Nov
14

My Pet Cause Is More Important Than Yours




Posted at 0:02 by HTML Mencken

This post is very serious! Very serious indeed, for I am a serious blogger whose author-i-TIE you must respect. But more than that, you must respect my special cause, my job, my single special interest, my idee fixe. “That’s my job/that’s what I do,” twanged the minstrel yokel. Well, my job is the most important. EVAR. Acknowledge, bitchez! Anything less is worse than wrong; it’s unserious!

[Bradrocket adds: HTML, don't be too worried about Charles Pierce's disagreement. He surely does kick royal amounts of behind (and he has an even bigger Brady man-crush than I do), but you're very much in the right on this. Of all the colors in the current wingnut rainbow (which consists of leisure-suit green, Deuce-Coupe yellow, and the orange of the '70s Astros uniforms) Paul is by far the least offensive. A Preznit Rudy is basically the worst nightmare scenario. Preznit Mitt would be bad, but he's enough of an opportunist that I don't think he means all the crazy crap he says (and yes, it's sad that I now consider crass opportunism to be a check-mark in a GOP candidate's favor). OK, I'll shaddup now and let you get back to work...]

The Times quotes Norman Mailer putting it far less retardedly — actually, Mailer here is wonderfully, lovably candid (a pleasing break from his default position of lovable obnoxiousness) — one of those advertisements for himself that actually went over well:

“I think the novel is on the way out,” he said. “I also believe, because it’s natural to take one’s own occupation more seriously than others, that the world may be the less for that.”

This hits on all cylinders: He’s right that the diminished importance of the novel is a cultural loss; he’s right to say he takes that fact more seriously than others; he’s right to say it’s natural that a writer does so.

My point is: Would that some political bloggers acknowledged their own — myopia is far too strong a word; how about natural (pace Mailer) or unnatural (and you can figure out which is which and who is whom) — over-investment in x issue, and that the recognition inspired a new sense of caution.


Above: The archetypical monomaniac:
On any given subject, only considers its
connection to a pale cetacean.

The crude reduction, in several obituaries, of Mailer as a mere misogynist is neither rightwing nor leftwing but simply a logical symptom of over-investment, of one’s pet cause (or pet tool — Althouse, crusader against Valenti’s boobs, is most insincere in her feminism) overriding one’s judgment. Likewise, the smears of Ron Paul as a David Duke fellow-traveler and inspiration to Timothy McVeighs everywhere is the logical symptom of an over-investment in anti-racism. While racism and misogyny are important things to combat — indeed opposition to such things is rightly a default position among progressives but is only mouthed and used cynically by wingnuts — neither, respectively, should they be assumed as the underlying cause of… well, everything bad.

The progressive stake in Ron Paul’s success is a simple: We don’t want any Republican to win, but everyone benefits from a rightwing that is less warmongering. A historical analogy that illustrates the strategy I’m talking about would be when, in 1940, Wendell Willkie secured the Republican nomination for President. Wilkie eventually came to a pro-war position, thus giving his opponent, FDR, breathing room to prosecute a war actually worth fighting. A strong Paul showing, on the flip-side of the same coin, would free our Dem candidates to speak with less, shall we say, imperialism (though I doubt Hillary would whatever her opportunities to do so; hence the wingnuts’ preference for her if a Dem must be elected; or, maybe I’m just a misogynist; yes, surely that is it!!!).

…which brings me back to my initial point OF. MAXIMUM. SERIOUSNESS. We all have our obsessions, our bugbears, our pet causes. And we should be careful not to assume that they always pertain to whatever question’s at hand. Doubly, we ought to avoid over-specialization, over-investment, and above all avoid the tendency to make a Unified Field Theory (incorporating our obsession to the point of ludicrous aggrandizement) and apply it to everything monomaniacally. And yet, and yet… some obsessions — okay, one current obsession — is more equal than others, is a political and moral trump card: Stopping the war. As Atrios has mentioned quite a bit lately with sarcastic understatement, people forget that war is a bad thing. But it’s not just a bad thing; unjust, immoral wars are the worst thing a country could ever do short of a Holocaust. Garden variety American racism makes people miserable and gets people killed, as does sexism, homophobia, etc. But evil wars get people murdered en masse — brown people, I might add. Plus it degrades America, breaks her treasury, and the conditions war exerts on domestic politics as a rule enables rightwing policy: there is a relationship between not just the war and, say, domestic spying, but also between the war and cultural issues like racism, sexism, etc. War is the fuel that the engine of wingnuttery guzzles. Wingnuts understand this; why do you think they are willing to concede (if push becomes hard electoral shove) on every single issue but that?

Ron Paul is anti-war. Otherwise, he’s of course a wingnut. We’re not gonna vote for him anyway; but we should hope wingnuts do. Therefore it’s strategically dunderheaded and morally irresponsible (given the importance of the war) to allege that Paul is at best equivalent — or more likely, worse than — the other Republican candidates. Ron Paul can hurt the other wingnuts, especially the worst wingnut of all, Rudolph Giuliani. This is why neocon hacks like David Frum and Rich Lowry constantly and vehemently attack Paul; it’s also why the clay-eating cretins of Redstate.com — composed of racists, sexists, religious nuts, militia sympathizers, etc; basically a clusterfuck of Freepers who’ve learned how to spell — have banned Paul supporters from the site.

Finally, to put the fixation of racism (to the detriment of all other issues, especially the war) in its place: all wingnuts are more or less equally racist, some just use better code than others. Or, put another way, troglodyte racists are a significant part of the wingnut base and all candidates must appeal to that base to get its vote. What I’m getting at here is the apparent belief of some liberals that Rudolph Giuliani’s potential administration, neocon that it would be, and whose support comes from the ‘burbs and cities and from the “conservative intelligensia” [sic], would be in practice any less racist, sexist, cruel, homophobic, etc than Ron Paul’s. It is to larf. Giuliani had to appear tolerant (for a wingnut) to get elected in NYC. And like Mitt Romney, another con man from a Blue State, he’s “sincerely” flip-flopping to get elected to the Presidency. Consider the depravity of Giuliani’s advisors. Racism? Demented Daniel Pipes thinks internment isn’t such a bad policy. Homophobia? Norman Podhoretz counts homosexuality as the root of all evils. Fiscal batshittery? A ‘fuck the poor’ stance of cartoonish supervillainy? David Frum, who wants to repeal the social contract to the Donner Party level, is far more libertarian in the concentrated-evil, social darwinist sense than Ron Paul on his worst day.

Unlike Paul, a President Giuliani will incinerate thousands of people in Iraq, Iran, and probably Syria, too. Somewhere, there is an Arab or Persian Daisy, in whose future a clusterbomb looms if a wingnut not named Paul wins the Presidency. Therefore, the more wingnuts — the existence of whom you can’t wish away — are steered toward Paul and away from the warmongering pack of idiots who compose the balance of the Republican candidates, the better for everyone here and abroad. I’m not gonna vote for Paul, but then I’m not a wingnut. However, the point is that wingnuts do vote, and we have an interest in which candidate they vote for. Paul is the best choice, and if you well-intentioned liberals can’t see past your favorite domestic issue to grasp this truth, you probably need to reassess your hierarchy of values. Yes, my pet issue is more important than yours! Neener neener!

255 Comments »

  1. Charles Pierce said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:16

    Public schools are a “favorite domestic issue”?
    C’mon, gang.

  2. Patkin said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:18

    He’s still a gigantic prick though.

  3. the_millionaire_lebowski said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:20

    Retardo, WTF mate? What gives with all the commas? I like the article, but really, getting to the point took too long and too much effort.

    Shorter: “Get your wingnut friends to support Paul.”

  4. glorified jughound said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:21

    So you’re saying we should all put on fake beards and sunglasses and go register as Republicans?

  5. Arky Horse Whipper of Cthulu said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:22

    So. If I’m not going to vote for him, you’re not going to vote for him and we think he doesn’t have a shot of winning, what’s to stop me from calling him a sexist, racist, homophobic shit?

    As a general matter, I have to say I find your faith in the fact that Paul really would keep his word and pull the troops out of Iraq and leave the rest of the ME alone rather … sweet.

  6. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:25

    Sorry, Lebowski, but I just had to incorporate all the stuff that’s annoyed me the last few days. It’s like being constipated your know? I took a relieving rant, feel much lighter, now it’s time to spray the potpourri and air out the bathroom (don’t go in there!).

    Gah my first Charles Pierce comment, and it’s in disagreement! Come back, man! I love your work! You’re the only TAPped writer worth a damn! I take the post back! Ron Paul is teh 5uxx0r!!!

  7. InsaneInTheCheneyBrain said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:27

    BUT WITHOUT TANCREDO IT’LL BE TOO LATE!

  8. atheist said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:28

    OK, but what if we are genuinely concerned that Paul, in the unlikely event that he were elected, would follow through on his heretofore coded suggestions on domestic policy, and would truly do his best to eradicate public education, the EPA, the ability of the state to prosecute hate crimes, and the ability of workers to unionize? And, in addition, attempted to put the US economy back on a ‘gold standard’, however that would supposedly work in 2008? These actions strike me as potentially damaging, to more than a couple of pet progressive causes, but rather to society, as a whole.

  9. the_millionaire_lebowski said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:30

    Fair enough. I’m not always coherent or logical when I write about something I care a lot about either. In fact I’ve found that the issues that I care the most about are the ones I have the hardest time writing (or talking, heh) clearly about.

    And for anyone who didn’t read the post; my shorter doesn’t include a lot of other points from the post.

  10. zsa said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:33

    Shit.

    I had the greatest comment ever and I hit the fucken back key … fucken thinkpads …

    I forget how I actually got to the conclusion, but it was pretty clear that by 2010 all men in the US will have to undergo surgery to have a “mangina”.

  11. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:34

    I’m not always coherent or logical when I write about something I care a lot about either.

    Ehhh. These are the barbs that truly sting.

  12. rageahol said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:35

    please read david neiwert’s response to glenn greenwald’s assertion of a smear.

    i, personally, think that greenwald, though normally excellent, really is in the wrong on this one. i trust neiwert’s judgement on dogwhistle terms of the loon militia racist right wing. greenwald doesnt really have that expertise.

  13. thelogos said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:42

    I think I understand the kerfluffle here.

    Ru Ron Paul is a nutbar. A nutbar who wants to roll back all the progressive gains that many have fought and died for.

    But he opposes the war, so that makes him a viable candidate, one we can tell our wingnut associates that would be the most preferable candidate for the wingnuts to put forth.
    Nevermind all the shit he supports. Nevermind that Gilead would be more likely under him (under the guise of a benevolent corporada), He’s against the war!

    To paraphrase someone: “What good would it be to end the war, if we lose our soul?”

  14. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:45

    But they *all* are nutbars!

    The point is that Paul is the least nutbar of them.

  15. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:47

    These actions strike me as potentially damaging, to more than a couple of pet progressive causes, but rather to society, as a whole.

    Sure they would be, yet except for the Gold Standard thing, all wingnut candidates are more or less for the same, but the rest also want to continue and enlarge the war.

  16. Simba B said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:49

    The point is that Paul is the least nutbar of them.

    I don’t know, Retardo, in some cases he’s waaay more out there than any “serious” presidential candidate in a loooong time.

    Paul is kinda scary because while the mainstream wingnuts just play to their batshit militia base, I think Paul actually believes some of his shit.

  17. tde said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:50

    Thanks for the great post.

  18. Duros62 said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:55

    It’s like being constipated your know? I took a relieving rant, feel much lighter, now it’s time to spray the potpourri and air out the bathroom (don’t go in there!).

    Well, sure, all those commas can block up your colon something fierce.

    Not to mention your semi-colon.

  19. RodeoBob said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:55

    Therefore it’s strategically dunderheaded and morally irresponsible (given the importance of the war) to allege that Paul is at best equivalent — or more likely, worse than — the other Republican candidates.

    Look, it’s neither dunderheaded (“verbing weirds language!”) nor morally irresponsible to state that being burned alive is at best equivalent -or more likely worse than- being drowned alive. ‘Suck’ comes in many flavors and colors, and it’s quite possible to recognize a quantitative difference without making a qualitative judgement.

    it’s also why the clay-eating cretins of Redstate.com — composed of racists, sexists, religious nuts, militia sympathizers, etc; basically a clusterfuck of Freepers who’ve learned how to spell — have banned Paul supporters from the site.

    No. They banned the Paul supporters for the same reason that you & I slam the door on Jehova’s Witnesses and encylopedia salesmen: they’re fucking annoying. RP supports descend on websites critical of RP like a plauge of Randriod locusts, steadfast and determined to overlook or generously mis-interpret any possible failing of their saviour. If Guiliani backers are the Roman Catholics in this analogy, and Fred Thompson’s boosters are the Episcopaleans, then Ron Paul supporters are either the Fred Phelps bunch or the Hari Krishnas at the airport.

    all wingnuts are more or less equally racist, some just use better code than others. Or, put another way, troglodyte racists are a significant part of the wingnut base and all candidates must appeal to that base to get its vote.

    Speaking in code is one thing. Showing up in your official role as an elected official of the people to a social event being hosted by bigots, that’s a different flavor of shit sandwich. Appealing to the base != lending credibility and support. What Tancredo does for the Minutemen, RP has done for Stormfront.

  20. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:57

    Well, my model is Tick-Tack Trevino… Look out, I and my semi-colon will stalk you!

  21. thelogos said,

    November 14, 2007 at 0:59

    However, there is a refreshing honesty in Ru Paul in that we know he’s fucking cobag and he doesn’t hide it.

  22. povertyrich said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:00

    You know what would stop Ron Paul from instituting a crazy-ass wingnut domestic policy? The Congress. You know, the body that’s supposed to forge policy for the President to execute.

    Lots of open seats and lots of vulnerable Republicans are likely to fall to young, actually progressive Democrats in 2008

    I will probably refrain from casting a vote in the Presidential election in 2008. There’s not a joker in the deck of likely candidates from either party I can vote for in good conscience. So, to paraphrase Mikey from Recess, I will excercise my socially frowned-upon, but politically valid choice to not vote for President. I’ll just leave that part of my ballot blank. Or write in Eddie Spaghetti.

    We really should hit the mute button on this current Presidential Campaign Circus and turn up the volume on C-SPAN. Congress is where it’s at.

    Article I, bitches!

  23. noen said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:03

    Great post HTML Mencken. I got tons of respect for you.

    Giuliani would be orders of magnitude worse than Ron Paul. Think of it this way. Prince the CEO of Blackwater is a rabid fascist and Dominionist who heavily supports the Bush junta. But he has also given money to progressive third party campaigns. Why do you suppose he does that? To split the vote of course, and it works all to well.

    Here in Minnesota the Independent Party split the vote in the last election and as a result we still have Pawlenty as governor. It doesn’t matter that in my opinion they had better ideas and a better candidate in Peter Hutchinson. He didn’t win, he didn’t even come close, Pawlenty did, end of story.

    It would be nice if our political system were set up differently, but it isn’t. That is simply a fact that we have to deal with. Liberal third parties hurt the Dems, conservative third parties hurt the GOP.

    If I had millions to spend I would be giving at least some of it to Ron Paul, not because I think he would be a great prez but because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he would drain conservative votes away from the GOP and therefore help whatever candidates I really wanted to be elected.

    Even if by some miracle Ron Paul were to get elected he could do little damage. Again our experience in Minn helps to see what would happen. We had a third party Gov in Jessie Ventura and I actually think he did a good job. His last term was a disaster though and the reason is that he didn’t have a party to back him up. It was just him as gov and a few scattered independents in the legislature. The R’s and D’s made sure that there was little he could get done. Because without a real political machine behind you you don’t have real power. You cannot get legislation you want passed and you cannot stop what you don’t want.

    That is what would happen if any third party candidate were elected, no matter who it is. He or she would quickly find it impossible to get anything they wanted done. I think this is absolutly true for Nader and probably also true for Kucinich. He would have very little support and as a result nothing he wanted would get passed.

    These are political realities and you have to work within them if you want to be effective. Purity on the left or the right looses elections every time. That said, I think that over time we can take our country back. We can move the electorate back towards more liberal ideas and within that framework a real progressive could work wonders. That will take time. It will not happen today.

  24. Gundamhead said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:04

    Anybody but Giuliani. I still can’t believe that guy is a viable presidential candidate. I actually heard someone say they would vote for that mummy because of how “socially liberal” he was. God, you the idea that that perverted, warmongering fascist freak (endorsed by Pat Robertson for fucks sake!) could actually become the leader of this country is terrifying. Just because he doesn’t have any specific hatred for abortions doesn’t make him a liberal. The same could be said about Saddam Hussein for chrissakes!

    I may not like “Paleo-Conservatives” or Libertarians, but at least I know that if someone like Paul gets elected he isn’t likely to kill a few million people and systematically destroy our country for the sake of some crack pot world domination scheme.

  25. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:04

    They banned the Paul supporters for the same reason that you & I slam the door on Jehova’s Witnesses and encylopedia salesmen: they’re fucking annoying.

    You slam the door on Jehova’s Witnesses [sic] and encyclopedia salesmen? How rude!

    Seriously, I don’t by your defense of RedState. Yes, Paul supporters are annoying. But that doesn’t account for the venom of so many wingnuts against them — not for the RedState trash, and not for the “elite” pundits. A for instance of the latter, when during the first debate Paul described the concept of blowback (in a very tame and reasonable Chalmers Johnson sort of way), David Frum smeared him as an anti-Semite and at abotu that time is when the old old dirt was dredged in the form of an anti-Semitic pamphlet from a Paul supporter.

  26. thelogos said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:04

    I guess I’m trying to say that I’m mixed about Ron Paul, in some way.

    I’m convinced that Teh Village has all but declared Hilary to be the next Dem candidate, and if Ron is the Republican offering…it would be like the ultimate moral dilemma:
    Do you kill 3k people to save a city?

    Do you vote for war in Iran and Iraq over no war but the rolling back of American society, one which could many more generations to correct than come to grips with Iraq/Iran?

  27. Herr Doktor Bimler said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:06

    What is this ‘tancredo’ whereof you speak? Is it some new punctuation mark, to use after a surfeit of semi-colons?
    I imagine it as a hybrid of a virgule, a tilde and an em-dash. “He broke up the paragraph with so many tancredos that looking at the page made me sea-sick.”

  28. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:07

    Blarg, and here I am trying to parry with a sic your barb about *my* issues with style (that “verbing weirds language” remark stung), and I end up writing a comment filled with typos.

    I suck.

  29. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:10

    Right on. Brilliant as usual, HTML.

    Most of the righties I know have at least a decent education, and even some personal exposure to teh Gay, as just one example, which they mostly are pretty sure, given their personal experience, isn’t contagious.

    So, I torment them all the time by saying, “Paul’s your guy. C’mon, you hate BushCo’s policies as much as I do, give him a look.”

    It’s lots of fun. I’ve even sworn to them that if HRC is Paul’s opponent in the general, I’ll vote for Paul. Not because I agree with him, or don’t think he’s a wingnut, but because he seems sort of vaguely familiar with the Constitution, which is the direction I think this country needs to go, regardless of who turns us that way.

    Also because Paul will lose. I get a lot of, “But you know Paul doesn’t have a chance!”

    Not if enough of you support him.. After all, you’re “the majority,” right? You represent “mainstream America, right?

  30. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:10

    Anyway, anyone who doesn’t think that there are racists and bigots among the supporters of the other wingnuts that are equal to — or worse — those among Paul’s, has my sympathy. Or maybe some people are unaware of Pat Robertson’s flaming anti-Semitism, or Bob Jones’s racism, or whatever.

  31. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:12

    Oh, my vow to vote for him is also grounded in my core belief that even if it happened, the GOP/Dem Congress wouldn’t let too many of his nuttier ideas through.

    Beware The Man. The Man is rich and happy.

  32. rageahol said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:22

    if the choice is genuinely between ending an ill-fated war of choice, and rolling back a century’s worth of civil rights and progressive victories, then im not going to bother choosing. i’m just going to move to canada.

    honky.

  33. Rachel said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:29

    Yep. I am a raging dyed-in-the-wool feminist, and I fully intend to vote for Ron Paul in the primary.* Him being the Repub candidate (or, please please god, breaking off and making an independent run) is the best we can hope for.

    *I have been registered Republican out of a deep and abiding paranoia for two years now. On the other hand, i’m not on a no fly list yet.

  34. mikey said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:29

    Sorry. HTML, Greenwald and I are right on this one, folks. There is much to be admired about Ron Paul’s positions, as there is much to be disgusted by. Hmm, that almost sounds like something you could say about Hillary. Ron Paul is a Republican wingnut who believes that ALL governmental decision-making, all legislation and all government actions be guided strictly by the constitution. I have always been attracted to this position, and with the wingnuts now engaged in a contest to see who can most thoroughly shred the constitution the fastest, this is a specific behavior I’d like to see come back in favor on BOTH sides of the aisle.

    I don’t want him to be my president. I won’t vote for him. But I think that if Ron Paul has a certain amount of success in this campaign, it will move the national dialog in a direction I want to see it go.

    As opposed to the insane, suicidal, non-sustainable direction it is moving now…

    mikey

  35. Stinky Wizzleteats said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:38

    OK, but what if we are genuinely concerned that Paul, in the unlikely event that he were elected, would follow through on his heretofore coded suggestions on domestic policy, and would truly do his best to eradicate public education, the EPA, the ability of the state to prosecute hate crimes, and the ability of workers to unionize? And, in addition, attempted to put the US economy back on a ‘gold standard’, however that would supposedly work in 2008?

    Here’s the difference I see there: Paul is bat fuck insane in completely ineffectual ways that don’t have broad political support (relatively speaking), while the racism, sexism, homophobia, torture fetish, and murderous impulses of the mainstream Republican candidates have a frightening amount of support. In the completely silly hypothetical that he somehow ended up in the White House, he wouldn’t have half of Congress working to help him push this agenda through, and in fact the Republicans would probably be too bitter about the torture and war buzzkills to work with him on common causes (white supremacy, xenophobia, misogyny, etc.). If you want to talk tactics, try to get him to win the Republican primary (yeah, right), then make him radioactive by pointing out his connections to neo-Nazi and armed rebellion movements.

    HTML, you make some good points about relative ape shit craziness. It’s a lot like how Scientologists get a lot of shit for their stupidity (deservedly so), but the snake-handling “9/11 is God’s divine wrath on America” contingent get a free pass (completely undeserved). I think it’s pretty self-evident that Paul is completely crazy and an utterly contemptible individual, but certainly no more so that Giuliani, Tancredo, or Thompson. And more to the point, his craziness isn’t the super-popular kind of craziness. However, I don’t think this is entirely about getting hung up on one hobby horse. Or rather, it’s about getting hung up on the one hobby horse on which he agrees with you (and on which he is sane), and ignoring everything else in the service of it. Now, maybe you’re right about the relative importance of these issues. But I can find all of two things Paul is sane on (war, torture), and on the war he’s right for the wrong reasons, so to speak.

    That said, I think Greenwald is being somewhat disingenuous in his defense of Paul and particularly credulous WRT his excuses. Paul is nuts. But find me a Republican candidate who isn’t crazy and/or evil.

    I think Arky made the strongest counter-argument: trusting Paul on his more sane positions is rather naive, especially if you buy Greenwald’s excuse that Paul isn’t really buddy-buddy with neo-Nazis, he just plays that on TV at stump speeches. But of course, that assumes he’d actually get elected.

    And RodeoBob, I could see Rondroids banned from somewhere for being annoying, mindless idiots, but annoying, mindless idiots are exactly who RedState wants and has in their comments and on their front page. To believe that RedState banned them for anything but being the wrong kind of dumbasses is silly.

  36. N.C. said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:41

    Mikey:

    Ron Paul is a Republican wingnut who believes that ALL governmental decision-making, all legislation and all government actions be guided strictly by the constitution.

    My biggest beef with Paul is that he’s more interested in preserving the letter of the Constitution as of 1799 and not its spirit. He’s not interested in protecting civil liberties, just in drowning the federal government in the bathtub like so many Ollie North fantasies. He’s perfectly fine with states and corporations gutting citizens’ rights, just as long as it’s not the feds. He reaches positions that are agreeable to progressives but are based in completely abhorrent reasoning — the enemy of our enemy is not always our friend &c.

    I can understand a desire to get back towards a more constitutional dialogue, but I feel very strongly that Ron Paul isn’t the man to hang your hat on for that.

    [Confidentially, I'm A-OK with supporting him in the primary so that he splits off and drains GOP votes in 2008...]

  37. Left_Wing_Fox said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:41

    Sorry Menken, But on this, I believe you are wrong.

    I’ll start by referring you to this comment on this post, in which he explicitly states he believes Guilani is a greater danger to America than Ron Paul.

    The implication that David Neiwert is “smearing” Ron Paul as a right-wing extremist based on a single-issue focus on racism is a gross misreading of Neiwert’s body of work.

    The focus on Neiwert’s blog is primarily the transmission of FAR-right ideas of formerly fringe political groups into mainstream conservatism, and how that has transformed the GOP into “pseudo-fascists”. That is to say, government that follows the forms and ideals of fascism but without the reliance on violence or explicit dictatorship.

    Neiwert has done a great deal of genuine journalistic legwork on the Patriot Movement, and has drawn upon that knowledge of the Militia and Patriot groups to show the connections between these organizations and modern groups of “mainstream” conservatism, such and the Minutemen movement. His links to the events that Ron Paul has attended is no “guilt by association”, it’s a clear pattern of support and positions that indicate a very right-wing anti-government candidate. While the disaster of Bush’s regime and the hawkery of the frontrunners make his anti-government policies seem more acceptable, it is a mistake to see him as anything more than an anti-war Grover Norquist.

    What galls me most is the fact that the progressive blogosphere has UTTERLY written off the most progressive candidates (Dodd, Kucinich, Gavel) as unelectable extremists, and instead bicker over which of the milquetoast centrists are the least objectionable. We’re getting to the point where people who HATE Hillary Clinton on policy (and don’t play the “PC” martyr on this, pretty much everyone regardless of genital affiliation around here hates her on policy), are starting to support her simply because the press and conservatives are making completely baseless attacks on her that have dick-all to do with policy.

    Hell, if the Great Orange Overlord had made a token gesture to back one of those three the way the liberterian right supported Ron Paul, it would be a genuinely progressive anti-war candidate getting the “Surprising buzz” over funding figures, rather than a far-right anti-government nut ready to tear down the social fabric of America along with the imperialist policies.

