It’s in the look they give you down their nose

The most revelatory piece on Washington that I’ve ever read is Sally Quinn’s infamous “Village” piece. If you haven’t read it before, and you’re interested in American politics, drop what you’re doing and read it right now.

Establishment media’s dudebro heh-indeedy response to Michael Kinsley’s ridiculous anti-Greenwald screed is almost as telling (via).

Most politics is about turf wars. For example no one cares about the budget deficit per se, it’s just a concept that Galtians and neo-Confederates latch onto to promote policies keep the blahs and poors in their place. And establishment media latches onto it to keep the hippies in their place.

And establishment media’s anti-Greenwald jihad is also a turf war. The best justification they come up with is “he’s an asshole”. Establishment quasi-journalists are actually less sophisticated than the deficit hawk/granny starvers when it comes to hiding their true motivations.

Anyway, this is why I generally recommend ignoring the so-called substance of human beings’ arguments and focusing instead on the psychology that motivates their positions.

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135 replies
  1. 1
    taylormattd says:

    I generally recommend ignoring the so-called substance of human beings’ arguments and focusing instead on the psychology that motivates their positions.

    I assume that applies to GG’s arguments too.

  2. 2
    Jennifer says:

    Usually it all boils down to “follow the money.”

  3. 3
    BGinCHI says:

    You’re a Lacanian, Doug, and you didn’t even know it.

    Note: any denial only makes it worse.

    Note2: this is a compliment.

  4. 4
    DougJ says:

    @taylormattd:

    Yes, I’m not a big fan of GG. But he’s more of a journalist than Kinsley.

  5. 5
    DougJ says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I already knew that. I read his piece on Purloined Letter in college and was very influenced by it.

  6. 6
    Morzer says:

    I generally recommend ignoring the so-called substance of human beings’ arguments and focusing instead on the psychology that motivates their positions

    So then, the question we face is not DougJ’s arguments, which he admits are irrelevant, but his psychology. But why should we care about his psychology if his arguments are irrelevant?

  7. 7
    Morzer says:

    @BGinCHI:

    But when analyzing the author’s psychology, aren’t we in fact revealing as much about our own psychology as we are about theirs?

    Jausst sayin’.

  8. 8
    SatanicPanic says:

    Kinsley vs Greenwald… hmmm, yeah rooting for injuries

  9. 9
    danimal says:

    As a policy person, I can’t stress enough the insight that the details don’t matter nearly as much as the psychology. But@Jennifer: “follow the money” is the absolute central rule of American democracy. Always follow the money.

    Ideology exists in service to the money masters.

  10. 10
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    I generally recommend ignoring the so-called substance of human beings’ arguments and focusing instead on the psychology that motivates their positions.

    The facts-based version of my personality hates this. But with politics this might be a more useful method.

  11. 11
    David Koch says:

    Meh

    Kinsley should DIAF. That said, griftwald is a disgusting Ben Gazzara truther and a comical charlatan.

  12. 12
    Ash Can says:

    Anyway, this is why I generally recommend ignoring the so-called substance of human beings’ arguments and focusing instead on the psychology that motivates their positions.

    I C wut U did there.

  13. 13
    BGinCHI says:

    @DougJ: How the non-duped err. Nice.

    That could be the title of a book on The Village.

  14. 14
    DougJ says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    Don’t get me wrong, I believe, to some extent, in the notion of a measurable reality. I just don’t think much rhetoric is informed by it, in practice.

  15. 15
    Keith G says:

    this is why I generally recommend ignoring the so-called substance of human beings’ arguments and focusing instead on the psychology that motivates their positions.

    All substance? Even that which is based on objective and measurable observations?

    Edit:
    Asked and answered, sort of.

  16. 16
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Jennifer: Or sometimes it’s good to ask “whose privilege is being protected here?” I’m convinced racism/sexism/classism (in that order) drive politics as much as money does

  17. 17
    BGinCHI says:

    @Morzer: Well, looks like we’re out of time for today. See you on Thursday.

  18. 18
    BGinCHI says:

    @Keith G: Psychology also motivates our positions on, say, climate change, even though it’s based on scientific principles. These things are not mutually exclusive.

