Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

January 19, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

DIGGING DEEPER IN THE VALUES DEBATE....My professional background is marketing, and although my career was spent in smallish tech companies without access to the high-powered tools used by huge consumer-oriented firms, I have a lot of respect for those tools. They won't tell you everything, but companies spend billions of dollars a year based on what those tools do tell them, and they do it because they work.

In the American Prospect this month, Garance Franke-Ruta has a fascinating piece about Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, a pair of activists who made a name for themselves a couple of years ago with an essay called "The Death of Environmentalism" and who have now taken on a new task: using the tools of consumer marketing to try to get a better fix on the American psyche. Their goal: figuring out how to fix liberalism so that it appeals to more voters.

The Prospect article summarizes their findings and makes a couple of points that are longtime hot buttons of mine:

  • Liberals need to abandon the fantasy that "opinion polls show that voters agree with us!" Only the shallowest analysis of opinion polls supports this notion, and when you dig even an inch below the surface it turns out that in many cases "our issues" have a lot less salience than we think.

  • Although it's true that median incomes have largely stagnated over the past few decades, Americans are still pretty rich. This is why economic arguments simply don't resonate the way we think they ought to.

Nordhaus and Shellenberger's analysis suggests that the answer is to pay more attention to values but in a subtly different way than pollsters did after the 2004 election:

They found economic changes driving changes in social values, and those, in turn, driving political preferences. Using data from Environics in-home consumer survey in the United States, Nordhaus and Shellenberger were able to tease apart changes in the thinking of voters since 1992 on 117 different social values trends. These values, such as time stress, joy of consumption, and acceptance of violence, are not what people normally think of as values abortion, gay marriage, or other hot-button social issues.

....Nordhaus and Shellenberger arrived at what they call social values trends, such as sexism, patriotism, or acceptance of flexible families. But the real meaning of those trends was revealed only by plugging them into the values matrix a four-quadrant plot with plenty of curving arrows to show direction, which is then overlaid onto voting data....Despite the increasing political power of the religious right, Environics found social values moving away from the authority end of the scale, with its emphasis on responsibility, duty, and tradition, to a more atomized, rage-filled outlook that values consumption, sexual permissiveness, and xenophobia. The trend was toward values in the individuality quadrant.

The article is too dense to excerpt it fairly, but this passage should at least pique your interest to read the rest. Roughly speaking, N&S are suggesting that although progressive policies are (mostly) fine, they need to be explained not as policies per se but as natural outgrowths of core values that resonate with working and middle class voters. That's what Peter Brodnitz found out when he started talking to focus groups in Virginia about Tim Kaine's opposition to the death penalty:

Brodnitz found that once Kaine started talking about his religious background and explaining that his opposition to the death penalty grew out of his Catholic faith, not only did charges that he was weak on crime fail to stick, but he became inoculated against a host of related charges that typically plague and undermine the campaigns of Democratic candidates. Once people understood the values system that the position grew out of, they understood thats hes not a liberal, says Brodnitz. We couldnt even convince them he was a liberal once wed done that.

There's a lot to agree and disagree with here, and it's a provocative piece. It's well worth reading the whole thing.

Kevin Drum 1:41 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (352)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Interesting that you should mention that environics data because I just read a book on it: "American Backlash: The Untold Story of Social Change in the United States". The basic thesis is that Republicans and Democrats actually share many of the same values and engage in higher civic participation. However, the majority of people, the ones who don't vote, are converging towards a more materialistic, social darwinistic individualist state and its these people who both parties really have should have a problem with.

Posted by: Jacob on January 19, 2006 at 1:56 AM | PERMALINK

That finding about Kaine is absolutely fascinating, and seems very important.

It might be that most voters need to put people in some kind of category they can recognize, e.g., Catholic, rather than try to put together a picture of who they are by assembling their positions on issues.

And once they saw Kaine as a Catholic, and were convinced that his positions came out of that, they at least related to him as someone who had values, and who was willing to stand up for what he believed in.

I think, for instance, that was one of the major appeals of Paul Hackett. People respond to conviction. And I think that explains some of the appeal of so-called Values Conservatives. There is a certain segment of the population somewhere in the middle that is swayed by conviction, even if they don't necessarily fully endorse what the person actually stands for.

That's both an opportunity and a problem. It's a problem because a strong element of liberalism is the ability to hold an open mind, and be willing to be convinced by intellectual arguments. That is admirable, and intelligent, but often makes one appear to be without strong core beliefs.

Posted by: Charles on January 19, 2006 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

Principles count for something. Who knew?

Most people will give someone more credit if their positions are a reflection of consistent principles.

As one example, politicians who fly personal jets and have many homes don't carry a lot of weight when discussing things like wasting energy and resources, or bashing the rich.

On the other hand, some politicians have walked the walk on the idea of doing more with less. Off the top of my head, Jerry Brown comes to mind, as does Ralph Nader. Whatever you might say about either one's politics, you had to respect their consistency of behavior and ideas.

Look at any politician who has gotten a lot of respect from both sides of the aisle. One thing most of them have in common is a strong set of principles, and actions that remain consistent with them.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 19, 2006 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

People respect people who have strong opinions and convictions. Even if they disagree with them.

At some point the Democratic Waffleites will have to understand they can't present opinions based on tracking polls and get any traction against good ol' boys.

Posted by: canucklehead on January 19, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz has a point -- projecting consistency spawns a following. bush also proved that highlighting an opponent's inconsistency serves just as well as demonstrating one's own (which bush certainly lacks in his own right).

The one question the Prospect article left me with was "why has it taken so long for democrats to utilize the kind of market research that republicans have been utilizing for years?"

The answer that struck me was that because business has spawned the most precise marketing tools it naturally follows that the party that reflexively embraces business interests would do a better job of employing said tools. The fact that this adaptation has empowered a party that plainly disregards the well-being of the bulk of Americans at the expense of the entrenched elite shows a structural weakness of American democracy. The Prospect article underscores this point well.

Posted by: Dan-O on January 19, 2006 at 2:33 AM | PERMALINK

1. Invest in China. It's an investor's paradise!

Posted by: Lowtax Looper on January 19, 2006 at 2:47 AM | PERMALINK

If you have to take a survey to find out what you should believe, you have lost it before you even get started. I sometimes think if Adolph Hitler were running for President as a Republican, the Democrats would have to have focus groups to find out if they should oppose his "final solution".

Posted by: james of Dc on January 19, 2006 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

In short, what this study points out is that America is becoming more LIBERTARIAN.

I didn't need a study to tell me this, Ive been saying it for years. People in general agree with democrats on civil liberties and republicans on economics.

Posted by: Jonesy on January 19, 2006 at 3:00 AM | PERMALINK

In some ways, this whole line of analysis strikes me as simply missing the point of what truly wins elections.

For what does, in fact, win elections? The hot issue of the day. The hot issue in the last two elections, 2002 and 2004 was national security. That was a Republican issue, fairly or not, and they capitalized. In 2006, it's very likely that corruption will be the big issue. It will be a winning issue for Democrats, because the Republicans are the abusers.

Now the reason I say this is that the truly large numbers in public opinion are moved by these "topical" issues. Bush's numbers went up to 90% after 9/11. Delay's numbers went into the twenties even in his own district when he was indicted. On the other hand, the overall differences in numbers between positions/values/policies/whatever that Democrats hold, as opposed to Republicans, is probably very small single digits.

Why spend huge energy on the small differential, when there may be issues lying about that have perhaps an order of magnitude more significance in swaying the public? Honestly, I've never understood this.

What Democrats need most urgently in 2006 is a strategy whereby they can capitalize on the corruption of the Republicans. If they do that, they can mostly forget about the values shit.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 19, 2006 at 3:05 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and another big issue in 2006, of course, will be the failure in Iraq -- again a topical issue. Democrats need to understand how to exploit that as well.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 19, 2006 at 3:14 AM | PERMALINK

I give it about 20 posts before someone calls you a sell-out.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

to a more atomized, rage-filled outlook that values consumption, sexual permissiveness, and xenophobia. The trend was toward values in the individuality quadrant.

Kevin Drum 1:41 AM Permalink | TrackBack (0) | Comments (10)

Strange fucking individuals in your planet, yankee*.

Maybe you can meet Osama half way. Just zakat from the consumption and restrict the permissiveness to your 4 wives.

*Sorry to use the term but your culture provoked me!

Posted by: Mcaristotle on January 19, 2006 at 3:34 AM | PERMALINK

If ever there was a time to re-capture the values mantle, the recent Republican scandals and the meltdown they have caused has got to be it.

Sadly, Quaker revival meetings don't translate into mass media charisma.

Posted by: JamesP on January 19, 2006 at 3:41 AM | PERMALINK

In short, what this study points out is that America is becoming more LIBERTARIAN.

I didn't need a study to tell me this, Ive been saying it for years. People in general agree with democrats on civil liberties and republicans on economics.

Posted by: Jonesy on January 19, 2006 at 3:00 AM | PERMALINK

As a liberal democrat, I used to worry about libertarianism cutting into the party's population until I learned that there are about 400,000 registered libertarians nationwide. That number has not appreciably changed over several election cycles. Why?

Libertarians are too narcissistic to actually ever go out and organize in any effective manner that would increase their numbers.

Mr. Drum, the only problem that democrats have ever had is paying attention to those who would like to see democrats fail. Democrats should have been confronting head on the republican taunts and jeers these last twenty plus years.

Posted by: Sharon on January 19, 2006 at 3:41 AM | PERMALINK

People respect people who have strong opinions and convictions. Even if they disagree with them.

Posted by: canucklehead on January 19, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

Barry Goldwater had strong opinions and convictions.

Mario Cuomo had strong opinions and convictions.

Opinions and convictions aren't going to get you the votes if the voter doesn't agree with them. It does matter what the convictions are about.

Posted by: Sharon on January 19, 2006 at 3:45 AM | PERMALINK

If only it were so easy. Like George Lakoff, the authors seem to have appealing ideas, but no one can say how easily they could be implemented or how effective they might be.

One thing that's struck me about American voters is how incoherent many of their positions are. Anecdotally, I've met many people who claim to be "socially liberal but economically conservative" or "libertarian", but, when pressed, admit to supporting a universal healthcare program. People like to hold onto the principles that sound nice and make them feel good, but when facing an actual question of policy may make a choice completely opposite of what their stated political orientation would dictate.

Nonetheless, in the 2000 presidential campaign, which was remarkably devoid of debate on any realistically implementable policy, many voters saw a choice between a moderate, tax-cutting "economic conservative" Bush and a "tax-and-spendocrat" Gore. Of course countless other factors played perhaps larger roles, but certainly on the margins many voters picked Bush because his economic message sounded better to them on principle, even though they might have agreed with Gore on the majority of substantive economic policy questions.

This is all just speculation on my part--I won't let real facts get in the way here--but I suspect that for many people this is true. The question remains: how do we tell many of these people they are self-deluded?

Oh well. Most voters on either side of the aisle are probably pretty poorly informed. Forgive the ramblings of a slightly drunk college student.

Posted by: Stephen Judkins on January 19, 2006 at 3:47 AM | PERMALINK

I didn't need a study to tell me this, Ive been saying it for years. People in general agree with democrats on civil liberties and republicans on economics.
Posted by: Jonesy

even when the conservative policies demonstrably don't work?

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 4:44 AM | PERMALINK

"a more atomized, rage-filled outlook that values consumption, sexual permissiveness, and xenophobia."

It's hard to imagine a more depressing evaluation of trends in American civil society than this.

It's ironic that mcaristotle feels this justifies using a prejoritive when his posts on this blog demonstrate that he exemplifies the very world-view he claims to dispise --self-centered, greedy, xenophobic, and hate-filled.

Posted by: joe on January 19, 2006 at 5:05 AM | PERMALINK

On the other hand, some politicians have walked the walk on the idea of doing more with less. Off the top of my head, Jerry Brown comes to mind, as does Ralph Nader. Whatever you might say about either one's politics, you had to respect their consistency of behavior and ideas.

If that was really tbrosz, then I will have to renew my long-lost faith in the power of online discussion to bring people to greater mutual understanding.

So it can't really have been tbrosz. Right?

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 19, 2006 at 5:21 AM | PERMALINK

claims to dispise --self-centered, greedy, xenophobic, and hate-filled.

Posted by: joe on January 19, 2006 at 5:05 AM | PERMALINK

Please I'm not American so I have nothing to do with your study. Yankee go home*!

* Sorry. Your very existance and war-mongering history provoked me. If you hadn't existed the world would be all peaceful and idyllic.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 5:44 AM | PERMALINK

conservative policies demonstrably don't work?

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 4:44 AM | PERMALINK

Where's your citation? Ever heard of Economics.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 5:45 AM | PERMALINK

justifies using a prejoritive

Posted by: joe on January 19, 2006 at 5:05 AM | PERMALINK

Yankee is prejoritive?. I thought it referred to non-Southern Americans. Funny, red-neck gets thrown around here pretty badly and no one takes offence.

Well, I invoke the might American laws of Political Correctness and White Guilt, to get away with it.

Is Whitey okay? Or 'non-chocolate people'?
The African-American material I once read seems to have a lot of it.


Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 5:49 AM | PERMALINK

I see liberalism as social expansion and conservatism as civil consolidation. Those institutions which expand knowledge/power, such as education, media, sciences, tend to be inherently liberal. Those which consolidate this energy, such as business and government, tend to be inherently conservative. The government social programs of the last century created a form of conservative liberalism, often referred to as PC. The reaction to this was a liberal conservatism, otherwise known as libertarianism, which sought to redistribute civil control back to the presumably more culturally conservative local level. Having been originally based on a simplistic rejection of government, now this movement has matured and coalesced, it is in trouble because it lacks any core civil philosophy, leaving its social conservatives and economic conservatives little more than a toxic coalition of greed and cultural rigor mortis. The enemy is not those of a conservative or liberal bent, but those too monological to understand that the coin still has two sides, even if they can only see one.

Posted by: brodix on January 19, 2006 at 6:13 AM | PERMALINK

The reaction to this was a liberal conservatism, otherwise known as libertarianism......it is in trouble because it lacks any core civil philosophy,

Posted by: brodix on January 19, 2006 at 6:13 AM | PERMALINK

Low taxes.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 6:19 AM | PERMALINK

it lacks any core civil philosophy

other than turning the president into an emperor, naked or not.

Posted by: brodix on January 19, 2006 at 6:23 AM | PERMALINK

that's no taxes.

Posted by: brodix on January 19, 2006 at 6:24 AM | PERMALINK

Another point;


Government budgeting is a mess and the problem with the line item veto is that it would place most of the power of the purse in the hands of the president, but a way around this would be to break the bills into their constituent items and have each legislator assign a percentage value to each one. Then re-assemble them in order of preference and have the president draw the line at what is to be funded. Not only would this break up the budgetary log jams which make over spending irresistible, but it would take away a lot of the power this process gives to the legislative leadership and parties and returns it to the level of the individual legislators. While the buck really would stop with the president. Specific proposals would have to appeal to the broad spectrum of legislators, not just a few power brokers. It would require the leadership to lead by inspiration, not just herd them around like so many cattle. Democracy is a bottom up process and the Republic is a top down entity. This would clarify that relationship. It is the congealing of power in the legislative branch which is the source of much current corruption.

Now it's off to work...

Posted by: brodix on January 19, 2006 at 6:33 AM | PERMALINK

I remember after Reagan was elected the second time, some Republican operative was on a TV discussion show - his name was Ed Rollins, one of the balding chubby bearded GOP campaign guys - saying that the key to Reagan's popularity is that he believes things, speaks from his heart. That, and he doesn't hold the American people in contempt.
OK, who was the last Democratic politician who projected an air of passionate yet practical belief, and managed to convey it publicly without any condescension? It wasn't Dukakis, Gore, or Kerry. Hint: his nickname was Bubba.
Remember Mario? The guy who could go into a convention of police officers, hostile to his anti-death penalty views, explain his reasons for opposing the death penalty (Catholic respect for life) while still outlining a need for effective law enforcement, punishment for criminals, and support for the police, and leave with a standing ovation?
I'm with tbroz: "Values are important. Who knew?"
If you read Carville and Begala's political books, it's obvioius they understand this. What mystifies me is that this prinicple, a basic and (to me) obvious one, a principle fundemental to political success in the USA, seems to continually evade the comprehension of the Democrats, who style themselves as the intellectual, reality-based party. Makes you wonder.

Posted by: rhinoman on January 19, 2006 at 7:12 AM | PERMALINK

I haven't read this yet, though I certainly plan to, but I wanted to comment on the second bullet point of Kevin's, re: wealth.

This is a big grievance for me, this phenomenon that's been called "the problem of comfort": keep the people comfortable and you, as a ruler, can do as you please. Americans are just too comfortable to turn their attention and energy to serious reforms or economic projects.

I imagine that if Marie Antoinette had said, "Let them eat grilled chicken sandwiches and drive SUVs and live in climate controlled 4,000 square foot houses and be constantly entertained" . . . well, there probably wouldn've been no revolution.

Posted by: Jeremy on January 19, 2006 at 8:29 AM | PERMALINK

This is all completely pointless and meaningless. All such discussion as this has been overtaken by events and left very far behind. A revolution has taken place; America is now a totalitarian country. And before anyone advances any ignorant objections, to the effect that these or those (irrelevant) details of some previous totalitarian regime cannot (yet) be found here, please note that totalitarianism is not institutions or a pseudo-philosophy. It is a habit of mind. Once you have the notion of first- and second-class citizens, everything else flows from that.

If these researchers had really wanted to get some insight into what is going on, they ought to have been asking only these questions: what groups ought to be above the law? what groups ought to be denied the protection of the law? and why? No meaningful insight into America today can be gained from any other perspective than this.

Posted by: Frank Wilhoit on January 19, 2006 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

I learned that there are about 400,000 registered libertarians nationwide. That number has not appreciably changed over several election cycles. Why?
Ah, we see here the difference between the big-L Libertarians and the little-L libertarians. The Libertarian party itself isn't picking up many new members; most conservative types aren't going there because of the free-drugs-for-your-children stand, and most liberals aren't going there because of the social program cuts.

Joining the Libertarian party, however, is a different thing than developing more libertarian ideals. The latter can happen without the former.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 19, 2006 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

once Kaine started talking about his religious background and explaining that his opposition to the death penalty grew out of his Catholic faith, ... charges that he was weak on crime fail to stick ... they understood that’s he’s not a liberal

So in this case at least, voters didn't care about the policy at all. They only cared whether the candidate appeared to be macho enough or a liberal wimp. It seems obvious to me that Americans prefer candidates who look and act macho like Reagan, Arnold, or Jesse Ventura more than they care what their policies are.

Posted by: Gary Sugar on January 19, 2006 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry but all these arguments are ridiculous.. "the problems" with the democratic party are plain as day-- we have an incredibly corrupt Republican administration and congress but you don't hear a peep from the corporate media.

all you hear is "both party are corrupt"

all you hear is "anyone who questions Bush's iraq policies is a traitor"

all you hear is "the democrats have no ideas"

As long as media is control by corporations democrats will always be the minority party

Posted by: smartone on January 19, 2006 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

Remember the book from a year ago, "What's the Matter With Kansas?"

I felt the author's view was more like, "What's the Matter with the Stupid Voters in Kansas Who Keep Voting for Republicans?"

There is something reflexive among today's Democrats, that they despise people who think differently. And until the larger Democratic party learns to respect voters, not sneer at them, the Dems will keep losing elections.

Posted by: Kevin Gregory on January 19, 2006 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

I am not sure if this is really different than Lakoff or Frank. Frank says people don't vote their economic interests. Nordhaus and Shellenberger don't disagree, they seek to explain why- values. Lakoff says progressives don't frame the argument properly. Nordhaus and Shellenberger seem to be arguing for a specific frame- values.

I'd also add that Howard Dean was here already. Go back to his Vermont announcement speech. He talked about community or the lack of community. The lack of the idea that we are all in this together. Ask any devotee of Howard Dean and you will find this was one of the major attractions to his candidacy. The real anti-war voter went for Dennis Kucinich.

Posted by: molly bloom on January 19, 2006 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

I think, for instance, that was one of the major appeals of Paul Hackett. People respond to conviction. And I think that explains some of the appeal of so-called Values Conservatives. There is a certain segment of the population somewhere in the middle that is swayed by conviction, even if they don't necessarily fully endorse what the person actually stands for.

Posted by: david on January 19, 2006 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Democrats want to win elections?

Ditch the gun control issue. You'd pick up enough 'single issue' voters to easily win both the presidency and congress.

Ok, send me the check.

Posted by: Buford on January 19, 2006 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

"I didn't need a study to tell me this, Ive been saying it for years. People in general agree with democrats on civil liberties and republicans on economics."
Posted by: Jonesy

"even when the conservative policies demonstrably don't work?"

Posted by: Nads

And even when it's crystal clear to anybody willing to see that the GOP is neither in favor of civil liberties nor in favor of economic conservatism?

Actually, perhaps I should rethink that - the GOP is very econmically conservative - 'take from the poor and give to the rich' has a long and distinguished history.

Posted by: Barry on January 19, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

As long as media is control by corporations democrats will always be the minority party

Posted by: smartone

Unfortunately you lefties have presented few ideas and seem only to whine and complain about Republican policies. Without offering any real alternatives.

Only a fool believes that Democratic leadership is any less corrupt than Republicans. They don't come any worse than front runner Hillary. She like many had to return money from Abramoff.

Another idiot statement is that anyone critisizing Bush's Iraq policy is a traitor. Bush said it was fine to critique his policiies. The only bitch is the way you lefty fools do it. So change the tone so it does not come out as defeatist and troop bashing.

The only media conservatives have a lock on is talk radio. It seems lefties can't compete in that market because nobody listens to them. Not because they are shut out. As far as the rest of the media goes a large majority of them claim to be liberal and it shows.

You are just another typical whiney lefty that does not understand their ideas do not resonate with the majority of Americans. It is not a corporate conspiracy. The left got out hustled the last election cycle and you should get over it. Come up with some decent policies and ideas. Without the mantra of the otherside is evil and stupid. Then maybe you might attract some swing voters insted of pushing them to the right.

Keep up the other side are cheaters, liars, crooks, stupid(how you could do all the other stuff and be stupid is beyond me), thieves and evil mantra. It shows how paranoid, desperate and out of step you lefties have become. I love it!

Posted by: Fat White Guy on January 19, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

When a polititian goes into a hostile crowd and talks about a position that he knows they don't like, there's not only a values subtext, but it also shows they have courage. This is incredibly important. Especially in these days of perpetual war on Oceania.

So many Democrats don't seem to get this. Which is why maybe they should hire Kevin.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on January 19, 2006 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

Once people understood the value system that the position grew out of, they understood that hes not a liberal,

The assumption here is that the word liberal is radioactive, and that there is no getting it back.

So if the brand name "liberal" is dead,
why does this web site and other sites continue to use it self-referentially?

Good question.


Posted by: koreyel on January 19, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

"As a liberal democrat, I used to worry about libertarianism cutting into the party's population until I learned that there are about 400,000 registered libertarians nationwide. That number has not appreciably changed over several election cycles. Why? Libertarians are too narcissistic to actually ever go out and organize in any effective manner that would increase their numbers."

You do realize that there is such a thing as libertarians who are also registered Democrats, right?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

If that was really tbrosz, then I will have to renew my long-lost faith in the power of online discussion to bring people to greater mutual understanding.

Well, that poster used tbrosz' email address, which the fakes generally don't, so I presume it's him.

Then again, tbrosz' positions also arise out of a core value -- reflexive defense of Bush's brand of Republicanism -- so having consistent positions based on values -- which, let's face it, diehard Communists do as well -- isn't always admriable.

Posted by: Gregory on January 19, 2006 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

So if the brand name "liberal" is dead,
why does this web site and other sites continue to use it self-referentially?

Posted by: koreyel on January 19, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

'Cos someone who call himself a liberal isn't serious about change. He just wants to vent so he looks 'activist'.

---------------

'take from the poor and give to the rich' has a long and distinguished history.

Posted by: Barry on January 19, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

'Claim power blaming the rich then help yourself' is way more classic. Low taxes is the intersection of pro-entrepreneurship and limited government supporters....

Plus bombing militants who want to establish opressive theocrat command economies.


Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin Gregory wrote, "There is something reflexive among today's Democrats, that they despise people who think differently. And until the larger Democratic party learns to respect voters, not sneer at them, the Dems will keep losing elections."

But it's the Republicans who sneer at voters. I live in Palm Beach County, and there are plenty of Republicans who sneer at me as a moron who doesn't know how to cast a ballot, and how my vote shouldn't be counted.

Republicans constantly call Nancy Pelosi a "San Francisco Democrat." They call Ted Kennedy at "Massachusetts Democrat." They call the state "Taxachusetts." They talk all the time about how the South is the "real America," and the northeast is -- well, I guess they think the northeast is un-American.

Democrats "despise people who think differently?" What an interesting thing to say! On the one hand, Democrats are accused of being politically correct and being indecisive. Now Kevin Gregory says Democrats despise people who think differently.

No, Kevin G., it's the Republicans who despise people who think (and act) differently. It's the Republicans who call critics of the war traitors, who want to deny homosexuals and immigrants the equal protection of the laws, who say atheists and agnostics have no values and shouldn't be allowed to participate in civic life.

Posted by: Holdie Lewie on January 19, 2006 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

There's only one small problem with the "consistency" theory.

Bush is almost 100% consistent in his policies and statements. And at a 40% approval rating.

If Americans respect consistency, why is Bush unpopular? It's actually a pretty zen question.

Posted by: Alderaan on January 19, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

molly bloom:

Dead-on about Howard Dean. His candidacy caught so much unexpected fire precisely because he was viewed as a man who wouldn't back down on his convictions. I will say, though, that his opposition to the Iraq war had a lot to do with it -- and very little to do with Kucinich-style pacificism. The guy was perceived as having a set.

Fat White Guy: Expert demographic analysis has determined that every opinion you express is a function of you being a fat white guy :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Nordhaus and Shellenberger are clueless. They need to read The Republican Nemesis. Some excerpts:

"The Issues might actually be important to many Swing Voters early on in a political campaign, but when both sides start to pick apart each others facts & interpretations, the typical Swing Voter quickly becomes confused. As the debate over The Issues drags on, Swing Voters realize that they dont understand the details well enough to make an informed decision, so they end up relying on their impressions of the candidates. Republican strategists see this clearly. That is why they continuously try to create doubts in the minds of the Swing Voters about the character of the Democratic candidate. They know that it doesnt really matter if they cant find any real flaws in their Democratic opponents. Accusations, insinuations, & innuendo will work just fine. They hope to encourage voters to question the motivation and dependability of The Democrats. They try to create the perception that Democrats are defective in a disturbing way. By accusing, the Republicans suggest to Swing Voters that they are not [defective like the Democrats]..."

