    Morzer says:


    That bot got itself elected to a pretty high position in the South Carolina GOP, so the lefty ratfucker did a pretty good job for an unimaginative individual.

  56. 56
    Arclite says:

    A fine real-world example of compassionate conservatism.

  57. 57
    Tommy says:

    @gogol’s wife: My state was trying to be semi-sane on guns. IL was the last state that didn’t have a carry permit. The Supreme Court rules a few months ago, well you can’t do that. You can get a permit to carry whatever you want.

  58. 58
    Citizen Alan says:


    Ronald’s signature gun control achievement was made before the Originalist SCOTUS decided that the Founding Fathers in interpretation of the second amendment did not matter to keep assault weapons out of the hands of scary black people.


  59. 59
    jibeaux says:

    Doesn’t that guy have a job yet? Right wing gravy grift train, Sam: ur doing it rong.

  60. 60
    donnah says:

    Fake plumber, genuine asshole.

    Stop talking, just shut up.

    I’ve seen a couple of interviews with the parents of kids who were shot and killed. One father is absolutely furious and took to the microphone with a vengeance. Another father was utterly lost, like he’d just been hit by a two-by-four.

    And Joe, you need to shut up.

  61. 61
    jonas says:

    Weren’t people like Joe running around in the early/mid aughts proclaiming that the “Constitution isn’t a suicide pact,” and minor details like the First Amendment could be shredded if you could claim it was in order to “save American lives?”

    I’m sorry? [holds hand to audio feed in earpiece] Ah, I’m being told that human lives outweigh everything except the Second Amendment, and then only when exercised by white men. [listens to earpiece again] Uh huh. I’m also being told that nothing Joe said shall be construed to apply to a woman’s right to choose.

    Good to know.

  62. 62
    Death Panel Truck says:

    Hey, (Not) Joe the (Not) Plumber: DIAF already, motherfucker.

  63. 63
    Ash Can says:

    @Chris: This. The Founding Fathers weren’t perfect, but they were smart people, and designed the Constitution to be resilient and enduring. I have a feeling they’d look at the current situation and say “WTF is the matter with you people? You’re dying in droves because of one amendment. We gave you the means to change the Constitution if problems came up. What are you waiting for?”

  64. 64
    Violet says:

    @Adam Jonas Waldorf: More accurate yet, “Your dead kids don’t trump my lack of an adequate pen1s.”

  65. 65
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Eric U.:

    I’ll fight for his right to join a well-regulated militia

    Hooray! We’re saved! It’s the 103rd Buttcrack Brigade. They should be wheezing into view any hour now.

  66. 66
    Morzer says:

    @Ash Can:

    Ah,but Nino Scalia has decreed that the Constitution is not a living document, so….

  67. 67
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:


    It wasn’t back in St. Ronnie’s day, but effectively, it is now, judging by the rhetoric of “GUNS EVERYWHERE, GUNS FOREVER!!!!” that persists at the expense of everything else, and where any reasonable restriction brands you the worst motherfucking traitor in the history of ever.

    @The Other Bob:
    Unfortunately, in practice, the 2nd is probably THE only sacrosanct amendment in the country now. And considering the makeup of the court, it’s probably fully unassailable for the next 30 years. We’ll get mandatory gun ownership before we get any actual reasonable regulation.

  68. 68
    Tommy says:

    @donnah: Look I don’t know how you deal with guns. I really don’t. But just because the issue is hard and/or complex doesn’t mean you don’t deal with it. That freak in CA the other day, I read the news stories and says he bought the guns legally. Mass killing after mass killings you hear the same thing. “Bought the guns legally.” Clearly something is wrong.

    I don’t expect the gun shop owner to know if the buyer is sane or insane. As I said it is complex. But when a mass murder can buy a gun in this nation, LEGALLY, and that doesn’t raise a few red flags, well I don’t know what to say.

  69. 69
    boatboy_srq says:

    your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights

    Life, Liberty and the Happiness of Pursuit.

    Or something like that.


  70. 70
    jibeaux says:

    @Ash Can: Hell, my dad’s a Republican and believes firmly in the right to bear any arms similar to those existing in the 18th century. He has this odd idea that the world the Founders lived in was one in which, if you were going to the trouble of loading and firing a weapon, you probably had a pretty good reason.

  71. 71
    Lizzy L says:

    @Chris: Yes. This.

  72. 72
    Roger Moore says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Anyone with actual German-language skills want to correct me?

    I would assume it means “Person from Wurzelbach”, which is apparently a village in Hesse.

  73. 73
    Thoughtcrime says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Of Pennsylvania Dutch origin, “Wurzel” = turnip + “bacher” = truck, as in “just fell off of…”

  74. 74
    Belafon says:

    @Citizen Alan: I know that; I was just trying to point out that I don’t think Reagan’s law would stand up to a challenge today, mostly because the current SCOTUS tends to favor whatever can keep white men in power. They know that guns will be kept out of blacks hands through things like felony convictions.

  75. 75
    Tommy says:

    @jibeaux: My dad is a Republican as well and he tends to think as you do. I agree.

    I joke I am the executor of my father’s estate. When he passes away I will “own” a lot of guns. I have a gun permit. I don’t own a single gun, never would own a gun, but when he passes, well a lot of guns will come into my possession. I have that permit to ensure on that day he is no longer with us I follow the laws of my state.

