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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

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More specifically, they feel the Democrats are entitled to your vote.

Well, I'm not so sure that's exactly right (and, by the way, the principle is the same here in the UK with the Tories and (what's left of) Labour). What it is, is that they simply don't believe in the ability of people to choose the best candidate. They'll tell you, 'Oh, sure, Ralph Nader makes a lot of sense, but he can't win, so you have to vote Democratic to keep the Republicans out of office.'

When asked why it is exactly that he can't win, despite making a lot of sense, they mumble something and look away. The reason he can't win is because those other people won't vote for him, so he can't get a majority.

Why won't those other people vote for him? Well, because ... um ... because they're voting for the Democrat.

Why are they voting for the Democrat? Well, because ... uh ... er ... Ralph Nader can't win.

It's thoroughly circular reasoning, and it seems quite impossible for most people to break this cycle. I don't understand it, myself.

Maybe it's just a lack of perspective. I mean, I am simply never, ever, ever going to vote Liberal Democrat again (well, unless they grow a spine, revolt, throw Nick Clegg to the dogs, and bring down the Government, Real Soon Now). Nor will I vote for anyone who is a New Labour apparatchik. Nor (since I can vote in US Federal elections) will I ever vote for a Democrat or a Republican. Now, that may mean I'm 'throwing my vote away', and if some fair fraction (but not a majority) of people do the same it may mean that the Republicans or Tories get in again.

But if that happens and they do what Republicans and Tories do, which is to destroy everything they touch and convert it to cash for them and their mates, then one would like to think that the next time around, more people would realise what a bad idea it is to let the bastards anywhere near the levers of government, and vote for the Socialists, or whomever.

Of course, the standard rejoinder to this is that people won't vote for the left-wing parties. Why? Because they can't win.... And so it goes.

It does really make one despair sometimes.

Education and marketing are, it seems, the only answer. Somehow or other, the Left has to out-propagandise the Right. They used to do that, back in the early parts of the last century. But things really sucked back then — I mean, there was a glimmer of hope of a socialist revolution in the United States, for fuck's sake!

So maybe things just have to get really, really, really awful before people see the light. I'm afraid that's very likely to be the case.

I've been arguing for a while that conservatism is just "assholism." As David Niewert once said, fascism has no real ideology. There is no fascist _Communist Manifesto._ If you want to know the core of fascism, read _Mein Kampf_: an unintelligible, turgid rant. No ideas, just the self-righteous shrieks of an asshole.

Conservatism is the same way. People keep pointing to GOP hypocrites, and pointing out the absurdity of "pro-lifers" who support war, or folks who oppose "big government" because they want the government to be small enough to fit in your bedroom. But they don't connect the dots. It's hypocritical because there aren't any real principles there in the first place. Conservatism is just assholism. Just read Ayn Rand. Her entire corpus is devoted to making a religion out of being a complete asshole.

The way it works is this. Ann Coulter is an asshole. On her own, she would go to parties and talk about waging ethnic cleansing against the Muslims, and people would just think, "God, what an asshole." Ditto for, say, William F. Buckley. Just look at old videos of him. He oozes douche from every pore.

But, Coulter and Buckley have figured out that if you take "being an asshole" and declare it to be a philosophy of assholism, then you can get away with being an even bigger asshole. Because then, you can really jerk people around. If anyone accuses a conservative of being an asshole, they can smirkingly declare that assholism is a venerable philosophy with a pantheon of intellectuals including such fine assholes as Ayn Rand and Edmund Burke. And, oh yeah, the Party of Lincoln, so there, nyah nyah nyah. So, now you have to respect them, and treat their insults and tantrums with respect. If you don't, you're a small-minded person who can't appreciate the full spectrum of political thought. In fact, your refusal to debate an asshole will be taken as proof that the asshole's assholism is so intellectually rigorous that you can't refute it.