"...Republican strategists know they would rarely win if election results were always determined by a logical discussion of The Issues and nothing more (they know that most voters would benefit more from Democratic economic policies than from Republican policies). They know they must win the Image Campaign to have any chance of winning. That is why they are committed, now and forever, to negative campaigning..."

"...The most important reason why negative campaigning has worked so well for the Republicans is because their negative attacks on the Democrats create a positive impression of Republican candidates, who appear---in contrast---to be individuals who do not possess the defects that they have accused others of having. They define themselves [positively] by defining their Democratic opponents [negatively]. On a visceral level, what the Republicans actually stand for in the minds of Swing Voters on election day is that they are not Democrats---those defective people who seem to have been born to ruin everything."

"Values" only matter because they help to define Democrats in a negative light.

Posted by: Linette on January 19, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps I'm out of step, but I for one don't believe that Democrats need to seek the counselling of someone like Pat Robertson as Bush did before his invasion of Iraq to reinforce how much his actions had the blessing of God..This is the same Reverend who said 9/11 was caused by America's acceptance of gay's, and that Katrina's victims were the consequence of God' wrath on New Orlean's decadence..not to mention Ariel Sharon's illness. Eventually,the majority of Americans will awaken to see how the world works the way it does, (reality-based) than through the prism of self annoited interpreters of GOD such as Robertson and Bush. I don't think Democrats need to imitate the latter to gain acceptance from adults at the voter's box, surely.

Posted by: Steve Crickmore on January 19, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

I think you all miss the main point of the article. What they're saying, is that for Democrats to have success, It's NOT that they have to "get values". That's not the problem at all. After-all, open-mindedness IS a value..a good one at that.

What they're saying is that America is increasingly a self-absorbed, immoral country, and if the Democrats are going to have any success, they need to play to that demographic, the Democrats are going to have to lose these funny ideas about "helping the less fortunate", because as we all know, that just means THOSE people.

They need to play to the tbrosz crowd, in other words. The people who pretend they have "values"...but their values are strictly in the dark side of things.

Posted by: Karmakin on January 19, 2006 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

The venom from both sides of the political divide is jsut dripping here lately. Certainly there is nothing wrong with doing some research into things. What IS wrong, hwoever, is to try and mold the debate by tearing down the values of others. The fascinating sociological thing to watch is that neither side recognizes that it is involved in a spiral of violence, at least politically, and that with each turn of that spiral, it becomes harder to rid oneself of it. Liberals and conservatives are oppopsite sides of the same coin: hatred and non acceptance of those that think differently.

Posted by: Chris on January 19, 2006 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

If Americans respect consistency, why is Bush unpopular?

Because they don't respect incompetency. The obverse of your question is, if Bush is unpopular, why aren't the Democrats popular? In short, it's because they don't offer a viable alternative -- and that's because they aren't seen as having any core values from which a voter can derive an understanding of the party. (Or, more precisely, because *they don't*.)

Posted by: WatchfulBabbler on January 19, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

alderaan:

Actually, the theory still holds with Bush. It's how he can have such a vastly inconsistent set of policies (free-spending conservative, democracy-imposer who doesn't do nation-building) and yet still have an extremely hard core of supporters who not only don't benefit from his policies -- but who suffer from them.

The percpetion of Bush as a man of rock-solid conviction is the only glue holding the guy and his administration together. It is the single perception that the permanent PR campaign must continually burnish at the expense of all reality.

Bush, in fact, had to be persuaded into finally admitting mistakes in Iraq during his pushback against Murtha when he was tanking in the polls. Those admissions helped him greatly -- because people also appreciate humility and can forgive mistakes honestly admitted.

But admitting mistakes goes directly against Bush's temperment. Those admissions did, though, ultimately spell the difference between approval ratings in the 30s and approval ratings in the 40s.

If Bush could more consistently incorporate signs of humility and even concrete second-guessing in his policies, he'd be a lot more politically formidable.

Bush doesn't seem to be evolved enough to realize that rock-solid convictions can coexist with humility in building policies around them.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Excuse me the linked article for my previous comment is Pat Robertson but probably no one takes him seriously any more,with the possible exception of Bush, but then again I may be self deluded victim of liberal arrogance which Kevin has alluded to.

Posted by: Steve Crickmore on January 19, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

percpetion = perception

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Stephan Judkins:>"Forgive the ramblings of a slightly drunk college student."

Wouldn't it be nice if all posters let us know how drunk they were?

Karamakin, right on. America is corrupt, Americans are corrupt. It's easy to see broad acceptence of the obvious fact that our military is in Iraq to procur cheap oil. We take what we want from the banana republics at the prices *WE* prefer. All Americans know this, but most deny it. It's almost refreshing to hear the wing-nuts say it outloud.

We know the Republicans are stealing elections, most people don't care: it *always* been that way,
everyone does it, so what....

Corrupt.

I could go on and on..

We're getting the democracy we deserve. And the Democrats will have to serve the people, corrupt though they may be.

Posted by: Joey Giraud on January 19, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

When these writers figure out how come Bernie Sanders, Paul Wellstone, Barbara Boxer and Brian Schwietzer got elected, call me. It seems to me a strong dose of economic populism works. Plus, the value voters tend to support most is this: Does the politician speak in an open and honest manner and stick to his/her guns?

Otherwise, their DLC oriented nostrums are not persuasive. In fact, they only justifiy continued weak rhetoric and mushiness.

Posted by: Mitchell Freedman on January 19, 2006 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

"... Although progressive policies are (mostly) fine, they need to be explained not as policies per se but as natural outgrowths of core values that resonate with working and middle class voters."

That's right on target. I'm writing a progressive from the red center of a red state who respects neighbors and friends of the very opposite persuasion. They are all, at heart, progressives in that peculiar American way, even though among their peers they are embracers of Limbaugh et al. They do not like the message they get from liberals that they are less enlightened and less socially engaged and concerned and progressive than thou.

Posted by: PW on January 19, 2006 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

The Kaine case seems a bit problematic for the liberal side: Once people understood the values system that the position grew out of, they understood thats hes not a liberal, says Brodnitz. We couldnt even convince them he was a liberal once wed done that.

So is the purpose using these tools to convince people that liberals are not liberals? Is it just a way to skirt around the problem that some voters have with the label "liberal"?

I have long felt that Dems have been much too reticent to stand up for what they believe in. They are weak-kneed and voters want clarity and strenghth. If Dems really believe what they say they believe -- and you don't get that from taking positions based on polls -- and Dems were more articulate about their beliefs, more people would respect them and vote for them.

Posted by: JJF on January 19, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Bob (rmck1)

Thanks, pacificist is the word I was looking for. The anti-war pacificist voters went Kucinich. The Dean anti-war voters were more anti the Iraq invasion than anti-war. We didn't trust Bush (lack of honesty and lack of competance) and we were right (not to rub it in).

Posted by: molly bloom on January 19, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Joey Giraud:

I was going to chime in and tease Stephan Judkins too, but then realized the guy posted at like 3:30 in the morning. Forgive the guy his late-nite collegiate boozing. Had it been at like 9AM ...

The best analysis of this syndrome in pure poli-sci (not sociological) terms is still offered by JK Galbraith in his slim volume The Culture of Contentment.

Spread fairly evenly in both parties, we have a Contented Minority, a Discontented (but enfranchised) Minority -- and half the rest of the people don't vote.

In order to win elections, politicians have to win a percentage of both camps. They have to push for change *only to the extent* that they don't alienate the Contented. They have to push the status quo *only to the extent* that they don't lose the Discontented.

Net result: TweedleDeeDumbed-down politics.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Once people understood the values system that the position grew out of, they understood thats hes not a liberal, says Brodnitz. We couldnt even convince them he was a liberal once wed done that.

What a crock.

He's not a liberal as conservatives have dishonestly defined liberals.

The problem is that liberals have let conservatives falsely define what liberal values are, not that the public doesn't like liberal values.

At the same time, conservatives are lying about their own values, promoting values in word that don't follow from their deeds.

Liberals need better marketing, not different values.

After all, if liberals adopt conservative values, then they are conservatives, not liberals.

What their argument boils down to is that Democrats need to adopt more conservative values.

That is unnecessary. Just switch parties if you want to adopt conservative values - that is, if you really think that the GOP actually believes in and employs such values.

If you do so believe, then you are delusional, but certainly entitled to that delusion which will be better served in the party that promotes that delusion.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 19, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

molly bloom:

I was a Howard Dean activist in the primaries. I feel your pain, believe me ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK
So if the brand name "liberal" is dead, why does this web site and other sites continue to use it self-referentially?

AFAICT, this sight uses it self-referentially so that Kevin's criticisms of "lefties" and "liberals" get the additional credibility of statements against interest, though, after a while, that breaks down as it becomes clear that they aren't, really.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

deny homosexuals and immigrants the equal protection of the laws, who say atheists and agnostics have no values and shouldn't be allowed to participate in civic life.

Posted by: Holdie Lewie on January 19, 2006 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

That's a big generalization.

1) I'd say homosexuals can marry any person of the opposite sex they want - equality!

2)Actually Democrats want to restrict H1B's. They are only soft on the undocumented/illegal immigration.

3)For a sect restricted from public life. The lawsuits taking down ten commandments and removing prayer in schools seem pretty public to me.

Liberalism needs to go away and form a new economic consensus ..........

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

There's only one small problem with the "consistency" theory.

Bush is almost 100% consistent in his policies and statements. And at a 40% approval rating.

If Americans respect consistency, why is Bush unpopular? It's actually a pretty zen question.

Posted by: Alderaan

I don't see the contradiction. Because while Bush's policies are consistent with each other, and his statements are mostly consistent with each other, his policies are wildly divergent from his statements.

This wasn't obvious at first - for a while, the bunker mentality after 9/11 made it look like anything he did was an amazing accomplishment, with all the terrurists out to get him and all. And when you've got almost no record, like he did before 9/11, it's very easy to avoid contradicting yourself. Add in some skilled advisors and some incompetent opponents, and...

But he's been in office for five years now, and evidence is adding up. He wouldn't comment on the ongoing investigation of the Plame leak, but he would on the ongoing investigation of DeLay. Social Security was the most important issue of our time, or so he said right up until he failed to change public opinion on it, and since then he hasn't done a thing about it - no half-measures, no necessary sacrifices, nothing. He lashes out at every critic of the war just days after the Defense Department leaks (read: sends up trial balloons) plans for troop cutbacks - which looks pretty damn similar to what those critics are asking for in the first place. And of course, he was loyal to Harriet Miers, until he wasn't.

I'm not saying anything about consistency in general, or the article mentioned in the original post. At first glance, I think I agree most with frank's comment that issues of the year carry the most weight in elections, and tbrosz's comment about principles versus hypocrisy. ("Values" doesn't seem like a good word for it, at least not when its most common use these days is to support constitutional amendments that restrict individual rights.) But as far as this question about Bush goes, his declining popularity doesn't say anything about consistency, because he's not consistent.

Posted by: Cyrus on January 19, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK
2)Actually Democrats want to restrict H1B's. They are only soft on the undocumented/illegal immigration.

Er, no. Some Democrats want to restrict H1B's. Some of us don't. No Democrats that I know of are soft on undocumented/illegal immigration; though many Democrats think that the best way to reduce illegal immigration isn't just harsher enforcement, but dealing with the incentives to illegally immigrate including the unnecessary barriers to legal immigration of qualified applicants.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

OFF TOPIC:

I noticed on TV last night how much Scott McClellan looks like Joe McCarthy. Has this always been true or is he being shaped by the necessity to lie for Bush?

Posted by: Ace Franze on January 19, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

I don't agree with you about Kevin. I think the guy's totally sincere, and his middle-of-the-road positions come from honest reflection, not any desire to appear more "credible" because of some sort of imaginary "even-handedness."

I don't always agree with Kevin, either, of course. But I think this idea of Kevin as the left's answer to "fair and balanced reporting" is something of an unfair caracature, brought on by knee-jerk disagreement that some people (not necessarily yourself) find hard to assimilate.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

"I'd say homosexuals can marry any person of the opposite sex they want - equality!"

Back in the days before Loving v. Virginia, we had a similar idea to that with respect to race. You can marry whoever you want, so long as they are the same color as you are!

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Did anybody read the headlines today!!!! OBL poised to strike again. And here is an entire comments section, one of the best in the blogsphere, mostly dems, MISSING THE POINT. Repugs have one card, SECURITY and the FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISTS. With this card they have won election after election and will again in 06 if the Dems don't wake up to the reality of the post 911 world. We ain't going back, folks. First and foremost, the dems have to be the party of security and fighting terrorists. How, by doing it better then the Repug, with more competence.

I'm getting so close to starting a new democratic party, one whose main emphaisis is security and stopping Terrorism.

Posted by: the fake Fake Al on January 19, 2006 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Ace:

It is the nature of Bush's minions to take on a potatolike aspect.

:)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Too dense indeed. Perhaps some people need to worry about these things, just as some need to do research on viscous flow in infinte-dimensional non-convex differentiable Reimannian manifolds.

Reminds me of a statement by an eminent Dutch aerospace engineer whose contributions were significant but only theoretical in nature: 'if all engineers work like me, no bridges would be built, no planes would fly, and people would still live in caves'.

Posted by: lib on January 19, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

OFF TOPIC:

I notice that Scott McClellan looks a lot like Joe McCarthy. Is this a recent phenomenon, or has he always?

Posted by: Ace Franze on January 19, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

The fake fake Al:

WTF ???

I've read the NYT, the WaPo and Slate up until about half an hour ago when I started posting.

Didn't see anything about everybody's favorite tribal-region spelunker being "about to strike again."

Where do you get your info?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

McAnustotle: I'd say homosexuals can marry any person of the opposite sex they want - equality!

I'd say heterosexuals can marry any person of the same sex they want - equality!

McAsshole.

McAnus needs to stop McKissing McBush.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 19, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Doctor Jay,

When you write of a politician going into a hostile crowd and speaking his or her convictions, it sure the hell isn't Bush. When has he gone into a hostile crowd?

As for Nader's convictions, they went out the window in 2000. When miffed that the Democratic leadership spurned him, he became determined to bring them to their knees. He believed that once conditions became so bad under Bush, the masses would cry out for his return to save them. Well, he was right to an extent. Conditions have become very bad, but to hell with Nader.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 19, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Bob,
The newest tape just popped up on the news a few minutes ago, under the headline "Bin Laden warns of new attacks, offers truce."

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

MJ:

Is this a tape of OBL?

Sheesh ... the guy had been MIA for over a year. I guess it'd be news for the very reason that he's surfacing, not necessarily that the threat of imminent attacks is credible. Heh, probably a response to the Pakistani missile barrage.

"Nope, sorry, didn't kill me or my homie Zawihiri -- pbbbbt!"

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

The problem is that liberals have let conservatives falsely define what liberal values are
Problem is, if you let liberals decide what liberal values are, Democrats still end up outside the main stream.

From the ADA 2004 voting records (most recently compiled).

Of 'moderate' Senators (liberal quotient of 40-60), all are Republicans. * The Senate Democratic LQ for this report ranged from 65 (Nelson) to 100 (14 of them) and averaged 93. The Senate Republicans ranged from 5 (11 of them) to 65 (Snowe) and averaged 19. So the meeting point of Democrats and Republicans is at 65 (Nelson and Snowe), which is left of 'moderate'. Also, the average Dem is 7 points off 'perfect liberal' whereas the average Republican is 19 points off 'perfect conservative'.

So by liberal standards, the Senate Democrats are more extreme than the Senate Republicans.

I submit that the Democrat's problem is that they attempt to appear not so far outside the mainstream. This seemed to me to be Kerry's main problem; his voting record indicated what he believed in, but he was trying to run as somebody different. (Actually, in front of the left he was running as himself, in front of the mainstream he was running as someone else) And then we can back up to Lieberman, one of your more moderate Senators, running as a far leftie with Al.

Now whether this creates an image of lack of conviction, or whether this creates an image of inconsistency doesn't seem important to me. The same root cause underlies them both.

* Kerry actual score was 25 and Edwards actual score was 65 ('moderate'). The reason for this is the large number of votes they missed due to campaigning. Of the votes they attended, both scored a perfectly liberal 100. Zell Miller's actual score is 15; he was the last of a breed: the conservative Democrat. For all statistics I compiled, I used Kerry and Edwards at 100 since that is how they voted, and I threw Zell out as an outlier for 2 reasons: he's no longer there, and you guys never claimed him when he was.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 19, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Is OBL a Republican? He seems to ride out of the shadows to rescue them whenever the chips are down.

Posted by: bellumregio on January 19, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Bob,
It claims to be. Supposedly it sounds like him. But no definite info as of yet, and the exact age of the tape is not known.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps some people need to worry about these things, just as some need to do research on viscous flow in infinte-dimensional non-convex differentiable Reimannian manifolds.

I have to say, my reaction to this "analysis" is pretty similar. It strikes me at first blush as a way over-analysis of some very ambiguous underlying data. I mean, what significance, really are these various matrices, with their arrows pointing in this direction and that?

Honestly, it strikes me as just so much mathematically high class mumbo-jumbo. It sounds deep, until, on close inspection, one detects the odor of bullshit.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 19, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Back in the days before Loving v. Virginia, we had a similar idea to that with respect to race. You can marry whoever you want, so long as they are the same color as you are!

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Why did you need a court case to fix that? Why not pass a law or something.

On gay marriage - the adoption rights are an issue. Too much change too fast. The family structure is a powerful influence on good child raising and on poverty cycles. I can't believe radical experimentation is worth it.

Why not just do the civil union thing? Or just give them divorce/alimony/tax treatment/visitation rights/inheritance by a separate law.

I'm not even convinced that homosexuality should be legal. Certainly in the third world, homosexuality is heavily associated with sex tourism...which isn't a good influence on society.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

McAristotle:

Go the fuck away, you subhuman tribalist.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Verrry interesting. Thanks for this post, Kevin.

An observation: my parents, in their mid- to late-60s, are classic "liberals."

But that political persuasion is driven by their deeply held religious convictions. From a Lutheran & Methodist upbringing to United Church of Christ to Quakers. (They met at Union Theological Seminary in NYC, and studied under Tillich, Niebhur..)

But the folks are also socially conservative in many ways.

Ma & Pa don't drink, don't smoke, don't curse, and don't believe in premarital sex. They are as much against abortion as they are fervently FOR a woman's right to choose. That reflects a belief in limited government and the essential liberties that define us as a nation. They have a strict sense of personal responsibility, demanding hard work and insisting on our obligation to those around us.

Those are very conservative values, held by an average, middle-class, politically liberal family.

But that's matched by a humanism that upholds the 'light' in each one of us, that upholds the good and redemptive aspects of human beings -- and does not oppress people for basic human flaws.

Just because Liberals are open to new ideas, and willing to actively construct a better world and a better society through policies that work...

... does NOT mean that they have EVER been at a disadvantage in terms of moral or religious values. Real Liberals have never rejected the need to work hard, pay your bills, and take personal responsibility for their actions.

Liberals have always held those core American values in common with conservatives.

"Liberals" have been vilified in the village square for the past 30 or 40 years, by Newt Gingrich for one, but is there much of anything that makes those charges valid?

THING IS -- Why on earth has it taken so long for candidates like Tim Kaine to express that common ground? Liberal political positions very often stem from moral, and often quite conservative, religious convictions.

Why that should be so stinking hard to convey in the public arean, by nominally intelligent Establishment Liberals, is beyond me -- and my Ma and Pa.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on January 19, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

I used to say I want the democrats out of my purse, and republicans out of my bedroom.

But Bush thinks he's Roosevelt, and the Golden Globes just rewarded Brokeback Mountain, Transamerica and Capote --

I am a Perotista of sorts -- I hate all parties.

And i have few choices. There are no anti war candidates in either party. Nobody on the left will challenge the homoerotic agenda. Nobody on the right will challenge the brown shirts.

IF both parties would shed their fringes and go for the HUGE middle -- we might restore the constitution - make peace with Muslims - and save our children from homosexual saturation in media.

That's what matters to me.

Posted by: arsenia gallegos on January 19, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

You give me any data and the conclusions that you want to reach based on that data, and I will give you methods to construct features from the data that, when input into any clustering, regression, classification or association algorithms, yield the results that you want with over 95% accuracy.

Posted by: lib on January 19, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK
I don't agree with you about Kevin. I think the guy's totally sincere, and his middle-of-the-road positions come from honest reflection, not any desire to appear more "credible" because of some sort of imaginary "even-handedness."

I wasn't (here, at any rate) questioning the sincerity of Kevin's centrism, but the sincerity of his identification with the left.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry about the double post.

Potato-like I get, Bob, but nefarious potato?

Posted by: Ace Franze on January 19, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK
Why did you need a court case to fix that? Why not pass a law or something.

A law already had been passed -- the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. A court case was required because a states were acting contrary to the law.

Judicial action is a means for for giving effect to the law.

On gay marriage - the adoption rights are an issue. Too much change too fast. The family structure is a powerful influence on good child raising and on poverty cycles. I can't believe radical experimentation is worth it.

Er, children waiting for adoption often have no permanent family at all, and its pretty well demonstrated that that's not a good thing, so that argument is, at best, spurious.

I'm not even convinced that homosexuality should be legal. Certainly in the third world, homosexuality is heavily associated with sex tourism...which isn't a good influence on society.


This sentence would be equally accurate if you replaced "homosexuality" with "heterosexuality"; and probably more accurate if you just used "sexuality" and most accurate if you used "poverty", instead.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

arsenia:

I'm a straight guy, but I've gotta tell you ... you appear insanely homophobic.

Just what is it about homosexuality or a so-called "homosexual agenda" frightens you so?

Homosexuals are just what this old overpopulated planet needs, people-wise, if you think about it.

And if you don't want the GOP "in your bedroom" -- why would it be okay for *any* political party to be in the bedrooms of homosexuals?

This position -- mixed in with a host of others of yours I most wholeheartedly support as a liberal -- I find both philosophically inconsitent and more than a little troubling, from a universal human rights perspective.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

"I have to say, my reaction to this "analysis" is pretty similar. It strikes me at first blush as a way over-analysis of some very ambiguous underlying data. I mean, what significance, really are these various matrices, with their arrows pointing in this direction and that?

Honestly, it strikes me as just so much mathematically high class mumbo-jumbo. It sounds deep, until, on close inspection, one detects the odor of bullshit."

Posted by: frankly0 on January 19, 2006 at 11:27

Translation--I don't agree with this, so it's bullshit. That is the "Progressive" stance in a nutshell. "We want to believe what we want to believe, and screw any evidence to the contrary."

One of the most informative comments in Kevin's post has been ignored by all--"Liberals need to abandon the fantasy that "opinion polls show that voters agree with us!" Only the shallowest analysis of opinion polls supports this notion, and when you dig even an inch below the surface it turns out that in many cases "our issues" have a lot less salience than we think." I would suggest that franklyo and others read that comment carefully, and consider its fundamental meaning. Of course, I know better than to expect the "reality-based" community to waste time considering this particular reality.

Posted by: Billy Bob Shranzburg on January 19, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK
And i have few choices. There are no anti war candidates in either party. Nobody on the left will challenge the homoerotic agenda. Nobody on the right will challenge the brown shirts.

You want an anti-war, pro-bigotry, anti-Nazi party?

Yeah, I can see why that's hard to find.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

McA, read Loving v. Virginia. The Lovings were residents of the state of Virginia, which at the time (1960s) had anti-miscegenation laws on the books, as did many other states- mostly the ones now known as the "red" states. They were going to be sent to prison by the laws on the books. Sadly, there are many parts of the country where appealing to racist sentiments not only won't hurt you in politics, it's practically a prerequisite for gaining office.

Incidentally, they also had nice theological reasons for opposing mixed-race marriages.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

You know the kind of analyses I respect?

The sort of approaches one sees in the book Ruy Teixeira co-wrote, describing demographic changes that augur very well for Democrats as time progresses. I simply believe in the palpable reality of the sorts of trends it describes, even if it isn't 100% correct, unlike the woolly matrices and far too abstract interpretation offered up by this other approach.

My own view is that Democrats should figure out how to exploit the hot issues of the day to win elections, while letting the underlying demographics turn in their favor, point by point. And then, they should continue to focus mainly on the hot button issues.

The demographic changes will start to load the dice more in their favor, but they still have to position themselves for the best possible outcome from each roll of the dice.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 19, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

And all this info came from tracking polls so therefore the info means nothing,Right?

Posted by: patton on January 19, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK
There's a lot to agree and disagree with here

And that's the deep commentary we come here for.

You know, posting extensive excerpts without substantial response isn't all that different than just posting something like:

Hm. Interesting.
Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

..I don't agree with this, so it's bullshit..

Conversely, since it confirms my prejudices, the study is of seminal importance, and you must study it thoroughly.

Posted by: lib on January 19, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

inconsitent = inconsistent

cmdicely:

I don't question Kevin's identification with the left, either. I think this post was designed to be provocative and it was pretty clear that he wasn't endorsing the conclusions, just giving us something to chew over.

Kevin isn't a hardcore leftie, but I have no trouble seeing him as a man on the center left.

Then again, I wasn't on PA during the lead-up to the Iraq war, when Keven was putatively apologizing for it.

That would have doubtless both disgusted me and colored my views of Kevin in a way he'd have a hard time of recuperating from ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

I love, love, love this stuff. Won't have time to read the story until later, but I can't wait to delve into it.

Kevin Gregory: There is something reflexive among today's Democrats, that they despise people who think differently. And until the larger Democratic party learns to respect voters, not sneer at them, the Dems will keep losing elections.

What garbage. The more elite, or at least the more privileged, in both political parties sneer at the average voter. Dems are just more upfront about it, while Republican operatives cynically make the puppets dance through issues they personally don't give a damn about, like abortion, sexual orientation and practice, and Christian rhetoric.

Your previous posts indicate you're a willing sheep to the slaughter on that stuff, so what you're really arguing is that Dems just go undercover with their elitism as Repubs do.

Ace Franze: I noticed on TV last night how much Scott McClellan looks like Joe McCarthy. Has this always been true or is he being shaped by the necessity to lie for Bush?

Funniest line of the week!

Posted by: shortstop on January 19, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

"I'm not even convinced that homosexuality should be legal. Certainly in the third world, homosexuality is heavily associated with sex tourism...which isn't a good influence on society."