  38. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:42

    Well said, Stinky.

    There are degrees and flavors of stupidity. I like Paul’s better than Red State’s.

    Paul and Edwards are the two most threatening candidates to The Man. That’s why they’ll never get anywhere.

    (Though I’ll probably waste my vote on Edwards. Like Paul on the GOP side, he has the least to lose on the left.)

  39. Spiders Everywhere said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:50

    Ron Paul is a far right nut who is being less than open with his connections to the millitant right-wing fringe, and he is saner, more honest, and less dangerous that just about any other major Republican figure.

    Neiwart and Greenwald’s disagreement is a matter of objective vs relative viewpoints, and is not so much a matter of either being wrong as a sign of just how bad things really are on the right.

  40. Left_Wing_Fox said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:52

    You know what? Fuck it, I’m wrong.

    It doesn’t fucking matter who the president is. The presidential election is a distraction. Ignore it.

    Focus on getting more and better Democratic Reps and Senators. Throw out the Bush-dog dems in the primaries. Get in enough Dems with spines to have Veto-proof majorities.

    Short of declaring himself God-Emperor of Jesustan and having the senate shot, even Rudy-fucking-Guliani would be reduced to 8 years of being swept along by the tide of history, and whining all the way.

  41. Thers said,

    November 14, 2007 at 1:59

    I agree with everything HTML. I have to. I’ve said so.

    The only thing I disagree with is that Giuliani can be called a “wingnut.”

    That motherfucker is straight-up old-school fascist.

  42. Jillian said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:00

    There isn’t a single Republican contender who wouldn’t be an absolute disaster for this country were they to be elected. My take at this point is therefore to encourage your wingnut friends to support whichever candidate you think is least likely to be electable. Or, alternatively, whichever one amuses you the most to support.

    I stand by my earlier endorsement: Alan Keyes is making sense!

  43. Thers said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:04

    The point is that Paul is the least nutbar of them.

    Yup.

    To borrow a phrase from the Cold War era, for which I’m more and more nostalgic with each passing day:

    “Whose finger do you want on the nuclear button? Ron’s or Rudy’s”?

    It’s not even close.

  44. Jillian said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:05

    Not so incidentally, the radio has been abuzz with the fracturing of the social conservative support this primary season. Pat Robertson is eating crow by endorsing Giuliani, and the National Right to Life Campaign has, I believe, just endorsed Fred Thompson.

    This is the best thing to have happened to this country in maybe twenty years, and probably the only thing that’s brought even a teensy amount of joy to me in about a month (it’s been an incredibly sucky month, both personally and professionally, and it’s been all I could do to get myself out of bed most days).

    All the social wingers seem to agree that the only thing that could unite them at this point is if Hillary were to win the Democratic nomination. Will the Dems learn anything from that, or will they go on being the stupid, spineless, tone-deaf jackasses they’ve proven themselves to be time and again?

  45. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:05

    That’s true, too, Spiders. Greenwald is right about the general ignoring of Paul’s rather remarkable bank account, and Neiwart is right about Paul being more or less a fake libertarian and all-around nut-job.

    The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

    That being said, in the great Orcinus v. Unclaimed Territory debate, the ball, as they say, is in Glenn’s court, clearly.

    Neiwart is right that just a whole bunch of Paul’s positions are bat-shit crazy and back-asswards, but Greenwald is equally right that the Corporate Media is marginalizing him to avoid any kind of substantive discussion on Paul’s issues, because God forbid we ever refer to the Constitution for anything. See 4th Amendment, which may as well just be put in the shredder at this point.

    This is exactly what The Man wants; intramural fights. At least ours, I’d like to add, are somewhat reasoned and sane.

  46. Robert Green said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:07

    shorter html

    to a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  47. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:07

    Jillian, to your question:

    No. I don’t think so.

    But I hope so. I’ve said for at least a year that HRC is the Dems only chance of losing. But don’t for a minute think the Democratic primary voters are any smarter than the GOP’s. (Not counting, “IQ,” which is only a part of the equation.)

  48. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:12

    And I’m sorry about your month, Jillian. Most of us can relate.

    I can REALLY relate.

    I once heard and learned to love this description of chronic depression: It’s like there’s a big crazy-mean dog in your bedroom, chained up, but he just sits quiet and still unless you try to get out of bed, at which point it is clear to you this dog can break the chain.

    Hang in there. Nice job out here, FWIW.

  49. Jillian said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:15

    It’s just that – on top of the usual shit life throws your way – we’ve had too many students shot and/or killed at my school lately. And one of them was one of mine.

    Fifteen is too young to die.

  50. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:19

    Well, kudos to you for teaching someplace lots of folks get shot. For that alone, you deserve a raise and much praise, if I may go all Jesse J. on you. :-)

    But try to remember that 15 is a good ol’ ripe middle age if you live in Darfur or some other hell-hole we call a country.

    *duck/cover*

    Sincerely, I’m sorry. That has to be shit to deal with.

  51. the $50 is the new $20 said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:22

    Navel gazers, the lot of you.

    Worshipping at the feet of the Democratic party you wish you had, never mind that the party you have is at least as daft as you pitch Dr Paul as being.

    If not more so.

  52. M. Bouffant said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:25

    Who are these “wingnut friends” some of you speak of? And, if there is such a thing, why would they be listening to any of you for political advice?

    The best hope would be for each party’s “debates” to be, perhaps, hit by meteors, w/ all candidates & the moderators killed, giving us a chance to start over, perhaps w/ candidates not as power-crazed/willing to do anything to get in the race. Oh, hell, there are still plenty of psychos left who’d jump right in.

  53. Rightwingsnarkle said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:27

    Just as a smooth, well-formed, tapered-at-both-ends, meat-rich bowel movement and a messy, odiferous, Havana-omelet-style case of the trots are both still, well, shit, then so, too are Ron Paul and Rudy Guiliani / Mitt Romney / Fred Thompson / Mike Huckabee / St. John / insert any other available repub name here all still, well, shit, too.

    Personally, if given the choice, I’d probably support the write-in candidacy of the Havana Omelet.

    Jillian’s support for Alan Keyes also makes sense to me.

    Neiwert and Greenwald are having their own back and forth on RP (also here.)

    Freaking lawyers (and good journalists) – every little detail counts to them.

    Me? I don’t need to sift through that Havana Omelet with my bare hands, or dissect that smooth long turd under a microscope, to get an accurate enough picture of what they are.

    Keyes/Brownback ’08!

  54. Jillian said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:28

    I don’t think anybody here is denying that our current Democratic party sucks snot out of a dead cat’s nose.

    But they’re a damn sight better than the Republican party at this point.

    Hell, I’m a socialist, and the Republicans have got me so damn scared that I’m finally voting my fears instead of my hopes in the national elections. Whomever the Dems put on the ticket, I will hold my nose and vote for them, and try not to hate myself too much in the morning for having done so.

  55. Stinky Wizzleteats said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:28

    Excellent observation, Spiders. Things really have gotten so bad on the right that the militia nuts aren’t all that crazy, relatively speaking.

    John, too true about avoiding substantive discussion of issues. The last thing the corporate media wants is substance in politics. After all aren’t these narratives so much more fun:

    ZOMG teh hottness! (Romney)

    i can has act0r? (Thompson)

    oh noes!!!1! mexican rush! (Tancredo)

    9 eleventy! pwn! (St. Rudy)

    etc. etc.

  56. RodeoBob said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:30

    Yes, Paul supporters are annoying. But that doesn’t account for the venom of so many wingnuts against them — not for the RedState trash, and not for the “elite” pundits.

    Every time I see a post about RP pop up on one of the blogs I read, I click through to the comments, just to watch the invasion. Happened over at Orincus (sp?), happened when the feminists discussed the contradiction between libertarian philosophy and anti-choice laws, happens a lot. And it’s not that the Paulians (RonPaulians? RPers?) are annoying, it’s that they’re Wingunt Brand ™ annoying!

    The mouth-breathers at RedState are used to debating with reasonable, intelligent folks on the mythical Left by sticking to their talking points, equivocating, setting up strawmen, and moving the goalposts as rapidly as possible. Which is exactly what the Ronins do. Except that the Ronans do it faster, louder, and more often. If one person yelling “I CAN’T HEAR YOU, LALALALA” with his fingers in his ears is annoying, imagine two people doing it, at each other! Red Staters didn’t ban the Ronobos because of ideology, but because they couldn’t stand to see their own strategies turned against them.

    Occasionally I have the urge to drink from the firehose of internet aggregation (digg.com) and whenever I do, there’s a continual proto-swarm of RP activity. RP supporters on-line really are like a swarm of locusts, moving with considerable speed and swarming with depressing numbers and ugly enthusiasm. So if Red State is one guy, fingers jammed in ears, yelling Mary had a little lamb at the top of his lungs, then the Ronbos are the Mormon Tabernacle Choir of the ‘la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you’ set.

    Say what you will about the Deaneacs of 2004, they were at least well-mannered. Imagine the ’04 Dean fanatics, only hopped up on Jägermeister and Red Bull and no sleep for 72 hours, and you’ve pretty well got the Ron Paul phenomenon.

    You know what would stop Ron Paul from instituting a crazy-ass wingnut domestic policy? The Congress. You know, the body that’s supposed to forge policy for the President to execute.

    Yeah! Just like the last 7 years!

    Lots of open seats and lots of vulnerable Republicans are likely to fall to young, actually progressive Democrats in 2008

    Yeah! Just like in 2006 when the newly-Democratic Congress totally curtailed the President’s out of control power and terrible foreign policy!

    Sorry, but if I’ve learned anything from the last 7 years (and Lord knows, I’ve tried not to!) its that any president, dumb as a mule or smart as a donkey, can do a lot of damage, Congress or no.

  57. Candy said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:31

    Jillian – I’m really sorry about your student. That really hits home for me. My son is 15.

    Don’t despair politically, though. I’m no Nostradamus, but I have a fairly good track record at political prognosticating, if I do say so myself. I went out on a limb on Orcinus:

    I like how anyone whose entire politics isn’t defined solely by their opposition to the war in Iraq is called a single-issue voter by Ron Paul supporters… – BlackBloc

    I was thinking that very thing.

    And as far as Democratic candidates go, I don’t get this ignoring of John Edwards, who is in my view clearly the best choice for President. He’s not a corporatist. He’s the only candidate on either side who openly wants to use government resources to help alleviate poverty. He’s sorry about voting to authorize Bush’s Iraq debacle. He admits in no uncertain terms that it was wrong. And I firmly believe he would never bomb Iran. Does he throw a sop to the centrists now and then? Yes That’s why he’s still in the top tier.

    I’m a socialist. Do any of the dems make me entirely happy? Hells no. But are any of them – even Hillary! – better than any Republican or nutbar Libertarian? Hells yes. Seriously, think about the supreme court. Is Hillary going to appoint better or worse judges than any of the Republicans? That’s the most important thing of all, in my book. Keeping people like Roberts and Alito off the SC is hugely important. I don’t like her, I’ll never forgive the Clintons for “welfare reform”, but she’s still better than the alternative.

    Seems to me that the corporate media has been working really hard to marginalize Edwards (and Dodd and Kucinich, for that matter) and we need to not let them do it. They are trying to annoint Hillary. We can stop that, if we try.

    I think Hillary is going to get a little surprise here in Iowa once the caucuses roll around. I think she’ll come in third. Obama has a great organization (god, they call me constantly, and they’re so pleasant and inviting it’s not even all that annoying!) and Edwards has passionate support among the hard core of the party faithful that actually goes to the caucuses . . . because they’ve gotten to know him.

    By the way, Romney was stomping Rudy in Iowa, the last time I checked. Huckabee was doing better here than Rudy. I don’t think it’s necessarily written in stone that the race is Rudy-Hillary. Far from it. Not that Iowa is the be all and end all of the American primary system. But it’s important. Just ask Howard Dean.
    Candy | 11.13.07 – 4:06 pm | #

    Now I get to go to class and afterwards to a little blues club, where although I will undoubtedly get a headache from the stinking cig smoke I will also surely have a good time.

    ——————————————————————————–

  58. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:35

    Stinky, in Media Man’s defense, they just don’t have the TIME for substantive debate. If you can’t summon your world-view coherently in 30 seconds, you’re fucked.

    The bottom line is, and even the righttards get this on some level, that the Corporate Media is just a waste of time now for anything even remotely resembling “fair and balanced.”

    Why should they be, though? Their purpose at work is to make money, and everyone you see on national TV, anyway, is so well off they could give a shit about substantive debate. Plus they’re all goddamn friends and neighbors.

    It will take an overwhelming election, which isn’t going to happen if HRC is the Dem nominee, for Media Man to connect the dots of their relevancy and profit-potential with what the People care about.

    Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.

  59. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:40

    M.B.

    Most of these wingnut friends are colleagues and or politically educated by the Great Tube of Education. They don’t pay any attention. They’re tribalists, first and foremost.

    It isn’t their fault, in a manner. They were raised to trust Cronkite and the rest, and haven’t quite caught up with reality.

  60. Leonard Pierce said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:42

    Wait, hold on. What was the pet we were talking about again? Is it a cat?

  61. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:42

    Lots of them are what I fondly call them, “Wallet Republicans.” As in, they support mostly Dem positions except for their wallets, i.e., taxes.

    I have a whole Jesus rant in the hard drive for that. Also fun.

  62. a different brad said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:44

    Orcinus has already been referenced here, but in this I take my cues from there, so I’m mostly going to paraphrase Dave n Sara. Yes, Rudy is worse because he might win, and is literally insane. Yes, they’re all bad.
    But Ron Paul is not what you think he is. There are lefties and independents galore who, because the MSM doesn’t mention it, don’t realize who Ron Paul’s base are, and think he’s the only hope our nation has. They’re currently being inoculated against the truth about him, glorifying him to the point that nothing negative will stick, soon. It’s classic indoctrination into/transmission of extremism. Like new world order assholes creeping into the truther movement.
    Ron Paul as a third party candidate, the only way he’s at all significant, would hurt the Dems just as much, if not more, than the Repubs. Hillary voted for the war, and the developing narrative that the Dems either can’t or don’t genuinely want to end the war is not without an element of truth.
    People I respect are claiming Paul would fragment the racist base. He wouldn’t. Extremists would vote for him, but the base would see him as off the reservation, and thus arguably worse than Hillary. Tribes always save their worst punishments for traitors, and being part of the tribe is the fundamental draw of conservatism. Paul could well, however, fragment the anti-war and independent voters, who have no love for or loyalty to Hillary and the Dem machine, and see them both as ineffectual, if not complicit.
    Ron Paul is very, very dangerous. In part because of his extremism, but more because of his potential allure to the mushy middle.
    As for the rest, he’s right for the wrong reasons, and that matters.

    Ultimately, tho, the real problem is Hillary.

  63. povertyrich said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:46

    RodeoBob –

    In the last 7 years, we’ve had a pliant Congress that gave the President everything he wanted, followed by a razor-thin and timid Democratic majority in the Senate and a marginally larger and less timid Democratice majority in the House. If Democrats had larger majorities in both houses, things would be a little different right now. In 2008, unless they fall all over themselves trying to lose elections, the Democrats will build on those majorities.

    We need to stop paying so much attention to brain-sucking presidential politics, and pay more attention to the Congress.

  64. Stinky Wizzleteats said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:49

    I don’t think anybody here is denying that our current Democratic party sucks snot out of a dead cat’s nose.

    But they’re a damn sight better than the Republican party at this point.

    To riff off Rightwingsnarkle’s analogy… You want steak. You have a choice between stale meatloaf and a plate of shit. No matter how much you want the steak, when dinner time comes around, the choice is obvious. (Shamelessly cribbed from an old listserv debate back in the day. Wish I still had it around so I could give attribution.)

    And Jillian, I’m sorry to hear about your depression. I know what it’s like — I’ve been known to de facto drop out of school and society (even blogs! horrors!) for weeks at a time because I literally can’t bring myself to get out of bed — and often the worst part is other people not understanding why you can’t just “snap out of it.” So for what it’s worth, I understand, and I hope things get better for you. I can’t say I know what it’s like for a student or mentor or friend to have their life cut short like that. I can only offer my condolences.

    John, my thesis advisor has a similarly colorful metaphor for bipolar depression: alligators. The alligators chomping at you from the dark depths of your mind, impossible to placate or silence. If you somehow stay on the move you might be able to evade them, but as soon as you stop (say, to go to bed), they’ll latch on and drag you down into the abyss, and then it’s damn near impossible to fight your way free.

  65. Notorious P.A.T. said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:54

    HTML, too bad it takes so long to point out something that ought to be painfully obvious.

  66. thelogos said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:54

    I guess I’ve been reading Arthur Silber too long to really place much hope in Dems which we have in congress right now.
    http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/

  67. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:54

    Meh, Leonard also thinks the post is incoherent! I’ve seriously got to do something about my style. Too many asides. Too leaden, too pompous. I was hoping I’d inserted enough “fucks” and “shits” to distinguish my style from Tick-Tack’s, but I no longer think that’s enough. Back to the ol’ drawing board.

    On a less-depressing note, I found two abandoned kitties at the edge of my field yesterday evening. One is very very close to having a Hitler moustache — his marking is just a little off and a little too big. They are barely weaned and rather pathetic, but have taken to their new home fairly well. I may try to take pictures soon, if only to make Andrew Northrup cry like a little titty baby.

  68. Stinky Wizzleteats said,

    November 14, 2007 at 2:56

    Goddamnit, John, why do you have to be so right about the news media. Add on top of that shit the whole Manufacturing Consent aspect of it, and I guess I shouldn’t be surprised so many people in this country are so ignorant and misinformed — it’s all they see and hear. As for the 30 second worldview, well, don’t let me near a TV studio or I’ll really be fucked. I don’t know anyone else who can so consistently double the length of a paper in the course of editing out of some compulsive need for clarification and qualification.

  69. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:00

    Stinky, thanks, and great metaphor. However, I feel the need to point out that “bipolar” is different than plain ol’ “polar” depression.

    Bipolars experience times of great joy and energy and brilliance (Lincoln), but unipolar depressives only go below the baseline of average “happiness,” whatever the fuck that is.

    Admittedly, it’s a tough line to draw. As someone with personal and profressional experience, reading Attending Physician’s Statements for a living for 15 years, I’m gonna have to declare myself an expert. :-)

    But your prof was right: Keeping very busy will keep either at bay. The difference is that the bipolar will revel or even thrive in their keeping on the move, while the unipolar will not be able to do it for any extended period of time.

    Now, on topic: Ron Paul is nuts, sane, consistent, and safe. HRC is sane, inconsistent, pandering and not at all safe.

    LOL.

  70. Krassen said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:04

    Elections are decided by Middle America and Middle America has not tuned in yet. This blog is, too, guilty of what HTML described: overinvestment. Ron Paul only matters to people who are overinvested in politics. Your regular Jane and Joe don’t care about Ron Paul, when general election time comes, everyone will have forgotten about Ron Paul.
    The real danger for this country is Mitt Romney, he is the only electable GOP candidate: rich, handsome, well-funded, smooth, slick, can BS with the best of them. Don’t pay attention to meaningless national polls, the only good indicators are the Iowa electronic markets and the early state polls. Romney’s shares are close to $0.35 (with the exception of him and Gulliani, noone else trades above $0.05) in the electronic market and he is polling ahead in IA, NH and close at the top in SC. Once these primaries roll out he will have the buzz and the media focus as an early leader, just when Middle America starts paying attention.
    If he gets the nomination he will be formidable. Gulianni is a bit too nutty and abrasive for Middle America. If you are progressive and care about what’s gonna happen to this country, blocking Romney should be your #1 priority.

  71. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:06

    Thanks, Stinky.

    Compared to our great blogging hosts, I’m an incoherent moron, which is not to say I don’t “get it,” but I sure as hell can’t write it down as well as your Digby’s and HTML’s and even your OIIP’s like Amanda.

    I try to cut to the chase, which makes me automatically boring and stupid. I take too many things as self-evident.

    But I sure as hell understand Corporate Politics, and Corporate Purpose, because I’ve worked in a very normal one for 23 years. After the media went Corporate, it wasn’t all that hard for me to figure out.

  72. M. Bouffant said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:08

    HTML, you got your new friends @ just the right age, they should imprint on you as their mother & be your best friends for many happy yrs.

  73. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:09

    Krassen, I’m not going to re-type it, but I disagree. Romney is the LEAST threatening GOP candidate.

  74. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:09

    Shit, blew the link. Sorry.

    http://jonorato42.wordpress.com/2007/11/13/electoral-suspicions/

  75. a different brad said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:10

    Please, everyone, read this post by Dave and Sara at Orcinus. I have a deep, deep respect for Greenwald and Html and bradrocket, but I think you’re all simply wrong here.
    The enemy of my enemy can still be my friend, and Paul’s extremism is very, very significant in understanding him and his candidacy.

  76. a different brad said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:10

    Oy. Enemy of my enemy can still be my enemy. Doy.

  77. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:11

    a different brad might be on to something. I know he’s onto something with the Hillary-being-the-ultimate-problem things. Still, I don’t see Paul appealing to the center. His support is entirely wingnut, no better or worse on any issue except the war than any other wingnut candidate.

    But let’s try an analogy. How many DFHs here ignored the saintly Matthew “I hate protesters” Yglesias’ advice and participated in the anti-war marches? Hmm? Did you know that you were joined by fellow-marching Stalinists, anti-Semites, fundie Christianists, fundamentalist Hasidim, Free Mumia whackjobs, and Buchananites. Of course you did: such fringe characters were what the “anti-idiotarian” wingnuts used to discredit the whole anti-war movement. And yet, you still marched, not because you endorsed everything these idiots and cranks and bigots believed in, but because the greater issue which trumped everything was stopping the war. How awful of you! Your hierarchy of values was in order! War criminals (of your culture, of your country, of whose actions you as a citzen in a democracy had some responsibility for) were about to do their thing and you didn’t stop to consider if the guy protesting next to you had ever said “nigger” or “faggot,” was pro-choice or pro-life, had the correct position on school vouchers.

  78. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:12

    Don’t worry, different Brad: Media Man would rather have Hillary.

  79. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:14

    M. Bouffant — I don’t understand. I think you’re unhappy with me, right? Ron Paul isn’t my friend, neither are his supporters, if that’s what you meant.

  80. Simba B. said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:18

    Retardo, I think she’s talking about your kitty cats.

  81. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:19

    Ah, yay then! Sorry about being so defensive!

  82. a different brad said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:20

    HTML- I agree with you and mikey that his positions are unimportant in accepting his help ending the war, but it’s just not that simple when it comes to his candidacy. The left and right extremes are cross-pollinating thanks to Paul, and that really scares me, because no one can say what the results will be. And he’s a gateway drug into extremism for a new generation, an anti-war hero whose supporters are some of the scariest people in the country, neocons excepted because of their influence. I think the proper analogy is Goldwater, not Dean, and his legacy ended up turning into something even he found repulsive. Furthermore, Paul strikes me as a genuine extremist leader, who knows the most important thing is to gain trust. Once that’s given, then you give them the Kool-aid.
    If Rudy wins I very genuinely might leave the country, don’t get me wrong, but Paul is a monster in his own right, just a different flavor.

  83. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:21

  84. M. Bouffant said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:22

    I still don’t get how any of us are going to have any impact on anything to the right of Che. All of the Republican candidates are toads, none of the Dems who are mainstream enough to be nominated are worth spit, & it’s still a couple of months till the Iowa caucuses. Nothing we can do or say will make any difference.

  85. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:24

    Still testing, out of embarrassment, mostly.

  86. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:24

    Goddamn it!!!!!

    Still humiliated. HTML 101, and I’m flunking.

  87. christian h. said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:30

    HTML, M. Bouffant was talking about the kitties, I believe.

  88. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:30

    The implication that David Neiwert is “smearing” Ron Paul as a right-wing extremist based on a single-issue focus on racism is a gross misreading of Neiwert’s body of work.

    No, the implication is that there are people who are emphasizing the extremism of some of Paul’s followers as if it is equal to or trumps the extremism of the other candidates and their followers (in Giuliani’s case, the majority of his followers), because of the nature of the extremism.

    Well, sorry, racism, Bircherism, anti-government nuttery, etc is not worse than warmongering, especially when that warmongering is certain have have results in mass murder. And, again, it’s not like the other candidates don’t have their share of racist, etc supporters.

    I like the hell out of David Neiwart; I respect him. I just think he’s wrong on this, but so are a lot of people. This is the first and last time I’ll use his name in the post because it’s not meant as a personal attack on him and I don’t want to damage the cordial line of communication I have with him. I’m after the principles at stake here, which is why I linked to Greenwald’s post.

  89. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:33

    OK, last one, I promise:

    I loves me some Rude Pundit

  90. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:33

    Ah, yay then! Sorry about being so defensive!

    (I meant this in reply to M. Bouffant. Thanks for the heads-up, christian and Simba!)

  91. Doodle Bean said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:33

    HTML,

    A few style tips:

    First, when you refer to one Presidental candidate by his last name (Paul) and another by her first name (Hillary), it appears that you are just continuing the ongoing trivialization of women which your female readers have been dealing with for – oh – their whole lives. I know everyone’s doing it – that in fact is the problem – but it’s bad form. So you could come across better by using ‘Ron and Hillary’ or ‘Paul and Clinton’.

    Second, some basic framing. I work with hundreds of stupid people ordinary Americans and find solace by using them as a big dumb sample for various framing and policy questions. About 75% of them sincerely believe that conservatives are correct because they are called ‘right’. It sounds dumb I know, but they know nothing of French history, etymology and semantics. For them, ‘right’ means ‘correct’. That is that.

    Since these morons ordinary Americans are representative of the types of people we wish to influence and educate, please avoid the use of the words ‘right’ or ‘right-wing’ in association with wingnuts and conservatives. Seriously. We all need to stop. We can call them conservatives, cons, neo-cons, theo-cons, religious nuts, Reich wingers, ‘the Wrong’, wrong-wing, wingnuts… anything but ‘right’.

    It also turns out the same idiots average Americans think of “Left Behind” when they hear ‘the Left’ and that’s not good. But that is a subject for another time.

    So, these are my pet causes; they are more important than yours.

