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  1. most contemporary liberals aren’t prepared to engage intellectually with ideas outside of a narrow range of approved opinions, and so they quickly turn to insults, name-calling, ad hominem attacks, and other forms of invective.

    Sound more a Sunday brunch gathering of hung over drag queens!

    Comment by rusty — January 26, 2013 @ 8:36 pm - January 26, 2013

  2. But seriously Kurt . . .the Obama spin doctors just more Obama supporters to the polls to vote. One of the biggest challenges that Romney folk had was getting more ‘not-Romney’ folk to the polls and vote. You have to recall Bruce’s call for Cain early, then Eric called for his support for Newt, and then Santorum had a brief splurge. Romney was a bench warmer for many folk. . .

    Not so much about Libs do but for some, it was the divisive tactics, the waffling support and lack of direct messaging and a strong connection to the factions of the R party. Pretty tough go.

    There are many folk who voted for O but didn’t cast their vote-period.

    Comment by rusty — January 26, 2013 @ 8:46 pm - January 26, 2013

  3. Voted for Obama the first but not the second

    Comment by rusty — January 26, 2013 @ 8:48 pm - January 26, 2013

  4. Thanks for the link. I will endeavor to be worthy of it. I had a fresh experience just today. My regular readers will know that I have had an ongoing email battle with my very liberal uncle in SLO, CA. I occasionally report on the dispute, though frankly, it has gotten repetitive. He sometimes sends out group emails with a link to an article. Few other than myself ever comment, but I think there is only one other nonliberal in that whole batch.

    He sent a recent David Brooks op-ed. I replied, liking it some and taking issue with other parts. My takedown of Scandinavian smugness must have rankled, because “Evy” felt obliged to respond. She made no logical points, but attempted merely to use condescension and social shaming to refute me. She is a retired art professor, so is likely capable of logical argument, but her first instinct was social control, to make sure that I was branded as ridiculous, rather than as wrong.

    I don’t dislike Scandinavians, BTW. I have a son working in Norway who loves it, but he finds their level of prejudice after a few drinks to be quite alarming.

    I am looking forward to your series. Arts & Humanities liberals – my tribe of origin – have been an ongoing theme at my place. Steal whatever you want. I don’t need credit, I’d just like the ideas to spread.

    Comment by Assistant Village Idiot — January 26, 2013 @ 9:56 pm - January 26, 2013

  5. Liberal policies simply can not be defended based on data and facts. Liberal policies are based purely on emotion. Pick any issue, it doesn’t really matter which one, and it’s always emotion that rules. I was going to use minimum wage and anti-poverty programs as the example (because I am a huge Thomas Sowell fan and he has written extensively about the wrong-headedness of those policies), but let’s use the current fuss about gun control instead.

    New York state just passed the most restrictive gun laws in the country, including banning “assault rifles”. So you’d naturally think that NY state has an epidemic of violent crime committed using “assault rifles”, right? Well, according to the Uniform Crime Report created by the FBI (found in about 10 seconds using your Google machine) a grand total of 5 murders were committed in NY using rifles in 2011. The FBI does not distinguish between “assault rifles” and other types of rifles, say a pedestrian .22 long rifle, so we don’t even know for sure from the report if ANY of the 5 murders were committed using “assault rifles”.

    For perspective, the state has a population of 19.5 million. 26 people were murdered by someone using only their fists. So there was over 5x more murders committed by people using their bare hands than using rifles. How much more obvious can it be that banning “assault rifles” has almost nothing to do with reducing violent crime?

    Cuomo saw a way to parlay the national emotional reaction to the horrendous heart-breaking tragedy at Sandy Hook into political gain for himself. Now NYers get to feel morally superior about themselves because they surrendered very real liberty for very fake security, and there will be no statistically measurable reduction in violent crime as a result. It’s quite sad.

    Liberal politicians are experts at exploiting raw emotion for their own political power and making the electorate they cater to feel good about themselves – but it rarely solves the problem targeted by the policy.

    Comment by Scott — January 26, 2013 @ 10:07 pm - January 26, 2013

  6. Since the election, I’ve unfriended 38 liberals, unfollowed the rest, and only post in a private group of like-minded individuals. I There’s too much unavoidable Obama worship in meatspace. I don’t need it on Facebook.

    And I can honestly say, I don’t miss any of them.

    Comment by V the K — January 26, 2013 @ 10:32 pm - January 26, 2013

  7. “The more I have learned about issues and arguments, though, the more appalled I have become at the reality that most liberals don’t care about the facts or about reason, and instead they seek to enforce their views through social coercion.”

    Very good observation, and very true…

    My boyfriend is taking a college seminar class right now and somehow no matter what subject they talk about he says the instructor always manages to bring it back to the “stupidity” of conservatives. Seems topical to what you’re saying, since few places is this displayed better than our educational system.

    Comment by Tim in MT — January 26, 2013 @ 10:45 pm - January 26, 2013

  8. Actually, a goodly portion of the none NYC population of NYS is not going to comply and we hope civil disobedience won’t lead to bloodshed.

    ‘…leaders of some of the state’s hundreds of gun clubs, dealers, and non-profit organizations, citing the New York Constitution’s guarantee that gun rights “cannot be infringed,” are currently involved in organizing the resistance. Among the primary concerns is that, with registration, authorities would know where to go for confiscation, an idea already proposed openly by Governor Cuomo himself.
    “They’re saying, ‘F— the governor! F— Cuomo! We’re not going to register our guns,’ and I think they’re serious. People are not going to do it. People are going to resist,” explained State Rifle and Pistol Association President Tom King, who also serves on the National Rifle Association board of directors. “They’re taking one of our guaranteed civil rights, and they’re taking it away.”
    Opponents of the right to bear arms, take heed. The American people know what you’re up to and they will not stand for it.
    The resistance has begun.’

    Comment by Richard Bell — January 26, 2013 @ 11:44 pm - January 26, 2013

  9. Exactly.

    As I told ILC, EssEm, and Leah this afternoon, I have come around to the belief that a significant majority of liberals will not be satisfied until any and all dissent from their beliefs is eradicated.

    And that includes everything from social shaming up to and including killing those who hold said beliefs.

    Conservatives have manners, and that is our downfall when dealing with liberals. Liberals have none, and more importantly, have no compunctions about exploiting the manners of others to seize control of the floor, spout their hate, and attempt to berate and blast everyone else into doing what they say.

    No one likes a bully. But far too many people will do what one says, and worse, will look for some small thread of rationalization to explain why they’re doing it. The key for conservatives is to break that and to show that it’s OK to stand up to the bully.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 27, 2013 @ 12:40 am - January 27, 2013

  10. With this post, I’d like to launch an ongoing, periodical series of posts reflecting on the phenomenon of social liberalism–both understanding its implications, and also thinking about effective ways to recognize, respond to and defend against the techniques, tactics, premises and presuppositions of social liberals.

    OMG, I live in the SF Bay area. This is exactly what goes on daily. A few patterns I notice:

    1. The immediate jump to the straw man argument. If you think that simply handing out benefits to make a problem easier to live with is not actually addressing the underlying problem that causes the need for the benefits then you obviously want to cut off everyone’s benefits and see them starve to death.

    2. If you do not believe that it is the role of government to “take care” of the population then you are a cold, heartless bastard that wants everyone to die.

    3. Any opposition to any government program means that you are completely anti-government and are some kind of tea-bagger neanderthal and want to live in a state of total anarchy where everyone is blowing each other up with AR-15s all day for fun.

