What Atrios said

Here.

Everyone needs to calm down and stop taking everything so seriously. I’ve been blogging a long time and I’ve never witnessed anything remotely close to the overall level of anger in the poliblogosphere right now. It’s not healthy or productive. The blogosphere is quickly flipping from being one of the best things to happen to modern day politics to one of the absolute worst.

RELATED: This podcast featuring Blue Gal and Driftglass addressing progressive concerns about the current political environment was a very enjoyable listen. They make some great and very reasonable points. A wonderful (and, at times, funny) discussion and a great antidote to a sucky week. p.s. Who knew Driftglass was Joe Conason?

Posted by Kevin K. on 01/31/10 at 03:32 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaPoliblogs

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Indeed!

I think blogging is now the way most of us exchange our thoughts and ideas, and politics is always a hot topic, whether you are discussing it in person or online. We all know that people say things far more brashly online because there is no slap in your face if you offend someone.

But with the luxury of shooting one’s mouth off comes the uneasy truce we have with each other. And the cuckoobirds we would edge away from at a party are right here next to us in cyberspace. Set off the wrong guy, and he tells the other one, and pretty soon you have a whole band of them. And they are highly flammable.

I get worried when I read posts from groups like that. I had an exchange once via email with a woman who had copied some of my artwork and was selling it online. I asked her to cease and desist, and she sent me the most frightening messages I’ve ever seen. I forwarded them to Ebay and they cancelled her account with them. She threatened me, called me some scary names, and hinted that she could easily find my house. Not a good feeling.

So yeah, people who are already close to the edge can get pushed right over. Sadly, that seems to be getting more common. It’s a crazy-assed world out there.

You know, donnah, you should hang out here more often.

That whole article you link to in the post is about the divisions over Barack Obama, not some larger philosophical issue—and I would submit that Obama’s deeply disappointing first year in office has produced two groups among his previous supporters, those who are still deluded about him, and those who have become aware that he’s just another cynical, sellout politician—and a typical lousy sucker Democrat at that, always trying to accommodate Republicans like they are decent and reasonable (and looking weak in the process).
These divisions in the leftwingblogs will lessen more and more as people just admit that as much as we supported him (and though he is still better than the other horrible choices in the 2008 primaries), many were just taking their hatred of Bush and his policies and acting out on it in a less than rational way (in retrospect).
Obama is a lightweight and a fool, and I’ve got to say it’s very hard to admit that.  But let’s not delude ourselves for the sake of politeness!

Comment by Dan on 01/31/10 at 06:05 PM

Forgive me. I wanted to type something pertinent, but I can’t stop laughing at Dan.

I don’t “hate” him, and I refuse to call him names. I believe that Dan and I can coexist civilly on the Internet. It’s a big place.

I cannot, however, think when I’m giggling.

those who are still deluded about him

When you start with that assumption about any person who supported him or voted for him who doesn’t feel the need to tear his head off every three seconds online, it’s pointless to get into a debate with you.

I don’t know Dan- and I don’t care to- but I know I am not stupid or deluded and I still support the president strongly. I’m guessing Dan is someone who has a lot of learning and living to do- but basically I don’t care. I lump him and his opinions -even if he is supposedly a liberal- with the quick judgements and inanae opinions of the rightwing.

Haven’t been here for a long time- Hi, Kevin!

Hi, Andrea! Good to “see” you again.

Bu - but then who will fuck all of these rats?

KK, you tried. Don’t feel bad. You made it through three comments before the obligatory horse’s ass wandered in here to dump a load of road apples.

Now I owe Polly ten bucks, ‘cause I bet her we’d make it to six.

“I don’t know Dan- and I don’t care to- but I know I am not stupid or deluded and I still support the president strongly.”

With that authoritarian mindset, you are by definition incapable of questioning whether or not you are stupid or deluded, so you’ve kind of painted yourself into a logical corner there.

“When you start with that assumption about any person who supported him or voted for him who doesn’t feel the need to tear his head off every three seconds online, it’s pointless to get into a debate with you.”

Umm….what?  Well, it’s your blog, so whatever.  Word!!

Dan, starting a conversation with an insult is the first mistake of a pompous fuckwit.

The second mistake is coming here to do it.

Dan, Dan, Dan. 

I guess I’ll fall into the “deluded” camp because I haven’t given up on the President who’d been in office for just over a year and hasn’t fixed the world like Howard Clark Kucinich would have certainly done by now.

Yeppers, if the mythical “real Progressive” had won, we’d all be shitting rainbows and pissin’ sunshine. Also.

As gimme said, indeed.

Second, isn’t it nice to come home to a blog with a nice hot plate of food pron on the table, and no conspiracy theories to muss our pristine fonts? Where Dan can express his opinion, no one will flame him, and Strange will say something witty?