Funny, in Bangkok both Patpong and Nana seem to be primarily populated with female sex workers and their male clients.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

I think that the key to commenting on this study is to actually see the data and methodology; having one pundit having seen it and written an article isn't enough to evaluate. When the whole thing is generally available, perhaps it will be possible to discuss it usefully. Right now, the only thing there is is reaction from biases combined with the degree of trust people put (or not) in Garance Franke-Ruta, which is just another kind of bias.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Translation--I don't agree with this, so it's bullshit.

NO, that is NOT the correct translation.

The correct translation is, I don't even have the slightest idea what this analysis is really saying, so I can't even say I disagree with it.

What the hell are these matrices? What do they correspond to in reality?

What does it mean that some focus groups in Virginia showed that the small group of selected religious conservatives respected Kaine's principled stand against the death penalty because he based it on his Catholic faith?

Over-extrapolate much?

I mean, what we DO know is that the number of religious conservatives is going down -- so what do we do with this anyway? Would we be better off trying to demonize the religious right, just as Republicans do so with liberals? I'm afraid the matrices won't tell you.

Again, it strikes me as high class bullshit, not even clear enough to be false.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 19, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK


Bottom line reaction --

Why anyone should be surprised that Tim Kaine's 'strategy' was a possible and successful route to electoral victory... is beyond me.

Why it's taken so long to figure out is a mystery. It's pretty plain to see, for any mind with a rational bent.

It should not have taken marketeers, spreadsheets, focus groups, or pollsters to figure this out.

You define yourself, you define the terms or frames of debate, and you hammer home your message. Tim Kaine is obviously not Dukakis. And you define your positions in terms that anyone can understand or respect. Kaine's Catholic faith was never a liability (nor was his death-penalty stance) -- it was an asset. He capitalized on it, understanding that a political position can never be isolated from the world, nor from one's worldview.

John Kerry's Catholic faith, though, was a liabiltiy -- because he couldn't or wouldn't define its influence on his politics. He allowed his opponent to do that for him. And that -- like Dukakis's non-response to GHWBush's attacks -- made Kerry appear unresponsive to an unjust characterization, passive in the face of unfair debate/rhetoric, and unable to express himself with clarity and conviction. He didn't come off as a world-shaper. But instead, took the role of one willing to be shaped or characterized by others. EVEN his nomination speech "JK, reporting for duty," was just another way to "fall in line," with ongoing events, with Bush's war-president status and its attendant terms of debate, and with the clear-cut, incipient fascism on over display. And 'falling in line' is just another form of 'just following orders.' No one elects a "Good German"; but many are perfectly willing to elect a glorious Leader.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on January 19, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

I grant that most people are in the ideological middle (though not deliberately but because of the simple fact that a typical person's focus is not on politics but the mechanics of day-today living), but elections are never won by focusing campaign resources on appeasing the moderates. If you do that, you come out looking like an easily mockable technocratic automaton, much like Michael Dukakis or even John Kerry.

Posted by: lib on January 19, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK
I have a Dream. That some day the real meaning of trends will be revealed, by plugging them into a values matrix a four-quadrant plot with plenty of curving arrows to show direction, which is then overlaid onto voting data...and that, despite the increasing political power of the religious right, Environics will find social values moving away from the authority end of the scale, with its emphasis on responsibility, duty, and tradition, to a more atomized, rage-filled outlook that values consumption, sexual permissiveness, and xenophobia.

I have a Dream. That some day the trend will trend toward values in the individuality quadrant.

I have a Dream.

~ Dr. King of Bullshit ~

Posted by: Garbanzo Frankie-Rutle on January 19, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

SombreroFallout @ 11:31 AM,
You are right. For me George Lakoffs major contribution to the political debate is not the framing stuff but family metaphors that are used as cultural touchstones. Check out his
Metaphor, Morality, and Politics, Or, Why Conservatives Have Left Liberals In the Dust

The Republicans have made it their business to identify the Democrats with the radical wing of the party. Although the Democrats do not have a gay marriage platform they are put in the position of defending it because they will not denounce it. But as you know the more lefty side of the party are not at all happy the centerists in charge. This is all possible because the US does not have a multiparty system. If it did the libertarians would have their own party and so would the evangelicals.

Posted by: bellumregio on January 19, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

looking at both sides , democrat and republican ; i get the uneasy feeling that a majority of both are becoming
centrist . this form of government seperates the cream from all the milk and both sides are courting the cream.
INDEPENDENT VOTER

Posted by: INDEPENDENT VOTER on January 19, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

What the hell are these matrices? What do they correspond to in reality?

There is a story of a Nobel prize winning physicist who, when asked to review the paper for a technical journal, returned the paper immediatly, writing on the margin that it is not even wrong.

Posted by: lib on January 19, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Just one further point about this analysis, and the reaction it seems to be inspiring.

One of the more pernicious things Democrats do is a whole lot of navel gazing.

You know, who am I? Why am I here?

Fuck that. I personally don't give a shit large or small who I am -- I look at the Republicans and simply know that THAT is what I'm not, and I had better figure out a way to get them out of power. If "defining" myself makes it easier to win back power, good. If not, good.

At this point, it's really about winning elections, given the alternatives.

And I don't see these Democratic soul-searches as anything more than a very large and very unproductive encounter group.

Oh, we must consult the matrices - the matrices will tell us who we are, and who we need to be.

Yeah, sure, bullshit.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 19, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

SombreroFallout:

I agree strongly with all of that. Why we need ultra-sophisticated matrix algebra to understand how Kaine's Catholicism innoculated him on the death penalty is completely beyond me, as well.

By pulling the "Reporting For Duty" schtik, JFK almost made it inevitable that something like the Swift Boat Vets would arise and attack him for basically being an elitist lieutenant in a grunt's war.

Had Kerry not run from his leadership of the VVAW, he could have incorporated that with a critique of the war that would have had resonance by being *consistent*, and maybe he could have stopped trying to explain that damned vote on the IWR ...

You are correct. When we define ourselves, we look strong. When we let the opposition define us, it's all over ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not even convinced that homosexuality should be legal.

While you're trying to convince yourself, let's make being right-handed an offense punishable by death.

Posted by: craigie on January 19, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

The Reps were in the wilderness for so long, that they had plenty of time to hone a message. They certainly didn't do a study like this to figure out what the American people wanted, they TOLD them what they wanted, and kept repeating it until it became accepted by 50% of the voters.

Right now, but for term limits, we would be in the middle of Clinton's fourth term, depending upon who the R's put up in 2004.

The problem with the "Democratic Party" as a party, is that we fall for intellectualism over charisma every time, or, to be more accurate, every time except for Clinton, who was intelligent and charismatic.

Kevin's right on one point, things are good enough, or almost good enough, for enough voters to not really care about government one way or the other. These people either don't vote, or vote relatively randomly. They don't analyze which party most closely mirrors whatever they believe, they just vote.

Living in California, I had not chance to really influence the choice of Kerry last time around. Was he qualified? Yep. Would he have done a good job? Certainly. Are his views on policy aligned with a majority of the citizenry? I would say so. A chance to get 60% of the vote? Nope.

Posted by: hank on January 19, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

This consistency thing isn't adding up for me.

(1) I liked Clinton and thought he was a pretty good president, but his best friend wouldn't have said he was renouned for his *consistency*.

(2) People respect Ralph Nader and Jerry Brown for their consistency? Hah. Most people think they are kooks. Neither would ever be elected President under any circumstances.

Posted by: EmmaAnne on January 19, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Bob,

"I agree strongly with all of that. Why we need ultra-sophisticated matrix algebra to understand how Kaine's Catholicism innoculated him on the death penalty is completely beyond me, as well."

Look at the backgrounds of the researchers (and Kevin, for that matter). One anthropologist, one history major, all with backgrounds in marketing and polling. Social science types looooove the fancy math. Makes them feel like they are doing real science, as opposed to spouting opinion.

Not that there is anything wrong with spouting opinion. But it's not as fun as making graphs.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

WOW -- a heterosexual grandmother is offended that the golden globes were all about Capote, cross dressing and gay cowboys ....

If you people don't understand why that offends the AVERAGE American... then you won't win elections.

Why was Brokeback shown in only about 400 theaters? -- BECAUSE WE DONT WANT TO WATCH THAT STUFF...

You don't want freedom -- you want LICENSE.

The GOP offers some refuge from this...

Posted by: arsenia gallegos on January 19, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

This article doesn't make sense to me because the authors point seems to be:

"We've charted the trends and directions in the American Mindset and found it moving to place X. Electoral gains can be made by generating candidates who stand strong against place X for reasons of value Y."

If the culture is moving in a particular direction, why should we advance candidates who stand against that direction?

Posted by: I'M YO DADDY on January 19, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

The Reps were in the wilderness for so long, that they had plenty of time to hone a message. They certainly didn't do a study like this to figure out what the American people wanted, they TOLD them what they wanted, and kept repeating it until it became accepted by 50% of the voters.

This sounds plausible, until you think about the most basic underlying demographic/political change in recent American history: the Republicanization of the South.

I submit that the overarching success of the Republican Party in recent decades can readily be reduced to this underlying change. THAT is the sort of change that really makes the political landscape vastly different. All of the high sounding, philosophical "analyses" that are imposed on their current message are mostly empty of real explanatory power.

But the problem for the Republicans is that they have achieved the limits of that change, and now the overall demographics. As Ruy Teixeira has pretty convincingly demonstrated, it's starting to get mighty Democratic out there.

We have to figure out how to win elections while that transition takes place.

Navel gazing ain't the trick.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 19, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Why was Brokeback shown in only about 400 theaters? -- BECAUSE WE DONT WANT TO WATCH THAT STUFF...

Brokeback did well in every market, even the reddest of the red. It opened in a relatively small number of theaters because it's a small movie, not because it has boys kissing in it.

Keep up - being anti-fag is so 2000.

Posted by: craigie on January 19, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

OH - and as for polls -- when people say "Yes, I think homosexuals should have equal rights.

they really do want people to be treated fairly.

They just don't want it in their face 24/7.

Hollywood despises the traditional marriage and it shows. The democratic party despises traditional people - and it shows -

When I answer poll questions - I am aware of how I sound. People want to sound reasonable - but they are fearful of homoeroticism gone wild... and that's what we have now.

Posted by: arsenia gallegos on January 19, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's right on one point, things are good enough, or almost good enough, for enough voters to not really care about government one way or the other.

That's why things will have to get worse before they can get better. My brother told me he doesn't vote because he doesn't like politics "like I do."

I told him honestly I HATE politics but I follow it because it affects me! I'd love to never have to care about politics again.

Posted by: Tripp on January 19, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

arsenia:

Excuse me, dear lady, but what we want is a refuge from bigotry.

You'll have to come up with a better argument than "I don't like it." That's just giving your subjective feelings LICENSE to oppress an entire group.

Can you unpack your feelings about gays? Can you provide any set of concrete reasons at all that you feelings aren't simply a product of your own generation and the way you were socialized?

If you're going to feel this strongly about depriving a group of people of their civil rights (as Hispanics have their violated routinely), the very least you can do is try to mount the tiniest semblance of an objective set of reasons for it.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Arsenia, with all due respect, you're full of it. Fortunately, not all heterosexual grandmothers are bigots.

Oh, BTW, even in limited release, I understand Brokeback Mountain has made quite a healthy profit. When it gets wider release, it will most likely do quite well.

Let me guess, you don't like seeing interracial couples either, do you?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

The problem with the "Democratic Party" as a party, is that we fall for intellectualism over charisma every time, or, to be more accurate, every time except for Clinton, who was intelligent and charismatic.

Absolutely correct. (But I still love to read this stuff. I do; I can't help it. I just don't think we should be using it as the basis for strategy formulation.)

Posted by: shortstop on January 19, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, BTW, even in limited release, I understand Brokeback Mountain has made quite a healthy profit. When it gets wider release, it will most likely do quite well.

But...but...Nathan swore to us that it'd lose money! And I'm sure he had a valid reason for making such a statement!

Posted by: shortstop on January 19, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

"The democratic party despises traditional people - and it shows"

So, by traditional people, I guess you are automatically excluding the roughly half of the country that routinely votes Democratic, and the much larger slice that splits their ticket, right?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

arsenia,
They just don't want it in their face 24/7.

Wow. I don't think anybody would want that. Have you ever considered turning the effing channel?! If that is too hard you can use the V chip to lock out the PG-13 and above sex shows.

And if someone has a gun to your head absolutely making you watch this porn 24/7 I'd call the cops!

Posted by: Tripp on January 19, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

arsenia:

"Homoeroticism run wild?" WTF, do you live on Castro Street in San Francisco or something?

Helpful hint: If you don't like something in the movies or on TV (and this will come as a huge shocker, I know) .... *drumroll please* ....

YOU DON'T HAVE TO WATCH IT.

Ain't freedom a grand thang?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

This board is a textbook example for why the dems can't garner a majority.

If Americans don't want homoerotic movies - they are bigots and racists too....

Look -- you know NOTHING of me. I am your aunt, your neighbor, the lady who does your taxes -- the local childrens wear store..

WE DONT HATE GAYS... we want less of it in our face.

The Democratic party cannot garner a majority by forcing homoeroticism down our throats - pun very much intended.

And now you have provoked me [by misrepresenting my problem with the gay agenda] into sounding homophobic... when I'm not.

But I stand by what I say.. I think your sex should be confined to the same place as MY SEX

I keep it private - so should you.

That has nothing to do with gay bashing. The bathhouse mentality of gays does not help your cause.

Posted by: arsenia gallegos on January 19, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus lost the vote to Barrabas, but history judged it differently.

When the history books are written about the current situation, the blowback from the current administration and the debt bomb they are sitting on top of, will likely result in a far more radical political reality then anyone here appreciates.

Bushandco will be viewed as useful idiots.

Posted by: brodix on January 19, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Arsenia, unless someone is actually having sex in your face, what you're saying is that you don't mind the constant references to heterosexual sex in the media and on the street, but mere references to homosexuality constitute an infringement on your space.

Straights don't "keep it private." You just don't have a problem with seeing straight sex alluded to 24/7.

That makes you a bigot, Grandma.

Posted by: shortstop on January 19, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

This thread is a must read for anyone considering leaving the GOP --

I am not even conservative. I'm a libertarian - yet by the bathhouse standards of the libertine left - I'm a bigot.

I have cut and pasted this forum to send to a friend... she keep saying she can't get involved in party politics because the nutcases in both parties control the agenda...

Posted by: arsenia gallegos on January 19, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Arsenia, where on earth are you living? I've lived in New Orleans, which has a very high gay population, and the only public sex I noticed was of the heterosexual variety. I now live in the artsy, gentrified area of Memphis, with a high gay population, and have yet to see anything of the sort.

Or by "keep it private", do you mean gays should avoid showing any signs of affection whatsoever, for fear they may offend your tender eyes?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Arsenia, you're no libertarian. Authoritarian, maybe; Republican, probably. Not libertarian.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

arsenia:

Please, dear lady -- you resemble no person in my family that *I* know.

Even the socially conservative Irish Catholic elderly mother of my stepmom -- for all her frothing and fuming she does about the Democrats on other issues -- has never uttered Word One about some kind of "gay agenda."

Where is this "gay agenda"? You don't like TV shows with gays in them? Please explain how you can't change the channel. I hate NASCAR. I hate MTV (I compose music; I think nearly all pop music is a commercialized aesthetic abortion). I don't waste my time *fuming* about it or feeling like it's some sort of conspiracy directed against me or my social group. I CHANGE THE CHANNEL.

Please explain how your position does *not* equate to bigotry, if you'd become bottomlessly offended if you saw a same-sex couple walking down your street holding hands while you'd feel warm-hearted that love was in bloom if it was a guy and a girl.

Your explanations do not wash. You have presented no argument more compelling than personal taste.

Until further notice, I think we have a right to consider you a bigot.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Authoritarian, contrarian, prejudicarian, ignorarian. But no libertarian.

Posted by: shortstop on January 19, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

McAnustotle: Too much change too fast. . . . I can't believe radical experimentation is worth it.

Funny. You don't seem to feel that way about democracy in the Middle East by gunpoint.

Why not just do the civil union thing? Or just give them divorce/alimony/tax treatment/visitation rights/inheritance by a separate law.

Because the radical right opposes civil unions also and has whipped the GOP into opposing them in virtually all instances.

I'm not even convinced that homosexuality should be legal.

Shocking! Now, how can you say you would support civil unions then?

Intellectual dishonesty seems to come natural to you.

Certainly in the third world, homosexuality is heavily associated with sex tourism...which isn't a good influence on society.

So, Neil (sp?) Bush being provided little sex girls on his Southeast Asia trips was "homosexual" behavior?

As cmdicely points out, since heterosexuality is also heavily associated with sex tourism (even more so than homosexuality), shouldn't heterosexuality be illegal?

We anxiously await your opinion . . .

not.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 19, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

I am not even conservative. I'm a libertarian - yet by the bathhouse standards of the libertine left - I'm a bigot.

Hey it's not nice to make generalizations about the whole democratic party on the basis of effluvia from seventh graders typing on their Dells in their grandmonther's basements on the Ferris Bueler's day off.

Posted by: lib on January 19, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK
Hollywood despises the traditional marriage and it shows.

Hollywood embraces the free market capitalist ideal of making money and it shows. Happy monogamous marriages where nothing goes on, either between or effecting the characters, that could be considered immoral may be a "good thing" in a social sense, but it makes boring films that no one wants to watch, and which, consequently, make no money.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

And I made NO REFERENCE to 24/7 heterosexuality in media. I don't like it either.

Now I'm a going to be called a prude.

I'm 58 boys.... a boomer - not some Eisenhower granny.

If I am fearful for our culture because the golden globes are all about Capote, transgender and gay cowboys - that doesn't mean I disapprove of homosexuality - I just want less of it.

YOU obviously want MORE -- and so long as you dominate the left - you will be a minority party.

Posted by: arsenia gallegos on January 19, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

arsenia:

Libertarian's left butt cheek.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

arsenia:

"That doesn't mean I disapprove of homosexuality -- I just want less of it."

You don't parse.

You flatly contradict yourself in a vain attempt to convince us that what's motivating you isn't just, well, old-fashioned bigotry.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

arsenia:

Why are you fearful for our culture?

GAYS DON'T MAKE BABIES.

The freakin' PLANET approves whether you do or not.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

That has nothing to do with gay bashing. The bathhouse mentality of gays does not help your cause.

Seeing as how most gays have no more of a "bathhouse mentality" than most heteros(check divorce rates, consumption of pornography in "red states"), it's your incredible ignorance that isn't going to garner you much respect around here--more so than your homophobia.

No one's shoving anything down your throat, certainly not one movie about homosexuals any more than one movie about Jesus' crucifixion is shoving Christianity down mine.

You want respect, try not act like such an idiot.

Posted by: haha on January 19, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Happy monogamous marriages - where nothing goes on? -- wha?

and hollywood continues to lose money because they make ideological movies... not family entertainment.

The figures are on my side boys... when Hollywood makes mainstream movies.. they make mainstream money...

Brokeback hasn't covered costs - and according to Lee - it won't. It's a cult film - all it accomplished was shock value and demonization of Red state values.

Way to win friends and converts.

In the mean time... women like me will answer polls saying "I want equal protection for Gays."

and you will think everything is just dandy

Posted by: arsenia gallegos on January 19, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK
If I am fearful for our culture because the golden globes are all about Capote, transgender and gay cowboys -

Er, what does the opinion of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have to do with "our culture"?

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

I knew that allowing Isaac Mizrahi to work the red carpet was going to work its way up someone's butt.

However, we now have a nice string of posts hinting at some possible "anti-homoerotic policy plank" to be inserted in the Democratic party platform.

Just out of curiosity, what would that plank be?

Is the intent to make it a crime for Jake Gyllenhaal to say to Heath Ledger "Aussi, Aussi, Aussi!" and for Heath to respond "Oi, Oi, Oi!" or what?

Posted by: hank on January 19, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

If I am fearful for our culture because the golden globes are all about Capote, transgender and gay cowboys

...really? hmmm, last I checked, "Walk the Line", a hetero love story, won several major Golden Globes(best actor and actress), and will certainly win several major Oscars.

Whatever generation you're from, they all have ignorant, bigoted, twits--like you.

Posted by: haha on January 19, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't seen the movie, though I've probably spent more time around horses and cattle than people, but a point; Apparently they are not cowboys, they are sheepherders.
Is the mis-identification just basic ignorance on the part of people who spend their lives inside, or was there some range issue playing out here? I mean it's not like sheepherders don't already have a reputation for sexual peccadilloes.
(No, I'm not a cowboy. We have livestock in Maryland too. Racehorses and dairy cattle, not beef and range ponies.)

Posted by: brodix on January 19, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

You guys are starting to get it... Maybe it's that the slow motion experience of having Alito shoved down your throat as a chaser to Roberts has woken some of you up to the reality that you need to spend less time assuming that everybody else is either stupid, or a tool of some conspiricy, and listen.

Honestly, a lot of my friends are liberals, but I can't even discuss politics with them because they just don't want their assumptions challanged. I am happy to defend mine, but the discussion never seems to even get to that level. I expressed an idea at a dinner party last Saturday night, and a liberal 'friend' of mine looked at me as if I had two heads. The idea was about *art*, not the war, not economics, art. The telling part was she did not take the time to explain why I was wrong, or to defend her point of view. She just didn't want her assumptions questioned.

Well guess what, you guys should be challanging your assumptions. Nobody can be persuasive who appears unpersuadable. You guys are in the minority, no matter how vehemently you deny it.

Demonizing those with honest disagreements with you is a guaranteed death spiral for your party. How many times have you seen the statement "I just couldn't be friends with" or "go out with", or "marry", or whatever a Republican? I have seen "liberals only" dating services on the web, fer God's sake.

I know you won't get this last bit, but it makes me sad to see it. I have given up on this site for that reason.

Posted by: tool of some sort on January 19, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

If this thread is indicative of the new left - then we are in big big trouble. Arsenia sounds like my mom or sister.

She became strident when she was attacked. she didn't like the subject matter of the movies that won the awards.

Neither did I. And I have lots of gay friends.

I have no interest in a movie about gay cowboys. I have no interest in Truman Capote. What a wierdo.

I would never spend money to see a movie about transgender surgery and it's emotional toll.

Where do moviemakers come up with this stuff?

Now I'm a bigot? You guys need to get out and speak to people outside your own families. The straight world does not want to be force fed your lifestyle.

Posted by: Karen Ladik on January 19, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

- all it accomplished was shock value and demonization of Red state values.

oh, you mean like higher divorce rates, higher consumption of porography, and meth addicts everywhere?

Keep your red state "values" away from my blue state child.

Posted by: haha on January 19, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Anyhoo, back to the topic at hand. This was a damned interesting article, and for me the most enlightening bit was this one:

...in todays society, traditional values have become aspirational. Lower-income individuals simply live in a much more disrupted society, with higher divorce rates, more single moms, more abortions, and more interpersonal and interfamily strife, than do the middle- and upper-middle class people they want to be like. It should come as no surprise that the politics of reaction is strongest where there is most to react to. People in states like Massachusetts, for example, which has very high per capita incomes and the lowest divorce rate in the country, are relatively unconcerned about gay marriage, while those in Southern states with much higher poverty, divorce, and single-parenthood rates feel the family to be threatened because family life is, in fact, much less stable in their communities.

I had never thought of the values issue this way before, but it makes a ton of sense: traditional values are an aspirational good. Wealthier communities adopt more traditional values voluntarily and are generally content to let others live as they please. More disadvantaged communities bring the battle for traditional values to the legislative process.

This formulation also neatly turns on its head the sneering observations about differences in divorce and abortion rates in Red and Blue states.

Posted by: Adam S. on January 19, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Hi,
Check out the latest Political Comic from H.L.

Michelle Malkin Gets Manipulated

The Hollywood Liberal

If you like it there is lots more at Theres lots more at H.L. Comics Links
Thank You

Posted by: HL on January 19, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

arsenia:

Can you explain the problem you have with gays?

I mean ... in every post you carry on as if gayness is wrong -- as if this is a given and not culturally constructed.

Where is your moral reasoning? Is it from Leviticus? Tradition? The reflexive homophobia of Hispanic culture?

Is it the fact that gays get AIDS? Is it that you just find it aesthetically displeasing?

I find public displays of sexuality aesthetically displeasing, myself. I loathe pornography and tend to turn away when I see couples snogging in the park. I mean, I'm happy for them and all, but I'm often tempted to say to them "get a room!"

But I don't make this a "gay issue."

Why do you? I am truly curious to know your reasoning here.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Brokeback hasn't covered costs - and according to Lee - it won't. It's a cult film - all it accomplished was shock value and demonization of Red state values."

From wikipedia:
"Brokeback Mountain saw limited release in the United States on December 9, 2005 (in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco), taking $547,425 in just five theaters in its first weekend. According to several sources, including TV Guide [1] and indiewire [2], this was the highest per-showing average for any drama in film history. Over the Christmas weekend it posted the highest per theater gross of any movie [3] and was lauded as a box office success not only in urban centers such as New York City and Los Angeles, but in suburban theaters near Portland, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, and Atlanta. On January 6, 2006, the movie expanded into 483 theaters. In doing so, it took in its largest one-day gross to date at $2.3 million in the U.S on January 7.

By January 16, 2006, Brokeback Mountain had earned more than $32 million (U.S.) total in North America [4]. The film cost about $15 million to produce excluding its advertising budget, and has now earned a profit. The film was released in London on December 30 in only one cinema, and was widely released in UK on January 6, 2006. By January 11, Time Out London magazine was reporting that it was the number one movie in the city, beating out Match Point[5]. It is scheduled to be released in Australia on January 26, and in many other countries during the first three months of 2006.[6] By January 13, Focus Features, the movie's distributor, had released the film in nearly 700 theaters in North America, part of its ongoing expansion strategy for the movie. On January 20, the film will open in 1194 theaters in North America, its widest release yet."

I guess you must be doing some of that fuzzy math.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

And now you have provoked me [by misrepresenting my problem with the gay agenda] into sounding homophobic... when I'm not.

Truly, it is all our fault.

Dear woman, I have a favor: Conjure an image of homosexuality in your mind. Next, watch and observe the feelings you experience in response to this image. Next, ask yourself who is responsible for these feelings, be they pleasant, neutral or unpleasant.

Then, please stop assigning blame for your inner experience to people who a) don't know you, b) have nothing against you, c) have no desire to offend you.

Posted by: obscure on January 19, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Arsenia

Please email me a copy of the "Homosexual Agenda". I lost mine.