    4. If you are against any of Obama’s policies, please keep your opinions to yourself. Criticism of “shub”, however, is always welcome and any way you can possibly find to blame anything in the present day on his policies (double points for blaming Reagan) gets you special admiration.

    It’s just batshit crazy out here.

    Comment by crosspatch — January 27, 2013 @ 3:30 am - January 27, 2013

  11. My uncle, an extremely smart man, used to be a bleeding heart liberal. I remember a “discussion” many years ago between him and my dad (also smart and conservative to the core). Finally, my exasperated uncle closed the discussion pronouncing “don’t try to confuse me with facts, my mind is made up”.

    Uncle’s career brought him into contact with a lot of the fallout from liberalism so he’s now fairly conservative.

    Liberals are all about feeling good about themselves, feeling superior. John Derbyshire calls it cheap grace. They are utterly immune to the notion that liberalism has human victims. Liberalism is full of contradictions: empowering women and the hating empowered women; hating poverty while creating more of it; preaching tolerance while showing vicious intolerance for the different; celebrating diversity while demanding compliance; confusing liberty and license – freedom is fornication and sticking taxpayers with the consequences while the Bill of Rights is seen as an anachronism in an age where smart liberals should be deciding what’s allowed…

    Orwell called if doublethink.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — January 27, 2013 @ 10:06 am - January 27, 2013

  12. Confrontational liberals have each developed their own style of argument douching. They pick a small nit from what you just said and twist it to being the subject of your disagreement. The smaller the nit, the more triumphant they feel.

    If you ask a confrontational liberal how he would approach social security insolvency, he will likely land on you for wanting to make social security poverty even worse. He jumps immediately over your neutral question to lambaste you as cold and heartless. And within the next two rounds he will tell you that you are making a “circular argument” and blah, blah, blah.

    This does not imply any particular skill or intelligence. It means that you are trying to wrestle with an eel.

    You can not count on nailing Jello to a wall and you can not really hope to have have a stable debate with someone who is emotionally predisposed to run around the topic and confronting you with straw men of their own imagination which you never brought up.

    My sister has a visceral hate for GW, bankers, and pro-lifers. We don’t talk about those things. She wins before the game is afoot. That is the key to many liberals, they will lock you out rather than relax their pet weeping wounds. They are martyrs to their causes.

    I have largely left the academic world, but my many decades as the begrudgingly tolerated Neanderthal was quite instructive. Diversity Deans, for instance, are generally real sociopaths and it is important to weigh and understand their ideologically fueled malevolence.

    This conservative/liberal thing is a tug-of-war. They form a natural team without coaching. What do conservatives do? Usually, they cower and hunker.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 27, 2013 @ 10:08 am - January 27, 2013

  13. AVI–Thanks for your comments. If I remember correctly, I first started reading your blog after you put up this post on using humor to tell your friends you’re a conservative. I think the Ghengis Khan line is my favorite (pronounced, of course without the John Kerry affectation!), but as I don’t have any kids, it doesn’t really apply in my case. In any event, I might refer back to that again later on. I had also thought about referencing the Steve Sailer post about high school here, as well, but figured I would hold off and save that for a future post.

    There are many other great comments here, too. I particularly appreciate Crosspatch’s observation about:

    1. The immediate jump to the straw man argument. If you think that simply handing out benefits to make a problem easier to live with is not actually addressing the underlying problem that causes the need for the benefits then you obviously want to cut off everyone’s benefits and see them starve to death.

    Since I started reflecting on the topic for this post, I’ve been noticing the frequency with which ridiculous straw-man arguments and extreme non-sequiturs appear on the Facebook pages of Obama voters.

    Comment by Kurt — January 27, 2013 @ 12:41 pm - January 27, 2013

  14. I came to this blog recently and have made a few comments. My politics are to the left of most of your posters and readers, but I make it a point to read and engage with sources across the political spectrum — depending on the forum, I have sometimes been the most liberal participant and sometimes the most conservative, and I like it that way because my ideas are continuously challenged.

    Unfortunately, in response to my comments on this blog, I have been met with precisely the name-calling and refusal to countenance opposing ideas that you accuse liberals of. For example, I have been called “insane” and a “bigot.” There are certainly close-minded liberals, but I think you are ignoring how many close-minded conservatives there are.

    Comment by Brubeck — January 27, 2013 @ 12:57 pm - January 27, 2013

  15. Hi Brubeck, thanks for your comments. While it is certainly true that there are closed-minded conservatives out there, my real aim in this post is to highlight a particular mode of social coercion employed primarily by liberals.

    I can think of two instances in my life when I was at a mixed social gathering and a conservative started making a point in a confrontational way that assumed everyone else in the group agreed with him, and one of those was at an event hosted by Republican political figure. By contrast, I couldn’t even begin to count the number of times I have been at a social or a professional gathering where I have witnessed liberals start into political rants or make insulting comments about conservatives just out of the blue, in mixed company, with the assumption that everyone present must agree (or that no one present dare to disagree).

    If you read AVI’s post in full, you’ll notice he addresses that sort of objection, as well. I’ve quoted it part of the relevant section below.

    I have every recognition that such accusations seem unfair and at minimum, there are also examples of conservatives developing and maintaining their values with similar methods. But to acknowledge that is to allow an avenue of escape that should not be granted. When one can say “yeah, both sides are doing that,” this quickly becomes “it’s about equal,” which then becomes “so there’s no difference, I can ignore it, I’m keeping my same ideas, and now that I think of it, the other guys do this more [and] we’re better.”

    I am adamant that this is primarily liberal reasoning, and is in fact the foundation of how it perpetuates itself, and why I brought up the idea of “fashionableness” after the election.

    Comment by Kurt — January 27, 2013 @ 1:28 pm - January 27, 2013

  16. Brubeck. I try to be alert to that. I may not succeed. But thanks for the reminder. If you are actually engaging the topic, I would hate to be the one to treat you dismissively.

    However, I can be a jerk at times, and may do mit anyway. Try to soldier on, as i may be more complimentary next issue.

    Comment by Assistant Village Idiot — January 27, 2013 @ 1:38 pm - January 27, 2013

  17. Thanks Kurt and AVI for your replies. Here’s my two cents worth, with the caveat that I am still thinking through the topic.

    I think what you are observing may have a lot to do with where you live. I grew up in a pretty conservative area where conservative opinions were set forth as self-evident in the manner you describe far more often than liberal ones. Now I live in a more liberal area and the reverse is true. It’s not dependent on a particular ideology — it’s an example of groupthink, where the prevailing content is determined by whichever group happens to be dominant in a particular setting.

    But more fundamentally, your argument seems to me to be the conservative equivalent of when liberals dismiss conservative arguments as the result of ignorance or prejudice or what have you. In both cases, the reasoning seems to be that people who disagree with you (the general you, not you in particular) can’t possibly be doing so because they have thought things through intellectually and come to a different conclusion; they must think the way they do because of [insert favorite psychological/sociological/whatever explanation here].

    Not only does this seem condescending to me, it also seems self-defeating, because you come off as arrogant, which rankles and alienates folks who are still making up their mind. You also end up underestimating the appeal of opposing viewpoints — witness the number of conservatives who were shocked that Romney lost, or the number of liberals who were shocked that Reagan won.

    Most importantly, the only way that the nation is going to have a productive political dialogue is if everyone respects opposing viewpoints and engages with them. I can’t count the number of times I have come away from a conversation with someone to the left or to the right of me thinking about something differently than I had before the conversation. Sometimes I change my mind completely about an issue, sometimes I keep the same position but develop a better understanding of why others come to a different conclusion. If everyone dismisses opposing arguments as the result of social reasoning or whatever, nobody learns from anyone else and the political dialogue stalemates.

