Dec
21

The Exegesis Of The Unfunny




Posted at 0:39 by Jillian

For the last year or so, I’ve sort of vanished completely from most of my online friends and hangouts. It’s been a weird year, most noticeably so for what appears to be the death of my sense of humor. I think my total inability to laugh at much of anything started late last year, when one of my tenth grade students was murdered, leaving behind an infant son. It’s something of a challenge to try to teach effectively in a classroom with a desk suddenly empty under such circumstances. A few weeks after that, I was driving to my school to go to work, only to come upon an accident which must have happened not five minutes earlier – a truck had hit a student waiting for a bus, and the child was still pinned beneath the truck. I knew the neighborhood and that bus stop, and I knew that the bus the child was waiting for would have been taking him or her off to one of the local middle schools, so my first reaction was one of relief – the injured child was not going to be one of my students.

When I realized that I was feeling, I fell into a pretty heavy duty spiral of frustration and shame and helpless anger. It felt like I was showing the same attitude I always deplore in other people – only caring about what happens to kids when they’re “one of ours” in some way. It’s the sort of attitude that causes the national media freakout from freakout queens like Nancy Grace whenever anyone does something to a white kid, but completely ignores it when bad shit happens to black kids. A couple of days before the election, in fact, one of the students who attended one of the high schools in the area where I teach was shot, his body set on fire and dumped behind the railroad tracks. Try and find any information on the story – I dare you. I teach in Miami – go ahead and search newsfeeds or Google or whatever. There was nothing on it – a brief in the crimes section, maybe,- because the kids I teach are throwaway kids in this country’s eyes.

I guess I’ve just been feeling hopeless because the things that are important to me don’t seem to be important to any voice that gets listened to on a large scale. And seeing children die over it can sort of take the humor out of things.

So I voted for Obama. And he’s given me Rahm Emmanuel, Arne Duncan, and Rick Warren. It’s an entire slate of people who don’t care much at all for the people and things that I care about. And yet what choice did I have? What choice do I have now? I think I’ve lost teh funny, and I don’t know if it’s coming back any time soon.

So anyway, I felt like I had to say something about the whole Rick Warren folderol, and I started off writing something, and I think it might have been funny at the start, but by the time I was done it felt about as funny as knowing that kids who grow up in poverty show brain function abnormalities similar to stroke patients. But I’m just going to go ahead and stick it under the fold, so that if you want to look at it and try to figure out whether it’s funny or just depressing you can. I just don’t know if I can tell the difference myself anymore.


Letter From A Birmingham Gay Bar
My Dear Fellow Progressives,

While debauching here at Partners, I came across your statements calling my present actions “unwise and untimely”. Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my girlfriends would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and this would seriously cut into our cold honey and vodka sex orgy time. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will (or confusion; I always get those two mixed up) and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I will try to answer your statements in what I hope will be patient and reasonable (and reasonably fabulous) terms.

I think I should indicate why I am here in the Democratic party, since you have been influenced by the view which argues that the party is only inclusive for non troublemakers. I have the honor of serving as the president of the “I Hate the HRC” fan club, an organization consisting basically of me and a couple of my similarly minded loudmouthed friends. Some of my loudmouthed friends are actually members of the Democratic party, as hard as that might be to believe. Several months ago, the Democratic party asked the queer community to be on call to vote in favor of their chosen candidate for president. After some small token concessions we consented – mostly because we realized we didn’t have many viable alternatives. So I, along with several of my friends, dutifully lined up in November and cast a ballot for something we were assured would be “change”.

But basically, I am in the Democratic party because the injustice is here. Just as the righteously pissed-off fags of the Stonewall Inn left their cozy dancehall and slashed paddy wagon tires in the sixties, and just as Harvey Milk promised to recruit as many people as possible, so I am compelled to carry the demand for some halfway decent treatment and maybe just a shot at equality to a political party that I honestly don’t belong to. Like Harvey, I must work to spread equality even to people who pretend to be my friends but really wish I’d just shut up.

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Happy Fagistan and not be concerned about what happens in the Democratic party. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, zombielike “Beltway consensus” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds – even if we personally find their sexual practices icky.

You deplore the bitching and moaning being directed at Obama. But your whining, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar displeasure for the actions that brought about our bitching and moaning. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that so much bitching is being directed at Obama, but it is even more unfortunate that Obama’s poor political choices over the last weeks have left the actual Left community – the one that cares about real equality for everyone – with no alternative.

In any internet bitching campaign, there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; a brief window of patience where we consider all of the possible reasonable explanations and rationales for the crazy-assed behavior of the person we so desperately want to admire; outrage fueled by cheap beer when we realize we’ve been sold out AGAIN; and the posting of sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek-to-mask-the-actual-depth-of-our-despair-and-anger rants on teh intarwebz. We have gone through these steps in the Democratic party. There can be no gainsaying the fact that rank hypocrisy engulfs this party. The Democratic party is probably the most Heatherish, cliquish, stab-you-in-the-backish organization in the history of humanity. Fags have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the DLC. No other political party in this country has ever promised queers equality to their faces and given them DOMA and DADTwhen their backs were turned. Firing people and kicking them out of their houses because of their sexual orientation is completely legal in the United States, and has been so throughout both Democratic and Republican presidencies. There is no national requirement that prejudice against gays be taken into consideration in sentencing guidelines when attacks against gays take place, unlike those required for many other types of hate crimes. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of these facts, homos and their allies sought assurances from the Democratic party. But the latter was found to be consistently talking out its ass, just like it always does.

Then, last November, came the opportunity for people who actually care about justice and equality to lay their cards on the table. In the course of our agreeing to vote for Obama, certain promises were made by the Democratic party – for example, while we shouldn’t be greedy enough to actually expect the right to get married, we could get second-class marriage – err, “civil union” – and pretend that Plessy v Ferguson never happened and we should just be happy with what we got. On the basis of these promises, the HRC stuck its head so far up Obama’s ass that if Obama had happened to be gay, it would’ve been a religious experience for him. Of course, that’s not even worth mentioning, because the HRC will put out for anyone who promises not to call them “butt pirates” to their face. What’s really worth noting is that most of us who have never been satisfied with empty words and hollow promises also lined up to vote for Change. As the weeks and month – just barely one month, mind – went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise. Not that most of us actually believed him in the first place, but you’d think he could’ve waited until more than a month after the election to take such a huge, public, smelly dump on us.

As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to post intemperate ejaculations all over the intertubes, threatening to clog up the aforesaid tubes for days. We would present our snarky, childish wit as a means of laying our utter disillusionment with the entire so-called “democratic” process before the conscience of the netizen and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to lay in a good stock of Steel Reserve first. We began asking ourselves “why is it that we bother to vote in the first place?” and “wouldn’t the six hours we spent on a Sunday waiting on line to vote early have been better spent watching ‘Tank Girl’ and masturbating a lot?”. We wondered if our voter’s registration card could be used as a beer coaster. We decided to drunk-blog all night long, knowing that the winter break was coming up and we could kill a hell of a lot of spare time that way without even really trying.

Then it occurred to us that Obama’s inauguration was coming up in January, and we speedily decided to postpone total liver failure until January 20. We knew that it wouldn’t really make any difference, because Obama has already fucked the left so hard and so nasty that he damn well better leave at least a C-note on the dresser for us, but the whole experience has left us so bitter and disheartened that the only possible joy left in our lives is taking potshots from the sidelines – why should we have to give that up to time spent sitting in a dialysis center so quickly? Having aided in this community need, we felt that our bitching couldn’t wait any longer – but that we didn’t have to blow our whole load in one shot.

You may well ask: “Why turn to total cynicism? Isn’t attempting to work within the system for progressive, incremental change a better path?” You are quite right in calling for working within the system. Indeed, this is the very purpose of drunken despair. Drunken despair seeks to create such a crisis and foster such non-participation that a community which coasts on the illusion of general support for its jackassery is forced to confront how little support they actually have. It seeks to so mock the Serious Consensus that it can no longer be taken seriously. My citing the creation of total apathy as part of the work of the reformer may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “apathy”. I have earnestly opposed serious apathy, but there is a type of constructive, reflective apathy that is necessary to point out the total sham our political process has become. Just as Diogenes felt it was necessary to rub one out in the middle of the marketplace to point out how easy it was to be offended by deeds everyone does in the dark but completely sanguine about offenses like slavery done in the light, so we must see the need for cynical gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and homophobia to the majestic heights of of understanding and brotherhood

(Don’t you just know I had to be drunk to type that last bit?)

The purpose of our drunken-blogging program is to create a situation so ridiculous that it will inevitably open the door to the realization of the total untenability of our current system. I therefore concur with you in your call for work within the system. Too long has our beloved Democratic party been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in an unreal system rather than the reality the rest of us live in every day.

One of the basic points in your statement is that the action I and my associates have taken in the Democratic party is untimely. Some have asked “why don’t you give the Obama administration time to act?” The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new national administration must be mocked about as much as the outgoing one before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Barack Obama as president will bring the Millennium to America. While Mr. Obama is a much more sane person than Mr. Bush, they are both coreligionists, dedicated to the maintenance of second-class gay citizenship. I have hope that Mr. Obama will be reasonable enough to see ignobility of massive, unending insults to queer Americans. But he will not see this without drunken, angry mockery from the good people who were roped into supporting his conservative ass in the first place. My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights, period. Not in the last thirty years or so, at least. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Also, oppressed groups seldom actually gain anything worth gaining from those in power – which thusly brings us to our current embittered, endrunked, enhopelessed position. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Elizabeth Edwards reminds us,such people tend to be struck down with cancer by an uncaring, random, heartless universe. And you wonder why I drink? Seriously?

We have waited more than 340 years for our Constitutional and natural rights. The nations of England and Canada are moving with jetlike speed toward creating political equality, but we still creep with horse-and-buggy pace toward gaining the right to visit our dying loved ones in a hospital. Perhaps it is easy for those of you who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say “Wait”. But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim, when you have seen hate filled citizenscurse, kick, and even kill your gay brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your queer family smothering in an airtight closet of shame in the midst of a shameless society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old foster son why he will never be allowed to be your real, legal son, and see tears welling up in his eyes when he is told that he can’t ever have a real father, and see ominous clouds of inferiority begin to form in his little mental sky, and see him beginning to distort his personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward straight people; when you take a cross-country trip and find it necessary to rent two motel rooms instead of one because the danger of sharing a motel room includes a fag drag; when your first name becomes “faggot” and your middle name becomes “fairy” (no matter how “straight” you act), and your wife is never given the respected title “Mrs.” (because she’s not your wife, after all); when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Faggot, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never knowing quite what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness” – then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.

You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to refuse to take the current political panoply seriously. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Wait – I think perhaps I might be too drunk at this piotn. There’s not a damn thing “legitimate” about that.

I must make two honest confessions to you, my “Liberal” and “Democratic” brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been completely nauseated by the Sensible Liberal. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Left’s greatest stumbling block is not the Republican party or the Freepers of the world, but the moderate Democrat, who is more devoted to “winning” than to justice, who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension, often called “inclusion” or “getting along”, to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who says “I agree with the goal you seek, but I also understand the point of view of people who think you are little more than crazed pedophiles”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s full citizenship; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the fag to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

And seeing as that last bit is pretty much the money shot and I’m almost out of drinkables at this point, I think I’ll save whatever else I might have to say on this topic for my next drunkblogging binge. I hope this missive finds you drunk and happy, as I hope to join you in that state soon.

218 Comments »

  1. aimai said,

    December 21, 2008 at 0:44

    Brilliant post. Hard to keep up the snark when you see, for example, that on the science and technology front the Obama campaign is calling in the most up to date, progressive, twenty first century scientists and yet on the spiritual/social front we are stuck embracing troglodytes whose best days, evolutionarily speaking, are long over.

    aimai

  2. tufdaawg said,

    December 21, 2008 at 0:49

    as a teacher myself (high school science), i feel your pain. and know from whence you speak.

  3. JF Sebastian said,

    December 21, 2008 at 0:50

    A lot of people are suggesting that Obama threw the GLBT community under the bus. But that’s not true. Obama didn’t throw us gays under the bus, he simply asked us to step to the back of it.

  4. Andrew A. Gill, SLS said,

    December 21, 2008 at 0:51

    But I’m just going to go ahead and stick it under the fold, so that if you want to look at it and try to figure out whether it’s funny or just depressing you can. I just don’t know if I can tell the difference myself anymore.

    I’ve got a pretty strong stomach. Let’s see what you got.

    Letter From A Birmingham Gay Bar

    …OK. No offense, but I pass.

  5. Crissa said,

    December 21, 2008 at 0:58

    My spouse swings wildly from being angry and avoiding all news to obsessing about it. I never know if it’s okay to bring up any topics here… I read this stuff just so I don’t forget that a goodly number of people are willingly delusional.

    The High School I went to didn’t get covered in the county or regional newspapers. We’d lose a number of kids every year to car accidents, drop outs and deaths due to gang-related violence, and had school shootings and losses in its history… Yet none of it is recorded anywhere, because of how remote the school is and how it had half of its students from the reservation.

    It’s okay for you to feel relief that you won’t have to personally deal with a tragedy – it’s a normal reaction to have. Just that you remember it’s someone else’s student, and that you have sympathy for them, is what’s important.

    So, I’ve been listening to my spouse, who I know cares, vacillate between being uninformed so that she doesn’t hurt and being horribly hurt because of what happens in the world… Sympathies. There’s other people out there feeling the same as you, and feeling very un-funny.

  6. Rusty Shackleford (not that one) said,

    December 21, 2008 at 1:01

    I chuckled a few times, but this isn’t the kind of laugh-out-loud funny I’m used to from S,N!

  7. Righteous Bubba said,

    December 21, 2008 at 1:04

    Excellent post and, uh, Merry Christmas!

  8. PeeJ said,

    December 21, 2008 at 1:05

    My ho and I stopped giving to HRC some years ago for some of the same reasons. But sheesh, the inauguration aint happened yet. I’m not happy about the Rick Warren appearance either but what is the damage? I mean damage in a legalish way – what real harm will it cause other than to your feelings? The mere act of his giving the invocation is what – a sure sign that Obama was cynically using the gay community all long? That it is a sure sign he’s going to renew DoMA and DADT? That it will incite hordes of otherwise moderate and rightish dems to gloat viciously then overturn Lawrence v. Texas? I mean what?

    Slow down, take a deep breath and be patient. Recall that Obama went down to Atlanta and spoke out against anti-gay sentiment at Ebeneezer Church fer fucking sake! He went into Ebeneezer and told all those notoriously anti gay religious black folk they need to stop hurtin on their GL brethren/sistren.

    One of my favorite epigrams is Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “our actions speak so loudly I can not hear what you are saying.” It’s patterns of action to which we should pay attention. You jump the gun, so to speak, and pull out a shotgun when a flyswatter would do, you end up doing more damage.

    Chill. Take it easy. Do some drugs and drink a lot. Let’s see how it goes, eh?

    WordPress, on the other hand, should be drawn and quartered immediately.

  9. PeeJ said,

    December 21, 2008 at 1:07

    FYWP “Your actions…”

  10. owlbear1 said,

    December 21, 2008 at 1:32

    I know it really can’t help.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhchX3RMUD8

  11. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    December 21, 2008 at 1:32

    Obama has been infuriating with Rahmbo, Warren, and all, but with him we at least have a shot at a decent future. His science postings give me a little confidence (as a geek American, I recognize Obama as a compatriot- he’s like a handsome Urkel in his nerdliciousness), and I am hoping against hope that he’ll have a couple of go-go boys gyrating around RIck Warren during the invocation.

  12. mikey said,

    December 21, 2008 at 1:41

    Hi Jillian. Damn glad to find you still humping your ruck, a casualty perhaps, but not willing to get on the chopper just quite yet.

    You’re right, of course. It is pointless, utterly, darkly meaningless. Decline into misery and blind tribalism, a kind of social entropy that in it’s own special american way expresses itself in violence and theft.

    Hope is a bitch, and any relationship you have with her is transient and delusional at best, and it takes a certain lack of awareness to even hold her hand on a date.

    So we come again to that point. Washed up on the beach without hope, knowing with a stark, final clarity that everything we touch, everything we love, indeed, anything of value will be torn away and ruined before our eyes. That anything we believe will ultimately be established as a lie, and those things we are told we stand for are a cruel joke, for no one actually stands.

    Problem is, from that rocky beach comes the question: “What do I do now?” You can’t avoid it. You’re at a point where you have to make a decision, and its a binary choice. You can end it all, bottle of pills or a .45 behind the ear, succumb to that soft, beckoning blackness where you won’t ever have to be disappointed or lied to again, or you can sigh, saddle up your shit and put one foot in front of the other. Survive by doing what you do, helping where you can, leading when necessary and following when required.