  19. 19
    John O says:

    Anyway, this is why I generally recommend ignoring the so-called substance of human beings’ arguments and focusing instead on the psychology that motivates their positions.

    Agree wholeheartedly, if for no other reason than the psychology is a helluva lot more interesting than the political position itself.

  20. 20
    MattF says:

    One thing to bear in mind about the Village is the web of family connections.People aren’t fully aware of it– Did you know that John Dickerson, Slate political commenter, is the son of Nancy Dickerson? If you think his weird “Vote for Republican Senate candidates because it will force Republicans to govern” was just an accidental trip into la-la land, you’re not paying attention.

    It’s been that way for a long time. For another example, Clinton nemesis Michael Kelly was the son of Marguerite Kelly, who has been writing the ‘Family Almanac’ column in the WaPo since the dinosaurs ruled the Earth. So, it’s not merely psychological, it’s also about family.

  21. 21
    Morzer says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Is that true though? Psychologically, I’d be delighted if climate change turned out not to be happening. What convinces me that it is in fact a reality is my observation of changing patterns in the animal/plant worlds, plus seeing the data on average temperatures over time.

  22. 22
    BGinCHI says:

    @MattF: The soft nepotism of no expectations.

  23. 23
    Morzer says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Nepotists are people too, my friend. As Mitt Romney no doubt meant to say.

  24. 24
    BGinCHI says:

    @Morzer: The psychology part does not necessarily factor into whether it is true or false (for those who get it, but see the nutty freak show on the right…). It plays a big part in how we learn about it, react to it, and so on. If “climate change denialism” looks suspiciously psychological, then it’s probably a good idea not to completely deny some subjective (let’s stop saying “psychological”) responses in our exploration of how climate change works and what to do about it.

  25. 25
    geg6 says:

    But what if they are both assholes and despicable human beings who are narcissistic freaks who don’t give a shit about anything or anyone but their own publicity, egos and smug self-righteousness?

    You know, like when it’s a slap fight between Michael Kingsley and Glenn Greenwald?

  26. 26
    ThresherK says:

    I can’t be the first to lurve the XTC nod, can I?

  27. 27
    BGinCHI says:

    @Morzer: Ironic that a robot said that.

  28. 28
    gussie says:

    Greenwald is interesting because of the visceral reactions he provokes. I was v. pleased to see someone criticize him with links, above. That’s rare. Usually people–of all stripes–just talk about creepy and awful he is, which tends to make me think that they’re 100% psychology, 0% substance, like idiots yapping about Barry Obummer.

  29. 29
    DougJ says:

    @ThresherK:

    Yes!

  30. 30
    Emma says:

    @SatanicPanic: I’ll bring the bbq wings and the beer.

  31. 31
    Morzer says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    I’m not a fan of Greenwald, but on this one I have to root for Kinsley to be publicly eviscerated. Which, admittedly, is a not insignificant consolation.

  32. 32
    MikeJ says:

    @MattF:

    One thing to bear in mind about the Village is the web of family connections.People aren’t fully aware of it– Did you know that John Dickerson, Slate political commenter, is the son of Nancy Dickerson?

    And people always have the same political beliefs as their parents?

  33. 33
    Jay B. says:

    @gussie:

    Absolutely. You see it thick in this thread already. What’s Kinsley trying to say? What is Greenwald writing about? Who has a point? Who cares? That Kinsley is acting like a parody of what Greenwald says about the Washington media matters not! He’s awful because of reasons!

    I think DougJ’s exactly right in his observation about psychology, but I find it to be utterly depressing because we’ll never ever get to the substance.

  34. 34
    jl says:

    OK. But we can enjoy the coming epic mother of all turf wars Issa-Gowdy death cage Benghaszzi!! title match, right? I hope so.

    And, note to Chuck Lane, professional sober serious person: slow down bro, the century is young. (Lane knows what century we are in, right… right?)

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    Meh.

  36. 36
    taylormattd says:

    @DougJ: True. The combination of his constant need to be contrarian (no matter how stupid the argument) + his weasel-like appearance on the TV made me hate him years ago.