    Comment by Brubeck — January 27, 2013 @ 3:17 pm - January 27, 2013

  18. “Productive Political Dialogue” is impossible without an impartial arbiter. We don’t have that in this country. We have a political-academic-media complex that is so in the tank for the left they need Scuba gear.

    To just cite just one obvious example; a Republican candidate got pilloried for saying something stupid about rape. And even though the entire party repudiated him, the MFM pushed the story as a smear against all Republicans. Meanwhile, Democrat Bill Clinton is plausibly accused of committing rape, and he’s lauded as the hero of the party.

    So, you’ll excuse me if I am dismissives of leftists who say “Let’s have a good fair fight” when they know the referees have been bought and paid for.

    Comment by V the K — January 27, 2013 @ 3:52 pm - January 27, 2013

  19. What destroys most communication across the ideological divide is inferior foreplay. Most informal “debates” begin with confrontation and that leads to defensive posturing and so forth.

    Piers Morgan considers himself to be a master of debate. He is not. He has tricked the system so that he remains in control until the clock runs out.

    There are “systems” worked out by debate gurus in which the participants engage in foreplay to soften the resistance factor before getting down to their differences.

    When a college audience has a “booing” section and pies at the ready, debate is not on their agenda. Likewise, when a person’s ear is cocked for political incorrectness, the floor is not open to honest disagreement.

    The point is that for an honest debate, both parties must be willing to listen and ask for clarification when confused, but to keep their powder dry until the first rebuttal period.

    What Piers Morgan and, frankly, most liberals expressing their emotions do is to jump on the first point of disagreement and interrupt and go to war over it as the original topic is sidelined over some tangential point.

    The other useless tactic I encounter too often is an opinion statement laid down as an absolute and imperative statement. “Religion has no business in government.” The proper and only response to that is: “What wild bird seed do you recommend.”

    There is a heck of a lot of principled difference between abortion to save the life of the mother and allowing the infant to die unattended after it slipped through a botched partial-birth abortion. We have forgotten the value of the foreplay in which we find our common ground first and puzzle out our differences calmly and respectfully.

    Demagoguing is using a sledge hammer to divide and stigmatize. Progressives are stuck having (in their minds) to defend one of the greatest demagoguery experts of our time. But you can not blame Obama entirely, because he uses the Alinsky rules effectively and constantly and they have given him the position and power he sought and won.

    Most conservatives I know have all heard the Progressive mantra from liberals, the MSM, movies and the talking points parrots on the net. They are rarely interested in exchanging views. They are mostly interested in being polemicists and arguing like the March Hare: “Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly. “I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone: “so I can’t take more.” “You mean you can’t take LESS,” said the Hatter: “it’s very easy to take MORE than nothing.”

    And so forth ad nauseum. Plato/Aristotle noted that debate is predicated on the agreement to disagree. For many, debate is predicated on the determination to be disagreeable and win by shouting and grandstanding.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 27, 2013 @ 4:55 pm - January 27, 2013

  20. Unfortunately, in response to my comments on this blog, I have been met with precisely the name-calling and refusal to countenance opposing ideas that you accuse liberals of. For example, I have been called “insane” and a “bigot.”

    Comment by Brubeck — January 27, 2013 @ 12:57 pm – January 27, 2013

    LOL.

    The Warrensville Heights Democrat, who just started a two-year term as chair of the Black Caucus, said that if such people continue to get elected to Congress, “we are never going anywhere as a country.”

    “Because we deal with nuts, every single day,” said Fudge. “These people are evil and mean. They care nothing about anybody but themselves. And so, if you think you are going to have anything bipartisan, you need to think again. It is not happening.”

    It is to laugh.

    Yet another Nazi reference at the Democratic convention.

    The chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party today compared Nikki Haley, the state’s Republican governor, to Hitler mistress Eva Braun.

    Noting that Republicans are holding opposition press briefings in a basement studio at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Dick Harpootlian told a South Carolina delegation breakfast today: “She was down in the bunker a la Eva Braun.”

    And of course, there’s Barack Obama himself dismissing conservative arguments as the result of ignorance or prejudice.

    So let’s see, Brubeck: the leaders of the Obama Party, as well as Barack Obama himself, are calling us insane bigots and racists whose arguments are the result of ignorance and prejudice.

    And you endorse, support, promote, praise, defend, and demand that we follow them unquestioningly.

    So in the words of a great man who saw this phenomenon and responded accordingly: “Apologize for WHAT?”

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 27, 2013 @ 5:03 pm - January 27, 2013

  21. I actually think there is a lot of truth to the whole “social” aspects of liberalism. I am thinking of several of the man on the street type videos done by conservative groups.

    There was one not long before the election where the interviewer would provide an example of something Obama stands for or has actually done as president but they don’t say who supports it or imply it is Romney. The reactions were all “That is wrong, that is criminal, that is unconstitutional” etc.

    When they reveal that all the things were things Obama says he believes or has done, almost all of the people said they didn’t care, because Obama was a democrat and they couldn’t vote for a republican. One of the men said he would have to do some more research and rethink things through.

    When group think is to the point where you won’t give up your liberalism even in the face of evidence there is a problem.

    Oh, and I have to say my facebook page was awful right after the election.

    Comment by Just Me — January 27, 2013 @ 7:28 pm - January 27, 2013

  22. I’d reiterate my point by echoing what the other commenters have said in response to Brubeck’s arguments at #17. To put the matter as simply as possible, there wouldn’t be an overwhelming leftist bias in academia, in the media, among those that AVI refers to as “the arts and humanities tribe,” or in many other sectors of the population if it weren’t enforced through a serious amount of social coercion and shaming. To give just one example, in the 1960s, there was a “free speech” movement at Berkeley and elsewhere as activists sought to make the universities more receptive to leftist ideas and political protest; starting in the 80s, though, speech codes started emerging on campuses nationwide as the entrenched leftists wanted to use their power to silence dissent.

    Comment by Kurt — January 27, 2013 @ 8:25 pm - January 27, 2013

  23. Also, when I hear people brag about how they’ve changed their opinions because of interactions with other people; I have to question if their opinions were founded in facts and logic to begin with. Facts and logic are immutable.

    Comment by V the K — January 27, 2013 @ 8:46 pm - January 27, 2013

  24. My experience has been that conservatives are less likely to bully other people with their viewpoints than leftists are. You never see conservative groups at colleges shouting down or assaulting liberal speakers, but it’s common when conservatives like Ann Coulter or Mark Steyn are invited to speak.

    Comment by V the K — January 27, 2013 @ 8:49 pm - January 27, 2013

  25. Brubeck – Is this what you mean by “productive political dialogue?”

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/01/27/Obama-threatens-fox-news-limbaugh

    Your concept of “productive political dialogue” is a pipe dream. How can we have any decent dialogue when your far left/liberal president spews this type of venom. His words, not ours. His interview, not our projecting.

    The only way we ever can have that elusive dialogue is if Republican leadership comes from a position of strength, and stand up to the invective laced words spewing from obama, liberals, and most democrats in general.

    Sorry Brubeck, but you are so wrong in so many ways.

    Comment by mixitup — January 27, 2013 @ 8:50 pm - January 27, 2013

  26. 22. Kurt “…in the 1960s, there was a ‘free speech’ movement at Berkeley and elsewhere as activists sought to make the universities more receptive to leftist ideas and political protest”

    I have read that the movement was not about free speech, as universities were already tolerant of leftist opinion. Rather, the purpose was to break the embargo on politicization of research and teaching.

