They are all honorable men

There was a somewhat annoying Dana Milbank piece about how the baby boomers caused all the problems the other day. While it was more than a little “baby boomers drive a car like this beep beep, Generation X drives a car like this BEEP BEEP BEEP“, it brought up an interesting question: how many of the pathologies of the current political/media landscape are a result of certain aspects of baby boomer culture?

I’ve always thought that the honorable man or decent man stuff was very boomer. You sure as hear it a hell of a lot from Tweety and Joe Klein and all the pseudo-intellectuals who wank about dead presidents in Ken Burns docs. It’s the basis for every Tom Hanks movie since the salad days of “Volunteers” and “Bachelor Party” (the only two good Tom Hanks movies, IMHO). I haven’t heard many millennials talk about what an honorable man Paul Ryan or Joe Lieberman or John McCain is.

The honorable man concept works against liberals and in favor of conservatives. Honorable men can’t be women, because powerful women are harpies and lesbos, like Nancy Pelosi and Hillary. Black men can be honorable only as long as they are just giving speeches about uniting the country. Once they assume office, they become arrogant, tan-suited hyper-partisans. I’d argue it’s difficult for young people or even people with ethnic names to be honorable men.

Here’s the thing about the honorable man concept: it has no predictive value and no functional definition. Much of the media, including Megan McArdle, is quite rightly repulsed by Trump’s “vile authoritarianism”. You would think that would mean that Republicans who support aren’t honorable men. Not so, we learn from Megan:

[W]e are treated to the sight of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan calling Trump’s remarks about the Hispanic judge in his fraud case “the textbook definition of a racist comment” while still refusing to disavow his support for the Republican nominee.

Nonetheless, I think Ryan is a decent human being.

Paul Ryan is an honorable man because he is an honorable man.

Republicans like Ryan are in a tough spot, I don’t envy them. Here’s someone whom I suspect is one of those reasonable, decent Republicans we’re always hearing about (he’s friends with Robert Reich after all). I’m genuinely sympathetic to his plight.

CONGRESSMAN: I hate to admit it, but I’m afraid of them. Some of those Trumpistas are out of their fu*king minds.

REICH: You mean you’re afraid for your own physical safety?

CONGRESSMAN: All it takes is one of them, you know.

REICH: Wait a minute. Isn’t this how dictators and fascists have come to power in other nations? Respected leaders don’t dare take a stand.

CONGRESSMAN: At least I’m no Giuliani or Gingrich or Pence. I’m not a Trump enabler.

But I wouldn’t trust this guy’s decency to save us from collapse. I’d put a lot more faith in the anger of an unserious partisan who actively opposed Trump.

178 replies
  1. 1
    germy says:

    “A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words”
    – Dr. Winston O’Boogie

  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    Imma let you finish, but I just want to say that the Halloween Movie Club post is up about Robert Wise’s The Haunting.

    One of these days I’ll learn how to blog in less than 2,000 words, but today clearly was not the day.

  3. 3
    Trentrunner says:

    I felt like a grew up a lot when I realized it’s all about power, and all discussions about who is a “better person” or whatever were just in service of that power, as everything is.

    GOTV. Fuck them in the ass.*

    *Unless they like that sort of thing, then withhold.

  4. 4
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The honorable man concept works against liberals and in favor of conservatives. Honorable men can’t be women, because powerful women are harpies and lesbos,

    Not so sure. After the last debate, as the MSNBC set was marveling at how talented a talker KA Conway is, Chuck Todd– whose highest journalistic value is letting people know what an Insider he is– paused to say, with smarmy treacly intonation, “…and not just good at her job, a really good person.” My immediate thought: “She’s helping a racist demagogue shred the fabric of our civil society… but she’s a ‘good person’. I wished someone would point that out, but I would’ve been fired from NBC for pointing out that the fact that Tom Brokaw is old does not mean he is smart.

    ETA: MSNBC is now going on a solid hour of uninterrupted Trump, from the Beast itself, to a “senior advisor”

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    I haven’t heard many millennials talk about what an honorable man Paul Ryan or Joe Lieberman or John McCain is.

    I’m sure they have their own honorable men. See, for example, Snowden.

  6. 6
    DCrefugee says:


    *Unless they like that sort of thing, then withhold.

    It’s not a matter of what they like. It’s a matter of what *I* like…

  7. 7
    Another Scott says:

    Hey Doug!

    I haven’t read Milbank’s piece, and don’t intend to, but the “Boomers are horrible and wrecked the world” stuff is stupid and can be demonstrated to be stupid with a couple of examples.

    – Barack Obama is a “Boomer”.
    – Dick Cheney is a “Silent Generation”.
    – Tim Kaine is a “Boomer”.
    – Donald Rumsfeld is a “Silent Generation”.
    – Bernie Madoff is a “Silent Generation”
    – Maurice Greenberg is a “Silent Generation”

    Do we really want to go down the “Generation Z wrecked the world!!” path? I don’t think so.

    On the “honorable man” stuff, it’s just Cleek’s Law. ;-)

    My $0.02!


  8. 8
    JPL says:

    As far as I know Rep. Flake is still walking around, and he seems well liked in AZ. It’s definitely time for the congressman to leave, because if he couldn’t disavow Trump, I doubt he disagreed with the republican leadership.

  9. 9
    germy says:

    Hillary Clinton is a boomer.

  10. 10
    raven says:

    “Volunteers” and “Bachelor Party” (the only two good Tom Hanks movies, IMHO). “


  11. 11
    WarMunchkin says:

    @Baud: Can confirm. Am Millenial, think Snowden ~= updated Ellsberg. YMMV.

    But if you think that’s bad, just wait for the hero worship and GOP sponsored blowjob every intel officer who leaks so much as a stray breath will get from the right wing during Hillary’s presidency.

  12. 12
    raven says:

    We were egg snatchers, flashin sunshine children. . .

  13. 13
    dmsilev says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: She’s a metcenary, which makes her amoral at the absolute best. I only hope that after the election, Trump stiffs her of her promised pay and tries to sue her for doing a poor job. That would be poetic justice.

  14. 14
    Ruckus says:

    But he is a tRump enabler. One can’t sort of be against what tRump stands for, quietly sobbing in the back room not for attribution about how bad he is and shouldn’t be elected dog catcher or even dog shit collector but not say anything out loud. Even the two Bush presidents are against tRump and they are about as partisan as it gets.

  15. 15
    James E Powell says:


    I’m not so sure that “millennials” is really a useful demographic label and I’m sure that “boomers” is not. But aside from that, is there any evidence that “millennials” like Snowden?

  16. 16
  17. 17
    RM says:

    @Another Scott: Hush your mouth. Obama is a super old Gen X-er. Boomer cuts off at 1960.

  18. 18
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    : how many of the pathologies of the current political/media landscape are a result of certain aspects of baby boomer culture?

