Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 6, 2009

GEORGE WILL FOLLOWS THE RIGHT'S CHOSEN MEME.... Periodically, conservatives latch onto a new line of attack against President Obama. Apparently, the new one is "narcissism." Marty Peretz talked it up yesterday in a bizarre piece, and George Will endorsed the argument in his column today.

In the Niagara of words spoken and written about the Obamas' trip to Copenhagen, too few have been devoted to the words they spoke there. Their separate speeches to the International Olympic Committee were so dreadful, and in such a characteristic way, that they might be symptomatic of something that has serious implications for American governance.

Both Obamas gave heartfelt speeches about . . . themselves. Although the working of the committee's mind is murky, it could reasonably have rejected Chicago's bid for the 2016 Games on aesthetic grounds -- unless narcissism has suddenly become an Olympic sport. [...]

[S]ometimes the Olympic Games are a net subtraction from international comity. But Obama quickly returned to speaking about . . . himself.

Putting aside Will's fondness for dramatic ellipses, his criticism is simply detached from reality here.

The speeches are online, and reading them, it's tempting to wonder if Will even read the remarks before using them as the basis for a cheap column.

The president told the International Olympic Committee, for example, "I've come here today to urge you to choose Chicago for the same reason I chose Chicago nearly 25 years ago -- the reason I fell in love with the city I still call home." It was a springboard for the president to reflect, not on himself, but on his hometown -- the diversity of the city, the "rich tapestry of distinctive neighborhoods," Chicago's history of hosting major events, and its ability to be "a bustling metropolis with the warmth of a small town."

Obama referenced the celebration in Chicago on Election Night last year, but he specifically said, "Their interest wasn't about me as an individual."

Will specifically noted that the president used the personal pronouns "I" or "me" 26 times in 48 sentences. What Will did not note is that Obama used the word "we" 26 times, "us" six times, and "our" 12 times.

Will is complaining just for the sake of complaining, talking up "narcissism" because it's the new thing for conservative cool kids to do.

Steve Benen 8:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (114)

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Comments

Oh please, this is just "celebrity" redux. They shot themselves in the foot with the Chicago Olympics thing, their mud-bucket is a little low right now, this got some traction during the election, so what the heck? They sure as hell can't stop screaming about something, or the base (don't you love that term?) will turn on THEM.

If they didn't have scuh comfortable lives on the dime of the taxpayer, I might almost feel a little sorry for Republican politicians about now.

Posted by: bleh on October 6, 2009 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

The Obama's Pronoun Fiasco was gleefully addressed on Morning Joe today, with note of a headline "The Ego has Landed".

Clever.

Highschool snark is alive and thriving on cable TeeVee. . .

Posted by: DAY on October 6, 2009 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

This isn't new but a recycled meme from the right. They have yet to come up with anything they didn't use during the campaign with the possible exception that "Obama is trying to do too many things" which for obvious reasons was not used as a line of attack during the campaign.

Posted by: Napoleon on October 6, 2009 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

If I said it once I've said it a hundred times: George Will should stick to commenting only about baseball which is something he knows something about.

What is remarkable about his baseball writing is that he doesn't alter or manipulate the /factsstats.They are what they are. He honors them for heir exactness. Why then is he so fond of manipulating political facts? Face due. Nauseating...

Posted by: Stevio on October 6, 2009 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

Will's baseball knowledge is pretty questionable as well. It's just something he uses to try to project some semblance of "regularguyness".

A guy I know in sports broadcasting once mentioned a Cubs player George should know since it was a player from Will's youth.

He had no clue who the guy was.

Posted by: howie on October 6, 2009 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

The reason the US didn't get the Olympics?

Have you tried standing in line for a visa? The interviews? The insults? The return visits? The long lines? The fucktards in charge of immigration, and their insulting actions and questions?
The general harrassment involved whenever you wish to visit the US?

There's the reason.

Posted by: SteinL on October 6, 2009 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

"Egoism" or overblown sense of self is one of the more common derogations made by the right in descriptions of liberals and those who have a good education with solid intellectual achievements. It's really part of the age-old strain of anti-intellectualism in America. Though it would be far more appropriate for Will to use such descriptors in regards to Sarah Palin (or, of course, himself) we don't expect to see that happen.

Posted by: Bernie Latham on October 6, 2009 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

Fill in the blank

Being called a Narcissist by Will is like being called ______ by a _______.

The President was in a no-win situation. In hindsight it was unlikely that a North American city would be chosen -- after all two Olympics will be held in North America within the space of ten years (Salt Lake in 2002 and Vancouver in 2010).

Had he not gone -- and Chicago had lost -- you can bet the same pundits would be blaming him for the defeat and for dissing the U.S. Olympic movement.

This wasn't just about this year's selection -- it's also about maintaining our country's goodwill with the IOC -- which is among the most insufferable groups of preening narcissists on the planet. Every other head of state was there -- even though we lost out, Obama probably got credit from the IOC just for showing up. You can be damn sure they would have noticed his absence.

Overall, the President's speech was excellent and Will's criticism was way off base. My one criticism of the speech was when he urged the Committee to "choose America" instead of "choose the United States." This probably cost him with committee members from every other country in this hemisphere because they consider themselves Americans too and resent it when we try to appropriate that appellation exclusively to ourselves.

BTW, just as a historical note, Chicago would not have been the first Midwestern city to host the games -- the 1904 games were in St. Louis.

Posted by: Dave in DC on October 6, 2009 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

The Obama's Pronoun Fiasco was gleefully addressed on Morning Joe today, with note of a headline "The Ego has Landed"

Which was either Drudge quoting Limbaugh, or vice-versa. I'm not sure of the exact timeline, but they both used it immediately after the Olympics announcement. It's just a rightwing feedback loop out there.

