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Saturday, November 29, 2008


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That is truly frightening...truly. The neolilberal blogs are becoming terrifying...can you tell me who wrote this? CD stil wont let me link--I can go by anonymouse.org...a-holes.

But still cant even link to an article. They are skating on thin ice.

I hope it is ok if I posted (pasted) parts of this elsewhere--I credit it to your blog. Dont know who originally said it!

Yep, sorry, I knew I'd be taunting you with a CD link but couldn't help it this time. It was some guy calling himself "Joe Hope". I looked around a bit and saw him commenting on other threads as well, so I think he's for real. Someone asked him if this particular comment was satire, and he not only said it wasn't but he actually got into a snit about it—as though there's nothing there that anyone could even find unreasonable. I hate it when people pull out the F-word, but as Chomsky observed in his talk, this is close to fascism in terms of the blind, idolatrous fealty to a charismatic leader.

And no problem reposting stuff, though I appreciate it if you link back here when you do. Though in this case most of it isn't mine anyway....

I call nutpicking, although I grant that's an especially horrifying example of human behavior and deserves wider notice. At first I thought for sure it couldn't be real, but I agree that it seems to be.

FWIW, I don't agree that this quote rises to the level of nutpicking, especially in the context of a troubling and distressing trend of self-described "progressive" sites purging commenters who continue to express skeptical and, yes, caustic criticisms of Obama. I thought "Joe Hope" was a parody at first, too-- but he's simply a slightly more egregious example of the strident "give the guy a chance!" commenters apparently favored by censorious site administrators.

About the only hackneyed phrase I haven't read yet is, "And remember-- 'Barack Obama' isn't spelled with an 'I'!"

I'm exasperated that those encouraging uncritical positive regard have excavated the decayed rhetorical coprolites of "competence", "compromise", and "pragmatism" and burnished them to a fare-thee-well with the threadbare rag of "Hope"; their glitter distracts from, and obscures, the significance of Obama's unequivocal preference for amoral, elite power-junkies-- not to mention his cheerful willingess to make the outgoing criminal maladministration's militarism, e.g. the fictitious "Global War on Terror", his own.

Obama may well have an iron character and hand, but I consider it naïve or fatuous to expect that he will train his experienced old leopards to change their spots-- even Siegfried & Roy can't accomplish that! After all, it's natural for a new president to defer to experience; and, unlike Jimmy Carter, who alienated both parties by bringing his own "Georgia Mafia" to the White House, Obama has deliberately chosen D.C. insiders-- a double-edged sword, I think.

Speaking of the tragically doomed Carter Administration, another dubious rationalization frequently proffered by the honeymooners is that, in any case, a true progressive or reformer could never succeed in the Oval Office because any reforms that plainly break from the status quo and undermine the Ruling Class (including the wealthy technocrats occupying the para-corporate service delivery system still referred to as the Congress of the United States) would immediately be run aground or shatter on the rocks of the resistant Congress.

This position is, in its own way, as cynical as any of mine. It's all very well to recommend "compromise" and "comity", but the outcome is likelier than not to be superficial modifications of existing ills concocted to pacify both sides-- and perpetuating the corrupt and decadent political process.

I hadn't heard of nutpicking before, but this was purely fortuitous—I didn't search it out, and I posted it mainly because as I read it I felt a horror too great to be safely contained within one human mind.

I don't know if the Obama crowd would shun this guy as an outlier or if it'd be more like, yeah, he's totally saying what we're all thinking. Clearly he's an advanced case, but not that far beyond others I've seen.

Joe Hope was the lowlight, but Obama's "I understand where the vision for change comes from. First and foremost, it comes from me" was also striking. Granted that it was specifically addressing his cabinet, but it still couldn't be a starker contrast to his "you are the force for change" rhetoric on the campaign trail. And Joe Hope turned on a dime and said, yes, sir, you can.

"And a soldier responds, in words that really must be read in their entirety to be appreciated:. . . "

Sorry, confused here. When I go to the link you provide above, I don't get a "soldier's" words, but an article by Joseph Williams. Who is the "soldier"? Is there another link?

Otherwise, very frightening.

It's hidden away in the comments—just go to the bottom and click "show all" (unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way to link directly to an individual comment).

Anyone who does NOT find this frightening--I'll use the word--woudl be comfortable with "fascism"--as long as the person is a "nice guy"...

Gawd, wtf is happening to America? Some of these people have really, actually lost it over this guy!! He is just a GUY! A smart guy! You sheeples had better get a grip!

Thanks, John. I did credit it. I can get into CD--not post--I was just lazy..lol

Jon, if this is nutpicking there are a wealth of nuts out there to pick. For a while at least Balloon Juice, an erstwhile Republican pro-war blog which turned into a vehement pro-Obama blog, had a lot of commenters with just these opinions. The peak season for nuts seems to have passed principally because the criticism of Obama has been muted but you still find examples. This from the 26th of Nov. is in response to somebody who called Obama's FISA vote a dumb vote:

No, absolutely not. Nothing Obama does can be argued to be dumb just because you don’t agree with it. That makes you look dumb, which of course, you are. And he doesn’t look dumb because, as anyone can see, he is not. So that issue is settled.
His statement that "Nothing Obama does can be argued to be dumb" is never challenged though several commenters do try to make the point that the FISA vote was dumb - on tactical grounds. To which the original poster responded:
That’s your opinion. I don’t share it.

We’ll have to agree to disagree. I seriously doubt that Mr. Obama makes "dumb" decisions, even if I may disagree with some of them.

My choice here is to think that either he makes dumb decisions, or that you say really, really dumb things. I think you know which way I am leaning on that one. Any reasonable person would have to conclude that B, or 2, is the correct choice here.