    I do think the Cult of McCain is pretty Boomer-specific. As I recall, the three founding members of that sect were Tweety, Russet and Brokaw (technically a Silent, I guess), three men with Daddy/gender issues who never served in the military, but all but fetishize military service, especially WWII

    @JPL: Senator Flake, and some Tea Bagger has vowed to bring him down. I think Ben Sasse is gonna take Paul Ryan’s place as the Beltway’s golden boy– from the Heartland, young and handsome (for a pol), and consistently opposed Trump.

  19. 19
    RK says:

    for every Tom Hanks movie since the salad days of “Volunteers” and “Bachelor Party” (the only two good Tom Hanks movies, IMHO)

    Said no one ever.

  20. 20
    Joe Miller says:

    There is no such thing as “Baby Boomer Culture”, nor is there any such thing as “Greatest Generation”, “Silent”, “Gen X”, “Gen Y”, or “Millennial” culture. There is American culture, a dauntingly complex and deeply interconnected set of ideas, behaviors, and objects.These so-called “generations” are fictions. Does any sane person actually believe that human history proceeds through distinct “generations” that ALL believe the same thing, ALL have the same attitudes, and ALL react in the same way? Utterly imbecilic. These labels, the product of certain lazy “journalists” and incompetent “social scientists”, are simply brain-dead sweeping generalizations. They completely ignore the complexity of human interaction, the nuances of individual biography, and the significance of those ideas and attitudes passed down through tens of thousands of years of modern human culture. These labels are also a good way for certain lazy, incompetent people to imagine that they understand the lives of others, when in fact they know virtually nothing.

  21. 21
    p.a. says:

    It’s of a piece with “… but he loves children and dogs… the trains ran on time… he built wonderful libraries… he built x, y, z for the church… “

  22. 22
    hueyplong says:

    I’m at a loss to understand how someone would have a low opinion of Hanks in The Road to Perdition.

  23. 23
    Fgh says:

    Um WTF was the congressman. Dur.

  24. 24
    WereBear says:

    President Obama is Generation Jones.

  25. 25
    Another Scott says:

    @RM: Dunno if you’re being snarky, but this Boomer and Wikipedia say that the Baby Boom Generation ended in 1964.

    Since a “generation” is the average female reproductive time (roughly 18-20 years), 1946-1964 makes sense. 1946-1960 doesn’t.



  26. 26
    mdblanche says:

    Weren’t the original honorable men a bunch of backstabbers? Just sayin’.

  27. 27
    Amir Khalid says:

    Or in The Green Mile.

  28. 28
    Gindy51 says:

    @Mnemosyne: As to your review comments you mention Elanor being alone in the house as a ghost after she dies… not a chance is she alone. Hugh Crane, the old lady, the nurse, the dead wife, they are ALL there with her. Something like the ending to the far inferior (but still great house porn) Rose Red by Stephen King Where “D” ends up joining all the ghosts of the people who have died there.

  29. 29
    Redshift says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Conway is a scary-good bullshitter, much better than Trump. And with him, it seems to be a compulsion, whereas there’s no indication she does it for any reason except the money. To me, that is the very definition of Not A Good Person.

  30. 30
    Another Scott says:

    @mdblanche: Et tu?




  31. 31
    jeffreyw says:

    @Joe Miller: What you say is absolutely correct but this is the Internets so it can be easily disregarded.
    @raven: Raven likes the one where Hanks drops trou and moons LBJ.

  32. 32

    @RM: Wikipedia would have words with thee:

    Baby boomers are the demographic group born during the post–World War II baby boom, approximately between the years 1946 and 1964.

  33. 33
    jeffreyw says:

    @Another Scott: Dammit, beat me to it! Well done.

  34. 34
    The Pale Scot says:


    I have always felt that if you weren’t waiting in line for gas in ’72 you’re not a boomer, I remember the olds being astonished and angry about it. That, more than anything else set the stage for Reagan

    ‘Merika was losin’ its Mojo.

  35. 35

    @James E Powell: I’m a millennial and a lot of my friends worship the guy.

  36. 36
    raven says:

    @jeffreyw: Thanks for your Black Panther. . . Party.

  37. 37
    Redshift says:

    @Another Scott: Being the same age as Obama, we get classed with Boomers all the time, and though by the demographic definition you cite it’s correct, most talk about Boomers is cultural/mindset, and we’re not at all Boomers in that sense. I saw a few hippies when I was a kid, but it wasn’t a thing when I was old enough to be one. Vietnam War was something I was slightly aware of as a kid. Woodstock was a movie I saw in high school. The Beatles- kinda cool when i discovered them after they’d broken up. And so on.

    About the only thing people my age have in common with the Boomers is that if you think the protesters were the heroes of the Vietnam era, you’re a liberal, and of you think the Establishment/cops were the heroes, you’re a conservative.

  38. 38

    @Another Scott:

    Do we really want to go down the “Generation Z wrecked the world!!” path? I don’t think so

    These pieces are written and published several times a day.

  39. 39
    Tom Q says:

    1) I’ve always heard boomer defined as post-war to 1955. Matthews kind of makes it (though he’d have been conceived while the war was still on), but Brokaw misses by five years, so don’t foist him on us. Russert we’ll have to take blame for.

    2) The boomers I know — which means, all my college friends — have been steadfast Dems/press-skeptical throughout. That’s largely true of the higher-education crowd. But the thing to understand is there were always plenty of that generation who didn’t cut their teeth on anti-war rallies; in fact, they probably amount to at least a small majority. And then there were the careerist journalists — that’s where Russert and Joe Klein etc. come from. — who essentially attached themselves to earlier generations (notably silents) and mimicked their politics/ethos, not that of the fading 60s folk.

    Bottom line: It’s silly to attribute protest roots to all boomers, and just as silly to hold them responsible for every person of that age group. Boomers are no more responsible for the bad analysis of the Beltway than the Silent Generation; it’s more a company town gestalt than a generational one.

  40. 40
    raven says:


  41. 41
    James E Powell says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    a lot of my friends worship the guy

    So, you have interesting friends. I asked if there were any evidence.

  42. 42
    raven says:

    @Tom Q: There is a vast difference between me and my older cousins. I was born in 49 and they right after WW2. They no bic me.

  43. 43

    @James E Powell: and I gave you some? You asked for evidence, not scientific polling data.

  44. 44
    Doug R says:

    @RM: Yeah, as birth year 1962, there’s definitely a split between the early boomers and us. I believe gen x was originally about around 1960 to 1967ish. We’re definitely a bridge or transition “generation “.

  45. 45
    Immanentize says:

    I am in the group of folks who think lead poisoning has as much to do with boomer bad behavior as it does crime rates (direct correlations)

  46. 46
    frosty says:


    *Unless they like that sort of thing, then withhold

    Reminds me of this joke:

    Said the masochist: “Hit me!”
    Said the sadist: “No.”.

  47. 47
    retiredeng says:

    Paul Ryan is an example of (which there are far too many) the cowards that refused to stand up to Trump. The Trump “thing” will survive and we all have and will continue to lose because of it. The GOP made this and they need to own it.

