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There’s always a villain for the left
(Haven’t you been following their attacks on conservatives?)

In quite possibly the best movie about movies, the 1941 classic Sullivan’s Travels, the title character, when asked how “the girl” fits “into the picture”, responds, “There’s always a girl in the picture. What’s the matter, don’t you go to the movies?

Just as a movie’s gotta have a girl, some on the left just gotta have a villain.  Whether it was Herbert Hoover from 1932 until the rise of Richard Nixon or that cantankerous Californian himself in the 1970s, Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, Newt Gingrich in the 1990s and then George W. Bush and Dick Cheney until Sarah Palin stole the show in 2008, members of the vast left-wing conspiracy have been looking to advance their cause by denigrating a Republican politician.

And now with the Koch brothers, they’ve found a new team to vilify.  While these guys share Reagan conservatives’ commitment to free markets, the billionaires are more libertarian than conservative.  But, no matter, as Matthew Continetti reports in his must-read article, The Paranoid Style in Liberal Politics, in the Weekly Standard:

During the fight over health care and cap and trade in 2009 and 2010, liberals went looking for baddies against whom to mobilize public opinion. The Kochs’ wealth and political involvement made them an obvious choice. Reflecting on the ferocity of the onslaught that ensued, Charles [Koch] told me, “I didn’t anticipate the hatred, the advocacy of violence.” He must not have been paying attention.

Back in 2005, when Republicans controlled the federal government, liberals had asked themselves, Where do we go from here? They’d long studied what they called the “counter-establishment,” the array of conservative foundations, think tanks, and media. These institutions, liberals concluded, had pushed America to the right. What the left required was the mirror image of the Olin and Bradley foundations, the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute, The Weekly Standard andNational Review, talk radio and Fox News Channel. The left needed to build a “counter-counter-establishment,” a “vast left-wing conspiracy” to combat the “vast right-wing conspiracy” that had impeached Bill Clinton and elected George W. Bush.

Jane Mayer’s August 2010 New Yorker article, “Covert Operations”, “became a sort of Rosetta Stone for Koch addicts. It was the template for any liberal wanting someone to blame for all the trouble in the world. Mayer had unlocked the secrets of the Kochtopus.”  (Emphasis added.)  And some liberals just have to have someone to blame.

These villains of the liberal imagination were using their millions to fund nefarious conservative organizations not because they shared their principles, but to line their own pockets.  It seemed “impossible,” Continetti contends

. . . for the liberal activists to acknowledge that libertarians might actually operate from conviction. Charles and David believed in low taxes, less spending, and limited regulation not because those policies helped them but because they helped everybody. “If I wanted to enhance my riches,” said David, “why do I give away almost all my money?”

What is it about some on the left that they just can’t understand that conservatives and libertarians might just be operating from principle?  Why is it they assume our support for the party that has not embraced the agenda of the various gay organizations is based on our own inner psychological turmoil rather than our real philosophical convictions?  Does it even occur to these folks that we might agree with Republicans more often than we agree with Democrats (on issues unrelated to our sexuality), that we believe conservative ideas (as a whole) represent the best means to keep our nation strong and to effect its improvement?

To some on the left, the only principled actors, the only true idealists, are those on their side of the political aisle.  Someone supporting an opposing principle must, by definition, be acting to advance his own interest — or that of the corporations for which he shills.

And since right-wingers are, by definition, such corporate shills, all too many on the left feel they need an appropriate poster boy to help expose their adversaries sinister machinations.  In this template, liberals don’t need arguments to promote their cause, but a villain to demonize those who would thwart their own political agenda.

Just as Hollywood movies have their formula so too do left-wing pundits and activists.

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71 Comments

  1. What’s really funny (as in sad) about this is that the Kochs aren’t even conservatives.

    (They’re libertarians.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 29, 2011 @ 5:04 am - March 29, 2011

  2. Don’t forget Sen. McCarthy who, in the left’s hysteria, had ran the HOUSE Un-American Committee. And nevermind the left’s real McCarthyism that they carry out regularly.

    Also, I think the only reason the libs hate Nixon was because he pushed for investigating their buddy Alger Hiss.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — March 29, 2011 @ 5:34 am - March 29, 2011

  3. That is, that’s the only reason that makes sense. Granted, liberals don’t make sense.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — March 29, 2011 @ 5:34 am - March 29, 2011

  4. The expression is true: Smart people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and stupid people talk about other people.

    And the corollary: stupid, bitter, jealous, hateful, venal liberals demonize individuals because it’s easier to make people hate than to think.

    Comment by V the K — March 29, 2011 @ 8:00 am - March 29, 2011

  5. Mr Pot, meet Mr Kettle.

    Comment by Auntie Dogma — March 29, 2011 @ 9:09 am - March 29, 2011

  6. What is it about some on the left that they just can’t understand that conservatives and libertarians might just be operating from principle?

    Probably because many on the left are not operating on principles. Consider how much deception has to be involved just to get a leftist elected in most parts of the country. If Obama had run on a platform of gutting the military, nationalizing student loans, shutting down oil exploration in the Gulf, nationalizing health care, increasing Federal spending 30% in two years, and running up trillion dollar deficits with no end in sight… would he have been elected? No, he would not.

    Lying about their motives is so central to the left that they cannot help but assume that everyone else is doing it, too.

    Comment by V the K — March 29, 2011 @ 9:20 am - March 29, 2011

  7. Koch-sucker.

    Comment by TJ Parker — March 29, 2011 @ 9:28 am - March 29, 2011

  8. #5 and #7 Just prove, they can’t argue the points, so they attack the speakers.

    Tell me TJ, what do you have against a successful, small goverment humanitarian libertarian?