Posted by: Harry Flashman on January 19, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you Arsenia. You said it better than I could.

You sound like my mom. I'm 35.

Posted by: Jack Thomsen on January 19, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Now I'm a bigot? You guys need to get out and speak to people outside your own families. The straight world does not want to be force fed your lifestyle.

no one's force feeding it to you, that's why everyone thinks you two are complete idiots. Did the gay pervert police come to your house and drag you to see Capote at gunpoint? I just pointed out that the Johnny Cash movie won a ton of awards, but you're too much of a thick-headed moron to even see that. There are tons of family friendly movies produced every year, and there always will be--but that won't stop you from complaining.
Shithead.

Posted by: haha on January 19, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

"Now I'm a bigot? You guys need to get out and speak to people outside your own families. The straight world does not want to be force fed your lifestyle."

What is this "straight world" of which you speak? I am straight, with a straight fiancee, straight brother, two straight parents, many straight friends, etc. Somehow none of us got the membership cards to this "straight world" you claim to speak for.

Or did you mean "world of bigots"?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and arsenia I had the pleasure of sitting through Cheaper by the Dozen 1 and 2 over the holidays, and it appeared to be made by the same industry which produced Brokeback Mountain.

Through sheer lazyness, I probably won't see Brokeback Mountain for years, for a variety of reasons, mostly beause for the next ten years I'll mostly be seeing kid movies.

But what intrigues me is that the sheer existence of Brokeback Mountain seems to bother you on some level, and all it did for me was provide a laugh when one reviewer noted that since "all cowboy movies were gay movies" it was not really breaking any new ground.

What is it, the entire congress standing on the capital steps to recite the word "God" in the pledge of allegiance isn't enough blatant pandering for you?

The hardest of the hard core liberals never get that sort of pandering -- the production by a private company of Brokeback Mountain, well, its their money, if that's how they want to risk it, fine. I'm sure the bankrollers of Cheaper By The Dozen had absolutely no interest in making money, it was all to promote the joy of having 12 kids, right?

Posted by: hank on January 19, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

You guys just chased me away.

What a bunch of whackos. Arsenia speaks for millions of Americans. She is a bigot because she sees too many awards for movies celebrating homoeroticm?

I don't like it either. And I thought I was liberal.

Posted by: Jack Thomsen on January 19, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me, or is anyone else sensing a barrage of sock puppets in this thread?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Nordhaus and Shellenbergers work supports (at least at my superficial glance) Ronald Ingleharts World Value Survey. They seem to have borrowed their values matrix from his work. It is clear from Ingleharts research that traditional values correlate with social insecurity and poverty. The most secular societies are the wealthiest and the most traditional are the poor countries of Africa. Ireland is an acception and so is the US. This could have to do with traditional values being part of a nationalist identity in Ireland, but even there they are become less traditional as they become wealthier. The US, of course, is a very large country with great regional differences but within the US the trends are similar.

From this work we can predict (I have been waiting for Inglehart to update the WVS but Nordhaus and Shellenberger have done it for us) increased insecurity for Americans will make traditional values more attractive. But interestingly the secularization increases as the US heads in the direction of the old communist nations which are secular but insecure. Countries that are in the secular but survival quadrant are also not democratic and they tend to have authoritarian regimes.

Posted by: bellumregio on January 19, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Ever notice how people who start out saying something like "I'm not homophobic or a bigot but.." it's usually followed by the most bigoted homophobic thing you can imagine?

Exhibit A: Aresenia

Exhibit B: Karen

"I have no interest in Truman Capote. What a wierdo."
But millions of people who bought his books and paid to see the movies based on his book and life do. In the immortal words of George W. Bush, "who cares what you think?"

Posted by: haha on January 19, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

You don't have to be Catholic to have a high moral value that taking a life through a state sanctioned death penalty is wrong.

Posted by: Mazurka on January 19, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know who aresenia "speaks for" but it appears, at $30+ million in box office, at about $10 per, 3+ million Americans decided to see the movie in question.

And I'm still waiting for what the appropriate response is supposed to be?

If its a wacko position to defend the rights of the producers to make the movie, the rights of the millions of people to see it, and the rights of the Hollywood foreign press association of vote for it (ah, yes, cm! the irony!) I guess I'm a wacko.

Posted by: hank on January 19, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

"But millions of people who bought his books and paid to see the movies based on his book and life do."

Ah, but you see, those millions of people aren't REAL AMERICANS, who all by definition have exactly the same prejudices that Arsenia and her sock puppets have!

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

"The problem with the "Democratic Party" as a party, is that we fall for intellectualism over charisma "

Thanks for the belly laugh.

What was Kerry's big claim to intellectual status? Oh yeah, that he agreed with you. Clinton was smart, but he used those smarts in service of himself instead of the country, and especially instead of the Democratic Party. Look at the political landscape he left behind if you doubt what I say.

I still think that the reason you guys hate W so much, if you were honest with yourselves, is because you wanted the American people to repudiate the impeachment by electing Gore. Sorry.

You guys abandoned the blue collar workers of West Virginia, labeled them as trailer trash tools of corporate greed and environmental destruction. Well, if you could have won that historically Democratic state, you could have won the presidency. So what is your response? Environmentalist continue to try to force them into the unemployment line.

I knew Clinton was a genius when he negotiated Kyoto. Carbon cuts so high that Congress could not possibly agree to them. Then he could tell big labor not to worry, because it would never pass, and tell the green among you that he went for it agressively but those evil Republicans sabotaged it. Win-win for Clinton. Not so for the Democrat party.

Anyway, thanks for the laugh.

Posted by: tool of some sort on January 19, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

obscure:

Very good post. A little dab of sympathetic introspection is precisely what's needed here.

Hank, Haha, MJ, Harry Flashman -- great posts. All good points.

Karen:

Well, MJ is correct here. I dunno if there are any gays making this argument; what I know is what's moving most of us is a concern for civil rights. The "good people" argument doesn't wash; there were lots of good Southerners who wanted nothing to do with mixing with the cullah'ds, either -- before the civil rights era.

What we'd like to know is how the output of the entertainment industry is any skin off of anybody's nose. I mean sheesh, do you think I enjoy slasher movies? Overbudgeted "blockbuster" thrillers? Endless sequels of mediocre originals? Hollywood is driven by profit, and most of what it makes is pure crap. It doesn't reflect on my values or impinge on or threaten my lifestyle.

So the Golden Globes honored three films with sexually creepy themes. You don't like that -- fine, I respect that. Generally, I'm completely in the dark as to why the entertainment industry chooses to honor the films that it does.

But why do you feel the need to take it so personally? What exactly is it "reflecting on," save the fact that these producers managed to shoot a few films that you find objectionable?

I mean ... join the club!

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Just look at the abuse heaped on someone who is fearful that homosexual sex is taking over in media.

Arsenis doesn't sound like a raving evangelical. She sound like most of my friends. They didn't like The Secretary either.

People go to see James Spander and are introduced to sado masochism as the formula for a good marriage.

If you people don't understand the VALUES crowd - you don't understand America. The average American is bothered by the sex drenched movies.

The average American also worries about their kids and the whole sexual revolution.

How can the Democratic party embrace regular families with regular fears if every conversation about homosexuals turns into name calling.

Look at this thread. Who is abusive? Who does the name calling?

I'm gone. Maybe the Liberty Forum may have some answers today.

Posted by: karen ladik on January 19, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

This board is a textbook example for why the Republicans have been outvoted in three of the last four presidential elections.
If Americans don't want Christian movies (such as The Passion of the Christ, Saved, The Lion Witch and Wardrobe, etc. etc.) - they are bigots and Christian-haters too....
Look -- you know NOTHING of me. I am your uncle, your neighbor, the man who does your taxes -- the local menswear store..
WE DONT HATE CHRISTIANS ... we want less of it in our face.
The Republican party cannot garner a majority by forcing Christianity up our keisters - pun very much intended.
And now you have provoked me [by misrepresenting my problem with the Christian Right agenda] into sounding anti-Christian ... when I'm not.
But I stand by what I say.. I think your religion should be confined to the same place as MY RELIGION
I keep it private - so should you.
That has nothing to do with Christian-bashing. The martyr mentality of Christians does not help your cause.

Posted by: Holdie Lewie on January 19, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Assenia,

Ever been to Mardi Gras? MJ Memphis has an excellent point about the high number (pre-flood) of gays in the Quarter. However, what is (was) the biggest demand of the crowds to the hordes on the balconies above? It was "Show your tits". Never heard "Show your cocks".

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 19, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Karen:

Let it be shown for the record that you didn't attempt to engage in honest dialogue.

Goodbye.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Point taken. But I don't go to Mardi Gras because I would be offended by people yelling "show your tits".

I never got a chance to explain my other beliefs because the board exploded into vitriolic name calling.

Posted by: arsenia gallegos on January 19, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Holdie:

highfive!

Nice ... :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

arsenia:

I've been prodding you about your feelings about gays for a whole series of posts now.

No namecalling. I'm honestly curious about what you base your views on.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

I wasn't (here, at any rate) questioning the sincerity of Kevin's centrism, but the sincerity of his identification with the left. (cmdicely)

I'm a lot more liberal than Kevin on most issues; and his continual harping that liberals like me should support centrist candidates or moderate policies instead of the ones we actually like can get really annoying. But I believe he votes Dem, which is left enough in America to count as sincere left. Hehe, maybe I'm just in a good mood today.

Posted by: Gary Sugar on January 19, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

I've only started reading the comments so this may have already been mentioned but when commentors, following the remarks about Kaine, starting talking about convictions or principles I couldn't help but think about Kerry's ridiculous remark in 2004 "I voted for the war before I voted I against it" or whateveritwas he said. Talk about a lack of convictions. Sheesh. No wonder he lost that election.

Posted by: Catcher on January 19, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Attention, wingers.

The Feds of the Twig want Google to provide a list of all porn site perusers. Now, how many will be from the red counties and states?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 19, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

That's both an opportunity and a problem. It's a problem because a strong element of liberalism is the ability to hold an open mind, and be willing to be convinced by intellectual arguments. That is admirable, and intelligent, but often makes one appear to be without strong core beliefs.

I'd frame it as this: One of my values is LISTENING to people and actually CARING about what they say.

Posted by: MNPundit on January 19, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

That has nothing to do with gay bashing. The bathhouse mentality of gays does not help your cause. (arsenia)

OMFG I know you're really as bigoted as you sound; but are you really that dumb?

Posted by: Gary Sugar on January 19, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0 enlightens us:

"Why spend huge energy on the small differential, when there may be issues lying about that have perhaps an order of magnitude more significance in swaying the public? Honestly, I've never understood this.

What Democrats need most urgently in 2006 is a strategy whereby they can capitalize on the corruption of the Republicans. If they do that, they can mostly forget about the values shit."

Posted by: frankly0 on January 19, 2006 at 3:05 AM | PERMALINK


Brilliant. Dems spend zillions on research to find out their belief in policies (as significant in winning elections) is crap. But, frankly0 spends $0 to zero in on the real truth -- wedge issues win elections.

Of course, Republicans use this all too well, despite other important issues of the day. Gays, Guns and whatever wins out over whatever it was the Dems were advertising. It's like advertising a product, with lies of course.

Isn't it sad. Liberals usually revile the electorate for 'falling for these fake issues', but that's what works.

Thank God P.T. Barnum told us "there's a sucker born every minute". It's not like we didn't know it, but it helps to have a memorable quote like that to remind us.

A real trick for Dems is maintaining their personal sense of righteousness while finding wedge issues which will work. If you don't want to lie, but you need an effective wedge issue, then your choices are naturally limited. If you don't want to manufacture a 'fake' wedge issue, then you're limited even further. And, before long you begin to think that real policy ideas are somehow important. It's a slippery slope from righteousness to irrelevance.


Posted by: MarkH on January 19, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, if, regardless of whether aresenia is a real person or not, she exemplifies the fact that we don't need to dig DEEPER, if you want to win national elections by a wide margin we need to keep the values focus very, very SHALLOW.

Most of us are so "deep" that we can't even have a rational discussion with someone of aresenia's ilk, not because she is a bad person, but because we're not on the same plane.

Posted by: hank on January 19, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Gary,

Well, she said this:
"You don't want freedom -- you want LICENSE."
And then this:
"I am not even conservative. I'm a libertarian"
So, based on the evidence, I'd say the answer is yes.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

tool: . . . but I can't even discuss politics with them because they just don't want their assumptions challanged.

Yeah, the Bush adminsitration and conservatives love to have its assumptions challenged.

So much so that they fire or force out dissenters, reward loyalists who lie to them or for them, and call anyone who disagrees with them a traitor or terrorist lover.

What a joke.

You are truly the most pathetic hypocrite around.

Posted by: Advcoate for God on January 19, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Tim Kaine won in part because he got lucky. Kerry too talked about his Catholic faith directing his political beliefs but that was drown out by the Bishops condemning him to all hellfire for being pro-choice. Luckily for Kaine the Richmond and Arlington Bishops sat out this election and didn't call him a "bad Catholic".

The other big factor in Kaine's luck was the ineptitude of the VA GOP. The picked a candidate didn't fit the part of "law and order" yet ran on a rabit anti-tax/kill 'em all and let god sort 'em out platform. For whatever reason Kilgore the GOP opponent did not try to "outGod" Tim Kaine -- perhaps in part because he wasn't all that religous.

Posted by: Hokieannie on January 19, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Hank,
You can't have a rational discussion with someone who is driven by irrational prejudices.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

If you value anything at all, read this:

Warmer Seas Will Wipe Out Plankton, Source of Ocean Life
by Steve Connor
January 19, 2006
The Independent / UK

Excerpt:

The microscopic plants that underpin all life in the oceans are likely to be destroyed by global warming, a study has found.

Scientists have discovered a way that the vital plankton of the oceans can be starved of nutrients as a result of the seas getting warmer. They believe the findings have catastrophic implications for the entire marine habitat, which ultimately relies on plankton at the base of the food chain.

The study is also potentially devastating because it has thrown up a new "positive feedback" mechanism that could result in more carbon dioxide ending up in the atmosphere to cause a runaway greenhouse effect.


Frankly, all this other shit is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 19, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

tool: Demonizing those with honest disagreements with you is a guaranteed death spiral for your party.

Unbelievable. Truly.

If demonizing was political death, neither Bush nor the GOP would rule Washington.

You truly are clueless aren't you, tool?

I have given up on this site for that reason.

Really? Then why do you continue to torture us with your inane hypocrisy?

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 19, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Glad you guys are here today. When I left the house this morning to go to the Wal-mart and buy me a plastic Jesus made in China, I had to fight my way through a herd of homosexuals in my driveway. They all had signs depicting man on man love. Trying to get me to join em, the trailer park will never be the same. Ole Pat Robinson says this is happening everywhere.

Posted by: morg on January 19, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is that philosophically, religiously, politically, economically, we still live on a flat earth.

Good and bad are not some metaphysical duel between the forces of light and darkness. They are the binary code of biological calculation, the yes/no, on/off, I/O of billions of years of conscious decisions.

The problem with monotheism is that the absolute isn't an apex or focal point. It's the median basis. So a spiritual absolute isn't a supreme being from which we fell and seek to return, it's the essence out of which we rose and to which we will fall.

Knowledge and consciousness are not synonymous. One is a process of distinction and judgement, while the other is essence of being.

To exist we must have limitations because they are what define us. Without one, we can't have the other.

That doesn't mean we cannot examine and explore and attempt to transcend our limits and definitions. It does mean that the better we get at it, the more we must face, accept and learn to deal with the limits of others.

Posted by: brodix on January 19, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

trailer parks, plastic jesus, pat robertson -

All because I am frightened by the licentious themes which are rewarded in hollywood.

If you only knew

Posted by: arsenia gallegos on January 19, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Catcher, you have been charged with a passed ball.

Sen Kerry voted for his amendment to the 87 Billion bill that would have suspended the tax cuts to those making over $400,000 to help pay for the measure. This was defeated 57-42, due largely to those with "convictions" of not requiring the wealthy pay their fair share. Kerry had his conviction that they should bear the burden.
He then voted against the bill because of his conviction that the measure was ill-funded.

And now, you can return to the FAUX entertainment network.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 19, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

morg, it's like that here too.

Just the other day I saw a gay couple walking down the street *holding hands*, as though they were normal and not some kind of deviants. And there were a couple of them at my favorite Thai restuarant too, eating together openly, rather than hiding in rightful shame. Another pair of them complimented me on my dog while we were walking through the neighborhood; in the good ol' days, I could have sicced him on them, but noooooo... just wouldn't be "politically correct" anymore.

What is this country coming to?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

"If demonizing was political death, neither Bush nor the GOP would rule Washington."

Posted by: Advocate for God

NOBODY would rule washington.

Good afternoon AFG :)

Posted by: Lurker42 on January 19, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

MJ Memphis - libertarian does not mean libertine.

there are many thoughtful libertarians who wish there didn't have to be whole buildings filled with laws.

I don't feed every appetite. I don't scratch every itch. I think that makes me a grown up. It also makes me a good neighbor.

I've lived in Telluride for most of my life. Outside the glitch we are surrounded by Mormons. They make the best neighbors because they live their beliefs. They are a testimony to their church, without evangelizing.

If gays could learn how to enlist support through good living rather than shock therapy - things might get better quicker.

In the mean time - this agnostic will live amoung Mormons. They have fuller hearts.

Posted by: arsenia gallegos on January 19, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

"If you only knew"

Alrighty, Arsenia, please enlighten us. What is the sound, rational basis for your anti-gay stances?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Arsenia, I am well aware of what libertarian means. On most counts, I fall within the moderate libertarian camp. I don't "feed every appetite... scratch every itch", but I also recognize that my appetites and itches are not the same ones that other people have, and that it is not my business or anyone else's which appetites and itches they choose to tend to, so long as they harm no one else.

I also fail to see what "shock therapy" you're talking about. Acknowledging that there are (gasp!) gay cowboys? Making movies that show gay characters in a positive light? If this shocks you, then you perhaps need to examine why that is. I'd wager my area has a much higher gay population than Telluride, and you know what? They form relationships. They go out to dinner. They walk the dogs. They run small businesses. They raise children, whether biological or adopted. In short... they are normal people. And I see no reason why they should have to pretend to be invisible for the sake of your sensibilities.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Greetins again,
Speaking of hollywood values. I heard they maid a movie bout a big ole gayrilla that kidnaps a blonde white woman and does things to her.

Posted by: morg on January 19, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Greetings morg!
You heard wrong. Since it was a gayrilla, he and the blond woman just went out for sushi and ogled the hot waiters.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Has anybody noticed that a comment about too much homosexuality in movies has turned into christian bashing, trailer parks and Pat Robertson?

Then somebody made it sound like Arsenia didn't want to see gays at restaurants, holding hands, or walking down the street without setting her dog on them?

This is RATIONAL?

The Gay Agenda is very real and very much alive on this thread. Anyone who questions, even so carefully, the preponderance of sexual depravity in movies and television is fair game.

Check the thread. Who are the hysterical knee jerk haters?

Me? Mrs. Gallegos? the other lady who tried to interject a bit of sanity?

All we tried to do was introduce some mainstream complaints about the preponderance of homosexual material in entertainment - and look at the hate!!

We aren't the haters. We are frightened heterosexuals. Gays are the ones who refuse to engage in thoughtful conversation.

The responses on this thread are a textbook example of why the left needs to dump the homosexual revolution. They are whiny crybabies who distort and deceive.

This isn't about hospital visits and insurance.

This is about deviant sexuality that wants TOTAL ACCEPTANCE as normal and natural - even in its excesses.

Sorry. this male heterosexual is more at home with Laura Bush than Truman Capote and Boy George.


Posted by: Jack Thomsen on January 19, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Ummm...thethirdPaul buddy maybe YOU need to take your eyes off the Faux entertainment network long enough to pay attention to what I actually wrote--I said nothing whatsoever about tax cuts. I was making an allusion, re: the general subject of the original post and the comments that have followed, that one reason Kerry lost in 2004 is because the Repub spin machine jumped all over his unfortunate statement that he voted for the war before he voted against it (or vice versa, I forget which at the moment and its not really the point anyway) and the Repubs used this remark in their successful attempt to tar Kerry as a typical wishy-washy liberal Dem with no convictions. The inadequate response by Kerry and his campaign to this tar-n-feather job is one reason (among many others) why he lost the election.

As for the Faux entertainment network, I'll cut off my hands before I use my remote to EVER change the channel to any show on that network. :)

Posted by: Catcher on January 19, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Jack. All of us non-frightened heterosexuals are pushing the Gay Agenda.

It's not about hospital visits and insurance, it's all about making *you* personally nervous.

Get over yourself.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

I have seen "liberals only" dating services on the web, fer God's sake.

There are conservative ones, too.

And I don't see what business it is of yours what other people's deal-breakers are. We're all entitled to choose mates according to whatever ridiculous, arbitrary criteria we want to.

But choosing according to political bent is not at all ridiculous. A shared set of values is important to a healthy relationship, and if you see politics as an expression of your values, as many do all over the political spectrum, it's reasonable to seek people who share your views.

Posted by: hamletta on January 19, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Although it's true that median incomes have largely stagnated over the past few decades, Americans are still pretty rich. This is why economic arguments simply don't resonate the way we think they ought to.

The median is stable because millions of new entrants to the hob market take the lowest paying jobs each year, immediately earning more than they did the year before (this included immigrants); while almost everyone benefits from year-on-year pay raises and promotions. These considerations include people working their way through college on menial wages, and then graduating to better paying jobs (while a new cohort starts to work its way through college.) Simultaneously with those two processes, the purchase prices of many consumer goods continue to fall, so the the median income buys more material wealth from year to year.

Thus, the constant median is occuring sumultataneously with more real wealth for almost everyone in the country. These are parts of the whole story that liberals always overlook.

It's not all peaches and cream at the lower income levels, but most of the year-on-year improvements that are received by the employed classes are independent of liberal programs, and many liberal programs are opposed or disparaged by the "working poor".

A couple days ago the themes were energy and healthcare. Add in better education (not identical with more expensive public schools), and improve your economic analyses, and I think you could come up with a good strategy.

Posted by: contentious on January 19, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and while I can't say I'd be "comfortable" with Laura Bush, out of three options you posited I'd probably be most comfortable with her. If nothing else, we could discuss our favorite mixed drinks.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Arsenia,

Dang it all - Here you have just invited Jack Thomsen to come to Telluride the week of February 26 to March 5 and, lo and behold, those damnable "fags" are a'comin' to town for the 3rd Annual Gay Ski Week.

You'd best skeedadle - why that pristine village of yours is going to become infected once again.

Did one of the waiters at the Blue Point open his fly again? Or didn't he?

Posted by: stupid git on January 19, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Now you say I want homosexuals to be invisible for the sake of my sensibilities?

When did I say that? When did I say anything resembling that?

Every critic on this board has twisted and extrapolated to make me sound like an irrational homophobe.

I'm not.

Posted by: Arsenia Gallegos on January 19, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Catcher,

Dust must have kicked up into my eye - Blew the call - Wild Pitch, instead. Must have Instant Replay.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 19, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

"Nobody on the left will challenge the homoerotic agenda."

"and save our children from homosexual saturation in media."

"WE DONT HATE GAYS... we want less of it in our face."

"They just don't want it in their face 24/7."

You know, Arsenia, when you imply that a group of people is engaged in a massive conspiracy against your children, that you don't want to see them in your presence, people will maybe, just maybe, think you're biased against that group of people, protestations to the contrary.

Likewise, when you insist that you are libertarian, so long as no one actually *uses* any of their liberties, that isn't very convincing.


Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Well gays aren't going away cuz you want them too. Hollywood that's a freedom of speech thing. Don't like it then it's the free market in action, speak with your dollars and don't see it.
I do a pretty job of avoiding Rush, Sean and the wonderful people at fox.

Over and out.

Posted by: allen kayda on January 19, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

All because I am frightened by the licentious themes which are rewarded in hollywood.

Um, they're only rewarded in Hollywood because they're rewarded all over the country by the ticket-buying public. This idea that Hollywood is out to get you is so idiotic. It's a business, people! They don't want to drive a wedge into your family, they want to drive a wedge between you and your wallet.

They are a testimony to their church, without evangelizing.

Mormons don't evangelize? That's rich. Then who were those guys with skinny ties on bicycles I used to see all the time? Maybe you meant "prosetylizing"?

Posted by: hamletta on January 19, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

OK Jack, "The Gay Agenda" that you claim is basically "defending the gays" isn't it. The moment anyone disagrees with you, with respect to the whole gay thing, it's an agenda. So you have an "anti-gay agenda". And me calling you on it, will altomatically put me, in your eyes, considered part of the gay agenda.

I will agree with you that mainstream america will probably not be interested in going the movies listed. But the thread is on values, and it was suggested that the main parties need to have an anti-gay agenda to appeal to middle america. There is a difference between the following terms:

1. Acceptance
2. Tolerance
3. Rejection

The problem, as I see it, is that anyone who disagrees with you is automatically designated by you to be accepting, rather than merely tolerating. And you seem to be suggesting, given the context of the thread, that politicians should lean towards rejecting, in order to win mainstream america's vote. But america's most meaningful voting is always done with their money. America want's gay. Will and Grace, Queer Eye, and numerous other media offerings show that a large number of americans tolerate or are interested in some of the things that gay people do. It doesn't make them gay, and it doesn't mean that gay is being shoved down their throats. For every "gay" themed show, there are other shows too numerous to mention (I'm sure there is more NFL, MBA, and MLB coverage time, than gay themed shows could ever rack up for example).

Incidentally, the only reason that the films you mention are winning golden globes is that the acting in it is deemed superior to "Cheaper by the Dozen 2", as decided by the panel chosen by the Golden Globes. A straight director, and two straight actors were involved in a movie, and it received critical acclaim from other actors and directors. Me thinks thou doth protest too much.

Posted by: royalblue_tom on January 19, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, live and let live in Salt Lake City - That's Larry Miller's motto - The owner of the Jazz, refused to show "Brokeback" at his Salt Lake cinemas.

Arsenia,

Be sure to check back with your ski slope stories next month in Telluride. Oh, you have a sudden engagement out of town the week of February 26 to March 5? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 19, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

thethirdPaul,
You know, Utah Jazz has got to be one of the hugest oxymorons in the English languages.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

language, that is. :) Although some Brits would argue that American English is, in fact, a separate language.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Jack Thomsen:

> Has anybody noticed that a comment about too much
> homosexuality in movies has turned into christian
> bashing, trailer parks and Pat Robertson?