    Edit: Wasn’t he one of the fucking douchebags giving assists to people like Maureen Dowd and the rest of the Clinton-penis crew in the late 90s?

  37. 37
    MazeDancer says:

    Muffie Brandon: “Watergate was pretty scary, but it wasn’t quite as sordid as this.”

    Wow.

    Abrogating the Constitution, not sordid. (BTW, not defending Clinton, he was wrong, wrong, wrong to use Oval Office for blow jobs, and to use power over interns.)

    Wonder how she felt about Iran Contra? Tacky, but not Trailer Park?

    Hadn’t read article before. Is an important one.

  38. 38
    nancy darling says:

    Every time I read anything by Sally Quinn or hear her speak, I have to fight the urge to throw up. I remember her discussing Clinton with Bob Woodward and (I think) Charlie Rose. She was lamenting Clinton’s behavior and said “we all have robust sex lives here in Washington” (she would be the one to know) and they would all have understood if Clinton had chosen a “discreet divorcée” for his indiscretions.

    For the record, I’m pretty sure that Monica was the predator. She seduced Bill—it ain’t hard to do. Without passing judgement on Monica, she had been around more blocks by the time she reached DC than I managed in 50 years.

  39. 39
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The best justification they come up with is “he’s an asshole”.

    Actually, no, that is not the best justification. (for the record, he is, but so am I, so what) The problem with Greenwald is that he is a zealot. The problem with zealots is they are great at getting other people to die for their cause. Case in point; Edward Snowden.

    Snowden makes the perfect martyr. Willingly lays down his life for a cause greater than himself. And Greenwald, bard that he is, writes epic poems to Snowdens bravery and selfless sacrifice.

    A word of advice Doug: If you ever find yourself in a pinch with Greenwald at your side? Slip the knife between his ribs before he does it to you. Because he will.

  40. 40
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Morzer: yep. We can dispose Greenwald; it’s our circular firing squad and we can take out whomever we feel like on our side. Kingsley most definitely belongs on someone else’s circle, and I have no problems not letting him in on the game.

  41. 41
    taylormattd says:

    Oh crap, I just edited my comment, added a naughty word, and it moved to moderation :(

  42. 42
    Ash Can says:

    @gussie: Of course Greenwald provokes those reactions. It’s his schtick; he does it on purpose. If he were simply to present his information and answer questions about it in an unemotional, matter-of-fact way, he’d be viewed in an entirely different manner.

  43. 43
    Morzer says:

    @Jay B.:

    What we are replaying here is a political variant of the long-running debate among literary critics about the nature of authorial intent, whether we can ascertain it or not, whether we even need to ascertain it to find a given work meaningful and so on and so forth. I guess I more or less line up with the reader response guys who think the author’s intent doesn’t much matter and can’t really be recovered from the text, although our impression of the author’s intent does shape how we read the text.

  44. 44
    Baud says:

    @MazeDancer:

    Muffie always says the darndest things.

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    Haha. Brian Williams just called Snowden the “most wanted man in the world.”

  46. 46
    Morzer says:

    @Baud:

    Muffie the Vampire Player?

  47. 47
    gussie says:

    ‘Not a fan of Glenn Greenwald/Greenwald’: 12020 results on Google.
    ‘Not a fan of Joe Scarborough/Scarborough: 1200
    ‘Not a fan of Michael Kinsley/Kinsley’: 280
    ‘Not a fan of Thomas Friedman/Friedman’: 3,680
    ‘Not a fan of Megyn/Megyn Kelly’: 254 (can that be right?)
    ‘Not a fan of David Brooks’: 1790 (‘Brooks’ alone gives results for ‘Brooks Brothers,’ etc.)

    Maddow beats him, though: 13,430

  48. 48
    LAC says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: lol! Indeed. That fucker would leave you to die and complain that you were too noisy

  49. 49
    Morzer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    @LAC:

    After 17 updates, Greenwald died.

  50. 50
    Baud says:

    OMG. This NBC piece on Snowden is so much crap.

  51. 51
    Morzer says:

    @Baud:

    How is its crapitude made manifest?