    Comment by The_Livewire — March 29, 2011 @ 9:39 am - March 29, 2011

  9. In President Obama’s case, he’s a Marxist empty suit in search of a villain in the classic SAul Alinsky model from Rules For Radicals. All Obama has left is to demonize President Bush, but 2+ years into his own administration, Obama looks impotent, silly, & childish. As a result, President Obama has tried to find new villains such as Speaker John Boehner & Senator Mike, I mean Mitch, McConnell, but these attacks fell flat because they do not have the same resonance as President George W. Bush.

    President Obama reverted to type in attacking President Bush last night, but the attack looked silly given the Libya actions mirror Iraq in so many ways, except Obama failed to give any credible reasons to be in Libya. Worse, Obama felt more comfortable being in the follower position as French President becomes the leader of the free world. Obama’s impotence is magnified.

    Obama is still looking for a Republican villain so he can vote “present.”

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — March 29, 2011 @ 9:48 am - March 29, 2011

  10. Tell me TJ, what do you have against a successful, small goverment humanitarian libertarian?

    The left-wing blogs have ordered him to hate and so he hates. Same with the Deranged Aunt. They don’t think for themselves, they just hate whom they are told to hate.

    Comment by V the K — March 29, 2011 @ 10:01 am - March 29, 2011

  11. I think that committed lefties are all fascists at heart, as their ideas embody the fascist (authoritarian/totalitarian) impulse. If they handle it by calling me a stupid and inapplicable name, “I’ll live.”

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 29, 2011 @ 10:59 am - March 29, 2011

  12. I just finished reading Laura Hildebrand’s incredible book Unbroken. The title refers to the enormous humiliation dumped on the POWs by the Japanese and the subject of the book in particular.

    The point is, the Japanese were educated to believe they were the master race and that surrender was an act of ultimate humiliation. Therefore, a POW was as low as you can get, because he did not fight to the death. As a consequence, any POW who did not recognize his worthlessness was to be broken.

    I kept seeing elitism and false superiority and venal disgust as I read this book. In no way was it written as a metaphor for 2011 politics in the USA, but it is there anyway. The Japanese people were taught to behave like animals against their “inferiors” and they did the job with great intensity. (Of course, there were those who were natural humanitarians, but they had to sneak their acts of kindness under the door.)

    We have a liberal propaganda news industry, a liberal dominated education system and a liberal dominated entertainment industry. Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Palin, Bachmann, Koch, et al are despised, ridiculed, treated like monkeys.

    The Japanese put one downed US flyer in a cage, naked, at the Tokyo zoo.

    Anything you read here from Auntie Dogma is pure venal disgust for the the person or people “she” attacks. She has no point other than to keep butting her head into the face she hates in an effort to break and silence it.

    Soros and company are going to try to undermine FOX News. Maher has gone around the bend. The union thugs and the “anarchists” are out with clubs. The “debate” is underway.

    I wonder what Donald Trump’s continuing thumping on the Obama birth certificate will bring out of the woodwork? Auntie Dogma will be our gauge.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 29, 2011 @ 12:46 pm - March 29, 2011

  13. Justin Raimondo wrote a great column about the Koch brothers….http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2010/08/29/in-defense-of-the-kochtopus/

    You know, I used to think that Rosetta Stone was an actual person who hawked educational software.

    Comment by Niall — March 29, 2011 @ 12:48 pm - March 29, 2011

  14. Miss Dogma and TJ, when you hurl insults, you do help make the point of my post. Thanks!

    (In case you didn’t read it, the point is how the left seems to need a villain in order to demonize conservatives. Seems in insulting you’re trying to convince yourselves that we are the demons of your imagination.)

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — March 29, 2011 @ 12:48 pm - March 29, 2011

  15. So, conservatives don’t have any bêtes noires? Ever hear of George Soros? How about Michael Moore? Al Gore? Hitlery Clinton? Barack Hussein Obama, maybe?

    Cue the chorus of why those guys (and gal) really are evil. In three, two, one…

    Comment by sparta99 — March 29, 2011 @ 12:50 pm - March 29, 2011

  16. As V said, the expression is true: Smart people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and stupid people talk about other people.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 29, 2011 @ 1:10 pm - March 29, 2011

  17. Spartann, being a leftist, fails to understand the difference between legitimate criticism and hate.

    Pointing out that George Soros spends vast amounts of money supporting left-wing causes, collaborated with the Nazis during the Holocaust, and has undermined American economic security for his own benefit isn’t hate… it’s a simple reciting of the facts.

    Pointing out that Michael Moore is an obese socialist hypocrite who decries tax breaks for the wealthy while taking advantage of film tax credits in Michigan, that he attacks others for “busting” unions while employing non-union labor himself isn’t hate… it’s a simple recitation of the facts.

    Pointing out that Al Gore is a cowardly hypocrite who refuses to debate anyone on his pet cause of “Global Warming” and lives a lavish, carbon extensive lifestyle while lecturing others not to is not hate… it is a simple recitation of the facts.

    Pointing out that Obama’s economic policies are disastrous, have put hundreds of thousands out of work and run up enormous unsustainable deficits is not hate… it is a simple recitation of the facts.

    Yes, these people are villains to the right. But are they the iconic focus of right-wing hatred? No — we hate their policies and fight against them, but few of us wish particular harm to come to them.

    Comment by V the K — March 29, 2011 @ 1:21 pm - March 29, 2011

  18. The other difference is, of course, liberals can get away with hate. Imagine if Rush Limbaugh had called M’Chel Obama any of the gynecological names Bill Maher has lately used on Sarah Palin.