It's obvious that conservatism has no real ideas, and was never meant to. It's just about being an asshole. Why did conservatives support Jim Crow and Apartheid? Because they're racist assholes. Why do they like war so much? Because they're bloodthirsty assholes. Why are they against abortion? Because assholes like to jerk people around, and what better way to do it than to turn a woman into a baby-oven?

Why do I bring this up now? Because it's becoming increasingly clear to me that liberals are just being assholes too. How else do we explain their flip-flop on pacifism and civil liberties once Obama came into office? Vanishingly few of them have any real principles. The big difference, as I see it, is that liberalism does have ideas, but most liberals are too venal to support them. Conservatism, on the other hand, is fully about the enthusiastic embrace of being an asshole for its own sake.

My $0.02.

1. "Nader stole Gore's votes" is a lie. You're right, Gore didn't own 'em.

2. I see a lot of lefties trumping up myriad rationales to trash Nader, as a proxy for their upset about the 2000 election outcome.

3. Reasonable people can disagree about whether, in an alternative universe w/o Nader's candidacy, Gore would have won. There are cases to be made either way (and they have been, many a time). But, barring a sci-fi breakthrough, we can't *prove* what might have been.

4. I see some Greens making a sort of purity test out of agreeing that Nader absolutely couldn't have affected the 2000 outcome. That strikes me as unnecessary and counter-productive. Also, I'm curious why more Greens don't say "so, what?" about Bush getting the gig instead of Gore.

5. In the years since, the Democrats have done yeoman work to prove that they are little, if any, better than the Republicans. It's high time to pull the plug on supporting either legacy party.

2010 is not 2000, and I for one have learned a thing or two since then.

I was once among those who wagged a finger at Naderites, and -- so, sue me -- I'm not sold that his candidacy had no effect on the 2000 outcome. I count his candidacy among quite a few factors that *might* have changed the result.

But I now regret and apologize for pooh-poohing voters' freedom of choice. I'm less sure that a Gore presidency would have been a panacea (though I reckon it would have been more than a little better). And I have a hard time imagining voting for a Democrat ever again, given their performance over the last many years... and quite arguably going back much further than my horizon for seeing their worthlessness.

Lol, Metafalcon, but "no real ideas" is not quite accurate. The philosophy of assholism is a real idea. A meme, that is, and a depressingly virulent one.

Why do Democrats vote for a Democrat? Look at how issues poll among Democratic voters and look at where Democratic Candidates stand on those issues.

Great comments. Metafalcon, I've long planned to write a posting titled "You're really just an asshole" that says basically the same thing. Though I'd disagree with this:

It's obvious that conservatism has no real ideas, and was never meant to.

There are real ideas there, some of which I agree with. Conservatism isn't just assholism, but it is the political creed that's most attractive to a particular kind of knuckle-dragging asshole. Sadly, liberalism attracts its own special brand of asshole--and I do mean SPECIAL (I'll have a posting about that one sometime soon too).

Vastleft: I'd agree with most of what you said, and I'm glad to hear you've turned the corner. About this:

4. I see some Greens making a sort of purity test out of agreeing that Nader absolutely couldn't have affected the 2000 outcome.

I'm curious if you can point to somewhere you've seen this, since I don't think I have. Also, outside of academic circles I haven't seen "Nader affected the 2000 outcome" not connected to blame (and not for lack of looking--I waited in vain for one person who could say this after 2000). And the blame is what people who voted for Nader typically react to. The way you've phrased it here is as close to reasonable as I've seen, actually (but even so you say that you used to fingerwag the foolish lefties...and you might want to keep in mind that "purity" is a very loaded word in this context no matter how it's intended).

One thing I'd also mention is that the positions are nowhere near equal. When you're talking to someone who voted for Nader you're talking to someone who's taken a decade's worth of vicious and entirely unwarranted verbal abuse from people who usually had not a clue what they were talking about (on so many levels it's hard to know where to start). So asking them to grant that there's substance to the charge is like a wife beater saying, "I'm really sorry I hit you, baby, and I'll never do it again, but...you know you were kind of asking for it, right? Not that that makes it ok or anything."

