A post-Beck refresher

A collection of signs from the Stewart/Colbert rally, held this morning our time:

It was a little sad that to make their point they had to play up the “America number one” drivel, but on the other hand it was nice to get some confirmation (before what appears to be going to be a truly depressing Tuesday result) that the Bible-bashing gun-nut anti-government crowd aren’t the only active people over there.

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61 responses to “A post-Beck refresher

  1. That the base of the Democratic party via Jon Stewart, has to lower itself to this ‘Tit for Tat’ type of demonstration, to counteract the absolute nuttery of the righteous right wing brain dead zealots of the Republican party, beggar’s belief.I find it absolutely mind numbing in the extreme, that the citizens of the U.S. that have followed the likes of Glen Beck and Sean Hannity into the type of whipped up hysteria, culminating in Nuremberg type rallies,(sheisse I’ve done it again Goodwin) really do believe the rhetoric. That all the ills in the U.S. of late, according to these raving loonies, is all down to the’Liberals’..Well hello! Is it lost on these obvious retards, that the current ills in the U.S. are directly related to Republican party policy led by a pot plant called Bush?

  2. Lynot, from what I hear the rally was less about pushing a political agenda and more a an appeal to the media to stop creating hysteria by engaging in worst-case-scenario fringe reporting, and an appeal to the people to disengage from that hysteria. It was in effect basically just telling everybody to calm down and telling the media to stop feeding the trolls.

    It was more a rally on tone, rather than on content.

  3. jordanrastrick

    It was a little sad that to make their point they had to play up the “America number one” drive [...]

    I feel almost the opposite way – I’m always keen to try and reclaim a healthier, positive version of patriotism from those who think bigotry or extremism are necessary conditions for loving your country.

    It angers me that some shirtless drunken buffoon can drape himself in an Australian flag at Big Day Out, or a girl can wear a “We grew here you flew here” t-shirt, and consider themselves somehow patriotic, without knowing or caring one iota about this country’s laws, politics, institutions, economy, history, geography, culture or pretty much any other defining feature.

    “Australia’s the best place on Earth!”

    “Well, maybe not the very best, but certainly close to it – it is an incredible privelege to live here. Tell me, what do you love most about it?”

    “Um…. white people?”

    “…..”

    While it’s unfortunate that American exceptionalism of the “We’re number 1″ variety seems mandatory amongst those expressing even “left-wing” national pride in the U.S., I still think the overall sentiment should be encouraged.

  4. Splatterbottom

    Dezineru: “It was in effect basically just telling everybody to calm down and telling the media to stop feeding the trolls.”

    Looks Jeremy and lynot completely missed that point:

    Bible-bashing gun-nut anti-government crowd ……. the absolute nuttery of the righteous right wing brain dead zealots of the Republican party ….. according to these raving loonies ……. these obvious retards ….. whipped up hysteria, culminating in Nuremberg type rallies

    If the rally was about the tone of political discourse, the message went right over some peoples’ heads.

  5. “If the rally was about the tone of political discourse, the message went right over some peoples’ heads.”

    Let’s hope yours is not one among those heads, SB. Forgive me for reserving judgement.

  6. jordanrastrick

    Come on, SB. “Bible-bashing gun-nut anti-government crowd” is a reasonable summary of a lot of the Tea Party, even though those terms are perjorative and thrown around pretty loosely and unfairly in other contexts. Sure, there are plenty of honest, intelligent, informed, rational types at the rallies, too; mass movements inevitably tend to get judged by their noisiest elements, though. Hell, never mind all those cherry picked photos of absurd placards. Look at the heroes and leaders – Beck, Palin, O’Donnell.

    This isn’t Abbott intelligently advocating traditional conservatism in Battlelines, Jefferson articulating the motivation for the Second Amendment, Hayek exploring the inherent oppressiveness of big government. They are people tapping into a groundswell of irrational, populist anger, with at best a light foam of critical thought. A lot of the original support for Obama was no doubt similarly cheap populism, but at least it was constructed on optimism rather than rage.

    Lynot, I’ll grant, steps into silliness territory with the Godwin’s fail. Then again Lynot doesn’t seem to say a lot that’s constructive and is probably best passed over in silence.

  7. .” It was in effect basically just telling everybody to calm down and telling the media to stop feeding the trolls.”

    I am aware of what the rally was about, but just telling these hillbillies out of the caves from the republican base, they should just tone it down, just ain’t gonna work.It is in my lifetime, that a lot of these Beck/Palin sycophants, were up until a very short time ago, still lynching blacks in trees.Take a good look at some of them, incest is still a national sport where most of these cretins hail from.

    They are being whipped up into a frenzy by a very clever man who by all accounts, is raking it in.Unlike most I don’t think Beck is stupid.Beck of course knows only to well, most of his followers are as dumb as a bag of hammers.

    They are on par with our own home grown hillbillies, you have to point out a problem to them like a teacher does with pre-school children, e.g.

    “The man over there with the ten gallon hat on that looks like a potted plant called George Bush, is a bad man.He spent all the nations wealth on wasted wars, let the banks fleece you of your savings, and gave all the tax benefits to that man over there with the Rolls Royce.The black man standing next to him is not dangerous, George said he should be out picking cotton where he belongs, but he is now educated and even takes a bath, etc etc etc…..

    Jon Stewart in my opinion is wasting his time..

  8. Lynot, you need to read a bit of Joe Bageant. A man with compassion for rednecks and a deep understanding of why they are the way they are, and a man of optimistic temperament who knows they are basically good people who will listen if you put a reasonable argument to them. He knows it because he does it, and because they are his people.

    The trouble is, for the most part the Democrats are failing to put out any kind of message, reasonable or otherwise, to this portion of the electorate, and this leaves the field open for unscrupulous billionaires and hard-line ideologues of the government-should-be-as-small-as-possible-except-when-it-comes-to-the-military variety to exploit the socially-engineered ignorance of these people. Not all ignorant people are ignorant by choice.

    Why can’t the Democrats talk to them? Why can’t Obama reach them? All this shit about them being drawn from a social elite – they are no more so, and probably a lot less so, than the classes the Republicans draw on for their candidates, but they seem to be making very little effort to reach what was once their core constituency. Bobby Kennedy was able talk to them, and he came from one of the most aristocratic families in America.

  9. There’s a difference between the ordinary cut and thrust of political debate and a cultist like Beck telling his followers that Liberals are categorically evil and deliberately trying to bring the US down from within.