    Comment by V the K — March 29, 2011 @ 1:30 pm - March 29, 2011

  19. Spartann

    is cool; you clearly meant sparta99. ;-)

    As for the difference between legitimate criticism and hate: yes, and one could also phrase it in terms of proportionality, or connection to reality. Examples:
    - Soros really does pay hundreds of millions to left-wing groups to spread bile. Since it’s real, criticizing it at least makes sense.
    - The Koch brothers really *do not* have a line straight to Gov. Walker, as that faux-caller proved (Gov. Walker didn’t know him from a real Koch brother). Since it’s not real, criticizing it is absurd.

    One infers hatred (i.e., an intense animus that interferes with human reasoning) from the absurdity of the criticisms.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 29, 2011 @ 1:35 pm - March 29, 2011

  20. One infers hatred (i.e., an intense animus that interferes with human reasoning) from the absurdity of the criticisms.

    And the viciousness of the lies: Sarah Palin never said she could see Russia from her house, she did not pretend to be the mother of her daughter’s child, she did not ban books from the Wasilla library, nor did she target Democrat congressmen for assassination. But in their deranged hatred, the left gleefully promoted these lies.

    Comment by V the K — March 29, 2011 @ 1:42 pm - March 29, 2011

  21. @V the K: Thanks for making my exact point.

    BTW, you neglected to mention Hitlery. Didn’t she kill Vince Foster, and decorate the White House Christmas Trees with condoms and crack pipes? I’m sure you can think of other atrocities if you put your mind to it.

    Oh, and about refering to me as ‘Spartann’. Either you can’t type, or it’s intended as some sort of ‘girly-man’ insult. If the latter, it’s kind of odd that you’d employ it on a blog called “Gay Patriot,” don’t ya think?
    It may surprise you, but we gay people have those kinds of insults hurled at us every day. But you’re so clever, one can hardly take offense.

    I tremble in the face of your manly, rapier-like wit, and can think of nothing half so clever in reply.

    Comment by spartann — March 29, 2011 @ 6:42 pm - March 29, 2011

  22. There’s always a villain because liberals ALWAYS need a distraction from what they’re doing. Whenever you criticize what they’re doing, they ALWAYS respond with “Well ____ did it too!”, never accepting responsibility for their own actions.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — March 29, 2011 @ 6:51 pm - March 29, 2011

  23. TGC, we saw exactly that pattern in Wisconsin last month.

    The Left: OMG. That evil Scott Walker is going after unionized public employees! We need to protest and occupy the capitol!

    Sane people: But aren’t the salaries and benefits of those unionized public employees bankrupting his state?

    The Left: Um…. Hey! Look at those evil Koch Brothers!

    Comment by V the K — March 29, 2011 @ 7:06 pm - March 29, 2011

  24. ##17, 18, 20 & 22: You’re on a roll, V the K. Well stated comments, all.

    Comment by Sean A — March 29, 2011 @ 7:34 pm - March 29, 2011

  25. Sarah Palin never said she could see Russia from her house,

    According to ThePeoplesCube, Caroline Kennedy said she can see the Russian Tea Room from her Manhattan condo. ;-)

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — March 29, 2011 @ 9:51 pm - March 29, 2011

  26. Caroline Kennedy drinks Manhattans from a condom? Who said? Auntie Hogwash?

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 30, 2011 @ 12:21 am - March 30, 2011

  27. Oh, and about refering to me as ‘Spartann’.

    Looks like Mary’s skin is delicate. ‘Spartann’ is, in fact, another commentor on this here blog. Check out some other threads. V simply had that name on his brain. Innocent mistake I’m sure, so get over it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 30, 2011 @ 1:37 am - March 30, 2011

  28. P.S. so my own comment at #19 was meant to say the following, “I think the commentor Spartann is cool; in answering a left-liberal commentor, V the K, you must have meant the commentor in this thread, sparta99.”

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 30, 2011 @ 1:51 am - March 30, 2011

  29. (continued) It honestly never crossed my mind, until reading #21, that V’s ‘spartann’ mistake could have been read as a put-down of anybody.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 30, 2011 @ 1:58 am - March 30, 2011

  30. Sean A – Thank you.

    ILC — My only real mistake was responding to a stupid tu quoque lefty argument as if it has any merit.

    Comment by V the K — March 30, 2011 @ 5:50 am - March 30, 2011

  31. Hi Dan,
    Well, that went well. What interests me is that many folks here, look at AD’s comment at 5, as the one that started it all–well, if she says that, its open season on liberals–they make the poin you want, as you say at #14t. I would point out that at 4, VK does say: “And the corollary: stupid, bitter, jealous, hateful, venal liberals demonize individuals because it’s easier to make people hate than to think.”

    Now, it is true that VK did not call AD any of these things in this post–just painted a group of folks in a pretty negative light. Again, it is also true that he wasn’t clearly calling out ALL liberals, just some amorphous sub-lumpen group called “S,B,J,H,V liberals” which is undefined (unless he means “all liberals” which is the way that AD took it, I think). But VK can clarify. Because, if he did mean it as a whole class, why wouldn’t AD get annoyed?

    On a “he said she said it first” level, I don’t really care, but… if the post was designed to rally the faithful, I think it succeeded in spades, but I think it just about killed any chance of conversation after #4, #5, and #7. Some there, led by Spart99, but even that felt a bit unnecessarily hurtful.

    I will take up that torch a little::”fails to understand the difference between legitimate criticism and hate.” You see, that is the interesting point–from a liberal perspective, the way some targets of the right are portrayed smell of obsession and hate; and that was Sparta99′s point. Sure, legitimate criticism abounds on the conserv side, but in liberal eyes, it can go further, crossing into real uncomfortable territory). I think that is also Sparta99′s point.

    And when I read, “Innocent mistake I’m sure, so get over it.” I am sorry, but a commentator points out that it feels like an insult to them. Sure, they could have been a little less defensive, but I think it is OK to apologize, if someone makes it clear that they dislike what they see as name-calling. What is gained by not doing so?