Posted by: martin on October 6, 2009 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter Will et al.: Damn uppity n*****. Who does he think he is, the President or something?

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on October 6, 2009 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Observation: A guy who writes such dreadful columns should not be calling other people's words dreadful. I'm just sayin'...

Posted by: josef on October 6, 2009 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

Will specifically noted that the president used the personal pronouns "I" or "me" 26 times in 48 sentences.

Would Will prefer that Obama speak of himself in the third person, a la Bob Dole?

Posted by: Emily on October 6, 2009 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

Will has a column to fill, and he's not particularly bright, nor does he know much about anything except (arguably) baseball. So, yeah, he phones it in.

The only surprising thing about it is that a certain constipated annoyance and misused classical references are exactly what the Post seems to want to buy.

Posted by: Fleas correct the era on October 6, 2009 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Narcissism is the new uppity.

Posted by: shortstop on October 6, 2009 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

George Will = punk.

Posted by: mars on October 6, 2009 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

Will didn't seem to have any problem with "I'm the decider." Apparently the old narcissism was way better than the new narcissism.

Posted by: Dennis-SGMM on October 6, 2009 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

George Will, taking cheap shots at the President of the United States?! Why does he hate America so? Why is he emboldening America's enemies like this? Traitor, Communist, UnAmerican, intellectual elitist, that Will. I bet the Right wing will start to attack him any second now, for not putting "Country first".

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on October 6, 2009 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

Exactly what he did on This Week with George Stephanopoulis' hair

Posted by: ckelly on October 6, 2009 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

First time poster here, from the UK, who worked on (one part of) the 2012 London bid. I simply cannot understand how the failure of Chicago to win the 2016 vote is seen as a failure of Obama, anyone with the slightest knowledge of the bidding process would know how ludicrous this is.

Correction, I do understand how, some people only see these things through a political lens.

Here's what happens with Olympic bids. First, there's a screening process where IOC makes technical assessments of each of the bids. The unfeasible bids drop out. For 2016, four bidding cities were left, Madrid had the highest technical score, then Tokyo, Chicago and Rio.

It's then a scramble for votes - but not a simple matter of imploring people to vote for me. The most frewuent plea is "vote for me if your preferred bid drops out". So the strategizing behind a bid is (1) to canvass enough votes to make it through the first round, and (2) to pick up second preferences.

(1) is virtually predetermined before the voting starts. Obama would have had I suspect virtually nothing to do with the lobbying for (1) all of which took places for months prior to Copenhagen. (2) is notoriously unpredictable. The measure of the pull of an Obama (or Blair, as for 2012) is whether they can pick up second preferences, and clearly now we have no idea whether Obama could have had impacted these choices.

That Chicago went out in R1 is an indictment of the organizers of the bid. If anything, it points to a complacency, an over-confidence that Chicago would be a popular choice as a first preference and that the Obama magic would then see the bid through the subsequent rounds.

I understand if people think it looks bad for Obama, but the real lugheads in this piece are the Chicago bid committee who called Obama out to Copenhagen only to discover they'd forgotten to round first base.

Posted by: Ed on October 6, 2009 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

George Will doesn't know shit about baseball either.

Posted by: ckelly on October 6, 2009 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

Will's baseball writing is just as bad. It's condescending and elitist. He views baseball in the same way the British elite view cricket, as a proper entertainment for "gentlemen."

Posted by: Virginia on October 6, 2009 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

Look at George Will.
By no stretch of the imagination could he be considered a "cool kid."
(I know. Sarcasm is hard to appreciate online.)

Posted by: LizDexic on October 6, 2009 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

The simple truth is that Obama blew the Olympics bid by giving those DVDs to Gordon Brown and by saying "salaam aleikum" in Cairo and also with those fascist communist posters of his in Berlin. Oh, and something about missile defense.

Posted by: Michael Berube on October 6, 2009 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Will's baseball knowledge is pretty questionable as well.

You're wrong Wrong WRONG!!!

George Will has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the free-throw percentage, goals-against average, and yards-per-carry average of every batsman and wicket-keeper ever to have played.

You FSM-damn Lieberal elitist.

Posted by: SFAW on October 6, 2009 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

Ed's comment deserves highlighting. The USOC had already pissed off plenty of IOC delegates in recent years, not least through its attempts to set up a dedicated Olympic Channel with Comcast, which pissed over the IOC's exclusive NBC deal. So Chicago was probably a bit complacent, but also somewhat handicapped, not just by having Vancouver and Atlanta host in recent years, but because Samaranch called in all of his markers to get Madrid past R1.

Have you tried standing in line for a visa? The interviews? The insults? The return visits? The long lines? The fucktards in charge of immigration, and their insulting actions and questions?

It's notable how many people chipped into the NYT thread on how, yes, coming into the US these days means arriving in shabby airports, being shouted at by uniformed tinpot authoritarians, photographed and fingerprinted like common criminals, and occasionally strip-searched if the border control agent is having a bad day.

And Congress is planning to charge visitors a $10 entry fee that will be used to, I shit ye not, promote tourism to the US.

Posted by: pseudonymous in nc on October 6, 2009 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

The simple truth is that Obama blew the Olympics bid by giving those DVDs to Gordon Brown and by saying "salaam aleikum" in Cairo and also with those fascist communist posters of his in Berlin. Oh, and something about missile defense.

You forgot Poland!

Posted by: SFAW on October 6, 2009 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

Apparently the old white narcissism was way better than the new black narcissism.