  92. M. Bouffant said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:34

    Thanks Simba, you are indeed right (except the “she” part, I know the name’s not necessarily macho, but I am of the masculine persuasion). Enough w/ the politics, as I said @ 3:22, it’s hopeless & we’re powerless. Cats are more interesting. Should’ve qualified it as “feline friends,” Mencken. You needn’t be defensive (w/ me, anyway) as long as you don’t whine about “Baby Boomers” wallowing in their musical nostalgia.

  93. ignobility said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:35

    I’m at work and running out of battery, so I haven’t read all the comments. Ergo, this could be redundant. What I find interesting, and scary, about R. Paul is that his supporters don’t seem to be the republican base, but more the left(ish) who are disenchanted with the democrats in congress and who see an anti-war candidate whom they find less repugnant than the other republicans. But he’s not. He’s totally repugnant, just like all the other rethug candidates, except for his stance on the war. Lending him any kind of support is a mistake, in my eyes. All the right-wing candidates suck, and we should be putting our energies into ensuring that none of them is elected. Still, a very thought-provoking post.

  94. a different brad said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:36

    HTML- I don’t mean to belabor a point you want to move past, but Neiwert’s point seems, to me, to be that, like Rudy, Paul is an extremist in his own right. It’s not he associates with them, it’s that he is one of them.

  95. Simba B. said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:39

    Oops, sorry, M. For some reason I had it in my head that you were female.

  96. Emily Litella said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:41

    What’s all this fuss about Sean Paul? I thought “Get Busy” was groovy!

  97. sophie brown said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:43

    From my perspective, here in Idaho, Paul is really scary. Those domestic ideas which seem way to far out are actually embraced by healthy numbers of people. Today we’re voting on a school levy and there was actually a letter to the editor last week saying that support for public schools was socialism. Its that libertarian ideal — fuck everyone else, I don’t need nothing from the gov’mint, I’ve got guns and a well. Sure, it’s consistent, and it’s populist, but its scaaary.

    I also can’t get past the local Paul supporters. They scare me. They’re all fired up, and actually they are people the kind of people you would rather not have fired up. It’s like Yeats poem: “The best lack all convictions, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.”

  98. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:44

    And, again, adb, if I concede the point that Paul is.. what, exactly? A Libertarian crackpot? ..the other side has to concede that all the Rethug candidates have libertarian crackpot beliefs (except Huckabee, to his credit). I personally think Paul is a Grover Norquist libertarian, which is indeed a noxious and, yes, bugfuck extreme thing to be, but no more so than any other wingnut. Yet Paul takes the fiscal crackpottery route (bad) and fundamentalist literalist interpretation of the Constitution route (not all that bad — and the Hugo Black version of it was very good indeed) to get to an anti-war position, which is of supreme importance.

  99. a different brad said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:49

    Another factor to consider in Paul’s candidacy is the John the Baptist angle. He’s making close connections to far-right extremist organizations acceptable in the political context. The next David Duke won’t have the same problems, provided he just avoids the KKK.
    I love that there’s a Repub at their debates mentioning they’re the party of warmonging and corruption and so on as much as anyone, but with Paul, to me, it’s not ultimately about what he’s doing, but why.
    And the why is very bad.

  100. Lesley said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:50

    a republican’s author-i-TIE.

  101. Johnny Coelacanth said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:51

    I’m such a worthless off-topic shit, but ”verbing weirds language!” is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a week.

  102. Left_Wing_Fox said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:53

    Of course you did: such fringe characters were what the “anti-idiotarian” wingnuts used to discredit the whole anti-war movement. And yet, you still marched, not because you endorsed everything these idiots and cranks and bigots believed in, but because the greater issue which trumped everything was stopping the war. How awful of you! Your hierarchy of values was in order!

    No. If I went to an anti-war rally (and I attended a couple back in 2002) and brushed shoulders with LaRouche supporters, it would be unfair guilt by association to assume I’m necessarily supportive of Lyndon LaRouche.

    If I then went to several LaRouche meetings, and proposed bills condemning “Zionist conspiracies against the United States of America”, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume I’m a LaRouche supporter?

    Ron Paul’s beliefs line up perfectly with the patriot and militia movements. Period. To say this is merely “guilt by association” is like whining that it’s unfair to call Guliani a fascist because he doesn’t CALL himself a fascist, and besides he’s pro choice.

    If it looks like a horse and runs with a horse, don’t pin your hopes that it just might be a unicorn.

  103. Krassen said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:55

    John O., See! Exactly what I was talking about. Romney looks least threatening of them all, which means that he is the most electable.
    We just cannot afford another Romney, even if he somehow manages an appearance of normalcy and pragmatism.

    In reality Mitt Romney is a scumbag. Kerry’s flip-flopping in Senate was mostly pragmatic, Romney’s is the type of “if I say something that these people want to hear, and I smile widely, and look all get-down-to-workish, who the fuck cares what I said yesterday to these other people?”

    Remember, Romney is a classmate of Bush from Harvard BS. Except that he was top of the class. There is a lot of tricks that one can learn from the corporate world, that when applied in the real world are not only disastrous but evil.

    I see a lot of a typical CEO manipulating passive and disinterested investing public in both Bush and Romney, except that Bush is so much cruder and awkward at that, while Romney is so polished.

  104. OneMadClown said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:56

    Could we all please move beyond our insignificant personal pet issues and get to the meat of this matter? We need focus, not this pointless hair-splitting about who the bugfuck craziest member of the Bugfuck Crazy Party is. The only question that matters vis-a-vis the Paul candidacy is this:

    Has Ron Paul ever been photographed with a Giant Sammich?

  105. Rightwingsnarkle said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:57

    Well, alright!!!11! Sounds like HTML’s found himself a Kitler.

  106. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 3:59

    If I then went to several LaRouche meetings, and proposed bills condemning “Zionist conspiracies against the United States of America”, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume I’m a LaRouche supporter?

    But no one here is arguing doing the equivalent of that. You’d have me if I were voting for Paul, but I’m not. To go back to the analogy, it would have been better if some of the wingnuts who were for the war had been LaRouchies (or Buchananites, or Libertarians like Henley, etc.) instead. Just like it would be better if supporters of Giuliani came around to supporting Paul instead.

  107. Stinky Wizzleteats said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:03

    I’m aware of the distinction (though I should probably have realized a lot of people aren’t), John, but I can say from personal experience (both major depression leading to a suicide attempt and rapid-cycling bipolar type II) that there is a distinct similarity in flavor to the depressive aspects. I guess what you were saying about the line being hard to draw. When I hit my bipolar lows, I’m in pretty much the same state as when I had the plain old depression (before I really expressed bipolar symptoms), the big difference being that my mind still sometimes keeps running a mile a minute even if I hate life and have no energy, whereas straight-up depressed stops my mind dead. And yeah, I can get myself manic sometimes and just enjoy going supersonic for a while, but sooner or later it ends and there’s hell to pay when I crash — both from swinging back to depressed and from all the stupid shit I do manic.

    HTML, I hope you post some kitten huffing goodness when you get the chance. I love me some kitten huffing.

  108. Jillian said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:05

    Please, guys, let’s not argue over which of the Republican candidates is the biggest, smelliest shit sandwich.

    They’re ALL shit sandwiches. All we’re really doing is discussing which shit sandwich is most likely to give us e. coli O157:H7. Even if one, none, or several of them are likely to give us deadly mutated Escherichia coli, the fact remains that we’re still talking about shit sandwiches. Whipping out your inner Julia Child on this topic is kinda pointless.

  109. M. Bouffant said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:05

    Simba, no sweat, I mistook Palau for a dude once, she was flattered that her writing came across as gender-neutral.

    Seems to me that a lot of Ron Paul’s people were not exceptionally political until he came along & got some attention. The ones who come by my low-traffic web log every time I make mock of him to leave their pre-digested talking points seem to be most interested in no constitutional basis for income tax, don’t care that he gets the First Amendment 180° wrong, & are generally ignorant of real life. They’re really worried about taxes, because they all swallow the American Dream & are sure they’ll be rich any day now.

    That said, I was wandering the wasteland yesterday & today, at some paleo-con, & even White Nationalist sites, & they sure like Ol’ Ron. They’re mostly opposed to war in the Mid East because they don’t think we should be doing Israel’s job for them, & we should be stacking up the army & Marines ten deep @ the (southern, need I say) border. And I think we all know what “States Rights” is (barely) code for.

  110. Mandos said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:09

    Ron Paul may or may not be the best or worst GOP candidate, but I think that HTML’s analysis is weak. Racism is not separate from the war. A particular candidate may be a racist and not support the war, but his racism ensures that there will be future wars. Better prosecuted ones, maybe, assuming the mistakes in this war were mistakes.

    You just can’t split these things up.

  111. Simba B said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:10

    Re: Stinky’s comment

    Kitten huffing is an Uncyclopedia (Wikipedia parody) in-joke.

    Just pointing that out because someone is bound to not catch the reference.

  112. Jillian said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:16

    but his racism ensures that there will be future wars.

    Mandos, just to clarify here: are you saying that racism is a contributory factor in starting wars? Sort of like a weaker version of saying that racism causes wars?

  113. a different brad said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:17

    Well, surely we can all agree racism is just an extension of sexism?
    donthitmeinsidejokeidontmeanit

  114. Jillian said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:19

    Shucks, I’m going to bed, which means I’m gonna miss the fish-slapping dance that follows this. But I just have to say I don’t find that particular idea very convincing.

    Not trying to falsely attribute it to you, Mandos – especially as you haven’t had any time to reply, and I know I’m ducking out like a jerk. But if that is what you’re saying – it seems to me to be a pretty silly idea.

    Wars are about money, and it’s a rare, rare set of circumstances that folks with money let the color of someone’s skin get in the way of getting more money.

  115. Jillian said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:20

    ADB, it is now – as it has always been – all about the money.

    Anybody who tells you anything other than that is trying to sell you something.

  116. Smiling Mortician said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:21

    Too early for bed here in the PNW, but I am planning to get drunk now if anyone cares to join me.

  117. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:24

    Racism is not separate from the war.

    Well, it depends on what kind of racism you mean. Of course racism fuels the Charles Johnsons of the world who just want that place over there with those different people in it, glassified. But the racism Paul’s being accused of is isolationist American racism. Both suck, but one is recognized as teh suck by all but a very small lunatic fringe. The other is institutionalized in the Republican Party. The one is very scary but managable (just how popular was David Duke?). The other — what a socialist usually means by “racism,” which is fear and loathing of the Other — must be destroyed conclusively and forever, because it is what fuels immoral wars.

  118. Left_Wing_Fox said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:25

    But no one here is arguing doing the equivalent of that.

    Glenn is, and that’s what kicked off this whole mess.

    Bah. Nevermind. I stand by my second statement: It doesn’t matter. You guys go vote yourselves better Dems in the House and Senate primaries, and get as many of them into congress so they can bust through filibuster and veto proof bills, and it won’t matter who the president is.

  119. Mandos said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:29

    Mandos, just to clarify here: are you saying that racism is a contributory factor in starting wars? Sort of like a weaker version of saying that racism causes wars?

    Racism is an enabling factor in the capacity to wage war. It ability to establish hierarchies of power, if only in the mind of the afflicted, is one of the instruments that enables state and society to achieve a war footing. No, I’m not saying something so crude as people fight *because* they are racist towards their enemies.

  120. Lesley said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:30

    Please, guys, let’s not argue over which of the Republican candidates is the biggest, smelliest shit sandwich.

    You’d have to pay me in pretty big pie slices to be a judge in this contest.

    They are all batshit INSANE. The nasal passages can only handle so much odour before they collapse.

  121. MzNicky said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:30

    What Doodle Bean said way up yonder re let’s call her “Clinton” already, how about?; and also, what the brilliant Jillian just said down this-a-way.

  122. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:31

    And, to incorporate Jillian’s excellent point, the popular racism among wingnuts is not coincidentally the profitable one.

    The liberals who focus on racism focus on the least popular variety. Thus, their beef with Paul, whose isolationism appeals for good and bad reasons. Yet the racism that the warmongering candidates and the vast majority of wingnuts subscribe to, and therefore results in mass death and stupid wars, is somehow a fucking subordinate issue — i.e., their pet cause is more important than mine, and Paul is the most dangerous man on earth!!!

  123. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:33

    I gotta skip out. Too overwhelmed to think clearly about it anymore, and my argument is suffering for it. I’m taking a break from the thread.

  124. Mandos said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:34

    Well, it depends on what kind of racism you mean. Of course racism fuels the Charles Johnsons of the world who just want that place over there with those different people in it, glassified. But the racism Paul’s being accused of is isolationist American racism. Both suck, but one is recognized as teh suck by all but a very small lunatic fringe. The other is institutionalized in the Republican Party. The one is very scary but managable (just how popular was David Duke?). The other — what a socialist usually means by “racism,” which is fear and loathing of the Other — must be destroyed conclusively and forever, because it is what fuels immoral wars.

    If it were merely the case that we could divide racism into these two categories, then not only would concern over Ron Paul be unwarranted, but consideration of him as well—because he would be as trivial as David Duke (assuming Duke is trivial).

    But I don’t think that racism can so easily be divided. The racist ideology that “states’ rights”—a concept near and dear to the isolationist racist in the US—represents, is also the ideology that permits the GOP to demonize its opponents in the Southern Strategy, and that and sexism allows it to construct the burning sexual and racial insecurity for which external war is the ultimate balm.

    We see this in one form or another in the past, as well. Is it an accident that Crusaders would start their war on Muslims (and Eastern Christians) by massacres of Jews at home?

  125. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:35

    On this I think we can all agree: Anyone who votes for a Republican in the general this time around is some kind of strange and potentially psychotic and at the very minimum uninformed.

    All the rest is fine tuning.

  126. Righteous Bubba said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:37

    I gather that the difference between poo and poop is that there’s more pee in one of them.

    Look, I don’t buy that Ron Paul is the least offensive option. Imagine if he vetoed according to his principles. Imagine if he conducted foreign policy according to his principles. And the argument for Paul is that he has principles and acts on them.

  127. Mandos said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:43

    And anyone who is psychotic enough to believe that the abandonment of the gold standard was a bad thing…

  128. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:48

    Paul couldn’t win if he won the GOP nomination in a landslide.

    The Corporate Media just won’t let it happen. Even though they hate Hillary, they’re more scared of Paul.

    All of which is why I would like to see the ol’ Constitution brought back to the debate.

  129. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:51

    Gah, one more thing. The racism Paul’s getting attacked for, well again it’s not like the neocons around Giuliani are any better.

    I’ve seen some lefties actually give Norman Podhoretz credit for the infamous ‘My Negro Problem — And Ours’ essay on the grounds that NPod’s call at the end for mass miscegenation is straight outta Jay fucking Bullworth.

    But unless I’ve completely misread the essay’s tone, it’s not. Bullworth’s awesome call to “keep fucking until we’re all the same color” is pure progressivism, a positive if crude and detoured enunciation of the dream of a truly colorblind society. NPod’s call for miscegenation, in contrast, is a total sarcastic sneer, said in the same spirit as I would use in looking at a crappy menu and saying, “Well, let’s all have liver and onions, then.”

    Anyway, neocons are racist in the same way that some Paul supporters are, and most of the wingnut base is to whatever degree. It’s just that they hide it better, or use better code.

    I can’t find the cite — and I spent a lot of effort attempting to — but there’s a passage in Michael Lind’s “Up From Conservatism” book, I think, where he quotes a neocon who turned into a paleocon who said that *his* former neocon friends were more racist in private than the paleos were in public. Now I don’t believe that “more” thing (the guy has an interest in defending his new friends), but i totally believe the racism is equal because it comports with everything else I know about neocons. And finally, neocons add to the garden-variety American racism (blacks will steal from you, Hispanics are lazy, etc) the geopolitical racism that I mentioned above, the kind that makes them gleeful at the prospect of mass-murdering Muslims.

    I know which kind of wingnut I think is worst of an awful lot.

    Now I’m really out for a while…

  130. Michel Tremblay said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:52

    Ron Paul and Denis Kucinich are the only candidates with moral values and that’s why they will never get the chance at the throne.
    People love war and the americans the most, they drool at the sight of blood and violence. As Bush said:” Do you want World War 3?” To which most of the americans responded YES as for Irak. The reasons for doing so are the same as in 2002-03 and sadly were all proven false but that doesn’t matter since we love WAR. No matter who the next President is, he has to love war and be tough.
    It’s sick but it’s that way, like it or not….

  131. John O said,

    November 14, 2007 at 4:52

    Hillary already has a wide-on for the powers that Bush has presumably given her.

    I like HRC’s special interests better, so I’ll vote for her on purely pragmatic rationale. But it won’t be because I’m happy about it.

    Couldn’t we at least TALK about the 4th Amendment? Rationally?

  132. a different brad said,

    November 14, 2007 at 5:04

    HTML- I’m 100% with when you say the idea of the Other is at the very core of the mindset that’s taking our country to the brink of fascism to continue imperialist warmongering. I don’t think we need to rank racists, tho. I really don’t mean or want to antagonize, or waste too much time arguing about Ron Paul, who for the moment, at least is nothing but a sideshow.
    I just worry that because Paul is tapping some of the same momentum Dean did some of those who love that energy are just so glad it’s finding any expression at all they’re losing sight of the fact it’s being shanghaied by an extremist.

  133. Righteous Bubba said,

    November 14, 2007 at 5:08

    The US does actual good things spending money world-wide, although at this point in the Bush regime you’d have to assume that the good stuff is inadvertent. Still, a dedicated isolationist might have the deaths of more civilians on his hands than Iraq if US cash is withdrawn from the international aid pool.

  134. Stinky Wizzleteats said,

    November 14, 2007 at 5:11

    And anyone who is psychotic enough to believe that the abandonment of the gold standard was a bad thing…

    Yeah, I’ve never understood the whole gold standard shtick. I mean, isn’t it self-evident that gold only has its high value by social convention? Gold is only important if we as a society decide it’s important.

    Hillary already has a wide-on for the powers that Bush has presumably given her.

    Heh, nice turn of phrase, John. Not to endorse her or say it would be good for her to be likewise authoritarian, but I would just die of schadenfreude if she became president. The howls of agony and outrage from the right would almost be worth it.

  135. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 5:20

    One more thing wrt neocon racism: Guess which magazine was among Charles Murray’s most vociferous and dedicated defenders when “The Bell Curve” storm hit America? A hint is that the same magazine recently feted Murray when he added to his “blacks are untermenchen” theory, “meanwhile, Jews are the ubermenschen”. A further hint is that it begins with C and ends in Y and is once again edited by a Podhoretz.

    Nobody really wants to argue that Charles Murray, Dinesh D’Souza, N & JPod, Rich Lowry, et al, are less dangerous than some random batshit wackos from Bumfuck Alabama who’ve written “yay, Ron Paul” on some godawful Stormfront message board, do they?

  136. Smiling Mortician said,

    November 14, 2007 at 5:28

    Not to harp on a single string or anything, but since everyone seems to be ignoring it — could we please stop the weird sexist thing where the female candidate is consistently referred to by her first name and all the males are last-named? It’s seriously annoying (and meaningful beyond the annoyance).

    My students do the same thing — an essay about Shakespeare, Faulkner, Twain, Pound, whatever . . . all is well. The minute they start writing about Bishop, Woolf, Morrison, Welty . . . it’s all “Elizabeth says” and “Virginia writes” . . .

    Enough already.

  137. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 5:31

    I just worry that because Paul is tapping some of the same momentum Dean did some of those who love that energy are just so glad it’s finding any expression at all they’re losing sight of the fact it’s being shanghaied by an extremist.

    I can understand this and sympathize. I just don’t believe it. Maybe I’ll change my mind, but right now *any* anti-war momentum on the right is too valuable to crusade against.

    Still, a dedicated isolationist might have the deaths of more civilians on his hands than Iraq if US cash is withdrawn from the international aid pool.

    Well, I certainly hope no isolationist policy of that degree is ever implemented. But I disagree with the formulation. Not doing something (for sake of principle) and it resulting in a disaster is less bad than doing something actively and consciously wicked (the rationalization of Sensible Liberals that we had to annihilate Iraq to save it from its humanitarian crisis). There is an important distinction between guilt coming from principled inaction and guilt coming from direct and active involvement (principled or not).

  138. a different brad said,

    November 14, 2007 at 5:35

    I’d say you and Doodle Bean have a good point, SM, if I weren’t also talking about Rudy.
    Not to dismiss your valid points, just that in this case I don’t see it.

  139. thelogos said,

    November 14, 2007 at 5:37

    I worked with some people in foreign aid bidnezz. Their figures point out that over 75% of all US aid never leaves these shores.

    Keep hopin’ that the Dems will change everything:
    http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2007/08/blinded-by-story-liberals-and.html

  140. thelogos said,

    November 14, 2007 at 5:41

    SM,
    Could using “Hilary” instead of “Clinton” be a way to distinguish the object of discourse from her husband Bill? That’s the way I see it, but I’m a dude.

  141. Leonard Pierce said,

    November 14, 2007 at 5:47

    Hey, HTML —

    I didn’t mean to imply your post was incoherent. I was just making a pointless funny, as is my wont. Your job around here is to generate serious, thought-provoking discussions about genuinely important political matters, and my job is to make the day’s ten thousandth joke about how Pam Oshry takes Effen vodka through an IV drip.

  142. Righteous Bubba said,

    November 14, 2007 at 5:50

    Not doing something (for sake of principle) and it resulting in a disaster is less bad than doing something actively and consciously wicked (the rationalization of Sensible Liberals that we had to annihilate Iraq to save it from its humanitarian crisis).

    Not necessarily in terms of a death count, which is an important metric.

    I worked with some people in foreign aid bidnezz. Their figures point out that over 75% of all US aid never leaves these shores.

    Yeah, it’s often a subsidy to US firms in some form or other. Nevertheless, what important effort to help foreigners does anyone see Ron Paul getting behind?

  143. Righteous Bubba said,

    November 14, 2007 at 5:52

    Could using “Hilary” instead of “Clinton” be a way to distinguish the object of discourse from her husband Bill?

    When I hear “Clinton” I think Bill. Still, H. Clinton is not so much harder to type.

  144. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 5:58

    Leonard — it’s cool, yo. But even though you didn’t mean it, the point stands. I don’t like where I’m at as a writer.

    And as for your job, you do it very well.

    I remember when I was funny, as well…. [lonely old man voice]

    “I used to be ‘with it.’ Then I lost track of what it was. Now what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s it seems weird and scary to me! It’ll happen to you, too!”

  145. Smiling Mortician said,

    November 14, 2007 at 6:10

    HTML: to coin a phrase, let Mencken be Mencken. There’s nothing wrong with where you are as a writer. The fact that you post stuff that prompts spirited discussion is a good thing.

    Ah, shit. Now I sound like Martha Stewart.

  146. Nullifidian said,

    November 14, 2007 at 6:12

    Back in late nineties, as a dramaturg for a production of Stephen Dietz’s “God’s Country”, I became aware of Ron Paul as the publisher of a supremacist rag called the Ron Paul Political Report, which is listed as a “racialist resource” on Heritage Front, which bills itself as “Canada’s Largest White Civil Rights Resource Center.

    Don Black, the owner and webmaster of Stormfront.org, has donated to Ron Paul’s campaign.

    Adolf Hitler was once upon a time a viable choice for wingnuts, and there were plenty of people like Franz von Papen who were deluded enough to believe that they could control and redirect the Hitler juggernaut to suit their ends. History tells against getting in bed with charismatic racists, whatever the reason.

    I’ve seen racists at gun shows come out strong for Ron Paul and, given what I know of him through his publication, it isn’t just because he’s a gubmint-is-bad ‘Libertarian’. They know why they’re supporting him—do you really want to contribute to the sense of a resurgence in Paul’s supremacist beliefs, or the sense that man who cloaks his racism can succeed by buoying him up in his campaign?

  147. cfountain72 said,

    November 14, 2007 at 6:15

    Credit to all (well most) of you for some of the most clever (free) writing a Neanderthal like myself has read in some time. Certainly of a better vintage than anything I come across when the Ron Paul Bat Signal goes out, alerting us to ‘swarm’ a piece at RedState/NationalReview/Pajamas/etc.

    That being said, I think some of you may want to cut back on the English Lit and pick up some Econ 101 next semester. In lieu of that, maybe mixing in some ‘Road to Serfdom’ or ‘Wealth of Nations’ would do some good. After all, I had to read Marx’s tripe, and lived to tell about it.

    Also, I think some of you may ascribe a little too much foresight and planning on the part of RP, using terms like ‘engineering’ and working to ‘gain trust.’ He has been saying the same things, writing the same speeches, and voting the same way for the better part of 30 years. His is no cult of personality or vanity project. He’s done this all before, in an empty House chamber when no one was listening and is doing the same thing in front of large crowds today. Hard to believe in an age of cynicism and focus groups and packaging, but you are best to just take him at face value: yes, he does believe this $hit…and so do a lot of us who care about our country’s future.

    Some of his ideas are extreme…but it is safe to say that saving our nation will require something a little more extreme than ‘baby bonds.’

    Peace be with y’all.

  148. Lawnguylander said,

    November 14, 2007 at 6:23

    I’m reading along here mostly persuaded that Ron Paul is worse than I thought and that if I did want him to win the Republican nomination I wouldn’t tell my wingnut friends they should vote for him. As the leftiest friend any of them probably have, I’m the last person they’re going to listen to. If any of them ever heard of Glenn Greenwald maybe I’d be the next to last person. You can’t support Ron Paul from the left in any meaningful way I can think of other than to help legitimize him in the eyes of mush brained nonpartisan types. I know that’s simple minded but I’m tired and stoned.

    And Hillary Clinton is pretty determined to be known as Hillary judging by her site. The banner says “Hillary for President”, you can “Join Team Hillary”, click on the “Hillaryhub.com”, “THE source for Hillary news”. etc.

  149. Nullifidian said,

    November 14, 2007 at 6:24

    By the way, on the general subject of “pet causes”, what use is a man who will pull us out of foreign wars by switching to a domestic war on people of color and the poor?

  150. cfountain72 said,

    November 14, 2007 at 6:30

    Say what?

    “what use is a man who will pull us out of foreign wars by switching to a domestic war on people of color and the poor?”

    Nullifidian: sorry, but that is way out of line. Please tell me that is for rhetorical effect unless you have some factual basis for making what certainly seems to be a baseless statement.

  151. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 6:30

    what use is a man who will pull us out of foreign wars by switching to a domestic war on people of color and the poor?

    Being a better enemy than the rest of the wingnuts who will also wage a “domestic war on people of color and the poor” but will mass-murder thousands of people overseas, as well.