    Comment by pst314 — January 27, 2013 @ 9:08 pm - January 27, 2013

  27. “Liberals are most concentrated and untrammeled on campuses. So look there for evidence of what, given the opportunity, they would do to America.”
    –George Will, quoted by Dennis Prager during his recent interview with Greg Lukianoff, author of “Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate”.

    Comment by pst314 — January 27, 2013 @ 9:13 pm - January 27, 2013

  28. This article is so right
    Intellectuals like George Bush, Rush, Hannity and Beck are so smart

    Comment by George — January 27, 2013 @ 10:37 pm - January 27, 2013

  29. Clearly, George Bush, Rush, Hannity and Beck are not on the same intellectual highway as Joe Biden, Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews and Al Gore. Now, George/Vince, just for the record, which quartet of names lives rent free in your head?

    Comment by heliotrope — January 28, 2013 @ 8:30 am - January 28, 2013

  30. heliotrope,

    Personally I’m always amused at the ‘smart’ card. President Bush outscored Global Warming Scam Artist Al Gore and Self admitted war criminal Kerry scholastically, yet is derided as an idiot.

    OTOH, Gov Palin is deried by the left for not having an ‘Ivy League’ degree, and Gov Scott Walker is derrided for not being a college graduate.

    So it’s a matter not of being ‘too smart’ or ‘too educated’ it’s a false argument that changes for the convience of the writer.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 28, 2013 @ 9:57 am - January 28, 2013

  31. In my experience, the ability to recognize that an issue — any issue — always has at least several explanations/aspects is a symptom of maturity. Many leftists I’ve met parrot what they’ve been taught by rote and not by experience, seeking easy categorization of issues and their opponents and seeking affirmation by constant repetition all around them whether by teachers, the media, bumper stickers, etc. This is why these same leftists find it unbearable to be faced with those who challenge them: it is a reproach of all the comforting “I know how the world works” slogans they’ve carefully memorized. But more importantly, a different opinion challenges the leftist’s very identity because like a child, the typical leftist formulates his identity not based upon life experience and deliberation but upon the simplistic structures he’s been taught. And so a rightist reveals his insecurity. When the fleeting but very painful possibility of being wrong occasionally punctures their “Us == Good; Them == Evil” cocoon, they lash out. And yes, some conservatives do the same.

    Comment by Ignatius — January 28, 2013 @ 10:56 am - January 28, 2013

  32. 23.Also, when I hear people brag about how they’ve changed their opinions because of interactions with other people; I have to question if their opinions were founded in facts and logic to begin with. Facts and logic are immutable.

    Limited data can affect opinions. Keep in mind I’m a redneck from SE Ohio, my set of facts were limited to one out kid, who was flaming and I’d guess a masochist. (hint: When you know the Quarterback is straight, and you continue to comment on his butt in earshot of the rest of the team. Being beat up is not a surprising outcome in 80′s SE Oh).
    It wasn’t until I was older and sadder, if not wiser, I had enough data to change my notions. That’s not based on emotion, it’s based on all the data available.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 28, 2013 @ 11:31 am - January 28, 2013

  33. The Livewire,

    I am always amused when someone starts blathering about who is “intellectual” and who is not. Apparently, there is some spot in the prefrontal cortex in the anterior part of the frontal lobe of the cerebrum to stick a probe and measure a person’s intellect on an intellectometer. Or, maybe, some individuals can divine it by assessing the penumbra of the aura emanating from the palpations of the brain waves.

    At any rate, I prefer Confucius: “Learning without thought is labor lost. Thought without learning is intellectual death.”

    David Letterman, Bill Maher, Lawrence O’Donnell, Piers Morgan, Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Stewart and Nancy Pelosi are certainly purveyors of much opinion unguided by any significant amount of either learning or thinking. A quip from the lip is worth two cogent thoughts that don’t titillate and they always aim or flop into the bumper sticker. (“We will have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it.”)(“What difference, at this point, does it make?”)(“Those ads taking my words about small business out of context? They’re flat out wrong, …Of course Americans build their own businesses.”)+(” If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that.”)

    No one defeats Rush on the facts and the conclusions he draws from them. That is why he has no Progressive competition that out-smarts him. Glenn Beck lays it all out with footnotes and urges people to take him on. Crickets. Hannity takes liberal callers first and opens his shows to debate with people who really, really don’t agree with him. In one Presidential press conference, George W. Bush took more challenging questions from the MSM than Obama has taken in four years.

    Where all this falls on the “official intelligence scale” is beyond my capacity to ascertain. Others, however, seem to have no difficulty without even thinking.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 28, 2013 @ 11:36 am - January 28, 2013

  34. Once again, Obama voters riot over FSFTG.

    Livewire, I just meant that opinions that are solidly based on facts and reason are unlikely to change.

    Comment by V the K — January 28, 2013 @ 12:10 pm - January 28, 2013

  35. @V I know you did. I’m just saying it’s perfectly possible to change one’s opinion that was based on facts and reason, with the introduction of more facts.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 28, 2013 @ 12:14 pm - January 28, 2013

  36. Intelligence is basically “the ability to learn or understand from experience or to respond successfully to new experiences” (Webster’s) The implication is that one utilizes “reason” in creating solutions to problems and guiding his conduct.

    Emotion is “a state of consciousness having to do with the arousal of feelings. (Webster’s ) Emotions are subject reactions (feelings) which are experiences by pleasant of unpleasant experiences/stimuli.

    So, is there “emotional intelligence?” Perhaps. But it would involve applying sound reasoning and articulate judgment to aroused feelings.

    If a conservative, for instance, insists that “it is God’s will” and that appeal to authority has no meaning whatsoever to the listener, then the conservative is pitting his deep belief system as an emotion instead of applying reason.

    If a liberal, for instance, insists that “God is a sham” and that “fact” is unsubstantiated, then the liberal is mocking the other person and applying emotion instead of reason.

    In those examples, there is no debate, just a very distinct difference of opinion and nothing whatsoever is to come out of the confrontation.

    If George Bush “lied and people died,” then we have a clear case of “fact” that is open to reasoning and judgement. It should be relatively easy to go about defining what constitutes a lie and then showing the evidence that Bush lied. When the person brings Bush’s daddy or Halliburton or Cheney or Big Oil into the argument, they are all emotional side arguments that must be coupled to the thesis statement by reason in order to be germane.

    What all of this boils down to is “critical thinking.” When someone (Piers Morgan?) goes off half-cocked with a part fact and part emotion argument, it is not a debate, it is theatrics. From the standpoint of the intellect, a debate proceeds like the game of chess. From the standpoint of outshouting the opponent, the argument is just an emotion laden cat fight.

    Too often on this site, someone drops in to make an inane statement and walks away. That is entirely an emotion driven act and the person dropping the quip has no right to demand a reasonable discourse or “civil dialog.” This is because the person chose the format of emotions over intellect and to bleat about it later is childish. (Childish meaning unable to control ones emotions.)

    Comment by heliotrope — January 28, 2013 @ 12:17 pm - January 28, 2013

  37. Livewire, I get your point. But what I am saying is, left-liberals base their opinions on emotions and peer pressure. And they think there is something wrong with people who won’t change their minds because of emotional appeals and/or peer pressure.

    Which is one reason why certain idiots in this forum are constantly using fallacies like the Appeal to Authority, citing opinion polls, and using emotion-laden appeals like accusing opponents of “h8″ and racism.

    Comment by V the K — January 28, 2013 @ 12:19 pm - January 28, 2013

  38. It’s kind of hard to take liberal bleatings about intelligence seriously when they worship a guy who thinks Austrian is a language, can’t pronounce the word “Corspman,” and thinks the plural of Secretary of State is Secretary of States.