Fixed that for ya.

Posted by: g on October 6, 2009 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, George Will used this line of attack often against Bill Clinton, not coincidentally the last Democratic President. I remember one column in particular about the death of Britain's Princess Diana when the ever preachy Will first scolded the world in general for the abundance of mourning, and then admonished Clinton for using the tragedy as yet another excuse to talk about himself. Will also had a habit, as he does now, of counting the I's and me's in Clinton's speeches. Same ol', same ol'...

Posted by: Oregon on October 6, 2009 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

the real lugheads in this piece are the Chicago bid committee who called Obama out to Copenhagen only to discover they'd forgotten to round first base.

I don't think they forgot it. They arrogantly thought they could skip it and get away with it. There is an insularity to Chicago politics that disallows most of its players from seeing how things play outside the city.

Thanks for pointing out how fatally flawed the Chicago bid was. People -- yes, including us good lefties-- in Chicago know this, but it gets lost in the discussion of how boneheadedly the right is reacting in response to the loss.

Posted by: shortstop on October 6, 2009 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

"Their interest wasn't about me as an individual."

Hogwash.

It was ALL about him - and the 'cult of celebrity' that came with it.

Poll after poll taken after the election revealed that a huge percentage of the voters who voted for Obama couldn't name any of his policies or his political positions.

This was an opportunity to vote the first black president - and that's ALL that mattered...and that's why he was elected.

Posted by: John C on October 6, 2009 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, George Will used this line of attack often against Bill Clinton, not coincidentally the last Democratic President.

Sure. As Bernie Latham mentions above, it's part of the anti-intellectualism directed at liberals since the beginning of time. Having a black guy be the "narcissist" just plays even better with the racist base. Who the hell does this guy think he is, anyway?

Posted by: shortstop on October 6, 2009 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

John C: Poll after poll taken after the election revealed that a huge percentage of the voters who voted for Obama couldn't name any of his policies or his political positions.

Really? Since there are so many of them, you'll have no trouble providing a few cites.

Otherwise, we'll assume you're confused, perhaps thinking of the 2004 poll in which Bush voters got almost every question about Bush positions wrong, while Kerry voters did quite well at identifying their guy's stances. Projection, thy name is Republican.

Posted by: shortstop on October 6, 2009 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Poll after poll taken after the election revealed that a huge percentage of the voters who voted for Bush couldn't name any of his policies or his political positions.

Fixed. And a lot more accurate now.

And, by the way, McCain's supporters didn't know a whole lot beyond "he was a POW". (While conveniently forgetting he was a collaborator, as well. Oops.)

This was an opportunity to vote the first black president - and that's ALL that mattered...and that's why he was elected.

Actually, for the McCain voters, it was a lot more about preventing the first black President, than the converse for Obama voters.

But, please, feel free to stay in your fantasy-land awhile longer.


Posted by: SFAW on October 6, 2009 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

Here's the poll I referred to at 9:42. Looking forward to John C's cites.

Posted by: shortstop on October 6, 2009 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

Will must have an amazing lack of self awareness to write about someone else's ego and vanity.

I look forward to reading Will's column on Obama's outdated fashion sense and ridiculous glasses.

Posted by: Greg VA on October 6, 2009 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

Here's the poll I referred to at 9:42. Looking forward to John C's cites.

Fascist.

Posted by: SFAW on October 6, 2009 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Fascist.

Can't help it. As a radical Islamist Marxist, I was always predisposed toward fascism. They go together like Jesus and Ayn Rand.

Posted by: shortstop on October 6, 2009 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

As a radical Islamist Marxist, I was always predisposed toward fascism.

John C is now the Jew of radical Islamist Marxist poll-citing fascism.

Posted by: Michael Berube on October 6, 2009 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

They go together like Jesus and Ayn Rand.

That reminds me, I haven't visited The General in awhile. Republican Jesus and all that, ya know.

Posted by: SFAW on October 6, 2009 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

John C is now the Jew of radical Islamist Marxist poll-citing fascism.

And why stop there? Are our requests for supporting evidence not a lynching of a sort?

Posted by: shortstop on October 6, 2009 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the responses to my post, just two points in return.

If Chicago had no shot at the 2016 games on account of the Atlanta, Vancouver, Salt Lake games etc, then Madrid should have been deep-sixed in R1 given 2012 is also in Europe.

And whatever the US had done to piss off the IOC in recent years, never look past the fact that a Summer Olympics in America are cash-cow for the IOC, no other continent can compete in terms of attracting advertising revenue.

I think Chicago got a miserable 18 votes out of 96 in R1, and as someone else said, perhaps because Samaranch called in some favors and mowed Chicago's lawn. But that's got nothing to do with Obama, unless he managed personally to piss off IOC delegates, which seems unlikely given he's apparently been busy doing other minor-league stuff the last 2 years.

Posted by: Ed on October 6, 2009 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Looking forward to John C's cites.

Please don't hold your breath.

Posted by: ckelly on October 6, 2009 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Look at the polls conducted by Rasmussen after the election. People couldn't name the most basic of positions that Obama held...but they SURE knew about Sarah Palin's daughter's out-of-wedlock pregnancy and the clothes that were purchased for her (!)

Posted by: John C on October 6, 2009 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

they SURE knew about Sarah Palin's daughter's out-of-wedlock pregnancy and the clothes that were purchased for her (!)

Well, what would you expect, when the liberal media spent all its time hunting for the price tags on those clothes and completely ignoring Obama's ties to Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, Malcolm X, and the Greater Nairobi Birth Certificate Forgery Institute?