    I remember a few posts on this site when regulars congratulated each other on how civil they were to each other and to those who wanted to debate the issues from the other side (but not those who name-call). I don’t see that in this thread. Even if there is provocation, why dish it back out? Is there any hope to be bigger than that; or is it just doomed to be left in squabbling about little things? Sparta raised a couple of interesting examples, which no one bothered to deal with, because it was just easier to just discredit the commentator. But the examples remain.

    As far as I can tell, both sides demonize the other side’s icons or leaders–libs do it to conservs sometimes. And conservs do it to libs sometimes. Is this really difficult to accept on the evidence of the political discourse we live with in this country?

    Comment by Cas — March 30, 2011 @ 11:33 pm - March 30, 2011

  32. Affirmatively refute what I asserted about Soros, Moore, Gore, or Obama and then we can get into the silly meta-debate about the rules of debate ought to be.

    Comment by V the K — March 31, 2011 @ 1:55 pm - March 31, 2011

  33. Hi Cas! I do not much care for tossing around academic jargon, such as tu quoque, because it is a distraction that allows the point to shift to whether the user actually understands the jargon and its “proper” usage. (Which ends up being a sort of tu quoque in itself.)

    I know only a few liberals of today that I admire for the ability to frame a debate and support it with facts and conduct it without hyperbole and in a gentlemanly way. One would be Nat Hentoff and another would be Stanley Crouch. There is a chance that you have never heard of either one.

    Alan Dershowitz it capable of sound reasoning, but he too often lets his lawyer’s eye on the prize for winning overtake him.

    Bill Moyers did a masterful job of censoring disagreement and stacking his deck to help him arrive at his pre-determined destination. He is, generally speaking, not so much an intellectual as he is masterful manipulator.

    Cornell West is indecipherable. How he can be lauded for his brilliance when know one can agree on what he just said is beyond me.

    So, if you could bring my attention to someone on the left who makes an open, honest, footnoted case for anything on the liberal agenda, I would be glad to know of him.

    Unfortunately for your side, Saul Alinsky wrote a detailed plan for deceit and power and his outline fits liberals like a glove. They have a strategy for overpowering debate, logic and traditional give and take.

    Three things required of a liberal (thanks to Herman Cain) are (1.) do not shift the topic and (2.) do not ignore facts and (3.) do not name-call.

    Really, those are simple enough rules. If you state a “fact” you are also able to prove it. If you deny a fact, you are equally as prepared to prove it is wrong. If you shift the topic, you must have a corollary tie that bolsters or illuminates the former.

    Name calling includes using ambiguous references such as leaky terms like fascist.

    Your happy talk style is fine with me. But it does not preclude you from stating your point, providing support and being intellectually honest.

    Can you defend the deficits that Obama has piled on top of the deficits he “inherited?”

    Can you defend Obamacare? Can you defend cutting domestic oil production? Can you defend expanding into Libya? Can you defend “czars” instead of relying on Cabinet officers? Can you defend a Democrat controlled Congress not passing a budget for 2011?

    Just curious. Oh, don’t take my points. Pick a liberal idea of your own. I have reached to point where I think liberalism is so bankrupt that it can not find a true issue to promote.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 31, 2011 @ 4:47 pm - March 31, 2011

  34. Hi Heliotrope and VK,
    “Affirmatively refute what I asserted about Soros, …”
    “Can you defend the deficits that Obama has piled on top of the deficits he “inherited?”… Can you defend Obamacare? .”
    I would point out that Dan’s post concerned “liberal vilification” towards conservative and/or libertarian figures. Sparta99 challenged the idea by suggesting that it is something that is also practiced by those on the right. Sparta99 gave examples. This a TQ argument, agreed. It wouldn’t be the first time that argumentative fallacy was raised on this website by commentators, and I don’t mean liberal leaning commentators.

    My post lamented the tone of the discussion which was pretty much negative (something Dan commented on as well, though to say that “it proved his point”), and I pointed out that the negativity had started with VK’s comment concerning “S,B,J,H,V liberals.” TL dislikes the tone: “#5 and #7 Just prove, they can’t argue the points, so they attack the speakers. He is right, but how do you argue against “S,B,J,H,V liberals”? It is designed to incite, not to elicit rational conversation.

    So, after that recap–explain to me again why you want me to change the topic of discussion away towards “defending Obamacare”? That isn’t the issue of the thread. The meta-debate is. I see plenty of vilification on this site; and as in this case, not necessarily started by a liberal voice.

    As for Soros and co, to answer your question: I think you can find things wrong about these guys, things that can be criticised as hypocrisy, and worse. None of the people you mention are without flaws. They can still be seen as making a useful or attempting to make a useful contribution. A major difference between us, I guess, is that I think that this is a two-sided fence. Both sides’ icons are flawed examples of humanity.

    Comment by Cas — March 31, 2011 @ 10:02 pm - March 31, 2011

  35. Hi Cas!

    Nice belly flop.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 31, 2011 @ 11:45 pm - March 31, 2011

  36. Hi Heliotrope,
    “Nice belly flop”
    ““S,B,J,H,V liberals.””

    Comment by Cas — March 31, 2011 @ 11:50 pm - March 31, 2011

  37. There’s always a villain for the left. The was the title and summary statement of Dan’s post.

    I agree. I have known and admired liberals over the years, but the dearth of honest, intellectual liberal debate for the past thirty-five years is shameful. Furthermore, liberals are wrapped in achieving power and practicing deceit. I have lost all respect for liberals of today and I have nearly lost hope of their being able to get back on the track.