    I don’t know who made you those promises about Barack Obama, but I will remind you of this. Enough of us don’t turn out that Tuesday in November and we have President McCain and Vice President Palin, and to whatever extent you think things are gawdawful around here now, you better be goddam glad you didn’t have to live through four years of that horrorshow.

    And ping me every now and then fer gawdsakes, woman. Nice to know you’re alive…

    mikey

  13. psychedelic santa said,

    December 21, 2008 at 1:43

    Jillian,
    I think that getting George W. Bush out and possibly ending at least one of our current wars is is about as good as it gets. You can’t come up with a time in modern or ancient history in which the problems of war, poverty, racism/intolerance and greed didn’t exist. It is probably a remnant of our propagandistic upbringing in the public school system that we get the idea that our “Democracy” is going to make some sort of society free from what is essentially human nature. It’s hard enough to deal with our own nature. And really that is mostly what we can do – deal with our own nature. I say this from the experience of leaving the country for a couple of years out of frustration. I had put the weight of the world on my shoulders and leaving the country gave me some perspective and lifted that weight.
    I can tell you right now that it is very unlikely that we’ll do better than Barack Obama in the next several decades. Whatever happens in the next 4 or 8 years politically, will be as good as it probably ever will get.

  14. Susan of Texas said,

    December 21, 2008 at 1:46

    They can take their separate but equal and shove it where the sun don’t shine. Public acceptance of Warren is public acceptance of second-class status and the constant fear that accompanies that status.

    But no, let’s sit and discuss whether or not we will accept gays. Don’t ask whether or not you’ll accept Obama’s actions–he’s your man, and you know he’ll do the right thing because he’s just like you. Their rights are ours to bestow or withdraw, because they are not fully human and don’t deserve civil rights, human rights. We are the normal ones, they are different and different is bad.

    And people say that religion is beneficial to society. Sure, it benefits us just fine. Others, not so much.

  15. M. Bouffant said,

    December 21, 2008 at 1:51

    Hi there, Jillian, been away a while myself, & upon returning recently wondered where you were. Haven’t read all yet, but I see it doesn’t look good.

    All I can add that’s hopeful is that the days are getting longer (the sunlit parts).

  16. Not Sure said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:00

    I’m…not sure….if many people realized that by voting for the Dem front runner, they would be voting for the status quo.

    Well, now they know.

  17. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:01

    The Warren invitation provides the public an opportunity to express scorn and derision towards this holy toad. Warren should be treated like an Iceni chieftain taken prisoner by dux bellorum Baracus Obamacus, and paraded in a triumphal procession before the Senatus Populusque Americanus. The Religious Right lost bigtime in this year’s elections, and one of their leaders should be made to feel it.

    If you’re in D.C., hold up a sign saying “BIGOT” while Warren speaks, or stage a kiss-in with your partner- show Warren, Obama, and the rest that ALL facets of the liberal agenda are on the table.

  18. 'liberals' said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:05

    You made this bed, liberals. All the hatred and bile you will throw at me won’t change that one bit

    Not even with a 20′ cattle prod…

  19. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:05

    And who did accept public financing? Who did make campaign finance reform his life’s work, against heavy opposition from his own party?

    The guy who was forced to do so, because he’d already taken public money, since he couldn’t raise a dime on his own in the early days of the election.

    Eat a spleen, ITYS.

  20. Not Sure said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:07

    I’m only going to say this once

    Bullshit. I’m not not sure about that.

  21. The Cat said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:09

    There’s a lot of people coming to pack the Washington Mall during the inauguration, right? Has there been any serious discussion of organized protest?

    It’ll get covered as “wah wah, angry liberals”, but fuck them. Sustained noise from 1/4 of the crowd would probably be enough. Symbolic gesture for symbolic gesture.

    Oh, and to the troll(s) on this thread, I say this with heartfelt sincerity: go fuck yourself.

  22. M. Bouffant said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:15

    Please. “Decent & honest” John “I’ve got my wife’s millions” McCain made campaign finance reform his “life’s work” only to wipe the stain of his Keating Five membership off his shirt.

    Ignoramus.

  23. Fozzetti said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:17

    Many of Obama’s actions since the election seem to be directed at reassuring the Conservatives that he is not the Terrifying Black Man they’ve been screeching about for, well, forever. I suppose he is solidifying his position of power, probably with the good intention of using that power “for good”. Well, we know how that scenario usually turns out.

    On War Cry of the Left was “More and better Democrats!” Now its time to begin working on the “better” part.

    Jillian, have you considered running for an office? Its a start.

  24. alec said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:26

    Oh, twoofy. He has such hilariously low expectations. I’m just waiting for drdick to unwittingly admit to have dropped a dime – he’ll be screaming about how right he was all along for years.

    On a matter more closely related to the topic at hand: because the Republicans have more or less collapsed into a regional party (it’d take around 15% nationwide swing to put them back into the majority in the House), there’s no longer any real incentive to vote for Blue Dog or DLC flacks. If your local representatives eagerly jump aboard the Downlow Train to Jesustown, give them a one-way ticket back home.

  25. zombie rotten mcdonald said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:30

    Jillian, before I finish reading your letter, I wish to point out Molly Ivins feelings about ‘loudmouthed’ hellraisers.

    As I recall, she was in favor of them.

    You keep on however you can, and I will be proud to stand with you.

  26. Jeff said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:30

    Jillian…I missed your posts. God, I hope things improve and we’ll all get to laugh a lot in the future. I’m not laughing right now at all, though.

  27. alec said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:30

    Please. “Decent & honest” John “I’ve got my wife’s millions” McCain made campaign finance reform his “life’s work” only to wipe the stain of his Keating Five membership off his shirt.

    Not to mention his sustained opposition to any measures that would make the overall effect of the ‘reform’ to allow non-millionaires into Congress. It wasn’t about preventing people from winning elections by whoring themselves out to special-interests, it was about preventing anyone whose life’s work had involved anything else from doing so.

  28. alec said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:36

    Of course, as liberal elitists and all we’re ignoring the real issue: Clinton sneaking 500 million black illegals into the Heartland – who proceeded to storm the polls with tactical assistance by the ACORN panthers and vote – without even paying poll tax! – for Obama and Prop 8.

  29. Dorothy said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:41

    I understand the visceral reaction to Warran and what he symbolizes, but I’m willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt until he actually gets into office and starts doing stuff: he’s made the point more than once that his opinion is irrelevant in matters of law. Plus, after 8 years of “if you don’t wear a flag pin, you want the terrorists to win” bullshit, I’m willing to ignore symbolic actions in favor of real ones. (Now, those real actions had better stack up….)

    Atrios suggested people turn their backs while Warran is talking. When Rumsfeld was speaking at their college, several students donned black hoods and stood silently throughout the speech–that was really effective. Maybe brown paper bags would be more appropriate than black hoods, but I think the action itself would work.

  30. Fozzetti said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:47

    I did not mean to sound critical of Jillian. If she chooses to run for the local School Board I’d be glad to contribute. I think about it myself when my daughter’s school sends home catalogs full of genuine 100% $hit which she is supposed to “sell” (blackmail) to friends & relatives in order to get a crap “prize”. I sent a check for $50 directly to the school, and asked the teacher to allow my kid to have a prize. Nope.
    My husband thinks this is a type of child abuse.

  31. Smut Clyde said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:47

    This dude Obama seems to really piss off the creepy stalker troll, so he can’t be all bad.

  32. Edgewater Joe said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:50

    With all due respect, you have lost all faith in Obama because of ONE man? Saying ONE prayer? Just before Obama actually takes office?!

    I understand the anger of the GLBT community; I do NOT understand how that extrapolates into “Obama’s a failure” a month before he takes the gig. Don’t get me wrong, Obama will have plenty of opportunities to disappoint — but I, for one, will not accept symbolic failure or even the complete rejection of over 300 years of history. It’s a ridiculous leap, and THAT, I respectfully offer, is the definition of letting depression and hopelessness continue to rule one’s life. It’s kind of a definition of depression, in fact — looking for any reason, any symbol, any gesture, to affirm whatever disappointment one is sure will come one’s way, and ironically never being disappointed because one will find whatever needs to assure that disappointment.

    I’m fed up with that kind of attitude among liberals and progressives, and I will not succumb to it. I hope you find a way to reject the cycle yourself.

  33. Rusty Shackleford (not that one) said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:51

    Yes, Obama has been a terrible president so far. When do we begin impeachment proceedings?

  34. This Always Cheers ME Up said,

    December 21, 2008 at 2:56

    It is not going to happen, liberals. Your echo chamber is reverberating now with your shouts of victory before you’ve won a single state. I almost feel badly for you, because when McCain wins, your astonishment will be overwhelming. I say “almost” because your ideology is nasty, anti-free speech, and absolutist, and every decent person will sigh in relief when it goes down to defeat once more.

    Here is how it will go down next week. First, the results from Virginia and North Carolina will come in, and they’ll be declared for McCain. You’ll be disappointed, but “no big deal, change can’t come overnight” will be your comment. Florida will go red, and a little nervousness will creep in. The usual suspects will fall into the usual categories. As the night drags on, Ohio, Colorado, and (much to your horror) Pennsylvania will be too close to call.

    My advice at this point to you will be to go to bed. You will wake up to a McCain presidency and the Great Liberal Freakout will be on.

    Bookmark this, liberals, as this is exactly how it is going to go down. You will be wonder how the hell I was able to call this.

  35. This Always Cheers ME Up said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:04

    At the very least I wasn’t made a fool of…

    I refer you to my previous post.

  36. I Told You So said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:04

    Let’s see…. a post starting with an anguished despairing of the senseless loss of young life? And an honest and heartfelt plea about politics? This can only mean one thing… Weakness! Yes, because anything which involves human emotion, or compassion, or an admission of powerlessness must be destroyed by me, the Sociopathic Avenger, because I hate humanity and am incapable of being human myself. Thus I lash out especially hard the moment I see someone else trying to be decent and normal, whilst pre-emptively declaring that other people will try and point out my own mortality; but I shall deny that I have any, and so their attempts to point out my own weaknesses are in vain. I have none. None I say!

    And my track record on political predictions is perfect; Here is how it will go down next week. First, the results from Virginia and North Carolina will come in, and they’ll be declared for McCain. You’ll be disappointed, but “no big deal, change can’t come overnight” will be your comment. Florida will go red, and a little nervousness will creep in. The usual suspects will fall into the usual categories. As the night drags on, Ohio, Colorado, and (much to your horror) Pennsylvania will be too close to call.

    My advice at this point to you will be to go to bed. You will wake up to a McCain presidency and the Great Liberal Freakout will be on.

    Bookmark this, liberals, as this is exactly how it is going to go down. You will be wonder how the hell I was able to call this.

    But I will not wonder. Because I am a cold, obsessed, repetitive machine. And that’s a good thing.

  37. N.C. said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:11

    With his absolute propensity for incorrectitude and wrongosity, I posit that Le Tröuf is secretly William Kristol.

  38. Brandi said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:11

    Shorter Twoof: Oooh! My little Cheeto-stained stub is rampant an– SPLURCH!
    … dammit.

  39. Grace Nearing said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:12

    Rick Warren as Inaugural Invocateur. I’m trying to use this as a teachable moment: Why do we even have prayer invocations and bibles cluttering up what constitutionally are supposed to be secular events? Toss the bibles. Scrap the invocations. If no one can figure out what to say, just play a tape of Red Auerbach’s retirement speech.

  40. The Truth's Predictions said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:20

    I take comfort in the fact that, as shown by my “bookmark this, liberals” post, I am always wrong.

  41. Comrade Stuck said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:20

    Jaysus, We have a democrat in the WH and the House (solidly) and it looks like a 59 dem senate, and some of you are talking like Dick Nixon just shot your cat. An idea, put in some earplugs for the Inauguration Invocation and think about when the new season begins. The one where your already up 3 and 0, while George Bush is picking his teeth in Texas, or Paraguay.

  42. Jennifer said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:21

    Hey, I’m over it, liberals. Now that the Teflon Fraud has been exposed, I’m enjoying myself.

    Yes, we are aware that stupid people are easily amused. Now, go fuck yourself.

  43. mikey said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:23

    Memo to Rick Warren:

    Arrogant fucker. What makes you think you are qualified to decide what a woman you’ve never met can or cannot do with her uterus? What is it that you believe puts you in a position to decide whether a couple in love are entitled to the same opportunity to marry and raise a family that you had?

    What the FUCK makes you think you are in a position to define morality and make other people live within your definition?

    You are nothing but the worst kind of authoritarian thug, scared of the people you wish to dominate, using scams and cons and magic to frighten people into supporting the same hateful discrimination that you have used for thousands of years, to support everything from slavery to polygamy.

    You are a scared old man, creepy with paper thin skin and nothing to offer your community but bluster and fear. Your time is passed. We are seeing the end of your power, and in that convulsive terror you will take lives and ruin families.

    But make no mistake. Your time here is done..

    mikey

  44. Charles Keating said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:26

    I supported a man of integrity in the Presidential.

    Hey, me too!

  45. Carol Shepp said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:27

    Not me.

  46. Salad said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:30

    Nah, William Kristol can’t be Truthie. At least William Kristol will shut his fucking stupid cakehole once in a while.

  47. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:30

    I supported a man of integrity in the Presidential.

    Funny, you don’t strike me as a Kucinich supporter.

  48. noen said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:31

    I told you so can go fuck itself. It puts lotion on it’s skin or it gets the hose again.

    And of course he/she/it is wrong. If you find the words it speaks beguiling just remember how well that advice worked for them.

    Obama is a politician and the essence of politics is compromise and making gestures with your political enemies. The truth is that we have a homophobe in Warren giving the invocation and Joseph Lowery giving the benediction. That’s just the nature of politics.

    The proprietors of this site wanted us to engage in the “Politics of Spite”. They were wrong, just as they were wrong in those dark moments when it was felt that all was lost and we would lose. We didn’t.

    Obama didn’t lose because, I believe, there is a fundamental truth to be learned here. The politics of hate and division, that has been the GOP strategy for 30 years, that strategy loses in the end. Compromise, bringing people together, giving a little in order to get a little and all the other values that Obama displayed in his campaign…. that strategy works. It is basically cognitive behavioral theory applied to the political sphere. Wonder upon wonder it actually works. Imagine that.

  49. McJohn said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:34

    Shakespeare’s Sister put it well this week. Defending your progressive values is an absolute. If you believe in a woman’s right to control her own reproduction, or you believe that LGBT citizens deserve complete equality, you live that belief every single day, because it is no more to be traded away or compromised than an absolute opposition to slavery, or an absolute stance in support of racial equality.

    Here are some theoretical examples that do not include the disturbing prospect of gay people being permitted to hold hands in the town hall and depart with a marriage certificate:

    a.) Obama invites David Duke to speak at his inauguration, and defends his choice against all who say that Duke supports white supremacy with the comment that “reasonable people may disagree on this social issue.”

    b.) Obama invites Phyllis Schlafly to speak at his inauguration, and defends his choice against all who say that Schlafly opposes economic parity for women with the comment that “reasonable people may disagree on this social issue.”

    b.) Obama invites a Men’s Rights activist to speak at his inauguration, and defends his choice against all who say that the MRA movement offers a haven for rape apologists with the comment that “reasonable people may disagree on this social issue.”

    You guys all still OK with it?

    Obama is indeed pandering to the evangelical community, and I do not believe that it is because of political expediency; as has been noted, the evangelical community is far less influential in American politics than it has been in two decades. I believe, instead, that it is because he has no strong objections to second-class citizenship for gays, and no strong compulsion to ensuring equality of rights under the law for the LGBT community.

    At this point in the American sociopolitical sphere, only those who are committed to equality will use positions of power and influence to support the recognition of full citizenship for the LGBT community. Obama does not happen to be one of those political figures.

  50. Susan of Texas said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:48

    “We” have nobody in the White House. The rich and powerful have their representative in the White House. They generously let us pick from their two options, no doubt because they think it’s funny when we get all worked up and give them lots more money.

    The trolls who think they are enjoying the dissonance are merely projecting their own disappointments onto others. They gleefully, loudly, and proudly supported the absolute clusterfucking of their nation, and now have to avoid admitting to themselves that they have no judgement, wisdom or knowledge.

  51. I Told You So's Work Colleagues said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:48

    I supported a man of integrity in the Presidential.

    Hey, me too!

    Hey man, getting people to ask him who he voted for, so he can lie to you is the only thing that cheers him up after a hard day at his low-paid and unfulfilling job; it was very harsh of you to not at least pretend to fall for it y’know.

  52. Ruthie said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:51

    Great post Jillian.

    As for the trolls like this one:

    Don’t take my word for it, liberals, just read the article we are all supposedly commenting on. Obama’s mystique is melting down even before inauguration day and I’ve pulled up an easy chair to watch and to mock. Christmas came early!