  48. 48
    mdblanche says:

    @Another Scott: I believe the way it works is a nice person born between 1960 and 1964 is a nice Gen Xer while an awful person born between 1960 and 1964 is an awful Boomer.

  49. 49
    waysel says:

    @Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant): Um, by that definition it is still post WWII and always will be. Or did people stop having babies in 1964?

  50. 50
    Bill_D says:

    @Another Scott: The 1964 date is based on birth rates. To assume that demographic generations are the same as cultural generations is to not understand cultural generations. I never cease to be amazed by all the people who define Boomers based on coming of age in the 1960s, experiencing the Kennedy assassinations as profound shocks, the Vietnam War, the counterculture being a huge factor, etc. and then assert that people born in the early 1960s are “Boomers”. They’re not, in terms of shared experiences and outlooks. People born in the early 1960s got to grow up in the cynical 1970s and come of age in Reagan’s America. Even late Boomers like me missed out on the 1960s except as scary stuff that older kids and adults were doing.

  51. 51
  52. 52
    retiredeng says:

    @frosty: Reminds me of Bill Murray as a masochist in “Little Shop of Horrors.”

  53. 53
    Doug R says:

    From Wikipedia on generation x

    Demographer William Strauss noted that Coupland applied the term to the older members of the generation born between 1961–1964, who were told by demographers that they were baby boomers, but who did not feel like boomers. 

  54. 54
    Jeffro says:

    Gen Xers are at least as bad as Boomers if not worse.

    Anyway, Ryan, McConnell and the like are obviously without any sense of honor whatsoever – they’ve clearly put their party ahead of the country in ways that should disqualify them from ever being considered for any public office ever again. Since power is all that they understand, I can’t think of a better person to have in the Oval Office than Hillary Clinton…the paybacks they have coming are colossal. Fire at will, Hillz.

  55. 55
    frosty says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    I have always felt that if you weren’t waiting in line for gas in ’72 you’re not a boomer,

    That’s a pretty good definition, though cuts off around 1956 (16 yr old driver in ’72). Matches my definition that if you were draft age (18) for Vietnam you were a boomer. Roughly 1946 to 1955. Or maybe that’s just a first wave Boomer.

  56. 56
    waysel says:

    @Joe Miller: I’m with you on this. The whole ‘blank’ generation business seems to obfuciate much more than it illuminates. Assholes have been born, and will be born, in every decade. Some good people,too, as DJT might say.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Another Scott says:

    @mdblanche: I think you’re right!

    Kinda like someone named George W. Bush was never President, at least according to many Teabaggers…


  59. 59
    bemused says:

    I think there is a big difference between boomers who were teens during Elvis era vs Beatles/Stone era from clothing/hair styles, lifestyle and cultural viewpoints

  60. 60
    germy says:


    Reminds me of this joke:

    Said the masochist: “Hit me!”
    Said the sadist: “No.”.

    Or the old Kliban cartoon:
    “Why do you hang around with that sadist?”
    “Beats me!”

  61. 61
  62. 62
    Doug R says:

    Also from the Wikipedia generation x article

    Strauss and Howe define Generation X as those born between 1961–1981.[

    So my 1967 wife and I are both right.

  63. 63
    germy says:


    I am in the group of folks who think lead poisoning has as much to do with boomer bad behavior as it does crime rates (direct correlations)

    I thought it was television and rock ‘n roll?

    And wasn’t the environment saturated with lead in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s? Lead pipes, leaded gasoline, lead paint?

  64. 64

    @RK: I saw that. It is always always projection with these people.

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne says:


    Yes, but “we who walk here, walk alone.” Just as she most feared, Eleanor is surrounded by others and yet is still alone. Forever.

    Sleep tight! 😉

  66. 66
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    Right? Philadelphia sucked, That Thing You Do, Apollo 13… All crap. DJ has spoken.

  67. 67
    Anthony says:

    Friends, Romans, countrymen! Lend me your ears: Paul Ryan is a cock, stop sucking up to him.

  68. 68
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @mdblanche: Donald Trump actually uses the technique from that original honorable men speech, implying guilt on someone’s part and denying it at the same time. Or kind of a lame, less skillful version of it anyway, making some outrageous charge about someone then saying “Now, I don’t know if that’s true! Might not be!” It’s like Marc Antony mixed with Sean Hannity. “Brutus is an honorable man… though some are saying…”

    Nothing like getting home from a long day at the Forum and flippng on Foxus Newseus. Motto: Carpe Per Diem.

  69. 69
    Bill_D says:

    Regarding early vs. late Boomers, here’s a neat interactive that shows political leanings over time for people born in different years. Note the huge shift in political preferences between Boomers born in 1954 or earlier and those born in 1955 or later. This shows the danger in characterizing an entire “generation” based on stereotypes about those who made the most noise at the time. The late Boomers seem to be intermediate between the classic (early) Boomers and the Xers in some respects.


  70. 70
    Another Scott says:

    @Bill_D: Yeah, “generation” can mean different things in different contexts. Supposedly only the “Baby Boomers” Generation is an actual generation:

    The unofficial government arbiter of what is and isn’t a generation is the Census Bureau. Its catalog of aggregated data on the lives of Americans recognizes only one official generation: The Baby Boomers. Howard Hogan, the bureau’s chief demographer, explained why in an e-mail to the Post. “The Baby Boom is distinguished by a dramatic increase in birth rates following World War II and comprises one of the largest generations in U.S. history,” Hogan wrote. “Unlike the baby boom generation, the birth years and characteristics for other generations are not as distinguishable and there are varying definitions used by the public.” So the Census Bureau will put together numbers for Boomers, because that’s a real, demographic generation. It doesn’t release numbers on “Millennials” because you made that term up.

    So, Baby Boomer means something, but taking that “something” and applying that label to 75 M people and concluding they’re all the same in other ways (or they destroyed the world) is stupid.

    Whodathunkit? ;-)


  71. 71
    Doug R says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): DJ probably didn’t like Toy Story either.

  72. 72
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    Right? Philadelphia sucked, That Thing You Do, Apollo 13… All crap. DJ has spoken.@Joe Miller:

    Well said. There are two kinds of people: those who see the world as having two kinds of people and those who don’t.

  73. 73
    Barbara says:

    To me, almost all these discussions go back to race. Chuck Todd and Megan McArdle can view Ryan or Conway as good people because they don’t factor the effect of language and policies on non-whites (as well as others, but especially African Americans) into their view of what counts when assessing a person’s character. Ryan and Conway are not only benefiting from exclusionary policies but they are actively perpetuating them. Certainly, I have never heard either one of them oppose voter suppression. I am sure that they will protest that they don’t have a racist bone in their body, but the point is, they don’t have to. They are happy and willing to increase their power by being the beneficiary of the racial animus of others, each in their own way.