The choices seem to be rather limited but I suppose you go with the choices you have not with ...

"Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism'. I'm afraid, based on my own long experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security."

Sen. Huey Long


It's hidden away in the comments—just go to the bottom and click "show all" (unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way to link directly to an individual comment).

Posted by: John Caruso | Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 10:11 AM

Thanks, John, I found it. And guess what? It's way more depressing the second time around. Thanks so much, geez, really.

It's hilarious to watch the wingnut echosphere get (even) weird(er). Yes, it's going to be a long eight years. This country is going to move so far to the left you won't even recognize it. Better start shopping for land in Paraguay!

Oops, I read too fast. I thought this was a right-wing site. I like to taunt them. But no, you're a left-wing site. I'd say that Obama needs at least a few months in office before I make too many judgments.

I don't think this is nutpicking, since "Joe Hope" or whatever doesn't sound like a nut. He just seems overdramatic, as do you guys.

You bet I'll give Obama a chance. Not only that, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. His actions can still change my mind, but first I'll wait for them.

Magic Dog, I know what you mean. I haven't seen so much confusion about fascism vs. popularity since The Corner had all those posts about singing schoolchildren.

Magic Dog: I'm all for taunting conservatives, but you'll need to update your country choice now that Fernando Lugo is president of Paraguay.

Kyle: This goes light years beyond popularity: "Nor is it the duty of a foot soldier to decide what orders to obey and which to disobey. ... it is up to Obama to craft a winning strategy, not us - the disorganized rabble. ... we must trust him, even when we feel we can't. ... only Obama can put the pieces together to create an image for our future." You can reasonably question whether or not Joe Hope is typical, but blind, unthinking devotion to a political leader shouldn't suddenly become more palatable just because that leader's ideology is similar to your own.

Kyle, I see no reason why I should wait until Obama has been in office a few months to see what he'll do and start making judgments. The right wing of the Democratic party and the corporate interests they represent have already been putting pressure on Obama (to give him the benefit of the doubt, since I haven't seen any evidence that he felt pressured). They've already acted, and Obama's selections, beginning with Rahm Emanuel, have been the fruits of that action. So why should Obama's constituents on the left wait until next May to put some pressure on him? Not that Obama's fans will be any more inclined to tolerate criticism of their God-king at that time. (And I'm sure that you and Magic Dog have read the corporate media and their liberal apologists as carefully as you've read this site.)

John: that the leader's ideology is similar to theirs is probably why the Obama foot soldiers are so eager to defend him. They're perfectly happy to have those center-right Clintonistas in an Obama administration, and are ready to whoop and holler as Obama takes over killing Afghan civilians from Bush, and menaces Iran. (Did you see that appalling where Rachel Maddow gets tough with the ragheads? I must try to find it again and post it.) But Obama's ideology sure isn't similar to mine, and I don't see any reason not to criticize any center-right president from the get-go. So lay on!

The servility of Joe Hope's comment is appalling. His follow-ups are pure magical thinking. What he proposes, proposes in all seriousness, is a recipe for disaster and entirely alien to the principles of a liberal democratic republic; a goal we will never achieve, at this rate.

Harold: Absolutely. And since I invoked the F-word, let me make it crystal clear that I was using it in an extremely constrained sense; Obama would only lead us to Thomas Friedman, not Mussolini, no matter how many Joe Hopes he had blindly carrying out whatever they perceive to be his orders. Nonetheless, thinking like JH's is dangerous, misguided, and seriously creepy in nearly any conceivable context.

Obama would only lead us to Thomas Friedman, not Mussolini...

...and as I'm sure you'd agree, John, with a buncha Thomas Friedmans in positions of power, a Mussolini-type would simply be the next logical step. Because on a flat earth, it's critically important to progress in the 21st Century that the trains to run on time!

No doubt you read SmithBowen's comments about the "Ratchet Effect"...

What possible reason - meaning real evidence, not talk - can anyone have to think that Obama has any intention of doing or ability to do anything real or "hope"ful, even "change"-y?? Where's the rationale? He's a zero. No matter how many times you multiply him and no matter what you chant or smoke while you do it, you get the same result.

Not only are the Obama fans going to wear rose-colored glasses, by 2012, when everyone notices that very little has changed, they'll claim that it's because Obama has had to deal with the vast destruction that the Bush administration has wrought forth. Nevermind that Obama isn't actually going to do anything, regardless of his predecessor.
And what justification do I have for making assumptions on what individuals will think in the future about Obama's lack of "change"? I hear people already saying these things. And why am I so certain that Obama's not actually going to do anything? It's what the Democrats (including Obama) have been doing for the past four years.

...they'll claim that it's because Obama has had to deal with the vast destruction that the Bush administration has wrought forth...

Nah. They'll blame Tim Wise's soon-to-be-legendary "Barbiturate Left." Us, Folks. The bitter, evil, stinky-butt unbelievers, for like, breaking the Golden Man's heart with our unbelief and stuff.

I've got a whole dollar riding on it. ;)

Oh wow...
I looked up "Tim Wise" and "barbituate left", and found some of his recent articles. After reading them I felt faintly nauseous.
Then I remember that, a few months back, after reading some articles of his on Counterpunch, I sent him some emails about how incredible his defiance of logic and elementary statistics was. I think he responded to one of them, but only addressed about half of my points.

Regarding Joe Hope, I think he/she is a parody. After the election, CD did quite a few purges. Soon afterward, Joe Hope appears. Joe's comment are pure party line rhetoric attempting to point out the absurdity of Obama's followers and CD censorious organization.

I'd like to believe that, but if so whoever it is has put a lot of time and effort into it across multiple thread)—without once breaking character. So as horrifying as it is, I think it really is a real person's real viewpoint.

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