Posted by: Michael Berube on October 6, 2009 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Look at the polls conducted by Rasmussen after the election.

Leaving aside for a moment Rasmussen's dismal accuracy rate outside of straight pre-election polling, those polls don't seem to appear on the Rasmussen site. Why not provide some links to these myriad sources of support for your claims?

Posted by: shortstop on October 6, 2009 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

completely ignoring Obama's ties to Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, Malcolm X, and the Greater Nairobi Birth Certificate Forgery Institute?

I was pretty mad that they also didn't cover his terrible bowling, angry wife, perverse love of fancy-ass vegetables and inability to close the deal with white voters.

Posted by: shortstop on October 6, 2009 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Not only have two Olympics been held in the United States recently, one (Salt Lake City) was marred by the largest corruption scandal in Olympic history (a truly Olympian feat) and there was something about Atlanta that made the papers. Something about a bomb?

I'm sure the combination of the Atlanta bombing and the pictures of the knuckleheads wandering around Presidential events armed did not do the Chicago bid any favors.

Posted by: GEM_in_Orange on October 6, 2009 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

I was pretty mad that they also didn't cover his terrible bowling, angry wife, perverse love of fancy-ass vegetables and inability to close the deal with white voters.

And since he took office, have we heard a single word about his cultural-elitist tastes in mustard? The media silence speaks volumes.

Posted by: Michael Berube on October 6, 2009 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

This is idiotic:
===============================================
"In the 41 sentences of her remarks, Michelle Obama used some form of the personal pronouns "I" or "me" 44 times. Her husband was, comparatively, a shrinking violet, using those pronouns only 26 times in 48 sentences."
===============================================
The Washington Post shouldn't publish this garbage.

George Will proved how stupid he is by giving us a count of personal pronouns.

Posted by: Eric Jaffa on October 6, 2009 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Look at the polls conducted by Rasmussen after the election. People couldn't name the most basic of positions that Obama held...but they SURE knew about Sarah Palin's daughter's out-of-wedlock pregnancy and the clothes that were purchased for her (!)

None of your links are working and I have too much word to do to do your homework for you. You said it, find the damned links and back up your assertion or we will just assume you are a clueless, reactionary jackass and you are talking out your ass.

Posted by: Realist on October 6, 2009 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Will's column is further proof that he's in fact four hundred years old. Everything he learned about rhetoric came from studying Cicero in the reading room at the monastery. And, by the way, it's disgraceful that we don't hand-copy those tomes anymore.

If Will took a public speaking class, he would be informed that audiences respond much better when you personalize a topic, speak from the heart -- not evoke some ediface that must be contemplated at the appropriate distance.

Posted by: mark on October 6, 2009 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

George Will with the impotent comb-over and no lips? That George Will?

Posted by: MissMudd on October 6, 2009 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

George Will follows the right's chosen meme

And in other news, water is wet.

Posted by: Gregory on October 6, 2009 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

I'll play!

Being called a Narcissist by Will is like being called wet by a fish.

Posted by: Stetson Kennedy on October 6, 2009 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

George Will is a true patriot, sacrificing his reputation for being adroit, wry, and occasionally accurate, to help the President obscure his real reason for going to Denmark. The last minute rush to Denmark had nothing to do, IMHO, about Chicago and the Olympics, and everything to do with meeting with McCrystal. That meeting was either to face to face tell him to shut the FU with political speeches contradicting the Administration (my choice) or to confer with the general on some mutual agreed upon strategy, of god forbid, some new awful terror plot.

By continuing the media focus on the Olympic Chicago failure, Will keeps anyone from focusing on what is going in war zones and with McCrystal. I say well done to Will, good and faithful servant.

Am I the only one old enough to remember another October and another Chicago trip with another president? Kennedy was in Chicago on a fence building trip for Dems right before the 1962 mid-terms. He cut the trip short and went back to DC, pleading a "cold." He was heavily criticized for the decision because the dems were in trouble and he was apparently too "egotistical" to
"soldier" on. The "cold" was, of course, the Cuban Missile Crisis.


Posted by: JoanneinDenver on October 6, 2009 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

So, Steve, your basic retort to Will is, "oh, that's just what you're saying now."

Brilliant, Steve.

Posted by: RH Potfry on October 6, 2009 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

'...or we will just assume you are a clueless, reactionary jackass and you are talking out your ass.' (Realist)

I didn't provide links. If you were genuinely interested, I was assuming that you could do some investigation for yourself.

You, apparently, are too busy for that - but you're not too busy to not throw some vulgar personal insults my way.

Sadly, I've come to expect that from liberally-minded people...

Posted by: John C on October 6, 2009 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Mark said, "If Will took a public speaking class, he would be informed that audiences respond much better when you personalize a topic, speak from the heart -- not evoke some ediface that must be contemplated at the appropriate distance."

And, judging from the results, the audience clearly didn't understand that they were supposed to respond more positively.

Posted by: RH Potfry on October 6, 2009 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Gee, with someone as modest and self-effacing as Obama where did they ever come up with the idea that he was a narcissist?

/snark

Posted by: myiq2xu on October 6, 2009 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks for linking that POS by Marty Peretz. That tears it, I'm never again renewing my subscription to TNR. It's gone downhill just about every week since Michael Kinsley left, which is quite some time now. And any man who thinks he can put down a woman by calling her "frigid" (what, he hit on her and she said no?) doesn't deserve the time of day.