Which I very much hope is clear I'm saying not to compare you to a wife beater, but just as an explanation of why you might be getting the kinds of reactions you say you're getting.

I've experienced it with a couple of past and present Green candidates who have visited Correntewire.com, where I frequently blog. If you're dying for links, I can provide them privately, but I'm not trying to put down any individual, let alone a friend of the blog, for taking that tack.

I've pitched a "can't we all get along?" approach to them, because I think it's a tactical and logical mistake to make conforming to the idea that Nader's candidacy didn't play a role in the 2000 outcome a veritable threshold requirement to being welcomed by the Greens. And they wouldn't have it.

An awful lot of longtime Democrats feel all kinds of sick about the 2000 outcome, and I think they shouldn't lose respectability because they think a candidacy that challenged Gore from the left might have played a role in the result. If they're ready to go third-party and if they're not harboring an assholish grudge, then why not be happy with that?

Likewise, it would be obnoxious of third-party newbies (or anyone else for that matter) to demand an apology from Greens, Naderites, etc., or to insist that they agree that Nader impacted or may have impacted the result.

The wife-beater analogy is a can of worms here. "You were asking for [a beating]" is a far cry from "your candidate opposed a Democrat from the left and, IMHO, he may have played a role in his defeat."

That said, I understand your point that Naderites have had a rough ride and have earned a degree of suspicion of the "Nader gave us Bush" narrative and the bile that usually accompanies it.

But, again, I do wonder why I don't hear much "so, what?" about the 2000 election result. Nader and his supporters thought it was reasonable to vote for him, and not for the legacy parties, including the major party that opposed Bush. Why must they take a defensive tack, when their message is that neither party is safe at any speed, a message that is plainly gaining currency by the day?

An awful lot of longtime Democrats feel all kinds of sick about the 2000 outcome, and I think they shouldn't lose respectability because they think a candidacy that challenged Gore from the left might have played a role in the result.

I'd agree with that, but it doesn't describe a reality I've ever seen. It's not about losing respectability; it's about the fact that maybe .004% of Democrats (erring on the generous side) can say what you're attributing to them without flying into a spittle-flinging rage, and .00006% can actually manage to say it without explicitly or implicitly assigning blame to either Nader or the people who voted for him. As I said before, "blame" is the key. And even the phrasing you've offered above, as mild as it is, can be read as laying the blame for Gore's loss on Nader (and therefore on the people who voted for him).

So what I'm saying is that if you're getting negative reactions, you might want to keep the history in mind and consider how what you're saying is going to be perceived by people who you yourself say you've spent time wagging your finger at (and who, you can be sure, are still having plenty of fingers wagged at them even if you've stopped).

John, did you ever read this?: http://yolacrary.blogspot.com/2009/09/on-nader-and-progressivism.html

I agree that the right affirmative basis is that anyone who proclaims a principle has the right to vote for whoever he thinks best emobodies that principle, espcecially when there's so obviously so little difference between the establishment "choices". In fact, if someone stopped there and refused to reach further questions, I'd consider that a complete position.

But just so I understand the "Nader could have affected the outcome" position correctly:

We have these basic facts.

1. Gore won the election.

2. Bush tried to steal the election.

3. Gore caved in and handed the election to Bush.

So the way Nader is alleged to have affected this has to be that there was a decisive number of people who voted for Nader who, in Nader's absence, would have voted for Gore. The decisiveness is that it would have made enough of a difference that either the Republicans would have felt too intimidated to even try to steal the election, or else that Gore would have felt emboldened enough to not let them succeed.

I don't see how that can be established beyond a reasonable doubt, but I suppose it's arguable.

But the starting point for any such discussion surely has to be: Gore won the election. So it wasn't possible for anyone to cause him to "lose" it. It was only possible for him to let it be stolen from him.

For me the important point isn't Nader, but that elections are being stolen, and that the Democratic Party has already shown its willingness to allow them to be stolen, even when its own position is extremely strong, as Gore's was in 2000.