    Let’s see… I predict that, beginning next month, life will become extremely difficult for the wingnut faithful who think they’re immune–in a way that even Jeebus can’t help them with. Book your consumer bankruptcy specialists now–before the rates go up!

  53. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:51

    Is anyone really surprised?

    After all, Bush and Santa Claus got Obama elected.

  54. N.C. said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:00

    Honestly, I’m conflicted; yes, it’s pandering, but simultaneously, is having one evangelical speak briefly at the inauguration going to be the extent of pandering? I think I can live with one token gesture to the religious right as long as it’s largely honorary and has nothing to do with being anywhere near the ability to set social policy. I suppose all I can do is wait and hope and bitch and donate to people that can bitch more effectively in my name.

    I guess there’s some solace that so far it’s just one professional gaybasher at the inauguration and not President McCain and an entire cabinetful of professional gaybashers, but panglossianism is a very naïve political philosophy, especially if Obama continues to have.a tin ear for social issues like this.

  55. alec said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:02

    I like how he basically repeated everything I mocked him for pretending to buy into verbatim. It’s kind of refreshing having someone so dependent on other people’s ideas that he can’t even avoid humiliating himself when his own screed has been predicted in detail.

    To his credit, he (and the rest of the Republican party too) has mysteriously stopped caring about ACORN, where the entire fraud thing was an innocent misunderstanding that just happens to recur every other October. I like to think if he were in a different country he’d have immediately switched from calling reports of the Allied capture of Berlin Zionist lies to suggesting he was a doughty opponent of Marxism (or, for Wrong Side Of The Wall bonus points, militarism) all along.

    Oh, obvious troll, you’re so funny and you’ll never know why.

  56. noen said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:05

    McJohn, if we really lived in a world where David Duke was the most liberal voice of a powerful majority then I might agree with you. Your analysis sort of depends on the evangelicals not holding much power. I think it fails.

  57. N.C. said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:09

    Nobody can deny what you’ve stated, because in the words of Enrico Fermi, you’re so far off you’re “not even wrong”.

  58. alec said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:10

    I guess there’s some solace that so far it’s just one professional gaybasher at the inauguration and not President McCain and an entire cabinetful of professional gaybashers, but panglossianism is a very naïve political philosophy, especially if Obama continues to have.a tin ear for social issues like this.

    To be 100% fair, the two suggestions I like most on this are (a) Obama wasn’t personally responsible for this and (b) it’s part of an effort to get evangelicals to stop obsessing over evil homosex abortionists and actually pay attention to the serious economic damage their former allies have done to the country.

    America’s pretty solidly Christian, and the particular sect currently dominating its religious discourse has better and worse angels. Warren is the worst of the better; it’s essentially an issue of taking on Huckabee’s social gospel without also endorsing the Job’s Army bullshit.

    I think the comparisons made to the Klan, misogynists, and Phyllis Schlafly (but I repeat myself) are a little unfair, because Warren – as has been repeatedly noted – is not a one-trick pony like they are. And while I am far from a fan of the man, it’s worth remembering that while Bush II himself was remarkably GLBT-tolerant, he’s probably been responsible for thousands of elderly and poor GLBT Americans dying of exposure, hunger, and disease.

    In particular, I would like to ask if you’d want Andrew Sullivan speaking at this thing: he might at least casually pretend to give a shit about teh queers, but only the largely rich, white male ones who can muddle through in a neoliberal economy. I don’t want to present this as a false dichotomy, because it isn’t – but putting out people like Warren means the gays he admittedly bashes aren’t going to wither away conveniently out of view (which has, by and large, been the post-Reagan strategy for dealing with despised minorities). That’s certainly worth something.

  59. Jennifer said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:10

    But I see no one can deny what I’ve stated.

    It’s not that it can’t be denied; it’s that you’re boring and not worth the effort. Just as there’s no profit in arguing with a drunk, there’s nothing to be gained in refuting the babble of an idiot.

  60. noen said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:12

    Political compromise feels like pandering. It feels</i like selling out. It isn’t. It’s just what is.

    There is just me and there is just you. If I have enough power I take what I want from you. Politics enters in when you have some power too. Now I can’t just take what I want, I have to bargain for it. You and me are now at opposite ends of the dialectic. If I want something from you I’ll have to give something up in return. That’s just how things are.

  61. noen said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:14

    Except for wordpress. WordPress is a fascist.

  62. Fozzetti said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:22

    “…But I see no one can deny what I’ve stated.”

    You mean no one reads what you write.

    I expected Obama would be disappointing in many ways to us Liberal folk. I don’t thing many of us are very surprised at his choices. Its our job to always keep pushing pushing at the boundaries.

    I think we’ll be quite good at it.

  63. alec said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:23

    WordPress is a fascist.

    This machine is fascists, xa xa xa!

  64. noen said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:28

    All machines are, I don’t want to be a machine. Truffie does. I hope he gets his wish.

  65. commie atheist said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:28

    Jillian -

    Thank you for writing this. Here’s my mostly incoherent response:

    Yes, Rick Warren is fucking homophobe asshole Christianist, and should not be invited to anything other than a public shaming. And yes, Obama is making it look as though he is like every other Democratic politician who has courted the support of gays and lesbians and then totally ignored their struggle for equal rights.

    But…

    Maybe I’m just a cynic who never really expected much from Obama other than that he was NotBush, and NotMcCain, and that was good enough for me. I supported Edwards, for fuck sakes, so my powers of judgment are obviously somewhat lacking. But I still am willing to give the guy a pass until he actually, you know, becomes President and actually makes a decision on something that is more substantive than symbolic in nature (while also not denying the power and importance of symbolic acts). I’m just not willing to make asshole conservatives hopeful (not to mention feed trolls like The Truth) by wailing and gnashing my teeth at every little incorrect decision or bad judgment that Obama makes BEFORE HE’S EVEN FUCKING INAUGURATED.

    As someone who’s fucking sick and tired of religion and religiosity being forced upon me every time I turn on the TV, I really don’t give a damn who gives the fucking inaugural prayer. I wish the goddamn strict constructionists would start separating church from state just like the founders actually intended, but I’m not going to waste my time being upset about it when they do the exact opposite. It is what it is. And things are going to change. Soon. As Dan Savage put it, the homophobes are predominantly old, and they’re dying out.

    I know that counseling patience, the way that the white preachers did to King, is bullshit, and only helps to keep the status quo intact, and helps the powerful rest easy. And I think that the reaction of most of the left to Warren is entirely appropriate. But I’m not ready to start singing, “Is that all there is?” Not yet, anyway.

    It’s a new day, and it ain’t over yet.

  66. alec said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:35

    I expected Obama would be disappointing in many ways to us Liberal folk. I don’t thing many of us are very surprised at his choices. Its our job to always keep pushing pushing at the boundaries.

    I think a kind of hilarious codicil to this is that, in spite of Hte Narratibb™ saying that Bush has been a Real True Conservative except on Mexicans and in election years, he’s actually governed as a corporate hawk (lots of big-woof invasions of tiny resource-rich countries, big displays of bravado without any military courage whatever – contrast the creepily off martial strutting of Bush I, who was both an Air Force and CIA veteran, to the gallant cowboy genital worship of Reagan and Bush II, who were both draft-dodgers in what was supposed to be the great crusade of the day), with concurrent social apathy when it came to any domestic issue besides giving rich people he liked lots of money.

    You voted him in to keep the queers from butt-fucking, and he not only ignored Lawrence but proceeded to idly bum around talking a big talk about queers and yet doing little but firing outed translators and raising the terrible homos as an evil apparition in midterm years.

    You voted him in to deliberalize abortion, and except for a little political theater (so tin-eared as to include a horrified cri de coeur about furries long before anything you actually cared about) he did nothing substantial on it.

    You voted him in to turn back the clock on the sexual revolution – and his vaunted unconstitutional ‘provider conscience’ mandate, after spending six years in the news, was only implemented as he entered his last year as a lame duck.

    You voted him in to fight the scary Mooslems, and he invaded the sole secular dictatorship in the Middle East.

    The only thing Bush ever did for anyone was cut oversight and taxes on the well-connected idle rich and hand Cheney the keys to the modern world’s largest nation-building project. You didn’t just fail to hold his feet to the fire about Mexicans, you spent six years as political nonentities because the Republican Party knew it could count on you to pull their lever.

    You got played for suckers by people who only pretend to care about anything you do because they think they can bilk you out of your money.

    And you know what? You’re still recycling their talking points. You’re still being good little Republican drones, never wondering even in moments of self-doubt why Good King George never seems too bothered by the queer abortionist evolution mafia taking over your schools or the brown people voting.

    But who knows. Maybe if you project just hard enough, Jesus will come down and take away all of your idiotic, readily-avoidable, shameful mistakes.

    Until then, I just have to say I’m really enjoying your sneering derision of our elected President not living up to his promises on gays. To be completely fair, I suppose we could call you an expert on this one.

  67. Loneoak said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:42

    So, I agree quite a bit with Jillian’s contention that the Sensible Liberal is a cancer on the Left’s pancreas. But so is the liberal who despairs at imperfection of our leaders. Need we gut ourselves every fucking time we make any gains? Did we really buy into the notion that Obama was a Messiah? I thought that was made up by the wingnuts and PUMAs. I sure didn’t and so I just do not at all understand the impulse to reject him as if we just found out he’s actually the anti-christ. Only an Messiah would fix everything in one stroke; a human being will have deep flaws and make awful compromises.

    Let’s take a look:

    1) Obama just single-handedly won the Great Evangelical Debate for Warren over Dobson. Would Dobson ever come around on teh Gahys? Fuck no. Could Warren? Maybe, since he’s not actually batshit insane.

    2) Warren will look like an absolute pasty-faced fat-assed fool mired in a closed-minded past compared to Joseph Lowery, who has a much bigger role to play.

    3) This is a teachable moment, especially when the TV cameras show a couple hundred thousand people turn their backs on Warren on the Mall.

    4) We now have the first President in the history of the nation to unambiguously support the civil rights of homosexuals, including repealing DADT, DOMA, and getting proper employment and housing protections in. Yes, he’s wrong on marriage (at least publicly), but do you really think he can’t be convinced as the country moves along in the next 8 years? Could anything Obama does actually convince a potential fag-dragger to like gays? Hell no, but do you think an Obama DOJ will allow fag-drags to go unpunished?

    5) Of course his cabinet and close staff has a lot of establishment Clintonites. Who did you expect? I for one don’t want a bunch of noobs with high ideals even if those are my ideals.

  68. noen said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:57

    I’d really like to see #3 there Loneoak. That would be a wonderful sight. I’d especially like to watch the sputtering of the likes of O’Reily and the rest of the clowns. It just might be worth putting him up there for that.

  69. I Told You So's Pimp said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:59

    *bursts out laughing*

    You know, it must take a colossal lack of self awareness and self discipline to fall for the same reverse-troll time and time again, but there goes Truthie once more..! ;-) As it’s now already too late for him to deny he did it, let’s just take that little troll-two-step in slow motion again shall we?

    Step 1.) Our obsessive friend desperately tries to get someone to respond to a deliberately false statement, so he can feel in control of an online webpage, if nothing else in his sad little life.

    Step 2.) Someone openly states that they didn’t fall for it, but then simply repeats the exact same “fishing for a response to a deliberate lie” back to him and the Troll falls for it instead.

    *laughs and laughs and laughs*

    Now you should know by now what happens next Truthie; You get increasingly delirious as your obsessive compulsive disorder slowly erodes your ability to function, and as you become ever more incoherent through the night until you eventually find you can’t remember any of the arrogant phrases you normally parrot to try and appear smart, and instead just resort to infuriated insults and declaring every false ‘nym is the work of DrDick…

    Yes, you know it’s coming. Already your responses are down to two lines, and even in such small doses aren’t making all that much sense;

    “Taking Comfort in My Supposed Low Status, Low Pay Job” eh? A ‘nym that doesn’t even refer to the contents of the original post correctly! No, the satire was that you were escaping from (not “To”, you lunatic) a menial job… in a post which stated quite clearly the aim was to make a false statement as well! The whole thing is a false flag operation, you doofus, none of it is taken seriously except as a way of baiting you! And bite the bait you certainly did!

    “Ah, well I’d hate to deny that pleasure to you. ” What pleasure can you possibly mean? The “pleasure” in the original post was attributed to you, in trolling others. And the post itself was made by “I Told You So’s Work Colleagues”, an entirely fictional entity; Now you personally might have intense difficulty understanding the difference between truth and fiction; you certainly seem to be imagining a conversation quite different from the one actually written, by an entity that doesn’t exist, as if it were expressing opinions the author clearly doesn’t believe such a fictional entity would have even where it real… if you somehow managed to actually hold down any steady work in real life, I’d frankly be amazed; I certainly wouldn’t expect any of your real colleagues to give a shit about you even during work hours, much less care what you do outside of them. But don’t let that stop you from openly showing what the voices in your head are telling you the real nasty Liberals behind “I Told You So’s Work Colleagues” are really, truly thinking and saying! :-)

    “But just for the record – ah, no. ” And here’s the funniest part! We all know you don’t have the balls to ever tell anyone anything real about your actual identity… because the reason you fish for the real life data of others is because you try and anonymously harass people, especially over the telephone, and you are terrified if you let anything slip about yourself they’ll return the favor. But none of us here are dumb enough to not realize this is the case…. so we expect everything you say to be both general, generic, and an outright lie. So, with that in mind, can you spot the reversed-trap in making a specific reference to your employment?

    Apparently not ;-) So there we have it folks, “for the record” “Ah, No”, Truth/Scottish Contingent/I Told You So will not confirm that he’s doing any sort of work at all. From his own mouth, he’s unemployed, most likely due to mental illness!

    “Heckuva Job, Troofie” ;-)

    *laughs and laughs and laughs some more*

  70. Sammy said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:01

    I’m only going to say this once, but I did tell you so. Obama is an empty suit who wanted to be president. Well, he is. Your “victory” is hollow — but look, it’s going to get worse…

    And who did accept public financing? Who did make campaign finance reform his life’s work, against heavy opposition from his own party? The same decent and honest man you were so happy to reject: John McCain.

    Shorter The Truth: “Your frustration that Obama seems insufficiently liberal is proof that you should have voted for McCain.”

  71. Susan of Texas said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:02

    But so is the liberal who despairs at imperfection of our leaders.

    The problem is not with Obama. He’s as good as any of us can expect at this late date in the Age of the Military-Industrial complex. The problem is not with the star, it is with ourselves.

    Yeah, Warren’ isn’t batshit insane, which makes it worse, not better. He still lets his religion dictate his thinking, instead of the the other way around. Anyone who can convince himself that black is white is dangerous, and the only thing anyone will realize when seeing Warren stand next to the new president on the biggest day of his life is that Obama accepts Warren just as he is, something Warren doesn’t reciprocate for his chosen scapegoats.

  72. Sammy said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:02

    By the way, how’s that incipient arrest of Jesse Jackson Jr. going for you?

  73. Till said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:04

    But I’m not ready to start singing, “Is that all there is?” Not yet, anyway.

    The way I see it, two very different conceptions of Obama have emerged and coexisted ever since his DNC keynote in 2004. To exaggerate a bit, one paints him as a Bold Progressive Leader, and even when he says or does questionable things, it’s okay, because he’s a secret closet liberal and he’s just saying those things to get everyone on board the Magical Unity Pony Express.
    The other sees Obama as Just Another Pol, spouting the usual centrist platitudes (run through a good speechwriting team), and with an agenda barely distinguishable from Hillary Clinton’s or John Kerry’s. A centrist Dem, with all the good and bad that that entails.

    And even if we ignore the rhetoric, ignore the “symbolic” choices, look only at substantive decisions, we have his Senate record and his cabinet picks. By this standard alone, he’s looking increasingly like the Obama behind door number two.

    So while I’m certainly willing to give Obama a chance — he’s the only next-President we’ve got — I’m not optimistic. He needs every bit of leftward pressure we can muster. Part of that is letting him know when he’s made a really fucking stupid choice.

    In the meantime, Rachel Maddow seems to get better every day, and her Friday radio show is really worth listening to for the discussion of Obama/Warren.

  74. mr_subjunctive said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:06

    Maybe it’s just that I’m a little drunk myself right now, but godsdamn, Jillian, that was awesome.

    Portly Dyke, at Shakesville, has posted a response of her own which is equally eloquent and convincing, and yet not like this at all. I’m genuinely torn about which post, hers or yours, suits me better:

    http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2008/12/dear-mr-president-elect.html

  75. Hoosier X said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:09

    Exactly where did Jesus say homosexuality is wrong?

    Is there some reason why so-called fundamentalists can’t answer this simple question?

  76. John O said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:13

    I’m sorry, Jillian. I wish you felt better, and I know well the despair that comes when you forget how to laugh.