  152. Lesley said,

    November 14, 2007 at 6:32

    I remember when I was funny, as well…. [lonely old man voice]

    I remember too. It was a few days ago when you launched SadlyNo’s first Abortion-o-thon.

    I laughed so hard I was sick.

  153. Righteous Bubba said,

    November 14, 2007 at 6:38

    cfountain72 please visit

    http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/

    I’m sure you have already, but the arguments against Ron Paul are pretty obvious.

  154. Rightwingsnarkle said,

    November 14, 2007 at 6:47

    Ron Paul = crackhead

    Not very deep or very witty, but that about sums it up for me.

    Mitt Romney = high functioning alcoholic
    Fred Thompson = straight out booze hound
    John McCain = vicodin freak
    Mike Huckabee = junkie
    Rudy Guilliani = compulsive masturbator

    Have I forgotten anybody?

  155. Nullifidian said,

    November 14, 2007 at 6:48

    Nullifidian: sorry, but that is way out of line. Please tell me that is for rhetorical effect unless you have some factual basis for making what certainly seems to be a baseless statement.

    Oh, I’m so terribly sorry for my shocking, shocking choice of language.

    The factual basis comes from Ron Paul’s history of supporting bills which would roll back welfare, occupational health and safety (so you not only can’t get welfare, you can’t even get a safe job), and rolling back anti-discrimination laws, and even pushing through a few discriminatory laws of his own, like pushing to deny financial aid to Iranians studying in America. That’s not only discriminatory, it’s profoundly stupid, because anyone who would go to the Great Satan for their higher education is already going to be a more moderate, secular force of intellectuals who would be needed in case the Ayatollahs’ grip on Iran weakened.

    People of color and the poor are the most surveilled, the most constricted, and the least free of any demographic inside the United States, and the analysis of who wins and who loses by the kind of legislation that Ron Paul sponsored must occur in that context. My words, therefore, were neither for rhetorical effect, nor were they an exaggeration.

  156. J— said,

    November 14, 2007 at 6:56

    FYI: cfountain72 comments at the Daily Paul.

  157. Righteous Bubba said,

    November 14, 2007 at 7:00

    when the Ron Paul Bat Signal goes out, alerting us to ’swarm’ a piece at RedState/NationalReview/Pajamas/etc.

    He’s part of the Ron Paul apiary.

  158. Nullifidian said,

    November 14, 2007 at 7:03

    Being a better enemy than the rest of the wingnuts who will also wage a “domestic war on people of color and the poor” but will mass-murder thousands of people overseas, as well.

    But being a “better enemy” is a matter of perspective. In this case, it looks very much like a case where the core issue of a group which is demographically more wealthy and more white (the anti-war crowd) is being pushed to the forefront, while the poor and the people of color get the shaft again.

    For the latter, Ron Paul is enemy enough, and light talk about getting one’s wingnut friends to vote for him cannot be ignored and shrugged off. In fact, one could argue that given his legislative history, Ron Paul is going to be worse for PoC and the poor, because he really believes his bullshit, whereas a lot of his opponents use their rhetoric for a “Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys” effect.

    Since you agree that Paul is not going to win, his anti-war stance is neither here nor there, since he won’t be in any position to put it in action, so generating support for Ron Paul is not only misplaced, but counterproductive. It just tells people of color and the poor that liberals don’t care about them…again. Furthermore, if Ron Paul catches widespread mainstream support, the racist right is going to either interpret it as support for his supremacist views or a signal that nobody will look hard if a racist runs for office again and tells voters what they want to hear. Either way leads to a rejuvenated racist right and long term harm to people of color in America.

    What you call, and dismiss as, a “pet cause” represents the lived experiences of thousands of marginalized people whose lives would only be made worse if Ron Paul won the Republican nomination, or came anywhere near it.

  159. Ed Marshall said,

    November 14, 2007 at 7:07

    I got very interested in U.K. politics when Tony Blair got onboard the “bomb Iraq” bandwagon.

    What hooked me was watching the labour party disolve out of that whole mess via blogs. You know the scene in “1984″ where the speaker suddenly switches sides in the middle of a speech and they have to tear down everything because the enemy of the day switched up? It was exactly like that, prior to Iraq your Labour guy thought George Bush was an idiot and attacking Iraq was some backwater, redneckism. Then Tony agreed with it all and the “decent left” was born.

    Now this is the U.K. where people actually identify as left, much less America where no one but a dirty communist dog would admit such a thing. But in the U.K., suddenly and not so coincedentaly, the “leftists” upon Tony Blair’s newfound conviction that Hussein’s Iraq was an abomination and that it had to go and only western arms could set everything right, ate all that shit right up.

    When you used this sentance I got deja vu: is more equal than others, is a political and moral trump card: Stopping the war.

    Oh noes! As a matter of fact “stopper” became a term of derision for the U.K. version of the cruise missle liberal! A “stopper” was a moral midget who couldn’t see the grand scheme and the greater good behind the bombings. A more intellectual version of this discourse was the “anti-imperialist left” vs. the superiour “human rights left” (because nothing solves human rights violations like some white phosphorus and torture).

    Watching this, I think it’s a watered down preview of what you could expect from your fellow travellers on the liberal spectrum of the “anti-war” spectrum. They will eat it up with a spoon if it’s Hillary as the COC. The people that don’t will do….what?

    I’m not voting for Ron Paul, either. If I actually did hate this country and wish it ill I think Ron Paul could sink the place with his version of economics. However, if it really came down to it, somehow I’d rather see a future of American liberal opposition to a Ron Paul regime than to watch the anti-bush brigade disolve into loving the New and Improved Iraq (Iran? Syria?) War brought to you by the well intentioned Serious Democrats.

  160. Left_Wing_Fox said,

    November 14, 2007 at 7:08

    Well, this discussion has helped me decide who I’m voting for this primary.

    Chris Dodd.

  161. cfountain72 said,

    November 14, 2007 at 7:18

    I know I am way out of my league here, but here goes. From what I’ve heard, there are more caucasians with occupations and more caucasians that receive welfare in the United States. So I don’t really see changes to OSHA or welfare as being issues of race. Both of these functions could be offered more efficiently at the state and or local level in most cases anyway, so attempts to roll it back at a federal level are not in and of themselves bad things.

    I’ll take your word on the ‘denying financial aid to Iranians,’ but considering one of the man’s stated goals is to dismantle the Federal Dep of Edukashion, it is not surprising (nor racially motivated) for him to vote against that as well.

    As you have no doubt heard, ad infinitum, these items are not specified in the Constitution, so he’s probably not going to vote for them. If the Iranian Ex-patriate Lobby can get an Amendment to the Constitution authorizing federal aid for their bright, young students to come study in the US, Dr. Paul would ceratinly approve of this expenditure.

    Ironically, there is little question that a Paul administration would do a great deal to reduce the level of suveillance and constriction you rightly condemn. Considering that our generation knows very well what a ‘war’ is, the word is indeed an exaggeration used in this context.

    Peace be with you.

  162. cfountain72 said,

    November 14, 2007 at 7:31

    “He’s part of the Ron Paul apiary.”

    Silly me…and I always assumed liberals were somehow too high-minded to resort to that kind of name calling.

    I guess it’s like what journalists say: When they are doing their job well, they get equal parts criticism from the Right and the Left.

    Peace (and sweet dreams of Socialist Utopia) be with you.

  163. Darkrose said,

    November 14, 2007 at 7:32

    Anyway, anyone who doesn’t think that there are racists and bigots among the supporters of the other wingnuts that are equal to — or worse — those among Paul’s, has my sympathy. Or maybe some people are unaware of Pat Robertson’s flaming anti-Semitism, or Bob Jones’s racism, or whatever.

    HTML, I’m well aware that there are racists and bigots among the supporters of other candidates. That’s why I’m not voting for them either. I really don’t understand this idea that if you have problems with Ron Paul, you must be totally behind Clinton or Giuliani. Since no votes have actually been cast yet, I’m free to back Edwards, or Kucinich, or Gravel, or anyone else I bloody well please. I’ve still got more than two options.

  164. Righteous Bubba said,

    November 14, 2007 at 7:41

    Silly me…and I always assumed liberals were somehow too high-minded to resort to that kind of name calling.

    If you call yourself part of a swarm and object when someone mentions an apiary then I guess you’re exactly as smart as I always assume supporters of Ron Paul to be.

  165. Nullifidian said,

    November 14, 2007 at 8:00

    I know I am way out of my league here, but here goes. From what I’ve heard, there are more caucasians with occupations and more caucasians that receive welfare in the United States.

    Let’s all slide down the learning curve together, shall we?

    There are more whites overall in the U.S. than any other ethnicity, so of course more of them, numerically, are going to have jobs and be on welfare. The system isn’t so rigged that this obvious fact is not going to come to pass. That’s why you look at the relative percentages of people, by race, who are living in poverty.

    In 2005, one in four Black people was living in poverty, 21.8% of Hispanics were living in poverty, 11.1% of Asians, and 10.6% of whites. Note who comes in dead last in this list.

    Furthermore, the figures on the working poor reflect the same trend, only the percentages are higher. The working poor are the people who tend to get the most dangerous jobs. One of the most dangerous jobs I ever had was a package handler at UPS, where I was earning $9.50/hr for four hours and just barely getting by.

    I’ll take your word on the ‘denying financial aid to Iranians,’ but considering one of the man’s stated goals is to dismantle the Federal Dep of Edukashion, it is not surprising (nor racially motivated) for him to vote against that as well.

    It’s not ethnically-motivated to sponsor bills to deny financial aid to Persians exclusively? This new learning amazes me.

    Ironically, there is little question that a Paul administration would do a great deal to reduce the level of suveillance and constriction you rightly condemn.

    I question it. In case you hadn’t noticed, the constriction and surveillance isn’t exclusively generated by governements, but also by corporations working on their own or hand in glove with the government. Every job I’ve had, except for the one I currently have as a grad student TA, where I have had computer access has had a rootkit installed as part of the computer to spy on my computer use. Even the byproducts of my body are up for grabs, since I’ve been tested for drugs at every close-to-minimum wage job I’ve ever had, regardless of whether such drug testing was necessary, because establishing an “anti-drug workplace” is a useful precondition when someone is injured on the job for denying them worker’s compensation. You will get your worker’s compensation yanked regardless of whether or not you were actually sober at the time as long as their ridiculous little tests show that you (may or may not) have toked six weeks ago.

    Ron Paul is an enabler of corporations, regardless of how freedom-denying their practices in reality.

  166. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 8:05

    I really don’t understand this idea that if you have problems with Ron Paul, you must be totally behind Clinton or Giuliani. Since no votes have actually been cast yet, I’m free to back Edwards, or Kucinich, or Gravel, or anyone else I bloody well please. I’ve still got more than two options.

    Darkrose, that wasn’t what I meant. My premise is that no one who reads this site will vote Republican. So of course you have alternatives to Paul or Giuliani or whatever wingnut. My point is that wingnuts will vote for wingnuts, and we have a real interest in which one *they* choose.

    Nullifidian — you need to back the fuck up, please.

    First of all, don’t characterize me as some middle class comfy person. I don’t need to be told about the concerns of the poor. If it weren’t for very generous readers of this blog, my electricity would have been cut off this summer. I’ve starved. As a kid I ate with groceries bought with food stamps. I’ve worked for minimum wage plenty of times, and often for less than minimum wage. I really resent this silly attitude that, just because one is not black/female/gay/immigrant, one is automatically a peer of Lord Snot.

    Second, if you really think that the anti-war position is one of white/male *privilege*, then congratulations, you’ve outdone in bugfuckery the Identity Politics gangsters of Feministe who, I’d thought, were champions of the trope.

    Third, I don’t need to be told about the depravity of libertarians.

    Fourth and finally, did you not even read the links above? Or the descriptions of Pipes, Frum, and Podhoretz? They are all racists; they all want to make war on the poor. WTF do you think wingnuttery is about, anyway? What’s so hard to understand about a war climate benefiting all the forces that “would make domestic war on the poor and minorities”? WTF do you think Bush has been doing all this time? How do you think he’s managed to do it for so goddamn long? The point is not that Ron Paul is good, it’s that he’s crazy but because of the war issue, less crazy than the rest of the wingnuts. Is that so damn hard to understand?

  167. Twisted_Colour said,

    November 14, 2007 at 8:12

    Isn’t Ron Paul that drag queen comedian guy?

  168. Aloysius said,

    November 14, 2007 at 8:12

    Lawnguylander, I think you’re absolutely right. Every time I see a discussion of Ron Paul start up on sensible lefty sites it makes me want to fart missiles for exactly the reasons you’ve given. We’ve agreed that Ron Paul, while anti-war, is not someone any of us would campaign for or vote for ourselves. All his support is going to have to come either from the crazy nutjobs of the right, or from non-crazy people in the mushy middle. Non-crazy people in the middle should be persuaded to go for Democrats like Chris Dodd or Bill Richardson if nobody else, both of whom are anti-war and better on preserving the spirit of the Constitution than Ron Paul (with his creepy states’ rights advocacy) is. That just leaves the inmates at the asylum as potential Paul boosters. We all know that the right-wing base is driven primarily by fear of darkies, sissies, and liberals like us. If we start pushing Paul as a more reasonable conservative candidate in any public way, I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts it’ll make loony primary voters turn on him because the last thing they want is anyone remotely acceptable to liberals. The best thing we can do for Ron Paul is shut him completely out of the progressive discourse and let the righties think we’re “scared” to take him on. He’s not worth our time or energy, and he’s certainly not worth fighting over.

  169. Thers said,

    November 14, 2007 at 8:12

    “He’s part of the Ron Paul apiary.”

    I always assumed liberals were somehow too high-minded to resort to that kind of name calling.

    Dude, he called you a bee.

    I don’t know where you’re getting the stereotype that liberals won’t call you a bee, but damn! Man, you’re burdened with some fucking weird-assed stereotypes.

  170. HTML Mencken said,

    November 14, 2007 at 8:55

    And I’m gonna call it a night by apologizing to everyone in the thread for losing it with Nullifidian.

  171. dday said,

    November 14, 2007 at 9:14

    A nice summation of the problem with monomania and single-mindedness of purpose, in support of the position of Glenn Greenwald, who is perhaps the most monomaniacal guy on the Internet (in a good way, not like the dude who thinks the 9/11 Memorial in Pennsylvania points toward Mecca), singularly focused on Constitutional issues and the media’s failure to understand them. Indeed, he places the Paul controversy INSIDE both of these twin obsessions. I’m actually not saying that’s wrong, but this idea that pet causes are somehow inappropriate comes off as weird when it’s use to implicitly defend someone with pet causes.

  172. Nullifidian said,

    November 14, 2007 at 9:28

    HTML,

    No, you back the fuck up. You’re personalizing this discussion, but it’s not about your or my personal history; it’s about one very disreputable public figure.

    And in terms of discussing my set of reasons for opposing even the idea of inducing support for Ron Paul, you’ve utterly failed. I did not come even close to arguing that the anti-Iraq war movement is based on white privilege. If it were, Bush and Cheney would be peaceniks. What I did say is that the demographic of the anti-war movement is majority white and middle-class. I wasn’t aware that this was a proposition which was going to be astonishing news. Pushing for a white supremacist simply because he’s on the right side with respect to the war does send the signal that, when the rubber hits the road, people of color are expected to sit back and let white people dictate the agenda.

    Is that so damn hard to understand?

    Oh, I don’t know. Is the fact that someone who ran the swill that appeared in the Ron Paul Political Report or who spoke to the Council of Conservative Citizens or argued against commemorating the Civil Rights Act because he didn’t like forced desegregation unlikely to be perceived as an ally worthy of the name by people of color that damn hard to understand?

    How about the fact that the racist right is going all out for Paul, and a Paul victory even in the primaries would rejuvenate the supremacist movement by creating the impression that their drumbeat made the difference and that a supremacist who keeps his views under wraps can win?

    Or how about the fact that, since you’ve already argued that Paul is going to lose anyway, supporting him because of his anti-war views (which are moot if he’s not going to be elected) despite the fact that you know he’s a racist indicates to a significant slice of America that you’re prepared to throw people of color under the bus as soon as someone hits you up on the cause that you find more important?

    I do think you can understand that, so I think you can extend me the same courtesy.

    I am trying to explain to you why people of color generally mistrust white liberals. This post is nice example. I’m not saying you’re any more racist than I am, but I am saying that when white liberals set the agenda, people of color take a backseat. I was, however, evidently mistaken in my belief that a blog which was one of the few liberal blogs to note the Jena Six case would be open to this kind of self-analysis.

    I grant you, wingnuts are racists. So why do you think they’d go for Paul when their racism can be “acceptably” expressed by yelling “Damn the Arabs, full speed ahead!”?

    The only wingnut racists who are going for Paul are the Racists with a capital R: the Birchers, the White Citizens Councils, the Stormfront groupies. Should they succeed in getting his arse planted in the general election, they’ll think he owes it all to them (and they might even be right). Then he’d lose the general election, probably to Hillary, and we’d still have a war, a CoC who believes in expanding the war, a President who doesn’t give a damn about the poor (witness that lame fucking excuse for a health care coverage plan), and a rejuvenated racist movement which would now have more clout than any time since the mid-1910s.

    Furthermore, what if Paul won? Can we guarantee that there won’t be a Republican majority or a majority including Republican-Lites in both houses in 2008? I think there will be a reversion of at least one house, if not both. The Democrats have not delivered on any consistent anti-war vision, which is what they were elected for. Democrats might come out for a Dem Hawk. Whereas, Ron Paul is charismatic—if he won the general election, he’d certainly carry a hell of lot of Republicans into Congress with him, perhaps enough to change the balance of the House (all of whose members would be up for re-election in 2008) and the slim majority in the Senate.

    In that situation, the Republicans would love to go along with Ron Paul in his “strangle the government in a bathtub” fantasies. Arguably the only case in which they would exercise a “moderating” influence is in pulling out from Iraq. And if he loses the general election to Hillary, the very force of a Ron Paul run could sweep Republicans into office and generate the next worst thing: gridlock on issues of social justice, and greased wheels for expanding the war to Iran.

    Pragmatically, liberals endorsing Ron Paul hurts in about half a dozen different ways, and only works for both the anti-war people and the social justice people if the political “stars” align just right:

    1) If the wingnuts take the bait

    2) and he can push an anti-war agenda into the zeitgeist

    2) without pushing a racist one into the zeitgeist

    3) then lose early enough to allow for a Road to Damascus experience of the leading Republican contender, who will now just be devoted to screwing the poor and not the world

    4) which will then catch fire across the aisle and lead to an anti-war candidate emerging victorious on the Democratic side

    5) and end in the right kind of Democratic control of the Presidency and both houses of Congress, because as we can see nothing more than that will spark any courage in a Democrat

    I am against the war and I am against racism (especially of the institutional variety to be found in the U.S.). I’m not willing to trade one to secure victory on the other, and even if my position were based on nothing more than pure pragmatism, this is a strategy with a very small chance of success and an unacceptable risk of entirely foreseeable consequences (like a newly revitalized racist movement in the U.S. and the lost confidence of people of color).

    What anti-war liberals or lefties with a commitment to social justice should do (and I count you among them, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered to say anything) is hold the Democrats’ feet to the fire and make it clear that no Democratic candidate will be acceptable if he or she doesn’t make a commitment to ending the war within their first term, even their first year. No Democratic Congressperson will be acceptable if they fail to do the same thing. Any Congressperson who ran on an anti-war platform and didn’t do shit should take some serious heat in the primaries, at least enough to scare them.

    Fiddling around with the Republican primaries is a tactic which is both a betrayal of one’s principles and almost certainly doomed to failure. Wagering one’s principles on such a long shot is going to be taken as an indication by observers of one’s general level of commitment to those principles. Right now, the Democrats are coasting on the fact that people of color have no other place to go in the electoral system, but it won’t be that way forever, and might not even be that way through the next half century. The reason I chose this post to lay this all on you is because this post is symbolic of what the Democrats have been doing for ages: playing around with the PoC in order to position themselves politically, but without concern for the PoC they ostensibly represent.

  173. Nullifidian said,

    November 14, 2007 at 9:30

    Democrats might come out for a Dem Hawk.

    Should be “Democrats might not come out for a Dem Hawk.

  174. Incontinentia Buttocks said,

    November 14, 2007 at 10:39

    Sorry to come late to this dance…

    I think there’s a lot of truth on all sides in this discussion. Neiwart is right that Paul is a rightwing extremist, a racist and misogynist. A Paul presidency would be terrible for millions of Americans. HTML is right that all of that does not much distinguish him from the rest of the GOP crop. (Remember: the KKK actually endorsed St. Ronny in 1980!)

    What does distinguish Paul from the other GOP candidates is his form of paleoconservatism, which is opposed not only to the war, but to the military-industrial complex and imperialism in general. And his method of misreading the Constitution, while dangerous, would actually be a corrective to the equally dangerous Cheney-Bush method of misreading the Constitution. And here I disagree with Greenwald, who in an honest effort to clarify his non-support for Paul wrote that Paul would appoint the same sort of justices as Giuliani. Both would appoint appalling, rightwing justices. But Paul’s would not be unitary executive authoritarians like Rudy’s.

    I also disagree with those who say that Paul wouldn’t be able to put his antiwar views into effect. He’d be president. He’d have an easier time putting his antiwar views into effect than his (other) rightwing extremist views, because on issues of war and peace, whatever the Constitution says, the President can more or less do what she wants these days.

    None of this should constitute an argument for Paul, who, as Neiwart points out, is still a dangerous extremist. But that doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t be less bad than the other dangerous extremists seeking the GOP nomination (which is, I believe, what HTML is arguing above). Moreover, Paul’s positions might help push the Overton Window in useful directions on war-and-peace issues. Of course, Paul’s candidacy might do this even if he doesn’t win the nomination. One note on this aspect of the issue: as HTML suggests above in a rather different context, the peace movement includes folks from across the political spectrum. It will be stronger if more people join it…including people on the far right. If Paul’s only effect is to move some rightwing, racist nutjobs from the neocon imperialist camp to the paleocon “isolationist” camp, he will have had a positive effect on our politics.

    Finally, the 800-lb gorilla in the corner of this conversation is the Democrats’ fear that an actual antiwar candidate with a chance to win will be on the ballot in November. They understand that the country has turned against the war in Iraq. Yet the leading Democratic candidates, like the leading Republican candidates, continue to support the war (and just as importantly the series of policy assumptions on which it is based). The Democrats are counting on voters looking at a frothing-at-the-mouth, warmongering GOP candidate, and voting for the enemy of their enemy, the Democrat. That won’t work if the GOP candidate is antiwar. (It also wouldn’t have worked if a credible independent candidate ran on an antiwar platform, but with Bloomberg–whose views on the war are unclear in any event–out of the picture, that seems unlikely at this point.) To my mind this is why, despite the longshot nature of his candidacy, Paul’s racist lunacy is getting so much play relative to the racist lunacy of the leading GOP candidates.

  175. Jillian said,

    November 14, 2007 at 12:18

    Look, unless the Democratic party does something as unmitigatedly stupid as nominate Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, the Dems have the next election – well, not “in the bag”, but as much in the bag as something as volatile as an election can be this far out.

    We’re still racist and sexist enough as a nation that people won’t vote for a woman or a gentleman of the dusky persuasion. I don’t get any real joy out of stating that, but avoiding saying that racism and sexism still run deep in America doesn’t make it any less true.

    And heaven knows I get no joy out of becoming a triangulating political wanker – I was a Green Party voter in 2000, and I am and will always be unapologetic for that. If it were up to me, I’d take most of the national Democratic figures, give them all a poverty level wage and six kids to take care of, stick ‘em in a trailer park somewhere in Indiana, make ‘em work the night shift at Perkins waiting tables for truckers, and let ‘em do that for eight or ten years before any of them would be allowed to run for office again. I hate the Democratic party with a moderate bit of intensity.

    But the shambling monster the Republican party has become scares me. It scares me a lot. One of my best friends is gay, and I am doing what I can to get him out of this country in the next few years. I’d go myself if I could afford it – hell, I’d go tomorrow if I could afford it, and never look back. The Republican party is shambling toward fascism, and their heavily anti-gay rhetoric tells you up front whom they will be putting in camps first if they get the chance.

    At this particular moment in time, it looks like that tide has turned. Support for the war is gone, no one has emerged behind whom the social conservatives can coalesce, and if this dynamic continues through 2008, the next election is the Democrats’ to lose. This could change in a heartbeat, mind – the economic instability of late is giving me fucking nightmares as I think of the way the Nazi party exploited economic unrest to gain greater prominence in Germany – but as of now, things are looking pretty good.

    So ultimately, who gives a fuck whom the Republicans nominate?

    At this point in time, what we need to do is line up like good little Democratic sheep behind an acceptably bland white guy, and make our peace with the fact that American troops are going to still be in Iraq ten years from now even if we elect Jesus H. Christ as president.

    Once we have warded off the eldritch nightmare that is another Republican president and gained the breathing room that an ineffectual tosser of a Democratic president can give us, we then need to decide – each of us, on an individual basis – if we’re really serious about stopping the American war machine. Serious about doing what it takes to stop it in the long term, mind, as opposed to just being mildly pissed off over our latest middle east adventure. If all you are is just another liberal who will turn hawk at the drop of a hat, then having someone in the Oval Office who puts (D) instead of (R ) after their name should be enough to make you happy. If, however, your opposition to the Iraq war was founded in something other than political opportunism, the next ten years will be a very, very ripe time for organizing and goal setting. Especially because we’re going to have troops in Iraq the whole damn time.

  176. Freshly Squeezed Cynic said,

    November 14, 2007 at 13:02

    That being said, I think some of you may want to cut back on the English Lit and pick up some Econ 101 next semester. In lieu of that, maybe mixing in some ‘Road to Serfdom’ or ‘Wealth of Nations’ would do some good. After all, I had to read Marx’s tripe, and lived to tell about it.

    Read all that stuff, dearie, and I’d just like to let you know that it made me even more of a socialist than I was beforehand. Anyone who thinks Econ 101 explains anything about the world economy is talking shit and needs to read some Galbraith, Veblen, and Keynes, not to mention Herr Doktor Marx.