    Please ponder that for a few seconds ….

    He is worried in his death I don’t follow the laws. Even for a second.

  76. 76
    D58826 says:

    @Hunter Gathers: The faux news in house shrink actually did go there. She blamed it on hidden homoerotic tendencies or some such nonsense. I really am embarrassed for my country that such haters can have a prominent place in American life. At least in the old south they had the decency to hide behind bed sheets and work at night.

  77. 77
    Silencio says:

    Part of the problem with the phenomenon of Joe the Plumber is that McPalin’s reason for lionizing (cough cough) him in the first place is that he was supposed to appeal to the American notion of ‘masculinity.’ He’s a plumber, named Joe, and he’s brute and dumb. Chicks are supposed to dig that; guys supposed to “get it.” Joe the Plumber is THE type of masculinity lurking beneath the tragic shooting.

    If any type of god exists, it is a trickster god.

  78. 78
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Eric U.: Interesting, isn’t it, how many 2nd-Amendment-shouters are not active service, reserves or veterans? And judging by recent events in NV, “well-regulated” certainly does NOT apply to the seditious wankers in the “militia movement”.

  79. 79
    gocar mozart says:

    What about he constitutional right to bear arms in the form of a knife. Why don’t they count?

  80. 80
    HelpThe99ers says:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

    Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues.

    Sorry, not-Joe the not-plumber. Our founding documents and body of law declare that life is the first inalienable right, and that trumps the Second Amendment and its limitations.

  81. 81
    Roger Moore says:


    As with slavery, if the Constitution allows this sort of brutality, then it might just be that the Constitution’s wrong. “This is what the Founding Fathers wanted!” shouldn’t be a conversation-ender unless you hold them in the kind of reverence usually reserved for religious prophets (not to say, gods).

    If you want to hold the Founding Fathers with the kind of reverence usually reserved for religious prophets- and plenty of right wingers do- you still need to explain how you square that with Article V, which clearly anticipates the Constitution being imperfect. The Founding Fathers clearly expected the Constitution to be imperfect, and they actually went around and made a bunch of changes to it both immediately with the Bill of Rights and over the next couple of decades with the XI and XII Amendments. Either you trust the Founding Fathers’ judgment, in which case you have to accept that the Constitution was flawed and needed to be amended, or you don’t trust it, in which case you obviously should be willing to accept that the Constitution is flawed.

  82. 82
    muddy says:

    @jibeaux: I read recently that the hypocritical asshole took a union job.

  83. 83
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @gocar mozart:

    A knife is considered to be an edged weapon.

  84. 84
    Belafon says:

    @gocar mozart: In Texas, it’s illegal to walk down the street with martial arts weapons, such as a bo staff. If they are in your car, they ave to be put in the back of the car, out of reach. As I’ve stated in previous comments, these laws exist for one reason.

  85. 85
    Silencio says:

    @muddy: “Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue.”

    Calling him a hypocrite gives him too much credit.

  86. 86
    Roger Moore says:


    Life, Liberty and the Happiness of Pursuit.

    Death, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Prey.

  87. 87
    Amir Khalid says:

    My understanding of the second amendment has always been that (a) state governments have the authority to form a well-regulated militia to ensure security within their borders; and (b) the Federal government cannot pass laws restricting citizens’ right to keep guns in order to carry out their responsibility to their state.

  88. 88
    hoodie says:

    Another example of constitutional interpretation as wish fulfillment by demented white males. OT but related, against my better judgement went to a Memorial Day observance at a local cemetary (humoring wife with visiting wingnut father who is retired military). For some unfathomable reason, the general they (local branch of Sons of the American Revolution, complete with tricorns) got to speak at this event felt compelled to quote Robert E Fucking Lee, citing his “concern for the sanctity of life” when he finally surrendered. Maybe he knew better, because he added a disclaimer that “I’m not making a political statement.” Righhhhht. Slap in the face to every African American veteran in attendance. Like General Lee couldn’t have help avoid a lot of carnage if he had actually lived up to his oath as an officer in the US Army instead of being an insurrectionist. Fuck these assholes. They only know the sick fairy tales in their addled minds, and know nothing about the Constitution and nothing about history.

  89. 89
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Only if the prey is absolutely no danger to the pursuer and preferably released as close as possible to the muzzle of his firearm.

  90. 90
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    You cad! You’d deny millions of Americans their p3nis enhancements.

  91. 91
    nancy darling says:

    Don’t know if anyone has posted this but Todd Kincannon of SC tweeted this about Richard Martinez:

    Fuck him. He is a piece of shit. His tragedy sucks, but he blamed me for it and wants to take away my rights. The guy is trying to take away my rights to protect my family. Fuck him every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    And this:

    No idea how my son will die, but I know it won’t be cowering like a BITCH at UC Santa Barbara. Any son of mine would have been shooting back. (emphasis mine)

    I emphasized “bitch” because I see a lot of misogyny in the language the muzzle strokers use. This same Kincannon called Pelosi a “cunt” a while back. He also said of an Iraq war veteran turned anti-war activist that he wished he had come home in a body bag.