    It’s just that I don’t think Warren is worth it. I know he’s not “all” the reason for your pain, but he sure is getting a lot of attention from us progressive types. It’s hard not to see the hassle he’s getting over this as a macro expression of general horror. Me, I laughing at how fucked we all are. An eerie sense of calm has washed over me. We had our electoral choice, and we clearly picked the better man. That’s about all most of us could hope for at the time. Obama will disappoint, he’s told us that, too, but jeez, he made no bones about the sentiment behind this, to me, meaningless choice.

    A lack of faith and trust is almost as bad as a lack of an ability to laugh. These are soul-crushed things.

    I just can’t get worked up about it. Obama is doing what Obama told us he would do. So it doesn’t count, at least to me, as any kind of betrayal.

    So I still trust him. He’s a very good politician. He knows change comes very incrementally in this government, and he’s got far bigger fish to fry than an inauguration invocation invitation. Stuff like, you know, unemployed starving homeless sick people. And when it comes to those things, I’ll bet he can get Warren to help. Somehow I suspect the social issues are going to be left aside for the most part, when they’re not moved in a direction you like, and we all know time is on our side where social issues are concerned. Obama can no more drive the culture than Bush could, but he can certainly implement actual real-life policy that may be better.

    Go over and read The Editors take, which I think is spot-on. If you haven’t already.

    Anyone who teaches in a tough school district has my undying support. I think Obama would say the same thing.

    But he isn’t in a position to do political narrowcasting. He’s the President of all of us, and the man is pretty persuasive. I think he still deserves a chance. He’s proven to be smarter than most of us more often than not.

    Hang in there, you smart, sensible, compassionate, passionate thing. I’m glad you’re OK, sort of.

  77. N.C. said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:17

    To be 100% fair, the two suggestions I like most on this are (a) Obama wasn’t personally responsible for this and (b) it’s part of an effort to get evangelicals to stop obsessing over evil homosex abortionists and actually pay attention to the serious economic damage their former allies have done to the country.

    Yeah, those are the two points I’ve had in the back of my mind since I first heard about this. There’s just my mental Purity Troll tugging at my conscience for valuing pragmatism over message unity, so I’m torn over shrugging about it or getting mad about it.

    There’s also the omnipresent media narrative that Obama is a secret conservative so Boy Aren’t You Libs Pissed Bwahahahachokesnort, and this is perfect material to feed into that. I think there’s suddenly going to be a lot of slighted Democrats on both ends of the spectrum that’ll suddenly have a sympathetic live mic to vent into.

  78. Susan of Texas said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:22

    You think this is a mentdown? Wait until your credit cards melt, your city’s government goes bankrupt, you and your relatives can’t afford rent or food, and you have to move to hot, humid (or hot, dry) Texas to find a job, where we will call you Yankees and steal your U-Haul filled with all your wordly possessions. (In other words, the 1980s.)

    You people will go down in history as Nazis without the organization skills.

  79. alec said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:31

    Anyone who teaches in a tough school district has my undying support. I think Obama would say the same thing.

    I saw a video way back in the Palin era in which, while participating in a program in which legislators did their constituents’ job for a day (his was sponsored by one of the nursing or service unions, I forget which) his tone, diction, and accent changed subtly but completely to mirror the caretaker and older gentleman he was working with.

    As a natural mimic, I found it charming. And as that video made the rounds throughout the Internets, McCain and Palin were sharpening their ignorant hick impressions and biding their time for Sam the Skinhead.

    We elected the better of two evils – largely on the basis of him being a human being, in my case, rather than a vicious little nepotyte trained exclusively to execute the bidding of whoever had his hand up his ass at the time. By the same token, whatever kind of fucker Warren might be, his entire job is not – unlike your Dobsons – a substructure of anti-Semitic canards supporting a rape fantasy about Black Negajesus painted over with socially-acceptable homophobia and misogyny. The last of those is, unfortunately, pretty essential to anyone running a megachurch. The critical qualifier is that it’s the worst of his qualities; calling Hagee an anti-abortion crank is being charitable compared to what he thinks of Jews and the poor.

    This compromise is necessary that some day the same type of compromise will not be.

    ps: How much you want to bet Fox is gonna start recycling the ‘blacks versus gays’ angle again? They really can’t help any angle that looks like race war. One wonders why.

  80. Loneoak said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:34

    Yeah, everyone go to Texas. STOP COMING TO CALIFORNIA!

  81. Jennifer said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:37

    You know, I prefer the poop filter over the pie filter. You get stuff like this:

    The Truth said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:15

    I like poop!

  82. Loneoak said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:39

    John-O: The Editors are absolutely right. You should trade symbolic losses—even if they are odious—for material gains every single time.

  83. John O said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:42

    Just for the record, I’m a little tired of “evil” being used to describe individuals when it is the system itself that is evil.

    Anyone who has watched Obama over the last two years or so and finds him, personally evil, is…weird. I live in IL, and even his political opponents do NOT describe him as anything but a decent guy. They may not like his politics, but you do NOT hear “evil” used to describe him personally. Nothing even close.

    He ain’t Dick Cheney.

  84. Mr. Wonderful said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:42

    Whenever a troll, or a “conservative,” uses the word “amusing” or “amused,” you can ignore the content (such as it is) and move on. You are reading the self-wanking (is there any other kind?) maunderings of a wingnut ideologue who aspires to nothing more than the jolt of the “I’m-a-big-boy” feeling they get when they solicit, and in their minds receive, the approbation of Daddy.

    Buckley was amused–and so am I! Good for me. Can I has be an adult now?

    Jillian: There will never be a lack of bad events. There will always be injustices that, by their very nature, are intolerable. Refuse to tolerate them but don’t let them win. Meanwhile, politics is the very domain of the imperfect and the qualified. When it gets you down, say “Fuck it,” and step back. Ignore it for a time. It will be there when you’re ready to re-engage.

  85. Sondra said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:44

    I have been bouncing between despair and hope myself over this whole Rick Warren thingy. As a 61 year old feminist/liberal of the old school/Jewish/unmarried but in a committed relationship/living in sin with someone I still have to called “my boyfriend”!… I empathize.

    Still, I’m lucky because we can pass. I imagine it’s like in the bad old days when light skinned people of Obama’s tribe had to “pass” if they wanted to make their way in the world of “average white folk. Of course I remember those days too because “my tribe” wasn’t allowed to live in certain neighborhoods either.

    Today, here in Florida, the same law that excepted you from your civil rights also excepted me; at the hospital where my “boyfriend” is “my husband” so he can actually make decisions and care for me because of it.

    and so I fight on and hope on but pause to despair and rant for awhile.

  86. John O said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:45

    Yep, Loneoak, ’tis true.

    And just for the record, it would be, “The Editors IS absolutely right.” :-)

    P.S. Anyone who would mock a teacher in pain is a seriously fucked up human being.

  87. Jennifer said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:48

    We elected the better of two evils

    See, I have to depart company here. I know, or at least expect, Obama will not be able to govern as far to the left as I would like. But I would never classify him as an “evil”. Maybe it’s just the pragmatist in me responding to the pragmatist that he is showing himself to be, but I do accept that he is smart, well-intentioned, for the most part shares the same overarching values that I and most liberals share, and is as reasonably honest as you can expect any politician to be – and would not classify any of those things as an “evil”.

    I’m not a big fan of making the good the enemy of the perfect, and I don’t expect to find the perfect in any human being.

  88. chocolatepie said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:50

    I have always had great respect for teachers, even the ones that I personally didn’t like, because they are the drummers on the front lines in our war on the meanest facets of society. You deal with human beings who are growing up, which is nothing if not excruciating, and you must simultaneously toe the company line by pleasing your administration and also find a way to make your students’ lives a little less desolate in an uncaring, profit-driven environment.

    It might seem that what you do means nothing, that you can’t possibly prevent the endless cycle of violence and mayhem that characterizes impoverished schools, but the bitch of it is when you do make a difference, it becomes invisible. Confirmation bias makes you see only the girls who got pregnant and dropped out, but not the sometimes far greater number of girls who DID use condoms because they learned about it in school. You only see the kids who die senselessly from gang violence and suicide, not the kids who ended up okay. Remember that for every lousy thing that happens on the surface, there’s at least one good thing below the surface.

    It’s not enough, but it’s food for the soul to tell yourself you’re fighting for something that’s really worthwhile.

  89. John O said,

    December 21, 2008 at 5:57

    What chocolatepie said, Jillian. I can still name all my teachers.

    You’re doing far more amazing than you may think.

    You’re a hero.

    Jennifer, I miss your wisdom and common sense.

  90. Jennifer said,

    December 21, 2008 at 6:00

    Dude, I’ve seen a few of your comments over at Balloon Juice but haven’t seen you around these parts for a few weeks. I’ve been both here and there; though perhaps not showing much wisdom or sense.

  91. John O said,

    December 21, 2008 at 6:06

    I’m intimidated commenting out here, honestly. I read every day, and boy you people bring teh funny and smart.

    I’m smart, and funny (by most accounts) in real life, but I just don’t write as well as y’all. Someone always says it better.

    Shorter: I often simply have nothing to add to what is already said.

  92. alec said,

    December 21, 2008 at 6:24

    I’m smart, and funny (by most accounts) in real life, but I just don’t write as well as y’all. Someone always says it better.

    Aw, c’mon now: it’s all fine and good to compare yourself to the high luminaries, but a comparison to our lesser lights might be more useful. Someone else has said it – this is a given – but at least, unlike Our Lady of American Pie’s biggest fan, you haven’t already.

    -

    Personally, I don’t know how in the hell anyone can teach children, let alone for the ridiculously meager salaries we pay teachers and with the horrifyingly shitty school system actively working against them. Good work and the best of luck is all I can say.

    -

    I use ‘best of two evils’ purely metaphorically, mind you: I don’t like using the word ‘evil’, because it’s generally a glib way of separating us from the worst humanity has to offer. In the case of Obama, I’m skeptical about his ability to govern the way I’d want, but he’s tolerable.

    My most fervent hope remains that the left has the opportunity to calve off of the DLC and Blue Dogs, who Bayh is currently trying to whip into blackmailing Congress. Honestly, the old DNC line about how horrible Naderites will cost us the country is currently obsolete – if the left garners enough votes to unseat either Obama or Reid chances are pretty good one or the other is doing a horribly shitty job.

  93. John O said,

    December 21, 2008 at 6:27

    Whatever, WiTF.

    You’re boring me. Conservatism brought on socialism, because conservatism was so pathetically managed, gee, how could that have happened. There are many conservative principles I can get behind, but “tax cuts!” as a universal cure-all is for fucktards. And seriously, that’s all you have. You’ve abandoned the Bill of Rights, you’ve abandoned sensible and cautious foreign policy, and you’ve abandoned Reason.

    You’re a party of morons.

  94. John O said,

    December 21, 2008 at 6:32

    I don’t think government can solve all problems either, Einstein, but 8 years of Republican rule sort of left us with no choice, didn’t it?

    What do you call a welfare-loving Republican?

    A CEO! A fund manager! A banker! A CFO! The biggest insurance company in the world!

    Give it up. You had your chance, and you blew it royally.

  95. John O said,

    December 21, 2008 at 6:33

    This wasn’t a funny topic, dude. It was a serious one.

    In general, this place brings the smart and funny, with a few exceptions of course.

  96. John O said,

    December 21, 2008 at 6:37

    Yeah, and you’re addressing my questions with intellectual firepower, too.

    *yawn*

    Why don’t you go over to The Corner where you’d be loved?

  97. JF Sebastian said,

    December 21, 2008 at 6:53

    Yeah, yeah, I’m pragmatic enough to know that Obama was the only realistic choice to avoid Armageddon-like scenarios like President Palin. But the thing is it’s not just the gay issue that’s galling here (though that’s outrageous enough), it is, in fact, this idiotic notion that Obama keeps presenting that this is all about “inclusiveness.”

    I mean, good God almighty, the Religious Right have been the first pigs at the trough for the last eight years, and they’re the first folks on Obama’s mind when he plans his “inclusive” inauguration? If the theme is gonna be inclusiveness, how about giving the most prominent positions to those who have been most excluded from politics in the last few decades, and not those who have beaten this country nearly to death with their over-emphasized and ridiculously catered-to power?

    If Christianity’s your choice, then how about boosting the status of genuinely decent Christian denominations that are usually shut out by the media and politicians alike, instead of the constant kowtowing to a certain segment of far-Right “Culture War” Christianity? Now, that would demonstrate a new kind of inclusiveness and a rehabilitation of the meeting point between politics and organized religion. Rick Warren and his ilk need more “inclusiveness” about the same way the CEOs of failing Wall Street businesses and the automobile industry need great big billion dollar bonuses this year for all their spectacular work.

    Talk about symbolism.

  98. Jennifer said,

    December 21, 2008 at 6:53

    Teh Funny?

    It’s where it always is, you moron.

    In Teh Buttocks.

  99. John O said,

    December 21, 2008 at 7:01

    LOL, J.

    You are seriously a joy for me to read.

  100. John O said,

    December 21, 2008 at 7:04

    Uh, JF, have you seen the dude he picked to do the benediction?

    A black proponent of gay rights?

    Honestly, this is all crazy-stupid.

  101. jim said,

    December 21, 2008 at 7:06

    Don’t despair – the blues generally burn themselves out eventually.
    It’s always darkest just before you finally find the light-switch.

    Yeah, this time of year is mighty harsh on the ha-ha factor.
    It always sucks when you can’t find the laugh-track of the universe … but it’s not gone, just taking a nap.
    Contemplating my own absurdity often works for me.
    It’s as reliable as the sunrise – & damn near infinite.
    Mirrors are my whoopee-cushions.

  102. jim said,

    December 21, 2008 at 7:10

    I must admit, while I bemoan the lack of Teh Funny (aka teh wit or teh snark), I do enjoy Teh Despair, Teh Disillusionment, and Teh Hypocrisy.

    You are what you love, Sunshine.

  103. Candy said,

    December 21, 2008 at 7:17

    FFS, why is it that the Untruth manages to hijack every single thread?

    I’ve been very conflicted about the whole invocation thing myself. As an atheist, I don’t approve of having an invocation or a benediction or any other bullshit of that sort. I wouldn’t even like it if the very liberal Andrew Greeley did the god-petitioning. I loathe this Warren dude, but he ain’t the worst of ‘em, I suppose.

    Basically I agree with both points of view. I’m not even a member of the GLBT community, and I was infuriated by this whole incident. It came at a time when I am angry and frustrated generally; our state, Dem governor and majorities in both houses, gets the real bad budget news and where do they decide they need to make deep cuts? Medicaid and education, that’s where. The two fucking areas which should most assuredly never be touched in hard economic times. I too am sick of these center-right Republican-lite asshats. I’m enraged that the poor always have to take it in the shorts when it’s the corporatist bastards who ought to be shivering in the goddamned cold.

    On the other hand, I understand that Obama hasn’t even taken office yet, and so understand that we should give the guy some room. I also understand that we need to worry about ending the Iraq occupation and getting this economic situation under some kind of control. We’ve got to consider priorities. I think Obama’s selection of Warren was needlessly insulting, and I heartily disapprove of his inclusion in the inauguration. I also think it isn’t smart politically, although I do think it is good to encourage evangelicals to think in terms of helping the poor and doing other things their religion supposedly strongly encourages, but which they seem to ignore in favor of bashing people for doing things with thier naughty bits of which the godbots do not approve.

    Sorry this is so incoherent. Too much winter ale. Anyway, I think Warren is a dick and Obama shouldn’t have invited him, but I think it doesn’t mean the end of all hope.

    And it’s very good to see you back, Jillian.

  104. Loneoak said,

    December 21, 2008 at 7:24

    I realize that it supposedly runs contrary to our liberal principles of inclusiveness, but its about fucking time that Twoofy got banned. I mean, come on …

  105. John O said,

    December 21, 2008 at 7:30

    On the other hand, I understand that Obama hasn’t even taken office yet.

    Right. It might be worthwhile to keep that in mind, too.

    G’night everyone, and thanks as always for giving a shit. I’m gonna step out from the nightmare that is reality and watch the end of Notting Hill.

    Can’t help it. Love the movie. Make of it what you will.

  106. Candy said,

    December 21, 2008 at 7:30

    I realize that it supposedly runs contrary to our liberal principles of inclusiveness, but its about fucking time that Twoofy got banned. I mean, come on …

    I agree with Loneoak. I’m normally extremely troll-tolerant, and cringe when visiting ban-happy sites, but this Truth thing has outlived whatever minimal value he ever had.

  107. Candy said,

    December 21, 2008 at 7:31

    John O., I blushingly admit I like that movie too!