As far as Obama goes, I still have to pinch myself that we have a president whose name isn’t Bush. Did I hate Bush? Sure. That’s not the point. I also hate brussels sprouts.  The difference is that brussels sprouts didn’t invade Iraq on a policy of preemptive war, fabricating evidence, and manipulating the press in the process. Brussels sprouts didn’t attempt to drill in the Arctic reserve, privatize social security, or veto SCHIP. And to justify all of this on a pretty sketchy take on Christianity.

The sickness of this time is that there isn’t a lot of middle ground between the Obamas of this world, and the Sarah Palins. That’s where we’re at.

I’ve seen some pretty unhinged blogging echo chambers over the last 3 years, from Flowbee’s finer fortress moments to the likes of Uppity Woman and Riverdaughter.

But this one has got to take the cake.

The cognitive dissonance and sheer irrational nature of it all when based in the political realm is one thing. But when it’s projected outwards and personally like this it’s actually really really unnerving stuff.

We were thinking today about whether this actually gets any traction outside of the blogging world. Personal attacks aside does it have political ramifications? Does it actually mean anything? And while my partner was willing to brush it away as relatively meaningless in the scheme of things (ie: does it really effect Joe Bogs going about his day?), I’m not so sure.

When the likes of Hillbuzz is one step removed from Limbaugh, or Hannity* or Breitbart…and actively being promoted by them, it’s less about whether the likes of Hillbuzz itself has an effect and more about the way it’s conspiratorial unaccountable ranting is used as more grist for the right wing mill to inject into the zeitgeist.

The constant drumbeat of which is an utter disrespect for anyone not wearing your political stripe and ideology trumps everything. Nothing has value and everything is justifiable, even breaking the law. From Tea Party vitriol to Joe Wilson’s “You lie!”, James “Gordon Liddy Jr” O’Keefe’s dress ups to bringing assault weapons to a Presidential Town Hall.

It’s a powder keg. Of which even Obama himself mentioned may work for you in the political short term but leads you down a rabbit hole to who knows where. And we’re only at the end of year one.

A very bizarre time. Stay safe guys!

The * that i noted after Hannity was meant to state that i’m not sure if Hannity actually has actively promoted Hillbuzz but there is no doubt the kind of anti obama chicago thugs histrionics he peddles in is firmly housed on Hannity street. And thats not a cool street at ALL.

Obama is the “lightweight” and “fool” who delivered a prime-time wedgie to both halves on Congress and the Supreme Court on live TV, and just two days ago made a roomful of Republican legislators look like the coolie chorus in The Mikado.

He’s disappointed me on many fronts, but I knew that was likely when I voted for him—given the wall of opposition he was going to face from the Pubbies, the Conservative Left, the Sarahnoid base and the Screaming Mimi liberals who inevitably act like jilted prom dates when a Democratic politician fails to shoot rosebuds and champagne out his ass.

You may feel like a fool for voting for him, Dan, but don’t expect an apology from me.

Can we get back to civility now, please. This thread is really fucking with KK’s Nobel Prize prospects.

For what it’s worth, I would like to cite Lex Luthor’s advice on “civility,” as addressed to General Zod in Superman II.

“Bow!” “Yield!” “Kneel!” That kind of stuff closes out of town.

Dan, starting a conversation with an insult is the first mistake of a pompous fuckwit.

The second mistake is coming here to do it.

And binary thinking—i.e., “you’re either deluded or disgruntled!” is a sure sign that one has entered the ranks of Dimwitted Twatwaffledom. But hey, thanks for linking to your blog. Twice! I’ll be sure to check it out for more fascinating and heretofore unvoiced insights—maybe of the “you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists” variety.

And when I say “fascinating,” feel free to substitute “simpleminded.”

This may sound harsh—but I’ve seen friends of mine targeted by loonie assholes over the past few days, so somebody who wants to play Armchair Jaundiced-Eyed Pundit and comes over here with a Big Ole Cowpie of False Equivalency just isn’t gonna be greeted as a liberator. Sorry (not really).

Now scoot, Sonny. The grown-ups are talking.

Many thanks for your kind words.

Well I can see what the post author was talking about when he mentioned the “overall level of anger” right now—he must have been talking about the commenters on this site!

But hey, thanks for linking to your blog. Twice!

Well I provided the links so you can learn a little something about how the president has not lived up to his promises and had an unambiguously disappointing year, and to establish as fact my previous support of Mr. Obama.  If I were click baiting, I would have commented on a blog with a lot of readers.

“binary thinking”

Since he hasn’t followed through on his campaign agenda, I assumed that Obama’s previous supporters would be disappointed about that—or lying to themselves and/or others about it, perhaps in the name of partisanship.  But I did neglect to mention an important third category—nutty authoritarians like yourself that approach politics like a personality cult, whose traumatic experiences have molded them into permanently scared children looking for a powerful, capricious leader to whom they can submit.  Your bit about “grownups” is a pretty dead giveaway on that one: such puerile, desperate posturing is even more sad than it is lame.

Aww, Kevin, he’s so cute! Can we keep him?

But I did neglect to mention an important third category—nutty authoritarians like yourself that approach politics like a personality cult,

Dan is making a common mistake; visiting a country without bothering to learn the tongue of the natives, much less the traditions.

We are not so much supporters of anybody as attackers of stupidity, and the preponderance of stupidity has been directed at Obama. More than that, it has to be laughable stupidity, such as when people who can’t handle disagreement insist that anyone disagreeing with them is a nutty authoritarian. That was quite satisfyingly laughable.

But I’m afraid our calendar for dealing with humorless self-aggrandizing twerps who whine when greeted with anybody who doesn’t immediately adopt their reductive worldview is full up at the moment, you’ll have to check back sometime in the late spring.

Then again, this wasn’t the best week to try parachuting into a land you don’t know without a map.

But I’m afraid our calendar for dealing with humorless self-aggrandizing twerps who whine when greeted with anybody who doesn’t immediately adopt their reductive worldview is full up at the moment, you’ll have to check back sometime in the late spring.

Yeah, srsly, Dan.  Take a number and get in the back of the line.

Then again, this wasn’t the best week to try parachuting into a land you don’t know without a map.

Indeed. It probably also wasn’t the best time to be parachuting in here with a link in one’s user name to a blog that has fairly detailed personal information and photos on it.

Seriously, Dan, we can fix that for you if you like. Now quit being such a dickhead.

Sorry, I’m new to this - was that civil enough?

whose traumatic experiences have molded them into permanently scared children

This from a grown man who owns parakeets, and doesn’t live at Alcatraz.

Right, Dan. I have the emotional maturity of an 8-year-old, and Obama is the Big Strong Daddy I never had.

Now, why don’t you put on a sailor suit and sing me some show tunes?

Oooh! Ooh! Can we rename Dan to “PumaHipster”?

Since he hasn’t followed through on his campaign agenda, I assumed that Obama’s previous supporters would be disappointed about that—or lying to themselves and/or others about it, perhaps in the name of partisanship.

And how exactly is this not a prime example of binary thinking?

Thanks for playing, Dan. Sorry, but we’re fresh out of Rice-A-Roni.

Hell, I’m a nice guy and Dan obviously hasn’t a fucking clue, so I’m going to amend the link in his name as a precaution even without his say-so.

If he then comes back and calls me a nutty authoritarian for doing so, sure, I’ll reinstate it.

@YAFB—Good thinking. We get some rough trade around here, and Tough Man Dan is flying around the galaxy with his shields down and his fly open.

You’re a kinder man than I’m inclined be.

Strange, we are kind to trolls and idiot children around here. It makes me proud.

And of course by “we,” I meant YAFB is. I’m still the same grumpy bitch I’ve always been when dealing with idiots.

Poor Dan picked a bad time to come sniffing around here.

Gimme, if his default position is to assume that anyone who fails to agree wholly with him is “delusional” and then to engage in classic projection by describing those who question such an outlandish and self-serving assumption as “authoritarian,” I’m not sure there will ever be a good time for Dan to try to get on the board here.

@Oblomova—Quit oppressing me with your juvenile inability to see just how damaged you were by your parents’ emotional unresponsiveness. I’m sick of dealing with people who disagree with me because they’re mentally underdeveloped and easily-led. They sooner you admit you’re a born dupe, the sooner we can engage in a productive dialogue.

Pretty good, Strange, but you forgot the part where you say “Well, I suppose none of you dupes will apologize for not listening to me in the first place!”

And the part where you go home and bite your pillow because we’re all bastard people. Also.

Parakeets. Why did it have to be parakeets?

—Indiana Strange

I will never cease to be amazed by people who’ve apparently only just discovered that politicians are unable to deliver on all their campaign promises, then castigate others for having come to that realization long ago.

My amazement at that is only surpassed by my amazement at those who expect all a politician’s campaign promises to have been delivered, like, yesterday.

Just color me amazed, basically.

Sure, it can lead to the tyranny of low expectations, but shrieking at all and sundry about the whole shebang on blogs doesn’t seem to have delivered results in the past, and I see no sign of it doing so in future.

Shorter YAFB: What atrios said.

When they find out about the waters of Casablanca there’s gonna be a real shitstorm!

And again, I’m amazed that people who express such grave and life-changing disappointment that politicians sometimes fall short of their promises are ever capable of maintaining human relationships of any kind. People disappoint each other. That’s pretty much our function, near as I can tell.

And all that was left were some scattered bones, bits of cartilage and a small wad of blood-soaked hair.

Successful troll was successful!

This thread is like performance art - thoroughly enjoyable.

They never spoke of it again, what happened that day up on Civility Ridge, and eventually even the land forgot. What signs remained in the scored and rutted earth softened and vanished in the Spring, swallowed whole by an onrushing tide of sage and buckthorn and wind.

Strange, your writing is always a joy to read.

Thanks, RN—but I was just channeling Morgan Freeman, who’s always my first choice for a wistful epilogue.

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