    C.J. Grisham, founder of TexasOpenCarry has vowed to Mother Jones that he won’t call women who support sane gun control “thugs with jugs” any more. He’s moved beyond that “kind of language” he says. Progress people!

    Pierce covered the Kincannon asshole earlier today.

  92. 92
    Linda says:

    This weekend, my neighbor was out getting ready to tear down the old fence we share and put up a new one, as his wife told me he would. He said, “If you see me here, don’t shoot–it’s just me,” and I thought, DAMN. I know the difference between somebody breaking in my house and somebody putting up a fence. F*** the whole gun industry and their tools for successfully turning his country into a dystopian kingdom of paranoia.

  93. 93
    raven says:

    See how nicely Pat Lang puts it:

    If this is seen as a conflict of two absolute rights, then you should expect that at some point there will be armed resistance on the part of gun owners to the inevitable demand of the anti-gun people for confiscation on the UK model. Why? That is quite clear. If crazy people cannot be banned from gun purchases on the basis of adequate information in the national gun sale data base, then the cry for confiscation, just below the surface now, will come to the surface. pl

  94. 94
    Cassidy says:

    @nancy darling: Odds are he would cower like a Republican if put in danger.

  95. 95
    Bob says:

    These shootings bring out the stupid in too many folk. So lets have a “fuck you” for the idiots that blame computer games and movies for the carnage. (BTW, do we still blame rock music for the ills of society?) Anyway, fuck you and STFU!

  96. 96

    Fuck you.

    With a garden rake.

  97. 97
    Mike in NC says:

    We arrived home at midnight last night after a wonderful two-week cruise vacation in Europe that included visits to London, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Saint Petersburg and a few other cities.

    Thankfully, the only news source on our ship was the BBC, so we were spared the usual stupid shit that passes for “news” in the USofA. No John McCain, no Sarah Palin, no Joe the Maggot, etc. Internet access cost too much so we spent the money on cocktails.

  98. 98
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Amir Khalid: The problem here is you assume that, regardless of the opinion of The State (i.e. the federal government), one would feel some responsibility to the state (i.e. the individual state in which one lives). These idiots can’t agree on any public entity bigger than the homeowners’ association (if that), and in an era of the strong federal government there’s no meaningful (individual) state to be responsible to. See Thatcher’s “there is no society” comment for an earlier expression of the current mindset.

    ETA – or what Villago Delenda Est said.

    @raven: Is Lang suggesting that, if we can’t keep guns away from crazy people (and there’ll be more than a little disagreement on the clinical definitions here), then there’ll be an increased push to take all guns away because we can’t be sure that they won’t end up in crazy people’s hands? It’s an interesting supposition, and one that the current SCOTUS seems compelled to resist; but if the ammosexuals keep at their absolutism then it’s a not unreasonable reaction.

  99. 99
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid: That is a reasonable interpretation of the wording of the Second Amendment.

    Our problem here in the US is, as usual, we’re not dealing with reasonable individuals.

  100. 100
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Would that make him part of a Teahad splinter faction?

    Just sayin’…

    Oh, and PLEASE make his resulting tetanus/gangrene treatment covered only by Obamacare. Just because.

  101. 101
    brendancalling says:

    @ranchandsyrup: we can thank the SCOTUS for that wide stance on guns.

  102. 102
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @raven: Time to start prying weapons from the cold dead hands of the ammosexuals, then.

  103. 103
    GxB says:

    @Roger Moore: Well, these are largely the same people that maintain a collection of ancient parables, stories, and outright fairy tales (that have been translated a few times over the years) are still the unerring “Word of God.” No wonder this country has gotten so pathetic,

  104. 104
    Kay says:

    This is my favorite Joe the Plumber story:

    As expected on Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur had little trouble defeating nationally known Republican Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher and Libertarian Sean Stipe in the 9th Congressional District race.
    Kaptur, 66, earned her 16th term in Congress. Wurzelbacher, 38, took a low-profile approach to his first political campaign, choosing to face the incumbent in only one debate.
    Kaptur overwhelmed Wurzelbacher in the newly drawn district, earning 205,091 votes to Wurzlebacher’s 66,351 with a handful of precincts in Lucas County yet to report.

    He was too scared to debate her more than once, because she’s smart.

  105. 105
    Morzer says:


    Brave Sir Joseph ran away,
    Brave, brave Sir Joseph!

  106. 106
    Ash Can says:

    @Mike in NC: That sounds lovely. I hope your accommodations had nice heavy curtains to block out the nighttime daylight so that you could get a decent night’s sleep.

  107. 107
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    With a garden rake.

    I believe the standard implement around these parts is a rusty pitchfork (h/t AsiangrlMN).

  108. 108

    @Amir Khalid: To paraphrase the immortal Judge Chamerlain Haller: “That is a lucid, intelligent, well thought-out interpretation of the Second Amendment. Overruled.”

  109. 109
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay: Well, once was enough to demonstrate that he’s not clever enough, by a long shot, to even allow Ms. Kaptur to work up the slightest hint of perspiration.

  110. 110

    @Kay: Every so often my old home town does me proud.

  111. 111
    Roger Moore says:


    if the ammosexuals keep at their absolutism then it’s a not unreasonable reaction.

    We just need to get ammosexuality defined as a severe mental illness under DSM VI and we’re home free.

  112. 112
    shelley says:

    ‘Sorry you lost your child….’