Posted by: T-Rex on October 6, 2009 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Poll after poll taken after the election revealed that a huge percentage of the voters who voted for Obama couldn't name any of his policies or his political positions.

shortstop has already covered your nonsense, but I want to re-emphasize that in 2004, accordign to the poll shortstop cited, many Republican voters actually believed Bush held positions other than his actual ones

Might people have voted for Obama not because of his platform, but because of a sense of security and intelligence he projected, or as backlash for the way the Republican Party of George W. Bush screwed up the country, or because McCain ran a disgraceful campaign that completely disqualified itself from consideration for the highest office in the land? Sure, it's possible. But those are nevertheless more legitimate reasons than the cognitive dissonance engendered by pretending that the miserable failure of George W. Bush and the mendacity, incompetence and corruption of the modern Republican Party is somehow emblematic of "conservatism."

Though it sure looks that way.

Posted by: Gregory on October 6, 2009 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

If you were genuinely interested, I was assuming that you could do some investigation for yourself.

It's very simple, John C. You made the claim; the burden of proof is on you. Asking someone to do your homework for you is a sure sign of intellectual laziness at best and intellectual dishonesty at worse.

Since you still didn't back up your claims, your complaints at being called on your unsupported statements are unpersuasive. To the contrary, "vulgar personal insults" are the appropriate response to someone who argues in bad faith.

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on October 6, 2009 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

I didn't provide links. If you were genuinely interested, I was assuming that you could do some investigation for yourself.

This reminds me of a number of shocking reports which reveal that Glenn Beck blows goats. I'm too busy to post the links but the info is all over the web. Anyone conservative who really wants to know the truth behind the whole Glenn Beck coverup should have no problem taking the time to find them.

If they don't take the time I guess they just don't care...about Glenn Beck or goats.

Posted by: Billy G. Ramstein -- er... "B. Goat" on October 6, 2009 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

If you were genuinely interested, I was assuming that you could do some investigation for yourself.

Well, no, that's not how it works, John. When you make a statement, you're expected to be able to back it up yourself. It's not up to the other guy to prove you wrong.

As it happens, I did do the investigating, and, as noted above, I didn't find the polls you claim are out there, and I did invite you again to put your money where your mouth is, and since you can't, I am calling you a liar.

Now give us a couple of paragraphs on how rough around the edges we are so you can feel like a victim and ignore the shame of getting caught (again) making shit up.

Posted by: shortstop on October 6, 2009 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

It was Zogby who did the polling; here's a link for those who are interested...

http://www.zogby.com/news/wf-dfs.pdf

For those who aren't interested, maybe you can simply resort to making personal insults...

Take care.

Posted by: John C on October 6, 2009 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK
Jesus and Ayn Rand

If you haven't yet, take a glance at Andy Schlafly's Conservative Bible Project over at Conservapedia. An actual sample, from a list of "ten guidelines" for a translation adhering to "conservative principles":

Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning
Posted by: noncarborundum on October 6, 2009 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

"narcissism" is hardly a new meme for "The Won"

Posted by: John Q Public on October 6, 2009 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Your original statement, "poll after poll," morphed into "polls by Rasmussen" and finally comes down to one by Zogby?

Oops. There's a little problem with that poll, too.

You're really not up to this, are you?

Posted by: shortstop on October 6, 2009 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK
Look at the polls conducted by Rasmussen after the election.

The stupid. It BUUUURRRRRRRRRRNNNNSSSSS!!!!

Sorry, but quoting Rasmussen for polling data is like quoting ... well, you, on how to correctly back up an assertion: Neither one has an f-ing clue of what they are doing, so trusting them is clinically stupid.

More on topic: George Will lost relevance years ago, and is less a voice of intelligent, reasoned commentary and more a relic that no one has the heart to put into storage because it's always been there. It's habit at this point.

And please stop me before I metaphor/analogy again ...

Posted by: Mark D on October 6, 2009 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

noncarb, I was thinking of that very project when I made that comment. Who among us couldn't predict that Jesus would go off the reservation and be ejected from the conservative movement?

Posted by: shortstop on October 6, 2009 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Ya know, shortstop is going to have to skip dinner if s/he(1) keeps eating John C's lunch like this.

Nicely done, shortstop. Nicely done ...

**applause**

(1) Not sure which, so covered both bases. :-)

Posted by: Mark D on October 6, 2009 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

I remembered seeing some polling data from Rasmussen; I had forgotten that the major polls were conducted by Zogby...and, true to form, if people didn't like the results of the poll, it's a lot more entertaining to attack the pollster.

The Zogby organization, of course, had answers to the criticism of its polling:

http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.cfm?ID=1641#Anchor-37902

...but I doubt that will change the minds of those who seem to thrive on personally insulting others...people's minds are made up; they don't want to be confused with the facts.

Posted by: John C on October 6, 2009 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

I was pretty mad that they also didn't cover his terrible bowling, angry wife, perverse love of fancy-ass vegetables and inability to close the deal with white voters.

Angry wife is right! In fact, I just received an important e-mail from Chief Editor Korir detailing what he saw on a videotape of Michelle Obama. It will leave Osamabama's Preznitcy in shambles.

The last minute rush to Denmark had nothing to do, IMHO, about Chicago and the Olympics, ...

Actually, recently there had been a rumor that someone who FINALLY had documented proof that Osamabama was born - OUT OF WEDLOCK - to Stanley Ann Dunham and Malcolm Little, in Nairobi. This witness - a man named Manu Dibango - lived, coincidentally, in Copenhagen. And, just as he did when he murdered his Grandmother, Osamabama made an unexpected, change-of-plans trip to Copenhagen, to set up the "hit" on Dibango.

I didn't provide links. If you were genuinely interested, I was assuming that you could do some investigation for yourself.