  74. 74
    Ruckus says:

    @The Pale Scot:
    And driving across the border into Canada in late summer 1973 showed how much bullshit the gas crisis was. Friend and I crossed over on a week day at about 11pm and were of course worried about running out of gas and not being able to fill up with the wrong last digit in the license number. Except that as we crossed we saw 2 rival gas stations, open, with uniformed attendants trying to wave us in to sell us gas. Our entire time in Canada, we could purchase gas as necessary will no waiting, no lines and the same old low prices. Whomever came up with “gas crisis” was an asshole and a genius at bullshitting an entire country.

  75. 75
    Hilfy says:

    Today is National Cat Day! Saving the best for last, as National Dog Day was in Sept.
    Celebrate by brushing and petting your furry overlord, buying fresh catnip mice, and giving special treats. Lucky says sardines are extra special. Singing a few verses of “You are a Cat. A very good Cat!” is usually appreciated, too.

  76. 76
    Bill E Pilgrim says:


    The biggest source of lead in the postwar era, it turns out, wasn’t paint. It was leaded gasoline. And if you chart the rise and fall of atmospheric lead caused by the rise and fall of leaded gasoline consumption, you get a pretty simple upside-down U: Lead emissions from tailpipes rose steadily from the early ’40s through the early ’70s, nearly quadrupling over that period. Then, as unleaded gasoline began to replace leaded gasoline, emissions plummeted.

    Intriguingly, violent crime rates followed the same upside-down U pattern. The only thing different was the time period: Crime rates rose dramatically in the ’60s through the ’80s, and then began dropping steadily starting in the early ’90s. The two curves looked eerily identical, but were offset by about 20 years.

  77. 77
    RK says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Trump’s idiotic campaign rhetoric begins to make sense when you see a story like that one.

  78. 78
    Doug R says:

    @Ruckus: The gas crisis was more political than anything. The Canadians had their own oil production and were shielded from the worst of it. I remember my dad having to strategize a weekend trip from Vancouver, BC to Portland, OR and back.

  79. 79
    Barbara says:

    @Doug R: I think baby boomer status should end at the point that states began disinvesting from public universities. As I was going through college, every year, previously ridiculously cheap schools began raising tuition by double digit percentages. I was able to graduate from college by the skin of my teeth with little debt, but I got pounded in graduate school. I say this because how you experienced college and young adulthood is seriously influenced by how much debt you are saddled with when you get out. It also reflects a cultural change, which is, when baby boomers graduated from college and began paying taxes, all of a sudden, keeping taxes low became the most important policy imperative.

  80. 80
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    They’re not saying “boo”. They’re saying boooo-mer.

  81. 81
    Doug R says:

    @Barbara: Ya got a point there. I think they changed Canadian colleges from grants and loans to all loans when I was in junior high school.
    When you’ve got a potential huge debt waiting for you when you graduate, it doesn’t make you want to get there.
    How did they keep taxes low? By not spending it on us. We were the start of the hollowing out of the education system.

  82. 82
    Bill_D says:

    Big Oops and facepalm on my last post. The interactive graph is for *white* people only, presumably to capture a less-varied demographic. I can offer no insights into how other groups may have experienced those periods of time.

  83. 83

    @Bill_D: well why would we be interested in the feelings of nonwhites? They’re not very interesting.

  84. 84
    Bill E Pilgrim says:


    The interactive graph is for *white* people only

    I’m curious, how do you enforce something like that?

    /snark tag, in case it’s needed

  85. 85
    James E Powell says:


    Conway is a scary-good bullshitter

    She isn’t good; she’s shameless. And almost no one will call an attractive woman a liar on TV. That’s why so many of them were hired for the job of lying on TV.

  86. 86
    different-church-lady says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    My immediate thought: “She’s helping a racist demagogue shred the fabric of our civil society…

    But then again, so is Chuck Todd. He’s just not as up-front about the endeavor.

  87. 87
    Another Scott says:

    @Bill_D: I don’t see a link in that post, so I think you’re OK!


    Where’s this interactive graph thing you’re talking about?



  88. 88
    MattF says:

    Just a reminder. In spite of the WaPo’s promotion of its new poll that shows only a two point gap between Clinton and Trump, the Huffpost aggregate shows a seven point gap, and hasn’t changed much for the past month. IMO, WaPo is engaged in shameless clickbaiting.

  89. 89
    gogol's wife says:

    @James E Powell:


  90. 90
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    OT: Clinton bringing up the Comey letter in front of a very enthusiastic crowd in FL– going after Comey pretty hard “strange, unprecedented, troubling”– Get your ass in front of a camera, now, COmey, is the gist (and I agree)

    Calls Trump a liar. Pretty good tack, in my very biased opinion

  91. 91
    dmsilev says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The fact that Comey has gone essentially radio silent since releasing that letter yesterday is pretty telling. If he thought he had a strong case to make for himself, he’d be sitting down with some friendly reporter for an interview or something like that. Instead, nothing.

  92. 92
    Another Scott says:

    @MattF: Dornsife has Donnie up by 2.4% while Rasmussen has them tied at 45%.

    Time to PANIC!!11



  93. 93
    germy says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Did you see the recent Cosmos television show? They devoted a long and interesting segment on lead poisoning the population, and the efforts of scientists vs. the industry.

  94. 94
    germy says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Clinton bringing up the Comey letter in front of a very enthusiastic crowd in FL– going after Comey pretty hard “strange, unprecedented, troubling”– Get your ass in front of a camera, now, COmey, is the gist

    I’m glad to hear this. I hope it makes it to the evening news, undistorted and unedited.

  95. 95
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    These are not honorable men. They are cravens, curs, unfit for any public office at all. They are scarcely worthy of life itself.

  96. 96
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @dmsilev: He’s twisting slowly, slowly, in the wind, and deservedly so.

    He needs to retire permanently from public life, and spend time with his family. Never to be seen or heard from again.

    He would do this if he had a fucking atom of integrity or ethics or couth. Since he has none of those things, he’ll still be around trying to get Villagers to pay attention to him. The Village will offer some small solace, which is to be expected of such worthless scum.

  97. 97
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Hillz is delivering a damn good speech, IMagainVBO

  98. 98
    StringOnAStick says:

    Here’s the scene: I was driving the older Prius my late BIL gave us on a 3 lane highway here in CO. In the center lane was a big Dodge Ram diesel truck with a huge pole and US flag flying from the bed. He was under the speed limit so I pulled into the left lane, and funny enough I was behind another Prius. Big truck dude goes nuts speeding past us, cutting off other cars so he can get in front of the 2 Prius’s, stomps his brakes to trap us between him and a semi in the middle lane, and I could see him flipping us off and generally going nuts with rage.

    Two observations: one, I didn’t realize that my free “new” car was a political statement, and two, these guys are all going to stroke out from rage, and the sooner the better.

  99. 99
    Chris T. says:

    @Joe Miller: For what it’s worth, my spouse is a real social scientist, and does not talk in terms of “the Fill-in-the-Blank Generation” (which means I agree with you).