    Sweet Jesus, he makes it sound like his refrigerator went on the fritz. These unbelievably callous inhuman statements, with their smug mugs, should be plastered everywhere. They should vilified and reviled and shown for their sick human beings they are.

    It’s stories like these that make you hope for an afterlife. I remember a line from one of Garrison Keillor’s stories ‘They will never learn another thing until the day they die; but the day after that, they may find out a few things.”

  113. 113
    The Tragically Flip says:

    Repeal the second amendment. Whatever it mean, it is not worth embedding in the constitution. No one else has such a thing.

  114. 114
    D58826 says:

    @nancy darling: Turn over a rock and there are all kinds of creepy crawling things under it, but how far down do you have to dig to find something a repulsive as this guy Todd Kincannon of SC.

  115. 115
    karen says:

    And if his kids were killed, I know he’d still be sucking off the NRA right?

  116. 116
    Kay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I was wishing they’d go to water. She knows a lot about water. I wanted them to ask about the Great Lakes Compact with Canada.

    He has to describe that, in his own words, or he has to immediately drop out.

  117. 117
    Tommy says:

    Fuck you. You posted a link to Happy by Pharell. I didn’t know folks were making videos to the song. Heck I had to Google Pharell. I’ve spent the last hour and I get the next 4-5 hours watching those videos.

    I think my favorite is from Lebanon.


  118. 118
    Kay says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    She was really funny on election night 2012. I was watching the Toledo gathering (on tv, I wasn’t there) and she was on stage just talking and wasting time, waiting. She had already won her race and but they hadn’t called Ohio for Prez. It was so clear on her face that she knew Obama had won. I think of her as serious – almost severe – she’s really smart, so it was nice to watch her easy, just talking to them and smiling.

  119. 119

    As harsh as this sounds – your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.

    The day is coming where they will. Because that “right” you have is going to go away, because you and your vile breed wouldn’t put a collar on the gun nuts long past the time they were due for one.

  120. 120
    LABiker says:

    And to think, if John McCain had won, this guy would be a member of the Cabinet.

  121. 121

    @Kay: My parents’ biggest regret about living in Perrysburg was that she wasn’t their rep. Now they’re in Cincinnati — a Democratic wasteland.

  122. 122
    Schlemizel says:

    In preparation for the summer trip to Gettysburg I have been reading up on the Civil War again. It has greatly reinforced the idea that we are reliving that time with one side demanding total fealty to its beliefs and any disagreement as an attack on its well being and Constitutional right.

    I just don’t see how we get to an end game on this.

  123. 123
    Chris says:


    The Killer Angels is always good before a trip to Gettsyburg.

    Yes, sadly, I think you do have to go back to the pre-Civil War era to find a country as thoroughly divided and a conservative party as completely intransigent as now. Doesn’t bode well for the future.

  124. 124
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:


    You forgot that his real name isn’t Joe, but Sam something that begins with a W but too lazy to give a shit.

    I agree with most of what is in this thread, but Joe absolutely is his real name. His full legal name is Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher. Not everyone in this world goes primarily by their first name.

    – signed, someone who was born John Michael Jackson and has always gone by his middle name.

  125. 125
    jibeaux says:

    @Tommy: That’s funny. Our dads should get together sometime, drive around at 55 mph for a while.

  126. 126
    Tommy says:

    @Schlemizel: My father’s PhD is in civil war history. When most kids went to Disney World in the summer, I went to Civil War battle fields. My mom likes to joke I am the most photographed child next to a Civil War cannon in the history of this nation. Gettysburg is always tough cause I know what happened there. But so are many other places. I bet, cause you are at least studying you know this and I hope what you say is better then what I was told. My dad told me what happened in these places like I wasn’t 12. An adult. Men killed each other here wholesale and then told me about it. In detail.

  127. 127
    smedley the uncertain says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: …Golden tablets.

  128. 128
    Calouste says:

    @Ash Can:

    The Founding Fathers weren’t particularly successful with making the Constitution enduring. Well technically the document endured, but the country fell apart within a few generations and was only held together by military force, not by that piece of paper. You’d think that not having a bloody civil war would be one of the first measures of success for a Constitution, but American mythology has it otherwise.

  129. 129
    Tommy says:

    @jibeaux: Don’t laugh. He doesn’t drive a mile above the speed limit. I mentioned to him the other day, well many days ago, he has a 57 Ford Thunderbird (also a 65 Mustang). That car needs to be DRIVEN! Not telling him to break the law to harm other people, but …..

  130. 130
    Mnemosyne says:


    I dunno — it’s not like the whole Constitution collapsed. Even after fighting an entire war, all we needed was three amendments and a black pen to cross out the parts that no longer applied and the Constitution was up and running again. That seems like a success to me.

  131. 131
    tazj says:

    A few weeks after Sandy Hook, there were parents in my son’s Tae Kwon Do class complaining about gun control proposals, basically stating that they wouldn’t work and would be too burdensome to gun owners. After all, the number of people killed by guns was equal to the number of people who died slipping in their bathtubs or on ice on the sidewalk. Certain things just can’t be prevented in their minds, so why should their rights be interfered with. I just couldn’t believe their ridiculous reasoning and their callousness. This was a class for 4-6 year olds.