    When it comes to Ron Paul, I’ll just repeat what I said at Neiwert’s blog, where I was replying to people, progressives, who really have made the war the point above everything else, HTML, people who Ron Paul’s constitutionalism and anti-war statements appeal to simply because they’re sick of this Bush government’s contempt for the constitution and flagrant neoconservatism:

    “You don’t need to tell me about how much there is to object about the goddamn Democrats. I’m a socialist, and as such all the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates are pretty much People I Wouldn’t Want To Vote For (As a Scot, alas, I can only register my moral outrage in blogs rather than through the ballot box). I wouldn’t say the frontrunners in the Democratic Party are criminal, per se. Merely co-opted, corporatist, disorganised, directionless and weak, insomuch as that can be “merely”. I recognise the war drums beating again and again for some kind of “intervention” in Iran, and the dominant ideology of the American foreign policy elite being, what it is, American exceptionalism and hegemony, I worry that yet another “intervention” will be staged. I wish there was a candidate who could point out that this ideology is wrong-headed, inflammatory and downright dangerous who has a chance of being elected, because that would be a turning point for America and for the world at large. From that angle, yes, Paul looks somewhat attractive.

    But again, as a socialist, there is a limit to who I can ally with.

    I cannot ally with a man who wishes for a lost mythical golden age of the 19th century.

    I cannot ally with a man who has cultivated – not just gained, actively cultivated – the vote of xenophobic proto-fascists, racists and anti-government conspiracy theorists.

    I cannot ally with a man whose economic policies would release far more private tyranny and private misery towards ordinary working people than any meagre amount of public freedom gained.

    I cannot ally with a man whose wholehearted obsession with negative liberties would destroy the positive liberties modern working people have gained; we cannot just have abstract rights, we need the ability to use those rights to the greatest possible degree.

    I cannot ally with a man who cares more for the 19th century interpretation of a document than the needs of the people right now (that constitutionalism works both ways, y’all; no waterboarding but no healthcare, no Guantanamo but no social security, no Iraq War but no foreign aid).

    I know “at least the Democrat won’t shit on us quite as much as the Republican will, either with social, economic or foreign policy” isn’t much of a ringing endorsement of the Democratic Party. It isn’t meant to be. It never will be. It simply reflects the fact that while I worry for the condition of the American people under a Democratic President, I worry for the American people full stop under any of the Republicans, whether that be through the enforcement of an authoritarian state under Guiliani or the enforcement of a multitude of authoritarian corporations under Paul.”

    The problem, as even Dave has pointed out, isn’t Paul. It’s a combination of the rest of the goddamn fascists running for the Republican Party nomination, the simple lack of the Democratic Party to get a fucking clue regarding an anti-imperialistic foreign policy, a lot of anti-war activists who are pissed off by the lack of mainstream politicians support for their cause (justifiably, I might add), and the existence of an anti-war asshole who says things that sound attractive to people tired of Republican authoritarianism but has an appalling worldview and comes straight out of the folk who will be the USA’s very own Freikorps if there’s a slide towards actual fascism – I mean, come on, a guy who talks about the supremacy of “states’ rights” all the fucking time? Please don’t tell me we’ve all forgotten what that really means.

    The point, then, isn’t Paul is worse than the Republicans, but that he’s just as bad, and there’s too many people who should know better (present company excepted, in general) who aren’t realising that. That’s why Dave has been reporting about Paul.

  177. Ron Paul distortions and smears by Glenn Greenwald « Dandelion Salad said,

    November 14, 2007 at 13:47

    [...] UPDATE VI: On all of these topics, HTML Mencken adds some important insights. [...]

  178. L.W.M. said,

    November 14, 2007 at 14:41

    HTML,

    Have you ever read Chip Berlet’s take on the dangers of tactical political alliances with the right?

    If not, have at it.

    http://www.publiceye.org/sucker_punch/

    http://www.publiceye.org/rightwoo/rwooz9.html

    It’s not something I advise on principle. Partisan politics has nothing to do with it. It is purely ideological yet I do not consider myself a rigid ideologue.

    All the other problematic policy issues regarding Paul aside, there are only two worth considering for those on the left:

    1. His stance on civil liberties

    2. What some call his “foreign policy”

    You can eliminate # 2 because he actually has no detailed foreign policy to speak of and you can verify this for yourselves.

    Name one credible foreign policy expert who endorses a Ron Paul presidency. Perhaps if he came up with an actual “foreign policy” he might attract some policy wonks to endorse him. Of course you may limit the pool of wonks to those who have been opposed to the Iraqi invasion in particular and neocon policies in general since the outset. I’ve asked Glenn the same question and have yet to receive an answer.

    So that leaves you with civil liberties. Ron Paul is not even the sane foreign policy choice,

  179. L.W.M. said,

    November 14, 2007 at 14:49

    IOWs, who is being monomaniacal here?

    Carefully analyzed, Glenn seems to be chasing the “White Whale” of civil liberties. A laudable and important goal, but a rather narrow focus,

  180. Charles Pierce said,

    November 14, 2007 at 15:54

    HTML –
    Don’t worry. And don’t listen to Gavin — NOBODY has a bigger man-crush on young Tom than he does. They ought to be picking out china patterns any day now. I just think alliances — even for laughs — with people who think the country went the wrong way after the Battle of Gettysburg are dangerous things.
    Plus, I like public schools.

  181. Charles Pierce said,

    November 14, 2007 at 15:56

    I meant Mr. B-Rocket, not Gavin.
    So, yes, I am indeed an idiot.

  182. Pat Doyle said,

    November 14, 2007 at 16:27

    “Therefore, the more wingnuts — the existence of whom you can’t wish away — are steered toward Paul and away from the warmongering pack of idiots who compose the balance of the Republican candidates, the better for everyone here and abroad.”

    What makes you think any significant share of the wingnuts are going to support someone who is so anti-war? Greenwald’s obsession with Paul has become ridiculous to the Nth degree. And your premise assumes facts not in play at the moment – the GOP is pro-war and no dust-kicking underdog is going to change that this time around, Bub.

  183. rea said,

    November 14, 2007 at 16:50

    I want to end the war, but there are two things more important:

    (1) Epistemology–I want a president who makes public policy decisions on the basis of rational/empiricism rather than faith in religion or other ideology.

    (2) Constitution–I want a president who supports mainstream views of the Constitution, the ones I was taught in law school 30 years ago–rejecting both “unitary executive” “no rights other than those explicitly mentioned” authoritarianism and “The New Deal and the Civil Rights Acts were unconstitutional” views on limitations of government power.

    I can support any of the leading Democrats because of their positions on these two issues, even though I’m not happy with their luke-warm opposition to the war–elect a Democrat, and reality will take care of ending the war. But Ron Paul. in his own way, is just as big a nutjob on these two issues as anyone else running for the Republican nomination. even if he’s a slightly different flavor of nutjob than some of his competitors. Maybe he says he wants to end the war now–but his looney views on epistemology and the Constitution would put us at risk for something else as bad as the war, maybe worse.

  184. lysias said,

    November 14, 2007 at 18:49

    The GOP in 1940 was isolationist, and that wasn’t changed at the time. But nevertheless Willkie was nominated.

  185. Incontinentia Buttocks said,

    November 14, 2007 at 19:39

    I can support any of the leading Democrats because of their positions on these two issues, even though I’m not happy with their luke-warm opposition to the war–elect a Democrat, and reality will take care of ending the war.

    This has nothing to do with defending Ron Paul, but I think the above sentiment is entirely based on wishful thinking. I’ll grant rea the Epistemology point: the Democrats are much more reality-based than the GOP (though one shouldn’t underestimate the extent to which even the Democrats are willing to substitute conventional wisdom for objective analysis of reality). I’m afraid I can’t agree on the Constitution. The GOP has a radical, authoritarian understanding of the Constitution. The Democrats, whatever their understanding, are willing in practice to defer to the GOP’s understanding. It’s an interesting question whether that willingness is based on a tacit agreement with the GOP, or simply not thinking that Constitutional principle is that important. Certainly on Fourth Amendment issues, Democrats have been almost as bad as Republicans over the last two decades (largely in the name of the so-called War on Drugs). I’ll grant that a Democratic president’s SCOTUS nominations will be less bad than a GOP president’s. But I certainly don’t think one can count on a Democratic president to repair any of the recent damage to our Constitutional system.

    Finally, I’m not sure what you mean about reality taking care of the war. There are billions of more dollars we can waste, millions of more Iraqis we can kill. With both major parties supporting the war, the fact that the vast majority of the American public opposes it won’t matter one iota until those of us opposed to the war at the very least understand that whom we choose for president between the Republican and the Democrat is not going to have much impact on when the war will come to an end…and that we need to do something else to speed that end.

  186. Duros62 said,

    November 14, 2007 at 21:53

    Now what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s it seems weird and scary to me! It’ll happen to you, too!”

    Don’t worry too much.
    It’ll happen to you
    as sure as your sorrows are joys.
    But the sound that you’re hearing is only the sound
    of the low spark of high-heeled boys.

  187. Robert M. said,

    November 14, 2007 at 22:44

    I’m sorry that I was late to this thread, which has been very interesting.

    Maybe everyone but me already understands this, but this is how I thought it through: there are no substantive arguments about Ron Paul’s bona-fides as one of the proto-fascist types. What Nullifidian and HTML (as well as Neiwert and Greenwald) exemplify, then, is not a disagreement on Paul’s policies and positions–it’s a disagreement over whether his anti-war position outweighs all the other things he brings to the table.

    Personally, I believe they don’t. Moreover, I’m with Nullifidian: lefty political junkies, even the well-meaning ones, have a tendency to place the priorities of women and PoC on the negotiating table in trade for the support of moderates on items that will benefit everyone in general. That seems reasonable, but the problem is that we shouldn’t have to give up on, say, support for civil-rights legislation in order to get an anti-war candidate.

    In other words, President Paul wouldn’t be any better than President Giuliani–he’d be just as bad, but in a different direction.

  188. Kathleen said,

    November 15, 2007 at 1:02

    What Nullifidian said, plus, hello? Ron Paul’s creepy ob-gyn background and “absolute” opposition to abortion?

    Another eensy-teensy lil ol’ issue that liberal menfolk are always willing to throw overboard in seconds.

    yeah, you back the eff up.

  189. mikey said,

    November 15, 2007 at 1:15

    Another eensy-teensy lil ol’ issue that liberal menfolk are always willing to throw overboard in seconds.

    Oh, fer crissakes. I don’t know why this little piece of embarrassing idiocy will not just finally, at long last curl up and die.

    Ok, listen carefully. I’ll speak slowly.

    Because I believe that a republican candidate, however distasteful, can help sway the national political dialog away from “Take all my liberties, just don’t let the evil muslims kill me in my sleep” to the kind of society we WANT to be, we OUGHT to be, with respect for the constitution and the rule of law, that does NOT mean I’m willing to toss safe, legal abortion over the side. That’s just as stupid as the suggestion that because I support Palestinian rights I’m an anti-semite.

    You can play ridiculous games and go home patting yourself on the back because you “won” the argument, but a even if it isn’t wingnut policy, it’s a wingnut debating tactic and you oughta be ashamed for using it…

    mikey

  190. Kathleen said,

    November 15, 2007 at 1:46

    Mikey: IT’S NOT A TACTIC.

    I don’t go home “patting myself on the back” b/c I kicked some sand in the eyes of a mean boy. I’m not trying to win a strategic argument. I don’t consider abortion rights something to be traded, or not traded, in order to win something else “more central” and “more important”.

    If I proposed the reverse — “let’s encourage support for some wacky guy who thinks waterboarding is awesome and pre-emptive war is the best thing EVAR because he supports abortion rights, gay marriage, and is anti-racist”

    You would rightly be sickened. Not because it was necessarily tactically stupid, but because it would betray a kind of moral hollowness that would turn your stomach.

    IT’S NOT TACTICS.

  191. Ron-Paul-Has-Strange-Support-And-Opposition | Popehat said,

    November 15, 2007 at 1:56

    [...] * Sadly, No — a liberal satirical blog I link with embarrassing frequency — posted an argument that, in effect, Paul’s detractors on the Left should focus on his anti-war stance an… such as Nazis. Here we see what I think is another one of the main factors making Paul’s [...]

  192. atheist said,

    November 15, 2007 at 2:25

    I see that this increase of support for Ron Paul, and our discussion about it, is really highlighting fissures in our loose anti-War, anti-Neocon community.

    It isn’t pleasant to see our fellow SadlyNauts getting angry at each other, but I guess I can sorta see why it’s happening. Paul seems to be offering us a grim choice: How fervently do we want an end to the endless Neocon wars in the Middle East? Would we be willing to break our nation into a patch-quilt Federalist anarchy, a strange weak coalition of states where workers didn’t have rights, and states could ban abortion as they saw fit, and capital-R racists were seen as normal, and governmental regulation of polluting industry was impossible? He seems to be asking, would we be willing to take that if it ended the US Neo-con wars in the Middle East? What a fucking choice.

    Mikey isn’t hollow about women’s rights. Kathleen isn’t hollow about the evils of War. HTML isn’t uncaring or naive. And I, meanwhile, am seriously not kidding when I say that that’s the country I forsee if Ron Paul were president.

  193. Jillian said,

    November 15, 2007 at 2:30

    I think it’s worth noting at this point that NO Republican politician supports reproductive choice for women.

    Complaining that one or the other of ‘em doesn’t is like asking “Who farted?” at a gastrointestinal disease sufferer’s convention.

    And it seems like a lot of people are ignoring what American history tells us about the topic of invading other countries: no politician is bringing American troops home anytime soon, no matter what they say. If you believe otherwise, you are fooling yourself. Things in Iraq have gone way, way, way too far for that. We’re there for at least another decade, unless the Iraqis themselves kick us out militarily.

    We still have troops in Korea, for Pete’s sake. We have troops in Japan. They aren’t going to leave. We have to deal with this reality, and plan around it, rather than trying to make reality conform to our flights of fancy.

    I could care less whom the Repubs nominate. Seriously. I have no wish for the Republican potentials other than to see them all get waterboarded so they can tell us all firsthand how it isn’t torture. What I think we should be spending our vim and vigor on is trying to make sure the Democratic party doesn’t fritter away the golden ticket to the White House that fate and circumstance have conspired to drop in their laps.

  194. Murray Rothstein said,

    November 15, 2007 at 2:44

    Calling Ron Paul a nutbar discredits yourself. It doesn’t say anything about him, only that you can’t articulate why you don’t like him or won’t give his positions any thought.

    If progressives only knew the history of their movement they could envision where it’s heading, which is exactly where the constitutionalists fear the country is going. Pause for a moment and think, has the dismantling of personal freedom and privacy abated, the selling out of the economy to huge corporations in bed with the government and cozy with student protest murderers eased, the destruction of education reversed, or the constant entanglement in overseas conflicts ceased under any administration over the past 40 decades?

    Stop measuring according to the fancy costume of ideology and examine agendas. Action on agendas tell the real story. Wake up and figure out who’s been funding progressive causes all this time (hint: Ford, Carnegie, Rockefeller, [insert robber baron family name]. Look at the machinations of these forces and it’s not hard to find you’ve been took.

    Good night, and good luck finding your brain.

  195. Righteous Bubba said,

    November 15, 2007 at 2:46

    Calling Ron Paul a nutbar discredits yourself.

    No, it’s convenient shorthand.

  196. Jillian said,

    November 15, 2007 at 2:51

    I hope Ron Paul and Lyndon Larouche have fun hanging out on whatever planet they’ve taken residence on.

    Don’t take it personally – at this point in time, I think ALL Republicans are insane. You’d have to be to stick with the Republican party at this point. It’s just that they each have their own unique, particular flavor of insanity…..and Paul’s is particularly piquant.

    If you think there’s the slightest chance that anybody around here could actually support an anti-choice, viciously anti-immigrant candidate, you don’t know us very well. Mencken’s just opining that Paul is, in his opinion, the LEAST offensive of all the Republican candidates – which, as I said earlier, is kind of like being the only shit sandwich at the table not contaminated with E. coli.

    And you’re going to lecture us about history when you talk about the administrations of the past forty decades? Please.

  197. Righteous Bubba said,

    November 15, 2007 at 2:52

    I think it’s worth noting at this point that NO Republican politician supports reproductive choice for women.

    Complaining that one or the other of ‘em doesn’t is like asking “Who farted?” at a gastrointestinal disease sufferer’s convention.

    But there are the principled nuts and the pandering nuts. I’d rather have the pandering Republican who might bend to electoral will than the principled Republican who has some bullshit dogma that will not change when the bill to do X reasonable thing crosses his desk.

  198. Jillian said,

    November 15, 2007 at 2:55

    Bubba, the Repubs haven’t pandered our way since Eisenhower. They’re not going to start now. They know which side their bread is buttered on.

    Give ‘em a couple of election cycles – eight or ten years – if the so-con coalition actually fractures, and they might start pandering our way again. But there is no way in hell it will happen right now. Human psychology doesn’t change direction on a dime.

  199. atheist said,

    November 15, 2007 at 2:56

    Oh, I see Murray. I was took! Took! by dishonest Democrats who were actually getting mega $$$ from corporations and the ultra-rich.

    Yes, I never, ever, in a million years, would have guessed that Democrats had rich, corporate backers. While I was volunteering at Kerry’s Finance office in 2004, filing away checks from rich lawyers, I always believed that all the money was for Kerry’s campaign only. I believed that Kerry actually lived on a streetcorner.

    But now the scales have fallen from my eyes. I see that I was took! TOOK! But I’m glad you’re here to help Murray. I was took by Democrats, but as long as I give all my money to your candidate, I will never be taken again!

  200. Righteous Bubba said,

    November 15, 2007 at 3:03

    Bubba, the Repubs haven’t pandered our way since Eisenhower.

    I disagree: although all three were obviously horrible, Nixon, Bush I, and even Reagan knuckled under to reality at certain points in foreign and economic policy, Reagan probably without knowing or understanding what the fuck was up. In the Republican field there are some humorously obvious panderers; better them than Ron Paul.

  201. mikey said,

    November 15, 2007 at 4:48

    Here’s the thing, Kathleen. I am a “Liberal Male”. Whatever the fuck that means. That is, outside of what YOU have decided my worldview is.

    The thing that makes me wanna tear out a bunch of my hair is the feminists that want to put right wing values into every male, and then, even worse, tar their closest supporters in the Y chromosome community.

    I share your values. I’ll stand with you. I’ll hold the line with you when it gets hard. I’ve done it for decades. So why do you and your type still shit on me as “liberal dudes” who will sell you out for a bowl of popcorn and a jenna jamison tape?

    What the fuck is up with that? I don’t need your respect, but I WILL NOT accept your disrespect. I will continue to do what I think is right because it is what I think is right, not to be your friend. But if you think you can shit on my values and not take some incoming you better find another sandbox, sister….

    mikey

  202. Scott From Oregon said,

    November 15, 2007 at 5:36

    I just watched Bill Clinton give a talk on C-span about his NGO. In it, he admitted to being able to provide health services to Africans with AIDS for 15% of what the US government could. Not 15% less. 85% less!

    For all of you liberal minded folk who have wet dreams of socialism, there you have it. Straight from the horse’s mouth.

    I’ve always leaned liberal (as far away from Haggart and Robertson as I can) but the whole notion that the American “fabric” is tied up in Washington is becoming more and more plainly ludicrous.

    Even an ideal Democrat in office is a poison, as far as I can see.

    Take my cash far away, and make me vote for someone locally who will go there and beg for it.

    There is nothing progressive about that.

    So, as a lifetime liberal, I am voting Ron Paul, so that my liberal bent can actually have an impact at a state and local level.

    The Feds have proven themselves to truly suck ass…

  203. Righteous Bubba said,

    November 15, 2007 at 5:49

    So, as a lifetime liberal, I am voting Ron Paul

    Oh stuff it up your ass moron.

  204. mikey said,

    November 15, 2007 at 6:00

    Hey Scott? You might wanna try again, because that was truly incoherent.

    If you’re going to make an argument, maybe you should go back to basics.

    You know. Premise. Data. Conclusion.

    Because just random words aren’t gonna convince anybody…

    mikey

  205. HTML Mencken said,

    November 15, 2007 at 6:09

    Mencken’s just opining that Paul is, in his opinion, the LEAST offensive of all the Republican candidates – which, as I said earlier, is kind of like being the only shit sandwich at the table not contaminated with E. coli.

    This is exactly right; it has been made plain and restated several times. Still, people don’t get it.

    No, Kathleen, you and Nullifidian need to back way the fuck up. Way.

    First, what Mikey said. And it is too tactics. But even if it weren’t, you’re still wrong. Thousands of people *murdered* in war is more important and more central than anything else. Call it crude utilitarianism if you want — I don’t give a flying motherfuck — but there is a moral hierarchy that you’re just going to have to understand. No, it doesn’t mean I’m gonna trade abortion rights for whatever, or that I don’t care about abortion rights, but it does mean that war *is* more fucking central because it has the simple capacity to destroy more lives.

    When people keep saying “blarg, Ron Paul is for x wingnutty position.” It’s like they think I don’t know that already, or don’t care. So Ron Paul’s against abortion. What, you think I didn’t know that? As Jillian said: all the wingnut candidates are against abortion. It’s a wash. Did I *ever* say I’d fucking vote for Paul, or that lefties should vote for him? Noooooooo. But you act as if I did — oooh, meany liberal boy can’t wait to sell out the girls! It’s like you can’t wait to bring that chestnut to the party. I’m not trying to be an asshole here, but I respond as an asshole to assholes, and you and Nullifidian are very much being assholes here. All I said is that Paul a typical Republican except for the war, yet that distinction is crucial enough that we should hope more *wingnuts* support him. Very simple. No treason. Jesus fucking Christ. But some people can’t see it because they are so blinded by their pet causes — even though I’m not threatening or selling-out their pet causes in any way.

    You’re next, Nullifidian.

  206. Righteous Bubba said,

    November 15, 2007 at 6:43

    You’re next, Nullifidian.

    I’d say it was a bad idea, but arguing over whether or not people die is an important thing. In my fantasy world you romance me with Barry-White-like seductive language about Ron Paul, my panties come down and I am levitated toward the waterbed.

  207. HTML Mencken said,

    November 15, 2007 at 7:10

    In this case, it looks very much like a case where the core issue of a group which is demographically more wealthy and more white (the anti-war crowd) is being pushed to the forefront, while the poor and the people of color get the shaft again.

    I did not come even close to arguing that the anti-Iraq war movement is based on white privilege. If it were, Bush and Cheney would be peaceniks. What I did say is that the demographic of the anti-war movement is majority white and middle-class. I wasn’t aware that this was a proposition which was going to be astonishing news.

    Do you understand what this sounds like? Shit. Total shit. I had no idea that whites and wealthy people proportionally cared about war more! Conversely, I had no idea that so many poor and minorities didn’t give a shit about the war. Silly me. I thought rich and poor, white and black alike cared about their country killing shitloads of people overseas. In fact, I should have thought poor people and minorities would care most, since they are a hugely liberal bloc and are bearing much of the burden of fighting the war. I’m so happy to be set right on the subject: obviously poor people and minorities care more about abortion or the Jena 6 than what their brothers and sisters and cousins are having to do in Iraq, or what shitty government services they’re getting thanks to a country being run by plutocrats and being broke from war spending. I’m such a fucking moron.

    But I see I’m not the only one:

    Pushing for a white supremacist simply because he’s on the right side with respect to the war does send the signal that, when the rubber hits the road, people of color are expected to sit back and let white people dictate the agenda.

    Who’s “pushing”? How’s Paul any more white supremacist than any other wingnut candidate? And are you saying again that “people of color” don’t give a fuck about the war? That’s not my experience, but obviously ymmv.

    Oh, I don’t know. Is the fact that someone who ran the swill that appeared in the Ron Paul Political Report or who spoke to the Council of Conservative Citizens or argued against commemorating the Civil Rights Act because he didn’t like forced desegregation unlikely to be perceived as an ally worthy of the name by people of color that damn hard to understand?

    Isn’t this sorta like when Chavez or bin Laden endorse and quote Chomsky and the wingnuts say, “aha! told ya Chomsky was worse than Hitler!”

    Also, how is the last part exclusively Paul’s problem? Sounds like another Strom Thurmond to me. The Republican party’s full of them. They are mainstream Republicans. That’s how wicked the wingnuts are. But then — and maybe you missed it despite my repeating it a dozen times — I’m not pushing for liberals to vote for Paul. I’m saying wingnuts — who are racist, sexist, anti-abortion, etc. — are going to vote for someone, it won’t be a Democrat, and it’s better if they vote for Paul than the others because he’s *exactly like the others* save for the war. Now yes, I know, you think war is a “white issue.” But it’s actually an everybody issue. And it’s to everybody’s benefit that the wingnuts become less warmongering if there’s any chance of that happening.

    I grant you, wingnuts are racists. So why do you think they’d go for Paul when their racism can be “acceptably” expressed by yelling “Damn the Arabs, full speed ahead!”?

    A very good question. (After stewing on it a few minutes) I think the only difference is the majority of Paul’s support come from the crackpot libertarian types of racists. Not skinheads or KKK, but you know what I mean. De facto segregationists who think “groups” or “races” in America should keep to their own, and would be better off for it. It’s not that they aren’t nasty racists, but they hate the government and elites even more. Yeah, I think that’s the crucial difference. I think the mainstream of Republicanism contains all sorts of racists, from those who practice the “structural” kind, to those who are flaming white supremacists. But of that bloc, those who also really want to drown the government in the bathtub want to vote for Paul. Those who would like to drown the government in the bathtub but like the thought of blowing up Arabs more, will vote for the others. I’m not sure that’s a good answer, and I know it doesn’t rise to the level of the question, but that’s what I have.

    >Furthermore, if Ron Paul catches widespread mainstream support, the racist right is going to either interpret it as support for his supremacist views

    How the racist right interprets their own power and history matters little, I think. They are going to self-aggrandize no matter what.

    or a signal that nobody will look hard if a racist runs for office again and tells voters what they want to hear.

    This is what doesn’t make sense to me. A racist runs for office every time someone with an R next to their name puts their hat in the ring. They all claim they aren’t racist. Some hide it better than others — speak better code and so on. Even *if* everything everyone’s said about Paul is true, he’s still less bad than Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and the consensus is now that Bush has been worse than those two. Plus, Paul is against the war.

    All I can say in conclusion is that war is an everybody issue not just because of its direct human costs, but because of how it influences everything else in the polity. War climate favors the right wing domestically. Always. That’s why the more clever wingnuts have decided they will give up anything before they give up the war. So anyone who cares about racism and abortion rights and every other liberal cause better get their hierarchy of values in order.