  52. 52
    Trollhattan says:

    @taylormattd: FYWP is verry, VERRY hungry today. Have we not been feeding it?

  53. 53
    Baud says:

    @Morzer:

    Hard to explain, but it’s all promo for their hour long prime time Snowden interview tomorrow. Neither side of the great Greenwald debate will be happy.

  54. 54
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Greenwald is, yes, a self absorbed asshole. The problem is, Kinsley and the Villager twits are ALSO self absorbed assholes.

    Rooting for injuries.

  55. 55
    Mnemosyne says:

    @DougJ:

    Serious question: when was the last time Kinsley wrote anything as a reporter? As far as I can tell, he’s been a pundit for pretty much his entire career. I think I’ve probably written more news stories than he has, and that was 25 years ago as an entertainment journalist, FFS.

  56. 56
    Morzer says:

    @Baud:

    But that proves that NBC is neutral and bipartisan and…

    Yes, it does sound awful.

  57. 57
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    A word of advice Doug: If you ever find yourself in a pinch with Greenwald at your side? Slip the knife between his ribs before he does it to you. Because he will.

    WORD

  58. 58

    Thanks for linking the Village Charter piece. Noticed for the first time that Quinn must have outlined her piece first and then asked interviewees for quotes to insert, because there’s no way she could have collected all those “village” and “small town” references unless she was specifically fishing for them. And these people lecture others on how to do journalism.

  59. 59
    Tommy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Out of anybody here Ozark Hillbilly I like you most. You did nothing for me to say this, well other then I wanted to say it. I don’t think you are right here. But if I needed help I’d like to think you’d have my back. I’d only ask you give Glenn a little more respect.

  60. 60
    Socrates says:

    I know it’s fun but why is everyone lying about what Kinsley wrote?

    For example he did not say that people who leak government secrets should be “locked up”.

    This is what he wrote:

    “So what do we do about leaks of government information? Lock up the perpetrators or give them the Pulitzer Prize? (The Pulitzer people chose the second option.) This is not a straightforward or easy question.”

    Come on.

  61. 61
    taylormattd says:

    @Trollhattan: Well, I added the “f” word. But I’m pretty sure it was using the word pee-nis that put me in the filter.

  62. 62
    Baud says:

    @Socrates:

    I know it’s fun but why is everyone lying about what Kinsley wrote?

    Because it’s fun?

  63. 63
    Morzer says:

    @taylormattd:

    Just refer to it by the kenning “assault rifle” and you should be fine. Or perhaps “well-regulated militia tool”.

  64. 64
    Eric U. says:

    Atrios had a recent post where he questioned Greenwald’s intention to damage Obama with the Snowden leaks. It seems to me that his intention was to damage Obama first, and reveal the problems second. I never really gave him credit for actually wanting to change the system. Am I wrong in this?

  65. 65
    Morzer says:

    @Socrates:

    Well, according to DougJ Theory, what Kinsley wrote isn’t the point. What matters is the psychology behind what he wrote.

  66. 66

    And no one notices what DougJ actually said.

    Anyway, this is why I generally recommend ignoring the so-called substance of human beings’ arguments and focusing instead on the psychology that motivates their positions.

    Think hard folks, read it again, and then go back and apologize for your idiotic earlier response.

    It’s like some of you are new around here.

  67. 67
    Morzer says:

    @Eric U.:

    I’ve always wondered how Greenwald reconciles his supposed passion for liberty with a pretty much complete lack of interest in the vote suppression activities of the GOP.

  68. 68
    Chyron HR says:

    @gussie:

    You know, I’m pretty sure there are dozens if not hundreds of popular blogs where the editorial stance is generally critical of Obama, and yet it never ever occurred to me that I should go over there and whine at them until they recanted. And yet somehow I’m the one who “mindlessly worships” Obama as my “Dear Leader”. Go figure!

  69. 69
    Morzer says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:

    And no one notices what DougJ actually said.

    Anyway, this is why I generally recommend ignoring the so-called substance of human beings’ arguments and focusing instead on the psychology that motivates their positions.