    I’m not surprised at all by what Joe the Plumber said. These people truly believe their beliefs and fears trump everyone else’s. I see many Repeal the Safe Act signs around where I live in WNY. Umm.. no.

  132. 132
    Patrick says:

    @nancy darling:

    Don’t know if anyone has posted this but Todd Kincannon of SC tweeted this about Richard Martinez: Fuck him. He is a piece of shit. His tragedy sucks, but he blamed me for it and wants to take away my rights. The guy is trying to take away my rights to protect my family. Fuck him every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    This guy is whining because he thinks somebody is trying to take away his guns to protect his family. The very same fricking guns some gun nut used to kill somebody’s son… The sheer hypocrisy!

  133. 133
    Calouste says:


    You realize you are calling 600,000+ dead “a success”?

    But you are missing my point, and are IMO exactly buying into the American mythology I mentioned. If a constitution can’t save a country from a bloody civil war, what good is it?

  134. 134
    Tommy says:

    @Patrick: I recall living in SE DC. I had been mugged twice. Car broken into. Girlfriends car stolen and never found. House broken into. I told friends I was going to get a gun, which at the time was totally illegal in DC.My best friend said to me, “you realize that gun will be turned on and used against you right.” I had never thought of that, but alas I came to think it was the smartest advice I’ve ever been given.

  135. 135
    Morzer says:


    The British didn’t have a Constitution and they fought a Civil War. What good is not having a Constitution etc etc…

  136. 136
    Schlemizel says:

    Beyond the standard public school education I came to the detail of the ACW around 30. In many ways I do not think it would be possible to wrap a young mind around the horror. I had heard the story of the 1st MN and it got me looking for a better description of their actions in the war. I happened on “Battle Cry Of Freedom” and as good as that was it made we want to know more. I read almost everything the library had (there is some real dwreck including several apologists for treason in defense of human bondage. I tried a couple but they just pissed me off as they obviously ignored primary sources in order to make their point).

    What gets me is that every battle is like a repeated theme. One side has the high ground and the other side tries to cross open ground to get to them. Its as if the Generals could watch that play out a dozen times & never understand that new weapons demanded new tactics. THey got their in time for WWI I guess.

  137. 137
    Patrick says:


    A while back about an hour from where I live, there was a priest who had killed what he thought was an intruder. In reality, it was his daughter, who was home late from a party, that the priest mistook for a burglar.

    Leaving aside the issue as to why a priest would choose to have a gun in the first place (thou shalt not kill), his example is kind of like yours. It seems that just about every day, there are examples where the gun is used against the family rather than serving as a protection.

  138. 138
    LAC says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: um Betty cracker? Is that word ok? Just checking…

  139. 139
    Morzer says:


    One side has the high ground and the other side tries to cross open ground to get to them.

    Being fair, that was pretty much part of the standard military understanding of good ground from the ancient world on. Much better to have the high ground and make the enemy tire himself marching up to get to you while you threw spears, rocks, blogposts and Maine Coons down on him.

  140. 140
    Mnemosyne says:


    If a constitution can’t save a country from a bloody civil war, what good is it?

    I guess we have a different perspective on the Constitution. IMO, we fought the Civil War over a pretty specific issue, slavery. All of the blah-blah states’ rights tariffs stuff was bullshit made up after the fact to pretend that we did not, in fact, kill 600,000 people over some states’s right to own human beings. The rest of the Constitution seems to have made it through pretty much okay once we settled the argument about whether or not some men (and women) were created less equal than others.

    For perspective, France is currently on its 17th constitution, which was written in 1958 and has been amended 18 times since it went into effect.

  141. 141
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m assuming that most of the Civil War buffs here have already listened to/watched David Blight’s Yale course on the Civil War, but just in case:


    It’s also available through iTunes U as either video or audio.

  142. 142
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Morzer: They fought several civil wars. Let’s see now…the Wars of the Roses, Cavaliers vs. Roundheads, the Glorious Revolution (well, not very bloody, and sort of an invasion by the Dutch..) and then there was the civil war they lost…the one where the thirteen colonies broke free and started their own little enterprise in governance…

  143. 143
    Morzer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Which proves that not having a Constitution causes more Civil Wars than having a Constitution, amirite or amirite?

  144. 144
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    we fought the Civil War over a pretty specific issue, slavery

    No we didn’t! It was over state’s rights! Or tariffs! ANYTHING but the S word!

    /Southron Heritage Loon

    Also, too, it was the War of Northern Aggression, not a “civil war”!!!!!!!!!

  145. 145
    LAC says:

    Why anyone is surprised by this missing link’s opinion surprises me. This thing degraded various ethnic groups in his sad too long time near a microphone. He moves to dead kids and now we are shocked? Really?

  146. 146
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Morzer: Well, yeah, point taken!

  147. 147
    Morzer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    States rights was very clearly cobbled together over roughly 30 years before the civil war as a cover for slavery – which was the issue the South cared about enough to try and rig elections in new states, not to mention imposing the Gag Rule. If more Americans read the primary sources for the pre-Civil War period, the states rights myth would blow up and sink beneath the waves for good.

  148. 148
    Tommy says:

    @Patrick: My mom and dad are not liberals. I recall as a kid in the 70s pointing a toy gun at somebody and my father hit me. He said never point a gun at somebody unless you plan to use it. At the time I didn’t get it. Now I do.