I think you have a problem (well, several in fact, and we'll
get to them eventually) with reading things too literally. The
trailer park and Pat Robertson comments were made facetiously, not
seriously, to parody the kind of mindset that appears threatened,
as you seem to be, by something you haven't bothered to define.

> Then somebody made it sound like Arsenia didn't want
> to see gays at restaurants, holding hands, or walking
> down the street without setting her dog on them?

Again, that was a facetious parody. The technical term is reductio ad
absurdum. In truth, Arsenia hasn't bothered to describe just what kind
of behaviors she is opposed to while being allegedly not homophobic.

Since several of us have asked her repeatedly to define her problems
with homosexuality or even to describe the "homoerotic agenda" and
she's refused -- you really can't blame us for extrapolating.

I mean, she doesn't like three pro-gay movies. So what? I don't like
excess violence in movies; I think it says bad things about our culture
-- but I don't go crusading about it on blogs. How is this different?

> This is RATIONAL?

It's called having a sense of humor, Jack. You might look into it.

> The Gay Agenda is very real and very much alive on this thread.

What is the "gay agenda?" Aside from a bogeyman, that is. Once again,
we have repeatedly asked this question and have gotten no response.

> Anyone who questions, even so carefully, the preponderance
> of sexual depravity in movies and television is fair game.

Fair game for what, exactly? Everything's fair game for criticism
on a blog. I question the preponderance of sexual depravity in movies,
but I don't suffer this criticism. Maybe because I see as much sexual
depravity among straight people as I see among gays. Certainly gay
people don't hold any monopoly on bestiality, pederasty, necrophilia,
sodomy, rape, bondage/discipline/sadomasochism, sex trafficking, etc.

> Check the thread. Who are the hysterical knee jerk haters?

Truthfully, I think you're one of them, Jack. You don't present
anything remotely like a reasoned argument against homosexuality.
You do, however, namecall and stereotype, and try to pretend that
gays have some kind of monopoly on sexually depraved behavior.

> Me? Mrs. Gallegos?

I think there's a board-wide consensus on this, yes.

> the other lady who tried to interject a bit of sanity?

The "other lady" split in a huff to the Freedom Forum.
Perhaps that venue will be more sympathetic to her views.

> All we tried to do was introduce some mainstream complaints
> about the preponderance of homosexual material in entertainment

Why do you think your complaints are "mainstream"? Do you
believe that most people are bigots and/or react stridently
to films the content to which they object? What about the
millions of people who saw those movies? And why do you
believe that there's a "preponderance" of homosexual material
in movies on the strength of three films with non-mainstream sexual
themes that happened to win awards given by the foreign press?

I'd love to see you answer any of these questions. My guess is, that
just like arsenia and Karen -- you won't address a single one of them.

We don't believe you're debating in good faith here, truthfully.

> - and look at the hate!!

I think you need to look in the mirror.
Freud called it projective identification.

> We aren't the haters. We are frightened heterosexuals. Gays
> are the ones who refuse to engage in thoughtful conversation.

"Frightened?" What are you frightened about? What, exactly,
so threatens you about sexual behavior that you find distasteful?
There's lots of sexual behavior by straight people that's highly
distasteful. Should we find that "threatening" as well, and
if so, why? Again -- I'd love some sincere answers here.

> The responses on this thread are a textbook example
> of why the left needs to dump the homosexual revolution.
> They are whiny crybabies who distort and deceive.

What is the "homosexual revolution?"

> This isn't about hospital visits and insurance.

Of course it is. It's also about universal human rights.

> This is about deviant sexuality that wants TOTAL
> ACCEPTANCE as normal and natural - even in its excesses.

Do straight people who practice bondage want "total acceptance,"
or are they content to keep their preferences in the private realm?
Do straight people who practice sodomy want total acceptance?
Should they have it? Should society discriminate against a straight
married couple who practices oral sex? What about anal sex?
Where do you draw the line, and how do you make those judgments?

> Sorry. this male heterosexual is more at home
> with Laura Bush than Truman Capote and Boy George.

That's your preference. Nothing to be ashamed about. Nothing to
feel particularly *privileged* about, either -- which may well be the
crux of the issue. I imagine you won't want to discuss that, either.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

But choosing according to political bent is not at all ridiculous. A shared set of values is important to a healthy relationship, and if you see politics as an expression of your values, as many do all over the political spectrum, it's reasonable to seek people who share your views.
Posted by: hamletta

And then there is the other end of the spectrum
James Carville and Mary Matalin

Posted by: Lurker42 on January 19, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Has anybody noticed that a comment about too much homosexuality in movies has turned into christian bashing, trailer parks and Pat Robertson?

How 'bout this? Somebody makes one damn movie about a couple of gay sheepherders and everybody from Pat Robertson on down comes out of the woodwork to complain about "too much homosexuality in movies".

Yet nobody gripes about too much heterosexuality in movies, although in the last 30 years Hollywood can't resist throwing at least one shot of bare female tits into virtually everything they create.

This thread was originally supposed to be about something else, though I can't remember what...

Posted by: dr sardonicus on January 19, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

I have a question about the report: why do they look at the AVERAGE income? To see why this makes a difference: the per capita income in 2004 of people 45-54 (the highest age group) had a mean of $45,179 and a median of $32,908 (according to the US Census).
Would using the median change anything?

Posted by: JohnL on January 19, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Lurker42,
Clearly Jim is a masochist. And I bet he seeks full acceptance for his deviance too!

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

"Invest in China. It's an investor's paradise!"

This comment brought back to mind a thought I had a couple of days ago.

What would happen to Wal-Mart if all its goods had to say "Made in Communist China" instead of just "Made in China"?

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 19, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Nice post Bob. I have a feeling you won't get a response out of Jack, Arsenia, or Karen. They will probably continue to post though, reacting to anything they can mis-characterise into a personal attack.

Posted by: royalblue_tom on January 19, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

arsenia:

> Now you say I want homosexuals to be invisible for the sake of my
> sensibilities?

> When did I say that? When did I say anything resembling that?

See MJ's post supra, which lists a whole string of your quotes
which lead us unavoidably to this inferential conclusion.

> Every critic on this board has twisted and extrapolated
> to make me sound like an irrational homophobe.

That's because nothing you've said about homosexuality has been
rational. You just assume, first of all, that "most people" share
your values when the very success of these movies (and TV shows
like Will & Grace, Queer Eye, etc.) seems to demonstrate otherwise.
You haven't made an argument as to why you find homosexual conduct
in particular harmful (as opposed to any kind of sexuality
where taking, selfishness or exploitation predominates).

> I'm not.

Then it's not remotely unfair to ask you to demonstrate it
with a rational explanation of your views about homosexuality.

You can't just retreat into subjectivism and say "I don't like it."

We all have preferences. Why should society privilege yours?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

"Clearly Jim is a masochist. And I bet he seeks full acceptance for his deviance too!"
Posted by: MJ Memphis

HAHAHAHA. All I can say is it's a hoot to listen to them debate (If thats what you want to call it).

Posted by: Lurker42 on January 19, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Gregory said "There is something reflexive among today's Democrats, that they despise people who think differently. And until the larger Democratic party learns to respect voters, not sneer at them, the Dems will keep losing elections."

HaHAhahahaha.

Rush Limbaugh. Bill O'Reilly. Anne Coulter. Michael Savage. These are people who really know how to hate and sneer.

President Bush, saying that if we said Iraq was about oil, we were traitors, THAT's respect!

The Swift Boaters, that was a nice bunch of guys, and now they're at Murtha, too. Oh, not at this 37 years in the military, but at his Purple Hearts, because sneering about war wounds is just SO much nicer.

Give me a f'ing break. Anyone who sees the Democrats as the nastys is looking with blinders on. The Republicans even eat their own, witness the attacks on McCain in 2000. He adopts a non-white child, and Bushistas start a rumor that he fathered her out of wedlock.

Come on. The Bush Gang is the least moral, most opportunistic bunch of lowlifes I've seen outside the Mafia.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 19, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Cal Gal:

You rock :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

dr sardonicus,

To be fair Arsenia did say she thought there was too much hetero sex in the media so I don't think her point is strictly about gays.

Ever since we founded this country and gave the right of "Free Speech" some people have thought that there is too much open sexuality in America, and the gay thing seems to be the latest manifestion of that thought.

In my opinion the tension between one person's right to free speech and another person's right to not hear or see profanity will always be with us.

Telling people to "lighten up" doesn't work. Telling people to stifle any expression that might offend someone else doesn't work either.

Posted by: Tripp on January 19, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, just for the record, it appears Ms. Gallegos has some other "issues" as well.

From the Huffington Post:
"I am so tired of Democrats who feign wonder at why the DMC is coy on the war. Let's see - which demographic donates the most money to the democrats? Which demographic took over the GOP, under the label "neocon"? hmmmmmmm... we are a country under occupation as well."

From Mathaba.Net news:
"I have eyes and ears, and 60 years of paying attention - Jews are controlling my country, my old country and the world."

From Media Backspin:
"I have a mild disdain for Jews, because I have a lifetime of doing business with them... When someone says - "I'd rather do business with Koreans than Jews, because Jews are so dishonest" - they are making the same ethnic and racial distinctions that Jews use against Muslims and Aryans - Germans specifically - on a routine basis. Jews are digging their own grave in the culture wars. Their syllopsistic view of the world is and has always been their undoing. What's good for them, is punishable by death to everyone else. tick tock tick tock.... Muslims will be more thorough than Germans"

Yep. Real mainstream America there.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Harry Flashman on January 19, 2006 at 12:57 PM |

Please email me a copy of the "Homosexual Agenda."

Don't have to email it. It's available here:

http://www.bettybowers.com/homoagenda.html

NB: it's a satirical site.

Posted by: raj on January 19, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp:

In my view, arsenia's "even handedness" is pure charade. She may not like hetero snogging when it's too public -- but do you really think she'd react as stridently on a blog if the Golden Globes awarded three heterosex-saturated movies (like they do most years)?

Personally, I highly doubt it.

I think it's completely fair to say that arsenia has a bug up her butt about gay people.

And I think it's fair, furthermore, to assume on the evidence of her posts that she is, indeed, a bigot.

"But some of my best friends are ... [fill in the blank]"

Heh. Remember that one? I surely do.

Until she can conclusively demonstrate otherwise with a lucid post explaining her feelings about gay people and homosexuality in general -- I consider these assumptions fully operative.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

If the Iraq War were going well, Bush's popularity numbers would be much higher.

And comments like those from Arsenia--
"we might restore the constitution - make peace with Muslims - and save our children from homosexual saturation in media"--show that Bush won in '04 on the "icky homosexual" vote. Plain and simple.

Unfortunately, I think the Republicans hit the gold mine there. There is nothing more instinctual than sexual attraction and its opposite, sexual repellance. It's low brain stuff, that cannot be reasoned with. The "homosexuals are icky" crowd don't just believe that, they feel it, deep down in their bones. They tie it to "relgion" and pervert the underlying message of their relgion (at least Christians do) as a result.

It is such a deep-seated thing with them that they see it as an attack on their children. And they will vote "icky" as a result, regardless of all other issues.

What a shame. What a pathetic shame.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 19, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

MJ,

Oho! Does she say anything about the Gypsies? For some reason I seem to recall a connection between Jews, Fags and Gypsies but I can't quite put my finger on it . . .

Posted by: Tripp on January 19, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

MJ:

You sure that's the same arsenia gallegos?

If it is ... OMFG. I haven't seen such crystalline bigotry since I read The Turner Diaries six years ago ...

Whooof!

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Cal Gal:

Exactly. Pure lizard brain stuff.

All bigotry is. That's why it's so goddamned irrational.

Protecting thee and thine from The Alien Other.

Probably one of the most atavistic instincts we humans have. Utterly beyond the front brain.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, just for the record, it appears Ms. Gallegos has some other "issues" as well. (MJ Memphis)

Whoa. If all that is true, well, it doesn't change my opinion. I'm Jewish and straight; but her anti-semitic remarks are no more offensive than her anti-gay remarks. Around one-fifth of Americans are genuine nazis, and Arsenia is one of them.

Posted by: Gary Sugar on January 19, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

MJ Memphis,

Remember the line from My Fair Lady regarding English - "in America, they haven't spoken it in years".

Arsenia,

Calm down - Why don't you sponsor a festival of plays and films for Telluride? Some very good, well reviewed, well received, nationally, films and plays from Tennessee Williams and William Inge? Hey, "Picnic" is about the heartland. Set in Kansas.
Or maybe you prefer a Randolph Scott film revival.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 19, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Well, google it for yourself. The only results I got that weren't political rants were for the name were a list of names from Mexico, and a 1998 developmental English paper. The comments were all from 2005 I believe. There were a few others, like about the fellow who got shot in the British subway station, in the same vein as the ones I posted. Maybe there is another Arsenia Gallegos frequenting blogs who, rather than gays, has a anti-Jewish fetish. Seems unlikely though. I would comment, but I don't care to violate Godwin's Law.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Cal Gal quoted Kevin Gregory: And until the larger Democratic party learns to respect voters, not sneer at them, the Dems will keep losing elections.

It's amazing how many posts there are that follow this exact pattern word for word: "Until the larger Democratic party (fill in the blank with some fake, phony, bogus, scripted, ridiculous and invariably nasty slander against the Democratic Party) the Dems will keep losing elections."

And every single one of them from obvious Republican shills who obviously don't want any Democrat to ever win any election.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 19, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Sheesh, I sure hope arsenia has the brains to realize the game is up and she shouldn't show back up here if she knows what's good for her ...

Uncivil dialogue? Heh, first I'll tell her that I'm one of the fiercest critics of the state of Israel anyone could know.

And then I'll call her an anti-semitic bitch and tell her to get fucking lost before I flame her skin off.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Oops. Bad editing. Should be "only results I got for the name that weren't political rants".

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp: To be fair Arsenia did say she thought there was too much hetero sex in the media so I don't think her point is strictly about gays.

She said it after we called her on her anti-gay bigotry, claiming that "we didn't let her finish" (as though we were all massed around her chair dragging her fingers from the keyboard as she heroically attempted to bang out a few more sentences). So I think it's pretty clear that was an afterthought. I have plenty of (well, enough) respect for people who feel the media's sex saturation is problematic regardless of who's having the sex, but Arsenia's just scrambling for a foothold here.

After MJ Memphis' post of 3:28, I don't think we need to keep arguing about what Ms. Gallegos is. It's all right there.

When I was an undergrad, the town paper used to publish letters from a local freak who started every missive with the up-front declaration: "I'm a Christian and a racist." Hated the guy's viewpoints, but admired him for having the spine to come right out and call himself a bigot. Arsenic here has no such honesty or honor.

Posted by: shortstop on January 19, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

"I think your sex should be confined to the same place as MY SEX

I keep it private - so should you."

Look, lady, if you count up all the sexual encounters on TV and in the movies, I don't think you'll find that they're mostly homosexual.

"Angelina's Pregnant with Brad's Baby!" That's your heterosexuals keeping it quiet, eh?

You're just not seeing the heterosexual content being splattered all over the front pages because it doesn't make you feel icky.

There IS NO homosexual agenda. The last thing a homosexual wants is to hit on a heterosexual. They don't want you, OK? You're safe from them.

If you vote Republican because you can't stand gays, you are just too narrow-minded and short-sighted.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 19, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Yep. Real mainstream America there.
Posted by: MJ Memphis

no fair actually quoting what this gallegos bigot actually said ... it's obviously YOUR fault for making her sound like a anti-semitic homophobic racist ... when she so ISN'T!!!

and for everyone who said she sounded "just like my mother" ... I bet she does. nothing quite so entertainin as racist old white people complaining how they're losing influence in the culture wars.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

I am a 33 year old heterosexual white male. I like women. I don't understand women on women or men on men.

I don't practice it, and therefore it doesn't appeal to me.

By the standards on this board, I am a drooling hater, when, actually, I just like heterosexual sx, and don't like homosexual sex.

I don't want anybody to die or go to prison. I don't hate gays. I just don't want my kids exposed to it, and don't want to watch it.

The homosexual lobby on this thread are offended that people who don't practice homosexuality want less of it around.

Since I don't practice homosexuality, [I'm an athiest by the way] I don't like to see it.

It's 'icky'. Sounds perfectly natural to me.

Just like gay men think sex with women is 'icky'.

And the lesbians I know are openly hostile to men, straight or otherwise.

It seems that people like what they are comfortable with, and don't like what they are not comfortable with.

I am not comfortable with homosexuality. I don't want to see it. And I'm not a big fan of porn anyway, so I don't want to see much of anybody's sex life.

If that makes me a bigot, I have lots of company.

Posted by: TJ on January 19, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

TJ:

How would you react if one of your children became gay?

Totally serious question ....

I somehow doubt you'll answer it, though.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

"The straight world does not want to be force fed your lifestyle."

Well, actually, yes I do. If you exclude the icky sex part, I do want the fashion, the hair style, the home decoration, the elegant food presentations. I even want the well-dressed, buff men!

I think pretty much every heterosexual woman in America wants the homosexual "lifestyle," just with a heterosexual man!

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 19, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

TJ:

I'm a lot like you, actually.

I'm also a middle-aged guy who's like a hard 7 on the Kinsey scale. Never had a homosexual dream, let alone a conscious thought or desire about it. Hell, I'm not even compelled by that alleged staple of the straight male erotic imagination -- watching two girls get it on.

I wouldn't use the term "icky," exactly. It's just not my cuppa java.

And yet somehow I suspect my views about homosexuality are radically different than yours.

Why do you suppose that is?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Cal Gal:

My ex-fiancee is a professional theatrical stage manager.

She feels your pain :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

My whole family is pretty independant. None of us goes to church and we are pretty live and let live.

One of the reasons half of them don't vote is because they aren't angry about much of anything.

They don't identify with party regulars because party operatives are too causy.

I would offer up the posts on this board about homosexuality as exhibit one.

If homosexual rights are overly represented in the party or its candidates, the overwhelmingly straight majority will object.

Not because they are hateful or bigoted. But they are not homosexual and don't understand it. They don't have to hate homosexuals to want less of it in the culture.

The same holds true for race. If angry blacks are overrepresented in the party, then whites who feel marginalized will bolt. If the greenies are the face and voice, small business will run for the GOP.

I'm not sure how you get a mainstream candidate when the zealots on all sides of these thorny issues are the party regulars.

The fringe should not and cannot be the face of either party. If the only voices are radical gays and religious zealots - neither party will be attractive to the large middle of America that holds their nose to vote, or doesnt even bother.

Posted by: Ashley on January 19, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

One of the main points of the article is:
While American politics becomes increasingly committed to a brand of conservatism that favors traditionalism, religiosity, and authority,...the culture at large [is] becoming ever more attached to hedonism, thrill-seeking, and a ruthless, Darwinist understanding of human competition. This behavior is particularly prevalent among the vast segment of American society that is not politically or civically engaged, and which usually fails to even vote.

It is this trend that conservatives confound with liberalism, much to the surprise of liberals who tend to despise the retreat from civic life and responsibility and in turn blame the social Darwinism on conservatives. For conservatives, homosexuality is regarded, not as self-expression, but as a symptom of hedonistic culture.

Liberals are also frustrated by the return of sexism. But the article points out their are actually two versions: the traditional one, which embraces gender respect within prescribed spheres and one that comes from anomie and nihilism from which comes little respect for human beings.


Posted by: bellumregio on January 19, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

"She sound like most of my friends. They didn't like The Secretary either.

People go to see James Spander and are introduced to sado masochism as the formula for a good marriage."

Oh here's a rich comment. I'm a James Spader fan. James Spader has made a career out of playing sexually wierd oddballs, and someone's surprised that he plays one in "The Secretary"?

I liked it, by the way. Truly a wierd movie, but then I sort of like fiction that's not in any way like my real life. I mean, I'm not in the Mafia, and I like The Sopranos. I'm not a neurotic Jewish millionaire, and I like Curb Your Enthusiasm. I'm not an adrenalin fuelled government agent, and I like 24.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 19, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

"this male heterosexual is more at home with Laura Bush ..."

Does George know?

Ya know, adultery is against the law (as set out in the Ten Commandmants).

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 19, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

bellumregio:

That's a good parsing of the results.

I'd like to see that survey coordinated with JK Galbraith's much less systematic but very insightful analysis of the culture of contentment.

But what you say is very true. The half of the population that doesn't vote (but which consumes like there's no tomorrow) has a disproportionate share in driving the culture.

The left *and* right see shadows of this in the other party. The left sees Social Darwinism in the right, the right sees hedonism, nihilism and anomie in the left.

Well-made point.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Bob

Why would I want homosexuality for my children? Life is tough enough. And I think the condition reveals itself early enough that I wouldn't be shocked.

So far, my boy likes trucks and cars, tools,anything that explodes and his dog. He thinks girls complain too much, and get hurt too easily.

I've seen homosexual children. Everybody knows and doesn't say. This ones straight.

Posted by: TJ on January 19, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Arsenia appears to be gone - Perhaps she is listening to Janet Parshall's America on the Salem Network - Check out Media Matters for insight into her deranged thinking - There is even a clip from her appearance on Larry King.

Now, what was that James Spader film again where he played the hit man with the beautiful and talented Theron as his accomplice? Great cat fight in the film. Getting sexist now.

Shame that Bridgette Monet couldn't act and became a doctor in California, but that is another off thread subject.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 19, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

The homosexual lobby on this thread are offended that people who don't practice homosexuality want less of it around.

And yet a number of people commenting here have indicated that we're straight (or, in some cases, more-or-less straight). So 1) you're assuming that everyone denouncing Arsenia for her bigotry is gay or lesbian, something you could see is untrue if you'd actually read the thread, and 2) you make the mistake of assuming that all straight people share your peculiar desire for "having less [homosexuality] around."

Where I come from, that's bad reasoning based on personal bias. Sometimes we call it prejudice.

Posted by: shortstop on January 19, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

TJ:

It's not, first of all, a question of "wanting" it. Homosexuality -- despite all the religious propaganda about it being a "lifestyle choice" -- isn't a matter of deciding that, hey, they'd have more sex if they were gay or something. Most psychologists (and the DSM IV) consider it to be an inborn trait, and not a pathology. It's a question of how you'd react if it turned out that they were.

Oh, and not to get you all concerned about your son or anything ...

But being firmly gendered has little to do with sexual orientation.

In the gay world, a manly man is called "butch."

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Everybody is prejudiced. Listen to a couple of lesbians talk about men or straight women.

Posted by: TJ on January 19, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, TJ, my lesbian friends don't mind men at all. We sit around, drink wine, and talk dogs. They do not seem offended by my gender.

BTW, not wanting to go see "gay" movies doesn't make you a hater. Ranting about a gay conspiracy against children, for instance, would generally brand you one though.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Shortstop -- you said

"Where I come from, that's bad reasoning based on personal bias. Sometimes we call it prejudice"

okay?

Bad reasoning and personal bias are what make the world go around. I'm guilty as charged.

And so are you.

Party operatives are usually ANGRY, causy, and outside the mainstream. They turn off new members on the left and right.

Posted by: Ashley on January 19, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Could the problem be that you just attract mean people, TJ? Because no one here seems to share your assessment of all lesbians; our experiences have been different.

MJ: I don't think TJ's a hater. I think he's a guy of slightly less-than-average intelligence who confuses feeling things with thinking about things, and values symbolism over reality. Give him 20 or 30 years and he might turn out to be a little more easygoing.

Posted by: shortstop on January 19, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

I call "bs," TJ, on your comment that "everybody" is prejudiced.

Some of my husband's best friends are lesbian. They're friends of mine, too, and I've never heard them disparage straights the way you and Arsenia talk about gays.

But then again, I admit I've never been in a conversation where everyone was lesbian, and so maybe they weren't "speaking freely."

Have you been passing for lesbian, and hearing the real inside dope?

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 19, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

TJ:

If homosexuality is so "icky" to you that you prefer not to be around it -- how would you know what lesbians say to each other about straight women and/or men?

You sure you're not just repeating urban legends, or things your buddies told you about "lesbos" when you were in highschool? :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Ashley: What's "causy" mean?

Posted by: shortstop on January 19, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Ashley:

No ... I will personally attest to the fact that shortstop is decidely *not* guilty of either prejudice or bad reasoning.

That's a cross you'll have to struggle with on your own, I'm afraid.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop:

Causy -- you know, into causes and stuff.

Kinda like causitry but a *lot* less intellectual :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Bob, shortstop,
Have you noticed that people holding prejudiced views often seem to think everyone is prejudiced? Projection, maybe?

PS- shortstop, I wasn't aware you were a party operative! Congrats.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

MJ:

I was looking at it more like that special brand of moral nihilism perfected by the right.

You know -- the kind that most of us outgrew by the time we were 14.

The "everybody does it" defense.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

I don't want to get into a spitting contest with all you high minded Democrats.

I am pretty independant, but a trip to one of these forums reminds me why I don't like politics or political people.

I've only known angry lesbians. The ones I've worked with hate men, fashion, makeup, society's preoccupation with feminine beauty, and are some of the saddest creatures I've ever known.

I've only known one 'lipstick' butch, and that's only because she tried sex with women in college and couldn't go back to calling herself straight.

The experience of dabbling in bisexuality fucked her up BIG TIME. She was a self hating lesbian.

Actually, I've always thought gay men were a combination of the positive traits in both sexes.

Lesbians seen to assume the negative traits of both sexes.

Just my faulty world view, I guess.

Posted by: TJ on January 19, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK
and hollywood continues to lose money because they make ideological movies... not family entertainment.

Um, Hollywood is making money hand-over-fist. There is much tut-tutting that traditional motion picture venues are making less money, but that's due to the upswing in piracy, the upswing in alternative entertainment forms like video games that are increasing stealing movie market share, and the upswing in alternative means of watching movies other than going to theaters.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, CAUSY. Kind of like "cheesy" or "dozy."

So where would be a non-threatening-to-everyone place to have this discussion if not in a values thread on a political bulletin board? If I talk to my husband about it over dinner, am I being causy? What about the similar casual conversation my mom and I had on the phone yesterday? Too militant? How can we talk about these issues and not ever worry about losing a single centrist vote? What? We can't?

MJ, I was undercover until Ashley outed me. Now I'll have to change disguises.

Posted by: shortstop on January 19, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

...and hollywood continues to lose money because they make ideological movies... not family entertainment.

Actually, this is about the fourth or fifth time a winger has made some version of this statement, which leads me to believe it's high on the current talking points. It's not true, but no matter...if it gets repeated often enough, a decent number of people will believe it, and quite a few simpleminded folks bought it the first time.