    Comment by V the K — January 28, 2013 @ 12:21 pm - January 28, 2013

  39. [...] are like sheep.  They will, in general, submit to any leftist who has any authority (by the way, here is a good post that might explain this phenomenon).  It is unrealistic to think a unified [...]

    Pingback by I Hate Politics « Canadian Rattlesnake — January 28, 2013 @ 1:19 pm - January 28, 2013

  40. When I first started reading blogs regularly, I thought the challenge was in possessing the information needed to refute the arguments of the left. The more I have learned about issues and arguments, though, the more appalled I have become at the reality that most liberals don’t care about the facts or about reason, and instead they seek to enforce their views through social coercion.

    A lot of us have remarked on this over the years… and it’s good to keep on remarking.

    The level of ignorance and illogic, as well as hypocrisy, that most left-liberals display is stunning. That left-liberalism is essentially emotional, social and tribal in nature – a new secular religion, with cheap grace, redemption and indulgences for its followers to feel good about themselves – is the most likely explanation.

    Take Sarah Palin. Most of what left-liberals believe about her was/is untrue: She never banned books or contraception, never said that she could see Russia from her house (though she did correctly note that Alaska shares a border with Russia), etc. Left-liberals *constructed* (to borrow an expression) an image of her that they could feel good about hating and rejecting. Why? Because of tribalism. They ought to support her; she ought to be a feminist hero. But when she refused to abort her Down Syndrome child, she marked herself as “not part of the left-liberal tribe”. Blithe, unconflicted willingness to have an abortion is one of the left-liberals’ top markers for who is one of them, and who isn’t. Rejecting that marker is (to them) unforgivable.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 28, 2013 @ 2:28 pm - January 28, 2013

  41. Well I certainly am not going to defend Piers Morgan — he indeed often operates by shouting people down and running out the clock. But then again so do Hannity, O’Reilly, Beck, and Limbaugh. Bill Maher, on the other hand, has said some things I find reprehensible, but by and large I find him to be smart and entertaining. I like reading Krugman and E.J. Dionne, but I also like Krauthammer, David Brooks, and George Will.

    People here seem to thing that liberals are all conformists and conservatives are free thinkers. But some unquestioned conservatives have been drummed out of the movement and out of office because they dared to work across the aisle and think outside the box. For example, Bob Bennett of Utah worked with Ron Wyden on a solid health care reform bill — conservatives dumped him for his troubles.

    And I couldn’t disagree more with the notion that being open to persuasion by others is a bad thing. No one can know everything; no one can have thought of every implication of an argument, every possible result of a position. A Tea Party adherent who has his belief system and won’t listen to alternatives is a lot like a close-minded Marxist — both are scary because they “know” what is right and are willing to cause a lot of suffering to get what they want.

    Comment by Brubeck — January 28, 2013 @ 2:34 pm - January 28, 2013

  42. I’m unaware of Beck or Limbaugh ‘shouting anyone down’. I listen to them at work.

    I’m sure you can provide examples?

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 28, 2013 @ 3:42 pm - January 28, 2013

  43. People here seem to thing that liberals are all conformists and conservatives are free thinkers. But some unquestioned conservatives have been drummed out of the movement and out of office because they dared to work across the aisle and think outside the box. For example, Bob Bennett of Utah worked with Ron Wyden on a solid health care reform bill — conservatives dumped him for his troubles.

    Comment by Brubeck — January 28, 2013 @ 2:34 pm – January 28, 2013

    Two words: Joe Lieberman.

    But we know the game, Brubeck. I pointed out example after example after example above of your Obama Party and the Obama Party politicians you voted for behaving in exactly the way you affect to disdain, and your only response is “But Republicans…..”

    Which makes your point clear. You don’t care about these behaviors; you simply want conservatives and Republicans to shut up. You are here to browbeat and coerce us into agreeing with your belief that Republicans are bad and that unless we agree with you and change our opinions, we’re bad too.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 28, 2013 @ 3:42 pm - January 28, 2013

  44. Brubeck,

    I am a TEA Party “member.” I don’t know anything much about other TEA Party enclaves, but I do know that the left has painted them as cranky stooges.

    The fact is, you can get your best understanding of the TEA Party by keeping an eye on FreedomWorks. I believe that an open-minded person will find the issues upon which the TEA Party focuses are well delineated and thoughtfully addressed.

    I would be interested in seeing the liberal site where the issues are well delineated and thoroughly addressed. Can you provide one?

    Comment by heliotrope — January 28, 2013 @ 3:43 pm - January 28, 2013

  45. scary because they “know” what is right

    And you don’t? Do you claim to not know what is right? Are you a card-carrying agnostic, a proud part of the mushy middle? If so, then I don’t know why anyone should talk with you. But perhaps you have some specific views on what is right? If so, then think twice before criticizing others for also having specific views.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 28, 2013 @ 5:28 pm - January 28, 2013

  46. Actually, you can tell a leftist is a mindless conformist by asking one simple question.

    “Why do you hate Sarah Palin?”

    In my experience, will be an incoherent spew of vitriol amounting, “I don’t know why, I just do.” And the truth is, lefty, you hate Sarah Palin because Bill Maher, Obama, and Jon Stewart have told you, too.

    Ask a conservative why he hates Obama, on the other hand, and he will cite specific actions and policies.

    Comment by V the K — January 28, 2013 @ 7:28 pm - January 28, 2013

  47. And finally, this conversation is cute, but it is ultimately pointless. The country is locked into an unsustainable fiscal and economic model that will inevitably lead to the collapse of the nation. Only a major course correction can stave off this event, and that course correction is impossible given that 51% of the electorate care more about free contraceptives and subsidies for Big Bird than facing up to economic reality.

    Comment by V the K — January 28, 2013 @ 7:31 pm - January 28, 2013

  48. Leftists attack Kirsten Powers for thinking independently. So much for open-mindedness.

    Comment by V the K — January 28, 2013 @ 11:22 pm - January 28, 2013

  49. People here seem to thing that liberals are all conformists and conservatives are free thinkers. But some unquestioned conservatives have been drummed out of the movement and out of office because they dared to work across the aisle and think outside the box. For example, Bob Bennett of Utah worked with Ron Wyden on a solid health care reform bill — conservatives dumped him for his troubles.

    And I couldn’t disagree more with the notion that being open to persuasion by others is a bad thing. No one can know everything; no one can have thought of every implication of an argument, every possible result of a position. A Tea Party adherent who has his belief system and won’t listen to alternatives is a lot like a close-minded Marxist — both are scary because they “know” what is right and are willing to cause a lot of suffering to get what they want.

    Why should a conservative tolerate a “conservative” who does something that isn’t conservative in the interest of being a “free thinker”? Being a “free thinker” (as you define it) isn’t a virtue in itself. I could say that the U.S. government should force employers to double the wages of employees every year, which would be a position no conservative would take, and I would be considered a “free thinker” by your definition. And your argument suggests that that, in itself, is good, even though the position is ridiculous. As for Bennett, his bill would have established universal healthcare. Considering how universal healthcare is something conservatives oppose, it makes sense that he would have targeted by the Tea Party. He wasn’t targeted for being a “free thinker,” he was targeted for sponsoring a leftist piece of legislation.