  149. 149
    Anoniminous says:


    The Founding Fathers compromised and they did under the table and with an outbreak of hand-waving. Accurately and forthrightly the famous phrase should be, “all men are created equal except Negros.”

    Some Brits wrote about that fundamental hypocrisy at the time.

  150. 150
    scav says:

    @LAC: I wouldn’t say surprised, certainly not by by the utter lack of intellectual or moral value spewing from him mouth. Perhaps a little, smidgenish, at the craven press using him as a go-to-guy to keep the pot boiling. Must be golden-oldie week on the rolodex. Wondering a bit how they snuck this Humanizing Cuddly Face of Responsible Gun-Owning-Plumbers past their NRA-advertiser filters.

  151. 151
    MikeBoyScout says:

    How small must “Not Joe” the “Not Plumber” perceive his actual penis to be to come out and spout this nonsense regarding his external death penis?

    (h/t Atrios)

  152. 152
    Anoniminous says:


    THE absolutely indispensable must have, must read, book on the causes of the Civil War is David M. Potter’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Impending Crisis: 1848-1861. The book clearly and decisively shows slavery was the cause and the trigger for the ACW.

  153. 153
    Morzer says:


    “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?”

    Dr. Johnson

  154. 154
    Morzer says:


    It is indeed one hell of a book – and it ought to be required reading for every high school student and all Republicans.

  155. 155
    Anoniminous says:


    And the South Carolina Declaration of Secession.

    Odd that tariffs aren’t mentioned once and slavery is, constantly. ;-)

  156. 156
    Roger Moore says:


    My best friend said to me, “you realize that gun will be turned on and used against you right.” I had never thought of that, but alas I came to think it was the smartest advice I’ve ever been given.

    It is very good advice. Far more gun owners are victims of crimes committed with their own guns than ever use their guns to defend themselves. Most of those gun crimes are actually committed by family or friends for whom the gun turns an argument into a shooting.

  157. 157
    Warren Terra says:

    These words actually came out of Joe the Plumber’s (but not really, since he never actually was a plumber) obnoxious piehole:

    Heck, Samuel Wurzelbacher was never even a “Joe”.

  158. 158
    Morzer says:


    Er… liberal media bias? Benghazi? Oh look, a jackalope is trampling our states rights!

  159. 159
    Warren Terra says:


    @Patrick: I recall living in SE DC. I had been mugged twice. Car broken into. Girlfriends car stolen and never found. House broken into. I told friends I was going to get a gun, which at the time was totally illegal in DC.My best friend said to me, “you realize that gun will be turned on and used against you right.” I had never thought of that, but alas I came to think it was the smartest advice I’ve ever been given.

    One of the things that amazes me about all the Gundamentalists is their insistence that concealed-carry is a defense against muggers. I’m fortunate never to have been mugged, but every mugging I’ve ever heard of started with the mugger surprising their victims well within knife range – often, starting by knocking them down. Unless the mugging victim already had their pistol in their hand there’s no way they could access it before their mugger incapacitated them – and then the mugger has a gun, their gun, and is angry and scared. Sounds like a plan!

  160. 160
    Morzer says:

    @Warren Terra:

    Well, Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher kinda sorta is a Joe, I am afraid.

  161. 161
    Schlemizel says:

    @Morzer: But rifling made all the difference. A musket can be fired by trained personnel 3 times a minute. Its good for – maybe – 40 yards & not that accurate. The attacker leapt up fired once and then ran with their pointed stick at the enemy who got one decent shot off until you were in pointed stick range. Rifles load just as fast but shoot with greater accuracy at 100 yards. Now you have to leap up, shoot and run 100 yards to get to pointed stick range. The defender gets 3 shots plus at least 1 extra round of canister from the cannons. It takes at least twice as many attackers to deliver the same number of pointed sticks to the attack point (and those are sort of winded after a 100 yard sprint). 4 years of watching that & it never sank in. Even Grant does not seem to notice this, he keeps sending waves against lee’s defenses & wins because the North can afford 65,000 casualties & the South Can’t. I know why he drank, I don’t think I could stop.

  162. 162
    Pogonip says:

    @Tommy: One day I was trying to get home in a hurry because I really needed to go the bathroom and got stuck at the end of a long line of traffic behind one slow driver. Finally we came to where the one-lane became two-lane and I was able to get around that (bleep)ing rolling roadblock.

    That (bleep)ing rolling roadblock turned out to be my father. Who has never even REACHED the speed limit in his entire life, let alone exceeded it.

  163. 163
    Smiling Mortician says:


    And if his kids were killed, I know he’d still be sucking off the NRA right?

    Yes, but if he were killed, he wouldn’t. So there’s that.

  164. 164
    Pogonip says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): When you make hotel reservations or appointments, does the clerk ever say, “Yeah, and I’m Aretha Franklin”?

  165. 165
    Schlemizel says:

    Shelby Footes 1st volume is almost entirely pre-war. It is very readable despite being huge and it very clearly lays out the case that every issue made up as an excuse had its roots in slavery. If the souther(mor)ons actually read they would quickly understand they are full of shit. But I think they already know that & refuse to admit it.