So that's yet another compelling reason to reject the Dems completely right now. I've long considered it a given that under current circumstances, where the only organized opposition is the Democratic Party, the Reps will try to steal any election which is even remotely close, and that the next time they reach the White House will be the last time they intend to let anything like 2000 ever happen again. From then on the only "elections" will be true banana republic ones.

So anyone who still believes in representative pseudo-democracy better start building that alternative party right now, because it takes a lot of time and work.

(My personal negative opinion of Nader is that he's never been willing to do that work. Imagine if he had started systematically working 20 years ago, at the end of the Cold War and the advent of full neoliberalism. We'd have a real movement and party by now. But that's not who he is. Although maybe many of his voters weren't willing either. The biggest problem is the way most people seem to expect instant gratification: "If we can't run a viable candidate in 2012, then the idea's a complete failure and we shouldn't even start, because working for anything based on a longer time frame is probably beyond my comprehension and definitely beyond my energy.")

John, agents of real, positive change should set a high standard, as Martin Luther King advised with the concept of "self-purification."

I don't think we should give Naderites a pass on reasonableness because they've been spat on. I give them my apology, my sympathy, and my support. But not my turning a blind eye to when they're being unreasonable or unfair.

Tribalism and truthiness may be our undoing. And one contributor to that is, as Renoir put it, "the awful thing about life is that everybody has their reasons."

The Middle-East, to step in perhaps the sorest of subjects, is the embodiment of that. Who there doesn't have a well-earned chip on their shoulder, a reason to be unreasonable? "Our side," whichever it may be, has perfect grievances that absolve all behavior, and our narratives contain only facts convenient to our cause. Those who raise inconvenient facts are to be condemned -- rapidly, blindly, completely -- because inconvenient facts are the mark of wrongdoers to our cause, and we've earned the right to bristle at and reject them.

And so it goes.

There are conservatives who do have ideas and principles. Not many, relative the great horde of self-identifying conservatives, but they do exist. And some of them voted for Nader. They did so because he was the candidate most likely to reduce serious social problems: concentrations of power used for wretched, destructive purposes. I readily concede that people support Republicans because they're assholes. The party has made its fortune on smirking cruelty, jingoism and selfishness. Just as the Democratic Party engrosses on passive aggression, condescending fuckwittery and hand-wringing sadism. The sole genius of the parties is the realization that a come-on based on blatant pathology will discomfort the punters. They offer respectability through numbers instead. The ideas and doctrines are window dressing.

I'm indifferent to Nader's personality. I voted for him from the left for the same basic reason as those few people from the right. That toaster oven would have stayed in my kitchen vote would not been cast for Gore in any circumstances.

BTW, in the special Senate election held in MA earlier this year, I voted for "None of the Above." Next Tuesday, I'm voting for Jill Stein (Green-Rainbow), for Governor.

If anyone wants to accuse me of helping Scott Brown and, depending on how things play out, either of Deval Patrick's Republican/crypto-Republican opponents win, I see no reason to be defensive about it.

This country desperately needs a serious move to the left and is (or was) ready for it. But the Democrats have refused that calling, and the best thing I can think to do with my vote is to make the void in left leadership the Democrats' problem and emerging parties' opportunity.

Insisting that lifelong Democrats not voting for Democrats won't sometimes lead to Republicans winning seems silly to me. Massachusetts is the canonical blue state, but a lot of folks here decided not to vote for Coakley after she caved on her objections to ObamaCare and ran as "Obama's 60th vote" for it.

I don't see the need to rationalize the result by buying into all the narratives about how she was an inept candidate, and so forth, or other "blame" cleansing theories about why lefties/Democrats/ex-Democrats not voting for her couldn't have affected the outcome.

I could have supported the Democrat, helping her win, but I didn't. It was my right to do so, and I did it fully accepting the possible outcome that an awful Republican might win as a result of decisions like mine.