Posted by: shortstop on January 19, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

TJ:

Well, once again let me offer the observation that I'm more like you than you may think.

In the mid-80s I worked for a social change canvassing group, a national one that was known for being a matriarchy run by lesbians. My boss was a rather doctrinnare leftist who also had very strong political ideas about her sexual orientation.

As a straight guy in the office, I was looked on with suspicion in certain instances, one in particular when I grew to be friends with a woman in the office who was, unbeknownst to me at the time, in the process of coming out.

I didn't like the feeling of working there. It gave me a very small taste of what it must be like to be a woman working in a traditionally sexist environment.

But -- this experience didn't color my views of lesbians, either. Like all people, they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, political orientations and attitudes about men and other annoying facts of life.

My lesbian friends today are wonderful people.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK
Honestly, a lot of my friends are liberals, but I can't even discuss politics with them because they just don't want their assumptions challanged.

Lots of conservative friends I have are the same way.

I think this is a feature of "humans" rather than one ideology or another.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Shortstop - you are hyperventilating.

Causy people also get upset when they are called causy and then start to misrepresent the meaning of causy. You are putting words into my mouth.

Anyway, you are all too causy for me. It's a beautiful day in the west. I really dont want to spend it parsing barbs with disaffected, angry liberals.

Maybe that's why the author thinks the Dems need to rethink strategies for enlarging the base. Those few people who wandered in here and gave some advice have been roundly insulted and chased off.

Could it be the Democratic party is more narrow minded than the GOP? I am not looking for a home in either place anytime soon.

Posted by: Ashley on January 19, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK
I've only known angry lesbians.

Well, the angry ones are the most likely to be immediately noticeable.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

short stop - you are hyperventilating and putting words in my mouth.

There is nothing more defensive than unhappy causy political types defending themselves as not causy, unhappy or political.

It's a beautiful day. I'm going to enjoy it somewhere else.

Posted by: Ashley on January 19, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Ashley:

Such a pleasure to have such an open-minded person like yourself gracing our liberal blog, btw.

I was the one who put the meaning of "causy" in shortstop's mouth.

What, exactly, did I get wrong?

Seems to me by your context that I nailed it exactly :)

Enjoy the wide open spaces of the West, btw -- our compliments.

Don't let the swinging saloon doors hitcha on the way out.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Ashley,

You are obviously suffering a breakdown. You are repeating yourself without the person you are referring to even posting in between.

Talk about "hyperventilating" and "defensive".

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Umm, Ashley, at least three of the good folks who "wandered in here and gave some advice" also like to wander onto other forums and post anti-Semitic screeds. Personally, I don't think the Dems need to be taking advice from walking Godwin's Law violations.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Nice buncha trolls today, huh guys?

Sheesh, I never thought I'd have an occasion to miss Norman, but right now I do ...

Bigotry gives me body aches.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, whew! Now that the trolls are gone, let's proceed with the meeting, shall we?

Who's got a copy of the Homosexual Agenda? Oh wait ... mine's right here. What were we up to?

Oh right ... Point Fourteen.

How to flirt with little boys in public places when their parents leave them for a quick second to go to the bathroom ...

:)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Bob, be careful talking about the troll-who-must-not-be-named. You may summon him.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

You're way ahead of me, Bob. I'm still back in Point Three, trying to figure out the section on coordinating draperies. Looks like miniblinds are right out.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Shortstop! Never thake that kind of crap from some snot nosed little twerp with a fashion-doll name. Come and get me and we will call school into session!

(Mess with my gal Shortstop, you mess with me!)

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 19, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

MJ:

I skipped that whole long segment on manscaping and got right to the good parts :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, just for the record, it appears Ms. Gallegos has some other "issues" as well.

Holy cats, against gays and Jews...she's a Godwin's Law violation waiting to go off!

Posted by: Gregory on January 19, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Party operatives are usually ANGRY, causy, and outside the mainstream. They turn off new members on the left and right.
Posted by: Ashley

does "causy" mean "aware" and not blinded by american idol? is being abreast of current events an insult among yours? is having an opinion?

the downfall of our democracy is political ignorance among the public. we are no longer an informed electorate. there is no reason for you to flaunt it.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory:

All we'd need are Gypsies and Communists too, and we'd have a perfect set.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory:

Oh -- and don't forget the infirm and feeble minded.

They go first.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

You know, Bob, it really does make me wonder: where has the creativity gone among the haters? Gays and Jews, gays and Jews... it gets tiresome. Why not Albanians and left-handed people, for crying out loud? Or the Protocols of the Elders of Costa Rica?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Thought experiment:

Take Ashley's post ("If homosexual rights are overly represented in the party or its candidates, the overwhelmingly straight majority will object. Not because they are hateful or bigoted. But they are not homosexual and don't understand it. They don't have to hate homosexuals to want less of it in the culture.") and substitute the word "black" for "homosexual."

Posted by: Gregory on January 19, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

NJ

Gay Jewish left-handed ethnic Albanian Costa Rican nationals !

GRRRRRRRRRRR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 19, 2006 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, Global! I wasn't taking crap; I was busy unshaving my legs and wiping the lipstick off my full, lush and wasted-on-a-man lips.

Now, do I seem angry to anyone here but Ashley? Y'all don't seem angry to me....just amused. Ashley...now, Ash is very, very, very angry. And she's not going to waste any more time on this cheesy, dosy, prosy, nosy, pausy, causy group! She was all set to register as a Democrat until we turned her off!

Posted by: shortstop on January 19, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

I really, really wish I could see the ISPs for Ashley, TJ, Arsenia, and the other not-bigotty bigots who've been visiting here. They all share a similar writing style, rely on similar arguments (declaring "mainstream" status for their shameful beliefs, claiming to be "left" or "libertarian"), and similarly refuse to answer direct and detailed questions about the peculiar, fetishized phobia they share.

Y'know what? I think they have an agenda they're trying to shove down our throats.

Posted by: vetiver on January 19, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

On a more sobering note, watched a rerun of "Ararat" last night - The genocide of the Armenians by the Turks - Yes, hate and bigotry do go round and round.

Shortstop,

Now, that you have become a lobbyist and fighter for causes, when are you going to take on those who smeared Chicago by naming it the fattest city in the land. Baltimore is the most fit? Geez!!

Posted by: stupid git on January 19, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

I am a 33 year old vegetarian. I like vegetables. I don't understand eating meat or other animal-based products.

I don't practice it, and therefore it doesn't appeal to me.

By the standards on this board, I am a drooling hater, when, actually, I just like vegetables, and don't like meat and dairy products.

I don't want anybody to die or go to prison. I don't hate carnivores or omnivores. I just don't want my kids exposed to it, and don't want to watch it.

The pro-meat lobby on this thread are offended that people who don't practice meat-eating want less of it around.

Since I don't practice meat-eating, [I'm an athiest by the way] I don't like to see it.

It's 'icky'. Sounds perfectly natural to me.

Just like meat-eaters think that only eating vegetables is 'icky'.

And the meat-eaters I know are openly hostile to vegetarians, vegan or otherwise.

It seems that people like what they are comfortable with, and don't like what they are not comfortable with.

I am not comfortable with meat-eating. I don't want to see it. And I'm not a big fan of restraunts anyway, so I don't want to see much of anybody's eating habits.

If that makes me a bigot, I have lots of company.

---
TJ,

does the above help illustrate the silliness of your position? If not, I believe shortstop has nailed it.

Posted by: Edo on January 19, 2006 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Edo: I am a 33 year old vegetarian. I like vegetables. I don't understand eating meat or other animal-based products ...

Edo, as it happens I am a 52 year old vegan (vegan for over 17 years, and vegetarian for over 30 years). I have to say that I don't find anything particularly "silly" about your version of TJ's comment. In fact, I would generally agree with most of those statements, from a vegetarian's point of view. While the meat-eaters that I know personally, including close friends and family members, are not "openly hostile" to me or other vegetarians/vegans, I have certainly encountered many meat-eaters who are. Being an advocate as well as a practitioner of a vegan diet, I have certainly encountered a lot of people who "are offended that people who don't practice meat-eating want less of it around."

There is a huge difference between homosexuality and meat-eating. For one thing, unlike being gay, eating meat most definitely is a "lifestyle choice", at least for most people in America who have access to any typical supermarket. For another, being gay does not involve killing innocent helpless sentient beings and eating charred chunks of their dismembered corpses.

So I am not sure you have made your point.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 19, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

Lurker42: Good afternoon AFG :)

Good evening Lurker42

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 19, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

Um, Hollywood is making money hand-over-fist. There is much tut-tutting that traditional motion picture venues are making less money, but that's due to the upswing in piracy, the upswing in alternative entertainment forms like video games that are increasing stealing movie market share, and the upswing in alternative means of watching movies other than going to theaters.


Hollywood will always make big bucks but there is a considerable shrinkage in their market and some of it is absolutely do to the increasingly agenda driven nature of their offerings. Films designed to entertain rather than enlighten still do very well in the box office. Agenda Films always do less well. Munich is a case in point as anything by Speilberg usually does well and this received outstanding reviews. Yet it was only in the top 10 for 2 weeks and has already moved out of the multiplex near me.

Piracy and video games have been around for ever as has cable movies and Blockbuster. Movie sales dropped 7% in 2005 because quality dropped 7%.

Posted by: rdw on January 19, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, yes, we've heard this from rdw before, word for word if I'm not mistaken:

Films designed to entertain rather than enlighten still do very well in the box office. Agenda Films always do less well.

For those of you who didn't bring your Double Super Secret Republican Decoder Rings with you tonight, let me run these lines through mine for you:

Films designed to entertain rather than enlighten = Films that match rdw's opinions and values perfectly

Agenda films = Films that deal with subject matter rdw finds scary or icky

Posted by: shortstop on January 19, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, SA, as a vegan advocate maybe you can tell me. Is your eating philosophy really based on sentience of the eaten?

Then what about road kill? I mean it, I'm not just being argumentative. If lightening killed a wild turkey, why would you not eat it? If old age killed a deer, why would you not tan its hide for belts and shoes?

If you lovingly keep sheep and cut their hair for clothing, and never kill them for meat, why not drink their some of their milk? If you maintain bees to pollinate your organic vegetables and fruits, is it really cruel to carefully remove and consume some of the honey now and then? Does it hurt chickens to eat their eggs, again, assuming they are lovingly husbanded, coddled birds who roam the garden eating bugs and fertilizing the vegetables. They certainly don't SEEM to miss the eggs. It's not like they go looking around for them, or try to keep me from taking them, or give any other sign that it is cruel to them to take and eat the eggs.

Are oysters sentient?

Again, I am not trying to be argumentative. I just really do not understand being vegan rather than lacto-ovo vegetarian.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 19, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK
Hollywood will always make big bucks but there is a considerable shrinkage in their market and some of it is absolutely do to the increasingly agenda driven nature of their offerings.

Art has always been agenda driven, of course, but before I would even consider this as a viable explanation, I'd need to see objective evidence that Hollywood even had "increasingly agenda-driven" offerings (leaving aside the "profit agenda").

Films designed to entertain rather than enlighten still do very well in the box office.

Sure, they do, and that major market segment is well-saturated, as it always has been. Most of the films people object to are smaller budget films that exist (for Hollywood businesses putting the money into them) for the most part as vehicles to wring the last possible entertainment dollar from smaller, less-served demographics. There are a few (the left-wing equivalent of Passion of the Christ) that are vanity projects (by which I mean attempts to fill a particular artistic vision that don't necessarily follow the traditional business calculus, even if the ones that get noticed tend to be gambles that paid off quite handsomely financially, as well) by particular creators that end up getting more attention than most such works, but they are rather exceptional, not the norm.

Piracy and video games have been around for ever as has cable movies and Blockbuster.

Video games have been around for a while, but they have been experiencing a meteoric rise in the last few years and, particularly, increasingly have a cinematic flavor, use screen talent, and compete more directly with cinema. I've been a fairly active video gamer since before the Atari 2600 was available, so I follow this kind of thing (less active since I started law school, though.)

"On demand" video delivery is fairly new, and high-quality (HD, etc.) home theater systems have increasing penetration. Movies get to alternative media more quickly than they used to, and those alternative systems are more portable (even moreso now with handheld DVD players and movies on PSP).

Piracy has exploded with filesharing and increasing broadband penetration; now, one bootleg copy can be accessible everywhere on the planet overnight. That's fairly new. That hasn't been "around forever".

You simply have no idea what you are talking about.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

rdw what was the agenda behind that penguin movie?

Posted by: neo on January 19, 2006 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

Cal Gal wrote: Is your eating philosophy really based on sentience of the eaten? [...] I just really do not understand being vegan rather than lacto-ovo vegetarian.

This could turn into a very long discussion that would be extremely off-topic. But basically, yes, my choice to eat a vegan diet is motivated primarily by the sentience of animals, particularly by their capacity to experience suffering. Unfortunately, sheep, bees and chickens from which wool, honey and eggs are taken are in reality not treated "lovingly". Far from it.

For example, the billions of chickens from which virtually all commercially produced eggs are taken are probably the most hideously abused animals on the face of the earth. For more information on that, I would refer you to the website of United Poultry Concerns, an animal protection organization that is "dedicated to the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl".

If you are genuinely concerned about the welfare of animals raised for food, and you really, really want to eat meat, dairy products and/or eggs, it is possible with considerable effort to locate meat, dairy and eggs taken from animals that were at least raised humanely before they were slaughtered. There are animal protection organizations that promote this approach, as I believe the Humane Society of the United States does. You can't go by product labels such as "free range chickens" since these mean nothing. You need to go visit the places where the animals are raised and see for yourself how they are treated. It is far easier to avoid meat, dairy and eggs altogether. In my case, I don't especially care for any of these foods anyway -- after so many years, I don't even think of them as food any more -- so going without them is perfectly natural and in no way a hardship or deprivation for me.

Having said that, there are also health and environmental reasons to choose a vegan diet. For example, dairy products are extremely unhealthy and I regard them as unfit for human consumption, and would not consume them under any circumstances. And the modern, industrialized, "factory farming" of animals for meat, dairy products and eggs has enormously negative environmental consequences, both in resource consumption and in the resulting pollution of air, soil and water.

If you are interested in more information and discussion than I have time for right now or than is probably appropriate for this thread anyway, I suggest the website of Vegan Outreach.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 19, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

My concern with the death penalty is my lack of faith in the legal system.

Posted by: aaron on January 19, 2006 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Kudos to

rmck1,
MJ Memphis,
cmdicely (as always),
and CalGal

for intellegent and polemically savvy responses to the trolls.

This is why I keep coming back here!

Posted by: Another Joey on January 19, 2006 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

SA,

Thank you for your comments. I see what you are really concerned about is factory farming, and I agree it's pretty horrible and does not produce very good food. I avoid it whenever possible, but I am fortunate to have friends who do keep chickens, and I must say their eggs are nothing like "store bought."

We could indeed have an argument about responsibly husbanded dairy, including sheep's milk, and the health benefits of consumption thereof, but that wouldn't be a philosophical discussion, would it?

Of course, I generally do not eat food I don't enjoy, either, unless I'm being really, really polite at someone else's dinner table.

And how about that lightening-struck wild turkey? Any vegan objection other than you don't like meat anymore?

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 19, 2006 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

I really must be going.

Remember, when you're in Wal-Mart next time, ask that shopper next to you, "You know that's made in Communist China, don't you?"

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 19, 2006 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

this thread got way off topic. but here is a quote from Secular Animist:


It's amazing how many posts there are that follow this exact pattern word for word: "Until the larger Democratic party (fill in the blank with some fake, phony, bogus, scripted, ridiculous and invariably nasty slander against the Democratic Party) the Dems will keep losing elections."
***
And every single one of them from obvious Republican shills who obviously don't want any Democrat to ever win any election.

I don't really think sentence #2 is true. I think that a lot of swing voters would appreciate a more consistent, solid, and less histrionic alternative to the Republicans. Even if you think that the Bush administration's response to Katrina was less than great, the responses of Mayor Nagin and Gov. Blanco were deplorable; reports of the history of NO in the decades leading to the disaster were full of Democratic incompetence and corruption.

There are plenty of examples. Histrionic angry blathering about Republican shortcomings is no substitute for commitment to some core policies.

The goal for Democrats should not be to prove that the far right Republicans are corrupt/bad/intolerant/whatever; the goal for the Democrats is to persuade the swing voters that the Democrats are sufficiently better on a lot of issues.

Reading these threads would give one the idea that the majority of Democrats and liberals hate the swing voters.

Posted by: contentious on January 19, 2006 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

Reading these threads would give one the idea that the majority of Democrats and liberals hate the swing voters.
Posted by: contentious

I'll bite ... if you're STILL a swing voter after these last 4 years, then you haven't been paying attention, and deserve whatever scorn you get. Ignorant, unonformed, and uninterested defines the american swing voter ... ironically, they're not interested enough to come to a site like this to hear this rant.

Posted by: Nads on January 20, 2006 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

contentious:

You know in a way, contentious, you're kind of right. It
isn't like having an irrational prejudice against a racial
or ethnic group, though. And it's certainly not amenable to
accusations of being MOL unconsciously envy-driven, like
hating rich people. I mean, let's look at what a swing voter
is, and why contempt for this creature -- especially every
four years -- isn't such an irrational thing after all.

A swing voter, first of all, is a self-selected group -- so
it's not like we're hating people who have no choice in being
who they are. I mean, is it wrong to hate someone who behaves
like an asshole? Every election there are a group of folks
who hem and haw and, no matter how important the election, just
can't seem to make up their gosh darned minds until the very
last minute. These aren't the disenfranchised. A swing voter,
by definition, is someone who votes regularly -- elsewise
the political parties wouldn't dedicate so much resources to
courting them. So they tend to be middle class and -- though
dismayed by politics -- they're not completely alienated
by it, either. They're law-abiding taxpayers just like us.

The urban legend about swing voters is that they represent the non-
ideological center. This is why the parties and pundits spend so
energy justifying why they should be courted. They're supposed to
be the sensible, the non-extremist, the pragmatic -- and ultimately,
the wiser of us. Our system is democratic -- set up deliberately
to file off the extremes and tamp down the narrowly self-interested
-- so these sorts of people should have pride of place, so we feel.

It's a pretty illusion -- but it winds up cracking every four
years when the swing voters, amid strenuous prompting by the
press and through focus groups, start opening their mouths.

Oh how often we have seen this. The Swing Voter in every
important election becomes a god or goddess among mere mortals.
They're courted, they're interviewed, they're paid lump
sums higher than their working wages to travel to convention
centers to spend the weekend eating Holiday Inn buffet food
with others of their ilk, while answering questions from Peter
Hart or Frank Luntz as a press gaggle of bigfoots gawks at
them from behind a one-way mirror like they were lab rats.

They learn that their indecision is a pearl beyond price. As
the election draws closer and the swing voters start breaking
to one side or the other, the ones who remain find their
indecision ever more valuable. The longer they remain on
the fence, the more the press revels in their inscrutability.
Their lack of analytical ability becomes a ticket to celebrity.

Is this principled centrism? One could argue that it's entirely
possible to be a principled centrist and have one's mind made
up early in the campaign. Or to be a centrist and vote with
one party or the other based on a thoroughgoing analysis of
all the issues rather than a knee-jerk loyalty reaction.

But a voter who's made up his or her mind isn't terribly interesting
in the horserace of a campaign. Those sorts of swing voters --
who may vote either way but who make up their minds early based on
thoughtfulness -- aren't interesting at all to pundits and parties.
The mythological beastie here is more properly defined as an undecided
voter who could break either way based on ... well ... what, exactly?

The stuff that crawls into Frank Luntz's microphone generally doesn't
speak highly of the Framers' intent. These people are -- let's be
honest here -- morons. They usually buy into the very worst negative
portrayals of both candidates. They start out dissing one candidate
in a way that would make their opponent's oppo researchers beam with
pride -- and then finish off by dissing the other in the same way.
They come off like the very worst kind of suddenly disillusioned
adolescent idealists. The have often a very unfocused picture of
their own interests as voters, but they *just can't believe* that
the candidates -- all of them -- could let them down so thouroughly.
They take it personally; it really does break their hearts. They
often have a radical-sounding broad-brush critique of politics as
a corrupt social system, and then finish off the point wondering
why these turkeys don't serve their own most parochial interests.

In short, these people don't have a cogent political analysis and
then become angry when politicians don't cater to them on hand
and foot because they supposedly cater to everybody else that way.

And we're supposed to let these dumb-ass
whiny narcissists decide our elections?

In the immortal words of Frank Booth: Fuck that shit!

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 20, 2006 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

thouroughly = thoroughly

Posted by: rmck1 on January 20, 2006 at 3:42 AM | PERMALINK

when you're in Wal-Mart next time, ask that shopper next to you, "You know that's made in Communist China, don't you?"

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 19, 2006 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

Why would you be in a Wal-Mart if you are opposed to doing business with Wal-Mart?

-----------

to be primarily populated with female sex workers and their male clients.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

That's wrong too but if we banned infidelity - it would be tough to enforce.

-------------------

McAnustotle: Too much change too fast. . . . I can't believe radical experimentation is worth it.

Funny. You don't seem to feel that way about democracy in the Middle East by gunpoint."

What's there to lose? Whereas the normal family structure isn't digging mass graves to my knowledge.

-----------------

Sadly, there are many parts of the country where appealing to racist sentiments not only won't hurt you in politics, it's practically a prerequisite for gaining office.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Well, if a state is 50% against intermixing, that's democracy for you. Was it just the Whites against it or everybody?

And if so, what happened if you were in the neither White or Black group? Would a Tibetian have to fine another Tibetian.

Intermixing is way more common in world history than gay marriage - so I think it seems to be a pretty stupid belief. Besides, there's plenty of mixing in the Bible.

Moses wife wan't Hebrew.


Posted by: McA on January 20, 2006 at 6:10 AM | PERMALINK

McAristotle:

There's plenty of unmitigated older male lust for young boys in ancient Greek culture.

Why just ask Socrates -- and read The Symposium.

And since you so slavishly admire Western culture and would like to see its values imported into every nook and cranny of the developing world (the next best thing, since you'll never be white and all) -- you might want to meditate a bit on the cradle of that civilization.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 20, 2006 at 6:24 AM | PERMALINK

You simply have no idea what you are talking about.

Actually I do as do a large number of others who've written on this. None of the factors you cite fully explain the 7% drop on 05 from 04 especially in light of the fact well made entertaining fare such as Harry Potter, Naria, King Kong, Star Wars, Walk the Line, Million Dollar Hero, etc, still do very well.

When a George Clooney or a Sean Penn take to insulting a large part of their audience it obviously can only have a negative impact. The vast majority go to the movies to get away from politics not to listen to some hollywood clown shove their nonsense down our throats.

Look at Munich. The critics are calling this one of Speilbergs best efforts, a masterpiece. You couldn't pay me to watch it. It's off the top 10 list after 2 weeks and it's gone from my neighborhood multiplex(8). It's still in a 16 screen multiplex further away but only 2 showings. It will be gone next week.

Speilberg is a great director while Clooney and Penn are terrific actors. 7% in one year is a very sharp drop. These folks are so wealthy the business has become a toy. Their egos are so large they actually think we care to hear them pontificate. That's nonsense. They're actors. They live in and create fantasy worlds. Their life is pretending to be someone else. They are the last group of people I'd listen to.

George and Sean and Steven have every right to make their messge movies. Americans have every right to shrug their sholders and say, "What assh*les". Clearly that's happening.

Posted by: rdw on January 20, 2006 at 8:00 AM | PERMALINK

neo,

I didn't see the movie but I didn't read or hear of any agenda. The movies I am talking are the ones that are 'all' agenda. Syrianna was made to show us 'Big Oil = Evil'. Good Night and Good Bye was made to remind us of Joe McCarthy, the evil of Republicans, and restore the MSM, especially the networks. That's why it was made.

Liberals want to use the story of Joe McCarthy now as an example of a republican govt out of control. That's a problem since the story of Joe is over 50 years old and so few remember him or know of him. Worse yet, we've since found out his basic premise of communist infiltration was quite correct. Alger Hiss WAS a spy and the Rosenbergs WERE guilty. Clooney wanted to restore McCarthy as a useful strawman.

He also wanted to restore the MSM. Dan Rather was a disaster for the networks and Uncle Walter have become eccentric. Peter and Tom are gone and the networks have a fraction of their former infleunce. George wanted to remind us of what once was and in his mind can still be. It's along the lines of an aging star athlete looking at old game films remmebering what once was and will never again be.

What George learned, or should have learned, is his great wealth will allow him his ego but not provide influence. Last I saw was sales were near $30M which means roughly 3M saw it or 3% of the voters. That would be 3M lefties. George spent his time and wealth singing to his choir.

He may have changed a few minds. I doubt it.

Posted by: rdw on January 20, 2006 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

cmdicely, neo,

About Clooney's efforts and liberal misery in general about control of the nws


THE NEW DARK AGES [Byron York]

You might think that we are living in an age in which, more than ever before, ordinary Americans have extraordinary access to information. Say you live in Missoula, Montana and want to read the New York Times each morning -- the same morning it's published. No problem. Same with the Washington Post or almost any other paper. Or say you want to read the entire text of Al Gore's speech at Constitution Hall -- or watch it on video whenever you choose. No problem. Maybe you want to read In re: Sealed Case. Or the Barrett Report. Again, no problem. On television, you can watch the old network newscasts, surf between the three cable news networks, or watch events like the Alito hearings in their entirety on C-SPAN.

Given all that, you might think that, at least as far as news is concerned, we live in a completely different world from the days in which Americans' access to information was severely limited -- a 15-minute network newscast, big newspapers, for those who did not live in New York or Washington, available by mail days or weeks after publication, primary resources nearly impossible to get. The bad old days of one-network (CBS) or one-newspaper (NYT) domination are over. You might think things are immeasurably better now.

But no. In the new issue of the New Yorker (printed on paper and sent to me by mail, no less), Nicholas Lemann, a fine writer who is now dean of the Columbia University School of Journalism, writes about Edward R. Murrow and the journalistic world of the 1950s. Discussing the movie "Good Night, and Good Luck" and a book by former NPR anchor Bob Edwards, "Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism," Lemann writes:

Both Edwards's book, explicitly, and "Good Night, and Good Luck," obliquely, make it clear why this is a Murrow season. It looks as if, once again, right-wing politicians are trampling on civil liberties in the name of protecting the country from a terrifying global threat. Commercialism and superficiality seem regnant in broadcast news. Owners avoid controversy, cut budgets, and focus on producing the profits that Wall Street demands -- we're back in the fifties.