    Liberals openly play to ignorance, small-mindedness, obstructionists, and intimidators. (Those were the very self-same types the KKK and Nazis courted.) There has yet to be any substantiation of the claims made about the nastiness of the TEA Party, but SEIU, ACORN, race cards, whipping up La Raza sentiment, political correctness, demeaning Palin and her children and much more is all part of the liberal war room mentality. It is no longer kosher to win through ideas, the modern liberal is Auntie Dogma who attacks with a club for the purpose of crippling the opposition.

    George Soros has no interest in the United States except for his financial purposes and as a safe platform to launch his one world government and to collapse the United States. Yet, the liberals accept his money and his directives as if they were pure, altruistic contributions without strings attached. Yet, not a single liberal has the guts to distance himself from the master.

    I asked Hi Cas! if he could “bring my attention to someone on the left who makes an open, honest, footnoted case for anything on the liberal agenda,…”

    Apparently, that is a bridge too far and a request too large and so off-topic that Hi Cas! must skip town.

    The left is so invested in the blame game and blame shifting that they have forgotten how to stimulate honest debate.

    So, we have the left always with a villain and leftists who …. oh, was that bunny?

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 1, 2011 @ 12:11 am - April 1, 2011

  38. Hi Heliotrope,
    “Apparently, that is a bridge too far and a request too large and so off-topic that Hi Cas! must skip town.”
    …, Please! :)
    When we have a thread on those topics of interest to you, and I am around, I would love to delve into the arcane nature of it all, with you. But, changing focus so as to not address valid points I have made on this thread is just …, well, its just not cricket, old sport!

    I don’t think I am blame shifting, just putting up a mirror on the way this thread went down….

    Comment by Cas — April 1, 2011 @ 1:21 am - April 1, 2011

  39. I don’t think I am blame shifting, just putting up a mirror on the way this thread went down….

    No, in fact, you are not reflecting anything, you are framing the debate. And then, with all conceit, you only agree to play by the rules you have established.

    Hi Cas, your pretense is to take the high road. In fact, you take no road. You act the mediator who only dropped by to vote “present.” So, let’s name names. Who on the right does the “demonizing” and who do they demonize? Understand that if we are going to play this game, we will have to keep score.

    Your turn.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 1, 2011 @ 4:32 am - April 1, 2011

  40. Here’s more hate from the left for Cas to attempt to change the subject from.

    Comment by V the K — April 1, 2011 @ 8:34 am - April 1, 2011

  41. VtheK offers a corollary @#4:

    stupid, bitter, jealous, hateful, venal liberals demonize individuals because it’s easier to make people hate than to think.

    Hi! Cas jumps on VtheK @#34:

    how do you argue against “S,B,J,H,V liberals”? It is designed to incite, not to elicit rational conversation.

    VtheK does not say that liberals who demonize individuals must have all of the prerequisites. He provides a buffet of types of liberal who demonize individuals.

    Hi! Cas manipulates VtheK’s point and makes liberals who demonize individuals into “S,B,J,H,V” liberals. Then, we learn that Hi Cas! sees calling any liberal on demonizing an individual is to call all liberals “S,B,J,H,V.” This bit of magic leads to a charge that VtheK is trying “to incite, not to elicit rational conversation.” And, as a result, Hi Cas! will not debate.

    Whew! Schumer promotes the “message discipline” that Republicans be called “extremists.” Let us stipulate that this is a word to invoke fear, not comfort. Is Schumer stupid? No. Is he bitter? Perhaps. Is he jealous? Yes, he feels his power slipping. Is he hateful? He has shown remarkably little effort to reach across the aisle. Is he venal? In the sense that he places partisanship ahead of stewardship, yes. Is he liberal? Decidedly.

    So, Hi! Cas cannot defend Schumer because Hi! Cas says that when VtheK demonized the way liberals demonize individuals that VtheK poisoned the well.

    Just so we all understand, when you say something negative about the negative thing(s) that someone else is doing, you destroy your own credibility.

    Now Hi! Cas is off in a superiority snit and sulking over the imagined insult that VtheK called all liberals “S,B,J,H,V.”

    In fact, Hi! Cas has even tarred me with being part of the “S,B,J,H,V” cabal.

    Hey, Hi! Cas the topic has always been: There’s always a villain for the left. Get it? The left has always got a conservative to demonize. It is a negative attribute at the core of the left. Clear? And you want us to apply positive adjectives to the people who demonize in order “to elicit rational conversation from the likes of you? How quaint.

    But even more quaint is how you semi-defend Auntie Dogma and Sparta99 who throw bricks (Auntie Dogma) and trot out liberal icons who have been “demonized” by the right. (Sparta99)

    Some moderator for rational conversation you have turned out to be. The fact is, you can not defend your people or your issues so you play a special game of trying to be the Den mother who just wants to prevent a food fight.

    And please understand, Hi! Cas, I don’t really expect you to see and understand what you are doing. But I do suspect that lots of readers of this thread are shaking their heads in agreement with what I have said about your modus operandi.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 1, 2011 @ 1:58 pm - April 1, 2011

  42. In short, Helitotrope, the reason I don’t respect Cas is because she won’t argue about the issues, instead she plays this game of arguing about arguing about the issue. FTS.

    Comment by V the K — April 1, 2011 @ 4:18 pm - April 1, 2011

  43. Hi Heliotrope,
    Things are getting a little hysterical, I think.
    “In fact, Hi! Cas has even tarred me with being part of the “S,B,J,H,V” cabal.”
    I am sorry if you felt that way, it was not my intention; my apologies. It was just a reminder of what I saw, as you call it, as the “poisoning the well,” and what I saw as a process that ensured that there wasn’t going to be a rational conversation on this thread; and your comments which wished to shift away from what I saw happen.

    “Auntie Dogma … who throw bricks ” Defend, no; understand, yes. VK made the nice bricks, and lobbed the first one–not directly at AD (I think), but in the general direction. And folks are surprised when the bricks come back–now that is “quaint.”