Which is "John-C-speak" for "I just made it up, so I ain't providing links".

Sadly, I've come to expect that from liberally-minded people...

And, sadly, we've come to expect lying and being disingenuous from conservative-minded people ...

This reminds me of a number of shocking reports which reveal that Glenn Beck blows goats.

I thought the reports were about him sodomizing and then murdering some eight-year-old boys. Did I get it wrong?

Posted by: SFAW on October 6, 2009 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Throw the ball George! Throw the ball.

http://snltranscripts.jt.org/89/89qsportsmachine.phtml

Posted by: Lee on October 6, 2009 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

70 comments, and only one bothers to mention racist bigot Marty Peretz. hell, even Joe Klein calls out his bullshit Likudnik rhetoric in detail, while Benen merely notes it as "bizarre" in passing. Will is transmitting cool kids conservative memes but racist bigot Peretz is what, positing a bizarre aberration from his usual frothing?

The real problem with Left Blogs linking to The New Racist is simpletons will continue to believe it's something more than a neoconservative propaganda rag.

feh!

Posted by: some guy on October 6, 2009 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

people's minds are made up; they don't want to be confused with the facts.

...even when a few minutes of frantic Googling fails to produce the facts that supposrts their claims.

Republican pronection strikes again.

Posted by: Gregory on October 6, 2009 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Republican projection strikes again. Sheesh.

Gregory's lousy typing strikes again. I'm worse than Yglesias.

Posted by: Gregory on October 6, 2009 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

...and, true to form, if people didn't like the results of the poll, it's a lot more entertaining to attack the pollster.

Yes, the Wall Street Journal is SUCH a bunch of whiny LIEberals.

...people's minds are made up; they don't want to be confused with the facts.

No need to refer to yourself in the third-person plural.

Gregory's lousy typing strikes again. I'm worse than Yglesias.

No, because at least you know that you made a typo. Yglesias, on the other hand, has about as strong a command of speling and proofreading as John C does of understanding advanced concepts such as a poll being poorly designed and implemented. (Well, unless you wanted the poll in question to confirm what you already "knew". Then it was spot-on.)

Posted by: SFAW on October 6, 2009 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

true to form, if people didn't like the results of the poll, it's a lot more entertaining to attack the pollster.

The problem is that the poll you finally cited has nothing to do with your initial claims.

Here are your claim:

Poll after poll taken after the election revealed that a huge percentage of the voters who voted for Obama couldn't name any of his policies or his political positions. This was an opportunity to vote the first black president - and that's ALL that mattered...and that's why he was elected.

Here's how you are wrong:

1) There wasn't "poll after poll," there was just one poll, which even if it were the kind of poll you claimed it was (and it isn't) that would be suspect.

2) The one poll you cite doesn't show that "people couldn't name his policies or political positions." It didn't even ask policy questions. Instead, it was a collection of trivia about each candidate that you might see on TMZ, much of it slanted very negatively and much of it having to do with events that were years old.

And how does one answer such ridiculously slanted questions? If you were a McCain supporter and the question was, "Which candidate foolishly executed a wet start on the USS Forrestal and killed dozens of his fellow crewmen and then got off scott free?" would you answer: "McCain"?

This trivia poll doesn't show in any way, shape or form that people elected Obama "just because he was black." It may or may not show, however, that some Obama supporters were smart enough to avoid answering in the affirmative that Obama is a terrorist sympathizer who wants to destroy the coal industry with his policies of wealth distribution.

Posted by: trex on October 6, 2009 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Mark D.

if people didn't like the results of the poll, it's a lot more entertaining to attack the pollster.

Especially when he admitted himself, as he did in the piece I linked to, that the questions were crap and he never would have passed them; some underling let them through while Zogby was out of town. That piece also mentions that Zogby refused a second commission from Ziegler, insisting that he'd have to use better polling methods if they polled again. Ziegler, of course, wasn't interested in a valid poll.

Perhaps you could provide another poll that would help us with our (and Zogby's own) concerns about the flaws in that poll? After all, "poll after poll" backs you up, right?

As for the continuous harping on your supposed victimhood, here's a personal insult you can chew on: You're not only a liar; your snuffling and weeping is making you look like a candyass, too. You got caught; deal. Take it like a grownup or go play in a crowd that shares your love affair with your own feelings and your total inability to deal in facts.

Posted by: shortstop on October 6, 2009 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

No 'frantic googling,' Gregory; I simply remembered where I saw the polls from nine months ago...does that meet with your expectations?...or is there something ELSE for which you can insult me?

Posted by: John C on October 6, 2009 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. This is like watching someone mutilate themselves, but in typographical form.

First, John C. screws up who did the polling.

He then posts a link to a Zogby poll that was widely discredited and shown to be a farce.

Then, when provided a WSJ article in which John Zogby himself said they failed to do their jobs correctly, he responds by posting a link from an entry written before the WSJ article -- the one in which Zogby apologizes and admits the mistake -- that does nothing to actually explain the results in any type of logical fashion.

He then assumes everyone here won't read this link, even though it's obvious he didn't bother to read the ones others have provided.

So ... it's official, then: John C. sucks at the Internet.

Just stop while you're ahead, dude. Seriously. Just ... stop.

Posted by: Mark D on October 6, 2009 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

John C: I saw the polls

There's that plural again. Where are the other polls? Links, please.

Posted by: shortstop on October 6, 2009 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

is there something ELSE for which you can insult me?

Sure, there's your goalpost-moving, bad-faith argumentation; see above.

Oh, wait -- I already insulted you for that.