  108. noen said,

    December 21, 2008 at 7:32

    I appreciate what you wrote Jennifer and I’m glad that, by that joke you just cracked, it seems you’re doing ok. Take care of yourself and have a happy holiday however you celebrate.

  109. Righteous Bubba said,

    December 21, 2008 at 7:41

    I’m gonna step out from the nightmare that is reality and watch the end of Notting Hill.

    ???

    But Elf is on!

  110. alec said,

    December 21, 2008 at 7:46

    I realize that it supposedly runs contrary to our liberal principles of inclusiveness, but its about fucking time that Twoofy got banned.

    The old canard about not feeding trolls aside, it’s kind of funny that he fixates so completely on people that choose to stop bothering with him and tries his doughty little best to ignore me and everyone else who makes him look like a shrill, insecure child. Ergo drdick becoming his best friend after a single post.

    It’s part of the entire persecution complex thing. They like to think they’re geniuses whose impossible brilliance is being ignored by the lieberal elite, who are incapable of rebutting them (c.f. Ziegler’s repeated insistence that Nate Silver would lack the balls to post his hilariously unprofessional and uninformed responses to Silver’s simple questions). To keep this illusion up, they take real care to avoid butting heads with anyone who actually can persecute them (c.f. the Persecuted Majority getting cozy with the hard right) and avoid getting drawn into conversation with people who make them look like idiots.

    As he’s been saying all along, Hillary Clinton, having stolen the election from Rudy with radical feminist crime, has shamed us all by revealing to true Americans what a Marxist harpy she is. Great minds think alike, you see, and no one thinks more alike than the Republican Party’s half million interchangeable babbling heads.

  111. Righteous Bubba said,

    December 21, 2008 at 7:54

    My octopus just died concurrently after about 3 years – he was the love of my psychotic batty life. What he had was an infected bowel and if I had the money he would have lived many more days. I’m sure you know an octopus asks for revenge but I had no revenge left.

  112. JF Sebastian said,

    December 21, 2008 at 7:58

    Yeah, John, it’s great that Rev. Lowery is included here, but it’s not like there’s some quota Obama needs to fill where the only choices are: A) a well-known far-Right bigoted culture warrior and B) someone more rational, for “balance.”

    I’m not of the philosophy that we can’t criticize Obama for a dumb and offensive decision, even before his presidency has technically begun. Haven’t we had enough of this false dynamic promoting religion as a binary between far-Right Christianity and [someone else for "balance"]? Politicians and the media constantly take this road, like it’s the only one available. There’s a whole country full of religion out there that isn’t far-Right mega-Church, and the far-Right have been more-than-included and over-emphasized up the wazoo for years. To speak of some need for “inclusiveness” for them when it overrides any anti-bigotry ethics is ludicrous.

    I know it’s maddening for a lot of the GLBT community to be told that Warren is balanced out by Lowery as it would be if Obama invited David Duke to deliver the invocation and minorities were told he’d be “balanced” out with a benediction by Elie Wiesel. And BTW, minor and “crazy-stupid” as it all might seem, the gay and lesbian community eventually glossed over and shut up about Obama’s decision to give the anti-gay Donnie McClurkin a prime promotional spot on the campaign trail, because many saw Obama as the only real choice. The thought was “it was a one-time tactical error on Obama’s part, so give him a pass.” But here it is again. Obama has many, many choices for these slots other than anti-gay bigots, so excuse some of us gays and lesbians if we’re starting to make a bit of noise about how we’d appreciate it if he’d knock it the hell off.

  113. John O said,

    December 21, 2008 at 8:06

    It’s hard not to peek, especially when you know the movie well. :-)

    JF, I get it. Honestly I do. But the deal is this: Reason and discussion and debate will win the argument for our side. Because reason is with us, as evidenced by all the aging, dying bigots and homophobes out there.

    It is truly unreasonable to expect a magic wand, from anyone, in a “democracy.”

    I for one am not willing to grant Obama Cheney-like powers. He could take them, but I think he’ll pass.

  114. noen said,

    December 21, 2008 at 8:16

    I don’t think that reasoned debate wins against rightwing extremists. Though maybe with the larger voting pop. it does. The GOP base is nothing but social trolls with raging narcissistic personality disorder. The only way to deal with them is to crush them politically, forever.

  115. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    December 21, 2008 at 8:34

    The Bush Legacy.

  116. JF Sebastian said,

    December 21, 2008 at 8:43

    John,

    But, respectfully, I think the point Jillian is getting at, above, is that “reason and discussion and debate” haven’t really accomplished much for the GLBT community, and when an increasing number of gay and lesbian families are facing a tangled legal-limbo about everything from tax status and insurance and inheritance issues, to whether they’re even going to be able to keep their kids, this constant “wait nicely and we’ll get to a polite discussion of your needs later, now be good little queers and buzz off” is a luxury that our allies endlessly take for granted, without any real thought that this is dramatically affecting lives right now, not five years down the road, not ten years down the road, not when aging bigots (who often have much more secure health care through their spouses than we’re able to get) drop off and die [and if you're going to deny me my rights, you should deny them on the basis of writing a run-on sentence like that last one, not on my sexuality]. It’s not just some oblique “issue,” it’s people’s lives.

    We keep hearing essentially a “wait at the back of the bus, we’ll get around to you soon enough” argument. But unless I’m misreading Jillian, her frustration is: we’ve been waiting at the back of this bus an awfully goddamned long time, and what have we got to show for it? Should we twiddle our thumbs a little longer and faint for joy every time some politician actually–gasp– mentions us or suggests that we ought to– oh my!– be treated like everyone else and that he or she will get around to actually doing something to assure this, sometime, possibly some vague, undefined time in the future? Or should we wet our pants with glee when some politician dares to allow us a– yipee!– marching band in their ceremony? Unless you live in one or two states, we don’t have the protections and security marriage equality can provide, and no gay or lesbian has any federal marriage rights. But even if marriage weren’t an issue at all, as Jillian points out, you can still be fired or kicked out of housing in much of the country for being gay. In California, the rights of countless gays and lesbians are being stripped by a simple majority vote. Exactly what other minority in this country is given a “who-thinks-this-minority-should-have-this-right-let’s-have-a-show-of-hands” kind of treatment?

    “Reason and discussion and debate” were only part of past Civil Rights triumphs for women and African-Americans. A good part of it was also making noise and civil disobedience. In the simplest terms, for MLK, you also had a Malcolm X. Frankly, the GLBT community– and particularly their wishy-washy allies– have been sitting on the sidelines hoping for that eternally postponed polite discussion for way too long. The convergence of Prop 8′s passing and a re-interest in the pavement pounding activism of Harvey Milk seems to be igniting an actual desire to protest and make noise that’s refreshing to see (some call it “Stonewall 2.0″). It’s gonna make some people uncomfortable. Good.

  117. Sheesh said,

    December 21, 2008 at 8:55

    Hey ITTDGY,

    That’s pretty great, but it left out my favorite: Mission Accomplished. The fact is, bookmarking this page is central to my point &c., &c.

  118. Lou, Lou, the Dancing Panda said,

    December 21, 2008 at 9:00

    The emotions of all-or-nothing cynics are rarely a surprise, in part because those cynics, like Jillian, often do work that “idealists” don’t have the strength to take on. To say “I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights, period ” after Vermont, Massachusetts, etc. is a wounded cry, not a quantitative political assessment . Jillian and her comrades have every right to that cry– it’s rational. As for Birmingham, the civil rights movement didn’t put its hopes in politicians– it organized to move them. To be depressed about an invocation choice is understandable on an individual basis, but it is almost unfathomable for a movement with its eyes on the prize. It’s about results, not wounded faith.

    I must say it disappoints me how many fellow Obama supporters actually thought he would be a pure leftist. Don’t try to get Warren removed– use it to hammer Obama over the head when the actual policies can be changed.

  119. Sheesh said,

    December 21, 2008 at 9:02

    Hey JFS,

    Your comments boil down to, “democrats don’t do shit for us, yet we keep voting for them” and “passive resistance don’t do shit for us, yet we keep passively resisting.”

    It seems pretty clear that a new mode of operation is imperative — I’m talking a new Homosexual People’s Party, and a terrorist action wing to get some heads rolling.

    “Policy doesn’t change until Americans die.” (And even then it takes a lot of them, less if it’s the kind rich old white guys like — sons and daughters.)

  120. JF Sebastian said,

    December 21, 2008 at 9:03

    Yikes, my messages tonight are long. Not a usual thing, but this seems like an unusual thread. I reckon my early New Year’s resolution is to be more succinct.

  121. alec said,

    December 21, 2008 at 9:07

    I don’t think that reasoned debate wins against rightwing extremists. Though maybe with the larger voting pop. it does.

    Well, there’s the thing: right-wing extremists are a tiny fraction of the population and represent only a small fraction of the polity, it’s just that beltway culture is such that we are trained to see a dichotomy between Polite and Reasonable and Aggressive and Incorrigible. Which means that you can proceed to set up a political kabuki in which the baddest bad guy is Michael Savage and the baby-faced good guy is David Frum. Never mind that they’re both equally enthusiastic about murdering a million people, but David Frum is a consummate gentleman.

    I think we on the left tend to allow this far too much. There’s been all kinds of talk about rejecting the politics of hate, but we need to distinguish “hate” in Washingtonese from actual hate. Yelling and shouting and calling each other fascists isn’t hateful; it’s impolite, and it’s not always constructive, but it’s not hate. On the other hand, shaking hands politely and feigning interest in each other’s opinions and then going to work and seeing to it you don’t have a bed to go home to, that is hate.

    I really think this distinction is crucial. America is about as stultifyingly polite as it has been in the last century, and people can still get away with banding together and shooting random black people here. John Dolan, while off on Orwell particularly, is very right that – however indecent Americans may be to each other – we take pains to be civil, to keep up the shopkeeper’s idea of civilization where you never swear while burning the filthy Jews. We need less of that and more willingness to accept there are opinions outside of those presented on television. Mind you, this is at least partially owing to corporate domination of the media, but something terribly uncivil like boycotting networks that openly function as propaganda organs for the hard right is a good start. Nobody of any political persuasion tunes in to hear the losing party fume against empty seats.

    And besides all that, remember always that the public is smarter than it is given credit for. The Dems paralyzed by terror of being regarded as radicals for refusing to invite people who openly contemplated rounding them up in camps for sedition is ridiculous. Nobody outside of the editorial board of the NYT thinks that way, just like nobody outside of the brass of both parties’ imaginations was swayed by the Bradley effect in ’08.

  122. Anne Laurie said,

    December 21, 2008 at 9:16

    Jillian, I’m glad that you’re still with us, even if I have to agree that giving Rick ‘The Pus-Swollen Lifestyle’ Warren another platform is just too godsdamned “tolerant” of our Deciderer-Elect.

    That’s why I have hobbies other than politics to obsess over, because sometimes turning one’s back is the only sane position.

    Remember that the days are about to start getting longer again. More sunlight is always a good thing, even when you suspect it’s only going to expose the flotsam washed ashore during the recent storms…

  123. noen said,

    December 21, 2008 at 9:50

    Alec says what I wanted to says much more betterer. I are learnin’ tho.

  124. DisconsolateChimera said,

    December 21, 2008 at 10:45

    Here at the bottom of this stale thread, I just want to let ya’ll know that Obama did not choose Warren, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies did. And it would have been kinda tacky for him (O) to decline, so he had to live with Warren doing the invocation. As for Lowery, he is a vocal supporter of gay rights, so IMHO makes a delicious complement to Warren.

  125. Kordo said,

    December 21, 2008 at 10:58

    Thank you, Jillian. You don’t know me, therefore I’m not sure the following statement will fully convey the depth of my appreciation for the above post: You’ve changed my mind. I’m a gimlet-eyed Machiavellian at heart. I care about results, I look at the long-term, I’m willing to see some metaphorical blood shed (my own included) in pursuit of larger goals. I’d filed the Warren Matter away in my “get-around-to-it” box. I apologize for that now. Political chess is a serious business, no doubt; Honor & Integrity, personal and political, are vastly more important. Thanks for the reminder of that fact.

    Your friend and ally,
    Kordo

  126. M. Bouffant said,

    December 21, 2008 at 11:05

    DC, please don’t ruin this wonderful opportunity for liberal hand-wringing w/… facts.

    And shouldn’t someone find out which jerks are on this “Joint Committee,” & who among them inspired this pick?

    Though in the long run (just before we’re all dead) it’s a good pick, as Warren’s wacky world view is being dragged before the public, & the jolly fat fellow persona becomes less believable, & more Falwellian.

  127. sarah said,

    December 21, 2008 at 12:19

    dear jillian,

    thank you for the commitment and love you show your students. even during those times when you might wish you were doing something differently, your doing your best means everything. i am sorry for our society and the way it has given up on your kids. thank you for not giving up on them.

    to the extent that someone who does have the freedom to marry can share your disgust with rick warren and what his selection represents, i share your disgust with rick warren and what his selection represents.

    although it doesn’t make the present situation any more acceptable, i can attest to the fact that california’s proposition 8 disaster has gotten a lot of people, gay and straight, involved in the struggle for equality who hadn’t been involved before. i’m in for the long haul, and we’re not alone.

    thank you for posting this.

    hang in there.

    -sarah

  128. cowalker said,

    December 21, 2008 at 12:59

    I Told You So (aka Twoofy) said:

    And who did accept public financing? Who did make campaign finance reform his life’s work, against heavy opposition from his own party? The same decent and honest man you were so happy to reject: John McCain.

    Indeed, you make this liberal think. Campaign finance is the central issue of our time. It’s not as though there were horrifyingly difficult domestic issues (economic meltdown) or foreign wars (Iraq, Afghanistan) to be resolved. It’s all about McCain’s campaign finance reform.

    If only I had voted for McCain! I could be looking forward to hearing the invocation delivered by either the Reverend Rod “The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing [Islam] destroyed” Parsley or John “The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West… a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ.” Hagee

    Dang. That would have been sooo much better. Because if there’s one or two things I put ahead of the good of the U.S. it’s the destruction of Islam and the enabling of the Rapture foretold by a small fraction of Christian fundmentalists.

    Not.

  129. alec said,

    December 21, 2008 at 13:18

    I think if we want to take lessons from the black civil rights struggle it’s worth remembering that the NAACP was among the most masterful peaceable resistance groups in history. They planned their institutional challenges down to the ages and names of the people at issue. (The first black law students were old men with classical names for a reason.)

    Million-man marches don’t just happen – and, for that matter, neither does the martyring of dozens of prominents civil rights figures. Milk is the closest it even comes among gay figures, and that’s largely because he was on the wrong side of a land development cabal. I’m not just talking about the simple, stupid paranoia of Whitey – I’m talking about state-sponsored murder of key figures in order to slow a movement seen as a threat to the system’s membership down. For a movement tracing its roots as far back as the Uranians, the LGBT field has always been the bastard cousin of the rights activists precisely because it’s difficult getting a group that self-selects so well for people with denied claims to privilege (you try being out as a first-generation immigrant largely working construction).

    I honestly think the first step towards getting anything done for queers in America is going to be stringing half of the people speaking for queers in America up by their razor-thin corporate ties. Between Blue Dog power-gays pitching the legal legitimization of transphobia as an issue of comically shrill leftists turning innocent anal enthusiasm into alphabet soup and the consistent willingness of the HRC and its bedfellows to relentlessly sell out the majority of the gay and straight population in return for full access to upper-middle-class privilege, I honestly cannot think of a single group allowed to speak on the struggle for gay rights which is not either agin’ it or in it largely for joint capital gains filings. And that is a fucking problem – especially when, as they have for good reason recently, anything involving rich assholes demanding shit falls into disrepute.

  130. Leon Trotsky, Exile-in-Mexico said,

    December 21, 2008 at 14:38

    Meanwhile, showing what I know, my question this entire thread has been “who the fuck is Rick Warren?”

    I mean, seriously? This is what we’re setting the circular firing squad up for before Obama is even inaugurated?

    Sorry if I just don’t give a shit at this point, but since the inauguration is basically a gigantic piece of pomp, circumstance and fluff-piece news pageantry, I don’t care if Obama’s inauguration has him going down on Sarah Palin in front of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, as long as when he actually fucking does his job afterward, he *doesn’t destroy the country like the past eight years have*.

    Maybe my expectations are skewed by growing up for 25 years in the midst of Reagan’s America, but just someone who isn’t wrecking the country is fine.

  131. M. Bouffant said,

    December 21, 2008 at 15:06

    Well, Trots, I’m afraid some of us may have, in our hearts of hearts, thought, hoped or expected, especially in the economic climate, that there might be a “moment” to be seized, a chance to really apply policies & principles at least a bit to the left of Clinton or Carter. Good luck. This really is a conservative country, in that the undifferentiated tissue out there really is scared of change, & I’m afraid it will take literal, North Korean-style, people dropping from hunger in the streets before a true awareness of what’s going on & then a desire for serious change occurs in the tissue. And of course it’ll only be “pragmatic’ & “American” change, & as soon as the next con-man has two nickels to rub together we can go right back to whatever-it-was market.