Much of the article is devoted to a call for government re-regulation of broadcasting, particularly a restoration of the Fairness Doctrine. That has, of course, been a goal of some liberals since the emergence of Rush Limbaugh. But even a new Fairness Doctrine wouldn't bring back the mythical Days of Murrow; the doctrine depended on the government's legal authority to regulate over-the-air broadcasting, which at one time was the whole ball game but is now just one of the ways we get our news (and in the case of network television, a steadily-declining way). The fifties are long, long gone.


Posted by: rdw on January 20, 2006 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK
手机铃声免费手机铃声下载三星手机铃声下载手机自编铃声MP3手机铃声移动手机铃声下载联通手机铃声免费铃声下载和弦铃声三星铃声诺基亚铃声下载NOKIA铃声下载小灵通铃声下载真人铃声MP3铃声下载自编铃声联通铃声下载TCL铃声飞利浦铃声特效铃声搞笑铃声MIDI铃声铃声图片MMF铃声下载手机图片三星手机手机报价诺基亚手机手机美容手机游戏彩屏手机手机大全手机论坛手机号码查询摩托罗拉手机飞利浦手机手机维修MP3手机免费手机点歌手机短信免费短信搞笑短信短信笑话祝福短信情人节短信手机彩信彩信图片免费彩信下载三星彩信联通彩信移动彩信手机彩铃免费彩铃下载移动彩铃联通彩铃12530彩铃小灵通彩铃 网络游戏免费游戏下载小游戏在线游戏游戏外挂游戏论坛游戏点卡联众游戏泡泡堂游戏游戏攻略FLASH游戏单机游戏下载美女美女图片美女写真美女论坛性感美女美女走光街头走光走光照片免费电影下载免费在线电影免费电影在线观看小电影免费成人电影免费激情电影电影论坛PP点点通电影下载BT电影下载免费三级电影爱情电影舒淇电影韩国电影周星驰电影流行音乐免费音乐下载音乐在线在线音乐古典音乐音乐试听MP3音乐MP3下载MP3播放器MP3随身听免费MP3歌曲下载QQ下载申请QQQQ幻想外挂QQ表情QQ挂机珊瑚虫QQQQ头像QQ游戏QQ空间代码QQ个性签名网络小说玄幻小说成人小说爱情小说小说下载金庸小说武侠小说聊天室语音聊天室列车时刻表

手机铃声免费手机铃声下载三星手机铃声下载手机自编铃声MP3手机铃声移动手机铃声下载联通手机铃声免费铃声下载和弦铃声三星铃声诺基亚铃声下载NOKIA铃声下载小灵通铃声下载真人铃声MP3铃声下载自编铃声联通铃声下载TCL铃声飞利浦铃声特效铃声搞笑铃声MIDI铃声铃声图片MMF铃声下载手机图片三星手机手机报价诺基亚手机手机美容手机游戏彩屏手机手机大全手机论坛手机号码查询摩托罗拉手机飞利浦手机手机维修MP3手机免费手机点歌手机短信免费短信搞笑短信短信笑话祝福短信情人节短信手机彩信彩信图片免费彩信下载三星彩信联通彩信移动彩信手机彩铃免费彩铃下载移动彩铃联通彩铃12530彩铃小灵通彩铃
网络游戏免费游戏下载小游戏在线游戏游戏外挂游戏论坛游戏点卡联众游戏泡泡堂游戏游戏攻略FLASH游戏单机游戏下载美女美女图片美女写真美女论坛性感美女美女走光街头走光走光照片免费电影下载免费在线电影免费电影在线观看小电影免费成人电影免费激情电影电影论坛PP点点通电影下载BT电影下载免费三级电影爱情电影舒淇电影韩国电影周星驰电影流行音乐免费音乐下载音乐在线在线音乐古典音乐音乐试听MP3音乐MP3下载MP3播放器MP3随身听免费MP3歌曲下载QQ下载申请QQQQ幻想外挂QQ表情QQ挂机珊瑚虫QQQQ头像QQ游戏QQ空间代码QQ个性签名网络小说玄幻小说成人小说爱情小说小说下载金庸小说武侠小说聊天室语音聊天室列车时刻表

手机铃声免费手机铃声下载三星手机铃声下载手机自编铃声MP3手机铃声移动手机铃声下载联通手机铃声免费铃声下载和弦铃声三星铃声诺基亚铃声下载NOKIA铃声下载小灵通铃声下载真人铃声MP3铃声下载自编铃声联通铃声下载TCL铃声飞利浦铃声特效铃声搞笑铃声MIDI铃声铃声图片MMF铃声下载手机图片三星手机手机报价诺基亚手机手机美容手机游戏彩屏手机手机大全手机论坛手机号码查询摩托罗拉手机飞利浦手机手机维修MP3手机免费手机点歌手机短信免费短信搞笑短信短信笑话祝福短信情人节短信手机彩信彩信图片免费彩信下载三星彩信联通彩信移动彩信手机彩铃免费彩铃下载移动彩铃联通彩铃12530彩铃小灵通彩铃
网络游戏免费游戏下载小游戏在线游戏游戏外挂游戏论坛游戏点卡联众游戏泡泡堂游戏游戏攻略FLASH游戏单机游戏下载美女美女图片美女写真美女论坛性感美女美女走光街头走光走光照片免费电影下载免费在线电影免费电影在线观看小电影免费成人电影免费激情电影电影论坛PP点点通电影下载BT电影下载免费三级电影爱情电影舒淇电影韩国电影周星驰电影流行音乐免费音乐下载音乐在线在线音乐古典音乐音乐试听MP3音乐MP3下载MP3播放器MP3随身听免费MP3歌曲下载QQ下载申请QQQQ幻想外挂QQ表情QQ挂机珊瑚虫QQQQ头像QQ游戏QQ空间代码QQ个性签名网络小说玄幻小说成人小说爱情小说小说下载金庸小说武侠小说聊天室语音聊天室列车时刻表

Posted by: 免费电影 on January 20, 2006 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

I didn't see the movie but I didn't read or hear of any agenda.

And that's the extent of rdw's knowledge base--because, after all. Only elitists read books and watch movies.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 20, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK
None of the factors you cite fully explain the 7% drop on 05 from 04 especially in light of the fact well made entertaining fare such as Harry Potter, Naria, King Kong, Star Wars, Walk the Line, Million Dollar Hero, etc, still do very well.

I'm not sure why Narnia isn't considered an "agenda film", since it has a clear agenda, but...

Anyway, one factor in the 04 to 05 drop may be that there wasn't any repeat of the runaway success of Fahrenheit 9/11 (a clear "agenda film" in your categorization), which, looking at ratio of box office gross to cost of production, dwarfs any of your examples.

Heck, in its US opening weekend it did better by that standard than Star Wars Episode III did in the US in the entire time for which information is available on IMDb.com (22 May to 16 October 2005). Certainly, grossing almost 4 times its production cost in the US opening beats "King Kong" (which you claim as an example of a movie that does very well), whose US box-office gross is still less than its production cost. And finding any movie, "agenda film" or not, that rakes in a US box office gross near twenty times its production cost is difficult. Heck, more recently, Narnia took four weeks to exceed its production costs in US box office, Good Night and Good Luck five.

The most successful "entertainment" films are no better returns on investment than the most succesful "agenda" films, and most films in either category are, well, nowhere near those results.

Look at Munich. The critics are calling this one of Speilbergs best efforts, a masterpiece. You couldn't pay me to watch it. It's off the top 10 list after 2 weeks and it's gone from my neighborhood multiplex(8). It's still in a 16 screen multiplex further away but only 2 showings. It will be gone next week.

So? Munich is, perhaps, an unsuccesful film. I could find a entertainment films that opened the same weekend that performed similarly (Rumor Has It..., for one.) Was more spent on it than it is likely to recover? Perhaps, but in the end it'll be less of a debacle, I bet, than Waterworld.

Some "agenda" films fail. Some "entertainment" films fail. Some "agenda" films are successes. So are some "entertainment" films -- even ones with less-traditional content, like "Brokeback Mountain", which certainly has, so far, made those who invested money in it a lot happier than those who put money into your so-called success of "King Kong".

Speilberg is a great director while Clooney and Penn are terrific actors.

Speilberg is a hot-and-cold producer/director -- he's made great films, both that you would probably call "agenda" films, and the whole range of traditional entertainment, and made bombs in each of those categories as well -- and Clooney, from everything I've seen him in (including Good Night and Good Luck), isn't even an unusually good actor (though, from GN/GL I think he's probably a good director: he's also a hot-and-cold producer, whether it comes to entertainment or agenda films.)

Posted by: cmdicely on January 20, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,


2005 was down 6.2% from 2004 and the worse year since 2001. In 04 The Passion was 3rd with $370M and Farenheit 17th at $119M just behind Van Helsing.

An equally good agenda film of 2004 was the Passion of Christ. Both it and Fahrenheit were rather unique in a number of ways including the fact they were addressing a specific audience at a specifc time. Moore timed his film brilliantly to take advantage of liberal angst over the re-election of GWB. It's made Michael an exceedingly wealthy man but provided him little influence. Many think it cost Kerry the election because the propaghanda was so over the top and so comically false. Many think it cost Daschle his Senate seat because Thune used the photo's of Tommy attending the D.C premiere to smear him.

The problem in 2005 is none of these agenda films were appealing except to the very far left. They had an extremely narrow base and zero influence. I'd argue that in the cases of GoodNight and Munich they had a 'negative' influence.

Munich had wide coverage in the press and it reminded us of several things:

1) Palestinians butchered innocent jewish olympic athletes
2) The Germans were so inept at every stage as to be complicit and to remind us they cannot be trusted
3) The Israeli's hunted down each butcher and brought them justice
4) Liberals think the Israeli's are just as guilty as the terrorists. An obscene example of moral equivalence

I only saw one of the trailers of the film showing Golda Meir suggesting Israel was about to compromise it's values. I found that to be insultingly silly. Golda knew exactly what had to be done in order to maintain their values. Israel exists to protect Jews.

Goodnight was less insulting and even less influential. Again the negative publicity may have outweighted the positive. George had no shot of reviving network news. Not post Dan Rather. Todays news anchor's are wealthy divas. Katie Couric a few months back joked about taking a loan out to buy gasoline. Princess only make $15M a year. Liberals still suffer the communist blacklist as if there were no communists. But this reminded everyone Alger Hiss WAS guilty, the Rosenbergs WERE guilty and Hollywood WAs rift with Communists. Useless Idiots for sure but they were commies.

McCarthy is not the same ogre either. He was only a Senator and a bad alcoholic at that. IN 2005 he's not a scary character and newtwork talking heads are the super wealthy. Serious journalists they're not.

Posted by: rdw on January 20, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

you'll enjoy this.

CANADIAN FAHRENHEIT
Michael Moore weighs in on the upcoming Canadian elections, in which conservatives appear poised to do well: "Oh, Canada -- you're not really going to elect a Conservative majority on Monday, are you? That's a joke, right? ... Do you want to help George Bush by turning Canada into his latest conquest?"

Posted by: rdw on January 20, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

> Liberals want to use the story of Joe McCarthy now as
> an example of a republican govt out of control. That's
> a problem since the story of Joe is over 50 years
> old and so few remember him or know of him.

You are such a simpering lowbrow boob, Wooten. This is like saying
that there's a "problem" with new movies about WW2 since it happened
over 60 years ago and most of the vets of that era are now dead.

> Worse yet, we've since found out his basic premise
> of communist infiltration was quite correct.

But better yet for revisionist assholes like you (and Coulter),
because you think the McCarthy era being over 50 years old
allows you to brazenly lie about the past and get away with it.

There was no "vast Communist conspiracy" in Amerca by 1950.

> Alger Hiss WAS a spy and the Rosenbergs WERE guilty.
> Clooney wanted to restore McCarthy as a useful strawman.

Let's assume for a moment that Hiss and the Rosenbergs were guilty;
many people still have their doubts, but I'll entertain you with it.

McCarthy had nothing to do with either case. He uncovered not a
single Communist spy and wrecked the careers of scores of loyal
civil servants. You are so impervious to the truth that you think
because there were exactly three espionage convictions in that
entire Red scare that this somehow historically justifies the rest.

You have the morality of a Maoist, Wooten.

McCarthy also died of full-blown cirrhosis of the liver in his
early 40s after being censured by the full Senate and was allowed
to be politically destroyed by his own Republican president.

"Oh, but that was 50 years ago and people don't remember it
so it doesn't matter -- they'll believe Ann Coulter instead."

You are such a piece of steaming filth.

And let's take your idiot assertions about Clooney's film. Do you
think he expected a blockbuster? Do you think Mel Gibson expected
Hindus, Muslims and atheists to flock to see The Passion of the
Christ? You realize, I hope, that the sales figures of that alleged
blockbuster were vastly inflated relative to who actually saw the
film by churches buying up blocks of tickets and boxes of unseen DVDs.

The entire non-fanatic Christian world was repulsed by that
movie. A critic called it "a sacred snuff film." But plenty of
Christian wingnuts saw it and reveled in all the blood and gore.

One could argue, in fact, that Gibson's purpose in making an
"agenda film" is precisely what you allege Clooney's to be in
making Good Night and Good Luck. And you can retort with the
same jejune idiocies: Oh, that historical period's long gone and
no one will be interested in a film with subtitles in Aramaic.
Oh, modern scholarship has cast doubt on the words attributed
to Jesus, as they were written down 60 years after he said them.

You trash Clooney for preaching to the choir. Did Mel Gibson
win many converts to "traditional Catholicism"? Some could
argue (many have) that the film's obsessive, pornographic focus
on the cruelties of the flesh promotes a callousness to human
suffering that's deeply un-Christian, and that its barely-concealed
anti-semitic subtexts work to unravel an entente with the Jewish
religion that Pope John Paul II broke new ground in establishing.

Bottom line, I haven't heard of a single person who raved about
that film who wasn't predisposed to get its message to begin
with -- which hardly includes all Christians, but only those
with hard-assed views of Biblical revenge and rotten human nature.

So your point about Clooney making a film aimed
at American liberals was *what*, exactly?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 20, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK
The entire non-fanatic Christian world was repulsed by that movie.

That's not entirely true; I know a number of non-fanatic, politically liberal Catholics who liked it, or at least didn't hate it (my wife among them.)

But then, to Catholics, introspective reflection on the Passion, including, especially, its sheer brutality, isn't much of a novelty, and liberal Catholics, especiallym, are likely already mentally set-up to interpret such works in a frame of personal responsibility for sin ad need for repentance, rather than the kind of constructions -- particularly the anti-Semitic ones -- that others put on the film.

Bottom line, I haven't heard of a single person who raved about that film who wasn't predisposed to get its message to begin with -- which hardly includes all Christians, but only those with hard-assed views of Biblical revenge and rotten human nature.

I rather think that what "message" people see in the film is heavily colored by what message they see in Christianity, to start with, and their preconceptions (or lack thereof) approaching the film (particularly concerning the public controversy around it, and about Gibson and his family.)

Posted by: cmdicely on January 20, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

I rather think that what "message" people see in the film is heavily colored by what message they see in Christianity, to start with, and their preconceptions (or lack thereof) approaching the film (particularly concerning the public controversy around it, and about Gibson and his family.)

We don't agree often but you nailed it. I myself didn't see the film because of it's brutality. I think your comments cover Farenheit just as well.

Posted by: rdw on January 20, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

You trash Clooney for preaching to the choir

So your point about Clooney making a film aimed at American liberals was *what*, exactly?

I did not trash George for speaking to the choir and there's absolutely nothing wrong with making films for liberals or anyone else. He's a wealthy man. He can make whatever film he desires and God bless him for it. He may be overpaid but he sure didn't rob or steal form anyone. It's his money and his time.

I'm trashing George for thinking he's actually influential. It's shallow propaganda. People smell that crap a mile away. And he was much saner than Speilberg. I think for a film to be truly influential it has to be based on a good story that has to be well told. The message has to be subtle and it has be to be meaningful. Syrianna was about the evil of Big Oil. Are you kidding me?

My guess is Speilberg could have told a great story about Munich and still have gotten a favorable message in regarding the Palestinians. The movie was pure nonsense. I agree with Cmdicely Stevens message is very mixed. He needs an independent producer and good writing.

Posted by: rdw on January 20, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

But better yet for revisionist assholes like you (and Coulter), because you think the McCarthy era being over 50 years old allows you to brazenly lie about the past and get away with it.

There was no "vast Communist conspiracy" in Amerca by 1950

There was never a 'vast' conspiracy but there have always been communist spies here and it's estimated their work advanced Russian nuclear arms by a decade.

The reason why Tailgunner Joe is no longer effective as the evil image you wish him to be is because he was such a loser and not specially effective. The people who were smeared as communists were in fact communists and people understand today just how evil communism and socialism were. Joe was a guy doing on right path but who let his demons control him. He should have paid a steep price and he did.

That's why no one cares about this 50-yr Old soap opera. It's just not a compelling story.

In my mind if you want to issue a warning about Power gone bad use J. Edgar Hoover. That prick was the worst thing that happened in government the last 50 years.

BTW: Clooney made a different mistake with his 2nd message. That the MSM is a force for good in the world. Post Dan Rather that's not believable. We now know too much about those anchors and what we see are vastly overpaid divas. They are not attractive people.

Posted by: rdw on January 20, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Do you think he expected a blockbuster?

No. But I do think he expected much bigger numbers for each, especially Syrianna. They invested a lot of time and money in the rollout for each.

Do you think Mel Gibson expected Hindus, Muslims and atheists to flock to see The Passion of the Christ?

No. I don't think he made it for them nor do I think he was trying to convert anyone.

You realize, I hope, that the sales figures of that alleged blockbuster were vastly inflated relative to who actually saw the film by churches buying up blocks of tickets and boxes of unseen DVDs.

This is nonsense. The seats were filled.

One could argue, in fact, that Gibson's purpose in making an "agenda film" is precisely what you allege Clooney's to be in making Good Night and Good Luck. And you can retort with the same jejune idiocies: Oh, that historical period's long gone and no one will be interested in a film with subtitles in Aramaic. Oh, modern scholarship has cast doubt on the words attributed to Jesus, as they were written down 60 years after he said them.

The difference between George and Mel is politics versus religion. George is trying to have political influence. Mel wanted to tell a religous story Hollywood could not and would not make due to political correctness. He told the story he wanted to tell, that he believes in and he used his own money. If some scholars disagree they can make their own movie. The oly real point I remember Mel really wanted to make was that a religious movie would sell. Obviously he nailed that one. I think he made over $200M.

I don't make any of the points you make because I'm not especially interested in religious films and we now know your points are nonsense.

Posted by: rdw on January 20, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

> "The entire non-fanatic Christian world was repulsed by that movie."

> That's not entirely true; I know a number of non-fanatic,
> politically liberal Catholics who liked it, or at least
> didn't hate it (my wife among them.)

Really? I'm extremely surprised. A couple observations: First,
that hardly qualifies as a ringing endorsement; it sounds, rather,
like what people say about Bush after a debate. Woah, he didn't
drool on himself and grotesquely mangle his syntax. The ol' "soft
bigotry of low expectations," doubtless preconditioned by all the
intense pre-release press: the war with Frank Rich, the anti-semitic
bile from Gibson's dad, etc. -- stuff that liberals would doubtless
have heard. So they see the movie and go "well sheesh, at least
it stuck to the story. I didn't think it was *that* bad ... "

In other words, it sounds more like your liberal Catholic friends
were measuring the film against their expectations rather than
reacting to it as a self-contained cinematic experience.

I have a cohort of friends I met on the net, much younger than
me, who grew up adoring slasher movies and Faces of Death. They
went to see the movie and almost walked out. Not because they
were shocked; more like bored to tears. After you've flogged
someone to near-collapse, what do you do for an encore? Well,
there's *lots* more where that came from, torture fans ...

> But then, to Catholics, introspective reflection on the
> Passion, including, especially, its sheer brutality, isn't
> much of a novelty, and liberal Catholics, especiallym, are
> likely already mentally set-up to interpret such works in a
> frame of personal responsibility for sin ad need for repentance,
> rather than the kind of constructions -- particularly
> the anti-Semitic ones -- that others put on the film.

I'd question this on several levels. First of all, the film's
anti-semitism was hardly a "construction" appliqued by critics.
One of my friends who saw the film is Jewish and he busted out
laughing in the theater the stereotypes were so troweled-on.

Secondly, Gibson doesn't follow the Pope. "Traditional Catholicism"
explicitly rejects Vatican II, and one of its liberalizing messages
was to remove the pseudo-Calvinist (Augustinian) focus on the
depravity of man. Gibson restores it by portraying the Resurrection
an anticlimactic afterthought when it's the central message of the
whole story. It's impossible to imagine the liberal Catholics I know
not being dismayed (and they were) by the lack of forgiveness and
reconciling with humanity depicted in that film. Its message is
entirely *anti*-liberal, an intended antidote to sappy liberalism
by reminding its audience in no uncertain terms just how fucked
up nearly everybody was in that story save for Jesus Christ.

> "Bottom line, I haven't heard of a single person who raved about
> that film who wasn't predisposed to get its message to begin
> with -- which hardly includes all Christians, but only those
> with hard-assed views of Biblical revenge and rotten human nature."

> I rather think that what "message" people see in the film
> is heavily colored by what message they see in Christianity,
> to start with, and their preconceptions (or lack thereof)
> approaching the film (particularly concerning the public
> controversy around it, and about Gibson and his family.)

Well, but this is only a truism, doubly true, of course, for anything
that might be considered an "agenda film." Certainly we all bring
our preconceptions to a movie if we're already familiar with the
story, not to mention the press that swirls around it beforehand.

The reason I brought the film up, though, was to point out to
Wooten how silly it is to attack GN/GL for "preaching to the
choir" with a liberal film guaranteed by its historical subject
matter not to have boffo box office. My first point was that
Passion's box office was grotesquely overinflated by bulk ticket
and DVD buying. But secondly (and more importantly), does this
movie work, in one of Wooten's favorite phrases, as a teaching tool?

I would argue that Passion is every bit as wistfully
counterproductive, as much a product of a narrow
ideological bubble, as Wooten claims GN/GL is -- and with
much graver consequences for Gibson than Clooney, because
arguably Gibson's message is more transcendent and universal.

Does Passion draw people into the Christian faith? I've seen no
evidence for it. The kind of moviegoing reflexes you need to sit
through it are honed by decidely secular (and often nihilistic)
gore fests. You sort of need to be jaded first by the ear scene in
Reservoir Dogs to sit through all that relentless physical sadism.

Ah, but the more Jesus suffers, the more glorious his Ressurection.
Okay ... so then we sit there, rooting to witness ever-more-debased
acts of cruelty. Then Jesus comes back from the dead and it's like
Oh hi, Jesus ... there you are. Glad to see you've gotten better.

As for meditating on redemption, well sure. But the Augustinian
messsage of the total depravity of man (Original Sin, a doctrine he
invented) is more appropriate in an age when the Church was allied
with secular power. John Paul II spent much of his papacy challenging
secular power, and while Liberation Theology was ruled unorthodox,
certainly JP II carried a message of forgiveness by a Loving Father.

Gibson's message is decidedly non-mainstream and at odds with the
universalizing message of the recent pope. One could argue, in fact,
that the reason the Pentecostals and other Protestant denominations
are having such recent success evangelizing in Latin America is
that they stress forgiveness and being saved from the bondage of
sin in a more uplifting way than the Roman church and doubly so
for Gibson's guilt and Fall-obsessed Traditional Catholicism.

In Wooten's terms, this is a much graver failure for Gibson
than George Clooney speaking on behalf of a baby boomer
audience nostalgic for the days of a robust MSM.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 20, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Good shooting, Bob and cmdicely.

Sadly, the arcade duck that is rdw keeps popping up for another go. Shoot him and knock him down, he just pops up and the game starts all over again.

He may be a dumbass, but boy is he doing a great job of spreading the Republican agenda.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 20, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

The reason I brought the film up, though, was to point out to Wooten how silly it is to attack GN/GL for "preaching to the choir" with a liberal film guaranteed by its historical subject
matter not to have boffo box office. My first point was that Passion's box office was grotesquely overinflated by bulk ticket
and DVD buying.

Nonsense!


But secondly (and more importantly), does this movie work, in one of Wooten's favorite phrases, as a teaching tool?

You have a strawman here. I never suggested it did.


I would argue that Passion is every bit as wistfully counterproductive, as much a product of a narrow ideological bubble, as Wooten claims GN/GL is -- and with much graver consequences for Gibson than Clooney, because arguably Gibson's message is more transcendent and universal

I don't think it was counterproductive or productive. I don't think there were any grave or even negative consequences especially since he pocketed over $150M. He had an itch and he scratched it. Besides becoming obscenely wealthy he shoved it up Hollywoods ass in making a movie they did not want shown. His point, as I understood it, was merely to make sure the movie was seen.

Clooney absolutely wanted box office success but it had nothing to do with money. He wanted influence. You can't influence people if they don't see your movie. You can't change minds if the people who do see your movie already agree with you.

Posted by: rdw on January 20, 2006 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

> I'm trashing George for thinking he's actually influential.
> It's shallow propaganda. People smell that crap a mile away.

Hmmm, surely you think that Farenheit 9/11 was "shallow propaganda"
and yet it murdered at the box office, so this reasoning doesn't wash.

> And he was much saner than Speilberg. I think for a
> film to be truly influential it has to be based on a
> good story that has to be well told. The message has
> to be subtle and it has be to be meaningful.

No, the message can be as transparent as you please and subtlety has
little to do with box office success. These are the sorts of factors
that win critical acclaim or allow the movie to grow into a classic
years later. Farenheit 9/11 wasn't a good film by the standards of
Roger & Me or Bowling For Columbine (a shrewdly-wrought meditation on
what makes America America). It was agitprop. But it was certainly
influential and helped awaken the growing opposition to the war.

> Syrianna was about the evil of Big Oil. Are you kidding me?

Everything I've read about the film makes it sound like its box
office problems had to do with an exceedingly complex plot with
a bazillion characters and slow-moving action. It never sounded
to me like it would make any money. Network was an agitprop movie
about the valueless evil in multinational corporations (including
the ones that own and control TV news) that was years ahead of
its time. It made a killing at the box office but is virtually
unwatchable today because of its comicbook portrayal of business.

Syrianna sounds to me it'll have a good run in DVD. One of those
movies that turns out to improve with age and historical distance.

> "There was no "vast Communist conspiracy" in Amerca by 1950"

> There was never a 'vast' conspiracy but there
> have always been communist spies here

Exactly three, Wooten. "There have always been
communist spies" is flat-out revisionist bullshit.