    There is a good reason why conservatives adamantly support what many of them do, and it is because their political beliefs have solid foundations (in general). That is something that leftists don’t understand (to leftists’ detriment. And me pointing that out won’t change it for a leftist who reads this, because hubris, or whatever you want to call it, prevents it). And it isn’t that they won’t listen to alternatives, it is that they don’t abandon their principles and blindly adopt whatever the leftist is offering (which to leftists is the same thing as “not listening to alternatives”). They listen to the opposing arguments, reject them, and can offer a logical argument as to why (in general). That is also why conservatives are right; they have a logical foundation for their beliefs. Not every conservative is like that, mind you, but a lot are, and I am fairly confident in saying that no leftist is (by definition).

    Finally, how on Earth is the Tea Party “willing to cause a lot of suffering to get what they want”? To the extent that average conservatives say they want Obama voters (or whatever) to suffer for their vote, it is because that suffering is going to happen eventually, not because the conservatives wanted it to punish the Obama voters. It has to happen.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — January 29, 2013 @ 12:19 am - January 29, 2013

  50. By the way, North Dallas, I didn’t mean to ignore your examples of bad behavior by Democrats. For example, of course I don’t condone the leader of the South Carolina Democrats (all four of them) likening Republicans to Eva Braun — I have many good friends whose families suffered under the Nazis, and I loathe anyone using Nazi references in a political debate. But someone could do the flip side of what you have done — pick out outrageous statements by Republicans, birtherism and death panels and the whole lot — and use that as an excuse not to engage with any conservatives seriously. That would be silly, and I think your use of some dumb comments by Democrats to tar more than half of the polity is also wrong.

    And I don’t dislike Sarah Palin because Bill Maher told me to. That’s offensive. I didn’t want her a heartbeat away from the presidency because I watched her try to talk about issues and I found her lacking in even the most basic knowledge. I often disagree with people like Paul Ryan and Tim Pawlenty, but they know the issues — Palin didn’t.

    Comment by Brubeck — January 29, 2013 @ 4:53 am - January 29, 2013

  51. I can see where Sarah Palin would suffer in comparison to super-genius Joe Biden. /sarc

    And I guess disagreeing with her on issues is sufficient justification for David Letterman to call her a “slutty stewardess,” for Bill Maher (whom Brubeck thinks is a witty, intelligent fellow) to call her a “c-nt,” and for Sandra Bernhardt to want her to be gang-raped by black thugs.

    Comment by V the K — January 29, 2013 @ 6:20 am - January 29, 2013

  52. It was certainly much more reasonable for that tower of intellect, David Brooks, to decide he would vote for Obama because he liked the crease in his pants.

    Comment by V the K — January 29, 2013 @ 6:23 am - January 29, 2013

  53. Finally, how on Earth is the Tea Party “willing to cause a lot of suffering to get what they want”? To the extent that average conservatives say they want Obama voters (or whatever) to suffer for their vote, it is because that suffering is going to happen eventually, not because the conservatives wanted it to punish the Obama voters. It has to happen.

    This in a nutshell. One of my friends in the army was concerne about providing for his family if the sequeter led to his layoff. I told him I was concerned, given that I expect my field to cease to exist* in 5 years, but I’d rather suffer now, so my godkids don’t have to.

    *Exist in any meaningful sense, we’ll still administer contracts for federal employers and those who get Obama exemptions. The government plan isn’t good enough for the people who designed it, don’t ya know…

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 29, 2013 @ 7:50 am - January 29, 2013

  54. Brubeck,

    I would be interested in seeing the liberal site where the issues are well delineated and thoroughly addressed. Can you provide one?

    Comment by heliotrope — January 29, 2013 @ 8:07 am - January 29, 2013

  55. I too would like to see this wonderful liberal site where issues are addressed with calm and reason and the other view receives a fair hearing.

    Comment by V the K — January 29, 2013 @ 8:41 am - January 29, 2013

  56. I can see where Sarah Palin would suffer in comparison to super-genius Joe Biden. /sarc

    Agree. At that point in 2008, Palin (whatever her failings) was more knowledgeable than Joe “Edge of Retarded” Biden. And she probably still is. And she definitely still has a better grasp of the issues (the better ways to solve them) than either Obama or Biden. If you want to take that more as a putdown of them than a compliment to her… Whatevs; it will still be the truth.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 29, 2013 @ 11:42 am - January 29, 2013

  57. Sarah Palin must be destroyed because she brings out the peasants armed with their pitchforks and torches.

    She is a clear and dangerous threat to statism and further robbery by the state through taxation and noble social justice initiatives such as the war on greed and forced redistribution of wealth.

    Furthermore, she talks like a hick. Joe Cool Biden is really sincere and connected. He shoots the breeze. Sarah Trailertrash Palin ditzy and dumb blonde. She shoots moose.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 29, 2013 @ 12:35 pm - January 29, 2013

  58. She is a clear and dangerous threat to statism

    Oh, yeah. That, too.

    Comment by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) — January 29, 2013 @ 12:49 pm - January 29, 2013

  59. Don’t forget, she allowed two children to be born who were imperfect or inconvenient, instead of aborting them; this marks her as a blasphemer and apostate.

    Comment by V the K — January 29, 2013 @ 12:53 pm - January 29, 2013

  60. V the K, re your comment at 59, I would never criticize Palin for making the choices you mention. I also respect the fact that her son served in the military and saw combat, making him one of the very few children of politically or economically powerful families, of any ideology, who did serve. I can respect aspects of Palin’s life without thinking she was qualified to be Vice President.

    Rattlesnake, do you honestly believe that no leftist, by definition, can have beliefs with a logical foundation? Really? Wow — it is one thing to disagree with people, it is another thing to not even grant the possibility that they could honestly disagree with you based on beliefs as well thought out as your own. How is your statement different than, say, claims by certain atheists (and here is an area where I think Maher is plain wrong) that believers are by definition all poor deluded fools with imaginary friends, or that conservatives are all greedy insecure bigots by definition? (Yes, I know that this thread started off claiming that liberalism is a social disease, but the point is that anyone who wants to delegitimize the beliefs of others can always find a fancy-sounding way to explain them away.

    Comment by Brubeck — January 29, 2013 @ 1:19 pm - January 29, 2013

  61. “A Tea Party adherent who has his belief system and won’t listen to alternatives is a lot like a close-minded Marxist — both are scary because they “know” what is right and are willing to cause a lot of suffering to get what they want.”

    Because a Tea Party person who just wants to be left alone is just like a Marxist who wants to run everybody’s lives and steal their property. There is no-one more cruel and dangerous than a peaceful person who simply does not want to be a serf–or slave even.

    Comment by pst314 — January 29, 2013 @ 1:45 pm - January 29, 2013

  62. This post’s title keeps making me think of the Elton John song. ;-)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 29, 2013 @ 3:41 pm - January 29, 2013

  63. pst314 – Excellent point. Tea Party adherents want Government to leave us alone. Leftists want Government to control our lives. That is the most important difference.

    Comment by V the K — January 29, 2013 @ 3:47 pm - January 29, 2013

  64. I notice Brubeck seems to be unable to answer heliotrope’s question: “I would be interested in seeing the liberal site where the issues are well delineated and thoroughly addressed. Can you provide one?”

    Comment by V the K — January 29, 2013 @ 3:48 pm - January 29, 2013

  65. Jeff (ILC)–That is amusing. I was not familiar with that song before.

    Comment by Kurt — January 29, 2013 @ 4:48 pm - January 29, 2013

  66. Rattlesnake, do you honestly believe that no leftist, by definition, can have beliefs with a logical foundation? Really?

    Yep. Leftism makes no sense.

    How is your statement different than, say, claims by certain atheists (and here is an area where I think Maher is plain wrong) that believers are by definition all poor deluded fools with imaginary friends, or that conservatives are all greedy insecure bigots by definition?