And deservedly so. Here's a hint, John: When you drag your feet about backing up your arguments with facts, when the credibility of the sources you eventually cite is shredded, when the factual baisis of your argument is successfully challenged, when your obvious bias is revealed, when the increasingly obvious bad faith -- surprise, surprise! -- of your conservative mindset becomes unmistakeable, and when you then whine snidely about it, you deserve to be insulted.

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on October 6, 2009 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

He then assumes everyone here won't read this link, even though it's obvious he didn't bother to read the ones others have provided.

And then claims not to have undertaken "frantic Googling" to support the sinking ship of his argument.

And yes, John C, your bad faith bullshit is fully meeting my expectation of the kind of phony, fantasy-based argumentation I get from your ilk.

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on October 6, 2009 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

'Nonetheless, Zogby stood by the results of the poll themselves. “There is valuable information in this poll,” he said.' (WSJ)

The Wall Street Journal article, linked to discredit the polling efforts of Zogby, indicated that Zogby himself stood behind the findings - despite being attacked for those who didn't care for the results.

Like I mentioned, when minds are made up - and people don't want to be confused with the facts - they resort to insulting others...and, sad to say, this blog is filled with personal attacks. This represents the level of discourse I've come to expect from left-leaning blogs.

What a pity...

Posted by: John C on October 6, 2009 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

You're skipping everything else Zogby said about the flaws in the poll in that ultraliberal WSJ piece.

Nevertheless, if the poll is good, there should be others getting similar results. Where are those links?

And do any of those other apparently mythical polls actually address what you originally claim they addressed -- understanding policy positions of the candidates? As you know, this one didn't. Do you have one that does?

Posted by: shortstop on October 6, 2009 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

this blog is filled with personal attacks

It sure is. Like this one:

"This was an opportunity to vote the first black president - and that's ALL that mattered...and that's why he was elected." Posted by: John C on October 6, 2009 at 9:38 AM

The poll you cite doesn't ask policy questions as you claimed it did -- period. You've lost. Badly. Pull your pants back up from around your ankles, have some dignity, and own up.

Posted by: trex on October 6, 2009 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Debra Saunders had the exact same meme in her SF Chronicle column today. What are the odds?

Amazing how the fiercely indepedent thinkers that conservatives pride themselves to be all come up with the exact same thought at the exact same time, and use the exact same words and phrases to sell it.

More amazing still that newspapers print this crap.

Posted by: Alan in SF on October 6, 2009 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Like I mentioned, when minds are made up - and people don't want to be confused with the facts - they resort to insulting others...and, sad to say, this blog is filled with personal attacks. This represents the level of discourse I've come to expect from left-leaning blogs.

Yes, John C., we've seen this cut-and-paste drivel from your ilk for years. When your arguments lie in flames around you -- I note that your selective quiting doesn't at all address the criticisms to your postings above -- you resort to whining about how uncivil liberals are in reacting to conservative bullshit.

That crap is so 2004. If the thought comforts you, fine, but I'm happy with leaving it up to any reader to decide who's behaving badly in this thread and whether that bad faith argumentation is itself an insidious example of incivility deserving of insult in return.

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on October 6, 2009 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Debra Saunders even had the "I" count. "I"-counting and linguistic analysis seem to have replaced forensic typography as the conservative movement's speciality du jour.

Posted by: Alan in SF on October 6, 2009 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

You're skipping everything else Zogby said about the flaws in the poll in that ultraliberal WSJ piece.

It's a good thing I was sitting down when you pointed that out, shortstop, because the thought of John C indulging in a dishonest (and, no doubt, after-the-fact) selective reading of the sources he cites was just too shocking!

And trex reminds us of the real point here: You made a sweeping, sneering, insulting and, Ford save us all, uncivil statement that Obama was elelcted solely on the basis of race, without regard to his preferred policies, and you've utterly failed to support it, despite all your goalpost-moving.

You have no standing whatever to complain about the insults you richly deserve, and no one is distracted by your whining. If anything, you're getting less than you deserve.

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on October 6, 2009 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

I really would like to thank john c. for providing such rousing entertainment.

I am so glad that your father refrained from saying "don't flush, it has eyes" or I would have had a slightly less amusing morning.

You sir (and i use the word with some concern for accuracy) are a self deluding idiot and I for one welcome you as an exemplar of such.

Posted by: thoughtcrime on October 6, 2009 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Debra Saunders even had the "I" count. "I"-counting and linguistic analysis seem to have replaced forensic typography as the conservative movement's speciality du jour.

And why did we suspend the "I" count during the Bush administration again? Was it something about wartime presidents needing every tool at their disposal to fight terror, including unrestricted use of the 1st person pronoun?

Gah, it's so much easier when you're one of those "Decider" presidents. No cumbersome laws or Constitution or bowtie-wearing, right-wing pundits to contend with.

Posted by: trex on October 6, 2009 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK
Pull your pants back up from around your ankles, have some dignity, and own up.

Wait John C. is really David Vitter?

That explains so very much ...

Posted by: Mark D on October 6, 2009 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK
A guy who has never done anything apart from write two books. Both of them about himself.

Yes, because we all know folks on the right never, ever write books about themselves.

Oh, wait ... just ... a second ...

Your comment is even funnier coming from someone who voted for Bush -- a guy who has failed at every single thing he has ever done.

I give you a 6 -- strong technical trolling, but not much in the way of creativity or artistic impression.

Posted by: Mark D on October 6, 2009 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone is missing the point. George Will is a Cubs fan and simply can't abide the fact that fellow Chicagoan Barak Obama favors the White Sox.

Posted by: Ted Frier on October 6, 2009 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Oops. There's a little problem with that poll, too.