    What interests me is that VK doesn’t defend his comment or explain his thinking–you do.

    As for “VtheK does not say that liberals who demonize individuals must have all of the prerequisites. He provides a buffet of types of liberal who demonize individuals.” OK. How you get that from #4 is beyond me. That is not at all “self-evident” a claim as you think it is. A reasonable individual can easily conclude that VK is doing way more than that…

    “Hi! Cas cannot defend Schumer” I am sorry to say that you miss the point I made above–what is to defend here? It is part of a normal political process, Helio, nothing more. I don’t despise it when I see message discipline on the Repub side. The use of the word “extreme” has a long and storied use in American politics, and to be shocked, shocked!!! by its use in this instance, seems to me, rather strange. After all, we can even celebrate and revel in it: “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!”

    VK asserts that a commentator, “being a leftist, fails to understand the difference between legitimate criticism and hate.” I didn’t realize that being on the left of politics precludes one from telling the difference. I shake my head at that one.

    “Who on the right does the “demonizing” and who do they demonize?”
    One example (not meant to be exhaustive):
    http://www.somaliaonline.com/community/showthread.php/53277-Disturbing-Video-Far-right-hate-group-demonizes-Muslims-in-CA.
    Another:
    http://www.newshounds.us/2010/07/08/glenn_beck_demonizes_margaret_sanger.php

    Is this all grounded in “evidence” and not “hate”? Evidence can be multi-dimensional; and it can support both sides of a position. But sometimes, I thinkit is more clear cut than that. Some on the right will say that Obama is a “communist’ or “Marxist,” not born in this country, a Muslim, etc. And well, there will be folks who will say, hold on, none of that is true. I am one of those folks. Should we just say that those folks who don’t believe that rhetoric are just ignorant? Or that those who believe it are rational in their rhetoric? (and if you want evidence of this stance, put in “Obama Communism” into Google and have at it). That isn’t hate right? It is all based on facts and evidence, right? Right?

    Comment by Cas — April 1, 2011 @ 9:16 pm - April 1, 2011

  44. Ah, Cas, you continue to provide entertainment value even as you destroy your credibility.

    For example, your complaint here:

    VK made the nice bricks, and lobbed the first one–not directly at AD (I think), but in the general direction. And folks are surprised when the bricks come back–now that is “quaint.”

    Which is, of course, contrary to your previous statement that there is no justification for responding to provocation.

    Even if there is provocation, why dish it back out? Is there any hope to be bigger than that; or is it just doomed to be left in squabbling about little things?

    Do you think your inability to recognize your own blindness and bias is a cognitive impairment, or simply due to a lack of education and familiarity with intellectual rigor and principled behavior?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 1, 2011 @ 11:31 pm - April 1, 2011

  45. NDT,
    I don’t think it is a contradiction to hold that one would prefer to not to see retaliation as it is rationally unhelpful (what does it do but poison a conversation) and to also hold that one can understand why people do it in any case (people emotionally feel the need to strike back at an insult). If, on reflection, you think that these are actually not mutually exclusive positions, let me know.
    Cheers.

    Comment by Cas — April 1, 2011 @ 11:44 pm - April 1, 2011

  46. Is this all grounded in “evidence” and not “hate”? Evidence can be multi-dimensional; and it can support both sides of a position. But sometimes, I thinkit is more clear cut than that.

    Yes it is.

    Such as when you asserted that Texas had a state property tax (false), that senior citizens weren’t required to pay any property tax in Texas (also false), and that illegal immigrants could receive CHIP (again false), and that illegal immigrants didn’t pay any tax in Texas (surprise, false).

    When the FACTS that demonstrated all four of your positions were incorrect were presented, your response?

    Because what I am going to say has some subtlety, I am going to ask you to bear with me, rather than go for your knee-jerk response.

    So really, Cas, you don’t think facts exist; you just warp and try to manipulate reality for your own pleasure, even if it’s howlingly obvious to everyone around you.

    That’s why you are a failure, Cas. You simply cannot learn because you refuse to acknowledge that you don’t know everything. Even when you are wrong, you are not, as you demonstrated with your childish attempt to whine that I didn’t understand the “nuance” when I presented to you cold, hard facts that completely contradicted your argument.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 1, 2011 @ 11:51 pm - April 1, 2011

  47. And again, the poor child tries its manipulative games.

    If, on reflection, you think that these are actually not mutually exclusive positions, let me know.

    Don’t worry, Cas. There are other people around here who I trust far more to keep me from falling into the sort of infantile bigotry that you practice.

    And now that we’ve called out poor childish Cas’s little insult and well-poisoning games, let’s deal with the hilarious substance of its argument.

    I don’t think it is a contradiction to hold that one would prefer to not to see retaliation as it is rationally unhelpful (what does it do but poison a conversation) and to also hold that one can understand why people do it in any case (people emotionally feel the need to strike back at an insult).

    Ah, but you see, Cas, you don’t just “understand”; you come running in, wagging your finger and trying to shame others into behaving themselves. Remember?

    Even if there is provocation, why dish it back out? Is there any hope to be bigger than that; or is it just doomed to be left in squabbling about little things?

    What we’re pointing out is how this never, never, never applies to anyone who is also an Obama Party shill, as we see from your utter refusal to run finger-wagging up to Auntie Dogma and others.

    Your constant attempts to divert are a foolish attempt to cloak the obvious: you don’t actually believe a word that you are saying, nor will you apply it as a consistent principle. Auntie Dogma serves your purpose of attacking and belittling conservatives, so you support and defend it. Indeed, you do your darndest to try to neuter conservatives into not fighting back, trying in the best Alinsky style to exploit the fact that conservatives HAVE a moral code and sense of values that precludes them from making the same kind of attacks as Obama Party members like Dogma do.