    DOW 36,000,000!!

    Just be positive!

  132. A Mom Anon said,

    December 21, 2008 at 15:36

    Jillian,thank you for being a teacher who gives a damn. You may never know how much that means to the kids you teach,but they know.

    As a kid,I lived with a mom who hated me and taught my siblings to hate me. School was my safe haven,and the teachers were the parents and mentors I didn’t have at home. I’m white and suburban,but my homelife wasn’t good,I’m kinda lucky I got out of there with some semblance of sanity. School saved my life in alot of ways.

    Fast forward a few dozen years and I’m a parent to a kid on the autism spectrum(“high functioning”,as the professionals say,ick). He’s been gay bashed at school,administrators LAUGHED about it. He’s not gay,but that matters not,what matters is that no one cared or stood up for him. He was called stupid so many times he believes it now,I don’t know how to undo that damage and it kills me inside.

    He just finished his first semester of high school,totally mainstreamed for the first time,and made his first friend in school. He’s worked so hard to get here,he’s one of the bravest people I know,he never quit even in the face of a daily gauntlet of abuse at the hands of other kids and apathetic teachers and administrators. That’s why you matter on the job,because you may be the safe haven for more than one kid in your career. I know,that’s not Teh Funny,but it matters.

    Warren and the other purveyors of “prosperity gospel”(aka Jesus is my vending machine)horseshit are a poison,not just in politics but in families. This kind of crap destroyed my own family of origin,I doubt I’m the only casualty. Honestly,he’s no different than Dobson,he just says his shit with a smile instead of a sneer. Which in alot of ways makes him more dangerous.

  133. Lex (Agent of Chaos) Azagthoth said,

    December 21, 2008 at 16:01

    I’ve said it before and I say it again and again. One good Google search of Gen. “Rifle” Mike DeLong is enough to confuse the sense of humor. Following his career and the subsequent job changes which all come with huge contracts in Iraq following his co-planning of that war and knowing of his lovely new beachfront homes personally, well it caused a major follow-the-money type of humor disconnect with me personally.

  134. WereBear said,

    December 21, 2008 at 16:03

    Obama is deliberately trying to co-opt evangelical support– which is the last life blood of the Republican party. They have the rich white people, and always will. But it still takes a voting bloc to really get things done.

    A black man with the middle name of Hussein managed to peel off 24% of fundy support in this last election. Incredible.

    So, since I see this as an olive branch to the despicable, I’m not surprised that someone despicable shows up to take it.

    But we cannot do anything else with the Fundies, can we? Frontal assault makes them giddy. Reason makes their lip curl. Compassion is completely lacking.

    So Obama is trying divide and conquer, because it’s worked for him before. And there’s been a big outcry, so he knows his supporters (that would be us, by and large) are sick of the Religious Right and their stupid ideas. Which is also fine.

    I’m not sanguine about it. But it’s an opportunity to let them know that their ideas are socially unacceptable.

    It’s a necessary step that is part of the bigger picture; dissing Dobbs and the like to gently nudge the sheeple toward changing their mind and their allegiance.

    Rick Warren himself has looked at the wall and seen:

    mene mene tekel upharsin

    Which roughly translates to:

    weighed, measured, found wanting, and divided

    The Fundies have failed. Obama’s strong science picks will doom their precious initiatives. The voting public has repudiated their appeals. And their Golden Boy, W, is the most disliked and reviled President evah.

    Warren is willing to bend with the wind (I suspect his charity and global warming stances are what got him the nod.) So he’s getting a treat. More bending, more treats.

    We might not like The Game. But it is the only one in town.

    Unless and until we get the religious foot off our necks, we will see the more enlightened first world countries continue to beat us on every measure. (And they shouldn’t gloat; they owe us. They got rid of their nuts by sending them over here.)

    So now, with the economy in flames, Obama has sent out a signal that is not clear to us; but it is not meant for us. The signal to the Fundies is that they have to change, too.

    And yes, it would have been nice if he had picked a Fundy preacher who treasured human rights; only, like the unicorn, such a creature does not actually exist.

    For the last eight years supporters of human rights have been given the olive branch; huffing and puffing about how important it is, abstractly, and then policy decisions that are the exact opposite. I think what Obama is doing is reversing the procedure; now the assholes are getting symbolic gestures, and real policy will be very different.

    Obama emphasized today that although Warren will offer the opening prayer at the inaugural ceremony, the closing benediction will be given by Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a civil rights icon who founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

    If we are going to read entrails, there we are.

    Out with the old, and in with the new.

    ~~~~~~

    And on a personal note, Jillian, studies have shown that depressed people have a good reason; they are simply realistic. It’s no wonder teaching in such a school would offer many opportunities to be sadly realistic.

    But how much worse would their lives be if such a compassionate teacher wasn’t there? It’s not in our power to do more than we can.

    You mentioned having a partner and a son. That is, I hope, as much a source of joy as it is frustration. It’s wrong that the state, (and having lived in Florida, I know they use the term loosely; their attitude towards their actual residents is basically; fuck you for living here instead of being a tourist,) does not recognize that properly… but you do. In defiance of the odds, straight or gay, you are a loving and giving spouse and parent.

    And every day you are so, is another refutation of their hatred and bigotry.

    I hope you won’t mind that I warm my heart with the knowledge that despite their angry rhetoric, your very existence proves how wrong they are.

  135. honus said,

    December 21, 2008 at 16:20

    “the point Jillian is getting at, above, is that “reason and discussion and debate” haven’t really accomplished much for the GLBT community”
    The whole Rick Warren thing is sort of like the troll hijacking the thread. It’s a distraction, and not really important. The point I would make is that very real progress is being made. Twenty years ago a public debate about gay marriage would have been unthinkable. No, they don’t full legal rights yet, but I’ll bet that is less than ten years off.
    The parallel is the civil rights movement. Of course the conservatives point that racial discrimination is over in out society is ridiculous, but it is also undeniable that enormous progress has been made in the last 40 years. Except for a for tiny pockets of skinheads, racial discrimination is over for anybody under forty. In fact, for my white male teenage sons, racism is completely repulsive. The change in just my lifetime (I’m 53) is the reason Obama, a black man with an arabic name, became the first democrat to carry Virginia, the capital of the confederacy, home to a huge military population, (and also the home of both Liberty University and Regent law school) since Lyndon Johnson.
    We’re also steadily growing out of GLBT prejudice. I’m not counseling acquiescence or patience, just that despair can be mitigated by occasionally stepping back form the stump we’re pulling right at our feet and going to the hillside and seeing how much of the forest has been cleared.

  136. honus said,

    December 21, 2008 at 16:40

    And yes, ban that guy. He’s like a broken record.

  137. Jacob Singer said,

    December 21, 2008 at 16:52

    Agreed. His blather isn’t even accidentally amusing anymore. Send him off to some other playground.

  138. Leon Trotsky, Exile-in-Mexico said,

    December 21, 2008 at 16:52

    The thing I’m annoyed by is the Truth not sticking to his stupid label so I can continue ignoring him. He’s trying to be all clever now, like that’s ever worked out for him.

  139. LittlePig said,

    December 21, 2008 at 17:39

    Shorter This Thread: Yeah, Obama is a fraud, but we can still be holier-than-thou.

    Please. The current Administration is run by honest-to-God war criminals, and John McCain is crazy as a shit house rat about getting into a shooting war with Iran, and you’re whining about *money*.

    That pretty much is holier-than-thou, chief.

  140. Lex (Agent of Chaos) Azagthoth said,

    December 21, 2008 at 17:41

    What? Bush and Cheney holier than thou war criminals? Don’t let da troof know.

  141. Shorter The Truth said,

    December 21, 2008 at 17:44

    I hate n*****s.

  142. atheist said,

    December 21, 2008 at 17:45

    Jacob Singer said,

    December 21, 2008 at 16:52

    Agreed. His blather isn’t even accidentally amusing anymore. Send him off to some other playground.

    Well, the thing about “The Truth” is that he/she/it is still accidentally amusing, but it just takes some time for the joke to really set in. I totally understand if, in a cost-benefit analysis, “The Truth” is just too obnoxious to have around, and wouldn’t blame y’all if you banned him/her/it. “The Truth” is pretty good at finding fissures in opinion here, and things that really honestly bother us, and then applying salt to the wound, attempting to maximize pain and discord.

    Still, there is a kind of ultra-slow-motion humor in contrasting how sure and amused “The Truth” pretends to be with how wrong “The Truth” ends up being about any forecasting which demands a concrete, un-weasel-able answer: And my track record on political predictions is perfect; Here is how it will go down next week. First, the results from Virginia and North Carolina will come in, and they’ll be declared for McCain. You’ll be disappointed, but “no big deal, change can’t come overnight” will be your comment… , etc. etc.

  143. LittlePig said,

    December 21, 2008 at 17:45

    It really interferes with our narrative that we liberals are pure, honest, and moral people, and not at all hypocrites.

    That’s your narrative, chief, the one Rush and Sean and all the other whores-for-hire tell you. I find liberals admit fault more than conservatives, and that old time conservatives are more likely to admit fault than the current neo-con variety (which is never). You are projecting, friend – the neo-cons are the fuckups in this picture, and are not man enough to admit it.

    Face it, George Bush is a pussy. Dick “5 deferments” Cheney is a pussy. And John Sidney McCain is a pussy to the extent that he won’t push for a draft to get enough soldiers to fight the wars he says he wants to fight.

  144. Wet Start Johnny Killed 172 Sailors said,

    December 21, 2008 at 17:47

    I am not a pussy!

  145. LittlePig said,

    December 21, 2008 at 17:48

    I just wonder what kind of shitweasel gets off on that sort of thing. I’ve never trolled RedState or any of those fuckers’ joints – I can’t see the humor in it.

    Hell, Truthy, I *am* holier than thou.

  146. LittlePig said,

    December 21, 2008 at 17:56

    Plus it’s horsehit. I worked the damn phones for Obama – the first time I’ve done that since the 1970′s. I never thought he was God on the mountaintop, I just thought he might be able to beat the Republican.

    Were a lot of stupid people taken in by “Hope”? Sure! So the fuck what? I mean, God damn, without stupid people George Bush sure as Hell never would have gotten elected. Hell, even now, *even now*, people think 9/11 was some kind of big fucking deal, that terrorism is an *actual threat* to western civilization and that their lives are significantly endangered by it. That’s just fucking stupid. It’s been fucking stupid for years now, and stupid fucking people scared of stupid shit like that elected the biggest bunch of sociopaths, religious whackjobs and con artists this side of Grant’s administration.

    So what if some people were stupid. You ought to be glad, because God knows there wouldn’t be a Republican party without ‘em.

  147. Lex (Agent of Chaos) Azagthoth said,

    December 21, 2008 at 17:59

    Speaking of “truth”, someone please tell me that this ISN’T true. If it is though, it’ll mean loads of nutty posts in the near future. Pamela Geller planning to go for Clinton’s Senate seat?

    Web-wingnuttery has never looked this bizarre. Anyone got their sense of humor back yet?

  148. Jennifer said,

    December 21, 2008 at 18:04

    At least Twoof doesn’t bother trying to talk economics anymore, since I completely pwn3d his ass on his deeply-held belief that one guy could own everything and have all the money, and there would be no economic downside to it. That’s a topic you won’t see him bring up again.

  149. atheist said,

    December 21, 2008 at 18:18

    I just wonder what kind of shitweasel gets off on that sort of thing. I’ve never trolled RedState or any of those fuckers’ joints – I can’t see the humor in it.

    OK, I admit it, I have engaged in (mostly) mild trolling of right-wing political blogs. Mostly associated with some of the more surreally absurd memes that were propogated by the right-wing blogosphere about how Obama extreme left Islamism comes from his dad, Malcolm X, or how his wife’s desire to put all the whites into gay concentration camps in Zimbabwe, or even the fact that Bill Ayers actually wrote all his books at the behest of Fidel Castro, etc. etc.

    I guess when you’re trolling, you are reading a website which is saying something that’s just pretty bad in your eyes, and instead of responding normally, you’ve decided that they don’t even deserve the dignity of a straight response, so you just parody them, or insult them. It’s a bit of a thin game, because they never appreciate the greatness of your insults & parodies, your creations are likely to be deleted, and you banned. So it’s a bit of a difficult game. I guess SadlyNo’s tendency to be slow banning trolls changes this equation a bit.

    The thing that sticks in my mind, taking my experience into account, is that trolls may be acting on an actual sense of anger that people are writing something on the internet, as well as the contempt which they express.

  150. Susan of Texas said,

    December 21, 2008 at 18:23

    Eh, don’t ban him, It’s so easy to skip over the stupid and sometimes we like to bat him around between our paws. Plus it’s good to have someone around that questions us. It would be nice if he were smarter and house-broken, but you have to troll slay with the trolls you have, not the trolls you want.

  151. Jennifer said,

    December 21, 2008 at 18:32

    atheist – I’ve done a little trolling over at Flowbee’s, but ultimately, it’s boring. The people who hang out on those sites are either too delusional or stupid to be reasoned with or to understand top-quality snark. It can be momentarily amusing, but only momentarily.

  152. atheist said,

    December 21, 2008 at 18:37

    <i.It can be momentarily amusing, but only momentarily.

    Yeah, that’s another good point. People who troll long-term do seem to have rather empty, boring lives.

  153. atheist said,

    December 21, 2008 at 18:58

    Jillian, It’s really good to see you blogging again. You’ve started some of my favorite threads here.

    I admire you for teaching, especially where you are, and I’m really sorry, but not surprised, to hear how hard it is for you. It just seems like you’re all heart. I bet you are making a difference for the kids you teach, it’s just painful to hear what it’s doing to you.

    As far as Obama’s inclusion of Warren goes, I don’t know what to say. I put my work, energy and $$$ behind Obama because he just honestly seemed significantly better than McCain. I’m such a cynical, results-oriented compromiser at heart. Warren is certainly a sick fuck. I don’t pretend to know what Obama’s strategy really is in including Warren and don’t want to tell you what it “really means” because I honestly have no clue. Clearly, Obama considers whatever he’s doing with the Evangelicals more important than the GLBT community, at this time. I don’t know why Obama considers them so highly important, but I guess he does.

    I don’t know, I’ve never considered Obama to be my savior. US Politics isn’t really Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader to me. It’s usually more like Frankenstein vs. Dracula. I try to pick Frankenstein.

  154. Cletus von Clausewitz said,

    December 21, 2008 at 19:03

    Let the Tr-oaf stay, He’s not worthy of being banned.

    Trotsky Johnson @14:38 is correct. I don’t give a rat’s ass about Rick Warren or the benediction. If Obama thinks reaching out to the fundies is important, then maybe he should ignore our wanking. We know that equal rights for homosexuals is going to be enacted, we know that its going to be enacted (relatively) soon. We’re all worked up because we thought it was going to happen now. Its gonna happen, this was just a setback, not a defeat.

  155. N.C. said,

    December 21, 2008 at 19:04

    The thing that sticks in my mind, taking my experience into account, is that trolls may be acting on an actual sense of anger that people are writing something on the internet, as well as the contempt which they express.

    There’s a difference between disagreement/contempt/anger and trolling. I think a commenter can easily express anger and disagreement with the author without necessarily sticking around to pick the wound and trying to provoke multiple thousand-comment flamewars, or hijacking later discussions to needle one or two people he doesn’t like, or posting the same accusations and statements over and over just to get a rise out of everyone that’s sick of it.

    Just showing up daily to say “so hey, have you scumbag libs/rethugs heard about [today's mildly embarrassing story]?? this is the end of the Democrats/Recraplicans for sure, bwahaha snort, I have exposed you for the fascists/fascists you are” is the opposite of worthwhile discourse.

  156. Leon Trotsky, Exile-in-Mexico said,

    December 21, 2008 at 19:04

    Well, I just think you’re an asshole, Truth. Other people want to act like you’re a genuine human being, but me, I’m totally fine with seeing as you as a shallow, one-dimensional prick.

  157. atheist said,

    December 21, 2008 at 19:11

    There’s a difference between disagreement/contempt/anger and trolling. I think a commenter can easily express anger and disagreement with the author without necessarily sticking around to pick the wound and trying to provoke multiple thousand-comment flamewars, or hijacking later discussions to needle one or two people he doesn’t like, or posting the same accusations and statements over and over just to get a rise out of everyone that’s sick of it.

    Oh, absolutely N.C., you are right.

    I was not making a moral judgement about trolling, more of an analytical point about what I think might be lurking in troll psychology.