    Five of the first fifteen responses to this thread cite that exact passage. Apparently someone doesn’t notice what the commenters actually said.

  70. 70
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Morzer: Well, they’re not suppressing HIS vote, so why should he give a rat’s ass?

  71. 71
    Baud says:

    @Chyron HR:

    This.

  72. 72
    Roger Moore says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    I’m convinced racism/sexism/classism (in that order) drive politics as much as money does

    I think classism is the main motivator, but only because in America race is a component of class. To me this is the big point that people who complain about poor whites who side with the Republicans not having proper class consciousness miss. They are displaying class consciousness, just to the racially defined concept of class that’s defined American society rather than the economic class that Marxists think they should be paying attention to.

  73. 73
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Shorter DougJ: caring about the substance of policy is for chumps.

    Explain how you’re any different from Tim Russert or Mark Halperin?

  74. 74
    Morzer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Well, er.. um liberty?

    First they came for the Hispanic voters, and I did not speak out because… etc etc

  75. 75
    Morzer says:

    @Roger Moore:

    You could argue that the racialized understanding of class has historically been used precisely as a distraction from the economic underpinning of class, especially in the South.

  76. 76
    Baud says:

    @Morzer:

    Apparently someone doesn’t notice what the commenters actually said.

    Cole? No way!

  77. 77
    Morzer says:

    @Baud:

    Cole’s never been the same since the pets took up with Shaun. We might need to stage an intervention, get him visitation rights or some such.

  78. 78
    Baud says:

    @Morzer:

    Nah. The pets are better off.

  79. 79
    Cervantes says:

    Here, while you’re at it, why not analyze the “psychology that motivates [Margaret Sullivan’s] positions” as well? (Thanks.)

  80. 80
    Morzer says:

    @Baud:

    That burn is so extreme the fire brigade is probably rushing to Fortress Cole as we speak.

  81. 81
    Morzer says:

    @Cervantes:

    Following your link informed me that David Brooks has written something entitled:

    Really Good Books, Part II.

    I have now lost the will to live.

  82. 82
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tommy: Tommy, for you? Yes. For Greenwald? After what he did to Snowden? No way. Not in this world or the next. Believe me, it is not an accident that Snowden is stuck somewhere in Moscow (?). Intentional? Probably not (it wasn’t “planned” that way), but at some point, Snowden became a more valuable commodity dead, than he was alive.

    Admit it, Greenwald would LOVE it if the US found a way to incarcerate Lowden on some Guantanamo. You know it. So do I.

    My dislike of Greenwald has been a long time growing. At first it was just his self-righteousness. But it is more now. Way more. I would like to say that “He serves a purpose.” and leave it at that. I used to, but I don’t think he serves the purpose I would wish him to anymore. He has a different purpose in mind now.

  83. 83

    Unless I am reading this completely wrong, this is not a serious statement:

    Anyway, this is why I generally recommend ignoring the so-called substance of human beings’ arguments and focusing instead on the psychology that motivates their positions.

    He’s a mathematician. He’s a quant. There is a reason that philosophy and math are so closely related and all the great mathematicians of yore were also philosophers. Newton, Descartes, and on and on.

    It wasn’t because they focused on the psychology of an argument.

    Unless I am completely reading this wrong, and he was actually serious, it was sarcasm so when folks like @Bobby Thomson:

    Shorter DougJ: caring about the substance of policy is for chumps.

    Explain how you’re any different from Tim Russert or Mark Halperin?

    say that it just means they don’t know who DougJ is and that the statement was a closing statement to mock the journalists in the Barry Eisler piece he linked.

    If I am wrong, I will offer a mea culpa. But I don’t think I am.

  84. 84
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Cervantes:
    The whole review sounds wretched.

  85. 85
    Morzer says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:

    Newton was an amateur, if obsessed and probably heretical, theologian not a philosopher*. Archimedes seems not to have had much in the way of philosophical interests. So no, not all of the great mathematicians of yore were philosophers.

    * And no, natural philosopher is not the same thing as our philosopher.

  86. 86
    HobbesAI says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: I’m calling Poe’s Law on that last paragraph. There’s no other way to read it which fits with DougJ’s previous posts.