  208. Nullifidian said,

    November 15, 2007 at 8:33

    Do you understand what this sounds like? Shit. Total shit. I had no idea that whites and wealthy people proportionally cared about war more!

    Wow, way to construct a strawman.

    They don’t have to be proportionally less concerned to be numerically outnumbered. But overall, the anti-war movement is white, white, white. I’ve never been to a single demonstration in any city where the PoC weren’t swamped by the sea of white faces. There are several reasons for that, and coming in at around number 1 is the fact that they don’t get a fucking seat at the table. When I see a white anti-war liberal, I see someone who says “You ought to be concerned about my issues whereas yours are…perpetually up for negotiation.”

    In fact, I should have thought poor people and minorities would care most, since they are a hugely liberal bloc and are bearing much of the burden of fighting the war.

    That’s simply not true either. They’re not a hugely liberal bloc, they’re just Democrats because being Black for Republicans is like being a chicken for Colonel Sanders. In fact, PoC are generally more mistrustful of white liberals and would far rather be talking to an Archie Bunker, whose racism is manifest, than a white liberal (you should read this article) whose racism manifests as a sopping, suffocating white paternalism, and whose commitment to anti-racism is weakened by the tacit assumption that one doesn’t need to learn from PoC because authoritative knowledge comes from whiteness.

    And the average Army grunt is more likely to be a working class white guy than a PoC. The actual demographics do not significantly differ from the overall population percentages of PoC as a whole, and sometimes are less or more depending on category (e.g. while Blacks in the Army are slightly more, by percentage, than the overall population, Latino/as in the military are significantly less).

    In fact, I would even argue that being a white anti-war liberal is a way of assuaging one’s conscience about improving the state of the world while being able to evade an uncomfortable sense of white guilt about being the beneficiary of a deeply unequitable system rooted in slavery and Native genocide. Being an anti-war liberal or save Darfur liberal or any of the other trendy causes is a way of attaining the seal of approval that one is a Good Person without once addressing the grueling problem of systemic racism, sexism, and other domestic issues. PoC are overwhelmingly more likely to be poor, more likely to be long-term working poor, more likely to be imprisoned, etc. The criminal justice system alone has practically ripped the heart out of the Black community, and it’s no coincidence that this rise in imprisonment, expansion of criminal charges, and mandatory minimums arose in the wake of the Detroit Revolutionary Urban Movement, the Black Panthers, tthe Black Liberation Army, the American Indian Movement, the Latin Kings/Queens, etc. So, for a wide swath of America, “The war isn’t in Iraq; it’s on my block.”

    Who’s “pushing”?

    You are. You’re advocating that we start stumping for Ron Paul, even if we don’t vote for him myself.

    How’s Paul any more white supremacist than any other wingnut candidate?

    I don’t know how I keep my patience.

    BECAUSE HE PUBLISHED A WHITE SUPREMACIST RAG FOR YEARS!

    BECAUSE HE ACTIVELY SOLICITS THE SUPPORT OF WHITE CITIZENS’ COUNCILS AND OTHER RACIST INSTITUTIONS!

    There, maybe that will make it clear. Do you think that if there was the Rudy Giuliani Political Report arguing that Blacks are efficient muggers because they’re racially inclined to being fleet-footed that his pro-abortion stance would rescue him? If not, why the fuck should Ron Paul’s anti-war stance be greeted with anything other than a bewildered “How can a man who’s right on that be so resolutely wrong about everything else?”

    And are you saying again that “people of color” don’t give a fuck about the war? That’s not my experience, but obviously ymmv.

    No, that’s just the stupid generalization that it would be more comfortable for you to assume that I’m making. I know plenty of PoC against the war, and I’ve worked with them. Carl Webb is one in particular who deserves a shout-out. However, we had an opportunity to talk enough for me to know that I’m saying nothing he wouldn’t in telling you that you can’t ignore racism, capitalism, and other systemic inequalities in a genuine anti-war movement. Being anti-war regardless of one’s allies is a fool’s errand, and one racist movements are historically quick to exploit. It happened during the War in the Balkans, the first Iraq War, etc. I well remember the white supremacist narrative around the war in Kosova being one of how we’re protecting the dirty Muslims at the expense of the white nationalist Serbs, and they wormed their way into the antiwar movement then, too. The difference being that the actual antiwar movement properly treated them with the scorn they deserved.

    Isn’t this sorta like when Chavez or bin Laden endorse and quote Chomsky and the wingnuts say, “aha! told ya Chomsky was worse than Hitler!”

    No, this is like when David Duke ran for president. We’re talking about what Ron Paul himself DID AND IS RESPONSIBLE FOR. I can’t believe you’re too stupid to understand that, so I must interpret this response as a calculated evasion designed to support Ron Paul regardless of his position on racism. Little wonder then that people of color would think you’re selling them out.

    Now yes, I know, you think war is a “white issue.”

    I never argued that. Congratulations on having set up another strawman.

    But it’s actually an everybody issue. And it’s to everybody’s benefit that the wingnuts become less warmongering if there’s any chance of that happening.

    But there isn’t. The real wingnuts are always warmongers, because it flatters their idea of world politics as a fantasy football game where they can see their team beat the shit out of the other guy.

    The kind of people who are going to be inclined to vote for Ron Paul by his anti-war stance are limited government conservatives, many of whom aren’t any more racist than anyone who grew up with the current default status of white supremacy. It would be a far better effort to try to bring them to the Democratic side by pushing some anti-war Democrat like Bill Richardson. My father is one of those people, and he’s thinking of voting for Bill Richardson in the primaries (California has open primaries) and in the general election if Richardson gets the nod. He’s already donated to Richardson’s campaign.

    However, getting non-wingnut, limited government types to support a white supremacist is counterproductive because it doesn’t change the dialogue among the Republicans (Ron Paul is already written off as a nut in mainstream Republican circles) and merely gives the white supremacists a moral victory.

    I think the only difference is the majority of Paul’s support come from the crackpot libertarian types of racists. Not skinheads or KKK, but you know what I mean.

    Ron Paul’s support among racists comes from outright white supremacists. I have seen this personally. Go to any gun show in your area if you doubt me. In rural Arkansas, one shouldn’t be too hard to find. That’s where I’ve seen the support for Ron Paul blossom (I belong to an anarchist organization that tables these events, among others). And in this case, since I read back issues of the Ron Paul Freedom Report in the Spencer collection at KU (the nation’s largest collection of both far-right and far-left pamphlets and periodicals), I know full well that this white supremacist support is based on the man himself and what he deeply believes.

    How the racist right interprets their own power and history matters little, I think. They are going to self-aggrandize no matter what.

    They always self-aggrandize, but they’re also not blind. When the White Aryan Resistance was held liable in the death of Mulugeta Seraw to the tune of $125 million, white supremacists knew they’d taken a hit. When the Ku Klux Klan’s membership peaked at around 1.5 million, they knew they were powerful. Give them an electoral victory, even in the general election, and they’ll feel on top of the world again.

    This is what doesn’t make sense to me. A racist runs for office every time someone with an R next to their name puts their hat in the ring.

    A racist runs for office very often when someone with a D next to their name puts their hat into the ring also. Institutional white supremacism is an important issue to confront, but if this were all that were at stake, I doubt I’d be responding now.

    Ron Paul is a different creature: he’s a man who frankly seeks the support of White Citizens’ Councils (going to speak at the Council of Conservative Citizens, for example), he publishes white supremacist propaganda, and so on. There has to be a line beyond which we say “This is what we do not do.” For me, anyone who is commited to anti-racism cannot justify forming alliances with explicitly white supremacist individuals.

    Even *if* everything everyone’s said about Paul is true, he’s still less bad than Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and the consensus is now that Bush has been worse than those two. Plus, Paul is against the war.

    He’s only less worse than Reagan and Nixon because he’s never had the power of a Reagan or a Nixon. Put him in office, however, and he’d fuck up the country for several generations, perhaps irreparably. As far as him being anti-war, that’s not even worth a response at this point.

    All I can say in conclusion is that war is an everybody issue not just because of its direct human costs, but because of how it influences everything else in the polity. War climate favors the right wing domestically. Always.

    Always? No doubt that explains the results of the 1974 and 2006 mid-term elections. You seriously cannot be so naïve as to think that the nation never gets tired of a war and its warmongers, with both the history of Vietnam and Iraq as counterexamples.

    That’s why the more clever wingnuts have decided they will give up anything before they give up the war.

    So what’s going to make them embrace Ron Paul en masse? Or are we supposed to be making appeals to the stupid wingnuts, because it’s not that difficult to see the problems of setting stupid people up to lionize a white supremacist?

    So anyone who cares about racism and abortion rights and every other liberal cause better get their hierarchy of values in order.

    Luckily, I don’t believe in liberal causes, because liberals can talk about a hierarchy of values, which implies that certain issues are more valued than others, and can tot up their hierarchies of value without consulting the people who are affected by the issues they’re prepared to deem unilaterally less worthy.

  209. HTML Mencken said,

    November 15, 2007 at 9:47

    They don’t have to be proportionally less concerned to be numerically outnumbered.

    What, you mean the anti-war movement looks like the demographics of the country itself? Imagine that. And that gives you the excuse to call it white white white and imply that it excludes minorities.

    When I see a white anti-war liberal, I see someone who says “You ought to be concerned about my issues whereas yours are…perpetually up for negotiation.”

    Oh, so just because you’re parochial and tribalist — and I note how quickly you’ve shitcanned your advocacy of the poor (who can be white, and therefore automatically oppressive) — you assume everyone else is. The war is not my issue — the joke in the post notwithstanding — it’s everyone’s issue. Or are you so concerned with tribalist issues that the fact of *our country* murdering thousands of people is too distant to be considered numero uno priority? But then maybe I’m an idiot, and there are more people being murdered by the government because of racism in America than there are dying in Iraq and potentially in Iran and Syria? It’s one thing if you really think that the KKK is going to become an arm of the government and start pushing minorities into ovens, because Holocaust is the only thing *objectively* worse that a government can do than wage an immoral war that effects mass murder; but if not, then get your shit in order.

    to anti-racism is weakened by the tacit assumption that one doesn’t need to learn from PoC because authoritative knowledge comes from whiteness.

    Since you already ascribe to me and every other white liberal the tendency to tacitly assume the worst, should I just go ahead with that and consider you a postmodernist crank who is so certain empathy *doesn’t* exist that any given group must be allowed a monopoly opinion on issues pertaining to it? Good, glad we got that out of the way. (I’m speaking for you because I’m a white liberal and I don’t care what you say; I’m evil that way; far less evil than Archie Bunker, a wingnut archetype.)

    And the average Army grunt is more likely to be a working class white guy than a PoC.

    Well, a pox on him, then. Like I said, glad you got your advocacy for the poor out of the way. That’s the great thing about the modern Liberal movement: it’s forgotten the class issues that actually unite people.

    The actual demographics do not significantly differ from the overall population percentages of PoC as a whole, and sometimes are less or more depending on category (e.g. while Blacks in the Army are slightly more, by percentage, than the overall population, Latino/as in the military are significantly less).

    So, like the anti-war movement, it is more or less like America itself? And this is bad and amounts to being “white” because it is not exclusively of PoC? IOW, this is why you can’t — won’t — identify with it as the supreme issue? Because it is not *all* about PoC? Because you have to share it? Really, you’re inspiring bad faith *that much*. I knew we had a problem with over-invested identity politics and tribalism, but this takes the cake.

    I would even argue that being a white anti-war liberal is a way of assuaging one’s conscience about improving the state of the world while being able to evade an uncomfortable sense of white guilt about being the beneficiary of a deeply unequitable system rooted in slavery and Native genocide.

    Well, it’s good to know that we’re not so sociopathic that we only want to end the war so we can get on with instituting pograms, here. That’s a start, I guess.

    Being an anti-war liberal or save Darfur liberal or any of the other trendy causes

    That’s right. We white devils try to stay hip. We are that cynical.

    is a way of attaining the seal of approval that one is a Good Person without once addressing the grueling problem of systemic racism, sexism, and other domestic issues.

    You know, I agree. Fuck what our government is doing to people around the world (killing them). Fuck it all. We cynical white liberals should think more parochially. From now on, when I see a plane decorated with USA on it dropping bombs on people, I’m just gonna think: This ain’t shit compared to the Jena Six.

    You’re advocating that we start stumping for Ron Paul,

    I am not. I am saying that he’s not as bad as the other wingnuts because of the war, and we should hope that *wingnuts* shift to Paul (especially from Giuliani, who, I promise you since that’s all you seem to care about, is just as capably racist as Paul).

    I don’t know how I keep my patience.

    BECAUSE HE PUBLISHED A WHITE SUPREMACIST RAG FOR YEARS!

    BECAUSE HE ACTIVELY SOLICITS THE SUPPORT OF WHITE CITIZENS’ COUNCILS AND OTHER RACIST INSTITUTIONS!

    I don’t know how I keep my patience. The last link on that first story I read (back when your pal David Frum circulated it) was that a Paul supporter wrote that crap. The charge was very similar to what was then said about Gravel, but since Gravel’s also a white liberal, you consider him evil, too, so what does it matter?

    Do you think that if there was the Rudy Giuliani Political Report arguing that Blacks are efficient muggers because they’re racially inclined to being fleet-footed that his pro-abortion stance would rescue him?

    There is a “Rudy Giuliani Political Report”: it’s fucking called Fox News and the Rush Limbaugh Show and National Review and, yes, if you read the code correctly, those media say just that.

    If not, why the fuck should Ron Paul’s anti-war stance be greeted with anything other than a bewildered “How can a man who’s right on that be so resolutely wrong about everything else?”

    Because he’s a libertarian! Fucking duh.

  210. Nullifidian said,

    November 15, 2007 at 9:49

    You know what?

    Fuck you.

    That is all.

  211. Nullifidian said,

    November 15, 2007 at 9:51

    On second thought, I’ll go through this and illuminate every point you’ve evaded thus far.

  212. HTML Mencken said,

    November 15, 2007 at 9:55

    Well, I wasn’t done, either. I was eventually gonna get to saying Fuck You for going *there* on that rural Arkansas crack.

  213. Nullifidian said,

    November 15, 2007 at 10:14

    Well, you’re an idiot. That wasn’t intended as a crack, it was my genuine impression that’s where you live.

  214. HTML Mencken said,

    November 15, 2007 at 10:30

    However, we had an opportunity to talk enough for me to know that I’m saying nothing he wouldn’t in telling you that you can’t ignore racism, capitalism, and other systemic inequalities in a genuine anti-war movement.

    Of course not. You acknowledge that it’s a part of it, you fight those things like you do at any other time, because that’s what morality’s about. But at actual times when war is being waged, moral triage takes effect. Which means, you recognise that stopping said war is your first best priority, not just for its own sake, and not *only* because it’s the act that would save the most lives soonest (though that in itself is enough), but also because it’s the first best way to help all the other issues. War gives wingnuts power; besides the vicarious thrill they get from knowing people are getting killed, that’s why they love war.

    I well remember the white supremacist narrative around the war in Kosova being one of how we’re protecting the dirty Muslims at the expense of the white nationalist Serbs, and they wormed their way into the antiwar movement then, too. The difference being that the actual antiwar movement properly treated them with the scorn they deserved.

    You always have nutjobs attaching themselves to any movement. Were you all that pecksniff in 2003? Did you refuse to go to any protest where, say, an ANSWER member might also be?

    The kind of people who are going to be inclined to vote for Ron Paul by his anti-war stance are limited government conservatives, many of whom aren’t any more racist than anyone who grew up with the current default status of white supremacy. It would be a far better effort to try to bring them to the Democratic side by pushing some anti-war Democrat like Bill Richardson.

    But I thought Paul supporters were all Stormfront members?

    I agree completely about trying to sway them Left and get them to vote for a Dem. That’s a premise I thought everyone who read this would understand. But I also know that we can’t sway everyone. There are Republican equivalents of yellow dog Dems; they feel the must vote for an R and will do so, the only question is for whom. So we should hope those people vote for Paul.

    Ron Paul’s support among racists comes from outright white supremacists. I have seen this personally. Go to any gun show in your area if you doubt me.

    They always support someone. They’ll support the eventual Republican nominee no matter who it is (well, probably not Alan Keyes). I haven’t been to a gun show since I was a kid, but I do remember people wearing Ronald Reagan buttons. Paul has to be better than Reagan, who nearly got us all killed (all of us — white and PoC, too! Imagine that: war really does effect everyone!) before Jesus told him to have a change of heart and listen to Ol’ Gorby.

    In rural Arkansas, one shouldn’t be too hard to find. That’s where I’ve seen the support for Ron Paul blossom

    Ahh, here it is. Fuck you.

    He’s only less worse than Reagan and Nixon because he’s never had the power of a Reagan or a Nixon. Put him in office, however, and he’d fuck up the country for several generations, perhaps irreparably.

    Right. Richard Nixon only presided at the tail end of the slaughter of 3 million Indochinese But then what are such PoC’s value when there’s racism to discuss? A guy who will authorize napalming infants or a guy who has admirers who publish white supremacist crap (as if Nixon and Reagan didn’t have the same sorts of admirers out there)? Obviously the latter is worse!

  215. Nullifidian said,

    November 15, 2007 at 11:27

    What, you mean the anti-war movement looks like the demographics of the country itself? Imagine that. And that gives you the excuse to call it white white white and imply that it excludes minorities.

    No, actually it’s white white white and excludes people of color because it ignores their concerns. They’d be more than happy to have Carl Webb if he’d just shut up about all his other concerns and replicate the white liberal narrative on the Iraq War. Because he won’t do that he’s disinvited again and again by a lot of anti-war liberals with no guts.

    People like Condoleeza Rice are the prototypical “screw you Jack, I’ve got mine” buccaneering style, and they’re perfectly willing to climb over other PoC to get to the position they’re in. However, their position is precarious and rests on replicating the white supremacist assumptions. Deviate from that in the slightest, and you’ll get shit-canned, as one pundit found when he came out in support of affirmative action. However, the same thing is happening with white liberals. Either you’re their ventriloquist’s dummy or they won’t listen to you.

    Oh, so just because you’re parochial and tribalist

    Now the namecalling. I regret having been civil to you and moderating my previous response. I won’t make that mistake again.

    But it’s not just namecalling, it’s a bright shining example of the exact same liberal shit I’m talking about. It’s parochial and tribalist to be anti-racist, solely because the white liberals don’t really care about it. In order to not be parochial and tribalist, one must simply replicate the concerns of the standard white liberal and shove any other issue aside, and this one-sized-fits-all approach is not considered parochial nor tribalist by the white liberals, who are ultimately the absolute arbiters of what are and are not the right opinions to hold.

    Hey, good luck with that. Let me know how you get on with PoC with that attitude.

    and I note how quickly you’ve shitcanned your advocacy of the poor (who can be white, and therefore automatically oppressive)

    Shitcanned simply because I don’t refer to it again in the context of a discussion where you don’t address it? What am I supposed to do, bring up everything you pass by just so I can show it’s still a going concern with me? And of course, what I say on this blog is an absolute and infallible reflection of what I have done and may yet do in addressing the issues of poverty. Give me a fucking break.

    you assume everyone else is.

    Oh, heavens no! I don’t assume that. How can you possibly be parochial and tribalist when you’re the ultimate arbiter of what that is in this conversation?

    I will say that you don’t give a shit about people of color. You’ve shown that again and again. But that would just be a “parochial” and “tribalist” concern anyway, and you’re far too high-minded for that sort of thing.

    The war is not my issue — the joke in the post notwithstanding — it’s everyone’s issue.

    For a sufficiently restricted definition of “everyone” which only includes Americans (except the uppity ones), Brits, (and the rest of the Coalition of the Willing), Iraqis and Afghans. How broad-minded you anti-war libs are!

    Or are you so concerned with tribalist issues that the fact of *our country* murdering thousands of people is too distant to be considered numero uno priority?

    Congratulations: you’ve now given me the opportunity to turn your own words back at you. Just because you’re parochial and tribalist, you assume everyone else is.

    I already told you what I think, and you could have done me the courtesy of actually reading it before spouting off like this. But that might mean that I have a point to make, and that white liberalism just might be ever so slightly in the wrong.

    Me, previously:

    I am against the war and I am against racism. . . . I’m not willing to trade one to secure victory on the other. . . .

    So does that sound like someone who is willing to trade being anti-war for anti-racism? Sadly, no!

    But then maybe I’m an idiot

    You are.

    It’s one thing if you really think that the KKK is going to become an arm of the government and start pushing minorities into ovens, because Holocaust is the only thing *objectively* worse that a government can do than wage an immoral war that effects mass murder; but if not, then get your shit in order.

    In order according to you? Okay, that would entail, from what I’ve seen of your blithering nonsense, round-filing anybody else’s concerns except for the anti-war efforts, and make alliances with absolutely anybody except for people of color who might bring their foreign, parochial, and tribalist issues into our nice pure-of-heart campaign. White supremacists may bring their baggage, and we’ll give it a wink and a nod, but the instant any PoC says that’s not cool, they’re to be hounded out.

    Gotcha. I wonder if Bo Gritz is still doing the anti-war thing. . . .

    Since you already ascribe to me and every other white liberal the tendency to tacitly assume the worst, should I just go ahead with that and consider you a postmodernist crank who is so certain empathy *doesn’t* exist that any given group must be allowed a monopoly opinion on issues pertaining to it?

    It’s clear that empathy doesn’t exist in your case, otherwise you wouldn’t be saying such fucking stupid shit, inclusive of that last statement which really doesn’t make any fucking sense at all.

    (I’m speaking for you because I’m a white liberal and I don’t care what you say; I’m evil that way; far less evil than Archie Bunker, a wingnut archetype.)

    The point of the Archie Bunker illustration, had you actually read the article I linked to with it, was to show that PoC prefer outright racists to dialogue with because there’s a starting point with them, whereas most white liberals provide no such starting point and any discussion with them turns into this kind of by turns defensive and agressive bombastic bullshit.

    And you’ve been speaking for me this entire time, so you hardly needed to note it now.

    Here’s how it was put:

    Many of my POC friends would actually prefer to hang out with an Archie Bunker-type who spits flagrantly offensive opinions, rather than a colorblind liberal whose insidious paternalism, dehumanizing tokenism, and cognitive indoctrination ooze out between superficially progressive words. At least the former gives you something to work with, something above-board to engage and argue against; the latter tacitly insists on imposing and maintaining an illusion of non-racist moral purity which provides little to no room for genuine self-examination or racial dialogue.

    Well, a pox on him, then. Like I said, glad you got your advocacy for the poor out of the way. That’s the great thing about the modern Liberal movement: it’s forgotten the class issues that actually unite people.

    The other great thing about the modern Liberal movement is that its prominent representatives online don’t have to pretend like they’re actually reading you when you tell them you don’t believe in “liberal causes”.

    So, like the anti-war movement, it is more or less like America itself? And this is bad and amounts to being “white” because it is not exclusively of PoC? IOW, this is why you can’t — won’t — identify with it as the supreme issue? Because it is not *all* about PoC? Because you have to share it? Really, you’re inspiring bad faith *that much*. I knew we had a problem with over-invested identity politics and tribalism, but this takes the cake.

    You’ve really gone off the fucking deep end. Oh, yes, I hate the military because it’s not exclusively peopled by PoC. Where do you get this stuff?

    Actually, I hate the U.S. military because it kills people in ways which are meant to force submission to a series of neocolonialist policies none of which benefit them or their communities. I do not think the U.S. military would be a-ok if it were 100% peopled by PoC, as long as it continues doing the same old shit.

    I shouldn’t even have to be explaining this to anyone smarter than a toaster, but that’s the nature of dialogues on race: the stupidest shit gets said to evade any central point. And then someone always brings in a Safely Long-Dead Civil Rights Leader to justify themselves, and then the whole conversation goes to pot.

    Well, it’s good to know that we’re not so sociopathic that we only want to end the war so we can get on with instituting pograms, here. That’s a start, I guess.

    In other words: I refuse to deal with anything you’re saying, but I do feel perfectly free to bring out a heaping dollop of Wite Disdain to put you in your place.

    That’s right. We white devils try to stay hip. We are that cynical.

    And in your case, that’s pretty much exactly it. I don’t think you have any serious commitments to any political position which are not driven first and foremost by positioning yourself within your worldview first and foremost as a “good person” regardless of what it is you do.

    Every conversation I have with liberals starts to reflect Wallace Shawn’s “The Fever” eventually, so here’s a little snippet from it to set the mood:

    Certain things cannot be questioned. The coffee has to be there on the shelf, and no thought may enter your mind if it conflicts with the assumption that you—yes, you—are a decent person. So go ahead, think—think freely—think about anything you like. Think about your health, the other people, the ones who treat you badly, think about the complicated ways in which you mistreat yourself, think about the children afflicted with incurable diseases who were interviewed in that magazine. Think of all the things which show that you’re decent, which show that those who are like you are decent—your friends, your loved ones, and all those people all over the world, in every country, who remind you of yourself…. Think of all the things that you have done that were kind, think of the kindness of all your intentions. And if something that you did turned out badly, think of the good motive behind the action—smile, nod your head, understand, accept. Don’t talk to people who don’t think you’re decent. Don’t read books, don’t read articles, by writers who don’t think you’re decent, who don’t think those who are like you are decent. Their writing is based on a false assumption. It’s skewed, distorted. Your thought must be founded on truth, the truth that you are a decent person.

    Now, a decent person cannot be a person who’s gotten away with something. A decent person cannot have what it’s not appropriate for them to have. And this understanding of yourself gives you the basis for a view of the world. And so you can look out at the way the world works, and sure, there are many many things that of course disturb you…but still you can say that the way the world works is fundamentally not unjust, because you’ve received a share of things which you know it’s appropriate for you to have, and it’s appropriate for all the people who are like you all over the world to have the share that they have, that means that it’s not inappropriate for all the others to have the share which remains. You know that what you have is what you deserve, and that means that what they have is what they deserve.