  158. Mister Appendixcone Klemmabcro the Deranged Industrialist said,

    December 21, 2008 at 19:39

    Rinsed Ceremonial American Badger with Strained Shropshire Blue Cheeses

    Ingredients:
    6 gallons pitiful American badger
    1 ounce rich Shropshire blue cheese, thumpingly stretched
    1 passive tiger’s chaudron, boundlessly salted
    5 gallons sensory brine shrimp fin
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 bunch baking powder

    Begin praying. Place the American badger into a large jar. Use a food processor to mix the tiger’s chaudron with the Shropshire blue cheese. Drip resulting concoction over the American badger. Find some late harvest wine and drink it. Cluster the brine shrimp fin, brown sugar, and the baking powder consentingly. Dab the latter combination on to the former. Bake for 60 hours. Serves 7 deistic friends with boisterous stomachs.

  159. mikey said,

    December 21, 2008 at 19:41

    Hmmm.

    I just read this morning’s piece at Informed Comment.

    Juan was just at an MPAC event with Rick Warren and Melissa Etheridge.

    Any of you who, like me, highly value Juan Cole’s take on things should read it.

    Now.

    mikey

  160. WereBear said,

    December 21, 2008 at 19:42

    Troll psychology, as with any behavior that is both of dubious utility and is somewhat compulsive, represents a need that cannot be met any other way.

    That someone needs attention, to the point that they will endure abuse to get it, is a disturbing sign. This is a transitory pleasure, at best, as many have pointed out here.

    What would make a person persist, then? That is indeed sad to contemplate. I agree that No Banning is a tough principle, but in essence such a good one that I will continue to support it.

    So to trolls, in all sincerity, my advice is to Get a Life.

    It pays off in many ways. You can thank me later.

  161. Cletus von Clausewitz said,

    December 21, 2008 at 19:46

    Well, one positive aspect of the Tr-oaf, is that the put-downs of him are so good, that I have used/stolen them for other troll-like beings in my real life. He’s like a half-assed stand-in for our histrionic diva selves as we play to the balcony. No question that he’s a bigoted, lying, ignoramus.

  162. PeeJ said,

    December 21, 2008 at 19:52

    I spent quite a few hours trolling. In college, way back before the Internet had pictures. When I was young. And bored. The fun was in getting people riled up, suckering them into saying patently stoopid shit, et cetera. Those of us Usenet piscadors who were successful at the effort would chat amongst ourselves, often making bets on the outcome of some particular fishing expedition. That was fun. For a while. So there’s my experience and take on trolling.

    Truthiethang, OTOH, is depressingly dull. He’s not clever in the least. Completely predictable and frequently vile (H.A.A.M. comes to mind). One wonders what his motivation could possibly be. I think it’s a form of autoflagellation.

    In any case, is mere inches from my hand at any time and takes little effort.

  163. stevek said,

    December 21, 2008 at 19:55

    Jillian, your pissed off – Good, welcome to our little club. A number of us were pissed when Obama flipped on telecom immunity. At that point we realized he was yet another get-along democrat. The majority of us, however, voted for him and even worked for him because we understood that no single election could or would reverse the retarding ideology of the last twenty-five years, and some progress was better than none.

    Of course, this doesn’t mean any of us should sit back and accept anything. Political and social change does not begin or end with elections. Get-along democrats are happy to buy into bullshit arguments like “how can you be intolerant of my hatred for you, when you’re suppose to be tolerant”. For far too long these get-along types have controlled the democratic party and have stripped it of any ideas or ethics. It is far past time to take back control of our party and that begins with getting pissed off and saying No More. So I am sorry that you feel despondent, and I am sorry that you feel some sense of betrayal. I am glad, however, that you are voicing your anger. We all need to do this more often…

  164. Me said,

    December 21, 2008 at 20:02

    Wingnut trolls like “Truth” are confused by the left’s reactions to the incoming administration, thinking that we’re somehow abandoning our beliefs. You see, to an authoritarian personality, any questioning of The Leaders is equivalent to turning your backs on them completely. They simply cannot relate to the idea that most of us merely voted for Obama, we didn’t join his fan club. Always remember that projection, more than anything else, rules the wingnut mind.

    As for Truthie and others, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but we’re actually not sorry we won. Scoreboard, motherfuckers. We stomped all over you bitches, and the pain’s gonna last for years. Now go get me another sandwich, fool.

  165. Jennifer said,

    December 21, 2008 at 20:06

    Now go get me another sandwich, fool.

    Yeah! And then go eat a bag of dicks.

  166. Admiral Inga the Omnipresent Software Engineer said,

    December 21, 2008 at 20:10

    Wingnut trolls like “Truth” are confused by the left’s reactions

    There is nothing anybody knows about the guy other than that he gets off when you take him seriously.

  167. Salad said,

    December 21, 2008 at 20:18

    Rugged in Montana – now that’s a quality troll. Fake? Yes. Hilarious? Hell yes.

    Truth is just a pompous boring shitheel. His trolling has no passion. He is the Creed of Trolls.

  168. Craig said,

    December 21, 2008 at 20:19

    Well said Birmingham! Everybody keep bitching. Who is this PE Obama? He sure isn’t the guy I voted for! He’s probably sitting with Lieberman right now figuring out who to f#ck over next. Everything so far has been DC business as usual. They don’t even care if we shout our heads off! They’re not listening now that the vote is in.

  169. PeeJ's husband said,

    December 21, 2008 at 20:22

    “My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights, period.”

    This comment reminds me of a historically ignorant fagala college student of my acquaintance. He said we older homos had “no idea how rough the young gays have it.” Of course, he was complaining about how State College only had one true gay bar. Even though all the other bars in town had become pretty fag friendly.

    Perhaps you were under the impression that the O man had been elected emperor. Sadly, he’s just a politican. Who will need to build alliances and influence the half of the country that doesn’t look too kindly on our marriage. Those people are part of this country too. And we have to bring them along with us. We do that by engaging them, not shunning them. It’s bad enough when they do it to us.

  170. Loneoak said,

    December 21, 2008 at 20:55

    Speaking of “truth”, someone please tell me that this ISN’T true. If it is though, it’ll mean loads of nutty posts in the near future. Pamela Geller planning to go for Clinton’s Senate seat?

    Did you see her platform?! She doesn’t even know what U.S. Senator does! She thinks as a U.S. Senator from New York she will be able to lift State regs on smoking in bars, cooking food with transfats, get rid of local gun regulations, etc., etc. What a waste of flesh.

    Those people are part of this country too. And we have to bring them along with us. We do that by engaging them, not shunning them. It’s bad enough when they do it to us.

    Right on, PeeJ’s husband. I’ll say it again—Obama’s invite threw an enormous fucking wedge right down the middle of the evangelicals. Given the fact that almost any evangelical he invited was going to have said some mind-bendingly stupid things about GLBTIQ’ers, this will be a net benefit for gay rights.

    Obama may not be a Messiah, but he is the savviest sumabitch around these days.

  171. Susan of Texas said,

    December 21, 2008 at 20:57

    Buckley’s charm, wealth and breeding made conservatism respectable, when it was no more than racism and greed. Warren’s good deeds and personal charm don’t negate the pain he is causing.

    We instinctively want to like others and be liked. We are reluctant to stand up to people in power, especially those from whom we want something. But Warren doesn’t have anything that someone else can’t offer. If Obama truly wanted to show the right that liberals are often religious also, picking a fundamentalist was a crappy way to do it. The goal should be to isolate and marginalize the fundamentalist right, not try to show them respect and acceptance. Their actions are not acceptable. Obama should be promoting social gospel preachers (and priests) that do not despise gays. Sure, they love them in the abstract, as all Christians must, but when it comes to actually doing something, well, it’s the wrong time, the wrong place, the wrong way.

    Screw them. Either people have inherent human rights or they don’t. If they don’t, let’s admit it up front, and admit that every damn right on this planet was viciously fought for before it was won.

  172. atheist said,

    December 21, 2008 at 20:58

    Any of you who, like me, highly value Juan Cole’s take on things should read it.

    Now.

    From Juan Cole’s post, describing Mr. Warren’s embrace of ‘Social Gospel’:

    But then he began thinking bigger. He has identified 5 major problems he wants to address:
    Spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, disease pandemics, dire poverty, and illiteracy. He wants to do job creation and job training. He wants to wipe out malaria in the areas where it is still active. He is convinced that religious congregations are the only set of organizations on earth that can successfully combat these ills. And he is entirely willing actively and directly to cooperate with mosques to get the job done.

    Warren, in short, is a representative of the turn of some evangelicals to a social gospel. Since evangelicalism is a global movement and very interested in mission, his social gospel not surprisingly becomes a global social gospel. He is active in South Africa, Rwanda and more recently Uganda.

    A recent statement from Mr. Warren quoted in a post at “The Christian Post”.

    “Of course I want to reduce the number of abortions,” Warren told Beliefnet Editor-in-Chief Steven Waldman when asked if he was going to work with the Obama administration to achieve an abortion reduction agenda or if he thinks that the effort is a charade.

    “But to me it is kind of a charade in that people say ‘We believe abortions should be safe and rare,’” he added.

    “Don’t tell me it should be rare. That’s like saying on the Holocaust, ‘Well, maybe we could save 20 percent of the Jewish people in Poland and Germany and get them out and we should be satisfied with that,’” Warren said. “I’m not satisfied with that. I want the Holocaust ended.”

    Mikey

    I agree that Mr. Warren’s decision to embrace “social gospel” is a positive development, and that this could provide opportunities for Christian Evangelicals to work with Muslims. What leaves me unimpressed by Mr. Warren’s changes is the fact that he apparently considers me, and many of my loved ones, to be essentially Nazis.

    Earlier in Cole’s article, Cole writes: Warren also talked about the increasing rudeness and rancor of public life in the United States, and urged greater civility and willingness to work with people across the spectrum of opinion. He said, “We can disagree without being disagreeable.” But the essential and deep-reaching hypocrisy of calling for ‘civility’, while at the same time likening me and mine to genocidal madmen does not escape me.

    Warren said, “Let me just get this over very quickly. I love Muslims. And for the media’s purpose, I happen to love gays and straights.”

    Doubtless if I asked Warren what he thought of pro-choice people, he’s say, “Of course I love them too”.

    That’s the kind of “love” that I just don’t need.

  173. JF Sebastian said,

    December 21, 2008 at 21:22

    Who will need to build alliances and influence the half of the country that doesn’t look too kindly on our marriage. Those people are part of this country too. And we have to bring them along with us. We do that by engaging them, not shunning them. It’s bad enough when they do it to us.

    But I have to question if the effect isn’t exactly the opposite, i.e., we don’t end up “bringing them along with us,” but we further legitimize them until people who wouldn’t have paid them much attention before suddenly start finding them “likeable” and respectable, and– hey– maybe we’ve misjudged them and they’re really swell folks. Swell folks who actively work to take away rights of gays and lesbians and who compare same-sex marriage to pedophilia and incest, but, hey, nevertheless, they’re really, really nice, so let’s not pay much attention to the damage that they’re doing in that area, I mean, what the heck, nobody’s perfect! (Meanwhile, these fundamentalist’s views on gays don’t change one iota. I’ve lived a long time and I can count on maybe two fingers the number of Religious Right figures who have ever changed their tune in any significant way whatsoever on “teh gheys.”)

    Fortunately or unfortunately, progressives tend to be open-minded. It’s our greatest strength and also our greatest weakness. Take this weekend’s Juan Cole blog for example. Cole’s great, but he ends up getting suckered into how “likeable” Warren is, and the column becomes yet another plea for the left to rethink Warren. (And, hey, Melissa Etheridige spoke to Warren for thirty minutes, and she thinks he’s “likeable,” too! And if he can win over Etheridge…). Gee, maybe we’ve misjudged him. Are we guilty of being intolerant of opposing views? Maybe we should listen to Warren more, work with him more… Sure, his views on gays are abominable, but look, we can respect a lot about the guy…

    Ummmm, so which direction is this relationship working, exactly? Are we seeing prominent rightwing bloggers out there this week asking everyone to rethink the gays (or Obama) in light of this newfound spirit of cooperation? But, Cole notes, Warren actually said “he likes gays!” Excuse me while I swoon with relief. Warren also stated this week that even were homosexuality determined beyond a doubt by the scientific community to be purely genetic, he wouldn’t change his anti-gay positions. In that same interview, on Dateline NBC, interviewer Ann Curry says this, specifically noting how Warren is using Obama as support for that position:

    Warren says his opposition to same sex marriage is shared by a majority of Americans and by President-elect Obama — and is based on Biblical teachings.

    Warren also specifically cited Obama in the ads he made supporting Prop 8. So, I ask again, which direction are the benefits of this relationship going? There’s already evidence that Warren is using this relationship to further promote his anti-gay agenda. But no big deal, right?

  174. Rusty Shackleford (not that one) said,

    December 21, 2008 at 21:41

    “The Creed of trolls.”

    Harsh, brilliant, and true.

  175. atheist said,

    December 21, 2008 at 21:43

    You know, perhaps I’m being too rigid.

    From Obama’s point of view, I can see the benefits of reaching out to Warren. Obama is probably trying to juggle various constituentcies, and pull part of one key constituentcy away from complete Republican control. Whether or not Obama should be considering the Evangelicals to be more of a key constituentcy than progressives is certainly a question that can and should be asked. Obama’s instincts may well be to give “Social Gospel” Evangelicals the benefit of the doubt and pull them into his large tent– the move makes sense from a certain vantage point.

    What I just think we need to keep in mind, is that, as Rush Limbaugh says, “Words have meanings”. When Warren says that abortion is a “Holocaust” this either means that he does not take the genocide which occurred under the Nazis seriously, or that about 60% of the US public is equivalent to the Nazis. I don’t think you can ignore the potential threat in his words, even if he doesn’t really take it seriously.

  176. mikey said,

    December 21, 2008 at 21:51

    Atheist, as always, I’ll say what I shouldn’t HAVE to and what should be obvious.

    I very clearly did not advocate either way. I said it was worth reading. I’m not out to convince you or anybody of anything – especially not how to feel about a public figure. But I’m a big believer in hearing all sides of the story, and as I said, I have a lot of respect for Juan and what he says I’ll listen to and factor into what I think and believe.

    In short, don’t fuckin holler at me. Read it or don’t, what you do ain’t my concern. Read it and decide it’s crap – that’s your option. But just because I’m a believer in knowing as much of the whole story as I can don’t mean you need to decide that you and I are in opposition. I’m pretty sure I’ve already made my opinion about Warren known.

    But interestingly, if you think about it, that’s not really what this discussion is all about. This discussion is not really about Warren, it’s more about Obama and his decision to have Warren speak at the inauguration. And I’m pretty sure I haven’t taken a position on that, mostly because I’m still not certain where I come down on it. If Warren can be made a tool to advance an agenda that I support, then I’m all for it. Sun Tzu was all about co opting your enemies. So I’m still gathering data.

    But what you read was Juan Cole’s opinion, not mine, for fucks sake, so take your protestations to him, ok?

    mikey

  177. Leon Trotsky, Exile-in-Mexico said,

    December 21, 2008 at 21:53

    What I just think we need to keep in mind, is that, as Rush Limbaugh says, “Words have meanings”.

    Y’know, I think this might possibly be the most insane sentence written on Sadly, No not produced by a troll. It might be because a person completely dedicated to words being raped and pillaged off all meaning as long as it serves some right-wing authoritarian message is being used as the person quoted.

  178. atheist said,

    December 21, 2008 at 22:14

    In short, don’t fuckin holler at me. Read it or don’t, what you do ain’t my concern. Read it and decide it’s crap – that’s your option. But just because I’m a believer in knowing as much of the whole story as I can don’t mean you need to decide that you and I are in opposition. I’m pretty sure I’ve already made my opinion about Warren known.

    I’m sorry, Mikey. I didn’t mean to holler at you. When you mentioned the post, I went over there and read it. You’re right that there’s a lot of angles to see this from. I see where Cole is coming from, and indeed it is a useful prysm to see Obama’s actions through, which removes much of the “what the fuck?” attitude that one encounters on ‘progressive’ sites about Obama’s choice.

    I guess I still get too emotional about this kind of thing, so I just wrote down what it made me feel and think. And since you were the one that posted it, I replied to you. But re-reading what I wrote, I see it did come off like a retort, more than a reply, and I’m sorry about that.

  179. atheist said,

    December 21, 2008 at 22:15

    Y’know, I think this might possibly be the most insane sentence written on Sadly, No not produced by a troll.

    Still, you see what I’m getting at, don’t ya?

  180. Leon Trotsky, Exile-in-Mexico said,

    December 21, 2008 at 22:39

    I suppose, but like I said, I really have no clue who the fuck Rick Warren is, and consider inauguration, any inauguration, as puff-piece pageantry for a slow news day.