Nader voters could have voted for Gore and helped improve his chances for victory. They made a free choice not to, for reasons that made sense to them at the time, and perhaps which still do -- maybe even more so (their votes certainly make more sense to me now). That, and not their arguable ineffectuality re: the outcome, seems like the more productive point to make.

I have to disagree with these claims that there are real conservative ideas out there. I went through a phase of studying conservatism at some length, and I found nothing but assholism.

The problem is that conservatives and their enablers always point to some sort of conservative intellectual just over the horizon. So if you look at a site like Crooks and Liars, they frequently say, gee, these Tea Partiers are real assholes compared to a class act like William F. Buckley. But when I talk to people about assholism and point to Buckley as an example, they always tell me, sure, Buckley is a douche, but what about David Brooks? And if I start with David Brooks, and point out that Brooks uses his column to promote white supremacists, they say yeah, Brooks is a hick, but he's not a REAL conservative- what about Milton Friedman? He's a fine intellectual. And when I start the conversation by saying that Friedman points to the Antebellum South as his vision of an economic utopia, then they point to, oh, I don't know, the Heritage Foundation. And then I point out that the Heritage Foundation has a number of ties to Nazism, so now the last living "real conservative" was Edmund Burke. For God's sake, he lived, what, 200 years ago? It's bad enough that the "Party of Lincoln" has to reach back 150 years to find a President they aren't embarrassed by.

The No True Scotsman act is getting thin. I went to the conservative group on usenet long ago and asked for recommendations for the best conservative books. They were all written by assholes. The moderator privately emailed me to say that he was really excited that I was so interested in studying conservatism, so he was going to pass me his SECRET list of the best conservative books- and he sent me a bunch of KKK and neo-Nazi propaganda.

Maybe there are "conservatives" with real ideas. But what makes them "conservatives", exactly? If this "conservative" thinks Friedman, Brooks, Buckley, etc. are full of shit, and acknowledges that the Heritage Foundation is a Nazi group, and that Reagan and Bush should have been sent to the Hague for their support of mass murder and Nazism in El Salvador- if, in short, they reject ALL of the most visible shibboleths of murderous assholism, even to the point of condemning St. Reagan as a Nazi supporter, then what makes them a conservative, exactly? Oh, I forgot- Reagan, Buckley, Brooks, etc. aren't *real* conservatives. *Real* conservatism is exemplified by (fill in the blank.) Of course.

I have a family member who plays this game. No matter what conservative I point to, no matter how prominent they are in the conservative pantheon, he dismisses them as a "hick" who is not representative of the *real* conservatism. Because *real* conservatism has ideas. It's not about racism. It's about *hard work* and *personal responsibility.* Because, you know, liberalism is opposed to hard work and personal responsibility, and there's nothing at all assholish about claiming those as being uniquely conservative values.

FWIW, he does the same with Christianity. 99% of the Christians I speak to have no ideas. It's like some Aldous Huxley vision of religion: Christianity devoid of spirituality, devoid of theology, devoid of anything but ad slogans. These creeps keep telling me that "Jesus died for my sins." When I ask them what that means, they can't tell me. It just means "Coke is it" or "Just do it." When I talk to this guy about Christianity, he says, "Don't confuse me with those other Christians. I'm a free thinker! My Christianity has plenty of ideas! For example, did you know that I don't believe Jesus was the *only* Son of God?" So I say, "Wow, fascinating. What does it mean to be a 'Son of God'? And who are the other Sons of God?" And he can't answer it. For him, "Jesus died for your sins" is an ad slogan for dumbasses. Smart guys like him have ad slogans like "Jesus wasn't the *only* Son of God." None of it means anything.


That's what it means to be living in the 21st century. Public intellectual culture is a hybrid of advertising and porn. It doesn't mean anything, but spouting the right slogans means you can have fun fantasies. Conservative ad slogans let you pretend it's cool to be an asshole. Christian ad slogans let you pretend you're holier than everyone else- or in the case of creationist ad slogans, smarter than everyone else.