  100. 100
    Bill_D says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I assume that’s snark. As we are all aware, polls commonly disaggregate responses by gender, race, age, etc. to try to tease out differences in how various groups feel about something. I’d be curious to see how the political leanings of various groups of color have changed over time, but this particular link is one that I picked up one time by accident so there it is.

    Discussions of Boomers normally take the supposed attributes of white Boomers and assign them to all Boomers. “Assumption of white normalcy” in action.

    @Bill E Pilgrim:
    I assume this is all done by polling rather than by rummaging around through ballot boxes and trying to figure out the race of the person who voted.

    @Another Scott: Try reloading. I edited it twice trying to get the formatting right.

  101. 101
    JPL says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: She was fired up and ready to go.

  102. 102
    JPL says:

    @StringOnAStick: That’s scary though.

  103. 103
    Temporarily Max McGee (Soon Enough to Be Andy K Again) says:



    IKR?! Dragnet should be on that list, too!

  104. 104
    Chris T. says:

    @Immanentize: I suspect the same myself, but I note that spurious correlations occur all the time.

  105. 105
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Damn. That makes me so happy.

    Let’s do this thing.

  106. 106
    Tilda Swinton's Bald Cap says:

    @germy: This does allow her to now paint the whole email witch hunt as an actual witch hunt, and I suspect there are some now very pissed off voters who will stop at nothing to get to the polls and vote for here.

  107. 107
    Temporarily Max McGee (Soon Enough to Be Andy K Again) says:

    @Tom Q:

    I’ve always heard boomer defined as post-war to 1955.

    ’46 to ’64. It’s all relative to pre-WWII US birth rates- 1941 birth rates in particular. Birth rates dropped in ’42, bottomed out in ’43-’44, rose in ’45, then crossed the ’41 mark in ’46, staying above ’41’s rates until ’65.

  108. 108
    Dog Dawg Damn says:

    The boomers are going for Trump Hard.

    Why on earth the generation that has experienced the biggest growth in peace and prosperity in the history of the world feels that life is so bad they should risk our democracy and international security order on a buffoon and self-obsessed narcissist like Trump is *beyond* me.

  109. 109

    @James E Powell: Conway sounds demented to me. She talks very quickly and says things everyone knows are false. “We won all the post debate polls! Mr Trump would never do that.” What’s the point of letting her ramble on like that?

  110. 110
    Chris T. says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: She’s doing the Gish Gallop.

  111. 111
    JPL says:

    @Tilda Swinton’s Bald Cap: My concern though, is how will Comey react? He’s already shown himself as a partisan moron, and this could cause him to go on stage and go ballistic.

    It’s a chance she had to take though.

  112. 112
    Central Planning says:

    @StringOnAStick: While cycling on a road in the Adirondacks, one of the locals (assumption, but based on the oldish nature of the vehicle it must have been true) yelled out their window “Get off the road you fucking tree huggers!” We were dressed in standard bike garb, not making a statement or anything.

    Who wants to be that angry all the time?

  113. 113
    Ruckus says:

    @Dog Dawg Damn:
    First of all no generation group is monolithic. They just aren’t. That is why I can say unequivocally that not all boomers are voting for tRump. Not all millennials are voting for Stein or Johnson or Hillary.
    Yes some, maybe even a lot of boomers are voting for the shitgibbon, because they are bigoted assholes or stupid assholes or just plain assholes. As is anyone else who votes with such prejudice against their own real needs, for some imagined needs, no matter their date of birth.

  114. 114
    Bill_D says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (Soon Enough to Be Andy K Again):

    It’s all relative to pre-WWII US birth rates

    Because changes in birth rates are the main thing determining social and political attitudes. //

    Folks define a group by demographic changes, then assume that results in a culturally cohesive group. They then extend those supposed cultural attributes out the the limit of the demographic boundaries. It’s actually a little sleight-of-hand even if one is not consciously aware of it.

  115. 115
    Mary G says:

    Thanks, WaPo and David Farenthold. He’s up to 420 charities associated with Trump and still only the one donation. Also this fresh horror:

    New findings, for instance, show that the Trump Foundation’s largest-ever gift — $264,631 — was used to renovate a fountain outside the windows of Trump’s Plaza Hotel.

  116. 116
    Mary G says:

    @Mary G: Spelled it wrong and can’t edit on the tablet. It’s Fahrenthold. I keep losing the “h.”

  117. 117
    jfxgillis says:

    Profoundly astute observation.
    As a man of that certain age I can tell you exactly how the notion took root.

    It has to do with those Boomer males born between roughly 1945 and 1953 give or take a year or two (about half the cohort) and how they dealt with or didn’t deal with the Vietnam draft.

    Inferiority complexes for some (Joe Klein, Donald Trump), deluded self-righteousness for others (Bob Kerry, Oliver Stone) or an obsequious humility (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush) for most of the rest.

    Those neuroses were passed along, though attentuated of course, to our siblings until the disease pretty much afflicted the whole generation, Vietnam vets, draft dodgers and everyone in between.

  118. 118
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mary G: story’s getting a lot of play, especially the pediatric AIDS charity, but… he used his foundation to pay the seven dollar registration fee when his son became Boy Scout.

    and the Rudi Giuliani…. pure class, as always.

    “I am just heartsick,” Buchenholz, the executive director, wrote the next day to the donor whose seat Trump had taken. Buchenholz provided a copy of the email.
    “I immediately said ‘no,’ but Rudy Giuliani said ‘yes’ and I felt I had to accede to him,” Buchenholz wrote. “I hope you can forgive me.” Buchenholz said that Fisher did remain a donor, despite the snub.

  119. 119
    D58826 says:

    @Dog Dawg Damn: Well this is one Boomer who would not let ‘old little hands’ clean up what the dog left behind let alone have the keys to the WH. And I am ashamed of those Boomers who would.

    Im with Her!!

  120. 120
    Ruckus says:

    @Central Planning:
    People who are professional haters. They hate blacks even if they might know some who are OK. They hate tree huggers, even if they don’t know why it’s nice to like trees. They hate women, for reasons that escape me, maybe one told them to clean up their room once. They haven’t learned to live with others, they’ve been told their entire adult lives that the problem with the world is others. This is human nature and republican bullshit of the last 60 yrs. We are all animals, we take what we need to survive and prosper. That is until we become civilized and we find out that earning is a better way for the overall project. These are the people who don’t accept civilization, who don’t accept earning over taking. They are entitled to everything and you are entitled to nothing. And that has been pounded into their heads for the last 60 yrs. They aren’t going to give that up easily, this political bullshit that some are better than others, if you just vote a certain way.

  121. 121

    @jfxgillis: I would tend to agree with you, though I’m half a boomer’s age. Many of the boomer writers I know frame everything they can as a Vietnam metaphor. Lazy framing yes but it reflects the way they think.