    This is a logical fallacy. The fact that those things are both inaccurate has no effect on my statement.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — January 29, 2013 @ 5:44 pm - January 29, 2013

  67. Is Maher “scary because [he] ‘know[s]‘ what is right”?

    The question here is partly epistemological. Brubeck seems to treat all viewpoints as (at least potentially) valid. Thus, anyone who asserts that their viewpoint is right, is ‘scary’ because they deny the validity of someone else’s viewpoint. But that in itself is a viewpoint, which implicitly negates the validity of certain other viewpoints. In other words, self-contradicting mush.

    A better approach would be to admit that there exists one reality – one objective truth – and we had best use our reason to discover what it is. And in that process, some viewpoints are going to be revealed as wrong. (Not everyone can be right.) And part of adulthood is using your own mind to arrive at the viewpoint that you -know- (by reason) to be right; accepting the risk that your knowledge might be wrong or incomplete, and accepting the responsibility to correct your viewpoint when (by reason) you see that it is.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 29, 2013 @ 6:14 pm - January 29, 2013

  68. Rattlesnake, there is one way in which adopting left-wing politics is logical; and that is, adopting left-wing politics out of calculated self-interest. Michael Moore has made himself quite wealthy by catering to the prejudices of a left-wing audience. Ed Schultz and Jesse Jackson have similarly profited by exploiting the bottomless capacity of leftists to enjoy hearing their prejudices affirmed. Any number of Democrats in Congress have also logically concluded that left-wing politics are a patht o wealth and power.

    But can anyone make a logical case that left-wing policies are good for society? No, not really.

    Comment by V the K — January 29, 2013 @ 6:38 pm - January 29, 2013

  69. Operative words, ‘logical’ and ‘really’. As in ‘logically valid’. Krugman will sometimes affect to make such a case. But he’s wrong. Under scrutiny of logic, his viewpoints usually fall apart.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 29, 2013 @ 6:43 pm - January 29, 2013

  70. “both are scary because they ‘know’ what is right”

    The postmodern pretense is that all viewpoints are equally valid. The criteria for choice then devolve to power and privilege, and leftists can denigrate views they disapprove of not on the basis of facts (for the facts are nearly always against them) but on “fairness” to those who are “disempowered”. And thus it is the Tea Party is “cruel” for objecting to having their property expropriated on behalf of Designated Victim Groups (and of course on behalf of the Official Helpers of those victim groups.)

    Comment by pst314 — January 29, 2013 @ 8:39 pm - January 29, 2013

  71. Heliotrope and others asked about a left-leaning site that addresses issues in a thorough and intellectually rigorous way. To pick just one of many examples, take a look at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities site. They have a point of view that most of you likely won’t agree with, but their numbers and their budgetary analysis are rigorous and well-respected. In short, they are a refutation of the idea that liberalism is somehow incompatible with reason, as has been argued in this thread. (I would say that they are center-left, but I will let you judge that for yourself.)

    Comment by Brubeck — January 30, 2013 @ 1:13 pm - January 30, 2013

  72. they are a refutation of the idea that liberalism is somehow incompatible with reason

    That depends on how well they reason. For instance, on the extent to which they fudge their numbers to make their point.

    I don’t know if they do or they don’t; I just know that I’ve seen a lot of leftie outfits, articles, etc. which do. Just because someone puts on a careful appearance of being rigorous, accurate, etc. does not mean that they are. You know the saying: figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 30, 2013 @ 1:36 pm - January 30, 2013

  73. (continued) To be precise, what I usually see lefties practice is a kind of self-deception: Basing their ‘rigorous, analytical” case on unrealistic assumptions, and pretending that all of the knowledge and facts that undermine their desired conclusion simply do not exist.

    It goes to RS’ point about the basic illogic of leftism. When a philosophy is deeply illogical, as leftism is, then the ‘factual’ case to support will almost inevitably show oversights and other flaws.

    To provide just one easy illustration, I’ve often seen left-wing outfits use static tax rate analysis, “if we hike tax rates by X points on Y pool of money, it multiplies out to Z dollars of revenue”, which blithely ignores the dynamic (often self-defeating) effects of tax hikes.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 30, 2013 @ 2:06 pm - January 30, 2013

  74. ILoveCapitalism, I don’t think you can say that unrealistic data assumptions are a uniquely or even predominantly left-wing sin. Remember how long many prominent Republicans argued the erroneous supply-side idea that tax cuts would pay for themselves, or maybe even increase revenues? There are certainly those on the left who would increase taxes far more than I would desire, but the empirical evidence doesn’t support the conservative contention that even relatively modest tax increases will harm growth. Neither does the empirical evidence support the idea that tax cuts are a magic growth elixir.

    By the way, while I think I am on pretty solid empirical ground here, you might disagree, but note that the arguments I am making are based on empirical evidence and reasoning, not emotion or social conformity or what have you. This idea that liberal ideas can’t be supported with logical argument is just plain wrong.

    Comment by Brubeck — January 30, 2013 @ 4:08 pm - January 30, 2013

  75. Remember how long many prominent Republicans argued the erroneous supply-side idea that tax cuts would pay for themselves, or maybe even increase revenues?

    Comment by Brubeck — January 30, 2013 @ 4:08 pm – January 30, 2013

    Oh, would you like data?

    Kennedy’s major tax cut, which included chopping the top marginal rate to 70% from 91%, became law in early 1964, after his untimely death. It promised to grow the economy and close the budget gap.

    “Coming at a time of substantial deficit in the federal budget, this was a startling proposal to many observers,” said New York University economist Richard Sylla, co-author of “The Evolution of the American Economy.”

    To the shock of many naysaying Democrats, the plan worked. The economy grew at an average 5.5% clip, and unemployment fell to 3.8%. In turn, the annual deficit shrank to $1 billion from $7 billion as individual income-tax receipts nearly doubled.

    That is data, Brubeck.

    As is this: the statement of your Barack Obama Party that modest tax increases will close your deficits is mathematically impossible.

    The total of the Obama deficits for the past three years, even with a generous adjustment, is $3.43 trillion dollars.

    As Mary Katherine Ham so helpfully calculated, the grand total of wealth of every single one of the US’s billionaires is $1.3 trillion — or, put differently, a mere 38% of the total generously-adjusted Obama deficit.

    Clearly, not enough. So let’s go even deeper than that. Let’s tax everyone who makes over $200k at 100% of their income.

    That would raise a grand total of 2.4 trillion dollars — or 71% of the total generously-adjusted Obama budget.

    So, Brubeck, if you confiscated the total income of every single taxpayer making over $200k annually in the United States, you couldn’t even pay the entire generously-adjusted deficit that your “progressive” Obama Party and Barack Obama have run up in just the past three years.

    And that doesn’t even get into the economic effect of confiscating every single dollar of income that anyone making over $200k has.

    So to put it bluntly, Brubeck, math and previous experience, all of which I have provided with links and data to support them, demonstrate that your statements are false. Just as I have previously demonstrated through links that you support and endorse among Obama Party leaders the behaviors that you accuse and affect to despise among Republicans.

    But again, your point is not to deal with the facts; your point is to browbeat and coerce us into supporting your Republican-bashing worldview. Again and again in this thread, when your liberal ideas have been refuted with facts, you have spun in a new direction, once again complaining about what Republicans and Tea Partiers have allegedly done.