    The Tea Party, Fox, Beck, Limbaugh and Palin have moved beyond telling their supporters that the Democrats are stupid and wrong, to telling them that the Dems are traitors and terrorist supporters. They’ve created an atmosphere of fear and hostility amongst their supporters that has lead to things like the head stomping we saw last week.

    I sincerely hope the US can pull back from the brink of this partisan hatred. We’ve all long considered our ideological opponents to be wrong/stupid/rabid loonies – but the recent slide into manichean idiocy is worrying.

  10. Splatterbottom

    Bloods, you know I prefer reasoned discussion.

    Jordan, the media has been at pains to paint the Tea Party movement according the type of simplistic caricature which is routinely applied by the intellectual elite to mere mortals who have the audacity to disagree with them. If the intelligentsia were as rational as they claim to be they would try to understand why this message appeals not only to the conservative base, but also a majority of independent voters, seem to agree – at least in this election cycle. You could do better than merely buy into this ignorant stereotype. However, you are not alone. This sort of ignorance leads to the avalanche of deplorable personal attack adds in the current election campaign emanating mainly from the Democrat candidates.

    Lynot, sadly blind hatred has replaced rational discussion in modern politics, and you are just another example – all epithet and no substance. And it wasn’t George Bush, but Joe Biden who said the following of Obama:

    “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

    And it was Bill Clinton who said:

    “A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee”

    And it was Harry Reid who thought Obama’s virtues included the fact that he was: “light skinned” and that he spoke “with no Negro dialect” .

    And it was the Democrats that, until this year had a former Ku Klux Klan leader sitting in the US Senate.

    Your selective outrage and pathetic name-calling marks you out as inferior to those you rail against.

  11. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “I sincerely hope the US can pull back from the brink of this partisan hatred. “

    I can’t see that happening until both sides realise they each have a problem, like when the SEIU beat a black Tea Party guy, calling him a nigger. You are a reasonable guy, surely you don’t see this as a one-way street?

  12. “Bloods, you know I prefer reasoned discussion.”

    I know, it’s just your second preference I’m worried about.

  13. “Your selective outrage and pathetic name-calling marks you out as inferior to those you rail against.”

    And it was L.B.J. who had elocution lessons on how to pronounce the word in his southern drawl, Negro properly, and some of the members of the Democratic party were members of the K.K.K. yada, yada, yada. So what?A few off the cuff remarks from Democrats that should know better, proves my point.

    So S.B. spare me your analysis of what I may or may not be.If you like, I will paste your comments about Philip Adams and the Greens,and a myriad of other comments where you have done exactly what you are accusing me of. So spare me your hypocrisy, it just doesn’t suite your attempt to pass your own good self off as a paragon of virtue.

    I would further add my attempt at the use of bit of humor, pathos, poor as that may be, reflects it is I that doesn’t hate anyone, you should try a self analysis your own comments, before posting.Kettle meet Pot.

    Mondo rock has stolen my thunder.It is not a as you say an ignorant ‘stereo type’ reflection of the supporters of the Beck/Palin phenomena, it is the reality. They are still fighting the civil war in some of the southern states of the U.S. that these tea baggers come from.So please spare me the “They’re just mis-understood line”

  14. Splatterbottom

    Bloods, second preferences are just for fun.

    Lynot: “It is not a as you say an ignorant ‘stereo type’ reflection of the supporters of the Beck/Palin phenomena, it is the reality. They are still fighting the civil war in some of the southern states of the U.S. that these tea baggers come from.So please spare me the “They’re just mis-understood line”

    Is this more of your ‘humour’ and ‘pathos’? Try adding a bit of rational argument into the mix so we have something other than your invective to talk about.

  15. Is this more of your ‘humour’ and ‘pathos’? Try adding a bit of rational argument into the mix so we have something other than your invective to talk about.

    Who is we?Invective S.B. surely you jest? Of course your own absolute mortgage on rational thinking is legendary.

  16. You are a reasonable guy, surely you don’t see this as a one-way street?

    I like to think I am, and no – I don’t see it that way. I actually have a great deal of respect for the Tea Party, inasmuch as it began as a genuine political movement of passionate and engaged people who objected to the unbelievable corruption of Washington during the Bailout.

    American politics is hopelessly compromised by corporate money and I shared the Tea Party’s original horror at seeing $700 billion in taxpayer money being funnelled to the wealthiest people in the world.

    But Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh et all are utter charlatans who have co-opted the tea party for their personal profit. They are rotten, principle free carpetbaggers who have seen an opportunity for self-promotion and leaped on it with glee. Not that this distinguishes them from the Democrats.

    What does distinguish them is that their irresponsible and self-serving rhetoric openly incites hate amongst their followers. I don’t believe that the Democrats do that.

  17. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “I don’t believe that the Democrats do that.”

    Obama 2004: “There’s no black America, there’s no white America, there’s no Asian America or Latino America. There’s the United States of America.”

    Obama 2010: “If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re going to punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,’ if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s going to be harder and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2.”

    Or you can just look at lynot’s comments in this thread which reflect the hateful nonsense preached by Olbermann, Matthews, Moore, Kos, DU etc.

    It is not surprising that a group who are continually mocked by the intellectual elite as bitter people clinging to their bibles and their guns favour instead commentators who don’t presume they are stupid. This election looks like providing a bit of blow-back for the power elite that runs the US, or as Palin said recently: “I can see November from my house”.

  18. You’re conflating two seperate points SB.

    Deliberately, one presumes.

  19. “Or you can just look at lynot’s comments in this thread which reflect the hateful nonsense preached by Olbermann, Matthews, Moore, Kos, DU etc.”

    You really can’t make this stuff up.Talk about redirecting the guilt.

    No S.B. It is quite obvious that it is you who hates, you despise the fact, the ‘ Tea Baggers’ are the quintessential example of wingnuttery, and they are making the conservative cause look like a three ring circus.Oh yes they may well make gains, nothing surprises me anymore, after all they voted in Bush twice.

  20. Someone from the younger generation told me what tea-bagging was the other day. It’s not as if it’s anything new, but now I know that they’ve given it a name and the name of it happens to be something I do or use on a daily basis – I am considering changing to pots of leaf tea so I don’t have to hang my head with guilt after breakfast.
    :)

  21. “Bloods, second preferences are just for fun.”

    Second preferences are often where your vote ends up being counted.

    “It is not surprising that a group who are continually mocked by the intellectual elite as bitter people clinging to their bibles and their guns favour instead commentators who don’t presume they are stupid.”

    That is true, but the fact remains that those commentators are spouting spiteful, hateful, self-serving and often demented nonsense which should not be supported in any way. The people they are addressing their comments to may have legitimate reasons for preferring to listen to them; the commentators themselves are cynically manipulating their ignorance. That ignorance is a regrettable fact, not a judgement about the Tea Party people. As Mondo says above, “They [Beck, Palin, Limbaugh and their ilk] are rotten, principle-free carpetbaggers who have seen an opportunity for self-promotion and leaped on it with glee.”

    These people are cunts. Your comments,SB, imply that they are somehow credible, or at least redeemable.

  22. You’re conflating two seperate points SB.

    He certainly was.

    As I said above there’s a difference between robust political discussion and the demonisation of your political opponents as evil traitors planning to destroy your country. The US Right has crossed over from passionate disagreement to manichean idiocy.

    I won’t say that there weren’t commentators in the US during the Bush years that also crossed that line – there were – but even the worst of them didn’t suggest that Bush was deliberately trying to destroy America or kill your grandparents.

    To my mind the toxic combination of Palin, Fox and the Tea Party presents a unique challenge to American democracy. It goes without saying that only time will tell whether this belief is born of my own confirmation bias, or whether the foundations of US politics really have shifted.

  23. Splatterbottom

    Bloods: “As Mondo says above, “They [Beck, Palin, Limbaugh and their ilk] are rotten, principle-free carpetbaggers who have seen an opportunity for self-promotion and leaped on it with glee.”

    These people are cunts. Your comments,SB, imply that they are somehow credible, or at least redeemable.”

    My point is that this type of comment is precisely the reason civil discourse is so difficult. There are many, many things that Palin et al say that are reasonable. You cannot win the argument with one big knockout punch by claiming that they are evil ideologues and therefore they shouldn’t be listened to. More importantly, you can’t just call them names and expect that somehow their audience will be persuaded to your view.

    In fact calling them names is exactly what their audience expects from leftists. All you are doing is reinforcing their view that the left is irrational.

    Personally, I don’t see Palin et al as being significantly worse than leftist opinion-makers when it comes to either hyperbole or self-interest.

    What I do see from the left is an attempt to kill off opposing arguments with venom and invective rather than with rational refutation. They seem more interested in applying Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” That is precisely what is being done in this thread. In the end you end up with the fanatics on each side screaming abuse.

    The fact is that although the left controls the conversation at genteel dinner parties, there is a whole different world out there, and merely dismissing them as stupid, or victims of demagogues will not change their minds. You need to treat their arguments with some respect and engage with them in a civil manner. In this election it is the Democrats who are resorting to personal attack ads and their opponents whose advertising focuses on the issues. the fault is not all on one side.

    Interestingly, a recent poll showed that likely US voters want their representatives to compromise (80%) rather than stick to their principles even if it means gridlock (16%). This is not good news for fanatics on either side, and it is a total rejection of the Obama/Pelosi tactics to date. It is also a warning to Tea Party hardliners.

  24. Splatterbottom | 7 September, 2010 at 12:57 pm | The Greens have now succeeded in getting ultra-leftists elected to parliament, and thus it is quite logical to point out to voters the danger these vile fools pose to the nation. I am sure that a lot of protest voters will be dismayed that they have been played by reincarnated communists. If the Greens had any decency they would remove these hideous perfidious weeds from their garden.”

    Splatterbottom. 2/11/10.

    “My point is that this type of comment is precisely the reason civil discourse is so difficult. There are many, many things that Palin et al say that are reasonable. You cannot win the argument with one big knockout punch by claiming that they are evil ideologues and therefore they shouldn’t be listened to. More importantly, you can’t just call them names and expect that somehow their audience will be persuaded to your view.”

    In fact calling them names is exactly what their audience expects from leftists. All you are doing is reinforcing their view that the left is irrational.”

    No double standard here!It is just a bit of hyperbole, or should that be cognitive dissonance? S.B. makes so many self contradictions one can never tell.

  25. Splatterbottom

    Lynot, it seems you have accepted my argument, and are now reduced to trawling through old posts to show that I don’t always live up to my own standards. But even so, you have forgotten the point I was making to you above about having some logical argument to go along with the invective.

    My argument which you quoted above has substance to it. The Greens should not support candidates who have a history of supporting murderous tyrannies. Further my language was pr0portionate to the gravity of the depravity involved.

    Someone who joined the SPA when it split from the CPA is not someone that should ever be permitted to hold political office in Australia. The SPA was formed because the CPA would not support the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Anyone who joined the SPA under those circumstances deserves the most scathing criticism possible. That action is far worse than anything Palin, Beck or Limbaugh have done.

    It absolutely stinks that people whose judgement and sense of right and wrong was so rotten to the core that they supported communist tyranny can be elected to parliament. The least they could do is admit their gross moral turpitude and apologise.

  26. “Lynot, it seems you have accepted my argument, and are now reduced to trawling through old posts to show that I don’t always live up to my own standards. But even so, you have forgotten the point I was making to you above about having some logical argument to go along with the invective.”

    I can only assume that now you have been sprung making an absolute ‘Jack Ass’ of yourself , you must be having a laugh? Are you for real?

    I haven’t accepted any of your long winded diatribe about anything thank you very much, your ramblings are about on par with mine, just an opinion old boy. Along with my good self, you have provided nothing to this debate apart from your own opinion, with a splattering of your own special invective, and I can only presume with your latest effort, a little humour.I don’t see anything that is factual or indeed for that matter rational in your own comments.As for my own diatribe being any less rational than yours, ‘Give me a break’

    That you have tickets on your own self opinionated clap trap, sticks out like the perviable dog’s nurries.Being able to deliver your own brand of rhetoric, with a Hitchenesque air of superiority, is no substitute for the factual reality, of the topic at hand.

    I don’t need a running history lesson about the communist party in Australia from you.Anything you say is jaundiced by your own partisan point of view.I could like you associate some members of the current Liberal party to the Nazi’s who have the same M.O..So please spare me any clap trap Nazi’s were Socialists.I

    You clearly cannot accept the fact the”Tea Party” are an irrational mob of head stomping retards, who are being led around the country by a mob of uber right wing Neanderthals

  27. “Lynot, it seems you have accepted my argument, and are now reduced to trawling through old posts to show that I don’t always live up to my own standards. But even so, you have forgotten the point I was making to you above about having some logical argument to go along with the invective.”

    I can only assume that now you have been sprung making an absolute ‘Jack Ass’ of yourself , you must be having a laugh? Are you for real?

    I haven’t accepted any of your long winded diatribe about anything thank you very much, your ramblings are about on par with mine, just coloured up as an opinion old boy. Along with my good self, you have provided nothing to this debate apart from your own opinion, with a splattering of your own special invective, and I can only presume with your latest effort, a little humour.I don’t see anything that is factual or indeed for that matter rational in your own comments than mine.As for my own diatribe being any less rational than yours, ‘Give me a break’

    That you have tickets on your own self opinionated clap trap, sticks out like the proverbial dog’s nurries.Being able to deliver your own brand of rhetoric, with a Hitchenesque air of superiority, is no substitute for the factual reality, of the topic at hand.

    I don’t need a running history lesson about the communist party in Australia from you.Anything you say is jaundiced by your own partisan point of view.I could like you associate some members of the current Liberal party to the Nazi’s who have the same M.O..But I won’t.So please spare me any clap trap Nazi’s were Socialists.

    You clearly cannot accept the fact that most members of the “Tea Party phenomena ” are an irrational mob of head stomping retards, who are being led around the country by a mob of uber right wing Neanderthals.

    You are making a point about the name calling, irrational comments, taking the piss, or what have you, not because its taking away the points of the debate, I mean, you do it yourself don’t you?Do you want more examples?No this is all about your favorite hobby horse sticking it to the Communists.

    A hot flash for you, the commies in Australia are all in cemeteries end of story/sorry for you, narrative.

  28. last one only please.

  29. “The Greens should not support candidates who have a history of supporting murderous tyrannies. ”

    SB, how do you feel about conservative governments, like the US under Reagan, providing material support to Saddam Hussein in the 80’s?

    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/

    What about US support for the Taliban during the Russian war in Afghanistan, or US involvement in bringing Pinochet to power?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_FUBELT

    Or is it only progressives who must be held to this standard, while you give Rumsfeld, Regan and Bush a free pass to associate with thugs, terrorists and murderers?

  30. Splatterbottom

    Lynot: I’m not sure what you are getting at with your reference to the Nazis, but surely even you understand that it was Menzies who declared war on the Nazis in WWII whereas the Australian communists were on Nazi side at that time.

    I don’t know of any Australian Politician with Nazi antecedents. If there were one, they would be hounded from office. The same should apply to Soviet lapdogs.

    “You clearly cannot accept the fact that most members of the “Tea Party phenomena ” are an irrational mob of head stomping retards, who are being led around the country by a mob of uber right wing Neanderthals.”

    Here is how it in fact went went down. Leftists made up lies about the Tea Party, and called for fellow lefties to infiltrate Tea Party meetings with racist signs. These fools were expelled by the mostly moderate Tea Partiers. Sadly some stupid people were conned by this scam and hence make comments like yours above.

    There is a lot about the Tea Party that I don’t agree with, but it is abundantly clear that Tea Partiers are far more sane and decent than, say the denizens of DU or Kos, or any of the Soros funded hate sites.

    “the commies in Australia are all in cemeteries “

    Sadly this is not true. While many of those who infiltrated the party in the period from Evatt to Whitlam are passing unlamented to the dustbin of history, some of these ghouls still haunt The Greens and seem to fit right in in the rotting red innards of that grotesque metastasising watermelon.

    Duncan: “how do you feel about conservative governments, like the US under Reagan, providing material support to Saddam Hussein in the 80′s? …… What about US support for the Taliban during the Russian war in Afghanistan, or US involvement in bringing Pinochet to power? …….. What about US support for the Taliban during the Russian war in Afghanistan, or US involvement in bringing Pinochet to power?”

    About the same as I feel about allied support for the Soviet war effort in WWII (after the National socialists betrayed them) – it was unpleasantly necessity. There is a real distinction to be made between communists who supported our enemies during the war and acted against our interests, and patriots who made unpleasant compromises to pursue our interests. The point about the communists is that they supported the agenda of our enemies, and they sought to supplant democracy with communist tyranny at home.

    There is a stark difference between treasonous communists and the vast amjority of Tea Partiers who seek to uphold the democratic principles of the US constitution. Naturally many on the left are far more revolted by those who promote liberty than they are by Soviet lackeys.

  31. “Lynot: I’m not sure what you are getting at with your reference to the Nazis, but surely even you understand that it was Menzies who declared war on the Nazis in WWII whereas the Australian communists were on Nazi side at that time.”

    S.B. I am at a lost to where you receive your information, but back at ya, even you must realise the communists were never on the side of the Nazi’s.They had a non aggression pact nothing else.I also wish you would refrain from telling me the obvious, mainly that Menzies declared war on Germany.I’m quite sure he wasn’t going to declare war on England.Unless of course the U.S. wanted another crack at the mother country.

    As far as Australian politicians being related to Nazi’s are you taking me literally here?Some of the more conservative of them have the same type of ideology, that’s all.Racists, uncaring, greedy, anti worker, insincere bible bashers, must I go on?Hey just like the communists with out the bibles. Only unlike the communists, they try to hide their real agenda under a veneer of respectability, and a mob of followers who really qualify as tea baggers,and who really do think they give a s*&% about them..

    The Tea party I reiterate is a mob of head stomping retards, they are being used by the Republican party to take back what they think is their God given right to rule.They have nothing to offer the American people except more of the same of the Bush doctrine.However, I will give credit to them in as much as this, the way they have deflected the blame for the appalling state of the economy, and their other ills on President Obama and his administration, Is simply brilliant !The good Dr Goebbels would be proud.

    That some of them who are just workers and on the bones of their arse because of Bush and his coterie of neocon nutters(name calling again but as you know S.B. it makes one feel so much better), would stand up and denounce Obama’s health policy and other policies in their interest, as communist inspired, is mind blowing

    The Tea party up holding the American constitution, which part of that document pray tell?Oh wait let me guess, it wouldn’t be the second amendment would it?

    As far as communists still infiltrating the modern Greens/Labor party this is arrant nonsense.Yes, there are people in these two party’s that care about the future of the planet/ that their fellow human beings are looked after in time of need/that new infrastructure like hospitals and roads are built with our taxes instead, of waging wars on the pretext of a load of lies.But a load of communists?Bollocks!

    I am afraid you are like the Howard haters S.B. your visceral hatred of anything left of Genghis Khan is clouding your ability to debate the issue with out your own prejudices taking over.In as much as this started about Jon Stewart trying to bring some sanity back into U.S. political discourse.It has derailed into your favorite hobby horse the dreaded communists.

  32. Splatterbottom

    Lynot: “It has derailed into your favorite hobby horse the dreaded communists.”

    The hilarious thing is that you raised the communist issue. If you recall, I posted a perfectly amiable comment noting that there was fault on both sides, and that the Tea Party hardliners were heading for a fall if they didn’t learn to compromise in the new Congress. Instead of actually thinking about what I had said, you dredged up some comment form an old thread where I had talked about former communists now being Greens parliamentarians.

    Hopefully the Democrats will have a think about why US voters so decisively rejected them at these elections. This requires on their part a little humility and self-reflection. Expletive-laden caterwauling is not going to enlighten anyone as to the reasons for the Democrat’s abject failure in this election cycle.

  33. “Hopefully the Democrats will have a think about why US voters so decisively rejected them at these elections. This requires on their part a little humility and self-reflection. Expletive-laden caterwauling is not going to enlighten anyone as to the reasons for the Democrat’s abject failure in this election cycle.”

    One does not have to be a Rhodes scholar to work out why the Democrats are getting a thrashing.Their failure, and in my opinion just another capitalist party with another name, are just like the Republicans, offer nothing but platitudes and false hope.The Democrats like our own Labor party, will eventually be brought down by the fourth estate, which your party, and I can only presume your party the conservatives, in what ever form that takes, have the media in their back pocket.They will decide who governs.The whole process will then start again.

    What are the tea baggers going to do when their anointed one who ever that is, possibly gets into the Whitehouse and the cold hard reality sets in they’re still going to be out of work, still losing their homes, and paying more taxes to prop up the jet setters who’ll get all the benefits of the largess of Republican generosity?It just may, just may sink in that it will be business as usual, and nothing for the poor saps carrying their placards of hope and frustration.No change there then.

  34. At the risk of being accused of name-calling, fuck you can be a sanctimonious cunt SB. When you call people names, it has “substance” and is ” pr0portionate to the gravity of the depravity involved”. When others do it, it is “the left” being incapable of civilised and respectful debate. Jesus wept.

    Setting your obvious hypocrisy to one side, the problem here is not the the failure of your opponents to show courtesy. It is your chronic tendency to attribute all evil to “the Left” and your inability to think critically about, or even acknowledge the existence of, the extreme Right. It is also your failure to understand the fundamental reality that people change.

    By your own admission, you were once a Leftist, so does that discredit all your subsequent activities? I was once a Catholic, but I managed to see through it after much struggle and anguish, and now I am in the process of becoming a human being. Am I to be condemned to hell for all eternity for once having believed in such a heinous institution?

    You just love stirring people up. You often talk about all of us having a beer together. If you were as deliberately provocative as you are here, you wouldn’t last five minutes in a bar. I’m sure you don’t believe half of the shit you write, because you’re not that stupid. The trouble is trying to work out which half is which.

  35. Splatterbottom

    Lynot: “One does not have to be a Rhodes scholar to work out why the Democrats are getting a thrashing. Their failure, and in my opinion just another capitalist party with another name, are just like the Republicans, offer nothing but platitudes and false hope.”

    Are you arguing that the reason for the massive loss of voter support by the Democrats was because they were too capitalist?

    Bloods: “At the risk of being accused of name-calling, fuck you can be a sanctimonious cunt SB.”

    The point isn’t the name-calling per se. In your case, the name-calling was more in the nature of a conclusion you reached on the basis of arguments you made in your comment. It adds a bit of colour to the conversation without wrecking it. I don’t think that name-calling in this context is offensive or unreasonable. However, name calling alone, or accompanied only by slogans, is a much uglier phenomenon as it doesn’t encourage rational argument.

    ” your chronic tendency to attribute all evil to “the Left” and your inability to think critically about, or even acknowledge the existence of, the extreme Right.”

    “Extreme” is often misused when applied to political opponents. Beck is hardly extreme, given that he seems (on the basis of my limited exposure to him at least) to support the democratic constitution of the US and is in favour of individual liberty. In the same way, Bob Brown is not extreme as he supports a democratic system, notwithstanding that he sees a greater role for the state in society.

    On the other hand, people who support totalitarian regimes, for example Cuba, deserve to be called extreme.

    “By your own admission, you were once a Leftist, so does that discredit all your subsequent activities?”

    Of course not. However where one has made a serious error of judgment like that, the decent thing to do is to admit to having had a serious lapse of judgment, to renounce past errors and to apologise. I think I make it fairly clear that I am no longer in the thrall of my past delusions.

    “You often talk about all of us having a beer together. If you were as deliberately provocative as you are here, you wouldn’t last five minutes in a bar. “

    I would really like that. I am very sweet-natured and I don’t hold grudges. I respect other peoples’ right to disagree, and much prefer discussions with people who hold opposing views as it is through such discussions that I can learn things. There is a time and place for provocative comments. They are a tool to focus on issues, a door to deeper discussion, but they need to be tempered and tailored to the situation so as not to destroy the conversation.

    In all my time at this blog there has been only one person I have actually disliked (the execrable justaguy), and he gave up commenting here long ago after making some nasty racist remarks.

  36. “Beck is hardly extreme”. Fuck. I mean, fuck. No, actually I mean FUUUUUCK!!!!!

    And yes, I did notice your failure to address the issue of your tendency to excuse the excesses of the Right, and sometimes even to deny its existence. I well remember your comment that there is only the Left, and sensible people. Ipso facto, Beck is sensible.

  37. Are you arguing that the reason for the massive loss of voter support by the Democrats was because they were too capitalist?

    That’s certainly a big factor in his loss of support amongst the Democratic base – the appalling gift of 700bn in taxpayer funds to American corporations (to shore up million dollar executive bonuses) and the sell-out of the healthcare plan to corportae lobbyists are both huge factors in the enthusiasm gap between 2008 and 2010.

    What I’m interested to see is the election turnout numbers. Are the GOP gains due to an overall increase in their vote, or a decrease in Democratic voter turnout? That should go some way towards resolving whether the election loss is a signal that America wants Obama to shift to the Right, or whether he just needs to re-energise the supporters who’ve watched him play Washington ‘politics as usual’ for the past 2 years.

  38. “Are you arguing that the reason for the massive loss of voter support by the Democrats was because they were too capitalist?”

    That is exactly what I am arguing.Obama and his administration bailed the shysters/bankers out to the tune of billions, coupled with the fact it is now beyond reasonable doubt, most of them if not corrupt, were running ponzi schemes and business practices, that would in most cases not be tolerated here, or in places like Guatemala for that matter.

    Added to that, people are still losing their homes/jobs whilst the CEO’S of these banks who lost/stole/fiddled/ billions of dollars were still receiving millions in bonuses.To deny this salient fact borders on delusion.

    The reforms Obama wanted to bring in were an anathema to the right wingnuttery and they used every conceivable lie and misleading statement by the media they own, to destroy it.

    I will repeat for you one more time and last time, The problem that the U.S. economy now faces is not down to the Democratic party.When Clinton left office they were running a surplus, and unemployment was at record lows.Bush and his coterie of rabid wingnuts are the cause, and the media have given them a pass, not only on the economy, but the war in Iraq, and directed the anger of the people to the wrong place.If you watch CNN/Fox/Bloomberg/ and God knows how many media outlets in the U.S. carrying the same message 24/7 It’s easy to see how propaganda works, I mean it certainly works for you, you think Australia is full of communists.

    There you are S.B. another effort by my own good self, a bit of name calling, a few facts, opinion, nothing too irrational, where in your comments are there any facts? no where that’s where.

    As for Beck not being extremist???????????????? now I know your taking the piss.By chance your not related to Iain Hall are you?

  39. Splatterbottom

    Mondo

    The pre-election polls showed that it was the independents who voted for Obama were now voting against the Democrats. I suspect that was where the Dems lost out. The Democrat base may have been a bit dispirited by the whole process, but it seems the independents who jumped ship in numbers.

    Interesting to see you agree with Beck on the bail-out.

  40. Splatterbottom

    Bloods, Beck may be hyperactive, and he may say some stupid things but he his basically pro-liberty. Idiots like David Suzuki, who call for criminalising climate deniers are extremists.

    As to criticisng the right, I do take issue with many you would put in that category. John Howard is a case in point.

    And yes, I am amused by leftists piously referring to ‘leftist thought’ as though it was some superior way of reasoning above and beyond ‘normal’ thought. I prefer facts and logic and I think the tendency of leftists to self-identify as evidence of some deep-seated insecurity. There are of course other perverse systems of thought such as islamism, and they too self identify. On the ‘right’ whatever that is, there are certainly some wierdos, but they are usually sui generis. So the way I see it there is ‘normal thought’ and other systems which seek to distinguish themselves from it. Interestingly ‘right’ is merely a category invented by the left to be used to abuse their opponents. It really doesn’t mean much in any practical sense. A better distinction than left v right is between liberty and tyranny, with the best balance being that area that includes the rule of law, freedom of speech and representative government.

  41. I don’t find either of those two sources particularly informative SB, as neither provide voter turnout figures to back their claims. They seem to be projections of the authors’ personal views more than anything else. Still – I have heard it said elsewhere that the independents swung to the Republicans by around 25%.

    Still – that could be because the left-leaning independents simply decided not to vote, as many of the democrat registered voters undoubtedly did. Until we compare total voter turnout numbers it will be hard to ascribe meaning to the stats being thrown around.

    As for that conspiracy nut Beck – yes he and I share an opposition to Obama’s bailout plan. His inflammatory rhetoric, however, marks him as a dangerous extremist – his listeners certainly seem to understand his message.

  42. Splatterbottom

    Lynot: “Added to that, people are still losing their homes/jobs whilst the CEO’S of these banks who lost/stole/fiddled/ billions of dollars were still receiving millions in bonuses.To deny this salient fact borders on delusion.”

    This is a point which Beck makes well and often.

    “Bush and his coterie of rabid wingnuts are the cause, and the media have given them a pass,”

    This is a just a slogan. The causes of the GFC are a little more complex than that.

    “another effort by my own good self, a bit of name calling, a few facts, opinion, nothing too irrational, “

    The operative word being ‘few’.

    Perhaps the reason so many independents deserted the Democrats is that the Obama/Reid/Pelosi cabal has made the economy worse and expanded the government sector in doing so.

  43. Splatterbottom

    Now here is a realistic take on the election:

    Is political power – are government commands and controls – superseding and suffocating the creativity of a market society’s spontaneous order? On Tuesday, a rational and alarmed American majority said “yes.”

  44. Interestingly ‘right’ is merely a category invented by the left to be used to abuse their opponents.

    Actually, that’s bullshit, SB. Do you have any evidence to support this claim?

    I prefer facts and logic and I think the tendency of leftists to self-identify as evidence of some deep-seated insecurity. Well, I’m pretty sure everyone would claim to prefer facts, even the large numbers of people who believe Obama wasn’t born in America and that he is a secret muslim.

    I’m also quite sure people identify as “conservative” and “right wing”. That’s beyond dispute. So unless some double standard is being applied, it wouldn’t be any less attributable to deep-seated insecurity for conservatives/rightwingers to self-identify than it should be for “leftists”.

    There are of course other perverse systems of thought such as islamism, and they too self identify. As do Christians. The Bible certainly holds a few perverse ideas, too.

  45. ” A better distinction than left v right is between liberty and tyranny”

    There’s your problem. Define it that way, and all the other nonsense flows from it, because it’s not just a “better distinction”, it’s actually an equation of liberty with the Right and tyranny with the Left. That’s just too silly for words.

    There are as many examples of tyranny on the Right as there are on the Left. You choose to focus on Stalinism, Maoism and their variants as the supreme historical examples of tyranny, and good on you for that, but you can be very blinkered about the Nazis and the fascists and people like Pinochet and the Latin American military dictators, not to mention the US Republicans. Maybe you prefer to categorise these people as “sui generis”, if that’s not an oxymoron, but that just doesn’t stack up. What they have in common, as well as their predilection for tyranny, is rigidly conservative values in the area of personal morality (frequently exposed as grossly hypocritical), a poisonous nationalism bordering on (and often crossing the line into) racism, a preference for the use of force over other methods of resolving conflict, and a romanticised view of their particular culture and civilisation. Most of them prefer “free” markets, which often includes giving free rein to rapacious corporations aginst the interests of their own people, including (in the case of the US especially) much of what has become their core constituency.

    “Liberty” is a noble word, but one that has become seriously debased by its overuse by fuckwits like Bush and those savages in his administration. Even “freedom” sounds dirty these days. “Tyranny” too sounds like a lie in the mouths of those people, a label designed to shut down critical thought.

  46. “a market society’s spontaneous order”

    What kind of grotesque, dehumanising delusion is that? Realistic my arse.

  47. For a stimulating discussion of the Left/Right issue and American political and social life (it’s about 14 years old but still highly relevant), look no further:

    http://www.worldmind.com/Cannon/Culture/Interviews/hill1x1.html

  48. Splatterbottom

    Buns I got this from Wikipedia:

    The terms “left” and “right” appeared during the French Revolution of 1789 when members of the National Assembly divided into supporters of the king to the president’s right and supporters of the revolution to his left. (The seating may have been influenced by the tradition of the United Kingdom Parliament, where the monarch’s ministers sit to the speaker’s right, while the opposition sit to his or her left.) One deputy, the Baron de Gauville explained, “We began to recognize each other: those who were loyal to religion and the king took up positions to the right of the chair so as to avoid the shouts, oaths, and indecencies that enjoyed free rein in the opposing camp”. However the Right opposed the seating arrangement because they believed that deputies should support private or general interests but should not form factions or political parties.

    The point is well made about the left’s need to form a faction whereas the rest were happy to think for themselves.

    A few people may identify as ‘right’, but it seems to me that many more people self-identify as left.

    I used the term ‘islamism’ as it refers to political islam. Christianity is very different in that it does not seek to impose an all-encompassing legal code on society.

    Bloods, the liberty versus tyranny scale isn’t biased towards the right or left. Few leftists at this blog would be at the tyrannical end of the scale, and some are quite libertarian. On the other hand tyranny isn’t the preserve of the left, although leftists are well represented at that end of the scale. Also, things are pretty grim at the other end of the scale, where the anarchists reside. I am in the middle along with reasonable people of many different stripes.

    I am not blinkered about the Nazis, and only ever mention them in a negative way. I have been guilty of arguing that Castro was worse than Pinochet on the basis that Castro murdered more people, didn’t resign from office and was worse economically for his country, but I nowhere supported Pinochet’s murderous deeds.

    Hayek is the thinker most associated with ideas of ‘sponatneous order’. The related concept of catallaxy is where the libertarian blog of that name gets its title. Spontaneous order is a very interesting concept. Hayek’s mistake was to use it as a basis for prescriptive propositions.

    Bloods, what is it with that Hillman guy? It is a long time since I’ve read rambling psychobabble like that. What on earth does this mean:

    “The Left? Right now, I read just recently that the unions are waking up again. But if you would — Did you see that? There’s an election out: a man has come in to run the AFL and the CIO.

    It’s a guy named [John] Sweeney, I think. But they said it may be necessary to do insurrection in order to—in order to get justice, we may have to use injustice. Things like that. Those are revolutionary sentences that you haven’t heard around here for how long? And he’s the man who shut down the bridges around D.C. There was a labor strife going on a year ago, and he shut the bridges down, preventing people from moving in and out of the city. So he’s an activist. The Unions have lost all influence and, again, there’s a tradition of American spirit in the Unions. Their songs. There’s great poetry about the Unions. Go back into the ’30s, the ’20s, the beginning of the century. All of that got wiped out. So there’s some Left there. There’s a little bit of the Left left there.”

    Sounds like an old man’s longing for the days of civil strife and violent revolution, and a lot more extreme than anything I have heard Beck say.

  49. The point is well made about the left’s need to form a faction whereas the rest were happy to think for themselves.

    Query whether that particular point is well made or not. However, the claim you made earlier which I asked you to substantiate was that ‘right’ is merely a category invented by the left to be used to abuse their opponents. Needless to say, the Wikipedia extract you’ve quoted doesn’t support your earlier contention.

  50. Is political power – are government commands and controls – superseding and suffocating the creativity of a market society’s spontaneous order? On Tuesday, a rational and alarmed American majority said “yes.”

    That seems a really long bow to draw, and appears to (once again) simply be the author reporting their personal opinion as though it is the opinion of the broader electorate. I doubt I’ve seen a clearer act of projection in all the coverage of this election.

    To assume that the average American was protesting the suffocation of “the creativity of a market society’s spontaneous order” is ridiculous in the absence of any actual voter statistics.

    As a free market ideologue you appear to have simply cherry-picked the analysis that best fits to your worldview. I’m trying hard to avoid falling into the same trap.

  51. “The point is well made about the left’s need to form a faction whereas the rest were happy to think for themselves.” – SB

    Remaining blindly loyal to God and King as a system of government being the epitome of independant thinking.

  52. “Sounds like an old man’s longing for the days of civil strife and violent revolution”

    You couldn’t be more wrong if you were trying really, really hard. And I’m sure you are. You are what he would characterise as a typical monotheist. I would urge you to do a bit of research on the man. What I linked to is merely a conversation, and I’m sure you know that transcriptions of conversations do not always convey the true flavour of the exchange. He is one of the great minds of this time, and to describe his words as “psychobabble” is extraordinarily ignorant. Christ, the man virtually invented the term, and has spent a lifetime excoriating the psychology establishment.

    He is not primarily a political thinker, rather he explores the notion of soul as it applies in all contexts, from the individual to the broader society. He puts people like Hayek well and truly in the shade, but because his work is difficult and elusive and concerned with the depths, he has frightened away those of a more concrete and literalistic turn of mind. Which, regrettably, means almost the entire intellectual class.

    As for Left and Right, I’m with Leonard Cohen: “I’m neither Left nor Right, I’m just staying home tonight, getting lost in this hopeless little screen.” Good night.

  53. “This is a point which Beck makes well and often.”

    Beck makes this point to keep currying favour with his sycophantic audience.He is well remunerated mischief maker nothing more.

    About my very few facts, you really are something else S.B. You have supplied nothing in your own comments even resembling a possibility, much less a fact as yet.Your own special innuendo a fact, does not make.

    The fact is the banks and other financial institutions were allowed to bleed the U.S. economy by fraud under the stewardship of George Bush.That is not just a slogan it is the sad reality.The machinations of the process are irrelevant.

    As far as the Obama administration making the economy worse bwaaaaaa.I know Obama has been known to turn water into wine, and he sometimes walks on water, but even Jesus himself will need a lot of help to fix this Repuglycan’s mess.

  54. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “However, the claim you made earlier which I asked you to substantiate was that ‘right’ is merely a category invented by the left to be used to abuse their opponents. Needless to say, the Wikipedia extract you’ve quoted doesn’t support your earlier contention.”

    Bully for you buns. The fact is that ‘right’ is mainly a term of abuse by leftists. Other than that it doesn’t mean much. A meaningful distinction can be made on scale which runs from anarchism to authoritarianism, but right/left doesn’t tell us much. The thing about leftists is their need to self-identify and huddle together. You don’t see that so much with people calling themselves ‘right’.

    Certainly as it is used now it is mainly a condescending term applied by leftists to people whose ideas they neither understand nor relate to. I thought the quote from the French National Assembly illustrated perfectly that this seems always to have been the case. Faction is the enemy of freedom.

    Mondo: “That seems a really long bow to draw, and appears to (once again) simply be the author reporting their personal opinion as though it is the opinion of the broader electorate. I doubt I’ve seen a clearer act of projection in all the coverage of this election.”

    I was merely pointing you to other opinions. I find it counterintuitive that the Dems lost out because they were not left enough. I suspect that there will be a lower turnout from the Democrat base and that there will also be a large change of sentiment by the independents. The latter is what the pre-election polling was showing.

    Nawagadj the word ‘blind’ is your interpolation, and is not supported by the context. The French Revolution saw the birth of the left as a hideous monster glorying in an orgy of Jacobin bloodlust. They continued in that vain throughout the 20th century.

  55. “Remaining blindly loyal to God and King as a system of government being the epitome of independent thinking.”

    So true, so true.

    I am old enough to remember being sent home from school until I had a haircut, wearing the new fad denim jeans to school, and the free thinking conservative teachers being indeed, mortified.But in hindsight I guess, being thrashed for my free thinking spirit, was good not only for my soul, but as you Nawagadj have said, for King and country.Abused for not standing up in the picture theater when they played not our anthem, but God save the Queen, what a special pleasure that was for a lefty..It used to drive those flag wearing patriotic conservative’s nuts.

    Reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover under the bed sheets with a torch, being careful not to get my self tooo excited less I might be tempted to have a little pull.Straining the ears to listen to rock music on the radio, with the music fading in and out from radio Luxembourg.After all this was necessary to keep the evils of the pop culture at bay, and away from the other cultural vicissitudes those evil lefty progressives were trying to foist on us.

    Ah and those evil Aboriginal stock man who after wanting to actually get paid for working instead of being remunerated with tea and tobacco, were accused of now dig this of being communists te he

    Yada, yada, yada,

    Conservatism what a fine ideology it is.But they don’t kill people do they?????

  56. Splatterbottom

    Funnily enough, bloods I was thinking of Cohen’s song ‘The old Revolution’ when I referred to the old man’s longing for revolution. Last year Cohen gave the best concert I have seen.

    I don’t like psychologists much. The only ones that make any sense are the cognitive therapy lot. The terms ‘difficult and elusive’ are usually excuses for fantastically creative thoughts that aren’t necessarily logical. Marx and Freud are bit like that. I will have a closer look at him when I have a bit more time.

    Lynot: “The fact is the banks and other financial institutions were allowed to bleed the U.S. economy by fraud under the stewardship of George Bush.That is not just a slogan it is the sad reality.The machinations of the process are irrelevant.”

    Sadly lop-sided slogan ignores the complexities of the situation. If you want to get to the bottom of something then you do need to understand all the drivers, and there were plenty of them. You could just as easily make the same statement substituting Dodds and Frank for Bush. In fact Bush tried to initiate some corrective legislation but those two ensured it did not get through congress. When it comes to the GFC, there is fault on all sides. Your shrill sloganeering is merely a distraction to understanding.

  57. “Sadly lop-sided slogan ignores the complexities of the situation ”

    Arrant nonsense.The only legislation Bush was interested in was lining the pockets of his mates with more of the loot he robbed from his fellow citizens by way tax cuts for the rich, not to mention the contracts awarded to company’s like Hallibuton and the ensuing scandals.Not an irrational slogan but just a pure fact.The GFC was just part of a long list of F@#$ Ups from a man who couldn’t run a baseball team, which is on the record I might add, much less an economy on the scale of the U.S. It was only last week he said his biggest disappointment in office, was not privatizing social security.Of course thousands of the maimed soldiers who rely on the V.A. where Bush cut back money by the truck load, I’m sure would agree with him, pigs arse.

    I know that would fit in nicely with your ideology S. B , but not good for millions of Americans who now find themselves unemployed and maimed because of the great Bush administration.. I think you really must be taking the piss, Bush and the neocons have best part sent the U.S. into bankruptcy, and made the U.S.one of the most hated nation on earth, and you call it sloganeering. It is sad it was your side of the political spectrum that was responsible, but there you are.

    My shrill comments are about on par with yours.My sloganeering as you put it, is about as good as your obsequious observations that certainly don’t match the reality of the issue.I can only conclude you must be referring to another time and place.

  58. “The only ones that make any sense are the cognitive therapy lot. The terms ‘difficult and elusive’ are usually excuses for fantastically creative thoughts that aren’t necessarily logical.”

    Right there is everything I abhor about contemporary thinking on psychology. It is a reductionist denial of the limitless depths of soul, and a manic defence against the possibilities of imagination. As a practitioner in the field I see every day the casualties of this approach. Not just individuals, but communities and indeed entire civilisations. Hillman is incredibly refreshing, the only psychologist in the past half-century (to my knowledge) to offer any remotely interesting new ideas. His best (and yes, most “difficult and elusive”) book is “Re-visioning Psychology”, published in 1975, but there are many others of quite outstanding quality right up to the present day.

  59. And yes, Cohen’s concert was the best I have seen too, under the stars in a winery in the Yarra Valley, sitting beside my dear, dear old friend who was dying of cancer with only months to live. A magnificent, bittersweet memory. I’ll be there to see him again in just a week’s time.

    His line from “Anthem” – ” I can’t run no more with that lawless crowd/While the killers in high places say their prayers out loud” – while it may not have been written about the neocons, sure as hell hits them right between the eyes. But Cohen has always reached far beyond politics, philosophy and religion, into the realm of poetry which, as Hillman argues, is the basis of mind. I’m sure they would be fans of each other’s work.

  60. I suspect that there will be a lower turnout from the Democrat base and that there will also be a large change of sentiment by the independents.

    I’ve read today that the Democratic turnout in some states was 60% down on 2008, vs Republican turnout being 20% down. If that pattern was repeated amongst the independents then that would explain the % swing numbers.

    I find it counterintuitive that the Dems lost out because they were not left enough

    It may well be the wrong conclusion to draw but it’s not counter-intuitive – you don’t have to look far to see an example of how re-invigorating your base can lead to electoral success. Tony Abbott, for all his faults, clearly revived the Liberal party by returning to conservative politics after Turnbull’s liberalism.

    Personally, I find it counterintuitive for the Democrats to believe that their path back to popularity will be through more frequent capitulation to the Republicans and their media allies. I doubt, though, that the Democrats will agree, and they will therefore be routed again in 2012.

  61. “The point is well made about the left’s need to form a faction whereas the rest were happy to think for themselves.”

    Like the Tea Pary? Or One Nation?

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