Your argument is a pretty strained strawman of the real argument, accomplished by asserting a different meaning for "stolen" than I think is customarily intended by the person making the argument. The argument is basically that, if Nader had not run, some number of the people who voted for Nader would have voted for Gore instead (as opposed to not voting at all), and those votes would have provided enough margin that the vote in Florida would not have been contested in the first place.

As was pointed out above, we'll never know if that's what would have happened or not. However, it is a plausible argument and does not depend on any sense of entitlement to those votes.

Russ, yes, I've written before about the instant gratification problem you and Nomad both bring up. Also, there are a few things worth keeping in mind about Nader and party-building: first, that he promised his father he'd never join a political party, and second, this:

That was basically the precursor of about 20 years, from 1980 to 2000, where we tried every way to get the Democrats to pick up on issues that really commanded the felt concern in daily life of millions of Americans, but were issues that corporations didn't want attention paid to. And so, when people say, "Why'd you do this in 2000?" I'm saying, I'm a 20-year veteran of pursuing the folly of the least-worst between the two parties.
So I don't have a problem with Nader's ambivalence about getting into partisan politics--he's always focused on organizing in the civic rather than the political sphere. As you say, that's not who he is.

shargash, I think that "stolen" has a meaning, and you can't just say that "stolen" is being used to mean something completely different this time around. If there is no sense of entitlement, then why say "stolen"?

I mean, suppose you really wanted to see Tom Cruise in "Salt," and were disappointed that Angelina Jolie got the role instead. Do you get to complain for years that Jolie RAPED Cruise- and then, if someone points out that Cruise had other commitments, accuse them of using a strawman because they won't acknowledge that you've redefined the word "raped" to mean "took a role declined by another actor"?

I frankly am disgusted with Gore for running at all in 2000. He stole votes from Nader. If Gore had had an ounce of integrity and horse sense, he would have realized that he COULD NOT WIN the election. He would have realized that "a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush" isn't a compelling vision- it's a slap to the electorate.

I mean, think about what it took for Bush to win. He needed campaign fraud, Nader (possibly,) the Supreme Court, the electoral college... AND all of that mattered only because Gore was a total loser who couldn't trounce a chimp in a business suit. If Bill Clinton had run against Bush, and Nader had gotten 25% of the vote, AND that had made a razor-thin election out of what would have been a landslide, that would be different. But Gore was the biggest loser of all- the loser who couldn't beat a smirking asshole in a popularity contest, partly because he doesn't have the spine to stand up and fight EVEN FOR HIMSELF. If Gore can't even be motivated by a selfish desire for victory, what the hell good is he? And yet, this two-legged damp dishcloth actually decided that he would run against Nader, robbing Nader of the Presidency.

John, your point about the Green Party and those who say they can't fight to make it viable because it's not viable pegs that mindset exactly. It's like all the nominal supporters of "health care reform" whose argument boiled down to, "I can't demand single payer because people like me aren't demanding single payer." But if everyone who said that had simply demanded single payer and refused to be shoved off that position, we'd either have had it or at least prevented the insurance racket bailout that passed. But most who said that were actually lying, and never really wanted reform, i.e. to replace the corporatist health care system with a public one.

Maybe the Green Party is still small and amorphous enough that it could be a good vehicle. Although Lawrence Goodwyn's book on the Populist movement convinced me that a political alternative has to build upon what he called a movement culture, a set of actions and a mindset which build political self-respect and focus political will. I'm not sure yet how to build such a movement, or exactly what form it'll take, but I am pretty sure it will have to base itself on relocalized food production and distribution.

Shargash, what you're saying is the same thing as what I meant by "it [the extra votes from however many Nader voters would've voted for Gore] would have made enough of a difference that..the Republicans would have felt too intimidated to even try to steal the election". I guess I expressed myself unclearly. My point is that they have the will to steal any election they can, if they think they can get away with it. (Not that I'm saying Democrats are innocent of that.)

I cast my vote for Metafalcon.

Thank you, James. Like Gracie Allen, I will be running on the Surprise Party Ticket this November.