  166. 166
    Schlemizel says:

    My niece married a man whose last name is “Dong” which makes reservations a bit of a problem. But the worst was when they went on vacation with his friend whose name was “Wang”. My niece said they gave up trying to use phone reservation because nobody wanted to book rooms for Dong and Wang!

  167. 167
    Morzer says:


    Right, but at the same time, if you can get up on a hill, behind a nice stone wall, you get a better field of fire and are more likely to push an attacker back down the hill than he is to push you off it. It’s also the case that both sides were pretty badly armed for the first year or so of the conflict, often short of ammunition and with officers who were amateurs at war. Equally, generals tended to have limited knowledge, be very aware of their ignorance of the terrain and just what the enemy might be up to – and were hampered by clouds of smoke and sometimes brush-fires on the battlefield. Under those circumstances, it made sense to do things more or less by the book, which meant finding a strong position and hunkering down – and for the attacker going straight up the hill to glory rather than attempting complex maneuvers and strategies for which your generals and logistical capacity were both generally inadequate. Recent work on Grant suggests that he generally had his drinking habits under control, with very occasional plunges off the wagon. It’s probably fair to say that his greatest assets were sheer determination, plus an appreciation of his edge in a battle of attrition – and he won with an approach that suited the reality of his army’s tactical limitations and advantage in resources.

  168. 168
    Pogonip says:

    @Schlemizel: *chortle*. They should have just explained they needed a space to pitch the Wong Dong Doodle all night long!

  169. 169
    Morzer says:


    Just be grateful that Mr Long didn’t join them.

  170. 170
    Anoniminous says:


    That is the old consensus. Hess, among others, makes a case for actual combat range being between 100 and 200 yards during the ACW. There’s no question the rifled musket was effective at longer distances but the soldiers weren’t adequately trained to use its range and on a battlefield once a regiment started firing they couldn’t see anything, anyway.

  171. 171
    Morzer says:


    Not to mention the lack of ammunition, the fact that not all units got rifles, the way that inconvenient things like woodland and hills could limit visibility… etc etc.

  172. 172
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Anoniminous: it’s trivially easy to show they seceded over slavery. They weren’t shy about it at the time.

    I’ve always thought it was more complicated to show that secession necessarily means war, though. Good thing the treasonous slavers were dumb enough to shoot first.

  173. 173
    Anoniminous says:


    Confession: I haven’t read Shelby. And I don’t know why I haven’t. I keep meaning to and then … I don’t.

    But I can bore you into a coma talk knowledgeably about ACW logistics! :-) Such as, riverboats were more important than most people realize and, ton-for-ton, more important than railroads, and in the West they were decisive. The Vicksburg campaign being the best example.

  174. 174
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Warren Terra: exactly, although for me, it was always carjacking that was the true test case. The carjacker knows it’s a carjacking long before the victim, who only finds out after there is a gun pointed at his head. Unless the NRA’s proposal is that everybody should drive all the time with a loaded and cocked pistol in his lap, I fail to see how being armed can help.

    tl;dr: The bad guy has the drop on you. That’s how you know he’s the bad guy!

  175. 175
    Anoniminous says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    The reason it comes up is there is a small cottage industry of Southern Apologists in the US churning out bullshit claiming “the Civil War wasn’t about slavery.” It’s total nonsense but ACW buffs keep running into the annoying bastards them.

  176. 176
    Roger Moore says:


    Even Grant does not seem to notice this, he keeps sending waves against lee’s defenses & wins because the North can afford 65,000 casualties & the South Can’t.

    Nonsense. Grant clearly understood that Civil War era combat was different from what had been going on before, but he had to keep fighting anyway. He tried to get what he wanted by maneuver rather than frontal assault, but ultimately the Union had to attack and defeat the Confederacy to win, and that meant that Grant needed to attack even when it would subject his troops to disproportionate casualties. If there’s one thing that he seemed to miss, it was that areas like heavy woods that were traditionally seen as unsuitable places to attack were actually better than traditional open areas because the heavy woods reduced visibility enough to let the attackers get very close before the defenders could fire effectively.

  177. 177
    Anoniminous says:


    Yup. I can’t remember off hand which battle it was – Chancellorsville? – that a very successful Reb attack, starting 75 yards (?) away from the Union line, doesn’t make sense unless a visit to the site is made or one pours over a topographical map. Then it becomes clear: the Union soldiers were on top of a hill and couldn’t see the Rebs because they were hidden by the hill slope.

  178. 178
    Anoniminous says:


    Re: Grant and the Wilderness Campaign

    What @Roger Moore said plus Butler was supposed to move up and threaten Lee’s rear. Butler, of course, screwed-up and didn’t fulfill his part in the operational plan. Had the operation gone as Grant wanted it to the Wilderness battles wouldn’t have been fought because Lee couldn’t have risked battle there.

  179. 179
    Morzer says:

    @Roger Moore:

    On the other hand, heavy woodland was prone to catching fire and roasting the wounded alive. Equally, it would be even easier to lose control of divisions and brigades in heavy woodland – as happened several times in major battles. I think you can make a decent case that Grant was a better strategist than tactician, but that the Union needed him to be a strategist more than anything else.