> and it's estimated their work advanced
> Russian nuclear arms by a decade.

"It's estimated." By whom? In any case, that was the work of
exactly one espionage ring that was in operation during WW2.

> The reason why Tailgunner Joe is no longer effective
> as the evil image you wish him to be is because he
> was such a loser and not specially effective.

Oh bullshit, Wooten. You can't have it both ways here. You can't say
on the one hand that the Red Menace was real and on the other that its
chief public crusader was an ineffective loser. McCarthy was highly
effective at trashing the reputations of scores of innocent people.

> The people who were smeared as communists were in fact communists

BULLSHIT, YOU LYING SONOFABITCH. The entire point was that they
WEREN'T Communists, they were "fellow travellers." They were "pink."
They were people who signed petitions for Communist front groups
during the 30s when it was respectable in America to be a hard
leftist and had no idea that those groups were Communist fronts.

By the 50s, the American Communist Party was tiny, marginalized
and relentlessly harrassed and its members persecuted by the
Truman Administration and J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. It had virtually
no influence; its membership and respectability started tanking
in the 30s with the Moscow purge trials. When Khruschev opened
the Stalin files, its intellectual respectability became nil.

McCarthy COULDN'T FIND ANY GENUINE COMMIES. The entire point of his
endless series of hearings was to argue the case that the Commies had
all gone underground and were operating out of "liberal front groups."

Which turned out to be unmitigated, unproven BULLSHIT.

> and people understand today just how
> evil communism and socialism were.

You lying fuckbag. MEDICARE, MEDICAID AND SOCIAL SECURITY ARE
"SOCIALIST" PROGRAMS and very popular, too. Communism, as in a
front-group political party radio-controlled out of the Kremlin
and bent on the destruction of the US government by internal
subversion is a fucking MYTH. Whatever espionage happened in
America surely wasn't coordinated by the kind of people who made
up the American Communist Party. And if you think about it, it's
doubtful Moscow would be stupid enough to attempt such a thing.

> Joe was a guy doing on right path

He wasn't any any "right path." He smeared people by innuendo.
He lied about information he never had. He practiced guilt by
association. He falsified documents and photographs. If this
is your idea of a "right path," you surely have *no business*
attempting to criticize J. Edgar Hoover, whose excesses of paranoid
surveillance seem positively tame and rational in comparison.

This is precisely what bugs you about GN/GL, Wooten. THIS is where
the parallels lie with the Bush executive, where the cautionary
tale has resonance. This is the part that you need desperately
to falsify and minimize, to assert the contradiction that McCarthy
was an ineffective loser but he was still on the right path.
McCarthy's egregious methods aren't separable from the
path he was on, just like Bush's "sincerity" in the GWOT is
likewise meaningless if he winds up shredding the Constitution.

> but who let his demons control him. He
> should have paid a steep price and he did.

He certainly suffered for his sins.
The end of his life was quite grim.

> That's why no one cares about this 50-yr
> Old soap opera. It's just not a compelling story.

Bullshit, Wooten. It may not have the box office mojo you need to
excite today's increasingly debased and fragmented movie audience,
but it has all the elements of a classic story. All The King's Men,
Robert Penn Warren's novel about the rise and fall of Huey Long, is a
classic of American literature. The rise of and fall of a tragically
flawed character like McCarthy has timeless written all over it.

> In my mind if you want to issue a warning about Power gone
> bad use J. Edgar Hoover. That prick was the worst thing
> that happened in government the last 50 years.

Hoover was part of the problem to be sure, and no doubt a modern
filmmaker could have fun with all the rumors of his cross-dressing
and suchlike, but Hoover is still a less worthy candidate for the
kind of classic morality play you can make out of the career of
McCarthy. The FBI, after all, is still an important arm of law
enforcement despite the excesses of Hoover. McCarthy the drunk Irish
farmboy street brawler who just wanted to be loved by the people and
feared by the stripey-pants diplomats is a more interesting character.
Hoover in contrast looks like Frank Potter -- a bad guy worthy of
portrayal by a Lionel Barrymore but ultimately two-dimensional.

> BTW: Clooney made a different mistake with his 2nd
> message. That the MSM is a force for good in the
> world. Post Dan Rather that's not believable. We now
> know too much about those anchors and what we see are
> vastly overpaid divas. They are not attractive people.

Except that this isn't Clooney's message; this is tacked-on
right-wing bloviation from a blogosphere that never tires of
blowing its own horn and so is every bit as corrupt and preening
as the MSM. This is history, Wooten -- the context has changed,
well duh. To expect that Clooney had an agenda of burnishing the
reps of today's anchorcritters because he used a heroic portrayal
of Edward R. Murrow is just silliness. That *was* a different
age, though, and journalists were arguably more idealistic
and less profit-driven because the nature of network news was
entirely different in a world without cutthroat competition.

You know what's truly ironic about this bit of spin, Wooten?
The age of the blogosphere and competing 24/7 news outlets
has made network anchors and news departments that much worse.

That kind of relentless competition is precisely what turns
TV news into infotainment and anchors into vapid celebrities.

> "Do you think he expected a blockbuster?"

> No. But I do think he expected much bigger numbers
> for each, especially Syrianna. They invested a
> lot of time and money in the rollout for each.

Doesn't every producer expect bigger numbers than they get?

> "Do you think Mel Gibson expected Hindus, Muslims and
> atheists to flock to see The Passion of the Christ?"

> No. I don't think he made it for them nor
> do I think he was trying to convert anyone.

Well, that shows how little you know about Christianity. What do
you think, he was just telling some neat story from ancient history?
You think he added the subtitles in Aramaic so everybody could be
awestruck by his intellect? What -- this was like Cecil B. DeMille
doing Moses? That it was based on a speculative modern novel like
The Last Temptation of Christ? Mel Gibson broke his back to make the
movie as historically accurate as humanly possible. Why? Because
he believed he was telling the *true story of the Crucifixion.*

Why would he bother to do that if he wasn't attempting to spread
the word of Truth? Sure, he wasn't making a piece of Christian
*propaganda*, something sugar-coated to bring people in to the
theaters. But his intent was decidedly religious, not commercial.

> You realize, I hope, that the sales figures of that
> alleged blockbuster were vastly inflated relative
> to who actually saw the film by churches buying
> up blocks of tickets and boxes of unseen DVDs.

> This is nonsense. The seats were filled.

When? The first weekend? Didn't you follow the press? The
tremendous irony of that movie, Wooten, is that a goodly chunk
of its most enthusiastic audience -- Christian fundies who had
been moaning for years about gratuitous sex 'n' violence in movies
-- *couldn't sit through it*. It grossed them out! You didn't hear
much of this, of course, because the entire fundevangelist community
tried to present a united front to back the most accurate film ever
made about the Crucifixion. But the stories leaked out. All those
tickets the churches bought in advance? Well, the theaters were
sold out but they were about a third full. The churches felt they
owed this to Gibson for making the movie. But its reputation quietly
died among Christian moviegoers, who never, of course, protested.

They praised the movie to the skies. They bought the
tickets. They filled church basements with boxes of DVDs.
They just didn't bother, many of them, to sit through the movie.

> "One could argue, in fact, that Gibson's purpose in making an
> "agenda film" is precisely what you allege Clooney's to be in
> making Good Night and Good Luck. And you can retort with the
> same jejune idiocies: Oh, that historical period's long gone
> and no one will be interested in a film with subtitles in Aramaic.
> Oh, modern scholarship has cast doubt on the words attributed
> to Jesus, as they were written down 60 years after he said them."

> The difference between George and Mel is politics versus religion.

If you don't think the Passion is as much a political
statement as it is about religion, you haven't been
paying attention. It is a direct attack on the so-called
liberalism of the post-Vatican II Roman Catholic Church.

> George is trying to have political influence. Mel
> wanted to tell a religous story Hollywood could
> not and would not make due to political correctness.

The Nazis weren't politically correct either, Wooten. The movie was
*blatantly* anti-semitic, reviving the "blood libel" against the Jews
that John Paul II worked so hard to atone for. Of course Hollywood
wouldn't make that movie. If the Catholic Church had a filmmaking
arm, it wouldn't touch that script with a ten-foot pole, either. The
only people who were truly enthusiastic were fundamentalist Christians
whose pro-Israel sentiments barely paper over a deep anti-semitism.

> He told the story he wanted to tell, that
> he believes in and he used his own money.

He absolutely did and more power to him for it.

> If some scholars disagree they can make their own movie.
> The oly real point I remember Mel really wanted to make
> was that a religious movie would sell. Obviously he
> nailed that one. I think he made over $200M.

He prompted a lot of Christians to donate to the cause of
having that film made, yes. But if you know any Christians,
perform an experiment. Ask around. How many people do
you know who actually saw the movie? It's easier for me to
imagine the liberal Catholic friends of Chris Dicely seeing
the film. They, after all, as cultural liberals have more of
an affinity with cinematic gore shown with exquisite realism.

My stepmom's mother saw it and loved it. But she's the most
socially conservative person anybody in our family knows.

> I don't make any of the points you make because
> I'm not especially interested in religious films
> and we now know your points are nonsense.

Churches bought tickets in bulk. They bought DVDs in bulk.

Once the word got around about the gore and violence, how many
of their congregants do you think showed up to watch the movie?

Hey, you yourself said you'd never watch it for that reason, right?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 20, 2006 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm, surely you think that Farenheit 9/11 was "shallow propaganda" and yet it murdered at the box office, so this reasoning doesn't wash.


Moore's movie was pitiful. How effective was it? Ask John kerry! Better yet, ask Tom Daschle!

Posted by: rdw on January 20, 2006 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

No, the message can be as transparent as you please and subtlety has little to do with box office success

You miss my point completely. The subtlety is related to the strength of the message and amount of influence. A good story well told brings box office success. Clooney's lack of subtlety made for a weaker story, hindered his box office success and killed his chance of real influence. Had he focused more on the story telling instead of making his points he may have made a much better movie and more effective message.

Posted by: rdw on January 20, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

To expect that Clooney had an agenda of burnishing the reps of today's anchorcritters because he used a heroic portrayal of Edward R. Murrow is just silliness. That *was* a different age, though, and journalists were arguably more idealistic and less profit-driven because the nature of network news was entirely different in a world without cutthroat competition.

You are naive beyond belief. Clooney's father was/is in the business and he absolutely wants to rehabilitate the MSM. Also they were no less biased in 1950 than in 2005.

Posted by: rdw on January 20, 2006 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

> "Hmmm, surely you think that Farenheit 9/11 was
> "shallow propaganda" and yet it murdered at the
> box office, so this reasoning doesn't wash."

> Moore's movie was pitiful.

It blew the Passion out of the water box office-wise.

And people actually *sat through* that movie.

> How effective was it? Ask John kerry!
> Better yet, ask Tom Daschle!

That of course has nothing to do with the success of the movie.
You could argue (meaninglessly, of course) that without it to stir
up antiwar sentiment, the elections would have been less close.

The film was as subtle as a train wreck, shamelessly propagandistic
and won't stand the test of time, but it was a humongous blockbuster.

> You miss my point completely. The subtlety is related
> to the strength of the message and amount of influence.

No, it's not at all. Truly subtle films tend to woosh right over the
heads of moviegoers. My guess right now is that Syrianna's problem
was an excess of subtlety, not that it demonized the oil industry.

And, for that reason, it will look better in retrospect as
so many movies have that didn't do so well on first release.

Erin Brokovich and The China Syndrome were unsubtle condemnations
of corporate excess and yet they both did quite well as movies.

Big Business has always been a rather fail-safe Hollywood villian.

> A good story well told brings box office success.

Sure. Keep telling yourself that. Maybe you could whisper
it into the ears of a few dozen Hollywood executives and we'll
see less lame special effects thrillers, movie versions of
bad 70s TV shows and pointless sequels to mediocre originals.

A good story well told brings box office success.
A good story well told brings box office success.
A good story well told brings box office success.

A magic mantra, doubtless ...

> Clooney's lack of subtlety made for a weaker story, hindered
> his box office success and killed his chance of real influence.

I don't know if this is true; I'd have to see the movie.
And I plan to, because I find the McCarthy era fascinating.

> Had he focused more on the story telling
> instead of making his points he may have made
> a much better movie and more effective message.

Well it sounds to me from reviews like his focus was dead-on,
but the box-office problem had more to do with the fact of the
film's uncompromising approach to historical detail. Not the sort
of movie that holds your hand and explains everything three times.

Since I'm familiar with the history and outraged by
McCarthy, I'm sure I'll find it both moving and engrossing.

I am not, however, your garden-variety moviegoer.

> "To expect that Clooney had an agenda of burnishing the reps of
> today's anchorcritters because he used a heroic portrayal of
> Edward R. Murrow is just silliness. That *was* a different age,
> though, and journalists were arguably more idealistic and less
> profit-driven because the nature of network news was entirely
> different in a world without cutthroat competition."

> You are naive beyond belief.

It's called not being brainwashed, Wooten.

> Clooney's father was/is in the business and
> he absolutely wants to rehabilitate the MSM.

You read this on a winger blog somewhere and it becomes
gospel before you take half a second to examine it.
Helpful hint: IT CAN'T BE DONE. The toothpaste is
already out of the tube. A movie can't change the economic
and technological climate that has eroded the authority of
network news. Haven't you been quoting from editorials that
have said that very thing? This is an idiotic straw man.

Ooh ooh but it HAS TO BE TRUE because his old man is in the business!

Jesus, where are your *brains*, Wooten? Check the sidewalk ...

Seems to me that Clooney is indulging in the time-honored
practice of the historical homage, and there are a lot of boomers
out there who pine for the days of giants like Murrow and Friendly.

To imply that this would somehow cause a change in network news
is just laughable -- though it might cause a few bubbleheaded
bloggers to pause for a moment in their relentless demonization
campaign to remember how the news used to be, when the profit
motive didn't dumb everything down. Murrow's nightly broadcasts
might've only been 12 minutes but nobody called them infotainment.

Not you, of course. You're too far gone to pause for reflection.

> Also they were no less biased in 1950 than in 2005.

Since no competition existed, that statement is, of course,
meaningless. I tell you what, though. The cult of "objective
journalism" that arose after WW2 as a national press arose and
absorbed parochial-minded metropolitan dailies might have had its
problems -- but at least it still believed in the *idea* of truth.

The "fair and balanced" paradigm that's replacing it is a triumph
of the most grotesque kind of relativism (screamers on opposite
sides of an issue don't "balance" anything), and it's mind-boggling
that it's become a tool for relativism-despising conservatives.

Edward R. Murrow was a giant among journalists, Wooten.

Some people, of course, find it easier to preserve their own manifest
lack of responsibility by pretending that integrity never existed.

No small wonder why the right-wing blogosphere has
such a vested interest in rewriting that history.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 21, 2006 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

It blew the Passion out of the water box office-wise.

Not quite. #3 passion at $370M. #17 Farenheit at $117M


And people actually *sat through* that movie.

Urban Myth secularists need to believe. You accuse mel of making a movie antithical to Catholic teachings and then accuse the church of buying massive amounts of seat in order to make Mel a very wealthy man. Makes sense to me.

Posted by: rdw on January 21, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

You could argue (meaninglessly, of course) that without it to stir up antiwar sentiment, the elections would have been less close.

Add incorrectly to meaningless.

The film was as subtle as a train wreck, shamelessly propagandistic and won't stand the test of time, but it was a humongous blockbuster

#17 in annual sales don't quite qualify as a blockbuster let alone humongous. Think Van Helsing. It was 16th. Give Moore trememdous credit as the PT Barnum of our day. He probably made at least $75M.

As a political player he was a disaster. Liberal morons were embracing this sleezebag in the USA at the same time as he's touring Europe telling every audience, "Americans are the dumbest people on the planet". Allowing him to sit in Jimmy Carters box at the convention is considered one of the dumbest moves in campaign history right up there with Tom Daschle going to his DC premiere.

That image will never go away. It's a permanent stain. Fox news STILL gives Farenheit and Moore a lot of publicity as does Talk Radio and the conservative blogsphere. He's proof Liberal hate America. He's a far more valuable symbol to us.

Posted by: rdw on January 21, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Since no competition existed, that statement is, of course, meaningless.

This makes no sense. Because Fox was there to show the frauds they didn't happen? Yeah, right. The lack of competition suggets there was a ton more fraud and there was. Uncle Walter and the MSM is reviled for totally fraudalent reporting on the Tet offensive which was a decisive victory for US forces. History is recording that story far differently than Uncle Walt and conservatves are seeing to it.


I tell you what, though. The cult of "objective journalism" that arose after WW2 as a national press arose and absorbed parochial-minded metropolitan dailies might have had its problems -- but at least it still believed in the *idea* of truth.

The cult of 'objective jornalism' always was and always will be a fraud. It's simply not possible. It's certainly not possible to sell today. The daily charades of CNN, NTYs, Time Magazine, Newsweek are comical. They are the reason the blogs have so much to write about. EJ Dionne just wrote a piece on Alito in the Wash Post that has been savaged by lawyers with blogs. Not for his opinions but for gross distortions. 2x's as many people will read about his distortions than read the original article. If talk radio picks it up (doubtful, too boring) it wojuld be 25x's.

You share this childish naivete with Clooney. You want to remember the 'good ole' days' when we knew the truth. THEY NEVER EXISTED!!

Posted by: rdw on January 21, 2006 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

Haven't you been quoting from editorials that
have said that very thing? This is an idiotic straw man.

It's from the horses mouth. Even you agree all lib's like to reflect back on the days of Uncle Walt when it was so easy and we listened without qeustion. George has been quite clear on his motives.

Posted by: rdw on January 21, 2006 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

and there are a lot of boomers out there who pine for the days of giants like Murrow and Friendly.

That's nonsense. Murrow's fame relates primarly to WWII coverage years before the 1st boomers were born. He stopped broadcasting in 1960 and died in 1965. The very front edge of the boomers
just turned 14 the year he left CBS and 14-year olds don't watch National News, especially in the 50's when it was a 15 minute broadcast. I am 52 and have no recollection of Murrow.

I don't know of anyone who gives a crap about the news coverage of the 50's or under any illusions it was any more honest then.

This is why Clooney's box office was so tiny. DVD sales will suck too but he has a decent shot at doing better on cable.

Posted by: rdw on January 21, 2006 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

Edward R. Murrow was a giant among journalists, Wooten.

I agree. He is. That 0.0000003% of the population is already liberal. Greoge got nothing for his efforts. The Hollywood crowd adores him more than ever so he'll get his ass kissed. He was already getting his assed kissed.

Posted by: rdw on January 21, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Some people, of course, find it easier to preserve their own manifest lack of responsibility by pretending that integrity never existed.

No small wonder why the right-wing blogosphere has such a vested interest in rewriting that history.

Saw very little attacking the credibility of Murrow on this although he was very late to the game. The story was old and the real damage had already been done. McCarthy was already a beaten man. Murrow was shooting a duck in a barrel.

The history that's being rewritten had already been rewritten. Hollywood lefties, all lefties, love playing the victim game. How better than to refer back to the communist persecutions of 55 years ago. Except it's not useful and I think it's over. We knew years ago Hollywood WAS infested. The people accused WERE commies and while useless idiots rather than useful idiots they were still repulsive. No one gives a crap in 2005. There are no sympathetic characters from the ERA. ALL of the famous 'victims' have been proven to be quilty.

I don't think Hollywood has the influence to play the victim game anyone. They are pathetic people. Clooney is worth over $100M and lives half the year in a private villa in Italy which he travels to and fro in a private jet. He's going to lecture me in life's inequities? This is why libs are total frauds. Slick Willie flies up to Montreal not in just any private jet but a private 727 to lecture the world on pollution. Are you Nuts? Libs will adore him for it. Conservatives tell him to 'shut the f*ck up".

Posted by: rdw on January 21, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

The "fair and balanced" paradigm that's replacing it is a triumph of the most grotesque kind of relativism (screamers on opposite
sides of an issue don't "balance" anything), and it's mind-boggling that it's become a tool for relativism-despising conservatives

I don't do these shows. My favorite TV news is the last 1/2 hour of Fox. The 'best 2 minutes in news' is a priceless shewering of liberals from all walks of life. This is taken almost directly from the blogs. That's followed by a 20 minute round table that's the best in the news for political insight. I'll periodically catch Matthews but rarely for more than 10 minutes. I don't care for O'reilly or Hannity.

I think Cable TV is conservatives 3rd major media asset. Talk Radio and the Blogs kill liberalism. The blogs are so critical in providing the juice. Fox knew Bill Clinton traveled to Montreal in a huge private jet because a blogger was able to follow his travels using some FAA site. In fact Fox reported a few days later Clinton traveled to Paris to meet Chirac in a huge private jet. You can be sure every time Bill gets near the subject of pollution or energy consumption FOX will report it and report on Bills mode of travel.

I think Hannity started this and they all copy it. Patrick Kennedy and Arianna huffington have a passion for big SUVs and private jets and lecturing the great unwashed on wasting energy. Everytime some Hollywood fraud goes on one of thoee shows the 1st questions are, How did you get here? What do you drive? How big is your house? Do you fly in private jets. Quite obviously we often find out they're in no position to lecture anyone.

Posted by: rdw on January 21, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

You know, this thread is dead so it'd be an exercise in futility to rebut you point-by-point. But I can't avoid making a couple of observations.

First of all, you're an absolutely shameless historical revisionist. You take it as a matter of proven fact that the Vietnam War could have been won, and that journalism was somehow just as corrupt before the age of infotainment. And you call people "Communists" as if they were actually, you know, proven to be Communists.

Your disregard for a history that you should know better than I, being slightly older, is absolutely shameless. You remind me of a Holocaust revisionist: "Only about a million Jews died in the camps; the Jews hyped this up into 6 million to get support for Israel."

You really do remind of of exactly the sort of lower-middle-class person who allowed the Nazis to get into power. Not a hardcore party ideologue, just somebody who took what the party ideologues said as received wisdom because it made them feel better about themselves.

One of the great ironies of the Nazis is that they thought, following Hegel, that they were acting in the name of a higher truth latent in history. But in reality, they were shameless relativists; an even more influential philosopher for the Nazis was Nietsczhe, the theorist of the Ubermensch who was also the father of moral relativism.

You, like the Nazis, boil history down to losers and winners. Objective truth to you is meaningless. If it fits your narrative and makes your side look powerful, it's significant. If it doesn't, it's irrelevant. You have exactly zero place on which to stand to evaluate your interpretation of things outside of this larger ideological structure. Absolutely nothing is beneath you; the very notion of "lying" is meaningless to you, because it's not possible anymore to lie, as all things are just warring assertions. This is the meaning of "fair and balanced" journalism -- warring sides, the loudest of which wins. That which side gets to be the loudest is stage-managed escapes your attention.

You are the face of latent fascism in American, Wooten. A face that becomes more manifest every year.

And, to be perfectly honest, you terrify me.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 21, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

bob,

The fascist thing doesn't work. It's way too 20th Century. Comparing anyone in America to Nazis merely trivilizes Nazis. It has zero effect.

I know my histoy. I know, we all know, Alger Hiss was a spy. We know the Rosenbergs were guilty. We know the commmunist party was quite busy in Hollywood. We know Tailgun Joe was a harmless whackjob. We know liberals and the press love living in the past because the current ain't so hot.

Posted by: rdw on January 21, 2006 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK


web hosting web
hosting

web hosting
provider
web hosting provider

affordable
web hosting
affordable web hosting

cheap web hosting
cheap web hosting

business web
hosting
business web hosting

web hosting
company
web hosting company

ecommerce
web hosting
ecommerce web hosting

small business
web hosting
small business web hosting

web hosting
solution
web hosting solution

linux web hosting
linux web hosting

web design
and hosting
web design and hosting

best web hosting
best web hosting

web hosting
directory
web hosting directory

windows web
hosting
windows web hosting

business
web site hosting
business web site hosting

php web hosting
php web hosting

frontpage
web hosting
frontpage web hosting

web hosting
reviews
web hosting reviews

low cost web
hosting
low cost web hosting

web
site design and hosting
web site design and hosting

small
business web site hosting
small business web site hosting

professional
web hosting
professional web hosting

cheap
web hosting package
cheap web hosting package

web server hosting
web server hosting

personal web
hosting
personal web hosting

web hosting plan
web hosting plan

web hosting
web space
web hosting web space

small
business web hosting services
small business web hosting services

uk web hosting
uk web hosting

affordable
web hosting for small business
affordable web hosting for small business

discount web
hosting
discount web hosting

low
cost web hosting services
low cost web hosting services

web
hosting company for small business
web hosting company for small business

ecommerce
web site hosting
ecommerce web site hosting

domain name
web hosting
domain name web hosting

shared web hosting
shared web hosting

web site
hosting directory
web site hosting directory

budget web hosting
budget web hosting

e commerce
web hosting
e commerce web hosting

web hosting
package
web hosting package

web hosting
packages
web hosting packages

inexpensive
web hosting
inexpensive web hosting

unix web hosting
unix web hosting

dedicated
server web hosting
dedicated server web hosting

reliable web
hosting
reliable web hosting

web
hosting domain registration
web hosting domain registration

fast web hosting
fast web hosting

internet
web site hosting
internet web site hosting

small
business web hosting plan
small business web hosting plan

managed web
hosting
managed web hosting

cheapest web
hosting
cheapest web hosting

christian
web hosting
christian web hosting

company
web site hosting
company web site hosting

virtual web
hosting
virtual web hosting

web
hosting service provider
web hosting service provider

personal
web hosting services
personal web hosting services

best web site
hosting
best web site hosting

mysql web hosting
mysql web hosting

web site
hosting provider
web site hosting provider

ecommerce
hosting solution web
ecommerce hosting solution web

top web hosting
top web hosting

web hosting
comparison
web hosting comparison

commercial
web hosting
commercial web hosting

shared web
site hosting
shared web site hosting

web hosting
shopping cart
web hosting shopping cart

professional
web site hosting
professional web site hosting

professional
web hosting and ecommerce
professional web hosting and ecommerce

unlimited
web hosting
unlimited web hosting

business
ecommerce hosting solution web
business ecommerce hosting solution web

lowcost web
hosting
lowcost web hosting

free domain
web hosting
free domain web hosting

personal
web site hosting
personal web site hosting

ecommerce
web hosting and design services
ecommerce web hosting and design services

web space hosting
web space hosting

hosting
reviewed top web
hosting reviewed top web

Best web hosts information best web hosts information

Internet directories, online directories internet directories

and resources

Posted by: hosting on January 22, 2006 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly