Hyperpartisanship Harms American Politics, And American Life
There's more to life than politics. Unfortunately, there are many Americans who don't seem to recognize that fact.
Prior to the elections, David Brooks lamented the phenomenon that he calls “partyism,” and it has nothing to do with going out on Friday night and not getting home still Saturday morning:
In a Bloomberg View column last month, [Cass] Sunstein pointed to polling data that captured the same phenomenon. In 1960, roughly 5 percent of Republicans and Democrats said they’d be “displeased” if their child married someone from the other party. By 2010, 49 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats said they would mind.
Politics is obviously a passionate activity, in which moral values clash. Debates over Obamacare, charter schools or whether the United States should intervene in Syria stir serious disagreement. But these studies are measuring something different. People’s essential worth is being measured by a political label: whether they should be hired, married, trusted or discriminated against.
The broad social phenomenon is that as personal life is being de-moralized, political life is being hyper-moralized. People are less judgmental about different lifestyles, but they are more judgmental about policy labels.
The features of the hyper-moralized mind-set are all around. More people are building their communal and social identities around political labels. Your political label becomes the prerequisite for membership in your social set.
Politics becomes a marker for basic decency. Those who are not members of the right party are deemed to lack basic compassion, or basic loyalty to country.
Finally, political issues are no longer just about themselves; they are symbols of worth and dignity. When many rural people defend gun rights, they’re defending the dignity and respect of rural values against urban snobbery.
To some degree, of course, the phenomenon that Brooks laments isn’t entirely new. Partisanship and the tendency to use rhetoric that turns political opponents into not just people who disagree with you but actual enemies deserving of being ridiculed, demeaned, and insulted is as old as the Republic. You can find it in histories about the Election of 1800, the debates over slavery and its expansion that preceded the Civil War, the FDR era, and the Cold War era. To some degree, it is likely a natural outgrowth of the fact that politics can be an issue that arouses passion and commitment and that we humans tend to not always have the best control over our emotions. For the most part, of course, the disagreements tend to be more rhetorical than anything else, but they also manifest themselves in other way. As both Brooks and Suntstein note, it manifests itself in the way that people of a certain political ideology tend to only associate with people who agree with them. Sometimes, that is because of deliberate choices, sometimes it’s just a side effect of the fact that we tend to select our friends based on a variety of common interests and that those interests usually end up including shared political and ideological outlooks.
At the same time, though, it is hard to deny Brooks’ assertion that things have gotten worse in recent decades. No, we’re not shooting at each other the way people were in the 1860s, but it seems undeniable that we’ve reached a point where partisanship is reaching a point where it seems almost impossible for people of opposing viewpoints to even think about sitting down, talking things out, and coming up with policies that nobody thinks are perfect but which at least address part of a given problem that’s facing the problem. There was a time when that was possible, of course, and while it’s important not to sugar coat those days by pretending that there wasn’t bitter and strong partisan ship back then too, it’s worth acknowledging that, for decades, Republicans and Democrats found a way to sit down and work together and that, while it still happens today it is so uncommon that it’s actually news when it does.
Brooks lists some of the reasons he thinks “partyism” has become more severe than it used to be:
First, straight moral discussion has atrophied. There used to be public theologians and philosophers who discussed moral issues directly. That kind of public intellectual is no longer prominent, so moral discussion is now done under the guise of policy disagreement, often by political talk-show hosts.
Second, highly educated people are more likely to define themselves by what they believe than by their family religion, ethnic identity or region.
Third, political campaigns and media provocateurs build loyalty by spreading the message that electoral disputes are not about whether the top tax rate will be 36 percent or 39 percent, but are about the existential fabric of life itself.
The problem is that hyper-moralization destroys politics. Most of the time, politics is a battle between competing interests or an attempt to balance partial truths. But in this fervent state, it turns into a Manichaean struggle of light and darkness. To compromise is to betray your very identity. When schools, community groups and workplaces get defined by political membership, when speakers get disinvited from campus because they are beyond the pale, then every community gets dumber because they can’t reap the benefits of diverging viewpoints and competing thought.
Interestingly, Brooks makes no mention of the factors that are usually cited in discussions about hyperpartisanship and the impact that it has had on politics and culture. Most prominent of those, of course, has been the shattering of the shared media and news culture that existed for the much of the 20th Century and, to some extent, before them. For decades, mass communication such as radio and television served as way of bringing everyone together even if they weren’t physically together, principally because we were all basically consuming from the same media well. There were a limited number of radio networks that everyone listened to whether it was for entertainment or information, for example. Choices expanded somewhat with the development and spread of television, but for the most part there were few differences between the networks because they all needed to appeal as much of the same mass audience as possible, meaning that tailoring entertainment and news programming to specific audience wasn’t really an option. The development of cable, however, was the beginning of the end of that era. Going forward, both entertainment and news and information program started to become more balkanized along ideological and other lines, and the same thing started happening to radio. Then, the rise of the Internet made it even easier for people to confine their consumption of news and information to those sources that just reinforce their pre-existing opinions. More importantly, the relative anonymity of the Internet, even when one is using their real name, makes it easy to be crude, rude, and insulting toward those who disagree with you. For many people those habits developed online seem to carry over into every day life.
In a response to Brooks, Jonathan Chait argues that it is entirely appropriate to judge people based on their political opinions:
It’s okay to judge people’s political values. It’s not like the sports team you root for or even (exactly) like a religion, where you are mostly born into your loyalty. Politics expresses moral values.
That is precisely the attitude that troubles Brooks, who complains that “political life is being hyper-moralized.” If you want to argue that partisanship is ruining American society via hypermoralization, consider some of the ways American political life has changed since the 1960s. It is true that, 50 years ago, hardly anybody objected to their child marrying outside their party. That is because the parties lacked ideological cohesion. The 1960s were when my liberal Democratic mother met and married my liberal Republican father. Their opposing voting habits did not create problems because they disagreed very little about policy. They’re both liberal Democrats now.
American politics may have been much less partisan in the 1960s, but it was not lacking in hypermoralization. Indeed, it was far more violent. You had white supremacists murdering civil-rights activists in Mississippi, police brutalizing protestors in Chicago, and construction workers beating up hippies in New York City. That angry, hypermoralized politics took place outside of, or within, parties rather than between them.
There are millions of Americans who think it’s okay to deny legal citizens their voting rights or force them to go without health insurance. Those people live in a different moral universe than I do. They’re not necessarily bad people. (Lord knows the people who agree with me on those things are not all good.) But, yes, I believe their political views reflect something unflattering about their character.
I understand where Chait is coming from here, and to some degree I think he has a point. There are some areas where judging someone’s politics would seem to be entirely appropriate when deciding whether or not to maintain a personal relationship, after all. To point out the extremes, I wouldn’t want to associate with someone who was the modern day equivalent or a Nazi or a Communist, for example, and I’d have a hard time being friends with someone who not only opposed same-sex marriage, which I can understand even though I disagree with, but was actively campaigning to deny equal rights under the law to their fellow citizens based solely on something as irrational to me as religion. I probably would not have felt that way ten or fifteen years ago when public opinion on the issue was very different, but today, when the majority of Americans support marriage equality and same-sex marriage is legal in all but eighteen states out of fifty, the people fighting the rear guard action in a fight the outcome of which seems to be certain strike me as people who are just taking their position out of spite.
Some of Chait’s examples, though, seem to be infected with the very hyperpartistanship that Brooks is arguing against. The fact that someone supports Voter ID laws doesn’t mean that they intentionally want to deny people their right to vote, for example. No doubt there are many people who take this position because they believe that it will help the political party they support, and I find any position taken for that reason to be somewhat distasteful in any case, but its been my experience that the vast majority of the people who support these laws have honest beliefs about the integrity of the voting process and believe that Voter ID is the best way to address those concerns. Rather than dismissing their concerns as evidence of racism, which is obviously the implication that Chait wants us to draw by bringing that issue up, I would suggest that it’s better to respect an honest difference of opinion and, if it’s appropriate, address it with reasons why these laws might not work they way someone thinks they do rather than demonizing someone as a racist for believing that people ought to have to prove who they are before they vote. Similarly, most people who oppose something like the Affordable Care Act don’t approach the issue with the conscious idea that they want to deny people health insurance or health care. Instead, they believe that the solutions proposed by those who support the PPACA or even something like single payer insurance are proposing ideas that do more harm than good. You may disagree with them, but Chait dismissing them as the does just suggests to me that he is so blinded by the smugness of his own self-assured belief that he is right that he can’t accept the fact that reasonable people can disagree with him. That is the very partyism that Brooks and Sunstein are talking about, and the manner in which Chait seems okay with using it to cut off debate, and indeed friendships, stands as a perfect example of why they are right and he is wrong.
The bigger flaw in Chait’s argument, though, is the assumption that politics ought to be relevant to every relationship we have in life. Does it really matter if the neighbor I share some beer with on a summer weekend disagrees with me on health care policy, Voter ID, foreign policy, any other political issue? Does it matter if they are a Republican, Democratic, or libertarian? I suppose if those were the only things in the world to talk about it would, but the fact of the matter is that there is a lot more to life than politics, and many more things people can have in common than political beliefs. Only someone who is so consumed by politics that it is all they talk and think about would think like Chait does, I would submit. Politics is an important subject, of course, and it becomes even more important when there are issues facing the nation over which people are sharply divided. However, politics is only one part of life and Brooks is correct that the manner in which many of us have let it become all consuming is, in the end, poisonous. Not only to our political culture in general, but to each of us who lets it happen in our personal lives.
And a third discussion: Ed Driscoll discusses “The Rise of the John Birch Left” over at PJMedia. And I think that quite a few of the regular commenters here certainly qualify.
“its been my experience that the vast majority of the people who support these laws have honest beliefs about the integrity of the voting process and believe that Voter ID is the best way to address those concerns. Rather than dismissing their concerns as evidence of racism, which is obviously the implication that Chait wants us to draw by bringing that issue up, I would suggest that it’s better to respect an honest difference of opinion and, if it’s appropriate, address it with reasons why these laws might not work they way someone thinks they do rather than demonizing someone as a racist for believing that people ought to have to prove who they are before they vote.”
Senator Moynahan’s old saw about people being entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts, has a role here. If there are honest, but entirely wrong, beliefs about the integrity of the voting process, then the persons who hold them should be persuadable. The fact that they instead ignore the entire lack of actual voter fraud when it is repeatedly pointed out to them is a strong indicator that something else is driving their beliefs.
One, David Brooks is a hyper-partisan, although he tries to mask it.
Two, there is no length to which David Brooks will go to avoid the fact that the real problem is that his party has gone completely off its nut.
So you give a pass to someone who has “honest beliefs” even though a). those beliefs have no basis in reality and are thus hyperpartisan by definition and b). the holder of those beliefs refuses to even consider tempering those beliefs in the face of contradictory facts?
Sorry Bub…you’re trying to play your BOTH SIDES DO IT game…and it’s no more valid this time than it was the last 7 thousand times.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Do you expect anyone to take drivel that seriously?
It is the honest belief of a plurality of Americans that evolution is an evil secularist invention. Should we respect that belief and “teach the controversy”?
David Brooks is insufferable (and, as already-noted, hyper-partisan himself). He’s also a terrible writer who (apparently) felt the need to coin the word “partyism” because the old standard “partisanship” doesn’t sound fancy or innovative enough. The joke is that people actually take his patented brand of fake centrism seriously, presumably because of his nebbish persona.
Well don’t you know that racism and sexism* just plumb don’t exist anymore, so of course those silly leftists who complain about it are insane.
I do love when Jenos–despite years of contrary evidence–tries to position himself as a rational person.
*The author also mentions homophobia, but I think even my most ardent conservative friends will acknowledge homophobia is a pretty big issue.
I suspect that a lot of the problem is in how we shorthand things. I don’t have time to explain all the details of a particular policy I agree with, so I’ll make a passing reference to the policy and (stupidly) assume that the reader can fill in the missing pieces. We all do that, and I suppose it’s necessary. The discrepancy is in how we unpack these things.
Look at what Moosebreath just did there. (Moose, nothing personal, it’s the most immediate example. I’ve done far worse.) He’s assuming that the reader will unpack the “entire lack of voter fraud” comment in a certain way. He’s got to realize that half of the readers won’t, or will respond with the thought that if we don’t look for voting fraud, how can we be so sure it doesn’t exist? A sentence later he says that something else must be driving their beliefs. Maybe he meant that to be unpack as ideology, or as racism. I don’t know. If I think he’s just called me a racist, I’m going to unpack his comments differently.
I mean, just to take an obvious example, look at the Moynihan quote. I’ve used it before, although I don’t any more, because it’s adversarial. I think the quote is right. But so is telling someone not to be defensive – of course they shouldn’t be defensive, but even saying those words puts the other person back on his heels.
So the question is, on a site like this, how to we do a better job of shorthanding our own messages and unpacking the other guy’s? I think there’s only so much we can do on the delivery end. It becomes our responsibility to be more reasonable on the receiving end.
Wow, seriously? I can see the Nazi side, but you honestly would find it impossibly distasteful to get along with a Communist? What, exactly, do they believe that you find too morally repugnant to deal with?
It took me about 15 minutes to write up that last comment of mine. In that time, 5 additional comments were posted. Four of them were textbook examples of what I’m complaining about.
@Neil Hudelson: *The author also mentions homophobia, but I think even my most ardent conservative friends will acknowledge homophobia is a pretty big issue.
Just when was the last time someone said or did something homophobic in public and was NOT totally denounced and trashed and blackballed for it?
We are now at the point where “coming out” as gay isn’t an act of courage. Hell, in many cases it’s a career enhancement.
And just to clarify my tone here: I am not complaining about it, I am acknowledging it as a fact. I actually think it’s a good thing, but wonder if it’s getting to be too much of a good thing. It shouldn’t be a career enhancement (that NFL player was a mediocre player until he came out, then he suddenly became The Next Big Thing, and one guy who spoke out was promptly pounded down), but no big deal.
So no one will be “duped” please note that this item is from Reason. If anyone finds the source of this article offensive, just don’t read it.
Paradox: Christian Creationism Bad – Native American Creationism Good
@Jenos Idanian #13:
What’s Driscoll’s point? He never says what makes the Birchers and the Left (apparently all of them?) so uniquely similar. What is he saying that couldn’t be applied to way the Right operates? Is this supposed to be profound?
You may disagree with them, but Chait dismissing them as the does just suggests to me that he is so blinded by the smugness of his own self-assured belief that he is right that he can’t accept the fact that reasonable people can disagree with him.
There’s no law in place saying one has to believe others are reasonable. If you think that someone is blinded by the smugness of their own self-assured belief, I surely can think that you are unreasonable. Republicans are no different than Democrats. Except for one thing: Republican politics mirrors how Democrats argue with people who they personally know.
The party-line conclusion one gets is that Republicans and conservatives prefer bland empty worlds where everybody (as far as they can tell) operates on an equal social standing, whereas Democrats want to live where they can argue politics with their neighbors and in a world where the differences between people are not smoothed over by politeness.
What is there to unpack about the fact that voter fraud is, for all intents and purposes, non-existent?
So no one will be “duped” please note that this item is from Reason. If anyone finds the source of this article offensive, just don’t read it.
Paradox: Christian Creationism Bad – Native American Creationism Good
In the 1960s and early 1970s it was general recognized that the Democratic Party went off the rails, and sowed the seeds of a Republican reaction that is ongoing today. Until Obama was elected in 2008, Republicans won 7 of 10 presidential elections going back to 1968.
Now that the Republican Party has gone off the rails, the conservative commentariat has gone into a “both sides do it” mode. True, each side does have extreme players, but these days the Republican Party is the dominant owner of extreme ideology and resentment. Again, “both sides do it” is true, but if one side is home to 90% of the acid bath, it is disingenuous and dishonest to equate the two.
These are anxious times, our culture and society is changing rapidly before our eyes – many people are unhinged by these changes, our politics reflects that.
So you’re basically arguing that people should go into online policy discussions with the assumption that half the people who read one’s comments are either profoundly ignorant or impervious to facts. Sorry, but I’m not so sure that a productive conversation would erupt if only we catered our discourse to fit the needs of the stupid and/or crazy.
“He’s assuming that the reader will unpack the “entire lack of voter fraud” comment in a certain way. He’s got to realize that half of the readers won’t, or will respond with the thought that if we don’t look for voting fraud, how can we be so sure it doesn’t exist?”
And we have looked for voter fraud, and found it not to exist in any way which voter ID affects. Again, it’s a matter of people not being entitled to their own facts.
“A sentence later he says that something else must be driving their beliefs. Maybe he meant that to be unpack as ideology, or as racism.”
Close-mindedness was intended, without a guess as to motives.
Well Hell Bells!
Would not post the first time now it is posted twice.
Sure hope the Koch brothers notice my efforts and send a few million $$$$ my way for my efforts.
@CB: What’s Driscoll’s point? He never says what makes the Birchers and the Left (apparently all of them?) so uniquely similar.
Apparently you missed the point. Understandable, as Driscoll buried it at the bottom of his piece.
Driscoll’s piece has links to demonstrate each example.
That help? If not, then I gotta dig out the old saw: I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.
@ernieyeball: You, and Reason, have no idea what you talking about. The native American groups in question don’t request scientists teach their foundational myths, they object to specific usages of their sacred grounds/ relics, by specific scientits, in specific contexts. The only way this analogy would work is if scientists demanded the right to take consecrated hosts from Catholic churches and smash them with hammers as a form of experiment proving Christianity wrong, while leaving other sacred relics in peace.
The problem with the kind of whataboutism you and Pinky and Brooks are pursuing here is that one has to be willfully blind and stupid to take it seriously.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
I guess you forgot about the pastors who didn’t want to marry gays in their chapel business. The ones you backed? They got the city to back down and allow their homophobia.
@ernieyeball: Sure hope the Koch brothers notice my efforts and send a few million $$$$ my way for my efforts.
Don’t count on it. I’ve been getting nothing but promises that The Check Is In The Mail from them for a couple of years now, and gotten bupkis.
If they fork over anything for you before I see one red cent, I’m going full Media Matters.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
I don’t totally disagree with him, but I think he’s missing the other half of the equation, which basically makes his article (which I, ya know, managed to read all of..) pointless.
@C. Clavin: I guess you forgot about the pastors who didn’t want to marry gays in their chapel business. The ones you backed? They got the city to back down and allow their homophobia.
Christ, you really are that stupid. Only by the most radical definition is saying “if you wanna get married, fine, just don’t ask us to perform the wedding” is Gross Hatred And Intolerance.
You really need to look up the word “tolerance,” by the way. The pastors demonstrated the textbook definition of the term: sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own It doesn’t mean you have to EMBRACE it, just that you PUT UP with it. “Intolerance” would be fighting like hell to keep the gay couples from marrying; saying “whatever, just leave us out” is tolerance.
And saying “I don’t care what you believe, I’m going to MAKE you violate your own beliefs and participate in mine” is INTOLERANCE. Because you can’t TOLERATE that others hold differing opinions, and dare to think they can do so freely.
The voter id issue is a perfect example. We’re talking about laws that would have absolutely no effect on 98-99% of voters (The Brennan Center for Justice numbers are wildly inflated and have been debunked) because they already have a photo id. Of the 1-2% of registered voters that lack a photo id, many will already have the necessary documentation in order to obtain a photo id (usually for free) with a trip to the local DMV. The remainder will have the extra burden of obtaining the necessary documents like a copy of a birth certificate in order to obtain the id. At most, it’s a burden on maybe 0.5-1.5% of registered voters.
Yet, to the left, if you support these laws (as 75% of Americans do) you are a Jim Crow segregationist bent on denying the right to vote to all Black Americans.
@C. Clavin: Oh, and here’s “tolerate:” to allow to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction
Note at no point does it require PARTICIPATION. Just don’t prohibit it, interfere with it, or contradict it. And “contradict,” in this case, would be to work to nullify the wedding performed elsewhere.
Admit it, Cliffy: you can’t tolerate toleration. You demand acceptance. And that you have no right to demand.
I used to consider Republicans to be just people who disagreed with me. That ended with the success of the intensive brainwashing carried out by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. It is impossible to find common ground with people who do not share a common sense of reality.
Republicans have abandoned the discipline imposed by facts, by evidence, even by the testimony of their own senses. Is the deficit falling? Not to Republicans. Is Obamacare working? Not to Republicans. Is unemployment down? Not to Republicans. Have we had six years without a major terrorist attack in the US? Have we seen a steadily rising stock market? Is illegal immigration actually down? Not to Republicans. Is Mr. Obama even an American? Not to Republicans.
When you make a decision to turn yourself over to brainwashing and simply divorce yourself from reality, you lose any claim to being treated as ‘just a person with a different opinion.’ You make yourself a cult member. You make yourself an intellectual zombie.
And that is what’s happened. That’s why there is so little common ground.
This is not both sides do it, this is one side. Just one side.
That is a pretty narrow interpretation of Democratic Party opposition to Voter ID laws emanating from Republican controlled states.
It is a very salient fact that the Republican Party (in those states where they have control of both the state house and the legislature) has moved to enact laws that many Republican officials have openly stated will have the effect of suppressing voter participation of some Democratic constituencies. Virtually all of the Voter ID activity has been initiated in Republican states.
It’s not difficult to make a connection between the current Voter ID law fetish and historical efforts to make it difficult for many Black Americans to vote.
@CB: So your objection is that he didn’t pull the old “both sides do it?”
I see the other side all the time, especially from the commenters here. I found it refreshing to see Driscoll present the argument from that side.
Jenos 2016! Give em hell buddy!
More importantly…it is impossible to reason with people who do not come to their opinions through a process of reason.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Thanks for proving my point .
That’s funny coming from you. I’ve been enjoying your comments this week since the GOP kicked the crap out of the Dems on Tuesday. Still struggling to understand what happened?
I guess the bad guys won…
Just the other day you said no one was talking about abortion in the early 70s.
You might be better off taking a decade or so to read up and fill in your own missing pieces. Some of them are the size of Wyoming.
Also, given that average age of a person who believes we need Voter ID laws is around 60, I’m guessing that most people don’t want their child to marry a 60 year-old man. Partisanship is beside the point.
@Gavrilo: I have a Republican friend who likes to argue politics. Unfortunately, no matter what anyone says, all he hears is “Democrat good, Republican bad”. He then replies “Republican good, Democrat bad”, using some off topic example. For instance, if I say, “How much do you think the 47% tape hurt Romney?”, he’ll reply, “Al Gore is fat.”, and believe he’s come up with a crusher.
Moosebreath at 14:13 said – “The fact that they instead ignore the entire lack of actual voter fraud when it is repeatedly pointed out to them is a strong indicator that something else is driving their beliefs.”
Pinky at 14:24 said of Moose – “He’s assuming that the reader will unpack the “entire lack of voter fraud” comment in a certain way. He’s got to realize that half of the readers won’t, or will respond with the thought that if we don’t look for voting fraud, how can we be so sure it doesn’t exist?”
Then you said –“ At most, it’s a burden on maybe 0.5-1.5% of registered voters.”
As a lawyer would say in court – irrelevant.
Republicans won an election – that’s what happened. Are you familiar with the history of our country? Sometimes Republicans win. Sometimes Democrats win. Sometimes it’s a big win.
There are a lot of websites where you can read actual history, not the Faux version of it.
There is no voter fraud, an indisputable fact that has only become more obvious over time, so something else has to be driving their beliefs. You disliking these facts doesn’t make them less true, no matter how bad it makes the GOP look.
So what should the respectful response be to claims
that the earth is flatof voter fraud?
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Hmm. I have not just one, but several gay/lesbian friends who have experienced homophobia personally.
I know more than a few women who have experienced sexism personally.
I have more than a few black/brown/yellow friends who have experienced racism personally.
If these things are rare, why are direct examples of them so very easy to find? Occam’s Razor suggest we see them everywhere because they exist everywhere.
Why so mad? GOP whooped up on the Dems Tuesday. Watching you Liberals trying to discount that has very amusing. You clowns talk so definitively like every word you speak is the undisputed truth. Many of you didn’t even think the GOP would win the Senate.
I do understand that 2016 will be challenging for the GOP, but thats a long time away. The most important is that we can minimize the damage Obama has done to this country. Obama will try to preserve his crap record with executive actions, but the GOP Congress and Courts will stop him.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
What a sad little man you are. The reason you don’t see courage is because you don’t really know what it is.
I’m in f**king awe of the level of courage that it takes for a high school kid to come out. When I was a teenager I wanted to fit in so badly I had no problem with reshaping myself to be more socially acceptable. That I did so is a source of regret to this day. I wish I had just had the stones to be myself and tell people to take it or leave it. My hat is off to the ones that actually do so.
What did I say to lead you to think I am “mad” about the election results? I realize that is one of the GOP talking points of the day, but please try and do better.
@anjin-san: That’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Obviously, some people were talking about abortion 40 years ago. Obviously, I was making a reference to Roe v Wade, and was off a year. Obviously, that didn’t affect the essence of my argument, that the Catholic Church appears to be increasingly focused on abortion because it’s become an increasingly discussed issue in recent decades. Obviously, your bringing it up again shows that you have no interest in having an intelligent conversation on, well, anything. Which leaves me wondering what you get out of commenting. Am I being too harsh? I hope so, in that I hope you have more of a purpose than I can imagine. But I don’t see how you can bring up that mistake of mine, on a thread about civil discussion, without me thinking you have no interest in civil discussion.
Exactly. Preventing the economy from going into another great depression was a terrible damaging thing. I am very upset that the unemployment rate has come down from 10% to 5.8%, because I preferred it when in late 2008, the economy was shedding jobs at a rate of over 700,000 per month. ACA has reduced the number of uninsured Americans, another terrible development.
@Moosebreath: Moose, nothing personal, it’s the most immediate example. I’ve done far worse.
You asked me if I was familiar with the history of our country? I interpret that as you being mad for making such a Stupid statement. I know its easy to call us Republicans stupid and ignorant, because we don’t agree with your views, but a number of us are educated and very successful
Next time, drop your condescending tone and I won’t misinterpret your comments.
The problem with all religion is that one has to embrace hocus pocus mumbo jumbo (gods, spirits, souls, afterlife, resurrection from the dead, supernatural invisible angels, etc.) to take it seriously.
Without listing any actual damages, that’s tinfoil hat territory.
@Will: Great. Now Jenos is starting with the sock puppets again.
If you show up in a room full of adults talking like a teenager who is bragging because the quarterback of his high school team threw five touchdown passes at the homecoming game the week before, people will take a condescending tone with you. Does this surprise you?
Perhaps you should try and get out more.
“Moose, nothing personal, it’s the most immediate example. I’ve done far worse.”
No doubt we all have, but that does not seem to answer my comment. If a person believes that voter fraud is a significant issue, in spite of it repeatedly being pointed out that there are no studies showing it occurs in quantities greater than about 1/1,000,000 of votes cast, then something else must be going on. And saying that the people who believe it is a problem sincerely do so does not get us any further.
@Will: “but a number of us are educated and very successful”
Hey, if you happen to see one of those guys, would you ask him to stop by here and join the conversation? Because all we have is right wingers who are barely up to the intellectual task of repeating whatever Rush and Sean said this morning.
Anyone who doesn’t think election fraud exists is delusional. In the Illinois gubernatorial election of 1982, 63 people in Cook County were convicted in federal court for election crimes. The U.S. Attorney’s office estimated that 100,000 fraudulent votes were cast city wide.
In 2005, a State Senate election in Tennessee that was decided by 13 votes had to be voided because dozens of dead people, felons, and people who didn’t live in the district had votes recorded. Three election workers were convicted.
I’m sorry, but that is crap. You said, very specifically, that no one (emphasis yours) was talking about abortion 40 years ago. It was “not on the table.” (your words, not mine)
@Will: “You asked me if I was familiar with the history of our country? I interpret that as you being mad ”
You should learn to read better. When he asked if you were familiar with history, he wasn’t saying he was mad, he was saying you were stupid.
That’s actually kind of a hard one to miss there, buddy.
You mean like the longest streak of Private Sector job creation in history????
I notice you didn’t link to any actual voter fraud. Odd.
…and you’re always complaining that Doug isn’t a dyed in the wool progressive who sees no fault with the Democratic party, except that that it hasn’t turned the US into Western Europe yet.
FYI: Both sides do in fact make errors. One can reasonably argue that the GOP makes more of them, but the regular assertions that progressives can do no wrong is a pretty textbook example of what Doug was getting at.
@Gavrilo: “Three election workers were convicted.”
If election workers are rigging an election, how would forcing minorities to get ID in order to vote possibly change that?
Oh, right, it wouldn’t.
You can regurgitate the same Obama talking points but it doesn’t change anything. The man has been an epic failure who is advised by amateurs. The country is no longer fooled by this fraud who is detached from the both the public and Congress. He is single handedly responsible for the revival of the GOP.
As for the ACA, your points are your Opinion. It doesn’t make it true no matter how many times you say it. I and millions of people say its been horrible. It decreases the supply of labor as well as the demand for labor. I don’t why you liberals can’t understand that companies are reluctant to hire Full Time employees. The new jobs report is filled with low paying jobs like 1/5 new jobs are either a bartender or waiter.
True The Vote…well read this article…they couldn’t find any fraud.
@CET: “, but the regular assertions that progressives can do no wrong ”
I eagerly await a single cite of anyone ever saying that on this forum. Or anywhere, for that matter.
Go ahead, start linking. I’m sure you’ve got hundreds of them. After all, they’re “regular.”
The essence of your argument is wrong. Were you around in the early 70s? I was. Abortion was one of the great issues of the day, and Roe v. Wade was a watershed moment in American history. Abortion has been one of the hot button issues in American life for half a century, give or take a year.
You wanted a show of hands?
I don’t know if I’d call myself a right winger (if pressed, I’d say ‘moderate libertarian,’ but the reality is that I probably vote Democrat about half the time). I’m definitely to the right of most of the regular commenters here though, and me and my PhD in Chemistry are doing pretty well. Thanks for asking.
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
You need to get out of the Bay Area and drop your elitist attitude. I think you’ll have a better understanding of people. Such a Sore Loser. Its hard to take any of you seriously now that you have been Exposed. Bitter people!
Doesn’t exist? Straw Man.
I have heard however that many people say that it is statistically not significant.
Also, it would be interesting know if those were cases of in-person vote fraud, or absentee/mail-in vote fraud. Republicans are seemingly not interested in absentee/mail-in vote fraud.
Decreasing the supply of labor is not a negative outcome for Obamacare. The impact to the demand for labor may be a real issue, but the regulation has not gone into effect yet, and the impact is projected to be very small. Hardly seems worth a “horrible”.
You are ignoring that Jenos himself is a victim of racism. White men are so oppressed.
Those exact words, probably not. But if you’d like to go back through the last year or so of comments from al-Ameda and Mr. Reynolds (sorry guys – you’re the first two who come to mind), I think you’ll get the idea.
As a pre-emptive response to your request for a compilation of their greatest hits, let me just say that I have a big stack of exams that aren’t going to grade themselves. And frankly, I don’t care enough about what you think to spend the next several hours in comment purgatory.
No Talking Points my friend. Empirical evidence shows that economy has steadily rebounded from the most severe economic collapse since the great depression. I’m not sure how you can avoid those facts, but many republicans willfully ignore that.
You just showed your condescension, bitterness and resentment very clearly.
I wouldn’t want a child marrying a sad little delusional clown, an intellectual zombie who spouts drivel, someone willfully blind and stupid. I don’t see what’s so hyperpartisan about that.
Thanks for calling me out, I appreciate that.
The problem that conservatives have (perhaps you’re not one, don’t know .. ) is that they’ve spent 6 years claiming that everything Obama has done is wrong, terribly wrong, and it’s been a non-stop “the sky is falling” extravaganza. I’m not sure where I’ve ever claimed that progressives can do no wrong – feel free to point it out.
Okay, you don’t want your child to marry a Kardashian, so what?
it seems a little odd to hear all this talk about hyper partisanship, now, after 6 years of watching it from the democrats.
@al-Ameda: Just in case you missed what I was doing there, I took quotes from this thread about hyperpartisanship to point out the humor of it. If we see each other so awfully, of course we think that our responses are reasonable. But it’s the hyperpartisanship, such as displayed all over this thread, that’s driving us to think of each other so awfully.
i dont have the time to list all in depth but heres my list in o particular order. You may also pick up Chuck Todd’s new book which i recently bought.
1. ISIS – Iraq withdrawal
2. Russian invasion of Crimea
4. Border Crisis
5. VA Scandal
6. Syria (red line)
7. the epidemic of hard-drive crashes at the Internal Revenue Service after Congress began investigating the targeting of the president’s political opponents
8. Obamacare -bamacare was passed on a party-line vote, without the support of a majority of Americans and on the basis of a lie (the president’s false promise that Americans could keep their doctors and their health plans). Moreover, Obamacare’s pledges that premiums would be lower and that the scheme wouldn’t add to the deficit are likely not to be met.
9. Lack of leadership
11. Thanks for still reading……
So be true to your school
(Rah rah rah rah sis boom bah)
Just like you would to your girl
(Rah rah rah rah sis boom bah)
Be true to your school now
(Rah rah rah rah sis boom bah)
Let your colors fly
So you have nothing. Thanks for clearing that up.
I’m not bitter at all. In fact we’re feeling great. Its you clowns who are bitter and resentful of us. Your elitist views are in the minority. Keep trying to come up with fake issues that the country sees through. Your “War on women” crap and party of hate slogans don’t seem to be working.
The world is not how you see it. Get used to it.
Ah, funny guy. Say Hi to Nancy Pelosi for me loser..
The fact that you dont see any of things i listed as true is very troubling. That’s cool though because the Obama days are quickly ending. All the bullshit has been exposed. Millions of Americans have spoken. Maybe Hillary can save you guys…
Most of those are meaningless without more context, that’s what I meant by you have nothing. Several others are Republican nonsense, or not specific to this Administration, so again, your list was useless.
Good opportunity to air out a pet peeve of mine. Of late I’ve seen a lot of discussion in the media that Al Gore was a poor spokesman for concern about AGW and the scientists haven’t approached the politics the best way and haven’t spent enough effort on PR and were to abrasive, or whatever. It’s their fault there’s so much denial. Bull. It’s not Al Gore’s fault you don’t understand AGW. It’s yours. And the millions the Koch Bros have spent propagandizing you.
Saw a good story yesterday. Forget the source. A bunch of Creationists had a conference at Mich. State. They tried to set up a debate with a well known evolutionist on campus. He refused. He’s well aware the Creationists don’t debate honestly. Look up “Gish gallop”. The rest of the faculty refrained from engaging the Creationists at all, denying them the publicity they sought. Their only response was that debating evolution is like debating the existence of Canada.
Take some responsibility for learning the truth.
Never been a fan, though I do say hello when I bump into her. We both seem to frequent Boz Scaggs concerts.
As a fan of ironic humor, I think the comment streams on the “Why is everything so partisan?” articles may be my single favorite thing about this site.
Poor Will. You’re so stunted you insist that you find here what ain’t here. See my comment above that conservatives are brainwashed to accept a whole different reality. You see only what you want to see and evidence to the contrary simply doesn’t exist for you. It’s a form of self-imposed blindness. Intellectual self-mutilation.
EDIT: improperly addressed. Should have been to @Will:
@CET: “Those exact words, probably not. But if you’d like to go back through the last year or so of comments from al-Ameda and Mr. Reynolds (sorry guys – you’re the first two who come to mind), I think you’ll get the idea.”
In other words, you’re lying.
Or, more charitably, you said something really stupid, claiming that liberals regularly say that progressives can do nothing wrong, and now that you’ve been caught you’re substituting weasel words instead of just admitting it.
I’m sure you have a stack of papers to grade, and I wouldn’t waste any time trolling through old comment threads either. But what you said was wrong and stupid, and trying to blame this on Al-Ameda and Michael R is simply pathetic.
In fact I’ve often attacked liberals and democrats, most recently just yesterday, calling them out as weak and spineless.
We are not you. Stop assuming we are and look at the evidence. You need look no further than the 2012 debates. When Rick Perry pooped himself or when Clint Eastwood rambled like an idiot Republicans went into denial. When Mr. Obama blew the first debate every liberal on earth admitted he’d blown it.
We deal in reality. It’s our weakness.
The reason why we don't accept these things as true is that they are obvious right wing talking points, unsupported by references to actual facts. You need to show your work, and you haven't.
Yes, the Democrats got clobbered Tuesday . But the Democrats did the clobbering in 2012. Does that mean the Democratic claims were true then? To be honest, your arguments are pretty childish.
Try again, with logic and evidence, and you'll get a better hearing.
My friend, you’re bitter, and your screed is seething with resentment – own it.
I got it, and I thought that I returned the humor by referencing a Kardashian.
Sorry if that didn’t come through.
Thanks again for so reliably illustrating the point.
That’s analogous to saying that John Boehner is ineffective because Nancy Pelosi used to be the Speaker.
You’re welcome. I figured you’d appreciate the shout out.
As for the Fox news talking points about the impending obamapocalyse – on that we agree. I actually tend to think the current president has done a pretty reasonable job all things considered. But I’ll take a cautious pragmatist over another lunatic neocon every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
The thing to keep in mind is that while Fox (and the Palin/Cruz axis of crazy) may act like they speak for the party, they don’t. The lunatic fringe may have temporarily highjacked the party, but their days are numbered. If we’re lucky, we’ll find a way to dump the evangelicals as well, but I’m not going to hold my breath . . .
I do when I get the chance. New York, Paris, & London are top of the pops with me. I have no desire to hang out in Bakersfield.
I’m curious, who does speak for the party then?
In any given thread on this blog, look at the factual evidence presented by liberals and contrast it with the factual evidence supplied by conservatives.
Hint: the latter barely exists. The amount of hard data and historical fact marshaled here by liberals outweighs the other side by easily 10 to 1. Conservatives don’t deal in facts, they deal in assertions which are nothing but unthinking regurgitations of whatever they’ve been spoon-fed by Fox and Limbaugh.
Disagree? Fine. Then make the factual case for why Mr. Obama is a terrible president.
Why? Words are wasted on here. People believe what they want to believe.
No amount of evidence will change that.
An admission that no such case can be made?
While you would certainly know your comments better than I would, I have to ask – was the criticism that one or more democrats are not sufficiently progressive/liberal/don’t support the positions that they should with enough force?
If you don’t mind though, I’d like to cite your ‘We deal in reality . . . ‘ quote as an example of what I’m talking about. The left, broadly speaking, certainly gets it right some of the time, but your implication is that ‘you’ (by which I’m guessing you mean a particular faction of the Left) have a monopoly on the truth.
Of course. You are right as usual. It is though interesting why such a famous writer is here so often fighting with Republicans. I guess the truth needs defending huh.
Because, genius, if dead people are voting and the election workers are supposed to be checking IDs, those election workers are going to have some explaining to do.
Good catch – I misspoke there. I should have said that they don’t speak for all conservatives, or rather, everyone who votes ‘right of democrat’.*
Unfortunately, while Fox doesn’t speak for the whole party, it could be argued that the RNC technically does, and most of the time they aren’t a whole lot better . . .
*One of the things I’d like to get across here is that republican voters are not monolithic – right now you’ve got a weird mix of neocons, small ‘l’ libertarians, TAC style conservatives, plutocrats, and evangelicals.
I don’t think that’s a claim that the left has a monopoloy on truth at all, rather it’s a claim that the liberal commenters here regularly back up their claims with links to real and verifiable sources, data, historical events, numbers, etc. while the right commenters…don’t, so much.
Their are whackos on both sides, but the ones on the left are mostly relagated to the fringe. On most issue though, the conversation on the left is closer to reality than the conversation on the right. This doesn’t mean you’ll agree with the outcome of those conversations, just that there is more actual policy content and less nonsense.
I don’t have a faction.
Tell you what, I’ll give you some examples of where I think a lot of folks on the left have it wrong: GMO foods, Keystone XL, anti-vaxxing (if that’s a word), so-called sprawl, and the denial that we have a right to police our borders and decide who gets in. I also don’t get the obsession over Guantanamo, or the reflexive dislike of drones, or the (bi-partisan) freak-out over the NSA.
On the big things — civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, progressive taxation, Obamacare, the social safety net generally, and foreign policy — we are almost always more right than conservatives.
Can’t speak for the deep thinkers who post on OTB but I have heard more than a few self identified Republicans here in Sleepytown say things like “I’m not a racist but we have to get that ni99er out of the White House before he ruins the country.”
Could it be that President Obama is just not white enough for them and that no matter what he does he will always be a terrible president?
Well, that’s certainly been my theory. And I’ll bet you none of our local cons will take up my challenge successfully.
Doug writes a piece lamenting Pavlovian partisanship.
In 4 hrs over a hundred comments are generated with people informing others that they are brain washed, stupid, insane, bitter, and gosh darn it, just no damned good.
Right, and you’re a spokesperson for bi-partisanship. Your usual content-free remark.
Why don’t you take my challenge? Give us a factual explanation of why Obama is a terrible president.
I’ll stop telling people they are brain washed when they stop yammering on about voter fraud.
@michael reynolds: “In fact I’ve often attacked liberals and democrats, most recently just yesterday, calling them out as weak and spineless”
Believe me, I know!
@Oliver: ” It is though interesting why such a famous writer is here so often fighting with Republicans.”
Not that Mr. Reynolds isn’t capable of defending himself on this. as a somewhat less famous writer allow me to suggest that he’s here so often fighting with Republicans to put off writing… or to take a break from writing… or to decompress after writing.
It’s much healthier than stopping for a cigarette, although the toxicity levels are similar.
@michael reynolds: And that’s the thing… you’re wrong on a lot of subjects… horribly, hideously wrong on some of them… and yet all of your wrong opinions are based on interpretations of fact. So that we may disagree — and have disagreed — and argue strenuously and walk away (I hope) respecting the other’s position and ideally understanding it a little better, even if still disagreeing.
You can’t do that with the right wingers around here, because either their arguments are based in lies — as about Obamacare — or paranoid nonse — like Benghazy!!! — or a simply desire to annoy — as in everything Jenos and the other trolls post here.
That why I’d like some intelligent conservative commenters here. But it doesn’t make much difference if someone has, say, a doctorate in chemistry if his level of political discourse involves reciting crap from Red State…
As much as you might like it to be so, anger and bitterness will grow you no hair.
I would argue that Fox is, in effect, the voice of the GOP.
It seems to me that hyper-partisan rhetoric has grown almost in proportion to how much substantive disagreement has declined. We used to have tens of millions of people in this country who thought slavery was great. We had tens of millions who thought discrimination should last literally forever. We used to have a huge debate over whether free markets were a good idea or the tool of the devil. But now we’re suppose to see the other side as “evil” because they believe in … slightly lower or higher taxes? We used to argue over whether gays should be imprisoned and forcibly drugged; now we’re debating whether they should have full marriage rights. Hell, even our gun debate — which has been vociferous here of late — mainly revolves around … background checks.
Even where there are supposed massive disagreements, those often mask larger agreements. They are often debates over rhetoric, not policy. On climate change, for example, Republicans have supported alternative energy as long as you couch it as “energy independence” (Texas is very big on wind farms and solar). The Bush Administration passed rules governing industrial methane and forcing our train fleet to modernize. Kyoto was rejected almost unanimously. Even the supposed draconian budget cuts (or massive spending hikes) are usually a few percent at worst when the policy is actually written.
Don’t get me wrong: I have serious disagreements with both of our two political sides and will argue for my point of view. But it just seems like the rhetoric has gotten way out of proportion to the actual impact.
Of the things our government is doing that I would consider destructive and vile – mass incarceration, the War on Drugs, aspects of the War on Terror, the erosion of civil liberties – are the product of bipartisan consensus. Those are the things we should be getting mad about. Instead, we have pundits fainting in the aisles over whether we should bomb Syria now, bomb them later or should have bombed them last year.
All good points. And I’m not just saying that because I agree with most of those.
But given that your list includes center-right positions on a few issues, I think it’s worth considering the possibility that there are reasonable people who vote for republican candidates for rational reasons, in at least some circumstances.
For example, while my positions on most of those issues probably have substantial overlap with yours, I might vote for a moderate republican, because I think the likelihood of them trying to roll back reproductive rights (let alone doing it successfully) is small relative to the chances that the democratic candidate will screw up the state’s economy as part of an attempt to placate one of their constituents (unions, environmentalists, etc).
That is a more accurate caricature than I’d like for it to be. But it’s still a caricature – Doug here at OTB is good example of someone who (I’m guessing) would consider himself right of center, but who certainly isn’t rehashing talking points from Hannity or Limbaugh. The American Conservative and the National Interest are also good examples (which isn’t to endorse views presented in either, I disagree with them about as often as not).
Seriously…democrats passing republican health care reform is hyper-partisan?
Hyper-partisan is no republicans voting for republican health care reform because it’s being offered by democrats .
Buy a dog, name it clue, then you’ll have one,
Doug is not a Republican, and I think you would get an argument from him if you called him a conservative.
Sadly, for every Dan Drezner there are legions of Foxbots.
Yea – let me be clear, I’m not calling Doug a republican. And I’d like to emphasize that republican, conservative, and Foxbot are three different areas of the Venn Diagram, though they do have substantial overlap. And libertarian is a separate area, that has some overlap with the first three, and usually gets lumped into right of center.
It’s been a while since I’ve read FP (thank you for reminding me though, it looks like they got rid of that registration/paywall), but I don’t recall thinking of Drezner as a conservative so much as a non-partisan realist.
Dreamer is now blogging at the WaPo. Fwiw, he is an Obama supporter who thinks that Obama’s policies have been mostly successful.
FPs Drezner bio refers to him as a “conservative libertarian.” At any rate, an incredibly bright guy of unquestioned character who is always worth reading. I remember a time when there were quite a few conservatives of that stripe.
Also – since there have been requests for facts and data in this discussion, I’ll leave you with
this study from Jonathon Haidt: (who is hardly a mouthpiece of the GOP)
Or (in case the link goes dead)
Graham J, Nosek BA, Haidt J. The Moral Stereotypes of Liberals and Conservatives: Exaggeration of Differences across the Political Spectrum. PLoS One. 2012, Vol. 7, e50092.
The short version:
Conservative stereotypes of liberals (at least on the axes measured) are significantly more accurate than liberal stereotypes of conservatives (with strongly liberal participants having the most inaccurate perception of the other side). So, with the usual caveats about this being a single study, there’s your data that not only do ‘both sides do it,’ (e.g. believe that caricatures accurately represent the other side) but the data indicate that liberals do it more.
Unfortunately, a few of the most intelligent (with the citation numbers to prove it) and kind people I know are Republicans. Very few people I know buy into everything about a party, and among my Republican friends and colleagues, most choose the worst of two evils (as in giving the Democrats a test score of 12%, the Republicans a test score of 12.5%). Myself, I think the Republicans are bat sh*t crazy, but a few I know of the people who call themselves Republicans both smarter and nicer than I am.
If I had to choose between political purity and friendship, I’d take friendship every time, and without a second’s hesitation. Look, you’re writer, you supposedly know how complex people are. If an engineer like me can see that even physical systems are mind boggling more complex than we can understand and successfully categorize, and then notice that human interactions are far more complex than engineering problems, I’d expect a writer would see the same and more.
Trying to describe human interaction using political ideology is like trying to do quantum mechanics with Roman Numerals (and only the ones between I and LXXXIX). People are far too complex to be put into that box, and I’m surprised that a successful writer would think otherwise.
@CET: I don’t know if Dems do it more. They’re just worse at it.
I don’t for a minute deny that some Republucans are individually rational. But the party itself is not. You can’t hold 50 votes to repeal Obamacare and call yourself rational. You can’t run Mitt Romney while denouncing RomneyCare which is Obamacare as a totalitarian plot and call yourself rational. I could go on and on with examples.
There is not a single GOP pol who does not bow down before Rush and Fox News. They can defy the RNC but they cannot defy Roger Ailes.
When you disagree with me I have to rethink my stand which to me is the whole point. I’ve known me my whole life and am aware that I am not the voice of God. An Old Testament prophet, sure, but not omniscient or even omnipresent.
@anjin-san: Hmm. I have not just one, but several gay/lesbian friends who have experienced homophobia personally.
I know more than a few women who have experienced sexism personally.
I have more than a few black/brown/yellow friends who have experienced racism personally.
Oh, noes, anjin has some anonymous anecdotes, so that OBVIOUSLY makes it a national crisis!
No one says they don’t exist. But they aren’t national crises. They aren’t huge national issues. The fights have been won. The examples I cited aren’t “people I know,” they’re all public cases. Here, I’ll put a few names out there: Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen Degeneres, Ellen Page, MIchael Sam, Tim Cook, Jim Parsons, Nathan Lane, Zachary Quinto, Alan Cumming, over half the cast of “Frazier” (Niles, Martin, and Bulldog)… all openly gay and all very successful.
Let me toss out Carl DeMaio and Richard Tisei.
I realize that doesn’t carry the gravitas and credibility of anonymous you and your anonymous alleged friends and associates, but it ought to count for something.
@Stormy Dragon: As a fan of ironic humor, I think the comment streams on the “Why is everything so partisan?” articles may be my single favorite thing about this site.
I really wanted to uptwinkle your comment, but the hyperpartisan jerks who run this site stuck the “like” button on the LEFT, and the “dislike” on the RIGHT, and I can’t bring myself to do ANYTHING that smacks of leftism. So take that downtwinkle as an approval.
Wow, if you were to delete every comment that boils down to “I’m sane and reasonable and moderate, but you’re an evil crazy extremist,” you’d be lucky to break double digits.
After reading most of the comments above, I am totally disheartened. I’m a bit of a political junkie, but it has never, ever kept me from maintaining relationships, both with friends and family members, because I had a political/policy opinion different than them. And no one has ever cut off a friendship or family relationship with me for that reason. If your personal relationships hinge on the political leanings of others, you are cutting yourself off from many wonderful people.
Many of you have a real problem and need to have a reality check. Most people do not think the way you do. They just don’t give that much of a sh*t about politics or who you voted for in the last election and they don’t understand why you do. You need to get out, go to a ball game or have a beer summit with someone that doesn’t always pull the lever the same way you do. Your mental health will thank you and you might even have your eyes opened to how others think and understand why they are not stupid, or evil, or whatever pejorative you’d like to assign to them.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Really? So every gay/lesbian in America can marry the person they choose? All women get equal pay for equal work? No black folks are in fear that the cops can harass/beat/kill them with impunity?
The things you learn on the internets…
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Do you know any of these people? Have you ever spent time with them and heard what they have to say about their experiences as gay people in America? I will take my experience with people I know over yours with people you see on TV.
I’m sorry, is Jenos Idanian #13 your real name? There are people on OTB who know who I am in the real world. I think one or two of them might have chimed in by now if I was somehow misrepresenting myself here.
I think Chait is merely saying that it’s OK to factor in someone’s political beliefs when forming a view of their character; not that it should be the sole or even determining factor.
Which translates to roughly 1,463,000 voters potentially being burdened, based on the number of registered voters in the country.
Remind me again how many legitimate instances of election fraud these endless investigations have uncovered, and then remind me how many of those Voter ID would have prevented. $10 will get you $100 it’s far fewer than 1.46 million.
As I have said many times, these laws are intended to be a solution to a problem – it’s just not the problem of election fraud.
You’re taking the same attitude that I see from many conservatives – “It’s not a problem for me, so it shouldn’t be a problem for those people either …”
It’s a remarkably self-absorbed way of looking at the issue, but then again, we’re talking about conservatives …
The plain, simple fact is that these laws were, and are, primarily intended to suppress opposition turnout. To wit, NC trying to pass a law forcing NC resident college students to vote in their home counties instead of on campus. Now, anybody with a brain know why they wanted to pass that – it would make it far less likely that many college students would vote at all. Acting concerned about something (legitimate election fraud) that barely exists doesn’t reflect the intent of Republican legislators in passing these laws. Acting concerned about it is how they SELL these laws to their base. Making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it has become Republican SOP.
Because, let’s face it, if they just came out and admitted that they want to make it harder for certain people to vote, at least some of their base might be upset about it. Then again, probably not …
Well, let’s review you actually said.
Sounds like you said no one talked about abortion 40 years ago and it was not on the table (as an issue). Oh, wait – that is exactly what you said.
Are you dishonest, or just very confused?
This thread is probably dead , but I re read this and this just drives me up the wall with right wingers.
A principle of law is that a person intends the natural probable consequences of his act. Thus if A shoots B, the law tells us that we should conclude that A intends to kill or injure B, all else being equal. A doesn’t get to say I didn’t have that the conscious idea that B would be killed or injured.
If the ACA is scrapped, the natural and probable consequences of that is that millions of people will lose their health insurance and thus access to medical care. So I’m sorry , Doug, you don’t get to say that in opposing the ACA, you don’t intend to deprive millions of people of access to health care. You have to own the natural and probable consequences of your beliefs, should they be acted on.
Now if you want to oppose the ACA, fine. What happens to the millions of people who lose access to health care? Do they get their health care from unicorns going forward? I’m all for discussing facts-and consequences too.
And TBH, I do make moral judgments about people who are working to deny access to health care for millions of people for no compelling reason. I don’t think that’s smug-I think that’s calling things as they are.
Do you seriously agree with an article that creates an equivalence between wanting to protect a culture’s sacred sites and wanting to teach creationism in science classrooms? Do you think it would be the same thing to oppose teaching the Hawai’ian creation myth of one of the Native American creation myths in the science classroom as to oppose tearing down a cathedral or old Christian graveyard for the building of a new telescope or research center?
I really strongly agree. A drunk driver doesn’t intend to slaughter a family in a mini-van, but we sure throw him in prison for it.
It’s one of the reasons why I sometimes make a pest of myself by pointing out that any time we go to war we are going to create widows and orphans. We are going to maim and kill innocent people. We should know what we’re doing and be able to say it.
Besides, it’s laughable to pretend that people who oppose Obamacare don’t intend to cut off health care to actual people. Of course they do. They just assume the people they’re screwing are “other.”
The study measured liberal and conservative stereotypes of each other vs the self perception of of conservatives and liberals on the various indexes. I think it is valuable to examine how we each overestimate our differences, but this study only shows the differences between our perceptions of each other vs our perceptions of ourselves.
The context was my comment that the Catholic church began a sharp shift in focus to abortion and other hot button social conservative issues through the 80s through the 90s and 00s and that Francis is advocating a shift away from those hot button issues and back more to social justice issues, particularly those surrounding poverty. That neither of those things involved a shift in dogma, but they did represent a shift in attention and focus. It was in the 80s that conservative Catholics became a political force. From my time attending Catholic schools in the 80s to teaching in Catholic schools off and on for the past 30 years I can say that the big events that people in the school and diocese organized for the students number one was fund raising followed closely by abortion protests, then poverty, then everything else. Your response was that Catholics and indeed noone was talking about abortion 40 years ago. Of course, Roe v Wade didn’t begin or end the debate on abortion, so a one or two year discrepency on that date was entirely immaterial. There was an ongoing debate well before Roe v Wade and there will continue to be one for the foreseeable future. That is all rather beside the point of this discussion though.
It’s not bad this time because it only disenfranchises 0.5-1.5% of the population rather than 10%. They are only 1/10th as bad as the Jim Crowe folks, some of them only 1/20th, so to paint them with that brush is unfair.
I’ve wondered if Obama couldn’t make an executive order giving every citizen, at gov’t expense, a citizenship card. That would seem to take care of the Voter ID problem all around, at least theoretically taking care of both the (more or less non-existent) fraud issue without disenfranchising anyone.
Is it the same as voter disenfranchisement that existed at the time of the Voting Rights Act? No, of course not. But to me, their intention is the same – suppress the vote, and they know exactly which constituency they’re targeting. Republicans have earned being painted with that brush.
What’s the question?
That was meant to be comically faulty logic. I guess sometimes my jokes are just for me.
I guess the question is why does reason post such ridiculous false equivalencies?
Here is the guy that wrote the item. Why don’t you argue with him. His email address should be on this link.
Show me where someone wants to do this and I will take it under consideration.
@anjin-san: you better hope people can’t die of constipation.
Sorry, I need to fix my Snark Detector.
Thanks for yet another lovely glimpse into what goes on in your head.
@CET: Can you please get them out quicker?
As far as I can tell, Rockefeller Republicans are now extinct in your party. You may have to jump ship.
@Hal_10000: “The battles are so fierce because the stakes are so small”? (often said about academia)
I think it’s also that we now have an industry (the media-entertainment complex) that feeds off the fights and the yelling, so of course that’s what we’re getting more of.
What I find incredibly bad is there’s no attempt to have rational discussions anymore. The flame-throwers on both sides will absolutely refuse to admit to the existence of any fact or nuance that might poke a hole in their arguments. They don’t even bother to LOOK for data that might knock down their theories. Which means none of them are actually interested in the truth–they’re more interested in power and pushing certain policies into existence or grifting off the heat and resentment they’re stirring up.