    We get it. You hate Republicans and Tea Partiers, you want Republicans and Tea Partiers to shut up, and nothing is going to change that. No facts, no logic, no rational arguments that we bring to bear are going to be recognized or even acknowledged as valid unless they support your hatred of Republicans and Tea Partiers and your belief that Republicans and Tea Partiers should be silenced.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 30, 2013 @ 6:22 pm - January 30, 2013

  76. Texas has zero state income tax, a relatively robust economy, and a state budget surplus. California, Illinois, and New York have high tax rates, consistent budget problems (California’s budget is only “projected” to be balanced by the new tax hikes), and weak, declining economies. Thus, while models constructed by the left-wing economists may “validate” their fiscal policies; conservative policies are validated by the real world.

    Comment by V the K — January 30, 2013 @ 8:49 pm - January 30, 2013

  77. farting

    Comment by oldjoe — January 31, 2013 @ 8:24 am - January 31, 2013

  78. North Dallas, no one is proposing to attack deficits and debt solely through tax increases — so far we have had considerably more spending cuts than tax increases in deficit reduction efforts — so the whole Mary Katherine Ham exercise is a straw man. Plus, I think it is pretty clear that we would not have been better off with lower deficits in the short run as we were trying to avoid a depression after the financial crisis.

    Comment by Brubeck — January 31, 2013 @ 8:50 am - January 31, 2013

  79. Brubeck,

    Now that you have studied the FreedomWorks site, what aspects of the TEA Party belief system stand out to you as particularly nutty and Neanderthal?

    Comment by heliotrope — January 31, 2013 @ 9:17 am - January 31, 2013

  80. no one is proposing to attack deficits and debt solely through tax increases

    Except for Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and the rest of the Congressional Demoncrats who have:

    - Proposed no concrete spending reductions
    - Declared that Entitlement Reform is Off-The-Table
    - Attacked Repubilcans for proposing spending reductions and entitlement reform
    - Refused to allow Republican spending reduction and entitlement reform bills passed by the House to be voted on in the Senate
    - Spent the entire “Fiscal Cliff” Tax Increase on Pork in the Sandy Relief Bill.

    Comment by V the K — January 31, 2013 @ 11:41 am - January 31, 2013

  81. North Dallas, no one is proposing to attack deficits and debt solely through tax increases — so far we have had considerably more spending cuts than tax increases in deficit reduction efforts — so the whole Mary Katherine Ham exercise is a straw man.

    Comment by Brubeck — January 31, 2013 @ 8:50 am – January 31, 2013

    Actually, Obama (and Maddow, and Robert Reich, and numerous other of his supporters) is (“We don’t have a spending problem”), and the 2012 Obama Party platform, signed to and agreed upon by all candidates, members, and elected officials of the Obama Party, explicitly precludes any spending cuts and demands only tax increases on the wealthy.

    So actually, Brubeck, the entire Obama Party and Barack Obama himself, as well as the entire mainstream media, are saying that. That is a fact, easily demonstrated with links and references.

    But again, your point is not to deal with the facts; your point is to browbeat and coerce us into supporting your Republican-bashing worldview. Again and again in this thread, when your liberal ideas have been refuted with facts, you have spun in a new direction, once again complaining about what Republicans and Tea Partiers have allegedly done.

    We get it. You hate Republicans and Tea Partiers, you want Republicans and Tea Partiers to shut up, and nothing is going to change that. No facts, no logic, no rational arguments that we bring to bear are going to be recognized or even acknowledged as valid unless they support your hatred of Republicans and Tea Partiers and your belief that Republicans and Tea Partiers should be silenced.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 31, 2013 @ 11:43 am - January 31, 2013

  82. so far we have had considerably more spending cuts

    Really? Kindly provide a cite, figures or a graph where overall, future U.S. government spending drops. The ones I’ve seen, all point up.

    We have had some fictitious, small “cuts” to the future spending increases that Obama wanted – but future spending is still slated to increase. Saying that something has been “cut” as it continues to increase is political propaganda 101.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 31, 2013 @ 12:58 pm - January 31, 2013

  83. Defense programs have been cut, but these cuts have been more than offset by increases at the EPA (budget doubled under Obama), HHS, Education, and welfare spending.

    Comment by V the K — January 31, 2013 @ 1:13 pm - January 31, 2013

  84. I agree with the other comments: The points in your response to me, Brubeck, are either disproven by data (as in the case of supply-side tax cuts which, over time, actually did pay for themselves) or/and are tu quoque, “Look over there! at Republicans doing it!”.

    I don’t think you can say that unrealistic data assumptions are a uniquely… left-wing sin

    And indeed, there’s nowhere I did.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 31, 2013 @ 1:16 pm - January 31, 2013

  85. Yeah, V – I was talking about the overall spending levels.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 31, 2013 @ 1:17 pm - January 31, 2013

  86. The perfect description of Brubeck, Barack Obama, and liberal tactics, from today’s Wall Street Journal:

    Back in 1965, when American politics watched the emergence of the New Left movement—rebranded today as “progressives”—a famous movement philosopher said the political left should be “liberated” from tolerating the opinions of the opposition:”Liberating tolerance would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left.”

    That efficient strategy was the work of Herbert Marcuse, the political theorist whose ideas are generally credited with creating the basis for campus speech codes. Marcuse said, “Certain things cannot be said, certain ideas cannot be expressed, certain policies cannot be proposed.” Marcuse created political correctness.

    But let’s talk about Marcuse in the here and now. He also proposed the withdrawal of toleration “from groups and movements . . . which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc.”

    Barack Obama in his “gloves-off” news conference Jan. 14: “They have suspicions about Social Security. They have suspicions about whether government should make sure that kids in poverty are getting enough to eat or whether we should be spending money on medical research.”

    Marcuse called this “the systematic withdrawal of tolerance toward regressive and repressive opinions.” That, clearly, is what President Obama—across his first term, the presidential campaign and now—has been doing to anyone who won’t line up behind his progressivism. Delegitimize their ideas and opinions.

    That’s exactly what Brubeck has been doing here. Every single one of his posts has been to point out how awful and repulsive Republicans, Tea Partiers, and conservatives are, how wrong the ideas and opinions of Republicans, Tea Partiers, and conservatives are, and how no one should pay any attention to Republicans, Tea Partiers, and conservatives.

    Notice that not once has Brubeck actually tried to put forth actual facts supporting his own positions. Every single one of his posts has been for one purpose and one purpose only: delegitimize the ideas and opinions Republicans, Tea Partiers, and conservatives.

    Brubeck does not wish to dialogue or interact. He wants to destroy Republicans, Tea Partiers, and conservatives. And he is going to sit here and harass and attack us until we punch back twice as hard.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 31, 2013 @ 4:26 pm - January 31, 2013

  87. Marcuse… proposed the withdrawal of toleration “from groups and movements . . . which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc.”

    Wow, he said that? Yes, that describes exactly what has been going on.

    Barack Obama in his “gloves-off” news conference Jan. 14: “They have suspicions about Social Security. They have suspicions about whether government should make sure that kids in poverty are getting enough to eat or whether we should be spending money on medical research.”

    Spoken like a true worshipper of the State. In Barack Obama’s warped view of the world, only the State is capable of providing medical care or making sure kids get enough to eat. As I touched on, a few days ago.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 31, 2013 @ 5:11 pm - January 31, 2013

  88. [...] The first post in my ongoing, periodical series about “social liberalism” generated a li… I had originally planned a second post about the implications of the socially-perpetuated nature of liberalism on both the arguments (or lack thereof) and pundits that seem to dominate on the left side of the political spectrum.  I still think that’s a fascinating topic, and I plan to write more about that in the future. [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Social Liberalism: The Power of Slogans — February 1, 2013 @ 12:26 am - February 1, 2013

  89. gonna let me post?

    Comment by oldjoe — February 1, 2013 @ 8:40 am - February 1, 2013

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