  87. 87
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: The problem John, is that it is Greenwald. And as far as I can tell, whatever good you think he is trying to do? You are wrong. It is like Rand Paul filibustering against the use of drones in America. So what? You know that is not the point.

  88. 88
    Roger Moore says:

    @Morzer:

    You could argue that the racialized understanding of class has historically been used precisely as a distraction from the economic underpinning of class, especially in the South.

    You can argue that a racial understanding of class has been used as a distraction from economics, but I think the conception of class as being exclusively or even primarily about economics is deeply flawed. Social privilege has always a huge part of class, which is why members of warrior classes have had higher status than merchant classes even though the merchants were richer. If anything, I would say that privilege is primary and economics is secondary; it was the privilege to exploit others that made members of the upper classes rich in the first place.

  89. 89
    Ash Can says:

    @Morzer: He doesn’t have a passion for liberty, he has a passion for embarrassing the US government. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; there are some things about which the US government should be embarrassed. It’d be nice if he were honest about it, though.

  90. 90
    Morzer says:

    @Roger Moore:

    You see, I think that in the South privilege rested heavily on economic status, rather than the traditional aristocratic basis, which is exactly why the privileged who hankered after an aristocratic tradition were so careful to deflect attention from the actual basis of that standing. Once the lower classes see money as the only difference between men, why, you get them drawing all sorts of alarming conclusions about what they deserve and how maybe they ought to do something to redistribute wealth. The best way to do that, short of redistributing money, is to persuade them that they have a higher standing than someone else – i.e. the 3/5 people with a different skin color.

  91. 91
    Morzer says:

    @Ash Can:

    Which is exactly what annoys me about Greenwald. If he’s going to go around presenting himself as some sort of apostle of liberty, and holier than thou to boot, I’d appreciate it if his concept of liberty didn’t seem so firmly centered on and limited to the well-being and fame of his own lily-white ass.

  92. 92
    Turgidson says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:

    In the context of DougJ’s post, I took that paragraph to be a serious, if morbidly cynical, statement with respect to Villagers and that crowd (or perhaps to discussion of politics in general), but not necessarily to all forms of human argument. I, too, could be wrong.

  93. 93
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Roger Moore: Yes, most like what other countries think of as untouchables

  94. 94
    Morzer says:

    @Turgidson:

    What DougJ said would make perfect sense if he had been talking about “political punditry” rather than politics.

  95. 95
    Baud says:

    Anyone watching Chris Hayes? Burr really stepped in it. The reactions of the veterans groups would have made national news and sunk Burr’s campaign if he were a Democrat. Amazing.

  96. 96
    Elizabelle says:

    @Baud:

    I luvved Burr stepping into a buzz saw. More of this, please.

  97. 97
    Baud says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I can’t recall ever seeing groups like that using such strong language. I’m stunned.

  98. 98
    Ash Can says:

    And in other news, the Russian separatists in Donetsk have adopted a new flag. But hey, it’s the Ukrainians who are the racists.

  99. 99
    Lol says:

    Why isn’t there any discussion about Greenwald’s collusion with Snowden prior to his employment at Booz Allen?

  100. 100
    the Conster says:

    @Baud:

    Nothing will come of it, because Republicans are the party of military families.

    Since Obama was elected, Michelle and Jill Biden have had countless – probably hundreds – of events private and public that honor the families of veterans and veterans themselves. You’ll never hear about it in the “news”.

  101. 101
    the Conster says:

    @Ash Can:

    What, just bars? No stars? FAIL

  102. 102
    Morzer says:

    @the Conster:

    Hey, they are calling their “state” New Russia. They probably didn’t want to borrow someone else’s flag as well.

  103. 103
    Poopyman says:

    @Lol:

    Why isn’t there any discussion about Greenwald’s collusion with Snowden prior to his employment at Booz Allen?

    My question as well. It seems people want to ignore that part of the story.

  104. 104
    Baud says:

    @Poopyman:

    Is there new info? I heard some stuff about that a while back, which seemed like weak tea.