    And that pretty much sums it up. If a good person cannot be someone who’s gotten away with something, then a series of evasions may be constructed. 1, is, of course, it never happened. While this remains the popular choice for the purposes of U.S. history textbooks, it’s a little untenable in the face of the evidence. 2 in the series of evasions is “it wasn’t as bad as all that”. Medved seems to be stuck at 2 with respect to slavery, as Jillian rightly ridiculed him for a few weeks ago. Third and last in the series of evasions is “Those old things don’t really matter now”. This is basically where you and a lot of fellow white liberals get stuck. If you can ignore the legacy of slavery or the conquest of the Americas, then perhaps you can dimly feel absolved of responsibility for confronting that terrible past. However, things are not that simple because the history of systemic inequality leads to systemic inequality in the present, and pointing that out leads to a predictable set of evasions. Even this wouldn’t be so bad if the average white liberal didn’t fancy themselves a boundary-breaking gadfly for an egalitarian world and get huffy when we point out how they’re not doing shit.

    You know, I agree. Fuck what our government is doing to people around the world (killing them). Fuck it all. We cynical white liberals should think more parochially. From now on, when I see a plane decorated with USA on it dropping bombs on people, I’m just gonna think: This ain’t shit compared to the Jena Six.

    That was in response to this:

    is a way of attaining the seal of approval that one is a Good Person without once addressing the grueling problem of systemic racism, sexism, and other domestic issues.

    The incredible magnitude of irrelevance of your response could scarcely be believed if it weren’t set down in text.

    Do you want congratulations for cozying up to a white supremacist in order to end the war? Sorry. You’re not getting it. Not from me, and not from any Iraqis or Afghans either. You’re taking the cheapest and the easiest route out: step out of the picture let the politicos handle it.

    I am not. I am saying that he’s not as bad as the other wingnuts because of the war, and we should hope that *wingnuts* shift to Paul (especially from Giuliani, who, I promise you since that’s all you seem to care about, is just as capably racist as Paul).

    I have to mention every single contender by name in this thread lest you determine that’s the only thing I “care about”? I guess that’s of a piece with your conclusion that I don’t care about the poor since I stopped mentioning them in every paragraph.

    And I wish you luck on your efforts to get Paul to the general election by the power of positive thought. I haven’t seen the conjunction of that in politics since protestors ringed the Pentagon to lift it off the ground through the power of transcendental meditation.

    I don’t know how I keep my patience. The last link on that first story I read (back when your pal David Frum circulated it) was that a Paul supporter wrote that crap. The charge was very similar to what was then said about Gravel, but since Gravel’s also a white liberal, you consider him evil, too, so what does it matter?

    Oh, well, if a supporter wrote all that, then what does it matter than Ron Paul lent his name to two successive “racialist resources” or went and spoke before the modern incarnation of the White Citizens’ Councils? I note you didn’t deal with that aspect. Is it because you’d find it difficult to justify him speaking before an organization whose geneaology from the White Citizens’ Councils is all too apparent?

    And I loved how you called David Frum my “pal”. I wasn’t aware that neocons like Frum were committed to anti-racism, the fight against poverty, unions, anti-sexism, anti-homophobia, sustainable communities, and anarchism. Maybe I should switch over, because it’s obvious that you’re a fucking dead loss.

    Of course, what’s really going on is the same old political “color blindness” that so hilariously reared its head when DailyKos claimed that both a Liberal Democrat from Britain and a Guardian columnist were the cutting edge of the new eliminationist American right, where the idiot in question cannot thing outside the dull, bifurcated liberal-conservative split.

    There is a “Rudy Giuliani Political Report”: it’s fucking called Fox News and the Rush Limbaugh Show and National Review and, yes, if you read the code correctly, those media say just that.

    I believe that if you aim your binoculars about 63 degress off the horizon, and 78 degrees to your left, you might catch sight of the point flying by.

    Because he’s a libertarian! Fucking duh.

    That was a rhetorical question. Dear god, you are so stupid.

  216. Nullifidian said,

    November 15, 2007 at 12:28

    Of course not. You acknowledge that it’s a part of it, you fight those things like you do at any other time, because that’s what morality’s about.

    Morality is about putting off other people’s suffering to “any other time”, which eventually becomes “every other time”, as long as you think you have a cause that takes precedence?

    But at actual times when war is being waged, moral triage takes effect.

    Jesus Fucking Christ on an Upside-Down Pogo Stick, it’s not so hard to organize an anti-war march or protest or petition that you have to perform this kind of triage! I doubt very much if you’d be doing anything other than that in any case. But no, it must be so hard to be anti-war that you don’t have the mental effort to devote to anything else, and indeed being anti-war is so hard that you have to push off the responsibility of it to your politicians, while you go and have a lie down owing to the inherent difficulty of being a centrist-to-center-left liberal.

    I have been arrested and convicted for my part in direct actions to protest the war. We also organized marches, rallies, and speakers/films against the war. As a part of that organization, I also helped run our local Food Not Bombs, volunteered at a local independent radical library/community space, assisted local organizations in May Day marches for immigrant rights, worked our community garden, did prisoner solidarity support, helped to clean up Greensburg, KS, assisted the striking Goodyear workers in Topeka, and organized several benefit concerts for various groups, including one to benefit prisoners trapped within the system by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. All while working and getting my master’s degree.

    I am not sympathetic to the idea that one is so swamped on just one issue that not only do you have to concentrate all your forces on it, you also have to relieve yourself of the burden of being so anti-war by getting a white supremacist politician to shoulder some of that burden. Give me a fucking break.

    Which means, you recognise that stopping said war is your first best priority, not just for its own sake, and not *only* because it’s the act that would save the most lives soonest (though that in itself is enough), but also because it’s the first best way to help all the other issues.

    Except that when other issues arise in the context of your anti-war work, you ignore them and berate the people who bring them up for being parochial and tribalistic. Of course, that’s a negotiable response, because if a politician who’s anti-war happens to be dragging white supremacists in tow, well, that’s just a little quirk you can afford to overlook.

    Zuky, whose article I’ve previously referenced, knocked that one out of the park with this:

    When you get right down to it, the unrecognized political reality is that most white liberals have more in common with white conservatives — social cues, family ties, cognitive biases, cultural backdrops, etc. — than they do with people of color. I’m calling this tangle of contradictions the white liberal conundrum.

    War gives wingnuts power; besides the vicarious thrill they get from knowing people are getting killed, that’s why they love war.

    And they’re going to stop because you’re wishing really hard for them to support Ron Paul.

    You always have nutjobs attaching themselves to any movement. Were you all that pecksniff in 2003? Did you refuse to go to any protest where, say, an ANSWER member might also be?

    I did go to one ANSWER-sponsored rally in Washington D.C. which turned into a long, stupid, and pointless rally for John Kerry, despite the fact that the largest coalition there were anarchists from all across the U.S. who would have rather seen Kerry and Bush link arms and jump headlong into the Potomac than become president. So, I must admit I am a little wary of ANSWER’s rallies, because they combine stupidity with a hefty dose of doctrinaire Stalinism.

    Again, however, the point is not whether nuts are going to attach themselves to one’s movement, but what one does with the nuts when they do. Bo Gritz was told to take a flying leap (eventually). Your strategy is to link arms with the Bo Gritzes of the world and sing a chorus of “Kumbaya”. It’s not hard to tell which one is better for the long-term moral and political strength of the antiwar movement.

    They always support someone.

    No, they always end up supporting many people (although some years are better for them than others), then they usually get behind a single Republican candidate in the general election. The fact of widespread consistent white racist support for Ron Paul this early in the earliest primary season on record should be a clue for anyone not ignoring the fucking obvious.

    They’ll support the eventual Republican nominee no matter who it is (well, probably not Alan Keyes).

    Which is irrelevant since the Republican National Convention hasn’t happened yet.

    I haven’t been to a gun show since I was a kid, but I do remember people wearing Ronald Reagan buttons. Paul has to be better than Reagan, who nearly got us all killed (all of us — white and PoC, too! Imagine that: war really does effect everyone!) before Jesus told him to have a change of heart and listen to Ol’ Gorby.

    Paul has to be better than Reagan, why? Because you say so? Because he’s an isolationist? An isolationist wouldn’t do a damn thing to stop a nuclear war between India and Pakistan, to name two nuclear powers who hate each others’ guts. Even a low-level nuclear war between India and Pakistan would create havoc not only in those countries, but regionally, and, depending on the conditions for long-term fallout, worldwide. Hypothetical, perhaps, but so is the idea that we were almost killed by ol’ Ronnie Raygun, so if the latter is relevant for evaluating Raygun, the former has to be relevant for evaluating Paul.

    Ahh, here it is. Fuck you.

    You’re an idiot.

    Right. Richard Nixon only presided at the tail end of the slaughter of 3 million Indochinese But then what are such PoC’s value when there’s racism to discuss? A guy who will authorize napalming infants or a guy who has admirers who publish white supremacist crap (as if Nixon and Reagan didn’t have the same sorts of admirers out there)? Obviously the latter is worse!

    Way to miss the point again. You have a definite talent in this direction (probably why you’re generally not responsible for the “Shorter” wingnuts).

    A Ron Paul presidency, if he’s given absolutely everything he wants, would result in almost an overnight change to an isolationist and isolated U.S. back on the gold standard (which, since we don’t have nine trillion dollars worth of gold, would soon mean that our national debt would spell bankruptcy, the same way it almost did when we went off the Bretton Woods gold standard under Nixon). You might as well paper your walls with greenbacks, for all the value they’d have, and people would be starving. Social services would be gutted twice—even if they hadn’t been shut down, they’d be ineffective owing to the valuelessness of the dollar. Because of the refusal to deal with other countries, industry would effectively stop, as there would be no oil from anywhere aside from the North Slope (soon to become arctic wasteland) to run the machines. The income tax would be eliminated, so the U.S. would either be haemorrhaging money trying to make up the shortfall or (by the pure Paul-i Principle) government services would be eliminated, including largely the military.

    It would stop the war, granted. It would also lead to the utter collapse of the dollar, confidence in government, 90% unemployment if we’re lucky, widespread poverty, and since Paul is such a state’s rights nut, might well end in bloody infighting among newly independent states who have just seceeded saying “Get me the hell away from this nut!”

    Meanwhile the abrupt collapse of the American economy would usher in a global economic downturn because not everyone will be able to get their money out before getting hosed. This in turn will lead to unrest in many areas around the globe, and Americans will become known as a land of people whose main economy rests around going on the internet and saying “I am the widow of an infamous American Mafia boss, who put €15,000,000 in escrow in a Swiss bank for my family and I. Unfortunately, his assets have been seized by the government, and if they found out about this money, they’d take it too. Therefore, I trust in you as a person of wisdom and discretion, that you will let me transfer this to me via your bank account, and then you can keep 10%. May God bless you and keep you.”

    Would that be worse than Nixon? Obviously, ymmv.

  217. Jillian said,

    November 15, 2007 at 12:43

    You know why I really, really hate seeing us arguing over which candidate – Democrat or Republican – stands the best chance of ending the war in Iraq?

    Because it’s like arguing over which candidate stands the best chance of getting us cold fusion, or which candidate stands the best chance of getting us Star Trek replicator technology.

    NO candidate is going to “end the war in Iraq”. It isn’t going to happen. If, on January 20, 2009, we inaugurate President Kucinich, then I guarantee you that on Christmas Eve, 2009, we will still have tens of thousands of troops in Iraq.

    If by “end the war”, you mean “work to lessen hostilities, bring home a nominal contingent of American troops, and start coming up with plans to get our troops to stand down over the next ten years, leaving in place a contingent to ‘keep the peace’ the way we do in Korea”, then just about any Democrat should do you fine. If by “end the war” you mean “all troops out by X (where X is a date sometime before my fortieth birthday)”, then you are living in a fantasy world. The only candidate who stands half a chance of accomplishing that is Sam Webb, and he’s not running.

    Can we please not argue over pie in the sky dreams? It’s just not worth it. Mencken, you know I love you, but ain’t nobody going to “end this war”. Reverse some of its most heinous effects at home and abroad, yes, but end it, no.

    This just makes me sad, and I’m already pretty damn sad with all the damn violence in my work-world of late. Let’s just have a love-in, okay? Or an orgy. Or something. Let’s just not fight over which Republican candidate sucks less. Frankly, if ANY Republican candidate wins the presidency next time around, I would strongly encourage everybody around these parts to pick up a passport in a fake name and get in the habit of traveling everywhere with that passport and whatever sort of walking-around cash you can muster. If for no other reason than if things reach the point where you need those items, it will by then be too late to actually get ‘em.

    Fuck, now I’m really depressed.

  218. Nullifidian said,

    November 15, 2007 at 13:11

    And now, one parting observation:

    You are not my ally. Not even on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The reason for that is that you’re a cruise missle leftist in the making. You have no solid political foundation nor informing principles for believing the things you do—it’s just how you position yourself within your own worldview. Do you think you’re a good person? Great! Then you’re doing good.

    Andrew Anthony, in his book, The Fall-Out has you pegged:

    And I had grown too comfortable with seeing myself as one of the good guys, the well-meaning people, to want to do anything that upset that image. I viewed myself as understanding, and to maintain that self-perception it was imperative that I didn’t try to understand myself.

    What happened to Anthony was that he got tired of behaving in this way, and blamed the analyses he’d been exposed to for making him behave in this way, when it was his own insufferable privilege and paternalism that made him behave in this way.

    Anthony was raised in council flats, which is the urban English equivalent of really fucking poor.

    Like you.

    I was aware that you had to appeal to the readers of Sadly, No! so that your electricity wouldn’t be turned off before you told me. I read it at the time, although I couldn’t contribute because I had just moved and had no job and no money.

    Anthony never had any foundational left-wing principles, he just coasted on the good feeling he got, regardless of whether he was more useless than tits on a bull. When he got tired of that, 9/11 gave him a convenient escape clause, and he went and got himself a new set of principles which exactly conformed to that adopted by the people in power, because the people in power were the ones with agency, the ones with money, the ones he could look up to. I ripped his excerpted material that appeared in the Guardian a new one, because of the same oblivious white privilege and self-centeredness that was his constant companion during the time he was a liberal.

    I’d estimate fifteen to twenty-five years before you register Republican and start treading the same path. If Regnery hasn’t been sued into nonexistence by then, you might even be offered a book deal. The rhetoric you laid down today would fit very neatly in their catalogue—only the general political thrust would have to change, and not by all that much.

    I really see no further purpose in staying here, in this thread, or on this blog. It’s funny, yes, but other people are funny too, and there’s a common context in which useful discussions can occur without having to hold the hands of the oblivious liberals while being smeared with their same old shit.

    Goodbye.

  219. Nullifidian said,

    November 15, 2007 at 13:14

    Test.

  220. Nullifidian said,

    November 15, 2007 at 14:18

    Jillian, personally, I’m not fighting over which Republican candidate sucks less. In fact, there is one reason, and one alone, that I’m responding to HTML and he manages to evade it with a consistency that is remarkable, all the while imputing the most ridiculous and extravagant ideas to me.

    The Point (now with twice the radicalism!):

    There has to be a line beyond which we say “This is what we do not do.” For me, anyone who is commited to anti-racism cannot justify forming alliances with explicitly white supremacist individuals.

    I’m not even that interested in discussing it anymore. I’ve gone through every reiteration, down every irrelevant sideline, addressed every ludicrous strawman, and parried about four or five utterly predictable lines of attack.

    I’m done. I’m wiped out. Granted, it was no easy thing, and I’m hardly the best person for the handholding variety of anti-racism. Since everything ends up coming down to Wallace Shawn’s “The Fever” anyway, here’s a quote: “No, I’m trying to tell you that people hate you. I’m trying to explain to you about the people who hate you.” I know it’s never an easy thing to hear, and the immediate response is “Nuh uh, not me!” or “You’re being oversensitive!” or “Have fun with your pet projects” or any of a multitude of broadly similar sentiments all designed to invalidate the perspectives of already marginalized voices. I don’t have the patience for it, and I don’t hold hands. Most conversations with PoC on race, gays on homophobia, women on sexism, etc. end up with so many clauses, disclaimers, and euphemisms that one plows into one of their articles and halfway through one doesn’t know if one will come out of it alive.

    It’s all “of course I don’t mean everybody”, “this is my opinion”, “if you could see it from my perspective”….

    Fuck that noise.

    So I think the only reasonable thing to do at this stage is push off to greener pastures where one doesn’t have to mince around a point and recheck every post five times to make sure that it can’t be deliberately misunderstood by defensive white liberals on a mission.

    That bothers me a great deal, because i was very happy to see you made a contributing author on this blog, and I hope you continue.

    As for you, HTML, I give you fifteen to twenty-five years before you’re registering Republican. You remind me of Andrew Anthony, one of Britain’s newly minted members of the “decent left”, in his pre-conversion days. I don’t think you have any truly foundational political beliefs or guiding principles. When you get sick of pretending to be a Good Person, as Anthony did, you’re not going to drop the reflexive white supremacism, patriachalism, and so on. Instead, these unexamined reflexes are just going to invert, like the image of a Necker cube, and you’ll come out the other side a right-winger.

    And you’ll be able to slip comfortably into that role, because there your cultural values will be taken for granted, and there’ll be no chance (as opposed to the Democrats’ miniscule chance) that the alien concerns that you high-handedly write off as “parochial” or “tribalist” will enter the political discourse.

  221. Pandagon :: Do it to stop war, then :: November :: 2007 said,

    November 15, 2007 at 17:08

    [...] I’ve read this post by HTML Mencken three times very carefully, and I still can’t figure out what his deal is. Leaving aside that he undermines his commitment to fighting racism by using the words “hobbyhorse” and “pet cause”—minimizing language, by any measure, only used to insinuate that the cause at hand is not, in fact, important—he does testily admit that racism is serious shit, but just suggests that the war in Iraq is a more important cause right now. Fighting the war and fighting racism are somehow in conflict? asks the usually intelligent but confused human being. Isn’t racism a primary cause of war-mongering? Isn’t the vast majority of energy left for this imperialist cause coming from screeching Muslim haters, now that every other remotely rational person has exited stage left? [...]

  222. Kathleen said,

    November 15, 2007 at 20:49

    I went home last night and so missed the most heated part of this heated exchange, and what I am about to say is going to sound really, really patronizing, but so be it: HTML, you don’t seem like a bad guy. Maybe the reason this whole debate has upset you so much is because you are realizing – for reasons you didn’t anticpate when you first posted, no one is omniscient, we learn in community, etc. etc. — you are wrong on this one. As is frequently and devastatingly pointed out on this very blog, the most flailingly angry arguments are often the most flawed, bad-faith, indefensible ones. Chalk it up as a thought experiment: what if we tactically encouraged support for Ron Paul? Results of said experiment: hmm, actually not such a great strategy.

    It’s okay to learn from these things.

  223. HTML Mencken said,

    November 15, 2007 at 20:59

    Actually, Kathleen, the opposite is true. I was unsure and ambiguous when I first wrote the post — which is why I inserted myself into the joke at the end.

    But now after your and Nullifidian’s comments, I know I’m right. I’m sorry if people can’t understand the simple moral calculus that war, which kills thousands (and makes many millions here and abroad miserable), is more important to deal with immediately than a domestic issue which might kill hundreds (and makes fewer but not insignificant millions miserable here), but whatever.

    But I get it: I’m a white male, and so on top of being a cynical sociopath (per Nullifidian), I also must be stubborn in the stupid American sit-com kind of way.

  224. Kathleen said,

    November 15, 2007 at 21:18

    So let me put my concern troll hat back on and say:

    I don’t know — and yeah, this is going to sound patronizing again — but I can’t help thinking that if you felt at peace with your own position you’d lose the “it’s hard out here for a white man” snark. I mean, I am a huge, HUGE fan of snark (it’s why I read S, N, obvy). But at the end of an argument like this one, well, it actually leaves me unpersuaded that you are in fact persuaded by your own position.

  225. HTML Mencken said,

    November 15, 2007 at 21:28

    I’m totally at peace with it. What I’m angered about is the “ZOMG you totally don’t care about abortion” shit. And the “antiwar is white white white” thing. Fuck all that.

    If you don’t want to hear my entirely eye-rolling, sarcastic, insincere tribalism, maybe you shouldn’t incite it with your own (which of course is sincere).

  226. atlasien said,

    November 15, 2007 at 21:30

    I agree, Kathleen.

  227. Dayv said,

    November 15, 2007 at 21:41

    Murray Rothstein said,

    Calling Ron Paul a nutbar discredits yourself.

    [...]

    Good night, and good luck finding your brain.

    My ad hominem attacks are better than yours!

  228. Ben L said,

    November 15, 2007 at 23:08

    Unfortunately it took segregationist Governor Wallace to reveal the truth that “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between” Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats willingly went along with the War in Iraq, suspension of Habeas Corpus, detaining protesters, banning books like “America Deceived’ from Amazon, stealing private lands (Kelo decision), warrant-less wiretapping and refusing to investigate 9/11 properly. They are both guilty of treason.
    Support Dr. Ron Paul and save this great nation.
    Last link (before Google Books bends to gov’t Will and drops the title):
    http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?&isbn=0-595-38523-0

  229. Mandos said,

    November 16, 2007 at 7:34

    *sigh* Can we start over? Pretty please? I know, I know, it’s annoying.

    HTML, nobody is saying that they would like a Rudy presidency better than a Ron Paul presidency. Right? Can we at least agree on that?

    Then why bite your allies with an implicit declaration that their issues are less important than yours? They *know* the war in Iraq is important. They even know that it’s connected to their issues (racism, etc)…which is more than you will say for yourself, apparently.

    But a lot of them are in the business of saving their own lives first. I mean, put on your own oxygen mask before you put theirs on them, you know. For some reason, you can’t think of anything on which you need to save your own life, so laudably you focus on saving the lives of others. But for other people, the calculation is a little different—and more real than, apparently, you seem to think.

    So why bite them like that? I can’t figure it out. Why, more than once? It’s not even like the sammich joke wars, which at least started with the intention to be funny.

    I really don’t get it.

  230. RobW said,

    November 16, 2007 at 12:33

    Damn wordpress straight to hell. I mean, test…

  231. flawedplan said,

    November 16, 2007 at 13:33

    I agree with HTML. And as a side note, fuck the haters, straight up. “You are not my ally. You are not a good person.” Yes, and you should see a therapist.

    I just went through this a couple weeks ago, also concerning Ron Paul, because he is the only candidate who is pushing legislation to protect people with psych labels from being forced into involuntary commitment, including outpatient, which is increasingly happening inside people’s homes under programs of assertive community treatment. People who’ve lived through a particular hell, have a stake in it, especially when it was an injustice for which they remain eligible for it happening again, without due process, and I get that RP is the only candidate who has this issue on his radar, but to make it the centerpiece of your life, your politics, and entire identity is total batshit. There is nothing I need to learn, I fully understand the horror of coercive psychiatry, but I have been denounced and delinked and declaimed a bad person by the true pure of heart, for the exact same reason — I see ending the war as primary. The tribalism, rejection and pissy character assassinations hurt me to the bone, and I am going to have to learn how to reconcile this in my own affinity group, but it’s also kind of reassuring to see it played out here, and Nullifidian reading from pretty much the same script. Talk about scapegoating. Authoritarianism, yeah, that’s what we’re trying to cure all right.

  232. Kathleen said,

    November 16, 2007 at 17:30

    Mandos, I think your heart is in the right place but you are buying into the giant gaping fallacy in HTML’s argument — that somehow there is a calculus to be made between “satisfying the demands of identity politics” and “ending the war in Iraq”. Blacks, gays, and women are not, in fact, putting an “oxygen mask” on their own faces first and happily cackling at Iraqis gasping for air. It’s a wrong-headed point, and there is something very strange about the fact that anyone would make it and then that so many people would insist on its validity.

    There is no such equation on offer, anywhere. HTML set it up — *as if* it really does exist as a potential trade. It doesn’t, but having set that up, he then takes the next step of yelling at everyone who falls on the “wrong” side of this non-existent dealie “omg you don’t care about the war in Iraq at all what with your endless boring crazy talk about ladies and nelly boys and de blacks!”

    Something *other than* caring THE MOST OF ANYBODY ANYWHERE FOR ALL TIME INFINITY NO BACKS about ending the war in Iraq is going on here.

  233. Mandos said,

    November 16, 2007 at 18:51

    You’re right, Kathleen. But I was trying to put it in terms that HTML might understand, in the hope that this was a good-faith failure to communicate. But: you’re absolutely right. It’s a false opposition. I tried to put it that way all the way up there, but it didn’t, shall we say, “take.”

  234. Robert said,

    November 16, 2007 at 19:50

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RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul RulZ!!!111!!Ron Paul 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  235. pizza god said,

    November 16, 2007 at 21:46

    Ok, I see a lot of you have some wrong ideas about Ron Paul. Please let me set some records straight.

    Public schools are a “favorite domestic issue”? – To make it clear, Ron Paul wants to end Bushes No Child Left Behind waist of money. In fact it want to phase out the Department of Education and return control of public schools to the states where it should be.

    what’s to stop me from calling him a sexist, racist, homophobic shit? – Please show proof. He has done more for those groups than any other Republican Running. I have never seen where he can be called a sexist, all you have to do is read his speeches on Race and groups to know he does not what the government to pass laws discriminating against them.

    do his best to eradicate the EPA – a government department that LETS business polute your air, ground and water, as long as they do it withing the EPA’s guidlines. Yes does ZERO about the USA’s worst polluter, the US government.

    the ability of the state to prosecute hate crimes – Hate crime laws are racist laws.

    and the ability of workers to unionize? – He supports the right of workers to form Unions. He also supports the rights of businesses to hire outside of unions if they can find the qualified people. This is how it is in Texas.

    attempted to put the US economy back on a ‘gold standard’ – sure, we like our Dollar being based on NOTHING. It is a peice of paper folks. It is worth NOTHING. The world is loosing faith in the Dollar. Shoot it is even worth less than the Canadian Dollar now. I would rather have the strongest currentcy in the world that everyone bases there currently on like in the 50-60′s

    Listen, read up on Ron Paul, actually listen to some of his speeches. Read some of the articles he actually wrote. If you are a stocialist, you will not agree with everything he says, he will not give you government hand out which are taking from the rich and giving to the poor [and some lazy]

    What Ron Paul wants is that YOU control your life, not government. You should make the choices in your life, not the government.

    Me, I don’t want help from the government, in fact I want them out of my life. [this means the Federal Government, not city government that runs Police, Fire, and other departments.]

  236. Simba B. said,

    November 16, 2007 at 21:50

    Um, note in passing to the Paultards finding this thread: it’s dead. We’re up on the main page having fun discussing Barry Bonds and wingnut cheeto-and-Game-Fuel blender cocktails, so you’re speaking (mostly) to an empty room. Only those of us watching the comments RSS feed see you, and I doubt many of us care.