    Your attempts to insult us are hilarious, Cas, on the level of a spoiled-brat five year old whining that adults who don’t give him everything he wants are mean and unfair. And that’s why we continue to humor you here.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 2, 2011 @ 12:02 am - April 2, 2011

  48. Hi NDT,
    Thank you for making my point.

    Comment by Cas — April 2, 2011 @ 12:45 am - April 2, 2011

  49. Now, Cas has reached the point where her game has been revealed, her credibility is gone, she has no argument left… so she does this playground tactic of asserting “Ah ha, I won” and skulking away. Childish, really.

    As for whether certain commenters are bitter, stupid, hate-filled, petty, and so forth… I’ll let their comments speak for themselves.

    Says the reich-wing: So yeah, let’s waste money fighting DOMA, defund Planned Parenthood, and slap “in god we trust” on everything.

    Comment by Auntie Dogma — March 21, 2011 @ 12:21 pm – March 21, 2011

    Comment by V the K — April 2, 2011 @ 6:35 am - April 2, 2011

  50. Hi VK,
    Glad you could come back. So, finally, what say you about what your comment #4 was actually saying? You know, from the horse’s mouth, so to speak?

    Comment by Cas — April 2, 2011 @ 1:28 pm - April 2, 2011

  51. VtheK: Hi! Cas is challenging how one is to read this statement which you wrote:

    And the corollary: stupid, bitter, jealous, hateful, venal liberals demonize individuals because it’s easier to make people hate than to think.

    Hi! Cas prefers the interpretation that you are writing of liberals all of whom have each of these characteristics in common: they are all stupid, all bitter, all jealous, all hateful, all venal. (That would mean that you consider Soros, Hillary, Schumer, Obama, Moore, et. al. to be stupid and bitter and jealous and hateful and venal.)

    On the other hand, I read your statement as a potpourri of liberals some of whom are stupid, others who are bitter, those who are jealous, the hateful ones and the venal lot. I would also assume that some might actually have more than one and even all of the characteristics.

    Since Hi! Cas has become something of a content editor of the comment section, how would you “over explain” your corollary?

    I am more than a bit biased here, as I often puzzle over what Hi! Cas is trying to communicate, so I am not signing on to the “content editor” role.

    It would be interesting to see how long Hi! Cas could keep this stream of consciousness meandering around in search of a basic point.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 2, 2011 @ 10:25 pm - April 2, 2011

  52. Hi Heliotrope,
    VK can defend himself–why do you put words into his mouth? Maybe it is as you suggest; maybe it isn’t. But VK can answer for himself. I appreciate that you want to keep VK’s back, but really, this is a small thing, right?

    Comment by Cas — April 2, 2011 @ 11:23 pm - April 2, 2011

  53. Hi! Cas:

    Not only can VtheK “defend” himself admirably, but he will do so if he so chooses. I do not share the conceit that VtheK is hanging on every word and nuance in this tread waiting for Hi! Cas to move a pawn.

    I am no more “keeping VtheK’s back” than I am putting words in his mouth. I put VtheK on notice that you were back playing a new game of judgmental semantics and that his words were your platform.

    If you feel a bit winded, it is because you ran out of breath and depth a long way up the thread.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 3, 2011 @ 11:11 am - April 3, 2011

  54. Hi Heliotrope,
    It is very simple–I am not interested in your interpretation of VK’s statement–I am interested in VK’s interpretation. VK is not a book about which we argue the meaning of (is he?)–he can tell us what he thinks. If he does not want to talk about what he meant by his statement, OK. I am just trying to get at what he is saying–as it is ambiguous. That you feel the need to “put him on notice” about my diabolical shennanigans is interesting, to say the least.

    Comment by Cas — April 3, 2011 @ 6:46 pm - April 3, 2011

  55. As previously stated, meta-arguments don’t interest me; I think they are just a weaselly tactic for avoiding having to either defend or condemn the rotten behavior of the left.

    Comment by V the K — April 3, 2011 @ 7:26 pm - April 3, 2011

  56. Hi VK,
    I am after the meaning of your statement: “And the corollary: stupid, bitter, jealous, hateful, venal liberals demonize individuals because it’s easier to make people hate than to think.”
    It is a simple question–are you referring to some, most, all liberals? I didn’t think that was a question of “meta-arguments” just argument. If you feel it is “just a weaselly tactic” to ask for clarification of what a statement you made applies to, then, that tells me a lot, thank you.

    Comment by Cas — April 3, 2011 @ 8:42 pm - April 3, 2011

  57. Nicely played, V the K.

    Above Cas stated this:

    VK is not a book about which we argue the meaning of (is he?)–he can tell us what he thinks.

    But then, when you didn’t answer it, it went ahead and started arguing meaning onto your statements.

    If you feel it is “just a weaselly tactic” to ask for clarification of what a statement you made applies to, then, that tells me a lot, thank you.

    Cas doesn’t realize that, in its attempt to snipe at, insult, and bait you into responding, it revealed its own prejudices and bigotry, not to mention its utter hypocrisy.

    Cas’s problem is that, lacking principles or honesty, it must support and endorse the statements of its fellow liberals, regardless of how much it contradicts Cas’s previous whines about “poisoning the well”. Since it cannot reconcile its obvious and blatant hypocrisy in this regard, it must spin and try to attack from a different angle, always avoiding the question, always dodging, never giving an honest answer.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 4, 2011 @ 10:39 am - April 4, 2011

  58. Cas’s problem is she lacks the intellectual candlepower to understand a statement that was perfectly clear to everyone else in the forum. Perhaps she should seek out a forum more suited to her capabilities.

    Comment by V the K — April 4, 2011 @ 10:43 am - April 4, 2011

  59. Hi! Cas:

    I put VtheK on notice because I thought he would be thrilled to know that he is required to over explain everything he writes to accommodate any possible cockamamie error of context you might scrounge up to go off on a tangent.