Game. Set. Match.

Posted by: ckelly on October 6, 2009 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

John C. is right, you should all be more "civilized"--like the teabag protesters.

and "joe"--crawl back in your bunker for the next 7 years with Dick Cheney and the rest of your fellow nutjobs. The grownups are in charge, finally.
Although, I can understand why Obama speaking a second language might upset you, seeing as how you still haven't mastered one.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on October 6, 2009 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

... the fact that fellow Chicagoan Barak Obama favors the White Sox.

Or as John C. and his idol, Rushbo, would say "Don't you mean the Black Sox? What? WHAT? No, that's not a racist thing to say! I think you're the racist for suggesting that!"

Und so weiter ...

Posted by: SFAW on October 6, 2009 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

What is that psychological term about attributing to others your own faults? Not transference ... um ... Help please, some one.

Will is the perfect example of it. Has there ever BEEN a more narcissistic "pundit"?

Posted by: Cal Gal on October 6, 2009 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

What is that psychological term about attributing to others your own faults? Not transference ... um ... Help please, some one.

It's called projection.

And is why I call the Republican Party the "Grand Old Powerpoints"-- they project something, somewhere, every single day.

Posted by: Mark D on October 6, 2009 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Madrid should have been deep-sixed in R1 given 2012 is also in Europe."

Not to mention Barcelona is in SPAIN.

As for me, I buy the first South American site as well as people would rather party in Rio than in the Windy City.

Posted by: Cal Gal on October 6, 2009 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Will's column about the Olympics has about as much foundation in reality as his columns on global warming or baseball. And, BTW, he's pretty full of shit on baseball. It is not the end of the world for Obama that Chicago did not get the Olympics. I think most Americans approve of his making the efforts -- it would at least have meant some jobs for the upper Midwest, but don't fault him for the fact that the IOC voted for Rio. When I was 13, I thought it was real neat to sit back and criticize other people for not being able to do things up to some standard I had set. A lot of people that age somehow got the idea that being a half baked H.L. Menken and Dorothy Parker was something to which one should aspire. I had the time to do this because I didn't attempt a lot of things other than being critical. Unlike George will, however, I grew out of it.

Posted by: RP on October 6, 2009 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

"We" and "us" are still first person, last time I checked.

Posted by: Sara on October 6, 2009 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, come on, boys. Do either of you really think most American voters have any grasp of issues AT ALL???

You don't get out enough.

Posted by: Sarah Barracuda on October 6, 2009 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

hehehe... it's fun to watch you Liberals squirm.

Wha...? From the likes of John C and George Will? Can I have some of whatever you're drinking?

Come to think of it, never mind...that conservative kool-aid obviously rots the brain.

Posted by: Gregory on October 6, 2009 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

(Sarah Barracuda is absolutely right.)

Posted by: Daniel on October 6, 2009 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Have you tried standing in line for a visa? The interviews? The insults? The return visits? The long lines? The fucktards in charge of immigration, and their insulting actions and questions?
The general harrassment involved whenever you wish to visit the US?

Now imagine those people running our healthcare system.

Posted by: AK on October 6, 2009 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

I mean, I freely admit that, among other things, Bush was not a good communicator. Why is it so impossible to admit that Obama is a huge narcissist? It doesn't make you a bad person to acknowledge that. Problem is that so many people think that saying anything critical of their party or a President from their party DOES make them a bad person. And that's bad for our country, no matter which side we're talking about.

Posted by: Daniel on October 6, 2009 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

AK just nailed the healthcare debate perfectly.

Posted by: Daniel on October 6, 2009 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, but those speeches were both narcissitic. The President's clearly so when he recalled the night in Grant Park. What that had to do with Chicago's bid for 2016, I have literally no idea, but it was meant to remind the listener of Obama's achievement.

However, Chicago lost for a host of other reasons, not the least of which is how difficult it is for foreigners to get into the country legally. But even without that, it was simply South America's time.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on October 6, 2009 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Irony alert: Someone who admits to voting for McCain for President -- and therefore Sarah Palin for vice-president -- calls someone else an idiot.

Nothing about actual issues.

Having demonstrated that Will and John C are all wet, exactly what issues need to be addressed here

Because that's how the left hides from facts, by saying "George Will is such a bad writer!" or "John C. can't even master one language!"

Are you kidding? Have you even read this thread? For starters, John C's citations -- including and especially his odious initial claim that "polls" show that people voted for Obama solely because he's black -- have been consistently and conclusively shot down in this thread by -- why, lookee here! -- citing facts. As for Will, his repetition of the so-called "narcissist" talking point -- because, after all, everyone else who runs for President of the United States of America is so humble! -- is so far from "fact" that there's nothing at all to hide from.

And if all else fails, any time Obama is accused of doing something, whine about how Bush did the same thing .

My third grader has better reading comprehension. We're pointing out Will's hypocrisy in pretending Obama's use of language is something other than standard Presidential speechmaking; using Bush as an example only heightens the irony. We don't care -- because it's a non-issue -- if Obama refers to himself in his speeches.

(coincidentally flat-out admitting that the current POTUS is no better than the last)

Get back to us when Obama chalks up a record of Epic Fail to equal Bush's on having 9/11, Katrina and the housing bubble recession occur on his watch.

Jackass.

(I have little doubt you heard that from your ex-girlfriends, too.)

Posted by: Gregory on October 6, 2009 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Obama saying "Their interest wasn't about me as an individual" did not disclaim narcissism. The obvious question in response is "who said it was about you as an individual?"

Posted by: Just Some Guy on October 6, 2009 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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