  122. 122
    Another Scott says:

    @Bill_D: Thanks.

    I skimmed the original paper – there’s a link for it in the NY Times story. Maybe I missed it, but they seem to be saying that: 1) they have data for minorities, but it’s sparse for older periods (for understandable reasons); 2) they lump all minorites together into one category (and recognize the problems in doing so).

    So they have data for minority voters, but their dataset is much stronger for non-Hispanic whites.

    Not that you’re arguing that it does, but I still don’t know how useful it is for divining the political leanings of 75M Boomers, though (as some pundits seem to want to do). Even “early” vs. “late” Boomers are huge categories with a huge variation of people. Even within a single year, there’s huge variation (e.g. Barack Obama vs. Ann Coulter).



  123. 123
    Mary G says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The whole article is full of amazing details. I like the one about the “Catholic museum” run by the “union boss.”

  124. 124
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Bill_D: At first glance it sounded like you wanted to restrict viewing of the graph to whites. Or that’s the way my overly literal mind read it for a second anyway.

  125. 125

    @Bill_D: yes, I was noting how as has been observed we/the media generally mean “white boomers” when we talk about “boomers”.

  126. 126
    Percysowner says:

    The Yale Record does not endorse Hillary Clinton in the best possible way.

    In its 144-year history, The Yale Record has never endorsed a Democratic candidate for president. In fact, we have never endorsed any candidate for president. This is, in part, due to our strong commitment to being a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization, which mandates that we are “absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”

    This year’s presidential election is highly unusual, but ultimately no different: The Yale Record believes both candidates to be equally un-endorsable, due to our faithful compliance with the tax code.

    In particular, we do not endorse Hillary Clinton’s exemplary leadership during her 30 years in the public eye. We do not support her impressive commitment to serving and improving this country—a commitment to which she has dedicated her entire professional career. Because of unambiguous tax law, we do not encourage you to support the most qualified presidential candidate in modern American history, nor do we encourage all citizens to shatter the glass ceiling once and for all by electing Secretary Clinton on November 8.

    The Yale Record has no opinion whatsoever on Dr. Jill Stein.

    —The Editorial Board of The Yale Record

  127. 127
    Temporarily Max McGee (Soon Enough to Be Andy K Again) says:


    Demographers came up with the name, sociologists, probably for worse, ran with it. I just gave the demographic explanation, which is factually correct.

  128. 128
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @germy: No I missed that, but I worked on lead poisoning issues once years ago on a public health program. Quite an education. For me I mean.

    Science vs. industry was definitely the heart of the matter.

  129. 129
    JPL says:

    @Percysowner: That was just perfect! Trump will probably say, even Yale refused to endorse her.
    I’m with her

  130. 130
    Chris T. says:


    Whomever came up with “gas crisis” was an asshole and a genius at bullshitting an entire country.

    Although I was just a little kid at the time, I remember the phenomenon, and looked up some factual data at some point.

    The oil embargo itself was real. The effect on gasoline (petrol) availability (and pricing) in the US was … complicated.

    Wikipedia has a pretty good article. I have not read through the whole thing there, but here are a few key items: (Edit: which may or may not be in the wikipedia article)

    1. At the time, oil was commonly burned in electric power plants for electricity. Such plants had priority access to crude.

    2. Oil pricing was regulated in ways that had positive feedback (for those who are not engineers, “positive feedback” systems are the ones that explode under strain, while “negative feedback” systems are ones that remain stable under strain—real systems generally have both, with negative feedback encouraging homeostasis in particular operating regions and positive feedback encouraging a move to a new stable region when conditions change sufficiently).

    A side effect of rationing is that people’s behavior changes: people would fill their cars on “their day” and keep their tanks relatively full. Since the amount of gasoline storage available in individual car tanks greatly outweighs that in gas-station tanks, this means that as soon as “your day” comes up and you go to fill up, there is a good chance that the gas station will run out of gasoline.

    (Computation: gas-station in-ground storage tanks typically held 12 to 24 thousand gallons total, across all grades. [ref] A typical 1970s-era car’s tank holds roughly 20 US gallons (17, 20, and 21.5 were common sizes then, based on currently available classic-car replacement tank stats). The station tank therefore fuels—from empty to full—600 to 1200 vehicles before running dry. With only 5 functioning pumps—the stations where I grew up usually had more—each serving 1 car every 6 minutes, you can move 50 cars per hour through the station. That means you can handle 600 cars in 12 hours, or 900 in 18 hours. This, of course, assumes the station’s tank is refilled completely every day … and it’s not: it’s filled roughly weekly. Fortunately most cars are not completely empty upon arriving at the station, even back then. But since stations would run out, it was important to individuals to keep their own cars fully-loaded at all times.)

  131. 131
    Ruckus says:

    And you can not lay it all on Vietnam. It is a part of it but it is not the entirety of it. No more than racism, misogyny, ageism, religion, education or even politics. All of those and can have some influence and in some cases any one of them may be the major reason, but no one thing, no one generation, no one age, no one war, no one political person is entirely responsible. We are subject to the time we grow up in, we can be molded by it, but we have brains if we decide to use them and getting older doesn’t preclude that until they turn to actual mush or we die.

  132. 132
    Corner Stone says:

    I have been reminded why I keep MSNBC on in the background most times. Because CNN is a fucking shitstorm of awfulness.
    And Carl Bernstein needs to find a ditch culvert somewhere to crawl into and just go the fuck away.

  133. 133
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone: CNN is worse than MSNBC?

  134. 134
    Temporarily Max McGee (Soon Enough to Be Andy K Again) says:


    And you can not lay it all on Vietnam. It is a part of it but it is not the entirety of it. No more than racism, misogyny, ageism, religion, education or even politics.

    Don’t forget that this was the first generation faced, as it was born, with the threat of nuclear war.

  135. 135
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: The empirical answer is : Yes.

  136. 136
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Baud: Definitely.

    And I think MSNBC is perfectly terrible sometimes.

    CNN hired a whole bunch of Trump surrogates — not just supporters, but people paid, either now or in the past, to shill for Trump, and clearly feel that they have to use them. Any time I turn it on I hear some idiot saying “Well in answer to your question about this incredibly sleazy, probably illegal, and definitely repulsive thing that Trump did, the answer is that what happened in Benghazi…”.


  137. 137
  138. 138
    Ruckus says:

    @Chris T.:
    There was also the news media effect that “OH MY GOD, I CAN’T FILL UP MY CAR.” You are correct that part of it was panic and filling up when it wasn’t necessary but it also was very political (not necessarily our politics) that we had a supply “issue.” I said it was smart of someone, they didn’t have to be someone in the US, although some companies did reap the benefits of short supply for many, many yrs to come, even after the “crisis” was over.