    No one is interested in your Ron Paul manifesto. We discussed the whole thing at length a few days ago, and trust me, unlike you guys, no one here wants to see him elected. It’s just a question of how he would be useful to progressive politics.

  237. Righteous Bubba said,

    November 16, 2007 at 21:55

    what’s to stop me from calling him a sexist, racist, homophobic shit? – Please show proof.

    Here you go.

    http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2007/06/ron-paul-vs-new-world-order.html

  238. Nullifidian said,

    November 16, 2007 at 22:49

    Back for one last peek.

    HTML, I never expected you to change your opinion about what you said, and indeed strengthening your opinion is exactly what I predicted before diving into this. However, I thought at least you’d be open to listening to what I had to say. I see that was wrong in about a dozen different ways.

    So why did I think that you’d strengthen your beliefs? Because you clearly have a whole set of unexamined issues when it comes to race, gender, and other touchy subjects. Therefore there can be no common ground between issues (despite the fact that this war is a racist one) because the scariest thing in the world is the thought of admitting an anti-racist perspective into the subject of the anti-war movement, and having to address what that anti-racist contingent offers up. When such issues are offered up, regardless, you have to stomp them out by 1) not listening 2) misrepresenting the arguments and 3) implying that the people offering up the arguments are worse than you are for not going along with you on ZOMG!!!! TEH WAR (currently) TOTALLY ECLIPSEZ EVRY OTEHR ISSUE EVAR!!!!!1111!ONE

    I did not argue that you are cynical and I certainly didn’t argue that you are a sociopath. A sociopath wouldn’t concern themselves with making things fit to their conception of themselves as a Good Person. Instead, they just wouldn’t care. Your politics is centered around a genuine psychological need to think you are a Good Person and striking a balance between that and not addressing issues of hierarchy and dominance which might weaken the tacit liberal assumption that you’re the gatekeeper for deciding where, when and which issues are proper to hold to. I do say, because of your absolute concentration in being a Person of Good Will, you have lost sight of any foundational principles or politics, and you just blow with the wind from one issue to the other until you’ll get tired of that and succumb to a political philosophy where your unexamined prejudices are taken for granted. While liberal Democrats take white het male supremacy for granted, they also pay lip service to marginalized groups, which leads to an uncomfortable degree of contact and often contention. Republicans don’t even bother.

    I fully admit that I could be wrong. Young people change their views as they become less naïve, and maybe you’ll end up realizing that you can actually listen to marginalized groups every once in a while. I can give you a tip which will help: when one of them talks in general terms about the tacit assumptions of white male het supremacy, the first natural reaction of OMG ITZ SO NOT ME!!!1111!! is an Automatic Fail, Please Retry. Instead, “It’s not me” should be the end result of sober and searching self-analysis taken after reading and comprehending what they have to say. Otherwise, you’ll get so caught up in your denialism that you’ll never see the forest for the trees.

    However, in my frank opinion, I wouldn’t give you more than longshot odds on ever reaching that point. And you’re not my ally (listen up “flawedplan”!) not because you’re intrinsically a bad person, but because if I allied with you, you’d take your tacit assumptions of white het male privilege and start dictating to me what positions to hold and when and where I am allowed to hold them, as you have done in this thread. I get that all the time from liberals who think that affiliation means submission to them and their vision of a shining city. I resist it every time and go my own way, and the anti-war movements that I’ve participated in were far stronger, more interpersonally supportive, more creative, and simply MORE EFFECTIVE than the ones that were institutionally designed to deny the marginalized a voice. In Lawrence, through a combination of direct action and conventional protests, we created a situation where the war machine was directing money away from killing Iraqis to protecting itself and its recruiting centers. In their paranoia, they installed panic buttons, bomb-proof windows, and became the most expensive-to-run recruiting center in the Midwest region. All to keep on getting their eight recruit average per year. How long do you think it’s going to be before some pencil pusher at the Pentagon figures that keeping these places open for eight recruits a year isn’t worth the extra expense? A plurality of both tactics and issues is not only the way to reach more people, it’s also the only effective way of organizing an anti-war movement.

    I can see you don’t like my characterization of the (liberal) antiwar movement as “white, white, white”, but whether it angers you or not, that’s what is so. I’ve been trying to explain to you the reasons why this is so. I really couldn’t care less what you personally have to say about Ron Paul. I can’t control it, wouldn’t want to control it, and frankly I don’t even care if you vote for him. All I am telling you is that if you do endorse him as a good candidate for wingnuts, you are betraying people who could have been your allies to no purpose, since the effective chances of Ron Paul ever being in a position to stop the war range all the way from slim to none. If you truly want to understand why PoC are wary of the liberal anti-war movement, you should examine the attitude you took here. If you really don’t care one way or the other, that’s a stand to take as well, but don’t think anyone’s going to be listening when you tell them why they have to adopt your “pet causes”.

  239. Nullifidian said,

    November 16, 2007 at 23:18

    Oh, and the deity of ham-and-pineapple, if you think the gold standard’s such a good thing, can you explain where a noninterventionist U.S. is going to get nine trillion dollars worth of gold reserves to match the money already expended as part of the national debt? And once we’ve got that, where we’re going to get the gold to justify printing new money?

  240. Nullifidian said,

    November 17, 2007 at 1:22

    On second thought, rather than reading me, you could read this, and it hits the highlights of all of this conversation:

    Nez’s Definition of Terms, Chapter 1

  241. Sadly, No! » Pathetic Fuzzballs said,

    November 17, 2007 at 5:13

    [...] As promised here. [...]

  242. The Dirty Mac said,

    November 21, 2007 at 4:15

    Rep. Paul is farther from the mainstream opinion expressed on this web site than every other Republican candidate, and its not even close. The other candidates, like the political “Left”, support an omnipotent state – they simply differ as to who should be at the controls.

  243. Stretching the Knapsack Metaphor To Its Full Bent (And Then Some) « Problem Chylde: Learning in Transition said,

    November 22, 2007 at 5:46

    [...] white progressives and privilege and the dumbassed stories they write.  Stories like “Err, racism and sexism are important pet issues and diversionary projects, y’know, but …Never mind the fact that race and sex and gender play integral parts in who fights the Iraq War, who [...]

  244. Nullifidian said,

    January 13, 2008 at 17:19

    For the sake of completeness to this sordid story, I have a fully justified “I told you so”.

  245. HTML Mencken said,

    January 13, 2008 at 17:42

    You don’t have shit that you didn’t have before. Kirchik is only attacking Paul because the worst thing you can be in TNR’s eyes is anti-interventionist. But then you may be stupid enough to believe that Marty Peretz isn’t even more racist than Paul.

  246. Nullifidian said,

    January 14, 2008 at 23:39

    Well, you’re entirely right that I don’t have anything I didn’t have before, because, as I mentioned way upthread, I actually had read through the back issues of the Ron Paul Freedom Report, as well as many other far-right racist writings, at the Wilcox Collection at KU’s Spencer Library. I hadn’t heard of Ron Paul at the time, and was just researching the far-right racialist and militia movements, two groups to whom Paul has had a long-standing attachment, as part of my work as dramaturg for Stephen Dietz’s God’s Country.

    And whether Kirchik is only attacking Paul because he is an anti-interventionist, that cannot be the whole of your refutation without being an argumentum ad hominem, which is, albeit, a mode of argument in which you are particularly practiced. Unfortunately, when it comes to anything else, you’ve still got nothing.

  247. HTML Mencken said,

    January 14, 2008 at 23:54

    I see. So in your many trips to the library, you never picked up a copy of TNR. I’m not surprised.

    But then willful blindness to ‘mainstream’ pundits who want to kill thousands of wogs is not big deal — as you argued, it’s a merely ‘white’ concern. No big deal when the real danger is a few nutbags who published an obscure newsletter under an Congressman’s name.

    You’re still an idiot when it comes to moral triage, all right. I can’t wait til your beloved Guiliani steals the election. Then you’ll get to say when the bombings of Iran and Syria commence — “shut up, white d00ds with your guilt-infected handwringing over dead wogs, the *real* issue is the Jena 6! — and anyone who disagrees is on the first step to becoming David Horowitz!!”

    Happy Stalinism!

  248. Nullifidian said,

    January 15, 2008 at 0:09

    And since you were clueless enough to argue that I was “stupid” (apparently anyone who disagrees with Ron Paul must be greeted with this kind of hooting and hollering and mudslinging) enough to believe that Marty Peretz wasn’t more racist than Ron Paul, I will tell you that I neither believe that nor disbelieve it. If you want to go about and prove that Peretz is even more racist, that’s fine, but it misses the point once again. The point is not whether any one individual is more racist than Ron Paul, but that actively supporting a known racist, even as a good candidate for another party, is throwing anybody who is anti-racist and takes the subject of intersectionality somewhat seriously under the bus.

    In short, you’re throwing out the genuine progressives. As Chris Clarke noted at the pingbacked blog post above from ProblemChylde, “the people who insisted on the One Most Important Cause To The Excusion of Your Subjective Petty Issues were called either ‘liberals’ or ‘Trotskyists.’”

    I hesitate in saying that you should read the pingbacked article, even though it’s fantastic, because if you read it and responded, and your responses there were equivalent to the mindless shit-slinging you did here, then you’d be the equivalent of a troll, and I don’t like directing trolls to blogs I find important. I’d rather they just sit here and stew.

    So I’ll quote a very juicy bit here:

    You know what? White progressivism is hobby-oriented. It centers on detachment and symbolism — no body shaking, ground moving shit. Just shit like t-shirts. And what white folks consider radical is leaving the house, hitting the pavement. Because when I look at things like this…

    We all have our obsessions, our bugbears, our pet causes. And we should be careful not to assume that they always pertain to whatever question’s at hand. Doubly, we ought to avoid over-specialization, over-investment, and above all avoid the tendency to make a Unified Field Theory (incorporating our obsession to the point of ludicrous aggrandizement) and apply it to everything monomaniacally.

    … it’s like he’s describing people who play too many video games. Not people’s LIVES, not as if it’s tied up with your own life or is relevant to your worldview. It’s bearing the onus of a worthy cause upon your back, without looking that cause in its eyes or really even touching it. Just finding a clever, cute Awareness Backpack for it.

    Okay, you know ze famous “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” thing for having white folks question band-aids as tools of oppression and shit. Well, okay. Many white progressives do unpack that knapsack. But then, they do a quick quick inventory and then REPACK the knapsack.

    They don’t sit to investigate the contents and how they work.

    They don’t look for the source of what’s inside the sack.

    They don’t leave the backpack off or experiment with other ways to carry things.

    They just look inside, say, “Oh hey, never thought I had one of those,” and maybe dust it off a little like a hobbyist. And then put it RIGHT BACK INSIDE THE KNAPSACK. Only now since they’ve emptied it once, it’s no longer invisible. Other people who haven’t unpacked their sacks notice them more and deride them. But nevertheless, to them, at that point, they’re done.

    Not that I think you’re going to actually unpack that invisible knapsack, since the entire dynamic you helped set up here and encourage is actively opposed to genuine self-criticism and dialogue. Instead, it establishes a very narrow parameter for acceptable discourse, which is enforced by the hosts and their legions of flying monkeys. Come to a point of slight disagreement, as Chris Clarke did? It’s the flying monkey bombardment!

    And it effects the quality of thinking all over this blog. I remember one of the commentators remarking how bizarre it was that Ilyka Damen wasn’t hand in arm with Twisty Faster, which evinced an enormous degree of cluelessness about how transphobic Twisty actually is. The irony here is that you mock her here without realizing that her cultlike attachment to radfem positions is the mirror image to your attachment to the anti-Iraq war cause (I will not say anti-war cause, because I’ve never seen any evidence that you were opposed to the war in Afghanistan). Both of them cause you to make and/or support gratuitously offensive positions/people/statements and drive off people who genuinely believe in intersectionality.

  249. Nullifidian said,

    January 15, 2008 at 0:32

    I see. So in your many trips to the library, you never picked up a copy of TNR. I’m not surprised.

    Yes and no. I didn’t pick up any copy of TNR because I already knew it was an organ for the DLC. I find Democratic politics boring, but even worse when it comes from those DLC-blowing shills.

    Again, if that’s all you have, then you have no argument to make on the issue of Ron Paul’s racism, you just want to misdirect through argumenta ad hominem.

    But then willful blindness to ‘mainstream’ pundits who want to kill thousands of wogs is not big deal — as you argued, it’s a merely ‘white’ concern.

    The fact that you got this out of my statement that the anti-war movement is “white, white, white” just brings home again how clueless you are. The reason the liberal anti-war movement, or the liberal anything, is “white, white, white” is because it assumes that white people’s views are normative, and it doesn’t take intersectionality seriously.

    No big deal when the real danger is a few nutbags who published an obscure newsletter under an Congressman’s name.

    No, actually the danger in Ron Paul’s run comes in the possibility of having a white supremacist in office, due to the ongoing support of white supremacists, and the possibility that clueless libs like yourself will establish a precedent for previously openly white supremacist candidates to slip by as long as they say stuff that sounds good to the white members in the anti-war crowd.

    You’re still an idiot when it comes to moral triage, all right.

    You’re an idiot if you think triage is necessary.

    I can’t wait til your beloved Guiliani steals the election.

    My beloved? Man, you certainly are off-course here. Plus ça change….

    Then you’ll get to say when the bombings of Iran and Syria commence —

    You mean like they’ll commence when Hillary wins the presidency because you were too busy stumping for a white supremacist whose candidacy couldn’t be saved with all the money in the world? You seem to be forgetting that in this election there are Democratic candidates who have attacked Bush’s foreign policy from the right.

    “shut up, white d00ds with your guilt-infected handwringing over dead wogs, the *real* issue is the Jena 6!

    Of course anti-racists wouldn’t be using a term like “wogs” except ironically. It’s also instructive to note, at this point in your farrago of lies, that the only time I mentioned the Jena Six case was that I thought that Sadly, No’s past blogging about it, about which most of your fellow liberal bloggers were silent, meant that SN! would be open to this kind of self-criticism. By continuing to bring up the subject derisively, you just demonstrate again that white liberals are actually fucking worthless except as props for holding up signs; something an orange traffic cone could do just as well.

    — and anyone who disagrees is on the first step to becoming David Horowitz!!”

    Again, I didn’t say you were on your way to becoming David Horowitz at all, let alone because you disagreed with me. I said actually that you reminded me of Andrew Anthony, more than David Horowitz, and I think any future political shift of yours would be more like Anthony’s than Horowitz’s, simply because you’re not a Maoist right now.

    Horowitz wanted to be authoritarian, but he was unintellectual and unrooted by any thorough analysis arising out of Maoism which would make the process of deconversion a process of rethinking, rather than emotional readjustment. The only thing you share in common with Horowitz is that you too do not think and you too have no rooted political positions which inform positions on policy across a range of issues. In fact, you regard political positions which inform policy positions across a range of issues inherently suspect. That, however, is the same thing as Anthony. Anthony was never as far-left as Horowitz and his deconversion, therefore, has not brought him as far right as, say, the BNP, and it’s Andrew Anthony whom I find you most resemble.

    Happy Stalinism!

    Thank you! And a very Happy Fascism! to you too—since we’re ending our posts with positions actually antithetical to the ones held by the other poster.

  250. HTML Mencken said,

    January 15, 2008 at 0:42

    Well, wrt the racism you care about to the exclusion of all else, yes Marty Peretz qualifies. He allowed Sully to turn TNR into Charles Murray’s personal blurb factory. He’s the one who’s bashed Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton for decades. He’s the guy who told the readers of the WSJ at the eve of the Lamont-Lieberman primary — in barely disguised code — that a vote for Lamont meant that black folks would be picking their pockets.

    But even Marty Peretz doesn’t want to nuke Harlem. OTOH, he’s right there with the bastards who want to nuke Mecca. Arabs, particularly Palistinians, are subhuman to him. But since all that’s overseas, and doesn’t have anything to do with Jena 6 or retard miltia members in Montana, you don’t care about it. Such concerns are an anti-war “white thing.” Who gives a shit about thousands killed, we’re talking about racists who discriminate here in America!

    As for Chris Clarke, fuck off. Who else are you gonna quote to me? Zuzu? Ilyka? They know what I think and I know what they think. Stop trying to “educate” me; I’ve already had it out with them. Clarke and I had a detente but as far as the other two you whined about on the Pandagon thread: I think they are insane.

    Here’s the issue: I’m not gonna be smeared, or allow my friends to be smeared. You and your ilk *live* to smear people as racists/sexists/fatphobes/homophobes/hispanophobes so you can feel morally superior. Well, fuck you, infinity squared. I’m not a wingnut or any of those things. But oh oh, says the Stalinists, you are excluding us by sending out flying monkeys when we call you racist and put you on the same moral plane as some goddamn Bell Curve-reading troglodyte! How mean of you! Yeah, well, that’s what you get. And even Clarke admitted as much, but then you can’t be bothered to read through that thread — no doubt, it takes too much time away from your library studies.

    So whatever. I’ll return to this topic in a future post, but you’re on notice that if you call me any species of racist just because I *know* that by a simple and irrefutable utilitarian calculus — which Amanda agreed with, in case you didn’t fucking notice — that stopping the war is more important than *any other concern* (including militia members and racists among Ron Paul’s supporters) because more lives are directly at stake, then I’ll ban you — and you can sit and stew, because in case you couldn’t tell, you fucking idiot, you’re the troll here.

  251. Nullifidian said,

    January 15, 2008 at 0:44

    By the way,

    No big deal when the real danger is a few nutbags who published an obscure newsletter under an Congressman’s name.

    As my own research and the research written up in TNR demonstrates, if you want to make the “few nutbags” argument, you have to accept that they were a) writing over a consistent basis for over a decade b) that they were often writing in the first person, as Ron Paul (e.g. “Carol and I….”), and c) that Ron Paul didn’t bother to look at what was being written under his name, and often under his persona, until it was brought up during a political campaign in 2001.

    In short, you have expect us to throw our support behind a blazingly obvious fucking idiot. That’s going to be the saviour of the anti-war movement.

    Give me a break.

  252. Nullifidian said,

    January 15, 2008 at 1:32

    Well, wrt the racism you care about to the exclusion of all else,

    Again, you’re proving yourself to be a liar or functionally illiterate. I already posted and then reposted my statement that I am anti-war and anti-racist, and I will not trade one to secure victory on the other. While that means not trading anti-racism for success in the anti-war movement (even assuming that they could be at loggerheads, which is only the case if one wants it to be), it also means not trading being anti-war for anti-racism.

    yes Marty Peretz qualifies. He allowed Sully to turn TNR into Charles Murray’s personal blurb factory. He’s the one who’s bashed Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton for decades. He’s the guy who told the readers of the WSJ at the eve of the Lamont-Lieberman primary — in barely disguised code — that a vote for Lamont meant that black folks would be picking their pockets.

    So TNR’s editor doesn’t have a good record on anti-racism. I never expected them to. It still doesn’t address that what they have written about in their article, and scanned in for perusal, represents the published opinions of Ron Paul. Even ghostwriters only write what they’re told to write and do not step outside their purview unless they wanted to be fired.

    But even Marty Peretz doesn’t want to nuke Harlem. OTOH, he’s right there with the bastards who want to nuke Mecca.

    So I shouldn’t listen to anyone from his magazine when they do what journalists should have been doing all this time—tracking down those back issues in university and historical archives—because Peretz is a bastard when it comes to foreign policy. Well, that makes all the sense I would have expected from you.

    Arabs, particularly Palistinians, are subhuman to him. But since all that’s overseas, and doesn’t have anything to do with Jena 6 or retard miltia members in Montana, you don’t care about it.

    Right, I was just in Rafah with the ISM for the tourism.

    Such concerns are an anti-war “white thing.” Who gives a shit about thousands killed, we’re talking about racists who discriminate here in America!

    Again, earth to clueless liberal: the fact that I am criticizing the liberal anti-war movement for being so overloaded with white people has to do with their habit of taking white liberalism as the normative perspective, and refusing to address the concerns of people of color in any way, rather as you’re doing here. It has nothing to with the anti-war position being a “white thing”. Read again my statements regarding Carl Webb above, then hit yourself in the head with a sturdy hardwood plank, then go back and reread it. Hit yourself in the head, and repeat until cognition is achieved.

    As for Chris Clarke, fuck off. Who else are you gonna quote to me? Zuzu? Ilyka? They know what I think and I know what they think. Stop trying to “educate” me; I’ve already had it out with them. Clarke and I had a detente but as far as the other two you whined about on the Pandagon thread: I think they are insane.

    Actually I also quoted Sylvia to you, so you could answer your question for yourself, if you were inclined to start reading for comprehension.

    Here’s the issue: I’m not gonna be smeared, or allow my friends to be smeared.

    Whoop-de-do.

    You and your ilk *live* to smear people as racists/sexists/fatphobes/homophobes/hispanophobes so you can feel morally superior.

    Oh yes, that’s what we’re all about. It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with correcting the same poisonous dynamics that we see a thousand times over in our real lives. Because of course our lives are unreal when they come into conflict with the Big White Liberal Feel-Good Factory, since the Big White Liberal Feel-Good Factory just produces nothing but good vibes for people of all colours, sexes, orientations, etc. So when one of us claims to be hurt by the noxious byproducts of the Big White Liberal Feel-Good Factory, it’s obvious that we’re just lying in order to sanctimoniously bum your magnanimous high.

    P.S. Find a support group to help you over the sammich thing. If you have not yet mentally adjusted yourself to the fact that people treated you as if you hadn’t just stepped out of the Summa Theologiae and didn’t have to treat the subject of weight as if it were a moral failing, then you clearly have problems which cannot be addressed by me alone.

    Well, fuck you, infinity squared. I’m not a wingnut or any of those things.

    No, you just play one on the internets.

    But oh oh, says the Stalinists, you are excluding us by sending out flying monkeys when we call you racist and put you on the same moral plane as some goddamn Bell Curve-reading troglodyte! How mean of you!

    Clue to the residually clueless: I’m still not a Stalinist.

    Further clue to the residually clueless: if something you do or say is called racist, it doesn’t mean that you’re automatically being put on the moral plane as “some goddamn Bell Curve-reading troglodyte”. In fact, to phrase it that way demonstrates the habit of white liberals who fancy themselves above racism, but don’t want to question white privilege, of defining themselves in opposition to the conscious racists of the “bad old days” or from the “bad old parties”.

    I’ve pointed that out before elsewhere: “[This] implicitly denies that any racism exists save for conscious racism. “That’s not what I meant!” is another way of saying that you’re not a conscious racist; not an Archie Bunker, “Bull” Connor, or a Bedford Forrest. However, the most pernicious form of racism is systemic racism, and that kind of racism produces privileged people who, especially if they fancy themselves anti-racist but don’t want to confront privilege, define themselves in opposition to the explicit racists of the “bad old days”. The first step to overcoming privilege, therefore, has to be the realization that implicit and unintentional racist acts and statements are always a possibility, even from oneself.”

    How mean of you! Yeah, well, that’s what you get.

    Of course, I deserve nothing less than utter condemnation for daring to suggest that you are anything other than a spotless ally. You are truly one of the Blessed and the man who mocks the sainted Blessed deserves to find the Inquisition pounding down his door.

    At this point, the words “Get over yourself” are vastly insufficient.

    And even Clarke admitted as much, but then you can’t be bothered to read through that thread — no doubt, it takes too much time away from your library studies.

    Yes, you’re right that I cannot be bothered to read a thread which has not been specifically cited when I haven’t been provided with even the most rudimentary information about it save that Chris Clarke participated in it, especially when the person making claims about it is someone I already regard, from this past interaction, as an outright liar.

    So whatever. I’ll return to this topic in a future post, but you’re on notice that if you call me any species of racist just because I *know* that by a simple and irrefutable utilitarian calculus — which Amanda agreed with, in case you didn’t fucking notice — that stopping the war is more important than *any other concern* (including militia members and racists among Ron Paul’s supporters) because more lives are directly at stake, then I’ll ban you — and you can sit and stew, because in case you couldn’t tell, you fucking idiot, you’re the troll here.

    Irrefutable? If it’s irrefutable, then why didn’t you respond to what I said about it?

    Jesus Fucking Christ on an Upside-Down Pogo Stick, it’s not so hard to organize an anti-war march or protest or petition that you have to perform this kind of triage! I doubt very much if you’d be doing anything other than that in any case. But no, it must be so hard to be anti-war that you don’t have the mental effort to devote to anything else, and indeed being anti-war is so hard that you have to push off the responsibility of it to your politicians, while you go and have a lie down owing to the inherent difficulty of being a centrist-to-center-left liberal.

    I have been arrested and convicted for my part in direct actions to protest the war. We also organized marches, rallies, and speakers/films against the war. As a part of that organization, I also helped run our local Food Not Bombs, volunteered at a local independent radical library/community space, assisted local organizations in May Day marches for immigrant rights, worked our community garden, did prisoner solidarity support, helped to clean up Greensburg, KS, assisted the striking Goodyear workers in Topeka, and organized several benefit concerts for various groups, including one to benefit prisoners trapped within the system by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. All while working and getting my master’s degree.

    I am not sympathetic to the idea that one is so swamped on just one issue that not only do you have to concentrate all your forces on it, you also have to relieve yourself of the burden of being so anti-war by getting a white supremacist politician to shoulder some of that burden. Give me a fucking break.

    Fascinating that a blog which has claimed to value itself on free expression so much that few besides persistent spammers are banned would break that self-imposed rule, not for someone on the right, but for someone to the left of one of blog owners. I guess it really does more than I could to demonstrate the truth of Zuky’s comment that “[w]hen you get right down to it, the unrecognized political reality is that most white liberals have more in common with white conservatives — social cues, family ties, cognitive biases, cultural backdrops, etc. — than they do with people of color. I’m calling this tangle of contradictions the white liberal conundrum.”

  253. John1675 said,

    April 27, 2009 at 9:41

    Very nice site!

  254. Nullifidian said,

    August 2, 2009 at 0:27

    I was reminded of this discussion the other day.

    So…how has the Stop the Iraq War thing been going, HTML? Has Obama come up trumps yet?

  255. Ron Paul distortions and smears said,

    December 15, 2010 at 3:39

    [...] I don’t concur with all of it.UPDATE VI: On all of these topics, HTML Mencken adds some important insights. Posted by: Glenn Greenwald on November 12, 2007 @ 11:31 am Filed under: All [...]

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