    I was working with you here. Understand? I was giving you miles and miles and miles of rope. Now, say “thank you.”

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 4, 2011 @ 11:23 am - April 4, 2011

  60. Hi NDT and HT,
    I am just asking for clarification. You can talk of “problems” and “rope” all you want, but it is just a simple question that I ask of VK, concerning what he meant by a statement. It is actually being very polite, since I am not jumping to any conclusions or assuming a Vulcan mind-meld ability to fathom meaning, when such is not clear.

    Maybe VK thinks all liberals fit into one or all of these categories, or maybe most, or maybe only a few, but who knows? VK won’t tell us. And that is interesting.

    Comment by Cas — April 4, 2011 @ 1:01 pm - April 4, 2011

  61. It is actually being very polite, since I am not jumping to any conclusions or assuming a Vulcan mind-meld ability to fathom meaning, when such is not clear.

    Unfortunately, Cas, here’s what you’ve already stated.

    If you feel it is “just a weaselly tactic” to ask for clarification of what a statement you made applies to, then, that tells me a lot, thank you.

    And:

    VK won’t tell us. And that is interesting.

    Conclusions, jumped to. Assumptions, made.

    Nicely done again, V and Heliotrope. Cas doesn’t yet seem to fathom that its perpetual attempts to wiggle out of the web of deceit it’s spun around itself are only making matters worse.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 4, 2011 @ 3:26 pm - April 4, 2011

  62. NDT,
    “Cas doesn’t yet seem to fathom that its perpetual attempts to wiggle out of the web of deceit it’s spun around itself are only making matters worse.”

    sometimes I wonder dude…

    Comment by Cas — April 4, 2011 @ 4:31 pm - April 4, 2011

  63. Cas is either too dim to figure out a statement that no one else had any trouble understanding, or is feigning ignorance to derail discussion.

    Either way, it does not reflect well on her.

    Comment by V the K — April 4, 2011 @ 6:57 pm - April 4, 2011

  64. And VK,
    You still choose to not share with us what you meant by your statement–truly sad.

    Comment by Cas — April 4, 2011 @ 11:29 pm - April 4, 2011

  65. Hi! Cas,

    I am asking you directly: Do you think that VtheK believes that Hillary Clinton, George Soros, Harry Reid, and President Obama are stupid and bitter and jealous and hateful and venal?

    Do you have the character to say that you do think that is what VtheK believes? You see, if you do not think that is what VtheK believes, you have no point in pursuing all of this.

    However, you would admit, I hope, that anyone who thinks all liberals have all of these negative characteristics is so underwhelming as to be a waste of space, oxygen and notice.

    So, call it Hi! Cas.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 4, 2011 @ 11:52 pm - April 4, 2011

  66. HT,
    “Do you have the character to say that you do think that is what VtheK believes? You see, if you do not think that is what VtheK believes, you have no point in pursuing all of this.”
    Dude, it is not on me to divine what VK means, when he makes an ambiguous statement. When asked to explain it, I ask only what he means. What can be so hard about that? I do not yet know what to think about what VK thinks, because VK hasn’t been clear. It seems that you look for the worse in those you converse with, HT. I just want to understand where VK is coming from, and here I am, talking with you about what we both don’t know, because the guy who does know is being very coy about it all! Golly gee whiz!

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 2:29 am - April 5, 2011

  67. And HT,
    “I am asking you directly: Do you think that VtheK believes that Hillary Clinton, George Soros, Harry Reid, and President Obama are stupid and bitter and jealous and hateful and venal?”
    I have no idea. I think VK sincerely believes the things he says at #17. He believes these are legitimate criticisms, not hate. However, others will see things differently, and argue that some or all of these are not factually correct or emphasize certain things and minimize others. For example I take exception with his characterization of job losses & BO.That is a topic of debate we can have. I am sure Dan will oblige us with a thread on this issue at some point in time, so we can get into it when that arrives. Does VK hate BO? Well, we would have to ask VK. And we could also ask him to clarify what he meant by his corollary at the same time.

    This is so weird, talking about someone in the third person like this–a fishbowl experience…

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 2:47 am - April 5, 2011

  68. Heliotrope, now you’re almost getting to be cruel. :)

    You maneuvered Cas into saying this:

    Dude, it is not on me to divine what VK means, when he makes an ambiguous statement.

    when Cas has regularly and repeatedly divined what V the K means, and always in an insulting and derogatory fashion:

    If you feel it is “just a weaselly tactic” to ask for clarification of what a statement you made applies to, then, that tells me a lot, thank you.

    VK won’t tell us. And that is interesting.

    You still choose to not share with us what you meant by your statement–truly sad.

    And then the ultimate in hilarious projection.

    It seems that you look for the worse in those you converse with, HT.

    Again, Heliotrope, masterful. You’ve figured out that Cas can’t stop itself from making bigoted statements and namecalling to try to get people to respond. The more you string it out, the more you make it obvious that Cas is a bigot who is assuming the worst about everyone; moreover, you exploit Cas’s lack of principles and consistent argument to make it obvious that Cas is a hypocrite who will never hold itself to the standards it demands of others.

    Well done.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 5, 2011 @ 11:28 am - April 5, 2011

  69. NDT,
    Still flinging…

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 3:22 pm - April 5, 2011

  70. Cas,

    In the immortal (and correct) words of V the K above:

    Now, Cas has reached the point where her game has been revealed, her credibility is gone, she has no argument left… so she does this playground tactic of asserting “Ah ha, I won” and skulking away. Childish, really.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 5, 2011 @ 3:56 pm - April 5, 2011

  71. NDT, Calmer than you, dude

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 5:54 pm - April 5, 2011

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