  139. 139
    Mike G says:

    “Honorable man” designation is like legacy admissions in the Ivy League — a way for the establishment to bestow bonus points on the completely undeserving who are considered ‘inside the club’ and untouchable for serious criticism. “Yeah, he may be a total asshole and idiot, but he’s a made man, we’ve gotta find some justification not to reject him. OK, he’s ‘honorable’, even though he’s not acting as such. See if they’ll buy that.”

    Pretty much the same concept behind how GW Bush got into Yale and Harvard.

  140. 140
    piratedan says:

    They have the veneer of honorable men. Honorable men are supposed to “do the right thing”.. Spike Lee, these guys are not.

  141. 141
    Another Scott says:

    @Chris T.: Your explanation matches my understanding.

    There would have been ways to manage the reduced imports better in 1973-74 and in 1979, but once people got in a mode of buying as much gas as their car could hold due to the rationing/reduced supply, then avoiding lines/shortages was hopeless because there is never enough gas in such situations of insatiable demand.

    Why Canada was different – I dunno and could only speculate (maybe the government was more accommodating so the embargo wasn’t as severe; smaller population; etc.).



  142. 142
    Oldgold says:

    Conway strikes me as one click better than Baghdad Bob.

  143. 143
    Ruckus says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (Soon Enough to Be Andy K Again):
    That’s just icing on the shit cake.
    OK enough smart ass. And a good point actually.
    Yes it did change the outlook of a lot of people, some in good ways and some in bad ways. The early 60s and a nice island that we had meddled with didn’t do a lot to change that. I don’t know if people just got used to the idea that nuclear weapons exist and are a so called deterrent or if that may be some of the reflexive idea that as a nation we have to just kill everyone we don’t like or that doesn’t like us.

  144. 144
    Ruckus says:

    @Another Scott:
    My point should have been that it wasn’t a world wide gas shortage. It was very political on the part of some county or countries and/or companies.

  145. 145
    Corner Stone says:


    My Lord!

    Lord. Jeffrey Lord, my dear Baud.

  146. 146
    Timurid says:

    It still blows my mind how the White Establishment has lost its collective mind during this election. They’ve gone all in for the worst Presidential candidate since Franklin Pierce. It’s as if losing this election means that white babies will be trampled under Morlock jackboots for eternity. Did #blacklivesmatter and the terrorist attacks in Dallas and Baton Rouge mess with their heads that badly?

    And the culminating blow is Comey launching a literal kamikaze attack against Clinton. He threw away his career on a plot to tilt the election… that almost certainly will not work. It’s like going all in with a 5-8 off suit, pushing your house, car and kids’ college fund into the pot. Because if you lose the hand… your wife and kids will be ravished by savage Negros? Or something?

    This level of desperation is hard to comprehend. They’re acting like it’s 2056 instead of 2016, as if these really were the Last Days of White Privilege…

  147. 147
    Corner Stone says:

    KellyAnne Conway is not proficient at anything. She is a hack. A very mediocre hack. Beyond all the hate and spite the Trump campaign for president has brought us, the worst thing he did was elevate all these horrible mouthpieces into the national spotlight.
    Like the candidate himself, it is my fervent wish that they all go away and never to be seen or heard from again.

  148. 148
    Wapiti says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Clinton bringing up the Comey letter in front of a very enthusiastic crowd in FL– going after Comey pretty hard “strange, unprecedented, troubling”

    Given that Comey has been on the investigating side of a couple investigations of the Clintons (Whitewater, Bill Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich, the email), he frankly might have a “she’s guilty of something, dammit!” attitude leaking through. If Comey does not have the trust of the new President, because of Comey’s lack of professionalism, his best move for the FBI might be to resign so that someone who can be seen as non-partisan can replace him.

  149. 149
    Baud says:

    @Timurid: Agree. It’s astounding.

  150. 150
    Chris T. says:

    @Another Scott: I don’t know what happened (or did not happen) in Canada.

    For all of Reagan’s faults, one of the better things he did was to encourage the unwinding of all the complicated price controls on petrol (many of which had outlived any usefulness they might have had in the 1970s). This was soon after I was allowed to drive and had obtained a (1960s, barely 10 mpg on the best days) car. I remember the local gas station price shot up to $1.34 or so, making fueling the monster vehicle quite painful.

    High prices did a great job of killing demand, which soon squashed the prices back down, but perhaps more importantly, broke people of the hoarding behaviors they had picked up in the 1970s.

    (This inflation calculator says that the equivalent price is now $3.56. Of course, even my worst vehicle now gets better than triple the fuel economy, too.)

  151. 151
    JR in WV says:


    Yeah, me too !!

    Hillary is one of the best presidential candidates we have ever had in this nation’s history.

    I was born in 1950, and I say FUQ LBJ, and Trump too! And Comey, who has displayed partisanship and a lack of common sense. Also, he is a dolt. Like Trump.

    That is all, carry on!

  152. 152
    ThresherK says:

    @StringOnAStick: Oooh, brake-checking! The ultimate symbol of American freedom!

    You forgot to tell us how big his truck nuts were, and whether he opted for the “Back off Yosemite Sam” or “naked stripper silohuette” mudflaps.

  153. 153
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @Bill_D: All of those cultural markers seem reasonable to me. Demographic bulge notwithstanding, I’ve always thought that the psychological/cultural divide (or whatever the hell you want to call it) between boomers and the generation that came after is whether or not you can remember JFK’s assassination. I was born in December 1960, so I was not quite 3 when that happened. I don’t remember it.

  154. 154
    Another Scott says:

    @Chris T.: I wasn’t driving in ’73-’74 – I was still on my learner’s permit in 1979. My mom had a 1970 GTO that got 14 MPG. Minimum wage was about $2.90 an hour. I remember only having a few dollars in my pocket and needing to get gas and stopped at a neighborhood place that had old pumps that had a maximum price of $0.999/gal so they changed scaling so that the price was twice what the pump showed. (It was something like $1.50/gal, IIRC.) I wasn’t paying attention and exceeded the cash I had and had to give them my license while I ran home to get more money… :-/

    Ah, the good old days!


  155. 155
    Bill_D says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Thanks for the explanation. My own too-literal mind has tripped me up here a number of times.

    @Temporarily Max McGee (Soon Enough to Be Andy K Again): Yet discussions of Boomers these days nearly always are in reference to cultural and political attributes rather than demographic consequences. So bringing up the demographic definition, while technically correct in a limited context, has the actual effect of leading people off in an inaccurate direction for most discussions of generations. So there is value in stating explicitly how one is defining generations for the purpose immediately at hand.

  156. 156
    LeftMass says:

    @frosty: I am 1955. My cohort was in the draft lottery; a guy a few doors down in freshman dorm got #1. It turned out later that they didn’t take anyone from my year.

    So, by definition of materially threatened by Vietnam, 1955 was the last birth year.

  157. 157
    Corner Stone says:


    I am 1955.

    To your credit, you don’t look a day over…

  158. 158
    jfxgillis says:


    Yes, of course. I don’t mean that to be a holistic explanation for the inner lives 70 million people born over about 18 years.