  180. 180
    Morzer says:


    It’s clear, I think, that Grant wanted very much to outmaneuver Lee and slip around his flank, but that through slowness by Grant’s subordinates, Lee’s advantage of working on interior lines and, to some measure, Lee’s generally adept reactions, Grant ended up having to bleed Lee’s army and pin it in place in the Wilderness.

  181. 181
    Schlemizel says:

    @Roger Moore:
    He attacked & then moved toward Richmond basically. He then attacked again. Some of those were across open ground. Anonymous has it right abut the Wilderness. Grant also attacked entrenched positions in Vicksburg and it didn’t go well for his troops. The siege was more effective and might have done the job with less lose of Union troops – but maybe the defenders would have fought on without food if they still had a lot of ammunition left.

  182. 182
    Mnemosyne says:

    Back on topic (if anyone cares ;-) — TBogg has teed off on Joe the non-Plumber. A tiny sample:

    While that may seem generous, I would venture to say that a “Family Gun Package Giveaway!” is not going to cheer anyone up after their only child has been gunned down in cold blood. Unless, of course, that person is Wayne LaPierre. He’d be like, “Sign me the fuck up! Woot!”

  183. 183
    Chris says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    it’s trivially easy to show they seceded over slavery. They weren’t shy about it at the time.

    I’ve always thought it was more complicated to show that secession necessarily means war, though. Good thing the treasonous slavers were dumb enough to shoot first.

    And this is why the Civil War really does rank up there with World War Two in terms of clear-cut Just Wars, as far as I’m concerned. Not just because the bad guys were practicing a horrific crime against humanity, but also because they went so crazily far out of their way to instigate the war themselves, in the face of more forbearance from the “good guys” than they ever should’ve been entitled to. Like the Nazis, Southern slavers were given every possible break. But like the Nazis, they just really wanted their fucking war.

    Doesn’t speak well for us that we as a country went so far out of our way for so long to rehabilitate these warmongering psychos in the popular imagination.

  184. 184
    Ruckus says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Along the same lines but with a modern and hopefully messier twist it’s been updated to rusty chainsaw.

  185. 185
    boatboy_srq says:

    they went so crazily far out of their way to instigate the war themselves, in the face of more forbearance from the “good guys” than they ever should’ve been entitled to

    This sounds eerily like the “2nd Amendment remedies”-touting, nullification-loving, real-birth-certificate-seeking, religious-liberty-defending, true-conservative-seeking, Founding-Fathers-worshipping Teahad, doesn’t it? D’you suppose that pointing out that the last time this level of anti-federal paranoia ran this high it didn’t turn out so well for them would wake them up, do you?

  186. 186
    Fred says:

    Thom Hartmann had “Joe The Plumber” on his show a few years back. Thom would only let “Joe” talk about plumbing, something he can claim some knowledge about.
    “Joe” gave some good advice about keeping drains running free. I have followed his advice and my kitchen sink has been doing fine since.
    On the other hand the US Constitution has not been working so well or rather the SCOTUS has been ignoring it’s intent and twisting it into a useless rag ’cause (as the kids say) FREEDUMB!

  187. 187
    Bruce K says:

    I can understand the sentiment, but everything I’ve read lets “Joe” the “Plumber” off too easily. My thoughts were less “go screw yourself” and more “pyrofuego”.

  188. 188
    Susanne says:

    Since I heard what that monstrous POS said, I’ve been thinking one phrase that makes me ashamed of myself, but I keep thinking it, like a poisonous mantra. His words, and mine, have been haunting me. It’s a relief to finally let it out. Mr. Wurzelbacher, die in a fire.

  189. 189
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mike in NC: Sounds great! Glad y’all had a great time.

  190. 190
    Chris says:


    Oh, I seriously doubt it. You’d just trigger an angry response about how 1) the South was run by DEMOCRATS so YOU’re the one who’s like these evil people who tried to destroy the Union and 2) the war was about states’ rights and the South was totally within its rights.

    And yes, they sound like our 2nd amendment crowd… except when it comes to putting your money where your mouth is. As we just saw in Nevada, most of them are just piss and wind. They’re not interested in rising up.

  191. 191
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: You’ve left out the Anarchy (1135 – 1154) and various Jacobite Risings between 1688 and 1746, although it could be argued that none of the latter lasted long enough to become a “proper” civil war. Plus the Scots may have had some before the Union of the Crowns took place – I’m not sure.

    On the other hand, we have been around longer so simply counting the number of civil wars per nation doesn’t cut it. You would need something statistical and beyond my mathematical ability to work out which form of government is more prone to the phenomenon.

    And we haven’t had a civil war since 1746 at least, so there!

  192. 192

    @Warren Terra:

    started with the mugger surprising their victims well within knife range – often, starting by knocking them down.

    If they were honest, I believe quite a few would admit that they think that if it happened to them, they would tuck and roll and draw their weapon while tumbling and then jump up, gun in hand, and put two in the mugger’s chest. That they are not, in fact, a ninja is something to be studiously ignored. They are often not really on speaking terms with reality.

    Also – gundamentalist! Is that your coinage? It’s awesome.

  193. 193
    Heywood J. says:

    @srv: There should be a minimum rule for qualification — you cannot use a gun until you learn how to wield the mighty apostrophe. Ferchrissake. Enough with the gunsplaining from people who see nothing wrong with carrying a rocket launcher into a Starbucks.

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