Russ knows the score:

"We have these basic facts.

1. Gore won the election.

2. Bush tried to steal the election.

3. Gore caved in and handed the election to Bush.

* * *

Gore won the election. So it wasn't possible for anyone to cause him to "lose" it. It was only possible for him to let it be stolen from him."

++++++++++++++++++++++

Precisely.

That, and the fraudulence of the assertion that people "owed" their votes to Gore.

Not too keen on Metafalcon's attack on Conservatives. If all you're seeking is a confirmation of partisan bias (them Dems suck but THEY AINT RETHUGS) then I suppose Metafalcon's screed works at some subcretinous comedy level, but otherwise... not.

Twelve per cent of Democrats registered in Florida voted for George W. Bush in 2000. That number amounts to hundreds of thousands of votes that could have put Gore ahead without a recount.

No surprise there. Democrats for Reagan decided that election too.

The fact is that Bush was elected by Democrats and that is where the blame begins and ends.

http://www.cagreens.org/alameda/city/0803myth/myth.html

As to Vastleft's comments, I really don't care what those who came late to the "Democrats Stink" party think of my vote in 2000, so long as they just button their damn lip about it.

But they're usually the ones who bring it up. I sometimes get the feeling that what they want is some acknowledgment from me that I was "right too soon" about the Democratic Party being a fucking corporate-owned-and-operated shithole. Being "right too soon" is the same in their eyes as being wrong. I condemned the poor Party before all the evidence was in about the depths of their suckitude.

And really, that's fucking bullshit and I haven't got the time for it.

Being "right too soon" is the same in their eyes as being wrong.

That's dead on--well said. We saw the same thing from people who acted as though there wasn't enough information to fairly judge President O Positive in January of 2009 and therefore anyone who did so was doing it "reflexively and blindly", despite the mountains of evidence that were already readily available as to exactly who and what he was.

Yup. The dude's meteoric rise from pretty much out of nowhere should have been testimony enough as to how awful he'd be. Nobody gets kicked upstairs that fast, based on so little, unless powerful assholes want them up there.

Hey CF Oxtrot- thanks for calling my writing sub-cretinous!

And while we're at it, thanks for giving the exact same "rebuttal" that everyone else does whenever I criticise conservatism in any way.

You see, people all across the American political spectrum- conservative and liberal alike- call me a partisan whenever I criticise the intellectual underpinnings of conservatism.

But there's one little problem. This isn't about democrats vs. republicans. It's about conservatism. It's about assholes. I'm no partisan- I think all of our presidents since at least FDR should have been convicted of war crimes, regardless of party. You know why? Because I'm not a partisan. Like I said, I'm not one of those principle-free, It's-ok-if-we-do-it assholes you keep hearing about.

Do *you* think all those people are war criminals?

Are *you* willing to say that Reagan was a neo-Nazi? That the Heritage Foundation is a neo-Nazi organization? Because the facts are very plain.

I've called conservatism assholism, and I've backed it up with facts. Calling my writing sub-cretinous won't make the mass graves go away. St. Reagan is a murderous asshole. St. Dubya is a murderous asshole. And conservatives are a bunch of assholes for idolizing these people.

Find me a single conservative public intellectual who isn't a flaming asshole. Name me a single consistent, non-assholish principle of conservatism. Until then, I'm not really impressed with your schoolyard taunts. I mean, come on- I get the same silliness from the creationists when I ask them to explain retrogenes. They winge and bitch about how evilution is awful and call me names and blah blah blah, but they never put up and never shut up, either.

The Antiwar.com people consider themselves conservative; do they pass muster?

Well, Metafalcon, Oxtrot never shuts up either, and his mantra is always the same: Person X wants more and better Democrats! There are surely people out there of whom that's true, but I've never seen him lob this spitball at one of them. The consistency of his lousy aim is remarkable.

I'm not familiar with antiwar.com, but I don't remember anti-war being a traditional conservative position...

Thx for the heads-up, Duncan!

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