    Doug had speculated about a specific attitude by a specific set of of persons, Chris Matthews, Ken Burns, etc. I’m just saying for those of us in that sweet spot (or rather, sour spot) of being 18 or older in 1971, figuring out what to do about the draft dominated our lives.

    Funny thing is, when Hillary gets elected, it’ll be exactly those other forces you mentioned that will have been more formative even though she fits by age right in that same group I mentioned. So I’m not nearly as worried about that “honorable man” fixation as I was with her husband.

  159. 159
    Bill_D says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: I was old enough to remember the assassination of John Kennedy, but too young to really understand it or the emotions around it. So while I’m a Boomer, I’m in a weird twilight cohort where the formative experiences were really beginning to shift.

  160. 160
    geg6 says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    I was 5 and do remember it (it was all mixed up with my birthday, November 24). But though I’m lumped in with the Boomers, I don’t relate to them so much. My coming of age was Watergate and the aftermath (graduated high school in ’77). I have many of their memories from the 60s, but from a different perspective. My older siblings were prototypical Boomers of the 60s though. I was more glam and punk than folk and the English invasion.

  161. 161
    KS in MA says:

    @Bill_D: Here’s some info on black voters in presidential elections, btw: “Over the last 40 years Black Americans have consistently voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic presidential candidate. The most votes any Republican candidate received from Blacks since 1968 was Gerald Ford in 1976 (15%).” A nice graph covering the 1936 to 2012 elections is at (you have to scroll down to mid-page).

  162. 162
    Hal says:

    I have to assume Hillary isn’t worried about what the FBI is looking into, hence her speech. If she’s not worried, neither am I. I hope this blows up in the face of the media, Chafetz and Comey.

    Whatever the case, I was trying to decide between getting up at 5am to go and vote at my polling place or wait until after work. Now I know I’m going to be waiting for the doors to open at 6am.

    Then I’m going to go to work, come home, drink some wine, eat a burrito and tune in at 11pm to see Hillary Clinton announced as president elect.

  163. 163
    Woodrowfan says:

    By Birth Rate it’s 1946-1964. But it can be divided between early Boomers (1945-1955/56) and late Boomers (1956/57-1964). The dividing line is Vietnam. Did you ever have to worry about being drafted or not?

    Trivia, the only people men in the US who have never had to register for the draft who were born between September 1873* and October 1998** are those born in 1957, 1958, and 1959. ***

    * the September 1918 draft registered men aged 18-45.
    ** born after that date you’re still too young.
    ** Vietnam era draft stopped with those born in 1956. The Carter draft registration started with those born 1/1/1960.

  164. 164
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Ruckus: plus the lousy millage. My 76 Camaro got 12 miles a gallon, downhill, with a tailwind. That 20 gallonish tank was good for a bit over 200 miles.

  165. 165
    Philbert says:

    @Chris T.: Also for gas prices in the early 80’s: 1) the Alaska Pipeline had started up and was producing maximum, 2) Reagan/Rumsfeld supported the ‘moderate Arab’ Saddam Hussein his war with Iran, Saudi and the Gulf nations were pumping all they could to buy weaponry, and 3) the fuel economy laws passed under Carter worked to cut our gas consumption. Supply/demand went our way for once. I remember in 1973 and also 1979 the rural areas were OK for gas because everybody in town was afraid to get stuck in the sticks and stayed home.

  166. 166

    The affective value of loyalty does not depend upon what it is loyal to. Similarly, effectiveness is admired irrespective of what is being done effectively, whether it is constructive or destructive, etc.

    This is probably closely related to the tendency to take megalomaniacs at their own estimation of themselves, instead of whistling for a straitjacket.

    These things are problems per se; they stand as potent and ubiquitous obstacles to actually getting anything done and to perceiving the true values of things, in all spheres of human activity, not just the political.

  167. 167
    cokane says:

    I think one important thing gets shoved under the rug when talking about “boomers”. People paint this picture of the generation as hippie idealists many of whom sold out and got all selfish. But this a whitewashing of history. Plenty of boomers were the pro-segregationists, pro-Vietnam advocates in their generation. And polling data seems to indicate this large splinter survives.

    I think that’s the biggest difference. There really is no equivalently large group of mllienials or X-ers that has the odious views of a certain segment of boomers.

  168. 168
    Temporarily Max McGee (Soon Enough to Be Andy K Again) says:


    I’ve been pointing out for years here that the discussion concerning Baby Boomers as a monolithic culture is idiotic. That doesn’t make the math wrong.

    The biggest four year chunk of Boomers were born from 1955 through 1958. There weren’t many of them participating in civil rights marches, or who attended Woodstock (not many earlier Boomers at all on stage there, either), due to their age. The males of that chunk barely had to worry about the draft, since the draft ended in early ’73. The oldest of them were 11 when the Beatles stopped touring.

    What Boomers had in common is that they were marketing targets in a way that kids had never been before because there were so fucking many of them-there are baby booms after nearly every war, but never has there been one like that in this country from ’46 through ’64. But other than being marketing targets, all they had in common were things they all witnessed after the youngest became old enough to have mass culture memories, and that doesn’t even count Apollo 11.

    So, ya see, I pretty much agree with you- but the fact that other people don’t understand the initial intention of the label isn’t something I should or do feel guilty about. So please quit wagging your finger in my face.

  169. 169
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    There really is no equivalently large group of mllienials or X-ers that has the odious views of a certain segment of boomers.

    Who do you think the Brooks Brothers Rioters were?

  170. 170
    Temporarily Max McGee (Soon Enough to Be Andy K Again) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Staffers for Republican pols for the most part. They almost all look a lot older than this first year Xer and his friends did back in 2000.

  171. 171
    Procopius says:

    @mdblanche: I thought “the honorable men” is the Mafia.

  172. 172
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (Soon Enough to Be Andy K Again): IIRC, many of them were in their early 30s at the time.

  173. 173
    Temporarily Max McGee (Soon Enough to Be Andy K Again) says:


    You left out David L. Lander.

  174. 174
    Temporarily Max McGee (Soon Enough to Be Andy K Again) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Most of them look to me to be in their early 40s. But they’re J.D.s, and you cats do seem to age prematurely.

  175. 175
    Matt McIrvin says:


    I think that’s the biggest difference. There really is no equivalently large group of mllienials or X-ers that has the odious views of a certain segment of boomers.

    You didn’t go to high school with me.

  176. 176
    Procopius says:


    CNN is worse than MSNBC?

    Much. Although MSNBC is bad.

  177. 177
    Joe Miller says:

    Want to see the damage done by these idiotic, ludicrous, false “generation” labels? Just read through this thread and see the breathtaking generalizations and caricatures. Damn, it’s discouraging trying to get people to understand that there IS no “typical Millennial” or “typical Boomer” or whatever the hell else people think about these huge, wildly diverse groups of individuals.

  178. 178
    pea says:

    our society seems to confuse “boomers” with “hippies”.

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