    Him babbling about God before the swearing-in is as meaningless as a highly gay-positive preacher being asked to do it, because I don’t fucking care who does it, as long as the swearing-in afterward happens and Obama becomes fucking president and does his fucking job.

    And honestly, most of these public speaking benedictions are just a pain in my rump anyway, being how I don’t believe in 2/3rds of the entities being invoked in those ceremonies most of the time.

  181. atheist said,

    December 21, 2008 at 22:45

    And honestly, most of these public speaking benedictions are just a pain in my rump anyway, being how I don’t believe in 2/3rds of the entities being invoked in those ceremonies most of the time.

    Sure, they are mostly just BS. Still, I think that who gets invited to and highlighted at these ceremonies could be meaningful.

  182. Leon Trotsky, Exile-in-Mexico said,

    December 21, 2008 at 22:58

    And I don’t really understand how it can be.

    I mean, unless the guy being asked to give it is personally meaningful, like your own personal preacher, it’s just some other Christian in a suit and a warbly voice.

    For those of us who, y’know, aren’t into Jesus or the Holy Guy-in-a-Sheet, pretty much any benediction before a ceremony in American life is pointless. I would’ve assumed for your namesake atheology, even if they for once asked a rabbi or imam to do it, it’d be meaningless.

    So Rick Warren’s some right-wing doofbag who says what every right-wing doofbag has said since I was old enough to understand words. His role at the inauguration is to say meaningless shit to start off the meaningless ceremony. His reason for being there is because he was selected to do so by some congressional homecoming committee that Obama doesn’t really have control over, but which clearly has some Svengali-like control over the next four years of Obama’s domestic and foreign policy because… something.

    I mean, all I’m asking for is something *substantial* to set up the circular firing squad over.

  183. ckc (not kc) said,

    December 21, 2008 at 23:03

    indeed, yes you are

  184. ckc (not kc) said,

    December 21, 2008 at 23:05

    (and failing, what’s more)

  185. ckc (not kc) said,

    December 21, 2008 at 23:08

    Ah, good.

    .should have quit while you were ahead

  186. atheist said,

    December 21, 2008 at 23:11

    For those of us who, y’know, aren’t into Jesus or the Holy Guy-in-a-Sheet, pretty much any benediction before a ceremony in American life is pointless. I would’ve assumed for your namesake atheology, even if they for once asked a rabbi or imam to do it, it’d be meaningless.

    Leon,

    Like you, I don’t believe that Rick Warren actually talks to an omnipotent, omniscient being who controls the whole universe. Also, neither of us believes that the book Warren refers to was actually written by this God through His prophets. What I do believe is that Rick Warren represents a constituentcy that Barack Obama wants to bring into his coalition. I guess you and I just have a slightly different view on the ceremonial, or symbolic, side of politics. You think it’s meaningless, I think it means something even if the meaning isn’t 100% clear.

    I agree with you that I wish people would take it a little bit less personally, though.

  187. Leon Trotsky, Exile-in-Mexico said,

    December 21, 2008 at 23:13

    Who the fuck is we?

    You have talked about him for months, the rest of the country didn’t and doesn’t care, as seen by the fact that contrary to what you thought would happen, we’re discussing Obama’s inauguration.

    So why don’t you blow it out your ass?

  188. sigyn said,

    December 21, 2008 at 23:17

    Wait a minute here.

    When Keith Ellison (D-MN) took his oath of office with one hand on the Koran, weren’t we OK with that?

    Disquieting as the open religiosity in a civic ceremony is; didn’t we feel that Ellison had the right to take the oath in a way that was meaningful to him? Even if we disagreed with those beliefs?
    Because we trusted that he could differentiate between his personal religious beliefs, and his responsibilities in office?

    That’s sort of how I remember it, anyway. Am I wrong? Then Obama doesn’t get the same benefit of the doubt because…?

    Jillian, I truly am sorry that you’re feeling such despair right now. I don’t know what to say except…what Mikey said; every word.

  189. atheist said,

    December 21, 2008 at 23:21

    Then Obama doesn’t get the same benefit of the doubt because…?

    Oh, probably because lots of progressives are worried about the power and agenda of Evangelical Christians. Most people see American Muslims as having little political power as a group, and that’s pretty accurate I think.

  190. Leon Trotsky, Exile-in-Mexico said,

    December 21, 2008 at 23:30

    atheist:

    Mm.

    Well, on one side, I do understand, even if I think it’s silly, the degree to which the ceremonial or symbolic has an effect upon politics. On the other hand, I just think that well, like you said, we need to start taking that ceremony or symbolism less personally (and preferably, seriously).

    Rick Warren’s a douchenozzle. Can’t change that. I just don’t understand what Obama’s expected to do in this situation when we apparently have to *have* this ceremony and additional pain-in-this invocation, and the choice is basically out of his hands.

    Either he’s playing to the right-wing and throwing all the gays under the bus (like seriously, after a fucking YEAR of him throwing everyone and everything under that bus, this is the best metaphor *we* can produce?) or he’s y’know, stuck with this fucking guy doing some meaningless symbolic invocation to a spiritual entity like every other president ever because it’s fucking traditional.

    And I guess that’s where I fall in. I don’t blame Obama for having Rick Warren doing this benediction because I understand it’s a tradition he can’t escape. Somebody was gonna have to do it, and the homecoming committee stuck him with this guy. Occasionally you can look too hard for the symbolism and miss that it’s just another fucking ceremony.

  191. atheist said,

    December 21, 2008 at 23:42

    I don’t blame Obama for having Rick Warren doing this benediction because I understand it’s a tradition he can’t escape. Somebody was gonna have to do it, and the homecoming committee stuck him with this guy. Occasionally you can look too hard for the symbolism and miss that it’s just another fucking ceremony.

    Yeah. To me it goes hand-in-hand with people’s odd tendency to start jumping on Obama before he’s even really done a single thing beyond assemble his staff and cabinet. I don’t think people should hold off criticizing him, or anything like that. I just think that, given the fact that he’s got at least four years to be president, and that he’s sure to do very real, non-symbolic things that will piss them off, they might want to pace themselves a bit.

  192. Leon Trotsky, Exile-in-Mexico said,

    December 21, 2008 at 23:49

    Exactly.

    I’ve just gone through eight years of very real, very debilitating outrage exhaustion. I’m not going to start off another four-plus on the faintest shimmer of a glimmer of a hope of a symbolic gesture of outrage.

    Obama will no doubt do something very real to torque me off. Until then, I’m not going to strain myself to act outraged over which guy got contracted to paint the backdrops behind him on-stage.

  193. stevek said,

    December 21, 2008 at 23:53

    And I guess that’s where I fall in. I don’t blame Obama for having Rick Warren doing this benediction because I understand it’s a tradition he can’t escape.

    So would it be simply symbolic if he had, say, the Rev. Phelps speak? Or say a Kahanist Rabbi?

    Religious plurality is one of the founding principles of our Country. The fact that it should be proudly represented at the inauguration of a new president seems only fitting. However, civil plurality ends where the advocacy of hatred begins. There are many religious leaders to choose from, the fact that Obama choose one who believes some part of America is sub-human speaks quite ill of him.

  194. Leon Trotsky, Exile-in-Mexico said,

    December 22, 2008 at 0:03

    You are giving me a headache. Obama didn’t select this guy, someone selected him for him. So complain about those assholes, instead of acting as if Obama is some one-man show of evil.

  195. Leon Trotsky, Exile-in-Mexico said,

    December 22, 2008 at 0:14

    Not to mention I would *love* to see a rabbi, even a Jew-Nazi rabbi, give an inauguration, just to watch every Christian in the joint trip up when no mention of Jesus comes into the invocation at all.

    (I can be surprisingly petty at times regarding religion)

  196. ckc (not kc) said,

    December 22, 2008 at 0:21

    I can be surprisingly petty at times regarding religion
    ..some would call that a sine qua non

  197. ckc (not kc) said,

    December 22, 2008 at 0:24

    (religion and pettiness – not you personally!!)

  198. Smut Clyde said,

    December 22, 2008 at 0:26

    And my track record on political predictions is perfect; Here is how it will go down next week. First, the results from Virginia and North Carolina will come in, and they’ll be declared for McCain.
    A couple of commenters seem to be under the impression that by repeating some of Creepy Stalker Troll’s grotesquely wrong predictions and statements from the past, they can shame him into momentary silence. This is a cunning plan but it makes two key assumptions:
    (1) CST actually cares about the accuracy of his predictions and statements, rather than regarding them as a tool for annoying people; and
    (2) CST has a sense of shame.

  199. ckc (not kc) said,

    December 22, 2008 at 0:38

    …or that shame would lead to silence (a normal response, it’s true, but we do suspect that our friend is not normal, no?)

  200. N.C. said,

    December 22, 2008 at 0:53

    This is a cunning plan but it makes two key assumptions:
    (1) CST actually cares about the accuracy of his predictions and statements, rather than regarding them as a tool for annoying people; and
    (2) CST has a sense of shame.

    A possible third assumption: that his false predictions are actually truer than you libs think, heh, because they just prove you as hypocrites, it is to laugh, and this is Teh Funey that is central to my boo-diddly spread of badoodle-boo.

  201. ckc (not kc) said,

    December 22, 2008 at 1:05

    A possible third assumption: that his false predictions are actually truer than you libs think, heh, because they just prove you as hypocrites, it is to laugh, and this is Teh Funey that is central to my boo-diddly spread of badoodle-boo.

    …and this would shame him into silence ..how?

  202. Leon Trotsky, Exile-in-Mexico said,

    December 22, 2008 at 1:07

    Well, in both that third assumption and silence, no actual meaning escapes. It’s just one is disguised by inundating others with babbling nonsense while the other is silent.

  203. muslim terrorist said,

    December 22, 2008 at 1:54

    Obama didn’t select this guy, someone selected him for him.

    Wherever you come down on the whole Warren Ideological Crisis, I don’t think you can effectively hang your hat on this statement. Whoever decided on Warren, if Obama didn’t want him, he wouldn’t have been picked.

    I mean, c’mon. He’s certainly got enough power to overrule some committee…

    mikey

  204. lesserdevil said,

    December 22, 2008 at 2:18

    Great piece, Jillian.

    I had to quit drinking (so as not to die and all), but I’m with you in spirit.

  205. Jillian and The Truth said,

    December 22, 2008 at 4:18

    Sitting in a tree.
    F
    U
    C
    K
    I
    N
    G.

  206. Simba B said,

    December 22, 2008 at 4:26

    Yep, this guy’s definitely entered H.A.A.M. territory. Ban plz.

    It is instructive, however, that the enhanced filtering softwarez and the possibility that no one would ever pay any attention to him again, was what drove him off the cliff. Not that we didn’t see it coming (cf. his obsession with DrDick) or that it surprises anyone, but yeah…time to ban the guy. He’s not even trolling on politics anymore, he’s just trying to freak people out and disgust them. In other words, he should be institutionalized, medicated, or something. I’m not kidding.

  207. Bitter Scribe said,

    December 22, 2008 at 8:04

    What, exactly, is your problem with Arne Duncan? From what I’ve seen, he’s made a good-faith effort to deal with the almost intractable problems of the Chicago Public Schools.

  208. Raijin said,

    December 22, 2008 at 8:10

    This was so beautiful and so goddamn depressing it hurts.

  209. Tehanu said,

    December 22, 2008 at 9:23

    Jillian: what John O said at 5:13 and what Alec said in several posts. Hang in there and don’t panic! I didn’t vote for any damn messiah when I voted for Obama; I voted for a human being to take a tough job working for me and the rest of the citizens. So cut him a little slack at least till he actually has the job.

  210. RvB said,

    December 22, 2008 at 14:24

    Very good work, Jillian and very touching–but no changes in the last 30 years? 30 years ago was 1978 (going on 1979). A baby born back then would be 30 years old now, and you’re telling us that he or she wouldn’t have seen any significant changes in the way gay people are treated during that long time? Sometimes when the liquor is talking it tends to overstate its case slightly.
    As for Hopey, he is going to require pushing toward the left, but as he has shown pushoverist tendencies, it might not be that tough. What we got last November is someone who will listen. He may not do what we’ll want every time, but he’ll listen, and we’ve had deaf leadership long enough.

  211. kenga said,

    December 22, 2008 at 20:15

    Honestly, I’m conflicted; yes, it’s pandering, but simultaneously, is having one evangelical speak briefly at the inauguration going to be the extent of pandering?

    He’s not an evangelical – that term doesn’t necessarily refer to religion except in the vernacular – he styles himself a fundamentalist evangelical Christian, so we know what kind of religion he evangelizes.

    What he is, is a moneychanger.
    The lamb of god literally kicked their asses last time.
    Wonder what the lion would do, upon realizing the moneychangers have only broadened their scope of “work”. Could be the old “nailing to a tree” sketch would just be the warm-up act.

    I’ll be watching, strong liquor and whatever contraband I can get at hand. I will be hoping that Rev. Lowery will be completing his benediction with Warren’s words fresh in his mind and a can of whoop-ass in his heart.

  212. kenga said,

    December 22, 2008 at 20:31

    I mean, all I’m asking for is something *substantial* to set up the circular firing squad over.

    I think the RNC has the circular firing squad checked out right now. We should maybe wait to see when they’re returning it before we make any concrete plans. Last I heard, the RNC chair was looking down the barrel for obstructions. http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/12/in_internal_memo_rnc_chief_con.php

  213. Pak Tam said,

    December 22, 2008 at 21:54

    Dear Mr President-Elect & his Transition Team,

    Considering the promises & circumstances of your campaign, this Inauguration belongs to ALL people. To have Pastor Warren to deliver the Invocation is a fundamental antithesis to what we hope your presidency will be. His advocacy to categorically strip civil rights from a group of citizens will forever mar this historical event. There will be other occasions for dialogue & reconciliation for the contending issues, but this invitation to Pastor Warren is definitely inappropriate for the symbolic re-birth of the great nation, and is clearly disrespectful to your millions of supporters who yearn for a fair & just society.

    Sincerely yours,

    Pak TAM

    Help our voice to be heard! Please kindly circulate this!

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/107914679
    http://www.new.facebook.com/profile.php?id=538567008&ref=profile&pub=2915120374#/group.php?gid=40933512660
    http://www.eqca.org/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx?c=kuLRJ9MRKrH&b=4025663&aid=11543
    https://secure.pfaw.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=Warren_Inauguration&autologin=true&JServSessionIdr006=b3zrfzfmv2.app304b

  214. 4jkb4ia said,

    December 23, 2008 at 7:17

    I am preparing to get yelled at.
    The very lack of being able to establish one federal civil right for gays, including the adoption which Jillian spoke of, means that you establish the one civil right before you can even talk about federal civil unions, much less marriage. It seems to me to be a sign of progress in society that gays are accepted at a certain level so that marriage is the natural thing which they would demand. I vaguely remember reading a Catherine McKinnon piece from the time of the ERA saying that she did not know “why gay women and men would want marriage” as an institution when they had the chance to do other things.
    I also repeat that government cannot make these marriages holy. It is up to churches and synagogues which would never do these marriages in a million years to ensure that they are truly regarded as equal, because civil unions are instituted for legal protection purposes.

  215. 4jkb4ia said,

    December 23, 2008 at 7:27

    I am sorry that Jillian is so sad. The genius of MLK was that he was not even asking these sensible liberal ministers to enter a political process, but to try to bear moral witness. Once you have people bearing moral witness some political leaders will be moved by it and try to do what is right, and there will be some progress. But the political process as a whole may not have caught up with MLK yet. Gay marriage may have been thrown to political processes without enough people bearing witness to gay families and so on. It is very easy for me to give up on working for it here in Missouri because we will not get it until every blue state has it.

  216. Nenya said,

    December 23, 2008 at 20:06

    Jillian, I just want to say that you are awesome. I hope you are okay. And also, that I’ve borrowed a paragraph from the middle of your post to share with some friends of mine–maybe, maybe it will help them to get it, to understand that gay rights is about life and death and not their squick factor. I don’t know–but you’re being at least one more light in the darkness, and thank you for that.

    And the rest of you guys–I mostly lurk here, but just wanted to say thank you for these threads, with all their discussion and occasional crude jokes: they help me, as do other parts of the blogosphere, think through things and come to some answer inside my own head. Thank you.

    I am both sad at the things Obama’s fucking up, and SO VERY THRILLED that he’s NotBush. I think we have a man here who is sane and can be reasoned with. So let’s fucking reason away.

    Huh, guess I missed the memo that Thanksgiving was a month (or two) back….

  217. Mooser said,

    December 24, 2008 at 18:02

    I think you are suffering from a chronic drug underdose.

  218. Dayv said,

    January 6, 2009 at 18:27

    Jillian-

    I’ve been hiding from politics for a month or so, just catching up now, and wanted to say thank you for this post.

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