  105. 105
    Ash Can says:

    @Baud: It would have been weak tea if it hadn’t been Greenwald himself saying it.

  106. 106
    Baud says:

    Haha. Rachel is leading with Burr.

  107. 107
    Hill Dweller says:

    Maddow is leading with the Burr story.

  108. 108
    Poopyman says:

    @Ash Can: Exactly, but since then has been universally ignored. Very strange.

  109. 109
    Baud says:

    @Ash Can:

    Sorry. I’m not seeing anything in the article to get worked up over. Not saying there’s not anything there, but I don’t see the enough evidence to justify an extended debate.

  110. 110
    the Conster says:

    @Morzer:

    Plenty of room for a lone star on those bars. Maybe they should call themselves New Texas. or New Nevada.

  111. 111
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: If this were the only post where he’d said something like this, I would agree it was just snark and DougJ trolling this blog like he trolls BoBo. But it’s not a one off.

  112. 112
    Ash Can says:

    @Poopyman: The pro-Greenwald faction dismisses it because shut up, the anti-Obama faction ignores it because it doesn’t jive with the it’s-all-Obama’s-fault narrative, and the press ignores it because it’s not nearly enough to lead to a conviction.

  113. 113
  114. 114
    Baud says:

    I mistakenly thought Burr was up for re-election. Got confused because of the Hagan re-election bid. Too bad he’s not.

  115. 115
    Roger Moore says:

    @the Conster:

    What, just bars? No stars? FAIL

    Strictly speaking that’s a saltire, not bars of any kind. In heraldry, a bar is a horizontal stripe. Also, too, the “Stars and Bars” was the Confederate national flag, which was based on the US flag but with only three wide horizontal stripes instead of thirteen (the bars) and a variable number of stars depending on how many states had allegedly joined the Confederacy arranged in a circle. The flag we see more often with the stars on a saltire is the Confederate Battle Flag./pedant

  116. 116
    Suffern ACE says:

    @the Conster: maybe they should just sell the naming rights to raise cash. Chipotland, Toyotania, FedExian?

  117. 117
    Ash Can says:

    @Baud: No, there isn’t enough for an extended debate. It just indicates that Greenwald was in on the operation from the start.

  118. 118
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @the Conster: Thing is, “Novorossiya” or New Russia is not anything new at all, it’s a 19th century term for an area that comprises roughly the southern third of what is now Ukraine. The use of that term, very pointedly, by Putin and by the separatists speaks volumes to everyone in the area. Currently, however, much of that territory is quite patriotically Ukrainian (even if predominantly Russian-speaking.) The cities of Dnipropetrovsk (which was the capital of Novorossiya when know as Novorossiysk), Odessa and Zaporizhya were entirely peaceful during Sunday’s election.

  119. 119
    the Conster says:

    @Roger Moore:

    LOL

  120. 120
    DougJ says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:

    There’s some amount of seriousness, some amount of sarcasm.

  121. 121
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Ash Can: That… is not what I guessed I was going to see when I clicked through. I guess European far-right groups have tired of waving thinly disguised Nazi flags and have decided to move on to the Dixie version.

  122. 122
    AxelFoley says:

    @Ash Can:

    Hmm…something familiar about that flag. Can’t quite put my finger on it…

  123. 123
    Liberty60 says:

    Part of my wariness about hating on GG for his personality, lack of, or his libertarian leanings, is that that is just a not-too-clever version of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” argument.

    That touches a nerve with me especially, since it was my hatred of totebagger liberals (the only kind I actually knew) during the 70’s and 80’s that blinded me to my own conservative tribe’s insanity.

    Part of maturity in politics, I believe, is being able to listen clearly to people who are assholes and grasp the kernel of truth buried somewhere. Because it isn’t just blind squirrels and acorns- people who are 100% wrong are actually rare- almost all figures have some truth and accuracy in their field of vision, somewhere.

    Worse yet, letting our support depend on the personality and integrity of the actor makes us vulnerable to cultish behavior, blinding us even more to flaws we ourselves hold to.Trust me, I did that very thing.

    GG is a preening self absorbed asshole? So is Hillary, I bet. But I will crawl over broken glass to campaign for her. I consider Obama to be the best POTUS since Kennedy, and a man of superior character but I still think he is wrong on national security issues.

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    DougJ says:

    I said generally not always.

  125. 125
    Joel says:

    Anyway, this is why I generally recommend ignoring the so-called substance of human beings’ arguments and focusing instead on the psychology that motivates their positions.

    Simpler than that. Just focus on the substance of the issues.

  126. 126
    Chris says:

    @MazeDancer:

    Hadn’t read article before. Is an important one.

    Same. I’d never read it. It’s a keeper.

    Thank God, I was 1) not living in America and 2) a pre-teen during the Lewinsky scandal. Reading that many transparently phony moralistic quotes from Official Washington just really makes me want to gag (especially knowing how they’d react – or rather, not react – to the next eight years, the lies that went with those ones, and the things those lies led to).

    The money quote is, of course, the classic “he came and trashed the place, and it wasn’t his place.” Who does that white trash think he is, strutting around Washington like he deserves to be here just because people voted for him?

  127. 127
    Chris says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I think classism is the main motivator, but only because in America race is a component of class. To me this is the big point that people who complain about poor whites who side with the Republicans not having proper class consciousness miss. They are displaying class consciousness, just to the racially defined concept of class that’s defined American society rather than the economic class that Marxists think they should be paying attention to.

    Didn’t Europe (where Marxism originated) have its own blend of race and class going on (Jews and Gypsies, in their case, being the “others”)? How did Marxists fit that into their worldview at the time? The antisemitism of the era always reminds me of the Southern Strategy – as long as white people were focusing their rage on people outside their tribe, they wouldn’t turn it against the elites who had the real power (and who IIRC were, indeed, often happy to stir up antisemitism).

    If the only Marxist reaction to that was “yeah but you should just ignore that and focus on class,” well, oy. They were missing something big.

  128. 128

    Me, five years ago:

    The significant political science paper I keep citing is Philip E Converse, “The nature of belief systems in mass publics,” reprinted in Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 18, no. 1 (2006): 1 – 74, and I recommend it to everyone with a serious interest in politics.

    It’s been known since Converse’s paper that [a Guttman scale of positions on political matters cannot] be constructed for the general public. It can only be constructed in parts of the citizenry who are politically aware, and Converse found that that was a minority, 11.5% of subjects, 15.5% of voters. The largest plurality of people, 42% of subjects, 45% of voters, in Converse’s five-ranked classification system took positions based on understandings of group allegiances. So, for instance, Converse found a “socialist” who supported privatization of utilities! For the rest, people would answer poll questions, but their answers didn’t correlate, so you’d get, for instance, people who (post-Converse example) support Medicare but are opposed to government-financed health care. The classic and horrible example, of course, is what we are seeing writ large in California, where people have voted for government programs and against the taxes that fund them. Many votes and positions are apparently made and taken at random, and change when the voters are consulted some time later.

  129. 129
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Raven on the Hill: Phil Converse and the rest of Michigan’s Four Horsemen actually learned the crux of that a long time before 2006. The American Voter was first published in 1960 and set the table for decades of empirical research.

    tl;dr: Americans’ political opinions are squishy.

  130. 130
    Cervantes says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    The American Voter was first published in 1960 and set the table for decades of empirical research.

    Yes, it was based primarily on the 1956 election.

    It’s worth noting that party identification has diminished since then.

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    Paul in KY says:

    @MattF: Michael Kelly was scum. I was happy when he died in Iraq.

  132. 132
    Paul in KY says:

    Why can I not reply to MikeJ comments (like #32 above)?

    Very strange, IMO.

  133. 133
    Paul in KY says:

    @Morzer: Good point.

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    Paul in KY says:

    @Ash Can: They must be looking to the Republican party for some financial support.

  135. 135

    @Bobby Thomson: Yes, and The New American Voter, a followup by other authors, was published in 1996. Things hadn’t changed that much; I don’t think they’ve changed that much since. Seriously, if the majority of voters were policy-conscious, instead of voting on identity or at random, would you expect the kind of electoral outcomes we have been seeing?

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